Celestia Terry Hunt

by members of her family
Celestia Terry was the third child born to her parents, Thomas Sirls and Mary Ann Pulsipher Terry. She was born in Salt Lake City, Utah at half past six in the morning of Oct. 14, 1854, according to her father's journal.

In November, after Celestia' arrival, the family moved to a new home. That year the grasshoppers had been very bad and food was scarce. Her father wrote in his journal "I was thankful I had raised enough to do me until another harvest".

In 1856 Celestia was but 2 years old when her father was called on a mission. He accepted the call and the little family struggled with the problem of making a living while he was away.

At the October Conference 1862 of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Celestia's family was called to help settle the cotton mission in Utah's Dixie. They left in November. It was bitter cold and no “pleasure trip” for the eight-year-old girl and her sisters. To make it worse, they all had whooping cough, enhanced in severity by exposure and cold weather.

Their rough journey ended on New Years Day 1863, arriving in the St. George area. The Terry family expected to stay in the new settlement but Apostle Erastus Snow had other plans. He sent Brother Terry to Shoal Creek to aid his brothers-in-law, the Pulsipher boys in looking after the church's cattle.

Little Celestia was glad for this move. It meant she would be near her dear Grandpa and Grandma Pulsipher, whom she loved dearly.

In this new location she was happy and enjoyed her childhood days. She was a source of joy to her parents. Her mother relied on her to share the responsibility of the family. By this time she had six sisters: Mary Ann, Adelia, Alydia, Wilhelmina, Almira and Lenora. Great was the joy when a baby boy, Tommy, was added to the family. Susie and Lizzie, Luther and Joseph were added to the family in due time.

The few families on Shoal Creek were eventually organized into a ward called Hebron - in memory of Hebron the herd-ground spoken of in the Bible. Both were herd-grounds for cattle.

Celestia lived on the Terry ranch and was fascinated by the travelers, who often sought lodging in her home. The ranch was on the main road to the mining camps in Nevada.

School for the young people was very limited. Celestia was quick to learn and made use of every opportunity. The pioneer skills: making cheese and butter, weaving and caring for a house, she mastered well.

The first weaving she ever did was on a loom that was set in a sort of shed outside. The weather was cold and there was no place for a fire so she had a pan of hot coals beside her. She would hold her hands over the coals to warm them, then go on with her weaving. Her feet, too, had to be held over the warming pan when they became too cold. At this time she wove enough cloth to make dresses for herself and her sister Alydia. These dresses, when made up, served the girls for a long time.

Because of her practical experience as a homemaker she was qualified to take over the responsibilities of her own home at the age of 17. The young man she married was Jefferson Hunt, 19 year old son of Amos and Nancy Garret Welborn Hunt, also of Hebron.

The young people made the long journey to Salt Lake City to be married. This was in October of 1871.

On their return home they settled down to get something around them for the future. Jefferson worked at everything he could find to make a livelihood. Celestia managed well the earnings of her husband and was an excellent housekeeper.

Nine children were born to them, arriving about two years apart. Celestia Effadean was born in 1874. She later married Frank Winsor. Then Jefferson George, he married Louisa Carline Jones. Tacy who married James Russel Barnum came next. Mary Ann married Walter Bowler. Thomas Elmer married Emma Day. Nancy Elva married John Hewlett. Amos pledged his love to Naomi Barnum. Geneva died in infancy, and Amanda married William Jones but died at the age of twenty.

During those busy years when the babies were arriving, the blue-eyed, brown haired Celestia helped in the ward organizations as well as managing her home. She was a teacher in Sunday School for seven years as well as an officer in Primary and a counselor in Mutual. She and her husband sang in the choir. He played the violin and was in high demand for dances and programs.

When the first child, Effie, was just five years old, she remembers spending the winter in Cannonville, Garfield County, with her parents. Her father had heard the grazing was good over there, so he drove his 22 head of cattle and the much larger herd of his father's over to that country.

The grass was disappointing and a winter of unusual severity proved disastrous to the herd. In the spring when the family moved back home, only two of their cattle had survived, and a similar loss in the larger herd of Jefferson's father had taken place.

The young people started afresh and by working very hard managed to provide for their growing family.

They lived at the Calf Spring ranch for some time. It was seven miles from Hebron. Here Celestia made butter and cheese and Jefferson raised his crops. They always came into town on Sunday, for Jefferson was Superintendant of the Sunday School. When harvest time came and the grain had to be hauled into town for threshing, Jefferson would pile his wagon high with the bundles of grain on Saturday. Then the entire family would ride to Sunday School on top of the bundles. This to save unnecessary trips with an empty wagon.

The Hunt children went to school in Hebron. When the girls were older the telegraph office was in their home.

Celestia always knew the whereabouts of her children. She was always insistent upon knowing where they were going and with whom they were going.

She was a very conscientious mother.

She was not permitted to remain with her family to see them all grown as is every mother's desire. When little Amanda was three years old she became ill and died May 1, 1893. She was buried in the Hebron Cemetery, leaving a lonely husband and family to struggle along without their beloved wife and mother.

Today the posterity of this good women is numerous. Wherever they live, her children and her children's children are respected citizens, diligent in their religious life and a credit to their ancestors.

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