William Thomas Allen Margaret Alice Jones   Last Revised April 2005
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  Allen Jones Genealogy
William Thomas Allen

William Thomas Allen  1871-1941 Margaret Alice Jones  1878-1953 

Margaret Alice Jones home: Summit, Utah

Margaret Alice Jones
 second home,  
Summit, Utah
Margaret Alice Jones

Nellie Melba Allen
and Alice Jones Allen Taylor

Cedar Breaks National Monument was a
favorite vacation spot for
William Thomas
Margaret Alice

History of William Thomas Allen and Margaret Alice Jones

As told to Margaret Elaine Spendlove Pratt
by Nellie Melba Allen Spendlove and  Alice Jones Allen Taylor, daughters of William Thomas and Margaret Alice Jones
 Margaret Alice Jones was born September 13, 1878, a daughter of Sylvester Frazer Jones and Mary Alice Melling, at Enoch, Iron County, Utah. She was the oldest of 10 children. Her father was a polygamist and had one other wife, Susannah Melling, sister to Mary Alice Melling. They had 11 children, and so altogether there were 21 children of Sylvester Frazer Jones, a large family.

 Margaret had an eighth grade education and was self-educated after that. She was a voluminous reader and knew a lot about many things. She had the post office in Summit for many years in her later life.  The postal inspectors who administered the civil service exam said she had the equivalent of a two year general college education in many ways. As a girl,  she wove carpet to earn money for her first sewing machine. She also worked out, helping people with new babies and other things in the home. As the oldest of twenty one children, she had a great responsibility to help at home with the other children. 

Margaret was quite pretty when she was young. She had brown hair and eyes and nice even features.  William had blue eyes. He was on the thin side, somewhere between 5'8 and 5'11. But Margaret was just under 5'1.

William Thomas Allen was born May 17, 1871, a son of John Allen and Mary Ann Barton, at Summit, Iron County, Utah. He was the seventh child and only living boy out of twelve children, four of which died in infancy. His mother, Mary Ann Barton, was his father's second wife, his father being a
polygamist also. John Allen's first wife was childless.   John Allen was about fifty three years of age and Mary Ann was sixteen when they were married.  John Allen died when William was fourteen, and William had to take over the farm.  The men in  town were kind, and taught him what he did not know about farming.  William’s three older sisters went out to do day work for people to help the family. They managed to buy one pair of shoes for each child per year, and they went barefoot from April to November.  Very often their shoes wore out before the snow was gone, but they made them do,
sometimes tying them together, as they couldn't buy new ones until fall.

William  used to ride a horse from Summit to Enoch to court Margaret. Oscar Hullet, Sr., his closest friend, came with him to court Margaret's half sister, Susannah  Jones. Wilfred Day (grandfather of Miles Morris, who married William and Margaret's granddaughter, Mary Taylor) and Lucius Marsden also were close friends of William. After she was married, Margaret’ s closest friends were Jeanette Allen Dalley and Martha Allen Dalley, sisters of William, and Susannah Jones Hullet, her half sister.

William and Margaret were married in the St. George Temple,  December 19,1900. They made the long trip to St. George by either buggy or wagon and were accompanied by their relatives and friends, as was the custom in those days, as the trip was a journey of several days.   Margaret bent down to get a drink of water at a stream of water and was stung by a bee on her face.  Her face was  swollen on her wedding day.

After they were married,  William’s  mother, Mary Ann Barton Allen, lived with them for 13 years. Shortly after Mary Ann died,  Margaret's mother, Mary Alice Melling Jones, came to live with them. She lived with them periodically for about 10 years, staying part of the time with Margaret's sister, Leone Jones Lyman.

William and Margaret's first child, Thelma, lived only three months. The midwife had not tied the umbilical cord tightly enough at birth, and Thelma  almost bled to death unnoticed. The baby was white and pale and had not regained its strength when it contracted pneumonia and died. Alice Jones Allen, their second child, was born in 1903.  Margaret then lost two children in the third month of pregnancy,
and one boy in the sixth month of pregnancy. It was felt that the first two miscarriages were probably boy children, as the three girls were carried full term. Their last child, Nellie Melba Allen, was born in 1913.

William and Margaret used to raise a great big garden every year, corn, lettuce, onions, radishes, beats, peas, and carrots. In the fall, they gathered the apples and put them in the cellar and put the root vegetables in the root cellar. They had a large root cellar from which William sold potatoes during the winter when they were more expensive.

Margaret had a green thumb and could make anything grow and bloom. The home was on the highway and many people stopped to admire the flowers she raised.  People often came in and Margaret gave them flowers. Every year she gave many small plants to the people in the town because she always had them coming up in abundance. Alice remembers as a little girl going out to pick pansies for her mother, Margaret, to wear in her hair.

When Margaret  was a young girl,  the children were bathed and put to bed on Saturday night.  Then,  all of their clothes had to be washed so that they would have clean clothes for the Sabbath.   They did not have a change of clothes for Sunday. 

Washing clothes was  an all-day process  for many years.  First the clothes were done by hand on the scrub board. They were scrubbed in two separate waters. Then they were boiled in water that had been softened  with lye, after which they were put into a tub of clear water, rinsed, wrung out into another tub of clear water, wrung out again and then hung on the line to dry.

Margaret finally got a hand washing machine with a corrugated board that rubbed the clothes against the bottom of the tub. The bottom of the tub was round and the corrugated board was shaped to fit the bottom of the tub. A lever-type handle extended out from the corrugated board piece which was pushed back and forth, causing the board to rub back and forth on the clothes which were between
the board and the bottom of the tub. This was a large washing machine. Water had to be hauled in, and it held many gallons. Even after the drain was in the home, the soapy water could not go down the drain into the cesspool, and the water had to be carried far away from the house to be emptied where it would not ruin the soil. Finally power was brought into the community and Margaret
got an "Easy" washing machine run by electricity.

In the early part of their married life William freighted to Pioche, Nevada, and this is the way he earned much of the money to build their home. Margaret made fresh butter from a large herd of milk cows and sold eggs. William had his wheat ground into flour at the mill, and he supplied the hotels and cafes in Pioche during the boom when it was a big mining town in Nevada. Margaret and her daughter Alice used to milk the cows while he was gone .

William developed a strain of field corn which was named the Will Allen corn. It was a special variety that he developed by saving the best each year of a strain which was especially good for the locality because it grew to maturity in a short season. Their daughter Nellie Melba can remember just a few years back hearing people advertise over the radio that they had the Will Allen strain of seed corn to sell. William did not have any sons, and his daughter Melba can remember going to the field with him to help plant corn and potatoes. He raised about 75 tons of hay every year. Melba used to drive the horse to run the derrick fork to lift the hay into the barn.

When William first got the farm it was just a small part he inherited from his father. He also inherited the lot for his home from his father. He bought more ground until he had a choice  strip of land right through the center of Summit.  As the water ran off the top, if there was any waste he would run it on to the next area he owned.

When they had a lot of water he raised large crops. He used to work from sun up until dark. Many times he had to water the fields at night when his watering turn fell at night. He would get up in the morning and milk the cows while Margaret got breakfast. Then he would come in for breakfast and then go out and harness the horses and go to do his farm work. At noon he would come in and eat and then go out and start again. He and his brother-in-law, Phil Dalley, would start to harvest the hay in July and would usually harvest three crops each summer. They helped each other and took turns with their fields, as one man could not harvest hay alone. They would no sooner get through with one field than another would be ready to be harvested, the fields being staggered in order that they would not all be ready to be harvested at the same time. In the fall as soon as all the hay was up they had to gather the corn and potatoes and squash before the frost came .

William milked about twelve cows twice a day. William fed Ben Lawrence's cow all one winter and summer during the depression, and he gave them potatoes and flour to help him take care of his large family because work was so scarce. The following year the government started testing cows for tuberculosis, and William lost his whole herd of cows. They were large healthy cows, but they had contracted tuberculosis. The cows were shot and the government paid only a small amount for them. The cows had contracted the tuberculosis from Brother Lawrence's cow which was sickly but thought to be merely undernourished. However, when the house burned down after William died, Ben Lawrence in turn donated his labor helping to install the plumbing in the new house which was built for Margaret.

William used to haul firewood from the mountains, and Melba can remember going on trips with him to get it. They used to take a lunch, and Melba thought it was great fun. William also had a good team of horses. They were always well matched in size and looks.

One of the recreations of the town was the Relief Society parties at which they sold ice cream to raise money for church and community projects. William and his brother-in-law, Oscar Huellet, Sr. , and Herbert White used to go to the mountains and haul back ice and snow to freeze the ice cream. William was also on the committee which raised the money and supervised the work to get the first water system in town. The plumbers who installed the lines, along with volunteer help, lived at the home of William and Margaret most of the time while they worked there in Summit.
William used to sing in the choir and at other church functions. His voice was bass and his sisters sang alto and soprano.  They had nice voices and sang together often, but William did not like to sing alone.
He was quiet and conservative and Margaret was more outgoing.
Margaret was on the Democratic Committee, and Melba can remember going with her to the political rallies when she was a little girl. Margaret became postmistress of the Summit post office in about 1933. It was a political appointment. She served as the postmistress until she was 71.
During the First World  War she was affiliated with the Red Cross. She went about Iron County teaching  people how to knit sweaters and socks for the soldiers. Melba can remember  going with her and knitting wash rags from cotton yarn. Margaret taught in the Primary for several years when she was first married. After that she served in the Relief Society presidency for a few years and then served as secretary for about 25 years. She was also work director and banquet chairman for many years.

She served on the banquet committee to raise money for the new church which was built when she was in her 60's. They catered banquets for other towns and clubs. They also held auctions to raise money. For years and years,  Margaret and several of the older women were the only ones that knew how to run the loom for the rag carpets and get it threaded up. Finally Margaret insisted on teaching some of the younger women how to thread the loom, as she was afraid they would never learn how after the older women had passed away.
William and Margaret used to enjoy listening to the radio after it was invented. Their favorite programs were Kate Smith and Amos and Andy. A big event  in their life was when they got their blacktop buggy and later the Ford. The blacktop buggy had oil cloth sides that rolled up and down. When traveling
they placed hot bricks in the buggy to keep their feet warm.
William had heart trouble the last few years of his life and died of a heart attack, which was a blessing, as he had cancer and would have died a painful death soon after if he had not bad the heart attack first. He died April 13, 1941, at Summit. 

Margaret suffered from terrible gallbladder attacks and finally insisted that she be operated on. She lived six days after the operation, but she had been so badly affected by earlier attacks,  she was not able to pull through.  It was felt after the operation that she  probably also suffered from cancer. She died December 10, 1953, in the Iron County Hospital at Cedar City.
Margaret and William's first home was the one built by John Allen, William's father. They lived in this home with William's mother for a few years after they were married. Then they built the home in which they lived the rest of their married life. The old home was in the location of what was in later years
the vegetable garden, just east of the new home.

The old home consisted of one great room with lean-to' s added for additional rooms. One lean-to was used as a bedroom and another as a kitchen and there was possibly a third lean-to. When the new home was built, the lean-to's were pulled from the old home and the main room was pulled back near the barn and used as a granary for many years. Alice, William and Margaret's daughter, lived in the old home as a small child. She recollects that there were two great lilac bushes on each side of the door. She can remember as a little girl getting wet from the lilac bushes going into the house after it had rained. The old home and also the new home for many years had rag carpets on the floors. These rag carpets were made on an old-fashioned loom. Strips of the carpeting were sewn together to make one great carpet. Every spring the carpets were taken up and fresh straw placed under them to make them more soft. The straw also allowed dust to sift down through.  Then the carpets were swept, helping the carpet to stay clean. The carpets were swept with a damp broom to help to keep the dust from rising up. When the carpets were taken up every spring the floors had to be scrubbed until they were clean. The carpets were taken out in the yard and beat and then placed back on the floor and tacked down on all sides.
The new home was built in 1908 for William and Margaret by Isaac Lemon and his son. It had four rooms: kitchen and pantry, parlor, bedroom, and the dining and living area. In the living area there was a heater, large table, rocking chair, sewing machine, couch and easy chair and later a radio. The parlor was used only for special company occasions. The best furniture was there. There was a piano, some straight back chairs, an old phonograph, a three-dimensional  viewer on a small table and an overstuffed couch and chair.

For some years there was only one bedroom, but finally the parlor also was used as a bedroom.
The pantry part of the kitchen was eventually converted to a bathroom. Margaret had rag carpets on all of the floors, except for the kitchen and pantry. The house had four gables, one on each side, that came together in the center of the house. The shape of the house was that of a large cross. Two rooms met in
the center and the other two rooms extended out from the sides. There were two good sized porches in two of the corners of the cross, and room for two porches on the other sides which were never added. The one back porch was finally turned into a post office when Margaret was appointed postmistress in
Summit. The house had a large window in the front of the parlor and a large window on the east in the dining and living area. Each of the large windows had one small window on each side of it. The home had four outside doors. With the doors open it was always cool in the summer, never getting hot as some of the homes do now. The home was intended to have an upstairs which was never completed. Margaret and William would probably have finished it if they had had a larger family.
The family remembers the home as being one of the nicer homes  in Summit, although there were quite a number of nice old homes in the town. This home burned almost to the foundation in July of 1942, about a year after William died. A new home was built on the foundation of the older home, many of the towns people contributing their labor and helping in other ways .

Margaret lived there in the new home until her death in 1953. After that the home was rented and finally sold. William also built his barn in 1912. It was a very large barn.
The daughters of William and Margaret remember and appreciate the good teachings they received in their home which have benefited them in their lives. William and Margaret were very industrious and thrifty. They always paid for things as they bought them, believing in staying out of debt. They were
civic minded and participated in community and church activities.

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