Delia Sarah Rebekah Twede Life Summary
By Laurie Turner Snow
6 Jan. 2002
Delia Sarah Rebekah Twede was born 23 Nov. 1870 in Provo, Utah to Christian Frderick Nelson Twede and Christiana Pedersen Peterson), who both emigrated from Denmark to join the Mormon pioneers in their trek to Utah. Delia was the seventh of nine children. Her father was a saddler and moved around a lot to find work so Delia moved many times during her childhood. Her father was one of the early members of the Church who practiced polygamy and his second wife, Dorthea Hastrup, was Delia’s “other mother.” Delia called her, Aunt Tayah and loved her very much. Aunt Tayah was one of the early pioneer school teachers and Tayah was one of her students. Delia moved to Springville to live with her sister, Thora and Thora’s husband, John Hafen, the famous Utah artist. She worked for George Anderson, a well known photographer in Utah and helped him make prints of some famous artworks, including Hafen’s painting of Joseph Smith’s last public address.
When she was 20 years old, she married Hyrum Harris in the Manti Temple. Hyrum seemed to really love and cherish her. The following year, she had her first child, Mercy Rachel Harris. Mercy only lived for four months, and died of cholera. During the delivery of the baby, Delia developed a serious infection they called “childbed fever” or “milk leg.” It took several months to recover. It appears she was unable to have children after that. When she became strong enough, she joined her husband, Hyrum in Mammoth, Utah, where he had moved to work in the mines. When Delia’s sister, Doris died in 1893, Delia raised her son, Will who was seven years old at the time of his mother’s death. She also helped raise a little girl named Jeannie in Mammoth. Jeannie’s father needed help with her and Delia was happy to provide it. She loved children and enjoyed the opportunities she had to help teach and love them.
They lived in several places including Missouri, New Mexico, Texas, back to Mammoth and then to Springville. In 1905 they adopted Julina.
In all the places they lived, Delia did her best to create a home and to contribute to the community. In Mammoth, she helped convert and old saloon into a small church. She helped organize Sunday meetings and taught kindergarten. When Hyrum worked on the railroad, Delia cooked in a small cookhouse preparing food for all the workers. She said there was no civilization in sight. One day while working there alone, she saw a stranger approaching and became nervous. Then she heard a growl from a dog she had never seen before. The stranger asked Delia if the dog was fierce and she answered , “yes, and he doesn’t like strangers, so you should leave.” The man quickly left and then when Delia looked around for the dog and it was nowhere to be seen. In her Patriarchal blessing, she was told, “there was an Angel had been given thee at thy birth.” She was told that an Angel had been given to her when she was born and that if she remained faithful, this angel would warn her of danger, council her when she needed help and keep the adversary at bay in her life. From some of her life’s experiences, it seems that the angel did watch over her throughout her life.
While in Texas, she worked along with Hyrum to operate a sheep ranch. In a letter to Hyrum’s mother, Delia gave an indication of some of the work she did. She said, “We saved 950 lambs and could have saved more if we could have gotten the right kind of help. As soon as we got through lambing, we had sheep to shear. She was a hard worker and whether they lived in a tent or on a wagon, she worked hard to make it a home.
She was devoted to her family and was very proud of her pioneer heritage. She was an active member of the DUP and helped establish the Hafen-Dallin Art Club in Springville. She had a strong testimony of the Gospel and remained active throughout her life. Everyone who knew her dearly loved her. She was a warm, affectionate, sweat woman. She was a devout member of the church all her life. She helped Julina raise her children and became like a second mother to them. She died in her home in Springville in 1959. She is buried in the Provo City Cemetery.