- Name: Rowane Moon
- Born: December 20, 1865 Farmington, Utah
- Died: September 4, 1932 Tremonton, Utah
- Related through: Erin's grandmother Margaret Udy Hanni
I, Rowane Moon Udy, am going to attempt to write a short sketch of my life. My father, Henry Moon, was born March 29, 1819 at Eccleston, Lancashire, England. My mother, Temperance Westwood was born August 19, 1839 in Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, England. This date being my mother’s birthday, I have been thinking of a great many things pertaining to life and how I would like a written history of my parents’ life as they joined the Mormon Church in England and were among the early pioneers of Utah. I was born December 20, 1865 at Farmington, Utah of good parents. I had seven brothers and five sisters: Robert Henry, Joseph Hyrum, Hannah Temperance and Elenora, (I, being the fifth), Henry Moroni, Edmund, Phillip Westwood, Lelia Olive, Mercy Eveline, Louise Westwood, Albert and Franklin Everett.
As I am now 63 years and eight months old at this data and hope my children will start earlier in life to write something of themselves, and not be as neglectful as their mother. This is a busy world, and we do neglect so many important things which we will be held responsible for. And as a great many dates have gone from my memory, I will not attempt to tell very much but hope my children will take the time to look this over.
I being born on a cold December night and have heard my parents mention it. With two feet of snow on the ground, father had to break a road with an ox team to the nearest neighbors for help, which was Sister Margaret Lenord, who never had any children and no experience. But they were good Latter-day Saints and had faith and trusted in the Lord, and I got here all right but not without much suffering for my mother who did [not] have many comforts in the home as we have these days. But she always trusted the Lord to help her, and by her faith in him she was blessed.
A few years of my early childhood was spent in Salt Lake City, where father was bishop. I can just remember living there and moving to Farmington, where my girlhood and happy school days were spent. I always loved the Sunday School and was a teacher when I was fifteen. The primary, I remember so well when it was first organized, and I was one of the first members. Also the Mutual Improvement association [in which I] was a member.
|Mural depicting first LDS Primary — Farmington, Utah|
|Thomas James Udy|
But time went on, and it was neglected. Oh that word neglect. My eyes fill with tears; I can hardly stand to think how I worried over it. We were so happy with each other, but there was always that feeling that we had not done as we should.
October 19, 1884 our first darling baby boy [Thomas “J”] came and the joy he brought to our home we surely did rejoice. We named him after his father. Time went on, and still [I had] that desire, stronger than ever, to have our temple work done. [On] September 15, 1886 another dear baby boy was born to us. We named him Edmund. How our family was increasing. My husband thought we better be getting some farmland. He had worked up to this time in the blacksmith business with his father.
The spring of 1887 he went to the Bear River Valley and made a homestead entry on 160 acres of dry land covered with sagebrush. He went to the hills, got logs and built our first little home, just one room [and] we were happy to have that as our own. It was sure hard to make a living — a well 60 feet deep and the water not good, the land to clear of brush, no fence to keep out the range stock, one team of horses to do the work with a walking plow. So much different now, with the tractor and modern machinery. There were many drawbacks: grasshoppers, drought, our first crop did not amount to much, a lot of hard work, some sad experiences, etc. My husband worked wherever he could get it for one dollar a day. I sure felt sorry for him, with a family to keep; and he had to leave me and our dear children in such a lonesome place with the howling wolf and roving Indian and neighbors nearly two miles away. We were happy when he would come home. As winter drew near, we knew we could not stay there, so [we] went to Farmington where there was more chance for work. By this time we were further away from having the temple work done that I so much desired. We were not attending to our duties as we should, [and] we did not have the money to fix up to go. When spring came, we were ready to go back to our dear little lonesome home. We were glad to be in our own home again. We had enjoyed the winter with our folks, and they were very good to us. The summer of 1888 was another hard time to make a living out. In a way we were happy, and the Lord blessed us with good health, which we were very thankful for. As winter drew near, we could see we could not stay in this place, so [we] made our way back to Farmington and rented a room for the winter.
