Emma Electa Peay
Contributor: Simini Created: 2 years ago Updated: 2 years ago
EMMA ELECTA PEAY JACOBSON
(Written by her daughter Leona Marie Jacobson Pope)
9 September 1879 – 10 March 1976
Emma Electa Peay was the fourth child of George T. Peay and Karen Marie Sorensen, born in Provo, Utah, 9 September 1879 at the farm home in southwest Provo. Emma enjoyed her brothers and sisters. Two wives, Hannah and Karen Marie, lived in the same house, each with their own rooms, but they were all one big happy family. Karen Marie and Hannah loved each other, Marie as she was usually called, was a very small person, she suffered severe headaches if exposed to bright sunlight, so she did more of the inside work. She was an excellent cook and homemaker. Hannah worked more outdoors with the children. There weren’t the conveniences we know so well today. There was work and chores for everyone. The coal oil lamps had to be filled every day, the chimneys washed and shined, the wicks trimmed to give the best light. Wood and coal had to be carried in and ashes and soot out, the stoves had to be blacked and shiny, the windows cleaned every week, and all the washing done by hand with a wash board and tub, the clothes boiled, blued and starched, where needed. The irons heated on the stove, everything had to be ironed, (no permanent press). There was gardens to care for, fruit and berries, chickens to care for and cows to milk, milk to be taken care of, butter made, cold buttermilk a favorite drink. Fresh clabbored milk with sweet cream and sugar was delicious.
There were lots of fun and games too. Some of the boys played musical instruments and belonged to the Provo band. Emma liked to ride horses and even a tame cow with long horns, which would let them ride her. One day when the mothers were away, she and Gertrude dared each other to ride her through the slough. To make the story short, they both fell off into the black, smelly buggy mud and were bit and a sight to see. They tried to wash their clothes, which seemed to get blacker and blacker. They finally hung them on the line to dry, and had to tell their mothers what they had been up to. Emma was quite shy around strangers and would rather keep out of sight. But she was really very witty at times. She would tell some interesting stories about herself and the family, usually making fun of herself.
They didn’t get to school very regular, but she must have been a fast learner. They would usually ride horse back to school, and leave the horses at Aunt Margaretta’s in town. For a time she attended the Brigham Young Academy which she enjoyed very much. They belonged to the Provo Second Ward, which took in a large part of Provo, Utah.
She was in her teens when her father’s mortgage on the farm was foreclosed on and they were forced to leave their home. That summer he obtained a very large tent which was set up down by the Lake, it was a hard thing for them to lose their home, but being young and the Lake clean and beautiful, also a very fine resort on the Lake shore, they made the most of the situation. She had a vivid memory of one moonlit night when a large sail boat loaded with passengers passed by. The passengers were singing “Count Your Many Blessings” and every word seemed to have a special meaning. Every time she has heard that song she remembered that night. One of her mother’s teachings was that it is better to suffer a wrong than to do a wrong. That fall the families were moved into rented houses nearer town, and they lived in separate homes from then on. The close family ties were never broken. The older girls worked at the Provo Woolen Mills at times. Emma was a homebody and never spent much time away from home before her marriage. She had lots of friends and they all liked dances and parties and good times. She was engaged to be married before she met William Martin Jacobson, who came to Provo to attend the B.Y.A. He had relatives who were friends of hers and they met at a dance on Provo Bench. He won her heart and hand. She must have loved him a lot to even think of going so far away. Randolph, Rich County, Utah was a long way by horse and buggy, in those days.
After the Manifesto, her father was arrested and tried for polygamy. If her mother had gone on the witness stand, he would not have had to go to prison, as she was the youngest wife and had not children after the Manifesto, but she was such a timid person and so frightened, he would not have her endure that. He was very proud of his wives and children and would never do anything to disown them. When he was released from prison, his first wife Margaretta had all the wives and children at her home to welcome him home. He loved each of his children and his greatest desire was to have land enough so his families could build and live around him and be a united and happy family.
Measles were a dreaded disease and when Emma was nine years old her eleven year old sister, Hortense died from it and her youngest sister Etta, six, almost died. She was never as well and strong after that. This was a very sorrowful time for the family. A few months later her little brother, Lott, came into the house crying as if his heart would break. When asked what was the matter, he said, “Hortense was out by the straw stack and she wouldn’t stay and play with me.”
