This is the storage unit, vault or repository for the surprises I create or find to give out each month with your Visiting Teaching. Some of these ideas or handouts are too large to keep on either blog, so this is the place I keep them stored. If you have happened upon this blog, make sure that you go to my other two blogs for more wonderful stuff! Go to and go to and

Thursday, July 23, 2009

July 24th - Pioneer Day

Today is the day that we celebrate in Utah, the day the Pioneers knew that "This is the Place" that long awaited place for the Saints to settle and live away from persecutions. I can only imagine the relief of those who had traveled so far, and had experienced so many trials, tragedies, loss of loved ones, sickness, and famine. I would also bet that a few of them looked and thought that they certainly had alot of work to do now that they had arrived.

For my last post, I wanted to share with you a letter from a sweet Danish Pioneer woman, who expressed a few thoughts she had about her pioneer trek. Her name was Marie Louise Lautrup. I wished I could find a picture of her, but I don't. I hope that you enjoy this letter....

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I could not resist the temptation to write to you, because I know all of you will be happy to hear from Zion, your home. I long deeply to hear from you, from little Denmark, and to know whom the Lord has given the grace to emigrate home this year. I would also like to know whether any of my friends or acquaintances have joined the Church. I know that the work of the Lord goes forward with power every day, and it is a joy to hear the testimony that is constantly given to the Danish Saints. I have not yet had the opportunity to give you a description of this area, the beautiful valleys between the mountains. All of nature is remarkably beautiful out here. Salt Lake City lies in a lovely valley surrounded by high mountains that form a wall Around it. The city is not densely built up, like cities in Denmark. Nevertheless, it holds several thousand inhabitants. The houses are so far from each other that each one has a garden and a yard. Many people also have several acres of land outside the city. The streets are wide but unpaved. The sidewalks are made of clay and are lined with trees, as are the streets. Clear water from the mountains flows along both sides of the street like streams. It is fresh and delicious. It is remarkable to look up at the high mountains, which in many places are covered with forest. People drive up there to get timber and fuel. The cattle always run loose, and it is strange to see horses, cows, sheep, and all kinds of cattle grazing in the mountains. The slopes are very steep in many places, but they are so accustomed to it that it is nothing for them to run up and down. This is true not only of the Salt Lake Valley, but of the other valleys as well. Every city or town is surrounded by mountains. In some places there are sulphurous mountains, from which flows boiling water. I traveled past one such place between Salt Lake City and Farmington. People here dress quite like the Danes, especially the ladies. They wear round hats. The men's clothing resembles that of sailors; in the summer they wear colored shirts of chintz and in winter of wool. They usually wear coats and have straw hats as well as gray and brown plush hats. Their military uniform is a dark blue coat with gold buttons and gold braid, dark trousers with scarlet piping, a scarlet scarf, and now they have a new kind of hat made of black felt and silk plush adorned with black feathers. They are round and go up like a sugar loaf but look dashing.... The Fourth of July was American Independence Day and was celebrated everywhere in the United States. Here in Farmington it was celebrated with music and a military parade through the streets. Today is 24 July, when we remember the founding of the Church in the desert. The celebration was held in a forest in the mountains several kilometers from Salt Lake City. . .

Marie Louise Lautrup

A story and the photo above were printed in The Pioneer, S.U.P., Vol. 5 No. 7 Winter 1953, Page 19, as a reprint of an editorial which appeared in the October 15, 1953 issue of the Utah Farmer. These stories state that this log cabin built in September 1847 by Osmyn Deuel and located just north of the east portion of the old Fort was the oldest house built in Utah. The Pioneer, Vol. 6, No. 1, Spring 1954, page 23 retracted the two stories referenced above. The Pioneer corrected that the oldest cabin/house built in Utah was built at the mouth of the Weber River in 1845 by Miles Goodyear and he sold this cabin and his holdings of 225 square miles to Captain James Brown in November 1847 for $1,950. It is reported that he built two or three cabins and one of these is today preserved in Ogden as the "Oldest House in Utah".

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

July 22 - Orr, Maggie Anna Ferrell Copy and paste into your address bar and this will take you to the story of Maggie Anna Ferrell Orr, another of the wonderful Pioneering Women.

Friday, July 17, 2009

July 17 - Handmade by the Pioneers

Well ladies, it has been a busy day for me and I am just barely getting to the post for Friday, and in only about 15 minutes it is going to be Saturday. I found this site earlier on in the day that had separate links to many of the things that Pioneers did. I think as we look at these things, we can be grateful that we don't have to dip our own candles (unless we want to), churn our own butter (once again unless if we want to) and so many other things. Go to the following links and you can see how Pioneers did things. It is fun and interesting and made me appreciate the fact that I live in this day and age, and not when the Pioneers lived, however they wouldn't have known the difference.

I hope that by morning some of these sites are up and running again. I will check back and see, and for some reason, they won't open right now. Enjoy ther rest! Katie G.

This is the site
Here is another source of good information:

Hand dipped candles

Butter Churning

1850 Cross-Cut Sawing



Interesting Recipes

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Emma Vilate Johnson

I came upon this darling picture when I was doing my Pioneer Women Research on the internet. It was such a darling photo, it intrigued me enought that I desired to find out more about this woman. I found this link and found that it took me to a wonderful blogspot that was created by a woman. Her blog is dedicated to family history.

Instead of adding a Pioneer Woman story, I suggest that you go to this blog and see the pioneering efforts of linking family of generations past, to the present and making ancestors live through the stories and photos that are displayed.

July 16 - Margaret Alice McBride

Margaret Alice McBride is another of my ancestors who traveled to Utah in the Martin Handcart Company. I was reading through some genealogy and stories that my sister sent me this year for Christmas, and I stopped for a moment to read about her life. I laughed at the very end of this story as it talks about a letter that was written about her that said, "Your good sister (Margaret Alice) is physically all well, but has lost her memory almost entirely." Now I know where I got the memory loss genes.... from my relative Margaret.

Margaret Alice was the youngest in the family of Robert McBride 3rd and Margaret Ann Howard. Born June 29,1853, in Southport, Lancashire, England, and given her mother's name, she came to be affectionately known as "Little Maggie." She was just short of three years old, when her parents finalized preparations to migrate to America. Boarding the ship May 13, 1856, they landed in Boston Harbor June 30, the day after her third birthday.

Little Maggie shared in the arduous journey across the plains and mountains into Utah, much of which has been outlined in the accounts of the lives of her parents and other family members. At the tender age of three years it is doubtful that she would remember very much about those significant events. There were many children in the Martin Handcart Company, and they were given all the care limited facilities could afford. Any old enough to go it on foot were required to do so. Little Maggie, a mere toddler, always had her special place atop the equipment on the handcart. At times she, with other children, rode in the wagons when crossing rivers or in other difficult or dangerous situations.

The mother, Margaret, suffered much illness during the trip, and of course the father, Robert, lost his life. Much of the care of Maggie fell to Janetta and the other youngsters, a duty they willingly shared. Even with all the attention the family could give her, Maggie suffered a great deal. The rigors of traveling and camping in a hostile wilderness, the bitter cold, lack of food and clothing, took their toll. The tot barely survived. After suffering from hunger and exhaustion, she would cry herself to sleep. Seldom is one of such tender years required to undergo the privations she did.

Even after arriving in Utah, life for Margaret Alice remained a struggle for many years. Those early years were spent in the small town of Eden, Weber County. Here she attended school and received what education the Western Frontier made available. Closely associated with the church, she learned at an early age to love the gospel and to cherish all the church had to offer. It seems that the trauma of crossing the plains and finally getting settled in Eden had welded the McBride family firmly together. Little Maggie held a special place in the hearts of those who survived with her. Loved and cherished by them, she grew to be a beautiful and talented young lady.

Margaret Alice married Erastus White Snow, son of Apostle Erastus Show, August 3, 1874, at age twenty. They were sealed on that date in the Endowment House in Salt Lake City, as no temple had been completed in the church at that time. Shortly thereafter they moved to St. George, Utah, where they made their home for the next ten years. During this period five children were born to them, three of whom died in infancy. Their first, Maggie May, lived only one month; their third child, Clifford, lived two years, nine months; and their fourth, Herbert, lived just short of one year. Both boys mentioned died of diphtheria on the same day, May 5, 1882. These were trying times indeed for the young mother. From dates of events taken from the life of her mother (Margaret Ann), it appears that the latter was visiting with Maggie and Erastus Snow in St. George: one time when their first boy, Junius Claude, was born, January 2, 1877, and another time when the two younger boys died, May 5,1882. The mother's presence there may have helped young Maggie bear up under some difficult times.

In the year 1884, Margaret Alice and Erastus moved to Provo, Utah, with their two children, Junius Claude and Ethel. In Provo two more daughters were born, Edna, January 10, 1885, and Lucille, February 12, 1887. Sometime after the birth of Lucille, the Snow family moved to Salt Lake City. The purpose and circumstances of this move are not known. However, soon thereafter, Margaret Alice was left a widow with their four surviving children. Erastus died March 20, 1888, in Salt Lake city. (He was thirty-nine. Cause of death not known.)

A few years after her husbands death, Margaret married Antone T. Christensen. They lived in Salt Lake City until their children were married, then the couple moved to California (after 1912.

Upon the death of her sister, Janetta Ann Ferrin, Margaret was notified of her passing by a letter from their brother, Peter Howard McBride. Margaret's reply has been preserved. Written from Ocean Park, California dated January 22, 1925, the letter is informative about her condition at that time. Reproduced here, her letter reveals that she is happy and in good health (then seventy-one years old), although possessed with a certain longing to be nearer other family members, or return to "Zion."

A bit of correspondence adds to the record. This one written by Maggie's husband, Antone, upon the death of Peter's wife, Ruth Dated April 30, 1932, at Long Beach, California, Brother Christensen offers condolences, then speaks thus of his wife's condition: “Your good sister (Margaret Alice) is physically all well, but has lost her memory almost entirely. But she is loving, good and kind and I am caring for her the best I know how. Let us hear from you again soon” Your Brother and Sister, AT. Christensen

From this we gather that they were then living in Long Beach California, with Margaret's health beginning to fail, possibly from stroke. Apparently her condition worsened, rendering her physically debilitated. Margaret passed away in Long Beach, July 25, 1934.

