INFORMATION ON ISABELLA CRAWFORD MURDOCH

From material supplied by Jennie Ann Larson, a granddaughter of Isabella and a daughter of David William and Catherine Campbell Murdoch Hicken

I. What I remember about Grandma Isabella Crawford.

Grandma was living with us when I was born. She died when I was seven years old. She had a corner in the dining room. A day bed with leaves that folded up into a bed at night, a small square table, a shelf with her nick nacks and her rocking chair. When she was a young girl she went to a seance where the tables moved, etc. She was frightened of evil spirits so at night she wanted the chairs around her bed covered with quilts to keep the spirits away. One of us had to sleep with her.

She was short, wore her hair in a bun on top of her head parted in the middle. She wore tight fitting tops with a peplum at the waist and a long gathered skirt with a long white apron and several petticoats. She had a sweet smile and was never any trouble. She had a hard time keeping track of her glasses. They always pushed up on top of her head. (I have those glasses very small lenses about an inch wide encased in a very thin gold frame. The ear wires are also very thin.)

One time Bessie and I decided to make our dolls a new dress. We cut up Dora’s new dress, the first one she had had made from whole material. It was white, we also cut the lace from the bottom of Grandma’s white apron to trim them with. Dora threatened to kill us but Grandma took those little pieces of cut up lace and patched them together back on their apron, I always felt guilty about Grandma’s apron.

One time Bessie made grandma a cup of tea. She ask her how it tasted. Grandma said it was fine. Bessie told her she spit in it just to see shat she would do. Grandma told her, “Never mind honey, it still tastes good.”

In the fall we had big herds of sheep being brought down from the hills to be shipped away. They were on the road a block away from us. After they had all passed by, we would go along the fences and gather the wool, Grandma had two little paddles like ping pongs. They had wire pins on one side, she used to pull the wool back and forth thru them. We didn’t have a spinning wheel but someone in the town must have had because the wool would come back dyed black and spun into yarn from which she knitted us long itchy stockings.

She loved little rice cookies shaped like a little summer squash. The only place you could buy them was at a store clear across town. She knew exactly how many you would get for her money. We took turns going to the store for her and when we returned she would always give us one and tell us not to tell the others, which we did immediately. The other two would come in big sad eyes and of course Grandma had to part with two more.

I remember her saying she did not know who she wanted to meet first on the other side, James or Muzz. I am glad I had Grandma in my life.

 II. Isabella Crawford’s Patriarchal blessing.

 Moulton Ranch near Heber City, Wasatch County, Utah Territory, November 7th, 1879. A blessing given by John Smith, Patriarch, upon the head of Isabella Murdoch, Daughter of Andrew and Margaret Crawford, born in Blantyre, Lanarkshire, Scotland, April 12, 1836.

 Sister Isabella, according to thy desire, I place my hands upon thy head and in the name of Jesus Christ, pronounce and seal a blessing upon thy head … thy heart may be comforted. Thou are of the House of Israel and have yielded obedience to the gospel with an honest ? heart. Thou has seen many changes and past through trying events the Lord hast record ???.

 Thou shalt be prospered in the labor of thy hands and shall not lack for the comforts of life and no one shall be turned from thy door hungry and I say unto thee, be of good cheer and be comforted for better days await thee.

  This with thy former blessings I seal upon thy head and I seal thee up unto eternal life, to come forth in the morning of the first resurrection with many of thy kindred and friends, even so, amen.

 III. Will of John Murray Murdoch to Isabella Crawford Murdoch.

 IN THE NAME OF GOD, AMEN.

I, John M. Murdock of Heber City, County of Wasatch of the Terr. Of Utah, of the age of Seventy One years and being of sound and disposing mind and memory, and not acting under duress, menace, fraud, or under the influence of any person whatever, do make, publish and declare this my last WILL AND TESTAMENT in the manner following, that is to say:

First, I give to Isabella Crawford Murdock, for her use and benefit as long as she shall live and to her children after my death, Viz Margret M. Hawkes, Catherine M. Hicken, James Murdock, Brigham Murdock, Robert Murdock, John M. Murdock and Isabella C. Murdock.

Secondly, One house and lot, situated in Block No: 110, Lot No: 4, in Heber City, Wasatch County and Territory of Utah, consisting of ten rooms with cellar, pantries, wood and coal houses all under on roof, together with all the household furniture contained therein, consisting of tables, chairs, cupboards, bookcases, stoves, beds and bedding, carpets, rugs, mats and all cooking utensils or other articles used for culinary or other purposes in, on, or around the premises. Together with all the improvements on said lot consisting of barn stables, sheds, corrals, grainry and all outhouses placed thereon, on said lot, No. 4, Block 110 of Heber City and recorded on Page 543 of Book 1 in the county records of Wasatch, Utah.

