According to history, the first of Pfautz family was John Michael Pfautz, who was born and lived in Switzerland (or Germany). In the beginning the name was spelled P-F-A-U-T-Z as we have it spelled here. Later as the family spread out over the world, those in America left off the “P” and changed the “a” to “o”, but as the author of history says, “No matter what the spelling or the pronunciation, the family is still the same.”
Many people left Europe because of religious persecution; among them was John Michael Pfautz who left Amsterdam, Holland early in 1770 on the ship “William,” whose captain was William Hill. He landed in Germantown, near Philadelphia, where he lived, died and was buried. His descendants have spread over the entire United States and have become English speaking people, hence the English spelling and pronunciation of the surname “Foutz.”
There was a daughter, Elizabeth and two some, Jacob and Micial, in this family and from which have come many of present Foutz families. Our Foutz family began with Jacob (Sr.) who was born Nov. 20, 1800, in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. He was the son of John and the grandson of Conrad. Jacob, Sr. grew up with his father’s family, still speaking the German language. He was a member of the Methodist Church and was of a religious turn of mind.
During these years he met Margaret Mann, daughter of David Mann (Munn) and Mary Rock, whom he married July 22, 1822, at Green Castle, Pennsylvania. They remained there, making a home and providing for themselves until 1828. By this time there were four little daughters: Susan, born Feb. 14, 1823; Pollyanne, born Oct 10, 1824; Nancy Ann, born May 21, 1826; and Elizabeth, born Sep. 13, 1827. It is of Elizabeth that we now continue. She grew up with her sisters, a normal healthy child.
In 1828 the urge came to her family as it had to many others to move west, so they went to Richland County, Ohio. Here they remained for a few years, building a home and trying to make themselves secure and comfortable. Two more baby sisters came to bless their home, Sarah born Sep. 10, 1829 and Catherine born Dec. 25, 1831. Here too they lost one of their older girls, Polly, who died in Richland in 1830 or 1831. The children had never spoken anything but the German language. Now they must associate with English speaking children in the schools; it was a great trial for the little girls.
In 1834 a Mormon Missionary by the name of David Evans called at the Foutz home. The father was away to a Methodist revival, some distance from home and as travel was done by team and wagon, he would not return until the next evening. The mother heard the message and was told that the missionaries would hold a meeting in the neighborhood that evening. During the day she thought of the man and of the message several times. She told herself that she wasn’t interested in either, but when evening came she decided to go, just out of curiosity, she told herself. At the meeting she heard some things she had never heard before and they rang in her mind. The Elders would hold another meeting again the next evening, but she told herself she wasn’t interested and would not be there.
When her husband came home the next day, she told him what had happened but thought that they were not in sympathy with the doctrines the missionaries taught. He replied, “We will go to the meeting.” She tried to discourage him but he was determined to know what the men taught. Accordingly they went. The blood of Israel flowed in his veins and he knew the “Voice of the good Shepherd.” When the meeting was over he talked to the Elders, telling them he knew that their message was true, it was what he had been looking for and asked for baptism.
The next day he was to meet the Elders and be baptized, his wife tried every way possible to persuade him not to join this new religion. It was new, unpopular, and she even said it was a silly thing to do. This did not change his mind and on the February day in 1834 he was baptized. His wife was sure he had made a mistake and she would not be found doing the same thing but in six weeks the Spirit of God bore testimony so strongly to her spirit that she too knew the Gospel was true and David Evans baptized her.
They decided to join the body of the church as soon as arrangements could be made. No sooner had they cast their lot with the Saints, than they began to realize what persecution meant. They were driven with the Saints into Caldwell County, Missouri. Here they bought land to make another home. They planted crops thinking this would be permanent. October 1838 found them driven with others to Haun’s Mill. It was here that one of the darkest tragedies on record was to be enacted. Elizabeth had just passed her eleventh birthday but she was old enough to know that there was trouble afoot. This is known in Church History as the Haun’s Mill Massacre. It greatly affected the lives of the Foutz family.
Imagine if you can what this family went through at this time. The oldest child, a girl fifteen years old, Elizabeth eleven and five other ranging in age down to a baby who was a year and a half old. Winter was coming on and their husband and father was badly crippled from gunshot wounds in the thigh. They were never certain whether or not the mobs might descend upon them at any time. Under these conditions, terror must have filled their hearts constantly. Surely they must have had help from a kind Heavenly Father to survive such conditions.
