Thursday, May 21, 2009

Cousin - Susan Adeline DUNN EVANS EASON

John Johnson DUNN and Sarah Sophia DUNN family
Back Row: Mary Emiline Dunn, Lucy Eveline Dunn
Middle Row: Frances Adams Dunn, John Johnson Dunn, Sarah Sophia Dunn, Susan Adaline Dunn
Front Row: Oscar Willis Dunn, Wesley Hyrum Dunn (baby), Eliza Camilla Dunn



The daughter of John Johnson Dunn and Sarah Sophia Dunn

born: 11 May 1878 Three Mile Creek, Box Elder, UT - died: 6 Oct 1967 buried Ogden,UT

Susie's mother Sarah Sophia DUNN DUNN is the half sister of Mary DUNN ENSIGN. Susan's history includes family event in the lives of Mary and Luther Ensign that play a roll in the life of Susan DUNN.

Susan tells of a visit to "Millie" SMITH who is her 1st cousin, and our Grandmother - Harriet Camilla ENSIGN SMITH.

I was born May 11, 1878, in Perry, Utah. My parents were good Latter-Day Saints.[1] Two years before I was born, the thrashing machine caught on fire and all of our barns, sheds and pens were burned up. Horses, cows, pigs and chickens—there was nothing left but the house they lived in. Father and Mother were hard-working people.

About the first thing I remember was when Father came home from his mission to the Southern States.[2] He brought home a large sack of all kinds of nuts. My mother said that I was only four years old.

When I was very small I went in the cow pen and a cow picked me up on her horns and pitched me over the fence into a stack of hay. And after that I was always frightened of a cow.

As far back as I can remember, Christmas was my mother making ginger bread boys and girls as I watched mother make them for Santa Claus--although we always knew Father was Santa. Father thought it was wrong to deceive us children, but we had just as much fun knowing Father was Santa. In our stockings we would get a few pieces of candy and nuts and then probably a pair of shoes or a dress as we had to have. I remember getting a mug. There was something written on it, but I don’t remember what it was. And I got a doll. The only doll I can ever remember getting. It had a sawdust body, arms and legs, with a china head. But to me it was just grand. We children had about the same as other children had. There was an old lady across the street from us that owned a small store and each Christmas morning we would go down there before daylight to say “Christmas Gift” to her, but before we could knock she would open the door and say “Christmas Gift” to us. She would always give us a piece of candy and something that was a special treat—an orange, as we seldom saw one.

My brother John’s[3] daughter was a year older than I was. We saw a large snake and we called for someone to kill it. And my brother killed the snake and said, “Now it won’t hurt you any more.” Alice picked the snake up and chased me all around with it. I was so frighted. Then when she caught up with me, the snake grabbed my dress. It was still alive and then everyone was frighted.

Before I was old enough to go to school, my sister Lou[4] dressed me in my best dress and took me to school. I felt very important. The teacher was having a spelling contest and not one of the children could spell potato. He said, “I bet that little girl can.” I put my hand up and went and stood by him and said, “put one O, put two O, put three O, put four O, put five O, put six O, put seven O, put eight O.” They all laughed and I thought they all laughed because I could spell potato and they could not.

Mother left me to visit with Aunt Mary Ensign.[5] They had all kinds of fruit and they said I could pick any of it but not to touch the little red peppers. They had such a lot of them and they looked so good that I picked one and I saw Uncle Luther[6] coming so I put it in my mouth and chewed it up and swallowed it. And boy did it burn and Uncle said, “What is the matter?” I said that I had eaten a red pepper and wanted to go home. He picked me up and told Aunt Mary to give me some[thing] mild as I had eaten a red pepper. That was a big lesson to me never to take what didn’t belong to me and I never did.

I remember gathering mulberry leaves for Mother. She would lay the leaves on a sheet spread out and put a silk worm on each leaf. [7] They would eat the leaves. They made quite a chatter eating. They would make silk cones and when Mother got a flour sack full she would take them to Brigham City and there it was made into silk.

I remember Mother saving her Sunday eggs, which she would give to the Relief Society to buy wheat. When a herd of sheep passed, we children would go out and gather wool off the wire fences and mother would wash it and card the wool to make quilts. When the wheat was brought in from the fields, we children would go and glean the wheat for our chickens and pigs. I remember gathering straw for my cousin, Effie Ensign.[8] She would make hats from the straw. She would take white feathers and dye them to make flowers.

