Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Adlinda DeMill Hall (1878-1963) Autobiography

"I now prcriounce you, Adlinda DeMill and Athur Wright Hall, man and wife, to love, honor and cherish each other 'til death do you part..

I, Adlinda DeMill was born on December 17, 1878 at Shonesburg, Washington County, Utah. Shonesburg was but a small settlement, consisting of a few settlers and their farms, located near Rockville, Utah. My parents, Oliver DeMill and Diferlia Winget, were among the pioneers who reached the Salt Lake Valley in 1847. My mother was one of the first children born in Salt Lake City, when she was born on December 18, 1847, soon after her parents’ arrival in the West. In later years they received pioneer badges commemorating their part in the founding of Utah.

My mother was the second wife of Oliver DeMill. They were among those who accepted the call to go to Southern Utah and settle. My father built a small log cabin with two rooms for the first wife. I was born in a little lumber "lean to", which was built on the log cabin. We called it the "shed". There was no way to make it warm in winter. One hole in the wall served as a window and furnished the only light for the room. It was a very humble birthplace, but it became home to me.

My mother holds a very tender spot in my heart. She was a wonderful person, self sacrificing, honest, faithful and highly respected and loved by her family and the neighbors and friends who knew her. My father was a faithful and good man. He was definitely the head of the household and always lead in the family prayers. So my mother would take me with her to a small over hanging grapevine surrounded by trees, where she would pray in secret. I was very small, but I well remember my mother's prayers. I felt she must be very unhappy at times by the tender words she uttered.

She was not one to complain. She kept her troubles to herself. She bore seventeen children, one died in infancy, and was a good and wise mother regardless of the hardships and heartaches she endured. She had to live in hiding when her last child was born. My father, when the baby was but eleven days old, moved my mother just as far up a small canyon along the Virgin River as he could travel with a wagon.

There she tried to make a home for her children. There was no shelter for us except a large overhanging rock. My mother had to stay there with six of her children. Our beds were made on the ground and the next morning we discovered animal footprints all around the camp. A neighbor lady, who was also living in the canyon, heard the cry of a cougar. She came over, and she and my oldest sister cut cedar posts and put them close together as a protection from harm from any wild animals. I was only six years old, but I can remember so well how much fun I thought the venture was. Now I can look back and see the seriousness of the situation. We were trained to call the first wife, "Mamma" and our own mother, "Mother Fidelia". This precaution was taken in case any marshals of the law came into town and asked questions. Many of the polygamist families were having similar trouble at that time.

My father was very frightened during those trying times. He built a place of hiding underneath the house, with a trap door opening into it, in case of any emergency. My father had eighteen children by his two wives, Now I can reflect that it must have been very amusing to see the children, who were well trained, take to their heels whenever a horse and buggy came to town with strangers in it. It was sure to be deputies because travel in those early days was hard and long and we did not often see strangers, so when we did, our fears were again brought to light.

My school days were not enhanced with fine school buildings and professors of higher learning. The schoolhouse where I first attended school was a log house. Our desks consisted of boards braced against the wall to hold them in position. When the building was used for other purposes, such as church services or dances and socials, the desks could be dropped down against the wall, making additional space.

Our teachers were of the kind who employed strict rules for discipline. A crack across the hand with a ruler was the usual reminder that we were doing wrong. One of my teachers hit me across the hand for something my older sister had done, because he did not want to hurt her. So I wrote a poem on my slate and held it up for a friend, who was sitting across the aisle from me to read. The teacher saw me in the act. When I tried to erase the poem, he took my slate and read what I had written.

"An eagle flew from peak to peak
Carried water in his beak.
When he found he was a fool,
He dropped him down to teach our school.

The poem served a good purpose, however, I never received any more punishment during the remainder of the day; instead I received a big hand full of candy.

In later years, after I was older and had completed my schooling, I secured a permit and taught school in that same old school building.

My recreation was not planned and genteel, as it is today for the young girls. We had to create our own entertainment so quite often it was games and activities which, ordinarily, only boys played at. I loved to ride horses and swim and hike in the foothills, when the fear of wild animals was overcome. I loved to dance and the community held regular dances and socials, which the entire populace attended. Our music was furnished by an old fellow by the name of "Jim". He agreed to play his fiddle for us if we promised to shuck corn for him.

The first time I remember seeing Arthur Wright Hall, who was one day to be my husband, was one day when I was returning home from Rockville. I was riding a horse and I thought I was quite grown up. On the way home, I met Arthur with his brother, Alfred. They had been to Zion Canyon for a load of corn. I was not very impressed with him at that time. I remember only that he was a rusty looking guy with dirty ears sticking out from his head. It was definitely not love at first sight for us. About one year passed before we found ourselves at dances and parties together. We discovered we were mutually interested in each other and from the time he was my best boy friend and I guess I was his best girl.

We rode horses together a great deal. I could handle a rope as expertly as he could. It was reported that he had to be a good roper or else he could not have caught me. I was very shy and bashful. Arthur figured he made a pretty good "catch" when he married me, but I made a better one.

One morning we left Rockville at four o'clock in the morning in a covered wagon, unchaperoned, and had to camp out during the trip to St. George. He made his bed under the wagon tongue and made mine in the wagon. We were married in the courthouse at St. George on March 31, 1899. 1 was twenty one and Arthur was twenty four years old when we were married.

From the beginning we had our plans on how we were going to raise our family, that is, if we had any. We agreed that they would have a better opportunity for education than we had had. Another thing we were very definite about was the discipline of our children. They were going to be taught to mind what they were told to do. However, after we had had about a half dozen, Arthur decided he would wait until they reached the age of ten, then we would surely make them mind.

