This biography was printed in November 1978 by the William Halls Family Organization in its family periodical,
Through the Halls of History, Kristine Halls Smith, editor.
© 1978 William Halls Family Organization
Lucy Halls Lyman was the 4th child and 3rd daughter of William Halls (1834-1920) and Johanne Marie Frandsen (1855-1913)
by Kristine Halls Smith
with information provided by Bruce Lyman (son), LaRue Lyman Reese (daughter), Florence Halls Gerdel (sister), and Nina Carroll Halls (sister-in-law)
and information on Walter Lyman's other marriages and children and Lucy's death added by Alan J Phipps in 2009
William Halls no doubt believed that part of his purpose on this earth was to "multiply and replenish" it, so on November 4, 1879, he must have felt doubly blessed when his second wife, Johanne Marie Frandsen, gave birth to twin daughters. They named the new little girls Lucy and Emma. At this time William and Johanne were living in Huntsville, Utah, and this is where Lucy spent her first five years. Johanne and William had had three other children before the twins were born and seven more were to come to them later. In addition, William also had seven other children by his wives Louisa Enderby (1862-1872) and Eleanor Howard (1881).
In 1885, William was called to help settle the San Juan country of southeastern Utah and southwestern Colorado. So Lucy was one of the eight children who were loaded into a wagon along with all of the household possessions that the family could take with them. William and Johanne and the children then proceeded to travel through Moab and then into the southeastern corner of Utah. They settled for the first year near Bluff, Utah, then the following year moved into Colorado, where they made their home near Mancos.
It was in Mancos that Lucy grew to young womanhood. Persons who knew Lucy at this time have recalled various things about her. Her youngest sister, Florence, in describing her sisters said "Sisters Lucy and Emma were twins, though they were not identical. Each was different from the other in many ways. They loved each other dearly and were always together. Both had brown curly hair which hung in ringlets over their shoulders. In their early youth they had a severe case of measles, and Mother cut off their locks. They were quite outraged, and it took some detailed explanation to show that this was thought necessary. Girls in those days simply did not wear their hair short.
"Lucy was a musician and played the organ and had an excellent voice. She played the organ for church services and in the young people's circle. She loved to sing to the accompaniment of Joe Sorenson's banjo."
When Lucy was 24 years old she still had not married, and at one time she went with her father to visit Walter C. Lyman, who was president of the San Juan Stake. Her father was a counselor to President Lyman, and it was on church business that they were visiting him. Lucy's son, Bruce, recalls hearing the story that while they were there William was working with their host chopping wood. Lucy was sitting on a log talking with them when Walter said to her "Lucy, why isn't a young girl like you married?" and her reply was "If I could find someone as good as you, Brother Lyman, I would get married." That comment evidently led to the decision on the part of Walter and Lucy to be married. (1)
Walter had been born on October 1, 1863 in Fillmore, Utah, a son of Amasa Mason and Caroline Ely Partridge Lyman. As a young man he had gone to Bluff, Utah and later had helped settle and build up Blanding, Utah. He served for a time as president of the Northern States Mission. Walter was 16 years older than Lucy and had previously been married to two other wives. He married his first wife, Sylvia Ann Lovell, in 1883, but she had died in 1889 after bearing Walter three children, only one of whom survived childhood. He married his second wife, Elizabeth Finlinson, in 1891, and by the time of his marriage to Lucy in 1904, she had borne six children, with four more born after 1904. Lucy and Walter were married on September 30, 1904, which was Walter’s first polygamous marriage, since Sylvia had died before he married Elizabeth. Walter also married Leah Larene Brown in 1929, which was after all three of her earlier wives had died.
