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BIOGRAPHY OF MABEL HARRIS BELNAP

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BIOGRAPHY OF MABEL HARRIS BELNAP Powered By Docstoc
					                        BIOGRAPHY OF MABEL HARRIS BELNAP

Sketch handwritten by herself and found among her personal effects. Sketch finished by her
husband, Arias G. Belnap, in 1972

      My father is Nathan John Harris of Harrisville, Utah, and my mother is Emma Elvira
Oakason of Salt Lake City, Utah.

        I was born March 20, 1894, in a six room house on Observatory Avenue in Ann Arbor,
Michigan. My father was a student at the Law School at the University. When my father and
mother were first married they moved to Harrisville, Utah (Weber County) and lived in part of
the house which was built by my grandfather, Martin H. Harris. It was a large beautiful
comodious home. In front of the house was a circular flower bed with a driveway around it.
Grandfather had all kinds of flowers obtainable and it was truly a show place. Mother said it was
a very lovely home.

        Father taught school in Wilson Lane. He rode a horse and had to ford the Weber River
twice each day, in the morning and also in the evening. When they had three boys, Lawrence
Elmer, Leo Albert and Everett Clyde, they decided to go to Ann Arbor, Michigan for father to
study to be a lawyer. Mother took in boarders and in the summer father sold bibles in the
logging camps of Michigan. He graduated from his course of study in three years and came back
to Harrisville and practiced law in Ogden. I was six months old when we came back. I told my
father that I could remember coming back on the train, but he said that he was sure that was
some other train ride. As the train reached Pueblo, Colorado, it was held up on the outskirts of
the city for three weeks on account of a strike on the railroad. Everyone, of course, was very
inconvenienced but it was terribly hard on mother and father with three small boys and a six
month old baby and no one was allowed to leave the train except by permission to get food or
other commodities in the city.

        Returning to Harrisville father and mother bought land and a house with two rooms and
summer kitchen up the lane. This land is now intersected by the state highway north and south.
Later they purchased a three room house and had it moved close to our home which gave us a
nice front porch on the new part and lovely large rooms. We lived here until we moved to
Ogden (1064-22nd Street) when I was eleven years old in 1905. There was a nice fruit orchard,
and my favorite play house was in a Cincinnati plum tree. There were vegetable and flower
gardens, a large lawn in the front of the house, lucern fields, and other farm lands. To me this
was about the nicest home any little girl could have.

         We liked to keep our home nice and clean. I would scrub and put papers down so the
family couldn’t get the floors dirty. On Saturdays each one had their own chores. Irene and I
would clean the blades of the bone handled knives and forks with fine ashes. Cleanser was not
known of at that time. We washed and shined the lamp chimneys and scrubbed the out house.
One day Irene and I were playing in the front bedroom, which was mother’s, we found the most
beautiful doll in the wardrobe closet. We called mother to come and see it. She admired it and
held it in her arms. She told us to go to the kitchen and get her a pair of scissors and when we




                                                1
came back the doll was gone. She told us the doll just flew out of her hands and disappeared.
We were sure it was a fairy, but when one of us received it for Christmas we never recognized it.

         Housecleaning time was a joy for us. The bed ticks were emptied and washed and filled
with new clean straw. The beds were so high we had to get a chair to get into bed. It wasn’t
very long until the straw was broken up fine and the beds were normal size again. The rag
carpets for which mother sewed the carpet rags and had the carpets woven were taken up and the
old straw for padding was removed, and the floors cleaned and new straw put down and the
carpets replaced. Mother had a carpet stretcher and put them down herself. Everything was nice
and clean and mother never shirked her work. She also stretched the white lace curtains which
were starched and looked beautiful. Mother was a wonderful cook and her family was always
well fed. She had her own rules of nutrition. She served balanced meals of meats, potatoes,
vegetables, plenty of milk and cream, home baked bread, cakes and cookies, plenty of fruit both
fresh and bottled, eggs from our own chickens and meats from our own animals. Mother baked
wonderful lemon pie. In the fall mother would make pork sausage. In order to keep it she would
fry it in nice patties and store these in an earthen crock then pour the fat from the meat over the
meat completely. This would harden when cool and form a protective covering over the meat.
We would come home from school famished and mother would let us have a slice of bread and
we would get a sausage patty from the crock and that was the best sandwich in the world. I have
never found any sausage seasoned like mother’s. I remember coming home from school in the
fall and mother would be making chili sauce. How good that tasted on a slice of good
homemade bread with butter. Mother made gallons of peach and pear preserves and also plums.
This she put in gallon earthen crocks and how good it was. One cellar was filled with bottled
fruit and pickles.

