- Born 10 Aug 1828 New Bedford, Bristol, Massachusetts
- Died 11 Jan 1911 Portland, Multnomah, Oregon
- Parents: Joseph George Crapo and Mary Hicks Collins
- Spouse: Edward Wilcox Davenport (md. 10 Aug 1848)
- Children: Joseph Smith Crapo Davenport, Jeremiah Franklin Davenport, John Edward Davenport, James Albert Davenport, William Edwin Davenport, Mary Alice Davenport, Marcus Morton Davenport, Agnes Eudora Davenport, Charles Davenport, Warren Ellis Davenport
Life History of Clarissa Crapo Davenport
By Eudora Davenport Short
I think that my Mother had a wonderful and eventful life. If I could remember all that she told me about her early life, also her wonderful testimonies to the truthfulness of the Gospel in early Pioneer days, but this I do remember:
She was born August 10th 1828 at her grandfather's home near New Bedford Mass. He owned a large farm. She was the pet of the whole family. She had beautiful auburn hair that curled in ringlets, beautiful blue eyes and a clear complexion. She was always small for her age only weighing 108 pounds when she was 20 years old.
When she was two years old her parents moved to Maine and lived her with her grandparents. She lived with them until she was fifteen years old. When her parents came back from Maine at an early age she was taught to knit & sew. Her schooling was the best to be had there. She was so bright and quick to learn. She was always at the head of the class. When she was just a small child she spelled the whole school down. When she was eight years old her grandfather had her read a chapter in the bible every night. She read it through before she was twelve years old. That winter she and her brother Joseph who was eight years old went to a meeting two miles away. Her grandmother insisted that she wear her heavy shoes. It was a very cold day and she was so proud that she didn't go up to the stove to get warm. She didn't want anyone to see those shoes. She was very cold when they started home and was so near froze her brother had to almost carry her the last quarter of a mile. She was very sick for a week r more.
When she was fifteen her father owned a fishing vessel and she went with him on lots of fishing trips as she loved the sea. She became quite adept at steering and helping with the vessel. She was a pretty good sailor at sixteen years of age. One day while crossing the bay a sudden storm or squall came up. She was at the wheel and steered the vessel across. The big waves would dash over the vessel and nearly sweep her off her feet, but she stood there through it all. The people expected to see them swamped any minute, but they got across all right. When the people saw it was a at the wheel they made up a purse of $30.00 for her courage and bravery. Later her father's vessel was wrecked and was picked up by and outgoing ship. It was over a year before they heard from him. His wife and everyone around thought he was drowned. Mother supported the family. There being six children and her mother, whose health was very poor. She was nineteen at this time and her brother was fifteen when her father went away. Mother was a good dressmaker. When she was sixteen years old she did all the sewing for her mother's family. Then at eighteen she learned tailoring and at eighteen could make a suit of clothes for a man. In later years she made her husbands and boys suits and people would send for her to help them sew and especially make buttonholes in suits.
When she was eighteen one of her uncles owned a factory and she learned to run a loom. He soon put her in charge of six looms. She taught other s to run the looms. Her uncle allowed her 1 1/2 yards of white goods every day to dust and clean the looms with. She substituted old clothes and kept the new and when she was twenty years old she had her chest full of sheets and pillow cases etc.
The family had joined the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day saints. When she was about seventeen years old she was engaged to a young man who belonged to the church and was to have been married to him. But she met Edward Wilcox Davenport when she was nineteen and they were married when she was twenty. Her oldest boy was born (1849) when she was twenty-one. He was named Joseph Crapo Davenport. When he was two years old his father joined the church and crossed the plains to Utah. Mother worked a year and earned enough to pay to have her trunk and bedding & food hauled across the plains. She walked all of the way and carried her boy some of the way. He didn't like to be left in the wagon. She had some trying experiences.
Before she left the East she had her Patriarchal blessing given to her. In it she was told that she and her little boy would reach the valley of the mountains in safety and he would become the father of a great family. When they had traveled about six weeks her baby took sick and the next morning he went cold and stiff and to all appearances was . The Captain said to her, "Sister Davenport, shall we bury the baby this morning or wait until noon?" She said, "Captain, my baby is not " and told him of the promise in her Patriarchal blessing. "Well," he said, "Sometimes it does not mean that literally." She said, "If that isn't true, nothing is true, you can not bury my baby here." He said, "Well, we will wait until noon", and so they drove on. She rubbed the baby with oil and forced some down his throat and held him close to get him warm, praying all the time. In about an hour he began to get warm and limber. She kept rubbing him and near noon he wanted a drink and then went to sleep. At noon he captain came to the back of the wagon again and said, "Sister Davenport, are you willing to let us bury the baby now." She uncovered him and said, "Would you bury a live child." He looked down and asked forgiveness for his lack of faith in not believing her promise that her boy would live to reach their destination. He soon got all right and was well the rest of the way.
