History: Caroline Webb

Dancing was one of the main amusements for the young people. Father (Charles Henry Sperry) played the violin for the dances starting at the age of twelve; he continued to play for dances as long as he lived. The dances were held in homes at first. Mother (Caroline Webb) remembers the first dance Father took her to – they were very young. He wanted her to sit on his lap while he played the violin and she did (bold maiden). She said she wore a red apron. When the dance had ended, they walked home together reaching Father’s home first; he said “goodnight” and went in, leaving Mother to go home alone. They both thought it was all right. One of his older sisters was outside and saw it all. How she did tease him, but it also taught him a lesson.

They kept company for many years and were married in the Endowment House, November 13, 1871 by Daniel H. Wells.

Later in Father’s life, his dance orchestra became known over the whole state. His accent, rhythm and lively music made people dance whether they had intended to or not. Members of his own family played with his orchestra – Lon (Charles Alonzo Sperry) with the Violin and Art (Arthur David Sperry) with the Cello. Later, Jeanette (Jeanette Sperry) and I (Emily Esther Sperry) played the piano. We took turnabout, dancing half time and playing half time. We used to take trips out-of-town, playing every night. We played Provo, Lehi, American Fork, Santaquin, Mona, Eureka, Mammoth, Silver City, Goshen, Juab, Beaver, Frisco, Milford, Ephraim, Manti, Moroni, Gunnison, Scipio, etc. After Jeanette and I were married, Ruth (Ruth Sperry) took it up, playing the piano.

When the railroad came into Salt Lake City, Mother came up from Nephi to see it. It was such a marvel and a wonder she could hardly believe her eyes. Such a huge, puffing monster, running on rails, propelled by steam!

Father and Mother came into Salt Lake to attend the dedication of the Salt Lake Temple. It took forty years to build it.

Father and Mother had eleven children[1] including one pair of twin girls. One of the girls died when only eight months old. That was the only child they lost. Their oldest son, Lon, died when he was forty years old. It meant a great deal of hard work for both of them to feed and clothe such a group and with insufficient means the task was much harder. Father died at a fairly young age. He was sixty-four when he died.

He and mother took a trip to Salina to visit with their daughter, Pearl, who married Wallace Vickers. Wallace was teaching school in Salina. They stopped off in Manti to visit with Harry Sperry (Miles Harrison Sperry) and his wife, Aunt Sarah (Sarah Edmunds). Mother and Father had a lovely visit with Uncle Harry and Aunt Sarah and promised them that they would visit them on their return from Salina. Father made them (Uncle Harry and Aunt Sarah) a promise they could come down to Salina and visit them there and that they could also have a visit with Burns Miller.

[1] Their children were: Charles Alonzo, Arthur David, Emily Esther, twins: Jeanette and Jeanevery, Henry Melvin, Retta, Emma Della, Lillian May, Eva Pearl and Ruth Sperry. Jeanevery was the twin that died.

To Be Continued…

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