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Lake, Clarissa (Clara) 1828-1900
Lake, Jane -
Lake, Mary -
Lake, Philomela 1853-1931
Lake, Sarah -
Lamastus, Bedford M 1826-1900
Lamastus, Fannie Belle 1872-1953
Lamastus, Glen M 1938-2000
Langford, Edwina Lucille 1919-2000
Lankford, Richard -
Lewis, Harvey J 1916-2001
Lorance, Frank Lloyd 1924-2000
Love, Minnie -
Philomela Lake (1853-1931)
Philomela Lake (1853-1931)

Compiled by Brian L. Taylor, Grandson, July 1998

In a pioneer home that was called "the last place between Ogden and California, Philomela Lake, daughter of William Bailey and Sarah Jane Marler Lake, was born 9 August 1853. She was second of four children in the family. Her father, a Canadian, and her mother, a Mississippian, had met while crossing the plains with their families. Wed the day after Christmas in 1850, the parents had spent that first winter in Farr's Fort in Ogden, then moved out to the farm they had homesteaded in what is now Pleasant View.

Named Philomela for her paternal grandmother, she was early given the nickname "Millie" (as was her grandmother). As a little girl she loved to run to the fields where her father was working and walk back with him at noon; however, after her little sister Sarah was born, she didn't see much of her father; he had been called to serve in the Salmon River Mission at Fort Lemhi, Idaho.

When Millie was four and one-half years of age, her father was killed by Indians while returning with a small party of missionaries bringing mail to Salt Lake City. All her life Millie remembered the arrival of the body of her father in a wagon, packed with snow. He was buried at North Ogden hurriedly so the family could move south to Provo while Johnston's Army approached Utah. The tragedy of her father's death still occupied her thoughts when at a conference at Provo on 2 June 1858, Brigham Young asked Pleasant Green Taylor (called "P. G.") to marry Millie's mother Sarah Jane and take care of her and her family. President Young cherished his close friends, the Lakes, and wanted Bailey's widow to be taken care of.

After the trouble with Johnston's Army was settled, P. G. moved Sarah Jane and her family to live with him in Harrisville. Sarah Jane insisted that her children respect P. G. by calling him "Pa." 'This was very difficult for Millie to do when her heart was still broken over the loss of her beloved father; however, with the passing of time, the children learned to love and appreciate this new father, who loved them and treated them as his own children.

Millie had a happy childhood, taking advantage of every opportunity to attend school. However, she also had to work hard at home, laboring in the fields, also carding, spinning and weaving wool. Aunt Clara Lake Taylor, first wife of P.G., was often ill. Millie always became very homesick when she was sent to help Aunt Clara.

P. G.'s nephew, William Andrew Taylor, who lived in West Harrisville, and fifteen-year-old Millie became sweethearts. He would bring a pony for her to ride side-saddle and take her to dances. Although marriages often took place at early ages in pioneer days, Millie was quite surprised when Andrew asked her to marry him. A handsome young man of eighteen, he was unhappy living at home with his stepmother and working for his father for nothing. When he threatened to go to California if she refused, she agreed to the marriage to keep him home.

The winter before her wedding she knitted enough stockings to buy herself a shawl. (She could knit a stocking in an evening.)

Millie didn't tell her mother she was going to be married until just before the event. Andrew and Millie made the two-day trip to the Endowment House in Salt Lake City for their marriage on 26 April 1869. Even though both of them were quite young, Millie never regretted her early marriage.

The newlyweds lived with his family until fall, when Andrew built a one-room log house on a quarter section of ground he had pre-empted at $1.25 per acre.

Just a month before her seventeenth birthday Millie's first son, William Andrew, Jr., was born 12 Jul 1870. On 13 Mar 1872 Bailey was born, then Millie Almeda arrived 9 Dee 1874. She was followed by George Lorin on 8 Apr 1876 and Mary Ellen, 7 May 1879.

