LAURA ELIZABETH PARKER WOOD (1889-1970)
Notes collected by Kerry William Bate
Notes collected by Kerry William Bate
Shared 15 Jan 2012
Pictured: back left: Zina Ett (1882-1962), John Davis (1891-1960), Sophia (1894-1986), Ray Cecil (1901-1994), Charles Jr. (1884-1960), Laura Elizabeth (1889-1970) - center left: Charles PARKER Sr. (1853-1935), Bruce Fayette PARKER (1903-1983), Elizabeth Ann DAVIS PARKER (1859-1927) - front left: Samantha Ahlena (1897-1981), Esther (1886-1975).Interview by JoAnn Sylvester Bate with Reba Roundy LeFevre 22 September 1983 pp. 42-44: [Reba Roundy LeFevre (1904-2001) daughter of Joel Jesse ROUNDY (1864-1949) Sarah Catherine STAPLEY (1866-1949)]
(J) Right. Uh, also I have a question that isn't on here. We haven't talked about this, but she [Sarah Elizabeth ROUNDY SYLVESTER (1893-1938)] had a friend called Laura Wood. Do you know her?
(R) Yes, I know Laura Wood. She--I forgot about her.
(J) She wasn't living in Hurricane very long or very often. [Laura left Kanarra around 1910 before Sarah married and left Hurricane about 1933 some years before Sarah died there.] But every time she came around, mom Sylvester always had to go see her if she was in town.
(R) She was a [second] cousin. She was a cousin, and she was one that Sarah used to go around with.
(J) Now who was she before she was married then?
(R) A Parker?
(J) A Parker.
(R) Charles Parker's: daughter. Charles's: mother was [Almeda Sophia] Roundy [1829-1912], Charles Parker, and he married a [Elizabeth Ann] Davis [1859-1927]. And there was Charles Parker [Jr.], and [John Davis] ‘Dee’ Parker [(1891-1960)], Laura Parker [WOOD (1989-1970)], Esther Parker [ROBB (1986-1975)], and Sophie Parker [STAPLEY (1994-1986)], [Ray] Cecil Parker [(1901-1994)] and. And if there were any more than that I can't remember, it was so long ago.
[More Parker siblings Zina Ett PARKER POLLOCK (1982-1962)], [Samantha Ahlena ‘Lena’ PARKER WILLIAMS (1897-1981)], [Bruce Faette PARKER (1903-1983)].
(J) And they were all cousins?
(R) They were all in one family.. They were all cousins of Roundy.
(J) All cousins of—right. Well, that's interesting, because remember Laura Parker's two kids.
(R) Yeah, she had one die— [one stillborn-unnamed .]
(J) She had several kids, [ five sons, two daughters.]
(J) But I only remember—she had a daughter that was always filing her fingernails that long. She was always making herself up. I don't remember her name. She was older than I was.
(R) I don't remember the names of the kids. She had one the other day that died, come in the paper. [Roland Parker WOOD (1913-1983)]
Interview by Kerry William Bate with Reba Roundy LeFevre [(1904-2001)] 21 July 1983, pp. 23-24: [Reba Roundy LeFevre (1904-2001) daughter of Joel Jesse ROUNDY (1864-1949) Sarah Catherine STAPLEY (1866-1949)]
(R) Yeh, Aunt Zina Pollock, Zina was a Parker. She's on [grand] dad's side [Joel Jesse ROUNDY (1864-1949)]. Zina was a Parker, and her mother [Elizabeth Ann] Davis [(1859-1927)] had--they called it rheumatic fever--and when most of her children--well, up until the time,-. I'll tell you a little bit about her background. When her parents [James George DAVIES / DAVIS (1831-1909) and Polly WILLIAMS (1838-1914)] moved to Kanarra they ran around all winter in their bare feet. They didn't have shoes, they didn't have stockings. And they ran all winter in their bare feet through snow about a foot, to a foot and a half deep, and nearly everyone of them had rheumatic fever. Well, she got rheumatic fever and she—about the last of her children that was born she kept getting' worse and worse and worse. Well when I knew her she set in a chair like that. It wasn't a rocking chair, though, it was just stationary. We used to go there once in a while when we was with Rhea. She had a stick about this long and when she wanted to scratch her nose she scratched with it this way, or if she wanted to rub her face she'd rub it this way. And she was almost set this way. [Elizabeth Ann DAVIS PARKER was for 20 years cripple by rheumatism and arthritis.]
(T) So she couldn't move her hands very much.
