AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF JULIA HATCH WORKMAN
I, Julia Hatch Workman, was born Aug. 11, 1861, in what was called Parley's Park, near where Park City, Utah, now stands. In the year 1862 my father, Meltiar Hatch, was called to go and help settle what was called Utah Dixie. He first went to Santa Clara. Afterwards he was called to take a colony and go and settle Eagle Valley which was supposed to be in Utah but was afterwards found to be in Nevada.
The first thing I recall is seeing my brothers ride wild horses. One time I saw a horse fall over against a fence with one of them. We all thought he was killed but he got out alive. And another time I saw one of the boys thrown from a horse and his foot caught in the stirrup. He was dragged down the street. We were sure he would be killed but he was not.
We had many good times dancing and picnicking. Uncle Ira Hatch was there. He was a missionary to the Indians. There was a bunch of Indians living nearby and when the people would have the picnics and got done eating Uncle Ira would call the Indians to come and eat what was left. I have seen Uncle go out and signal by spatting his hand against his mouth as he hallooed like the Indians did and the Indians would come as fast as they could run. It was quite laughable to see how they would run.
I used to be in great demand to take care of people's children. My aunt Isabell who lived in Meadow Valley some 15 miles from us (she had lost her first children who were girls) wanted me to come and stay with her and she would buy me nice shoes and dresses and everything. But when I went there I got homesick and cried and they had to bring me home. I would rather stay home and go bare-footed and without the nice dresses than to stay there. The children all went bare-footed in the summer time. Our feet would get chappy, our heels would crack and get sore. Father had a small herd of sheep and the small boys used to herd them bare-footed. Their feet would get chappy and the best thing to heal them up was thick cream but it would smart. I have seen them dance and the tears roll down their cheeks when they put cream on their feet.
There was a swamp there I often think about. The bulrushes, cattails and water cress grew on it so thick we could go all over it without getting wet. The rushes would grow higher than our heads. We would make houses in among them and play housekeeping. What a good time we would have! I never saw another place like that.
My mother went to Salt Lake. How lonesome it seemed! To make it worse I went out to get some wood one day and there was none cut. So I took the axe and thought I would cut some but I cut my foot instead. And my mother not there! I thought I would surely die. O, if my mother was only there it would not be so bad. I felt like I would never live to see my mother again. But my mother got home and my foot got well. But the scar is still on my foot and the sufferings I went through is still on my mind.
Another thing is still very impressive on my mind. We had a dog that was one of us as it seemed. He was always with us in all our play or whatever we did or wherever we went. One day he came in and looked all around among us like he was bidding us good-bye. He went out and a little while later we found him dead. It seemed like it was one of us that had died. We were very sorry. We thought we would bury him. We gathered around him, got some pieces of quilts and blankets and wrapped him up and put him on a little wagon and hauled him up in the canyon. We prepared to dig him a grave when a man came along and said, "What are you going to do?"
We said, "Bury our dog."
He said, "You must not do that. It is a bad sign to bury a dog. Some of your folks will die if you do."
So we found a sheltered place under a big bush and put him under that and left him.
About the year 1871, as I remember, Eagle Valley and Meadow Valley were found to be in Nevada. The people there had been paying their taxes to Utah. But when Nevada found out that their towns and property belonged to Nevada they were going to try to collect their back taxes. This made a very heavy tax and would just about break the people up so the people got up and moved in a body out of Nevada. There had been several places abandoned in Utah on account of Indian troubles and the people of those places had located elsewhere. The people that left Nevada were advised to go and occupy those places as the Indians had stopped their depredations. So it was that the people of Eagle Valley and Meadow Valley went to Panguitch and Kanab.
I can't remember much about the move only I remember we had 2 wagons with 4 horses on each wagon. I also remember we camped in one place where we had to buy water for our stock. I thought that was a wonderful thing.
When we got to Panguitch there was an old fort that the people before us had built something like our people had built in Eagle Valley. There were only 2 women there and 7 men in Panguitch when we got there. We occupied one of the houses for awhile but my father and been called to go up to the Mammoth and settle there and as soon as he could get fixed up there he moved my mother and children up there.
There were a few other people moved up there and some that had cattle formed a cooperative herd and our folks and some others had charge of them. We milked lots of cows and made butter and cheese. I soon became one of the best milkers on the ranch. Some times when the men were all gone after cattle I had the most of it to do, which was quite often.
