Friday, June 11, 2010
My father, Uriah Henderson Taylor (Heck) was born near Mt. Airy, North Carolina on May 14, 1851, the ninth of eleven children. His parents were James Taylor and Nancy Hiatt. They owned their farm, but all had to work very hard. They raised their own flax, and spun and made their cloth. They also raised sheep and made their woolen cloth. Some was made of linen and wool or cotton and wool, called linsey. They tanned the leather for shoes. I have heard my father tell about his father making shoes for his family. He would make one shoe all around and then make the other shoe all around.
The Civil War, although they lived in the South they didn't believe in slavery. Grandfather got a negro slave in trade one time, kept him a short time, and then traded him off. He didn’t want his children growing up any closer to negroes than he could help. They didn't want to fight but as the boys got older they were conscripted into the army and had to go. One brother, Gabriel, was killed in the war, another one, Charles, was wounded in the knee. He was sent home. An officer came around every so often to see when he would be able to go back. The night before the officer was to come, Charlie would pound his leg and have it all inflamed for the officer to see. The war ended before the third son, Evan, was old enough to go. Gabe, the one that was killed, sent his knapsack and bible home to his mother by his comrades. I don’t remember that they even knew where he was buried. My grandfather had heart trouble and was unable to work the last few years of his life. That seemed to be a weakness in so many of the Taylor family.
I don’t know that they belonged to any religion, but they believed in the Bible and its teachings. My parents have each read the Bible through twice. Grandfather would never allow a deck of playing cards in his house. Believing that no good ever came of them, so my father didn't know one card from another, and never did learn. The Taylors were considered to be honest and men of their word.
I understand that the Taylors came from England several-generations ago. Some of them marrying second cousins. I have heard my mother say that this is one reason she came west. She had married a Taylor, and she didn’t want her children to be marrying relatives. I heard Frank Hiatt say that some fellow said that the Taylors thought there was no one else good enough for them. Several of the Taylor and Hiatt families were married. My father was the youngest boy of the family. There were two girls younger than he. When his father died, he said that he wanted father to have the home place, but for him to take care of his mother and sisters as long as they wanted to stay with him. Father and his sister were married the same day, so he lost a sister and gained a wife.
About a year after they were married they decided to come to Utah. They sold their place and came to Utah. They had just enough money left when they got here to buy Grandma a cow. Father was to feed her. Mother said the cow was white and the butter that they made was white.
When I was in Mt. Airy, NC in 1935 I saw the deed that my father, mother and grandma signed after they came to Payson, Utah.
My mother, Martha Jane Marsh, was born June 23, 1851, near Mt. Airy, the oldest girl, and third in a family of seven children.
Her parents were William Vernal -mother always thought his name was Vernon, but her sisters say it was Vernal- Marsh and Susanna Dunnagin. Mother was left an orphan at the age of nine years. Her parents having died less than a year apart. Her mother died last, leaving seven little children alone. They went to live wherever anyone would take them in. Before the mother died, she said she wanted Martha and the baby, Susan, to stay together. They did for awhile, then there was a lady that wanted the baby. Then Sallie came to stay with mother... they stayed most of the time with their mother's brother, Andersen Dunnigan, and his wife, Jane. She had been a widow with two little girls. I think their names were Ida and Lue Banner. Mother loved these little girls very much. They were very good to mother and Sallie. The mother told of some families that she didn't want any of the children to stay with.
Aunt Jane was a seamstress. She made suits for the soldiers in the time of war. Mother helped her with the cutting and hand work. Her sewing was all so neat. She could take the tiniest little stitches. Her buttonholes were just the best ever.
