Mary Viola Burr

Female 1883 - 1981  (97 years)

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  • Name Mary Viola Burr 
    Born 10 Dec 1883  Burrville, Sevier Co., Utah, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Female 
    Died 28 Oct 1981  Richfield, Sevier Co., Utah, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Buried 31 Oct 1981  Annabella, Sevier Co., Utah, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • Mary was buried at the Annabella Cemetery in Annabella, Utah.
    Person ID I10716  alger
    Last Modified 27 Jan 2016 

    Father Myron Leonard Burr,   b. 10 Aug 1857, Salt Lake City, Salt Lake Co., Utah, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 20 Dec 1928, Burrville, Sevier Co., Utah, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 71 years) 
    Mother Frances Caroline Cloward,   b. 25 Jan 1863, Payson, Utah Co., Utah, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 27 Feb 1938, Annabella, Sevier Co., Utah, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 75 years) 
    Married 18 Nov 1880  Salt Lake City, Salt Lake Co., Utah, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Family ID F3393  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Married 2 Sep 1902  [2
     1. Alton Lafell Winn,   b. 1903,   d. Yes, date unknown
    Last Modified 31 Jul 2015 
    Family ID F3626  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 2 Unknown,   b. Abt 1881,   d. Yes, date unknown 
    Married 9 Oct 1916  Richfield, Sevier Co., Utah, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
     1. Helen Viola Hanchett
    Last Modified 31 Jul 2015 
    Family ID F3627  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 3 Lute Winn,   b. Abt 1881,   d. Yes, date unknown 
    Last Modified 31 Jul 2015 
    Family ID F4846  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 
    • Viola first attended school in Burrville, Utah, and graduated from the eighth grade in Richfield, Utah. She attended Snow Academy in the winter of 1901.

      She married Martin Luther Winn in 1902, but after the birth of her son Alton LaFell Winn, they were divorced.

      In Nov 1907, she was elected to the office of Sevier County recorder on the Republican ticket. She took office on 2 Jan 1908 and served for two years. In the spring and summer of 1911, she worked in the county assessor's office in Provo, Utah.

      After leaving Provo, she returned to Burrville to assist her parents in caring for the hotel and post office. During this time, she met her future husband, Byron M. Hanchett, of Annabella, Utah. After three years of courtship, they were married in 1915 at Richfield, Utah. They were later sealed in the Mormon Temple in Manti on 24 Jan 1923.

      At this time, she went into a family of eight children, a very difficult task. But with the help of a good husband, they struggled along. Viola was a compassionate person and was always helping those in need. Besides the large family for which she cooked and cleaned, she cared for the sick of her family and neighbors. She often took people who were ill into her home and cared for them, some for weeks at a time. She had a special place in her heart for the Indian people and the underprivileged. Viola was often called to assist during births and deaths. She helped wash and lay out many bodies for burial.

      It was Viola's responsibility to cook, can, clean, and care for the large family. She baked twelve loaves of bread almost every day, in addition to fixing lunches for the boys that were working. She did all this and never complained.

      The family lived on a farm in Annabella, Utah raising their own beef, pork, chickens, and a large garden. They also churned their own butter and made cheese. They had a small orchard of plums, apples, peaches, etc. Byron became the first Utah State Fish and Game warden in Sevier County and the surrounding areas. This took him away from home frequently, adding more to Viola's responsibilities. She went with him when she could, but there was much to do to keep a family of that size going. When their daughter, Helen, was only five weeks old, Byron's job took him to Bryce Canyon and Panguitch Lake area. He took Viola and the new baby with him. They had to camp out in a tent and make their bed on the ground, quite an ordeal for a tiny baby. His job also required that he spend a good deal of time in the Fish Lake area. Viola and Helen often acompanied him and would stay at the state cabin at Fish Lake.

      Viola's life was not an easy one. She had several life-threatening illnesses. In 1932 she spent twenty-eight days in the Salina Hospital following gall bladder surgery. In 1935 she suffered a cerebral hemorrhage and was in the LDS Hospital in Salt Lake City for several weeks. In her later life she had eye surgery, broken legs and a broken arm. She always seemed to bounce back and go about her life.

      Viola was very close to her family. She helped care for many of them. She and her sister Chloe cared for their mother for several years; she died at Viola's home in 1939. Her sister, Novella, spent the last few months of her life at Viola's home in Annabella. Viola and her sister Chloe both lived long and full lives. They were extermely close and spent many happy hours together.

      Viola was always involved in Mormon Church work, serving at different times as Primary president, Sunday School teacher, counselor in Mutual, ward organist and ward clerk. One of the highlights of her years as organist was when several General Authorities of the Mormon Church came to Burrville, and she played for Heber J. Grant, who sang a special number. He later became president of the Mormon Church. In her later life, she was the ward correspondent for the Richfield Fourth Ward. She wrote to all the missionaries and servicemen from the ward for several years.

      In addition to being very involved in all facets of church work, Viola was instrumental in the organization of Camp Red Butte Daughters of the Utah Pioneers in Annabella, and also Camp Josephine in Richfield. She held many offices in the Sevier county District DUP organization. In 1940, she was the Annabella registrat for the U.S. Selective Service. During this time, she registered twenty-six boys in Annabella.

      In the fall of 1942, Byron and Viola sold their home and farm in Annabella and moved to Richfield, Utha, where she spent the remainder of her life. Viola was a widow for thirty-four years, following the death of her husband in 1947. She lived with her daughter, Helen, and son-in-law, Don Strang. She had a very active life, and enjoyed attending church activities, doing temple work, visiting relatives, and studying the Mormon gospel. She spent much time visiting the sick and the homebound. She would often take a little "goodie" with her to make their life a little brighter. In addition to all of this, she spent a great deal of time caring for her granddaughter, Frances Strang while her mother was working.

      Frances had fond memories of things she and her grandmother did together. They would gather bullberries by the Sevier River; go to Salina to visit Viola's sister, Chloe Torgensen; take trips up Sevier Canyon to ice skate on the river bends in the winter. These were special times they spent together.

      In her early eighties, Viola fell and broke her leg, fracturing both bones below the knee. When she was able to get around with a walker, she fell again, and this time broke her arm above the wrist. In 1969, at the age of eighty-six, she fell again, severely fracturing her leg. She was taken to an orthopedic surgeon in Provo, and was hospitalized for several days. From there she moved to Richfield Care Center, where she lived her remaining twelve years.

      Viola loved the Car Center and the people there. She enjoyed visiting and participating in the activities provided. She shared her love and talents, often crocheting dish cloths for many who visited her. Helen and Don would take her to their home for holidays and special occasions, but Viola was always happy to get back to her "home" at the center.

      Viola died 28 Oct 1981, at the age of ninety-eight, in the Richfield Care Center. She was buried in the Annabella Cemetery on 31 Oct 1981.

      Ref: "A History of the Burr Pioneers" - by W. R. & R. J. Burr - p. 627-629

      Compiled and edited by Allen Alger, Alger Family Historian - e-mail:

  • Sources 
    1. [S30] History of the Burr Pioneers, Wesley R. Burr & Ruth J. Burr, p. 191-197, 775 (Reliability: 3).

    2. [S15] Family Search Ancestral File - V 4.19, Mormon Church, 24D0-XD - 26 Dec 1999 (Reliability: 3).

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