Brigham Young made his visits to the various settlements and the people made a gala affair of his trips. They would go out to meet him before he reached town. They would have the brass band to lead them, with groups of children dresses in white with wreaths of flowers on their heads. Mother (Caroline Webb) was one of the children in the march. When she was grown the young people rode out on horseback to meet the President. These trips were the big events in their lives.
For their amusements they danced, rode horseback, had corn shucking, wool picking bees, carpet rag sewing bees, molasses candy stretching and canyon parties.
On one canyon party, they made the trip with a wagon and oxen. Among the group were: Charles H. Sperry (father) (Charles Henry Sperry), Joe Wilkenson, Aunt Sarah (Sperry) Abbott (Sarah Elizabeth Sperry), Emily (Sperry) Black (Mary Emily Sperry), Caroline (Webb) Sperry (mother), Aunt Sarana (Webb) Ockey (Sarah Ann Webb), Aunt Emma (Webb) Hague (Emma Elizabeth Webb); all young, unmarried people. On the way up the canyon, Aunt Sarah and Mother got off the wagon to investigate an Indian wigwam, which they thought was empty. The others drove on and left them. They found there was Indians there, which frightened them nearly to death. They made a rush to reach the wagon, but it was out of sight and they were not sure just which direction they had taken. They finally located them. They had their lunch and went berry picking.
On the way back they thought they were not going to see the Indians as they left the camp they were occupying in the morning. They had moved down the canyon and just as they drove by the camp “Old Dick” (an Indian and the dread of the whites) came out to the road waiving a gun and yelling something to them. Dad was driving the oxen and Mother said she can see him now – he jumped from the wagon, completely over the oxen and ran as hard as he could down the street. The other fellow followed and after he had gone so far he looked back and saw all of those girls on the wagon half-scared to death, he decided he would go back and face death with them. Dad was still going west – girls had no interest for him just then. Mother and Aunt Sarah were walking behind the wagon. Aunt Sarah was carrying a black whip. They were so frightened she lost the whip, much to their regret. Aunt Sarah had her mother’s shawl, “Oh, my mother’s shawl—Oh, my mother’s shawl”, feeling sure the Indian would take it, but Indian Dick climbed upon the wagon. All he wanted was a ride to town with a sack of berries. They vowed right then and there, never to go in the canyon with an ox team again!
Schools were simple and were held in the homes. Mother’s first teacher was Mrs. Kendall. The next school she attended was in a school house – just a one–room log cabin. The teacher was a Mr. Midgley. They were taught reading, writing, arithmetic, spelling and geography. The third school house was a one-long-room, a block east of Main Street. Bill May was the teacher. They held sessions both day and night.
Aunt Emma and Mother used to spin wool yarn before they went to school, doing two skeins at a sitting and in that way made a little money for themselves.
Everybody was interested in church affairs. It was gathering place for the young people to meet their friends. Grandfather Webb (David Webb) used to sing and play the cello for the choir. He was called out a great deal to administer to the sick.
To Be Continued…