MAKING IT WORK...
I also want to tell the story of Indian Mary as I promised on another post.
Peace had been made between the Mormons and Indians but there was almost a constant friction between the two tribes of Navajo and Ute Indians. On one occasion, some Utes sneaked into the camp of some Navajo's and stole one of their babies. This caused a war between the two tribes. The Utes didn't dare return the kidnapped child, so they traded her off to a white settler living in a settlement near Ephraim for a steer.
The settler became worried for fear the Navajo's would learn he had this baby and would come and take her back, killing him and his family. So he took her to Ephraim and left her at the home of Peter Thompson (Johanna's family) where she was raised as a regular member of the community.
The child became known as Indian Mary, but until the day she died, she was afraid of her kinfolk, afraid the Indians would come and take her away. So every time any Indians would come into town, she would lock her doors, pull down the blinds and not leave the house while they were there. She did this even after peace was established and for many years thereafter.
She was taught and became a wonderful seamstress and housekeeper. While still a girl, she fell down some stairs and broke her leg so badly that it became necessary to amputate the limb just above the knee. She had to go on crutches the remainder of her life. She was a very staunch friend to those she loved, but was very sarcastic and with a caustic tongue to those she didn't like.
She spent a lot of time at Canute and Sarah's and attached herself to the family. Sarah and the rest of the family loved Mary and helped her all they could. I don't have any record of Indian Mary's death, but my Grandma remembered her, so she must have lived a long life.
Now on with more of Peter's story...
Life seemed so empty and difficult for Peter after Johanna's death. Here he was with 3 little motherless children. But his mother of course came to the rescue. She took care of the children for him and although he knew it was an added burden on Sarah, he didn't know what else to do. Sarah gladly excepted extra work and had the children and Peter move into the big house with the rest of the family.
A short time before Johanna's passing, Charlotte's father was drowned in the Sanpitch River. Her mother being alone, persuaded Charlotte to move down to live with her, in the west part of town. But even that didn't help relieve the crowded home much as there were still 4 unmarried children of Sarah's at home. Marie's son who had just married, moved into Peter's home.
Peter kept busy working his land, helping Sanie's husband Anthon in his furniture store and helping with his fathers farm. The time seemed to pass slowly at first but after awhile he knew life had to go on. His mother was such a help and the children were growing.
Three years had passed since Johanna's death when Peter's younger brother Canute started going to a nearby town to visit a girl by the name of Hilda Dahlin. Her mother had died, leaving her father with 5 young children to raise. His sister, whom everyone called 'Aunt Tilda' had raised them while he went on a mission and then after. She had one daughter of her own, but was like a mother to all of them.
Several times when young Canute went to Mount Pleasant, he tried to persuade the lonely Peter to go with him. But Peter always declined saying he better just stay home. They were all younger than him and the girls wouldn't want an old widower coming up there. He had just had his thirtieth birthday and hadn't even wanted to meet anyone new.
A few days later as he sat trying unsuccessfully to read, Sarah came into the room and sat to talk with him. She gently told him how his brother was right, it was time for him to get out and meet someone . Said he was too young to sit around and it would be good for him to find a girl and marry again. So the next time a trip was planned to go visit Aunt Tilda's, Peter went along.
Peter thought Aunt Tilda and her family were all wonderful. They made him feel so welcome and at home and in their youthful gaiety, singing and laughing, he soon forgot that he was a widower almost a dozen years older than they were. He enjoyed the time so much and after that he didn't need much persuasion to go.
One evening when the little ones were all tucked in bed, he went to talk to Sarah about his feelings. During the summer, he and his brother had made frequent trips up Mount Pleasant way. Peter had felt himself falling in love with the beautiful Louise, Aunt Tilda's daughter. They had spent much time together and he felt a strong attachment to her. He thought of asking for her hand in marriage, but was reluctant to do so. Sarah listened to his concerns then told him this story.
"I know this good and gracious woman Bothilda Nelson, the one they call Aunt Tilda. I became acquainted with her through my Relief Society work and had visited and talked to her quite often before you even started going over there. Let me tell you a little about her. She was born in Sweden in 1834, so that makes her seven years younger than I am. She joined the church when she was eighteen. So did her brother and together they immigrated to America soon after. Her brother Paul was married and he and his wife promised their parents they'd take good care of her. She met and fell in love with Lars Nelson not long after arriving here. He was also from Sweden. They say he was a very tall and handsome man and was good to both his wives. Their only child, Louise Amanda, was about two and a half years old when her father died..."
"Lars was a very intelligent man. He spoke and wrote seven different languages. He was a public accountant and audited books for many companies. But he came to a very tragic end, poor man. They were living north of here then, closer to Salt Lake City. One late night he came out of the tannery after auditing their books and fell into a still of hot oil. At that time the stills were placed in holes in the ground to save on fuel. The liquid had been spilled and had frozen around the stills, making for a very dangerous situation. Mr Nelson wasn't aware of this and in the darkness had slipped and fell into one of the vats. He was scalded to death, his flesh coming off with his clothes when they pulled him out."
"Aunt Tilda was a second wife and the one who did all the hard work for both the women. Not only in the home but in the fields also. The first wife was a great reader, not much interested in the work, so she was very willing to let Aunt Tilda do it all. After her husbands death, her brother, whose wife had died not long after arriving in America, asked her to come and live with him, so she did."
" The first day I met Aunt Tilda I also met all the girls and noticed what a sweet, lovely girl Louise was, So gracious, kind and refined. All the girls in that family are lovely, but Louise is special Peter."
But as Peter told his mother, he wondered if it was right for him to even consider
asking Louise, since he was almost eleven years older than her and had three children besides. Sarah told him to make it a matter of prayer and if it were meant to be, things would turn out all right.
In the meantime, Peter's brother had asked Hilda to marry him and she excepted. They were planning a marriage for the early fall, After a few more trips to see Louise, Peter was more sure than ever of his love for her, and felt she liked him very much too. But the old problem still persisted. How could he ask her to take on the responsibility of an instant family. He knew it would be difficult for any young woman to step into. But his love for her was strong and he knew he would be a good husband.
So he asked.....and she said yes.
I'll be gone all week and hope to have more sometime next weekend.
I appreciate you staying with the story of my family.
I'll have more pictures soon.
See ya Yesterday...