It is at times like these that we truly appreciate our friends and loved ones. The comfort they can give to us is good for the soul. We usually take these loved ones and friends for granted and sort of expect them to do certain things, but when we have tragedy come to us they seem to go the extra mile to help us adjust to the problems, and they don’t seem quite as bad as they might otherwise.
It was surely lonely after Sharon was taken away. It seemed to leave a vacancy in our lives that nothing would ever fill. But it seems that time heals all wounds and that many other blessings come and soon such terrible heartaches drift into the background of life and the present becomes more real than the past.
As time went on we decided that we needed an outside entrance into our basement, so Dave proceeded to fix one. At this same time he was able to purchase a used coal furnace for $15 that had been taken out of another house to be replaced with a gas furnace. It was a good furnace and we appreciated it very much. We installed it in the basement with a big register cut into the floor of the living room upstairs. It was so good in the winter as we wouldn’t have to touch it all day long after it had been stoked and banked in the morning. It kept the house warm all day and way into the night. We would take care of it night and morning.
While we were working in the basement, Dave also fixed a large fruit room and a large coal storage bin as well as sleeping facilities for the boys. We set up a washing area in the basement for me, too. So we were quite comfortable in our home. Things take time, but we were accomplishing our goals little by little.
I had been told by doctors that it would be unwise for me to have another baby but my arms ached for a tiny one to fill them, since the loss of Sharon. So against the advice of the doctors, I found myself once again with child. I didn’t have a hard time carrying the baby until the last while. Two weeks before I was to have the baby the doctor put me in the hospital in Havre. I had toxemia and high blood pressure.
On the way to the hospital I had a very strange experience. Of course with my five boys and two girls I was hoping for another girl. In fact all the family were crossing their fingers for a girl, that is except for Clayton. He wanted another brother. Well, as we were driving to Havre, I was saying a silent prayer that My Heavenly Father would grant our desires. As I was praying to myself, a voice said to me as plain as anything could be, “you will have another beautiful boy.” It was such a real thing that I no longer desired a little girl and put my mind at rest knowing I was going to bear a son.
On 26 June 1944 the baby was born and it was a beautiful healthy boy. We named him Grant Alcorn Rowley. I remember that when we called a neighbor on the phone to let the family know, Clayton kept saying, “I told you it would be another boy.” But all the family was thankful it was over and that we had a sweet baby to fill the vacancy left by our lovely Sharon.
Grant was only about four months old when the doctor told us that he also had an allergy and asthma and that if we wanted to save him, we would have to move to a warm, dry climate. So we tentatively decided to rent our farm and sell our stock and equipment and move to Mesa, Arizona.
We had an auction sale for our farm equipment and stock on 16 December 1944 and then prepared to leave when we received a letter from my brother Leonard Alcorn. He lived in El Monte, California. He said that it was hot and dry down there and if we would come there, he would rent us a house and have a job waiting for Dave. So we decided to go to El Monte, California and we rented the farm to Harold Morris and left Harlem in January of 1945.
My Dad had his big truck, so he consented to help us move our belongings. We put our furniture and all our earthly possessions into his big van and Dave fixed a little camper-style back onto a pickup for the boys to ride in and off we went. We stopped along the way to visit relatives and so it took us several days to make the trip. Dave found some big rocks that we would heat and put into the camper to help keep the boys warm until we got out of the cold country.
The first night we stopped at Dillon, Montana where we rented a couple of rooms in a motel. But poor little Grant got asthma so bad, that we thought we were going to lose him there. We were up with him most all night. We left there very early the next morning. It was 20° below zero that morning as we left Dillon. It gradually got warmer the farther south we came.
The next day we went from the cold north to the town where Dave was born, Shelley, Idaho. His Aunt Annie Robinson lived there, and she was gracious and hospitable and prepared beds for us with her that night. We also visited with Dave’s uncle Royal James Rowley where our little son, Hugh, kept us all in stitches with his entertaining stories and jokes.
Our next stop was Brigham City, Utah where we stopped with my Uncle Albert and Aunt Dollie Weaver and enjoyed a visit with some of the Weavers who lived in the area. We spent the night there in Brigham City and then drove on the next day until we arrived in Utah’s Dixieland in Cedar City. We spent the night there with Dave’s Mothers sister, Aunt Hannah Foster. We enjoyed ourselves a lot in such a reunion. I had never met them, and Dave hadn’t seen them since he was about seven years old, so we talked until late hours and really enjoyed ourselves.
We arrived on Garvey Blvd. in El Monte, California about three o’clock in the afternoon on a February day in 1945. We called Leonard right away and he told us that the people who had been living in the house we were supposed to rent had scarlet fever and couldn’t move out. But he had made arrangements for us to move in with some friends until we could rent or buy a house. This proved to be quite a problem. There just didn’t seem to be any homes for rent in the area at all. There were quite a few places for sale, but they required larger down payments than we could give. We would look early in the morning and late in the evening trying to find something. It took us about two weeks before we found one we could even buy with our small down payment.
We did finally find a house that an older couple had built. It wasn’t very well constructed, but it was within our financial reach, so we decided to make the purchase. We signed the contract and made preparations to move in. We had agreed to let the older couple live in one of the rooms of the house for a month. The house was located at 237 S. Meeker Rd. between Garvey and Valley Blvd’s. The house had cement floors and our poor little Grant seemed to get a lot of hard knocks. Every time I turned around he seemed to be falling off something or other; the couch, his high chair or something. The floors were all so uneven and the walls were of insulations board. The ward there met in the Carpenter’s Union Hall about a mile or two away and the family was certainly glad to get going to Church again. The ward was quite different from the small branch we had known in Montana all our lives.
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