School and other organizations increased in activity and numbers.
LaMont Walker, my son-in-law, is now the Bishop of the Ward with Rex Glines and Everett Moon as counselors. They are building a grand new Ward house there now, with ample amount of room for every necessary convenience and a grand amusement hall and chapel.
In that beautiful building will be two beautiful pianos and a beautiful electric organ, all donated by our good friends, Brother Ike Stewart and wife.
At this place in my story, I feel impressed to say, is the place to enclose the story written by my dear wife, Sarah. What more I have to say, I desire that it be of our lives as spent together, during the evening time of her life. I want to tell some of her story she was unable to finish. I will do the best I can, with my heart still full of love which she gave to me.
I would not wish anyone else to finish this story. I feel it is my sacred duty and privilege.
LIFE STORY OF SARAH VAN WAGONER WINTERTON
By Sarah Van Wagoner Winterton
I was born in Midway, Wasatch County, Utah.
My father bought a lot where he build our home from B. Mark Smith for $2.50. There were
five homes in the block when I was old enough to remember. The house where I was born was
a large brick room one half block south of the school house. Later there were five brick
rooms added to it. There were beautiful shrubs, roses and flowers.
Sister Watkins, the midwife and first wife of Bishop John Watkins, and Martha Hamilton were with my mother at the time I was born. I was the seventh child in a family of 14 children. I was born on the 29th day of June, 1881. I had three living grandparents and many aunts and uncles living nearby.
My health was good. I had several playmates who lived near. My sister, Clara, not quite two years older than myself, and our two cousins about our age played together very much. They were Mary and Clara Bronson. We enjoyed very much going on fishing trips with our parents and brothers and sisters on the river between Charleston and Midway. Sometimes we would spend the night.
We also knit our own stockings and spent hours trying to see who was the fastest. We used to have large crowds of young people come to our home, some were the age of older brothers and sisters and some were lots older than I but we held spelling matches, and I was always pleased when I could win out.
My grandmother Fausett used to go up above Midway about seven miles, up in the mountains, in the summer time. She made her living selling butter, milk and eggs and other things to the men who were getting out timber for the miners in Park City, after grandfathers death. I remember what good times we had jumping from one big rock to the other in the creek and of going to pick wild berries. There were several log cabins up there. In the evening to climb up on the big log corral and watch the boys milk the cows, and hear them sing was very interesting. This place is the Bonanza flat and now there is a girls summer home there.
Father and the boys burned lime and made brick, and we used to carry their dinner to them, then we would climb all over the mound which was called "Jesses mound". Later the Memorial for World War One was erected there. We used to gather wild flowers and we tried to make stems for the prickley pears but we always came home with the prickels in our feet and hands.
We made brick in different places and at night while they were burning the brick, it was light for quite a distance, and we sure had fun. I worked on the brickyard with my brothers and they couldnt tell my brother William and myself apart. We used to have lots of house parties where we played games and sang songs.
We always had family prayer in our home where we all took part in praying, and also in asking the blessing on the food. We were always taught to go to Primary and Sunday School. We were asked in the Primary to speak a sentiment when the roll was called such as "Truth crushed to earth shall rise again" or "Honesty is the best policy" or "A word fittly spoken is like apples of gold in baskets of silver." I received a Primary Hymn Book for a present. It burned in the fire we had here in 1930. We were taught to pay our tithing on any money we made. We also like to take fast offerings to the Bishops store house. We were always told to never refuse to do anything in the Church when we were asked to, no matter how small the task. We were taught to have faith in the Priesthood and when we were ill we could ask for a blessing. I dont remember a time in my life when we didnt have plenty to eat and to wear, but not such a variety as we have today. When I was small, we didnt try to outdo our neighbor.
I had six school teachers in my life; William Wootton, Attawell Wooton, Mr. George Child, Brother Attawell Wootton Sr., and T. B. Miller. They didnt graduate us from the 8th grade but kept us coming till we quit. My schooling was limited and what education I had, I received through reading good books, study, and from my teachers in various organizations. One of the best helps was through prayer.
