Sunday, May 17, 2015

Manasseh Fitzgerald and Melissa Ann Smith

Early photo of Melissa Ann Smith

Manasseh Fitzgerald and Melissa Ann Smith family portrait

Older pictures of the Fitzgerald children and a composite photo of their parents

Manasseh Fitzgerald, son of Perry Fitzgerald and Mary Ann Casot, was born 11 February 1849 at Mill Creek in what would become Salt Lake County, Utah. His father moved to Draper, then called Willow Creek, taking their sons John and Manassah after his wife, Mary Ann, died . When Manasseh was 8 years old he was baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. In time he was ordained to the Aaronic Priesthood and was interested in the calling of the same. He went to Laramie, Wyoming when there was a call made for emigrants. He was called to Arizona and responded to the call, on account of conditions arising in the country returned with others who came back. He was married to Melissa Ann Smith in the Endowment House, 2 March 1874 by Daniel H. Wells. He was a Ward Teacher for many years. He was a farmer raising sugar cane, grain and fruit. He was a faithful, industrious and honest man. He was fond of telling stories which interested his listeners. He was ordained a Seventy in the Melchizedek Priesthood. Later he was ordained a High Priest which office he held until the time of his death.  He died 2 December 1928 in Draper, Utah.

Melissa Ann Smith, daughter of Absalom Wamsley Smith and Amy Emily Downs, was born 7 October 1853 in Draper, Salt Lake County, Utah.  Children born to Manasseh and Melissa Fitzgerald are: Ellamore born 30 November 1874; Mary Amy born 1 April 1877; Margret Edith born 12 June 1879;  Manassah Orson born 8 December 1881, died 5 February 1907; Annie Ruth born, 4 September 1883;  Melissa Ann born 30 October 1885; Matilda Jane born 15 May 1888;  Heber Alvah born 10 November 1890; and Verna Olive born 15 August 1893.

The family of Manasseh and Melissa Fitzgerald lived on a farm one and a half miles from Draper near the foot of the beautiful Wasatch Mountains. They had nine children. Their daughter, Verna writes: "Along with some riding, there was a lot of walking in deep snow in the winter. Our parents had a light wagon and later a buggy for our transportation. On the Sabbath Day, quilts were put in the light wagon and the whole family went to Sunday School and two o'clock sacrament meeting. Our parents always went with us. There was plenty of work on the farm as there were lots of fruit trees. Being near the mountains, there were snakes. Father never did kill one. He would carry them and they won't bite.  I can never remember one of us being bitten with one." Later the Fitzgeralds sold the farm to the boys and moved into Draper in the second home north of the Draper Bank and just south of the then Utah Poultry.

During the fall of 1919, after graduation from Jordan High School, Verna went to Alton, Kane County, to teach school. There she met Otho Roundy and they were married in the Salt Lake Temple. In Alton there were not many opportunities for schooling and the family decided to move. Manasseh Fitzgerald had passed away and Melissa was living alone in the home. The family offered to sell the home to the Roundys and in August 1829, they settled in Draper.  At this time there were three children; Golda, Kilmer, and Elmo. A third son, Verl, was born later.

Melissa Fitzgerald lived with the Roundys until her death on 30 Oct 1932.
The following is a transcript of Fitzgerald family stories told by daughter, Melissa Ann Fitzgerald Smith:

"A long time ago my father used to take his cows away up to the mountains to herd. And he would drive them up there and then he'd herd them all day long. So one day he was up there and as he went to start down home he saw something crawling along behind in the bushes and it was something brown. And he thought it was a bear. And my father had a flipper that he used to flip rocks with and he could just hit anything with this flipper. With a rock.  So he picked up some rocks before he started up with the cows and so he had them in his pocket.  So he took them out of his pocket and he put them in his flipper and he flipped right at that pers... at that bear in the grass and away he went with the cows down home just as hard as they could run. And he got down there and the milk bucket was hanging on the fence and the hired man wasn't anywhere around to help milk. So he took the bucket and started to milk the cows. And he got them nearly all milked before the boy...the hired man come.  And the hired man come and he said, "Say, it was me that hit you with that flipper... or he says it was me you hit with that flipper," and he said "and you knocked me right out and I fell down on the ground for a while after you hit me" and he says "I was just trying to scare you." but he says "Don't you tell your father that it was me that hit you" and he says "I got a dollar here.  I'll give you this dollar if you won't tell your father that it was me that hit you, because if you tell him he'll fire me he won't let me work for him anymore. And so he didn't tell anybody about that dollar he had and he just thought that that dollar was nearly a hundred dollars cause a dollar was pretty scarce in those days. And he kept it hid all the time so in about a year by the time that hired man left them and stopped working there and then he told his father. He went and got his dollar and showed it to his father and told his father about that man hitting him with that there and then he had the dollar to spend.

