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Emma Jane Clark biography

Short Sketch of the Life of Emma Jane Clark Jefferies
Wife of William Ould Jefferies
By Alta Ann Jefferies Williams, June 1963

Transcribed by Chris L. Jefferies

I feel that it would be well to preface this sketch with some pertinent facts having to do with our family record. This information is up to date as of June 1963. My Father, William Ould Jefferies, was born in Grantsville, Utah, February 12, 1862, and died March 9, 1946. My Mother, Emma Jane Clark Jefferies, was born in Grantsville, September 18, 1863, and died September 10, 1938. They were the parents of the following children:

William Clark Jefferies January 7, 1886 Gertrude Hudson
Frank Clark Jefferies February 6, 1890 Mary R. Tanner
James Bovier Jefferies November 1, 1894 Louise Peck
Alta Ann Jefferies May 19, 1897 James R. Williams
Fredrick Dewey Jefferies July 3, 1899 Ruth Smith
Vera Frances Jefferies February 25, 1902 Charles Lawrence

None of the children proceeded the parents in death. My brother James, however, has since passed away. He died July 16, 1959.

My mother was born in the old Clark home [John William Clark and Ann Micklewright, Emma Jane's parents; house no longer standing] on Clark Street September 18, 1863. The old house is now occupied by my brother, William Clark Jefferies. Mother told me that the old house was one of the first built in Grantsville.

Mother was of medium height and of slight build. I do not believe she ever weighed over one-hundred and twenty pounds. I can remember when her hair was dark, but at an early age her hair started to turn gray. This worried her. I remember her saying to me, "never let your hair go gray," and I have tried to remember this advice. She was very proud in that she always wanted to keep herself neat and clean. She walked with a quick step, in fact it was more of a run than a walk. She was always in a hurry and on most days did the work of two women. For her, there was always so much to do and so little time to do it in. She was slow to anger and forgave quickly. With all due respect to father, I must say that mother was the stabilizing factor in our home.

Mother lived most of her life during the pioneer period. Grantsville at that time was a pioneer settlement and mother grew up to know the hardships and trials of the pioneer life. She could milk cows and do most of the farm chores. She was very ambitious and anxious to get along well. She was a hard worker and what she did she did well. I remember her telling me she would scrub the clothes on the board for hours and sweep the whole door-yard. She was taught to cook, sew, and clean the house. She was noted for her cleanliness. She was clean in her house, in her cooking, and in herself. She would always wash her hands when she went from one job to another.

When Mother was a young lady, money was very scarce. To get some extra money with which to buy clothes she would dry fruit such as apples, peaches, and apricots. As the dried fruit would keep, it could be readily sold at the stores.

Although the pioneer times were hard, the cultural life of the family was not neglected. Grandfather Clark purchased the second organ which was ever brought into Grantsville. Mother loved this old organ and she taught herself to play it quite well. When Grandfather died he willed the old organ to me and I have it in my possession at the present time. Later she took lessons from a regular music teacher, James Ratcliffe, and later became organist for the Ward choir. She also sang in the Ward choir.

Father and Mother were married in the Logan Temple on February 19, 1885. Mother was twenty-one years of age at the time. Father bought a home and some land in the southwest part of town. The home was on the [southeast] corner of Apple and Cooley Streets. All the land in the block over to Center Street was included in the purchase. [Made of adobe,] there were only two rooms in the house. Six children were born to them while they lived in this house and this was the extent of the family.

My brother Clark was the first child in the family. When he was about two years of age Father was called on a mission for the LDS Church. He was called to the Northern States. He left for his mission March 29, 1887. Mother moved back to her parents and lived there until Father returned. He returned on May 3, 1889, and they then moved back to their two-room home. There they lived and there the other five children were born. They came to this home as follows: Clark, Frank, James, Alta, Fred, and Vera.

After Father's return from the mission field he acquired a band of sheep. This band of sheep was our sole source of income and Father had to be with the sheep most of the time. Mother said that he was at home for the birth of only two of his children; Fred and Vera.

