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MARY FLINT CALL

(WIFE OF ANSON CALL)




Mary Flint was the daughter of Rufus Frederick Flint and Hannah Haus, born 27 March 1812 at Braintree, Orange County, Vermont.



When Mary was a young woman, her father moved westward and took up a homestead in Ohio. With himself and his two daughters Mary and Hannah, they started a new home. However, it soon became necessary for him to go away and lave the responsibility of the homestead to the two girls. They hired a man to come and help on the farm by the name of Anson Call. Mary fell in love with Anson and a courtship resulted.

On the third of October, 1833, they were married. Hannah continued to make her home with them, as the farm belonged to their father.

Anson came in contact with the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, but he was most determined not to accept it. For two years he studied hard trying to prove that it was false, but instead he thoroughly converted himself and Mary and Hannah. They had to travel quite a distance to obtain baptism. Mary and Hannah received baptism at the same time.

Their father - upon returning and learning they had accepted Mormonism - was enraged and ordered them off his property and disinherited them.

Anson took the two women and together they headed westward to join the Saints. The main body of the church was at that time at Kirtland, Ohio. There Anson assisted in building the Temple and was in very close association with the Prophet. The Saints were later driven to Caldwell County, and from there to Nauvoo.

During this time since their marriage, several children had been born to them; namely, Anson Vasco, born 9 July 1834 at Ohio; Vashti, 1836; Moroni, born 6 Feb 1838; twins Chester and Christopher, born 3 May 1841; and Hyrum, born 3 Dec 1845.

At Nauvoo, Anson and Mary received their endowments and sealings, both performed on 22 Dec 1845. At this time, Mary was carried into the temple on a quilt, she had been an invalid since the birth of her twins in 1841. She was then only 30 years old. When she passed into the sealing room, the Prophet Joseph laid his hands upon her head and pronounced upon her a glorious blessing, promising her that her life would be spared and she would live to accomplish much good and live to an old age. This blessing was realized to the fullest degree.

About this same time, the Prophet also blessed Anson, who was affected with his speech. He always stuttered, especially when excited. The Prophet promised him that as long as he spent his efforts in the behalf of the Church, the Lord would loosen his tongue and he would be able to express himself. Later he also prophesied, telling Anson that he would go to the land of Zion to the Rocky Mountains and help to build Zion and he would find streams of water flowing from the mountains as crystal clear as the water he was holding in his glass before him (see History of the Church).

When the Saints were driven from Nauvoo, they moved still father westward to the Missouri River. Anson and Mary were forced to remain until they could dispose of their belongings. This accomplished, they hastened to join the Saints at Winter Quarters. On the way, their baby Hyrum became sick and died. He was buried along the trail. They caught up and passed the Saints. In company with Anson and his family was Joseph Holbrook and his family. They crossed the Missouri River to the west side and there took refuge with some Indians who were camped there. They build log huts and stayed there for the winter.

Early in the spring, President Brigham Young sent word to them, that they were to come to Winter Quarters to see him. This they did. President Young told them he had a special assignment for them. Some of the Saints had left some bad debts back in Iowa, which was causing the Church no end of trouble. They were to take their families and go to Iowa and take care of those debts. They were greatly disappointed and heart sick, as they wanted to be with the first company to come to the Rocky Mountains. This was indeed a test of their faith. They accepted the assignment and retraced their journey back to Iowa. When they arrived, the men went to work on the railroad to earn money with which to pay the bad debts, and the women remained camped in their wagons. They did all they could by raising gardens, sewing and cleaning, etc. to help with the money and living. The assignment was completed and it had taken a year. They then returned to join the Saints.

They arrived in Utah a year later than the Brigham Company in 1848. They had been placed in charge of a large company of Saints immigrating at the same time. They chose Bountiful to make their home.

During 1849 - 50, Anson was Bishop of the North Kanyon Ward. He was farmer, colonizer, builder. He was called by President Young to colonize. So leaving his family in the capable hands of Mary, he opened up and started several towns: Call's Fort, Chesterfield, Bancroft, Idaho; Fillmore, Utah and others. Such men as Anson Call make history, but behind him was his faithful and good wife Mary. She was a beautiful woman, good wife, wonderful mother, a fine disciplinarian, fine cook, teacher; she was well educated and a fine business woman. She was given the credit for Anson's success. She was loved and admired by all with whom she associated and knew her, and her memory still lives and is respected by her friends and relatives.

