Ancestor Highlight: Lillian Florence Lundgren
Lillian Florence Lundgren is my great grandmother. She was my father’s, father’s mother. This is her autobiography and an amazing life story. I am grateful to be one of her descendants. She had some great trials and blessings in her lifetime. She tells of seeing her deceased aunt visit her as an angel when she was young, having several siblings and children die of diseases like diphtheria (I have NO IDEA why people are against vaccinations after reading stories like this), having her daughter die because her husband would not believe her that she was sick, having her husband away for months or years at a time for work, having a drunk man try to break into her house and her being protected, having her husband get hurt seriously at work and dying a few years later but not before he embraced Jesus Christ fully. Its a fun read!
I was born at Bingham, Utah August 27, 1887. My father was a miner and worked at Bingham for many years and was foreman in the mine. The doctor came to our home riding a white horse. My Aunt Sophie often told me about it. She came from Salt Lake and was helping my mother. She was then 20 years old. She said the first thing that I did when I entered into this world, was to yawn and seem very sleepy. She named me Lillian Florence and she always loved me. She promised to give me a beautiful silk dress, which she did when I was about 10 years old. It was really pretty and the envy of all my girl friends.
I do not remember moving from Bingham to Cottonwood, which it was called at that time. Later they called it Holladay. Father moved there as he changed jobs and started to work at Big Cottonwood Canyon, Alta and Brighton. He had built a nice little home at Bingham and mother had a nice little garden of all kinds of flowers. We rented a little home on Cottonwood Lane among the tall cottonwoods and there were all kinds of beautiful wild flowers. My sisters and I loved to rove the woods there.
One day when gathering flowers, a beautiful lady came in our midst. She looked like an angel and she came and stood there awhile and then disappeared. I’ll never forget it, although I was very young. Years after I told Aunt Sophie about her and she said it was an angel, our Aunt Selma who was dead. I never told anyone else about seeing her but I never forgot the incident even to this day.
We lived very happy out in that lovely country and father used to walk from the mountains every few weeks to see us. I remember mother killing a skunk with a big stone. Selma and I were playing by a little brook that ran through our yard and it came to get a drink of water. We ran and told mother about it and she came out and threw the stone at it, killing it instantly. I remember one day mother was taking us to town and I lost one of my shoes. I hunted and hunted and finally we found it.
Father bought a buggy (they called them surreys) with fringe all around the top and two seals, and of course we had to have a horse to go with it. Mother took all us children, five girls and one boy up to Salt Lake City to see and visit our dear little grandmother. We were always so happy to see her and our uncle and Aunt Sophie. Sometimes we would spend the night with her.
I remember the lovely golden butter in long pounds, and eggs, and poultry that a Mrs. Quist used to bring to Salt Lake and sold it to my grandma. Years and years she came regularly and always on Saturday. That old farm is still standing on Highland Drive. It was at that time called the country highways. It was on this highway mother would drive until she came to 8th South. Grandma lived on 8th South between 3rd and 4th East.
We finally began to grow up to school age and through an old friend of our parents, we moved to a little home on 7th East and old 14th South, which is now 33rd South. There were only two rooms and we were really crowded. We lived there for only a little while. Father then bought a little house up by the brickyard which is now called Brickyard Lane. In that little home I spent my childhood days and started to the Wilford School. I was very shy but I soon got acquainted with the girls around that vicinity. We girls all joined the Sunday school and were all baptized in 1898 in the Tabernacle and blessed at Old Millcreek Ward.
During that period my father would come home every three or four months. My dear little mother was left to do all the things that a man usually would do, cutting hay for the cow, milking, and I was always trying to help her.
Three boys were born into our family now and one died, Walter, when he was about two years old. Then there was Alvin who was 2 ½ years and Emil who was 9 years. They contacted diphtheria and died in 1902 just two weeks apart. This nearly broke my heart and I grieved silently and alone for years. It seemed to mature me much too soon.
