Emma Wright Dalley was born in Wisbeck, Cambridge, England August 19, 1893, the daughter of John Pannell and Mary Hill Fish. Her father was a well to do block and mast maker. He was able to provide his family with a comfortable home and a good 1iving.
After many weeks of rough riding they reached Draper, a 1ittle settlement about 17 miles south of Salt Lake. They stayed a short time and then moved to Pleasant Grove, Utah where father’s sister Susan and her husband George Clark 1ived. Here another child John Edward was born the 21st of November 1852.
In the spring of 1853 James Dalley with Uncle George Clark and others, were called to go and help settle Iron County. Obedient as always to the call of the church leaders, father and mother moved to Cedar City. They lived here only a short time and with four or five other families they started a little settlement called Johnson’s Fort. It was a few miles east of Cedar City. This was December 15, 1854. To Emma’s delight a daughter Emma was born here. Two years later September 8, 1856 a second daughter, Mary Elizabeth, came along.
While they lived at Johnson’s Fort a young widow, Lettie Black with her baby girl came to the settlement. My mother took her in and made her welcome, 1itt1e thinking that some day this same woman would care for her motherless chi1dren.
When Mary was ten days old, Lettie became father’s plural wife. They were married in the old Endowment House, father and mother received their endowments on the same date.
One more child, James nicknamed “Captain” by the Indians was born here November 6, 1856.
Not being entirely satisfied with their location, James and Emma moved east seven miles and helped form a settlement they called Summit. They 1ived in a cellar while James was building her an adobe house, but no matter where Emma 1ived her home was scrupulously clean and neat and attractive as she could make it with as 1ittle means as she had at her command. The things she cooked always tasted good, no matter how 1itt1e she had it was well prepared and tasty.
One child William Wright was born the 3rd of June 1859 while we still lived in the cellar. James finished one 1itt1e mud house as soon as possible and while it was only one large room it was cozy and very comfortable. Soon after moving into the new house Betsy was born November 1, 1860. When she was a small baby James married Aunt Threna Bert1esen. At this time the Indians began to be very troub1esom and the Saints were advised to move into a fort. James built five large log rooms and moved his family into them. Emma was never very strong. Her children were coming so fast and the constant hardships were taking their toll of her strength, but she never complained. She was always cheerful and kind. The children tried to help with the work.
She had gentle brown eyes dark hair parted in the middle and ro1led softly on each side of her face. Her clear complexion arid gentle smile might not have been called beautiful but she was sweet and attractive. She was hospitable to friends, neighbors and strangers. She loved to dance and enjoy to the utmost the occasional little dances and parties held in the settlement.
Franklin was born on September 5, 1863. When he was six months old, James or Cappy, Betsy and Franklin were stricken with a malignant fever. There were no doctors available but with the best care father and mother could give them Cappy died in six days, Betsy was ill for six months, when she recovered she was deaf and blind in one eye. Franklin lingered for six months then he died. This was very hard on Emma but with her implicit faith Heavenly Father helped her through her trials. This seemed to draw her closer to her husband. She never gave him a cross or unkind word. The choicest portions of food and the best chair in the house were always reserved for James. She never failed to have a birthday dinner for him at her home with the entire family present.
On the 29th of May 1965 mother gave birth to another daughter. Harriet Marie and two years later Richard Henry was born.
There were no auxiliary organizations in the village of Summit so mother was deprived of the pleasure and development she might have received by working in organizations. An occasional meeting was held on Sunday afternoon, but this was not a regular occurrence.
Sometimes James and Emma with three or four of the children would travel to Salt Lake to attend conference and to visit with relatives who lived in Salt Lake and Draper. On one trip we took to Salt Lake with a team, Emma was extremely nervous, every time a horse made an unusual move Emma would climb out of the back of the wagon and drag the children with her. When returning from Salt Lake on one trip a number of men were returning from the California gold rush and were in need of money. One man had a most beautiful bedspread which her husband saw and he bought it paying $85.00 for it in gold. He gave it to Emma and she mildly reproached him for spending all that money, but he replied with a twinkle in his eye “it is just a belated wedding present”. He loved her very tenderly for all the hardships she had to bear.
John Phillip was born in 1869, Albert Chester October I, 1871 and Charles Rupert November 27, 1873.
In spite of Emma’s delicate health she did not shirk the responsibility of having children and they were all loved and welcomed. After Charles birth James built a more spacious and comfortable adobe house for Emma. They moved into the house before it was finished and Emma never 1ived to see it’s completion. She died in October 1875 in giving birth to a baby daughter who died a few months later.
It was sad Emma did not live her full span of years to care for her family and enjoy some of the comforts James was able to provide in later years, but we do not question the wisdom of a divine providence. She was forty-two years old when she died. Her son Arthur said, surely this faithful little mother will inherit one of the choice thrones which our father in heaven has prepared for the faithful.