Anna Clementina was born at Four Mile near Plain City, Utah, on April 6, 1865. She was the third child of her parents, William Carroll Hawkins, born November 4, 1836, and Henrietta Clementina Germer, born May 31, 1844. Her brother and sisters were: Pernecia, born December 1,1860, died in August 1863; Mary Matilda, born December 26, 1862; Hannah Jane, born September 12, 1867, died April 9, 1882; Gertrude, born January 27, 1869, died August 20, 1889; Catherine, born February 13, 1872, died in the fall of 1917; William Martin, born December 21, 1876; Augusta Hope, born October 1, 1881; Edith Myrtle, born January 9, 1887, died in May, 1887.
One of Mother’s earliest memories is of following her father out to milk. Just as dark was falling, she saw something moving under a tree. Mother thought it was a white hen that her mother had and she said, “Chickie, Chickie,” and the creature jumped at her and screeched. She was terribly frightened and screamed, bringing her father to her at once. But the creature was only her sister Mary. It wasn't so funny for Mary, though, for Grandpa picked a switch off the tree and “tanned her jacket.”
Mother also remembers of the time when her sister Janie was very sick and a “Doctor Lady” rode on horseback from Ogden, ten miles distant to treat her. She remembers of hearing her folks talking about how fast the lady came, she thinks it was forty minutes.
One time her mother and father separated and her mother took the children and went to Grandpa Germer’s home in Bear River, Utah. Her father came, and she remembers how he sat on the cellar and how he cried. The family was reconciled and reunited.
The Indians came to their place often and sang and danced, and Grandpa would give them watermelons. They liked him very much as he spoke their language very well.
One time when the grasshoppers came, Grandpa was away and Grandma, Aunt Mary and Mother made little switches and drove them into some straw that Grandpa had piled across the road from the house. It was just before dusk and the grasshoppers stayed in the straw, and when Grandpa came home after dark they told him about it and he went out and burned the straw, grasshoppers and all. They were still living in Four Mile then. Grandpa owned a lot in Ogden on Main Street which he traded for a cow. The lot is now worth a million dollars.
They moved to Marsh Valley when Anna was about four years old. Their house there was two small houses put together, and had only a dirt floor. Later Grandpa made a floor of slabs of lumber. Mother remembers how places were hewn out on the under side of the slabs to make them rest level on the floor joists or sleepers. “We were awfully proud of that floor, I tell you. It seemed so clean and nice after living on a dirt floor for awhile.” Mother doesn't remember just how long they had the dirt floor but she said, “My father was a hardworking man and always made things as comfortable as possible, as soon as he could.”
Marsh Valley was a lonely valley when they went there and they had only one neighbor, an old widower who lived across the road. He was a trapper. As the land was taken up, their neighbors settled around them.
Their home was on the main road between Corinne, Utah, and Blackfoot, Idaho, about half-way between. People traveling through the country would stop and make themselves at home. It was before the railroad was put through the country, and freight wagon trains hauled freight by their place.
“We were so glad when we would see the freight trains coming just at sundown, as they always camped on Hawkins Creek across the road from our house. The Indians had been on the war path and we knew when the freighters were camped there, we were safe.”
When the freighters camped on Hawkins Creek, they turned their horses out on the meadow land down below Grandpa’s place. Incidentally, Brother Gruwell, who was later to be Bishop, filed on the meadow land when he came to the country. “We sold lots of eggs, butter, milk, and grain to the freighters. They thought Mother’s butter was the best they had ever tasted.”
There were no schools in that part of the country. The children studied lessons assigned to them by their father. At night, they would recite their lessons to him, and in that way the children gained their education. He was very strict and stern, but loving. Mother was able to attend school for about four months a year after she was twelve years of age. She recalls that they had to work very hard. Her mother made cheese for the family and they raised nearly everything for their own table. She said, “Money was scarce in those days. I guess I was quite a religious little girl because it seemed to me that I would rather have had the little book, ‘The Life of Christ’ than any other thing, but I never got it.”
