Condensed History of Nicholas Smith
Contributor: deacent Created: 9 months ago Updated: 9 months ago
CONDENSED HISTORY OF NICHOLAS SMITH
Taken from his personal journal by Florence Smith
Nicholas Smith was the son of John Smith and Sophia Fortune. He was born on August 3, 1854 in Haddingtonshire, Preston Links, Scotland. His parents had been members of the church since October 12, 1845. He was blessed August 27, 1854 in the Fremont Branch of Edinburgh, Scotland by Elder Thomas McNeal. He was the second child of this couple, having a sister Isabel aged almost two years.
The family left Scotland on November 17, 1854, when Nicholas was just a few months old, to come to Utah, the home of the Saints. They went to Glasgow and then to Liverpool. They boarded the ship, Clara Wheeler, November 21, but the weather did not permit them to sail for a few days. They left again on December 7. This was not a passenger ship and there were no accommodations for passengers. There was no heat at all below deck. There were 101 adults and 170 children aboard and they slept on mats practically touching each other. Food was scarce. It was decided to divide the people into four wards with leaders over them to help secure the bare necessities for them. On December 13, during another storm, they had a minor collision with another ship, which tore the main sail. Measles broke out among the people and his sister, Isabel, died on December 24, 1854 and had to be buried at sea. During this process, a girl by the name of Dorotha Chisholm was holding Nicholas when he jerked out of her arms toward the sea. She reached quickly, grabbing him by his foot or he would have gone into the sea. Quite a number of people died on this trip.
After a very bad trip, they finally landed in New Orleans, January 11, 1855, and then went up the Mississippi River to St. Louis, arriving January 22, 1855. Nicholas’ father had been a collier since a very young lad and had some lung problems and was not very strong. He worked 15 months in St. Louis to earn enough to secure an outfit to come west. The outfit consisted of a wagon, two yoke of oxen, a cow, some food and a large quantity of clothing. They left St. Louis May 7, 1856 and arrived in Salt Lake City September 27, 1856. They went on to Spanish Fork arriving on October 6, 1856. Conditions there were not good. Any provisions they could get were of inferior quality, very scarce and very expensive. He had to sell most of the extra clothing he had brought at reduced prices to get some potatoes, corn and squash. His father began buying small parcels of land. They lived in a “dug-out” and he began building a stable. The winter of 1857-58, the family moved into the stable. The roof leaked during storms and they were wet part of the time. A daughter was born to them on February 2, 1958. They named her Beatrice Fortune Smith. His father bought more land with every nickel he could spare. That spring his mother went to work with his father in the fields. She took Nicholas and the baby with her so she could watch them. Times were very hard, the oxen died and any calf the cow had either died or would get lost. This kept on until Nicholas was seven years old. At this time, he began to work in the fields with his father. His father would cut hay or grain with a scythe and young Nicholas would rake it up.
Nicholas was baptized November 2, 1862 by Elder John A. Lewis and confirmed immediately after by Elder William Stoker. After this, he worked with his father, either helping with the crops or herding sheep or cows. He even helped dig canals. When he was twelve years old, the Indians became very much a problem. They would steal cattle and sheep and several men in Springville or Spanish Fork were injured or killed. Because he was needed so badly to help with the work, he was able to go to school just three or four months in the winter. His father helped to teach him some geography, grammar and arithmetic. He became a self-educated man and his journal (where I get the information for this history) is in his own handwriting and is beautiful. His grammar and spelling are remarkably good. He loved to write poems as a young man.
In 1867, it looked like they would have a very good wheat crop when the crickets came and destroyed much of it. The fall of that year, the grasshoppers came and finished it up. In 1869, his father took up a homestead and he had to work even harder. He was 15 years old and had been doing a man’s work for several years. In the fall of 1869, he took a team of mules and a wagon up Spanish Fork Canyon to get a supply of wood. He lost control of them coming down the canyon, was thrown off the wagon and the team ran away. It took him a long time to find them where they had run into another wagon and had a wreck. It took him some time to repair the wagon, get loaded up again and finally reach home.
The Polygamy problems were beginning to surface. In 1869-70, Senator Cullom of Illinois introduced a bill to suppress Polygamy. The women of Utah were against this and even though his own family were not involved in Polygamy, his mother gave several talks to different groups about her thoughts. She supported the church in this matter.
