Louisa Enderby Halls


Note: this section contains writings about Louisa by four different persons

#1: “Louisa Carritt Enderby Halls”, probably written by Mary Grow Halls (1876-1964 – “Aunt Minnie”), daughter-in-law (wife of John Halls, Louisa’s youngest child), published in the William Halls Family Organization’s Periodical Through the Halls of History in November 1973 from an old manuscript

Louisa Enderby Halls c1870

Louisa, daughter of William and Elizabeth Carritt Enderby, was born October 31, 1840 at Binbrook, Lincolnshire, England.  She had a brother, George, and six sisters.  We know little of her home life except that her mother was a cultured lady and that she contracted asthma at 16 from which she never recovered.

She met William Halls in Hull while he was doing missionary work there and so became interested in the church.  She had a good alto voice and used to sing at the street meetings.  The story goes that when they were introduced, William kissed her and said, “If you don’t like it, return it.”

They were married by Joseph F.  Smith April 15, 1861 and soon after sailed for Utah on the ship Underwriter.  They arrived in Florence with 25 cents in cash and no provisions.  Thomas Odell gave them some bread, and William found enough money in his pocket to pay expenses while they were there.  He never knew where it came from.

They arrived in Salt Lake City penniless, William ill with mountain fever.  Brother Edward D. Davis took them to his home and cared for them for six weeks.  William, a carpenter, was able to help Brother Davis.  Later they moved to Kaysville where William had been offered a position as school teacher.  They lived in the schoolhouse, and while school was in session Louisa went to the home of Mrs.  Raymond.  She had all her nice clothes, brought from England, hanging under cover near the fireplace.  A playful cat pulled the cover into the fireplace coals and they were all burned.  Their offspring, Mosiah, was born there March 12, 1862.

In the fall of 1862 they moved to Huntsville, where, for the first winter, they and baby Mosiah lived in a dugout with Brother and Sister James Hawkins.  William taught school and was paid in flour, vegetables, soap, etc., anything but cash.  It was up to Louisa to make the most of the collections. 

She gleaned wheat and made men and boys clothes by hand (there were no sewing machines then).  She was a good manager, housekeeper, and cook.  On a trip for supplies, her brother-in-law George brought her a small cook stove, a Charter Oak with four holes on top and an oven.  It was the envy of the town and she was offered many things in exchange for it: a team of oxen, running gear for a wagon, a cow, etc.

William married a second wife, Johanna Frandsen, and later a third, Eleanor Howard.  The latter died in childbirth leaving her baby daughter, Charlotte, for Louisa to bring up.  William was called to help President Hammond settle San Juan County, Colorado, leaving Louisa with George, Elizabeth, John, and little else, to start over again.  They moved the house from Huntsville to the ranch where she lived until 1893 when George went on his mission and the boys built a small frame house for her in Huntsville.  She died there May 25, 1911.

We are inclined to wonder how this delicate little woman, with her upbringing, was able to survive the rigors of frontier life, polygamy, William (as we remember him), plus five boys and a girl with all the mischief they were up to.  For example, after all the usual cleaning and polishing, Thomas came running to her one day with “Ma, come quick, your stove has fainted.” He had whitewashed it for her.

#2: excerpted from “Life of William Halls” by Florence Hall Bell(1898-1990), granddaughter (daughter of George Henry Hall, Louisa’s 4th son), as published in Through the Halls of History in November 1973

Now my Grandmother, Louisa Carritt Enderby, was living in Lincolnshire.  She was a dainty young lady of considerable refinement and culture, and her family was much more affluent than was Grandfather’s.  She made the fatal mistake of happening by one day as he was preaching on the street.  She fell in love with him at first sight, or so the story goes.  I find it rather hard to believe, but then of course, I didn’t know Grandfather when he was young.  I have always questioned whether Grandma was converted to the gospel or just to Grandpa.  There was no question that she was converted to him.  It was her good fortune that she stayed in love with him to the end of her days, or possibly, in the light of future events, it may not have been good fortune — who can say?  However, in the spring of 1861, he was released from his mission, and they were married on April 15, by Elder Joseph F.  Smith, then on a mission to England.  Grandma was 21, Grandpa almost 27 at the time of their marriage.  Immediately, they set out for America and Zion.

