Sarah Ann Wilson
Contributor: hydrobrain Created: 3 years ago Updated: 3 years ago
Sarah Ann Wilson Norton
Wife of Albert Westley Norton Jr.
Daughter of George Deliverance Wilson and Martha Ann Riste
Mother of Mary Ann Norton Rasmussen (Mamie)
Typed by great grand daughter Katheryn Haslem Duval West
My Life here on this earth commenced in the early morning, 31 May 1878. I was the tenth child born to George Deliverance and Martha Ann Riste Wilson. My brothers and sisters before me were as follows: Mary Johnson, George Hyrum, James William, Martha Ann, Joseph Deliverance, Jessie Stephen, Lovinah Emoline, David Israel, and John Thomas Wilson. And then about two years later a baby sister arrived named Almera.
My father’s first marriage was to Mary Ellen Johnson and they had two sons named David J. and George Jacob, who died as an infant; these being my two half brothers. The mother to these two boys was a sister to Almera Johnson, who married Joseph Smith, the prophet.
President Brigham Young called George Deliverance to pioneer and build up southern Utah. Being a Mill Wright, he built mills and sawed timber for homes all through southern Utah. At the time of my birth in Hillsdale, Utah, on the Sevier River, my father was running a mill sawing timber for homes to be built in Panguitch, which was ten miles to the north. At an early age I developed stomach trouble, even before I was old enough for starting to school, and I never remember when I haven’t been bothered with it.
I remember my first teacher to be Seth Johnson, and the ways and methods he used in teaching. It was oral work as we never had books and pencils for the first two years. On account of my health, I was never able to finish the eighth grade, although my brothers and sisters went on to high school and some college. The high school was in Panguitch and the College was in Beaver, Utah, also in Cedar City, Utah.
Three years after I started to school my father died leaving my mother a widow and a large family to care for. We were all taught to work and help carry on the work that father left, which was a farm with stock and the saw mill.
At an early age I was taught the art of sewing, mending, and knitting stockings for myself and brothers. In those days you could not buy shirts, dresses, and that kind of wearing apparel. I remember very well how we would knit squares of yarn and sew them together for blankets, also I made quilts for my own bed. Many a day I have carded wool into rolls for my mother to spin and make into yarn, to use for clothing, bedding and blankets.
Since we lived right near the river, we could catch all the fish we wanted and I well remember once while fishing all alone just a short distance from the house, that a big fish got away from me. Then is when I offered my first secret prayer. I was very desirous of catching that last fish, and as an answer, within perhaps a half hour, I had caught two large ones. My big brother weighed them and the two together weighed over nine pounds.
I am very thankful for good religious parents and that I was always taught to pray and to depend on God for the things we need.
Hillsdale being so small, all the church activity that was held was Sunday school and testimony sacrament meeting held once a month. After a good many years a Relief Society was organized. I was chosen as secretary, which I held until I was married. For dancing and parties we all went to Hatch town Ward, which was seven miles south up the river.
It was while visiting my married sister Lovinah in Panguitch, Utah, that I met the man who later became my husband. Our friendship continued for four years and on 13 June 1902 we left Panguitch with both our Mothers en route to the Manti Temple. Our means of travel was a covered wagon. On the morning of the 18th of June 1902 we went to the temple to be married. My husband's name was Albert Wesley Norton. June 20, 1902 we left Manti to return home by way of Santaquin, Salem, Payson and Junction, Utah. At these places we visited with relatives, making our Honey moon trip a 3 week trip.
After we returned home our first home was a rented lumber shack being 2 small rooms owned by Riley Norton, he was a cousin to my husband. Our first house keeping was under very poor circumstances, having to use rather poor used furniture and wooden boxes for chairs, but we were happy.
My husband and his father, Albert Wesley Norton Sr. were blacksmiths and mechanics. And all the time that could be spared from the shop was used to build up a one room log house up in town. It was completed the latter part of September 1902, and we moved into town. Our new home was located just across the road to the south from my sister Lovinah Emoline Allen, and being her neighbor was always a pleasure to me. My sister and I were very close, we worked together a lot of the time, making quilts, canning fruit and vegetables, sewing, washing and all other work that we could.
The first year after moving to our new home my husband was very busy building a barn, chicken coop, wash house and granary, and so nothing more was done towards the house until after our first baby was born 15 March 1903. He was born with what Doctor Stinen called Catarrh of the intestines, which caused convulsions, so we had him blessed and given the name of George Albert, the next day 16 March 1903.
Now in the future we began work again on our home and added one large room and a large screened porch which we were thankful for. By this time we had plenty of furniture for our home. Now after we got a windmill and pump on our well I found it was much easier for me, since we didn't have to draw water by hand.
One of the things we bought for our first Christmas was a large clock standing about twenty inches high and it has been used ever since that time and still keeps good time. And at the present time is in my oldest sons home, this being September 1956.
We were happy at home and doing our work and took much pleasure in the church activities. I was an active teacher in the Relief Society and took part in all the work meetings, were we made quilts and clothing, that was sold also some was given to the needy. Members of the Relief Society were called on to donate rags to make carpets for the Relief Society room and the Tabernacle.
I always tried to keep up with my church activities and what religion meant to me, and care for my family. Now my next child, a girl was born 22 October 1905, we named her Mary Ann. Then the next a boy, Fredrick Arthur born 9 April 1908, then another girl, Wilma, born 12 January 1911. Orrin Elroy came next and was a curly headed boy and the biggest baby I ever had weighing 12 pounds. He was born 2 June 1913. Next Lamar was born 25 October 1915. He came just two weeks to the day after my mother was buried. When this baby was about fourteen months old our oldest son was very bad with rheumatism and the doctor recommended we move to St. George, Utah for his health as well as for my health. So we left Panguitch on 4 January 1916 and moved to St. George. While we lived there we had many good church experiences and had the privilege of going to the temple. The many great friends we made there will be life long friends to me.
On account of ill health, doctors recommended a complete change of climate, even though I was opposed to leaving St. George on Panguitch, our old home, we left for the Uintah Basin on June 2, 1919, reaching Lapoint, Utah on 8 June 1919. We settled on a small farm out of town and I still live in this home. The following March 16, 1920, my last baby, a boy, a boy, was born and was named Joseph Andrew. We often joked as him being our Ute Indian baby.
After this time I was a worker and teacher in the relief Society for many years. And then in the early summer of 1931 I was asked and sustained as first counselor to Sister Pamilla Anderson in Lapoint relief Society and this calling I held for six years.
In spite of hardships in a new country, there has been lots of happiness. My seven children are all married, and at present, I have thirty-eight grandchildren and twenty great grandchildren.
My husband died 30 May 1949, which means I am all alone in the old home.
Now I would like to mention some of the many things that have been faith promoting to me. The year 1897 when I was nineteen years old, Patriarch Blackburn from Loa, Waine Co., Utah, was in Panguitch and it was from him that I received by Patriarchal blessing. He was known throughout the state as a faith doctor wherever he went among the saints. He was giving blessing and administering to the sick. On one of his trips into our community, I had what the doctor said was a tumor on the side of my nose and practically in my eye. He gave me a blessing for that and also blessed a large bottle of olive oil for me to use on it each day. Within a course of six months the soreness was gone and most of the swelling, and I have never been bothered with that again. There were so many wonderful promises in the blessing that he gave me that I have always remembered them and tried to live in keeping with them.
During the summer and fall of 1910, my three oldest children all came down with Typhoid Fever. My being in a delicate condition (pregnant) it was a very hard ordeal for me, even though I had lots of help. All neighbors and relatives would come to our assistance. Following the siege of typhoid, on October 10, 1910, I had an attack of appendicitis. It go so bad that it was necessary to move the two older children who were still in bed. They were taken to my sisters and there they remained for eight days.
