LIFE HISTORY OF ROSETTA CHRISTMAS
1861 - 1938Up to the age of seven, Rosetta Christmas lived in Wales where her father was a very devout minister. However, through the missionaries, they became converts to the L. D. S. Church and when she was seven, they came to America. The voyage over the Atlantic was very rough and took six weeks. When they reached the Missouri River, they met a group of Indians -- all painted and with feathers in their hair. When the Indians gave their war whoops, it nearly frightened them to death. They came to Ogden by railroad and were met by covered wagons, then traveled on to Spanish Fork where they lived in a two-roomed log house. Grandma had three sisters and two brothers; Mary Ann, Elizabeth, Jamima, Luther, and John who died as a small child in Wales. Grandma took an active part in church work, and was always so willing to help whenever she was needed. She was married at the age of 19, and always took great pleasure in her home, trying to make it as nice as possible. She was exceptionally big hearted and would many times loan the last loaf of bread in the house and then have the girls build a fire and bake biscuits. She had lots of friends and company. It wasn't unusual for her to set the table for 27 at one meal. Every Saturday morning the house was cleaned thoroughly and each Saturday afternoon a huge meal was prepared for Sunday. People all over the county have some of the beautiful quilts that grandma made, for she was an excellent seamstress. Although her health was quite poorly, she never was too ill to go visit the sick and the poor and she always took them something. She was the mother of five children; William Thomas, born Sept. 22, 1882 - Elias Jones, born Nov. 14, 1884 - Mary Elizabeth. born Aug . 30, 1887 - Joyce, born Aug. 17, 1890 - and John who died at birth Sept.15, 1897. After grandpa died Aunt Joyce lived with grandma for sometime, and then again after Uncle Lou died. Grandma then lived alone for several years. Nearly every year she spent the summer visiting Mary, Elias, and Will in Richfield, Idaho and it was during one of these visits that she suffered a stroke. After two months of terrible suffering, she died September 20, 1938.
Rosetta Christmas, born 18 March 1861 at Davin Wales, was the youngest child of WilliamChristmas and his wife Elizabeth Roach Christmas. She had three sisters; Jemimah, Mary Ann, and Elizabeth - also two brothers; Luther and John. John died before she was born. Her father worked in the coal mines, as this was the chief occupation of the people of this small town. Through the work of the missionaries, this family had joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and it became their desire to come to Utah. When Rosetta was 7 years old, the family left their home in Davin, Wales and started their boat trip to America, which by the slow sailboat took 6 weeks before they arrived in New York City. During the trip across the United States, one of the hair raising experiences occurred when they stopped at the Missouri River, where a large number of Indians were encountered, frightening them almost out of their wits, as many of the Indians were hostile at that time. At this time the railroad was completed as far as Ogden, which helped to make their journey faster and more pleasant. Upon arriving at Ogden, they were met by Walter Roach, an Uncle of Rosetta, and taken by team and wagon to Spanish Fork, Utah to a home they had already purchased before leaving Wales. Life was not easy during these early years in Utah, as unfriendly Indians were constantly a problem to the safety of the inhabitants of Spanish Fork. As a result of this, sleepless nights were many, which left memories never to be forgotten. Manufactured goods were expensive, so nearly everyone processed their own wool, weaving their own cloth, and making all of their own clothing. The only method of processing food for winter was to dry it, consequently it was customary for a group of people to assemble at one of the homes for a "cutting bee" where they all helped prepare the fruit or corn, as the case may be, for drying. Besides providing assistance for one another, it also made possible a social get together to visit and enjoy the company of others. The Christmas home had the only organ at this time, and it was a very common thing for a group of young people to gather around the organ, with Luther as organist, and spend the evening singing songs. Rosetta attended school in Spanish Fork. Later while in her teens she worked for a family across town, by doing the house work for them. Just before her 20th birthday, she married William Flavel, to this union were born two daughters; Mary Elizabeth and Joyce, also three sons: William, Elias, and John. John died a few minutes after birth. Her husband William had a very fine tenor voice and on frequent ocassions was called on to sing at entertainments and parties. After living in Spanish Fork for a few years, they purchased a farm at Palmyra, Utah. Later they moved back to Spanish Fork, where they built a nice brick home. They were a family that had a lot of friends and their home was always full of company. It was not uncommon to set the table for 26 on a Sunday dinner. Rosetta was never very well most of her life, and other members of the family had quite a little sickness also. It would have been cheaper if they had purchased a drug store and sold themselves medicine at cost. Her husband William died in July 29, 1921. She kept up their home until the time of her death, spending most of the summers with her children at Richfield, Idaho. During the last few years of her life she made quilts by the hundreds, some of them having several hundred pieces in the top, and of the most beautiful designs one could possibly imagine. She died at Richfield, Idaho on September 20, 1938, and was taken to Spanish Fork, Utah for burial.
