Monday, May 10, 2010

Hazel Jean Hayward Wessman: A Biography, Part 5

Jean’s mother Elizabeth Ann Pugsley Hayward would come and visit with Jean. There usually was a basket full of mending. She would mend stockings, overalls, skirts, etc. She would sit and visit with her daughter Jean while doing this. The kids just basically sat and listened to them talk. They would go over what was happening in their life. Elizabeth Ann was a very dignified lady from the "old school." When the kids to a little rowdy, she would put her glasses on the tip of her nose and look at them.

Elizabeth Ann Pugsley Hayward

Dick remembers his mother always being there, cleaning house, playing piano, singing and things like that. She had a sewing machine that had an electric motor on it. That was very unusual at the time. The kids would run it because they liked the noise it made. Of course, this was not done when their mother was around.

Jean fought tooth and nail about Keith going into the service during World War II. Finally, she said that he was going to be 18 on his next birthday and there was nothing she could do to stop him. She signed for him to go a month before he turned 18. She was a good letter writer to all her sons in the service even though others may or may not have been. Ernie and Keith frequently sent letters home to their mother. Getting mail to Keith was tricky because he was on the ship.

Jean kept herself busy during the war by writing letters. It wasn't only to her sons. She answered every letter that was sent to her. She also spent time with the girls that were in Salt Lake. She enjoyed that. Sometimes, she would do choir work. At times, she would be the organist in almost all the church organizations that she was involved in. She always kept busier than usual.

She was so tickled and relieved when all her seven sons came home from the war. She was very blessed as not one son was killed in action. Dick had very serious injuries. He was knocked off an engine scaffold and had several broken bones. He came home from Europe in a cast from his waist to his shoulders. Even though Dick came through it very well, Jean had her heart twisted knowing that her son was hurt like that.

She almost had a heart attack (not really) when Keith almost did not go on his mission. She had the bishopric and priesthood leaders working on him. Finally, he made the commitment to go and she was delighted. She was worried about him. She never was tough but she did keep encouraging and reminding him of what he should be doing and all that. She was always interested in how his hard work came out especially when missionary times were tough. He was in good health so she did not have to worry about that aspect. However, she did.

Jean had many priesthood blessings due to her health during her life. They were always fulfilled. One benefit that she had as a result was that all her bishops were very close to her. They watched over her very carefully. They were very concerned about her and the children. They wanted to take care of this wonderful widow and her family.

Bruce McConkie was a good friend and was also very concerned about her. He was always checking up on the Wessman family. He had a soft spot in his heart for her. Church leaders were always there for her trying to make her life easier and happier. If it was not the Bishop, it was the Stake President or the fantastic Relief Society (as Keith calls it). They took good care of the family.

A fun time (for the kids anyway) was the time that the family had to leave the house on Adams Avenue in Burch Creek and they went to the house in Salt Lake on E Street. They had to camp out in Weber Canyon for ten days. There was a lot of fishing, swimming, ball, hiking and rock throwing. After that, for a short period of time while the house deal was still being closed, the family stayed at one of Elizabeth Ann Hayward's places. It was on University Street.

Jean loved to walk. She would walk whenever she could. Many times after many of the children were gone, she would take Norinne and Marilyn with her. They would just walk or go visit someone.

To be continued...


Henry and Jean married in 1908. Records from the 1910, 1920, and 1930 U. S. Censuses show them living at different locations around Utah.

1910 U. S. Census. Henry and Jean were living at 261 West Second North in Salt Lake City. Merle was born in 1909 but is not listed. Perhaps she was in the hospital?

1920 U. S. Census. Henry and Jean were living at 1158 Roosevelt Avenue in Salt Lake City. In the ten years since the prior census, they had gone from one child to seven: Merle (10), Harry (8), Richard (7), Paul (5), Jean (3 and 10/12), John (2 and 8/12), and Elizabeth (1 and 2/12). The census notes that they owned their home and had a mortgage.


1930 U. S. Census. Henry and Jean were living at 3602 Jefferson Avenue in Burch Creek (South Ogden), Weber County, Utah. Also at home were: Henry (18), Merle (20), Richard (17), Paul (15), Jean (14), John (12), Elizabeth (11), Phillip (10), Ernest (8), Gammon (6), Keith (4), Norinne (3), Boyd (2), and Babe (0) (Marilyn, the youngest). They were paying $20 a month in rent. Henry R. E. Wessman died two years later.

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