This past week, we have worked on creating a PowerPoint presentation related to our blogs. I chose to do a story written about the family of Matthew Galland Casto, a younger brother of my Great Great Grandfather, William Casto. Matthew faced a very large challenge in his life. He was living in Nauvoo and was working on building the Nauvoo Temple. He fell off the building, and was severely injured. He was at home recuperating when the mobs came through Nauvoo, and Matthew was pulled out of his sick-bed and into the streets where he was beaten and left for dead. The injuries from the beating on top of the injuries from his fall damaged his legs so badly that they were amputated. He did recover, and came to Utah, where he wound up settling in Manti, which is where the story takes place.
What I particularly love about the story is that William has a role in the story, as the original giver of "The Strange Ornament." I know a fair amount about William, but I have not had any stories about his life to let me know more about his character. My father did not tell me a lot of stories about the Castos. The only one he did tell was the family legend about how the Castos came to America--and his version has been disproved by research in the last 20 years. I will discuss the family legends in another post.
I believe that my father didn't have stories about William simply because William died when his daughter Rosa May was still a young woman, newly married. He was about 55 years old when May was born, and he was a polygamist. Her mother, Jane Watson, died when she was only 4 years old, leaving Diadamia (11), May (4 1/2), and Abel (1 1/2). I don't know which of the other wives raised the children for certain, but they were both older: Racheline Cornog was past 60 when Jane died, and Annie Cole was about 50, if she was still living (I am still trying to locate her death date). William's first wife, Diademia McFall had died in Nauvoo, and his fifth wife, Petrie Sena Neilsen died before May and Abel were born. Racheline was the second wife, and had already raised four of her own six children (two died before they were 8). They may even have been passed around between some of their older siblings. I just have not been able to find that information yet and I did not know I needed to ask this information before my cousin Roy died.