Polly Uretta RICHARDSON
wife of Asa Newton Allred
Allred Lineage: Asa Newton, Medwin Newton, William Moore, Isaac, William, Thomas, Solomon born 1680 England
Born: 07/21/1885 Plain City, UT
Submitted by: Peggy Lynch 01/25/2000
Autobiography of Polly Uretta Richardson Allred
Taken from Allred Family Year Book, 1961
I was born July 21, 1885, at Plain City, Utah. We lived on a small farm and my father, Levi Richardson, owned several salt ponds. He sold salt and thereby made a good living for awhile. I recall very clearly my first home. It was a rock house with two bedrooms, a big house to us at that time. There were many lovely flowers all around, with roses around the door. Our sidewalks were made of hard packed dirt and running along side was a tiny creek. The first adventure and tragedy in my life occurred here. I had a tiny kitten that I loved very much. One day it scratched me. My cousin, who was my constant playmate, said, “We will punish that cat, and he will not hurt you again.” So he dug a hole in the ground and we buried my little cat. Of course, it died. Then I had to learn of death, that my kitten would never play with me again.
Father sold salt in the nearby town. He used a shovel and scooped the salt into wagons. We lived here for about six years, then we moved into Star Valley, Wyoming. The first families in this valley were mostly polygamous families, although my family was not. Grandfather Child ran a dairy and Grandma sold cheese. My dad bought filing rights on 80 acres of land for $100.00 from a Mr. Charlie Lindbert. Our first house was two rooms with a sod roof. It was already on the place. We lived here only long enough for Father to haul logs from the canyon and build a permanent home. Our new home had three rooms. We lived here until I was about ten. I rode horseback to school for three miles. This first school sat right in the middle of the street, was one room, and a Mr. “Cap” Witherill taught all eight grades.
Nearly everyone in the valley were Mormons, and since it was a small place, we knew everyone. My father was Superintendent of the Sunday School with Asa’s father as his assistant until his death. Father was known as the best left handed baseball pitcher in the entire valley. I was the best speller in school and out spelled my future husband. In one spelling bee, I stood next to him and could stand under his outstretched arm. I spelled him down. I was very good in reading, spelling and geography. I also had a desire for drawing and real love for poetry, study, or elocution, as they then called it.
My mother was a poet in a small way, and whenever we were on a program, she sat down and composed things for us to recite, or she wrote new words to familiar songs.
Our parties were real pioneer parties. We brought our entire families, and the babies were all put to sleep in an adjoining room. However, we didn’t dance all night. Our parties ended at midnight.
My father raised many crops on his farm. The soil was rich. The oat crop one year was as tall as a horses back. The seasons were very short, and for many years all the crops would be frosted before they could be harvested. Our wheat was always frozen, making the bread dark. We were grateful in those days even for the dark bread. All fruits and green vegetables had to be freighted in from over the mountains in Idaho. Each fall our family made a trip to Brigham City for our winter fruit. The mothers would can the fruit right in the orchards. We had our cows and raised our meat. My life here was wonderful. How I loved our ranch and the valley. I didn’t ever want to grow up.
When my fourth sister Virgie was born, my father had to ride three and a half miles across the valley for a midwife, Mrs. Eggleston. There were no doctors in the valley. We learned to rely on faith and administrations by the Priesthood to heal us from disease and hurts. I have never seen that power fail, either. The snow was so deep winters that a horse could hardly get through. Whenever two sleds met in the road, one would unhitch his team, lead them around the other sleigh, then the drivers would lift the sleigh around.
I grew up with the Allred boys, going with each one of them on occasion. Asa was in an older crowd than I was, and he used to help supervise the dances. These were held every Friday night, and admission charge was $.25. This paid our Ward expenses. One evening, after I had been going with Asa, we were at a dance and two fellows came in from “outside.” They had been drinking, and since the rule was anyone doing either that or smoking, was thrown out. Asa saw the two acting smart and he proceeded to throw them out. In doing so he sort of had to fight. This made me very mad. I thought he should have been more of a gentleman when he had me there. I refused to go home with him. Another man asked if he could see me home. I said yes, he could sit on the fence and see me go home alone. I did, too. I refused to see Asa when he tried to apologize. I didn’t care why he acted as he did. Then one Halloween night we had a treasure hunt. I was paired off with Asa, and since his buggy was one seated I had to go alone with him. Of course before the evening was over we were friends again. We had to follow directions written for us, and ours said we must go into the graveyard. Here we made up. We had many spats but finally we were married and our lives have indeed been wonderful together.
In November, of 1914 we left Wyoming for Idaho. In the winter of 1936-7 we moved from Idaho to California. Now we live on this lovely mountaintop above Santa Cruz and within a few minutes drive of the ocean. Here we hope to stay until the time comes for us to move once more, this time to an Eternal Home we hope.