On January 12, 1889, my sweet little brother, Franklin, died very sudden from croup. He was the baby of the family and the first to go out of a family of thirteen children. We sure mourned to lose him and such shock to us all, but we had to say the Lord’s will be done. I was too sick to go see him. The day after his death, on the 13th, our first sweet little girl [Rowane] was born. We were happy over the birth, but it was such a sad time, mother and all feeling so bad. In seven more weeks (I haven’t got the date) [7 March 1889], my brother, Robert, the eldest in the family, died very suddenly of heart trouble. [It was] another sad time for us, and we could not go see him as the winter was bad and his home was at Woodland, Summit Co. When spring came we went back to our home, dear to us, for it was our own. We were ready to start in and work harder than ever to try and get a start, but it was a hard struggle to get anything ahead but a scant living, but with saving and trying we kept a going. This summer’s crop was some better, but the grain had to be hauled about 40 miles to market and sold for 35 and 40 cents a bushel. So much different now, and still I don’t think people appreciate the difference that haven’t went through it.
As winter drew near, we decided to stay home and try it out on poverty flat, as this place was then called. The wood for fire had to be hauled from the hills, which was hard work. We did not have money to buy coal, if there had been any to buy. We spent a happy winter together with our three dear little children, and we kept well. It was very cold — the snow about three feet deep and lots of wind. I am just writing this down from memory of the past and hope you, my children, will not complain but will appreciate your homes and families and be as thankful as we were. Be honest with everybody, do what is right, live good clean lives and it will all help to make you happy. I know you can live better lives than we have and can attend to the duties of life as going to church etc., as we did not have the clothing and the ways to go as you have.
In the years 1890-91 the Bear River Canal was built. There was plenty of work and times were some better for us. The winter of 91 was very cold, with lots of snow. Our three children all had the whooping cough and were very bad with it and were just at the worst, when on the 2nd of March, our fourth child, a dear sweet boy [Henry], was born. When I think of it now, what we had to put up with, I wonder how we did it. I had faith in the Lord and my prayers were answered. We got along all right, without doctor or nurse, just a neighbor lady who lived about four miles away, and the elders who were sent for who prayed for me that I might live and raise my family. I am thankful our prayers were answered.
I was always praying that the time would come when we could go to the temple and have our temple work done. Little did I think then that I would have to go alone with my children to have it done. And I wonder why did it had to be this way, for husband and wife were never dearer to each other than we. But it was neglected — put off too long. Oh, why do we put off important things? I do hope it will all be made right in the end to come. Time went on. As usual, each year our harvest was some better, we were picking up and buying more land so there was more work and we were rich because we were happy trying to make a living for our dear family. The boys were getting to be so much help.
The winter of '92 and '93 was coming on, and we were expecting a new arrival in our family. We were wondering what to do, as there was no help to be got here, when a letter came from mother saying: don’t think of staying there, come to Farmington and we will take care of you. Just like a mother, so thoughtful and wanting to do all they can for their children. To Farmington we went on January 1, 1893. I stayed with my dear sister Hannah King. She and her husband were sure kind and good to me. My husband helped his father in the shop and kept the older boys with him. On the first day of April 1893 a dear baby boy [Horace] was born to us. A sweeter faced baby was never born I don’t think. We were nearly broken hearted when we discovered his little feet were deformed. We had doctors come and look at them. They did not seem to know what was the best thing. A dear lady at Kaysville, hearing of our baby, came to see me as she had a baby with feet the same, who said the doctor wanted to cut the cords, but she would not let him. She advised me not have them cut, as her son was now 16 years old and all right. She told me and showed what to do to rub and bandage and pray and ask the Lord to help. I was willing to do anything to make them as they should be. It seemed to me very slow progress and a long time before they seemed to get much better. As he grew older, I worried and wondered if he would ever be able to walk. But my faith in the Lord was strong that my prayers would be answered, and I [knew I] must not give up but keep on working and praying. In November 1898 my mother-in-law died very suddenly. Grandpa wanted us to stay with him throughout the winter, which we did. He took so much comfort with our darling baby. Horace is what we named him. He would crawl all over the house to find grandpa who would hide and play with him.
