MARY ANN UDALL STEWART
(1857-1936) Wife of William Thomas Stewart,son of Levi Stewart & Margery Wilkerson)
By Louise Bliss Stewart
Published in Relief Society Magazine 1927
By her works has Sister Mary Ann Udall Stewart made herself known over a large area. Her patience, gentleness and untiring service to her fellowmen has endeared her to all who know her.
Sister Stewart, the second daughter of David Udall and Eliza King, was born December 10, 1857, at Nephi, Utah. When she was but five years old her mother died, but she was a fortunate in having a "second mother," Aunt Rebecca, who was devoted to her. From this dear mother who was deprived of the privilege of having children of her own, did Sister Stewart receive her training in service to others.
Of her childhood days she says: "Well do I remember the old fort where we lived during the Black Hawk War. Many were the scares we got from the Indians. I recall the days we children spent in fighting grasshoppers. We would drive them into ditches or into straw stacks to be burned. Many hours have I spent washing, picking and spinning wool. We wove the cloth for our clothes as well. I recall the many hours we spent husking corn and stripping cane."
"My father made molasses in those days, so after work we had the pleasure of making molasses candy and playing on the stacks of the pulp which we left around the mill after the juice was pressed out."
"I have fond memories of all our neighbors'. Most of them have gone to the other side."
Sister Stewart was one of the first counselors in the Mutual at Nephi. She served in the capacity for several years.
In 1879 she and her father went to St. George to do ordinance work in the temple there. The following year she was married in the St. George temple, to William T. Stewart, and went to live in Kanab. Here she again worked in the Mutual, this time as president. She says, "I was of a timid nature and didn't feel qualified to do the work so I tried to beg off. I asked for a little time to think it over. I cried about it and I prayed about it. My teachings had always been to never shirk the work of the Lord, so I accepted the call and served there for some time."
Before long a baby boy arrived at her home; and in due time another son came.
Brother Stewart received a call to the New Zealand Mission, a mission scarcely known. "Where is New Zealand?" was asked again and again. It seemed a long way off. The prospective separation and trials seemed almost too much to Sister Stewart, for she was very weak from a recent illness. To be left alone with five children, all under eight years of age, seemed a great responsibility. But once again she bowed to the will of the Lord.
Most of their property was disposed of to raise money for the trip. Only a little rented land was left. It was indeed a time of trial; sick babies, no doctors, and but very little money and supplies. Still she did not murmur, for she was serving the Lord. In every way possible she tried to make a living for her children. She went into the millinery business, she dried fruit, and she stripped cane. Finally the ward came to her assistance.
While Brother Stewart was away she and her children went with relatives, by team and wagon, to St. Johns, Arizona. It required a month for the trip. She remained at St. Johns for a year, living with her brother David K. Udall, and her sister Eliza Udall Tenney. Then her father took her back to Kanab where she again took up the millinery business and clerked in a store.
Brother Stewart was away for three years. Shortly after his return they sold their property in Kanab and went to St. Johns. They were not satisfied there and at the end of a year returned to Kanab.
Just five years from the time of Brother Stewart's return from his mission, he was called to preside over the New Zealand Mission. Just two days before the time for him to leave for his mission another baby was born to Sister Stewart. There were now eight children, but some of them were old enough to help. The church provided an allowance and Sister Stewart again went into the millinery business and clerked in the store. During this time she served as a counselor to the Stake President of the Mutual in the Kanab Stake.
After Brother Stewart's return they began to look forward to future homes for their children. They wanted to keep them near them. Kanab offered but little in the respect, so they moved to Pahranagat Valley, Nevada, where there was room for all. This meant more hardships and privation for this worthy mother. She left a comfortable home to dwell in a shanty. There were no schools, no church organizations, and no friends. All were left behind. Being of sturdy pioneer blood, she did not flinch, but bravely faced the task of making homes for her children.
And well did she succeed. Gradually, more Latter-day Saints came to the valley. Church organizations were effected and Sister Stewart was foremost among the workers. She labored for many years as president of the Relief Society and as a Sunday School teacher.
