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About Cyrene Merrill

Daughter of Alexander Schoby Standley and Philinda Upson.

Married - Marriner Wood Merrill, 5 Jun 1856, Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah.

Children - Nathan Alexander, Healen Merrill, Parley Merrill, Ella Rebecca Merrill, Olonzo David Merrill, Ida Philinda Merrill, Ezra Jay Merrill, Alice Merrill.

History - During the autumn of 1851 and the winter of 1851-52, the family made preparations for the journey across the plains to Salt Lake Valley. The father, a far-sighted man of financial ability, traded his horses, oxen, and other property for milk cows and young cattle. The cows were trained to the yoke and on the journey they pulled the wagons and also gave milk enroute. However, as the wagons were well loaded and the cows not very strong, those in the company who were strong enough walked most of the way, and 12-year-old Cyrene was one of these.

On the way the principal food for the family consisted of milk from the teams of cows. These were milked night and morning, and the milk was carried in a wooden church strapped to the wagon. At the end of each days journey, the balls of butter were strained from the milk and the buttermilk used with corn meal mush, which furnished the family supper. The butter was used with "Johnny Cake" for breakfast.

The place chosen for the new home was later known as Bountiful. There Cyrene spent several busy years as a girl learning the arts of home making, animal husbandry, dairying, carding, spinning, weaving, braiding, sewing, tailoring, and dressmaking.

At the age of 16 years, Cyrene was married to Marriner Merrill, the ceremony being performed in Salt Lake City June 5, 1856, by Jedediah M. Grant. Soon after, her father's estate was divided, and it was of considerable proportions for those days, Cyrene's share amounted to a good deal. This she generously shared not only with her husband, but with his first wife, whom he had married 3 years before, and to whom a daughter was born. This addition of property at such a propituous time started the combined family on the road to financial success, even though the struggle was long and hard in the midst of trials and hardships of the early pioneer life.

Cyrene's first child, a son named Nathan Alexander after his two grandfathers, died in infancy. Soon after the birth of her second child, a daughter, Apostles Benson and Hyde visited the home and advised the family to move to Cache Valley where there was more available land and better financial prospects. The family decided to follow the advice. It was decided that Cyrene should go with him first, and this was done in the early spring of 1860, the first wife, Sarah, remaining behind and being moved to Cache Valley later.

In those first months the husband, wife, and baby lived in the wagon box. It served as bedroom, living room, clothes closet, and store room. The kitchen was 4 stones on the ground so placed that the fire in between cooked the food and heated the water. Thrift and industry were the watchwords and success resulted. In the fall of 1860, Marriner took Cyrene to get the first wife and her three children and bring them to the new home in Richmond.

The two growing families at first lived together, but as a result of careful planning and hard work it was soon possible to build separate homes for them, one on each side of the street. Cyrene here found that the arts of pioneer homemaking she had learned in her youth came to good use, as she carded wool, spun yarn, weaved cloth into carpets, braided straw hats, knitted socks and mittens. And yet with all the labors of this pioneer life, she found time for intellectual development herself and the education of her children in the fundamental subjects and in religion. She maintained her studious habits of reading through her long and useful life.

At the time of the birth of her fifth child, Olonzo David, in the latter part of 1867, the home was a well-built log room erected over a cellar. Because of the growth of the family and improvement in its financial condition, the larger home clown the street was purchased and the family lived in it, until they moved to the home by the flour mill on the Cub River about 2 miles from town. This move was made in the latter part of 1870 after the birth of Ida Philinda.

In the spring of 1873, Cyrene and her family of five moved from the mill to the home "out south", at the base of Round Hill and not far from Big Cliffs. There was a heap of work to do for all old enough, the children at this time ranging from 3 to 13 years of age. It was a busy time for everyone, particularly "Ma", whose work was never done. After the harvest that fall another son, Ezra Jay, was born into this home.

Unity, teamwork, hard work, and economy put scarcity and poverty in the background. The flour bin and pork barrell were well filled, and jerked beef and sacks of dried corn, beans, apples, service berries, and popcorn were hung on the rafters. The butter and eggs produced on the farm were taken to the store in town and traded for shoes, etc. The wool from the sheep was washed and dried and taken to Franklin, Idaho for carding in the mill there.

