Letter to the descendants of Francis Marion Ewell
Contributor: trishkovach Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago
This is a letter that was written to the descendants of Francis Marion Ewell in regard to a monument for him.
Autobiography of Laura Ann Ewell
Contributor: trishkovach Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago
HISTORY OF LAURA ANN EWELL DENNIS
Written by her when she was 87 years old.
I was born 20 August 1872 in Santaquin, Utah to Francis Marion Ewell and Frances Mary (Fanny) Weech. My folks moved out to Price, Utah, on a farm near the Price River. When I was real small I used to play with my playmates and we would use dandelions for our dolls. I remember one time my Mother went to a quilting and I had the hives; I itched so bad and I wanted her to come home and it seemed such a long wait for her.
When I was two years old we lived up a canyon for a summer. A neighbor had some hot starch she was using for her wash. She saw me go toward the hot starch and screamed for fear I was going to reach it before she did. It frightened me so badly that I would not go in a dark room. I never seemed to be afraid before that time, and I have been nervous ever since all my life.
There was no school and I used to take a schoolbook with me when I would herd the cows, and this is how I learned to read and spell. My Father built a house large enough for church, school and amusements. There wasn’t any school there until I was 14 years old. My oldest sister taught the first school in Castle Valley.
My Father was Presiding Elder and sometimes General Authorities from Salt Lake would stay with us. I sang in the choir at church and sang at parties. I was the first Queen of the May in Price when I was 15 years old. When I was 17 years old I was in the first play that was put on in Price. The name of it was "Brought to Light." The people said the play was put over fine and they thought my sister was a star actress from Salt Lake.
One night, when I was 16 years old, I thought I heard my sister in law crying and she thought I was crying. She lived near us, so we both met in the yard and neither one of us was crying. My brother said it must have been a panther, as there were wild animals in the foothills near us.
When I was 18, I went to Midway to visit my brother and family. While there the little five year old girl took sick with Scarlet Fever. I was quarantined in for the winter. They rolled the little thing in wet sheets to try to reduce the fever. I washed on a washboard and breathed all that steam and never took the disease, but the child died at 12:00 p.m. I had to go a quarter of a mile to get my sister in law's mother, Claudia Dennis. The snow was two feet deep and I could barely plow through the snow. It happened to be a bright moonlight night. There were many coyotes around the foothills and I was afraid I would meet up with one.
That winter was when I met Dan Dennis, who lived in Midway. I married Dan, 29 May 1893 in Spring Glen, Utah. The first summer I was married I went to the mountains with my husband where they were getting out timber. I cooked over a camp fire in a bake oven for five men; I made bread and pies too. That winter we lived on my father's farm. While here my first child, Mellie, was born. Sometime later we moved to Midway, Utah. My husband couldn’t find work so he went to Wyoming and worked in the hay fields for two months. I was so lonesome without him; my baby girl was all the company I had; I was two miles from town on a ranch. While living in Midway we buried a little son, he was 11 months old when he passed on. The following winter we went to the head of the Provo River and Dan got out timber. We lived in and around Midway, where three of our boys, Dan, Wallace, Syrel and a girl Lila, were born.
We went to Provo and lived with my husband's folks across the street north from the BYU Academy. My husband worked at different things and our boy Noel was born 25 Dec. 1903. I was cooking Christmas dinner for the family when I had to let my sister in law take over while I went to bed and had my baby--a real Christmas gift.
In the Spring of 1905 we moved back to Midway, where my daughter Laura was born 12 Dec, 1906. We only stayed a short time and went back to Provo and had a hard time to find work so we could make a living for our six children.
Dan got a job working on the power plant in the mouth of Provo Canyon. We lived in a tent that summer in the canyon. While living here Dan met Mrs. Hines, who wanted someone to fence, plant etc. her land out at Myton, on the Indian Reservation, where land had been opened for homesteading by the government. So, in May 1907, we moved on to this land. We had it very hard while living there. Dan worked so hard to fence, plant hay and make water ditches to get crops started. I lived in constant fear for I was alone much of the time. Dan had to be away from home to make a living for his family and we never got anything from the new land. Indians were always coming to our place and I was so afraid of them.
