MARTHA EVA (MIMI) UNSWORTH HANSON 1870-1966
Contributor: StoneScriber Created: 3 years ago Updated: 3 years ago
Soren Hanson first began noticing Eva Unsworth when she came to his store with the other children to buy penny candy! She stood out from all the other girls then, because she was always so sparking clean. As she grew older and attended the intermediate Dances, Eva and her friends wold come into the store during the intermissions for salmon and lemon crackers, and he saw that she was becoming the most beautiful girl in all of Hyrum. But Soren was seven years older than Eva, and struggling to care for his mother and two sisters, whle she was the pampered daughter of one of Hyrum's leading citizens. Surely then he never dreamed that one day this lovely young woman with the wonderful long dark hair and sparkling eyes would be his bride!
Martha Eva Unsworth was the daughter of James and Alice Cockshott Unsworth, formerly of Bolton, Lancashire, England. Their story is told in another part of this book, but they were converts to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. After their marriage they emigrated with thousands of other Saints to Zion, and settled in Hyrum, where James soon opened a small merchandising business, and later ran the ZCMI Cooperative. He was the postmaster for ten years, and a faithful servant in the church, acting as counselor to three different Bishops.
Eva was raised by her devout parents to love the Lord and keep his commandments. Throughout her entire life she was a pure and wonderful woman, and in her later years was called "The Patron Saint" of the Mar Vista Ward, by members of her church in Santa Monica, California.
Eva was born on February 13, 1870, after her father had become successful in his business and had built for himself and Alice a fine eight-room house on Center Street, two blocks up the hill from Main Street in Hyrum. The property on which the house stood was about the size of two city blocks. There were two older sisters waiting to greet her, Elizabeth Ellen (Lizzie) and Mary Ann, and in the years to follow her mother gave birth to Ella; Lillian, who died as a baby; James, who also died a year and a half after his birth'; John, who was stillborn; William; Maude, who lived only four days, and Samuel.
The Indians were very much a part of the scene in Hyrum in those days. They would come every Saturday to the homes of the settlers with bags in their hands, to beg for food. President Brigham Young had told the Saints it was better to feed the Indians than fight them, and following this advice, the hyrum settlers had very few conflicts with the tribes that lived around them. Alice, who was always generous to all, cheerfully shared her food with them. One old Indian refused one of her homemade cheeses however, saying "Me no likum cheese. Cheese choke 'em up!"
The Indians who camped south of Hyrum, across the "Holler," were usually friendly and unthreatning to the settlers, but all the children were frightened of them. When they got drunk, which was as often as they could obtain whiskey, the would race through the town on their horses, yelling and hollering and stirring up the townsfolk. One day, when Eva was just five years old, she was going to the store with Alice and Lizzie, when a small band of Indians came hooting and whooping down the hill. The older girls ran into the neighbor's house, but poor little Eva fell in a dead faint on the ground, and the Indians went by laughing because they had managed to scare the children.
Indepedence Day on Jully 4th and Pioneer Day on July 24th were always celebrated with a grand parade down the little main street, and Eva's heart would thrill at the sound of the band music. On Pioneer Day there would be a real pioneer and Indian fight, with the wagons being burned by the Indians, and of course this added to the children's terror of them, since it was difficult for them to distinguish between what was real and what was play-acting. Charles Sorenson, who married Eva's sister Alice, was always the Marshall of the parade, and wore a big hat with one of his wife's big plumes in it!
In a pioneer settlement like Hyrum, everyone had to work, and even the little children were given tasks to do. One of Eva's first jobs was to get up at five o'clock in the morning, and at the sound of the bugle blowing, take the cow down to the big ditch on Main Street by Malan's house. The herd boys, including maybe Soren Hanson, would be waiting to take the cows up to the hills to graze. In the evening around six o'clock, back she would go to bring the cow to the barn, where her sister Alice would milk it. After her mother "emigrated and adopted" John C. Neilson from Denmark, he did this chore, much to the relief of the girls.
Another one of Eva's tasks was to clean the coal-oil lamps, and she spent many hours at this job. One time Alice whispered in Eva's ear, "You are my favorite daughter because you work so hard and do your work so thoroughly. You always follow my instructions so carefully."
