Saturday, January 19, 2008

Emma Hinton Wright (1868-1932)

This history was compiled by RaNae L. Christensen from the writings of Genevieve W. Christensen and Mina W. Crosby and from a conversation with Ruth Wright Christensen Blake.

Emma was born May 27, 1868 in Mountain Dell, Utah; to John Nock and Emma Spendlove Hinton. Mountain Dell was a small town in Washington County near Virgin City. Emma was very young when her parents moved to a home in Virgin City. She attended school in Virgin.

School was just held during the winter months. She learned to read and to write, which seemed to be of the most importance.

In 1874 President Brigham Young organized the United Order in Virgin. Emma's parents joined the United Order; they turned in their animals and other property. When it was over they had nothing left but some land and a team, so they made a new start.

The Wrights lived across the Virgin River in a town called Duncan's Retreat. The young people in these parts visited each other and had dances and parties together. This is how John Moroni Wright met Emma Hinton.

On June 16, 1885; Emma married John Moroni Wright in the St. George Temple. They lived in Duncan's Retreat for several years. Flood water took the Wright's garden and orchard. When the high water got close to their home, John put his furniture and family in his wagon and started north. At this time, they had one child, Wallace. About the time of the flood, the farmers along the Sevier River were putting dams in the river and sending the water on the farms (in Millard County).

There had been a road built from Salt Lake City to California and the Wrights traveled on this road until they came to Millard County. All of South Millard County was known as Deseret at that time. Later when enough people moved into that part of the country, they named the land south of the river Deseret and the land north of the river was called Hinckley.

John and Emma went north into Hinckley and located west of the California Highway. They chose a nice sandy spot. It was the spring of 1887.

That summer they lived in a tent made by stretching the wagon cover over a pole. Their food that summer consisted of bread and Dixie molasses. They had to get their drinking water from a well owned by William H. Pratt. John became ill that summer and when Mr. Pratt saw how sick he was, he took John and his family into his home and he and his wife took care of them until John was well.

In the fall of 1886 the Wrights moved into a two-room building owned by B. W. Scott. In November of 1887 their son, Joseph Moroni, was born. That winter they lived in this two room building. In the spring 1888, they got the title for the land from the government under the Homestead Act. During the summer, they built a one-room house of adobes that John’s brother, Frank, had made for them. The roof was made of logs and the boards were covered with mud. A few years later, they added another room. The older children were born in this home. The old home was down in the field quite a way (it was 1/4 mile from the highway) and we had to go down a lane to get there. We did have many happy times in the old two room home. They were large rooms and Mother had two beds in the front room and a couch in the kitchen that was opened up into a bed at night. The rest of us slept on the floor. They would make the beds on the floor at night and take them up in the morning. It was a lot of extra work. In the summer the boys slept in a covered wagon box.

When Ianthus was born, there was something wrong with his legs so he couldn’t straighten them out. Emma prayed about this because there were no doctors in Hinckley. One night she dreamed that she was walking up town. She met Bishop Pratt and they stopped and talked. He asked her about her family and she told him about Ianthus. He said, “Sister Wright take him to the Salt Lake Temple and have him blessed there and he will be healed.” A few days after this dream, she went up town and she did meet Bishop Pratt. They stopped to chat and he asked her about her family and she told him about Ianthus. He told her to do just what she had dreamed about. They took him to Salt Lake to the temple and he was healed.

One morning when Ianthus and Mina were quite small, they went with Mother in the one horse buggy to take the milk to the creamery. The horse ran away and tipped Mother and Ianthus out of the buggy. Mina was sitting in the middle so she wouldn't fall out. She wanted to sit on the outside but Ianthus wouldn't let her. Ianthus didn't get hurt but mother did and a short time later a baby boy was born. He was ill at the time of his birth and only lived six days. They named him Bernard.

In the spring of 1902 they had saved a little over $300. They had planned to build them more room but that spring John was called to go on a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. He went to the Northern States Mission. He was assigned to labor in Council Bluffs, Iowa; with an Elder Joshua Terry. During the time John was on his mission, Emma took care of the family and raised a garden. At night she would put the children to bed, then she would do sewing for the neighbors who needed it done. With the money she earned, she bought clothing and other necessities the family needed.

On May 20, 1904 John received an honorable release and returned home. Soon after he returned from his mission, John raised a good crop of alfalfa seed and received a good price for it. With this money, they built a nice two story home close to the highway. Joseph Moroni Wright built the home for his parents and their family after he returned from his mission to Australia.

When Laurence was ten years of age, the cousins from Salt Lake left a sheep camp and a dog at our place while they went home for Christmas. Between Christmas and New Years, Laurence took the cows to the field. This morning when he came back down the lane the dog ran out and barked at the horse. The horse not being used to dogs shyed and Laurence fell off. It hurt him internally and he lived until the middle of February. The sisters of the ward offered to prepare Laurence for burial, but Emma wanted to do that and make his clothes. That year the flu was so bad the funeral was held outside on the front porch.

Emma served in the Presidency of the Young Ladies Mutual Organization for several years. She helped make burial clothing and prepare the dead for burial also.

When the church built the Millard Academy in Hinckley, the Wrights opened their home to teachers and students. The Wright home was clean and well organized so the students could enjoy boarding there. Emma cooked the meals and her daughters helped with the cleaning and did the dishes. Camilla Eyring (wife of President Spencer W. Kimball) boarded at the Wright home when she taught at the Millard Academy. She taught Genevieve and probably her sisters how to do cutwork.

There were two teachers staying there at different times who taught at the grade school. They lived near Provo and had both been student body presidents of the Brigham Young University. These teachers were A. J Tippets and G. Edward Johnson.

The students were from all over Millard County. Those from Deseret, Oasis, and Abraham came Sunday evening and went home after school on Friday. The students from other towns like Holden, Meadow, Lynndyl, Leamington, Oak City, and Fillmore just went home for holidays.

For several years, the Millard Academy was a LDS Church School, then the Church decided to turn the school to the State because they could not afford to support so many. As Delta was more central, the new school was built there.

With all her years of hard work and toil, Emma developed a weak heart and her health began to fail. She died April 24, 1931; at the age of 63 at Hinckley and was buried in the Hinckley Cemetery. She outlived her father by nearly three years and her mother by nearly two years.

Emma Hinton was admired by many for her organization, her self-sufficiency, and her love of family. She was rather reserved and she spent her time doing for her family. Emma bore John fourteen children: Wallace Hinton, Joseph Moroni, Mary Ann, John William, Spencer Hinton, Genevieve, Zina, Mina, Ianthus N., Bernard B., Vernell, Chester Eugene, Laurence Leon, and Glade Merwin. Bernard died in infancy and Laurence was about ten years old when he died. Zina was a young mother of three when she died of a bad heart condition. The others lived to adulthood.

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