All this information was found at

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

July 15 - Julia Ann Chapman Lee

Submitted By: Rodney Orr Chapman

20 August 1825 - 10 July 1852

Julia Ann Chapman was born 20 August 1825, in Eugene, Vermilion County, Indiana to Isaac Benjamin Chapman and Solona Brown Chapman. She married Isaac Lee and had a daughter Mariette, born 1846, Elizabeth Ann, born November 20, 1848, Eliza Ann, born December 20, 1850. Isaac helped build the Nauvoo Temple. He was a member of the Nauvoo Martial Bank. He started west with his father's family in 1849, but his wife Julia Ann became ill on the trail, which delayed his coming. She died July 10, 1852 at Loops Fork, leaving him with three small daughters. He arrived in Utah in 1852 (the same year Isaac Moroni Chapman arrived in the valley with his three remaining sisters). When Isaac Lee was forced, because of his wife's illness, to pull his wagon out of Brother Benson's train, he camped for a few days to allow her to recover. In spite of the fact that she had rest and fresh meat, she still remained weak. Her cough was sometimes violent. Concluding that they could not make the trip west this summer, they turned back and by easy stages made their way to Loup's Fork. With good milk and the tender care of the sisters who were living there, Julia made a partial recovery. Feeling that his wife, during the winter, might have a better chance to recover back in Kanesville, Isaac made a bed for her in the wagon box, then slowly and carefully he returned to Missouri.
Immediately, Isaac set about finding a house. Although they were dismantling the houses at Winter Quarters, Isaac got a place there for temporary shelter. Being an experienced sawmill man, he found employment immediately. Leaving Julia in the hands of a few women
still living in Winter Quarters, he began looking for a more personal place to live. He was unwilling to take her into Kanesville itself, for it was often ravaged with malaria and cholera. Finally he found a farm on the east bench above the river which had been abandoned by one of the Saints leaving for the West. He moved onto this farm and hauled one of the log houses from Winter Quarters and set it up in a protected ravine filled with trees and shrubs. Here Julia felt more at home.
Realizing that Julia was pregnant again, they both did everything they could to strengthen her for the ordeal. The baby came on a chilly night on the 19th of November 1850. For a time it was touch and go whether Julia would make it. The baby was farmed out to a big healthy Scandinavian woman who nursed it along with her own child. As the spring came, Julia ate dandelion greens, drank milk, and lay stripped to the skin in a protected place until her body was tanned like leather. During this summer, Isaac raised a crop on the land he occupied. Although she was not well, Julia lived comfortably through the winter of 1851, doing as little as possible, allowing her body to heal.
With the coming of spring, the brethren made a concerted drive to get all the Saints out of Kanesville. Other than for Julia's health, Isaac was well equipped to travel. In the heat of the late spring, Julia gained some weight and felt pretty well. Deciding that they could safely make the trip, Isaac loaded the wagon, making a special bed for his wife. At first she did very well, cheerful that at last they could go west and be with their relatives. But as the trip continued, the strain began to tell. Some mornings she was unable to get up. When they crossed Loup's Fork they again pulled out of the line, getting one of the Elders who lived at the Fork, Isaac and he administered to her. She seemed to relax and feel better, but during the night she lapsed into her last long sleep.
After they buried her, Isaac was so grief stricken that he sat for days, staring in front of him, felled by his tragedy. One evening James Walsh came to his fire and said, "I have seen many tragedies along the trail, and I respect you for your grief, but life must go on. Now you owe your little ones an even greater responsibility than before. Now you must be both father and mother to them. Crying tears of anguish over your lost wife is right and proper, but you must never allow your grief to immobilize you. What would Julia want you to do? You have begun a great quest, which, unfortunately, she was too weak to finish. Now you must finish it for her."
Out in the night Isaac walked for hours, asking why? Why? But with the coming of midnight, a peace enveloped him like a cloud. His beliefs taught him that although her body was dead, she, herself was still alive and would wait for him. He must not fail her. The next morning, 10 July 1852, he gathered a bunch of wild flowers and placed them at the base of the rude plank marker. They yoked up the oxen and started west.

I found this story in the website of the Sons of Utah Pioneers, and this is the direct link to this story:

July 14 – Louisa Miller Belleston

I added this story as I think it is important for us to understand alittle bit about the Perpetual Emigration fund. The Perpetual Emigration Fund was organized by Brigham Young to assure that all worthy Saints, regardless of economic circumstances, could come to Zion. Members paid into the fund what they could afford, drew what was needed and endeavored to repay any differenceas soon as possible after arrival.

James Thomas paid into this Fund sufficient to provide an outfit for the journey across the Plains. Then, after making a visit to London to bid farewell to his family there, the Bellistons packed their provisions and took the train for Liverpool, the most common point of departure for Mormon Emigrants to the United States. They left three children buried in England and took with them four living children: William Robert, age nine; Thomas, just turned seven; James Thomas Jr. just five and Louisa Maria, not yet six months old. They sailed on 15 February 1853 aboard the sailing vessel Elvira Owen, in a company of 343 presided over by Joseph W. Young.Six weeks later they arrived in New Orleans.

It is a credit to the masterful organizing efforts of presiding Church authorities of that time that so few lost their lives in the crossing. Many immigrant vessels were lost at sea, but of 333 transatlantic crossings of Mormon emigrants, not one vessel was lost. Most in that time had never traveled far from their homes and were ill prepared for such a journey. They suffered great hardship, sickness and disease. But their faith sustained them.

For many, the sea voyage was more frightening and dangerous than crossing the Plains in a covered wagon. Everyone was seasick, especially in storms. In the cramped, dark, suffocating cabins, the odors and misery were extreme. Food was never ample and never appetizing.Rations consisted of beef, pork, peas, beans, potatoes, barley, rice, prunes, coffee, tea, rye bread,herring and oil for the lamps. Space for so many humans was inadequate. Beds were uncomfortable. Germs of all kinds thrived in the close quarters. It was a test for the hardiest.But it was often fatal for the infirm and for children, who were buried at sea encased in a canvasshroud, after a simple service.

The Saints on the Elvira Owen landed at New Orleans on 31 March 1853 and departed as soon as possible up the Mississippi River. This journey too was difficult. River paddle wheelers made about six miles per hour against the river current. Fire, collision and exploding boilers were dangerous and threatening. In the forty years between 1810 and 1850, more than 4,000 people lost their lives in steamboat disasters. But the Bellistons apparently made it to Keokuk without serious incident. They were among a sizable group who disembarked at Keokuk, Iowa,across the river from Nauvoo. Here they acquired the ox team, covered wagon and other supplies arranged through the Perpetual Emigration Fund.

For this one year the staging point for LDS immigrants was in this new city, where the pioneers found work building city streets and other improvements while awaiting assignment to acompany for the journey across the Great Plains. Their company was to follow the trail of the Nauvoo refugees across Iowa to Council Bluffs, and from there to the Valley.

Journey to Zion:
The company with the Bellistons reached the Salt Lake Valley on 6 October 1853, just under eight months from their departure from England. No modern city welcomed them. The Pioneers had arrived only six years before and the desert was still waiting to blossom. They had been a long time without the comforts of a home. They were greeted by friends from England,the William Reeves family, and moved in with them. When the Reeves moved, they continued to occupy the home which belonged to Orin Woodbury until they were able to build their own small adobe home at 268 West 6th South in Salt Lake City. James Thomas had worked in the adobe yard and sold adobes and had also made enough for his own home. He traded work for other supplies and finally traded his best suit of clothes for enough lumber to finish the house.

Sadness came to the family while they lived in the Woodbury house. William Robert died soon after his tenth birthday, just three months after their arrival in the Valley. Death struck again shortly after they moved into their own home, taking their second daughter, little two year old Louisa Maria, who had been named for her mother, Louisa. This left only two of their seven children living, until the birth in 1855 of Emily. Later, in a dugout in Payson, where the family had fled from Johnston’s Army, Joseph Ephraim was born. Sarah, their last child, was born in Nephi in 1864. Although it was not unusual in their time to lose children to untimely deaths,these deaths brought with them great sadness.

It is likely the family would have continued to live on their property in Salt Lake City,had it not been for Johnston's Army. When this large militia approached the Valley in 1857 to put down a phantom "rebellion" of the Mormons, Brigham Young dug in his heels and sent his own militia out into Echo Canyon to prevent their entry. James Thomas joined this force of 1200 men, which successfully stalled Johnson's advance. But in May of 1848, when Johnston's Army entered the Valley, the Bellistons and many others left their homes and moved away from the city. Later James sold that house, which had cost about $400, for a mere $100.

They moved to Payson, piled all their worldly belongings on the ground under the wagon cover, secured a small lot and proceeded to dig a hole in the hillside, surround it with homemade adobes and cover it with a sod roof. In this makeshift home with a dirt floor, Joseph Ephraim was born a few weeks later. One year later, James Thomas sold the dugout for a pig valued at$20 (which was promptly butchered for meat), paid Edward Jones $80 for a lot at 225 South First East in Nephi and built another home, where he and Louisa lived until their deaths.

If you would like to read more aout Louisa and her family, as this represents just snippits taken from it, you can read more by going to Many more stories can be found on the site that I found this story which is "The Sons of Utah Pioneers" found at

Sunday, July 12, 2009

July 13 - Mary Ann Payne

Submitted By: Roger Slagowski (At the age of eight, with his entire family (father, James Mellor Sr.(37), mother, Mary Ann Payne (36); sister, Louise (15); sister, Elizabeth (14); sister, Mary Ann (10); brother, William C. (5); and the twins, Emma N. And Clara A. (3)) sailed from Liverpool, England on the ship "Horizon" in 1856. Just before they left for America, Mary Ann Payne gave birth to twins, Elizabeth and Eliza Mellor, who died after birth. Although the mother was so sick that she was told she would die on the boat, she was blessed by the Elders who told her that she would live to see Zion. They landed in Boston Harbor June 2,1856, traveled to Iowa City, Iowa which they left on Jul 28,1856. They left Florence, Nebraska (Winter Quarters) with the Martin Handcart Company, on Aug 25,1856 with 576 people (See the book Charlotte Elizabeth by Jo Ann Mellor Felix for more details). Arrived in the Salt Lake valley Nov 30,1856 after suffering severe hardships.

