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History of Olive Andelin Potter

As dictated to Lenore Potter Bollschweiler, August 1932

HISTORY OF OLIVE ANDELIN POTTER

 

(As dictated to Lenore Potter Bollschweiler, August 1932)

 

            I was born Sept. 6, 1868, in Salt Lake City in the 13th Ward.  (The way that I remember, my brother Olof was also born in the same place.  I think we moved to the Brighton and then to Tintic and then to Santaquin.  My Brother Herman and my sister Amanda were born there.)  Then when I was 8 yrs. old, we moved to Richfield.  (But before going any further, I will mention an incident.)

            My father went to Salt Lake to work.  When he came home, he brought me a large china doll head.  My mother made a body and dressed it.  That was very rare to have a doll that size, for all I had was a very small one before.  I had to go to the creek for water.  I wanted to take my doll with me.  My mother said that she was afraid that I would break it, but I took it anyway.  I had the doll in my lap and when I stooped down and raised up with the water, the doll rolled out of my lap and broke.  I was so broken hearted that I couldn’t get over it for days.  I felt as bad in my childish way as a mother would to lose her child.  My father also brought home a 100 lb. sack of brown sugar.  That also, was a very rare treat.  My mother gave my brother and myself a good big serving in a saucer and a spoon to eat it with.

            We moved to Richfield when I was about 8 yrs. old.  My father had a fairly good house and good lot which had lots of good fruit on it.  I remember the peaches, how large and wonderful they were.  He sold the place for $175 and joined the United Order.  I was baptized in Richfield in the mill stream by my father.  Besides belonging to the United Order, we lived in the Family Order also.  About 10 or 12 families.  The women took turns cooking and doing the housework.  They all had their own rooms, but we ate together.  All the big folks in the dining room and all the children in the kitchen.  (I was always very backward and reserved and delicate, so it was hard for me to stand the rudeness of the boys and some of the girls.)  As soon as the blessing was asked, they would grab more than their share.  In those days, some people were not very much concerned about flies.  They had no screens on doors or windows, so I got sick almost every day.  But it didn’t seem to bother the rest of them.

            One event that impressed me was that my father and another man went to Tintic to work and when they came back, all the money was turned into the treasury (which was right).  But all the children got 5˘.  That was what impressed me so much.

            I don’t remember how long we lived in the Family Order, but anyhow I was mighty happy when we got out by ourselves.  My father built a place across the street from the Order House.  But before he moved into the Family Order, we lived on Main Street.  My sister Ordina died of Diphtheria Croup while we lived there.  She was about 2 yrs. old.  My other sister Mary Melvina died about 2 yrs. later with the same thing, while we lived across the street from the Order.

            My father was called to work on the Manti Temple.  One thing impressed me very much.  It was a very cold winter, so cold that the cows teats got frozen.  They were so sore that my brother Olof could hardly milk them.  They also nearly starved.  Olof had to go to Bishop Poulson and get bundles of straw and carry home.  They managed to pull through the winter, but when spring came they were turned on the hills to get grass, one died.  My father worked on the Temple about 7 yrs, but I don’t remember when we moved to Manti.  But anyhow, we lived in Manti for 2 years.

            My father bought an 80 acre farm in Dover, Sanpete County, so we moved there with a yoke of oxen.  It took us all day to go a distance of about 25 miles.  I will never forget how it impressed me.  One log room and one makeshift room with a rock floor.  It was early in the spring and the snow and blizzards blew in all the cracks between the logs.  Of course, father fixed it up as soon as he could and built on two more rooms.  But oh! how terribly dreary.  Houses scattered miles apart.  But finally I got used to it. 

            (I have to go back again.  I forgot some special events. Before we moved to Manti, I went from Richfield to Manti to visit my father.  I went with a man that had one balky horse and a cold that wasn’t broken in.  We had a lady and one child with us also.  Well, we surely had a terrible time.  I thought we would be killed any minute.  The colt wanted to run away and balky one didn’t want to go.  The man was quite cruel to the balky one and that made my heart ache for I cannot stand to see animals treated cruely.  We were two days on the road, a distance of 50 miles.  I don’t remember how I got back.)

