History of Emily Lorana Mc Ewan Barrett by Mary Margaret Mc Ewan
Contributor: SouthPawPhilly Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago
HISTORY OF EMILY LORANA MECHAM Mc EWAN BARRETT
By Granddaughter Mary Margret Mc Ewan
As told by her son, Marvin Mc Ewan and daughter Amy Mc Ewan Fowers
September 28, 1991
Life began for Emily Lorana Mecham November 23, 1879, at York, Utah, a small settlement south of Santaquin, Utah. Her parents had both been married before. Her father, Amasa, was a widower with three sons and one daughter. Emily’s mother had been a widow and was left to raise one son.
Emily was the couple’s first daughter. She had one older, full brother, Wells, three half-brothers and one half-sister. Two other brothers, Alma and Earl, and two more sisters, Eathel and Amy, followed Emily’s birth.
The family moved to the Mecham home on the Provo Bench (now Orem) where the children grew up and attended public schools. Little Emily was about three or four years old when her family made this move.
Her best friend was Ava Rilla Hiatt. This young lady later married Emily’s younger brother, Alma “Al.” She and Rilla were both very pretty and popular. It may appear, after seeing the photo of them, that the two friends were so close they looked like sisters. And they did, in fact, become sisters-in-law when Rilla married Alma.
Emily, whose nickname was “Em,” loved music. She was always singing and playing the guitar. She was a wonderful horticulturist and maintained a beautiful flower garden during her married years. She had five lily ponds stocked with huge goldfish. Her garden was like a fairyland to her grandchildren. They loved to visit her and many have fond memories of her peanut butter, jam and prune sandwiches.
Daniel Dean Mc Ewan won Emily’s hand in marriage on November 16, 1898, when she was 18 years old. He was 19 when they were married by John D. T. Mc Allister in the Manti Temple. She was a most beautiful bride and he was a handsome groom. She wore a wedding gown which was of high fashion. Her fresh-flowered tiara was a crown which gave a medieval angelic halo to add to the glow of her soft, beautiful lace. The wedding photo shows Daniel Dean in his black tuxedo, suggesting a gala wedding with many guests.
The couple lived on the Provo Bench. The Mc Ewan homestead was the northeast corner of the Provo Bench. This section of land still has the oldest adobe home in all of Orem. The home is believed to the old Mc Ewan home built in the last of the 19th Century, around 1880.
The couple had eight children, six lived to adulthood. They had twins after their first year of marriage, two boys, Kenneth Eugene and Gilbert Dean, August 27, 1899. Gilbert only lived three days. Their third child, Murray Wells, died at three months of age. The fourth child was Vivian Lorana, a beautiful daughter. She was named Lorana after maternal grandmother and was born three days before Grandpa Mecham’s birthday. Dean and Emily’s last four of their eight children were their “stair steps” – Inez, Marvin, Amy and Austin, who came alone one after another to form a “second family.”
Emily always kept them in adorable hats to keep the sun off their skin. Back then, white skin was cherished and valued as the hallmark of genteel folk. Beautiful Amy had dark, curling hair and Emily would put it in long ringlets. Emily apparently had the maturity and time to enjoy bringing up her last four children as a close knit and devoted family.
Emily often displayed her love of music. When she had electrical students from the Electrician School come to work on the farm, she would play the old phonograph at night and let the students at the L. L. Nunn School at Olmstead Station hear the music over the phone. The Mc Ewans, however, were on a party line, as was everyone else, in those days. Emily’s sharing her love of music with those less fortunate was definitely not overly popular with some other “party liners,” however.
While Emily was pregnant with her third child, her husband was called to a mission in eastern states of New York and Massachusetts. It was in 1908 when he left his 29 year old wife to run the farm and care for their children. It was a real hardship, since all of the water to wash and drink had to be hauled two miles up a hill from the Big Bench Canal; that was over the edge of the hill down a steep, rocky path. This was a difficult task for a young woman, but she was a dedicated mother and these hardships probably made her a stronger woman.
Emily did beautiful needlework—embroidery, crochet, and sewing on her Singer treadle machine. She made clothing and also mended clothes. Her home was immaculate. She set an example for her children and in-laws, who still, today, have beautiful, shined, spotless homes.
The family always took memorable, happy vacations. They camped every summer, usually in Daniels Canyon, which had many bridges under which the trout liked to hide. “Every bridge had more fish than you can shake a stick at,” Marvin recalls. Each trip would start with a swim at the “hot pots,” now known as the Homestead in Midway, Utah. This gave Midway a new meaning—Midway between the Mc Ewan homestead and the World’s Best Fishing!
After returning home, there was always the farm to attend to. With only Kenneth in his early years to help with the farm, Daniel and Emily had three hired men, Messrs. Adams, Wilkerson, and Carter. One wore a big Mexican hat which Marvin described as “the biggest hat I ever saw!” Marvin had new rubber knee-high boots and when the tree men took him out to work, he sank over the tops of his new boots in the muddy fields. Kenneth and the hired hands lived in a tent behind the home. Out-buildings, barns, and a smoke house to cure the meat gave the family a degree of self-sufficiency.
The family moved to their home on State Street in Orem around 1918. Life in the new home was not as hard for Emily and the family. Daniel Dean was Bishop in the Sharon Ward for ten years. The bishop’s role again took him out into the community. Emily, at her husband’s side, nursed the sick. Her own past hardship gave her the strength in character and empathy to care for those less fortunate than she.
Daniel Dean suffered a stroke from which he never fully recovered. He was bed-ridden for several years prior to his death on November 12, 1922, at age 44. Kenneth and Vivian had been married prior to his death. Kenneth was married in 1921 to Mary Coltrin, and Vivian was married to Richard Anderson in 1922.
Again, Emily was left alone to care for her last four children.
Emily had to go to work to support her family. She left Inez in charge of Marvin, age ten, Amy, age eight, and little Austin, age six. Emily’s new job was selling new Ford automobiles for Schofield Ford in Provo, located at Fifth West and Center.
In the early 1920s, being a female and a bread winner was a rare and unfamiliar role. So Emily was indeed a courageous and pioneering woman who, in many ways, was ahead of her time in working to support a family.
After more than three years of being a working mother, Emily married Lorin Barrett on June 3, 1925. While she was 22 years his senior, he adored her and the marriage seemed to be a perfect fit. They continued to go hunting, fishing and camping, as both loved nature.
Inez married Abner Selman; Marvin married Nina Thomas; Amy married John Fowers; Austin married Margaret Clark.
By this time in her life Emily was tired and not always of the best temperament. Nevertheless, Lorin continued to wait on her and tried his best to make her lot in life more bearable.
The grandchildren loved their Grandpa Barrett, since most were born after Daniel Dean’s death. Lorin never had children of his own, so the children and grandchildren of Emily’s became his, in fact, if not in lineage. As a photographer, he left many photos of his darlings. He beams in the photos as he holds these cherubs.
Emily and her companion and sweetheart were together for 22 wonderful years, until her death on May 3, 1944 at the age of 65.