        I was baptized on my birthday when 8 years old. (March 20, 1902.) There were six of
us. Lavon Yearsley, Marion Taylor, Nellie Taylor, Hazel Taylor, Annie Anderson and myself.
We were baptized in the Harrisville Canal. It was as large as a river and was very cold. My
father’s brothers, Dennison and Leander took charge. One of them baptized us and the other
confirmed us. Mother gave me a birthday party afterward. It was very wonderful. All my
cousins were there. My father was on a mission to the Southern states at this time. He left
mother with six children and a nine month old baby. The boys ran the farm under mother’s
direction and they all worked very hard. I was very sad when my father left for his mission and
needless to say we were all happy when he returned. My mother never complained and worked
very hard to keep the home and family together, as it was when father was home besides taking
charge and working at the farm and all outside activities. Father was gone two years.

         My mother was a very good sewer. She was a dressmaker when she got married. She
made practically all the clothing even the boys’ pants and coats. Our dresses were very
attractive. She knew all the little extras which made our dresses different looking. Besides
making all the clothing, she knitted stockings for a family of six children. We had a lot of
activities in the ward and school and it seemed our family took part in everything.

        Each year there was a Christmas cantata on Christmas Eve and every child in the ward
was in it. Either in a chorus or in main parts. Everett was Little New Year one time. He was
dressed in a fancy costume with little bells sewed all over it and as he danced they jingled. He



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sang, ―O, I am the little New Year, ho ho.‖ Everett and I used to sing duets in meetings and for
programs. Irene and I were candles one year. We had long dresses of pastel colors and had a
candle the same color. I remember mine was pale green. I guess we had a song, but I don’t
remember it. We stood on the stage in a line across the front of it. Mother had to make
costumes for us all and get her work done, and Christmas ready and we always had wonderful
Christmases and received lovely gifts. One Christmas I remember very well was one down to
Aunt Lillie’s and Uncle Dennison’s place. They had a brick home in the lane that went to
Grandfather and Grandmother’s home. The U.S. Supply Depot occupies that land now. One
Christmas Eve we had a lovely supper and then in a little while we heard a noise in the front
parlor. They opened the door and there was Santa Claus with a large bag of gifts. I will never
forget the sight. Emma and Fern, my cousins, got the same as Irene and I got. A red cradle for
our dolls, beautiful dolls and a pretty doll trunk and other gifts I just don’t remember now. There
we all sang songs and had such a nice time. I was about 8 or 9 years old at the time. We always
had a Christmas childrens’ dance in the afternoon on Christmas day in the ward. We all had new
dresses and how my mother did it all I will never know. Then they had a dance for the older
folks at night. We always had a new dress for Easter, Christmas, and for the 4th and 24th of July
also. Of course there were others but these were very special occasions and ones little children
remember.

        At this time there were the three boys previously mentioned and myself, Irene Louise and
Wilford Dewey, Ruth Evelyn, Nathan John Jr. and Luella May. All of them born in Harrisville,
except Luella. Born Jan. 10, 1905 at Ogden. Nathan was born in Ogden. {Family group sheet
indicates that Luella was born in Harrisville.}

       There were nine of us and mother took wonderful care of her large family. Father would
bring home good books for us to read and all kinds of games including Pitt, Flinch, etc. so we
wouldn’t want to play real cards. I don’t remember of a deck of cards in our home. They
thought a lot of us, and showed it in every way possible. I had a very happy childhood.

        Mother had positions in the Relief Society but was always home when we came from
school. She would take the small children in the baby buggy and walk a long distance and visit
with Grandmother Harris and walk back in time to meet us as we came home from school. The
whole family would go to Uncle Dennison and Aunt Lillie’s home and spend the evening and
then their family would come to our place. The children would play games. The different ages
together. Emma, Fern, Irene and I had a wonderful time together. We would have a nice lunch
and then most of the time we all walked home. Some times we would take the surrey.