She was baptized at the age of eight in Marsh Valley by Brother Baker and confirmed by Brother Capell.
She was secretary of the second Sunday School that was organized in Marsh Valley. The ward was named Marsh Center and had a membership of 150 or 200. However, they were very scattered and the attendance was poor. Many of them had to travel seven miles or more in wagons drawn by horses, mules, or oxen.
Mother just told of a time when they went to a dance. “I was twelve years old then. Pa always had good horses, but one of our neighbors had an ox team. When we passed them on the way to the dance, their sleigh was sliding from side to side, as they didn't have a tongue in their sleigh but a chain running from the sleigh to the oxen’s yoke. Sister Jenkins called to us and said, ‘We are waltzing on the way.’ She was the jolliest woman I ever knew, and such a good cook. Our families visited a lot, and I remember she made the best cream biscuits I ever ate.
There were very few Mormon young people in that part of the country. At the age of fifteen, Mother became engaged to a young man named Joseph Capell. He later became a Bishop. After Mother was older, she changed her mind.
For several years cattle herds were driven through the country from Texas to Montana and came by their home. Aunt Mary’s husband was foreman of the bunch that drove the cattle. This is where she met him.
One time one of these men had lost his hat. He had been drunk, and as he came by the garden, he stopped and got a cabbage leaf and put it on his head. That was what he was wearing when he came to the house. He later came and asked Mother to go riding with him when she was in school in Ogden.
With all this travel through the country, Grandpa decided a general store would pay. So he built a store and stocked it with general merchandise. He gave credit to the settlers and also to the Indians. “I have heard my father say that he never had an Indian go away leaving a debt, but he lost about $4,000 from white people who left owing him money.
About 1877 or 1878, the railroad was put through the country. So Grandpa leased the place out, and the family moved to Oneida, about three miles from the farm, where he bought a hotel, store and butcher shop. Uncle Louis Germer managed the butcher shop.
One morning Mother went into the butcher shop for steaks for the hotel. Uncle “Louie” was busy and didn't want to cut them. Mother said, “I’ll go and cut them.” Uncle Louie said, “No, you won’t.” Mother said, “I went in but went out faster at the back door, and off a high flight of steps.” There were store loungers watching, and Mother was deeply humiliated as she sailed through the air. She lit on her feet, stamped a foot and said, “Well you damned old white-headed Dutch man!” Later he came into the kitchen where Grandma was and said, “Teena, what do you think this girl called me?” She said, “What did she call you?” He replied, “She called me a damned old white-headed Dutch man.” Mother suspected that he was having a hard time to keep from laughing. Her mother said, “I should think you would be ashamed of yourself.” Mother said, “Well, I am not.” Uncle Louie acted like he was angry at her, and they didn't speak to each other for two or three days and then one day he picked her up under his arm and danced across the floor and sang a little song and laughed, and she knew she was forgiven.
The town of Oneida was a boom town springing up with the coming of the railroad and decreasing as the railroad work moved on. Grandfather was there during the boom for about four years. At the end of that time, his farm was beginning to show neglect and he had marketed most all of his cattle over the butcher’s block and in the hotel. So they moved back to the farm.
It was shortly before the move back to the farm that Mother’s sister Janie departed this life. She died of diphtheria. There was an epidemic as bad as the one in Parker, Mother said. Oh! And Mother said I was named for her sister Janie, too. If I had been called Janie instead of Jennie I think I would have liked it.
(Note: When I went to Virginia City with a group of Aunt Mary’s children and Aunt Gussie and Uncle Will, we went to the family graves in Marsh Valley and Grandfather’s in Pocatello. And as we stood by Janie’s grave I copied the following verse from the marker:
A light is from our household gone
A voice we loved is stilled
A place is vacant at our Hearth T
hat never can be filled. (L.J.G.)