I well remember one day at recess we children were playing on top of a bowery and there was only one ladder to get down so I jumped and threw my knee cap out. I did not want my parents to know about it as the next day was a circus in Ogden so I just kept out of their way. Father put straw in the bottom of a wagon and Mother put quilts in for us children to sit on. My knee hurt so badly I kept crying so at last Father looked at my leg. And at the north of Ogden he took me to a doctor. Father put his hands on my head, he did not pray out loud, but I knew he was praying. Then he said, “You will get along all right.” The doctor pulled my leg with Father’s help until they got the knee cap in place. I did a great deal of crying and I guess my face was very dirty from the dust. We went outside and there was a little boy on crutches. I think that we were about the same age. He gave me an orange and I quit crying. Year after, I was talking about it and how disappointed [I was] not to be able to see the parade and only got lemonade. I found out that the man next door was the boy that had given me the orange.

When I was eight years old I was baptized and I will never forget when I was confirmed and when they said, “Receive ye the Holy Ghost.” I surely did feel the spirit of the Lord, and that was my first testimony of the Gospel.

When I was ten years old my sister Sophia[9] and I had typhoid fever.[10] And at that time all the doctors would only allow you to have was a few spoonfuls of water. And I was so thirsty. I heard mother put a bucket of water on the bench. She had been to the spring and I knew how cold it was. I wanted some so badly. Someone came in and said, “Aunt Sophia, your cow is bloated.” I got out of bed. I thought I would drink all the water I wanted to and give some to my sister. There was a dipper in the bucket stand. I got it full and the last thing I remember, I was drinking. When Mother found me I was on the floor, wet. I was unconscious for quite a while, and my sister died. I remember the Elders administered to me and one said, “She is dead.” But the other kept right on, and I got better. I was too sick to know about my sister’s death or funeral. Mother had six children sick at the same time. She surely did have a hard time taking care of us all, and at that time Father was in prison for polygamy[11] and he was not allowed to even go to the funeral. When I was able to sit up in bed, I overheard a friend of Mother’s say, “When she begins to get cross, she will soon get well.” I got right in and I was surely cross. Mother said, “Why are you so very cross? You have never been that way before.” I said that Mrs Holland[12] said if I got cross I would get well soon. For a long time I was very frail.

When I was 12 years old, my father died.[13] But before he died he told mother that he was coming after Martin, my brother, three years old, and Father wanted to know if it would be alright. Mother said, “Yes, Father.” Father said, “Take good care of him for you will not have him long. Don’t let him get in the ditch and you will not have any regrets.” My father died June 20th 1890, and in November my brother Frank[14], sister Millie[15], and my brother Martin[16] had scarlet fever. They were all very sick, but my brother Martin was not as ill as the others. My mother and I were all there was to take care of them and do the work as my sister Emma[17] and sister Lou[18] were away to work to help support the family. I remember how tired I used to get, yet never heard my mother complain. Then one day a knock came on the door and Brother Holton[19] was there. Mother said, Brother Holton, we have scarlet fever here, so I can’t invite you in.” He said, “Sister Dunn, I have come to help you. You have no one to milk your cows or chop your wood (we had apple trees for wood), or any other work you have that I can help you with.” He surely did seem like an angel sent from heaven. He was so very kind to us.

One afternoon my brother Martin took a pain in his heart and he suffered something terrible. Brother Holton opened my brother’s shirt and laid his hand over my brother’s heart and asked God to let him take the pain. And the pain left my brother and went into Brother Holton’s arm. He walked the floor holding his arm with the pain. The pain in a little while would go in my brother. Again and again Brother Holton put his hand over Martin’s heart and took the pain again in his arm. Brother Holton did this several times and he started to look so white and bad that mother went to him and said, “Brother Holton, I can’t stand it any longer. I know that my husband is here to get my boy. Let us all kneel down and ask God if he is not to live to take him out of his misery.”

When we got up from praying, Martin seemed to be resting and Mother leaned over him and said, “Mother’s little darling.” He answered, “No, Mother. See Father.” He held his little hands up to Father, and I know that he was there and when his hands dropped down, he had passed on. That was a testimony to me that God lives and that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is true. I know without a doubt that my father was there to take my brother Martin home.

My brother, Oscar,[20] developed dropsy[21] and was very sick for a long time. And the doctor on one of his visits said, “Your little girl here is in worse condition than the boy.” Mother said to me, “Susie, are you sick?” And I said, “No.” But the doctor said, “She has St. Vita’s Dance.”[22] I suffered with that for a long time. Mother would sleep with me every night and hold me tight as I would have terrible dreams and they were always the same thing. On the last visit the doctor made to our home, Mother said, “I can’t pay you any more now, for all I have left is one cow, for all the rest I have sold to pay doctor bills and for my husband’s funeral and our little boy’s. Then the doctor said, “Well, the cow will do,” and gave 50 cents to my brother, Frank[23], to lead the cow to Brigham City, which was four miles.

