Mary Elizabeth Montgomery

History of Mary Elizabeth Montgomery (PDF)


Sister to Isabelle Montgomery (Wife of Benjamin Cazier Sr. b.1824)

Mary was born May 23, 1843 in Montreal, Canada, a daughter of Robert and Mary Wilson Montgomery. She was the 7th child, and 3rd daughter of a family of 11 children.

She was born on a farm in Ontario County where the City of Hamilton now stands. On this farm, Mary’s father raised cattle, and her favorite cow was named Cherry. While living on this farm, the Mormon Elders came to visit them, and Mary’s parents became interested in the gospel, and were converted to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the fall of 1845.

In the spring of 1846, the family decided to go to Nauvoo to join the Saints. So, without waiting to sell their good farm, they left and started out on their long trek. However, they had plenty of the necessary provisions to make the trip, and their oxen and wagon were in good shape.

When they reached Iowa, word came to them that Joseph and Hyrum Smith had been killed. In view of this circumstance, they decided to stay in Iowa and rest; also to make preparations for continuing on to Utah.

Iowa and the surrounding country was wild and unsettled. There were large forests and much lumbering was done. Mary’s father and brothers took a clearing of land, as it was called in those days, and cleared the land of all its trees and brush. They built a small house and fenced the farm with poles, and made gates of poles, with wooden hinges on the gates.

The first home they built burned to the ground shortly after it was finished. The family was somewhat discouraged, but a neighbor told them to build another home, and that he would see that it wasn’t destroyed. So another home was built.

There were large maple tree groves, and the people would cut the maple trees down, catch the sap, and make syrup There were also large groves of hazel nut trees. Mary’s father and brothers used to work in the forests, and Mary would carry drinking water to them. She was only 6 years old, but performed her tasks with

pleasure. After she grew to womanhood, she often said it was very strange she didn’t get lost in the woods because it was such a large country.

While living in Iowa, 2 more sons were born to Mary’s mother and father. They were named Joseph and Hyrum, after the two martyrs.

In 1850, Mary’s parents decided to join the Saints in Salt Lake City. While crossing the plains, they were overtaken by some Indians. But the Indians were friendly and asked to see a white papoose. The father passed the baby, Hyrum, around, and the Indians seemed pleased to see it, but the anxious mother never took her eyes off of the child for fear the Indians would steal it. When they first arrived in Utah, they lived at Mound Fort, Weber County, Utah.

Then, in 1851, they moved to North Ogden and bought a farm. The farm was located where the Harold Ward family now live. Mary’s home there was an adobe house on top of the hill just back, and a little north of the present Ward home. On this farm, her father raised sheep, horses and cattle.

Mary’s mother was not too well at this time, and Mary did much of the house work, and she washed the wool after the sheep had been sheared, and dyed it with tigalter bark, and then spun and wove it into clothes for the family. When Johnston’s Army came through, Mary, along with her parents, moved down South at the request of President Brigham Young. They lived in a tent for a short time.

When Mary was born, she weighed only 3 1⁄2 pounds. She was a very pretty baby, and was given the nickname of “Doll”, which she was known by all of her life. Mary’s parents were both very nice dancers. Her mother, when a young girl, danced the “Highland Fling” on the stage in Scotland, and she did it so well her teacher was very proud of her.

This fine art Mary inherited. She was very light on her feet, and graceful, and she loved to dance. When Mary was 70 years old, at a Montgomery family reunion, she and her brother, Alma, danced the French Four. This they did in a most perfect manner. Every step was taken at the right time, and with grace and ease. Their audience enjoyed watching them, and gave them wonderful applause.

Another of her accomplishments was quilting. She loved to quilt and was an expert at it. She also tore and sewed carpet rags, and had the large rooms in her house covered with homemade carpets.

She was a large and strong girl, but carried herself in a very attractive manner, and always appeared to be at ease no matter where she was.

On March 1, 1865, at the age of 19, she married William Bailey in Ogden, Utah. Their first home was in Pleasant View, Weber County, on a farm, which in later years, was known as the Andrew Rose farm. Here, they lived but a short time when they purchased a farm in North Ogden from Isaac Riddle. Mary and William lived on this farm all the rest of their lives. Tfheir first home was a two room log house. This farm had some apple and peach trees growing when they moved onto it. Sugar cane was being raised by the people at this time, so Mary and William built a molasses mill. It was located just north of the barn which is still standing.

Mr. Judkins, father of the late Gene Judkins, used to run the mill, and the people would bring their sugar cane here to be made into molasses. When the large vat became full of syrup, Mary would boil the cane juice down into syrup. She knew exactly just how long to boil it so it wouldn’t be too thin or too thick.

Mary made splendid peach preserves, using molasses instead of sugar. She always had a large barrel of peach preserves, and a barrel of molasses put in her cellar for winter use, together with dried fruits, corn and squash. She also cut and dried peaches by the sackfuls, and went to town and sold them to help buy the children’s winter clothing. She also had the name of making the best butter in town and her butter was always in demand.

To this happy union 10 children came to bless their home, and are as follows:

John M. Bailey December 23,1864
Mary Priscilla Bailey January 16, 1867
William Bailey May 11, 1868
Robert Wilson Bailey February 11, 1870
Celestia Bailey January 18, 1872
Joseph Thomas Bailey January 13, 1874
Hyrum Smith Bailey April 12, 1876
James Alma Bailey December 28, 1878
Lydia Grace Bailey January 21,1881
Nathaniel Bailey January 17, 1883

Bill Bailey was absent from home much of the time, as his work took him into other states as he was, like many other men, helping to build up the West. So Mary was left at home to care for their large family, but she did this willingly and well.

The farm they bought was in a wet, swampy place. The “Lomond View Drive”, as it is known by today, with its oiled street and graded roads, was once an almost bottomless swamp. When the older boys would ride their horses over the roads, the horses would sink in mud up to their bellies. At one time, Mary and the children were returning home from town, when their horses became frightened and ran away. But Mary had learned much of the hard ways of nature, and when the wagon would pass over the mud holes, she would drop one of the children into a mud hole because she knew it was much softer for them than failing out of the wagon onto the hard road. In this way, the children were unhurt when the frightened team was brought under control.

The willows and bushes grew very large in this swampy land, and neighbors were far apart. Mary often grew nervous and afraid when a bad storm began, but she never let her young family know how fast her heart was beating within. As time went on, the land was drained, orchards were planted, and hay, grain, and sugar beets were grown. A new 5 room brick house was erected and two good flowing wells were dug. The next year after the new house had been built, lightning struck the large barn and burned it to the ground …also a large hay shed full of hay was destroyed.

But Mary and the children never gave up. When her eyes filled with tears over the loss of the barn, her sons’ said to their mother, “Mother, don’t worry. We will build a better barn,” which they did.

In their declining years, William and Mary lived on their farm and watched their children grow to man and womanhood. One by one, they chose their companions for marriage and all lived near by the old home.

Early in the morning of August 1, 1913, she told her son, Joseph, to call all of the children home as she was going to die that day. Joseph tried to comfort her and told her she would soon feel better, but she told him she had known it for 3 days. So the family was called and all came home and visited with her all day long. At 6 o’clock that evening she had a stroke and died instantly. She was 70 years old.

With her passing, it closed a career of an honest, hard working and loving woman a mother who had fulfilled her mission here on earth in a most satisfactory and honorable way, and was ready to meet her Maker.

The attendance at her funeral was large and well attended by dear friends, neighbors, and family who had learned to love her. She was laid to rest in the North Ogden cemetery. Four years later, William was buried by her side where they sleep in peace in a land they loved so well.