September 11, 2002

I found Grandma Denney’s Autobiography while several of my siblings and I were going through some of my parents genealogy papers looking for a picture I had once seen of Charles Denney in prison dress with some of the other Latter-Day Saints who had been incarcerated for polygamy. I was looking for it because I wanted to use it for the cover of his Autograph Book which we were getting ready to place on Dad’s and Mom’s web site. At this time my parents are on a mission in British Columbia, so they can’t do much about us rummaging through their papers.

As we were searching, we found several sets of Xerox copies of hand written notes in Grandma Denny’s hand writing. I recognized her writing immediately as Grandma and I had written each other back and forth every week while I was on my mission. The first set of papers were copies of hand written pages of 5 " x 7 " decorated stationary numbered pages 1 to 24. This portion was about Grandma’s school years and seemed to end quite abruptly, after 9th grade, so I don’t know if there are lost pages, or if it is just something that Grandma was working on and never got back to. There were then 6 other pages of a letter to her brother Richard dated March 16, 1981. The last three pages of this letter were stories about Richard as a child. It appears that these last three pages were written first as memories about Richard for Grandma’s history, and that as she though about him and all of the memories that she decided to write to him about how much he meant to her. I say this because of the way that the first three pages are written directly to Richard while the other three pages refer to him in the third person. Perhaps she just decided to copy the last stories rather than rewrite them as she had done the first memories which are included earlier in her history. I think that this may lead us to believe that this entire history was written during the time frame of the letter to Richard. There were then 6 pages or partial pages of copies of hand written notes that were mostly from the same sized stationary as earlier mentioned though this stationary was plain and not decorated. Furthermore, these pages were not laid out sequentially like the first section, nor did they have page numbers. It was more like they were written from time to time as Grandma remembered a story. Throughout many of these pages were notes written off to the side in a margin such as "fossils" "May Day" "clothing". I’m sure that as she wrote that other memories came to mind and she wrote them off to the side so she wouldn’t forget them. Some of these notes were written in detail later on. Some were not. I decided not to include these notes where they were but to add them as a separate section at the end. That way, perhaps one of Grandma’s family will know some of the stories pertaining to the notes and they could submit it to us to add after the end of the Autobiography. One of the notes in one of the margins simply said "Recreation". Then later on there are three pages of original hand written notes in black ink on lined notebook paper entitled "Recreation". The last section was quite a find. Grandma had written 11 pages or partial pages which turns out to be stories about her father, Vernon Sharp Rawlings. We will place that in it’s own book entitled Biography of Vernon Sharp Rawlings by his daughter, Edith Clair Rawlings Denney. This will also be available from our family web site.

I knew that had Grandma ever finished this work that she would have had it typed, corrected and proofed, and that these were just notes that she had written. This being the case, she was not too particular about the exactness of her spelling, nor did she go back and finish correcting sentence structure. That would all be saved for later when she had her personal history typed.

Knowing this, I at first felt obligated to correct the spelling and sentence structure to make her personal history what she wanted it to be. But as I got into the history, I fondly remembered the unique way that Grandma spoke because she wrote her history the way that she talked. Even some of the miss-spellings were spelled the exact same way that Grandma pronounced the word. I was so touched with my memories of Grandma as I typed out these stories. It was almost as if I could hear her telling me the stories herself. This was the dilemma. If I fixed the spelling errors or sentence structure in their entirety, the history would loose Grandma’s personal touch and would not have been nearly as fun. If I fixed only some of the mistakes, where would I draw the line?

I finally decided to type the history the way that Grandma had written it. However, in a place or two several words were left out so that something didn’t make sense, or a word might have been completely wrong. In these areas I did make a few changes all of which I included in parenthesis.

I must here apologize to Grandma for not typing her history the way that she would have wanted it. However, I hope that it makes the readers experience more enjoyable. But, make no mistake, for those of you who didn’t know Grandma personally or do not have memories of her. She was no "hillbilly". Many of the mistakes, sentence fragments and run on sentences are simply the mistakes that anyone makes when jotting down notes with the intent of organizing them later. Grandma did not speak in sentence fragments. I think of myself, and without the computer’s constant red and green underscores showing me my mistakes, readers of my personal history would believe me to be mentally handicapped.

