Bertha Wilcken Pratt
In 1863, when the drums of war were beating and the north and south were at each other’s throats, far away in the quiet west, in a cottage home, a baby girl was born. It was May 17, and I was that baby. I should have been a May flower, but I am afraid that I turned out to be a wallflower instead. I was christened, or blest, with the name of Bertha Christina Wilcken.
Wilcken is an honorable name in the country around Lubeck and Hamburg in northern Germany. The Wilckens were middle-class people with a crest of nobility somewhere in their past history. My father had a replica of the coat of arms, which he discovered in getting genealogy from old records. Grandfather kept a tavern in a town called Eshorst near the city of Lubeck. I have always been proud of my ancestry and my nationality, despite Hitler and the brownshirts. I think my father was a blood-brother to the best of them, for when a boy, too young to be in the army, he ran away from home, dissembled his age, to fight when Germany and Denmark were at war. We children and those of a later generation have carried on the name in honor, and I trust the children’s children will honor our name, as we have tried to do.
Just here, let me pay a tribute to my parents. Our home was a home of peace. We fairly reverenced Father. Mother taught us that he was the first consideration in the home. Things centered around him. Father was gentle and tender and thoughtful of us always. He never wanted us to do hard washing and other drudgery. He was willing to pay for that work to be done, but he always insisted that we do our own sewing. He would take us with him in his buggy, which his occupation required him to use. He was city water master of Salt Lake City for years. He would take us to the theater and other places of amusements. I even remember going to a Social Hall party with him, and being escorted out to supper on his arm. Mother’s people were likewise of the middle class. They were honorable and upright people. Her father was a miller by trade. Mother’s name was Eliza Reiche. One of her brothers came to New York and later to Utah. While still a young man Uncle John’s wife died in childbirth leaving six small children for him to raise as best he could. My mother took the brunt of this misfortune, and managed all she could for the motherless children, Dora, the oldest, married my brother David. Carl and John are dead. Will lives in Los Angeles and Eliza and Clara alive in Salt Lake City. They have all done honor to the name of Reiche, though they go by the English of it, Rich.
Some of my earliest remembrances linger mostly about our life in Heber City-Father’s mill, the deep creek that ran by it, out log house, Mother making tallow candles by running melted tallow in forms, the field where the rush grass and the sweet smelling pick horse-head. As we call the flowers that grew there; the sagebrush that skirted the footpaths, the long journey from Salt Lake City with our wagon piled high with household gear. We went up Parley’s Canyon and crossed Silver Creek Valley and over some ridges to Heber City. My earliest remembrance of a song is my brother, Carl, singing "Maggie" as we slowly road along. He had a fine voice and the memory of that song and that place has been sweet to me all my life. My earliest close friend was Mary Campbell. We were inseparable. And love to walk with the highest stilts and play the best game of jacks with little round pebbles. We had no marbles nor regular jacks and ball. Her people were Scotch, but I was like their own child in my welcome. Mary married a boy from Heber and they became quite wealthy. I moved to Salt Lake and never saw her but once after we were grown. Then we seemed to have nothing in common.
I remember my first taste of honey. It was in my birthplace, the little cottage in front of the Liberty Park Mill. It has since been torn down. The delicate flavor of the honey has been my gauge for all honey and only a few times since have I tasted the deliciousness of that honey. Just north of our cottage and leading down to the big millstream was a winding path bordered with wild roses, which led to a crystal spring from which we got our drinking water. The delicate scent of the roses in the springtime and the pure beauty of their delicate petals have been with me always, just about as daffodils were to the poet, Wordsworth. My heart has many a time danced with the wild roses.
I have always loved nature and it has afforded me many hours of pleasure. The sunset, the fleecy clouds, a pine forest, a bank of wild flowers, a beautiful garden, the soft curve of hills and the rugged beauty of mountains and the loveliness of the moonlight, all these and many more are a continuous joy to me. How I loved in childhood to take my bucket and run down to the spring for water. This spring has, like the cottage, gone except in memory. I cannot remember when I couldn’t read. One Christmas I got a third reader in my stocking. How I loved it and read it. No book has ever meant so much to me, though I have had, and have read a good many of the masterpieces of literature. I have always loved to read. I love fine bits of poetry and have memorized some that have especially appealed to me. "Build Thee More Stately Mansions, O My Soul, etc."
