MARY'S GENEALOGY TREASURES
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Sarah Amy Woodruff Bennion Heppler

by P. Bernice Baines

Sarah Amy Woodruff was born Dec. 10, 1877 at Smithfield, Utah to David Patten Woodruff and Arabella Jane Hatch. She was their first child and the day she was born her father, D.P., said it was the happiest day of his life.

Sarah was a beautiful blond baby, and favored her father. Her mother had dark black hair and deep brown eyes.

Sarah Amy later on was joined by ten other family members - five sisters and five brothers.

She started school in Vernal, Utah at the age of eight.

Sarah Amy's father moved to Sunshine, Wyoming to get her away from her boyfriend, John E. Bennion, but the next day John followed them and asked Sarah to marry him. Although she was not yet sixteen years old, John and Sarah were married in Sunshine, Wyoming on Aug. 14, 1893. Later they were sealed in the Cardston Temple by Apostle George F. Richards (29 Aug. 1923).

To this marriage nine children were born:
1. David Patten Bennion - 1894 - 1894 (deceased one day old)
2. Wilford Edward Bennion - 1895 - 1924
3. Vede Woodruff Bennion - 1898 - 1982
4. Owen Benion - 1900 - 1900
5. Edna Amy Bennion Brown - 1903 - 1987
6. Ira Brant Bennion - 1905 - 1991
7. Marian Arabella Bennion Lybbert - 1908 - 1954
8. Nora Hazel Bennion Tiller - 1910 - 1994
9. Phoebe Bernice Baine

All the children were born in Wyoming or Utah except for Ira Brant and Marian Arabella who were born at Brant, Alberta during a brief period when the family lived in Alberta.

In April 1912 John Bennion became very ill and passed away leaving Sarah Amy in Wyoming with a three day old baby and six other children.

Her father, D.P. Woodruff (the son of President Wilford Woodruff) invited her to come to Canada. He sent her the money and told her he had just moved into a beautiful new home in Magrath and if she would come to Canada she could have land and the old house. She accepted his offer and she and her family arrived June 12, 1912 in Magrath, Alberta.

David Woodruff Jr. (Sarah Amy's brother) was very kind to her and gave her a jersy cow, chicken, pigs, horses, etc. and so they were really enjoying Magrath. Magrath was a new town but it had good schools, church and was called the garden city of Alberta.

Wilford was seventeen years old and Vede was fourteen years old and they were indeed a great help to their dear mother. Sarah Amy sewed and knit and made all the girls' clothes and life seemed to go quite smoothly.

In 1915, a Mrs. Heppler passed away leaving her husband and four little girls. Sarah Amy felt sorry for them and invited them for dinner and a romance started. John Heppler and Sarah Amy were married in April 1915 and to this union one son, Lloyd John Heppler (1916 - 1986) was born.

It was indeed a large family to look after and both John and Sarah Amy worked very hard. They were excellent parents. Family prayers were always said morning and evening with chairs turned around the large table. The children were taught and set the proper example.

Sarah Amy had a very strong testimony and the Lord came to her assistance when she needed help. She had many spiritual experiences in her life and was blessed with great faith, like her grandfather, President Wilford Woodruff.

When she was in her fifty-eighth year her heart gave her trouble and she was in bed for nine months. She passed away Jan. 17, 1935 with a strong testimony of the Gospel.

In her record book she has written that she was especially interested in "The Gospel and my children".

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Copyright 2000
Mary Tollestrup