Two doctors, Garn and Cecil Clark, who were brothers, both said it was ruptured appendix and that there was no medical science could help. Now in the next three days I was so bad I was unconscious a great deal of the time. Doctor Garn told my husband and others that the baby I was to have was already dead. He also told them to have all the folks come down from my home town, and told my nephew, James Johnson and his wife Francis, that Sarah would not live until morning. So after the evening meal at Doctor Clarks home where James and Francis were staying, as there wasn't enough room at my sisters place for all to stay, and Francis being a cousin to the doctor, they were staying there. Then after the meal the doctor got up, excused himself by saying, “I'm going back to Bert's place (this being what my husband was always called), I don't want to leave him alone.” So he came to our place although I never knew he was there. During the night I rallied enough to ask for a drink. I can faintly remember hearing the voice of the doctor saying, “Yes it will be alright.” I can remember my sister saying “Let me get it Bert.” After that my husband asked if I wanted anything else. I said, “Yes, I would like to be administered to,” and they said, “Alright, John, David, and George are in the other room, the kitchen,” and then they said I replied by saying, “I don't want them, but I wanted Doctor Garn and my husband”, and then I said, “where is the doctor,” Now the three I mentioned in the kitchen were my three brothers, George Wilson, David Wilson and John Wilson. Now my two sisters, Levinah Allen and Martha Wilson, the doctor and my husband were in the room with me. So without opening the door that lead to the kitchen I was administered to, my husband doing the anointing and the doctor sealing the anointing. As Clark sealed the anointing he said (and I heard every word) that I would have a live baby and he promised me that I would recover and be well again and that I would never have an attack like this one again. When he was through I went off again and didn't realize anything for quite a long time. They said the doctor after that fell over very weak and limp in body onto a small couch that was there, and just shook like a leaf. But after awhile then he got himself under control and he said, “I don't know why I said what I did. It wasn't my words but the words of the Lord. I thought I was enough doctor to know what I was talking about.” And then he said, “I will go home now. It is after one o'clock. I won't need to worry anymore.” then in a few days after I was better, he sat on the edge of my bed and told me all that he told my husband and folks and what I had already heard him say in his prayer. After that I got along fine and in January 12, 1911 the baby, a girl was born. She was a well and strong baby and today is the mother of six children of her own. I never got out of bed myself until after the baby was born though.
A number of years after this experience I was privileged to go to the St. George temple with a group of Relief Society Ladies for a week. While in the temple I had a heart attack. I was unable to go on with the group in the session. Now Mima Sullivan one the temple workers said she would get her father who was the temple president. This man David Cannon, was unable to leave what he was doing so she got Thomas Cottom the vice President of the temple, and another man whom I do not know his name. They came in the room and administered to me. The other man anointed me and brother Cottom sealed it, giving me the most wonderful blessing. He promised me that I would get better and also promised me that I would live as long as I desired life here on this earth. After this I thought I would have to go but Brother Cottom spoke up and said, No you take it easy. After a short while, Mima took me to the group and I went on with them. As the day went on I continued to feel better.(end of Sarah's record)
Sarah lived in the “old house” which was behind the Lapoint home that Rulon built in front of that as his family outgrew the old house. She lived there for years until she was so old that she needed more care and she was moved to a care center in Roosevelt. She lost her memory in her last years. Mom says (Oral) that anytime anyone went to see her that she would claim no one ever came to see her, even a moment after someone else had just left.
Grandma Norton was very frugal: She had lived through some really hard times. She believed in the adage “Waste not, want not”, and Oral said that if she found a little piece of string in the farmyard, she would come in the house and scold her daughter, Mary Ann, for being wasteful. She would piece 4 pieces of fabric together to make a 2 inch block of fabric to piece into a quilt. Some of the current son-in-law's 5 generations down from her wish she had NOT been so frugal, as their wives still carry Sarah influence and don't want to spend as freely as they would like to :)! But, hey, we cant have Sarah rolling over in her grave with our waste!
Her hair was past her waste, but always wore it in a bun. She was quiet when I knew her (Marilyn) She crocheted beautifully, and I am blessed to own some of her work, along with a lot of her quiltblocks.
She died 22 February 1973 in Roosevelt, Utah. She was the last child of a Utah pioneer to die.
Patriarchal Blessing, 22 June 1898, Panguitch, Utah
A patriarchal blessing given by E.H. Blackburn, Patriarch, upon the head of Sarah Ann Wilson, born 31 May 1878, Hillsdale, Garfield County, Utah. Sarah Ann Wilson in the authority of the Holy Priesthood and in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ I lay my hands upon your head and seal upon you this patriarchal blessing that you may be blessed and strengthened and be equal to all the requirements that lie before you and that you may not be overcome by temptations. And I bless you that Satan may have no power over you. Your lineage is a descendant of Ephraim and entitled thereby to the blessings of the daughters and mothers in Israel to the great work that lies before you, through faith blessed shall be your body. Blessed shall be your spirits to perform the labors and requirements in the gospel that lie before you. You are greatly blessed of the Lord, a chosen vessel of the Almighty to come forth by appointment in the last day to perform a great work for the living and for the dead, and to the work that lies before you, you should be diligent in that which lies before you and perform that in this life, that at least, that will be made known unto you through these lines. Blessed shall be your body and blessed shall be your spirit, to bring forth life into the world. For you shall have a husband and a great posterity and of your increase, glory might, and dominion, there will be no end. You have come here to this world and you have come on a mission. Perform it faithfully and the Lord surely aid you, and He will bless your body. The blessings of the Lord will be upon you and thy household. Thy children and children's children will rise up and call thee blessed. And hold thy name in honor and in everlasting remembrance.
Thou hast the gift of faith and when the time comes that thou will exercise it, thou mayst heal the sick, comfort the afflicted and drive the destroyer from thy habitation. The angel of they presence has and will watch over thee comfort and sustain thee through all that thou are called to pass through. For thou art soon to commence the foundation of a kingdom. Be true to thy God and no power shall prevail against thee. The blessings of the Lord will be upon thy household forever. For surely thou art called to be a teacher a preacher of righteousness. Thy tongue will be loosed and thou will stand before thousands in this capacity. Thy calling and mission on earth is to beat the souls of men, direct thy children in the way of the Lord to teach to guide the young and to be a preacher of righteousness. In this labor thou shall be inspired by revelation, by presentiments. Obey them and thy course then will be onward and upward in the great work on the earth, for surely a great mission and work lies before thee. And I bless thee that thou mayst be equal for all thins that may be required at they hands. Therefore be not discouraged for in as much as thou will go forward the Lord calls thee and in blessing He will bless thee and in multiplying He multiply thee and thy seed forever. For great things await thee. And I bless thee that thou mayst be equal for all things that may be required at thy hands. Therefore be not discouraged for in as much as thou will go forward the Lord calls thee and in blessings He will bless thee and in multiplying He will multiply thee and thy seed forever. For great things await thee, a great work. In it thou shalt be blessed. Thy joy shall be great and thou shalt delight to bear testimony of the Gospel. Thou shalt receive the fullness of thy endowments and be a Savior upon Mt. Zion, for thy name is written in the Lambs Book of Life to do this work. Many spirits are watching over thee at this time. Thou shalt see great things and as much as thou will desire it thou must commune with the departed spirits. Blessed to receive the good things of the earth, food, raiment for thou shalt not lack and friends shall be raised up to aid thee that thy joy shalt be full. And after thou has finished a long and useful life on the earth, thou shalt continue thy labors in the spirit world. Then receive a glorious resurrection with a crown of eternal life with thy husband and a great posterity in the celestial world. I seal upon you these blessings by the authority of the priesthood and in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, Amen.