My work in the home was general house work, and helping to care for the children. We had lots of hard work as we didnt have any modern conveniences. We had a large family. The washing had to be done with a tub and washboard. Our big dining room floor was bare and we scrubbed porches and floors on our hands and knees but I always remember how white they were and the stoves shown till we could see our faces in them. We bought a new Home Comfort range and we took it down Provo Canyon to cook for the men who were working on the railroad when they were bringing it to Wasatch County in 1899. I went and helped my oldest sister and her husband for a while to do the cooking.
I always attended church and Sunday School and Mutual. I was assistant Secretary in Relief Society to Sister Elizabeth Wintch when I was 17 years old. I helped Sister Stella Rasmusson, the school teacher, teach religion class. I also taught in the Sunday School both in the Primary and 2nd Intermediate classes up until the time I was married.
When I was a girl, I worked out some for some of my neighbors, but only received $1.50 and $2.00 a week.
When my parents went to the temple to be sealed, they took us all to Salt Lake with them.
My cousins family OffRobey went at the same time. We had light spring wagons with good teams of horses. How we enjoyed the ride through Parleys Canyon. We made pretty good time. We stayed in a house on the tithing lot where the Hotel Utah and Bishops Building and other office buildings stand. There was a high wall around it and there was a watchman there at night. The gate was locked at night about 10 oclock p.m. We had our first ride on the street car.
After the work was done in the temple, they took us through all the rooms. We climbed steps up into the top tower and let us look down on the streets below. The people and wagons looked very small. That was a privilege not many people have today, to go up so high in the temple. I had a very happy childhood life.
There were crowds of the young folks come to our house at night and they would play the organ and sing. There were boys and girls from all over the county and the McEwan boys and girls from Provo. We learned many of their songs.
My grandparents came to Utah for the Gospel and my father was young, three years old, when he came. He was born in Pottawatomi County, Iowa. Mother was born in Provo. I was born in the church. I dont know when I received a testimony of the Gospel as it was always with me. My father and mother had great faith in prayer, and taught us the value of prayer.
For our amusements when I was young, dancing was the main thing, and there was some very good home talent and there were shows put on for entertainment. There was a marshall band and a very good brass band in our town. Andre Burgener was the leader of the brass band. He was considered one of the best in the state. His son Arnold is now a very good band leader.
Baseball games were also a great sport between the neighboring towns. We always had good celebrations on the 4th and the 24th of July. There was always lemonade and popcorn. We always looked forward to the Childrens dances in the day time and the adult dance at night. At Christmas time we always had a community Christmas tree and a childrens dance. The Sunday School would put on celebrations sometimes to the hot pots or up to Hebers Grove in Snake Creek Canyon. What fun we hadprograms, jumping the rope, large swings in the trees, playing pomp and other games, bathing in the hot pots, and a good picnic and picking wild flowers, etc.
Abbenglens had a bathing house up on a little mound about ¾ mile from our home. They would rent to some families a seasons ticket so we could go anytime and bathe.
It was fine for we didnt have any modern conveniences in our home. Sometimes our mothers and older sisters would go with us. We always went at night because the water was very warm. We had great sport coming and going. I have many wonderful memories of my girlhood days.
Our work in the Mutual was very interesting. I had one girlhood friend that was outstanding. She was very beautiful and we spent many happy evenings together. Her name was Birdean Huffacker. We planned so we and our boy friends could go together. She married a returned missionary and moved to Wyoming, had two children and died very young.
We used to go to the different towns to dances in sleighs and when the storms were bad, the boys would put on a cover over the wagon bows. We enjoyed many sleigh rides, the sleigh bells ringing and we singing from the time we left home from one town to the other.
The snow was so much deeper in those days, sometimes the roads would drift full and the horses had to break the roads. I had different boy friends but didnt go very steady with boys.
