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Wednesday, July 2, 2014

MICHAEL MARINER ANDERSON

TUESDAY, JULY 9, 2013

Michael Mariner Anderson


Michael Mariner “Luke” Anderson  (GGF, 1903 - 1990, as recorded in History of M. (Luke) Anderson, 1977,  Interview of Michael Mariner Anderson by Laura Anderson, 1987 and by his daughter Paulene Anderson, 1996) -

 

     [Michael Mariner “Luke” Anderson was born October 14, 1903 to Hans Jacob Anderson and Alice Eckersley in the small farming town of Newton, Cache County, Utah.  Mariner was the ninth of eleven children and third youngest, having 5 older sisters and 3 older brothers, the last two children were twin boys (two of Mariner’s older brothers died while in their infancy.]

     [Mariner was born at home.]  In those days we never went to the hospital.  We always had a lady come in and take care of us.  We called her the “Mella Woman.”  Her name was Amelia Jensen.  She brought a lot of children into the world that way.  I was pretty healthy all my life and never can remember being sick or going to the hospital.  I don’t remember anyone ever getting sick enough to go to the hospital.  But in those days you had to be really sick to go to the hospital.  The flu was pretty dangerous back then.  Mother would make a cup of weak tea (a pretty good drink), that was the only medicine we’d get.    

     [Newton was a small rural town about 1 and a half hours (by horse-drawn buggy called a “single rig”) from the nearest slightly larger town of Logan, Utah.]  The house I grew up in was a [wood] frame house a block from the church house.  It had two rooms upstairs and about three down.  And this house was kind of a shell.  It would get awful cold in the winter.  We had a hot blast stove. We’d feed that with coal, of course coal in those days was only seven or eight dollars a ton.  Now days its about fifty dollars a ton. We boys always stayed upstairs.  It would get awful cold, because the only heat we’d get would be from the stove pipes which ran through the ceiling.  Sometimes it would get pert near red, we never burned the house down.  A thousand times we got by.  We’d get under the covers to keep warm.  [If I could change one thing about my childhood] I would have had a better heating system than we had because it was pretty rough in those days.        

     While growing up in Newton as a young boy I had many friends, and my father always had a barn full of horses.  Father was quite a horse trader, he could tell a horses age by opening their mouth and examining their teeth and “pert near hit it every time.”  In the spring of the year father would have us kids ride the mares to exercise them before foaling (foaling is when the mares have their colts).  We had as many as 10 head of draft horses to do our farming with.  [Draft horses are the largest of all work horses.]  We also had several cows, a couple of pigs and a few chickens.  We got eggs from the chickens and raised the pigs until they were big enough to kill and eat. 

     My father used to butcher quite a bit.  We’d kill a fat cow ever couple months when we were kids and we’d always get the head which consisted of the brains and we always knew where to take them. We’d take’em down to the Jones’s.  They were English people and they loved calf brains.  I never ate them, but we could always cash’em.  Dad would get in the buggy and take a good portion of this meat and we’d sell it to different people in town.  In them days every home had a derrick [a long pole that was used after a critter was cut up and dressed they would leave it hanging and then cut it up and sell the parts.] We did this usually in the winter months.  It was about the only time we killed them and it was cold enough so the meat would always cure alright.  Me and my brothers helped my father with the butchering and didn’t mind it so much.

     We did our dry farming 3 miles east of Newton.  We called this place Alto.  It was heavy clay ground, it seemed like every time we could get a good crop it was hailed out [and destroyed].  Our yeild was never more then 15 bushels per acre.  It was there I learned to drive 4 head of [draft] horses, and[as a teenager] I could drive them as good as a man.  That is why my dad kept me out of school so much, and why I didn’t get the education I should have.  I only got nine years of schooling because my dad thought all [I’d] ever be good at was to work.  So I learned to work, when I was ten years old [I’d ]drive a four horse team. I could do this on a disc plow.  We used to do our summer fallowing and then we’d harrow it and work it down, preparing it for seed.  We mostly grew wheat, barley and alfalfa.

     The school I went to was the only one in Newton.  They had nine grades and that was as far as I got in school (nine grades).  I didn’t mind school, so much, but my dad always kept us out in the beginning of school and always in the fall.  That’s why I had a hard time staying up to the rules in school in them days.  The rules were mostly reading, writing and arithmetic.  I was never the top hand because I was out of school so much.  I was about fourteen or fifteen when I completed the ninth grade.  There were about 28 students in our class.  I remember the teacher whose name was Amos Griffin [a distant relative in his first years as a teacher.  This same teacher, later taught Paulene (Luke’s oldest daughter) during his last year to teach math at the same school.]  I was taught by him about six or seven years.  In fact, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th grades.  He wasn’t too strict [movies depict teachers from that period as banging rulers on the desk] he never used a stick to hit us with or anything.  [The kids would have to go live with someone in the town a church family during the time their high school years due to the only high school, South Cache H. S. , being located 25 mile away in Hyrum, Utah.]     

