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Joseph Franklin Barton Biography, Hole-in-the-Rock Pioneer
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Barton, Joseph Franklin and Harriet Ann Richards

Joseph F. Barton Joseph F. Barton of Paragonah was married to Harriet Ann Richards, May 15, 1876 in the Endowment House in Salt Lake City.

Harriet Ann Richards Harriet Ann Richards Barton was born at Parowan, Utah, Sept. 14, 1855. She was a school teacher.

Early in 1879 he, with his wife answered the call by President Erastus Snow to help establish a colony in the southeastern part of the state. The couple, with their two little children came through the Hole-in-the-Rock into Bluff on April 6, 1880 (Saga of San Juan pp 299-300).

Children on the trek: Harriet Eliza, Mary Viola

Joseph Barton's journal describing the call and trail building.

Joseph described the descent down the hole this way:
Of course everybody was very anxious to try the new road down the celebrated hole in the rock which is a crack or gap thru the rim rock (barely wide enuf for the passage of a wagon) which led to a narrow ruff canyon that wound its way to the River. The first decent of the hole in the rock being 26 ft and which took sevrl days blasting to fill and even then was thot to be a very dangerous peice of wagon road. However by means of a long rope and 10 men the wagons were lowered thru the hole and set on their way for the River (3/4 of a mile distant) before any of the teams of Camp #2 put in an appearance. The writer happened to be some distance in advance of the balance of Company # 2 and reached the dreaded road just at Sundown and knowing that if he waited for the ten men and rope he would camp on the rim that night, but after taking a Survey of the cavity & putting on ruff lock and urging his team considerable finally got them to face what seemed almost next to death. However the next 1/2 minute landed team wgon and driver at first station about 300 ft down the hole in the rock right side up, where upon examination he found that the chain to ruff lock had broken but thru a providencial act the chain had flipped a lap around the feloe in Such a manner as to serve for a lock.

Barton had an especially dependable team of horses. A gggrandson Tad Barton said: "my great great great grandfather Joseph Franklin Barton's team of horses pulled many wagon on the original trek...they were blind from an out break of pink eye that hit Iron county so they couldn't see how steep the road was...they just did what they were told to "(1/19/2010). They are also mentioned in Lund's book
Joseph took a leading part in the education, civil, religious and financial affairs of the community. He was an exemplary neighbor, a good veterinarian. He had all the attributes to make him the fine colonizer he was. He eventually settled in Verdure, where he passed away.
Harriet possessed an exceptionally fine voice and sang in Alfred Durham's choir. When she and her husband settled in Bluff, she ecame very active in Church activities, especially the Relief Society and the Ward Choir. The couple had eight children: Harriet, Mary, Joseph Franklin, Morgan, Josephine, Isabel, Karl, and Wesley.
May 29, 1896 Harriet Barton died at the age of 40, seventeen days after giving birth to their eighth child. Nine days later their newborn boy died. Two years following Harriet’s untimely death, Joseph was called to serve a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in the southern states. After returning from his mission, Joseph married Eugenia Johnson in 1907 and moved to Verdure where they established a successful farm and ranch. Joseph died in Verdure, Utah on April 10, 1926.

Kumen Jone's tribute to Joseph Barton:
Joseph F., one of the partners in the company that was located at Rincon, 10 miles west of Bluff, Utah. The company consisted of Amasa and Joseph F. Barton, Ernest and Frank H. Hyde. I think their company name or business was "Hyde and Barton."
Joseph F. took a leading place in education, civil and religious, and financial affairs, held official positions in all of above features of progress and civilization. Having him and family as my nearest neighbor for 24 years, I found them 100 percent fine. Brother Barton was an all around handy, helpful, exemplary neighbor; quite a veterinarian, understood many of the ailments of domestic animals, and for planning all corrals, outhouses, etc., his gift or ability along those lines was an asset to the community where he lived, and later in life he had the opportunity of "building a home by the side of the road and being a friend to man."--a home and surroundings that stood as a credit to southeastern Utah. This was at Verdure, Utah, where he and family resided for many years, and where he passed on from this mortal school. One of his sons, Karl S., lived with his family at Verdure for many years.

The Barton Cabin is the oldest pioneer structure in San Juan County. Lamont Crabtree Photo

Today the Barton cabin represents the sole surviving feature of the earliest architecture of Bluff. It retains the integrity of its original location, design, setting, material, workmanship, feeling, and association.

Bartons featured in Hole in the Rock Newsletter
Brief history of the Barton Cabin

Return to Biography Selections
Joseph Franklin Barton Biography, Hole-in-the-Rock Pioneer
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