Life Story of Nellie Druce Lambert Rawlins
My mother was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, October 28, 1880, in a two-story adobe house in the southeast room on the upper floor. The property is now owned by the Orem Electric Line, and is now used as a freight station-- located on first west between third and fourth south. My grandfather, Charles John Lambert, was born in Nauvoo, Illinois November, 5, 1845. His father Charles Lambert imigrated from England for the gospel's sake. Grandfather's mother, Mary Alice Cannon Lambert, also embraced the gospel in England and came to America when quite young, suffering the loss of her mother enroute and burying her at sea. Great-grandfather and great grandmother Lambert met and were married in Nauvoo, Illinois. They received their blessing in the temple when that edifice was completed for ordinances. My grandmother, Lilly Harriet Almira Druce, was born at Haverstraw, New York, March 20, 1848. her father, John Druce, and mother, Julia Ann Jinks, came to Haverstraw to live after embracing the gospel in England. Great grandfather Druce was an expert engraver and came to America to take charge of the Gansville Print Works in New York, which at time consisted of two buildings. In 1937 we learned that there were now thirty-two buildings on that property.
Grandfather and grandmother were married in the old Endowment House in Salt Lake City, October 26, 1867 and immediately left for southern Utah where grandfather worked as a stone cutter on the St. George Tabernacle, and where they stayed for almost a year, coming back just before their first child was born. Their family consisted of three daughters and one son older than mother and four daughters and a son younger.
Shortly after mother was born, she had trouble with eczema breaking out in her right ear and was quite delicate, therefore, it was not until March 3, 1881, that she was taken to meeting to be blessed and named by her grandfather Charles Lambert. She was blessed in the seventh ward meeting house on fifth south between West Temple and First West, in which building she also began Sunday School a few years later
Only a few events stand out in her memory of the few years she lived in Salt Lake City. Great grandfather Lambert lived next door south of them and naturally she must have been there often, but remembered only two occasions. One day great-grandmother gave her a little comb; a few minutes later an old Indian squaw with her papoose came begging, and the child took mother's comb away. When she tried to get it, hit her over the head. As the mother took the child's part, she lost her comb and gained quite a fear of Indians. Her almost constant companion was her cousin Willie, greatgrandfather's brother George's child. Uncle George was on a mission to England. The day Uncle George came home the family gathered at great-grandfather's. As they lived close, she being young was put to bed. Childlike, she kicked up a fuss and didn't sleep well, probably knowing what she was missing. She cried so hard that her brother Charles was sent over after her and while going back with her, he stepped. on a pitch fork tine, running it in his foot.
About all she remembered of going to great-grandmother Druces on fifth east and first south was the good times she always had as she could look down into her cozy room from the windows, half of which were below the surface of the ground. She did love to go down into those~rooms and watch and hear her canary sing as he jumped about in the cage. She couldn't remember the upper rooms at all as the lower ones were used and seemed to appeal to her more.
When she was about four or five years old, grandfather was sent to take charge of the new papermill at Butlerville, at the mouth of Big Cottonwood Canyon. As it was a distance of fourteen miles south of Salt Lake City, it became necessary to move the family there in one of the company houses, therefore, she began her schooling at Butlerville in the fall of 1886. Her first teacher was Bishop Alva Butler's oldest daughter. She didn't like school very well and tried to stay home whenever possible, probably from the fact that the walk was quite long and hard for one so young. The road going to the canyon was behind the house where they lived with two hills, one of which was quite steep on the other side of the road. In order to go to school, they had to climb those hills, keeping a close look-out for snakes and then walk a half mile further when on top of the hill. She always had a pain in her side upon reaching school. She enjoyed living at Butlerville, even if they did encounter scorpions, trantulas, rattlesnakes, and occasionally run into poison ivy. Every few days during the summertime they would take their lunch, find a nice place for a camp andhave a picnic in the open air near the banks of the creek. They could hear the murmur of the water as it rippled over the rocks or take their shoes off and wade across or up stream, stopping to rest or play on the rocks or fishing for trout in the stream. The creek was about a city block north of her horne and they heard the roar or murmur at any and all times. She learned to love t and miss it when she left it for another home. Most of the water was taken out into the mill race some distance upstream to furnish power to operate the papermill; so that the water at this place was quite shallow and an ideal place for them to play and furnished so many beautiful camping places.
