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History of Nancy Jane Smith and James Daniel Pitcher

James Daniel Pitcher, son of John Pitcher (1) and Rebecca Brown was born 27 May 1860, at Shepdham [sic], Norfolk, England.

His parents joined the L D S Church in England and their home became the head quarters for the Mormon Missionaries in Shepdham [sic]. When the missionaries came to town they always came to the Pitcher home, and were always welcome.

In 1869, when James Daniel was nine years old, his parents made preparations to emigrate to Utah. His father was not financially able to pay their way and was only able to come to Utah by getting a loan from the emigration fund. This was setup by the L D S Church. Money was loaned to faithful members who desired to go to Utah. They were among the first emigrants to arrive in Utah by train.

They went to Farmington Utah. The first winter they lived with the Ladle Family. Mrs. Ladle was a sister to Rebecca (Brown) Pitcher. The following spring they moved to Smithfield, Utah. Their first home was a small log house one block North one block East of the O S L Depo in Smithfield.

James D. Pitcher was 5 ft. 5 in. Tall, and went bald early in life. On the 9th October 1882 he married Nancy Jane Smith in the Endowment House in Salt Lake City. They went in early in the morning and didn't get out until late at night. They had to stand all day, as there was[sic] no seats in the building at that time.

Jas. And Nancy Pitcher took care of his parents for many years. His father deeded him all of their property before he died. But the rest of the family made so much trouble that he divided it earlly among them.

In 1897 the family moved to Canada. They drove a team of horses and a covered wagon. They sleep[sic] on the ground and did their cooking over a camp fire. Geo. Pitcher never married. He went to Canada with them. He lived with them most of his life. Walter Fisher, a nephew, of Jas. Pitcher lived with them many years, after he came from England.

Jas. Pitchers home in Cardston Canada, was a two roomed house with a dirt roof. There was a large lake in front of this home. The boys would stand in the yard and shoot ducks and geese on the lake.

The family lived in Canada nine years. There were four children born in Canada. They moved back to Smithfield, Ut. In 1906. Jas. Pitcher went into the coal business in Smithfield, Ut. He had this business for many years. In 1981 he started with a [slow] paralysis, this continually got worse until he had to sell his business. He was very kind hearted. If he thought people were unable to pay their accounts on account of sickness or death in the family he would cancel the account. Always thinking everyone was honest like himself, one fellow took advantage of him and got him to go his bond for $250.00. He then left town and Jas. Pitcher had to pay the bill.

He was sick for fifteen years. He used a cane for several years, at last he was hardly able to feed himself. All the years he was ill he never complained, he was always cheerful. He was a ward teacher for many years. He died 20 Dec. 1930.

Nancy Jane Smith Pitcher, daughter of William James Smith and Julia Ann Hammer Smith, was born 3 March 1865 in Bloomington Bear Lake Co. Idaho. William and Julia Smith were called by Bishop Sam. Roskelley to go to Bloomington Idaho to help colonize that part of the country. Nancy was born while they were living there. Many were the hardships they had to endure. The lived in Bloomington seven years. For over a year they lived on boiled wheat and bran bread. Later a one horse mill was constructed so the settlers could grind their wheat. The flour was separated from the bran by a hand sieve.

This is the way they made their lumber. A pit was dug in the ground for one man to stand in, while another stood upon a platform above the log to be sawed. Each man used the end of the cross cut saw as it tore its way through the logs which lay across the mouth of the pit. William and Julia Smith moved back to Smithfield when Nancy was four years old. Nancy Smith Pitcher had beautiful long auburn hair that hung below her waist. She had blue eyes. When she was sixty five years old she had her hair cut. She was very particular about her hair. She would have a permanent every four months and go to the beauty parlor every two weeks.

When she was seventeen years old she married James Daniel Pitcher. They had twelve children. On their trip to Canada Nancy Pitcher was pregnant with her eighth child. The trip took between six and eight weeks. She took sick at Calgary and had to take the train to Cardston. A baby boy was born 17 Aug. 1897. Their oldest daughter Julia had married Edwin Leavitt and was living in Cardston. She died at the birth of her second daughter. After that they seemed discontented in Canada so they moved back to Smithfield, Utah.