And he said that it,  and he said in those days why they went bare feet all the time and they run up in the mountains and around bare feeted and why he says his feet got so tough that he could just step on a prickly pear,  and it wouldn't hurt him at all because his feet got so tough and they were just as tough as leather. But that they had to go barefeet so they could keep their shoes for school.

And one day there was a fire started way up in the eastern part of town. Just above our place up there. We lived up close to the mountain. And there was a fire started there. Somebody started a fire. And the wind was blowing so hard and the fire was coming right by our house. And there was only mother and Jane that was home. Father wasn't home. There that fire where some men went up there to try and put it out but the wind was blowing so hard that they just couldn't do anything with it. It was just a going so fast right down to our place and there we have a haystack there and we had a barn there and had two horses in the barn and a pigpen with some pigs in them and there that fire was coming right down to the place and mother and Jane went outside and jane says what do we do we gotta go turn the horses out of the barn they'll get burned up if we don't. And mother stood there for a little bit and she says "oh lets pray" she said "lets pray," and so we stood there and prayed that that fire wouldn't come down on there, burn their place and that wind changed right around and went back the other way. And the men came and put the fire out. That wind just changed and that is a true story. That happened to my mother.

 And another time my father, we lived clear up in the eastern part along about two miles from anybody, we lived up there. And my father was there alone one night and my mother went down to mutual with my sister and they walked downtown two miles to go mutual. And while they were gone my father was sitting there in the house and while was sitting there he heard a voice saying "get up and lock the door and put some papers up to your window." They had little windows about like this... that you could put a newspaper up just for blinds. We didn't have blinds back then we just had newspaper. And so my father looked around to see who was talking to him. He couldn't see anybody. And he sit there for a minute and he heard the voice again. "Get up and lock your door and put some paper up to your window." And father got up and he put the papers up to the window and locked the door. And he just got the door locked and he heard a man come around the house. He heard him walking around the house. And he come around and he banged on the door. He hit on the door and he said "Let me in there!" "And my father said, "I won't let you in and if you don't go away I'll use my shotgun at you." And just then we had a great big black dog that was down by the barn and he come runnin' up the house just a barking. And that man when he heard that dog coming and barking he started to run around the house and away he went. And my Father heard him go clear around the house, just a running from that dog. And the next day why we heard that there was a prisoner escaped out of the prison and that he was seen in the eastern part of Draper. And so it was that man who was up there. I don't know what he'd of done if he had gone in. He might have thought that Pa... my Father had a lot of money but he didn't have any money to give him. Father didn't have ... we didn't have very much money. But anyway he went. And Father done as that voice told him. He put the things up to the window and that.

And one time I had a girlfriend that came to see me and that used to live close to my place. Her mother and my mother used to go to Primary together. And so, one day they went to Primary together and on the way down my mother says I've only got fifty cents to my name in my purse and I owe it for tithing. And I haven't a spoonful of sugar in the house and she said and I don't know what to do. So when they got down to the Primary there was a place where you could go in and pay your tithing. So mother went in and paid that fifty cents for tithing and then went on to Primary. And after Primary they went around by Rideout Store and just as they got in front of Rideout Store my mother opened her purse again and there was another fifty cents in her purse. And she took that fifty cents and went into the store and bought some fifty cents worth of sugar."

Melissa Ann Smith Fitzgerald is the only woman on the front row.

Manasseh Fitzgerald and Melissa Ann Smith in 1928

Grave marker in the Draper City Cemetery

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