Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Harriet Dudley and Henry Roland Emmett Family Reunion.

Generation 1 & 2. Harriet and Roland Emmett with their six children clockwise from the right: John (5), JoAnn (6), Dud (short for Dudley) (4), Pat (3), Lucile (1), and Dorothy (2).

 Harriet at Bryce Canyon with Dud, John and JoAnn.


Generations 1-3. John and Norda Emmett backyard in Providence. Harriet is in the center with two daughters on either side. I am second from the left on the front row in the cowboy boots. This was the entire family at the time except Pat's husband Jim and Dorothy's husband Clair and their four children who were living "back east" and did not come to Utah for this gathering. Five more grandkids were still to come for a total of 27 in generation three.

 Many of the older cousins (Lucy and Dorothy's children) lived back east so we didn't get to see them much. The other four children lived in Utah. John (5 boys and 1 girls) and JoAnn's (6 girls) kids each had a cousin pair at about the same age. Here the 10 oldest of those kids play in John's back yard.

 1970 John, Pat, JoAnn, Dorothy with their mom.


1972 In JoAnn's back yard.

All of the cousins, but the John Emmett kids, have wonderful memories of summer time visits and sleepovers at Grandma Emmett's house on 6th south. (My mom Norda did not want to burden her mother-in-law with even more kids). There they would sleep on a large bed with a feather tick, swim in the backyard "pool" and walk a half a block to buy spudnuts.

Once grandma Emmett died there was less incentive to visit Logan or to gather. Most of the gatherings over the years were for funerals. All six of generation two came back to Logan to be buried. John was the only one of the six who raised his family in Logan. Thanks in part to Facebook, many of the cousins have reconnected over the years. There have also been smaller gatherings and visits among cousins but no official reunion. 

A few months ago cousin Carol (Lucy's third) announced that she (in purple) and her son Greg (back) and family (two on left) were coming to Utah for vacation. They wanted to see as many Emmetts as they could. A date was set and soon things started to snow ball as more and more decided to gather in Utah. Diane (in pink) Lucy's oldest and grandchild number 1 decided to come from DC. Her daughter (right) came from Boise. Other cousins came from Ohio, Arizona in route to Michigan, Washington, DC and Nevada.

On Friday afternoon June 17th many of the clan gathered at the Logan Cemetery for the informal start of the reunion.

Cousin Patricia (JoAnn's second) presented each cousin with a map and key for all Emmetts (plus Harriet's three sisters) in the Logan Cemetery.

Anne (JoAnn's sixth and the youngest grandchild) even came prepared to clean headstones.

 At each plot we stopped and visited.

Cousin John McMurrin (Pat's second) was the first of generation three to die. His siblings Marci and Jimmy both passed away fairly recently of cancer. (read more about Jimmy and one of our first reunions here:

Saturday the 18th we gathered at my sister Mary's for an afternoon of good food (including curry and homemade peach and raspberry ice cream), visiting, games and story telling.

Two of the favorite stories were when young John put the family dog Wumpy in the trunk of a new car that Roland was taking for a test drive only to have Wumpy claw his way out via the back seat when John forgot and left him in the trunk over night. And when Relief Society President Harriet served her special "punch" as a hot afternoon pick-me-up to all of the 6th ward ladies who were quilting and sewing items for the annual Relief Society bazaar. When the bishop's wife persisted several times in asking Harriet for the recipe to serve to guests, Harriet finally relented and explained how to make iced tea (forbidden for Mormons) with lemon and sugar.

 Photo by Sam Emmett

19 of the 24 living cousins in age order. staring front left: Diane, David, Pat, Carol, Alice, Judy, Mark. Back Allison, Bill, Patricia, Bob, Marion, Heather, Chad, Melissa, Betsy, Mary, Tom, Anne.

 The whole FamDamily--generations 3-5--in Mary's backyard.

That night thirty of us joined soccer fan Greg (in the beard)--it was his idea--for a Real Salt Lake game. Two of cousin Jeff's children work for RSL and were able to get a a good deal on a nice block of tickets. Three rows of Emmetts.

Of all ages. One of generation five is name Harriet and called Hattie just like her great-great grandmother.

 Some of us were more fanatic fans than others.

Photo by Carol Deese

The descendants of Harriet and Roland have chosen many different paths. Roland struggle with alcoholism for most of his adult life while Harriet served as Relief Society President and then many years after Roland died as an LDS missionary in the southern states. Of their six children, some took up drinking and smoking, others didn't. Religiosity among the six varied greatly. Among the grandkids there is even more divergence with an espoused Unitarian and an Atheist in the mix. Some are staunch Democrats and others staunch Republicans. The amazing thing is that in spite of our differences, we all get along and we love each other. Roland died when the three eldest grandkids were still very young so on her own Harriet made great efforts to foster family unity. She visited her children and grandchildren wherever they lived including England and Germany. She welcomed them into her home for visits and offered marionettes to play with and sen-sens to snack on. She carried on Grandpa Emmett's curry tradition (read about it here: ), made lots of homemade ice cream, pulled out teeth, drove a red comet--with lots of clutch--all over town as she took care of other widows. She served and loved. That love still abounds.

Roland served an LDS misison in Japan (1910-12). When he returned he started to cook Japanese curry which has become a family favorite and he installed a Japanese koi (goldfish) pond in their back yard. Cousin Patsy posted this photo on our family facebook page. I had never seen it. The gathering around that pond and well tended garden may have been one of Harriet's bridge parties.

After Roland died, Harriet gave up on the koi and turned the pond in to a swimming pool for grandkids. All but the youngest grandkids have fun memories of swimming in this pool that Roland built and Harriet re-purposed. Thanks for the memories.


  1. Fun times! Fun memories! Thanks.

  2. Wow! Typing through tears too often lately! A great (perfect?) time was had by all, and those who weren't there were sorely missed. I hope we're all around in 2025 or so for another reunion. (And, FWIW, there are at least two atheists/humanists in our midst!)

  3. Without a doubt – a most amazing family! Thanks for sharing the wonderful memories and family history.