        One outing I remember was on the banks of Salt Creek in West Warren. I don’t think it
was on the 4th or 24, but it was summer weather. Lawrence, Leo and Everett drove the gray team
hitched to the large covered wagon and the two families traveled in the surreys. They took a tent
and a large canvas to cover the tables and stoves, tables, chairs, rocking chairs, the baby buggies.
They cooked a lovely dinner and I can remember how pretty the tables looked with the white
tablecloths. Everyone played and had a nice time and I don’t remember any one being
boisterous or noisy. I think they kept us all too busy. 4th and 24 celebrations—floats on hay
racks decorated with bunting.




                                                 3
       Our school in Harrisville was a two room school. The only teacher I can remember is
Emma Anderson. She married David Jenson. They lived in Harrisville and our families were
good friends for a lifetime. She is living in California. Her husband just recently passed away.

        Another phase of my life began with I was eleven years old and we moved to Ogden at
1064-22nd Street. This was a very nice home of 9 rooms and pantry and bathroom. It was very
nice with a large front porch. It was summer and Grandmother Harris came along to help mother
get the house straightened up. I was sleeping with her upstairs in the north west bedroom and I
heard the most terrible noise in the night. I clung to her and awakened her and she laughed and
told me not to be afraid as that was a donkey. There was an old prospector living in a small
house near and he used the donkey to transport his belongings when he went to the mine and
returned. But I was sure I didn’t like donkeys—they were too noisy.

         I started school at the Madison that fall. It is on Madison Ave. between 24th and 25th
Streets. I was very retiring and quiet and it was very hard for me to come to an eight room
school and hundreds of pupils and I didn’t make friends too easily. I had some nice teachers,
Mrs. Moran, D. H. Adams who later became principle of Central. In the eighth grade I went to
Central Junior High School. This was the beginning of students of eighth grade from all city
schools going to the Central Junior High School. This was held in the old High School building
on 25th and Adams Ave. Irene went to the Quincy School, Everett to the Dee and I at Madison.
The new school building was located at 25th St. and Monroe. They did not have graduation form
the 8th grade and a pupil had to finish high school before they graduated. Then I attended Weber
Academy on Jefferson between 24th and 25th. It is now called Weber College.

        We lived in a nice neighborhood and it wasn’t long until I became acquainted and made
some nice friends. We were members of the 4th Ward. It was a real good ward and we were
always in programs and plays, etc. My mother was very nice and was always making costumes
and even made a topsy wig for me to play the part of Topsy. I was assistant secretary to
Josephine Taggart in the Primary when I was 12 years of age. I was secretary when Flora
Belnap was president. I taught Sunday School with Thomas E. Thomas and James Martin until I
got married and moved to the 6th Ward. Charlotte Sanders was the board member for the class—
I surely appreciate her help in trying to make a good teacher of me.

       There were wonderful teachers in the ward: Moroni Olsen, the movie star, now
deceased; Anna McBeth Hobson, deceased; Ernest Lindquist, deceased; Raymond Beecraft were
the most intelligent young people and were outstanding teachers. I have always loved the church
and loved to go to Sunday School and sacrament meetings.

        On my sixteenth birthday, Matilda Embling, my dearest friend and neighbor, and I went
to the city library after school, and when we went in our back door on coming home there was a
great big surprise party. The noise almost deafened me, and when they turned the lights on there
were all my dear friends. The dining room table was set beautifully and mother had prepared a
lovely hot supper. That was what we called the evening meal then. I cannot remember what we
had to eat except there were radishes, big and beautiful color and they looked so pretty on the
table with all the good food. It was certainly a very lovely party, and we had such a good time.




                                                4
        There was a nice crowd of girls and boys in the ward and we used to have a lot of nice
parties in the different homes.

         Mother fixed a nice lawn party for us one summer. She had the boys put strings of
electric lights all around the front lawn. It was very beautiful. She served cantaloupe sundaes
with the rest of a nice lunch. It was the first time I had tasted cantaloupe, and I really liked it and
still do. That was a real outstanding party and we enjoyed it. I am sure we never appreciated
mother and all the lovely things she did for us all the time. One time there was a lovely
Halloween party at our house and we were seated at the dining room table eating when the living
room door suddenly opened and two ghosts came into the room. Nearly everyone slid right off
their chairs under the table. We found out it was Lawrence and Leo dressed in sheets and mother
was in on it too.

