The early small
settlements of Utah were characterized by the unplanned mix of men and
women from widely scattered places and vastly different cultures who
came together for a common cause, and who generally discovered that
the talents, skills, and determination that a struggling group of people
needed for their survival were to be found among them.
Some had proficiency
as carpenters and builders. Some were competent farmers or livestock
raisers. Others were or learned to become weavers, blacksmiths, coopers,
shoemakers, millers, wheelwrights, seamstresses, teachers, midwives,
dentists, merchants, masons, musicians. Many were self-trained and self-taught.
Others had served apprenticeships in their homeland. Some of their skills
were vital to the actual physical survival of the communities. Others
were valuable as respite from their difficult yet often humdrum existence.
carded wool and spun the yarn on spinning wheels; others had looms for
weaving cloth from which they fashioned clothing, bedding, tablecloths,
and rag carpets. They made dyes of different colors from various plants
in their yards and gardens; they made soap, using their own homemade
lye; they made candles. Starch was made from potatoes. They knitted
socks, stockings, mittens, gloves, and shawls.