Ida May Pilkington Cook , The Story Of My Life
Colaborador: wameaney Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago
The Story Of My Life
I was born the 8th of December 1875 at Smithfield, Utah; the ninth child of William Pilkington Sr. and Lydia Holden Pilkington. Father and Mother were both born at Bolton, Lancashire, England. Father on the 20th December 1828, and Mother on 30 March 1833.
I was blessed on 14th December 1875 by Sidney Weeks at Smithfield, Utah. I was baptised on 4th September 1884 by G. Hind and confirmed a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints on 4th September 1884 by David Weeks.
I started school when I was six years old. My teachers name was William Raymond. How I remember this teacher. I was naturally left handed, and each time I was caught with the pencil in my left hand I would receive a crack over the knuckles with his ruler. I used to think he was the meanest man who ever lived.
Before I had completed the second grade I was taken out of school to care for my mother, who had fallen and broken several ribs. Then along with this accident pneumonia set in, and she was unable to get out of bed all winter. In thoses days we had to pay to go to school, so with insufficient funds and Mother's accident my school days were over. The rest of my education was acquired through mother's help and my thirst for knowledge. I used to read to Father every night.
My Father and I were very close, possibly because I was the youngest in the family. After church we would take long walks together. On one of these occasions, Father talked honesty and the value of this important virtue. This talk about so impressed me, that honesty has been one of my virtues, to be honest with others and honest with myself.
I used to take Father's lunch to him when he was working on the railroad. He always shared his lunch with me and somehow it tasted much better than dinner at home.
I had four sisters and four brothers, Mary Ann Pilkington (who died when 2 years old), Isabelle Pilkington Livsey, and Richard Pilkington, William Pilkington Jr., Mary Jane Pilkington Stokes, Lydia Ann Pilkington Sharp, Joseph Heber Pilkington, and Hugh Pilkington.
I was the youngest and the only one born in America. The rest were born in Lancashire, England, and because I was born in America my brothers and sisters would tease me and call me "the Yankee".
My Father and Mother were both beautiful singers. So were my brothers and sisters. The boys all played musical instruments. One of my cherished memories was when we would all get together and play and sing the songs of Zion, and other popular songs at that time.
I can also remember when my mother took me to Salt Lake City to see my brother Richard, who was a stone mason, and at that time was working on the Salt Lake Temple. Richard took me in his arms and showed me where he was working. He took me up so high, I became frightened. Mother would take food and clean clothes to Richard once a week. How thrilled I was to ride on the train from Smithfield to Salt Lake City.
The first great sorrow in my young life, was when my brother Hugh died on October 1889, and two months later my Father died on 15th December 1889.
Mother and I were left alone then, for all my brothers and sisters were married, and it was necessary that I should go to work. I was hired to do house work, doing washing (on the washboard) and ironing (with irons heated on the kitchen stove) and all sorts of cleaning. At this time I was only fourteen years old. One of the ladies I worked for was one of President Wilford Woodruff's wife who lived in Smithfield.
Mother and Father were married in England, after arriving in America Mother was very anxious to be married in the temple and have their children sealed to them, but Father would say, "there is plenty of time, Lydia, don't worry and we will go to the temple". But Father took pneumonia and died very suddenly. After his death, Mother took her problem to Brother Merrill, then President of the Logan Temple, and was advised to wait one year and said, "if your husband wants this work done he will make it known to you, this I promise, so go home and don't worry anymore". Mother told this story, "While lying down one afternoon the room seemed to fill with smoke, and when the smoke had cleared their stood your Father. I saw him just as plain as I ever saw him. He said, 'Lydia, I am ready", and then seemed to fade away."
This has been a faith promoting story to me.
In due time this work was done and all the children sealed to their parents, and from then on Mother became an ardent temple worker, doing work for thousands of people. I used to drive Mother back and forth to and from the temple, which was seven miles each way from Smithfield to Logan. I used to wait in the buggy until Mother came out of the temple, and sometimes when the weather was very cold I was allowed to wait in the first room of the temple. I was asked to take my shoes off and be very quiet. In all, my childhood was a very happy one filled with fond memories.
I met William Cook in the late fall of 1891, while visiting with my sister Mary Jane, who lived in Syracuse, Utah. On the 2nd of November 1892 we were married in the Logan Temple for time and all eternity.
After we were married, we lived with my husband's parents (William and Christine Bowman Cook) for over a year. It was here our first son, Hugh was born. Soon after, we moved to South Weber and from there we moved to Rigby, Idaho. After eight years we moved back to Syracuse. My husband built a two room house just south of his parents home. Years later we moved to Ogden, where we have resided ever since.