            The following winter I stayed with Amelia Hooten, a friend of mine in Central, Utah, just a few miles South of Richfield.  I did all her work; washing, ironing, cooking, housework and sewing.  I even made all her baby clothes and I was only 13 yrs. old.  I had my 13th birthday before I went out there and my father and mother gave me 50˘, the most I had ever had in my life at one time.  I didn’t know what to do with it.  Well, I worked all winter for Amelia and all I got was $2.50.  I didn’t know what in the world to do with that either, so I bought a present for my father and mother and all the children.  (Then in the early spring, I went to Manti again with Amelia’s father, Brother Jensen.  He had a very poor outfit and there came a bad snow storm.  We had to break the road part of the way.  We surely had a terrible time.  We were 3 days on the road to go 50 miles, and I had the toothache all the way, and it lasted for 6 weeks after I got to Manti.  I was too scared to have it pulled but finally a blacksmith pulled it.  The folks were already in Manti, but I don’t remember how they went there.  Soon after Brother Jensen got to Manti, he got a telegram that his son had died so he had to go right back again.  He had gone to Manti to work on the Temple.)

            Well, now back to Dover again.  One family named Potter were very sociable with us.  The man, Wallace Edwin Potter, eventually started paying attention to me.  I was just past 15 yrs. old and he was 34.  He had 5 children, the oldest just 4 years younger than I was.  Of course Polygamy was in vogue and I guess he wanted a nice young wife.  My father and mother were very much opposed to his attentions, but I thought it was nice to be loved, as I was right in the boy-struck age.  If I had only realized it, it was the beginning of many and many a heartache and many trials.

            I got married less than 2 months before I was 16.  We were married July 17, 1884, in the Endowment House, and I was 16 in September.  I felt so terrible when we were going through, worse than if I had been to a funeral.  My eyes were open then for the first time.  I could have backed out then, but I was just a child and didn’t have enough judgment.  Before I got married, my father made me a box to have my things in and all I had didn’t even fill one end of it and part of that was a quilt.  My first dress after I was married was a homemade linsey and I colored it purple.

            We went to Salt Lake from Dover, in a wagon to get married.  His first wife was with us.  The next day after we were married, she went to Idaho to visit her folks and was gone 6 weeks.  Edwin and I went back to Dover in the wagon and I kept house for him and his children.  We had 2 log rooms with dirt roof.  The one room was a fairly good size and the other was a small lean-to which was my room.  I lived with the family until after my first child, Pearl, was born.  When she was 3 days old, I got up and dressed her and went out to Edwin’s shop.  Of course, he was terribly surprised and sent me back to bed.  Then he built me one log room about a half mile from the other house.  Half of it was made into a granary.  I lived there a little over a year.  He then moved us to a place called Serl’s Ranch, 5 miles up the Sevier River from where we lived.  There were two houses a block apart built in the side hill.  Just one room to each house.  Aunt Hattie and her family lived in the one and I lived in the other.  I cannot describe how terrible it was and the rats were busy all night traveling around.  They were worse in Aunt Hattie’s house.  And the fleas – Oh My! how terrible!   I had scabs on my back from scratching.  Grandma Brown (my husband’s mother) said, “Why make such a fuss over a few fleas.”  While there, Edwin got a job herding sheep, so he moved his first family up in the mountains to the sheep camp.  Then I was left alone 5 miles from any living soul.  I cannot remember how long I was alone, but quite awhile because I went home to my mother several times.  He left the horses there and a light wagon.   When I would go home, I had to go over a steep hill.  I would put Pearl in the bottom of the wagon and put the brake on as hard as I could and hold the horses back as hard as I could and down we would go.  Then coming back was almost worse.  I was afraid I would slide back any minute.  Then Edwin sent for the team, and I was left without even that comfort.  I cannot remember why I did not join him, but when I did, I had to go on a donkey all alone.  I put Pearl in the saddle with me and went to the camp which was about 15 miles.  I went over a long dreary stretch before I got into the canyon.  I had to go through the narrows in the creek over all kinds of boulders.  I knew the road, thank goodness, as I had been there before.  We lived there all summer in tents right on the ground.  Edwin did the cooking. He was a good cook over the campfire and could make very good bread in the bake skillet.  We had good fresh mutton whenever we wanted it, but that is about all we had – mutton and bread.

