OF ANN MARIA REED PRICE
Written in 1958 by her daughters Elizabeth P. Astle and Mary P. Stucki
MOTHER! Our own dear mother! What a wealth of memories come rushing into my mind at the mention of that name! I can picture her face in many different poses: serene and mild as she rocked her baby to sleep; happy and pleasant as she greeted her guests; kind and patient as she taught her children the lessons of life; laughing with friends while playing games at an evening party; radiant as she picked fruit and flowers from her garden; stern and determined as she administered discipline; severe and disapproving when she thought she had been wronged; weak and weary with pain and suffering; lifted up, content and at peace after a session of prayer!
Our mother, Ann Maria Reed Price, was one of the choice spirits reserved for this dispensation. America, a land choice above all other lands, and Utah, the Zion of the Saints, provided her a birthplace. It was March 28, i860, in the little village of Spanish Fork, that she came to bless the modest home of her pioneer parents, Luther Reed and Elizabeth Sophia Bailey Reed. Soon after birth she was blessed by Elder George Wilkins and given the name of Ann Maria Reed, the "Ann" being in honor of her maternal grandmother, Ann Smith Bailey. (This account was taken from the Reed Family Record. Research in Spanish Fork Ward Records give the date of birth 8 March, 1860, and the blessing by Albert H. Thurber no date recorded.) Ann had an older brother, Luther Bailey Reed, born 10 February, 1858, at Tooele, Utah. (For account of ancestors, see life histories of Luther Reed, Elizabeth S. B. Reed and Ann Smith Bailey.)
It was a time of great unrest, there being much persecution of the Saints. The Indians, too, were often unfriendly, going on the warpath and making raids on the settlements, stealing cattle, horses and all loose property. The entire nation was in a state of ferment as the great Civil War (between the North and the South) was in progress.
Ann's grandmother lived in a log cabin near by, and owned the land adjoining the Reed farm. The two families were very close and were together much of the time. Little Ann was as much at home with her grandmother as with her mother. Ann was the light of their lives and at an early age was taught to read and write, and she proved an apt pupil. She was an attractive child of average size, with a fair complexion, rosy cheeks, deep blue eyes and soft, wavy, black hair. "But to see her was to love her."
The family attended Church regularly and in Sunday School the little girl, being bright and alert, was able to answer questions in the class. She attracted the attention of a number of prominent people, among them a Professor Brimhall, a special friend of the family, who fell in love with the little girl and offered to adopt her as his own. He promised that she should be given every care and advantage, receive a fine education and never want for parental love or the material things of life. The father, desiring the welfare of his child, felt inclined to accept this generous offer, but the mother refused to give up her daughter. She thought that family ties should not be broken; that the love of real parents, companionship, home influence and teachings could be far more valuable than anything friends had to offer.
For several years the Reed’s were happy there, in spite of grasshoppers and crickets, hostile Indians, and being deprived of many things to which they were accustomed. The old adage, "Necessity is the mother of invention," was true in their circumstances. They learned the art of substitution and many new methods and procedures were developed through the precept, "Make the best of whatever you have." Little Ann grew up in this atmosphere and it had a steadying and calming influence on her life. She learned the art of adaptability. While a child she accompanied her parents to the lowlands to gather Saleratus to be used in bread-making. She also went with her mother and grandmother into the wheat fields to glean. She helped her brother bring in the sticks of fuel for the fireplace and went with him to feed and care for the pigs and fowls, and to bring in the cows and calves from the pasture. Even the smallest child had duties. Thus she learned to do by doing and incidentally ascertained the value of cooperation and working together.
When Ann was only three years old her father was called to go to help settle the Bear Lake Country. This was his third Pioneer missionary call. The home was sold and the family moved into Spanish Fork town to reside for safety from the Indians. Grandmother Bailey moved too, and the two families lived together. The father left early in April, traveling through Cache Valley and the Mink Creek country, through Emigration Canyon, making roads and bridging streams by the way, reaching what is now Liberty, on the 18 May, 1863. He established a sawmill at Round Valley, Rich County, Utah, and made a comfortable home in Laketown while he was away. During his absence many things of interest occurred in Spanish Fork. Ann’s Aunt Ellen and her family arrived from England. Ann was delighted to have her cousins to play with, especially Eliza, and they were like sisters all through the years.
Although a small child, Ann could remember many things about the Indians. Old Chief Tabby was friendly and came often to their home. They always shared their food with him. He ate with relish the huge slices of bread spread with butter and molasses. Sometimes he was happy and talkative at other times, silent and morose, and then the settlers knew there was unrest among the Indians. He also came to warn them of intended raids. Ann could remember seeing a man who had been scalped by Indians and left to die. He had been out in the hills herding sheep. Some of the brethren found him and brought him home. After a few days of intense suffering, the man died.
