John Wright and Sarah Wright Family Messenger

We are sorry to have to make this history in two installments, but we are short of space and will continue this interesting history in the next edition.

Now we will conclude the history of Hugh Thompson Rowley, which we began in the November issue.

son of John Thompson Rowley and Jane Paul
Written by David William Rowley

In the spring of 1933, Dad (Hugh Thompson Rowley) rented the old Webster place, 1 ½ miles west of Rigby, which we operated one year. It was very rocky and very hard to get enough to raise a crop. There was a very fine house on the place. While living there we attended the Shelton Ward. Francis and I were ordained Priests, 1 April 1933, by Bishop Edmond Lovell. Emerson Adis and Walter Illithattended grade school down by Moore’s place.

In the fall of 1933, Dad, Hugh ‘Francis’ and I went to work in the Utah Idaho Sugar Co. plant at Lincoln, Idaho where we worked out the fall campaign. Dad sacked sugar, Hugh ‘Francis’ and I worked on the batteries. We rented a house in Lincoln and Verda May went down and cooked for us and took in other boarders, she made pretty good along with us.

My cousin, Charles Galloway came up to Lincoln to see me and we decided that he and I would go to Salt Lake City, when the campaign was over and work for an oil company. Charles is a very good welder, I was going to learn welding and we were going to travel together, but when we got to Salt Lake City, I was unable to get on with the same company as they were full handed. So I went to work for the Jacobson Construction Company. I helped remodel the Episcopalian Church and then went over to the Temple Grounds, where we put in some cesspools north of the tithing offices and the assisted in putting in a high cement wall with a marble finish, from the north side and up between the Temple and Tabernacle. It was while working here that I got a letter from Mother telling me they were moving to Montana and wanted me to go with them.

I packed up and went back to Idaho, arriving there 28 March 1924. The folks were packing and getting ready to go.

Dad had been to Montana and looked it over and rented a place from a Mr. A. S. Lohman, at Lohman, Montana. The place had 160 acres in it but some were taken out for roads and ditches.

Hugh Galloway, the brother of Charles, was going with us. He loaded the ten horses in one end of the box car and the equipment and what furniture we took with us in the other end. Hugh Galloway and I went to Montana in the box car with the stock. This was quite an experience, caring for the stock, seeing that they got plenty of water and feed on the way when we would stop over. We arrived there in the forepart of April and got a wagon from Lohman’s and got the box car unloaded.

Dad, Hugh ‘Francis’, Emerson Adis and Walter Illith left Rigby two days after we did and went as far as St. Anthony, where they had Dad’s cancers treated by Reese Richards. He treated them with a medicine made up into a poultice, which was applied on the cancerous spots and when they came off, they brought out the cancerous roots and all. It was a horrible sight, looking like an octopus only having more legs and each left a hole where it had come from. This made Dad pretty sick while they were coming out.

 They came on and arrived in Lohman about a week after Hugh and I. Dad was still pretty sick from the cancer treatment after Dad arrived we made arrangements for seed, food and etc., and started to get the crops in. we put in grain, beans and beets.

Hugh Galloway rented another place about a mile and a half north of our place, from Mr. A. S. Lohman.

Mother and Verda May got to Lohman about the middle of May.

Dad bought our potatoes seed from Winfield Hurst, at Zurich. Hugh Galloway and I took two wagons and went to Zurich and got the seed. The highway was new and very soft. We had such heavy loads we got stuck and had to hire a dray outfit to help pull us out and we didn’t get home until one o’clock in the morning. Dad got worried about us and walked out to meet us. He got heated and overly tired. When he got home he had such a nose bleed, that he nearly bled to death.

Hugh ‘Francis’ went back to Idaho as soon as the crops were in and stayed most of the summer, working there around Rigby, Idaho.

Dad and Mother were always very hard workers, but never seemed to get ahead very far financially, mostly because of the lack of investment and having to live to near our income, leaving no margin for investment.

We farmed two years on the Lohman place. We raised beets, grain, beans and etc. mother always raised a good garden and this helped a great deal in our living costs. She always did a lot of canning of fruit and vegetables.

We found that they were holding Sunday School at Zurich. We would drive there as often as we could to attend those meetings. We enjoyed them very much and appreciated the privilege of attending them.

I was called on a short local mission for three weeks. Hugh Murphy was my missionary companion, we labored around Chinook.

On the 9th of September 1925, Hugh ‘Francis’ married Erma Thornton. They moved in with us.

In the spring of 1826, they moved to the Christensen place in Zurich. Soon after, however, they found that they could not agree on some points. They moved from there to Harlem and rented a place from Roy Colgrove,  and then moved on down to the place which they farmed for one year. They raised beets, grain, flax, potatoes and a fine garden. They did all right there.