When spring came we went back to our home, and as usual, were glad to be home again. Be it ever so humble, there’s is no place like home - just one room and five little children and a loving husband and father who had to work hard to support us. We were thankful for it all, and we were blessed with good health. The summer was more prosperous. We had another well dug, but not much better water. [We] built another room on to our little house, which was a welcome addition, as was the darling baby girl born September 17, 1894. We named her Mabel. Horace was just beginning to try to walk. I was sure thankful to have him walk, but oh how pitiful to see his poor little feet so deformed. He was so good-natured and seemed so happy. I, having so much work and another baby, was afraid I was not caring for him as I should. As time went on he improved slowly. We had braces and shoes made for him which seemed to help some. October 17, 1896 another darling baby girl was born and was welcome at our home. We named her Abbie Louise.
The summer of ‘96 was hot with lots of work to keep us busy. We were getting more land cleared and buying more land and getting more horses, cows, pigs and chickens. We were making a pretty fair living, but our house was small for our family. We could not think of building and always lived on a dry farm and hauled water. The winters were cold with lots of snow. The children had a long way to go to school. We tried to make the best we could out of what we had, and [we] were happy with our family. We would load them all in a wagon and take them with us everywhere we went, for it was not safe to leave them in this lonely place. I don’t recall very many important events that happen along this time. But think if I had written them down there would have been many things worthwhile. I was always wishing we could be where we could go to meetings more often and live nearer the gospel teachings. My constant prayer was for my family, hoping they would grow up right but a poor hand to teach them; hoping and praying that some day we would do better and go to the house of the Lord and do as we should do.
We decided to buy a home and some land at Farmington, but it was hard to know how to leave. I did not want to be separated from part of the family as I knew some would have to be on the dry farm part of the time and I would rather stay here and be all at home together. So in a few years, we sold the Farmington place and continued to exist on the dry farm. There was always plenty of hard work, and we had to be contented. The children were growing up, and how I longed for something better and wished for something better for the children than to grow up here and not be educated as they should and not have much house room nor any conveniences. There was no use to complain. It was all we had, and all we could do was to live in hopes that we would someday have things more convenient and more room for our family and friends and relatives when they came to see us, which they did during the summer. We enjoyed having them come, and they also enjoyed coming. For where there is a will, there’s a way, and there is always room for more and where the room is small you can draw closer together and where there is love in the home there is happiness. We now had our farm fenced and cleared of brush. It seemed more civilized. We had close neighbors one half mile away, a pretty fair school two miles away. Sunday School meeting and of different organization. The children attended these pretty well, but their father did not care to go very often. I thought as we both did not go, I felt like my place was home caring for the family, always praying that some time we would do better and attend to our duties and keep the commandments of the Lord and strive more diligently to serve him as he had blessed us in so many ways. I have always been thankful that I believed in the Lord. [I am] thankful that I belonged to the Church of Jesus Christ, and if my children can see that I have done any good, I hope they will follow that example and the example of their father in being honest, charitable, courageous and try and treat everybody right. Love one another and do all the good you can.
I am forgetting what I started to write. The winter of ‘98 and ‘99 was very, very cold with plenty of snow. Mother came to stay with us during the winter, and we were very thankful to have her with us, although it was not so pleasant for her as our home did not have the comforts I would of liked her to have had, not caring for myself so much, but hoping that some day we would have more room for our family for they were growing up and it sure was hard for us to live like this. On 16 of February 1899, a dear baby boy [Austin] was born to us, and how thankful we were to get along so well and have my dear mother with us who was always so faithful and good. The weather was terrible cold, but we lived through it all, and my biggest worry was my thoughts, “Oh will we ever go to the house of the Lord and have our temple work done.” [I would] think of the family we were raising, how dear they were to us and still how neglectful we were. The tears I have shed and the hours I have laid awake thinking of this no one will ever know. Of course, every one can’t see these things alike; thus we have to suffer. Time went on about as usual as far as I remember. Hot summers with fairly good crops and cold winters with plenty of hard work which kept us healthy and happy—happy because of the love for each other and our family of good children. In the spring of 1903 there was quite a lot of sickness with colds. Everyone in my family had the colds except m self, and I had other ailments but not so serious as I sometimes thought.
