Life of Maud Rosalie Driggs Christensen
March 1936 [She was 58 when she wrote this.]
Supplementary material in italics collected/written by Clare B. Christensen
It was the 25th of October 1877, when I first saw the light of day in the small city of West Jordan, Utah. My father was a merchant in this smelting town and I was the fourth child of Benjamin W. Driggs and Rosalie Ellen Cox--the other children being Frank Milton, Howard Roscoe, and Leonora.
Although only four years old when we moved away, many incident of those days were vivid to my young mind. We lived in what was called “The Factory House” with three apartments and agreeable neighbors, among them the May family. I remember our dolls and chairs on Christmas, the fun we had digging wells in our pasture near by. Then our baby Clarice died of whooping cough, leaving a broken-hearted mother.
Soon after this bereavement we moved to Pleasant Grove, and another baby sister, Lucille, came to bless our home. The years brought us Geneva, Burton, and Ralph. All in all there were eight in the new home until little Ralph was taken by death at the age of four years.
Grandmother Cox made us occasional visits--traveling by wagon from Manti. How we looked forward to her coming and how we enjoyed her sunny smile as she sat with her darning and mending telling us tales of the long ago. No better, truer woman lived than this dear Grandmother of ours. [This is Sally Emeline Whiting Cox, the wife of Frederick Walter Cox.]
Unfortunately for us children, Father and Mother were obliged to be away from home much of the time and we were left to the care of hired girls. Among them, Cora Sidwell, our distant cousin, and Annie Smith, whom we all loved.
In the winters we suffered with chillblanes and on snowy nights tried to cure them by running barefoot through the frosty snow.
Father [Benjamin Woodbury Driggs] was a great lover of pets and we were never surprised at what he might bring home. Coyote, guinea hens, fancy chickens, bear, and even two fawns that learned to pull us in a little wagon. My sister Alice [daughter of Benjamin and Olivia Pratt who was born the same year as Maud] and I were fond of dressing up in the discarded velvets and satins of her older sisters and we very early practiced the art of “make believe”.
A happy girlhood filled with school and merry pranks, bob-sleigh rides, beau dances, ground cherrying, peach cutting bees, bathing trips to Utah Lake, and sego digging on the hills filled the passing years. My chum was Hattie Richards and life was hardly complete without her.
Then we became interested in dramatics and for years took much enjoyment in staging plays. Mine were always character parts, such as a nigger gal, an old maid, etc. Once I was cast in the role of a chinaman. My appearance on the stage always brought a laugh until I played the part of Hazel in “Hazel Kirke” and Hermoine in “Camon and Pythoses”, then they wept with me.
Some of the very pleasant events of my girlhood were visits to Manti, the old home of my mother. The families were so numerous that weeks of time were not enough to visit all the homes. I usually stayed at Aunt Vira Cox’s and Cousin Jean’s. Her brothers were Howard and Bruce and for years we carried on a voluminous correspondence, the one with Howard continuing for years after my marriage.
At seventeen, I had graduated from public school (with Hattie Richards Hayes, Hermese Peterson, and Mark Bezzant) and in September entered the University of Utah. Two years later I began teaching in Pleasant Grove, the following three years in American Fork with Nettie Neff Smart, Phil Kelly, and my sister Alice, as co-teachers. During this time I met Bernard N. Christensen. We became sweethearts.
“Maud continued teaching school in American Fork the rest of that season.”
The following year I took special work in elocution and art at the University of Utah, doing private study under Maud May Babcock. As a member of the University Dramatic Club, I received valuable instruction in play production and spent happy hours with a group of young people, rehearsing plays that were later staged in the Salt Lake Theatre, Ogden, and Logan. Elbert D. Thomas and Edna Harker, who later became his wife, were two of the cast. That year did much to enrich my life and make it possible for me to be of service in the communities where I have since resided.
“She lived part of the year at the home of her brother Howard, who was teaching at the University of Utah.