LIFE OF JULIA DIDAMIA JOHNSON WILSON
Contributor: hydrobrain Created: 3 years ago Updated: 3 years ago
LIFE OF JULIA DIDAMIA JOHNSON WILSON
BY ESTHER W. LEWIS
Our dear mother, Julia Didamia Johnson Wilson, was the daughter of Benjamin Franklin Johnson and Melissa Bloomfield LeBaron.
She was born on 26th of September, 1846, in the Prophet's mansion in Nauvoo, Illinois.
She was the third child out of a family of six children, Frank and Melissa being older and Esther, Delcina and Albin being younger.
At the time of Julia's birth the Saints were being driven from their homes by the mobs who every day threatened to burn and destroy property and kill the Saints.
After the Prophet Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum had been murdered, the Church authorities asked Grandfather B. F. Johnson to keep the Mansion House open as a hotel for the Saints who were passing through the city.
Before the Prophet's death, Grandfather had been his private secretary, and they had held property together. Grandfather lived in Ramas, a small town twenty miles out of Nauvoo before coming to the Mansion House. Here in Ramas he was building a beautiful brick house but was forced to sell it at a great sacrifice due to the persecutions of the Saints.
When Grandfather and his family were driven from Nauvoo, Julia, our mother, was the baby.
In crossing the river the ice commenced to crack, but the horses leaped forward with a great bound, which probably saved all from being drowned in the icy river, due to the mercies of the Lord.
After they had crossed the Mississippi River and were camped on the other side in a grove of trees, their lives were threatened again. A tornado was headed toward their camp. Grandfather sent his family to a clearing to save their lives, he being too ill to go. But their lives were spared again, although the tornado caused much destruction and death.
As they traveled west with the Pioneer Saints on their way to the Rocky Mountains, they stopped from time to time to plant gardens, and built temporary homes. While they were stopped at Bonapart, Iowa, another daughter was born to our Grandparents. They named her Esther Melita, who was born on Grandmother's birthday and also great-grandmother Julie Hill's birthday.
As they traveled on their way, another frightening experience came to them. The three little girls were asleep on a bed made upon trunks in the bottom of the wagon, when suddenly the wagon tipped over and landed upside down. The parents despaired of saving the children but found them alive, although the baby was near smothering to death. And again through the mercies of the Lord no lives were lost.
They arrived in Salt Lake in 1848 after enduring many hardships. Their supplies of food and clothing were almost depleted, and their suffering was great.
Mother said Grandmother kept a little can of honey on the mantle for medicine. She said it tasted to her like all the “Lovely flavors of Heaven.”
But Oh! The fear she suffered of Indians, wild animals, and Johnson's army.
Mother was always anxious to learn to do all kinds of work. She learned to knit and sew when she was very young, and learned spinning and weaving at the age of fourteen.
Her mother died when she was sixteen leaving her sorrow and responsibility. However, she grew to be a beautiful woman, tall, with dark hair and eyes, and was said to be the “belle of Utah County.”
Above all she loved the gospel.
She was married to David J. Wilson on July 26th, 1868 in Hillsdale, Utah. This was a grand occasion for family and friends.
After her marriage she lived in Springlake, Utah, where four of her children were born: Edith, David, Mazie and Pearl. Then they moved to Hillsdale where Grandfather George Deliverance Wilson and Mother Martha Ann were rearing their large family. Here Centenna, Esther and Bennie were born.
Mother taught her children to live clean, virtuous lives.
How thrilled we were listening to her tell Bible and Christmas stories at bedtime, then pray at her knee in unison.
We moved to Arizona in 1882, where Mother's father, B. F. Johnson, had moved with his large families. We lived in Tempe where Mother's family and Grandfather's family joined together in attending church activities and amusements. I remember Mother riding sidesaddle on “Old Bet,” our pet mare to Relief Society.
Here in Tempe Harriet and Rose were born.
Edith died in Tempe with typhoid fever.
In Mesa, where we moved next, Gladys was born.
In 1888 we moved to Old Mexico. Here in Diaz father built us a big adobe house with a spacious living room and sent for our Hammond organ. They started our sister Mazie taking music lessons and had her teach us all the songs in our song book. We would gather around the organ in the evenings and sing while Mother knit stockings and Father sat by the fire.
Many parties were held in our home and dances, too, with cousin Stephen Wilson playing the violin while Tennie or Mazie accompanied on the organ.
Mother was a lovely singer herself. I thought I never heard such sweet music as when she sang while preparing breakfast in the mornings.
Here in this home in Colonia Diaz, Chihuahua, Mexico, Mother's last daughter was born, her ninth. Ruth Bloomfield was born the third of December 1889. Harriet, Rose, and Galdys were born in Arizona. Edith had died in Tempe in 1882 at the age of sixteen. “Too pure and good for this life,” they said.
Mother had nine girls and two boys.
Three days after sister Ruth was born, Grandfather Johnson came to Mexico to our home. He had many wives and must escape the officers of the U. S. Government. He and many others who came to Mexico for this purpose stayed at our home and were made welcome.
Also, some of the Apostles who came to visit the Colonies stayed for a time in our home. Mother gave them her bedroom with its lovely carpet and warm fireplace. Among them were George Teasdale, John Henry Smith, and Brigham Young Jr. I remember how he did enjoy our good fresh buttermilk, churned every morning.
While living in this home, sister Pearl was married (sealed) to George M. Brown by Apostle Teasdale, brother David to Olive Merrill, and my sister Mary Ellen (Mazie) to Orson LeRoy Cluff, and sister Sarah Centenna to Earnest Turley. And last but not least with the consent of our dear mother, Father was sealed to a sweet young woman, Mirian Adelia Cox.
Mother taught us to honor this high principle of marriage with the right to practice polygamy only when sanctioned by the Church Authorities.
Now thankful we are for our noble parents who taught us the Gospel and suffered so much for us; for Aunt Delia and her fine family!
Mother taught us some poems for the occasion of Aunt Delia's wedding reception after her marriage to our father.
Here is Harriet's part:
“Dare to do right; dare to be true;
There is a work that no other can do.
Do it so bravely, so nobly and well,
Angels will hasten the story to tell.”
Brother Bennie's poem:
Guard your actions and bridle your tongue;
Words are adders when hearts are stung.
Let never a day die in the west
That you have not comforted some sad breast.
Sister Rose recited this poem:
How fair is the rose, that beautiful flower,
The glory of April and May,
Whose leaves begin to fade in an hour
They wither and die in a day.
Gladys sang the song, “Smiling Little River.”
Esther gave a reading, “The Tramp.”
While living in Diaz, Father took seriously sick with mastoid and came near death's door. He became so thin he looked like skin and bones. They decided to move to Sonora, Mexico where the climate was mild and unlike the cold winds that blew in Diaz.
They settled in the small Mormon Colony of Oaxaca, where Aunt Delia took good care of Father, she being naturally a good nurse.
We fasted and prayed for Father's recovery and from that time on he commenced to improve and was soon able to establish a home.
Father set up a grist mill, grinding whole wheat flour for the people, besides taking care of his bees.here in Oaxaca, Father started raising another family by his second wife, Aunt Delia.
Mother came to Oaxaca with the remainder of her family after settling affairs in Diaz. Brother Ben was the main stay in helping Mother and Father in moving, and in running the mill.
There were five of us unmarried girls and Ben there in Oaxaca with Mother where we built another home.
My sister Pearl came to Oaxaca with Father and Aunt Delia as her husband had died leaving her with a small daughter, Pearl Melissa.
Brother Haymore came courting her later, he also being left with a small family. They were married soon after our arrival.
Most of us girls went to Juarez to school and attended the Juarez Academy, also brother Ben.