      When our church burned down one summer in July [from a lightning strike], we held church in a school house.  The following winter I hauled gravel by bob sleigh to help build a new church house.  I drove a jet black team of mares [they were] good to pull, and a pleasure to drive.  My mother was quite religious but my father, he never went to church.  He never had any religion in him at all.  Seems like that is why we didn’t go very far in religion.  [Mariner’s baptism was unique in that his father joined the Church and was baptized at the same service.]  Of course we as kids always attended our meetings quite regularly, because of mother.  My dad was a member of the church, but he was an inactive member. He never was active his whole life that I can remember.  Mother would always see that we got to church.  She was religious.  If it hadn’t been for my mother I wouldn’t have gone very far in religion. [Mariner loved to sing and sang tenor in the church choir even as a youth.]   

     Bishop Rigby was who ordained me in the preisthood, he was our Bishop for about thirty years. Heber J. Grant was the first prophet I remember.  George Albert Smith came a little later.  I enjoyed him very much.  We never got to go to General Conference, just conferences in our ward and stake conference in Richmond (which was the closest stake conference).  That was about fourteen miles away.  General Conference was too far away, we would have had to ride by train to go.

     While growing up as kids in Newton we boys never had any grandparents but we did have 2 aunts we used to go see every day [because] they lived so close by.  This was Aunt Sarah (who was married to Bishop Rigby, Bishop of the Newton Ward) and Aunt Lisie.  They both lived in an old rock house.  As young boys we never missed a day going there to get a piece of Aunt Sarah’s fruit cake.  She never had children of her own but she helped raise up all her sister’s children.  Mother also had 3 sisters that lived in Logan.  We would get to see them once a year.

     When I was a young man, 3 or 4 of us boys would go and top beets to make alittle money.  We would go to Trenton and Lewiston, where they raised good beats.  It would be late fall, often it would get cold with snow and freezing weather, we batched it and lived in a tent.  One fall 3 of us young men from Newton took a job working on a road through Echo Canyon, driving down there with 12 head of horses. We worked until the ground froze up.  My older brother Murland and I spent many days there [at the dry farm] batching it, living in an old cook shack, driving 4 head of horses each pulling a disc plow. As I grew older I drove 10 head of horses on a big Holt Harvester machine, and got along very well.  

     I had younger brothers which were twins.  Bryant and Byron were their names. [One of  Mariner’s chores was to help his mother by caring for them.]  They were good swimmers.  In fact one of them, Byron, swam the Bear River seven times in one day. They were identical twins, too.  There weren’t too many people who could tell them apart.  Of course, I could always tell them apart easy.  They’d always give them a nick name.  I remember they called them Buck and Bummy.  They were very close.  They did everything together.  They never got in a quarrel between them at all.  But our [extended] family had several sets of twins.  In fact, my mother’s sister had a daughter that had triplets. 

     People have asked about where I got the nick name “Luke.”  I got the name “Luke” planted on me when I was going to school.  I don’t exactly know how it got started but it has hung with me all my life. It was customary for everyone to have a nickname back then.  [Many of the names weren’t very pleasant]I had a friend who was nicknamed “horse-face.”  I had a happy childhood, [despite the hard times. Clothes were not fancy and often made from the supply sacks.  Luke remembers wearing dresses, maybe because that’s all they had.  He bathed in a round tin tub, water was heated in pots on top of a coal stove.  He loved raisin filled cookies made by his mother.  He travelled to Logan (15 miles away) about once a year.  It was a trip he looked forward to all year long.]

     I was about fifteen when I first remember going to Logan by train.  It would take about two hours because in those days the train stopped at every dinky town.  The train stopped in Cache Junction and if you were going south, the train would always start out going north and then gradually wind around until it got going west and then it would go thru Bear River Canyon and thru the tunnels and then to Salt Lake City.  I mostly [rode the train] going to Logan to see a dentist.  In fact, not many people did go to a doctor or dentist in those days.  Except when we had this flu.  I remember the town cop bringing us some liquor, that was for your colds.  It’d be the same that they drink today but they used it for medical purposes.  They wouldn’t give you much, just enough to stimulate ya.    

     [Christmas was a fun time.  There lived 3 of Luke’s aunts within a block of their home.  Each Christmas they always brought plenty of goodies for all the kids.]  We never had a Christmas tree in those days.  We’d hang up our sock.  We’d never get anything more than an orange or banana or something like that.  My dad was never much for Christmas.  My Aunt, her husband was a millionaire, she was a niece of my mother and she would hand me down some of the clothes that her children had worn.  Of course they were pretty good clothes cause they were wealthy people. 