About the middle of February 1839 they were able to leave their homes in Missouri, even though it was in the midst of winter. They took refuge in Quincy, Illinois. There they stayed for a while and then moved on to Nauvoo. Here peace and prosperity existed for a while and there was work for everybody.
By this time Jacob Foutz Sr. had improved in health and was made Bishop of his ward in Nauvoo. While the men built the beautiful city of Nauvoo on the bend of the Mississippi River, the women and girls helped in every way they could. Elizabeth’s mother was made president of the Relief Society in their ward soon after its organization. Here Elizabeth learned first hand of the aims and objects of this women’ organization so recently organized by the Prophet Joseph Smith. (The family was well acquainted with the Prophet and his family.)
During the succeeding years Elizabeth met a young man by the name of Henson Walker Jr. Henson was born in Manchester, Ontario, New York on March 13, 1820. He had joined the church in 1840 and married Martha Ann Bouck. With her family they had moved to Nauvoo. Henson and Martha had one son, John, when Martha died in August 1843. Elizabeth and Henson’s acquaintance became friendship and later ripened into love and on April 10, 1846 Apostle Orson Hyde married them in the Nauvoo Temple.
Henson took Elizabeth to live with the Bouck family, with whom he had lived most of the time since he had joined the church. Henson was like one of their own and he was glad to be adopted by such fine people.
Soon after the marriage of Henson and Elizabeth, the little son was accidentally drowned. This was a great sorrow to all and naturally Elizabeth blamed herself but who can say that the child’s work had not been completed and his own mother was patiently waiting for him in a better world.
The Saints were soon driven out of Nauvoo across the Mississippi into Iowa. Henson was called by President Brigham Young to go with the Saints to help build up Council Bluffs and Winter Quarters. Then a mob came upon Nauvoo and threatened to massacre the Saints there. He was sent back to help quell the trouble. Then he returned to the new city of Winter Quarters again. During the winter of 1846-1847, everything was astir. One thousand log homes were built and 150 dugouts were hastily made. The sound of anvils could be heard everywhere as men made and repaired wagons in preparation for the long journey they knew was ahead of them.
As soon as possible the Bouck family was moved across the river and the Foutz family soon followed. Health conditions were poor and many of the Saints suffered from fever. The exposure to which they were subjected added to the trouble. Elizabeth took the fever and became very ill. Her husband had already been called by President Young to go with the advanced guard or scouting party with the first company to make the trek west.
It was just one year after their marriage and much had been crowded into that year. Elizabeth now was so ill that her life was despaired of many times. This was a trying ordeal for both of them but duty called and Henson must go, no excuses or backing down. History says he left her at death’s door. She was left in the care of the Boucks who watched over her as tenderly as if she were their own. The advanced division moved forward as fast as preparations could be made and details attended to. On the 16th of April the original band was on its way.
Elizabeth felt sure if she could follow her husband in the next company she would be better. They knew little of what was ahead of them. Only one thing they knew and that was that they were going to find a new home away from mobs and persecution. They knew little of the strange rough country through which they must pass or the obstacles they must meet.
Early in June the second Company was ready to start. Elizabeth was still confined to her bed in the wagon-box but still she pleaded that she would be better off, if she could only be on the ways, away from this fever infested country. Accordingly, arrangements were made for the Boucks to come in the next company and Elizabeth was to come with them. When it was learned that Elizabeth was going with the next company the Foutz family made plans to go, too. As her father said, “We can help to give her as decent a burial as possible,” for he had little hope she would live to go far. As the warm spring days came and with the anticipation and fascination of the journey into the unknown, Elizabeth began to mend. When the company left Winter Quarters she was able to sit up only a little while at a time. But she was hopeful and her trust was in the Lord, His protecting care and His great healing powers.
Imagine if you can, starting the journey in a bed made in the wagon-box. This bed was made of whatever they could gather together when the mob got through with them. Think of her riding, jostling along over all kinds of trails, fording streams or being ferried or carried across rivers, never knowing what would happen next. Her faith in her Heavenly Father’s care, in her own people, in her husband, and her love for all of them made her equal to the ordeals and trials through which she must pass and she was willing to make any sacrifice necessary.
Early June found the second company on its way. Spring rains were passed, vegetations was green and beautiful. The warm spring days were with them and Elizabeth was full of hope for the future. There would be many obstacles ahead of them but with a song in her heart and courage to try, things must be better.
