Saturday, March 31, 2012

Mabel Pett

  • Mabel Arminta Pett 
  • Born: October 15, 1898 Ogden, Weber, Utah
  • Died: January 5, 1935 Tremonton, Box Elder Utah
  • Related through: Erin's grandmother Margaret Udy

Mabel was born in Ogden at home. Her family moved to Ophir, Utah when she was two years of age. Her father went to work at Edwards Dry Good Store as a butcher. George and Dell Pett Edwards owned and operated the store for many years. Dell was Mabel’s aunt. The store was a typical old time country store having hardware, groceries, clothing and everything else that the miners would want to buy. Ophir was a busy mining town located up one of the canyons southeast of Tooele and east of St. Johns which was the nearest railroad stop.

Mabel always had the responsibility of tending her younger two sisters. There was a small creek that ran close by their small frame home that they played by and washed in during the summer. In the spring there would be a large amount of water run off the steep mountains.

When Mabel was eight years of age the family moved to Brigham City. They bought a half block of land on 6th North and 4th to 5th East. They built a small frame house on the corner of 6th North and 4th East. The barn and pigpen was on the 5th East side of the lot. They planted all kinds of fruit trees and grew all kinds of berries. The girls hated to pick the gooseberries, they had so many thorns on the bushes and the berries were so small.

Her father opened a grocery store and butcher shop on North Main between 2nd and 3rd North on the west side of the street. Mabel didn’t work in the store as she preferred doing the housework at home and the cooking. Her mother was a very good cook and she passed this art on to Mabel. Mabel was on of the best cooks I know of. Many a good meal I have had to her and Austin’s home.

Mabel was baptized in Brigham in the old Tithing Office. They had a baptismal font in this building where all the children went to be baptized which was a big improvement over the North Pond.

She first went to school in the old 4th Ward Amusement Hall, which had one large room made of adobe bricks. Wires were strung across and curtains pulled for different classes and rooms. This building was located on 3rd North and 1st East.

For Junior High she went to the Whittier School that was located on 2nd South and 1st West. It had rooms and two floors with a steeple on top and a bell. She went to the old Box Elder High School that was located on 4th East and Forest Street. She walked to all her schools in all kinds of weather. When the snow was deep a neighbor, by the name of George Freeman, made a snow plow with two boards and made a path for all the children in the area to walk in. They used to have a lot of snow blizzards on the flat that would fill in the path and make large drifts to climb over. But they had fun doing it.

Mabel had all the childhood diseases that were common in those days, measles, whooping cough, chicken pox and diphtheria. Her sister Lucille had scarlet fever but she escaped that one. She and Lucille both had typhoid fever, Mabel having a severe case. There was no city water down that far out of town so all the people living in the flat (as it was called) got their water from an irrigation ditch. They people had asked the city to put water down there but refused. While Rae Pett was nursing here two sick little girls she decided she would fight to get the city water down there to them, so she and Dr. Pearse put up a fight and won the battle. A hydrant was put on the outside of the house and they were very thankful for it. Her mother was a very talented practical nurse and it was all that good nursing that brought all her children through these diseases.

After Mabel graduated from high school she went to work in the County Courthouse as the Assistant County Recorder. Her cousin Rilla Pett was the recorder. When Rilla moved to Salt Lake City wither family, Mabel was appointed County Recorder until the next election. She ran on the Republican Ticket for County Recorder and won the election. 

By the time she went to work her brother had grown up, so her drover her to and from work in a one seated buggy they had purchased to deliver groceries in. They had a horse named Nell for many years, she pulled this buggy around for them. They all loved this horse like a member of the family.

While Mabel was attending high school she met a good-looking man from Riverside, Utah named Austin Udy. He came to Brigham for his education as Box Elder was the only high school in the county at the time. They started dating and going out together. After graduation and while she was working Austin continued to court her driving in from the Valley in this Page automobile.

When they were first married they lived in a small three-room frame house in Riverside with a water pump in the pantry, but no bath and no electricity, but they were very happy.

Mabel and her mother were very close and they missed each other very much after she moved, but they talked on the phone and visited each other often. The Pett family was very close, they all got together for all the holidays and it was usually out to Mabel and Austin’s for Thanksgiving. In fact, after I got in the family it seemed to me every Sunday dinner was like a Thanksgiving feast at either Mabel’s or her mother’s, both of them being such good cooks without much effort.

Mabel and Austin moved into the south side of the Udy home and his mother lived on the north side. Mabel was very good to her mother-in-law and helped her in many ways. After her death Mabel and Austin rented her side for a year and then used the whole house themselves. I remember how excited and thrilled they were when they got electricity.

Mabel’s first child was born in the little house and it was a most difficult birth. The doctor has such a hard time delivering the baby that it died during the delivery. Mabel was ill for quite some time after. Austin took her to her mother to nurse and take care of her. Between her mother and a doctor her strength returned, but it took quite some time for her sciatic nerve that was damaged to heal. She had a limp for quite some time.

When Margaret and John came along she went to Brigham and stayed with her mother and Dr. Pearse delivered the babies without much trouble. When Joyce was born it was another difficult birth. She was born in the hospital in Tremonton. However, Mabel died of complications following childbirth eight days after Joyce’s birth. 

Mabel and Austin were very much in love and lived a very happy life. They both liked the farm and the raising of animals and produce. Mabel always kidded Austin about having such an easy life sitting on a tractor and riding around all day on the dry farm. Once when his alfalfa was ready to harvest his brother-in-law, Carl, came over and asked him to harvest his that day. Austin was so good natured he said yes and did Carl’s.  That night a hail-storm hit Austin’s place and wiped out his crop. He swore never again would he be such a good Joe.

One day we went out and Austin started laughing and said they had started a new fad of serving parsnips with ice cream. They had a Farm Bureau dinner and each of the ladies were to bring something. Mabel and Clara Welling were in charge of it. When they served the dinner the had overlooked the breaded parsnips a lady had brought so when they served the ice cream and cake they put the parsnips on the plate too. Austin was sure teasing her about it.

Mabel and Austin both had a great sense of humor, love and compassion. They always made you feel welcome in their home. Bud and I both loved them very much.

This history was written and compiled by Viola Pett, sister-in-law and Lucille Pett Rees, sister. Copied and printed by Christine W. Mooney, granddaughter, June 1978.

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