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Daphne Jane Hamblin

Daphne was average height, about 5' 6". She was never heavy, those who knew her said she was never still long enough to get fat. Her granddaughter Carrie that she raised could never remember getting up before she did, or going to bed after she did. She had snappy black eyes that would look right through a person. Her hair was black. Even in her seventies her hair was black with just a little gray sprinkled in. Her voice was low, soft, almost a whisper.

If she thought something wasn't right she didn't hesitate to say so and strongly. She had a slow nice smile. She was a very good dancer, very light on her feet. She had a natural sense of humor. One time at a dance, she and Carrie were sitting by a neighbor. As the neighbor's granddaughter danced by, her grandmother asked Daphne if she didn't think the girl was pretty. Daphne thought a while then answered, "Pretty is as pretty does." The grandmother left in a huff. Daphne turned to Carrie and asked, "I wonder what pretty does?"

Daphne Jane Hamblin was born in November 1860 in Santa Clara, Utah. She was the oldest child of Frederick Hamblin and Frances Jane Prudem. She was the oldest of 5 children, 3 girls and 2 boys. One of her brothers died as a young child. She was always very close to her sister Lissie (Melissa), and was fond of her brother Frank. She thought very highly of her mother and would often speak of her.

After her birth the family lived in Santa Clara for several years. During her childhood the family moved quite often. Her father had a portable sawmill and the family moved where there was lumber. Until she was married at 21, Daphne spent all her life on the frontier with few or no neighbors. In 1864 the family moved to Eagle Valley, Nevada. Several years later they moved again, to Panguitch, Utah. Next they lived in Kanab. They planned to settle here but were called to Arizona.

As a child living on the frontier, Daphne experienced several Indian scares and raids. She told of an incident where a Mormon man had been killed by Indians. The Mormons wanted to get even and teach the Indians a lesson. They got two Indian boys, tied them behind a buckboard, whipped the horses into a run and drug the boys to death. In later years she could still remember their cries and screams.

Not much is known about Daphne's childhood. She did sometimes talk about a cornhusk doll that her mother had made for her. We don't know about her formal schooling, but she liked to read and was knowledgeable on many different subjects. She always had beautiful handwriting. One of her favorite books was Aesop's Fables.

While they were living in Kanab, Daphne and some of her friends went out riding. When they heard a mountain lion scream, they got out of there as fast as they could. Some of the girls couldn't ride very fast sidesaddle, so Daphne told them to change and ride straddle of the horse.

In 1878/9 Daphne moved with her parents to Bush Valley, Arizona. Daphne was eighteen and drove a team and a wagon. She also helped drive cattle and was quite a rider. Later she would tell her children about when she galloped across the prairie on her horse.

The Hamblins were the first settlers in Bush Valley (later Alpine, Arizona). Her father could pick any place he wanted to settle in Arizona. He got his brother Jacob to help him and decided upon Alpine.

In Alpine, Daphne had a run in with a mountain lion. She had just washed the floor of their house, when her brother Frank came tracking in. She wiped up where he'd gone and he tracked across again. She hollered at him. Her mother had seen this and hadn't said anything to the boy, but got after Daphne for hollering. The quarrel ended with Daphne leaving the house. She took a few things and a big white dog and went to stay in an abandoned cabin in the mountains. The cabin was old and the leather hinges had rotted and the door was down. Later that night a mountain lion appeared. Daphne propped the door up to the opening and put the dog in front of it. The dog growled and barked. The lion paced up and down but the dog kept it at bay. Daphne always credited that white dog with saving her life.

Alpine was pretty wild country. Indians were a real threat to their security. The church told everyone to move together and build a fort for safety. The Hamblins moved to the fort for nine or ten months but then built their own place about one fourth mile away.

In 1880 the Apaches massacred a small village about ten miles from Alpine. The day before, May 12, Daphne's mother had died in childbirth. The Midwife told them that the baby was still alive and asked for permission to take it. Daphne offered to raise the baby but her father said no to the procedure. The body was prepared and the funeral time set when word arrived that the Indian were on their way. Daphne and the other children were sent to the fort and her father stayed with their mother's body in their own home. This situation went on for two days. Finally the Apaches took everyone's livestock and disappeared from sight. Daphne's mother was buried by her father and an armed escort. No one else was allowed to go in case the Indians were still around.

While the Hamblins lived in Alpine, Ed Lewis came to visit several times. Daphne had known Ed when they both lived in Panguitch, Utah. Be fore passing away Daphne's mother was worried about Daphne. She had taken a liking to Ed Lewis and told Daphne that she should marry him. Daphne had a cousin that she was very close to. She would have liked to marry him but her father wouldn't hear of it since they were cousins.

When her father planned to remarry, he encouraged his two daughters, Daphne and Melissa, to marry. He didn't want to bring a new wife into the house with two of his daughters that were her same age. Both daughters took his advice and married within six months of his second marriage.

Daphne remembered her mother's advice and wrote a letter to Ed. If he wanted to marry her, he was to come and get her. The next spring she and Ed were married. They went by wagon to St. George, Utah, and were married in the temple in April 1881.

After their marriage Daphne and Ed lived in St. Johns, Arizona in a log cabin he had built. Soon after they were married, a cousin came to visit one day. Daphne was sitting on the bed crying. Her cousin asked her what was the matter. She pointed to the horse harnesses hanging on a peg in the wall. Her cousin took the harnesses and drug them way out on the flat away from the house. Ed never hung them in the house again.

About six months after their marriage Daphne and Ed moved to Bush Valley, Arizona where Daphne's father lived. They stayed there for the birth of their oldest son. That summer they were called to Savoia, New Mexico, at the foot of the Zuni Mountains. Ed went on ahead to set things up, then returned for Daphne and the baby. The settlement at Savoia was abandoned and they moved the town seven miles southwest to a place called Navajo. They were some of the first settlers to the new town. Soon after, the town name was changed to Ramah.

Daphne and Ed had nine children: Fred 1882, Sam 1883, Frances (Frank) 1885, Linda 1887, Tamar 1890, Ben 1892, Jesse 1895, Gilbert 1897, and Rudger 1900. Most of the time Daphne would have a midwife, as there never were doctors near. When her third son, Francis was born, Ed drove 200 miles to bring her sister Addie, back to be with her. After a few weeks, he drove a wagon another 200 miles to take Addie back home.

Soon after moving to Ramah Ed was called on a mission that lasted five years. During this time Daphne only saw him a few times a year. He would be away most of the time, coming home to plant crops and again to harvest them. Daphne was a very proper lady. She thought it was awful to kiss in public. She wouldn't even kiss Ed goodbye when he left on his missions. Twenty-five years later, she got after one of her daughter-in-laws for giving her husband a kiss on Christmas with his parents in the room.

While Ed was gone, Daphne had the responsibility of keeping the house, garden and children. She also kept active in the church. Ed was faithful in all his church duties; he always went to St. Johns for stake conference, eighty miles one way on horseback. The Mexicans would say "The Mormons must be having conference, here comes Ed Lewis on his white horse."

Chart for Daphne Jane Hamblin. She's #3.

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