History of Elizabeth Clements Kendall

Written by Roxie Jane Fullmer Horne "As I knew dear Grandma Kendall"


Because I knew Grandma Kendall from my earliest remembrance, I have been asked to write her history, also having written it years ago, now hope to improve on it, with pleasure I will do my best.


Elizabeth was the seventh child of Albert and Adah Winchell Clements' nine children, who was born the 17 May 1836 in Liberty, Clay County, Missouri.


Later the family moved to Nauvoo, Illinois and became neighbors to the Prophet Joseph Smith and family. She was impressed with his kind consideration and friendliness with children.


When Elizabeth was little past sixteen years of age, with her mother and family, she crossed the plains in the Warren Snow Company. She walked most of the way at first until Indians visited their camp and asked to trade her to them for ponies ,etc. as they saw she was full of life and very helpful. It was not taken seriously, but were answered that she was worth ponies, blankets, and many more things and then they went away. They returned the next day with all the mentioned items to make the trade, of course they were refused. This made them angry and later they tried to steal her. Thus it was necessary that she ride in the wagon the rest of the journey. They arrived in Salt Lake City in September 1852. Before this time she had met a young man she thought about seriously, but even so her mother wanted her to marry Levi Newell Kendall. He had married her sister, Eliza, four years before. He was fourteen years older than herself. She didn't want to marry him, but through insistence and her obedience and respect, she did so the 29 November 1852, in Salt Lake City. Here their daughters Lucy Ann and Sarah Elizabeth were born.


At the time of Johnson's Army's entrance in the Salt Lake Valley, there was a general move south. Levi and his families moved to Springville, Utah, where many others settled. It was a very desirable location, but the Indians did not like their coming as they enjoyed it near and far. The new settlers built a fort for the women and children to go for safety in case of trouble while the men went out to meet the Indians and make peace. The signal at such times was the doleful beating of drums. Mother told us of the real fear she had when this came in the night and she was awakened and had to go inside the fort. Fortunately no serious trouble came.


Brigham Young taught , "It was better to feed the Indians than to fight them," which was done for many years by giving them food and clothing as could be done, when they came to our homes and asked for it. This was done by the women "squaws" which they were called as I well remember and had been called this for years. They were friendly and meek in their regular "squaw dress".


When the Oregon Short Line Railroad was under construction Grandpa and Grandma and family went to Idaho Falls, where she did the cooking for one of the camps and he helped as he could. With her usual sanitary understanding the waste food, and or garbage was taken away from the camp and buried. This made a big improvement over the other camps with swarms of flies. After this experience they returned to their home in Springville.


Grandma had unusual energy, foresight and industry with kind consideration for those in need. Appropriate Qualities for a nurse, and she became a good one, with many opportunities all around. Through out most of her life, especially while rearing her own family of twelve children and years afterward, she helped in other homes in all kinds of sickness. She delivered one thousand babies during her lifetime, going far and near in all kinds of weather. After she was eighty years of age , she went on the train one hundred miles from Oxford, her home, to care for one of her regular patients who had moved away and wanted her service for herself and baby. One of Grandma's friends or family tried to discourage her going and she answered, "The Lord has blessed me with a tongue and I know how to use it and get along all right," and she did so. She had courage and faith to do whatever she wanted to do, also spunk to follow her own convictions. This was a blessing to her and others.


There was another line of industry with the family which she managed, co-operating with the grocery merchants. They bought and sold the chickens, turkeys, ducks and geese for the family to prepare and dress for Thanksgiving and Christmas. It was only seasonal business then. It was a rushed big job for a few days, but there was profit in it. It was quite a chore to keep all this meat in particularly good condition as there was no refrigeration. The by products of feathers and down for choice beds and pillows gave added comfort to the families who gave helping hands. Grandma's way was to waste nothing of value and good. She was a good manager.


Close to the back of the house, likely their first home, was a large room, with a good heater for use when needed, a sturdy loom where Grandma had a steady business, when not busy with other work, making rag carpets and rugs, that were in demand as they were first class woven, firm and well beaten. Hard work that brought an income.


This room was a really good work shop and storage place for several projects. There Grandma stored and dried all available herbs, ready for use when needed. These were tied in separate bundles to cure. Catnip, horehound, mint, sasparilla, sena, and many more than I could name, were handy for use. She was very efficient with them.


In this room, after being away nursing contagious diseases she disinfected her clothing and person before going in the home with the family and thus no disease was ever given to them. One time that I remember, was a very serious epidemic of diphtheria. In some homes all the children had it and died. Our family had it too and my little brother,Angus, died of it. We were heartsick at his loss, but very thankful for the recovery of the others. Grandma had given day and night service to her neighbors in great need, while rearing her own family. She had ideas, industry, and management to have food on hand for her family and their friends. On Sundays and special days friends were welcomed there and so it became quite a social center. Mother commented to me about these enjoyable times, wondering how she could have managed so well.


