HISTORY OF JOSIE JUANITA ABRAHAM CHARLESWORTH
written by Josie Juantia Abraham Charlesworth
I was born 2 Nov. 1894, daughter of Sarah Evelyn Bingham and Abinadi Abraham in Kanosh, Millard Co., Utah. the second child of a family of eight children--4 boys and 4 girls:
Leonard. myself, Myron, Manilla, James Sanford, Mona, Mildred and Clawson. Leonard, a year and a half older than I, was born in a little one-room home where my parents had lived since their marriage. Before the three-room adobe home could be finished I was born, which meant that quilts had to be hung to the windows and doors to keep out the cold air, until a carpenter could finish his work.
I attended grade school in Kanosh, up and including the eighth grade... Alice Watts was my first grade teacher, with school being held in the little one-room building, which was later used for Relief Society meetings, one block east of the church house. It was in this building that I fainted from standing too long at the blackboard, and as I fell I struck my mouth on a box, so Sister Watts walked me home. Susan Whitaker and Clara Robison were my next teachers. School was held, at that time, in one end of the old chapel.
We then went into the new red brick school building, which was built in 1905. My teachers were: Viella Allred, who only taught until Christmas because of one unruly child who misbehaved so badly. Katie Melville replaced her for the balance of the year. Kate Dorrity was my 5th & 6th grade teacher. John A. Watts was my 7th & 8th grade teacher. Since we didn't have high school close around, Hinckley, Utah was the nearest place, so I repeated the 8th grade under the same teacher because my parents didn't think it a good policy to send girls away from home to attend school without proper supervision. My older brother Leonard was permitted to go there, however..
I was baptised when 8 1/2 years of age by Benjamin Roberts in an irrigation stream north of Kanosh where they made a pond by banking the sides. I was confirmed the following Sunday in church by George Crane.
One day Mother sent me to get a start of yeast from Sister Larsen, Mother of Lillie Christensen. I took a small pitcher, but I liked yeast so well that I didn't get home with all of it, but enough to make some bread.
When very young my cousins Emaline, Acuma, Pricilla George and I gathered wild flowers for Memorial Day of sego lilies. Indian paint brush, wild daisies and roses. We picked and played until reaching the Hatton road, when I remembered Aunt Minnie Whitaker living in Hatton, formerly known as (Petersburg), so we went to her home and played until dark. My parents became worried, so they sent my cousin, Will Abraham, to search for us, not knowing just how far he would have to go. He found us there and Aunt Minnie suggested leaving us with her to spend the night. Will returned to Kanosh and told our folks we were staying, so they wouldn't worry. We ate a lovely supper with the family, and afterwards, were treated to some stick candy that Uncle Joe had brought from Fillmore. Aunt Minnie found each of us a nice white nightgown to sleep in. After a good night's sleep, and a delicious breakfast, we walked back to Kanosh gathering more flowers on our way.
As a child I helped on the farm, leading the horse on the derrick and tromping hay. Also, I helped plant and weed crops in the field, such as corn, and potatoes, etc. The only switching I got from my Dad was when I neglected a chore of herding cows out of the garden, thus they ate a whole row of cabbage plants.
My Mother slapped my hands one day when I put my fingers in a bucket of drinking water, as I was picking out pieces of ice. Mother had carried the water from nearly a block away. Our drinking water came from this ditch or from melted snow. Before our cistern was dug the water was turned down the ditch and dipped into a barrel, and ashes were added to settle it for washing. The cistern was a luxury, the water being drawn out by buckets on a pulley.
One special trip, going with my family, was when we went to the Edward & Katherine Mortensen Ranch east of the Indian Reservation, where we visited and spent the night. They were good friends of my parents, and Sister Mortensen was an excellent cook. The thrill of being there was because of the foothills, where we played among the cedar trees.
When I was very young, my family went to Gold Mountain in Kimberly (a mining town) to visit with Aunt Ann & Uncle Frank Penney. It was such a thrill when we were allowed to ring a gong so the men working in the mines would hear it and come for their meals. Two brothers, whose names impressed me, were Fitch & Lote Kenney.
My Father was a hard working, successful farmer. Mother was a faithful wife, and a true companion. She was a kind loving mother, slow to anger, while Father was rather quick-tempered, but a good honest man. Together they provided the family with all the necessary things of life, as well as a few luxuries. Father was a member of the town board, and really pushed for the water to be piped into town, and was still a member when it was finally accomplished.
At about the age of twelve four couples went to Black Rock for Easter. I was with Clyde Barrows, and we rode on a wagon pulled by a team of horses and we sat on spring seats. Arriving, we climbed the mountain and saw Indian footprints and arrows. Then, afterwards, ate the lunch we girls furnished.
A group of young people were headed for Warm Springs on a hay wagon when Charles Christensen noticed I wasn't with them so he came back to town on a horse and got me while the rest waited for us. I thought that was very considerate of him.
My Uncle Phillip Nadauld, my age, and I played together and had many good times climbing trees and doing everything boys did. He and I were such close friends: Phil's father, Grandpa Albert Nadauld, owned the only big mercantile store in Kanosh. After going out of business he let my friends and I go upstairs and play. One day we put on a show and charged a few straight pins for admission.