I didnt care to go with boys just to have them spend money on me and show me a good time. If they were free with their money, I thought they just tried to show off. I was always very homesick; to be away over night was about all I could do.
The summer I was 19 years old, I went to the Hawsey mine to help Mrs. Sharp, my sister-in-laws mother (Lottie Van Wagoner) do the cooking for the miners as the lady who was working there had to go to the hospital. I worked 19 days and received $19.00 which was very good pay at that time. I enjoyed it very much but was anxious to get through.
The mine was then shut down. There were some very nice boys working there and the engineer, Jack Riche, was a fine fellow and very good looking, a very light blond and very black eyes. He asked me to keep company with him but I just made an excuse. I phoned home for my folks to come for me and when I thought it was about time for them to come, I walked out on the cump so I could see a ways down the canyon. My father and brother Joe came for me, my brother who died with the flu. How happy I was to see them. This was in July. I arrived home just a few days before the 24th of July. I learned Hyrum had returned home from his mission.
John Riche wanted to come and spend the 24th and I told him to come. He hired a horse from the liver stable in Park City and arrived home quite early in the morning of the 24th. There was a celebration and ball game and a dance at night. He stayed until the afternoon of the 25th and had only been gone a short time when Hyrum came to see the family. He had gone up to Boston to see my brother Will, who was also filling a mission. He had left a wife and baby three months old. They were glad to meet and Will sent a kiss home to his wife. Will thought a great deal of Hyrum. Hyrum stayed and spent the evening and we were engaged that night, July 25th. We were married the 3rd of September in the Salt Lake Temple. I hadnt ever gone very steady with Hyrum, but when he left for the mission, it seemed like I could hear the words"He will be yours for time and all eternity." I attended his farewell dance.
I stood one night out by our front gate and Father knew how bad I felt, he was always very kind and understanding. He said, "Never mind Sarah. Everything will work out for the best."
He was very understanding with his children and we liked to confide in him and also Mother. I only received two or three letters from Hyrum while he was in the mission field. We had both asked our Heavenly Father to direct us in choosing a companion in life. He has been a very good mate. He has never chastised me for going places and has never said one word if I didnt have meals on time. No matter what I bought or gave away, he has never said a word about it.
If people or my relatives have needed help, he would say, "Sarah, you will just have to go help" on many occasions. He has given many people work and has been free in helping and giving to many. All my people love him and I dont believe any one of them have ever said one word against him.
He loved my Mother and she passes away while we were in Denver to the Stock Show. He shed many tears coming home and finding her gone. I came home ahead of him as he stopped to come home with a bull he had bought. I arrived home the evening mother passed away.
What sorrow filled my heart when Harold met me at the train with a sleigh and told me Mother had had a stroke. He felt too bad to tell me she had dropped dead. So I didnt learn just how it was until I returned home and called my brother, John, on the phone. Then we went to Midway.
I sure lost a loving Mother, so kind to everyone who knew her.
We had nine children, of which we are very proud. We have been to the Temple with them all. All were married in the Temple but Eva and she and Elmer went on the 29th of March, 1945, and were sealed, and had Kent sealed to them. Our children were Harold, Van, Grace, DeLoy, Luella, Omni, Clair, Ruth and Eva.
My niece died and left Stella Gardner only 26 hours old and when she was five days old, we brought her home and have had her ever since. She will be 18 on the 3rd of May, which will be next Thursday. She has been an inspiration in our home. We all love her and treat her as our own. We have also had Norman most of his life.
After we were married, we lived in two rooms of Brother Wintertons house. Hyrum was the first missionary to leave Charleston on the train. Mother went to Salt Lake to the Temple with us when we went to be married. We went in a white top, and we sure enjoyed our day in the Temple.
That night we went out to Mill Creek to sister Prices and stayed all night. Sister Schofield got all the little children in the neighborhood and got some old tin cans and shivereed us. After this was over, one of the little girls looked up at Sister Schofield and said, "Whats it all for?"