     Her husband was in the lumber business.  His name was David Eccles - which was quite a name. They had a son named Mariner, who became one of President Roosevelt’s right hand men.  I was named after him and that’s how I got the name Mariner.  Of course he didn’t know me and I didn’t know him but that didn’t make any difference.  His mother was a grand person.  She always treated us good.  She’d have my mother come over to her place and stay and try and keep her there and stay for days but mother had to get back and work and take care of things.  We would have several dances during the holidays and we always attended these dances and enjoyed them.  [Luke remembers that the kids up to twelve years of age always wore a pair of suit clothes, that was bloused.  After that we wore long pants.]

     [Another memorable event was] every summer or early fall, my dad would take us to the county fair in Logan about sixteen miles away.  He had stock in the county fair so we could go and stay all three days while the fair was still running.  We’d go with him and get “Old Bird” the mare and a single buggy and that was our transportation in those days.  I’d like to see their horse races.  They always had horse races in them days.  They’d have these side shows like the ferris wheel, merry-go-round and things like that.  And we’d always enjoy going to the judging of the stock.  Then they had these pulling matches.  I enjoyed that the most.  They’d hook a team of horses on a drag, they’d load it up heavy, they’d pull it so far and then another team would come and do the same.  Dad never won any prizes for his stock but he never seemed to go for much of that anyway.  Mother never bothered much about the fair [and did not attend with us].  My dad would never miss going.  He’d always take me and my brother Murland, who was two years older than me.

     [Other memorable events from Luke’s teenage years included:] seems like when we were kids we’d always find someone’s barn and we’d play police or hide and seek or something like that.   We always had a swimming hole.  We’d dam up a place to hold water.  It was anything but clear water.  But we’d always manage to go swimming about once a week.  A horse and buggy was the more common way to get around since there wasn’t any cars then.  We usually played baseball or football for youth activities[MIA].  We never accomplished so much at that because it was new in those days.  It [football] was pretty much like it is today only we never roughed it near as bad as they do today.  It wasn’t too dangerous to play that game in those days.  The girls attended MIA and we’d go to priesthood every Monday (we’d didn’t have Family Home Evening then).  We started about eight o’clock.  The girls usually played their games and we played ours.  Sunday church services were held every Sunday about two o’clock with Sunday School in the morning and church in the afternoon.  MIA was every Tuesday and Priesthood meeting on Monday.

      [Luke was a hard working teenager and earned the reputation as the best horse handler in the area. He was very artistic and could draw well despite no real formal art training.  He was very good natured and had lots of friends.  As a youth he was quite handsome with dark hair.  He loved to dance and spent Saturday nights attending nearby church youth dances.]  The girls wore mostly long dresses that went down to their ankles and had a high neck and the sleeves went down lower than their elbows.  All the girls wore long hair, to their shoulders of longer.  I had a crush on two or three girls.  But the only time I got mixed up with them was at these kids dances.

     [Luke continued working and farming and as an adult soon had enough money to buy him a car.  The girls thought he was rich even though he was very careful with his money.]  I was about twenty five when I got the Model-T Ford.  There wasn’t many people in town that had a car.  I remember the Ecklands had the first car in Newton.  When we were kids we’d hear it coming down the street, we’d break out in a run and try and follow it.  They never went faster than 15 miles an hour.  That was fast in those days. My first car cost about $600.  It took quite a while to save for it.  It had curtains on it, that was to keep a little of the heat in.  We used to always have a salt bag in the car to wipe the windsheild and cut the frost.  We had side curtain all the way aroung the car.  It was still plenty cold but we didn’t think it was bad in those days.  [Luke’s father died when Luke was 20.]

     I first met my wife thru my niece, Martha Peterson, who introduced me to Sarah.  I was past thirty then.  Sarah was about nine years younger than I was.  I was running with Marvin Benson.  He had a girlfriend that he liked, she was a close friend of Sarah from High School.  And that’s how I got going with Sarah, was thru her.  She was a beautiful girl who had brown eyes and black hair.  She had four brothers (she was the only girl) and they were all sandy complectioned, she was the only brunette in her family.  The only good looking one in her family.  She was always a good natured, happy girl.  I couldn’t help but like her.  She loved to help everyone. 

     We’d go swimming together quite often and have a good time swimming.  I went with her about two years and then we got married.would drive down to see Sarah.  I kissed her about six months after we’d known each other.  [Was she surprized?]  No, I don’t believe so.  She had been working quite a bit. She took a job as a clerk at Squires Laundry and Dry Cleaners in Logan [Paulene remembers going there with her mother.] 

