ZINA WRIGHT and BENJAMIN FRANKLIN RIDING
Contributor: finnsh Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago
ZINA WRIGHT RIDING and BENJAMIN FRANKLIN RIDING The story of Zina Wright begins on 20 February 1896, in a two room adobe and log house in Hinkley Millard County, Utah. Her parents are John Moroni Wright and Emma Hinton. She was the seventh child and third daughter of fourteen children. She was preceded by four brothers and two sisters. By the time she was five years old, two more sisters and a brother had been born. For the first few years of Zina's life, her father struggled to farm the family homestead. Then, in 1902, when she was six years old, her father was called to serve in the Northern States Mission, leaving on May 25. During the time he has gone, Zina's mother took care of the family of ten children. In the spring of 1904, he returned home after completing an honorable mission. Later that same year, on July 2, Zina was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints. The grade school that Zina first attended consisted of two lumber rooms and an adobe church, with 2 grades meeting in each room. Her sister Mina recalls that this was replaced by a new school in Hinkley. Zina was in the fifth grade at the time, and she continued her education there. When Zina was about twelve years old, her family moved into a large home in Hinckley. In the years that followed, the Wright home was opened as a boarding house to the teachers and students of Millard Academy. Much of the responsibility for taking care of the home rested with the older girls, including doing the dishes and straightening the house before school.. Zina's family also had a currant patch when she was young, and picking currants was part of her early morning responsibilities. Zina spent much of her time with her two closest sisters, Genevieve, who was almost two years older, and
Mina, who was two years younger. Together they had many enjoyable times. Zina, who was a good seamstress, and Mina would often make dresses out of the same pattern. Zina's in pink and Mina's in blue. Later on, they often rode the train together to go into Salt Lake City to shop. Zina went to high school at the Millard Academy,, which later became the Hinkley ley High School. For several summers she and Genevieve and a few other girls from Hinckley picked berries and other friuit along the Provo Bench (now Orem) to earn money. This money was used for high school tuition and books. After graduating from high school, Zina attended college at Brigham Young University for one winter. Some said Zina was strong-willed, wanting to do what she felt was best. Once she thought that her mother was not doing a good job sewing her clothes. She changed her mind, however, when her mother Let another woman make Zina's dress, and the results were not what she expected. After that, Zina didn't say anything about her mother's sewing. After attending Brigham Young University, she applied for a teaching position. She taught first in a small town near Milford in Beaver County, and then went to another small town in the mountains in the same county. While she was teaching, she became ill and her doctor advised her to go to a lower altitude. There is some indication she had a heart problem or a problem with nosebleeds. Acting on her doctor's advice, she left her teaching position and returned home to Hinckley. While employed as a teacher, she taught children of every grade reading, writing, and arithmetic. She was considered a good teacher by those she boarded with, and was loved by the children she taught, treating each one as if they were her own. After returning to Hinkley to live with her parents, she worked for John Reeves, taking care of his family and home, and also as clerk in Frank Pratt’s store in
Hinkley. She also taught in the MIA. By this time, Zina, a slim young woman with lightcolored hair, was the tallest girl in her family. She liked to dance, was full of fun, and had many friends. At one time, she wrote to a missionary from Oak City. She also dated a boy from Panguitch, and it looked as though she would marry him until he was drafted into the armed forces. Zina also became acquainted with a young man by the name of Benjamin Riding from Panguitch. Benjamin had at one time dated her cousin, Mabel, and they along with Zina and her date spent many evenings in the Wright parlor. For a period of time, both Zina and Ben worked at the Livingston Ranch, where she cooked or the workers. After dating Ben for several months, Zina left Hinkley in June 1922 to accompany Mina and Stephan Crosby to Salt Lake City where they were to be married. Ben met her there and Zina called home to tell her mother that she and Ben were also getting married. On June 9, 1922 Zina and Benjamin Franklin Riding were married by the Salt Lake County Deputy Clerk, Goerge Graham, in the county offices. Stephen Crosby, Mina’s new husband, served as one of the witnesses. Zina was twenty-six at the time of her marriage. After their marriage, Zina and Ben lived first in Abraham, moving later to Delta. It was in Abraham that their first two children, sons, were born. Earl Franklin Riding was born on 4 March 1925. Just over two years later, on 27 March 1927, Lynn Wright Riding was born. Maurine, born 29 July 1928 was born in Delta. Zina loved her small family very much, and since Ben was busy trying to provide for his family, much of the responsibility to take care of the children rested with her. Sometime between 1928 and the first part of 1932 Ben changed jobs and started working with a brother, resulting in a move to the Provo area with their three children. It was there, on 18 February 1932 that their second daughter, Doris, was stillborn. It was also
while they were living in Provo that Zina and Ben were able to go to the Salt Lake temple to have their endowments and their marriage sealed for time and eternity. Earl, Lynn and Maurine were also sealed to them. This special date was 25 April 1933. Zina was working in the Relief Society during this time. Zina became pregnant again shortly after this, but when she was about six months along she became very sick. Her younger brother, Glade, had been staying with Zina and Ben, and it was decided to call in their older brother, Wallace, who was a physician. He and another brother came, but the next morning on February 5, 1934, fifteen days before her thirty-eighth birthday Zina died of pneumonia. She was buried in the Provo City Cemetery.