Sister Stewart spent three years in Panaca, Nevada, where she went to place her two youngest children and several of her grandchildren in high school. Following close upon this period came a call to her and her husband, to do ordinance work in the St. George Temple. They worked there two years. At the same time they kept their youngest son on a mission in Old Mexico.
Sister Stewart has been married fifty years, thirty of those years having been spent in Alamo, Nevada. She is the mother of seven sons and two daughters and "second mother" to three girls.
Three of her sons have filled missions; one has acted as Bishop and another as a Bishop's Counselor. All are good home-makers and worthy citizens.
She now has sixty grandchildren and six Great Grandchildren, and most of them she has helped to bring into the world. She still enjoys good health and is still serving her fellowmen, going out as midwife and nurse, although she is nearly 74 years old. The Lord has greatly blessed her in this work. She says, "I hope to continue my work of bringing souls into the world and trying to save those that are here. In all things I submit to the will of the Lord and pray that I may so live that when my call comes to go to the other side, I will be prepared."
Memories of Mary Ann Udall Stewart
Written by her daughter Mary Stewart Lee
Started in 1965 - Completed in 1972
I have fond memories of my mother. She loved the younger generation and was always willing to help them have a good time. She was our chaperon for years, in Alamo, at the dances and parties.
I remember once when I was in the 7th grade in school we went to Ash Springs for the day. Mother prepared my lunch and there was enough for others also. Someone said, "What good things you have to eat." Mother was a good cook.
Mother taught her daughters well in home making and the duties of life. I was four years old when she took a course or training in nursing at Salt Lake City, Utah. I was with her there for two months, in which time she completed the course under a woman doctor, Dr. B. H. Roberts. While at Salt Lake City taking her training she and I lived with Aunt Lucinda Brown.
She brought over two hundred babies into the world. She was very sanitary and clean about her nursing, so she never had a woman go back to bed with trouble after her baby was born. She was doctor and nurse for so many people and children. She could patch up cuts, broken bones and what ever was necessary. No matter what kind of disease or sickness in a home she moved right in and took care of the sick and never contracted the disease.
President Willard Jones of the Moapa Stake gave mother a blessing and set her apart as a nurse and midwife and promised her she would always know what to do for a sick person as soon as she entered their room.
Mother was a very industrious and hard working woman. There wasn't a job or anything asked or required of her she couldn't do--a doctor, a nurse, a seamstress, a wedding dress to be made, a hat to trim, or a casket to trim and dress the dead. She even made men's burial suits. She could serve a banquet or put over an entertainment of any kind. She knew how to do all kinds of fancy work. She did some oil painting.
When it was time to plant the vegetable garden she was there to do it. She always canned and dried lots of fruit.
She taught me to crochet while she was picking berries. She raised all kinds of berries. Of course she had help from father, her children and grandchildren with the gardens.
For a good many years mother was never able to stand still to work or talk. Her legs wouldn't hardly hold her up, because she shook so badly when standing. She could walk alright and didn't shake when sitting down. One would see her always sitting on a chair with the legs sawed off. She would even use the chair in the garden. She had a high chair to set on while washing dishes or cooking. She never complained of her ailment. She was always ready and willing to help any one in need.
She taught me to sit down while ironing. What a beautiful ironer she was. "Not a wrinkle in it," as one of her small children said while watching her iron. She always did up the stiff fronted shirts and the separate stiff collars for her sons.
She told me once she wanted me to know how to do everything she could. I have tried to follow in her foot steps. When I was young she knit my stockings.
My mother was a nice looking woman. She had beautiful wavey dark hair, but it was gray when she died. Her eyes were dark. She had a beautiful complexion. She never cut her hair. When a young women, she wore her hair in ringlets pinned to the back of her head. But all the years I remember her, she wore a bob on the top of head, with the waves about her face. She was small framed. She wore a small shoe. She was rather plump or fleshy. She was a very neat woman with tier dress.
