Mary Coltrin Mc Ewan - An Angle on Earth
Contributor: jayber Created: 2 years ago Updated: 2 years ago
Mary Coltrin Mc Ewan
An Angel on Earth
My recollections of a dear cousin
By Evelyn Selman Willoughby
Mary seemed more like a sister than a cousin to me.
Two lovely sisters lived with their mother Lucy in Provo in an apartment just off University Avenue on 1st West called Calister Court. Mary and Josephine worked as telephone operators. They were both happy, joyful girls making us younger children laugh. We thought they were very sophisticated. They wore the “in” clothes and came and stayed with we children when our parents went to Salt Lake City. How we looked forward to her visits. She spent a good deal of time at our home.
When Kenneth Mc Ewan came home from his mission, Mary was the one that fit in all his dreams and their courtship days were very exciting to me. We spied on them when they would sneak kisses.
Mary’s mother died in her late forties with the war time epidemic of flu in 1918. She had divorced Mary’s father and now the girls were alone.
Mary and Kenneth sealed their love and married in the Temple at Salt Lake City. Their wedding party was held at my parent’s home which was homesteaded by Kenneth’s grandfather Joseph T. Mc Ewan. My parents were Kenneth’s Aunt Theira and Uncle George Selman. It was on 1200 East 2nd North in Provo Bench – now is Orem. They loved these newly-weds as their own. They were doubly related, George was Mary’s cousin. Theira Kenneth’s Aunt.
It was a gala affair as Kenneth’s Grandfather Mc Ewan held many high and important positions in civic government and also as a church leader and his father was the first Bishop of the Sharon Ward and was still Bishop at death. He had served a mission in the North Eastern States when Kenneth was a baby. Now he lay paralyzed from a stroke died a little over a year after the wedding. There were wealthy and prominent folks attending as Aunt Amanda Mc Ewan had married Uncle Jesse Knight and that added an “air” to the affair. Their gifts were beautiful.
Mary and Kenneth then moved up to his father’s homestead, a very comfortable home for that time but they had to carry their water for all their culinary use from the canal that was quite a distance away.
It was at this time Mary started her family. While she sewed baby clothes, I would sneak away from home to be with her. She made me rag dolls and helped me make clothes for them and I would try to make them like she made her babies things. Kenneth would cut my hair and say you have wire in your hair, he was right I have very unruly hair. And until you had one of his bear hugs you don’t know what love really is. How we all loved this cute little couple.
When Norma made her debut, their marriage was intact. How they loved her and her ready smile. These people showed their devotion like very few people are capable of doing.
They next moved to the River bottoms in a little house on the Mc Bride farm by the river. It was when we were invited to their home for dinner that I tasted Jello with whipped cream
While here Kenneth broke his leg and by now they had added a beautiful handsome son to their humble home and called him Dean. So their Uncle and Aunt George Selman opened their home and their hearts to these they called their own, until his leg mended and he was able to work again. We also had a girl and boy the same age in our home. You see in those days we depended on one another for our livelihood, there was a deep love that lasted through the years, through thick and thin.
Kenny boy joined this little family soon after and then came the twins. Mary had her hands full. This was our family and mother went to help the family. At that time there were three babies in diapers. They lived on a highway in Orem on the old Park Farm and Mary’s brother that they nick named “Toots” lived with them. He would push the baby buggy back and forth with a rope and pull it back, he wanted to help his sister so much.
So after the twins were born it was the fall of ’29. Mother was killed and Mary and Kenneth grieved the same as we all did. Mary would say what will I do now I have lost another mother?
When Ray came, Daddy sent we girls to help and things were rough and Naomi took the responsibility she being the oldest, but these were our own.
The depression was on and it was hard for everyone. Kenneth was cut down until he hardly made enough to feed his family. No one could pay their taxes let alone their mortgages or rent. So Kenneth had to have a place for his family as it was hard to get accommodations for a large family so we had a little home by us that father let them move in until they could get on their feet.