Wallace and Syrel were left with the responsibility of the farm. The wind blew most of the time and winters were very cold. What we lived in was nothing but a shack. Dan did build a little rock house to be used as a chicken house after he got another house built. We moved into the rock house. In the winter of 1908, Dec 18, the twins were born. Dan was away at the sawmill getting out logs for our house. My daughter Mellie had to go half a mile to get her uncle out of bed and have him take the bob sleigh and go get help for me. It was two miles to town; the wind was blowing and drifting the snow over the road. It was 35 degrees below zero that night. Two women came, Sister Odekirk didn’t want to go alone so Mrs. Palmer came with her. The next morning Mellie scraped a tub of snow drifts from the floor, which had drifted in through the cracks. The twins were three days old when Dan got home. He had been in ten foot snow drifts and couldn’t accomplish what he wanted to do and came home with an empty sleigh. The babies were hungry all the time because I did not have enough milk for two. Mrs. Odekirk told me to get some Malted Milk and feed them, so I did and they were fine after that and did real well.
One time Dan went to Price for freight for the stores; they got snowed in and it was three weeks before he got back. The cow only gave a quart of milk a day this was not enough for the children. It was a long, cold winter and not much to eat. Snow drifted four feet deep and Wallace and Syrel had to dig wood from under the snow to keep us warm.
While living on the farm I got Typhoid Fever and there was no doctor in Myton. There was a government doctor at Fort Duchesne for the soldiers, so Dan contacted him and took me to Fort Duchesne, where we camped in a tent in the bushes. He came there and doctored me. I was afraid I would die there, so he let me come home and said if we needed him he would come to our home. Well, we had to send for him and he operated on me and took a bag of pus, large as an egg from me. I was very thin and yellow. Mrs. Hemphill nursed me. We paid the doctor all but $5.00 and he said we could have that for our Christmas. I think the Lord was very kind to me to spare me for my family.
In the three years that followed, Mrs. Hines turned her government property over to her nephew and, after a long court battle, we lost everything we had. So Dan moved his family across the street on his father's place. He moved the house he built on the Leathem place over on his father's place. While living here Fern was born 30 Sept. 1912. Mrs. Hines contested Dan's father and got his place also.
We next moved into town and that winter the children all had the measles. They quarantined all of us, even Dan, and wouldn’t let him water his horses at the river, nor let him go to work. He got disgusted and told the Town Marshall to either feed his family or let him go to work.
We moved from town to a farm up on the Duchesne River and ran it for a Mr. Wade Moffett and he had honey bees. We did not do so well on the farm. While on the Moffett place Sylvia was born 16 March 1916, making 11 children I had, 10 of which are still living. Also on the farm we had 18 half grown turkeys and one night someone took them all. In town we had 12 nice big hens taken one night.
While on this place our boy Noel was accidentally shot in the back, by his cousin, while they were target shooting. He laid for three weeks and we didn’t think he was going to live. He filled up with pus until his heart was pushed to one side. The doctor operated on him and we sent his name into the Temple and he is alive today, thanks to the good Lord, for I’m sure that is what saved his life. The doctor said he could not understand why he lived. Dan was away at work at a mine hauling ore and Mellie was cooking for the men, so I was alone with him. I was worried all the time and I had a bad headache all the time. Sylvia was a little baby at this time.
We quit farming for Moffett and bought a little home in Myton. Dan got a job working for the government. We raised our family in Myton until he got his knee hurt and could not work any more. The government sent him to Salt Lake to have it operated on, but it was a dentist. The dentist had him get into the chair and said, "Well, which one is it?@ Dan said AI don't know. You take them out and see." Dan had false teeth. This was a big joke the rest of his life. The government retired him on disability. We sold our home to our son LaVor and we moved to American Fork and later bought a little home in Provo.
In the years that followed we made trips to California to see our daughter Mellie who lived there and then she came to Provo to live. I worked some in the church, being a Relief Society Visiting Teacher wherever I lived. My husband and I were sealed in the Manti Temple 23 September, 1949. Our oldest daughter, Mellie was sealed at that time and since then all but one has been sealed to us. I have been in the Salt Lake Temple, Los Angeles, Mesa and Logan Temples, and gone from Provo to Salt Lake Temple many time on Temple excursions with Provo Third Ward, where we lived.
My husband passed away 13 November 1953, after a long illness with cancer. I didn't want to stay alone, so I sold my home and have made my home with my children since. I am now 87 years old and go from Utah to California and Arizona to visit my children who have been so very good to me.
