Phoebe Longstroth Evans Biography
Contributor: hackroyd Created: 7 months ago Updated: 7 months ago
Phoebe Longstroth Evans
Phoebe was born to Charlotte Baker and William Longstroth on the 2nd of February 1879 in Cache Valley, Utah. Before Phoebe was born, her parents joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Liverpool, England. They migrated with the saints to Utah and settled there. When Phoebe was a baby, her mother brought her to church to be blessed and the bishop said anyone whose husband was a liquor drinker could not have their children blessed. Phoebe’s mother walked out, and they started going to the Presbyterian church.
The youngest of 13 children, Phoebe was the only one in her family with fiery red hair and was often teased about it growing up. She was raised in the Presbyterian church but at age 15, she began working for an LDS family and later converted to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. She had actually already been baptized, however, when she was 9 and a group of children were heading down to the irrigation ditch to be baptized, she had joined in. When she was 18, she was working for the wife of a polygamist and met John Willian Evans, a young schoolteacher in the area. They fell in love and planned to be married, however, he got a mission call to California during this time. Their bishop at the time recommended they be re-baptized before entering the temple, so they did so and fulfilling the promise of her patriarchal blessing when they were married in the temple on June 7th 1899. John left for his mission on the 15th of June and Phoebe went to work for George Albert Smith.
When John returned in May 1901, they moved into a small log cabin, had their first child Charlotte, and lived together happily until 1903, when John went to Canada with a group of saints who were spreading north. Phoebe was expecting, so she did not join, however after the birth of her daughter Phoebe she went to join John in Raymond, Alberta, Canada. She hated the cold Alberta winds and missed home. She lived in the factory boarding house cooking for men who worked there with the assistance of a Chinese cook. Eventually, they were able to buy a home and while there they continued to take in borders as the source of a little extra cash. Although the quarters were crowded, people loved to stay with Phoebe because she was such an amazing cook and housekeeper.
Phoebe had 6 more children while in Canada; Alice, George, John, Ruth, Alma and Paul. One of Phoebes gifts was the ability to tell if any of her children were in trouble. One night, her son Paul was working in their fields on the tractor. She awoke in the middle of the night panting and sweating because she knew something terrible was about to happen to him. She woke her husband up and together they prayed fervently that their son would be ok. They raced out to the expansive fields and after some travel located the tractor light. They continued praying and rushed to the tractor, finding Paul safe. Relieved, they returned home. The next day, Paul told them that he had been so tired the previous night he had begun to drift off while driving the tractor. As he slumped over, his arm caught in the steering wheel and jolted him awake. If he had fell asleep and fallen off the tractor, he would have been ripped into shreds by its blades. Phoebe and John knew their prayers had been answered.
In another instance, Paul was serving in WWII as the pilot of a bomber jet. One day, as Phoebe was sitting and reading with her husband, a horrible feeling came over her and she knew that Paul was in danger. She immediately began praying with her husband that he would be safe and protected and then marked the day on her calendar, August 11. The next time she received a letter from Paul, he recounted an experience they had flying over Germany at night when suddenly a search light designed to target and destroy bombers found and fixated on their plane. They were unable to shake the light no matter what they did, but for some reason, the light eventually went off them and they were able to escape. He mentioned the experience occurred August 11th. Once again, Phoebe knew her prayers had been answered and she could rely on the feelings she received from the Lord to keep her children safe.
As Phoebe grew older, she began to take an interest in art. She loved to make figurines, paint pictures, enjoy beauty, and keep a very clean home. She always said that if a job was worth doing, it was worth doing right. She was active in her church callings throughout her life and always was looking for ways to help others. She used to say that she would not be happy when she died unless she could continue fixing meals and serving others in the next life. Phoebe was a person of true inner beauty who embodied love and happiness.