Mother had a strong testimony of the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. She had great faith and believed strongly in prayer. When illness came into the home she had faith to call in the Elders of the Church and have the sick administered to. She was faithful to her duties in the Church. She paid and honest tithing not only of money but on eggs and butter that was produced on the farm. She was always straight forward and honest in all things. She was very unselfish. She would go without things which she needed in order to give it to her children. No one ever asked anything of Mother that they did not receive if it was within Mother's power to give.

She was free with her time also. She would leave her own work and go to help her mother or sisters and then sit up all night doing her own work.

Grandmother Clark died in May 1900, and Grandfather was left alone. Mother spent much of her time caring for him. Later an English convert to the Church came out to Grantsville to take car of Grandfather. This lady, Mrs. Pickle by name, did not do a very good job of it and so her coming did not relieve Mother of her obligation. In fact, she had to go to Grandfather's every day to see to it that he got his meals and was fed properly. Grandfather died in January, 1905.

I was nearly eight years of age at the time. Arrangements were made shortly after this for Mother to get Grandfather's home and in July of that year we moved into the old Clark home. Ten years later we moved across the lot [to the east] to the home which had been built by my Grandfather [William] Jefferies. [Built in 1907, the house is still standing]. This is the home where I now live.

A short time after we moved into the Jefferies home Mother developed a serious heart condition. From this on she was unable to tend to all the household chores. As time went on, her condition worsened. This was very distasteful for her as she had always done her own work and had been so independent in all things. Now she had to depend on other and this was not to her liking.

Mother was always active in the Church. She was a Relief Society Block Teacher for many years. She attended Sacrament Meeting religiously and did everything she could to set a good example for her children to follow. She took great pride in her children. No one ever had a better mother than I. Mother died on September 10, 1938, at her home in Grantsville. She was seventy-five at the time of her death.

Additions by William Clark Jefferies

I do not wish to detract in any way from what has been written but wish to substantiate briefly the truthful and commendable history and association of two fine sisters, daughters of a grand, faithful, and noble mother.

Being the eldest child I would like to submit the following reminiscences. Because of no adequate facilities such as unconditioned roads, walks and transportation it made living rather difficult. There was no running water in the home. This made living rather hard. These conditions made Mother's work very hard. She would dip up from the creek and fill two forty-gallon barrels with water to hold until the water came in the [irrigation] ditch again. Very often this water was not fit for human consumption and so was used for washing and such. The drinking water she would carry in two pails, heavy at that, from Sarah Orr's or Mrs. Sabin's surface wells. This was a distance of two blocks. The trips were frequent, but she had the welfare of her family at heart and so she did not complain.

Almost every day, when I was a child, she would load up the little wagon with a basket of laundry and other items and then put me on the top and away we would go to Grandmother's. She would not go on a walk but rather on a little trot. She would help her parents as long as necessary to get the work done and then she would load up the little wagon again with produce, such as fruit and vegetables and other necessities, and return home. This would make a trip of upward of a mile. On some of these trips she would make me walk. I would get far behind and she would have to wait for me. When I got close again away she would go. This would go on until we reached our destination.

Mother was very active, alert, and ambitious. She entered into the spirit of community life of the day. She once took part in a very special musical concert in the old Grantsville Amusement Hall on Cooley Street. She served many times on the Old Folks Sociable Committee, and she and Father received a written invitation to the first Sociable ever held.

Because of her faithfulness and great desire and training, she was instrumental and made further sacrifices so that one of her sons could go into the mission field. She considered it a privilege. Words cannot express nor money buy the appreciation I have for her great love and motherhood to the family, and her loyalty to her husband and friends.

Additions by Frank Jefferies

I wish to write a little bit about Mother which will be added to what has been given by Clark, Alta, and Vera. There is so much good that can be said of her that it could never all be written down. Her children can be thankful that they had such a wonderful mother. We can be thankful for the teachings she gave us. We can thank her for the loving care with which she blessed us. We can thank her for the many things of this earth which she went without so that we could have he things she thought we needed. Times were hard and she did not have as much money as she needed and she went without the clothes she really needed in order that her children would not want.

Her thoughts were never of herself; she was always thinking of the welfare of others. I am sure her children did not appreciate her for the many things she did for them. I remember of many times when she would persuade Father to take us with him on trips to Salt Lake City or other places. If it had not been for her thoughtfulness we would not have gone anywhere.