Please enjoy Grandma’s Autobiography. And please begin your own.


Yours in the service of the King of kings,

John Simmons






Edith and Vernon Rawlings (her father)

2 yrs 7 months

In front of grandma Rawlings Home

Richard, Edith, Barbara after Sunday School

Back of my dad at Home in Magna, May 1930
Barbara, me, Richard

Age 12

Richard, Edith, Barbara Rawlings

Barbara, Edith, Richard Rawlings

Mabel Clair Hill Rawlings

Vernon Sharp Rawlings

Edith Denney

Riverton, Utah home of Edith and Marlin Denney

Edith Denney

Edith Denney

Vernon Sharp Rawlings
(father of Edith)

Rodney Simmons, Marlin Denney and Shirree Simmons,
Grandpa’s dog Barney on the floor.

Edith Denney                        Marlin Denney

Benjamin Richard Hill and Marlin Denney (husband of Edith)

Sharen Simmons, Edith Denney and Howard Denney

Edith Denney, Marlin Denney, Grace Simmons, Merlin Simmons, Oren Simmons,
Jack Simmons, Sharen Simmons, Nancy Clegg, Linda Crane, Claudia Densley,
Penny Clegg, Colette Simmons and Diana Clegg

Nancy Denney (daughter)

Howard Denney (son)

Sharen Denney (daughter)

James Denney (son)





Richard Rawlings (Edith’s brother)
During WW II where he served in the South Pacific.

Webster school where Edith attended 6th grade.
The Happiest school year she had.
On North West corner of Magna near Utah copper mill.

Were Edith and friends played & sleigh ride partys were held in
Sixth grade & Jr. High year Sunday school parties.

Vern & Mabel Rawlings 2nd home on Belva ave. just South of the
Cyprus High & Jr. High school about 3 blocks.

Vern & Mabel Rawlings home in Magna Utah. Trees were one of
the first Chineese Elms planted in Magna also they and the hedge
was planted by Vern along with putting up wood fence wooden
gate gone.

Pleasant Green ward Edith attended from earliest primary & religion
Class, Jr. Sunday school until graduated from 9th grade at Cyprys Jr. High

Magna ward house were Edith was Babtized.

Sharen Denney Simmons, Edith Rawlings Denney, Mabel Hill Rawlings
And in front Howard Denney.

5 generations
Diana Clegg Morill with baby Briget Morill, Nancy Denney Clegg,
Edith Rawlings Denney, Mabel Hill Rawlings

Edith Rawlings Denney

Edith Rawlings Denney

Sharen, James, Nancy – Denney

Haward, Nancy, Sharen
Marlin, Edith, Howard


Autobiography of Edith Clair Rawlings Denney

Edith Clair Rawlings Denney

A few days before Nov. 17, 1918 Maybel + Vern Rawlings left Magna Utah where they lived since their Marriage July - to go to Emily Rawlings home in Mill Creek Utah. Dr. Rothwell was mothers Dr + it was getting close for me to be born. Daddys mother Emily had help deliver babies for a number of years so helped deliver me. Th e Armistics had been signed ending W. W. 1 6 days before Nov. 11, 1918 it was also the winter of the influenza epidemic that so many people died that they closed all churches + large gatherings. The Lord blessed me at this time because Grandma had but one extra bed. Dad came down with the flue and was put to bed with mother + me which neither of us took. In Jan 1919 the bishop + another Elder came to our house and gave me a name + a blessing.

We lived in a small house I think it was two rooms kitchen and bedroom with a closed in Porch on Back. It was here Daddy taught me the love of nature. If he seen or heard a different bird or toad, snake, worm or such he come to the house and call me to hurry come see. My first recollection of seeing a Steam Engine Train was as I sat on the kitchen floor there was a small window on the west side + I could see the train running from Magna to the Bingham Copper Pit for Ore. This area was called Shields Addition and was up on the SW. foot Hills in Magna.

