Chapter 37 from “Portraits of the Hurricane Pioneers”
by Janice Force De Mille (1976)
The Workman Family
Andrew Jackson Workman and Rebecca Dack:
Wealthy Louisa (Dawson)
Rebecca Eveline (Dobson)
Andrew Jackson (child)
John Edward (child)
Joseph James (child)
Second Wife: Sariah Anna Johnson Eager:
Andrew Jackson Workman was born on July 15, 1824 in Carlisle, Nicholas, Kentucky. (He died on June 15, 1909, in Hurricane, Utah). When he was seventeen years old, he joined the L.D.S. Church and, with his father’s family, left Kentucky in 1842. They migrated to Nauvoo, Illinois, and left with the first company of Saints driven from Nauvoo. Since he did not yet have a family of his own, Andrew drove team for John D. Lee and Ezra T. Benson to Mt. Pisgah, Iowa. He stayed at Mt. Pisgah until his father arrived there. While at Mt. Pisgah he was chosen to join a pioneering company which went west and prepared for the main body of Saints which followed.
Andrew was one of the first of the Mormons to volunteer when the United States government asked them to join in the War with Mexico. A member of the Mormon Battalion, he made the historic march to the Pacific Coast, helping to form one of the most unforgettable chapters in the history of the west. Arriving in Los Angeles in January of 1847, he was discharged and then re-enlisted for a short term. His term of service in the United States Army lasted one year and nine months.
As he began the long trip to Utah, he learned that GOLD has been discovered by Battalion members near Sacramento. He went to the gold fields, hoping to make his fortune, and was joined there by his brother Cornelius. He wrote about this experience:
It took us a few days to get our bearings and know what to do or where to dig. The first 3 or 4 weeks we made little more than our board. Flour and meat were $1.00 a pound and all other things in proportion. The first month I made $330.00 so decided to find better digging. My brother, Cornelius, myself and 8 or 10 others went over north of what is called “Mormon Island” on the American River. About 30 miles up the North Fork we pitched our tents and began work. We did not do so well the first few days until my partner and I found a pocket of gold. He dug and I washed it out in an 8-quart pan. In two days I had washed out $5,500.00 worth of gold dust. We divided the money or dust and started for home in November of 1848.1
It took a while for the two brothers to prepare for the trip to Utah. During this time most of their savings were stolen. Therefore, they returned to San Francisco. Andrew worked but when he did not get paid they returned to the gold fields.
In 1852 Andrew went to San Bernardino where the Mormons were settling and remained there until the spring of 1855. He arrived in Salt Lake in May 1855.
Andrew married Rebecca Dack on June 4, 1855, taking his bride to San Bernardino. They lived there for several years. In 1857 Brigham Young called the Saints there to come to Utah because of the threat of the Utah War. In February of 1858, Andrew and Rebecca arrived at Cedar City. The following October they moved south to Fort Harmony and in 1859 they decided to settle in the Rio Virgin Valley.
The first white settlers to locate in this area permanently, Andrew and his young family began raising cotton and fruit along the Virgin. On Christmas Day, 1865, Rebecca died. Andrew said:
On Christmas Day my wife Rebecca died. She took cold 2 or 3 days after Joseph James was born and died a few days later. Our son lived until October and then was laid beside his mother. That left me with three children, Louisa, Eveline and Manti. In 1866 I made a bargain with Ms. Sarah A. Eager, widow of John Eager. We went to Salt Lake City and were married.2
Five children were born to Andrew and Sarah. For fifty years the pioneered in the wild country of Southern Utah. Andrew and his four sons and their families were all instrumental in the settling and even the existence of Hurricane. They helped build the Hurricane Canal, the mads, dug ditches, planted and cultivated the soil. Without faltering in the face of tremendous difficulties, they worked constantly for the betterment of their new town.3
Whenever the history of Hurricane is considered, the Workman family must be given credit for their labors in the settlement and growth of the community.
Amos Jackson Workman and Amanda Jane Burke:
Charles Andrew (child)
Amos Jackson Workman was born on December 18, 1866, the son of Andrew Jackson and Sariah Ann Eagar Johnson Workman. He died on April ___, 1952 in Hurricane, Utah.
On February 24, 1886, Amos married Amanda Jane Burke, who had been born on August 8, 1866, in Virgin, Utah. She died July 26, 1935.
