Sunday, June 17, 2012
Kate Mathews Stevenson-written by Altha Mathews Dial with information from Mazy Mathews Pledger and Family Records.
Kate Mathews was born forty years after the first Saints entered the Salt Lake Valley, 10 February 1888. She was the thirteenth child of a family of 16 children. Her parents Joseph Davis and Ruth Perkins Mathews were coverts to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Glamorganshire Wales. Her father Joseph arrived in Salt Lake 3 Sep 1852 just 3 years after her mother Ruth was born, 3 Sep 1849, in Wales. He was 30 years her senior and a brother to Ruth’s Mother. Ruth arrived in Salt Lake 5 Oct 1867. On 7 Mar 1868, Joseph married Ruth in the Salt Lake Endowment House. She was his second living wife.
At the time of Kate’s birth, the family had gone through many hardships and much sorrow, for nine of the twelve children older than her passed away. Those living were Nephi, Hyrum, and Sophia. Leonard was born in 1890, Maude in 1892 and Mazy 1895. These seven children all grew to maturity, to marry and all raised a family.
Mazy wrote: “This happened in Salt Lake, one of the first things I remember was when Kate got kicked by a horse that belonged to Nephi. I don’t know how old I was at the time. It was about dark and somehow the horse got loose. She went to help catch it, she got kicked and she fainted. Oh what excitement, Kate had a weak elbow ever after. I remember also that on Saturdays we would go go the Assembly Hall, sometimes the tabernacle. Evan Stephens would have singing classes, Kate, Len Maude and I and we’d sing our hearts out. Kate was a sickly girl and was very ? most of the time. When we moved up to Pleasant View, Weber, Utah, 10 Mar 1904, I was going on nine so Kate was sixteen at the time. Bert Stevenson came over to do some work for Dad (we were neighbors) and my Dad told him he (Bert) could marry Kate. Sounds like he was a tease, don’t it? Kate sure was mad at him. She was terribly shy. They were married in the Salt Lake Temple 6 Oct 1906. They lived in Pleasant View. They had two little boys (died at birth or shortly after) named Joseph and Kenneth. I don’t remember which was the older. They were born in the old home where Nephi lived so long. Lea was born in Pleasant View and before Melbourne was born they had moved to Idaho . Because Kate had such a time she cam back to be with mother when Melbourne was born. At the time Melbourne was born, Bert and Kate moved to Potter’s farm and Bert worked for some time down there.
Before Rena was born Kate was so sick. She couldn’t even lay down. Her body was so filled with water. When Rena was born, she weighed at 2 and 1 half pounds. I was going to Business school and staying in Ogden with Maude. I came home for the holidays and Mother was sick with the flu. And Uncle Len was taking care of both sick women and that tiny baby, Lea and Melbourne were there too. And he was doing alright too.
When Kate got better, she gathered up her youngsters and went back to Idaho, Rena was born in North Ogden. Then she came down again when Ruth was born. This time she got along better. Ruth was born in the same little house that Rena was born in, in North Ogden. (when we were in Acequia to Bert’s funeral we told Ruth we would take a picture of the house she was born in. We went up to do it. They had remodeled and built on so it didn’t look at all the same.)
Harry and I moved to Idaho in the Spring of 1919 and lived there eight years. Kate was sick such a lot during that time. She was a woman of great faith. One time she had the flu and sent for Bishop Anderson (a wonderful man with power to heal.) He also had the flu and couldn’t go, so he told them to take his handkerchief to her and she would get well. Which they did. Bert was a wonderful husband to her. One of the kindest men I ever knew. We all loved him for being so kind to our sister. The last few years of Kate’s life she was determined that she would live to see her family taken care of. When she came down to take Rena’s to the Shriner Hospital, she was so relieved. She went to the Salt Lake Clinic to see if they could help her. They told her if she would stay right there they could keep her alive a while longer. But she would not stay. She said it would take away everything from her family. So it was not long after she went home that she passed away 6 Nov 1928.
Aunt Kate as I remember her was a woman of great faith and courage. She had the true pioneer spirit that had been breed in her by a noble father and a sweet sacrificing, and never complaining mother. She was born in a time of hardship and trial and yet she had the courage to raise above the material things of life. She blessed this earth with 6 children, 4 of whom she raised well the short time she was permitted to remain with them. The other two she will be able to raise in the Eternities because of her goodness and faith. The poem by George L Ehrman would be a tribute to Kate Mathew Stevenson’s life.
Hope is like a natural spring that flowing nature’s choice:
Trust is like an answered prayer which makes the soul rejoice.
Faith is like a flower in bloom that grows from humble statrt,
And love is like a song unsung, but felt within the heart!
Her children can be proud to call her mother for she played her role well and she was true and faithful and endured to the end.