Two histories are included in this file, the first, below, was written in his own hand when he was elderly.  The second history following, was written by his granddaughter Aurelia Pyper Richards after his death.

Written by Riego Hawkins

As my wife, children, grandchildren and friends, have frequently urged me to write a history of my life and incidents thereof, I will endeavor to comply with their requests, tho I fear it will be rather dull and uninteresting owing to my very limited education, if for no other reason.

But I am convinced that many of the incidents herein narrated will have no value whatever to anyone save myself, although at the time they occurred they were anything but uninteresting to me, and they were indelibly impressed on my mind as shewing the hand of God in preserving the lives of His children.

To begin, I was born January 1st 1848 in London England , being the youngest of a family of nine children born to Samuel Harris Hawkins and Charlotte Savage Hawkins who were married at       on the       day of          .

Names Married



Where Married

To Whom

Samuel Harris Hawkins Savage

Jan 22, 1852

Mar 22, 1804



Charlotte Savage Hawkins Hawkins

Apr 17, 1887

Mar 10, 1805



Angilina Hawkins Piercy


Feb 10, 1830



Lavinia Hawkins Woodmansh?

Apr 28, 1910

Jul 18, 1832

Salt Lake City


Leo Hawkins Kay

May 29, 1849

Jul 19, 1834

Salt Lake City


Aurelia Hawkins Hurst


Sep 15, 1836

Salt Lake City


Albert Hawkins

Died in childhood

Jan 27, 1839



Creighton Hawkins


Apr 3, 1840


1st Miriam Chase
2nd Lydia Johnson in SLC

Conrad Hawkins

Died in childhood

Apr 2, 1842


Conalbert Hawkins


Nov 10, 1844


Riego Hawkins

Nov 28, 1878

Jan 1, 1848

Salt Lake City

Charlotte E. Stay

My father being a well to do business man, a copper plate printer by profession and owning and conducting his own establishment as also a 100 year lease on the home in which I was born.  Both of my parents were religiously inclined.  My father being firmly convinced that it was necessary for God's people to gather together in order to worship him acceptably.  After much serious reflection on the subject he was persuaded that Jerusalem was the gathering place designated by the Almighty for his chosen people and was about to close up his business and make that his future home, when he heard for the first time the "Gospel of Jesus Christ as taught by the Latter Day Saints, commonly called (Mormons) he immediately investigated the principles as proclaimed by the servants of God and upon finding it in harmony in every detail with the Gospel as taught by the Savior himself joyfully embraced it.

Thus was his desire to gather to Jerusalem changed to one to gather with the Saints in America the land of Zion.

In accordance therefor with the light received upon being baptized, he with his family about the first of November 1848 set sail in the ship Zetland for America in company with a number of Saints over whom he was called to preside.

After some six weeks on the ocean the vessel with its human cargo arrived at its destination, New Orleans.

Shortly after our arrival there we embarked on the old Ben West for St.. Louis Mo. and I spent my second birthday thereon steaming up the Mississippi river, in due time we arrived at St. Louis, remaining there something over one year (or two years, I am not certain which) where one of my brothers (Conalbert) died.

In the spring of 1851 we left St. Louis to continue our journey to the great west, we traveled that season as far as Pottowatomie County Iowa, traveling with ox teams, we finally stopped for the winter at a place called twelve mile grove 40 miles north of Kanesville.

During the winter several of the family were stricken with fever and ague, of which my father died being about 47 years of age, leaving my mother alone in the wilderness with two daughters and three sons to take care of, ranging in age from 20 years to 4.  My oldest sister Angelina having married remained in England with her husband Frederic Piercy, and three of my brothers having died while children.

My father died in full fellowship in the Gospel and in the assurance of a glorious resurrection with the just, and in the knowledge that he would be again reunited with his family never more to be parted.

The winter was extremely cold and on one occasion I had the misfortune to fall into the open fire and severely burn both of my hands, but with the careful nursing of my mother and the blessing of the Lord, I was entirely healed without leaving any bad effects or even scars.

