Emma Maria Truman (1851-1921)

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Emma Maria Truman Holt
Holt, Franklin & Emma Truman.jpg
Franklin Overton Holt and Emma Maria Truman
Born: 5 Nov 1852, South Cottonwood, Utah
Died: 6 Sep 1921, Gunlock, Utah
Father: Jacob Mica Truman
Mother: Elizabeth Boyes
Siblings: Martha Ann Truman
John Franklin Truman
Emma Maria Truman
Jacob Boyce Truman
George Almus Truman
William Thomas Truman
Lucius Truman
Lucy Elizabeth Truman
Albert Henry Truman
Mary Lois Truman
Lacina Almena Truman
Esther Priscilla Truman
Spouse: Franklin Overton Holt
Married: 6 Jul 1874, Salt Lake City, Utah

Emma Maria Truman was born on the fifth of November, 1852 in, what was then called South Cottonwood, Utah. At the age of ten her family moved to Saint George, as her father had volunteered to help settle that area at the request of President Brigham Young.

Eight years later, their family was asked to move to Fort Hamblin to help build up the small settlement there. Fort Hamblin is in Mountain Meadows and that is where she met Franklin Overton Holt.

Franklin was quite a musician and with his brothers would play the accordian and the young people would come from Hamblin and Pinto and Pine Valley for their parties and dances. Franklin took very well with the young people, he was a fine singer and an entertainer. He played all kinds of music and he loved to dance. One night he spied a black eyed, rose cheeked girl, very outstanding and good looking. He watched her and at last he met her. He was rather shy when he was around her, she had other fellows. He thought she was the nicest girl of all, so he kept on dancing with her and he finally asked her if she would let him take her home.

She worked in the factory in Washington, they kept each other in mind and at last he asked her if she would be his and she answered “you will have to get my father’s consent”. He tried every way he could but her father never gave him a chance. They were in Pine Valley together so he popped the question to him and he consented. This had been going on since Franklin was 17. They were married when he was 22, so it took him five years before her father consented.

June 1874 they started on their long journey to Salt Lake City to be married in the Salt Lake Temple. They were three weeks by team going to Salt Lake, her Mother and Father went with them. They were married the 6th July 1874.

They went to Cottonwood and stayed with her Mother’s sisters and one of them told her father if they would go out and get a load of corn they could have it and take it into Salt Lake and trade it for clothing for their child, which they did. When they got back home he went to work and made a lime kiln and he made his own brick. He and his brother George made him a three roomed house out of this red brick.

When they were married 8 months Emma was washing and she lifted the boiler of water from the stove and hurt herself. She took very sick and they sent for her mother and she had her baby early, it was only four pounds, they rolled him in cotton - never dressed him for 2 months. Just kept him in this cotton and he was sickly until he was 16 so he was a great care to this young couple. They named him Franklin Truman, he was born the 11th March 1875. Two years later they had a little girl on the 19th April 1877. They called her Mary Ellen; she was born on Emma’s mother’s birthday (Elizabeth Boyce Truman). They celebrated the 19th April for years afterwards, in honor of their birthdays.

When Mary Ellen was about 2 years old they sold their little home and moved to Gunlock, a little town about 30 miles south. Franklin bought the farm of William Webb it was about 2 miles from Gunlock. They raised chickens, pigs, cows and horses there. After they had lived there a few years they moved down to Gunlock and put up a small store. This was the first store they had in Gunlock.

Franklin would go to St. George and get a few goods and bring them back and sell them to the people of Gunlock and travelers that came through. There were quite a few miners that would come and mine in the Black Ridge Mountains. They would “put up” at the Franklin Holt home. They made a home large enough so they could accommodate the travelers that came through this little town. People would come from these northern towns to get fruit and come there and stay during the fruit season to dry fruit and help make molasses in the Fall.

Franklin would take molasses and beans and dried fruit and go into the northern part of the state and trade it for lumber or anything else he could use for his family. In the Fall, 28th September 1879, they had another little girl and they called her Emma Lovenia. She was a very beautiful child. When she was a small child she picked a green apple and ate it. In the night she took very sick and they worked with her and did everything they could.

One of Emma’s brothers got on a horse and went for Franklin. He was at the Holt Ranch. Before they got back little Lovenia had died. When Franklin came, it was almost more than he could stand, he seemed to have made more of her than any of the rest of the children. He almost felt that God was unjust for taking her from them. It was almost more than he could take for years. From then on he never noticed children, he felt like his love was buried.

In the Fall of 1881, on October 13th, another little girl blessed their home. They called her Nancy Elizabeth. When she was six weeks old, Emma’s father Jacob Mica Truman took very sick at Mountain Meadows and they sent for the family to come. When they got there her father died. They buried him in Hamblin. He had two families and his first family moved to Gunlock where he had bought a house but had not yet moved and the other wife Katie took her 2 boys, Mica and Arthur and three girls and moved to Huntington. Franklin did all he could to make Emma’s mother happy - the boys thought as much of Franklin as they did their own father. They went to church together, rode the range together and worked together. They were like one big family.