When the floods came to Oaxaca, the whole town had to move. Most of the people went to Colonia Morelos, ten miles west.
Mother built another brick home in Morelos. As there was not enough lumber for floors, she made enough hooked rugs to cover the floors.
At the time of the Exodus, Mother's daughters had all married and were rearing families of their own.
Sister Pearl had died; also my brother David.
Mary Ellen's husband had also died leaving her with one son, LeRoy Cluff. She then married Franklin D. Haymore, helping him to raise his many children, as well as her own.
Mother and Father and Aunt Delia and her family, myself and two children all left Morelos before the rest of the colonists were driven out. Mother came to Mesa first, then spent her days and years living with or near her daughters.
Brother Ben went with Father and Aunt Delia and her family to Utah. Here he met a cousin of Aunt Delia, Susan Cox. They were married sometime later.
Mother went to Utah later with Father and Aunt and had their second annointings done. Then she returned to Mesa. She died in Mesa, Arizona on the ninth of September 1918 at the age of 72.
Jesse Stephen Wilson 1899-1977
Contributor: hydrobrain Created: 3 years ago Updated: 3 years ago
LIFE STORY OF JESSE STEPHEN WILSON
(as written in 1963 with additions dictated
to Lilith during early 1977)
I was born on April 22, 1899 in a house just north of our last Hillsdale home. It had formerly been occupied by David J. and Adelia W. Wilson. This assertion can only be established from existing records and cannot be verified from personal recollection. My parents were Jesse Stephen Wilson and Rebecca Wilson. Their parents were George Deliverance Wilson and Martha Ann Riste and Wellington Paul Wilson and Rebecca McBride. This I can assert, they were all faithful Latter-Day Saints, and had a strong testimony of the Gospel.
I am the first son and the third child in our family of six boys and four girls. We arrived in the following order: Eunice, Agnes, Jesse Stephen, Wellington Paul, George Deliverance, Rebecca, Don Carl, Rulon McBride, Calvin and Leora.
One of my early childhood summers was spent on a ranch about four miles south of Hillsdale, then known as Dusetts. It is now the Lamond Heaton ranch. Both my parent's family and my Uncle Will's somehow managed to live in the two-room log cabin which is still standing. Our family next moved to the old family home on the brow of the hill, just east of Grandfather George Deliverance Wilson's sawmill. This home was built by Uncle George H. Wilson and his brothers especially for Wellington Paul and Rebecca, since they had prevailed on Uncle Paul to come to them after the death of their father, George Deliverance.
Some of my earliest memories were: seeing my grandmother Rebecca come across an open cultivated field enroute home with a string of fish; and me coaxing my mother for some of the medicine she was giving to my grandmother during her last illness which occurred when I was approximately three years old.
My early youth was spent in Hillsdale and many memories still linger of Church and school in the small sawed-log building that served for both purposes. Our branch belonged to the Panguitch South Ward. Uncle George H. Wilson was presiding Elder, David J. Wilson, Sunday School Superintendent and my mother Primary President. They with our teachers taught us well. We learned to love and live the Gospel. My school teachers in that one-room school were: Lula Wilson, Rachel Wilson, Lily Ivy, and Melvin Porter. There were around fifteen to twenty boys ranging in ages from five to eighteen when Mr. Porter arrived. He looked the situation over and declared, "These boys need some physical exercise", and he immediately started us building hurdles, horizontal bars, high-jumps, and he obtained a shot-put and he coached us in baseball, broad jump, races and stunt exercises.
As I grew older all our summers were spent on the farm ranch two miles east of Hillsdale, which has always been known as "The Canyon". Being the oldest boy I was Father's first-hand helper and learned to drive a team at an early age. oh, I must have been eight or ten when I first learned to drive the harrow and later to plow. Dad would sing as he worked, mostly some solemncoly song like "Nelly Gray", "Annie Laurie", "Spanish Cavalier," "Swannie River", and "In the Gloaming". Here is a quote from Eunice's letter:
"My fondest memories of father are about his singing. Every night was home night. He sang by the hour. He had a most beautiful voice and knew so many songs, enough to fill the evening. "Star Spangled Banner" and "Oh, My Father" were never missed."
Father and I had a project of reading the Book of Mormon together while we two were at The Canyon and the rest of the family was still at Hillsdale. One night he was just finishing an interesting chapter and we were preparing to eat our bread and milk supper when I decided some of the early multiplier onions would be a good accompaniment and I said, "Dad, do you want me to go and get some Lamanites to eat with our bread and milk?" This caused much humor then and ever after.
We put our milk cows up the canyon to feed. We boys had the responsibility to take them off in the morning and go get them at night in time for milking before dark. We rode a little bay pony named "Queen". He was a quick, spirited animal and jumped right out from under me several times. I recall riding him to look at Pa's traps that he had set where a cougar had killed a young horse a night or two before. As I rode up Flood Canyon through the big brush, nearing the place, suddenly he snorted, jumped and dumped me within six or eight feet of the trapped cougar. I wasn't slow in following Queen's retreat. He was good to stop and wait for his riders after spilling them. I rode back home and got Dad and his gun. The cougar was a big one - nine feet from tip to tip.
On July 24, 1913, tragedy and grief upset our family as well as our friends and community because of the accidental shooting and death of my brother Wellington. It was customary for the men of the community to have a target-shooting contest and they had used a chicken coop as a place to nail the target. After several rounds of shooting, the men decided to stop and we boys always liked to dig the slugs out and went into the chicken coop for that purpose. Not knowing we were there, one of the men said, "Let's shoot another round", and Wellington was killed with the first shot which happened to have been fired by Dad. Father especially was grief stricken. Eunice writes of him - "He was never well. Since his youth he had suffered much from cramps. The doctors first blamed his appendix, but later changed their minds. His death certificate read "stricture of the bowel". His last years were sad ones. Those cramps were so hard and came with little warning. They were the dread of our life. Anyway, he was a semi-invalid, and yet between sick spells he was a hard worker. No man ever worked harder. He did so well whatever he did; for example, take his irrigation. He could take a stream of water and handle it so well it was like a picture before him, like making a painting, a form of self-expression."
As a family struggling to gain a living, we suffered the tragic loss of father on November 12, 1916. To my mother and two older sisters should go the gratitude of the entire family for their courage and sacrifice in putting the family through the difficult and trying times ahead. I shouldered the main responsibility of the farm with Dill's help. Mother, my two older sisters, and the younger boys raised a garden which was always prolific, one of the best around if not the best; and that was not all she did. Here I quote Eunice -
"Mother could read aloud better than anyone who ever lived. Oh, how she read to us "Dicken's" Scott's "Lady of the Lake", Shakespeare, MIA reading course books - anything we could lay our hands on. What many hours we all sat to hear Mother read. And how she loved to hike over all the hills and pick pinenuts with us. Her hands would be all covered with sticky gum. She raised us out at the loved "Canyon" home and made us very happy."
The years following father's death were difficult to a degree but we were full of work and the family was happy. Summers were spent at the Canyon where grain, hay, potatoes, cattle, chickens and pigs were raised. Part of our farm was still protected by the old log fence, which had been constructed with considerable labor by our forbearers. The range cattle would find the weak spots and break into our fields and raise havoc. We would toggle it up. It would be a little better, then next thing they would be in again. I remember driving a range bull for more than a mile (on a moonlight night) to put him back up the Canyon. I had been in bed and asleep only a short time when I was awakened by mad bellering such as I never had heard before nor since. Immediately we were all up and peering over the garden fence to see two bulls in mortal combat, one pushed the other down and had him pinned under the bottom pole of the corral fence. He looked as if he would be gored to death. It really took courage to go out there in the middle of the night with a big club and drive the victor off, and again to go back and see if I could free the agonized bull from his fence trap. Dell went inside the corral to push on the critter and I, with great trepidation, grasped his tail and pulled with all my might, at the same time tensing my muscles ready to scale the pole fence should he turn on me. We finally got him dislodged. He stuck his tail between his legs and made a swift retreat bellowing as he went.