Florence recalls "Members of our family went to Provo to continue their education. Lucy married while there.(2) Bruce was born there on May 29, 1906. They returned to Mancos when Bruce was near school age. They lived in a building across the street from us which had formerly been a small store. During my high school years, Lucy would come to our house every day and spend much time with me. She always took a motherly interest in me and was there to comfort and help when I needed it most. Lucy moved to Blanding, Utah and stayed a few years, then she moved back to Mancos and lived in our family home. Her daughter, LaRue was born in Mancos on December 6, 1915. She also had another child, Wayne DeMar, born February 2, 1919 who died one year later."
Nina Halls, wife of Lucy's brother Bert, remembers Lucy during those years in Mancos: "Lucy was a kind, sweet person and every inch a lady, She had the community job of casting and directing three‑act plays. It was in this role that I really became well‑acquainted with her and admired her greatly. Before we were married, Bert often took me to visit Lucy and her lovely children, Bruce, LaRue, and her beautiful baby son, Wayne DeMar who died in infancy."
Lucy's daughter, LaRue, was only 6½ when her mother died, but she has even earlier memories. She wrote, "My first recollection of our family was when my brother Wayne DeMar was born. I was three years old. Mother and I lived with Grandfather Halls in his house. One morning he told me to tell Mother he didn't feel like getting up. Three days later he died [June 27, 1920]. Mother and I would walk in the evenings and sit on the big scales and listen to the frogs and crickets."
Lucy was ambitious for her children and wanted them to be educated. Walter couldn't afford to pay for the education of all of his children, and he couldn't do it for Lucy's children and not the others, so Lucy knew that she would have to provide for their education on her own. Lucy and Walter separated on friendly terms and were then divorced.
Nina Halls writes, "When Bruce was sixteen years old, Lucy felt the time had arrived for her to get situated in Salt Lake City to insure his college education. Bruce had summer employment with the Forest Service near Mancos, so Lucy and LaRue moved to the city. She obtained management of a nice apartment house on Second South and Thirteenth East, just one block from the university."
LaRue remembers some of the experiences she had when living alone there with her mother. She says, "A doctor who was treating an infection I had, had his office in Murray, so twice a week we rode the street car to his office. Mother's skirts were so narrow she could hardly step onto the trolley. After our visit with the doctor she would buy me a strawberry ice cream cone. I don't believe I've ever eaten any strawberry ice cream since that was as good. Sometimes on our evening walks we would walk on the campus and look in the windows of the buildings. Bruce planned to join us and attend the university, and we wondered which buildings his classes would be in."
Nina says, "Lucy had long needed surgery and decided to get this out of the way before fall, but her doctors decided she should have thyroid surgery before the surgery she sought."
LaRue remembers "While Mother was in the LDS Hospital for a thyroidectomy I stayed with a Sister Taylor. She and I went to see Mother after her surgery. She had an ice bag around her throat, was conscious, and talked to us. She died as we left the hospital. I was six years old." Lucy’s death certificate gives her cause of death as “goiter operation for toxic goiter”. A goiter was an enlargement of the thyroid gland on the front and sides of the neck. The informant for the non-medical information was Lottie Halls Esplin, Lucy’s half-sister, whose address, 1310 East 2nd South, was the same was Lucy’s residence. Lottie gave Lucy’s marital status as “widow”, but Walter was alive and did not die until July 19, 1943.
Lucy was buried in Mancos, Colorado.
So Lucy's brief life was ended at the age of 42, on June 26, 1922. Bruce recalls that his father attended her funeral, and on March 6, 1933 Walter had Lucy sealed to him in the Salt Lake Temple.
After Lucy's death, Bruce and LaRue lived in Mancos with Lucy's sister Anna and her brother David. Each later returned to Salt Lake City to obtain the education their mother so desired for them.
Bruce has written, "As for my mother, I can truly testify, in appreciation of her, that from the day I was born until my mother died she watched over and provided for me, and for my sister, and for my little brother for the short time that he lived, with tender, loving care. I do not know of anything she ever did but what would cause me to love her and respect her more and more as I have grown older. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, that can be imagined in the form of woman, it is embodied physically and spiritually in the woman that was my mother."