In the fall of 1881, Mother went to school at the Sacred Heart Academy in Ogden, Utah. She was one of the girls that the Sisters trusted to go on errands. Mother told of many interesting experiences at that school. Some days when it was nice weather the Sisters would take the girls out for a walk. They walked two abreast, with two Sisters at the back of the line and two about in the center. The Sisters in the rear would send word along the line of girls, directing them where to go. One day some of the girls wanted to go by a place where some men were working, so they changed the instruction, and as they passed, the men said, “Left foot, right foot, left foot, right foot.”
They were not allowed to talk at the table, but signaled for what they wanted to eat. To ask for bread, one placed her hand on edge, with the thumb up at the edge of her plate. And if one didn't eat all that was served on her plate, it was brought back to her the next meal. “Lots of molasses! I've never liked it since!”
The girls were taught many kinds of beautiful fancy-work. “Oh! My! They taught etiquette! The best I ever heard of, every Wednesday evening. Every Friday and Wednesday we had fish, the other days, some kind of meat. Quite a bit of pie, but it wasn't very good, either the crust or the filling,” said Mother shaking her head. Question: “When did you have the molasses?” Answer: “Breakfast,” she turned up her nose and pulled a wry face.
Mother returned to Marsh Valley in April 1882 just before the death of her sister Janie. And then when the family moved back to the farm she remained at the hotel to help her Uncle Louis and his wife run it. It was at this time that she met a young man named Lucien Edward Ballard, who was from Stanberry, Gentry County, Missouri. He was a very fine young man. He later came to work on Grandpa’s farm and Mother started “keeping company” with him. Mother just told me of hearing a conversation between him and the school teacher. The teacher said, “If a fellow wanted to get married, where could he find a more splendid wife than Annie?” Ed answered, “He couldn't find a better one anywhere.” Mother said, “I thought that was quite a compliment.”
They kept company for about two years. He asked Mother to be his wife. But he was not a member of the church and didn't want to become interested. He thought it was hypocritical to join a church to marry a girl. And Mother felt that she couldn't marry one who was not a member of the church and was not interested, so she dismissed him, which wasn't an easy thing to do, as she cared a great deal for him. Mother had always prayed that she would choose the right one for a husband. So now she decided to fast and pray about it. And she received one of the greatest manifestations of her life. Her prayer was answered and she saw in a dream her future husband just as she later saw him as he sat talking with her father, the night he came to apply for the teaching job. She was looking through a glass door behind him. And as she went back through the kitchen, her mother said, “Is that your young man?” and Mother replied, “Yes, that’s him.”
When Papa was out of school he was looking for a teaching job. Grandfather Hawkins was one of the trustees of the school in Marsh Valley and was looking for a teacher. He heard that “Billie” Carbine had a son who was out of school and wanting to teach. Grandfather Hawkins wrote Grandfather Carbine inquiring about his son. And Papa decided to answer the letter in person.
Papa arrived in Marsh Valley just at dusk. He was directed to Grandfather Hawkins’ home, and decided to take a short cut across the fields. He didn't know that he would have to cross a creek until he came to it. The creek was running full, so he took off his clothes and started to wade, carrying his clothes in his hand. The stream was narrow, but deep. He had to go through water that was over his head, but he held his clothes above the water, keeping them dry. But his hair which was very curly got very wet, and when he arrived at Grandfather’s house it was curled in little curls all over his head. And so it was that Mother saw him for the first time. Just as she had seen him in her dream she realized at once that here was her future husband.
This dream was sort of a guide to Mother through her life when troubles came. She always knew that she had married the right man. In their courtship days, Papa had told her that he believed in the principle of plural marriage and that he would expect to live it. This was before the manifesto. Mother said, “You will wait ten years?” and Papa said, “Yes, I’ll wait ten years.” And in ten years the Manifesto had been signed. Mother said she always prayed for the right spirit toward it and always took her worries to the Lord.
Papa, like the other teachers, boarded at Grandpa’s place, and after looking the girls over decided he wanted to go with Mother. They kept company for five months. And on the 21st day of April, 1886, they were married in the Logan Temple by Elder Mariner W. Merrill. Mother just said, “When Brother Merrill said ‘Salute the Bride,’ and Papa obeyed, Brother Merrill said, ‘Well, looks like you have done that before’.”