We had problems with our hay harvest. Rabbits and deer were making such inroads in the haystack that we decided a barn was a must. Arrangements were made with Brother Marshall to get lumber from his mill which was located around six miles south of Hatch. With our wagon and team (a bay named Dick and old Rouse, a roan) I would get a shirt-tail of lumber at a time (a jag of about 500 feet). How well I remember the first trip I made. I camped overnight at the mill and as there was good grass, I trusted the horses to stay there, but in the morning they were gone. I don't know when I ever felt so bad. I finally found them down along the river almost to Hatch.
With the help of my younger brother, we built most of the barn. When we got ready for the rafters, Uncle George came and helped us to get the right bevel on them.
My schooling was scanty. I did attend Murdock Academy one year where my sisters Eunice and Agnes were. They got their teacher's certificates there and were very generous in their help with family finances.
From time to time I worked on road construction with our team and scraper (a hand-made scoop). The road from the Bryce Canyon junction up to Red Canyon was the first one. Cedar Mountain road, near Duck Creek was another. One winter I drove a four-mule team for a road construction company in Nevada.
We were able to dispose of potatoes quite readily, and so increased our acreage and this demanded an adequate storage place so our next project was to build a potato cellar. We designed one approximately 20 x 50 feet, having native stone walls and cedar post roof. The posts were covered with straw and then gravel. It is still in use. Lilith has asked me how we ever got those larger stones in place, and I wonder now. Our equipment was the team and lizard (planking nailed across poles which could be pulled by a team) plus manpower.
One winter I went with Dimick Huntington, a successful trapper, on a trapping expedition on the Colorado River. We took a wooden boat (all precut) and assembled it on the river bank. Lon Fallis was the third party member. As to amassing a fortune - we did not; but had some interesting experiences.
My church activities began early. I was in the Presidency in the Aaronic Priesthood quorums and a ward teacher. Then after Hillsdale Branch was transferred to Hatch Ward in 1924, I was asked to join the ward choir and be on the Ward recreation committee. I readily accepted since Lilith was already affiliated with both. In 1927, Bishop Barnhurst asked me out of the clear blue "Why don't you go a mission?" "I wish I could". Somehow I did, and to my mother and brothers and sisters who made this possible goes my everlasting gratitude.
My mission was to Eastern Canada and many choice experiences still linger in my memory, and some not so choice, as this one: One day my companion and I were traveling in the country and were hot, dry, and dirty when we came upon a beautiful lake in the woods. With one accord we proceeded to disrobe and go for a swim, whereupon we discerned two men on the opposite side of the lake gesticulating and shouting wildly. Surmising that we were somehow in error, we hastened to don our clothing and go on our way. We had only proceeded a short distance when we came upon this sign: "St. John Municipal Water Supply."
I wrote this choice experience to Lilith on stationery with Joseph Smith Farm pictures and letterhead " . . . You can easily guess where I am by the letterhead and I shall always count in a very great privilege to have been here. We stayed at the Cumorah Farm one night and last night at the Prophet's home where the first part of the Book of Mormon was translated and had the wonderful opportunity of sleeping in the Prophet's own bedroom where the Angel Moroni visited him. I haven't words to describe these experiences. We visited all of the places of interest here, including Hill Cumorah, Sacred Grove, etc. It has all been very wonderful, even more than I expected. Elder Comish and I are making this trip on the highway, and though it involved a lot of walking, we certainly felt well paid. Before we get back to Vermont, we will have traveled over 500 miles on this trip alone, via missionary special.
For the past two months I have labored in Vermont and New Hampshire traveling almost the length and breadth of both states. My special work has been looking up old friends and saints who are so widely scattered that many of them have not been in contact with the church or missionaries for three or more years. During this time I have visited the Memorial Farm where the Prophet Joseph Smith was born. It was on the July 24 celebration and we had a wonderful time. It is one of the loveliest spots I was ever in and the Smith family living at the farm are my ideal of what a Mormon family ought to be. Of course they should be, for Brother Smith is a grandson of the Prophet's brother, Hyrum. Both Palmyra and the Smith farm in Vermont seem to hold some special appeal to missionaries, for among there many visitors they top the list."
Extracts from missionary journal:
"Monday, October 3rd, 1927
Arrived at missionary home about 9:30. Registered and was shown to room. Recd. physical exam which required about all forenoon. Lost about 5 to 8 dollars from clothes in the process. Attended meeting at 2 o'clock where we recd. very good instructions from Bro. LeRoy Snow. Went downtown and purchased a few articles of wearing apparel from Cutlers. Attended another good meeting at 8 o'clock p.m.
"Tuesday, October 4th
Two minutes late for devotional which was held at 7 a.m. Went to Salt Lake Temple at 8 a.m. where we (69 missionaries) went through Temple. Ate lunch at 3 p.m. at Hotel Utah Cafeteria (will know better next time). Came to room and wrote to Mother. Missionaries were all shown through Beehive House by lady in charge there. From there they went to YMIA Headquarters where they were instructed in MIA work by Sister Beesley. From MIA offices they proceeded to Mission home where they were given a class in English grammar (please note it hasn't taken affect yet). 6:15 dined at Whitehall Cafe.
Attended night meeting, speaker David O. McKay. He talked on honesty, being true, and chastity. It was very good.
Wednesday, October 5th
Attended devotional at 7; conducted by Pres. leRoy Snow. He told us of missionary experiences and mistakes that other missionaries have made that we might profit by.
Attended 9: o clock meeting. One speaker Adam S. Bennion on How We got the Bible. Visited down town for about 40 minutes. Went over to Deseret Gym with about 30 other Elders for exercises and basketball. This was part of regular schedules. Mark 84-25
Friday, October 7th
First day of conference. Opening remarks by Pres. Heber J. Grant. Both meetings very good. Principal themes - appeal to church members to obey, honor and sustain the law. After meeting Sat. afternoon Ellis and I were taken by Bishop Barnhurst for an auto ride through the city. We also visited Liberty Park and from there were taken out to dinner by the Bishop. We also attended the concert given in the evening by the Tabernacle Choir.
Tuesday, October 11
We were set apart for our missions today. We were also presented to the First Presidency and received some very good instructions from them.
Thursday, October 13
The last class day at the Mission Home. Very fine class conducted by Bro. Melvin J. Ballard. Sub. D&C, Sec. 1. Other very fine classes, especially one on singing by Prof. Stephens and the last class of the course by Bro. David O. McKay.
Day of departure to mission field. Spent most of day in preparation. Left S.L.C. at 9: p.m. on U. P.
Saturday 15 & Sunday 16
Long, tiresome ride through Wyoming and Nebraska. Very interesting and new though. Beautiful country. Arrived in Chicago about 4:30 p.m. After almost two days and night on train. Did not have opportunity for much sightseeing in Chicago on 17 and 18.
Left Chicago for Buffalo, N.Y. at 4:50. All night ride to Buffalo. Arrived in Buffalo at 7:30 Tuesday. Were met at station by gentleman who advised us to see Niagara Falls and go to Toronto from there. Went by street car line from Buffalo to Niagara Falls. Visited Falls and crossed bridge intending to go by bus to Toronto. Were stopped by Canadian Custom officials and after being thoroughly questioned were rejected and deported. Will follow instructions next time.