His father passed away on May 25, 1871, three months before Nicholas was 17 years old. His father had made him promise to look out for his mother and three young sisters and three small brothers (between the ages of 14 and 1 year old). His father had been very active in the community and in the church. He left a wife and seven children. As he realized what his father had asked him to do, he felt overwhelmed, but with a very practical mother and in his faith in the Lord, he did it.
Nicholas became a very well organized individual. He kept his promise to his father, even helping to build a home at 7th North and 3rd East in Spanish Fork. He earned a living for them mostly by farming. He became very active in church work and in the community. He began to further his own education. Indian troubles continued with much stealing of sheep and cattle. He associated with young people of the Jex, Creer, Brimhall, Hales, Snell and McKell families. In April 1872, a group of these young people organized a Literary Society. Three of the main leaders were Samuel Brockbank, George Brimhall and John Hayes. Nicholas joined this group and became very active in it.
The summers were spent in farming and chores connected with it. The following December, a group of young men, who wanted more education, bought shares in a building project for $15.00 a share. They built a small building for $600.00 and opened The Young Men’s Academy. They hired William Beesley from Provo to teach it. Nicholas attended in the winter and became very interested in Algebra and Math. In 1874, he worked as much as possible with John Morrison learning the carpenter trade.
In March of 1875, he became President of the Young Men’s Literary Association of Spanish Fork. The same year he was ordained a Seventy. In April of 1876, he went on a mission to Wisconsin. His companion was a Brother Coltrin. Many of the people in this area did not believe in the Bible. Most of the people were against Mormons, especially Polygamy. During the summer, they went down to Illinois and attended Methodist, Baptist and Presbyterian churches to talk to the people. Everyone was very much against Polygamy, so they were not too successful in getting converts. When he came home from his mission, he was pleased to find that his mother, brothers, and sisters were able to keep the farm going.
During October Conference in Salt Lake City, he met Margaret Hood and became interested in her. He was very active in church affairs all winter. The spring of 1878, he worked for a Charles Atwood who made bricks in Provo. He earned $2.00 a day. Instead of cash, he took 1000 bricks for each $10.00 he earned. He wanted to build himself a house. He bought property on 5th East and Center Street and in October he began building his home with the help of Charles Hales. He and Margaret Hood were married on March 18, 1880 in Salt Lake City by Daniel H. Wells in the Endowment House. The young couple had no luxuries at all but were both grateful to have a home of four rooms, two downstairs and two upstairs. Although the upstairs rooms were not totally complete, they were happy. In 1881, they had their first child.
Nicholas was very busy for the next few years. He farmed his own lot, helped his brothers plant and cultivate his mother’s farm, was a Home Missionary, was involved in teaching Sabbath School, and continued to work on his house.
About this time, he started his active career in local politics and various businesses. He was elected Trustee of the East Bench Irrigation and Manufacturing Company. This company handled all of the irrigation water from the Spanish Fork River. It was divided between several of the towns. He later became the Secretary of the Corporation and then the Treasurer. He held these positions for 29 and 30 years. He was elected Trustee of the Third School District of Utah County and in 1885 was appointed by the Board of Trustees as Assessor and Collector of Taxes for the school district. In 1885, he was also elected Assessor and Collector of Taxes for Spanish Fork City. He held this position for five years and the school Trustee position for about ten years. He also had to register all students, plan and collect the taxes, make sure school buildings were in good repair or even build new ones. In 1881, a theater group was organized and a theater built. He kept the books for this project. In 1886, he felt they needed a library, so he opened the Reading Room in the City Hall. He kept this open himself several evening a week. He was also elected City Councilman in November 1892. In 1896, he was appointed Chairman of Finance, Streets and Alleys, and Irrigation and Chairman of the Cemetery Committee, also several other committees. He resigned his City Council position in 1898. He became Justice of the Peace in 1889 and resigned in 1892. He was appointed Justice of the Peace again and remained in that position until 1912. In March of 1893, a Branch of the Columbia Loan and Building Association of Denver opened a branch in Spanish Fork and Nicholas Smith became the Treasurer. In 1906, he became the Sexton of the Cemetery. He held this position for 20 years. His boys were able to help considerably on the farm at this time. They had a home built on the farm, which was east of Spanish Fork, near Mapleton. The family would move up there in the summer and back to Spanish Fork in the winter.
He apparently was a good bookkeeper as he kept books for several groups such as the books for the East Bench Water, School Taxes collected, City Assessment and Taxes collected, the Theater Company, Hales Company, and Young Men’s Co-Op.
