MY IDEAL MY MODEL MY MOTHER
Eva Beatrice T. D. Gleave
One can never rely on wishes; to wish that time would go by fast seems only to make time linger as if it were held by a string, that at any moment may break and come falling back toward one's self.
Wishes are sad bits of mind and heart not yet, nor can ever be, fulfilled.
Wishes could made a dark day beautiful; wishes could make a poor man rich; wishes could turn time back to more pleasant days. But wishes very seldom become reality. After all REALITY is what life is.
On this hot day in August a train winds around hills, passing between them and going over them, and comes into Utah State.
A young lady, wishing she were at the end of her journey, then at other minutes wishing she were back home with her loved ones, was riding this train to meet a stranger. As the train neared Ogden it emitted a long black smoke and a whistle that brought her back to reality.
Eva Adalaide Lofgreen was very tired as she had been on the train for thirty-six hours. She was again caught up in wishing or dreaming; she had been thinking of how her red-haired father, Peter Anderson Lofgreen, was inspired to go to Arizona; how he started for St. David, Arizona on the 6th of November 1883 with two wagons of tools and supplies. With him were his brother, Benjamin Levi, who was forty-five, and his oldest son, Peter Louis, who was fourteen years old. He was the son of his first wife, Johanna.
They traveled with two wagons, welding tires and fixing spokes in the wheels and there were always repairs to be made on the harnesses. As they stopped at ranches or small settlements, they were asked to stay and join the rest. They were at times tempted where the settlements looked prosperous, but Peter A. would remember his inspiration to go to St. David, Arizona. Then he would say, "I am determined to go to Arizona first," and nothing would stay him from his resolve. They arrived in St. David on the 1st day of January 1884, New Year's Day.
A new year and a new place to start a home and a new life. A prayer of thanksgiving for a safe journey was said. His heart was full of love for this wild country that seemed to give one a thorn for each step that was taken. Indeed it was a permanent camp. Close, near a stream, was a big tree so the wagons were pulled to the tree and camp was made.
January this year was very pleasant. The future may be uncertain but his heart was light and his hopes were high. January in Arizona this year was like May in Utah, warm and comfortable. Peter and his brother could have the pick of the land. (P.A. Lofgreen's Journal).
A new life, it may be adventuresome? Eva also prayed that her life may be as fruitful as her father's had been. It may be more uncertain than even her father's ventures into the unknown, but there was still a bit of excitement that tingled in her being.
Eva felt her father's faith and prayers with her. She thought of the Patriarchal blessing he had given her a few weeks before her departure. In it she had been advised to call upon the Lord at all times for wisdom in choosing what to do, especially in a situation where choosing was hard to do.
This was Eva's first trip out of Arizona. Her mother had done the best for her; taught her how to keep house and cook, sew, and take care of children. Eva had cared for younger brothers and sisters as well as nieces and nephews of her older sisters and brother's families.
Eva's mother was a small woman but very wiry. Nature had bestowed the capacity to love within her as she had thirteen children of her own and reared a step-son, Edward Theodore Lofgreen, since he was two years old when his mother died of lung fever (pneumonia). Johanna Lofgreen died 23 July 1880 in Huntsville, Weber County, Utah. Zipporah Elizabeth Nielson Lofgreen cared for this step-son as her own and thought of him as the eldest of her family. That love was returned a hundred fold as he watched over her in her old age, as he was the only child that stayed in the town of St. David.
Eva was the middle child of the thirteen. She was unspoiled, very modest, with the ability to make those around her feel at ease. With her reddish blond hair and excellent manners, she commanded attention of all who were around her. Her complexion was very fair; she was always plagued by the sun for she burned easily and would suffer the pain that followed. For weeks she would peel as the sunburn healed.
As a young lady of twenty-two, she left her home and friends in St. David to come to Utah. She had a hard time trying to make up her mind that she was doing the right thing, promising to meet Mr. Adelbert Twitchell in Salt Lake, a man she had never met, only in letters and on the recommendation of a mutual friend, Crozier Kimball.
Eva couldn't help thinking that maybe she was a mail-order bride. Yet there was no definite promise of marriage, just to meet and see if they liked each other. Their letters indicated they would. As stated before, Eva was a dyed-in-the-wool Latter-Day Saint and kept the commandments of that faith. Adelbert also proclaimed the truth of the same Gospel.
