Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, WPA Federal Writers' Project Collection.


The dedication of the St. George Temple when it was finished:
When the temple was dedicated there was a terrible windstorm. People came from everywhere in their buggies with ox teams. Wagons and horses were too expensive to use much in those days. The temple was crowded. President Young was there and some of the Apostles. President Young was up speaking when the wind started its worst. He looked out of the windows and could see nothing but dirt flying everywhere. The men wanted to go out and rescue their buggies for they were being overturned and broken up by the wind but President Young said to be quiet. "The devil's mad but it will soon be over." So when we came home it had quieted a lot but it was certainly very windy. When I got home the west end of my father's home had started caving in. Mother and father had things there to keep it from falling. They got that fixed all right but it was sure an awful windstorm.

I was present for the dedication when President Young broke the first ground for the temple. There was a lot of people there but no real great things happened.

I was also present when the Tabernacle was dedicated and, although nothing special happened, there was a very large meeting which was very interesting.

My father and Isaiah Cox built the towers on the temple and I carried his lunch to him every day. He also helped to build Julia Foster's store and the towers on the courthouse . He and Isaiah Cox built together a great deal and also Brother Romney. Jed Gates' house, which belonged to President Young at that time was also built by my father. When he was sent here by President Young he was considered a very good carpenter.

I was about three years of age when I came to Dixie. There was nothing here to live in except dugouts, sheds, and tents for those who could afford them. The people lived in as bad of conditions as did the Indians. We lived in constant fear of the Indians of whom we were very frightened. On washday we went out and dug oose roots to make soap out of. At nights the men had to guard the settlements to protect their animals from the Indians. The Indians could come almost right into the settlement with the aid of a piece of brush that was tied to their heads. Not being able to tell them from a bush, the whites did not know they were there unless they saw them move. One night the Indians stole the Thurston family's small boy. The child was never found although they hunted and hunted and offered big rewards.

Meat was a rare thing in those days because there were few animals around and they couldn't kill their oxen since they needed them so badly and they were considered valuable. When the men went hunting meat or wood they had to go in companies so they could protect each other from the Indians.

How we celebrated the Fourth of July:
Everybody looked forward to the Fourth of July and they all did all they could to make it a good time for everyone else. The meeting was held in the meeting house located just below the old tithing office by the brick wall that runs down along there. Benches were made to sit on and a platform for the speakers, also a place for the choir to sit. Everything was made clean and tidy for the 4th and 24th clelebrations. Sheep were killed and a barbecue was held. All who could brought with them a molasses cake and a great feast, free for everyone, was held. The Marshall band got out and entertained the people. Joe McIntire played the drums and Taylor Riding the flute and they visited each camp and entertained them, receiving, as a reward, a molasses cake and a jug of beer. In this way we all had a real nice time on the 4th and 24th. Sometimes a great basket of things was made up for the poorer children, that they might enjoy themselves, too.

During warm weather when they held dances, we girls always went to them in our bare feet as did everyone else since shoes were expensive and to wear them in the winter was being extravagant enough. The heels of the shoes were put on with wooden pegs and a calico dress was so valuable that we treated them with as much care as one does silk dresses.

People had their own spinning and weaving to do in these days. We colored the yarn with herbs that we grew after we had bleached the yarn. Now we seem to have nothing and yet we have so much more than we had in those days.

When President Young came to town we always held meetings for a day or two. He cheered the people up and gave them much encouragement to go on and carry out the work that they were trying to do.

The water was bad and we had to dip it up out of the ditch and put it in jars, wrapping wet cloths around it to keep it cool. The water came off the hill running down second west street and on down past the school house. One day mother left me home to tend the baby. When she had been gone a few minutes I missed him so went out to look for him. Thinking he might have fallen in the ditch, I followed its course clear down to the bottom of town where I found him playing in the water. I certainly watched him more carefully after that for it is a wonder he didn't drown. I was also very surprised to think that the Indians hadn't carried him away.

The people used to make up their own songs to sing and we thought they were pretty nice. One was made up about Captain Barlow, the leader of the band:

"Hurrah for Captain Barlow with his drumsticks in his hand."

The song went on to bring in the whole of the company of musicians and proved very entertaining.

The girls used to bring their spinning and weaving over to each other's place and sit in the yard and visit while they had spinning races to see who could get the most number of skeins done in the shortest time. There was no time to sit idly and visit -- we must be doing something every minute of our time to make ends meet.

Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, WPA Federal Writers' Project Collection.


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