Susan Julia Sherman (Black) (1869 - 1956)

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Birthplace: Fountain Green, Sanpete, Utah, USA
Death: Died in Huntington, Emery, Utah, USA
Managed by: Eldon Clark (C)
Last Updated:

About Susan Julia Sherman (Black)

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Birth: May 6, 1869 Fountain Green Sanpete County Utah, USA

Death: May 4, 1956 Huntington Emery County Utah, USA

HISTORY OF SUSAN JULIA SHERMAN BLACK By Cloe Truman Anderson

This information was given to a granddaughter, Cloe Truman Anderson in 1953. Grandmother was 84 years old.

Susan Julia Sherman was born to Albey Lyman and Mary Elvira Swan, May 6, 1869 at Fountain Green, Sanpete County, Utah. I was the ninth child of a family of fourteen children. We moved to Huntington in a covered wagon in October of 1880, when I was 11 years old. Albey Lyman Sherman, her father, and her brothers Albey, Roy and George came to Huntington in 1879 and settled north of the Huntington River. I was 10 years old in May and with the rest of my family and mother came in May 1880. The log-meeting house was built in Huntington in 1880. Elias H. Cox was Bishop, Hyrum Oscar Crandall 1st Counselor and William Avery was 2nd Counselor. Molly Stalworthy was the teacher of the 10-14 year old girls. I was in that group.

We lived in a dugout across the Huntington River the first year. The following spring we moved into a one-room house built by father and my brothers. It was the only house in the vicinity that had a floor, one window and a door. Most houses just had dirt floors and sacks hung in the doorways and windows or oilpaper in the windows. I went to a little school at Fountain Green before we moved. I didn't go to school the first winter in Huntington. Father had to pay tuition and buy all our books. You could either pay in produce or cash. School was held three months during the winter. I was about fifteen when I finished school.

From the time I finished school until I married I worked out as a cook. When I was fourteen I cooked for the section gang for the railroad over to Price. I also spent quite a lot of time cooking for lumbermen at the sawmill.

I loved to dance and went to all the dances that were held in the valley. I rode horses many of the places that I went. All the ladies rode sidesaddle at this time even with their long dresses.

I married Miller Snow Black 04 February 1892 at Huntington, Utah. Bishop Andrew Allen performed the marriage. We had a one room log house to move into. We later put an addition onto the house it was a lean-to kitchen. All of the children but one were born in this house. I had a midwife to attend me when the children were born. I had four children in three years. My first children were a set of twin girls. Lost a baby girl, Cora at birth. Mary at 11 months and Don when he was 24.

I picked fruit on shares for all the fruit that I canned. I studied nursing in 1905, under the direction of Ellis R. Shipp and helped care for the sick for many years. I served as a Relief Society Visiting Teacher and served in the Primary as a teacher for 17 years.

In very later years I have spent time in crocheting and reading and at this writing have been married 61 years and I still read and crochet. These later years I have had ill health, heart trouble and high blood pressure. I have fallen and broken my collarbone and my knee at different times. I have lived in three homes in 61 years of married life. Have 15 living grandchildren. Tell your experiences of your grandmother -How she cooked, cleaned, favorite things you liked ex) cough syrup. -Appearance -Heavy Paper smired with oil.

MEMORIES OF GRANDMA By Cloe Truman Anderson

My material Grandmother, Susan Julia Sherman Black stood about 5'4"or 4". She was much taller than my own mother. She had dark brown hair that she kept cut at the neck line and it was naturally wavy. Even as she got older she kept some of her own color with the gradual gray she grew in. She had brown eyes and was slight of build. She had a rough voice.

My Grandma enjoyed being waited on and I had many opportunities to help her. She was very reliant upon my mother and my aunt Nora to help her. Grandma didn't like to be alone at night. My Grandpa had a farm on Buffalo and he spent a lot of time there during the summer on the farm, often he would stay there all week and Grandma would be home alone. My brother, Bud would help her do the outside chores that she had around the house.

