I posted this on our ward's relief society blog and I wanted to post it here so it gets included in my next blog book.


This is my great, great grandmother.  I have several women ancestors that I feel so connected to through reading their history. There are several things about Mary Lucinda that draw me to her.  After crossing the plains, she lived in Springville where Willie and I lived after we were married.  She also settled in the Heber valley where my mom lives and where I lived for several summers.  I studied Native American literature at BYU and she was an interpreter and friend of the Native Americans in Utah.

Sometimes I think I'm busy?  She had 13 kids, ran a farm, probably did all the cooking, made all the clothes, entertained and interpreted.  Though I know very little about Mary Lucinda, I know that she was smart, capable, a hard worker, a good mother, a friend to outsiders, and a woman of faith.  I also imagine how beautiful it was on their farm and all the stars they would see at night.

Mary Lucinda was born in Kirtland, Ohio in 1840.  When she was 10 when she crossed the plains with her family and settled in Springville, Utah.  In her youth she learned the Ute Indian language and became an interpreter.  She loved to dance and participate in the Native American dances.   She served with her father as an official interpreter and their home was headquarters for all Native Americans that visited Springville.  She was married when she was 16.  After 2 children and 5 years in Springville they moved to Heber, Utah.

For a time she worked as a cook for the men building the road through Provo Canyon.  She gave birth to 13 children!  She was a business woman and managed hired help on the farm and large bands of horses and cattle.

Her home in Heber was visited by Native Americans often.  At least once a year they would have a huge feast where she would prepare them the "best food the land could produce."  During these visits she would sit with Native Americans and speak in Ute and discuss their trials and tribulations.  Even when there was tension between the white settlers and Native Americans they would still come to her house.

Her family had the first shingled roof in the valley.  They raised sheep and sheared, spun and died the wool. She made the clothing for all her family members.  She had hair that was so long it reached her knees when let down.  She loved dancing.

She died giving birth to her 13th child at age 42.  The child also died and she was buried with the child in her arms in the Heber cemetery.  She outlived three of her other children that died at age 10, 14 and 3 weeks of age.

To quote the history written by her granddaughter, "She had health enough to make work a pleasure, strength enough to battle difficulties and overcome, charity enough to see good in all. She had patience and love enough to be always useful and helpful, and her faith was strong enough to  soften any and all hardships she was obliged to endure.  Hundreds of miles from any settlement or civilization, all they had with them was all they could get unless they created it."


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