Tuesday, July 12, 2011


from the Sariah and Jorgen Smith Family
from Julie Moore Tippets

Minie Smith Haws  Franklin Haws
Amanda Melvina Haws was born 21 April, 1852 in Pottawottamie County, Iowa.  When an infant 6 weeks old, her parents, Jayson Haws and Sariah Hillman, moved to San Bernadino, California.  They did this to get away from the Mormons.  While living in California, she was around a Negro lady's yard.  The wind would blow drifts of sand.  Lizzie had her washing on the line and a baby dress had fell off into the sand.  It was half buried when Amanda saw it.  She pulled it out and was pleased to see it was a little dress, just right for her doll.  Only in width, she would cut it down.  She took the dress home.  She was deciding how to make it over when Lizzie came to the door and knocked.  She asked my father where I was and told him I had stolen her baby's dress.  He called Amanda and she could see her eyes yet, they just bulged out.  Father told Lizzie she could have me and do just what she wanted with me.  She was never so afraid in her entire life.  Lizzie asked for the dress and she was glad to give it to her.  After Lizzie left, Amanda's father called her to him and told her that she must never take any thing again, to not even pick up a pin if she found it in anyone's door yard.  After that she remembered finding a pin in a lady's yard.  She took the pin into the lady's house and gave it to the owner.  She said she didn't want it but Amanda stayed there until the lady took it.  That was a lesson she never forgot.  She always told the story to everyone. 

They only lived there until 1853 when they moved to Salem, Utah.  She had very little schooling.  Later in years, she was baptized into the Church of Latter-day Saints.  She was a great pioneer. 

She had tallow candles for her lighting system then.  These candles she made herself.  Then she passed on to the day of coal oil lamps.  Such a better light than the candles were. 

Durfey family
At the age of 15 she was married to Alma Durfey, who also came from Montrose, Lee, Iowa at the age of eight years.  Moving to Salem, Utah, they were the proud parents of nine children.  First came Amanda Melvina (born 10 November, 1867), then William Alma (20 April, 1869), and then a move to Dry Creek, Nevada.  Then 26 April, 1871 John Royal came to gladden their home but lived only until the 28 April, 1871.  They moved back to Salem, Utah.  Sarah Sariah was born 20 April, 1872.  Then five more children came, Liddie Jane (1 April, 1874),  Jason Eliger (4 May, 1877--died 12 November, 1882),  George Lawence (6 October, 1879),  Dora Melissa (20 April, 1885 in Provo, Utah),  and Robert Franklin (4 February, 1889 in Thurber, Utah).  Thurber is where they made their home, Living in Red Canyon then to Thurber, now Bicknell, Utah.

Amanda Melvina was a small woman and always neat and clean.  She combed her hair before getting out of bed, her comb was under her pillow.  This was told by her daughter Sarah Sariah.  She always had good things to eat, she was a kind and lovable person and had a very hearty laugh.  She loved every one and everyone was welcome at her home. 

Her life has been full of various experiences.  She, like other pioneers, had to do more than push a button and have a room fill with light.  She darned and patched, washed on a board, ironed with the old stove iron and read Bible stories to her children.  She always joined in her children's parties and was the happiest when her home was full of young folks of her boys and girls.  Her table was full of good food and none were too old or too young.

She was married and sealed in the Temple to her husband, Alma Durfey on the 26 March, 1896.  She worked  as the first councilor of the Relief Society for 20 years.  She would help collect wheat, lest famine befall.  She made quilts and gave them where needed.  They all went to the wheat fields to glean.  She took her part as a woman of mercy.  She visited the sick and due to her charming personality, she made every cloud have a silver lining. 

At one time, she tells of when her husband needed a new suit of clothes to march against Johnston's Army.  Having no money or material to make one, she thought of an old bed tick they were using.  It was of good material, only it was striped.  But, something had to be done as she had patched and repatched his clothes until she had nothing more to patch.  It was of good material, nothing could be bought even if she had the money.  This material would have to be dyed.  Not with Diamond Dye, but with a weed which had been used for the purpose with success by some of her pioneer neighbors.  So the weed was gathered and the dye prepared.  Into the dye went the precious material.  In due time coming forth the blue striped and white, somewhat changed in color to a bright yellow.  The suit was made never the less and brother Alma wore the suit, and joined the brethren who were called out to meet the army. 

The last years of her life she took in boarders until she couldn't work any more.  They moved to a large room at her granddaughter Lulu Sariah Durfey and husband, Ruffus l. Brown's.  She lived to push the button on her reading lamp and went to sleep on a heated electrical pad.  She was taken the very best of care the last years of her life.  Her hearty laugh, a warm kiss and a hand shake made her heaven with her posterity of 10 children, 44 grand children, 73 great grandchildren and 8 great great grandchildren.  She passed away at the home of Lulu and Ruffus Brown 15 March, 1937 in Bicknell, Utah at the age of 85 and was laid to rest by the side of her beloved husband who passed away 18 September, 1924. 

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this post. Amanda is my great-great Grandmother!