Family:Joseph Barton and Mary Norris (1)

Facts and Events
Marriage[1] 3 May 1890 Randolph, Rich, Utah, USA
26 Mar 1980
2 Nov 1975


Our family started on the 3rd of May 1890 in Randolph, Utah.

From History of Joseph Barton written by Wilma Svedin

Soon after they were married they moved to Kaysville and made their home there for a few years. Their first child, Elizabeth, was born there 26 May 1841. That fall they decided to take a load of apples and go back to Randolph for a visit and to show off their baby. It was on this trip that Joseph gained a strong testimony that prayers were answered.

They were travelling up Logan canyon and the baby took sick and went into convulsions. They were miles from any help and so Mary Ann told Joseph to pray and ask the Lord to heal her. This he did and immediately the baby came out of the convulsion and was alright. Later that same day it started to rain and they were in an open wagon without shelter of any kind, except their bedding. Joseph was anxious about the baby least she get wet and get seriously ill. Mary Ann told him that prayer had saved the baby earlier that day, that prayer could help them find shelter. So again Joseph stopped the horses and got out on his knees on the ground and asked for shelter for his wife and baby. On arising he looked across the valley and saw a light. He turned his horses and headed straight for the light.

Upon arriving at the house they discovered that a group of men had just returned from riding the range and that they were alone since their women folks had gone into Salt Lake City to General Conference. Mary Ann and Joseph were welcomed and Mary Ann helped them prepare the evening meal. The next morning when Joseph went outside with one of the men he was asked how he found their place and what direction he had come from. When he told the man how he needed shelter and had prayed for it and then saw their light and had come across the valley to it, the man was very much astonished. He said that the valley they had come across was a marsh and that there was only one narrow solid strip across it and it took someone well acquainted with the area to cross It without getting off and if they had gotten off the solid strip they would have sunk into the marsh up to the wagon box. They had had a direct answer to their prayer and had been guided by the Lord across the marsh.

In the spring of 1892 he went to work on the railroad as section foreman in Kaysville and the following year he was made section foreman at Farmington. He worked there for four years and was fired for getting a handcar hit by a train. He worked that winter at odd jobs and the next year went back to the railroad and had a section out on the desert at Cisco. In the summer of 1900 he was given a section at Price, Utah.

During his early life he had taken up the habit of smoking and drinking. Another outcome of having no one to care what he did and although he was a member of the L.D.S. church he decided meetings were only for children and woman and old folks, and so he didn't attend., But Mary Ann was a very devout member and always took her little family to Primary, Sunday School, and Sacrament Meeting. Mary Ann worked in the organizations as a teacher.

While at Price the Bishop there took an interest in him and got him to coming to church and paying his tithing and he was made President of the YMMIA. With the help of the Lord he had stopped the use of tobacco and liquor. He was promised in his Patriarchal Blessing that if he always remembered his tithes and offerings that he nor his children would ever want for bread. From that time to his death he never received a dollar in wages or as gifts or in any way that he did not pay one dime for tithing. He tried at all times to pay whatever donations were asked of him. And the Lord has thus far kept the promise made to him. Although at one time they were practically out of food when they made the situation known to the Lord ways and means were opened up for them to obtain food for the family. And all his children and grandchildren have been able to provide for their families.

On 2 May 1909 he was ordained a High Priest and was set apart as second councilor in the Bishopric in Price. He labored in this, capacity for six years.

While working on the railroad as section foreman he was called upon to have many different nationalities work for him. There were Greeks, Negroes, Chinese, Japanese, Mexicans, as well as many of the northern Europeans. Joseph Has a very capable foremen and was able to adjust to handle all types. Men liked to work under him and were very loyal to him. He was always fair to the men, but expected a full honest day's labor from them and if he didn't get it after a warning or two they were given their time.

He tells of one incident while working Japanese. They were called to go and help an extra gang with putting in some new track. On the extra gang there was one Japanese that seemed to think he was boss and there were three foremen with the group. Several times this man had been told to do something but hadn't done it. Joseph asked the other foreman why he didn't fire him if that was the kind of a man he was as he seemed to be a kind of trouble maker. The other foreman said he was scared to, afraid that the gang would gang up on him. Joseph said he was not afraid and that if the other man said so, he would tell him that he was through, to go on back to the car. The other foreman told him to go ahead and fire the man.