HISTORY OF ROSETTA FLAVEL
ROSETTA CHRISTMAS FLAVEL
thoughts by her grand-daughter, Lois Manwill LarsenGrandma Rosetta was a very petite woman, maybe 5 feet 2 inches tall. She had long silvery, shiny hair when I knew her. When she stayed with us in the summers she would let me brush her hair every night and I would braid it into 2 long braids. That is how she would wear her hair to bed. Then in the morning she would brush it out and wind it into a bun. Grandma was a beautiful seamstress. Especially a quilter. She made many, many quilts. Every stitch had to be perfect. She made such tiny stitches. I remember her going to the store and buying fabric and then making a "Blazing Star" quilt starting with yellow at the center and from there going out to darker colors of yellow, orange and ending with rusts. She was well known for her beautiful quilts. I inherited a white quilt with pink and after many years it was so worn that my daughters and I cut it and made Bears out of the fabric. This way we could all have a piece of grandma Rosetta's quilt. She lived by the adage" If it is worth doing, it's worth doing well". Having come from Wales as a girl of 8 she always loved her tea. She drank it so weak but she still wanted some every day. The only time we ever had tea in the house was when grandma was visiting. Grandma suffered from headaches and an upset stomach frequently and she said the tea helped her feel better. She also said her heart bothered her. It seemed to flutter or beat extra fast. When this happened it frightened her. Occasionally her son Elias who ran a pool-hall-saloon in Richfield would bring her Becker's Beer to drink that they both thought would help with her poor health. I always thought it smelled so bad. Grandma always wore an apron and I remember her going out to the garden to help pick peas and she would put them in her apron and hold the corners up as she carried them into the house. Then we would shell them together. She was always helping with the bottling and canning. She loved jam and jellies. She bottled every kind imaginable. When we would visit her in Spanish Fork she would take us to her cellar and there were rows and rows of bottled fruit and jams and jellies and she would let us pick a jar to take home. Every jar was neatly lined up and carefully labeled. She was very neat and tidy. Because grandma didn't have much money the jars of jelly were the only gifts she could afford to give us kids. My favorite was orange marmalade since my mom never made that kind. I loved to watch grandma peel apples. She could peel them without ever breaking the peel. It just curled around and around. She also could never swallow pills. Mom would give her one hidden in a spoonful of jelly and she would swallow and then stick her tongue out and there would be the pill on the end of her tongue. Grandma lived alone for 17 years after grandpa William died. Except for a time when aunt Joyce lived with her. So to help earn a little money grandma lived just in the front parlor of her house. She had a bed, couch, rocking chair, hot plate and her few belongings in that one room. Then she rented out the rest of the house. I remember when we would go to visit we would all stay in that one room with her. One time when we were visiting, the children of the renters had Scarlet Fever and just after we got home to Richfield my brother Don came down with the fever and we had to have our house quarantined. Just as he got better I came down with the fever. I was in the 8th grade and before we could go back to school we had to put our school books in the warm oven and turn the pages one at a time to kill the germs. The guarantine lasted about 5 weeks. Grandma Rosetta was in Richfield to visit her three children who lived there: my mother Mary, her sons , Elias and Will. She had a stroke and was in a coma like condition for the next few months until she passed away. I have in my possession a leaf plate and sugar bowl, an owl- parrot set of salt and pepper shakers, and a white table cloth with pink tulips,(card table size) that belonged to grandma Rosetta.