We were blessed with five children, two boys and three girls, William Hugh Cook, Ida Ethel Cook Cole, Roy Cook, Myrtle May Cook Norton, and Golda Marie Cook Jones.
While living in Syracuse I became active in church work. I was a Relief Society Visiting Teacher, and I sang in the ward choir. My sister in law, Fannie Maria Cook, and I were asked on several occasions to sing a duet. Maria sang alto and I sang soprano. We both loved music and spent many pleasant hours rehearsing our duets.
After moving to Ogden, I was called to be a Relief Society Visiting Teacher in the first ward, and I sang alto in the ward choir.
After the division of the first ward in 1936, our home was located in the 22nd ward. In this ward I was called to be a Relief Society Visiting Teacher and Magazine representative. I taught the junior Geneology class in MIA, sang in the Ward choir and Relief Society Singing Mothers chorus. It was a great privilege for me to sing with the Weber Stake Singing Mothers in the Ogden Tabernacle and also the Salt Lake Tabernacle. I was on the committee for the old folks, until I became one of them.
The first tragedy in my married life was the death of our oldest son, William Hugh, who died 23rd of February 1923. He left a wife and two sons. After the death of our son his wife Catherine asked my husband and I if we would take their oldest boy, Mack, to raise. This we did and he has been a great comfort to us.
When the youngest son, Jay, was seven years old, his Mother died, but before she passed away she again asked me if we would take Jay and raise him, so the boys would be together. This we did gladly.
It was Mothers Day May 1930, I dressed the boys all in white and gave them a bouquet of flowers to take to their Mother who was in the hospital and not expected to live. When she saw the boys, she said, "They looked like angels" and grasping my hand said, "Now I can go in peace for I know they are in good hands." She passed away on 13th May 1930.
Thus we have raised our second family, for the boys have grown to manhood, both active in the church, and both became good musicians. Mack served in the Army and Jay in the Navy during World War II.
Another great sorrow came into my life when my husband died on 10th January 1943. Our children were all married at this time and Mack and Jay, our grandchildren whom we had raised were in the service of our country, so I was left all alone.
The following June 1943, the 22nd ward built a Church Welfare Cannery near our ward chapel for the purpose of encouraging the LDS people to store food, as the church leaders had advised all their people to store two years supply of food and clothing.
Brother Glen Stewart and his companion came to my home and asked me if I would supervise this cannery, stating you probably would be looking for some kind of a job anyway since your husband has passed away. I told them I would take the job and do the best I could, for in doing so I realized I would be in the service of the Lord by helping and encouraging the people to store food and at the same time it would be a small means of support for myself.
This small cannery has served the community well. Not only the wards of Ogden, but people have come from all the surrounding city and country wards as far as Idaho, Brigham City, Huntsville Valley, Salt lake City, California, and Hawaii.
I have enjoyed my work and made many friends, met many fine people, this cannery is open to everyone, and a group of Catholic ladies have taken advantage of this service.
I have received three United States Treasury citations for selling War Bonds, one dated 29 February 1944, one dated 16 December 1944, and one dated January 1945.
I was awarded a certificate of recognition for volunteer service in behalf of the Veterans patients through veterans Administration Voluntary Service Program. This was awarded to me at the Veterans Hospital, Salt Lake City, on 15th May 1958.
I joined the Navy Mothers Club in 1943, after my husband died and became very active, holding the following positions, second Vice Commander four years, and Matrons at Arms for two years.
The Navy Mothers appointed me to represent them in the Patriotic Council. I was Chaplain for three years and secretary for one year.
I have been renominated this year for the same position.
I also belong to the 22nd Ward Relief Society Quilting Club. We meet once a month for a social and good time together. In between we quilt for the needy and the brides of the Ward.
Ida May Pilkington Cook age 91 died Sunday morning at her home of causes incident to age.
(This life story was type-written on 4 pages and found online. It was written in the first person with many corrections in the content. There is no name attached to the document as to who typed the story. It is assumed that someone interviewed Ida to get the information to be typed. The last paragraph was added by me, Becky S Porter, for added information.)
William Pilkington Sr and Lydia Holden Pilkington by Lamont Pilkington
Colaborador: wameaney Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago
William and Lydia Holden Pilkington had dreamed and hoped for years that one day they would be able to come to Zion and join his two sisters, Jane Pilkington Horton and Isabella Pilkington Hilton. But it wasn't until 17 years later that this dream was partly realized. It was decided that William should make the trip alone, and until such time as the family could join him. He would stay with his sister, Jane, in Smithfield, while he worked and saved enough money for their passage to Utah. Those of the family who were old enough to work, would pool their earnings and support themselves and family while their father was away.