     Since I had been working before I met her, I had a farm and raised wheat, barley and alfalfa.  The farming business was tough going in those days.  It was after the depression when hay was selling for four dollars a ton.  Wheat was selling for thirty-three cents a bushel.  So you can see there was nothing in it, just barely hang on to your farm that was about all you could do.  I never considered doing anything else, that was all I knew.  It was pretty common that everyone would go with their partner a couple of years before they’d get married.  About two years was the time they’d be engaged before they got married. 

     I went [was engaged] with Sarah about two years and I decided she was the one, so we set the date for June and got married.  [Did you get down on your knees and propose?]  Hah, I don’t remember.  I got her an engagement ring at Needum’s in Logan.  It was a plain gold band.  When asked - she was willing.  Of course they didn’t have much and she thought that she’d better herself by getting married, but I don’t know if she did because we had it real tough.  We got along so good together.  Sarah got along good with my mother, my dad was dead by then.   

     [On June 7, 1933, Luke (age 30) was married to Sarah Griffin (age 20) in the Logan LDS Temple.]  We had a very, very plain wedding.  We didn’t hardly get much of anything for our wedding or shower.  I remember her aunt had given us a setting hen (a hen that laid eggs).  They didn’t have money in them days to buy anything.  We didn’t go far for our honeymoon.  We went as far as Ogden, Utah.  Cause I had a sister there and we stayed there one night. We stayed in a hotel the first night.  The hotels were just plain.  [Did you carry her over the threshhold?]  No.  Hah.  I didn’t go much into that stuff.  Her wedding dress was white, I think and it had a narrow blue trim around it. She looked good in it. 

     We stayed in Ogden about three days and then we came back to Newton and lived on the farm.  We drove home in the Essex.  We didn’t have a reception, ours [wedding] was too plain.  I would have it fancier if I could redo it.  We got along wonderful because it was pretty tough for newlyweds to get by in them days, but Sarah could cook a meal out of almost nothing.  We lived in one room of my brother Murland’s home in Newton.  His wife Zenda and my wife Sarah became such good friends as well as sister in laws.  The depression was on and we were all so poor.  [Soon they bought a 2 room down and up (2 story) rock home that was 100 years old.  It wasn’t much but it was theirs.  Soon they started their family with the birth of their first child and then installed their home’s first bathroom.]

Sunday, June 15, 2014

JOHN H. BARKER AND SUSAN DERMOTT

JOHN H. BARKER AND SUSAN DERMOTT
Susan Dermott was born May 20, 1843, in Southampton, England, the daughter of William and Mary Kimber Dermott. When eleven years of age, her father died and Susan left school to help her mother with the support of three younger sisters. While working at Radley’s Hotel in Southampton she met John H. Barker, another employee. On December 29, 1861, she was baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day saints and when the ship Manchester left Liverpool, England May 6,1862, Susan and John were among the 675 Saints aboard.
On the evening of June 28,1862, the young couple were united in marriage by J. D. T. McAllister, who had been in charge of this group of Saints since leaving England. The ceremony was performed in his tent in Florence, Nebraska. Susan had brought with her, her mother’s written permission to become the wife of John H. Barker. They were member of the Henry W. Miller company which arrived in Salt Lake City, October 17,1862
The Barkers made their first home in Salt Lake City until June 1865 when they moved to Paradise in Cache Valley. Their first son, John Henry was born in Salt Lake in November, 1863, and the second child, Annie, was born in Paradise in September 1865. The family next moved to Providence where John taught school, and two more children were born, William James in August 1867, and Fredrick George in July 1869. They were among the first settlers of Newton where John again taught school. Other children were added to the family, Eliza Gertrude, born in Newton in 1871, Mary Dermott, February, 18, 1874, Lucy Dermott, March 1876, Jennie Dermott, July 1878, and Bessie Ella in March 1881.
Besides the care of her family, Susan helped in the Post Office of which the Barkers had charge, the Tithing Office, and a store. The family engaged in the butter and egg business collecting there products from Oxford, Clinton and Weston, Idaho and Trenton, Clarkston and Newton Utah. The butter had to be reworked on tables in the cool stone cellar and made into two-pound rolls which were taken to Corinne. Much of it was freighted to the mining towns of Montana. Later it was taken to Z. C. M. I. branch store in Logan.
Susan served as secretary of the Relief Society of Newton in 1873. In 1886 she served as first counselor in the Relief Society and that same year was chosen President. She was stricken with diabetes and died May 30 1888. A loyal wife and devoted mother, her passing left a great void in the Barker Household.( transcribed by Anne Herzog) 

