THE LIFE STORY OF MY MOTHER, ELMINA STOKER By Golda Elder Mangum
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THE LIFE STORY OF MY MOTHER, ELMINA STOKER
By Golda Elder Mangum
My mother, Elmina Stoker, was born September 6th, 1865, at Summit, Iron County, Utah. Her parents were Michael Stoker and Polly Britann Hughes Stoker, both pioneers who had crossed the plains among the earliest to come to Utah. In my mother's family besides her parents were her brothers John, Dave, Charley, Elmina (my mother) and a sister Emma and a brother Franklin who both died in infancy.
I shall try to tell some of her earliest memories as she has told them to me. She remembered while very small awakening from a sleep and finding the house dark (no one else at home) and how she went outside and on hearing music corning from a log cabin not far away she went inside dressed only in her petticoat. The neighbors were having a dance in this home as they often did in those pioneer days, and she remembered how embarrassed her Mother was when she came toddling in without much on.
In those days there was a lot of Indians in Iron County. Mother remembered how they used to ride around and around their house yelling as loud as they could and of how frightened it made her. She would cling to her Mother’s skirts until they rode away. Her mother and father must have been good to the Indians as they came often, or the squaws did, to talk to her Mother. It was my Mother’s job as a little girl to sweep off the chairs after the Indians left as they weren't very clean. Mother's father must have been generous with the Indians as the Indians used to say "Stove-pipe (they couldn’t say Stoker) always got prower (meaning flour). Stove-pipe always got tater!' Mother used to tell how she often went down to the banks of a stream and helped the squaws wash their clothes. They would dauble them up and down in the water without soap.
She remembered one time an Indian came into their home and her mother was churning with one of those old churns that sat on the floor and the dash went up and down. As it came up it would always bring cream on the handle of the dash. An old Indian took his old dirty finger and wiped the cream off the dash and licked his fingers and her mother chased him away with a broom.
Another time a young Indian came into their home and mother was playing with her doll. This young Indian liked to tease her. This day he snatched up the doll's bonnet and ran out of the door. She ran after him crying, but he kept going to his camp. A few days later he came back laughing and gave her the doll's bonnet.
An early memory was that of Brigham Young corning to Summit in his carriage or coach as it was called and of how the children would run to meet him. They were so happy to have him come. She remembered walking up and down the tongue of the carriage after the horses were unhitched.
She also remembered a trip they took to Salt Lake when she was four years old. They went with a wagon and oxen. Around the point of the mountain they had to walk as the sand was so deep. It was at the time they were beginning the Salt Lake Temple. She remembered while they were in Salt Lake walking around the foundation of the temple.
While they lived in Summit, her father made a living by hauling freight from Pioche, Nevada, to towns in Iron County. When he would return from a trip she remembered how she would always run to meet him climbing up over the wheel of the wagon to greet him. He would nearly always have something new for her to wear –cloth for a dress or new shoes. The neighbors said he was spoiling her bringing such fine shoes when most of the little girls in those days were wearing more coarse ones, but he said he only had one girl and he wanted her to look as nice as she could.
When she was about eight or nine years old the family moved to Monroe, Utah. While in Monroe her father worked with sheep caring for other men’s herds, and in time he acquired a nice herd of his own.
In Monroe mother spent many happy days which she always remembered and talked about. For one thing there were more children her age and she had so many friends and such good times playing the games children play. She especially liked the children’s dances they used to have there.
Mother was a good singer and at a very young age began to sing at entertainments in the community and did so throughout all her life. Her friends and family loved to hear her sing.
After they had been in Monroe two of three years, her brother, Charley, became ill. A few years before he had fallen down the cellar steps and he hadn’t been as well after that. They thought that might have been the cause of his later illness. Charley wanted to go back to his childhood home in Summit and see friends and relatives again. Two of mother’s father’s sisters lived in Summit – Aunt Sally Davis and her family; Aunt Katy Heulet and Uncle Verne and their family. Also Grandpa Hughes and Uncle Bill (They had gone to California during the gold rush but later came back to Iron County). Grandpa Hughes had been a sailor most of his life and told many stories of the sea so Charley was anxious to see those he loved and knew so well. And so more to please him, they moved back to Summit again. Charley died about a year later and the family was always glad they had made his last days happier by moving back.
