Enoch Perham Rollins was born on the 13th of January 1805 in Jefferson, Maine. He was the son of Ichabod and Mary Perham Rollins. He received his early education in Jefferson. As a young man he worked in the ship yards in Bangor Maine and became an expert timber man, wheelwright and carpenter. He married his first wife, Sophia Wing Philbrook on the 29th of April 1829 in Bangor, Maine. She was a widow with three children which Enoch raised. Her children were: William Henry, Marinda Lambert, D. 1842 and Elizabeth. They had ten children together and lived in Bangor until 1837 when they moved to Sing Sing, New York. It was around this time Enoch first came in contact with the church.
Enoch was a religious man who studied the Bible. His wife and children heard the missionaries and their boy William brought some of the literature and a Book of Mormon home to his mother. His father promptly threw them into the fire. William left home because of this. Sophia had promised the missionaries that they could hold a meeting in her house. She finally persuaded Enoch that it would be wrong to break her promise to the missionaries, so he gave in. He became one of the most interested of the investigators and kept the missionaries up most of the night.
While working in the woods, he decided to pray about it. He became convinced and told others about the gospel. They determined to join the saints but a lack of money made it difficult. He was baptized on the 8th of February 1841 in Pelham, West Chester County, New York. Enoch’s obituary says that he was a professor of religion from his early youth.
They lived in Pleasantville and East Chester, New York and in 1844 we find the family in Akron, Ohio. Enoch was headed towards Nauvoo and for lack of means stopped here. It was in Akron that the family heard of the Prophet Joseph’s death. Shortly after they started again for Nauvoo and arrived there in August of 1844, six weeks after the prophet’s death. Two years later in 1846 their 10th and final child was born in Nauvoo, Illinois. While in Nauvoo Enoch was ordained a member of the Eighth Quorum of Seventies. He spent a great deal of his time working on the Temple and other public works until the winter of ’45 and ’46 when he went into the wagon shop and assisted the brethren in making and repairing wagons for the benefit of those who intended to move west in the spring. He attended faithfully to the ordinances in the temple that winter, and in the spring made himself a wagon, but having no team was compelled to stay there until driven out by the mob.
Enoch was endowed in the Nauvoo temple on the 7th of January 1846. He was sealed to Sophia on the 25th of January 1853 after they immigrated to Utah.
Enoch and his wife had been afflicted with ague (chills and fever) for most of the summer while living on the banks of the Mississippi. But, notwithstanding his weakness, when the mobs came with the aid of Brother Refus Allen he pried an old log canoe out of the sand that had been bedded down there all summer. They commenced about four o’clock in the afternoon and with the assistance of Brother Allen, who was also afflicted with chills, Brother Allen’s wife and her sister, four families were moved across the Mississippi River that night by eleven o’clock after seven hours of hard labor.
They made several trips, the women rowing like men. Two of the mobocrats had tried to get the boat loose a day or two before but had to leave it. He had no trouble in getting it loose. They were part of the “Poor Camp” which was fed by the quail. He endured much sickness and privation until the spring of 1848 when they were well enough to move to Council Bluffs. Enoch and his family came across with the first division.
In June of 1850 when their 2nd child Ann Sophia was married, the family was still in Council Bluffs, Iowa. A grand daughter, later writing about this marriage, said that Enoch was overly religious and zealous. He had forbidden his daughter from getting married after hearing slanderous rumors about the groom-to-be. The wedding, which had been planned to take place in Enoch’s home and officiated over by an Elder of the church, was instead moved across the river into another state and was performed by a Catholic priest. On the way home they were met by the bride’s younger brother, 8 year-old Orson Hyde Rollins, who told her in a commanding voice, “Ann, Father wants you to come right home.”
The new groom replied, “You go tell your father he is too late. Ann belongs to me now.”
Enoch was very angry and forbade them from ever entering his house. This caused his wife Sophia to grieve bitterly because she didn’t think he’d ever relent. But, in two months he invited them home and gave them a grand wedding reception.