Our birth is but a death and a beginning,
The soul that rise with us our life’s star,
Hath elsewhere had its setting and cometh from afar;
Not in entire forgetfulness,
And not in utter nakedness,
But trailing clouds of glory do we come
From God who is our home.
My father used to say that when I was a child, I read instead of playing. He used to commend me for reading the newspaper. There were no funnies in the paper then, either. In my adolescence I read novel galore. I would never leave a book unless absolutely forced to, until I had finished it. Often sitting up until the wee small hours, half-frozen, but soul-satisfied I had finished the romance. After attending the University for three years, I got over that bad reading habit. Studying books does not admit rapid reading. I enjoy a fine novel extremely well, but prefer more solid reading, generally.
My school days began in Heber City. I have no recollection of my teachers. After my Father returned from a mission to England and Switzerland, we lived in the big house in Liberty Park. It is still standing. We went to school in the Second Ward. A Mr. Ball was the teacher, and I remember him very well; I seemed to have learned everything there from books. I don’t remember that he taught me anything. We just heard lessons. I think he must have been a very good, or a quite bad teacher. I played truant once and with some other girls went walking through the fields. We got back in time for the geography class and recited a lesson on Capitols of the states, of which we knew nothing. How much more effective the geography less could have been made out in the fields, but those were the days of one-teacher school, and it would have taken a genius to have done anything but stay in the schoolhouse and follow the grind.
When about 14 years of age, I attended the last year of Miss Mary Cook’s school in the Social Hall. The school was one that had been fostered by President Young, and others for their children of adolescent age. I first studied grammar at the school, and never during the whole year did I get to know what it was all about. Later at the University, it was a favorite study in connection with Language and Literature. I was out of school for several years, and when the opportunity opened for me to go to the University as a student of the State Normal Course, I was overjoyed. I shall always remember the test, my first experience in a real examination, but I got through, and each year for three years I got the scholarship, for the normal course. This meant free entrance into the University. In 1888, I graduated with a State Normal diploma, which entitled me to teach in the grade school of the state.
Life at the University was very pleasant, though I had to go from the extreme southeast of the city to the extreme northeast. I rode the mule streetcars in good weather, but frequently during the winter, I’d have to walk in deep snow all the way because the cars couldn’t run on the snowy tracks. How I would enjoy the pleasant warmth of the familiar library for an hour after such a tramp. At the University I made many friends who have been a joy to me all my life; Mary Lewis Stayner, Avon Cannon, Rose Wallace Bennett, Lucy VanCott, for many years Dean of Women at the University, Kate Young Croft, Oscar VanCott, Dr. Stockey, and others that I have seldom seen since the school days.
Dr. John R, Park was the President of the University. He was a very fine teacher. His influence upon higher education in the early days in Utah cannot be estimated. He stimulated youth to high endeavor, as many of the prominent men in Utah can testify. Dr. Fingsbury, and H. Paul and Evan Stephens were among the teachers.
