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Burdell Thomas Davis - Story

b.1/15/1858 — d.5/26/1919



Burdell had very little schooling, but he was a hard worker and became an excellent farmer, and learned by helping his father on their farm. When he was just a small boy he said he could remember walking along side his father carrying an old rifle, while his father planted corn, watching for Indians which were very bad at that time. His father told him, "Now Burdell, if the Indians kill me, you jump behind that little knoll over there and shoot as long as you have shells, then run for the willows. He said he was so scared that if he ever did have to shoot an Indian he would have died also.
He helped his father run a threshing machine and also worked on a turning lathe, making wooden bowls, butter paddles and other household items made from wood. He helped raise all kinds of fruits and vegetables went with his father to peddle the fruits and vegetables all over Utah Valley, into Park City and the Uintah Basin with a horse and wagon. It took several days to make the trip there and back.
When he was twenty years old, he met his future wife, Martha Frances Hall. His father Joshua Davis, gave him a piece of ground in Lake view, which is now 2070 South Main Street, in Orem. He cleared the ground his father gave him of sage brush and oaks with a grubbing hoe, which was a monumental task. He also built many canals
Martha Francis Hall was born 24 Jun 1858 in Rome, Floyd Co., Georgia to Henry Hall and Amanda Elizabeth Andrews. Henry and Amanda were married 18 May 1856. They had two daughters; Mary Elizabeth and Martha Frances Hall.
Both of Martha's parents were born in Alabama. Henry was a farmer. He served in the Civil War on the Confederate (South) side and was killed in the battle below Richmond, Virginia. He was buried in an old well with many other soldiers. Before Henry was killed the family had joined the Latter Day Saints Church and it was his wish that they migrate to Utah.
After his death, his wife, Amanda, worked as a nurse. She worked long enough to change her confederate money for Yankee money, then traveled to Utah in 1869 with her parents the Andrew's Family.
Martha Frances was eleven years old when they came to Utah. Her mother remarried Serrine Moroni Conrad. Five more daughters were born to Amanda and Serrine (pronounced 'Sir-rhine').
Martha was eighteen when she married Burdell Thomas Davis on 28 September 1876. He built them a two-room house on the piece of property his father had given him. Their first few years were very hard. Ground cherries were the only fruit they had.
They gathered wool from the fences and sagebrush left by the 'sheep herds' that passed through their area. They prepared and knitted the wool into stocking and some clothing. five of their ten children were born in this two room home.
In 1889 Burdell & Martha homesteaded about 100 acres on the east side of the river, which later was known as Pleasant view. The Pleasant view are was later called Edgemont. Five more children were born in this house.
Burdell was a very handsome man and quite proud. He had a dapple gray horse named Rob that he was very proud of and when Rob was hitched to the shiny black one-seated buggy and he and Martha were riding at the head of a funeral procession it was a sight to behold.
Burdell was the first person to be operated on for appendicitis in Provo in about 1900. Dr. Allan performed the operation and Dr. Fred Taylor assisted. The operation was performed in the home of Burdell's brother - Dennis Davis, who lived in Lakeview. Nora (Burdell's daughter) scrubbed the room in preparation for the operation.
Nora described the operation: "They gave my father ether and when they cut him open, gangrene had set in. The doctor removed his appendix and then washed him out with pitchers of hot water. His side was all black and the doctors said he would only live a day or two, so they didn't bother to sew him up."
Lewis James, a son-in-law and his son William, took turns staying with him at night and after he had lived for ten days, the doctor decided to sew him up because he now had a chance of living.
Uncle Pete Brown held him on the table while the doctor sewed up his incision because Burdell could not take any ether at this time. So through the grace of God he lived through this ordeal.
Burdell always took time off to go on pleasure trips. He was full of fun, and always had time to pull a joke on some one like tying mother's apron strings to the chair she was sitting on. He enjoyed good things to eat and I can say we always had plenty to eat. We had a wonderful meat smoke house, always filled with plenty of meat. We had all kinds of bottled and dried fruits and vegetables. We never went hungry. 

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Burdell Thomas Davis

Posted By: David Conrad

  1. Website: Serrine Maroni Conrad;

Updated: 11-30-2013
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