At first when Joseph told him that he was through he would not pay any attention to him, so he was told that he could work if he wanted to but his pay had stopped. This made him angry and he started to talk in Japanese to the rest of the gang. One of the Japanese on Joseph's regular gang came up to him and asked him to come back down the track and show him something. When they had walked back to where the rest of Joseph's gang were the man told him to stay there and when Joseph turned around he saw that the men of the extra gang had started down the track towards him with pick handles and shovels in their hands. Joseph's gang lined up across the track and stopped them. They talked back and forth for some time and finally the other men turned and walked back to their work and the man that had been fired went on to the outfit car. When Joseph asked his one man that talked pretty good English what they were going to do he was told that they had intended to kill him for firing the man but that his gang had told them that first they would have to kill the six of them for he was the best foreman they had ever had and was just to them all, but that he expected men to do the work as they should. This was Joseph's policy all the years he had men under him and when he worked for another man he turned out an honest day's work also.

While at Price, Utah he was made City Marshall and Chief of waterworks. After he left the railroad he worked as a plummbing contractor and also had a dray business which his sons helped him run. As he had been promised if should pay his tithes, he would be able to clear all his debts and money seemed to be coming his way. One year he had paid during the year what he thought was all he owed as tithing but when the books were audited at the close of the year he found that he still owed close to $400. He started towards the bishop's with the money. It was at the time when property in Price was just opening up and the thought came to him that with very little more than the $400 he could buy 10 lots in the new division and he was tempted to use the money for that. But he was also prompted not to do this but to remember his tithes. He began to think that maybe money would make him slip back and forget the Lord and his work, so he asked that the money be taken from him. He has often said that it didn't come to him to ask for wisdom and strength to withstand wealth, that all he could think of was to ask for money to be taken from him and again his wish was granted. Whereas before he was making money, at every turn he began to lose on all deals.

In May 1915 Joseph and his sons went to Nevada to a small homesteading Mormon community and there took up a homestead and in august of that year, Maryann and their two daughters joined them. The oldest daughter, Della, remained in Utah with her husband. The little community settled in what was called Ruby Valley. It was here the next spring that the situation arose that all the food was gone. One morning after breakfast was over and the children had gone outside to play Mary Ann said, 'well, that is it," and when asked, 'What was what?" she said that is all we have to eat save for a few eggs and a little milk, the food was gone. And there wasn't money to buy more. Joseph reminded her that they had been promised by a servant of the Lord that as long as they paid their tithes and offerings that they would not go hungry. Mary Ann asked him if he had made known to the Lord the condition they were in, and so they knelt and prayed and told the Lord just what conditions were and when Joseph went outside to do the chores a rancher from down the valley rode up and stopped and talked. He asked Joseph what he would sell his room cow for and he was told $105.00 and with little hesitation the rancher wrote him out a check and took the cow. There was money for food for the family. The next summer he was working in the hay field for this same man and he told him that he could have the cow back for half what he had paid for it, but Joseph said he didn't want it. The rancher said he didn't know why but that it just seemed that he had to have that cow at the time and if Joseph had asked much more for it, it would have been just the same he would have bought the cow. Joseph said he knew why, that it was an answer to his prayer.

Joseph took over the mail and stage contract from Ruby Valley to Deeth, Nevada and in 1918 the family moved to Deeth. He had this mail contract for four years. In the fall of 1923 he went back to work for the railroad there in Nevada and this was his work until he received his retirement in 1938. At that time he was foreman of the section at Osino, Nevada, a place close to Elko. He was Sunday School teacher and Superintendent of the Sunday School for a number of years in Elko. Mary Ann died in September of 1935 and for five years Joseph was alone and very lonesome. After he received his retirement he spent his time with his children but seemed lost. 13 September 1940 he married Anna Bringhurst Naegle Larsen of Touquerville, Utah in the St George Temple. Their marriage was for time only as Anna was sealed to her first husband John Naegle. For the next 7 and 1/2 years he lived at St. George where he labored in the temple going to every session every day

Joseph Barton's testimony on Tithing

(As recalled by Paulus B. Svedln who heard him bear this testimony) Grandpa Barton (Joseph Thomas Barton) was living in Price, Utah about 1900 working for the Railroad. He wasn't active in the Church, and never attended Church services. Bills were mounting, and he was discouraged. One day while sitting on the platform, elbows on knees, face in hands, wondering what to do, somebody tapped him on this shoulder. Looking up he saw Bishop Horsley of Price. "Young fellow, don't you belong to the Mormon Church?" he asked. Grandpa said, "I don't know", (He didn't know if his baptism counted much when he had not been attending Church). Bishop Horsley said, 'Do you believe In tithing?" Grandpa said, "I don't have any to pay. When I get my check, it belongs to you merchants I haven't enough to pay all I owe. Bishop Horsley said, pay your tithing and you will get out of debt." Thomas Barton thought this over and said to himself 'Those are the words that Bishop Sheffield spoke to me years ago in Kaysville." The Stake Patriarch was interested in him on one day made him this promise, that if be would pay his tithing that he would not only get out of debt, but that neither he nor his children would ever want for bread.

