Memorial / Obituary / Personal History
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Mary Elizabeth Conrad, first daughter of Charles and Mary Elizabeth Holdaway Conrad was born 21 Mar 1875 in a home her father had built in a rural farming area at the northeastern edge of the town of Provo, Utah, then known as Pleasant View, an address is now 691 East 800 North.
Lizzie's Father's Background: Her father, Charles, had been born in Brownstown, Wayne Co., Michigan in 1831 where his father, Charles Ferdinand Conrad, and his mother, Sarah Adams Bitely, were prosperous and comfortably settled down...until they were taught about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. His mother was convinced it was true, and was baptized in 1841. His father never did join the church. Charles followed his father's example and was not baptized at the time. His mother remained faithful, however, and after her children were grown, she followed the saints to Utah in 1863. A year later, Charles, two other brothers, a brother-in-law, and an uncle joined her at Provo. Two years after arriving, Charles, too, was convinced, and was baptized into the church at age 35. Once baptized, he became very active in the Pleasant View Ward, and became a counselor to Bishop Gillespie in 1891.
Lizzie's parents' love story is that her father Charles was 33 years old when he noticed an eight-year-old dark-eyed girl playing in his neighbor=s front room. Her name was Mary Elizabeth, and she was the only girl in the Holdaway family. She was bright and loquacious, and Charles, admiring her charming ways, rubbed her mass of dark curls and announced that he was going to wait for her to grow up so he could marry her. Nine years later, on Nov 10th 1873, he did just that! They were married when he was 42, and his bride, seventeen.
Lizzie's Mother's Background: His seventeen-year-old bride, Mary Elizabeth Holdaway, had been born in 1856 in a time of Provo's famine and Indian difficulties. Her father, Shadrach Holdaway had been released from his Mormon Battalion duties in California, and had returned to his family after finding $3000 in gold. He was the first man to pay his tithing in California gold dust. He was then asked to use the gold to go back east to the U.S. and buy machinery for making woolen goods. He and his wife Lucinda Haws Holdaway returned to Provo with the equipment in 1850 after much starvation and illness. They were once again a lone couple after the death of their first two infant sons. They then had three strong boys and another boy, the son of Shadrach and Lucinda's deceased sister, Eliza. This totaled four boys under six years of age when Mary Elizabeth was born to the family in 1856. She was the sixth child, and the first girl, and was much-treasured.
She was healthy at first, but one can only imagine the fears felt by Cindy when her new little daughter became ill. Charles was away working, and the baby just kept getting worse. On the second night, as Mary was rocking her, exhausted, she fell asleep. When she awakened, she found her Mary had died in her arms; her tiny body was cold and blue. Cindy had watched too many of her babies die, and she just could not accept this death. She hurriedly got the consecrated oil, undressed her baby, and rubbed it entirely over the tiny body, from her feet to the crown of her head. Then Cindy prayed fervently for her. In his loving kindness, Heavenly Father honored this prayer of faith, and the baby suddenly began to breathe again. Though she was breathing, she wasn't immediately well, and needed much care still. Cindy recorded that her little Mary had a "spell of hard sickness that lasted over three months, in which I did not have my clothes off to go to bed once." Although Cindy didn't record this sacred incident in her autobiography, she told it to Mary, and Mary told this experience on her deathbed in 1935 to a small niece she loved, Iretta Newren Ricks.
Mary Elizabeth Holdaway was treasured, watched and loved all her growing years. Two more little brothers came to join the family before Mary was three years of age, making seven children under the age of nine years. It was such a busy time for her mother! Little Mary Elizabeth lived through the sorrows of watching two little sisters be born, then the eldest died of cholera at age 1, and the next little girl died of scarlet fever when she was 2 ½. Her mother then bore another boy, and finally, a new little sister for Mary when she was ten. But to their great sorrow, this third little girl also died at a year of age, of diphtheria. The next baby was a boy, Warren, a last son. Both he and his mother were unwell until he was six. This made a family of eight living sons and one daughter, our Mary Elizabeth. But the Lord was kind, and answered the family's prayers, and Amanda, Cindy's last child was born when Mary was thirteen. Mary was delighted to have her own sister. And she was old enough to help care for her, as well as to help her mother with the chores of daily living. The family lived in a small home on the north side of Center Street between Fifth and Sixth West, and also had a farm and cattle ranch about six miles northwest of town at Vineyard, near Utah Lake.
Because of this background, Mary was well-trained to be a wife and mother and ready for her marriage even though she was just 17. Charles Conrad knew he was a fortunate man to get her, not only for her beauty, but also because of her great desire for a family and the many skills she had acquired with which she could care for one.
Lizzie's Birth and Early Life:
Charles Conrad had worked for six years as a policeman to earn money for land, had done a lot of lumbering in the mountains, and had taken part in building many of the irrigation canals, and had accumulated many acres of land in the northeast section of town. The couple settled down in a new brick home Charles built on the corner of his 27 acres of land, all within city limits, well-improved, and fenced. They also preempted 160 acres on the South Fork of Provo Canyon, and in 1880 built another home there. They began keeping cattle in South Fork, and put part of the land under cultivation as well. Charles was the first man to open up land in the South Fork of Provo Canyon.
Charles and Mary's first-born was a son whom they named Charles after his father. Next, on 21 Mar 1875 there was born a beautiful little replica of Mary Elizabeth, whom they named Mary Elizabeth, also. She became known as Lizzie, a beautiful little girl with dark brown eyes and heavy dark hair that curled more gently than her mother's tight curls.
Lizzie's childhood in Provo was much improved over the Provo her mother had grown up in. There were no more Indian troubles, and food was much more plentiful, though still needing to be planted, watered, and harvested. There was not yet the ease of exchanging money for food. The heavy farm work of plowing, planting, irrigating, and harvesting the wheat, hay and oats, caring for the horses, repairing fences, managing the beehives and extracting honey, feeding and growing and killing the animals for meat were done by the men. But Lizzie's daughter Grace wrote that Lizzie "learned all the skills that accompanied the family living of that day. She could card and spin wool, knit it into socks, stockings, or sweaters, could make butter, cheese, breads, cake, headcheese, could bottle and dry fruits, milk cows, ride horses, and in fact do any of the tasks required on the farm. However, having six brothers, she was relieved of much of the heavy farm work, but learned to garden, cook, sew, and keep house properly."
Most food for the family had to be grown on the home lot by the women: fresh mustard greens, rhubarb, strawberries and raspberries, spinach, lettuce, cabbage, peas, beans, corn, tomatoes, carrots, beets, parsnips, turnips, onions, squashes, pumpkins and potatoes, all eaten fresh, but also grown in large enough quantities to last through winter and early spring, with enough left over to plant for the new year's crops. Fruit was a delicious addition to the food supply, and a terrific amount of extra work.
The Conrad's had a black walnut tree on the northwest corner of the house which furnished shade in the summer, and stained fingers in the fall, as the almost-impossible-to-crack nuts were opened and made ready to add wonderful flavor to puddings, cakes, and Lizzie's favorite, honey taffy candy. Chickens, pigs, beef, and a cow to be milked night and morning were cared for, also. The eggs had to be gathered, and indoors, the milk had to be strained and set out in pans to be cooled and separated, butter and cheese to be made from it, and the garden produce and bread to be prepared for meals. Of course, indoor jobs also included fetching wood to make fires for warmth, cooking, baking, and heating water for washing people, diapers, the family's clothing, bedding, and dish cloths, towels, and tablecloths. And twice a year, the ceilings, walls, curtains, and all surfaces that might house germs through the coming season were cleaned thoroughly.
Lizzie's siblings: These jobs, of course, were only secondary ones, for the major work was that of caring for children. And as she grew, Mary Elizabeth loved to organize, teach, and entertain her brothers and sisters along with doing the indoor chores. She had learned from her mother how to have a true love for each of them. When her youngest sister Alice was born, Mary Elizabeth confided to her diary "30 Apr 1894: I have been very busy since Mama is in bed, my little sister was born on the 19, instant. She is such a little comfort, how I love her already."
Her mother accepted Lizzie's loving gifts of service, which allowed her time to work the necessarily long hours in the garden. Loving beauty, they planted not only food, but flowers to adorn their home.
Being a homemaker wasn't a job for the faint of heart. The awesomeness of the task was recognized and understated in Mary Elizabeth's journal entry on her 19th birthday, "I ought to be a woman now, Oh, what a responsibility. The oldest one of the family ought to be able to take the place of Ma." Mary Elizabeth had great respect and love for her mother, and felt somewhat overwhelmed at the prospect of future marriage and being on her own to manage a home.
Her devotion to her family members grew as she served them. Her brother Charles was two years older than she, and an entry in her journal expresses this love: "Charley is sitting by the warm fire asleep, and his shadow is lengthened on the opposite wall. All the rest of the loved ones are asleep in their beds. I say loved ones, but at the same time I realize the painful fact that not as much loving kindness exists in our home as should be, and my conscience tells me I am in part to blame, and I resolve to try to promote peace and union. "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak," and we can only gain the victory over wrong by a constant struggle for right. As I glance at the handsome bowed head of my brother, thoughts of this kind spring up in my mind." She had a special fondness for Charles, and her last two sentences written in her journal in 1900 are of him, "I am glad Charley is down home, and that he is married and settled down. He seems so sensible and good, and has a good wife also."
Lizzie's Teen Years: Mary Elizabeth grew to be a very modest and beautiful young woman. She didn't consider herself beautiful, however, as her journal entry states. But she was chosen to represent Provo as "Miss Liberty" for the 24th July Celebration in 1892, which included a parade and recognition at the program held at the Provo Tabernacle. The Provo Daily Enquirer reported on page one that three thousand people were in attendance at the Tabernacle to celebrate. A representative young girl from each of the surrounding towns was dressed in white also, and honored at the event. Her journal states modestly: "24th. I worked on the Committee and represented the Day." Hyrum memorized an account of the parade given to him,"On the 4th of July, on the float stood Miss Lizzie Conrad. A more dignified and beautiful young girl could not be found." (I think he meant 24)
Lizzie's education included elementary school and the Brigham Young Academy. She had classes from Karl G. Maeser, as did some of her classmates: George H. Brimhall, Amanda Mangum (who married Jessie Knight), Alice Fausett, George Ekins, and a spiritual boy who often dated her, Harvey Cluff. Missing from this list is the hard-working boy she had met and admired at church. Because of his family circumstances, Hyrum Muhlestein was not able to attend school, but had to work instead. Lizzie had worked at Startup Candy Company as a teenager, pulling taffy and dipping chocolates, but her working was not a necessity.