        There was a lot of fun and excitement at our house all the time. Each one had their
friends and there were folks coming and going constantly.

        Mother prepared a beautiful and delicious Thanksgiving dinner one year and had all the
uncles and aunts and cousins from Harrisville come. Uncle Dennison’s family, Uncle Leander’s
family, Aunt Ida’s, Aunt Louise, and we had a very lovely time. They took some of the beds
down in the upstairs bedrooms so there was room for the children to play.

         Beecraft’s store on the south east corner of Grant Avenue and 24th St. had the first
automobile that I can remember. I can remember the first electric lights that we had and the first
radio. The phonograph was a miracle to me and still is—also the radio, but the biggest miracle
of all is the television. To sit in an easy chair and watch things happening instantly thousands of
miles away seems very wonderful to me. It seems like all the wonderful inventions all came in
about 20 years of my life. Electricity, telephone, telegraph, phonograph, radio, and then many
years later the television.

        (The first automobile we had in my own married life was a Model T Ford. It had curtains
for the sides and how proud and important we felt riding around with Ralph, Lois and Mildred in
the back seat. Dad and I were in the front.)

        One Christmas at our home on 22nd St. my father went quietly into the living room
closing the double doors between the living and dining rooms, and he fixed on the living room
table a beautiful phonograph with a wooden horn in the shape of a beautiful flower. The inside
had flowers painted all over it in blue. There were many horns made of metal, painted, and were
pretty, but this one was made of beautiful grained and polished wood. It was an Edison
Phonograph which played disc records. The family enjoyed this very much. It did recording and
Leo had us all take part in recording songs. Matilda Embling and I sang duets on it. We didn’t
sound so wonderful but it was sure a lot of fun.

(This part written by Arias G. Belnap, husband.)

       She was learning how to drive (our first new car—refer to above) but had never done so
alone. About 1922 Arias was very ill—medicine was prescribed, but who was to get it. The car



                                                  5
was in the driveway. Bravely she backed it into the street—drove along Van Buren to 22nd St.
west to the corner drug store at 22nd and Washington—circled the tabernacle square to 21st St.
and back home in perfect safety. Thereafter she drove frequently alone. She was a good,
conscientious driver. In the winter she frequently drove the children into the hills of the
Huntsville area for tobogganing. Also part of the time she drove on long trips with her husband.

       Mabel Harris now a pretty blooming teen-ager continued her primary-secretary and
Sunday School assignments. She was active in school and church—she attended M.I.A., Sunday
School and was regularly at Sacrament meetings (as long as she was physically able). The
teenagers were much together as a group—spending much leisure time in Liberty Park or in
hiking. Often they walked to the city reservoirs at the head of 22nd St., or a short distance up the
Indian Trail along the south rim of Ogden Canyon.

         In the fall of 1910 she finished public school at Central Junior High in the old Ogden
High School building at 25th and Adams. She now entered Weber Academy. At the end of her
sophomore year she felt that she was badly needed at home to assist her mother so she
discontinued school. Along in this same period of time a new boy friend came into her life.
Because of his sport ability he was traveling with the group one or two years older. He was also
teenage counselor in the Y.M.M.I.A. For some reason he began to take notice of the pretty,
little blonde. No longer did he hang around with the boys at the dance hall door, but invited her
to dance with him. This became somewhat of a habit, then a walk home from church, then
sometimes to and from school. Dating which began casually became somewhat steady. They
went to church ward dances, school proms, and even a chaperoned trip to Logan to a school
basketball game in the spring of 1912 in which her boy friend was playing, outings to Lagoon,
hayrack rides, bob sleigh rides including buggy rides in rigs rented from the livery stables. They
enjoyed all manner of wholesome entertainment.

       One beautiful evening that fall of 1912, near the end of a very pleasant evening, he said
something like ―I could enjoy a life like this together with you.‖ She said, ―Why not.‖ That was
it—from that evening on they began planning for a life together which then t o a couple of kids
seemed so far away. There was high school to finish, he believed in a mission for the church,
where and how long would that be. They wondered if it ever might come true. This then
became their secret.

