All Her Ways Are Peace
-- Katherine F. Larsen
Always they have such gentle hands, the ones
Who are born to ease the world's encumbering load;
Cooling brows set on fire by relentless suns;
Gentle their voices, soothing to troubled hearts;
Nourishing food with competence they prepare;
Growing gay flowers, sewing with loving care;
Mending torn places, healing the sick, their arts.
From Rachael to Ruth who gleaned for Naomi's bread;
From Sarah to Esther zealous for Israel's weal;
Tirelessly they minister to the world's demands;
Always the poor are helped, the hungry fed;
Knowing all ways to bless, to soothe, to heal,
Always they have such loving gentle hands.
Mary Ann (Polly) Hobbs Parkinson was born in Chettenham (Cheltenham ?), England, August 15, 1855. She came to Utah with her parents, C.W. and Mary Ann Hobbs in 1862, when she was seven years of age. They crossed the plains with ox teams. The family came direct from Florence to Franklin where she resided until her death. During her younger days, she was prominent in theatrical and musical circles.
She was always a kind and thoughtful daughter to her parents. Her sister Rose, said her father often told her, "Polly has never talked back to me - sassed me." This was his manner of speaking.
She was married to Samuel C. Parkinson in the Endowment House in Salt Lake on December 9, 1872. At this time, she was 17 years old. She was the mother of thirteen children -- one of them died in early childhood. She was an ideal homemaker, and through her influence, she implanted in her children and abiding love for home.
The short time I knew her, which was 7 or 8 years, I remember she was an inveterate reader of good books. Whenever she sat down to rest, if she had no mending in her lap, she always had a good book.
She was very frugal; although there was plenty to do with in later years, she still practiced economy.
Outside of her home, she was an active worker in the Relief Society. She was one of the presidency for a number of years. She was very sympathetic and thoughtful of the poor, giving liberally to those in need. She was always a sincere and devoted Latter-Day-Saint.
She and her husband Homesteaded the place where they lived. A son, Roland, has the home now. It was a rather desolate place at first - covered with sage brush and willows. There were many Indians around, also. Her husband was away much of the time, freighting into Montana, so she was alone much of the time, and was really bothered by the Indians. But they did have many friends among them. Later their home and the grounds was one of the nicest and most beautiful homes in the area.
She died December 21, 1912 when she was 57 years of age. She was ill only a few days with Smallpox, from which her husband was just recovering. The attack was of a light form, and no fear was entertained for her recovery until just 24 hours before her death. A Hemorrhage of the brain developed, and nothing could be done to stay the final hour. The funeral service was held at the family residence with the Second Counselor, Cecil Woodward, in charge.
The following speakers paid high tribute to her life and character: Joshua Hawkes, Sol H. Hale, George C. Parkinson, Patriarch S. R. Parkinson, L.A. Mecham, President Joseph Johnson. Prayers were offered by Henry T. Rogers, I.D. Nash, and C.D. Goaslind.