Monday, May 1, 2017

Elisha Kembur Barton and Celestial Eliza McArthur ~ Pioneers of the Month ~ May 2017

Celestial Eliza McArthur got the name "Eliza" from her mother, Eliza Rebecca Scovil, who had been named for her Mother's first cousin, Eliza R. Snow. Celestail's grandmother, Lury Snow, was daughter of Franklin Snow and Lydia Alcott. Franklin was a brother of Oliver, father of the prophet of Lorenzo Snow, and his sister, Eliza R. Snow. Celestial Eliza McArthur, daughter of Duncun McArthur an Eliza Rebecca Scovil, was born in Pleasant Grove, Utah, on February 10, 1860. She was the oldest of four daughters in the second family of Duncun McArthur, three of whom lived.
Duncan McArthur

There had been fourteen children in the first family, five of whom lived. Grandmother was actually part of four different families. She was half-sister to her father's first family; to her step-father's family by his first wife; and to his second family by her mother as well as being a member of her father's second family. Since she as the oldest in a large family, she grew up used to responsibility and hard work. Her step-father, Washington Perry McArthur, who was also her half-brother, was first counselor to Bishop W.S. Seely when the first ward was organized in Mt. Pleasant in July 1859. He was also active in the town government. Elisha Kembur Barton, son of John Barton and Susannah Wilkinson Barton, was born December 22, 1856, in Bountiful, Davis County, Utah. He was the youngest child in a family of eight children--four boys and four girls.

The other children--in order of their birth--were: Mary Catherine, William Gilbert, Elizabeth Jane, Phebe Elen, John Oscar, Emely Alice, and Sylvester Aaron. At age 16, Celestial married Elisha Kembur Barton, age 20, son of other early settlers in Mt. Pleasant, John Barton and Susannah Wilkinson. They, too, had joined the saints form Northumberland County, Pennsylvania, in the early days of the Church, and suffered persecutions and hardships before coming with the company led by Brigham Young across the plains to Utah. IN 1850, Brigham Young asked the Barton family to settle in Bountiful, Davis County, Utah, near Salt Lake City. They lived there nearly ten years, during which time their three youngest children were born, including Grandpa Elisha K. Barton, their youngest.
John Ivie 

After John Ivie of Mt. Pleasant met and married Grandpa’s (Elisha’s) oldest sister, they decided water was more plentiful in Mt. Pleasant, and that farming would be better there. They came there in the year 1860. Most of the people were living in the fort then. Mt. Pleasant had been settled only a year. Celestial Eliza McArthur and Elisha Kembur Barton were married on the 29th of November, 1876, in Mt. Pleasant. They went to Salt Lake City and were married, or sealed, in the Endowment House, a little over a year later, on March 14, 1878. They made their home in Mt. Pleasant.

 For a while they lived on Main Street, until they moved down on the 20 acres of farmland, where they stayed for several years. Later, when their family was larger, they built a large red brick home close to the center of town, on e block east on Main Street. The children helped with the building of this home. They stayed there until their children were grown, and and until both of them passed away. 

I will describe it as I remember it. The Plan of this home was a good for the rearing of a large family. There was a huge square kitchen on the southeast with a handy little pantry just off the south side. A nice south window let in sun just about the sink in this well-arranged pantry, where Grandma kept her dishes, utensils, and equipment for cooking. A small, but complete bathroom was just off the kitchen in the southeast corner, and a big window, which was on the east, gave them lots of sunshine. There was a large dining room, which was used more for a living and sitting room than anything else, on the west side of the kitchen. We would call it a family room today. A large bay window on the south side of this room was always filled with beautiful green plants, ferns, and flowers. There was a parlor on the northwest, and a bedroom on the northeast. The parlor contained a piano and an organ, which were used frequently by this music-loving family. On the west side of the dining room was a porch that led to lawns and fruit trees surrounding the house. 

There was a huge garden spot, and a place for cows, horses, chickens, and pigs. Leading from the kitchen on the north was a hallway which led to the upstairs and to the basement room. The upstairs had three large bedrooms and a balcony porch off on of them, on the west side. These rooms were not only used by the children, but by relatives, and guests. The basement room, well finished with brick, was a good, cool, place for the storage of fruits, vegetables, and meats. The walls were flat rocks. 

Thirteen children were born to them--six boys and seven girls. They were-- in order of their birth--Offa Celestial (who died when she was fourteen months old from choking on a pit), Alice Loretta, Kembur LeRoy, Henry Lawrence (my father), John Amos, Noah (who died two days after birth, from an overdose of paregoric), Eva Eliza, Williard “W” (named from a story in the “Juvenile Instructor”), Lloyd McArthur, Hazel Ermina, Sarah Elizabeth, Susan Mildred, and Grace Adelaide. Shortly after Kembur and Celestial were married, he took a load of wheat to Salt Lake in a wagon drawn by two yoke of oxen. Then he bought a charter oak stove, which was about half the size of an ordinary cooking stove of later days. They considered it very fine. Cedar wood, from the cedar hills, was used to burn in it. There was no coal then. People hauled wood all winter long, while the snow was deep. They pulled trees down with oxen, or cut them down. Sylvester and Kembur had their farms together, and worked together for years, until Kembur’s boys, Roy, Lawrence, and Amos, became older, and wanted their farm separate. 