I went to work for Butler and Harrison who were sheep men. I met a girl, Lillian Alcorn, at a dance and was impressed much by the way she acted.

We attended the new Harlem Branch Sunday School and Sacrament Meetings. A. L. Johnson was Branch President, Angus Young, and Chris Stuker were counselors, and A. L. Stoddard was Branch Clerk. James Shupe was Sunday School Supt.

Dad bought the old Jake Everett place of 150 acres on the south road out of Harlem, about 3 ½ miles west of Harlem. We moved there in the spring of 1927, where we built a log house, straw sheds and dug a potato cellar and then planted a small orchard and built ditches to irrigate the place. We raised a very good crop, without irrigation. We were unable to get the ditches made in time.

The Latter-Day Saints Church house was built on one corner of Dad’s place before he bought it.  We all enjoyed our services and recreations and all of our quarterly conferences.

Clark Alcorn bought the old Leslie Taylor place neighboring Dad’s on the north. This was another very good ranch.

Lillian and I were married on the 14 of July 1927 at Chinook, Montana by Branch President W. B. Peterson. Her father, Clark Alcorn, and my father, Hugh Thompson Rowley were the witnesses.

After the ceremony, we all had supper, went to a movie and came home in a rainstorm.

To help pay expenses Hugh ‘Francis’, Emerson Adis and I weeded beets. Dad took care of the place. Mother as always raised a good garden and chickens and turkeys each year.

In the spring of 1928, Verda May was called on a mission to the Central States where she labored for two years, teaching the Gospel from door to door…”A Priceless Pearl”, it is to those who believe and try to serve and keep the commandments of our Savior. Mother and Father were very proud and happy to have one of their children fulfill a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

They were also very glad to have her come home again for they were getting rather homesick to see this only daughter of theirs. They were proud and happy to hear of her missionary experiences.

Shortly after Verda May’s return from her mission, she started to go with Bert Lund Murphy, the son of Thomas E. Murphy and Margaret Camilla Lund. Bert was born 2 December 1903 at Chapin, Freemont Co., Idaho.

Bert had also just returned from a mission, having labored in the North Central States Mission. They were married 17 December 1930 in the Cardston Temple, at Cardston, Canada.

They immediately started farming with his father, just out of Zurich, Montana. Shortly after this they were set apart as MIA president in the Harlem Branch of the LDS Church.

Later, Bert was set apart as Branch President. They were hard workers and lived the Gospel and taught it.

Father did a lot of work on the old ranch trying to fix it up. Mother was a great help. Mother suffered a lot from gall stones and a goiter for many years, until she died on 1 March 1935 at Idaho Falls, Idaho following a goiter operation.

Dad took her death very hard and brooded over it for a long time. He tried very hard to carry on for the children’s sake. Mother was buried at Harlem, Montana, 5 March 1935, on plot 16 at the Harlem Cemetery.

Emerson, married Sarah Marie Alderson, 19 August 1934 at Chinook, Montana. She was the daughter of Arthur Alderson and Gladys Violet Alderson. She was born 6 March 1915, Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada.

Though Dad did not go to Church very much, he had a strong testimony of the truthfulness of the Gospel. In the fall of 1935, he sent his youngest son, Walter Ilith, on a mission. Walter Ilith filled a two year mission and enjoyed it very much. He gained a lasting testimony of the Gospel and had many trying experiences in the mission field that proved to him the power of prayer and showed him a great deal about human nature. He learned much about other churches. He was given an honorable release and returned home in the fall of 1937.

In the spring in 1938 he went to helping Dad on the home place. They farmed the place together. In the Spring of 1938 Walter Illith also met Lois Chapman, a daughter of Early Loyal Chapman and Thea Sirene K. Haugen, born 7 March 1919 in Pierce Co., North Dakota.

They were married 30 July 1938 at Zurich, Montana. Later on 8 February 1939 they were sealed in the Temple at Cardston, Alberta, Canada.

They continued on farming with Dad on the old home place for several years. They farmed together until the spring of 1943, when Walter Illith moved to Malta, Montana and rented a place.

Then Dad and Hugh ‘Francis’ farmed together and took care of the old place.

Dad often went back to Idaho Falls and Shelley and spent a few weeks with old friends and relatives. He enjoyed himself so very much on these trips, renewing old acquaintances and visiting. He liked to visit Emerson Rowley, his nephew, at St. Ignatus, Montana. Grant Rowley, another nephew, and Lucy Stout a niece, at Bynum, Montana. He enjoyed his association with them.

