|Birth: ||Mar. 4, 1883|
|Death: ||Sep. 6, 1961|
NELLIE ELIDA HUNT COLLINGS (1883-1960)
(NOTE: Nellie was born Nellie Eliza Hunt, according to the Monroe Ward Membership Records and the Marriage License signed in their hands by both her and her husband. She didn't like the name so changed it some time during her adolescence - Ralph Willard Collings)
I, Nellie Elida Hunt, was born in Monroe, Utah 4 March, 1883, the third child of Emily Casto and Moroni Hunt. At the time of my birth my mother was nearly twenty, lacking 19 days, and my father was nearly 31.
ur home at this time was an adobe house built by my father. It was a very neat little two roomed house, but to my mother, after living in with my father's people for nearly a year, it seemed like a palace. The walls were smooth plastered and white washed. But her happiness was of short duration, as we moved to a farm three miles south of Monroe, when I was 13 months old. Just one year after this my third brother was born on April 30th. (My mother always had a baby, just one year after a move, my oldest brother was born just one year after she moved into her own home.)
This new place was called Monkey Town, it wasn't a town, but about five or six farms right close together. The men who first owned these farms were Mormons who had apostatized, then took up Darwin's theory.
Our farm was about 160 acres. The first few years the rabbits were so thick, that they took a heavy toll of the land, but my father bought slabs and put a fence around it, thus shutting out the enemy.
The house was built of great big round logs. Two rooms and a lean-to. The roof was covered with dirt. The walls were whitewashed. It seems to me, now that I think back that whenever mother house cleaned (which included white washing the walls), it always rained and washed the mud down on her pretty white walls. I remember awaking in the night, to hear her crying because her work had been in vain.
House cleaning in the good old days was a real job. Bed ticks had to be refilled, straw put under the new rag carpets, kitchen floors scrubbed, curtains for the beds, toilet tables, and windows washed and ironed. I used to love house cleaning in those days, as mother let me dress up in the curtains and play grand lady.
Ma never liked the farm, to her it was just like a prison. All she knew anything about was hard work; milking cows, taking care of fruit, drying peaches, making quilts for the sheep herders, cooking for farm hands, washing and ironing for a large family.
East of our house was a large grove of cottonwoods, or shade trees, then just north of the house, was the peach orchard, then a few apple trees. Years after we planted one thousand prune trees north of the peach orchard.
About the first thing I recall to memory, was the night my fourth brother was born (5 Nov 1886). I heard him crying in the night, and asked what it was. Pa told me I had another little brother. I said, "Name it Clara or Grace," but he told me it was a little oby. "Well, then name it Clifford!" But they named him George Matthew. When Howard was born I was just past two years old (30 Apr 1885). He was so dark that I wanted to name him "nigger boy".
My father often said they should have named him that. My two brothers just older than I were light complexioned, having blue eyes and light hair (when they were little) like mother's I had the blackest hair and eyes, ever seen on a white person. My father's being nearly as dark. My two younger brothers were almost as dark as I.
Oh yes, when George was a year old we went and had our picture taken. I felt very embarrassed because Howard laughed and wiggled around so much that he showed his underwear and pulled up my dress showing the lace on my panties. I had stockings that my mother had knit for me with flowers knit in them. I wish I had one of those pictures now, I wouldn't run and hide it now, as I used to do when "The Crowd" came to see me. (My niece Ina Hunt Tuft found a copy not long ago and gave it to me and here it is for all the world to see.)
When I was about three years old I used to play with my brothers, Eddie and Alvie, we would play bear. I can remember how they would climb up on the big high bed post to get out of my way, as I bit just like a bear, if not as hard.
Once when we were really small, mother left us alone while she went up to a neighbors and a skunk came in the house while she was gone. When she came home, Alvin had us all up on her bed, trying to keep us out of danger. He always took care of the rest of us.
One day the cows got away and Ma went hunting them. I climbed upon the table and fixed supper for the boys. I crumbed up bread and poured water on it, then shook salt on it. I gave it to the boys. It made them sick. I didn't get off so easy myself as the pepper went up my nose.
Another event in my early life was the birth of my sister, born 26 July 1888. I was a real big girl by now, I was past five. Mary Belle was her name, but we always called her Maybelle. She had brown eyes and light hair.
The next Christmas we went to Salina to visit my mother's brothers. Her three brothers were married and living there (George Ezra, Brigham and Abel Casto.) We spent Christmas at Uncle Brigs. I went to the Public Christmas and saw old Santa. He came riding in on a donkey. We got our presents in our stockings. I got a great big beautiful wax doll with black eyes and golden hair. I named her Lucille.
THE HUNTS CHRISTMAS -The Hunts celebrated the holidays in great style. We always met at Grandma's (Hannah Moon Hunt's) for Christmas dinner. There were five Hunt brothers and three sisters (Moroni, Fred, Tom, Ammon, Teancum, Fanny, Eliza and Isabelle), but as time went on they all had such large families. My Grandma was a wonderful cook. Wine, beer, plum pudding, and roast turkeys, she could cook with the best. She had a five gallon cookie jar. From the time I was five until I was ten, I never reached in this jar and found it empty.
Santa was always good to me, if the rest of the world had been as kind. We always had plenty of books and toys. Sometimes we wished for playmates. I had one toy, an old wooden cradle that I shall never forget. A Danish boy living with us made it for me. His mother joined the Church back in Denmark and sent her children on ahead. Just how long he lived with us I don't know. He made this little doll cradle, but instead of putting my doll in it and rocking her to sleep, I sat in it, held my doll in my arms and rocked, to his disgust. He used to play Billy goat and chase my brother and me. Once he got me in the corner of the room and I couldn't get away, I started screaming, "Julie-goat, Julie-goat! His name was Julius. One time I was making a play house and was using the broom to sweep the floor, I let the broom fall, it banged into the window. I looked at the window, seeing that it wasn't broken, I said "Never touched it, never touched it!" Julius never forgot this or the kindness shown him in our home. Years after, when he came back to Monroe, a doctor and was called on to make a speech in church, everyone was crowding around to talk to him. When he came up to me I put out my hand, and was just going to say, "do you remember me?", when he grasped my and said, "Never touched it!"
(More stories and her journals are available)
Moroni Hunt (1852 - 1919)
Emily Casto Hunt (1863 - 1933)
Ralph Collings (1879 - 1962)*
Amy Collings Crouch (1906 - 1990)*
Dallin Richard Collings (1907 - 1971)*
Nelda Collings (1909 - 1913)*
Ward Lawrence Collings (1912 - 1990)*
Nelma Divine Collings Kersey (1914 - 1984)*
Ralph Willard Collings (1917 - 1986)*
Burton Hunt Collings (1919 - 1921)*
Blanche Collings Cooper (1922 - 2008)*
Created by: Sharon
Record added: Mar 18, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 67109666
I love learning about my ancestors|
Added: Oct. 28, 2013