The company journeyed on day after day. Her determination to continue on, coupled with the faith and prayers of her family and friends added new strength and soon she was able to sit up in her bed a little longer each day. As time went on, she was able to be up and outside of the wagon a little each day. She watched for signs of the previous company that showed that they had passed along in their travels. No matter how small the sign, it brought a thrill to the hearts of the watching loved ones.
Finally the day came. Word was received that the first company of Pioneers had reached the valley of the Great Salt Lake. Explorations had been made in many directions and decisions had been made that “This Is The Place.” The Saints should settle there as their permanent home!
This was a happy day for many of the travelers. The thought of loved ones after this long, hazardous journey, having completed the first lap in safety and being permitted to return to their people, filled every heart with the keenest anticipation and rejoicing. This was especially true of Elizabeth and her people. After all the trials through which they had passed, they were made to rejoice more than ever to see her health improved daily. Her heart was full of rejoicing and thanksgiving for the blessings she felt were so abundantly showered upon her. She thanked her Heavenly Father for those blessings and pleaded for a continuation of them. The happiness of these thoughts seemed to bring added strength and vigor to her.
As it happened the coming of the second company of pioneers had timed the return of the first company very well. They had made camp at the Sweetwater in Wyoming and planned to celebrate the next day. They couldn’t tell the exact hour but they knew that they were not far apart. It was to be a gala affair. The band played and everybody rejoiced as the company came in sight of camp. With those who were returning it was another story, their hearts and minds were filled with wonder and suspense. Some of the friends of Henson have told of this meeting. He hurried from one wagon to another in search of his wife and her people. Had anyone seen her or did they know of her whereabouts? Finally they were located! What a time of rejoicing it was! Henson found what he was looking for and together they finished their journey with their families. They reached the Salt Lake Valley in September 1847.
As soon as they arrived they began making plans for a home. Kind old Father Bouck divided his scanty store with them and they began their housekeeping and homemaking. It was a struggle for everyone. There was little they had been able to bring with them and less to be found in this new desert country. Their food consisted of a small ration of flour and the fish and game the young husband could provide (he was good at it) and the roots they could dig from the ground. They toiled and struggled, grateful each day to be in a land of peace among relatives, kind neighbors and friends and thankful for a chance to help those who had so willingly helped them.
The fall and winter wore past and spring came again. The people tried to make the best of whatever conditions came to them. They were always busy trying to improve their conditions. They tried to live their religion and obey the counsel given them by those in authority.
The happiness of their little home was increased on June 13, 1848 by the birth of a son whom they named Henson III. Probably from lack of nourishing food he was long and lean, for the young mother could not make him plump and husky. He had black eyes and black hair and was the joy and pride of his parents. They took up land about where Fort Douglas now stands, farmed with whatever implements and seeds they had.
In the early, 1849, Indian war troubles began. Henson was called to go south to Utah County with others to help suppress this unrest. The families of these men were left to get along as best they could while their husbands were gone on these dangerous journeys. In the summer of 1850, Henson was called by President Young to go with others to the Platte River to help with the building of a ferry for the Church. These men were gone most of the summer and again the young wife and baby were left to get along the best way they could. This trip was quite successful, providing means with which to start their future home.
It was December 13, 1850 that their second child was born, a baby girl whom they named Victoreen Elizabeth. She was more plump and rosy, with brown hair and blue eyes. Throughout her life she had a patient, sunny disposition.
These had been trying times, but the young family was always looking forward for better days. Now they were planning to make a new and they hoped, a more permanent home for themselves. As the husband had traveled south into Utah County during the trouble with the Indians, he watched the land and the water and studied ways and means to make his life fit into the scheme of things in this new country. In 1851 he began to make his plans materialize and the spring of 1852, Elizabeth and her two small children were located in Battle Creek, later called “Pleasant Grove.” She was fortunate in having her mother, Margaret Mann Foutz, come with them when they moved from Salt Lake to their new home. Mother Foutz was equally blessed in being able to come as she had been left a widow with several children.
Land was staked off and homes were started. It was a busy time for everyone. Elizabeth was a good housewife and a splendid manager, making everything do its full duty in every way possible. Grandmother Foutz was equally resourceful. She tried to help her children earn their way as they went along. The women gathered wild fruit and berries for food; gleaned in the fields for grain, raised gardens, made soap, water softener and dye. They gathered the bits of wool that clung to the brush as the sheep grazed in the neighborhood. This was cleaned, washed, carded and spun into yarn and knitted into warm stocking or woven into cloth from which their clothes were made. This was all done by hand. They made candles to provide light as they worked in the long winter evenings, sewing the cloth into clothing and knitting stockings. It must be remembered that under these conditions new suits, coats and dressed did not come often but often enough to be appreciated and enjoyed by all.