When Mother was about fifteen, she had her first boyfriend. His name was Rob Dalley. They had a lot of good times. It was about this time that her parents decided to move again this time to a new area that was being settled--Junction in Piute County. They built a log home about three miles from the settlement of Junction. The Sevier River ran between their home and the small town. Her father again acquired a few sheep and in time had quite a nice herd and became quite prosperous. He seemed to like raising sheep better than freighting.
I imagine it was quite lonely. There weren't any close neighbors, but lots of snakes. One time my mother was looking under a little table covered around with a cloth to find her shoe and saw a big snake all curled up under there.
Two years after coming to Junction, her mother died of consumption. My mother was then seventeen years old. After the death of her mother, Mother was very lonely. Her father and brothers spent a lot of their time at the sheep herd. Her father would get some little girl of the neighborhood to stay with her at nights when they were away. So she would have a way to get to town, her father bought her a pretty horse. She called him Colonel. She enjoyed this horse and had lots of fun riding him. Girls used to ride side-saddle those days. It wasn't considered lady-like to straddle over a horse. About this time it was a style among the girls in that area to wear a man’s dress hat. It was on one of these days when she was riding her horse side-saddle and wearing a man's hat that she first saw the young man who later became my father. He told her later she looked real cute that day.
The fourth of July after her mother died in March, the people had a celebration down by the river. They took willows and made a bowery and they had a program and picnic and a dance on the ground at night. Mother was asked to sing at the program and she sang "In the gray old churchyard" or "My Mother dead and gone”. Some of the people wondered how she could stand to sing that song so soon after the death of her mother.
About this time she had a boy friend named Tom Jonas. She kept company with him about two years. He wanted her to marry him, but she didn't accept him. She liked him a lot, but she didn't feel he was right for her to marry.
By the time Mother was nineteen years old her brothers John and Dave were both married and her father had quite a big herd of sheep and needed to spend the winter out on the desert with them. So her father decided to take my mother to Nephi to live with her mother’s sister, Aunt Emma. So for two or three years she spent the winters in Nephi and the summers with her father in Junction.
She enjoyed these winters in Nephi. She went to school part of the time. My mother loved to sew, and in Nephi she got a chance to help a dressmaker. Here she learned a lot about sewing and became a very good seamstress. She had a lot of good times in Nephi. Aunt Emm was so good to her and she had a cousin, Gustie, about her own age and two boy cousins, Crip and Lester Taylor. They all tried to make her feel at home when she was with them.
One winter while in Nephi she and her cousin, Gustie, worked at the Juab station, a small railway station southwest of Nephi. The train stopped there and meals were served to workers and others who cared to eat. Mother made 50 cents a day or $3.00 a week and thought she was making a lot of money.
While at Nephi she kept company with a young man named Lydge Broadhead. She came to think quite a bit of him and would probably have married him, but he contracted pneumonia and died.
About this time, Aunt Emm died also so Mother didn't go back to Nephi anymore. She was always glad to get back to Junction to be with her father and brothers and her friends. They always welcomed her home.
I think my mother must have been quite nice looking. She was tall and slender with black hair and blue eyes. Her father always saw that she had nice dresses as she was the only one he had to buy for. She made all her own clothes. She had lots of good times I am sure. When we lived in Johnsvalley when I was a little girl, she used to spend hours when we were alone telling me of the different boyfriends and good times, dances in the log meeting houses and homes, plays, sleigh riding, and etc., that they had in these early days in Junction.
There was a Danish woman, a widow, came to live at Kingston--a little settlement three miles from Junction. She had four boys--three nearly grown. She was Martina Elder. These boys from the very first they saw her seemed to admire my mother and pay her a lot of attention. At different times she kept company with three of them. Their mother once made a remark that she was sure “Minnie Stoker would marry one of her boys but for the life of her she couldn't guess which one." Eli was the oldest and mother kept company (as they called it in these days) with him about two years. She used to tell me what good times they had together. Eli was always telling jokes and how they would laugh together always seeing the funny side of everything.
In those days the young couple would do their love making (sitting up as it was called) in the same room where the rest of the family would be sleeping as they often only had one room, and they told this joke on my mother. That one night she had been sitting up with Eli and she got tired. So she put the churn in his arms (one of these tall round ones with a dash) and went to bed. Sometime later he realized he was loving the churn and not the girl.
It seemed like some of the young fellows sort of tried to make trouble for the Elder boys. They used to call them "the white headed Danish-men". Eli used to tell them "a Danishman was as good as a white man as long as he behaved himself as well". Anyway Eli stood as much as he could take from one of these fellows named Lyman Johnson and they got into a fight. Eli gave him a good licking and in the fight Eli bit out a chunk of Johnson's ear. They got the officers after Eli and tried to cause him quite a bit of trouble so he decided to go away for a while. He went to Colorado to work.
