Thursday, December 4, 2014

David Foote and Sarah Rebecca Hall

The earliest that I can remember being aware of David Foote and Sarah Rebecca Hall was after my family moved to Arizona in 1964.  Each summer we would return to Idaho to visit family and our drive north on Highway 89 would take us through Orderville, Utah.  My mother would turn west towards the high school and point out the house sitting southeast from the school and tell us it was the home of her grandparents, David and Sarah Rebecca.  She remembered visits from her childhood to Orderville and also knew that they had visited their daughter,  Rhoda Ann, in Idaho.

In 2003, my husband and I were in charge of a family reunion in southern Utah.  A grandson of David and cousin of my mother, Warren Foote (great grandson of the first Warren from Glendale), took us on a tour of family history sites including David and Sarah Rebecca's home and grave site.  The home was empty and in pretty sad shape, but I could picture the family here working, loving, and supporting one another.

My grandmother, Rhoda, used to tell me that her mother loved to sew and quilt.  Rhoda would often come home from school to dirty dishes because her mother would rather sew.  I can "sew" relate.  I think I would have really enjoyed Sarah Rebecca's company.  My own mother, Velva, looked very much like Sarah Rebecca.  The first time I saw a picture of the young Sarah Rebecca, I found it hard to believe how much they resembled one another.

David was the first Warren's oldest living son.  He was born in Montebello, Hancock County, Illinois on August 23, 1845.  When a baby his parents fled with the Saints from Illinois across what is now Iowa where they waited and saved to have the means to cross the plains to the Salt Lake Valley which they did in 1850.  Warren served as captain of the wagon train of 100 wagons. David's life was one of following his father to open new communities across Utah including the Muddy Mission in what would be Nevada.  It must have been hard and much was expected of him.  He chose not to baptize his own children on their eighth birthdays but left that decision up to them.  I've often wondered about his feelings and thoughts during his childhood and young adulthood as he moved often and worked hard to settle yet another place.

You can read about his parents, Warren Foote and Artemisia Sidnie Myers here.  Their story is very much his same experience.  The following excerpt was written about David by a fellow resident of Orderville shortly before his death.

David Foote was five years old when he crossed the plains with his parents, he having his fifth birthday Aug. 23, 1850 while on the plains.

He distinctly remembers seeing the great herds of buffalo on the plains, of gathering buffalo chips to make fires, and seeing the outfits of people going to California during the gold rush being left along the way, the people themselves having died with the cholera.

David as a young man helped his father in all their moving and work of settling a new country.  He helped his father run the gristmill at Cottonwood in Salt Lake and also at Glendale. 

On the Muddy when the Indians were troublesome the men and boys had to herd their cattle in the day and guard them at night in their corrals to keep the Indians from stealing them.  At one time they found the guard asleep with his shoes under his head for a pillow.  At another time when the boys were hauling wood they found a Gila Monster, or large lizard.  The Indians told them if they killed the lizard that the wind would blow them away.  And surely enough next day the wind did blow ferociously.

David learned to play the violin while still very young, it being a natural talent, he never having taken a music lesson in his life.  When just a small boy he used to make cornstalk fiddles and his mother says he would steal her sewing thread to make the strings.  He could play Yankee Doodle and other tunes on it.

As a young man he helped play for the dances on the Muddy and at Glendale.  He and Brother James Watson of Glendale used to go to Kanab and Panguitch to play for dances.  David played the violin and James played the base violin.  David’s brother-in-law Homer Boughton also played with them.

In April 1866 while living at St. Joseph, Nevada David married Emma E. Bennett and two children were born to them at St. Thomas. The older son, David Alma died in infancy and the other, Warren R. was two years old when they left the Muddy.  Another son, George was born at Glendale.

His wife, Emma, left him and later married an unbeliever of the Mormon faith.  This was a hard blow to David and sad to say he could never think the same of the religion his parents suffered so much for.

He married Sarah Hall April 30, 1876.  They were married at Mt. Carmel by J. P. Jolly.  She was born Sept. 24, 1860 at Toquerville, Utah.  They have had 14 children, 13 of whom grew to maturity, 12 now living.  They lived at Glendale 20 years then moved to Orderville in 1899, where they still reside.

David is now 87 years old.  He will be 88 on Aug. 23, 1933.  David Foote is now our oldest pioneer, since the death of Grandma Meeks in Jan. 1933.   David died in August, 1933.

I love this little article for it was the first thing that I read which gave me a glimpse of his personality and talents. The above is a copy of David's death certificate.  He passed away on August 9, 1936.

Sarah Rebecca Hall married David when she was just 16 years old.  Her family had also moved from place to new place.  She was born in Toquerville, Utah Territory on September 24, 1960 to Job Pitcher Hall and Mary Elizabeth Jones.  You can read more about her parents and her early life here.  Rebecca was Job's and Mary's seventh child and third daughter. My grandmother, Rhoda Ann Foote, was the tenth of Sarah's fourteen children.  Rhoda had three younger brothers.  I have been unable to locate any written record of Sarah's life but there are many interesting accounts written about those that surrounded her and were part of her life.

This picture was taken at the Andrew Percy Nyborg and Rhoda Ann Foote ranch in Idaho during a visit by David and Sarah Rebecca.  David is wearing the hat standing behind the wagon on the left side.  My grandfather, Percy, sits on the wagon with his daughter and my mother, Velva Ruth, on his left.  David and Sarah's son, Orville Martin Foote, is seen between Velva and Percy.  My mother's older brother, Elden, stands next to his father.

From this same trip north, Sarah Rebecca holds Velva Ruth on the front porch of the Nyborg home.

David and Sarah Rebecca in their later years.  I love this picture showing how tall David was in comparison to Sarah.

Sarah Rebecca with her Hall siblings, William Wesley Hall and Eliza Ann Hall Roe who was the youngest in the family.

Sarah did not live long after the passing of David.  The above is her death certificate.  She died on May 12, 1937.

They are both buried in the Orderville, Cemetery.

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