THE STORY OF MY LIFE
NOTE: this history is taken from two different, but similar texts. I have merged them into one. I have also liberally corrected grammar, spelling and wording to improve readability. Please forgive me if I have lost some of the flavor of her writing style. - J.F. Buchanan
(Written by Annie Isadore Roundy Davis)
I was born at Kanarra, Iron Co., Utah on June 1, 1867, in a saw mill. I was the fifth child of eight children. My father's name was Lorenzo Wesley Roundy, who was born June 10, 1819 in Vermont. He had three wives. The first one was Adeline Whiting, who died when her second child was born. He then married Susannah Wallace who bore him eight children. My mother was Priscilla Parrish, his third wife, and her children were: Fannie Jane, Sarah, Samuel H., Joel Jesse, myself, David Alonzo, Lydia Annis, and Heber Lorenzo.
My father's family were pioneers and came to Salt Lake Valley in 1847. They moved from there to Centerville, where he married my mother. They were married in the Old Endowment House in Salt Lake City. They were called to go south and went as far as Kanab. On account of the Indians they went to Kanarra where they made their home. My father was Bishop there until he was called in 1876, to go help settle Arizona. It was the month of May. The family tried to get him to send word to President Young how dangerous it was, but he said no. He would go even if he knew he would never come back. He went on the 24th of May. He was drowned. They sent a telegram from Cedar City, but they never brought it to us until eleven O'clock at night. We were all in bed. The older boys were out irrigating. We got up and dressed and went up to one of our older brothers' place. We stayed there a while, then we came back home. The girls slept upstairs. I slept on the floor close by the window. The moon was shining bright. I was trying to go to sleep. I looked up. There was a lady standing over my bed looking at me, her hair was cut short. It frightened me so I covered my head. My mother said she had an aunt die with that description.
My father and William Ford owned a grist mill by the foot of the hill part of town. I would go up there to play. The man that ran it was a carpenter. His name was William Riggs. He did work in the mill. I was playing one day by the fireplace with the shavings when my dress caught on fire. I would have been burned to death if it hadn't been for Brother Riggs. It seems there is a divine power watching over us when our time hasn't come.
My two oldest sisters, Fannie and Sarah, married John H. Willis and Thomas Berry. This was a year or two after my father was drowned. They were called to go help settle Arizona - this was very hard on my mother. When my oldest sisters were at home, I didn't have much to do. I would go and help my half sister Linda Pollock. Her health wasn't very good. I learned how to wash on the wash board. I wasn't tall enough to reach down in the tub. I stood on a box. My mother would take a switch to me when I came home, but I would run away again. The summer after my father died, I went with my mother and brother down to Dixie. It was up on the Virgin River. Father had an orchard there. We went to dry fruit. We lived in a room that only had a half of a roof on it. It was across the Virgin River. I used to wade the river and go to the town to see some neighbors. There was a girl there my age. The people had to dry their fruit those days. They didn't have much sugar. They would have bees though. They would invite the young people to help. They would spread the fruit out on boards to dry - they would have a good time. They finally got to raising cane, from which they made molasses. We would make cakes and candy with molasses. The lights they had were made out of tallow. A mold would have a wick run through, then melted tallow run through it . Then they would let it get cold and it would make a candle. They would shear their sheep and wash the wool, spin and weave their cloth and yarn to knit their stockings. The sisters would take their knitting and go visiting and stay all day, enjoying themselves. My two older brothers were left to take care of the farm. Samuel was 13, and Joel was 11. They both had to run the farm. I would help pick up potatoes and sometimes led the horse when furrowing out the corn and potatoes. One day the horse stepped on my foot. As I had to go barefooted, it sure did hurt, but I would have to go on.
Father owned shares in a co-op sheep herd, cattle herd and a store. He used to bring me candy, but candy was very scarce then as they had to have their freight from Salt Lake City by team. It would take them about three weeks to make the trip. When I was a wee little girl I played with rag dolls. They didn't have anything else. I can remember him buying me a little chair from some peddlers that came to town. It was made from raw-hide, cut in strips and woven for the bottom. I was so little that they had to lift me across the ditch to go and meet him. My father made a trip to Salt Lake. He brought Lydia a china doll. I felt bad because he didn't bring me one. We went to his first wife's place to get it. I told Lydia to let me pack it home as my shawl was larger than hers. It was very pretty. We had rag dolls most of the time. We had to go barefoot quite a bit of the time. Sometimes Mother made shoes for the smaller ones. Mother made hats for us girls and other children. She made flowers out of Organdie to put on them.
We lived in a log house at first, and afterwards my father built a frame house with five rooms in it. I can remember the first time I washed dishes I had to stand on a box. I thought I was very big.
