Rose Victoria Atkinson History

[From notes of Rose Young with additions by her family]

Today on my ninety first birthday, I still keep my house, cook, and sew. My interests still keep me living each day fully. My home has just been redecorated with new paint, wallpaper, and carpet. I would like to thank Clarice, Velda, and Deryl Ross, who have helped me achieve such pleasant surroundings to spend the remainder of my days. All of my wonderful children will be here to celebrate this 91st birthday with me.

I, Rose Young, was born 21 April 1887 at Clarkston, Cache County, Utah. I was born at home with my Grandmother Ann Atkinson as the midwife. I was named after Queen Victoria, the crowned Queen of England. I was the eighth of nine children. My father was Alfred Henry Atkinson and my mother was Johanna Mathilda Peterson.

I was blessed and baptized in the Clarkston Ward. It was early spring when I was baptized and I remember the ice had to be broken in a large ditch. Others in the group to be baptized cried, but I can remember not crying and being wrapped up warmly in a very large quilt. Mother had a hot dinner and warm clothing waiting for me as we arrived home. The following Thursday I was confirmed in fast meeting. I can still remember it very plainly. What a wonderful journey I have had traveling through this wonderful world! So many pleasant things have come my way that have brought pleasure and happiness.

We were truly a pioneer family and that meant hard work by everyone. I guess this is what kept the family together, well, and happy. It seems I never learned how to play. When we were still small, we would help weed with mother and carry the weeds to the pigs, herd the calves, and take the cows to the pasture. We were told that beautiful hands are they that do the work of the noble. This has been one of my motto's in life: to keep busy and to keep an active interest in all things.

My father, Alfred Henry, came from Middle Essex, London, England when he was eight years old with his parents as they emigrated to America. I am very proud of my noble pioneer ancestry and know I was from goodly parents. Alfred married Mathilda Johanna Peterson 10 July 1871 in the Endowment house in Salt Lake City. He got out logs from the canyon to build a big one room home in Clarkston. More rooms were added as the family grew. My Father accepted polygamy and married Ada Eliza Pack in the fall of 1887, the year I was born. She became the mother of three children listed with their spouses: Frances Ada who married Nels P Stander, Samuel Alfred who died as a child, and William Thomas who married Edna Schvaneveldt.

Father was a farmer and a canyon hand. He worked very hard going to the canyon for firewood and logs that could be sawed into lumber. He kept large [quantities of] timber on hand to pay for something he needed. His barn, granary, chicken coop, and stables were built of logs covered with lumber [boards]. He got the blacksmith wood to burn in exchange for use of the blacksmith's tools. Because of the polygamy issue, the marshals came often and father hid from them. They even took mother's family to court in Logan but couldn't find the new wife so we were sent home. He took his new wife in a covered wagon and went to Canada to see if conditions were better there. If so they were to move us all to Canada but the winter was so cold, he came back as soon as possible and worked on the farm.

When the Logan Temple was being built, men were able to do some work in quarrying rock and cutting trees. My father, being a good canyon hand, was called to cut trees in Logan Canyon. He would leave very early Monday Morning in a covered wagon with feed for his horses, a grub box for him, his bedding, and camping equipment. He would come back Saturday. These trees were taken to the temple saw mill, sawed, or prepared in the way they were needed for the building. Father often besides going to the canyon for wood, got out logs and had them sawed into lumber; money was so scarce that he could pay for things with this lumber.

Our house grew to four rooms all made of logs. I feel surely that I had one of the best, kindest mothers who ever lived. It seems she bore enough troubles and hardships for an army to handle; yet she would go on quietly and always be pleasant about her work. When she was 13 years old, her family emigrated from Barnholm, Denmark to Utah on a sailing ship and finally by ox team burying three of their family on the way. [Rose wrote that her mother taught them little Danish songs and many recitations. She encouraged us to take part in Sunday School and so on.]

We were taught the gospel at all times and to attend church meetings. The first Thursday morning in the month, we all fasted and went to fast meeting at 10:00 o'clock. Each Sunday [morning] we went to Sunday School and Sacrament Meeting in the evening.

