Our Family Legacy
They set sail for America on the sail boat International. The ocean trip was rough and stormy. All of the passengers were locked in the hold of the ship and instructed to keep calm and to pray to the Lord for deliverance or the captain feared all would be lost. The storm subsided and the journey continued but the main mast was blown off and lay out in the ocean.
In mid ocean, Sara Elizabeth became ill and died and was buried at sea by tying a sack of coal to her feet and throwing her overboard into shark infested waters. This was a harrowing experience but was deemed necessary as the sharks were following the vessel for the prey. Two weeks later, James was born which somewhat assuaged their grief.
Continuing the journey, the boat rounded the Florida coast in the Gulf of Mexico. A heavy wind was blowing and they became stranded on a sand bar and had to be pulled off by a tug boat. Arriving at New Orleans, they transferred to a steam ship and sailed up the Mississippi River to Kelckek, afterwards known as Council Bluffs.
At this point, they disembarked and were assigned to the Jacob Gates Co. and commenced their trek across the plains toward Utah and arrived at Salt Lake City 6 Oct. 1853.
Not being able to obtain employment to make a livelihood for his family in Salt Lake, Joseph Day and his family proceeded North to Bountiful and settled on land known as the Walton farm or the ranch at Woods Cross. Here they moved into a one room log house without doors or windows. Sometime later a Mr. Jackson built a two room adobe house and they moved into one of these rooms.
My mother was born in either the log room or the adobe room 4 Nov. 1855. I have been unable to determine which. Her name was Lucy. They lived here some time until Grandfather built a home of his own on the southwest corner of the lot west of the tabernacle and the main thoroughfare north and south through Bountiful, now known as highway 91.
Mother gathered wool from the fence and bushes where sheep grazed and carded it into the bats for lining quilts. She also learned to write a good legible hand and was expert in orthography. She sang in the choir and did some dramatic work as well as church activity in the ward. She took every advantage and opportunity to progress and she became definitely self made and able to cope with the problems of pioneer life. She was an expert weaver and became adept at crocheting, tatting, and needle point. The latter is evident by a piece of work that she did when only 13 years of age and is in the possession of my sister Emma Garrett and she cherishes it very much. It is a piece about 18 by 24 inches on which is worked the family record, dates, names, births, and deaths up to the time of making. Also dates of parents marriage, all with yarn from the loom.
Later, Aunt Mary Ann married William Fluit and moved to Whitney where she made her permanent home. Lucy, my mother, visited with her and while there met her future husband, James Henry Handy, son of Samuel Handy and Hannah Watts, early pioneers. Father made trips to Bountiful on horseback to court her and on the 2 Dec. 1872 they were married in the Endowment House in Salt Lake City by Daniel H. Wells. To this union were born 12 children, 7 boys 6 girls, all of which save 4, married and raised respectable families. Three died in infancy and one disappointed in love, remained single. At this point, I make record of all the children born to James Henry Handy and Lucy Day:
For a young couple to start from scratch in an Indian infested country and only 12 years after the arrival of the first pioneers, it took nerve, perseverance, hype and hard work to succeed. There were many handicaps and hardships to overcome to raise a family and make a livelihood. Mother had all the qualifications necessary for these and other problems that naturally would present themselves. She had a kind motherly disposition with good management and perseverance. The envy of all her sisters, it was Lucy this and Lucy that and what she thought was unquestionable. She was a good cook and housekeeper. Life does not hold enough years to repay a mother's love.
None of the conveniences existed that we have today. For lighting she molded sperm candles. I have helped her make them many times. We also used what was called the bitch, a greased rag and then lighted it. For cooking and warmth, logs were hauled from the canyons and were chopped into lengths for the stove.
As we boys grew older, we took on responsibilities and helped in many ways in shouldering the load and making life more pleasant for all and would go to the canyons for wood while mother sat up waiting for our safe arrival home which was sometimes in the late hours of the night. Snow was three and four feet deep on the level and ten or twelve feet in the canyons and procuring a load was difficult and many times it would tip over coming down the canyon and reloading was difficult. Certain times of the year we were fearful of avalanches which were infrequent. Two Gibson boys were buried alive and when found were dead. Ed Buckley was recovered alive. These were some of the hardships of pioneer life.
We kept a few cows, chickens and our own pork and we farmed Grandfather Handy's acreage of twenty five or thirty acres which finally reverted to Father. George worked with the sheep on the summer range and Annie and Emma would do household duties for families in the neighborhood. Annie and I also worked in the North Star Woolen Mill at Franklin. I worked in the drug store which I finally studied and made my life vocation. Wages were small but all in all we gained a foothold and began to live better and enjoy our surroundings. Father learned the carpenter trade and material was available when he enlarged our living quarters.
I will always remember when we children slept three in one bed with mumps, measles and whooping cough. We had no physicians as today but mother made a good nurse.
Every fall, Father and the Brodbent boys Orson, Ben and Joe, would go to Wyoming to trap beaver and shoot wild animals, deer and so forth. Much of the deer meat we cured into what we called jerky by hanging in the sunlight until dry and it made it good eating. Beaver tails, we roasted on top of the stove until thoroughly cooked.
We often heard Abe Lincoln quoted, "All that I am or ever expect to be, I owe to my angel mother." I experienced this thought and experience in my life. The advice and counsel that my mother gave me ever rings in my ear. She taught me my first prayer. Even now as I labor in the garden among the shrubs and flowers, I say to myself, "My mother taught me to do this and that wise." I regret that it isn't my privilege to share some of the luxuries and comforts that I enjoy today with her. God bless her memory and may her sleep be sweet until we all realize and enjoy the blessings promised by living the gospel for which our forebears left their native land and died that we will appreciate our heritage.
Mother died in her 49th year of pneumonia. She attended the Relief Society meeting on 17 Mar in a downpour of rain and contracted pneumonia and died 24 Mar 1905. When talented personalities leave us early in life, it is difficult to evaluate the good they would have done by remaining among us and disseminating their knowledge to the world and individuals.
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