After meeting William, their courtship developed. He returned to Randolph to work, they corresponded during the months until he returned to school again and an engagement consumated. The family liked him, but didn’t like to see her go so far away, which was something for a homebody to consider, but love overcame. Her sister Harriet helped make her beautiful wedding dress, which Emma kept as a treasure all her life. William’s sister, Eliza, came to Provo with him when he came down for the wedding. The endowments and wedding took place in the Salt Lake Temple 16 May 1900. Letters written by them and the family are very precious to us.
The trip to Randolph was made with a team and white top buggy and took at least two days. They lived with his folks on the Ranch up Big Creek at first. The log house was situated at the foot of a hill, overlooking a large spring, green meadows and a creek ran through the valley, lined with willows, berry bushes and wild roses. Trout abounded in the creek. A spring house was built over the spring, which was used as a milk house and cooler, water was carried to the house for all purposes, luscious watercress grew below the spring, it was a beautiful place to live. There was a dug way around the hill going to Randolph. Another road took them to Argyle, which had a meeting house and small school. William was called to be second Counselor to Bishop John Kennedy of the Argyle Ward.
The Rich County Reaper printed the following account of their reception:
“On Thursday night, May 31, 1900, an elegant wedding reception was given at the home of our well known citizen, Olavus Jacobson at Argyle, in honor of the wedding of his son William and Miss Emma Peay. About fifty of Randolph and Argyle prominent people were in attendance. At 7:30 the assembled guests partook of an elegant and sumptuous repast that but few people can prepare. After supper the evening was spent in games and amusements of various kinds. Space will not permit us to mention the presents in detail but they were many and handsome. At a late hour the guests returned to their homes after wishing them much joy and happiness through life. The groom is the son of Mr. and Mrs. O. Jacobson and is a young man of excellent habits, sober and industrious. He has attended the B.Y.A. at Provo, several terms and it was while there that he met his wife. The bride is one of Provo’s charming and lovely young ladies and we take pleasure in bidding her welcome to our city. We bespeak a bright future for them and trust that their wedded life may be one of unalloyed joy and bliss.” Emma was welcomed into the family and loved by all of them. She was always a hard worker, a fine homemaker, wife and mother.
At times they returned to Provo and William helped with the Peay Farm. At times the Lake came up and river overflowed and their crops were ruined. Their first three children were born in Provo, where Grandma Peay and medical care was readily available. Leona Marie born 29 September 1901, being the first baby born in the family for some years, Mary Elvers born 10 October 1903 and William LeRoy 30 September 1905. Most of these years the family lived up Big Creek, which was about three miles beyond the big spring home.
They were living at the old home by Big Spring –his parents had moved to Randolph—when the children became ill with pneumonia and Elvera died from it and croup. She was an especially sweet child and it was a hard trial for the family. The next five children were born in Randolph, the family having moved into town for school. Ethel Arvilla was born 1 July 1908, Sterling George 22 February 1912, both in the same home. Richard, born 28 April 1914 and died 3 May 1914. Olavus Jeston 12 July 1915, Ernest 28 April 1918. Twila Fawn 19 November 1920 at Provo, and Robert Gerald 5 June 1923 at Hinkley, Utah. The family did considerable moving during their married life.
The family moved into Randolph when it was time for Leona to go to school, while in town William was the mail carrier at different times, between Evanston, Wyoming or from Randolph to Bear Lake and the Idaho border. The Laketown Canyon could be very difficult in bad weather. The altitude is high and blizzards common in the winter, one time in the spring he heard a flood coming and manged to get his team off the road while the water rushed down the canyon, had he not found a place to get off the road in time he would have been carried with the flood. Many sleepless nights were spnt by Emma waiting for him to get home, but the mail had to go through. Emma was called to be a Primary teacher and later a Counselor during this time.
William leased the town Butcher Shop from Oscar Evans, after a few months he bought it, gradually adding groceries, fresh produce, confectionary, etc. Leona helped in the shop as soon as she was old enough. Emma had a very serious illness about this time which developed into lock jaw. William also ran a meat hook into his hand and it turned into blood poisoning, he was taken to Paris, Idaho to a hospital. The doctor wanted to remove his arm to save his life, Emma said if he dies he will die in one piece, so she took him home and cared for him. He survived.
The Don McKinnnon home, a two story white brick building on main street and adjoining the business, was purchased and the family moved into it. They were living here in 1918 when the terrible epidemic of influenza struck the country. The whole family had it, the doctor lived next door which helped. He was surely kept busy but Dr. Reay never lost a patient from the flue itself, those who died got out too soon and had relapses. We appreciated him for a neighbor and doctor. It was a never to be forgotten time, and it took a long time to get over the weakness that followed, but we counted our blessings. William purchased a ranch south of town and built a very comfortable two story home on it, where the family lived for a time.