HISTORY OF JAMES PARSONS AND MARY ANN CATT

HISTORY OF JAMES PARSONS AND MARY ANN CATT
James Parsons was born 14 January 1836 in Bride, Sussex County, England. He was the oldest child of Hesheck Andrew Parsons and Mary (Fyper or Pyper) Parsons. James was a gardener and fisherman by trade.
Mary Ann Catt was born 16 May 1836 om Westfield, Sussex County, England. She was the only living daughter of Stephen Catt and Elisa Dawson Catt: one sister died in infancy. On 11 July 18 ? , Mary Ann Catt was married to James Parsons. At this time, Mary Ann had one son, Stephen Thomas, who was about three years old. James Parsons adopted this boy and he went by the name of Stephen Parsons until he was a grown man when he legally changed his name to Durrant. At the time of their marriage, James and Mary Ann moved to a place called Winchelsea in Sussex County were they sold fish for a living. While here their son, Frank, was born. Later they moved to Hollington and while there their daughter, Eliza, was born. At Hollington they had a fine garden from which they sold vegetables. Later they moved to Hastings, Sussex, a seaport town, where it would be more convenient for James to carry on his trade as a fisherman.
At this time, Mary Ann’s mother became very ill and Mary Ann carried her babies and walked the distance between Hastings and Westfield, (about 4 or 5 miles), in order to care for her mother. Her mother died in the year 1863 and her father came to live with them at Hastings for a while.
After her mother’s death, Mary Ann worked for a nobleman as a cook in the kitchen. She used to being food that wasn’t touched at the table and kept an open house for the L.D.S. Elders. At this time, Elder George Simms and Thoriness Pridy converted the family to Mormonism. They were baptized in 1864
In 1866. Grandfather Stephen Catt emigrated to America. He walked the entire distance across the plains and drove an ox team. He went directly to Newton, Cache County, Utah and settled there. He built a one room log cabin in the fields south of town and engaged in farming.
Back in England, James and Mary Ann made one more move in 1867 when they settled in Halton, Sussex, England. By now their children had increased to number seven. George Mashack, named for his grandfather, Fanny, who died as an infant, and two daughter, Emily and Mary Ann had joined the Family.
On October 16, 1872, Stephen Thomas emigrated to America. He arrived in Salt Lake City on 5 November 1872 with .25 cents in his pocket and did not know a soul. But he was successful in getting work the following day with Brother Daniel H. Wells. He lived at Brother Wells home and this is where he met Francis Ann Rowley when she came to this country. They were married in 1875.
A year after Stephen came to America, he sent for his brother, Frank. Then the two boys worked and saved until in 1874 they were able to send for their father and mother and the rest of the family. Mary Ann was very ill while crossing the plains and many times they feared she would not live to reach her sons and father, but she was blessed and they were able to reach their destination in safety. Her father, Stephen Catt, had been here 8 years when they arrived. He and a man named John Snider left by team to meed them in Ogden and help them the rest of the way. The snow was so deep that they had to break a trail for the horses part of the way. When they arrived in Newton, the family went to live with Grandfather Catt for a while. Early in the spring, they moved into the Tom Bates home, and there their daughter Francis was born.
As soon as they got on their feet, James went into the hills and quarried sandstone to build their home. The original home was one large room and a lean-to. The walls were thick sandstone, warm in the winter and cool in the summer. A well was dug in the front of the house and a cellar just north of the well. Grandpa James bought forty acres of ground east of the town and settled down to farming. They tried raising cane sugar and flax, but for three years, 1877-1879, the grass hoppers destroyed all of their crops. The father and older boys went into the canyons and cut ties for the railroad in order to get something to eat for the family. There were many times when they did not have flour in their home..
During those years two more children blessed their home. Elizabeth and James Henry. There were now ten children in the family.
James Parsons was a very efficient rock mason. He quarried rock for several rock homes in Newton. The huge rock window and door sills for the Brigham Young College in Logan were his work. He also quarried rock for the Logan Temple, The Hyrum Tabernacle, the Logan Fourth Ward and Clarkston Meeting House. He also burned lime for white washing and many other purposes.
Grandpa James Parsons was the first Deputy Constable of Newton. He was appointed by the county even before the town was corporated and served many years. I have talked to some of the older Newton residents and they remember him well. He was not a large man, but he was very dignified with his gray hair and flowing beard. He was not afraid of anyone and did his duty with no compromise. They tell of an incident of some boys disturbing the peace by promoting fighting at the old Barker Store. It was reported to Grandpa James. He bridled his horse and rode bear back to Fielding, apprehended the boys, brought them back to Newton and fined them each $5.
It was the custom for each man to work out his poll tax one day a year. Grandpa called a work day for hauling gravel and fixing roads. One of the brethren was late for work and Grandpa really gave him a lecture. After he finished the man spoke up, "You know Parsons, I’m not afraid of losing this job." He was a public spirited man and upheld the law in every way.
On December 8, 1878. Mary Ann Parsons was appointed Relief Society President. During the time she held this office, a call came for so many yards of carpet for the Logan Temple to be delivered in a very short time. Grandmother went to work. She went from house to house and gathered the rags, cut sewed and wound them ready for weaving. Sister Hansen wove the carpet mornings before daylight in order to meet the appointed time.
For many years she helped care for the sick and afflicted and sewed for the dead. She performed many acts of kindness to those in need. One case has been recorded. A Mr Peterson had a very sick child, suffering from a high fever. He came for grandmother. She left her family, went into the home and nursed the child back to life. Mr. Peterson could not pay her, bur could never thank her enough. In these day everything was done for love and to help those in need. She was a Relief Society worker and teacher all her life.
Grandmother Mary Ann spun yarn and knit her children’s stockings, She also spun yarn which she had woven into cloth for their clothes and blankets. She dried most of the fruit they could obtain but occassionally they were able to can a small amount with honey. She was an immaculate housekeeper and taught her children well.
James Parsons and Mary Ann Catt Parsons lived lives of usefulness and remained true to the faith. They left a noble heritage to live up to.
James Parsons died at Newton, Cache County, Utah October 17 1906. Mary Ann Catt Parsons died at Newton, Cache County, Utah May 6, 1912. Both are buried in the Newton Cemetery.
This history is taken from the book "History of Newton Ward Relief Society 1871-1992" This book was compiled by Cleo Griffin.( Transcribed by Anne Herzog)