I have always had a strong testimony of God, his goodness, and of His Son, Jesus Christ, and of the Holy Ghost. I know the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints to be true and that we have a living prophet to guide and lead us in the ways we should go.

My patriarchal blessing was given to me by Patriarch Smith in Salt Lake City. I didn't think too much of it at the time. While he was giving it, he would go and get wood for the fire and do other chores while the secretary wrote what he had said. I can remember being very unimpressed and even disgusted with it. Still, to this day I hold it very dearly as it has all come to pass, yes even every word.

[The blessing given in 1908 promised peace and health in her dwelling. She should not lack for the comforts of life. She would give unto the needy, comfort the hearts of the fatherless, cheer the hearts of the bowed down, and always look on the bright side. Her cheerfulness would turn away anger and gain friends. She would heal the sick by prayer and faith, have a family, and be a peacemaker. She would sit in council among the older women and have a care for the young of early youth. She would live to a good old age and assist in claiming the wayward among the youth in Zion. She would have great faith in the ordinances of the Lord's house. She would know that the hand of the Lord has been over her and that her life had been preserved by an unseen power and for a purpose. The visions of her understanding would be opened. The fulfillment of these and other mentioned blessings is very remarkable.]

Some early childhood experiences I had follow. I can remember running to the post office and picking up the mail. I particularly enjoyed picking up the church magazine with the continuous serial stories called Little George Stories in which my mother would take great delight in reading them to us. [Stories about the experiences of George D. Watt, the first baptized English convert published in the Sunday School Juvenile Magazine. George D. Watt was the grandfather of Clarice's husband, Kennen Whitesides.] As children we all attended school at Clarkston. Mother was such a beautiful reader. Books were so scarce and she would make a special effort to meet the new principal who came to teach school. He would always have some nice books to lend her. She would read to us in the evening as we did needle work or crochet and many of our friends would join us to hear her read. Mother could read the Bible at the age of four.

I wasn't very big when Eva, my sister, and I had to take the calves out to graze on the county road where the grass was good. We enjoyed picking flowers from the meadow and other places while going to the pasture. We went bare footed to keep our shoes for Sunday. [Sometimes she and Eva would share a pair of shoes at a dance.] We couldn't buy ready made clothes at all. I remember my father buying a large bolt of heavy factory unbleached muslin from which mother made hers, father's, and grand-ma's garments as well as the children's underwear. She also made all the shirts and all our dresses. This factory unbleached muslin wasn't easy to wash on the [scrub] board with homemade soap. Mother made the soap from fat and water that had stood on wood ashes to make lye. After the clothes were scrubbed, they were boiled, rinsed, and blued. [The bluing made the clothes appear white.] She and grandma were always knitting. If she went to Logan to see Grandmother Peterson in the lumber wagon, she knitted all the way there and back. Grandma and mother knitted wool yarn in winter and cotton yarn for summer.

[Rose wrote that when they graduated from the 8th grade, they had to go to the B.Y. Academy for testing. She was the only one of ten to receive a certificate.]

Once I begged my mother to let me take her only needle to school and I promised to take the best care of it. She hesitated but finally agreed. At school I dropped it in a crack in the floor and we couldn't get it. I felt so bad that I had disappointed my mother as she always had complete faith in me. It was quite some time before another needle could be acquired. Simple things like pins, needles, and thread were luxury items to us. Have you ever diapered a baby without a good safety pin? We had lots of snow in Clarkston and I learned to enjoy games on the ice and snow. Well, we all grew up, all nine of us.

There is an episode in my life I haven't told my children and would like to relate at this time. Mother and I talk[ed] of it once in awhile. But it stands far out and I know God and my guardian angel saved my life. The Allen Hunsakers were our friends in Elwood. Abe was the first wife's child and the second wife had several girls. They owned a ranch above Clarkston.

Each spring they would drive their sheep and cattle up to the ranch. The men cared for the sheep, and the women the cows. They got up early to bring 3 or 4 cans of milk to our place for the milk man to collect. They had Sunday dinners with us and when we had harvesters heading [the grain] and thrashing, we cooked and fed them at their ranch house. One day when I was about ten years of age, Mrs. Hunsaker came with a fine horse and buggy. She was covered with a lovely lap robe and there was a red tassel on the whip stock. I thought how pretty. She asked mother if I could go with her to Elwood for Company. I jumped at the chance for a grand ride.

