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Jane Theodora Wright Biggs (1852-1931)

Submitted by Geneve Comish Nelson (granddaughter)

Jane Wright, daughter of George and Deborah Ann Hazley, was born November 28, 1852 in Busby, Midlothian, Scotland. When she was two years old her father died, leaving her mother thirteen children to care for, only five of which were her own. Jane's parents joined the Mormon Church in 1846. William, the eldest stepson was the first to come to America to join the Saints. During the next few years Jane's mother and family worked very hard saving their earnings to come to Utah. They worked in cotton factories, print works, and as maids for the queen (of Scotland). The queen was generous to girls, giving them hats, gloves and dresses which often had been worn only once. With some financial help from William they were ready to sail for America. 

They came with a company of four-hundred fifty seven Saints leaving June 24, 1868 spending six long weeks for the ocean voyage. They traveled by rail to Iowa, then the long trek by ox team across the plains to Utah. They moved at once to Franklin, Idaho to be near William and his family whom they had not seen for twelve years.

It was in Franklin that Jane met and married John Biggs January 14, 1869. To them were born twelve children: John, Lorenzo, Joseph Smith, Rebecca, Margaret, Della, Eva, Ruby, Alma, Sophia, Phoebe, and Lucy. (For dates of births and marriages see biography of John Biggs. See there also information about his second wife, Jane Ramsbottom married in 1870.)

Jane and John had a lovely spacious farm house nicely situated on a hillside. The large kitchen served as the center for family gatherings. There were several bedrooms and a parlor with thick rugs and clean white ruffled curtains, pictures to see through the picture finder and organ music to listen to. Relatives met there for holidays and the big dinners that went with them. There were uncles, aunts and cousins. The table set so beautifully and the food cooked to perfection. The children waited to eat until the adults were served, as they waited they played together, drank the cool water from the old rock well, sinking the bucket down and drawing water up by a rope. Jane's big sons joked a lot, carried the pretty little gray haired mother on their shoulders and imitated the Wright uncles singing Scotch ditties. How she loved it! Everyone teased their grandmother about the fear of thunderstorms, she laughed heartily with them but when it thundered she quickly hid between mattress and featherbed, urging the children to beat hard on tin pans, peeking out now and then to ask, "Is it over?"

Jane and John had a very special cellar a few yards from the house built into the hill slope. It had a straw and dirt roof. Inside it was very cool, there were rows and rows of shelves filled with jars of canned fruit, vegetables and pickles. Every jar seemed to be a work of art. On the lower shelves were pans of milk, for drinking or to be made into cheese and butter. In the dirt cellar was stored varieties of apples, potatoes, carrots and other vegetables.

Jane always looked so starched and clean. She spoke with a Scottish brogue all her life. She spent hours in her later life listening to Harry Lauder sing Scotch songs over the phonograph. Her hobbies like all mothers were her children and helping them to live good useful lives. She died June 29, 1931 and was buried in the Franklin cemetry.



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