Romance: Lizzie had very high standards of conduct, and recognized the deep spiritual nature of the "German lad," so-written in her journal, a son of the Swiss watchmaker Nicholas Muhlestein who was homesteading 160 acres up the east mountain on Wolfe Flat, some distance from the rest of the town, but attending the same Pleasant View Ward as Lizzie and her parents. Christian Hyrum was a loving and gentle young man who honored the priesthood he held and worked untiringly for his parents and family. He was very intelligent, could speak, read and write flawless German, but could not afford to go to school for his education in English. This made him "special" from the rest of the school crowd in the ward, and he was surprised and happy when Mary Elizabeth returned his interest in her.
Lizzie's cousins, Ruby and Jane Holdaway, and her aunt Amanda were all nearly the same age. They had great times together at each of Lucinda Haws Holdaway's family parties and celebrations held at Utah Lake, the mouth of Provo River, or in the Provo Canyon. And the girls helped Lizzie to see Hyrum. Clara hiked with her up to the Muhlestein "Fruit and Grain Farm" on the foothills east of Provo. Hyrum brought them home in a cart drawn by oxen. He later told how proud he was of a new pair of white leather gauntlet gloves he was wearing, and how he displayed them "to advantage" as he drove the girls home.
Another time, Lizzie was horseback riding up towards the Muhlestein farm with Aa boy friend@ when they met Hyrum and his brothers, who were practice-shooting their guns. Her boy friend wanted to shoot Hyrum=s gun, which he did, but when the gun went off, it scared the horse Lizzie was riding and threw her off into a pile of rocks. She wasn=t badly hurt, but Hyrum was no doubt concerned. He had become Asmitten@ with Lizzie, and watched the Conrad home through field glasses every chance he had, hoping to catch a glimpse of her.
Shortly before his three-year mission to Switzerland, one night as Hyrum was leaving, he raised Lizzie's hand to his lips and kissed it. She slapped him, saying she was not a girl of easy virtue. Hyrum left that night feeling that he had ruined his chances for her love by being too forward. Yet as he recalled that incident to his children, he said with a twinkle, she made every effort to show her interest to him thereafter. Hyrum waited patiently through the years for their first kiss which was over the altar of the Salt Lake Temple.
The development of their love did not run smoothly, however. C. Hyrum's father had in mind for him to marry a daughter of the Liechty's, the man who had first introduced the gospel to him in Switzerland. Hyrum did not want to be obedient in this case, and Lizzie's father helped him. When Hyrum's folks were taking him to the station to catch his train for Salt Lake for his mission, instead of staying on the main road that went by the Conrad home so Hyrum could say goodbye to Lizzie, they detoured, going down the south road off the bluff. Her father saw them take the other road, so he quickly harnessed a horse to his buggy, took a shortcut and beat the Muhlestein’s to the station. He hurriedly bought a ticket to the next town so he could have time to talk to Hyrum and say goodbye for himself and Lizzie.
It was a long three years. Lizzie was very lonely for Hyrum, and learned and sang the song, "When the Curtains of Night are Pinned Back by the Stars."
Of this lonely time Lizzie wrote spunkily in her journal on 6 Feb 1895 "I thought at one time I had more trouble than anyone, but the old saying is, that time is the great healer of all wounds, and he has partly healed mine. After my having taken a fancy to the German lad, his folks took it into their heads that it must not be so. They therefore decided to separate us by the Atlantic Ocean, and thought that I would soon marry and their son would be saved, but that scheme didn't work."
As Lizzie reflected on her nineteenth birthday, she wrote "Hyrum is coming home, am I happy or sorry? I am glad he is coming home, but sorry I have not been a better girl and proven myself more worthy of him. It seems so odd to think he is really coming home. I was such a child when he went away (16) and a very thoughtless girl. And Hyrum, the boy that he was, sent away to preach the Gospel, he will be home with a great deal of experience and a strong testimony of the truth. I wonder if I will ever be worthy of him."
Lizzie's Hyrum Returns: Her next entry 30 April 1894, reports A Saturday night the play entitled "The Widow Hunt" came off with the usual excitement. I was as nervous as a bedbug. Returning home, I found to my astonishment, a light in the window. I peeked in, and there sat a man with a beard. "It's Hyrum," flashed through my mind. And oh, how could I meet him. Well, we did meet. It was after eleven o'clock. He had been waiting since nine, and had been talking with Ma and Grandma. He was fatigued with the journey, and we did not talk long, but had prayer, and thanked God for his safe return, and retired. In the morning he went home. He is full of religion, and how he has improved."
Ten months later, Lizzie used her diary again. She still was lonely, and wrote "Well, my little book, it has been a long time since I've told you how I felt...When he returned last April, Hyrum and I felt the same as of old towards each other. His folks still treat me cool."
"After two weeks, he left for Scofield on the 15 of May ‘ to raise some money to pay off his mission debt, and of course, I am left alone again."
Hyrum wrote in his history "After reporting my mission in the Pleasant View Ward, and a few days visit at home and friends, I went to Scofield, Utah, where my brother Joseph was working in the mine. I wished to get on with him, for I had worked with him many years before going on my mission. But the mine was only working one or two days a week, and they as usual were laying off men, and not putting anyone on. So the Bishop, Thomas J. Parmley, who was Superintendent of the mine, could not put me on for he had orders to lay men off. "
"But I must have a job of some kind, for I needed a few dollars, for I intended to get married in the near future, to the one I loved as dearly as my own life. So I wrote a letter to the President of the Company, Mr. W.G. Sharp, and told him my condition, after which he gave Bishop Parmley orders to put me on with my brother Joseph."
However hard the many separations were, the mission had truly been a blessing to both Lizzie and Hyrum. He had had Lizzie's first letter read to him by his companion, then he memorized it, and copying Lizzie's words, rearranged them to say what he wanted, and wrote back to her. Over the three years of his mission he learned to read and write English fluently. He had grown even sturdier in his love for the Savior as he faced the awful sorrow of his beloved mother's death back home in Provo. That same week his companion, Elder Tueller, received word that his wife had died, too. It was a hard time of trial for those two missionaries, but a time of growth as well. And the spiritual Hyrum who returned was revered by Lizzie who joyously welcomed him home.
Lizzie's Waiting begins again: It was harder for the nineteen-year-old girl to begin the new wait for Hyrum to pay off his mission debt than it had been to wait as a sixteen-year-old. She was now a beautiful active young woman, and many boys wanted to date her. Mary Elizabeth dated some of the boys who asked her out, but knew she loved Hyrum, philosophizing on 6 May 1895:
"When a person is left alone as I am, it is hard to have no company, no enjoyment, and it is hard to refuse the company of nice young men. And when you accept their company, that of course, is not the end. Nice young men that take a girl out would not do so if he did not admire her in some way, and he has an aim in view in seeking her company. So you see I have got into a little trouble. I can=t see either how it is a nice young man could fancy me, for I am not nice-looking. The Lord has blessed me with a plain if not homely face, and there are plenty of pretty girls, and beauty seems to please the eyes and win the heart. Well, I am glad I am just as I am in looks, but I am very desirous of smoothing off the rough rugged corners of my nature, that my friends may love me for my true worth."
"My greatest desire is to live so that I may be respected and loved by all my associates. My belief is that the reason most of the girls do not take better with the opposite sect is because they are not reserved enough. . .and they are frivolous and fanciful. They want a gay beau, one who can dance, talk, whose tongue flows with eloquence and flattery all for themselves alone. . . perhaps I am hard on the girls, but I say it serves them right if they get one of these brainless fops, if they don't appreciate true worth and honor when they see them, and when it lays in their power to win the same. Most of the girls now can't get a fellow, although they try hard enough. But the nice young men are on to their flippish ways, and the sport doesn't care to tie to any one girl, for he can be admired by all the fair sect. Would that all the girls admired them as I do, and they (the sports) would either change their ways or commit suicide, for life is not worth living without company. None of this type ever dance with me, and if they chance to look at me they almost shudder, they think I am so rigid and cold. Well, enough on this strain, this is one of my radical points."
Rachel reported that her mother Lizzie recalled when some boyfriend took her out to a party. When they returned, "the fellow started to make advances, but our Mama knew how to put him in his place. She said, "Here, give me your hand, and I will put it in a softer place." He gladly gave her his hand, which Mama proceeded to put on his own head!"
The young Lizzie continues in her journal: "About myself and my friend (Hyrum) for a little while. When I last wrote, I mentioned that he had gone to work to pay his missionary debt. He has been to work for almost a year now, and I believe it is nearly paid up. He has only been home four times in the year: once last summer for fruit, at conference the 6th of Oct 94, during the holidays, and the 21 of March, my birthday. I think that's doing pretty well. There aren't many boys that are as good and self-sacrificing as he, I will say this."
Lizzie had waited the three years of the mission plus the year to repay the mission debt, but when she heard that he had yet to work even more than the full year to pay the debt, she quarreled with Hyrum. She writes in her journal, ". . .Although we are a little at outs now, and while I will not repent openly just yet to him, I know in my heart that he is right, and has just causes for feeling hurt at the way I have done, and his last letter of May 1st was so good and kind that it melted my heart with repentance and moistened my eyes with tears. Sometimes I say he is hard and cruel for leaving me thus, and I try to comfort myself by saying that he can=t care for me, and I'll go out in company and try to enjoy myself and forget my troubles."
"But I find to do the right thing and carry a pure conscience is the only true way of being happy, and the last words he said to me, they haunt me still. Although sorrow seemed to cloud our brows, he looked at me so sweet and heavenly and said >Lizzie, I wish to see you happy, and I will do all I can to have you be so, through time and all eternity.= Words are feeble to express my feelings. At that moment I had not power to answer a word. What more can I ask for than that."
Lizzie's Church Service and Friends: Lizzie had been a Sunday School teacher, and an assistant to the Young Ladies President, Alice Fausett, whom Lizzie greatly admired. On 6 May 1895, she wrote, "One of the most grievous events that has taken place is the resigning of our beloved President, Sister Fausett, on the 28 of April 1895. Everyone who has learned to know her worth is loath to give her up. But it had to be. Tonight we hold our first meeting this year, and we will be given a new President, sister Ann Cluff. Who her aids will be I do not know. She is a sweet woman. The girls will all be glad that the meetings have started again. On the first I attended fast meeting, took dinner with the Bishop, attended Relief Society and joined. I won't say anything to anyone but you, little book, but I resolved to attend these meetings regular, and another thing I have resolved is to be punctual. My Sunday School class was divided yesterday. Bro Crooks takes part. All for today."