As Eva got off the train in Ogden she wondered for the thousandth time if she were crazy. She looked around and felt so all alone. As she was about to give way to her fears and maybe cry, she caught sight of her dear brother, Paul, hurrying toward her, waving his hand to catch her eye. He grabbed her and gave her a big hug. Oh! it was going to be all right anyway.
Paul saw the fear and concern in her face. He gave her an extra big hug, happily saying, "I'm sure glad to see you, Sis. Now take it easy and be a brave girl. You can always go back home." Eva had always been real close to Paul. They had been in the same crowd at home, danced and partied with Mary, a younger sister, most always with them. When she heard his advice she felt much better. Paul carried her luggage to the buggy and they were on their way to Huntsville where Paul lived with his wife and small daughter, Musa. They discussed the pros and cons of the meeting of Mr. Twichell.
Eva never told me of her meeting with Adelbert, but she did tell of the week that they dated (they had made plans in their letters to date for a week before they spoke of marriage in any way). She said she liked his manners, the way he moved his hands in talking. To emphasize a point he held his hand up with the thumb on the three lower fingers and pointing his index finger directly at the person to whom he was talking. His coal black hair and black mustache were well groomed. His honest face made her feel she could depend on him. He was 5 feet 11 inches in height but he seemed taller. He was thick through the chest and broad shouldered, and wore a size 11 shoe. He kept his shoes polished as if he had been in the army. He was very strong and could lift a hundred-pound sack as if it were nothing.
Eva was very proud of her wardrobe. Most of the clothes she had were products of her own sewing ability. She could look at a dress in a catalog, and in minutes cut out a pattern for it to fit the one for whom she was making a dress. She wore a new outfit for each day as she and Adelbert made the rounds of the Temple grounds in Salt Lake, picnicked in the city park, shopped at the stores buying some knicknacks, etc. One she bought that lasted through the years and her babies played with it, was a small dish with a top that removed. The top had a girl in a red coat with a robe over her in a sleigh and it was of heavy porcelain.
The week went by fast and there was the question that was sure to come. With so short a courtship, but with the approval of her brother and his wife, she said, "Yes! she would marry him." They made plans for their marriage and on the 19th day of August 1914 they were married for time and eternity in the Salt Lake Temple. I can see her in her white linen dress going into the Temple where she received her endowments and then they were married and sealed.
The next day they packed their suitcases and prevailed upon Brother Paul to drive them to the train station where they boarded the Bamberger (a small train that ran from Salt Lake to Ogden). They got on the train from Salt Lake and went to Marysvale, Utah. They had ridden this small train a number of times.
The train arrived in Marysvale about noon. Adelbert went directly to the livery stable where he had boarded his horses. It was not long before he had the horses curried, brushed and in their harnesses, ready to hitch to the wagon he had brought from home.
There was a delay in getting supplies for the ranch. There was rock salt for the cattle and horses which was loaded; also sugar and honey, flour and dried fruits such as raisins, prunes and cherries, hams and bacon and some new dishes and silverware - the prettiest there were in the store, some wool blankets, nice and soft and very warm, pots and pans for a lady's use. Milk would be set in some of these and when the cream rose it would be skimmed off. Butter would be made out of some of it and then pies and such would be topped with it whipped.
It was middle afternoon before the wagon was loaded, ready to start home. All was left to her husband as Eva did not know what would be needed on a ranch. Twice a year this trip was taken to replenish their supplies. This was the first as it started a new home. A late dinner was eaten, of cheese and unsliced boughten bread. It was old cheese, one of Adelbert's favorite foods. They climbed to the high wagon seat and they were on their way.
The fear that had once before been with her returned as she rode further into a barren waste, a dry prairie with sage brush where a wagon road wound down hills and over hills and around hills. Now and then a cedar tree stood out in the wilderness of gray brush.
As it was August the days were long. After driving a couple of hours, camp was made on a sight where others and camped before, near a stream with green grass on its banks. It was called Ten Mile as it was ten miles from the town of Marysvale. It is still called that; now a ranch is located on that area.
This was a new experience for Eva, camping out under the stars. Soon a fire was burning and a Dutch oven was placed on the fire with bread, steaks and some potatoes in it to cook. Soon it was ready to eat and very tasty too. The fire was very cheerful as it blazed, but as it died out and darkness crept in to the camp, the coyotes called and were answered by others further away. It was very nerve racking. Eva's new husband was still a stranger; now she was alone in a dark strange land with him.
She had very little sleep that night but as the morning light came in the east, a quick breakfast of eggs and bacon was eaten and they were on the road again. One more night on the journey was spent at Center Creek Ranch and then it was on to John's Valley. John's Valley had ranches and meadows where cattle fed in the fall and grass hay was cut in the summer for feed as the cattle were on the range in the summer time.
