Abraham Done was born March 3, 1853 in Hartshead, Lancashire, England. He was the oldest son of John and Sarah Barker Done. He had three younger sisters and four younger brothers. His younger sister was also born in England and the remainder of his sibling wee all born after the family arrived in Utah.
When Abraham was born, his parents had already accepted the Gospel of Jesus Christ as taught by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They had joined this church December 6, 1852, three months before he was born. When they accepted the Gospel, they were advised to go to "Zion" as soon as possible so they began their plans and preparations. Before the final plans could be carried out, Elizabeth Anne was born 27 June 1854.
With the monies they had been able to save, and the balance borrowed from the Perpetual Emigration Fund of their new found church. The borrowed money was to be paid back as soon as possible after they arrived in Utah, United States of America. They set sail from Liverpool the 22nd of April 1855 on the vessel Samuel Curling. They arrived at New York City the 27th of May 1855. They had been on the ocean for five weeks on their sailing vessel. Abraham also brought his mother, Anne Hancock, with him.
The trip from New York to Utah was made by train, river steamer, and on foot. They traveled with the company of Milo Andrus. From Kansas to Utah they walked as they traveled by ox-teams. Sarah Barker Done walked all of the way from Kansas and most of the time she carried her fourteen-month-old baby. It was a hard trip for all of them. John drove the oxen that pulled the wagon they were assigned to. He had never seen oxen before so could have had no experience handling them. He soon learned.
When they reached the valley of the Great Salt Lake they decided to settle at Little Cottonwood, which was about ten miles south of Salt Lake City. John had been a factory worker in his native England but there were no factories where he could seek employment, so he purchased a small farm. Farming was also a new experience to him but he had to provide for his family and his Mother.
George Henry was born to the family 29th June 1857, while they were living in Little Cottonwood. When Johnston's Army came into the Salt Lake Valley, Sarah took the children and went south to Springville, where she remained until John could build a new house for them. While living in Springville Mary Jane was born 5 July 1859.
Hard times were experienced while they were living in Springville. John could not get all of the land that he needed to farm so that he could build the new house and the family decided to move farther south to Sanpete County, to the town of Moroni. For their first home here they used a dugout in the side of a hill where they later built a room adjoining, which was made of adobe and had dirt floors.
The hardy parents soon became accustomed to the new way of life. The Father became a better farmer and the Mother learned to card wool, spin it and make their clothes from the wool. She was a good cook and a fine homemaker. She made a happy home even though they were poor in the worldly goods.
They slept, cooked and entertained in the one adobe room and it was here that their remaining children were born. John Jr. was born 11 August 1861; Sarah Ellen was born 9 September 1863 (she died of scarlet fever when she was eighteen months old); the twins Wilford and Willard were born 10 December 1865 (Wilford died when he was one year and nine months old). This additional sorrow was just about more than their mother could bear.
Abraham, called Abe, was baptized in Moroni and was a great help to the family. He learned to shoulder many responsibilities. Though life was hard for these hardy pioneers from a foreign land, and they often went without sufficient to eat, the home was rich in good music. John was an accomplished violinist and Sarah had a beautiful voice. Their music brought many happy hours to their home and the entire community.
When Abraham was nine years of age, with his violin, he joined with his Father in playing for programs and for the dances in their village. The grasshoppers were still a problem to the farmers. At times the grasshoppers filled the air like a cloud. They were killed by the bushels. That first winter in Moroni was so cold that fruit and corn would not produce, Wheat, potatoes, and many other vegetables could be raised so at times, even though they had no bread, they had plenty of vegetables and greens.
Their mother sorrowed after losing the two babies and her health was affected. Even the water at Moroni did not agree with her and Abraham and the family became ill. The decision was made to move again and they selected the town of Payson, in Utah County.
Before leaving Moroni they had sold their home, but received very little money in payments so they had only an ox team and this small amount of money. Again it was a hard start. They bought a lot in Payson that had a large, one-room log cabin on it. They were crowded in this one room but their health was better. They also purchased ten acres nearby and they planted it into alfalfa.