When we started home the next day the soldiers from Fort Douglas were marching up Parleys canyon and we had to stay behind them till they stopped to camp. So we had to stay at Roaches, the half way house till morning. But, we were happy. Mother did work in the temple for Sister Gilmer, who had come to her in her dreams several times asking her to go to the temple to do her work.
When we arrived home, my sisters tried to play pranks on us, and when we went to Charleston, Hyrums sister-in-law and Aunt Julia Middison had sewed the bedding together so we couldnt get into bed till we cut all the stitches. We lived in two rooms of Brother Wintertons home.
Harold must have been nearly a year old when we rented an old house where our new home we later built stands. We lived there six years before we could build the place.
We had many good times there. We cleaned and fixed it all up and lived there till we had all our children but Eva. She was the only one born in our new brick house. It cost us between seven and eight thousand dollars to build. We had many large crowds come to see us in the old home. Sometimes they would come in sleigh loads to visit and after they got cars they came.
We worked on many committees and such good times we had. We spent the evenings at each others homes and planned what to do. We had to raise money to pay for the church piano and remodeling the church. How busy we all were as Bishop Ritchie said, we had enjoyment as well as work. We had quite a lot of chances to raise money and there were plays put on. We had some very good home talent.
One night there was a crowd of people came to our home. Hyrum was away and I was phoning to my brother-in-law. They were masked, the men were dressed for women and the women for men. I was so startled all I could say was, "Fred, you just ought to see whats coming in." They were only waiting for the crowd to come. These people were from Midway, Heber and Charleston. I guess around 50 in all and what a lot of fun we had.
I gave missionary showers for some of our boys who were going away on three occasions. Vern Wright, Heber Winterton, and Merlin Simmons. We invited the whole town and I served refreshments. We had a program and there were about 100 people at a time. The missionaries received many useful presents to help them out. Gloves, sox, shirts, tire, books, kits of different kinds and money. Each one received around $80.00 a piece.
I helped the M-Men and Gleaner Girls with many parties and made large freezers of ice cream for them.
We put on dances and sold punch and made enough money to take the Beehive Girls to the temple to be baptized for the dead, several times, and stayed at the hotel all night.
I loved to work with the young people. We had the first phonograph in Charleston and often had large crowds come to hear it. We had a recorder to make records and a great many came and sang, recited or played so we could record it. We sure had a lot of pleasure from it. We still have some of the old records we recorded and also the old phonograph.
Our new home was made of brick. It was a large home and very beautiful inside. The rooms were all finished with the natural fur. We had a fire place with pale green and cream tyling, a large fire place with a beautiful mantel and a large mirror and book cases on both sides, beautiful chandeliers, hardwood floors, rugs, built in china closet with a large mirror in it. We had a furnace and electric pump which pumped the water.
We had four nice rooms upstairs, two bedrooms, kitchen, dining room and parlor, screen porch, bath room and nice convenient closets, a basement fruit room, furnace rooms, coal and wood room.
We only lived in our new home for about six years and then traded it for the old Whiting place which was down by Wallsburg and which the Deer Creek Reservoir now covers. We thought it was better for cattle conditions. Ruth was 15 months old when we moved into the new house. We moved up to town one winter and lived in the big frame home where President Murdock lived. Then we bought the brick home where Rob Daybell lived and stayed there until we moved to Woodland which is now 18 years the 1st day of June since we moved up here.
I helped in the two liberty bond drives for World War One. I was President of the Ladies Republican Committee for sometime and also chairman of the Ladies Council of Defense.
I had hard work while raising my family, so many men to cook for in building our homes and out-buildings. One summer we couldnt get help. I mowed over 100 acres of hay.
We bought the Fitzgerald and Van Tassel ranches about seven years before we moved to Woodland. We moved in the old white house and only loved there from June 1st until fall, when D. A. Bisnel bought the old house and to keep from moving back to Wasatch, we bought their home and store.
