Cordelia Amelia Warner (1858-1915)

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Cordelia Amelia Warner Peterson
Warner, Cordelia Amelia.jpg
Born: 21 Sep 1858 Fillmore, Utah
Died: 3 Aug 1915 Fillmore, Utah
Father: Dorus Burzee Warner
Mother: Cordelia Amanda Webb
Siblings: Cordelia Amelia Warner
Delilah Sophronia Warner
Laura Ella Dean Warner
Milo Dorus Warner
Marcellus Orange Warner
Abigail Warner
Lois Warner
Viola Warner
Harvey Warner
Albert Warner
Frances Mortemer Warner
Spouse: Ova Peterson
Married: 10 May 1875 Salt Lake City, Utah
Children: Gertrude Amelia Peterson
Loneva Peterson
Ova Leon Peterson
Mary Amanda Peterson
Dorus Ernest Peterson
Edna Christina Peterson
Evelyn Peterson
Delilah Adel Peterson
Vernell Peterson
Marvin Wilbur Peterson
Alberta Peterson
Spencer Wells Peterson
Thelma Neoma Peterson



by Thelma Neoma Peterson Butler

Edited and organized by Lois R. Hall, August 1968

My own mother, Amelia, was born when life on the frontier was pretty raw; she told how proud her mother was over her first kitchen range. My Aunt Lyle, as we called aunt Delilah Safrona, told me several stories about my mother's encounters with Indians. She considered Amelia to be very brave. When they were small girls, playing with their rag dolls, two Indians appeared dressed only in breech cloths. They had long knives and the seized the girls' dolls as they danced their war dance, making believe they were going to cut the dolls in half. Then all of Amelia's fierce mother instincts flared up and she flew at them like a real pioneer mother. The Indians thought it was funny, later when some grown ups came on the scene, they said, "Dorus Warner's papoose very brave". When the girls were older and the peach trees were bearing fruit, the girls had picked a wooded tub of peaches when two squaws came along and grabbed the tub and tried to make off with it. Aunt Lyle ran screaming for help, but mother picked up a big stick and hit the squaws over their backs until they were glad to put the peaches down.

Mother was the oldest child and early in life had to take much of the responsibility of caring for the many children that followed. As a small child she helped to knit the stockings, iron the clothes and wash the dishes. She was so small that she had to stand on a block of wood in order to reach the dish pan. Grandmother was much in demand for caring for the sick, so Amelia grew up very young.

Ova Peterson, at the age of twenty-three, was desirous of a help mate, decided with favor upon Amelia. Brigham Young had stated that any young man who was still un-married at the age of twenty-five was a menace to society, and he told them to get married, even if they owned nothing but a straw bed and that without a tick.

Amelia has a great desire for learning and had availed herself of every opportunity to forge ahead, and could give beautiful readings. I think she was a great help to my father in education and resourcefulness. Father too has a keen desire to acquire knowledge; he loved to improve his vocabulary and mother always had the dictionary habit. If she came to a word she didn't know she made it a must to look it up so she would understand it the next time she heard it. Father never went to conference but he came home with some new words in his vocabulary and put them into use.

One thing that was a great source of irritation to father was the Warner's generosity. They were giving to the extreme and Ova had old embedded ideas of frugality inherited from life in the old country. Material wealth gave Dad a feeling of importance. To think that a little Danish boy could come over here and maybe even get wealthy was his ambition. Mother tried to comply with his wishes and worked hard doing extra things to bring in money to buy the things for her family that father would perhaps call falderall; though he was always proud of his family and wanted them to look nice, if he didn't have to worry about the cost. Fortunately, mother was a genius about fixing things over. I marvel at the selflessness of our mother. How rare were the occasions when she did things for her own comfort or vanity. She loved to gather us children around her an read to us while we washed her feet or combed her hair. Her joys were simple ones. She taught us early to love poetry and literature; she had good expression for reading aloud. She had a great loyalty for her loved ones; her days were dedicated to their comfort and benefit. Mother was so wise in many ways. She taught her daughters that virtue was priceless; that loud laughter was unbecoming; that pretty is as pretty does. In looking back over my life I feel everlasting gratitude to my mother for the fundamental things she caused to come into our lives.

