CHAPMAN, Sarah Francis - Life of Sarah Francis Chapman
Life of Sarah Francis Chapman
By Son, Jesse Welcome Livingston - 1978
Catherine Ann was Welcome Chapman's third wife; they had 10 children, six boys and four girls. One girl and two boys died as infants.
Her father, Welcome Chapman, worked as a stone cutter most of his life. He cut stone for the Salt Lake Temple from the bottom up to the top. Mother said she remembered taking lunch to him and six of his sons who were working with him on Temple Square. Sometimes when she did this she rode on a street car which was pulled by mules. She also said a man with a ladder lit the street lamps each evening. Welcome Chapman stayed with each of his three wives and their families one week in rotation and mother said they were always happy when he stayed with them. He lived his religion and set a very good example for his children to follow. The wages for working on the temple were small and sometimes they received no money but some commodities which members donated. The families all had to work at anything they could to help the family. Mother helped her brother Jesse, wife, and family. He worked in the mines in Park City and with the small wages she made, she was able to help the family some.
I don't know how she met my father, but he was already married to her half sister, Phebe, and they were living at Birch Creek. They had homesteaded some land and built a home. Mother married James C. Livingston Jr. June 17, 1887 in the Endowment House Salt Lake City, Utah in plural marriage. Mother was only 16 years old and from reports given me by people who lived at Birch Creek when mother first came there, she must have been a very beautiful young lady. After she came to Birch Creek, she first lived with grandma Chapman close to the water falls. Uncle Lide Chapman also lived close to them. This was a beautiful place at the mouth of Birch Creek Canyon. They had a vegetable garden, cows and chickens.
Their first child, Earl, was born her October 25, 1890 and I think, Eva born March 25, 1895 and Clifton Glen born July 16, 1898, must have been born at this place because mother told me Clifton was named after this place which had many cliffs and glens. Earl told me be walked to school from this home, and how he would make a large circle around Old Chief Sanpitch's grave, which was close to the path to the school house.
I was born January 27, 1905 in a two room log house about 1/2 mile west of Grandpa Livingston's home just west of the irrigation ditch which runs from the canyon through our farm, Bernice was also born June 30, 1909 at this same place. I remember when she was born; Mercy Ivory, the Midwife with her horse and buggy came to take care of them. We never went to a doctor and I only remember one time a doctor ever came to our home and that was to quarantine us for some disease. I don't remember what it was. Mother was very skilled in taking care of the sick and was willing to go in and help any family that had sickness. I don't think she ever had any contagious disease. Her father taught his family how to use many plants and roots for medicine. The Indians had told him how to make many kinds of medicine.
Soon after Grandpa Livingston died, my father and Aunt Phebe moved into Grandpa's large home with Grandma Livingston and we moved into the home they had lived in. It was a three room log and lumber home. It also had a summer shanty, which was used to cook and wash in during the summer. We had a nice yard with flowers, lawn, shrubs, shade trees, and a large orchard with many kinds of fruit. We had a well close to the house where we pumped our culinary water. We loved this home very much and mother loved to have our friends and relatives come and visit us. I remember the good times we would have when my uncle Bennie or aunt Nellie and their families would visit us and sometimes stay over night. We would make extra beds on the living room floor. We really enjoyed our cousins and always got along well. These families always got together on Thanksgiving, Christmas and Decoration day. The traveling was done with horse and buggy or teams and surrey or wagon in the summer and cutter or bob sleigh in the winter. Mother could handle a horse very well and went with horse and buggy until Father bought a 1915 Ford and would take us in that. Clifton also bought a 1915 model T Ford and mother learned to drive it. She worked very hard in her vegetable garden. She had a large raspberry patch which she kept in good shape and sold many crates of berries. She also had a flock of chickens, two or three cows, and a pig or two. The grain and hay to feed the stock came from the farm. We also had potatoes, fruit, and plenty of flour from dry land wheat which my father raised. He took it to the mill and had it ground into flour, shorts, and bran to feed the animals. All we had to buy was sugar, spices, kerosene for the lamps and lanterns, cheese and sometimes a can of salmon or some other things which we needed.
Mother liked to visit with her neighbors and relatives. She found time to do this even though she worked very long hours in the yard, garden, keeping her house clean, and her household chores. She spent a lot of time knitting our stockings, mittens and other things. She also carded wool for herself and other people and made many quilts. She also liked to have the young folks of the neighborhood come to our home. They would each bring a cup of sugar or honey and mother would make candy while we played games. Then we would stretch candy and have programs in which we all took part.
In 1919 we moved to Moroni because Father sold his farm to my brother, Arthur. He and aunt Phebe moved to Ft. Green. He bought a home for mother in the north east part of Moroni. It was a four roomed home with water and electricity inside. It had a large lot, garden and pasture for our cow. This home was quite nice, but now we missed the hay, grain, fruit, potatoes, meat, and other things we had taken for granted on the farm. Father helped us some, but his income had also been cut, so Mother boarded three or four high school girls and then boarded Miss Bowman, a school teacher, and tended her two year old son for $50.00 a month. She also boarded and took care of Aunt Ann who was Grandfather Chapman's 2nd wife. These things and other work she did supplied us with the necessities of life. I worked in the beet fields, sugar factory, and other work and helped what I could. Clifton went on a mission in 1921. We tried to help him because California was an expensive mission and his savings were going fast. He later had to borrow more money to complete his mission.
In April, 1924, we received a letter from Earl asking mother if she would come to Ruth, Nevada to take care of Erma who was expecting a baby. He said he thought I could get a job out there, so we rode out with Mr. McCune from Nephi who hauled freight in his truck. The roads were rough and it was a long ride. We arrived April 17, 1924, the day before Wanda was born. While we were out there, Mother received a letter telling her that Father was very ill. Earl and I took a months vacation from our jobs, got into Earl's Model T Ford, and drove to Utah, This was in July 1924. When we arrived home, Father was unconscious. Dr. Dice said he had a brain tumor. He died July 23, 1924.
Sometime after this Mother married Alfred Draper of Moroni. He was a farmer and for sometime they lived in his home which was about one mile east of Moroni, She kept house for Alfred, His youngest daughter, Oriol, and my youngest sister, Bernice. After a short time living in this house, Alfred rented his farm to his son Arlando. In the meantime Clifton bought a home which Arlando owned in Moroni and traded it to Mother for her home. This made it so Mother could go to the store and church without climbing the hill. It also made it much closer to Eva's home.
Mother kept busy making quilts and other projects. She made quilts for her children and most of her grandchildren. After the death of Clifton and Eva, Mother's life was quite sad and lonesome. Her brothers and sisters had all passed on and now two of her children who had lived close to her were gone. We tried to visit her as often as we could, but we lived 50 miles away in Genola. Bernice lived in Ephraim and Earl in Salt Lake City.
For some years we tried to get together as a family on Mother's Birthday, but the last two or three years only Bernice and I and part of our families attended. Mother always said she wanted to live as long as she could take care of herself and not be a burden to anyone. This was granted her; although she had some health problems before she died November 11, 1949. We miss her as a family, but the example she set for us will always remain in our hearts. She was of very religious nature always attended church meetings, paid tithes and offerings, read the scriptures a lot and insisted that her children go to their church meetings and live a good life. She received a wonderful Patriarchal Blessing from grandfather, James C. Livingston Sr. who was Patriarch of North Sanpete County at that time. When she was sad she would read it; it is nearly worn out. I have it at the present time in my Book of Remembrance. It had great promises for her which were fulfilled.