By the time Abraham reached the age of sixteen years he was a real help to the family. They made the adobes for the two rooms they added to their home. Everyone in the family worked at whatever they were capable. The girls received $.50 a week for working in homes and the boys worked with their Father in the fields.
John next bought a large tract of land west of Payson where he raised alfalfa seed. He was one of the first in the area to raise this type of seed, and he and his boys were very successful in this venture.
Abraham also became very proficient as a carpenter. The family also bought a sawmill in Payson Canyon where they cut the trees and made lumber which they could successfully sell. The second or third organ brought to Payson was purchased by John Done, for the benefit of his children and their love for music.
Elizabeth Annie (Lizzie) learned to read with help from her Mother. She also learned some "numbers" but her formal schooling did not come until she was fourteen years of age and went in the "Third Reader." She attended school only four winters.
Lizzie, being the oldest child, had to assume as much responsibility as possible. She helped with the housework and also with some of the work outside, such as drying apples or crushing them for cider, which was mostly made into vinegar, to be sold. She also helped when they were extracting the honey from the beehives. She learned to sew by hand before the family “cutting bees at fruit drying time and "corn shelling bees in the winter. There was always much laughter and singing at these parties. When their tasks were finished, there would usually be honey or molasses candy and apples for all. Also, cookies which were made from sour cream and honey.
A friend, Antha Fillmore, lived next door to the Robinson home and was a very close friend to Elizabeth Robinson. One evening, when Antha's boyfriend called on her, Abraham Done, came with him and he introduced him to Elizabeth. The two couples began to double date and soon a double wedding was planned. The date was set much sooner than the parents could complete the preparations, but the "double marriage" took place any way. They were married on June 22, 1875.
The new Mrs. Done stayed with her parents for a week after the wedding while preparations were being made for the new couple to live with Abraham's parents for a while. Abraham continued to work with his Father and brothers on the farm and at the saw mill. The families prospered and were able to accumulate quite a lot of property.
Abraham managed the first Electric Light Plant that served the people of Payson. The family had purchased some stock in the company.
Abraham went on a mission to the Southern, Šri Lanka in 1888 and while there he contracted the Malaria fever. The disease really took its toll and kept reoccurring so he was released from the mission to return home. He was not able to complete one year of the mission and his hair turned prematurely grey during this sickness.
|Done Home still stands at 289 South 300 East in Payson|
Abe was very active in civic affairs, as well as church. He was city councilman and a member of the Payson school board, also Sunday School Superintendent. The Done School across the street from his home on 300 East and 300 South was named in his honor. He was exceptionally good in spelling and mathematics and played in the Payson orchestra, being a violinist.
Soon after his returning home, the family moved into a new, large, two-story house. This home was considered one of the best in Payson. The lot, about half of a block, contained a lumber yard, corral, barn, shade and fruit trees and a large lawn. The last three children of the family were born in this home.
Plural marriage was the subject of much controversy at this time. Abe and Lizzie were anxious, to live this divine principle, so they decided to sell their property and. go to Mexico where they could live in peace. A number of people were there including Robinson and Done relatives. So all the family, except the oldest son who was on his mission in Germany, moved to Mexico. They boarded the train in Payson for El Paso, Texas and then on to Colonia Dublan, Chihuahua, Mexico. Enough other people went to make up two passenger cars, including a young widow, Louisa Haag Abegg, with her four children. Abe and Louisa were later married according to the law of plural marriage and had ﬁve children: Richard Haag, William F., Marba, Otto and Beth. A mixed train was chartered with the two passenger cars, some freight cars for the furniture and other belongings, and cattle cars for the cattle and horses.
When they reached El Paso, Texas, Lizzie's brother, Bishop John Robinson of the Dublan Ward was there to meet them. He rode back to Colonia Dublan with them, and Abe stayed to see about getting the furniture, cattle and horses across the international border. They stayed with John for a few days, then purchased a three-room adobe house, adding a kitchen and another bedroom. This was about in the middle of town, east of the railroad tracks.
Abe and Lizzie were always fond of company, parties, picnics and family gatherings. He liked to read, but abhorred dirty jokes, or trashy reading. He was patient, long-suffering and managed his children with justice. Lizzie was also patient. She loved to sing at home or in the choir. When correcting her children and grandchildren she would sing a song appropriate to the occasion.
