From a collection assembled by Mary C. McAllister


Sarah Ann Williams Cooper Reynolds and Abraham Cooper

Sarah Ann Williams was born August 15, 1851, at the farm homestead of her parents in Richland township of Mahaska County, Iowa. It was near the town of Peoria. She was the second daughter and second child. Her mother called her Sannie and that name, shortened somewhat, stayed with her throughout life.

She was of a lively disposition and often got her older sister, Harriet, and herself into mischief. As they grew up they enjoyed picking blackberries from the long row on her father's farm. With her father and brothers and sisters she went nutting among the hazel brush and the walnut and other nut trees that grew some distance from home and would bring back plenty of nuts to store away for winter, to be eaten with apples from her father's orchard.

She attended the country school and was an enthusiastic pupil. When she was grown she and her younger sister, Emmi, went to Peoria to a higher school for a year. She also attended church service with her mother and others of the family at the Christian Church and sometimes at the Methodist Church.

A Latter-day Saint Elder from Utah had visited at their home and her father had bought a Book of Mormon and other publications from him, but locked them up in a trunk. This was a great temptation for the young people in the family and a way was found to open the trunk and read the books.

Sarah Ann especially was interested in the gospel which was explained in the Book of Mormon. She attended the Latter-day Saint meetings and her faith became stronger and she was baptized February 8, 1875. She also met a young man, Abraham Cooper, who was interested in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and wanted to go to Utah. After a brief courtship, they were married on October 14, 1875 and for a few weeks lived with her sister, Mary, who was married two years before to Monroe Wassom.

As soon as they could make arrangements they came to Utah that same year and lived in Springville.

Two children were born to them. Bertha was born 29 March 1877 and died 5 July 1877. Jasper Harlan was born 8 July 1878 and died 30 December 1878. Abraham's health was not good and he died of tuberculosis on January 1880, at their home in Hobble Creek Canyon.

When Grandfather Williams divided his land between his children, the piece given to Sarah Ann was on the west side of the main road south through Mapleton. Her sisters and brothers who were earning money all joined in and helped to build a house for grandmother and father on the land belonging to Sarah Ann.

Sarah Ann was always interested in school and at this time the Brigham Young Academy was getting started in Provo under the leadership of Carl G. Maeser. She was anxious to attend as they were offering a normal course to prepare teachers for the schools in Utah. She persuaded her mother to let her sisters Ella May and Josephine go to school at Provo with her and she would have them live with her and help pay their expenses.

This course was for two years and prepared her to be a school teacher. She was assigned to a school in Springville and taught for several years. She also took an interest in poetry and studied it in school. She loved to write and spent many hours describing in poetic lines her childhood home, her friends and loved ones, and other interesting and amusing subjects and people.

One Sunday while she was teaching a class in Sunday School, a man in a class on the other side of the curtains was listening and he liked what he heard. He made her acquaintance and soon after asked her to be his wife. They were married the 28th of February 1887. He was Joseph D. Reynolds, and English convert, and had two wives at this time.

After their marriage, Sarah Ann sold her land in Mapleton, including the house built for grandmother, and with some of the money helped to build a small house for grandmother on Mattie Thompson's lot just across the street to the east.

Sarah Ann bought herself a house, one block east of the Reynolds store in Springville. This was remodeled and added to until she had a nice comfortable and modern home. There was some acreage and this was planed to a fine garden and various kinds of flowers. She enjoyed taking care of them and her garden was a beauty spot in the town.

She and Uncle Joe made many trips to the Manti Temple and the Salt Lake Temple to do ordinance work for the dead.

She also taught in Sunday School, Relief Society, and Y.W.M.I.A. Working with the young people was her favorite. She was also a Stake officer in religion class.

In 1896 they adopted a baby girl whose mother had died. This girl, Beulah, lived to be nine years old and died of rheumatic fever.

When Uncle Joe's wife, Samantha, died and left two teenage children, Archie and Velma, they were brought to Sarah Ann's home where they lived until they were married.

Uncle Joe Reynolds died on 2 March 1913 and a few years later after the Southwick family moved to Salt Lake City, Sarah Ann sold her home and went to Salt Lake City and lived her sister, Josephine Southwick. Now she was close to the genealogical library and spent days on end searching for ancestors in the books at the library.

With the help of grandfather's youngest brother, Uncle Sherman Williams in Connecticut, she was able to find many ancestors on the Williams line and compiled a fine family record.

She passed away 15 October 1945 at the age 94 years in Salt Lake City and was buried in the Springville City Cemetery, by her husband Abraham Cooper and her father and mother and her children.

Following is a poem written by Sarah Ann.

Reminiscences of Childhood

Oh those happy days of childhood,

Left so many years behind;

Still I see the tangled wild wood

In the visions of my mind.

Where the grapevine swing we plaited

All the happy long day thru

Swung and played, together chatted

For our hearts no sorrows knew.

How we gathered sweet Williams,

With their varied shades and hue;

Hunted dropping water lilies

Where the yellow cowslips grew.

Searched within each sheltered nooklet

For the ripe May apples sweet;

Sat beside the babbling brooklet

From the sultry summer heat.

From that fondly cherished orchard

Laden pink with apple bloom

With closed eyes I smell the fragrance

Stealing in this far off room.

And I smell the violets perfume

Underneath the chestnut trees

Where we've hunted mid the thick bloom

For wild strawberries on our knees.

In the grove of elm and basswood

Grew the old oak tall and strong

Little bluebirds chirped and mated

In their branches all day long.

Swinging Oriole, singing linnet

Their pendent nest swung to the breeze

While the little birdlings in it

Gently rocked mid leafy trees.

Oh as fair as ancient Eden

Still this scene to me appears

As I view the rolling landscape

With its fields of ripening ears.

With its fields of ripening ears.

Where we plucked the bright red lillies

Hunted lady slippers fair.

Bended down the slender rosin weed

For gum, next morning there.

Return to Sedgwick Research Home Page

Abraham Cooper's Cemetery Burial Record from the Springville, Utah City Cemetery

Sarah Ann Williams Cooper Reynolds' Cemetery Burial Record from the Springville, Utah City Cemetery

Sedgwick Research's Emmi Williams Peterson Web page (Sarah Ann's sister)

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