Life Story of Emmaline Jarvis
Emmaline Jarvis, ninth child of George and Ann Prior Jarvis, was born at St. George, Washington County, Utah, March 21st, 1863, two years after the Pioneers arrived in the St. George valley. She was either the first child or one of the first children born in St. George.
She shared many pioneer experiences of shortage of food, clothing and housing facilities. Her layette consisted of pieces of wagon cover. Their first home was a willow shed. The water was very warm and insipid compared with our pure cold mountain water which is piped from the spring to our head house, thus destroying any chance of contamination. Mother often told us of the time she and Aunt Josephine gleaned grain and carried it home on their backs from the fields. This was sold sometimes to buy a Sunday dress and shoes. She carried the drinking water three blocks.
Mother had a very cheerful disposition and a beautiful alto voice which she freely used in public and at home. Her mother and sister Maggie had very good soprano voices, so their home was a gathering place for old and young to spend a pleasant evening. She joined the choir when very young, and was a member most of her life-time. She attended the schools of that time.
She married one of the cleanest, finest young men of St. George, Thomas P. Cottam. He was a leader in Church and Civic affairs. He served as Councilor to Bishop Cannon, and also was Bishop for twenty-five years, then Councilor to President E.H. Snow of the St. George Stake for twenty-five years. He was Councilor to D.H. Cannon of the St. George Temple for a few years, then was set apart as President when President Cannon died. He was City Councilman, Mayor, Assessor and Collector, etc. He was sustained by my mother 100%. Father's being away from home so much, left the responsibility of home and ten children to mother. We all loved and honored both of them. One brother died in childhood, and one in early manhood, leaving a wife and three children.
Both father and mother were very free-hearted, and always had their house full of Conference visitors, and also the corral full of teams and horses. They boarded many Dixie College Students. They always welcomed their friends, and seldom ate a meal without company.
Mother was a good cook and a good nurse. She helped her neighbors when sickness was their lot. No one was ever turned away hungry from her door. She was a willing worker in Church activities, especially in Relief Society, where she worked on the Stake Board, also as Councilor in the Ward for several years. She was called to be a Temple Ordinance worker in 1926, and worked until 1940, when she became unable to go. She had done ordinance work and endowments for at least 2000 names. She loved the work, and was never happier than when in the Temple.
Father died March 16th, 1926, and mother lived until September 21st, 1944. I can imagine that joyful meeting.
From Margaret Godfrey Jarvis Overson. George Jarvis And Joseph George De Friez Genealogy. Mesa, Ariz: M.J. Overson, 1957, pp 77-78.