Pictured: Sophia PARKER
(R) No, she couldn't move her hands. She couldn't move her legs. And when Sophie, her daughter, [second] youngest daughter, took care of her—and she had a feather bed and she'd toss it this way and that way. Annis said, "do you expect somebody to sleep in that?" And she said "be quiet. That's the kind of way she likes it." So the menfolks picked her up and put her in bed like that. All the bumps come up in her legs and hit her back. And then when morning come why they got her out and put her in the chair and then she made the bed. She done the cooking and she done the washing and she done everything. The rest was all married.
(T) Who was that who did the washing?
(R) Sophie Parker, her daughter. And Sophie Parker is the one that married [in 1920] William [Berry] Stapley [(1889-1959)]. And Zina was one of the girls and she was, oh, she was a real nice lady. She had--what--Emia?
[Emiah Venita EVANS PARKER (1888-1974) wife of Charles PARKER Jr.]--no, not Emia--she had Zina and Sophie, Laura, and I believe there was one other daughter [‘Lena’]. Then she had four sons. When they were all married but Sophie and the two youngest sons, then she died. Can't remember what her name was [Elizabeth Ann DAVIES PARKER [1859-1927], but anyhow she died. And Sophie got so tired of taking care of her mother--she couldn't go here or there--she got so tired of taking care of her mother she didn't care whether she hurt her or when she put her in bed or anything. "Oh well," she said, "I try this and I try that and that don't suit you either!" But anyhow, when her mother died, her and Bill went to Castle Gate to work in the mines and they had that explosion. Bill's brother, Leland, died in the explosion but Bill didn't. And they stayed there, and then Bill got sick and he quit. Worked around and done other little things and then he got sick and died. And then Sophie went to California to live with her girls. She's still down there.
Zina had married Wally Pollock--his name was [William] Wallace Pollock-- they nicknamed him Wally. She had--Rhea was the oldest one, she was born in December and we was born in February, only she was born in 1903 and we was born in 1904. And we run with her quite a little bit, we liked her. She was jolly and everything but her mother said she didn't worry about her as long as she was with us, but when she was with somebody else she worried about her.
(T) What did your mother think about Zina?
(R) Oh, Zina was all right. Zina was all right, only she couldn't have control over Rhea. Sometimes she'd do crazy things. She'd go to grandma's and say, "I want some cinnamon and sugar," and she'd go get it and put it in a hand or in a sack or anything and go lickin' cinnamon and sugar. And that was all right as long as she was with us. But then when we moved away, why she got in touch with Ray Williams and had a baby.
(T) Oh. And that was Zina's daughter?
(R) Rhea was. And she had a baby and then she went to--Wally and Zina went up to Castle Gate to work in the mines up there but I think Wally [William Wallace POLLOCK (1875-1924)] got killed and Rhea's husband got killed. [Harry Winfield SANDERS (1903-1924), his father and brother were also killed.] She married another man, and Rhea's husband got killed. And then she went to California. And then Zina's boy went to California. So, they asked her to be the president of the primary, she said "Uncle Dode, you know I can't be a president of the primary?" He said, nr thought you just said you wanted a pair of twins!" "I do!" And he says, 'All right, you be president of the primary and you'll have your twins." And she said, "now uncle Dode, you don't mean that," and he says, 'I do."' And she had her twins.
(T) My heavens! That's something!
[?Who was asked to serve in the Primary, who is Uncle Dode and who had twins?]
Kanarra Drama photos published in "The Family of Joseph Henry Pollock and Alice Mae Davis," V. EllisInterview by Kerry William Bate with Rulon Berry Platt 2 August 1985, pp. 1-5, 11: [Rulon Berry Platt (1897-1988) son of John William Platt and Mary Wilhelmina Berry.]
Ah, I went over with your sister's and had a chance to read the history of your father and mother, and one of the things that told about your father, he was the leader in the dramatics, in the plays they put on down there. (R: Right. Right.) I wonder if you could tell me, to the best of your knowledge, when did that start down there in Kanarra?
(R) Oh, it'd be, [pause] umm, oh, it would be around the 1900s. You can't put a date on it. But around the 1900s. (K: Uh huh.) 'Cause I was born in 1897 (K: Uh huh.), and they were having dramatics when I was just a boy (K: Uh huh.), so you see if I--if it was in 1903 I would be six years old. (K: Uh huh.) So it was in the 1900s.
(K) Did they have it before that?
(R) Not very likely. They didn't have that church built.
(K) You never heard about them doin' things like that before that?
(R) I don't think they did, and if they did, they'd have to do on dirt floors. I don't think they did. I don't think so.
(K) What was your father's role in that?
(R) Oh, a director, instructor.
(K) Did he help select the plays?