There was lots of snow there in the winter. We used to have great times coasting down the hills and in the summer it was nice fishing up the Mammoth and such a nice place to go picnicking.
Others came up and lived up the creek. We always had a good time in the summer. The people would gather on the creek and hold meetings and catch fish and have a big feast. It seemed like my brother Lile always had something going to amuse the children.
I can remember before we had any other light but tallow candles or a pitch pine torch. I remember holding a pitch pine torch for the family to eat supper by. And when the coal oil lamp came in use we thought that was a wonder. But the people were afraid of them for fear they would explode and set the house on fire.
The first sewing machine I ever saw was a little thing to set on the table.
I staid on the ranch most of the time but sometimes I would go to Panguitch on a visit and stay a few days at a time. On one of these trips I met my future husband. He was a stranger to me and I never saw him again for 2 years. He did not know me but I knew him as soon as I saw him. But I did not know I was going to marry him. He tells all about it in his history so I will let it go at that. When I married him I became his wife and the mother of his two children.
We went to St. George and were married in the Temple. I enjoyed that trip very much. My husband and I were very much alike in our tastes - our likes and dislikes. We were both early risers and hard workers. We were both religious and love the Sunday School and meetings. My husband was always pleased with whatever I did and we worked united together. We had quite a hard struggle making a start but when our babies came we made them welcome and gave them as good a chance as we could.
My history from now on goes along with my husbands and is not necessary to relate separately so will close.
Julia Hatch Workman
24 June 1937
JULIA HATCH WORKMAN - 1861-1943
- Thelma Anderson (granddaughter)
The legacy which Julia Hatch Workman left to her family and the sisters of the church was vital and strong--a living testimony of quiet faith and service. Unassuming, yet diligent, she was not one to make a display of her faith. It was enough for her to live the gospel to the best of her ability and leave the honor and the glory to those who held the priesthood. For this reason she never stood in Sacrament meeting to bear her testimony, saying that time belonged to the Priesthood; but never a Relief Society testimony meeting passed without her standing and quietly, with tears streaming down her cheeks, bearing her testimony to her sisters. In cottage meetings when the visiting Ward Teachers asked the members of the family to bear witness to the truthfulness of the gospel, she never hesitated to testify of the goodness of the Lord to her.
Julia was born 11 Aug. 1861, in Parley's Park, Utah, the daughter of Meltiar Hatch and Mary Ann Ellis. Her father had helped to settle the Carson Mission in Nevada, but with other saints had been recalled to Utah when the Johnston Army threatened the people. The first child of the family, John Henry Hatch, was born 22 July 1857 in Carson Valley.
With the return to Utah several years were spent in Parley's Park working in connection with the ranch owned and operated by Parley P. Pratt. This ranch seemed to have been used by the church to take care of the resettlement of people returning from various family missions until they received a new call or otherwise moved on to relocate. The Hatch family staid there three or four years. Another son, Elias Hatch was born there 23 May 1859. And now little Julia made her appearance.
In 1862 the move to the "Cotton Mission" in Utah's Dixie claimed the Hatch family and they moved to the Santa Clara area. They didn't remain there long, however, for within a year the call came for Meltiar Hatch to lead in the settlement of Eagle Valley in what is now Nevada. The settling missions were in conformance with the policy of the church to claim as much territory as possible to provide for the incoming converts who were pouring into the valleys of the mountains from Europe as well as from the missions in the United States and Canada. This grand state was to be known as Deseret. Saints were called to settle the "Muddy" area as well as Eagle Valley and other areas.
The years in Eagle Valley were happy ones for Julia for it was there that she enjoyed the majority of her childhood.
Julia's mother was a plural wife and much younger than her husband and his first wife. There were, consequently, a number of older children in the family--older than Julia's own brothers and sisters.
The two families were so well managed and the members so congenial that Julia never differentiated between her own family and half brothers and sisters. They were all one to her.
Two daughters were born to Mary Ann Ellis Hatch in Eagle Valley: Hariet, 19 Sept. 1866, and Myra Isabell 12 May 1870.
In Panguitch, where the Hatch family settled for a time, another daughter was born to Meltiar and Mary Ann Ellis Hatch: Margaret, born 20 June 1874.
The town of Hatch derives its name from this valiant family who were first settlers. In Hatch three more daughters were born to Meltiar and Mary Ann: Rhoana Elizabeth, 16 May 1877; Mary Ann, 10 Mar. 1880; Permelia, 25 Mar. 1882.