Her next entry expresses her amazement at her call to be President instead of Ann, and her desire to properly lead the young girls. She had great love for them, mentioning also Annie Fitt, Sister Crooks, Annie Peterson, and Christina Olson. Of Christina she said, "This girl is a saint. She is a slight figure, light-complexioned, and very graceful, and so simple and sweet. . .I love her more and more every time I see her. Her character is such as could be profitably patterned after. Oh, if I could only become more like her. There is no deception about her. She is always the same sweet thoughtful girl. I am sure I will never forget her. I feel better for having known her, and I can't say that of every girl I have associated with. I hate the thought of having to part with my little friend. I will feel very, very lonely indeed."
That summer Lizzie went to Scofield to the Eisteddfod celebration at Hyrum's invitation. Her journal reads "I went and enjoyed myself splendid. It was here that events occurred that I'll never, no never forget. Hyrum and I confided our true feelings to each other and vowed to be constant forever. I love him more and more, and I hope it may always be thus. I fairly shudder at the thought of this love growing cold. I must try continually to bring my impulsive, and cold spirit under submission..."
Her journal continues with reports of the Young Ladies events and people, and her high regard for those she worked with. Then it continues "Hyrum came home on the 23 of July and stayed a month. We went through quite a few trials. We talked to his father and a little better feelings exist. I felt very lonely when he went away. I have heard from him twice. He and his partner have been hunting and killed four bear. Very little work in the mines."
Wedding Plans: By the last of November the long wait was nearly over. Lizzie and Hyrum were finally planning for their wedding. On Nov 25, she writes "I find a few moments to again confer with my little friend (journal). Hyrum has been down to see me, and we spent such a good time together. I had made up my mind to have him attend school this winter, but he contends that it is impossible now, but says he will try to attend at some future time. He had his teeth filled which cost him $8.00. The dear boy gets me so many nice things and goes without himself. I really feel that I am selfish to accept so much, and allow him to neglect himself. He got me a coat, shoes, and temple underwear. He is too good, and I hope that I may appreciate his true worth."
"I don't know whether to be happy or sad, when I think that in the near future I will leave my beloved house, parents and all, and enter a new sphere of action with this true man for a companion, leader and protector. I realize it is an important step, an effort in my life, and I trust and pray that it may be a proper and successful one. I feel ready to follow him to the end of the earth if needs be. Everybody are consuming themselves much over our affairs. They have had us married several times. I delight in keeping the public in suspense as long as possible. Hyrum and I visited his folks and spent a very pleasant evening. He sold two bear skins for $20.00. We attended the social for Bro Wilde together. Oh, it filled my heart with joy to have the one I loved go with me. And he came and sat by me while the programme was being rendered which pleased me exceedingly. I saw him off for Scofield on the 13th of November. He will be down for the holidays. Oh happy time, hasten here. . .I must see the Bishop soon and tell him that I will not be with him this winter. I fear he will not like it. I rather dread the occasion."
The very next entry was 3 Jan 1896: "I again attempt to write a few of my thoughts in my little book. December, I have sadly neglected you, but I have been so busy preparing to get married that I forgot all else. Well, I am married now and settled in Scofield. Oh, it seems so strange to think that I am married. But I do not regret the step now and hope that I never will. Oh I am, I might say, we are so perfectly happy. I used to wonder if my happiness was a dream, but now I know that it is a reality."
"After getting prepared to get married, we went to Salt Lake and were sealed in the Temple of the Lord. 'Twas grand and sublime indeed, and it impressed upon us the importance of the step, and I made resolves to do better and strive my utmost to serve the Lord. And I know I have got a good and noble husband, and may I have the power to fight against the evil and be a help meet to my husband. For I feel impressed that he will be a leading man in Zion if we live humbly before the Lord."
"Our reception was a plain affair, but one long to be remembered by us. Everyone seemed to feel well over our getting married, and oh, it wouldn't be good for us to get all the blessings and good wishes that our friends expressed for us. Poor Ma did all she could for us, and wore herself out. I am sorry for that indeed, for I love my mother. Oh, no tongue can tell her how much."
Life at Scofield & Winter Quarters: The wild coal mining town of Scofield was a trial to Lizzie. There were many "gentiles" and not too many members to befriend the new bride. She tells of the first three months, "It has been a long time since I put any of my thoughts on paper, so I will put a few down today. I have always been very happy in my new home, only occasionally I think of home and Ma, and the tears will roll down my cheeks. And then again, my husband in joking me touches the tender spring that lets the tears flow. But I must try and not be so childish, for I know that he loves me with all his heart, and does all he can for my comfort and happiness."
"I hadn't been away from home two months when I was awful homesick. So Hyrum sent me down on the seventh to see Ma, and I tell you it was a happy meeting. We both cried for joy."
"I was to have come back on Monday, but the baby was sick and I stayed until the 17th, (The baby was her little sister Alice born in 1894) and oh, it was hard to part with Ma again. And still, I wanted to see Hyrum and be with him. Oh, I couldn't part with him now, it would break my heart. I brought little Lewis (her four-year-old brother)) up with me, and he is so cute."
"This is a bad place, but I ever pray for the Spirit of the Lord that I may withstand all evil and be able to do some good. How I long to be back in Pleasant View where love and union exist, and if I could be near my dear Mother, I could help her some. How I wish I knew the half she knows."
"We have got the whole house here now, and are fixed real comfortable. Hyrum has been painting the blue doors and windows white which is quite an improvement." Grace described the house as being small, and built so close to the hill that a cellar could be dug into the hillside and connected to the kitchen by a short passageway. Lizzie's journal continues, "He has also painted a barber pole and put it out thinking to earn a few cents that way as the work is so slack. I have been learning the art of patching, and last week I had my first trial at making Lewis a waist (shirt). And I can tell you it was a trial indeed, it only took me three days to make it.@ Lewis brought happiness to Hyrum and Lizzie. Hyrum put up a huge swing in the yard, and made Lewis a wooden gun to play with. One day Lewis aimed at a "Finlander" with his gun and "shot" it. The amused man dropped to the ground as though he was dead. Little Louis went running to the house and told Lizzie AI shot a Finlander with a nanny-goat bullet!"
Lizzie enjoyed the company, but felt lost as she adjusted to the loss of her church callings. She reported to her journal, "I feel perfectly lost without Young Ladies meetings, and feel as if I were going backwards. Well, I hope we will not always be in this place. My husband will soon be home, so I will now get him some supper."
Lizzie gradually felt more at ease with her new status as wife and homemaker, but went home to Provo to have her mother help her during the birth of her first child, Rachel Mary, who was born 9 Jan 1897.
During the following years, Hyrum and Lizzie became an influence for good in the little mining town. Hyrum became a Notary Public in Winter Quarters. He also taught night school to foreigners so they could get their Naturalization Papers and become citizens. Lizzie helped him prepare and correct their test papers. She was called to be the President of the Young Ladies Mutual, and took an active part in civic affairs. Her journal reports, "We went to the Relief Society party on the 24th, and I recited." Most likely her recitation was "The First Settler's Story," a long poem which Lizzie had entirely memorized . . .and from which come the words our prophet quoted to warn against quarreling, "Boys haul in their white-winged birds (kites), You can't do that when you're flying words." Her children all loved to hear her recite this epic poem, Grace writing that each time Lizzie brought tears to the eyes of her listeners.
Scofield Mine Disaster: Just before Lizzie's second child was to be born, a terrible mine disaster occurred. On the first of May 1900, after her Hyrum and his brother Joseph had gone into the mine to work, there was the terrific noise of a huge explosion. Mary ran toward the mouth of mine four, joining all the other wives. The power house at the opening was entirely leveled by the blast, and the few men working in that area were badly injured or killed by the explosion; "John Wilson being thrown into a ravine eight hundred and twenty feet away. Though he was severely disabled, he lived, but his three dead sons were taken out of the mine that evening." (Excerpts from a history of the disaster by Dilley read,p 49-52) "A relief committee was headed by T. J. Parmley, Superintendent of the mine, and they started for the levels of Number Four through Number One, there being inside connections, but were driven back by the terrible after-damp that had by this time reached the lower levels in Number One. . .the route having been found impracticable, the relief committee hurried to the mouth of Number Four where the attempt was again made to enter the inferno that had been raging within. Attempt after attempt was made, and after about twenty minutes delay, during which the horse and timbers that obstructed the mouth of the mine were cleared away, the relief committee was able to follow the air and the actual work of rescue began. The first one to be met was Harry Betterson, supposed at the time to be John Kirton, and being still alive was brought to the surface where he was found to be burned beyond recognition. He was taken to the boarding house, but died during the first part of the night. William Boweter, although sitting among the dead was found to be alive, although hardly conscious. After being assisted to his feet, he walked out with slight help. . .Men were piled in heaps as there were not enough men to carry out the dead as fast as found. . ." The bodies were sent outside in coal cars, and tagged as fast as recognized. Dilley continues, "the miners would be met with lamentations that would cause even the hardest hearted men to shed tears. Women asking if their husbands or fathers had been brought out or no, children crying for the parent that was still within the mine. Many who had relatives working in Number One, were not so much concerned at first, as it was supposed by those upon the outside that the men in that mine had not been affected, as the explosion had occurred in Number Four, but their hopes were dispelled when the rescuers had passed from Number Four into Number one. . .The dead then began to arrive at the mouth of Number One by the car load, sometimes as many as twelve bodies having been loaded upon one mine car. Then it was when the horror of the situation began to dawn upon the minds of the people on the outside of the ill-fated mine. Then it was that the people realized that it was impossible to expect anything but the burned or mangled body of the loved ones that had entered the mine that morning. . .As night drew on the work of rescue did not stop, but was continued far into the night until nature asserted herself, and the rescuers retired for a few hours' rest. On account of the many cave-ins and falls, the work of the rescuing party was greatly ********, as many of the bodies were buried and had to be dug from under tons of dirt. As the bodies were carried down from Number One, the women and children waiting at the boarding house, moaning and crying out the names of their loved ones would rush frantically to the stretcher to see if they could recognize the face and form of him for whom they were waiting." Whenever one would be recognized the lamentations of the stricken ones were heart rending, causing even strong men to turn away and weep and sob like a child."
Hyrum's own history tells "...the explosion occurred at 9:00 a.m. As I came to the mouth of the mine all the women and children of the town were there with the few men who worked on the outside. They were frantic and asking for their loved ones. Not knowing the extent of the disaster, I was unable to give them little or any comfort, for it proved to have taken 200 lives. My brother Joseph and I were among the few who came out alive, although we were working in different parts of the mine, which is a great wonder to me to this day. My wife was about to become the mother of our second girl at the time, and she begged me not to return into the mine. I promised her upon my knees I would not enter the mine again, but when the Bishop called for volunteers to try and rescue some who might yet be alive, I forgot the promise to my wife, and was among the first ones to attempt to reach some of the entrapped men. We had no breathing apparatus, so we had to carry the fresh air in with us by bratticing, which was slow and dangerous.@ Bratticing is the use of a square box-like wooden frame which rests on the shoulders of each man. It is covered with wet burlap to hold in the fresh air. It was also done on a mass scale later, when whole areas were closed off with wet burlap. Hyrum continued, "Many were overcome by the after damp. We were successful in rescuing twenty or thirty of them. Several died after they were outside."