As they neared Adelbert's ranch they saw a horse and rider coming in full gallop toward them. When the rider came close, Eva could see it was a young man with questioning eyes and an eager, happy countenance. "Hello! Dad!" he called out as he came alongside the wagon and then turned his horse to go back to the ranch with them. (This particular ranch was called Riddle's Ranch.)
Eva had nearly forgotten the other member of the family, LeLand Twitchell, a seventeen-year-old son of Adelbert by a previous marriage. He was a happy soul. He began telling his father about the things that had happened while he had been away. Finally Adelbert cut in long enough to say, "LeLand, this is Eva Twitchell, my new wife." Looking suspicious at her, the lad tapped his sunburned brow and took off on a gallop for the log house. Adelbert said to Eva, "He is embarrassed, staying alone so much out here with me and me gone so much of the time riding the range for cattle. When my first wife and I divorced, he chose to come with me." Of course Eva knew all of this from Adelbert's letters but it had slipped her mind.
As they came to the house Eva surveyed the surroundings. There was a big barn with cattle in the corrals around it, a stack of grass hay, newly cut and piled, and the barn was also full. There were chickens scratching in a pile of straw; they seemed very content. A stream of water ran between the corrals and the house.
When she entered the house she could see that it indeed was a bachelor's home. Adelbert was right behind her with her suitcases. Before he set the suitcases down he took her to a bedroom saying she could clean the dust off and rest a while. He put the team away and started supper. Sourdough bread was Adelbert's specialty so he did his best for this meal together with steak and the usual potatoes.
The next day began early as Adelbert saddled his horse, his favorite "Old Doll." He loaded rock salt in the alforja of his pack saddle and went to the range. He told Eva that she could do what she liked, if she needed anything to ask LeLand for it. (Alforja above is a pouch or pocket cowboys used.)
Eva walked around inspecting the ranch and the hills in back of the ranch. Time placed heavy on her and she called LeLand to come and help her build a fire outside to heat some water. She put on older clothes and began to clean the log house. To keep busy was the way to defeat loneliness, keep her sanity and to survive.
Even though she was dead tired she mustered enough energy to cook a meal. To the usual meat, bread and potatoes was added a custard pie. LeLand watched her as she made the pie. This was a new experience for him; pie had never been on the menu before.
When Adelbert came at dusk, supper was set on the table. LeLand hurried through the main course to get to the pie. After he had eaten one piece he bragged to her, "You're the best pie maker." and held out his plate for another piece. Eva was pleased with a good day's work and a very nice compliment even if it had not come from her husband. He, however, was pleased to have a nice clean house.
In keeping busy and finding new things to do the time went by fast and she was soon expecting a baby.
On 27th May 1915, a baby girl was born at the Riddle ranch home, also called Henderson, Garfield County, Utah. The midwife was Ida Chatwin, a friend of Adelbert's, and all went well with mother and baby. Her name, Eva Beatrice Twitchell.
Eva found new chores to do as she learned to make cheese, some said the best they had tasted, and butter of which many pounds were traded for fruit in Provo and Tropic which gave a variety to their diet. She even became a carpenter. With LeLand's help, she made calf pens to keep the calves from their mothers which gave more milk for butter. When the chickens built their nests and nests were found, they would build a new nest so it was a constant search for eggs. This took time too.
Adelbert had homesteaded 160 acres about two miles south of the ranch where he was now building a brick home. He built the brick and kilned it on the spot. The soil was a dark red and made beautiful brick. Adelbert spent a lot of time away from the ranch building the new home. Finally it was about finished. Adelbert went to Panguitch and bought some leaded windows to decorate his home, a beautiful flower in colored glass. The porches had eight inch round column pillars which added depth to the house. There were two porches and they were painted white and could be seen for miles.
They were about to move into their new home when a new event came into their lives. They were always found in church on Sundays. This Sunday they were handed a letter by the branch president. When they opened it, it was a call to a mission in the Samoan Islands. Adelbert, his wife and his son, LeLand, were all called to go. They were shocked. Could they afford a mission for all three for four years? What would they do with their stock and what about the new home they were about to move into? Many other questions rose before them.
They talked it over, assessed their means, planned for their cattle and along with Leland, who was nineteen years old, prayed, believing that God would provide for such a cause. With humble faith they decided to accept the call.
