ELIZA JANE BUSHNELL STOTT, 1887 - 1958: by Venice Stott (daughter-in-law)
Contributor: finnsh Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago
Eliza Jane was born to John and Elizabeth Brockbank Bushnell on December 25, 1887, the eighth child in the family. About 2 PM, a children’s dance was on at the church. All six boys and older sister were in attendance. The news came to the dance of the arrival of a new sister, little Eliza. She was named after her father’s two sisters, Eliza and Jane. Sister Eliza was termed, “just a little runabout”, always gadding about and making friends with everyone.
Often, when very small, the young girls would ask which of her brothers they could have and usually they were all given away but her brother Isaac. She would save him till the last, but they all wanted him. When she was only five and her brother Isaac died, the loss was great for her.
One little event which she well remembered was an unexpected invitation to dinner. She had called in a home where a group of older girls were having dinner. The question was asked who should say the blessing. One of the girls saw little Eliza standing in the room and said, “Eliza, come ask the blessing for us”, and to their surprise, she did. Then she was asked to join them at dinner, while they joshed each other about big girls having to ask a little girl to ask the blessing for them.
The first school Eliza attended was the little log one-room school down on the square which was later the tithing yard. Her first teacher was Martha Bennett. The subjects given were reading, writing, and arithmetic, a little history and geography in upper grades.
The teachers were George Olson, Hannah Hansen, and Benjamin Goddard. This school was the fourth and fifth grades. This was the last school she attended.
One of her memories of school was her fondness of drawing pictures of pretty women. Once she was caught by her teacher and down came the ruler on the bench and the command, “Rub that out”, in her ears. At one noon hour after lunch, she arrived at school before the teacher. In their play, Eliza accidentally hurt Mary Ross. Richard Duncan came to defend Mary and bites Eliza on the cheek. So Eliza, in revenge and play goes out and gathers scraps of school lunches in a cup of water and comes back calling to Richard, “Here, Piggy, Piggy.” Just as he attempts to take the cup from her, she throws it in his face. Now for Richard’s return battle when in comes the teacher, just in time to save Eliza. How she feared the time when school would be out and Richard after her. As soon as she was out, off she ran for home as fast as she could go.
Schools were a luxury in that age when books cost money and money was scarce. Some of her schoolmates were Nellie Bennett, Alice Labrum, Emma Greenhalgh, Lizzie Niel, Sarrah Ferguson. Sarrah was her closest friend. If ever she had a piece of candy or fruit, Eliza must have some.
Her first home was a little two-room brown adobe house, north of Uncle Dan’s home. When seven years old, the family moved east and south a few blocks to a new home of four rooms.
Her father leased the Co-op herd of sheep when she was eleven years old. From then on their business was sheep. Eliza had to help herd the sheep at times. Their financial standing was as good as anyone’s. The first time her mother ever went in debt was when some salesman came along with a pack of piece goods - suiting, dress material, and such. This debt was paid off by monthly installments and it was a long time before any of them went in debt again. It was hard to pay off debts then as it is now. There was a man who came along taking pictures on the old tintype. She herded bucks three days to earn money to have her picture taken.
Once she had a trip to Sulfurdale with her brother John. She walked all through the sulfur mines and saw the saw mill on fire. In the afternoon, a man came by the name of John Black of Kanosh. He showed them all through the mill. The fire had burned most of the sulfur and inside the mill.
Her first boyfriends were Tom Niel and John Black. One day as she was scrubbing clothes on the washboard, tubs were set up out in the back yard. Her sister, Bee, says, “Eliza, who are you going to marry?” Eliza looked up from her work and saw Allison Stott passing on a horse. She said, “That’s the man I’m going to marry.” Bee was surprised, as he was one of her boyfriends.
When she was sixteen, her courtship began with Allison Stott. She kept company with him for one year and was married.
One day, a whole wagon load of young folks went to Fillmore to a Negro Minstrel. They were to come home right after the show. As they were coming home another group on a wagon tried to make fun by running around them, keeping in front as they could, playing and fooling along the way. They became so cold with the delay, Heber Beckstrand, one of the younger boys, frosted his feet.
In a large crowd, they had great fun. One of their favorite days was at an apple or peach bee as they were called. In the fall of the year, when the fruit was ripe, they got together. Boys and girls would peel and core apples and stone peaches. Bushel after bushel were taken care of in one evening. The fruit was put in the dryers, then the peelings and litter cleared away. The group were served refreshments. Sometimes their evenings were spent in singing songs, sometimes dancing. Eliza sang in the Ward Choir while Benjamin Goddard was their leader. She also did a lot of recitings and readings in rhyme and prose.
She was married 24 January 1889 in the Manti Temple. Plans were made to be married on the same day with chums, Nina Dame and Luke Stott. They traveled three and one-half days in a wagon, carrying warmed rocks at their feet to keep warm. When arriving, the Temple hands, realizing she was not of age, would not take Luke and Nina’s word that she had the blessing of her mother. A telegram was sent to her mother at Meadow to verify her consent. Luke and Nina were married and Allison and Eliza had to wait till word came next day. Three days of travel again and they were home.
Her first child was a boy, given the name of Jesse. Seven boys followed, Allison, Isaac, Lenard, Howard, Karl, Willis, and Blain. Then two girls arrived, Eva and Valate two years later. Two more boys followed, Wesley, then Nelson. Mother Stott’s dream came true - her goal of twelve children.
Eliza worked in the Primary and some in Relief Society, but as her time became so full and her health not quite so good, she did not go out quite so much. A small town makes their own entertainment and socializing. There was always good music and lots of dancing. She loved to go to sit and watch her boys and girls dance. How she enjoyed keeping with their interests. When they were married and gone, she missed them very much.
Her flowers kept her busy around the yard and Blain would help her with her plantings. Willis loved it too and would see that she had houseplants - always a Calla Lily. In her lawn was a circle filled with pansies. When I asked, she would say, “Plant the seed each August to replenish the stock each year.” Hers were always beautiful as long as she could care for them.
Her feet bothered her quite a bit but she kept her vigil a long time, going to the Post Office, looking for letters from her sons, which I know were not as regular or often as they should be.
She would sit in her rocking chair and relax and rest while visiting. She loved long discussions with her sons. She loved to relate the old prophecies and sermons she had heard.
In her basement cellar, walled with rock, cool breezes from north and east vents kept her larder cool. Great crocks of pure lard for pie making she loved to make. Beautiful hams, smoked by her husband hanging from the ceiling in a row. Fruit and flour filled the store for winter. Her Navy bean Soup with ham hock was always a treat and all were welcome to share. A Sunday dinner most often in Winter was bean soup, pudding, and cake. A characteristic of the taste of the family to top off any meal - bread crumbed, topped with a bit of fruit and cream. One of the quick suppertime meals I remember and loved was onion and cheese soup. She boiled sliced onions for 10 to 15 minutes, poured off the water, then covered with more water and a bit of salt and cooked till tender. She would then add plenty of crumbled cheese; when melted, we served over homemade bread and butter - how good! Always with every meal we had milk to drink.
She loved pictures of family and friends. We often called her living room her picture gallery. On the walls on all sides were pictures. On her old organ, vases of dried flowers and more pictures and ornaments. On the west wall hung two little dresses - long, white and lacy. Each child had been blessed in them.
When her daughters became interested in quilt-making, she took great pride in having a few on display of her own in her parlor.
Blain took care of her in her own home several years after Father Stott died. Then she spent some time with Jesse, Karl, and Eva. Her last years were spent with Valate.
She died at Fillmore Hospital, following three weeks illness of Bronchitis and disability of age, on 26 March 1958.