Emily (left) and Elizabeth (right) Pugsley.
A snow storm of blizzard proportions was raging on the twenty-third of December, 1854, in Salt Lake City, Utah. Philip Pugsley, a young Englishman, had gone to obtain aid for his wife, Martha, who was expecting her second baby. The drifted snow made progress slow and uncertain, but the only mid-wife obtainable reached his home shortly before the baby daughter was born. The log cabin in which she was born had only a leaky roof and a rough dirt floor. A quilt had been fastened above the bed to protect the young mother and child from the storm. The parents had crossed the continent by foot and ox team in order to be with the members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, to which they had become converted.
[Elizabeth Ann Pugsley’s] early life while one of sacrifice and hardship, was nevertheless a happy one, since she had the love of devoted parents and was a member of a large congenial family. As the family grew in size, they prospered in wordly goods so that they enjoyed most of the advantages that came with the years.
Being the oldest daughter, she did not have the opportunity for much schooling, since she was compelled to help her mother rear the family, which included two pair of twins. One boy of a set of twins was reared as her own, she having the entire responsibility of him from his birth until after her marriage. In the early days while she was home, she helped with the making of tallow candles, the carding, spinning, and dyeing of wool for cloth. A shiny, red apple at Christmas time with a home-made doll was all that could be expected.
When she was a young girl she went to night school for two winters with her father and older brother. Her father could read and write but wanted to learn to do bookkeeping, as he felt the need of it as his business increased. Later she went to Morgan’s College for a short time, and then learned dressmaking. For many years all the clothing worn by both men and women of the family was made by her, as clothing, ready made, could not be obtained at any price. She remembers crying one day, because her mother made her pick out some of the work and told her she felt sorry for any man she married because she would hem his shirt tails crooked as an ox yoke.