Photo by Naomi Hatch —
Donna Hall set up a display at the Taylor Museum of many items that belonged to her parents, Art and Florence Hancock. The display includes mother’s beautiful China, the anvil used every 4th of July, a saddle and some of her mother’s handwork.
By Naomi Hatch —
A history of Art and Florence Hancock is now on display at the Taylor Museum, located at the intersection of Main and Center streets.
Art Hancock, the eighth child of Joseph Smith and Emily Davis Wallace Hancock, was born Sept. 28, 1892, in a log cabin in Taylor. Joseph was the blacksmith in Taylor. Art’s mother died from injuries suffered in a buggy acci-dent when he was 9. He stayed close to his dad until he married, and they moved for short times to work.
Art remembered the sorghum mill and making sorghum. Everyone in town would gather and make “Skimmin’s Candy” and have a big party.
Art began his sheep experience with Arch Cameron when he was young, helping herd and care for the sheep. When he got bigger, he went to Mesa and helped George Scott during lambing.
In his history he noted, “I had my eyes on Florence Colbath for many years and thought she sure was a cute little snot.” They were married on July 26, 1916, and had nine children, Arthur Victor, Vera, Lloyd Van, Percy Elwood, Beulah, Robert Kay, Billie Joe, Donna Lou and George Merlin. They lost Lloyd Van when he was six months old.
Over the years Art was dragged by horses and had typhoid fever. He said he had many things happen to him.
He spent most of his married life away from home on different jobs. His family would spend the summer with him, but come back to Taylor for school. He worked 18 years for a Mr. Jacques, at Chino Valley for Tom Pollock, and Melbourne and Pipeline for 14½ years. He felt he’d been gone from home and church too long, so he took a job in 1947 with William R. Bourdon and worked there the rest of his career.
Art was first councilor to Bishop Reed Hatch of the Taylor Ward of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, where he had many wonderful experiences.
On July 4, 1963, he was inducted into the Taylor Hall of Fame for his congeniality and neighborliness.
He died on Jan. 29, 1981, at the age of 88.
Florence was born Aug. 21, 1898, in Taylor, the daughter of LeRoy and Harriet Maria Kay Colbath. Her father worked as a forest ranger at the Pinedale Ranger Station. He died of typhoid fever when Florence was 4 years old. Her mother took a nursing course and was a midwife, delivering many babies in Taylor and Shumway. She married Joshus Albert Allen three years after losing her husband.
Florence began her schooling at Fort Apache and two years later they came back to Shumway.
Grandma Colbath Bull wanted Florence’s brother to live with her in Albuquerque, N.M., but he put up such a fuss that Florence was asked to go in his place, and she did. She lived in luxury, but did have jobs to do for her grandma.
Her grandma made sure she had a vacation every year, and one year she came home to see her family and bring her pretty clothes. As she got older she would invite her sisters and friends to come and pick one of her dresses and pairs of shoes, and they would get all dressed for the dances, where they had a great time. Other vacations she would go to California.
She graduated from junior high school in Albuquerque and stayed with her grandma one more year, but was get-ting what her grandma thought was too serious with a young man, so her mother made her come home. She said it was really hard to go back to bathing in a tin tub and get used to not having the luxuries.
Florence attended the Snowflake Academy one year and married Art. She worked many years on the school election board.
She died on Nov. 30, 1972.
“Florence was charity. She was a hard working, immaculate homemaker, who taught her children to work, to garden, to help with the canning and not to waste, to always give thanks for your blessings and love your family,” wrote her daughter Donna Hall, who set up the display with the help of her brothers, Merlin and Bill, and her nephew, Eddie.
The Art and Florence Hancock display includes a variety of items, from Florence’s fancy china to Art’s saddle. The anvil that was owned by Joseph Smith Hancock and was used in his blacksmith shop in Taylor where Art worked as a young boy, and which went on the Mormon Battalion, is on display. It’s the anvil that is fired to open every 4th of July celebration in Taylor.
The display will be in the museum until the end of March. The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Thurs-day through Saturday