Mother’s brother, Oscar,[24] came and wanted mother to give me to him. He said that he would educate me as he would his own. He said that he could give me more than she could. I thought if mother was going to give me away to Uncle Oscar, I would not like her again. Mother said, “Oscar, have you any of your children that you would give away?” He answered, “No.” Mother said that she didn’t either. I was so glad that I went and put my arms around her. Mother said, “She can come and visit you and stay as long as she likes, but when she wants to come home, she can come and share with what we have if it is only a crust. She is welcome to all I have.”

I went home with Uncle Oscar and they had plenty of everything. But I soon got homesick. Uncle Frank[25] wanted me to stay and be in the parade in Logan, so I did. Uncle Frank pushed a handcart with pans and a frying pan and bucket hanging on. Uncle Frank’s daughter and I were the children and Cousin Frank[26] was dressed up like a woman. I had a pair of shoes that was all out at the toes and was too big for me. And we paraded up one street and down the other. We were tired out and our feet hurt us so badly that at last we just cried and Uncle Frank picked Hattie[27] up and spanked her and sat her on the cart. And Cousin Frank picked me up and gave me a shake and put me on the cart. Oh, we were so glad, but they told us to keep on crying and the crowd surely clapped. We won the prize.

Aunt Emeline[28] had a lovely lunch spread on the lawn in the park and we, being hungry, just started to eat when Uncle Frank invited a tramp to eat. Before we could begin again, the drunk tramp threw up all over the food, so we went home. It was about 15 miles to Millville and when we got home we had bread and milk.

The next day I went home. That summer I helped on the farm. I picked tomatoes [and] cucumbers for Brother Davis and when our wheat was cut, Mother and Frank and I went to shock it up.[29] We worked hard all day and did just a small patch and it seemed that we would never get it done.

There was a moon light night and Mother wanted to go and do some more, but we were all too tired. But we got up before daylight and had our breakfast and went down to shock some more wheat. And to our surprise, it was all finished. We surely did thank our Father in Heaven. We never knew who did it. The next year, Mother rented the farm, but she still worked hard doing everything that she could to feed us children.

Many a night I have sat up with Mother and read stories to her while she knit socks and gloves – working for Mrs. Henderson in the daytime making butter and cheese. I stayed home and took care of my brother, Wesley,[30] who was only two years old. He was very delicate. He had a sore on his head that covered his whole head where he should have had hair. And my brother Oscar[31] was not very well. And my sister, Millie,[32] was only seven. Mother was very independent and would not accept charity. I remember the ward teacher asking Mother if she was in need of anything and she always said that we had plenty, such as it was. Most of the time all that we had was bread, potatoes and molasses. It was very hard on our dear Mother to come down so far as she had been used to better things. Father was a very good provider.

My mother’s health started to fail. I was 13 and I went to work and received a dollar a week. And I was so very proud to go home to give it to Mother. At one time I bought enough goods to make my sister Millie and myself a dress. Mother made them by hand as she had no machine. At another time I got some material for a dress for Millie and I got my sister, Mary,[33] to make them and I wanted her to make it long like some of the girls wore them. But she would not. I felt so bad that I said it would be the last time that I would let her make a dress for me and she never made me any more, for the next time I made one for myself.

One day my brother, Wesley, fell off the porch and broke his collar bone and Mother and I went to the pasture to catch the horse to take Wesley to the doctor. The horse came up to us and Mother just started to put the bridle on him when he turned and kicked her in the head. My how frightened I was. There was my Mother laying down like she was dead with the blood running down her face. I was afraid to leave her, but I knew she should have help so I ran and got Walt Tippits[34] to come. He brought his wagon and helped mother in and took her home. Then he went for the doctor. The doctor took several stitches in her head, and she never made a sound. She surely did have a terrible bump on her head.

One time I went to work at Corrine, Utah, doing housework and I got fairly good wages. I bought Mother an extension table. The first she ever had and I got her a nice rocking chair. And then I went home to be there when they came. They drove up to the door and Mother was to be there when they came. They drove up to the door and Mother was on the porch and as they brought them in Mother said, “You are at the wrong house. I have not ordered them.” He said, “They are paid for.” She said, “You still are taking them to the wrong place.” Then I said, “No, Mother, I got them for you.” She sat down and said, “Please never surprise me again.” But she was very proud of them.

My brothers and sisters and myself often went with holes in our shoes to give to our Mother so she would enjoy her life as she had such a hard life.

