Memories of Charlotte Peterson Bott
compiled by Glen R. Freeman
Charlotte was the third daughter born to Celia R. Peterson and John H. Bott. She was born 27 November 1887 at Brigham City, Utah. The U.S. marshals were arresting men who were married to more than one wife. To avoid the marshals Charlotte’s mother was moved to Preston, Idaho. When the family was moved to Preston, Idaho some bedding was left at Brigham City. The bedding was used by Hadava, the first wife, when her children were sick with scarlet fever. The bedding was later brought to Charlotte’s mother at Preston,Idaho. The children were exposed to scarlet fever when sleeping in the bedding. The older sisters, Sylvia and Esther, recovered from the disease, but Charlotte died on 20 Aug 1891. Charlotte was buried at the cemetery in Preston, Idaho. A short time later her father returned to Preston and dug up the casket and transported it by wagon to Brigham City, Utah where he buried the casket in the city cemetery.
The only written references about Charlotte are found in a letter written by her father to her mother following the removal of the casket from Preston to Brigham City and a letter from Hadava Bott to Celia after the death of Charlotte.
Copy of a letter from John H. to Celia after the death of their daughter Lottie (Charlotte)
Salt Lake City
Nov. 24, 1891
I thought you might like to hear how I got home. I found the road much better through the mountains than I expected although they were bad enough I can say. We camped at springs for dinner. Where we camped Celia there was over a foot of snow there. We had not been there long before it began to cloud up very fast, so we soon got on the road again – It continued to cloud up all the afternoon and we did not stop till we had driven 6 miles this side of Mink Creek at the spring and trough where we also stopped and tried to get that lame man to help us up the hill if you remember. It was 20 to 8 when we arrived here – cold and dark and it soon began to storm – so at 20 to 12 I again hitched up and drove all night. It was very cold and stormy and blew in my face all the way. I had to draw the cover so as to leave a small hole to look through – at a little after 7 I found myself at Peterson’s where I was met with a very kind welcome. They unhitched my team, fed and watered them as well as gave them grain to eat – after breakfast we went to the graveyard and Peterson and me dug one [our] little pet up – there was quite a dry smell – but I felt as though I would like to see her so Brother P. opened the coffin. The glass was cracked wide over about one half inch so all the first smell at once came out. I knew her at a glance. Her hair was as nice as though you had just braided it. The flesh was dark – but full and she looked round and plump, but the pretty eyes and smile that I had last seen on her face was gone as well as her rolling plattering little tongue – it was all gone – but still it was all that was left of our once lively little pet. I looked and I looked and how I did feel to behold such a sight before my eyes of my own flesh and blood I shall never forget. My pet little Lottie. We packed her up again in the outside box and filled it up with lucern leaves solid to keep all smell in. After dinner we started for home, at 3 pm as it still looked stormy but I thought of Sandberg and Oliva. So I let Johnny go ahead up the hill — it was an hour before I could leave Oliva as she was pleased to hear how we were getting along as well as to have a chat. I had to run to catch up with Johnny. All went off well although it cleared up and was very cold, and I was very tired and sleepy I did not stop till we got to the place where we all slept on the ground the first night we left home over a year ago when our Lottie was enjoying her ride –Little did we then think that so soon she would be as she was then a corpse — I unhitched and began to feed the horses when I was taken very sick. Oh I was sick and cold that I shook and could not stand or sit. I laid over the tongue of the wagon where I vomited for a long time. We made our bed on the ground. It was 20 to 11 o’clock. I got a little warm but again and again I had to get up and vomit and shake. Poor Johnny was scared he did all he could for me. He gave me a drink, but it was up again. I was sick I can tell you but crying and laughing was all I could do for I had no one to help me — But at 12 we again hitched up but I could not sit up Johnny had to drive me home which he did as soon as possible. When we arrived it was a little after 4 am, was I cold — boys unhitched [the horses] and I went to bed. Sunday at 11 a.m. I woke up better but too weak to walk much so I thought I would stay home all day and go to bed again —Monday I was much better, went and saw Bro. Forrest and at 2 p.m. I buried her beside little Maria. Nels helped us lower her. Bro. Forrest dedicated the grave — Well I hope that God will speed the day when you all can return alive to