Early in the spring of 1852 my mother made preparations to continue her journey to the Great Salt Lake valley, the gathering place of the Saints.  She made arrangements with a supposed good brother to let him have one of her teams for the journey, for which he was to haul a certain amount of her goods to the valley, he kept his word by hauling them a few miles and then dumping them out on the prairie, where she found them later on and he upon arriving in the valley robed her out of the outfit by claiming that my father gave the outfit to him before he (my father) died, thus was she repaid in her efforts to assist a dishonest man, however he will get his just reward.

I was so young that I remember very little of what occurred on the journey, but two incidents occurred that I distinctly remember, on one occasion my mother took me out of the wagon so that I might walk a little, and put me back in the wagon again when she thought I had walked far enough, but I did not think I had, and rebelled and for revenge made a raid on the sugar jar, then for the want of something else to do, I took my moccasins off and turned them inside out now as I had been walking among sand burrs and as many of them had affectionately attached themselves to the moccasins the experiment from one point of view was entirely successful if not very pleasing, and I did not investigate the merits or demerits of sand burrs any further.

I will state here that we crossed the plains in Jacob Biglers independent company.

During the trip the cholera in a very violent form broke out among the company many of whom died of the dread disease.  My mother was in constant attendance on the sick but owing to her great faith and fearlessness did not contract the disease, neither did she suffer any ill effects other than that caused by fatigue.
During the journey in many places it was impossible to obtain wood or any kind of firing and we were compelled to use what was called (for the benefit of delicate ears and also politeness) buffalo chips, which being interpreted means manure from the cattle of former companies and  to say the least it makes excellent fuel and is in no way offensive, in fact it is this same product that the Indians use in carrying fire on their journeys.

Sometime during the journey a tornado swept down upon us overturning wagons, tearing wagon covers to shreds, scattering goods and utensils over the prairie, and killing one man, the wagon in which were my brothers Leo and Creighton was overturned but happily neither of them were injured.

When we came in sight of chimney rock my sister Lavinia taking me with her started for a walk to it, however before going very far we turned back as the object for which we started appeared to be getting farther away instead of nearer and it was several days steady traveling before we passed it, this shews how deceptive distances are in such a clear atmosphere.

On the 22nd of September 1852 we arrived in the valley, and were received in the home of brother George D. Watts, who was the first man baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, in England in this dispensation, whose residence was a small adobe house on the South East corner of second South and second East Streets, we remained there until about the 1st of October when my mother traded her teams to a man by the name of Seaburry for a one room log house and a lot in the First Ward, on what is now known as 7th South St. between 6th and 7th East Sts on the South side of the street where I lived for nearly 56 years and where my mother died in the 83rd year of her life.

During the early days of our residence in the city we had to resort to every honorable means within our power to obtain a living.  My mother who had never had to perform any kind of labor in her life did all kinds of work here for the support of herself and family even taking in washing, gleaning in the fields etc., during the first winter we spent in the valley living in the little old log house in the first Ward, we had nothing whatever to burn save sunflower stalks which my mother and the older members of the family gathered on the tenth ward square (as it was then called) where the Salt Lake Street car barns are now located, every morning they would go there and each gather a bundle as large as they could carry and take home, but on Saturday they, as the children of Israel in the wilderness gathered manna, gathered a double portion to last over the Sabbath, these sunflower stalks were not only our sole source of firing but of light also during the long evenings of that never to be forgotten winter.

On July 3rd 1857 at the invitation of President Brigham Young, as many of the people as could do so went up Big Cottonwood Canyon to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the entrance of the pioneers into the valley.

While they were enjoying themselves in various ways the news reached them that Jhonstons Army was on the way here to exterminate the Mormons, They all returned home and soon began to prepare for another exodus.  On the 1st day of April 1858 we left our home in Salt Lake City not expecting ever to see it again, we moved to Payson a settlement 64 miles South of Salt Lake City, a brother Ballard letting us have one room of his two roomed log house where we remained until the army was permitted to pass through S.L.City.  When we returned to our home.  My brother Creighton being one of those sent to Echo Canyon to prevent the soldiers from entering the valley, and if necessary to burn the city and destroy every thing that would of use to the invading army.