Mother thought quite a lot of Eli but he was gone away a long time, and she liked good times so she started to go with Eli's brothers. She went with Alfred a few times, but she had the most fun with the third Elder boy, Claybourn. He liked to dance and play his violin and sing. He loved horses and took her horseback riding. He had a fast trotting horse and cart, and he would call for mother and take her for a fast ride. Some of the women of the neighborhood would say "Minnie Stoker will be killed if she doesn’t stop riding with that reckless young man".
After Eli had been away a year or more he came back and wanted Mother to marry him, but she said "No, you went away and left me and Clabe has been good to me and has asked me to marry him. So I think I will!" She was twenty-five years old and still not particularly anxious to marry, but most of her friends were married and had several babies so she decided if she was ever going to marry it better be now. She married my Father, Claybourn Elder, December 1, 1890, at Junction, Utah. John Morriell married them.
She made her own wedding dress of white wool Delaine with red dots and with water wave ribbon sash. They had a wedding dance at night. It was the custom for the bridegroom to pay for the music for the dance and furnish the refreshments which on this occasion were cider and doughnuts.
For the first year of their marriage they lived with my Mother’s father, Michael Stoker. While living here their first child, Leo, was born November 14, 1891. Soon after this they decided they would like a home of their own so my father bought some land in Kingston and built their first home. He made a living by farming and herding sheep for his father-in-law and brothers-in-law part of the time.
Their second son, Claude, was born June 12, 1693. The day he was born they felt quite a severe earthquake in Kingston. Mother told how it shook the house and bed a few hours after he was born. She often told me about the yellow roses that grew near her bedroom window, and she could see and smell them as she lay in bed. She loved yellow roses and always afterwards when she saw them they brought back memories to her of her first home in Kingston and the birth of two of her boys during the month of June.
Shortly after Leo was three years old, their third son, Lorenzo Michael, was born December 26, 1894. Then two years later a fourth san, Barlow, was born December 20, 1896; and two years and a half later a fifth son, Oliver Que, was born June 18, 1399.
When Que was born Grandmother Elder was the midwife. When she saw the baby she said, “Another darn boy". I remember hearing Mother say that all it cost to have a baby in those days was about $3.00 they paid the midwife. Just one of the neighbor women who was handy in caring for the sick was all the doctor they had when their babies were born. I remember hearing her say that when Ren was born they gave the midwife, Mrs. Allen, a stand of bees (honeybees) for pay for her help.
My father was thoughtful of my mother and always hired some girl to come and stay and help with the work for at least a month after the babies were born. And when he went away to herd sheep, he always hired a girl to stay with her while he was away.
Dancing was about the only recreation the people had in those days. The people liked to dance by the music my father made so he played for most all the dances in Kingston, Junction, and Circleville for many years. Mother often told about taking her five little boys to the dances and making a bed for them along the wall. The older ones would stay awake as long as they could and watch the dancers and listen to the music and then lie down and go to sleep. Mother always enjoyed these dances.
During these years when the boys were small, my father was away from home often for as long as three and four months at a time. During the years that he herded sheep for Grandpa Stoker and boys, he took sheep for his pay and soon had quite a nice herd of his own. He would take them on the West desert near Milford during the winter months. During these months when Mother and little boys were alone, she was glad her father was living near in Junction just three miles away. He came often to see them in his black-top buggy and brought candy and other nice things as he had a store in Junction. The boys thought a lot of their Grandpa.
About this time my father bought a new black-top two seated buggy for the family. In those days to buy a new buggy was as wonderful as it is to buy a new car now days. I am sure they were all proud of the new buggy. My father loved horses and took good care of them so he had same fine horses to pull the new buggy. They decided to try it out by taking a trip to Nephi. My Mother took a lot of pride in how her five little boys looked and dressed. When they went somewhere she always saw that they had at least one nice outfit to dress up in. She took very good care of her own clothes and those of her family so I am sure they looked very nice as they began their journey. On the way somewhere between Marysvale and Nephi they were overtaken by the train. My father, proud of his fast horses, undertook to race with the train to the delight of the boys, and they claim the horses did outrun the train for a while which pleased my father.