            When we left the sheep camp, Edwin had 3 pigs to bring home.  Two were thorobreds, male and female.  The trip was too hard on them and they both died and were left on the way.

            Just a little while after we were back in Dover, the U.S. Marshals began to get after the polygamists.  So Edwin moved me to Salt Lake, as it was the second wife who had to make herself scarce.  I lived with his sister Rosella Lord all summer.  I did all the work.  Got up at 6 A.M. every morning and got Uncle Hyrum’s breakfast and put up his lunch.  Then about noon Rosella and her mother (Grandma Brown) would get up and then I would get breakfast for them.  They were extremely lazy.  It is terrible for me to say it, but it is the truth.  I would even get their bath water heated and get the tub ready and everything, and have to empty the water afterwards.  I was a fool.  I guess she thought that I had to do everything for my board and I was so conscientious, that I thought I had to do it too.  While there, I washed for a lady a few times as I needed a little money and my husband was very poor.  I worked there up until 2 months before my second child Myrtle was born, and then Edwin moved me by myself.  I was in a house with another family, but I stayed there only a month and then he moved me to another place.  One room and a shanty.  Edwin was away nearly all the time to keep away from the Marshals.  He was with his first wife.  My father lived with me and  part of the time my brother Herman.

            Three days before my baby Myrtle came, I crocheted enough lace 2 ˝” wide for a pillow case and sewed it on.  Then the next day, I washed it.  I washed on the board and had to pump water out of a pump and carry it up a flight of steps.  I lived in a room halfway up the stairs.  I got it done and my room cleaned up and everything ready and got it done between the pains.  My father came home in the middle of the afternoon to see how I was.  He knew that I was sick in the morning when he went to work.  There wasn’t much time to spare, so he took a horse and buggy that was outside without asking and went after the midwife.  They just got back in the nick of time.  I had a normal time and felt fine the first 3 days.  Then I took a backset (caused from neglect).  Grandma Brown was to take care of me, but I didn’t have any place for her to sleep, so she slept at Rosella’s and would not get in to tend me until 10 or 11 o’clock.  She wouldn’t do anything for me after she did come unless I asked her to.  And what she fixed for me to eat was so terrible that I could not eat it.  She made gruel all the time and it was thick and pasty and the dish would be covered with fly specks.  The flies were terrible in the fall and we had no screens.  Myrtle was born September 15, 1887.  I got worse and worse and nearly lost my life.  My father sent for my mother to come and care for me.  The folks lived in Dover then.  My brother Olof got things ready.  He borrowed $10 and took my mother to Juab in a wagon.  They left at 9 P.M. and it was dark and raining.  They got to Juab at 7 A.M.  Olof left the horses with a stable man and came to Salt Lake with mother, but just stayed a couple of days.  Mother stayed two weeks.  She couldn’t stay any longer for Cordelia and Willard were quite small.  One night while she was there, I was very, very bad with chills.  My father got up and administered to me and the terrible chills left almost immediately, and two days later, I was carried out of bed and my husband took us to the depot.  I sat up in the train all the way to Juab, also sat up in the wagon from Juab home.  Olof came after us.  I was well from that time on, only weak.   I couldn’t even walk straight.  Myrtle was bottle fed for about 2 months and then my milk came back.  (Of course, poverty was the main cause of my illness as Edwin was too poor to hire anyone decent to take care of me.)  I don’t know what I would have done without my wonderful parents taking care of me so much of the time.  Although I was healed, I was too weak to take care of my two babies.

            I stayed home all winter and summer and then towards fall, Edwin sent his two children, Rosetta and Edwin to Dover after me.  He lived in Vernal then.  He sent the children with his brother-in-law, Mr. Kempton, who was going to Provo.  The children came from Provo to Dover alone, and Mr. Kempton was supposed to wait in Provo for them to come back, so he could accompany us home.  My mother made a lunch to last until we got to Provo.  I felt just terrible leaving my Mother, just like I was going to my own and my babies funeral.  I always had it so hard when I was with my husband for he was so extremely poor.  I always had plenty to eat at home; -milk, eggs, cream, butter, ducks and chickens.  I forgot the baby’s high chair and so my Mother cut through the lot to head us off.  She was sitting in the high chair by the side of the road.  I can just see her now.  The parting was terribly hard.  A neighbor said to my mother, “Why did you let her go.  She will just come back with another baby.”

