Tuesday, June 23, 2015

52 Ancestors: Old Homestead

"Week 25 (June 18-24) – The Old Homestead: Have you visited an ancestral home? Do you have photos of an old family house? Do you have homesteading ancestors?" (No Story Too Small)

I've been able to visit a couple of old ancestral homes. There was the old home in Lough Gur, Ireland, where ancestor Maurice Hickey left for America. Nearby that is an overgrown mound where an even older home once stood. I've been to the ruins of Musbury Castle, home of the Drakes. But for this entry, I'll write about Samuel and Pamelo (Wishaw) Green and their home. When I was living in Orem, their home wasn't far away. I'd go up State Street, headed toward the Mount Timpanogos Temple, and see a restaurant called the Purple Turtle. It's kind of hard to miss--it does sort of look like a purple turtle. The Green home still stands in good condition in the neighborhood behind the restaurant.

The Samuel Green House, Pleasant Grove, Utah
If you see this, you know you're close to the Green house.
Image courtesy Utahvalley360.com

Samuel Comes to Pleasant Grove

Samuel Green was born 28 October 1831 in Claverley, Shropshire, England, the first child of William Henry and Mary (Bennett) Green. Of Claverly, my mother wrote, "The town of Claverley is a beautiful town of half-timbered buildings. The parish church of Claverley is an ancient one, and has an interesting series of wall paintings of five pairs of knights on horseback, which dates back to about 1200. A Saxon font which dates to the late 7th century is found in the church, along with a Norman font. Claverley was owned by Leofric, Earl of Mercia, whose wife, Lady Godiva, is associated with the famous legend."

The church, Claverly
Photo by Alice C. Boyd, 1992

A frieze inside the church
Photo by Alice C. Boyd, 1992
The Saxon font in the church
Photo by Alice C. Boyd, 1992

The Norman font in the church
Photo by Alice C. Boyd, 1992

Samuel's father was a laborer, which meant that the family often had to move from town to town so he could find work. According to Melissa Green Manwill, “The Green family started shifting around to find employment, first in Gloucestershire and Staffordshire. At an early age Samuel and John shifted for themselves, seeking employment. Later they joined their father. William Henry and wife had already heard the missionaries and were anxious to have the two boys home with them so they could all embrace the gospel at the same time. They were all baptized on January 11, 1850.  Mary Bennett was baptized in 1849." (Life of John Green)  

Samuel was nineteen when he was baptized. A couple of years later, in 1852, they attempted to make the trip to gather to Utah. “Arriving at Liverpool, William deposited 6,000 shillings to pay for their transportation to America. After making all arrangements, they were told that the sea was rough and dangerous and that no ships would sail before the middle of January. The only thing William could do was rent a small place and wait. The Green family was assigned to sail on the Ellen Maria, but the Captain informed them that only Samuel would be able to go. Having no desire to sail alone, Samuel sold his ticket to another passenger and he remained to travel with his dear family.” 

The Green family crossed the Atlantic in the Elvira Owen in 1853. Green family members are listed as having been in the Cyrus Wheelock Company, crossing the plains to Utah. Samuel is not listed and it's uncertain how or when he crossed after the ocean voyage, though he may he crossed with his family after all.

John Brown, the Church agent in charge of emigrating Saints gave the family advice which would lead them to their future home: “While journeying, Brother John Brown told the Green family about the beautiful Utah Valley, with its groves of cottonwood trees and sparkling streams of fresh water. "It would be an ideal spot to call home", said Elder Brown.” After a short rest in Salt Lake for a short time, they traveled south to Utah Valley, where they helped settle Pleasant Grove, Utah. 

Pleasant Grove in the foreground, looking west toward Utah Lake and
the Lake Mountains. The Wasatch Range, including Mount Timpanagos
are to the east of town.
Photo by Don LaVange, Wikipedia
Pleasant Grove and Lindon, looking east toward Mount Timpanogos (part of the
Wasatch Range)
Photo by André Bonacin, Panaramio

My mother wrote, "The Fort had just been completed, and the family lived inside the Fort in their covered wagon. Later a one-room house was built inside the Fort Square." They underwent hardships. In 1855, the infamous crickets returned and destroyed the crops. The Green had to survive on sego, thistle, and red-root. (I would later student teach at Sego Lily Elementary in Lehi at the north of the valley, named after the Utah state flower that kept my family and other settlers alive.)

Sego Lily

Pamelo Comes to Pleasant Grove

Meanwhile, Samuel's future wife, Pamelo Wishaw was born April 14, 1841, at Worcester, Worcester, England, the daughter of James Frederick Wishaw and Maryann Merrick. 