At Nephi they visited with my mother’s cousin, Gustie, and family. One of the highlights of the visit was a trip to the stone quarry where they had their lunch and had strawberries and cream, a real treat for the family as they couldn't be raised in the Kingston area. This was on Que's first or second birthday.
One winter about 1902 or 1903 my father went to the west desert to winter his sheep and had sheep for other people to winter along with his own. The winter proved to be a very severe one on the desert. The snow got so deep the sheep couldn't find anything to eat. He tried to get the sheep out of the desert but found he was snowed in and nearly all the sheep died of starvation. Losing his own sheep was a great loss, but the fact that he had lost sheep whom other people had put in his care concerned him most. So being a man who always tried to do what was honest and honorable, he felt he should pay the owners for their sheep. After losing his sheep all he had left was his home and farm in Kingston. He sold both and paid the owners for their lost sheep.
The family then moved to Junction to a small home on the south edge of town. In September 1904 my mother’s father, Michael Stoker, was killed. He was leading his horse to water when the horse kicked him in the back, and he died a few days later.
Just a month later, October 2, 1904, a baby girl was born to my parents. I think my parents and brothers were happy to think at last they had a baby girl. I was the youngest of the family and the only girl. I was given the name Maud Elmina. My father was away when I was blessed. When he returned he said he didn't like the name Maud as there were too many horses named Maud. So they decided to change my name. My Mother's cousin, Lester Taylor, had just returned from California. He came to see Mother and asked her why she didn't name her baby “Golda”. He said he knew a nice girl by that name in California. My parents liked the name and thought it appropriate for their only girl so the name was changed to Golda Elmina.
About the year of 1906, my father became rather discouraged and felt the urge to take his family and move somewhere else to see if he couldn’t find a more suitable place to raise his growing family of boys. The older three were about 12, 14, and 16, and there wasn't anything for them to do in Junction. Not wanting them to grow up in idleness, he felt he could find something to keep them busy. It was about this time that a man by the name of Sid Riddle hired my father to go to Johnsvalley (a new valley that was just beginning to be settled forty miles south of Junction and run his farm for the summer. He wanted him to care for his crops, put up the hay, and milk cows.
The log house on the ranch had three big rooms so we were quite comfortable as far as room for the family of five growing boys and a little two year old girl was concerned, the house was built just a few feet from the most beautiful mountain stream. The water was so clear and the bottom of the streambed was covered with the prettiest colored pebbles which could be seen through the clean water. All the hours of the day or night you could hear the water--such a pleasant sound.
They milked about fourteen cows. My mother made cheese and butter and my father and boys put up a lot of hay, mostly wild hay. In the valley, wild hay grew everywhere that it could get water. It was a lonely valley covered with sage and rabbit brush. The valley was about 15 miles long and 5 or 6 miles wide. The East Fork of Sevier River ran along the west side of the valley. In the spring of the year there was quite a lot of high water. Later in the summer there wouldn't be much. There were three or more mountain streams running into the valley. At this time there were only about three families in the valley, and they were miles apart. This ranch was on the road between Marysvale, Tropic, and Escalante. Occasionally there were travelers through the valley--people going and coming from Marysvale where they would get their supplies. Marysvale was the end of the railroad. These campers would camp over night at the ranch where they could get food for their horses.
When fall came, we moved back to Kingston, rented a house so the boys could go to school. My father would haul freight from Marysvale to Kanab to make a living. When he was home, he played for most of the dances together with Leo and Ren who were getting to be pretty good musicians themselves.
The next spring we returned again to the “Riddle Ranch”. Sometime during this summer of 1907, my father filed a homestead of 160 acres of land nearby and later filed on more until we had 320 acres. My father built a two room frame house, and this was our home for 16 years. In this two room home my parents raised five boys and one girl to manhood and womanhood. I am sure my mother must have felt lonely at times leaving all her friends and relatives and coming into the lonely valley where she rarely saw a neighbor, but she never complained an always tried to make her family happy.
There was no school in the valley and for four years we moved back and forth to Kingston to school. Mother worried about the boys getting enough schooling for by the time crops were up in the Fall it would be late October before we could move back to Kingston and have to leave early in the Spring. In the fall of 1911 or that winter anyway the first school was held in the valley. It was held in the largest room at the Riddle Ranch. Inex Sudweeks was the teacher.
Each year brought a few more families into the valley to file on homesteads and to make their homes. Mother was very glad to have neighbors and especially happy when the first Sunday school was organized. She was glad to walk two miles through the sage brush to the home of one of the neighbors where lt was first held. Later all the men and boys of the valley worked at the sawmill getting out the logs and helping with the cutting and sawing and taking lumber for pay for the first meeting house in the valley. It was quite large and had a nice floor and was used for Church, dances, and school as the years went by. My father and brothers played for the dances they began to have as time went on.