Grandpa Kembur Barton was a good farmer and stockman and a very hard worker. He is always had a nice herd of cattle. Like the Bartons before and after him, he loved good well-bred horses, and always kept an excellent team. For seven generations, the Bartons had been farmers. At one time, Grandpa owned a large sheep herd, but sold it and went into the creamery business. He and his family gathered milk and cream all around town. Celestial, first person at the left in row three, is shown with other members of the “Sunshine Club,” an organization similar to the Relief Society.
Sunshine Club

Retty is second to the right of the man in the back row. The third child from the right in the first row looks like Grace. Grandpa was a short, stocky-built man, 5 feet 6 inches tall, with black curly hair, and grayish blue eyes. He was a natural-born musician. After hearing any tune two or three times, he could play it well on his accordion. He played his accordion frequently for the old time dances they had. He also played the harmonica, and chorded on the organ for the whole family to gather ‘round and sing.’

 They had many happy times together as a family. Most of the children were talented in music. All of them had the natural talent to sing well, as did their mother. Willard stood on the stage when he was three years old, and played tunes on the harmonica. Perhaps the thing I remember most about family gatherings was the brothers and sisters gathering around the piano and singing many beautiful songs. I love the harmony and the rich soprano voices. 

Briant Jacobs told me some time ago how he remembered my Grandmother and the way she bore her testimony in the ward. She would go up to the piano, pick up the hymn book, and sing a favorite hymn, then return to her seat without saying a word. One hymn that she sang was “I Know That My Redeemer Lives.” Grandma proved to be a wonderful homemaker and helpmate. She was very skillful and economical at managing the home under any conditions. She was an excellent cook, housekeeper, and seamstress. 

The whole house reflected not only good housekeeping, but the expert handiwork of Grandma and her girls. There were nice covers on the couches, beautiful cushions, and a general feeling of comfort and well-being, as well as orderliness throughout the house. Grandma seemed to possess an ability to make little go far. She made several hundred quilts, which were skillfully done, from scraps of material. She did a great deal of sewing of clothing and other articles. She was efficient in all that she did, and could accomplish a great deal of work in a minimum amount of time. Many people have told me that she could whip up a meal faster and better than anyone they had ever seen. Grace said that she never saw her mother come to the breakfast table without her hair combed and a clean apron. 

Every tramp that came into town stopped at Grandma’s house to be fed. SHe would fix lunch for them while they chopped an armful of wood. Grandma kept boarders part of the time to help feed the family. She and the family sold butter and milk. The children used to pick and help dry apples up at Aunt Lib’s (Libby Everett, Will Everett’s wife) for their family and Aunt Lib’s. They took care of lodge halls also.

 Grandma spent part of her time as a nurse caring for the sick people around town and she went over to the Jacobs family (just through the block) who were all down with flu and helped them. She also helped to bring Dr. Bryant Jacobs into the world. When his mother was having a difficult delivery, Grandma retired to an upstairs bedroom to pray, and came back down to complete the delivery. Everything went better after that and Sister Jacobs was able to successfully deliver her youngest child. Another time when she was riding with President and Sister Jacobs to the temple, the car broke down, and Grandmother went over in the sagebrush and knelt pray. She returned to the car and said, “Let’s go.” They all got in and the car worked fine. Every day she combed her invalid neighbor’s hair. This was Mrs. Hannah Reynolds. Every time she baked, she sent her a little cake or pie. 

About 1900, the family considered moving to Canada to live. On April 9, 1903, Grandpa Barton, and two of his sons-- Lawrence and Amos-- with Ossy Barton and his family, left for Canada. When they left, all that they owned in Mt. Pleasant was promised away. With a company of 17 men, cattle, horses, and car loads of furniture, they traveled to Canada--to Lethbridge, Alberta. When they reached there, they stayed with a Mrs. Heninger, who wa Oscar Ivie’s sister. 

After three or four months stay, they bought a place west of Raymond. In May, a terrible storm arose, which lasted three days and nights. Half of the cattle were lost in the storm. Some were found in the mountains. A bit discouraged, but still determined, Grandfather Barton returned to Utah to get his family and to go back to Canada. Amos became homesick while waiting, and also returned to Mt. Pleasant. Lawrence stayed there (in Canada). On November 9, 1903, after his return, Kembur Barton died suddenly from a quick stroke and heart attack while doing the chores at his home. From then on the older boys, Roy and Lawrence, helped run the farm, and Grandma carried on hearing her family alone as a widow. 

The family did not go to Canada, but stayed in Mt. Pleasant. After Grandpa’s death, Grandma helped clean the sacrament cups each week, and applied the labor on her tithing, which she always paid. Aunt Grace and all helped. I remember Grandmother Barton very well. I think her most outstanding quality was her “serenity.” She did not say much, but was always calm and patient. Her hands were always busy. Around her was order, cleanliness, good food, and cheerfulness. I never saw anything in her house untidy, although there were always relatives there. She is no longer with us, but her spirit continues to influence our lives, and “the ears of the children are turned to those who gave them life.” By June Barton Bartholomew