207. Sarah Luella Cummings
CONVERSATIONS WITH MA
Transcribed from notes by Atha Montgomery
Q: How did you meet Papa?
A: He went with Lizzie Clyde (the daughter of Ma's sister, Margaret Cummings
Clyde, and the sister of Earl Clyde) and Zella (the daughter of Ma's sister,
Liz Cummings Davis). Then he called and asked if he could take me to the
dance at Turner's Hall. Lyman Cummings (the son of Babe's brother, John James
Cummings), who was going with Zella,said he wished he had waited to ask Zella.
I went with Lyman and .
Q: Did you go to church when you lived with Aunt Rachel? A: Sometimes. Myrtle
and I would say we were going, then we would go somewhere else. Vernie always
went. That's why she is so good now.
Q: Did you move in a wagon? Whose wagon did you use? A: I don't know. Papa
was at the sheep herd. Jody helped me move.
Q: Your mother and father lived where Jay Jacobsen lives now. Did Pap and Mam
Cummings live there too?
A: No, they lived where Yvonne lived. (Where the Maverik Store now stands)
Q: Did Aunt Rachel live anywhere else before she moved into the house where
Pearl lives? (the house still stands just north of the Dairy King) A: Yes, she
lived in the old log house where Uncle Hy lived.
Q: Did Uncle Tom have the house on Main Street built, or did some one else
A; The house was Uncle Tom's father's house. A man from England, named Jim
Greenwood, built the house. He drank, and he had lice. He must have gone
back to England.
Q; Were all of Aunt Rachel's kids born in the log house? A: No---down to Mae,
Q: What did you do for fun?
A: We had a lot of fun---two dances a week at the Turner Hall (where the
7-Eleven now stands). And everyone went. It was crowded.
Q; Uncle Lish must have owned the lot where Chase and Lily built their house.
Nobody but our family would ever know about them.
A: Don't you be spreading all this stuff around.
Q; It would depend on the girl friend. ???
Q: Where was Aunt Suzy when Tommy died? Did they live there with your Dad? A;
Q; Do you know who lived in that house before your Dad moved there? A; Aunt
Suzy Alexander's dad built it for Pa.
Q; When Hattie Griffith came to live there how many boys were home? A; She
didn't live there. She came and stayed a few days at a time. There were four
boys at home.
Q; You would only be 15 at that time.
Q; How old was Hattie? Was she as old as your father? A; No, she was younger.
I don't know how much younger.
Q; What kind of underwear did you wear?
A; Corsets. We made our own---pants with lace on---a kind of corset.
Feathers to stuff us instead of bras.
Q; Were all the skirts long?
A; No, some were mid-calf and some were knee length.
Q; What happened to Hattie Griffith after your father died? A; She was
cleaning clothes with a fluid that caught on fire, and she burned to death.
Q: When did this happen?
A; About a year after Papa died.
Q; Did you know a woman named Elfie Bean who taught school here? A; No
Q: When you lived in the house where I (Atha) was born (where the library now
stands) how many rooms was in the house?
A; A kitchen, a parlor, a bedroom, and a lean-to downstairs; and two bedrooms
Q; Was I (Atha) born in the downstairs bedroom?
A; No, you born in the parlor
Q; Did Francie pay rent to you when he lived with you? A; No
Q; How long did he live there?
A; One year, then he moved a grainery to Charleston and built a room onto it.
Q; Did your Dad give Uncle Lish the lower part of the lot where Lily had her
A; I don't know. I guess so. I got the house on Main Street because I was
the only one under 18.
Q; What was the inside of your house like?
A; There was wall to wall carpeting---Brussels. Red velvet in the parlor,
blue in another room. A big Franklin stove that could be used like a
Q; How was your father's estate divided?
A; I got the house and $500, but I spent the money before I was married. I
bought clothes and paid for the wedding. My father owned land and lots of
cattle. Each of the boys received money. Some squandered it. Uncle Lish
bought sheep with it.
