A Life Story of Ozias Strong Harward
Contributor: Dieselbeetle Created: 11 months ago Updated: 11 months ago
Grandson John Oral Christensen said of Grandfather Ozias Strong Harward--
"What I remember best about Grandfather Harward, is how he liked his eggs raw; his boots; his hard-working will; his fine horses; and fine, clean yards. I also remember the thrill he got in riding in the new Ford, bought by Father (Ozias's son-in-law, John A. Christensen)-- his first car."
Ozias Strong and Frances Eva Curtis Harward
Excerpts from a Life Sketch written by Marvel Harward
Ozias Strong Harward was the sixth child of Thomas and Sabrina [Curtis] Harward, born the 13th of November, 1862 at Fourth South and Fourth East in Springville, Utah. His Father [Thomas Harward] had built a home on 3-3/4 acres of land which was assigned to the family as the saints settled in Springville. Ozias was welcomed into the family by his parents, one brother, William Henry, 8, and three sisters, Sarah Ellen, 6, Celestia Ann (Lettie), 4, and Sabrina Eliza, 2. His uncle William and Aunt Sarah with her young son, William Thomas, 4, lived next door.
At a young age Ozias would go with his brother, [William] Henry, to herd livestock along Hobble Creek where he caught his first fish, as well as enjoying all the wonders of nature. In 1866 when he was 4 years old, the Black Hawk war broke out. Precautions were maintained for the protection of the settlers against the Indians who would attack the settlement, drive off livestock and set fire to the buildings and haystacks. The Black Hawk war lasted two years before a peace treaty was signed. The Indians were paid for their lands in Utah valley and eventually moved to a reservation in Duchesne County.
At the age of six, Ozias began attending school at a recently remodeled school house in Springville. There he received a few years of schooling. He learned reading and spelling and according to his daughter, Elmira, learned his multiplication tables well. Ozias was baptized in Springville in February, 1876 by William Bromley.
Thomas Harward moved his family in 1877, to Sevier County to homestead on Lost Creek just east of present day Aurora. Ozias, along with his other brothers, helped to clear the sagebrush and rabbit brush from the 40 acres his father had traded for the 3-3/4 acres in Springville. It was hard work that summer to build a new home, a sod dugout. They plowed the ground, planted wheat, potatoes, and hay. The following spring they built a two room log cabin with a huge fireplace in one end of the big room. Ozias became an expert with an axe as he helped his father and brothers bring wood from the mountains to build the cabin and provide firewood.
In 1879, a school house was built just east of the Rockyford canal. It had one room and was used for school, church and recreation for the small community. Jabez Durfee was ordained as the first Bishop of the new Willow Bend (Aurora) ward on February 27, 1881. William Henry Harward and Daniel Morgan served as his counselors. As Ozias grew to manhood, he too, took an active part in church and on March 31, 1880 he was ordained a Priest by his father. His first position in the ward was secretary to the Young Men’s M.I.A. It was while serving in that position that he was first attracted to the beautiful, brown-eyed maiden, Francis Eva Curtis, who was serving as the Young Women’s M.I.A. secretary.
A new desire and hope for the future developed between these two Mutual Improvement Association (M.I.A.) secretaries. Thomas Harward had homesteaded more land on Lost Creek and now with the prospect of marriage, he gave Ozias 40 acres of land. Ozias immediate set to work gathering materials to build a good home for Eva including wood shingles instead of a dirt roof. The house had two nice windows and a fireplace with a big chimney. He made the dooryard hard by hauling gravel and packing it down well. He built neatly arranged corrals, sheds, and a stable. By this time, horses were available and Thomas as well as his sons had good stock. Ozias learned well from Thomas to provide loving care for those horses.
Ozias was ordained an Elder by Harry M. Payne and on February 4, 1885, Ozias and Eva were married in the St. George Temple by John D. T. McAllister. They had traveled to St. George by wagon.
Their first child was Simmons [Harward] who was born on March 30, 1886. He died two years later on April 15, 1889 of diphtheria. Their second child was Blanche and she was born November 22, 1887, but died after being exposed to measles on December 20, 1887.
Lonely at the loss of their two children, Ozias and Eva locked up their home and went to live with his parents, Thomas and Sabrina. While living there, the third child, Francis Eva, was born on July 22, 1889, and they soon returned to their own home.
In 1890, Ozias was called to the bishopric of the Aurora ward as a counselor to William R. Stevens.
