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 Susannah “Susan” <I>Alvey</I> Heaps

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Susannah “Susan” Alvey Heaps

  • Original Name Susan A.
  • Birth 10 Dec 1872 Panguitch, Garfield County, Utah, USA
  • Death 23 Sep 1962 Panguitch, Garfield County, Utah, USA
  • Burial Escalante, Garfield County, Utah, USA
  • Plot 928
  • Memorial ID 118491

Daughter of William Alvey and Mary Elizabeth Heaps

Married Thomas Heber Heaps, 28 Jun 1890, Escalante, Garfield, Utah

Children - Thomas Heaps, Clarice Heaps, Grace Heaps, Alfred Heaps, Alcea Heaps, Ruth Heaps, William Lester Heaps, Joseph Cecil Heaps, Ethel Heaps, Jessie Heaps, Afton Heaps

History - Susannah Alvey was 3rd of 13 children. When Susan was 3 years old her family moved to a valley that would become Escalante. Their first home was a dugout and then their father built the first log home in Escalante. Her family was quite poor while she was growing up. She only had one dress at a time until she was about 13 and went barefoot.

She met Thomas Heber Heaps when he was 18 after he emigrated from England to Escalante with his family. They were married 28 June 1890, and moved to her father's summer ranch. Susan helped milk 100 head of cows twice a day and made butter and cheese. Her father took to them Salt Lake to sell and buy their winter's supplies.

Thomas couldn't find work in the area so he went to Nevada to get employment where he spent most of his time as long as he was young enough to work. He was a teamster. Susan reared the children in addition to this she worked for other people taking in ironing and sewing.

She had 13 children, raising 8 to adulthood. She lost her daughter Ruth at 2 1/2 when her dress caught on fire from a cinder from the fireplace.

In October 1909, Susan went to Salt Lake City and took nurses courses in obstetrics. With help from her father and mother she was able to complete the courses. She was the only doctor, as well as the nurse in the town of 1200 people. She was called out all hours of the night and day for every kind of sickness. She delivered over 700 babies alone in addition to helping doctors with many. At one time she was called into an Indian camp to help deliver a baby.

She was called and traveled all over the county and deliver babies in Panguitch, Widstow, where she was hurried over the Escalante mountains in a sleigh in deep snow, and over to Boulder, a distance of 35 miles on horseback over the worst road in the State. At age 70 she was still caring for the sick. When she was 84 she told her brother, "Arthur, when I get old I won't be able to be with you for an operation every year or two."

She was a "Mother" to the community. She was known all over southern Utah as Aunt Susan and as one of the hardest working women ever known.

She was an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints all of her life serving in many callings. She served on the Escalante town board for 6 terms and was heath nurse for 30 years. She was very successful in her work and always gave Heavenly Father the honor for her success.

Her hobbies were making quilts and rugs and raising flowers. She loved to play with the children. They would always call to her to come and play jump rope or marbles with them.

Susan passed away 23 September 1962 at the age of 89. She left 6 living children, 36 grandchildren, 103 great grandchildren and 7 great great grandchildren. She was blessed beyond measure in everyway but wealth.



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  • Maintained by: SMSmith
  • Originally Created by: Utah State Historical Society
  • Added: 2 Feb 2000
  • Find A Grave Memorial 118491
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Susannah “Susan” Alvey Heaps (10 Dec 1872–23 Sep 1962), Find A Grave Memorial no. 118491, citing Escalante Cemetery, Escalante, Garfield County, Utah, USA ; Maintained by SMSmith (contributor 46491005) .