Worcester Cathedral

The Wishaws were living in Birmingham were living there by the time Pamelo was two and she was christened 27 January 1845 at St. Martin's Parish in Birmingham. James was a fishmonger who died when Pamelo was six. 

St. Martin's, Birmingham

Pamelo and her mother and siblings moved in with her maternal parents, James and Elizabeth (Bumford) Meyrick, in Ludlow, Shropshire. Here, they met some Mormon elders, and were baptized in the River Teme in 1849. 

The River Teme

At the age of twelve, Pamelo was orphaned when her mother died of dysentery. Her grandparents then raised her and her siblings. At the age of fourteen, the Meyricks and their orphaned grandchildren came to America aboard the ship Sanders Curling

They and the other members of their company received divine help in their voyage: “Elder Peter Reid, who emigrated to America as a passenger in the Samuel Curling, in 1855, and who now resides in Sixteenth Ward, Salt Lake City, told the writer some time ago that the ship encountered several storms in her passage across the Atlantic, but that she passed safely through them all. In the midst of one of these storms the captain got somewhat disheartened, and declared to Brother Barlow, the president of the company of emigrants, that he, in his long experience as a seafaring man, had never encountered a worse one; he then added that the tempest had not reached its highest point yet, but that the next half hour would be worse still. Brother Barlow, in reply, told the captain that the storm was nearly over, and would not increase in violence. This bold remark of Brother Barlow made the captain angry, as he thought he knew more about the weather and the sea than anyone else on board; but on going into his cabin to examine his barometer and other nautical instruments, he found that Brother Barlow was right; the storm abated almost immediately. Elder Barlow afterwards told some of the Saints that while the storm was raging he saw the ship surrounded by scores of angels, who stood in a circle around it with joined hands. This was a testimony to the Saints that the Lord was watching over the ship, and that there was no danger.” (Millennial Star, Vol XVII, pp. 280, 397, 399, 423, 459, 461, 490)

They traveled across the plains with the Captain Milo Andrus Company and the trip was difficult for Pamelo. Her uncle, John Meyrick, recorded upon her arrival in the Salt Lake Valley that, “Pemlow has been very sick of the mountain fever. Most of the hair has come out of her head.” They arrived in the Great Salt Lake Valley on October 24, 1855. 

John Meyrick had settled in the Pleasant Grove area and Pamelo and the rest of the family moved into the house he had built. There, in Pleasant Grove, Samuel and Pamelo met.

Samuel and Pamelo Marry

Twenty-six year old Samuel married seventeen Pamelo Wishaw in August 28, 1858 and had sixteen children. Of these children, Samuel James, William Henry, Charles Edward, Mary Ella, Herman, Joseph Erving, Alfred Ray, and Susie Josephine lived to adulthood. 

Inset:Samuel and Pamelo (Wishaw) Green
Back row: William H, Charles, Herman, Joseph Irving, Alfred Ray
Front row: Mary Ella, Samuel, Susie 

The family found themselves in the middle of the Black Hawk War in 1863. This was probably before the house I'm describing was built but this incident took place where Samuel and Pamelo were living, though some sources say this battle took place at the home of John Green, Samuel’s brother. Regarding the battle at Pleasant Grove, Utah, William H. Seegmiller said: "On the evening of April 12, 1863 we camped at Pleasant Grove, Utah County. We had been camped but a short time when a band of Indians, probably fifty, under the leadership of Little Soldier, came to our camp and inquired if we were Americats. We answered no, and he then asked if we knew where the Americats were camped; we told them that we did not know. They then said: "We find them." They passed on down the street towards the center of town. Some of Brigadier General Connor's command from Fort Douglas were in town...Soon we heard a loud report and learned that Connor's men had found out that the Indians were coming for them, and had shot a Howitzer, a small cannon, at them as they were turning south to where the soldiers were located. We were informed that the soldiers went to Samuel Green's house on the east side of the road and asked the people to leave, which they did in a hurry. The soldiers then went into the house, pulled their cannon in with them, pulled up some of the floor and got under it, leaving their wagons in the road and their mules and horses were in a corral on the west side of the street. The Indians dared not follow the troops into the house, but shot into it through the door and window, peppering the back wall with bullets. When the Indians saw they could not successfully rout the soldiers or kill them, they turned their attention to booty. But when the soldiers saw they were going to lose their horses they fired a charge of grape shot from their cannon into the corral at their animals, preferring to kill them to letting the Indians get them. They killed and maimed some; the Indians got those not hurt and loaded them with blankets and supplies, and struck for the mountains very much pleased with their success."

