Edith Weeks Winn Life Story
Colaborador: danknel Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago
written by her daughter
Blanche Winn Gunnell
Edith Weeks was born September 5, 1870 at Smithfield, Utah. Her parents, David Weekes, who was born at Welling, Kent, England on July 9, 1836, and Hannah Riches, who was born at East Ruston, Norfolk, England on December 21, 1841. The family of David Weekes was raised in a two-story adobe home in Smithfield, Utah – part of which is now standing at the Ephriam Weeks home on Second South and Second West.
As a child, Edith had a very serious illness, Diphtheria. For days she hovered between life and death. As a result, she suffered from an impaired heart for the rest of her life. When she was a young woman, 16 or 17 years of age, she began keeping company with a young man also from Smithfield—Will Winn, a dashing young man who had the fastest horse on a buggy and who was always involved with other young fellows to race and see who had the best filly.
The sister of Will Winn, Mary Winn was also keeping company with Edith’s brother just older than she, and so the four of them decided to get married the same day. On November 14, 1888, William and Edith were married in the Logan Temple. But Mary and David decided to marry on the 13th of November. And what a great celebration was held at the Weekes’ home that night. Relatives by the dozens swarmed about. The food, that had been prepared days in advance, was placed on tables and everyone predicted long happiness for these two couples.
Edith had a trousseau trunk with the necessary items to set up housekeeping. Her treasure was a fine patchwork quilt that she had so carefully made.
The first home she was to live in after her marriage was a small log shack in the Tom Richardson farm, where Will had secured work.
To this wonderful mother was born 12 sons and daughters. The first one, William Frank, was born September 12, 1889. Her second son, Wallace Weeks, was born January 11, 1891. Then George Thomas on May 23, 1892, David on January 10, 1894, Milton on November 22, 1895, and Glen Riches on February 17, 1897.
When the boys were very young, the Bishop called William Winn on a mission to the Southern States. Although their finances were in a very bad condition, Edith urged Will to accept the call of the Lord and leave her and the small boys.
For two years she worked, planned, and worked some more to get food and clothing for her family. Until long after midnight she would sit with her needle and sew all the clothing for her family. Then she would get up at dawn to milk the cows and do the work necessary for the health and well being of her family.
When Will returned from his mission two years later, the six boys had grown too much, and Edith’s hair had turned white before her years. Will set about securing land to farm and found a sympathetic and understanding partner in his wife. She carefully budgeted what money they had and never wasted a thing. Her favorite saying was, “Waste not, want not.” She was an unassuming wife who kept in the background and supported a civic-minded, religiously-inclined husband.
Edith's other six children born to this union were: Wesley, October 21, 1900; Parley, June 6, 1903; Stella, February 17, 1905; Leonard, March 21, 1907; Elva, December 13, 1908, Blanche, October 22, 1911.
Before the birth of Leonard, William Winn had been selected as the first Bishop of the Smithfield Second Ward, and with more children than they had room for in the frame home below the tracks, (the George Mather Home), William and Edith decided to build a larger home closer to town. It was a big home for that time and quite an elegant structure with gingerbread trim in the gables and an upstairs with four bedrooms. The downstairs had a front parlor with flowered wallpaper and the finest lace curtains. There was a pantry off the kitchen that held the large supplies for such a family. The dining room had the largest dimensions of any room in the house; the reason is obvious. The kitchen was a cheery place where all who came to visit usually ended up eating some tasty treat prepared by Edith. She was known throughout the valley for her cooking ability. She could take what appeared to be the simplest ingredients and make a banquet of them. For example, she made oatmeal cookies and instead of using raisins (which were high priced at that time) she put Pottawattamie plum preserves in them and black walnuts that she had the children laboriously crack and pick out. Several times people had tried to make this recipe of cookies, but it never had been a success. It took a certain art, and Edith had it.
While her husband was Bishop, the meeting place for Benson Stake was the Smithfield Tabernacle. The visiting authorities from Salt Lake were entertained at Edith and Will’s home, spending two or three days – sometimes more – enjoying the hospitality found there. Samuel Hendricks stated that when they would have a stake conference, at the end of the Sunday morning service, Bp. William Winn would arise and say to the congregation, “If there are any of you who do not have your lunch with you, you are invited to come to my house for food.” And the strange thing about it was that many would come, and there was always enough food prepared by the faithful and dutiful Edith to take care of the crowds.
Being a very sympathetic and understanding woman for people less fortunate than she, Edith took into her home at different intervals three half-brothers of William and let them stay with her as long as they liked. Relatives that lived in Idaho knew that when winter came, Edith would find room in her home for them while they did temple work in Logan.
Her husband was prospering now, and so they added a bathroom to the home with facilities that few people in town had. New parlor furniture was bought: a cherrywood settee, a chair, a rocker with green plush seats, and a cherrywood piano. These were her pride and joy. She liked to have a nice home because she had so many friends and relatives who enjoyed her hospitality and made frequent visits to the big, yellow brick home.
On November 17, 1909, her eldest son Frank, at age 20, was called to serve as a missionary in the Samoan Islands. He spent 4 1/2 years there preaching the gospel and teaching in a native school.
In 1914 Edith's seventh son Wesley contracted a strange sickness that little was known about, and he died March 19, 1916 at Smithfield. (Death certificate lists "brain tumor" as Wesley's cause of death.)
Edith wanted the best for her children, and so those who wanted higher education were encouraged and the money readily supplied. Frank, David, and Glen were students at the old Brigham Young College at Logan, Utah. Glen also was educated at the Utah State Agricultural College and the University of Utah. Stella received her teaching certificate from Brigham Young University, and Elva and Blanche received teaching diplomas from the Utah State Agricultural College (Utah State University).
Other members of the family were given opportunities, equivalent to educations in money, to purchase land and help to start a life of their own.
The eighth son Parley was called to the Northwestern States Mission on November 5, 1925 and served there for two years.
A deeply religious person, Edith spent the latter years of her life doing work in the Logan Temple, a work she enjoyed very much. Two weeks prior to her death, she had been called as an officiator in the Logan Temple.
She died in the Budge Hospital at Logan, Utah on April 24, 1928 of complications following an appendectomy.
Surely it can be said of her that hers was a life of service -- service to her creator, to her family, to her friends, and to her relatives. This quiet, unassuming woman can show all of us the better way of life. Unselfishly, she contributed her all for those she loved.