            When we arrived in Provo, Mr. Kempton had gone and left us.  He had all the camping outfit, also the hobbles for the mules, so we had to venture alone.  We were just children, all three of us, me with my two babies, Rosetta 16 and Ed 14.  Some onions were given to us at Provo.  Our small provisions soon gave out.  Part of the time, we had only raw bacon, bread and onions.  In Santaquin we went to where we used to live and got 3 sacks of apples and the last 3 days on the road, all we had was apples to eat.  It was surely hard for me with a nursing baby.  It felt like she was drawing my life’s blood.  Ed couldn’t hobble the mules out, so he had to tie them to the wagon wheel to pick what grass they could reach.  We had plenty of grain so we fed them grain 3 times a day.  The poor things could hardly move, they were so weak.  Ed didn’t know the good camping places, so sometimes we traveled half the night before we found water.  We were 11 days on the road and 5 days without seeing a house.  When Mr. Kempton arrived in Vernal without us, Edwin got so worried, he came out to meet us at Fort Apache, a days drive from Vernal.  We said we would never have made it without mules.

            My first introduction into Vernal, was Aunt Hattie’s house.  I don’t even remember how it looked.  Anyhow there was no room in the house for me, so I had to sleep outside on the ground with my two babies.  The next day, Edwin took me to a place that he had rented.  It was quite aways out from Vernal beyond the creek thick with willows and plastered over.  Anyhow, it was alive with bed bugs.  I had to have the bed in the middle of the floor and have each leg in cans of water and then pour water all around on the floor.  I had a most terrible time.  There was a nice patch of tomatoes and watermelons though.  They were better than any I have ever tasted.  One time 3 Indians came and wanted watermelons.  I told them to help themselves.  They did, but didn’t leave.  They stayed way after dark and I could hear them talking.  I was very, very much afraid.  Finally I heard footsteps approaching and a knock on the door.  When I could finally manage a faint, “Who is it”, it was Edwin.  Believe me, I told him that was one time I was glad to see him.

            Edwin then bought some land about 3 miles out of Vernal and built two log rooms a block apart and moved his two families there.  Half of my room was made into a granary.  While I lived there, the Marshals came after Edwin.  One of Aunt Hattie’s boys came and warned me.  I put Pearl on my back and took Myrtle in my arms and ran as fast as I could through fields and brush to some people that I knew.  I stayed there one week and had to sleep on a dirt floor with my babies.  The run caused me to have a miss about 2 months along.  I had nowhere to be, as they only had one room, so I had to be up all the time to tend my babies.  They were poor and didn’t have half enough to eat and I couldn’t eat what they did have on account of the flies.  I thought my stomach would turn inside out.  Edwin went in hiding for a week and then Aunt Hattie didn’t know where either of us were.

            I don’t know how long we lived there, but finally we moved to Dryfork, 15 miles from Vernal.  I lived there about a year.  I lived in a granary just a little ways from Aunt Hattie’s house.  It was a very cold winter and the granary was very cold for it was about 2 feet up from the ground and no banking around.  Just rough boards for floor and cracks between.  The chinking was out between the logs in lots of places.  I went out working quite a bit.  I would wash on the board all day long for 50˘.  I would have to carry the water and hang the clothes out with the snow up to my knees.  I cleaned house for people and whitewashed houses also.  I left the children with Aunt Hattie and would have to come home to an ice cold house and get it warmed up before I could get the children.  One time it rained for 3 days.  The place leaked so bad, I moved the bed in the middle of the floor and that was the only dry place except where the stove was.  Oh! that was a terrible time.  It was so cold and damp, it makes me shiver to think about it.  That was a very hard winter for me, going out working and I was pregnant with my third child, which was born May 16th, 1890.  Aunt Hattie tended me.  She tended to her own duties besides.  Once when she left the door open, a calf came in to visit me.  I named our little girl Mary Melvina.  It didn’t cost much for me to have children.  Aunt Hattie tended me when Pearl was born and Edwin gave the midwife a little pig.  When Myrtle was born, Grandma Brown tended me after a fashion and the midwife charged $5.00.  Then with Mary Melvina, Aunt Hattie tended me and the midwife charged $5.00.