Dad died of heart ailment, 14th of March 1948 leaving five children:

Hugh Francis, Harlem, Montana
David William, Gridley, California
Verda May Murphy, Zurich, Montana
Emerson Adis, Eureka, California
Walter Ilith, Fairview, Montana

(These residence were at the time of his death, and some of them have changed)

Hugh Francis, Kalispell, Montana
David William, Bountiful, Utah
Walter Ilith, Eureka, California

Mother and Dad never gained any earthly wealth. They raised a family to man and womanhood and gave them the right precepts of life. They taught them the truth of the restored Gospel, as brought by the Angel Moroni and received by the Prophet Joseph Smith. For these teachings, we children will ever be grateful to our most wonderful parents.

I pray always that we may be found worthy of their teachings and association and that when this span of life is over we may rejoin them in that family association for all time.

This history was written by David William Rowley, Bountiful, Utah


How Are You Related To Me?

Maternal Great-Great-Great-Grandfather: Coleman Ballard Alcorn – 217
Coleman Ballard 217 – Clark 91 – Lillian 31 – Grace Harriet 10 – Lillian Lorraine 3 –Kellie Jeanette 1

Maternal Great-Great-Great-Grandmother: Mary Catherine Hammons – 218
Mary Catherine 218 – Clark 91 – Lillian 31 – Grace Harriet 10 – Lillian Lorraine 3 –Kellie Jeanette 1

Maternal Great-Great-Grandfather: Clark Alcorn – 91
Clark 91 – Lillian 31 – Grace Harriet 10 – Lillian Lorraine 3 –Kellie Jeanette 1

Maternal Great-Great-Great-Uncle: John W. Alcorn – 219
John W. 219 + Coleman Ballard 217 – Clark 91 – Lillian 31 – Grace Harriet 10 – Lillian Lorraine 3 –Kellie Jeanette 1

Maternal Great-Great-Great-Uncle: Lennie Alcorn – 220
Lennie 220 + Coleman Ballard 217 – Clark 91 – Lillian 31 – Grace Harriet 10 – Lillian Lorraine 3 –Kellie Jeanette 1

Maternal Great-Great-Great-Aunt: Roxana Alcorn – 221
Roxana 221 + Coleman Ballard 217 – Clark 91 – Lillian 31 – Grace Harriet 10 – Lillian Lorraine 3 –Kellie Jeanette 1

Maternal Great-Great-Great-Uncle: James Henry Alcorn – 222
James Henry 222 + Coleman Ballard 217 – Clark 91 – Lillian 31 – Grace Harriet 10 – Lillian Lorraine 3 –Kellie Jeanette 1

Maternal Great-Great-Great-Aunt: Delina Alcorn – 223
Delina 223 + Coleman Ballard 217 – Clark 91 – Lillian 31 – Grace Harriet 10 – Lillian Lorraine 3 –Kellie Jeanette 1

Maternal Great-Great-Great-Aunt: Margaret Jeannette Acorn – 224
Margaret Jeannette 224 + Coleman Ballard 217 – Clark 91 – Lillian 31 – Grace Harriet 10 – Lillian Lorraine 3 –Kellie Jeanette 1

Maternal Great-Great-Great-Aunt: Nanna Florence Alcorn – 225
Nanna Florence 225 + Coleman Ballard 217 – Clark 91 – Lillian 31 – Grace Harriet 10 – Lillian Lorraine 3 –Kellie Jeanette 1

+: Parent
-: Child
=: Spouse

History: Lillian Alcorn

Their beliefs of the life after death were so much different than ours, that it was a real testimony to the family and myself when we saw how distraught this other family was. As far as they knew this was it, the end. But we knew that someday we could see our son again. We received word in December that David had been killed and as soon as they could they would send his body home. We were all saddened by David’s death but we would prefer that to his being a prisoner and going through some of the experiences that we had heard that our prisoner were going through.

The children all enjoyed school in Gridley. Grant started kindergarten in Gridley the last year we were there, in the fall of 1950. The children all learned to like Gridley and had many friends and enjoyed their associations. Hugh had a paper route part of the time we were there, and Clayton worked on a dairy farm for a neighbor. We were able to have a garden here and I enjoyed that very much. I also had some chickens here and it just seemed more like home.

The boys were active in the Future Farmers of America organization in school and had projects of chickens and pigs at home. Douglas had the chickens and Clayton had the pigs. One Saturday afternoon, the boys had all gone to the movie except Grant and Hugh. Clayton’s pig was due to have a litter anytime and it happened while the boys were at the show and Dave was at work. I took Hugh into town and sent him into the theater to get the boys. When he found them they were in the middle of the row and Hugh couldn’t get to them so he said in a loud whisper, “Clayton, Clayton, come quick, your pig is having chickens!” Needless to say this brought down the house as all the people around the boys heard Hugh’s excited declaration and had a good laugh.