I always worried about my parents and tried to help them. We girls used to and work for our neighbors sometimes for 10¢ a day. We were always kept immaculate and we could work because mother taught us at tender age to keep our house clean. I used to sing and recite at our meeting held in our school house. Bishop Cummings presided there for years. We always had a nice Christmas and our stockings were filled with candy, nuts and an orange, and then some other presents like dolls, books, etc. But our father was away so much, we really did miss him. He was always so kind and good and we all loved him dearly.
Father built two extra rooms to our little house and then mother used to take a few boarders in who worked at the brickyard. Some came for dinner and lunch. She was always trying to help, making a few dollars for her family and helping Daddy.
When I was in the seventh grade, or at the end of the school term, I quit school. Just before that time we had a man who was a music teacher, and I joined his class. He taught me the song of “Love’s Old Sweet Song” and I was to sing it at the old Scott School on 33rd and 5th East. Just a few weeks before at a party I met my sweetheart, who later became my husband. Later he took me Calder’s Park and a few places, and ward dances. I was 14 years old then. We kept going together.
When I was 16 years old mother and dad sold our old and we moved to Salt Lake. I still took a course at the L.D.S. Business College for a semester. Then I quit and started to work, clerking, etc. My sweetheart came up to see me every Wednesday and Saturday nights. We would often take mother to a show or on a ride with us. She was still mothering us girls and we all tried to work and help her all we could by paying board and buying a few pieces of furniture for our parlor, now that we all had our boyfriends.
When I left that little home on the hill I cried for a few days until I got used to the new home which we just rented for a time.
Father would come home from the camp whenever he could. One Christmas in this little home he said it was the best Christmas he ever had. We were all home together and we had a nice turkey and all the trimmings that go with it. I was clerking in the old Moters Store on Main and I worked until very late Christmas Eve. My sister Edna and husband came home and there was Ida and her boyfriend, Joe King, Selma, Ellen and Cy and myself.
We began to look for another home and finally mother found one on 4th East, Cottage Court No. 722 and she and Dad bought it and made another home of our own. It was a nice place with five rooms. We fixed it up clean and cozy, and had many nice times there.
We would take mother to a show with us as she was lonely. We went to the Old Salt Palace, Russel’s Dance Hall, the Old Uthana, which long since has been torn down. We lived in the 2nd Ward. Mother still worked at different places, washed and stretched curtains and was always busy. Her health was not too good.
I started working at the laundry, The Trory. Selma and I worked there for a couple of years. Then in 1906 I was struck down with appendicitis and operated on in the L.D.S. Hospital. I finally recovered and did not work again that year.
In 1907, September 4th, I married Cyrus Morgan and we lived in our old home while mother and dad went to Eureka, Nevada and there is where dad got his death blow, working in that awful black dust. They were gone a year and took little Leo with them. We had some very sad days when poor little Selma had her baby but we all loved him and he was a cute little fellow.
In 1908 my son, Conrad was born. We moved away from the old home to Willard Court where he was born. We lived there about three months, and then we rented a little home out on 5th East near 33rd South.
I forgot to write about my wedding as it was a very special occasion of my young life. Cyrus and I courted each other for nearly six years before we were married. I had a beautiful wedding dress, hat, gloves, and all accessories. We had planned to be married at my home in Salt Lake City but his father and mother suggested we have it out in their old home in the country, 404 East 33rd South. We planned our wedding day for September 4, 1907. We had been saving enough money by placing as much money as we could spare in the bank and we had $700 to buy a piece of ground on 7th East where we later built our first home.
The day of our wedding was a beautiful fall day. My girl friend, Tillie Jensen, came to our home and arranged my hair style for me. My hair was long, nearly down to my knees and it was a light golden color, thick and beautiful. She styled it up in a pretty fashion at the base of my neckline and we were all so excited about getting ready to go out to the wedding. My sweetheart came for me about 4 O’clock in the afternoon in a little new buggy with red wheels and small rubber tires. That afternoon ha gave me a gold watch for my 19th birthday which was a few days before. We rode out in the little buggy and as I clutched the watch to my bosom, I was very happy and proud, and we laughed and talked all the way out. My mother and sisters came out later on the street car.