One day two Indian warriors came to the Reed home asking for bread. Ann’s mother gave them all she had, a small portion left over from the last baking. She had the dough in the drippers rising, but it was not yet light enough for baking. The Indians became angry and taking out their long knives they tested the edge saying, "Heap sharp." Then they walked about the house helping themselves to anything they wished. They scooped up big handfuls of flour from the bin, eating it noisily, and spilling it about the floor. They gouged out huge chunks of butter from the mold and ate them hungrily. They inserted their fingers in the top of the molasses jug and licked them off with relish. They stuck their fingers in the dough, and finally snatched handfuls to eat. Elizabeth was exasperated but she had no way to defend herself. She offered up a silent prayer, and then she said: "Why don't you go to some other home and ask for food? Maybe the other women will have their bread baked by now." The men looked at one another and nodded their heads, Then they put away their knives and departed peaceably. (See History of Elizabeth S, B. Reed,)
To know that Chief Tabby was their friend, was a source of comfort to the Reed’s and Bailey’s. They knew that he used his influence for peace. He said it was hard to hold the young braves in check. Some of their number had been killed and they wanted revenge. He said some of the white people did not keep their promises. When Tabby was happy he took time to admire the baby Ann as she lay in her cradle. He liked her rosy cheeks and soft, wavy black hair. He seemed to enjoy rocking the white man’s cradle. "Heap goot (good) papoose." "Puty (pretty) papoose! No yagaki (cry baby)!" He chanted this over in a singsong voice, as though to amuse the child.
In 1866, her father, who had been absent for three years, returned and moved his family to Bear Lake Country. The first winter they lived at Big Spring in Round Valley where he had established a sawmill; but in the spring of 1867 they removed to their new home in Laketown - a neat log cabin with glass windows and planed floor, and newly painted green door and window frames, an exceptionally attractive abode for those times. The father still operated his sawmill in Round Valley. All Church gatherings were held in the upper room of the Reed granary, a two-story squared log structure some distance east of the home. Here the family rejoiced with the other Saints in worship under the direction of Presiding Elder. John Oldfield.
The Indians came by thousands every summer and camped in Round Valley and along the lakeshore and Chief Black Hawk was for war, to drive the white people out of the country. They claimed Round Valley as their hunting territory and "Stomping Ground," and began to make great preparations for war. Chief Washakie was for peace, and used his influence to obtain it. Obeying the orders of Apostle Charles C. Rich it became necessary for the settlers to abandon their property in Round Valley and to move into nearby towns. On account of this, Ann's father moved to Bloomington, Idaho, taking his mill with him. He established the mill on the creek at the mouth of Bloomington Canyon and built a cabin home on the hillside a short distance nearer town.
As the father was a cooper and a cabinet maker, the home was furnished with well made furniture and utensils, including the comfortable trundle bed in which Ann slept; and which was rolled from view in the daytime beneath the parents’ tall post bed with its snow-white valance. Her brother Luther had a cozy resting place in the open attic, reached by means of a small ladder nailed against the wall.
The Reed's and their friends dwelt in comparative safety in Bloomington, but they were greatly concerned about their relatives at Laketown. Grandmother Bailey and the Lamborns had moved to Laketown in 1868. The Indians continued to be unfriendly until after their definite preparations for war when the big "pow-wow" was held in Round Valley in 1870, when a treaty was made, after which peace was established. Several times a year the Reed children and their mother went to Laketown to visit their cousins and their dear grandmother. They looked forward to these visits and enjoyed them thoroughly. Sometimes they walked the entire distance. It was not an uncommon thing to see deer, elk, coyotes and brown bears on the hillside as they passed along by the Lake shore. At one time they stopped to refresh themselves by picking berries from a bush by the way, and were astonished to find a large brown bear standing on his hind feet also picking berries from the same bush.
Ann and her brother Luther attended the town school, which was held in a log cabin, the only public building then in the community. Church also convened there. The teacher, Mr. Strickland, was a strict disciplinarian and all pupils advanced rapidly under his firm guidance. They were taught only the "Three R’s. The Bible served as their reader. Ann was bright and scholarly and received much praise for the able preparation of her lessons. As a child she played as other children played. In summer she spent much time in the canyon with her brother searching for wild berries, - strawberries, gooseberries, service berries, choke cherries, and fishing in the Bloomington Creek which ran clear and sparkling past their door and abounded in mountain trout. Sometimes they brought home water cress or mushrooms. These wild products helped out wonderfully with family meals, which were sometimes monotonous with brown bread, cottage cheese, milk, and on occasions, molasses. Sometimes the wheat was boiled and used for cereal. Vegetables from their garden also helped to solve the food problem when they were able to overcome the crickets and grasshoppers. At one time Ann carried home a new kind of berries, which were very poisonous, and as a result she became very ill. For some time her life was despaired of. A doctor was finally procured who gave her "a blue mass pill" which counteracted the poison in her body and she slowly recovered. It was at this time that her mother made for her a beautiful white dress of very fine white Nainsook [a light weight cotton fabric used for baby wear and lingerie, originally from India], with many rows of tiny tucks (all hand-stitched), and dainty embroidery insertion around the skirt, up and down the front of the waist, on the cuffs and collar. Ann treasured this dress for many years. I remember seeing it and being allowed to wear it upon several occasions when I was about nine years old. (In memory I still marvel over the exquisite handwork on the dress.