In May they moved to the Snake River Country where they started a new home.
There were many hardships in that new country, hauling water and melting snow for their house and to water their stock. The first baby clothes were made from Mother’s wedding dress, “mull we called it.” Her parents had given them a pair of turkeys to raise young ones, but when their cows died, they decided to sell the turkeys to buy baby clothes. Mother said, “Papa went over to Camas, 25 or 30 miles away, to do the trading at Christmas time. I asked him to buy some lace to trim a dress and petticoat. When he brought it, it was three inches wide and coarse curtain lace! I never was so disappointed in my life! I sat down and cried, but I didn't let him know it.”
On the 17th of March, a little son was born and named Edmund William. “When Eddie was born,” said Mother, “Papa had to walk about four or five miles for the midwife. There was snow on the ground, and he took a short cut down the canal bank. The neighbors told Grandfather Carbine ‘I guess Annie is sick, I saw Eddie just stepping it off down to Grandma Parker’s’.”
“That second summer at Sand Creek when we milked so many cows, I made a jumper out of overalls for Eddie and hung him on a limb of a tree near the corral while I helped milk the cows.”
“It was later that same year in the fall, when he was toddling about, that he discovered an old sow lying down feeding her little ones. When we took the milk in, we saw him. He was lying on his stomach on the old sow’s side with his face down by the little pigs, watching them suck. Papa said, “He looks like he has a notion to try it himself.”
One time when one of the milkers was sick, Mother milked twenty-four cows in 2 hours and 40 minutes. Papa milked the mean cows.
On the 28th of April, 1889, a baby daughter was born and named Susan Myrtle. “When Myrtle was three days old, Papa’s uncles came to visit his folks, and they wanted him to come to Grandpa’s place to visit with the bunch. I told him to go ahead. He didn't get back until late and while he was gone the baby woke up and began to cry. I called the girl we had, but couldn't wake her. I tried and tried to quiet the baby, until I was almost frantic. I was so nervous, I think I was delirious. One of our neighbors had lost her mind when her baby was two weeks old, and I wondered if I was going to lose mine. Papa finally came and I said, ‘Ed you must administer to me. I am so nervous I can’t stand it.’ He administered to me, and then, I remember, he knelt by the bed and rubbed my forehead until I went to sleep.”
A second daughter was born the 4th of August, 1891, and was named Katie LaVern. “When Katie was born, Papa was freighting from Butte to Kalispell, Montana, during the summer months, but came home for her birth. When she was ten days old, I heard a commotion in the chicken coop. I went to see what the trouble was and found a porcupine. I killed it with a pole. I was weak and it was quite a strain.”
In the winter, when Katie was a baby, we had a two room house. We lived in one of the rooms and had our things stored in the other. I had just cleaned house. We had white-washed and had things nice and clean. We had put down a new carpet, woven of rags with nice clean straw under it like we used to do to keep it warm in the winter. I had been at Papa to fix the door latch, but he had put it off. We had gone to choir practice and came home about 11 o’clock. I was the first to come in. I’ll never forget,” Mother laughed, “When I opened the door I heard a sound that was like a pig grunting. I said ‘Oh! Good Heavens! The pigs are in the house!’ Papa came in and lit a lamp. The table was overturned, and a pan of bread that I had mixed earlier in the evening was mixed up with the straw. They had rooted the carpet up and carried the straw (with their mouths, Mother says) all into one corner and made a very comfortable bed for themselves. It was a very cold night. I was SO mad. We both kicked at a pig, and they went out of the house just a squealing. But we had to sleep in the house that night and what a stench. And it was a stench for several weeks, I tell you. You can imagine how I managed to get breakfast in all that mess.”