About Samuel

Samuel Green

About Samuel Green, my mother wrote, "Samuel Green was a hard-working man, and became one of the prosperous farmers of Pleasant Grove. Timpanogos Town describes Samuel Green as "a farmer who brought forth some of the biggest crops per acre in fertile Utah Valley". Samuel worked for the Utah Sugar Company as a Utah County field agent for many years. Samuel Green was an elected member of the Pleasant Grove City Council. He was ordained a High Priest and was an active Church member."

The History of William Henry Green records, “Those who remember Samuel Green recall him as a man who stood upright, had square shoulders, was of medium height and of slender appearance. His hair was heavy and ruddy brown. He wore a full beard and mustache. Samuel Green was a quiet man and a thinker, but not a conversationalist; two stories from out of his life describe his personality. At one time the family grocery account at the Pleasant Grove Mercantile was getting rather high in the mind of the proprietor, William L. Hayes. It was the custom for townsfolk to charge the few items they had to buy at the store from one harvest season to another, and then settle the account as cattle "came off" the mountain or the yield of the farms was "in". The Green family followed this practice. William Hayes spoke with Samuel Green about the bill, to which Samuel replied, "I pay my bills."The other incident was a remark by one of Samuel Green's associates: "Sam Green doesn't say much, but he sure keeps up a hell of a thinking." 

“...Samuel Green and Pamelo Wishaw enjoyed their family. They were hospitable and generous with their grandchildren. Grandpa Green is remembered as having favored little girls, probably because he lost so many of his own small daughters.” (History of William Henry Green) 

About Pamelo

Pamelo (Green) Wishaw

The History of the William Henry Green Family describes Pamelo: “Pamelo Wishaw Green was fairly short and had a round face. Her eyes were deep set and her hair was dark. In dress she was neat and clean; but it was the gaiety of her spirit and the generosity of her nature that is remembered. Pamelo was a faithful church member. It was her practice for many years to see to it that flowers from her beautiful garden were taken to the chapel each Sunday morning to help create a spiritual atmosphere.”

Seven Sisters Roses
(Pamelo is said to have grown this rose variety.)
Photo by Vintage Rosery, Needville, TX

Howard R. Driggs (Timpangos Town) recorded: "In a certain town lived a helpful lady whom everyone called Aunt Pamelo. Every Sunday she would bring a beautiful home-grown bouquet to place on the stand at church. Whenever there was a wedding or a funeral, she expressed her heart through flowers. At one time the Superintendent of the Sunday School expressed appreciation for her gift to help cheer the day. He said, "Aunt Pamelo, how can you grow such beautiful flowers all year?" "Oh, I just love flowers," she replied, "And I think they love me."

Pamelo also "provided an organ and an accordian for her musically talented children." ("Utah State Historical Society Structure/Site Information Form: Green, Samuel, House," National Park Service, April 1987.)

She was remembered as a good cook, and made “gooseberry pies which her children remembered into their adulthood. Stewed tomatoes heated with morsels of bread, and diced onions in bread and milk are dishes she made and ones still served on the tables of her descendants.”(The History of the William Henry Green Family)

Here is one of the recipes, as it has been passed down to me:

Pamelo Wishaw Green's Gooseberry Pie
1 pint fresh gooseberries
1 cup sugar

Remove the stems from the berries. Put them in a saucepan with the sugar, and water, if needed. Cook until softened. Cool. Pour into an unbaked pie crust. Cover with the top crust. Slash and bake in a hot oven, about 450 degrees for about 25 minutes, until browned.

Samuel and Pamelo Build Their House

In about 1870, the Greens built a two-story soft-rock house, then near the south and east walls of the Grove Fort, by then abandoned. This home is now located at 264 East 299 South in Pleasant Grove, is well preserved with minor alterations, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Homes. Pamelo, of course, planted her beautiful flowers around this home.

According to the Utah State Historical Society, "Built c. 1870, the Samuel Green House is a two-story soft-rock vernacular house with a hall-parlor plan and a gable roof. The only clearly visible alteration on the exterior is the two-story front porch that was added in 1985, It is a compatible addition that does not significantly detract from the original integrity of the house. The house has a symmetrical three-bay facade with a central door flanked by six-over-six double-hung windows. There are plain wooden lintels over the door and windows. There is a small cross gable centered over the second story door. A full length porch was added to the main and second floor in 1985, though historically there was never was a porch on the house. The west and east ends are asymmetrically pierced with windows, and there is a 1-story, gabled roof ell extension to the south. The walls of that rear extension, which are also constructed of soft-rock, have been stuccoed and scored to imitate ashlar. A concrete porch with chamfered wooden posts is located on the west side of this ell. On the east side is a lean-to addition (date unknown). Attached to the south side of that lean-to is a small concrete block room with a gable roof. Judging from its appearance, it was probably built in the 1940s or '50s.