My brother Leo had previously obtained employment in the historians office, as he was well educated and an expert penman, and I believe the first short hand writer that ever came to Utah, he with J. V. Long was later employed as reporter for the church which accrued on the 29th day of may 1859 in Salt Lake City, he also died firm in the faith.

Some time after our arrival in the valley he married Sarah the eldest daughter of Dr. John Kay, he was the father of two children a girl named Nellie and a boy named after his father the latter dying the day before his father.  Some time after the death of my brother his widow apostatized and withdrew from the Church taking her little girl with her.  After some years she married a man by the name of Crosby a judge or so entitled by whom she had one child a girl named Maud he proved to be a heavy drinker and after his death she again embarked on the matrimonial sea this time marrying a miner by the name of Stevens.  She was again left a widow.  Several years later she also died in Salt Lake City.

But to retrace my steps, for many years, we endured great hardships and privations my brother Creighton even going to the canyon for wood to burn, in the dead of winter with out shoes or socks to his feet.

About this time my sister Lavinia was married to a man by the name of John Hyde also of England to whom she had been engaged for some time.  He was a well educated man, but very proud and his self esteem was unbounded.

Some time after their marriage he was called to perform a mission in the Sandwich Islands which he considered beneath his dignity saying that to send a man of his ability to preach to savages was preposterous.

However he started on his mission but upon reaching California his courage failed him and he left the Church and later wrote a book of lies which he claimed was an expose of Mormonism he took ship and sailed around the horn for England, but before leaving California he wrote to my sister informing her of his action and asking her to meet him in England which she refused to do remaining loyal to the Church, to add to her sorrow about this time she lost her second child, a little boy she having lost her first child soon after his birth.

History of Riego Hawkins Pioneer of 1852

Written by Aurelia Pyper Richards, daughter of Aurelia Hawkins and granddaughter of Rigo Hawkins.

My Grandfather, Rigeo Hawkins, used to say, when we pressed him to write his history, "Why I'm not a pioneer!"  (He came to Utah in 1852), but we persisted, and he was working on his story when he passed away.   Unfortunately, no one has been able to find it so I should like to submit this history which has been placed or pieced together from family records and recollections, as a tentative one until such time as his own autobiography shall be found. (editors note:  The history above was found and is attached)

Rigo Hawkins was born in London on 1 January, 1848, to Samuel Harris Hawkins and Charlotte Savage Hawkins.  He was the youngest of a family of nine or ten children, all of whose complete records we have not been able to find.  Angelina, the oldest daughter remained in England and married Frederick Piercey.  Of Albert, Conrad and Conalbert, we can only surmise that they died young.  Grandpa's twin was either born dead shortly after birth.  We are told he was born six weeks before Grandfather's birth.  The remainder of the family, Creighton, Leo, Aurelia, Lavinia and Riego, with their parents left England from Liverpool, November 15, 1848 on the ship Zetland, under the command of Captain Brown.  There were 250 Saints aboard under the leadership of Samuel Harris Hawkins.  They landed in New Orleans on December 24, 1849, where they spent the winter.

In the spring they went to Council Bluffs, but found no available living quarters so they went on to Potowatamee )about 40 miles north) where they were able to obtain an old house without windows or doors which Great-grandfather fixed up comfortably as possible for his family.  He passed away at this place, leaving Great-grandmother to make the long trek alone across the plains with five little ones. She had to prepare his body for burial alone, and a man came from a great distance to dig a grave in the frozen ground.

Her hardships seemed greater, perhaps because of her former life.  In London her husband had been a steel engraver and had owned a thriving business.  They had never lacked for anything and she had hired help in the home.  To make matters still worse, one of the brethren who was entrusted with one of their wagons and teams, and who was to have been paid for driving it, sold the outfit and vanished.