Amos Jackson Workman and his wife Amanda were some of the first people to settle in and develop the area of Hurricane. He helped to survey the townsite, helped with the building of the canal, and was a successful farmer in the area. For many years, Amos served as a member of the town and field water boards.4
He and his son Ivan were out cultivating one day when a buffalo came down the ditch to get a drink. It scared their horse and it ran clear to the other end of the field. The same buffalo roamed up into the Lund, Utah area.
His son Ivan remembers “I helped my dad plant the biggest fig orchard in the State of Utah.” They also grew a lot of peaches. Then Amos started pecan trees, sending to Texas for the buds and starting them.5
Amos was an active member of the L.D.S. Church and served as President of the Zion Park Stake High Priests’ Quorum and was a Ward Teacher for fifty years.6
Ivan Workman and Itha Scow:
Seventy-seven year old Ivan Workman has many memories of the settling of Hurricane. Born in Virgin City, Utah on September 1, 1989, he was the last child born to Amos Jackson and Amanda Jane Burke Workman.
Ivan remembers coming down the old road into the Hurricane Valley. The excitement when water came onto the land for the first time was great. “They had a big celebration. They should!” he asserted. “The first time water came into the ditch, oh did we celebrate!”7
The family lived in a dugout at first. Then they lived in the Frank Barber house while building their house. There was not room for everyone in the Barber house, so Ivan slept in a wagon box that winter. One day Ivan was playing basketball at school and sprained both ankles. Since he could not get anyone to take him home, he crawled home on his hands and knees.
Ivan remembers Morgon Edwards, one of his school teachers, as being an excellent violin player. LaVern Taylor was the lady school teacher at that time. When he had Mary Stratton for his teacher, Ivan started to write left-handed. She told him to write with his right hand. She taught a little saying which Ivan has always remembered, but he does not know the original source:
Five things observe with care:
Of whom you speak,
To whom you speak,
How, When and Where.8
Ivan remembers that when the ditch would break during those first few years, it was a real problem for the new town. They had to go to Toquerville to get the water.
Sports were always exciting to Ivan. He observed, “Frank Beatty could throw a baseball faster than anybody I ever saw. Delon and Hyrum Bradshaw could walk farther on their hands and knees than anybody I ever saw.”
On November 25, 1931, Ivan married Itha Scow, a daughter of Joseph Andrew and Emily Wood Scow. They traveled to Parowan for their wedding, then lived in Hurricane. They reared their two daughters, Chyrrel and Diane, during the depression.
Ivan and his father had many Delicious apples, but no sales for them, so they started taking them to the Navajos. Ivan exclaimed, “I spent thirty-five years with the Navajos. I learnt two words. That’s all you need to talk to the Navajos.”
[top part of sentence cut off]…Charles Lindberg in the Spirit of St. Louis at Williams, Arizona. Somebody asked Lindberg, “What did you do when you came within twenty or thirty feet of going into the ocean?” Lindberg thought a minute, then said, “I prayed!”9
For years, he took fruit out to the Navajos by team and wagon. Finally, he had a truck to use. “You should have seen their eyes when I come in that Dodge truck!” he told me. “I’ve always been good to the Navajos. It pays to be good to anybody. It’ll come back to you ten-fold.”
Yes, many are the memories of this man who remembers the first days of Hurricane and numerous events which have transpired since. As he remarked so aptly, “I’ve seen quiet a change here in Hurricane!”10
Nephi Johnson Workman and Mary Elizabeth Spendlove
Andrew Spendlove (child)
Nephi J. and Mary Elizabeth Spendlove Workman were some of the first pioneers in the Hurricane valley. Nephi, second son of Andrew Jackson Workman, was born September 7, 1868. Mary Elizabeth, known as Lizzie, was born in Rockville, Kane County, Utah, on December 16, 1871.
Lizzie always followed her father wherever he went. When she was about five years old, her father was digging a dugout at the back of their house to provide more room for the family. The wall caved in and a rock hit Lizzie in the back, knocking her down on her face. Her father worked fast and got her out alive. She had three older brothers who delighted in teasing her. Digging a hole, they buried her up to her neck and told her the devil would get her feet. She was terribly afraid until her father came along and rescued her.
Lizzie attended school in Virgin, receiving a good education for those days. At an early age she had to learn to work. She learned to do all kinds of house work, including mixing bread when she was so small she had to stand on a chair. When she got a little older, her parents peddled fruit up north, leaving her to take care of things while they were gone. She learned to be a good seamstress, making clothes—pants, shirts, and dresses for the entire family.
