Mary Losana Page (1862 - 1918)

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Birthplace: Payson, Utah, UT, United States
Death: Died in Preston, Franklin, ID, United States
Managed by: Peter Andrew Jay
Last Updated:

About Mary Losana Page

Mary Losana Page

Mary Losana Page Reid—devoted mother of 11 children, a woman of high integrity, and a skilled seamstress and homemaker—was born in Payson, Utah, January 1, 1862. A native pioneer, she was the fourth child in a family of 13 children. Her parents on both lines crossed the plains as teenagers with their Mormon pioneer parents and helped settle Utah.

Her father, Jonathan Socwell Page, who was born in New Jersey, arrived in Utah in 1852 at the age of 19 and settled with his parents in Payson. He married Mary Leaver in 1855. He owned and operated a tannery, a steam mill, and a merchandising business, in addition to being the Mayor of Payson for 20 years, Justice of the Peace, County Commissioner, and a Patriarch in the LDS Church.

Mary’s mother Mary Leaver, was born in New York and her family joined the Mormon Church under the preaching of Parley P. Pratt. She lived her childhood in the tumultuous days of Nauvoo, Winter Quarters and Council Bluffs. She crossed the plains, helping to drive the oxen, and arrived in the Salt Lake Valley in 1852, at the age of 15.

Mary Losana grew up in the family of this noble pair, helping her mother with household chores and assisting with the care of her brothers and sisters. She also helped her father in his mercantile store, the Payson Co-operative Institution. She was a clerk and a buyer in the store and had a good understanding of quality of piece goods and shoes.

At age 19, Mary Losana married Edward Reid, who was also from pioneer parentage. Edward, the son of Sarah Shields and Edward Reid, crossed the plains with his family at the age of two, riding much of the way astride the shoulders of his father. Edward was born in Abersychan, Monmouth, Wales, on June 28, 1859. The Reids lived in Payson and Salt Lake City where the father worked as a tailor. When young Edward grew up, he worked at a series of jobs at saw mills, brick years, and on ranches and mines, in addition to working for a freight line in Montana driving mule teams.

Mary and Edward had known each other most of their lives. Mary was a beautiful girl, with brown eyes and dark brown hair, and was just five feet in height. The young couple were married in the Endowment House in Salt Lake City on September 22, 1881. Her new husband was 22 years of age and called her “Loie.” The newlyweds lived in Payson for a while with Edward supporting the family by hauling lumber and working at a mine in Tintic. Payson is where their first child, Iris, was born on May 21, 1882.

Edward’s father had homesteaded 160 acres of land on the Sevier River in Sanpete County, and a small settlement called Dover was established by about 20 families. In 1884 Edward and Mary moved to Dover with their small daughter and set up a home in the primitive area. Dover wasn’t suitable for farming because of the alkali condition in the soil, but the young family provided for themselves by raising livestock and hay. Edward built a home of blue white adobe and soon had a ranch and livestock.

In this remote, undeveloped area, Mary Losana demonstrated resourcefulness and homemaking skills. All food and clothing had to be self-provided. With chickens, cows, pigs, and gardens, she was kept busy. Caring for milk, butter, and cheese-making were daily household chores, in addition to curing and smoking of meat. Every fall she would drive a buggy back to her home in Payson and can vegetables and fruit for winter use.

Mary and Edward lived in Dover for the next 17 years and that is the place seven of their children were born: Hugh Page Reid, born Jan. 2, 1886; Royal Shields Reid, born Feb. 10, 1888; Lee Emmett Reid, born March 3, 1890; Edward Page Reid, born March 31, 1892; Mary (Mae) Leaver Reid, born July 16, 1894; Sarah Elma Reid, born Sept. 4, 1896; and George Downey Reid, born July 15, 1899.

Mary was an excellent seamstress, making all the family clothes. She also cut her own patterns and sewed for others. she was on the school board and President of the YWMIA. Her daughter, Iris, tells of the school the children attended in Dover: “The school was a one-room adobe building. The desks and benches were homemade. A pot-bellied, wood-burning stove furnished heat. There were no notebooks. Slates were used for all written work and after it was inspected by the teacher, was washed away with a damp cloth.” The children walked to school.

In 1901 Mary and Edward decided to look for a more productive area where there would be more advantages for the children. Mary’s husband traveled to Idaho, and after much research, rented a small farm in Oxford, Idaho. They shipped their livestock by railroad, transported their furnishings by wagon, and moved with their family of eight children, ranging in age from two to 19 years. While living in Oxford, a baby boy, Mario Socwell Reid, was born on Aug 20, 1902 and died at the age of six months, on March 8, 1903, from infantile paralysis, according to doctors.

In 1903 Edward bought a home in Preston, Idaho, and Mary Losana gave birth to two more children while they lived there: a son, Ralph Archer Reid, was born May 29, 1904. Mary’s 11th child, Hazel Reid, was born Sept. 11, 1906 but died 13 days later on Sept. 24, 1906. The Preston farm consisted of 40 acres, mostly in pasture and alfalfa, and they also had gardens and a fine fruit orchard.

Here the children were able to attend good schools in Preston and at the college in Logan. Mary was determined that they have a good education. Her three daughters all became school teachers and her sons went to college learning technical professions. Two of her sons, Hugh and Roy, served LDS missions. In 1910 Mary’s husband and sons built a fine brick home, constructing the house around the original one while they still lived in it.

In addition to taking care of her large family, Mary kept busy as the wife of a farmer, enjoying her church callings in the Relief Society presidency and as Primary President in the Preston Second Ward, and in helping others. One of her special skills was making clothes for the dead and “laying out the dead” for burial. During WWI, three of her sons, Hugh, Lee, and George, served in the war overseas, with one of them, George, being injured.

In the winter of 1917, Mary became ill with a sore throat, a very painful and serious condition that continued on for months. They consulted local doctors, but the ailment worsened and the doctors recommended she go to specialist in Salt Lake City. She stayed with her sister, Ruth, in Salt Lake and had treatments for three weeks, but the condition did not improve. She returned to her home in Preston and her husband called in more doctors, but on March 18, 1918 she died from what was called “a growth in her throat.” She was 56 years of age. Her husband and children were devastated.

Following this tragedy, Edward, 59 years of age, sold the home in Preston and lived for a while in Logan, Utah, where the children attended the Utah State Agricultural College. He later clerked at hotels in Salt Lake City and Pocatello and raised chickens and berries near his small cabin on the foothills in North Salt Lake, in addition to living some of the time with his sons and daughters. He died at the age of 86 at the home of his daughter, Iris, in North Salt Lake on Feb. 3, 1945.

Mary Losana is buried beside her husband in the cemetery at Preston. She is honored by her many descendants who pay tribute to her for her noble life, devotion to her family, and service to others.

Prepared by: Dorothy Geddes Nelson (Granddaughter)

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Mary Losana Page's Timeline

1862
January 2, 1862
Payson, Utah, UT, United States
1881
September 22, 1881
Age 19
Salt Lake City, S-Lk, Ut
1882
May 21, 1882
Age 20
Payson, Utah, Ut
1886
January 2, 1886
Age 24
Dover, Sanpete, Ut
1888
February 10, 1888
Age 26
Dover (fayette), Sanpete, Ut
1890
March 3, 1890
Age 28
Dover, Sanpete, Ut
1892
March 31, 1892
Age 30
Dover, Sanpete, Ut
1896
September 4, 1896
Age 34
Sanpete, Utah, USA
1899
July 15, 1899
Age 37
Dover, Sanpete, Ut