I recall as a teenager how I spend many hours over with Mary telling her my boy problems and love affairs and she laughed with me.
As President Roosevelt got the country going again and the interest rates dropped to 4% -- many homes and farms were saved, but many people lost their all. But by then Kenneth was able to buy a farm with a home all their won. How happy they were. It was in West Orem just off Center Street on 8th West.
Sweet Joann was added to the family that was growing, but tragedy struck in that humble home and Dean at 7 years of age was killed and added to that the twins were having health problems. Ray was seriously ill with Rheumatic Fever and had to be put on a massive dosage of aspirin.
Mary became very tired and run down she would cry when you talked to her. Kenneth had spent many years in three Bishoprics, the good he done to his fellowman and helping to build God’s Kingdom on Earth only God can measure, and sweet little Mary was always at his side to lend her support and love.
She also taught in the organizations of the Church and was always cooking and taking food to the sick and those in need they lived their religion so gracefully and humbly.
It was important that Mary had a rest, and I believe it was a first for her to get away, so my husband and I went over and stayed with the children. Ray was ill in bed and baby Grand had not been weaned and wouldn’t take a bottle so I nursed both my baby and her baby. I often have thought how did Mary ever survive under her problems, her not being strong in physical makeup? But the Lord gave her the strength to bear her burdens, and by now Norma was old enough to help and Mary often remarked what would she do without her firstborn she was like another mother.
But little Ray was doing badly and I remember how sweet and patient he was when I took the guide patrol over to the Primary at his home and I’m sure it brought a little joy in his precious life but out Heavenly Father saw fit to take him to his bosom. He claimed another sweet spirit for his own.
Mary gave birth to three most beautiful daughters after that in all eleven spirits came to bless their home.
She would put on Relief Society Stake Board and she used to say to me. Do you really think I am capable of my job, I feel so inadequate. I said your life is a teacher in itself. I cannot remember or imagine anyone that didn’t love her. She baked, she sewed, she loved her children with all her strength and devotion.
Her later life was fraught with problems and unhappiness. She grieved over the sins and the mistakes of those she loved, but she was always sure everything would right itself in the due time of the Lord. Her testimony of the divinity of the Savior was sure.
Her life was pure and spotless. Her mission was to bring love into the hearts of all she came in conduct with. God loved her.
She came to our house one day and wanted to use the phone, but she became dizzy and fainted. It was then we knew that all was not right. Her poor tired body was worn out and her spirit was grieved and she too was taken away to enter her grace. She fought a good fight, she had earned her rest.
History of Emily Lorana Mc Ewan Barrett by Mary Margaret Mc Ewan
Contributor: jayber Created: 2 years ago Updated: 2 years ago
HISTORY OF EMILY LORANA MECHAM Mc EWAN BARRETT
By Granddaughter Mary Margret Mc Ewan
As told by her son, Marvin Mc Ewan and daughter Amy Mc Ewan Fowers
September 28, 1991
Life began for Emily Lorana Mecham November 23, 1879, at York, Utah, a small settlement south of Santaquin, Utah. Her parents had both been married before. Her father, Amasa, was a widower with three sons and one daughter. Emily’s mother had been a widow and was left to raise one son.
Emily was the couple’s first daughter. She had one older, full brother, Wells, three half-brothers and one half-sister. Two other brothers, Alma and Earl, and two more sisters, Eathel and Amy, followed Emily’s birth.
The family moved to the Mecham home on the Provo Bench (now Orem) where the children grew up and attended public schools. Little Emily was about three or four years old when her family made this move.
Her best friend was Ava Rilla Hiatt. This young lady later married Emily’s younger brother, Alma “Al.” She and Rilla were both very pretty and popular. It may appear, after seeing the photo of them, that the two friends were so close they looked like sisters. And they did, in fact, become sisters-in-law when Rilla married Alma.