After their marriage on October 17, 1889 in the St. George Temple, Nephi and Lizzie continued to live in Virgin. Nephi built a home up on the hill, near their parents’ home. He built a nice fireplace in their house with two adobe rooms and a lumber leanto. In the evenings, Nephi roasted beef steaks on the red hot coals. The fireplace had a rock hearth which was always polished and kept white with chalk.
Lizzie remembered hunting Sego Lilies to eat during her childhood. She said that her third child was born before she really had what she wanted to eat. Eight children were born to Lizzie and Nephi.
Nephi was always a good provider. They bought a ranch from Billy Dawson and homesteaded one hundred and sixty acres of land on Kolob Mountain. They lived there every summer, moving up as soon as school was out. A two-room log house provided shelter for the family. In the middle of one room was a swinging shelf where they kept things they did not want the rats or mice to get.
A milk house stood nearby with a cool spring running behind it. They milked twenty cows. Lizzie made cheese and butter. The butter, stored in five gallon cans, lasted all winter. She also sold butter to the sheep men on the mountain.
When school started in the fall, they family moved back to Virgin.
Nephi took the butter and cheese, dried fruit and molasses up north and traded for winter supplies for the family, including a pair of shoes for each person. As their daughter Wealthy expressed,
They weren’t very pretty but we wore them and was glad to get them. Mother knitted our stockings out of black yarn. When she got all the pairs around, she would wash them and put them on the fence to dry and an old cow came along and ate a piece out of each one of them. Mother felt very bad about it, but we kids were glad; we hated the time to come when we had to put them on. They itched our legs so bad Mother thought we would all be sick. I remember my sister Mary and I had three pair between us. We had to wear them until May Day and then we could take them off and go barefooted.11
Nephi worked on the Hurricane Canal from the time it was started in 1893. Leaving for work every Monday morning, he was always gone until Saturday night. In 1906, when six families moved onto the Hurricane flat and began the new town, Nephi and Lizzie were one of those families. They built a large room and a leanto. There was a lot of hard work to be done. Land had to be cleared, fruit trees had to be set out and ditches had to be made. The entire family worked together.
Nephi was a member of the first Town Board. He was a successful farmer and, like his father, enjoyed experimenting with budding fruit and nuts. He worked for the good of the town of Hurricane all his life, until May 20, 1931, when he passed away.
Since all of their children were married, Lizzie stayed alone in her home. For a long time a granddaughter stayed with her at nights. Then she said, “I think I will be all right. Grandpa came to me in my dreams and told me he was with me all the time.”12
On November 14, 1964, Lizzie left this life and went to join him. Though their children missed her greatly, they felt a certain peace in knowing that Nephi and Lizzie were together once again.13
Nephi Spendlove Workman and Louise Ruesch
Nephi S. Workman was born on August 4, 1896 in Virgin, Utah. Louise Reusch was born on February 5, 1898, in Springdale, Utah. They were married on September 3, 1917. Both of them are now almost eighty years old. Their lives have spanned the time when the Hurricane flat was barren to the modern city of today.
Nephi and Louise recently reminisced about the early days of trial in Hurricane. According to him, the biggest problem was “Keepin’ the water in the ditch! They put that ditch out with wheelbarrows and crowbars.” “And the men,” inserted Louise, “almost killed themselves to get that ditch in.”
Nephi recalls going to school in the north half of the Bradshaw home. The teacher, Jake Workman, never opened school with singing. When a trustee asked why, he told him to look up in the tree by the window. Apparently, the tree was full of birds which Jake figured did enough singing. Anyway, if the people started singing, the birds all chimed in with them.
Jake always told the students that if they wanted to say something, to count to ten first. One day he put his hands behind him and backed up close to the stove. One of the boys saw him and watched his pants catch on fire. So he counted, “1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 your pants are on fire!” By that time, Jake was burned too.
When someone asked Nephi and Louise recently how long they had been married, one of them answered, “Oh, all of our lives!” In reality, though, they had a very interesting courtship.
Louise moved to Hurricane when a young girl. The first time she went to Sunday School there, Nephi was in the class. As young boys will, he showed off and made wise cracks. Louise went home and told her sister Ada, “I know who I’m goin’ to marry.”
“Who is it?” Ada asked. “Has he asked ya?” “No, but he’s goin’ to.” She answered. “His name is Phi Workman. Do you know him?” Ada exclaimed, “Know him! He’s the meanest little devil in the whole town.”