They made arrangements with the president of the stake to take their cattle. They were to get the same number of cattle and the same age as they let him have when they returned from the mission. He was to get the increase for himself. Let it be said here that this never happened. They never received any cattle when they returned or since. Other agreements were made for payment of them, such as land and water but this was never given.
They sold their wagons, some of their cattle and hay, along with harnesses and saddle, and just stored Adelbert's favorite saddle with bridle in the log cabin. They also stored their china and silverware in a big wooden barrel along with their most precious household belongings.
They took their baby girl, Beatrice, who was one and a half with them. This was to be a work mission for Adelbert since he had been on a mission there in 1891 for four years and could speak the language. He was to oversee the bulding of a chapel for the Samoan people.
In a short time they were on their way for Marysvale, then on a train to Salt Lake City, then on to San Francisco. They boarded a ship called the "Sonoma" that took them to the Samoan Islands.
When they arrived at the Islands they were happily greeted by natives as some remembered Bro. "Toyteeve," as they called him. They placed flowers on strings (called leis) around their necks as a welcome to the Islands. Eva was called to teach the Gospel as well as show the sisters how to sew and keep their houses. She brought with her a sewing machine that had to be turned with a handle on a wheel; in fact, it took two people to sew. Her straw house was always filled with women who wanted to learn how to do sewing, cooking American dishes, taking care of babies and other skills.
As Eva was now expecting a new baby herself, she often had some of the younger women help her wash clothes and iron. Clothes were washed on the stones at the side of a stream. The girls were thrilled with Eva's mirror with comb and brush to match. Each day she had to wash and disinfect her comb and brush as the giirls would use them and they had lice in their hair so coalblack. They all loved Eva and tried to plesse her in anything she asked of them.
On March the 10th 1917, a second daughter was born. They named her Sonoma for the ship that brought them to Samoa. There was plenty of help now to tend the new baby. They all wanted to hold her or rock her in the chair or swing with her in the hammock. Eva was very disturbed though, as they kissed the baby on the mouth and some of them chewed tobacco. Eva had to explain how it was not wise to kiss the baby on the mouth, that it could make her sick in the stomach and make the baby very ill. The language was a barrier so finally she had to have Adelbert interpret for her and then they understood. Still they loved the baby so.
Eva had a strong testimony of the truthfulness of the Latter-Day Saint faith, and often told others how she felt. On one occasion she and her two children were put into a boat to go to another island where there was to be a meeting of the Saints. The young Samoan men were rowing the boat. As the day was warm and sunny it was a happy journey between the islands, the natives singing their songs and chants as they rowed. She attended the meeting and got into the boat to return home. It was in the evening. The sky was overcast and a wind was blowing. It was so different than the trip over. Night came on fast and the winds blew even harder as the rain pelted down. The oarsmen became lost and were afraid as they knew that the coral reef was near. They stopped rowing. Eva drew her children closer to her. The master oarsman said, "Sister Twitchell, what shall we do?" She answered him, "Let's have a prayer." Most of the young men were Mormons so they became quiet while she offered prayer for help and direction through the storm. Some seconds later a white flash of lightning covered the sky and water, showing them all that, indeed, they were on the coral reef. The native boys immediately got their bearings, changed their course to miss the reefs and find the way home. Eva always declared that was an instant answer to her prayer. Always when she was faced with a problem she got to her knees and asked assistance from the Lord.
When the church house was nearly finished, Adelbert became ill. Day and night he was in pain. After a month or so the president of the mission sent him and his small family home to the States. LeLand stayed to finish his mission. He was teaching native boys to read, write and do arithmetic as well as to speak English.
Eva hated to leave a job undone as well as so pretty a spot on earth, with the people she had learned to love.
The ship took an unrouted course to the U.S. to keep from being blown up by torpedoes. World War I was in progress and cautions were kept at all times. Lights were not lit at dark so chores must be done before night. The long journey was finally over. With a sick man and two small children, she returned to the ranch in John's Valley.
Eva unpacked the luggage they had brought with them, also the barrels they had stored in the log cabin. As they had arrived home in July it was too late to plant a garden or crops. What were they to do for food?
The pinion, or pine, trees in back of the ranch house were loaded with nuts. Adelbert exerted his strength, spreading tarps under the trees. The trees were shaken and the nuts came falling down on the canvas tarps. They made a wind-blowing affair where all the dust and pine needles were winnowed out. Then they picked up the canvases and put the pine nuts in a sack. They gathered some 500 pounds which were traded or sold for food, for sacks of flour to see them through the winter. Adelbert's brother, William, gave them a dozen chicken hens. In the warm coup they had eggs for food. While riding his horse one day through the fields, he came upon a cow with a new calf. As it was able to walk he slowly drove it home where Eva tied the legs of the cow and, after some dancing and snorting, milked her. In a few days the milk was good and a new food was added to the diets. The cow was someone else's but they would borrow her for the winter or until they could get one of their own..
