Biography of Eleanor Searles Fillmore; Written by her daughter Lillie Mitchell of camp No 1 Payson; Daughters of Utah Pioneers, Utah County, Payson Utah
Contributor: mbluther1 Created: 3 years ago Updated: 3 years ago
My mother, Eleanor Searles Fillmore, daughter of Jerusha M and John C Searles, was born at Payson, Utah, March 30, 1854. She was one of the first children born in this early settlement.
Enjoying a happy childhood, she was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at the age of eight years. Her childhood days were happily spent there where she received her education in the early schools.
She had a happy dispotition and always loved to dance. Much more of her days of young womanhood is not known, but on December 31, 1867 she was married to Norman Fillmore by Bishop John Fairbanks. on October 23, 1871, they received their endowments in the Old Salt Lake Endowment House.
Her wedding took place at Grandpa Fillmore's home. She was as happy as any bride today, in her dress of homespun lincy. Her unselfishness was shown, when, shortly after the ceremony was performed she took off her dress and helped Lucy Lamb into it. You see, Lucy was upon the same day married to Grandpa Milan Fillmore, who was then an invalid with rheumatics and unable to move from his chair.
Mother has often told how a wagon box, standing by the side of her father's home was her first bedroom. Later they had a one-room house with meagre furnishings such as a dry goods box for a table and handmade tools for chairs. The floors were bare. Here they were very happy and always entertained many friends and relatives. Mother was noted for being an excellent cook. Especially was she noted for her Salt Rizen Bread. She was a very good seamstress, making all her first baby clothes by hand. She also made those of Polly Crook's first child.
When their fisrt child was two years old, she and father moved to Bear River, Idaho. Here they built a log house, cleared the land and planted grain. Their hearts were gladdened as the grain grew from the ground, but the gladness turned into discouragement. In July a heavy frost came and the grain was frozen.
They yoked up their Texan Oxen, put all their belongings in the wagon, and traveled back to Payson.
While on the journey homeward, the oxen became frightened and ran away. Father got control of them just before the wagon ran into the Springville river. Mother was so frightened and upset that she became ill. She gave birth to a son, who died a few hours later. Thankful that he had the Priesthood, father blessed and named the baby before it passed away. He gave it the name of Norman.
They moved into Salem, Utah which was then a small settlement. They settled on a farm east of town. The Indians were numerous at this time and father always fed them and treated them kindly. Mother, on the other hand, was very frightened of them and would take us little children and hide in the corn field.
At this time, father did much work in the canyon. He would cut out poles and haul them to Provo to sell or exchange for material to make clothing. He would also work for flour, receiving fifteen pounds for a days work.
Mother was always busy. She sewed rags for home-spun carpet. She knit stockings for all the family. She would go into the field with the children and pick cucumbers, which she salted down in forty gallon barrels to sell. She also gathered cherries, which she scalded, dried and traded for groceries at the store.
Father also peddled vegetables to Salt Lake City and Bingham. In the evening, mother and the children would dress scores of chickens for him to take on the trips. Their lives were filled with may experiences good and bad.
At one time father had a sun stroke while working in the field. They used pig bladders to hold ice for cold packs. Mother saved the life of one of her children when she found it choking on a wood shaving which had lodged in its throat.
One night a man named George Jackman had been to a dance and had been drinking. He lost his way and came to the house. It was very cold and when mother let him in his feet were frozen. She put them in pans of snow and worked with him until his feet were saved. This man, very thankful for this kindness was ever grateful.
While living in Salem, Mother was devoted as a church worker. She served as treasurer for the Relief Society. I remember when she used to take us gathering acorns and sqaw berries. She also used to take us over to the canal where we would float our melonrind boats. We were always rocked to sleep on her knee and she would sing her lullaby songs each night as she rocked.
One time father brought mother a beaded hanging basket as a present from Salt Lake City. She hung it in the parlor window. One day she returned home from visiting and found that their two colts had wandered into the house somehow and had even torn down the hanging basket and left the pieces.
Father planned a joke on mother at one time which he always enjoyed telling. The deer were plentiful and often came near the home, but mother had never got to see them. One morning father called her to come quickly to see them, telling her not to take time to dress or they would be gone. She didn't dress and after climbing upon a high box to see out he called, "April Fool". Later, however, she did see many herds of deer.
In 1891 they moved to Payson, where father engaged in the grocery business. Again in 1896 they moved to Burrville, Utah. On the trip there, a fire started at a camp house and father often told how he grabbed a pot of tea which was handy and threw it on the flames to put it out. "That's once when I was thankful for a good pot of tea," he said. He never used tea himself and always ovserved the Word of Wisdom.