            When Mary Melvina was 2 mos. old, Edwin went to Salt Lake to work, as we were so extremely poor.  Before he left he gave me a cow, but she got in a mans lot and he hit her so hard that she died.  I told Aunt Hattie I was going home the first chance I got.  The first chance was with three teams going to Provo with wool, but they had already left DryFork and were at Willow Springs about 3 miles away.  I got my things ready and all I had for me and the three children went in two flour sacks.  I took my bedding also.  I left the rest of my stuff which was not much, just rough homemade furniture.  Ed borrowed a wagon and horses and took me over to Willow Springs.  The man said I could go if I could stand it.  We left the next morning.  I sat in front by the man, with my legs dangling.  I held on to the wagon with one hand and held my 3 month old baby in the other arm.  Pearl and Myrtle sat on the wool sacks behind.  I was worried for fear they would fall off.  The dear little souls had to sit there without any care until camping time.  At noon, I would change the baby and wash her things in the creek and hang them on the wool sacks to dry.  I could just sponge her off as the water was so cold.  The ground was our bed and it was so cold that frost would be on the bedding, although in the day, it was very hot.  Each morning the man would leave at 5 A.M. and I would have to keep the quilts around the children while I dressed them.  And yet in the day, it would get so hot that my feet almost blistered through my shoes.  We were 8 days on the road and got to Provo at noon.  A woman had come with one of the other men, so I left Pearl and Myrtle with her in the factory yard while I went to find my father.  He was working on a new building but I did not know where.  I walked all afternoon with my baby in my arms, to every new building until at last I found him just as we were quitting.  When he saw me, he cried “My child, my child, where did you come from.”  My face was all blistered from heat and I surely was a tough looking sight.  He went with me to the factory yard and paid the man $2 for my fare.  He then took us to some friends and I stayed there 2 days to wash and iron our clothes, so I could go home on the train.  My father bought Pearl and Myrtle each a hat and telegraphed for Mother to meet us at Juab.  She sent Mary Lundbury to meet us.  We arrived home in Dover the 8th of August, Pearl’s birthday.  Oh! how extremely happy I was to get home.

            What would I ever have done without my dear parents, so good and so kind to us.  They supported us most of the time.  I couldn’t be happy with my husband, nor around his family.  I didn’t love him, getting married so young and him so much older and with a family already.  And I had to suffer so much from poverty.  I respected him and didn’t have anything against him, for he was good and kind to us and loved us, but he had too much family and the other family was extravagant.  They had cows but bought butter; chickens, but bought eggs; a garden, but would buy vegetables.  Didn’t take care of anything.  And he was so poor, he could not make the grade.  So I had to support myself and my family alone most of the time.

            I stayed at Dover about 6 or 8 months and then my parents moved back to Richfield.  My father got a man to go back to Dover and get some more things and I went with him.  It was blowing all day, so that night the storm came, a very bad blizzard.  We got to Dover early enough to load up, so we were all ready to leave in the morning.  The man was not used to driving horses, so the first thing the horses balked and I had to get a neighbor aways away to come and get the horses started.  The roads were so terrible bad, and there was so much snow, that we had to break the road part of the time.  We left part of our load at three different towns along the way and got home empty.  I drove most of the way, as the old man couldn’t stand the cold, so had to walk to keep warm.  We were not prepared for winter, so we suffered quite a bit.  The old man took it so hard, it made me laugh.  Whereas I took it as a big joke.  We were 3 days on the road, a distance of about 40 miles. 

            I must remind the reader here of what Tom Robinson said to my mother about not letting me go, as I would just come back with another child.  This was a true prophecy, as that is just what I did.  I stayed home with my dear parents until Mary Melvina was 1 yr. 4 mo. old.  Then I left my children with my mother and went to Provo to work for my brother Olof and his wife.  I took Pearl with me.  I stayed 6 mos.  Edwin visited me there.  When school was out in the spring, I went back to Richfield.  Then in the fall September 23, 1892, Ruby was born.  She cost me $3 for the midwife.  I stayed home until she was a year and four months old and then left my little family of 4 with my mother and went to Salt Lake to work.