"The Green house appears as the original except for the porch; all windows and much of the glass are original, and the interior also maintains its integrity. Some woodwork has been replaced and a fireplace mantle has been inserted in the living room. All the other rooms remain unaltered. A bathroom and kitchen were added c.1955. There is a small frame outbuilding behind the house that does not contribute to the signicance of the property." ("Utah State Historical Society Structure/Site Information Form: Green, Samuel, House," National Park Service, April 1987.

This report goes on to describe the significance of the house: "Built c. 1870, the Samuel Green House is one of the 13 buildings included in the Pleasant Grove Soft-rock Buildings Thematic Resource nomination. Soft-rock buildings are signficant because they help document the distinctive regional diversity found in nineteenth-century building stones in Utah. They also represent a distinct phase of the building construction industry in the Pleasant Grove area. Mormon community building in the Great Basin West rested upon the dual principles of order and permanence, and the grid-iron town plan and the use of stone as an early building material have become important symbols of Mormon settlement values. A great variety of local stones were used throughout the state, and the soft and easily worked tufa stone, popular in Pleasant Grove between about 1865 to 1900, remains one of the most distinctive. About 130 soft-rock buildings were known to have once stood in Pleasant Grove, yet there are only 13 well preserved examples today. Most of the earlier buildings, constructed during the 1850s and '60s, were made of adobe, which was easily made and worked. As fired brick became more available and fashionable during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, it replaced soft-rock as the dominant local building material. The remaining soft-rock buildings are important examples of a local architectural tradition and contribute to an understanding of the regional diversity of Utah's early architectural history."

Samuel and Pamelo Pass on into Eternity

Pamelo died January 10, 1907. She had struggled with asthma before pressurized inhalers and anti-infammatory asthma treatments had been developed: “For many years she slept propped up by pillows and was ever seeking relief through the patent medicines the traveling drug salesmen brought to town. She died of the ailment at 9:00 a.m. on January 10, 1907, at 65 years of age.” (The History of the William Henry Green Family)

Their son Joseph and his family then moved in to the house to take care of Samuel. “A family incident occurred when the family of Joseph Green was living at the Samuel Green home to care for the aged Grandfather. Their eldest son, a boy of about seven, became irked at something and announced he was going to run away from home. His absence did not cause his parents concern until nightfall; a neighborhood hunt did not locate the boy. Then Grandpa Green "thought like a boy" and looked under the granary. There he found the sleeping lad.” (History of William Henry Green) 
Samuel died in 1910: “On the day before his death, Susie Josephine Green Robison and her eight year-old son visited Samuel Green. While standing on a chair, the little boy recited "Little Orphan Annie" to his Grandpa, whereat the elderly gentleman tried unsuccessfully to find a nickel in his packet. "Come tomorrow and I'll have a nickel for you," said Grandpa Green, but he was unable to keep his promise. At 7:20 a.m. on January 18, 1910, the 78 year-old man was sitting in a favored kitchen chair playing with his grandchildren when death came.” (History of William Henry Green) 

"They both lay in state, after death, in the large living room of the house they built and shared for almost 40 years." ("Utah State Historical Society Structure/Site Information Form: Green, Samuel, House," National Park Service, April 1987.) Samuel and Pamelo (Wishaw) Green are both buried in the Pleasant Grove Cemetery, less than a mile away from their home, at 500 North Main.

Samuel's inscription on the tombstone

Pamelo's inscription on the tombstone
In the late 1980s, it was reported that, "The house has remained in family ownership and care, but through the years the acreage around it has been sold for building lots. After Samuel, the house was owned and occupied by a daughter, Susie Josephine Green Robinson, until 1941. A granddaughter of Samuel, Leah Millar, owned and occupied the soft-rock house until her death in 1980. Now a great granddaughter, Michele Draper, and her husband, Kevin, have purchased and are occupying the house. In 1985, Michele and Kevin added a two-story porch across the front of the house. The second level was built with a door that would have opened onto an upper porch level, though the porch was never actually built." ("Utah State Historical Society Structure/Site Information Form: Green, Samuel, House," National Park Service, April 1987.)

For more information on Samuel and Pamelo and their home, see:

Next week's challenge from No Story Too Small: "Week 26 (June 25-July 1) – Halfway: This week marks the halfway point in the year — and the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge! What ancestor do you have that you feel like you’ve only researched halfway? What ancestor do you feel like takes up half of your research efforts?" This challenge will take us to the beginnings of Soviet Russia, to my most recent brick wall ancestor.