We raised a family of eight sons and daughters. All of them graduated from high school; two graduated from Snow College and one graduated from the LDS Business College. Five of our children received their endowments in the temple. Three of the girls married outside of the temple and now all can see their mistake.

I have had very poor health during my married life. I have not been able to do but very little work in my church and community. Thirty six years ago when Leo was born, I had a severe heart attack and the doctor did not think there was anything he could do for me. He said I would never be able to have any more children or even lift anything. I have always had faith in the power of the priesthood. We had the Elders come and administer to me, and also had my name sent to the temple for the prayers and faith of those who were working there. I have never been bed fast for very long at any one time since, for which I am truly very thankful. I have had two children since that time and have had to work hard in my home to care for my family. We were never blessed with much money. We always worked diligently and faithfully and the Lord had blessed us in accordance. For fifteen years we took in boarders so that we could give our children a good education. We felt keenly the schooling we had been deprived of during our childhood, and we determined to do better by our children.

Another experience with sickness, which I remember very distinctly, was the time when Murray, at the age of six, developed Scarlet Fever. He broke out with a slight rash and had a little fever. He was not very sick, nevertheless, I kept him in bed for a few days. The doctor was out of town at the time, and when he returned, we called him in to check Murray. He informed us that the boy had not the slightest sign of Scarlet Fever and to let him get out of bed. We did as the doctor advised. Murray seemed to be alright, except that he did not rest at night. In a few days his little body was swollen with Bright's Disease. We took him to the hospital for treatments. He developed pneumonia, and given hot pack treatments. Then he had a stroke, which affected his right side. He was unable to hold up his head and could not use any of his limbs. The nurses told us that they had never seen any one get well after being so severely afflicted.

We were allowed to take Murray home. Humbly, I prayed as I have never prayed before, and I have never felt the influence of the two powers, good and bad, as I did during those trying days. Then I said, "Let the Lord's will be done". I felt peace after that. Murray began to improve immediately. I wheeled him around in a baby buggy for some time until he was able to hold up his head. As be began to feel better he asked for his little wagon. Next he wanted to ride his tricycle, but he could not hold his leg on the pedal. I tied his foot to the pedal and finally he could manage ride it. He has continued to improve until at this time, he drives a car, operates a tractor, and manages the milking of the cows with the use of the milking machines. We are truly thankful to our Heavenly Father for His gentle care of our son. Murray can do almost any kind of work. He cannot take hold of any object with his right hand without first lifting it and putting it there with his left hand. He is a very religious boy, and is very active in his church and temple work. I feel that his life has been spared for a righteous purpose.

I have always had a special interest in temple work. When my children were coming along, I always went to the temple for a blessing before their arrival. I had a dream which I would like to relate. To me it had a specific meaning. I had been ill and naturally wondered how well I was progressing in regaining my health. I dreamed that I was a large building. There were many people inside and more kept coming through the walls. I was frightened and cried out that they were after me. They informed me that they were not after me; they only wanted their work done in the temple. Later I related this dream to Uncle Alfred Hall. He said, "That is not a dream; it is a reality." Since then I have done quite a lot of work in the temple. I try to go whenever I am able and can go.

I now want to relate a faith-promoting incident. My father was acquainted with the Prophet Joseph Smith. They attended the same school. When my father was only fourteen years old, he attended a meeting of the Saints held after the martydom of the Prophet. Sidney Rigdon was the first councelor to the Prophet and had called the meeting. Brigham Young was also there as head of the Twelve Apostles. He rose and spoke to the group. He told the brethren that the Kindgorn of God was rolled up on the heads of the Twelve Apostles. After talking for about one minute, Brother Young's voice changed and his countenance, his very appearance and every motion was that of the Prophet. His voice was so convincing and the words he uttered were so prophetic that they seemed to bring conviction to the hearts of all present at the meeting.

My great grandfather Knight lived neighbors to Joseph Smith. It was his horse and buggy which took the Prophet to the Hill Cumorah to secure the Gold Plates. My grandmother and grandfather Winget were also acquainted with the Prophet Joseph.

On our fortieth wedding anniversary we went on our first real trip. There were six of us in the party; DeMonte and LaRue, who were honeymooning, Vic and Minnie, celebrating their 14th anniversary, and Arthur and I. We went to San Francisco to the World's Fair. We traveled through the Redwood Forest up the coast to Portland, Oregon. We saw a lot of beautiful scenery and really enjoyed our trip as we went up the Columbus River and back home through Oregon and Idaho. We had so much fun and wanted to go on another such trip soon.

Later, when our two youngest boys wanted to go on the same trip, Arthur and I again enjoyed a nice trip, besides the association of our sons. In 1948, we, two of our sons, Vic and Minnie, Arthur and I, went to Denver, Colorado. Then again, this spring in February 1950, we took a trip through Arizona, went through the Mesa Temple, traveled to Yuma, Arizona, Tijuana, Mexico, then up the coast to Los Angeles. We always enjoyed each other's company, whether in work or play.

Our family, even after the children began to get married, has always enjoyed our get togethers and outings. I always received much joy and happiness in seeing my family working and playing together with no strife and confusion, which some mothers are not able to enjoy.

I recall one amusing incident, which took place during a short trip. Arthur, Murray and I went to Panguitch on a business trip and I believe it was the first time we ever stayed at a hotel. I decided I wanted a candy bar, so Arthur went down to the store. He did not know exactly for what to ask. In the showcase he saw some Lux bars, so he said, "I will take some of those bars in there." When he returned and we asked for the candy, we discovered he had bought some bars of Lux hand soap,

Arthur and I have worked hand in hand for fifty one years of married life with no serious disagreements. I guess if we were to live our lives over again under the same circumstances, we would plod along the same old path.

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