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Mary Jane Ollerton Leavitt

Mary Jane Ollerton Leavitt

Mary Jane Ollerton Leavitt was borth July 31, 1873 in Parowan, Utah, a daughter of Seth and Mary Ann Hood Ollerton.  They later moved to Juab, Levan and Sterlin, Utah.  She would often tell her children stories about her childhood.  She told Claire about the time she and her sister, Mide, went with their father to gather firewood.  They took the team and wagon to the hills and proceeded to gather wood and put it in the wagon.  They heard horses running in the distance.  The people were very cautious about the Indians, so their father told the girls to get in the wagon.  He hid them in the wood and covered them up, telling them not to make a sound.  Soon a group of young Indians came riding up.   The girls’ father always carried something to give to the Indians because they had, on occasion, taken the team and wagon.  He gave them the things he brought (beans, tobacco and dried corn) and they rode away satisfied.  It was a very frightening experience.

Jane’s grandmother and mother spun yard and wove cloth for their sewing needs.  Her grandmother made men’s suits.

John W. Leavitt worked for the railroad in Juab, Utah.  He was sent to Sterlin to give a message to Seth Ollerton, Jane'’ father.  He met Jane, they fell in love and were married in Sterling, Utah, on October 26, 1892, in a double wedding ceremony with her sister, Retta and Aroldo Peacock.

After they were married, John worked in Ogden for his father who ran the Ogden-Hot Springs Railroad.  While living there, Myrtle was born.  He later went to work for the Los Angeles, San Pedro and Salt Lake Railroad (later it became the Union Pacific Railroad).  They moved wherever the railroad sent john to work.  They came to Salt Lake City where Gerald and Clyde were born.  Later they moved to Juab.  While visiting Jane’s sister, Mide, in Levan, Claire was born.  Mildred was born in Juab.  Myrtle would tell about the cold winter mornings in Juab when she had to thaw out the water pump in the yard before they could get water.

They moved to Salt Lake City to a house on South Temple and later bought a home at 46 North 9th (now 10th) West.  The rest of their children, Jack, Lyman, Dorothy and Dean were born in Salt Lake City.

The family had many fond memories.  Gerald and Clyde told of how they delivered their paper route.  They had to get up early to saddle the horse to make their deliveries in all kinds of weather—the cold winter mornings were especially difficult.  Dean and Layman had to spade the huge garden plot  by hand to get it ready for planting and keep it weeded all summer.  They said all their father had to say was “I want that work done by the time I get home” and there was no question about it, they did it.

Their father build a back porch on the house as the family grew.  Before it was finished and it was just a shell, some of them had to sleep there.  They remember heating flat irons on the coal stove and wrapping them in newspaper to put in their beds for warming on the freezing winter nights—it was like sleeping outside. 

They fondly remember their mother’s cooking.  How she baked bread, canned tomatoes, chili sauce, ketchup and made delicious cucumber pickles—all from the vegetable garden.  She also canned fruits that were in season.  The girls helped their mother with the household chores.

Dean remember when he was about four years old going to the Union Pacific Railroad Depot on the street car with his mother to meet Gerald when they came home from World War I.

Before they had a bathroom facility in the house, they had to bathe in a wash tub in the kitchen and use the outhouse in the back yard.

Three of the boys followed in their father’s footsteps by working for the Union Pacific Railroad.  Gerald and Clyde became engineers and Dean became a conductor.   Lyman spent four years in the U.S. Navy when he was a young man and later went in the boat business—building and selling boats and boating equipment

John and Jane spent many hours in their later years playing pinocle with their neighbors, Bill and Vida York.  Jane belonged to the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers and the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers Auxiliary.

John retired from the railroad in 1929 because of a disability from an injury sustained in a head-on traing crash about a mile from Boulder, Utah in 1910.  He was the engineer on one of the passenger trains that collided.

They lived in their home on 9th West until their deaths.  Jane died March 18, 1946 and John died July 8, 1948.

Children of John W. and Mary Jane Ollerton Leavitt:

Myrtle Dell Leavitt

Born November 30, 1893 in Ogden, Utah
Died March 14, 1972, California
Married David L. Fairweather, October 14, 1914.  He died July 13, 1967.
Two children:  David Lloyd, and Dorothy Jane

Gerald Ward Leavitt
Born January 4, 1896 in Salt Lake City (the day Utah became a state)
Died June 6, 1962
Married May McClennan—she died February 17, 1962.
No Children

Clyde Elmer Leavitt
Born December 2, 1898, in Salt Lake City
Died September 30, 1961
Married Inez Harbert –divorced
Two children:  Edith and Clyde H.
Later married Mae Clark—divorced , Married Arvilla Hansen

Claire Leavitt
Born February 14, 1901 in Levan, Utah
Married John Emmet McCardle, March 29, 1922—he died September 6, 1940.
Two children:  Jack William and Bonnie Jean.

Mildred Leavitt
Born August 12, 1902, in Juab, Utah
Died April  16, 1909

John Seth Leavitt
Born December 2, 1906, in Salt Lake City
Died June 27, 1927

Lyman Ollerton Leavitt
Born July 5, 1909, in Salt Lake City
Married Lynette M. Young, November 25, 1939 (she died December 26, 2001)
Three children:  Gary Lyman, John Michael and Lynette Ann.

Dorothy LaVerne Leavitt
Born August 6, 1911, in Salt Lake City
Died June 8, 1979
Married LeRoy Arthur Harwood June 7, 1934—he died January 15, 1958.
Three children:  Frederick LeRoy, Gerald William and Betty Jane.

Dean Quincy
Born January 13, 1915 in Salt Lake City
Married Lucille A. Mace, May 10, 1941 in Salt Lake City
One Child:  Barbara Jane

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