Horses were much a part of the lives of the settlers, and one day 10-year-old Eva and her friend, Elden Stevens, got on the bare backs of the horses in the barn. Elden got out of the barn all right, but Eva couldn't get her horse out the door, so she hung on to the door railing and dropped down to the ground. Elden was bucked off right onto the manure pile, and the children laughed so hard that the horses turned to stare at them, not realizing the part they had played in the comedy.
Sunday was a time for Church-going. Through all the years, though there were many children and Alice was often alone, she saw to it that the family kept the Sabbath Day holy and attended their meetings. In most Hyrum homes, Saturday was the day to bathe, and the Unsworth home was no exception., If it was summer, the children often went to the river to wash and shampoo their hair, but in the winter the tin tub was brought out by the stove, and there the members of the family took turns washing away the week's collection of dust and grime.
In the churches there was no air-conditioning. It got very hot in Hyrum in the summer too, and especially for the ladies, who wore long dresses and tight corsets. Business houses would give paper fans as advertisements, and Eva was always happy to have a fan from her father's store, or from Allgeir's Confectionery.
One of the plagues of the settlers were the bed bugs, which lived in the uncured wood with which they built their houses. Often Eva would help her mother do the washing, and occasionally when they would iron the bedding there would be bug on the sheets, which would mess it all up again. This would pain Alice greatly, since she was such a clean housekeeper, and she did everything possible to eliminate this from happening.
One time a girl came to help Alice with the laundry, but when Alice insisted that it be rinsed in three clean waters, the girl rebelled, saying "You are too particular!" But Alice answered her, "Now look here, you want to learn to do things right. Whoever you work for you will have to do things their way, and follow their orders. You will be proud to know that you do your job the very best way it can be donel" She convinced her that she should have pride in any job that she did and the girl stayed and was thankful to Eva's mother, and became a very good helper.
The table at Unsworths was always bountifully loaded. Alice was a wonderful homemaker and manager, and an excellent cook. In the summer the family would go to Paradise Hollow to pick chokecherries and Pottowattamie plums, which were the same size as the cherries, and all bright yellow, with pink and orange cheeks. What delicious jams and jellies they made.
In the winter Alice and her daughters would spend hours peeling apples with the apple peeler. This was a tool that was anchored to the edge of the table. The girls would put in the apple and it would automatically peel it, round and round. The apples were then quartered and put out on boards to dry.
There was a rock house right out the back door, and every winter before Christmas Alice would prepare her pies, and these would be stacked one on top of the other, and placed in the rock cellar, which acted just like a deep freeze. There were always squash pies and yummy mince pies. Many hours would be spent in making a huge crock of mince meat, with suet and beef and all kinds of fruit. All the good ingredients would be put in with the delicious-smelling spices, and then brandy would be poured over the top. This would preserve it, ad well as give it a delicious aroma and flavor. How the girls loved helping with these preparations for the holidays!
Chirstmas season was always a time of merrymaking in the unsworth household. Throughout the entire community parties were the vogue, and many the evening during the holidays that the parents and children would bundle into their cutter, with the great fur rug tucked around them, and with bells on the sleigh jingling gaily, they would be carried by their beautiful team, Romeo and Major, "over the river and through the woods," to Rindy Miller's house. Sister Miller was like a grandmother to Alice and James' children, and what wonderful time they would have at her house, singing and playing with their friends. They would also visit the Shaws, the Stevenses, the Liljenquists and the Molans, and on New Years Eve all the families would go from house to house wishing each other joy and blessing for the coming year.
December 235th was James Unsworth's birthday, and special festivities were held in Eva'fs home to celebrate the births of both her father and the Savior. James had married his second wife in polygamy when Eva was just three years old, and on this occasion Alice would entertain both of his families at wonderful big dinners. In some ways this event was torture for the children, because the adults would always be served first, and it wasn't until after they had eaten their fill and sat around the tables visiting for what seemed like hours, that the starving children would finallly be called in to take their turn. But their fear that nothing would be left over was unfounded. There was always a bounteous supply of food. There were always apple dumplings with "dip," and English plum pudding that was brought in from the kitchen lighted and burning. How that delighted the children, and what memories of England must it have called-up in the minds and hearts of Alice and James!