SOPHIA ELIZABETH ECKERSLEY  

SOPHIA ELIZABETH ECKERSLEY
 
Sophia Elizabeth, daughter of Joseph and Alice Hulme Eckersley, was born June 8, 1848 in Lancashire, England where she lived until she was fifteen years of age. Since both her mother and father were silk weavers. Sophia also worked in the mill winding bobbins. The family joined the Latter-day Saint Church a few years prior to leaving for America and many times she walked four or five miles to attend their meetings. Two of her older half-brothers, William and Henry Haslam, had emigrated to Utah in order to provide means for the rest of the family to come in to the valley.
On April 30, 1863, the Eskersleys left Liverpool on the ship John J. Boyd. Arriving in the New York harbor they proceeded at once to Florence, Nebraska. At this time teamster were sent from Utah for the purpose of bringing converts to the valley and the family joined a party under the captaincy of John R Murdock. Sophia and her younger sister Emma washed the tin dishes of the captain and the teamsters to help pay their way. On August 29, 1863, they entered the valley and made camp on City Creek until William Haslam came from Wellsville with a team and wagon. Upon their arrival in Wellsville they were reunited with Henry.
The men built two walls between two other log houses in the fort and here the family of nine lived all winter. In the spring of 1864 they moved out of the fort and built a small cabin. The children all contributed to the support of the family and Sophia went to work quite frequently for William F. Rigby and his first wife, Mary Clarke. On June 1865 she became his forth wife.
After Sophia’s first child was born, Mr. Rigby was called to Clarkston and Later to Newton. He took up a ranch two and one half miles west of Newton where he built a two-room house. Her younger sister, Mary Ann, who later married Mr. Rigby, lived with Sophia. After her death Sophia returned to Newton where she presided over the Relief Society for several years. While her husband was on a mission to England Sophia helped her sons manage the farm. When Mr. Rigby returned he served six months in the penitentiary on a polygamy charge and during this time Sophia gave birth to twin girls.
In 1889 she, with her family, moved to Rexburg where they lived two years before going to the Teton Basin in Wyoming. When Teton Valley was organized into a stake, Sophia was chosen president of the Relief Society. Having an excellent Voice she sang in the choir and also at many public gatherings. About 1819 Sophia returned to Utah settling in Logan where she took an active part in church work and temple work until her death May 3,1928
Fourteen children were born to Sophia, viz., Joseph, Henry, Alice, Martha, Samuel, Zina, David, James, Elmer, Willard, Moroni, Eva, Ella and Leatha.
This history was take from the book "History of Newton Ward Relief Society 1871-1992" compiled by Cleo Griffin. ( transcribed by Anne Herzog)

ELIZABETH TREBERNE GRIFFIN A TRUE BELIEVER

                             
                         ELIZABETH TREBERNE GRIFFIN  A TRUE BELIEVER
                                                                   By William Griffin