In 1851, Anson married Ann Mariah Bowen. She was young, full of happiness and energy. She was friendly and sociable. Because of Mary's poor health, Anson always took Mariah with him to colonize. Often she rode behind him on a horse. Always happy, never complaining, Mariah bore him six children.

During this time and the years following, Anson took other wives. There were six wives, and through it all Mary was always there with her help and understanding, encouragement to assist the others in the rearing of their families. The law was very severe at this time. Anson had built a lovely red brick home for Mary at 1201 North 200 West, Bountiful, Utah. It was large and had two stories. In front on the roof, Anson built a gable with a secret passage to it. In this tiny room, Mary placed quilts and provisions for Anson's comfort while in hiding. Many times the officers came to search the house for Anson, and Grandmother Mary would cheerfully and confidently invite them in to search, and soon her persuasive manner would convince them that Anson was not to be found. This was a common occurrence, but never were they able to find him. This house still stands.

Grandmother Mary always answered to the call of anyone in need. She not only raised her own family, but took children from the other families to raise and an Indian girl.

Later, Anson listened to a story about Mariah and without any patience or consideration for her, he obtained a letter of divorcement from President Brigham Young. He forced her from her home and took her five children (one having died), from her and put them out to be raised among the other families. This nearly broke Mariah's heart and health. Grandmother Flint felt sympathetic and sorry for her. She felt she had been unjustly treated. She had her come and live in an old rock house that was in the backyard and there she provided for her, until something better could be done. A few years later, she met and married a good man and had two more children. This caused Anson no end of jealousy and unrest, because he really loved her. Due to this incident, Mariah's baby boy Anson Bowen grew up under Grandmother Mary's tender love and care. He was only a baby of three years old and Mary loved him as her own. The rest of the children were jealous of her love and devotion to him.

When Mary's oldest son, Anson Vasco was returning form a mission in England, he took sick and died at Rock Springs, Wyoming. His wife Charlotte has passed away a year before. This left their seven children orphans. The family was broken up and the children put in the homes of the namesakes. Again, Grandmother Mary was called to take the responsibility of raising foster children. She was given the care of our own father Anson Vasco, who was then 11 years old, and Mary, 9 years. Thus, our father and Anson Bowen were brought up like brothers.

On New Year's Day, it was an established custom for all the families to come to Grandmother's home for dinner. The children were fed first. After dinner, all were assembled into the big front room, where grandfather Anson held a meeting and gave council to all.

Grandmother Mary was a wonderful cook, and Bowen always said no one could make pear preserves like her. She was known for her "salt-risin' bread." Her family always got bread and milk for supper, and after the evening work was done it was always the custom for her to read the news and all other matters of importance to Grandfather. Bowen was required to sit quietly on a stool or get tapped on the head with Grandfather's cane.

When the Pioneers first came to Utah, wheat flour was very scarce. They used mostly corn flour for both bread and cereal. Upon one occasion they had to eat such a lot of corn, that at breakfast, Grandfather look upon the table and seeing more corn bread and corn meal mush, hesitated for the blessing upon the food and said, "I refuse to thank the Lord for this old corn meal." Some time later the corn meal ran out and they were forced to eat parched corn. When they were able to again get corn for flour and cereal, Grandmother prepared some and as they surrounded the table she asked Grandfather, "Now do you feel like thanking the Lord for our food?" He did.

In spite of having one lung gone completely due to tuberculosis which she had contracted while young, she lived to the ripe old age of 90 years, in fulfillment of the blessing given her that day at the veil of the Temple by the Prophet. Upon her deathbed she kept calling for her baby. Anson Bowen was sent for and upon reaching her bedside, she happily greeted him and then passed on to her reward. This was on October 8, 1901 at Bountiful, Utah. Her memory still lives, and a D.U.P Camp in Bountiful bears her name, known as the Mary Flint Camp.


Source: Great-granddaughters Alice Maud Call Burton and Lorna Call Schlote (daughters of Anson Vasco Call); Granddaughter Athelia Call Irvine (daughter of Anson Bowen Call); Willard Call and Justin Call (sons of Israel Call and grandsons of Anson).

Written by Lorna Call Schlote, great-granddaughter, a member of D.U.P. Golden Spike Camp




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