Sunday, June 17, 2012
Mary Amelia Smith History
I was born at Lehi City, Utah on February 26, 1891. The daughter of George Henry Smith and Mary Jane Harwood. I was one of eleven children. They had two boys and nine girls. I spent my childhood in Lehi, starting school at the age of six years. We went to school in the afternoon the first year, then in the morning until I reached the third grade. After that I went all day.
We had to cross the railroad to get to school and I used to run all the way until I got across the tracks, for I was afraid the train would block the road and I would be late for school. As long as I went to school I was only late once and that was because a train stopped me at the crossing and my teacher didn’t mark me late. We walked a mile and a half to school.
We children would go to the field with father and play while he worked. As we were coming home father would always stop and let us pick wild flowers. We rode in the wagon to the fields and back. In the winter we used to have blizzards. And father used to come with warn shawls and help us home.
The first thing I remember was when my little brother was born. I was just four. I was so happy, I always loved babies so much, and we were all so happy when a new baby came to our house. Mother had a cradle for the baby and I used to lay on the floor and rock it with my feet. He was sure hard to get to sleep, or it seemed so to me for I wanted to go play. Mother would have us children take turns getting the baby to sleep.
My sister, Zada, and I used to play house. She was two years younger than I. We would build our houses in the silver maple tree out by our lane. If we ever got a nickel we would buy a yard of voile (it was 5 cents a yard) and make our dolls dresses. We used to make our play dishes out of apples or sugar beets. Father used to give us all the red and yellow beets to make our dishes out of.
Uncle Ted Smith and his family live just through the fence from us and Uncle Jim Taylor’s family lived just on the south. They had children our ages and we had a very happy time playing together. We used to go to Grandmother’s for Thanksgiving. They had English walnuts and they would always leave some on the trees and on the ground for us children to gather. We sure had fun hunting them and seeing who could find the most. Grandmother would always have turkey, plum pudding, and mince pies. She was such a good cook. Sometimes there would be snow and we would go for a ride in the bob sleigh.
Every summer father and mother would take us children and go to the west canyon for ten days. They would get some of their friends and families to go with us. Sometimes there would be more than one hundred people in the canyon at one time. We would have a big bonfire and all sit around it, sing songs and telling stories. They were very happy times. I remember one time in the canyon the older boys and girls were going to gather chokecherries. I started to go with them. After we had gone some distance they sent me back to camp. I went past the camp and kept on going until I knew I was lost. Then I got frightened and began to cry. There were cattle around and that made me more afraid. Soon they missed me and came to find me. When I saw father and the rest of them coming I sure was glad. It is a terrible feeling to be lost in the canyon. I never left the older ones again and didn’t enjoy our trips to the canyon too much after that.
Christmas was a happy time at our home. Our folks didn’t have much money and a large family. Mother used to let us pop corn and make chains out of colored paper for the tree. We would get red apples and shine them to hang on the tree. Father used to go to the canyon and get us a cedar tree. We used to get one present. Either a doll or dishes. Grandmother always gave us some little thing. Our dolls were just little ones with a china head, hands and feet.
I remember the last doll I had. It had hair and brown eyes and a pink dress. The neighbor boys were over to our house playing and broke my doll. It almost broke my heart too.
When I was fifteen years old we moved to Blackfoot, Idaho. It was the 5th of December 1905. My sister, just older than I, didn’t go to school after coming to Idaho. Father was working for the Sugar company and we didn’t have a way to go to school. There was a little school house just across the street from our home, but they had one teacher for all eight grades and a poor teacher at that. We had been going to a good school and wouldn’t go to school here. I have always been sorry that I didn’t finish my school but it was my own fault.
I met and married Raymond Taylor on May 27, 1907 at Riverside, Idaho. He didn’t belong to the church, but did join our church in 1918. I was very happy about it. To this union were born five children: Elmer Ray, Glen Coy, Fay Marley, Alice Marie, and Var Max. We were very happy all our married life. Ray was a devoted husband and father. Before our last baby was born, we went to the Logan Temple of the 21st of July 1921 and were married for all ETERNITY and had our children sealed to us. Then in February 1924, he took sick with appendicitis and died the 1st day of March.
Our oldest son, Elmer, was but 15 years old and Var, our youngest, was only one year old. We got along as best we could. The boys ran the farm and for a few years I took school teachers in to board. After Elmer got married, we sold the farm and bought us a home on the Riverside town site. Ray asked me before he died to keep the family together. I tried to do it and did until they were all married. I had many friends, mother and father, sisters and brothers to help me. The children were good to me and helped all they could. I was so thankful for the faith I had. To know I could go to my Heavenly Father in prayer and He would always help me in my time of need.
Without that faith, I don’t think I could of stood the trials I went through. I have tried to live a clean life and hope I have never done anything that would cause my children to be ashamed of me. I think everyone of them are fine children. I have the best daughter-in-laws and son-in-law in the world. I am so proud of them and all my grandchildren. I hope and pray that the day will come then they will all go to the temple and be sealed for time and eternity.
Elmer, our oldest one, married Elsie Gardner. They moved to Montana in April 1942 and in October 1943, Elmer passed away from a heart attack. He left a wife and four children. Glen married Naomi Turpin and they have six children. Fay married Dora Weaver and they have four children. Alice married Mearl Wheeler and they have four children. Var married Nelda Hansen. They have two children. They all have their own homes, and are good citizens, and Latter-Day Saints. This makes me very happy.
I married Frank T Halverson, May 29, 1933. He has been a good husband and a good father to my children. We are very happy together. We have had many wonderful trips and he does everything to make my life happy.
I served as first counselor in the Primary. I was Primary President for six years. A counselor in the Young Ladies Mutual under two presidents. First counselor in the Relief Society, and a visiting teacher for 30 years. I also served on the Primary Stake board.
I had a son, step-son, and son-in-law in World War II and have two grandsons in the air force now.
(Written in July 1952- though the editor took the liberty and adding children to Uncle Fay’s family and Uncle Var’s- as Dennis and Robert weren’t born until later.)
Poem written by Mary Taylor Halverson
If someday, a million years for now,
Beyond the misty fields of heaven,
While walking alone,
I should hear a bird-like, high-pitched voice,
I know my heart will skip a beat.
There will be no need to turn and about
Nor guess who might be greeting me.
Life made only one such quaint sound.
That moment will revive her face and gentleness for me,
And, before I turn to see her smile,
My mind will conjure her again;
Slight and shivering, in early morning Idaho light,
Trying to say “Goodbye” without tears.
Our farewells seemed all too long.
I placed my jacket around her shoulders
And she felt me warmth. . .
We never saw each other again.
And still, so still, I hear her voice.