The family was still living in the log cabin with a lean-to added onto one side when a scourge of diphtheria spread over the community. Late in December 1879 the four older children contracted the disease. Little George died first 21 Dee 1879; five-year-old Almeda died next on 4 Jan 1880, and Bailey died four days later on 8 January. Millie was heartbroken, especially over losing her little "Medie", who was so close to her heart. Will was so sick during this time that she dared not give him a drink unless Andrew was there to help. The boy's throat was so eaten with this disease that his nose and throat were affected the rest of his life. The parents were grateful that Mary, a nursing baby, did not contract the disease. At Millie's funeral, Patriarch John Webster told about going with Andrew to bury the children one by one in weather so cold that Andrew's ears froze, and how Millie just stood bravely on the porch watching them load each body in turn for transporting to the cemetery. The shock of the deaths was numbing to Millie. She didn't know at times whether she was putting salt or sugar in the food, and she would just have to stand and think about what she was supposed to be doing.

Three more daughters came to the family, Ida on 3 Jan 1881, Eliza Ann on 16 Nov 1882, and Aner, 16 Oct 1884. In the spring of 1884 the Taylors made plans to build a new two-story frame home on the west side of their property. Just after they began the project, some friends came by and told them about some children who had just burned to death in an upstairs room. Millie's reaction was immediate: "There will be no upstairs in the new home." The plans were changed; they proceeded to build a two-room house. On 23 May 1886 little Riley Edmund made his appearance. By fall of the next year, three more rooms had been added on the north of the home to make it complete. Millie was so proud of her new home, because she could go into every room from the kitchen.

The home was hardly finished before Andrew received a mission call to the Northwestern States. Leaving 12 Nov 1887, he served two years in Kansas and Nebraska with Millie's full support. With the help of Will, age 17, and the girls, Millie carefully managed the farm during his absence. Mary, age nine, and Ida, age seven, milked two cows each twice daily. Millie nursed the whole family through the measles while Andrew was gone. Also, she made a home for the son and daughter of a Kansas family named Finkinbinder for awhile.

On 30 Nov 1890 the western part of Harrisville was organized as the Farr West Ward with Andrew as its first bishop. For some reason Millie had some misgivings about his call to that position; however, she gave him full support.

Sixteen months later Andrew, smitten with severe abdominal pains, finally required surgery on their kitchen table. He survived the surgery, but died shortly afterward. Left a widow, Millie had little time for mourning. Son Will had made plans to marry Annie Holley, so his mother encouraged him to proceed with his plans. He and his new bride lived in part of his mother's home with an adjoining summer kitchen for three or four years while he ran his mother's farm. He and his family were very supportive to Millie and her family.

On the following May 16th Millie gave birth to twin girls, bringing her number of dependents to seven, all under fourteen years of age.

When Elder Franklin D. Richards, former president of the Weber Stake, came to reorganize the bishopric in July, Millie asked him to bless her babies. When she told him the names, he spelled them out, naming Iriminda first, then Icivinda. Both received the same blessing at the same time. Niels P. Lee commented that those babies ought to be good women after receiving such a wonderful blessing.

Icivinda was never strong. Millie nursed them both until they were six months old. Then, still grieving as she was, she put Iriminda on the bottle most of the time. Sometimes she had Aner stay home from school to help her with the babies.

When Mr. I. L. Clark, a merchant in Ogden, heard of Andrew's death, he told Millie to never let her children go without shoes. If she was short of money, she was to come and get the shoes and pay for them later as she could. After the twins were born, he sent them each a little black silk embroidered hood with a black net and lace rosette on top at the front of the hood. Iriminda stated that they wore them for a long time because they were quite large. Later, when Riley was on his mission, Mr. Dark heard that Millie's buggy horse had died, so he gave her his. He had bought an automobile and wanted to give the horse to someone who would take good care of it.

At the time the twins were two, Millie and Iriminda had typhoid fever. The next year Eliza and Icivinda had it. Niels P. Lee brought his son John and together moved the water pump to a new location and drove the point deeper. That solved the typhoid problem.

