ROSWELL FERRE and EUNICE SYLVIA MARTIN
Contributor: trishkovach Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago
Roswell Ferre was born 10 June 1856 in Provo, Utah, Utah. His parents were Roswell Chapin Ferre and Rachel Catherine Hollister. He married 25 December 1879 Eunice Sylvia Martin in Salt Lake City, Utah. He died 24 January 1936 at Provo, Utah, Utah. Burial was in the Provo city Cemetery.
Eunice Sylvia Martin was born 21 July 1858 in Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah. She was the daughter of Jessie Bigler Martin and Sophronia Moore. She died on the 23rd of June 1900 at Scipio, Millard County, Utah. She was buried in the Scipio City Cemetery.
FERRE FAMILY HISTORY
Roswell Ferre was the third son of Roswell Chapin and Rachel Catherine Hollister Ferre. At the time of his birth the family home was on Center Street where the Berg Mortuary is now located. The family later sold this property to Jessie Knight, who built the mansion that now houses the mortuary.
As one of Provo's earliest settlers, Roswell's father had extensive land holdings. Mention has been made that the block where the City and County building now stands was donated by the Ferre family.
Roswell Chapin was mechanically inclined and built the first threshing machine to be operated in Utah County. Roswell worked with his father and brothers going from farm to farm threshing for other farmers.
Lovina Clearwater Hollister, Roswell's grandmother, was a widow and came to Utah with her daughter, Rachel. She made her home with the Ferre family until her death in 1872 when Roswell was 16 years old.
The family eventually moved to a new home further east where they had a large farm.
Roswell's father was described as a 'Stalwart Citizen' in his obituary. Besides donating the land for the courthouse he was actively involved in getting both a water system and fire department for Provo.
Eunice Sylvia Martin was the first child born to her parents, Jessie Bigler Martin and Sophronia Moore, after her father returned from his mission to England. Her mother had managed to support the three older children and take care of their first home in Salt Lake while the father was away serving the Church.
From her mother's history we quote, "In the year 1858 on the 21st day of July a little silver haired girl came to make her home with us. She was one of the most beautiful babies. Her name was Eunice Sylvia Martin."
The next spring after her birth, Eunice's parents sold out in Salt Lake City and moved south to Lehi, Utah, Utah. The family lived in Lehi about three years and during this time two more children were born to her parents.
Eunice's parents were then called to go still further south to Scipio where they were among the first settlers in Millard County, Utah. Here Eunice grew up, along with several other brothers and sisters. her father had taken a second wife after returning from his mission (she was an English convert) and both families were raised together. Both wives appear to have been compatible and the children grew up in a happy, cooperative atmosphere.
The second wife, Ann Clark, was known in Scipio as the 'Schoolmarm'. She taught all grades in the small pioneer school and Eunice's formal schooling would have been under Ann's supervision.
EUNICE & ROSWELL FERRE
Eunice's mother was an excellent cook and seamstress. She managed the home, mothered the children of both polygamist families as well as serving as the first Relief Society president in Scipio. Her talents for cooking and sewing were passed on to her daughters and granddaughters.
Roswell Ferre and Eunice Sylvia Martin were married Christmas Day on the 25th of December 1879 in Salt Lake City and received their endowments the same day. Roswell was 23 years old and Eunice 21.
This marriage joined two early Utah Pioneer families with ties that go back to some of the earliest European immigrants to America. From the Mayflower Pilgrims and on through the Revolutionary War, both Roswell and Eunice's ancestors played an important part in the settlement and building of this "New World".
Neither Eunice or Roswell kept a journal or diary, however, thanks to their daughter, Jennie, we can form a picture of their family life. Correspondence, obituaries, partiarchal blessings and various other family momentos have been safe, stored away in Roswell's trunk, waiting the right moment to be shared.
After their marriage Roswell and Eunice returned to Provo where they made their first home.
On the 22nd day of September 1880 their first child was born. It was a boy and they named him Roswell after his father and grandfather.
Two years later on October 6, 1882 a daughter was born. She was named Eunice Sylvia after her mother. The family called her Sylvia.
Alice, their third child, was born two years later on the 23rd of September 1884.
About 1885, Roswell, Eunice and their three small children left Provo and moved to Scipio where they decided to make their home. At this time Eunice's family still resided in Scipio.