Benjamin Franklin Riding was born 13 April 1894 in Panguitch, Garfield County, Utah. A son of Alfred Hale and Mary Eleanor Hall Riding. Benjamin made a baker’s dozen for his parents as he was the 13th child to come into their home. He was also the last of the flock. He grew up in Panguitch. He loved to ride horses and even broke a few in his day. He also did some mining and freighting. He was in the army during World War I. However, he did not go overseas. In time he met and married a lovely young lady by the name of Zina Wright. They worked on a farm; Ben a farm hand and Zina as a cook for the farm hands. Two sons were born while on the farm, Earl Franklin and Lynn Wright Riding. They moved to Delta where a daughter, Maurine, joined their little family. They moved to Provo where another daughter was stillborn. Zina became pregnant again, but caught pneumonia and died taking her unborn child to the grave with her. Left with three young children to care for, Ben did odd jobs, peddled fruit, fruit farming, WPA and whatever work he could get as it was depression times. He took his kids fishing and camping and did as much as
he could with them. He paid Earl and Lynn 10 cents a day to weed the garden and then he added the rest of the money to buy them their first bicycle. It was on a day of fun with the kids to the fish hatchery that Ben was hit and killed by a truck. He died 13 July 1942.
Lynn Riding's Memories of John Baker
Contributor: finnsh Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago
MY MEMORIES OF JOHN IRVIN BAKER
by Lynn Wright Riding
Written in February 2003
John Irvin Baker married my mother's youngest sister, Vernell Wright on 28 June, 1926. My mother Zina Wright Riding passed away on 5 February 1934 just before her 38th birthday. She was expecting a baby and and developed pneumonia and had complications from a heart condition. My father, Benjamin Franklin Riding passed away on 18 July 1942 at age 48. He was hit by a car while crossing the street near Springville, Utah. I was 15 years old at that time and was working in the Uintah mountains herding sheep and cooking for the men. After the funeral, my brother Earl, myself, and our sister, Maurine were placed in the homes or relatives. My sister went to live with Uncle Wallace and Aunt Afton, my mother's oldest brother. Earl went to live with Uncle Sam and Aunt Thurza Johnson, my dad's sister. I went to Deseret, Utah to live with Aunt Vernell and Uncle John.
When I arrived at their home, I felt like I didn't know them too well as I just knew who they were. I felt like they had a nice home and when I saw their new car in the garage, I jumped for joy. We had a 1934 pickup with the sides caved in and we had to put a quilt up to cover the window that had been broken. I was really ashamed of it. I was thrilled to be able to ride in a new car.
Uncle John was very kind and friendly to me and a liked him right away. But I did tell him that I'd rather be in Orem where all me friends were. He talked me into staying until Christmas and then see how I felt about going back to Orem. By the first of the year, I had no desire to leave and go back to Orem. I truly felt that my home was in with them. I had become attached to Belva and Dorothy, their daughters. And also to Aunt Vernell and Uncle John. I had previously lived in a home that I was ashamed of and really appreciated the nice home that they provided for me. Aunt Vernell was a wonderful cook and a very good housekeeper. They made me feel welcome and that they really wanted me there. Uncle John and I got along right from the start and made me feel like he liked me and I certainly liked him. I soon felt a great respect and love for him. I followed him around and he introduced me to all the people in Deseret. Especially the young people that were my age. Everyone in town liked him and so he had a good reputation. Belva was my age in school and so I had no trouble making friends as she was liked also. I was very proud to be part of their family. Uncle John was very casual and low-keyed in his temperament. This was good and bad in some ways. For example, we would leave to go to the farm or ranch about 8:00 a.m. and many times it would be 10:00 or 11:00 a.m. by the time we traveled the 5 miles to the ranch. We would stop and visit with the farmers along the way. They were all nice and friendly and I liked them all and they all really liked Uncle John.
