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Berrett, Sarah



Sarah Berrett was born in North Ogden, Weber County, Utah on November 20, 1862.  She was the third child of Richard Thomas Berrett and Mary Ann Nuns.  Her father was born in Steeple Ashton, Wiltshire, England.  At the age of nine he came to Utah with the George A. Smith Company which arrived on October 29, 1849.  Her mother was born in Leeds, Yorkshire, England.  At the age of twenty she crossed the plains by hand cart and arrived September 4, 1859.  They were married Jan 1, 1860.  At that time he had a horse, a yoke of oxen, a cow and a two-year old heifer.  He sold the heifer for thirteen dollars and a flat iron.  They moved to the cellar under Hamlet Hall.  When they started housekeeping they had a bedstead made of square posts with holes bored in the side rails and ends and rawhide rope woven in to hold up a straw bed, two rush-bottom chairs, one home made table, one iron skillet with a handle on one side and a cover to put hot coals on when baking, a small brass kettle to hang over the fire, three plates, three knives and forks and a spoon or two.  Their first child, Mary Ann was born there on October 8, 1860.

In February 1861 his father, his brother Robert and he bought twenty four acres of land on which was located two houses.  His father and Robert took the large one and he took the small one; one room 12x14.  Their second child, Susan was born there on December 20, 1861, and died in less than a month on January 2, 1862.  Their third child, Sarah was born there on November 20, 1862.  In the fall of 1863 he sold his house to his father and bought a log house about the same size, and their first stove.

In March of 1864 he and his brother Robert went to Virginia, Montana with a load a provisions to sell.  They were gone eight weeks and did quite well.  Soon after he got home he bought some provisions and went out again for six weeks.  He was able to sell his potatoes for 25 cents a pound and did well on this trip.  He made trips like this from time to time in addition to his farming and other work he could secure.  Their fourth child, Rose, was born November 18, 1864.  Soon after she was born he got some logs and added a room on their house.  In the fall of 1868 he bought two lots with a large house on it.  Their eighth and last child, Alice, was born March 6, 1872.  His wife died less than a month later on April 4.  Elizabeth, his brother Samuelís wife, had lost her baby so she took Alice and nursed her until she was five months old when she went to live with his brother Henry and his wife Melissa.  She lived with them until she married.

In the meantime Sarah had been going to school.  Now at age nine she left school and went to live with her aunt to help with the care of her baby sister and the housework.

In 1876 an epidemic of smallpox broke out, and  although only fourteen years of age she took an active part in caring for the sick, and helping out in homes where others had been called away on account of the sickness.  In February 1878 her father married again which left her with more time for herself.  She was able to attend and graduate from the University of Deseret (now the University of Utah).

While attending Sunday School during her school years she met Joseph W. Summerhays.  He began courting her, and their friendship developed into love and marriage in the Salt Lake Temple in June of 1884 just after the close of school.  The Logan Temple had been dedicated May 17, 1884.  She and her husband went frequently and often took with them Melissa, her husbandís first wife.  A deep friendship developed between them, and they found happiness in their association, especially when their husband was out of town on frequent and extended business trips.

On May 4, 1885 she gave birth to her first child, a girl, whom she named Jennie Melissa.  The next child was a boy, Richard born October 17, 1887.  The third was a girl, Teresa born October 24, 1889.  These three children were born in Salt Lake, but the exact location is not known.  Before he next child was born she moved into a home in Mill Creek on Ninth East just below 27th South.  In this home Lucy Ruth was born on April 14, 1892, and Alma Berrett on May 22, 1893.  Lucy Ruth only lived a little more than one month.  In December 1894 she moved into a small three room home in Sugar House.  This was later enlarged and remodeled into a large and beautiful home with a story and a half and nine rooms.  It was in this home that she raised her children, and they received their education.  She loved the home. Here she felt was the fulfillment of all that she had wished for.  The lot was large enough for a garden.  A cow was purchased and also a large number of chickens.  As the eggs were gathered and the milk measured one tenth was taken to the Church tithing office.

The first child born in this home was Lorenzo Berrett on July 25, 1896.  On August 23, 1896 the Sugar House Ward was divided and the west portion made the Forest Dale Ward.  On Nov. 10, 1896 the Young Ladies Mutual was organized and Sarah was called to be the first counselor to Zina B. Cannon.

In 1892 a financial panic occurred.  Families, including Sarahís, made tallow candles and soap, rag rugs from cast off clothing, knitting their own stocking, and made their own clothes.  After the panic their home was modernized.  There was a large fireplace with beautiful mantel, new carpets, coal-oil lamps hanging from the ceiling, hot and cold running water, a modern stove, and a large bath tub to replace the round wash tub that had been used previously.  Later electric lights were added, and finally in September 1895 an organ.  In this home LeRoy Berrett was born May 17, 1898 but he only lived a little less than three years.  Edgar Berrett was born August 20, 1900, Hyrum Berrett October 9, 1902, and Gordon Berrett February 5, 1905.  She had given birth to ten children of which only five boys survived.

On January 5, 1902 the town of Forest Dale was incorporated.  She had been active in gathering signers for the petition.  Her Husband was President of the Board of Trustees and the first Mayor.  In 1905 she and her sister Mary Ann learned a good deal about nursing and obstetrics.  This enabled her to help during the flu epidemic of 1918 when there were more than 40,000 cases and more then 1800 deaths.  She was gone from her own home days at a time doing what she could for the sick and dying.

In 1923 she moved to 1218 Bryan Ave. in the Emerson Ward.  Gordon and Hyrum were the only ones home so her large home in Forest Dale was no longer necessary.  She was active in Relief Society and in 1924 joined the Emerson Camp of the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers.  Gordon died in January 1931.  Her grandson, Richard S. Summerhays lived with her from July 1930 when he returned from his mission until May 23, 1932 when he was married to Miriam Maxwell.  Hyrum was married December 28, 1932 which left her alone.  She gave up the home on Bryan Ave. and moved into a small apartment on West Temple Street.  There she was close to the temple and spent most of her time in genealogical and temple work.  In 1936 she visited her sons Richard and Alma who were living in California.  After her return and a short illness she passed away April 30. 1937.



Last modified: November 10, 2000