(These are incidents, out of sequence, which she wrote)
While on the Leathem place, there were rattle snakes and scorpions. My sister in law killed one in the yard where our children were playing.
I cooked for the government for five months. I lived in a tent; sometimes the wind would blow the stove pipe off. Sometimes it would rain and lightning terrible. Sylvia was three years old and with me, and she would be so frightened when the storms would come up
When I was raising my family, my sister in law and I used to visit together. One time the two families went fishing on Lake Fork River. Dan caught 25 fish; the two families ate all of them in one meal. They had me make the bread. We baked in a Dutch oven over the fire. We always had a good time.
My sister in law would come to see me with her family and I never had beds enough for all, so I made family beds on the floor. She would do the same when we went to see her.
My son, Wallace, and his family and some friends went with us up to Rock Creek to fish. As usual I had to make the bread. We all had a good time. The day we came home, one of the men, Pete Morris, said to me to let someone else make the bread then we would have enough left over for dinner. His wife took it good-natured.
One time Uncle Will Dennis was to our house and I didn't have any bread, so I made Baking Powder Bread. He thought the biscuits were yeast bread, and he said he was tired of Baking Powder Bread. Dan told him what they were and he wanted to know what kind of Baking Powder I used. He lived alone and had to do his own cooking. His wife had passed away.
Note: Laura Ann Ewell Dennis died in Payson, Arizona at the age of 94 years, on 12 September, 1966. She was buried in the Provo City Cemetery.
Francis Marion Ewell
Contributor: trishkovach Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago
FRANCIS MARION EWELL
From book: Pioneers and Prominent Men, Biographical Encyclopedia, Page 525
Francis Marion Ewell, senior president of the 101 quorum of Seventy, was born in Ray County, Missouri, Nov. 1835, son of William. F. Ewell and Mary Bland. As a member of his father's family, he went with the exiled Saints to Council Bluffs, Iowa, where his father joined the Mormon Battalion, and left his family in poor circumstances in the wilderness. Frances was then eleven years old, being the eldest child in the family.
He came to the Valley with his mother and family in 1849, walking the entire distance across the plains. After living for several years in Weber county, he located in Provo, Utah county about 1855. Here he passed through the hard times of 1855-56, during which period he lived on fish alone for six weeks. At the time of the Johnston army trouble in 1857-58, he was sent to do guard duty in Echo canyon.
He married Fanny Weech July 27, 158, and soon afterwards he moved to "the old Fort" in Goshen, and later (1860) settled in Payson, where he engaged in manufacturing nails and hoop iron, from chains and wagon tires which had been bought in by the army. Subsequently he located at a mill which he owned on Summit creek, near Santaquin. He served as a soldier in the Black Hawk war, and about 1877 he went into business of manufacturing shingles. He had just completed and repaired his mill on Summit creek, when it was destroyed by fire, causing a loss of $2,500. But he built another one further up the stream.
In 1882 he moved to Price river, Emery county, where he presided over the Spring Glen branch of the Price Ward from 1883 to 1889, and where he still resides and is engaged in farming. In the different places where he has resided, Elder Ewell has served as a teacher and superintendent of Sunday schools, and been a member of several choirs. He was the first Sunday School superintendent in Spring Glen, and the first school trustee and the leader of the first dramatic association organized on Price river. He was ordained a Seventy Feb. 20, 1888, and set apart as senior president of the 101st quorum of Seventy Nov. 5, 1891. Brother Ewell is the father of nine children, seven of whom are living.
A Time to Remember the Ewell Family
Contributor: trishkovach Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago
A TIME TO REMEMBER THE EWELL FAMILY
History given at the dedication of the monument at Spring Glen by Danniel S. Dennis, great grandson of Francis Marion Ewell, 11 June 1988
It has been one hundred and six years since the arrival of the family to the Price River Valley. At that time there were approximately one hundred people living along the river in crude dugouts, log or tie houses, tents and wagons. The land at the desert edge was covered with sage and rabbit brush, rocks strewn the land. The river, first known as White River, wound through the valley, cottonwood trees and bushes lined the river edges. Pinion pine and cedar trees grew on the hillsides. The sight was, for most, unappealing, but it was new land to homestead. The valleys to the north and west had been taken. This part of the Eastern Utah was part of the west’s last frontier, one that would close in 1890.