When we arrived at the home my heart throbbed with joy at the sight of the long table, the length of the old dining room. His lovely old aunties were all there with beautiful roses and flowers of all kinds. The table was set with all kinds of fruits, salads, pies, cakes, roasted chicken and dressing and all the things that go with an old fashioned dinner. My sister and girl friend had been out helping with the baking and preparing for two days.
We were married there in the parlor by Bishop O.P. Miller, Mrs. Morgan’s brother, and he was a lovely person. As we stood there after he gave us his blessing, my eyes filled with tears and they all came to grasp our hands and wish us happiness and joy. I was 19 years old and Cy was 20.
As we sat at the head of the table, I looked around at all their dear faces and it made me very happy. The only thing that affected me was that my father and oldest sister could not come. Dad was away working in the mine and for some reason that time could not get away. I sent him a piece of my wedding cake, and the ornament of bride and groom which was on the top of the cake. It has been used since on my son Edd’s cake at his wedding.
I remember my engagement ring. We went in to Daynes Jewelry Store where we purchased it. The sales girls all snickered and laughed as they thought we were awfully young to be married.
The next morning after the wedding we went home where we stayed a few days until we could find a house. We went downtown and purchased our furniture. We paid partly cash and the rest in a few months. I still have our bedroom set, and am now 70 years old, and it is still unmarred from scratches or marks of any kind.
We finally found a house for rent at Willard Court near town and had our furniture sent there. We had a nice dining room, a bedroom and kitchen, bath and toilet room. We lived there for quite a while, and it was there my first son was born. He was a fat bouncing baby weighing 9 pound.
My father and mother decided to go to Nevada where he was offered a job as foreman in that black dusty mine. We were all grown and father thought it would be fine to have his wife go along with him. He sent money for her to join him and she left her home for the first time in all their married life. Dad was a good foreman and they stayed there for a year and we moved into their home at Salt Lake to care for it while they were gone. It was located on 4th East between 4th and 5th South, 722 Cottage Court.
Mother was very homesick for her family but she made it nice and cozy for Dad while they were there. He sent me a check each month for the payment on the home which I placed in the bank.
Selma was then in Salt Lake and had little Leo. She was restless and wanted to get work so mother arranged to come home and take him to Nevada with her. Dad sure enjoyed having him and all the miners called him “Nevada kid”. They stayed on at that place until Dad began to fail. It was the last long position he would have. The black dust of the ore bored into his lungs and he got very thin pale. Finally he had to quit and come home. We were glad to see them home but felt very sad to see him so weak and ill.
Dad built a little place in the rear of the home where they stored his furniture, while we lived in the home. It was there in the month of August, 31st day that my second son, Sylvan was born. They were close together, just 17 months apart. He was a cute little son with long dark hair. He developed diarrhea and I had a long siege with two little sons. He was very ill and Conrad was ill also so I had a nurse to help me for sometime until they were better. I was left alone for weeks at a time because there was no work in town and Cy was an ironworker now. He had to seek employment out of the city. We were happy with our little sons and I took good care of them at all times.
We decided to move out in the country where there was good fresh air. We moved out on 3rd East near old 14th South and paid $8.00 a month for a four room house. The air was fresh and the boys grew strong and healthy. We had it nice and cozy but I was alone most of the time again. My third son, Doras was born at this place. We had a nice vegetable garden and a good neighbor who used to live on the hill near the brick yard. She was very good to me and I could walk to Cy’s old home and visit with his mother.
When my son was born we couldn’t contact the doctor so my mother who came out to help me delivered the baby. Dear little mother, I can see her yet sitting by my side. I did love her. Father was not able to work now and they had a hard time of it. Sister Ida was there as she had trouble with her husband and she had to work and help support her little son and help the folks.
In 1911 my oldest sister, Edna died at 39 years old leaving three little girls. I felt very sad about her passing on as she also did not have a real happy life. She was the one who could not come to my wedding.
We lived in this little frame cottage until we built our own home on 7th East on the lot we bought before we were married. We built a nice little brick cottage on it and we were very happy to have a home of our own. It stood in a field and a brook ran in front of it filled with trout. We moved up there in the spring of 1911 with our three sons. Those little fellows always stuck together. Where one would go, the other two followed, mostly to Uncle Ike’s home where they would play with his young sons.
