Monday, March 1, 2010

Mary Easton Morris 1850-1930

Mary was born to Robert and Mary Miller Easton in Salt Lake City, Utah on December 2nd, 1850.  While she was an infant, her father was called to go to Southern Utah to help build Mormon settlements in that area.  They first went to Cedar City, then to Beaver and finally settled in Greenville, Utah. 
Mary was an only child but had several half siblings.  Her father practiced polygamy having married her mother's sister Agnes Easton. 

Mary enjoyed growing up in Greenville.  It was there that she met her future husband, Joseph Smith Morris. He was there working on several farms in the area and although he was kept quite busy with his work he always managed to find time to spend with Mary.  She thought Joseph was so handsome but a bit shy.  She knew he was interested in her but he never seemed to be able to express his true love for her in words.   Mary received a letter dated February 14, 1868.  Finally, here was her proposal from Joseph in the form of a beautiful poem.  He had sent it to her while he was working in Corn Creek.  Of course her answer was yes and  in regards to the poem she said, "it was so beautiful, my heart took wings".  Almost 9 months later, Mary's parents escorted the couple in a covered wagon drawn by a pair of mules to the Salt Lake Endowment House.  They were married on November 6th, 1868.

At first, they took up a homestead in Kanosh.  Later on they moved to Greenville.  They took up a farm across the Beaver river  near Adamsville.  Joseph named it "Aberdare" which was a Welsh name meaning "over the river".  They built a sawed log house across the river from Greenville with two large rooms, a large hall dividing them.  As they settled down in this beautiful place the farm grew and so did their family.  Their first child, John Robert Morris only lived from March 13, 1870 until October 2nd 1870.   Mary Ellen Morris came October 26, 1871, then Joseph Hyrum Morris on December 28, 1873, Lillias Janette Morris on July 30, 1876, Esther Berthada Morris on January 6, 1879,  and Letitia Jane Morris on December 13, 1880.   Mary and Joseph loved all their children.

It was April of 1882 that Joseph was called to serve a mission in New Zealand for the church.  At that time Mary was pregnant with Lula Agnes Morris and she was born on September 2, 1882 while her father was in a far away land preaching the gospel.
 Joseph Smith Morris on his mission in New Zealand

I can only imagine the hardships that Mary faced while alone and pregnant on that farm with children who were 11, 9, 6, 3 and 2.   It seemed like an eternity but the day finally came and Joseph arrived in San Francisco on December 30th, 1883 and then finished the trip home to Greenville to the loving arms of his wife Mary.  After Joseph's return home they suffered the loss of Lula Agness on May 27th, 1890.  Their family continued to grow with  Zealand Sidney Morris on October 29, 1884 then Clara Emily Morris on April 3, 1887, Violet Alice Morris on February 28, 1889 and finally Frank Aroul Morris on September 16, 1891.

In Spring and Summer, the family were all up at dawn working the land, tending to the animals and growing an incredible garden.  In the fall, Mary spent alot of time drying corn, beans, peas, apples and pears.  She churned butter, made bread and cared for the chickens.  The money she made from her butter and eggs went to purchase necessities for the family and an occassional piece of hoarhound candy.   One of the other fall jobs for Mary was making soap,  She made it from rendered fat from the slaughtered animals and lye that was leached from the wood ashes.  This was all on top of her responsibilities of caring for a home and children.  Her husband called her the greatest homemaker and helpmate of them all.   Any excess produce and grain was traided to merchants for cloth and yarn.  Mary's winter work was sewing all of the family clothing and making all the stockings, caps and mittens to keep the children warm from the severe winters in Greenville.

Mary lived a full life.  The love of her life, Joseph Smith Morris passed away on August 9th, 1904 at the age of 55 and was buried August 11th 1904.  Mary passed away April 29th, 1930 and was buried near her beloved Joseph in the Greenville cemetary on May 2nd 1930.

(I found most of the information for this history from information I had received from various family histories.  You may also find information on Mary Easton Morris on .  The Welsh Mormon History site has other information on some Greenville immigrants.)

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