Through many hard years Philomela toiled to manage the farm and provide for her family. Driving her buggy into Ogden, she would inquire around to find families who needed washing and ironing done. She and her girls took care of this work without any conveniences. At first they did all the washing with a washboard; later they had a hand-turned washer. They ironed with sad irons heated on a stove in which wood or coal was burned. Unbelievably, they did this work for twenty-five cents a dozen for large pieces, which often had ruffles and lace. If pieces were small, they did several of them to count for one large piece. Millie would keep the fires going, clean the irons, chop wood, do chores and let the girls iron. When they were older, she occasionally sent Aner in the single buggy to buy fifty cents worth of coal to help make hot fires for ironing.

Later, for additional income, she did janitorial work at the meetinghouse for eight dollars a month. Her granddaughter Lola Taylor remembered as a little girl going with her grandmother on a very dark night through deep mud to "the hall" as the church was called, to make a fire for a live show. Millie carried a kerosene lantern to light the way.

After some of her family grew up, Millie boarded school teachers and a man by the name of Charlie Merrill.

Will, Annie and their family lived in the back bedroom and a built-on summer kitchen for about six years. Their second child, badly crippled, cried most of the time. During those days Millie had crying spells that lasted two or three days at a time. When Will would ask her the reason, she didn't know. This was probably her way of getting release from the tremendous burden she was carrying, her loneliness and the aftermath of her grief. She never talked with her family about her heartaches or concerns.

When Riley was about twelve, one of the brethren advised Millie to let Will have the house and small farm across the street diagonally (which Andrew had purchased before his death), because Will had done so much to help her. She followed that advice.

Millie was an excellent manager. A favorite dish of the family was diced potatoes and onions cooked together. Millie then added milk which she had thickened, some bits of fried pork and dried bread. Many meals were just milk gravy and bread. In later years when her girls brought friends to eat Sunday dinner with them, rice pudding was a favorite dessert.

Millie, a strict disciiplinarian, insisted that the girls demonstrate respect for her, especially after Andrew died. She refused to let the girls quarrel. While she was loving and kind, she could be forceful when occasion required.

Despite the hardships of their life without a father, Millie gave most of her children the advantage of a fairly good education for those days. Mary attended Weber Academy and taught school. Ida and Eliza studied dressmaking in Ogden. Riley, Iriminda and Icivinda attended Weber Academy for a year or two of high school.

The three older girls stayed in Ogden during the week, but came home over Saturday and Sunday, then Millie would drive them back to Ogden Sunday afternoon. This was such a hardship on the family that she couldn't give Aner any of these advantages, for which she grieved bitterly after Aner was married.

Millie carried other heartaches, too. She realized that she had allowed Icivinda to do hard work when she wasn't strong, and of necessity she had Riley assume manly responsibilities on the farm when he was far too young.

Fortunately, family life included lots of happy times, too. Some of the children loved to joke, laugh, and tease. On the night John and Eliza were married, the girls switched bedrooms. Dave Lee and others threw water through the bedroom window, thinking they were playing tricks on the newlyweds. Instead, they doused Dave's future wife Mary and her sister Aner. Later, when Riley and Bessie were married, Roy Fisher and other young fellows took down Millie's wire clotheslines, strung the wire all around the house, winding the wire around the doorknobs as they went. Knowing the likelihood of other pranks, Millie stationed Bessie at the north pantry window with a stove poker, telling Bessie to hit anyone who attempted to come in through the window.

Some of Millie's children recall having "Aunt Lize" (Millie's younger sister) come with her children to visit. The favorite entertainment of these women was to put all the children to bed, then make mince pies and eat some (of course, the children got some later).