        They both continued church activities, he in Priesthood quorum positions, she in Sunday
School and M.I.A. He continued in school, and she was with him in school activities where they
could be together. On the occasion when the Weber Academy basketball team won the State
Championship in 1913, she not only attended the school celebrations but threw a lovely party for
her boy-friend-hero, ―A‖ by which he was best known throughout her life. Seldom did she ever
call him Arias.

        School, work and church came to an abrupt change in the fall of 1913 when ―A‖ received
a missionary call to the Swiss German Mission normally a 2 ½ year absence. He left mid-
November. Contact was now no longer possible and it became a communication by letter.
Letters, then, were two weeks coming and two more weeks for an answer. At first letters were
frequent but toward the end of his mission, finished in the Southern States because of World War



                                                 6
I, became somewhat infrequent. He may have gotten a ―Dear John‖ letter had his mission not
terminated in 28 months instead of 30 plus as was the practice.

        Before his missionary departure they released each other from their commitments so that
she could be free to come and go with whomever she pleased. She had the opportunity to use
this freedom when her brother, Lawrence, and his young wife, Martha, moved to Benson, Cache
Co., Utah on a farm. She visited him and frequently stayed long periods. Here she met some of
the college students. They dated her, took her to parties and dances. Some of them were
unusually kind to her. In fact one was real serious. This was near the time for ―A‖ to return, she
wanted to see how they felt. It was after ―A‖’s return she went back to the spring ―Cadet Hop‖
at Logan A.C. with this young man and she gave him her answer.

        On a nice day, Wednesday, Feb. 15, 1916, ―A‖ returned home—called her and went to
visit her. Sunday night he gave his mission report in Sacrament meeting. She was there—
afterward he walked her home. Soon the relationship was back as before. On her birthday that
March 20th, she received a diamond and the marriage announcement for fall soon followed.

       A night or two after her birthday she and ―A‖ spoke to her parents about it. They had
long known that her mother was for it, but her father’s attitude was not known, but it was
favorable. In the conversation that followed he gave consent and said, ―Arias, we give you the
choicest blessing we have to give. We want you to take her, cherish her, love her, and never
bring her back.‖

        At that time quiet weddings were the rule. Mabel and ―A‖ planned to keep the exact
marriage day secret so that there would not be a rice shower or other shenanigans at the Ogden
Depot. They did avoid such by ―A‖’s brother, Hyrum, and friend, Ephraim Poulter and others by
Mabel staying at his home the night before so they could and did catch the six o’clock street car
to 30th and Lincoln where they boarded the Bamberger electric train to Salt Lake City. Here they
were married in the Salt Lake Temple, Sept. 20th, 1916 by Alvin Smith. (Inserted by Lois—
Mother’s dress was a pretty white batiste with tucks and rows of insertion with a dainty pink
border of pink. Mother kept it for many years in her cedar chest.)

        Prior to this they located a small vacant four room frame house at 2225 Gramercy Ave. in
the Ogden Sixth Ward. This they rented at $15.00 per month. They cleared off the weeds,
planted a lawn, moved ―A‖’s banty chicken coop from 918-21st and got a dozen chickens. In the
spring of 1917 they planted a small garden. Just at radish-producing time, Mr. Ben Griffin,
owner of the home sold the house and lot and a move was necessary.

        A five room adobe brick home owned by ―A‖’s father at 2035 Wash. Ave. was vacant.
His father proposed that they fix it up and live there rent free. They painted and papered the
interior, moved the chicken coop, and were very comfortable. Our first child, Ralph was born
here, July 29, 1917. The doctor was Edward I. Rich, Mabel’s old family physician. They
continued to live here but retained membership with the Sixth Ward until war was declared April
6, 1917.




                                                7
        Her husband took a civil service examination with the government. A position with the
Naval Supply Account at the Naval training station on Goat Island (San Francisco Bay) was
offered and accepted in July of 1918. Two weeks later she and the baby joined ―A‖ in San
Francisco, living at 1046 Haight Street not far from Golden Gate Park. The war armistice was
signed Nov. 11, 1918. The devastating influenza of 1918 broke out that fall. Her husband was
quarantined on the Island about two months and she was left ashore alone with the baby.
Although she and ―A‖ could talk briefly by phone each day, it must have been a very trying time
for her—alone herself and baby—a lady friend in a near-by apartment and a mortuary only a
narrow vacant lot away with coffin boxes for the many dead piled high in front. Her courage and
faith never faltered.

