Abigail Evans vanDam - - 1876-1946    
   
     

Abigail Evans vanDam
Born June 20, 1876
Died August 29, 1946

Abbey was the eldest of nine children born to Herbert vanDam Sr. and Mary Elizabeth Evans. There is not too much known about her childhood. She had a very great love for her parents and her brothers and sisters.

In 1897 she married Albert White. Albert was a very brilliant man and he was very clever at making things with his hands. Their marriage was very short. He contracted pneumonia and died. Abby gave birth to a baby girl, Alberta , five months after Albert's death. When Bertie was very small Abbey's mother, Mary Evans died, leaving a young baby (Sadie). Mother moved in with grandpa vanDam and cared for the two babies and helped to take care of the rest of the family. Abby was a bride, a widow, a mother and she lost her own dear mother in a years time.

She later married Benjamin F. Farrer and they went to Park City where Bed was employed in the minds. It was here that Frank was born. Grandpa vanDam and his family decided to move to Canada and mother and dad thought it was a good move so they went too. They took up forming. Mother told us about having such beautiful crops and before they could get them harvested something would happen to destroy them. The winters were bitter cold. Many times she had to bring snow into the house and melt it in order to do the washing. Clarence was born while they were living in Canada . After disappointing crops and bitter cold winters, mother and dad decided to return to Utah . They went back to Park city. Dad worked in a meat market. Lewis was born in Park City .

Money was very scarce and it was difficult to make a living so they had to move many times to find employment. They moved to Provo and then to American Fork. Ben had a nice Meat and grocery store in American Fork. He built a nice brick home for the family and it was one of the first homes to boast an inside bathroom. Harold, Kenneth and Norma were all born in American Fork. Just shortly before normal was born, Bertie married Milo J. Marshall.

Most of band's business was done on a charge basis as no one had much money. He allowed too much credit out and was unable to collect his money and so he soon lost his business. He got a job in Bingham so the family had to give up their home and moved there. While they lived here Frank married Claire Zion.

Ben got a better job in Salt Lake City so the family moved to Salt Lake . They lived in several homes in Salt Lake , Carson Court and one on Main Street . Finally they bought a new home at 1043 Barbara Place . At that time this was a very modern home. There was a furnace in the basement, I gas stove to cook on, an icebox (the Iceman delivered big blocks of ice). Clarence and Lou obtained jobs selling Maytag washers so mother acquired a new Maytag and this was her pride and joy. Clarence soon married Clara Anderson and Lewis married Ellen Ward later they were divorced and he married Grace Shulson O'Keefe.

Ben's niece Elsie Farrer Smith passed away about this time and she left a family of five children. One of these children was a three-week-old baby. Mother and dad took this little baby into their home and took care of her. Gwen was very dear to all of us, she was just like our little sister. When she was about four years old, her father Orson Smith, remarried. He wanted to keep his little family together so he took Gwynn. This was a very hard thing for mother because Quinn was just like one of her own children.

After the death of grandpa vanDam's third wife, Mary Solomon, mother and dad gave up their home on Barbara Place and went to live with grandpa. This was a 518 North 9th West. They lived here and made a nice home and mother took care of the grandpa until the time of his death.

While they were living here, Kenneth married Evelyn Daniels, Gerald married L Von Rupper and Norma married Donald Greenberg.

Mother was a very good-natured, pleasant person. She had many friends and everyone loved her. In spite of many heartaches and disappointments in her life, she always seemed to take them in her stride and remain optimistic. Her happiest times were when she could gather all of her family around her. She loved to take a picnic and go to the canyon. All of her family have many, many pleasant and cherished memories of growing up under the watchful eyes of a very loving and devoted mother.

She died August 29, 1946 at the age of 70. Her survivors include her husband Benjamin F. Farrer, and seven children, Alberta Marshall, Frank, Clarence, Louis, Harold, Kenneth and Norma. She had 26 grandchildren.

(Written by her daughter Norma Greenberg)