Mary Eveline Rawlins Leavitt
(Retyped from a copy in Julia Rawlins' book of remembrance by S. L. Rawlins, July, 1997.
It was written by one of her children in 1942.)
She was born in Draper, Utah, 19 Nov. 1861 the only thing she can remember is a big trail they came down and the pretty green greasewood bushes that were along the road. They came to Richmond, Utah. Her father bought a lot and a house with 3 rooms. She went to her first school here. It was a small log house built on the public square in the north west corner somewhere about the place that the Plant Service Station is now (1942). Her teacher was Aunt Lib Lewis. She was Beason Lewis' wife. Their schools were in the summer. The second teacher was a man named "Davey". He stayed among the people for his pay.
When her brother Alma was born they had the threashers and Aunt Jane Carson came and cooked for the men. That was 23 Oct 1866. Then when her sister Arminta was born Aunt Nancy Kerr was there. The children heard the baby cry and she called them to come and see their little sister. She had mouse colored hair and a lot of it. This was 14 May 1869. She cried all summer long a very cross baby.
Then the 8th of Sept. 1869 Grandmother Frost died and that afternoon the military band was drilling. The children sat on their doorstep and watched them. Their brother Harvey played in the band.
Her next school was to Ibbie Kerr Gibson and she was a cousin to her. There were small children out skating on the ice and her brother Joe fell and cut his head. She was sent to get a rag and that was the last thing she remembered for she fainted.
When she was a very small girl there was a theater and was put on by the people of Richmond and Henry Gibson and Bill Fisher took the leading parts. (It was 10 nights in the Bar Room.) This was an outstanding show in her life. She never saw another one until she was a grown woman.
The first time she saw Brigham Young. A big gate was built up by brother Stillman Pond's and as the president drove through it first the Marshall band, then all the children were dressed in white. The children were the Sunday school children. Then all the rest of the people marched through and down to the meeting house where they held meeting about 1 block from the present meeting house.
When they came to Lewiston their first home was a shanty made with slabs standing up. This they lived in the first summer. The next summer they built a better house and it was boards standing up and down. In the summer the wild peas grew so lovely and high that some places were nothing but blue flowers. She went to the first school that was held here in Lewiston with Mary Van Orden (Bair) 1872. It was held in summer and fall. The next school was taught by Mrs. Julia Rogers. Next Sarah Agnes Karren, then Jim Brambrage, then Samuel Allen, then Jeff Huff and he brought his violin to school and at noon he taught them to dance the severy ann, and polkies. When she first started to go to dances it was in Peter Van Orden's house. (Where Abner and Agnes lived.) They went to John Strickland's. He lived in Fairview, Idaho, and down on Bear River to old man Blair's home, to John Standish. Their dances were all in the homes of the people that had an instrument that could be played. There was always someone to play a violin. Ike Blair could play so he was always ready.
The snow was always deep in the winter and they did enjoy sleigh riding for they had sleigh bells on the horses, and a lot of fun they had. One year the snow come in Nov. And stayed til the last of April and into May.
She went on the railroad with her father and brothers to cook for them. Went in the spring and stayed till in Nov. 1880 went into Dillon, Montana.
Some of the things that she has told about herself in her life time. She had been going out with Elias Layne and she tried to get rid of him. So this Sunday Samuel F. Wiser, a cousin, was to their place. The decided that when meeting was out he would go out and stand by the side of the door and when she came out he would take hold of her hand and they went away as fast as they could. So she went and stayed all night to aunt Patsy Wiser's that was Sam's home. They said Elias called and called "Evie, Evie" and hunted all over for her, but she never heard him. But in going home with Sam, Elias passed them but he never knew it. He felt so bad he cried all the way home. His mother wanted to know what she had done to him for he walked the floor and cried and felt so bad.
Well, this is just one experience she used to go with Elick Harris, Joe Hendricks, William H. Lewis, Jr. Elick Harris lived in Richmond, Utah, but moved up to Gentile Valley. She said he smoked and then ate sen-sens to kill the oder and that was worst than the smoke so she quit him.
When a girl these were the women she worked for: Manda Smith or Mrs. A. D. Smith twice, and Amanda Wiser Smith, Martha Lewis, Eda Lewis, Martha Karren, Miranda Allen, Sally Stephenson, Mary Jane Harrison, Olive Wiser Cunningham, Minerva Leavitt, Adella Bright, Alvira Hendricks, Bro. and Sister Issac Blair he used to sit and sing for « to an hour after every meal.
She was not very old when she went to work out and she would help them to white wash their houses a job for a man.
She has washed the wool, spun it and then wove cloth. It was called "lincey cloth" and many a yard of carpet she has wove at 10 cents to 12 cents a yard. She had to make her own clothes and her children's and always like to make quilts. When her first children were young she knit long legged stockings and mittons for them. They never felt the cold as they do nowdays and there was always a lot of cold weather.
She was the second counselor in the first Y.L.M.I.A. in the Lewiston ward 2 Feb. 1881 and held this office 3 or 4 years. She had been a member of the Relief Society since 1877. A Relief Society teacher 43 years. Sang in the choir 29 years Brother Henry Falbot was the first choir leader then William Blair, Albert Blair, Theo France. She sang under all of these leaders. She belonged to the Daughters of the Pioneers when it was first organized here in Lewiston. She served as treasurer for a time. She is still a member of it up til she died, 16 Sept. 1942.
She was the mother of 10 children. Her first 2 babies died at birth; then one was a year old, another one 3 years old and the last was 18 years old. Her husband died 7 Jan 1930, at this time she had 24 grandchildren and 18 great grandchildren.
She has always been a good helper to the poor or any one that needed help in any way. She had a husband that was a very fine man in this respect. They always went to see the sick and also tended funerals where they were. If they were relatives or old time friends and they had many.
Mary Eveline Some of her experiences on the railroad.
In the fall of 1880 when the ranchers were driving their range cattle for the fall round up. They stampeded across the river where the company were camped. Mother was alone at the camp, when she heard a snort outside, rushing to the window, which was a hole in the tent she looked out and to her surprise way surrounded by cattle. One large roan steer with horns about eighteen inches long stood with head erect and fierce glaring eyes looking straight towards her. Each time he snorted the cattle crowded nearer to the camp. He kept coming nearer and nearer until they were not more than ten or twelve feet away. By this time mother realized what danger she was in. There was not time to waste. She crept quickly to one corner of the tent and kneeled down and asked the Lord to turn the cattle away that she might be protected as she arose from her knees the cattle turned away as if they had been driven. She thanked God that he heard and answered her prayers.
Another time. One evening as the family was bowed in prayer and mother was praying something whispered to her "pray for your sister Penninna, she is in trouble". When they arose from their knees, father asked what was wrong and mother said she didn't know only something whispered to pray for her. A few days later they received a letter bearing the message that they were all sick in bed with La grip and that when her baby died she arose from her bed, washed and laid it out alone. Some of mothers prayers that have been answered.