“Life is more than just the mechanics we go through. The emotions guide and interpret most of what we do. Maud Driggs is passing through an emotional period. Her correspondence with her cousin serves as an emotional outlet. Some people have kept diaries to fill that need. She had wanted to marry Bernard before he left for New Zealand. He did not think it was wise. She is wondering if he will change, if her waiting will be in vain. Her letters to Howard Co reflect this.
“In her letter of December 27, 1901 she said: Lucille and Leo are dancing in Manti tonight and enjoying every moment I’ve not a doubt. Oh, if I too were there--for my own pleasure of course--I know no one else would care. It’s too bad to be a widow and an old maid--can you waste a moment in sympathy.
“In her letter of January 19, 1902 to him, she speaks of Nettie and says: Hers is an all right sweetheart I tell you. Wish we all might have one! How do you manage without one--oh excuse me--I mean how many have you just now? I imagine you are quite an expert in the art of writing love letters--say, write me one. Been so long since I received any such thing I really don’t know how ‘twould seem. Bernard’s--um--might must as well read a chapter from the Bible, and I don’t refer to the Song of Solomon either. He is a missionary you know, and quoting Nettie, ‘they are so pokey’.
“October 1901 letter: Yesterday one of the teachers at the school left me in charge of his art classes. (The teacher was Edwin Evans, the well known artist.)
“December 27, 1901 letter: Well, our play was all right--so they said. We played in Bountiful, Sugar House Ward, and Salt Lake Theatre. Such jolly times we had, too, and then just at the last minute the U of U building burned down. I was so excited I didn’t even stop to wash the paint off--had become so used to having my face feel like a glue pot that I really forgot how it looked until I felt the gaze of everybody in the (street) car.
“‘A Happy New Year.
And lots of good cheer.
For a boy who is never in love.
Be happy and gay.
For someday you may
Be blessed with a ‘turtle-dove.’
“Her letters tell of many friends they have in common. She continually tells of the classic entertainments she attends at the Salt Lake Theatre and other places.
“February 26th, 1902 letter: The chapter from New Zealand this time was an account of a fishing trip--that’s all. I had an invitation to go down to Pleasant Grove last week in honor of Mother’s birthday. Frank and family were down. I had an engagement to recite in a concert at Murray on that evening. I went out on the seven o’clock car and was met by a charming Mr. White who was perfectly lovely and ended up all by riding home with me.
“Received a letter from Nettie today--sweet kid. Did I tell you she is to be (oh how can I say the word) married in June? It’s a dead secret, remember."
“At School March 11th, 1902
“Dear old Boy,
Do you want to know all about it? Well a ten-pound baby boy called at our house Sunday at three p.m. and we’ve decided to keep him, i.e. Howard and Eva will keep him while I figure as Aunt Maud. I tell you, Rats de thinks he’s the only baby that ever happened and, of course, he is. Now we’ll all be healed as soon as mama Eva gets the roses back in her cheeks.
“I slept with Jean (his sister) last Thursday night. She went to the 10th Ward with me where Maud recited in an entertainment. Afterwards we danced.
Sunday Eve May 11, 1901
You know why I haven’t written before, I tell you that we’ve been at rehearsal every evening for the last month. Well, we played Friday last to one of the most magnificent audiences the Salt Lake Theatre has ever known, and as everything went off smoothly and the people seemed pleased; why, we are happy.
“I was sick enough to die before the play came off but the excitement kept me up, and after the show we all went to Beardsleys Tavern (a swell one). There were lots of good things to eat. The cars had all gone to the barn to roost so we all walked home--my first stroll from Main to Twelvth East and you rest assured my last. I was Oh so sick all night.
“We played in Farmington a week ago and simply had a grand time. We came out several dollars ahead. We only went up for a rehearsal.
“Did you read in the paper that Henry Miller telegraphed two days before we played that we could not put Frelawny of the Wells on as he had the copyright and will play here in June. Well I tell you we were almost crazy. After consulting lawyers, Dr. Kingsbury found that we could make the Salt Lake Theatre let us in and then take the consequences. At the last moment Miller telegraphed for us to go on with his best wishes. Of course, it was a big advertisement for us and partly accounts for our full house.
