Mrs. Louisa M. Philips Lewis Pace was born January 19, 1847 in Cardiff, Wales. She writes:
My father died when I was six months old.
The first I can remember was when I was crossing the ocean with my mother. I was being taken by her to this country, America. She had been converted by Elder John A. Lewis. She married him when I was four years old. I was carried to school and when I was four years old I could read parts of the Bible. I won a prize, which was a butter Lion weighting about 15 pounds. This prize was won by me for reading the Bible best. This was when I was six years old.
I have always loved to read and received a very great deal of my education through reading books, books of every kind. I did go to school some though. I went to night school because I spun and knit lace and stockings in the day time. We burned green willows for the light and once in awhile a candle. We had twelve books for forty scholars.
I crossed the plains with my mother when i was seven years old. i came in the Dr. Richards Co. in 1854. We stayed in a Kansas camping ground waiting journey.
When the teams arrived, my foster father bought, with my mother’s estate money, six yolk of cattle, having sold our house for 100 pounds.
They emigrated 30 families with part of the money and bought a farm in Manti, Utah. One hundred acres and everything on it. We arrived there only to find the Indians had burned all on it, so the land was sold for taxes. We really didn’t benefit by any of the money we received from our home excepting the oxen and horses that we used to come across the plains. We traveled with teams in the covered wagons.
My foster father [John A. Lewis,] thought he would be able, after an illness he had had, to drive but he was so weak that he fell from the tung where he was riding and broke his leg. This held up the wagon train for a while, but Dr. Butchon set the leg and we moved on with the company.
When we had traveled twelve weeks, my half-brother Johnie S. Lewis was born, on the Platt River, in 185.
We saw many Indians and buffalo, on our way. We had heard so much about them but we were always told to act brave in their company. We arrived in Salt Lake City, October 30, 1854. We lived for that winter in Salt lake City.
My father worked on the Temple all winter and summer then in the fall Brigham Young sent him to Box Elder because he was a carpenter. There was much more work there than where he was. He worked on a new meeting house there and a home for ourselves and one for President Snow.
It was very cold that winter in Box Elder. The coldest winter I ever remember, so cold that the men were unable to get lumber out of the canyon to finish the house we were building for ourselves so
we put a wagon cover over the roof to keep out the storm, but it was terribly cold and we most froze in it. A kind neighbor seeing our trouble took us in with her. She had one room for eleven of us.
The snow was so deep that most of the cows and horses we had froze to death. We had one cow left. We killed her because she was so poor, but we wanted to use the meat before she died so it could be used.
Mother sold dresses and linen that she had brought from the East (Wales was written in) where she had kept and owned a large store. This winter compelled us to buy flour with some of our most treasured belongings.
I remember a sister paid us for a bolt of material with a loaf of bread and the bread was so hard it broke when it was cut, but it tasted better than anything I have ever eaten in all my life.
In the spring of 1858 we dug roots and cooked greens. This was the year the food came to us that was so much like the manna of old. It grew in the swamps and was a root-like substance and was very good tasting.
This year 1858 was hard, a very hard one throughout all the settlements. Then it was that the U.S Army came into Salt Lake Valley, the people feared that they would be mobbed as they had in the East, so Brigham Young ordered all of their possessions burned so that they would not be taken by the army.
I remember by mother piling all our belongings in the middle of the floor to burn, that is, all that we had left of the things we started with. I didn’t seem to care much about the other things, but I cried when the books were burned, because I loved them just as much as I would good friends.
We all moved out of Salt Lake Valley to Spanish Fork, where we lived from then on, the rest of my life thus far.
We had no animals left now so we had to have some of the brethren help us to move. The man who helped us was William F. Pace, who came with his team and moved us down.
I lived with his wife, Caroline and he for some time, working for my keep. Caroline was my cousin who had come from Wales also. The times were always hard, but we never did grumble or even realize they were hard.
(From here we have gathered items from grandmother’s life that seemed most interesting to us.)
While living with William F. Pace and Caroline she had much to do even though she was a child and they were very good to her. She gathered offerings from some of the sisters to give and distribute to some of the less fortunate ones. She was helping Aunt [cousin] Caroline and Jan Hillman with this work. They were the appointed ones to do it. She helped them gather soap made from pork fat waste and alkali, candles, flour or anything that could be used. They gave much of this to the new comers who came without a thing in 1865.
When she was eighteen years old she taught the Old Testament class in Sunday School. Sara McKee was in the class and she tells us that grandmother was a wonderful teacher, one of whom she remembered through the years as one of her very best teachers. Sara was 13 years old in this class.
Then the theatrical group was organized. Grandma Louisa M. Phillips was one of the group. The others were John Moore, Tom Smith, William Creer, [Mary Lewis Hawkes], Ann [Lewis] Clegg, and Sam Cornaby.