While the family marked their home in Scipio, seven more children were born. They were:
Reno Ferre born 21 August 1886
Daniel Ferre born 7 October 1888
Rachel Ann Ferre born 13 March 1891
Tirza Sophronia Ferre born 25 February 1893
Leo Ferre born 21 February 1895
Jennie Ferre born 30 June 1897
Mary V. Ferre born 25 May 1900
Throughout his life, Roswell was actively involved in farming. He had extensive land holdings in both Utah and Millard Counties. According to one Scipio resident there is still a section of land there known as the 'Ferre Farm'--the origin of the name has been a mystery to the local people.
Other farmland owned by Roswell was naer Lake Shore in Utah County and in the Provo area he had a five acre farm on the Lake Road.
Roswell also did some freighting (with wagons) in Southern Utah and Arizona. After the family returned to Provo, his daughter Jennie recalls that he would haul logs from across the lake every winter when Utah Lake was frozen over.
Roswell and his brothers were interested in mining. They did some prospecting and filed mining claims in Millard County and Southern Utah. Also among Roswell Ferre's papers is a stock certificate for 25,600 shares of stock in the Vira Mining Company so apparently he also invested in some of the early day mining ventures.
The cold winter months enabled Roswell to leave his farm in Scipio and make an extended visit with his mother and other relatives living in Provo. This may have been the time he worked at freighting between Provo and southern Utah also.
Eunice and the children remained at home in Scipio and active correspondence flowed between Provo and Scipio keeping them in touch with the daily happenings.
Two of Roswell's letters dated February 1889 mentions meeting Eunice's father (Jessie B. Martin) and told him about the "Depetes". Could he have meant deputies? The year 1889 was the year the Official Declaration was made by Church President, Wilford Woodruff, forbidding plural mariage...and federal officers were arresting polygamists. From Jessie B. Martin's history we know that later that same year (December 1889) he was sent to the penitentiary in Salt Lake where he served 50 days for practicing polygamy.
After the "manifesto in 1889" Eunice's parents sold out their holdings in Scipio and bought a home in Provo one half block east of the 5th Ward Chapel. He and his wife Sophronia lived the rest of their lives here while Ann stayed in her home in Scipio.
Eunice's letter dated December 26, 1895--seems to indicate this practice of visiting Provo each winter was a regular occurence. Eunice's letter notes that "mother stayed up here with me last night". By 1895 her parents had made the move to Provo, so this must have been a Christmas visit to Scipio for Sophronia. Train service by this time made these trips easier.
In Scipio, as well as in other Mormon settlements, the Church would have been the hub of most social activities.
Eunice's mother (the Relief Society president) tells in her history of having the Presidency of the Church stay at their home many times. The Martin's always kept open house, never turning anyone away. How exciting and interesting this must have been for the family members having an opportunity to meet the important leader of the day.
From Jessie B. Martin's history we quote, "He was a born entertainer and was the center of many pleasant evening gatherings of community, family and friends. He was a good singer, a clever dancer and keen story teller.
With both Eunice and Roswell being members of such large families, there were continuous weddings, births, illness and deaths. Family members kept in close touch by letter. Included in these letters are invitations for extended visits, news of illness in the family and in general the everyday happenings in their family life.
With a light chuckle we include our Family Recipes--the kind that are traditionally passed down through families from one generation to another. Here are ours--a chocolate cake, a wedding a cake and the special one that includes instructions on how to take care of the still!
Family dinners where all the relatives got together must have been a common occurrence. Eunice's niece, Zora Smith Jarvis, mentions in her history about what a marvelous cook Eunice was.
June 23, 1900 the Ferre family were stunned when Eunice died at the age of 42. Her death was a result of complications caused by the birth of her tenth child, Mary. She left baby Mary who was just a month old and nine others ranging in ages up to twenty.
This was a sad time for the entire family (both the Ferre's and the Martin's). After the funeral Eunice's sister Matilda Martin Vance took the baby (at this time unnamed) with her when she returned to Provo. Matilda had a new baby of similar age and was able to give her the care she needed.
Both Roswell, Jr. and Sylvia had left home at the time of their mother's death. Sylvia was working in Provo and Rossy employed in Oregon. The following is a letter from Rossy to his father after he had learned about his mother's death.
Grandmother Eunice was buried in the Scipio Cemetery on what must have been the Martin Family plot as Ann Clark, grandfather Martin's second wife was buried near.
Her son, Leo and great grandson, David, placed a stone marking her grave during the 1960's.
At the urging of his mother as well as Eunice's parents, Roswell sold his property in Scipio and returned to Provo where he purchased a house and property at 5th East and 2nd North.
Offers were made by various relatives who would have provided homes for the younger children. Roswell refused. It was important to him that the family remain together. This he was able to do with the help of his three older daughters.
