Sunday, November 4, 2012

Margaret Barton Harris 1913-1990

Margaret Barton Harris was born April 3, 1913 to Fletcher and Lelia Barton.
"When I was a child I learned to appreciate and love music - all kinds.  Both my mother's and my dad's family sang every time we visited them…old fun songs and new ones.  I remember how excited everyone was over "On the Road to Mandalay."  I spent hours trying to make my fingers fit the keys as I pumped the player piano at Grandma Barton's.  I've since realized that I was pumping the classical music into my ears.  I loved it then and always have.
I remember walking to school with my dad in 6th grade and trying to keep  up with his footsteps.  I never learned to milk because Dad was always afraid I'd ruin the cow, but I herded cows and tromped hay and rode the Derrick horse and the horse to cultivate the corn.  I was thrown over the fence from a horse, and kicked across the street by old Blackie.  I often went swimming the ditches and the river.
When I was young I took great delight in wearing three foot high stilts while doing the dishes, etc.  The dish pan was on the stove and I could hardly reach it.
Everyone should sing.  The Lord doesn't mind if you aren't the best singer.  'The woods would be mighty quiet if the songs were sung by only the birds who sang the best.'  If we are singing in a congregation our testimonies will be strengthened if our attitude is one of worship and if our hearts are in tune with the wonderful message in the hymn.
Recently I read that if the music in the Junior Sunday School is right we will suddenly have a church that has choirs in each ward and wonderful congregational singing.  It is constantly my prayer that I can give them a feeling of reverence, of worship and love of the gospel through music.  As I work with the children and watch them develop my testimony is strengthened."
Margaret was a young girl of 14 when her mother passed away.  She grew up very quickly, taking over the house duties, preparing meals for hired hands as well as the family, and having the primary responsibility of caring for two younger brothers and a sister.  Her aunts and grandmother helped where they could, but the next few years were very hard for her.  They had very little, remembering having only two dresses and her work clothes.  However, the talents she acquired from necessity blessed her and her future family immeasurably.  She also attended school at USU and BYU, coming just short of graduating in Food Science.
Mom did a lot of sewing, making quilts before she was married and making clothes for all of us.  She made Phil's clothes by hand.  After she received her Pfaff Sewing machine, Dad made her a wonderful sewing cabinet.  It had drawers for all the sewing notions and swing out doors with hooks inside the doors for all her thread.
She was a wonderful mother, caring meticulously for each of us.  I was the third child after Phil and Margaret Ann.  I remember well each of us "mothers" rocking and singing to Stevie and Joey.  The babies were so very precious.  Stephen's passing was beyond what Mother could endure.  She was never completely well after that fateful day in August, but she went on despite her tremendous grief and sorrow.
Friends and family loved to visit,  loved her wonderful cooking.  Elden, a nephew, wrote about the garden - a perfect place for a wedding or a nice summer evening.  He also remembered the summer home and all the work invested in it by her and Dad. 
She loved her husband, her children, her grandchildren and her many friends and extended family.  She loved her garden and she loved to sing.
                                                   Margaret and Lester Everett Harris

No comments: