Story of Life and Labors of "Kittie" Watterson, one of Logan's early pioneers. The Journal takes pleasure in giving it's readers the following breif sketch of the life of "Kittie" Watterson, as she is familiarly known to all of the old residents of the valley. Forty Years ago Sister Watterson, Jan Thatcher, Annie Cowley, and Alexander Lewis, were associated with the Logan Tabernacle Choir, and all the old residents will remember how we enjoyed the wonderful melody of their voices. For what they did then this community will always owe them an everlasting debt of gratitude. (The Logan Journal)
Caroline Hobbs Watterson was born June 28, 1847 at Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England. Here follows her narrative.
"My mother was a widow with seven children, five boys and two girls. When I was about three years old some Mormon elders were holding meetings in our neighborhood and my older brothers went to the meeting with the intention of making fun of the elders, but when they heard the preaching they became very interested, and came home and pursuaded mother to go to the next meeting. Mother went and was converted as soon as she heard it. Most of the family were baptized soon after, and like others we began to make preparations to come to Zion. Two of my brothers came ahead of the family, and the others of us left England in May 1864, on board of the Monarch of the Sea. I was seventeen years old. While crossing, a terrible storm came up and for a day or two it looked as though we would be lost. The captain said if we had ever prayed before we had better pray now or we would go down. There were 1000 Scandinavians under the leadership of N. C. Edlefsen, the Danish missionary, and we were under Parley P. Pratt, Jr. We all asked the Lord to preserve us and the storm passed. We landed at New York in July. The civil war ws on at the time and nearly all of the passenger cars on the railroad were being used to transport soldiers, and we were all put aboard cattle cars and brought to the Missouri River. Brother Edlefsen refused to put this people in cattle cars and stayed behind until coaches could be secured.
At Florence, Nebraska, we were given passage in Capt. Murdocks mule train and began our journey across the plains. My brother James got a job to drive team for Mr. Merrick, and was to receive $50 per month in greenbacks, but as paper money was only worth fifty cents on the dollar his wages did not go very far. The Indians were very bad on the plains and guards had to be ahead and kept out every night. Trains ahead and behind us were burned, and two or three times we saw the smoking remains. The Indians came to our camp several times and we gave them beads, and other trinkets, and food and they went away again. We had two deaths in our company, one of our sisters and one of the guards named Beckstead who accidentally shot himself.
We reached Salt Lake in September and were met by my brothers, William and James. We came to Cache Valley in October in an ox team. We were several days on the road. We had a pig in the wagon as a passenger and it got out and we had trouble enough chasing it through the sage brush before catching it. We met C. O. Card in Box Elder canyon on his way to conference. At Logan we stayed overnight with Washington Rogers. In the morning as we were about to start I fell in the river near his house and had to wear my wet clothes to Franklin.
At Franklin we stayed with my brother, Charles, who had a little two room log cabin without windows or floor. We did our cooking in the fireplace. We were very uncomfortable. I thought if this was Zion I wished I was back in England. In 1865 I came to Logan and stayed with John Smith and family. Sister Smith taught me to spin. I also worked for Thomas Weir's family.
In 1866 I was married to William Watterson and we moved into the two room adobe house which is still standing at 450 West First North. We started life under what we then considered very favorable circumstances. Our house had glass windows, and we had a little cook stove which cost eighty dollars. Our old style high bedstead cost thirty dollars, a little rocker cost twelve dollars. We also had two or three husk bottom chairs.
In those days we saved everything we could to eat, dried apples and pumpkins, etc.
I joined the Choir when it was first organized by William Knowles and C. C. Goodwin. Later Alexander Lewis took charge of it and made of it a wonderful organization. I was a member of the Choir for forty years.
Taken from a news article of THE JOURNAL , Logan, Cache, Utah, Saturday November 27, 1926.
When the Logan temple was completed she was called to help as an ordinance worker and was there 7 years.She was president of the Ward Relief Society of the Third Ward for thirteen years. She also worked in the Mutual for several years."
She operated a Millnery Shop in douwntown Logan. She was a meticulous housekeeper. Her parlour was "off limits" to her grandchildren
Taken from an old handwritten paper, no signature: Caroline Hobbs Watterson was our second President with Catherine Johnson and Amelia Blanchard counselors, Sarah E. Evans as Secretary. They were set apart April 23, 1881, though they had served several years before. For five years thay ran the works.
Sister Watterson was born June 28, 1847 in Lancashire, England. She celebrated her 17th birthday walking across the Plains. Her twin sister, Mary Hobbs, drew the line when it came to picking up buffalo chips to burn, but not Caroline. She was such a jovial, happy girl and willing to do her share with the rest. Her work in the Relief Scociety was of the truest and best. Those days the Sunday eggs had to be gathered for tithing. Carpet rags sewn for the Temple and sox and shirts made for the men working on the Temple.
Sister Watterson was one of the outstanding singers in Logan. She never had much confidence in herself and didn't see why she was chosen as President. Very few have such a wonderful disposition. She could join in and enjoy any kind of game with anyone. I remember just a few years before she died we were at Meyricks to a surprise party and sister Watterson came costumed and what fun she had getting us all down on the floor for a game, then to tell us she didn't know any game.
She was president of the Y.W.M.I.A. after being released from Relief Society.
Her father ran a beer store in England; he died when the children were young. The Mother sold the shop as she didn't want her children raised under such conditions. Caroline went to work for a family that belonged to the Gentry--very rich people. She was so pretty and good natured, that she was the pet of the servants. They called her Annetta. She liked to play jokes on all. One time she hid over the wardrobe and when some of the servants came in she scared them. The lady of the house was quite disgusted--thought she should be above such things.
Patriarchal Blessing of Caroline Hobbs Watterson:
A patriarchal blessing given by Patriarch Samuel Oldham, March 30, 1916 upon the head of Caroline Hobbs Watterson, daughter of Thomas Hobbs and Ann Owen, born at Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England, June 28, 1846.
Sister Watterson, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the power and authority of the Holy Patriarchal Priesthood, I lay my hands upon thy head, and I seal upon thee a prtriarchal blessing.
Thou art truly of the blood of Israel, and of the lineage of Ephraim, and thou hast been endowed from thy birth with the disposition and qualities of that noble race. Thou art an heir of all the blessings pertaining to the children of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and because thou hast accepted of the Everlasting Gospel, thou shalt receive an exaltation in the Celestial Kingdom of our Father.
The Lord has been mindful of thee in the past. His Spirit has guided and controlled thy destiny. He has given thee wonderful powers of mind and of spirit, and thou hast been blessed in their development, and in the use of these powers. The Lord will bless thee in time to come, so that thy powers shall become greater, so that those that associate with thee shall be made glad with thy presence and thy companionship.
I bless thee in thy basket, and in thy store. The bounties of the earth, and the conveniences of life shall be given unto thee, and thou shalt live yet many years upon the earth to be a benefit and a blessing to thy posterity, and to the Saints by whom thou art surrounded.
I say unto thee, Sister Watterson, be active in every duty that the Spirit of God shall bring to thy mind. Teach wisdom and knowledge to those around thee. Comfort the sick and heal up the broken-hearted, and attend to the cries of those who are needy and in distress. Thus shall the Lord perpetuate his goodness and mercy towards thee, for He has been very merciful, and thy life shall flow onward smoothly, yet strongly in the accomplishment of thy mission and calling here upon earth.
I now seal thee up unto eternal life, to come forth in the morning of the first resurrection. Amen