     Elizabeth Treberne Griffin was born in Leadburry, England, at the foot of the Malvern hills, November 9, 1838.  At the age of six weeks her mother passed away and a kind aunt took her to raise.  When about twelve years of age, Elizabeth became friendly with a family named Griffin who lived in a village near the city of Worcester.  At this time the elders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were peaching in the neighborhood where Elizabeth lived.  The Gospel, as these humble elders taught it, appealed to her and also to the Griffin Family.  They believed that the elders were teaching the truth and as a result, they asked for baptism.
     This step, taken by Elizabeth without first consulting her aunt, proved a very costly one – one that tried her soul because her aunt, with deep regrets, but feeling she was performing her duty, sent the girl from her home to battle life without kin.  So, for her faith in the Gospel, Elizabeth found herself cast out, young and inexperienced in the ways of the world, and facing a stormy life, but she never felt that she was alone in the world, for she found strength and courage in the beautiful words of Christ:
     Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you;  not as the world giveth, give I unto you.  Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
     This was the light and the glow that was always bright in her life, and in it she ever trusted; it kept her unspotted from the world.  Just where she lived and what work she did while in England, is not known; but she made many friends and found favor wherever her lot was cast.  She acquired the habit of thrift, and at an early age managed to save a little out of her small earnings.  With the help of friends she was able to emigrate to the United States in 1862, crossing the Atlantic Ocean in a sailing vessel.  The voyage was a weary one, with few pleasures and many hardships, Elizabeth traveled with friends, the Walker Family, to Omaha where she found work in a glove factory.  Her work was appreciated, and soon she became head of the ladies’ department.  Pleased with her financial situation, Elizabeth remained in Omaha for seven years.
     Mary Pitts Griffin, a pioneer of  ‘66 was a woman of discernment, and Elizabeth’s friend of old days in England.  She advised her son, William, to write to Elizabeth in Omaha, invite her to come to Utah and, if suited and agreeable, to become his wife.  Elizabeth accepted the invitation and late in 1869 came to Ogden by train.  William did not remember her, but took his mother’s word that she would make him a suitable wife.  He and his mother left Clarkston in a covered wagon to make the trip to Ogden to meet Elizabeth.  They were to know each other by Elizabeth wearing some bright colored silk or ribbon around her neck or tossed over her shoulder, and William wearing a colored handkerchief tied around his neck.  It is said that Grandma Griffin drove most of the way back, and that when the covered wagon pulled up at the end of the journey, William said to Elizabeth, “This is Clarkston and there is our home.”  They were married in the
 Endowment House.
     Their early life together was a happy one filled with love, hard work, and the joy of raising a fine family.  Elizabeth loved her friends and neighbors and encouraged her children to bring their friends home with them.  While in Omaha, she made a study of phrenology under the tutorship of Dr. Fowler.  She often amused gatherings by telling what the bumps on people’s heads indicated.  She also told fortunes from the last tea leaves in a cup.  Uncle Tom Griffin of Clarkson has often remarked that “Elizabeth was a phrenologist of ability, Many interesting times were enjoyed in Clarkston while listening to her tell what different people were best adapted for, and what their work in life should be.”  Later William and Elizabeth moved to Newton.
     Elizabeth Griffin passed away in Prove, October 6,1890, and her body was taken to Newton for burial.  She sleeps in a little cemetery, but to the many friends who knew her, she still lives.  She was a devoted wife, a kind and loving mother who lived a beautiful life, always active and ever ready to give service and love to others
TRANSCRIBED BY ANNE HERZOG

MARY TEMPEST BENSON ( transcribed by Anne Herzog)

                                MARY TEMPEST BENSON
                                                              By Fayone Benson Rigby