Nancy Pitcher never had mattresses. They had tick covers and filled them with straw. They also put straw on the floors under the home woven carpets. They also had feather beds or mattresses.

Nancy Pitcher was a Relief Society teacher for thirty five years. In those days they didn't have funeral homes or morticians. Nancy Pitcher was called by the Bishop to help lay out the dead.

When they were in Canada they lived by a large lake. Water from this lake was used for washing. It was heated on the stove in a large boiler. They also had to carry water from the lake for bathing. There was no door between the kitchen and bedroom; a large quilt was hung in the door way when they bathed.

The lake water wasn't good for drinking so they had to drive several miles with the team and wagon and two large wooden barrels to get good drinking water. Later they dug a well.

They used coal oil lamps for lights. The chimneys had to be cleaned each morning. Each spring they would white wash the house on the inside and sometimes on the outside also. They had no paint in those days. There was no carpets or linoleum on the floors. A scrubbing brush was used to clean the floor; lye was used in place of soap. They always made their own soap. They made it in a large kettle outside over a bonfire, using fat scraps and lye.

They also made their own butter in a large wooden churn. The washing for the family was done on a wash board. Later they had a washer that was turned by hand. The first washer they had after coming back to Utah was run by water.

About 1916, Nancy Pitcher's mother Julia Smith sold some of her land. With the money she received from this she had the water put in the house. The back porch made into a bathroom. This was certainly appreciated after Jas. Pitcher took sick.

In October 1944 she went to Calif. And spent the winter; she was sick most of the winter. She came home the later part of February. She stayed with Clayton and Ireta Raymond for a month and then went up to Geo. And Nora Seamons. She took ill after being there two weeks; she was in bed for six weeks. She stayed at Rupert until August 1st.

Arva Seamons was coming to Smithfield on her vacation so she came back to Smithfield on the bus with Arva. She was staying with Austin and Myrtle Pitcher when she took sick again. She was only in the hospital a week. She passed away 12 August 1945. Dr. Reese said she had cancer and gallstones. She was buried in the Smithfield Cemetery 15 Aug. 1945.

Father William James Smith
Mother Julia Ann Hammer
Nancy Jane Smith born 3 March 1865
Bloomington Bear Lake Co. Idaho

After James Pitcher died 20 Dec. 1930 she traveled quite a lot. During the winter months she would go to California to visit her children, Elizabeth Pitcher Meeks, Edwin and Myrlen. Two different summers she spent in Canada with her granddaughters Lavern Leavitt Prince (Mr. & Mrs. Jas. Prince) and June Green (Mr. & Mrs. E K Green). Nancy Pitcher did lots of hand work. She made hundreds of crocheted dollies and crocheted rugs. She also made quilt tops, also quilted them and quilted quilts for other people. She made hooked rugs for people all over the country, from Canada to Calif.

This poem is so much like Nancy Pitcher

The old rug that Grandma made
Hangs now on the line in the summer shade
An intricate thing made of many a hue
Orange, yellow green and blue
I recall the memories of the one who made
The old rag rug hanging now in the shade
Such care worn hands wove the colors there
If she were here she could tell us just where
Each color, each fabric, each strand came from
The red an apron that Ruth gave Mom
The blue I believe from an old night gown
She would know the history of each tis true
Each piece of yellow or green or blue
It was served its purpose there many years
Been tramped upon and sometimes caught tears
Now washed and faded it hangs up there to dry
Provoking a tear from the passer by
Recalling fond memories of her who made
The old rag rug that hangs in the shade

From a history given to Sandra Raymond Jarvis by her grandmother, Ireta Pitcher Raymond, daughter of Nancy Jane Smith and James Daniel Pitcher. Monday, 27-Jan-2003 21:46:00 MST