All the way through school, Louise wouldn’t look at another guy. A few years later, Nephi asked if he could walk her home after a dance. “No!” she answered. “I came alone and I can go home alone.” Nevertheless, when she was nineteen years old, Louise married him.
When he was very young, Nephi started helping haul freight from Lund. “I never took the teams over ‘til I was fourteen years old,” he recalls. “There was no railroad in Dixie. We had to freight everything that went into Dixie…with iron-tired wagons. It took us seven days to go to Lund and get a load of freight—thirty hundred pounds.”
One time there were three of us takin’ molasses and dried fruit to Dolittle for flour. (Dolittle was a merchant in Lund). After it was all unloaded, we’d get up on the train switching around. We’d ride up and down, up and down the track. One time we got to goin’ too fast and we couldn’t get off. We never stopped ‘til we got to Milford. It was pretty dark then…to late to get a room at the hotel. So we got some wood from a pile and made a fire out in the sagebrush and stayed all night.14
Nephi and Louise have been referred to as “The Farmers”. They bought a lot on the north of town—actually, a hill. Using a wheelbarrow in which to gather the rocks, they cleared the entire hill off, rock by rock, and built a rock chicken coop and home. Their daughter Christie wrote an essay years later, expressing:
At the age of thirteen, I found what teamwork with the members of the family can accomplish. Father was the captain. With gloves dripping with cement, he stood for long hours with a trowel in one hand and a rock in the other hand building a wall. Mother stood with a hose and washed rocks to get the dirt out of the porous volcanic structure so the mortar could weld them together. I used a shovel and hose and mixed the cement that was wheeled in a wheelbarrow, by my brother, to the platform where my father worked. This went on for many days, until the walls were completed. They were made to look like a large chicken coop, but it was to be our home until we could do better. Father put the rafters up, my brother and I helped him put the sheeting and shingles on to make the roof. We had to hurry because we were losing our home and had to move out. My mother, my sister and I had bottled fruit for two summers before this for two different sawmill owners for the lumber and shingles. We had to part with a milk cow to buy the cement and nails, and a strip of glass looking paper for windows. The doors were just boards nailed together. The day came for us to move. Even though there were no coverings on the cold cement floors of the two rooms, we didn’t mind so much, because we were too busy trying to keep the snow from coming through the large spaces under the rafters. Even this seemed a small thing compared to carrying all the water used by a family of seven in buckets for a full block. Though all this at times seemed unbearable, mother would evaluate our blessings and always the thought would comfort us that though we didn’t have much, we had each other. Those thoughts welded us together as a family and we grew up very close knit. A few years later with the same type of teamwork we built a beautiful home and were very happy. The years have passed. All of us have grown older; even my father and mother have moved away, but on the side of the hill sits the most beautiful home in Hurricane. Buried deep in those walls of volcanic rock is still a part of me and each member of our family. Nothing will ever remove it as long as we live.15
On their lovely farm which they cleared off so tediously, the Workmans grew fruits, nuts and flowers of all kinds. They tried everything new that they could find. Nephi worked for Frank Barber and learned how to bud trees. Their entire yard was beautifully landscaped.
Nephi also raised beautiful animals. He was very talented, a jack of all trades. He was a mason and did lovely masonry work.
Every year Elmer Graff would get some of their grapes and take to the State Fair. And every year, when he returned, he brought them a blue ribbon!
Louise, an especially good cook, always made everyone feel welcome at their home. Inside, they were always treated to her cooking. Outside, they enjoyed the lovely yards and wonderful produce.
Nephi and Louise moved to Salt Lake in 1951. Although they still live there, their hearts are still in Dixie. On their occasional visits back home, they love to reminisce with family and friends about the experiences they shared in pioneer Hurricane. As Louise expressed, “Oh, we went through some hardships, but we didn’t know any better then. But we were like the rest—we were pioneering. But since then we’ve learned we got it the hard way.”16
Claudius Hirschi and Anna Workman
Ann Workman, daughter of Nephi Johnson Workman and Mary Elizabeth Spendlove, was born on November 1, 1898, in Virgin, Utah. On May 15, 1918, she married Claud Hirschi in the St. George Temple.
Claud, born on September 13, 1892, in Rockville, Utah, spent his youth on the family farm and on the rangeland where he worked with his father’s livestock. His father, David Hirschi, had a dry farm on the Big Plain, south of Rockville. Both father and son enjoyed working with the cattle and especially liked the annual round-up.