When Katie was eight months old, she was very sick and had spasms for several days. I was alone with her, as Papa was teaching school and was away in the daytime. On Saturday she had two spasms, and so Papa went and got some of the brethren, I think there were five besides him, and they administered to her. And Uncle Henry said, ‘Don’t worry any more, Annie, she won’t have another one.’ And she never did.”
In August before you were born in November, Aunt Katie was visiting with us in Parker and told me if I would go home, 130 miles, on a visit, she would come back with me. So we started out with a team of horses, one of them was the laziest horse I ever saw. Aunt Katie got the bit of the horse’s bridle under his chin, and of course I couldn't guide him, but as the most welcome word to him was ‘whoa’ we didn't have any trouble getting him stopped. Oh, that was a great trip. Eddie and Myrtle quarreled all the way. She would bloody his nose and we would have to stop at every stream to wash him.”
We got there all right, but when I got ready to go back home, Mother needed Aunt Katie and couldn't let her go back. Oh! I just worried terribly about going back alone. The night before I was to leave, a man and his wife came and camped out for the night at our place. Pa went out to their camp and asked the man where they were going, and when he found out they were going to the Snake River country, he asked if I could travel with them and the man said, ‘She can if she can keep up.’ Pa said, ‘Well, I’ll warrant that she’ll keep up.’ And there wasn't a morning I wasn't all ready to leave before he was. We camped out three nights.
Papa met me thirty miles from home at Menan, where they were having conference. He was Bishop then. When I got to where he was, I was completely given out. I felt like I just couldn't go on. In my condition it was a terrible ordeal. (Do you wonder at me being a pioneer? Jennie speaking.)
On November 12, 1893, a third daughter was born and named Lovica Jane.
The night before you were born a Jew peddler came and asked if he could stay all night. Papa asked me if I thought he could stay and I said I guessed he could. I wasn't sick then. He unhitched his horse and had supper. After supper I began to be sick, and Papa told him his wife was sick, but he would go with him and ask his father to take care of him for the night. They walked to Grandpa’s place which was about three-quarters of a mile.”
I was quite sick when he came back and he said, “I don’t believe I will go to the field for the horses. I believe I will just use the old fellow’s horse.” So he hitched the Jew’s horse to our buggy and went for the midwife. In the morning there was still some ice on the hair on the horse’s fetlocks as Papa had had to ford a canal. Papa said, “I used your horse last night.” The old Jew was mad and said, “I see dots vot I see. You use my horse. Dots vot I see.”
When visitors came Mother said, she held me up and said, “See my papoose.” For I was the only child that was born with black hair. All the others were rather light.
On the 11th of July, 1896, the fifth child was born and given the name of Grace Augusta. “She was as blond as you were dark and we called her ‘Cotton Top.’” It was when she was a baby that we moved into the brick house. Papa had set up the heater in the new house so it would be warm. He put all the children in the buggy with Eddie (Jr.) as driver and started them on the road to the new home, while we stayed and finished gathering up the odds and ends of our things.
On the way they had to pass by a puddle of water that was frozen over. Myrtle told Eddie to drive over the frozen pond “so we can see Dick (the horse) skate.” Eddie thought maybe the horse could skate so he drove him over it. But instead of skating, Dick fell down flat on his side and refused to get up. They sent Katie running back about half a mile. She said, “Oh Papa! Come quick! Dick’s dying!” Myrtle was holding the baby and wanted her to be safe so she got out of the buggy and the baby slipped out of the shawl and landed on the ice.
(The shawl was one we were all wrapped in down to Joe. Our father had been wrapped in it when he was a baby. Same shawl in Joe’s story.)
The second boy was born March 28, 1900, and was named Joseph Leroi. When Joseph was born the whole family was so tickled because he was a boy that when Eddie went to Grandpa’s place to tell the other children who had been sent there, they said he told every dog on the road. And when one of the neighbors came to see Mother, Grace said, “Say, ‘He’s a He.’” (As I remember it, Eddie came for us with a sled that had a box on it, and he pulled it with the horse that he rode. Jenny speaking.)