Grandma lived in a two story home. There was only one bedroom on the main floor and the other bedrooms were upstairs. Grandma stayed on the main floor and always kept her door locked. She kept a key in her dress that she always had with her. Because Grandma didn't like to say alone she would ask that I or my cousin Nora would come stay with her. She didn't want us to sleep upstairs so we would have to sleep in her bed. It was a big feather tick. She would tie my legs in together and then put them in a sack. She didn't want me to kick her in the night. One time I got sick and couldn't get out of bed and I expelled all over the wall. She made me clean it up before I could go back to bed.

Grandma was quite a character. She always like to have fruit. Unlike my mother she was very determined to get the latest products being sold. She had a vacuum cleaner when she didn't even have carpet to clean. She had many nice things in her home. I remember hearing her sister Gertrude who everyone called Trudy say, "Julia could be sick all day until she found out there was a dance and she would immediately get better."

Grandma had a rocking chair that was "her chair." I remember her spending a lot of time sitting in her chair. Until she died she always had Lyman her son live with her. He helped Grandpa and Uncle LaVar on the farm at Buffalo.

Grandma made good brown bread and relish.

Grandma's sister Gertrude wrote in her history experiences that my grandmother would have had growing up with her. The following pages are the items Aunt Trudy mentions:

I don't recall anything else of consequence until we were on the road to Castle Valley. Father was called to come and help settle this place. He and my two other brothers, Albey and Roy, and my oldest sister, Virie, who accompanied them to cook for the men, came in the spring of 1879. On the way they had to stop awhile for one of the mares to foal. After a rest the colt was put in the wagon, the mare was harnessed up again and the travelers were on their way. Virie had her little girl Mary Gillispie along with her.

Arriving in Huntington, Father and the boys took up farms. In that year they helped to make ditches for getting water on the land.

Father and Albey came and moved the family over in the fall of 1880. Of course we came in wagons; there was no other way. I remember one team of mares we had, Pet and Jane. Pet was sorrel, (very light red) and Jane was roan (black and white or gray). Seven of us children had to take turns walking, for there were not enough horses to ride, neither was there room in the wagons which were loaded to capacity with our belongings and food supplies. Albey had part of a load of flour in his wagon and a box of chickens fastened on the back. Father had two little pigs in a box on the back of his. Albey bought Mother a cook stove several weeks before we left Fountain Green. Cook stoves were a rare thing, so of course the stove was brought along.

As we children walked we drove the cows. They were milked morning and evening on the way over. Mother put the milk in a large coffee pot we had, and by stuffing something in the spout and putting the lid on tight she had milk for her family at every meal.

We must have come down Price canyon, for I recall being in Helper, where there was but a house or two and here we children first saw a railroad. We went over to the track and placing our ears on the rails could hear the rumble of a coming train. It was really a thrill when the train came puffing into sight, the first we had ever seen.

We moved right into a dugout, which Father and the boys had prepared on the north side of the river, which is on the north side of town. I think William Avery had a house down the creek at the site of the Avery Dam and there could have been a house or two on the town site, but I do not recall them if there were any. What I do recall vividly is the prickly pear beds, which covered the town site. The whole flat was a vast garden of flowers in the summer with only a trail threading between the beds of blossoms. Lyman Martin did surveying and my brothers helped survey the town.

The first winter the six boys slept in two wagon boxes, which were placed on the ground and covered with two wagon covers over the bows. Father, Mother, one little boy and three girls slept in the dugout. Virie had married in November and Delcena and Ellen remained in Fountain Green where they were working so that left only the three girls, who occupied one bed in the dugout; Father and Mother occupied the other.

I don't recall whether Father harvested any grain the first year we were in Castle Valley, but if he did he must have threshed it with a flail, since the first threshing machine in the county had just come in and could not have reached all the threshing at that time. A flail looked like a "T". It consisted of a short stick fasted to the end of a long one, the long stick serving as handle; the short one as the flail.

