Sarah Lavinia Walker Hughes
Mother was born September 12th, 1858 at Salt Lake City. When she was six years old they moved to Mendon. She with her father, mother, sisters, Mary and Elizabeth and brother, John Robert, settled in Mendon, Cache County, Utah in 1864, where she helped to develop the country along with the other members of the family. When Mother was about twelve years old she with the family moved to Centerville, Utah where Grandfather took charge of the Jennings ranch in the northwestern part of Centerville. They stayed here about two years, then they moved back to Mendon. Her father was a wheelwright by trade. When the Young Ladies Mutual Improvement was first organized in Mendon Ward, mother was chosen counselor, Lacina Sorensen Richards, as first President. She was married to my father, Charles Hughes, December 12th, 1878 in the Salt Lake Endowment House. Father was a son of Henry and Ann Howell Hughes. He was born June 15th, 1855, at Salt Lake City, afterwards moving to Mendon with his parents.
My father and mother lived in Mendon after their marriage. Seven children were born to them. Mary Ann, born December 14th, 1879 died May 9th, 1964, married to M. D. Bird. Charles Walker Hughes born June 8th, 1881, died August 13th, 1935, married to Lettie Barkel. Lavinia Hughes, born September 25th, 1884, married to A. N. Sorensen. Lavinia died November 18th, 1920 at Mendon. Henry Gorrel Hughes born June 15th, 1886, died February 24th, 1943, married to Olive Sorensen. Edith Hughes born January 26th, 1889, married to D. G. Winn. John Owen Hughes born July 26th, 1893, married to Pearl Allen. Gladys Hughes born June 10th, 1895, Married to J. Wesley Nelson. Mother has been a visiting teacher in the Relief Society since about 1911. She acted as Chaplain in the Daughters of the Pioneers organization for several years. She has sent two sons into the mission field. Her son Henry Gorrel, filled a mission the Northern States 1908-1911, and John Owen to England 1920-1922, both filling honorable missions. Mother was converted and very anxious in giving her children an education. Most of her children have had a fair education along special lines. It was through her efforts and sacrifices that this was possible.
In the fall of 1920 she buried her daughter, Lavinia. Her son Wendell Hughes Sorensen, then just two years old, lived with her and was a great comfort as well as a great responsibility to her. A. N. Sorensen, the father of Wendell, also stayed with her some time after losing his wife, Lavinia. Mother cared for them just like her own children. This was a very sad event in her life because Lavinia was a most remarkable woman, accomplished in many lines, especially that of home making and was an exceptional good cook. But mother, as in all her trials, stood up under it all and acknowledged the hand of God in it. Mother also showed her sterling character when the great war broke out and was willing that her son Gorrel should go into the service of the United States Army and through her faith he was spared to return home to her after serving two years even though he saw service in the front line trenches for three months.
During the period of the war she did a great deal in knitting and making things to send to the soldiers along with buying Liberty Loans and aid the government in this great conflict. After the war when the American Legion Ladies Auxiliary was organized, she was one of the first to join. Feeling it an honor to be eligible to belong. She has acted as Chaplain in that organization. She holds that office at the present time. She is a visiting teacher in the Relief Society and she still makes her visit around to the sisters’ places. She is seventy-five years old and lives in her home in Mendon, Utah. She has fairly good health and a strong faith in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, anxious that her children should follow her example of faithfulness. She has twenty grandchildren and two great grandchildren. Abraham Lincoln’s tribute to his mother is also true in mother. “All that we are or ever hope to be, we owe to our angel Mother.
The death of Gorrel, February 24th, 1943 was more than mother could take. She never became reconciled to his passing to the great beyond. On Gorrel’s birthday June 15th, 1943 I wanted to take some flowers up for his grave at the cemetery. Mother didn’t say anything about going. She got into the car, but when I got to the cemetery she said, “Don’t drive inside the gate I cannot stand to go in.” I got out and took the flowers to his grave and came back and went home, I had never realized how much she had grieved over his death.
Mother lived until April 19th, 1944, just a little over a year after Gorrel. She failed in health very fast. We tried to make her as happy and comfortable as we could. I taught school and I appreciate what others did to help take care of her while I was away. My dear brother John and his wife Pearl lived close and were in and out many times a day. Artice Bird my oldest sister Mary Ann’s daughter stayed with her and was a loving granddaughter to her. I did appreciate her. Then Edith came and stayed the last two weeks. Mary Ann (Mamie) was also a great help. She brought much comfort to us at all times. Mother was buried in the Mendon Cemetery.1
1. Life of Sarah Lavinia Walker Hughes, Gladys Hughes Nelson, unpuplished manuscript.