Aldena Elquist Boyer was born February 12, 1871 in Grantsville, Utah to Johanne Larsen Anderson Elquist and Maria Stena Johnson, as one of eight children. She first attended school in Sweadenbury, and when she was ten years old, she began to work for her neighbor. She continued to work for several other families doing chores such as setting tables, scowering utensils, making beds, washing dishes, sweeping floors, churning butter, turning the washer, and making candles. She also worked in a local store for some time. At age twenty, she went to Coalville, where she met William Boyer, whom she married several years later. He died at age forty-five, leaving Aldena with five children, the oldest being seventeen. Aldena died October 26, 1954.
Part of the J. Allen Parkinson collection, this is a four-page typescript biography written by La Dean Sutton. It is located in the third folder of the collection, which is labeled, â€œ Biographies, Ba-By.â€ In additional to biographical information, Sutton writes much about Aldenaâ€™s experiences prior to marriage. She notes that Aldenaâ€™s family was well-known for their kindness and charity. When Aldena was only eight years old, she accompanied her father to Salt Lake City to drop off some wheat for tithing; while her father was gone, Aldena was told to wait. When he did not return, she walked a block and a half, crossing a busy street, in order to find him. The manuscript also provides descriptions of Aldena's teachers, beginning with her first teacher, Mrs. Wells. Sutton describes the classroom, noting that the students had no desks, only slates to write upon, and rough planks on which to sit. There was no separation of ages, as there was only one teacher for all the students. The second year, Aldena was taught by Mrs. Frost, who punished the students by tying their thumbs together, The third year, she had Mr. Nix, who was very severe(at which point, the biography switches to first person, temporarily), and whom Aldena recalls punishing her once by making her stand by the stove, until her buttons almost melted, and her face blistered. The manuscript goes on to recount several instances with Indians. Apparently, an Indian named Markius threatened Aldena once for bread, leaving the family with no bread for supper. Aldena, however, used to visit an Indian boy when he was sick, and on another occasion, there was an Indian who wanted to marry Aldena. La Dean also describes Aldena's work as she helped the families in her home. She helped cook the wedding supper for her sister-in-law, making over one hundred tarts in addition to the wedding cake. While working in a local store owned by Bill Robinson, Aldena was well-liked, had several friends, and was trusted by her employer. After Bill Robinson's wife died in childbirth, Aldena cared for the child and even persuaded him to allow her to take the child home with her and care for him, which she did for three years. (The manuscript notes that the child today even calls Aldena his mother and visits her on Mother's Day.) After William's death at such a young age, the family struggled. Aldena rode for the first time on an airplane at age eighty- one, surrounded by many friends.