The next morning, I got up early with the girls. I even helped them milk. They had a big bull in the correl. When he saw me, a stranger, he came toward me, but I picked up a stick and hit him on the nose and he went away. Sue wanted me to go with her to put the cows in the pasture. On the way we passed Abe and his brothers hauling hay. Soon after this, the bull came to me knocking me down. Susie ran as fast as she could to her brothers, yelling, "He's killing the little girl, he's killing the little girl." Soon Abe [Hunsaker] came on a horse with a pitchfork. He found the bull butting me time after time. He rescued me from the bull and lifted me on his horse and took me to the house. They all made a big fuss over me, I wasn't hurt in any way, but my dress and underwear were torn badly. I put on a dress of one of the girls while Mrs. Hunsaker fixed my clothes on the sewing machine. We got in the buggy and went home that night. The next Sunday, Mrs. Hunsaker bore her testimony saying, "She didn't know why I wasn't killed."

When I was about 16, Abe came one day and said, "Well I saved your life and would I like to marry him?" It almost took my breath away. I said, "I'm not ready for marriage. Eva and I have had our hearts set on going to college." I thanked him.

I remember when the first primary was organized. Lilly Freeze came from Salt Lake in a one horse buggy organizing a primary in every ward. In Clarkston Sarah K. Butters was chosen, and my mother was her helper.

One of the greatest things that came into my life was the privilege of going to the B. Y. Academy at Logan. Eva and I counted the days until we could go. We worked at anything we could find to raise the money. My father didn't want us to go to school. He said we would [end up] school teachers and wouldn't get married. He had gone to Brigham for a load of fruit; Eva and I had everything packed to go when he got home at 12:30 am. We helped him unload his fruit and got our things in the wagon, taking bottles and fruit to put up at Grandmothers house in Logan.

We loved her little two room house, fixed it up very nice, papering the front room with wall paper at ten cents a roll. We got a nice curtain to divide the bedroom from the living quarters. Frances was with us the first year and took dress making. Mother stayed with us during the coldest part of the second year.

We had lovely times especially for not having much money. For $1.00 we joined the woman's club at college. [The year the shops burned at the AC College, the students were paid 25 cents per hour to help rebuild them.] I went with Lynn McClemen and Eva went with Charles Pace. Picture shows were ten cents. Every Saturday night we went to dance at what is now the skating rink. Some times we had a cup of hot chocolate after the show. It cost ten cents per cup and it was really good. We hired a sewing machine for 75 cents per week and made our Christmas dresses. My sister, Clara, was just wonderful to help us. She made each of us a gray suit and a party dress to start school. I remember the first time I saw and heard a piano being played. My brother, Charles, took Eva and I to Smithfield for a dance. We entered the hall from behind the orchestra. I was thrilled by the new music. I had heard organ music all my life, but this was so light and new. Charles said the instrument was a piano. Everybody will have one after awhile.

It was a lovely day when I received my teachers certificate to say I may teach school. What a joy to do what I wanted to do and get paid for doing it. I was to receive $45.00 per month. We usually had 45 to 55 students in one class. We had very few books and slates; paper and pencils were a great treat. Paper was always torn in half to make it go farther. Three students shared one book and we could only have them a very short time.

After having taught school [two years at Plymouth and two at Clarkston], I married Wallace Young. I met my husband at my brother Charles' wedding. My brother Charles missionary companion, Albert Young, and his brother, Wallace, came to his reception. I was just 14 years old but before Wallace left for his mission in 1904, he came up to see me at Logan. We corresponded until we were married 23 December 1909 in the Salt Lake Temple.

[The story of Wallace and Rose's courtship is given in Wallace's history. Wallace had corresponded with several girls on his mission but treasured letters from Rose]. She went to Logan and bought material for a wedding dress. As the wedding date approached, she caught the train at Cache Junction to Brigham. Wallace met her there, and they traveled on to Salt Lake City. She got her sister Eva to teach for her while she got married. She later went back to Clarkston and finished her contract to teach till spring.