Our farm was north of the Rob Gordon farm. John Sherman, a grandson of Father, now occupies it. My oldest brother Albey's farm was north of Father's. To get the water to these places it had to be taken out of the river above Chris Otteson's place.

Father's farm consisted of 160 acres. That enabled him to have something for the boys to do and help make the living and stay to home rather than going away to find work. Oh, the great stacks of hay and grain they used to put up after they got the farm in shape; and what a big chaff house they did build. It seems to me that we used to have the threshers for a week at threshing time. If the threshing machine broke down sometimes repair parts could not be obtained this side of Salt Lake City. That happened once when we were threshing and we had to feed some of the threshing hands all the time they were waiting for the repair parts.

Those threshing days were big events for the threshing hands when mealtime came, for Mother always put up the best food she could. For instance, there were fresh homegrown vegetables, dried fruit pies, pickles home-cured meat, molasses, honey and plenty of generous slices of homemade bread.

Father was an excellent butcher. If we lacked meat of our own he would go out and butcher for others and by that means bring home meat. It really took a plenty of it to feed seven husky boys besides the rest of the family. There were fourteen children in all. The first one died, leaving with parents included, fifteen mouths to be fed daily. Mother used to open a hundred-pound sack of flour every week.

We had to procure flour from over the mountain before wheat was raised here in sufficient quantity and before a flourmill was accessible closer to home.

We had pigs, chickens and also kept bees on the farm. There was a molasses mill in the community so we raised sugar cane and had molasses as well as honey for the table. We dried corn, squash and as soon as they were to be had, also apples, plumbs and peaches. Also we used to gather bull berries and dry them. We raised plenty of dry beans; we had a good cellar on the north side of the hill where the cabbage, carrots, beets and potatoes were stored in abundance for winter use. We always had a barrel of sauerkraut and a barrel of cucumber pickles. So you see that with our own eggs, milk and butter our living was pretty well secured.

The next spring after we came the boys built us a one-roomed log house on the farm. By the time I was nine years old we had a new house over by the hill on the east side of the farm. It had three rooms, all on the ground level. Also we had a granary by this time and were doing as well as any of the other settlers. Any of us girls could saddle a horse and ride it. We could harness a team also, although we didn't have to do that as other were plenty of big brothers around home.

James Woodward a man in Huntington made wooden tubs and barrels. Mother used some of them. What a picture of washday they bring to mind. It was a full time hard day. All the clothes of our large family had to be rubbed on the board. The men and boys wore such heavy underwear then and such big long-sleeved shirts. No light shorts then, and no wearing of suntan to the waist in lieu of a shirt. Agreeable to Mother's laundry standards the wash had to go through two tubs of rubbing and wringing of clothes by hand!

Uncle George Johnson raised broom cane and made brooms. We used some of them in our home.

At first Mother had a "post" bedstead, no springs. Instead rope was laced back and forth around pegs in the sidepieces. On this rope lacing was placed a straw tick; on top of that the feather tick was used until Mother got some ducks and made a new tick from their feathers.

In our early home we used several of the black, three-leg, iron kettles so characteristic of the period, in which cooking was done on the little old cook stove.

Characteristic of that period, too, is Mother's trunk, which I have to this day. James Woodward made it here in Huntington seventy or more years ago. It is 2'4" long by 18" wide and 18" deep. It is made of lightwood, reinforced with strips of barrel-hoop, strap iron. It is lined with wallpaper and it has handles and a lock.

Incidentally, I also have the school slate, which was my father's. A slate on which to cipher and write with a slate pencil was a cherished possession even in my school days. How my father did prize his.

A church organization, a "ward" had been organized by the time Father's family came. In fact, as I have learned in later years from the ward's history, it was formed October 7, 1879. So church activities had been functioning a year when we arrived.

