AUTOBIOGRAPHY of my LIFE
by MOLLIE McCLAIN
My Grandfather, Bennet Hill McClain, was born in Scotland in 1807. Juriah Freeman, whom he married in 1827 was born in Scotland in 1808. They had just arrived from Scotland and were in Rochester, New York where my father, John McClain, was born August 20, 1818.
From Rochester, they went to Chattanooga, Tennessee and just before the War tween the States, they moved to Monticello, Georgia. My Grandfather, Bennet Hill McClain, left his family there and went to Nashville, Tennessee.
My Father stayed with his mother and brothers and sisters in Monticello. Where he met and married Sarah Farrow who was born in 1833 and she died in 1856. After being widowed for four years, he met and married my mother, Elvira Caroline Cook at Monticello, Georgia in 1860. She was born in March, 1838. Their children were as follows: Elisha Newton Barto, born August 23, 1861; John Franklin, July 2, 1863; William Thomas, May 8, 1865; Elizabeth Catherine, April 20, 1867; Juriah Nancy C., March 31, 1871; Lucy Jane, December 15, 1873; Emma Florence, May 1 1875; and Mollie, August 1, 1877.
John McClain, my Father, was the superintendent of the Newton County Cotton Mill during the time of the War between the North and the South.
My Mother's father, John Cook, lived at Monticello until after the war, then moved to Carter Place in Newton County. Carter Place is apparently the name of the house in which they lived, the town in Newton County being Sandtown which is now known as Newborn, Georgia.) He married Dicie Bairb.
The following is a list of John and Dicie Bairbs children:
Burton Cook, who served in the war for 18 months before returning to his home in Palmetto County;
Evira Caroline Cook, who was my Mother, was born March, 1838;
Jim Cook, who married Lula Thigpin and left the Carter Place and went to Arkansas.
Jesse Cook married Jennie Hawkins and lived at Centennial, near Rutledge, Georgia. He owned a home there. He also served in the war for 12 months:
Bud Cook married Loey Harris. They lived in Tipton, Georgia with their adopted daughter. He was in the war for a year, also.
Frank Cook was in the Army. He had the measles which affected his nerves and he died without ever having been married.
Berry Cook served in the war and was beheaded in the Seven Pines Battle.
Louise Cook married David Griffin. They lived in Rockdale County and had three children, Lula, Laura, and Otis.
Penny Cook married Jack Wilson who left her a widow. She later married Tom Mitcham. They were the parents of Panse Mitcham and Lilla Bryant.
My fathers brother, Elisha McClain, married and was the father of two boys,
His sister Susan E. McClain, married a Mr. Daniel. she lived and died at Danielville, which was named for her husband.
Frank McClain married a Coker girl from Hickory Flat in Cherokee County. He also served in the war between the States.
Jim McClain married a girl named Arnold, went to Tennessee and enlisted in the war. His death came during the struggle.
Avian McClain married Dr. Parks at Gainesville, lived and died there.
Henry McClain served in the war, was shot in the head, but lived to die in a soldiers home in Atlanta, Georgia on June 5, 1914.
My brother Elisha Newton Barto married Katie Wellborn. He was born August 23, 1861 and died September 27, 1887. They had one son born about 1885. His name was Perry McClain.
MOLLIE'S BROTHER'S and SISTERS;
John Franklin McClain (brother) married Lucy Wellborn. He was called Frank and died Dec. 22, 1930. Lucy his first wife died and he married LueNelia Armstead. Frank and Lucy had one girl who died infancy. He and LueNelia raised seven girls, Vessie, Cassie, May, Fannie, Levvie, Maud, Eddie Louise and Etta.
Another of my brothers, William Thomas married Arow Jones. They raised three sons, Thomas Skinner, Aubry and Bill. William was born May 8, 1865 and died February, 1935.