On the 7th of June 1852, with Elizabeth’s consent, Henson married Sophronia Philinda Clark in the Endowment House in Salt Lake City.
Early in the summer of 1852 President Young called Henson to go with him to St. George to take care of church duties, thus leaving the young wives and family to care for themselves. In July 1852 President Young and others of the General Authorities came again to visit in Utah County. They dined and rested at the Walker home and then resumed their journey. Three days later they returned and appointed Henson Presiding Elder of the Pleasant Grove Branch.
On March 22, 1853 a third child came to bless their home. This time, another boy whose physical characteristics were much like those of his older brother’s. He had piercing black eyes and dark brown hair. He had a genial disposition and a strong will. He was given the name of Lewis Heber. Lewis for his father’s youngest brother of whom he was very fond and Heber in honor of Heber C. Kimball who was an early apostle of the Church and a very close friend of the Walker Family.
In those early days, Pleasant Grove tried a plan that was sometimes used in early day practice when it became a branch of its own. This was a double organization, that is, leadership arrangement in it church affairs. George S. Clark, one of the first men to settle in this area, had previously been called as first Bishop over the northern part of Utah County, which included the villages of Evansville (Lehi), McArthursville (American Fork) and Battle Creek (Pleasant Grove). It seems that George S. Clark now continued as Bishop . . ..”had charge of the temporal affairs, doubtless directing the Aaronic Priesthood activities, collecting the tithes and offerings and ministering to the more practical needs of the people. At the same time, after July 1852, Henson Walker officiated as President of the Branch . . .. presiding over the Sunday services, directing the work of the quorums of the Melchizedek Priesthood in their ministry of spiritual affairs.” (History of the Church Vol. 4, p. 331)
In 1853 the General Authorities organized the Pleasant Grove Branch into a Ward. Brother Walker was ordained a High Priest and set apart to serve as Bishop of the new ward, having charge of both its temporal and spiritual affairs. All of these things had its effect on Elizabeth. Many new responsibilities in many directions came to her. Many times was she called upon to entertain the General Authorities in their home. In those days there were no hotels or eating-places. Elizabeth and her people had grown up with the prominent people of the Church. They had known them as long as she could remember and had associated with them during the trying days of Nauvoo and from then on, the trials of the Church had tended to cement their friendship and loyalty together. She was glad to do whatever service possible for their comfort and blessing. Furthermore, the old scripture that the “Poor ye have with ye always” was variably true. Immigrants were coming to the settlements constantly and many of them had exhausted all their resources in getting to their destination. Under the direction of the Bishopric, the immediate needs of these people were cared for.
Elizabeth’s fourth son was born November 4, 1855. He was another blue-eyed baby with brown hair and a sweet, patient disposition. He was given the name of Appollos Benjamin, in honor of two fine brothers of the Driggs family who worked much with the father and who were loved and respected as much as if they were children of this family.
Shortly after the birth of A.B., another plural wife was taken into the family, Mary Green. Mary was an English convert, born 19 February 1838 in Shropshire England. She and Henson were married on the 3 July 1838 in the Endowment House in Salt Lake City. Mary was a patient faithful mother of seven children, five of whom lived to maturity.
A little over a year later, 9 November 1857, Henson married Elizabeth’s younger sister, Margaret Foutz. Margaret was born 16 October 1839 in Adams County, Illinois. Unlike other wives she lived in the home with her sister, together they worked and planned to build the home for their families. Margaret had only one child, a son, whom she named Ezra Foutz Walker.
Early in 1856 Bishop Henson Walker and his counselors officially organized the Female Relief Society. Elizabeth Walker was President; Laura Liston was first counselor, and Susan Neff the second counselor with Mary Ann Street the Secretary and Treasurer. Visiting Teachers were appointed to visit the sisters and gather whatever could be donated for the care of the poor. They took their baskets with them and gathered groceries, foodstuffs or clothing, as the people were able to give. The Society distributed these commodities, made clothing and quilts for he poor and assisted bye Bishop in caring for the immigrants as they came in from time to time each year. They tried to correct the morals and strengthen the virtues of the people in general, supporting and upholding the Priesthood. They nursed the sick, watched at the bedside of the dying, made the clothes and prepared the bodies of the dead for burial. They were truly sisters of mercy.