 The right of the Female Relief Society to remove their grainery from the lot at any time they may wish to do so, shall not be impaired, interfered with or hindered in any manner.

I also further give and bequeath to the said Isabella Crawford Murdock and her beforenamed children, 12 twelve acres of hay land, situated in the North Field of Heber City, Co. and Terr. Aforesaid located in William C. and George Giles homesteads more particularly described in and Recorded on Page 515 Book G, County Record of Wasatch County, Utah. Also six ‘6’ Acres of Land, planted with lucerne in the south field of said City in what is known as Orson (?) Hicken’s Homestead and described and Recorded in Book G Page 473 of said records.

Also seven (7) acres of farming land in Thomas Nicols Homestead, county, described in and recorded on Page Book . Total amount of the above, rights, to all of the aforesaw lands.

 And further give to the above mentioned parties, one half interest in a certain pasture known as Mark Jeffs Pasture, known and described in the County Records Book on Page 326.

Also one span of horses, one brood mare, five (5) cows, one (1) yearling and five pigs, and further give one double harness, one wagon, one plow, one interest in the horse rake.

And still further, give the interest on five hundred dollars, so long as the principal shall remain unbroken.

Lastly, I hereby nominate and appoint Isabella Crawford Murdock and James C. Murdock of Heber City, Wasatch County, Utah Terr. The executors of this my last Will and Testament and hereby revoke all former Wills by me made.

 In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and seal this 26th day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and ninety two.

The foregoing instrument consisting of two pages besides this, was, at the date hereof, by the said, John M. Murdock. Signed and Sealed and published as, and declared to be, the last Will and Testament, in presence of us, who at his request, and in his presence and in the presence of each other, have subscribed our names as witnesses thereto.

John M. -Murdock

John Muir?

Heber City

Wasatch County

 

[Notarized by] John Duncan residing at Heber City, Wasatch County, Utah Terr.

IV. Biography of Isabella Crawford Murdoch, a sketch by Catherine Campbell Murdoch Hicken, written for the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers.

My mother, Isabella Crawford, was born in Blantyre, Scotland. She was the daughter of Andrew Crawford and Margaret McClure. Her father was a soldier, he enlisted in the British Army, and died in Canada. Her mother, being left a widow with three little girls to support and very little means, went to work in the Blantyre Cotton Mills.

 Isabelle when but a mere child, went with her mother to the mills to work. She never went to school only in her live. She went to Sunday School and there learned to read the bible. Mother was a good reader, a good speller and could write a good letter. She worked in the mills until about 15 years of age and became a skilled weaver.

At this time the Mormon Elders came to that part of Scotland. Mother [was] going to church and was baptized. By doing so she lost her kind friends and companions. Her position in the mills was taken away from her, which was a great calamity. Her mother and sisters refused to speak to her. Mother, being a very sympathetic girl, this almost broke her heart, but she said, “I have a testimony and I can’t help it if you turn me out. They did turn her out. Her mother told her to go, that she never wanted to see her face again and she never did. Mother took a few clothes and left. her mother, never to see her again.

But she said the Lord had a watch[ful] care over her and ruled things for her good. Just at this time, the USA had established cotton mills, but for the lack of skilled weavers, they could do but very little. So they sent to the famous Blantyre Mills for girls to be shipped over. So Isabella with her dear companions, Catherine Campbell and many other girls sailed for the US. A lady by the name of Annie Arkinson? Was chosen for a chaperone. The voyage cross the ocean was a severe one. They were on the waters 12 weeks and suffered many hardships, but thanks to the Lord, the ship didn’t sink.

Mother and some other girls was assigned to work in the Massachusetts cotton mills. Mother and a few girl friends roomed and boarded together. The names of the girls [were] Catherine Campbell, Jennet Chocharn?, Jennie McKennredck?, Aggie Maggriar, and Isabell Craford?. At this time no branch of the Church had been established and the Elders organized a woman’s branch of the Latter day Saints and named it the Holyoke branch. Sister Catherine Campbell was chosen to the president. Those girls was good girls. They paid their tithing, went to their meetings, bore their testimonies, some times speaking in tongues. They saved their money and paid their fare across the ocean, sent money home to their folks. Mother sent $25.00 to her mother but she never learned if she got it.

Besides this, they saved enough to buy a wagon, a yoke of oxen, and a well equipped outfit to cross the plains. A brother by the name of Bob was chosen for their teamster and a good brother he proved to be. Woe to any one that would harm one of those girls either by look or actions. When they landed in Salt Lake, the girls five Bob the outfit for his kindness to them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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