Andrew and Millie had borrowed money from her half-brother Josiah to build the north part of their house. When Josiah wanted his money after Andrew's death, Millie borrowed it from Charlie Merrill, a sailor from the Civil War. While boarding at Jane Rawson's, he had helped with the Taylor's plowing and hoeing while Riley was too young to do the work. Millie paid Charley interest for several years, then finally let him board at her home to help pay off the debt. Charley continued to board there for some time after the loan was repaid. Finally, he left at age 64 to live in the "Old Soldiers' Home" in California. He put on his old sailor uniform and proudly walked to the buggy when he left. Iriminda recalled that while Charley boarded with them, he would consent to put on clean clothes, but refused to take a bath, no matter how they pleaded.

In the spring of 1906 Riley received a letter from Box B in Salt Lake City, calling him to serve a mission in the Northwestern States. He took the letter to his brother Will and said he couldn't go and leave his mother and sisters to run the farm. Will encouraged him and said he must not turn it down. He then came into the house and tearfully told his mother about the call. He said he couldn't leave her with all the work. His mother insisted that he accept the call and said she could afford to send him better than she had been able to send his father in 1887. Riley hurriedly got his crops planted and left two weeks later for the mission field.

Millie and Will planned their work together. Will did the machine work on both farms, while Millie, the girls and Russell did the hand work. Millie put Riley's old shoes on and did some of the irrigating herself. Bishop Martin had some men haul the hay and they sold some of it in the fields. Millie and the girls milked the cows. It cost $20 a month to keep Riley on his mission.

In the spring of 1908, Millie dreamed that Riley came home from his mission and seemed very unhappy. She approached Bishop Martin about the matter and learned that the bishopric felt Riley should come home, since the farm work was so hard for her and the girls. Millie told him emphatically that she wanted Riley to finish his mission, displaying the strong faith that had characterized her mother and grandmother before her. Riley stayed, enjoying the most productive part of his whole mission.

After Riley returned from his mission, he married Bessie, then lived in the part of his mother's house where Will and Annie had first resided. Eventually, she sold the farm to Riley as she had promised. In 1920 when Riley's growing family needed more room, Riley built his mother a nice two-room home with a comfortable lean-to room at the back, which she occupied when she was not busy helping other members of her family during their own difficult experiences.

In 1909 Millie, with help from her twins, took care of the janitor work at the church for $8.00 a month. Later, it was raised to $10.00. Performing the numerous duties of that assignment, they had to do things that are not even known in modern custodial work. Ashes had to be removed from two (sometimes three) stoves before fires could be started. The coal and kindling wood which was used to start fires had to be carried quite a distance from the coal house. Without electricity, they had to climb a tall ladder to fill the gas lights with coal oil or to light them. One or two of them walked to the church many times through snow, mud, rain or fog or bitterly cold weather just to light a previously laid fire. During winter weather the building felt cold while they cleaned it. When snow was on the ground, they cleared snow from the front platform and steps. Bishop Moroni Chugg stated that during his nearly 20 years as bishop, no one kept the building as clean and warm as the Taylors.

A beautiful quilter, Millie helped her daughters make many lovely quilts before they were married; then later, when possible, she helped them finish quilts for their families.

Millie probably never owned a store rug. She dyed and tore rags about one inch wide, which she sewed together into a long strip and wound into balls. She took the balls to a weaver and had them woven into one long strip. She then cut and sewed the strips together until she had enough to cover her floor. She usually put fresh straw under the carpet so it would be soft to walk on. Sometimes she used old newspapers for padding. Visitors often commented how bright and pretty her carpets looked. When the girls grew old enough, they helped their mother make the carpets.

Millie had some unusual experiences occasionally. Once when her granddaughter Leila was visiting with her, the young girl heard a shriek and a bang in the pantry. Rushing to the pantry door to see the cause of the noise, Leila heard Millie exclaim, "There's a mouse in the flour bin!" While most females would have steered clear of the rodent, not so with Millie. Cautiously she raised the lid of the bin, grabbed her flour sieve and after a few tries had the mouse snared. She snatched a lid and covered the sieve as she edged it from the side of the bin. Then she disposed of the intruder outside.