He was the superintendent of the Sabbath School and the teacher for many years. He was the choir leader and managed to take music lessons himself part of the time, and was in the 70’s Presidency.
Polygamy was the main controversy. On February 29, 1888, a Grand Jury met and many men and women were called. Two of the local sisters refused to answer certain questions and were jailed for contempt of court. In March, a large number of men were jailed for unlawful cohabitation. In 1887, the Edmunds-Tucker bill became law when President Cleveland signed it.
In June of 1888, their mill burned down and the residents got together and decided to build a Co-Op Grist Mill. He immediately started hauling bricks from Provo and began the mill. August 3, 1888, he wrote in his journal that it was his 34th birthday and he spent the day working on the Grist Mill and did a complete school census. He spent the rest of the month working on schoolhouses and attending meetings of the Trustees and teachers.
The year 1888 was a bad year for Mormons.
1.Lot of Polygamy arrests.
2.Thousands of dollars seized by U.S. Marshall because of the Edmunds-Tucker Law.
3.Idaho Legislature passed a bill signed by Governor Stephenson disfranchising all Mormons. They then had to sign an affidavit that they had not belonged to the Mormon Church for two years. If they did this, they could take out citizenship in the District Court.
In February of 1889, the Idaho Test Oath was declared constitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court. This prohibited any Mormon in Idaho from voting or holding office.
In 1889, Apostle George Q. Cannon was released from jail for Polygamy. President Wilford Woodruff was President of the Church with George Q. Cannon and Joseph F. Smith as Counselors. Lorenzo Snow was President of the Quorum of the Twelve. They were having some differences in the wards. President Woodruff and President George Q. Cannon came to Utah County and to Spanish Fork to straighten out these problems and gave them some very good advice. 1889 was a progressive year; the D&RG railroad finished the broad gage railroad. Salt Lake and Ogden both doubled in size and the Territory had several new industries.
On July 17, 1894, President Cleveland signed the Enabling Act to admit Utah into the Union as a State. On August 1, 1894, Statehood Day was held at Saltair. The Governor called elections to elect delegates to a Constitutional Convention to draft the state constitution. Nicholas was elected to this.
On December 6, 1896, Fast day was moved from a weekday meeting to the first Sunday of each month. Sometime prior to this, Sabbath School was moved from a special school to the wards. For the next few years, Nicholas continued his usual occupations. His hearing began failing. He was over the Religion Classes in the Stake and spent much time visiting the wards to see how they handled the Religion Classes. He built several homes for people, his boys handling a good part of the farm work. They began to plant fruit trees and had a chicken business there. By 1917, he had to give up most of his jobs because of his hearing loss. He sold his farm to his son Clarence. In 1916, he gave up his Sexton job. He became Chairman of Temple Committee in 1922 and began doing a lot of genealogy work. In 1927, he was set apart as a special missionary in the Palmyra Stake.
As you view the life of Nicholas Smith, you find a man who was a perfectionist in many ways. He was self-educated to a large degree, yet he wrote numerous essays and poems, was involved in a literary society, involved in the theater and very active as a teacher and leader in church assignments. He made his father a promise when 16 years old and kept that promise until his brothers and sisters were all grown and his Mother passed away in 1914. After he sold his farm and his own children were all grown, he continued to garden the plot around his home. He had a beautiful flower garden in part of it and loved to work in it. They raised nine children, six boys and three girls. He had worked very hard all of his life. One day while working among his flowers, he died suddenly on July 28, 1936.
Sketch of the married life of Margaret Hood Smith by Nicholas Smith
Contributor: deacent Created: 9 months ago Updated: 9 months ago
SKETCH OF THE MARRIED LIFE OF MY WIFE AS I HAVE KNOWN HER
(Sketch of Margaret Hood Smith)
By Nicholas Smith
My wife, like myself, is a native of Scotland, and is possessed of the better qualities of the natives of that land. Born of goodly parents, who were members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, she was brought up in the fear and admonition of the tenets of that Church, of which I am happy to be a member. When I first became acquainted with her, she was a staunch defender of that oppressed faith; standing up for every principle as then taught. After a short engagement, I was married to her March 18, 1880, in the Endowment House, Salt Lake City, Utah. She was then 22 years old. Our first year of married life was very trying, as we had little to live on, and the people of Spanish Fork, where we made our home, were all strangers to her, and did little to make her acquaintance; and as all of her former associates were living in Salt Lake, she naturally became homesick. My work took me from home much of the time, so that she was alone, and lonesome in the true sense of the word. Notwithstanding all this, she tried hard to make the best of it, and little complaining. I must confess that I did not realize what she was passing through, and therefore did not give her the sympathy she was entitled to. I, being in my hometown, amongst my friends, failed to sense her feelings, as I should. Now that I can see and realize better the situation, can only wonder how she stood it so well as she did.