The construction of the Western Denver Rio Grande Railroad held the promise of work while lands were being prepared for farming. This new railroad was being constructed from Colorado though Price Valley, connecting to the north with the Pleasant Valley railroad which ran from Springville to the coal fields at Winter Quarters. A small portion of this railroad line ran through he newly purchased homestead of Francis Marion Ewell. He and his sons drove wagons for supplies for this new company. Thus, means to start a new and provide for the Ewell family of growing teenagers, the oldest sone, Franklin, was twenty years old and the youngest son, Permit, was three years old, with brothers and sister in between. The oldest daughter, Sarah, age 22, had married Teancum Pratt. Helper’s first settler was Teancum who had encouraged the Ewell family to come to this area for they had just lost their mill at Santaquin in a fire, also Sarah would not be so lonesome with her family nearby.
The Ewell homestead, purchased from Omer Brimhall in 1882, was in the shape of a “L.” The base of the “L” included the lower part of Helper and a small part of the railroad bed to the east. The long side ran along the hill on the west and was one-fourth of a mile in width. The fence line between Sherman’s and Marchello’s land today was the southern boundary line.
Francis Marion Ewell’s past life had conditioned him to privation, hardship and hard wok. His parent’s family endured the persecutions of the early members of the Latter-Day Saint faith. Francis’s father, Doctor William F. Ewell, was a member of the famous Mormon Battalion, leaving his family in poor circumstances, Francis was eleven at the time. The father hoped to find his family in the Great Salt Lake Basin, but on the return of the Battalion through the wide of the southwest, then into California and back to Salt Lake, he found his family still in the east at Winter Quarters. He returned, crossing the mountains and plains to his family and there he died. The family in 1849, still having to come alone without a father, crossed the plains, Francis walking all the way to the Great Salt Lake Basin.
Francis served on guard duty in Echo Canyon during the Johnston Army troubles, also served as a soldier in the Blackhawk War. In 1858 he married Frances Weech, who he lovingly called Fanny. They settled in the Payson area where he engaged in manufacturing nails and hoop iron from chains and wagon tires which had been brought in by the army. He located a mill at Summet Creek, near Santaquin and manufactured shingles. The business was lost to fire. Throughout his life Francis learned lessons and gained qualities of wisdom and leadership.
A year after his arrival to the Prive River Valley, he was ordained the Presiding Elder to the LDS people in his area, under the direction of Bishop Frandsen of the Price Ward. Later he was ordained the senior president of the 101 Quorum of Seventies of the Carbon area. He served as a teacher and superintendent of the Sunday School, was the first school trustee and active in the first dramatic association organized on Price River.
Francis built a large two-story house which became the center of all church, school and civic meetings. It became known as “Ewell Hall.” It was here that his oldest daughter, Sarah Pratt, taught the first school, that the meetings to organize the Spring Glen Canal, a water system that would bring crops to the farmers of Helper, Spring Glen and Carbonville were held. It was here that the birth of the town of Spring Glen took place, its name decided upon, the site selected and men appointed to apply for the homesteads. Francis loved to entertain so it was here at Ewell Hall that parties and dances took place. In later years the house burned down, the Sherman home is built on that historical site. Also of historical significance is the Ewell water well which still furnishes the water to the Sherman family.
The town of Spring Glen was laid out on the homesteads of Mary Jane and William H. Babcock, Heber Stowell and Franklin Marion Ewell, the oldest Ewell son of interest with this homestead is the one block selected as the community lot where a log church house was built with the same dimensions as Ewell Hall. This humber building served as church, school, civic purposes and social events. Eventually, a brick school house was built on this block, later a larger one. The park area served as the Relief Society garden and for many years after it was used by the school district, it and the school building were deeded to the Carbon County School District.
In 1891 the town of Helper was created. Francis sold most of his Helper land for the development of the town, showing his interest in this newly developing town.
On January 1, 1904, Francis Marion Ewell died of diabetes and was buried at Provo. For a period of twenty six years he had been a builder and played an important part in the settlement and development of Helper and Spring Glen. It was fitting that in 1911 his name was chosen for the Spring Glen post office. For some 10 years the town carried the dual names of Sping Glen and Ewell. When the post office was discontinued and rural service began, the name of Ewell faded into history.
