AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF

SUSAN ADELINE DUNN EVANS EASON

 

The daughter of John Johnson Dunn and Sarah Sophia Dunn

 

 

I was born May 11, 1878, in Perry, Utah. My parents were good Latter-Day Saints.[1]  Two years before I was born, the thrashing machine caught on fire and all of our barns, sheds and pens were burned up.  Horses, cows, pigs and chickens—there was nothing left but the house they lived in.  Father and Mother were hard-working people.

 

About the first thing I remember was when Father came home from his mission to the Southern States.[2]  He brought home a large sack of all kinds of nuts.  My mother said that I was only four years old. 

 

When I was very small I went in the cow pen and a cow picked me up on her horns and pitched me over the fence into a stack of hay.  And after that I was always frightened of a cow.

 

As far back as I can remember, Christmas was my mother making ginger bread boys and girls as I watched mother make them for Santa Claus--although we always knew Father was Santa.  Father thought it was wrong to deceive us children, but we had just as much fun knowing Father was Santa.  In our stockings we would get a few pieces of candy and nuts and then probably a pair of shoes or a dress as we had to have.  I remember getting a mug.  There was something written on it, but I don’t remember what it was.  And I got a doll.  The only doll I can ever remember getting.  It had a sawdust body, arms and legs, with a china head.  But to me it was just grand.  We children had about the same as other children had.  There was an old lady across the street from us that owned a small store and each Christmas morning we would go down there before daylight to say “Christmas Gift” to her, but before we could knock she would open the door and say “Christmas Gift” to us.  She would always give us a piece of candy and something that was a special treat—an orange, as we seldom saw one. 

 

My brother John’s[3] daughter was a year older than I was.  We saw a large snake and we called for someone to kill it.  And my brother killed the snake and said, “Now it won’t hurt you any more.”  Alice picked the snake up and chased me all around with it.  I was so frighted.  Then when she caught up with me, the snake grabbed my dress.  It was still alive and then everyone was frighted. 

 

Before I was old enough to go to school, my sister Lou[4] dressed me in my best dress and took me to school.  I felt very important.  The teacher was having a spelling contest and not one of the children could spell potato.  He said, “I bet that little girl can.”  I put my hand up and went and stood by him and said, “put one O, put two O, put three O, put four O, put five O, put six O, put seven O, put eight O.”  They all laughed and I thought they all laughed because I could spell potato and they could not. 

 

Mother left me to visit with Aunt Mary Ensign.[5]  They had all kinds of fruit and they said I could pick any of it but not to touch the little red peppers.  They had such a lot of them and they looked so good that I picked one and I saw Uncle Luther[6] coming so I put it in my mouth and chewed it up and swallowed it.  And boy did it burn and Uncle said, “What is the matter?”  I said that I had eaten a red pepper and wanted to go home.  He picked me up and told Aunt Mary to give me some[thing] mild as I had eaten a red pepper.  That was a big lesson to me never to take what didn’t belong to me and I never did.

 

I remember gathering mulberry leaves for Mother.  She would lay the leaves on a sheet spread out and put a silk worm on each leaf. [7] They would eat the leaves.  They made quite a chatter eating.  They would make silk cones and when Mother got a flour sack full she would take them to Brigham City and there it was made into silk. 

 

I remember Mother saving her Sunday eggs, which she would give to the Relief Society to buy wheat.  When a herd of sheep passed, we children would go out and gather wool off the wire fences and mother would wash it and card the wool to make quilts.  When the wheat was brought in from the fields, we children would go and glean the wheat for our chickens and pigs.  I remember gathering straw for my cousin, Effie Ensign.[8]  She would make hats from the straw.  She would take white feathers and dye them to make flowers. 

 

I well remember one day at recess we children were playing on top of a bowery and there was only one ladder to get down so I jumped and threw my knee cap out.  I did not want my parents to know about it as the next day was a circus in Ogden so I just kept out of their way.  Father put straw in the bottom of a wagon and Mother put quilts in for us children to sit on.  My knee hurt so badly I kept crying so at last Father looked at my leg.  And at the north of Ogden he took me to a doctor.  Father put his hands on my head, he did not pray out loud, but I knew he was praying.  Then he said, “You will get along all right.”  The doctor pulled my leg with Father’s help until they got the knee cap in place.  I did a great deal of crying and I guess my face was very dirty from the dust.  We went outside and there was a little boy on crutches.  I think that we were about the same age.  He gave me an orange and I quit crying.  Year after, I was talking about it and how disappointed [I was] not to be able to see the parade and only got lemonade.  I found out that the man next door was the boy that had given me the orange. 

 

When I was eight years old I was baptized and I will never forget when I was confirmed and when they said, “Receive ye the Holy Ghost.”  I surely did feel the spirit of the Lord, and that was my first testimony of the Gospel. 

 

When I was ten years old my sister Sophia[9] and I had typhoid fever.[10]  And at that time all the doctors would only allow you to have was a few spoonfuls of water.  And I was so thirsty.  I heard mother put a bucket of water on the bench.  She had been to the spring and I knew how cold it was.  I wanted some so badly.  Someone came in and said, “Aunt Sophia, your cow is bloated.”  I got out of bed.  I thought I would drink all the water I wanted to and give some to my sister.  There was a dipper in the bucket stand.  I got it full and the last thing I remember, I was drinking.  When Mother found me I was on the floor, wet.  I was unconscious for quite a while, and my sister died.  I remember the Elders administered to me and one said, “She is dead.”  But the other kept right on, and I got better.  I was too sick to know about my sister’s death or funeral.  Mother had six children sick at the same time.  She surely did have a hard time taking care of us all, and at that time Father was in prison for polygamy[11] and he was not allowed to even go to the funeral.  When I was able to sit up in bed, I overheard a friend of Mother’s say, “When she begins to get cross, she will soon get well.”  I got right in and I was surely cross.  Mother said, “Why are you so very cross?  You have never been that way before.”  I said that Mrs Holland[12] said if I got cross I would get well soon.  For a long time I was very frail.