One can hardly imagine the relief that Lizzie felt when the rescue work ended, and Hyrum was still unharmed. It was a solemn and busy time, for there was much aid to give. There were 34 widows in Scofield, and 112 orphans, and in Winter Quarters, where Hyrum was a counselor to Bishop Parmley there were 73 widows, and 156 orphans. Lizzie helped all she could. Then there was a claim that there was one more body to be found. Hyrum explained this, "I loved Bishop Parmley very much, so I promised him I would stay with him until all the bodies were taken out of the mine. But after 199 were taken out and identified by friends and kin, one young man, James Pittman claimed his father John Pittman was not out, although his wife and friends had identified a body as John Pittman. His son James insisted that his father was not out of the mine, for he had come to him in a vision and told him that his body was still in the mine and not to give up until it was out. He did not tell him where it was, but we knew the place in which he was working at the time the explosion occurred. After James Pittman told Bishop Parmley of his vision, he (Bp Parmley) said to him "We must do something which will satisfy you that your father is out." That night the Bishop had a dream. In it he stood at the mouth of the room, or place in which John Pittman was working, and he could see plainly through the caved-in rock, as looking through clear water, and he saw his body under a large rock with only his foot in sight. On the rock were three little girls putting flowers on the rock. This is the dream. I helped tunnel under the cave in the direction given Bishop Parmley for 110 feet, when we came to the rock which Parmley saw in his dream. We soon found his foot protruding from under the rock. I called the Bishop to the place, and he said, "This is just as I saw it in my dream, but I do not see the three girls dressed in white putting on flowers on the rock." This was one of the most remarkable things I have experienced in my life. It proved to me that the spirit eye can see through solid matter, even as the cosmic ray. The United States mine inspector, when told of this wonderful thing said: "This is the most remarkable thing I have heard in all my life's experience."
Lizzie was much relieved when the bodies were recovered, washed, dressed and buried. An apostle, George Teasdale was the last speaker at the Winter Quarters funeral service. He said that he and his associates were present at the request of President Lorenzo Snow, and they had come as quickly as possible to offer what consolation they could. He referred to the faithful labors of the men who had come to aid and had gone down to the bowels of the earth to rescue the bodies. "My heart is out to those men," he said, "I want to meet them all and take by the hand those who have shown by their labors their nobility and their manhood, and I am pleased to be associated with them whatever their religion is. Those who died in the pits had worked out their salvation. The men who went into the bowels of the earth, worked, came home, slept and returned to work, scarcely seeing the glory of the sun and the skies. These men did not have the opportunities of temples. But when they died and were behind the veil, do you think there is no salvation for them? You cannot make me believe that. That is why we are here to get their names and this information about them. Who was it that put up our temples and performed other great works? It was not the millionaires, overflowing with money, but working men, upon whom, after all, we have to depend. . .It is not those who cry "Lord, Lord," and go about doing lip service, but those who work. The wives who have lost husbands can be sealed to them. . .I pray God that He will sanctify this affliction unto us. We mourn with you, our tears mingle with yours. May peace be in all your habitations."
Life Goes On: The awful tragedy eventually settled somewhat. After a few weeks Hyrum was able to go back to his work. Though procedures and other changes were made in the cleanliness and safety of the mine, Lizzie knew that danger was always present. But to those without farmland, mining was the best cash job to be had in the state. And many men came to Winter Quarters to find work and replace those who had been killed, dangerous or not.
Six weeks later, on the 16 July 1900, their next little one was born and welcomed as "Grace." Lizzie and Hyrum both felt it was Heavenly Father's "Grace" that allowed Hyrum and his brother Joseph to come out of the mine alive and continue their work on the earth.
Grace wrote that "Lizzie's brothers Warren and Milton, and at one time Charlie found employment here (Winter Quarters) and boarded with us when I was small. It was at this time that my father started making cylinder phonograph records of my mother's readings, the children singing, my father playing a drum solo, the train coming up the canyon, and Uncle Milton Conrad singing "If I Was a Farmer, a Farmer's Boy". . .My mother was sympathetic and helpful in all my father's ventures, and she was proud of his accomplishments. He had not been privileged to attend school. He was so eager to learn and took a correspondence course after he was married. Lizzie was a constant help through all his endeavors in learning. She was his dictionary, speller, reader, and adviser. She constantly encouraged him in his self-improvement program. When he was reading (always out loud), if he could not pronounce a word, he would spell it and no matter where she was in the house, she would call out the pronunciation to him."
In the midst of all the other activities, two more little girls were born at Winter Quarters, Eva on 14 May 1904, then on 6 June 1906, Fona came and was named after Hyrum's treasured phonograph. The first three girls were blonde and blue-eyed like the Muhlesteins, but little Fona had the dark eyes and gently curling hair of her Conrad mother, Lizzie. As Fona grew, her sisters teased her, and told her that because she didn't look like the rest of the family, it was proof that she was adopted from the Italian family that lived down the street. As a child she believed them!
Lizzie finally had herself a lively bunch of girls, and she knew how to enjoy them. And she was overjoyed when she heard that because of the slackness of work in the mine, Hyrum was considering moving back to Provo. And they did move there in 1907.
Six years at Provo: They bought a small brick home on 5th North and 6th East, and the motion picture theatre located on University Avenue. Lizzie helped out by selling tickets. But the venture did not work out. Eventually, Hyrum lost everything except this new work experience and a piano. Then shortly after Grace was baptized, Hyrum left for Somerset, Colorado. He had secured a job there, and left to find a home for them, leaving Lizzie to sell their home and take the family to Colorado on the train. How Lizzie took the news of Hyrum's wish to go to Somerset, Colorado has been lost in the past, for her little journal is silent. The job offer was a promotion, for Hyrum would be a foreman in charge of assigning the men their duties in the mine, and would no longer have to go underground. That would be a relief. But Lizzie no doubt had longings to stay in Provo, find a farm somewhere, and be closer to her mother.
Years earlier she had expressed her feelings about Winter Quarters when she first arrived "This is a bad place, but I ever pray for the spirit of the Lord that I may withstand all evil and be able to do some good. How I long to be back in Pleasant View where love and union exist, and if I could be near my dear mother I could help her some. How I wish I knew the half she knows."
Arrival at Somerset: To leave Provo again must have been hard for her, but Grace wrote, "My mother was wonderful through all this, she never complained. . .We were greeted by our father, taken to our new rented home, and were all very happy and thankful." Hyrum wrote about the move, "I left for Somerset on the 8th of March 1913, the wife and three girls to pack things and follow later. I prepared a house, and they came on March 16, 1913."
Though thankful she was to have the family together with a paying job, Lizzie was headed for life in another mining town. Somerset was small, sharing a mountainside with a river and company-built houses and a company store. There were six or eight families of Latter Day Saints, and many other good-hearted people with names like Turcsanski,Van Duren, Wacholtz, Evans, Krautwacher, Boultbee, and now Muhlestein.
Family Growth: That October, Lizzie delivered a stillborn baby. Hyrum wrote, "The wife was about to give birth to our fifth child, which proved to be a boy, but was still-born. And the wife became seriously ill, so much so that three of the best doctors decided she could not live til morning. She was so very weak that she could not lift her arm from her side. The Elders and I had administered to her several times, but could see but little improvement. I went into a room by myself, and asked the Lord how it was that he did not seem to have any; respect to our petition. And the answer was given me: AYour petition will be considered in its order." I returned to the bedside of the wife and lay on the couch and fell asleep. Three hours later I was awakened by her sitting up in bed singing "O My Father." She sang all the verses, then added another I had never heard.* I sprang from my bed as though from a nightmare. The wife said, "Be not afraid, for I am healed. Bring my clothes, I want to go and see my mother" (for whom we had sent to see her daughter for the last time). She dressed herself and started to walk. I offered to help her, but she refused by saying, "I can walk, for I am healed."
"As we entered her mother's room, her mother fainted and fell on the floor. After reviving her, we returned to our home, when shortly thereafter, the doctor came. Holding the open door in his hand he said, "Mrs. Muhlestein, do you feel as good as you look?" "I certainly do." "Well," said the doctor, "I have been surprised before, but never had the breath knocked out of me like this." The wife continued to gain strength and do her work as she had done before. We thank the Lord."
Lizzie's youngest daughter Fona tells of this experience, "When I was four years old, Mother was expecting a baby, and we four girls, Rachel, Grace, Eva, and I could hardly wait. Each day we would go in the bedroom where Mama was in bed seriously ill, but we didn't know why, and we asked her if the doctor had brought the baby yet. Papa took us to a neighbors for a few days. When he brought us back home, he told us the baby Mama had was born dead. Not understanding about "stillborn" babies, I blamed the doctor, and asked Papa, >Why did the doctor bring us a dead baby when he knew we wanted a baby brother so much?= I never liked that doctor from that day on."
"Mama was told by several doctors that she should not try to have any more children. Sad, and very weak, she went to Provo to be with her folks and get back her strength. Grandpa Muhlestein cheered her up by telling her she would yet have BOYS!"
That Lizzie was loved and respected by her in-laws had been evident for many years, and this prediction was a great seal on their mutual love at a time Lizzie needed it.
Fona continues: "Four years later, 20 July 1913, she had a little blonde, blue-eyed boy, and they named him Tell. My, was he taken care of and loved by his sisters. Mama hardly ever got to hold him."
And Lizzie probably needed the rest, for she had cast and directed a 3-act play starring her 16-year-old Rachel and Samuel Swalen. The play was "It's All in the Pay Streak," and was a huge success, and was requested to be performed again at Bowie, also. This was in addition to her Relief Society President's and family's duties.
Fona tells, "then several years later, 10 Aug 1916, another great joy came into our lives. Brown-eyed, dark-haired baby Herrick was born. He was my pride and joy, because everyone said he looked like me! I was the only dark one in the family, and my sisters teased me constantly, and told me I was adopted from an Italian family down the street. I would go to Mama and ask her if I was adopted. She would try to convince me that I was her own little girl, but until I saw brother Herrick, I was never sure."
