A brief account of the life of a wonderful and devoted wife, mother, grandmother, and faithful member of the LDS Church. Her life was one of continued service to her Fellow man.
First we turn back to a modest and humble dwelling made of logs and covered with a dirt roof – “the Jesse Barlow log house” in Etna, Utah, a valley west of Grouse Creek, in the northwest area of Box Elder County, Utah. Here, Emma was born on August 9, 1900.
Her father, Jesse Barlow, was a rancher, with a love for horses and quality livestock, a hardworking, honorable man. Jesse was born after the death of his father, Joseph Smith Barlow, inFairfield, Utah County, Utah on January 11, 1877. When he was ten years old, his mother, Amanda Morgan Barlow, married Valison Tanner, from whom the property was acquired where the two-room log house had just been finished.
Her mother, Annie Paskett, at this time a bride of only one year, was small in stature, quiet and unassuming, but very industrious, with a loving spirit. She was a daughter of Philip Andrew Paskett and Emma Richins, born in Grouse Creek, Utah, on February 6, 1881.
Emma’s early years were spent in this valley of Etna, her playmates being her Barlow cousins, Mildred and Alice Ann, who lived just to the north, on the same ranch, and her brothers and sisters as they came along. She loved the green meadows, the pure water, and fresh mountain air.
She attended school through the eighth grade at the Etna schoolhouse made of native sandstone, along with a hand-full of other pupils, riding the couple of miles north to school on the “Band Wagon” driven by Mr. or Mrs. David Douglas, who picked up the Barlows, Warburtons, and Tanners on the way.
As the eldest in the family, she learned work and responsibility at an early age. At eleven years, she was sewing children’s dresses and clothing for other families as well as her own. Roy Jesse, Joseph Lester, Francis, Adella, Louise, and Inez LaVern, as well as two brothers, Melvin and Sidney Raymond who died in infancy, were born here, with Mrs. Laura Warburton as midwife in all cases except for Emma, when Mrs. Ellen Blanthorn was engaged as midwife. In return, Annie assisted other women at childbirth.
The family usually went to Church in Grouse Creek, visiting relatives there – Grandma Emma and Grandpa Philip A. Paskett, Aunt Emily and Uncle Allen Tanner, and others, including Grandma Amanda Tanner, then back home to do evening chores, on the ranch.
Emma’s pleasant, smiling disposition and attractive youthful appearance, with fair complexion and reddish-blonde hair, won the affection of a young man, who in turn stole her heart. She waited and prayed for his safety while he served in the First World War. After fighting in France, Belgium and Germany, he finally returned safely, and Emma was soon married to Thomas Edward (Ted) Kimber, December 11, 1919 in the Salt Lake Temple. For forty-eight years this marital union shared many choice blessings and experiences.
They began married life at the Kimber ranch, sharing the home with Ted’s parents, William and Jemima Kimber. This ranch, south of Etna and Grouse Creekvalleys, has been a haven for travelers over the years. Emma recalled with fond memories the years spent here at the “Ranch.” A son, Kendall, was born on March 22, 1921. A daughter, Velma arrived a year and a half later, with Ellen Blanthorn assisting as midwife.
The family did ranching and farming so there was never-ending work to be done. Most of their trading was at Tacoma, a railroad town north of Montello, Nevada.
Ted and Emma moved from the ranch to Grouse Creek on New Years’ Day 1929, renting from Heber Simpson, then later buying the home, just south of the schoolhouse.
Ted did trucking – hauling anything from firewood to cattle, helping on haying crews, and cutting wood, operating a shearing plant, etc., usually home late at night. Emma waited up for his return, occupying herself with sewing or reading. A few years later, the community organized a Co-op Store, and Ted managed it until moving from Grouse Creek.
She enjoyed a trip the family took (about the summer of 1929) in their new Model A. Ford, to Grand Canyon, via Kiabab Forest, Zions, and Bryce canyons.
A daughter, Donna, was born on March 12, 1931. Another daughter, Joyce, arrived on March 24, 1935, to complete the family union. Both were born at the Dee Hospital in Ogden,Utah, with Dr. Jensen assisting. Emma stayed both times with her cousin, Myrtle Toyn, who lived near the hospital.
Home making was a challenge in those days, with wash water to be carried and heated in the “boiler” – wood-chopping, gathering chips, milking the cow when the menfolk were away. Bottled fruit, vegetables, and venison were stored in the dirt cellar. Apples came from the Kimber ranch. Peaches were brought into the valley by a “peddler.” Uncle Dell Hart usually brought a taste of raspberries and red currants each summer, to Emma’s delight.
Emma was handy at many things – from laying linoleum to hanging wallpaper and becoming almost an expert at sewing, making clothes “over,” cutting (without a pattern), altering and fitting. People came from all over the valley for sewing assistance, and advice. One winter she made more than eighteen coats.
