|Susanna WALLACE ROUNDY|
Birth: Dec. 12, 1820 Perth, Ontario, Canada.
|Married: Lorenzo Wesley ROUNDY 16 May 1847 along the Mormon Trail.|
Death: Jul. 4, 1892 Escalante, Garfield, UT.
A story of Susanna WALLACE ROUNDY - A Utah Pioneer By Wavie WILLIAMS PETERSEN (a great granddaughter)
A PICTURE ON THE WALL
When I was a little girl, I was really impressed by what my Mother told me about the sweet lady in a picture, which hung on our wall. The lady was my Mothers grandmother, Susannah Wallace Roundy. Susannah Wallace was born December 12, 1820 in Perth, Lanark, Upper Ontario, Canada. She was the first child to be born to Francis Wallace and Sarah Alexander. In those early days the first child was called upon to help with the work at a very early age. Susannah learned to cook and sew and also help with the outside chores. She was a strong, brave, English girl.
In her early teens she heard about Joseph Smith and his new Mormon religion. She met some missionaries and was fascinated by what they told her about the gospel of Jesus Christ, and she knew in her heart it was true. While knowing that her parents were very much against her joining the church, she accepted the Elder's invitation, and was baptized at the age' of 16,without the consent of her parents. When her father found out, he told her he no longer wanted her as a daughter.
One night she slipped-out determined to find the headquarters of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. That same night, Susannah's younger sister, Matilda, ages 14, also left home to be with Susannah.
What an undertaking for two young girls, all alone, and having to walk at least 50 miles through the desolate Canadian country, before coming to a town of any size.
After many years and much hard work the two sisters finally arrived at Nauvoo "The City Beautiful', probably in August of 1845. At last they had found what they had been seeking --the headquarters of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, in which they both were baptized members, and which they knew to be the one and only true church. While living in Nauvoo they became acquainted with, the Prophet Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum and were saddened at their murder. They wanted to meet the new Prophet Brigham Young.
What a joy it must have been for them to see the city of Nauvoo in all its summer beauty. But they found the city in turmoil at this time because the persecutions had become unbearable for the Saints. Preparations for evacuating the city were in full sway. Everyone was busy. The people in the church soon found that Susannah and Matilda were eager to work and were strong, dependable girls. A family by the name of Barnard met them and invited them to join with their family to work their way across the wilderness. Now the sisters were happy, they were needed. Susanna was to be the cook and Matilda was to tend children and do housework.
The Barnard family [purchased part of the Roundy's property in Nauvoo] also needed a teamster. A young man by the name of Lorenzo Wesley Roundy offered his services and was accepted by Mr. Barnard. Lorenzo was a young widower with two small children; his wife had died at the time of the second child's birth. His mother, Betsey Quimby Roundy, was caring for the children.
When Susannah became acquainted with Lorenzo she was happy. He was the first young man she had met in all of her life who believed as she did. Many were the times she had prayed that she might meet someone special and be married in the church. She and Lorenzo became very good friends. Susannah had read in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, about Lorenzo's father, Shadrack being called to serve in the presiding bishopric of the church, and knowing this, she had hopes that Lorenzo might be the answer to her prayers.
Before they moved out of Nauvoo, Susannah had the thrilling experience of going to the beautiful Nauvoo temple and on February 3, 1846 there she received her endowments.
This company of saints left Nauvoo in the winter. They crossed the Missouri River in the ice and snow and sub-zero weather. The next several months were spent at Winter Quarters where more preparations were made for crossing the plains. All of the Saints were very busy. Everyone helped with the work. A gristmill was built and a good supply of flour was ground.
Susannah and Matilda helped with the knitting and weaving. There was happiness and a great deal of sadness too, as many deaths occurred that winter.
Later in that spring of 1847, after Brigham Young and the first company of 148 people left on their way, the Barnard's and their helpers, Susannah, Matilda and Lorenzo, along with about a hundred others, began the long trek across the plains. It was a tiring journey as they traveled slowly (Susannah and Matilda walked) and they all had many problems and hardships.
Somewhere along the weary way, Matilda became suddenly ill. Everyone tried to help, but late in the day Matilda passed away. It was all so sudden, now what was Susannah to do? My heart cried out in sorrow for Susannah, as I thought of the burial of her sister, of the few words spoken and the singing and the tears. Now she was all alone with no family or relative to console her. But she knew she must go on. By now she had become close to Lorenzo, and he proved to be a great strength to her. This was the second company to arrive in the Salt Lake Valley, doing so in August 1847. Lorenzo's father, Shadrack, met them out on the trail, he had been sent to help other groups arrive in the valley. Lorenzo and Susannah were married later that year (May 1847). Susannah was full of joy to have such a fine man for a husband. They made their home in Salt Lake Valley for about a year, then they moved 15 miles north to Centerville. Susannah and Lorenzo were very close friends to Brigham Young, having known and loved him in Nauvoo. It wasn't long until Brigham began to call Lorenzo to serve in various capacities for the Church. At this time it was suggested that Lorenzo take a second wife. It was not easy for Susannah to share him with someone else, but she finally gave her consent. So in 1857 Lorenzo married Priscilla Parrish, who was to share his companionship, trials and sacrifices, which were made by most of those early pioneers.
Life for Susannah was never easy, there were endless hours of backbreaking toil. She raised eight children of her own, plus one boy by Lorenzo's first wife (the other child died soon after birth.) There was very little time for rest or leisure.
