History: David William Rowley

We stayed at the Driftwood Motel that night. The next day I took Estella (Estella Cordelia Tidwell) to meet some of my old friends and then we went out to the home of a cousin of mother’s, Sara Jane Killian (Sarah Jane Coles). I had known her when I was young. She seemed very glad to see me and invited up to stay with her. The next day I took Estella over to see my old girlfriend, Virginia. We had gone together for a long time when I lived there, before we moved to Montana. While I was talking to Virginia, Stella got to talking to her husband and found that he was a brother to one of her best friends in Nampa. This was the way it was several times – maybe I would go to see a second cousin and she would find she was related to the husband, or vice versa.

 I only had a few days off from work so we started back to Bountiful. We got as far as Tremonton that night. We stayed with Opal Cutler (Opal M. Rowley), my niece, and her family. Opal and Stella liked each other right off and we enjoyed our short visit. The next day we went on to Bountiful and took up our married life. We were very happy.

A few weeks after we were married my cousin Ralph Rowley, the cousin that was so close when we were boys, and his wife, Donna, came out from Salt Lake City to see us. They were our first dinner guests. They have been out good friends ever since. Stella thought we looked enough alike to be brothers.

Grant (Grant Alcorn Rowley) had enlisted in the Marines just before we were married. He had to leave for his basic training soon after. Hugh (Hugh Alcorn Rowley) had finished his six months in the Army and was back home. He got a job in Salt Lake, but was living at home. He said that it was sure good to hear his Dad laugh again. After a while he got a place to live in Salt Lake.

Stella’s brother, Hubert (Hubert Tidwell) came to see us for a visit and stayed on. He was quite a bit of help, but we would rather have been by ourselves. Of course the home was my children’s and they were always welcome.

The first year we were married many relatives came to see us, including several of Lillian’s (Lillian Alcorn) relatives – we thought that was really nice. One day the doorbell rang and Stella went to answer it. A man grabbed her and gave her a great big smack (kiss) – it turned out to be Bert Murphy (Bert Lund Murphy), of course. He had Verda (Verda May Rowley) stay in the car. They both came in stayed for a few days’ visit. Stella said she wished it had been her sister or someone else who answered the door so the joke would have been on Bert.

On our first anniversary we had been in Salt Lake and I had planned to take my wife out to dinner, but when we got home we found Leonard (Leonard Clark Alcorn), Lillian’s brother, had dropped in for a visit.

Oh yes, the first year we were married was memorable because of the birth of some more grandchildren. On 17 September 1962 Stella’s daughter, Geneal (Geneal Rose Johnson) gave birth to a baby boy. They named him Mark Redd. Stella went down to Orem to be with Geneal for a few days. This made her 7th grandchild.

To be continued…


History: David William Rowley

Clayton (Clayton Alcorn Rowley) had dated a girl named Janevie Clegg before he went on his mission and after a couple of unsuccessful engagements to some other lovely girls, he and Jana started dating again and this time it clicked! On 16 February 1962 they were married in the Salt Lake Temple. This was wonderful for Clayton as he had been at loose ends and now he could settle down and establish a home and family. It had been hard on him after Lillian (Lillian Alcorn) died and I was grateful that he found a lovely girl to share his life with and make each other happy.

School was out and Don (Donald Eugene Smith), who was back from overseas, came to pick up his family. About the same time my sister Verda (Verda May Rowley) came to visit, she helped me to house clean and to paint walls and woodwork. I also made some changed of closets, doors, etc. in the old house.

I introduced Verda’s to the woman I was going with and took her along with Marie and me and Marie’s children when we went on an outing. I was seriously thinking of asking this lovely lady to marry me. I was so tired of being alone and had silently given myself a deadline of September 1 to be married again. I could see that Verda didn’t really approve of the situation of Marie having children still at home, and she thought that would cause a problem at my age.

Well the Lord moves in mysterious ways! He had someone else in mind for me as you will see.

About the 1st of July, on a Sunday, I had been impressed all day to call my cousin, Luella (Luella Jones Downard). Then as the day progressed I received the impression that she was supposed to introduce me to someone. Luella told us later that the spirit went right through her when I said this, entering the top of her head and going through to her feet. This administration of the spirit was an affirmation of what the Lord had been preparing for her. She knew exactly the person she was supposed to introduce me to. She told me her name and where she lived.

To give you an understanding of this I will have to go back a ways. Luella and Estella Tidwell (Estella Cordelia Tidwell) had been school chums when they were children and they had continued to be friends, well more than friends – they loved and admired each other.