When we came home to Clarkston, the family had a lovely hot wedding supper with many friends and relatives who had brought us lovely gifts. Wallace took me home to Perry where he and Bert had been batching it as Ida, his sister, was on a mission. We bought the home that had belonged to Wallace's mother, buying out Eliza, Ida, and Sarah. [Later they remodeled the house moving the kitchen from the location of the folks bedroom to its location when we lived there. The cellar and screen porch were also added.]

[Ida lived with Wallace and Rose from 1911 when she returned from her mission until her marriage in 1914. She and Bert lived in the So. side of the house.] Bert lived with us 20 years as part of the family.

Rose said: "To me Perry was a most beautiful place. After living in Clarkston where we had such cold winters and so much snow, I was delighted to be in Perry. I could raise such lovely flowers, all kinds of roses, evergreens, and all sorts of fruits and berries. I am sure I went overboard in many things. I had six varieties of lilacs, lilies, and more roses. I loved the whole farm. I don't think anyone could find so much joy and satisfaction from being there. I raised three coops of chickens and loved to watch the young calves in the spring. Sometimes we had 20 little calves and I watched them grow." [Rose wrote that her mother and grandmother had both loved flowers. Her mother and grandmother always had a row of flowers on either side of the path to their homes. They had also raised gardens in Sweden.]

[Rose planted a row of roses along the long driveway in front of the Perry house. By June they were most beautiful and perfumed the air. Hibiscus plants were also part of the row. The other side of the driveway had a row of peonies of every color. Memorial day was the big flower day. Every flower in bloom was taken to decorate graves at Brigham. These included snowballs, peonies, roses, and whatever else was in bloom.]

Rose carefully took cuttings of roses and plants she liked and nurtured the cuttings under quart bottles [a miniature greenhouse] in the shade on the north side of the house until they were big enough to plant as a permanent part of her garden. She obtained the finest of French lilacs that were lovely to see and smell. Pans of baked dirt planted to tomatoes also joined her indoor flowers until the tomato plants were ready to be planted outside in the garden.]

The second spring after my marriage, the weather was warm and the flowers were blooming when on 15 May 1911, a tiny baby girl came to brighten our home. We called her Clarice, to honor my sister Clara. I was working in the mutual and primary but she was such a good child, it was a joy to have her.

[A story no one knew was that the spring following Clarice's birth, dad, mother, and Clarice went to Park Valley in the Northwest corner of Utah to begin homesteading. They spent the summer clearing sagebrush and living in a tent. They expected rain but none came. Dad lost his gold watch he had carried throughout his mission in a fire. Without a way of knowing the time, this seemed the last straw. They gave up the effort sometime in the fall and returned to Perry.]

The day after we finished picking and shipping our peaches, 29 September 1914, Velda arrived. Wallace's father had quit keeping house and had come to live with us. He stayed until his death. He was cheerful and easy to please. He loved the baby and helped teach her how to walk.

It was two days after my birthday [April 23] when Dale came to make his home with us. From the first, he was Bert's favorite. Bert loved Dale and Clarice, but the other children seemed to be always in his way. When Dale could walk, Bert would carry him out to the horse and take him to get the cows. As he grew bigger, sometimes the horse wasn't always very gentle and it was a worry to me as he had to get off to open the pasture gates. When he was fixing fence [barbed wire between fence posts], Bert would put a few staples and nails in a small bucket for Dale to carry just to have him with him.

Norman Keith had a hard time to make his appearance on 5 December 1922. He was overdue and his fingernails had completely circled his fingers and toenails the tip of his toes when he arrived. The Doctor about gave up on him; then he took ice water and ran it up and down his back bone before he found a faint cry. This nine pound baby has always brought comfort and happiness to me. [At an age of about two months, he was very ill and cried without ceasing. A doctor was paid to come from Ogden to see what the problem was. He took one look and lanced both of his ears. The crying soon ceased. The crying didn't help his double hernia. The family carried him about on pillows. Little sand bags were fitted as a truss over the hernias and succeeded in getting one to almost disappear.]

Deryl Ross came in June [2] when the men were putting hay in a wagon west of the house. The children were tramping hay [on the wagon]. When they came for dinner, the new little stranger was there.