One summer Mother + I had been in staying with Grandma + Grandpa Hill for a few days. We arrived home about 3 or 4 days before the 2nd Cloud Burts (burst) hit the mountain above us. There weren’t a lot of homes up there and all men had left for work. There was only one house built on a high foundation so the woman (women?) took all the children to this house for safety except Mrs. Yates and she climb up on the roof of her house with her children. The waters were so strong that as mother tried to return to this house after going back for my boots she had to hold on to a wooden fence, I rember watching out the front room window crying for her. The neighbors tried to entertain me and pull me away from the window but I made such a fuse (fuss?) they let me stay. Large rocks boards and lots of durbris (debris?) were in this mud water up to her knees and her trying to walk through it. I was so frighten she got back just before one part of the Yates house washed away with a son about 2 yr’s older than myself, Billy was the one I rem(em)ber + he was a little younger than I. They neaver found the Yates boy for several days later when a man down toward the town was cleaning out his basment + found the body.

Our home had a three ft. bolter (boulder?) smash through the corner of our porch after the water quit running + the men came back to their homes only to find part or no house left There were marks on mother cedar chest + their bed room furniture that was left by the mud, water etc staying in the house up to about 10 inches.

Dad decided that night to build a house down town + to the East of where the water ran.

One other thing I rember about the flood my toys were muddy + oh so wet. Mother wiped my dolls off and Dad showed me how to lay them on a log in the sun to dry. I don’t know how they got wet but this I know Mother was such a clean well person that they had not been scattered all over the floors. I had these dolls for a while especially I remember one I call Santa because it had pure white hair like Santa. One by one the(y) some how disappeared.

I used to walk down to the town pump with mother the days the well didn’t have enough presure to pump water up the hill not having bathrooms in the houses we did (not?) use much water.

One day I was walking with mother down town to shop a beautiful Collie Dog lay on the side of the walk. I must have step on it’s tail for it bit me on the leg only breaking the skin but making me to this day some what afraid of dogs.

The only broken bones or stiches I ever had until after I was married I fell on the corner of the neighbors Carsons by name hit my chin + you can still see a small white line under my chin.

One time I went into the bank with mother + on seeing the shiny brass spittoon proceeded to pull up my dress + get ready to undo, my underwear + sit down at the moment mother seen me she yanked me out of the bank so fast I could(n’t?) figure out what was wrong.

It must have been during the time we still lived in the Shields Addition it was winter time Dad had a job in Salt Lake City so we lived in a room or two at Grandma Rawlings home. One night I had been put to bed a number of times but I keep getting out of bed and running past Dad well he was sharp(en)ing his straight razor on a strap. One time as I ran past he flipped the strap just enough to hit me. Well if he’d beat me it would not have broken my heart worse. It was the only time in my life he ever hit me.

We move into the new brick house made of the same kind of purple bricks as ones you see all around Riverton it looked a lot like Charlie and Leala Greens house. With only one bedroom and already one child I never did understand this reasoning for in those day very few if any homes had furnace so no rooms were built down stairs.

Mother had a miscarriage shortly after we move(d) in + Richard was born in May 10, 1924 I being 5 years old.

Dads sister Elsie was teaching school in Magna so she live(d) with us that school year before Richard was born + as her + I wiped the dished on the eventful night of May 10 I was put to bed by Daddy in the front room on a cot. I ask(ed) why and was told Dr. Owen was going to bring me a new baby to love. Here he came with a huge bag he being shot (short?) it really seemed large he didn’t even speak to me but rushed through the swing doors to the kitchen. I was told to stay there and not come out. It seemed like a long time when I ventured out only to be stop(ped) at the door + stern(ly) told to go back. Finally I heard a baby cry no way was I going to stay put. I watch into the kitchen to see Mrs. Justin (How did she get involved(?)) with foot on oven door large wash basin on back of stove holding up what seemed to me a large red baby screaming to the top of his lungs. (He weigh(ed) 10 lbs) I was stun(n)ed. They told me it was a brother and go back to bed which I did Nexted morning Daddy took me to the back porch to tell Baxters who live(d) next door on the N. of us + where out picking their strawberries He had a son.