We had a fire in 1930 and our home and store burned to the ground. We lost between $14,000.00 and $15,000.00 without any insurance. But, Stell and Graces baby, LaVon, came to near being burned. We felt thankful to our Heavenly Father that their lives were spared. Grace went through the flames to get her baby and Mr. Franson broke my bedroom window and called Stella to him and got her out the window. I then stayed in the garage and kept store and we built a new store which Mont and Luella now own.
We moved in the new store about Christmas time. Harold thought we could help to get something back by the girls working and he doing the hauling. The next spring, April 8, 1931, Harold and his father, in going to Spanish Fork to the Stock Show, a train hit the truck and Harold was instantly killed, and his father was almost taken at the same time. Oh what sorrow filled our home. Harolds wife Susie Duke Winterton was left with three children, a baby four weeks old the day he was taken. Harold was taken to Heber to the Undertakers and Hyrum to his brother Ralphs in Provo.
As we were going to Provo the hearse passed us in Provo Canyon and as we didnt see it, it seemed that Providence had a hand in it. There was Van, Grace, Susie and myself in the car. My brother, John Van Wagoner, and Hyrums brother Ralph followed the hearse. Hyrum was so afraid he wouldnt be able to attend the funeral, but we know our prayers were answered in his behalf.
Harolds funeral was held at the Heber City Tabernacle. Over 1,000 people were there to attend his funeral. Many people werent able to get in the building. There were lots of flowers.
Harold had been Bishop of the Woodland Ward for 10 months. There were 14 Bishops in the Summit Stake. They were all to the funeral, including Harold. He was buried in the Charleston Cemetery. We thought our fire had been terrible but after Harold was taken, we felt that loss wasnt anything.
Van went on a mission to New Zealand and was there nearly three years. He was released after Harold was taken and married Nida Willoughby. Omni filled a mission to the North Central States. Merlin, my son-in-law, filled a mission. We had four seventies and one elder in our family at one timeHyrum, Van, Deloy and Omn8I and Clair, elder. Hyrum is now a counselor in the High Priests. Our children have always taken part in family prayers and held responsible positions in the church and paid their tithing. I pray my faith will continue to be strong.
We have lived in eleven different homes. After the fire and Harolds death, we moved in Harolds home as his wife married Ivan Andrus who had lost his wife and was left with three children.
I took some surveyors to board and room for two summers and made money to buy furniture for our home. I have taken boarders several times which has helped me a great deal. My girls were good and helped me out with my work.
I went to the dedication of the Mesa Temple with Brother Albert and his wife and three children. I surely enjoyed it very much. I went through the Temple the day the Lamanites did, which was very interesting. I sure enjoyed hearing President Grants dedicatory prayer, and to meet so many wonderful people.
My sister-in-law had many brothers and sisters down there, some of them came from Mexico to be present. The programs were wonderful that were held on the top of the annex of the Temple. I have read the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants and many books, but I have never read the Bible through, but hope to.
I have always loved music but have never been very musical, although our children are very good singers. A great many of the Van Wagoners, my people, are musical and Hyrums people also.
My hobbies have been making quilts and also cooking. I have traveled quite a lot. I went to Elko, Nevada to meet Harold. Susie, two children, Stella, Hyrum and myself went to the stock show. I have been to Sacrament to shows, coming back by Lake Tahoe. I went with Elma, Deloy, Hyrum, Stella to Great Falls, Montana and Billings, Montana to stock shows.
Hyrum, Grace, Stella, Fred Winterton (Hyrums brother) and I went to Canada on a trip to buy cattle. We stayed to his sister Malissas in Magrath. We traveled quite a distance there; went to McCloud, Raymond, to Cardston to see the temple. The temple was closed but the Patriarch took us through. It was beautiful. We visited the Meninite colony which was very interesting to see how they live and their customs and hear of their beliefs.
