The dressings on Mother’s cancer had to be changed every little while as it was constantly draining. She was in so much pain all the time that her ordinary pleasant disposition was sometimes very difficult to satisfy and I tried hard to do whatever she wanted or to get whatever she needed. Father and the older boys had to be away most of the time making a living. Thinning, weeding and topping beets and most any other kind of work they could do to keep the family together and all healthy. In spite of our efforts after Mother died, Verl was adopted out to the Bishop Perry family and I went into the fields and worked with the rest of the family. So besides caring for the needs of the younger children, Dad and the housework, I was thinning, hoeing and weeding and topping beets with the rest of them.
There was time, now and then, for me to spend with my friends and to enjoy the out of doors. I loved the hills around where we lived and I loved to hike and tramp around these hills. We used to go over to where Indians had lived long ago and inspect the writings that we found on the cliffs there. I have often showed my children and grandchildren these same cliffs and hills and caves that I enjoyed so much as a young girl and lady. They seemed to enjoy exploring them as much as I did. I also enjoyed horseback riding.
In 1924 Dad and I went on a trip to California. The change was good for us and we enjoyed it very much. As we went over the California border we had a sack of oranges with us and they wouldn’t allow us to take them into the state, so we peeled them all and sat there in the car and ate every one of them. I didn’t think I could eat another orange as long as I lived. But I still enjoy them.
In the spring of 1925 after thinning beets until the season was over we decided to go to Harlem, Montana and work for the season and then come back to Utah. But instead of coming back to Utah we rented the Amos Everett Ranch about six and a half miles east of Harlem, Blaine Co., Montana. We farmed 160 acres of ground and as usual I did my share of work in the fields. We thinned, topped and worked in the beets. We also had about 1500 chickens which were my responsibility. The boys did the chore of keeping the coops clean and most of the manual work pertaining to their care and I took care of the rest. Sometimes my work in the house made it impossible for me to do much with the chickens. At these times the boys would fill in and take care of them for me. I appreciated this help very much.
Dad was a good provider and he tried hard to be one with us in going out to dances and socials and etc. He was anxious to see that we all had good times. I was very much afraid of my father and tried awfully hard to do whatever he wanted.
It was while we lived on the Amos Everett ranch that we all went to Church in the LDS Chapel which was 3 ½ miles west of Harlem. We had a nice old chapel, one large room divided into classrooms by curtains. Albert L. Johnson was Branch President with Angus Young and Chris Stuker as counselors and A. Lorenzo Stoddard as Branch Clerk. They asked me to work as a Counselor in the YWMIA with Martha Southwick as President and Alma Turner as 1st Counsellor. Mary Stoddard was the secretary/treasurer.
We had many enjoyable meetings in this little old chapel. It used to be a recreation hall out in the hills northeast of Harlem which our Branch bought. They cut it in two and moved it into the valley and out on the corner of the Jake Everett farm. They put it back together and fixed it up for a meeting place which was used for about twenty years. There was an old-fashioned pot-bellied stove at one end of the building which kept it plenty warm, even on the coldest of days.
I was blessed with a fair singing voice and was called upon quite often to sing in various programs. I enjoyed this very much. Some of my favorite songs were: “The Prisoner’s Song” – “’Twas a Cold Stormy Night” – “What’s the Use of Being Good” – among others. My favorite Christmas song was “Star of the East” which I often sang. I had quite a collection of music but during one of the spring runoff floods of the Milk River I lost all of it which made me very unhappy. Some of the music was not replaceable.
While we were living on the Amos Everett place the family went to a dance in Zurich which was about twenty miles away. We went in the old Ford car. I had become pretty well acquainted with the young people of the area and when a man came up to me and asked for a dance I told him I didn’t know him and I didn’t dance with strangers. Soon a friend, Bert Murphy, came and asked me if I would like to meet a young man and he introduced me to David William Rowley from Lohman, Montana. Lo and behold, this was the same young man who had invited me to dance. He asked around until he found someone who knew me and asked him to introduce us. Well, after this proper introduction I accepted a dance with him and was very much impressed with him, however I didn’t see him again for a long time. Dave told his brother Emerson that night that he had met his future wife.
Sometime later our agricultural field agent came to see us about our farm practices and he was invited to have dinner with us. We all knew Brother Barnes, the field agent, but the man that was with him was Hugh T. Rowley and a stranger. Upon introduction and hearing the name Rowley, I asked if he knew Dave and come to find out he was Dave’s father. I also found out that Dave taught a Sunday School class in the Chinook Branch. At that time though, he was working back in the hills on Clear Creek on the Morrison & Butler farms. Just before I was to serve dinner I discovered I was out of butter and not knowing what to do I put some food coloring in some shortening and passed it off as butter and no one ever knew the difference. This was in the early spring of 1926.
The Rowley’s rented the Colgrove place that spring and moved to Harlem and started to go to the Harlem Branch to Church. I became very well acquainted with Verda, Dave’s only sister. Verda later became the wife of Bert Murphy, the friend who had introduced me to Dave. Verda and I became good friends and I enjoyed her company very much. Dave wasn’t with the family when they moved to Harlem. He was still working on the Morrison & Butler farms. The farms were located about 14 miles southwest of Chinook, Montana and Chinook was about 20 miles from Harlem. It was a large sheep and hay ranch.