Mother didn’t wean Joe until he was 24 or 25 months old, and the older children would rub their fingers at him and say “shame, shame,” so he would get the big shawl and drag it across the floor to Mother and say, “Tover it up.” She would take him and “cover it up” while he nursed. Mother said, “He would lay there and sweat while he nursed.”
I don’t remember the old shawl after that. I guess it got worn out.
“When Joe was a little fellow we had a man working for us who was a great hand at fixing anything. Joe got the idea that he could fix anything. One day a hawk flew down and grabbed a chick by the head. The mother hen grabbed it too, and in the struggle the head was pulled off, and the hawk flew away, dropping the head. Joe picked up the two parts of the chick, took them to the man and said, “Unkie Alf, fik it.”
More about Dick. Mother said, “He was the laziest horse I ever saw except one--the horse I drove on that trip before you were born. One day when we were building the big house on the Tom Smith place, Papa needed some nails from St. Anthony, four miles away. He told Eddie, who was twelve, to ride old Dick and go get them. Eddie got on the horse and started out. He went about half a block then Dick turned around and came home. I got a long pole, as I knew he would kick, and decided to help. I thought if we got him past the place where he had stopped, he would go on. But he stopped at the same place, kicked up his heels, turned around and went home, in spite of the whaling he got from behind and the kicks Eddie gave him.”
When we made the move to Oregon, I surely hated to leave that nice new house that we had just finished, all but the casings and mopboards. We had never moved in. I could see the house for about twelve miles as we were leaving, and I cried. I liked Oregon, though, after we got settled. Since coming south I have said to Papa, “If there is Heaven on earth I want to live in Oregon.”
The 24th of May, 1903, a baby daughter was born and named Thelma. It was Sunday and Papa said, “Mamma, you are an awful woman to break the Sabbath so!” Mother smiled, “Of my nine children, four were Sunday babies.”
“Thelma was a beautiful child. Her hair was such a beautiful color, golden, almost brown.” (I remember how we, her sisters, collected and talked about how wonderful she was, her little nose and fingers and toes. I remember her better than I do any of the older children. Jennie speaking.)
She was a great visitor and would run away to the neighbors to visit. I think I remember of Mother tying her up so she couldn't run away. Yes, Mother says I was right. “I tied her to a sugar maple tree in the front yard.”
March 18, 1906, another little girl came to stay a few years in our home. She was named Edythe, a spunky little thing with the biggest, kindest heart a body ever had. Her eyes were so big and so very brown and filled with expression. We all loved our Edythe, and all the grandchildren worshiped her.
Mother just told me a little story of the time they went to Fort Worth to spend the winter. Mother had had quite a bit of trouble with bronchitis, some¬times she could hardly speak. They thought the winters in the south would help her. On the train coming down, Edythe would go to the end car and say, “Mamma, let’s go home. Let’s go home.” She was about two years old. Papa had rented a nice place for us to live in five rooms, beautifully furnished. When he met us at the train, he said, “Shall we go to a restaurant or shall we go home? I have everything all ready.” I said, “Let’s go home.” He had such nice steak ready to fry and potatoes peeled and sliced in the frying pan. Oh! It seemed so nice after the long hard trip, and the children were so glad to be settled. But after a day or two, Edythe said, “Let’s go home, Mamma,” and for a long time she begged to go home. There were two little rocking chairs in the house, and one day, she was sitting on the front porch in a little rocking chair. When she saw a Negro coming down the street, the first she had ever seen, she picked up her chair and came hurrying in the house.”
July 1, 1909, another son came to gladden Mother’s heart. “He was born at 11 o’clock in the evening and before midnight Papa had written a letter to his oldest son, who was on a mission in Germany, telling him of the arrival of his new brother.” The new brother was named Earl Z. Oh! We thought he was wonderful. Mother just said, “I have always been so thankful I had him. How lonely I would have been after Papa died if it hadn't been for him. He was always so good to me and always so dependable.” He had a funny idea when he was a little fellow, but he didn't tell me until he was a man. He thought that he wasn't wanted and that I was always trying to get away from him. I knew that he always hated to have me go away without him, but I never suspected the reason. Nothing could have been farther from the truth. Earl was 4 1/2 months old when we went to Mexico the first time.