In September 1852 Enoch immigrated to the Salt Lake valley with his family. He was one of the last to leave the Bluffs that season, being counseled by Brother Benson to stay and fit up wagons for the journey as long as he possibly could. He arrived in Salt Lake City the 28th of October.
His oldest child Mary Jane remained in St Louis with her two children. She didn’t maintain contact with the family after they moved west. Her father, Enoch, had Mary Jane’s temple work done in the endowment house and she had been baptized on the 8th of February 1841 and received her Patriarchal blessing in the City of Joseph in 1845 by William Smith, so we know that she had at one time been active in the gospel.
In the fall of 1853 Enoch bought a city lot on Brigham Street, Salt Lake City, Utah with his son-in-law. They lived in the 11th Ward. While they were building a log house, Enoch’s granddaughter, Sabra Jane was born in the crude bedroom, a covered wagon box that the family was living in. It was quite cold, with no place to make a fire except on the ground, and to make it even more desolate the snow was falling fast. Nine of Enoch’s children, a son-in-law, and his spouse lived in this cramped space.
After the problems with Johnson’s Army, the family moved to Paradise in Cache County where Enoch engaged in farming and raising stock.
On December 12, 1859 Enoch took Sarah Jane Walters as his second wife. Sarah had one child by a previous marriage, Walter John Willis. They were married in the 7th Ward building in Salt Lake City, Utah. The Endowment House records show that they were sealed to each other on the 4th of November 1856 (there seems to be some discrepancy here). They had five children, all of whom were born in Paradise, Utah. This is where his son Enoch Perham was born, on the 17th of January in 1861.
Enoch’s wife Sarah Jane was the daughter of John Walters and Mary Ann Fender. She was born in Swansea, Wales on the 23rd of December 1830. She had two sisters, Elizabeth Ann and Mary Adelaide. Her mother Mary Ann died before 1835 when Sarah Jane was a young girl. Her father then married Esther Callfield who was also from Swansea, Wales. She gave birth to a daughter, Jane, on the 6th of September 1856. Esther was killed in a buffalo stampede on October 7, 1856 near Fort Laramie, Wyoming, and the baby died and was buried a month later near Independence Rock. The family crossed the Atlantic on the ship Samuel Curling. Sarah Jane and her sister Elizabeth Ann joined the Edward Bunker Handcart Company for their trek across the plains. Her father, step-mother and younger sister Mary Adelaide, age 6, traveled in Captain Hunt’s company. They arrived in Salt Lake City on the 2nd of October 1856, not quite six months after leaving England on April 19, 1856.
In the 1870 census Enoch, at the age of 65, had a household of eight, and a real wealth of $250. His wife Sarah, age 39, was listed as keeping house. They listed James 12, (I don’t have this child as being either Sophia’s or Sarah Jane’s) Enoch, 4, Joseph 7, Freeman 4, David 3, and Alma, 1½ who was born in May. (These ages differ from the family group sheets submitted by Enoch). His profession was listed as being a Farmer. Enoch served as a Seventy in the church in the Paradise Ward, and was always ready to accept any church calling. He served the Lord and his fellowman all his life. He was of medium height and size, and walked very erect. His hair was naturally wavy and was very neat in his appearance.
A third wife, Mary Jensen is mentioned, but seems to have had no children.
Enoch’s obituary in the Deseret News December 19, 1877 page 731, says that “he has been ever ready to respond to every call made of him by those that were placed in authority over him in the priesthood. He never murmured or complained, and through his sickness, which lasted eight months, his only desire was to live to go into the temple and finish up a little of the work that he had already commenced for his friends that had passed behind the veil, of which he had several hundreds of names.”
Enoch died in Annabella, Utah on the 9th of November 1877 of consumption. He was in the 73rd year of his life. Enoch was buried in Glenwood, Utah. He died, as he had lived, a faithful Latter-day Saint, and in hopes of a glorious resurrection.