Elizabeth Cathern McClain (sister) married Joseph Wellborn Dec. 23, 1884. She was born April 20, 1867. Joseph Wellborn was born March 28, 1863. I have no death date for Johnnie although he is dead. They had a large family consisting of 14 children. I'll list them as follows;
Katura Frances Oct. 14, 1885 Willie Paul May 20, 1887
Baby ? Mar. 21, 1889 Lilla Nov. 29, 1890
Charlie Jan. 21, 1893 Jesse July 27, 1894
Johnnie Nov.18, 1897 Mary Jan. 19, 1899
Lonnie April 8, 1900 Asbery Dec. 12, 1902
Walter Jan. 29, 1906 Estella Feb. 19, 1909
Baby Dec. 18, 1909 Bessie Sept. 1, 1914
Juriah Nancy Cook (sister) was born March 31,1871. She married Johnnie Wellborn on Jan. 10, 1897, died Nov. 5, 1953, they had three girls and four boys; Beatrice M., born Sept. 16, 1898 and died Sept. 18, 1942; Mozella Juriah Nancy, March 19, 1900; Beulah, Sept., 1901; Dewey, August 26, 1903; Raymon, June 11, 1906; Herman, April 6, 1911; Mieges, August 31 ,1914.
My sister Lucy Jane married William D. Dunevent May 20, 1895. Their children were Lottie, Elinore, Myrtle and J. V... A baby was also born and died in infancy. Lucy Jane was born Dec. 15, 1873. She died but I am without the date.
My sister Emma Florence married Robert Studdard March 12, 1896. Their children were; Anne C. Feb. 18,1897 and Clara Sept. 25, 1903, she died Sept. 6 1932. Robert Studdard died April 24, 1905 and Emma Florence married Ben S. Stap Nov. 13, 1907. They had the following children; Ludie, born August 27 1908, Eula Agness, May 29, 1910, Josie Elvira, May 4, 1912, Emma Florence McClain Studdard Stap was born May 1, 1875, and died August 27, 1941. Her first husband, Robert Studdard was born Sept. 28, 1873 and died April 24, 1905. Her second husband Ben S. Stap was born Nov. 13, 1869.
MOLLIE McCLAIN BOEL writer of this Family Record
I Mollie McClain was born August 1, 1896. I married Pierre Christian Boel in the Salt Lake Temple on Dec. 15, 1909. He died on July 28, 1918. To this marriage was born three children: Joseph Myrle, born Feb. 18 1911, at Mapleton, Utah. George Hagen, born May 20, 1912 at Mapleton, Utah, and Daniel Merwin, born Oct. 14, 1914 at Sutherland, Millard County, Utah.
PIERRE CHRISTIAN BOEL;
Pierre C. Boel was the son of Christian Peter Boel, and Maren Kjerstine Sorenson (Myrn Christine Sorenson). She was also known as Mary Sorenson.
Pierre and our two boys, Joseph Myrle and George Hagen, lived in our little home in Mapleton, Utah County, Utah until May 1913. He sold the home and bought a 40 acre farm in Sutherland, Millard County, Utah. We moved on to this small, two room frame house. We lived there for three years where Daniel Merwin was born august 14, 1914. We were very happy there until my husbands health failed him. He thought if we were back in Utah County, closer to the mountains, he would get better, so he sold the farm and we moved to Pleasant View in 1916 where we bought a small fruit farm. However, his health did not improve and the work was so hard that he could not carry on. In time we were forced to sacrifice this farm for a smaller one. This time, we had five acres on 12th North, near Provo. In the spring of 1918, in the month of April, we built a little two room home with a half a basement.
His health continued to grow worse, and in July 28, 1918, he passed away leaving me alone with our three boys. Joseph who was seven years and five months old, George who was six years and two months old and Daniel who was three years nine months old. We lived on this little farm for a few years and then sold and bought a home on 4th North on the East side of 5th. West and South side of 4th North which was in the Third Ward of Provo.
In 1923, we bought a little three room home on 7th East in Provo. We resided here for four years then I traded for a home on 4th. North and 2nd West. The address was 391 N. 2nd West in the Provo 4th Ward. We were very happy here for along time. Joseph and George got married and left Dan and I alone.
Joseph Myrle married Ruth Richards on Sept. 5, 1934 in the Salt Lake Temple. Ruth is from Farmington, Davis County, Utah, the daughter of E.F. Richards. Joe and Ruth have made their home in Provo, Utah 244 West 3rd North. They have four girls and one boy. The eldest, Beth Anne, was born Nov. 13 1936; Joline, Jan. 9, 1940; Sondra, March 21, 1942; Joseph Richard, July 31 1946; and Christine, Nov. 23, 1954.