Before I attended the University, I studied German from Camilla Robb, and I studied Spanish from my Uncle August Wilcken. The Spanish Mission was just opened and there was much interest in the language. President John Taylor’s daughter and his niece, Mary Swartz were among those studying Spanish. We met in the evening at the Gardo House, which was then the official residence of the President of the Church. My friendship for Mary Swartz continued through some trying years, when she was hunted for evidence against President Joseph F. Smith who she had married. We were quite intimate during the time raising her family until I left Salt Lake City to come to Mexico. She lately told my son, Harold, that I was one of her very dearest friends, and I can say the same of her. I enjoyed my visit at her house during the late conference, October 1937. While at the University I had a romance. I dressed a certain person up in all the characteristics and qualities that I admired and loved. I left Salt Lake City one cold winter day and traveled alone to Logan. It was dark when I got there , and snowing hard. I trumped through the deep snow and the falling snowflakes alone in the dark to the Temple. There I was married by the President of the Temple, Marriner Merrill, to J.Z. Stewart. I had met him when he returned from a mission to Mexico in connection with President Anthony Ivins, Jones, Helaman Pratt and others. These men traveled with pack mules and saddle horse as far as Parral in Chihuahua. The friendship continued through the time when in connection with Brother Trejo who translated the Book of Mormon into the Spanish language. That was while Moses Thatcher was in the Mexican Mission. My Uncle August also was there. When J.Z. Stewart returned home, he became principal of the Brigham College in Logan and at the time sought me for his wife and I consented. I should not judge, but the evidence is that he was a moral coward who couldn’t live up to his convictions. Let it go at that. After the ceremony, which was witnessed by James Lushman, recorder at the Temple, and another man, I went back to the hotel alone and almost froze to death with insufficient cover I got up before dawn and took the train for home alone. My! What fool girls can be! I had ten years of such a life, but not a wife of any sense. He sent me a beautiful ring and a pearl handled gold pen. It was before the days of fountain pens. But he did not provide for my support. I lived at home and my father provided me with my graduation expenses. These ten years were a good school for me. I determined that I would not be unhappy. I absorbed myself in my school work. I learned that holding feelings against anyone would harm myself most of all, so I just forgave and forgot. I got a divorce after ten years. President Wilford Woodruff and President Smith of Cache Stake signed it, and that experience was over. Years afterward, during the world war, I received a censured letter from him. Harold, who had just gotten home from the war, opened it by mistake. True to his former colors, he did not sign his name to it. To justify myself in this experience, I here insert the letter.
You will doubtless be very much surprised to receive a letter from me, but I have desired to write to you or speak to you, and explain my feelings, that you may know that I am not unmindful of the past, and have not forgotten the mistakes of past years and that with much regret. Of course, I relize that you were the surfferer and to you the injusted was done, and I have never censured you in my feelings for the course you took in the matter, but I have always felt that you were in no sense to blame for the course events, and their results.
I am in hopes that you can forgive me for my weakness and for the trouble I made for you, for I assure you that I did not desire to make trouble for you, and I wish to assure you also that I appreciated you and that more than you will be able to give me credit for, in view of what occurred, for you will say that my actions and conduct did not lead you to think so, nevertheless it is true. I cannot explain to you the causes which led to the course pursued, but there were reasons for it, but the fault was not yours and you are in no way to blame for it. I trust you will be able to forgive me and any and all wrong which you feel that was done to you, for I feel that you were not treated as you should have been, and that fact has always been a source of regret and sorrow to me.
I have certainly wished for your success and happiness, and have ever desired your welfare and felt that the course you have taken was perfectly justifiable on your part, and I have not felt to criticize you in any way whatever. I trust you will forgive me, and feel that I desired to do right, to do my duty, and however great the mistake and the consequences of it, I was the greatest looser, and have the greatest cause for regrets.
With kindest regards and best wishes for your welfare and happiness.
I am most respectfully,
I taught school in 1889 in Cottonwood just north of the Murray Smelter. It was one-teacher school with all grades from kindergarten to eighth grade. The train went by the school and I often thought. "Oh if I could just get on that train and go on forever." I’ve always had a sentiment for trains, a sort of Wanderlust. I boarded during the week with Aunt Hadie’ s brother and wife. Friday night I would go home, and Monday morning early back again to work. How those Monday mornings always came too soon. I’d snuggle down under the home covers for just one minute more, just one more.