Arose early to meet the rest of the company at the R.R. station. Went with them to Niagara and visited custom officer again (nothing doing). He advised us that our only chance was to appeal to Canadian Officer at Ottawa. We wrote to this officer, also to mission headquarters in Toronto. Also wired Bro. Harold G. Reynolds at S.L.C. and explaining our predicament and asking for instructions. Received reply directing us to missionaries in Buffalo and advising us that it might be necessary to remain in Buffalo a few days. Went out and located missionaries who proved to be two lady missionaries. Spent a very enjoyable evening with them.
Moved from Hotel Washington to rooming house on Huron St. Had a very enjoyable visit with Miss Bushman (one of the missionaries). Went to Bro. Chambers who is presiding Elder of Buffalo Branch. Had a piece of pie and with he and his family attended a joint session of the Relief Society and Priesthood. Enjoyed very much the fine spirit of the Saints here in Buffalo. Oh yes, received another wire this time from Canadian Mission asking for details why we were rejected. We had already given them all we could.
Went down to Hotel Washington and learned that a message or call had come in. Prop. of Hotel supposed it to be a telegram. We spent about 4 hours trying to trace this message. Finally thinking it might be important and not being able to get any trace of it we wired to Canadian Mission telling them we didn't get the message and giving them our new address. We were invited to Chambers for supper and when we arrived, there was a letter awaiting us from Toronto telling us that they were working to get us into Canada and advising us to work with missionaries here meanwhile.
Sunday October 23
Attended the Buffalo Branch Sunday School. Enjoyed it very much, especially the music. Were asked to go out in the country and administer to two of the Saints (ladies) who lived there. Found them anxiously waiting and glad to see us. Was impressed by the faith of these sisters.
Were the guests of Bro. and Sister Anderson Sunday afternoon. Attended meeting in the evening where we were asked to speak. Enjoyed the meeting very well after we had finished speaking.
Monday Oct 24
Went up to Chambers at 10:00 (no mail). Visited shipyards and other places of interest until 3: when we went out to Andersons by invitation. We spent the evening visiting Niagara Falls. The sight of these falls under the high power spotlights with there different color combinations, which are continually changing, is a sight never to be forgotten.
Tuesday, November 8
Received a telephone call this morning from Pres. Hart. Told us he had written us about ten days ago. Sent my money and advised us to go and apply again to enter Canada. We went to post office and learned that this letter had been sent back to Toronto. We came back to our room and I called Pres. Hart. I learned that he had just recd. said letter and was sending it to me together with other letters from home. Hope to get through tomorrow.
Wednesday, November 9
Did not get mail until three o'clock. Recd. letters OK. we were successful in getting through today. Were treated very well by custom officers. Conversed with them on Mormonism and promised to send them a Book of Mormon. Arrived in Toronto about 10:00 p.m. where we met Pres. Hart and a number of the elders. Stayed at mission home.
Thursday, Nov. 10
Hurried to catch train. Rode all day through beautiful farming and timber country. Arrived in Montreal at 5:10 p.m. Left Montreal for St. John at 7:00 p.m. Rode all night through beautiful forests, woodlands, farming districts, etc.
Morning finds us about halfway through Maine still in this same beautiful type of country. About 10:00 a.m. we cross into the Province of New Brunswick. Arrived at St. John at 11:45 a.m. Went immediately to the abode of Pres. Armstrong and companion. Recd. instructions from Pres. Armstrong.
Saturday Nov. 12
Attended Priesthood meeting together with Elders. Elders Beecher, Purser and myself visited Sister Baun and were guests to her home for supper.
Sunday Nov. 13
It was announced in Sunday School that Elders Beecher and Wilson would talk in the evening meeting. We (the four Elders) were the guests of Sister Baun again this afternoon for supper. Meeting was very good this evening. All four of us had a turn preaching.
Monday Nov. 14
Left for Fredricton at 7:15 with Pres. Armstrong. Fredricton is about 65 miles up the St. John river. Were met at the station by Elders Grover and Durham.
Tuesday, Nov. 15
Elder Durham left for St. John. I am staying in his place with Elder Grover. We came to Woodstock today to visit investigators. Rode up with our landlord and wife.
Wednesday, Nov. 16
Walked out of Woodstock a mile or two on our way to ferry. Were picked up there by two gentlemen whom we rode with to said ferry. We gave them a brief history of our Church and told them what we believed in. Walked to ferry and shouted to ferryman on the other side. Succeeded in finding our friends, Mr. and Mrs. Fred Manuel without difficulty. Spent enjoyable evening with them.
Thursday Nov. 17
Walked about 5 miles on the way to Fredericton arrived about 2:00. Were lucky to get a ride most of the way. Spent remainder of day getting a new boarding place and room. Moved to our new room on 279 Brunswick St.
Monday 21 Nov.
First real day of tracting. Had some interesting experiences and conversations. Met people who were very friendly, who were openly hostile, and all the way in between.
Recd. letter from mother yesterday. Spent forenoon in studying, afternoon in tracting. We had a fine visit with a Baptist Minister, left with him Book of Mormon and some pamphlets. Recd. letter from Dill tonight.
Sunday Dec 4th
Conference today. Had some fine meetings, Pres. Hart was principal speaker. He was somewhat disappointed in attendance.
From conference went to Fredericton, N.B. Labored in Fredricton for two weeks till holidays. Stayed at Mrs. Waterhouse's place. Spent time in tracting, visiting, studying, etc. Went to Saint John for holidays. Elder Grover went on to Halifax. The five of us elders, Armstrong, Durham, Purser, Beecher, and I were in Saint John for two weeks during holidays. Had some fine visits with saints, also fine meetings. Was privileged to speak in meetings twice during holidays. Ate Christmas dinner at Browns.
Came back to Fredericton with Elder Grover. Weather very cold. Did some tracting during January, some visiting, and more studying. Finished reading "Vitality of Mormonism", :The Exiles", "Saturday Night Thoughts" and "Book of Mormon".
Elder Grover was transferred to Nova Scotia and Elder Durham came up from Saint John to labor with me. Still cold but we were able to do some tracting. Also had some fine visits with friends.
Spent a week in Woodstock and Lower Southhampton with friends. Enjoyed the trip very much and resolved to return again to Southhampton and hold some meetings with our friends there. Returned to Fredericton Tuesday, Feb. 14th. Have done some tracting since returning and a lot of studying.
Plenty cold day. Recd. letter and check book from Dill today. Also letter from a girl friend. Had fine visit with elderly couple on Saint John Street.
Spent most of day studying. Have read the D. and C. about five hours this evening. Made a visit to one of Elder Durham's friends and placed a Book of Mormon (Mr. Briggs). During the last six months of my mission I was District President, it is comparable to what Zone Leader is now.
All during my mission there was a choice girl in my mind. I had a constant prayer in my mind that she would wait for me and, not only that but that she would have me when I returned. I was able to persuade her, and 32 years and 13 children later I look back on the happiest period of my life. The first time I remember seeing her she had ridden Old Teddy over to our Canyon home on an errand. Her brown hair was in two big braids, she had beautiful brown eyes and rosy cheeks and it came to me "She is the girl for me".
Home from my mission in the fall of 1929, I did a lot of pondering about devising to increase my financial capabilities and finally settled upon the idea of a saw mill in Wilson Canyon.
There was an old steam engine available near Monroe. We purchased it, dubbed it "Old Geronimo". Elliot Barney helped me drive it part way home as he had had previous experience with a steam engine. Don and Rulon helped by gathering wood in a pickup for fuel. We drove it all the way to Wilson Canyon by its own slow power. It took the better part of 2 weeks to come 80 miles. In the spring of 1930 Lilith was back from Dixie College, living at Grandview farm some four miles south of Wilson Canyon. It is remarkable how numerous and varied means were found to negotiate this short distance. Eight miles round trip, just a short little hike for the evening. To make a short story long, we were married in the Saint George Temple, April 22, 1931 on my birthday, so that I could remember when it occurred.