On the 23 of March 1903 another sweet baby girl was born to us. We were happy for the safe arrival, and she was welcomed by the whole family. I certainly was thankful to have a good nurse to take care of me every day, for that is the way they did those days. She lived five miles away, and we had to send a team outfit to get her. The nurse was very good to doctor the children's colds. They were soon well again. We named our baby Effie. I can’t recall any thing very important for a year or two. On 2 day of Feb. 1905 our oldest son Thomas was married to Charlotte Archibald and went to live at Plymouth. As usual life went on, and Tommy worked for his father. Their father told the boys if they would work for him and all work together, they could buy more land which they did. They bought some irrigated land at or north of Riverside, which they farmed until in the spring of 1907. [Then] we started to talk of building on the irrigated farm.
On the 28th of May 1907, another dear baby girl [Rhea Mae] was born to us and as usual was welcomed by us all. This was our tenth child. We now had five boys and five girls. We were proud to be the parents of such a good family. So we decided we could afford to build a new home north of Riverside where there was plenty of water to irrigate, and plenty of good water for drinking, and a house which we were looking with thankfulness to get there to live and enjoy that which we never had at the dry farm where we had lived so many years. All summer we were anxious to get to our new home which was being built. I was busy sewing carpet rags to make carpet for the floors and getting ready to move by fall.
|Home in Riverside about 1913|
Left: Effie and Rhea
Center: Thomas, Temperence Westwood Moon and Rowane
Right: Abbie, Mabel, Horace, Austin (sitting) and Henry.
We were very busy at our new home getting ready for winter, which was drawing near with plenty to do finishing and building out buildings. On November 6, Edmund was married to Mary Buxton. Shortly after, our whole family were taken down with the measles and were all very sick, nine here at home with it and Tommy and baby at their home. [This was] the first serious sickness we had had in the family and we were sure thankful to have more room with so much sickness. We were thankful when they were all well again. We spent a very pleasant winter. We were nearer to school and meeting and getting acquainted with now friends, which we enjoyed.
When spring came we were busy with a new kind of work for us: planting trees, gardens and flowers. We were real successful with them all and enjoyed watching everything grow so beautiful. We were enjoying being so comfortable here, but to me there was that longing to have our temple work done, which I had worried about all my married life and did not seem any nearer to having it done. This had been the biggest worry of my life and wondering if we would have it done.
The next fall, after we moved here, our daughter Rowane was married to Robert MacFarlane. We sure missed her in the home, being the oldest now. The two older ones were married. She was so much help which I felt I needed so much. But I knew it was the right thing for her to do if she wished to, and there were others growing up which were very good help also. We were getting along fine financially in our now home with good gardens of what we needed, trees and everything we planted all grew so nicely. By this time we had bought a home in Riverside for Tommy. And Eddie moved to the dry farm for a short time. Then we bought a home at Riverside for him, so we were getting close together again.
|Thomas and Rowane Udy Family about 1914|
Back row: Horace, Thomas J., Rowane, Edmund and Henry
Front row: Abbie, Thomas James, Austin, Rowane, Effie on lap and Mabel
Times were fast changing in many ways. Our boys were still working together on the farms, which were doing well under their good farming and congenial work. The time of the auto cars was here. We were enjoying riding in them, and we were getting other conveniences but with all this there was that longing to have our temple work done and which I feared would never be done as our children were marrying off so fast it seemed to me. On the 14th of February 1917 our next two oldest daughters were married, leaving a large gap in the family circle. Mabel married Frank Munns and Abbie [married] Vern Wood. Our family was sure getting small — just three left to marry of our ten. We were taking care, and living with us was Henry’s little girl, Doris, which we were glad to have. It was so nice to have another baby. Her mother was learning nursing at the hospital.
Now comes the saddest part of my story. I feel like I can hardly write it, for tears blind my eyes of memories gone by. On the 27th of May 1918 my dear husband Thomas James passed away. He was taken suddenly ill and was soon gone. I shall not attempt to say much of this sad event, as you, my children, know all about it, and I cannot control my feelings. It is thirteen years and one month from this day since this sad death happened and the sorrow I have passed through since then no one will ever know. I have tried to keep it to myself as much as possible so as not to make others unhappy too. The Lord’s will be done. I have tried to make the best of it, have prayed for comfort and I know the Lord has blessed me in many ways, blessed me with a good family of sons and daughters who have been very good and kind to me. But, Oh the thoughts of your parents being so neglectful as to put off the most important part of their lives, their temple work. I pray that the Lord may forgive us, and that it will be made right in the time to come.
