February 5, 2011 (some corrections, additions and a question. Thank you, LaRue Davis)
Louisa's death date is 15 March 1959. (corrected)
She was baptized into the CJCofLDS on August 18, 1898. (added)
Was child #3 Elizabeth Caroline Rose born on Feb 18, 1876 or on Feb 8, 1876? (Question)
If you read this story and have corrections or additions ... please send me a message and with your help, we will get the dates and stories correct. Thanks, joan thomas
The life of
LOUISA MARY ANN MATILDA HIGBEE (HEMMING)
first written by her daughter Amelia Sophia (aka Millie) and
given to attendees at a Hemming Reunion in 1956.
Revision and some additions made to the story
by Joan Thomas in 2010.
Louisa's parent's, Robert Thomas Higbee and Caroline Amelia Bruckin (Higbee), were married in London on December 23, 1865. Their first four children were:
1. Amelia Clara Jane Higbee, b. 2 October 28, 1866, d. (unknown)
2.Robert Thomas James Higbee, b. September 6, 1868, d. June 5, 1954
3. * Louisa Mary Ann Matilda Higbee was born October 12, 1870 at Number 9 Temple Street, Greens Road, Dalston, London, Middlesex, England. She died in Salt Lake City, Utah March 15, 1959
4. Florence Emily Edith Higbee, b. November 30, 1872, d. September 23, 1898
In 1875 Louisa's father, Robert, was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This likely was a difficult decision for him because the 'Mormon' religion from America was not well accepted by many people in England, and Robert was the only one in his family to join this church. It appears that his wife, Caroline, did not accept Robert's conversion at that time because she was not baptized until 24 years later, when they were living in the United States. Robert's faith must have been tested because their last three children died at birth or when very young
5. Elizabeth Caroline Rose Higbee, b. February 8, 1876, d. November 7, 1878
6. Anne Jesse Eliza Higbee, b. 16 March 1878, d. November 15, 1878
7. Horatio Bruckin Higbee, September 14, 1879, d. September 14, 1879
Robert's testimony, however, remained strong and he, his wife and children emigrated with other Mormons to Utah in 1898, and Caroline Amelia joined the Mormon Church in December of this year. On February 9th of the next year (1899) Robert and Caroline were sealed in the Salt Lake Temple.
While living in England, the Robert and Caroline Higbee home was always open to the L.D.S. Missionaries. They even rented a room in their home to the missionaries and fixed their breakfast.
Louisa remembered that some people would run from her father and would yell, “ Beware of Mr. Higbee, he is a Mormon.”
Louisa's mother, Caroline Amelia, was a very good seamstress and lined capes and jackets for a company in London. Once a lady offered to deliver a jacket for Caroline and she gave the lady the jacket and neither the lady or the jacket were ever heard of or seen again.
Louisa's mother, Caroline Amelia Bruckin, was the first of 10 children born to Robert Thomas and Caroline Haynes Bruckin. Robert Thomas Bruckin died 5 March 1890. In a Codicil to her Will dated June 11, 1904, the mother, Caroline Haynes Bruckin, removed the daughter, Caroline Amelia, from “all bequests and benefits given by my Will.” It is thought that this happened because Caroline Amelia married a Mormon , came to Utah, and was baptized into the Mormon Church. The mother, Caroline, said, “... my reason for doing so being her undaughterly behaviour towards me, ignoring me as she has done for so many years, she or hers to take no benefit under my Will ...” - See the attached Will.
In England, Louisa was just eight years old in November 1878 when she had two sisters die from scarlet fever. Elizabeth was about 3 years old and she died November 7, 1878, and baby Anne, was born in March of 1878, died on November 15, 1978. One year later baby Horatio was born September 14, 1879 and he died on the same day.
Louisa started school at the age of three and quit formal schooling when she was thirteen. She has a workbox that was presented to her for perfect attendance during the quarters ending March 31 and June 30, 1883.
In England, Louisa worked for a Catholic family by the name of Black for three years. She took the children in the family to Church each week. Eventually, she wanted to join the Catholic Church but her father would not consent to it.
Louisa worked for Joseph McMurrin and John Keddington to get enough money to go to the United States. She worked as a Chamber Maid and was allowed one candle a month. She remembers that after everyone had gone to bed she would go into her room, close the door, light the candle and then read until the wee hours of the morning.
