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Personal History of Ruth Clarkson Crockett (1857-1947)

Commentary by David Romney Crockett (great-grandson)

[image of Ruth]. . [image of Ruth]

HTML Edition (1995), First Edition (1989)
(c) Copyright David R. Crockett 1995. All rights reserved.

This book may NOT be copied to another a public location on the Internet.



Ruth Clarkson started keeping a journal in 1878, a year before her marriage to Ozro Ozias Crockett. She kept this journal faithfully most of her life. Her journal occupies twelve volumes and is on microfilm in the Salt Lake City Family History Center. Late in her life, she took the time to write various personal histories, summarizing her life experiences. I have compiled these histories into this book. I have also included part of her journal, a copy of which I have. This portion of her journal covers the time after July 1913. Ruth wrote most of her history in 'first person' but some of her short histories were written in 'third person.' I have taken the liberty to modify several pages to read in the 'first person' to help readability.

I have kept most of the spelling errors, but have added corrections for obvious mistakes that could have been typographical errors. I have also added some punctuation to aid in reading.

I estimate that Ruth Crockett's descendants, in 1995, number over 1500. In the appendix you will find a partial list of descendants.

Ruth Clarkson Crockett was a Mormon Pioneer who had a great story to tell. The history which she recorded excitingly unfolds many insights of early life in the frontier of Utah and Idaho. Her entire life was devoted to her family and her church. I never met my great-grand mother, but I am so grateful that she left us this history, for after reading it I can truly say that I know her.

I have tried to explain many of the things that Ruth mentions in her history. As you read her history, by using the foot notes, I hope you may understand better the life that she experienced. The information in the appendicies will also help you. This version takes advantage of the World Wid Web (WWW), with links to more information all over the world. As you clink on the highlighted links, you will get more information about the places, the people, and the terms used in Ruth's journal. Pay special attention to the highlighted footnotes that will add some valuable background information. These footnotes are highlighted the gold star: *


Personal History Ruth Clarkson Crockett (1857-1947)


I was born 12 Sept 1857 at New York, N.Y. My father's name is Robert Clarkson. He was born at Beverley, Yorkshire, England 17 Jan, 1834.

My mother's name is Ann Clegg. She was born at Hull, Yorkshire, England 13 Feb, 1832.

They both joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in the year 1850. They were married 24 Dec. 1854 at Hull Eng. One year later they left Eng. for America, arriving in New York 5th Sept 1855. [fn1]* While residing there three children were born to them. Elizabeth Ann Clarkson Born Jan, 1856, Ruth Clarkson Born 12 Sep, 1857, [fn2]* Ida Claressa Clarkson When I was a baby, I came close to death with whooping cough but was saved by the power of the Lord through the administration of the Elders of the Church. Born 19 Sep, 1859. On the 2nd July 1860 my family started for Salt Lake City Utah, arriving there 6 Sept, 1860. It was a long and tiresome journey. [fn3]*

Feb 2nd 1862 a little son was born to them, six days later my dear mother died.

I can remember many things of my mother in life altho I was so young when she died, and I was told by my father that my mother was very kind and patientful. They were very happy to gether, and it was an awful clamity when his dear wife was taken away.

The baby was named Charles Robert Clarkson. He was cared for a raised by his Aunt Mary Lark, my father's sister, who lived in the 1st ward of Salt Lake City. [fn3]* It was very hard from him to get along taking care of his little girls and his health was very poor, and thinking it would be better for them all, he married a widdow, Mrs. Sarah Rogers. She had a little girl about eight years of age named Julia. But my father was so filled with sorrow for the loss of his dear wife it being in the year 1862 when he married again, he could not feel reconciled and she was so different from his first wife, he divorced her the same year. She was sealed to her first husband. It was a hard blow to the woman and in years after when he learned she had a little girl born from her wedlock with him, he knew he would have done better to have kept her. The little girl's name was Emily and was married in year to Lige Rogers of Lewiston, Utah, and raised a family. I became acquainted with her. Her mother married a good man Brother Hobson of Richmond Utah, and was well provided for. She died 16 Feb. 1877.


In about the spring of 1864, my father married a danish woman, a widow with an adopted daughter named Minnie Hough. The widow's name was Hannah J. Hough.

Our family lived in the 11th ward of Salt Lake City on 8th East between South temple and 1st south streets.

About the same time my mother died, times very hard, very little money and very little of anything for food or clothing, and my father often to ill to work at his trade. He had weak lungs caused thru exposure to damp and cold and not sufficient clothing denying himself to help others.