While in Burrville they kept a store and a postoffice. Here mother was a counselor to Mary Curtis in the Primary. She always did good wherever she went. At one time a Mr Henry Jepson came to her home nearly frozen, having made a trip from Rabbit Valley. It was bitter cold and she gave him a hot drink and worked with him to save his life.
At one time father had pneumonia. The town fasted and prayed for him and through their faith and prayer he was made well. Mother was a Relief Society teacher for 35 years and also a member of the grain comittee.
on December 14, 1917, they moved to Twin Falls, Idaho, where she constantly contributed to that branch of the church. She gave $85 for the completion of a church. She made many sets of quilt blocks and gave to the Relief Society for Quilts.
On June 6, 1922 father passed away. Her courage however, never failed her and she continued to make friends everywhere. She had always loved to dance and at the age of 80 years she still danced. She had always given her children her most tender and loving care and although she was the mother of 13 children, never once did any of them have a broken bone. She never had a doctor to deliver her babies. It was always a midwife who took care of mother and baby each day for ten days and the charge was $3.00
Her faith grew even greater toward the end of her life, which came May 21, 1934 at Twin Falls, Idaho at the age of 82 years, 1 month and 2 days. Impressive services were held at the LDS Tabernacle. At that time she was survived by one son and nine daughters, 41 grandchildren, 65 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild.
She was the mother of 11 daughters and 2 sons as follows
Jerusha Jane: Born December 1, 1868 married to Walter M Gardner
Norman: Born Oct 19, 1870 died Oct 19, 1870 in Payson
Millie Ameda: Born Aug 16, 1871 died Oct 1, 1872 in Salt Lake
Rose Y Eleanor: Born June 29, 1873 married to David Curtis
Ines Estella: Born March 3, 1875 married to Francis A Elmer
Lillie May: Born May 10, 1877 married to James A Mitchell
Mary Effie: Born Aug 29, 1879 died Feb 11, 1881 at Salem
Ada Agness: Born Dec 26, 1881 married James E Blackburn
Clara Viola: Born Jan 24, 1884 married to Clarence Christenson
Cloa Amanda: Born Jan 24, 1884 married to Town Sampson
Oren Ezra: Born Nov 28, 1889 married to Clara Ivy
Dora Maud: Born April 18, 1891 married to William C Nebecker
Edith Pearl: Born Aug 26, 1894 married to James E Allred
Biography of Norman Fillmore; Written by Lillie May Fillmore Mitchell, his daughter in 1938
Contributor: mbluther1 Created: 3 years ago Updated: 3 years ago
Norman Fillmore, son of Milan L and Jane Shadbolt Fillmore, was born March 1, 1848 in the town of Delifield, Walkshaw County, Wisconsin. His mother died when he was nine years old. He embraced the Gospel of Jesus Christ when a boy and when crossing the plains, coming to Utah in 1860, was baptized in the Platt River at the age of 12 years.
He came to Utah in the same train with Patriarch John Smith and Dr. Karl G Maesser. He walked most of the way, driving the cow in head of the train, arriving in Payson September 1860. The first home of the family was a log cabin on First West Street, 150 South, where the Dr. Oldroyd Hospital now stands.
His father was an invalid suffering from rheumatism. He sat in a chair for twenty-five years. Due to his inability to work they were very poor and father had to help support the family for many years. At one time the priesthood quorum was going to get Grandfather a cow but Eunice Bills Parker (his niece) felt that she could gather enough means for that purpose, so she went to the friends and neighbors taking butter, eggs or any produce they could spare. When she started out her shoes were very ragged, her feet nearly on the ground, but when she had gathered what she could, her brother, Joseph Bills, being a peddler took the produce and gave her the money. She took it to grandfather and he was so thankful he gave her enough to get her a pair of shoes. Then he bought a cow with the rest.
As a boy, father received many testimonies of the gospel and endured many of the hardships of pioneer life. Fighting crickets, grasshoppers and Indians.
He enlisted as a private in the Black Hawk war in Payson, Utah 11th of June 1866 in the William Wightman Company and stood guard in Ephraim until 28th of August 1866, when he was honorable discharged. He was but eighteen years old at that time.
He married Eleanor M Searles December 31, 1867 at Payson, Utah and later October 23, 1871, received their endowments at Salt Lake City, Utah. To this union there were born thirteen children, eleven girls and two boys; Jerusha Jane, Norman, Millie Almeda, Rosa Eleanor, Inez Estella, Lillie May, Mary Effie, Ada Agness, Clara Viola, Oran Ezra, Chloa Amanda, Dora Maude and Edith Pearl, two girls and a boy dying in childhood.
