Submitted by Carolyn J. Christensen, Great granddaughter of Edward Charles Steele/Wrigley
Adah Lucy's parents never had a son so she promised them before father was born that if her baby was a boy, they could have him; so he was given to them even before he was born. His own father never recognized him as a son, and Ed lived with his grandparents and was called Ed Steel.
The first few years of his life, the Steels lived in Salt Lake City. Their home was across the street south from the city and county building. Ed's playmates were *Herbert and George Auerbach, and their sister and William Wallace in Salt Lake. Other boyhood chums were Ned Wild, Ed King, Rona and Esther Paxman, later in American Fork. He told of an old man Maycock who was the street lamplighter. Also, he told of an old Negro woman who lived in the court back of them who said she would be willing to be skinned alive to be able to go to the temple. Sometimes Ed would go swimming in the Mill Stream in City Creek Canyon. Oscar Hunter was Bishop of the Eight Ward then.
Ed's grandfather Steel made the doors and windows for the Salt Lake Tabernacle. His Grandparents later moved to American Fork. He said he would sit on his fathers bench and watch him work and as soon as he could drive a nail, he went with him to help him.
I don't think his childhood days were very happy ones. From my memory of Grandma and Grandpa Steel, they were very eccentric and cranky. I've heard father say the only real father he had was Grandpa Robinson, his father-in-law.
The Steel home in American Fork, as I remember it, was an adobe with a long walk from the gate to the house with an ash tree on each side of the gate. One of the trees had seed pods but the other tree never did have any. There was a herb garden on one side of the path with lavender, heliotrope, verbena, sage, parsley and thyme. Grandma Steel put sprays of lavender and heliotrope in the drawers with her clothes. There was a large tea vine on the back porch, a cellar full of wine and cider and a grape arbor and wine press in back of the cellar.
Edward was never legally adopted, so he took his own name for the ceremony when he was married, but never liked to be called Ed Wrigley. He married Sarah Ann Robinson May 15, 1888 in American Fork, Utah. Her parents had also joined the church in England and came to America for the gospel.
When Ed and Sarah had been married for about six years and had three children, Charley, Adah and I (Sarah), his father (Joseph Wrigley) came to American Fork to see him. Father said his father found Ed was doing pretty good and had a good trade, so he pretended he was sorry for the indifference he had shown and induced him to move to Castle Valley in Emery County, Utah. Here his father had two families having married Ann Singleton who had a large family and Dina Stoddart Crookston who had two children. Father homesteaded a farm between Ferron and Castledale. He had not been down there long before he found out his father's motives were selfish. Joseph knew father was a good carpenter and thought he would work for him for nothing. When Joseph found out father would not be bullied and kicked about like the rest of the family, he wanted nothing to do with his son.
Father learned to love his Aunt Annie (Singleton Wrigley) and her family treated him like a brother, but his dislike for his father grew stronger. He felt sorry for the cruel treatment the other children got from Joseph.
Mother and Dad had a hard time in Castle Valley. Father knew very little about farming. They lived so far from the railroad that local produce was very cheap and food that had to be shipped in was so high it was not within their reach. Mother said she had to trade three dozen eggs for a spool of thread. Sugar was fifty cents a pound, a luxury they could not afford. They used honey for sweetening until mother could hardly stand the smell of it. I was only five years old, but I can remember what a grand occasion it was when we got a box from Grandpa Robinson in American Fork. He would send shoes and pieces of cloth for dresses. In one box he put in a note that said, "If you don't like these things, send them back."
We lived like this for three years. In that time it seems like mother said we made five trips to American Fork. Each trip was made over a different route, and during all seasons of the year. I remember my parents made a fire to melt the snow so they could make their bed by the fire. Then they made a bed in the corner of the wagon for us kids. The horses would be tied to the wagon and we could hear them eating all night. It took from five to eleven days to make the trip.
One time we were caught in a sand storm. Father had to get out and dig the sand away from the wheels so the horses could move the wagon. It seems like that was near Orangeville.
When I was eight years old, we moved to Lehi in the cottage back of the Union Hotel, which Grandma Stoddart (Edward's birth mother) ran. From here, we moved into a one room house in the Locust Grove. Willie was born in the Locust Grove. Soon after that, father bought a lot and built a house. Then when we moved into the new house, Nona, Menta, and Velma were born.
Willie had died in December, five months after his eight birthday when his mother was six months pregnant with Velma. (That story is told in Sarah's history.) Velma was born three months after Willie's death, but died of scarlet fever when she was four years old. **
When father couldn't get work at home, he would go to Salt Lake City where, with the help of his Uncle Richard Chamberlain, he could always get work. When Velma died, mother was on the verge of a nervous breakdown so we moved to Salt Lake so she would not have to be alone. +Helen was born in Salt Lake City and then Robin (Bob) was born in Salt Lake in 1915. (It is interesting to note that Sarah was 27 years old when her youngest brother was born. Edward would have been 51 years old and his wife, Sarah was 47 at the time of Bob's birth.)
My parents lived in Salt Lake City until their death. Mother died November 13, 1925 at the age of 57, (when Bob was 10 years old), and father died December 5, 1929.
*changed from Overbach. A search by Kathy Reed revealed no records of Overbachs that would justify the name.
** The following was removed, as Helen was born in Salt Lake City after Velma died. "At that time of Velma's death, Helen was very young".
+"Helen was born in Salt Lake City and then" was added to more correctly reflect the sequence of events.