Mr. McMurrin was on a mission in London for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) when Louisa worked for him. At that time he was known by the name of Lund, which was his mother's maiden name.
Robert Higbee was Louisa's brother and he came to the United States in the fall of 1890, about six months before Louisa came to the United States. Louisa lived in England until she was twenty-one years old, and she arrived in the United States in the spring of 1891. She can't remember the name of the ship that she came on but she remembered that she came 'steerage' meaning she was down with the cattle and baggage.
In 1898, seven years after Louisa came to the United States, her parents, Robert and Caroline Bruckin Higbee, and her sister, Florence, arrived in the U.S.
Her sister, Florence, died six months after they arrived in the U.S.
Louisa met William Henry Hemming and fell in love with him. They were married in Salt Lake City, Utah on February 5, 1893. The marriage was performed by Joseph Taylor, who was an undertaker. They were very happy and made their home in Salt Lake City for eight years. During these eight years the following four children were born:
William Robert (aka Bill) Hemming (Alice Rebecca Brailsford) was born November 12, 1893 in Salt Lake City. William Robert, was named after his father (William Henry) and his grandfather (Robert Thomas Higbee). Bill died October 23, 1961,
Percy Claude Hemming (Myrtle Sneddon) was born February 3, 1895 in Salt Lake City. Percy died June 24, 1952,
Henry Hemming, was born in Salt Lake City on November 16, 1896 and he died on the same day.
Amelia Sophia (aka Millie) Hemming (1. Ernest Ambrose 'Earl' Courture) and (2. Paul Bogardas) was born July 9, 1898 in Salt Lake City. Millie died July 15, 1991.
Louisa was baptized and became a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on August 18, 1898.
In the summer of 1900, Louisa and William Hemming moved to the little town of Thistle, Utah with their three living children. At this time they lived in Thistle for seven years and during this time two more children were born.
Florence Emily Hemming (1. Joseph Edward 'Jode' Sackett) (2. Harley Hawkins) was born November 4, 1900 in Thistle, Utah. Florence died May 27, 1977.
Vera Juanita Hemming (1. James Jay 'Pete' Garland Hubbard) (2. Otto Anderssen Wall) was born August 21, 1904 in Thistle, Utah. Vera died September 1, 1983.
While living in Thistle, William was working on the railroad when employess went on strike in 1907. The family then had to move to Midvale, Utah near Salt Lake. They lived in Midvale for about a year and then they moved back to Thistle.
Louisa always said she wasn't happy about the move back to Thistle because she always wanted to live in the midst of activity.
Marguerite Valate Hemming (Ernest Larsen Thomas) was their last child and she was born March 8, 1908 in Thistle, Utah. Marguerite died September 22, 1996.
Louisa's husband, William Henry Hemming died September 11, 1928.
(Note: After her husband's (William Hemming) death in 1928 and when Marguerite and Ernest Thomas married in 1929, Louisa moved in with the couple. She lived with her daughter and son-in-law for 30 years and until her death on March 15, 1959. At the time of her death, Marguerite and Ern's two children (Myrl and Arthur Kenneth aka Ken) were married and living in their own homes.)
Millie remembered the family when they were all together in Thistle: “To all of us, Mother was our safety and security. She knew all the answers. Because she was rather strict, our personalities sometimes clashed. Still she was our best pal, the best sport, the best teacher and the best mother that anyone ever had.
“Mother liked to play with us. She never did dance much but she loved to watch her children dance and have a good time.
“Mother could jump rope and she used to keep up with all of us. She took a great interest in us and our pleasures were her pleasures. She encouraged all young people to come to our home.
“When Bill was in the eighth grade two young girls, Hazel Hunter and Elsie Smith, would come to the house and say, 'Ma Hemming, we are hungry, may we have a crust of bread?' Laughingly, she would give them both a crust of bread. They would then get Bill between them and go over the hill to school. Bill likely was the real crust of bread they were after.
“We often danced in our kitchen. We also grouped around the old piano that Marguerite still gives space to, and we sang songs. It's a good thing that piano can't talk --- Oh, the stories it could tell !
The piano was given to Marguerite's daughter, Myrl Ranae Thomas (Olschewski).