George Hagen Boel married Wanda Forsyth on June 8, 1934, with Bishop Royal J. Murdock, Bishop of the 4th Ward, officiating. The marriage was solemnized in the Salt Lake Temple on June 8, 1959. They have five children, three girls and two boys. Marilyn was born Nov. 7, 1940 at Provo Utah; Judy Kaye, June 23 1945; George Daniel, Dec. 30, 1946; Kathleen, Sept. 22, 1948; and William Forsyth, June 6, 1953.
Daniel Merwin Boel married Beesie LuDean Wimmer in Salt Lake City on Nov. 28, 1942. Their marriage was solemnized in the Salt Lake Temple on March 16, 1943. Their first child, Rosemarie Lorraine Boel was born June 11, 1947, at Salt lake City; Bonnie Kathleen, was born May 3,1949 at Salt Lake City, Utah; and Daniel Alan was born was born May 5, 1950 at Salt Lake City, Utah. This is the end of the actual family genealogy, now I will begin my own life history.
MOLLIE McCLAINS LIFE HISTORY;
"On August 1, 1877, I was born in a little log cabin in Morgan County at the little town of Rutledge, Georgia. I am the fifth daughter of my father and mother, John McClain and Elvira Caroline Cook. I can remember well the eight children in their family, three sons and five daughters. I remember the house stood upon a little hill and faced the east. The hill was covered with wild grass and flowers and clover. To me, it was very beautiful. I used to play with my sister who was two years older on this hill. We would lay down at the top and roll down to the bottom. I was about four years old at this time and we found it great fun.
An incident that impressed this on my mind was an incident that my father, mother, and sister Emma and I were in. We were returning from a visit at my Uncle Jesse Cook's home at Centennial, Georgia. We were riding in an old-fashioned buggy drawn by a stubborn mule who became frightened and started to run. Father was driving and he tried to hold him back, but could not. Father and mother fell out of the buggy and it tipped over with my sister Emma under it. She was hurt very badly. Mother received a broken finger. My father was dragged for some distance by the mule and while I was not hurt, I was badly frightened.
"Life to me at this time was most beautiful. Everything was most marvelous and everybody was good for I knew nothing about sorrow or trouble. It seemed to me that my father and mother's family was the most contented and happy family in all the world and all their friends were happy too. Life was just one continual joy and happiness. I suppose they experienced some sorrow, but to me, it was all joy. My sister Emma and I romped through the woods and gathered wild flowers which were growing nearby. We climbed trees, listened to the singing of the birds and watched the squirrels gathering nuts and scamper about the trees. There were so many snakes, we were afraid of them, but we would kill every one we could for they would eat the bird eggs and kill the birds we loved so much. We wanted our beloved birds to live happy lives, free from harm and fear. There was nothing that pleased us more than to find a nest full of baby chicks, birds or tiny animals and to watch the mother feed and care for them.
"My parents were very happy when my other brothers and sisters were young. When their friends would call, my parents would join with them in their games and enjoy them as much as the young folks. Father wasn't in the war between the northern and southern states. He served as superintendent of the cotton mills at Newton County Georgia during the war. He was saving his money to bury a home and wanted to pay cash for it, but the North won the war and his money was no good so he lost everything and never owned a home.
"My grandmother Cook lived with us. She was so dear and we loved her so much. She died when I was a very small girl, in 1882.
"All my brothers and sisters were married and had homes and families of their own. Father and mother and I were living in a very small house on a farm in the year 1898. My father had been working hard all day and was very tired when he had eaten his supper, he went to sit on the porch to rest when it was cool, for the summer was very warm. He leaned his chair back to rest and fell asleep. Mother and I were washing up the dishes after the evening meal when we heard a gun shot. It came from the front yard and we rushed out to see what had happened. We were horrified to meet my father coming inside with blood steaming from his face. A Negro man had slipped up in the darkness and shot him in the back of the head. The bullet had come out on his cheek. Mother and I screamed and called to our neighbors who lived some distance away. Two of them came running and got a doctor and the sheriff. They found the Negro's footprints in the sand beneath the window where he had been watching my mother and me while were busy in the kitchen. He was identified by the foot prints because of a crippled foot and had been bare foot at the time. He had been hired to work on our neighbor's farm. A trial was held for the man and he was sent to prison for ten years. My father recovered from the wound, otherwise the colored man would have received a much heavier sentence. The man had quickly confessed his guilt when confronted by the law.