The next year I taught in the Eleventh Ward in Salt Lake City. The schoolhouse was a big new building, about the finest in the city at that time. I taught third grade. I was there two years. Next year I didn’t take a school. I tried leaving the state because of Deputy Marshalls, etc. I went to live in Franklin, Idaho, just north of Richmond, Utah. I was fitted up with meager household furniture in a room rented from a widow lady, but that didn’t help. I was still neglected and alone, so I decided to teach again. Professor J. H. Paul was President of Brigham Young College in Logan and he engaged me to teach German and do some work in the training school. How gladly I accepted this position and how I enjoyed my work. I was there three years. I had a German class for the teachers in the evening, and we also studied Bible History together. I boarded with two Dutch ladies, Miss Hantein and Miss Hooing; the later was principal of the training school, and a wonderful teacher. She later left the church; she got mixed up with spiritualism. She me a tragic death soon after leaving the church, was run over by a horse on the street of Ogden. I have often thought God called his erring daughter home, for she was a noble woman misled.
My ideal was completely shattered, and I passed him on the street many times without in any way recognizing him or his family. They would have been shocked with fear to acknowledge an acquaintance, and I was too proud to claim one. My education in moral stamina still went on, and it’s one of the things I am thankful for. I know that nothing can hurt one except that which comes from within. It was a hard school, but it was worth the price. My last year the B.YC. Professor Paul had been made President of the A.C. and Professor Kerr was Principal of B.Y.C. The next year I taught German, French, and needle work in the College in Salt Lake City, and also took some courses in the University. I wanted a degree as Master of Arts and Languages. I studied French, Latin, Anglo-Saxon, English Literature, Sociology and some educational subjects. The buildings were close together so it made it possible to study as well as teach. I spent three years thus occupied. My dearest friend was Nellie Little, an ex-teacher and now a rich widow. We spent many happy hours studying and working together. We were both friends of Sister Augusta Grand and Sister Mary Connelly Kimball. J. Ruben Clark attended the University at that time, also his lovely wife, Miss Savage. I was vice-president of the Alumni Association and presided at the Annual Banquet in 1898 as the president was absent in Washington. We had big luscious strawberries for one course, and the toast was given to them: "Doubtless God could have made a better berry, but he certainly never did." That was the last University Alumni Banquet that I attended. Thereafter, I was in Mexico when they were held.
I had been divorced through the church. My romance was over. When I was offered a home and a loving husband in Mexico I accepted. One doesn’t enjoy the prospects of a lonely life to the end. I was just past thirty-six years old when I came to the Colonies in Mexico. Helaman Pratt and I were married on Mexican soil by one having authority to marry. Now began a great contrast between this marriage and that other one. I have been recognized, respected, loved, and esteemed as much as any wife could desire without infringing upon the rights of others. Among the many fine qualities of Helaman Pratt, was justice. He loved and honored every member of his family and treated them all as nearly alike as was humanly possible. I lived with my sister, Dora from choice. I was offered a home alone, but I preferred to live with my sister’s family. I had my own room and my own responsibilities, especially as I taught in Dublan, a number of years after I was married. The family, and myself as a member, lived very happily together. Dora’s children, who were much older than my three boys, loved them tenderly. Dora had lost her little son Charles just previous to my coming and the whole family welcomed my boys, who I think, somewhat took away the poignant grief at his loss.
Dora was always like a Mother to my boys. Indeed now as men, they testify to her love for them and their love for her in their golden childhood days. Dora and I and the girls would plan together for the birthday celebrations and the Christmas festivities. Thanksgiving was especially celebrated for Emerson’s birthday was that season, too-26th of November. We had wedding celebration, too. Rey L. Pratt’s wedding supper was at our home. The big front room was a banquet hall, and all the town was there, for he was loved by everybody. Verde had a big wedding party not long before her father’s death. Thanksgiving the grandchildren and small friends were special guests. Usually, they and their grandfather ate first, and then Brother Pratt would remain at the table with the older people. We all have pleasant, loving memories of those happy days in the old home.
When Harold was scarcely eleven years old in 1909, death took our husband and Father, On Emerson’s birthday; he was struck with apoplexy, early in the morning. He had planned to baptize Emerson in the lake that day. About eight o’clock A.M. his valiant spirit departed this life.
