Tuesday, July 12, 2011




Amanda    Sarah Sariah     Alma    Amanda
Sarah Sariah Durfey was born in Salem, Utah County, Utah, 20 April, 1872, daughter of Alma Durfey and Amanda Melvina Haws.  When very young, Sariah's mother, Amanda became very ill and was bed-fast.  Sariah was in charge of the home.  She was always busy.  She was taught to crochet and knit.  In those days instruction books weren't available, they were taught from the fancy work of someone who would teach them. 

Her parents moved to Tombstone, Arizona for Amanda's health.  They made a bed on a matress and springs in a covered wagon. Years later she became well enough so they came back to Thurber, now Bicknell, Wayne County, Utah, and built a home in Red Canyon where they had a farm. 

Sariah was introduced to John (Jack) Smith, by Amanda's brother Franklin (Frank) Haws.  They were married 12 April, 1887.  They were the first ones to buy a marriage license at Thurber, Utah.  They homesteaded a 120 acre farm near the Fremont River and Sariah helped grub grease wood, build fences, milk cows and make home made soap on a wood stove.  She carried water from the river, did washing on a board, ironed with a stove iron and used coal oil lamp for their light. 

Sarah Sariah  &   Jack Smith
She soon had horse and named him Blue.  She would ride side ways to the river and bring water to the house in a bucket.  Sariah loved to dance, she was a fast foot racer and would out run the men at the 4th of July celebrations.  She was very active and a fast walker.  Always jolly and cheerful, she was loved by all who knew her. 

Her first child, a son called John Floyd was born 16 February, 1888.  When one year and six months of age, he became very ill.  His father, Jack being away on the mountain herding cattle and Sariah being all alone, she rode her horse with her baby in her arms side-ways to her parents home in the night.  The next morning she sat Floyd in a high chair looking out the window.  He said, "I wish my father, Jack would come home."  That same morning, his father told the other herders he was going home as something was worrying him, and he didn't know what.  He arrived there and just a short time later Floyd passed away 19 June, 1889. 

November, 1882, Sariah was baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  Not having many years of schooling, she became a wonderful reader.  Sariah and John were married and sealed in the Manti Temple on the 4 December, 1889, and Floyd was sealed to them the same day. 

Sarah Sariah   Artie
Their second son, Charles William was born 14 February, 1890 and only lived three days, passing away 17 February, 1890.  The 11 April, 1891 Amanda Melvina came to gladden their home after loosing two sons.  On the 17 March, 1893 Artie Jane was born.  Then a son, George born 10 January, 1895, lived only a few hours.  12 December 1895, their 6th child, a son, Alma was born in the same year as George.  Then came Eda Bell (3 March, 1898), Jason Lynn (17 September, 1900), Merin (13 January, 1903), Ardella Christina (29 October, 1905), Norma and Norman (22 April, 1908). 

The home was moved to and from Thurber by putting logs under it and pulling it by horses.  In the Fall it would be moved to town for the children going to school and in the Spring it was moved down close to the river for drinking, cooking, washing and being bathed in the old No. 3 tub. 

This was where Sariah made cheese and also had a nice garden.  The 18 September, 1910 Franklin Dewayne was born and the 17 February, 1913 Guy Durfey was born, being their 14th child.

For three years, the family of eight moved to Duchesne.  Amanda and Artie were married and Lynn was working for Bishop Arthur A. Meeks so they stayed in Wayne County.  They were there three weeks at Jim and Sussie Grant's, friends from Thurber.  The trip took three weeks in a covered wagon with six horses. 

John found a farm with cows and pigs where they could plant a garden and have hay for the live stock.  The next Spring , they moved closer to school.  The 15 May, 1917, their 15th child was born at Midview, Duchesne County, Utah, Jay Durfey Smith.  He was born in the morning and Sariah received a telegram that afternoon, her sister, Dora Melissa had passed away.  Sariah was very weak and homesick for the family she had left.  This made her very sad. 

The next Spring , a 130 acre farm was bought just north of where they were living.  It had a partly built home.  They bought a cow and a calf.  They had a large garden and fruit trees.  Sariah was a very good cook, where she had three meals a day of wholesome food for her family.  She made beautiful crochet and knit pillow case lace.  At the New York Fair and other places, she received a first class blue ribbon each time she sent them in. 

