Lucy Ann was the oldest child of William Wood and Lucy Babcock. She was born December 15, 1849, at Provo, Utah, She was the first white child born in Provo. Although the history of Provo gives the Park twins (boys) the honor of being the first born, they were born December 28, 1849, eleven days after Lucy arrived on December 15.
Her father, William Wood, was born February 23} 1823, in Herford, England. He was a member of the Mormon Battalion, Her mother, Lucy Babcock. was born November 30, 1832, in Stockwell, New York. Lucy Babcock’s father, Adolphus Babcock, was born in the year 18OO at Middlefield, Hampshire, Massachusetts, His father was Daniel Babcock, a descendant of the Daniel Babcock who came to the New World on the second ship to arrive at Plymouth Rock, It was the St. Ann, which arrived in 1623. The Mayflower arrived in 1620, just three years before. Lucy Babcock’s mother was Jerusha Jane Rowley; her mother was Jerusha Taylor
When Lucy Ann Wood was a small child, her father and mother were sent to help settle the San Bernardino Valley in California, Lucy Ann was so young, she could not remember having ever seen snow. One day her father took her and her brother William (Billie), 18 months younger than she, to the mountains for a trip. He climbed to the top of the mountain and brought back a snowball to each child. They cried with delight when they saw and touched the snow. They thought it was sugar to eat. How surprised they were to find it was cold and that it vanished and melted away so quickly.
After some time, the Wood family was ordered back to Utah Territory. William sold his 30 acres of land, which is now the heart of San Bernardino business district. This he sold for a span of mules. Returning to Utah, Lucy Ann and her brother, William, walked the entire distance over desert wastes and drove their small herd of sheep so they would have some means of support, food, and wool for clothing when they arrived at their new home. The family was told to settle in Southern Utah.
They arrived at Washington, Washington County to establish a new home. While living there, one of Lucy’s little sisters, Eliza, was accidentally shot by a man shooting crows,. Soon after this, the Wood family sold their home in Washington for a barrel of molasses and moved to Beaver County. They arrived in Greenville and stayed two weeks before moving over 14 miles farther west to Minersville, where they spent the remainder of their lives.
Lucy Ann was 14 years old when her mother died, leaving nine children (one had been shot so there were eight living). The youngest was nine days old. Lucy Ann and a sister, Mary, three years younger, took over house keeping and caring for the family.
One morning when Lucy and Mary awoke, their dear little baby was missing. He was later found, smothered at the foot of their bed. The girls were so young and tired that they had not missed the baby sooner. This incident was always a sad part of their lives.
When Lucy Ann was still 15 years old, her father married a young girl just six months to the day older than she. Her father’s new wife was named Ann Eyre Banks. Lucy Ann cooked her father’s wedding supper, which was baked beans, mutton stew, corn bread and molasses, and dried peach pie. This was a banquet.
Her life consisted not only of helping in the home and caring for the children, but also of helping her brother, Billie, herd the sheep on the range outside of town. The clothes she wore she had to spin and weave herself. She used the yellow flowers from rabbit brush for dye. She made lye from wood ashes, then made all of the soap for the family. She learned to make beautiful artificial flowers from milk weed pods and then dye them with rabbit brush dye.
One day her brother, Billie, was wearing a pair of new buckskin trousers. They were so proud of them; but it rained after they had gone to the hills to pasture the sheep. Since it was necessary for the sheep to stay out to feed, Lucy and Billie had to stay in the rain. Soon Billie could not walk. His trousers were too long. They took his pocket knife and cut the legs off a little. Several times they were required to do this so he could walk. Finally the sun came out and dried the pants. But Billie had no legs in his pants; they were all shrunken and gone.
On January 1, 1868, Lucy Ann married Benjamin Eyre at Minersville. He was born August 22, 1840, at Lincolnshire, (Darby), England. He came to America in 1885. They homesteaded 160 acres of land. Later it was divided into several small farms. For their pay, they received 24 acres of land, a lot on which they built a log home. They later traded this place for another one, which had four rooms. It was made of adobes. The family let Mrs. Ida Lockrey use one room for school. For this they were able to let their oldest daughters, Lucy and Mary Ellen, attend school. She washed out the girl’s clothes after the girls had gone to bed at night, and then dried and ironed them so they would be clean for the next day’s school.
One day she had just put her washing on the line to dry when a whirl wind passed by. There were no clothes! One day Lucy saw a little girl wearing one of her girl’s dresses. She asked the mother where she got her daughter’s dress. To her surprise the lady said, “I found the dress in some bushes at the Lincoln Mine five miles north¬east of Minersville.” The wind had carried it there. Some of the clothes she found; but others she never did see.
She did everything she could to build up her home and the town in which she lived. Never was there a cleaner person nor a cleaner, neater home than Lucy’s. Her yards were swept every day with a broom, just as her home was sweet. She and her husband, (Benny as he was called) worked together trying to get what little schooling they could for their children. The children were bright and did very well in school. Lucy also knitted beautiful lace to help earn money for the children’s schooling.
Nine children were born to this union, four boys and five girls. The fifth child, a boy named Benjamin, died of pneumonia when six weeks old. The father was away from home at the time he died, working on the Manti Temple. After the death of this child, the mother never was heard to sing a song or hum a tune.
A faithful Relief Society member, Lucy was a visiting teacher for more than 40 years. She was often called on to help the sick and always gave to those in need of help. She was sought after by all for advise and always gave it freely. Each day she gave her very best. She was “Aunt Lucy Ann” to all who knew her.
She and her husband fasted the first Sunday of each month, beginning Saturday at sundown and continuing until Sunday at sundown. They paid their fast offerings and tithing faithfully.
Her cellar was always filled with dried and bottled fruits, jams, black currant jellies, pickles, vegetables, etc., that she had helped raise in their family garden. She was thrifty and frugal as all pioneer women had to be. There was also a pit of potatoes and apples stored for winters She was a wonderful cook and fed all who visited in her home. In her later life, she made all her children and grandchildren welcome. They loved to visit Grandpa and Grandma Eyre.
In the fall before frost, the tomato vines covered with green tomatoes, were pulled and stored in the granary to ripen. They ripened until Thanksgiving time. Watermelons were put in the wheat bins, covered with wheat, and left to ripen the
The children of Benjamin and Lucy Ann Wood Eyre are: Lucy, Mary Ellen. Alice Elsie, Benjamin William, Herbert, Ernest, and Myrtle. After the death of her husband (September 13, 1915), Lucy Ann lived seven years. She gradually lost her vision. The last four years of her life she was blind. She passed away March 4, 1922, at the age of 72 years, 2 months, and 29 days. She was buried in the Minersville Cemetery.
Her descendants are grateful for her noble spirit, for the heritage she gave and especially for her testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We honor and revere her memory.