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Ida Josephine Leavitt Hatch

Ida Josephine Leavitt HatchThe first recollection I have of our home life was going to Sunday School in the old rock meeting house in Farmington, Utah. The next thing I remember was going to school in the old court house at Farmington--stood just where the court house now stands.

My mother was the first school teacher at that place as near as I have ever found out. She was a graduate of a Michigan University. So was my father. His name was John Quincy Leavitt. My mother's name was Malinda Minnion. They were married in Patrick County, Michigan at 12:00 noon and left for Utah at 3 o'clock the same day. My mother never saw any of her people after that day.

Mother and father came as far west as Council Bluffs that year and stayed there that winter. My oldest brother was born there. He was named Elmer Brigham Leavitt. In the spring they came west. All my father's family were in the same party and they all arrived safely in Utah except Grandmother Leavitt who died on the plains of Iowa and Grandfather who died in Michigan shortly after they left home. All the rest of the children of the family came here to Utah. All were pioneers and gave good accounts of themselves.

The next thing I remember was the coming of the grasshoppers and everybody had to get out and try to drive them to the lake. My father was not at home. He had gone back to Missouri to help bring immigrants to Utah. My mother and two brothers went with all the rest of the people to help and finally when the harvest came in the fall, we all went out in the fields to glean wheat to help us live.

Later that fall my father came home and there was great rejoicing to have him home again. Mother and I used to listen for the freight wagons. You could hear them long before you could see them. There were three children in our family. Elmer was the oldest. Julian was next and then me. I was born 3 February 1863 in Farmington, Davis County, Utah.

Father took a contract with the Union Pacific railroad at Wasatch at the head of Echo Canyon and was at Promintory Point when the Golden spike was driven joining the central Pacific and Union Pacific railroads across a large part of the continent.

Shortly before the railroad was completed, my mother died. Father was then called as a missionary to build the railroad from Salt Lake City to Ogden. He married Cynthia Elmer on August 16, 1869.

While living in Woods Cross I met Abram Hatch. He was a very good friend of Elmers. he worked on the Salt Lake to Ogden railroad. One evening a cousin (Lucinda's daughter) and I were playing leapfrog. Abram and Phlander Hatch unbeknownst to us were sleeping out on the haystack. We were surely mad when they started to laugh.

When the railroad from Salt Lake City to Ogden was completed we lived in Salt Lake City where father was affiliated for about 25 years with the Utah Central Railroad. He retired when it was sold to the Union Pacific.

We lived a half block west of the temple on South Temple. We also lived on 2nd West in a two-story house. I attended school in Salt Lake City and also Brigham Young's private school. Father took me to his home and on occasions he asked me to sing and play the piano.

On one occasion, Cynthia asked Jonny and me to get a pattern from some neighbors. One of the mountains north of the city was used to store powder for guns. Someone blew up the powder storage and rocks and boulders and dirt flew allover. Windows were broken and Jonny and I were knocked to the ground. We got up and ran home and didn't get the pattern that day.

Grandfather had some musical instruments and one 'time when Cynthia and I were alone at night, we heard some strange sounds like music. They frightened us but I finally got up and started looking to see where it came from. In one of the instrument cases was a mouse.

Abram Hatch and Ida Josephine Leavitt were married December 9, 1880 in the Endowment House in Salt Lake City. They had a big party after. Abram and Ida lived at a house around the corner from her parents.

After Ida was married, her father took her back east with him. They visited her mothers parents. At the time of Malinda’s death, they had asked to raise Ida so she could live in a civilized country away from the Indians. They were very proud of her and complimented her father for the fine way she was brought up.

There were eight children born to Ida and Abram: Malinda Pearl born April 23, 1883 Ethel Jane born December 15, 1884 Abram Archie born March 17, 1887 Valgean born March 4, 1889 Ida Lucille born January 31, 1891 Afton Lucinda born February 25, 1895 Gladys born June 18, 1899 Florence born January 3, 1903.

Abram worked for the railroad and they lived in Juab, Millard County for a time. They were the only family who had a piano and the young folks had parties and they sang and had lots of fun. They lived in a two-room brick house which was lined on the inside walls with factory, u cloth material. Water was obtained from a well.

One day, Pearl and Ethel were playing with matches and set the curtains on fire. Abe had to run to the well for water and then he would wet his hands and pat the fire out. He burned his arms and hands, but got the fire out. After it was over they looked all over for the baby Archie, he was frightened and had crawled under the bed.

In Juab, Abe and his brothers Alvin and Ruben were running some cattle. That first winter was so cold the cattle froze standing up and they were wiped out of business. Later all the Hatch brothers joined together to form Hatch Brothers Sheep Company. It became one of the largest in Utah.

In Salt Lake in 1889, there was a diphtheria epidemic. Two of the children died, Ethyl on Nov. 5, 1889 and Archie on 28 Nov, 1889. They were both buried in Bountiful Cemetery, Davis County. People were afraid to come to the house and Uncle Johnny would come at night and bring things the family needed. None of his family caught the disease.

Ida learned to sew when she was young and was a beautiful seamstress and made many beautiful afghans and other hand work. She sewed for her girls and put a lot of hand work on their clothing. She used to say, "Anything worth doing, is worth doing well." She was an accomplished musician and accompanied herself on the piano.

Her last boy, Valgean, had scarlet fever when he was young and was left with a heart ailment. He died Dec. 2, 1907 and is buried in Bountiful, Davis County. The family moved to 329 N. 1 W. where they built a beautiful home.

Ida was a member of the Daughters of Utah Pioneers, Camp #22, Salt Lake City and a president of the Ladies Auxi11iary, Brotherhood of Railroad engineers. She was a very lovely woman. She had a love of the Gospel which many people didn't realize she had.

Her husband died on April 6, 1936. She carried herself straight and tall until a very few years before she died. She died 16 December 1952 in Salt Lake City and is buried by her husband and children in Bountiful City Cemetery, Davis County, Utah.


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