NOTES GLEANED BY ATHA FROM CONVERSATIONS WITH MA
Zella says that Grandma Cummings (Sarah Jones Cummings) kept money in a dish
pan under her bed. If kids needed any they were told to go in under the bed
and get some.
Hattie Griffith was an apostate. She came about 8 years after Ma (Sarah Jones
Cummings) died. That was when Pa started to drink.
Pa met Mary Bardsley at the KOB Store. She worked there. He gave her a watch
and a ring. (the presumption is that they were engaged.) They broke up when
Hattie came along. Mary gave back the watch but not the ring.
Pa also courted Bethia Giles.
Before Tommy died, he called Luella and told her to go ask Pa to put his
garments back on. She went to the garden where he was working and told him
Tommy was dying, and that Tommy wanted him to put his garments on. That
afternoon they went to the Hot Pots where he took a bath and put them on.
Later Hattie got him to take them off again.
Aunt Liz lived with us for about a year after Ma died. Pa died peacefully.
He wanted wilted watercress and doughnuts for dinner. After eating it, he
turned over with his face to the wall and died. He had been in bed with
pneumonia for 6 weeks.
Only once Papa (Babe) didn't give me money. He was going to Stawberry and had
only a nickle, and he didn't want to go broke. So I (Luella) borrowed some
money and went to Salt Lake and stayed at Hattie's.
Was she glad to see you?
I don't know, but I didn't care. None of us were very glad to see her when
she came here.
I would go to the saloon and stand outside. When someone went in I would tell
them to send my Pa out. He always came out with his hand in his pocket, and
never refused to give me money. Many a night he made Willie Bond or Ludvig
Anderson, who were guards at Hatch's Store, buy candy or bananas for me. I
had lots of friends because I had lots of money.
One night I helped Pa come home when he had to much to drink. Just as we got
in the gate, he fell, but I helped him up and took him in and fixed his supper.
I helped him undress. When he went upstairs he insisted on carrying the
Rochester Lamp, so I got back of him and held my hands in case he would fall.
He was pretty shaky, but he made it to the top.
I can remember shaking the table cloth and singing to the top of my voice.
Babe and Sarah were poor when they got married. She sheared sheep and washed
and carded wool. They had two children at that time. They lived where Jay
Jacobsen's house is. All but Francis and Luella were born there.
He courted Bethia Giles.
Luella had a big box that was made into a play house for her and Zella. It
was fixed up with curtains, etc. Her brothers made a churn so they could make
When Ma (Luella) went through the temple for the first time in April, 1937,
She said she borrowed Sarah Clegg's night gown to go through in. I (Atha)
asked her why. She said that they were too poor to rent one. I must ask
someone about that. Surely among us we could have raised a dollar to pay for
renting her one. I rented on at that time. I (Atha) was pregnant with Marva.
Atha's remembrance about the depression: Oakies coming through Heber on their
way to California. Earl helping fix up old broken down cars as the Oakies
came into the service station.
SARAH LUELLA CUMMINGS JOHNSON
She was born September 23, 1889 to Isaac "Babe" and Sarah Jones Cummings at
Heber City, Utah in a home where the Heber City Library now stands. Her
father came from Gibson County, Tennessee and he mother from Ohio. At the
time of her birth, she being the youngest of 12 children, her mother was 49
years old. She had 8 brothers, Isaac, Elisha, John, William, Thomas, Joseph,
Hyrum and Frances. She had three sisters, Rachel, Margaret, and Elizabeth.
Her parents came as pioneers to the valley. Her father drove a team of oxen
across the plains and her mother came with the handcart pioneers. At the age
of six she started school at the of Central School. This same year she fell
in a tub of scalding water which had been left by the hired girl, severely
burning her right leg.
She completed eight years of schooling. When she was 8 years old her mother
passed away leaving her a good portion of the family duties to help with. At
the age of thirteen she assumed all of the duties of the household due to her
older sister Elizabeth's marriage. Nearly every night she mixed bread for the
three boys and her father who were at home. One of the very first organs to
come into the valley was given to her by her father, who was a successful
When she was sixteen her father died, and at this time she went to live with
her sister Rachel, who had married Thomas Giles. She resided there for the
next two years, at which time she married Andrew Ralpho Johnson.