Flora Bird (Cuddy) and I ran a confectionary in this same store, where we sold ice cream and candy. We ordered candy C.O.D., which came in my name. We bought the cream from Mabel Rappleye and Lydia Hopkins, and our parents furnished the milk. We sold two sized dishes, one 5 cents and one 10 cents, with all the crackers they could eat. We went in the hole on this venture. Flora took the freezer and all I got was the SCOOP: Because of this debt, we went to Milford, Utah to find work as waitresses in a big hotel. We stayed across the street in a building owned by our boss. Lemuel Dorrity and his son Arnold were going to Milford with a wagon load of fruit and vegetables to sell, so Flora and I rode out with them. Later, Robert Watts became very concerned about our well-being out in that railroad town, where all types of men were, so he went to my Father and said he should have me come home. Father asked Collins R. Charlesworth to go out and get me, which he did, using his own team hitched to Father's white-topped buggy, which was one of the nicest in town. Flora didn't come home, but I did, and I settled my bill for the ice cream shop debt.
At about the age of fourteen I did spring house-cleaning for Vern Robison George, who lived in the house previously owned by my great-grandmother,
Sarah Woolsey Hickerson, later belonged to Freddie Lawrence Bird. I knew very little about grandmother Hickerson other then when Mother took me to see her when she was near death. Vern had several children and I worked very hard for her. She had home-made carpets that had to be taken outside and beaten with a broom, on the clotheslines. The padding was fresh straw laid down on clean wooden floors, which I helped scrub. We washed walls in both large rooms. All dishes were taken out of the cupboards, then washed and put back. Windows were washed inside and out, the curtains taken out, cleaned and hung. We cleaned a room each day, then on the third day we washed and ironed clothes all day. She paid me 75 cents for the three-day workout: I should have handed it back, but I kept it and bought some blue sheer material for a pretty dress. Later on, I worked for Alice Watts, helping to prepare the meals for the Seguine carpenters, who were building her a home. I also helped with household duties. She paid me 50 cents a day without hesitating, and I had reasonable hours, too.
Father took me to Richfield, Utah to work for my cousin, Millie Ross Sly, who was expecting a baby. I stayed about three weeks and she paid me about a dollar a day. With this money I bought some material for a skirt, which she made for me. Being there almost a week too soon, I stayed with Aunt Mary Jane Ross, Millie's Mother.
I went to the Manti Temple with my parents, brothers and sisters, just before turning 18 years of age, for the purpose of my parents taking out their own endowments, and having we children sealed to them. This was 11 Oct. 1913, on my brother Myron's sixteenth birthday. I had a brother and a sister born after this time, in the covenant. Father's mother, Martha Phelps Abraham, also went with us to have Father sealed to her. We went by team and wagon, camping out one night each way.
I'll never forget the time I lost my Mother's beautiful brooch and never found it. Another time, we were playing hop-scotch in front of Aunt Ann Penney's when I hung my new hat on a post and it blew into a ditch and was ruined.
I dropped and broke a beautiful doll that was given to me by my Grandfather John Bingham.
I lost a new pair of galoshes at a children's dance and I knew who got them. I felt terribile about it, so Mother wrote a note and I took it to the girl's mother, who sent the new galoshes home with me.
Vie Watts (Lewis) and I had some enjoyable times together. It seemed we found more foolish things to laugh about than any other two kids. We were walking through the Square one day when we met George Hunter, her, Cousin, who said, "How are you girls?" And she said, "How's yourself?" This was rude to say to him, but we giggled and laughed all the way home.
In school Vie had a little 'ditty: that I've never forgotten. It was, "Now, what do you t'inks, Johnny?" "I t'inks nothing Dad." "You do. You t'inks DAM YOUR OLD DAD. Now, I'll fix you for 'dat." I've remembered this all of my life.
I spent a few summers in Fillmore with Aunt Martha and Uncle Rob Seguine. I remember the pretty organdy dress she made for me. It was trimmed with white lace on the square collar. While there, I was churning cream into butter, and it took me such a long time that when I tried to stand up my legs had gone to sleep and I fell forward, tipping the churn over, spilling all the cream. It was a tall wooden churn with a dash.
One of the most enjoyable entertainments that came to town, when I was a small girl, was a circus on the public square. It was a family show by the name of Godfrey. They were tight- rope walkers and actors. They had twin girls named Zeima & Trelma. Two babies in Kanosh were named after these twins, Zelma Watts and Trelma Penney.
As a child, I had to turn the grindstone while Father sharpened the mower blades and I hated every minute of it because it was a long blade and had to be sharpened on both sides.
Some of the games we played were: Run Sheep Run, Hide & Seek, and Hop Scotch. We often had bonfires and roasted potatoes.
Our group of girls seemed to have no trouble finding ways of amusement. We had parties of making candy, ice cream, popping corn, and at times, we would include the boys our age.
The dances were held in the top of the old church house, until it was condemned, then they were held in the Cultural Hall. Besides the Cultural Hall, dances were also held in the old school building, which was purchased by Bill Fennemore, and was remodelled for a dance hall called the Rebel Hall. He and Weldow George were partners and tried to draw people away from the other dance, which my Father and other faithful ward members were opposed to. I attended some of the dances there, even though Father was against it. However, he didn't try to stop me from going. People from other towns came and bought tickets for both places, and would
go back and forth during the evening. Later, Mr. Fennemore acknowledged that this was wrong, so discontinued holding dances there.
I never had to be forced to go to Sunday School, Primary, Sacrament Meeting or Mutual. It seemed to be the important things in my life to do. One of my favorite Primary teachers was Mary Rappleye Barney. My Father asked me to help him sing a song in Mutual, which I did.
One time when I was to Ida Cumming's with Flora, a brother-in-law (Dr. Winters and wife) were visiting them. I had a lump on my wrist so the Dr. looked at it and took hold of my hand, picked up a book and said, "What is this book?, I said, "It's a Book of Mormon", and he hit the lump with it, and I said, "Oh, Hell:" It happened so fast, and startled me so that I swore before I hardly knew it. He laughed and said it was a cist. It never came back again.