 

When I was 12 years old, my father died.[13]  But before he died he told mother that he was coming after Martin, my brother, three years old, and Father wanted to know if it would be alright. Mother said, “Yes, Father.” Father said, “Take good care of him for you will not have him long. Don’t let him get in the ditch and you will not have any regrets.” My father died June 20th 1890, and in November my brother Frank[14], sister Millie[15], and my brother Martin[16] had scarlet fever.  They were all very sick, but my brother Martin was not as ill as the others.  My mother and I were all there was to take care of them and do the work as my sister Emma[17] and sister Lou[18] were away to work to help support the family.  I remember how tired I used to get, yet never heard my mother complain.  Then one day a knock came on the door and Brother Holton[19] was there.  Mother said, Brother Holton, we have scarlet fever here, so I can’t invite you in.”  He said, “Sister Dunn, I have come to help you.  You have no one to milk your cows or chop your wood (we had apple trees for wood), or any other work you have that I can help you with.”  He surely did seem like an angel sent from heaven.  He was so very kind to us. 

 

One afternoon my brother Martin took a pain in his heart and he suffered something terrible.  Brother Holton opened my brother’s shirt and laid his hand over my brother’s heart and asked God to let him take the pain.  And the pain left my brother and went into Brother Holton’s arm.  He walked the floor holding his arm with the pain.  The pain in a little while would go in my brother.  Again and again Brother Holton put his hand over Martin’s heart and took the pain again in his arm.  Brother Holton did this several times and he started to look so white and bad that mother went to him and said, “Brother Holton, I can’t stand it any longer.  I know that my husband is here to get my boy.  Let us all kneel down and ask God if he is not to live to take him out of his misery.” 

 

When we got up from praying, Martin seemed to be resting and Mother leaned over him and said, “Mother’s little darling.”  He answered, “No, Mother.  See Father.”  He held his little hands up to Father, and I know that he was there and when his hands dropped down, he had passed on.  That was a testimony to me that God lives and that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is true.  I know without a doubt that my father was there to take my brother Martin home.

 

My brother, Oscar,[20] developed dropsy[21] and was very sick for a long time.  And the doctor on one of his visits said, “Your little girl here is in worse condition than the boy.”  Mother said to me, “Susie, are you sick?”  And I said, “No.”  But the doctor said, “She has St. Vita’s Dance.”[22]   I suffered with that for a long time.  Mother would sleep with me every night and hold me tight as I would have terrible dreams and they were always the same thing. On the last visit the doctor made to our home, Mother said, “I can’t pay you any more now, for all I have left is one cow, for all the rest I have sold to pay doctor bills and for my husband’s funeral and our little boy’s.  Then the doctor said, “Well, the cow will do,” and gave 50 cents to my brother, Frank[23], to lead the cow to Brigham City, which was four miles. 

 

Mother’s brother, Oscar,[24] came and wanted mother to give me to him.  He said that he would educate me as he would his own.  He said that he could give me more than she could.  I thought if mother was going to give me away to Uncle Oscar, I would not like her again.  Mother said, “Oscar, have you any of your children that you would give away?”  He answered, “No.”  Mother said that she didn’t either.  I was so glad that I went and put my arms around her.  Mother said, “She can come and visit you and stay as long as she likes, but when she wants to come home, she can come and share with what we have if it is only a crust.  She is welcome to all I have.” 

 

I went home with Uncle Oscar and they had plenty of everything.  But I soon got homesick.  Uncle Frank[25] wanted me to stay and be in the parade in Logan, so I did.  Uncle Frank pushed a handcart with pans and a frying pan and bucket hanging on.  Uncle Frank’s daughter and I were the children and Cousin Frank[26] was dressed up like a woman.  I had a pair of shoes that was all out at the toes and was too big for me.  And we paraded up one street and down the other.  We were tired out and our feet hurt us so badly that at last we just cried and Uncle Frank picked Hattie[27] up and spanked her and sat her on the cart.  And Cousin Frank picked me up and gave me a shake and put me on the cart.  Oh, we were so glad, but they told us to keep on crying and the crowd surely clapped.  We won the prize.

 

Aunt Emeline[28] had a lovely lunch spread on the lawn in the park and we, being hungry, just started to eat when Uncle Frank invited a tramp to eat.  Before we could begin again, the drunk tramp threw up all over the food, so we went home.  It was about 15 miles to Millville and when we got home we had bread and milk. 

 

The next day I went home.  That summer I helped on the farm.  I picked tomatoes [and] cucumbers for Brother Davis and when our wheat was cut, Mother and Frank and I went to shock it up.[29]  We worked hard all day and did just a small patch and it seemed that we would never get it done. 

 

There was a moon light night and Mother wanted to go and do some more, but we were all too tired.  But we got up before daylight and had our breakfast and went down to shock some more wheat.  And to our surprise, it was all finished.  We surely did thank our Father in Heaven.  We never knew who did it.  The next year, Mother rented the farm, but she still worked hard doing everything that she could to feed us children.

