Friday, March 14, 2014

History of Richard Collings (1818-1891) and Emma Lawrence Collings (1825-1914): Part 2

Part 1
Part 2

The Collings family stayed in Salt Lake just long enough to recuperate from their dreadful experiences. Fred and David had their feet frozen so badly that the flesh came off from their heels.

Grandfather with his family went to Springville, Utah County and there made their home and helped pioneer that town.

While living at Springville, four more children were born to them, my father, William Richard, was born August 3, 1858; Lyman James, born January 14, 1861; Sarah Ann (named for her two grandmothers) was born August 19, 1863; and Mary Jane born July 22, 1866.

Life in this new country was very different from that which they had lived in the city of London, but they made adjustments and were sturdy pioneers.

For two years they lived in Hobble Creek Canyon, just southeast of Springville. Here grandfather farmed and raised cows, sheep, pigs, and chickens.

Grandmother learned to bake saltrising bread; and she had always bought bread in London. She learned to churn butter, something she had never seen done before. Instead of buying ready mad [sic] clothes, as they had always done, grandfather raised the sheep and sheared them; and grandmother washed and carded the wool and spun it into yarn, then had the yarn woven into cloth.

In 1872, they moved to Monroe, Sevier County, and were among the earliest pioneers of that settlement.
By this time grandfather owned quite a few sheep and they were the first to be herded on Monroe Mountains.

Grandfather wanted to make a dugout to live in until they could build a house, but grandmother, who always had a mind of her own, said "No, I'm not going under the ground until I'm dead." So grandfather and the boys went out to the cottonwoods southwest of town and got a lot of branches and built a bowery with a roof and three walls. This was on their new city lot. Here they lived quite comfortably while they got logs from the mountains and hewed them so they were smooth, and built a house. It was one of the first shingled roofs in Monroe, and was larger and higher than the other houses. It seemed like a large house to those people who were living in dugouts and low dirt roofed cabins. This house was still standing as of 1938.

A number of years later when a call came for people to go to Arizona and help make settlements there, grandfather and grandmother went their to make a new home. This was in 1879. Their two sons, William Richard and Lyman James, had received special calls and they went to help pioneer that country.

After spending several years at St. John's our grandparents returned to Monroe where they spent the remaining years of their lives.

Grandfather died July 12, 1891, at the age of 73 years. Richard Collings was a quiet unassuming man who wanted to live at peace with his fellowmen. One of his outstanding traits of character was honesty.

Grandmother was a widow for more than twenty-three years. She lived in her log house on our lot.

She was a faithful Relief Society teacher for many years. She was a most regular attendant at Sunday School as long as she lived, and was always at Sacrament meetings and bore her testimony whenever afforded an opportunity.

Always on Pioneer Day Celebration, Grandma Collings was on the stage among the honored guests and usually sang her handcart song. She sang it when she was in her eighties.

Handcart Song
Ye saints who dwell on Europe‘s shore
Prepare yourselves with many more,
To leave behind your native land,
For sure God's judgments are at hand.
For you must cross the raging main
Before the promised land you gain,
And with the faithful make a start 
To cross the plains with your handcart.

For some must push and some must pull
As we go marching up the hill
So merrily on the way we go.
Until we reach the valley, OH!

Grandmother often related her experiences of crossing the plains and sang the six verses of this song.

She was well and active. Every day she went for long walks visiting her family and friends. What cared she for rain or snow, she enjoyed the walk in the out of doors.

In June 1914, her strength failed and she could not care for herself any longer. We had baked her bread and washed and ironed for her for a long time, but she had kept house for herself.

Her family decided to take turns taking care of her. I took care of her until in October, then she went to her son David's home.

She died December 7, 1914, just eleven days after her 89 birthday. Her sad death was the result of burns which she received when standing with her back to the stove and her clothing caught fire.

Grandmother had lived a life of trying experiences, and she had been true to the faith.

Our grandparents suffered all of the hardships incident to pioneer life and I appreciate them more each year, for their wonderful faith, endurance and courage.

Shall the youth of Zion falter
In defending truth and right?
While the enemy assaileth
Should we shrink or shun the fight? No!
True to the faith which our parent's [sic]
have cherished.
True to the truth for which martyrs have
To God's commands, soul, heart, and hand,
Faithful and true, we will ever stand.

written by Sylvia Collings Musig

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