The next four or five years were very happy ones. With my brothers, we had built a sawmill at Wilson Canyon and worked together as "Wilson Bros. Sawmill". Our little 2-room cabin was built with the first lumber we sawed. We first lived with my family at Wilson Canyon. That winter we spent with Lilith's folks at Hatch where Russell was born February 9, 1932. The next August we moved into our cabin sans doors and windows.
Virginia and Lloyd were welcome to our family April 30, 1933, and July 27, 1935, both born in our cabin at Wilson Canyon.
Our sawmill operation was fairly successful, but I had dreams of a bigger and more efficient sawmill located at Hatch. Lilith asked why I wanted to leave the Wilson Bros. Mill since it was adequately employing the Wilson Bros. My reply - "Just think of what a bigger mill would mean? How many more men could work and how much good would come of it?"
At the end of this period (Spring of 1936) we moved to Hatch and initiated the building of a larger sawmill which has been the cause of much toil and tribulation, and the means of our livelihood, directly or indirectly, ever since.
We called it Mammoth Lumber Co. It was a partnership with Jess Wilson, Pres.; B.H. Harrison, Secy.; Dill Wilson, Ellis Wilson, Elliot Barney, M.H. Barnhurst & Eldon L. Porter participating.
With borrowed money, we obtained machinery from many sources - anyplace we could fine needed equipment. Boilers came from an old cheese factory in Logan. By summer of 1937 we were operating efficiently and had added a planer with shed and office and it looked like smooth sailing; then suddenly B.H. Harrison died of a heart attack and I was laid up with back trouble and went to Richfield for treatment. Can you imagine the impact when I was informed by a well-meaning friend, Ed Lewis, that Mammoth Lumber Co. had burned to the ground (July 7, 1939). All this is less than a week.
But we were not liked. Some members pulled out. We reorganized with Eldon Porter, Ellis Wilson, Early Sawyer, Orlas Riggs, Wiley Huntington, John Barnhurst, John Meecham, Garth Heap and myself with L.L. Porter, Secretary. We got advice and a loan from the Church cooperative security Assn. to rebuild. Eldon and I set out to find the needed equipment; in Salt Lake City we were advised to go to Portland where good used sawmill machinery was available, so we drove straight through, taking turns driving day and night. By the time we reached Portland at nightfall on the second day, we were ready to turn in and stopped at the first motel we saw. We tumbled right into bed.
In the middle of the night, we were awakened by a terrible shaking and siren shrieks. I immediately recognized it as an approaching train, but Eldon had never slept where one was an jumped wildly out of bed and with pants in hand said, "Jess, Jess get up and get out of here, that darned thing is going to run right over us". I restrained him as the freight train lumbered within a few feet of the door. Our slumbers were disturbed several more times that night. When morning came and we surveyed the situation, we found that a second railroad track was within two blocks of us.
I now quote from a letter I wrote Lilith, "This morning have been negotiating with General Mach Co. with the aid of Pres. Bean of the Portland Stake. We are very pleased with the American #4 Mill and finished the deal. The freight will be cut in half by shipping with some Church Welfare stuff to Salt Lake City."
The Church Welfare program supplied us with commodities to subsist upon. The men accepted a pittance of cash, what commodities they needed, and waited for the balance. Prices at that time were: flour $2.65 a 100, cereal 10 lb. for 35 cents, sugar 10 lbs for 65 cents; carrots and onions 1 cent per lb; canned goods 9 through 16 cents per can, except for red salmon and raspberries at 20 cents.
One morning in 1948 a bombshell exploded. It was in the form of three men who "having authority" called at our home and when the door was opened in response to their knock, their leader in the form of Stake President A.L. Elmer, ignited the fuse thusly, "Well, there's no need of beating around the bush, we want you to be Bishop of the Hatch Ward".
The next eleven years were spent between sawmill, livelihood, Bishop responsibilities, family life best part.
By the end of this period all of our family were here -- all thirteen very choice people. At present we have four who have fulfilled missions, Russell, Virginia, Lloyd and Richard, with Wayne still in the field.
Through all the struggles of raising a family, gaining a livelihood and sending children to school and on missions, it has been wonderful.
Jess's history, either written or dictated by him ends here as he had increasing difficulty with speech, so I will add some:
The lowest yearly payroll for all Mammoth Lumber Company employees after rebuilding was in 1941 -- $6,492.00. The highest in 1956, $62,200.00. This was the last year the sawmill operated. Crofts Pearson Industries persuaded Eldon that the thing to do was shut down Mammoth Lumber Co. sawmill and devote the entire time to logging. Jess very reluctantly went along (after Eldon proposed that he and Jess split their ownership and he take the logging equipment and Jess the sawmill). Eldon developed leukemia and had to retire. Prices for logging fell. Russell had back problems and Jess developed Parkinsons disease. So they sold the logging equipment to C.P.I., except for one cat, which we kept to use at Wilson Canyon.
Jess spent 6 weeks in L.D.S. Hospital in the summer of 1970 to get experimental treatment for Parkinsonism with L-Dopa. It did help, but his health continued to deteriorate.
Our love and appreciation for each other seemed to grow as his health declined. He was so chagrined and embarrassed over having to be helped so much; yet "eternally grateful" as he put it.
The summer of 1971 and the building of the Cabin at Wilson Canyon was a memorable one for him. He often spoke of it and our happy days spent there together.
Kent, Hugh, Karl, Robert and Carolyn all joined our missionary force.
Church positions not already mentioned: Teacher for Priests, Adult Sunday School and M.I.A. classes, M.I.A. and Sunday School superintendent; Counselor in Stake High Priest Quorum, Chairman of Stake Genealogical Committee and Home Teacher.
He was Garfield Co. G.O.P. delegate to the state convention several years; ran for State Legislature - missed by small margin. Soon after Garkane brought electricity to Hatch, he and Neil Clove spearheaded the Hatch Water System. He donated the land for the location of the well and storage tank. Our home already had a modern bathroom by installation of an electric pump in the well. It was the first one in town.
Hobbies: Fishing, hunting, gardening, prospecting, singing, and playing the trumpet, Aaronic Priesthood outings and trips to basketball games at B.Y.U. He and his counselors were known as the "Singing Bishopric".
He always assumed his rightful position as head of his family. He was firm yet loving and exceptionally appreciative. He would never allow any of his family to speak disrespectfully or cross to anyone, especially me.
He was the easiest man in the world to cook for and was generous with his appreciation. Never once can I remember of him complaining about food. He liked whole wheat bread and would look at freshly baked loaves and say "What a beautiful sight" or "Isn't that a sight for sore eyes" or "What more could a man want." We even finished up the sauerkraut.
He had a keen sense of humor, a sparkle in his eyes, and an unforgettable smile.
He was a faithful Latter-Day Saint, devoted to L.D.S. principles and put church work first. When he became Bishop and was expected to be at Saturday meetings in Stake or Region, his boys lost their first-day fishing or hunting partner.
He was always a sweetheart to me; remembered me with various gifts - sometimes a rock he had found while watering, some wild flowers; a new set of china, a new dress after new babies, a set of oak chairs which he said would last my lifetime; a watch, and a new wedding ring for "my sweetheart".
For 46 years we were privileged to be together, raise our family with pride, joy and love.
Outline of Talk Given by Jess Wilson in Father's Day
Program in Sunday School
"What My Son Means to Me"
I have 8 sons, two who have filled missions, 2 priests, 1 teacher, and 1 deacon.