One month before their marriage, Ted was called as a Counselor to Bishop Joseph Barlow. He was sustained on January 5, 1920. This began a lifetime of service in the LDS Church for he and Emma. He was later Counselor to Bishop Wilford Richins, also to Bishop Elmer Kimber. He was also President of the YMMIA.
Immediately after moving to Grouse Creek, Emma was sustained as President of the Relief Society. Although she had never had the opportunity of attending Relief Society before, she accepted, and held that position until leaving Grouse Creek. During these 15-1/2 years, she endeavored to serve well with compassion and love.
When the younger girls were old enough to leave home to complete high school, Ted and Emma felt it wise to move into “town.” By this time, Kendall was serving in the air Force in the Pacific Theater, and Velma was away working. They purchased a modest home in Brigham City, Utah, moving in August 1944. The family really enjoyed the electricity, the refrigerator, bathroom, and cement sidewalk. After living where she had an open view of the valleys, Emma felt somewhat “shut in” surrounded by close neighbors, but the family was warmly accepted, and grew to love these wonderful people.
With Ted being out of town a great deal, selling insurance, Emma worked pressing and mending clothing at Meservy’s, Reeves, and Modern Cleaners. She also continued sewing for others, and doing custom-made draperies. She attempted to teach the sewing art to her daughters and granddaughters. She was also adept at crochet, embroidery, needlepoint and quilting.
Her love of reading good books and magazines perhaps increased. She was always interested in people and in current events. Delighted when invited to go somewhere, she could be ready in just a few minutes notice. She enjoyed trips taken to Insurance Conventions – to Colorado Springs, Sun Valley, Id., Glacier park and Los Angeles. Together they also had a tour of LDS Temples, and attended the Seattle World’s Fair.
Emma spoke often and with great pride of her grandparents, all of whom were born in England then emigrated to America and to Utah after embracing the LDS Faith. She enjoyed preparing and presenting the lessons in the Sego Lily Camp, Daughters of Utah Pioneers, reliving in memory those wonderful early pioneer ancestors.
Emma knew sorrow and heartache. She helped care for her father during his illness and was present at his passing in 1942. A grandson, (Kendall’s son Franklin Edward) was drowned before he was three years old, in an irrigation ditch near the family home in River Heights, near Logan, in 1949. She made Frankie’s burial clothes. Her daughter, Donna, died when only twenty-one years of age on December 2, 1952, while a student at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, after an illness of only one day. Two years later, Joyce’s husband, Willard (Billy) Jensen, was killed, in a duck-hunting accident at the Bear River Bird Refuge. Note: (Sixteen years after Emma’s death, another grandson, Willard Ryan Jensen, Joyce’s son, was killed in a tragic homicide on June 23, 1983).
As part of the lifetime of church service Emma gave, she was sustained as Attendance Secretary in the Box Elder Stake YWMIA at the beginning of the “Girls Program,” serving for fifteen years. She kept records on approximately 5,000 girls. For this service she was given an Honorary-Golden-Gleaner Award in May 1958.
Together she and Ted served five Summers as Box Elder Tabernacle Missionaries. They were also Stake Mission coordinators as well as being on the “Old Folks Committee” a number of years. In addition, they enjoyed doing temple endowments for the dead.
In the Brigham Second and Ninth Words, she was Relief Society Work and Business Director, Literary Lesson Leader, visiting teacher, quilt director, and Secretary.
Emma’s crowning glory was in her grandchildren, having great pride in Kendall’s children – Christina, Mary, Diana, Fred, and Kathryn, and in Joyce’s sons: Ryan and Ronald. One of Emma’s final public appearances was at a farewell testimonial for Christina, prior to her departure for the Mexican Mission.
She enjoyed good health until her later years, but after serious major surgery in February 1966, she suffered intensely for a one year period. She had great faith in the healing power of the Priesthood and was comforted repeatedly through administration. When a young girl, her hearing was miraculously restored through a blessing given by her grandfather, Philip A. Paskett.
It was on February 7, 1967, that her noble spirit left its earthly tabernacle. In fitting tribute, friends and family filled the Second/Ninth Wards Chapel to overflowing, at her memorial service. Here, she and her husband, Ted, worked as custodians for several years.
She was laid to rest in the Brigham City, Utah Cemetery, beside her daughter, Donna.
Emma’s life was a fulfillment of a promise given in a Patriarchal Blessing by David Harry Toyn on August 11, 1918 – “…….you have good abilities and qualifications and you can be of great service among your sex and also among the children of the Latter-day Saints…..your pathway will be rugged, but He will bless you all the same inasmuch as you are faithful and true. Be faithful, work diligently and the blessings will be yours . . . “
Written by Velma Kimber Jensen