Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Sarah Jeanette Harding Harward

Sarah Jeanette Harding Harward

Sarah's history has been preserved and written for us by her daughter, Opal Harward Nielson and her son Wm. Ritch Harward.

My paternal grandfather Kendrick Harding Harward's mother is Sarah Jeanette Harding Harward. Sarah was born 19 November 1877 in Provo, Utah, Utah to William Henry and Sarah Drucilla Robbins Harding.

Sarah was the oldest child of her parents. Her daughter Opal noted, "Mama was like a second mother to the younger ones. She was a great help to Grandma. Her sisters recall how she read stories to them and how they enjoyed it, because she always did it with such delightful expressions." She had very expressive eyes. Many people told Opal, "Your mother talked with her eyes."

High school friends related that Sarah had a great sense of humor and a witty personality. A friend of Sarah's, Deseret Holdaway Mason told Opal of different occasions when several young people went riding in a buggy together. The group laughted so hard at Sarah's remarks that some fell out of the buggy.

Sarah's son Ritch recounted that he had overheard during his teenage years that his mother had serious problems early in her adult life. Ritch said, "Our father [Thomas Franklin Harward] had courted our mother some in their late teen years. However, our mother was more interested in William Riley Ivie. Our mother married William Riley Ivie 5 November 1898 in the Sevier county courtho
use in Richfield, Utah. It is a question whether or not they set up housekeeping for a short period of time; however, we do know that a baby girl was born to them on 9 January 1899. She was blessed and named Drucilla by Ezra Curtis. They lost her on 29 January 1899, and she was buried the next day on 30 January 1899 in the Harding plot in the Aurora Cemetery." Sarah and William were divorced 29 November 1900.
Ritch continued, "The most vivid explanation of the things I heard is the following: Shortly after Mother married Ivie, his family planned to move to Old Mexico where many of the LDS people went to avoid persecution for living polygamy. Her parents insisted that she remain with them. They feared she would get involved in polygamy of which they were opposed. She was left to face the the ward members and community."

Sarah later married Thomas Franklin Harward, her sister Elizabeth's widower, on 19 June 1909 in Richfield, Sevier, Utah. The couple raised their own nine children and three of Elizabeth's children too.

Thomas Franklin Harward Children
Front left: Beth, Opal, Pluma, Katie, Vera
Back left: Kendrick, Vermont, Ritch, Frank, Royal, Clyde

Thomas was a successful farmer and whenever he had alfalfa out in the field and was fearful of a storm, he sent his sons out to work. Opal wrote of one Sunday, "I remember seeing Mama standing by the fence looking in the direction of the field wringing her hands, and I am sure softly praying that her boys would be back in time for Priesthood meeting. It was very important that her sons attend Priesthood and other meetings."

Opal wrote, "Mama had many wonderful characteristics. Some of which were patience, understanding, charity, tolerance and many more." I remember my grandfather, Kendrick always paid particular attention to those who displayed those same characteristics. When he noted them he would remark to those who displayed the traits, "You are just like my mother."

Sarah's family claimed that she had a beautiful voice and in younger days loved to sing and play the guitar. Opal said, "In those day, most everyone who played a guitar strummed it, but Mama used to pick it with her fingers which was unusual."

Sarah was a very frugal person. She saved every scrap of grease and fat to make into soap. From used clothing she made over for her children nice warm coats and other wearing appearal. She also saved rags to make into braided rugs. She was a fine quilter making many quilts. Opal remembered, "It seemed to be one of Mama's greatest pleasures to sit at the old t
readle sewing machine. I think it served as therapy for her."
For years Sarah spent many hours making burial clothes for others. Opal recalled, "I remember one time getting up at about two o'clock in the morning for a drink of water and seeing my mother at the sewing machine making burial clothing."

Sarah was always quick to correct her children after they repeated gossip, "Well now, maybe it didn't happen that way, " or "That's probably just a rumor."

Opal said, "Mama was ill for several years . . . suffering from neuritis and plural adhesions." Not alot could be done for her back then. But she never complained to anyone of her pain.

Sarah died 9 April 1939 in the Aurora, Utah home leaving two children, Katie and Vermont still living at home. Some said at her funeral that no words could express the beauty of her life.

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