“She tells of getting very thin. She wrote from Pleasant Grove on June 15th and said: ‘Leo (her future brother-in-law) told me today that Bernard would never have me since he isn’t a professor and doesn’t need skeletons in his line of business.
“His little sister Marie is visiting us today and said, ‘I’ll write to Bern and tell him how beautiful you look,’ so you can see I have one champion in the field.
“Mr. Short is trying to get me a position in Park City. I am also in demand at American Fork. I’ve been offered one in Juarez, Mexico as teacher of Elocution and Drawing at a hundred dollars (Mexican) a month. I’d like the position but am afraid I wouldn’t make my fortune.”
In August 1902, I went with Professor Guy C. Wilson and others to Old Mexico to teach in the Academy at Colonia Juarez.
August 17, 1902 letter: “Leaving Salt Lake City, Monday August 4th, we spent the night trying to sleep, but when hour after hour passed, I decided to stay awake to hear the breakfast bell at Grand Junction. We enjoyed that day and the beautiful scenery. In the afternoon we were delayed several hours. They made a road that had been washed out, but finally arrived at Salida (Colorado) about ten p.m., only to learn that ten miles of track had been washed out between there and Pueblo. Well, we decided to sleep and wait developments. Next morning our train had to retrace its steps to Leadville in order to get on the Colorado Midland then around by Cripple Creek and Colorado Springs over the Short Line. In this round-about way we saw lots of fine scenery, had a jolly time with a train of jovial people and arrived at Colorado Springs at two a.m. We made a quick run on down to Pueblo just thirty-six hours late. Here we took rooms . . . and enjoyed so much needed rest.
“O yes, we did go over the Santa Fe about thirty miles next night to avoid another washout. Spent twelve hours slumbering at a hotel in Delhart then on to El Paso reaching there Saturday morning.
“We came over the Rock Island from Pueblo so did not pass through Primero. I wanted to see your old haunts but we passed through New Mexico in the night. I spent the entire time conversing with the brakeman. He of course, trying to give me an idea of the country as we passed along.
“We were met at El Paso, Texas by President Ivins and his daughters.
“There, however, our progress was impeded by the river [Rio Grande] which was flooding everything on account of heavy rains. So there we waited three days, thinking every day it would be lower but giving up hope when new rains flooded the country every night. Finally a team crossed, the rains and subsided, and yesterday morning we came over in safety though the water was still high. The Mexicans were having a glorious swim and high water only seemed to add to their enjoyment.
After days of delay occasioned by heavy rains and high water we reached Colonia Dublan (the railroad terminus). Here we stayed for two days at the home of Helaman Pratt, son of Parley P. Pratt, cultured, hospitable folks, who shared kindliness and warmth on my several visits at their home. When the water would permit, we crossed the swollen river into Colonia Juarez and to the beautiful Ivins home.
Colonia Juarez, Chihuahua
August 17, 1902
If I could only by some magic power draw you from that hole and have you sitting here at the window with me you would not wonder why it seems like Paradise.
I am now at the home of President Ivins and ‘tis certainly a house and grounds of which Brigham Street might be pleased to make room for. It would be hard to find grounds and flowers more beautiful. It is a twelve roomed house and elegantly furnished. I shall leave you to imagine the rest. I am so glad Sister Ivins has consented to let me live with them because it is certainly an ideal home. The family individually and collectively are just lovely.
“Mail comes only three time a week here in pleasant weather; in rainy seasons we dream of mail--lat night about ten o’clock the dream proved to be a reality. We girls walked down to the office across the footbridge and upon reaching the office found the postmaster calling out the names as he sorted over the letters. When I went in the girls said, ‘He has called four for Miss Driggs.’ So I had to wait until several hundred papers were distributed before he again called off the letters for the tardy ones. And then came the first news from home. Also one from a school friend, one from a miner, and one from a missionary.
“They all believe in polygamy down here and are not satisfied with two but many have four or five. I am hardly educated up to it yet. Brother Wilson has two already. I don’t think I care to play third, still there is no telling what an old maid may do. If you will just write me very often and keep me from being lonesome, I shall try to remain true to my Utah friends.
