BY MELISSA SPELTS
Rosemary Montgomery Jones affectionately refers to herself as a “farm girl.” Born on Christmas Day in 1939 to William Floyd Montgomery and Adriana Pauwe Van Zweden, Rosemary was one of six children, where she fit nicely in the middle. Her siblings included Robert, Audrey, Michael, Sylvia, and Laurie. Rosemary’s recollections of her happy childhood living in the open country of North Ogden are every bit as vivid today as they were back then.
Rosemary is reminded of a special memory: as a 2 1⁄2-year-old toddler in 1941, she hiked her little legs up the backside of Ben Lomond Peak; the very same peak her Great Great Grandmother Mary Wilson Montgomery had named. Rosemary was with her North Ogden ward—one of the first in the city. Her Grandpa, William Abraham Montgomery, age 72, was the oldest in the group, and little Rosemary was the youngest.
“Growing up in North Ogden, we had lots of community activities. The two main ones were the 4th of July Cherry Days and the 4th of March, when the first ward was organized on 2600 North.”
Rosemary beamed as she recalled eating delicious layered cakes served by the mothers at the March 4th celebration and being able to choose whatever kind she liked.
“The most fun for me at Cherry Days was to watch the ballgames, and at night, there was a dance for everyone. I liked watching the older people dance.”
How the Montgomery family came to North Ogden starts back in 1851, when Rosemary’s great, great grandparents, Robert Montgomery Sr. and Mary Wilson Montgomery, settled the area. The couple was originally from Scotland.
Both had a longing to come to America, so they made the voyage, arriving initially in New York. The very next day, Mary had her first child. Eventually, the young Montgomery family moved to Canada, then onto Detroit where Robert found work on a boat.
Sadly, there was a terrible accident on the boat, and Robert lost his eye and suffered internal injuries. Subsequently, he and Mary decided to go back to their farm. Here, missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints taught them about the Gospel.
Onward west, they traveled with the pioneers to Nauvoo and Iowa, where they began to build a house. However, before they could finish, the angry mobs burned it down. Thankfully, kind neighbors reached out and helped Robert Sr. and Mary protect and rebuild their home. They would move yet again with the saints, and in 1851, their long journey ended, and they settled in North Ogden.
The Montgomery family established a section of land behind the North Ogden Cannery on 2000 North and Washington Blvd., which they called “Montgomery Mound.”
Interestingly, Robert Sr. was the first to plant wheat, the first to have a two-room house, and he and Mary were the first to have a child born in North Ogden. All in all, eight generations from the Montgomery line have settled and stayed in the area.
Robert Sr. and Mary had a son, also named Robert, and he is Rosemary’s great grandfather who homesteaded the North Ogden acreage, where Rosemary resides today near Fruitland Dr. and Mountain Rd.
As a founding member of the museum and a contributing author to “The First 100 Years,” an informative collection about the settlers of North Ogden, Rosemary says, “I was a little farm girl influenced by very good family, heritage, church, good friends, and the wonderful community of North Ogden, which I have loved.”
She delightfully adds, “My enjoyment and any success in life centered around these blessings.”