After many trials the family arrived in Salt Lake City in 1852.  They sold one of their outfits and bought a home on seventh south between sixth and seventh east on the south side of the street.  They lived there for many years and were active in the First Ward.

Times were very hard for the little family and they all had to contribute long hours of hard work to exist.  Great-grandmother Hawkins, in spite of the fact that she had never had to do a great deal of menial work, took in washing and gleaned in the fields to support her children.  They would sometimes borrow a soup bone which had already been boiled and boil it again to give a little flavor and perhaps a bit of nourishment to the water.  The children often dug sego and thistle roots to supplement their meager provisions.

Grandfather had his left hip broken as a child (in fact it was broken several times during his life), and because of the lack of knowledge or carelessness of the doctor in charge of the case, it was left in a curved position so long, the leg became stiff and was shorter than the other leg.  Because of this fact, he was never out of pain during his entire life.  In spite of drawback he always did more than his share of work and his wonderful sense of humor was with him to the last.

Their home was illuminated for many years by the burning of sunflower stalks and home-made candles.  Their fuel consisted of wood obtained from the canyons.  Indians and wolves were bad in those days and it was unsafe for one person to go alone to the canyons, as one had to stand guard with a gun while the other cut and loaded wood.

Many times as a very young boy, Grandpa would go to the canyon in the dead of winter when he did not have a coat to his back.  He would perspire from the exertion of his work and his shirt would become saturated and then freeze stiff.  Worn out clothes and gunny sacks were sometimes tied around their feet to keep them from freezing.  As a further idea of the privations and suffering some of the early saints went through, the boys were often so hungry that they caught fish from the Jordan River and ate them raw without even any salt to season them with.

They took their fun, or made it, whenever they could.  A group of youngsters, Grandpa among them, or leading them, dug a hole in the adobe wall of the old First Ward just above the Relief Society sisters table.  When the good ladies gathered around the table, the boys took a long stick and pushed a frog through it into their midst, which caused no few shrieks, much to the delight of the boys.  However, when the ladies reached the outside, there wasn't a soul around.

One of the forms of amusement was the telling of tall tales, I remember Grandpa, with a very straight face, but an irrepressible twinkle in his blue eyes, telling this one:  "A tenderfoot had made a beautiful harness for his team.  but he had made it of rawhide. He went up the canyon to get a load of wood.  Everything went well until it started to rain as he was coming down the canyon.  The rawhide started to stretch and stretch and stretch, and the team got farther and farther away from the wagon which just stood still.  The man frantically ran ahead with his team and when they got home there was no sign of the wagon.  He said to an Old-timer, "what shall I do?"  "Just let your team stand there, don't unhitch them", he was told.  The next day the sun came out and the rawhide contracted, and when the Tenderfoot went out about noon, he found his horses standing patiently in the yard with the load behind them."

And of course there was the old favorite which always left the children a bit skeptical as to his veracity.  "Do you know that the eagle on top of the Eagle Gate?" he would ask, "Well, every time it hears the clock strike one, it flies down and takes a drink." "Does it really?" came a chorus of young voices.  "Yes, indeed it does, every time it hears that clock strike."

And I can still hear him say, "We raise the biggest berries in the world out here.  Why many of them would fill a cup."  (This was when Grandpa lived in Granite and raised dewberries and strawberries)  And like the eagle story, it was absolutely true.

Grandpa's sister, Lavinia, often acted in the "Old Salt Lake Theater" and as a boy he had to take her to the theater and then wait for her and take her home.  He was a very tired youngster as he waited for her night after night.  He was well acquainted with Maude Adams and her family, the "Kiskadins".

When Grandpa was a young man, his mother, who had always been homesick for London, went back to her native land; however she soon returned to Zion.  Grandpa and Uncle Creighton, his older brother, set out to meet her wagon train.  When they were some distance away from home, and as night was approaching, they rode over a hill to look down on an Indian encampment.  The two boys did not dare to turn back as the Indians had seen them approach, so not knowing whether the Indians were hostile, they rode down among them, trying not to show their fear.  After exchanging a few greetings, they rolled out their packs and went to bed hoping the would still have their scalps in the morning. Very early the next morning, before the Indians were up, they rose and quietly left camp, half expecting an arrow in the back.  They were not bothered, however, and met the wagon train and went back under its protection.

