History: Grace Davis

These fishing expeditions with her children were very special occasions. Being the wise mother she was, Grace took advantage of the wonderful surroundings to talk to her children about the purposes of life and the importance of doing what was right. The gospel of Jesus Christ meant a great deal to Grace and she wanted her children to learn to love it as she did. She wanted to share her strength and testimony with them and she told them often the many wonderful truths they should know. These wonderful fishing trips stand out in the memories of each of her children more than almost anything else at this time in their lives and the lessons they were taught then will never be forgotten.

As memory turns back through the years for her children, Grace can still be seen always ready to go the ‘extra mile’ in opening her home to hold services and putting the extra touches in making the home more pleasant. Many Sundays after church, she invited all who would stay, to have a pot-luck dinner. Sometimes, some of the other families would bring lunch and they’d join together and have a very pleasant day. They learned to know each other better while the children had a great time playing all the games of childhood such as catch, marbles, horseshoes, hide and seek, run-sheep-run[1], ring around the rosy, fill up the gap, and too many more to remember.

On many a clear, cold winter night, neighbors would drop by and spend the evening playing cards and having refreshments of hot chocolate and cake stirred up by Hugh Francis while the older ones played cards. Many an oyster supper was served after an evening of tobogganing, skiing, sleighing and whatever, having a wonderful time just being together and visiting.

One very amusing incident occurred when neighbors were having a watermelon feed. After waiting and enjoying their melon, one of the men present came to Grace and told her that another man, Wallace Rapp, was going to wash her face in melon. Grace stacked a pile of rinds in a convenient place and soon Mr. Rapp came up and tried to grab her. She was very strong and he couldn’t hold her. Imagine his chagrin and embarrassment when he tripped and fell to the floor and Grace proceeded to really wash his face — to the hoots and laughter of the crowd.

During the hardships and struggles of those early days on the dry-farm, the Rowley family was happy in their home. Many times, Grace would read to the children while Hugh Thompson would make a batch of “syrup” candy and they’d all join in when it came to stretching it into ropes. When it had hardened enough, they would cut it into bite size pieces to eat. What a feeling of togetherness they felt as they spent many evenings in this fashion. As they got older, David William and Verda May devoted much time to reading, but Hugh Francis read little as he was more gregarious and liked to go to all the parties and dances he could.

In 1914, the members organized a Sunday School with Roy Hulse, Hugh Thompson, and Roy Hill in the Superintendency. Grace was the secretary and Ralph Hoggan was the adult teacher. They also had a teacher for the younger children. They were small in number, but they had very spiritual meetings and the Spirit of the Gospel was instilled in their hearts.

To be continued…

[1] a game in which one group of players hide and their leader tries to guide them safely home by calling “run, sheep, run” when he thinks they can escape being caught by those searching

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