(HIstory of the area written by Frances Cunningham 1988, Historian and Director of C.L.G. Program)
Francis Marion Ewell
Contributor: trishkovach Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago
History written by Laura Ann Ewell, Daughter
Francis Marion Ewell was the first child born to William Fletcher Ewell and Mary Lee Bland. He was born during the "hot pot" of Mormon persecution in Ray County, Missouri, and moved with his parents and the Saints across the West. After his father enrolled in the Mormon Battalion, Francis Marion was left- at the tender age of 11 years- to care for his father's family. Later, after his father died at Council Bluffs in Iowa, he helped to bring his little family across the vast plains, walking every step of the way to Salt Lake City.
We are fortunate to have the following short biography of Francis Marion written by Laura Ann Ewell Dennis, his daughter:
Francis Marion Ewell, son of William Fletcher Ewell and Mary Bland, was born November 3, 1835 in Ray County, Missouri. His parents joined the Latter-day Saint Church and went to Council Bluffs, Iowa. Here Francis Marion was baptized in 1849.
Three companies of Saints immigrated to Utah that year (1849). Grandfather William Ewell, his wife and family were in the Ezra T. Benson company. The other two companies were under George A. Smith and Silas Richards. They were traveling from the Missouri River and were so close together that frequently they camped in the same locality. They all arrived in Salt Lake City on October 27, 1849. [Perhaps Laura assumed, since Francis Marion Ewell was in the Ezra T. Benson company that his mother and the rest of his family were also there. William died in Council Bluffs, and we have another immigration record that shows that Mary crossed the plains with her children, in 1852, in the Uriah Curtis Company.] Grandfather joined the Mormon Battalion, and left his family in poor circumstances on the plains. He must have died on the trip with the Battalion for nothing more is heard of him. [Of course we know that he went full circle with the battalion and arrived back at Council Bluffs where he died in his wife's arms, of what were probably complications of malaria which he had contracted while marching with the battalion. Editor]
Grandmother brought her little family on into the Valley, walking the entire distance. They lived for several years in Weber County. Father [Francis Marion] went to Provo in about 1855 and passed through the hard times of 1855-58 [during which period he lived on fish alone for six weeks]. He was sent to guard in Echo Canyon at the time of Johnston's army invasion. He married Frances Mary Weech, daughter of Samuel Weech and Elizabeth Gould on July 27, 1858, in Salt Lake City, Utah. Frances Mary Weech had come across the plains in the John Banks Wagon Company in 1856 when she was 18 years old. Their company was just ahead of the Willie Hancock Company. They went first to Goshen [Utah]. Then in about 1860 they moved to Payson, where he engaged in manufacturing nails and hoop iron from chains and wagon tires which had been brought in by the army. They were endowed November 24, 1865 in the Endowment House in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Father served as a soldier in the Black Hawk War. He was a carpenter by trade, and about 1877 he went into the business of shingle making. He had just completed the mill on Summit Creek near Santaquin when it was destroyed by fire. He built another one farther up the stream, though his loss has been $2,500. In 1882 he went to Spring Glen in Carbon County, Utah, about six miles from Price, and took up farm land. Here he was the first presiding Elder over the Spring Glen Branch. He was the first Sunday School Superintendent, the first trustee, and leader of the first dramatic association organized in Price. He was a member of the choir in every place he lived, and active in the church. He was ordained a Seventy February 20, 1888 and set apart as senior President to the 101st quorum of Seventies November 5, 1891.
In his latter days his health failed him and he suffered from diabetes, dying January1, 1904 (5?) in Spring Glen and was buried in the Provo City Cemetery, Provo City, Utah.