Mother went over to Panaca, Nevada in 1920 with me, my brother Marion and two grand children, Jesma and Udell Stewart, for us to attend high school. Later more of the grandchildren went with us. Mother did nursing while she was in Panaca with us, going to school. She used her money to help us out financially. We all give her the credit for our high school education. She and father were in St. George, Utah working in the Temple the year we graduated. They filled a two year mission in the Temple. Mother had a strong testimony of the Gospel. She was a firm believer in prayer. She often told me how her prayers were answered in behalf of the sick. One man said if he wanted to die he would never send for mother!
I am proud of my brothers and like a poem I have about judging the mother by the sons she raised. There are six living children at the time of this writing, one daughter, five sons and lots of grand children and great grand children. At the time of her death she had 65 grand children, 63 great grand children, most of them she was the doctor and nurse.
In reading mother's history, at the close of it she said, "When my call comes to go, I pray I will be prepared to go to the other side." How well prepared she was to go. I remember the day when we left to take mother to California for a gall bladder operation because she had suffered a lot in her later years with gall bladder attacks. She said not to shed a tear. If it was her time to go she was ready to do so. She felt she had lived a very useful and long life.
She never returned home alive, nor did she have the operation. Pneumonia hit her and she died the 19th of April 1936 at the age of seventy eight. She is buried in the Alamo, Nevada cemetery.
Every day of my life I am thankful for my parents.
In 1972 when William Thomas Stewart's (Mary Ann Udall's husband) history was completed she had a posterity of nine children. The names are as follows:
William Thomas Stewart, Jr. Born 1881; 12 children, 48 grandchildren,112 great grandchildren, 2 great great grandchildren. Total 174.
Sumner Udall Stewart Born 1882; 12 children, 34 grandchildren, 46 great grandchildren, 2 great great grandchildren. Total 94
David Levi Stewart Born 1887; 8 children, 37 grandchildren, 49 great grandchildren. Total 94.
Raymond Stewart Born 1889; 12 children, 21 grandchildren, 37 great grandchildren, 1 great great grand child. Total 71.
Carlos Stewart Born 1891; 2 children, 3 grandchildren. Total 5.
Margery Stewart Steele Born 1894; 8 children, 25 grandchildren, 14 great grandchildren. Total 47.
Paul Edward Stewart Born 1897; 10 children, 29 grandchildren, 4 great grandchildren. Total 43.
Marion King Stewart Born 1900; 4 children, 13 grandchildren. Total 17.
Mary Stewart Lee Born 1902; 3 children, 8 grandchildren. Total 11.
Total Posterity 565
My Memories of Grandmother Stewart
By Louise B. Stewart -- 1976
Grandmother Stewart was a remarkable woman. She was kind and generous to everyone in illness or in need. She was vitally interested in the affairs of the community, schools, church, entertainment, politics or whatever. She had many talents; sewing, painting, crocheting, tatting, hairpin lace, netting, etc.
She was most kind to me, and welcomed me into the family.
Grandmother was trained in medical aid. She had taken a course offered by the church to train women from the far-out places where doctors were scarce and far away. Aunt Lucinda Brown had also taken this training and between them they were mid-wives and nurses for all illnesses, broken bones, and childhood diseases of the entire Valley. In fancy I see them in the Celestial kingdom wearing a jewel-studed crown for their saintly service on earth.
When my children came along, I was so very ill during early pregnancy. How understanding Grandmother was!
With my second child I started with a severe headache which continued for weeks. After the first week I couldn't raise my head. It was midsummer and so dreadfully hot. Hour after hour she sat beside me applying cold cloths to my head and fanning me. I would doze off for awhile and when Id awaken she was still sitting beside me fanning me.
Such patience, endurance, and kindness! How grateful I was to her!
This kind of attention was repeated with my third pregnancy. This time I had such serious trouble, either a blocked duct of the ureter or albumin. The two doctors we consulted didn't agree on the diagnosis, but it was so serious it seemed I could not live. Day and night she sat beside me. She called the doctor in Caliente for permission to use morphine, which she had on hand, for the pain. The doctor gave permission but was on his way to see the patient. In a haze of pain and delirium I was aware of her loving attention.