President Brigham Young came south very often, on his way to St. George to visit the people. I, along with other children, went to my father's first wife's home to see him. He was a fine looking man.
I went to school until I was out of the 6th Reader. They didn't call them grades then, but was called by readers .The 6th Reader was as high as they went in that school district. There were no High Schools then.
We used to have good times dancing, picnicking, singing & putting on theaters There was a beautiful canyon near Kanarra that we used to go to on May Day.
I was baptized on Oct. 8th, 1876, by Rufus Allen.
My mother was the first President of the Primary. Sister Eliza R. Snow came down to Kanarra to organize the Primary. They felt like they needed an organization to teach the children. She was president for seventeen years. There was a while before we had classes, just programs. When I got older I joined the young ladies Mutual Association. They would get up plays and take them to other towns. We would go to Harmony and Cedar City. They held Fast Meetings for sometime on Thursday evenings. Finally that was changed to Sunday. We didn't have lessons then in Sunday School like we do now. We would read from the Bible and Book of Mormon. One would read a verse, then the next one. We didn't get much out of it that way. One Sunday there was a crowd of young people, boys and girls. We went for a walk in the field. There was a meadow and a spring on it that had watercress in. I was about fifteen years old. There was a pole across the spring. I went out on it to get some cress. In reaching I fell in. They said there wasn't any bottom to it. The crowd was so excited they didn't know what to do. I got out myself some way, but I never knew how I got out as I didn't remember anything from the time I fell in. I had on a new gingham dress. It was all wet and muddy. I felt bad about it for we didn't have so many dresses then. We can see the hand of the Lord in lots of things if we look at it right. I guess my time hadn't come - if we will only live right to keep the commandments of our Heavenly Father, he will help us when in trouble. We would visit Harmony and go to their dances. It was nine miles from Kanarra. Cedar City and Parowan is where they held their quarterly conference. We would go in a lumber wagon. I enjoyed sitting beside my Beau in the wagon going to the Conference. We spun our yarn and carded our wool and had to knit our own stockings or go without. There were no fine silk socks then. There was no way to buy our clothes ready made. We had to make them. The boys would run the farm. Mother, Lydia, Heber and I went on the mountain to run a dairy. One year in about 1882 we were dairying. We were in that place when we got word that William Berry got killed in the mission field. His family was running a dairy a few miles from us. They wanted us to go and take care of their cows as they went to the valley. We had lots of cows to milk then. I sometimes milked as many as 22 cows and we made cheese and butter. They had a little old yellow horse I would ride to hunt cows. Sometimes I would run across a bunch of deer. They were sure pretty.
I started to keep company with my husband when I was about 18 years old. It was the last night of the old year. We got along fairly well. We went together for four years. There was another girl [that] wanted him, but I won out. I was married to Henry William Davis on Feb. 10, 1886, in the St. George Temple, by Bro. McCallister. We went down in a lumber wagon [that] had a cover on it and a spring seat. We had a passenger, a Bishop Sheets from Salt Lake. He was getting away from the Marshall for polygamy. It took us about two days to go down. Bro. Sheets told us if we would never get mad the same time, we would get along all right, but that is hard to do. The folks had a wedding for us. They had it in the Meeting House [and] had nearly everybody in town. [They] had a dance at night. My wedding dress was blue velvet trimmed with cream color silk lace. We didn't have coats then, we had shawls. I had a fancy plaid one. We thought they were pretty. The summer after we were wed I lived at my mother's place - as she went to Centerville to stay with her brother and work in the Salt Lake Temple for their dead. We built a two-room brick house that summer. We moved there after our first baby was born. We had seven children born in Kanarra. [We] had a pair of twins. That was the exciting time - everybody had to come and see them. All the old men in town came to see them as there weren't any twins in Kanarra at that time, they were sure cute. One weighed 6 1/2 lbs. and the other 7 1/2 lbs, named Florene and Clorine. The winter before, our third child was born. That was Jennie. Father's step mother took very sick. We called her Aunt Betsy. I went and helped to take care of her, as Rachel and Maggie were working out to get some clothes. She died soon after. After she died, Pa's father wanted to come and live with us. We only had two rooms and besides his father, there were his brothers Phillip and David, and Maggie. Rachel got married. We built another room. Finally Maggie married and David went to stay with his mother's folks. Bro. Davis and Phillip stayed with us about ten years. We finally built another room for Bro. Davis as he couldn't stand the noise of children. We didn't have things as easy then as now. When our children got sick, we didn't have doctors. We had to depend on the Lord to help us, and He surely came to our aid. Adelbert had a very bad spell when he was a baby - he couldn't bear to be touched. We had the Elders administer to him and he got well immediately. Also, Wilmer had bad choking spells when he was born. The Elders administered to him and he was healed. The Lord will hear and answer our prayers if we live right and ask Him to help us.
