That first year they lived on the dry farm, Grace killed thirty-two rattlesnakes. This was a most terrifying thing for the wife and mother and her children (Hugh Francis, David William, Verda May, Emerson Adis and Walter Ilith Rowley). Grace warned the children many times how to listen for them and always to be careful of going into weed places and among the rocks. One day Emerson Adis, age 5; Walter Ilith, age 3; and Verda May, age 7, were left alone while Grace and her father (David Peter Davis) went into the canyon for water. Grace had very implicitly instructed the children to stay in the house. It was a very beautiful afternoon following a light summer shower and the children longed to go out and play in the yard. Shortly after Grace and her father left, the three children were standing in the doorway wishing they could go out when suddenly they saw a big rattlesnake crawling rapidly towards them. They were very frightened as they were sure it would come right in the house as he would only have to crawl up a little wooden step. Their Guardian Angel must have been with them because just as he reached the step, he turned and went behind some boards lying against the house. (The house had not been put down on a foundation yet.)
When Grace and Grandpa Davis came home, they were told about the snake under the boards. Grandpa, David Peter, very carefully moved the boards, but before he could reach it, the snake crawled back under the house and curled up. David Peter got a long willow, dipped it in liquid lye and reached the snake with it. You never saw anything move as fast as that snake did! It rapidly left the coolness of the shade under the house for other parts. Because of the lye, he was a very spotted rattlesnake, but the effects of the lye were evident as it slowed and was killed. Those little tots were so grateful that they had obeyed their mother’s warnings as one of them could very well have been bitten. In their play they may not have seen the huge snake.
Perhaps one of the greatest lifesavers the children had around was a little brown dog who accompanied them everywhere. He could spot a snake long before they ever had any idea that there was one around. He seemed to have extra sensory perception when there was danger for any of the family. He seemed to have a special hatred for snakes. He was very careful and quick. He would dash for the snakes very quickly, catch it behind the head and shake it to death. This wonderful little dog, named Brownie, killed many dreaded rattlesnakes that way.
They only lived on the flat for a year when Hugh Thompson (Hugh Thompson Rowley) ecided to buy some land down in the canyon where they moved the house, enlarging it to make it more convenient and comfortable for his family of seven. This moved them closer to neighbors. The home, being the largest in the community, became the center of many activities and a place to hold church services.
After moving down in the canyon near the creek, Grace proved to be a very avid fisherwoman. There were two or three good fishing holes that were her favorites. It was a common sight to see her in the single-horsed buggy on a hot afternoon or evening on her way to one of these fishing holes. She often took one of the children with her and spent a couple of hours fishing and teaching her children. It was a rare thing when she didn’t bring home enough fish for a meal or two. It was also a rare thing if she wasn’t seen sitting by her propped fishing pole busily knitting or crocheting while she was waiting for a bite. She would usually outdo any other fisherman who happened to be fishing nearby.
To Be Continued…