July 16, 1873 - November 30, 1956.
? from weary travelers to women and their children who would come to visit ? she never turned anyone away without feeding them. She would invite you to eat and then say ?There's plenty such as 'tis; ? Bless her heart, it was as big as al outdoors when it came to hospitality. —Nellie Hughes Barnett (granddaughter).
Mary Jane was Mesquite's Angel of Mercy. Her satchel, filled to the brim with mustard plasters, castor oil, chaparral tea, and other supplies, sat by her door ready for any emergency. She delivered babies, cared for the sick, and brought hope to the disheartened. When a crisis occurred, Get Aunt Mary Jane ricocheted across the valley and any call for help spurred her into action.
Born in 1873, at Gunlock, Utah, Mary Jane was the tenth child and second daughter of Dudley and Mary Huntsman Leavitt. A delightful addition to the family, she was high spirited and independent—otorious for expressing her opinion. When she was four years old, the family moved to Bunkerville, Nevada, where she met William Abbott. They later married and moved to Mesquite. She gave birth to thirteen children: Christina, Dorothy, Josepha, Orval, Emily, Oscar, Gussie, Anthon, Deloy, John, Rulon, Claude, and Allen.
Shunning personal praise, Mary Jane valued and paid tribute to other women. She called them her sisters, knowing them to be wise, compassionate, and independent. In addition to rearing families, these women preserved food, rendered lard, and made soap and candles over an open fire. They served one another by attending to the physical and emotional needs of the living, comforting the bereaved, and making paper flowers to honor the deceased. Together they were unstoppable! They planted, tended, and picked cotton while babies played in furrows and children lugged cotton sacks. Wagons hauled the cotton to Washington, Utah, where the going price was three-and-a-half cents per pound. In turn, the women received brooms, oil cloths, petticoats and other supplies—a mere pittance for their labor. The bulk of the profit was generously allocated to a women's fund used for community needs such as cloth for burial clothes and casket linings.
Charity Never Faileth was more than their motto; it was what they lived by. Mesquite thrived because good women performed good works. This was the expression of their faith—etched with indelible ink. This sculpture is in honor of those pioneer women who works are a keepsake from the past and whose faith is a beacon for the future.