Life Story of Edward Lynn Peacock

Written by daughter
Inez Peacock Forbes

Forward and Dedication

For my Mother, my Brother and my sister, and for my nieces and nephews, and for my own enjoyment and information, I have attempted to compile a short history of my Father, who died when I was an infant. For all the information I have gathered concerning my Father, I want to thank my Mother, my Uncles, Brigham James Peacock, Byron and Riddell Peacock and my Aunt Eleanor P. Olsen; My grandfather Isaac Allred, and all others who have contributed in any way.

Now, in the year of 1957-58, at the age of forty years, I have had the wonderful experience of getting acquainted with my Father, through correspondence and conversation with those people who knew and loved him most. For this I am forever grateful.

If there are any discrepancies or mistakes in this history, they are unintentional and unavoidable, due to lapse of time and memories. I have tried to be as correct and as honest as I was able to be with the information I received.

Edward Lynn Peacock, son of Brigham James Peacock and Sarah Eleanor Cox, was born in Sterling, Utah, on the 17th of July, 1889. He was the fifth child in the family of ten children. He was blessed by John L. Peacock, (his father’s brother) 6 September 1889. He lived in Sterling until he was six years of age. He was the second boy in the family. His oldest brother was Brigham J. Peacock (Briggie). He was seven when Lynn was born. He said he was thrilled to get a little brother and told me of this little incident: “We were out in the orchard, at our home in Sterling, playing, and I hitched a calf or calves to a little wagon and was taking Lynn for a ride. My team became unmanageable and ran away. Lynn was thrown from the wagon against a tree. I do not remember that the tree suffered any ill effects but Lynn came out of it with a very badly skinned and bruised hand.”

Uncle Briggie also told me this about the family moving from Sterling to Emery, Utah. “We moved from Sterling in September, 1895. Lynn was just past six years of age. We were up in the Gulch, just before reaching the summit. Lynn was walking and I was riding a horse driving the stock. We had some range cattle to contend with and all of a sudden one of them seemed to take a dislike for Lynn and started for him. I was not far away and managed to ride between them just in time. I took him on the horse with me. We reached Emery the 25th of September 1895. For some time we lived in one room of a small log house down in the southeast part of town. While here, one night Lynn was having some trouble with croup. Mother had used up all her remedies to no avail. She sent me out in the night to see Sister Pettey and get some help. She advised the use of salt and honey. It must have been effective.”

While as a young boy Emery, the children always had work to do. Grandpa was an industrious man and always found plenty of work for the family to do. There was a very large family and they had to work together. Before leaving Sterling, Grandpa did a lot of freighting into Nevada, and in Emery he was away with the sheep much of the time; so Grandma was left alone with the responsibilities of the farm, garden and home. Lynn got an early start with the chores. He was an ambitious boy and always did his share of the work. Many times the children had to gather snow and melt it for household purposes, and even to water the stock.

Lynn and Ralph were about the same age and were real pals as young boys. Aunt Lydia tells this little story about them: “When I was first married, the boys use to come to my place quite often. One day in was in the front room and I heard someone in my kitchen. In went out to the kitchen and there they were. They had been getting a drink out of the old family water bucket and had spilt some on the floor. Ralph was down on his knees wiping it up with his red handkerchief. Lynn was always so good to my youngsters. I had them so close together I needed help and the little kids loved their Uncle Lynn.”

Father was a happy-go-lucky youngster. He was happy at his work as well at his pleasures. Uncle Byron said that Father got more enjoyment out of work than any one he knew. He liked horses, dogs and guns, and liked to go hunting rabbits. He learned to swim while herding sheep down on the muddy creek, at Hondue and the Lone Tree. While just a young boy he spent much of his time out herding the sheep. Horses were one big love of his life. He liked everything about them. He liked to make wagers on horses on their skill at running and pulling; which team could plow more ground in a day or do more work. He delighted in working with horses and was good at training them. He saw a trained horse in a Circus race once so he taught his own horse to do the tricks the Circus horse did. The horse would shake hands, lay down while Father got on it; then it would bow. It would count and add - practically everything the Circus horse could do.

While Father was still with his folks he had a team he always drove. This team was so well trained he could drive them without lines. After he put the harness on them he could go out and hold the neck yoke and they would come and get into their places.

Uncle Byron tells of a time when Uncle Ralph and Father took two outfits and went up west of town for a load of wood. They went up on a bench south of wildcat. The road off this bench was terrible; big rocks, boulders, steep inclines and sharp curves. There was also a large wash to cross. They got one outfit down off the bench, and when he started down, one of his lines broke. He held one foot on the brake and talked to those horses as cool as if they were on level ground. They did as he told them and came off the bench alright, just as well as if he had had lines to guide them.