As a small child, the youngest of a large family, it was my privilege to tag along with my mother most of the time, everywhere she went; so it was my privilege to go often to my grandparents' home, I can tell you I was a little pitcher with big ears. It was at quilting bees that I received most of my informal education. They were a great social item for women in those days. I often heard my grandmother say little children should be seen and not heard; but from my position, playing under the quilt, I found it very convenient to be neither seen or heard. Here I learned all the current gossip. I have heard grandmother tell some of the younger women, if the chanced to say something gossipy about someone, to be careful as their children were not raised yet. She was always trying to impress the girls with true values as she saw them. She said that pretty is as pretty does, that beauty is only skin deep; that it is more important to be able to make good bread and button holes and to sew a fine seam. Here we heard the value of sulfur and molasses to purify the blood, also my own sisters were under discussion because they liked to ride astraddle a horse instead of side saddle. Often the room was reeking with the smell of asafediti, that was worn on a string around the children's necks in cloth pouches. The repulsive odor was supposed to make one immune to the current contagions.

Then there was the exchange of recipes, Aunt Ninnon could make the best dried peach pies. Grandmother was famous for her hot biscuit and salt raising bread. My own mother could make wonderful potawattomy plum pudding, steamed in a bag. My sisters True and Amanda could make the whitest bread and the fluffiest pie crust. Here is a recipe for Salt Rising Bread:

Early Evening: Mix two handfuls of graham flour and one handfull of Bran or whole wheat flour, add a pinch of salt and a pinch of sugar. Wet with enough hot milk or water to make a thick paste. Cover and keep warm.
Next Morning: set in a pan of warm water, Keep covered.
When it is light and foamy it is ready to use as yeast. Put two sieves of white flour in a large mixing bowl, make a hole in the center and pour in one cup of boiling water; mix a little flour in; add five cups of warm water and two table-spoonfuls of sugar, and a pinch of soda. Pour in the foamy rising and whip good. Cover and set bowl in a pan of warm water. When it is spongy and light, mix stiff with flour and make into loaves. When it has risen, cook at 350 degrees for one hour.

Mother and Aunt Lyle lived neighbors in the south end of town; their houses were on the road the Indians traveled to and from Fillmore. The Indians always came to their houses to beg. Mother always gave them some of our supplies, flour, dried fruit, or honey. Even after all of mother's family was grown and I was left alone in the old home the Indians still came begging at the door. Once they got inside the door, they would beg for anything that took their fancy, When I refused them a new quilt my Aunt Viola had helped me make, they said "If Amelia Warner were here she would give it to me". I rather doubted that, but I know Mother always had great compassion for others less fortunate than herself. That was the first quilt I had ever made and I was too proud of it.

One day when Lyle and Min (Nickname for Amelia) and their first little children were enjoying the association of each other, while their husbands were working some distance away in the fields, they heard a band of drunken Indians coming up the road toward our house. Imagine their fright when the Indians turned in our gate. They were swinging long knives around their heads and letting out war whoops and swearing they would kill "white mans squaws and papooses" Amelia hid Lyle and all the children under a trap door in the floor that put them in a dug out cellar under the house; then concealed the door with a rug and watching for her chance, she ran out of the opposite side of the house from the Indians and through the trees to where the men were working. Grandfather Peterson, Uncle Joe, and father were soon back to the house armed with clubs and axes. By this time the Indians were in the house and the men had to get real tough with them before they would leave.

Mother inherited from her father the love of growing things, she enjoyed the miracle of spring and the good days found her outside digging in the good earth. I think the harsh or unpleasant things of her life were forgotten in the making of her garden, but I do remember her saying that Autumn was her favorite time of the year.

The harvest time of the year was so beautiful around Fillmore. The Maples and Oaks in their reds and yellows against the blues and greens of the Juniper and Pine, was a stirring sight. The orchards laden with fruit was another and grapes hanging from their arbors brings pleasant memories. I remember the preparations for winter; there were long lanes of ricked up cords of wood, both cedar and oak; cedar to make a quick fire and oak to make it last. After I left Fillmore it seemed impossible to make a fire in a stove because I didn't have any cedar bark to start it with. Down in the cellar there were crocks and crocks of peach, pear, and potawattomy plum preserves; cans of honey and molasses and sacks of dried apples and prunes; bins of winter permaine apples and stacks of homemade soap. Oh, yes the wheat had been taken to the grist mill and the bin was full of flour. There was a sack of dried corn and a pile of squash and cobs of corn for popping. I can imagine that when all this was accomplished, mother was glad to settle down to her Happy Hours and Good Stories Magazine and know that we children were safely back in school. Of course she had her knitting and sewing to catch up on, for all of us children, in those days, wore home-made knit stockings.

