History of Ezra Woodyatt Robertson and his wife, Rebecca Ann Finch, Written by their oldest son, Ezra Finch Robertson, for their Golden Wedding Anniversary, October 21, 1935
Contributor: Turpinca Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago
In the year 1859, Spanish Fork was a village of just a few log cabins, having been recently built when the town site of Palmyra was abandoned for higher ground. The town was built similar to the others for the territory at that early date. With the thought of protection from the hostile Indians, the houses were centrally located and the farms were on the outskirts or surrounding the town. In that day, no radio, no telephone, telegraph, or even railroad was to be had in this isolated and newly settled country. So when on August 13, 1859, Ezra Woodyatt Robertson first discovered America, the news could not be broadcast nor even friends and relatives at a distance notified of the great event, only a few close-by neighbors and friends. He was the fifth child of William and Eliza Woodyatt Robertson, who had left their home in Scotland and England and arrived in the valleys of the mountains in 1852.
ln the spring of 18609, March 11th to be exact, another event took place in the same town and just a few blocks away was born the third child of Joseph and Jane Davis Finch. She is known to us here tonight by various names: sister Robertson, Aunt Becky, Grandma, and Mother. But if we were to turn to the family Bible, we would find Rebecca Ann Finch.
These two young people grew up as folks had the habit of doing in that day. They attended the schools of Spanish Fork such as that day afforded, most of which were private in nature, and were maintained by tuition paid by the parents of the children. Among others was the Academy, as it was called, and was presided over by the late George H. Brimhall.
Ezra Woodyatt learned his vocation, that of a farmer, under the tutorship of his Uncle James Robertson. But aside from his labors on the farm, he spent some time in the construction of the railroads being built at that time. One of these was called the Calico Road from the fact that many of the workmen were obliged to take their pay in merchandise. This road we know today as the Denver and Rio Grande Western. He also spent some time in Arizona on the Atlantic and Pacific, later named the Southern Pacific.
Mother was not to be outdone either, when it came to building railroads, for she was employed as cook by some of the Spanish Fork contractors. Later she found employment in Salt Lake as a hired girl or doing housework. Among the places was at the home of Clara Decker Young, one of the wives of Brigham Young.
Fifty years ago they journeyed by team from Spanish Fork to Logan, a distance of about 150 miles and were married on October 21, 1885 in the nearly completed Logan Temple--Salt Lake Temple was not finished until eight years later.
They settled in Lake Shore which was formerly known as the Indian farm, being located west of Spanish Fork and on the shores of Utah Lake. there they cleared away the greasewood, leveled the ground, built the ditches and fences, planted orchards, lawns, trees, and flowers, and all the other items too numerous to mention. They did their part in making the desert blossom as a rose. But while they were raising crops of hay or grain, cows or chickens,,one other crop was demanding much of their attention. The babies came along with regularity, six boys in all, Ezra, William, Leon, Scott, Bert, and James, four of whom survive.
In 1891 a call came to fill a mission to the British Isles and father accepted. He rented the partly cleared farm to a neighbor, and Mother, with three small children, turned to her former vocation of sewing to help carry on the missionary labors for two years.
During their married life, they have taken an active part in the religious affairs of their communities where they lived. They have held numerous offices in the ward. Some are: Sunday Schoolteacher, Primary officer, President of the Mutual Improvement Association, Relief Society, High Councilman, and several others.
In 1906, they sold their farm in Lake Shore and moved to a dairy farm near Park City. While living there, their sons were called to missions in various parts of the world, Ezra to the Central States, William to New England States, Leon to New Zealand, and Scott to the Society Islands. Altogether, they have maintained a missionary in the field for a period of 13 years.
In the fall of 1919, they sold their dairy ranch and moved to Salt Lake City where they now live.
Rebecca Ann Finch Roberson passed away on January 26, 1940
Ezra Woodyatt Robertson died on March 29, 1942
Both are buried in the Spanish Fork City Cemetery.