The following notes were taken from a conversation with Madge Roach (85years old) who is a cousin to Ila and Lois. She was Rosetta's Granddaughter, and daughter of Joyce Flavel Dean. Rosetta loved to play cards with her sisters, Mary Ann and Jamima. If ever they didn't want the kids to know what they were saying Rosetta would talk in Welsh. Often she would say "Mo- la- vakie—my little bellie. Jamima her sister had the most beautiful long black hair. She would rinse it in a solution of steeped sage. One day she was not feeling well so she sent her children out to gather the sage. Unknowingly they brought her the wrong weed and it turned her hair green. She had to wear a scarf around her head for a long time till the green went away. She was so upset. Indians would pass through their yard quite often and beg for food. Rosetta would always fix them a sandwich or give them a piece of cake and send them on their way. They hardly ever talked. Grandpa Flavel had a beautiful tenor voice. He would take the grandchildren out on the swing tied to a huge poplar tree in the front yard and push them and sing an Indian lullaby—"Oh the moon shines tonight on pretty Redwing, The breeze is sighing. The night birds crying Far beneath the stars my Brave is sleeping Red Wing is weeping her heart away One of Rosetta's favorite sayings was "Let the wind blow free where ere ye be" referring to having to pass a little gas. (I'm sure she's going to want to be remembered for this) Grandma was very modest. She never took her garments off even when she bathed. She would wash half of her then replace her garments and wash the other half. She said not even her husband had seen her without her clothes. Rosetta was a great cook, especially known for her cakes and pies. She would stoke up the old cold stove and stick her arm in the oven to tell if it was hot enough. She was always right and seemed to know when the temperature was right. She never burned anything. To the side of the cold stove was a reservoir they would fill with water to heat. This hot water was then transferred to an old galvanized tub with a washboard where the clothes would be scrubbed. Spring-cleaning was a big deal. All the rugs in the house were taken up and hung over a wire line outside and beat till all the dust was out. The wallpaper was cleaned with a pink playdough kind of stuff 'that would clean off the soot and dust. The wad of pink was nibbed down the wallpaper picking up dirt then folded over for a new clean surface and rubbed down the next spot. It had a nice smell. Grandma was well known for her beautiful handwork. She had doilies all over the house. She was an expert in piecing and quilting, and made many beautiful quilts. She also did embroidery, and made the shawls, which she almost always wore around her shoulders. Grandma never had running water or a bathroom in her house. The well and the outhouse were out back in the yard. She had a pitcher and basin she would fill and use for her washing—then out the window the water would go when she was finished. The Parlor was a very formal room at the front of the house. It was reserved just for visiting, or singing around the piano. No one touched or played the piano without grandma's permission or her being there. She also played and loved to sing. She would go singing through the house all the time. Going to church together as a family was very important. They were a very faithful family. She tried hard to teach and convert her brother Luther, but he was a stubborn one. When he died someone walked by his casket and said," Well look at old Luther, all dressed up and nowhere to go" He had a reputation for being a real character. Birthdays weren't celebrated much in their home. Halloween was a time of tricks especially tipping over out houses. Those who got caught got a good whipping from their parents, and oh what a mess that was to clean up. Thanksgiving and Christmas were big celebrations. Rosetta always put out Christmas stockings filled with goodies. One Christmas her Son Will sneaked and filled the stockings with manure. When her daughter Joyce got married, Rosetta didn't like the idea of going to the church for cake and a receiving