Uncle Byron says Father was a brave man and fearless with horses under any conditions. He told Father once that he felt safer with him than anyone he had ever been with. He said, “One time Lynn’s bravery with horses really frightened him. Grandpa had a perchant stallion, a large, beautiful animal. Grandpa’s brother, Clarence, had left a mare to breed. She was a valuable animal and had a young colt with her. (On this occasion, Uncle Byron was with Father while he was taking care of the stallion.) The colt angered the stallion and it jerked away from Lynn and attacked the colt. It got the colt down and was kicking and beating it with his front feet. Lynn found a good sized club and went into the pen and soon had the stallion under control. It had killed the colt but did not turn on Lynn. I was very much afraid for Lynn’s safety and I’ll never understand how he dared do what he did.”

Father did not go in for playing baseball, which was a popular sport of his youth, but he liked to box and was handy with the gloves. He also liked to dance.

Father was quite a tease himself, but never to the extent that he hurt people’s feelings with his teasing. He always felt badly for anyone who was taken unfair advantage of or was the underdog. Uncle Riddell tells of one Easter when he was a little boy. He was trying to hide his Easter eggs and Uncle Wilbur kept spying on him and finding his eggs and having a big time teasing him. Father came along and said, “Come on, I’ll help you hide your eggs.” He took him into a shed, knowing full well that Wilbur would try to spy on them; but father was prepared for him. As Uncle Wilbur put his eye to a big knot hole, Father pushed a raw egg through it and Uncle Wilbur got it right in the eye and down his face. He left the shed and Uncle Riddell was able to hide his eggs without any more interference.

Aunt Ella says that Father was always kind and sweet to her. Whenever he wanted her to do something for him, he would always approach her in such a way that she always felt good about doing it. For example: He would put his arm around her and say, “How would you like to shine your brother’s shoes for him?” Or, “I’ll take you to the dance if you’ll press my trousers.” Grandpa was quite strict and didn’t often let Aunt Ella go out while she was in her early teens. Quite often, when she would be feeling badly, Father would say, “If you will let her go, I’ll look after her.” Or, “May she go if I take her with me?” She said she loved him very much because he was so good to her. He respected all women and was very good to his mother.

Father’s education consisted of the elementary and grade school in Emery and one year at the B.Y.U. Academy in Provo. While he was in Provo he lived with Nell Staker, Aunt Lydia Peacock’s sister. She was going to school also but kept house for several others.

Grandpa Peacock lived caty-corner across the street from Grandpa Allred in Emery. All the time Father was growing up he was seeing and teasing the shy little girl that lived just down the street from him. When the girl was sixteen she went to work in Grandpa Peacock’s store. Grandpa bought the store from Kiffine and Cooley in 1910. He managed it for a few years under the firm name of B.J. Peacock and Sons. Then he turned the management over to this eldest son, B. J. Peacock Jr. (Uncle Briggie). Father was freighting for the store and when Mother came there to work he suddenly realized that she had grown up into a pretty, mature, young lady. He became very attentive to her. For awhile she was quite reluctant to respond to his advances, but he didn’t give up easily. And so their courtship days began.

Mother had had a strict bringing up and had high ideals. She expected her suitor to live by the same standards that she lived by. Father went out on his own to sow a few wild oats and Mother told him that it was all over between them. He moped around home for days until Grandpa Peacock went to Mother and told her to make up with that love sick boy so that he could get some work out of him. Mother wouldn’t consent to get married until after she turned eighteen, so they planned their marriage for the day after her birthday. In order for a young couple to be married in the temple they had to travel approximately eighty-five miles to Manti by team, a trip of about three days. It would not be proper for a young engaged couple to make this trip alone. Aunt Ella and her friend, Cleona Mortenson, accompanied Mother and Father on their wedding trip. The four young people went in a wagon with camping equipment for the journey. I’m sure Grandpa and Grandma Allred and Grandpa and Grandma Peacock had great faith in Father, both as a teamster and a protector, to let those three young girls take off on this trip with him.

The trip over was exciting and fun for them and nothing really too serious happened to mar their happiness. Mother was attacked by a swarm of huge mosquitoes while they were camping close by a marsh land. She felt very badly when she dressed up in her beautiful wedding gown that her face and arms were covered with mosquito bites.

Mother and Father were married in the Manti Temple, 26 June 1912.