The winter of 1870-71 vas severe, and it proved a sad one for the Reed family. On 19 December, 1870, the dear grandmother passed away at Laketown. That was a sorrowful Christmas time. Then on 23 April, 1871, Ann’s father died very suddenly of pneumonia, Ann was then 11 years old and Luther 13. It was hard indeed, to be left at such a tender age without a father’s guidance and protection. The mother now found it necessary to go out sewing to earn a livelihood. Ann cheerfully and anxiously learned to do housework, helped to care for the garden and to assist with the outdoor chores - milking and caring for the cows and other farm animals. She often took the cows to and from pasture on the foothills west of town and in the canyon. Sometimes she met Indians of whom she learned not to be afraid, although it required a great deal of courage.
Through all the years she was taught to attend regularly at Sunday School and Church, which she dearly loved, and as she grew older she enjoyed singing in the choir. For recreation the young people would often gather at one of the homes to sing songs and play games. In summer they had a large swing in the trees on the Reed property at the mouth of the canyon. In winter they often went sleigh riding over to Paris or out to St. Charles, sometimes to evening parties. In those days it was a real treat to go sleigh riding while the sleigh bells rang merrily along the way. Ann developed into a beautiful young lady, graceful and sound with the bloom of perfect health upon her cheeks. In her association with the young people she learned to dance well, to take part in the various activities and programs in the community, and was very happy. She had several proposals of marriage - some from older men who invited her to share in plural marriage.
One summer a group of Indians camped in the mountains west of Bloomington and as Ann went into the canyon with the cows she often met two young braves on their ponies, on their way to town, or returning. At first they merely smiled when passing; then they waved and exchanged greetings; later, growing bolder, they stopped to converse. Ann had acquired quite a vocabulary of Indian words and as the boys understood some English, they could talk together. Ann was timid and shy at first, but as the days went by and the boys were so friendly, she began to talk freely. Sometimes the boys laughed merrily at the things she said and the way she pronounced their words. Then one day, one of the young men invited Ann to ride behind him on his pony and he would take her home. Of course, Ann refused; and upon his pressing insistence she became angry, and drawing herself up haughtily and pointing down the road, she said sternly: " Vamoose!" (That was an Indian word meaning, leave, or go away quickly.) The young boy was plainly disappointed, and as they left the spot, his companion laughed, and laughed, almost falling from his horse with laughter, because the Big Chief's son had been turned down by the little white girl.
But the young brave was not daunted. The next day he appeared at the Reed home and asked Mother Reed formally for her daughter's hand in marriage. He explained that he was a Big Chief's son and his wife would be an Indian Princess. Some day he would be the Big Chief and the leader of the tribe. (I'm so sorry I have forgotten the name of the Big Chief, his son, and even the tribal name.) He had brought a beautiful bead necklace as a present for Ann.
Mother Reed was a kindly person. She told him she did not want to hurt him; that she appreciated the honor he was conferring on her daughter in asking her to marry him, but she could never consent for Ann to marry into another race of people. Ann would have to marry a white man. They could not accept the gift he had brought, He departed looking sad and crestfallen, - leaving the necklace for Ann. (Many years later I found fragments of this same necklace in a little box where mother kept her treasures. It was in response to my questions that she told me the above story, and that is how I am able to repeat it today.)
After this event Mother Reed was afraid to let Ann go into the canyon for the cows or to fish or gather berries, lest some harm befall her. Luther was not always there to help, and many complications arose. This became a source of worry to her and she concluded it would be safer to move to a new community, hoping the Indians would not know their destination. Accordingly, the home was sold (to Mr. Strickland, the school teacher) and the family moved to Laketown, Utah, to be near their relatives.
Ann was now sixteen and fitted at once into the religious and social of the new community. She attended Mutual and became a Sunday School teacher. As the mother found her eyesight failing, she could no longer spend so many hours sewing. Ann found ample opportunity for work - going into the different neighbors’ homes to do washing, ironing and cooking. After her day's work she thought nothing of running home, bringing the cows from the foothills, milking them, then cooking supper for her mother and brother.