One day Eva sent Beatrice to the straw stack to get some eggs. Beatrice was five. She crossed the two by four bridge and was on her way. She heard a scream and looked back. There was three year old Sonoma with her leg in a hole of the bridge with a big spike nail in her leg. Beatrice was going to help her out but when she saw all the blood she ran as hard as she could to get mother. When the leg was finally released from the nail there was an L-shaped cut about two by three inches and very deep. The cut was dressed each day but the bandage pulled the cut apart and it would bleed again. Sonoma was a long time getting it healed and well so she could run without limping. Our Mother always knew what to do in most situations.
Adelbert kept to his bed most of the time now and Eva decided to move to the new house where she could have more room. With help from some neighbors she loaded Adelbert on a set of springs that were placed on the wagon bed. With quilts and pillows he was made as comfortable as possible. With her belongings in the wagon and the two children on the high wagon seat (a spring seat, a new invention to make riding in a wagon more stylish and easier to ride on) beside her, they started for their new home. While they were on the way a pillow fell off the bed and dropped to the ground. They did not notice it at once but when it was noticed, Eva did not dare leave the children in the wagon alone so she asked Beatrice to go back for it. She hesitated. It was too far to the ground but Eva held her by the hand, dangling her over the big wagon wheel and onto the ground. The pillow was retrieved, but now to get back on the wagon. Eva reached as far as she could, barely touching the small hand, but with a tight grasp she was pulled into the wagon safe and sound. That was the first time Beatrice had felt fear.
They arrived at the new home. The kitchen was half full of wheat that was stored there to keep from getting wet. No matter! Eva would move in! The cook stove was set up with the help of neighbors. The bed was made for Adelbert and he was transferred to it. The neighbors all offered remedies for his sickness, but Adelbert kept getting weaker.
One day a neighbor named Nettie Hoffman, a German lady, came by to see him. She brought with her a German doctor that was a guest at her home. The doctor asked to look at Adelbert, Father gave his consent. After some probing and asking of questions which Adelbert had a hard time understanging, but with his friend's help he answered them, the doctor gave Adelbert some powder in a glass of water. He gave him some envelopes of the same powder and gave him instructions how to take it. In leaving he said he would be back within a week. Within the week a big lump formed on Adelbert's side. When the doctor came he nodded his head, saying it was good. He took a knife and lanced the lump and a pint or more of infection was released. The doctor bandaged the cut, telling Adelbert to get up and walk. Adelbert improved rapidly from then on. The doctor told him he thought it was the green bananas he had eaten in the Islands that had started it all. Adelbert dearly loved bananas. It was nice to have father well again, to tickle us and ride us on his back. He used to throw the younger ones up in the air and catch them as they came down. Each time one was sure he would miss them. It was breath-taking, he would throw them so high. He often told us how he loved his girls and how beautiful he thought we were. When we went out on a date he would tell us to remember who we were. We really must of been somebody special.
Shortly after this time a new baby arrived at our home on the 16th of February 1919, Amidell, a little angel named with part of father Adelbert's name. She was not long for this world for two months later she died of pneumonia on 13th April 1919.
Eva, who had worked hard and was still weak from the baby's birth, screamed and cried and shook the baby so that it opened its eyes again. Eva was so shocked that she did not realize that the baby was not right. She dressed the baby after its bath and put it down for a nap but the child never closed its eyes or cried or used its arms or legs. It only moved the eyes. They followed mother every where she went. Eva prayed, "Oh! what have I done to my baby? At night Adelbert chose to set up with the child. Eva went to bed being so tired from the worry and all of the day, she fell fast asleep. About the same time as the night before, the baby passed into the great beyond. A little while after she was dead, father awoke mother and told her that the baby was dead. Mother told me that she could not cry one tear. She said to me, "Dear one, there are worse things than death." The great epidemic of flu was on so neighbors were afraid to go and mingle with others. Father Adelbert made a little casket of pine lumber very neat and planed satin-smooth while mother went to Widstoe in the buggy and bought some satin cloth, colored white, and very dainty lace and ribbons to trim the casket. She used wool that had been carded and lined the casket, making it so soft and precious. Love was built into it all. A small circle of relatives and friends drove to the Widtsoe Cemetery and buried on the south side of the cemetery, Amidell Twitchell. A sweet baby was laid to rest. The home was a quiet place for no baby's cry was heard. Some days Eva and Adelbert didn't say two words to each other. Adelbert took Beatrice to the Henderson school house on the back of his horse and brought her back the same way.