After their marriage, Father and Mother planned on going to Fish Lake for their honeymoon. (Aunt Ella and Cleone stayed in Manti or had other plans rather than return to Emery). The route to Fish Lake was up a canyon from Sigurd, Utah. After they had traveled a long distance up the canyon, they met a rough looking bunch of men on horseback. There were lots of cattlemen in the area at the time, and it was probably a group of cowboys, but this was Mother’s first real trip away from home and she became frightened and coaxed Father to turn around and go home.

They were to pick up Aunt Lydia and her children. They had been visiting with her folks in Richfield. When they called for her she had been given a couple of goats to take home with her. Her folks thought they would lead behind the wagon. What an optimistic thought! Anyway they started their return trip to Emery, Mother, Father, Aunt Lydia and her three children, Ernest, Leah and Marvell, and those two little goats. What a way to spend a Honeymoon trip! Father Staker had no idea that those goats would walk, He made a crate or box and intended to put them in that. Ernest was about 3 ½ or 4 years old.

The two goats gave them trouble right from the very start. They wouldn’t lead, and they couldn’t be driven. All they wanted to do was run away from the wagon. All the way up the Salina Canyon they kept breaking loose and running away. It was more than the young boys could do to keep them close to the wagon. Mother was very fleet of foot, so she would jump off the wagon and run after the goats. The whole trip through the canyon was made with Mother walking most of the way, trying to drive those goats and running after them up the hills. Father was vexed and irritable about having the goats and about the situation that made it necessary for his bride to herd them.

When the long trip was finally over and the family and goats were delivered to Uncle Briggie (Briggie was in Florida on a mission at the time), Father took Mother down to see her folks. When the young bride saw her mother, she flew into her arms and wept her heart out on her shoulder. Father stood by bewildered and embarrassed. He probably wondered what the Allred’s were thinking of him. But I’m sure that Grandma Allred, with her wisdom and understanding, realized that the little girl she had sent away with her blessing, a few days earlier, had returned, a married woman with responsibilities.

A few days later, Father was returning home from the field and there was Mother, down in the fields east of town chasing those goats again. Father stopped his team and called her to him. She got on the wagon with him and he scolded her for going after those goats. He said if they were too much for Ernest and Marvell to herd, they would just have to go. He told her she wasn’t ever to go after them again, or herd any goats anymore unless they were her own.

(Lydia Peacock, Ernest and Marvell’s mother, had written on the original, “The goats were never down in the field and May Allred never herded our goats.”)

Father and Mother took up house-keeping in a house in the south central part of town. It was owned by William Keele, Father’s brother-in-law. They moved later, down to a little blue house across the street from Grandpa Allred’s (Wiley Anderson’s home, now owned and enlarged by Rex Gunderson.) It was here that their first baby was born, a large ten pound baby boy. They named him Mervyn Lynn. Father was very proud of his boy.

Father took a job down on the desert at the Salt Wash Oil well, a company drilling for oil, and the job provided a paying income for some of the young men in the town. Father took the money he earned and built him and mother a house of their own. This house was a two room structure with a large closet and pantry and a nice upstairs bedroom. It was located a block east of Grandpa Peacock’s and caty-corner through the lot from Grandpa Allred’s. Mother could walk down through her lot, through the little gate and up through the back yard to her mother’s house. They enjoyed visiting back and forth. Mother planted flowers and grass around her home. She always loved roses and she planted several yellow rose bushes. Frank and Will Pettey built the house and Father and Mother were very happy with it. It was here that their next two children were born.

Vivian was born April 20, 1915. Mother was attended by her Aunt Elizabeth (Eliza) Anderson. The day Vivian arrived, Grandma Peacock needed Father for a job and he had to wait several hours for the baby to arrive. He grew quite impatient. When the baby finally arrived he went in to see her. She was round and cute. Mother asked him what he thought of her beautiful baby and Grandpa grumbled, “She looks just like a marino lamb.”

While Mother was convalescing, after Vivian’s birth, Father took Mervyn up to Grandma Peacock’s one Sunday afternoon. Mervyn was all dressed up in a little red velvet suit that Mother had made for him and Father was very proud of him. He had a little dog that he was entertaining his boy and the rest of the family with, by making it do tricks. Aunt Ella says it was amazing how he could manage dogs and horses.

Father and Mother lived in their little house until after I was born. I arrived April 7, 1917, the day after the United States declared war with Germany. Aunt Eliza attended Mother at my birth, the same as she had for Vivian.