Oh how I wish I could write an accurate and detailed account of the courage and endurance of this pioneer woman, Susannah Wallace Roundy. It would be a story of how she helped to civilize the frontier, of her personal re-collections of Indian raids for she lived through he Indian wars of the ‘sixties'. It would be a story of the crickets and grasshopper plagues, of the severe winters sad the blizzards and many other dangers--all of these plus her recollections of the excitements of pioneering. I wish I knew her remembrances as a wilderness mother, and of how she coped with the day to day living; how did she like fireplace cooking, washing by hand, sewing, knitting And weaving for hours and hours at a time, how long before she had a kitchen range, on which to cook, did she help to deliver babies, dress the dead for burial, did she mind milking and caring for the animals when Lorenzo was away? The great work of survival demanded as much from he women as from the men.
I have only praise and love for the tireless efforts and great strength of Susannah, this faithful pioneer woman.
In the early 1860's Brigham Young called Lorenzo, along with others, to travel to Southern Utah and settle the area. Lorenzo picked up his two wives and families and moved to the settlement of Upper Kanab. It was a difficult assignment because of the savage Indians, who were always plundering, fighting, and stealing. During the time they were there they suffered great losses and many hardships. They were then told to move out and go to the town of Kanarra in Iron County.
Life there was somewhat calmer. Before long Lorenzo built a fine, two-story brick home for Susannah and another one across the street for Priscilla, his second wife. Susannah's home came to be the meeting place for many, young and old alike, and also served as headquarters for the church authorities as they visited Southern Utah.
Lorenzo was ordained and set apart as Bishop by Apostle Erastus Snow, shortly after they arrived at Kanarra, being the first bishop there, and held that position until his death in 1876. In the upstairs of the new home, Susannah and Lorenzo furnished one room in an especially nice way. They put in a beautiful bedroom set, which Lorenzo freighted down from Salt Lake; Susannah wove carpeting for the floor, put up fresh looking white curtains and her best quilts on the bed. It was beautiful, and Susannah kept it spotlessly dean. This room became known as ‘Brigham's Room', for they had decorated it especially for their dear friend Brigham Young to use as he made his trips to St. George visit his winter home.
Once when President Brigham Young was visiting with them he complimented Susannah on her fresh, clean, calico dress and the large full-length white apron she always wore. He said calico was as fine as silk, so long as it was clean and neatly ironed. He also said he would love to see the women of the church in dresses of silks and satins, if they made them themselves.
In the beginning I mentioned the dress Susannah was wearing in the picture. It was a pretty, pure silk dress in bright green and white plaid. My mother remembered the dress very well, she said it was beautiful.
Susannah was intrigued with what the prophet had said about dresses so she began planning. In the early years many mulberry trees were planted in Kanarra, in fact one grew on the Roundy's lot. Susannah knew that silk worms lived on mulberry leaves. Could she grow them and make herself a silk dress, she wondered? Soon she sent a mail order to Salt Lake for some of the tiny eggs. How exciting to see the small box they arrived in. Hurriedly she opened it, and found the tiny eggs were already hatching. It was in the springtime and the mulberry trees were just getting their shiny new leaves. Susannah fixed a special table and covered it with the tender new leaves. Carefully she placed the tiny worms on the leaves, It was absolutely amazing to see how much the tiny worms ate. Each day the amount of leaves had to be increased. Finally she brought in branches. In about the third week the worms began to attach themselves to the branches and to start spinning a thread from their own little bodies. About 6 to 10 weeks later their bodies had completely disappeared inside as a beautiful little ball of silk thread was formed around them. These had to be heated immediately to kill the moth inside the ball, before it broke out and destroyed the thread.
Next came the careful unreeling of the silk thread, winding it into skins to be dyed, then spun and wound onto spools for weaving the silk material.
The tiny worms were touchy. When with them one had to be very quiet--any noise or disturbance or chilling would cause an imperfection or tangle in the thread.
When I think of the patience, the hours and hours of weaving, setting up and threading the loom and all the work involved, I feel sure Susannah deserved to be proud of her beautiful hand-woven, pure silk dress. She truly had earned the compliments, President Brigham Young gave her upon his next visit.
Lorenzo was often called to investigate new locations for settlements and he would report on climate, water, fertility of soil and ether things. On these occasions Susannah was alone with the children. She spent many, many, lonely days and lonely hours awaiting the return of her husband. What if something had happened and she could never look into his eyes again. In spite of her loneliness, she stood at her post of duty as wife, mother, good neighbor and friend to all
Then one day he did not return. Susannah waited in vain. At this particular time President Brigham Young called him, with a small company of men to check a region in Arizona. This required crossing the Colorado River by boat. It was springtime and at this time the river often became turbulent and treacherous. The boat they were in capsized in the middle of the stream. All were thrown overboard and all were saved except Lorenzo. It was said by the other, they were certain a cramp, caused by the cold water, must have struck Lorenzo, for they all knew him to be an excellent swimmer. It was May 24, 1876 at the age of 57 that Lorenzo was drowned. What an extremely and dreadful shock for Susannah. All her days were lonely then and memory brought her sad and mournful thought of by gone days. Could she bear it? She thought of her days of joy with her beloved Lorenzo, the joys of hard work she had gladly given to make and keep a warm, clean, friendly home for them.
Susannah could not accept the shock of Lorenzo's death. Very soon she sold her home in Kanarra and moved to Widtsoe, Utah to be near one of her sons, later moving to Escalante, Utah. The rest of her days were filled with sad memories of Lorenzo's dreadful and shocking death. At the age of 72, on 4 July 1592, she passed away. She was buried in Escalante, Utah.
So ends may story of a "Picture on the wall" A story of my dear great-grandmother, a true and faithful woman.