Sunday, June 7, 2009

Thomas Franklin Harward

Thomas Franklin Harward

My paternal grandfather, Kendrick Harward's father is Thomas Franklin Harward. Kendrick and his brother Ritch left memories of their father which I will share. I remember met my great grandfather Harward one time when I was about three years old probably just weeks before he passed away.

Thomas Franklin, Gaylord Harward holding me, and Kendrick Harward

Thomas Franklin Harward was born in Springville, Utah, Utah on 20 January 1878 to William Henry and Elizabeth Clements Harward. His family moved from Springville to Aurora, Utah shortly after his birth. From Church records [which are not complete] it appears Thomas was not active, but he did claim to have been made a deacon.

He went to school in Lost Creek and Aurora and attended until probably the sixt
h or seventh grade. He was a bright student who excelled in spelling. Kendrick claimed, "Father acquired a good, practical education whether in the classroom or by his own efforts. He was accurate and astute with figures. He figured on everything and kept account records of his business and farming operations."

As Thomas grew older, he subscribed to the Deseret News and read it completely through every evening. In fact even in his old age, when he could not see well enough to read, he kept the paper coming just to hold and look at.

His son Ritch noted, "Our father had courted our mother [Sarah Jeanette Harding] in their late teen years. However our mother was more interested in William Riley Ivie. Our father started courting Elizabeth Maria, a younger sister of mother, whom he later married [11 October1900]." Elizabeth died after the birth of their fourth child 29 April 1908. Their new baby died just six weeks later. Then Thomas took their children and lived with his father a mother for a while. On 18 June 1909, he marrie
d Elizabeth's older sister Sarah Jeanette who had previously been married and divorced.

Nine children were added to this marriage within twelve years. With Elizabeth's three there were twelve in all. The following years were difficult with this large family. In 1918 Thomas built a new home--maybe as nice as any. It boasted its own indoor bathroom. Because it was the first in town, many wanted to try it. But the rule was that the inside toilet was for the ladies and girls, boys only when sick or in very bad weather. The old outhouse was preserved and used for many years.

Thomas Franklin Harward and sons
Front left: Vermont, Frank, Thomas, Royal, Ritch
Back left: Clyde, Kendrick

Kendrick mentioned of his father, "The impressions that I have of father, which I think that the family generally shares, was that father was very strict and demanding. He kept his children busy milking cows and doing other chores. Even the girls were required to work in the fields in the summers, usually herding cows and weeding sugar beets."

During these years, a serious economic depression came and slowed the progress for Thomas. He survived the crisis and did not lose his farm but increased his farming operation and cattle herd. His goal seemed to be to get his farms paid for and have a savings account in the bank. The banker in nearby Salina, Utah claimed Thomas was honest, polite and respected people he knew--always paying his dues and debts, and he expected others to do the same.

Thomas was a good provider for his family but not close to his children--most did not feel any affection from him because of his temperament and negative attitude towards their activities.

Kendrick said of his father Thomas, "If the fruit of a tree are the measure by which we judge, we would judge our father as a good man with more than average greatness."

Thomas was concerned about political and government affairs. He served as mayor of Aurora. He took part in the business activities of his irrigation companies and always served as director, president, secretary or treasurer of the companies.

Sarah passed away before the family was all gone from the home 9 April 1939. Kendrick recorded of the time after her death, "Father became somewhat of a loner . . . these were difficult years for father, he was getting along in age and not able to do the farm work and no one home to help."

Thomas met and then married Cecilia Weber three years exactly from Sarah's death date. Kendrick was bishop of the Aurora ward at the time and was asked to perform the marriage. Out of his deep love and respect for his mother, he declined. The family called Thomas' new wife Aunt Celia, and the children appreciated her for coming into their home and taking care of Thomas and the home. But it was not all pleasant for her with his disposition. Celia developed cancer early in their marriage and spent her last days in Wayne county with her daughter.

Thomas took care of himself with help from his son Vermont until he had a stroke. After that he lived on a rotation basis with his children who were able to care for him. He died in Kendrick's home in Richfield on 20 June 1960.

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