Uncle John had a 2 horse hay mower. It was one of the later models. I was proud of it and liked to cut the hay with it. It took a while for him to teach me how to use it, then when he felt like I was ready, he let me do it alone. It took us 10 to 15 days to get the hay in. He would cut the hay and I would use the trip rake to rake it into piles. We had 5 horses and an old steel-wheeled wagon. It seemed like it took forever and a day to cut, rake and stack the the hay. Our harnesses for the horses were made from old leather straps and belting. Our horses were not the sharpest, but we were very proud of them. I have said many times that we were living in depressed times, but we do not know it. We thought that everything was fine. A few of the more prosperous farmers had tractors at that time and eventually we were able to buy one.
One of the things that I always enjoyed on the farm was lunchtime. Aunt Vernell always fixed a large and very good lunch. I would lay in the ditch and eat and Uncle John would talk about his life as a kid and I would sit and eat and listen to his stories. I got to where I could finish his stories for him. I wish that I could remember those stories so I could write them down now as part of his history. I don't remember him ever getting out of patience with me or upset with me. I'm sure I must have given him cause to do so from time to time. I have many fond memories of him. One time, he and I decided to plant a 40 acre field of hay and grain. I had received a small inheritance of $400. We worked out a deal where I would put up the $400 to re-level the field and replant it and then we would split the profits for 2 years. We didn't make any money on it, but we certainly enjoyed doing it together.
When I first moved there, Uncle John and some of the other farmers would drive into Orem (about 110 miles) to find work as they were building the Geneva Steel Plant. I would do the chores and feed and milk the cows.
Uncle John had his teeth removed at an early age and so he had store-bought teeth. He wouldn't wear them because they hurt his mouth. He wore them for special occasions only. That is the way I remember him, without teeth. He could eat just as well without them. He could eat steak and corn on the cob without them. Sometimes, he would cut the corn off the cob.
In the summertime, we would sit on the front lawn and talk until about 10:00 p.m. Then he would smoke his last cigarette and then we would all go to bed. We didn't have television in those days, but really enjoyed each other's company.
I enjoyed the hunting and fishing that he liked to do. He really liked fishing especially. I remember one time on the opening day of fishing, we got up early and drove to Oak City. He dropped me off at the edge of town and he drove on to the head of the creek. We fished toward each other in the creek. I caught 1 or 2 fish at each hole and then moved on. By the time we met, I had caught 20 fish. Uncle John had 4 or 5 fish. The rest of the people had only 1 or 2. The only thing that I could figure out was that they had stocked the fish the day before and that I moved on to another hole after catching 1 ot 2 fish. We had a good day!
In writing these memories. I'm sure that Uncle John knew it feels to lose your parents since he had lost his mother at 6 years of age. He made sure that I had many happy times and made me feel loved. I went into the Navy 18, but was still a junior in high school. I wanted to go into the Navy, yet I got so homesick for everyone at home. After the war was over, Uncle John sent a letter requesting my release as I was needed on the farm. From then on, I worked on the farm in the summers and went to BYU in the Fall. When I married Mary Gwen Holdaway on 14 December 1951, they were very supportive of us. They stood in our reception line and Uncle John wore his teeth and I know that was hard for him. I was very proud of them that night. They came to Mesa, Arizona in March of 1954 to see our new son, John (named after Uncle John) and also our new home that we moved into in November of 1953. In June of 1956, we went to Utah to attend the marriage and sealing of Dorothy and Sheldon Callister and also the sealing of Uncle John and and Aunt Vernell in the Manti Temple. That was a very time for us to be there with them.
Uncle John and Aumt Vernell had also planned to come to Mesa when our son, John was to be baptized in April of 1961. Uncle John suffered his first heart attack and wasn't able to come. Instead, I flew to Salt Lake and drove into Deseret to see him. He told me then that he didn't want to ever live through another heart attack. I was relieved to know that he had gone quickly and didn't have to suffer again. As we attended his funeral services, I was filled with so much love and gratitude for all the joy and happiness that he had brought into my life. I can never repay him, but want him to know that I treasure my time with all of them. “I love you, Uncle John.”
(This history was written by Lynn Riding in February 2003 with the help of his wife Mary. Lynn's cousin, Dorothy Baker Callister, had requested the history of her father and Lynn and Mary sent this to her.)