The fall of 1919 their business was leased to Gill Conley, before this time an addition had been built on for a cafe. The family moved to Provo, the Robert’s home on fifth West 197 North was purchased. Leona enrolled at the B.Y.U. High School, other children at Timpanogas. In the spring William planted crops on the Peay farm, which were looking fine, the beets ready to be thinned, when the Provo River overflowed and the Lake rose and covered everything. Grandfather Peay and Aunt Hannah were living down there, they were brought up and lived with us. This proved to be a trying time financially in all ways, the Randolph business had been ruined and the renter closed it up and left town, after selling out the stock. William took Leona with him and went back to see what could be salvaged, another market had opened up in competition so it was uphill business. By this time the house had been converted into a hotel, serving mostly traveling salesmen (Drummers) and Cattle Buyers. William could not remain too long as Emma’s health wasn’t very good and a new baby was coming. A woman was hired to help Leona and he returned to Provo.
This arrangement didn’t prove satisfactory, so with consent of her parents, Leona and Orlan Pope were married and took care of the business. They were married 10 November 1920 and sister Twila Fawn was born in Provo 19 November 1920. William traded his business property in Randolph for a farm in Draper, where they moved the spring of 1921. He sold the Provo Home and took a second mortgage on land in Millard County in payment. The Draper property had water problems also another unknown mortgage, and William was able to get the Randolph property back. The family moved to Randolph again fall of 1921, in time to welcome their first grandchild, Robert Delvar Pope.
Then in order to save the Hinckley, Millard County, property, he had to pay off the first mortgage, so he went to Hinckley spring of 1922, Orlan went with him. Orlan returned to Randolph and Emma and the children moved to Hinckley. Leona and Orlan took care of the business property in Randolph, until they too moved to Hinckley December 1923. Several years were spent in Hinckley. Alfalfa seed was the main crop there, but crop failures came and not enough water to raise other crops. Also the land became water logged and drains had to be dug, some were open drains and others pipes, so there were hard financial years there. During the time there, William Le Roy married Mildred Slaughter, and Arvilla married Karl Workman. She still lives there.
After the George T. Peay estate was settled, and the land divided between the heirs, Emma and the children moved to Provo and had a new home built on it. William divided his time between Hinckley and Provo until the property was disposed of there. In 1932 another epidemic of flu struck and all the family had turns of it, some turning to pneumonia. Ernest died from this 6 December 1932. It was a most trying time, during the Depression too. Finally after the Priesthood rebuked the disease, the family recovered. William purchased some additional property and they farmed and milked cows for a living.
Later Provo City took the land for the Provo Airport, much Court action over who owned the land, the state or the landowners. The farmers won and the city had to buy the land. William had purchased a farm north of Lehi, from Agnes Durrant, so they had a place for their cattle and to farm. When Robert and Donna Cordner got married, Emma sold them the home and what land the airport hadn’t taken and also moved to Lehi. It was some time before they got electricity there, so more pioneering. The farm there became a favorite gathering place for the family and many fine times were had. The most memorable was the Golden Wedding Party of William and Emma. It was a beautiful day and relatives and friends came from many places to attend and all had a wonderful time. One of the features was them riding their Palamino horses dressed in their western attire. They had enjoyed riding very much and had ridden in various parades, even going to Hinckley and Randolph with their horses.
Due to a series of accidents it became necessary to give up farming and a very comfortable home was purchased at 720 North 100 West, Provo, where the remainder of their years was spent. They had been active in all the Wards they lived in and the University Ward, Utah Stake was no exception. They did valiant service on the Missionary Committee, they were loved and respected by all who knew them. William’s fatal illness came in January 1970 and he passed away at Utah Valley Hospital February 7, 1970, 91 years of age. Emma recovered from an Aneurism operation, fractured back and a broken hip, recovering from each in turn. With the help of her widowed daughters, Arvilla Workman and Leona Pope she remained in her home until she passed on 10 March 1976 at the age of 96 ½ years. A wonder woman in every way. Her posterity at her passing numbered seven children, four daughters-in-law, and one son-in-law, 41 grandchildren, 110 great-grandchildren, and 40 great-great grandchildren, one sister Etta P. Jacobson also survived her.
She had a firm and abiding testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ which she has written and it is treasured, her whole life was a living testimony of the Gospel.