That next Christmas was one of the most unhappy Christmas I had the tree was in the Kitchen for it’s the only room with a stove in it. There was a baby walker that converted to a stroller with a doll in it. I ran to pick up the doll and was told it was Richards. There were other toys I don’t remember but Santa Claus had always brought me a doll. We always went to Grandma + Grandpa Hills as did all Hill children and the families. Their I receive(d) a pretty good size doll from my Grandparents I held it + said I was happy I had a doll but neaver did like it or play with it escept to sit it with other dolls who I love(d). All because Santa Claus had betrayed me and give my doll to Richard which real(ly) was a cheaper smaller doll than I got. I loved Richard so much as (…….)

We lived the next house north of Aunt Margretta + Uncle Len I think three homes have been built in the field separating us. It was in this field I found a pile of sand Oh what fun so I set right on top of it only long enough for the large red and black ants to crawl all over me + bite. Mama strip(p)ed me right on the back step. Oh how I cried + hurt and also learned a lesson.

My cousin Verlyn was a year or more younger than me but we were close friends + playmates. One day I came in the house to tell mama of the large worm this long + I reached out both my arms. She laughed it off because years ago she had found to turn my pockets inside out for the(y) usally had and insect or something very weird in there. I told (her) it was laying on the N. side of the porch so she came out to see and let out a scream it was a snake so she goes quickly to get a shovel warning me not to go near or touch it for it would bite me + I’d die. She cut its head off and it’s tail still wiggled so I found Verlyn + we spent most of the day watching for its tail was suposed to wiggle to sundown. We would get board and leave only to return + very anxiously wait for Dad to come home. It turned out to be a large water snake but Daddy soon buried it for he always was afraid of Snakes.

He did make me a large butterfly net to help me catch butterflies + I still have the frame work carved handle + all. That helped in my collection of butterflies and moths that were put in one box on cotton + another one held all the different insects I could find. I had them till after I was in high school only to find wheavels had gotten into them + destroyed them.

The Sept of 1924 I started first grade I had the most beautiful young lady for my teacher I surely loved her + enjoyed walking to the Hawthorne School that was a little N. + alonger way east. Some people of the Italaian des(c)ent live not to far from the school + had their jollies watching there Dash (Hot dog shape dogs) chase us night + morning each year there was more of them I to this day can truly say I very much dislike them. Even if Phelps always had them + loved them so much.

My second grade taught me a very valuable lesson that has stuck with me through my life. I try very hard not to lie + am turned off by a person lieing to me very quickly.

The High School was I(‘m) guessing about 1 mile away + some years they would invite part if not all the school children from our school to attend their years play, operaetta etc. The year I(‘m) talking about all the 2nd graders were to meet in the other 2nd grade room than I was in. The first class moved up + set double making room for our class that also set double. I played at recess with a girl named Jean so (I) knew where her desk was. Well a girl named Beatrice Cluff as soon as she said (sat?) down in Jeans desk took Jeans money + hid it in her pocket. I was so worried + upset that after the teachers told us how to go to the Cyprus High School + dismissed the front rows first. I told Miss Adams my teacher Beatrice had taken my money. I did this because Jean could not get into the play without money well they stopped Beatrice found the money + with her screaming gave it to me I in turn was going to find Jean + give it to her. In the meantime Jean remebered shed left her money on her desk and returned to get it. I found her crying and the teacher trying to find her money I showed them I had it + gave it to Jean. They let us go I told Jean how I got it and we went merrily on our way.

Whoa how that back fired a week or so later Mama had bought me an pencil erasure + I was very proud and protective of it. One recess I was ask(ed) to remain at my desk what is going on I hadn’t done anything. Miss Adams came up to me + ask where I got my erasures I told her + she aquised (accused?) me of lieing because a nother childs erasure had come up missing. I was keep in for every recess + lunch for several days with not only Miss Adams but the other 2nd grade teacher trying to (get me to) confess to stealing the erasure.

