Contributed by Chris Christiansen
This history was given at the Daughters of Utah Pioneers in October 1932 by Bessie Clegg Braby, daughter.
Thomas C. Smith, my grandfather, was the son of Richard Smith and Dianna Braswell. He was born in Gibson Co. Tennessee 25 Feb. 1827. When about 15 years of age he with his parents moved to Nauvoo, Ill., his parents having joined the Mormon Church some time before. They lived in Nauvoo from 1842 to 1846 when they were compelled to leave their homes and cross the Mississippi river into the state of Iowa. The Smith family managed to move to Mt. Pisgah where they secured outfits with which to go to the Rocky Mountains.
I would like to give a brief history of the Smith family. Our Smith family dates very far back, even to William Smith brother of Captain John Smith who was rescued by Pocohantos to promenent government men. My great great great grandfather was knighted in England. He was Sir George Thomas Smith who married Lear Agee. Their son, Richard, born Sept. 19, 1792 at Holland, Greenville, South Carolina. He married Dianna Braswell and they had 12 children, one of which, Thomas C. was my grandfather.
He married my grandmother, Sarah Frampton born Nov. 14, 1831, in Mississippi, died Dec. 3, 1893 in Heber City, Utah.
The Latter-day Saints were being persecuted constantly, and for this reason the family lived just 4 years in Nauvoo before they were driven out of the state. But they had lived there long enough to buy land, and had deeds to the property. During the fighting everything was lost or stolen.
My grandfather saw the Prophet Joseph Smith many times during his life there. He also saw the bodies of the prophet and his brother Hyrum after they had been so crually murdered by the angry mobs. He remembered seeing the shower of stars that fell in 1833. He also testified with others that he saw the water in a small creek near Carthage Jail turn the color of blood.
My grandparents, Thomas C. Smith and Sarah Frampton were married the 3rd of Jan. 1850 in Mt. Pisgah, Potowatama Co. Iowa.
I will go back a little to the Frampton line. The name Frampton signified a fortified farmstead. They date back to 1066 and the Normon conquest. They are of Sacson and Welsh blood. They had their own coat of arms. In the days of William Tell a William Frampton became a Quaker and came to America. He became a large land holder in New Yok and later in Philadelphia. He married Elizabeth Potter. Three children were born to them. Elizabeth, Sarah, and Thomas.
Thomas married Elizabeth Ellis and had 3 children. Two survived, Hannan and John.
John married Elizabeth Chritchfield, they had 8 children, on of whom was Samuel.
Samuel and wife Nancy Kelly had 10 children one of which was David, my great Grandfather. He was born Sept. 13, 1796.
David married Rachel Brush and had 7 children. She died at an early age and he married Elizabeth Hough who was my great grandmother. They had 2 children Elizabeth and Sarah who was my grandmother, wife of Thomas C. Smith.
When the children grew older and realized their father was a Mormon they turned against him. These were the children from the first marriage. One day when the two older boys were in the woods getting fire wood for the stove, they stole their 2 younger brothers David and Samuel. They were not seen or heard from by their parents or any one else again so they lost 4 of their boys. I often wonder what happened to them.
My great grandfather Frampton (David Frampton b. 1795) was in the Liberty Jail in Missouri the same time as the Prophet was there. Upon one occasion the mob the mob drove the family out of their home and gave them a short time to get away across the river. Great grandfather had a gun and a Book of Mormon and the mob told him he was a good man but to throw away the book and gun and they would not molest him. He told them that he would die first before rather than to part with them or denounce Mormonism. He ran and burried them in the sand but never saw them again.
My great grandfather, David Frampton, was in the woods cutting fire wood when a tree fell on him and crushed him to death, Jan. 1843. Later his widow and here two daughters (one was my grandmother Sarah Frampton Smith) drove an ox team all the way to Utah. They first settled in Provo, then Springville and then in Heber City. They were among the first to settle there. Consequently her girlhood was spent mid hardships and poverty. Her father was never physically strong and was not able to do much farm work but later he secured employment in Hatches store where he worked for many years.
Mother (Martha Ellen Smith b. 1866) took responsibilities upon herself early in life and tried to lighten the burden of here parents in every possible way. Her earliest memories concerned the gathering of greens for the family meals. She and her sisters also picked hops which were taken to Salt Lake and sold. Their diet was very simple and the only time they had any sweet thing was on Christmas or some other holiday when my grandmother would make some sweet buns. She went to school in what was called the "Low School House" in the west part of town.