Not one member of his family died on that fateful journey; but one of the 3 year old twin girls never had her shoe size get larger than size 3 because of frostbite of her feet from the trip.

While with the Martin Handcart Company, Mary Ann Payne, James Mellor Senior's wife decided to lighten their load by selling some of her children's clothes in Iowa which was two miles away. She knew that the company would go on without her; but, she felt that she could catch up quickly because she would be traveling light. She left early in the morning with her oldest daughter, Louisa (age 16). When they reached the town they found that no one in town wanted to buy the clothes; so, they decided to go door to door. By the time they had sold the clothes, it was noon-time. They left quickly and attempted to catch up with the company. Mary, however, was so hungry and faint that she finally told Louisa to go on without her. Louisa would have none of that. She instead walked ahead a short distance, kneeled down, and poured out her heart to the Lord to help them. She arose and headed back toward her mother on the same path she had just taken. She walked a short distance when she suddenly saw something in the prarie grass. It was a freshly baked pie! It was laying right side up, and the crust wasn't even broken. They both thanked the Lord for the immediate answer to her prayer, ate the pie, and resumed their tip toward the company. In the meantime, since they had not caught up with the company in the time expected, James Sr. had taken his handcart to go look for them. He found them and took them in the handcart back to camp. The company eventually got stranded and rescue parties were sent to help them.

Louisa (the 16-year old) also had another experience in which her hair became frozen to the ground at night, and the company had to use an axe to cut her free. They had no better tools to use.

This story can be found at

Margaret McNeil (Ballard)

I wish that I could just copy and paste this marvelous story here for you, but since there are copyrights involved, you will need to go to the actual link where I found her information. Copy and paste this link into your address bar:

I also wanted to note that her story and photo can also be found in the book "I Walked to Zion" by Susan Arrington Madsen beginning on page 124 - 127. This book is wonderful and is filled with true stories of Young pioneers on the Mormon trail. If you like to read books and want one about Pioneers, I recommend this as a very good read! Katie G.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

July 11 - Jane Jenkins Howe

Submitted By: Ray Don Reese
Jane Jenkins was born on 24 August 1806 in Wick , Glamorgan, South Wales. She married William Howe on 7 May 1833 in St. Brides, Glamorgan, South Wales. They made their home in Wick which is a small community near the sea. They were blessed to have four children born to them. They were Cecilia, William, Ann, and Jane. Her husband, William, was the talk of the surrounding country because he was very strong. It was said he could lift great barrels of beer with ease which he delivered from the manufacturers to the retailers.

While the children were quite young, William contracted a prolonged illness and died on 1 August 1846 at St. Brides. In order to support herself and her family of small children, Jane made cookies, cakes, and bread which were put into small home made baskets and the children would sell them to regular customers and at the Southern Down Resort. In order to have a variety of cakes, the mother and children would go down to the seashore when the tide was out and gather larva from the rocks. This substance looked somewhat like lettuce. They washed the sand from it and put it into baskets and buckets. It was later baked as part of the cakes. These children thought nothing of walking three or four miles and selling this food for a schilling a pound. Sometimes Cecilia and Ann worked as nurse girls and as ladies maids.
The mother spent a great deal of time in the grain fields gleaning in order to feed a few ducks and geese which they kept in their yard. These were fattened, killed, dressed and sold in the market at Bridgend, about four miles from Wick. This industrious mother would sometimes make clothing and dye cloth for people. This added a little more to the family income. Her yeast jar was always kept well filled in order to be exchanged for flour.

In about 1863-64, Jane heard from her brother, David Jenkins, that a John Taylor was in Merthyr-Tydell preaching about a new religion. She and some neighbors walked there to hear about this new doctrine. Jane Howe was one of the first persons in the St. Brides area to be baptized into this new religion. She belonged to the Cardiff Branch and there was a great deal of prejudice against this new Church. They performed their baptisms at night and dried their clothes around the stoves in their homes. The children were not allowed to go to school because of their religion.
By this time the children had married and left home and Jane met a LDS widower, William Williams. They married and in 1866 decided to immigrate to Utah. They left Liverpool, England on 18 May 1866 on the sailing vessel, Arch Bright.

The Civil War was not long over and the immigrants were ordered to go by way of the Canadian border and the St. Lawrence River. They finally arrived in Chicago and were placed in cattle cars to Missouri. Here they took a boat up the Missouri River to old Fort Kearney which was the outfitting place of the Mormons in 1865-66. They were begged to stay over the winter but William Williams is reported to have said, “I’m going to Zion if I die on the way.” When Jane heard the men cursing while preparing to leave she asked Captain Thompson if they were Latter-day Saints. He answered, “”Well, they’re suppose to be.” She said, “Well, I never heard such language.” While traveling over the plains many became ill because of the bad water and poor food. William Williams was one of them and his last words were, “I am at peace with all men and on the road to Zion.”

Jane Howe Williams arrived in Salt Lake City on 27 October 1866. Being alone and with a place to stay she said, “Well, if this is Zion I wish I were back in Wales.” After about a month of staying with a Welsh family, John S. Davis, in Salt Lake she decided to move to Spanish Fork where there were more Welsh settlers. Here she again began to support herself by doing many of the things she had done in Wales. She would go out and do sewing by the day and many times had walked from Spanish Fork to the swamp west of Springville to gather hops. She used those to make yeast which she exchanged for flour and sugar.

Later she married a devout Latter-day Saint widower by the name of David Evan Davis. When she was about eighty her daughter, Ann, who was married to George Crane invited them to move to Kanosh, Utah to be near her. Her husband, David Evan Davis, died in February 1889 and she died 23 December 1889 in Kanosh where she is buried. This story is taken from a short history written by her granddaughter, Maude Crane Melville. Maude’s daughter, Ethel Melville, became the wife of Horace Sorenson, a NSSUP past president and the founder of Pioneer Village.

This story can be found at this link:

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

July 8 - Catherine Gougar Goodman

This Pioneer was not a Utah Pioneer, but her story is well worth noting.

South of the Alfred Immell home near the Chillicothe-Columbus pike, west of Kingston, Ohio, has been erected a fine monument to mark the last resting place of Catherine Gougar Goodman, the first white woman settler in Ross County, of whom there is any positive record.

The monument was erected by her descendants headed by Ex-Mayor Oliver P. Goodman of Kingston. Many of the family live in Green Township and Chillicothe. The spot where the monument stands had been cleared by Catherine Goodman herself and it was her request that she be buried there. It is now visited by many tourists, standing as it does on historic ground; -- ground where she herself was held captive by the Shawanese Indians. The inscription on the monument reads,

In memory of Catherine Gougar, pioneer wife and mother, born in New Jersey, 1732, captured by the Indians 1744 in Berks County, Pennsylvania, and for five years held a captive at and near this place. Sold to French-Canadian Traders, she served in Canada for two years. Finally gaining her freedom, she returned to her former home only to find her parents gone and herself homeless. She lived with friends until 1756 when she married George Goodman, who died in 1795. With her son, John, came to Ohio in 1798 and by a strange fortune, settled on this spot where she had been held a captive while with the Indians. Died in 1801 and lies here in the place chosen by herself and cleared by her own hands. This monument erected by her great great grandchildren in 1915.

Her parents emigrated to Northumberland County, PA, when she was a little girl and later moved to Berks County, being among the early Pioneer families in that part of the county. In 1744 when she was 12 years old, she and a little brother were captured by Indians. Her father [and brothers] were killed in the fight, but her mother [and a sister] had gone to a spring some distance away earlier to get water and were not discovered by the Indians.

The Indians took Catherine and her younger brother westward and on the third day the little boy was unable to keep up with the march. Catherine saw two Indians lagging behind with him. After a while the two again joined the march. The sister saw a little fair haired scalp hanging to their trophy belt and recognized it as being that of her little brother. She knew then that he had been killed. Catherine was held captive for five years but was not unkindly treated. As stated above, she was traded to French-Canadians, who took her to Canada where she remained two years.

Finally returning to Pennsylvania, she found her mother [and sister] dead and the cabin home abandoned. She remained with friends there until her marriage with George Goodman in 1756. Six children were born to them, four sons and two daughters. In 1798, Mrs Goodman, then 66 years old, came to Ross County, Ohio with her son John, who took up land in what is now Green Township.

His mother recognized the places where she had lived when a captive of the Shawanese Indians. She had brought with her a left handed sickle made for her in Berks County in 1757. On this sickle, is cut the name of R. W. Shaw, possibly the name fo the man who made it. (The sickle is in the possession of Alice Goodman of Kingston, Ohio.) With this implement, the aging pioneeer helped to clear a spot which she recalled as one of the scenes of her Indian captivity. Here she lived and died, and at her request, she was buried on the spot she had cleared. A monument has been erected by her descendants, who still live on the original tract, to mark the last resting place of a pioneer mother whose strange experience has seldom been equaled.


Ohio Cues, PERSI: OHCU, Volume 23, Issue 1, October, 1973.

OHGenWeb NOTICE: In keeping with our policy of providing free information on the Internet, data may be used by non-commercial entities, as long as this message remains on all copied material. These electronic pages may NOT be reproduced in any format for profit or for presentation by other persons or organizations.
Persons or organizations desiring to use this material for purposes other than stated above must obtain the written consent of the file contributor.
This file was contributed for use in the OHGenWeb Ross County by: Cheryl Wise
You can find her story at

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Comments anyone?

How are you doing with your Visiting Teaching for this month? Do you have your appointments made? Do you know what the lesson is about for this month?? Here is a clue.... you can find the message here:,4945,2044-1-4844-1,00.html

In keeping with the Pioneer and Ancestor theme, I copied one of the quotes from the July 2009 Visiting Teaching lesson that seemed to me to fit in rather well.