Just a few weeks before she was eight years old her father gave up his work as a papermaker on account of his health and purchased a home in Granger, Salt Lake County, west of Butlerville and began to farm. It was after they moved to Granger that she was baptized on the eleventh of July, 1889, by Alexander J.. Hill in the Jordan River. She was confirmed at fast meeting the same afternoon by Bishop Daniel J. McRae.
In Granger they came to live in a two-rooin log house, where the wind and storm blew through between the logs until grandfather chinked it up with plaster. They soon saw the need of more room and added two more rooms; a closet, bath- room, summer kitchen, and milk house.
At this time the school was graded by the reader in Granger that the school was graded and the pupils placed were: James Bradford, Albert Marchant, and Ella Jaromy. wasn t very good and she had to take responsibility on her ning to do her own sewing, cook the meals, do washing, and she got married about the time and those younger were only
which you read and it was not until a few year after comirg to according to their ability in all studies. Her teachers there She had to miss quite a lot of school as grandmother's health young shoulder. By the time she was fourteen she was begin- part of the cleaning of the house, as the girls older than old enough to help a little.
Grandfather was short-handed, so in the summer from the time she was eight years old until she had to take over the housework, she spent most of the days working in the fields, loading hay, leading the horse to pull the hay up on the stack, milking cows, and~various chores about the house. Even after she was grown, she had to go to the field and help him load and stack grain when the boys were away. So much work fell to her shoulders that she didn't accomplish very much in her school work, as she was out one or two days every week. The fall of 1899 they sent her in to Salt Lake to stay with her sister Lilly and go to the Grant school, where in June 1900 she graduated from the eighth grade, under the teaching of Francis Qualtroe, and Miss Shields. She came home for most of the summers and then back to her sister's for school, living about eight in all with her and going to West side High School for three years and University of Utah for. two years. The teachers in high school that she remembers were Mr. Neal, Miss Stoke, Mr. Gilland, Professor Harwood, Miss Jennings, and others under George Eton as principal. At the University of Utah she studied under such teachers as
J. Z. Brown, Dr. Talmadge, Naud May Babcock, J. Percy Goddard, Milton Bennion, William Stewart, and others with Dr. Joseph T. Kingsbury as president. She graduated from the U. of U. with the normal class of 1905 and at once sent out applications for teaching school. Her application was accepted by the Lewiston school, and she began teaching in September 1905. Grandmother hated to have her go so far away from home to work and especially when great grandmother Druce said that she might just as well give her up for good as she knew mother would find a companion there and marry. She laughed at her fears and began to teach second and third grades. She was again signed up to teach the next year, but one more grade was added to her room, that of the fourth grade. Her companion teachers were John M. Bernhisel, John Stocks (2 years), Oscar Drum, Sadie Bernhisel, and Francis Woods or Mrs. Monch (1 year). She enjoyed her work very much in the school room, even if they did have to keep their own fires going and in the spring wear rubber boots to wade through the melted snow and water to go to and from school. In November of 1906, about Thanksgiving time, she began keeping company with George F. Rawlins, who had just returned from the Southern States Mission the last of May that sa:ne year. He and she spent many enjoyable evenings together and continued going places and much to the surprise of several curious people, again signed up to teach another year, the same grades she had taught the years before. When school was out she went to Salt Lake and attended summer school at U. of U. for six weeks and then home for the rest of the summer until school began in the fall. Grandmother's health failed that summer and she was sick most of the time, so the responsibility of looking after her fell on mother's shoulders. She seemed to have a feeling that something was going to happen and felt that mother was the one, therefore, refused to go away from home even for a few hours unless she went with her, so regardless of how much mother had to do, it had to be left. When she finally had to leave to come back to school to teach, Grandmother left home and went in to Salt Lake City to her mother's1 where she was close to a doctor. She went back to the school room but her thoughts were often with grandmother. She didn't improve but continued to et worse. A short time before the Christmas Holidays she left great-grandmother's and went to her daughter Lilly's to stay. Lilly kept inotber informed as to her condition and the day before Christmas advised her to come home if she wanted to see her mother alive. My father went with her to Salt Lake City to visit her people and other friends he had there. Her sister was nearly worn out when she arrived, so turned some of the work over to her. Grandfather would go to bed early in the evening and sleep until 1 a.m. while she sat up with her mother; then mother went to bed and he sat up often calling her to help him several times between 1 a.m. and 6 a.m. when she usually got up for the day and let Aunt Lilly do the nursing while she looked after the house and meals. Thus they spent their holidays until New Year's Eve just as the bells began to ring, they noticed a decided change in her as the death rattle started and they never hears the bells ringing at New Year's time but what it brings back sad memories.
