1 Sep 1880 – 13 Dec 1956

Daughter of Jaren and Emma Briggs Tolman

Hattie Naomi Tolman born Sept 1, 1880 at Bountiful, Utah, my parents are Jaren Tolman and Emma Briggs Tolman.  ([From Jaren’s Journal] Aug 31, 1880: Started to go to Wellsville in Cache Valley after a machine of father’s that had been left there.  I staid with Charles Hardin all night at Willard City, distance about 40 miles.  My wife [Emma] give birth to a female child [Hattie Naomi] that night about 10 minutes past 12 o’clock.)

One great blessing, I was born in a good religious home, was taught the gospel by my parents living it.  There are five essentials I was taught early in life, they are as follows. Sabbath Day observance, to pay an honest Tithing, to keep the Word of Wisdom, Honor authority, Family and secret Prayer.  My father would never allow his children to speak ill of anyone who held positions in the Church, said they had been called by the proper authority and it was our duty to uphold them.  These things have been a great blessing to me, and I have tried in my weak way to live up to their teachings.

My mother died when I was 14 years old.  This was surely a sad thing to come to a young girl.  She surely was a wonderful mother, went through many trials.  She bore them without complaint, died a true Latter-day Saint.  Her example has always been a beacon of light to me.  One thing (I) can truly be thankful for, my father was a man of God, he never faltered in his church duties, and did all he could for his children, taught us by example.

As a girl I always tried to do whatever my Bishop asked of me.  It was always a joy for me to serve in the church.  I was a Sunday School teacher many years, a Secretary in Sunday School Theology class, always attended Primary, Religion Class, mutual and Sacrament meeting.  When I was a young girl used to have Fast Day on 1st Thursday of the month, enjoyed going to all these meetings.  My parents were never too busy to go.  I believe I was born with a testimony of our gospel for I can’t remember when I didn’t feel in my heart it was true.

I was taught early in life to work and be helpful wherever I could.  It has become a great part of my life.  We are told it is more blessed to give than to receive.  This has been my motto all through the years.

On November 27, 1902, I married William Alvin Tolman a second cousin, in the Salt Lake Temple.  He had just returned from a mission to Northern States.  I remember well when he asked my father for me, he said I know you are getting a good girl.  She has always been obedient to me and never caused me any worry.  Those words have always been a great satisfaction to me.  We left the following Monday for home in Oakley, Idaho.  It was a very cold November day when we arrived in Minnadoka, 40 miles from where he lived. We traveled by team in a wagon.  I am sure it was the longest 40 miles I had ever traveled.  When we arrived at his home his mother was very fine to me.  She proved to be a wonderful mother-in-law, lived till she was 90 years old.  I loved her as though she was my own mother.

We were blessed with eleven children, six boys and five girls.  Our family has proved to be a great blessing to us as they are all active workers in the church, and these are the things that bring joy to a mother’s life.  They are all married.   At this time we have 38 grandchildren, 6 great grandchildren.  In my early married life, in Island, was a counselor in Primary to Minnie Hale.  Then a counselor to Alice Larson.  Enjoyed this work very much.  Have been a Relief Society teacher for 46 years.  When Bishop Sessions came to me in January 1916 and said we want you to be a counselor to Lucina Smith in Marion Relief Society, I said to our Bishop, “Do you feel I am the one?”  He said no one in Relief Society has a better regard.  I had six children and was expecting another one in May.  I accepted and felt in my heart I would do my best and I assure you the Lord did bless me.  I served as counselor till July 29-1919, then Lucina moved away.  She was a grand person to work with.  I am sure my calling there was a blessing to me.  Sister Mehitable Gorringe was put in President and she insisted that I be her 1st counselor.  I felt my family was about all I could care for at that time as I now had eight children.  But seemed I had to accept and I was counselor to her for 13 years and during that time had three more children.  I assure you it was the happiest time of my life.  She was such a fine President to work with, always willing to do her share and more.  Many times I felt I would have to give it up, but I had a husband who was very good to help me, and care for the children when I was called in homes many times to act as nurse to Dr. as babies were born in homes at that time.  Wished I had kept track of the many babies I have their 1st bath.  Relief Society work is so much a part of my life I want to serve as long as I have health.

