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Morse, Margaret (Evans) - Biography

Margaret Evans Morse was born October 10, 1836, at Cynwel Elfed, Carmarthenshire, Wales, the daughter of Ebenezer Evans and Amy Jones or Williams. Her brothers and sisters were: Mary, Rachel, Ann, Amy, William, John, Evan, David, Stephen, and Sophia. They were farmers and the women worked in the fields the same as the men.

Margaret was an attractive girl with fair skin, auburn hair and large brown eyes. She was married to William Morse at Kidwelly, Carmarthenshire, Wales. Mary Jane, their oldest daughter, was born at Merthyr Tydifl, January 26, 1860, and Ann was born August 9, 1862, at Mountain Ash, Glamorganshire, which is just a few miles from Merthyr.

Her people disowned her because her husband was a Mormon and entertained mormon missionaries. Margaret was known as their lost child.

She emigrated to America 4 June 1863 on the ship Amazon which sailed to New York from the port of London. It was a long, tiresome crossing of over seven weeks in this sailing vessel. She crossed the plains with the Thomas E. Ricks Company, walking most of the way carrying her second daughter Ann in her arms. While crossing the plains, the wagons were so heavy for the oxen to pull that the teamster made Margaret leave part of her precious possessions along the roadside, such as iron cooking utensils, flat irons, etc., also many other treasures. She cried because she had to part with her treasures. She suffered many hardships along the way and considered the plains long and dreary.

They arrived in Salt Lake City at the Tithing Yard on October 4th. They stayed there a few days and were advised by the Church leaders to travel on to Logan, where her husband built a dugout for a home. It wasn't very comfortable but more so than a wagon box. In this dugout Emma Morse Price was born on June 17, 1865. Margaret found a large lizard in her bed the day Emma was born. Their dugout was located in the present Third Ward of Logan.

Sometime later they built a one-room cabin with logs that her husband cut from a nearby canyon. In this log home her first and only son, William Evans Morse, was born 31 October 1868.

In the year of 1869 her husband traveled to Samaria, Idaho, and built a log house with dirt floor and factory for windows [sic];; then he returned to Logan for his family, traveling by way of wagon and ox team. Other families they knew also went to Samaria to make their homes. Here their family increased to eight; their names are given in the story of William Morse.

Margaret was a hard worker and always willing and ready to help in time of sickness or death. She was very kind and generous and was like a mother to everyone who came to her for any assistance. She knit lots of woolen stockings for her children using one thread of cotton to make the heels and toes stronger. She used lime to whitewash her walls and ceiling and used a piece of sheepskin for a brush. For chairs they used benches made of slabs cut in a nearby handmade sawmill. These she scoured with sand until smooth, gathering the sand by the spring where they got their drinking water. All of their furniture was homemade. The bed springs were made of rope and the mattresses were made of ticking filled with straw. She used maple wood ashes in water to extract the lye for washing and for making soap. She also used to card wool and send it away to be made into jeans and lindsey to make underclothes out of it.

Not having many clothes she would wash her children's clothing after they had gone to bed on Saturday night in order to have them clean for Sunday.

Margaret was baptized into the Church at Logan, Utah, in the winter of 1868; ice had to be broken or cut at the old mill to perform this ordinance. Later, at Samaria she was an active worker in the Relief Society, being a teacher for many years. She also did some temple work.

In the year 1890 she made a trip back to Wales to visit her people; some of them still treated her with reserve and were not very sociable. She came back home from Europe sick and never did regain her health. She died August 11, 1893, and was buried in the Samaria Cemetery.

[From The Samaritans]


Evans, Margaret


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