Monday, June 6, 2011

Henry Green: 1891 to 1905

Harry was ordained an elder on December 6, 1891. Three days later, on December 9, 1891, he and his dear sweetheart, May, were sealed together for time and eternity. Since the Salt Lake Temple was not yet completed, they traveled to Logan to have the ordinance performed. At the time, he was 24 and she was a year older. Her parents honored them with a wedding reception on Friday, December 11, at their home.

On New Year’s Eve, three weeks later, he wrote, “I ever feel thankful to God, my Heavenly Father, for his goodness in permitting me to take one of His chosen daughters through the Temple and make us one through His servants laboring in the Temple. I sincerely believe that I have got one of the best of that noble sex. And to repay for what I have, I hope to be kind, honest, upright and above all others virtuous unto thee. The loss of mother has been my extreme sorrow—the gain of thee my wife has been my extreme happiness.… Had I dreamed such happiness awaited me in the old country, I should have thought it impossible to have it realized. I can look back to the time I left the old homestead and see the wonderful hand of God’s tender mercy towards me from that time to this. How he has watched over me and answered my prayers in our behalf. Truly has it been with me four years of unbroken happiness. But could I have realized or experienced the past four weeks previously I would not change and live over again the four years for the four weeks, would it be possible to do so.”

Harry, Will, Lucile and Leone Green.

For the next few years, they lived in his mother’s home at 443 West 8th South. Harry’s brother, Albert, lived with them for a while; he was a trial at times for May. A son was born to them on September 20, 1892, William Edwin, followed by another son on September 4, 1894, Harry Melvin. From a program which they saved, we can surmise that they attended the Salt Lake Temple dedicatory services on April 14, 1893.

Their family grew as two daughters were born: Mary Leone (June 5, 1896), and Lucy Lucille (April 14, 1898). A third arrived on October 1, 1899, Ethel Rebecca, but lived only a year, dying in infancy of spinal meningitis. Mary kept very busy with her small children. Like all of the Pettits, she was very frugal. When she died she had saved $300 without her husband’s knowledge. She was a very hard worker and a meticulous housekeeper. Leone, her daughter, remembers her always scrubbing. Her father, Edwin, often came and talked to her, standing in the doorway as she scrubbed the floor.

Mary wore dark skirts with tight-fitting peplum tops, usually coupled with an apron. The Pettit girls were remembered as being stylish and well-dressed. All were excellent housekeepers and great seamstresses. When they got together, which was often, they laughed and joked. They were close as sisters and even took trips together. In 1904, Mary went to San Francisco where her sisters were working as seamstresses. She took Leone along, partly because she was hard to manage and no one wanted to tend her. Lucille wasn’t old enough to go, and jealously said that the reason was that her feet hurt her. Mary also visited her half-sister, Alice, in Tooele. When she was away, Harry wrote how much he missed her.

Harry and May enjoyed the out-of-doors. They took many outings up Big Cottonwood Canyon with their children. Harry fished and May put up the chokecherries that they gathered. They homesteaded on some property a mile above Storm Mountain. During part of the year they paid a man, Mr. McNut, to stay on it for them; he later got the property. One summer around 1903, Leone fell off when walking on a bridge across the stream and almost drowned. Luckily, she was plucked out 75 feet downstream.

The Louisiana Purchase Exposition or 1904 St. Louis World's Fair.

In 1904, the parents went to the World’s Fair in St. Louis. They had good times together and were still very much in love.

 Mary Isabell Pettit Green.

A great tragedy came into Harry’s life the next year. On April 1, 1905, Mary, at age thirty-eight, died in childbirth. She had been busy putting up curtains and changing things around the house in preparation for the arrival of the baby, supposedly in June, when suddenly labor started. Mary was rushed to the new LDS Hospital, where the 2-month premature baby, the umbilical cord around her neck, was born. She was later named Mildred and had the distinction of being the very first baby to be born in that hospital. Harry went back home after being told they were all right. Shortly thereafter, he was called back and by the time he reached the hospital, Mary had passed away. She died of a hemorrhage. The family felt that the doctor was incompetent and negligent. [He may have been, but Mary's brother, William Pettit, later a medical doctor, noted that she had placenta previa, which is difficult to treat even today.] The funeral was held in the 30th Ward. Lucille and Leone remember riding in a black surrey, waving to school friends alongside the road, and later picking up the baby in the hospital on the way home from the cemetery. They also remember their mother telling them as she left to go to the hospital to be good children and not to quarrel.

Henry Green with baby Mildred and Will, Harry, Leone, and Lucile.

Rebecca Pettit, Mary’s mother, raised Mildred until she was twelve and also helped take care of the other children. It was hard on her to see the inefficient housekeepers who were hired. At times her sister, Hannah Romney helped out because they were in such need. The children disliked one housekeeper named Miss Turner. When their father told them later he was going to marry a Miss Turner, they were dismayed. It turned out to be another Miss Turner from Morgan. Harry had often gone on fishing trips to Morgan with his children. His good friend, Sam Francis whom he knew as a missionary in England, lived there. Sam’s sister, May, had a friend named Eliza Christina Turner, whom Harry became acquainted with. Lucille remembers Eliza coming over to visit her when she was sick one Sunday at the Francis’s. Harry courted Eliza, in spite of her sisters who thought it was a big mistake.

Grandmother Rebecca Hood Hill Pettit.

To be continued... 

Photo of the Logan Temple from Photo of the chokecherries from Picture of the Exposition from Wikipedia.

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