Monday, December 23, 2013

Athalia Rose Clayton Haws

Athalia Rose Clayton was born on March 10th, 1860 to William Clayton (1814-1879) - yes, that William Clayton - and Sarah Ann Walters (1838-1915). The details of her early life are no doubt known to someone, and may be contained in a family history book written in 1988 by Della Kendall Hall, a descendant of hers through her daughter Athalia Haws Kendall.[1] Sadly I have been unable to locate a copy near enough to justify getting it.

She married Nathaniel W. Haws on March 23, 1882 in the Endowment House in Salt Lake City. A couple weeks later, on April 10th, her husband was set apart to serve in the Southern States mission. Four days later he arrived in his assigned area. After serving in Alabama, he was transferred to work in the mission office. His first appearance on the mission record was in June 1883, when he sent a report to  President John Morgan about the near shooting of a missionary in Georgia.

The official record doesn't explain why or how, but on the 9th of September 1883, Sister Haws arrived from Utah and reported for service. She was accompanied by a party of six Elders, also reporting for duty. Sister Haws joined her husband who was laboring in the office at Chattanooga,[2]  and I presume she worked in the mission office as well. Athalia does not appear in the mission historical record, or was noted to attend any of the mission conferences. Her name was not given when her husband obtained his release on April 10, 1884.

After their mission, Nathaniel took a bookkeeping job at the Consolidated Wagon and Machine Company. The couple had seven children, between 1885 and 1897, two of whom died shortly after birth.

Although she did not complete school before getting married, she did return to school. She played "instrumental music" at the Logan city school graduation in the Logan tabernacle  in 1902, and was listed as one of the graduates.[3]

In 1904, her oldest son, Wilford, died of typhoid at the age of 16. It was no doubt a difficult time for them as any parent who has lost a child will tell you. The newspaper contained a simple but clearly heart felt condolence for the grieving parents.

In 1905, her husband left his bookkeeping position at the Consolidated Wagon and Machine Company, where he had worked for 15 years, and accepted a job as an accountant with the Cache Valley Bank. He advanced to Teller, and later Assistant Cashier. They were comfortable, but not wealthy. They owned their own home with a mortgage in 1900 which they paid off by 1910 and mortgaged again by 1920.

Athalia found time to involve herself in things important to her. In 1908 she was elected treasurer of the newly formed Wilford Woodruff company of the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers. Her involvement was a large part of her life and was noted in her obituary. [4]

A cryptic entry about Athalia appeared in a newspaper in 1911 which says only "Mrs Nathaniel Haws entertained informally on afternoon last week." Based on the other entries on the same page, it was probably a party at her home. [5] I love that events we would consider entirely private and probably of no interest outside our circle of friends, qualify as news in the papers of yesterday. Not all the events of our lives are remarkable. Truth be told few are worthy of the history books. But in its ordinary nature the life Athalia makes a mark, in the unassuming events of a normal person .

Athalia died on April 2, 1925 in Logan, Cache County, Utah, USA. Her obituary says she passed "after a long period of suffering from intestinal cancer". [6]

[1] Hall, Della Kendall. The ancestry of Athalia (Haws) Kendall (1886-1964) of Logan and and Nephi, Utah: daughter of Nathaniel and Athalia Rose (Clayton) Haws and wife of James Arthello Kendall. (Mokena, Illinois: D.K. Hall, 1988 (Asheville, N.C. : Ward Publishing)).
[2] Latter Day Saint Southern Star, Volume 1, p 146.
[3] Salt Lake Herald, 1902 May 25.
[4] Intermountain Republican, 1908 June 10.
[5] Logan Republican, 1914 March 4.
[6] Salt Lake Telegram, 1925 April 4.


Ardis said...

Another fine "rounding out" of the life of a Latter-day Saint who would otherwise probably always remain known only to her family. I especially like the way you find meaning in the seemingly trivial newspaper line about her "informal entertainment."

I'm really enjoying this series on the lives of the sisters. Its value will be more than the sum of its parts, as they say!

BruceCrow said...

Thanks Ardis.
Most of the time I find it difficult to describe the (voyeuristic?) fascination with seemingly ordinary people doing perhaps ordinary things. But history is full of innumerable people just doing their small portion. When considered together they are, as you pointed out, more than the sum of its parts.