When Nancy was 2 years old, they had a little black eyed girl come to bless their home again. They called her Annie Parthenia (she was born on 22nd October 1883). Franklin always called her his black- eyed beauty. When she was 1 year and 10 months old they had a boy and called him James Overton after Franklin’s father and his mother’s maiden name (he was born on 3rd August 1885). He was a smart, happy boy - everybody loved him. He was always willing and kind and always ready to do his part to help both father and mother. When he was 17 he went away to school. When he was 19 he married Elida Bunker. When he was 21 he was called upon to leave this world, so that was another sadness to come to Franklin and his good wife Emma.

When James was a small boy, Emma, his mother took the yellow jaundice and she lay very sick for a long while. She was healed by faith. When James was 3 years and 4 months old, they had another little girl, they called her Clara Maria (she was born 14th November 1888). When Clara was six years old, she was stricken with the measles and it turned to spinal meningitis and she was healed by the faith of the Elders, but this dreadful disease she had, has always been a draw back. Her nerves have been more than she could stand at times. The fall before Clara was born, Franklin was put in as Bishop of the Gunlock ward. He was a real father to his family and also to his ward. He was always up a doing, trying to help everyone that needed him in every way. He held this job down for 35 years of his life. He was always cheerful and grateful that he was able and capable of doing his Father’s work here on the earth. He was loved by all who knew him.

When Clara was 2 years 4 months old, another little girl came to bless their good home again (she was born on 11th March 1891). They called her Roxie Luella. She was a beautiful child, she was loved by everyone who knew her. She recited and sang at parties. She was outstanding and had beautiful hair. One night she took very sick and Franklin was not at home. Emma, his good wife got up and called the family to get up and she held Roxie in her arms and had us alI kneel around her, and Emma prayed and we all followed or repeated what she said. She asked the Lord to heal her so she could go back to finish her schoolwork. That was Roxie’s greatest desire. In the morning Roxie got up and said “See, I am well, and am able to go back and finish my schoolwork”. Just two weeks later she came home with her card stating she had finished that year’s work and she had been an outstanding student in all her work.

She was so happy about it she came home and took off her school clothes and said she and two of her girlfriends were going out to cook their dinner on a campfire and spend the rest of the afternoon in the hills. They went to the cellar and got their potatoes and onions and went up to the hills and made a fire and baked the vegetables. After they were done they sat close to the fire to have their dinner. While eating. Roxie looked down and her dress was on fire. It frightened her so she just ran up the hill, both of the girls ran after her but they could not catch her.

One ran to the house after help, Clara was the only one that was at home. She ran calling “Fire! Fire! Help!” By the time Clara got to where Roxie was, her clothes were all burned off. She had a leather belt on, the flames were so hot it had pulled together. You know how leather goes when it gets an fire. Clara took that from her body.

Some of the boys came. By the time they got there, Franklin and his son-in-law George H. Bowler was there. They took her to the house and put her on the bed. She took hold of her hair and said “Mama, I am thankful my hair wasn’t all burned off. Everything was done that could be. She had to be put into sheets and four men took hold of each corner and swung her back and forth. At 4 o’clock a.m. she called to her brother James and asked what time it was, he said four o‘clock, she counted up to 9. At 10 minutes to 9 she said “They will be after me”. We all went in and watched her, she just closed her eyes and went. She kissed us all goodbye at four, when she asked what time it was.

When they were getting ready to take her away, Franklin took hold of her nose and did everything to bring her back to life, “She was with us today, but is in heaven tonight — Oh! if we can only live to meet those dear ones that have gone on”. This is the greatest desire of Franklin’s life.

When Roxie was 2 years and a half, their home was blessed with a dear sweet little boy on the 30th August 1893. He was born on his Grandpa Truman’s birthday. He was very small, he weighed 5 lbs. When he was blessed they gave him the name of Jacob Leroy after Emma’s father and Franklin’s brother. When he was very small he got the whooping cough, and it made his heart weak. He didn’t get along too good and he had worried Franklin, so they got ready and took him to St. George to see a doctor. The doctor encouraged them, he thought he would be alright. They went to Franklin’s sister’s to stay.

Emma and Jacob were home alone - he asked for a drink, so she carried him outside to get one. As she went to take him from her shoulder she found he was dead. Uncles, George Cotton and Thomas came and brought his body home. His brothers and sisters were really sad.

When Emma was 46 they were blessed with another little boy. He was the joy of their hearts. She was worried after Jacob was taken away from them, and she had a dream that she had another little boy and she called him Wilford. So on the 27th July 1897 she was blessed with this little boy Wilford Martin. He was the joy and comfort of their hearts.


  • 1860 Federal Census, Utah Territory, Salt Lake County, Great Salt Lake City Post Office, Page #251, Dwelling #1827, Family #216, Enumerated 9 Aug 1860:
TRUMAN, Jacob M.
Emma, 7, f, Utah, att school
  • 1870 Federal Census, Utah Territory, Washington County, Mountain Meadows, Page #1 , Dwelling #1, Family #1:
Emma, 17, f, w, at home, Utah, att school