Mother said people were very good to them after their parents died. They would see that they got to go see each other, take them and let them visit overnight and sometimes more. After the girls got big enough to work - and the boys too - they went to stay with people who needed their help. Sometimes they would get something for their work, sometimes only their board. Mother went to stay with her brother. Henry's wife's (Minerva) sister Jarmelia and her husband Van Taylor. There she met his brother, Heck, and they were married. They went to live with his folks. There was never any trouble in the family, although my mother was very sensitive, she says they could not have been treated better. Some folks thought my father was kind of hot-headed. But from what I know, I don't think so-unless someone was trying to run over him. They were married October 15, 1871 and lived in NC until the spring of 1873. Near Mt. Airy, NC is a mountain of granite. They call it Flat Rock. They have been working there for years and years, quarrying rock from there. When we were back there in 1935 my cousin, Clyde Shelton, gave me two lawn ornaments that had been taken from there and cut. Clenna has them now. I am quite proud of them, they look so neat and solid. It was on this Flat Rock that my folks spent their last Sunday, I think it was Easter, before leaving for the west the next day.
Neither of my parents got much schooling. They were ten years old when the Civil war started. So they didn't have much chance to go to school. They studied at home after they were married. They had a geography book and an old blue back speller which they studied, for grammar as well as spelling. I have heard them tell about having spelling matches among the older people who were trying to improve themselves. Mother went to night school while father was away to work. She was a very refined lady, with black curly hair and blue eyes. Father's hair was black and straight, like mine, only mine is white now. He had blue eyes, but his mustache was kind of on the red order. Mother was very good at spelling, reading and mental arithmetic. They both had a good education for country folk, considering.
My father was very good to mother and us children. He was quite strict, never allowing any back talk, or much quarreling. He very seldom had to punish anyone except a thump on the head. Last summer I was visiting a lady that used to be a neighbor. She said she could remember when the two little boys were having trouble, father would give them a thump on the head, and as he said, "that would dry them up". I've never heard my parents dispute- If there was anything they differed over, father would say, "Not disputing your word, but I think it was so and so." Father always called my mother "Mothie". That was the southern way of saying Martha. Her name was Martha Jane Taylor and his oldest sister had the same name, she having married William H. Taylor. So they were called Martha William and Martha Heck. Even had their names on the Relief Society rolls with the middle initial. These two ladies joined the LDS church at the same time, September 1880. But their husbands never did join. My mother told me to do the temple work for my parents. So I did in February 1934.
A man by the name of Boyle, from Payson, Utah, a Mormon missionary, had spent some time near Mt. Airy, NC. He had made many converts to the church. He gathered a company of them and others that wanted to come to Utah and brought them west. The railroad came only to Salt Lake City. They came in wagons to Payson, where father's brother lived, they having come west three years before. Mother wasn't very well so they made her bed in the bottom of the wagon. She thought it was a long way. They stayed with Uncle Alien's folks for some time. Father went to work in Little Cottonwood Canyon. He also worked on the railroad when they were building it around The Point of the Mountain. Mother stayed with Uncle Alien and Aunt Louisa while he was away. She helped with whatever there was to do. She spun herself a bedspread on Aunt Louisa's spinning wheel, I gave cousin Nettie Taylor Christensen a piece of it, also Sister Minnie's piece. Also I have a piece of my grandmother’s bedspread that she wove. Mother's mother died when she was nine years old, but her Aunt Jane kept it and gave it to mother when she was married.
When my father came to Utah, his mother, two sisters and one brother, Evan, his sisters were Emaline, unmarried, and Phoebe, she was married to Joe Stone the same day my parents were married. Aunt Emaline married Gus Stone, brother to Joe. He later died, leaving two little boys, Ed and Dave. She afterwards married another brother, Hamp. Mother left all her folks there, three brothers and two sisters and Aunt Jane and Uncle Andersen.
Salem was sometimes called Pond Town. Some places that my folks lived in Salem were on Loafer Street on the west side of the Pond. Uri and Sidney were born on the George Brown place, then they moved further south across the street where Jettie and Charlie were born and Sidney died.
I was born in Salem, Utah October 2, 1879, the third of seven children. What education I have was from the schools of Salem. My first schooling was when seven or eight of us children went to Grandma Stone (not my grandma) in her home, a one room log house. When we did anything good we got a credit mark, but if anything bad we got a black mark. It took two credit marks to erase a black mark, if I remember it right. At the end of each term the teacher would send a statement home with each child, as to how many days the child had attended and how much was due.