            I stayed in Salt Lake 5 years.  I worked in 5 different places.  At the first 3 I didn’t stay very long.  I stayed at the Fritz Block 10 mos.  I had to do 24 rooms, 2 halls and a stairway every day besides wash and iron 50 towels every day and help get supper and wash dishes.  I got $3 a week.  I went from there to Provo to our family reunion before my brother Olof went on his mission.

            When I went back to Salt Lake, I got another job at Gilmers on Gilmer Drive on 9th So. & 11th E.  I worked there 3 years.  I had lots to do.  I did the cooking, kept the house clean (23 rooms) and put up all the fruit, pickles, sauces, mincemeat and everything.  Their evening meal was large enough for a banquet and had to be served in 3 and 4 courses.  I worked hard from 6 A.M. until 9 P.M.  If I wanted any time off, I had to get up earlier and get my work done.  I got $20 a month.  They gave me all their cast off clothes and shoes.  I only bought one pair in the 3 years.  I sent the money home for my children.  After I got home, the cast of clothes lasted for years to make over for me and the children.

            While I worked there, I had my first real grief.  I let my daughter Myrtle go to Sniderville to visit her father.  Aunt Hattie brought her to me after she had been there 2 mos.  I kept her with me for a week and then sent her home to Richfield.  She went home Saturday and Sunday took sick with Diphtheria Croup.  I got a telegram to come home and did the next Saturday night.  That night she had a vision.  She asked for something to eat which we gave her and she ate it herself.  Then she asked me to read to her.  Then she asked for Mother and me to sit by her, one on each side of the bed.  She said, “Look in the rocking chair.  There are two little girls sitting there.  They have cream colored hair parted in the middle and are dressed so sweet.  I am going to dress like them, but I won’t be as sweet as they are.  They are out of the chair now and playing with dolls and little stools.  Now, one is gone sailing on the ocean.  Now the other is gone and I am going with them.”  She then looked up in our faces and wanted to kiss us all.  She said, “Now don’t cry, for I am going to be alright.”  We woke up all the children and let her kiss them goodbye, all but Ruby who was just 3 yrs. old and we didn’t dare for fear she would catch it.  She wanted Ruby too, real bad.  She then said she was tired and to lay her down.  She shut her eyes and was sleeping peacefully away.  I could not giver her up, and so we prayed and cried and gave her oil and Father administered to her.  She lived another day, suffering terribly, choking and could hardly speak above a whisper.  Her face was dark and her throat and tongue black.  All day, she called for the Elders, but they wouldn’t come because they were afraid.  She had so much faith, she though if she could feel their hands on her head she would get well.  When she couldn’t have them, she wanted the doctor.  She said there was a big black cloud hanging over the house.  When the doctor came, he gave her some salt and water to cut the phlegme.  She strangled to death immediately.  She died the same time, 12 o’clock, that she was dying the night before.

            My mother washed her and laid her out.  (Mrs. Farnsworth made her clothes.)  We dressed her and put her in her little coffin.  We knelt down and prayed and my father, mother and I carried her out to an express wagon.  Bishop Brandley and Gus Blomquist took her out to the cemetery.  (All the children had Diphtheria, but Ruby, Pearl, Mary Melvina, Cordelia and Willard, so we were quarantined quite awhile.)  Myrtle was 9 years 1 month old when she passed away.

            I stayed home for awhile and then went back to work for Gilmers in Salt Lake.  Then finally I went home and stayed for about a year.  My husband had been begging me for a long time to come back to him.  I didn’t know what to do and asked my parents for advice.  They said to suit myself.  They said as long as I wanted to stay with them, I was welcome and they would do all they could for me.  Who could have parents more wonderful.  I finally decided however, to go back to Edwin.  He lived in Midway then.  I went there and lived one year.  Then Myreel was born April 26th 1900.  When she was 5 months old, I moved to Provo.  I wanted the children to go to school at the B.Y.U.