After we had been in the valley a few years, my mother's brother John Stoker, and his family also filed on a homestead in the valley. It was a mile or more away but Mother was so happy to have them near and often walked through the brush to see them. They had a family of growing girls and boys and their coming made it happier for all our family.
It was a lot of hard work for my, father and brothers to get the land cleared and ready to be plowed. Often the sage brush were as high as a man's head and great big snarled stubborn roots that had to be hacked out of the ground with a grubbing hoe. After a few years we got a grubber that could be pulled with horses that made it a lot easier. Often on a summer afternoon, Mother and I would walk through the brush holding hands picking wild flowers, and go where my father and brothers were working and they always seemed happy to have us come. Maybe they would be burning sage brush, and we would stand around the fire talking.
The snow would be so late going off in the spring and the frost came so early in the fall that it was hard to plant crops that would mature. Wheat always got frozen. Oats and barley would ripen, and we could usually get one good crop of hay. Water was the big problem. Some of the men and boys of the valley built a dam across the river. It was a lot of hard work, but they built the dam and a canal across the valley. Then we could get the high water in the spring; and if they could get one good irrigation turn on the land, they could raise a good crop along with the summer rains that came about July. In time we had one of the best farms in the valley. We used to put up at least 100 tons of hay a year and thresh thousands of bushels of grain.
It was quite a job for mother preparing enough food for her family of seven especially with five growing boys and my father all working hard. There was always plenty of milk so she made butter and sometimes cheese and always had pork in the winter time and a garden in summer time. For other supplies we went twenty miles to Coyote, usually in the buggy. It would take most of the day. Sometimes one of the boys would go on a horse with a gunny sack tied back of the saddle to bring back what the family needed most. Usually we bought flour, sugar, shortening, beans, dried fruit (apples and apricots), and salt bacon. Mother could sure make good dried apple pies. I sure thought she could season beans so they tasted so good. She used to bake hot biscuits twice a day and usually there would be enough left over that could be eaten with bread and milk for supper.
The winters at Johnsvalley were cold and long. Lots of deep snow came early in the fall and stayed until late in the spring. Lots of cold winds came from the north and blizzards, and big drifts of snow. My father had a blacksmith shop and in the winter there would be a big drift of snow from the top of this log building to the ground extending twelve or fourteen feet. The snow would crust on top until a man could walk on top. We had a big old heater and plenty of pitch pine wood which would make a very hot fire, and there were winter nights when it was so cold we could see our breath while standing over this hot fire. Our kitchen wasn't as warm as the front room, and one of my memories of my mother was of her coming in from the kitchen where she had been preparing meal on one of these cold days and putting her feet up on the hearth of the heater to warm her feet and of saying how cold they were.
Claude was the first of the boys to go away to work. He went to Escalante to herd sheep. It was hard for Mother to let him go. She was such a hand to worry about her family if any of them were away from home. If anyone came loping their horse real fast along the road toward our house and any of the family was away from home, she was always afraid they were coming to tell us some bad news about the absent one.
Our milk cows used to stray three or four miles from home through the tall sagebrush; and sometimes it would be after dark before the boys, usually Barlow and Que, could find them and bring them home. Mother, on these nights when the boys were late, would stand outside and listen until she could hear them away off coming nearer and then she would feel at ease. I can remember how she would listen for the hoof beats of the horses if my father was absent after dark or later than he should have been.
The lightening was very bad in the valley--so many electrical storms, and she always worried for fear some of the family would get struck. One time the lightening did strike a post just a few feet from the front door. The house was full of neighbors who had been traveling along the road and came to the nearest ranch house to get in out of the storm as the storms in the valley came up very suddenly and traveled so fast you really had to hurry to find shelter. Fortunately no one was hurt by the lightening that day.
Our home seemed to be a happy one. We used to sit around the table after supper and sing all the old favorite songs. The boys and my father all played the guitar and violin except Claude and he could sure play a harmonica. Most of the time there was music by some member of the family.