When I was 17, my mother went to stay with my sister, Emma, when she was to have [a baby].[35] I was left alone with my brother Oscar, who was ten years old and the best kid you ever saw. One day early in the morning, I had just got Oscar to school and I was very lonesome when a knock came to the door and a big burley tramp stood there and he said, “Don’t be afraid, I will not hurt you. But I am freezing. Let me come in.” He sat down by the door and was taking his shoes off. Then I was very frightened. But when he pulled his socks off, I could see that his feet were frozen. Then I was not afraid. I got a pan of snow and I rubbed his feet and went and got some more snow. Then I heated some milk and gave it to him to drink. He blessed me and called me an angel. When he went he could hardly walk. He had slept in our straw stack all night.

At one time Wesley was very sick and all we did for him was no good. Each time that we moved him he would cry out that it hurt him so. A tramp came to the door for something to eat so Mother gave him some break and milk. He said, “I see you have a very sick boy. Let me see if I can help him.” He talked to Wesley and moved his hands all over him and moved him around and it did not hurt him. When he left, Mother said for us to see which way he went. I looked and we could not see him anymore. And we could see for two blocks each way and it was if he had disappeared into thin air. He told Mother before he left that from now on your boy will be well. Mother thought it was one of the Nephites.[36]

I went and lived with my Aunt Mary Ensign[37] and learned to draft patterns for dress making. Then I went to Logan to my Cousin Millie Smith’s[38], Aunt Mary’s daughter. I did very good for a while and then I got discouraged so my cousin wanted me to go to the knitting factory. So I got work and there was a large crowd of women there and they told one dirty story after another so I quit. I had never heard a smutty story before and when I told my cousin why I quit she told the manager (he was a friend of her’s). He said that if I would come back he would make me floor lady. But I would not go back. So I went home and sister Lou was home, so she said, “Let’s go to Ogden.” She had a place to work at housekeeping, but there was an ad in the paper for a cook at the General Hospital, so I went and got the work. I worked there for a long time. I was surely very green when I first went there and many tricks were played on me. The steward said I had to do all the ordering for groceries and he said that he would go up town and call me on the phone. I had never seen a phone before. He called and said I, “Hello.” He said, “I can’t hear you.” I just kept on talking louder until I could hear them laugh. Then I hung the receiver up. He was in his office with the nurses. I had never been around electric lights before and the steward asked me one day if I would clean the light globes in the kitchen. He said to take the globe out of the socket and to clean the socket also. Well, you know what I got—just a very good shock. But I liked it there as it was good pay. ...

Children of John Johnson Dunn and Sarah Sophia Dunn abt 1930
Best GUESS on identities:
Top row: Oscar Willis Dunn (for sure), Frances Adams Dunn and Wesley Hyrum Dunn
Middle row: Lucy Eveline Dunn, Mary Emmiline Dunn
Front row: Susan Adeline Dunn and Eliza Camilla Dunn

This history is written at age 80 it continues she loosed two husbands....


[1] John Johnson Dunn, born 29 Feb 1824 in Albemarle, VA and Sarah Sophia Dunn, born 8 July 1849 in Salt Lake City, Utah. They were married 5 January 1867 in Salt Lake City. Sarah Sophia, known as “Sophia”, was a second wife in a polygamous family.

[2] John Johnson Dunn served a mission to the Southern States in about 1883, especially to Albemarle, Virginia, where he had grown up. He visited his own family while there and was able to explain much of the gospel to his mother, Elizabeth Johnson Dunn. His father, John Willis Dunn, had passed away.

[3] Susan did not have a full brother John, but she did have a half-brother John Elijah Dunn. He was the son of Susan’s father John Johnson Dunn and his other polygamous wife, Sarah Hawkins. John Elijah’s oldest daughter was Alice H. Dunn, born in 1879.

[4] Lucy Eveline Dunn, born 23 September 1873 in Clarkston, Cache County, Utah.

[5] Mary Dunn Ensign, born 2 November 1833, in VanBuren, Michigan. She was the daughter of Simeon Adams Dunn and Adaline Rawson and came across the plains with the Mormon pioneers. Her husband was Martin Luther Ensign (Uncle Luther).

[6] Martin Luther Ensign, born 31 March 1831 in Westfield, Massachussets.

[7] In 1855, Brigham Young imported mulberry seedlings and silk worm eggs from France. He began a campaign to have Utah women get into the silk raising business. With the advent of the railroad in 1869, the need for raising their own silk was eased as finer oriental silk became available at lower prices.

[8] Effie Celestia Ensign, born 7 September 1871 in Brigham City, Utah. She was the daughter of Martin Luther Ensign and Mary Dunn.

