Life of Polly Adaline Hammon Stoker
Contributor: MDSIMS Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago
Written by Polly's daughter Fuchsia:
When mother and father were first married, they lived in So. Hooper, Utah. While living there, mother's first child, Clarissa Jane Stoker, was born 18 Sept.. 1889. Sometime after, they moved to Preston, Oneida Co., Idaho. When Clarissa Jane reached the age of about six months, she was stricken with erysipelas and passed away March 9, 1890. This was a hard blow to my mother, but she was brave and bore the burden. The little darling was laid away in the Preston cemetery. The following year, on March 20, 1891, mother was blessed with another baby girl, Leona Pearl Stoker (now Mrs. Albert James).
After a short time mother and dad moved back again to So. Hooper, Utah, where she bore two more children, Lorenzo Earl and myself, Fuchsia Erma Stoker Jones. When I was about six months old the family moved to Roy, Weber Co.. Utah, where they rented the old Hamblin home on Cousin Row. There, mother bore Jesse Lee, Goldie Marie, and Betsy Motlena. We had some happy days together. Mother roomed and boarded some school teachers. One of them was Maud Donovan. At this time my Uncle Jesse Stoker, father's brother, lived with us also.
My brother, Earl and I used to take eggs from mother's chicken coop and buy candy at Harry White's old store. Mother had some ducks and used to pick their feathers to make our pillows. She also filled ticks with clean straw for us to sleep on. At that time they used straw for padding under carpets. She tore up old clothes and sewed rags together, and had them woven into carpets to cover our floors. I loved to wind the rag balls for her after she had sown them. She also made quilted covers for our beds.
Dad had sheep and I can remember well when it came time to dip and shear them, how much fun it was to watch. One time he had been away from home on business, and after he returned, he shaved off his mustache. He then went outside where my brother Earl was, and asked him where his father was. Earl replied, “In the house, shaving.” I think at that time dad was a trustee for the Roy school.
Mother almost always attended Relief Society and Fast Meeting, but I cannot remember her attending Sunday School regularly. She perhaps had too much work to do taking care of us children. Mother was an excellent seamstress. In her earlier years she made burial clothing for many of the deceased ward members. I can remember yet some of the dresses she made for me and especially my graduation dresses when I graduated from the eighth grade and Smithsonian Business College.
I cannot remember my age at this incident, but Pearl and Earl hitched our dog to my go-cart, put me in it, and gave me the lines. I drove a little distance and much to my surprise ended up in the potato pit on my head. This made father angry and he put the go-cart up in the hayloft, so we could not get it anymore. I don't remember if they got a spanking or not, but they should have. Anyway, perhaps they thought I could drive.
About the year 1901, Uncle Jesse Stoker and dad purchased several acres of land east of the Roy County infirmary. Some time later they sold some of the northeast corner to the town of Roy for a cemetery. By this time mother had decided to go to Preston and have little Clarissa Jane (her first born) removed to the Roy Cemetery. Aunt Robina, mother's sister, took care of Jesse, Goldie and Betsy. Mother took me with her and we left for Preston, Idaho, on the train. This was my first ride on a train. After we had arrived, they dug up the grave and removed the outside box from the little casket. The flowers on top were still beautiful, and the minute the air hit them they fell to dust. When we left to take her little remains back to Roy, I particularly remember how the rain poured down on the windows of the train. When Aunt Robina and the children met us at the depot, it was also raining in Roy. The little casket was put in the waiting room of the depot for a while and then father, mother, Dick Greenwell (father's friend), and several others took the little casket up to the Roy cemetery and buried it. As near as I can remember, this was about the spring of 1902. My sister Clarissa Jane was the first person buried in the Roy cemetery. Father built a little white picket fence around her grave.
About this same year, Uncle Jesse built his house on the east end of the property in Roy, Utah. He had previously married mother's sister, Lettie Matilda Hammon, and they now had a son, Herman, and a daughter, Jane Matilda. If I remember correctly, Jane was born soon after they built their new home.