Abe used the talent he gained in violin playing any time when asked for the benefit of family or church. He organized a family orchestra in Dublan, and then organized the town orchestra. He played the violin. His son Joe played the trumpet or cornet. The girls, Edith, May, Eva and Ethel helped with the organ at various times.
He secured farming land, and also worked as a carpenter doing many jobs to sustain his family. They had taken a stand of bees to Mexico with them, which Lizzie took care of, so they always had honey and honeycomb. She liked to tend them and though they stung her, it did not seem to hurt.
His family used their talents enriching their lives and beneﬁting others. Edith gave private music lessons and taught school. She married Louis Paul Cardon. They had twelve children-Louie, Edith, Mary, Florence, Paul Done, and Ellen (twins), Eva, Ethel, Lucy, Thomas Done, Emanuel Done and Lawrence Done—seven of whom survived to adulthood. Abe's baby, Abram Wilford died of diphtheria, while quite young.
Arthur Done returned from his German mission and came to Colonia Juarez where he taught school in the Juarez Stake Academy, the church high school. He was very efﬁcient on the violin, and taught music. He married Fannie Clayson, and their union was blessed with these children: Fannie Mae, Arthur Joseph, Jesse Clayson, Jedde Edward, Ethlyn Annie and Dorothy.
Abe and Ellen Precinda Moffett (Nellie) were married according to the law of plural marriage at that time in the colonies. Their family consisted of: Reed, Olive, Leo, Bernard, Leela, Ammon, Pearl, Horace, and Owen Emmett Done. He built homes and took good care of his loved ones.
Abe's families lived in Mexico until the Exodus of July 28, 1912. The colonists were asked to leave by the Church Authorities because of the Revolution in Mexico. Each family was allowed a small amount of clothing and bedding, the rest they had to leave. People sadly gathered to await the train. Some were loaded into freight cars, including Abe and Lizzie. She had a can of sugared honey and gave the children hunks of it to keep them quiet while waiting.
The destination was El Paso, Texas. And, at the time of the Exodus, the government seemingly forgot about them as Mormons, and simply thought of them as American citizens in trouble. A large lumberyard was arranged to make it as comfortable as possible, and those who had no friends or relatives in El Paso were allowed to stay there until places could be arranged. All the refugees were encouraged by the Church Authorities to go to a town or place where they had relatives, or someone to help them get located, and ﬁnd work. Abe moved to Binghampton, near and now part of Tucson, Arizona, where a colony of refugees was locating.
During the winter of 1914-1915, Lizzie went to Salt Lake City, Utah, where she took a course in obstetrics and nursing that the General Board of the Relief Society was giving. She helped deliver hundreds of babies in the years that followed, mostly in the Binghampton area. Most of the time she was doctor, nurse, and part—time housekeeper.
To celebrate their ﬁftieth wedding anniversary in 1925, Arwell and Mary B. Done Pierce took her parents on an extended vacation to visit all their children, then on a tour through Yellowstone Park, through Montana, Washington, Canada, down the California coast, and back to El Paso, taking three and a half months.
Abe, Lizzie and Nellie and families moved to Mesa. Louisa stayed in Binghampton.
To celebrate their sixtieth wedding anniversary, in June, 1935 a reunion was held in Mesa, Arizona. Most of the family, many relatives, and also close friends attended this. They spent a good deal of their last years doing temple work in the Arizona and Salt Lake temples.
Their daughter Eva, and husband, Harry L. Payne, were President and Matron of the Arizona Temple for several years as also were their daughter May (Mary Brentnell) and her husband Arwell L. Pierce.
They were living in Salt Lake City when Abraham suffered a stroke and died June 13, 1937. Lizzie then stayed with her children and daughters—in-law, going to those she felt needed her first in the Utah area, then to El Paso, then to Mesa. She suffered a stroke on Mother's Day, May 8, 1938. May took her back to El Paso where she cared for her until she died August 5, 1938.
Funeral services were held in El Paso, Texas then she was buried by the side of her beloved husband in Provo, Utah Cemetery.