Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Anne Selina Hall (1866-1931)

Another daughter, Anne Selina, was born to John and Kezia on April 2, 1866 at Rockville. She was Christened and given a fathers blessing and became the fifth child born to them.

Because Anne Selina's parents had answered a fervent call from the Lord through his servants, she, too, was blessed. For it was a blessing regardless of the toil and hardships, in that she was born and reared in a small town, where everyone loved and helped their neighbors. Her childhood was very much the same as the average child born during those early days in Dixie. Since the town of Rockville was but a few years old, the hills and ravines were still wild and unexplored. The young children found each day a new adventure as they romped and played on and about the red sand stone rocks that dotted the hillsides near their homes. No day was lacking for something different and exciting to do and see. And too, the town was but a few miles from the beautiful, cool Zion Park Canyon. The canyon was dotted with small farms, but there could always be found a suitable spot for a picnic and outing.

When Anne Selina was about two years old she fell into a huge water barrel. An elder half sister, Charlotte Marie, happened to be near when the accident occurred and quickly pulled Anne Selina out of the water and applied first aid. The prompt action of Charlotte saved Anne from drowning. She was such an active child but thereafter she was very cautious about climbing near the water barrel.

On another occasion when Anne was a number of years older, a group of boys and girls were playing tag. During the riotous playing, one of the boys accidentally hit Anne with his bat and dislocated her right thumb. Since there were no doctors in the vicinity of Rockville, the injured thumb was supposedly put back in place by the parents and neighbors, who did it to the best of their knowledge. As the thumb healed, one could see that it had been improperly set. Consequently, Anne was handicapped the rest of her life because of a certain amount of stiffness in her right thumb. She could not knit or crochet so that she was deprived of many happy hours spent with her young friends in that creative art and pastime.

Anne's father was very talented in music although he had never had any instructive training. He loved to have music in his home whenever possible. The Saints, as they Crossed the plains, had found peace and refreshment to their tired souls and aching bodies through their songs of thanksgiving and praise, sung each night after camp had been made and preparations for the night had been accomplished. From experience, Anne's father knew that there must be more than the sweat of the brow to make his own life a happy and complete one. So while the Hall family was still living in a dugout, he bought an organ. It was the first one to be brought to Rockville. Naturally, the family was proud and thrilled over such a distinction. All the children in the family were given the opportunity to take lessons on the organ. Because of Anne Selina's injured thumb she could not successfully learn the art of playing the organ. As her brothers and sisters were given their music lessons by their father during the spare moments at noon and then in the evening, Anne would sit
sadly by, watching the success of the others, knowing she could never develop her own musical ,talent. However, she was gifted with a distinctive talent. She was a beautiful soprano and was able to supplant her desire to learn to play the organ with her singing. It gave her great pleasure to sing
for others, and in later years, her family.

The amusements and recreation for the young people living in those pioneer towns were rather limited. Both the girls and the boys learned to expertly ride horses and swim. Trips on horse back through the hills and lowlands provided many happy and carefree hours for the sons and daughters of the faithful. Of course, there were the regular dances in the bowery or at a neighbor's home. Pretty girls, with ribboned braids and curls bobbing, tripped and danced in and out of the arms of the rugged, but handsome young men. The recreation of both young and old was more or less prompted by the Church. In the respective auxiliaries were planned sports and activities that took care of any spare time after the setting of the sun on a day's work done.

School days for Anne Selina were crowded and very limited in number. Because of inadequate classroom space and texts of learning, many of those pioneer children advanced through only the first few grades of school. The large adobe building which served as both a church and schoolhouse, supplied one large room where children of mixed ages congregated in an effort to the fundamentals of "readin', writin',n rithmatic". Curtains were hung with ropes to separate one class or group age from the others. The boys in their moments of mischief making, which were many, made slits in the curtains so they could peer into the other classes and annoy the students and teachers. The handicaps in the form of insufficient number of books, lack of funds to build larger and better schools and the absence of skilled teacher, only seemed to make the ambitious and progressive students strive more diligently for knowledge. Parents who had brought treasured books from their former homes in the eastern section of the United States or even from the 'old country' taught their children the best they could. Those books became torn and tattered by the time the last child of the family had found a sanctuary in words. From the very beginning of the church, Joseph Smith had emphasized the necessity of increased knowledge. The Saints were continually taught the same doctrine by their other leaders after the death of their beloved Prophet, so at every opportunity they would seek after new learning. They realized that the success of their homes, church and cities depended to a large extent on their technical know how.

In 1886, Anne Selina, who was twenty years of age, married the young man of her choice, John H. Stout. They were married in the St. George Temple and on that day embarked on a new sea of adventure. They had known each other most of their lives, but little realized that one-day they would become man and wife. It was a happy day for Anne as she stood, dressed in her prettiest dress, beside John and quietly murmured "I do". No one could have been happier, she thought!

At first, the young couple made their home at Rockville, where life took on a marked distinctiveness and calmness as the babies began to make their appearance into the home of John and Anne. Days were busy and complete as Anne tended her children and prepared food and clothing for her young husband.