We didn't have it as easy then [as we do now]. We had to wash our wool, cord and spin our yarn, and knit all our own stockings, make all our clothes, do our washing on the washboard - no electricity. Finally [we] got a washer, but [we] had to turn it by hand. [We had] no carpets, only rag rugs, no linoleum, and had to scrub our wood floors.
We finally decided to leave Kanarra and go where we could get more land. In 1901, in June, we sold our home and farm to Wallace Williams. We were getting ready to move when one of the children got exposed to the measles. We had to wait a month until they all got over the measles. We had six to have them. We had cattle on our hands to bring, and were moving to Venice, Sevier County, Utah. We were eight days on the road. It was a tedious journey travelling in a sheep wagon. We had to go slow on account of the cattle. John Ford from Kanarra was living there [in Venice]. My sister Lydia and her husband were here [in Venice] when we got here. We stopped at John Ford's place 'til we got a place. We bought a farm, house and a lot. The house had three rooms. It was on the north side of the river [and it was] called the Mickelson place. We lived there a few years. Stanley and Laverda were born there. When Stanley was only a few months old, he got very sick and we thought he was gone. We traded our home to Jim Jakeman on the south side of the river - the same lot where the store stands. There weren't very many families living here when we came, and there weren't hardly any trees. They said they couldn't raise trees here. I didn't want to live here if they couldn't have trees, but there are lots of trees now. It just took the people to build the town up. Our baby Laverda May was born in May. She died on Jan. 26, while I was living on the Ford place. I had a very severe sick spell. If the Lord hadn't blessed me, I don't think I could've lived. I guess I hadn't filled my mission.
I hadn't been asked at that time to do much work in the Ward. My husband and I went to Loa to get a Patriarchal Blessing from Bro. Blackburn. He gave us a wonderful blessing. He said: I had a mission to fill in working with the Sisters, and presiding over them. He said I was this day chosen as one of the Elect. He told me lots of things that have come to pass since then. When I got well, I was asked to be a Relief Society visiting teacher, and was also chosen a teacher in the Primary. I enjoyed this work for I got to go and visit the sisters in the ward. We went to the Manti Temple to do some work. We didn't have any names of our own then. They told us if we would work for others, we would get some names, and we soon got some on the Roundy and Parrish record.
In 1907, I was chosen counselor in the Relief Society. Caroline Buchanan was President and Ella Wall was second counselor. Sister Buchanan went to Salt Lake to take a nurse's course and she only worked two years. Then Florence Cowley was chosen president. I was chosen first counselor to her in 1909. In 1908, I was chosen president of the Primary [and] was president for 6 years. On account of ill health, Sister Florence resigned. I was put in as president of the Relief Society in 1916 [and] was president for 8 years with Minnie Cowley and Ida Buchanan as counselors. I enjoyed this work very much. We took care of the sick. I would go whenever called no matter what I had at home to take care of. We took care of the dead. My husband was very good to help me while in this work. He would go with me and sit up with the sick. When the World War was on, we had to knit sweaters and socks for the soldiers. My husband let the sisters have a piece of ground and we raised potatoes on it. We went and helped pick up the potatoes. We got a 50 dollar Liberty Bond for the Relief Society. When I had been in the Relief Society presidency 8 years, I was released on account of poor health. I was also a teacher in the Primary in Jan. 1915. I was a teacher in the Young Ladies M.I.A., for 4 years and worked as an assistant teacher in the parent's class [Sunday School] for a few years.
My husband and I and Clarence and [his] wife went to Kanarra for a visit on 22 July 1918. That was the [in] the first car we had. Then when we went up Clear Creek Canyon, we didn't know how to go up hill, so [we] would slow down and get behind the car and push. We went to the Manti Temple and stayed a week. [We] could only go through for one [proxy] a day then. We had Faye baptized for her health May 1919. I was Captain of the daughters of Pioneers for two years in 1927.
In 1923 I was called to do Genealogy work, but was released because of poor health. I have worked in the Temple some for the dead, while living here in Venice. My husband and I worked in the genealogical work for several years with Bro. Peter Miller and [his] wife. We went to Manti to a Genealogical Convention on record keeping.
My mother came from Kanarra to live with us and she died here on Aug 10, 1914. Our oldest son, Bert, married and moved to Idaho, and still lives there. They moved there in 1910. We have made several trips to see him, and to Salt Lake and other places.
Our youngest son, Stanley went on a mission to Old Mexico on Nov. 18, 1922. He returned in 1924 because of sickness He had typhoid fever while on his mission.