For a number of years I was kept so busy with Church and other duties, such as acting Priest and Teacher, member of choir, quorum meetings, class instructor in seventies quorum, officer in mutual, school trustee, city councilman etc.; so that I was out every night of the week; while she was at home taking care of the little ones, all alone. Our first five children were born the first six years of our married life, so that the magnitude of her labors can readily be seen to be arduous. During all this time, she did not complain, but was anxious that I should attend to all my duties faithfully.
To add to her trials, childbirth was always hard with her, and very painful. Nearly all of the time one or more of the children were sick; very often dangerously so. Pneumonia, typhoid, measles, scarlet fever, and other diseases were attacking the children, and several times, it looked as though we would lose some of them. Yet through all this she did not complain, but placed her trust in her Heavenly Father; and, He certainly come to her assistance. Nor was this all her trials; the necessities of life were often lacking, as my income was so small.
The next three children died shortly after birth, possibly caused by her having to do so much, without sufficient and proper food and other necessary supplies. Be that as it may, she was severely tried, and not found wanting. I have since found that while it is proper to attend to our church duties, yet the family must not be forgotten; but, that everything must be done, in the time and season thereof.
I suppose that we husbands might learn to do better if we had to go through the same experience a second time with a knowledge already gained; I hope so. But it seems that other people’s experience doesn’t have much effect on us, because we are liable to do the same thing again unless we are individually the sufferers.
She was the mother of thirteen children; four dying in their infancy, the others to maturity. The thirteenth child was born shortly before the nineteenth anniversary of our marriage.
Until the children were old enough to take care of themselves, she was kept closely at home; without much opportunity to enjoy life. As soon as it was possible for her to get out, she took part as a member and officer in the Relief Society, and in the Sunday School; becoming a teacher in the parents’ class. In all of her offices she made good, and satisfied those over her. In all of her Church duties she labored faithfully, until her health gave way. She has always contributed of her means for the sustenance of the Church and its institutions, has ever been on hand in giving a helping hand to those in need. Her advice is often asked and freely given; and she is highly respected by all who know her.
For a number of years, she has been severely afflicted. Twice she has had major operations; the first for appendicitis, when the appendix had been bursted for some time; and two years later for a complication growing out of the first operation. On both occasions she was near death’s door, and was only saved by Providence. She is still suffering from these operations, as there is a growth which is giving her much trouble.
For many years she has been greatly interested in Temple work, and has labored hard with her brothers and sisters to get them interested; but with little success. Her whole heart is in the work, and although she has not accomplished all that she desired, yet a good beginning has been made, and it is to be hoped that she will live to see much more accomplished.
At present, and for some time in the past, her hearing has been bad, which is a great handicap. Add to this her other infirmities, and it is remarkable how cheerful she keeps up.
She has been a devoted wife and mother, always sacrificing in the interest of her loved ones. Although we have had our ups and downs with many trials and tribulations, yet we can look back with mingled feelings of joy and thanksgiving, that we are still alive and determined to do our duty to God and our Church and to each other. Our circumstances are better today than they have been, and we hope to work together, for the salvation of our family, our dead kindred and friends, and the salvation of our family inasmuch as they will listen to our counsels. We hope that we will never deny the faith, no matter what may come to try us, and that our lives may always be such as to merit the praise of all faithful saints.
Spanish Fork, Utah, January 13, 1928
History of Nicholas Smith and Margaret Hood
Contributor: deacent Created: 9 months ago Updated: 9 months ago
HISTORY OF NICHOLAS SMITH AND MARGARET HOOD
By Angeline E. S. Brockbank
January 10, 1932
My father, Nicholas Smith, was the second child of John Smith and Sophia Fortune. He was born in Preston Links, a coal mining suburb of Preston Pais, Haddingtonshire, Scotland. He was but an infant, two years old, when he came to Spanish Fork, Utah with his parents.