27 September 1950 was a day of mixed emotions for me. I received word that Grace had given birth to another lovely little girl the named Donna Diane; and we also received word that my father, Clark Alcorn had died (27 September) in Idaho, and they were having his funeral 3 October 1950. We wanted to go to the funeral, but we couldn’t decide whether or not to take the family. Dave remembered that at his Dad’s funeral, he was the only one without his family, so we decided to take the children and go to Harlem. We made arrangements to leave and had a safe trip. It was good to see many of our relatives and friends again, and all of my brothers and sister were together again for the first time in a long while. Even Verl was able to make it. It was a reunion, saddened only by the purpose.

Dave’s employers had both been drafted back into the Armed Services, and so his job was gone and in looking for the other work, we found that it was scarce around Gridley. So Dave went to Eureka, where his brothers Walter and Emerson lived, and found work there. He worked in Eureka the winter of 1950-51 and into the spring. Then I went over to see if we could find a house and move our family there. We looked at several, but we hadn’t decided on one when I had to go back to Gridley. When school was out, we knew we would have to make a decision on a house and we finally bought one located at 4217 Little Fairfield St in Eureka.

The children said their farewells again to many friends they had made and we picked up after selling our house in Gridley and made another move. We all liked Eureka, except for the undependable weather. Adjusting wasn’t too hard as Dave had been there for over six months and he knew the people in the branch quite well. We also had relatives there for the children to enjoy.

To be continued…

History: Lillian Alcorn

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 (Harriet Ann Rowley) 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.

To be continued…

How Are You Related To Me?

Maternal Great-Great-Grandfather: Clark Alcorn – 91
Clark 91 – Lillian 31 – Grace Harriet 10 – Lillian Lorraine 3 – Kellie Jeanette 1

Maternal Great-Great-Grandmother: Harriet Ann Weaver – 92
Harriet Ann 92 – Lillian 31 – Grace Harriet 10 – Lillian Lorraine 3 – Kellie Jeanette 1

Maternal Great-Grandmother: Lillian Alcorn – 31
Lillian 31 – Grace Harriet 10 – Lillian Lorraine 3 – Kellie Jeanette 1

Maternal Great-Great-Uncle: Lenard Clark Alcorn – 93
Lenard Clark 93 + Clark 91 – Lillian 31 – Grace Harriet 10 – Lillian Lorraine 3 – Kellie Jeanette 1

Maternal Great-Great-Uncle: William Vernon Alcorn – 94
William Vernon 94 + Clark 91 – Lillian 31 – Grace Harriet 10 – Lillian Lorraine 3 – Kellie Jeanette 1

Maternal Great-Great-Uncle: Marvin Ballard Alcorn – 95
Marvin Ballard 95 + Clark 91 – Lillian 31 – Grace Harriet 10 – Lillian Lorraine 3 – Kellie Jeanette 1

Maternal Great-Great-Uncle: Joseph Lorenzo Alcorn – 96
Joseph Lorenzo 96 + Clark 91 – Lillian 31 – Grace Harriet 10 – Lillian Lorraine 3 – Kellie Jeanette 1

Maternal Great-Great-Uncle: Archie Harold Alcorn – 97
Archie Harold 97 + Clark 91 – Lillian 31 – Grace Harriet 10 – Lillian Lorraine 3 – Kellie Jeanette 1

Maternal Great-Great-Aunt: Melva Alcorn – 98
Melva 98 + Clark 91 – Lillian 31 – Grace Harriet 10 – Lillian Lorraine 3 – Kellie Jeanette 1

Maternal Great-Great-Uncle: Jesse Verl Alcorn 99
Jesse Verl 99 + Clark 91 – Lillian 31 – Grace Harriet 10 – Lillian Lorraine 3 – Kellie Jeanette 1

+: Parent
-: Child
=: Spouse

History: Lillian Alcorn

The farm work was hard and oft times required long hours away from home for Dave. I had to spend much of my time alone with the baby and Dave’s parents. My own folks lived only across the road and I saw them quite often, but it still meant many lonely hours alone with little Grace. I certainly looked forward to evening when Dave would come in from the fields to be with us. I kept busy, though, and that helped to pass the time more quickly. The baby took a lot of care and her bath time was always a fun part of the day for both of us.

