Myron Abbott en zijn vrouwen

Abbott

Blessed are the pure in heart
For they shall see God.

Een grafsteen op Bunkerville Cemetery.
Van Myron Abbott en Lovisa Leavit, his wife.

Over Myron Abbott is veel bekend.
Hij heeft zelf een aantal jaren een dagboek bijgehouden, een korte autobiografie geschreven (waaruit hier wordt geciteerd) en er is ook door anderen over hem geschreven.

Myron Abbott is in 1837 in Illinois geboren. Wanneer hij twee is, wordt zijn vader mormoon. Zes jaar later sterft vader en wanneer Myron elf is trekt moeder met de kinderen naar Utah.
At age 23, I married Laura Josephine Allen. She was 15, beautiful, tall and well built with dark hair worn high on her head and so slender I could span her waist with both hands. She sang beautifully and we often sang duets together.”

In 1862 woont het stel in Toquerville in zuid Utah.
Daar krijgt Myron een aanvaring met een Indiaanse chief. Die trekt zijn pijl en boog, Myron haalt uit met een spa en breekt de arm van de chief.
This made quite a commotion between whites and Indians,” verhaalt later zijn zoon Myron Alma Abbott, “so it was thought best that father go back to Ogden.”

Tweede vrouw
In 1869 woont het echtpaar in Plymouth in Box Elder County op een boerderij.
It was about this time that the young marriage began to run into trouble. In accordance with the Church doctrine of polygamy, Myron courted and married a second wife, Emily Pauline Malan Farley, who was a young Italian convert. She had recently divorced her first husband.

Polygamy, as practiced by the Mormons, required that the first wife (or wives) must give their consent before the husband could marry another wife.
Indeed, the ideal situation was to have the wife (or wives) give the husband another wife. It is evident that Laura Josephine had difficulty accepting a second wife. The marriage occurred October 10, 1870.”

De oudste zoon herinnert zich veel ruzies en in 1877 wordt de scheiding uitgesproken. Myron krijgt de voogdij over hun zes oudste kinderen (de jongste daarvan is vijf), Laura Josephine heeft de voogdij over twee meisjes die nog baby’s zijn.

Myron zelf beschrijft het zo: “She felt that she could stand polygamy but not polygamy and poverty too. Ultimately we were divorced in 1876, she took two daughters to California with her. I kept the 6 older children. I suffered the humiliation of a second divorce from Emily soon afterward as she went back to her former husband.”

Bunkerville
Hierna verhuist Myron met de kinderen naar Bunkerville waar zijn zwager Edward Bunker een soort commune was begonnen, de United Order (een afsplitsing van de LDS Church.
Daar huwt hij in 1878 de 16-jarige Lovisa Leavitt.
Myron Alma was less than a year younger than his new stepmother and did not greet the marriage with enthusiasm. Three years after Myron married Lovisa, Myron Alma married Lovisa’s little half-sister, sixteen-year old Mary Matilda; and Luella (oudste dochter van Myron, jd), also sixteen, married Lovisa’s brother Thomas Dudley. This created a strange intermingling of relationships not uncommon in that day.”

Samuel Knight en Laura Melvina, de zuster van Lovisa, logeren regelmatig bij de Abbotts in Bunkerville en nemen dan hun dochters Emily en Larie mee.
The relationship between the Myron Abbott family and the Samuel Knight family resulted in Myron taking Samuel’s daughter Emily for his polygamous wife. The romance was not without problems. Myron’s diaries suggest that he also courted Laurie but met with stern resistance from Lovisa. Lovisa was twenty-five years old and the mother of five children. Emily Knight was only slightly younger than Lovisa, and they appeared to be good friends.”

Lovisa krijgt nog acht kinderen, Emily krijgt er twee.
Het huwelijk met Emily eindigt in een scheiding (waarom wordt nergens vermeld) en Myron sterft in 1907 – als vader van 24 kinderen.

Lovisa sterft tien jaar later op 56-jarige leeftijd en wordt naast Myron begraven.
Hoewel ze – vind ik op div. plaatsen – in 1909 is hertrouwd met Parley Pratt Canfield.

Laura Josephine Allen
Erg jammer dat over de levens en de drijfveren van alle vrouwen alleen iets wordt vermeld in relatie tot hun man.

Gelukkig heeft Myron Alma nog wel verteld hoe het zijn moeder, Laura Josephine Allen, na de scheiding is vergaan:
In 1903, my mother went back to California and after married an elderly widower named Blake.
They lived at Fortuna, California, for a while but later moved to Long Beach where one of his daughters lived. My son, Brooks, visited them there while doing missionary work in California. He reported that she was apparently contented but aging fast.
Finally, she came to live with her eldest daughter, Mrs. Ella Leavitt (Luella) at Bunkerville, December 2, 1922.
She was failing fast. In January 1924 I was called to her bedside. My sons, Perry and Brooks, went with me and we did all we could to comfort her in her last hours. Two of her daughters came from California also.
She died January 22, 1924. We built a vault and after an impressive funeral service, laid her away beside our father with his other wife, Lovisa
.”

Nb er zijn veel foto’s op internet te bekijken.
Ivm copyright kan ik die hier niet plaatsen.
Waar mogelijk heb ik er bij de namen naar gelinkt.

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