Another baby boy came to bless the home of Elizabeth and Henson on 27 April 1858. He had dark eye and hair and a carefree disposition and as he grew older he was much fonder of play than of work and responsibility. He was named John Young. The mother’s cares and worries increased with the addition of each new member of the family. Besides the care of her family, Church duties increased. It was at this time the President Buchanan sent out an army of 2500 soldiers to crush a rebellion in the valley. It came about in this way.
Two disappointed applicants for Government mail contracts had sent stories to Washington D. C. that the Mormons were in rebellion against the United States. The stories were absurd, yet on this fabric of falsehood the President had ordered the soldiers to put down the “Mormon Rebellions.” The news came on July 24, 1857 as the saints were celebrating the tenth anniversary of their arrival in the valley. Many of the people were celebrating in the near by canyons. When a dust-laden weary horseman rode up to Brigham Young’s tent and delivered this ominous message. The news spread like wildfire and in a short time the entire Salt Lake Valley was in a frenzy of excitement. Men were dispatched to do what they could to delay the army and play for time in the hope that something might be done to turn the President from this madness. Prairies were burned, the armies’ cattle were stampeded, the bridges built by the Mormons were destroyed and fords were dredged. Because of this carefully executed plan the army was forced to remain in their winter quarter in what is now western Wyoming.
Colonel Thomas L. Kane, who had become acquainted with the Mormons when they moved across Iowa, gave the Saints much help. He had seen the injustices they had suffered. It was largely through his efforts that the President was persuaded to send to Utah a peace commission in the spring of 1858. President Young agreed that the army might pass through the city but could not stop there. Lest there be any violations of this agreement, he put into effect the plan originally decided upon. When the army entered the Valley the following summer, it found the city desolated and deserted except for a few watchful men who were armed with flint and steel and sharp axes. The houses and barns were filled with straw, ready to be set afire and the axes were ready to chop down the orchards in case of any violations. The people had moved to the south, leaving their homes to be burned if necessary. Some of the army officers and men were deeply affected as they marched through the silent streets, realizing what their coming had meant. One prominent officer, who had led the Mormon Battalion on its long march and knew of the wrongs previously inflected on these people, bared his head in reverent respect. The army marched through the city without trouble and camped nearly forty miles to the southwest in Cedar Valley. The Saints returned to their homes. This event has gone down in history as Buchanan’s Blunder.
All these experiences had their effects on the people of the valley. The worry and excitement for Elizabeth through these long months was great as she cared for her family. Besides her own there were always others whom she must look after.
December 29, 1860, Elizabeth’s sixth child was born. A baby girl with blue eyes and brown hair was a real joy to the entire family and especially so to the mother since it was another girl to go with four boys. She had disposition that loved everybody and whom everybody loved. Things went on in the usual way for these times. Everybody must learn to work and play, to be kind and helpful to each other. Children must be kept in school as much as possible and they must learn to do what was necessary both inside and outside of the home.
In 1863 Henson was called to fill a mission in Europe. He labored in England and was also called to preside over the Scottish Mission. He was released from his labors as Bishop and Mayor to give his time to the missionary work. While he was away gave birth to her last child on 16 January 1864 whom she named Sanford Foutz. He was an even-tempered child and a great comfort to his family.
With the release of her husband as Bishop, came the release for Elizabeth as president of the Relief Society. This was a great relief to Elizabeth to be relieved of this responsibility. Her husband was gone on his mission for about two years.
Relieved of some of the responsibilities that had crowded their busy lives, they began to think of some peace and quiet and less of struggle and strain; but this was not to last for long. Lewis Heber, their second son now fifteen years old, was accidentally killed on April 13, 1868. He had gone to the pasture to drive the cow’s home. On the way, the horse had a bad disposition at times and became unmanageable. Going down a little hill, the horse fell on its rider, crushing him to death. Neighbors saw the accident and hurried to render assistance. They carried him home but he was so badly hurt, he lived only a short time. He had talked to them as he went away with the horse, now in a few brief minutes he was dead. Elizabeth was grief stricken and the shock was terrible. She could not be comforted. She blamed herself for the accident and placed all the responsibility for it on herself. If only she had done otherwise, it would not have happened.
