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A SHORT SKETCH OF MY FATHER:
Abram William Burgess was born 16th July 1857 in Salt Lake City, Utah. He lived there with his parents, Harrison Burgess and Amanda M. Hammond, until they were called to help settle the Dixie country. I don't know just how old father was when they left Salt Lake, but his father owned a lumber mill and he was called to help saw lumber for the Salt Lake Tabernacle organ and other buildings including the St. George Temple and Tabernacle as well as any other building that needed it. They spent their first winter out south of St. George at the Fort Pierce area where there was grazing for their cattle which they had brought with them. In the spring they went on up to Pine Valley where they made their home. When Pa was about 17 or 18 years old, he and Jeter Snow went out to the mining towns in Nevada. They never worked in the mines, but burned coal for the smelters. They also hauled wood and freighted some. They were away from home for two years. As time went on he worked with his father and brothers sawing lumber getting the logs out of the mountains and farming.
On December 30th 1880, he married Sarah Jane Rogers in the St. George Temple, thirteen children were born to them, I was number 5, Mary or Mame. All the dates that I give are only approximate, as I have no records and am only telling the things as I remember them as a small child or as I remember my father and mother telling them to me. One of my fondest memories is of my mother reading aloud to us in the evening or Pa singing and telling us of his experiences and Mother knitting with her eyes closed. Many are the times we all went to sleep lying in front of the fireplace and then Pa would carry us all to bed.
In the spring of 1882 my parents with his brothers and a number of other families went down to settle Mesquite Flat. They got the water out on the ground and crops in and the rich soil made things grow beautifully, when just before harvest time the floods came down the Virgin River and washed out the ditches and , as I remember them telling me, a lot of the crops and the rest died for lack of water. So Pa and his brothers went back to Pine Valley where they lived farming, logging, and cattle raising until the summer of 1895. They sold their home and spent that summer at Foster's Ranch on the Clara Creek. That summer we had Sunday School most of the time. I can remember of going to Maudsley a time or two. There were the Chadburns, and Sister Freeley, the Royal Hunts and Vances who met every Sunday. I don't know just exactly what office Pa held, but he used to take charge most of the time. He probably was presiding Elder. I remember Mother and my sister, Belle, singing a song for one meeting. I can also remember that before we left Pine Valley Pa had something to do with M.I.A. After David's illness Ma had to stay home so much and Pa stayed with her whenever he could and I think that was why he wasn't so active in the church.
The spring of 1896 I think it was Pa bought the home where we lived and he never left it. We spent the summers at the Ranch and the winters in St. George. Father and Uncle Jode owned the Ranch together and also the farm in the Clara field. In about 1904 or near there, Pa traded his share of the Ranch for Uncle Jode's share of the field in St. George and stayed there except when he was taking care of his cattle which he still ran up at the Ranch. I moved away from St. George in 1913 so don't know too much about his life after that only I do know there never was a more humble or sincere man in the world. He never pushed himself forward.
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