Several years went by and Grandpa just kept getting further and further in debt until one day he decided he better start paying his tithing, After he started paying his tithing, things began improving for him, and within one year he was out of debt and had set himself up in a drayage business. He also had a thriving plumbing business and prospered very well.

One day as he was going over his receipts and was going to take some of his money to the bank, he figured $400 in tithing. As he pondered over this large amount of' money for tithing, he thought to himself 'Now I could take this $400 and buy some of that land on the west side for a housing development and could make a lot of money.' At that point he realized what he was doing and he went in an office and offered a prayer telling the Lord that if making big money was going to be a temptation to him like that he would rather be poor. At last, he did go on to the Bishop and paid the tithing.

Shortly after this, his best team of horses died, and things seemed to be diminishing for him. He had little after that. About this time there was considerable allurement and advertisement for people to buy dry farm land In Ruby Valley, Nevada. So Grandpa bought one of these farms and moved his family to Ruby Valley. Ruby Valley proved to be too dry even for dry farming, and circumstances for the Barton family were bleak indeed. They built a one room log house, and had a large tent on the side which served as sleeping quarters for the boys. The farm wasn't yielding, and the food supply was about gone. One morning as the family finished eating their breakfast, Grandpa leaned back on his chair and remarked "Well, we finished that up all right". And Grandma replied, "Yes, and that's all there is, except fpr that bit of milk and a sifter of flour". Grandpa said he hadn't realized they were that low. "I guess we haven't told the Lord how things are. The Stake patriarch said that if we paid our tithing we would never want for bread, and we have paid a full tithing from that day to this time"

At this, Grandpa and Grandma returned to their bedroom and knelt down praying to our Heavenly Father explaining the circumstances they were in. As they finished their prayer, they heard a horse approaching the house, so they went to the door to see who it was. Ed Lutz, a well-to-do rancher in the vicinity, was the rider on the horse, and he asked Grandpa what he would take for the red cow he had there. Grandpa said, $100. Mr. Lutz said, I'll give you $90". Grandpa said, "No, you'll give me $100", And with that, Ed Lutz wrote out a check for $100. Grandpa and Grandma then got ready and rode into town and bought groceries and they never again got that close in their needs.

That summer, Grandpa went to work for Mr. Lutz in the hay field. One day as they were sitting around the haystack at lunch time, Mr. Lutz said, "Joe, do you want to buy that old red cow back I don't need her, and I don't know what ever possessed me to buy her. But that day I just felt like I had to have her," But Grandpa had no need of her either at this time. That fall Grandpa went to work for the railroad as a section foreman, and he never again had any financial problems. A few years later, the boys moved to California and got jobs there. Though the depression of the 192Os and 1930s came and many were thrown out of work, Grandpa Barton's children as well as himself always had good jobs and fared well all through those trying years. He bore testimony to his dying day that his paying of tithing brought him and his family these blessings that had been promised. And he never ceased to pay his tithing. (end of tithing testimony)

From History of Maryann Norris written by Mary Larsen (daughter)

Mother and Father: finally left Randolph and went back to Father's home in Kaysville to live. May 24, 1891 a daughter, Elizabeth Rose Hannah, was born. Elizabeth was an exceptional child and at the age of one year would sew buttons on cloth. Mother said she was very neat and tidy. When she would go out to play, before sitting down Elizabeth would brush the area so she wouldn't get her dress soiled. Some people said she was too perfect to stay in this life for long.

A second daughter, Della Ladoyskie was born January 9, 1893, When Della was only six weeks old Elizabeth took very ill. Father went to a lady to get something to help her. The lady said she had worms, she wrote down a prescription which was filled. Sunday Grandpa Barton came home with Father for dinner. After dinner they sat down and were reading. Mother was holding Elizabeth. Joseph looked up from his reading and said, Father, my little girl is dying." Mother was crying and Grandpa said, "No such thing--go on reading." Soon Father stopped again and repeated, "Father my little girl is dying," Grandpa said, "Molly (mother's nickname) give me the baby." As she handed the baby to him, Elizabeth died. This was their first sorrow in their married life.

Joseph went to work on the Railroad for the next few years between Kaysville and Farmington and they moved to Farmington. There three sons were born to them; Joseph Thomas October 7, 1894; Charles April l, 1896; and Dewey LaVon January 18, 1898. Then the family moved to Cisco in southern Utah. Early in 1900, since there were no doctors in Cisco, Mother-went back to Salt Lake City and stayed with Dad's sister to await the arrival of her sixth child. A daughter Maude Ethel was born there March 24, 1900.

