DICK, Lillias (1850)
|Lillias Dick Livingston|
|Full name||Lillias Dick|
|Born||April 13 1850|
|Place of birth||Motherwell, Lanark, Scotland|
|Died||December 31 1900|
|Place of death|| Cedar Cliff, Sanpete, Utah
Lillias Dick Livingston
by Jean Cook
The history of Lillias Dick Livingston is one of an early pioneer. Expressed in her life were the "fruits of the spirit" - love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, godliness, faith, meekness and temperance. Having learned the truthfulness of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ from her parents in early childhood, her life was dedicated to it. Her earnestness and real worth were proven by years of diligent efforts to fulfill God's purpose.
She was born in Motherwell, Scotland, the daughter of John and Annie Lowe Dick. In the Dick family there were three children: Lillias, Annie and Ellen - Lillias being the subject of this sketch. April 13, 1850, Lillias was born and at an early age her mother died leaving the father (John Dick) and his three little daughters.
In the year 1868, on the ship "John Bright", the family sailed for America. She came across the plains in John Murdock's company, walking the whole distance and sleeping on the ground at night. After she arrived in Salt Lake City, she lived in Feramorz Little's family until she was married in the Endowment House in 1870 to William Livingston. During the summer months she cooked for the men that were getting out material for the Salt Lake Temple, both in Little and Big Cottonwood Canyons.
After six of her children were born, she moved to Sanpete County in 1883. Here she lived and continued to have her children until twelve were born. There was no doctor nearer than Mt. Pleasant, which was eighteen miles from there. When sickness came, the sisters waited on each other. Mother had a natural gift for nursing and a calm level head under all circumstances. Soon she was being called quite regularly into homes to help one of her sisters go through the Valley of the Shadows. For years she followed this calling, and God so blessed her efforts that no mother or baby was lost because of ignorance or negligence.
With other women of the village, she washed and corded wool, pieced quilts, made rugs and soap. Perhaps she did it a few years longer than most of them. Knitting was done automatically. I can never remember her with idle hands. She often milked cows when the men were busy in the fields harvesting their crops and as a matter of course made butter and cheese. She has taken honey from the bees, rendering it from the comb, and she always had a good amount of beeswax on hand of her own making. When her husband was away, as he often was, working in the mountains at the sawmill, much work was added to her regular routine of housekeeping.
Her trials were not always physical. For eighteen years after going to Sanpete she saw none of her people. The fantastic dreams came true when she got to go into Salt Lake City. There she met her sister from Elba, Idaho. They then went to Tooele to see their father who had married again and had a second family out there.
She was just an ordinary mother. Let others carry the banner for a better civilization: it was all she could do to partly civilize one family with minds of their own. She was always a follower but an indefatigable worker. Like the buck private in military tanks, she put into the actual operation the plans of the general, but never dreamed she should share in their praise.
She and Father donated the first school house in that little community and their oldest son was the school teacher. Sunday School, Religion Class and also Sacrament Meetings were also held in the building. Mother always furnished the sacrament. Those days there were no bakeries to get nice white bread from. On Saturday Mother was busy making her lovely white bread. The best loaf out of eight or ten others was for the next day for sacrament. No charges were made in those days for their labors. Mother was proud to think she had the privilege to assist in any way she could. She always leaned heavily upon the priesthood and the associations it gave her. That gospel that had set her feet to the path, that had kept her following that path, weary, year after year, was her solace in her hour of grief. Her children were always taught to reverence the voice of authority; by example were they grounded in the faith, for she never preached.
Her life was a great struggle, surmounting the difficulties that beset the path of the common worker, a willing struggle. Just an average mother who submerged her own life in her children and through the submerging gained her own. Mother died at the age of forty-nine, such a short life and yet how full.
Dear, ordinary Mother, God bless you. As the Father said to the faithful Son, "All we are and have is thine." In the final reckoning I am wondering if the Great Judge will not find something extraordinary about you after all.
- ↑ The Archibald Livingston book lists Lillias' birth date as 1851 in this biography, but all source materials in the possession of Kay Larsen indicates 1850.