At the time of his sister’s illness with Black Measles on board the ship “Clara Wheeler,” he was given into the care of a young lady, Miss Dorothy Chisholm, who later became Mrs. Charles W. Leah. She took him out on deck one day to tend him. While there, a large wave struck the ship. The jolt caused her to let him fall from her arms. She grabbed for him, catching him by one of his big toes, thus saving him from going overboard.
When he was very small, he went to the farm with his parents and cared for the baby, while they worked. By the time he was baptized, which occurred November 2, 1862, he helped his father in various ways. During the summer of 1862, he with other boys herded sheep and cows. It was a very common thing for the Indians to come and take their lunches away from them.
During the winter of 1865-66, and the three succeeding winters, he went to school for three months each winter. His teacher was Silas Hillma. In 1873, he got two months more schooling. These fourteen months constituted his schooling, covering a period of five different years.
When he was fifteen years of age, his father had a serious illness and it fell to his lot to care for and work the farm. In 1860, grasshoppers almost destroyed the crop in spite of his hard work to eliminate them.
During the winter of 1870 and 1871, he spent his spare time studying. The death of his father in 1871 left him with a big responsibility.
October 30, 1872 he and some of the other young men, who had organized themselves into a literary and debating society, decided to build an academy. It was opened in February 1873. It was here he got his last two months of schooling. He was first vice-president to President George H. Brimhall, of this society. They were taught by a young man from Provo, by the name of William Beesley.
After leaving this school, he took up the farm work. In his spare time, he worked at carpenter work with John Morrison. From John Morrison he studied surveying, geometry and other of the higher mathematics, which gave him a good start in these lines. He was very studious and acquired considerable knowledge in all the branches of the higher mathematics, as well as geology, anatomy, physiology, bookkeeping, geography, and history. He also became a good writer, reader, and speller. In fact, he was very efficient in all these lines. He acquired this by his own hard study and application. He bought books on subjects in which he was interested and studied them. He was always considered a well educated man. I do not remember the time he was not interested in what was going on in the world.
April 30, 1876, he went on a mission. Owing to the circumstances of his widowed mother, he was honorably released in April 1877. When he got home, he began farming again. In his spare time, he worked at the carpenter trade, on the railroad, in the brickyard, or anywhere he could to make an honest dollar.
He became a member of the Spanish Fork ward choir soon after his return from his mission. When the four wards were organized, he became chorister of the first ward, which position he held for several years. He labored in the different quorums of the priesthood, beginning soon after his father’s death. He was ordained a Seventy in 1875. He was called as President of the Seventy Quorum in 1890, which he held until 1904, when he was ordained a High Priest.
In 1903, he worked as a Religion Class teacher. In 1904, he was chosen as a Religion Class Stake aid in the Nebo Stake, working as such for several years.
In Sunday School, he worked as librarian, teacher, chorister, Assistant Superintendent and as Superintendent. Over the years, he was an officer for 40 years and a member for 50 years.
In M.I.A., he acted as class teacher, first counselor to Pres. George H. Brimhall, and as second counselor to Pres. Samuel Brockbank, when they were presiding in that organization.
His community activities were as numerous as his church activities. George H. Brimhall, Samuel Brockbank, and he formed a board of trustees for the Academy they helped to build. In 1885, he was appointed President of the Spanish Fork Reading Room and continued as such until it was abandoned. In 1894, he was appointed President and Instructor of a Civil Government class, holding this position for three years. He was assessor and collector of Spanish Fork for five years, Councilman for five years, City Justice of the Peace, at two different times, seven years in all.
He had charge of the building of the Spanish Fork City pavilion, which opened May 1, 1895. He was Supervisor of Streets for two years, a building inspector, City Sexton for twenty years, Secretary and Treasurer of West Field Company, School Trustee for eight years, and Secretary and Treasurer of East Bench Irrigation Company for twenty-eight years. He acted on various committees for the ward as well as the community. He worked as committeeman of the Scotch Club of Spanish Fork for many years.
In 1918, he gave up all public work on account of deafness, except that of sexton, which he held until January 1926. During spare times, while in this position, he worked in the garden and with his chickens.
He has always been interested in genealogy and temple work, of which he has done considerable. He holds a certificate of life membership in the Utah Genealogical Society, and one in the Smith Surname Association.
Margaret Hood, the fifth child of Nicol Hood and Angelina O’Neil, was born in Calderbank, Lanarkshire, Scotland, February 5, 1858.
