HENRY HONE AND HIS WIFE REBECCA MILLS
Contributor: kclose14 Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago
The church authorities have counseled the members of the church to keep a personal record of their lives. My parents did not keep any kind of a record of their lives so I decided to write a history as complete as I can. They kept a diary of their mission to England 1911 to 1913, I have ,found some records by doing genealogy. Most of what I can write about will be from memory so I will do the best I can in writing an account of their lives. Arlynn Hone (September 10th 1978)
Henry Hone, my father was born 16 April 1853, in Foleshill England, 5 miles from Coventry to George Hone and Mary Boss. He was the youngest of 8 children. Sarah Ann, David, George, Emma, Caleb, Mary Jane, Joshua, and Henry. I never heard Father say anything about his early life in England, only that the custom in England was to send the children to work in the factories at a very young age. Father had no schooling in England and very little in Utah.
According to some records I have, Father, along with his Father and Mother, Brother Joshua, sisters Emma and Mary Jane sailed from Liverpool England on the ship Arkwright on 30 May 1866 for America. There were 450 saints aboard the ship under the direction of Justin C Nixon. The ship arrived in New York 6 July 1866. They crossed the plains and arrived in Salt Lake with the Daniel Thompson train 29 September 1866. They moved to Provo and lived in the 2nd ward there. They later moved to Benjamin, Utah. This means Father walked, I suppose nearly all the way across the plains. He also would be 13 years old. Father was baptized 28 April 1867 by James Hardy and confirmed by ______ Holiday. These ordinances were performed in the 2nd ward in Provo. I do not remember anything more about my father until after he married Mother.
I do know Father homesteaded a half section of land on the east side of the west mountain. He also had 40 acres of land about 1/2 mile east of the Benjamin intersection on the north' side of the road. He had another 38 acres where the old home stands. I have no record of when Father acquired these pieces of land. My mother, Rebecca Mills was born 3 July 1856 in Bedford Leigh Lances county England to Thomas Mills and Ann Clegg. Mother was the 12th child in a family of 15 children. They were Anne, Mary, Sam, Jane, Martha, Ellen, George, Joseph, Sarah, Alice, Nephi, my mother Rebecca, Robert, Ann, and Eliza. The only ones to come to America was Mary, Jane, Robert, Ann, Eliza. Mother along with her Father and brother Robert and sisters Ann, and Eliza.
Mother's sisters Mary and Jane came to America quite awhile before Mother came. Mother's Mother died 13 December 1891; one year be before her father emigrated. Other sisters and brothers who stayed in England ware Anne, Martha, Ellen, George, Joseph, Sarah, Alice, Nephi, and Sam.
Mother was put in the factories very young the same as Father so she too had no education or schooling. I was told that Mother's family was wealthy in England and had a very nice home. With so many children all working this would seem possible. When Mother came to America the railroad had been laid as far as Provo so she did not have to come to Utah by wagon train. Mothers sister Jane had married Fathers brother George in England and they were already in Benjamin living in a dugout with a dirt floor. I was told Mother had to live with them for a while. Mother had her first disappointment and heartache at this time. After leaving a very nice home in England and having to live in a dugout was hard for her to do. I have no record of where the rest of Mothers family lived for a while.
Father and Mother were married in Payson, 4 July 1875, Utah Co. I have no record of where they lived after they were married, for some time. I do know Father built an adobe house 14' x 20' with a loft above that was used for a bedroom. Some time later he added another adobie room on the west side. Father and Mother raised most of their family in the adobe, building. Not very long before I was born they built a two story brick building on the south of the old one, 18' x 40'. This had 3 large bedrooms, a parlor and hall and stairs. Mother told us many times about the hardships they had during the early part of their lives together. The land they were going to farm had to be cleared of sage brush and grease wood. This Father had to do by hand with a grubb hoe. The brush he dug up was piled up to use for fire wood. The water had to be carried from a spring about 1/2 mile away. The washing had to be done with a scrubbing board. After the land had been cleared it had to be tilled. Father had one oxen to plow and work the land. I heard Mother call the oxen "Old Jake." I suppose breaking up the land was a slow process and not very much could be cleared each year. I have no idea how long before Father had horses to do the work.