 

Many a night I have sat up with Mother and read stories to her while she knit socks and gloves – working for Mrs. Henderson in the daytime making butter and cheese.  I stayed home and took care of my brother, Wesley,[30] who was only two years old.  He was very delicate.  He had a sore on his head that covered his whole head where he should have had hair.  And my brother Oscar[31] was not very well.  And my sister, Millie,[32] was only seven.  Mother was very independent and would not accept charity.  I remember the ward teacher asking Mother if she was in need of anything and she always said that we had plenty, such as it was.  Most of the time all that we had was bread, potatoes and molasses.  It was very hard on our dear Mother to come down so far as she had been used to better things.  Father was a very good provider. 

 

My mother’s health started to fail.  I was 13 and I went to work and received a dollar a week.  And I was so very proud to go home to give it to Mother. At one time I bought enough goods to make my sister Millie and myself a dress.  Mother made them by hand as she had no machine.  At another time I got some material for a dress for Millie and I got my sister, Mary,[33] to make them and I wanted her to make it long like some of the girls wore them.  But she would not.  I felt so bad that I said it would be the last time that I would let her make a dress for me and she never made me any more, for the next time I made one for myself. 

 

One day my brother, Wesley, fell off the porch and broke his collar bone and Mother and I went to the pasture to catch the horse to take Wesley to the doctor.  The horse came up to us and Mother just started to put the bridle on him when he turned and kicked her in the head.  My how frightened I was.  There was my Mother laying down like she was dead with the blood running down her face. I was afraid to leave her, but I knew she should have help so I ran and got Walt Tippits[34] to come.   He brought his wagon and helped mother in and took her home.  Then he went for the doctor.  The doctor took several stitches in her head, and she never made a sound.  She surely did have a terrible bump on her head. 

 

One time I went to work at Corrine, Utah, doing housework and I got fairly good wages. I bought Mother an extension table.  The first she ever had and I got her a nice rocking chair.  And then I went home to be there when they came.  They drove up to the door and Mother was to be there when they came.  They drove up to the door and Mother was on the porch and as they brought them in Mother said, “You are at the wrong house.  I have not ordered them.”   He said, “They are paid for.”  She said, “You still are taking them to the wrong place.”  Then I said, “No, Mother, I got them for you.”  She sat down and said, “Please never surprise me again.”  But she was very proud of them. 

 

My brothers and sisters and myself often went with holes in our shoes to give to our Mother so she would enjoy her life as she had such a hard life. 

 

When I was 17, my mother went to stay with my sister, Emma, when she was to have [a baby].[35]  I was left alone with my brother Oscar, who was ten years old and the best kid you ever saw.  One day early in the morning, I had just got Oscar to school and I was very lonesome when a knock came to the door and a big burley tramp stood there and he said, “Don’t be afraid, I will not hurt you.  But I am freezing.  Let me come in.”  He sat down by the door and was taking his shoes off.  Then I was very frightened.  But when he pulled his socks off, I could see that his feet were frozen.  Then I was not afraid.  I got a pan of snow and I rubbed his feet and went and got some more snow.  Then I heated some milk and gave it to him to drink.  He blessed me and called me an angel.  When he went he could hardly walk.  He had slept in our straw stack all night. 

 

At one time Wesley was very sick and all we did for him was no good.  Each time that we moved him he would cry out that it hurt him so.  A tramp came to the door for something to eat so Mother gave him some break and milk.  He said, “I see you have a very sick boy.  Let me see if I can help him.”  He talked to Wesley and moved his hands all over him and moved him around and it did not hurt him.  When he left, Mother said for us to see which way he went.  I looked and we could not see him anymore.  And we could see for two blocks each way and it was if he had disappeared into thin air.  He told Mother before he left that from now on your boy will be well.  Mother thought it was one of the Nephites.[36]

 

I went and lived with my Aunt Mary Ensign[37] and learned to draft patterns for dress making.  Then I went to Logan to my Cousin Millie Smith’s[38], Aunt Mary’s daughter.  I did very good for a while and then I got discouraged so my cousin wanted me to go to the knitting factory.  So I got work and there was a large crowd of women there and they told one dirty story after another so I quit.  I had never heard a smutty story before and when I told my cousin why I quit she told the manager (he was a friend of her’s).  He said that if I would come back he would make me floor lady.  But I would not go back.  So I went home and sister Lou was home, so she said, “Let’s go to Ogden.”  She had a place to work at housekeeping, but there was an ad in the paper for a cook at the General Hospital, so I went and got the work.  I worked there for a long time.  I was surely very green when I first went there and many tricks were played on me.  The steward said I had to do all the ordering for groceries and he said that he would go up town and call me on the phone.  I had never seen a phone before.  He called and said I, “Hello.”  He said, “I can’t hear you.”  I just kept on talking louder until I could hear them laugh.  Then I hung the receiver up.  He was in his office with the nurses.  I had never been around electric lights before and the steward asked me one day if I would clean the light globes in the kitchen.  He said to take the globe out of the socket and to clean the socket also.  Well, you know what I got—just a very good shock.  But I liked it there as it was good pay. 