Mother and Dad came back to Lewiston the following Sunday evening ready to teach the next morning, but oh! what a hard time she had to get hold of herself. The fellow teachers, as well as the pupils, were all sympathetic and the chil& ren had clipped grandmother's picture out of the paper and there she would see it at every turn on their desks. The remainder of the school year was hard, as her sleep was troubled and she couldn't seem to throw off her thoughts of loosing one of the best mothers anyone ever had. On June 17, 1908 she was married to George F. Rawlins in the Salt Lake Temple. John R. Winder performed the ceremony.
After about a week's time collecting and packing her belongings, she came to Lewiston to make her home. They began their married life living in two rooms of one of the first houses built by my great-grandfather, George Leavitt and then owned by his second wife Minerva Earl Leavitt. That summer they enjoyed their home there as it was cool and shady and the family, Sam Self, who lived in part of the house were friendly and pleasant neighbors. The house wasn't very well insulated against the severe cold and they had an extremely cold winter that year.
She spent considerable time at her father-in-law's home, and as an example of the severity of the winter, they went to his home about noon or soon after on Thanksgiving Day, leaving a fire in the stove and the water boiling hot in the kettle and reservoir. When they returned about seven in the evening, the water was frozen solid. They, however, got through the winter without colds, probably because they had so much fresh air that the house didn't keep out.
The next spring while preparing to go to Salt Lake City where her baby was to be born at grandfather's, she was taken sick. On the 26th of February 1909 she lost her baby, which was born dead, about two months ahead of time. They had to move out of the Leavitt house and were then living at grandfather's house, expecting to rent a house when she returned from Salt Lake City. Therefore, she was taken sick there and it fell to Aunt Elzira to.nurse her to health again. She improved rapidly under her care and was soon able t& be about again and feeling much better than she had far
a number of years.
She was sustained as teacher in the Lewiston Sunday School under Joseph Hyer as superintendent, while teaching school and continued to teach until April 1907. She was released December 1907.
On May 4, 1909 she was sustained as assistant secretary and treasurer of theLewiston 1st Ward Relief Society under sister Ellen Hyer as president. As Retta Merrill Lewis' health was poor she was released February 4 1909 and mother was sustained as secretary and treasurer.
She was released as treasurer February 4, 1910 and Libby Hyer was sustained as treasurer and they worked together until she moved from the ward1 then Elaine Hyer was put in her place and later Gertrude Rawlins. During the time she was secretary she worked under such presidents as Ellen Hyer, and Valeria Taggart.
On the 22nd of February 1919, father was taken ill with Typhoid Fever and as help was scarce, there being an epidemic of Influenza, it fell to mother to do the nursing, housework, and look after us children. Their family at this time consisted of: Charles born June 19, 1910, Reginald born April 23, 1912; Lilly born August 24, 1915; and myself born January 11, 1918.