The fact is, during the day a neighbor had come to borrow the bridle. She loaned it to him with the promise that he would have it back by a certain time. They all knew that the animal was hard to manage and the son had had a special bridle made by which he could better control the horse. The neighbor failed in his promise and was no there with the bridle at the appointed time. The son, knowing the vicious nature of the horse at the time, naturally was a little perturbed when he found the bridle gone and remarked to his mother that the horse would kill him yet. He went away and in a few minutes he was carried back in an almost lifeless condition. There was nothing that could be done. He was gone and she felt that she was to blame. The shock and grief caused a nervous breakdown. She could not control herself. She couldn’t sleep or eat and as the summer came on her reasoning was feared for. She walked about alone in the night or day to try to use up the tension that seemed to tear her apart. Doctors were few and medical help was even more scarce. It was just a guess if this or that might help. The family tried everything possible.
At last it was decided to take her out for a ride early in the morning while the dew sparkled on the grass when everything was cool and quiet and the air was fresh and invigorating. No one knew whether or not this would help. It could only be tried but it was worth a try. She was awake anyway. So the experiment began. The horses were hitched to the farm wagon and Elizabeth was helped to the spring seat. That’s all they had. She insisted that it wouldn’t make any difference where or how she went or what she saw if only she could get relief. Kind neighbors were willing to help in every way possible.
Nancy Holman came to offer her assistance. Most of the men were tied to their farm labors, but Nancy could take her team of mules and do the job as she lived across the street from Elizabeth. She had a genial disposition and tried in many ways to help. She felt that her efforts were being rewarded in a small way and this gave her courage. She was up as soon as it was light enough to see to get the mules ready. A clean quilt was put on the seat that consisted of a board with springs fastened to the ends of the board and hooks that held it fast to the wagon box. There was no back, no sides, only the fluffy homemade quilt that covered the rough board. As soon as it was light, Nancy drove into the yard and helped Elizabeth out of the house and onto the wagon seat. They decided to drive to the north field this morning. The families both had property in those parts. The mules jogged along gently and Nancy talked of everything pleasant of which she could think. They talked of the size of the sagebrush by the side of the road, the jack rabbits and cotton tails darting about, the hum of the insects, the song of birds, the flapping of the wings of the crow as he rose from his meal and of some dead animal. It was a varied sound and scene. They drove through growing fields toward the mouth of the canyon, near the beautiful mountains and west into more growing fields. Finally, they came to a very familiar road that took them down a hill, across abridge over a stream of water. The stream was full of watercress, fresh and crisp. Past the bridge was a steeper incline than before. As the team went down the first incline a bolt came out, letting the doubletrees slide against the heels of the mules. This startled them and they quickened their pace. Nancy wasn’t prepared for this and before she knew it they had gone off the bridge and two wheels were in the water. The water was deep. The two women were tossed out of the wagon into the clear, cold, spring water in a bed of watercress. They looked at each other, the sight was an amusing one and as the two astonished women looked at themselves in the bed of watercress surrounded by the water, their predicament took on a humorous angle and both of them began to laugh.
Nancy often told of it later. It was the first time even a smile had been seen on Elizabeth’s face. Something had happened, it was as if a spell had been broken, Elizabeth laughed a hearty laugh. As they looked at each other in such a plight, sitting in the water far above their waists, the more humorous it appeared to them, the harder they laughed. Finally they began to realize what had really happened and they began to try to get out on the bridge. They were a bedraggled dripping sight. Meanwhile the mules had moved on until the incline in the road caused the double=trees to slip back in place and they stopped. The women climbed into the wagon and rode home.
The experience had its good and bad effects. Elizabeth could smile and laugh again. The cold bath in the watercress put an end to some physical function for Elizabeth, which never appeared again. At first this didn’t seem so bad but later she developed a severe headache from which she never fully recovered. Sometimes the pain in her head was so intense that she was forced to go to bed. At other times it was less severe and she could be about attending to her duties at home. At other times it was less severe and she could be about attending to her duties at home. She wore a white band of cloth around her head fastened tight which helped to relieve some of the pain. This band was put over wintergreen ointment which she massaged on her head. For more than forty-two years she suffered but was sweet and patient through it all. It took a long time to overcome the shock and grief of this trouble but when she began to mend her health gradually improved thou she never regained her full vigor and strength. She was always very sympathetic and understanding with others. The joys of the community were hers and their sorrows were hers as well.
