|Birth: ||Apr. 30, 1869|
|Death: ||Feb. 25, 1936|
Pheba Ann Mackey Olsen
30 April 1869 - 25 February 1936
By Erma Olsen Pickett a Daughter
On April 30, 1869, a little daughter was born to John and Susannah Parsons Mackey. She was the first child born to this couple. The apricot and plum blossoms were probably just beginning to bloom–a lovely time with many new beginnings.
The young family continued to grow with the following children being born after Pheba Ann: John Jr., July 16, 1870; Dora Bell, June 22, 1872; Ann Etta, December 13, 1873; Henry, June 6, 1875; Sarah Evelyn, 29 May 1877, died June 7, 1883; Susanna, April 11, 1879; James Arthur, December 7, 1882; and Luella, May 11, 1884. All of the children were born in Manti, Sanpete, Utah.
The youngest child, Luella, was just a little over a year old when her mother died March 26, 1885. Susannah left eight children to grow up without a mother. Pheba was not quite sixteen years old at the time of her mother's death. Being the oldest child, Pheba was left with the great responsibility of caring for the family. By the time she was nine years old, Pheba had learned to mix and bake bread by standing on a stool. She had also learned to wash and do most of the housework. As soon as Dora Bell and Ann Etta were big enough to assume the responsibilities, Pheba Ann hired out to help in the homes of others.
One day in May, 1886, at the age of seventeen, she was scrubbing clothes on a washboard. A needle that had been left in a dishtowel broke off in the thick of her left hand. There were no doctors in Manti at that time. Soon blood poisoning set in and it was advised that she be sent to Provo on the train and have her arm amputated because her arm and hand had become so infected. She refused to go, saying she'd die first with her arm on.
About this time, her grandfather Henry Parsons was working on the Manti Temple. There he met a little horse doctor named Madsen. He was telling him of Pheba's problem. After work that day, the doctor came with her grandfather Parsons and sat up most of the night poulticing her hand and arm. He then cut the little finger off at the second knuckle to let the poison and infection drain.
The next night, the bandage came off her finger and it hemorrhaged, furthering her problem, but her arm was saved and she finally regained her health. After that, the cords in her hand were drawn until she could never completely open her hand. It was not too noticeable. Later she raised a family, knit stockings for them and could manage very well.
One lovely spring morning in about the year 1889, Pheba was at the little grocery store buying a broom. Before she left, a young stranger came in and they visited a while. The following Sunday, he came to her home and took her for a buggy ride. This was the beginning of a romance that will last for eternity. The young stranger's name was Louis Christian Olsen. One day while they were out riding Louis had noticed that Pheba always keep a glove or handkerchief on, or over, her left hand. He ask her how come. She then told him about her hand and what had happen. He laughed
and told her it didn't brother him. From then on she didn't cover her hand.
Louis was married to Pheba Ann Mackey on January 22, 1890 in the newly completed Manti Temple. (I'm sure Pheba's brothers and sisters felt like they were losing a mother again, because she had helped take care of the brood those many years.)
Pheba's father gave them a building lot on the southeast corner across the street west of the County Block (Manti City Park).There Louis built a lovely two story rock home with a fruit cellar. Earlier they had been living in a little log house north of the temple where Louis' mother lived.
In 1890, Louis built a lovely rock home with the help of brothers and neighbors at a cost of $2000. The rocks were quarried and hauled from the east hills above Manti
After they had been married a few years, they lost their oldest child, Louis Earl, May 20, 1893 of pneumonia. They also had a son, Erbin, and a baby daughter, Ann.
Louis was called on a mission to the Southern States (Kentucky and West Virginia) on December 5, 1895. Pheba was left home alone with Erbin, just three, and their baby girl, Ann, fourteen months. Pheba cared for a little garden, had a cow for milk and butter, a few chickens, and a pig to fatten. With the help of her father and younger brothers, she managed without complaining
One night, Louis awoke from his sleep and told his companion, "My child is very sick. I'm not sure she will live." He and his companion knelt down and prayed with all their strength. In the morning, he said, "She has taken a turn for the better." At home, Ann was very seriously ill with a high fever, and she did take a turn for the better and recovered. Pheba and Louis both lived lives that invited the companion ship of the Holy Ghost to guide, direct, and protect them. They also had a great deal of faith to be separated for three years. Louis served his mission without purse or script, and returned home on December 26, 1898.
Pheba and her family spent most of their summers in Pettyville along with Louis' brother, Dave Olsen. He owned a ranch below Sterling, Utah, along the Sanpitch River. It was a lovely place to spend time in the summer. By this time, there were four more children born to the couple. Ora lived just nine months. She had a spinal disease and died of pneumonia on December 7, 1899. The other three children were Henry, Ada and Erma. These children enjoyed hunting bird nests (ducks and other fowls nested along the thicket by the river), gathering watercress, and catching fish to eat. (They didn't have to worry about a license to fish then.) There were raspberries, strawberries, and a variety of fruits growing on the little hill east of the valley not too far away. It was a narrow valley with beautiful red hills just across the river to the west. Pheba and Louis would move their family back to Manti in the fall so the children could go to school.