22 April 1961 to Bishop Ross Denham:
I esteem it an honor Bishop Denham and Counselors to thank you for the interest you have in me, as one of the members of your ward, and to write my testimony for you. I am thankful to my Father that we have such leaders as you. I thank my Heavenly Father for each of the wonderful Bishops I have had the experience of living in their Wards at periods in my life, three of whom have called our sons to fulfill missions. I feel sure we have the true and Everlasting truths, The Gospel of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I thank God I am a member, along with my family.
I am thankful for our great leader and Prophet David O. McKay, I know he is a faithful son of God the Father. If we will follow his teaching we will gain Eternal Salvation. We also receive the same teachings from the Holy Bible, as far as it is translated correctly. I am sure the Book of Mormon is a true record of the people, who by the power of God, to this continent were led, to save them from the destruction of the wicked world, which was being destroyed. Forgetting God they grew rebellious and were all destroyed. Their records are translated and we have them now as the Book of Mormon, and these records are true.
I thank my Heavenly Father for his instructions and love, I feel assured if we will live his teachings we will be blessed as he has promised. This is a choice land, above all others, and will never be taken away and given to another people if we will but serve the living God.
I am thankful for my membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. For my parents who were converted by the missionaries, my Father came from England, my Mother from Denmark, they were wonderful parents to me. I am very thankful for my Husband, and his wonderful family who have been so good to me. I am ever thankful for our sons and daughters, they are wonderful, we are proud of them, appreciate their kindness and love, and not forgetting our son-in-laws and our son’s wives, we love them all and the many grand and great grandchildren. We love them all and know they love us. All of our children are active in their Church duties, and our seven living children have all been sealed in the Temples. Many faith promoting experiences have happened in our family, too numerous to mention here. I will just mention one that still lingers with me, that happened in 1932. Our son Ernest was then 14 years old, a lovely and wonderful boy, we loved him and were very proud of him, to see him do his part in his priesthood, passing the sacrament and other duties. He always wanted to do his part and more at home. In November of 1932 our family all got the flu in a severe state. We worked hard to care for the children but in spite of all the Doctor, nurse and we could do (Dr. Charles Smith and his wife) Ernest contracted Pneumonia, his lungs cleared up but his heart could not stand the strain. He was never unconscious and talked to us the last few minutes of his life, when he was so weak he could barely speak, he said “Mom come closer, I owe you one more kiss” then he said “I do love you”. Then he prayed for each of us then said, “and bless me with peaceful rest and sleep”, then he left us. At that time there was one thing I had to recognize, it was a voice that seemed to tell me, “He is going now that he will be saved from going to war”. I don’t know why, we were not thinking of war then. As time passed I could not help thinking he had a mission elsewhere than on the battle field, which later at his age would have been his obligation. I also had a dream about this. I saw Ernest in a blue uniform get into a plane, the likes of which I had never seen, saw it in a dog fight in the air and saw his plane go down in flames. During World War II, I saw pictures of the air men and fighter planes and recognized the uniform and the plane I had seen years before in my dream.
We have been called on to part with three of our ten children, the first one was our second child, a lovely 2 ½ year old daughter.
In the spring Leona, the oldest got sick. We had the doctor for her. The little one was in perfect health, but she got sick and in five days passed away with pneumonia. The doctor’s wife was a nurse, she came and stayed with us all night, before the doctor went home he checked little Elvera and said her lungs were clear. On their way home they met Grandma Jacobson and Sister Grey, the Bishop’s wife going up. Doctor said “What is bringing you up this early in the morning?” Grandma answered, “It is a dream that is taking us up.” Doctor said, “You are going on a foolish dream this time, the children are better. “
I was preparing lunch when the dear little child gave a croupy cough. I could not control my emotions. I said that is croup and she will never stand that. There were no telephones or cars, William got in the buggy they had come up in and went for the doctor. He came as soon as he could and with the nurse worked with the little one all afternoon until she passed away about 9 p.m. Now I will tell about the dream, they told me after. Grandma Jacobson had a lovely dear daughter named Eliza, whom we loved dearly, she passed away about three years before. Grandma said, Eliza came to her in a dream and said she had come for Elvera. Grandma coaxed her not to take her that we could not let her go, so after pleading for some time Eliza replied, “I will let you keep her today but I will come and get her tomorrow.” That was the dream Grandma told the doctor.
Now in closing I can just say the Lord has been good to us and I know that when I am called from this life I will have my little baby boy, my little 2 ½ year old daughter and my 14 year old son. What life could be more perfect for a loving Mother than a beautiful baby, a loving darling child, and a 14 year old faithful priesthood bearer to raise over there with a fine husband and father.