The core of our fun in the winter was from family and neighborhood parties. They were prevalent when I was a little girl and because I was the youngest in the family, my parents always took me. Mother most always said she had to take her 'baby' even when I was quite grown up. I always made it a point to be quiet and pleasant so no one could find fault with my behavior, so Amelia wouldn't have to leave her 'baby' home. Maurel Warner told me in recent years about "Aunt Amelia" saying she couldn't stay without her baby and he thought it strange that she should have a baby that he didn't know about. I am sure glad I got to go to those parties for they were an education to me. Almost any event served as an excuse for one of these reunion parties. Aunt Lyle and Uncle Joe Tyler's visits or their children's visits set off a series of merrymaking parties. Such laughter and jokes and sheer, loving fun. Charades with all it's play acting was one of their favorite amusements. They could play the best jokes on each other--- all in fun. One time Dorus Peterson rode Uncle Harvey when they were acting out "Mt. Baldy". This had the crowd puzzled for some time to guess the proper noun in two words. Another time half the crowd tried to get under the stand table when they were acting out "Understanding".

An evening was never complete without some singing, Amanda and Fred could harmonize so beautifully, also Uncle Milo, Uncle Bert and Harv had good voices with Aunt Lois and Aunt Vi to play the organ and sing too. When Dorus brought his bride, Pearl, we were all thrilled to hear the pure sweetness of her voice. Then some of the family that were somewhat gifted in giving readings would recite. Leon would give "St. Peter at the Golden Gate", or Dorus would give, "How Ruby Played The Piano", or Marvin, "Green Mt. Justice". Some of Uncle Milo's children could give readings too, and when Aunt Lyle's children came we found they were talented along that line also. Sister Evelyn and Sister Lila could move audiences to tears or laughter, according to the mood of their readings. Then some liked a touch of the mysterious. There was a story about making the table dance, and some of the family having conversed with the spirits. So we listened as some told of those strange happenings, with goose flesh and others with their tongue in cheeks.

What a time for visiting and exchanging ideas when Aunt Lyle came to Fillmore to visit. Aunt Lyle always came loaded with artistic ideas of painting wall hangings, gourds, rug making, pin cushions, or a new quilt pattern. One time it was making scissors holders from a chicken foot. They were most busy and artistic and their circle included Aunt Vie and Aunt Lois and some of the younger women. I remember Uncle Harvey coming in on one of their rug bees and his remark was, "I'd rather have my wife take time out to sit on my lap".

Mother liked to keep abreast of the times and men and women liked to stop and chat with her. Father made some acquaintances in the surrounding towns as he built many of the homes in those towns and he always liked to ask people to stop at our house when they were in Fillmore. Fillmore being the county seat and also the State Headquarters, we had many over-night visitors, as travel was slow with their teams and buggies. These visitors brought interest into mother's life though it did mean extra work in her already busy life. Many times I remember father falling asleep, and mother and the visitors sitting, talking by the fire, far into the night.

Mother taught us early in life to love books and poetry, and to love the spoken word; also to love beauty. My early recollections of a pleasant evening together was in reading books together --- taking turns reading aloud and putting meaning and expression to the words. She implanted true religion in the hearts of us children. She had great compassion for others less fortunate. My family had the ethics of religion even though some didn't accept the doctrines of the church. I have often heard some of them say,"Doing good is my religion" and I know they tried to live by it.

Mother was brave and bore her troubles uncomplainingly. Her heroism is something of a wonder to reflect upon. Mother was much loved by all her family; I think her son-in-laws thought as much of her as they did their own mothers. I shall always think well of Frank Robison as he was always so kind and thoughtful to our mother.

Never, in my remembrance, did mother have good health, but the last summer she had been gradually getting weaker. She had an asthma cough for many years, then a general breakdown of health with dropsy taking her at the last. Her large family, hard work, and many worries took an early toll; she was not quite fifty-six years old. We had several long talks, that last summer together. She finally had come to realize that I had grown up and depended on me for so much of her care. My older sister, Alberta, was away to summer school; brother Marvin was so tender and good to mother. I think he was a natural for taking care of sick people. We had a wheel chair for her and she spent most of her time in it. I don't think any of us realized her time was so short, but she herself. That last afternoon, I had wheeled her outside under the shade of a tree, and was reading to her; she usually enjoyed it but this time she said,"Let us stop and talk awhile, Thelma, I want you to know that you have been a great help to me. Before you were born I felt like a baker's dozen was one too many, but you have fulfilled my blessing that my last child would be a great blessing to me". We poured out our hearts to each other that last afternoon; finally she said to me that she was tired and went to sleep. When she awoke to look around, she saw all of her children but Lila, her last words in this life were to ask for Frank Robison. She then smiled at all of us and went to her last sleep.