On many a summer evening there would be apple bees for Eva and her friends. They would gather at the Unsworth's and go down to the molasses mill just a block from the house, and get the skimmings, with which they wuld make molasses candy. Sometimes there would be as many as ten or twelve young people in the group.
One night Eva's friend Milly Peterson came to stay with her after a dance. Alice had just put her daughters through a house-cleaning binge that day. They had taken the carpets outside and laid them on nice clean straw, and then, after beating them well, had brought them back into the house, and laid them on the newly swept floors. That same day they had also refreshed their mattresses with new straw, a job which had to be done each spring. The old straw had been emptied out and fresh straw stuffed in, and how wonderful it smelled? But this time Eva had got way too much straw in her mattress, making it so high that she and Milly couldn't stay on the bed. They began laughin and gigling, an rolled right off onto the floor. What fun they had!
Man evenings would be spent in making carpet rags and sewing them together. For many years the family made their own rugs, but one unforgettable day Eva's mother brought home from Salt Lake City her first factory made carpet. This was placed in a bay window with a nice marble topped table on it, and it looked marvelously elegant.
In 1885, when Eva was fifteen, her father was called by the Church to go to England and serve a two year mission. Her mother supported her family throughout this entire time, raising and selling tomatoes, which she would take over to Wellsville in the little buggy and sell or trade them for onion and cabbages and other vegetables that would keep through the winter. Eva's sister Ella often went with her.
But Alice's greatest source of income came from taking boarders, sometimes 25 at a time. As there was no hotel in town, and since Alice was such a fabulous cook, she had no trouble finding paying guests. These were often traveling troupes of actors from Ogden, and salesmen from Scowcroft's, from which James bought goods for his store. It was also widely known most of the Church dignitaries who visited Hyrum preferred to stay at Sister Unsworth's.
Such good management and industry made it possible for Alice to sen Eva to college at the Brigham young Academy in Logan. Very few of Hyrum's youngsters at that time were able to continue theirs studies after grade school, which was through the 8th grade. Eva was the first of the Unsworth children to have such an opportunity., By that time her older sisters were married. Eva's good friend, Milly, with whom she had spent so many happy childhood hours, also went to school with her, but Milly liked to have a good time and failed to pass. Eva, however, received good grades and graduated from the Academy with her teacher's certificate.
For further details of Eva's life, see the "Soren and Eva" story.
JAMES UNSWORTH, A COMPREHENSIVE HISTORY 1883-1926
Contributor: StoneScriber Created: 3 years ago Updated: 3 years ago
By-Gloria Hanson Wright, a great-granddaughter
(This history was compiled from many sources, including stories written by my father, Russell Soren Hanson, a grandson of James and Alice; by Russell's wife, Victoria Olsen Hanson; by James' brother, the Reverend Samuel Unsworth; by James ' and Alice's granddaughters, Ruby Hanson Hansen and Lettie Sorenson Goddard. I also used notes from various magazine articles, including "The New West Magazine," "Pioneers and Prominent Men of Utah;" from the newspaper "The South Cache Citizen," and from the book, "Home In The Heart of Bridgerland." Details about the ship, "The Monarch of the Sea," came from the article "Under Sail To Zion," by Conway Sonne, published in the Ensign of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, July 1991.)
James Unsworth was born December 15, 1838, in Bolton, Lancashire, England, to William and Elizabeth Tonge Unsworth.
When James was ten years old, his father, William, came home from work one evening and told the family that there were Mormon Elders down on the corner telling all about their new church. He was very excited about the things he had heard, and he said, "I want to get dressed and go back down and listen to them." He hurriedly changed from his work clothes, and he and his wife, Elizabeth, ran down to the corner to hear the message of the Elders. The things that they heard filled their hearts with joy, and from that day on a great change came into their lives. They went as often as they could to hear the missionaries. They studied The Book of Mormon and after just a short time they and James and their daughter, Elizabeth (Betsy) were baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The city of Bolton where they lived, like all the old cotton mill towns of Lancashire, was a city of black factory chimneys, heavy iron gates and staircases, and red brick. Even the main street was red--a compound of crushed brick and asphalt. Yet it wasn't really ugly. The heavy Victorian buildings had style and character, and many shopfronts bore carefully gilt lettering and moldings.