Spring came and the fields were the concern of the days. Adelbert plowed the fields, but Eva rode the seeder to plant the grain. A heavy round roller was run over the fields to make furrows so they could irrigate the fields.
After the crops were in, it was time to haul the winter's wood. Eva would pack a picnic lunch and they would all get in the wagon and go to the hills for the day. One day while they were after wood the sky suddenly turned black. One could see the lightning flashing in the far distance, rumblings of thunder were heard. Adelbert said to mother, "Eva, let's hurry and get our belongings up on that hill as fast as we can." The wagon and horses as well as the wood that was on the wagon were all drug to the top of a hill. Just in time too, for a roar was heard and down the small canyon came a wall of black, muddy water. A wall that was so powerful it took roots of trees and brush with it. We would have all been drowned if we had stayed in the canyon. There was never a drop of rain that came on us. Within a half hour it had subsided, leaving big rocks and logs to rest in a different place.
After all the chores were done and the summer came, Adelbert wanted to see his mother and brothers and sisters. So the wagon was loaded with supplies as they would stay for a while for mother was expecting again. A crock of cream was covered tightly and placed in the wagon. As it jostled it would turn into butter. On the 5th day of July 1920 we had a new sister. We hugged her and kissed her and called her "little deer" so she was named Fawn. Susan Heaps was the midwife and mother and baby did well.
It was a hot day and the time dragged so long, so Sonoma and Beatrice were looking for adventure. They left the yard and ventured into the lot back where there were some vines that were cool and had round berries which were very green. Sitting under the vines they pulled their aprons full of the green berries. They took them to the well and dropped them in one at a time; the berries would plink as they hit the water.
Aunt Bea came out to get a bucket ot water. As she drew up the water she let out a yell, "Oh! my goodness! our grape crop! Who has done this?" It did not take them long to figure out who had done it. Shall we say here that the two girls were spanked rather hard. Grandmother Twitchell was very long on telling them to stay close to the house. They were jostled by the shoulders and made to sit on a chair, for ever so long. Finally father Adelbert came to take them home. Two little girls were very happy to go back to the wide open spaces of the peaceful ranch.
The third year Beatrice was in school and Sonoma was in the first grade, they rode a buggy from Henderson to Widtsoe. The Marshall boys drove the buggy. It was a rough ride twice a day going five miles each way.
Beatrice was stricken with appendicitis. To ride on the school bus was terrible to endure. Finally they broke inside of her and she became unconscious. Her parents took her to Salina to the hospital where she was operated on. She was very ill for a month. Mother Eva stayed in Salina with her three young daughters to be near Beatruce. It was a very cold winter. The room they rented was so cold. It was an upstairs room. Each morning there was heavy frost on the covers where they had breathed.
I am getting ahead of my story some. In 1923, on February 16th another daughter was born, the first one in the new home. She was named Wyora Twitchell. A very unlucky day, the 16th of February, for twelve days later she, too, died of congestion of the lungs. So, far away from loved ones and neighbors, another little casket was lined and trimmed by mother and dad. A small funeral at the home and then to the Widstoe Cemetery again. Mother could not go with them to the cemetery as she was so ill.
I, Beatrice, their oldest child, remember, as I was eight years old, the sadness and loneliness. As the baby was laid out in her white lacy clothes Mother took my hand and placed it over the tiny one of the baby. How icy cold and fragile, how precious and dainty it was. This is the first time I desired to do something for my parents and did not know what I could do.
Water was always a problem for daily use. Up to this time it was hauled in barrels Father Adelbert wanted to have water all the time, as his turn came every nine days. So he built a cistern in the ground of a hole lined with cement and made a top over it to keep the dirt and rubbish our of the water. There was cool water all the time now. He later built a garage over the cistern.