I want to assure my family it wasn’t always easy to do all that was required of me as a mother and a Relief Society worker but I trusted in my Heavenly Father and I was blessed with health.  Many the time I sat up till midnite to do the things that had to be done when I was away all day.

The joy that has come to me in the 37 years I served in the Marion ward will always be a memory of satisfaction because I did my best.  The gospel is worth more to me than all the wealth of this earth and if there is one thing I desire move than anything else in all the world is that our children do their part in the church and when their Bishops ask them to do a job.  Do the best they can and that is all the Lord expects us to do.

But now the climax came, in May 1939 we moved to Pocatello.  It surely was a great trial  to me to leave the good people of the Marion Ward for I did love them dearly.  I felt like their would be nothing for me to do when I came to Pocatello, but I find there is always work for those who want to work, was only here for a few weeks when I was asked to be a Relief Society teacher and in 1943 my Relief Society President came to me and said, “Sister Tolman we want you to be Magazine Representative.”  “You will have to give me a little time to think it over.”  The following Sunday was Stake Conference.  Apostle Harold B. Lee spoke and after he got through talking, I couldn’t refuse for he said if there were any in the audience who refused a job, if they have health, it would be condemnation to their souls.

Our Relief Society at that time enrollment was 198 and that year I got 206 magazines.  First time in history of Relief Society they had got 100 percent.  This was 1943 and was the 1st Ward.  Grant Stowell was Bishop, our son William O. was a counselor and he set me apart, gave me a wonderful blessing, promised me I would make a success of the work if I did my part.  I assure you with the help of the Lord and my own efforts, I was blessed.

The next year the ward was divided.  Our son, William O., was made Bishop, now in 11th Ward, West Pocatello Stake.  I am still Magazine Representative, have served under 5th president, all fine women to work with.  I know we can do the work required of us if we are willing to work.  It isn’t an easy job, but I want to work as long as I have health to do it.  Every time they have put in a new President, the 1st thing they would say to me is we do want you to be our magazine representative.  I do enjoy working with them.  I love every one of them.  I feel my life has been made richer by working with them.  I have many dear friends in the 11th Ward.  One can (find) friends wherever we go.

During our early married life we had very little to get along with as money was very hard to get.  We raised our living on the place, so our family always had the things they needed for them to grow.  I made clothes over, they had very few new things to wear, but there never was a time we couldn’t get ready and go to church.  I never asked any of our children to do anything I was not willing to do myself.  We always took them to Sunday School and Sacrament meeting.  They were always sent to Primary.  As they grew up, I went to mutual with them many times so tired I could hardly stand to go, but felt in my heart was the one thing I must do, because at that age is the one time they need someone with them.  I do feel the Lord has been good to us in so many ways in the rearing of our children.

Life hasn’t all been smooth.  We all have our trials and if we didn’t have our Father in Heaven to rely on would indeed be hard to carry on at times.  I bear you my testimony that the Lord has brought relief and comfort to my soul when I could get it in no other way.  Thankful I have faith in him.  I know he lives and we will live with him in eternity if we remain true to the end

My husband has worked hard to provide for our family.  He has been a good kind father and husband.  We have tryed to give our children a chance with others, have had to sacrifice many times but always felt well payed.  I always conserved and planned for months ahead therefore could always feed my own and many others.  Our children always brought their friends and they were always welcomed.  Never a Sunday without extra, felt like would rather have extra and have our own home.  Was a joy to me to cook and do for my family.  I love every one of them and pray every day the Lord will be mindful of them and help them to see that living the gospel will bring more joy to them in this life, and their reward will be sure in eternity.

Life hasn’t always been easy for me, did my washing on board until after our 4th child was born and then only had a hand washer.  We had no electricity so of course used coil oil lamps for many years then we finally got gas lamp and gas washer, but they never were too much of a success.  Was married about 25 years before the electricity finally was installed.  That really brought relief to my soul, for I had ironed with stove irons for all these many years.  I am just adding this to let you know we all have things in life that are not to pleasant, but we just must try to appreciate what we have and always stop and count our many blessings.  I am only happy to know our children have more conveniences.  Here is a thought I would like to leave with you all.

