Grandma Reynolds’ Recollections of Joyce’s Birth

Recently, I discovered a three-page letter from Grandma Reynolds to Joyce that was postmarked April 19, 1971.  In the letter, written from Sunshine Terrace nursing home where Grandma Reynolds lived for many years, she tells the story of Joyce Reynolds’ birth on June 24, 1929.  It’s a remarkable piece of history that provides a little insight into Grandma Reynolds’ life, times and personality.

Theresa Reynolds at Sunshine Terrace (a nursing home) in 1971.

Since Grandma Reynolds’ handwriting is a little shaky and hard to read (she was 81 years old and had survived a major stroke), I’ll include a transcript of each page of the letter.  I’ve tried to preserve Grandma Reynolds’ spelling and grammar but have included a few things in parentheses when I thought it might be difficult to know what she intended or when clarification was needed.

I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I have!

Was a lovely warm summer

Day June 24, 1924 (1929) your dad was working close by

Happening at Joyce birth

June 29 (24), 1924 (1929) Wellsvill, Utah

had been a long hard deal

& the Dr. said I could never have

another baby because I was torn

so bad after Helen was

born should have been taken

car of then but the Dr. didn’t

advise it said a women my

age 39 had no buyness (business) having children

when they were that age. Said I

could never carry a baby to

the full time as their wasn’t any

thing to hold things up. Well I

was worried because my grandmother

died when one of her twins were

born one twin tied two. I told the

Dr. I would do anything he said

for I wouldn’t want to die in

confinement. I wasn’t to do any car

riding or much walking whatch

my diet & get a lot of rest, so I

was glad to follow his advise

the last time I was to town (probably Logan) the snow

was piled high on the roads, and the

time I was to town the tulips were

in bloom around the momunton (monument)

on the square, but everything

went on fine for the children all

done their share. I remember the

week before you were born I started

in labor one night Sarah Ann

Bailey was my nurse & Dr. Christensen

they both came & waited. The Dr.

said you were lodged in the bones

and he would have to give me a shot

to start things. I was afraid of that.

The pains all stopped at midnight and

I wanted to sleep. The Dr. had his things

all sterilized & waiting. Told Mrs. Bailey

to go home & she did. The Dr. went

home two. Your dad was home so I

was glad for that. I was up early

the next a.m. getting breakfast when

the Dr. came to see how I was. I was just

fine, believe it or not. I went for one

more week. When labor started right

of(f) (it) wasn’t long & when you were

born the Dr. called you a mirical

baby weighted 10 lbs, lots of black hair


looked like a squaw baby. The

Dr. said everyone one was so thrilled

when your dad brough(t) Thos (Thomas) in

to see the baby. He looked quite a

wh(ile) then said, well I guess there will be

shoes for her two. The Dr. said so much

about how lucky we were to have

things turn out like they did so I thot (thought)

of Joy for your name & they were

having Joyce so I desided on that

& when you were blessed at 6 weeks by

Wm. C. Brenchley, all the baby names

started with a Jay & June Hill & a Jay

Mitton. Their was a guy in town taking

pictures, so Lois took you down &

your picture & it sure was good

had it for a long time. Then you

wanted it, put it in your shirt

pocket & it whent through the washer

so goodbye picture. Well Joyce I hope

you will be satisfied with this

for its all true & hope you will

think its alright to be published

if you don’t you can rewrite it

Hope all is well keep busy & happy.

Love Mother