"This was in January 1899. My father and brother Frank were out working around the barns and sheds when two well-dressed men came up and were talking with them. My mother, Frank's wife, Lue and I were in the house watching them. Finally they came inside and my father introduced them as missionaries representing the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or Mormon Church. One of them handed me a tract that they had and I read it while father talked with them. The missionaries names were James J. Facer from Avon, Cash County, Utah and C. A. Cull, from Idaho.
"After I'd read the tract which contained the Articles of Faith of the church they were representing, I was convinced they were preaching the true gospel of Christ. I had read the Bible every since I could read anything so I loved the Lord Jesus Christ from early childhood. My parents were good people and had taught me religiously and I knew from their teachings and reading the Bible what the Savior had preached while on the earth. I was sure that this was the only true gospel. The missionaries preached at our neighbors that night and I wanted to go listen to them, but father objected. He and my brother Frank went and heard their message. Father bought the little book, the Voice of Warning, which he gave to me with an admonition to read it well for he did not believe that they had the true gospel of Christ. He was first to read the book, then he gave me permission to read. Afterwards, he bought a Book of Mormon and read it through. By then, he was convinced that the teachings of the missionaries were true and he asked to be baptized into the Mormon church. He was baptized by Elder C. O. Cherry on August 7, 1899. I was baptized on November 29, 1900 by Elder J. A. Smith and Mother, Elvira Caroline Cook McClain and sister Emma F. McClain Studdard were baptized on April 16, 1900 by Elder James Facer.
In this small community where we lived , there were enough members of the church to organize a branch of sixteen members. My brother, William Thomas McClain and his wife, Arow Jones, were baptized in 1900 by Elder A. C. Candland and confirmed by A. C. Candland. The branch of the church was organized the year 1900 with brother James Studdard as President of the branch, my father, John McClain as first counselor, and John Glass as second counselor. I, Mollie McClain, was made secretary of the branch.
"Some of our families were very much disappointed over my father and mother, my sister Emma, brother William and his wife and I joining an unpopular church and withdrew themselves from us. Of course, we felt very bad over this. About that time, my mother suffered a stroke which paralyzed her. This was previous to our joining the Church, about 1898. It was very hard for her to get around so I made a promise that I would stay and take care of her the very best that I could as long as she lived. I planned later, to leave my beloved Georgia and come to Utah. Mother lived seven years after the stroke and died in September of 1906. With my father's consent, I left Georgia in October of the same year. It was hard for me to leave my loved ones and my dear state of Georgia which I still love so much.
My father and sister Emma, who had joined the church were going to follow me west, but father me with an accident and never lived to make the trip, My sister who was a widow with two small children married again and was likewise unable to come. My father died January 1911. I regretted bitterly coming out here and leaving my father and I was terribly lonely without my relatives. Father had so wanted to come here to see the temple and to get his endowments and do work for his relatives who had passed on.
I have been slow in doing work in the temple; I must try to do more because I have much to do.
"Elder John P. Madison, who filled a mission in the South, and his father and mother loaned me the money for my transportation to Utah. Their home was in Vineyard, eight miles from Provo where I resided. I arrived in Provo in October 1905 and went to live with a Brother and Sister Madson until I found work. They were very kind to me.
My first work was at the Opher Hotel at the Opher Mining Camp. The hotel was operated by Sister Holderway and her daughters. I was made assistant cook and liked the work very much. My next home was that of Dr. and Mrs. George E. Robinson where I had a good life from November 1905 to December 15, 1909. Their house was located at 257 East Center Street, Provo, Utah. They were very kind to me, treating me as one of the family. While I was there, I met Pierre C. Boel of Mapleton, Utah. We were promptly attached (attracted?) to one another and were married on December 15, 1909 in the Salt Lake Temple. We lived in Mapleton from 1909 to May 1913."
At that time, we sold our home in Mapleton and bought a 40 acre farm in Millard County at Sutherland. We had a nice two room frame home, nice well, with a pump for water which was cool and clear. We naively settled here and our youngest son was born there in October 14, 1914. We named him Daniel Merwin. My husbands health was not as good as when we lived in Mapleton. He had to improve this farm and never had enough water to irrigate a forty acre farm. This caused him much worry which was bad for him because of a heart condition.
