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Emma Ellen Ward

Adapted from: "The History of My Grandmother--Emma Ellen Ward Chapman" by Emma Crazier Ruggles

A Biographical Sketch of Emma Ellen Ward.

Emma Ellen Ward was the daughter of Samuel and Ann Bunting Ward.  Samuel and Ann were both born in Derbyshire, England.  He on September 4, 1829, and she on June 6, 1837.  They immigrated to the United States aboard the ship, Emerald Isle.  They landed in New York on Nov. 30, 1855. And after a toilsome trip, delayed by their having to stop at various places along the way to earn money they needed to continue on, they finally arrived in Utah in 1863. They settled at Kaysville.  Emma Ellen was born Sept. 27, 1857 at Minersville, Pennsylvania, where her father found employment in the coal mines. Samuel Ward had the first brickyard in Kaysville. Emma Ellen worked with her father in the brickyard.  She preferred work with her father to doing housework.  They were considered quite wealthy, they owned the brickyard, an orchard, also cows and sheep.  The brick for the first houses in that area came from Samuel Ward's brick kiln.  Emma was the oldest of the family.  Her brothers' and sisters names were, Arthur, Hanna, Rob, Mary (who died as a baby), Liza, Ann , Will, Alma, and James. Ann Bunting Ward died Jan. 25, 1875; and Samuel died April 20, 1894.  After her mother's death, Emma was so lonely that she went to work for a relative by marriage, Frances Chapman Bosworth, who was cooking for a section crew.  Emma met Frances's brother, William Henry Chapman, and they became engaged.  On August 23, 1875 they rode in a wagon to Salt Lake where they were married in the Endowment House.  When they arrived back in Kaysville the threshers had just come into the yard so Emma took off her wedding finery and cooked for them.  That night she slept in her own room and her husband slept with the men.  That lasted for two or three night; then William Henry went up to her and told her that they had to stop that, that they were married and hadn't even had a wedding night so William Henry claimed his bride. They set up housekeeping in Croyden, Utah where they lived for the first year.  They then moved to Bountiful and William Henry obtain work on the Salt Lake Temple.  Working as a stone mason, he cut the star on the west side of the Temple.  Emma stayed at home and took care of the family, which was the pattern followed during most of her married life.  Her husband came home each weekend with a slab of bacon or a pound of butter, or whatever the Tithing Office could give him.  Their first child was born in Bountiful, they called her Etta Ann. Emma went to Kaysville when Etta Ann was one year and eleven months old.  There the baby contracted diphtheria and died on May 30, 1878. Several of Emma's brothers and sisters died at that time of this disease.  The day after Etta Ann died Rachel Alice was born.  The next child was John Henry.  In 1861 they sold out in Bountiful and went to Worm Creek, Idaho, which was afterward called Preston.  Emma went to Franklin with the two children where her husband was to meet her.  He wasn't there so she stayed in the hotel that night.  Her husband, however, did arrive the next day and they traveled to Worm Creek which was a great flat area with no fences or ditches and very few houses. The living quarters that William Henry had prepared for his family was a dug-out, with no windows, a dirt floor and a dirt roof.  William Henry worked that first winter as a carpenter and did most of his work in this tiny dug-out.  He later set up a little store in Preston in 1881.  He also had the first Post Office, which was housed in a little shack on what is now Fourth South and State Street.  When her husband was working Emma would walk to Battle Creek to get the cows, which was about four or five miles distance.  One time she was lonesome and had Maggie Kershaw stay with her. They were good friends.  Maggie had a beautiful singing voice.  One day she went with Emma to get the cows.  She had just dyed her hat black.  The mosquitoes were very thick so she kept swatting them with her had.  She sang as loud as she could and swatted the mosquitoes, and she wondered why Emma was laughing.  Emma didn't tell her until they arrived home that she had been swathing the mosquitoes with her had and her face was as black as a Negro minstrel's.  Eventually, they had to sell the homestead in Preston because it was heavily mortgaged.  They bought sixteen acres west of Preston and eighty acres down on the river.  They had a very hard struggle with such a large family.  They had cows and raised wheat and alfalfa, and Emma used to sell milk. She would load the milk in a two-wheeled cart and take it to sell.  She would take in washings and would walk to town and wash for Dr. Canfield and the Hale Hotel.  She joined the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers when they were first organized.  She was a staunch believer and was true to her religion, but wasn't active in organizations because of her many responsibilities at home with her family.  After their last three children were born, Zila Loraine, Vernon Lavere, and James Gilbert, they moved from the sand hills west of town to a spot nearer in.  Emma enjoyed the house they had there very much.  William Henry peddled notions and other small items.  He made his own slaves and liniments, and Emma continued to raise cows and chickens.  The next move they made was to Topaz, Idaho.  William Henry ran the Post Office there and had a small grocery store.  They were not happy there so they moved back to Preston.  while waiting for the train in Topaz they tried to hail an approaching train but it whizzed by with such speed that it swept Emma's caged bird out of her grandson's hands and sent it whirling down the  tracks.  Emma shouted, "Oh, my bird!" and ran to pick it up, and fortunately it was not hurt.  Emma took her bird wherever she went and if it wasn't welcome, she didn't stay.  She also though a lot of her chickens; she would also take her chickens whenever she moved which was a great many times.  Later Emma and William bought the property in Preston that they later sold to their daughter Mable and her husband.  They had a garden, strawberries, raspberries, and an orchard.  Emma worked in the garden and helped sell the garden stuff.  But about this time she was becoming crippled with rheumatism, so work was doubly hard.  Every spring she would dig and clear about 100 quarts of horseradish, and those who have ground horseradish can appreciate what a tremendously trying task this was.  She, of course, had quite a few chickens, and sold eggs.  They went to Arizona in 1914, and stayed about a year.  They wanted  to return sooner, but financial circumstances would not permit it.  They had a very hard time finding work in Mesa.  Emma took in washings and would walk miles to pick up the clothes and deliver them.  Finally they put a mortgage on their house in Preston and got the money for their return.  Later they moved to Magna where Emma cooked for her son, James Gilbert, and his friends who were working in the smelting mills.  It was at this time that they sold their property in Preston to their daughter, Mable.  With the money from their Preston house they later had a little house built on their son George's property in Rigby, Idaho.  They lived there until William Henry's death, Oct. 27, 1930.  After her husbands death, crippled with rheumatism and with failing eyesight, Emma lived with her daughters.  However she kept on with her needle work and her quilt making.  She crocheted and knitted by the mile.  She died while living at her daughter Alice's home in Magna on Dec. 24, 1934.  Emma's granddaughter, Emma Cazier Ruggles, gives us a warm, personal appraisal of the life of this good, pioneer woman: " Grandma was a very pleasant woman.  It was a pleasure to be in her company.  She grew old happy and gracefully.  All of her children and grandchildren loved and respected her.  My fondest memories are of my grandmother and the fine heritage which she has given me.  She believed in honest labor with a cheerful, prayerful heart.  Grandmas' last words to me were, 'Emma, you will have to pray a lot.' As her namesake, I hope I can accomplish as much as she, be as wise and as thrifty and as energetic as she was.  Grandmother was always clean about her food preparation and as a result the food in her house was the most delicious.  Bread and jelly with Grandmother tasted better than a banquet at somebody else's table." (Adapted from: "The History of My Grandmother--Emma Ellen Ward Chapman" by Emma Crazier Ruggles)



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