Herrick was greatly loved by all the family, and his parents called him "My dark-eyed baboo" as a pet name. He remembered with fondness sitting in the kitchen on cold frosty mornings, enjoying toast and sipping hot mugs of chocolate with his father who had to leave for work early. He also remembered his mother's great cooking. And his sorrow at being told, "Don't eat that, that's for Pappa's lunch," when he was rummaging for a special snack. Food was plain, but plentiful and well-prepared. Since Hyrum was the Branch President, visiting church authorities were guests at their home. Lizzie's dinners for these special guests were usually roast, potatoes and gravy, hot rolls, and vegetables with pie for dessert. Hyrum told with a twinkle about a conversation during one visitor=s pork roast dinner. He asked the visitor, "Why do you suppose the Jews were forbidden to eat pork?" The visitor contemplated the meat on his fork, put it in his mouth, savored it, then smiled as he answered, "It was too good for them."
Family life and Service at Somerset: Life was good for the family. Lizzie and Hyrum were a happy, service-oriented couple who helped make life good for all around them. Hyrum wrote, AI wish to say here that I enjoyed my service in the church in Somerset. For we had a fine Sunday School, most of the children were from non-Mormon homes. We took charge of most of the funerals, for we had a fine choir under the direction of brother William Mathews, a very fine musician and a faithful Latter-Day-Saint. We had a good Relief Society. My wife was the President as long as we were there. We baptized several into the church, and made many friends. The undertaker in Paonia (a neighboring town) Mr. Taylor said, "I love to stay and hear your funerals, for one gets so much hope and comfort from what you say." It is things like that which make one feel their efforts have not been in vain. We were called to other places to hold funerals for many non-members of our church. We held some in Paonia, Crawford, Hotchkiss, and Delta, some for doctors' families, and other prominent people. I feel sure we did a great work for the church, for our school teachers would attend our Sunday School and many of our evening meetings."
"I shall never forget the time when seven ministers held revival meetings every night for three weeks, and at the end of that time, most of the people still attending were Latter-Day Saints. At the last meeting they said, "The reason we have not made any converts here is because of the Mormon Church." I think that was true, for the people had heard too much truth from the Latter-Day-Saints. I am thankful for the time spent in Somerset, for it gave me and my family great opportunities to grow in the knowledge of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and its true value."
Besides her church responsibilities, Lizzie was kept busy with her growing family and their many activities. The girls helped their mother with her service projects as well as cooking, sewing, and keeping their home clean and cheerful. Grace writes, "My mother did a lot of practical nursing here in Somerset. She was ready at any time to help where she could. She was expert in making clothing for her children. They were always well-dressed. While I was attending school at the BYU, she made and sent me a lovely yellow and black party dress. This must have taken weeks to make."
Hyrum was on the school board for 23 years, and ran a movie theater for the town for 25 years. The whole family helped their father with the movies. During the old silent movies, they took turns playing background music, sometimes providing sound effects of whistles, trains, etc. The boys liked running the projectors as soon as they got old enough to help. It was a busy, work-intensive life, but a good one, with many friends and a happy home life. And Lizzie enjoyed helping her own lovely girls as they began to marry. First Rachel, and then Grace left to go on a Northwestern States Mission where she met the man she later married. Then Eva married, and finally Fona fell in love, and left for her new home. She tells "When Casto and I came home from our honeymoon, we were at the folks' place, and when we got ready to leave, Tell and Herrick wanted Casto to go home, and for me to go and sleep in my own bed. They couldn't understand that I had a new home of my own now, and they started crying. Herrick was nine at the time, and I told him I'd only be about three houses away, so they could come over to see me as often as they wanted to."
Lizzie just had two boys left at home, and when she heard of a little boy who was having problems and needed a family, she and Hyrum decided to adopt him. He was born in San Diego in 1924, and was adopted in Delta, Colorado in 1927. They named him Charles after Lizzie=s beloved older brother, and John after Hyrum's eldest brother of whom he was very fond. Hyrum writes: "My wife Lizzie and I adopted Charles John when he was three years of age. We lavished our love on him, for we feared it might be hard to love him as our own, for he was almost a wild child. It took the wife three hours to cut his hair, but he grew up to be a fine young man."
The boys were allowed the freedom to pursue any interests they wished. Tell loved school and its society, nice clothes, drama, the piano, and gardening, while Herrick was fascinated by machinery or equipment of any kind, and regularly took apart any Adevice@ he could find, so he could put it back together. Sometimes he was unsuccessful, and the girls complained loudly at their phonograph being taken apart by Herrick. Hyrum had to help put that back together. Lizzie told the girls, "Well, Herrick has to have something to do."
One time Herrick went too far for even Lizzie, though. He took a motor apart in the living room on the carpet, and the oil drained out onto it, making a huge black, greasy mess. He knew he was in trouble, and instead of confessing, he ran outside and climbed high into a tree to hide. Lizzie came out to call in her boy. No answer. Finally she found him clinging to the far side of the tree, and told him to come down immediately. Herrick refused and said he wasn=t ever going to come down. After a few minutes, she finally got the hose which had very strong pressure and sprayed him for a long time until he realized she wouldn't quit until he obeyed her. When her humbled sopping-wet boy finally came down, she didn't mention any other punishment, but had him help try to clean up the oil mess with her. Herrick says he never remembered being spanked, or seeing anyone else punished that way. But Lizzie insisted on the children obeying her and their father Hyrum. When Herrick was a teen with a girlfriend in the adjoining town of Paonia, he had made arrangements to see her, but he had forgotten to make arrangements for the family car for his date. His father was still at work, and Lizzie did not know if the car was needed by him that night or not, so she told Herrick he wouldn't be able to take it.
Herrick took the keys off the wall, said he was going anyway, and started for the door. Lizzie grabbed her astonished boy, and in one swift movement pushed him to the floor and sat on him. He reported not remembering what was said, just that as her weight settled down on him, he lay there knowing one thing, he was not going to get the car that night!
Music played a big part in their family. Everyone played the piano except Herrick, who excelled with his saxophone. Fona recalls, "...I was playing in a dance band called "Larry's Melody Makers" and after Richard and Norma (her children) were old enough to help Casto with little Van, I remember Herrick was learning to play the saxophone real well. He just seemed to have music in him. I talked to our bandleader and asked him to let Herrick come and play in our rehearsals to see if he were good enough to join us sometime. Lawrence Gaddis, our leader, was very impressed with his natural rhythm and ability, and later invited him to go with us. We went all over the valley playing for Saturday night dances, High School Proms, and the big holiday affairs. We really looked forward to our dance dates."
As Lizzie's boys got older and needed money, they went into the mines after working-hours to shovel up the coal that had spilled along the railroad tracks during the day's work. It was very hard work, and both boys were slight of build, as was their Pappa. Herrick, who played football, said that after the first two nights= work, he sought out Pappa the next day and told him in all seriousness that he was afraid he couldn't do the job, he just ached so badly. Every muscle and even his bones hurt anytime he moved. Pappa put his arm around him, kissed him, and said that that was just what happened when you were a miner. You always hurt. Herrick reported that he was glad when three or four months later he found out Pappa was wrong. Though he wasn't a lot larger, he had developed strong tough muscles, and could shovel for a whole shift, and was tired, but without any pain.
Mining furnished living wages for a lot of families in that time, but besides cave-ins and explosions, there were other problems. All the wives of the miners joined Lizzie in worrying and praying when, as Hyrum described it, "In 1915 we had a very serious fire in the Somerset mine. It was located in the 9th East entry, in the worked-out portion of the mine. We hoped to get to it, and put it out. We had the State Mine Inspector, Mr. James Graham stay with us day and night, also had the United States safety and rescue car and crew to give help and advice."
"It was a very serious condition for it threatened the life of the mine, which at that time was almost unthinkable, as it was the best-paying mine the company had in the state of Colorado. After fighting the fire for three months, we broke into an old room which looked like a furnace. Everything was white hot. After due consideration by the best authority present, it was decided to abandon the fire, and try to seal it off. Which, however, was almost impossible to do for many reasons and conditions which existed in the seam. After several plans were considered, the General Superintendent of the Company asked me what I thought would be the best thing to do. I told them that I would take the three four-inch hoses and put the nozzles through the small opening into the old room, the inside of which looked like a furnace, and cut off the fresh air from the fire, and everybody but myself should get out of the mine, and I would stay in and turn on the valves of the four-inch pipe-lines which were under 125 lbs of pressure."
"The manager of the U.S. rescue car spoke up and said, "Mr. Muhlestein, do you know what would happen if you would do that?" "I said, No, but I will do it." "Well," said he, "if you are going to stay and turn on those valves, I'll stay with you, although I feel sure we will blow up the mine."
"After we received word all others were outside, we opened the valves, and it thundered, and we left for the outside. We did not return for 36 hours. When we opened the temporary seal, we found nothing but a white mist, something like a heavy fog, coming from the return of the fire. All the places which were white hot before were now black. But there was a very high temperature, 146 degrees Fahrenheit and it kept getting lower every day, so that we had plenty of time to seal that section of the mine from the rest. And we did not lose one day's work in output. I always felt thankful to the Lord for that thought."
Lizzie, when told, no doubt had her thoughts of thanksgiving to express, too. Hyrum may have seemed too courageous for her at such times in their marriage. Though slight and small of stature, only 5'8" tall, and a "gentle German lad," his great faith made him fearless.
Another example is of this is the time Hyrum recalls "We had a very unusual condition in the mine. We had what we call a squeeze or creep of the overlying strata which crushed the pillars in the new working so that it would throw out tons of coal from the sides, and concussion would blow out the stoppings between the main and return entries, and almost fill them up with coal."
"It was after one such bounce had occurred that Brother Steve Turcsanski and I went into the return airway to see how much room was left for the air to pass through, when another terrific bounce occurred which threw down four feet of top coal for over 200 feet along the back entry where we were. The only place where the top coal was not down was where Brother Steve and I were standing at the time it occurred. The noise from the bounce was heard for five thousand feet, and the men came from that distance to see what had happened. I am not able to account for our being saved in that place, but by one way, and that is that we both had our Temple garments on, which were given us for the protection of the body."
Lizzie's and Hyrum's love was very strong, and happily so, for it was tested greatly when Hyrum wanted to take all their savings and invest in opening up a new mine. Lizzie was strongly opposed, but eventually yielded to Hyrum's request. He records, AI had worked and managed the operation of a coal mine successfully from 1913 to 1921, so that I felt capable to handle one of my own. So I applied for a lease on an 80-acre piece of coal land about four miles west of Somerset. We organized a company and sold some stock to raise money to develop the mine. We had a five-foot seam of the best coal in the country." They got it fully operational, but ... "the depression came along, we could not keep the work going, so we lost over $50,000 in our venture."
