D.U.P. Sto­ries

The CorderBed

Serve Daily - - LIBERTY SHALL BE MAINTAINED - By Ja­neene White­lock & Cyn­thia Pea­cock

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.

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