     Mary Elizabeth Tempest Benson was born on 19 July 1867.  She was the first of 8 children born to her parents, Phineus Tempest and Sarah Jane Wilson.  After joining the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Sainte, her father, Phineus Tempest set sail on the bell wood leaving Liverpool. England 19 April 1865.  He arrived in New York on 2 June 1865 and then moved on to Nebraska.  Her mother, Sarah Jane Wilson came to American, sailing across the Alantic Ocean on the steamer John Bright.  She arrived in Nebraska in late June.  Phineus and Sarah were married in Nebraska City 27 September 1966.  That following summer, Mary was born.  Mary’s father moved his family down the Missouri River where he engaged in the saw mill business.  They moved often in order for Phineus to find the work necessary to support his family.  For this reason, Mary did not have the opportunity to attend school on a regular bases.  Mary and her family experienced so many
 hardships during the next seven years that it is difficult to write them without deep emotion.
     Mary’s family mover to Newton when she was 15 years old.  It was here she met her future husband John Benson.  The family remained in Newton from November 1882 until 3 July 1884 when they moved once again to Rexburg, Idaho.
     Three years later, John Benson went to Rexburg to renew his acquaintance with Mary.  Most of their dates took place in Mary’s home under the close supervision of her parents.
     On 21 December 1887, they were married in Newton by Amos Clarke, Justice of the Peace.  Their marriage was later solemnized in the Logan LDS Temple for time and eternity.  They built a log house 1 ½ miles southeast of Newton on John’s farm.
     In the fall of 1898,  John and Mary purchased a home in Newton and moved from the farm.  Their large new home was then turned into a hotel known as “The Family Hotel-de-Benson”.  Mary cooked and cleaned for the guests and John continued to run their farm.  She was an excellent cook serving delicious meals to family and guests.
     Mary was well known as a faithful worker in the LDS church .  One of her callings was to serve as Relief Society President of the Newton Ward from February 6, 1915 to June 1920.  She was faithful and loving to the sisters and their families.  She was a visiting teacher often going to sit with the sick.
     In later left, Mary had diabetes which she controlled by a strict diet.  Part of that diet was eating black bread which Mary made herself.  She never strayed from her diet!  There were days when Mary did not feel well, however, she never complained to others and tried to be cheerful.  She went about her work with love and harmony.
     Mary was the mother of 9 children, 6 boys and 3 girls.  Only four of these children, John P., Emory H., Kenneth and Ula Jane was she and John able to raise to Adulthood.  The other five children died shortly after birth.  John and Mary also raised their grandson.  E. Neal was 3 years old when he moved in with them.  John P. and E. Neal served missions for the LDS church.
     Mary passed away at 7:30 a.m. 31 October 1932.  Her funeral was held that Thursday at 2:00 p.m. in the Newton Ward chapel.  Burial was in the Newton Cemetary.  Her daughter, Ula Jane had died three years earlier.
     Family and friends speak often of her sincere love and devotion to husband, children and ward members.  Mary suffered the hardships and trials of pioneer living and remained firm in her testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

FLORENCE ELLEN MERRILL RIGBY

                       FLORENCE ELLEN MERRILL RIGBY

     Florence Ellen Merrill was the eighth child of Parley and Mary Ellen Jackson Merrill.  She was born in Richmond, Utah on 10 May 1897.  She was blessed 6 June 1897 by George M. Thompson, Baptized in the Logan Temple 13 June, 1905 by Joseph M. Smith and Confirmed the same day by Joseph E. Cowley.
    She grew up in Trenton, Utah and attended Primary, Sunday School and elementary school there.  She graduated from eigth grade in 1912.  She taught in the primary and Sunday School in Trenton, attended the Weber Academy one winter in Ogden, living with Eva, and attended the North Cache High School one winter in Richmond.  She left school both
of these Springs to return home because of illness of her mother.
     Florence had enough music lessons that she could play church hymns and often acted as organist, especially in the Primary.  She sang in the Trenton Choir, an alto voice, and a few times sang duets with choir leader, Brother Mortensen.  She was also in the girls Choruses.
     Her father moved the family to Weston, Idaho in 1916.  That fall, Florence went to Richmond and worked for Cousin Ora Merrill, whose wife had a new baby.  After a month there she went to work at the Richmond Co-Op under Uncle James W. Fund, Manager.  She worked there for three years until her marriage to David L. Rigby on 4 March 1920 in the Logan Temple.
     She taught a class in Sunday School in Richmond.  In Newton, She was active in the Church.  She was a member of the Newton Choir, taught classes in Primary, Sunday School, Religion Class:  also YWMIA for several years from 1931 to 1939.  She was president of the YWMIA for one year, May 1938 to 1939.  In May of 1940 she became a member of the Smithfield Stake Primary Board, set apart by Elder Ariel Jorgensen, where she served for two years.  She was Relief Society Theology Teacher for five years, 1944 to 1949.
     Florence was called as Relief Society President on  August 1949.  She was set apart by Bishop Lyle Cooley and served for four years until 1953.
     She became first Counselor on the Relief Society Stake Board, Smithfield Stake, on 17 June 1954, set apart by President Bryon Ravsten.  She served under Sister Vera Cantwell, President, Rula Farrell, Second counselor for one year, then Vienna Johnson.  She was released in January 1959.  She became Theology Teacher in Newton Relief Society 1 November 1959.
     She served also in Rigby Camp Daughters of Utah Pioneers.  President for one term (one year), Counselor one term, and Chaplain one term.  She acted as PTA Vice-President for six years.
     Florence Ellen Merrill Rigby passed away December 31, 1983, at Sunshine Terrace.

This History was taken from the book “History of Newton Ward Relief Society 1871-1992" compiled by Cleo Griffin.