Sarah Lucretia Phelps
Sarah Lucretia, Elijah, Loren, Monita, Reuel
Phelps b. 23 July 1867, d. 30 April 1966 md. Elijah Pomeroy
Sarah Clarinda Pomeroy, b. 28 Feb 1890, d.
Hyrum Phelps Poineroy, b. 3 Oct. 1892, d. 13 April 1893
Francis Marion Pomeroy, b. 16 Feb. 1894, d. 27 May 1912
Loren Guy Pomeroy,b. 20 Oct. 1896, d. 17 April 1897
Monita Pomeroy, b. 8 May 1899, d. 6 Jan. 1922
Reuel Nephi Pomeroy, b. 20 April 1901, d. 20 May 1984, md. Helen
Sarah Lucretia Phelps was the
oldest child of Hyrum Smith Phelps and Sarah Clarinda Bingham. I was
born July 23, 1867 at the home of my grandmother Phelps in
Montpelier, Idaho. I have often heard my father say how terribly
disappointed he was when he first saw me because I was so terribly
ugly. He asked Grandma if I would always look like that and she told
him no; He said if I didn’t change in my looks he would be ashamed
to take me out in company as my head looked like something twisted
up in a paper tea bag.
I remember Father’s income was meager; they had a hard time making
ends meet. My two brothers, Hyrum and Calvin, and I would go to bed
early in order that Mother could wash and iron our clothes so we’d
have clean clothes to put on the next morning. I have seen mother
sit and sew by the light of a braided rag set in a plate of tallow.
As time went by, she made her own candles. I remember so well
stringing the candle moulds. I learned to spin quite young and
mother carded the rolls every chance she got and I would spin them.
My grandmother was a weaver. I would love to fill her spools and
bobbins for her. Sometimes when I could, I would sneak and sit on
her stool and throw the shuttle back and forth through the loom.
The first of my school days was in a one-room log school house with
long benches and no desks and a huge stove in the center of the
building. While attending school in Montpelier, I received my
greatest thrill. My cousin Almira Holmes Rich and I spelled the
school down. We were chosen on separate sides, and we were the last
to go down. I think I went down before she did.
I remember when I was about seven or eight years old, my father was
playing for a dance and mother had gone to bed. I was learning to
knit some garters. I had my feet in the oven and who should walk in
but two huge Indians with blankets around their shoulders. They
talked with each other, but didn’t say anything to me, then walked
out. I wasn’t long getting to bed, and after that Father would take
all of us to the dances with him when he played.
October 3, 1878, father, with his family of ten, in company with
seven other families left Montpelier for Arizona. It was a long and
tiresome journey for our parents, but enjoyable for the children.
When we were crossing the Colorado River, one span of horses jumped
overboard, with their harness on, but landed all right. That evening
my brother Gove was born, Dec. 2, 1878. Coming over Lee’s Back Bone
was very steep grade.
Father took one span of horses off the wagon, and I drove the team
by the lines all the way over the dugway. The dugway was very narrow
and straight down and looked like it was miles deep. Though the
mountains were covered with snow with no roads to follow, we arrived
in Mesa the 17th day of January, 1879.
It looked like we had come to the jumping off place, no one to greet
us except Theodore and Laura Sirrine. Laura is my cousin; she looked
so good to me. There were two houses and no roads in Mesa.
My father was not long getting his family settled in tents. Our
first home was where Temple Courts are now. About the next thing he
did was dig a well, it being the first well in Mesa. When the time
came, he set out an orchard and grape vineyard, which gave us and
all his neighbors some too. There were jobs for all that were big
enough to work: Hyrum, Calvin, Annie Laura, and me. We gathered
wood, piled brush, and killed snakes and thousand-legged worms.
I remember how happy I was to find some real straight chaparral
limbs for our brooms. We were very happy with our first real broom
that Father bought at Hayden’s store in Tempe.
The first school I attended in Mesa was under Aunt Matilda Pomeroy’s
shed; her daughter Urzula was the teacher. We had to make our own
amusements. As the town grew, more young folks came. We held dances
in different homes that had room enough. My mother’s front room was
one of them. We had three fiddlers we could depend upon. They were
Father, Joseph Lamb, and Harve Blair. We often went to Lehi for
parties. We would put four seats in a lumber wagon. There would be
four couples of us, and Wallace Macdonald was the driver. It seemed
as though we would make the trip as quickly as they do now in their
In 1883, I assisted Francelle Robson in teaching school. On
September 27, 1884 I married Elijah Pomeroy in polygamy. Due to
circumstances, I had to work out all of my life. I worked in stores,
such as Zenos Co-op, 0. S. Stapley’s, Joseph Clark’s Furniture,
George Ellsworth grocery, and my brother William’s and Roy LeSueur’s
grocery store. I have done lots of practical nursing. I cooked two
seasons for the thresher and one season for my brother William’s
bailer crew. I have worked in all of the different organizations of
the church. I was counsellor in Stake Primary, president of the
Second Ward Relief Society for six years, teacher in M.I.A. and
Sunday School. I was one of the first teachers to be called in the
religion class when Brothers Karl G. Maeser and Goddard were here to
I was blessed with six lovely babies, Sarah, Hyrum, and Loren died
in infancy. Marion was permitted to stay with me 18 years, and
Monita lived 22 years. Reuel Nephi is the only child I have living.
He married Helen DeLucia and they have five lovely children, Marion
Reuel, Monita, Loren Phelps, Delores Maria, and Geary Louis. Monita
died shortly after birth.
On 1917, my daughter Monita filled a mission in the Central States,
but she was released because of her health and she came home. In
1919 Reuel was called to the same mission. Monita and I went up to
Sombrero Buttes to cook for miners to help keep Reuel on his
mission. I never got along as well in my life. The Lord is always
ready to bless and prosper us when we are in His service. One of his
commandments is pay our tithes in the season thereof. When I cooked
on the thresher Marion was straw buck. We pooled our money and
banked it, and then lost track of the amount we had. The Lord cashed
all of our checks.
We wanted to buy us a little farm when we got enough money saved. We
bought a twenty-acre farm from Ed Lewis in the Alma Ward. When we
drew our money out of the bank to buy the farm, we had $40 more than
enough to pay cash for it, and that was a great testimony to us, for
we had paid an honest tithing and the Lord had kept his promise to
us. We will all prosper and live better lives if we obey all the
commandments he has given to us.
I was an ordained worker in the Mesa Temple until 1935 when I moved
to San Francisco. Reuel was living there at the time, and he told
Vera Menheimet (Hazel’s daughter) that if she would go with his
mother, he would board her until she got a job, so she went and made
me keep on a strict diet. It wasn’t long before I was my old self
again. My trouble was my leg. I was chosen first counselor in the
Relief Society in San Francisco, and I enjoyed it very much.
After the Second World War broke out, Reuel thought it his duty to
join the services, so in 1942 I moved back to Mesa again and Reuel
joined the Army.
I lived for awhile in the garage apartment of my brother Guy, my
home being rented at the time. When the lease ran out, I went back
to my Home Sweet Home and lived there until it was about to tumble
down on me. I had a chance to sell, so I did and put the money in on
a three-bedroom home. Reuel had the lot already bought. The home is
located on the old home place that my father had owned in 1884 or
1885, almost on the exact spot where Aunt Lib’s house was built.
Again I have accepted a job in the Relief Society. I am a Visiting
Teacher, and although I am past eighty-six years of age, I am
enjoying my work very much.
(Sarah Lucretia died 30, April 1966.)