            Edwin didn’t want me to go.  He didn’t think girls needed an education.  But I wanted to go so he could nothing but move me down, which he did in a hay rack.  My brother Olof had rented a house for me at $5 a month.  Edwin gave me a few kindlings, a couple of sacks of coal and $5 to pay the first months rent.  So the first thing I had to do was get the house ready for boarders.  I had to get everything on trust.  I got 5 men boarders.  (Silas Fish was one of them.)

            Soon after coming to Provo, trouble struck again.  My daughter Mary M. got sick.  She seemed alright only weak.  So I didn’t do anything for her, for I was so busy with my boarders.  Then all of a sudden, she was right down in bed.  She was in bed 3 days.  Then in the evening, she got out of bed and ran across the floor real fast.  I asked her where she was going and she said, “I am going on a journey.”  I got her back in bed and sent for Olof.  He came and sent for the Dr.  When the Dr. came, she was so cold she was nearly dead.  We warmed her up with hot water bottles and Olof gave her a hot enema.  She said, “Oh! please don’t Uncle Olof.  I’ll give you a nickel if you won’t.”  Those were the last words she said.  She went unconscious and never regained it.  All night we worked with her and had the Elders.  Olof said I would have to give her up.  I said if I had to I would.  He then dedicated her to the Lord and she died peacefully at 8 o’clock in the morning.  She died October 4, 1900 of Diabetes.  She was a beautiful girl with dark curly hair and dark blue eyes and just 10 years old.

            In a short time, I took down with rheumatism and was laid up for 6 weeks.  I had it so terrible I could hardly stand the sheet to touch me.  My boarders stayed, but Pearl had to stay out of school to do the work.  I stayed in that house one year and then moved to another house by the B.Y.U.  I lived there 6 years and took boarders.  I had two children while living there.  Wallace, born December 18, 1903 and Lenore, born January 18, 1906.  They both cost $10 each.  Pearl tended me when Wallace was born and a woman stayed for 2 weeks when Lenore was born.  I then moved to 911 E. Center St.

            I then took in washing and ironing, as it was too far from school to take boarders.  I did that for 4 years.   I worked until 10 and 11 every night and earned about $5 a week.  That is when I contracted stomach trouble and lame back, which I have suffered with terribly for 25 years, except the last few years, I have been a little better.  We lived in Provo 12 years.  On the 30th of September, 1909, when Lenore was close to 3 years old, my husband died of heart failure in Vernal.  I was too poor to even go to the funeral.

            We left Provo and went to ArizonaPearl was married and living there and Ruby was there teaching school.  We lived in Lakeside in a tent, very roughly made and with just homemade furniture.  (It was a cold winter and we had quite a pioneer life there in the tent.)  I lived there 1 yr. and enjoyed myself more than in all my life.  I was free and felt like a bird just out of a cage.  The people were very good to us.  My sister Amanda also lived in Lakeside.  I enjoyed being with her very much.  But trouble and sorrow came again.  I was intending to stay 2 years, but my father passed away from an operation for stones in the bladder.  Mother wanted me to come home.  I didn’t get to the funeral and felt very bad.  It seemed like I couldn’t leave so sudden.  So I stayed awhile longer and then left Pearl and Ruby and my sister and the beautiful lake and pines and came home to Richfield to my mother.  She was so bereaved without my father, as they were so devoted to each other.

            Father had built two rooms and a basement.  The children helped and I had some more rooms built on, as it was not finished when he died.  When we got it finished, it was a real nice brick home, right on the main road and on a corner.  We lived on the back part and rented the front part.  Oh! how hard I did work and what a struggle to get it paid for.  I did all kinds of work.  I went out sewing and took in sewing; tended peoples children; cleaned and pressed clothes; did washings; kept house for people; and had my brother Willard’s children part of the time.  My mother kept the house and tended the children while I went out working.  I also took care of an invalid woman Caroline Schugarrd.  She was enough to drive anyone insane.  It was the hardest job I ever undertook to do.  I had her for 4 mos.  My mother was in Idaho visiting my sister Cordelia and family then.  I also took boarders 1 year.

            On June 8, 1921, my mother died in Salt Lake City.  I was in Cedar City with my daughter Ruby and family.  Myreel’s husband Alva Curtis, came after me.  That was a very sad time, as we had been together for 10 years.  Pearl came from Arizona to the funeral.