"President Howard W. Hunter (1907–95): "Let us hasten to the temple as frequently as time and means and personal circumstances allow. Let us go not only for our kindred dead, but let us also go for the personal blessing of temple worship, for the sanctity and safety which is provided within those hallowed and consecrated walls. The temple is a place of beauty, it is a place of revelation, it is a place of peace" ("The Great Symbol of Our Membership, " Tambuli, Nov. 1994, 6; Ensign, Oct. 1994, 5)."

I would love to hear from you about this or any other stories you have to share about the visits you make each month. Please feel free to comment in the section below. Thanks! Katie G.

July 7 - Elizabeth Case Milam Wheeler

For the link to the story of the life of this wonderful pioneer woman, please copy and paste this link to your address bar.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

July 6 - Pioneer Recipes

To go to the links to find these pioneer recipes, you will need to copy and paste the link in the address bar. Enjoy your reading. Katie G.

You can find the following Pioneer Recipes by going to this link

Buttermilk Doughnuts-“Pioneer Recipes,” Friend, July 1975, 40 (President Brignam Young enjoyed this pastry)
Apple Candy
Bread and Milk - President Wilford Woodruff often enjoyed this.
Old-Fashioned Muffins - Horseshoe Cookies
Johnnycake - A favorite dish of the Prophet Joseph Smith.
Washboard Cookies
Toasted Spicecake
Pioneer Hardtack

Homemade Butter - I found this cute blog that shows the process for making homemade butter in a jar. go to


I found a cute cookbook that you can read portions of it online called "Log Cabin Cooking" and you can find it at this link


Pioneer Soap
106 ounces rendered fat, or tallow, or combination of both
14 ounces lye
41 ounces cold water
NOTE - If you use rendered kitchen fat you may opt to add fragrance to minimize the cooking odors.

If you want a variety of other types of soap recipes go to


You can find more of the Pioneer Recipes found below by going to this link:

Honey Candy
Pioneer Lettuce Salad
Rice in Cream
Molasses Candy


Even More Pioneer recipes found at this link:

Nauvoo Ginger Cookies
Homemade Butter
Old-Fashioned Pickles


Now if all these Pioneer recipes aren't enough for you, then go to the following link and you will find all kinds of recipes and even more fun things. t


Yet even some more recipes that you have not yet seen go to


July 5 - Ann Parker

One of my very favorite Pioneer Stories of all time comes from Ann Parker. My guess is that you too would remember this one. I wanted to give you a break from another long read, so here is a wonderful story of faith through the eyes of Ann Parker. I call this story "The Red Shawl".

Falling asleep at the wrong place had greater hazards for six-year-old Arthur Parker. He had crept into the shade to rest during a morning break on a sultry June day in 1896 and had been left behind. His parents, Robert and Ann Parker, had assumed he was playing along the way with other children and did not miss him until they stopped that afternoon to make camp in the face of a sudden thunderstorm. It was then they realized Arthur was not with them.

Who can imagine the rising panic these parents felt in the next two days as the company remained while the men searched for their son? Finally, on July 2, with no alternative, the company was ordered west. Robert Parker went back alone to continue searching for his missing child. As he was leaving, his wife pinned a red shawl around his shoulders and said words such as these: "If you find him dead, wrap him in the shawl to bury him. If you find him alive, use this as a flag to signal us." Then with a sinking heart, she and their other children struggled on. Out on the trail each night Ann scanned the horizon for her husband, eyes straining for the sign. Day after frigthening day-nothing. Then, just at sundown on July 5, she saw a figure approaching from the east. In the last light of the setting sun she saw the glimmer of the bright, red shawl.

One of the diaries records, "Anne Parker fell in a pitiful heap upon the sand, and that night, for the first time in six nights, she slept." On July 5, Archer Walters recorded, "Brother Parker came into camp with a little boy that had been lost. Great joy through the camp. The mother's joy I cannot describe." It seems the little boy, sick with illness and terror, had been found by a woodcarver who had cared for him until his father had found him.

Friday, July 3, 2009

July 4 - Margaret Howard McBride (My Ancestor)

I wanted to share with you some of my own Pioneer history. I am blessed to be here because of Margaret Howard McBride. She was the wife of Robert Mc Bride
This information was taken from Peter Howare McBride, son of Margaret Howard McBride who is my direct ancestor. The link to this story is found here:

Peter Howard McBride, (Martin Handcart Company. His father crossed the Platte River 25 times helping others and died that night.)

Peter Howard McBride, son of Robert and Margaret Howard McBride, was born in Ireland May 3, 1850. He was the youngest son in a family of five children, his sister Jenetta and two brothers Heber Robert and Ether Enos, older than he, and a baby sister Margaret, three years younger. His father and mother, Robert and Margaret Howard McBride, lived on the shore of the island which is situated in the Firth of Clyde. He tells of his grandparents, Robert McBride and Jenett Sharp, who lived in Aukive, Ireland: "My grandfather was a sailor. I have heard him say he had landed in every port where a ship could stick it's hull. He had a fine home but was seldom there. I well remember one time my grandfather anchored his ship close to our home and launched a boat with his effects and rowed to shore, got a wheelbarrow and piled his things on it and hurried for the house. A wave struck us, grandfather put me on top of the load and by the time we were up on the hill the water stood thirty feet deep where we had just been." Items from the journal of Peter Howard McBride follow:
Grandfather, like a lot of the Irish at that time, believed in fairies. The country in Ireland is a paradise of flowers, grass, wooded land, with the heather blooming everywhere. They would arise early in the morning before the break of day, slip out into the wonderland of flowers in order to get a glimpse of the fairies before they scampered away. They had manv myths and great imagination. When I was three years old our family moved to Churchtown, England, then to Southport. When we reached Liverpool, our trunks were loaded onto carts and we were taken to the home of our grandparents where so many cousins and uncles and aunts had gathered to see us that we scarcely had room to move around.
We finally got settled in Southport where my parents first heard the Gospel, and lived there for three years. Father was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on the 1st of August 1837 by Orson Hyde, and mother was baptized the 4th of January 1838 by Heber C. Kimball. From that time, our home was open to the elders where services were held, the sacrament administered and many missionaries found a haven of rest. Mother held open house, always had something ready to serve hungry elders and a good bed for them to rest in.
To America
In the year 1856 my father and mother definitely decided to emigrate to America as they had heard of the wonderful place, America is. After leaving their home in Southport, we visited with my mother's people before going on our long journey. We were not treated so very kindly by them. My grandfather said, "I never want to see nor hear from you again. If you should write, your letters will be burned before we read them. I hope you will all be swallowed up in the ocean before you land on that cursed American shore. You bring disgrace to the family name by joining such a church."
We went from my grandparents' house in Manchester by railroad to Liverpool and waited two days for the ship which was to carry us across the ocean. It was a new ship, had only made one trip across the ocean, and was in command of Captain Reed. We sailed for America in April, landed in Boston, May 3rd on my birthday. Part of the Manchester Choir was on board and there was lots of singing. One song in particular being, "We, we won't marry none but Mormons," and when the ship landed, Capt. Reed made a speech to the Saints in which he said, "The song says, I won't marry none but Mormons,' and I will say, if I ever bring immigrants again I'll carry none but Mormons."
The Trek
All was hustle getting past the customs officers and getting our belongings into the cars and started westward for Zion. We were permitted to ride on the train to Iowa City, the terminus of the railroad at the time. From Chicago, we had to ride in cattle and freight cars. The night we arrived in Iowa, there was the worst storm I ever have experienced, thunder, lightning, rain coming down in torrents. There were wagons to take our bedding and luggage to camp three miles away, but we had to walk. Parents lost their children and children their parents, but we finally got settled in tents for the night, but were all glad when morning came as the sun was shining brightly. It was warm and the people could dry their bedding and clothes. At this place, the company was delayed three weeks waiting for handcarts and the people got very nervous and uneasy at the long delay, as they realized the time was getting short for such a long journey before cold weather set in.
At last the two-wheeled carts were ready, and we were assigned one. It was afternoon when we started. Some grumbled at such a late start, but Captain Henry Martin explained it was wise to just go a short way at first to get the people used to such mode of traveling. Later they could see the wisdom. And so, we traveled across the Iowa plains, crossing rivers, and small streams until we reached the Missouri river at a place they called Council Bluffs. Went on to Florence where a ferry boat took us across the river where we waited several days for the Daniel Tyler Company. It was such a large company that we had to travel slowly across the Nebraska plains. We children and the old folks would start early so we wouldn't get too far behind at night. A great many handcarts broke down, oxen strayed away which made traveling rather slow. Quite an undertaking to get nearly a thousand persons who had never had any camping experience to travel and eat, and cook over a campfire. It took much patience from the captains to get them used to settling down at night to get started in the morning.
So, on we went till we got to the Wyoming line, then it got cold. Our provisions got lower. I remember some men passed us one day, stopped to talk. They gave my baby sister, Margaret (Maggy we called her) some little cookies. She carried them in her little pocket and I was always with her and would tease her for a bite. She would give me a taste once in a while and it was so good. No cake I ever tasted since was so good. My little sister and I were cut down to one ounce of flour a day. The exposure of cold, rain, sleet and snow and ice, pushing and pulling handcarts all day; the scarcity of wood and food, caused many of the strongest men to perish.
Crossing the Platte River (Casper, WY)
When we came to the upper crossing of the Platte, the river was flowing with ice water waist deep and quite dangerous to cross. Four of the strongest men were appointed to take care of each handcart. Lots of women waded the river all right but the children were put on the handcarts. A man by the name of Cyrus Wheelock, just returned from a mission to the Eastern States, was riding a horse. He carried a lot of the children over on it, even helped pull some of the handcarts by a rope fastened to his saddle. One time he had three boys on, one in front and two behind. I was the last boy on that side of the river, thought I would try to wade across. He told me to climb up behind the two boys and hold onto them, which I did. We crossed the river all right, then the horse leaped up a steep bank and I slid off just in the shallow water, held on to the horse's tail and came out all right.
That night the wind was blowing very cold and the carts were all sheltered behind a big cliff, but the snow drifted in the tents being covered up. My father died that night in our tent. He had worked all day pulling, pushing, wading through the icy river, and he made about twenty-five trips across the river helping to get all the people and carts across. My mother was sick all the way and my sister Jenetta Ann had all the worry of taking care of us children. She carried water from the river for cooking purposes; her shoes gave out and she walked through the snow barefoot, actually leaving bloody tracks in the snow. Father was a good singer. He had charge of the singing in our company. The next morning funeral services were held in our tent for him. Cyrus Wheelock was the speaker. Father was wrapped in a sheet, carried out by two men. They laid him on the snow. When they gathered all the dead, they just dragged them across the snow by the feet to the hole made on the river bank where they piled in thirteen men into one grave. They put dirt over them as best they could, then some logs to keep the wolves from getting the bodies.
The Rest of the Journey
We didn't travel far the next day. My mother was so sick and my sister Jenetta Ann worn out, but we couldn't stop long for anything. When we got to Sweetwater, we camped. A meeting was held and the people decided we could go no farther, snow so deep and no food. We were doomed to starvation all would stay here and die together. They gave me a bone of an oxen that died. I cut off the skin, put the bone in the fire to roast. When it was done, some big boys came and ran away with it, then I took the skin, boiled it and drank the soup and ate the skin and it was a good supper.
Later we had a terrible cold spell. The wind drifted snow into our tent till we thought we would freeze. I shivered so much I knew I would die. I heard freezing was an easy death. The wind blew the tent down, they all crawled out but me. I began to feel warm and the tent closed down around me, the snow fell on it, I went to sleep and slept warm all night. In the morning I heard some one say, "How many are dead in this tent?" My sister said. "Well there are five children Robert, Ether, Maggy and myself. My little brother Peter must be frozen to death in that tent." So they jerked the tent loose, sent it scurrying over the snow, my hair was frozen to the tent. I picked myself up and came out quite to their surprise.
That day we got word that some teams were coming to meet us from the valley. That night three teams came and reported more on the road and no one but a person having gone through that experience can imagine what a happy moment it was for this belated handcart company. Men, women, and children knelt down and thanked the Almighty God for our delivery from certain death. It put new life into all the people. The next day several teams arrived and there was room for us all to ride, but men had to dear the road of snow before the wagons could make the grade.
We were given food but were told that most of it must be saved for the men who had to get us to the Valley. Fires were made along the road so we could warm at intervals. And when the summit of Big Mountain was reached, everyone could ride down the long hill.
The wagon we were in belonged to Ebenezer Richardson of Ogden City. We finally arrived in Salt Lake City, November 30, 1856; our teamster took us to his sister's place where we were kindly treated. The next day we drove as far as Farmington. The snow was very deep. We stopped at another place that night and oh, how different the treatment. After the older folks were through with supper, there wasn't any food left for us hungry children and we were put to bed haft starved.
Next morning, we started for Ogden; we arrived about sundown and were taken to an old gentleman's house. His wife had been dead about two years. He told his housekeeper to fix us some food. We had plenty to eat that night; everyone in that part of the country was very poor, having been driven from their homes in the East and robbed of all they had. They were just getting homes started again and a few things around them.
Soon after stopping there my mother got a little house with a dirt roof and a dirt floor. A fireplace in one end and when it would rain, water and mud would run down the walls and on to our beds. And we children would say to mother, "Mother, is this Zion?" and she would answer, "Never mind children, the Lord will provide." I have thought many times how mother must have felt to live in such a place after having a comfortable home all her life, but I never heard her complain. Some men brought us some wood but had to grub sagebrush to keep the fire going. There were five mouths to feed and it was a hard struggle. I've heard my baby sister cry herself to sleep for want of food, and say, "Take me to my own home." Our diet that winter was squash, corn meal and salt. We got through the winter somehow and then we dug sego to help with the diet. Mother was sick most of the winter but when spring came she got better. Jenetta found work. Also the older boys, and conditions changed. My brothers went to school barefoot that winter as did many other boys in town.