Elias Cox was the Bishop. He had a little store in a dugout on the north side of the river, carrying little more than bare necessities, such as raisins, sugar, spices, tea, salt, pepper, baking soda, coal oil, candles, lamps; also a line of notions such as pins, needles, hooks and eyes, buttons and thread. We used to use a lot of them. There were some dry goods too, factory – now called muslin, calico, like percale now and denim, in fact the most needful things which people could hardly get along without. Bishop Cox's store was about the only means the early settlers had of getting commercial Christmas supplies such as toys for their children. Among the toy attractions was one which was new to me, a little plastic mound with a bird on the top of it.

However, there was that childhood luxury, candy. There was stick candy of different kinds and flavors, separated into bundles wrapped in paper and packed in a thin wooden box. Lump candy was more common. It came in mixed flavors and was in muslin bags. A supply of these bags in turn was packed in burlap sacks. Also there were motto candies. But most wonderful of all were the Christmas candy roses. These were as large as real yellow roses. Some were white, some pink and some yellow.

The first raisins I remember came from this little store. We used to buy them by the box – a think wooden box about twelve inches wide by fifteen inches long, lined with brown paper. Stick candy came in similar boxed only a little larger. Finally, Bishop Cox built a couple of rooms in town and moved his store into one room. Some merchandise he could get at Price, but not always. He ordered most of his goods from Salt Lake City. Father used to haul the merchandise from Price over here (Huntington). Whether that is the way Father secured clothing for his family I do not recall, but I do not remember of ever being without shoes.

I well remember that the railroad was through Price at that time and had a depot there, for I recall a Chinaman who worked there, his head all shaven except his queue. It was braided in one long braid, which hung down his back. As a child I was afraid of this Chinaman; he looked so queer.

Church services as well as other public gatherings were held in the old "Brush Bowery." To the best of my recollection, the bowery had a wall constructed of posts or poles with willows woven in basket wise. The roof was of poles covered over with willows and brush. I think there was an improvised rostrum of boards and the seats must have been slabs or boards. Later there was a bowery in town. On holidays there was furnished in the bowery a barrel of lemonade. Over the rim of the barrel was hung a long-handled dipper and drinking the lemonade from the dipper was a free for all.

I joined the first Primary that was organized in the ward. Eliza Jane Avery lived just east of town and it was to her place we used to go for our little Primary parties. It runs in my mind that Annie Johnson was the first President, although I am not sure she was.

The first school we had that I remember was held in one room of Jens Nielson's home, which was just across the river north of town. There was a foot bridge across the river and I graphically recall that once when the river was quite high Julia my sister and I were crossing it and she caught hold of one of the bridge timbers and swung out over the dangerous water. This so frightened me that I still remember the incident.

One winter, I think it was my second, the school was held in a room of my father's house. Homemade desks were provided for the children. They were somewhat like boxes with the lid sloping toward the pupil so that it would accommodate him when writing or studying. School supplies were kept inside the box. Reading, writing, arithmetic, geography, grammar and spelling were taught. Of course we used the slate and pencil and not books for our written work and read from a primer. Our early schools, as a rule, were opened and closed with prayer. When we got so we could use pen and ink we did our practice exercises in a penmanship book. I recall going to a night school to learn penmanship.

Elias H. Cox was the first schoolteacher. He taught in the Jens Nielson room. Then "Nan" Luce taught in Father's room. John Scott was one of the early teachers also. He taught two or three winters in one of his own rooms. By that time the community built a schoolhouse, locating it against the hill just across the road east of Rob Gordon's home. Thus the school was centrally located between the children who lived down the creek and those who lived up the creek.

It wasn't long, however, until people began to build in town, which naturally took part of the school children from the farms and created a demand for a schoolhouse in town. The people were too poor to hire a teacher for the "North" school and also one for a school in town. The result was that eventually children still living on the farms had to go to town for their schooling. Among the first teachers in town were Elias H. Cox, Ira Whitney, Sade West, Elisha Jones, Zera Terry. Later there were J.W. Nixon, Stell McMullin, D.C. Woodward, George Miller, Jess Washburn and others.