One day mother was making soap in a tub outside. The soap was done and the fire was nearly out. We were all in the house making dinner when we looked out. There were the corrals on fire. The wind had scattered the coals and sparks of the fire all over the manure in the sheds and barn. Mother was frantic. She grabbed the buckets and told us all to bring water from the cistern and help put out the fire. We worked in a frenzy but the fire was spreading as the wind grew stronger. Mother called us together and offered a prayer for help, that we may get ahead of the fire. As we began working again, a sheep herd with half a dozen men came by on the road in front of our place. We had carried so much water and pulled it from the cistern that our hands were raw. Mother went out to the herders and asked them to help us. Each one got a shovel and they went to work placing dirt on the spots that were still burning. Before long the fire was out, just burning some sheep sheds and a pole fence, part of the cow corral. Why hadn't we thought to use dirt?
This summer I turned eight years old. Mother said to father, "Isn't it time for Beatrice to be baptized?" So, getting permission of the bishop of our ward, father baptized me and some eight other children. The irrigating ditch was dammed off and father took me by the hands saying, "Eva Beatrice Twitchell, having been commissioned of Jesus Christ, I baptize you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Amen." I was completely covered with water and brought up and onto the bank..
On the 22nd of September 1924 Ramona Twitchell came to live with us. She was a very pretty baby.. Dad said, "We must give her an Indian princess's name. Nothing else will do. " I, Beatrice, tended her a lot since I was old enough now to tend a baby. I loved her a lot, and I think she came to depend on me some.
When fall came mother made beautiful school dresses for us, a pleated skirt and an Orphan Annie sweater to go with it. We got lots of compliments on them. As always, we had to change clothes when we got home. Sonoma and I had them alike but different colors. Winter went by with drifted snow and cold winds. Mother was driving the school bus now in a Ford car the folks had bought. It was a terrible job. The car had to be pushed or shoveled through the high snow. Then when spring came, there was a lot of mud to plow through. Until the highway was graveled, the car was stuck as much as it was free from the mud and snow. Our parents went through a lot to get us an education.
Mother would get a letter from home but they were far and few. Only when someone died would she get a letter. In 1922 a niece, Nora who was about twenty years old, died. Mother had tended her when she was in Arizona. In 1922 Grandfather died, but he was buried before she got word. There were other loved ones but I can't recall all of them at this time.
In the fall of 1926 Mother and us girls were moved to Widtsoe. It was snowing early so it was not good to live so far away from the midwife as mother was expecting. When we girls came home from school in the afternoon mother was ill. We girls waited in the kitchen and heard the cries of mother. We did not know what to do. Father came in from the ranch just in time. Yes! another pretty girl, LaVina Twitchell, was joining our family. Just in time for Christmas too. As always it did not make any difference in our Christmas. We got cloth for new dresses, each a doll, candy and nuts, ribbons and underwear which mother had made. We always had a nice Christmas. Have you ever worn a homemade petticoat or slip with handmade crocheted lace on it? You have never been proud and happy then!
Mother had given birth to seven girls. Two had died in infancy. The rest had to be taught how to cook, sew, keep house, save their money, be clean in body and spirit. All worked in the fields or did chores. One man who had watched us working said to father, "Brother Twitchell, you only have girls but they do more work than other families that have mostly boys."
In 1925 mother wanted to go home to Arizona. Her mother was getting older and it had been sixteen years since she and seen most of her folks. Brother Paul had died, the same year as their father, 1922. There had been Aunt Mary who visited at the ranch. She was so joyful and active, it was nice to have her there. The journey was made in July, the hottest month to go to Arizona. The trip was made in the Ford car. No matter how much water we carried it was not enough. Father left us in the desert one evening to go back for water. This was near Needles. We crossed the Colorado River on a ferry. The cars were placed on a platform and pulled across. When we stopped in town, we were parked under a tree. One of the girls picked a leaf. Soon there was a policeman, telling us to stop that or he would have to fine us. Water was so precious, not even a leaf could be picked.
When we got to Grandmother's, mother went in to see her. Jokingly, mother said to grandmother, "Can we camp under your black walnut trees?" Grandmother was unsure about that. Then mother told her, "Mother, you do not know me, do you?"
Grandmother was happy as they had just got an artesian well on her lot and it was making a pond of water in the back yard. Now it would be easier to grow a garden, and not have to pay for water.
It was time for us older girls to go to high school. The depression of the 30's was on and the scrimping and saving. Making do was very hard on mother as well as all of us. Even the towels and sheets were worn out with patch upon patch.
One spring day mother was riding the seeder helping get the crops in. I, Beatrice, was helping her lift the heavy sacks of grain to fill the seeder when it became empty. She asked me to ride with her for a round or two. She started to cry. It shook me up. I asked her what was the matter? Through her tears she told me she was going to have another baby. She was forty years old and was worried if it would be all right. Father was real old to be having any more dependents; he was sixty-six. Mother was really in despair. I did not know how to console her.
