Note for: Julia Ann Morris, 26 Nov 1867 - 1 Mar 1941 Index
Julia Ann Morris' grandmother was Lucy Parham. Julia said that her grandmother was a full-blooded Cherokee Indian. Julia wanted a child with black hair and her son Clinton was the only one with black hair. (Hazel Welker Briggs).
LIFE HISTORY OF JULIA MORRIS WELKER
Written by her daughter Bessie Welker Jacobson
Mother was born in Rome, Floyd Co., Georgia, on November 26, 1867to Gad and Elizabeth Wanslee Morris. When she was nine years old, she with her parents and ten brothers and sisters left their home in Georgia and moved to Arkansas in 1868,then from there to Arizona in 1877. She started school in Savaya, Mexico in 1877, but had to quit school after they moved to Safford, Arizona in 1884.
It took them six months to make the journey with ox teams and wagons, and cows to help pull the wagons. They, with other families of the Mormon faith, endured many hardships.
When they stopped and made camp for the night, they would have to put the wagons in a circle to protect them from the Indians. Fortunately, they didn't bother them very much. They would milk the cows to help out with the food supply which was very skimpy. It was very hard for them to leave their home and most of their belongings behind. But, it was the faith they had in the Lord that urged them on, they had been called to settle Arizona. They would try to camp by a stream of water or the river so they could wash their clothes and bathe. They used the large rocks along the banks to scrub their clothes on to help get them clean.
Sometimes, they would stay in one place for two or three days so they could do their washing and make their soap and their bread. They would pile rocks in a small circle and build a fire in it. After the fire died down but the rocks were still hot, they would put the bread on them to cook.
When they made soap, they would put the wood ashes from the campfire in a pan and cover them with water and let it stand overnight, this made the lye they mixed with grease they had saved from the meat they cooked along the way. They would boil this together until it was thick and when it was cold they would cut it into pieces. They continued on their way with enough soap and bread to last them for a while, because it might be some time before they would be able to stop long enough to make more. They also gave the animals time to rest as well as the people, before they continued on their way.
They first made their home in Snowflake, Arizona. . By the time the cold weather came, the men had cut down trees and sawed logs from them to build a log house. They made a fireplace in one corner of the room to keep them warm. After a few years, they moved on to Safford, Arizona. This is where she met and married Father. He had also moved to Arizona.
She was sixteen years old when they were married on March 23, 1884,in Pima, Arizona. She and Father moved to Bloomington, Idaho to help settle it. They were one of the first settlers there. They made their home in Worm Creek, south of Bloomington a few miles. They lived in a little one room log house, with a dirt roof, and a dirt floor, for quite a few years. Father laid limbs and branches from the trees across the poles that were put across the top of the house, then this was covered with dirt. When it rained, the water would run through on to the floor and beds. They would have to put pans or anything they had to catch the water and mud. They spread gunnysacks on the floor to protect them form the cold damp ground. They also had to hang sacks to the windows and door until Father could get some made. Father filled the space between the logs with thick clay and mud mixed with water, to keep the cold and wind out. For lights, they had what was called bitch. It was made by soaking a rag in grease and putting it in a large pan and there it was burned and this made light for them to see by. For heat, Father dug a pit in the middle of the room and made a fire in it. They did their cooking on this and also kept warm.
My brother Jacob and Morris were born. After a few years, Father moved the family into town, which had built up some by this time. The little town had a small grocery store that was run by a man named Sy Fayler, also a Blacksmith shop where horses were fitted with steel shoes on their hoofs to protect their feet. This was run by a Mr. Painter. A church had also been built, from trees the men had brought out of the canyon and sawed into logs.
Father and Mother and family moved into a four room, two story house. My Grandfather and Grandmother Welker, Father's parents, lived with them. My brother Clinton and myself were born there. My Grandfather passed away the year I was born in 1911. I was about four years old when Grandmother passed on. All the children, except myself were brought into the world with the help of a midwife, as they were called. They were women from the town that would go help other women have their babies. They would stay and care for the mother and new baby for a few days, as at that time there were no doctors. After a few years, a doctor did come to town, his name was Doctor Hayward. It was he that brought me into the world.
When I was about three years old, the church house burned to the ground. The men had to work hard again to build another one, which still stands today.
My father worked very hard to feed and clothe the family. He would leave his wife and family for weeks at a time during the early summer, to shear sheep. He would work ten to twelve hours a day on farms, for fifty cents a day. In the fall of the year, he would take potatoes he and Mother had raised and harvested, with the help of the older boys to Logan and Brigham City, Utah with a team and wagon, and trade them for flour, sugar and honey for our winters use. We raised our own cows, pigs and chickens to help out with the meat supply. Mother worked very hard helping to raise a garden. She would dry corn and fruit for winter use. They were long hard years, but faith and trust in the Lord helped us to survive.
Father and Mother worked and sacrificed all their lives to make life better and happier for their family. They were the most wonderful parents in all the world. One by one the family grew up and left the little house on the corner, to make lives of their own. This left Father and Mother like they had first started out, just the two of them. God bless them.