“I met Lloyd Crawford (one of their many cousins) at Ciudad Juarez. He is mining in this part of the world. It seemed strange that we would meet. I suppose he’ll become a miner of renown some day. How is it some of us have such lots of troubles and backslides when others float so serenely? That mine of yours!! You talk about the troubles of a married man; well, I think three or four wives would be less expensive.”
“September 18th, 1902
“Mi Querida Howard,
“Como esta ud? Seems an awful long time between letters--just think I haven’t had one for a week.
“It’s supper time here but I’ve decided not to eat. Too many parties and much cake have turned my stomach wrong-side out. Am having the best kind of time and treatment, only I have to recite everywhere--just five times in the past week. I hope that they too will grow tired some day.
“The greatest of my troubles just now is my feet. Dr. Keate (Sister Ivins’ brother-in-law) just gave me acure, so if it’s effective I shall bless him to my dying day. And it still rains.
“Just now I’m taking private lessons in Spanish from our Mexican teacher, Mr. Gonzales.”
“Cozy Corner October 24th 1902
“Mi Querido Howard,
“Have just reread such a sweet letter and now I’m going to answer it. Just refused Antoine Ivins’ invitation to attend the Ball this evening and am now beginning to regret it. Twas so thoughtful and lovely of him to think of me (when he already has a lady love) and then I was so unkind to refuse. Alice or Nettie would have known and done the proper thing. ‘Tis such a sore affliction to be a dunce. Besides all other things, Mr. Gonzales will be there, and I’ll miss all those flattering remarks he is continually emitting. Don’t compare him with the greaser you referred to, because it will not fit. His name is neither Jose, Juan nor Pedro but just plain common Henrique.
“Haven’t yet succeeded in interpreting a part of your letter but hope to be able to do so in the far distant future. I don’t mean the Spanish--Antoine read that for me. By the way he is my private secretary now, is just as sweet as it’s possible for some other girl’s fellow to be. Am afraid I’d get my hair pulled if she knew all abut it. How nice that we live on this side of the river.
“Do you want to hear about our play? Have you ever read ‘The Lady of Lyons’? Well its a month or more since the Dramatic Club asked me to play Pauline with Dr. Keate as Claude Melmotte. A week ago we played to oh such a packed house. Don’t think I ever shall cause so many tears again, why even the young men cried and the sub boys who saw us every night at rehearsal stood wiping their eyes when I came off after my big play.”
(Note) “A clipping from El Progreso under date of Otober 31, 1902 gives the cast as follows: Dr. Walter Keate, C. E. MClellan, Junus Romney, George W. Bailey, Prof. Guy C. Wilson, Ernest Hatch, Walter Woodmanesee, George G. Haws, Frank Harris, Miss Maud R. Driggs, Miss Lizzie Butler, Miss May Mortensen, and Miss Florence Ivins.
“The article said, ‘The Lady of Lyons” was presented last Friday night before a house literally packed from door to stage. The play was a decided success. Mr. Ben F. LeBaron of Dublan at a late date had been secured to paint four sets of scenery, and by working night and day he succeeded in completing the last one just as the curtain rose for the first act.
“The actors had not even seen the scenery till it went up for the play, but everything went without a hitch.
“Miss Maud Driggs as Pauline and Dr. Walter Keate, as Claude Melnotte, deserved much credit and received many compliments for their excellent work.
“The editor’s letter of apology to ‘Miss Driggs’ said, “I did not give you the full praise you deserved as you are so far above the rest that the others would be jealous’.
“The most convincing testimony that her performance had been superb, came in the long after years when Franklin S. Harris was president of the Brigham Young University. He refused to allow T. Earl Pardoe and Kathryn B. Pardoe to produce ‘The Lady of Lyons’ because they could not find a young woman at the school to play the part of Pauline without offending his memory.”