Well, My Dad and the boys got the crops in that Spring, mostly beets and potatoes. The crop did very well and the chickens started to lay early and that really helped us in paying our expenses. In May, Dave came home from the Ranch and helped his folks put in their crops and then went back to put up hay for Morrison and Butler. While he was in the valley though, we went out on several dates. With Verda and I as good friends and Leonard and Francis who became good friends we had some very good times together.
I had a lot of responsibility caring for my Mother’s family and I learned to be a hard and fast worker in all I had to do. I cooked and cared for the family and our hired help. One time one of the men made a remark in town that all they had for breakfast at Alcorn’s place was a prayer and cereal. The word got back to me so the next morning all I put on the table was cereal and as usual we had our morning prayer. The hired man asked if that was all we were going to eat and I repeated to him what he had told the fellows in town a few days before, that man learned a good lesson and we all had a good laugh.
To be continued…
Aleene Sumsion – Daughter-in-Law: Son Ralph’s (34) wife
Archie Harold Alcorn 97) – Brother
Bert Lund Murphy – Brother-in-Law: Sister-in-Law Verda’s (88) husband
Cheryl Jeanette Smith (12) – Granddaughter: Daughter Grace’s (10) daughter
Clark Alcorn (91) – Father
Clayton Alcorn Rowley (35) – Son
Coral Lorraine Bolton (28) – Son-in-Law’s Mother: Donald’s (9) mother
David Alcorn Rowley (32) – Son
David Lenn Judkins – Grandson: Daughter Marjorie’s (36) son
David William Rowley (30) – Husband
Deon Eugene Judkins – Grandson: Daughter Marjorie’s (36) son
Dollie Cook – Wife of Maternal Uncle: James Jr’s (228) wife
Donald Eugene Smith (9) – Son-in-Law: Daughter Grace’s (10) husband
Donald Eugene Smith Jr (11) – Grandson: Daughter Grace’s (10) son
Donna Diane Smith (13) – Granddaughter: Daughter Grace’s (10) daughter
Douglas Alcorn Rowley (33) – Son
Dwain Eugene Judkins – Son-in-Law: Daughter Marjorie’s (36) husband
Dwana Kay Judkins – Granddaughter: Daughter Marjorie’s (36) daughter
Emerson Adis Rowley (89) – Brother-in-Law: Husband David’s (30) brother
Erma Thornton – Sister-in-Law: Brother-in-Law Emerson’s (89) wife
Fannie Marie Weaver (Aunt Fannie) (229) – Maternal Aunt: Mother Harriet’s (92) sister
Grace Davis (86) – Mother-in-Law
Grace Harriet Rowley (10) – Daughter
Grant Alcorn Rowley (39) – Son
Hannah Davis (210) – Husband’s Maternal Aunt: Mother-in-Law Grace’s (86) sister
Harriet Ann Weaver (92) – Mother
Hugh Alcorn Rowley (37) – Son
Hugh Francis Rowley (87) – Brother-in-Law: Husband David’s (30) brother
Hugh Thompson Rowley (85) – Father-in-Law
James Albert Weaver Jr (228) – Maternal Uncle: Mother Harriet’s (92) brother
James Sheldon Nelson Sr – Wife of Maternal Aunt: Fannie’s (229) husband
Jesse Verl Alcorn (99) – Brother
Joe Ben Smith (27) – Son-in-Law’s: Donald’s (9) father
John Joseph Everhard – Son-in-Law’s: Donald’s (9) stepfather
Joseph Lorenzo Alcorn (96) – Brother
Karen Andrea Goe – Niece: Maternal Aunt Melva’s (98) daughter
Kurtis Wayne Rowley – Grandson: Son Ralph’s (34) son
Leonard Clark Alcorn (93) – Brother
Lillian Alcorn (31) – Self
Lillian Lorraine Smith (3) – Granddaughter: Daughter Grace’s (10) daughter
Margaret Jeanette Alcorn (224) – Paternal Aunt: Father Clark ‘s (91) sister
Marjorie Ann Rowley (36) – Daughter
Marjorie Elizabeth Snyder – Son-in-Law’s Stepmother: Donald’s (9) stepmother
Marvin Ballard Alcorn (95) – Brother
Mary Catherine Hammons (218) – Paternal Grandmother: Father Clark’s (91) mother
Mary Francis Alcorn – Cousin: Brother Archie’s (97) daughter
Mary Gregory Askins – Sister-in-Law: Brother Archie’s (97) wife
Melva Alcorn (98) – Sister
Myron Nelson – Cousin: Maternal Aunt Fannie’s (229) son
Pamela Rowley – Granddaughter: Son Douglas’ (33) daughter
Ralph Alcorn Rowley (34) – Son
Robert L. Goe – Brother-in-Law: Sister Melva’s (98) 1st husband
Ronald Steven Smith (14) – Grandson: Daughter Grace’s (10) son
Rosina Weaver (Aunt Rose) (469) – Mother Harriet’s (92) maternal aunt
Royal James Rowley (205) – Husband’s Paternal Uncle: Father-in-Law Hugh’s (85) brother
Scott Calvin Rowley – Grandson: Son Douglas’ (33) son
Sharon Lee Rowley (38) – Daughter
Verda May Rowley (88) – Sister-in-Law: Husband David’s (30) sister
Vonna Ensign – Daughter-in-Law: Son Douglas’ (33) wife
Walter Illith Rowley (90) – Brother-in-Law: Husband David’s (30) brother
William Douglas Rowley – Grandson: Son Douglas’ (33) son
William Vernon Alcorn (94) – Brother
William Weaver (457) – Maternal Great-Grandfather: Mother Harriet’s (92) father