Retirement: Hyrum had continued working as foreman during the time he was getting his mine started, and he still was working there in 1936, when he and Lizzie decided it was time to retire and move back to Provo. Hyrum had had a sick spell, and they had bought Lizzie's old home in Provo after her mother died in December 1935. Herrick stayed on in Somerset to work, as did most of their married children, and Lizzie and Tell moved into the old Provo home in January. Hyrum helped them move, then went back to Somerset. After he officially retired on 16 Mar 1937, he returned to Utah and went to Salt Lake to talk to the Company President, Mr. Moroni Heiner. He reported the reason, AI asked him inasmuch as I left there on the 16th of March if he would be so kind as to see that I would get the full month's pay for March. He said, "Surely Bob Williams (Mine Superintendent) will do that."
"I said to him, "No, for he cut off my pay when I was sick for two weeks, but he made that up later on. If Bob Williams would be as careful with his own money as he is with the company=s, he would be much better off than he is."
Mr Heiner called his private secretary and said, "Take this message to Bob Williams: "You are hereby advised to keep Mr. Hyrum Muhlestein on the payroll until advised by me."
"As some of my folks were still working at Somerset, Bob told them "We are taking care of Hyrum." He wanted the credit which belonged to Mr. Heiner, while he begrudged the favor Mr. Heiner gave to me. I was kept on full pay for several months, as subject to call. But when Mr. Heiner, that good old soul told me "Hyrum, I want you to know that this company appreciates what you have done in the mine, but also what you did in the community." It was then I was moved to tears of joy, to know that my service for more than 45 years for the same company was appreciated."
Lizzie and Hyrum at Provo: Hyrum continued AI had some money when I moved to Provo, but my Dear Wife Lizzie took very ill. The doctor said it was cancer. She spent several months in the hospital, and she underwent several operations. Mar 1937, deceased 1938.
Provo Central School
Sec A 1st Seat
Provo Jan 30, 1891 $4
I have today commenced business at Seat No 2 Section A Grammar Dept. Provo Central School With the following assets or Resources
Cash on hand $20.
Goods on hand $30
Store worth $100.
The Nervous System100
____The Nervous System____100
1Got pictures taken
2Went horse back riding
3Got proof of picture
4Set again for picture
7Roat to Hyrum11
8Ma was sick
9Ma was sick
10Lillie came down
15Went to Elizas Wedding
17Ma went to the jubilee12
21I was surprized13
25I got my slippers went to dance to Groves
1Got a letter from Hyrum
1Went to a dance at S. Conrads
4Started to School
6Went to a dance with Will and Edith in the third ward.
7Wroat to Hyrum Thursday
8Got another letter from Hyrum.
10Went a buggie riding with Mr Price
13Went to a party at Ashtons
15Went to YL Conference
16General Quarterly Conference
30Pickups came in.
6Went to the Lake B Botems (Bottoms) and stayed untill the 8th
9Went to a party to Ashtons
10Emma Bowen=s birthday
11Pickups went home
16thI got a letter from Hyrum
18The Academey closed by exercises in the yard part of the school went up and 8 of us girls went up on the mountain
19thMa roat to Hyrum
23I got a letter from Hyrum.
Willie Barrett came home.
I got frightened of some man on the hill.
We did not have any Y.L. meeting.
Willie got married
I got my waist blue14
25Went to the lonteron shoe (lantern show) at SC Hall.15
26I went to a dance to Barretts
27I went to the Lake Botems
30I got a letter from Hyrum
31I got a letter from Hyrum with his picture
2I wroat to Hyrum
4Pearl Bressee came home
5We took dinner with Bresees.
12Bresees took supper with us.
15I took my first Music Lesson
18I took my second Lesson
I got two letters one from Vernal and 1 from Kanosh.
22We went to the North Fork on pleasure trip
24Us girls went to a dance at Tanners
27I went to Forth Ward meeting house to a commitee meeting
27Also to a YL Meeting
30I got the following new cloths fr 4th $ cts.
Parosall 3. 00
Shoes 2. 00
Corsets 1. 25
White dress 3. 00
Lace 2 pieces
1Johnie Chesley came home
S2I went a buggy riding. I also got a letter from Hyrum
T4th I took part in the procession and went to the Lake
7I got a letter from Hyrum (In margin: I wroat one too)
Johnie Chesley got Baptized
M11I got a letter from HCM (Hyrum Christian Muhlestein)
24I worked on the Commitee and represented the Day
The new things I got $cts
Ribbon 2 pieces
Red, white, and blue calico
27Ma went to the Canion (Canyon)
29I got a letter from Hyrum
2I wroat to Hyrum
14thI went to Sunday School and was chosen as an assistant teacher in the Testament Class
16Willie Barrett visited me
17WI got a letter from Hyrum, and some Cromos17
23I started to School at the B.Y. taking the M.I. Normal corse18
24I wroat to Hyrum
5I got a letter from Hyrum
9I answered it.
12Melvin came to 9P(?)
13We surprized Mother.20
15I got a letter from Hyrum.
21A farewell party in the ward house on J M Mills. M.P. went home
26I got a letter from Hyrum
28I answered it
27I went to a Reception at Dr. Hardys
1Went with Mrs. Ellen Jakeman on world=s Fair business convising the ward21
1Went to the last party at Tanners Park
3Conjoint in the new Meeting House
5Went to the Democratic ralley
7Went to a party at Ekins. 10 CC asthesthum (?)
13Went to Elmers birthday party. 14 Got new waist ($1.00)
14Went to Polysophical22
15Was down to the Fair all day and night
16Went to Forth Ward evening meeting
17I got a letter from Hyrum. It was one year since he left also the aneversery of the commencment of the BY Academy
Little Journal I haven't written any in you for a long time I have neglected you and my mind is getting rusty. Sacred little book you will keep my secrets wont you
Harvey took me to Christmas and New Year's, dances, good dances charming fellow Theatre, a feature of the hollidays, "Ernestine."
21st of March.
This is my birthday. I am 19 years old, I ought to be a woman now, Oh what a responsibility. The oldest one of the family ought to be able to take the place of ma. Hyrum is coming home, am I happy or sorry? I am glad he is coming home, but sorry I have not been a better girl and proven my self more worthy of him. It seems so odd to think he is really coming home I was such a child when he went away B 16 B and a very thoughtless girl and Hyrum the boy that he was, sent away to preache the Gospel, he will come home with a great deal of expierence and a strong testamony of the truth. I wonder if I will ever be worthy of him.
I have been very busy since mama is in bed, my little sister was born on the 19, instant she is such a little comfort, how I love her already. 23 Saturday night the play entitled "The window hunt"24 came off with the usual excitement. I was as nervous as a bed-bug. Returning home I found to my astonishinet on seeing a light in the window I peeke in, and thare sat a man with a beard. Its Hyrum flashed through my mind. And Oh how could I meet him. Well we did meet it was after eleven o'clock he had been waiting since 9, and had been talking with ma and grandma. Well he was fatigued with the jurney and we did not talk long but had prair, and thanked God for his safe return and retired.. In the morning he went home. He is full of religeon and how he has improved.
Feb 6th 1895
By this time I find myself commencing with the labors of a new year, and my mind is filled with horrid doubt, for these questions present them selves to my mind. What do I wish to accomplish this year, and how can I accomplish it? Will I stand firm, and do what is right? Will I take on the yolk of duty and continue to advance in intelligence, that I may have wisdom to chose a corse in life that will bring true happiness and contentment; and please my parents and friends? I think if I work for what I desire I'll receive it.
Well my little book it has been a long time since I've told you how I felt. I'd feel pretty well if I'd done right all the time but I have not. I thought at one time I had more trouble than any one, but the old saying is, that time is the great healer of all wounds, and he has partly healed mine. After having taken a fancy to the German lad his folks took it into their heads that it must not be so. They there fore decided to separate us by the Atlantic Ocean, and thought that I would soon marry and their son (and their son) would be saved but that scheme dident work. Hyrum and I felt the same as of old towards each other. His folks still treat me cool.
He left for Schofield on the 15 of May (1894) to raise some money to pay of(f) his mission debt and of corse I am left alone again .
May 6th 1895
I feel today that I must confide my feelings to some dear friend who will keep them sacred, and you my little journal are the only one I know who will do this. How glad I am that I can tell you how I feel.
I am well and yet perhaps not well, at least I am very angry with my self to think that I havent lived better, but when a person is left alone as I am it is hard to have no company, no enjoyment, and it is hard to refuse the company of nice young men and when you accept their company that of corse is not the end. Nice young men that takes a girl out, would not do so if he did not admire her in some way, and he has an aim in view in seeking her company so you see I have got into a little trouble.
I can't see either how it is a nice young man could fancy me, for I am not nice looking,25 the Lord has blessed me with a plain if not homely face, and there are plenty of pretty girls, and beauty seems to please the eyes and win the heart. Well I am glad I am just as I am in looks, but I am very desirous of smoothing off the rough ruged corners of my nature, that my friends may love me for my true worth. My greatest desire is to live so that I may be respected and loved by all my associates.
My belief is that the reason most of the girls do not take better with the opposite sect (boys) is because they are not reserved enough, not modern enough, and they are frivolus and fanciful just as the gay winged butterfly flitting from one bright flower to another, they do not seem to realize that it itself isent (isn=t) always the brightest flowers that hold the most honey. They want a gay bean one who can dance talk whose tongue flows with eloquence and flattery all for themselves alone. The young man that takes the most liberties and is the boldest takes very well. Oh if they could only realize that the dimond which sparkles so brilliantly when brought to view is often hidden under the ocean wave, and that many a fragrant flower is born to blush unseen, while the gaudy sunflower raises his head so high that it is impossible to avoide seeing him.
This is the way with most of the young men, they are ever ready to throw themselves in the company of nice girls, and they possess such wining ways that the girls cant resist their company. Perhaps I am hard on the girls but I say it serves them right if they get one of these brainless fops if they don=t appreciate true worth and honor when they see them and when it lais (lays) in their power to win the same. Most of the girls now can=t get a fellow although they try hard enough but the nice young men are on to their flippish ways, and the sport don=t care to tie to any one girl, for he can be admired by all the fair sect (***).
Would that all the girls admired the as I do and they would either change their ways or commit suicide, for life is not worth living with out company. None of this type ever dance with me, and if they chance to look at me they almost shudder B they think I am so rigid and cold. Well enough on this strain this is one of my radical points.
About my self and my friend for a little while, when I last wrote I mentioned that he had gone to work to pay his missionary debt. He has been to work for almost a year now, and I believe is nearly paid up. He has only been home four times in the year; once last summer for fruit, at conference the 6 of Oct. 94, during the Hollidays and the 21 of March my birthday. I think thats doing pretty well there i sent (isn't) many boys that are as good and self sacreficing as he B I will say this although we are a little at outs now. And while I will not repent openly just yet to him I know in my heart that he is right and has just causes for feeling hurt at the way I have done, and his last letter of May 1st was so good and kind that it melted my heart with repentance and moistened my eyes with tears.