Father was freighting for the store at the time of my birth. It was becoming more and more apparent that the freighting was bothering his back. He had been thrown from a horse as a young boy and had injured his back and this old injury was being aggravated by the hard work and arduous task of freighting with the teams and wagons. The trip to Price was a two day trip, both ways and Father would have to camp out one night each way in all kinds of weather and adverse conditions. He would pick up the huge loads of dry goods and produce at the railroad stations and the various produce companies and start the long lonesome trip home with the responsibility of the loaded wagons and the double team of horses. It was not an easy life. When Father’s back became real bad he went to Salt Lake City to see Dr. Tyree, a famous bone specialist. He said that Father had TB of the spine. He put him in an orthopedic cast and told him to stop freighting.

Father and Mother decided to build a home out in the field and see if they could support themselves by farming. They sold their home in town to Uncle Will Keele and moved out to the cove, about two miles from town. Mother started all over again to create a home and a yard with iris plants, yellow rose bushes and grass. The home was built on a hill and it was difficult to get the water from the canal down to the house. They built a nice corral and a small hen house and were quite comfortable and probably would have been happy except for Father’s failing health.

Uncle Riddell came out to stay with them and help them on the farm. He was just a boy and he grew very attached to Father. Uncle Byron and Aunt Leona moved out on their farm adjoining Father’s. Aunt Leona said that Lynn worked very hard in spite of his bad back. She once told Grandma Peacock that Lynn had more ambition than strength. She said he worked when he should have taken it easy and that May worked very hard to help him, and that Mervyn was an ambitious little boy and tried to be helpful.

Uncle Byron said that Father observed the Sabbath and when he moved out in the field that father said to him, “Now, just because you live in the field doesn’t excuse you from attending your Church duties.” Father had been President of the Young Men’s Mutual Improvement Association for some time. Uncle Byron lived in the field until he was called into the service of our Country, which was now at war.

Father still tried to do a little freighting. One night on his way home from Price with a large load of produce, with only a small space left to sit on, Father was tired and cold. He wrapped his coats around himself and let the horses go by themselves as they were trained to do. Father became drowsy. The ground was frozen and the wagon hit a big chuck hole and Father fell forward off the seat and down between the horses and the wagon and the wagon ran over him. All of his ribs were broken lengthwise in this accident. From then on Father’s back grew steadily worse. The second summer on the farm he wasn’t able to do much work at all. Mother and Uncle Riddell ran the farm. Mother worked very hard. Father tried to watch the children and help around the house. Mother has always told me that my Father practically took exclusive care of me when I was a baby and that I thought more of him than anyone else.

Mervyn was only five that last summer in the field, but it was his responsibility to help look after Vivian and with chores around the house and the yard. Vivian had very fine hair when she was tiny and someone told Mother if she would shear it close to her head it would come in thicker and with more body. Mother did this, much to her sorrow. It caused Vivian’s head to burn and tan. One day she and Mervyn were down by the highway when Nels Abeline came by in his wagon. He looked at them and said, “Hello there, who do you little boys belong to?” Mervyn was quick to reply, “We’re Lynn Peacock’s, but she’s not a boy, she just looks like one.” When Vivian got a little older she had prettier hair than any of us, light brown, naturally curly ringlets.

The fall of 1918 brought the end of World War I. Our boys were coming home from Europe and everyone was happy. But the boys brought home a deadly germ, and within weeks our nation was stricken with the worst influenza epidemic that it had ever known. The little town of Emery was no exception. Even in its isolated location it was hit with the onslaught of the disease. Within days many of its citizens were stricken. There were no medical supplies, no doctors, and everyone was fearful of this awful flu.

On the 26th of October, 1918, Uncle Ralph Peacock died with the flu. In November Mother and her children came down with it. I was very ill and they worked hard to save my life. Mother was so ill they feared for her life. At first it didn’t seem too bad with Father when he contracted it, or else he was so concerned over Mother that he didn’t realize how bad he was. As Mother seemed to improve a little, Father suddenly took a turn for the worse and just overnight, on Friday, November 29, 1918, he passed away. Aunt Hazel had been staying with us when she could leave her own family. When she could see that Father was going she left for town to get help. Grandma Allred, Mother and the three little children were alone with Father when he died.

Later, Grandpa Allred and Grandma Peacock bathed and prepared Father for burial. They put his casket in a wagon and took him to the cemetery. The disease was so widespread and the people so fearful that they held no funerals for those who passed away. With just a simple graveside service, attended by a few friends and relatives, Father was laid to rest. Mother was unable to accompany his body to the cemetery.

