January 20, 2020


Buenos Aires, Argentina


Meeting Special Cousins

My 3rd cousin, Jerry Summerhays and his wife Cheri Summerhays, joined the senior missionary staff here at the area office. It was a sacred experience to meet them. (Read on to see why.)

We had heard that a new missionary couple, the Summerhays, were coming to work in the area office here. Summerhays, Summerhays - I remembered that name form the journal of my grandmother, Fanny Terry Patten.

Grandma Patten had a challenging childhood. Grandma was born in 1887, and her mother was bed-fast for most of the time thereafter. Grandma´s mother passed away in 1898 when Grandma was 11 years old. In 1900 Grandma's father married Mary, the widow of his brother. In 1901 the family moved from Fairview, Utah to Provo, Utah. Grandma wrote:

"In the late summer of 1902, my father’s sister, Emma Jane Terry Bennion, came down from Taylorsville, Utah to pay us a visit. She asked Father if she couldn’t take me home to live with her, because she only had one girl and we had so many. Father said he’d have to think about it a little while.

“So when Father and Aunt Mary went to the October Conference in 1902, I went to live with Aunt Janey. I lived in Taylorsville with the Bennions 9½ years... I loved each of the Bennion family very much.

"On February 18, 1904, Aunt Janey’s daughter, Mary Bennion, and Joshua Summerhays were married in the Salt Lake Temple, and moved to Forrest Dale Ward to make their home...

"The people of Taylorsville were wonderful, and were very kind and good to me. The Bennion family sure treated me grand, just like one of the family.

“In fact Vincent Bennion and I would go into Salt Lake City, and if we’d meet any of his missionary companions, he always said, ‘Meet my sister.’ I’ve received Christmas cards many times addressed 'Miss Fanny T. Bennion.'

“I loved the way all my cousins treated me. I’d never dress up to go places unless they'd tell me how nice I looked. It made one feel like life was so good to be a part of. We were all so happy and cheerful together.

“It was not until Mar. 8, 1912 that I made former fiancé understand I wanted no more to do with him … I sure was hurt. I must have shown it more than I thought because Vince Bennion and the boys said he wasn't half good enough for me. When Father came up to General Conference in April, he said he thought I’d better get packed up to go home with him - so I wouldn't be seeing him every day.

“So, on the 13th of April, I quit working at Lindsay's Store. On the 18th of April, 1912 I went back to Provo Bench to live with my father…

“Aunt Emma Jane came down in September 1912 and visited a few days with us. I was sure happy to see her… On November 24, 1912, I came home from mutual with Floyd Patten. He was also working with us in dramatics…

“I went back to Taylorsville on the 1st of June 1913. On the 3rd I left Taylorsville with Parley Bennion’s family to go to Cokeville, Wyoming -- to Parley's ranch, to help Bell cook for the hired men…

“Aunt Emma Jane came out to the ranch and stayed for two weeks just before we came home. And she made me one of the prettiest red corded silk dresses I have ever owned. It was my first and last hobbled skirt. We came back to Taylorsville Sept. 1, 1913, and I went back to Provo Bench Sept. 3, 1913…

“On Friday, Sept. 12, 1913, I became engaged to marry Floyd Patten… We were married in the Salt Lake Temple June 17, 1914 by Floyd's uncle, Apostle James E. Talmage…

“The next day, the 18th, we went on over to Aunt Janey's, and visited the family and helped her and Bell. They were preparing a lovely party for us, which we had that night. It was a very lovely evening, and we received many lovely gifts from friends and relatives…

“On September 17, 1923, Vincent Bennion was born to us. He was a beautiful baby. He had such large black eyes, and a fair skin just like his dad. And when he was two years, Sister and Dr. Pyne tried to get us to let them take him to Hollywood with them and get him in the movies…

“On August 15, 1931, Aunt Emma Jane Bennion died at Taylorsville, and was buried in Taylorsville Cemetery by the side of her husband. I surely felt bad because I couldn't even go to the funeral, because I was not well and was expecting a new baby the 1st of Oct. The children had all started to school at Vineyard School…

“On October 11, 1931, Floyd and Alfred Skinner went up Provo Canyon for a load of wood. I woke up real early the morning of the 12th, not feeling so good. But I managed to get the kids breakfast and sent all of them off to school, except I kept Clyde home to look after Herb and little Ruth. I kept feeling no better, so I sent Clyde over to ask Mrs. Orvin to come over. She came right over and saw I was in labor. So she ran back home and phoned Charley's Mary to come right down. Then she called Dr. Linebaugh, who came right over from Pleasant Grove.

“In a few minutes after he arrived, on October 12, 1931, about 9:30 AM, Jane was born. I named her Emma Jane in remembrance of Aunt Emma Jane Bennion, for she had been a wonderful mother to me…

“On June 17, 1947, we were up real early. Mr. and Mrs. Hilton, Mavis, Ruth and Gene went to Salt Lake and to the temple. Mary Summerhays also was there to see our daughter Ruth and Eugene Hilton married…

“On September 5, 1948, Mary Summerhays called to see us… On October 8, I received word Vincent Bennion died... On December 20, 1954, I went to Salt Lake, to Mary Summerhays’ funeral…

“On June 20, 1957, Bennion Summerhays and son Jerry called to see me…”

[On January 20, 2020, Elder Jerry Summerhays and Elder Douglas Patten - 3rd cousins - and their wives, met for the first time in Buenos Aires, Argentina!]


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