In this home I stayed alone many times as long as six months while Cy was away on steelwork. He was now a full fledged steel worker and a good one. We had a beautiful lawn in front of the home at 3434 So. 7th East and a lovely vegetable garden in the back. They grew so fast and we had every kind of a vegetable that could be planted at the very rear of our property. There were three people buried there years ago.
The boys started to the Roosevelt School on 9th East Street. They contracted all the diseases that children usually have but in those days they were more severs as they did not have all the medicine to combat them with. They were a happy little group and would come home and tell me about their days at school.
In 1914 on January 31st, I had born unto me a dear little girl. How joyful we were to have a girl at last. Cigars were passed out to the men at the Labor Temple and Grandfather Morgan sent us a present and grandmother Morgan too. We were all so happy. She was a beautiful golden haired child and we sure did cherish and love her. Then when she was about 3 ½ years old our sorrow began. Somewhere the boys in school had contracted diphtheria. My home was always very clean. First Sylvan began crying about his legs hurting him, he had a light case.
Then Conrad started with a very bad sore throat and was very ill. Sylvan was left deaf in one ear. Doras had a very light case. This started in March and the doctor said they had tonsillitis. I sent for my husband and told him I thought they had diphtheria but he would not believe me. Time went on and they all recovered and then my darling little girl came down with it. She was very ill and one morning she came and stood in the doorway in her little nigh tie and as she stood there she swayed like a tree, white as death. I ran to her and caught her in my arms and told my husband she had diphtheria but still he did not believe and did not call a doctor. I finally got desperate and dressed her. There was no doctor near so I walked down to State Street with her in a little baby cart. She looked like a little angel sitting there. When I reached his office I was tired and she was very weak. He took one look at her and said she had diphtheria in the worst form.
I hurried home with her and when I reached home I told my husband she had diphtheria. He became angry because he did not believe in doctors and told me I was all wrong, but he loved her and felt very bad. When she came in the next morning standing in the doorway hardly able to walk, he said to get the doctor, but it was too late then. She had been ill so long and she got worse from day to day.
They started to get ill in March and here it was June. The doctor came in and gave them penicillin, the boys 2000 units a day and he gave her 10,000. She would not take the tablets so we could not do anything for her. I had to just see her dying. On the 2nd of June as she passed away. Aunt Annie and Uncle Ike stuck with me until the end, and Grandma Morgan. When day came, a lovely spring morning, I stood in the doorway and could hear the birds singing but there was no song in my heart. Our little darling was gone. She tried to tell me something before she died but I could not make out what she said. That was before she lost consciousness.
Her name was Lillian Vie, named by the contractor Cy worked for. She was named after the big viaduct bridge they had just completed. Edd Dundas named her. He was very good to me and told me to call him at any time I needed him, day or night. I was alone during most of their illness from March until the 2nd of June when her Father called her home.
I lived through it all but was very weak when everything was over. I weighed exactly 90 pounds and took months for me to regain my strength. I picked up the broken threads and tried to make a life for the rest of them.
A big job came up in California. Cy was going alone but at the last moment he decided to close the home up and take us with him. This was in 1917 and the job would last nearly a year. Aunt Annie came down again and helped me pack. I gave all my little doll’s dresses and clothes away before we left. It was the first time I had ever left home for a long trip. I hurried uptown to say ‘goodbye’ to my folks. Father was weak sitting in chair. I went to kiss him and he kind of turned from me. He did not want me to break down. I left hoping I would find him alive when I returned a year hence.
We had a nice rented apartment and stayed until the big job was completed. Cy was foreman on the job there. Christmas came and we both threw ourselves on the bed and cried. It was the first Christmas after our dear little girl died. It took time to heal our sorrow but we still had our three sons so we had to be brave and make them happy. March came and we returned to our home again.