The 1st week of February, 1962 Estella came to Salt Lake to so a week of research in the genealogical library and she stayed with Luella. They talked and Stella told Luella that even though she might be left alone sometime, she was not going to be sealed to her husband. After Stella had gone home every time Luella thought of her favorite cousin, ME, she would also think of Stella and she would see the two of us walking hand in hand. She would say to herself, “but Stella is still married!” Then she would have the same experience again.

On 5 June 1962, Luella heard that Stella’s husband (Earl Robert Johnson) had died. The impression that she would be the instrument to bring these two loved ones of hers together grew stronger than ever. As for Stella, she tells me that she had seen me in two very special dreams. The Holy Ghost told her while she was in the Temple that she would have a man of her own to bring her to the Temple.

To be continued…

History: David William Rowley

Some of my dearest memories are of these reunions and the warm and loving times we had together. The family tree I had made was a binding influence, also the family paper, I kind of long to go back to those times. More details of this time in my life can be found in my notebooks.

Sometimes I have a wonderful feeling that life is so sweet and I have the assurance that all is well. I haven’t always had the feeling and I haven’t always done as I should. But I do pray that I will and that I will have His spirit to be with me to guide me and help me to have the strength and inspiration to do right and to keep His commandments.

Being President of this new organization as well as trying to keep the Rowley’s going took a lot of my time but it gave me a great deal of satisfaction. Marjorie was doing a good job of the paper and I was happy for that.

I started going out with other women a year or so after Lillian (Lillian Alcorn) died. I went to some of the singles parties, etc., that the Church puts out. I met some of the women there, others were introduced to me by friends. I wanted to get married again, but just couldn’t seem to find anyone that fully satisfied me. I did not want to marry a divorced woman, but I did want one that I could take to the Temple.

I had kept my friendship up with Luella and Manuel Downard. I loved those two and they loved me. Sometimes I would call them on the phone quite late in the evening, maybe after I had spent many hours in the library doing research, and we would talk of genealogy. I could talk about anything to them and they didn’t seem to mind how late I called.

By February, 1961 Hugh (Hugh Alcorn Rowley) had finished his mission and came home. He had filed a fine mission, had many converts and many spiritual experiences. Since we were not at war and he was qualified to do, he decided to go into the Army for six months and get that duty taken care of before he went on with his life.

In April I received word of the birth of another little granddaughter. Kristine had a sister and Ralph (Ralph Alcorn Rowley) and Aleene (Aleene Sumsion) had three children (Kurtis Wayne, Kristine and Lorrian) now. They named her Lorraine. She was my lucky 13th grandchild, born 12 April 1961.

Grace (Grace Harriet Rowley) and the children (Cheryl Jeanette, Donna Diane, Ronald Steven and Lillian Lorraine Smith) were with me through 1961. Sometimes I took Grace places with me and sometimes we were mistaken for brother and sister instead of father and daughter. My own dear sister, Verda (Verda May Rowley), came to visit from Montana as often as she could and we went places together also. We always enjoyed each other’s company so much.

On 9 November 1961 Marjorie (Marjorie Ann Rowley) gave birth to her fourth child, another beautiful, brown-eyed little boy. They name him Myron Dwain. He was a special joy to me and he still is.

I was going with a woman who lived in Bountiful, but later moved to Salt Lake. Her name was Stella King Galloway. She was quite a genealogist and I was interested in that field myself. I used to go to the library and do research on my days off and on Saturdays and would work on my records and things for the family organizations far into the night, sometimes.

To be continued…

History: David William Rowley

A little later in the year I had the offer to be the custodian of the Bountiful High School. I had four or five class rooms and the shops to clean. I also took care of some of the yards, mowing and irrigating, that is all the small yards and placed where the large mower couldn’t go. I was also doing carpenter work for others on the side.

Don (Donald Eugene Smith) was going overseas again, so Grace (Grace Harriet Rowley) and her four young children (Cheryl Jeanette, Donna Diane, Ronald Steven and Lillian Lorraine Smith) came to live with me and the boys (Clayton Alcorn, Hugh Alcorn and Grant Alcorn Rowley). This was sometime along the last part of the year. Having them there relieved my loneliness quite a bit and gave the boys and me someone to cook for us. The place was pretty crowded and noisy at times with children in the house again.

While Grace was there I was doing my work at the High School, and building a garage for one man, and helping on a house for another man and I guess I wasn’t getting as much sleep as I needed. I suppose I was also putting too many hours in to my work because I had a spell with palpitations of my heart. The doctor gave me medication and said I had to get more rest. During this time I also was helping to build the Bountiful 12th ward chapel. I worked here for several months. Earlier I had worked on several big jobs in the Salt Lake area.

I had become very dear and close friends with some of my Rowley cousins, including Luella Jones Downard, while Lillian (Lillian Alcorn) was living. Now I took it upon myself to get to know some of my Paul cousins (this was Dad’s mother’s line). I visited, among others, Dad’s cousin, Mabel Stott Clegg and her husband Fred Clegg. They became very close and I enjoyed their company very much.