I have no idea how my Father and Mother ever got enough money to buy clothes. It would take a while for them to get cows for milk and chickens for eggs and pigs. They had some meat that Father got by hunting ducks and rabbits. I think early in Fathers life he caught some fish from Utah lake. In winter Father would hunt ducks and rabbits and hang them up on the north side of the house to freeze. This way they had more fresh meat in winter. A large part of money to buy clothes and some of the necessary items was earned by selling butter and eggs.
Father was a man 5' 5" tall, weighing about 170 lbs. most of his life. He was neat in his appearance and was very thorough in what he did, such a s keeping the buildings in good repair. Anything he did, he did well. I remember he took good care of himself and his habits were regular, he ate his meals at a regular time, he did not overwork, but he worked steady. He was a very early riser. He kept the fences in good repair in his younger days.
Mother was 5 foot 3 or 4 inches tall and weighed around 100 lbs. as I remember her She moved fast and was a hard worker. She could not be still if there was any work to do. She kept her house clean and in order all the time. Mother had a very different and hard change to make in America. After working in a factory all her life, it was a drastic change to make. I will never. know the hardships my parents went through, also the heartaches. Mother became a wonderful cook and house keeper, also a wonderful wife and mother. She had so many things to learn after coming to America. Among the things she had to learn was how to make soap from fats of animals using wood ashes for lye. How to sew no machine, how to preserve foods, make bread, and care for everything that could be used. She made pillows with ducks and chickens feathers, mattresses from straw, how to put straw under a woven carpet for pads, & Many other things my parents had to do. It is hard to realize just how hard our parents worked and planned to make this country what it is today.
Father and Mother had eleven children, I being the youngest. At this time only 2 are living, Wilford Woodruff and myself. The children are Henrietta born 3 September 1876, Charles Henry born 29 June 1878, Mable Florence born 10 October 1880, Edward born 23 December 1882, Edward was killed 15 November 1896 Edith born 16 May 1385, Lucy Born 2 June 1887, Arthur born 9 June 1889, Pearl 5 January 1892, Norman born 11 Dec 1894, Wilford Woodruff born 1 Mar 1897, Arlynn born May 10 1903.
My Father was 50 years old when I was born so I do not remember of how much work he did on the farm. I suppose as his family grew old enough to work; they all helped him. I think some of the girls worked some on the farm. I do remember Father had some bees that he tended until he became too old. None of the family worked with the bees. Father had built quite a large barn with a lean-to on each side. One for cows and one for horses. I think along about the 1890's he built a brick building with a rock cellar under it that he called the honey house. Father did the extracting of the honey in this building. I do not remember of my Father doing any hard work. He took very good care of himself. He did not drink tea or coffee and if he ever tasted any kind of liquor it was for medicine. I very faintly remember of my parents keeping some brandy in the house for medicine. In those days people kept brandy in the home for medicine. Father never drank beer.
In 1900? Father was called on a two year mission to England. I do not have the exact date. By this time my parents were quite well off financially. They did not have much money but they had quite a lot of property. I think Father was quite happy with this call. It seemed to me he sort of liked his homeland. I was born after Father left on his mission., I remember of the family saying that a terrible hardship this placed on Mother. Eight of the family family were married so Mother had to see that the farming was done the cows tended and other chores. Much of the money to keep Father on the mission came by selling butter and eggs. With all the extra worry and a baby to tend I wonder how she ever stood such a hard time for two years. Mother had health trouble most `of her life and they said it was getting worse. She had bad headaches that sometimes made her sick in her stomach. Mother was so faithful in the gospel she believed the Lord would bless her through her suffering. I believe the two years Fattier was on his mission was two of the hardest years of Mothers life but she remained faithful to the end of her days. It seemed to take a lot out of her life.
After father returned I suppose things became normal again. I believe being away sort of broke a bond that usually happens between Father and son. In my whole life I did not seem to get very close to Father. He was always good to me but we never got real close to each other.