During the next year the time passed more speedily, but in another eleven months and seven days we were blessed again. This time Dave made arrangements with Doctor McConnell at Harlem to take care of us. But when Dad Rowley went after him, he couldn’t find him anyplace in town so Dave sent for Sister Southwick and she and Dave took care of me and the baby. We learned later that the doctor was found playing cards in the basement of the New England Hotel.

The baby was born 27 August 1929 in Harlem and was a very lovely little boy. He was blessed and given the name of David Alcorn Rowley after Dave and using my maiden name. This was wonderful, now we had a beautiful little girl and a wonderful little boy. We were very happy and enjoyed our little family very much. We lived in a small two-room frame home with a small storage cellar underneath. We had a nice large garden spot surrounding the house where we raised much of our livelihood, vegetables and some fruit.

The Branch Chapel was about 200 feet from our door, so it wasn’t too difficult to get the family to and from the Church meetings.

In the spring of 1930 Dave rented the Victor Bottomly place. It was straight north on the highway. It wasn’t a very good place, but we were getting to ourselves. It was a wonderful venture for us as we had always lived with or very near some of the folks, either Dave’s folks or mine. It was wonderful to be to ourselves.

We had a few cows, chickens, pigs and horses and some machinery so we felt we had a pretty good start and we really worked hard. The children were such an inspiration to us and because of them we wanted very much to make good. Dave again worked long days in the field much of the time it was before daylight when he left the house and after dark when he would come home.

It was while living here on the Bottomly place that I lost a baby because of miscarriage, which made us both very unhappy. I was confined to bed for a while but before long I was blessed to be up and around again. I needed to be up, with two small children to care for.

Shortly after this we with another family, the Hammers, from our Branch decided to take a vacation and go to Cardston, Alberta, Canada to the temple and have our marriage sealed for time and all eternity. It had long been our desire to alter our wedding vows from “until death we do part” to “for time and all eternity.”

To be continued…

History: Lillian Alcorn

Dave’s dad and my dad drove to Chinook with us to the home of President Wallace Peterson of the Chinook Branch where we were married by the law of the land. As we were leaving Brother Peterson’s home we backed out of the door so we could tell people we had backed out and came home. There was a big social at the Harlem Branch Chapel that night so each of us went to our own homes that night as we would not be shivered. Bert Murphy was going to broadcast the news, but Dave got hold of him and stopped him from doing it. At the social, which was a farewell party for Will Southwick, I sang the song “I Wish I had Someone to Love Me,” in pig-latin. Not many understood it, but they all seemed to enjoy it. The following night was MIA and the young people had a good time trying to shiveree[1] us a little. They pushed me around in a wheelbarrow for a while and were going to separate us and take us different places but Dave put a stop to that.

Well, we moved into a little two-room log cabin with Dave’s brother Francis and his wife. Francis and Erma lived in one room and Dave and I in the other room. We lived there the first summer we were married. Dave and Francis had rented this place from the Indian Reservation there. It was all dry farm and mostly meadow hay or wild hay. They broke a lot of meadow and planted grain and corn. They also raised a lot of cattle.

Dave and I wanted to get a place of our own so when in the fall of 1927 we heard that the Lee Morgan ranch was up in Paradise Valley and that it had been taken over by the Harlem Bank and put up for sale, we considered it. A friend of ours, Wren Stoddard who had told us about it came out to our place and  he and Dave got in Wren’s car and went right up to look it over. That night we prayed about it and Dave had a strange dream. In it he had been wrestling with Leo Morgan. He could throw Lee, but couldn’t get away from him at all. The next morning we talked it over and decided not to buy the farm. Dave went over to his dad’s place and told his folks and Francis that we weren’t going to buy it and Francis said that if Dave and I wouldn’t buy the Morgan place, he was going to buy it. So in the spring of 1928 Francis bought the placed and Dave signed the note with him. This later proved to be a big mistake for us. Well, anyway Dave and I stayed and helped his father operate his place for the next two years.

Dave and Wren Stoddard hauled coal in the winter from the Hebbleman Mine about 10 miles southwest of where we lived. They would haul it into town and sell it. They usually left before daylight and got back home about noon. Then they would take it into town and unload it and get back for the evening chores. One morning when they left the stars were shining brightly and the sky was very clear, but about seven or eight am a bad blizzard started and kept getting worse and worse. As the day proceeded you couldn’t see but a few feet in front of you. This lasted most of the day but began to clear off just before sundown. They got home about an hour after sundown. Needless to say, Mary and I were mighty concerned. Wren and Mary Stoddard were some of our closest friends.

To be continued…

[1] a mock serenade with kettles, pans, horns, and other noisemakers given for a newly married couple