Later Anne Selina and John went to Mt. Trumbull, Arizona, where they spent part of their early life, living and working at the sawmill there. It was exciting to be in the cool mountains where a long hard day's work was tempered by hikes and picnics in the freshness of the tall pines and nimble Quaking Asp trees. Their fourth child, Elsie, was born while they were still at Mt. Trumbull, on the 13th of July 1892. Her arrival came on the birthday of her older sister, Ivie, who was two years old at the time. The fact that they were all alone and that the nearest community was St. George, sixty eight miles away, did not mar the excitement at the arrival of the new baby.

When their fifth child was but nine months old, John was called to leave his family and go to Illinois on a two year mission. It could have been a sad, disappointing assignment for both John and Anne, but they were happy at the opportunity to serve their Lord. John in the mission field teaching others who were waiting for the Gospel and Anne, in her home as the faithful wife and mother, saving and preparing for her husband's return after the completion of his mission.

While John was in Illinois for two years, Anne cared for their five young children and provided for her missionary husband. All the money she received was sent to John. She never spent even a five-cent piece for her self and her family. Through her ingenuity, Anne managed her home and her children on the products of the earth. She took in washing to further assist them. Her mother boarded some salesmen or “drummers" as they were called, and Anne did their washing for them. Her hands became so rough and hardened during the period when she worked for the welfare of her husband and her family.

After two years of struggle, John was welcomed home by his wife, Anne Selina, and their five children. The past hardships were soon forgotten in the joyous homecoming. Together, Anne and her husband set about making plans for the future. They took their family and moved to Long Valley in Kane County, where they bought a sawmill and several hundred acres of timberland.

Their funds had been depleted during the two years John was on his mission, so it was rather difficult to start out anew. The young couple had only their combined determination that they would succeed to keep them from becoming discouraged. Before the sawmill began to pay off, they operated a dairy to raise funds to sustain themselves and their family while they were paying off the debt on the mill. Anne learned to make cheese and butter and was soon considered the best cheese and butter maker in that section of the country. They worked hard and diligently and soon began to see fruits of their labors.

Anne found pleasure in her family and home. Nearly every day she would take darning and mending down to the mill near the close of the working day. There she would sit and work and enjoy the hum of the mill and activity of the mill hands at work. She seemed to relax and forget her household chores as she watched with anticipation, the progress of "their" saw mill. It was always amazing to her to witness the quick change of the tall, stately timber into the long, smooth strips of lumber. To Anne, the lumber meant further growth and development, either in the form of a new home for a friend or neighbor or a new school house or another saw mill.

The Lord had blessed her with a fine, upright husband and ten lovable children, five boys and five girls. Anne and her husband had experienced very little friction during their married life, Every problem had a way of solution without conflict and argument between them. They were kind and thoughtful with each other. At the end of each meal, one would wait for the other, regardless of which finished eating first and then, arm in arm, Anne and John would go to the living room for a moment of relaxation before the dishes were washed and dried and stacked away. To many, such thoughtfulness and evidence of love and devotion would have seemed unnecessary, but just such gestures had endeared these two people to each other. They would work and play more amiable together because of those endearing moments.

Religion had always been the upper most thought in Anne and John's life as they trained their children. Family prayer was a strict and honored ritual each day in the Stout household. Their children were taught to honor and respect their elders and most of all, their religion. Regardless of her large family and the work involved in the rearing of such a family, Anne Selina always managed to attend Sunday School with all her children. The girls with ribboned braids and the boys with clean scrubbed faces clustered around her. The arrival of a new baby in the family was really the only thing which kept her from going to Sunday School and taking her family. Anne attended church regularly whenever the opportunity permitted, but because so much of her life was spent on the mountain at their sawmill, she was deprived of many calls to serve. She did work in the church whenever she was called to do so. At one time she was chosen second counselor in the Primary, which was her favorite auxiliary as she loved children and was happy in her work with them.

John loved to, fish. He always planned his trips and everything possible around Anne, Although she did not particularly like to go fishing. John planned to buy a trailer house, which were new conveniences in those days, with which to make their trips and outings more pleasurable. Anne Selina was reluctant to go on all his planned fishing trips as she loved her home and felt peace and contentment just being in her home with her family. Anne loved her husband and children dearly and enjoyed complete happiness in their companionship. She worked hard to make their home a peaceful and happy one where her children enjoyed spending their time. Whenever she saw anything beautiful or inspiring, Anne experienced more complete pleasure if she knew her whole family was there to enjoy the same things with her. But if one member of the family happened to be absent on such occasions, Anne would fret and wish earnestly that all her family and loved ones could participate in such enjoyment.

In 1931, she had an operation for goiter. In those days full attainment of knowledge in regards to the goiter had not been achieved. Her operation was quite a serious one of its kind. After the operation, however, Anne felt well and very cheerful. She even told her husband that now they could take that fishing trip which he had planned for her, but two days later she died.

On October 8, 1931, at the mild age of sixty five, Anne Selina Hall Stout passed from this life knowing that she had served well and was prepared for her calling beyond the veil. She was a kind, generous woman, both as a friend and as a mother. She was loved and highly respected by all who knew her. She was a friend to those in need or in sorrow because she always had a helping hand extended to those who needed care and a cheerful word to all who needed encouragement. She, like most pioneer wives and mothers, had lived a full, happy life, the pattern of which had been interwoven with bits of sorrow and heartache. There were sorrows and disappointments, but always a bright sunny day to follow and clear away any clouds of doubt.

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