         With the end of the war ―A‖’s father wanted his return. They returned in April or May of
1919. They fixed a three room and bath apartment over the lumber yard at 229-24th Street. The
entrance was through the office and up the stairway near the rear of the office building. During
the fall and winter they made three or four quilts using an attachment for their sewing machine to
stitch the patterns in oblong or square blocks. They were also planning a home of their own.
Many plans were looked at. Finally they saw one in a magazine quite to their liking. From it
―A‖ drew up plans for a home which they worked on and had erected at 1111-21st St. not too far
from the home of their parents. The Harrises were at 1064-22nd and the Belnaps at 918-21st
Street.

        During the erection they would, after work, drive a truck to the site—Mabel would take
care of baby Ralph while ―A‖ worked. Mr. Chas. Taylor, living at Oak St. and Van Buren came
frequently to watch the progress of the construction and hold the baby in his arms. One evening
as he took Ralph in his arms he said, ―When they are little they make your arms ache but when
they are big they can make your heart ache.‖ Neither she or ―A‖ ever forgot this. Many times
they gave thanks to God that the children never to this day gave them any cause for heart ache.

        The house was finished sufficient for them to move into before Lois was born Oct. 7,
1920. Mabel’s family doctor was out of state but he had arranged for Dr. Riley Brown to
substitute which he did.

       They were now in their own home where they stayed for 37 years. Now living in the
Ogden 13th Ward both became active. She taught religion class until this was discontinued—
then Social Science Teacher in the Relief Society and from early womanhood to the day she
could no longer walk was Relief Society Visiting Teacher in every ward in which she lived.

        It was nothing for her to put the baby in the buggy and walk from home to town and
back. She was a hard-working, home builder. She did all the washing, ironing, sewing,
mending, cooking, putting up fruit, etc. Nothing was too hard for her. At first they had a wheel
hand propelled washing machine which ―A‖ turned. Then a water power machine which turned
the dash. About 1927 they procured a second-hand wheel turning electric machine. A year or so
later they purchased a more modern electric washer which lasted until they purchased an
automatic washer and dryer in 1952.




                                                8
        Besides all her home work she had time to work in the church. She was a splendid
teacher. She taught the 13th Ward Relief Society Social Science class until she was sustained
second counselor to Relief Society President, Sophia Nelson, about 1925. This position she held
until the 13th Ward was divided, March 13, 1927.

        On March 20, 1927, the 20th Ward was named and organized. This was on her birthday.
She had often said that she neither wanted a bishop nor a politician for a husband. On that day
she got a bishop—the politician was to come later.

       With her husband the bishop of the new ward, greater loads of responsibility became
hers. Mildred had come Aug. 10, 1923—she was expecting Donald, who arrived Sept. 10, 1927
(a ward conference evening). With her husband at work day time and busy most evenings, she
had much to do in caring for the four small children—five after Gordon came Nov. 17, 1929.

        All the time she kept up her Relief Society Visiting Teaching, went to Sacrament meeting
as often as possible and saw that the children were in their proper places at school and church.
She was an active member of the Daughters of Utah Pioneers even before her marriage to the
time of death. She had an early membership number, #2152, which was signed by Fanny C.
Woodruff, General Pres. of D.U.P., and Cornelia S. Lund, General Secretary. She had
membership in the Cul-de-Vel literary club with several of her friends which she attended often
when hardly able to walk—often coming from Salt Lake when they lived down there. She was
fond of reading—particularly the church magazines, the scriptures and wholesome books.

        As the children became older she was able to extend her cultural and church activities. In
the early 1930’s in the 20th Ward she with others taught the Adult class of MIA. She taught the
Social Science and Theology lesson in Relief Society. In 1944 she was in the R.S. Presidency
with Katherine Smeding, pres., and Alice Martin and Mabel B. as counselors. She was released
in the spring of 1952.