I forgot to tell of a terrible incident that happened before my little girl was born. One night at 3 o’clock when my husband was in Tooele working, I heard a terrible knocking on the back porch door. My little niece, Bertha was staying with me a few weeks and she, the three boys and myself were there alone. When I heard this knocking and loud voice I was not afraid because my husband had given me a gun to protect myself from any intruding. I had practiced with it a few times and Cy had said if anyone came at night when I was alone to let them have it. I got up from bed. It was a cold night in January with no electric lights, only a full bright moon a shining from the heavens. I went out in the kitchen and a man had entered the back porch and was pounding on the door. He tried to push it open. I thought at first it was Cy who had come home late as he had done sometimes before, but when I heard a voice saying, “I won’t hurt you”, I knew then it was time for action.
I ran to get the revolver which was in the front room. The safety was on. I still was not afraid so I just pushed the safety down and by that time he was by the pantry window. I knocked on the window and told him I would shoot if he did not go. He just stood in front of me on the porch, so I raised the window and fired twice. I didn’t want to kill him so I shot close to his arm. I don’t think it hit the flesh but he turned and ran down the porch steps saying, “Fire, Fire”. By that time I was really shaking. He had a horse and buggy right out in front of the house.
I watched him run in the moonlight toward the front of the house. I still had the revolver in my hand and he walked a few feet from the front door when he turned and started back. I went out on the front porch, was very angry and said, “Now if you don’t go, I’ll fill you full of holes”. He said,” Is this 7th East” and I answered, “Yes, now go for God’s sake go!” He walked across the street and got into his buggy and drove off.
By the time my little niece had heard me yell at him. She stood in the middle of the room paralyzed with fear. She said, “Aunt Lill, what is wrong?”. I placed my arms around her and told her that a man was trying to break in, and put her back in her bed. I went into my own bedroom very much upset and nervous. We heard a horse and buggy coming by again. I called her and said he was coming back and we got the gun again, but this time it was another party and they did not stop. However, there was no more rest for us that night. The boys slept through it all and never knew until next morning what had happened.
We sent for Uncle Ike to come and fix the door latch safer than it was. There were big snow prints of a man’s shoe all around the house. He was a very huge fellow with a cap pulled over his head. Some of the ironworkers heard of it and called my husband and he came home a few days after. There was no mention of it in the news as I never called them but all the neighbors knew. The nearest neighbor was a block and a half away. My baby girl was born a short time after.
A week later we saw another man come into the lot. There was snow all around and we could see him clearly from inside. Cy had gone to town. We watched him go all around the house and then the boys said, “Mama, get the gun’, and did. We watched and waited until he came around the front again. I opened the door and he was slowly walking up the street. I heard someone playing the accordion and some voices. There was a group of people who were coming to surprise us with a house warming party for our new home. I was thankful and happy it was not another incident like the week before. He had merely come in to find a place for his horse and buggy. We all had a good time that evening.
Now going back again, after my darling’s death we returned from California and the boys started to school again. Summer came and passed without any event, then the 11th of September 1917, in the morning they called me on the telephone and said Dad had passed away so I rushed up there, but they had already taken him away to the mortuary. I sadly went with my dear little mother to prepare things for his burial.
Mother was left alone, I felt so lonely so after a time mother sold our old home uptown and came to live with me, she and Leo. I loved Leo like my own son and she also had my sister’s son, so they all three came out to live with us. Now there were eight of us. Leo went to school with the boys at the Roosevelt School. He was then about nine years old. Frank Murtaugh was the other little fellow. We lived in peace and enjoyed my dear mother with us.
We had to have a little more room and we heard of this home I’m now living in for sale for $4000. cash. We looked at it and liked it very much so we sold our home but in the transaction we lost $2700. Dealing with a real estate man who was supposed to be a good Mormon. We had to make that up in order to buy this new home. My husband had a big job in Nevada so I was left here with the children and mother. I nearly went insane with worry so I went to work at Keith O’Briens and felt better. Mother took care of the home and we got along fine.
The man who swindled us came here one day and said he would like to see us go through the Temple. I told him what I thought of him. He was a professor at the University of Utah. When I go thought the Temple I would not want a man like him to offer me any assistance and also that it was hard earned blood money that he took from us. Anyway that is when I started to work and it took a long time to clean the house. I clerked as a saleslady and getting away seemed to make me forget there was ever a person like him on earth.
