Mary Leona Smith, infant!
Mary Leona Smith Thorup, An Autobiography. I made my arrival into this world on December 11, 1892, at 6:30 P.M. At the time my parents lived on 1st Avenue and P Street. It was on a Sunday and the day my father was assigned to be the speaker at Sacrament Meeting. It was a close race with the stork that day, but I arrived in time for him to greet his new daughter and hurry to church in time to fie his speech. The April following my birth, my father left my mother and my sister Vera (who was two years old) and me to fulfill a two year mission in England. While on that mission, my father visited his relatives in Leicester, Leics. Co., and my mother’s uncle, Joseph Howarth, in Rhodes, Lanc. Co., and collected the births, marriages and deaths of those families. When I was four years and nine months old, my parents moved into their first new home. By this time there were three children, and right after we moved to our new home, my sister Venice was born. This home was on 352 Hampton Avenue and had three rooms. As the family grew, so did the house. It finally had eight rooms and an enclosed summer kitchen. This home was in the Second Ward of Salt Lake Stake, and we were a part of that ward for nearly ten years, when it was divided and we were then in the new ward which was called, Liberty Ward. My father was the first Bishop, and he chose the name for the ward. He was Bishop at the time of my marriage. I attended the Salt Lake High School, where the West High School stands today, taking a business course. I was privileged t work as the secretary to the Principal of the High School for four years prior to my marriage. They were very happy years and my life was enriched by the associations of the fine faculty members. It was not compulsory to go to High School at that time, and so many who did, went on to gain prominence in the state and community. While living in the Liberty Ward, before my marriage, I was organist for five years. I learned to love music and the beautiful anthems the choir sang. We often had soloists from other pars of the city sing in our ward and I would accompany them. Jessie Evans Smith came more than once and I remember her rich contralto voice. Axel B.G.Ohlson was director of the Swedish Choir of Salt Lake City. I would love to leave with my family this lesson: The more you work in a ward, the more you love it. I loved the liberty Ward because I was so much a part of it. I had all my social, as well as spiritual life in that ward. At the time of my marriage, the choir gave me a party and the amusement hall was full of friends who came from the ward to attend. When I was nineteen years of age, my sister, Vera Austin, invited us to go on a vacation with them. I was in July 1912. My sister and her husband and their baby, Edwin N. Austin, Jr., and myself, and a family by the name of Secrest and a young man named Alvin Theobald Thorup, went on a trip to Bear Lake. This trip can be made in a day today. As we left from Garland, Utah, at that time, we went in covered wagons and took a week for the trip. Altho Alvin Thorup and myself had lived in Salt Lake all of our lives, we met each other in Garland. One year and nine months later, we were married. We were married on April 15, 1914, in the Salt Lake Temple by Heber J. Grant who later became president of the Church. Our first home was at 1040 Lake Street. My husband purchased the home soon after he met me and rented it until our marriage. To me it was a dream house. There were five rooms and a bathroom. We lived in this house for thirteen years, all of our children being born while we lived there. Vera Luana Thorup, was born on Jun 18, 1918, Robert Smith Thorup was born on May 24, 1919, and Donald Wallace Thorup was born on July 12, 1926. In November 1918, a bad epidemic of influenza spread over the world. My husband and I were stricken with the disease. After several days of fighting the disease, my husband’s life was despaired of as the doctor said he could not live through the night. That evening, Brother Soren Jacobsen told Bishop J. Percy Goddard he felt that he had a blessing to give my husband. Unless a person was a nurse or doctor, he did not enter a house where the disease was. But, Bro. Jacobsen, and my father put on face masks and came and gave my husband a blessing, and promised him that he would live. They also came in the bedroom where I was and gave me a blessing and promised me that he would live. Although I had not slept but an hour or two at a time before this, I had complete faith that my husband would live and I slept soundly all night. Twice that night the nurse attending my husband told the next door neighbors that she could feel no pulse beat, but by morning my husband was conscious and I awoke to hear him talking. In July 1927, we left our friends and memories and moved into a new home on 1644 Harvard Avenue. Vera was 12 years old, Robert was eight, and Wally was just one. We lived in that house for seventeen years, seeing our family grown to womanhood and manhood. In 1941, war was declared and my two sons joined the Navy and both did duty in the Pacific Area. These were trying days, and we were s thankful when I was over and we were a family reunited again. In 1944 we moved again, this time to 1754 Laird Avenue. We were still in the same stake and in the same neighborhood. We lived in Bonneville Stake for twenty-seven years. I was the president of Yale Ward primary, as well as primary teacher while living in Yale ward, and Superintendent of Junior Seminary while living in Yalecrest Ward. We made many friends and had such rich spiritual experiences while living in that stake. My husband became owner and manager of Campus Boot Shop. It was necessary for him to go on many business trips and I had the pleasure of accompanying him on many of them. I have been to New York City many times. I had the wonderful experiences of attending the opening night performance of the Metropolitan Opera in New York with my son Robert. I had gone to see him receive his commission in the Navy. I attended the Worlds Fair in San Franscisco and in New York City, in 1939. I have visited many of the large cities in the United States and Canada. I have visited the Hill Cumorah and the Sacred Grove. I have visited the Kirtland Temple, Cardston Temple, Idaho Falls Temple, Manti and St. George Temples and have done work in the Salt Lake, Logan and Mesa Temples. I have six living sisters and two living brothers. Two sisters died in infancy and one brother whom I dearly loved died at age 27 years. My sisters and brothers were all married in the Temple, and we are very proud of each other. I have known and loved Pres. Heber J. Grant, Pres. Albert Smith, and Pres. David O. McKay. My husband died on July 16, 1956, My loss has been very great, as I dearly loved him. He was a wonderful husband, and father. He lived to know our fine son-in-law and two lovely daughters-in-law. He was privileged to see eight of our grandchildren. A ninth one came to us after he died. (Our 1st great grandchild was born march 30, 1964, a son, Bret Heiner Thunell.) Two years before my husband died, we moved to 1315 South Wasatch Dr. When we lived on Harvard Ave. we used to go for a ride on Wasatch Dr. where there were no houses, just a road and hills. I am now living on that road and the houses are being built far to the East in the hills. During the first seven years, I was in this house; I was in four wards and two stakes. (Due to the great growth of the area.) When I was girl, we had neither electricity or plumbing or telephone. Very few people had automobiles. I have lived to see so many wonderful inventions, even to seeing a man fly into outer space and return. I have seen our church grow from one stake to several hundred stakes. Last December, I celebrated my Seventieth Birthday. My family gave me a dinner party. What joy to look into the faces of such a wonderful family as we surrounded the table. I am so very proud of every one of them and know my husband is proud of them also. Mary Leona Smith Thorup died on December 30, 1981 at the age of 89.
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