They settled in Kaysville, where that first winter of 1861-62 Grandfather taught school.  On July 12, 1862, they received their endowments and were sealed in the Endowment House in Salt Lake City.  It was in Kaysville that they met and were befriended by my mother’s family, the Grandison Raymonds, who had emigrated to Utah in 1852.

With considerable difficulty, they managed to build a nice, warm cabin.  Grandma had brought with her from England, lovely clothing — nice woolens and other fine materials.  One day just before the birth of her first child in March 1862, she had hung some washed clothes to dry by the fireplace.  Her little dog dragged the clothes into the fire and he made short work of the cabin and its contents, and even singed himself.  So far as our family can learn, he was the first “hot dog” in Utah.  So up in smoke had gone all Grandmother’s beautiful things.  It broke her heart.  But Grandfather — bless him — comforted her with the healing thought that she had been too worldly.  I have heard her say:  Poor little Mosiah, ‘e came into the world with noothin’ to coover ‘im.”

They remained only a short time in Kaysville, for in the fall of 1862 they moved to Huntsville, Weber County.  It was there that we children knew them. 

On June 26, 1871, just a little more than 10 years after Grandfather’s marriage to my grandmother, an event occurred which shattered Grandma’s life:  Grandfather took a second wife, Johanna Maria Frandsen.  Grandma was not converted to polygamy, nor was she converted in the slightest degree to sharing her beautiful William Halls with any one.  I don’t like to ponder in my own mind what her feelings may have been on this occasion.  I can only judge by outward appearances.  From this time on, she became sad, embittered, critical.  At 31, it was obvious to those around her that her happiness had taken flight.  Johanna was 21 years Grandpa’s junior.  She was not quite 16 years of age and he was 37 at the time of their marriage.  Rumor has it that Johanna had a boy friend of whom she was very fond, and wasn’t sold on marrying a friend of her father’s, no matter how solid a citizen.  But Johanna’s father knew what was best for her.  To marry her to a fine, upstanding Latter-day Saint, a pillar of the community and already well established, was surely an improvement on taking a chance on a callow youth who had not yet proven himself.  In those days girls were not encouraged to do their own thinking, and certainly not to defy the good judgment of their fathers, and so the marriage took place.  Johanna gave Grandfather 12 children, Grandmother only 6, and she had no intention of giving him any more after he made his decision to board and bed with another woman.  Others might bear him children if they wished, but not she.  In the years that followed, after he had left Huntsville and came back on visits, it was observed that she made him a bed on the couch in the living room, while she herself kept to her own bedroom.  She could never quite conquer her English pride, nor the deep hurt of his divided love.

On the 8th of January 1880, eight and one-half years after his second marriage, Grandfather married his third wife, Eleanor Howard, an attractive school teacher from Salt Lake City.  I think she was about 32 years old.  She had been referred to as an old maid.  Eleanor came to live very near Grandma, and she became even a sharper thorn in Grandma’s side than Johanna.  I think, in spite of everything, Grandma had a certain sympathy for Johanna (she thought of her as an ignorant young thing), but not for Eleanor.  In April 1881, Eleanor gave birth to a daughter, and in March 1884, conveniently died and cleared the air for all concerned, not the least of whom may have been herself.  Grandmother took Eleanor’s child to rear.  In all of this, while my sympathies are naturally with my own sex, still, I cannot quite dispel a rather tender feeling of appreciation of my poor Grandfather’s untenable position.  He was so thoroughly imbued with a desire to serve the Lord and to support the authorities, without reservation, that when they urged the brethren to accept the God-given law of polygamy, to him there could be no alternative.  The unfortunate repercussions were scarcely to be laid at his door.