Among those who sought for Ann’s hand in marriage was a young man whom the town had branded as a "ne’er-do-well," a "rolling stone," or adventurer. He never seemed to stay long enough in one place to do anything definite or satisfactory, but he always returned to Ann. One day, after one of his visits, her mother said: "Well, Ann, it begins to look like you may go through the forest and return to pick up the crooked stick at last." This made Ann think seriously about marriage. She looked at the tall, stately pines and the magnificent piles of straight, clean, useful lumber that they produced, and said to herself: "If that young man is a ‘crooked stick,’ it would be wise to look for better timber." The young man never returned.
In Laketown she met Isaac Thomas Price, a young man prominent in Church and civic affairs, and they became good friends. She said he was the most religious and ambitious young man of her acquaintance. They were married September 26, 1878, in the Salt Lake City Endowment House. (See History of Isaac T. Price for account of the wedding trip.) They went to live in Round Valley, one of the prettiest valleys in the West, located about three and a half miles south of Laketown. Their home was a two-room log cabin with shingled roof, on a homestead adjoining Isaac’s father’s on the North. It held homemade, well-constructed furniture and necessities for housekeeping. The floors were bare except for handmade rugs. Candles provided light. Water for culinary purposes was carried in buckets from the creek, which ran past the door. There was a large storage cellar, a granary, and sheds and stables for the animals. Isaac had already improved the land and much of it was under cultivation. Together they planted trees, lawn and a small fruit garden which provided food for the family for about thirty years. Together they improved their hone and surroundings, making it an attractive spot and one of the finest homes in the valley. They traveled to Laketown to attend regularly to their meetings and Church duties.
The next spring Ann’s mother became very ill and was not able to care for herself or Luther, so Isaac and Ann took them both into their home, where the mother was tenderly cared for during the rest of her life. She had long been a sufferer with asthma and a chronic condition had set in. Although everything then known was done to relieve her agony, she suffered acutely until her death, which occurred 26 June, 1882. She was buried in Laketown Cemetery. Luther continued to make his home with his sister for many years. He was away part of the time traveling or working but always returned to his sister's home.
Many times Ann was left alone in the cabin in the evenings with her little children while father went on horseback to town to do ward teaching or attend to business or Church duties. It was not an uncommon thing to hear the howl of the Coyote and Gray Wolf very near the door. Sometimes father, Uncle Luther and others went into the mountains to hunt game or to get wood and logs. At times they were gone for several days. Mother was left with the chores and outside work. It must have been lonely there at nights, - so far from any neighbors.
Father held many responsible positions in the ward and never missed any of his appointments. Every Sunday morning mother always had our shoes and clothing ready for us and we all piled into the buggy or sleigh in time to drive the three-and-a-half miles to Laketown for the 10:00 O’clock Sunday School. We took our lunch and remained for Sacrament meeting at 2:00 O’clock, followed by Primary while father was in Priesthood meeting. It was a long, hard day for mother, caring for the young children for so many hours and through so many meetings. After lunch at noon the children were put to sleep on a bench in the meeting house before the afternoon meeting. Sometimes we were invited to the home of relatives or friends. We enjoyed this immensely. At times, the weather was so severe in the winters, and the snow so deep, it was impossible for us to make the trip. Then father would go on horseback. We children were so disappointed! Mother would gather us in a circle and we would have services of our own. We sang songs, had prayers, scripture readings, Bible stories and moral lessons. Each child was given a chance to take part and in this way we gained confidence to participate in Primary, school and other programs. These little talks and lessons with mother have remained with me all my life and are among the most cherished memories of my childhood.
She taught us how to sing, emphasizing the difference between soprano and alto. She had a beautiful alto voice. One of my first memories of mother is of her sitting in a rocking chair, singing her baby to sleep. I remember one of the songs she sang about a little bird and her nest. I have tried to reconstruct it from memory, but the last part may not be exactly as she sang it:
A little bird built a warm nest in a tree
And laid some blue eggs in it, one, two, and three.
She spread her soft wings over them all the day long
To warm them and keep them from harm.
And after awhile, how long I can't tell,
The three baby birdies crept from the shell, -
The wee baby birdies, one, two, and three;
And then very glad and delighted was she!
With down from her breast she covered her brood,
And then flew away to bring them some food.
Some naughty boys came, on the way home from school,
On rude mischief bent, not minding the rule.
They tore the warm nest down from the tree
And killed the wee birdies, one, two, and three
When the mother bird came, no nest could she see,
Oh, then very sad and downhearted was she!
She chirped, and she chirped, and flew all around,
‘Till she spied the dead birds and nest on the ground.
She flew to each one, she chirped and she cried,
Then the poor mother bird, she laid down and died.
Now her song is not heard from the green leafy tree,
There is no downy nest or wee birdies three.
Those rude hands have marred a part of God’s plan,
A beautiful world, a good home for man.
The birds are our friends, so helpless and small.
Be kind to the birds, they are God’s creatures, all.
