Saturday, September 5, 2015

{History of Mapleton} Sarah Jane Nielson (1886-1960) and Albert Milton Whiting, Jr. (1881-1963)

This is from The History of Mapleton, by Ralph K. Harmer and Wendell B. Johnson, on page 177.

Albert Milton Whiting, Jr. (Bert) was a direct descendant of the early settlers of the community of Mapleton. Edwin Whiting, his grandfather, was one of the first to establish a home in this area, and his father, Albert Milton Whiting, Sr. and his wife, Harriet Susannah Perry, reared a family of fifteen children, all of whom grew up in this community, many of them staying to make their homes here.

Bert, the fifth child and first son of his father’s family, was born January 1, 1881.

At an early age he began assuming responsibility for many of the chores and tasks associated with the yard and garden; and as he grew older this naturally shifted to assuming increased responsibility for farm work and taking care of the livestock. With the large family of children at home, it was a great problem to provide all of the necessities of life for them, and each child had to assume a share of the work on the farm. As the oldest boy in the family, Bert had a difficult and unique challenge of his own in this respect.

Because of the pressures of the farm work, the school year for Bert was nearly always interrupted either by starting late in the fall or by quitting early in the spring or by both. He did make good use of the time while he was in attendance, however.

When the schoolhouse was being built, he and his brother, Ray, hauled part of the brick and all of the sand and adobes for that building from Mark Cook’s kiln down on the road called “Straight Line.”

Between 1902 and 1904 he filled a mission to the Eastern States and labored all of the time in the city of Baltimore.

Following the mission he returned to the Brigham Young University during the winter quarters where he tried to finish his high school work. The pressures on the farm, however, made it extremely difficult for him to stay with an educational program. He had hopes of one day becoming a dentist, but finally, because of his father’s ill health, he had to give up his education and return home to assume greater responsibility for providing for the large family.

During the winter of 1908 he became acquainted with Sarah Jane Nielson of Sanford, Colorado, who was in Utah attending the Brigham Young University. They became attracted to each other almost immediately and after a courtship that lasted several months, they were married on August 26, 1909, in the Salt Lake Temple.

Sarah Jane (Sadie) was the daughter of Anthon and Maria Beck Nielson, who had been called by the church to help settle the San Luis Valley in Southern Colorado. She was born at Richfield, Colorado, on March 14, 1886. She was the fifth child and the oldest living girl of ten children. Later the Nielson family moved to Mapleton.

Bert had some of the work under way on a home when they were married, and within a few weeks two rooms were completed so they could be occupied. Bert and Sadie made that spot their home for over fifty years.

Bert had a great love for the soil and early began acquiring his own farmland. He was an industrious worker and took great pride in his crops, his animals and his farm machinery, and was known as one of Mapleton’s outstanding farmers. He was also involved in many church and community activities.

Sadie was a capable wife, mother and homemaker. Beside the routine tasks of keeping a home, she always had a flock of laying hens and a garden of beautiful roses. She, too, contributed to her church and to the community. She held leadership positions in the L.D.S. Primary, the Young Women’s Mutual Improvement Association, and for seven years was president of the ward Relief Society. She helped to organize and served on the first Planning Commission for Mapleton.

The first great love of this couple was their family—Quinn, Ruth, Rex, and Niel; but it also extended to a host of relatives and friends who knew that in Mapleton the door of Bert and Sadie was always open.

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