We sold this farm and bought a fruit farm in Pleasant View where we settled for a short time, but my husband's health grew worse until he couldn't run the farm finally and this time we bought a farm of five acres on 12th. North between 5th. West and University Ave. No house on it so we rented a small house on 5th. West until we could build a home of our own on our own land.
It wasn't long until our eldest son, Joseph, came down with scarlet fever and, of course the other boys took it too. All very sick. My husband took it too, and was terribly ill so we had quite a time, not knowing if Joseph would live or not. The children all recovered eventually, but their father never got better because of his heart and kidneys were affected. We were successful in getting a little two room home with a half a basement finished and had just moved in when my husband passed away on July 28, 1918. We had thought to make our home there indefinitely, but alas, our sorrow came so there was nothing I could do but bear it and the lonesomeness as best I could with my Heavenly Fathers help.
The children and I lived here on this little farm in spite of the lonesomeness. We had some very good neighbors, Brother and Sister Joe Clark and Sister Emma Hirst, and the lord blessed us greatly, not with money or with this world's wealth, but with faith and love and health so we were able to work. Of course there were times when the boys had the usual children's diseases and tooth troubles, but nothing really bad came to us.
There were many good people in those days. I hadn't enough schooling that I could teach so I just had to do house work, etc. So we sold this farm that we had grown to love and bought a little home on 4th North, just east of 5th West. It was close to school for the boys which made it very nice. It had four rooms with a small room upstairs. We rented the two front rooms and lived in the two at the back. We had a good milk cow, but could not keep her. This was just after the war that ended in 1918. We sold the cow and got enough money for her to buy 100 pounds of sugar. That seems the way when a lone woman is left with a family to support. Finally we rented this house and bought a little three-room frame one on Seventh West, just north of Center Street.
Here we had trouble with a neighbor who was going to put a fence right against our home. My friend's husband got a surveyor to survey our lot so he had to put the fence farther back so we had mush more room that we would have had if he'd put the fence where he had wanted to put it.
"My three sons, Joseph, George and Daniel wanted to buy a billy goat. They had earned some money selling magazines and newspapers so I let them buy a baby goat. The lady they bought it from told them not to tease it, but to be kind and it would never get mean. But the boys would tease him so he became mean and would chase them and bunt them over. Finally they had to sell him.
The boys and I went out to pick fruit for the farmers. The boys sold watercress and did whatever work they could get that was honest and respectable. I did house work, ironing, cleaning, etc.
"The house on Seventh East was not modern, so we sold it and bought a nice brick house at 391 North 2nd West, located in the Provo 4th Ward In this ward, we had very good neighbors and we all liked it there. We were very happy and contented so close to church. The three boys were Deacons and also belonged to the Scouts. Just one block to church made it very nice for us for we had a good bishopric with Royal J Murdock for Bishop. My sons got married while we lived here. George was married to Wanda Forsyth, June 8, 1934, by Bishop Murdock. Joe and Ruth Richards married in the Salt Lake Temple on September 5, 1934. At this time Joe and George were working at Headquists Drug Store on Center Street and First West. I worked for Startup's Candy Factory for two and one-half years while the boys were in school. Dan graduated from Seminary in 1932, from Provo Senior High School in 1933. Each one of my sons were baptized when 8 years old and they were each confirmed members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints and are now faithful members.
"When Dan got out of High School, he needed and wanted work, but there was none in Provo at that time. He and his friends picked fruit for a time, but finally Dan joined up with the C. C. Camp for boys that age. I didn't like this and objected to him joining, but I had a very dear friend, an older lady, who came to see me. She told me to let him join as it would be the making of him and could be bad if I didn't, so I gave my permission. He was in it for two or three years. While there, the boys were allowed to study up on advancing in this kind of work so he studied hard, but when he was let out, he didn't know how well he rated in this so he wanted to go to the Utah State Agriculture College. We rented our home in Provo and moved to Logan. I went to keep house for him so he wouldn't have to board. Dan liked the school up there very much. We stayed there for six months, then he received word from the government that he was successful in the study on Forestry. He received his commission from them and was to start work in Cub Canyon, close to Preston, Idaho. He supervised the work there, then at Pocatello, Idaho. When the war came, he went to work for the small arms plant in Salt Lake City where he met and married Bessie LuDean Wimmer of the same city. They were married in a civil ceremony on Nov. 23, 1942 and the marriage was solemnized in the Salt Lake Temple on March 16, 1943. He was drafted into the army in world War II as a Military Policeman. He served in Australia and the Philippines until 1945.