I was so frightened but knew I was right so one day after school who should show up at our front door but these two teachers. They had me stay and asked mama if she knew anything about a red erasure Mama told when + where she had bought it and give it to me. I thought my world was going to end before the teachers finally told mama about Jeans money I lied once to save a friend so I’d surely lie about an erasure that I wanted. The teachers left after mother told them off for keeping me in a(t) recess + lunch for so long before letting her know about it they aboligished (apologized?) + left with me being chasen (chastened?) by mama + daddy when he got home. It was a hard lesson on a seven year old but one well learned for life.

The year I was in the third grade I had Miss Peterson for a teacher. It was the year of the best of times but mostly the worset of times. Miss Peterson broke more pointers + rulers than all my other teachers combined. These were broken over our knuckles or boys heads + shoulders. I don’t think we learned anything but fear that year. For each word we mispelled + each note of the scale we missed the day she walked the aisles with her pitch pipe + stopped at each desk + had us sing. These were two subjects I’ve always had problems with + even Mama helped me at home + I could spell all the words I did poorly in class for fear I would miss them. Can you imagine standing in front of the class with all the other poor speller(s) + be hit over the knuckles for each word you’d missed. For any disturbance at all usually from boys I’ve seen a yard stick broke into (in two?) over boys heads + backs till it became too small to use.

This went on till almost the end of the school year because we were too afraid to tell our parents or principle. Finally the straw that broke the camels back was Helen the poor(e)s(t) little soul you ever seen her dad had a small farm + with two daughters whoes wife had died did the best he could. One day she came to school chewing gum her older sister had given her I bet it was about the first piece she ever had. We were all happy to once see her so happy as she sat chewing her gum all but Miss Peterson she spied her marched down grabed her hair + pulled her head back on the next desk very roughly took a mirror out of her pocket held it in front of her + screamed now chew cow see what you look like. Eventuly Helen broke loose. It was(n’t) long before her father broke into the room us kids were dismissed + most of us ran home a few stayed and said he chaste her down stair and upstair in + out of the other rooms her screaming + the principle + Janitor after the father. He was so angry if he caught her he’d probley killed her. It was then we told our parents a meeting was call(ed) later on + Miss Peterson neaver taught in the Ganiet (Granite?) Dist again.

On Nov. 17, 1926 I went to school happy it was my 8th birthday. We were told very little in those days about how babies got here. All I knew Dr. Owens told me awhile before that if I was a good girl he’d bring me in his large bag a baby sister. He only guess(ed) at what sex it would be for no test were ever taken. I came running home from school to see my cake + present only to find Mrs. Sudbury blocking the inside Kit. Door I did notice two layers of cake unfrosted laying on draining board when I was told to go across the street to her house + stay there till she came for me. I could imagine what was going on no mama to great me it was my birthday. Well I didn’t do much playing only wonder + worry till early evening when I was brought home. There was my cake frosted but where were the little flower cups that mama always put the candles in. The candles were stuck instead in wax paper. I was told to go into the bed room mama was in there with my birthday present. I ran in to see her laying in bed with an indian baby in her arms she told me this was my baby sister. What(,) that scrany (scrawny?) black head baby couldn’t be my sister.

We used to had indians come asking for food etc all the time for Mr. Spencer who live(d) in our ward had a large shed that they were always welcome to stay in (He had at one time live(d) among them So I had seen Indian babies on there mothers back so one must have left hers with mother. Dr. told me he would bring me a sister I was about to run out of the room crying. Mother asssure(d) me it was her baby but I took me awhile to except such an unlikely baby could be my sister. Guess what the next day I was brave enough to tell Miss Peterson + she was happy for me told the class of my birthday sister And even wrote it in large words on the side Blackboard.