Mother said, “After Papa passed away, I was in such distress. I remember sitting on the bed wringing my hands and saying, ‘What shall I do, OH! What shall I do?’ It seemed to me that I just didn't know which way to turn.” One day I was so blue and sad. It seemed like everything went wrong. I was sweeping the floor and I started to cry. I cried and cried for quite a while and with my crying I began to sing. And the idea that I would cry and sing at the same time caused me to notice the song. It was:
Fear not, I am with thee, Oh, be not dismayed,
For I am thy God and will still give thee aid.
I’ll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand,
Upheld by my righteous, upheld by my righteous,
Upheld by my righteous, omnipotent hand.
And it seemed like a great weight was lifted off me. And I was comforted.
When Marjorie and I were in Las Cruces waiting for Janice to be born, Mother came to visit us. This was in the spring of 1943, and as we visited, she said, “Oh! I had such a strange dream about Papa. I dreamed he came to the foot of my bed and laid his hand on my feet and then he came to my head and bent over and kissed me and it seemed so real. It thrilled me so and I have felt so happy ever since.” Later she said, “I keep thinking of my dream of Papa, and it has made me feel so different.” Several times she mentioned it and expressed the feeling that she would be glad when he came for her.
In the spring of 1944, Mother came to visit us in Virden. It was when I was there with Marjorie to help her when she had to go to the hospital as AC was in the Pacific area in the service. We had a snapshot taken of Mother holding Janice and Marjorie and me standing back of her, but it isn't very good.
While she was there, we (A and I) took Marjorie to the hospital in Safford, and Mother took care of Janice while we were gone. I believe Aerol was born the next morning, but it was on Mother’s birthday, the 6th of April. While she was there, she asked that I get someone in Virden to make the rest of her burial clothes. Myrtle had given her the material. Katie had given her some of the necessary things, and I had given her some others.
After Marjorie was back from the hospital and able to take care of herself, mother wanted to go to Hatch to visit Thelma’s family. So A and I took her over there.
When I received word that Mother was very sick, I went down to Fabens to help. When I first came in and said “Hello!” she said, “Jennie, I wish you would pray that I be taken.” I said, “Mother, if that is your wish, I will.” She said, “It is.”
A day or so later, she said, “Jennie, did you have the rest of my burial clothes made?” I said, “Yes, Mother, I brought them with me. Would you like to see them?” She nodded. I brought them to the bed for her to see and she smiled.
Later she seemed to get better, but the doctor said, “Don’t try to keep her. She has cataracts on both eyes. And her heart is bad. If she lives, she will never be well.
One day I was alone with her as she seemed better, and she asked me to help her to the bathroom. I walked with her, supporting her. I said, “Mother, it looks like you are going to stay with us awhile,” trying to cheer her. And she answered, “Yes! I wonder why!!” We had quite a time getting her back to bed. I left for a little bit, and she called me and said, “Jennie, I know I am not going to get well. I want you to phone to Earl and ask him to bring the rest of my burial clothes.”
I made the call as she requested. I don’t know how long it was before Joe came to bring the burial clothes instead of Earl. But when he came in, she looked up at him and said, “Joseph, I wish you would lift up this mattress and put something under it to raise my head. I am having a hard time breathing.” (or words to that effect.) Joe did as she requested. And those were the last words I ever heard her speak. Others say she spoke again, but she soon went into a coma, and some hours later, her breathing stopped.
She had asked each of us to bathe her and not let her go to the undertaker “dirty.” So I tied up her chin and each of us turned to do as she had asked, Thelma to wash her hair and Myrtle and I to bathe her. I turned to look at her and said, “Oh! Girls, look! Mother is smiling!!” She had the sweetest smile! And it stayed. I feel sure that Papa was there and her smile was for him.