At Christmas time, I went with Edmond Richardson to Colonia Dias to visit my mother’s Whiting cousins. We left Dublan at 4:00 a.m. in a buckboard with good trotting horses that carried us over the vast stretch of grazing land belonging to the Mexican Don Terrassas. High flood waters had passed Juarez two days before and my companion hoped that the three days would give the waters ample time to pass the Dias Ford.
Fortunately he was right and we reached the Whiting home before dark. People were gathering at the church to enjoy a Christmas tree. Bare-footed children, summer frocks, and straw hats were everywhere in evidence, in striking contrast to our snowy Christmas eve’s at home.
During the week I gave a recital for the benefit of the band. It was always a pleasure to do things for those appreciative folks and I gave them my best.
“When she returned to Juarez, she again wrote to her cousin.
Tarde Domingo Enero 11th 1903
(Early Sunday morning January)
“Mui querido Mio,
(My dear one)
“My return from Dias was greeted with two letters from a dear boy in Nevada. There were fifteen others and so far I’ve not succeeded in answering all. Spent most of my time rereading them. The past week I haven’t received one so my face is beginning to resume that ‘sad strange world expression’, but if hope will do anything and tomorrow’s mail bring me another from Nevada, I’ll revive. Can you do anything for me, doctor?
“Enjoyed my visit to Dias oh so much! People were just lovely to me everywhere. Gave two recitals while there which pleased the people very much. It’s nice to be appreciated but I assure you my head is normal, in fact, it seems to diminish quite frequently when I receive some undeserved compliment. Wouldn’t it be lovely to know as much as people think you know.
“We were at a swell dance on friday evening. I seldom sit out a dance any more. Cousins Charlie and Frank Whiting tried for two hours to dance with me the other night then Charlie said, ‘Cousin Maud, you are the worst flirt I ever knew. How on earth am I ever going to dance with you?’
“‘Why, engage me ahead as we do in Utah.’ Then I spent the next half hour trying to convince him that I wasn’t a flirt.
I am sorry to say that we’ve seen almost the last of Antoine. Just now he is away with his father on business. He will remain home only two days and then go to his studies. We girls hope to visit him in May. He is a sweet boy, gave me a rubber doll for Christmas.
I haven’t been to one dance in Juarez where they didn’t insist that I entertain the crowd.”
“Her October 24th letter speaks of the beautiful little watch she purchased and prized. She says, ‘My little new ticker that Brother Ivins brought from Salt Lake City says it’s ten o’clock, and my weary body and tired brain say goodnight.’
“Those were the days when womens’ watches were held on a long gold chain. Often the watch was pinned to the dress so that both watch and chain were an ornament. Hers was an expensive Swiss watch with a gold case and red background behind the hands and a glass back to match.
“Maud Driggs received a gold locket. It was sent from New Zealand. President Franklin S. Harris [later] said, ‘The locket became lost at one of the rehearsals. We had a very unhappy young woman and she said ‘I hope it doesn’t mean that I am going to lose the heart of the man’. After half an hours search, the locket was found and all way joy again.’”
“She instituted basketball for women at the school. It was a new game to most of the colonists. The school had no gymnasium so the game was played in the public park. She taught the girls how to make their suits, which in those days consisted in a long over-blouse, full black bloomers to the knees, long stockings and shoes. When the girls appeared in the park, the very pious men of the town were shocked and complained to President Ivins. He presented the matter to Miss Driggs and she was furious and wanted to know where their minds were. President Ivins had lived most of his life in Utah and was sympathetic to her feelings, but he said: ‘We cannot suddenly create a new society down here and I wish you would bend to the powers that be,’ which she did.”
In May of the following spring, accompanied by Nora Taylor and my cousin, Alice Whiting, I went to Mexico City. It was two days and nights by train from El Paso--long stretches of barren country with occasional cities and villages, low houses set close together and always a white church. We were met at the station in Mexico City by Nora’s missionary brother and Antoine Ivins, who was studying Mexican Law. President and Mrs. Harris invited us to stay at the mission home and we accompanied them to Iueranavake, a city sixty miles distant, through beautiful mountain country, where conference was to be held.
Elders and saints had come from far and near, Mexican women were busily preparing the food for those assembled, and except for our hotel rooms in the city, we lived native style for three days and found it a most interesting experience.