Her mother’s father died, leaving his wife with a family of small children, but she brought them up in the Church. They were among the first to join the Church, when the gospel was brought to that part of the country.
Her father joined the Church secretly, when 16 years of age, in 1844. When his parents found it out, they were very indignant, especially his father. In his anger, he gave him a choice of renouncing this new religion or leaving home. The lad choose the latter, and immediately set out to seek employment.
Five years later, he married Miss O’Neil, July 15, 1850. Three of his brothers joined the Church later. He converted William. His brother, Peter, married his wife’s sister, Mary O’Neil, who had the “gift of tongues.” Nicol had the gift of “interpretation of tongues.”
Nicol had not been married very long, when he met with a terrible accident in a mine blast. He and his partner had lit a fuse. When it didn’t go off when they thought it should, they went to see what was the matter. It went off just as they got to it. Both were injured, Nicol very seriously. His left arm and part of his right hand were blown off; only the thumb and two fingers remained. The arm was amputated just below the shoulder. The flesh on the shoulder mortified and he became very ill. The Doctors told his wife she had better say anything she had to say to him, as they thought he could not live more than twenty minutes. The doctors held a consultation. His wife’s mother was lying down to rest in a room adjoining them. She overheard parts of their conversation, enough to realize that they would give him a medicine that would “sleep him off.” No doubt, they meant to make his death easier. As soon as the doctors left, she got up and would not allow them to give him any of the medicine. She rubbed a little on his lips and tongue to see what effect it would have. They turned black. His wife was crying. He called to her saying, “Oh, dry your tears Ainie, for I’m no’ gang to dee.” He turned to Brother Archibald, president of the branch, and told him to get every elder of the branch in, as soon as possible, and have them administer to him.
This was done, and as soon as the elders took their hands off his head, the mortified flesh began to fall away. In about two days, it was all off, leaving the flesh underneath as clean as if nothing had been wrong. He was well in a remarkably short time.
This incident served to add strength to their already strong testimony of the power of faith. It was used to build up and strengthen the testimonies of all the family. The mother, especially, impressed upon the minds of the children, beginning to talk to them about it when they were nearing the age of baptism, showing them how necessary faith is.
Nicol was never able to do a hard day’s work again. His wife and children, as they were old and large enough, were compelled to help make a livelihood.
Margaret was barely eight years old when she was left with baby Jean, six weeks old, to care for and feed and the house to care for and meals to get; while her mother worked in the harvest field. The older boys and girls were all away working.
After his accident, her father was given the position of night watchman at the mine. He was at home in the daytime, to supervise the house work, and help what he could. Margaret had nothing but sweet memories of her father’s kindness, forbearance, patience and love at this time. She was never scolded, no matter how dead wrong things would go. His kindly, “Well, Meg, you’re doin’ fine,” was always encouraging, and gave her new hope and fortitude.
When she was nine years of age, she went to work in the silk factory. This factory was owned by three brothers by the name of Melvin. She had only been there a short time when the superintendent came to see her and asked her if she would like to come to his home as a servant. Her answer was that she didn’t desire to make a change, except for more wages. He told her he would give her more wages, and good board. So she accepted. She had worked here for two years when Mr. Melvin died. His wife felt that she no longer could keep help, so Margaret went to work for Mr. Melvin’s sister. She worked here for a short time, then went home for a while.
When she was fourteen years old, she went to Glasgow to work, as she could get better wages, and three of her older sisters were there.
When sixteen, she was called home to assist her sister, Lizzie, in the home. Their mother was very ill with Bright’s disease and confinement, from which she never recovered. She died when this babe was about two months old, March 1, 1874. Her death was a bitter blow to this family, especially to the husband. Sad indeed it was for a man so helpless and dependent on the help of his wife. He never recovered from the shock of her death, but his implicit faith and his testimony of the truthfulness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints never wavered.
At one time, a Presbyterian committee of three visited him and offered him the position of chorister in their church. This was a big inducement for a man in his circumstances and condition. It meant a better salary, a better home to live in; besides the social contact, it would have given him and his family. He was gifted with an excellent baritone voice, and his experience in leading the singing in his own Church gatherings fitted him for the position. When they told him he must renounce his religion and join the Presbyterian Church, he emphatically said, “No.” Nicol was also a poet of some talent, and had a splendid education, although it was gained by his own study and application.