line. Instead they hung lanterns all over the yard and set up a feast celebration. People didn't bring presents—usually the couple just got one big gift. The friends came to eat and dance and pull pranks. It was called a Chivery—sometimes even the bride was stolen and hid form her new husband. After her husband died Rosetta moved to the little parlor at the front of the house. This became her living quarters as she rented out the rest of the house to make enough to sustain herself. She had a double size bed in the middle of the room with a fat feather tic mattress that you would sink in the middle almost to the floor when you got on it. Her closet was used to stock her fruits and vegetables from the garden. She had a little hot plate to cook on, and her water pitcher. Once when lla and Lois went to visit her they found out just after leaving that the family in the rest of the house had scarlet fever. Poor lla got the fever and was very sick. Their house was quarantined, with a big sign out in front of their house. No one could go in or out. All the schoolbooks had to be heated in the oven to kill germs before they could go back to school. During the flu epidemic of 1918 Madge remembered how a man would walk down the streets of Spanish Fork calling out who had died that day. They cremated as many as they could or just buried them out somewhere. There wasn't the situation for a proper burial. The story was also shared about Rosetta's son Will. When he lost his first wife, Carrie, he was so devastated and despondent. He would go to her grave and sit there and just sob how much he missed her and couldn't go on. He became so depressed he finally decided he would take his life. He got a gun and was walking down the stairs to go outside and shoot himself when at the bottom of the stairs his deceased wife .Carrie appeared to him and told him "don't you dare do this Will don't do it!!" It scared the hebe jeebes right out of him. He went on with his life and ended up meeting Erma, having 2 more children and had a happy life. Lizzie Evans and Rosetta Christmas Flavel were down in the fields shocking grain and they caught George Hutchings cleaning wheat in their field and they took him by the arm and leg apiece and swung him back and forth and then threw him in the big ditch. Grandma Rosetta had a happy positive personality. She always spoke for people never against them.
Rosetta Christmas Flavel—Bits and Pieces
Impressive funeral services were conducted Friday Afternoon at the Third ward chapel for Mrs. Rosetta Christmas Flavel. Bishop L.F. Smith was in charge and the ward choir, with Mrs. Grace Beck as soloist, sang the opening selection, "I Know That My Redeemer Lives." Bishop Ed. Huntington of Palmyra ward offered the invocation; Mrs. Nelda Christensen and Mrs. Leah Webb sang a duet "The Silent Voice." Bishop A. T. Money was the first speaker and told of his long acquaintance with the Christmas family and of their willingness to do what was asked of them in the work of the church. Mrs. Gladys Williams Christmas sang a solo, "Going Home," with Miss Ila Thomas as accompanist. C.W. Booth paid a high tribute to the faith and character of Mrs. Flavel, and Bishop Smith made the closing remarks. The choir sang the closing number, "Sweet Hour of Prayer," Mrs. Hazel Larsen playing the accompaniments for the choir and duet. Joseph Otteson offered the closing prayer and Bishop Smith dedicated the grave in the Spanish Fork City cemetery. CARD OF THANKS The family of Mrs. Rosetta Flavel wish to sincerely thank their many kind relatives and friends in Spanish Foerk who assisted them in any way during their recent bereavement.
Funeral Services for Mrs. Rosetta Flavel
|NAME||RELATION||MARITAL STATUS||GENDER||RACE||AGE||BIRTHPLACE||OCCUPATION||FATHER'S BIRTHPLACE||MOTHER'S BIRTHPLACE|
|Elizabeth CHRISTMAS||Wife||M||Female||W||48||Wales||Keeping House||Wales||Wales|
|Jemima CHRISTMAS||Dau||D||Female||W||24||Wales||At Home||Wales||Wales|
|Rozettea CHRISTMAS||Dau||S||Female||W||18||Wales||At Home||Wales||Wales|
Census Place: Spanish Fork, Utah, Utah Family History Library Film: 1255338 NA Film Numbr: T9-1338 Page Number: 178A
10890 Bohm Place
Sandy, UT 84094