Isaac and Ann were blessed with twelve children. The first three were girls: Alice Annie, Elizabeth Ellen and Mary Ann. When the third daughter arrived father could not conceal his disappointment, and she was given the name of his own dear mother who died on the plains when he was a child. Then to their joy a baby son was born; but he was tiny and frail and required constant care. They named him Isaac Elvin. Two years later another son arrived, Ezra Luther.
In the spring of 1890, an epidemic of influenza (LaGrip) swept through the entire country. Little Elvin contracted the disease which rapidly developed into pneumonia from which he passed away 26 May. He was buried in Laketown Cemetery. Weakened by her constant vigil attending her little son, mother became very ill. She persevered until she had made his burial clothing and placed him in his casket; then she could do no more. She was unable to care for her infant son or to arise from her bed. A kind friend and neighbor, Sister Mercy Gibbons, took the baby into her home and cared for him for several months. Mother and Alice were both so ill it became necessary to take them over to Laketown to Grandfather Price's home to be cared for. They were ill for a long time. From that time on, Alice was afflicted with Asthma and mother spent much time and effort in caring for her. She had missed her own mother so much and Alice seemed to take her place in mother's affections and throughout all the after years the two were very close, almost inseparable.
The years sped by and brought, in timely succession, two more sturdy sons to carry on the Price name: Franklin Jesse and Wilford Marion. The daughters were almost grown up by this time and when a tiny baby daughter arrived father rejoiced. He took her in his arms and blessed her and gave her the name of Myrtle Henrietta. There was always a close bond of love and understanding between them.
Through the years, mother helped with the harvest of hay and grain, whenever necessary, milking the cows and caring for the farm animals and fowls. She could harness a team and hitch them to any kind of vehicle, buggy, heavy wagon, plow or other machinery. She could build a fence or any kind of outdoor improvements that she fancied. She was kind to animals and all living things. She loved the outdoors and enjoyed fishing and hunting wild fowls. In her early youth, along with her brother, she had learned to use firearms and became a good marksman. Several times as necessity demanded she shot a hawk or a weasel that threatened her young chickens.
She cared for the family vegetable garden with the help of the children, and succeeded in beautifying her home with trees, shrubs and flowers. She was said to possess a "green thumb". She nearly always had geraniums and other plants blooming on her windowsills in the wintertime. For many years she had a beautiful, fragrant, imitation Pineapple tree, which reached almost from floor to ceiling. Numerous homes were blessed with slips of this tree. She knew and recognized all kinds of seeds at sight, both vegetable and flower seeds. I remember how thrilled I was, as a child, the first tine we had a variety of flowers and could pick them for bouquets! We had two large lilac bushes and a yellow rose hedge that were fragrant and attractive. Our pansies were admired by all who called at our home.
In those days Indians did not come often to the valley, and when they came they were usually friendly groups passing through. Mother tried to teach us not to be afraid of them. But Alice was always very frightened of either Indians or Gypsies and ran to hide if she saw them coming. When I was about five years old an Indian came to our house when father was not at homo. He came in and walked about as though he owned the place. Mother was sitting by the stove knitting a stocking of red yarn. She said to him, firmly, "You had better go." He laughed insolently, took a large knife from his belt and tested its blade significantly, then walked over to the cupboard and started taking out the food. Mother stuck the needles into the ball of yarn and rose from her chair, saying, "You go now or I will call my husband." He laughed scoffingly, "Ha, ha, ha, Man not here. Me see - man go - long way - to town." He took a large piece of boiled beef in his hands and began gnawing at it. I saw that determined look come into mother’s eyes, - the look she used to enforce discipline, and I wondered what she would do. She turned and took father’s rifle from the rack on the wall, and standing with the stock resting on the floor she said, nodding her head, "Now you go, or I shoot." He continued to munch the meat, saying amusedly, "Squaw no can shoot. Squaw heap scared. Raising the gun in her arms, mother threw a shell into its place and cocked the trigger. Then she nodded to me. "Can I shoot? You tell him." I was always afraid to talk to strangers so I turned to look for Alice but she was not there. Mother nodded again, "You tell him. Can I shoot?" I swallowed the big lump in my throat and said: "She shot a hawk and a weasel that were after our little chickens." Then the tears rolled down my cheeks and I stepped over to be by mother. A strange look came over the face of the intruder. It was not a look of fear, and as I have thought of it since, it must have been one of respect, or even reverence. He put the meat down, replaced the knife in his belt and said; "I go now." He closed the door behind him. I watched at the window as he went through the garden and up the little gray hill to the east, walking very fast. Then I turned to mother. She was sitting in her chair still holding the gun with the stock resting on the floor. I said, "Mother, you wouldn't really have shot him, would you?" She closed her eyes and her lips moved but no sound came out. Then she rose, removed the shell and placed the gun on the rack. I never did have an answer to my question.
