Various sources of information about Louisa Carritt Enderby Halls exist, and they are included here as they were written. The authors were personally involved with her and tell the story best in their own words. First appears a summary of some of the facts of her life, probably written by Mary J. Halls, wife of her son, John. The most comprehensive story of her life comes from the writings of her granddaughter, Florence Hall Bell, daughter of Louisa’s son, George. Notes about Louisa’s life were also written by her oldest grandson, Ernest Mosiah Hall. Another granddaughter, Nina Halls Braithwaite, daughter of Louisa’s son, William, Jr., responded by letter to a request for information about Louisa with some of her recollections.
A note about the name “Hall”:When William moved to Colorado, he took with him, Johanna and her family and Louisa’s sons, William, Jr. and Thomas. Louisa’s remaining sons, Mosiah, George, and John dropped the “s” from their surname and changed their name to Hall. Later, John resumed using the name Halls.
Biography written by Mary J. Grow Halls
Louisa, daughter of William and Elizabeth Carritt Enderby, was born October 31, 1840 at Binbrook Lincolnshire, England. She had a brother, George and six sisters. We know little of her home life except that her mother was a cultured lady and that she contracted asthma at age sixteen from which she never recovered.
She met William Halls in Hull while he was doing missionary work there and so became interested in the Church. She had a good alto voice and used to sing at the street meetings. The story goes that when they were introduced, William kissed her and said, “If you don’t like it, return it.”
They were married by Joseph F. Smith, April 15, 1861 and soon after sailed for Utah on the ship Underwriter. They arrived in Florence with 25 cents in cash and no provisions. Thomas O’Dell gave them some bread, and William found enough money in his pocket to pay expenses while they were there. He never knew where it came from.
They arrived in Salt Lake City penniless, William ill with mountain fever. Brother Edward D. Davis took them to his home and cared for them for six weeks. William, a carpenter, was able to help Brother Davis. Later they moved to Kaysville where William had been offered a position as school teacher. They lived in the schoolhouse, and while school was in session Louisa went to the home of Mrs. Raymond. She had all her nice clothes, brought from England, hanging under cover near the fireplace. A playful cat pulled the cover into the fireplace coals and they were all burned. Their offspring, Mosiah, was born there March 12, 1862.
In the fall of 1862 they moved to Huntsville, where, for the first winter, they and baby Mosiah lived in a dugout with Brother and Sister James Hawkins. William taught school and was paid in flour, vegetables, wood, soap–anything but cash. It was up to Louisa to make the most of the collections.
She gleaned wheat and made men and boys’ clothes by hand as there were no sewing machines then. She was a good manager, housekeeper, and cook. On a trip for supplies, her brother-in-law George brought her a small cook stove, a Charter Oak with four holes on top and an oven. It was the envy of the town and she was offered many things in exchange for it, a team of oxen, running gear for a wagon, a cow, etc.
William married a second wife, Johanna Frandsen, and later a third, Eleanor Howard. The latter died in childbirth leaving her baby daughter, Charlotte, for Louisa to bring up. William was called to help president Hammond settle San Juan County, Colorado, leaving Louisa with George, Elizabeth, John, and little else, to start over again. They moved the house from Huntsville to the ranch where she lived until 1893 when George went on his mission and the boys built a small frame house for her in Huntsville. She died there May 25, 1911.
We are inclined to wonder how this delicate little woman, with her upbringing, was able to survive the rigors of frontier life, polygamy, William (as we remember him), plus five boys and a girl with all the mischief they were up to. For example, after all the usual cleaning and polishing, Thomas came running to her one day with “Ma, come quick, your stove has fainted.” He had whitewashed it for her.