To the pioneers nothing was so highly prized as wood, next to the value of water and food. Wood was a necessity for shelter, furnishings, transportation, and fuel. The pioneers first used the hardwood wagon boxes that were used to carry their belongings across the plains. The boxes were disassembled and used to make furniture. Later lumber was lauded and made into household furniture. Tables, benches, cradles, trundle beds, shelves, and the traditional four- poster with its rope springs, were fashioned. Straw and sometimes feather ticks served for mattresses.
The corder bed in the picture was owned by George and Mary Openshaw Curtis. This bed is in the D.U. P. Museum in the Payson City Center.
George Curtis was born October 27, 1823 at Silver Lake, Michigan the son of Nahun and Milicent Waite Curtis. After the family joined the LDS Church, they traveled to Utah, arriving in Salt Lake Valley on October 7, 1848.
George married Emma Whaley on October 30, 1850 in Salt Lake. they were the parents of eight children. The youngest died in infancy.
Mary Oberhansley was the daughter of William and Ann Greenhalgh Oberhansley. She was born March 25, 1839, at Brightmat Lanchashire England. The family joined the LDS Church on April 23, 1851. They left Liverpool on May 25, 1856 on the ship, “Horizon”. After arriving in Iowa they were assigned to Captain Martins Co. They suffered the many hardships of the Martin Handcart Co and arrived in the Salt Lake Valley in the latter part of November 1856. As soon as they were able, they went to Santaquin where they settled.
A short time after arriving in Santaquin, Mary went to Payson where she secured employment in the home of George Curtis. She was eighteen years old when she became George’s second wife and had six children together.
Later, rather than deny his religious belief in plural marriage, or disown his second wife and family, he served a term of 60 days imprisonment.
George was a farmer, a teacher, and he surveyed the first canal take from Spanish Fork River on the west side, laid out the county road between Spanish Fork and Payson, and located the Payson Cemetery. George was also a member of the building committee for the first Payson Tabernacle.
George died February 2, 1911 in Payson at the age of 87 and Mary passed away on April 2, 1919 at the age of 80.