“Often some of the children were sick. Percy had scarlet fever and Mother had so much washing to do, and many were the nights she did not sleep.
“Percy and Bill both had the seven year itch and Mother washed clothes and scrubbed skin until she finally whipped it. Percy had quincy a great deal of the time and he got to eat olives. We couldn't have any olives because they were too expensive.
“Vera got appendicitis and had to have an operation. The little freckle faced girl scared us to death. Dr. Hughes came to Thistle from Spanish Fork on the train. When the doctor arrived, I was standing at the foot of the bed and watching Vera doubled up and in terrible pain. The doctor said it was acute appendicitis and she would have to have an immediate operation. Mother started to cry. Dad had his shoes off and we thought that he would never get them on. Finally he got his shoes on and he ran all the way to the depot and arrived just as the train was whistling in. Dad held the train there for about ten or fifteen minutes while we all rushed frantically to get Vera and Mother ready to go. The doctor traveled with them on the train to Spanish Fork where the operation occurred. Mother had to stay with Vera for many days and we missed them both very much.
“Mother always saw to it that we had a beautiful Christmas tree each year. We threaded popcorn and cranberries on long strings to use as decorations We also used nutshells and small pieces of silk.
“Mother always let us be on programs and in plays. The costumes were a nightmare to her because she couldn't sew very well. She asked Mrs. Bower to make good costumes and dresses for the girls.
“Sometimes on cold winter nights we would all play board games. Mother would buy a bag of peanuts and we would play Pig, Old Maid or Cootie with playing cards.
“Our home was a wonderful, sheltered one until Mother became ill. For a long time she was very sick but she lived to see us all grown up. In 1956 she is the great-great grandmother to a darling baby boy, great grandmother to 33 children and grandmother to 22.
“We had an old swing in our front yard in Thistle and it was under the big trees. Mother would often sit in the swing or in a chair near it.
“Mother was loved by many people both young and old.
“Johnny Smith, Pearl Smith, Vera and May, and a man who played a Uke, would sing, 'It's a Pi-Pi-Pity Billie Stutters'.
“Marguerite was her youngest child and she married Ernest Thomas. In 1928 Mother moved to Provo, Utah to live with Marguerite. During the next eight years she lived with Ern and Marguerite in Boulder City, Nevada, and in Provo and Spanish Fork, Utah.
“In 1936 Marguerite and Ern moved to Salt Lake City and Mother moved with them. She made her home with them, although she has visited with the other children a few times, and for a week or two at a time. They lived on the west side on Pacific Avenue for a few years, and then they bought a home for $3300 at 272 Hubbard Avenue (just South of 900 So) and that is where Mother (Louisa) lived until she died.
“On her 75th birthday, Mother was in Helper, Utah visiting with Bill and his family. Bill's wife, Alice Hemming, had a birthday party for her. She got a pretty cake and LaRue (Nolan Davis) gave her a corsage. When she opened it she cried and said, 'Oh, this is the first corsage I have ever had.' She also received many other gifts and was very happy. All the people from Thistle who lived in Helper were invited and Florence and her daughter, Thela Sackett (Peterson), and her family, and Ruth Sackett (Young) and her son came over from Thistle.
“The next year, Vera had a family dinner for Mother at her home in Salt Lake. Mother got another birthday cake and turkey dinner was served to all.
“When television came, Vera's son, Jay Hubbard, made her a television set and she enjoyed it very much. Marguerite and Ern later bought a larger set for her to enjoy. Many pleasant hours have passed for her while watching her favorite programs.
“One day in the summer of 1955, Mother was home by herself crocheting when a knock came at the door. Thinking it was the Relief Society teachers, she went to the door. The sun was in her eyes and she couldn't see who it was but she asked them to come in and sit down. She looked at one and then the other and started to laugh and said, “Why, it's Mrs Weeter and Myrl Benedict.” They all laughed about it and they had a very nice visit. They were her friends from Thistle.
“Lynda Rae and Becky Ann (Bill Hemming's granddaugters) ) couldn't understand why they had two Grandma Hemmings. Bill's wife, Alice Hemming, was their Grandma Hemming, so they called Louisa their 'Grandma-Grandma', and today she still goes by that name.”