Margaret Howard McBride had another son, Ether Enos McBride, and I have inserted the link to his story. Through Ether Enos McBride, came my family. I have shared a story in this blog about my "Grammie Great" whose maiden name was McBride.... get the connection? You can go to this link for the story through his eyes.,18016,4976-19143,00.html

The night we arrived at Iowa there was one of the worst storms of rain, thunder and lightening that I ever experience. They had wagons and teams to haul our luggage to camp about three miles and we had to walk, it being so dark we could not see anything. Children lost their parents and parents lost their children and we had a great time there. A great number of tents put up on the camp ground and we got into one of them but everything we had was as wet as it could be, but we passed the night somehow and were all there when morning came and the sun shone bright and then their goods spread out to dry. We were delayed there three weeks waiting for out[our] handcarts and the people got very uneasy at the long delay, as they knew they had a long journey before them.
At last we started out about three oclock in the afternoon and a good many grumbled making such a late start, but Captain Martin told them to be patient and they would soon see the wisdom of it. We crossed the Iowa river and traveled about five miles and then camped for the night and then they could see the wisdom of making a short drive so the people could get used to camping. The next day the company started early but got pretty tired before it was night and then there was singing etc. until about 9 P.M., when the sound of the bugle called the camp to prayers and so we traveled across the Iowa Prairies, crossing rivers and small streams until we reached the Missouri river at a place they called Counsil Bluffs. We then traveled up the river about 3 miles to Florence, where there was a ferry boat and it took about 2 or 3 days to ferry us across the river. We waited several days for the Daniel Tylers Company to arrive and then we were all placed in one company and the company being so large we travled very slowly across the Nebraska plains. Several aged persons died and were buried by the road side and after the sad rites were over we wended on our way burning buffaloe chips for fuel to cook our fugal meals. As far as the eye could stretch its gaze there was not a hill in sight nor a tree. We crossed several streams of water and some pretty large rivers. Us children and the old folks would start early in the morning and get as far along as we could until the others overtook us with the hand carts. The ox carts and teams that hauled tents and provisions usually traveled behind the hand carts. We had a great many handcarts break down and lose some of our cattle which made some delays. It was quite an undertaking to get nearly 1,000 persons who had never been away from home, never saw a campfire in their lives to a trip of that kind and it required a great deal of patience to get them started and to get them camped for the night. We saw a great many buffalos as we traveled up the Platte river. I will never forget one day when we met 3,000 Sioux warriers [warriors] all dressed in their war paint going east to fight the Pawnees. I remember how they laughed and jabbered to each other and how frightened we were but they gave us the road and made signs to us that they were our friends and they would not be unkind and not kill us and so we got over that scare allright. We were forbidden to kill buffalo by our leaders for it made the Indians mad to have the buffalo shot and so we used to hire the Indians to kill them for us. The first one I saw killed was a young buffalo cow. An Indian warrior went after her on horseback and when she tried to turn he would shoot an arrow into the side of her heart and keep her straight for our camp and when he got her to the road he shot an arrow and struck her just back of her left shoulder and it struckso and she rolled over dead being shot through the heart and one of our men gave him about 5cents worth of tobacco for it and that is about what it cost to get a buffalo to eat and that was better than to make the Indians mad at us. We saw great herds of buffalos estimated to 50,000 in a herd and so we plodded along day after day until we crossed the Wyoming line and our provisions were cut down to three fourths of a pound of flour a day and as the Indians were very bad that year we had to very careful. The men had to stand guard every night and the weather got very cold and then commenced our suffering and we soon had our flour cut to one half lb. per day. A great many of the older people died and many young people were not able to stand the hardships and finnaly we were down to one fourth pound of flour per day. We soon had our teams give out and when they died we were glad to eat them and soon the snow began to fall and then our sufferings were intense. My father died on somewhere along the Sweet Water. The snow got so deep and so heavy that it was very difficult to travel. We finally decided we could not get any farther and so we concluded we just as well die there as anywhere else so we gave up trust in God to deliver us. That night three teams from the valley arrived and reported that more would be there soon and no one that has never been in such a fix could imagine how we felt or how men and women knelt down and thanked the almighty God for our delivery from certain death. It put new life into the people.
I well remember how glad we all were and how we all rejoiced in the prospect of arriving in the valley the next day. Several teams arrived and finally we were all loaded into the wagons. The wagon we were in belonged to Ebeneazar Richardson of Ogden City. We traveled slowly along, early and late until we arrived at the gigantic mountains. The snow was very deep and there were a great many men there from Salt Lake with shovels digging the snow out of the road so the teams could pull the wagons up the long hill and they had built fires on the side of the road so people could warm themselves as all who were able to walk had to do so. The teams could get through finally. We got to the top then it was down hill and we finally arrived in Salt Lake City the 30th day of November, 1856.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

July 2 – Diana Lucina Spicer Block

Diana Lucina Spicer Block.......Her story

I was born on April 23, 1868...the third of four daughters born to Mortimer Nelson Spicer and Polly Julina Wakely, in or between Humboldt Wells and Desert Springs, Nevada.

My father died when I was four years old. My mother took me and my sisters to live with her mother, Grandma Wakely. The Wakely family were early Mormon Pioneers and had settled in Brigham City, Utah. I loved my grandmother very dearly. I remember a happy and carefree childhood on her farm.

When I was six years old, mother married William Collins and we moved to Hillyeard, Wyoming - where my stepfather was working in a logging camp making ties for the railroad.

From this marriage I had four half-brothers and one half-sister. My stepfather was very good to me. We were a happy family. One of the joys of my childhood was the two winters my sister Lucy and I went back to Grandma Wakely's to go to school. I also went to school in Evanston. I received as much schooling as most children of that time.

I was about nine years old when we moved to Evanston, Wyoming and I lived there until I was eighteen years old.

I met Albert Block when I was twelve; he was eighteen. He came home with my father. Soon after we met, he married and in due time two little girls, Elizabeth and Alvira were born to him and his wife. I was often hired as a baby sitter for the children. After two years of marriage he divorced his wife. I was then fourteen. When I was seventeen he "came a-courtin'." In 1887 when I was eighteen years old, we were married, He worked on the railroad and made a good living. (Through the rest of the story she refers to her husband as "papa".)

Our first child, Bill was born in Evanston on March 23, 1888. A year later we moved to Ogden, Utah. My father and papa took a contract to clear sagebrush and rocks from the land for farming. It was there that May was born in 1890.