"I was left in this large, eight-roomed house at 391 North 2nd West in Provo. It was lonely there and I traded this house for one on Sixth East which had two apartments. I lived in one and rented the other. The house was located in the Bonneville Ward.
I wasn't very well satisfied here because of being alone, so I met and married James M. Taylor who owned and operated a ranch in Vineyard. I then rented my house and lived on this ranch. He was good to me and was a good man, but I wasn't happy so I asked for a divorce. With the return of my former name which I received, I returned to my home in Provo. I then traded my home in the Bonneville Ward for a small home on 4th North, just east of 5th West in the Third Ward of Provo. Arthur Taylor was Bishop at that time with Mrs. Leah Swenson as Relief Society President. It was a nice ward to live in.
Dan and LuDean had bought them a nice house in Murray, Utah. They had lots of room so they wanted me to sell my home and go to live with them. My health wasn't so good and I didn't like living alone so I did as they asked. However things didn't work out to everyone's satisfaction, so I moved back to Provo. I lived around in apartments, then I bought a small home in Springville, close to George and his family. It was a nice place but it was so far from town.
"Then I sold this house and moved back to live in Provo. I rented an apartment of Mrs. Jane Larsen at 461 North 2nd East which was in the Manivue Ward. Nello Westover was Bishop. This was a nice location and a nice ward to live in. I lived here three years and was very happy and contended, but it was upstairs with 17 steps to climb and I was getting older and was afraid of falling on the steps. I had fallen twice.
I decided to get a place on the ground floor so I moved south of University Avenue between 4th and 5th south. I liked it here in the First Ward of Provo. The neighbors were so nice, but I had to move back up north in Provo in a basement apartment located at 234 East 4th North in the 5th Ward. Now I am so far from town and church and everything, that I am discontented, but I have some very good neighbors and friends. I feel that I am shut in too much, though. It will soon be five years that I have lived here. I hope that I won't have to spend the rest of my days here, but I am aware that I must make the best of it.
"On August 1, 1957, I turned 80 years old. My family held an open house at my son Joseph's home. It was so nice and thoughtful of them to do this for me. I was so happy to have my dear relatives and friends call and greet me. It was great to know they really thought enough of me to show their appreciation in this way.
"In 1955. I had a growth on my head, a cyst as big as a large marble. I suffered a lot with bad headaches. One day I decided I would have it removed and walked down to the Clark Clinic. Dr. Stan Clark removed the cyst in a few minutes. It was soon all healed up and I never had bad headaches so often again. The operation was performed on October 14, 1955.
"I then developed cataracts on my eyes. I got a good eye specialist, Dr. H. B. Ostler, and on April 1958 I went under surgery at the Utah Valley Hospital for the removal of the cataract from my left eye. It was a great success, but it required a lot of faith and patience with a good doctor and my faith in him. Also, in my Father-in Heaven and the prayers of my sons and their families and all my good friends. So thanks to Him, the good doctor, the nurses and all at the hospital, my friends and family, I can read and write and crochet and do my work very happily.
"I will be 82 on August 1st, 1959 and I thank all who showed me kindness. May the good Lord bless them every one. There are so many good people. I am happy to know there are so many more good people in the world than bad.
"I will try to carry on the rest of my days happily if the good Lord will bless and guide me all the ways as He has in the past life if I am good and faithful, prayerful and keep my faith up and keep on the sunny side always.
"May the Lord bless my sons and their families that they may always be as good as their parents and their good ancestors."
On June 6, 1959, George and Wanda were married in the Salt Lake Temple. Rather, their marriage was solemnized. This was their 25 wedding anniversary. Their children, five in all, Marilyn, the oldest was 18 and took out her endowments. The others Judy Kaye, George Daniel, Emma Cathleen and Billy Forsyth, were all sealed to their parents.
Mollie was 90 years old when she passed away in Provo on Sept 27, 1967.