At the time most of my brothers and sisters were growing up the people in Benjamin had to provide their own entertainment and social life. People did quite a lot of visiting, quite a lot on Sundays between meetings. I remember Mother used to spend all day on Saturday cleaning and cooking for Sunday. She would make cakes and pies and roast ham or some other meat and do all she could so she did not have to cook on Sunday. They had a lot of company on the Sundays. Father had a hobby of taking pictures and developing them. He had pictures of nearly half the people in Benjamin. He nearly always took the pictures with the people standing against the east side of the house. He had many dozens of pictures. When my sister Edith left home she took nearly all of them and after she died they became lost. If we had them now they would be very valuable in making a history of Benjamin. The people in Benjamin all called Father Uncle Henry and Mother Aunt Becky.
For a long time Benjamin had a town band. Father played a cornet in the band. There were Stewarts, Richardsons, Hands, Ludlow's, Hawkins, Claysons, Hickmans, Peays, 5 Hones. I have a picture of the Band. It has been said they were real good for a small town. Another form of recreation was celebrations on all holidays. There were ball games between the surrounding towns. These became very exciting at times. The ball games were played once a week all summer. On holidays they usually had a parade, then danced around a pole called a May pole. A number of streamers were fastened to the top of a pole and teenagers would dance around the pole holding a streamer, half going one way and half going the other way. This braided the streamers around the pole. On the 24th of July celebration a few men would dress like Indians, then they would ride horses and kidnap some man and get him on a horse and led the horse around a short time, then tie the man onto a post or tree and fake burning him to the stake. Sometimes they got the fire so close it scorched the mans pants legs. I was just old enough to remember these things. Another source of recreation was dancing at night or evening. The town had a brick building built for a dance hall. It was used for dancing mostly late in the fall and winter and for special occasions in summer. Most everyone would go to the dances, young and old. An orchestra was provided consisting of Benjamin people. The ones in Benjamin who had young babies brought them, carrying them in a large basket. The basket was put quite near a heater in winter to keep them warm. Everyone seemed to have a real good time. Even considering the hard times the people still had some happiness and joy. In those days they seemed to socialize more than we do now.
In 1911 Father and Mother were called to fill a two year mission to England. I was told later that Mother was not happy with the call. I was eight years old so Mother did not want to leave me. Also Woodruff was 14 years old. At our age Mother knew we needed our parents care. Mother being the faithful woman she always was, accepted the call. I think Father was very happy to go. This would be his second mission. They began to arrange their business affairs and other necessary things that had to be done before leaving. To get money to fill the mission Father had to sell 40 acres of his 78 acres of land. With all this preparing to go I still not fully realizing what this would mean to Woodruff, Edith, and me. The family had decided that Edith would take care of the home and Woodruff and I would tend the Horses, cows, and other chores. John Shepherd would take care of the bees. I do not remember who tended the 38 acres of land Father still had. Just before my parents left, the electric power had been brought to some of Benjamin so we had electric lights. This was quite a nice improvement to the home.
Finally on the 27 November 1911 they were ready to leave. The train made a regular stop at the Benjamin depot at this time so the family all met at the depot to see Father and Mother leave. Not until my parents boarded the train for Salt Lake City did I realize what this meant to me. I cannot describe the feeling that came over me. I felt some what as if I would never see them again. The next two years of my life were years I could never forget. It seemed my life was never the same again. After they returned I never had the same feeling toward my parents, something had been lost.
It was very hard to adjust to this change. Sister Edith, due to some illness had to have one of her legs amputated when she was about 14 years old and the family had sort of favored her so it seemed she required a lot of attention and waiting on. I suppose Woodruff and I did not do just as she wanted and she became hard to please. After a short time the family decided it was best for Woodruff to live with sister Florence and Jesse Ludlow in Spanish Fork. This change made things so lonesome for me and the time passed more slowly. Edith required so much help I had no time to play with the neighbor children. Edith had attended the BYU and had a degree in music. Mostly in summer she would drive to private homes and give piano lessons. I would have to hitch a horse on the buggy and drive to the homes and wait one hour for her to give the lesson. She also taught at our home.
