The Relief Society was organized in November, 1900, with Mary Jane Judd as president,Emily Burgess and Ann Elizabeth Wakeling, counselors and Ella Baxter, secretary. When the Judds moved in 1902 Emily Burgess was made president with Ann Elizabeth Wakeling and Mary L. Oxborrow, counselors, Ellen Oxborrow, secretary and Ruth B. Gardner, assistant. OtherRelief Society presidents over the years were Eva Whitehead, Belle F. Gardner, Ella Fawcett(who served for 25 years), Vera Reid, Colleen Scow, Sara McKenzie and Margaret A. (Peggy) Gardner. A list of officers follows this sketch.
Multiple use of the log rooms the town had constructed had its disadvantages. With school,church and church auxiliaries, civic groups and entertainments meeting in four rooms (the large upstairs room was divided by a cretonne curtain) scheduling became such a problem that theRelief Society felt they had to have a place of their own. In 1904, while Emily Burgess was president, working jointly with the Y.L.M.I.A. with Belle Gardner and later Ruth B. Gardner as president, they chose a committee consisting of Eva M. Whitehead, Ann Elizabeth Wakeling, Mary L. Oxborrow, Delle R. Ivins and Bertha Smith to help work out the problem.
Belle Gardner tells the story. "The Relief Society and the Y.L.M.I.A. bought a piece of land and one half share of water and a frame building that J. L. Whipple had used for a store. We alldonated, gave parties and entertainments to raise the necessary funds and men and women worked with a will until the lot was in shape and the building moved and remodeled to suit our needs. Then we began furnishing it and have added a little at a time as the years rolled by. It was rather shabby looking at first but it was our own and we soon had it snug and comfortable. Wemade curtains for the windows and a carpet to cover the rough board floor. The rags were donated and sewed by the Sisters and the carpet was woven by Sister Mary L. Oxborrow. . . We also made the first flag the town ever had. A few chairs were bought, then a few more, then an organ, and we papered the walls and painted the house. The roof began to leak so we had a new one put on, and another coat of paint. Then we bought a secretary and a clock, replaced the old fence with a new one, planted a lawn and set out some trees. . . . During all these years there has been a spirit of peace in our little Relief Society home that we have always enjoyed--holding our meetings and entertaining our friends.''
When this little building was ready for use in 1908, three trustees were chosen asadministrators, two from the Relief Society, Louisa Harrison and Eva M. Whitehead, and one representing the Y.L.M.I.A., Mary Sinfield. The M.I.A. held meetings there for only a short time but the Relief Society used the building until 1952 when they were given their own room in the new church. They brought with them the old secretary and the clock and their antique beauty enhances the modern setting. The lovely modern decor of their new quarters contrasts sharply with the homelike simplicity of their first home and reflects the innate character of a people constantly seeking improvement in their surroundings but memory often brings a feeling of nostalgia.
The Relief Society program in Lund as elsewhere has developed from humble beginnings into a comprehensive educational program. The first departmental class leaders appointed in 1915 were Alice B. Gardner for Genealogy, Sarah V. McKenzie for Ethics, Emma W. Hutchings for Theology and Delle R. Ivins for Art. The program now treats a wide variety of social, health and homemaking lessons as well as instruction in arts and crafts.
The monthly "work day" has been an integral part of the Relief Society program from the first when cutting and sewing rags for woven, hooked or braided rugs and tying or quilting utilitarian quilts was a necessary part of pioneer life. A glimpse of a work day today would show a number of groups working on a variety of projects, knitting, corcheting, embroidery and many projects recycling waste material into works of art. Nor has the art of quilt making been lost. There are always groups working on one or two quilts often using patterns used by their mothers andgrandmothers and at other times making designs of their own. Some of these quilts are still of a practical nature but many are priceless works of art. Isabel Chesnut, Lucille Terry and Dale Carter have been recent outstanding directors of this program.
However, the Relief Society, as its name implies, is basically a service organization. Mary Sinfield, in a talk she gave at an opening social in September, 1959, outlined some of its accomplishments in that area. In 1916 they contributed their share toward a church sponsored wheat storage project; in 1917 they cooperated in the war effort with "Victory Gardens" and other food conservation practices, contributed money and time, rolling bandages etc. for the Red Cross, collected shoes, clothing, magazines and seeds to be shipped overseas, salvaged tinfoil,aluminum, hardware and waste fat, remembered the boys in the armed forces with letters and cards; in 1920 they sent Christmas boxes and $7.25 cash to each of seven missionaries. In addition they donated funds to the Relief for China campaign and sent bedding to the L.D.S.needy in Europe.
Over the years a number of people have had their homes burn in town or on the ranches, Alvira Mathis, John Horsley, Albert Gubler, Ervin Hendrix, Lanse Smith, Richard Bentley, Walter Rosevear, Merrill Gubler, Doph Walch, Leonora Perry, Clinton Scow, and Charles Regele. Each time the Relief Society helped in the crisis with whatever was needed in the way of food, clothing, bedding and other household articles. They have given care and material aid intimes of sickness or death and always see that the troubled families do not have to be concerned with food.
The Relief Society contributed to the Relief Society Memorial Building in Salt Lake City, the two stake houses in Ely, and the church buildings at Lund. In 1921, in conjunction with the other auxiliaries, they presented the ward with a silver sacrament set.
These services were given partly in donation of time, labor, food and other goods as well as money, and partly through a variety of fund raising projects. These included "gathering Sunday eggs", making and selling quilts, and before the church authorities gave a definite order against it, they also raffled quilts, held bazaars for the sale of all kinds of handwork and foods, cooked and served dinners to different groups, and compiled and sold cookbooks.
Closely related to the Relief Society service program are its Visiting Teachers who make monthly visits in pairs to each family to extend offers of help when needed or just to keep in touch. From the first organization, most of the members have taken their turn performing this service.
|LUND Relief Society|
Position and Name
|5 Jun 1898||
President: Mary Jane Judd
President: Emily Burgess
President: Eva Whitehead
|18 Sep 1917||
President: Belle F. Gardner
|30 Sep 1928||
President: Ella Fawcett
|20 Mar 1952||
President: Vera Reid
|26 Sep 1965||
President: Colleen Scow
|8 Sep 1968||
President: Sara McKenzie
President: Margaret A. Gardner