The Little Telegraph Operator

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Title Saga of the Sanpitch Vol 08
Subject Pioneers
Description Stories and poems about early Southern Utah Pioneers
Publisher Snow College
Date 1976
Type Text
Format application/pdf
Language eng
Rights Management Snow College
Holding Institution Snow College
ARK ark:/87278/s6rr1wdf
Setname snowc_sts
Date Created 2005-02-26
Date Modified 2005-02-26
ID 325605
Reference URL

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Title The Little Telegraph Operator
Description and a half block east, where the telegraph office remained until it was discontinued in this area. As a young girl, Caroline went to school in the Old Fort in a one-room school house. Her formal schooling was limited. A few years in grade school, then a short term at L. M. Olsen's night school, where she studied grammar, was the extent of her training. But it is not always the amount of schooling that counts, for Caroline learned to be a very good reader, an excellent speller, a good writer, and her grammar was some-thing to be proud of. Caroline, along with Helen Young and Christine Willardson, were taught telegraphy by Dorcus Peterson. For this work of tending telegraph office they received no pay at first. The little income Caroline had was through the sale of fancy work: tatting, tying (netting), embroidery, knitting, etc., which she did at the office while no messages were coming in, and while walking to and from her home. There was a time when she was unable to attend her church meetings without borrowing a shawl. One Sunday the bishop called for donations for the telegraph operators. That was extremely humiliating to those sensitive girls. Later they were paid with tithing orders, which gave permission to draw out a small amount of merchan-dise such as butter and eggs that had been paid in tithing by members. Then the time came when they received a commis-sion on all telegrams sent and received. She was a relief operator in almost every town in Sanpete County. She also spent one winter in Bingham, Utah, doing telegraphy. During the Black Hawk Indian War she and Christine Willard-son used to sleep on the floor of the telegraph office to be ready to spread the alarm to neighboring settlements in case of trouble. When the drum beat loudly it was a signal to be prepared. The sound set the hearts of these little operators pounding hard with fear and excitement. For years after, the sound of a lone drum had a similar effect. Even during her last illness she spoke of the drums. There were also experiences not so serious. Caroline and her friends would sometimes coverse across the church from the balcony of the old Ephraim tabernacle by blinking their eyes at one another with the dot-dot-dash of the Morse code. -70-
Format application/pdf
Identifier 080_The Little Telegraph Operator.jpg
Source Saga of the Sanpitch Vol 8
Setname snowc_sts
Date Created 2005-02-19
Date Modified 2021-05-06
ID 325590
Reference URL