Being a School Trustee, Road Supervisor, and County Commissioner as well as a farmer and cattle man, father had many interests and required help with his work, especially during harvest time. There was always one hired man or more staying in the house, sometimes several. Besides this, all travelers passing through the valley seemed to be directed to our door, and father never turned anyone away. He was a friend to all, and trusted everyone. Fruit peddlers, tourists, school teachers, hyde and cattle buyers, book agents, traveling merchants, - all found refuge there, and our circle of friendship widened. Can you imagine what this meant to the housewife in preparing meals, beds and pleasant entertainment for so many people? It was a great responsibility for mother to hold continual open house.
A ward was organized in Round Valley 11 December, 1892, and father was called to be Bishop. After this our home was headquarters for all Church officials who came to visit the ward, - Missionaries, stake visitors to the auxiliary organizations and Priesthood meetings. As they came by horse team, the distance made it necessary for them to remain over night. It was a wonderful opportunity for us to entertain and get acquainted with our leaders. Mother always made special preparation for the Relief Society and Primary ladies. Nearly every Sunday there were visitors in some capacity or another. These, added to the family and hired help, made a full house most of the time. It was quite a task to keep the home in order and find suitable and adequate food and convenient lodging for so many people, especially when they came without warning.
In the fall of 1898 father decided to drive down to Salt Lake City to attend General Conference, All the family went along. They enjoyed traveling by horse team and covered wagon. Mother was happy to visit her relatives at Mill Creek. Alice, the oldest daughter, was married 11 October, 1898, to Arthur Andrew Smith in the Salt Lake Temple. After returning home she had a small house in Round Valley, near by the old home place, and became the mother of six children. The close association between mother and Alice continued.
Alice and her children were almost daily in mother’s home partaking of the meals and sharing the family activities there. Her children grew up with mother’s youngest children as one family, and are still like brothers and sisters to us.
During the years the home was remodeled and enlarged three times to make it convenient and comfortable for the growing family. On June 30, 1900, twin sons were born, Melvern Wingrove and Laverne Reed. They died soon after birth, leaving a wide break in the family. Then on June 18, 1901, another son arrived, Leslie Lyman; and on 23 December, 1904, the last of the group, Asael Woodruff.
Twelve children had blessed this parentage, - with nine living children growing to maturity in their home. What a responsibility! It required constant cooperation in labor and planning to provide the necessities and material comforts of life, and continued vigilance and caution, - advice and admonition, given resolutely and consistently, but with love and forbearance. I think our parents practiced the precept of President Brigham Young: I teach them correct principles and they govern themselves. Although our mother presented a stern countenance and gave the impression of grave dignity, she could also be forgiving and tenderly solicitous, when she felt such was right and just.
Mother had a tender heart and sensitive feelings. A little word of praise and appreciation went a long way with her, as it does with all of us. She was conscientious in standing for what she believed to be right, and in her stern discipline she incurred the displeasure and disapproval of many people. She was often misunderstood. Because of this she sometimes became depressed and unhappy. But after a time of pensive meditation and prayer, with her Bible at hand, she was able to cast off her sadness, Count her blessings, become lighthearted and cheerful again, and attack her labors with enthusiasm. She was an inspiration to many people, especially the sick and oppressed.
When the Round Valley ward was organized mother was called to be Counselor in Relief Society and in Primary. In the discharge of her duties she acquired splendid ability in presiding, teaching and in associating with people. Later she became president of the Relief Society and held this office for many years. She applied herself diligently to qualify and become efficient in her duties. She subscribed for the "Woman's Exponent" and the "Juvenile Instructor" and studied them carefully. She read the Bible and prayerfully gleaned knowledge from many sources. She was a good student. She possessed a retentive mind and could retain the things she read and bring them into use when needed. By study and application she acquired a practical education and a degree of efficiency along many lines, seldom found in a mother of a large family in those days.
Mother was a good cook. I remember how comforting it seemed to arrive home from school late in the afternoon and smell the early supper cocking. Perhaps it would be a huge kettle of beef stew with vegetables and dumplings cooked in it. Or a big dripper of roast pork with sliced potatoes and rings of onions sizzling in the gravy. How good the homemade bread tasted, spread with freshly churned butter! My mouth waters now at the memory of her Yorkshire pudding with thick sweet cream poured over it; and red current pie sprinkled with sugar, the Juice just oozing through the crust And the homemade ice cream served with caraway or raisin cookies!
She had a wonderful understanding of family doctoring, - of home remedies and their application. She was happy to visit the sick, helping to relieve them of their pain and suffering, and sharing her skill, knowledge and materials with them. Many times she went into homes where contagious diseases were present, spent the night and day ministering to their needs, and upon returning home, would go into an outside building, change clothing and use disinfectant before contacting her own family. After a short rest she would return if needed.