 

One day the groceries had not come and I went out in the hall and I saw something white sticking out of the furnace room and I thought the grocery boy had left the groceries there.  I went to pick it up and I thought it was meat.  It was dark in the furnace room so I went out in the hall and it was a man’s foot.  It just made me sick.  The boys had put it in there until the furnace was hot enough to cremate it.  I got sick and went home and my sister Sarah Jane Clark[39] took me up home with her. She had a son a year older than I was and a girl a year younger.  We had a very good time there.  The hospital kept writing for me to come back to work, but not as a cook, but as a nurse so I sent back and Mother moved to Ogden. 

 

Before I went to the hospital to work, a girl friend of mine was going with James Reese, a tall, dark, good-looking fellow and I thought how lucky she was to go with such a fine-looking fellow.  I thought he was very nice.  He went on a mission and I started to go with a fellow named Jack Carney.  He was a telegraphy operator—a nice looking fellow, but he did not belong to the church and Mrs. Hill, a neighbor of Mother’s, said “I bet you would rather see Susie dead than to get married to a gentile.”  Mother said, “No.  If she loves him, she will have to do her own choosing.  It is her life and I want to see her very happy.”  Well, Jack did join the church and everyone said that he joined just for me.  But he still belonged after we quit going together.  Well, when James Reese came home off his mission he gave me the grand rush.  But he didn’t seem so grand as he did when Emma Anderson went with him.  I never had so many boyfriends.

 

I went back to the hospital and Mary Woods, a girl that delivered milk; she often talked about her boyfriend.  And she said that he had a brother that was on a mission and she said when he came home, she would quit Dave and go with Tom.  One time she wanted me to go to a dance with her and Dave.  And I said that I would go if my brother Oscar and sister Millie could go with us.  So we was to meet at the dance hall door and there was Mary and Dave.  Then she introduced Tom Evans[40] to us.   (He used to follow me home from the hospital and wanted Mary to bring me to the dance, only I didn’t know this.)  So Dave and Mary went on dancing and Tom asked me to dance and was Oscar and Millie angry!  They would hardly speak to me and when we got home they told Mother that her precious daughter had come home with a stranger.  Mother gave me a lecture, but when I told her that he had just come off his mission, she was satisfied with that.  I believe that Tom and I fell in love that first evening.  Tom said to Oscar, “Let me introduce you to a good dancer.” And he said, “Which one?”   And Tom showed him me.  And Oscar replied that she can’t dance… “that is my sister.”  I let Tom take me home and was my family mad when we told them we were going to get married.  I met Tom on the 1st of April and we were married the 22nd of May, 1901. 

 

When Tom took me to see his folks, brother Evans[41] said, “Well, I know her well.”  But when I convinced him that I had never seen him before, he said, “Oh, I know.  I knew her in the spirit world.”  And he always did say that.  I quit the hospital to get married.  I was making $40.00 a month and at that time that was counted fair wages.  Tom was delivering groceries and was only making $30.00 a month. 

 

I will never forget when we wet to get married, Lou, Emma, Frank, Millie all came and kept throwing old shoes and Lou beat on a pan.  I was afraid that she would wake the neighbors.  Mother came up in the rear and tears were running down her face.  My brothers thought that I had broken up the family.  They said it would hever be the same.  We went in the Temple at 7:30 a.m. and did not get out until 4 p.m.  Tom took me to his Aunt’s in Salt Lake to show me off and did they kid me.  Then when we went to Ogden, we took a taxi to his father’s home where there was a nice dinner ready with my family there waiting for us.  There was an old lady there and she said, “Well, I don’t know, but I do hope you will be worthy of Tom, for he is an ideal boy.”  He has always been good and I really did try to make him happy.  And I know I did for I believe that he nearly worshipped me and we always get along fine. 

 

Before we got married we rented a house and bought some furniture and did we feel proud of our home.  Just before we left the Evan’s home to go to our place, Mrs. Evans came to me and said, “Make your bed over as the children have been tampering with it and I don’t want you to be frightened.”  They had a dummy fixed in bed and the slats fixed so when we got in the bed they would fall down—some fun.  Now for our first breakfast together.  Mrs. Evans had put us up some sandwiches.  They were dry and he at them rather than eat the muffins.  I surely did not make him any more muffins.  I made yeast breads and biscuits and he thought they were fine.  The next night we had a terrible east wind.  The moon shone mostly like day.  I was very frightened.  I lay awake too frightened to wake Tom up until something hit the house hard.  We got up and opened a door to a room we did not use and thought the south window was broken out and the 2x4 sheeting was sticking through and we thought it was the neighbor’s house.  It was a summer kitchen.  Then there was another hard thud and our house swayed and over the transom we could see rafters and the roof slanting down.  Then there was another terrible thud and it seemed that the house was being smashed in.  We could see the rafters and another roof and we thought it was our house.  But there were two roofs at the back of our lot and the wind had picked them up and landed them on our sloping kitchen roof.  There was a lot of damage all over Ogden that might have never seen a storm as bad since. 

 

When I was first married, Mother insisted that I join the Relief Society.  I did so and they put me right in doing Relief Society Teaching and I enjoyed it.  And I am still a Relief Society teacher at 80 years of age. 

 

We were married on the 22nd of May 1901, and we were beginning to think that we were never going to have any children as I have two sisters who never had any of their own, but have adopted children.  When my mother-in-law found out that I was going to have a baby, she was so shocked, for I had been to the deaf and blind school all one day.  And I had been to the circus.  She said, “I do hope you did not go to the side show.”  I said I did.  She said, “Well, I don’t know what kind of freak you will have.  Probably it will be deaf and blind.” 