Now comes the wife of Francis Marion--Frances Mary Weech Ewell. Because of severe religious persecution in England, "Fanny's" parents moved with their family to America when Fanny was six years of age. The Weeches settled with the Mormon Saints in Illinois, where Fanny's father died of apparent complications of asthma. Fanny's widowed mother joined the Hancock company and moved West with the Saints. Fanny was a stalwart woman. One history records: "She often baked pies and bread to sell to the Indians. She often had many encounters with them, and showed much grit and courage in doing so. One example was as follows: One day when she was by herself, an Indian came and wanted bread for nothing. She gave him the bread, then he wanted some butter. Since it was so hard to get, she refused him, and he started after her. She picked up a chair and threw it at him, and then he left." Fanny had nine children, six boys and three girls. She was known affectionately as "Aunt Fannie" to her primary children and young neighbors. Here is her story as told by her daughter Laura Ann Ewell Dennis:
Mother, Frances Mary Weech Ewell, daughter of Samuel Weech and Elizabeth Gould was born October 9, 1838 in Chestershire, England. She crossed the ocean when she was six years old. They were eight weeks on the water. When the family got as far as Illinois, her father died. He had asthma before leaving England and they thought the dampness on the ship caused it to become worse and to cause his death. He was a merchant by trade. There is not much known about their travels but I think they went to Council Bluffs, Iowa, and from there to the Valley of Salt Lake. Mother was baptized in 1845 - in Salt Lake City. When she was a girl she learned to make mens clothes. She was an expert tailor, and made all of my brother's suits. As a girl she attended all the Church organizations, and grew to be a very religious young woman.
She married my father Francis M. Ewell in Salt Lake City. [They] moved as stated before, to Goshen, then on to Payson. When they had their endowments in Salt Lake City in the old Endowment House she changed her name to Fanny. When they moved to Santaquin she became President of the Primary, holding this position for about three years. When they moved to Spring Glen she was busy raising her family, and keeping her big house in order, as so many of the family and friends loved to go to the Ewells. There was always an air of hospitality and friendly goodwill in their home. Mother was an expert housekeeper and a good cook. She kept boarders at the time the railroad came through and also when the narrow gorge was replaced with the wide gorge through to Denver. After father died, she moved to Provo, buying a little home there. She had a stroke. I was living out in the reservation at that time and wanted so much to take care of her, but there was no way to get her out there except by horse and buggy and the doctor said she could not stand the trip. My brother took her to his place in Wellington, Carbon County, where she died in 1914. She was taken to Provo for burial beside her husband. She died as she lived-a faithful Latter-day Saint.
I remember my girlhood days in Carbon County. Father built a large two-story house. The upstairs was made into bedrooms and the entire downstairs was one huge room, so big that I well remember what it took in energy to scrub it. Mother would take the ashes from the stoves and make lye water, get down on her knees and the floor was not scrubbed unless it was white enough to eat from. This floor was large enough for dances and socials. People would come from all the surrounding farms and small communities to have real old fashioned good times. There was a huge fireplace in one end, and it was a cheerful sight to see the big cottonwood logs burning. They were cut right behind the house and rolled down the hill. Father and the boys said it was not much bother to go after wood. Our place was on the west side of the Price River, and many times we were isolated because of the floods.
On the first May Day celebration to be held at Price, I was to be Queen of the May. A big flood came down that morning and there I was dressed in my pretty white Swiss dress ready and oh, so disappointed. Finally my brother Ren hitched up the team to the wagon with its tight box and we started across. Although it swam the horses and the water came within an inch or two of the top, we got across and over to Price safely.
The Apostles and leaders of the Church always came to our place to stay while on their visits out to Castle Valley as it was called. Father and mother had nine children, three girls and six boys. My oldest sister Sarah married Teancum Pratt, grandson of Parley P. Pratt They went to live first at Orderville, then to Spring Glen. He was the first ward clerk, and she the first school teacher. My sister Mary was the postmistress at Helper, and my brother Lorenzo and his wife Mary Dennis had the post office for a number of years. My brothers opened up the first coal mine in that district.
We all took part in the dramatics and in the choirs and socials. My sister Mary could make up and take her part so well people thought she was an actress who had come out from Salt Lake. My brothers Frank, Lorenzo, William, Ether, who died as a baby, and Permit were all well-respected citizens and loyal to the Church. We all had large families. There is only my brother William (who lives in Salt Lake), and I left of father's and mother's boys and girls.
The story would be incomplete without the wonderful little history written by a grandson of Francis and Frances. Irving Y. Bigelow. Mr. Bigelow wrote the biography on Friday, November 3, 1972 while living in Los Gatos, California.
Grandmother [Francis Mary Weech] was a wonderful, and to me a very beautiful woman. She was born in Upton Noble, Somerset, England, the 9 Oct 1838. She was the fourth child of Samuel Weech and Elizabeth Gould; both of her parents were born in England. She must have come to America in the late 1840's, as her youngest sister Emily was born 15 July 1850, in Alton, Madison County, Illinois.