The population of Bolton in the 1860's was 71,710. There were approximately 1000 mills operating in the textile industry, with over one half of its population employed in them.
James began working in the Eagley Cotton Mills when he was only ten years old, which was about the same time the family joined the Church. He continued working there for twelve years, until 1860. It was there in the mill that he met and fell in love with pretty Alice Cockshott, who was known for her abundant long black hair and flashing dark brown eyes.
Alice was a daughter of John and Alice Bromily Cockshott. She had been born March 21, 1840, at Tong Moor, near Bolton, had attended school until she was twelve years old, and then had gone to work at the Eagley Cotton Mills, where she met James. She was baptized into the Church on December 29, 1860. This took place in Bolton, and Squire Farnesworth performed the ordinance.
Following their marriage on August 15, 1860, both Alice and James continued to work, saving their money so that they could answer the call to all the European Saints to gather to Zion in Utah.
James' sister, Betsy, and her husband, Mark Forscutt, sailed for the united States before James and Alice had enough money saved for their own emigration. The Forscutts left from Liverpool March 30, 1860, on the ship "Underwriter." They reached the Great Salt Lake Valley after leaving Florence, Nebraska on May 12th. Traveling with Capt. Daniel Robinson's Handcart Co., they arrived in the valley on August 27, 1860.
Between the years 1840 and 1890 at least eighty-five thousand LDS emigrants braved the treacherous oceans, surviving the dangers of wind, wave, and disease. Some fifty thousand of them crossed the water in sailing vessels.
Eventually James and Alice, who was in her ninth month of pregnancy, were able to leave for Zion. They set sail from Liverpool on May 16, 1861, on the packet sailing vessel, "Monarch of the Sea," on the first of her two emigrant passages. They were part of a company of 95 Latter-day Saint converts of many nationalities, and were under the supervision of Jabez Woodward and two missionaries, Hans Olean Hansen, and Niels Wilhelmsen. (The wife of Hans Olean Hansen was James' sister. This may have been Hannah, who was born in 1840.)
The "Monarch of the Sea" was the largest sailing vessel to transport Latter-day Saints. She measured 1,979 tons and was 223 feet long--not quite as long as a Boeing 747 airplane. She was a packet ship, the workhorse of the passenger service, and was sturdy, full-bodied, and somewhat tubby in appearance. It has been said that the packet was born of necessity, because she had to withstand the violence of brutal seas and the stress imposed by hard masters who strove to keep a schedule under all conditions., Her crew were often called "packet rats" because of their dubious backgrounds. On some of the ships the LDS emigrants were ill-treated by the Captain and the crew, but on others the members of the Church made converts among the crew, performing baptisms in barrels on the deck.
Between 1847 and 1853, fifty-nine such sailing vessels were lost in the wrathful Atlantic. Knowing this, the Church leaders chartered only the most seaworthy ships, and it is significant that in a fifty year period not one LDS emigrant company was lost in the Atlantic, although one went down in the Pacific with only five LDS passengers aboard.
Both space and privacy were limited on these ships. In fact, sleeping space was at such a premium aboard the "Monarch of the Sea," that the company president suggested that betrothed couples be married to relieve the congestion. Many marriages were promptly solemnized. Alice and James undoubtedly slept in the steerage area, where accommodations were very rude, and extremely overcrowded. Often entire families had to share one bunk and take turns sleeping.
To combat disease, tedium and discouragement the LDS emigrants established patterns of shipboard living. Scrupulous sanitation aboard ship was emphasized, including frequent fumigation and sprinkling of lime in living quarters. To promote good health, leaders insisted that in warm and calm weather everyone--sick and well--spend time on deck in the air and sunshine. Religious services, prayer meetings, entertainments, games, instruction classes, reading and needlework were helpful distractions. Alice, who produced such beautiful needlework throughout her life, undoubtedly had such a distraction always at hand, She could well have been making tiny clothes for the baby soon to be born.
