LIVINGSTON, Grace (1885)
Grace Livingston Ovard
My mother, Grace Livingston Ovard, was born September 12, 1885, in Salt Lake City, Utah. The ninth child of a family of twelve children born to Charles Livingston and Ellen Harrocks. Har family home was situated on 7th East between 1st and 2nd South, approximately where the YMCA building is now located, and within the confines of the old 11th Ward, in which Ward she and her family were very active members.
She was born into a polygamist family and her father suffered incarceration in the penitentiary rather than deny he had two wives. Her father took an active part in the building of the Temple and mother often tells of being all dressed up in a velvet bonnet and coat and walking around in the Temple with her father, before it was dedicated, and of seeing herself in the beautiful mirror and thinking there were many other little girls there, too.
She attended the Bryant School, which at that time was the elementary and high school. She started at the University of Utah the first year it was at its-present location on the East Bench. She graduated in 1904 with a Life Certificate to teach, which she did at the Franklin School for several years. This school has fallen to progress with the Interstate Freeway now passing over where it stood.
She married John Alma Ovard the 26th of January, 1907 and they had six children, three of whom, are living. Their first two children were born in Salt Lake and in about 1914 they moved onto a cattle ranch at Moapa, Nevada. Mother’s only previous contact with livestock was the horse the family had to pull the buggy and a cow they had for milk. She had never even seen a live turkey so the move onto the ranch was quite a contrast to what she had been used to.
Mother was trained well in the homemaking arts and on the ranch she often cooked for large groups of hired men, did all the family sewing and maintained a well-cared-for home, without all the modern conveniences we now take for granted.
As many women do now, mother did extra work to supplement the family income. She raised turkeys by the hundreds and when she sold them they were "Pan ready" without even a pin-feather to pull. She also made butter for sale which carried her name on the wrapper. She never lacked for a market for her wares because they were always of the highest quality.
Sometime after Mother and Dad moved to Nevada, Mother had a still born baby and nearly lost her own life. When she was expecting her fourth child Dad insisted she come to Salt Lake to the hospital, so about a month before the baby was due she came to Grandmothers, but even so she didn't make it to the hospital, in fact the Doctor almost didn't get there in time. Her last two children were born in Nevada and we were all born at home.
In 1928 the family moved to Taylorsville, Utah. This was every difficult time in their lives because the depression hit and they lost their life's savings and also their fourth child, a son, died of a ruptured appendix. Their only consolation was that he had had the best possible care then available. In 1930 they returned to Nevada.
After Dad died, in 1942, Mother came back to Salt Lake (back home as were). She went to work at Hill Field for quite some time, where she met many wonderful friends. The commuting became too much for her so she decided to find employment in town. She felt she had been too long away from teaching so she went into what she knew best homemaking. She was the housekeeper for several families in the area and they have many times expressed their gratitude to Mother for the wonderful job she did. She knew just how to take over the responsibility of the home which was a great help to the housewife.
Mother's last position was at Charlie Smiths, a nephews, where she ran his house after his first wife died and continued after he married again.