I was sixteen when the seminary was started in Huntington and I attended when its first teacher, James E. Brown, taught. I remember him well for he boarded with my sister Elvira Cox, who incidentally, was the wife of Huntington's first Bishop.

The settlers early sports in winter were skating, sleigh riding, horseback riding, dancing and candy pullings. Before there was a public dance hall we danced in private homes wherever there was a good floor. I think our second Bishop, Charles Pulsipher, had the first, or at least one of the first saw mills where lumber was procured.

For other entertainment a dramatic organization was effected early in the history of the community. I had a role in a couple of plays. Elias H. Cox took part in the plays all the time. It was through him that I got in one. I helped to sing one of the songs, which was about the wars. Others who were in casts in those early days were Ira Whitney, Joseph E. Johnson, John West, Sadie West, Will Green, Annie Johnson and Maggie Johnson (sisters). Annie was Joseph E. Johnson's wife and Maggie was Will Green's. Will always had the role of the villain and John West usually played a humorous role. These dramatic presentations furnished not only many enjoyable evenings but were often a source of revenue for helping meet the needs of the ward organizations or some other worthy public purpose.

When I was a child the community always observed a May Day celebration and of course, the May Pole was braided. A few times we braided the Liberty Pole but more often a pole was set up in the meetinghouse. Once we went up to Lee Lemmon's place in the canyon. It was a general occasion and looked pretty with girls in dainty lawn dresses, white stockings and high-top shoes. It would look clumsy now, no doubt, but it was beautiful then.

Mention of those high-top shoe days reminds me that years later than the May Day occasion I once had to buy my daughter Florence a pair of high tops because I could not find any thing else in the town stores. She did not hesitate to wear them. They cost eleven dollars.

I heard my older brothers and Father tell of the 24th of July celebration, which was observed by the settlers the year of 1880. They built a bowery in which to render the program and they danced in a log house near the bowery.

I used to love to dance, almost more than to eat. Most of our family did. So we went together, a wagonload of us, singing all the way going and returning. One thing I can say is that the whole family got along well together on the farm. How we did love to horseback ride, girls as well as boys.

Uncle James Martineau and two of my brothers surveyed the town site of Huntington. Afterward Elias H. Cox took up surveying professionally. After the town was laid out the heads of families "drew" lots as I recall it. Father drew lots 3 and 4 of block 44. Here he planted a large orchard and we had fruit from the orchard while we still maintained our home on the farm. After the children were married my parents moved off the farm onto these lots. At the present time (August 1955) lot 4 of this block is owned by Afton Brinkerhoff, who runs a blacksmith shop there.

Elias Cox and his son Elias H. wanted only one lot each. So they got the south half of this block 44. Of my brothers, Albey (Allie we called him) got the two lots comprising the north half of block 53. His boys Gerald and Verl still own and live in the house he built on lot 4 of this block. It runs in my mind that George got the south half of this block 53. Roy got the two lots comprising the north half of block 45, where his house still stands on lot 4. Frank got the south half of this same block 45.

While we were yet children living with our parents on the farm, once a peddler came to our house and sold Mother a bundle of cloth. From it she made six suits and three dresses. Father wore one suit. The rest were for the boys. It seemed to be no task for Mother to make up those suits and dresses. I heard her say that when she was only nine years old she could stitch by hand as pretty a hem as any woman could. Babies were not blessed as regularly when Mother was raising her family as they are now days. I recall Mother saying that at least on one occasion she had several children blessed at the home on the same date by the elders who came for that purpose.

When I was young, the young ladies' hair-do was chiefly bangs. We wore them from ear to ear over the forehead. I had my turn wearing the high-top shoes, mostly the button ones. Imagine the buttonhook getting misplaced in the home of such a large family as ours and of a girl in a hurry to dress to meet her beau!