The two years passed and about November or December 1913 my parents came home. When Mother saw me she began to cry. I remember her saying I had not grown one bit in the two years. I was very glad to have them home again but the two years away had made a change that many things would never be the same again. Mother had poor health part of the time in England. She had to stay home because of illness many times. My parents each kept a diary of every day they were gone. In reading Fathers diary I found out they did a lot of walking. According to his records they walked 14 miles some days. They also traveled a lot by tram, as the street cars or trains were called. It was hard for Father and Mother to write and spell words, having no schooling. They did very well. According to Fathers diary Mother always made more Contacts than Father. According to the testimony of Nathaniel Ludlow, who was serving a mission in England at the same time as Father and Mothers She could get into homes the Elders could not get into. Mother was the only Lady missionary in all England at the time she served. Most of the missionaries were young men and they sort of considered Mother as a 2nd Mother to them.
Father and Mother worked very hard on their mission. They were allowed one day a week to wash their clothes and clean their apartment. They had to study a lot. On Sundays they always had to attend meetings, sometimes many miles away. Mother became a excellent speaker and it appears she did more speaking than Father. Even after they returned home they were called to speak in the wards of all the stake in sacrament meeting. They took me many times with them and I remember Mother always spoke first and when she finished there was little time left for Father.
Many things had been done to make life easier for my parents. Not many years after they were married a well was driven so they had water close to the house. Then again about 1906 or 7 another much larger well was driven 585' deep. This well had been piped into the house so water was always handy in the house. Right after Father and Mother returned from their mission Father bought an electric washing machine with a power ringer on it. they still did not have enough money to buy coal to heat the house and to cook with. Wood had to be chopped, The kitchen was the only room that was heated in winter except on a special occassion the parlor was heated. There was no such thing as a furnace in a farm home in my parents days. There was no bathroom in our home. Water had to be heated on the Kitchen range. We had to bath in a round galvanized tub.
It was not long until things became normal again. Father began to tend his bees, also he began to spend time at Utah lake fishing. Again we had those delicious bass to eat. I do not remember who was tending the farm. Two years makes a difference and we had to get used to the changes that took place. It was real good to have our parents home again.
Time passed normally for a while then in around 1914 a war began in Europe. I am not up very well on history but I remember Germany had been preparing for war for quite a while. Germany had figured they were going to conquor the world, I do not remember what nations were helping Germany or what nations were against Germany. Germany began to take over the small bordering nations first. Germany was having enormous success in overpowering other nations and soon all Europe was involved. The Germans were killing men, women, and children. The German soldiers were very wicked and had mercy on no one. The war became so bad that in the spring of 1917 the United States entered the war. We were not prepared for war so the whole nation hid to help in every way, with money and man power to make war supplies. Thousands of men were taken into the army and navy. Many volunteered and many were drafted. Woodruff volunteered for the U. S. Navy and was the first to leave Benjamin. He was the last service man to return home after the war. Many items became rationed such as food and clothing and anything that was needed to produce supplies for the war. Prices on goods raised high in price and many things you could not buy. The war was called the first world war and Germany had taken over most of Europe. The Germans did not feel the U. S. could prepare for war so fast, but when we did become prepared Germany began to loose. They found out that the U.S. was a very powerful nation. Many of the people in U. S., especially in cities at times were quite hungry and went without many things. People living in the country nearly always had something to eat. Mother and Father did a lot of worring about Woodruff. He was gone nearly two years in the navy. Finally the 11 November 1919 the war ended.
Father and Mother had a lot of sorrow at times. In a period of 14 years, between 1887 and 1901 they had lost 4 children between the ages of 14 years and 1 week old. Also sister Edith had her leg amputated during this time. After the war ended it soon became possible to buy the items that had been rationed. The price of the things was quite high. My brother Arthur who had moved to Idaho had moved back to Benjamin and he did not have work, so he decided to farm Fathers land. The land Father had was not enough so Father morgaged the land to buy another 40 acres on the west mountain. A while before this Father had bought an Overland automobile. A short time after Father and Arthur had bought the land a depression came about and prices droped so low that Arthur could not make the payments on the land. Money had been borrowed from the bank to make the payment on the land and very little had been paid back. The Bank let Arthur keep the land for quite a long time but finally they had to take the land back. Brother Arthur then found a job and went to work. The land Father had was mortgaged so after a time the Bank was going to take Fathers land. Money was very hard to get and farm prices were so low.