Sometimes we were without flour in the house, then we cooked carrots and ate them. We had a garden and would sell garden stuff, once a bucket full of ripe tomatoes were sent to one of the hotel's to exchange for money or some kind of food, and all we could get was some left over cooked meat steak etc. At the time the family had neither flour or bread in the house so we just ate the meat. My stepmother would knit hoods and scarfs for winter wear and sell them which helped some.

Flour was very expensive. I remember one time when me and Minnie went to town to get some flour for two dollars. When we got to the place where the flour was sold, Minnie discovered the money was lost, and we began to cry, but the man was very kind and gave us some flour anyway.

My father was a cooper* by trade and as he thought he could do better making a living in the north, he sold out and moved his family to Logan Utah, leaving my baby brother with his sister Mrs. Mary Lark. [fn5]*

He located in the 5th Ward just one block north and half block east of the northeast corner of the Logan Temple block, which then was a bare hill or bench where Indians often had their tents and camped. [fn6]* [fn7]*


I was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints when 8 years of age by our Bishop P. Wolfinstene. I can not remember who confirmed me but I believe my father did. There was no record kept of it at our home or in the ward. Before I was baptized, my father sat down and explained it all out to me and told me how I must always try to be good.


In Feb, 1867, my father took very sick. [fn8]* He was coughing hard [fn9]* and broke a blood vessel and had a hemorrhage caused by lifting heavy sacks of wheat in his bin. He lay very sick two weeks and died on the 8th of March 1867 and was burried in the new Logan Cemetery. Lot No. 64, Block No. 1, Plot A

My sister Ida Claressa Clarkson and my self were left in the care of my step mother who taught us the Gospel, to pray, attend Sunday school, our meetings, to be honest, virtueous and keep good companey. She sent us to school as long as she was able. She was very quick tempered and very strict, but her desires were good and she was a faithful Latter-Day Saint.

From the time we girls were old enough we helped in different ways to support our selves, gleaning in the fields, picking fruit on shares (native currents) selling it, making pillow slip lace and selling it also tidies for chairs and tables, and finialy, hireing out in respectable families among the L.D.Saints to do house work. I was about twelve when we bought our first stove and thirteen when we bought our first lamp.

I would crochet many yards of pillow-slip lace, chair tidies, and table covers to sell for food, meat, flour, or any thing the family could make use of for food. Some of my father's books were sold to Miller Hansen for flour.

As soon as I was old enough, I hired out in good families belonging to the L.D.S. Church, doing house work. My stepmother would never allow me to work in hotels, boarding houses, or rooming houses. I also am very thankful in deed. I always handed over my wages to my stepmother and when it was neccessary it went towards food for the family. We owned a good number of chickens and in the summer a good garden and would sell raspberries and garden stuff.

I was about twelve years of age when we bought our first stove, a second hand four holed step stove, which was a real wonder to us all. About one year later, our family bought our coal oil lamp and we watched it giving light and were filled with exclamations of delight and words of praise for the beautiful light. In time the old step stove that had served the family well was given to be used in making oxen for the fountain of the Logan Temple.

[image of teepee]

Very often the Indians would make their camp on what is now called Logan Temple Hill. They pitched their tents right where the Temple now stands. I often passed by their camp when going to or from town when I was a growing girl and would often dig Segos on that bench as they called it.


At the time when saints were baptized into what was called United Order, I was baptized along with a large companey of saints in Logan 5th Ward. I was babtized by Bp. William Hyde and confirmed by Bent P. Ralfsteine, July 1875, 5th Ward Logan Utah.

Sometime in that same year, I joined the Young Ladies Association in the Logan first Ward. Miss Ellen Ricks was our President. They had very good and interesting meetings.

I became a member of the 1st Sunday School organized in Logan. When William H. Sherman was the Supt. I also became a member of the 1st Young Ladies M.I.A. organized at Logan Utah, and was a member of the 5th Ward Choir. Teacher in the Sunday School for years, later a member of the First and Fourth Ward Choir who met together. When the Tabernacle at Logan was finished, I became a member of the Logan Choir.

At one time I lived in Brigham Young Jr.'s family at Logan Utah, and did house work for his wife. The Interurben Station now stands on the East end of the city lot then owned by Brigham Young Jr. where lawns, walks, flowers and a splendid garden once was. When Pres. Brigham Young visited at the home, I had the honor of hearing him praise up my biscuits as I served at the table where he ate.

I made many dear friends in that ward, as I worked for families in that ward more then any other.

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