Emily, whose nickname was “Em,” loved music. She was always singing and playing the guitar. She was a wonderful horticulturist and maintained a beautiful flower garden during her married years. She had five lily ponds stocked with huge goldfish. Her garden was like a fairyland to her grandchildren. They loved to visit her and many have fond memories of her peanut butter, jam and prune sandwiches.
Daniel Dean Mc Ewan won Emily’s hand in marriage on November 16, 1898, when she was 18 years old. He was 19 when they were married by John D. T. Mc Allister in the Manti Temple. She was a most beautiful bride and he was a handsome groom. She wore a wedding gown which was of high fashion. Her fresh-flowered tiara was a crown which gave a medieval angelic halo to add to the glow of her soft, beautiful lace. The wedding photo shows Daniel Dean in his black tuxedo, suggesting a gala wedding with many guests.
The couple lived on the Provo Bench. The Mc Ewan homestead was the northeast corner of the Provo Bench. This section of land still has the oldest adobe home in all of Orem. The home is believed to the old Mc Ewan home built in the last of the 19th Century, around 1880.
The couple had eight children, six lived to adulthood. They had twins after their first year of marriage, two boys, Kenneth Eugene and Gilbert Dean, August 27, 1899. Gilbert only lived three days. Their third child, Murray Wells, died at three months of age. The fourth child was Vivian Lorana, a beautiful daughter. She was named Lorana after maternal grandmother and was born three days before Grandpa Mecham’s birthday. Dean and Emily’s last four of their eight children were their “stair steps” – Inez, Marvin, Amy and Austin, who came alone one after another to form a “second family.”
Emily always kept them in adorable hats to keep the sun off their skin. Back then, white skin was cherished and valued as the hallmark of genteel folk. Beautiful Amy had dark, curling hair and Emily would put it in long ringlets. Emily apparently had the maturity and time to enjoy bringing up her last four children as a close knit and devoted family.
Emily often displayed her love of music. When she had electrical students from the Electrician School come to work on the farm, she would play the old phonograph at night and let the students at the L. L. Nunn School at Olmstead Station hear the music over the phone. The Mc Ewans, however, were on a party line, as was everyone else, in those days. Emily’s sharing her love of music with those less fortunate was definitely not overly popular with some other “party liners,” however.
While Emily was pregnant with her third child, her husband was called to a mission in eastern states of New York and Massachusetts. It was in 1908 when he left his 29 year old wife to run the farm and care for their children. It was a real hardship, since all of the water to wash and drink had to be hauled two miles up a hill from the Big Bench Canal; that was over the edge of the hill down a steep, rocky path. This was a difficult task for a young woman, but she was a dedicated mother and these hardships probably made her a stronger woman.
Emily did beautiful needlework—embroidery, crochet, and sewing on her Singer treadle machine. She made clothing and also mended clothes. Her home was immaculate. She set an example for her children and in-laws, who still, today, have beautiful, shined, spotless homes.
The family always took memorable, happy vacations. They camped every summer, usually in Daniels Canyon, which had many bridges under which the trout liked to hide. “Every bridge had more fish than you can shake a stick at,” Marvin recalls. Each trip would start with a swim at the “hot pots,” now known as the Homestead in Midway, Utah. This gave Midway a new meaning—Midway between the Mc Ewan homestead and the World’s Best Fishing!
After returning home, there was always the farm to attend to. With only Kenneth in his early years to help with the farm, Daniel and Emily had three hired men, Messrs. Adams, Wilkerson, and Carter. One wore a big Mexican hat which Marvin described as “the biggest hat I ever saw!” Marvin had new rubber knee-high boots and when the tree men took him out to work, he sank over the tops of his new boots in the muddy fields. Kenneth and the hired hands lived in a tent behind the home. Out-buildings, barns, and a smoke house to cure the meat gave the family a degree of self-sufficiency.
The family moved to their home on State Street in Orem around 1918. Life in the new home was not as hard for Emily and the family. Daniel Dean was Bishop in the Sharon Ward for ten years. The bishop’s role again took him out into the community. Emily, at her husband’s side, nursed the sick. Her own past hardship gave her the strength in character and empathy to care for those less fortunate than she.