About this time brother Woodruff recieved a government bonus for time he had spent in the navy so Woodruff decided to take over the farm and pay his bonus money on the farm. This way the whole farm was not lost, but Woodruff became owner of the farm.
In about 1923 Mother fell, I think off the door step and broke her leg. We called a doctor Hagan from Spanish Fork. He came down and Mother was put on a bed that had some boards put over the matress then one quilt over the boards and Mother had to lay on her back. Splints were put on her leg to hold her leg straight. Some strong wide tape was placed on each side of her leg so that a rope could be tied under the sole of her foot. This rope ran to through a pulley at the foot of the bed and a bucket of sand was tied to the end of the rope. This sand was to stretch her leg so it would heal straight. The bed was so hard Mother suffered very much. She had to lay on her back all the time. After about two weeks the doctor said her leg was healing crooked so he broke her leg over and reset it. Mother suffered so bad she prayed she could die. After another 4 weeks the weight was taken off her leg and the boards were removed from the bed so Mother could turn on her side. The doctor told her to be very careful because her bones had become very brittle.
Mother soon got so she could walk again with a crutch. Both Father and Mother were beginning to show their age quite fast. Mother had a hard time trying to take life easier. She had been so active all her life she could not be still. Father finally sold his bees so he did not have anything to do. He still did some fishing at Utah lake.
Some time just after the depression came some of the Banks went broke and Father lost what money he had kept so they would have something to live on. They did not have enough cows or chickens to bring in an income. The income from the farm kept them in food, but part of the time there was no money to pay taxes so the taxes did not get paid. All Fathers and Mothers life it had become a custom in the fall to take a load of wheat to the Payson mill and get a years supply of flour and germade. This was called a grist. Each 100 lbs. of wheat would make so much flour, bran and shorts. The bran and shorts was used to feed the pigs. Enough wheat was taken to make a years supply of flour also a years supply of germade for cereal. We raised enough pigs to have pork a year, some was cured to keep for summer. We hardly ever had beef.
I think it was about 3 years after Mother broke her leg she fell and broke her leg again. She said she would rather die than have to suffer again. We called Doctor Hughes and when he came Mother told him she could not stand to lay on boards again. We told him how Dr Hagan had treated the leg before. Dr. Hughs said he could not see why Dr. Hagan had done this. Mother was much relieved when she did not have to lie on boards. Dr Hughs put a cast on Mothers leg and told her she could lie in her soft bed and could turn some in bed. Mother still had a lot of pain in her leg but it healed in less time than before. Mother said she wondered if the Lord was testing her with so much suffering to see if she would remain faithful. She did remain very faithful to the end of her days.
Each year that followed made quite a difference in Father and Mother. Father had always taken good care of himself and I remember he had real good health until about the last year of his life. Mother waited on Father quite a lot. She had his meals ready regularly and waited on him quite a lot. Father chopped wood touse in the kitchen stove. sometimes we had a little coal. The parlor and dinging rooms were not heated very much in winter.
Melva and I were married in 1925 and in 1926 in the fall Father and Mother moved in 2 rooms downstairs, Woodruff and Inez were living in 1 room downstairs and 1 upstairs, so Father and Mother let Melva and I live in one room downstairs and one upstairs. This made three families in a six room house. Times were very hard and there was not much work. We all got along very well together. Woodruff and I did all the chores and we both started to raise some chickens. We did not have enough chickens to make much money but with what work we could get we had the very necessities of life.
