BYRON AVERETT

(1871-1953) Son of Elisha Averett and Sarah Jane Witt

Byron Averett was born April 2, 1871, in Washington, Utah, a son of Elisha Averett and Sarah Jane Witt. He spent his early life in Southern Utah and was living at Glendale, Kane County, at the time of his marriage to Sonora Elizabeth Averett of Washington, Utah. They were married in the St. George temple on January 11, 1898.

They moved to Lovell, Wyoming in 1902 where he was very active in pioneering and growth of the Big Horn section. He held many responsible positions in the church especially in the field of music.

They were the parents of six children, all of whom married, and most of them are outstanding in music.

They lived in Washington, Utah, in 1909 and 1910 then moved to Twin Falls, Idaho, where he was one of the pioneers of that section.

They celebrated their Fiftieth (Golden) Wedding Anniversary in Salt Lake City with all of their children.

Their later years were spent in St. George, Utah, Idaho, and Phoenix, Arizona. Sonora died January 20, 1948, at the home of their daughter Mrs. Joseph Price at Phoenix, Arizona, and was buried at Twin Falls, Idaho.

Byron Averett died September 3, 1954, at Twin Falls, Idaho, and was buried there beside his wife.

 

SONORA ELIZABETH AVERETT

(1875-1948) Daughter of George Washington Gill Averett and Nancy Ann Turnbeaugh 

BYRON AVERETT

(1871-1954) Son of Elisha Averett and Sarah Jane Witt 

Histories written 6 July 1973 by Mary Ann Price Chai, granddaughter 

Both of my grandparents were born in Washington, Utah, a little town in the county of Washington. My grandmother was born on the 20th of June 1875, and my grandfather was born on the 2nd of April 1871. Their early years have been covered in the life stories of their parents George and Elisha, and their Granddaughter, Avon. One instance might be enlarged upon that concerns the brief sojourn of the family to Arizona. When Sonora was about 10 years old her parents moved to a land of new opportunity, Shumway, Arizona. On their arrival to Arizona they suffered great disappointment inasmuch as the land they had purchased had been misrepresented. This added to the problems of Geronimo, and caused them to loose heart and return to their home in Washington.

Sonora was known as one of the prettiest girls in all southern Utah. She had long black hair and flashing black eyes. When her first cousin came to visit with his relatives and noticed this young and beautiful woman, he was immediately attracted to her and their courtship began. Grandfather was proud of his sweetheart and her lovely voice as she sang and accompanied herself on the guitar and mandolin. The music was always to make up a very important segment of their later lives. They were married on 11 June 1895 in the courthouse in St. George. The marriage was later solemnized in the Temple at St. George. Washington continued to be their home during the next few years. Their first three daughters were born there.

In 1901 Jedidiah Grant called Byron and two of his brothers along with many other Dixie settlers to move to the Big Horn country in Wyoming. In December of that year they pulled and moved to Lovell, Wyoming arriving in the spring and it was there that my mother, a stillborn girl, and my uncle were born. Grandmother never did care for the extreme cold winters and so when word came that her mother was dying and wanted to see her daughter if at all possible, the family removed again to Washington. Sonora's mother was tenderly care for until her death and then the family moved to Idaho to make their home.

Music was a central part of their lives and many dances were held because Brother Averett's girls were very talented in providing good dance music.

Grandpa and Grandma Averett finally sold out and moved to Salt Lake City, Utah to retire, but Washington was still their home, and eventually they did return to the land of their birth and bought a little home to spend their remaining years in. I remember that my grandparents always came to our home in Phoenix, Arizona to spend the holidays and cold winter and we always felt it a signal honor to have them there to celebrate with us the happy time. In 1947 our family had bought a new home and Mother was most anxious for her parents to come and see her lovely new home but Grandma had not been feeling well and Grandpa didn't feel that he could make the journey alone with her feeling so poorly. Mother and Father decided to go to St. George and bring them down where mother could care for them and by the time they had returned, Grandma was so ill that they carried her into my parents bedroom and within a few days she passed into a coma and the rest of the family was sent for for it was felt that she would soon leave us. Grandpa would come into the living room and say that just as soon as Grandma was feeling better he would carry her out and she could rest in the chair and feel the sun on her. His hope never flagged that she would regain her health. One day we were chatting and he pulled out his wallet and showed me a picture of his wife as a young girl with long hair dressed in a red dress and holding a mandolin. He said that she had been singing the son "Red River Valley" when he had decided to marry her and that this bent and torn old photo reminded him of how she had looked on that day. Tears came to his eyes and I knew that that he realized that their earthly days were numbered but he couldn't let go till all hope had died. Sonora Averett passed away in my parentís home on 23 January 1948 in my sister's arms while she was caring for her. She was buried in Twin Falls where she and her husband had purchased plot years before.

Grandfather always was a wonderful humorist with a quick wit on the uptake but never did his wit take on the sickness that seems prevalent in today's world. Since there were many Sweden that settled in Dixie grandpa told many stories of actual happenings always using the accent of the Swedish people to make them a delight for all that listened. He also entertained us with stories of his life as a cowboy and of the many rugged individualists that he had met in his long life. His ability to mimic tongue and action would have made him a marvelous comedian on TV today and I think he and Will Rogers shared many things in common including the fact that they loved all men. He was a hard worker and passed down to his children and grandchildren the knowledge of the rewards of a job well done.

I never heard my grandparents speak evil of any man and I suppose a few of the endowments they have left their posterity was eternal legacies are the thoughts that a soul is far too precious to sell by an act of dishonesty and that one should always accept all callings given by those in authority and not criticize any man.

Byron and Sonora were good saints, citizens, and parent and left footprints in the sands of time that are deep, well planted and hard to follow. I am proud of my double heritage on the Averett line and can think of no family that bore their names more honorably.