Spinning wheel a reminder of local pioneer’s history
This spinning wheel was owned and used by Mary Openshaw Curtis. Mary spent the first few years of her married life spinning and weaving. She washed and combed the wool, carded it and spun it into yarn, then dyed it and wove it into cloth from which clothing was made for the entire family.
Mary Openshaw was the daughter of William Openshaw and Ann Greenhalgh Openshaw. She was born March 25, 1839, at Brightmet, Lancashire, England.
On April 23, 1851, William Openshaw and his family were baptized, becoming members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They, like most LDS converts, were desirous of going to America where they could join other converts and go on to Utah.
When they joined the Saints in America, they were assigned to the Martin Handcart Company. Although this company endured many hardships, they kept up their cheer and courage.
They entered the Salt Lake Valley the latter part of 1856. As soon as they were able, the family went to Santaquin to settle.
A short time after arriving in Santaquin, Mary went to Payson where she secured employment in the home of George Curtis, and later she became his second wife. She was 18 years old when she was married Nov. 22, 1857.
Most of her pioneer life was spent in Payson. She was always a faithful and devoted wife, a loving and patient mother and a worthy citizen. She lived to the age of 80 and died April 2, 1919.
The DUP Museum in Payson has a longer and more complete history if you would like to read it. Call 801-465-9858 to schedule an appointment.
This spinning wheel was owned by Mary Openshaw Curtis, an early settler of Santaquin and Payson.