Luella took her car and Mrs. Walker, her mother-in-law, Ruth, Stella, Lowell and myself went to California while Elieen was there on her mission. We attended a street meeting and Sunday School at Santa Anna. We took Elieen and went to Los Angeles and to San Diego to the Worlds Fair. We went by way of St. George and came back up the coast and went to San Francisco, crossed the bay and came back by Sacramento and over the Sierra Nevada mountains.
We traveled bout 2300 miles and Luella drove most of the way. We had a swell time. When we crossed the bay on the boat, Lowell was very small and he said we were crossing the ditch in a tub.
I went to San Francisco to a stock show when Mont and Luella went on their honeymoon.
Dad, Carma, Omni, Clair, Beatrice and I went to Los Angeles to a stock show on the 6th of December. We went to Tijuana, Mexico. We went through San Diego and we visited quite a number of places of interest. We went through one of the old missions and visited Capistrana and saw many beautiful places. We went to the race track which is the largest in the world and on our return to Los Angeles we went through Hollywood and saw many of the stars homes. The Christmas decorations were beautiful through all of the towns and cities on the way.
The next night, December 7, while we were watching the Rodeo, the officers came through ordering all the service men back to their camps, as Pearl Harbor had been bombed, and the next day we started home. There were no more Christmas lights as everything had been blacked out. It was Luellas birthday when Pearl Harbor was bombed.
Hyrum, Stella and myself went to Manti to the Temple, then on to Arizona by way of the Kiabab Forest and Flagstaff. We visited Holbrook, Springville, and went to Mesa. We worked in the temple for about two weeks and stayed most of the time at Shelias.
Niel took us to a great many places of interest. We visited the church welfare there. The citrus fruit show was on. The Indians were in the parade and also took part in the show. Their dancing was very interesting. We, with Velda, Aunt Jane and Gladys went to Nogales, Mexico. We took lunch and had a fine day. We also attended a negro meeting. Niels wife had a baby when we got back, Niel, Jr.
We came home by way of St. George and worked in the Temple there. Hyrum stayed a few days and Stella and I stayed for sometime. I worked in the Temple. In the three temples, Manti, Mesa and St. George, Stella was baptized for 100 people.
Stella had rheumatic fever when she was 9 years old and was in bed for five months. We took her to St. George the following winter. The Temple was being remodeled but we spent a pleasant winter. Brother and Sister Murphy were there and we sure visited a lot of people we knew. We were there three and a half months and Stella went back to school.
Dr. Robison wanted me to take Stella away for winters so we went again next winter. We worked in the Temple. I have done work for several hundred people in the different Temples. Stella has been baptized for over three hundred people.
January 10, 1944, we entered the mission home to prepare for a short term mission to the Southern States. President Taylor took us to Salt Lake City. We were interviewed by Apostle Charles A. Callas. We were set apart by Apostle John A. Widsoe and left Salt Lake January 19, about 11 p.m. We went by way of Chicago and arrived in Atlanta, Georgia Saturday night. We were met by some of the Elders and taken to the mission home and remained there until Wednesday night. We met President and Sister Meeks. We went to Sunday School and at meeting met two brother Yarns whom Hyrums brother, Moroni, baptized 38 years before. Very wonderful men.
We were assigned to go to the North Mission Branch. Hyrum was to be the branch president and I his companion to labor together. We rented room in Booneville and tracted what we could. There werent any Latter-day Saints in Booneville. What saints or members there were lived out in the country about six miles where they have a nice little chapel. They are very kind and hospitable. We met President Peterson and Elder Rawlins, and later Stanley Pickett, also some local missionaries.
We went up to Corinth and stayed over night at Sister Kings and the next day we went to Shiloh National Park in Tennessee. From the many graves and monuments it shows what the war must have been. We enjoyed our work very much but it was hard to get around. We secured a car from Sister Ashcraft, a member of the church, and her daughter Jewel, came
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