We were left with sufficient to make a comfortable living. To each of us was deeded a farm in our names. There were cows and horses, machinery, wagons, etc., some individually owned and some in the estate. The Mexican Revolution took them all away except the land. That couldn’t be carried off, but at the Exodus we had to abandon those.
We went to Salt Lake City, Dora and I and the children. Amy and I both obtained positions to teach in Davis County. In 1912, I obtained a state certificate to teach by applying and giving my University credits. I taught three years in Clinton. Amy taught first in Weber and then in Farmington, and later in Kaysville. Dora lived in Father’s house in Salt Lake City, 306 South 7th East Street. She cared for the boys, Harold, Emerson and Joseph. There they were in Webster School. Amy and I maintained the home and usually spent the weekend at home. Just before the third year Dora and Harold went home to Mexico. I took Emerson and Joseph to Clinton with me. During that year, my sister May died and a little later Father died at the age of 84. It surely seemed lonely without them. Death of loved ones has always had a numbing effect on me. Things just seem to stand still, and nothing seems to have its proper value. This feeling lasts a long while and only gradually have I been able to get back into normal life.
In the spring of 1914, the boys and I came back to Mexico. In the fall, Villa returning north, from defeat by Carranza’s forces in the south, billeted in North Casas Grandes and Dublan. They shot off cannons with charges so as to splinter them. They held powwows in the streets. They took every barn and shed and feed there was. Their men pillaged the houses, and set fire to some. About Christmas time, some of Villa’s men returned from defeat at Agua Prieta, Sonora and were unrestrained. They shot up Brother Call’s home, burned Brother Robinson’s house. The people huddled together afraid to be in their own homes. Our house had several families in it at night. Women were not seen on the streets. These are just a few of the unpleasant experiences of those dark days, when we feared for our lives. We were miraculously preserved and delivered then and later when Villa returning from his raid on Columbus, passes us by and went on east into El Valle. When he did not attack a handful of Americans whom he hated is one of the dispensations of our Heavenly Father who rules all things.
During this trying year, I taught in Dublan. The school board thought that the only way, as it was, to keep the meeting house from being made into a quarter. I’d like to say in favor of these motley troops, that not one ever offered the lightest offense to myself or Miss Jackson, the other lady teacher or myself. We went to school and back without the slightest indignity from anyone.
When Pershing’s army left, after having pursued Villa into the mountains southeast of Dublan, we went to El Paso. Only a few families remained in Dublan. In El Paso, I worked in a saddle-making shop sewing canvasses. Emerson rode delivery errands for a drug store, Harold was streetcar conductor and he also worked for the Velvet Ice Cream Company. Then we all went to Chamberino, Dora and Joseph had gone to Manessa where they lived. She later went to Salt Lake City and Joseph came down to Chamborino with Rey on one of his trips. The boys sweated and sweated in the alfalfa fields all summer long and slept on the floor at night.
I decided to go home to comfortable beds and screened in rooms. We suffered greatly from flies and mosquitoes. The dangers from the Revolution seemed somewhat to have passed, so Harold, Joe, and myself went home. Emerson went to Utah to be with Dora and Amy and to go to high school. Harold hunted up a few of our good Jersey cows. He also located a horse or two, so we had a team to do a little farming. I made candy for Farnworth and Romney’s store to avoid running a bill. Also, Dr. Gay boarded with us. Next year, I taught school again. Ernest Young was Principal. I kept on teaching each year as it came around. I’d get tired, but each year I would be eager for school to start. When Ernest Young was called to teach in the Academy, I was appointed Principal of the Dublan School. I occupied this post with three other teachers in the school, until about 1931 when I moved to Mesa.
I intended to retire. I had a small cottage built on Emerson’s land in Mesa. Emerson came down with a truck and took my household effects out. Tom Jones had bought the farm, and was unfortunate in not being able to pay for it. This also left me without means of support in Mesa. I worried about it and the absolute uselessness of my left there. The inactivity was hard on me, and I became sick.
