Sunday, December 22, 2013

Ruby Snow Warren Jensen (1884-1966) Autobiography, Part 1

Autobiography of
Ruby Snow Warren Jensen
Written January 25, 1963

The fields and mountains are white today with a covering of snow, about six inches deep. It was this same kind of a day, my Mother told me, when I was born on November 29, 1884. I was born in the settlement the pioneers had built when they moved out on the bench east of Springville, Utah. It was then called the Union bench but in a year or two this place was called Mapleton. I am the oldest child of Edwin M. and Francis Evaline Perry Snow. They were called Uncle Ed and Aunt Frant to everyone in the community. My grandparents and great grandparents on both sides of the family were all pioneers coming to Utah in the years of 1847, 1949 [sic--1849?], and 1850.

My parents were married April 9, 1883 and moved out on the Union Bench where they lived in a tent until Father built a home. The tent was about 40 rods north of where the home was built, by a big ditch which was always filled with water running in it. This water was used for washings, cooking, cleaning, and bathing.

Father started building this home in 1883. It was the first brick home built in Mapleton. Father hauled the brick from Provo for this home. It is much the same today as it was when it was built and is now owned by Bessie Thorn. They did not have this home all finished when I was born. They were only using two rooms then. My Childhood was lived in this home and I remember many happy times we had in it. We had a nice orchard with all kinds of fruit, shrubbery and flowers. I always liked to sew and my Mother was a good seamstress and every time she sat down to do any sewing, I had to have a needle and thread to sew the scraps. Mother said when she asked me what I was sewing I always said, "Making a basque for Uncle Wellie." He was Father's brother and was at our home much of the time. When I was eight years old, I had pieced enough blocks for a quilt. My, how sore my fingers got as I did not have a thimble. Mother had my Aunt Eva and Aunt Clara and some of the neighbors in to help quilt this quilt.

Aunt Eva Perry brought me a white lace collar and Aunt Clara gave me a pretty pin. I mention these things as we did not have many gifts then. When the Salt Lake Temple was completed and ready for dedication, Father and Mother, Uncle Will and Aunt Clara Tew, decided to go. This was to be April 6, 1893. They wanted to take Willie Tew and myself with them but we were past eight years of age and as all who went had to have recommends, we had to be baptized. It was a cold wintry weather still, but we were baptized in the Big Hollow. There was snow all around the edge of the stream, but the water was not frozen. Willie and I were. That trip to Salt Lake was our first ride on the train. About all I remember of the Dedication was the stairways and the beautiful large mirrors. We were baptized by Uncle Will Tew, Willie's father, March 28,  1893.

I had two brothers and one sister all born in the old home. One little brother lived only a week. Our house was now all finished with four nice rooms in it and we were very comfortable. One morning while we were getting ready to go to school, my brother, Eddie, took the tea kettle from the stove to get warm water to wash in and he accidentally spilled some on my legs. They were scalded so bad that I had to stay home from school for weeks while they were getting well. My, how Eddie cried about this for many mornings, not for me but because he had to go to school alone.

At first the settlers had to go to Springville to church and school, but they soon built a room of lumber for school and church. Soon a large brick room was built in the center of town. This is now the Town Hall. It was in this building that I first went to school. The lumber building was moved and part of it was joined on the home of Harriet Curtis. She operated the first store and post office in Mapleton. (This home later became my first home.)

I started school in this nice brick school house when I was about eight years old. My sister Ella, who was then about two years old, had inflamatory [sic] rheumatism and had to be moved and carried on a pillow for many weeks. My Grandfather, Warren Stone Snow, came to our house and with some of the Elders he administered to Ella. We all had great faith in the administration of the Elders and annointing [sic] with the consecrated olive oil.