Temptations of young men to miss Priesthood
Recently my youngest son watched us as we filed out the door to go to Priesthood Meeting, and turning to his mother said, "Mom, when can I go to Priesthood with Dad?" What better reason could I have to live to be a good example?
Recently another son handing me his report card said "Dad, here's my report card. It is bad again. What do you think is wrong with me - heredity or environment?"
Heredity is established at birth. I feel that none of us would admit ours is not good. Environment we can do something about.
I expect my sons to believe that they have both a good heritage and environment, and if environment is not just right, to do something about it. Marks on a report card can be controlled. We make our own.
ONE OF EUNICE'S MEMORIES OF CHILDHOOD
Our parents demanded obedience - they were quite strict with us. I remember the worst licking I ever got and I deserved it too.
It was when we were living in that old house down there by the road. They were trying to get Jess to go outside for something. It was dark and he was scared. They just worked and worked and worked to get him to go outside. When he finally went to go out, I just went down on all fours and went crawling after him. Boy - that was the maddest father and mother ever were at me. He just screamed and ran. Oh - he was awful little. I guess maybe about four years old. I was three years older; if he was four that would make me seven. I know I was plenty big enough I should have known better.
Martha Ann Riste
Contributor: hydrobrain Created: 3 years ago Updated: 3 years ago
Martha Ann Riste
John Richards and Mary Goodacre lived in England about 1700. They had two children, Hyrum and Mary. John was a very rich man as was his son Hyrum, also. The other child, Mary, was born September 20 1799 in England, married Feb 5 1822, in England, and died Oct 11 1885 in Santaquin, Utah.
At the age of 23 Mary married James Thomas Riste. He was a bricklayer. Mary's father (John Richards) was very much opposed to her marriage to James because of his financial setting. This union was blessed with five children, as follows: James, who died at the age of 21, Myrah, Hyrum, Lavina and Martha Ann.
Martha was born in Derby, Derbyshire England on 23 Sept 1840. When the Mormon missionaries went to England they met and converted James and Mary and two of the girls, Lavina and Martha Ann, and they were baptized. Martha Ann was baptized February 13, 1852. Later the brother, Hyrum joined the church but never did come to America. The older sister Myrah, never did join the church, due to the opposition of her husband who was very bitter and opposed to the Mormons. He did not even allow her to go to her mothers home and threatened her life if she ever made contact with her family or the missionaries.
At some time in her life, Martha sang for Queen Victoria in England, when she did so she was required to go in on her knees. Later, she also sang with others, went on several occasions with the Mormon Elders to sing at their meetings. Sarah Ann Wilson Norton remembers that she had a very beautiful voice and loved to sing.
Mary's father, John Richards, and her brother tried to get Mary and James Thomas Riste to forsake their religion and stay in their native land, but James Thomas came to America and worked to send money to bring his family. During the year before they could join their husband and father, Mary's father, John Richards died. The day the will was read, Mary went to her fathers house with Martha and Lavinah. In the study where the will was to be read, all the family and close friends were seated on straight backed chairs. At the large desk sat a lawyers in his frills and cuffs and square lensed glasses. As the will was read all eyes were turned to Mary and her daughters. The will stated “if Mary would give up her religion and stay in England that she would have half the estate”. Her brother replied, “Mary, if you will stay you can have it all, as Ann and I have all we will ever need.”As the lawyer finished every one waited in silence for Mary's answer. Finally Mary jumped to her feet and cried, “Let my father keep his money. I'm going to America”.
Mary and her daughters had to work to help earn their money for their trip to go to America, so the did washing and baking to raise money.
Mary and her two youngest daughters, Lavina and Martha Ann, sailed for American on the Ship Juventa and arrived in New York harbor some time in 1855, after a long tiresome and stormy six weeks on the ocean. The captain who had spent his life on the ocean, said it was the worst storm he had ever seen and also that if it had not been for the Mormons and their prayers, the ship would surely have gone down.
During the trip, Martha Ann fell, striking her back on a large pole. She spent the rest of her voyage in bed. She never did fully recover from this incident. Being on the ocean longer than they expected they were short of food, so the captain had it rationed.
They arrived in New York and headed west. They were in the Milo Andrus Company that left Aug 4 1855 from the outfitting area of Mormon Grove, Kansas and arrived in SLC on October 24 1855. The captain was very hateful and strict with the saints. Mary was getting older and failing in health, so the trip was rather hard for her as she had to walk most of the way. Martha told later how Mary had to tie a rope around her waist and then to the back of the wagon when they crossed the Mississippi and other large rivers to keep them from being washed away and drown. The girls, Lavina and Martha Ann walked all the way across the plains to Utah. AS many of the pioneer women did, this mother and daughters would walk each day and pick up buffalo chips and carry in their big aprons to burn on the fire at night. In the evenings when they would often sing, Martha often was asked by the group to sing her inspiring songs.
They came with the assistance of "The Perpetual Emigration Fund".
James had left England earlier in 1853 on the ship Falcon, to come to Utah and prepare for his family to join them. He had settled in Santaquin, so Mary and her daughters went to him. Here the girls met two lonely bachelors, Eli Openshaw and George Deliverance Wilson. Lavina married Eli Openshaw and Martha Ann fell in love with and married George D Wilson on September 21, 1856, when she was 16 and he was 49.
This union was blessed with eleven children: Mary, 1857; George, 1858; Martha, 1860; James William, 1862; Deliverance3, 1864; Jessie, 1867; Levinah, 1870; David, 1872; John, 1876; Sarah Ann 1878; and Almera (Ella), 1880.
Martha Ann was a hard worker and a good manager. But she had a hard life. Besides raising a large family, they were called on by the church authorities to move from one settlement to another to help get it started, then they were on the move again. Her first two children were born in Santaquin, the next two in Mt Pleasant, one in Monroe, one in Scipio, one in St. Joseph, Nevada, later called Overton (and they also lived in West Point Nevada); one in Panguitch, and the last 3 in Hillsdale. So it is plain to see that she had a hard life.
At one time Martha had become so weary of the pattern of their lives she felt that she could not continue any longer, and when her husband started talking of moving again, she rebelled and in her quaint English dialect, she stormed, “George, if you go, you'll go alone, fo' I shan't go with you. I'm not a goin' to pick up an' leave our 'ome and drag our children off in the back woods again.”
Then as he made no comment and gave no argument, she repeated “I shan't go with you. If you go, you'll go alone George”. He still said nothing, but went about getting ready to leave and after teams and wagons were all ready, he came into the house and started gathering up his clothes and personal belonging. She watched him sadly and when convinced that he was really going, penitently said, “George 'ave you got a good place fixed for my box?” And they were off once more.
Of her faith, courage, patience, resourcefulness, frugality and above all, her humorous happy disposition, no one can give an account. As she traveled from place to place with her small children, at times short of food and clothing and herself very uncomfortable (to say the least) leaving one home to go to start from scratch again every couple of years, dragging her children with her struggling to protect them from the elements until another shelter could be built to stay in while George built yet another sawmill. He was dedicated to fulfill his mission to build Zion by building sawmills to help the saints to be able to found and build new settlements. He was determined to follow the prophet and fulfill that assignment, in spite of the tremendous adversity that created for his family. How grateful this writer is for their example of “Faith in every Footstep”.
When George D Wilson was 80 years old, he passed away early in the morning on October 18, 1887, after calling some of his children to get the work started, he sat down in his char to read scriptures and slipped away, leaving Martha a widow at 47 with 9 children still in the home to finish raising alone. Those children all grew to maturity. Her daughter, Martha, never married and remained with her mother and took care of her until she passed away on Oct 8 1915 at the old home in Hillsdale, Garfield County, Utah. She had lived twenty eight years after husband had gone, and was now laid to rest at his side, in the Hillsdale Cemetery.