Recess was great fun we usally spent time down around the trees where we had play house etc. Same trees Charels Sudbury clib + try to fly from one to the other Richard was on the ground to go report his fall. He broke both arms + they sent the U. Cooper Amblems (ambulance?) to rush him to S.L. Hospital. Poor Boy couldn’t do anything for hiself + (h)is sister wouldn’t feed + give him a drink getting even for the mean things he’d done them for years before.

I had 9 boils at a time on one side of my seat at a time I sat one time on the R. side then next crop L side I alose (also?) brought home Chick Pox a very light case but right after Barbara was born ofcourse R. took them from me + he would have died except Dad sat at the K. Stove forcing a teaspoon of warm water into his mouth. Mother afraid to touch him for fear she(‘)d give them to B. Finaly to take over + B neave(r) got them.

4th. School always start Sept end right after 1st May after May Day Baskets + picnic + Always won the May Pole.

5th grade

One of the boys took something of mine it was before school so I chaste him up a row + caught his real sharp pencil in his top Overall Pocket it entered at hand + split my Middle Finger wide open to top of finger. Our Principle had studied to be a Dr so he dress it every morning till it healed.

Go(t) Mumps that Summer – 6 weeks bed – Aunt Pheob – 6 week Liberty Park

6th Grade my most fun year we had to go to Webster School Miss Thomas was very kind loving person + we had all the open space to play in + bury our treasure away from the sage bush. We also ate our lunches with the Seagulls in warm weather.

I invented the open toe shoes that year because I had double ingrown toe nails for weeks. A girl in class told her dad used Outgrow for his toes. So today you’ll find it in my medicine cabinet.

My friends carried (me?) downstairs and out side for days.

7 8 + 9 Grades were spent at Cyprus Jr. High

The year George Washington (turned?) 200 yrs. We all had to make (a) Poster about his life. My poster was Choicen because it depicted Washington kneeling at his Mother’s Knee Reading The Bible.

Gave Poem If in front of High School asamely (assembly?).

9th That was a tough year for our Parents they had 1 meal a day. Depression hurt every one. I choice (chose) to wash dishes in cafeteria for my lunch that whole year instead of choise (the alternative choice ie going hungry?) Wore dress all remaid from my Cousins worn out + I mean worn out Dress. Many holes had to be cut around or add a piece over it.

We children didn’t realize how poor we were for most of the others was the same. Pinto Beans stews + soup keep up (kept us?) going. Dad spent all winter in the house in Draper getting it ready for us to move.

(End of the first set of 24 pages of notes of history during school years.)





(Beginning of six pages of notes on other memories)


I never had on a pair of slacks or long pants until I was in my middle teens. Then Ruth Wilkins and I went with her mother + both (bought?) matching white slacks. I remember going with Ruth down to see her Grandma Wilkins. That latter (later?) turned out to be my mother-in-law. She was very discoused (discouraged? or disgusted?) with us + our mothers for alowing us to have them.

My clothing in winter in Elementary School Starting from skin out a pair of white longjohns (full length heavy cotton under wear button down front with a trap door that button(s) on both sides in the back a panty waist (sort of a cotton vest with places on the sides to fasten garters + 3 buttons around the waist both front and back to fasten our button on bloomers to match dress or black or white satin material. Long cotton stockings a full petticot sometime outing flannel, a dress hightop shoes I had the girls lace up kind or button up side kind , galoshis (galoshes?) with snaps, a long wool coat + cap + some times muffler. Carring (carrying?) a small lard can for my lunch. (As I write this I wonder how we ever got to school for some paths neaver had snow removed. In summer we discarded our longjohns but keep (kept?) most of the rest. My shoes finally became oxfords + some time at old age panty waist went for garter belts + in summer bobby socks + always shoes. Sweaters instead of coats as we needed them no jackets.

Coal + Wood stored in Coal room down stairs where we had crickets all winter. If one was brought upstairs it was a thrill for it ment happines a hearth a cricket set on or so Dad said + after watching it finally went back down to coal room.