On our return to Mexico City and through the courtesy of Antoine, we were privileged to see the points of interest in that historic country. The Museums, Art Gallery, parks, curio shops, castles, churches, “La Noche Triste”, the tree under which Cortez wept when he counted his losses after a great battle.
M. Grant Ivins said that Guy C. Wilson [the professor who had two wives] came over to the Ivins home the evening before Miss Driggs left, and spent some time with her out in the gardens. The Ivins were all quite sure that Guy C. had asked her to marry him.
. . . .
“The Nora Taylor mentioned was an attractive young woman and became the last wife of Apostle Matthias F. Cowley. It was because of this marriage, that Cowley lost his standing in the Quorum, October 28, 1905. The manifesto was not made binding upon the church members in Mexico until April 6, 1904. His marriage to Miss Taylor was after that date.
“Here once again we return to Maud’s story written with mature appraisal of the after years.”
Always I remember the ideal home life at Ivins, the gentle mother who presided with queenly grace and the father whose life was a pattern to all who knew him.
So time hurried by on wings of gladness and we were saying “Goodbye” as I started alone on the long journey home. At Ciaudad Juares I was met by Orville Pierce, a student of the Academy, who took me by horse and buggy across the river into El Paso--thus avoiding any difficulties with custom duties on the many beautiful articles I had brought from Mexico, and I was again in the “Land of the Free”.
“She returned to Pleasant Grove, Utah where her mother still lived in the big rock house near the north end of Main Street. Her sisters, Ida Lenora, Claire Lucille, and Geneva Pearl were all unmarried and living at home. Her youngest brother, Burton Wells, was there also. Her mother discontinued the millenary business about this time. Lenora and Lucille continued to operate this business.
“Maud’s half-sister Alice was married to John Z. Brown about this time. That left but the youngest son, William King Driggs, at home of the family of B. W. and Olivia Driggs. This family had consisted of five sons and seven daughters.”
The following August, Bernard returned from New Zealand and in September we went to Idaho, where I had accepted a position as teacher in the Ricks Academy and he (Bernard) to work for the Sugar Company at Idaho Falls.
It was a happy year, the peaceful well-ordered home of Sarah L. Holman, with whom I lived, the fine friendships of teachers and pupils, and the response of these good people made service a joy.
“At the close of the school year in 1904, Maud again returned to Pleasant Grove. Bernard continued to work for the Utah-Idaho Sugar Company. He was transferred to Sugar City, Idaho.
“The following letter was written to him from Pleasant Grove:
August 3rd 1904
“Yours received this morn, do you know how many days I waited for it--I do. Now what excuse can you offer. Don’t make any, cause I won’t accept it.
“Am just ready for slumber land, after a day of quilting. So much company and canyon trip has put my work behind but am getting along nicely now. Stomach is better than when I last wrote.
“You may tell the board or Mr. Austin that I do not care to teach. If I did I wouldn’t take grade work, since I could get High School work. No, I have given up school teaching for a higher nobler and better calling.
“Am so glad we can have a house in Sugar. You must suit yourself about size, etc. We have discussed it before so you know my ideas. Your plans will I’m sure suit me so long as they are not too extravagant. You have not told me what the cost would be if we buy one.
“I saw Mabel in the City on Monday. Glad to see her looking better. Said they owed you a letter. Asked about your health. I told her as usual. You did not mention yourself or condition.
“Have written this in ten minutes, sounds like it doesn’t it.
Goodnight my dearie,
Yours always, Maud”
On September 14, 1904, Bernard and I were married in the Salt Lake Temple and went to Sugar City, Idaho to live. [He was 27 and she was 26.] Here we found happiness in our cozy home with good neighbors, church duties, and community welfare. Our first son, Clare Bernard, was born July 25th (1905), in Pleasant Grove, Utah. Shortly after, we located in American Fork, where we have since lived.
Six children were born to us--the first daughter, Maurine Lenora, then little Rosalie, who could not stay, Paul Driggs, Kathryn, and Owen Driggs followed in their turn and each added joy to our lives.