In her story, Julia mentions her skill as a milker and maker of butter and cheese. The boys being so involved in caring for the sheep and cattle on the range left Julia the mainstay in the home activities. The summer before her marriage, Julia's parents gave her the opportunity to work for herself. Her dowry was to be the money she could make from the butter and cheese she could produce that summer. These products were loaded into the wagon and as they journeyed to St. George she and her fiancé sold the produce to pay for the trip. On the way they picked up the two little daughters she mentioned in her story.
Abram Smith Workman had earlier married 17 Nov. 1872 Millie Bethena Devoo and to them were born: Clarissa Bethena Workman, 26 Aug. 1873 in Virgin City, Washington Co., Utah; Lucy Emma, born 21 Nov. 1874. At the birth of a third daughter, Millie Rebecca born 1 June 1876, both the mother and child died. The two surviving daughters lived for a time with their grandmother Workman, and then went to live in New Harmony with an aunt, Mrs. Nancy Redd. It was here that Abram and his new bride-to-be came to unite the children with their own family. In St. George, Utah, 5 June 1879, Julia became the wife of Abram Smith Workman for time and all eternity.
A ready made family was no handicap to Julia. She stepped into the responsibility with a will to do the job well. Her guiding motto was always, "If a thing is worth doing at all it is worth doing well." Her married life was not an easy one. For a time her husband staid in Hatch and worked for his father-in-law. But his new family was an independent one and wanted to have things -- land and traditions of its own. They tried a pioneering adventure in Cannonville, but that didn't last long. Returning to Hatch they again tried ranching with herding sheep at times to bolster the living from an outside income. At these times Julia was alone with her children to care for the farm and the livestock while Abram was away with the herd.
A new area was opened up and promised to be a welcome opportunity to own something for one's self in Georgetown. The family moved there and tried for a number of years against all odds to make it work. But the summer frosts took the crops and other ventures failed until they were finally forced to return to Hatch.
In Hatch, Abram was successful in obtaining the mail contract. He had the post office there and a small general store which he operated in connection with the office. He also carried the mail across the divide to Tropic in the winter time having to make the trip on snowshoes. Julia worried about him at those times, but spent her time caring for the needs of her growing family and providing them with the necessities of life and the good things as well.
Julia was always able to make her family feel that it was real special. There was a love and harmony in the home that was beautiful to behold. It brought warmth and joy unspeakable even though there were hard times and trials. At Christmas time when there was no money for gifts, Julia presided in the kitchen for a yearly ritual of making "fried cakes" which were hidden for Santa to find. She fashioned the cakes into dolls so that there would be one for each stocking. In the summer time she taught her daughters to make dolls from unformed ears of corn with the long silk forming the dresses. She taught them to play jacks and to be original and self-sufficient in their play.
During the busiest time of her family life in Hatch, Julia became the second president of the Relief Society in her ward, serving from 28 Sep 1899 to 28 Jan 1906. She never boasted of this service and few of her grandchildren ever realized her contribution to her church and community. She went about that calling as quietly and efficiently as she operated her home and family. Things just went well when Julia was at the helm and no one ever questioned the how or why, or even realized the influence under which they worked.
As an additional service to her sisters, Julia became a mid-wife and was on call to help the sick at any time of day or night. Cheerfully she answered every call, no matter what the inconvenience or sacrifice to herself. No one knows how many babies she delivered or the good she did, for she was not one to talk about it. She only served the best she knew how and that, to her, was sufficient. But in her "red chist" there were some long white tie aprons, beautifully embroidered and with hand made insertion, that spoke eloquently of her devotion to her calling. It was a difficult service. The labors of the women were excruciating for there was no anesthetic to ease pain. There were no forceps to aid in the delivery of a difficult case. She was at the bedside of a patient sometimes for two or three days until the baby was born, doing all she could to aid the woman and ease her pain, then caring for the mother and child for a week or two, coming in each morning to bathe and tend them, until others of the family could be trusted to take over and the danger of child-bed fever and other complications were minimum. Many years later she told her granddaughter that women then were seldom out of bed before the third week after a birth.
Julia's own experience in child-bearing was not an easy one. She paid dearly for each of her babies. Twice she was so ill that she was not expected to survive. Both times she was to lose her baby-one the day of his birth and the other within two or three weeks. It was at one of these times as her life hung in the balance that she seemed to be in the spirit world and there she saw and talked to her step-daughter, Lucy, who had died in child-birth some time before. As Julia revived, she remembered Lucy saying to her--"You go back and take care of my children and I will take care of yours who are here." Lucy had left a small son and daughter. After a long recuperation, Julia regained her strength and did take the small children to add to her own family.