Uncle Lute Whiting, bishop of the ward, died in February, 1896, and Uncle Will Tew, one of his counselors, was made bishop. He chose my Father, Edwin M. Snow, as his first counselor and Wm. P. Fullmer as his second counselor. They were set apart in April, 1896, by Joseph F. Smith, then President of the Church. My father bought a new buggy, a Spaulding, being the brand name. How bright and shiny it was and what a joyful time it was when we all got in this buggy, took our lunch and hay for the horses and went to Provo, Utah, to Conference. How big the tabernacle looked to us children. We would leave home about eight o'clock in the morning and it would be near six o'clock at night when we got home. In 1896 Father started to build a new home much nearer to school and church. This home was what now would be known as a three bedroom home. There was also a big parlor, a dining room, a kitchen, a bath room, and a cellar under the bathroom. There was no running water at that time, but we still had a room we could take the washtub in and have a bath in private.

Father started this new home in the spring of 1895. It was not as easy to build then as it is now. There was a carpenter in charge of the building, but Father went up in Maple Canyon and got rocks to make the foundation and in the summer he went up Spanish Fork Canyon and worked at a sawmill and logged and got enough rough lumber for the floor and ceiling joists and for sheeting for the roof. He hauled by wagon all the brick from Provo and the adobes from Uncle Lon Fullmer's brick yard. This took most of the summer. He also hauled the sand and lime from Provo. He dug a big square hole in the ground and slacked the lime to use in the mortar for laying up the brick and plastering the walls.

The home was finished in the fall of 1896, but Mother had Typhoid Fever in the summer and the doctor did not want her to move in the new home until spring, so it was march, 1897, when we moved. Mother had cut and sewed enough carpet rags so we had carpets for the bedrooms and kitchen. Father bought an ingrain carpet, a table and six chairs for the dining room. We did not use the parlor for a few years. Father also bought a new bedroom set for their bedroom. We now had a bedroom for Eddie and for my sister Ella and myself. The furniture from the old home was used in the two bedrooms and the kitchen. I was only twelve years old, but how happy I was that we had such a nice home. Father now started to go to the canyons for lumber for the new barns and sheds that were needed for the cows and horses.

Father and Mother bought a nice organ in 1893 and I took music lessons and did very well and enjoyed it very much. The organ was enjoyed by all the young folks in my crowd and the older young people who used to like to come to my Mother's home for an evening of fun, candy pulls, rag bees, and evenings of popping corn and doing many things for amusement as there was not too much of any kind of amusement then.

When I was 15 years old, I had my first church assignment. I was made secretary in the Primary when Addie Fullmer Jensen was the President. I remember to this day how happy I was to be called to this position and how proud I was to carry the books. It wasn't long after this that I was set apart as Sunday School Librarian. About 1901, I was set apart as assistant secretary in the Sunday School. John Lee was the secretary. He resigned soon after this and I was secretary for the next three years. I was also Sunday School organist and for two years was Ward organist. During this time I had graduated from the grade schools, being privileged to go one year in the new six room school house that was completed in 1899. We had graduation exercises in the meeting house. This last year of grade school was taught by Wayne E. Johnson. 

For many years we enjoyed dances in the church and then Wallace Johnson came to Mapleton and built an amusement hall. (This was later used as a store and now is owned by Vance Gividen and is a garage.) On the opening night of this amusement hall, which was to be a big dance, about half the young folks in Mapleton had the measles and of course I was one of them, so there were several dances before I was well enough to go.

As I always liked to sew, after I graduated from school, I sewed with a dressmaker, my cousin Madge Whiting, and learned the dressmaking trade. How I loved the dressmaking model, putting the whalebones on the seams and sewing on the many hooks and eyes. After that I made all my own clothes and many for my friends and I sewed with Madge for over a year as she always had more work than she could do.

I went one winter to the B.Y.A. But there was an outbreak of small Pox in the school and Father and Mother thought it was wise for me to quit school on this account. It was the first time that I had ever been away from home and I was homesick and ready to go back home anyway.

At this time all the women and girls wore long dresses and skirts reaching down to our ankles. Only our toes showed below the hem of the dress. We all wore high top button or laced shoes--mostly spring heal, that was much the same as a house shoe now.

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