Eldred Laray was born on September 3, 1908. He was two years and two months when Louis was called to Sterling to be the bishop. This meant Pheba had to give up her lovely home she had enjoyed so much in Manti, the fruit trees they had planted and watched grow and produce; the Chapmans (cousins) who lived just through the fence to the north; and her sisters, brothers and friends. The Sterling home they moved into was attached to the back of the general store that Louis and Pheba had bought. There were only two bedrooms for eight people, and often cousins came to stay with the family.
Horses, buggies, and sleds in the winter provided their transportation. Oft times Pheba would hitch up Old Bess, the horse to the buggy, and take the younger children to Manti to visit with her sisters and family. Her father had died on August 20, 1904, and of course, all of the family were married. John, Jim, Dora and Suze had moved to Idaho to make their homes. Many times the families would come to Sterling, and in the summer, long tables would be spread out in the big orchard with plenty of food for all the relatives. They were fun get togethers. So the many tears that Pheba shed leaving her beautiful home in Manti were soon forgotten. By being a good wife and mother, she listened to the call of the Master, and soon was loved and appreciated by her new friends.
Pheba prepared many dinners for the visiting church members that came to speak in Sacrament Meetings. She was a good cook. The towns people came to her home to enjoy her apple pies. The relatives from Manti also enjoy her apple pies when they came to visit. Good nourishing meals were served at a gracious table surrounded by people who loved each other. Quarreling was never tolerated. Plates were always placed upside down with the silverware under until the blessing was asked. This was discontinued as the older ones grew up, but the communication around the table continued. Many times a sack of flour or a kettle of soup was taken to someone in need or someone who was ill.
After about ten years, Louis and Pheba purchased a two story home at the south end of town with sixty acres of farm land. Here Pheba helped make another house into a home. They lived there for several years. Then one early spring day, Harrison Edwards and his wife talked them into moving to Rochester, Emery, Utah, where they planned to make money on lucern and clover seed. It was a rather new county with good soil and water, etc. Also, Louis' favorite brother, Peter and his family, lived in the adjoining town of Emery. So in the spring of 1920, they moved to Rochester. The family moved into a little three room log house with the hopes and prospects of Louis building a lovely home there soon, but in a couple of years, the bottom dropped out of the seed business, and the payments on the land could not be met. While there, Louis was first called as branch president, and then as the first bishop of the just organized Rochester Ward. Patriarch Abinadi Olsen visited the ward and gave all who wanted a patriarchal blessing on February 14, 1922. When he had given Pheba, Ann, Ada, and Oscar their blessing, he told Louis he had one for him. Louis said he had received his before going on his mission. Nevertheless, Brother Olsen gave him one and it stated, "You have pondered and wondered why you had ever made this move, but the Lord sent you here for a purpose and you and your family will be blessed forever for it."
About 1921 the bottom had fallen out of the price of grain and hay, so they lost everything and moved back to Axtell where Louis owned a small farm.
The panic after the World War I contributed to the loss of the farm. Early the next spring, Louis, Henry, Ada, and Erma left Rochester and ended up in Axtell, Sanpete, Utah, where Louis had a small farm. They lived in a tent. Pheba, Eldred, Ann and her husband Oscar Petersen and children remained at Rochester keeping things going until Louis and Ada returned home. Henry found work at Garfield, and Erma went to Erbin and Leona's for the winter to attend high school in Manti.
The next spring, Louis and Pheba moved their family to Axtell. There they lived in a little two room house for one year. Then they moved back to Sterling and began renting a house on September 23, 1924. Next they purchased a small home and built onto it. Louis built two more rooms and added a basement. They made it a comfortable home where they spent the remainder of their days.
About this time Pheba was riding to Relief Society with one of the neighbors and some other women. The car they were in stopped and the driver couldn't get it started. All the ladies got out to push the car. The ladies were at the back of the car pushng when the driver put the car into reverse. The car ran over Pheba's leg. She had a lot of problems with her leg and needed help. Her youngest daughter, Erma, moved back home so she could help care for her mother. Erma had been living in Manti with a Johnson family and going to school. Pheba had trouble with that leg the rest of her life.
Louis died on January 29, 1927. Pheba lived for another nine years. Her children were all married by then. Eldred and Helen lived in part of Pheba's home and took care of her until she died.
Pheba died on February 25, 1936, of a heart condition. Both Pheba and Louis were buried in the Manti, Utah, Cemetery in the month of February. At this time, Pheba had a posterity of six living children and twenty-four grandchildren, all of whom loved her very much. She was a special mother and grandmother.
Pheba had dark brown hair and gray eyes.
She was 5 feet 5 inches tall. In her later years she weight around 17 0 pounds.
Louis Christian Olsen (1866 - 1927)
Louis Earl Olsen (1890 - 1893)*
Frank Erbin Olsen (1892 - 1974)*
Ann Olsen Petersen (1894 - 1970)*
Ora Olsen (1899 - 1899)*
Henry John Olsen (1900 - 1936)*
Ada Olsen Bennett (1902 - 1999)*
Erma Olsen Pickett (1905 - 2007)*
Eldred LeRay Olsen (1908 - 2001)*
Monte Evan Olsen (1912 - 1912)*
Created by: Lee and Phyllis P. Jense...
Record added: Apr 26, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 36408458