Claud’s higher education was obtained at the Hinckley, Millard County Academy and the St. George Academy. He then attended and graduated from BYU with a Bachelor Degree in Science.
When he returned home from BYU, the State Bank of Hurricane had just been established and Claud became the first cashier. He held this position, and also served as Vice President, for thirty-eight years. For many years, the banking was not done exclusively at the bank. People went to his home whenever they needed to do business—all evening and on weekends. Since he never turned anyone away, practically as much banking was done at home as at the bank.
People exhibited confidence in his judgment and counsel. They went to him for advice and for help with their problems.
Just before going overseas to serve in the 145th Field Artillery during World War I, he married Anna Workman. They became the parents of four children. During the following years, while Claud was busy working at the bank and fulfilling positions of responsibility in the church and community, Anna reared their four children. She also worked in the Relief Society, MIA, and other organizations of the church and in the community.
Claud served many positions of leadership, including Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce, a Town Board member for two years, Town Treasurer for three terms, and member of the Washington County Welfare Board.
A Republican, Claud served two terms as a State Senator, representing Iron and Washington Counties. There he distinguished himself as a Minority Floor Leader. He also served many positions in the LDS Church. He was President of the MIA, on the building committee for the Stake Chapel and in the Bishopric of his ward. When Zion Park Stake was organized in 1929, Claud became the first Stake President and served in this capacity for fourteen years.
When general authorities of the church came to Hurricane to preside over Stake Conferences, Claud and Anna made them welcome in their home. Church President Heber J. Grant, George Albert Smith, John A. Widstoe and Melvin J. Ballard were just a few of the leaders who were guests in the Hirschi home.
When Claud was elected to the State Senate, Anna went to Salt Lake with him while the Senate was in session. They made many close friends there and always felt this was a choice experience in their lives.
The following is recorded in his history:
At Christmas time Claud enjoyed making his wife worry a bit about the gift he gave her. He would hide it or wrap it in newspaper to disguise it. He had never owned a good saddle, and had always wanted one, so one year he bought a saddle for his wife for Christmas. She was a little bit disappointed a first, but tucked away under the saddle was a gift for her, something she had wanted for a long time.17
Death came to Claud Hirschi when he was sixty-five years old. (March 16, 1957). All of his life he loved the ranch and the cattle at the Big Plain. Whenever he had a vacation from the bank, he went out to the ranch. The fall round-up was his special vacation. To Claud and Anna, Hurricane was home. And Hurricane had been a better home to many others because of their efforts.18
Charles Adelbert Workman and Josephine Pickett
Charles Adelbert [child]
Harriet Josephine [child]
Viola Delsy [Leany]
Flora Beryl [Tweedy]
Hazel Del [Walker]
Joel Ellis [child]
Mark Vernon [child]
Charles A. Workman must certainly be considered one of the foremost pioneers of Hurricane, Utah. Born on September 3, 1870, he was the third of five sons of Andrew Jackson and Sariah Johnson Workman.
Charles married Josephine Pickett on April 26, 1892. They were the parents of eleven children, five of whom died in infancy. They moved to Hurricane in the fall of 1906, the seventh family to move there. Their son, Carl, was the first child born in Hurricane (February 20, 1907).
Charles filled an LDS mission to the Southern States, leaving his wife and four children. The eldest child was five and the youngest was three weeks old when he left. While he was gone, he contracted consumption (Tuberculosis) and never completely recovered from it. As a result, he suffered from poor health the rest of his life and was never able to do hard physical work.
Charles operated a small mercantile store in Virgin in one room of his home. When he moved to Hurricane, he moved this store and soon thereafter built a substantial store building. He and Josephine operated this store until 1917 or 18, at which time they sold it to James Judd. He also had property where he farmed and raised fruit. Charles taught school in Virgin for many years. He was also a County Superintendent of Schools. Many times, he rode a horse from town to town to visit the different schools.
Charles was the Justice of the Peace both in Virgin and Hurricane. He prepared all of the legal papers for people living in the area. He was considered very well-educated for his day, having attended school at BYU. He was always an avid reader and kept up with the latest educational advances of his time.
Charles was Second Counselor in the Bishopric in Virgin. He sang in the choir. Josephine was the organist both in Virgin and in Hurricane where she served as Ward Organist for more than thirty years. She too had taught school in Virgin before her marriage.