“In 1956 Louisa lived with Marguerite and Ern and spent her time crocheting doilies, hotpads and many other things. She could still recite the many poems that she had learned when she was a young girl.”
Louisa Mary Ann Matilda Higbee (Hemming) died at age 89. She died in Salt Lake City, Utah on March 15, 1959.
* * * *
Information of interest –
Louisa's maternal grandmother, Caroline Haynes Bruckin, removed Louisa's mother, Caroline Amelia Bruckin (Higbee) from her Will. Caroline Amelia was the first of 10 children born to Caroline Haynes Bruckin. The following dates are of interest.
1865 – Caroline Amelia Bruckin and Robert Higbee married on December 23, 1865.
1875 – Robert Higbee was baptized into the Mormon Church. His wife was not baptized at this time.
1890 – Caroline Amelia's father, Thomas Bruckin, died in 1890.
1891 – Caroline Haynes Bruckin signed her first Will which included her daughter, Caroline Amelia Higbee.
1898 – In this year, the Caroline Amelia and Robert Higbee family came to the United States (Utah), and Caroline Amelia Higbee was baptized into the Mormon Church in 1898. This was 24 years after her husband was baptized.
1904 – Caroline Amelia's mother, Caroline Haynes Bruckin, signed a codicil to her first Will in which she removed her firstborn child, Carolyn Amelia, (and her children) from her Will.
A copy of the Will of Carolyn Bruckin and a copy of the Codicil to her Will follow:
THE WILL OF CAROLINE BRUCKIN
signed April 9, 1891
I, CAROLINE BRUCKIN, of 33 Roupell Street in the County of Hurray Widow hereby revoke all testamentary writings heretofore made by me and declare this to be my last Will and Testament. I give the following articles to my children. To my son, James Arthur, the model engine and my bureau. To my daughter, Caroline Amelia, my sofa Pembroke table and a feather bed, To my daughter, Jane Ann, my eight mahogany chairs and a feather bed To my daughter, Emily Augusta, my dining table and a feather bed and a looking glass. To my daughter, Eliza Ellen, my small chest of drawers, small round table and a feather bed. To my daughter, Hannah Louise, my best chest of drawers and book case and my wearing apparel. Bed linen to be divided between my 5 daughters, and the rest of my furniture to be divided between all of my children equally. I direct my daughter, Emily Augusta, to pay to each of my children the sun of ( _2?) for mourning, she drawing the same out of the Bank of which she is my Nominee and after paying my debts and funeral expenses to pay the surplus to my Executor hereinafter named. I give my jewelery to my daughter, Emily. I give all my estate and interest and all the rest and residue of mt estate, my houses at Poplar and all money belonging or due to me at the time of my death, including (?_17) owing to me by my son, James Arthur. To my Executor Upon trust to convert the same into money and after paying the expenses attending the sale thereof to divide the same equally among all my children and any children of any deceased child of mine (my grandchildren taking equally between them what their parent would have taken if living at my decease) equally share and share alike. I appoint John Todd of 122 Chancery Lane and 47 Blair Street Poplar Law Writer as EXECUTOR of this my Will IN WITNESS whereof I have hereunto set my hand this ninth day of April 1891. ---
BRUCKIN – (SIGNED) by the said testatrix in the joint presence of us all three being present and signing in each others sight
JNO Todd – C.J. SHEFFIELD – 122 Chancery Lane Law Writer.
THIS IS A CODICIL to the WILL of CAROLYN BRUCKIN
dated February 1, 1900
This is a Codicil to the Will of me, Caroline Bruckin, of 33 Rupell Street Widow. I hereby revoke all bequests and benefit given by my Will to my daughter, Caroline Amelia, and my Will shall be read and construed as if the name of my said daughter had not been mentioned in my said Will. My reason for doing so being her undaughterly behaviour towards me, ignoring me as she has done for so many years, she or hers to take no benefit under my Will. The residue to be divided among my four other daughters, my son, and the children of my deceased son.
In all other respects I confirm my said Will in Witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand this first day of February 1900 – C. BRUCKIN – signed by the said testatrix as a Codicil to her said last Will in the presence of us who in her presence and that of each other have hereunto set our names as witnesses –
JNO Todd, Henry Todd 122 Chancery Lane Law Writers.
* * * *