Mrs. Annie Creer Rowe tells of some of the plays they played, one being “Rob Roy McCreger”. She says there never was, to her knowledge, better players. Even though they all loved their own troupe best.
When Grandma was about this age she had a spinning wheel set up in her back kitchen. The floor was completely worn out from where she had walked to and from spinning. She could be seen working late into the night and early in the morning.
All the girls of the town would gather at times with their spinning wheels to the old stage, where the old Oren A. Lewis home now stands. They had spinning bees here and had great fun. Aunt Venus, a negro mammy who came to live with the Redds, would cook for them. She was very good and they all loved her.
In 1868 Grandma was married to William Franklin Pace. She was his second wife. They were sealed in the Salt Lake Endowment House.
In 1870 her first child was born. Mrs Ann Creer was the midwife or doctor attending the birth. The first born they named Caroline Louisa. (4 Aug 1870 – 7 Feb 1928)
In 1872 (August 1st) her second child, Priscilla Margaret was born. Shortly after this they moved to their farm in Spanish Fork Canyon in Lake Fork. On this farm grandmother lived in the summer and down to Spanish Fork in the winter.
In 1874 their third child, William Franklin, was born. In 1876 their fourth child, Tommy, was born, and in 1877 (September 10th) Mary Ann was born. At this time the Indians were very bad. One evening at dusk, an old Indian came to the door and asked for whiskey, or firewater as they called it. He had already been drinking. Grandma said she had none because her husband did not drink it. He then asked for a gun. She told him no. He took her little girl Percilla by the hair of her head and said he would scalp her if Grandma didn’t give him the gun. She was afraid he would do much harm with it. He finally found he could not scare her into giving it up, so he went mumbling away without harming them.
Grandfather was in town at this time, so Grandma took her children and her tiny baby across the river and slept in the bushes all night, for fear the Indians would return.
In 1879, Jane Elizabeth was born and one half hour after her birth, William Franklin died. He was six years old. Grandma felt terrible about the little boys death because he was her only son at the time.
In 1881, Maggie Davidson was born. The day before her birth, Grandmother had walked nine miles helping Grandfather drive sheep and was trying to reach her brother,
John S. Lewis’ ranch before the baby was born.
Grandfather and she came to the cabin of Maggie Davidson who, with her husband, was cattle herding at Nine Mile. The cabin seemed to be deserted until the hired man, William T. Monk came in. He went after Mrs. Davidson on the range, to be with and help Grandma. By the time he returned with her, the baby had been delivered by Grandfather. It was named for Mrs. Davidson because she took care of Grandma during her nine-day stay.
In 1883, Charles Philip was born. In 1886, Rebecca Amelia was born. In 1888 Morton Eli. It was at this time that the trials of polygamy were most terrible. Grandma had to leave her home in Spanish Fork to give birth to Morton Eli. She stayed in Fairview, Utah, until the baby was three months old. Then he died.
She always said it was those trials which caused the death of her last, a still born baby. So many nights hiding from the cruel “Deps” as they called them. They seemed to enjoy being ugly with the people who were living in polygamy. The poor souls seemed not to have a moments peace. They dreaded the “Deps” more than they did the Indians and many a terrible thing our grandparents told of their character.
Besides all these trials and also insects, they had other problems, too.
Grandma & grandpa traveled around with the sheep a great deal, taking the children with them. In traveling they couldn’t depend upon being friends to others. When they were in the states, no one would be a friend to a Mormon if they could help it.
In 1894, while traveling in New Mexico with the sheep they became friendly with a family who had traveled along beside them for days. They pitched camp together each night. One night the mother and Grandma began to talk of the Mormons and she said she would like to see a Mormon, but she knew she would be afraid of them. Grandma said, “You are looking at one now.”
“Oh,” she said, “Don’t they have horns?”
“No, they are much the same as everyone else,” Grandma said. “The next morning their friends were gone. They had left in the middle of the night because they were afraid of the terrible Mormons. They never did see them again on the trip that lasted a year.
Grandma was always an honest, true, faithful wife and a loving mother and grandmother. We are all proud of her work and hope we will be able to carry on this work which she and grandfather started.
After a long, busy, noble life Grandma passed away September 18, 1934, in Spanish Fork. She is buried there.
Ann…I did not that Art passed away until we were at Fresno temple in early 2020. Met some Reedley members who informed me of his passing. A Great man to have known. He and I spent many hours in conversation while I was working for hm just prior to my mission in 1964.
I loved the story of Louisa Mary Pace. My mother Lorene was a Pace,,,her father was Alma Pratt Pace…and Wilson Danial Pace with wife Elizabeth Lee is my great grand father a brother to William Franklin Pacc Jr. who is Louisa Mary’s husband. ie I am related to your husband…right?
FYI….I had the privilege of sealing Lance Leavitt last Aug to his sweetheart in Gilbert, Az.