Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Catherine Anna Martin Campbell Hoskins Hoskins

Catherine was born in Aberdare, Glamorganshire, Wales, on June 18, 1867.  She was the first child of John Martin and Anna (Hannah) Jenkins.  When she was just one year and a few days old, her mother and father left Liverpool, England, with Katie in their arms, on a journey to America.  They arrived in New York and boarded a train for Laramie, Wyoming.  Their final destination was Salt Lake City and they made the last leg of the journey on foot or in wagons from Laramie to Salt Lake. 

Many of the Welsh immigrants settled in the Malad, Idaho, area and the Martin family settled near there in the tiny town of Samaria.  Katie’s mother and father loved to sing as did most of the Welsh people.  Katie and her three sisters often sang together. 

On January 14, 1886, when Katie was 18, she married Lorenso Campbell in Samaria.  One year later she gave birth to a daughter, Mary.  Tragically, Mary died when she was only 8 months old.  Lorenso also passed away in 1890.  Family sources say that a flu-like illness was thought to have taken both father and daughter.

Katie was a young widow who would need to support herself, so she took a job working on the reservation at Fort Hall.  There she met a cowboy by the name of William Wesley Hoskins – she called him Billy.  They were married in 1895 at Blackfoot, Idaho.  Three years later, their only child, George William Hoskins, was born.  The Hoskins owned a small farm and a business (a bar) in Montpelier, Idaho.  They were quite well-to-do and had some lovely furniture and nice things.  William had worked breaking stock and had received some injuries that eventually seriously affected his health.  The family had been advised to go to California for the altitude, but William’s health only worsened.   The family came back to Montpelier and upon arrival, William passed away.  Katie was left as a widow again but this time she had a nine year old son to care for. 

Two and a half years later, Katie married William’s brother, James Wilson Hoskins.  “Wilse” was a widower whose two children and wife had all passed away.  Wilse did have one young son who had been staying with his maternal Grandmother since his own mother died. 

Katie was very loving and cared for others who needed her help.  She was always good-natured and willing to help.  She helped to raise a niece and also cared for her sister, Esther, who was ill.   Katie’s son George was often asked to deliver excess vegetables from the garden to a family in the neighborhood who had a lot of children. 

Katie broke her hip when she was younger and the hip gave her a lot of trouble when she was older.  Arthritis in her hip bothered her and she needed to use a single crutch to get around.  The crutch and her hip didn’t slow her down, though.  She was a “bustler” and was always bustling around the house.  She also walked the mile to town to shop and conduct business.   

She would sing songs in her native tongue – Welsh.  She spoke Welsh fluently, but spoke English with no trace of an accent. 

Her granddaughter, Helen, remembered that she made the best bread.  Helen would sometimes spend the night with her grandmother and she remembered late night bowls of bread and milk. 

Katie always had an outhouse and no indoor plumbing.  She did have a refrigerator and other electrical items, but never was privileged to own indoor plumbing. 

Katie never liked riding in a car.  She would rarely accept a ride from anyone.  One time she rode to Soda Springs with her son George and his family and granddaughter Helen said that she was tense all the way.  She would have been more comfortable in a horse-drawn vehicle. 

Katie milked cows and always kept chickens on the farm.  The farm had some beef cattle along with a couple of milk cows.  Occasionally there were also pigs.   Hay was raised to feed the stock.  In later years, Katie had two beautiful Jersey cows which she named after her two grandchildren.  One was Helen and the other was Barbara.  

Katie was a very tiny woman.  She was only 4’ 8” tall.  Her hair was always dark and pulled back into a bun at the nape of her neck.  When she was older, she wore printed cotton dresses with an apron over the top.  She also wore heavy knit stockings that were flesh colored.

Katie developed gangrene in her troublesome leg and died 10 July 1954 in Montpelier, Bear Lake, Idaho.  She is buried in the Montpelier Cemetery in the family plot.  There is a large marker that says Hoskins for her husband, William Wesley Hoskins.  Her marker and that of her husband, James Wilson Hoskins, are behind the larger monument. 

Katie will be remembered as a kind and caring woman, a hard worker, and someone who survived her trials with grace.

1 comment:

  1. I didn't realize she was that tiny! I guess we come by our lack of height honestly.