When Maude Ethel was six weeks old the family moved to Price Utah, where two more children were born: Edwin James (Jack) February 4, 1902 and Mary Ann February 17, 1914.

Mother was a very religious person, living her religion not only on Sunday, but every day of the week. She took her family with her to church. She taught in both the Sunday school and Primary. Father was not religious and so Mother went alone with her children. She had the six small children while living in Price and each Sunday morning would find them shining 'bright and all together in Sunday school.

Mother truly kept the first two commandments of loving the Lord and her neighbor. Anyone in need, whether it was for a home or just a helping hand knew they could get it at Mother Barton's (as she was affectionately called by all who knew her) Many a wayward boy found refuge in Mother's home and was treated as one of the family. She helped many back to the right trail. When sickness occurred, if a doctor was not available, it was Mother who was called in to help. She has said, she wished she had a dollar for every baby she had helped into the world, that she would be rich. But all her nursing was done with not a cent of pay and she didn't want any. She once nursed a woman with T.B. that had to lie in bed and be taken full care of. To get the needed fresh air the woman was placed in a tent in the back yard of Mother's home and there she stayed until she was well, with Mother tending to all of her needs, and taking care of her five children also.

Once a boy named Alvin Hall fell from a tree and broke his leg. He was brought from Woodside to Price to be taken care of but since there was no hospital the Doctor looked around town for someone to take care of him. He went to those who could first. Then he looked for someone who would and came to Mother. Mother made a bed for him in the living room so he could watch the family and not be lonesome. His leg mended well and was almost healed when Alvin heard the doctor say he could soon go home, he twisted his leg and hurt it again. When the doctor came he said he would keep his leg broken if that was the only way he could stay. Alvin had a six-month stay with the Barton’s.

Mother had many home remedies that she used for sicknesses, one of them was a lard and turpentine pack on flannel placed up around the neck for bad colds and the croup. Many a time Mother would go to the sick ahead of the doctor and would start her home remedies and when the doctor would get there he would sniff a little and smelling turpentine would say, "Hum, Sister Barton has been here ahead of me." And when the family would ask if it would do any good, he would say, "Well, it can't do any harm." But when he needed a nurse to go with him to help care for the sick it was Mother he called on. She would sit with a neighbor's sick baby all night and then go home to care for her family for the day without thought of her needed rest. She truly loved her neighbors and they loved her. Her neighbors were any one within walking distance of her home and sometimes even further, whether she knew them personally or not.

In 1915 the family moved to Ruby City, Nevada to homestead. Mother was never satisfied with living in Nevada, she wanted to get back to Utah. This was especially so after they moved to Deeth, Nevada a small railroad town where there was no L.D.S, and no church or Sunday school for the family to attend. She wanted to be back where there were people who had the ideals and beliefs that she did. From the time her youngest daughter Mary, was a small girl she would say to her, "Mary promise me that if I die before you are married that you will not stay here in Nevada, that some way you will get back to Utah and get you a good Mormon boy for a husband."

Dad became section foreman again on the railroad in Nevada and was moved first to Holborn a small section where there were no neighbors nearer than one and a half miles away. Then they moved to Ryndon. In both of these places it was impossible for them to attend church meetings.

They then moved to Osino, which was closer to Elko, Nevada where there was a Branch of the L.D.S. Church and we attended regularly. Elko was then in the California Mission and so we had missionaries at our home most of the time. The Barton's small home was open to the missionaries at all times. Very few Sundays went by that they did not have two or four or more at their home for Sunday dinner. The missionaries all looked on it as their home away from home. One day in the winter, the lady from the ranch near by came over to tell us that one of the missionaries had called from Elko and wanted us to come and get him, that he had the flu. He was staying at the Branch President's home but wanted Sister Barton to take care of him. So into the car they got without a minutes delay and went to get him. As they drove up and stopped at the President's home, the door opened and Elder Kenneth Hogan came out and got into the back seat and said, “Take me home, I’m sick." and so Mother nursed him through the flu.

Mother had one fault, if it can be called that, she worried about everyone. She tried to help everyone. No matter who needed help she was there to give it to them. She would go back and forth on the train to Deeth where her daughter Maude and her family lived because she thought she need help with her small family, which she did. When I was away from home she worried until I was home again.

This worry about everyone and everything was one of the causes of the stroke that Mother had when she was only fifty-eight years of age. Mother was an invalid for the last five years of her life. And this was hard because during this time she had to be cared for by others and she could no longer help others.

Mother died September 8, 1935 at Osino, Nevada and after funeral services in Elko, Nevada her body was brought to Kaysville, Utah for burial September 15, 1935• Mother had at last gotten her wish, even if not until after death, she had come home to Utah.

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  1. BYU Western States Marriage Index[1].