 

When our baby boy was born, as soon as I was able, I gave him a good looking over and found him to be all right.  I surely thanked my Father in Heaven for answering my prayers.  Then one day when he was nursing, the door slammed shut from the wind.  And our baby did not even move.  Then I thought he was deaf.  And when Tom came home for dinner, I had nearly cried my eyes out.  And I did not want to worry my mother.  She stayed with us.  I told Tom and Mother what I was afraid of.  But Mother said that all babies did not hear for a few days and again my sorrows turned to joy.  Thomas Alva was born on the 7th of February 1903.  He looked terrible for a while as he was an instrument baby.  And Mr. Evans said, “He is just like your people.”  I was very proud of that. 

 

Before our baby was born, we started to buy a home.  It surely was an uphill climb.  I did everything I could to help.  I took in sewing and went with the doctor on confinement cases.  And then Tom started to work for the Standard Oil Company.  And he got $75.00 a month.  My that seemed a lot.  But I kept up right along until I was close to my time and then when my baby was old enough to take with me. I did the same between all the children and after I quit having children. 

 

Aunt Emeline came to live with my mother.  She and her daughter Letitia.  She was a beautiful girl, but not very well.  And Aunt Emeline’s daughter Maude and my sister went to work in a restaurant.  Hattie went to Denver to work.  Letitia was very sick for a year.  Then she died and Aunt Emeline went to stay with her daughter, Hattie, in Denver.  About a year after that, Mother and the rest went back to Perry to live.  On the 9th of November, 1908, our second boy was born—Orren Melborne.  He was a very sweet baby, too.  I thought our family was about complete.  But we wanted a girl, so on the 17th of September, 1909 we got another boy—Orval O.  My father-in-law was so disappointed that it was not a girl that he would not come to see me for quite a while.  About this time, Tom went into the grocery business with his brother, John Evans.  A while before our fourth baby came along, everyone would kid Tom and say they knew we would have a girl and would give him all kinds of advice as how to get a girl.  But we knew they were only kidding. Tom surely did want a girl, so I said to him in fun, “If it is another boy, we will just say it is a girl and keep up the joke for a while.”  He said if it were a boy, it would be alright. So when the doctor said, “Come and see,” I never saw anyone so happy as he was. 

 

And then when our second daughter was born we seemed complete.  We surely would have to keep her, as she was such a darling.  Our first daughter, Thora Susie, was born February 17, 1912.  Our second daughter, Emma Hannah, was born August 17, 1916.  Bishop Rirges came to our house and he said that she was the most beautiful baby he had ever seen.  And I said, “That is saying a lot when you have such nice children.”  And he said, “But she looks too good for this world.  She looks too pure.”  We had her for just 15 months and she took sick for a short time and was called back home to our Heavenly Father on the 18th of November 1917. 

 

When she first took sick, it just seemed I could not have faith that she would get well.  And one day Bishop Ensign came to see us.  He was our Bishop at one time, but not then.  We thought so much of him.  And I got such a depressed feeling like a black cloud hanging over me and it seemed like it would crush me.  So I asked Bishop Ensign if he would come in the kitchen with me as there were a lot of people in the living room.  I asked the Bishop to put his hands on my head and give me a blessing, which he did.  And still I did not seem any better.  And I said, “Oh, please bless me again and I will pray with you.”  He did.  And asked the Lord to rebuke the evil spirit that was with me.  It seemed just like a dark cloud was weighing me down and when the Bishop took his hands off my head, the pressure was taken from me and I felt light and was able to pray for our darling baby.  I was still grief stricken, but I could pray and I did not feel like I was being crushed.  But I still had the grief.  But I felt like the Lord needed her and it was His will that she die.  Emma had a convulsion a begged for a drink. One time, while I was sitting by her side, I felt the presence of my father.  He stayed in the room a long time.  I couldn’t see him, but I felt him. 

 

After the death of our baby, I took a little girl to raise while the mother went to work.  Her name was Regina.  I think we had her about a year and a half.  And again, it was hard to give the little girl up.  A few years after that, we took two little girls to raise.  She was just three or four months old—named Betty Jean.  The other girl was one year old.  Her name was Betty Lou.  They were both darlings.  Dad took sick and my sister wanted Betty Jean as she wanted to adopt her.  She had a little girl about five that she adopted and wanted Betty Jean.  So we gave her to my sister and Betty Lou’s mother took her.  Then the hospital called us up and wanted us to take a new born baby until they had a home for it.  We had her for about three months.  Then a few years after, the Ladies Aid called us up and wanted us to take a baby that was released from pneumonia.  He was so frail, we called him Buddy.  And when he got stronger he was a beautiful child.  He had large black eyes, but his skin was very fair.  His great, great grandfather was an Indian.  The Ladies Aid said that we could adopt him as his mother just neglected him.  I don’t remember just how long we had him, but the whole family did love the boy.  His mother came one day and said that she had come for him.  I told her that I thought we would adopt him.  But we found out we could not, so we gave him up.  It was very hard to see her take him away and I felt that I could not take another one, as it was too hard to part with them.    

 

When the children were quite young, a party was going fishing and they wanted us to go along.  We made all the preparations to go.  It was to be on Sunday as that was the only day the man could get away.  It worried me and I said to Tom “Please let us not go.”  And he said, “I am of the same opinion, but I was afraid that you would be disappointed.”  We did not want to set a bad example before the children, so we went and told the party that we were not going.  They said, “We will come back tonight and if we have any luck we will give you some fish.”  How very glad we were that we did not go as one of the men drowned.  The men went up the stream and went in swimming.  Two more men tried to save the other, but they also nearly drowned.  How glad we were that we were not there.  It gave us a lesson not to go on any pleasure trips on Sunday. 