[9] Sarah Sophia Dunn, born 13 September 1880. Daughter of Sarah Sophia Dunn Dunn and John Johnson Dunn.

[10] Typhoid fever, also known as enteric fever, is an illness caused by a Salmonella bacteria. It is characterized by a sustained fever as high as 104 degrees (40 C), profuse sweating, gas, and diarrhea. Today typhoid fever is fairly easily treated with antibiotics. However, untreated, typhoid fever lasts up to a month and death can occur in 10-30% of the cases.

[11] At that time polygamy had been outlawed in the Utah Territory and men living with multiple wives were arrested and sent to the Utah Territorial prison. I am not sure if this was the prison in Sugar House (in Salt Lake City) or elsewhere.

[12] I do not know who Mrs. Holland was.

[13] John Johnson Dunn died on 20 June, 1890 in Brigham City. He had been sent home from prison in St. George, ill with Scarlet Fever.

[14] Francis Adams Dunn, born 17 Sept 1875 in Perry, Box Elder, Utah

[15] Eliza Camilla Dunn, born 17 April 1883 in Perry, Box Elder, Utah

[16] Martin Luther Dunn, born 27 April 1887 in Perry, Box Elder, Utah

[17] Mary Emeline Dunn, born 23 August 1869 in Clarkston, Utah

[18] Lucy Eveline Dunn, born 23 September 1873 in Clarkston, Utah

[19] not know who “Brother Holton” was.

[20] Oscar Willis Dunn, born 22 April 1885 in Perry, Box Elder, Utah

[21] Dropsy: an old term for the swelling of soft tissues due to the accumulation of excess water. Today this might be described as “edema” due to congestive heart failure.

[22] Possibly the same as restless leg syndrome. Also thought to have a relationship to Parkinson’s disease.

[23] Francis Adams Dunn, born 17 September 1875 in Perry, Box Elder county, Utah.

[24] Charles Oscar Dunn, born 13 October 1855 in Brigham City, Box Elder County, Utah. He is the son of Simeon Adams Dunn and Harriet Atwood Silver.

[25] Probably Francis Robert Cantwell, husband to Emeline Silver Dunn, sister to Charles Oscar Dunn.

[26] not know who “Cousin Frank” is. Most likely a son of Francis and Emeline, but I do not have that name in my records.

[27] ...think this is Harriet Emeline Cantwell, born 27 Mar 1878, a daughter of Uncle Frank. She would have been the same age as Susan (the author of this autobiography).

[28] Probably Emeline Silver Dunn, born 12 September 1853. She was Charles Oscar Dunn’s sister.

[29] Shocking wheat was a process of bundling the wheat into sheaves.

[30] Wesley Hyrum Dunn, born 12 February 1890.

[31] Oscar Willis Dunn, born 22 April 1885.

[32] Eliza Camilla dunn, born 17 April 1883.

[33] Mary Emeline Dunn. See previous citation.

[34] Possibly Walter H Tippets, a neighbor at Perry, Utah. Perry is also known as Three Mile Creek (being just 3 miles from Brigham City). Note also that later Susan’s sister, Mary Emmaline Dunn, married Walter’s cousin, Jedediah Morgan Tippets. The Tippets family came to Utah from Nauvoo. Susan’s maternal grandfather, Simeon Adams Dunn, also came from Nauvoo.

[Several of the Samuel SMITH children married Tippets']

[35] Probably LaVerne Tippets, born 29 July, 1895.

[36] The legend of the three Nephites goes back to the Book of Mormon, which tells that three of Christ’s disciples on the American continent were granted the privilege of remaining on Earth until the second coming of Christ. People often believe that these three men, either alone or as a group, have come to bless and help people today.

[37] Mary Dunn Ensign, wife of Martin Luther Ensign. They lived in Brigham City at that time. Mary is the half sister of Sarah Sophia Dunn. She came across the plains from Nauvoo with her father, Simeon Adams Dunn.

[38] Harriet Camilla Ensign, born 24 April 1859 in Brigham City. Daughter of Martin Luther Ensign and Mary Dunn.

[39] Sarah Jane Dunn, born 24 November 1857 in Bountiful, Utah. She was the daughter of John Johnson Dunn and Sarah Hawkins and therefore a half sister to Susan.

[Sarah Hawkins plural wife of John Johnson DUNN.]

[40] Thomas Evans, born 11 October 1871 in Bountiful, Utah.

[husband of Susan Adeline DUNN]

[41] David Evans, born 7 October 1843 in Llanwenog, Cardiganshire, Wales. He was married to Hannah Wiseman, also of Cardiganshire, Wales.

[parents of Thomas Evans]

[42] Tuberculosis.

[43] I think she means a kiln.

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