Martha Wilson Strate
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MARTHA WILSON STRATE
Written by: her daughter Beth W. Strate Foggin
Martha, the seventh child of Thomas John and Mary Emerine Leavitt Wilson was born on a cold January 3rd, 1894 morning in Cardston, Alberta.
Mother spent her childhood days and young life in the Leavitt district where her parents homesteaded.
She received her education in the Leavitt school. Mother was a very nervous person. She had St. Vitus Dance when she was about 12 to 16 years old, she couldn’t sit in church or school too long, she would have to go home.
On September 11, 1916 she married her school day sweetheart, Carlos Albert Strate of Mountain View, Alberta, in Cardston, Alberta. Carlos homesteaded in the Del Bonita lease district in 1912.
After they were married they went to the lease in a wagon. Their first night was spent at their neighbors’ Mr.& Mrs. John Herron, where they slept in a granary. They had a two room house which they moved into the following day.
Mother was a very small person, about 5 feet one inch and never weighed over 125 pounds. She had brunette hair with very beautiful clear skin and blue eyes. Her hair was very thick and long, she could sit on it. She wore it braided and put in a bun on her head. When the short hair styles came in she had her hair cut which displeased Dad very much. This relieved Mother’s headaches which she had had for many years. It took the weight off her head.
Just a while after Mother and Dad were married Mother made soup for dinner, Dad being a bachelor for four years, picked up his dish and began drinking from it. Mother pushed the dish into his face. Soup went all over him, he laughed about it, but this cured him from drinking out of his dish.
Unto this marriage four children were born, Beth on May 12, 1918, Lila & Lyle born November 5, 1921, and Fredrick Carl on June 25, 1924. Lyle passed away in 1923 at the age of two from quinsy.
Mother suffered very much from a toothache one winter. She told Dad he just had to pull it. Dad disinfected his pliers. Mother sat on a chair, held on to the seat and Dad went to work. He had quite a time getting it out. Lo and behold he pulled the wrong tooth. She sat there and demanded him to pull the right one. Living so far from town, about 30 miles to a dentist by sleigh was just too far to go with little children. This is just one example that happened to the pioneers living on the lease.
Mother was a good cook, when they had anything to cook. She always said they had meat in the winter and eggs in the summer. She made the best jelly rolls with wild fruit. Gooseberry jam and Chokecherry jelly and we always had lots of Saskatoon berries for fruit. Her chocolate cakes were just out of this world. She always made a three layer cake with lots of icing between each layer and all over the tops and sides.
Mother was always faithful to her church. She went in a buggy or horseback many miles to attend. She was secretary for Relief Society and a councilor in Primary. Mother received her endowment in the Cardston Temple on November 15, 1934.
Mother was very busy at all times, sewing and making things to make her family comfortable.
One fall she and her neighbor Mrs. Retta Talbot made 9 quilts. Making patchwork tops, washing and cording the wool, and many stitches went into these quilts.
She and Retta also made cheese together. Cheese was always made in the months of Sept. and October. They made these cheeses for their own use and also sold some to help out with the groceries.
Mother was in the Cardston Municipal Hospital with dropsy when she passed away on May 17, 1936 at the age of 42. She is buried in the Leavitt cemetery.