Lovisa Cox Johnson

Lovisa Cox lived in Orderville, Utah in the United Order until she was 7 years old. She remembers her mother marching in a town parade with a cream churn in hand because she was in charge of the milk and did all the churning. She set the milk in pans on long shelves to let the cream raise, then skimmed it off to make butter.

Her mother taught the first school in Orderville. She also took care of the silkworms and the silk. The children including mother helped feed the worms mulberry leaves. The silkworms were cared for in a large room with shelves all around. She moved with her parents to the factory 10 miles north of Orderville. Her father was called there to help run the factory. He was a blacksmith and engineer, mechanic, wheelwright. The factory was run by water power, the water piped down from a lake in the mountains. She lived here until she was 8 years old; then the family moved to Loseeville. Her mother taught school and Lovisa attended school here for the first time. Later she went to Ephraim Caffel's school for 4 or 5 years. A home was built in Loseeville; her father surveyed ditches and got water to the town.

Her father’s other wives were living elsewhere: Mary Allen in Castle Valley (Huntington), and Elvira Mills in Fairview. He was with his Fairview family when he died. Lovisa was 10 years old. She, her mother, her brother Orlan and 2 sisters, Almira and Phebe remained in Loseeville. There her mother died the next year and the children lived there alone working where they could. Lovisa was to take care of chores - pigs, etc. A neighbor stayed nights with her when Phebe, Mira or Orlan couldn't be there on account of their work.

Her brother and sisters went to dances and entertainments. She went with them rather than stay home alone; but she wouldn’t dance for some time. Then one night Sixtus Ellis Johnson sat down by her and talked a while, then asked her to dance. She went on the floor with him her first time. She never went with anyone else and they were married when she was 16 1/2 years old in Georgetown by Grandpa Johnson. About two years later they made the trip to the Manti Temple and were sealed there.

Their first home was in Tropic. Four children were born there. Velta died when she was 17 months old leaving mother very sad and broken up. Then her mother came to her with the baby, Velta in her arms. This was a great comfort to her then and in later ordeals she endured.

When Orville was 17 months old, dad went on a mission to the Southern states -Kentucky. He traveled without purse or scrip. Mother provided for the family. The first summer she cooked for the sawmill hands on the East Fork near where the Tropic reservoir was later built. She also bunched shingles there. She kept Orville busy helping with carpet rags and cooking. He liked especially to make cookies.

The first winter after dad came home they went to Antimony and took over George Johnson's store. Then the store burned down. Dad had gone to Marysvale to get a load of Christmas goods. Joel, George's son, built a fire in the stove to warm up. When mother was milking the cow she saw the fire. They stayed until spring then moved back to Tropic. They lived there eleven years. They operated a small farm and herded sheep. When Thelma was three years old she died of diphtheria.

When Clement was about 1 1/2 years old they homesteaded Willis Creek, built a cabin and spent the summers there for ten years. They lived in Tropic and Cannonvil1e during the winters. They had many happy and frightening experiences during these years here. They increased their cattle herd and raised fine gardens on the ranch.

In 1920 they sold out: ranch. cattle and home in town, and moved to Chandler, Arizona and invested in a cotton farm there. Garth was the baby when they moved. He became ill with Bright's disease and died in Arizona when 7 months old. Delpha was born in Arizona.

They lived there about two years. During this time the big slump came in the cotton business and they lost all of their investment. So they moved to Carbon County where two of dad’s brothers lived. He and Ellis went to work at the mines.

The family gradually built up a start in cattle and in 1928 they moved to Hanksville. Wayne Co., Utah, bag and baggage. They bought Ebenezer McDougall's farm there and homesteaded the Dugout Mountain property.

Mother didn't feel so happy about the move in such an out of the way place. But she learned to love the people and the people loved them and appreciated them in the community so much. The family worked hard and unitedly here, and got ahead.

About 1940 the folks with Thorley, Bryan and Delpha moved back to the old stomping ground -Cannonville and Henrieville. Sixtus Ellis Johnson died 6 years ago so mother has stayed in her little home, with the children and grandchildren close around to look after her.

She reads a lot, and has television and radio to keep her up on things going on. She does lots of handwork, knitting for the children and piecing quilt tops, etc. She tends her flowers and little garden and takes pride in them. The children help her out as needed. Lovisa Cox Johnson is now 90 years old (10 Dec 1967). We all enjoy and love her very much.

Written by Clara M. Johnson