She officiated at the birth of many babies and at the death of several persons. I remember going with her on several occasions9 as a young girl, to help lay out the dead and dress the deceased for burial.
Mother possessed a fine degree of creative and artistic ability, and with her imagination and a few basic instructions she was able to make any kind of character costume desired for Primary and ward entertainments, pantomimes, dramas, etc., with shoes, hats, and all paraphernalia to match. It is amazing to remember the articles she constructed from the very limited supply of materials at hand, and that were then available. I recall that she had a big pair of wooden clogs, so she cunningly improvised a Dutch costume for herself and won the prize at a character ball. At one time while teaching school I put on a pantomime of nursery rhymes and she made for me some mice and rats so lifelike the audience almost went into a panic. She mastered the art of paper flower making to perfection. She also made straw baskets, hand-made quilts and crocheted articles. She made all the family clothing, including underwear. We girls always had a lovely new dress for Christmas and also for the fourth of July, with some plainer ones in between, when needed, and some for school.
I remember a merchant peddler, or traveling salesman, came through the valley each year with a van, selling goods of various kinds. One year father traded some grain for some heavy suiting; and that fall mother made an entire suit, - coat, vest and pants, for father, and one for Charles Tucker who was working there.
Mother taught her daughters many things, - how to sew and make their own clothing; how to cook and manage a home; how to wash and card wool, spin it into yarn, then dye it and knit it into stockings. She taught us how to glean wheat. How to gather straw, braid it and make it into hats. How to make quilts, and to crochet and make trimmings and decorations of many kinds.
Through the years mother went several times to the Temple to do work for the dead. She was thrilled with the work and tried to do all she could to help. She started the research for the Price and Reed families, tried to keep the records and wrote down stories and incidents she knew in her childhood and that occurred in the lives of her parents and grandmother, which have been invaluable in the compilation of these life histories.
Her brother, Luther Bailey Reed, was married to Margaret Priscilla Kearl in the Logan Temple, !6 September, 1903. Mother went with them to the Temple. They stayed a week and while there they completed the endowment and sealing work for the Nathaniel Reed family. Mother was very happy about that. Upon their return the Price family gave a splendid party for Uncle Luther and "Aunt Tillie" and for father and mother, honoring them on their 25th Anniversary, or "Silver Wedding". Many people attended and it was one of the important events of the season.
When the boys were older and able to assist with the farm duties and assume responsibilities with the livestock, father increased his holdings, invested in the sheep business and erected a store. These added cares, together with all the before mentioned duties, made him a very busy man, indeed. They took him from home a good share of the time. Also, once or twice a year he made a trip East to take his sheep or cattle to market. His absence placed more responsibility on mother, which she accepted and carried very well. There was a stretch of years known as "the abundant years", when business prospered and there was plenty for all. With the help of the children mother had managed magnificently through all the years, but now her health was somewhat impaired and she felt that she could no longer carry forward with so much cooking and caring for so many people. Besides, the children were now marrying, one by one, and going to homes of their own, and she missed their help.
In 1904 Mary was married to Joseph S. Stucki and went to live at Paris, Idaho. Elizabeth was married to Joseph H. Astle in 1906 but remained in the valley. In 1910 Ezra chose for his life companion the sweet Alzlna Tingey; and the next year, 1911, Frank took for his bride the lovely Bernetta Johnson. The two boys still helped their father with the sheep and farm.
In the spring of 1912 father was taken suddenly very ill with pneumonia and passed away May 5, 1912, His death was considered very untimely and was a great shock to his family and all who knew him for his circle of friends extended throughout the region, Mother was appointed administratrix of the property. This caused her much worry and anxiety. As father had incurred some mortgages while getting established in the sheep business, some of the property was sold, but she had her home and part of the farm to care for. Her greatest drawback was the lack of finance. She began at once to plan for the education of her four minor children.
She decided to move to Paris, Idaho, where she rented an apartment and kept house while Wilford and Myrtle attended the Fielding Academy and Leslie and Asael became pupils of the Emerson Elementary School. This was accomplished through many difficulties. Frank looked after her interest at home. Returning in the spring, Wilford obtained work herding sheep to help with the family funds. Mother was happy to work at the farm and milking cows as this also brought in a little means. The young boys also helped with the farm work but sometimes found employment elsewhere.
A sad bereavement came to mother on 22 April, 1915, in the death of her oldest daughter, Alice. They had been so very close through all the years, sharing love, advice, experiences, health and sickness, as well as material things. It is not strange that after a time, some of Alice's children should go to live with their beloved grandmother, and that she cared for them as for her own. In the fall of this same year, Elizabeth moved to Cache Valley to live; and in December, her youngest daughter, Myrtle, was married to John Herbert Nebeker, and went to reside on the shores of Bear Lake, seven miles away.