An unusually high death toll was recorded by "The Monarch of the Sea." Dysentery, measles, smallpox, chicken pox, and cholera took many lives during such passages, and James and Alice saw more than forty of those aboard die and be buried at sea. Likewise, there were births on board--well over 100!
It was in this setting that Alice gave birth to her first little baby--a girl. She was born in mid-ocean, under very trying circumstances. Alice would have had only her fellow LDS sisters to help her. The new parents named their little one Elizabeth, calling her "Betsy." She had come into the world just 18 days before the arrival of "The Monarch of the Sea" in New York City. It had taken just 33 days to make the crossing.
The emigrants traveled by train from New York City to Florence, Nebraska, which was the Mormon Winter Quarters. This was an important center for outfitting the companies of pioneers leaving on the 1100 mile trek across the plains to Zion. Oxen, horses, wagons, handcarts, provisions, clothing, and hardware of all types were kept there in large supply. From Florence they continued their journey across the plains by ox team, in the company of Captain Samuel Woolley. Alice, with her tiny baby in her arms, drove one of the teams, while James walked beside the wagon.l They finally reached the Valley safely on September 22, 1861.
The young couple and little Betsy remained in Salt Lake for about three weeks, and then moved to South Weber Settlement, some three or four miles south of Ogden, where they joined James' sister, Betsy, and her husband Mark Forscutt. James rented some land and farmed it for a year.
One of James' grandchildren remembered his telling her that while they had lived in South Weber, Alice would bake her bread on an oven made of rocks, with a large flat rock on top, and James would take some of the bread over to his sister Betsy's camp to share with them.
It was here in the South Weber Settlement, that they lost their little baby. She died October 18, 1861--just four months and eighteen days after her birth on the high Atlantic.
In the fall of 1862 James and Alice moved to Hyrum, Cache County, Utah, becoming some of the first settlers in that beautiful valley. They stayed with the Andrew Andersons, dear friends from England, who offered to share their one-room log house with them until James could get logs out of Blacksmith Fork Canyon. He then built a two-room house two blocks south of what is now Main Street. Before the house was finished, however, Alice gave birth to their second daughter, who was born on December 1, 1867. She was named Alice, after her mother. Through all of this, the Andersons lovingly continued to share their small home.
Like many other settlers in Hyrum, James and Alice knew nothing about farming. They were city people. However, James rented a farm in Hyrum, on which he labored for a period of two years. In addition to his farm work, he served as a guard on "Spy Hill," watching for the approach of any unfriendly Indian. "Spy Hill" was situated near Camp Hollow, northeast of Hyrum, and overlooked the surrounding country.
James and Alice were very poor during these first pioneer years. He did not have a shirt to wear to church, so Alice took her petticoat, which was made of lindsey-woolsey, a cheap kind of wool, and made him one, so that he could attend meetings on Sunday.
Needles were very scarce in Hyrum, and it was a real tragedy to lose one. Happily, Alice had brought a good supply with her from England, and distributed them freely among the other folks. They never wasted anything, but saved everything and found a use for it. Old clothes were used for patching other clothes, and the scraps were cut into blocks for quilts.
One winter James taught school in Hyrum. He was a fine mathematician. At first school was held in various homes around the town, but is wasn't long until a log combination meetinghouse and school house was built. Benches were made by splitting logs into two pieces, with holes bored in the rounded underside and short, heavy sticks fitted into them to make the legs. In the center of the room was a large wood-burning stove. The floor was made of rough boards. The children wrote on slates, and read from whatever books their parents happened to have. There were a few New England Primers and Webster Blue Back Spellers. The teacher took his pay in such things as the settlers could spare, such as corn, ham, wool and the like.
Soon James started a small merchandise store--the first in this pioneer community. It was in a small rock building used some years later by the Hyrum State Bank. It stood on what is now the northeast corner of Main and Center Streets.