Written by Atha Johnson Montgomery
Andrew Ralpho JOHNSON
Known as Ralph. Also called Pa Johnson by his family and most of the people
of Heber City.
ANDREW RALPHO JOHNSON
Born February 5, 1885, at Heber, Utah, to Andrew and Eda Regena Johnson. He
is the third child of a family of seven, one brother Charles being older and
also an older sister, Louise. Four brothers were younger: Gus, Porter,
Arnold, and Dewey. Both parents were born in Sweden. Grandpa (Andrew
Johnson) was thirteen years old when he came to this country, and Grandma
Johnson (Eda Regina) was one year old. They came as converts to the L.D.S.
When he was five years old he started school in the old Relief Society Hall
which was situated on 2nd North and lst East. One block west of the home in
which he was born. His first school teacher was Jessie Quinn (Aird). He
completed eight grades of school. At that time there was no High School in
Because no coal was available; Saturdays were spent sawing wood to last the
following week. At that time there was no electric light in the home. There
were no paved roads or sidewalks. When the wood was cut, the time was spent
playing marbles and hunting rabbits. When he was twelve years old he went to
work for his father in his wood working shop. This shop was powered by water
which was carried about 800 feet in a wooden flume from a canal. This was
where he learned the trade of the carpenter. At the wood working shop, bee
hives, window frames, doors and screen doors were built in addition to
contracting homes in the valley. At the time wagons were used and there were
only two buggies in the valley.
He worked in the fall of the year in the hay for $1.50 a day. Part of the
work applied on the payment of a horse which cost $20.00.
When he was eight years old his father was called on a mission to the central
states, which lasted 2 years. He went without purse or script. He felt his
wife and four children, the oldest being a daughter who was 14 years old, and
the oldest boy being 11 years and the youngest child being 5 years. They had
five cows and ten acres of hay land to take care of. This was the first of
three missions he served for the L.D.S. Church. The second mission he was
called to his home land of Sweden, where he served 2 years and the third was
a short term mission to Minnesota. These missions were all self financed.
At the age of 16 he (Ralph Johnson) went to work for Hyrum Jones gathering
and purchasing wild horses on the Ute Indian Reservation from the Indians who
resided there. He herded sheep for Tom Webb and Uncle John Cummings. He
butchered beef for the soldiers stationed in Strawberry Valley in 1905 prior
to the opening of the Uintah Basin for Homesteading. He killed one head of
beef every day for 47 days to supply the soldiers.
In 1906 he went to work at the Wasatch Lumber Company. At this time he was
courting Luella Cummings who he married September 23, 1907 at the home of Tom
and Rachel Giles, a sister of the bride. For the following 25 years he worked
for the lumber yard.
He was a skilled carpenter specializing in cabinet work and interior
finishing. Many of his works stand asw a monument to his skill, namely: Heber
Social Hall, Heber Third Ward, Heber 2nd Ward, Heber Fourth Ward, remodeling
of the Stake House, Seminary, many of the homes now standing in the valley and
many of the school houses. He built homes for Mae, Jayu, Nona, Aunt Liz Davis
and made cabinets for the homes of Atha and Fay.
April 25, 1937 they were sealed for time and all eternity in the Salt Lake
He was a man of many abilities: butchering, shoe repairing, and barbering.
He cut thousands of heads of hair, for which he never received a cent.
At the time of this writing, October 19, 1959, they have had six children,
five still living, 18 grandchildren and 9 great grandchildren. He was the
superintendent of the 3rd and 4th Ward Sunday School for 9 years, being the
1st superintendent of the 4th Ward.
Written by Atha Johnson Montgomery
Ulysses Wallace GRANGE
Settled at Huntington, Utah 1883. President of Huntington Town Board 1906-07,
member Huntington Town Board 1910-11; road supervisor