Katherine Cunningham

Excerpted from A Pause for Reflection, Cassia Company, Daughters of Utah Pioneers

Katherine, or as she was called in later life, Aunt Kate, was born in Boreland, Fifeshire, Scotland, November 29, 1854.

At the age of three she became blind, following the measles. One day, while picking wild flowers, she was met by Mormon Elders. They saw she was blind. After a long talk they gave her a blessing. In a few days she began to see. As time went on she improved. Later she and her family crossed the ocean on the ship Horizon. She finally joined the Mormon faith.

At sixteen she married John Wrigley in Salt Lake City. They lived in American Fork, Utah. The following are their children: Annie, married Alma Larson; John Jr., married Julia Parker; Alexander, married Olive Bingham; Grace, married, first, John Moore, then Michael Connor; Robert L., married Esther Erickson; and Frank D., married Althea Burgess.

Her husband, John, died in American Fork, December 24, 1892 and was buried there. In about 1905 she married Joseph C. Burgess. He had one son, Riley, by a former marriage. Aunt Kate and Uncle Joe, as they were called, had no children.

In 1909 Uncle Joe received a letter from his brother, Charlie, in Idaho. He asked Uncle Joe to come to Burley. Charlie would give him ten acres of land if he would build a store. They came. This was the first store in this area.

They also planted a variety of berries, other small fruits and an orchard. These were shared by family, friends and anyone who needed help or would pick the fruit.

Aunt Kate named View, it is said. She suggested Mountain View, but when the Post Office was started, the name was cut down to fit the stamp. She was the oldest person in View.

Aunt Kate was president of the Relief Society. She helped make layettes for the new babies from old sheets and other old but good clothing. She also helped make clothing for the dead and helped prepare the bodies for burial.

Aunt Kate was also a midwife, helping with or without a doctor at the birth of many babies. She was a good "grandma" to many near and far.

She was also a good singer, she had a lovely voice and sang in the choir. She had a good sense of humor, loved making fun with her Scotch brogue.

Aunt Kate died February 27, 1930 at View, at the age of 79. She was buried by her first husband in the American Fork cemetery.