As a girl mother was ambitious and hard working. As soon as she was old enough she tried to help support here family. She worked in a few homes doing housework and unselfishly carried home most of here earnings. For 2 summers she worked at Clegg's sawmill bunching shingles earning between $2 and $3 a week and a third summer at Campbells sawmill. The first summer there she earned $20 and received her pay in a lump sum consisting of a $20 gold piece. This she gave to her mother to use to buy the necessary cloths and to go to the Temple in Salt Lake. However grandmother was never able to make the trip and do this work and at the time of here death she still had the $20 gold piece so it was used to buy her a set of beautiful burial cloths.
Just a short time before marriage mother had an experience that greatly increased her faith. She returned home one evening and having poor health went to bed early. She had been sleeping but a short time when a voice told her to get up and she felt a heavy blow on her head. She got up and then got in bed again and went to sleep again. The same thing happened again and this time she was wide awake and it seemed something told her to get certain things (spices etc.) and mix them and give them to her mother. She went to the cupboard and found all the ingredients standing in a row on the shelf. After she gave them to her mother she was relieved of pain and declared she had been dying before mother got there.
Through the years she received many, many more faith promoting experiences. One of these occured when my brother Cardie was on his mission. He needed money at a time when there was none in the house and it seemed impossible to get any. But while straightening the cupboard shelves she found some money in a cup which had not been there the day before and since no one in the family could account for it she sent it to Cardie.
Mother had a very long courtship with my father. She met him while working in the Clegg shingle mill. They were married on Jan. 1, 1889 in the home of his father.
They said mother looked very beautiful in her hand made wedding dress. Of course I have many pictures and will enclose one with thishistory. It is the prettiest wedding dress I have ever seen and all of us girls have loved it through the years. On her head she wore a wreath of orange blossoms and veil. It was made of Casmere with lots of lace tucks, pearl buttons with perfect button holes (24) drapes and folds and a wire bustle. It really was ELIGENT. All of the old timers in Heber said mother was the most beautiful woman that ever lived in Heber.
Then they went to their two room home surrounded by sage brush and Indians. Her life was hard. She had to carry all the water she used in the home from a neighbor about a quarter of a mile away or in winter she would melt snow and use that.
Mother was always willing and in much demand as a nurse. She helped bring babies into the world and the Dr. said he would rather have her than a trained nurse to assist him.
She gave birth to 2 boys and then 8 girls. Besides her own large family she mothered several other unfortunate children taking them into her home and caring for them as her own. In fact I can't remember of ever having just our family alone. There were always extra people around to take care of. She also kept her father who was in very poor health from th etime my grandmother died in 1893 until his own death in 1898. I have heard her say how hard this was. He was almost blind too.
She always believed in making her home a place of enjoyment for children and was always ready to help plan a party. She wanted her children near her and her greatest joy was seeing them happy. Our home was always open house to everyone. We are trying to carry on as well.
Jane Hatch Turner, a most cherished friend of Mother's, spoke at here funeral and read the following lines which she had composed for the occasion. It is so true to life for her I wanted to include it in her history.
This poem was written by Jane Hatch Turner about Mary Ellen Smith Clegg for her funeral.
The Master's call is answered,
She's homeward bound today,
To meet at Heaven's station
For every there to stay
The school of life has ended -
Her diploma she has earned:
Departed classmates waiting
Her coming they have yearned.
Yes, others long to meet her -
Father, Mother, Husband, son -
Daughters, pioneers will greet her,
They are waiting her to come.
A welcome quest, no stranger,
She's known them every one
On earth they gathered 'round her
Oft welcomed at her home.
Her greeting was sincere here,
Her voice was full of cheer,
Her smile would make one happy
When everything seemed drear.
She ne'er complained; her worries
She never spoke about:
She strove to make all happy
Within her home and out.
So on this homeward journey,
We feel that all is well:
And in the Father's mansion
With loved ones she will dwell.
"Farewell, and God be with you"
'Till we all meet again:
Goodby Martha, Heaven's blessings
On your family, fall like rain.
This we pray and know our answer
Will not fail, nor be in vain.
Faith and hope will never leave us -
Farewell now we'll meet again.
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