(R) Oh, he always selected the plays. He always did that. (K) Who worked with him in that?
(R) Oh, he had a man by the name of William Stapley, did some with him. He had--do you mean the actors?
(K) The people that kind of were the leaders in the drama.
(R) Well, now that's it. Lynn Williams, Frances Pollock, ah, [pause] Susie Berry, ah, your grandmother (Sarah Elizabeth Roundy Sylvester] worked in it some. And, ah, Ethel Berry, Ethel Williams worked in it some. Ah, the menfolk were Alvin Williams, Jesse Williams, (K: Uh huh.), and, ah, occasionally there'd be one of the Berry brothers, Stapley--William Stapley, very often William Stapley. Every once in awhile they'd pick up one of the Davis boys if they happened to be around town, they'd get them to work in it. (K: Uh huh.)
(K) Who were the Berry brothers?
(R) Oh, that would be Jess Berry and William Berry.
(K) And who were the Davises that were in that?
(R) Oh, there was--umm--he used to use Wennie Davis, that was Aunt, ah,-- (K) Aunt Irona's boy?
(R) Yeah, Irona's boy. He's the oldest. (K: Uh huh.) And ah, ah, he did work, he did use Leon Davis, that was George Davises boy, (K: Uh huh.) some. He used the Parker boys some.
(K: Uh huh.) Dee Parker used to do some with him. Ah, the Parker girls Lynn--or not Lynn--Laura. And the one that married Jim Robb [James ROBB]--what the dickens was her name? [Esther PARKER ROBB ((1986-1975)] The oldest girl? [Esther third oldest child.]
(K) Married who?
(R) Jim Robb. (K: Oh.)
(K) Ah, did your father act in the plays or just the director?
(R) No, just directed.
(K) Do you remember any of the plays they did when you were a kid?
(R) Oh, title-wise it's been out of my mind.
(K) Do you remember any--what kinds of plays did they like?
(R) Oh, usually frontier plays. (K: Uh huh.) Oh, once in awhile they'd, they'd maybe get a play from, a city play or something like that. But right generally something the people were acquainted with.
(K) I see. And were they any--were they good plays?
(R) Always good plays. Always had good morals. (K: Uh huh.) Of course, they always had a villian. (K: Uh huh.) But, ah, those plays produced good morals. (K: Uh huh.) Clean, clean participatin'.
(K) I see. Where did they stage them at?
(R) Right in the old churchhouse.
(K) I see. Do--did Harmony and Kanarra ever do plays and then take 'em back and forth?
(R) I don't think so. Never heard of it.
(K) I see. Did you ever go over to New Harmony to see a play?
(R) Nope. Not me.
(K) Did New Harmony people ever come over to Kanarra?
(R) Oh yes. All the time. All the time. Whenever we had a theater in Kanarra they always came over, yeah. Some of 'em.
(K) I see. What kind of road was there between Kanarra and Harmony. (R) Just dirt road. Just old dirt road.
(K) Was it muddy or dusty or depend on the weather?
(R) Both. Both. If it was rainy it was mud. If it was dry it was dusty. (K) I see. What kind of scenery did they use in those plays?
(R) Always hand-made scenery. Painted on cloth. They'd take a, make their
own frames and cross-bar 'em, hang calico on it and paint on it. (K: Inaudible) Yeah, they made their own.
(K) What kind of scenery did they have?
(R) Oh, sometimes it was forests, sometimes people marching. It all depends, what the play demanded.
(K) Did it ever have cities or something like that?
(R) Never ever city life. They did have one or two plays of the Civil War. (K: Uh huh.) It was very fine. Very fine.
(K) I see. So they painted calico and hung it. Where at in the church did they have it?
(R) Well, they had a special built stage in the basement on the lower floor. (K) And that's where they danced, too.
(R) Yes, and that's where the music--they'd sit up on the stage and fiddle and diddle and they always danced down in the --.
(K) I see. So the musicians were up on the stage, (R: Right.) and the plays were up on the stage (R: Right.). Did they have a curtain?
(K) Did they have a curtain?
(R) Oh, you bet, long curtain, yes.
(K) And then how did they hang the calico in--on the stage? For the
backdrop. Was it just tacked to the wall or hung from the ceiling?
(R) No, a, they had strips of calico hung on the ceiling, hung down two or three feet wide, several strips, maybe three or four were hanging from
the ceiling. They were usually white. But to change a scene. They always made a bracket along on both sides (K: Uh huh.) and on each side they'd have a slip slot, both in the top and on the floor, and they'd slip these scenes in the slip slots.
(K) So they were kind of like a big piece of cardboard or something, in the sense they were stationary.