As Secretary Treasurer of the Hurricane Canal Company, Charles kept all of the records and books. Most of the original Hurricane Canal Company Ledger, which is referred to considerably in Chapter 1, is in his handwriting. He was also the Treasurer of the first Town Board in Hurricane and served as Town President, beginning in 1915. As a member of the committee to build the bridge across the Virgin River, he made the remark that one day a big bridge would be built near the spot where the current bridge now stands. He was instrumental in getting water and electricity in Hurricane. He also belonged to the Commercial Club.
Charles was set apart as First Counselor to Bishop Samuel Isom on September 5, 1917, when the Hurricane Ward was organized. He was released May 20, 1923.
Charles passed away on July 22, 1923.
Josephine did beautiful handwork and made quilts. Charles cleaned and repaired clocks, watches, guns, sewing machines, organs and other machines. Throughout their lives, these pioneers of Hurricane served and contributed to this new community. Charles was outstanding in educational fields, as a business man, in the positions he held in the church and community, and as a family man. He held the respect of everyone. Whenever Hurricane’s history is considered or remembered, Charles A. Workman must certainly be included.19
Jacob Louis Workman and Mary Catherine Redd
Ora [William, Paxton]
Jacob Louis Workman was born to Andrew Jackson and Sariah Ann Johnson Eager Workman on November 18, 1874 in Virgin, Utah. He was baptized by Bishop Leroy W. Beebe at eight years of age.
On May 16, 1900, Jacob married Mary Catherine Redd in the St. George Temple. Mary Catherine, a daughter of Benjamin and Clarissa Taylor Redd, was born in New Harmony on July 22, 1871. She moved to Hurricane on November 19, 1941. Jacob died there on March 12, 1911.
When Molly was only two and a half years old, her mother passed away, leaving her father with three little girls and one boy. Since it was necessary for her father to work to support the family, he had a hired girl take care of the home. The children were cared for by their grandmother Elizabeth Taylor. Mary recorded:
She was the only Mother I can remember. She died when I was six or seven years old. That was the first real sorrow I can remember. I loved her as a mother and I felt my little heart would break. The little kindnesses she showed to me are still fresh in my memory. I have never tasted any bread and butter that tasted so sweet and good as Grandmother’s did to me. 20
After her father’s death when she was fifteen, Mary worked at people’s homes, housecleaning, washing, hoeing, irrigating in the fields or whatever she could find to do. She had a great desire to get an education and saved a few dollars whenever she could. In 1895 she sent to school at Logan, Utah, taking a heavy course. She made herself one dress for school and one for Sunday; these two dresses made up her entire wardrobe. Most of the time she did not have a much as she wanted to eat. After that one year of schooling, she took the teacher test and passed. “That one year to Logan was the only real schooling I had ever had. I, however, passed the examination and got a school in Virgin, Utah, teaching the first four grades.”21
While she was teaching at Virgin, Mary met Jacob Workman, who later became her husband. He also taught there. After teaching for two years, Mary had enough money saved to attend the Branch Normal School in Cedar City. She considered that winter one of the most enjoyable of her life. During the winters of 1899 and 1900, Mary taught school in St. George. Meanwhile, Jacob had gone into the mission field and was corresponding with Mary.
After their marriage in 1900, Jacob taught school in Springdale and she taught in Rockville. They lived in Rockville and Jacob went back and forth every school day. Two baby girls were born to them in the next few years, completing their happiness.
Jacob had blue eyes and light brown hair. He filled two missions for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in the Central States, from April, 1897 to September, 1899 and from April, 1908 to November, 1908. He was President and teacher in the Young Men’s Mutual Improvement Association, President of the Deacons, a teacher in the Sunday School, and Ward Clerk in Hurricane.
Jacob continued to teach school. He took great interest in social work among the old and the young alike. He was an entertainer and enjoyed performing. His happy disposition and witty personality made him a favorite with all those he taught.
He was the first Post Master of Hurricane. He was also one of the first to build a good home in Hurricane.
Molly served as President and Counselor in the MIA, as a counselor in the Primary, and as a teacher in Sunday School for many years. In 1908 she was made President of the Relief Society in Hurricane.
On March 12, 1911, Jacob Louis died of pneumonia. After his death, Molly struggled to provide for their family. She became Hurricane’s Post Mistress, a position she held for many years.