I am thankful for the many times she gave me money for a show or a dance ticket. If she did not have the money she would ask my father for it as I was afraid to ask him. She could never do enough for us children. At the time of our marriage she helped us at a great sacrifice to herself.

She always wanted her children to stay near her. When we moved to California she felt bad but she did not tell us not to go. As time went on I think she felt better about our moving. Later when the folks came down to visit she surely enjoyed the visit. While on this visit she did not care to go sightseeing but would rather stay at our home and visit with us. She wrote many letters to me while we lived in California and I have kept them. I treasure them highly.

In her later years her health was not good. She also had much trouble with her feet but she was never heard to complain. She kept her troubles to herself. I am sorry that I was not around to spend more time with her before she passed away.

Additions by Vera Jefferies Lawrence

I am grateful for this opportunity to add to this account some cherished memories which I have concerning Mother. She was truly a great woman and taught her children to walk uprightly before the Lord.

When I first remember Mother we were still living in the old home on Cooley Street. She used to stand me on a chair to dress me every morning. From the window I cold hear the neighbor children going to school through the lot. Mother said that I could go to school when I was older. This impressed me very much. Mother always had words of encouragement for all of us. She had many other fine characteristics. She was tolerant, patient, forgiving, and kind, and best of all she had understanding. These great qualities in her character impressed us children.

Many times when troubles came she would say, "Now we don't want any feelings. Just overlook the whole matter." She lived the commandment, "Love thy neighbor as thy self." She was a great peacemaker in every sense of the word. Mother disliked confusion and taught us to get along with each other and with our neighbors and friends.

Mother was always there to listen to our problems. The Lord blessed her with great wisdom in giving us good advice. I always felt calm and peaceful after talking with her. She was always kind and sympathetic.

Mother was economical. Nothing was wasted and she took good care of everything. She was a perfectionist because everything she did had to be done just right. She would say, "Clean the corners. I would rather see the center of the room dirty than the corners." She applied this rule to her life.

Mother had faith in the Lord and in her children and family. This faith never wavered. She was qualified for the mission she performed while living here. She has helped many people. Her influence for good was felt not only by her children but by anyone with whom she associated.

She dearly loved all of her grandchildren and always felt badly because she could not give them the things she wished to give. Her grandchildren will always appreciate her for her willingness to share with them the things she had. They still remember the bread and butter and the love and kindness and patience she displayed.

We always had a peaceful home life, one of security and love. This was shown more by action than by word. In our home meekness prevailed. I am thankful to Mother for her great understanding, and for her love and devotion to all of us. She went without a lot of things for us. May we all live in such as way that she will be proud of us.

Mother loved all kinds of flowers. She often talked about the various kinds that her father, John Clark, raised. She tenderly cared for her houseplants. They brought her much joy and happiness. One Christmas time she said, "You shouldn't buy me things when your families need so much." Mother made me stop doing this. We would ask her if she would mind if we gave her plants or flowers instead. Her face expressed her joy and she said, "Oh that would be just fine."

I remember an experience she related to us about the time when we lived in the old Clark home. She said that they had a cherry tree in the back yard. It was the time when the cherries were ripe. A boy came to the door and asked if he could have some cherries. She told him he could have all he could eat. She said it was good that he had asked rather than to have stolen them. That boy has never forgotten that lesson nor the kindness shown.

When I was a young girl I loved to read. This became a habit with me and at times a bad habit because I neglected my duties around the house. Mother taught me obedience in a kind way. This one lesson I will always remember. One Sunday I cam home from Sunday School and Mother asked me to change my brown silk dress. I wanted to keep it on and show it to my girl friend. She told me that something bad would happen if I did not do as she said. I did not obey and sure enough while I was at my girl friend's that afternoon I tore the dress and it was ruined. This was an expensive lesson.

I will always remember and appreciate the opportunity I had to talk to Mother the day she died. Her last thoughts were of her children. She said, "I wish I could have done more for you all. I want you to remember to always have faith in God no matter what happens."

May we cherish the memories of our mother for she gave us many priceless possessions. Our problems and sorrows in this life have been softened because of the great understanding she left to us as a family. She taught us to depend on the Lord, and to have faith to say that the Lord's will, not ours, be done.

Emma Jane Clark biography

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