“American Fork, February 19th 1915
“Dearie Mother O’Mine,
I notice the calendar is nearing your anniversary and I must hasten my wishes for many returns of the happy day or it won’t reach you in time. Wish we might have you here to help make the day more glorious, but you are better in that land of sunshine and flowers so we will be happy in thots of you and thankful that our dear mother is spared to still be our comfort and guide. Clare doesn’t forget Grandma in his evening and family prayers and prays ‘that she may be kept from harm and danger’. He is so original in his devotions it makes us shed tears sometimes to hear his quaint expressions.
“Maurine’s requests are now centered on babies and each night I hear her whisper, ‘send us a boy and a girl and Aunt Geneva a boy and girl, too’. She is doing errands this beautiful morning, been up town for lace and now at Youngs with butter. Bernard churned early and I wish you might enjoy a glass of buttermilk with me--think you would not find any more delicious even in California. Have another calf this week and one more booked for the month. Then Bernard is going to try finding a market in City for cream to avoid so much work churning and the receipts are better. This week he is busy cutting and hauling wood for summer use, from the timer in the pasture.
“My calla lily is blooming--looks beautiful to us, but to you uns who see them growing in hedges it would be very ordinary. Never mind, we are having sunny days, glorious ones after two stormy weeks and you should hear the hens trying to express their joy--laid 20 eggs yesterday (in appreciation of the weather) I suppose. Anyway we appreciate the effort.
“It is a long time since we had a line from you or Geneva either. I’m getting hungry for a letter.
“Fannie Thackham’s marriage is booked for next week. Am glad she was not disappointed as Bern and Phil predicted last summer. Think Sister Thackham has been in very poor health all winter.
“My stomach has put on excellent behavior this season, certainly a blessing to feel well in this regard. I eat three meals every day and enjoy them all.
“Yesterday the Relief Society sisters came and performed the little work of washing and anointing. I appreciate having it done--think it is a beautiful ceremony. There are so many things in our gospel that give one comfort and peace if we live for them.
“I do hope and pray Mother dear that you are getting stronger and able to enjoy life in the best possible way. It is comforting to think of you enjoying blessings that we desire you to have. Hope you will not lack for anything that you need or desire. You are worthy for more than we can give but we love to add something to your happiness.
“With much love and hopes for another birthday.
May God bless you always,
I shall always owe a debt of gratitude to dear Father Christensen. He was my friend--a father in deeds, a gentle patient grandfather to our children, who adored him from their babyhood.
The years have brought happiness and tears. My parents and Father Christensen were taken by death--then our loved brother Homer was snatched away in his early manhood. Our interest centered on the give beautiful souls committed to our care. Our home was their social center--my dear husband was always interested in out-door sports so the children very early learned to skate, swim, play ball, and climb the mountains. He was their chum and their ideal. We are blessed with good friends, whose tastes and standards are similar to our own--Youngs and Kellys hold first place and with them we have seen the best things at the Salt Lake Theatre; had trips to Yellowstone Park, the Southern Canyons, and many other interesting points.
I have found joy in church service--in various capacities as teacher and director, President of the Second Ward Mutual, and President of Alpine Stake Relief Society. My life has been full of responsibilities both at home and community service.
* * * * *
Paul and Beth Christensen were married in February 1941. The following Thanksgiving they spent with Grandmother Maud. They returned to their home in Huntington only to receive word a few days later that she had suffered a stroke. She lived long enough for them to drive to Salt Lake City. They arrived about 10:30 p.m. “When I [Paul] went to the hospital, Clare and Owen were in Mother’s hospital room. It was very obvious that Mother would not last long. We three sons united in prayer that Mother would be released. (Earlier in her life, she told us that if she ever had a stroke, we should not ask her to live.) Since I was dressed in my field clothes, I went to Barkers to change. Mother passed away while I was gone.” It was December 1, 1941. She was 64 years old. (“Mountains to Climb”, Our Road to Happiness, Paul D. Christensen, pp. 59-60.]
She left a remarkable legacy for us all!