On October 17, 1891, Eva gave birth to their fourth child, Harold. He was a very intelligent child and seemed older than his age. He contracted “Bright’s disease” and was invalid for several years before his passing on June 10, 1898. Ozias happened to be hauling freight to Ely, Nevada, at the time. All at once, Ozias’ team stopped dead still. A peculiar feeling came over Ozias and instantly he knew Harold had died. He quickly disposed of his load and hurried back home to find he was too late for the funeral.
Lulu, their fifth child, was born October 27, 1893, but died eleven months later of “summer complaint”. About this time, Ozias built a two room house with frame lumber inside and out. They moved into this house in 1894. Ozias was very diligent in his work in the bishopric as well as his farm work. In order to meet his responsibilities to the Aaronic Priesthood Quorums, he would cross the Sevier River by swimming his horse across the Sevier River before bridges were built. He would stop his own work to go to the tithing yard to take care of his responsibilities there.
Their sixth child, Orson Alfred, was born on January 31, 1895, soon after, Ozias became ill with pneumonia and pleurisy. He was down for six weeks during which time his niece, Elizabeth Kennedy, and her husband moved in to help with the farm work. Through faith and blessings of the Lord, Ozias recovered and resumed the care of his family as well as his work in the bishopric.
Number seven, Elmira, a daughter, was born January 27, 1897, and number eight, Ozias Harvey, was born on November 20, 1898. In quick succession came number nine, Sharland, who was born September 22, 1900, followed by their tenth child, James Afton, born June 26, 1902. The past year had been difficult because Bishop Stevens had resigned and Ozias assumed his responsibilities until a new bishopric was called in 1902. When that occurred, Eva was called as the ward Relief Society President. Ozias then moved his family across the river into the main part of town across the street from the school house. This house was a one room log house that was later used as a grainary and was still standing in 1981.
In 1903, the first telephone was installed and for some time there were only 3 phones in town. The railroad had been built a few years earlier with its first train arriving at night, whistle blowing, bell clanging and a light so bright that you could hardly look at it. The townspeople were all thrilled with the new mode of transportation. To celebrate the completion of the railroad, the Denver and Rio Grande, let anyone ride to Salt Lake and back for $4.00 and many took the ride.
On March 4, 1904, Leon, their eleventh child, was born. About this time Ozias, with the help of two brothers-in-law, Ezra [Hoten Curtis] and Phillip [James] Mason, built a new frame home complete with two porches and sawdust to insulate the walls. The upstairs was not completed until 1914. Number twelve, Heber, was born on November 20, 1905. On December 18, 1907, Thomas Rudolph was born the thirteenth child of Thomas and Eva.
Ozias built his corrals north of the house and on the other end of the block was the church lot where the first amusement hall was built in 1906. It was a neat frame structure with classrooms in the basement. The seats could be taken out of the main hall for dancing, recreation programs and stage plays. Wilford and Tillie Ivy brought a beautiful organ for the church when they moved to Aurora from Scipio.
The townspeople enjoyed the new amusement hall until 1910 when it burnt to the ground. The building used gas lights but when they went out, the care taker without thinking, struck a match to see if there was any gas in the tank which caused an explosion. No one was injured but a fire raged. Towns people formed a bucket brigade from the near by ditch. Ozias mounted a ladder to pour water on the flames until it got too hot and while trying to get down fast, he fell. The fall injured his leg which bothered him the rest of his life.
Number fourteen, Devoyal, was born April 25, 1910. The church building was rebuilt in 1911 and this time the towns people used bricks. Ozias donated a team, and his son, Orson, hauled the bricks from Gunnison. Sharland remembers helping to unload the bricks in Aurora when he was 11 years old.
[Frances] Eva [Curtis] gave birth to her last child, Marilla, on March 9, 1912. In the spring of 1915, Ozias took another severe sick spell. The Elders administered to him and he soon was up and about, but his health continued to decline until he passed away on June 7, 1917. Eva was left with nine children at home, the youngest was five year old Marilla. The oldest living daughter, Francis Eva, was married at the time.
After Ozias died, Eva directed the family by patriarchal order. Orson, the oldest living son, took charge of work assignments on the farm. Working together as a tightly knit family then provided the means of support for all the family. After Sharland moved to Provo, it wasn’t long until the entire family sold all their holdings in Aurora and moved to Provo in 1926.
Ozias and Eva set the standard of excellence in the gospel early in their family and Eva carried on as a widow for 34 years.