PHILINDA UPSON STANDLEY

BY MARY ELLEN KERR GEE

 

PHI LINDA UPSON STANDLEY, DAUGHTER OF FREEMAN UPSON AND SARAH CULVER, WAS BORN AUGUST 1, 1814 IN PORTAGE COUNTY, OHIO. SHE MARRIED ALEXANDER SCOBY STANDLEY ON MARCH 19, 1829.  SHE WAS THE MOTHER OF ELEVEN CHILDREN: ELIZA, FRANKLIN, ELLEN, MARTHA, ALEXANDER, HENRY, ELIZABETH CYRENE, PHILINDA, SARAH, LYDIA, AND MICHAEL.

 

SHE WITH HER YOUNG HUSBAND JOINED THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS AND ESTABLISHED A COMFORTABLE HOME IN NAUVOO.  PHILINDA WAS A MEMBER OF THE FIRST RELIEF SOCIETY AND ATTENDED THER MEETINGS OVER WHICH EMMA SMITH, THE WIFE OF THE PROPHET, PRESIDED.  SHE SHARED THE SORROW OF THE SAINTS IN THE MARTYRDOM OF THE PROPHET AND HIS BROTHER HYRUM. 

 

SHE WAS PRESENT AT THE MEETING WHEN THE MANTLE OF JOSEPH FELL UPON BRIGHAM YOUNG, AND ALL THROUGH HER LIFE SHE BORE  TESTIMONY THAT BRIGHAM YOUNG REALLY SPOKE WITH THE VOICE OF THE MARTYRED PROPHET AND STRONGLY RESEMBLED HIM.

 

THE STANDLEY FAMILY DETERMINED TO GO WITH THE PERSECUTED SAINTS TO SEEK A HAVEN OF PEACE WHERE WICKED MOBS COULD NO LONGER MOLEST THEM. THEY DISPOSED OF THEIR HOLDINGS IN NAUVOO AND SET OUT FOR THE UNKNOWN WEST. INSTEAD OF THE CUSTOMARY OXEN, THEY USED COWS TO DRAW THEIR WAGONS, THUS PROVIDING MILK AND BUTTER FOR THE JOURNEY. 

 

THE MILK WAS CARRIED IN A WOODEN CHURN.  AT THE END OF EACH DAYS' JOURNEY THE SMALL BALLS OF BUTTER WERE STRAINED FROM THE MILK AND THE LATTER USED WITH CORN MEAL MUSH, WHICH FURNISHED THE FAMILY SUPPER. THE BUTTER WAS USED WITH "JOHNNY CAKES" FOR BREAKFAST.  EACH CHILD HAD DUTIES TO PERFORM.  THE OLDER ONES DROVE THE CATTLE AND THE YOUNGER STOCK.  GRANDMOTHER, CYRENE, THEN TWELVE YEARS OF AGE WALKED THE ENTIRE DISTANCE.

 

THEY ARRIVED IN UTAH SEPT. IS, 1852 AND SETTLED AT 80UNTIFUL  WHERE A COMFORTABLE HOME WAS SOON ESTABLISHED. THIS PIONEER MOTHER TAUGHT HER DAUGHTERS THE ARTS OF HOME-MAKING, ANIMAL HUSBANDRY, DAIRYING, CARDING, SPINNING, WEAVING, BRAIDING, SEWING, TAILORING, DRESSMAKING, ETC., SO THEY WERE QUALIFIED TO DO EVERY KIND OF WORK WHEN THEY HAD HOMES OF THEIR OWN.

 

AFTER ONLY TWO SHORT YEARS IN THE NEW HOME, THE HUSBAND AND FATHER PASSED AWAY. BUT THROUGH THE COMBINED EFFORTS, THE THRIFTY AND COMBINED ENERGY OF ALL MEMBERS OF ALL MEMBERS OF THE FAMILY, THEY WERE LEFT IN COMFORTABLE CIRCUMSTANCES. 

 

I HAVE PLEASANT MEMORIES OF GREAT GRANDMOTHER, PHILINDA STANDLEY.  SHE WAS ALWAYS NEATLY DRESSED AND HER NATURALLY CURLY HAIR AND HER PINK CHEEKS GAVE HER A GIRLISH CHARM UP TO THE TIME OF HER DEATH. HER PATRIARCHAL BLESSING SAID SHE WOULD BE "CHANGED IN THE TWINKLING OF AN EYE." MY MOTHER, WHO WAS WITH HER WHEN SHE PASSED AWAY, TOLD US THAT THIS PROMISE WAS LITERALLY FULFILLED, FOR GREAT GRANDMOTHER WHO WAS SLEEPING PEACEFULLY, OPENED HER EYES, SMILED SWEETLY AND MURMURED "I AM READY NOW."

 

DEATH CLOSED HER LONG AND USEFUL LIFE ON JANUARY 27, 1892 AT RICHMOND, UTAH.