During these years as her husband became increasingly engrossed with larger responsibilities in important positions - Superintendent of the Railroad, County Selectman, Legislator, Director of the Telegraph Company, and Bishop - more and more responsibilities of parenthood came to swell solely on her shoulders. The children attended their school and church meetings. They were taught the law of obedience for the instructions or directions given by their father in all matters. Cyrene was a devoted and loyal wife. At the time of her marriage, she related to one of her sons 65 years later, she determined to cooperate with her husband to the utmost and abide by his counsel and this she did.

After the Congress passed the Edmunds-Tucker Act in 1882, which was intended to put an end to the practice of polygamy, additional burdens and hardships were borne by the polygamous families because of the prosecutions, and persecutions, directed at the heads of the polygamous families, who were forced to defend themselves in court, pay heavy fines, suffer imprisonment, or hide away. During these troublesome times Cyrene and her family moved back to the mill, there to make her home, except for short intervals, the rest of her life.

In her later years she became much interested in genealogical research and in redemption work for the dead. She paid $300 for a 200 page record book containing the genealogy of the Standley family and was thus instrumental in providing for the family one of the best temple records in the church.

She was independent and self-reliant in her later years, going and coming without assistance in her Studebaker buggy pulled by Cap. It was always a delight to her children and grandchildren to see her drive into the yard. And she occasionally made long trips in Idaho and Utah. She was a woman of strong constitution, extremely vigorous and active. Her mind was clear and alert until the last. She passed away November 24, 1917. She had endured the hardships of pioneer life and had realized the joys of successful effort.

Cyrene was the mother of eight children, four boys alternating with four girls. The oldest child, a boy, and the youngest, a girl, died in infancy.


Daughter of Alexander Schoby Standley and Philinda Upson

Married - Marriner Wood Merrill, 5 Jun 1856, Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah

Children - Nathan Alexander, Healen Merrill, Parley Merrill, Ella Rebecca Merrill, Olonzo David Merrill, Ida Philinda Merrill, Ezra Jay Merrill, Alice Merrill

History - During the autumn of 1851 and the winter of 1851-52, the family made preparations for the journey across the plains to Salt Lake Valley. The father, a far-sighted man of financial ability, traded his horses, oxen, and other property for milk cows and young cattle. The cows were trained to the yoke and on the journey they pulled the wagons and also gave milk enroute. However, as the wagons were well loaded and the cows not very strong, those in the company who were strong enough walked most of the way, and 12-year-old Cyrene was one of these.

On the way the principal food for the family consisted of milk from the teams of cows. These were milked night and morning, and the milk was carried in a wooden church strapped to the wagon. At the end of each days journey, the balls of butter were strained from the milk and the buttermilk used with corn meal mush, which furnished the family supper. The butter was used with "Johnny Cake" for breakfast.

The place chosen for the new home was later known as Bountiful. There Cyrene spent several busy years as a girl learning the arts of home making, animal husbandry, dairying, carding, spinning, weaving, braiding, sewing, tailoring, and dressmaking.

At the age of 16 years, Cyrene was married to Marriner Merrill, the ceremony being performed in Salt Lake City June 5, 1856, by Jedediah M. Grant. Soon after, her father's estate was divided, and it was of considerable proportions for those days, Cyrene's share amounted to a good deal. This she generously shared not only with her husband, but with his first wife, whom he had married 3 years before, and to whom a daughter was born. This addition of property at such a propituous time started the combined family on the road to financial success, even though the struggle was long and hard in the midst of trials and hardships of the early pioneer life.

Cyrene's first child, a son named Nathan Alexander after his two grandfathers, died in infancy. Soon after the birth of her second child, a daughter, Apostles Benson and Hyde visited the home and advised the family to move to Cache Valley where there was more available land and better financial prospects. The family decided to follow the advice. It was decided that Cyrene should go with him first, and this was done in the early spring of 1860, the first wife, Sarah, remaining behind and being moved to Cache Valley later.