Amanda   Artie   Smith
Sariah had very bad headaches in Thurber.  After she moved to Duchesne County, she was never bothered with them again.  When Jay was six months old, Sariah took him for a walk in the fresh air.  As she was coming in the house, she slipped on ice near the porch and fell close enough to put the baby on the porch but hit her knee.  In later years she was in much pain. 

Sariah always had a beautiful garden where she grew peanuts.  One year in the fall, John told the Bishop to send someone and take all the largest potatoes in the bin for tithing.  He was always a great tithe payer, taking the best hams also, leaving what was left for the family.  When Sariah went to the bin for potatoes to cook for dinner, having a large family and Winter coming on, all she could find were very small ones.  She was very tired and knew she had to cook a big meal for the family.  She came to the house and said, "If this is the way one pays tithing, I don't know if I want to pay any."  She washed and cooked them with the jackets on as they were too small to peel.  The next Spring when she went to plant potatoes, she threw them in all whole, not cutting the eyes like they should be.  She said, "Well, this is it, if they grow, OK ,if not I don't know what we will do for Winter."  That year she would go out to take new potatoes from under the vines, she cooked all Summer long and sold sack after sack to the people passing by.  That Fall she had the bin running over and had to find a place for the rest of them.  They were the largest, beautiful potatoes one would ever see. 

The next Fast Sunday she stood up and thanked her Heavenly Father for the great harvest she gathered and sold.  She cried and asked forgiveness for saying anything she had said about paying tithing.  From that day on she was a good tithe payer and the Gospel meant more to in later years.  She would gather her children around her and at night read the book of Mormon and the Bible.  She held Family Nights when it wasn't thought of then. 

Sariah did many endowments and sealings in the Manti Temple.  She would always see that her children were clean and ready for church on time. 

She would always knit all her children two pair of black wool stockings for Winter.  Every day they would have a clean pair to wear.  Sariah made all her children's clothes having no patterns.  She cut one from a newspaper by measuring the width and length.  After she "unripped" the material she was using, she washed and ironed it then cut it and it always looked like new. 
In 1921 they moved to Myton, Duchesne County, Utah, where they owned a cafe and bakery.  Sariah and John worked together.  By this time they had Merin, Norma, Norman, Dewayne, Guy and Jay at home.  She made good bread and pastries and was always sold out before closing.  Many times the customers would wait for hot bread and pies to come from the oven. 

Sariah contracted small pox.  The temperature was so high it started infection in her knee and she had tuberculosis of the bone.  They then moved to Park City, Summit County, Utah.  Merin and John worked in the mines and Sariah and Norma had a boarding house in Empire Canyon.  Sariah's knee became more painful and she was taken to the LDS Hospital in Salt Lake City where a cast was put on her leg.  Finally a Chinese doctor, George Chin Tong came to her home and the cast was removed.  The doctor started to bathe it in very warm herbs to see if the leg was still alive, which it was.  It began to be free of pain. 

She was visiting her parents i Bicknell, Utah when her younger brother Franklin (Frank) Durfey became very ill.  He was taken from Provo to the LDS Hospital in Salt Lake City.  When Merin Was driving his car with , his wife, Louise, their small baby, Alma, Amanda, and Sariah, they had a very bad accident.  Sariah was thrown out of the car and her knee was broken.  She would suffer from this the rest of her life.  Sariah was always trying to be cheerful, trying not to feel bad with pain, as she didn't want her son, Jay to see her suffer as she had been sick all his life. 

They moved to Fruita, Wayne County, Utah, where Merin gave them his home.  On the 14 April, !932 at the age of 60, she passed away at Amanda and William's home in Bicknell, Utah, leaving her husband and 12 children.  She was laid to rest on 16 April, 1932 by her three sons in the Bicknell Cemetery where she wanted to be. 

1932 by her son, JASON LYNN SMITH

A mother filled with ambition                                           Her cheerful smile and a pleasant way,         
A noble aim in life,                                                              She gave when she was here
To raise a family of children,                                            I shall look forward to greeting,
And shield them from trouble and strife,                        When I meet my mother, dear

The mother of fifteen children                                          She left the fourteenth April
Three dying after birth,                                                       And I know she's living still,
With twelve still remaining                                 ,Of course she's still working
Who praise her on earth.                                                    As all true mother's will.

And when a terrible demon,                                              Just think what mother's suffer
Her body began to devour,                                                They work and do for you
She still thought first of others,                                         And from an infant
And worked for them by the hour.                                   Most of us prove untrue. 

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