Papa was a good hard-working man, but he liked to travel. A year later, we loaded all our belongings into the wagon and moved to Idaho Falls. We lived there with my aunt Naomi Campbell (My father's only sister) until we took out a homestead of one hundred and sixty acres. Besides working and improving his ranch, papa worked in the grist Mill running the engine for grinding the flour.

That winter, there was an Indian uprising. About one hundred and fifty young bucks from the Blackfoot reservation went on the warpath. They rampaged though Snake River Valley. Lucky for us we were on the other side of the river. We could see barns, houses and farms being burned. They killed many people. Papa had joined the home guards in Wyoming and had joined again in Idaho. So he was called along with most of the men to help quiet them down. Before he left he took the children and me to the fort where most of the women and children were. There was about six inches of snow on the ground and it was very cold. We put our two babies in the baby buggy and piled in as many of their warm clothes and blankets as we could. Papa took two ropes and tied them to the front of the buggy, making a harness. He pulled and I pushed. It was all we could do to get it through the snow. As we neared the fort, the people thought we were Indians using this as a trick to get inside. They had their guns on us until someone recognized papa.

I stayed in the fort three weeks. When papa came back, he had a bullet wound across the back of his neck where a bullet had grazed the flesh. It was a nasty sore for a long time. He carried a scar for the rest of his life. He always enjoyed showing the scar and telling the children how he was wounded in the Indian war.

We hadn't been home very long when my sister Lucy came to visit me. We were sitting out in the shade of the cabin one afternoon when suddenly a big buck Indian stepped out in front of us. We were terrified. But he soon made us realize he was hungry and wanted something to eat. The day before I had cooked a big pot of beans and during the night they had soured. That morning I had set them out on a bench by the side of the house so papa could feed them to the pigs. As soon as he spotted the pot of beans he sat down and started to eat. I tried to tell him that they would make him sick, but he paid no attention. When he had eaten about half of them, he jumped up and started whoopin' and hollerin' and jumping up and down - doing a regular Indian war dance. I thought he had a stomach ache and was sick. Again I was terrified - I had visions of him dying there in my yard and the whole Indian tribe bearing down on us for revenge. But after a few minutes he sat down and started to eat again. When they were nearly gone he jumped up, gave a loud yell and took off across the prairie as fast as he could run!. That was the last we ever saw of him!

One day three men came riding down the road - two of them stopped at our gate, the third one came up to my door. He had a terrible wound on his hand. It looked as though half his thumb had been shot off, but he said he had done it with his knife. He wanted me to bandage it for him. I started to wrap it with a clean white cloth when he told me to put something on it so the bandage would not stick. I told him I didn't have anything to use. He said, "go to the barn and get some axle grease." All the way to the barn and back, Bill and May were clinging to my skirts and crying.

He took the grease and rubbed it all over his hand. When I was through bandaging it and started to tie it up, he said, "don't tie it - I want you to sew it on so it can't come off." When I came back with a needle and black thread, he said, "No - get some white thread." I told him it was the black thread or none at all, because that's all I had. I sewed it on good and tight. He thanked me and the three men rode off down the road.

That night when papa came home from the grist mill, he said, "you know, mama, I saw a terrible sight on my way home. Three men were hanging from a tree. The funny thing is - one of them had his hand all bandaged up and it was sewn on with black thread." Later we learned they had stolen the horses they were riding. They were caught and hung. Papa always found pleasure in reminding me I had been good to a horse thief.

In 1891, I lost a pair of twins and nearly my life. That day started out like all the rest. I was up early to get papa off to work. Although I was well into my ninth month and was expecting my baby at any time, I felt good. I worked fast that morning and caught up on a lot of extra little jobs I had been putting off. About mid-morning I found we were out of drinking water. Papa had dug a small ditch and channeled water past our house for our household use and our stock, but all our drinking water had to be carried from the main stream which was a good block away. I locked Bill and May in the yard and hurried across the sand with a big bucket. Just as I stooped down to scoop up the water, I heard a terrible scream from the children. For a moment I was paralyzed - all I could think of was Indians. The children were still screaming. As I lifted the heavy bucket of water from the stream a terrible pain shot through my body. Before I could scramble up the bank and run across the sand to where I could see the children, I had several hard pains. The children were alright - they were running around the yard screaming at the top of their voices, having a gay old time. I was so relieved I sank to the ground. Another awful pain ripped through my body and I knew my baby was coming. I still had about a half block to go and I still had that bucket of water. Subconsciously I guess I knew I would need it. I was so afraid I wouldn't make it back to the house. I remember going through the gate and locking it and telling Bill not to go out of the yard for anything.

Soon, my babies were born - I passed out. The next thing I knew my mother and brother were helping me into the house. My mother had become worried about me and had ridden out from Idaho Falls to see if I was alright. I am sure they saved my life. My "baby" turned out to be twins. They both smothered to death before my mother arrived. Papa and I felt badly about losing our babies but I was young and strong and it wasn't long before I was well again.

Lucy was born the following year, 1892. After her birth I was sick and run down. The doctor told us to move to Oregon. We turned our homestead back to the government and sold our improvements to the people who took it over. Again we loaded our wagon with our children and worldly possessions and started out.

We hadn't been on the road many days when I realized I did not have the right kind of heavy pots to cook in over a campfire. I told papa that if I only had a big Dutch oven I could bake biscuits, potatoes and even bake bread. That night when we made camp alongside a pile of rocks that had been used for a campstove, there lay a big cast iron Dutch oven and lid. Papa was so excited - he said, "Come look Mama, your prayers have been answered."

At American Falls we met a family by the name of Davis. They were in trouble. Mrs. Davis was about to have a baby and Mr. Davis had been blinded by poison ivy. Their horses had run away. We stayed and helped them until they were able to travel. They were headed for Santa Rosa, Calif., and we decided to go with them. It was early September and we wanted to get over the Sierra Nevada Mountains before winter set in. We followed the old Immigrant Trail. It was a long, hard trip. When we came to a settlement, we would find out how many miles it was to the next one. We planned for our food and water accordingly. When we ran out of money we sold papa's watch and a gold trophy that I prized very dearly, and all the rest of our belongings that we did not need that was of any worth.

The first part of our trip had gone pretty smoothly. But by November we had nothing more to sell. We were out of money and our food supply was nearly gone. It had been a long time since we passed through the last settlement and we had seen no one. We were worried. It was getting cold, and we were hitting some of the early winter storms. To make matters worse - Mrs. Davis was ailing, we knew her baby could come at any time. We felt sure we were getting close to some little town because we had seen cattle grazing here and there along the road. Although we were practically without food we were afraid to kill one. The penalty for stealing cattle was hanging! Each day brought new anxiety and fear.

Then came day a cowboy rode into camp...right away he could see what a bad fix we were in. He told us he was working for a big ranch that was about five or six days travel ahead of us. If we could just hold out until we reached there, he was sure they would help us out.

He gave us permission to kill a beef, but this turned out to be bad for us, as we all ate too much of the fresh meat. It gave us diarrhea and made us so sick we couldn't travel for a day or so. We have just started out again when Mrs. Davis went into labor. She had a long hard confinement with nothing to help her. To make matters worse we were even low on water. It was the first baby I had ever helped deliver. It was a bad experience for me - one I have never forgotten. We knew Mrs. Davis needed a day or so to rest but we were afraid to wait. All we had left was some flour and very little of that, so we kept going.

When we finally reached the ranch, two or three days later, we were in a mighty bad way. After we set up our camp, papa and Mr. Davis went to the house to ask for help. The foreman told them they did not have supplies to give us. But they would give us enough food for our supper and we could replenish our water supply and spend the night. Papa was heartsick, he knew we couldn't make it to Santa Rosa without help. He hated to come back to camp and tell me the sad news. But papa didn't know we had callers while he was gone. A bunch of the cowboys had seen our camp and stopped to see what we were doing there. Something told me to show them our tiny baby. They were amazed and crowded in to see it. It was the first newborn baby some of them had ever seen. They left before papa and Mr. Davis came back.

We were stunned by the news our men brought back to us. How could we leave without food for our children, and we knew we would have to move on if they said to because we were trespassing on their property. That evening we were sitting around our campfire trying to console each other, trying to find a way, when we saw a group of people coming to our camp. I believe it was every ranch hand on the place. The men who had been in our camp that afternoon had spread the story of our little newborn baby. When the foreman heard, he filled two big wheelbarrows with grub and was bringing it to us. They all wanted to see the baby. Once again I brought it from the wagon and they all crowded around to see. One cowboy passed his hat through the crowd and said, "Come on fellows, let's dig down and help this little baby out." When he put the money down in front of us there was quite a few dollars. I have forgotten now just how much it was. We stayed there a couple of days, then we traveled on. We still had a long way to go. The baby died three months later.

We arrived in Santa Rosa six weeks later, just before Christmas. We had been three and one-half months on the road and traveled over 1,000 miles. We camped on the Santa Rosa Creek. Our money was gone and we had very little food left.

Christmas morning papa went out to hunt some kind of wild life. While he was gone the good ladies from the near-by church brought us our Christmas dinner.

Papa soon found work in a second-hand store repairing stoves His salary was ten dollars a week. A year later in 1894, George was born. Soon after, Papa became a partner in the store and in the next two years we saved enough to buy a home.

When Eva was born in 1896, she came two months early and weighed only three pounds. She was so tiny and weak, I fashioned a self-designed incubator for her. I made a deep pad of cotton in a carton box, then placed my baby between two big rolls of cotton covered with outing flannel. I put bottles of very warm water in the cotton. This way, her bed was kept at about the same temperature and I could keep her warm.

She was so weak I had to squeeze the milk from my breasts and feed her drop-by-drop until she was strong enough to nurse. When she was three months old, papa could put her head in the palm of his hand and her feet would barely reach his elbow. When she was only about six months old, papa got itchy feet again and wanted to move. I shed tears over leaving my home, but we decided to move to Gold Hill, Oregon. We weren't there very long when we got word from my mother and stepfather. They were going to try their luck at gold mining and wanted us to go with them. Papa couldn't say no. We met them at Red Bluff and traveled together to the Rogue River where we made camp. The men set up their mine and worked long and hard for the gold they found. It was barely enough to keep us alive. We suffered from the cold and endured many hardships, and I was pregnant again with my sixth child. Finally we saved enough for a grub stake to take us over the mountains to Crescent City. Papa went to work in a sawmill and we moved into one of the company houses. There Clara was born in 1898.