This was a time of great rejoicing, but as the time for departure drew near, it gave way to serious thought, and the responsibility weighed heavily upon Lydia. It was she that would have to keep the family together, and encourage them in their sacrifice. William, being a quiet and gently person, must have found it a very difficult decision to consider. To leave his loved ones behind, and take such a long journey into an unknown country, of strange people and customs. For how long, he would not know, it must have taken a great deal of faith and prayers.
He started his voyage from Liverpool, England then crossed the states by rail, arriving in Utah 9 of April 1872.
They had always been a very religious family, and their dear mother, Lydia, continued to keep her little family together, and active in the Church branch. It must have taken a great deal of faith and courage, in those days, to mingle with people who were so prejudiced against this strange new religion. The jeers and name calling, the children had to take from their associates, both at school and at work. When the children were baptized, the Elders of the branch took them secretly, at night to a river, some distance from their home, and then while one Elder stood guard, performed the baptism.
There were few entertainments for the young people, but when a new missionary came to their branch, they always welcomed him with a party, or when an Elder was released to go home.
To these humble and devoted people, the Elders were the nearest thing to the heart of the Church, and they loved every one of them.
One experience the family always remembered, was an incident that happened at one of their fast meetings. A woman arose to bear her testimony and began speaking in a strange way. No one could understand a word she said and everyone was a little frightened. (They did not know she had been speaking in tongues). After she sat down, a man stood up and began interpreting what the woman had said.
It was two years before William was able to save enough money to send for his family. In the mean time, the family in England had worked and saved every penny they could, after meeting the necessary expenses, to buy the clothes and essentials for the long voyage to America. It was a long hard sacrifice for both the family and their father in America. The hope of being together once again in the new land, where they could live free from ridicule and persecution was the motivating factor in their great sacrifice, and would overshadow the sorrow of saying goodby to England, home of their birth.
Their voyage seemed endless, but the Captain and crew were very kind and considerate to them. All the family enjoyed the voyage with the exception of the second boy, William. He was ill during the entire journey. It was doubtful whether or not he could survive until the ship reached New York. He was so ill and weak that he had to be carried in a sheet on deck, every morning, where he could lie in the sunshine and breathe the clean ocean air.
When the ship docked, however, and the motion ceased, he soon regained his equilibrium; and when he was able to eat, made a complete recovery.
The ship docked in New York harbor the 12 September 1874. The long train ride was exciting. Each time the train had an occasion to stop, for water or fuel, the passengers took advantage of this and left the train long enough to stretch their legs.
At one of these such stops through desert country, Richard wandered a short distance from the rest of them. Being fascinated by the desert country and the wild sage brush and flowers he had never seen before, that he was unaware of the motion near him until he heard a strange buzzing sound. By instinct he jumped quickly away before a large rattle snake struck out at him. When some of the other passengers heard him call out, they came to see what had happened and informed him he had just escaped what could have been a fatal accident. This was Richard's first introduction into the new land.
They arrived in Ogden, Utah, the 23 September where their Father met them at the Railroad station. What a wonderful and joyful reunion it must have been. Two years can be such a long time. They came on to Smithfield the following day where they met for the first time the Aunt Jane they had heard so much about.
William had a small log house waiting for them to move into. With Jane's help he had furnished and painted it, also had a nice garden. The family had never seen a log house before or a garden all their own or the cows grazing in the fields, or the tall yellow grain. They had lived their lives in a town that owed its existence to the processing and distribution of cotton. The surrounding towns were of similar occupations with the exception of some mining.
It was a great adventure, this big new world, but now they were faced with the long hard road of adjustment. There were the people who found emigrants amusing and with great misunderstanding, abused, tormented, and harassed them continually. There were times when the children came crying to their parents and tearfully remarked, "We don't want to live in Zion". But children have a way of forgetting and forgiving. They made friends and found a place for themselves at last.
One child, a daughter, was born to them in the new country.
The two older boys helped their father cut and haul logs from the canyon, for firewood. Their Uncle Joseph Horton was kind enough to loan them his oxen and leant a hand whenever he could. This was indeed quite an experience for the boys, never having had this type of strenuous work before. They had always been used to apartment houses and coal was very easy to obtain. The boys were small in stature and having worked indoors most of their young lives, must have had a very hard time lifting and straining at such heavy work.
Lydia and William lived their remaining life in Smithfield. The family gave of their talents in the ward both in singing and dramatics. The four boys, Richard, William Jr., Hugh, and Joseph sang as a quartette for many years; also as members of the brass band, choir, etc.
William died 15 December 1899. Lydia died 11 February 1909.