On Thanksgiving Day in 1887, Grandpa married Charlotte Elizabeth Stay in the Old Endowment House, to them were born two children, Riego Stay Hawkins of Granite, Utah and Charlotte Aurelia Hawkins Pyper of Salt Lake City.

Among the many things Grandpa did was to haul granite for the Temple.  It took three days to make the trip from Little Cottonwood Canyon to the Temple site.  He also, with his son, carved the rosettes that adorn the ceiling of the Terrestrial room in the Salt Lake Temple.  For many years he was a carpenter and contractor.  Early in his married life, he and Grandma ran a restaurant, until his healthy failed and he had to do "out-door" work.  The restaurant was located on Main Street between first and second south, about where "Keeley's" store is now located.  He also acted as a scout and body guard to Brigham Young.

For many years, before the Salt Lake Temple was finished, Grandpa and Grandma took the long trip to Logan, many times in an old wagon, to do Temple work.

He had a marvelous gift of healing.  Many times he would return from performing an administration for the sick, weak and ill.  He said it took all the strength out of him. But in all humility, he never had the same faith for himself.

In 1908, he and his son purchased a farm in Granite, Utah.  There he spent the remainder of his useful and eventful life.

Grandfather's religion came first and foremost in his life, as it does so often with those who suffer most for it.  I remember his taking me aside as a very young child and quoting Matthew 16:17-18, to me.  Then he asked "Did Jesus mean that he would build His Church on Peter or on revelation?"  I thought a minute and answered, "On revelation." Grandpa patted me on the head and said, "Good, you have more sense than many of the ministers of the world."  The glow I felt at his praise still lingers.

Every night after a hard day of farming, he would sit by the table covered with a red checkered cloth, pull the kerosene lamp (before electricity came to the farm), close to him, take a bit of fruit to nibble on and get out his "Book of Mormon".  But I think he never failed to lay it down when one of the grandchildren would say hopefully, "Tell me an Indian story, Grandpa".  On child would listen with ever fresh interest to the stories of pioneer days which they had heard over and over again.

His love of children was one of his outstanding characteristics.  Many times he made toys for them, grew watermelons for them, let them help him with his work, even if it were only putting wooden shavings on their heads for curls (shavings from the wood he was planeing) or hitched up his team to take them on rides.  One of the things which he did that always delighted his small admirers, was to wrap a red bandana handkerchief around his clenched fist like the kerchief around the head of an old woman.  Then he would draw eyes and nose on the forefinger, and moving the thumb and finger, make it look like a toothless old woman moving her mouth.  Then in a perfectly tuneless voice, he would sing "Oh My Father".

He was passionately fond of animals and the out-of-doors.  He always said that you go so fast in a car that you don't see anything of nature.  However, I never knew him to turn down an auto-ride.

Grandfather was creative and inventive.  When not studying in the evenings, he could often be found working at his big old roll-top desk.  He wrote many essays in his beautiful handwriting, on the thoughts that the events of the day or his studies brought to his mind.  And he, with my father, applied for many patents, including one on a bicycle stand; one on a safety coil oil lamp, and later on, a propeller for an air-plane which was enclosed in a tube.  They even worked on a perpetual motion machine. They claimed that it worked, too, only "you had to give it a shove to get it started, and you had to start it too often."  Grandfather went to school only about three months in his life, but was a well educated and well read man.

He was of medium height, slender of build, with blue eyes and sandy hair and mustache.  He had the stubbornness of the English, the temper of the Irish, and the charm of a man who has lived full and well.  He not only studied his religion, he lived it.  He was kind, generous and honest to a fault.  He had many friends and was respected and trusted by all who knew him.  He left a wonderful heritage for his posterity.

Grandfather passed away on July 2, 1928