She was a small woman, perhaps 5 ft. 4 inches tall; and I guess she weighed 120 pounds. She had blonde hair, and light blue eyes. She had some good English traits, such as keeping the house neat and clean, doing things on time and not leaving them to be done later, entertaining friends, and providing for their comfort and welfare. I never saw her angry or frown, she was always pleasant and spoke with a soft voice and she never complained. She did not speak with an English accent. She loved her children and grandfather [her husband.".-Francis Marion] very much, and often spoke to him in endearing terms. Grandfather loved her very much too, and called her by a special name, which was "Fanny".
To me as a boy I considered her a very excellent cook, which of course she was. She often cooked a big meal on Sundays for her children and grandchildren. Two of their sons lived in Spring Glen with their families-Uncle Franklin (Frank) and Uncle Lorenzo (Ren). They are the ones who came to meals, and to the evenings of fun, with games, recitations, group singing and other activities. Other guests were also invited for these occasions. They were similar to our present "Home Evening Meetings", Grandfather and my Uncle William Walter (Will) had very fine voices. Uncle Purmitt was living at home at this time.
Some of the things grandmother cooked were: mush, probably graham and corn meal, bacon and eggs, pork and veal, all kinds of vegetables from the garden including sweet corn, rhubarb (pie plant), potatoes with brown gravy, also milk gravy, fried chicken, and chicken stew with dumplings and gravy, yeast bread and biscuits, corn bread, and baking powder biscuits, and of course other things too numerous to mention.
Quite often in the evening grandfather would parch sweet corn and grind it in the coffee mill, this we ate with milk; we also ate it not ground. He also popped the regular popcorn, which he grew and dried for winter use. The same was true of the sweet corn.
One day I caught some big bull frogs in some springs near the Price River. I cut off their back legs and took them home for grandmother to cook, which she did, but she would not eat any of them with me. I liked them very much, the meat was clear and white, and they tasted like young rabbit meat.
Grandma was also a very brave woman. One day she found a skunk in their shanty kitchen, which was on the north side of the house; but rather than let it escape she killed it with a hoe or broom handle, but the odor remained in the room for quite some time. On another day she fought off a big chicken hawk which came swooping down in the front yard to pick up some little chickens that were with their mother.
After leaving Spring Glen grandmother moved to Provo, Utah, where she lived in a small house across the railroad tracks of the Union Pacific, and the Denver and Rio Grand Railroad. While she was living there Ida, [my wife], visited her nearly every week, and took things to her that she was fond of, such as cookies, nuts, melons, and a variety of fresh fruits, lunch meat, and meat to cook some of which she simmered to suit her taste. Ida also took her some articles of food which were made by her mother, such as bread, pies, and head cheese.
appearance; very cheerful, and always pleasant, she was also busy with her household duties; and spent some of her time sewing, making quilt blocks, and similar activities.
I deeply appreciate Ida's thoughtfulness and help to my grandmother, and for which I am very thankful to her.
On June 11, 1988, at 11:30 a.m., Walter L. Ewell, Sr. grandson of Francis Marion Ewell dedicated a monument in memory of his grandfather, Francis Marion Ewell, in Spring Glen (Ewell), Utah.
A tremendous amount of work went into the planning and implementation of the historical approval, dedicatory service, and monument. It is a real memorial of honor and gratitude which has been displayed to commemorate the life and work of one of our beloved ancestors-one in whom we are very proud-Francis Marion Ewell.
Francis Marion Ewell was one of the first settlers of the Helper area. Sarah Ewell Pratt, Teancum Pratt's second wife, was the daughter of Francis Marion Ewell. Teancum Pratt, Helper's founder, brought the Ewell family to this area so his wife would not be lonesome. They settled on the Price River where the Sherman farm is today.
Mr. Ewell's wife, Frances Mary Weech, sold the farm to Baptista Clerico in 1906. The Ewell home burned in 1920. The monument can be seen on Highway 6 south of Helper on the Sherman far.
A large crowd of Ewell family members were on hand for the dedication. Frances Cunningham, local historian, gave a brief history of the Ewell farm and Ewell Hall.