Some times I say he is hard and cruel for leaving me thus, and I try to comfort my self by saying that he cant care for me and I=ll go out in company and try to enjoy my self and forget my troubles. But I find to do the right thing and carry a pure conscience is the only true way of being happy, and the last words he said to me, they haunt me still. Although sorrow seemed to cloud our brows he looked at me so sweetly and heavenly and said ALizzie I wish to see you happy and I will do all I can to have you be so through time and all eternity,@ words are feeble to express my feelings at that moment B I had not power to answer a word. What more can I ask for than that.
I will now say a little of my domestic and ecclesiastical duties. After returning from my out in Scofield I started to school and attended five weeks and ma was not well at all and could hardly keep around, and through her sympathy she took in a man by the name of Rollins who was sick and of corse I was obliged to discontinue school, and have tried to help ma the best I could this winter, she is getting better and I am so glad. I was very disapointed to think that I had to be deprived of an education, but when I see the other girls that have went to school following every foolish fashion to distroy their health, I feel grateful that I have gained a knowledge of health, and understand a little how to preserve it. It is over two years since I bid my corsets adue forever, and I have never regretted it.
We have not had Young Ladies meeting all winter, but have joined with the young men once a month and had a paper and programme. Our association will be a little lame now for Harvey the Pres of the Y.M. left for his mission on the 23 of Feb. His field of labor is W.V. We gave him two very sucessful parties. One of the most grevious events that has taken place is the Resigning of our beloved Pres Sister Fransett, on the 28 of April 1895. Every one who has learned to know her worth is loath to give her up. It had to be. To night we hold our first meeting this year and we will be given a new pres Sister Ann Cluff, who her aids will be I do not know. She is a sweet woman. The girls will all be glad that the meetings have started again. On the 1st I attended fast meeting took dinner with the Bishop attended Relief Society and joined, and I wont say any thing to any one but you little book, but I resolved to attend these meetings regular, and another thing I have resolved to be punctual. My S.S. class was devided yesterday Bro Crook takes part. All for today.
Aug 29, 1895
Oh how the time speeds on, little did I think it would be this long before I would write more in my little secret keeper. But I have so many duties pressing them selves on to me that even now it seems almost impossible to find time to write.
When I wrote last I was just going to Y.L. meeting to vote in the new president, but for some reason the one I supposed was to be president was not put in and amagin (imagine) if you can my astonishment and surprise, when my name was purposed. Oh how uterly unqualified I felt and how insignifigant, how I wished the floor would open and let me through. For I felt that I would be as Sister F. Cluff so beautifly illustrated like a stick which lay in the mud, and was unnoticed, but let it be raised up all eyes avow it. I have already had this painful experience, and have realized to my sorrow that I can not act as others do and go unnoticed.
Well an office means responsibility, and responsibility does not always signify pleasure. Although I have realized a great deal of satisfaction in noting the improvement of the girls, and their interest in the work. The reorganization was on the 6 of May 1895. I thought I needed a little recreation, and Hyrum wanted me to come to Scofield to the Esteadfod (Eisteddfod)26 I went and enjoyed my self splendid. It was here that events occured that I=ll never, no never forget. Hyrum and I confided our true feelings to each other and vowed to be constant forever. I love him more and more and I hope it may always be thus. I fairly shudder at the thought of this love growing cold. I must try continually to bring my impuslive, and cold spirit under submission. I must do all I can now to help in the ward for the most able help is leaving us. Harvey Cluff left for a mission to the Suthern States Feb 23, 1895, and is doing well from all reports. Bro and Sister Fausett are out on Turners farm. Lawrence P. is in Idaho teaching school and Bro A M Wilde leaves on a Mission to Great Britian on Nov 16th (18)95. I must not forget to mention my new friends in our other house. Annie and Willie Fitt. Annie is a great girl. I like her to, but such a little flatterer, she can compliment you on every side. Charley27 is quite smitten. Christena and Hyrum Olsen are there now. This girl is a saint. She is slight figure light complectioned, and very graceful, and so simple and sweet, and tasty and neat.
Hyrum came home on the 23 of July and stayed a month, we went through quite a few trials, we talked to his father and a little better feelings exist, I felt very lonely when he went away. I have heard from him twice he and his partner have been hunting and killed 4 Bear very little work in the Mines.
Today is Sunday I have been to Sunday School and Meeting, the meeting was a sad one, as Trena Jenseon was excommunicated. We should all take warning from this circumstance. I took dinner at Sister Crooks. The Young Ladies held a meeting on the 12th and had a good programe and gathered a little means. My friend Lillie is teaching school in Schofield, may she have success. I am going out to get the fresh air now.
Nov 4 1895
Just returned from YL's meeting all covered with snow. But it has been so long since I have reported to you, my little friend that I feel I really must. Charley is sitting by the warm fire asleep and his shadow is lengethened on the opposite wall, all the rest of the loved ones are asleep in their beds. I say loved ones, but at the same time, I realize the painful fact that not as much loving kindness exists in our home as should be and my conscience tells me I am in a part to blame and I resolve to try to premote peace and union. AThe spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak and we can only gain the victory over wrong by a constant struggle for right. As I glance at the handsome bowed head of my brother, thoughts of this kind spring up in my mind. Oh how I do wish he would spend his leisure moments in study and store up knowledge, which in the future would place him in the lead among his fellow men. I believe my brother is as good as the most of the young men, but Oh that he would embrace the many golden oppertunities that he will not have to look back on a wasted life. I have come to the conclusion that I must have an education and that my future husband must also, or else we would not agree or agree to disagree and I pray for strength to carry my threats into execution, for often when love whispers so many fair promises courage flees and the soul yields to master love.
I have become very much attached to Christina Olson. I love her more and more every time I see her, her character is such as could be probitabely patteroned after. Oh if I could on ly become more like her. There is no deception about her she is always the same sweet thoughtful girl. I am sure I will never forget her. I feel better for having known her, and I cant say that of every girl I have associated with. I hate the thought of having to part with my little friend. I will feel very, very, lonely indeed. Annie Peterson is home her and I visited sister Fausett Monday Oct 28th 95. The dance for bro. Wilde came off Friday evening with great success and a good time all around.
Everybody is wild over politics there is a grand ralley tonight, which interfeared with young Ladies meeting for we had but six members present.
Nov 25, 1895
I find a few moments to again confer with my little friend. Hyrum has been down to see me and we spent such a good time to gather. I I had made up my mind to have him attend school this winter, but he contends that it is impossible for now, but says he will try to attend at some future time. He had his teeth filled which cost him $8.00. The dear boy gets me so many nice things and goes with out his self. I really feel that I am selfish to accept so much and allow him to neglect him self. He got me a coat, shoes and underware, he is too good, and I hope that I may appreciate his true worth.
I don=t know wheather to be happy or sad, when I think that in the year future I will leave my beloved house parents and all and enter a new sphere of action with this true man for a companion, leader and protector. I realize it is an important step, an ephor in my life and I trust and pray that it may be a proper and successful one. I feel ready to follow him to the end of the earth if needs be.
Every body are concerning themselves much over our affairs. They have had us married several times. I delight in keeping the public in suspence as long as possible.
Hyrum and I visited his folks and spent a very pleasant evening. He sold two bear skins for $20.00. We attended the social for bro Wilde to gather. Oh it filled my heart with joy to have the one I loved go with me and he came and sat by me while the programme was being rendered which pleased me exceedingly. I saw him off for Scofield on the 13th of Nov. He will be down for the hollidays. Oh happy time hasten here.
I received a letter from Clara a few days ago, it was quite eloquent, but as cold as the month in which it was written. I tried to answer it in a warm way. Young Ladies Conference comes off on the 31 of Nov. There is a social for all the Stake officers, visitors from Salt Lake and the presidents of the associations of Provo Friday night at sister Claytons an enjoyable time is anticipated.
I must see the Bishop soon and tell him that I will not be with him this winter. I fear he will not like it I rather dread the occasion.
January the 3, 1896
I again attempt to write a few of my thoughts in my little book. December I have sadly neglected you but I have been so busy preparing to get married that I forgot all else. We I am married now and settled in Scofield, oh it seems so strange to think that I am married, But I do not regret the step now and hope that I never will.
Oh I am, and might say we are so perfectly happy. I used to wonder if my happiness was a dream, but now I know that it is a reality. After getting prepared to get married we went to Salt Lake and were sealed in the Temple of the Lord28, it was grand and sublime indeed and it impressed upon us the importance of the step and I made resolve to do better and strive my utmost to serve the Lord and I know I have got a good and noble husband and may I have the power to fight against the evil and be a help meet to my husband, for I feel impressed that he will be a leading man in Zion if we live humbly before the Lord.
Our reception was a plain affair, but one long to be remembered by us. Every one seemed to feel well over our getting married and Oh wouldent it be good for us to get all the blessings and good wished that our friends expressed for us. Poor ma wore her self out. I am sorry for that indeed, for I love my mother. Oh no tongue can tell how much.
March 31, 1896
It has been a long time since I put any of my thoughts on paper, so I will put a few down to day. I have always been very happy in my new home, only occasionally I think of home and ma and the tears will roll down my cheeks and then again my husband in joaking me touches the tender spring that lets the tears flow, but I must try and not be so childish, for I know that he loves me with all his heart, and does all he can for my comfort and happiness.
I hadent been away from home two months when I was awful home sick. So Hyrum sent me down on the 7th to see ma and I tell you it was a happy meeting we both cried for joy. I was to have come back on Mon. but, the baby was sick and I stayed untill the 17th and oh it was hard to parth with ma again, and still I wanted to see Hyrum and be with him. Oh I couldent part from him now, it would break my heart. I brought little Lewis29 up with me and he is so cute.
This is a bad place (Scofield), but I ever pray for the spirit of the Lord that I may withstand all evil and be able to do some good. How I long to be back in Pleasant View where love and union exist and if I could be near my dear mother I could help her some how I wish I knew the half she knows.
Presents Received from Friends at our Wedding Reception Jan 3 1896
Picture. Alice and Will Fausett
A Annie and Laurence Peterson
3 pair of Towels. J.J. Scharrer
A @ A Jane Holdaway
Fruit dish and desert dishes R. Hoover
Tea set Edith and Edie Holt
Pickel dishes Francis Cluff
6 Glasses Aunt Ann Cluff
1 doz glasses W. Rawlings
6 Glasses and pepper and Salt dishes Liddie Holdaway
Lamp Millie and Sarah
2 Wooden card receivers F. Holdaway
Egg beater Caroline Holdaway
History of U.S. John Whipple
Bedspread Ottie Meldrum
Table Cloth Sister Sleck
Red table cloth John Ashton
Napkins Mr and Mrs Williams
1 pair of towels Malinda Baum?