In 1861, James' parents, Wiiliam and Elizabeth Unsworth, arrived in Utah from England, with their daughter Mary Ann and their son Samuel. They had sailed aboard the "Antartic" from Liverpool, England, under the direction of John Needham. They may have stayed awhile in Hyrum, or perhaps in Morgan near Salt lake, with their daughter Betsy and her husband, Mark Forscutt. They eventually became disaffected from the Church for some reason now unknown, and they, along with the Forscutts, apostatized and left Utah for Kansas City, where they joined the Reorganized Church. Elizabeth died on January 28, 1879, and William died on September 25, 1888. They were buried in Union Cemetery, Kaw Township, Missouri, which was once outside the city limits of Kansas City.
It may be interesting to note at this point that the Unsworth family became separated in more than just geography. When William and Elizabeth Unsworth left the Church and went to live in Kansas City, their son, Samuel Unsworth, James' younger brother, remained in Utah, where he was educated at the St. Mark's School in Salt Lake City. This school was run by the Protestant Episcopal Church. He was there from 1867 until 1871, and was an outstanding student in the ancient languages of Greek and Latin. In his later years Samuel was considered to be the outstanding scholar in those languages in the entire United States. After his graduation from S. Mark's he was sent by the Episcopal Bishop, Sylvester Tuttle, to St. Stephans in Annandale-On-Hudson, where he graduated with honors. St. Stephens is now known as Bard College, and is connected to Columbia University. Samuel then went on to finish his studies at the Theological University in New York City, after which he returned to Salt Lake City, and was ordained into the ministry of the Protestant Episcopal Church. Samuel married Hannah Dawson, whom he had met seven years earlier, when they were students at St. Mark's, on July 23, 1879, in the St. Mark's Cathedral of Salt Lake City. He served as a minister in the Episcopal Church for forty-six-years. Among many of his prestigious assignments was the pastorate of the St. Paul's Church in Salt Lake City, and of the Memorial Church of the Good Shepherd in Ogden, Utah. He was a very active member of the Masons, becoming a Master Mason, and was Knighted by the El Monte Commandery N. 2, Knights Templar. For twelve years he served as Prelate of the Commandery. He later became rector of Trinity Episcopal in Reno, Nevada. He and his wife, Hannah, had six children, Edith, Grace, Samuel Seabury, Frederick, William, and Hannah. Following the death of his wife, in 1891, Samuel married Helen Winchester, and after her passing in 1899, he married Mina Cole. His final years were spent in Santa Cruz, California, where he died in 1933.
How very different were the lives of these two brothers! Both served the Lord, each in his own way, throughout their entire lives. Each was a missionary, a sought-after preacher, a community leader, and a teacher of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They were men of achievement, service and steadfast faith--great pioneers who helped to build the West. How fascinating it would be to know more about what caused their religious lives to go in such opposite directions, and to have some knowledge of their personal relationship with each other.
In 1869 the Zion's Co-op Mercantile Institution (Z.C.M.I.) opened a general merchandise store in Hyrum, and James became the manager, a position which he held for the next twenty-five years. Following that he built another store near his home at the corner of Second South and Center Streets.
Soren Hanson, who was married to the Unsworth's daughter, Eva, built a two-storey opera house in Hyrum in 1889. This beautiful new building had two spaces for stores on the ground floor, and James moved his business to this new location. There he carried almost every type of merchandise that the people of that day might need or desire. There was a full line of groceries, clothing, notions, shoes, hardware, and furniture. He enjoyed an immense success there, until the building burned to the ground sometimes before 1916. The loss of his business through the fire was a tremendous blow to him, as he carried very little insurance. However, for a great many years he had purchased most of his goods from John Scowcroft and Sons of Ogden, and they suggested to James that he reopen his old store on Center Street, and that they would stock it with merchandise for him. Shortly thereafter he reopened in the old building and continued to operate there until his health forced his retirement.
According to an article in The New West Magazine, (Vol. 1, No. 4, Brigham City, Utah, January 1898,) James was a very much respected businessman. It states that "For 20 years Mr. Unsworth was the directing head of the Co-op, and by general unbiased consent, its importance and success today are chiefly due to the zeal and sagacity of his long management of its affairs." It also added that from the time he opened the doors of his new store, there came 'hundreds of friends he had made by his fair, square and liberal dealing in all the years before."