            I then had some more trials.  Myreel was operated on for appendicitis and had her tonsils out.  Then one fall, Leonre had her tonsils out and the next winter had her appendix out.  It was a puss one and there was no hope for her life, but through the blessings of the Lord, her life was spared.  Then the next fall, she had Typhoid Fever for 3 mos.  That was such a terrible time, I cannot even describe it, but her life hung on a thread nearly every day for that 3 mos. and my life hung on a thread also.  Everyone says it was absolutely only a miracle that she was spared and the doctor said he had never seen anyone so sick that lived.  Pearl came home from Arizona and stayed 6 weeks and left her 4 children.

            Wallace got married in the Salt Lake Temple, December 20th, while Lenore was sick.  We couldn’t go to the wedding.  After Lenore got well, we moved up to Salt Lake.  We stayed with Myreel at 140 W. Apricot Ave., and Lenore worked part of the time.

            In the fall of 1925, we took a trip.  Lenore went with me.  We went to Arizona to see Pearl.  Lenore only stayed 3 weeks and then went to Los Angeles to see Ruby.  I stayed at Pearl’s nearly all summer.  While there I had a nervous breakdown and nearly lost my life.  I was so weak I could hardly hold a paper in my hands.  I had to leave and go to California for my health.  I stayed in Los Angeles with Ruby.  We rented a house at Venice Beach.  I stayed there until September and then came home.  I was much better when I came home.  Lenore and I then rented a couple of rooms by ourselves.

            Then in the spring, March 23, 1927, Lenore got married in the Salt Lake Temple.  I then lived with her and kept house while she worked in an office, for 4 years.

            I made another trip to Los Angeles in a car.  We left in November just after the first snowfall.  We had a terrible time and it was a scarey one too, but we finally got there.  I stayed there until the first part of January, when I came home because Lenore was going to have a baby.

            I have lived with Lenore all the time.  My health is poorly, but still I manage to help everyone in need.  Myreel works and I tend her children part of the time.  I also have Wallace’s two boys to care for all the time.  He got divorced from his wife (their mother).  So, all in all, I have had an extremely busy life.

            I have done some work for the Church.  I was a teacher for the Relief Society for many years in Richfield.  My ambition has been to be a true Latter Day Saint and to do all the good that I could for others, never thinking about myself.  I have worshipped my children all my life, as I have had no husband to love, so all my love was for them.  My constant desire and prayer is for them and their success and that they will be true to the faith.

            That is all I ask to pay for all I have gone through.  I have had a hard sad life.

            To think I was married when just a child to a poor man already married.  I was like a widow all the time and then left a real widow when I was only 42 years old.  I was left without a penny with 5 children to support.  But through it all, I have been thankful to the Lord for sparing my life and giving me strength to bear the many trials and burdens that have been placed on me.  I am thankful for my wonderful parents and brothers and sisters and for my own children and grandchildren.  I have 17 grandchildren, 14 living and 3 dead.  My husband’s first wife had 13 children and I had 7.  That made 20 children in our family.

            I will say in closing that I have fought a good fight and kept the faith, and I pray that I will be faithful to the end of my days.

 

 

(Added by Lenore P. Bollschweiler, since 1932)

 

            Since writing the above, Mother had 3 more grandchildren.  Myreel – 2 and myself – 1.  Wallace was married twice.  Once to Merle Holmes and last to Mary Wagstaff.  He, at last took his boys back to live with him, but only had them less than a year, when he passed away.  He was operated on for a broken appendix and died in two weeks.  That was in November 1935.

            Mother had been ailing for a couple of years, and after Wallace passed away, she began to get worse.  All her troubles and illnesses piled up on her.  She took to her bed in April 1936.  She was at my home in bed for a month, then we took her to the Hospital.  I grieved so when she left, as I knew she would never return.  She was in the Hospital close to a month, and passed away in May, 1936.  They took an autopsy and found she had a growth on her pancreas, besides and injured cord to her heart.  The pancreas had burst, causing internal hemorrhage, which snapped the cord to her heart.  Either one would have caused death.

            She was one of the most wonderful women in the world.  We mourned her deeply.  She was faithful to the end, and deserved her long earned rest.


Owner/SourceLenore Potter
DateAug 1932
Linked toOlive Andersson Andelin

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