Early in 1885, the Church organized the San Juan Stake of Zion in southeastern Utah and Grandfather was called on a mission to help build up San Juan County.  Grandpa took with him to San Juan, his second wife and the eight children who had been born to them in Huntsville.  They built up the little town of Bluff, Utah.  However, they remained in Bluff only a year and then moved on to Mancos, Colorado. 

Louisa's Home 1893-1911 in 2003

Grandfather never again returned to Huntsville to live.  He came on fairly frequent visits and was enthusiastically received by his first family, even by Grandma herself, for she couldn’t get over loving him — and I’m sure she must have tried.  It was at this stage of his life — on his visits to Huntsville when I was a child — that my mother and we children became acquainted with Grandpa.  My Father and his brothers built for their mother a neat little blue frame house (or was it gray?) on the same lot with our town house.  In the summer we lived at the farm.  A well-kept garden with rhubarb that poked bright, pink roses out of the ground in the spring, and gooseberry bushes, separated our house from Grandma’s.  There was well-worn path connecting our houses.  Father and his brothers took care of Grandma and supported her, just as Grandfather expected them to do.

In 1909, our family moved from Huntsville to Ogden.  We left Grandma in Uncle John’s care.  Her only blood daughter, Elizabeth Wangsgard, also lived in Huntsville and watched over her Mother as only a daughter can.  Two years later, early in 1911, Grandma became very ill.  She had suffered all her adult life with asthma. 

Her house always smelled of tar.  Her pantry window sill was perpetually filled with little mugs of various evil-smelling concoctions that fascinated us children.  She always had those hard, round old-fashioned peppermints on hand.  Perhaps they helped her breathing, but we thought she kept them as a treat for us. 

After two or three months of gradually growing worse, it became painfully apparent that Grandma was not going to recover.  We have since wondered if she may have been suffering from diabetes.  Then came a day when she could no longer rise from her bed.  The end seemed near.  The doctors could do nothing — they didn’t understand her case.  She asked for Grandpa. 

He was sent for immediately and told that she was dying.  He came, of course, but he took his own sweet time about it.  It took him two weeks.  Every day she asked and every day was told that he had not yet arrived.  She clung on for another day.  She refused to die until she had once more looked into the dear face of the man she had never ceased to love — the man to whom she was sealed for time and for all eternity — the man who had given her such joy and yet such sorrow!  He finally arrived, cool and, on the surface at least, emotionally undisturbed.  He seemed little moved by her intense devotion to him.  But she was overjoyed at the sight of him.  She seemed to forget all the unhappiness, all the anguish; she knew only that her beloved William was there.  He had come to her in her final hour of need, and nothing else mattered. 

Louisa's headstone, Huntsville Cemetery

After all the years of denying him, she actually asked him to share her bed again — to hold her once more in his arms.  I find this winding up scene very pathetic.  I can’t say whether he had to swallow his pride, remembering those humiliating nights spent on the living room couch, but to his credit be it said that he was able to subdue any such feelings, and certainly his naturally practical nature, and indulge her in this last frivolous whim.  He spent the night with her and she died the next day, at the age of 70.  She was buried in the Huntsville cemetery in my Father’s family plot.

I don’t know what his romantic relationship with his second wife may have been, but I seriously doubt that any woman, however clever, was capable of taking his mind off himself and his purposes for any length of time.  So that I don’t suppose Grandmother had any basis for jealousy of either his second or his third wife.  If she really was determined to be jealous of some one or something, perhaps she might have more appropriately settled on the Church.  The Church was his first love and his last; he was utterly devoted to it.  Truly it can be said that he spent his life in His Master’s service.



#3: “A Note by Ernest Mosiah Hall (1885-1961), Louisa’s Oldest Grandson” (son of Mosiah Hall, Louisa’s oldest child), published in Through the Halls of  History in November 1973 from an earlier manuscript

Louisa Enderby Halls

From the time I was 13-19 years of age I went to Huntsville  every summer to work on the ranch.  I was always welcome at Grandma’s.  She had an extra cot in her small frame house.  I left my clean clothes and best suit there.  There I spent my Sundays, got ready for dances, which I attended on holidays and practically every Saturday night since I was keeping company with Lizzie O.  McKay the latter part of the period.

