Mary Isabell Pettit
Mary Pettit was born July 9, 1866, at 237 South 2nd West, the first child of Rebecca Hood Hill and Edwin Pettit. She was active in the Church and was baptized when 8 years old. Her service in the Church included acting as secretary in the Sunday School and being an officer in the Young Women’s Mutual Improvement Association. She graduated from the University of Deseret (they tell of her taking a lunch of bread and milk to school). May taught in the 5th Ward District School, worked as a saleswoman, and later became a cashier at Walker Brothers Department Store. Harry usually met her at work and walked her home. They went to Church together—to Sunday School and often to the tabernacle in the evening. They would sit on the porch and talk.
She tells in her diary (1890) of a camping trip week-long in August with a crowd up East Canyon—“Reached a nice place and decided to stay. Pitched the tent, had dinner and passed a very pleasant day. The boys went fishing—rain storm drove them back to camp…next day Harry and I went shooting and sang songs, more fishing…Spent remainder of day with Harry, went for long walk.…” Later she says, “I have been dreaming of the canyon and our good times we had there.” Later Harry referred to this in a letter, “Our canyon trip was one that I enjoyed and one to be ever remembered because it was the last excursion I had with May Pettit.”
Harry gave her a watch for her birthday and she bought a pin for his birthday. She tells of her first trip to Odgen in September 1890. Harry came over September 30th and fixed the well; she said, “I have taken my first lessons in pluming [plumbing] and made great success. It is beautiful and moonlight. We lingered at the gate until late.” Harry was working at Midgely Plumbing as a bookkeeper at this time. They saw each other often, taking long walks, going dancing and to the theater. On October 19 they had a “confidential chat,” she writes. On November 20, “Had conversation with mother about the temple. We were of the same mind.” Another time, “Talking over affairs that concerned ourselves alone.…” And another, “Our conversation during the walk gave us both something to think about.” The last entry on December 31 was, “Harry came and we spent the remainder of the year together and let it die peacefully. As the hour was late we thought it was best to part. He gave me a letter to read.”
The following year of 1891 was eventful in their lives. A sad happening was the death of Harry’s dear mother, Lucy, of typhoid fever on August 19. She had been in America only three years and was still fairly young (forty-five). Harry wrote in a letter to his wife later that year, “I have lost a true and tried parent and friend and one that has watched over me, prayed for me, and one that I owe everyone of my present surroundings. In losing my dear mother, it has a tendency to make me better and prepare me for that honorable and noble position of husband to thee.” This untimely death was sad too, because the family felt that if she had lived longer, their father might have joined them. He died broken-hearted ten years later, on April 11, 1902.