In his quiet gentle way, Roswell seems to have organized the family. The girls were responsible for the housework while the boys found various jobs and the money they earned was turned over to their father and shared by all.
The second tragedy struck the family when baby Mary died on the 10th of November 1901.
Then again on the 19th of January1904, 21 year old Sylvia died of heart trouble and dropsy.
Life for the Ferre children seems to have been happy and busy. They all shared both the work and the play. Even the little ones helped. Jennie remembers learning to make bread when she was so small she had to stand on a chair to mix it. Bread was mixed at night, let stand then molded into loaves, put into pans and baked the next morning.
The girls all learned to sew and became experts at making their own clothes--even hats.
Grandma Martin saw little Jennie in a pair of Leo's overalls and made her go change. Overalls are for boys, not girls!
When Roswell would go to work on the farm he would take the family plus their friends and cousins. They would play by the river while he farmed and then ride home at night.
The neighborhood children would climb up to the "Y". Jennie and cousin Hollis were left in the pasture because they were too little to go. They collected watercress while they waited.
Leo was a couple of years older than Jennie and was made responsible for her. She tagged along and followed him everywhere and did everything he did.
Roswell would fix the hay wagon by putting straw on the flatbed and covering it with canvas. He would then load it up with his family and all the neighborhood kids (many of them cousins) and take them to the canyon for a picnic. Sometimes they would stay the night. The road to Provo Canyon was still dirt at that time.
Traditionally the family celebrated Jennie's birthday (June 30th) with a trip to the canyon.
Roswell always wanted his family at home or with him. He didn't care how many neighborhood children were there as long as they were home. Many of the neighborhood children were relatives and in general the Ferre family had a happy very close relationship which continued throughout their lives.
In 1909, Reno was called to fill a mission in what was then the Central States Mission, assigned to the State of Louisiana.
Also in 1909, Alice married Edward H. Johnson on the 24th of August. A year later on September 10, 1910, Edward was born. He was Roswell's first grandchild.
Roswell must have retained some interests in Scipio for as late as 1912 we have copies of correspondence from Lucy (Eunice's half sister) and her husband concerning sheep still owned by Roswell.
Then in 1914 was was declared and three of Roswell's sons volunteered. Reno, Daniel and Leo all served in the army during World War 1.
On the 28th of December 1915, Tirza eloped by train to Helper Utah where she married Thomas Partridge. Sister Jennie recalls tagging along as far as the train depot, while Tirz and Tom tried to get rid of her.
Tragedy again struck during the flu epidemic of 1918 when Rachel died on the 6th of November. Dan received this news while recovering from the flu in a hospital in France.
The Ferre brothers returned home from the service and all found various types of employment.
The year 1920 found Reno working in the Tintic Mining District and living in a boarding house in Erueka. He caught pneumonia and died on the 26th of February. Roswell and his son, Dan, went by train to Eureka where they collected Reno's body and brought it back to Provo for burial.
On a happier note, the year 1920 brought two weddings: Leo married Ann Stubbs, a local Provo girl, on 17 July 1920 and Jennie married Elmer D. Loveless a BYU student she had met while working at the Orem Depot. Elmer commuted daily form Payson. They were married on the 23rd of December 1920.
Roswell was a kind and loving father. He gave Leo, Alice and Dan building losts adjacent to his corner lot. Alice and her husband, Ted, built a home while both Leo and Dan later sold their lots.
Jennie inherited the family home. Moving into it as a small child of three she has spent most of her life (with the exception of a year or so of her early married life in Payson) in this one spot.
Dan met Alberta Cushing while attending a dance in Eureka. He was working in a mine there and she was staying with her sister. They were married on December 4th 1922.
On the 25th of June 1925 the family were again saddened when Alice died after an extended illness.
Grandfather Ferre was a quiet gentle man. We grandchildren do not remember of ever hearing him raise his voice.
We remember him mostly in his later years working in his garden, both vegetable and flower. His corner lot was a showplace. He grew beautiful peonies and always had a large beautiful vegetable garden. At one time there was a long fence running east and west through the center of is property. This was covered with grape vines which was a wonderful place to be when the grapes were ripe.
In the early days the family had planted a black walnut tree, which was special to us. A seedling from this tree was transplanted to his son Dan's yard in Santaquin and this generation of Ferre's are still enjoying it.
In later life Roswell would walk from home to Pioneer Park every day with his brohter-in-law and neighbor Orson Twelves. He would walk twice daily and visited with a group of elderly men.
Granfather Ferre died at his home in Provo on January 24, 1936. He was a wonderful man, one that we can all be proud of.