Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Sketch of Roseinia Sylvester Jarvis, Part 2

The Pintura (formerly Bellevue) area. The picture is from www.flickr.com/photos/dabinsi/2555071310/. Yes, it shows the interstate—it's a different road than when the Sylvesters lived there, but still gives an impression of the people who traveled through the settlement.

They usually kept an open house for travelers, especially in the winter time, —those who could not afford to stop at the Gates Hotel, and the children often remarked, that "the hotel keeper took the money while their father took the gratitude and blessings of the people," but some of them paid their way so they managed to live. Sometimes, years later, men have called at the door and said, "Mrs. Sylvester, I called here when I was broke and hungry and you fed and warmed me, and now I wish to pay you for it," and the mother would have forgotten all about the circumstances.

When Roseinia was thirteen years of age, she went to live with Mrs. Gates, a neighbor, who kept a hotel, or entertained the traveling public. Here she had a good course of training in Domestic Science and Physical Culture, for Mrs. Gates had lived in a gentlemen's family's home in England, and had become an accomplished cook and housekeeper, hence she was a competent teacher. As she was in very delicate health, Roseinina (or Rose as she was usually called by her family and friends) was put to cooking and house work, and great pains she took to have everything just right, as her cooking was criticised [sic] by every member of the family from the Father down to the youngest child.

When company came Mrs. Gates would sit in her chair and assist and direct Rose, when unable to stand by her. Among those who were entertained at this Station were President Brigham Young and party as they traveled to and from St. George, also Apostle Erastus Snow and other Church Officials who were always welcome, and their conversation was thoroughly enjoyed by Rose, at least. Mrs. Gates also taught her many kinds of fancy work. The "Physical Culture" consisted in carrying water to, feeding and milking four or five cows, feeding calves, pigs and chickens, etc. which was fine out-door exercise and she grew up strong and healthy. In fact, the roses in her cheeks were so perfect that she was accused of painting them, which greatly annoyed her. Then in the summer time came the fruit to be taken care of. Oh, the delicious lucious [sic] fruit with all its hard work! With this kind of work and a similar training at home, with the addition of assisting her father plant and reap,—as he had only one small boy at home to help him,—she took great pleasure in doing all she could that would be of assistance to her family. 

Thus she grew to womanhood. She had a happy peaceful happy home, though all worked hard to make a living and to make a home at the same time. The Mother and her three daughters spent the long winter evenings mainly in knitting men's and boy's socks, for which they received a good price, as these articles were in great demand in the mining camps and were readily disposed of by the Peddlers. They also knit chair tidies and other fancy work as well as crocheting the curtains for the windows and and the spreads and the pillow shams for the beds, while the Father read aloud to them or played the violin or other musical instrument, when there were no travelers of company to be entertained in his "open house for travelers" who could not afford to put up at the Hotel near by. The Mother always kept dry clothes and extra bedding for travelers, and they often came in handy, too.

Rose felt the lack of an education, as schools were scarce and rare in those days. As has been stated before, her Mother had taught her to read, write, and spell, but she longed for more. One day she expressed this desire to a young mechanic who was plastering her sister's house there in Bellevue. He invited her to come to his home in St. George and attend school there that winter. She gladly accepted the invitation and spent a pleasant winter there, and the next summer she taught the children at her home in Bellevue.

This young mechanic just referred to, happened to be my father, George F. Jarvis, who was working for Joseph Birch at Bellevue at the time plastering his house. Upon Rose accepting the invitation of my father, she and my mother became quite well acquainted and very good friends. After five years of married life, my mother consented for her husband to marry Rose as a plural wife. They were married January 11, 1877, the day the St. George Temple was opened for Endowments and Ordinance work, and a number of marriages took place that day. Their life together was very congenial, and after Mother's health failed, Rose, who had no family of her own, took a mother's part to Eleanor's children, and they looked upon her as a "Second Mother." To show how she had become an integral part of the family, the children in their play, would name the father, mother, and Aunt Rose, as the family unit or group, when characterizing them with their models, or "make-believes."

Having no family of her own, she decided to fit her self to teach school, as she was a lover of children. Among the schools which she attended, were those taught by Libbie Snow, Elida Crosby, Miss Mary Cook, Mr. Eugene Schoppmann, and others. She began teaching in 1882, and continued to teach school for twenty-five years, being counted as a very successful teacher and considered one of the "Veteran Teachers" of St. George and vicinity. In 1889 and 1890 she taught in the St. George Stake Academy in the Basement of the Tabernacle along with Nephi M. Savage and John T. Woodbury. Among her papers is her Certificate received from the Church Authorities, after passing the required Examination necessary to teach in the Church Schools. It was signed by the Board of Examiners consisting of Karl G. Maesar [sic], D.L.D.; James E. Talmage, D.L.D. and PhD.; and J. M. Tanner, D.M.D. Also by Wilford Woodruff President and George Reynolds Secretary of the General Board of Education. She was also a Teacher in the Religion Classes held here in the late 1890's and early 1900's and a Certificate for that teaching is among her papers.


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