We had always lived a good life and I prayed that sometime when Cy could stay home long enough, we could go to Church and attend our meeting regularly. We who were home went to Sunday school and I taught in the Primary but the thing I wanted most in life was to get Cy interested in Church. He was clean honest man. No liquor or smoking or dining, he was clean all through but being away from home, he did not have the opportunity to go to Church. As a child he always went but it seemed as if there was something to happen before I got my wish and my prayers answered, and it so happened.
My mother came to live with us. She sold the old home and she and Leo shared our home. Starting to work made me feel more secure. I worked at the Salt Lake Knitting Store, at Z.C.M.I., and at Keith O’Brien. Then I started to sell on the road with a sales manager and four sales ladies. First it seemed very hard because I was to anxious to please my customers and it took experience to make sure that the garments would fit. I made it a matter of prayer every day I went out. Mother would care for the family when I went for a week or to two weeks to Carbon Country, Southern Utah or Nevada. I loved to be a saleslady and I always felt that I could sell so I got all my experience with the road crew, sometimes just breaking even.
I thought I had my family but twelve years later, I bore my fourth son, Edd. I was never too strong but I was real happy when my doctor told me I was going to have a baby. I tried to take good care of myself and ate the things I thought would strengthen me and after having a serious operation never dreamed of being pregnant again. I suffered all the time that I was pregnant until he was born.
The child’s birth was normal. He was a premature baby of seven months but he did fairly well. Then after a few months he got the black diarrhea and we sure did fight to keep him. I remember Brother Fox coming in and carrying him around for awhile. He was so thin we had to carry him on a pillow and for two summers he had that dreadful illness. Mother was my strength. She helped me all she could and finally we pulled him through, and he was on his way to recovery after having several baby specialists.
Then something happened. One day I was lying on the bed when Mr. Mettome, Cy’s contractor whom he worked for came in and told me my husband was hurt and in the Ogden Hospital. Of course, I knew it must be very bad or they would have brought him home. He said he would take me up there if I wanted to go. At 1:30 P.M. I went up, the first time with Mr. Dundas his other contractor whom he had been working for many years. Cy spoke to me and we stayed only a few minutes. Next time I went in the afternoon.
The accident happened when Cy had just completed the big water tank in Ogden. The tank was 40 feet high and it stood 90 feet up from the ground. He had about a half hour to complete painting it on the inside. He sent a man up to take down the rigging and a board feel, hitting him a glancing blow on the side of his head. They lowered him from a man hole at the bottom of the tank with ropes and drew him to the ground and rushed him to the hospital.
When Cy was well enough they brought him home and he lay here side by side with my little son who was so ill with diarrhea. I often wonder how I ever stood up but the Lord was with me and I nursed them both. Little Ted got well in time but his father’s head was fractured. He was examined by head specialists but it seemed there was nothing they could do. The last resort was a spinal treatment from which he suffered great pain.
He was hurt while on the job, yet I never received but a few weeks compensation and that was all. He worked around the home, and then he thought me being a saleslady he wanted to try and go out with me so I made a salesman out of a steel worker. When he felt well enough we left here in February and we had $500. Of samples with us from the Salt Lake Knitting Company, all sizes made to my measurement. I was slender then and wore them well. Cy wrote the orders and I took the measurements. I was the first lady to go on the road for Salt Lake Knitting Co. and we did well but we had to keep the home going and our expenses on the road were high so it was pretty hard to get ahead.
We got up to the border of South Dakota and his head hurt him so much with splitting headaches and he became nervous. It was cold and snowing during February and March and I contracted a cold. Cy would not sell unless I was with him so we layed over a day or so in Loveland, Wyoming. I was ill so I went to a chiropractor and he gave me a good hot treatment and the next day we moved homeward. We arrived home in May.
Cy had many good offers for foreman on big steel jobs but he had to turn them all down. He could not ever do steel work again and could not sell on account of his head hurting so bad. He lived 12 years from the time of his injury until his death. His entire head was hurt so badly that he cried like a child one morning when he finally realized that he was a doomed man.