Before automobiles began to be used, peddlers frequented the country. About 1913 after a peddler had visited Millie, she noticed that a lovely brooch was missing from the pin cushion which hung on the wall near the door. Since no one else had been there, Millie was certain he had taken it. She told Bessie, her daughter- in-law, who lived in the other part of the house. A few days later the same peddler stopped at Bessie's door. She let him in, then slipped in and told Millie he was there. Millie came in, quickly walked across the room and grabbed his necktie , which had a tie pin in it. When he jumped back and asked what she was doing, she explained that she thought it was the brooch he had taken out of her pin cushion. He denied taking the brooch, but he made a hasty exit from the house.

Millie appeared to have good health most of her life. However, in 1973 her daughter Iriminda told Leila Heslop about a couple of her operations. "Mother told me when Father died in 1892 the lump just below the waist line on her back was the size of an egg. She didn't have enough money to visit a doctor. She didn't think of herself, only the family.

"When Montie was born in January 1903 at Mother's home, Mary had the doctor look at Mother's back. He told her the growth was just under the skin and the operation wouldn't be bad. As soon as Mary was strong again. Mother went to Charles Greenwell's home in Ogden where his wife Fanny had a room which Dr. Edward Rich used for operations. It was less expensive than the hospital. Her mother, Little Grandma, stayed with her. The doctor removed a fatty tumor large enough to fill a milk pan. The family was so happy to have it taken care of. The girls had to alter her clothes to make them fit; she looked so nice again.

"In April 1917, Mother went to General Conference in Salt Lake City with John Lee and Moroni Chugg, her sons-in-law. It was during World War I and she was worried for fear some of her sons- in-law might have to go to war. She wanted to hear what President Joseph F. Smith had to say about the war. The three of them took the 'dummy' to Ogden, then changed to the Bamberger electric train to Salt Lake City. As both men were bishops, they sat in the section reserved for bishops, after making arrangements to meet her for dinner.

"Mother went up in the balcony of the Tabernacle, but conference just got started when she became very ill and had to go out and vomit. She went back in, but had to go out again. She hated to miss the men and have them worry, but she knew she had to go home. When she got to Ogden, she saw Brother Arthur Crane in the depot. She knew Riley was in Ogden, so she asked Brother Crane to go find him and bring him there. When Riley arrived and saw how sick Mother was, he got a taxi and took her home. The next morning. Will, Riley and Brother David Kinghorn gave her a blessing. She said it took all the fear out of her.

"Doctor Edward Rich was summoned and he told her she had a tumor in her abdomen. When she had stepped up in the train, it must have turned and stopped the circulation and started to die, which caused gangrene. She was taken to the hospital and operated on immediately. The doctor removed a ten-pound cyst or water tumor. She got along very well. When she got home, she asked Norma to stay with her until she was able to take care of herself.

When Millie reached her seventieth birthday anniversary, her family arranged a party for her at the home of her son Will in Farr West on Thursday, 9 Aug 1923. Arranging two long tables to accommodate over sixty guests, her family placed a large birthday cake with 70 candles at the center of the table.

The family honored one special guest at the party--Millie's mother, Sarah Jane Taylor, then 88, of Harrisville. Other guests included her sisters Mary and Sarah and their husband Joseph Alien Taylor; also, the following sisters-in-law: Mrs. William B. Lake, Mrs. Walter Taylor, Mrs. Clarissa Taylor, and Mrs. Melvina Rawson. Her children were all present except Mary Lee of Rigby, Idaho. Many other guests called during the afternoon and evening.

One evening about 1916 when the ward teachers came to visit, Millie told them that Andrew had used tobacco when they wre first married. However, one day he put it in the cupboard and never used it again. She wept as she told this experience, obviously still grieving for the loss of her companion over 20 years earlier. She indicated that Andrew had quit because when he was smoking one day, he threw his cigarette away and one of the little boys picked it up and tried to smoke.