Phyllis Dorene came 12 December 1930. The doctor had two big black bags that he put on the kitchen table and came in the bedroom to see me. When he went into the kitchen, DRoss sat on the table between both bags that had been opened and said, "There ain't no baby in there." But she made her appearance just the same though the doctor had a scare about his bags being opened.

[Rose worked hard to get the girls piano lessons. She got a man to come by getting a group of students to take lessons at our house. She also prepared dinner for him. Velda became Sunday School organist at age 13.]

[Clarice and Velda both were baptized in Porter Spring before a church font was built. It was commonly used for swimming by the local boys in the buff until the town opened a swimming pool in 1935.] Clarice graduated from the college in Logan and was married soon after. Velda attended a year at Weber Jr. College in Ogden, and a year at A.C. in Logan, received her teaching certificate, and taught two years before marriage. She has taken many college classes since. Dale and Keith attended Weber college also. Dale attended Logan for almost two years and was drafted in the army. He elected to join the medical corp. and returned for his degree to Logan after the war.

Rose wrote, "Dad was seriously hurt digging water cress out of a ditch in the lower field. This changed his whole life. The doctors would only give him a hernia truss to wear but if they had operated to correct it, he would have enjoyed good health." [See Wallace's story about this injury. Hernia operations 20 years later were still pretty crude as practiced by some doctors and frequently the repair would fail.]

[Keith after school at Weber went to the University of Washington at Seattle two years, then was needed on the farm and asked for a mission after the war. Because of dad's poor health while Keith was on his mission, Rose and Wallace moved to Brigham City in 1946 and DRoss ran the farm.]

We loved our new home in Brigham yet it was years before dad would call it really home. There was always something he would lay aside to take down home [meaning Perry].

Dad was made a High Priest and I had church work as I had in Perry. I had been President of the Young Ladies Mutual [with Wallace President of the Young Mens]. All activities of the ward came through that organization. Each winter we put on two or three plays. I always had a part or was a prompter. I loved to learn my lines and we took our plays to several wards and they came to our ward with their plays. I worked in Primary 29 years, was a class leader in Relief Society, and a member of the City Council for one term. I had the [older] boys class in Primary many years. [Mother pushed the babies in a wheel buggy to the church].

Rose continues: In Brigham I served as President of the Third Ward Relief Society for four years and was in the presidency of the Relief Society Stake Board for four years and went often to the Logan Temple. I have been a tabernacle guide for seven years [the old Box Elder Stake Tabernacle], also a member of the group to help non L. D. S. Indian Women at the Indian School. [The war time Bushnell Hospital was used for the Intermountain Indian School for many years]. My pioneer heritage gave me the opportunity to be a member of the Seagull Camp of the Daughters of Utah Pioneers. I gave many histories of our family at the camp meetings. I loved to entertain the group in my home and always had a big crowd. I also served on the County Camp of Daughters of Utah Pioneers, the governing board of the camps in Box Elder County. I delighted in sharing my home with my neighbors for family home evening. Seven to nine widows that were close friends came and we studied the scriptures together. My home was central so we always met there early in the evening. [She was a widow for 25 years.]

I take great pleasure in raising flowers, needle work, crocheting, knitting, oil painting, cooking, sewing, and quilt making. [She wrote that she found painting was a very pleasant pastime that she enjoyed very much.] Rose made beautiful quilts for all her children and most of her grandchildren. She was famous for her quilted Peacock on satin. When in Brigham City, Rose started to do oil paintings. [She had her own art exhibit as reported in the Desert News of Friday June 10, 1966. The article included her picture and a painting she had made from memory of Holland. Her home had a great many paintings and she gave them to all the family. She taught painting to many others without charge. Her daughter's, Clarice and Velda continue the tradition, as does Velda's husband, Oleen. Rose encouraged DeEsta Young, and Adele her daughters-in-law also to paint. DeEsta has had many exhibits of her own work.]

Velda and I had the privilege of going to Europe for the dedication of the British Temple, visited eight countries, and the World's Fair at Belgium. Dorene and I visited the land of Hawaii, visiting the temple, and many of the larger islands. Clarice and I toured the Orient going to Bangkok, Thailand, China, Hong Kong, and Japan, visiting many large cities, and visiting some of the LDS Chapels in China and Tokyo. Coming home [with] 169 on a Flying Tiger [Airlines] plane, we had a forced landing from engine problems at Cold Bay on the Aleutian Islands, but we reached home safely.