 

I had been to see Mrs. Bowman quite a few times as she was very sick and one afternoon I was sent for.  And when I got there, I thought she was dying.  I told Mr. Bowman that he should send for the doctor.  When the doctor came, he said that all he could do was give her more pills and I kept on increasing the medicine.  Then I called the doctor and told him to come to see her, for I knew that she would have to have more help.  He came and said her leg had died up to the knee and that the leg would have to be cut off in the morning.  I told Mr. Bowman that I was going to the Temple in the morning and I would pray for her and have her prayed for in the Temple.  She said, “I know that I will be all right.”  The next morning, her leg was better so they put it off for a few days.  But her leg was never taken off.  To me that was a testimony that God heard our prayers.  When Mrs. Bowman came home from the hospital, she had gangrene in her foot and I went to her home every morning for quite a few months it seems and cut the dead flesh from her toes and heel.  She had such faith that her foot could get well, and she got so she could walk with crutches. 

 

I taught a Beehive class for eight years.  And while I was a teacher I had pneumonia and  was very sick and a lot of people did not think I would get over it.  My brother-in-law, Jack Evans, told Tom that he did not give a penny for my life.  No one was allowed to come and see me but the family.  I will never forget how wonderful my son Orren was.  He and Dad would pick me up and put me on the slop jar and Orren would hold me there until I was ready to lay down.  The Elders came often to administer to me and at one time when they all thought I would die.  The Elders were there and they promised that I would live to accomplish what God had sent me here to do.  That was another testimony that God lives and answers prayers. 

 

When Thomas was about three years old, he had pneumonia and was a very sick boy.  We sat up with him night and day and on his birthday a man came selling plaster paris figures.  And I bought Thomas a large white horse.  It was a beautiful thing.  He seemed so pleased he put his arms around it and went back to sleep.  His grandmother Evans came to see him and when she saw the white horse she said, “Oh, why did you buy a thing like that?  It is a bad omen.  Now I know that he will never live.”  She sat down and rocked back and forth crying.  I told her to cheer up—that I knew he was going to get along all right.  I used to feel so bad for little Orren as he was just a baby and I had to neglect him a lot as Thomas was sick for a long time.  He was very sick on his birthday the 7th of February.  And the first time we took him out was on the 30th of May.  I called the doctor up and I asked if it would be all right to take him in the buggy to the cemetery and he said it would be all right.  As soon as we got to the cemetery, Thomas had a fever.  I called the doctor and he said to take him home and not to spare the horses.  When we got home, the doctor was there and Thomas was a very sick boy again.  One day when Dad came home for dinner I went down to the basement to get some fruit.  Dad gave a scream.  I rushed up to Thomas.  He was choking.  I ran my fingers down his throat, praying all the time.  I brought up a big chunk of phlem, pulling it out with both hands.  He got all right.  I looked around for Dad and he had gone for his mother and dad and told them that Thomas was dead.  Thomas was calling for his dad, so I went outside and there he was, crying and said that he would never go in the house again, that Thomas was dead.  I had a hard time convincing him that he was calling for him.  Dad was so thankful that he was all right.

 

Thomas married Edna Hutchings on the 29th of March 1921.  They had two children.  Edna (their first baby), died the day she was born.  And later they had their boy, Glenn Alva.  Thomas was divorced from Edna and later married Bessie Hemming.  She was a wonderful mother to his 15-year old boy.  They live in Ogden. 

 

Orren married Coletta Saunders, 1 June 1927.  They had a son, Earl Dean.  Coletta died of  T.B.[42] on the 19th of September 1931.  Orren married again, to Margaret Morse.  They had three children: Morse, Coleen , and Don.  They live in Ogden. 

 

Orval married Edna Allen.  They had five children: Emma, Ronald, Mirle (he died the day he was born), Brent, and Carey.  They live in California.

 

Thora married Ivan Larkin and they had six daughters: Jeannine, Joann, Patricia, Susan, Linda, and Debra.  They live in Las Vegas, Nevada.

 

I was made President of the Relief Society for five years and a half and I did enjoy my work very much until Dad took sick and wanted me to quit, but he could not let me.  I resigned a little while before he died.  And afterward the Bishop came and said that I was never released, so I stayed on for another year.  But the loss of my dear companion—I just could not get over it.  So I resigned as president.  I thought when we buried our dear little gir, Emma, it was the worse thing that could happen to me.  But when we had to part with our dear husband and father, it was so much more worse.  He was a wonderful husband and a very good father—always looking after our comforts and pleasure.  He never thought of his own pleasure.  He often said when we were having a good time and was happy that was all the happiness he wanted.  He loved his home and was always more happy there than anywhere else.  He had been sick for three years.  He died on August 9, 1938.  Thora was close to her time expecting a baby.  They were living in Washington at the time and couldn’t attend her father’s funeral.  So I had a private secretary take down everything said at the funeral and sent it to Thora.  Her third daughter was born 7 days after Tom died.  They named her Patricia. 

 

In 1918 I was asked to help with the old folks outing which was every spring.  And about four or five years after I was asked to be the head of the old folks group.  And I kept that until I was 70 years old.  Then I was able to join the old folks.  I joined the Daughters of [the Utah] Pioneers.  At one time I was Captain for two years.  Then the head of the Good Cheer Committee for seven or eight years.  Then the secretary for two years, then again on the Good Cheer Committee, then the secretary of recorder and at different times I have been Vice-captain and Good Cheer Committee.  I joined in 1915. 