I got on W.P.A. relief work at Sugarhouse, sewing for awhile and then I was transferred down to Granite High School where I was supervisor over the lunches. My son Sylvan from Oregon came home to help. He brought his wife and stayed a year and helped around the yard and house but the depression was on and he could not get work. I kept my work at the high school until I was transferred again taking measurements for children’s patterns for dresses and clothes. In the meantime Sylvan’s wife had a little baby and she was at the Country Hospital. We sure enjoyed having them here and he helped me with the outside work.
In the spring Sylvan took his wife and child home to Oregon. I sure did miss him, with the oldest son married and my second son also. Mother, Ted and I were alone here. I enjoyed my work and was happy I could take care of them but I had the $1000. mortgage to clear on our house. I finally got it paid. I paid my tithing on my little earnings of $65.00 a month, but at first I only earned $55.00 and I knew that the Lord was with me. When I went back to work my forelady said, “Now honey, hold your head up and never look down.” I never forgot that.
One day in the early spring I came from work very tired and weary. The boys and their father were out planting trees. Cy told the boys to hurry and get them planted. He gazed into the sky and said he wouldn’t be here very long. That night he went to bed and next morning he said he hadn’t slept all night. He had a fainting spell caused by the injury in his head. Doras was standing near just ready to go to work when he stiffened out and we called for Sylvan to come up. They carried him into the dining room and placed him on the couch. He lived all that day until 3 A.M. when he passed away, just after telling the boys to be good to their mother and Ted. Just before he passed away he offered up a testimony and the elders of the ward whom he had worked with stood in a circle in the room while he was speaking. Bishop DeYoung was standing by his side and myself. He talked fast but every word was clear and distinct. It was a wonderful testimony, and then he lapsed into a coma of which he never came out of.
Cy worked in the Temple after we quit selling and he spent many days there working for the dead. The thing I had prayed for came one night just before he got so bad. He placed his arm around me while we were going up the stairs and she said, you know, this thing had to happen to me in order for me to see the light and I’m glad I found it”. The boys all felt very sad about losing their dad but they were good boys and really loved him.
Two and one-half years after losing Cy, I met John Thompson. Conrad was married to Ann Peterson before his father passed away. They had a little son. Shortly after this time Doras married. Then there was mother, Ted, and myself alone. Mother helped me with the housework. I had to work five days away from home each week. We loved each other so much and I was so happy to have her. She helped me in times of need and as she grew older I helped her. She was a happy little person and used to sing while doing her work. Then she began to fail and she stopped crocheting and singing. She lived a comfortable life when she could not get around.
The time came when I was not able to take care of mother and we pondered what to do. Finally a lady came and helped me in the home. She stayed all summer, then left me for higher wages. We finally decided we would find a nice home for mother. We found one which was considered to be one of the best in Salt Lake City.
Burying my little daughter and mu husband did not crush me as much as placing my dear old mother in a home. I went there twice a week to see her and sometimes I would find her singing little Swedish songs that I had never heard her sing before. She seemed to be well cared for and clean. She was in the home four years. On Easter Sunday she passed away. When I heard the telephone ringing at 2 A.M. I knew she had gone home, a sweet little darling mother answering her last call. The poem I wrote for her and read in one Relief Society is still in my heart:
“Oh, my dear mother, I wish that you knew
How I have loved and worried over you.
I know you have been brave through trouble and strife,
Have kept up so wonderful all through your life.
I hope to repay you some day if I may
If ever I’ve strewn trouble or grief in your way.
I’m a mother now
I really never knew that great, wonderful “Mother’s Love”
Until I was one too.”
I had mother with me for 35 years, and never once did I regret doing for her. She was always sweet, and kind. My doctor said I had spoiled her. She never left the home the later part of her life, and I have no regrets of mistreating her. Only to place her in a home at the age of 90 years “nearly broke my heart”. My sons all loved her, and also my husband Cyrus, and later, my husband John Thompson, who was always so kind to her.