Nevertheless, when time for school came in the fall, there were means again to start school.
On the 8th of November 1932 another girl was born. She was given the name of Ida Twitchell - eight girls and no boys! I'm sure each time a child was born father would hope for a son but he never said he did. Mother denied ever wanting a boy also. It was election day. Father had gone to Widtsoe to get a midwife and to vote. He was a very strong Republican and must vote every time. He lost this time as Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected. Father just made it back in time, just minutes before the child was born. We all were happy for a new baby. We loved her and spoiled her.
That winter was a bad one. The snow came fast and high and father could not feed his sheep. He had no hay. The government gave him a dollar a head for them and killed them on his own land. He had to dispose of the carcasses. Some one hundred and fifty were destroyed.
In 1935 and 1936 the people of Widtsoe asked the government to help them as there was a drouth of some years. They could not survive without some help of some kind. I think it was the depression as it had snowed each winter. The government looked the situation over and agreed to give a price for their land, which was not much, and settle them on a place of their own. The government would lend them the amount of the new place. Some took new farms; others went into business.
Father and mother did not want to take advantage of this at first but finally, in 1939, they arranged to sell their place and move to Manti, Utah.
Father, with the help of his son-in-law, Wilford Davis (who was on crutches), built a house on a lot just west of the Temple. Mother packed all of their belongings, moved beds, stoves, cupboards and all; before the house was finished she had moved in.
There were still three girls at home - Romona, La Vina and Ida. However, mother's life was much easier. For one thing there was running water with inside plumbing and electricity.. There was no snow to shovel or plow through in the winter. She got a job with the parachute factory since World War II was on and the cause called for supplies. The war came to a close and the plant, as she called it, changed hands and products that were made were different, some shirts and then coats. Mother worked some nine years in the plant.
Mother had not been used to money. Though her wages were not great even now, she would look for things to please some one of her family. She had so much love in her heart that the thought was to do for others. She made quilts, with some of her money, and fancy crocheted items, all to give away.
Father Adelbert, after the home was built and the yards cleared of weeds, planted fruit trees and grass. He then spent most of his time doing temple work for the dead. He did so many for his own people, baptisms, sealings and endowments all by proxy; then so many for people by the name of Twitchell, kin or not. He turned his bed so he could see the Manti Temple while the lights were on it out of his bedroom window. He dearly loved the sight of it.
Father Adelbert Twitchell died three months before his 85th birthday. His little girl had just turned 18, on the 8th of November, and he died on the 18th of November. MY FATHER, MY TEACHER, MY FRIEND. I was one daughter that loved him dearly.
Mother and Ida were the only ones at home. They both worked at the plant and then Ida married, leaving a lonely lady. Since my husband, Wilford D. Davis, had died in 1953, I spent a lot time with mother. We lived some hundred miles apart but she came down to Antimony and I to Manti nearly every month until I was married some five and a half years later. Then I moved to McGill, Nevada. When Mother was sixty-eight she had a heart attack. All the girls were called and we took turns staying with her for two weeks. Then my sisters took her to Salt Lake City to live; she moved around from one daughter to another for a while. Then she stayed in a trailer of Sonoma's. She seemed to lose ground after her heart attack. She got so ill that she was placed in a care center where she was for nearly a year.
After mother's heart attack, her home was rented out and it deteriorated very rapidly.
I would like to go on record to say, "My mother was a perfect example to me when I was a girl and when I grew up." I do not believe she hurt any one knowingly. She never acted unbecoming a lady. She would tell me what I did wrong and how I should make amends. It displeased her very much when she saw her daughters do things that were wrong in her eyes. She was always faithful to my father, even to her dying day.
I never heard her take the name of the Lord God in vain or say any words that were unclean, or tell unclean stories. I never heard her lie. She kept herself as well as her children clean, even though at times there was only a change of clothes for them. She worked hard at anything that needed cleaning, brooders, making soap, helping a neighbor in some task. Mother Eva would often repeat the Articles of Faith that Joseph Smith compiled. The thirteenth was her favorite one: "We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul - we believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things; and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things." She kept the commandments of God. Her neighbors were her friends. May we all do so, so we can be with her.
Life will pass away, as she did on the 5th of January 1971 in a hospital in Salt Lake City. But the good she did and the good she taught and the love she gave shall be passed on in her posterity for as long as they live.
Edited by June Lofgreen