Jane Butler Stucki
E. W. Stucki, her youngest son
August 20, 1956
My Mother, Jane Butler Stucki, was Welsh, and when I say Welsh I mean just that. She became a citizen of her new home, the United States, and she loved this country, but she did love the Welsh people. All anyone had to do to get special favors from Mother was to make known that they were Welsh. When she went to Stake Conference she liked to bring people home to eat dinner and especially if they were Welsh. When peddlers came to the door, if in some way Mother found out they were Welsh she would likely buy everything they had to offer and might even ask them in to eat.
The older children tell of a peddler coming to the door to sell ironing boards. Mother had one and didn’t want another. She told him so and he left. An hour or so later, she somehow discovered that he was of Welsh descent and she sent the kids all over town to find him.
Mother was born in St. Brides, Glamorganshire, South Wales, November 8, 1851 and died 82 years later at Paris, Idaho, October 25, 1933.
She was the fifth of six children, three boys and three girls. The girls were, Ann, Jane (Mother), and Maria, the boys, Job, Thomas and John, All were members of the Church, Grandfather serving as Branch President for a number of years. Besides the meetings were held in the Branch, a Conference was held every month, six to eight miles away and occasionally twenty miles away. The family had no way to attend these conferences only by walking. This they did. On one occasion Mother tells of having walked the twenty miles and as they neared home she gave out and Maria, her younger sister, had to carry her the remainder of the way on her back, Mother being the larger her legs dangling and dragging along the ground.
Mother tells of when she was just a child her younger sister, Maria, had curls and was also a very pretty child. Often when they were out together people would remark about Maria, "See that pretty little girl.", but they would make no comment about Mother. So one day when Grandmother was away and they were alone, she said to Maria, "You would look much prettier without your curls." Maria was a little hard to convince, finally she was persuaded, and Mother cut off her curls. Grandmother was greatly surprised when she came home to find her pretty little girl without any curls.
When Mother was seventeen years old she came to America, alone as far as her family was concerned. She was the second to come to this country, as Ann, her older sister, had come to America a year or two earlier. Mother was able to come on the train, as this was the same year that the railroad was finished to Ogden. She went on to Salt Lake City and went to stay with a friend, Kate Jones, who worked in a hotel. Mother worked at odd jobs during the summer and was arranging for permanent employment when a very remarkable incident took place. Mother had been to see a Jewish family and had arranged to start work for them on the morrow. As she left the family a little Welsh lady met her and said, "You must not work for that family, for they are not members of our church and they may cause you to lose your religion." Mother was not too convinced and the next morning, in spite of the warning, started out to work and to make her home with the Jewish family, but as she went the same little Welsh lady met her and told her again not to do it and went on to say that there was a couple in Salt Lake City at that time (they had come to get married, and they were returning to Providence, Utah, that day) and they wished a girl to work for them. Mother was persuaded to go with this couple, they were Henry and Mary Brown who later lived in Paris. When Mother arrived in Providence she found that the people who wished her services were John U. and Margaret (Auntie) Stucki. It was only a short time later that Mother became the second wife of John U. Stucki, my Father.
Let me pause here to account for the rest of Mother’s family. Thomas and John both died in Wales when they were young men. Ann, as already stated, came to America and was married and made her home in Huntington, Utah. Grandfather, Grandmother and Job came to Utah and lived the remainder of their lives in Spanish Fork, Utah. Maria came to Paris and married Orson Pendrey and lived the rest of her life in Paris, Her home, for the greater part of her life, was the house where Charles Rogers now resides, just north of the Shepherd hardware store.
Father was a counselor to William Budge in the Bishopric of the Providence Ward. Brother Budge was called to come and help settle Bear Lake and Father came with him some five months after he and Mother were married.
When the family first came to Bear Lake, they all lived together in a three room house bought from Brother Minson on the lot where Auntie’s old house now stands. Mother next lived in a one room log house on the lot where the Spencer home later stood and where Charles Wyler lives at the present time. It was here that her first child, Charles, was born. Mother next lived in a little one room house just west of Ivan Beck’s home. It was evidently in this house that her second child, Kaddie, was born.
At this time Father bought a lot from a Brother Swenson and was planning to build a one room log house on this lot, where Mother’s old home now stands, when Father was called on a Mission. The whole town turned out and helped build this house, which as I have stated was one room made of logs. This still stands and is the northeast room of Mother’s old home. The house where Ralph Sleight now lives. When Father returned from his mission he added a little lean-to on the west side of this log house, which also still stands, but it is in very poor condition. Maria, Will, Hyrum, Joseph, and Annie were all born in this one room house and this lean-to.
In 1888 Father was called on another Mission. While Father was away on this mission the newer or south part of the house was built which consisted of two rooms downstairs and three rooms upstairs. This upper part was later remodeled when the bathroom was made. Mother rented rooms and took in boarders a good share of her life in order to help pay expenses. She lived in this house until her death.