Give to the world the best you have

And the best will come back to you.

It isn’t the number of years you live.

That isn’t what counts you know.

Its the way you live, and the good you do.

That makes folks love you so.

Love, honor, and obey your parents and God will love and bless you.  Always live a clean, pure life.  Be prayerful, and put your trust in the Lord.  And peace and joy will come to you.

I want to bear you my testimony that I know God lives, and that Jesus Christ is his Son, also that Joseph Smith is a true Prophet of God and all those who have followed him are true Prophets of the living God.

My greatest blessing has been Motherhood.(written by her own hand March 1950)


Hattie Naomi Tolman, daughter of Jaren Tolman and Emma Briggs, was born September 1, 1880 at Bountiful, Utah.  She married William Alvin Tolman, son of Joshua Alvin Tolman and Mary Jane Gorringe, who was born November 4, 1879 at Salt Lake City, Utah.

I, Hattie Naomi Tolman, was taught early in life to work and be helpful wherever I could.  It has become a great part of my life.  We are told–it is more blessed to give than to receive.  This has been my motto all through the years.

My mother passed away when I was 14 years old.  I surely needed her council at that time, but was blessed with a good father.  He always taught by example.

My husband had just returned from a Northern States Mission when we were married.  We were blessed, as 11 children were born to us.  It was in very meager conditions, but as I could manage well they always had the necessities of life.  They were healthy and strong.

In January 1916, I was asked to be a counselor in the relief society.  At this time I had six children and was expecting a new arrival in May.  I said to our Bishop, “I feel there are a great many more free than me to accept the position.”  He replied, “You are the one we want.”  I accepted and served 16 years.  I assure you it was a real joy to me.  At that time sickness and death was cared for in the home.  The memories of those days will always remain a memory of love to me.  I helped Dr. in assisting to bring many babies into the world and it was a pleasure to care for their needs.  My husband always helped in caring for the children while I was away, so he deserved a great deal of credit.

We were asked to send our oldest son, William, on a mission when he was 18.  We felt it was more than we could do.  However, when the time came for us to decide we were convinced he should go.  I want to bear my testimony, that I know the Lord answers prayer.  Many times we just felt we couldn’t raise the means to send to our boy, but he, the Lord, never failed us.  I feel like Nephi of old where in he says–The Lord will never ask anything of us save he will prepare the way if we do our part.  We have sent three other sons on missions–Alvin Leroy, Wendell Lavor, and Noel Jay.  The other two sons are home missionaries, preaching to the Lamonites at the present time.  They are Marvin Ray and Alma Jaren.  Our girls are all active church workers.  They are Naomi Jane, Emma Briggs, Armenia, Berneice, and Hattie.  We feel it is the greatest blessing that can come to us.  I have tried through my life to teach our children by example.  Also to be an example to my friends.

We moved to Pocatello in May 1939 and have made many dear friends. Have had the privilege of working as a Relief Society Magazine Agent the past 8 years and have enjoyed the work very much.  I do feel the Lord has blessed me in this work.  Have been a relief society teacher 46 years and have missed very few months making my visits.  I have always enjoyed calling on people.  I also worked in Primary as a counselor 10 years and have worked in the Mutual.  I have enjoyed any work I have done in the church.  I feel all services rendered have been a blessing to me.  Motherhood has been the greatest joy of my life, and I have tried to do my part.  Hope to be able to live many more years to serve in the church.  Temple work is an added joy to my life.  He is 71 and I am 70 years old and we are enjoying life.

I am thankful I have had a husband who held the priesthood and has helped me so willingly in the rearing of our children.  He has been a good father and husband and worked hard to provide for his family.  I hope to remain true to the end and be worthy to meet loved ones who have gone ahead.

Visit FamilySearch to learn more about Hattie Naomi Tolman. Visit the Thomas Tolman Family Organization to find out how you can get more involved in family history.

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