James was Postmaster of Hyrum for ten years, which is also indicative of his great popularity. The post office had to pay for itself, so no mail was sent out until enough letters had collected to pay the cost of sending them. No newspapers, books or parcels were carried. The charge was decided, not by the weight, but by the distance the letter was going. The mail was carried on horseback to Brigham City and then to Salt Lake by stage coach. One could never be sure if his letters would arrive at any set time. Mail once a month in good weather, and less often in bad, was considered a luxury. Letters going by pony express were written on thin paper and wrapped in oiled silk. They cost one dollar per ounce.
On March 3, 1873, James married a second wife in polygamy, Albertina Wilhelmina Orell. Mina, as she was called by her family, was born February 2, 1855, to Charles F. and Johanna Charlotte Granne Orell at Norrkoping Lane, Sweden. She was baptized by C. F. Runquist, an Elder in the LDS Church, on October 6, 1865, and confirmed a member the same day by F W. Bruhn. Later she emigrated to Utah, and came to Hyrum, not speaking one word of English, and went to work as a maid in the Unsworth home. Brigham Young had told James that, as he was Church leader, and had plenty of this world's means, he must take another wife. There were so many women who had come to Zion by themselves, and they needed someone to care for them. As Mina was already practically a member of the household, and was loved by Alice and the children, James chose to marry her. Following their marriage, James built her a house up the hill south of the home he shared with Alice. They eventually had nine children.
James was called to serve the Church on a mission to England in 1885. By that time he and Alice had built an 8-room house on the lot where their first log cabin had stood, and Alice had borne twelve children, six of whom were stillborn or died in childhood, and six who were living. These were Alice, Elizabeth (Lizzie,) Mary Ann, Martha Eva, Ella, and William. Little Samuel was born 14 March 1886, while James was in England.
During the two long years that James was gone, Alice gave birth to her little son, and raised her children alone, managing to feed and clothe them, and even occasionally to help her husband financially as well. But James had two families that had to be left behind, and much to the heartache of Alice and the children, it was necessary to sell their beautiful team of horses, Romeo and Major, along with their buggy, to raise part of the funds required to meet the expenses of a mission.
Alice had always been an energetic, industrious and capable wife and mother. She and one of the children ran the store while James was away, with the child receiving $17.00 a month, which was a high salary at that time. Alice also ran the Post office in her husband's place, and she took in boarders. There were sometimes as many as twenty-five people at a time boarding in her home. These were usually dramatic troupes from Ogden, who would come mostly in the winter and stay for a week, putting on a play every night in the opera house. Each week one of the Scowcroft Brothers' salesmen, Joseph, Willard, Heber or Albert, would come from Ogden and stay overnight also. Most of the merchandise for the store was purchased from Scowcrofts.
Of course Alice did all the cooking for her boarders, helped by her thirteen-year-old daughter Ella, who was at home then. The other girls, Lizzie, Mary Ann and Eva, she managed to keep in school. She was a thrifty and wise manager. She would never waste even a crust of bread. She raised tomatoes, which she would take by wagon the four miles to Wellsville. Then she would go from house to house to sell them, or trade them for winter vegetables, which helped to feed the boarders. Any extra money that she could spare, she would send to James in England.
This exceptional woman was never selfish and never idle. She could spin, dye wool for clothes, and make over old clothes for the children, even patching to make them last longer. She always had handwork nearby, so if a neighbor dropped in to call on and afternoon, she could pick it up and work on it while they visited. This way she could enjoy their company without wasting time.
Although she was alone with six children while her husband was on his mission, she never missed going to church on Sundays. She was a Primary Organization worker from the time it was organized, and was later President of the Relief Society. She had a kind heart, and was always ready with her counselors to take care of the poor and needy. She cared for the sick, and when someone in the ward died, she would wash and dress them for burial, often even sewing the burial clothes.