Daniel Dean suffered a stroke from which he never fully recovered. He was bed-ridden for several years prior to his death on November 12, 1922, at age 44. Kenneth and Vivian had been married prior to his death. Kenneth was married in 1921 to Mary Coltrin, and Vivian was married to Richard Anderson in 1922.
Again, Emily was left alone to care for her last four children.
Emily had to go to work to support her family. She left Inez in charge of Marvin, age ten, Amy, age eight, and little Austin, age six. Emily’s new job was selling new Ford automobiles for Schofield Ford in Provo, located at Fifth West and Center.
In the early 1920s, being a female and a bread winner was a rare and unfamiliar role. So Emily was indeed a courageous and pioneering woman who, in many ways, was ahead of her time in working to support a family.
After more than three years of being a working mother, Emily married Lorin Barrett on June 3, 1925. While she was 22 years his senior, he adored her and the marriage seemed to be a perfect fit. They continued to go hunting, fishing and camping, as both loved nature.
Inez married Abner Selman; Marvin married Nina Thomas; Amy married John Fowers; Austin married Margaret Clark.
By this time in her life Emily was tired and not always of the best temperament. Nevertheless, Lorin continued to wait on her and tried his best to make her lot in life more bearable.
The grandchildren loved their Grandpa Barrett, since most were born after Daniel Dean’s death. Lorin never had children of his own, so the children and grandchildren of Emily’s became his, in fact, if not in lineage. As a photographer, he left many photos of his darlings. He beams in the photos as he holds these cherubs.
Emily and her companion and sweetheart were together for 22 wonderful years, until her death on May 3, 1944 at the age of 65.
Grant Dee Mc Ewan written by his sister, Mary Margret Mc Ewan
Contributor: jayber Created: 2 years ago Updated: 2 years ago
Grant Dee Mc Ewan
Written by his sister, Mary Margret Mc Ewan, July 2004
Grant was eighth child to be born in the Kenneth Eugene and Mary Coltrin Mc Ewan family. He was the last of six sons. His name was chosen to be Grant Zebedee Mc Ewan. Well, when his dad got up to bless him in church, he blessed him Grant Dee. It may appear his father did not want him to be nicknamed Zeb. His dad may have not liked the name Zebedee. Zebedee was the name of Grant’s mother’s father.
When Grant was born his Mother had three children in hospital beds in the living room of our small farmhouse. Sister Norma our oldest sibling told that Grant was often not receiving attention since mother had her hands full caring for the three ill children. Floyd one of the twins and Raymond seventh member of our family both had Rheumatic Fever. Raymond died at age twelve. A drunk driver in a bad snowstorm killed Dean the oldest son. Joann, the third to be in bed, had a disease called St. Vitis Dance, whatever that is. It was later though she may have had a version of Rheumatic Fever.
Grant was the Ring Leader for three little sisters, Mary Margret (Midge), Carolyn and Thelma. He was a very fun loving brother and a leader in having a good time. We were the only kids that we knew in our little hometown that did not have to go to evening church. When we four decide to stay home Grant would make his version of candy called “Cow Brittle.” It was sugar and butter stirred in the frying pan until it caramelized and at that point he added vanilla. He then removed the pan from the stove and poured the brittle into a butter plate to cool. When the four of us were home without our Mother and Dad, our leader Grant would conduct another party with a taffy pull. We all had a good time laughing and joking.
Grant was an organizer and leader to make fun happen. He rounded up the neighbors for “hide and seek”, “kick the can” and also cut our hair. He gave us some good haircuts. Later we all three became hairstylists our older sister Norma, also became a hairstylist. Grant initiated a spook alley for Halloween with electricity to shock up with the help of the twins. He also was very popular in our school especially junior high. He had about six of his friends over for hair cut “Mohawks”, and I mean shaved head with a strip of hair three high down the middle of their head. Then he dyed them all black. It was so creative to have all six look so perfect. My mom got a lot of calls from the five or six mothers, who did not appreciate those wild cuts with shocking black top fan styles on their sons.
