Life Sketch of Jane Buist Stumpf

This history was written by her daughter Elizabeth Ann Stumpf Barrett, February 1935.

Pictured at right, left to right: sitting, Jane Buist Stumpf and Traugott Stumpf. Standing, Isabella Jane Stumpf and Elizabeth Ann Stumpf.

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Jane Buist StumpfTraugott Stumpf Family

Jane Buist, my mother, second child of David Buist and Isabella Mather Buist, was born January 9, 1855, in Arbroath, Scotland. There were only two children in the family and they were girls. Majory was a year and a half older than Jane. Marjory died when three years old in the year (about) 1856. Her father, a sailor, was then out to sea and when she died he said he saw her and told his companions that his daughter, Marjory had died. When they landed he found it to be true.

Jane Buist started to school when she was about five years old. The schoolhouse was just across the street. She went to this school until she was eight years old. The School Master was very severe, and punished the pupils for only minor things. Because of ill treatment, Jane left this school and went to another one five blocks away from her home. One of the textbooks they studied was the History of Scotland and England. They had no grades, and were graded according to the books they studied. They had only two weeks vacation, which came in the month of July. When the pupils took their final examinations before school let out for their two weeds vacation, a Minister of one of the Churches came to hear them recite their lessons. A prize would be given by the teacher to the pupil who did the best work and had the best attendance. The Minister, if they passed their examinations, would promote the pupil into the next grade, which was the next book they studied.

One evening when mother was studying her lessons she had such a severe headache that her mother told her to go to bed. The next morning she was broke out with small pox, then quite a dreaded disease. They called the doctor and he gave them some medicine for her fever. One of the Elders who had studied herbs, told her to take a certain herb, and she would get along alright. Every day from then on her mother would pour out the doctor’s prescription and give her the herbs the Elder recommended. Mother had a beautiful wax doll and while she was sick she insisted on having it in bed with her and of course the heat melted the wax and the doll peeled off in spots. She then thought the doll had small pox, but it did not get better.

When the small pox started to dry up and peel off her father and mother had to watch her every day and night, for as soon as she woke up she would try to scratch her face, and that would leave a big pox mark. One of her neighbor boys had it the same time and his mother had rheumatism in her arms so that she could not prevent him from scratching his face. As a result his face was all scarred. When he saw mother’s face with no marks on it he cried. Mother had only two marks, one on her nose and one on her chin.

Mother used to go and help her grandmother Buist wind her bobbins that they used in weaving. One night her grandmother was sick and mother went to help her wind the bobbins, a big rain storm arose, the house was at the foot of a hill, and it would not be long before the house would be full of water. She tried to sweep it out but could not, her grandmother had to get u and help her.

Later on mother went to a Ladies School to learn sewing and knitting. She cold just look in the store windows and be able to take the patters of lace from those on display. At thirteen years of age she left school and went to work in a weaving factory. Soon after this her mother died, on March 8, 1868. She stopped working in the factory and stayed at home and kept house for her father. After two years of house keeping she went to work in the factory again.

Her parents were Latter-day Saints and were married in Scotland by a Mormon Missionary from Utah. Mother had been a Mormon since birth. She was baptized when eight years old in the ocean. There were very few people around where they lived that belonged to the Latter-day Saint Church. Sunday afternoons and evenings meetings were held. She and her father would always attend regularly. There was no Bishop, but they had a Branch President instead to take charge of the meetings. John Stephens was the President and also the late David Buist, her father. The people would look down upon the Mormons and make fun of them when they went to their meetings. The Mormons did not have a meetinghouse, just a house they had rented. Meetings were held on Thursday evenings with singing practice after.

Later, after the death of his wife, David Buist, her father married Miss Agnes Burnett in Arbroath, Scotland.

A faith-promoting incident in the life of David Buist happened when he had a stroke, and his face was pulled to one side. The Elders were in another part of the country, and there was no way to get word to them. Brother Buist prayed that one of them might come to him. Two Elders were traveling along the road and a train was coming into the station, when one of them said, “Do you see that train, I’ve got to catch it and go to Arbroath for there is something wrong at Brother Buist’s,” and he started to run. His feet did not seem to touch the ground he ran so fast, and he caught the train. He administered to grandfather Buist and he recovered.

Mother and her parents used to go out and gather little fish called buckeyes after the tide had gone out. One day she went with a group of children and she stayed out to long on the beach and the tide came in and she was almost drowned. A man came to her rescue and saved her life.

In May 1884, the family left Arbroath, Scotland, to come to America. Those in the family at that time were mother, Jane Buist, grandfather, David Buist and his wife Agnes Burnett Buist and their family, David 13, Elizabeth 12, Henry, Alexander, Charles, and William who was then two years old. From Arbroath to Liverpool, England they came on the train. Before leaving, the family sold their household furniture and only brought their clothing and a few dishes with them. From Liverpool they took the boat. The boat they had intended to take needed repairs and would take a week longer to sail. They could not afford to stay in Liverpool, so they took another boat, a cattle boat, they had fixed up to take these extra passengers. This was not so pleasant as the other boar would have been.

They landed in New York harbor and before they were permitted to land they had to be vaccinated for small pox. They lined up before some doctors and if you had been vaccinated before it would be alright. Whenever mother was frightened her pox marks would show up, so when she passed the doctors they said she had the right kind of small pox vaccination.

They started to Salt Lake City on an immigration train. While traveling on the train in one place the tracks were in a weak conditions and the train had to travel slowly. This piece of track was through a woody part of the country, and bandits would try to get on the train. The trainmen came in and told every man to go out on the landing and not to let one of them on the car. If any of the bandits got on it would mean certain death. No one slept that night, not even the children. It was a very dark night and all were in suspense until morning, then all the danger would be over. The dawn came and nothing had happened so they were very much relieved.

The family stayed in Salt Lake City until October, then David Buist was appointed to come to Mendon to look after the tithing. The family all came to Mendon except mother who stayed and worked for her aunt and uncle, Mr. and Mrs. John Mather, her mother’s brother. In December 1884, mother came to Mendon. She was riding on such a slow train that one of the men said he could get out and walk as fast as the train was going.

On Friday, March 13, 1885, she and Traugott Stumpf were married in the Logan Temple for time and eternity. Two daughters were born to them, Isabella Jane and Elizabeth Ann. Father died in 1927.

Mother was a faithful worker in the church. She was treasurer of the relief Society for 24 years, a teacher in the Sunday school and also a Relief Society teacher. She has always attended her meetings regularly and faithfully until she was unable to go Up to the time of her death she could read and knit without her glasses. She died December 30, 1932 at Mendon, Utah, and was buried in the Mendon Cemetery, January 2, 1933.

Elizabeth Stumpf Barrett