Ever desiring to help the European converts to come to Zion, Alice saved enough money to send to Denmark, in order to bring over an eight year old boy, John C. Nielson the son of a widow, whom she cared for until he was practically a grown young man. He was known as John Unsworth while he lived with the family, and there were many people who never realized that he wasn't the Unsworth's own. After many years John's mother was able to come from Denmark, and it nearly broke Alice's heart to have him leave them.
James was in his native England for two years. After one year of missionary work, he became editor of the "Millennial Star", the official publication of the the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in England at that time. When he returned home in 1887, he took Alice with him to Rexburg, Idaho to manage the co-op store there. After all the hardships and heartaches and sacrifices, Alice was still willing to leave her comfortable home and go with her husband to live the pioneer life once more. In Rexburg she and James had only a small log cabin in which to live, but within a year they returned to Hyrum, where he again became manager of the Hyrum Co-op. He was also secretary and treasurer of the entire Cooperative Institution, which included, besides the Mercantile Establishment, a toll road, a sawmill, a shingle mill and a dairy in Blacksmith Fork Canyon, plus a planing mill, two lumber yards, and a wood-working mill. All managers of these various businesses sent accounts to James, who was paymaster for all the working personnel.
Lettie Sorenson Goddard, one of James' and Alice's granddaughters, remembers many things about her grandparents, and the joy she felt in visiting their home, as well as her grandpa's store. "I remember as a little girl," she said, "going to Grandpa with a basket of eggs to buy our staple groceries, and he always dreaded to have to sell the loose pepper because it would always cause him to have a violent attack of sneezing. With tears streaming down his face and between each sneeze, he would laugh and joke and make a lot of fun about it.
"Grandfather's Birthday being on December 25, Christmas Day, it was a tradition for all the families to go to his home for dinner. And oh! such a dinner! I never remember any other such as these. And the children had to wait until the adults had been served, and each year as the families increased, more and more children were there to wait their turn to eat. As the older ones grew up , they would take their turn along with the adults at the first table.
"I remember we children would always worry during the long wait for fear there wouldn't be enough food for all. But there was always plenty, even to the dessert of delicious apple dumplings with "dip", or a wonderful "English plum pudding that was always brought in from the kitchen lighted and burning in a lovely blue purple glow, which was the delight of all.
"I remember the rock cellar in the rear of the house," she continues, "with its thick rock walls and floor, all so spic and span. There were pans of milk, molds of butter, barrels of meat, kegs of pickles, crocks of mince meat for the pies, and rows and rows of fruits of every kind, and jars of jams. There were apples, carrots, potatoes, onions, turnips and parsnips--all the bounteous harvest of their labors."
For seventy years, James Unsworth served actively in his church and community. He was a city Councilman, from 1876 to 1878. Ordained a counselor to three Bishops: Ola N. Liljenquist, Simpson M. Molen, and John F. Wright. He was a fluent and convincing speaker, and wielded a wonderful influence for good in both his public and church activities. Slight of physical structure, he was a marvel of endurance in the discharge of his many duties, carrying with him a spirit of cheer and earnestness. He was sought after as a speaker in funerals, and hundreds received solace and hope from his beautiful sermons.
When Hyrum Stake was organized, and the original Hyrum Ward was divided into three wards, James was chosen a member of the first Stake High Council, a position which he filled for twenty years. In the point of age and length of church service, he became its senior member. During this time, he helped to organize the first Stake choir in which both he and Alice sang
Alice Died on May 22, 1892, at the age of 52. Funeral services were held in tribute to her on May 24th. Apostle Moses Thatcher of Logan, a lifelong and devoted friend of the Unsworth's, was the speaker at these services.
James lived for many more years, until he suffered a stroke in 1923, which first rendered one side of his body helpless, and later, most of his body. He was bedfast for three years, and died peacefully on the evening of April 10, 1926, in his 87th year. During his prolonged illness, and to the time of his death, James' second family, and particularly his wife Mina and their daughter Edna, took devoted and loving care of him.
Albertina Orell Unsworth died April 5, 1941, in Hyrum.
James fathered 22 children, and there were 40 grandchildren and 30 great-grandchildren at the time of his death.
-Gloria Hanson Wright, great-granddaughter