In 1909 the family again made a pioneering move. Leaving Hatch they moved to Delta, known at that time as Burtner, Utah. It was a forbidding desert country that would require all they had to give it before it would be coaxed into blossoming as the rose. The first years there were very hard. The men were away at the herd, or digging ditch to bring water to the thirsty land, or a dam to hold the water--the projects of a new land in the desert. Julia never murmured. She was too busy raising her family to complain. Some of the older children were married and two of them were in Beaver attending the academy. Eventually there was to be comparative ease and abundance, the fruition of a dream come true. Gone would be the time when at Christmas they had only doughnuts to put in the children's stockings. Gone would be the heartache of sickness in the family and no doctor to call.
With all the pioneering and hard work, Sunday was always a day of rest. Only the essentials would be taken care of that day. Each member of the family had his or her assignments--the making of beds, tending the cattle or milking--and all must be done early so that the entire family could go in a body to Sunday School. There would be a two hour interval then until Meeting time. Julia would be so well organized that there would be a delicious meal soon on the table, but it would have to be eaten and everything put away and the dishes washed in time to get back to the two-o-clock Sacrament service. Very often the married children would bring their families to "Ma's" place after meeting and there would be home made ice cream and wonderful times together.
She not only cared for the physical needs of her family, Julia insisted on being a part of their thinking. The children made her their confidant. She encouraged them in their hopes and good activities and chastised them immediately for wrong doing.
The greatest trial she had to endure came at the close of World War I with the outbreak of the influenza epidemic. Her second son, Meltiar, was in the front lines of the war and had not been heard from for six months. Her oldest son, Abram, was the first in the town of Delta to die with the flu, leaving a large family. Four days later a son-in-law, George Billings, died and four days after that his wife Abbie died, leaving an orphaned family of four daughters.
Julia was heart-broken. She had endured many trials--drought, lack of money, sickness--but never anything like this. The triple blow was almost more than she could stand. Her family had been touched in its most vital spot. For many days she went about her duties, preparing meals, cleaning, tending the milk, never letting anything be neglected but with the tears streaming constantly down her face. She just couldn't seem to find consolation. Then one day a visiting sister said, "But, oh, Sister Workman, be thankful that yours is all honorable trouble. Look at me with a living son of whom I can't be proud." Julia began then to count her blessings. She had an honorable family. She knew there would one day be a reunion with them for they were all worthy. But her heart was sore from the loss and the new problems that came. She took the dead daughter's baby and raised her carefully and lovingly. She yearned over and did all she could for the fatherless children, busying herself as only Julia could.
Julia gave birth to ten children of her own::
Julia Rhoana born 27 Jan 1880 in Hatch, Utah
Abram Smith born 25 Sep 1881 in Cannonville, Utah
Mary Elizabeth born 14 Sep 1883 in Panguitch Lake, Utah
Abbie Mae born 23 Apr 1886 in Hatch, Utah
Meltiar Hatch born 16 Jan 1888 in Georgetown, Utah
Millie born 16 June 1890 in Georgetown, Utah
Jacob Lindsay born 10 Apr 1892 in Georgetown, Utah (died same day)
Lydia born 16 Apr 1893 in Georgetown, Utah
John Cornelius born 9 APR 1895 in Hatch, Utah
Evinda born 17 Feb. 1897 in Hatch, Utah (died 5 Mar. 1897)
Eight of her children she was able to raise to honorable adulthood. There was never a time in her married life when she did not have children other than her own to raise. She began with the two motherless children. At various times there were thirteen of her grandchildren whom she cared for devotedly, filling the places of their parents who had passed away, giving them wise counsel along with tending to their physical needs--making in all twenty-three people who grew to maturity in her home under her gentle guidance.
Strong in faith, full of service to all who needed her, without ostentation, Julia lived her allotted span of life. Just as quietly, still full of faith, she died 18 June 1943, in Salt Lake City, Utah. The last years of her life were spent in doing Temple work with her husband, still caring for grandchildren and all who needed her. Her faith and shining example of service well done blessed all who knew her.
(Note from Thelma: Grandma was my nurse when my first child was born 9 May 1928)