FRANCES EVALINE PERRY
Written 6 April, 1936, by Frances Perry Snow
Copied by Ruby Snow Jensen
History before I was married
History of Frances Perry, daughter of Stephen Chadwick Perry and Mary Boggs Perry.
I was born in Springville, Utah, April 26, 1864. Our home at that time was where Bagley and Huntington Photograph Gallery now stands. My grandfather's (Asael Perry's) house was just east on the same block.
When I was six weeks old, my mother moved out with Father's first wife, Aunt Ann. She was a wonderful woman. She was just like a mother to my mother and us three children, Hyrum, George and myself, she having five of her own.
We lived there until my grandfather died, then mother moved into his house, it being on the same lot. Their home was on the lot where Brother Hide and Mrs. Ellis now live adjoining the Second Ward Church.
I lived there the early part of my life. When I was 13 years old, my parents moved to Mapleton in April 1877 with their family, Father, Mother and ten children, when all at home, living in a two-room house as long as I was at home. We first lived in one room. It was not finished, only had the sheeting on the roof. There came a heavy snow storm on the 12 of May. When we got up the next morning, the sun came out, the snow began to melt, and you can imagine what shape things were in with the water pouring down on everything. We had to load our few things in the wagon and go back to Springville. They put on two span of horses and it was about all they could do to pull us back to town. Our peas were up and in blossom when this snow storm came. My brother Hyrum was bringing our cows out the night before and it was snowing. There were no roads then, only one or two running zig-zag across the bench, and it being covered with sagebrush and the blinding snow, he lost his way. But he hollered and was close enough to make us hear, so we answered. He was not far from home, but didn't know just where he was.
We returned to Mapleton as soon as the weather would permit. They shingled the house and built another room later. I often wonder how we got along, but we enjoyed ourselves working and trying to help each other. I have helped to pile and burn sage brush, to help to clear off the ground, to put in crops, to raise food stuff. I have helped to drive the grasshoppers into trenches. Father and boys would dig long trenches, put in some straw, then we would drive the hoppers in and burn them.
There was very little water for crops in those days. We would have to carry our water for the house from Mrs. Streeper's well and some times from Oak Springs until our folks dug a well.
My Father and Mother were sturdy pioneers or they never would have stayed out here and worked so hard for years to raise their family and to help to make the desert blossom as the rose. My Mother was an original pioneer of 1847, coming with the second company, in Daniel Spencer's company, her father coming with the first company of pioneers and her mother and her with the second. It has all been pioneer life to her, and she was a woman that never complained of her circumstances and tried to make the best of things as they came along. She used to say the happiest time of her life was when she got the children in bed and could sit down and mend their clothes.
Before we moved to Mapleton, my Mother and I had gone down in the fields and gleaned wheat. We would break the heads off and put them in sacks and carry them home. And we gathered ground cherries, would bring them home, scald and dry them to sell.
We washed and ironed for people to try to earn a little money to get things with. I used to work out most of the time. I first got 25 cents a week, then 50. As I grew older, I got a little more. I worked for one woman for six weeks and did all the work, washing and ironing, took care of the family while the mother went to work with the father, making men's clothing. When I got through, she paid me $2.00 a week. I was surprised to have 12 dollars all at once. With my money, I bought Mother cloth for a dress and a set of goblets which I have now. They have been in the family over fifth [sic--fifty?] years. (Three of the goblets I have [Ruby Snow?]. Ella had the others.)
I have worked in a lot of the best homes in Springville and was always treated fine. I used to help my sister-in-law wash when I would have to stand on a piece of plank so I could rub on the board. I helped to do the knitting for the family, and wove the first carpet my mother ever had.
I never had much chance to go to school, having to work for my clothes and help the others. My first teachers were my sister, Coliste Boyer, Aunt Caroline Bromley, and later Aunt Mary Whiting and Mary Crandall, and they were all wonderful women. We used to move back to Springville for winter so the children could go to school. Father and Mother moved down the first fall, taking the little children with them, leaving us older ones to look after the place and take care of things until they got things moved for winter. We had some corn and some hay fenced in a little stake yard. There was loose stock running around. We used to have to get up in the night and get the cattle out of the stacks. One night when we went to drive them out, we heard such an awful whooping and yelling, it nearly frightened us to death. We thought it was Indians. We knew they were camped up on the table near the mouth of Maple Canyon. We found out they were drunk. My brothers Hyrum and George, my sisters Luella, Lucy and I were there. Father found out about it the next day and came out and took us to town. There used to be lots of Indians camped up there and at the big hollow in those days.
We had to go to Springville to meeting and Sunday School as there was none here for years. I have walked down in the morning for Sunday School many times. I belonged to the Young Ladies' Improvement Association, as it was called then, first being called Young Ladies' Retrenchment Society. I belonged to Brother George Harrison's choir for years with Aunt Clara, Tryphena and Julia Crandall, Liza, Isabell and Christabell Johnson, Kate Houtz, Celia Oakley, Drucie Harrison, all of them being gone; Kate Miller, Susie Bird, Anna Kindred, Orvilla Harrison and David Wheeler. I think he is the only man living that belonged to the choir.
Well we moved back to Mapleton in the spring and went to work again on the farm. We were among the early families of Mapleton, then called the Union Bench. It was completely covered with sagebrush. There were very few families when we moved out. Olive Fullmer and Family, William and Don Fullmer and families, Charles Malmstrom and family, Teinaman and Family, but in a year or two a few more families began to come out here and then it didn't seem so lonesome. Uncle Charles and Aunt Abbie Bird moved out in their little one-room house. They were our nearest neighbors and we used to have a good time with them. They were always full of fun. I have lived with them a lot when their first children were small. Then the Williams family moved out with their young folks and we used to enjoy ourselves visiting together.