During most of her life she had been active and busy. Now her health condition caused her to slow down and she spent more time at home with her family and friends. There were the four polygamous families and if anyone had trouble they looked to Elizabeth for help. Some of the wives lost children and this was a great sorrow to her as well as to them.
By this time the children were growing up and getting married and they stayed as close to their old home as possible. This had its advantages and disadvantages. At one time her oldest son, Henson III, and family lived in the house with them. An epidemic of diphtheria spread through the town. The disease was a bad type and no one knew what to do for it. Three of these children took the disease and died in as many weeks this was very hard on the grandmother.
Later, trouble for polygamous families was stirred up. Men were arrested and thrown in jail unless they could keep out of the way of the Federal Officers. Elizabeth’s husband made several trips out of the state on several short-term missions to the Northern States. He, with others, spent time doing missionary work for the Church instead of lying in jail. All this increased the work and responsibility of the wives who were left at home to care for the families. Most of these men were loyal to their families and to their Church.
At last the time came when the men were instructed to denounce their plural wives and disown them. Henson’s wives had their own homes, all except one. Margaret, Elizabeth’s younger sister, had lived in the same house with her and Henson for nearly thirty-five years. They must obey the law of the land and Margaret was moved into a home of her own across the street from Elizabeth. This was a great trial for all concerned. Margaret’s health failed her in her loneliness and she passed away in a few years.
In June 1885 Elizabeth’s youngest daughter, Evaline, was married and moved with her husband to Vernal, Utah, where the oldest daughter lived. A year later, she was brought home in a much worse condition than before. She passed away in March 1887-8, before an operation could be performed. This was another heart breaking experience for Elizabeth, one she could hardly overcome.
Still she struggled on. Then on 13th of March 1893, the oldest daughter, Victoreen, passed away, leaving a family of fourteen children, the youngest a baby only ten days old. When news came of this tragedy, the shock and sorrow ere almost more than Elizabeth could bear. She passed out and lay for days in a semi-conscious condition. Her third son, A. B., was doing missionary work in the Northern States at the time. In her delirious condition she seemed to connect the trouble with him. At last he was released and brought home in the hope that this might save her life. It had the desired effect. She began to mend. She was then about sixty-five years old. She had had some harrowing experiences and much poor health but she finally rallied, learned what had really taken place and was sill able to carry on to a degree.
On July 24, 1897 the Utah Pioneers celebrated the 50th anniversary of their arrival in Utah. It was a gala affair. There were only a few of that valiant band left. Each one was presented with a gold badge commemorating this event. Elizabeth had traveled with her husband through these many milestones together. She had been patient, kind and gentle. She had suffered long but had often said that she wanted to suffer all the Lord had for her to suffer while she was in this life. She didn’t want to take any extra pain to have to endure in another world.
She and her husband lived on a few more years, enjoying their lives together seemingly reconciled to whatever awaited them. They enjoyed their family greatly. Often they saw them and knew them well. The daughters were gone but four sons with their families were near them and visited them often. On January 24,1904 her husband, Henson, passed away after a brief illness. Still she carried on, willing to take whatever her Heavenly Father had in store for her. After the death of her husband, she remained for the most part in the old home that had been home for so many years. Their youngest son, Sanford, and his family were with her in the house. From the beginning she had been here in this location for more than fifty-two years in Pleasant Grove.
Elizabeth seemed to be just waiting for whatever should come to her. She was sure at the death of her husband that it would not be long until she too would be called. As the years passed by she often “wondered why ‘Pa’ didn’t come” for her. He knew she never went anywhere without him.
In January of 1910 Elizabeth began to fail rapidly. Always she was asking for her son, Bennie, to be near her. He tried to gratify her every desire. The weather was cold, the snow deep, and Bennie must drive three miles with horse and buggy to come to her, always spending the night with her. He sat at her bedside until his heart gave out. Then they were both down, each wondering about the other. When Elizabeth was told that A.B. was too sick to come to her, she seemed perfectly satisfied and remarked, “He will soon be better.” She passed away January 30, 1819. Bennie died February 3, 1910.
Funereal services were held in the Pleasant Grove Tabernacle February 3, 1910. Thus closed the life of Elizabeth Foutz Walker, a life spread over eighty-three years; years crowded with experiences of every kind. She was a noble lady, patient and kind to everyone, always anxious to help wherever she could. Her numerous posterity now numbered into the sixth and seventh generation, many of whom have brought honor to her name.
(From the files of Mary Jean Caldwell.)