 

On the 9th of May 1944, my sister Emma died and I helped to take care of her for four or five weeks before she died. 

 

On the 27th of September 1946 my brother Wesley died.  He was sick a long time.  I was with him in the hospital in Brigham City two or three weeks.  Then up to Tremonton Hospital for a few weeks; then up in his home for a few weeks; then to Salt Lake; then back to Tremonton home, where he died. 

 

My sister Lou died the 7th of February 1948 in the Brigham City Hospital.  I was with her most of the time for three months.  Then my sister Millie came and we stayed with her until the end.  It was a great trial to part with our sister and our brother.  Our sister Lou was like a mother to us.

 

I took up ceramics after Dad died.  Had molds and a keele.[43] It gave me something to do.  I made all kinds of things.  I even got good at painting faces on the figurines.  I made a clock for Thora that had lots of hand made roses on it. 

 

Thora came very summer with her family to visit me.  But I was still very lonely, until I married Edward A. Eason the 29th of May, 1950, in the Salt Lake Temple.  We went to live in his home in El Segundo, California, until he retired from the Standard Oil Company the 1st of September 1950.  Then we sold our place and went to Mesa, Arizona and bought a place there. 

 

We had a wonderful companionship.  His first wife was my cousin, Maude Cantwell.  She was a wonderful woman.  Our life was very good and we had a wonderful time together.  We enjoyed doing temple work.  In 1951 we did 168 endowments and 390 sealings of children to their parents.  In 1952 we did 84 sealings to parents.  On April 24, 1952 we were called up to give a talk in the chapel session in the Mesa Temple.  It was quite a thrill.  In 1952 we went to Canada and was called to give a talk in the Cardston Temple and the next day Ed was called again to give a talk.

 

From Canada we went to Yellowstone Park for three weeks and had a wonderful time.  Then we went to the Idaho Temple and went three or four days and was called to give a talk.  Then we spent four weeks at Lava Hot Springs and surely did enjoy the water there.  After this we went to Logan Temple for a few days.  Then to Ogden and Salt Lake to visit with our children and brother Oscar.  And we did some more work in the Salt Lake Temple.  Also did some research in the library. 

 

On the 10th of June 1953, we went from Mesa, Arizona to San Francisco, to Virginia and down to Palm Beach, Florida and then down to old Mexico.  We visited in 22 states, visiting relatives and gathering genealogy.  We gathered some in court houses, libraries and cemeteries.  Not one of our relatives were L.D.S. members, but we tried to explain the gospel to them.

 

We arrived in Mesa on the 17th of November 1953 and in 1953 we did 117 endowments and sealings. 

 

We both worked in the church.  My husband is a ward teacher supervisor on District 2.  We are both home teachers in genealogy in the Mesa 10th Ward and I am a Relief Society teacher.  It is now August 26, 1954.  It is my husband’s birthday.

 

In 1956 we moved to Long Beach and was again active in the church.  On July 14, 1959 I was set apart as a stake missionary.  My husband’s health isn’t very good, but he keeps right on.  He enjoyed the work and he was very proud of me being a missionary.  He was always ready to take my companion and I on our route and he would wait while we were ready to go home.  He was a missionary as I was.  He always went with me to all the meetings.  He got so sick he could not go ward teaching anymore.  I wanted to quit the mission, but he would not let me and it made him happy seeing me do my work and unhappy when I talked about quiting.  I filled my mission 19 of June 1959.  Dad was so pleased at the missionary conference when I was given my certificate of release he cried and kissed me when I came from the stand.  He gradually got worse so that I could not lift him.  I was compelled to put him in a home.  I went to see him every day and coming from the hospital I fell and broke my shoulder and arm.  He died August 10, 1961. 

 

I sold our home and rented an apartment for a year.  Then my daughter Thora came and moved me bag and baggage toher home where I have my own room, with my own furniture to carry on my genealogy work.  Thora has 15 grandchildren now and when they all come to visit I can retreat to my room for peace.  A while back I felland broke my pelvis. 

 

My brother Oscar died on the 16th of October 1964.  Thora and her husband took me to Salt Lake for the funeral.  I visited with relatives for a while and returned to Thora’s home after they did. 

 

I don’t get around good very much now.  I had a cataract removed from my right eye that was very painful.  So I am able to see better now.  My hearing is going, too.  Thora had made me at home in her house and I guess I’ll stay here until I die. [44]   

 

 

 

 

 

 



[1] John Johnson Dunn, born 29 Feb 1824 in Albemarle, VA and Sarah Sophia Dunn, born 8 July 1849 in Salt Lake City, Utah.  They were married 5 January 1867 in Salt Lake City.  Sarah Sophia, known as “Sophia”, was a second wife in a polygamous family. 

 

[2] John Johnson Dunn served a mission to the Southern States in about 1883, especially to Albemarle, Virginia, where he had grown up.  He visited his own family while there and was able to explain much of the gospel to his mother, Elizabeth Johnson Dunn.  His father, John Willis Dunn, had passed away. 

 

[3] Susan did not have a full brother John, but she did have a half-brother John Elijah Dunn.  He was the son of Susan’s father John Johnson Dunn and his other polygamous wife, Sarah Hawkins.  John Elijah’s oldest daughter was Alice H. Dunn, born in 1879.   

