The Early Days of William P Smith and Sarah Pidd

As told by Lucy A. Smith (daughter) at a Smith Reunion in 1926

At the reunion of 1926 to William P Smith's posterity, I will try to tell some of the things that I remember in those early days. My mother married William P Smith in 1867 when I was 10 years old. Of course the times then were not as hard as in the fifties, but if we had to do now as we did then we wouldn't call it very easy times in the fifties.

They sheared their sheep, carded their wool into rolls, spun the rolls into yarn, and wove the yarn into cloth and made the cloth into clothes. But at the time Mother married William P Smith, there was a factory where he took the wool and traded it for yarn. He owned a loom and used to weave the cloth in the winter months after the farm work was over. When the warp was reeled onto the frame and put on the loom then the weaving commenced. Mother and I wound the bobbins and he sure kept us going. We had to make the wheel fly. I can hear him now calling out, "Bobbins, bobbins," in his shrill voice. We would wind 2 or 3 dozen at night so as to get ahead of him. He was a weaver in the old country and could sure weave fast. He made three kinds of cloth, one called jeans for men and boys clothes, another called linsey for girl's and women's clothes, and he wove blankets and flannel. I still have some old pieces of cloth he wove.

We had to carry water from the creek for all purposes, make our own candles from tallow and the light we had from them was different from the lights we have now. We thought it was wonderful when coal-oil lamps came into existence but now we would hate to go back to them. I can remember the first spring seat we got. We sure enjoyed it. We had been used to riding on a board laid across the wagon bed.

I well remember the spring of 1869. Grandfather, William P Smith, and Mother, the two boys, Hyrum and Thomas, and I started to conference in Salt Lake. The road was muddy in some places so the wheel would go down to the hub. The horses were in poor condition being fed mostly on straw during the winter. They were weak and not much fit for travel. We started early in the morning expecting to get there for the morning meeting, but alas, we were stuck in the mud so many times that we failed to get there. The boys and I kept getting out and walking. When within a few miles of Salt Lake the horses gave out entirely. They unhitched the horses and tied them to the wagon and we walked the rest of the way and hardly got there for the afternoon meeting. We walked back to where the wagon was left and had an awful time getting home.

Those days we didn't have coal to burn. They had to haul wood from the canyon for fuel. They had to haul a good many loads to have enough to keep us warm during the winter months and I remember well, my husband and his brother, Thomas, would haul extra loads of wood to take to Salt Lake and sell to get a little money. It was no easy matter to earn money in those days, the first load of coal we had was after we were married and my husband went to Coalville to get it. I think the distance is about 60 miles.

Those who think they have a hard time of it now want to begin to count their many blessings. Think of the good roads we have to travel on now and the plenty we have to eat and wear, the many conveniences we have, and last but not least, the many relatives we have and the easy way we can get together, though so many miles apart. Do we appreciate all these blessings as we should? I for one, am thankful I live in this beautiful world and I am proud of all my relatives. I think as a whole they are a wonderful family and when my time comes, I hope to be worthy to meet my loved ones that have gone before.


Genealogy Collection provided by:
Becky S. Porter, 2493 S. Hulls Crossing, Preston, Idaho 83263

E-Mail: Roland K. Smith