In about 1929 or 30 times began to improve and there was a little more work. Father had begun to have prostate trouble quite bad and Mother could not take care of him, so the rest of us was handy to help them when we were needed. With no bathroom in the house it was very bad. We had the doctor for Father but in those days nothing could be done for Father at his age. When Mother did not have to care for Father she was quite well. We got a special chair to keep in the house for Father to use but Woodruff and I had to help him. Father always wanted Mother to wait on him and help him in and out of bed. He insisted she help him so the family decided Mother would go to Spanish Fork and stay with some of the family. Father kept getting worse and we knew he could not get well or last very long. Woodruff or I had to sleep in the same room with him at nights. He was quite heavy to lift and it became hard to handle him. This went on for about six weeks then he became very bad. The family had an attorney come down and make out some papers that would turn over 4 acres of land and home over to Woodruff and another 4 acres of land to me. We had been keeping Father and Mother for quite a while. It was agreed that Woodruff and I would take care of all Father and Mothers expences and debts for as long as they lived. These two pieces of land was in Fathers name so something had to be done while Father was alive. It was only a few days after this that Father passed away, 21 November 1930. He had suffered extreme pain the last few days.
It was hard to realize Father was gone but we did not want to see him lay and suffer longer. He had lived a good life and had set a very good example for us and had made it possible for his family to have a much better life than he had.
A few days after the funeral Mother came home and between the two of us she could be with either Woodruff and Inez or Melva and I. She would have her own bedroom and kitchen and was free to be with either of us. After a while she became quite contented and had lots of free time. She seemed quite happy and did not want for anything.
Winter passed quite fast it seemed. we all began making plans for the coming spring and summer. Melva and I had decided to start building a house on the four acres of land we had. I had some money coming for some work I had done the last summer. A lumber co. Jex Lumber Co. in Spanish Fork agreed to furnish the material I would need and hold a note for the part I could not pay for so I could pay as I could. Mother seemed quite happy about this. The location I would build on would have a large window so Mother could sit and see most of the neighbors and people along the street. She expressed a desire to live with Melva and I. When I got started to build Mother would sit and watch me work. I had to build on my spare time so the building went slow.
Mother became quite happy and was having much better health. She was not working hard and had time to rest. It looked as if she would have a few years to enjoy herself. She was relieved of most of her worries and cares and seemed real happy. I had the roof on our house and was working on the inside when fall came. It came time for the October conference of the church. Brother Arthur had a radio and had invited Mother to come to hear conference. We took her to Spanish Fork and left her to Arthurs. The radio was in a room that was not heated and Mother sat in the cold room during conference with not enough clothes to keep her warm. On Sunday afternoon brother Arthur called and said Mother was very sick. Melva and I went to Arthurs and called the doctor. Mother had caught cold and had pneumonia. She was so bad she hardly knew us. The Doctor had me get some medicine and soon after taking the medicine Mother appeared to be better. We found out after, the medicine was to kill the pain. They did not have medicine then like we have now and Mother was too bad. Melva and I went home and early on Monday Morning Arthur called and said Mother had passed away.
We were really surprised. We all felt like Mother would be with us for a long time and we were prepared to give Mother, all the good care she would need.- Now with both our parents gone.it left a feeling hard to describe. Melva and . I had planned where Mother could sleep and I was looking forward to having her with us. She had been such a wonderful Mother and it took a long time to get used to seeing an empty place where Mother should be. I never got real close to Father in all my life and I did not miss him as much as Mother.
With both parents gone I began more fully to realize what they really meant to me. The extreme hardships they made in coming to America and the suffering and sacrifice they made that we their offspring could enjoy a much better life in many ways. I live in hope that sometime we will live our lives that we will once again be able to see them and know them in the kingdom of our Father in Heaven.
The things I have recorded are almost entirely from what I could remember from events or things I heard Mother tell about. As I have stated before, Father did not talk about his life in England or his life in America. He was rather quiet and did not enter into conversation very much. Mother was the opposite and did most of the talking, expecially after they returned from their mission to England. I know my parents had many times of joy as well as the hardships they had. They were both good honest, faithful and true Later day Saints and were very faithful to the end of their days. I feel that now they are enjoying the fruits of their faithfulness and devotion to the gospel. They gave all they had and died--almost in poverty.
I have written this account of my parents in hopes it will be interesting to their grandchildren and to their posterity who have the desire and time to read it. My parents did a great deal and had an important part in building up the town of Benjamin. Arlynn Hone