My older children were old enough to go to school, but we were so poor I couldn't get clothes for them. When the teacher found out why they were not attending school, she brought me a big bag of bleached flour sacks. By hand, I made clothes for them, and they started to school. Bill was sure a funny sight in his flour sack pants.

We lived in Crescent City four years. Papa left the sawmill and bought a saloon. He made more money here than we had ever had before. Papa liked the life but I didn't. One night he came home in high spirits and filled my lap with money. I became so angry I told him that this was no life for our children and the new one we expected soon. If he didn't sell the saloon, I would burn it down and all of Crescent City with it. I guess he believed me, because he sold out and we moved to Waldo, Oregon. We took out another homestead. Here Frank was born in 1902.

When Spring came, papa was restless. He bought a photograph tent and camera and all summer he traveled from town to town taking pictures. I stayed on the ranch. I had a neighbor close enough to visit with - our homesteads bordered each other's. We found a great deal of pleasure in each other's company and our children were playmates. While papa was gone, our children had smallpox. An epidemic swept through the country. It was so bad, pest houses were built by the county in order to control it. All those with the disease was supposed to be taken there as soon as possible. We were afraid they would take our children from us, we decided to tell no one they were sick. Many times we were afraid we weren't going to pull them through. But with God's help they were nearly well by the time Papa came home.

Again he wanted to move on. Again we turned our homestead back to the government and moved back to Crescent City. We stayed with my mother and stepfather through the winter. In the spring we started down the coast to Sonoma County.

In Cloverdale papa got a contract to go into the mountains to strip tan bark off the trees. At that time they used this bark for tanning hides. Papa hired several men to help him. We were there over a year. This was hard work for me. I did all the cooking for the men besides taking care of my growing family. Early in the spring I knew I was going to have another baby. As the summer of 1904 wore on, I was anxious to get out of the mountains. I knew my time was near. Papa had engaged a doctor in Cloverdale but we waited too long - I went into labor as soon as we started to travel. Every jolt of the wagon brought on a pain. When I could go no farther we pitched our tent on the banks of the Russian River near Healdsburg. The younger children were very concerned about me. They couldn't understand why I was so sick. To make me feel better, Eva and Clara brought me two big pears they found on a near-by tree. I told them to lay the pears on my pillow, then run on to bed and in the morning they would find a little baby in their place! During the night, Papa, with the help of Bill and May delivered a little baby we named Ruby.

We stayed there two weeks then we moved on down the coast. On the way we had a narrow escape. Going down a steep grade the wheel of the wagon broke. It threw the wagon against a bank and Lucy fell out under the horses' feet. One of them kicked her in the chest. She was badly hurt. It took her a long time to get well. Many years later her chest was X-rayed. They found a perfect print of a horse's hoof on her breast bone. The shock of the accident and birth of my baby was too much for me. It was days before I could travel on.

In the spring we found five acres of property we wanted to buy in Elverano. It had a small rough cabin and a prune orchard on it. We used what money we had for a down payment. We knew we would need a water well and a bigger house, so we went back to Santa Rosa where papa and the children worked on big ranches, picking up potatoes, picking hops and grapes. I was busy canning fruit for the winter.

Finally we had enough money. We moved into the little cabin. Papa built bunk beds across one end for the children, then he dug a well and put up a windmill. Next he built a barn and we bought a cow. Then he started the house. Besides helping papa and caring for my family, I found time to plant a vegetable garden and some fruit trees, and to beautify my yard with flowers.

It was an early morning in April, 1906. We were still in bed. all of a sudden there was a loud rumble --- the cabin began to shake --- the door flew open. We could see the prune trees whipping the ground, we knew it was an earthquake. We had felt quakes before, but never one like this. We could see our windmill and water tank going in circle. We were afraid they would topple over. We told the children to lie still and not be afraid. It completely destroyed San Francisco fifty miles away.

As the summer passed, I was anxious to get settled in our new home and get my bedroom ready for the baby I was expecting in the late fall. This was the home I had dreamed of. Two big bedrooms, a kitchen and a big parlor with a veranda across the front and one side. Later we added two more bedrooms, a bathroom, enlarged the kitchen and built a pantry. It was one of the nicest homes in the valley. Erving was born here in November, 1906.

When my baby was a year old, papa heard the railroad was building a spur to a big coal mine through Stone Canyon, just out of Soledad. Again we needed money for our growing family. Papa applied for a job and was hired as a construction foreman. We closed up our home and this time we moved by train to Soledad. We rented a house for me and the children, and papa went on the road with his men.

After Carl was born in 1908, I moved to Chancellor, where I was employed by the railroad to run a boarding house for about one hundred of their men. This was a hard, full time job of cooking and cleaning for me and every child that was old enough to help. But it was extra money and we were with papa.

After the job was finished we moved back to our home in Elverano and papa went to work in a lumber yard. A year or so later, I received word that my stepfather had died. My mother was alone. I knew she needed me so I left for Crescent City as soon as I could , leaving my older children to take care of my younger ones. I took the train from Elverano to Grants Pass, then a stage coach over the mountains to Crescent City. I was the only passenger, so I rode a good deal of the way up with the driver. He was a young man early in his twenties. I told him about my family when I mentioned Bill, he said, "Mrs. Block, I thought I knew you." "I have been in your home many times. I went to school with Bill in Crescent City." This made me feel good, I knew I was safe with this young man.

Early in the evening we could see storm clouds gathering. At midnight we reached the half-way station, changed horses and started out again. It wasn't long before it started to storm - it got so dark we couldn't see the road. The driver said the safest way was to drop the lines and let the horses find their own way. It was a long and fearful night, but the driver used good judgement...the horses stayed on the road. We arrived in Crescent City the next day.

I found my mother too sick to be left alone, so I started to make preparations to take her home with me. I learned that the first automobile stage was making it first trip from Crescent City to Grants Pass in about three weeks. I decided to wait for it ... thinking it would be an easier trip for my mother. But it turned out to be just the opposite. The drivers were not used to handling the motor driven stage, especially over the steep, narrow mountain roads. Every time we would come to an extra steep grade or sharp turn, all the passengers would get out and walk. It seemed to me we walked over half the way. Many times my mother was so sick the men would carry her. We finally reached Grants Pass and from there we took a train to Elverano.

My mother settled easily into the routine of my family. For the next few years it was a constant struggle to keep up with the work and the great demands of my family. But we enjoyed many good times, together. Each summer we would put our tent and children into the wagon and go to the hops and grape fields. This was like a family outing and we all looked forward to it. Papa and the children made enough money to buy our winter clothes and supplies. There was always plenty of fruit to be had, just for the picking. I made sure I canned plenty to last us through the winter.

During this time May and George were married. Along with his job in the lumber yard, papa took over the movie house. It was called the "Elverano Villa". He showed movies three times a week. In the way of advertising the children rode through the streets in a cart calling out "Movies tonight in the Elverano Villa". This was great fun for them and I am sure they were the envy of most of the kids in town.

My life began to get easier. My older children were good to help me, taking over much of the care of my younger ones. Bill had a good job and gave me most of his wages to help us out. Papa was making a fair living for us and was more settled. But every so often he would take off on one of his gold mining trips, using what little money we had managed to save. He was always on the verge of striking something big and was sure the next time would be it. He usually took some of the children with him and a couple of times he even talked me into going. Although they very often suffered from the cold, looked like little ragged orphans, ate wild game, fish, and any wild food they could find when their supplies ran out, they were always anxious to go with him. They all have wonderful memories and can tell some pretty fantastic stories about papa and his gold mining trips.

I had a nice home and enjoyed working in my yard. I had a nice vegetable garden and prune orchard. I can still see and hear my children as they gathered around papa on the steps of the veranda on warm summer evenings and around the big kitchen stove on cold winter nights -singing songs and listening to his many stories. I was content to sit in my rocker, busy with my ever-growing basket of mending.

Then tragedy stuck. It was about 4:00 a.m. one morning. We were awakened by screams and a terrible commotion. Papa and I jumped out of bed and ran through the kitchen toward the bedrooms. Coming down the hall was a mass of flames. Clara was screaming, I thought she was on fire. I fainted dead away. My mother had tipped the kerosene lantern over, saturating the top of her nightclothes in oil, making a human torch of herself. In her panic she started to run . Papa stopped her, ripping her nightgown from her. Eva had grabbed a blanket from her bed, with this they smothered the flames. She was terribly burned. The flesh fell from her breasts and the cords in her neck tightened until they almost choked her. I sat by her bedside day and night, but there was little I could do to relieve her suffering. For months every morning the doctor would come. I would go to the chicken coop and get the fresh laid eggs and while they were still warm he would peel off the fine inner skin and with a tweezer, drop tiny little pieces on the open burns. If it took, the skin would start to grow. After many months her body finally healed but she never recovered from the shock of it. She was a constant care for me until she died in 1929.

I was now forty-six years old. Clara had gotten married and I was six times a grandmother, when to my utter disbelief I realized I was pregnant again. I was heartsick - this just couldn't be! Carl would be seven years old before it was born. Papa felt bad for me but thought another baby would be wonderful. He said, "This will be the one that will be a comfort to us in our old age." There was nothing else for me to do but make the best of it and agree with him.

Maxwell, our eleventh and last child was born on April 24, 1916. Just one day after my 47th birthday. The first time I held him in my arms I offered a prayer and asked God to let me live long enough to raise him to manhood. My prayers were answered and I have been blessed to live to enjoy his grandchildren. Soon after his birth, we nicknamed him "Chubby". He has always been a great joy and blessing to me which all of my children have been.

Just before Chub was born the man who owned the lumber yard papa was working for passed away. Papa thought it would be a real good investment to take it over. We mortgaged our home to buy more stock and improve the business. After just a few months we knew Papa just couldn't make a go of it. When Chub was six months old, we lost our home. This was a great disappointment for me. I hated the thought of uprooting my family, leaving our good friends and above all, my home that I had worked so hard for. But I was never one to fuss over something that was done so again, I made the best of it.

