She's a remarkable woman in her own right: mother and grandmother, an accomplished artist and a warm and engaging storyteller. But Naomi Young Schettler is also the 100-year-old granddaughter of Brigham Young.
Reminiscing from the home of her daughter, Alice Counter, Mrs. Schettler remarked that her father, Don Carlos Young, was one of the three sons of Brigham Young who left home to go to school. One went to West Point, one studied law, and her father went to school at the Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York, where he studied architecture.Because he was Mormon and the son of Brigham Young, "They treated father awful at school." Mrs. Schettler said during an interview. "He wrote his father and said, `I want to quit, I want to come home.' Brigham Young said, `He's got the opportunity for education I never had,' and told Don Carlos to make it a matter of prayer, and that the family would pray about it," said Mrs. Schettler. "Grandfather said `We Mormons never quit, and you're not going to quit!' So father stayed and soon a group of boys passed him at school one day and said, `Hi pal, would you like to go out with us tonight?' When asked what they were going to do, they told father there was a sissy at school who wouldn't smoke or drink and they were going to kidnap him and take him on the town. Father told them to come to his room and when they again expressed their plans, Father said, `You can start right now, because I'm the Mormon boy.' They were ashamed and apologized and from then on Father was invited to join the Glee Club and football." Mrs. Schettler explained.
"That slogan became our family motto, heard again and again, `We never quit!' Mrs. Schettler remembered, and her energy and verve at 100 are example of it.
Forty-four years ago, she was a moving force behind the organization of the Brigham Young Granddaughters Association. Mrs.Schettler's cousin Eugenia Rampton told her, "I've had a dream - I want to honor Aunt Fanny and Aunt Mabel (Fannie Y. Clayton and Mabel Y. Sanborn, Brigham's last surviving daughters) and get all the granddaughters together. Naomi, it's up to you to get in touch with all of them." By using a huge chart of all of the wives, starting with Mary Ann Angell down to Ann Eliza Webb, Mrs. Schettler arranged for the meeting at the Lion House but then fell ill and was not able to attend. When the granddaughters came by after ward to present her with the flowers from the meeting, Mrs. Schettler said, "Why, I'm going to paint those flowers." She would like to donate the painting now in her daughter's home to the association.
The organization that Mrs. Schettler helped start has met each year for 44 years. Only missing that first meeting, Mrs. Schettler and her sister provided the flowers each year. Mrs. Schettler has served as president and vice president in the granddaughter's organization and has also served in the Young Family Organization.
Mrs. Schettler can remember attending the dedication of the Salt Lake Temple as a child of 4 1/2. "My father stood high on the scaffolding around the temple, took his silk handkerchief and let it float to the ground."
This year, all female descendants of Brigham Young are invited to meet at a parlor reception June 4 at 11:30 p.m. and a luncheon at 12:30 at the Lion House. On display will be a rare charcoal sketch of Brigham Young in its original wood frame. The sketch was believed to have been done between 1870-1880 by an unknown artist from a small lithograph dating to the 1850-1860 period. The Brigham Young Granddaughters Association purchased the sketch, and it will hang in the main hallway of the Lion House.
Joining Mrs. Schettler at the luncheon will be Marian Morgan, 88, Seal Beach, Calif., and Richard Clayton Young, 77, Salt Lake City. These three are of the four known living grandchildren of Brigham Young.
Association officers for 1987-88 are Lu Ann Spiers, president; Marion Wynn, vice president; Judy Christopherson, secretary; Winnifred Jardine, treasurer; Deanna Burnett, publicity, and Kari Robinson, historian.
The cost of the luncheon is $8.50, and all female descendants 8 and older are invited to attend. For information, contact Lu Ann Spiers, 943-3384 or Marion Wynn, 968-3462.