Tuesday, July 12, 2011


Pearline Smith Mills

Compiled by Marla Burdick

The life of Pearline Smith Mills as she told it.

I was born in the year 1890 on June 24th at Castle Gate, Emery, Utah. My parents (Joseph & Estella Holt Smith) were traveling on the road from Pleasant Creek where they had been living to Escalante, Utah, where my grandparents (William Alma & Sarah Holt) were living. They were traveling by covered wagon they called a camp house. Near Castle Gate my mother became ill so they stopped to camp under a railroad track as it was the only shelter available. My father went to find help. They made a bed and hung a quilt at the door.
They camped at Castle Gate for a week or so until my mother was able to go on. The first night on the way, Father was unloading bedding to make camp for the night and I was wrapped in the blankets. Not realizing this my father tossed me to the ground, but being wrapped well it did not hurt me. It was several more days to get to Escalante.
I started school at the age of 6 years at Sunnyside, Utah and had to walk seven miles as there was no other way of transportation. When the snow came, I was unable to go, so I could only go in spring and fall.
When I was about eight we moved to Emery, Emery County, Utah on a farm and I rode a horse to school when it got cold. My father would wrap eight miles. I quit school when in my 7th year as my parents were both ill so I went to work washing dishes in a hotel. We had hard times. Dad had big boils and Mother had inflammatory rheumatism, and we children had to help.
Dad's sister (Mary Smith), was killed by Indians at Black (Red) Hills East of Richfield.
My Dad was very helpful in the community as I was growing up. He was a very good hunter. We dried and jerked meat in the summer we would do three and four hundred pounds. Then Dad would take it to the larger towns and sell it, or trade for other things we needed.
My dad also broke horses and trained them for Butch Cassidy.
We wore buckskin string around our neck to keep from getting the mumps and we also drank tea made from sage to build our blood so we wouldn't get sick. These were some of the old medicines.
I was the oldest of 15 children. I was baptized twice as my first record was burned in a fire that destroyed all records. I was baptized again when grown and married in the Monroe Hot Springs. When I was 14, they asked me to pray in Mutual and when I got up I could not say a word so they had to call on someone else.
I fell from a horse and broke my arm when I was seven. By the time they got me to a doctor to have it set it started to knit crooked so the doctor just let it go. I never could straighten my arm out.
I met Dad (Charles Albert Mills), when I was herding sheep for Marius Mills. I wrote to him for two years before we married. After I married Dad, his brother would never give me my pay for working. I worked from May to August and was paid only a pair of shoes.
I came to Joseph, Utah, before my third child was born and lived there most of the rest of my life. The following is the rest of the story, as told by family members, Chloe, Euella, Estella, Eugene, Golda, Mother (Pearl) said when she was able to go to school, her one teacher was really mean, if they didn't do exactly what they were suppose to do, the teacher would hold there hands out and take a ruler and hit them until they were black and blue. They had to wrap burlap sacks around their feet to keep them from freezing, when they walked to school.
Mother and her brother (George) were herding cows one day. They didn't have shoes. The sand was hot and the cockle burrs were thick, so they waded in the edge of the canal. Mothers little brother stepped in a hole and went under. Mother ran all the way home which was a mile or more to get Grandma, she ran down there and dove in three times before she could fine him. He was caught. Mom had to carry him all the way back home.
Mother's sister Sara, had two children. She stayed with us when Golda was born. Shortly after that Grandma (Smith) got word she had died. Little was known about her death.
When mother was very small she had a bad ear ache one winter. An old Indian came to the house and told Grandpa to find a red ant bed and get some ants. He said, pound them up and put the juice in mothers ear. Grandpa had to dig down through the snow to find an ant bed. He found one and did what the Indian said to do. Mother never had any more ear aches all her life. As found in LaMar Mills newsletter Volume 2 Number 2 :also their family group sheet and family memories.. Charles Albert Mills married Pearline Smith in Price, Carbon, Utah on the 6th of August 1908. He was 30 years old and she was 18..They lived in Price (Deseret Lake) until after their second child was born. Their first child, Chloe was born 29 June, 1909. Albert was born 22 Feb. 1911 and died Mar 14, 1911.
Before becoming a farmer, Charles was engaged in hauling freight for Alunite Co., near Marysvale. He drove a 6-horse team. He handled horses with pride and love. He was a great whistler. Before going around a blind bend in the road he would whistle very loud to let other drivers know so they could pass. While living in Joseph, Estella as born, Mar., 2, 1912, Eugene June 1, 1914, Euella May 5, 1916. In 1918 they lived at the Alunite where Charles worked. Golda was born there July 5, 1918. They purchased a home in Joseph about 1918. After closing of a job at Alunite around 1918, they moved to Joseph again to their own home on 1st East. One block off Main. The house was remodeled about ten years later. They lived in the same house the rest of their lives. In 1927 Pearl's younger brother, Leo came to stay with them. He had his tonsils out the same time Golda did. He has heart trouble. He had loved to watch bull fights. Pearl would set him in a chair out in back of the house with a quilt around him and he would watch the neighbors bulls fight. They would go through fences and all over the road. He wanted to go home so bad that another brother, Cliff, came and took him home on the train. Grandma Smith, his Mom, was there to meet him. He died in her arms at the train station in Price. On Jan 10, 1928 Lavor was born and died March 8, 1928. The very next year, 1929, Dee was born Feb. 8, and died the same day. The home was never one of costly array but was filled with loving deeds performed for each member. The same type of atmosphere was taught their children. The example of honest, loving, and hard working parents have been exemplified through their children in their homes and many callings in their lives. They were taught the value of honesty in their dealings, of a days labor, and of a testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Mother's many talents in sewing and cooking have not only brightened their home but the homes of those who associated with them. Their hands were always busy in service to others.They were always loving and cheerful parents, kind and loving and understanding grand-parents, always could bring out the best in their family. Always with a smile and a home made treat. A trusting friend and helpful neighbor, and a faithful servant of our Father in Heaven. Even though our father wasn't a prominent church attender, he was a good provider for his family and honest with his fellow man. He was prompted many times by the Holy Ghost. One time, he was out farming, had stopped for lunch, when the spirit prompted him to move from under a large tree. He did and almost at the same time, lightening struck the tree. His life was spared.