Following is a page copied from Uncle Briggie’s personal Diary under the date of December 11, 1918:

Lynn took sick, Saturday the 23rd of November. He seemed to think it was only a cold at first. In fact, I was talking with him Sunday morning and he seemed to feel real good. As soon as he gave in to it being the flu, I think he held but little faith in his recovery. He asked for his shaving outfit, saying, ‘If I go to bed with this, I’ll never get up,’ or something to that effect.
(As I read this now, at first, I thought it must have been the flu instead. Ralph died with a heavy growth of whiskers on his face and no barber would come in to shave him at the time of his death. This was in Lynn’s mind.) Continuing:
With trembling hands he shaved himself only a few days before he died. He left a wife and three children down with this dreadful disease. I was in Ferron on my way from Price when the end came. Hazel was with him most of the time during his sickness and death. He was a good boy and a hard worker. For sixteen years he has done a man’s work. The last two years, however, have not been heavy, as he suffered much from Tuberculosis of the spine. Anyone who would do the right thing could get along with Lynn and would always find him trying to do his part at the big end. No funeral was held. Wilbur came in time to assist in putting him away. Uncle Dell, also was with us in the work and sympathy. His heart was heavy yet it was a strength to have him with us. Mother and Father are holding up fine. Byron secured a furlough and came home for a few days.
In the spring of 1919, after the wrath of the flu was over, services were held in Emery Ward Chapel for all those who had passed away in the winter. Their names and dates were printed on a large sheet of muslin and hung at the head of the chapel. After the services each individual obituary was cut away and the strip with Father’s name on it was given to Mother. The other strips were given to respective families.

Father was taken from this life as a young man, only twenty-nine years old. His last few years were accompanied by illness and pain which he fought with his determined ambition and his natural cheerful attitude. He lived on the edge of time, because although the age of invention was making manifest its wonderful manufactured instruments to add to man’s help and enjoyment, Father never lived to enjoy them. I don’t know if he ever learned to drive a car or not. Uncle Byron had a car and Father went to Price with him one trip to sell produce. Uncle Byron said he learned a lot from Father about peddling. They peddled the produce that they took into the store in exchange for store goods, to the mining towns around Price and in the city of Price. Father was quite thrilled about making the trip in such a short time compared with driving a team. If he could have survived the flu and regained his strength, he probably would have tried freighting again with the new trucks and cars that were coming on the market. He never saw a moving picture show or heard a radio, but he made the best of the tools and machinery of his day and was proud and happy with what he had. I’m sure that, had he lived, he would have accepted and enjoyed all the wonderful things that his family and children had.

Grandpa Allred told me that he was very fond of Father, and really got acquainted with him when they were on the road job together. It was when the road from Emery to Salina was built. John Olsen was the county road man they worked for. They worked together on the grader for about ten days. Father had a fine team and he did the team work while Grandpa handled the grader. They camped together in a tent. Grandpa said he appreciated this opportunity to get acquainted with Father. He admired Father’s ability at handling his team, and he appreciated the respect and consideration Father showed him. Grandpa said he felt he had a fine son-in-law and that his daughter had a good husband.

One fall Father took Mother, Aunt Annie Nielsen and a group of others, down in the pines east of town to gather pine nuts. This was a favorite outing for them and they always had a good time. On this particular trip, Father lost his watch. It was a beautiful, heavy, gold watch with a latch cover on the face of it. He felt very badly about losing it. A year later, he took the family down to the same place on another pine nut outing. He found his watch where he had lost it the year before. He picked it up and wound it and it started to run.

He used this watch as long as he lived. A few years after his death, Mother gave the watch to Mervyn. He still has it as a keepsake.

Although my Father died when I was just eighteen months old, I have always felt his protecting influence on my life. I’ve always felt that when I did something wrong he would know about it and would be sad. The thought of displeasing my earthly Father as well as my Heavenly Father has kept me from making many mistakes and has influenced my actions many times. When I have made mistakes or felt that I needed forgiving, I have prayed in my heart for his forgiveness. I have been comforted many times by his influence in my life and I know in my heart that when he died, he did not leave us completely. I feel also, that it would be pleasing to my Father to know that we, his children, have loved and respected the kind and honorable man that our Mother later married, and who has so generously shared his life and love with us.

Edward Lynn Peacock: Born 17 July 1889, at Sterling, Utah
Died 29 November 1918, at Emery, Utah

Married Mary Johannah Allred – 26 June 1912 in the Manti Temple

Their Children:

Mervin Lynn Peacock – born June 2, 1913 at Emery, Utah
Vivian Peacock – born April 20, 1915 at Emery, Utah
Inez Peacock – born April 7, 1917 at Emery Utah

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