Much of the information on the Call family came from Phyllis Call Ball, whose biography is below.
The research and interviews for the Call Family Histories were conducted by
Melanie Gunsay as a project for the Bountiful Historical Preservation Foundation from a grant
provided by the Utah Office of Museum Services.
Born: May 13, 1810
Died: August 31, 1890
Wife: Emma Summers Call (August 5, 1828- September 19, 1912)
During the year of 1842, Anson Call witnessed Joseph Smith prophecy that the Saints would leave Nauvoo, Illinois and then go to the Rocky Mountains. Once the Saints arrived to the Rocky Mountains, Joseph Smith prophesied that they would become a great an mighty people. Anson Call was one of the few people that recorded this prophecy.
Anson wrote these words about Joseph Smith describing the Rocky Mountains, “There is Anson. He shall and assist in building cities from one end of the country to the other...and you shall perform as great a work as had been done by man, so that the nations of the earth shall be astonished, and many of them will be gathered in that land and assist in buildings cities and temples, and Israel shall be made to rejoice.”
Anson Call fulfilled this calling and these prophetic words. He helped colonize our beautiful city of Bountiful. Brigham Young entrusted the building of the Bountiful Tabernacle upon Anson. He was responsible for raising the money in one year’s time and to help push the project to completion. He was able to raise between $40,000-$50,000 to complete the Bountiful Tabernacle. In addition, Anson Call assisted in the building up of Parowan, Fillmore and Call’s Fort, Utah.
(Suggested Reading: Anson Call and the Rocky Mountain Prophecy by Gwen Marter Barney)
Emma Summers Call
(August 5, 1828- September 19, 1912)
Emma was born in Worcestershire, England and she took employment with a wealthy family as a house maid, and in 1856, she had saved enough funds to take her to America and on to the land of Zion, which at this time was established in Salt Lake Valley. Her brothers, George and Edward Summers had already traveled to Salt Lake in the early 1850's.
She arrived to New York city in June, 1856, and upon reaching Iowa Hills, she listed with the Willey Handcart Company. At this time, she was 28 years old, and she had a frail build,and she stood a little over five feet tall, with medium brown hair and soft blue eyes.
On July 9th, 1856, the Willey Handcart Company set off for Salt Lake Valley. The first tragedy occurred on September 4, 1856 when hostile Indians overpowered the company and took all the beef cattle and cows which were the main source of food for the Saints. To replenish the stock was an impossibility, so the entire company was placed on rations.
On October 12, 1856, early snowstorms stalled the handcarts and made the under footing very unbearable. Their clothing and footwear were worn out and under these conditions, the Willey Handcart Company traveled as far as possible each day, pausing only to bury those who died of exhaustion and malnutrition. The snowstorms continued and the food diminished. On October 19th, 1856, the last of the flour was eaten.
More belated and farther back along the trail was the Martin Handcart Company, whose sufferings were more intense than the Willey Handcart Company.
On October 3, 1856, Brigham Young called for volunteers to help the people in the Willey Handcart Company and the Martin Handcart Company. Anson Call furnished two wagons and teams and also most of the food provisions with which they were laden. He drove one team and George Summer (Emma's oldest brother) drove the other. They headed off without haste to the suffering people in the handcart companies. The next day in Salt Lake, 27 men, 16 wagons loaded heavily with food and clothing, were assembled to assist the handcart companies.
Anson Call and George Summers arrived first to the Willey Handcart Company when absolute starvation had prevailed for 48 hours. After reviving the Willey Company, a call was made for volunteers to proceed east for the relief of the Martin Handcart Company. In response, Anson Call and George Summers joined others to relieve the Martin Handcart Company.
The Willey Handcart Company arrived into Salt Lake Valley on November 9th, 1856. Emma Summers, still wearing her bonnet which had been burned in places by the camp fire to avoid freezing. Her dress hung in shreds below her knees, but she arrived to Salt Lake Valley. She was taken to the home of her brother, George Summers in Bountiful, Utah. In 1857, Anson Call married Emma Summers.
Phyllis Call Ball
Phyllis Call was born April 17,1932, the fifth child of a family of seven. It was during the depression and she was born at home. Her home was an old rock home built in 1878 and is till standing at 10th North and 2nd West in Bountiful. It was heated by a coal stove in the kitchen and another coal heater in the front room. The bedrooms were not heated, however she grew up with water and electricity. In the bathroom, there was a bathtub with claw feet, and when Phyllis was about 10 years old, their family moved to another home that had an electric stove and a central heating coal furnace.
Phyllis would wash dishes and wipe the dishes dry after every meal. Her father was a farmer and a very young age, Phyllis went to the fields with him to work. Phyllis would help her father with weeding, hoeing and harvesting of the fruits and vegetables.
She helped her mother with canning and other household chores such as dusting, vacuuming, cleaning wallpaper, cooking, etc. Phyllis worked on the farm every summer until she reached the age of 18. During the fall (when she 18), she entered the Thomas D. Dee Hospital School of Nursing in Ogden. During her schooling, she lived at a home with the other nurses, and she ate at the hospital, and it did not cost money to gain this education. The hospital also provided the nurses with their uniforms and had them laundered, too.
Phyllis mother was a very hard worker. She cared for a large family and she would cook all of her meals from scratch. She was very industrious during the difficult times of the depression. She was a church leader, a genealogist, and a dedicated wife.
Phyllis's father provided good food to the family. He milked a cow, raised chickens for meat and eggs, raised pigs for meat and hunted deer and pheasants. He would hunt pheasants between 2nd west and I-15 in Bountiful and also on 10th North and Pages lane. He also raised onions, carrots, turnips, parsnips, tomatoes, cucumbers. Beans, peas asparagus, potatoes and watermelons. The family has some fruit trees, too. They had peaches, prunes, apricots, cherries and apples. They also produced raspberries, currants and gooseberries. Phyllis did not picking the gooseberries or the red currants because they had painful thorns! The family seldom needed to go to the grocery store.
Phyllis's mother washed her clothes with everything from a washboard to an automatic washing machine. Phyllis remembers a new twin tub Dexter washing machine with a wringer! To use the washer, a hose was used to furnish the hot water. Homemade soap or white king bars were used in the washer and bluing was put into the rinse tubs. The clothes were put into the first tub and agitated for a while then they were placed through the wringer to the rinse tub, and through the wringer again into a basket and outside to the clothes line and hung to dry summer and winter. This was done on Mondays. Phyllis's mother always cooked a big kettle of navy beans and ham on wash day to serve for dinner. On Tuesday, my mother would iron the clothes.
Phyllis always wore dresses except in the summer. She would wear her brothers old levis and long sleeve work shirts to work in the fields. She would also wear a wide brim straw hat and working gloves. During her childhood, Phyllis wore long brown heavy socks held up by a garter belt under her dress and petticoat. On Easter, she was allowed to take off the long stockings and wear anklets.
Phyllis's father proposed to her mother in a horse and buggy outside of Kaysville and their first automobile was a Model T Ford purchased by her father and his two brothers. Her parents could use it every third week.
Phyllis met her husband the summer after graduation in 1950. He was about to serve in the army, and their courtship consisted of letter writing for two and half years. When he returned home from his military service, they dated and were married in 1953, after Phyllis completed her nursing training.