Pa, Faye and I went on a trip to Salt Lake and Idaho. We started on June 8th, 1926. We stayed at Provo the first night, with my niece Eliza Fillmore. We went to see the Steel plant on the 9th. We went over to Lehi and saw Irene. We went to Highland and stayed with my nephew and family all night. My brother Samuel was there with us. On the 10th we went to Salt Lake and stayed with Bro. Jackson. There we received a phone call that my daughter Jennie was coming up to be operated on. We stayed there until she came. She went to the County Hospital and had X-Rays taken. From there to the Clinic for an examination, and from there to the L.D.S. hospital, where she was operated on. She had a stone removed from the bladder channel. Dr. Hatch did the operation on June 14, 1926. On Sunday we went to Primary Conference. On the 16th we went through the Salt Lake Temple three times. On the way back from Idaho we went through twice. We left on our journey from Salt Lake to Idaho on June 17, 1926. We got to Logan at 1 o'clock; had dinner there and then went to a place thirteen miles from Pocatello, Idaho. We stayed here all night and next morning started on our trip again. We arrived at our son Bert's at 11 am. Bert was out shearing sheep.
We started home Monday, June 28th. We ate dinner at Pocatello canyon. We camped that night in Kaysville. We slept out that night. We got to Salt Lake and had breakfast with Brother Jackson. We went out to dinner with my niece, Eliza Ingram. We went to the Temple and saw May Smith my cousin's daughter. We started home June 30th and arrived home all right. We stayed home the rest of the summer. I attended Mutual and Relief Society meetings.
Faye had the measles and Jennie's children all had the measles too. Jennie had a baby girl born March 28, 1927 (Cleo). Clorene was operated on for appendicitis in April 1927. Pa and I and Clarence and Zilpha went to the Temple on June 3rd. We stayed two days and Clarence and wife stayed two more days and worked on the Roundy Records.
The Lord says sacrifice is required of those who would attain the greatest reward. There are many blessings for us if we live for them. We have to overcome selfishness in this life and this life is a school, to see what we will do. We have our own free agency to choose for ourselves whether we will go on to Eternal Progression or not. I hope that my children will take the right side and be true to the faith of Jesus Christ. There is nothing outside of that, only misery and seeing where they could have been. I know the gospel is true, and I hope I will ever live worthy to be called a Latter-day Saint. My parents and grandparents went through many hardships for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. If I and family can only be as true as they were. It is a wonderful thing to be worthy of being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ. I do humbly pray for my children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren and myself that we will heed the warning that is given to us from time to time from the church leaders. They are placed over us for us to be guided by. We are going to have many trials to go through and temptations, but if we will ever be prayerful and live right, the Lord will help us.
Have still been visiting teacher in the Relief Society. I have done quite a bit of temple work and had some baptizing done: Clarence was baptized for 20 Roundy; Stanley was baptized for 30 Roundy; Lex was baptized for 30 Parish; Ellma was baptized for 14 Parish; Faye was baptized for 20 Roundy; Donna was baptized for 10 Roundy; Vivian Cowley was baptized for 20 Roundy.
My children have all been married in the Temple but one. We went on a ward reunion Aug 19, 1927. [We] went to Maple Grove. There were 16 cars. [We] had a good time.
I boarded school teachers for several years. One was Miss Froyd of Cedar City, Miss Jessie Beal from Ephraim, Clara Johnson from Redmond 1 year, her and Mr. Reese one year, Jessie McAllister from Kanab. I was sick the last year. Finally [I] had to be operated on Dec. 28, 1929 in Richfield by Dr. McQuarrie. [I] had my gall bladder and appendix taken out.
In addition to her journal, the following was added by her daughter Jennie Davis Cowley:
Dad used to tell us about the trips they took in a little one seated car. He said they had to stop at the foot of every hill so they could get a good start in order to make it up the hill.
About the last trip that Dad and Mother ever took together, was a trip to Cannonville, to see his brother Johnny. We took them along with our family of four children. Dad and Uncle Johnny loved to sing, and old as they were, they would sit up every night and sing
After they were older they both had poor health. After Dad died, Mother lived in her own home for three or four years and then her health became so bad that she had to go live with some of her children.
Stanley, Faye and I took turns caring for her as long as we could, and then we had to take her to a rest home in Provo, Utah where she died on Aug. 19, 1949. She is buried beside Dad in the Venice Cemetery.
They were a devoted and loyal couple throughout their years together. They have passed on to their descendants many fine qualities of character. Their memory will always be held in loving remembrance by those who knew them.
Histories of my ancestors (index)
Joseph F. Buchanan