To start on my story again, after this sad happening my thoughts were what can I do for the best a widow with three children partly grown up and the responsibility I felt like I could hardly endure it. Would that I could train them in the right way, for I was always a poor teacher but always loved the right and want my children to be better teachers to their families than I have been. And forgive me if I haven’t done right by you, for my intentions were good. Time went on. We were doing the best we knew how, and the Lord was blessing us in many ways. The bishop, Brother L. R. Kennard, was very kind to us and gave us good advice in many ways. In the fall of the same year that dreadful disease, the flu, broke out all over the country. Twenty-two of my family were down at once and were very sick. But thank the Lord, they all recovered some after a long time, for it was so bad. We were blessed with means to have them taken care of which we were also thankful for. We did the best we could, and the Lord added his blessings. As time went on we got along very well.
I came back home in the spring but home was not like the home it use to be. No husband to tell or to advise me what to do. All of my children married — so lonely and wondering what was the best thing for me to do in life. Summer passed away, then fall came. I decided the best thing for me to do was to work in the temple where I could do a little good. In October I went to Logan and enjoyed the temple work very much all winter. I made lots of new friends which I learned to love and enjoy. They were so kind and good to me. I enjoyed being where I could attend meetings of different kinds. The winter passed much more pleasant than I ever thought it possibly could. When spring came, I was ready to come back home again, work outside a little to try and keep things up around my home, but it was hard to do. Everything was getting run down and looked discouraging to me. I worked hard but it did not amount to much. I just kept the burs from going to seed and keeping the place from getting any worse. As fall drew near, I prepared to go work in the temple at Logan again. This was a very early fall and a very cold winter with lots of snow. I had five blocks to go to the temple but never missed a day and attended some of the night sessions and enjoyed it all, for I believed I was doing my duty.
But as usual, I came home in the spring to trudge my weary life away on the farm. And in the fall was ready to go back to the temple work, which I enjoy better than anything else and enjoy the city much better than here at home where I would not be able to go anywhere very often. I love my home and family and love to be among them and enjoy their company, and it is natural when spring comes I want to be nearer to them. This summer, 1930, was a very pleasant one— the centennial year of the church. I went to the grand pageant at the Salt Lake Tabernacle.
I remodeled my house a little and made it a little more convenient for me. My granddaughter, Doris, came to see me. I had not seen her for several years. I was sure pleased to see her again. I went on a number of pleasant trips during the summer. I went to the Moon reunion at the park in Weber Canyon, to the Yellowstone park and several other enjoyable canyons and scenes. I have been very neglectful and haven’t written in my diary for over a year.
In the fall of 1930, I went as usual to the Logan temple to work. There is nothing I enjoy so well, and I am thankful I have been blessed with means to go to Logan to live in the winter, which is very pleasant for me. In the spring I enjoy coming home. 1931—the summer has been very dry, but our crops have been fairly good—something to be very thankful for. I made a very pleasant trip to the Cardston temple, Glacier National Park and Yellowstone Park. It all was so wonderful and beautiful. I surely did enjoy it all. In October, I went to Logan to try and locate and rent a room to stay in this coming winter. I am very shaky and can hardly write. My health hasn’t been very good this last summer, but I hope I will be all right when I get to working in the temple.
Rowane Moon Udy died September 4, 1932, in Tremonton Utah.
This history was dated August 19, 1929 at Riverside, Utah. The history was copied by her daughter Effie Udy Welling. The spelling and the entire content were copied exactly as Rowane had written it. It was then copied for the James Udy Reunion, August 1978, and the Moon Reunion, 1978, by Christine Weese Mooney, great-granddaughter of Rowane’s. To make the history more readable for publication, Richard N. Moon made spelling and minor punctuation corrections to the document. Very long sentences were shortened and a word or two were added in a few places for clarification. Every effort was made to retain the style of Rowane’s writing. It can be found in the book The Family of Henry Moon: Mormon Pioneer 1819-1894.