|MARY LOUISE EYRING THOMSON (1863-1944)|
In this year of 1976, the year of the nation's Bicentennial Anniversary, we pay special tribute to Mary Louise Eyring Thomson, long-time genealogist of the Eyring Bommeli families. She spent unnumbered hours doing research and temple work and loved her family dearly.
Listen to the words of her own life sketch: "On the 6th of November, 1863, I came to the world in the poorest days of St. George (called "Dixie"); my good parents, Henry and Nary Bommeli Eyring, having volunteered in the Fall of 1862 to go to help settle that part of the country. They had three months' provisions and a few clothes and bedding. My father thought that his health would be better in a warm climate. He had his health very badly impaired with chills and fevers on a mission in the Indian Territory. It was a hard struggle (in St. George). He did all kinds of work. They got a loom and mother did weaving and helped them out wonderfully. She had been a weaver by trade in Switzerland."
"I am the oldest daughter of Henry Eyring and Mary Bommeli Eyring and was taught in my infancy to live an up-right life. I was set that example by my parents."
"My oldest brother, Henry Eyring, never married. My sister Bertha Clara died as a child. My brother, Edward Christian Eyring married Caroline and Emma Romney. My sister Emily (Millie) Henrietta, married William Spencer Snow. My next sister, Ida Elizabeth, married Edward F. Turley."
"My father's second wife was called Deseret Fawcett and her children were: Annie Eyring Taylor, Carl F. Eyring, Carl F. Eyring, Andrew Eyring, and Fern Eyring Smith. We always loved Aunt "Dessie" and the children of both families were brothers and sisters in every way."
"I can remember our first home. It was half underground and was made from the sod cut out of the wiregrass mineral flat just below our place a block. It had a dirt roof, but it was quite comfortable and we felt quite proud of it when it was finished. I was born in it. Before my sister Millie came, they built a one-room adobe house, but mother used to weave in the sod house."
"When I was eight years, I was baptized in the water ditch up by George Cottom's. Father baptized me." "I can remember many things that happened in my young life. We used to climb up in the old apple trees, among the low branches and eat apples. Then we'd teeter on the branches."
"I went to school when but five years old. My first teacher was Samuel Miles."
"I well remember our trip to Salt Lake City, in August, 1872, when my father and Aunt Dessie were married. We visited my Aunt Susanna Bohn and cousins at Beaver. We also visited my Aunt Bertha Greenwood at American Fork and she went with us to Salt lake City. We loved Aunt Bertha and all of the Bowmans."
"My father just got started so he could earn something, when he was called on a mission in the summer of 1874. He borrowed money to keep him, and mother and Aunt Dessie sewed to keep the family at home. I was ten and one-half years old and I had to run every errand and bring everything we ate in the home. The folks took tithing pay for their work, so I had to go to the Tithing Office for provisions."
"Being the oldest girl I had to take care of the younger children and help mother while father was on his mission in Germany and in Switzerland. While in Germany he got a few hundred names of his ancestors. Soon after he came home, the St. George Temple was dedicated. I being one of the heir to father's temple work, received my endowments on the 8th of March 1877. I went through for about 50 of our ancestors. I was only thirteen years old at the time." "President Young preached we should be self-supporting, so the young girls were taught how to braid straw to make our hats. We were taught how to make our own artificial flowers to put on them."
"I went to school until I was fifteen years. Then I clerked in the Coop Store. I sure felt bad when I had to remain home from school, so father let me go one more winter when I was seventeen and promised me, if he possibly could, he would send me to Provo to the B.Y.A. (Brigham Young Academy), but could not do it. I shed the bitterest tears I ever shed in my life. I went back to clerking."
"In the fall of 1882 Andrew Thomson came to St. George. He was called there on a mission to learn to work in the Temple. When the Manti Temple was finished he was able to work there. We sure had a good time that winter he was there. We did not have the movies and all the things we have now, but we made our own fun, just innocent fun which hurts nobody. That was the time our romance began. Before he went back home, we were engaged."
"He went home in June and came back in November. We were married the 20th of December, 1883, in the St. George Temple. Apostle Wilford Woodruff performed the ceremony."
(insert by Mayans Thomson, a daughter) They had a beautiful wedding reception. The invitations were pretty. She was always proud of the lovely gifts they received. She took good care of them. She made her own wedding dress of organdy and lace trim. Her slippers were beautiful. She kept them and her children enjoyed seeing them from time to time.
"We lived two and one-half years in St. George after our marriage. Our first son was born there the 7th of Dec., 1884. He was named for his grandfather, Henry Eyring, who blessed him on New Year's Day in 1885."
"While in St. George my husband worked in the Coop Store for a year and one-half and went over to Silver Reef, a mining camp and hauled ore from the mine to the mill till he earned enough to pay for our first little house. It was a two-room adobe house with a dirt roof, but we soon fixed it up with a new shingle roof."
"We tore out the old fireplace and replastered and painted the whole thing, made a summer kitchen in the back and a nice little cellar leading from it. We were quite comfortable for a time, till our family increased to six."
NOTE: Henry Eyring was sixteen months old when Andrew and Louise moved to Ephraim, Sanpete County, Utah, in April, 1886. In time two other boys were born to them, Andrew Edward and Anthony Wells. Lincoln, Mauben, Mary Christiana and Fern were born in the brick house in Ephraim.
"When we lived in Ephraim we looked around for a lot to build on. We found the one my husband was born on. We bought it from William Bowden for $700. People said we were crazy to pay such a price for it, but we have never regretted it, as it is one of the best localities in town. We had a good substantial brick home built on it and now have the modern converniences, the bath, the toilet, lavoratory, and a buffeted kitchen and sink with hot and cold water." "In this home we had many visitors. The Turleys, the Eyrings, the Bowmans, and others Game to Ephraim to visit us from time to time. My husband only lived six years after we got these conveniences. He said he had never done anything that gave him such satisfaction as getting in these conveniences."
"We have raised a moderate family of five boys and two girls. Our fourth boy was taken from us in his 18th year, and no doubt he and his father are working together over there. It was lonely to be left alone, but I have tried to do the best I can."
"If I didn't have my temple work, I don't know what I would do. I was set apart as an ordinance worker in the Manti Temple, on May 1918 and have been working on my records, since the spring of 1909, when we got our first records from Switzerland. We have 5,200 of mother's ancestors and expect to get two or three thousand more soon. I guess we have nine or ten hundred of Father's ancestors."
"When in St. George I worked in the Mutual and the Sunday School, was secretary and counselor and sang in the choir under John MacFarlane. I am a Relief Society teacher of the North Ward of Ephraim." "My father moved part of his family to Old Mexico the year after we left St. George and came to Ephraim. Three years later he came back for mother and her family, so I have always been separated far from my own people. They had a hard struggle to make a new home in old Mexico, but in time they had it quite comfortable. In Feb. 1902 father died, having lived there fifteen years."
"My husband and I took our little girls, Fern and Mayana, with us on the train down to Mexico. We could not get there for the funeral, but we visited with mother and all of our relatives there for a month. We had a real good time. It was quite a trip for us. It took four days to go there and I did not see anything to compare with Sanpete Valley, anywhere between here and there."
NOTE:Louise continued to do temple and research work for her ancestors after her husband died the 1st of May, 1922, until she was injured in an automobile accident six year before her death, April 27, 1944. From 1909 until her death, Louise worked on her genealogy, having gathered thousands of names during her life time. Mary Louise's husband, Andrew worked as the counselor in the Manti Temple to three presidents. He drove over from Ephraim to Manti each morning with his buggy and horse, no matter what kind of weather it was. Louise went with him as often as possible.