From Uella's journal: I remember how Mother used to try to keep our hair all in ringlets. I cried when she went to do mine, but Dad would not give his consent to cut it. One day mother said, 'go ask your Dad again' Dad was talking to some one and when I said 'Dad can Mother cut my hair'?, he was paying no attention to me and said 'Yes' to something the man had said. I ran to Mom and told her, 'Dad said yes'. She hurried and cut my hair and Dad when he saw me was really upset. But I had no more curls. I always cut Mothers hair as I got older and she told me lots of stories about us kids and our curls. As we got older and all our hair went straight, we used to say that was why Dad was bald, 'he had to give us all his hair. At age of eight years my Dad rented a farm about 6 miles from town, we called it Ross Farm. It was located between Sevier river and D&RG Railroad. We lived there in summer while our home in Joseph was being remodeled. My memory carries many fun times in that little log house with no plumbing, no electricity, and had to haul our drinking water from town. For other purposes we brought it from the river. Our only means of transportation was horseback or horse driven buggy.
We milked 15-20 cows by hand so we all learned milking time meant take our pail and in open coral corner our cow and sit on a one-legged stool and squeeze warm fresh milk from cows. Then we went to the separator room where we took turns turning the separator so we could sell the cream and give separated milk to pigs and baby calves.
Once a week my mother and some of us kids would make a trip to Elsinore to sell the cream and bring home what groceries we needed, which consisted mostly of salt, sugar, spices, etc., as most of the things that were on our table were raised in our garden. Our meat which was mostly pork and venison. ( My dad was a great hunter). Pork we raised and butchered, cured with salt. We didn't have much beef in early days as no means of preserving it until later years when freezers and pressure cookers were available.
In the Fall, my father always took wagon loads of grain to the grist mill and exchanged for flour and cereal. We had a fruit orchard so always Mother had at least 1000 jars of fruit and jam, jelly and pickles. Our storage room was a pleasant sight always with plenty of good things. Apples, potatoes, carrots, onions, honey, molasses, flour and sugar. Everything needed for winter months. My parents were very good providers and most of the time I remember growing up we had some of our relatives living with us.
Uncle Doyle, Mothers brother, lived with us in our little two bedroom house, when his and Aunt Eva's third child was born. His children at that time were, Jay, Verl and Elaine. She was born in our house. That summer, we raised lots of squash. So we almost lived on it. Little Verl, used to take a big piece (Baked with rine on) as Mother always cooked it in oven. He would get it from ear to ear then say "more skosh Mommy". Uncle Doyle was real good to help Dad so I never remember folks having any words about them being with us. Uncle Oren used to drink and he knew Mother would not put up with him in his drinking so he would come , open the door and throw his hat in. If Mother did not kick it out he would come in.
My Mother was the oldest of 15 children so she had brothers live with us often and as her father died leaving her mother with small children she spent lots of time with us, also her two youngest children, Dee Lavor, my age and Estella, a year younger. Our little 4 room house was always full but always love and happiness were in abundance. Our evenings were spent reading aloud, playing games and eating popcorn and apples. My dad always had a sweet tooth so mother made lots of honey candy which she could really pull till it cracked. Dad bought a wind-up phonograph while we lived on the farm, which brought music into our home. Mother was such a pleasant lady, all my friends loved to come to our house. She always helped us pull honey candy. The neighbor kids knew they were always welcome to eat at meal time. They used to come to the table and say 'where do I sit Mrs. Mills'. We seldom had chairs for everyone. Mother would run and scuffle with the boys. I have seen her put them down and squirt the hose up their pant leg.
We always had popcorn and apples to eat. We had the first radio in Joseph and Dad used to sit up until Amos & Andy was over, then he would say "BED TIME".
One time, one of my friends (Maurine Carter) was there. A pair of dad's long underwear was hanging on the hook in the kitchen. Maurine came in and put them on, then wanted Dad to dance with her. She had picked him a bouquet of wild flowers. They always loved Mother & Dad.
Dad used to come in the kitchen door and say, 'where is your Mom' and when she wasn't there he would go through the house and sit on the front porch and wait for her.
When Mother had her last two little boys, I was 9 & 10. We did not know Mother was pregnant. They told us to go to Uncle L V's and spend the night when they came for us Mom had a new baby. We were so happy and surprised. We had no idea of such things.
When Father passed away, there was not room in the Church to hold his many friends, young and old, rich and poor. He passed away quickly of a heart attack on the morning of August 22, 1952, at the age of 74.
Mother lived another 13 years and died a terrible death of cancer in the home of her beloved sister, Lillian, who at the onset of mothers illness, sold her business and belongings in California and bought a home in Joseph, for the sole purpose of taking care of her sister, which she did. Mother was the oldest in her family, they had a very close family. Mother died Dec. 20, 1965 at the age of 76, leaving behind, five married children, 19 grandchildren and 24 great-grandchildren, two brothers and two sisters and a

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