I had Lucille; Lucille came to me in September from Salt Lake where she had been with her Grandmother Hendrickson, under the doctor’s care. She learned to walk with a brace. Harold came for her in early December. Joseph and Vilo, who were living on the Rio Grande above El Paso, came for me to spend Christmas with them. While at their home, sister Harper wrote for me to visit her and I did so. I went down in March and while visiting in Dublan, Brother Oscar Bluth, a member of the school board, asked me if I would teach the next school year. I accepted the position of seventh and eight-grade teacher. Lucille Taylor was Principal. I spent the summer in Mexico City with Harold and Anna. They decided that Anna should go with me to Dublan so the children would go to school there, and Harold would remain in Mexico City. His job kept him on the road anyway. We traveled as far as Torreon together. After spending a few pleasant days in Torreon. I went on the El Paso and Dublan, arriving just in time for the opening of school. Anna followed in a week.
We had a pleasant year in the old home. Anna brought some furniture and we managed to get fixed quite comfortably. Sister Mary Spencer occupied the front room. In the spring Harold moved Anna back to Mexico City. The next year I was alone, but I had renters for two rooms so I felt not so alone. The school occupied my time. In April of that year Harold gave up his work in Mexico City and had come home to stay. He invested in a few cows, and bought and sold wheat. Joseph had been out of work for sometime and we wrote him to come home if he wanted to. He came and the boys made a deal with Emerson to get some cows on a debt owning him. They came down and the school hired Vilo to teach. We found the old home big enough for us all, though it was terribly crowded. This was 1933. In January 1934, Harold received a call to be President of the Mexican Mission. He had been a member of the Stake Presidency before this. He and Anna reported to Salt Lake as requested. There they were ordained for their mission. After returning from Salt Lake City, they made a necessary missionary trip to the City of Mexico. While they were there, we had an epidemic of measles. All the children had it. Little Berta, a little over a year old, was very sick, and as soon as Harold and Anna could get home, they moved the family to El Paso to the Mission Home. Dr. George attended to the children who all had whooping cough. Berta remained sick for a long while, but finally came through and became robust and healthy again.
1934–I taught in Dublan until February when I became ill. My mouth had trouble me for a year or two, but the trouble became more acute, so I resigned and went to live with Harold and Anna in El Paso.
To sum up my teaching career: I began to teach in 1888 just after graduating from the University in the normal course; one year in Cottonwood, two years in Salt Lake Second Ward; three years in B.Y. College, Logan; three years in L.D.S College in Salt Lake. In May 1898, I came to Mexico and that year I taught school in Dublan in connection with L. Paul Cardon and his wife Ella. I taught off and on for about three years. At this time Dora was in poor health and the girls were in high school. Leah and Irene were married and we kept the post office, so I was needed at home. And until Brother Pratt died, my chief home responsibility was tending the mail. After his death, Harold and Emerson carried the mail from the train to the office and from the office to the train until the Exodus from Dublan during the Madero Revolution. In 1912, we all left our homes under the advice of the Stake Presidency. A few of the men remained but later went out overland. Dora and Amy and myself and boys went on to Salt Lake City. I was summing up my teaching career. I taught in Clinton, Davis County three years. In 1915, I went to Mexico and taught from then until 1935 in Dublan with the exception of the two years, one in Chamorine and one in Mesa. That would sum up eighteen years, and with the former years would amount to thirty-one years spent in actual teaching. Thirteen in Utah and eighteen in Dublan. During this time I took summer courses in Colonia Juarez, especially the years since Professor Keeler has been head of the Academy. They have had some of the finest professors give lectures in the summer school. I have more than enough college credits to entitle me to a degree, but I have never applied for one. It seems vain and worthless to me now; this thing I once deemed so important, but was too busy making a living to acquire. I have had some recognition for my service. My students have made good in their advanced work showing that I had given them a foundation. I received from the Church in 1898 a degree with the title: D.B. Bachelor of Didactics for a course in modern languages. In 1816, I received from the Church Board a Diploma of High School Grade. These, besides the normal diploma from the University of Utah 1888 and a Utah state Teacher’s certificate in 1912.