While she sat beside me in my illnesses, she would talk to me about her life; her girlhood, her marriage into polygamy, and its problems; her problems when her husband was called to the New Zealand mission, twice; a total of seven years. Her faith and her testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel were an inspiration to me. She also told me many very private things about her family and problems which I found, long after her death, she'd never told her children. I never betrayed her confidence until years later when I talked to my husband about it.
She wanted a beautiful home and yards and did many things to make her home more confortable and beautiful than most. I felt I could not be contented in Alamo with no lights, no water, no home improvements, inside and out. My husband knew this and did everything in his power to get them for us.
Grandmother was pleased that I had insisted on bettering our conditions. Slowly, bit by bit, we got these things. She praised me for it and said that if other women had so insisted that they too could have had them. Her motto was, "The woman has to be the force behind most men to accomplish home improvements." Not an exact quote but the substance was this.
She was a very attractive woman, with rosy cheeks, black eyes and dark curly hair streaked with gray. She dressed nicely and neatly. Her black dress nearly always had a dainty hand-made lace collar. She loved jewelry and frequently, on dress-up occasions wore a long necklace, usually pearls. She had several lovely rings.
It was very difficult for her to stand but she would walk, making the rounds to visit her children, six families living in Alamo. She seldom missed a day visiting each family.
When my first two children were tiny, I was called to be president of the Y.W.M.I.A. I hesitated because of my children, but quickly she urged me to accept the call and she would always be there to care for them when I needed her and she never failed me, bless her heart!
Frequently I managed to have both grandfather and grandmother in for dinner. Especially did I want this on all holidays. Their appreciation which they showed so much was all I needed. It was so little in comparison with all Grandmother did for us. Truly, though, I would have wanted to do this without anything from them except that they had raised and trained my husband in the fine and worthwhile traits of character that have always been so dear to me. I loved them for this and pray I have lived to deserve their love and trust.
Grandmother's last illness was brief but heartbreaking. How glad I was to help get her ready to go to Los Angeles where her daughter Mary Lee took her to get to capable doctors. But she had served her time on earth. Her release came one week later. So do I remember her and love her.
By Jessie Lamb Stewart -- 1976
Grandmother Stewart was one of the most wonderful women I ever knew. She brought all her grandchildren into the world. She nursed them all when they were ill. She was a wonderful nurse. She was trained in Salt Lake under Dr. Roberts. She was promised in her blessing that she would never go into a sick room without being inspired what to do. She traveled up and down the valley in the early days in a buggy just like our old country doctors did.
When one of our children was hurt or one of them ill, she came into our homes and stayed until they were well. I learned to love and depend on her as much as my own mother. I went to her for advise all through the years. When she told me her opinion on something, that was all I needed. She was most always right. Grandmother was very religious and used to tell me about Brigham Young and all the early church leaders. She told me about how upset she was when they called Grandfather to New Zealand on his first mission. There were 8 children under eight years old for her to care for, besides earning a living for them. The men were called and traveled without purse or script leaving their families in the Lord's hands.
Grandma was a great help in the ward. She was always helping the young people. When the boys couldn't get a manager for the dances, so they would go get Grandmother to come and help them out. She always had a little money. She knew how to save better than her children, so when they needed a dance ticket she always had it. My children adored her and listened to her counsel She was a hard worker. Her grandsons tell about helping her pick apples and helping her in many ways. They would try to get away, but she would always call them back. She loved them as much as they loved her. She was a great help to Grandfather as he was a great student and loved to read and study. She would go right on with her work and seemed to love to see him when lost Grandmother Stewart continued in a book.
She always dressed well, and was very dainty. In her nursing I always wondered about her hands. They were as soft as velvet, with all the work she did. She always had one nice outfit of clothes she kept as she never knew when she would need to go some place in a hurry.
She had seven sons and two daughters. We still have her youngest son Marion left and her daughter Mary. Her daughter Mary was so much like her mother. I loved all my brothers and Margery and Mary as my own family. Mary was very close to me through the years. No one ever married into a dearer family than I did. Grandfather taught me many things about the Gospel, which I loved. I missed them so much when they had to leave us. I know they are over there waiting for us all. Heaven bless their souls.