He had light curly hair and big blue eyes. The Indians thought he was wonderful. They would point to his eyes and then to the sky and make motions and say that he was the great white chief who was to come to save their people. The chief tried to buy him several times, offering her horses, robes, or anything they had, but she would smile and shake her head. The captain had given orders that they must be careful and not make the Indians mad. One day 2 or 3 you squaws came to where mother was and was playing with the baby. One of them begged so hard to hold him just a minute, remembering what the captain had said, she thought it would do no harm to let her take him, as he wasn't afraid and liked the pretty beads and bright ornaments. Just as she was giving him to the squaw she saw her glance up. Mother looked up and there was the chief on a big horse ready to grab him and go. It scared her so that quick as a flash she shut her hands tight and pinched the baby until he screamed and cried. Then she said "Oh baby cry" and turned to the wagon. The chief scolded and raved at the squaw and struck her. He knew she had done something to make the mother suspicious.
The captain said, "Sister Davenport, get into the wagon and stay there for a week and keep the baby out of sight, or you'll loose him yet."
The company had a hard time to get wood or anything to build a fire with. One day some of the scouts said he saw some brush and limbs over the hill. Mother and three other women thought they would get some. Mother went farther than the rest. They called to her that they were going back. She said I will come in a minute. When she got her apron full of sticks she started back; as she thought, but instead went over another hill. Then she knew she was lost and didn't know which way to go. She ran screaming over another hill. It happened that one of the men was riding over the hills a mile way. He had a spy glass and saw her so he galloped back to where she was. He said you are going in the wrong direction entirely. She was over two miles from the wagon.
One day when there had stopped for dinner and when they were ready to start they saw that the Indians had spread blankets across the road and said that each one had to put some things on the blanket such as flour, bread, sugar or anything they had to eat before they could to on.
Father knew she was coming and got a team and went to meet her. The company had been traveling for three months - and it was a happy time for both of them. He had taken some vegetables and garden stuff and she said she had never tasted anything so good. When they go to Salt Lake she soon got all the sewing and knitting she could do but she had to take vegetables or anything the people had to spare in pay for her work.
They lived in Salt Lake for awhile then moved to Draper, Utah.
Brother Frank was born 17 Jul 1853. A doctor by the name Franklin wanted to buy him but mother would not think of it. In 1854 they moved to Draper where they lived there 6 months.
Brother John was born 17 October 1855 at Salt Lake City, Utah. They then moved to Camp Floyd Utah. Father did shoe making for the soldiers and mother did their washing and mending. Brother James was born 1 Jun 1857 at Camp Floyd and William was born 4 March 1859 at Camp Floyd. They moved back to Draper in the fall of 1860. Sister Mary was born 4 April 1861.
Father and Mother went through the endowment house in Sept. 1861 and was sealed to each other. Then they moved to old Paradise, Cache Co. Utah. They lived there till the fall of 1865. Brother Mark was born there Oct 1863. The settlers had to move 3 miles north and nearer the other settlements, and a more open country because the Indians were so bad. They would steal stock and horses.
Father and the boys built a two room log house with a room upstairs. I, Eudora was born there, Paradise 9 April 1866. Brother Charles was born 9 April 1868. He died when he was 2 years old in 1870. Father bought a little sewing machine and a clock in 1869.
Brother Joseph was married in Jan 1871. Mother made his wedding suit.
Brother Warren was born 19 May 1871 at Paradise, Cache Co. Utah.