From the time I was quite young Dad took me every spring to find + pick wildflower and bring home a bouque to Mama this last(ed) for many years. Some of the pretiest flower(s) grew up around the Cemetery that was a primitive place.

(…….) dishes and she put them away after Mama + (I?) cooked dinner + washed the dishes. Aunt Elsie + I each had a piece of parafin wax to choo as we worked. Aunt Elsie usally went over to her sister Aunt Margretta after this.

Small store across the street H.S. Had seen this machine all H.S. or older men around 1 day I put my money in I thought if it came up 3 lemons I('d) get 3 lemon drop candies. (I was) hollered at + usher(ed) out very Rapidly.

I was baptized in the Magna Ward Dad sat in Car this was Jan Conformered (confirmed?) in Pleasant Green Ward Barbara Bless(ed) Mother took us girls Daddy stayed home with Richard.

(End of six pages on other memories)


(Three pages original black ink on lined notebook paper titled "Recreation")


We had no radio, Television did have a phonograph that we had a few records we put on a shaf(t?) then had to wined it up bu turning a crank + it would play for a few records then have to be rewo(u)nd.

Our basement steps were used for slats for some of us as the other neighbor children put on plays. Oh yes we learned how to act by going to the maitimate (matinee?) each Sat. for about .05c or .10c. How we looked forward to the serial defating if the hero got saved or kill as they always stop the movie leaving us in supence for a whole we(ek)

Our water sports was floating in the Great Salt Lake. We found a place where we could climb over the train tracks (and) float in the Salty Water. You had to get the Salt wash(ed) off because it was so strong it burnt or stung so bad. There was a small swimming pool at the town park. Great I could go swimming as long as I left my large Mexican straw hat with rod yarn rasferries all around the brim. (It was not cool for a girl to get brown) Remember I had the pickle stick waiting me if I got burnt) They also did Craft at the park which I enjoyed but didn’t go often had to go alone + knew none of the other children.

A friend had a dog named Keno it was a water spaniel + loved water Beartice. Dad would take us to the Utah Cooper Lake of Fresh water + Keno pulled us around

Played jax with Vera + Louise Sudbury for hours down in our basement. Louis(e) was fine if she was winning. We put all of our jacks together. Louise grabed them all and threw them in the new graveled driveway. Vera and I Cryingly tried to find them but only got back about 10 or 12.

There was a new house being built up the street from ours so we older boys and girls each had a inner tube shooting gun we choice (chose?) sides + hid in this house shooting each other it was fun until the boys built rifel types using not 1 inner tube elastic but 2 or more. Boy did they sting we girls didn’t come backe

In evening played hide + seek, kick can or Run my Sheepy Run. Exactly at 9. PM Daddy came out on the front porch + whisled. I had to stop + go home right then.

Jump the rope + Hop Scotch were also played

Mother was very busy all the time in evening sewed, embrored or croched. So I learned early to embroiecy

(End of three pages on Recreation)

(Letter to Richard)


Riverton, Utah
March, 16, 1981

Dearest Richard,
            If you aren’t sitting down you better. I’ve been thinking so much about you lately and have decided to take this way (writing you this letter.) to let you know I love you very much and always have. As I’ve thought about many things we both love each other in a special brother sister love. I know I’d do anything I could for you and I’ll thank you now for some of the things that you’ve done for me that tells me you have that same love.
            There is just one reason I’m writing and that is I’m afraid my em(otions) would come through and you’d hear me crying if I tried to talk to you even on the phone.
            This will be a bit mixed up but as I remember ins(tances) I’m going to write about them so hang on.
            I remember the night you were born. It’s the first time I had to sleep in the front room. Well that was strange enough but nexted thing I knew Dr. Owens came through the front door. Dad said he was carrying my new baby in his large suitcase and for me to stay in bed. Well I stayed in bed just like any other 5 yr. old would. Finally Dad got upset and I stayed a long time. Then on hearing a strange baby cry I just had to go to the bathroom. On pushing open the swing door between frontroom + kitchen there was Mrs. Justin holding you at the back of the stove washing you of. I thought you were a big baby a(nd) still can’t figure why I would unless it was the way she was holding you like a naked rabbit. They let me see you right side up rolled in a towel and then I was ushered back to bed with fear not to get out again.
            In the morning I final(ly) slept dad hurried me dress(ed) so I could go with him to the back step and tell the Baxter’s who were out he was so proud he had a son.
            The nexted thing I rember about you was one day mother left your diaper undone while she whent to get something + I couldn’t figure out why you had more than I. So I ask mama what was wrong with you so she explained that was what made the difference between boys + girls that made sense because mother said it so the end of that.
            I use to feel so bad because I love you and wanted to hold you but you cried so much. Mother has told me her milk didn’t satisfy you and you were hungry and cried for six weeks till the(y) put you on the bottle.
            Well now as I tell you these nexted in(stances) you’ll wonder if she, Edith, loved me what would happened to me if she hated me.