Mother decided to add to her estate by homesteading land (600 acres) adjacent to her property on the east. This required residence there, and a building was moved onto the land for this purpose. Previous to this time Ezra had moved to Evanston to live. Frank lived in Laketown but had purchased a portion of the Price estate and was near to help when needed. During the summers, Leslie and Asael alternated in helping with the work at home and finding outside employment. Mother worked hard, milking cows and doing much of the farm work herself.
Then World War I occurred and Wilford was called to go. He was sent to Camp Zachery Taylor in Louisville, Kentucky, for training. He was to have gone over seas but he contracted "flu pneumonia". Mother received a telegram saying that Wilford was not expected to live. Ezra made a trip to Louisville to be with him. About that time the Armistice was signed. After a long illness, Wilford recovered and returned home. This must have been a wonderful, and thankful time for the family!
After his return, Wilford worked at the farm. In the fall of 1919 he was married to the lovely Francis Shirley and they took up their residence at the old home, leaving mother free to take life a little easier. She moved to Laketown where she enjoyed the close association of friends and neighbors and easy access to church activities. After about two years at the farm, Wilford moved to Evanston, Wyoming, and Frank again helped mother with her interests. Leslie was married to the beautiful Vernice Findlay, and after a time found employment at Kemmerer, Wyoming, and later went East to study mechanics at Detroit, Michigan; and Asael went to Logan to attend the Brigham Young College. So many changes had taken place in her life! How had she managed through all the years of strain and anxiety?
About 1921/2, as the result of a bad fall, she suffered many months from a broken hip. When recovered, she retained a permanent limp which hampered her movements considerably during the remainder of her life. She could no longer walk long distances, as formerly, or skip over the hill to town with a basket of eggs and return with groceries.
After graduation from B.Y.C., Asael taught school in several different localities. Much of the time mother went along and they made their home together. She enjoyed living in the various places, meeting new people, attending church and Relief Society. The change was interesting and exciting and she was happy in her home life and duties. She did much handwork of beauty, pieced many lovely quilts, and made a number to sell to get a little finance for herself. In summer they returned to the farm where Frank was looking after their interests and carrying forward. Asael willingly and resolutely took up the labor there until time for school in the fall.
In the summertime, mother’s services were quite in demand as a nurse. While living in Laketown previously, she had gone out nursing and had established a fine reputation for herself and won fast friends, Now she responded gladly to the requests made of her, and was happy in rendering this service. She was also happy to be able to help Netta and Myrtle with their families in many ways. Asael was married in June, 1930, to the charming Lola Tufts, and want away to teach, as usual. Mother decided to spend part of the summers at the farm, as it had so many memories and home associations for her; but most of the time was spent with Myrtle. Occasionally she visited with Mary or Elizabeth, but she always returned to Myrtle, who cared for her so tenderly during all her later years.
When in Round Valley, during those late years, she attended regularly at Relief Society meetings and was a counselor to President Barbara Earley. She subscribed for the Relief Society Magazine, the only one taken in the ward, and the minutes show she took part at every meeting, either giving the lesson, the prayer, or some other activity. On one special program she sang a solo. She contributed to, and helped with the making of quilts, and donated to special assignments asked by the stake.
Her daughter Mary has said of her: "She did not want to ever be in debt. She was honest in all her dealings and tried hard to live within her means. She made a special effort to pay an honest tithing and all Church obligations. She encouraged pure thoughts. She was a hard worker and was not afraid to go the second mile. She took the weary travelers in and enjoyed caring for them. In only one thing could she have improved, - in systematizing her work."
As the years passed she became weak and ill. It was learned that she had developed a serious heart ailment. This kept her restless and indisposed. In the fall of 1932 Mary lived in Ogden where Max and Darrell were attending Weber College. Mother went to stay with Mary until January, when she became worse, and decided that perhaps a change would improve her condition. Accordingly, she returned to Stockton to stay with Myrtle. The nature of her illness required that she rest in bed. She found this very hard to do. She insisted on moving about and helping with odd jobs about the house, as this seemed to alleviate the intense pressure. At last she was finally unable to get around, and decided her condition was serious. She asked that Mary come to spend a few days. She passed away March 5, 1933, at Myrtle's home in Stockton, Utah.
She lacked 23 days of being 73 years old. She had been a widow 21 years. She left 8 children, 32 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren to honor her name. She had completed a long life of labor and service for others, counting it no sacrifice, no matter how great the effort expended, if it helped to cheer a spirit or ease a pain. She had given freely of herself, of her time, strength and knowledge, as well as the material things of life, to those in need. I have seen her take the food from the table prepared for her family, and give it to passers-by who were hungry, and then prepare another meal for her loved ones. She had befriended all who were ill or in trouble who came within her reach. It is evident she had fulfilled the scripture: "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." (Matt. 25:40)
"Be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous… knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing." (1 Peter 3:8,9)