Molly married John Hall on December 17, 1912. His wife had also passed away.
When the Zion Park Stake was organized in 1930, Mary was made Stake Relief Society President. She continued to be the Post Mistress and to serve her community and family which meant so much to her.22
Rex Stirling and Thelma Workman
Mary Marguetta [Miller]
Donna Sue [Olds]
It was exciting time for five-year-old Thelma Workman when her family moved to Hurricane. She was born in Virgin in 1901, the first daughter of Jacob Louis and Mary Catherine Redd Workman. Then, at the age of five, the family (which included two-year-old Ora) became the third family to settle in the newest town along the Virgin river. Hurricane—as it would come to be known—would be Thelma’s home, but it would be much different as the years passed and times changed.
“This town,” remembers Thelma, “was just sage brush. There was no chapel, no bowery. Times were pretty hard. A rabbit was about all we had of meat. We’d catch rabbits.”
The first public meeting place was the Bowery, made by putting four poles into the ground, putting boards over them, and then covering it with limbs from cottonwood trees. This crude building provided shelter from the sun and gave the town a central place to meet.
“The good ‘ole days—the days I like to remember,” explained Thelma with twinkling eyes, “were when we could go to a show for 10 cents.” She remembers the first old show building. “When the old silent films came, I thought that was something wonderful. It was hard to rake up any money, but we could have ten cents for a week.”
Hurricane’s dances were a relief to the hard-working pioneers—a chance to relax. To the youth, they were excitement itself. Thelma recalls, “They used to ring the curfew at 9:00. Our parents came with us. If they didn’t stay with us, the Marshall saw that we got home.”
The bell at the school building rang for the curfew as well as for Relief Society and Church. When it rang, sending its tones throughout the valley, everyone got the message. “We knew we had a half hour to get ready for church. Oh, I just loved that bell. I wish they’d go back to that!” Thelma exclaimed.
To the early Hurricane folk, holidays were times for the entire town to join in celebration. On the night of July 23rd, the whole town camped on the square in the middle of town. (The bowery of yesteryear was located there; now, the elementary school and public buildings stand on the square.) “Once a year we had an orange—on Christmas.” Thelma asserted. “We’d eat the whole thing—seeds, peelings, everything.” Their entire Christmas was purchased and wrapped on Christmas Eve after a year of saving. But this was not an enormous task because each child received one gift.
After Thelma graduated from elementary school, she went to St. George for high school. The Hurricane youths stayed during the week with different families and came home for weekends. They found rides any way they could, getting a ride in someone’s buggy or wagon if they were lucky. Often they went on horseback, forging the river several times.
At 23 Thelma married Rex Stirling and moved to Leeds, Utah. Their first daughter was born two weeks after Rex went on a mission to Colorado, where he served for twenty-six months. Rex and Thelma lived in Leeds until 1941, when her mother died, and moved into the old family home in Hurricane.
All of Thelma’s children—four girls and three boys—were born in that house. Thelma took the children with her when she did her Visiting Teaching. The town was divided into two beats. One set of teachers visited everyone on one side of town and the other set visited the other half. “I took my kids with me, of course. We used to take care of them!”23
With her children grown and a widow since 1962, Thelma has not been idle. For eleven years she worked as an Officiator in the St. George Temple. Petite, white-haired Thelma is an example of those who came to Hurricane in their youth and shared in the growth of one of Utah’s finest towns.
1 Thelma C. Anderson, Workman Family History (Salt Lake city, Utah, 1962) p 147
4 Anderson, p 148
5 Ivan Workman, Personal Interview, June 1976, Hurricane Utah.
7 Ivan Workman
11 Wealthy Workman Gibson, “History of Mary Elizabeth Spendlove Workman,” an unpublished family history.
14 Nephi and Louise Workman, Personal Interview, June, 1976, Hurricane, Utah.
15 Christie Workman Cornelius, “A Place I Shall Never Forget”, a handwritten essay in her possession, Hurricane, Utah.
16 Nephi and Louise Workman
17 “Claudius Hirschi”, an unpublished family history in the possession of Waldo Hirschi, Hurricane, Utah.
19 Eloise Workman Bringhurst, “Charles Adelbert Workman”, an unpublished… (rest of footnote cut off on top of next page)
20 Handwritten family record book in the possession of Thelma Workman Stirling, Hurricane, Utah.
23 Thelma Workman Stirling, Personal Interview, September 1975, Hurricane, Utah.