Soon after the death of his wife, he moved his family to Benhar, Linlithgeshire, where a branch of the Church was organized and he became the President.
Margaret, after her mother’s death, took care of the house work and did the family knitting; while her sister, Lizzie, took care of the baby and did the family sewing. Again, Margaret had recollections of her father’s kindness and consideration. On her “off” days, he would fix an extra bite for her and take it to her bed, and tell her to lie there till she felt better.
Soon an elder, David McKenzie, offered Lizzie an emigration fare to Utah, if she would work for his wife. He was attracted by her experience in the home. She accepted and worked in the McKenzie home to pay the emigration fare. This left all the home work for Margaret.
Nicol Hood’s home was always a home for the elders. One time an elder from England was seeking a place to board. The president of the branch recommended the Hood home to him. Satisfactory arrangements were made, and he boarded with them for a year, until his work took him away. He was a very congenial fellow, and apparently liked the family very much. Before he left he said, “Brother Hood, when I get back to Utah, I am going to send an emigration fare for one of your family. This will get you started to emigrate to Utah. It must be understood that the one that comes is to help the rest of you. This will open up the way.” Nicol didn’t live to see this come to pass, for he passed on to his reward November 18, 1875, less than two years after his beloved wife.
This left Margaret with the care of the home and the baby, but not for long. Toward the fall of 1876, the family received notice from the Church office at Liverpool that there was an emigration fare there for one of them. They consulted on the matter, and Margaret was chosen by the family as the one to go. An older sister, Mary, then came home and took care of the home and the baby.
Margaret reached Salt Lake City, October 25, 1876, and was met by her sister, Lizzie. She found that the young man, who was responsible for her emigration, had married and moved away, a few days before she got there. She never saw him or heard of him again, although she would have liked to express her appreciation to him.
She worked and saved enough to send for her brother, Andrew. He then took the responsibility from her shoulders and sent for their brother Jim. They then sent for a sister, Jean. There were still two brothers in Scotland, Nicol and John. They got what they could together; Andrew and Jim put the balance to it and got them to Utah. The four brothers later sent for a widowed sister, Mary, and her three children and their baby sister Ainie. One married sister, Agnes, and a brother, William, who died in infancy, did not get to Utah.
Margaret did her part and did it well. Doing things well was an outstanding characteristic all her life, as a daughter, as a wife and homemaker, and as a mother.
Margaret’s courtship was mostly by correspondence. She met Nicholas Smith at the October conference in 1877. They were married March 18, 1880. Spanish Fork has been her home since that time. Before her marriage, she worked at the home of President John Taylor for about six months. She was a member of the choir in the Fourteenth Ward, and attended M.I.A. some.
She was the mother of thirteen children. At this writing (June 1931), six have gone on before her, four in infancy, two grown daughters, Margaret unmarried, and Jean, a widow who left three children.
As wife and mother, she was most unselfish and untiring in her labors. She taught her family the principles of the Gospel, not only by word, but by deed. She always maintained a high standard of morals and ideals. She was upright, just, open and above board in all her dealings. Her disposition was to conform to correct moral principles. Her life was one of fidelity to truth and right, ever a faithful Latter-day Saint, and an ardent, ready defender of the principles of the Gospel, as she understood them. She loved the Gospel as she loved her life. Invariably, duty came first with her, pleasure last.
As a homemaker, she was second to none. She was a hard worker, clean, thrifty, and systematic.
When she was able, she did much work among the sick, being called upon from considerable distances. She had learned much from her father, especially about healing sores. She was an ardent Relief Society worker, being treasurer in the association for eighteen years. She was also a trustee of the association and a member of the wheat committee. Her enthusiasm for Temple work has never diminished. She holds a life certificate of membership in the Genealogical Society, for which she paid with her egg money. She taught the Parents Class in the Spanish Fork First Ward several years.
She is now in her Seventy-fourth year. Although her health is very poor, she is never happy unless she can perform some service for the members of her family.
She still practices thrift and economy. I can truthfully say, I never saw a thing go to waste in my mother’s house in my life. She taught us economy as well as thrift. Her management was something marvelous. When I think of how she kept her large family always looking respectable and clean, and how she could get a most delicious meal together with so little means, as she had at her command, I stand aghast.
She always taught us that it is more blessed to give than to receive. She gave generously to any who she thought needed. She has always paid her church donations and tithing to the cent, and declares she never missed it. The thought of having done her duty was her ample reward.