Sunday, August 19, 2012


1860’s Pioneer Stories Told by Emily Moss Forsyth
Emily was Born 8 March 1854 Died 27 October 1930
Written by Mary E. Forsyth
Submitted by Mildred A. Mercer, Tooele, Utah 1959
Buying Beads
One day (about 1860) some Indians were camped at Lake Point.  Several playmates and myself went to visit them.  We went to a tent where a squaw was sewing beads on moccasins and we thought how fun it would be if we could have some beads.  The Indian man told us to bring some potatoes and he would give us some beads.  So, we all went to our homes and asked our parents for some potatoes and they gave us what they could spare, about a half a bushel.  We lugged them to the tent and the Indian took them inside and when we wanted the beads he laughed and said no and told us to run home.  We were so disappointed and frightened that we did run home and did not go back there again.
Sheep Herding             
I had a little girl friend named Mary Ann Hepworth, who had to take her turn in herding her father’s sheep.  She wanted me to go with her.  And my mother would allow me to go, Mary’s mother would lend me an old pair of shoes for I seldom had any of my own.  We always took  our dinner for the sheep must be kept away all day. 
One day Mary Ann decided we would have a treat.  She knew where there was a hen’s nest with one egg in it, so she took this one egg along.  We made a fire and cooked our potatoes, then when they were about done we decided to boil the egg with them.  When we were ready to eat, Mary cracked the egg in half, and what do you think was inside it?  A little cooked chicken was inside it, so we had no treat.

Boiling Salt on the Shores of the Great Salt Lake
Many are the days my girl friends, the Griffith girls, and I have spent on the Lake shore boiling salt.  Brother Griffith and my father each had a broiler not far apart.  We used to go early in the morning and carry the Lake water in buckets to the boiler until it was full.  Then gather the Grease Wood and make a fire under the broiler.  It had to boil to get done.  If we played to much, which we often did, it would be dark before it was done.  We used to bathe in the lake; we did not have bathing  suits but were a long way from anyone so suits did not count.  We had to gather the brush and one would pile it high while another would tromped it. We were barefooted and used to have scratched feet and legs, but we were happy.  At night when Brother Griffith was there with his wagon we would ride home in the moon-light singing “Barbara Ellen”. 

“Barbara Ellen”
In Scarlet Town, where I was born,
There was a fair maid dwellin'
Made every youth cry well-a-day
Her name was Barbara Ellen.
All in the merry month of May
When green buds they were swellin',
Young Jeremy Grove on his deathbed lay
For love of Barbara Ellen.
He sent his man unto her then,
To the town where she was dwellin'.
"You must come to my master dear,
If your name be Barbara Ellen,
For death is printed on his face
And o'er his heart is stealin'.
Then haste away to comfort him,
“O lovely Barbara Ellen."

The salt was taken to Salt Lake City and sold.  My father worked in Salt Lake so we children had to boil most of the salt.

Moon-light on a Bush
When I was a little girl between twelve and fourteen, I went to visit my sister who lived at Blackrock, the Church farm.  I went there to help her because she was ill with an infected breast.  One day a friend called to see her and told her to get some onions and make a poultice and put it on it.  It was late in the afternoon and several miles from E.T. City (Ezra Taft Benson City) where the onions could be obtained.  Her husband would not go because he did not think it necessary to get them for her. So I offered to go because I did not like her to suffer so.  She let me go telling me to hurry and she promised  to send her husband to me.  I set out, I ran most of the way to Sister Yate’s.  she gave me some bread and butter to eat while she fixed the onions for me.  Then she told me to hurry because it would be dark before I got back anyway.  So I hurried but it was such a long way that darkness came upon me soon after I started out.  It was a long lonely road with few travelers.  The moon came up,   but I was close to the mountains so I was in the shadows.  I was not afraid until I was going around a hill which was not far from the house.  I happened to glace up and look 
ahead of me and what I saw looked like a large animal near the road.  I stood still.  I could not go back, it was too far.  And there was no other way to get to the house.  So I must pass the thing.  I decided the best thing to do was run, so away I went.  As I passed it I looked over my shoulder and saw that it was only the moon shining on a bush.  I was so frightened and exhausted that when I reached the porch I fell into a faint.  My sister was very sorry that her husband would not go to meet me.  He was too big a coward.  The onions gave her relief.  I decided that I would always remember the story of “Harry and the Guide Post”.  When you are frightened at seeing something just walk right past it.    

 The night was dark, the sun was hid Beneath the mountain gray, And not a single star appeared To shoot a silver ray.
 Across the heath the owlet flew, And screamed along the blast; And onward, with a quickened step, Benighted Harry passed.
 Now, in thickest darkness plunged, He groped his way to find; And now, he thought he saw beyond, A form of horrid kind.
 In deadly white it upward rose, Of cloak and mantle bare, And held its naked arms across, To catch him by the hair.    Poor Harry felt his blood run cold, 

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