Grandma was quite bitter over being left by William while he took his younger second wife Johanna Frandsen to Mancos.  Uncles William and Thomas went with them.  The departure on March 7, 1885 was just one month before I was born.  Louisa was rather frail with narrow sloping shoulders.  She dressed neatly at all times.  Her house was always immaculately clean with home-made rag carpets on the floors.  She was an excellent cook.  She made a currant bun that I liked very much.  When I was around she always had a crock of these on hand.  Her bread was also delicious, usually a light graham loaf.

I realize now that Louisa not only had asthma but also bronchiectasis or dilation of the terminal bronchioles.  Every morning she would start coughing about 5 o’clock.  There would be one paroxysm after another and she would raise considerable amounts of muco-purulent material.  About 7 o’clock her cough would subside apparently after coughing up this irritating infectious material.  She would then arise and start the breakfast.  When I got dressed I would see her sitting by the stove looking pale and wane.  She would be wheezing and breathing with evident distress.  Her appetite was poor, especially in the morning.  She would have a small bit of cooked cereal and some tea with a thin piece of toast.

She would never feel up to much until about 10 o’clock.  During the afternoon she would feel able to read, sew or work a bit about the house.  On Sunday afternoon she went to Sacrament meeting.  She put on her black dress and bonnet.  The meeting house, as it was called then, was only 3 blocks away.  She would walk very primly, seldom speak to anyone unless they first spoke to her.  She would usually sit by herself.  When the services were over she would get up, walk out, and home without looking to right or left.

Cottonwood trees lined the ditch bank on the west and south of her house.  In the spring when the cotton-like seeds were flying through the air, her asthma was much worse.  At times she had great difficulty in breathing.

Of course, I knew Grandma at an earlier period, too.  When I was 4 years old Father was made head of the Huntsville school.  We lived there for five years.  During the earlier years Louisa lived on the farm.  Lottie and I spent many happy days there.  She is four years my senior and she led out in many happy days there.  We used to slide down the snow crusted hills south of the farm house in Grandma’s dish-pan.  In the summer we gathered chokecherries on these same hills.  Grandmother made chokecherry jelly and wine.  I remember on one occasion Lottie and I got a bit tipsy on the wine we surreptitiously obtained.

Later Grandmother moved back into town.  She lived in a small rented house only a short distance from us.  At this time Uncle John was keeping company with Mary J.  Grow.  They were married later and John and his bride went to Idaho to pioneer in developing the Idaho ranch.

Grandmother was a very shy woman.  She was greatly hurt when her husband, whom she so dearly loved, left her to go with his younger wife and growing family to a far away place.  I think she was greatly embarrassed and hurt.  She led a lonely and austere existence.  She was ill and needed loving care and companionship. 

#4: “Recollections” by Nina Halls Braithwaite (1899-1992), Granddaughter (daughter of William Halls, Jr., Louisa’s second son), written at the request of Kristine Halls Smith, editor of Through the Halls of History, for the November 1973 issue

I wish I could tell you more about Grandmother Louisa Halls.  Because I had barely turned eleven when she died, my knowledge of her was meager.  Grandmother lived in a small two-roomed white home with a porch or pantry, as I remember it.

Grandfather was living in Colorado.  We children did not visit her often.  I only remember being in her home once other than when she died.  I don’t remember her visiting with us.  My mother visited her.  When we did go there we knew we must sit quietly and allow the older folks to do the talking.

Her house was immaculate.  A little four-legged range shone like a mirror.  Nothing was out of place.  Grandmother was cheerful and I gathered from discussions of her that she had a keen sense of humor.  I remember her as being kind and serving us cookies from a cookie jar.  My mother spoke kindly of her so far as I can remember, indicating to me that she was congenial so far as family was concerned.  She had dark straight hair, parted in the middle and combed back as was the fashion, I suppose, of older people.  The little house she lived in still stands and is as neat looking as when she lived there.

Comments are closed.