Their first bedroom was a covered wagon box which stood by the side of Grandfather Searles house on First West Street where Orson Daniel's new home now is (100 South 1st West, Payson). Their furniture was typical of pioneer times. The table was a large dry goods box, and stools for chairs.
When their first child was two years old they moved to Bear River, built a log house, cleared the ground, planted grain and were very much encouraged, when in July a heavy frost froze the grain in the boot. That discouraged them so they yoked up their Texan oxen, put all their belongings in the wagon and came back to Payson. While on the way the oxen became frightened and ran away, but father got control of them just before they ran into the Springville river. Mother was so frightened she became ill and gave birth to a son who died a few hours later. But thanks for the Priesthood, father blessed and named it before it passed away. He gave him the name of Norman.
They moved to Salem, Utah on a farm east of town. The Indians would come to the house and father would always treat them kindly and give them something to eat, but mother was frightened of them and when father was not at home, she would take her little children and hide in the corn field until they went away.
One time while they lived on this farm father played a joke on mother which he enjoyed telling. The deer would come in herds along close to their place and one morning early father told mother to get up and see them. She wanted to dress but he said they would be gone, and as she hadn't seen deer before she didn't dress. He got her up on a big box to see the deer and he told her, "April Fool."
Father did much work in the canyon getting poles, taking them to Provo, Utah and selling them for material to make clothing. He would work for flour for his family getting fiften pounds for a days work. He would also peddle vegetables to Salt Lake City, Utah and to Bingham, Utah. He would always bring something home for his children. One time he brought me a little lamp which pleased me very much.
He was appointed Town Marshall and School Trustee while living in Salem.
One time while stacking grain he was overcome with the heat, the Doctor recommended ice packs. Having no water bottles as we do today, we used pig bladders to put the ice in. I remember going to the neighbor's to get the bladders.
Father always tried to live his religion, attend his meetings, pay his tithing, donate to the missionaries and was always ready to help his neighbors. There was a family from England living close to him, they lost their only horse. Father went around town and collected enough money to buy them another horse for which they were happy and very thankful.
At another time a man by the name of George Jackman had been drinking and lost his way coming from a dance. He came to our house. Father got out of bed, let him in and built a fire. He found the man's feet were frozen so he got a big pan of snow and put his feet in it and thawed them out, which saved the man's feet.
In 1891 he moved back to Payson and engaged in the grocery business which was very successful. While running the store he had the greatest respect for children and customers. He said, "If mothers have enough confidence in me to send their children I will always give them the best I have."
In 1896 he moved to Burrville, Utah. While making the trip they were in a camp house and the house caught fire. Father grabbed a pot of tea and put the fire out. He said that was one time he was thankful for a pot of tea, although he never drank it. He always kept the Word of Wisdom.
While in Burrville he engaged in farming as well as running a mercantile business and the post office. He was an energetic church worker eing a teacher for thirty-five years. He had great tact in settling difficulties among the people. He was counselor to Presiding elder John Anderson, and later was Presiding Elder of Burrville for two years.
While there he had pneumonia and was very ill, his life was despaired of. All the ward fasted and prayed for him and he recovered.
He next moved to Richfield Utah continuing in the church work in the Third Ward there. He was always willing to work in where he was needed. He was ordained a High Priest 29th December 1900 by W.H. Clark, he had a good record in the High Priest Quorum. He worked hard as a ward teacher, going alone when his partner could not go with him, his duty was to visit all the ward once a year to collect temple donations. He took charge and furnished the Sacrament a Sunday School and Meeting for two years before going to Twin Falls, Idaho.
He never went on a mission but always made donations to all the missionaries in the place where he lived. He always tried to set a good example before his children and was always neighborly and never held feelings against any one.
He arrived in Twin Falls, Idaho 14th December 1917 where he continued his work in church activities, helping to build up that branch of the church. He donated and did all he could.
He died at Twin Falls, Idaho 6th June 1922 at the age of seventy-four years, three months, and was buried at Twin Falls Idaho.
he was the father of 13 children, 3 dying in infancy. The ten surviving are:
Mrs. Rose Eleanor Curtis, Mrs. Inez Estella Elmer, and Mrs. Lillie May Mitchell all of Payson, Utah. Mrs. Jerusha Jane Gardner, Mrs. Ada Agness Blackburn, Mrs. Clara Viola Christensen, Mrs. Edith Pearl Allred, Oran Ezra Fillmore, all of Twin Falls, Idaho. Mrs. Dora Maude Nebeker of Bull, Idaho and Mrs. Chole Amanda Sampson of Glenwood, Utah.
He had 46 grandchildren, 25 great grandchildren at the time of his death.