(R) Well, they was always--they was always made with wood with this calico strips over.
(K) Oh. So like big frames.
(R) Right. Right.
(K) Who usually painted the scenery? (R) The people locally.
(K) Was there anybody real good at that? (R) I guess all the girls. Usually.
(K) Do you remember any particular person. (R: No.) Did my grandmother paint scenery?
(R) No, she came along after that was kind of washing out. But your grandmother did take part in some of the plays. (K: Uh huh.)
(K) What kinds of parts?
(R) Oh, little girl parts, young lady parts and things like that. It was her age, of her age.
(K) Was she any good?
(R) Oh yes. Very good. She learned that in her dramatics up at Murdock Academy in Beaver.
(K) I see.
(R) She took that up there.
(K) So she did that after she went to Murdock.
(R) Oh yes. Yah.
(K) Ah, what kind of costumes did they have?
(R) They'd make their own. Didn't matter. If a man had to have a villian costume he'd cock and old hat or an old cap or an old ragged coat, old shoes, or something like that, if they had to be well-dressed--queen-- they'd make their own clothes.
(K) So they made their own costumes.
(R) Oh, always made their own costumes.
(K) Did they have a place they kept them at the church or did just own their own.
(R) Usually just everybody owned their own.
(K) So your father didn't have a (R: No, no) costumes to draw on (R: No, no, no, no, no.) Did they use any other kinds of props, like furniture?
(R) Not as a rule.
(K) Did they just borrow it from home if they needed something like that?
(R) If there's something special they'd bring it from home.
(K) What did the church actually have in there for them to use? Just the painted scenes? And the stage?
(R) That's all. That's all.
(K) How many people were usually at a production?
(R) You mean to watch it?
(K) To watch it.
(R) Oh, they'd run anywhere from a hundred up to two. (K: Really?) Oh yes. Those people always patronized. Always.
(K) So you had real good turn-outs.
(R) When they, ah, first brought the moving picture, slide moving picture in there, why, they couldn't get them in the building, basement. Kids! All of our kids, they'd climb on top of one another. Sit in there quiet as mice and watch those still pictures on the screen.
p. 11 above:
(K) What about Laura Parker?
(R) She was always the sweetheart, one of the sweethearts.
Interview by Kerry William Bate with Lynn [(1908-1993)] and Ella Batty [(1903-1994)] Reeves 15 October 1987 pp. 38-39:
Q: Laura Parker.
L: Oh Laura, well, she was a school teacher, an’ I was only about in the fourth or fifth grade and she left, her and her husband. Her husband was an insurance salesman, and he was a penman. One of the best they was in this country.
Q: Uh huh. What was Laura like?
A: Well, she was a small, little small woman, but I don’t know too much about ‘er, because like I say, she left when I –
Q: She left early. Did know her brother—her sister Soph-i Stapley?
L: Well, yes, I knew Soph-i [to his wife Ella] you knew Soph-i.
L: Ella: I think they was all good people.
Interview by Kerry William Bate with Reba Roundy LeFevre 16 January 1988, pp. 2-3: [Reba Roundy LeFevre (1904-2001) daughter of Joel Jesse ROUNDY (1864-1949) Sarah Catherine STAPLEY (1866-1949)]
Q: I see. Then there was Laura Parker Wood and Andrew Wood, and according to Nell [Sylvester Wilson], Andrew Wood drove them [Sarah and Victor Sylvester] out to Pahranagut when they moved out there. What—can you tell me about Andrew Wood?
R: I think he come from down in this port [Washington County] of the country. I don’t know where he come from. But I know that they were married [Married 1910 sealed in the St. George Temple in 1911.] , an I don’t remember about them drivin them out to Pahranagut, either.
Q: What—what kinda guy was he?
[John Andrew WOOD (1883-1933) came from Grafton, Utah with is cousin George Henry WOOD Jr. through Kanara working as a cowboy, when he met Laura PARKER. George Henry also married a Kanarra girl Iva Orilla WILLIAMS.]
R: He was a good guy. He worked with the people an done what he could an tried to get along an they—a—the wherewiths to take care of his family. He wasn’t the rowdy—one of these rowdy ones that gits out, he was jest a common person. Ah—[pause] I never was acquainted with im too much. I jest—[pause]
Q: What was Laura like?
R: Well, she was one of these good faithful saints that—don’t know where she picked him up at, but any how she picked him up [chuckling], they picked each other up I guess.
Q: Was she more churchy than he was?
[Thanks to a grandchild of Sarah Elizabeth ROUNDY (1888-1938) and Victor Leon SYLVESTER (1893-1962).]