One of the inventions of Grant’s was a homemade parachute made from an old silk dress. He wanted Margret to try it out by jumping off the roof of our garage. Well, he made a crash pad out of an old mattress and two layers of trailer house cushions. Well, he jumped first and then it was my turn. Now she took a breath and jumped. Well, she hit a bit off center of the cushions and landed on the ground. It cracked her ankle bone and that ended parachuting. Grant may not have tried it again, but surely they were told to not continue the free fall with an old silk dress or whatever he made the parachute out of.
During the summers Grant and Margret always wanted to earn money. They were hired to pick cherries. Grant had a plan. He would climb the cherry trees bend the limb to a low level so Margret could strip them. They were fired the first day. Rolley Cherry Farms in Payson are still in business. Mr. Rolley was our home teacher from church.
Grant was so popular Margret said she did not have a name for the first year in Junior High. She was Grant’s sister and she felt that was so good to be his sister. He was so popular and some of the most popular girls had their eye on him. Some were from the best neighborhood where the rich kids lived. They came to our farmhouse one day to see the Mc Ewans. Even though they probably came to see Grant… Margret was flattered. They certainly had their eye on Grant.
One student Margret was friends with in Junior High was very popular and attractive. She dated a handsome young man from Mexico. Grant told her to not be a friend of hers because she and her boyfriend smoked pot. It was shocking in those days. Grant was caring and concerned for his sister’s well being.
As a very disciplined boxer, Grant trained faithfully. It was very impressive to watch his dedication to be the best. He worked out at Gene Fullmer Gym and was a state and national Champion. His punching bag hung in the basement just right under the first TV set we had upstairs. It seemed that it caused a problem with sound or picture while he beat on the bag. He was the “Rocky” of the little town in Orem. The Mc Ewan family was all so proud when he won in the national finals that lead to him representing the USA in Mexico City for The Black Diamond finals. However if a group circled around a school fight it was Grant or his good friend another amateur boxer Gary Brown.
At the Junior High dances since Margret was shy and a wallflower, Grant would dance with his favorite and on the second dance with Margret. He would trade a dance with whomever she had her eye one. If it were not for Grant she would not have gone to a second dance.
Grant and Margret studied ballroom dancing for a year Margret was in eighth grade when Grant was in ninth. Their dance instructor was an expert and left the next year to dance in Las Vegas Shows. They learned the Tango, Waltz, Samba, Mambo, and Cha Cha to name a few. It was fun for them to be invited to join a semi private class. Tuesday night dancing was a very specially memories. Margret’s friends all had boyfriend for dance partner, Margret had a very good brother.
Floyd and Lloyd had a private detective agency. The Dover Protection Agency. They dress in blue gray uniforms and had black patrol car they flew to Detroit to buy. They were 26 years old when they began this first of its kind business in Utah County. It was most impressive to see them. Grant had possession of a smoke bomb, where he got it no one knows. He set it off at the big rival football game at Lincoln High in Orem. He was living with Lloyd at the time. The detectives hired to investigate the crime were Dover Protection Agency, Floyd and Lloyd. Your imagination can decide the rest of this story.
Grant was always certainly a ringleader and had many friends and in looking back he was creative. He could draw cartoons. He had the talent to be a good Artist. He played the drums for about a year. Then boxing became his sole interest.
Other stories of Grant were when his pigeon flock annoyed our father. We were at church and our father decides to get rid of the white blotches on his car. The flock of Pigeons that rousted in the big garage was Grant’s pets. He enjoyed them and hoped to have a trained messenger flock. His dad was not very happy when they splattered car with gray and white droppings. One Sunday as the family returned home from church the pigeons had been shot and father Mc Ewan wanted Grant’s mother to fix pigeon pie for Sunday dinner. It was a sad day but as all crises on the family farm everyone lived and went on to other tasks and activities.
We all loved our brother Grant.