Oral History Program
Interview of Susanna Smart Parkinson Nielson

interviewed by William G. Hartley
Historical Department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
August 17, 1973, pp. 4--5

(Susanna was a daughter of Samuel Rose and Maria Smart Parkinson.)

...First I believe I'll tell you about when Father proposed to Mother and Aunt Charlotte at the same time. Brigham Young told him he should go into polygamy, and his wife Arabella felt badly about it of course like anybody would. But she said when she could feel it was right, that she'd let him go. But he felt sure that he was to take another wife.

But in an odd way he saw my mother and Aunt Charlotte walking into Church together. He was looking for his mules and he couldn't find them any place. Somebody told him that there was this man that had a peepstone that could direct him right to his mules, just where they were, and father just didn't believe in it. He didn't think much of it but he said to Arabella, "Let's go look at the peepstone." So they looked in the peepstone and they saw the mules---right where they were, and they went right over and got the mules.

So the man said, "Have you got something else you'd like to know?" So he looked at her and says, "Let's see who my wife is going to be, if I am to have a wife." So they just looked at it smilingly, and they saw these two girls. He handed it to Arabella and said, "See what you see." And she saw the two girls just like he did. So then she said to him, "Well, I'll have to see those two girls before I'll believe that." He said, "All right." So they dropped it.

It went on for quite a few years and then one day he was in Church sitting on the stand and these two girls came in the front door and walked up just like they saw in the peepstone. And they had thought, you know, just to choose another wive, but they didn't know who it'd be. These two girls were my Grandfather Smart's daughters, and they were quite young. So after church was out, Father walked down and said to Arabella, "I want you to come out front; I have something to show you." So they went out front, and he says, "Watch them come out." And when the girls came out he said, "What do you think of that?" She looked at them and she said reluctantly, "You have my consent."

When father was ready, and they had decided between them, he went to Grandfather Smart who was his good friend. The two of them were called there together, and my Grandmother Smart was told about the daughters and asked what she would say. And she said, "Well, you can wait one year for Charlotte, she's the oldest." But she said, "No courting." [laughter] But they used to go to dances, and I guess they did a little bit on the side, I don't know. But they went to grandmother before they went to Aunt Charlotte or Mother. Then she said, "If that works out you can wait after you marry her one more year for Maria," because Mother was the youngest. So that was all right.

When the time came for him to marry Aunt Charlotte, Arabella went with them to the Endowment House here in Salt Lake and witnessed the marriage, and then the next year when it was time for Mother to get married, Aunt Charlotte stayed home to take care of Arabella's children while Arabella went with Father and Mother, and they were married....

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