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From all I can gather, William Lindsay was the straightest of arrows, a saint. In an attempt to keep his experiences accessible, I'm dedicating a few years of research into William Lindsay and putting it on this blog. Please sign the guestbook. I'd love for this to be a gathering place for discussion on the man and his family.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Inspiration: Robert Burns


Robert Burn's was influential to all Scots, including the Lindsay family in Wasatch County. I like the fact that they held a poet so esteemed. As a child, William visited important sites from Burn's life in Scotland. From William's Autobiography Pg 271-272...
"I only remember 2 occasions that we got off from work to visit for a day or so away from home. One time the whole family went on the train to Dumfries where Burns died and was buried. I sat in his chair and visited his grave."
Burn's home where he died.

"Every evening or especially Sunday evening they read a chapter from the Bible sang a hymn and had prayers Similar to the description given by Burn's in the Cotter's Saturday night. A very fine custom in my opinion and worthy to be emulated."
At Davie Pryde's Hall in Center Creek and later in larger gathering places in Heber, on Burn's birthday, January 25th, Scottish immigrants continued the tradition of celebrating Burns and his poetry. I'm not sure how closely it follows the traditional Burn's supper with haggis and all, but the event was a large production that in time had its own finance committee. One article described it as being "simply immense" with dancing and recitations going until 3 am. The 1891 celebration where William Lindsay recited Burn's "Cotter's Saturday night," as well as his mentioning of the poem in his journal, are evidence of William's fondness for the poem (see full text of the Cotter's Saturday Night here).


Source: Wasatch Wave: 2/3/1891
Note: To those descending from James and Agnes Watson Lindsay or Margaret Eleanor Thomas Lindsay,
the James Watson listed in the article is also a Scottish ancestor that cherished Burn's


From the 1908 celebration at James A. Dawson's home "William Lindsay gave an interesting address on the life of Bobbie Burn's and finished with the advice to "Keep our lug flaps off." Can anyone tell me what a lug flap is? Is it a watch part and is the advice to keep our watches off?

The 1909 celebration was held at the amusement hall (still standing behind the tabernacle in Heber). Apparently the Lindsay brothers were instrumental in keeping these Robert Burns parties alive. William Lindsay wanted everyone to know they were invited, "the more the merrier."

Source: Wasatch Wave. 1/22/1909


It is unclear how long these Burns celebrations went for in Heber. The Wasatch Wave has been digitized through 1922 and the last recorded celebration therein was in 1916. Each time these celebration ended with everybody singing "Auld Lang Syne."

Finally, more evidence of the love for the Cottar's Satruday night and Robert Burns is portrayed in the following passage...
"In September 1915 there was a parade & display of the different nations gotten up & a reward of $20.00 or rather a prize for the best Float representative of that nation. So the Scots decided to compete for the prize & we got up quite a nice float I was selected to ride in it representing Robert Burns's Poem The Cottar's Saturday night with a wife & four children around me. We sent to Salt Lake & got a Bagpipe player & a good Scotch Singer to come & ride in our Float & he to play the Bagpipes as the procession moved along Our float was thatched with straw. But with it all we were outdone by the Swiss people from Midway who had a real Swiss cottage & the woman with her cow & calf. However we got the second prize of $15.00 which we paid to the Piper & the Scotch singer that came from Salt Lake to help us." -William Lindsay Autobiography, pg. 335
This parade (at the Wasatch County Fair more in the Wasatch Wave here) in September sounds like an event that was likely photographed and one that would be great to have a picture of.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for bring this to life...You've connected the dots here and have shown more of William's personality. Keep it up!!

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