I have visited California several times to visit with Dorene and Keith and their families. I also went to Dale's [doctoral] graduation in Iowa. Adele and Dale showed us all the church historic places, which was a dream come true. [She was accompanied by Adele's mother on the trip. In later years she and Adele's mother were invited to visit Dale and Adele, see the Hill Cumorah Pageant, and tour Palmyra area historic church sites.


In 1962 I was selected a Local Mother of the Year. I really enjoy life. I am the mother of six wonderful children who have all been beacon lights in the community they have lived in. My family is the most precious thing that God could give anyone and I love them all dearly.

I have been blessed with good health most of my life and have always been most grateful. Other than when my children were born, I haven't needed much help except for the following: I stayed overnight once in the hospital while I had a little surgery on my chest. The lump was not malignant.

Later I fell on a small rise in the sidewalk in front of my neighbor's home breaking the bones in my hand and wrist. Kenn was here from Idaho and took me right over to the doctor's office. The doctor set my wrist with Kenn holding my arm. The doctor would pull and jerk, take x-rays, pull and jerk, and take more x-rays until he was satisfied. After which they brought me home. It was really a bad time. It was my right wrist and I was right handed. I wondered what I was going to do. DRoss said, "Now mom you hurt and you need help. We are all standing around and trying to help you. I want you to come and stay with us till you feel better." I stayed two days with DRoss and two days at Velda's place. After this, I felt much better and came home and got along just fine with the help of the family. This was the only time I ever stayed away from my home due to illness. [Mother found that her healed but stiff wrist made oil painting much more difficult.]

I enjoyed comparatively good health until Christmas 1976. The 24th of December, we celebrated a lovely Christmas Eve party at the home of my daughter, Clarice. Every year it has been a tradition to meet and celebrate the birth of Christ with as many family members as possible. We always have had wonderful food, a program, and exchange Christmas gifts. After leaving the party, I had a small heart attack and then it was followed by a stroke, which left me very weak, and affected my speech to some extent. A few days later, I fell and crunched the bone in my lower back. It was an awful thing for me. I was bed-fast for the next four months. Velda would nurse me in the daytime during the week and Clarice would stay and nurse me all night. DRoss would stay Friday and Saturday nights, and DeEsta would stay all day Saturday and Sunday. Dorene came from California and stayed for a week to help also. After this time, I was able to get about quite well by myself and resume my house keeping chores.

[Mother wrote, "My family is the most precious thing that God could give anyone and I love them all dearly, and they have all married giving me six more wonderful sons and daughters. They have all given me the best grandchildren and great grandchildren anyone could have. Surely my cup runneth over. I am so thankful you all belong to me and how wonderful it is to know I can depend on you all. And I appreciate all you do for me. When my last public party comes, I would like Cheryl to sing. We are all so proud of her with her beautiful voice and she mustn't be sad when she is singing at grand mother's party, for I want no sadness at all."

Keep the faith, love, Rose A. Young.

[Rose continued to enjoy her home until a few months before her death. She continued having small strokes that got more severe. She could no longer live alone and was cared for a few days at a time by Clarice, Velda, and then DRoss who lived nearby until her death on 19 February 1981. She was buried in the Brigham City Cemetery next to her husband.]

All her children would like to add that we love our mother more than words can say. We were surely born of goodly parents, who taught us things of heaven and of earth. They taught us the true meaning of love. Mother had flowers blooming from the first sign of spring to the hard freeze; she has passed out slips [flower or tree scions] and bouquets of flowers to all that ask for them. Her hands were always busy and she always had a big smile on her face. We could always go and talk to her because she would listen and would understand our feelings. She was cheerful, pleasant, and a joy to be around. We all will honor her memory.

[She was the moving cause of getting the book published on the Atkinson Family History, a major accomplishment. The book includes the history of her ancestors and descendants up to that time. She provided family group sheets with pictures of the major forebears to all members of her family and copies of the Atkinson Family History.