While living on this ranch, they belonged to the Clark Ward. It had been many years since they had had the opportunity of Ward activities. Hugh Thompson and Grace saw to it that the children benefitted from all of them — Primary, MIA, Beehive and Scouting, also attendance at Sacrament Meeting and Sunday School, and all the amusements which were available through these organizations. Hugh Thompson was drama director for a year or so while living in Clark Ward. The boys became involved in Boy Scout work, Grace in Relief Society, and Verda May became a Beehive girl. It was here, also, that Verda May became a teacher of the beginning class in Primary. She was only fourteen, but through this opportunity she began to realize what a blessing it was to be able to serve the Lord.
They also went to school there, the three older ones, Hugh Francis, David William, and Verda May, graduating from the eighth grade in a class of eleven students. Robert E. Weller was their teacher. Hugh Thompson and Grace always encouraged their children to take advantage of all the schooling they could, as well as all of the Church activities.
They moved again, this time to the Webster farm just one and a half miles west of Ririe, which they farmed only one year. This placed them in the Shelton Ward, necessitating the making of new friends and working under new conditions. That fall they rented this place and the following fall (1922-1923) Hugh Thompson, Hugh Francis, David William, and Verda May went to Lincoln to work during the Sugar Factory campaign. This was done to help supplement their budget as they didn’t make very much on the farm. Verda May cooked for boarders while the men worked in the factory. This left Grace with the younger boys to keep in school. She wasn’t very happy to have her family split up like this, but she sacrificed much and did everything to work along with her husband. She was a true “helpmate.”
Sometime during 1923, a rabid dog chased a puppy belonging to the family into the kitchen through the open door. They rolled around on the floor close to Grace and Verda May. Grace was very frightened, but also very brave. She managed to brush the dogs out of the kitchen in order to protect her daughter and herself from an obvious fate. Grace used her voice and a broom to accomplish this task. Neither of the women was bitten, but were very shaken by the experience.
In the spring of 1924, Hugh Thompson really exploded a bombshell when he announced to the family that he had decided to move to Montana. It seemed that he just couldn’t stay out of Montana. Although Grace had given her consent to the move, she was very unhappy about it. Leaving the place of her childhood, all her old friends and relatives nearly broke her heart, but true to the teachings she knew to be true that she should be a helpmate to her husband and follow his counsel and advise, she agreed to go and make another home. These moves were hard on Grace. Her health wasn’t very good and she had suffered from a goiter for many years, along with other complications.
To be continued…