In those first months the husband, wife, and baby lived in the wagon box. It served as bedroom, living room, clothes closet, and store room. The kitchen was 4 stones on the ground so placed that the fire in between cooked the food and heated the water. Thrift and industry were the watchwords and success resulted. In the fall of 1860, Marriner took Cyrene to get the first wife and her three children and bring them to the new home in Richmond.

The two growing families at first lived together, but as a result of careful planning and hard work it was soon possible to build separate homes for them, one on each side of the street. Cyrene here found that the arts of pioneer homemaking she had learned in her youth came to good use, as she carded wool, spun yarn, weaved cloth into carpets, braided straw hats, knitted socks and mittens. And yet with all the labors of this pioneer life, she found time for intellectual development herself and the education of her children in the fundamental subjects and in religion. She maintained her studious habits of reading through her long and useful life.

At the time of the birth of her fifth child, Olonzo David, in the latter part of 1867, the home was a well-built log room erected over a cellar. Because of the growth of the family and improvement in its financial condition, the larger home clown the street was purchased and the family lived in it, until they moved to the home by the flour mill on the Cub River about 2 miles from town. This move was made in the latter part of 1870 after the birth of Ida Philinda.

In the spring of 1873, Cyrene and her family of five moved from the mill to the home "out south", at the base of Round Hill and not far from Big Cliffs. There was a heap of work to do for all old enough, the children at this time ranging from 3 to 13 years of age. It was a busy time for everyone, particularly "Ma", whose work was never done. After the harvest that fall another son, Ezra Jay, was born into this home.

Unity, teamwork, hard work, and economy put scarcity and poverty in the background. The flour bin and pork barrell were well filled, and jerked beef and sacks of dried corn, beans, apples, service berries, and popcorn were hung on the rafters. The butter and eggs produced on the farm were taken to the store in town and traded for shoes, etc. The wool from the sheep was washed and dried and taken to Franklin, Idaho for carding in the mill there.

During these years as her husband became increasingly engrossed with larger responsibilities in important positions - Superintendent of the Railroad, County Selectman, Legislator, Director of the Telegraph Company, and Bishop - more and more responsibilities of parenthood came to swell solely on her shoulders. The children attended their school and church meetings. They were taught the law of obedience for the instructions or directions given by their father in all matters. Cyrene was a devoted and loyal wife. At the time of her marriage, she related to one of her sons 65 years later, she determined to cooperate with her husband to the utmost and abide by his counsel and this she did.

After the Congress passed the Edmunds-Tucker Act in 1882, which was intended to put an end to the practice of polygamy, additional burdens and hardships were borne by the polygamous families because of the prosecutions, and persecutions, directed at the heads of the polygamous families, who were forced to defend themselves in court, pay heavy fines, suffer imprisonment, or hide away. During these troublesome times Cyrene and her family moved back to the mill, there to make her home, except for short intervals, the rest of her life.

In her later years she became much interested in genealogical research and in redemption work for the dead. She paid $300 for a 200 page record book containing the genealogy of the Standley family and was thus instrumental in providing for the family one of the best temple records in the church.

She was independent and self-reliant in her later years, going and coming without assistance in her Studebaker buggy pulled by Cap. It was always a delight to her children and grandchildren to see her drive into the yard. And she occasionally made long trips in Idaho and Utah. She was a woman of strong constitution, extremely vigorous and active. Her mind was clear and alert until the last. She passed away November 24, 1917. She had endured the hardships of pioneer life and had realized the joys of successful effort.

Cyrene was the mother of eight children, four boys alternating with four girls. The oldest child, a boy, and the youngest, a girl, died in infancy.

view all 15

Cyrene Merrill's Timeline

1840
May 7, 1840
Nauvoo, Hancock, IL, USA
1848
1848
Age 7
1857
October 26, 1857
Age 17
1859
November 10, 1859
Age 19
Bountiful, Davis, Utah, United States
1861
November 24, 1861
Age 21
Richmond, Cache County, Utah, United States
1862
November 21, 1862
Age 22
1863
December 10, 1863
Age 23
1867
December 13, 1867
Age 27
Richmond, Cache County, Utah, United States
1870
August 29, 1870
Age 30
Richmond, Cache County, Utah, United States