Mother had a quick temper but was soon over her anger and never held feelings. She was mild and extremely kind in disposition. But this mildness did not prevent her from demanding respect and obedience from her children. She was alone a good deal of the time and the management of the children was left largely to her, but she always had them under control. Her control of her children is shown by the following incidents: Mother raised all of her nine children except the two youngest in this one room and the lean-to. While living under these conditions she had a nice bedspread on her bed and in spite of all these children in these cramped quarters the bedspread never was rumpled or out of place.
Will was taking cows for Aunt Emeline Rich and he thought by loitering along the way in the mornings he would make himself late and would not have to go to school. This happened two mornings, but the third time Mother said, "Now Willie, you get to school." That’s what she used to call him in those days. Will whimpered and didn’t want to go because he was late, so Mother took a stick and marched him right down to the school house door and made him go in. He didn’t loiter anymore but was home in time to go to school.
One day Mother sent Annie after some water, which had to be carried from outside the house. Will and Joseph were sawing wood out by the side of the house and as Annie passed them Will said something to her and she said, "I won!t do it." Mother heard this through an open window and she grabbed a stick and out she went and started to lay it on to Annie. "What are you doing that for?", asked Will. Mother replied,"3he can’t tell me I won’t do it." "She was only saying that to me", replied Will so Annie escaped, but it shows that Mother stood for no nonsense and she always made us mind. Sometimes we may have been slow in going but we knew we had to mind her.
Mother had a lot of spunk. There was quite a squabble over a little pig that she had in her pen and a big six footer that would weigh about 290 pounds came to get the pig for the other family. Mother went after him with the broom. He got the pig, but not before she laid it onto him with the broom. This was the only way she had of defending what she thought was right.
Mother had a lot of determination and when she took it into her head to do a thing she really made it go. Mother had never been taught much about sewing but she taught herself. She wished to make a dress but she had no pattern, so she borrowed a dress that she liked and took it all apart and cut her dress out from this pattern. Then she had to sew the dress up again and then make her own dress. Aunt Maria Pendrey had more money than Mother and she bought Ella, who was about Annie’s age, a new dress. Mother and Annie both liked the dress very much so with the Pendrey’s consent they borrowed the dress and Mother made Annie one just like it. When Annie and Ella went out together people would comment on how pretty Annie’s dress was rather than the one which had been bought at a store. I simply tell this to show how well Mother had taught herself to sew.
Mother was also a good cook. I still remember the good things she used to have to eat, especially her biscuits and her pies, cakes and puddings.
She had a sense of humor and always enjoyed a good joke. She had a way of making any joke a little worse that it really was. If any one of us made a break and made the group laugh, Mother would say something to try to patch it up but would only make us laugh all the harder. One day Mother and Madge were down town and Madge wished to buy some personal things from the drug store that she didn’t dare ask for herself, so she asked Mother to buy it for her. Mother did all right, but she said, "Madge wants to buy such and such." Madge was right by her side and was greatly embarrassed. She always liked to sing and was always singing about the house as she worked. She also sang in the choir for many years, and always liked to sing the hymns of the Church.
Mother was never too proud to do any kind of work. Some time after coming to America and getting married she had learned to milk cows and in her younger days had often milked the cows. Each of the three families had about six or eight cows and when Joseph got married, Madge, who was about twelve, and I, two years younger, were left to milk the cows and Mother used to come and help us with the milking.
She always liked to engage in any kind of social activity. She also liked to dance and even in her later life I can remember her dancing at the Old Folks and Relief Society parties, especially the old type dances. She liked to go to the theater. In those days there were no picture shows, at least not until she was quite old. However, they used to have theatres presented in the old First Ward meeting house by traveling companies. Some of these were very good. I remember her telling us about many good shows she attended, even some of Shakespeare’s plays. In her later life she liked to play games at home, especially Pollyanna.
Mother had another peculiarity that always caused us much amusement. Very often something would happen, such as a glass being broken, some milk spilled, etc. Of course no one ever knew just who did it, so Mother would invariably say, "Well, it’s funny, just you and me here and I am sure I didn’t do it."
Mother never had much chance for an education. She was only able to attend school to the third grade, but here again she taught herself. She loved to read and always read the newspapers and kept up with what was going on. She read many books and one of my fond recollections of childhood is pertaining to Mother reading to us. We had no furnace in those days and each room had to be heated separately with a wood burning stove. After supper in the winter evenings we would go to an upstairs bedroom and make a fire, then as we kids would lie on the floor by the stove, Mother would read to us. I remember her reading the following books: David Copperfield, Oliver Twist, Uncle Tom's Cabin, Black Beauty, Child’s History of England, Scottish Chiefs and Arabian Knights, and I have no doubt there were many more. She also taught me how to read. When I got into the fourth grade they were going to put me back because I didn’t know how to read. Mother told my teacher to give her a chance and she would see what she could do. My teachers had utterly failed. I couldn’t read anything. When the teacher would call on me to read, I would say one word and then the kids or the teacher would have to tell me the next. But really Mother knew how to do the job. She made me sit down each evening and gave me simple little stories to read that I could understand, and she kept me at it and before the winter was over I loved to read, because she knew how to do the job. I have done a lot of reading and loved to do so ever since.
