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Life Sketch of Sarah Elizabeth Perkins Barton

Probably written by Candis and Philis for her funeral.

Sarah Elizabeth Perkins Barton, 97 was born the 12th of January 1886 in Cedar City, Utah to Benjamin and Sarah Williams Perkins.

The first few years of her life were spent around Cedar City, Utah and Mancos, Colorado, and then when she was probably 4 or 5 years old, the family returned to Bluff where her parents had been part of the original “Hole in the Rock” pioneers that had settled in the San Juan Mission. She grew up there; was baptized in the icy winter waters of the San Juan River; spent her childhood years enjoying the towering red bluffs and wild flowers around her. She attended schools, such as they were and obtained much self-education through her love of reading. Here she developed an interest in writing poetry or “prose” as she called it, and her pastime was spent in sewing, embroidering and crochet which she also taught herself from books and magazines.

Her great goal was to further her education and since schooling at that time only went to 8th grade she desired to go to the BYU academy in Provo so she began her toils, sacrifices, and struggles to pay her own way. In the year of 1905 she deiced it was “this year or never”, and after the summers hard work and preparations, including the sewing of a new wardrobe, she boarded a wagon for the long hot ride to Thompson Springs and spent her last few coins for the train to Provo. When she arrived, she found a family much like her own, with 11 children to care for and help keep house in return for her room and board. By obtaining a few hours work in the library she was able to pay for her tuition and complete her first year. The next summer she planned to stay in Provo and earn money for the next school year, but other San Juan students were going home and she was so homesick that she too went back to Bluff. Her family moved to Monticello that summer and she was not able to do what was necessary to return to school. However, she did meet a young graduate from the AC (Now USU). That of course was George F. Barton. After a lengthy courtship they were married in th Salt Lake City Temple, October 02, 1913.

They had a lovely fall honeymoon in the mountains of Northern Utah, Southern Idaho and Wyoming. Throughout Grandma’s life, fall time and mountain parties were among her favorite things.

Grandma and Grandpa came back to Monticello to settle; first living with Great-Grandpa Barton then in an apartment above the old court house. Their first child was born September 11, 1914 but he lived for less than an hour. Grandma had experienced great hardship in labor and child birth but her live was spared as in the birth of all 9 of her children. In all but one instance, her life was in peril and was spared. Grandma had great determination to keep the Lord’s commandments to “multiply and replenish the earth” and you can see by their posterity that Gr. And Gr. did as well.

Thora was born the following year, December 15, 1915, soon followed Oral, Audra, Eloise, Afton, and Evan H. Two younger children, Leonard and Minerva were born but also died shortly after birth.

During the early years of raising family, Grandpa Homesteaded on farm land south and east of Monticello. The firsts home of their own was built on a place Grandma called Point Placid, but they later moved further east to Boulder. When Thora was 8 they felt it was time to get her and Oral in school so they returned to make a home in Monticello. During those hard depression years the farm land was leased out and Grandpa did numerous jobs in Monticello. Blacksmith, Road Commissioner, Justice of the Peace, to name a few. Also during those hard years, their daughter Audra, then 15, drowned in the river near Moab. This was one more great hardship, Grandma had to bare.

When the years became more prosperous and the older girls had all married and started their own families, Grandpa returned to his beloved farming. The orchard and garden was planted and growing in Monticello, the foundation of their dream house was built next to the the little 2 room cottage where they lived. Roads and equipment were improved so that Grandpa could be on the farm during the week and come to town to help with family and church responsibilities on Sunday. Afton and Evan were called on missions. Afton had returned and Evan had 3 months left to serve. Joel, Norton, the oldest grandson, then ten was Grandpa’s helper on the farm. On a hot day in the end of July 1949, Grandma’s was tending to her garden and berries awaiting for Grandpa’s arrival from the farm when the shocking news came that he had had a stroke and died. Another hardship to face, and an even greater struggle to endure the oncoming years without him. Her great faith and testimony once again sustained her and her family and friends rallied around in love and support and she pushed on. Evan returned from his mission and married. Her house was completed. She pursued her life with all the love and service she had always given. She had served in some capacity in the church since the age of 13 including 27 years on the YLMIA Executive Board. She continued her activity in the church and R.S. and DUP but constantly served family and neighbors in any and every way. When we remember Grandma we remember the time she spent raising beautiful flowers, fruits and vegetables, mostly to share and help provide for others. Ward meetings, stake conferences, funerals and weddings for years were brightened by the labor of love shown in the gorgeous floral bouquets that Grandma shared.

Although her years were pleasant and full she still had many times of trial and tribulations one of the hardest being the death of her only living son, Evan H. After a valiant fight with Hodgkin’s disease, Uncle Nache died leaving Norma with 8 small children. Grandma said that was the greatest tragedy of her life and the hardest to endure but the love and support of her daughters, her dear sons-in- law, all her family and friends once again sustained here and buoyed her up to face the future years. She lived and cared for her home and yard, enjoying life, both the down to earth things and also the refined cultural things, good music, literature, fine clothing and such.

She always welcomed the many grandchildren who loved to come and stay with her from time to time, the grandchildren always remember the toy box and games. She often had time to play a game of Parcheesi or help us play the old roll player piano. The inviting smell of her fruit room-pantry or baking day saw us with watering mouths or wistful eyes, always rewarded with a cookie, apple, or fresh bread and butter. We had great get-togethers with Grandma, often to enjoy the fall color in the mountains.

When Grandma was 87 years old, in 1973, her sight was failing and she had a few health problems so her daughters felt that she shouldn’t be alone any longer. With reluctance on Grandma’s part, she moved her self and belongings to Blanding to make a home with Eloise and the girls. Here she has been for the last 10 years, longing to go back to her heavenly home to meet again with her beloved husband and children, 3 of whom she was anxious to meet and learn to know.

After her health and senses failed to the point she needed much extra care, and although the daughters all had torn feelings about putting her in a nursing home, they decided it was the best for her and she spent the last six months of her life at San Juan Nursing home in Blanding. Although she was unable she was still in her mind, willing to do anything to serve. She often said “Let me know what I can do to help the cause along” And she continued to cheer those around her with singing and rhymes. We are all blessed by her life, her service, and her love. Her posterity is great… 34 grandchildren, 77 great grandchildren and 1 great, great grandchild.

On the 15th of October 1983, her special time of year, she received her long awaited call home. All of us will miss her but we rejoice at the step she has taken in God’s great plan of eternal life. I’m sure the Lord will say to her as He takes her in His arms, “Well done my good and faithful servant”.