        Although she was afflicted badly with arthritis she struggled on. She monthly loaded the
car with women and went to the Salt Lake Temple for endowment work. She drove it about the
ward for miscellaneous visits, also taking welfare commodities.
        Her activities increased when Arias went into the Stake Presidency (Nov. 21. 1943 to
Oct. 27, 1957). Part of this time was during World War II. Rationing was in effect. They had a
garden on a rear lot. Much produce was grown that she used for meals, also going to the 22nd
Ward Cannery to supervise and can her own carrots, beets and beans—leaving ration points for
fruits and juices or other scarce commodities. She would purchase cream from the dairy and at
the proper time for churning would put the ready cream into a large fruit bottle and shake it until
butter was produced. By her frugal planning the family was able to live during the war years as
well as before or after.

       The fire which destroyed the lumber yard, July 21, 1931, in which ―A‖ was part owner
also had a terrible economic effect. The terrible depression of 1930 to 1936 was on. Money was
almost unavailable. Arias and Volney, his brother, got cows from Ogden Valley creditors, put
them in a pasture at 3320 Jackson. Their son, Ralph, mostly milked in the morning—Volney at
night—so there was plenty of milk. A neighbor who had chickens traded them milk for eggs.



                                                 9
Their home was under mortgage since building in 1920, payments and taxes went unpaid. They
nearly lost the home.

        In 1934 Arias was elected Weber County Treasurer which he held from Jan. 7, 1935 until
April 1, 1957 when he resigned to accept from Governor Geo. D. Clyde, a membership
commission on the Utah State Tax Commission. He began his work in Salt Lake City March 23,
1957 by commuting. This they expected could be done during his term in office, but owing to
eye infection it was necessary to move to Salt Lake City or give up the job. They decided to
purchase a home rather than rent. During the noon lunch period and after work Arias would
locate prospective houses for sale. Mabel would then come down and with Mildred, then living
in Salt Lake City, would visit those homes. Finally the home at 1462 E. 3150 S. was purchased.
They moved to this home Aug. 23, 1957. (Their phone number was HU47716.)

        With pain and with difficulty to walk Mabel immediately took up her church, DUP, and
Cul-de-Vel activities. She had a large Relief Society Visiting district. She was installed as
Social Science class leader. The long class period standing to teach was very painful. Later they
provided her with a table and chair on a raised platform, so she could sit. She made weekly
charts outlining the topics for discussion—placed these on an easel and referred to them as she
taught. She was a very good teacher, always well prepared and dearly loved by those attending.
This she held and followed until she became ill in 1964.

        She had been secretary and historian of the DUP and maybe held other positions. The
women of the ward and neighbors had so endeared themselves to her that she did not want to
return to Ogden after Arias’ retirement, April 15, 1965. A friendly neighbor came to her home
whenever her hair needed attention. Others came frequently. She and her husband on business
or vacation to California, Texas, Florida, up the coast to Philadelphia, Washington, D.C.,
Louisville, Kentucky, Cincinnati, Chicago, Seattle, Canada, Victoria, Vancouver, Cardston,
Regina, Quebec, Glacier National Park, Yellowstone, Mexico, Hollywood, Wyoming, St. Paul,
Yosemite, Cardston, Arizona, etc. In fact in every state on the continent except Maine and
Alaska. She enjoyed traveling although her arthritis was painful most of the time.

         She took ill in 1962 after returning from a trip to Donald’s in Calif.—thence east to
Denver to see Mildred and their families. Examination disclosed diabetes. This she controlled
until a relapse sometime after returning to visit Ralph in DeKalb, Illinois, Sept. 1964. This time
she was real bad almost in a coma. She called J. Floyd Cannon. She entered the hospital on
Nov. 3rd or 4th, 1964 for one month. On Feb. 10, 1965 during the night when up, she fell and
sprained her ankles. She navigated by using a kitchen chair runner-like type, also in a wheel
chair. Often she left the house for meetings in the chair. About July 1964 she went to Dr.
(Samuel Chapman) who discovered that she could not straighten her legs to walk. She was sent
to the University Hospital Rehabilitation Center. Dr. John R. Ward, arthritic specialist, had casts
made for her limbs now bent—one at 30 degree, the other at 45 degree angles. With legs
strapped in these casts for periods as long as she could stand it, she worked diligently to
straighten her legs. This with swimming and other exercises she did walk again by 1967 and was
discharged from rehabilitation. She used a walker and wheel chair when going any distance.