            As I played with him I caused him lots of pain when he was just able to sit up alone I crowned him king by placeing a heavy casserol holder turning upside down for the feet stood like ornament(s) on a crown. It was about 3" high. So as it slid over his head it covered his whole face. It had rows of perforations cut alaround it. Mama couldn’t get it up so she called Daddy he even tried to cut it with his tin snips only leaving a dent. Dad tryed to put it between his knees + squeeze it enough so Mama could slip him out. Dad was a small man delicately built neaver weighing more than 124 lbs. By then I was in histaricks + told to shut up. Richard was screaming, flesh was swelling out the holes in his crown the lubricant they could get(,) it didn’t help. Mama told me to go get a neighbor to help when Daddy got that extra spurge of strength + with his hands pushing on his knees + mama pulling my king was uncrowned minus a little skin. Another time I was left to watch him in the bugy + told not to let go of the handle for it tipped over if he stood up. We were on the porch well I became board + wanted to go inside. My calls wheren’t answered so I left the handle just long enough to push the door bell + he stood up tip(ped) over + cut a dash in his forehead straight up from his nose leaving him scar(r)ed for life. I use to not want to look at him even though it soon looked like a small wrinkle. But from this experience I felt so guilt(y) I can’t stand to see others do something that may harm their brother or sister.
            We got the Heatrola for the front room a fire was made in it I beg(ged) to be left alone to watch the fire through the window in the door. I sat in Daddy(‘s) rocking chair with my shoes on + pushed on the crome out (oh?) how happy I was until my parents came in the room + found I had put a scratch on the chrome neaver to beable to be removed + they neaver let me live it down.
            One winter day we were sitting around this stove when Richard picked up his bottle by the nipple + hit me in the head. Dad jumped up + slaped him on side of face leaving his finger Prints mama was so mad + Daddy disappear(ed) down stairs. This was so uncarr(acter)istic of Daddy. He just neaver hit us anywhere.

(End of Letter to Richard)

(Notes scattered through pages)

Gave talk in Stake Conference When 12 yrs. old Has to (do with?) the Sunday School

Grandma’s Home was on seventh East and about 36 South.

Went to J C Pennys Gumball Machine


Year got heatrola in Front room


May Day School Out

May Pole

Dad belong to the Eagle Loge (lodge) of Murray + Wood of World

LeRoy’s Death

Rabbitts, Ducks, Ram, Dogs Fossils

My 1st chair

Cedar Chest

James Boots

(End of Autobiography)

(The pages containing the text which were titled "Vernon Sharp Rawlings" were contained along with the other pages of Grandma’s Autobiography and I am sure that she intended to include them with her personal history. But I have decided to separate it out because I want to make it available separately to those who are descendants of Grandpa Vernon Sharp Rawlings, but not of Grandma Denney. This history can be downloaded and/or viewed from the same web site as Grandma’s Autobiography ( It is titled "Biography of Vernon Sharp Rawlings by His Daughter, Edith Clair Rawlings Denney")


(As Family members elaborate or send stories pertaining to the notes at the end of the autobiography, or even other stories about Grandma for that matter they will be added to this book on pages following this point. Stories can be sent to