Mother was proud about her person. She was always neat about the house and when she went out she liked to fix up a bit. She always wore a veil and a hat. She wouldn’t think of going out without these things on her head. Whenever we got ready to go she would always say, "Now where are my gloves and my handkerchief." She always looked neat and well groomed. She was just a small woman, her body was quite long, however, and her legs rather short. She always felt big and would say, "Well, when I sit down I am just as big as they are", referring to certain larger individuals.
Mother rendered a lot of service in the Church. For eight years she was a Relief Society teacher and for twelve years President of the Relief Society and that means work.
In those days the Presidency had to take care of the sick, and I can remember her being away many days at a time staying right at the home of someone who needed her help. She had to lay out the dead, as there were no morticians in those days. She also had to make clothes for the dead, and many other jobs. The Relief Society Party was a real job. I can remember her spending days at a time getting ready for this party. They even had to borrow dishes to put this party over. She not only worked in the Church herself, but encouraged us children to work also.
Whenever anyone worked for Mother she always wanted to pay them more than, they asked. She would ask them how much she owed them and after they had told her she would say well that’s not enough, and add a little more. She was honest right to the core. If she ever found she had received too much change when making a purchase she would immediately correct the mistake.
Mother had a lot of faith. When she had sickness she would call in the Elders and she had a lot of faith in consecrated oil. She believed that when oil was consecrated and the Elders had said, "for the healing of the sick in the household of faith", that it meant just that, and so that is the way she used it. Annie was holding a stick horse while Joseph cut its tail off with the axe. He missed and chopped her finger off so it was just hanging by the skin. She bound it up and used consecrated oil on it; it healed without a scar. Madge cut her thumb nearly off while cutting the tail off her stick horse; Mother used the same method and it healed properly. One day Mother had some important people coming for dinner. She asked me to get some wood and I was rather slow in doing so. As a result she tried to hurry up the potatoes by placing a tight lid on the kettle in which she was cooking them. The result was that the kettle exploded and blew the potatoes clear to the ceiling and they all came down on Mother's head and burned her very badly. She put some brine water on her head and neck, washing it off good, then she applied consecrated oil and her neck and head healed without a blemish of any kind.
Along with this faith she believed in prayer. She always had family and individual prayer and taught us children all to pray. She often told of the following incidents: Her Father and Mother lived in Spanish Fork, Utah. Mother always prayed for them morning and night. One night when she went to pray for her Mother, something seemed to say to her, "You won’t have to pray for her anymore", and it was only a short time later that she received a letter saying that her Mother had died a short time before she had said her prayers. When her Father died she received a telegram and she went down to Aunt Maria’s place and read it to her. She read of the time of death to the hour and minute. After she had read it Aunt Maria said to her, "Let me read it", and then she said, "Where did you see when he died?" Mother replied, "I read it there in the telegram," but it was not there at all. Some way or other it had been made know to Mother.
I stated that Mother always made us children mind and we all respected her, but she was always one with us children. She was loving and kind and was always a pal to us.
E. Woodruff Stucki
My Mother was the loving kind
So tender in her way,
She never let a man or beast
From her door to stray.
Whenever man for her did work
She’d pay him what he’ say
And then she’s add a few more cents
As her thank-you pay.
When e’er you went into her house
For periods long or short,
She always thought you ought to eat
A cookie or a tart.
She loved her children in God’s way
And so she taught them right,
And saw they did the things they should
And showed them truth and light.
She loved to work and do her share
Her end she bravely bore,
And many times she milked the cows
Or did some other chore.
She took in boarders many years
To help supply her needs.
These boarders loved her as their own
For her unselfish deeds.
And she was honest to the core
And many a time I know
She’s send us back down town to take
a penny she did owe.
She was neat in dress and looks
She loved to look her best.
She always had to have her gloves
To go with all the rest.
Oh! Where’re my gloves, she’d always say,
Before the house she’d leave.
And when we’d see her put them on
A thankful sigh we’d heave.
A handkerchief and veil and hat
Were as important as her hair
When e’re she left the house to go
In public anywhere.
She was just a little woman
Not more than five foot, three
But when she sat she always felt
As big as you or me.
She never went to college
She had very little school
But when it carne to teaching
She knew the very tool.
When in my school, the teachers
Couldn’t teach me how to read
She took me every evening
And surely did the deed.
She knew the way to do the job
A gift right from above,
And so when she got through with me
Reading I did love.
She didn’t have a pleasant life
But trials she bravely bore
In spite of thorns thrust in her side
She was pleasant to the core.
Her church she loved, in very deed
And service rendered long,
And she did help all those in need
With care and love and song.
She dressed the dead, she cared for sick
And in their home she’d stay
And I have known of her to be
Away from day to day.
Her house was home when e’re you came
She made you welcome be.
And love was the outstanding treat
As anyone could see.
All honor to her memory
May we true children be,
And her true worth through all our acts
Allow the world to see.
E. Woodruff Stucki