                                                10
        She was hospitalized in April of 1971 for a week. She was developing hardening of the
arteries. On Feb. 2, 1971 in company with Gordon and Arias, Dr. J. Floyd Cannon advised that
she move back to Ogden where she could have the help of her children. Friday they saw and
rented the apartment—4 rooms, bath at 2336 Madison Ave., Apt. 23 Camelot Apartments. With
the help of the children and grandchildren things were packed Saturday and Sunday and a van
came Monday and that night, Feb. 8, 1971 they were comfortably located in their new home in
the Ogden 6th Ward.

        In April she was hospitalized again to regulate her diabetes. In September she developed
a sore in her left toe. With hot packs this healed. Soon after a blister on the side of the left toe
broke and when it would not heal she was hospitalized. Hardening of the arteries was getting
bad and at times her memory was badly affected. Upon doctor’s recommendations she was
taken Oct. 7, 1971 to the Dunn Rest Home where she could get proper nursing care.

        From time to time she would be taken home for two, three or four days after which she
would return to the rest home. She enjoyed the bathing (often remarking that they had good hot
water), caring for her hair, the attendance at Sacrament meeting and Relief Society and regular
meals at the rest home. (Lois had taken care of her hair while she was at home and after she
came to Ogden took care of her hair every week except for permanents.) She enjoyed having her
hair combed every day in the nursing home. She made friends in the nursing home, although
most of the time she preferred staying in her own room.

        She made plans to come back to the apartment for the Easter weekend. On Thursday at
noon Mildred phoned from Cody, Wyoming that she, Ted and the two small children were
leaving to come to Ogden and would be with us that night and over the weekend. That ended the
homecoming over Easter. On Friday Mabel came home and had a wonderful day with Mildred
and her family. Saturday was a fine day at the home. Easter Sunday, April 2nd, the nurse called
and said she was having extreme difficulty breathing and they were giving her oxygen. We went
there, she had dinner, was pleasant and was having an evening snack when she went into a coma.
She passed away quietly Monday morning, April 3, 1972.

        The children and partners were all there except for Helena and Ralph. The doctor said it
was either a stroke or pneumonia. He reported death as pneumonia. April 6, 1972—Her funeral
and viewing took place at Larkin Mortuary. A large crowd attended and the flowers were many
and most beautiful. She was never more beautiful. Ralph and Helena came for the funeral and
all of her children and grandchildren were present with the exception of Janet E. Gee and her two
children living in Ohio. The grandchildren furnished a beautiful floral piece and the seven great
grandchildren furnished a vase of red roses, seven in number, one for each child. The
grandchildren sang, ―I Am a Child of God,‖ and it was very beautiful. She was buried in the
Ogden City Cemetery, and the day was sunshiny and very beautiful.

       She had lived a long, useful and happy life. Her home was always well kept. Much fun
was had, parties were many. Friends and relatives always enjoyed her home. She took great
pleasure with the home evenings when the children were growing up. Frequently the children
would close the French doors between the living room and dining room—dress up and put on
demonstrations much to the delight of the parents and children.



                                                 11
       In her youth she took piano lessons. About 1931 they purchased at auction an upright
piano for $60.00. She again took lessons and played quite well. In Salt Lake she purchased a
new spinet piano, disposing of it when they moved to the Ogden apartment in 1971.

       Another remembrance—their first mode of transportation was by horse and buggy which
they kept at the lumber yard barns at 229-24th. They purchased the horse for $10.00 from Vinson
Belnap, an uncle.

       With all the exercising, medications and whatever it was, she was free from arthritis pains
from about 1967. She could bend her legs in all directions, put on her stockings, dress herself,
walk and sleep without pain.

       (By Lois B. Erickson – I would like to add that Mother and I had long visits and talks
while she was at the nursing home. By being there she was able to be taken to Sacrament
meeting and Relief Society meetings and these kept her testimony alive. She loved the Lord and
the gospel and she often expressed her thanks to the Lord for her fine children and their
wonderful companions and for each grandchild and great-grandchild. They were all very
precious to her. She kept good track of each one of them and their accomplishments. She was
always a fine example and a wonderful mother. She left us a wonderful heritage.)

                                             Arias G. Belnap
                                             October 1972




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