History of Harriet Elizabeth Gull Stewart
By Maida Hainsworth and Ruby S. Donnelly
My mother Harriet G. Stewart, daughter of John and Charlotte Gull, was born April 17, 1868, in Meadow, Utah. Her early life was spent in the usual way of those early days. It was rather a hard life at its best, but she always made it a happy one for she always looked on the bright side of things.
She was the oldest in a family of thirteen children, eleven boys and two girls. So it was necessary to begin when she was very young to help her mother not only with the children but with the cooking and sewing as well. With so much to do at home she was only able to attend school about three months out of the year. But she made good use of her time while there.
At the age of fifteen her parents moved to Benjamin. Here she finished her schooling for the time being. They lived on the Andrew Jackson Stewart ranch while there. Besides the family there was always extra farm hands to cook and wash for. Being the oldest she had to carry her share of the load.
She entered into the religious as well as the social life of the little community. While there she was counselor in the MIA. This gave her an opportunity to know and work with the young people.
It was while here that she met Henry Stewart. After two years in Benjamin, they moved back south to Fillmore, a little town eight miles north of Meadow. While her Mother was able to attend the Millard Academy for another year. Then they moved back to Meadow, where she again entered into active church work.
The year they moved back to Meadow Henry Stewart, the young man that she had met while living in Benjamin, came down to see her. They became engaged. Not long after their engagement, they in company with Aunt Bee Bushnell, left in a covered wagon for St. George, Utah, where they were married in May of 1886 in the Temple.
After a short stay at their home they left for Benjamin where they made their home. They lived in Benjamin for twenty-one years. During that time Mother gave birth to thirteen children, six boys and seven girls. Even though her family was large she still found time to work in the church. For eight years she was secretary as well as a Relief Society Visiting Teacher. I can well remember while she was working as secretary, the ward started building a new chapel. The Relief Society, of course, promised their usual support. Money in those days was scarce, especially among the farmers, so the Relief Society canvased the ward and had the families pledge their Sunday eggs for the building fund, which they did. Eggs selling at 15 cents a dozen or less did not seem much, but it was surprising how much it amounted to. They reached their goal. Every Monday morning Mother went out and collected eggs in her district. Eggs, eggs, and more eggs.
My mother seemed to be almost indispensable in the sick room, or at least it seemed so to the people in this little community. We children seemed to think so. Whenever she was called in on a serious case we were always willing to do a little bit extra to let her go.
In 1907 under the advice of her doctor we moved to Meadow where my mother's folks lived, for she had a son who needed a drier climate to live in. The doctor said if anything would help him that would.
After coming to Meadow she had two more children, two girls making fifteen in all. Her first great sorrow came when her son who she had made the move for passed away at the age of seventeen. This was a great blow to her, but having been married in the Temple she knew that some time she would have the pleasure of being with him again.
Her next great sorrow came when the youngest was two years old; my father passed away. My mother found that her lot was really hard now with five girls under fifteen. There was no time to look back. Three years later her five year old daughter also passed away, that was in the year of 1920. It seemed that she was being faced with more than her share, but being the kind of a person she was, she kept busy and carried on. Her religion was always a great help in carrying her over through spots.
She has always tried to show her family the right way of life and if we have failed it was not been because she had failed to set the right example at all times.
She passed away July 28, 1945 at the age of 77 years. Her whole life had been spent in service to others, and if any one has earned a reward she has.