Mothers hair turned gray in one night in the fall of 1871. We lived in Paradise. The Indians were not very bad when they came to town, but if they caught any boys out away from town they would sometimes tease and torment them. So it was not safe for boys to venture too far away, but this fall it was necessary for my two brothers John about fourteen and William, thirteen, to go to the canyon for a load of wood. Father had cut the wood, It was about seven miles up to where the wood was, East of Paradise. Grandfather Crapo was burning coal, to use in a blacksmith shop, in another canyon two miles farther on. Mother did not want the boys to go. but the wood had to be hauled while the road was good and father was away from home, but the boys wanted to go. Their only team was a yoke of oxen. They thought they would be home by six o'clock. Mother waited until nearly eight, then when Brother Joseph came home she wanted him to go see why they had not come. So he and Lottie started up the road to meet them. Brother Miles lived one mile East of town. He told them, that they saw six or eight Indians, all painted up, go up the canyon about one o'clock, and if they met the boys no telling what they might do. Brother Joseph decided the best thing to do was to go back to town and get as many men as he could to go up there on horse back and see if they could find any trace of the boys. Joseph told Lottie to go home but not tell mother anything about the Indians. Mother wanted to know why Joseph came back without trying to find them. She said he was going to get someone else. At last Lottie told her all about the Indians and that Brother Joseph and Frank and several other men had gone to see about them. It was then about nine o'clock. Mother was so frightened she started up the road. She said she would not go far. About ten miles up the canyon the men met the boys coming with their wood. They said they loaded the wood and started home, when the reach of the wagon broke and they had to unload. They took their team and went over the hills where grandfather was, to get him to help make a reach.
About 5 miles up the canyon mother met Brother Frank coming back to tell her that the boys were all right. Frank said, "Mother, what are you doing way up here?" She said, "I'm only going up to the grade." He said "You are past the grade." He put her on the horse and took her home.
The next morning everyone said, "Mother you got flour on you hair out of the flour barrel." but the flour never did rub off. Her hair turned gray overnight.
Father got work in the shoe shop in Brigham City. Mother, Warren and I went over on the train in Sept 1873. Mother soon got all the sewing she could do. They gave Joseph the clock and sold the little sewing machine and bought a new sewing machine in 1874 and another clock also some nice furniture. We lived there 4 1/2 years.
In 1877 my brothers bought a saw mill about 18 miles south east of Paradise which they run for 12 years. In the summer of 1876 they went up in the mountains near Mt. Crisco to log for Barney Whites mill. Mother cooked for them. In the fall of 1880 they were loading up to go home, Mother was on the top of the load and she fell off and hurt her back causing it to be crooked and lame the rest of her life. The boys sold their mill and went to Beaver Canyon Idaho in Sept 1881 to log for William Thomas's mill. Father, Mother and I went up there in the spring of 1882 to cook for them. Sometimes we could have 16 men to cook for.
Sister Mary was married 10 Nov 1881 in the Salt Lake temple. Mother gave her the sewing machine and all her furniture. In the spring of 1883 father got a place in Egin, Idaho. Now called Heman, but mother did not go there till the spring of 1884. I was married 1 Jan 1884 and we went up to Egin in May and lived in one room of their house till Jan 1885.
Mother started a little store in Sept 1885. She sold it to Bro. Joseph in 1887 and went to Monida, a railroad station on the line between Montana and Idaho.
In April 1888 she went down to Paradise to see sister Mary and to take care of her mother who died in May while she was gone. Father bought a cow and tried to lead her home. She started to run back to her calf. Father fell and broke his right arm. The doctor there wasn't very good. His arm was stiff and lame and his fingers got crooked and stiff so he couldn't use his hand very good. It was hard for him to do shoemaking and he was lost without his trade, but he did work at it some when they lived above the store in 1892. In March 1900 Father and Mother went to Oregon. We lived at Hilgard Oregon and they stopped to see us. They were there 2 months then went on to Hood River. They lived on the Barret ranch 3 miles from town with Warren and Tenie for 2 years. Then they moved to a little house at the top of the plainer which was on the Columbia River.
We sold out at Hilgard and went down to Hood River and rented the Barret ranch in 1903. We moved down to Hood River Oregon.and they moved to the Tillet ranch. They lived upstairs of Helen's house where father died in June 1904. He fell and hurt his back the 15 Oct 1902 and mother took care of him till he died.
She was sick and worn out for two years after he died and she lived with me nearly all the time till she died 1 Jan 1911. She had several sick spells and then had creeping paralysis, which resulted in her . The last 5 years of her life her eyesight was wonderful. She did fine needle work and knit lace and pieced and worked a crazy quilt of velvet piece when she was 81. She was always cheerful and ready for fun with the young people. The Christmas before she died we had a program she recited a poem and danced for us. Jesse left for his Mission the 27 of Dec. She said Oh I would like to go with you. She died on 11 Jan 1911 and was buried in Hood River, Oregon.
|Clarissa's headstone in Idlewild Cemetery, Hood River, Oregon|