For a while she milked the cows as the little boys were too small to do anything except a little feeding; the stable was across the drain and it meant quite a walk to go over there, milk and carry the milk to the house with the help of Charles. The rest of us three stayed to look after ourselves and father did as best he could until she returned.
Our neighbor, Abner Van Orden, learned of the condition about two weeks after and took the cows into his barn and fed them his hay and milked them without charge, just asking for hay enough to replace what he had fed to them.
Father was sick for several months and during that time when the worst came, there were about nine weeks, she never removed her clothes night or day except for a clean change, and was up and down night as well as day. Many times she sponged him off to take the fever down as many as four or five times a night.
Father never got out to do any chores until June and even then with just one hand, as the fever settled in his left wrist and for two years or more had had no use of that hand, but was under doctor's care, having it lanced several times and carrying it on a board most of the time.
Mother's help was needed to help father on his ward clerk work, so on May 24, 1921, she was released as secretary of the Relief Society. When father's health improved some so he was able to do things for himself and take up some farm work she again worked in Relief Society, this time as a teacher in Social Science department for about two years. Later under Bishop G. A. Hogan, she was asked to serve in the capacity of assistant ward clerk.
Her last child, Althea, was born July 3, 1920. In her early life at home with her brothers and sisters, she and her sister Ethel had paired off together and they continued that close friendship during their married life. They were married the same day and every year she and her family came to visit us and they always spent one or more weeks together as long as she lived. She passed away on March 23, 1935, which was a great sorrow to mother as well as her own family, as she was very dear.
The other member of the family she associated with in early, womanhood was her brother Charles, as they often Visited places together, especially their Uncle Richard and Aunt Martha 5 One incident occurred during their visit to this place she well remembers. They went there Sunday evening and did not tell anyone where they were going hey found a cousin, Hardy, very sick in bed. He wanted her to tell him a story, so she sat down by his bed and told him some Stories for an hour or so. The next morning grandfather went in town and came home just as they were eating dinner with the news that Hardy had Diptheria and the flag was put up that morning. Uncle Charles and mother kept the news of their visit from their parents until two months afterward when all danger of contagion was over.
a dream will settle questions as it did in her case
when she was trying to decide upon a date for marriage. She wanted
to wait until July and Aunt Ethel wanted to be married in June and
as it was close together wanted a double wedding. She had a dream in
which she thought that she and Aunt Ethel went to the temple steps
and there sat looking so tired. They ask her what was the matter and
she replied that she h ad been cleaning her room so it could be
finished and invited them to go with her to see it. They each took hold of an arm and helped her up a flight of stairs and into the temple. There they saw the most wonderful room, the walls of which were lined with all kind of flowers and plants making it look like a garden. She awoke from her dream and decided to get married together as they felt it wish. They all felt as though she were in their midst the day of marriage in the temple.
She has spent her married life here on the farm after living with grandfather's family about two months and then to a place owned by Mr. Grace, two blocks west of church house, in April 1909. where they lived until October when they moved to their own home and where all we children have been born. In March 1939 they moved into town and let the farm be taken over by Reginald.
She has always done her own sewing and for her own family. She has woven rugs for others as well as for herself, cooked and taught us girls to cook and sew. She has done considerable knitting, tatting, and crocheting and spent a good deal of time at work in her garden and in her flowers. A garden is still a necessity to her even though she is by herself. Dad passed away April 20, 1957. She has refused to move in with any of the children, preferring to be in her own home. She gets very lonesome at times. Her health has been fairly good, March of 1960 or 61 she had a slight stroke, but was fortunate and recovered well.
Mother remained active in her own ward until she had a stroke in June of 1965. She was found out in the garden where she had gone to "hill" around her potatoes. The last person she had talked to was "Auntie." She had decided not to spend another cold winter alone, but would move to Salt Lake and live with us.
She lived for six weeks, but was bedfast because of being paralyzed. Her speech was gone but her mind was still active. She loved to have us read to her and was very disgusted because we had to feed her. She died in the hospital in Downey, Idaho July 29, 1965; just one day before the death of her brother Charles.