Elizabeth Coffin was born 18 of October 1807 in Montgomery, Virginia. She was the daughter of William and Mary Duncan (Dunkin) Coffin who were devout Quakers. William had moved there from Massachusetts several years before because of ill treatment and persecutions the Quakers were receiving. They had some land in Montgomery County and lived there from 1803 to 1809. They must have felt the need to move again as they joined with other families and moved toward Indiana and Iowa. They stopped in Washington County, Indiana for a few years where Elizabeth's father William died. Elizabeth was about 18 years old at this time. This is where she met her future husband. She married Horace Strong Rawson the 9th of October 1825 and immediately assisted him in caring for his orphaned brothers and sisters. From Washington County, Indiana they moved to Randolph County, Indiana. Having bought a quarter section of land, they soon had a nice farm with suitable buildings. They labored hard and prospered much and felt they were settled for life. They had four children in Indiana, Mary Ann, Daniel, Semantha and William. This is where Elizabeth and Horace met the missionaries and were taught the Gospel. Elizabeth was baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in 1831, a few months before her husband. They decided to move near the Saints and settled near Independence, Missouri. Here they had many tragic and frightening experiences. They were always on the alert because of the threat from mobs with their killings, plundering and the burning of homes and crops. They were later driven out of Jackson County in the fall of 1833. Elizabeth was pregnant and suffering from the want of food and other necessities. She became quite ill but was finally able to travel. They went to Lafayette for the winter where they had quite a struggle. They were no shoes for their children and not much to eat. She gave birth to twins in the spring, Oriah and Sariah. The boy only lived until September of that year. Because of the uprising of the mobocrats, Horace was advised by Thomas B. Marsh to cross over to Clay County where people were more friendly. They crossed the Missouri River on a ferry boat. The family and their provisions were unloaded on a sandbar. It was cold and they didn't have much protection. As soon as he could Horace secured a spot and built a house. He planted a crop and harvested it early. They remained there the rest of the year 1835 during which time Chloe was born. In the spring of 1836 they moved to Caldwell County near Far West and built a house on Plum Creek. Here they were still having a hard time. Once all they had to eat was milk and a little corn. Then the morning came when their cow turned up missing. Whether it strayed or was stolen all they had to eat was corn. After about a week they decided to go in search of something different to eat. The Lord heard their prayers and they were able to find a wild turkey. While living at Far West they were privileged to hear Joseph Smith speak at a conference. Wherever the Rawsons lived they were pursued by mobs. They were driven from their home five times. Elizabeth tried to protect her children by hiding them in corn fields. They even hid in a bear cave during the Haun's Mill Massacre. At this particular time their homes were burned, their livestock and even their clothing was stolen by the mob. Her husband was taken prisoner and she was left not knowing if he would ever return alive. In the winter of 1839 they moved to Nauvoo. Here they enjoyed their association with the Saints. Their son Caleb died in April 1839. Their son Arthur was born June 17, 1840 in Nauvoo. In 1842 they were called to go to Lima. Her husband was a carpenter and was needed to build homes. Her daughter Sarahrinda was born was born February 8, 1844 in Lima. In the fall of 1845 the people of Lima were driven from their homes and their homes were burned. The family returned to Nauvoo. Both Elizabeth and her husband worked in the temple helping to wash and dry clothes and anything else they could. This was the time when they kept the Temple open 24 hours a day so that as many as the Saints as possible could get their endowments before they had to leave Nauvoo In the spring of 1846 they were forced to leave the state. They stopped at Council Bluffs where they remained for several years. This is where Cyrus and Horace were born. In the spring of 1850 preparations were made to cross the plains with the Wilford Woodruff Company. Elizabeth contracted cholera and was very ill on the way spending most of the trip in the wagon. After several breakdowns and delays and company arrived in Salt Lake City the October 14, 1850. Daniel, their eldest son, had joined the Mormon Battalion and had come to Utah the year before. He had a home ready for his parents in Ogden. They were very thankful for their arrival to a place where they could live in peace. They held responsible positions in the Branch which was soon organized. Elizabeth gave birth to her thirteenth child Elizabeth in Ogden, Utah in 1853. Elizabeth thought her moving days were over, but they later moved to Farmington, Utah where Horace had obtained a nice farm. They again moved to Payson, Utah and lived there until 1860. In 1860 they returned to Ogden where they lived in peace but not in idleness. Elizabeth kept busy helping her children and grandchildren. She did the weaving, spinning and knitting for all of them. She never complained and was loved by everyone. She always bore a fervent testimony of the Gospel. She and other members of the family made trips to the endowment house in Salt Lake City and to the St. George temple where did ordinance work for their parents, brothers and sisters, and other relatives, including the sealing ordinances. Horace Rawson said, "My faithful wife is my best of all God's gifts to me. the partner of my life, the sharer of my every joy and hope, the consoler of my griefs." Horace died October 16, 1882 after a nine day illness at the age of 83 years. Elizabeth lived another seven years and passed away the 21st of April 1890 in Ogden, Utah and was buried next to her husband in the Ogden City Cemetery.
History of Elizabeth Coffin
A NOBLE WOMAN WRITTEN BY A SON I feel it my duty to write a few incidents of the life of my dear mother, Elizabeth Coffin Rawson who passed away at one o’clock ( on the ) 21st of April 1890 after an illness of ten days. She had a light stroke of paralysis which deprived her of her speech but kept her right mind to the last. She was the wife of the late Horace Strong Rawson. She was born the 18th of October 1807 at Montgomery County, Indiana. She was baptized a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints by Levi W. Hancock in 1831. Her husband joined a few months later in 1832. ( In his story he said they were baptized in 1831 and in the ordinance records of the church it is recorded that he was baptized in 1831 and she was baptized in 1831 or 1832 . Whichever is correct we do not know for sure but we do know they were baptized, in fact, according to the ordinance records of the church they have both been baptized several times). They gathered with the Saints in Jackson County, Missouri. They were driven by the mob from their homes five times and finally came to these valleys and settled in Ogden in 1850. Passing through all the incidents of pioneer life without a murmur. Owing to her infirm age she came to Harrisville a short time ago to live with her children. She was the mother of 13 children, 15 grandchildren and 155 great grand children. She was 82 years 6 months and 3 days old. She was chosen for a teacher of Relief Society where she labored faithfully for many years. She never resigned from that office. (She) bore a strong testimony of the work of God. As she knew for herself that this was the true church of Christ. She died as she had lived full of faith and love for all with whom she became acquainted with. ( Her) funeral was held at the East Harrisville meeting house. Bishop P.G. Taylor presiding. Counseling remarks were made by Charles Middleton, Bishop P. G. Taylor and Patriarch Joseph Taylor. They spoke of good deeds of the deceased and family. A large assembly viewed the remains. A large cortege accompanied them to Ogden Cemetery. There she was laid to rest by the side of her diseased husband thus passed away an honest devoted mother and affectionate and loving wife. Copied from Horace Strong Rawson’s patriarchal blessing and record book by Mary E. Rawson Christensen July 24th 1950 ( A great grand daughter). Written by a son.