In the spring of 1918 Eliza died in childbirth at her home in Grant Idaho. Millie, who was there at the time, stayed with the family to care for them till fall. At that time the terrible influenza epidemic raged throughout the country. When Wilburn came home sick from school one day, John kept him away from Millie, then suggested that she return home so she wouldn't risk getting the disease. Dave Lee, John's brother, took Millie to the train early next morning before the children arose, so she could avoid sad farewells. She wore a medical mask over her nose while riding home on the train.

Shortly before Millie's new home was built, the Pleasant Green Taylor estate trustees hired Millie to live with and take care of her mother. Then nearing seventy years of age, she found it difficult to do all the housework, cooking, washing on the washboard and ironing. Millie made it clear that she did not have to be paid to care for her mother, but the estate manager insisted that she be paid. Aner, who had moved to Ogden in the mid-twenties, often had to give her mother some assistance.

The year 1925 found Iriminda's little girl Donna so ill with a brain tumor that she had to be taken to Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, for surgery. Then Millie's mother died in March 1927. Icivinda became very ill during the winter of 1928, then died in February, leaving four motherless children. Again Millie stepped in to help manage a motherless family. Then when Will's wife Annie died of cancer in August 1928 with six of her children still living at home. Will often leaned on his mother for comfort and understanding.

Then little Donna became so ill that Millie went to stay with Iriminda to ease her load. While there, Millie remarked to her daughter that she hoped she would never live to see another one of her children's families left motherless.

The last years of Millie's life were plagued with severe sinus infection. Though the pain and drainage caused severe discomfort, she never complained. She made the comment to Iriminda one time that it is a good thing people don't know what lies ahead in life or they would go jump in the river.

During the fall of 1930 Millie told Iriminda that she felt tired, so she would go home for the winter, then come again next summer if Iriminda needed her. That winter as she stayed home, she kept saying how tired she felt. She indicated that she wouldn't be able to go help her children as she had done previously. She made her own fires, cooked most of her own meals, had dinner quite often with Ri ley's family, and took care of herself. In late winter her sister wanted her to take a trip to California. She even bought a new coat for the trip. When Riley came to see her about making reservations on the train, she started to cry and said she didn't feel well enough to travel. He comforted her and said she didn't have to go. About 1 March 1931 she began having sinking spells with her heart in the mornings when she awakened. Riley persuaded her to let him make the fires, saying that she would feel better if he did. (His young son Brian had been bringing in her coal and kindling and Bessie had been doing her washing all winter.)

When Millie became weaker, Riley asked Dr. Edward Rich to come from Ogden to see her. The doctor informed her sons that her heart was so bad that she wouldn't live more than a month. That information was relayed to other family members, who flocked around her to show their love and concern. Ninety-eight people came to visit her; however, some had to be turned away during the last three weeks of her life. Her prayer that she would never be a burden to anyone was answered in part when she was bedfast for only four days.

In the presence of Will, his new wife Sally, Riley, and the Relief Society president, Millie passed away at one o'clock on Tuesday morning, 14 April 1931. Her funeral was held 16 April in the Farr West Chapel with Bishop Lorenzo Taylor conducting. She was buried beside Andrew in the Ogden City cemetery.

Millie's life, in retrospection, includes numerous noteworthy accomplishments. All of her children were active in the Church. The girls worked in the Sunday School, Primary and Mutual. Will was assistant superintendent of the Sunday School for fourteen years and on the Stake High Council for several years. Riley was ward clerk for almost nineteen years and a member of the High Council for fourteen years. Perhaps the crowning tribute to her faithfulness is the fact that all of her eight children who grew to maturity were married in the temple. Millie herself had served as first counselor to the first organization of the Young Women's Mutual Improvement Association in Farr West and had served for over 50 years in Relief Society work.

Millie had reared a fine, respectable family She had been mother to eleven, grandmother to fifty-seven and great-grandmother to over 60 at the time of her death.

1. Geisler, Zesta T., "Romance in Her Name," a biography written in 1948.
2. Heslop, Leila, "Her Helping Hand", a biography of Philomela, written in 1973.
3. Wells, Lola T., "Philomela Lake Taylor", DUP Lesson, Oct. 1980.