After I had resigned from teaching in 1935, I received the following letter from the Juarez State School Board.
June 10, 1935
Dear Sister Pratt
The Juarez Stake Board of Education is desirous of expressing to you their deep appreciation for the many long and splendid years of service that you have rendered in the school of the Stake. Your untiring efforts and whole-hearted cooperation made you a very valuable teacher, during your many years of work.
We trust that your years of retirement will be pleasantly spent in activity, which will bring joy and satisfaction to you. Kindly accept our sincere appreciation.
Stake Board of Education
Ralph B. Keeler
My church activities have been continuos. I have attended Sunday School and Sacrament Meeting, Mutual Improvement meetings, likewise.
When I came to Mexico, I was President of the Y.W.M.I.A. of the First Ward in Salt Lake City. They presented me with a beautiful bound and monogrammed copy of the Doctrine and covenants when I left. I was also teacher of the Theology class in Sunday School. In Mexico, I taught in Sunday School continuously until I moved to El Paso. Lately, for years, I taught the Gospel Doctrine Class. When Sister Olive Stowell was President of the Relief Society of the Juarez Stake, I was one of her counselors. At one time, I was appointed head of the genealogical work of Juarez Stake. I always have tried to be a faithful member of the organization and a faithful Church member in paying tithing, fast offerings, Missionary funds, etc. I have taken pleasure in fulfilling these requirements.
When the Mexican Mission was divide I came to Mexico City with Harold and Anna. I have a pleasant home with them and their lovely family. My health at the age of 74 is good, except my mouth trouble, which isn’t painful at all, just very inconvenient at times. With the poet Whittier, I can say in full faith:
"And so beside the silent sea,
I wait with lifted oar,
Assured no harm can come to me
On ocean or on shore.
I know not where His islands lift
I only know I cannot drift
Beyond His loving care.
And now I come to the highest and happiest experience of my life, my family. Harold was born July 16, 1899. I was in my thirty-seventh year. I had been in Mexico just a year. The sorrow of Mother Eve descended upon me. I had never been more than just ailing before in my life and now I tasted the bitterness of sickness. After Harold’s birth, I had child-bed fever and was very sick for some time. In fact, when he was about three months old, I had not yet bathed or dressed him. When the fever developed, Dora Pratt Call, whose baby girl was but a few weeks older came to nurse and care for my baby. She stayed there for some weeks. After the fever left, I gradually got so I could feed him. This experience enhanced by the contrast. I certainly did enjoy him. He has always been a dutiful and loving son. When a small lad, he often woke up at night calling "Mama", when I answered he would say, I love you", then off to sleep in his little bed. He spent two years in the Mexican Mission in 1921-1923. He married Anna Hendrickson and it has almost been a perfect union. They now have seven children: Anna Marie, Lucille, Gerda, Billy, Berta, and the twins Carmen and Ramona. He has been president of the Mexican Mission since January 1934.
Emerson was born Novermber 26, 1901, a fine big boy. He was always a leader among the boys at school. He loved games and was an expert basketball player. He made a trip to Mexico City as one of the Dublan Basketball team. He graduated from the Juarez Stake Academy. He married Irene Porter, and they have, also, had a happy family life. They have five children: Marjorie, who was my first grandchild, Bertha, Glenna, Maurine and Wayne. After caring for the farm in Dublan for years, they moved to Mesa, Arizona, where they still live.
Joseph was born January 10, 1905, my third and last child. His character can be shown by the evidence of Sister Theresa Call with whom he boarded the years he was in high school. "Joseph never gave me one moment’s anxiety." He graduated from the Academy and went to the Agricultural College in Logan, from which he graduated as B.S. He married Vilo Williams and they have three lovely children: Carl, Vilo, and Amy Louise. They now live in or near Clint, Texas.
I am happy in the possession of other children whose mother was my dear sister, Dora, wife of my husband. They have always been as nearly my own as is humanly possible, and I love each one of them dearly. They have always been extremely kind and loving to me, and I appreciate it so I say in closing, "god bless us every one, until we all meet again."