your home. I hope there will be no more work of this kind to do. Now Celia she rests with the others. Let us acknowledge the hand of God in it all. Then all will be well with us. We are all well here and hope you are all well there — Peterson says that you have not answered their letter yet. You had better write to them and thank them for all they have done for me and you as they have been a friend in need — Well Susie see to your taxes as soon as possible and if you can’t raise the 2 dollars let me know in your next letter to me. Well with love to you all and hoping you will not get mad with me for my long stay with you this time. I would of liked to of stayed longer but I was afraid of storms and my work. Write soon and let me hear all the news — 3 Deps in town all night, but I have not heard as they arrested anyone yet. Now do be one in all things. Love each other. Pray for me and for us all and I will do so for you. Also pray for our deliverance from debt as it is hard to be so far behind – Well a kiss to all good night — sleep tight. I have got three cold sores and sore lips again to tell a bad cold and tired, but I am pleased I am able to be to work. Love to all little ones, girls and all. One of you take care of the letter. Has Moses got my picture finished? I will send next letter to you all in Celia Peterson name so ask for Celia Peterson –
Letter dictated by Hadave to Celia
Written by Hadava’s daughter Ada – age 14.
Dec. 14, 1891
Dear an loving Sister,
Celia, I received your kind and welcome letter and was pleased to hear from you once more and was pleased to hear you were all well. But it seems to me like ten years since I saw you. For I tell you it seems hard to think of you all. To think of the way that we have to live and to see our loving ones living alone. Without a soul to comfort an cheer that longing one him. So we all so love. It brings tears in my eyes when I go down to see him. Know one there to cook for him a meal. I have not been down for 3 weeks. He comes up once a week, so you see Celia dear that I have not got all the comforts of live yet. But I do not feel to murmur no complain as long as I know you are happy. Altho I know the trials are hard. But let us have patients in God, he will if we are true to all his covenants. He will hear and answer our humble prayers. He knows our hearts for he knows that we are weak in our wouls. But I feel to say our Father who art in Heven when shall our trials have an end. When have we suffered long enough But as you said it was so hard to part with your little dear, Lottie I know it is I have tried it. But weep not for her who is dead and gone for she rests in heaven, where we too shall go if we live for them. She lies in her silent tomb but dear girl cheer up now and be happy for she can not rest when you are weeping over her. For she is happy now. I can not tell you how I felt when he (John) told me he had her (coffin) with him. It went through me like a knife. I went to the wagon a dozen times but could not see her. But thought of her sweet little tongue that used to talk to her Auntie and her little feet that used to trot around me. Well I thank you for the lock of hair and for all the things which you sent me. I was pleased with the cloth and hoods it was all very nice. But sorry that I had to take my dress to make up for the children. So I have not got but 2 dresses so you see I have not got too many. I have not had any since you left. I want to help him I wish that I could to more than I do. But I have got many chores to tend to. I will finish my sewing this week, and then I am going to white wash. I have got ll my wood out so you can see that I have not much time to waste. Well Celia dear sister you said that you hoped I had no hard feelings no I have not and to forgive you. That I will gladly do with all my heart. You must forgive me for all my wrong doings to you. When sitting alone I shed many a bitter tear and I think of them days when we could go and see each other. No there is no one. But never mind we will meet again when we shall never part no more. Well it is getting late and they must get their lessons for school. But many a thanks for all the things. Well I am sorry to think that I did not have rice to send you. But you will have to forgive me this time as I did not have anything. Tell Esther and Sylvia that Auntie will send them a nice doll when papa comes again and kiss them for me and tell them not to forget me. If I was cross some time to them and tell Sylvia that Ida will write a nice little letter next time. Well I must drawmy letter to a close for this time wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. May God bless you all is my prayer for you all tonight and kiss Sussie for me.
Cheer up now and be happy write soon as I long to hear from you all. Stella and Lorenzo sends Auntie a kiss with love and kisses from all.
I remain as ever
your loving Sister
Aunt Celia I will write next time Ada (daughter of Hadave)