Elizabeth Taylor Rich South

by Catherine Rich South Spencer

November 1937


My mother, Elizabeth Rich, was born in Galena, Illinois, 5 November 1841. She was the daughter of John Rich and Agnes Taylor. She came to Utah as a small child in the fall of 1847, in Joseph Holmes' Company [the second company], under the leadership of her uncle, President John Taylor. It was the second company to arrive in Salt Lake. Her father didn't join the Church, and her mother was so firm in the  belief that it was right, that she left him in Nauvoo, and came with the Saints with her three small children [John, Sam, and Elizabeth. They, of course, suffered the hardships with the Pioneers].


They lived in Salt Lake City and she and father were married 8 April 1859 by her uncle, John Taylor, who was an apostle at that time. [Later mother received her endowments and they were sealed by President Brigham Young. Father had had his endowments before they were married.] They lived in Salt Lake and had six children, two died in infancy.  In November, 1872, Father went to Almy [Wyoming] to do carpenter work at the coal mines. In April (next year) he moved his family to Randolph [Rich County, Utah].


They came on the train to Evanston [Wyoming] and arrived there between 12 p.m. and 1:00 a.m. They started for Randolph with the mail carrier, but it commenced to storm and they stayed in Woodruff with Bishop Lee. They arrived in Randolph the next day, April 13, and stayed with Bishop McKinnon.


The next day he started for Evanston with John Arrowsmith to get their furniture. They took part in the Pioneering of Randolph as they came here three years after the first settlers came. They had four children after they came here, two of whom died in infancy. For years father made the caskets for burials and mother trimmed them [with] white cloth.


November 28, 1880 the Y.L.M.I.A. was organized in Randolph. Bishop McKinnon said he wished to put good women in as officers, women filled with the spirit of the Gospel. Mother was chosen president, with Jane McKinnon as first and Mary E. Rex as second counselors. Jane Lutz was secretary, Lizzie Evans assistant, and Jeannette Cameron, as treasurer.


This organization took place when her tenth child was less than 8 weeks old, and she had six children living. have no record of how long she held this office, but in Father's diary he writes of her going to St. Charles [Idaho] for a Young Ladies' meeting, 16 July 1886. [This was in Bear Lake Stake.] [She was also secretary in the Sunday School.]  Later she was released from the Mutual Presidency and put in as Primary President, and held that position at the time of her death, January 29, 1891.


Mother was a kind, lovable woman. have been told she was a fast spinner, a good seamstress and a good speller.


September 18, 1875, Fifty people were baptized into the United Order by President Wm. Budge and confirmed by Apostle C.C. Rich. April 25, 1893 Brother John Snow? [sic] released as Janitor. Charles South appointed in his place. He was janitor for eight years when he was released. The ward gave him those nice books I have with his name in.


Note: This was a "call" and there was no "pay" (in cash) in those days. (Blanche South Fox)


[She was buried in Randolph Cemetery.]


[A friend once told us Elizabeth Rich South used to crochet up, or knit one ball of yarn after the evening meal every evening while her husband read to the family.]