One dress I had which I wore a lot was made of a material called "maroon luster." Susan Wakefield Loveless made it for me. The basque was pleated in front and buttoned down the front, the buttons about an inch apart and all the buttonholes worked by hand. The skirt was the long flaring style. To make it stand out there was sewn on the inside around the bottom a strip of buckram about six inches wide. Over the buckram was sewn a strip of velvet to save the skirt. The bottom of the right side of the skirt was finished with a bias strip of the same material as the skirt, about five inches wide. Around the top of the bias strip was sewn a twist for trimming. When I danced how that skirt did flare out! It cost me as much for the making of the dress as it did for the goods. But it fit me like a glove and I enjoyed wearing it.

My grandfather Lyman Royal Sherman was selected in the time of the Prophet Joseph Smith to be one of the twelve apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but died before he received his ordination to this high calling. By revelation, as recorded in the Doctrine and Covenants, section 108, he was designated one of the first missionaries of the Church.

He and Grandmother (Delcena Diadama Johnson) joined the Mormon Church before my father was born. They were among the earliest members.

Father was born in Chautauqua County, New York, October 30, 1832. About 1834 the family moved to Kirtland, Ohio, then to Far West, Missouri and later to Nauvoo, Illinois, passing through all the persecutions experienced by the Saints in those places.

My mother, Mary Elvira Swan, daughter of George Swan and Elizabeth Warrender, was born December 15, 1835 in Scotland. She left the land of her birth to join the Church. Her brothers and sisters disowned her for this. However, after Mother had her family, one of her sisters came out to see her.

One day Mother said to us children, in a joking way: "I suppose you children think I never had a marriage. Well, I did. Your father and I were married while crossing the plains June 10, 1854, at a point called South Platte Woodriver Center."

I liked my father very much. He was a dear, gentle quiet man, very industrious and a talented handy man. It seemed that he could do any thing and he did apply his energetic industriousness to many and varied pursuits. In him, it seemed to me, was ingrained the sturdy, resourceful, self-reliant character of the pioneering stock he came from; and he practiced well the qualities which circumstances and training from his boyhood doubtless had drilled into him.

After coming to Utah he and Mother moved to Payson in the spring of 1855. Next they went to Santaquin and in 1860 to Fountain Green, being among the early settlers of that place.

Father was counted one of the best butchers there, an expert teamster and an efficient man in the timbers. Slender of build and agile of body, he was dependable swimmer and usually accompanied the swimming parties to serve as lifeguard. As a baker Father made good soda crackers to sell. I heard him say that in making the crackers he mixed the dough so stiff it had to be pounded out flat with the side of an axe. This is what made the crackers so brittle and flaky.

He used to like to fish with a seine (net). The people of the community were poor: they hadn't much to eat. So Father and two other men seined enough fish for the town. One man cut heads off the fish, another disemboweled them and a third one salted them. The Indians called this team "Chourab, Puggiab and Meatenab." Father dried fish one year to help out the food supply for the town.

Father was a Black Hawk War veteran. He filled several church offices. Before his death he had attained to the office of a High Priest.


Family links:

Parents:
  • Albey Lyman Sherman (1832 - 1911)
  • Mary Elvira Swan Sherman (1835 - 1914)
Spouse:
  • Miller Snow Black (1869 - 1953)*
Children:
  • Cora Black (1893 - 1893)*
  • Nora Black Kartchner (1893 - 1986)*
  • Perry Snow Black (1895 - 1973)*
  • Meleta Cloe Black Truman (1896 - 1990)*
  • LaVar Miller Black (1899 - 1983)*
  • Mary Julia Black (1902 - 1902)*
  • Lyman Royal Black (1906 - 1971)*
  • Don William Black (1910 - 1934)*

Burial: Huntington City Cemetery Huntington Emery County Utah, USA

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Susan Julia Sherman's Timeline

1869
May 6, 1869
Fountain Green, Sanpete, Utah, USA
1956
May 4, 1956
Age 86
Huntington, Emery, Utah, USA
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Huntington, Emery, Utah, USA