[4] Lucy Eveline Dunn, born 23 September 1873 in Clarkston, Cache County, Utah.

[5] Mary Dunn Ensign, born 2 November 1833, in VanBuren, Michigan.  She was the daughter of Simeon Adams Dunn and Adaline Rawson and came across the plains with the Mormon pioneers.  Her husband was Martin Luther Ensign (Uncle Luther). 

[6] Martin Luther Ensign, born 31 March 1831 in Westfield, Massachussets. 

[7] In 1855, Brigham Young imported mulberry seedlings and silk worm eggs from France.  He began a campaign to have Utah women get into the silk raising business.  With the advent of the railroad in 1869, the need for raising their own silk was eased as finer oriental silk became available at lower prices. 

[8] Effie Celestia Ensign, born 7 September 1871 in Brigham City, Utah.  She was the daughter of Martin Luther Ensign and Mary Dunn. 

[9] Sarah Sophia Dunn, born 13 September 1880.  Daughter of Sarah Sophia Dunn Dunn and John Johnson Dunn. 

[10] Typhoid fever, also known as enteric fever, is an illness caused by a Salmonella bacteria.  It is characterized by a sustained fever as high as 104 degrees (40 C), profuse sweating, gas, and diarrhea.  Today typhoid fever is fairly easily treated with antibiotics.  However, untreated, typhoid fever lasts up to a month and death can occur in 10-30% of the cases. 

[11] At that time polygamy had been outlawed in the Utah Territory and men living with multiple wives were arrested and sent to the Utah Territorial prison.  I am not sure if this was the prison in Sugar House (in Salt Lake City) or elsewhere. 

[12] I do not know who Mrs. Holland was.

[13] John Johnson Dunn died on 20 June, 1890 in Brigham City.  He had been sent home from prison in St. George, ill with Scarlet Fever. 

[14] Francis Adams Dunn, born 17 Sept 1875 in Perry, Box Elder, Utah

[15] Eliza Camilla Dunn, born 17 April 1883 in Perry, Box Elder, Utah

[16] Martin Luther Dunn, born 27 April 1887 in Perry, Box Elder, Utah

[17] Mary Emeline Dunn, born 23 August 1869 in Clarkston, Utah

[18] Lucy Eveline Dunn, born 23 September 1873 in Clarkston, Utah

[19] I do not know who “Brother Holton” was.

[20] Oscar Willis Dunn, born 22 April 1885 in Perry, Box Elder, Utah

[21] Dropsy: an old term for the swelling of soft tissues due to the accumulation of excess water.  Today this might be described as “edema” due to congestive heart failure. 

[22] Possibly the same as restless leg syndrome.  Also thought to have a relationship to Parkinson’s disease.

[23] Francis Adams Dunn, born 17 September 1875 in Perry, Box Elder county, Utah.

[24] Charles Oscar Dunn, born 13 October 1855 in Brigham City, Box Elder County, Utah.  He is the son of Simeon Adams Dunn and Harriet Atwood Silver. 

[25] Probably Francis Robert Cantwell, husband to Emeline Silver Dunn, sister to Charles Oscar Dunn.

[26] I do not know who “Cousin Frank” is.  Most likely a son of Francis and Emeline, but I do not have that name in my records. 

[27] I think this is Harriet Emeline Cantwell, born 27 Mar 1878, a daughter of Uncle Frank. She would have been the same age as Susan (the author of this autobiography).

[28] Probably Emeline Silver Dunn, born 12 September 1853.  She was Charles Oscar Dunn’s sister.

[29] Shocking wheat was a process of bundling the wheat into sheaves. 

[30] Wesley Hyrum Dunn, born 12 February 1890.

[31] Oscar Willis Dunn, born 22 April 1885.

[32] Eliza Camilla dunn, born 17 April 1883. 

[33] Mary Emeline Dunn.  See previous citation.

[34] Possibly Walter H Tippets, a neighbor at Perry, Utah.  Perry is also known as Three Mile Creek (being just 3 miles from Brigham City).  Note also that later Susan’s sister, Mary Emmaline Dunn, married Walter’s cousin, Jedediah Morgan Tippets.  The Tippets family came to Utah from Nauvoo.  Susan’s maternal grandfather, Simeon Adams Dunn, also came from Nauvoo. 

[35] Probably LaVerne Tippets, born 29 July, 1895. 

[36] The legend of the three Nephites goes back to the Book of Mormon, which tells that three of Christ’s disciples on the American continent were granted the privilege of  remaining on Earth until the second coming of Christ.  People often believe that these three men, either alone or as a group, have come to bless and help people today.

[37] Mary Dunn Ensign, wife of Martin Luther Ensign.  They lived in Brigham City at that time.  Mary is the half sister of Sarah Sophia Dunn.  She came across the plains from Nauvoo with her father, Simeon Adams Dunn. 

[38] Harriet Camilla Ensign, born 24 April 1859 in Brigham City.  Daughter of Martin Luther Ensign and Mary Dunn. 

[39] Sarah Jane Dunn, born 24 November 1857 in Bountiful, Utah.  She was the daughter of John Johnson Dunn and Sarah Hawkins and therefore a half sister to Susan. 

[40] Thomas Evans, born 11 October 1871 in Bountiful, Utah.

[41] David Evans, born 7 October 1843 in Llanwenog, Cardiganshire, Wales.  He was married to Hannah Wiseman, also of Cardiganshire, Wales.

[42] Tuberculosis. 

[43] I think she means a kiln.