Mother thought she had lived in a marvelous age; she had seen the tomahawk laid low and the coming of the electric age, though she didn't get to enjoy many of the conveniences. How nice it would have been for her to have had a radio to listen to while she spent those many hours knitting, and an electric blanket to warm her bed.


The Progress, Volume XXIV, Number 32, Friday 6 Aug 1915:




In the death of Mrs. Cordelia Amelia Peterson who died on Monday evening of this week at mid-night, we have lost another of our old residents. Mrs. Peterson was Cordelia Amelia Warner before her marriage to Mr. Ova Peterson of Fillmore, and was born and raised here. She was the mother of 13 children ten of whom are now living and whose names follow: Mrs. Gertrude Robison, Leon, Mrs. Lamanda Cummings, Marvin, Alberta, Spencer and Thelma of Fillmore, Dorris of Bancroft, Idaho, Mrs. Edna Neilson of Fairfield, Idaho, and Mrs. Delilah Anderson of Elsinore, Utah. Mrs. Peterson during her life here was greatly loved by all who knew her. At the time of her death she was 57 years of age. Flowers, not thorns, sunshine not shadow, did she scatter everywhere. With these she was lavish. Truth was the inspiration of her life. She was a true member of the L.D.S. Church and it was in our chapel here that the funeral was held on Wednesday afternoon, and the attendance at the funeral showed the esteem in which she was held by everyone here.

The speakers at the funeral were H. C. Lewis, J. A. Kelly and Alonzo F. Robison all of whom extolled the virtues of the deceased and spoke loving words of comfort to the members of the grief stricken family. The "Holy City" was beautifully rendered by Mrs. Helen Derrick, the choir also sang special music. Among us all she ranked always as a woman of culture, and refinement, a kind neighbor, a devoted mother and a true friend. We desire to add our mite of sympathy to that which has already been expressed and to assert that "She is not dead, but sleeping." May her spirit rest in peace.


  • Name variations:
Amelia Cordelia [death record]
Amelia Cardelia [death record]
  • Despain, Carrie Robison and Garner, Melba Despain. History & Genealogy of the Franklin Alonzo Robison Family, p. 47.
  • Day, Stella H. Builders of Early Millard, pp. 566, 735.
  • Lichfield, Beulah Menlove. Cemetery Records, Fillmore, Millard Co., Utah, pp. 51, 58.
  • Warner, Julia Stevens. Warner Writings, p. 18.
  • Sorensen, Carole Gates. Warner Manor, p. 186.
  • Birth: FHL Film #1059486, Item #4, Rogers, Sarah. Fillmore Branch Registration, p. 26:
Number: 212
Female: Cordelia Amelia Warner
  • 1860 Federal Census, Utah, Millard County, Fillmore City, Page #106, Dwelling #924, Family #842, enumerated 14 Jul 1860:
Amelia, 1, f, Utah Territory
  • 1870 Federal Census, Utah, Millard County, Town: Fillmore, Post Office: Fillmore, Enumerated 24 Jun 1870, page 7, Dwelling 53, Family 51:
Amelia, 11, f, w, At School, Utah
  • 1880 Federal Census, Utah, Millard County, Fillmore City, page 19, Dwelling #164, Family #180, Enumerated 8 Jun 1880:
Amelia, F, 21, Wife, Keeping House, Ut, NY
  • Death: Register (Record) of Deaths, Fillmore City, Utah, Book 2, p. 15, no. 276:
Amelia Cordelia Peterson
Age: 56y 10m 11d
female, caucasian, white, lifetime resident
Born: Fillmore City
married, housewife
Cause: Oedema of lungs
Died: 3 Aug 1915
Buried: Fillmore City Cemetery, block 71, lot 3
Informant: Ova Peterson.
  • Death variant: 2 Aug 1915 [gravestone]
  • Burial: Lichfield, Beulah Menlove. Cemetery Records, Fillmore, Millard County, Utah, p. 50:
Name: PETERSON, Amelia Cardelia
Born: 21 Sep 1858 in Fillmore, Utah
Age at Death:
Parents: Dorus B. Warner & Cordelia Webb
Died: 3 Aug 1915
Buried: Block 71, Lot 3
Reported by: Ova Peterson
Comments: Married. Lived in Fillmore. Was a house wife.
  • Burial: Fillmore City Corporation, Cemetery Single Line List, by Deceased Name, 22 Apr 1990, p. 37:
PETERSON, Amelia Cardelia
BLK 71, Lot 3, Grave 8
d. 8-03-1915