Enjoyable courting days and choice of a companion were lacking in her youth. No doubt she managed it so for her children, that they could make their own choice freedom. Her marriage was not a happy one nor had it been. He tried to be helpful, was patient, good natured, easy going, slow and puttering, also had a lovely musical voice. However, he was generally a trial to Grandma. Their makeups were not compatible. When their twelfth child,Uncle Owen Kendall, was thirteen years old, (and there would be no more children), she felt her duty was fulfilled and asked for a divorce. She knew this was a serious thing, but felt justified because it was approved by her mother and children and other members of the family. The divorce was given to her in 1890, also the home for her and the children. Her husband left and made his home with his daughter, Jane and family, in Mapleton, for a short time while a two room log house was being built and ready for him near there.


Not long after this Grandma sold or traded her Springville home for a place in South Mapleton, nearer our home than before, and we had pleasant association, more often. Uncle Julious, Aunt Bertha and Uncle Owen were still home with Grandma.


Uncle Julious' wife, a dear one, died and Grandma took care of the two children very motherly until he remarried.


Aunt Bertha, the youngest daughter, a good looking and fine young lady, soon became acquainted with friends near. Arial Malmstrn won her heart and they were married in the Temple the 11 December 1895. Their reception was in the home with all the relatives, young and old, also friends there. It was Grandma's desire to have all the families together for all the special days. So we were there again for Christmas celebration. Each did their part to help with the big dinner, of several tables and many people.


It may have been for a farewell party too, because not long after this Grandma and family moved to Idaho temporarily, in Cottonwood a beautiful little valley, more especially of ranches and homes scattered about where Grandma's children and families rented and lived for one or two years. There was a small school district where I taught school one season. The Post Office was at Swan Lake, eight miles down the canyon to the main highway. It seemed that all came together to visit a year or two as my parents and family did and rented a place, then on we went to our permanent home in Salem, Idaho. The others were Uncle Samuel D., Reuben and Electra, Grandma and Aunt Bertha had separate homes. Uncle Julious with Aunt Eleanore and family lived in Downey. We met at times. Then all of us went our several ways. Grandma moved to Oxford, Idaho, her own home the rest of her life, having occasional visits with her childrenn and grandchildren. There Uncle Owen met and married Susie Walker. They lived near and cared for her as needed, and she for them and their family while her health was good.


She still kept and used her loom, weaving rag carpets and rugs for some financial help. Although the work was hard, she did them well. After she had passed away there were many yards of carpet divided between her children and families.


One of the most enjoyable times to remember of Grandma was when John and I were on our way by team and wagon from Salt Lake City, after our marriage, which was a two weeks trip. His brother Wilford and sister Clara were with us going to Salem, Idaho. We had camping equipment, but Grandma had us go iside to a good bed and food, etc. And very enjoyable was our visit. It gave us comfort and satisfaction never to forget.


One of Grandma's industrious, generous projects was to piece a choice quilt top, by hand , very firm and fine, for each of her children and grandchildren for a wedding gift. She had two patterns to choose from. The"Rising Sun" of white and turkey red material and the other "Double Irish Chain" , one's own choice. Mine was pink and cream, very beautiful. She asked if they could give her one dollar for the material. Mine is still in good condition.


One time I went by train near Oxford to visit with Grandma. Uncle owen met me. Julia Mae, about two years old was with me. I told Grandma I expected to stay a day and a night. In her outspoken way she said, "You will do no such thing. It has been a long time since you came to see me, and you are not going that soon." Naturally I stayed another day and increased the enjoyable visit.


She visited us in our home in Logan, Utah and was pleased to know that I had a fifty pound flour sack full of new pieces left from making dresses, aprons, shirts,etc. We didn't hve ready mades much then, and she could use all to good advantage as she pleased.


Before long, Grandma had five pieced quilt tops for me. I hadn't expected them. We were doing well financially then, and I had decided to have all new baby clothes for our new one, four of our children now in the early spring of 1915. With in a year after this giving all our baby clothes to Granndmother. Having moved in Oct. to Almo, Idaho in what seemed to me in a wilderness, we had a pair of twins. A girl we named Merle and a boy we named Merlin.


I did not see grandmother again being so far away. my cousin Annie Johnnson Coffin, living only a few milles from her, said Grandmother had good health until her last sickness in the winter of 1924. Uncle Owen and his wife Susie took care of her the best they could, and others came in and helped. She died the 1 Feb 1924 at the age oof 88 in Oxford, Idaho. She was hiighly honored, respected and loved by all who knew her. She was surrounded by most of her children and grandchildren who were near enough to get there.


Post script by grandaughter Cecelia Durfee Tolman


I am Cecelia Durfee Tolman a grandaughter of Elizabeth Clements Kendall through her daughter Elizabeth and I would like to say a word about Grandmother as I knew her. When I married Brother Tolman we moved to Preston to make our home which was just a short distance from Oxford, Idaho where Grandmother lived. We visited back and forth until I got to know her very well. She was at my place and helped to deliver my first two babies. She was such a spry little lady, young for her age. And so full of fun and laughter. I learned to love her very much. She worked and waited on her self to the very last. She was always busy helping some one. All the time she loved to talk and tell stories of their lives, and how my children enjoyed them. I had four of my husbands children by his first wife to raise and they learned to love and respect her. She helped me very much to know what to do for the best good of them all. The neighbors all thought her to be the cutest, sweetest lady they had ever known. They gave her a party one evening and she was the life of the party. They were amazed at the way she could get around, and the cute things she said and done.