Soon after my sister Betsy was born, 5 April, 1904, my folks decided to build a home near Uncle Jesse, on the west end of the property. This home was a two-room house with a slanting roof. Later on they added a shanty at the rear of the house. Mother worked hard to help build this home and sometimes she worked just like a man and did a man's work. I remember the trials and hardships mother went through one summer when father had typhoid fever. We were still living in the two-room slope house. They had to cut a window in the north of father's bedroom to get air in to him. Sometimes I wonder just how mother made it through. She must have had the faith and courage of the pioneers.
One particular thing that remains in my memory pertaining to mother is that she always hummed the Latter-day Saint hymns while nursing and rocking her babies to sleep. Very few babies get rocked to sleep nowadays. Many a time have I played the song, “Have I Done Any Good in the World Today," on the piano for her to sing.
As our family increased, the folks remodeled our home in Roy and built three rooms on the main floor and two upstairs, one for the boys and the other for us girls. I remember well how I hated washing chimneys for the old coal oil lamps. Many times I have chopped wood and gathered coal on the railroad track for mother to make a fire to bake bread for us. We had to pump water and fill the reservoir in our old stove in order to heat water for our bath in the old tin tub. I remember the first washing machine mother owned. We had to turn it back and forth and help her with the washing. I never have forgotten the first electric lights in our home. They were certainly appreciated. This ended my lamp chimney washing. I wonder sometimes if the young people of today really appreciate all these modern things we have. Perhaps they would be much happier if they had more things to do.
When my brother Wells was small, dad hired out to work for A. P. Bigelow, an Ogden banker. This job was on Mr. Bigelow's farm, setting out trees. Dad's salary was $70 per month, and my brother Earl was to receive $50. This was to be the family income, and it meant that we would have to move to Riverdale, Utah. I do not know exactly what year we moved there, but mother gave birth to my brother, Maurice Lloyd, on 20 May, 1911, and I graduated from the eighth grade at Riverside School 3 June 1911. We must have moved back to our old home in Roy, Utah, in the late fall of 1911 or early spring of 1912, because in the fall of 1912, Maurice Lloyd was taken ill with whooping cough and pneumonia and passed away 22 Sept., 1912. At this time we were back in our old home in Roy again. This death was another heartbreak for mother. Maurice was such a lovable little fellow.
On June, 1913, our brother Ellis Allen arrived. My sister Pearl and I were with mother, and Ellis was so anxious to get down to this world that he arrived before the doctor. He was another blessing to my mother.
I remember when father passed away on June 9, 1920. how mother stood by his side in the hospital until the end came. Betsy, Jesse, Wells and Ellis were still at home. Jesse was old enough to be a big help to mother, and he stayed home and worked the farm, and did a good job. Later on my sister Betsy came to live with me and worked in the Woolworth store in Ogden. Mother rented the farm out to Earl, I think, and Jesse went to work on the railroad and stayed at my house for some time, I believe, until he met Ruth.
Mother was remarried in June, 1923, to William Clark, who had lost his wife shortly after father's death. They were neighbors and lived across the street from each other. I think at this time Earl was still living in mother's home. Mother was only married to Mr. Clark a short time when she took ill and passed away July 17, 1923. Ellis went to live with Pearl, and Wells with Goldie. They both took good care of him. Later on, Ellis lived with me and it was at that time he went to work for the Amalgamated Sugar Company, and is still with them to this day. That also was when he met Beatrice.
The family estate
Contributor: MDSIMS Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago
A great-great-granddaughter, Marie Dougherty, compiled the following information after reading notes and records passed down through daughter Golda's line:
The children took over responsibility for the farm and family's estate after their parents' deaths. Pearl was in charge and kept a detailed account of cash receipts and disbursements. The accounting shows various tenants as having leased the farmland over the years and still owing money: Earl Stoker, Herman Stoker, F. Russell and Dewey Garner. Finally, on March 14, 1943, the family convened a meeting at Pearl's home in Ogden and agreed to sell the property for $8,000. They voted to give up trying to get the money owed by the tenants. After expenses were paid, Pearl evenly distributed the remaining earnings to all the children: Pearl, Fuchsia, Jesse, Earl, Golda, Betsy, Wells and Ellis. Each received $918.34.