Then they moved across the street and north joining the George Brown place, where Minnie was born. Then they moved on a farm on the east side nearest Weber Canyon in spring of 1885. Ray and Edwin were born there. We lived about 1 3/4 miles from the school. We walked to school part of the time, but when my oldest brother did not have to stay home to help on the farm, we rode a horse; first one, then two, then three of us on one horse. Then when the fourth one was old enough for school we moved down in the last edge of town. On the same block as Uncle Joe Stone. We moved a nice log house on the lot and moved there in 1890. Father made it over with new doors and windows and a stairway in the corner. It was a large house, one and a half story, with a large porch on the west side. Then in 1896 he built a two story brick house. We moved in for Thanksgiving. I started to go with Walt in 1897. We went steady after that. We had had a sleigh ride or two before that. He worked off most of the time. He worked up in Spanish Fork Canyon at a saw mill, in Provo Canyon for a while. He also worked in Wyoming for eight months at one time, then in Nevada for a while and finally came to Idaho in May 1901, to work on the Mackey branch of the railroad. He worked for construction companies, Sumsion Brothers and also for McKennies.
It [the brick home] was never quite finished while we lived there. They decided to move to Idaho. Father, mother, Minnie, Ray and Edwin left Salem in April 1901. They came in a covered wagon, on their way to Lost River, where they had a ranch and some cattle that they had brought up two years before, I think they drove them to Corinne, Utah and then shipped them the rest of the way. Charlie and I stayed there and took care of the farm that summer and came to Idaho in October 1901. I lived in Groveland that winter (on the place where Orson Packham now lives) and was married the next May.
Uri was married and lived in Salem. Charlie was going to stay there to look after the farm, so I stayed to look after him. On their way the folks stopped to visit Frank Taylor. They bought forty acres there, and didn't go on to Lost River. They sold their interests over there a few years later. They decided to make their home in Idaho, so Charlie and I loaded up all the furniture we could haul in a wagon and left on October 17th, 1901. We were eight days on the road, I stayed in Groveland with my folks, I stayed with Mrs. Charlie Bumgartner for about a month, could have stayed longer, but I had been away from my folks for so long I wanted to stay home. The next spring Walt and I were married. May 14, 1902, on my father's fifty-first birthday. We had bought the place in Groveland just the year before on his birthday.
When I got through grade school I would have liked to go to the B.T.A., as it was called then. My classmates both went. I couldn't leave then and by the time conditions got so I could go I was thinking of getting married and that ended my schooling.
My mother was never very well, so I had to stay out of school quite a lot of the time. The year of 1893 and 94 I stayed out of school all year, I studied at home some. Uri used to bring the books home. We were in the same class. We used to sit together in school so we could use the same books. He didn't like it much to sit with his sister, but I thought it was all right, I think I was kind of proud of him.
When I couldn't go to school or work out as some of the girls did, my folks told me if I stayed home and helped with the family I could make all and anything I wanted for my hope chest- which was a wooden box covered with wall paper. Mother said she would help me make a quilt every year I stayed with her. So I had seven when I left. I helped pick ducks and made me two pillows, I had a well-filled hope chest of the common things and some fancy ones. I remember mother telling me the winter before I was married to make me a good supply of undies then when I got them made she said now to make another change, she said three suits and put them away until I needed them. Some of them were made from flour sacks but some were muslin, all trimmed as fine as could be.
None of them [their extended family] ever came west. My parents went to visit their old home in 1906. They stayed all summer. They had a good time, but mother said they had stayed as long as they wanted to. She said she didn't want to be buried there. In 1928 Walt and myself went back with her again. Two of her brothers had passed away but both sisters were living. They all seemed to enjoy it so much but mother got tired and was ready to come home.
Mother was never very well. The best health she had was while she was bearing children. She had seven in twelve years to the day. Then there was about fifteen years of bad health. Then after she was fifty-five her health improved and she lived to be nearly seventy-nine. She died following a stroke. Father had asthma, it began while they were in Yellowstone Park. They went to California in January 1909 and lived there until he died on February 23, 1925. Mother came to Blackfoot and stayed among her children until her death May 30, 1930.