Once again Papa turned to the railroad for work. Because of his ability to speak Mexican and Chinese they sent him to Los Angeles to run the section gang. With the exception of Bill who had a good job and wanted to stay in Elverano, the railroad shipped our family and most of our belongings to Los Angeles on a boat called "Rose City". This was a new experience for my children. We were three days on the water and believe me, my boys gave both me and the Captain some anxious moments.

It was hard to find a house to rent with my big family. The first three houses we rented were just on the outskirts of the city. Each time we were asked to move because my boys were so wild and destructive. They had never been cooped up on a small city lot with nothing to do but get into mischief. I knew I had to find a home for them where they would have chores to do, where they could swim, hunt, fish and play. But where would I ever get the money to find such a place? Our living expenses were so much higher here. I had always had a nice vegetable garden and a few chickens, but here, everything we ate had to be bought out of papa's paycheck, plus our rent. We could hardly make ends meet. I felt it was all so hopeless.

Then a way was opened up. My stepfather had been a veteran of the Civil War. My mother had applied for a widow's pension from the government. Her claim had been accepted and she received $500.00 back pay. She gave it to me to buy a home with.

I went to East Los Angeles because it was the new part of the city being developed. It was all open country with large dairy and produce farms. Stevenson Avenue was the only road from Los Angeles to the city of Whittier. It was later changed to Whittier Boulevard. Indiana was the end of the street car line. There was also a small shopping center, mainly a grocery store and bakery shop. For more than that, we had to go to the city of Los Angeles to shop. The last row of houses was Downey Road. The street was paved to there. Then it narrowed down to a two-way dirt road. There was a large dairy ranch where Belvedere Gardens is today. Here and there a county lane crossed Stevenson Avenue leading out into the open country.

Montebello was a small oil town with a few houses, stores and business offices along the main street. Then it was country again until you came to the little town of Whittier.

We found two pieces of property to consider. One, a large frame boarding house close to the corner of Indiana and Whittier Blvd. But we decided on the new home on Bonnie Beach. The price was one thousand, six hundred dollars. The yard was big enough to have a few chickens, a pig and my much needed vegetable garden. But most important of all, here was the country life my boys were used to. They soon found the swimming holes, the fishing streams, the jack rabbit trails and friends that have lasted through the years.

After we were settled in our new home, it wasn't long before papa wanted to go on one of his gold mining trips. I told him I wasn't leaving this home. He could go any time he wanted and stay as long as he wanted, but when he was ready to come back I would always be here waiting for him. As the years passed his trips became fewer and shorter but he never lost his desire to go. He stayed with the railroad until the depression. In 1931 he was laid off and never went back.

Soon after we came to Los Angeles, Eva and Lucy went into a hospital for training in obstetric nursing. They met many new friends, among them was a young girl named Emma Hurd. She was invited to spend a weekend with us. It was just one of many, she fit so well it wasn't long before she seemed to be part of my family.

Early in the year of 1917, Bill decided to come to Los Angeles. He was homesick for the family and wanted to be with me for my birthday. When papa found out Bill was coming, he said to Emma, "My boy from up north is coming home and I am going to give you my good Will." Papa must have had a feeling about them, because they fell in love at first sight and were married three months later. Thus Emma became mine and she has never left me.

She has stayed by my side through sorrow and sickness and we have shared many moments of happiness together. She has loved and been loved by every child in the family. She will always have my love and gratitude for the tender loving care she gave to Lucy during the last years of her life.

You can read in the Bible in the book of Ruth, another story of love between a daughter and mother-in-law such as this. Where Ruth tells her mother-in-law, Naomi, "Where thou goest, I shall go and where thou dwellest, I shall dwell. Your people shall be my people and I shall cleave unto thee." And so it is with Emma.

Later in the year of 1917, United States entered World War I. This brought anxieties and worries to all of us. Bill was drafted and spent three months at Camp Kearney. He became a machine gunner and had his orders to be sent to Siberia when the war ended in 1918.

In 1919, Lucy lost her husband with influenza during the terrible epidemic that swept through the country after the war. It left her with asthma which she suffered from for the rest of her life. She and her baby Billy, just one year old, came home to live with me. She was a good manager and took over many of my household problems. Although her health was a constant worry to me, our life was good and the years passed quickly.

In 1923 we built a small cottage in the rear, and I had to give up my vegetable garden. The city was building up and closing in around us and we could no longer have our pigs and chickens. In their place, papa built me a big bird aviary. I devoted a lot of my time to raising canaries. I had a good strain of German Rollers and I did quite a business selling my singers. I have always loved working in my yard. I found pride and pleasure seeing it well-kept and in bloom. Papa always said they named me just right - Diana - meaning Goddess of Flowers.

By the time the depression of the early 1930's started, my family was all married except Chub who was in high school. Although this was a bad time for most people, it brought my family closer together. As one by one the boys lost their jobs, they turned to Lucy who received a monthly pension as a fireman's widow, for help. Erving and Devona moved in with Frank and Jennie in the rear house. George and Irene with Ruby and Louis, who had their little house across the street. Bill and Emma built an apartment over the garage. To make ends meet, we all ate at the same table. For many months there were twenty-one of us. After George and Irene moved it was reduced to sixteen. Any money or commodities that was brought in was turned over to Lucy. She ran my home like a United Order ... one for all, all for one, and we shared with many of our neighbors and friends. Although we had no money to spend for comforts and pleasures we were happy and well fed. It was a great joy to me to see my children live together under such trying circumstances in peace and harmony. By the latter part of 1934 our boys had found work and our lives were back to normal again.

In 1936 we lost George. He was killed by a freak bolt of lightning while vacationing in Yosemite National Park. It was a great shock to me any my family but I felt it was an act of God, and you don't doubt the Lord.

In 1937 Papa and I celebrated our Golden Wedding Anniversary. It was a wonderful party in Montebello Park. My family and friends came from far and near. Although George was missing, I had much to be thankful for and I was blessed.

1941....(Here Mother hesitated, leaned back in her chair, gave a deep sigh and said to me, " I have told you how I had my children and how I raised them. Now I want you to tell you how I lost them.

I, too, sat back in my chair. I looked through this home that she has made for her family for more than fifty years. It's so much a part of her personality. The self-designed handmade crocheted lace curtains that hang at the windows. The handhooked rugs on the floor, the handmade doilies, sofa pillows and even the bouquet of crocheted calla lillies that sit on the coffee table that Grandpa Block made so many years ago. The many family pictures that hang on the walls span more than a hundred years, each one of them are dear to her heart.

What memories there are of this home! Both happy and sad. Weddings, birthdays, reunions and family parties. Death has been experienced many times - Carl in 1941, Bill in 1942, Frank in 1943, Papa in 1944, May in 1945 and Lucy in 1953.

The sorrow of losing her children broke her heart, but did not dim her faith in God. She said, "I knew when he gave them to me they were mine only until he wanted them back and I am grateful for the years they were mine."

Because she accepted death as a way of life, her joy for the newborn has been multiplied. I remember the day she anxiously stood beside the bed in the front bedroom and waited for the doctor to put my first-born in her arms. This was only one of several that had entered the world in this room. But regardless where they were born, each grandchild, and there are twenty-three in all, brought a new joy into her life.

Time is a precious gift to her and idleness is a sin. She has no patience with a lazy person. She is always making useful and beautiful things for our homes. Gifts for weddings, birthdays and baby showers are never bought from a store - her family loves her handmade presents.

Each year she makes dozens of Christmas gifts. Young or old, married or single, every member of her family is remembered. I am sure there is no one else that has a Christmas Eve like Grandma Block's. It will long be remembered in the hearts of her family. She said, "It started way back when the children were little and it just kept on growing with the family" - until now the house can hardly hold all that gathers. Each family brings a big box of gifts, one each for all the little ones - and you are considered little until you are married! The big boxes are put under the Christmas tree that stands all decorated and glittering in the front of the window. All the children gather in the living room and anxiously wait for Santa Claus. When all is ready the lights are dimmed and you hear his whistle. Aunt Ruby peeks out to make sure he is there, then she opens the door. There is excitement, laughter and even tears. Santa talks to all the children, gives the youngest one his horn (which is now cherished as a keepsake by the parents) gives Grandma Block a kiss, waves goodbye and leaves as mysteriously as he came. Then the presents are passed out. Each child leaves with a box of toys - thoroughly convinced that Grandma Block's Santa is the best one in the whole world.

In July 1956, through the genealogy and Temple work of the Mormon Church, we were united with Alvira, Grandpa's youngest daughter from his first marriage. She was seventy years old. We learned she had been given up for adoption when she was two years old. It was only in recent years she had found out about her sister, who had passed away, and her real father's name. It was a wonderful experience for all of us. Grandma held out her arms and Alvira found the mother she had been looking for all of her life!

Later that same year, when Mother was eighty-eight years old, she was baptized by her two grandsons, Louis Block and William Howard, and became a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Although she was unaware of it, she has lived the principles of the Gospel all her life!

In the thirty-six years that I have had the good fortune of being a member of her family, I have never heard her raise her voice in anger, never heard her speak ill of a single person. In sickness and in sorrow I have never heard her complain.

I have seen her give food to the hungry, open her home and heart to the needy, nurse the sick, exercise her faith in God and be a friend to all who passed her way. She has lived and taught her children to live by the Golden Rule.

On the twenty-third of April 1967, we will celebrate her ninety-ninth birthday. It has become and annual celebration for her family and friends. The house will be decorated and mother in her brightly colored birthday dress will be the center of attraction.

After the party is over and all the friends, the grandchildren, the great-grandchildren and the great-great grandchildren have left, her children will gather around her and together they will read the beautiful birthday cards she will receive. In their hearts they will wish that moments like this could be repeated forever, but they know this is impossible.

I am sure then the hour comes and Mother passes from this life, it will be with the same deep faith and with the same prayer on her lips that she has uttered so many times before:

"Not mine, dear Lord, but Thy will be done."

This history was found at and there are some historic photos there as well.

Oldies but goodies

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