Ren was the first of the boys to marry. He married Cassie Adair when he was twenty years old. In the year 1918 my parents hearts ached to see two of their boys go to war. Claude was in 145 Field Artillery, a group of Utah boys. He went to France in October and was close enough to the battlefield to hear the fighting and would have been in actual fighting in two weeks when the armistice was signed. Barlow went to Camp Kearney, California. He was very sick with the flu during the epidemic that fall of 1918. Because of the Armistice, Barlow didn't have to go overseas. Lee and Que had their calls which were cancelled because of the flu epidemic and later the armistice.
In the fall of 1919, Leo was called on a mission to the Central States. He spent most of his time in Arkansas. By this time Ren had two children; and when the third one was born, Cassie, his wife died. Ren brought two of the children, Marjorie and Dee, and came home to live. Father and mother took care of them in the same loving way they did their own. They lived with mother and father until Ren re-married Catherine Green about seven years later.
The same spring Cassie died, or about a month later, Barlow married Iris Pope. A year later Que married to Sadie Beebe. About this time we left the ranch in Henderson which had been our home for seventeen or eighteen years and moved to Widstoe for a short time. The reason we left the ranch was that my father had mortgaged it to get money to buy one hundred head of cattle. The cattle increased until we had a nice herd. Then the price of cattle fell and it was hard to pay the payments on the mortgage. Another discouraging thing was that it was hard to get enough water out on the farm to raise enough feed or hay to winter the cattle. One spring, about this time a sickness came among the cattle and about fifty head died. I think my father could have managed somehow to save the farm but the boys were getting discouraged with the farm and wanted to try something different so he said if none of the family wanted to stay with it, he would give it up.
In the fall of 1924, Leo was married to Dorothy Goodno. This same fall our family moved to Millard County, spending the winter at Hinckley. Then in the spring of 1952 we moved seventeen miles north to Sugarville. Here my father and brothers rented a big farm were they raised alfalfa, beets, and alfalfa seed.
My mother enjoyed living in Sugarville. There was a fine church and wonderful people. It was about five miles to the Church house, but we usually got a ride. Leo and Dorothy lived near and usually went. Mother always saw that Dee and Marjorie got to Sunday school. Going to Church in Sugarville Ward has left a happy memory with all of us who lived there. While living at Sugarville, I was married to Leroy Mangum, September 30, 1925.
After three and a half or four years, my father and mother moved to Orem buying a fruit farm. While they were living in Orem, Ren was married to Catherine Green; and Claude was married to Ethel Barker, a young widow from Ogden.
From Orem my parents moved to the Uintah Basin living about a year in La Point and in Roosevelt about two years. While they were living at Roosevelt, Claude died in a veteran’s hospital in California of cancer. He was sick about five months. Claude's death was a terrible blow to my mother. She wasn't well for a long time. She lost weight and couldn't sleep at night and was so miserable.
In the fall of 1935, my parents moved back to Orem. Mother was feeling much better by then. With the exception of this one time, she was always blessed with good health. In all my life at home I can only remember once when she laid on the bed because she wasn't feeling well. There may have been times when she didn't feel well; if so she didn't complain but kept right on working devoting her life to her family.
In Orem my parents rented a home where they lived about a rear. Later they bought a small acreage east of the highway. They lived here about a year. While living here a cherished dream of the family was realized. My father and mother went to the Salt Lake Temple and all their children with them, and we were sealed as a family for time and all eternity. All their children had been to the temple before them. I have always been proud of my father to think he was nearly seventy years old, and he had the courage to quit tobacco which he had used since a boy because he wanted to take his family to the Temple.
Six months later my father died December 8, 1936. He was ill only three or four days. It seemed just as if his mission on earth was finished with his going to the temple.
Mother came to live with me staying with us about two years. Then she moved into her own little home nearby. She seemed quite happy during the next few years. Her children were all living near her and that was what she wanted. She never felt she could stand to be separated from them. By this time she had 26 grandchildren whom she loved and always tried to give each a gift at Christmas and on their birthdays. All the granddaughters who were old enough would take turns staying with her at night. I think they all liked to as they never complained.
She liked to go to the temple. I used to go with her real often, and she did quite a bit of temple work. She seemed quite well and used to walk the mile and a quarter to Church, and it didn’t seem to bother her.
About nine months before her death, her eyesight began to fail. We found she had cataracts growing on her eyes, and with her failing eyesight, her health seemed to fail too, although she was well enough and plucky enough to care for herself and little home until the end.
She was seventy-five years old on September 6, 1942, and on September 18th, she got up, dressed, ate he breakfast, and as she arose from the table she suddenly passed away. She was buried in the Provo Cemetery beside my father September, 21st, 1942.