Glass card receiver/Syrup pitcher Hyrum & C. Olsen
Pillow Shams Grace Brimhall
Vaces Angie Christjensen
We have got the whole house here now and are fixed real comfortable. Hyrum has been painting the blue doors and windows white which is quite an improvement. He has also painted a barber pole and put it out thinking to earn a few cents that way, as the work is so slack. I h ave been learning the art of patching and last week I had my first trial at making Lewis a waist and I can tell you it was a trial indeed, it only took me three days to make it. We went to the Relief Society party on the 24, and I recited, I feel perfectly lost without young ladies meetings and feel as if I were going backwards.
Well I hope we will not always be in this place. My husband will soon be home so I will get him some supper.
Oct 29, 1900
Oh how I have neglected to keep account of my life as it is passing. It has been nearly five years since30
Scofield Nove 23, 1900
My brother Warren31 left Mercur Saturday Nov 17th. He went behind got discouraged, starte to gambling, forged a check and run away, no one knows where, Oh my poor mother, she will be almost heart broken, why did he do this. May he see the folly of his ways and repent and return home is my only prair. He was so young and handsome, what a great shame it is. Oh I fear I will never see him again. He came up here at the time of the Explosion, that was on the 2nd of May, and I haven't seen him since. My brother Milton 32 has just got over the Small Pox, I am glad Charley is down home and that he is married and settled down. He seems so sensible, and good and has a good wife also.33
Elizabeth Conrad was set apart as Sect. Of Y.L.M.I.A. of Pleasant View Ward, in Mar 1891. Held this position for four years, then was set apart as 2nd Counselor, did this for 1 year. Was then set apart as Pres. Of the association, which she held until getting married.
Jan 1, 1896, I moved to Winter Quarters, Utah and became Sect and Treasure of Y.L.M.I.A. later counselor, then Pres for 6 years prior to 1908 when we move to Provo. Was assistant class leader there for about 4 months, when we moved to Somerset, Colo., in 1908.
Here I became teacher of 1st intermediate Dept of the Sunday School for 2 years when a very severe sickness, Oct. 1910 made it impossible for me to teach, but attended as a member of parents class. The Somerset Relief Society was organized 1917 (spring). I was set apart as Pres. with Eva Walker (her sister) and Amelia McDermott as counselors. We made articles, sold them and raised 48 dollars, which we sent to help on the chapel in Denver, which was under construction. During the war (WWI) we knit sweaters, socks for soldiers and took turns caring for Mrs. Sandborn the winter of 1917. (We) also nursed and took care of Mrs. Wm Payne who was confined Nov. 29 & Harriet Godding confined in Nov. whose husbands were in the service. Mr. Payne was with the Watch on the Rhine and didn=t return for 9 mo. after his baby was born. Mrs Godding gave birth to twins. The ladies donated material and made a layette for them. Mrs. Muhlestein nursed Mrs Payne. We closed our meetings for the summer on account of Scarlet Fever, until Jan 1925. Anna Matthews was my 1st coun. And Mrs. Cowan 2nd Counselor. Started again Jan 8, 1925.
MARY ELIZABETH CONRAD MUHLESTEIN
By Grace Muhlestein Williams
My mother was born 21 Mar 1875, on the 21 acre farm her father had bought in 1870. While within the city limits, it was still further out than any other place in Provo, Utah.
She was blessed and named Mary Elizabeth, 14 May 1885 by her father Charles Conrad, in the Pleasant View Ward, Utah Stake, Provo, Utah. Named for her mother Mary Elizabeth Holdaway, ALizzie@ as she came to be known, was the eldest of 9 children and to her fell the responsibility of helping to care for all the younger children. She was a beautiful girl, a good and obedient daughter and lived her life in a way to be a credit to her parents.
Lizzie learned all the skills that accompanied the family living of that day. She could card and spin wool, knit socks, stockings or sweaters, could make butter, cheese, breads, cake, headcheese, bottle & dry fruits, milk cows, ride horses and in fact, do any of the tasks required on the farm. However, having 6 brothers, she was relieved of much of the heavy farm work, but learned to cook, sew and keep house properly.
Lizzie attended elementary school in Provo. Later attended the Brigham Young Academy, had classes from Carl G. Maeser and some of her classmates were George H. Brimhall, Amanda Mangum (who later married Jessie Knight), Alice Fausett, George Ekins and Harvey Cluff (who often dated her).
When in her teens she worked for Startup Candy Co., Mother told me many times how she pulled taffy there and dipped chocolates.
"Lizzie" developed into a lovely, dignified young woman. She was a power for good among her friends and associates, many times holding out when the group wanted to do wrong things and usually won them over to her way of thinking.
She was active and deeply interest in the Church. She was secretary and later counselor in Y.L.M.I.A. (Young Ladies Mutual Improvement Association). She acted on important committees, one in particular, "The Grand Celebration of Pioneer Day, Monday 25 July 1892, in the New Meeting House, by the citizens of Pleasant View Ward, Provo, Utah."
Lizzie became acquainted with my father, Hyrum Muhlestein, when he was a young man attending meetings in the Pleasant View Ward.
With her cousin, Clara Holdaway, she hiked up to the Muhlestein Fruit and Grain Farm on the foothills east of Provo. Hyrum brought them home in a cart drawn by oxen. Hyrum was wearing a brand new pari of white leather gauntlets34. He has told me how proud of them he was and displayed them to advantage as he drove the oxen to take the girls home.
After that he would watch the Conrad home through field glasses, every chance he had, hoping to catch a glimpse of her, for he had become Asmitten@ on Lizzie Conrad.
Another time Lizzie's boyfriend took her horseback riding up towards the Muhlestein farm. They chanced to meet up with Hyrum and some of his brothers, who were practicing shooting their guns. The boyfriend wanted to shoo Hyrum's gun, which he did . But when the gun went off it scared the horse Lizzie was riding and threw her off in a pile of rocks; just lucky she wasn't badly hurt.
My mother had three lovely cousins all near her age, Ruby Holdaway, Jane Clara Holdaway and her mother=s sister Amanda (also near the same age). They had great times together. They had their picture taken together in 1894. Lizzie went along when her mother took the family and joined with the Holdaways in celebrations by Utah Lake, the mouth of Provo River, or in the Provo Canyon. Of course, these get togethers were always attended by Lucinda Haws Holdaway, her grandmother.
Mother was chosen to ride on the float as "Miss Provo" in____. Quoting my father, "On the 4th of July, on the float stood Miss Lizzie Conrad. A more dignified and beautiful young girl could not be found. I kissed her on the hand. She looked at me with her sweet face and loving eyes that told more than words can speak. She loved me!"
In 1891, when Hyrum was 21 he was called on a Mission to Switzerland. His folks were anxious to sent him, hoping he would meet and fall in love with a Swiss girl. When Hyrum=s folks were taking him to the station to catch his train for Salt Lake, instead of staying on the best main road that went by the Conrad Home, they detoured so Hyrum could not even wave goodbye to Lizzie. Her father saw them take the other road, so he quickly harnessed the horse to the buggy, took a shortcut and beat the Muhlestein=s to the Station, he bought a ticket to the next town, so he could sit by and say goodbye to Hyrum for himself and daughter.
Hyrum's mother had taught him German, but he had not been to school and could not read nor write English. When a letter would come from Lizzie, his companion had to read the letter to him and write the letter in answer also. By copying Lizzie=s letters and reading them so many times, he soon learned to read and write English and took care of his correspondence himself.
While Hyrum was away, my Mother loved to sing this song and would think of Hyrum all the time she sang it. I have heard her sing this song many times.
WHEN THE CURTAINS OF NIGHT ARE PINNED BACK BY THE STARS
When the curtains of night are pinned back by the stars.
And the beautiful moon mounts the skies
And the dewdrops of heaven are kissing the rose,
It is then that my thoughts swiftly fly,
As if on the wings of some pure snow-white dove,
In haste with the message she bears
To bring you a kiss of affection and say,
"I remember you, love, in my prayers."
Then, go where you may on land or on sea
I'll share all your sorrows and cares;
And at night, when I kneel by my bedside to pray,
I'll remember you love, in my prayers.
When heavenly angels are guarding the good,
As God has ordain'd them to do,
In answer to prayers I have offered to Him.
I know there is one watching you;
Oh may its sweet spirit be with you through life
To guide you up heaven's bright stairs,
May you there meet the one who has loved you so true,
And remembered you, love, in her prayers.
When Hyrum returned from his mission in 1894 (the next year after the Salt Lake Temple was dedicated), their friendship was renewed and although Hyrum went up to the Winter Quarter= mine to work, their friendship continued and ripened into love. He made numerous trips to Provo, and Lizzie made one tri to Winter Quarters during the next two years.
Lizzie and Hyrum were married in the Salt Lake Temple 1 January 1896 (A great way to celebrate the New Year) and they went to Winter Quarters to live, where Hyrum was employed.
Hyrum was a counselor to Bishop Parmley in the ward there.
How well I remember the little home we lived in while here. Built so close to the hill that a cellar was dug into the hill-side and connected to the kitchen by a little short passage way. Hyrum also put up a huge swing in the yard for us, from which one time Rachel fell into some rocks.
Winter Quarters is just a ghost town now. In the summer of 1963 my Sister Rachel (Mrs. Fay Piatt), myself and our husbands visited Winter Quarters. We spent the night in sleeping bags just a few yards from where our home had stood. While the home is gone now, we still found the passage way and doorway to the cellar. It was then that I realized, we were standing on the ground where I was born. (I=m sure tears were shed. AML) Three girls, Eva, Fona and myself were born to Lizzie in this little town. Rachel having been born in Provo, in the Conrad home.
Before Lizzie had children of her own, her youngest brother Louis, then 4 years old, came to stay with them for a while. Lizzie had been used to a large family which she missed since her marriage. Hyrum made Louis a wooden gun. He proceeded to shoot a Finnlander one day, who dropped to the ground as though dead. Little Louis ran to the house and told Lizzie, "I shot a Finnlander with a nanny-goat bullet."
On the 30 of May 1900, six weeks before I was born there was a terrible explosion in the mine. My father was in the mine at the time, but managed to come out alive. Then he helped search for and bring out the dead. It was a very dangerous work because of the black-damp 36 gasses in the "pit." My mother waited at the mouth of the mine with other women for their husbands and sons to come or be brought out. Some women had three or four sons as well as a husband in this disaster.
Hyrum became a Notary Public in Winter Quarters. He also taught night school to foreigners that they might get their Naturalization Papers and become citizens. Lizzie helped him prepare and correct test papers. My mother was an influence for good in this small community. She was president of the Young Ladies Mutual, took an active part in civic affairs and set an example worthy of emulation.