With the help of Mary Bradley and Mabel Clegg and others I called the descendants of Nicholas Paul and Harriet May Paul together and we formed the Paul Family Society. I was voted in as President with Loren Paul as 1st counselor and James Smith as 2nd counselor with Mary Bradley as the secretary.

The association I have had with these cousins through the years, many of whom were Rowley as well as Paul descendants, has been a great joy to me and to Estella (Estella Cordelia Tidwell) also, since we have been married.

While I am speaking of Family Organizations back in 1956. Lillian was a great help to me. I was put in as President of this one when we had the first reunion on 16 June 1956. Before this and after for several years, Lillian and I traveled hundreds of miles, I guess, visiting and friend shipping cousins from both sides of the Rowley lines. I was told by some that I could never get the together, but I did and much bad feeling and ironed out and laid aside by our meeting and remembering that we all descended from great and courageous pioneers. Pioneers that had sacrificed all to come to Zion and live in peace and worship the Lord as they knew they should and to make it possible for their descendants to do likewise. We came to know that we owed them a debt that could only be paid by doing the work for them in the Temple that would seal them as families and permit them to go on in their endeavors to become perfected and to gain eternal life. So on both the Rowley’s and the Paul’s we formed committees to do research and also Temple ordinances for our dead.

Luella Downard told Estella later that “Dave just put his arms around these cousins and loved them into coming to the reunions and then loved them some more until they thought it a pleasure to work with him in doing these things. He always went the extra mile, then added some for good measure!”

To be continued…

History: David William Rowley

A few days before Lillian (Lillian Alcorn)died she had said, “I don’t think we have many friends in Bountiful.” I told her she might be surprised. At her funeral we had one of the biggest crowds I have ever seen. Relatives and friends came from Montana, California, Idaho and so many from different parts of Utah as well as Bountiful itself.

One of the hardest things we had to do was to tell Hugh (Hugh Alcorn Rowley) who was in Argentina on his mission. We were in a quandary as to what to do, how to tell him his mother had passed away. We contacted the Church Missionary Department and they suggested that we get in touch with Hugh’s Mission President and let him tell Hugh so he could be sure our missionary was not alone when he heard the news. This is what we did and after Hugh found out he called home. It was good to hear his voice and to be able to reassure him that things were going to be alright.

It didn’t seem too bad at first for so many relatives and friends had come for the service and I had so many visitors that it kept me busy. Margie (Marjorie Ann Rowley) stayed with me for a week or two with her children (David Lenn, Deon Eugene and Dwana Kay Judkins), then my brother Emerson (Emerson Adis Rowley) came from Eureka, California and stayed for a while. We slept together and talked. The neighbors and everyone was so good. They visited me often and brought meals in, etc.

It seemed for a while that things were going pretty good, but it wasn’t long before I got very lonely. I really missed Hugh. He was just about halfway through with his mission and I know that it was really hard on him to lose his mother and not be able to come home for her funeral. Clayton (Clayton Alcorn Rowley) was working long hours and Grant (Grant Alcorn Rowley) was going to school and working at a part time job so I never got to see much of either of my two sons living at home.

It wasn’t long until I was sent to work out at Dugway, near Tooele, Utah. I could only come home on weekends. Then it seemed like I spent all my time trying to clean up the house and fix something decent to eat. The boys were mostly gone and I did not feel like I had anything to come home for. It was a lonely time! But then I do remember that Marjorie and Dwain (Dwain Eugene Judkins) brought whole meals, already cooked, to share with us. They would stay the night and let me enjoy the children. They did this for a long time and they helped me out in every way they could.

Looking back from today (January 1977) I have some to realize that the experience of losing a loved one is a spiritual experience. After time has eased the pain and the loneliness, you find that your soul has been enlarged because of the love and help extend to you. And because you have grown closer to your Heavenly Father, you want more than ever to help others. Yes, this life is one of service to others, or it surely should be at least. Our goal should be to do as much good as we possibly can. But my, how the time does slip away and it is gone before you know it. You become old and can’t do many things you could have done when you were younger. So do what you can every day while you are young. Make good use of your time while you can. Live the gospel in its fullest. There is a day of judgment and a day of darkness when you cannot do anything. If we let that day come and we haven’t done all we could, we will be miserable instead of happy.

My life brightened up when I heard of the birth of little Kristine (Kristine Rowley), Ralph (Ralph Alcorn Rowley) and Aleene’s (Aleene Sumsion) first girl, born 29 March 1960. She has been brightening up my life ever since, whenever I have seen her and had the privilege of being around her.

To be continued…

History: David William Rowley

Grace (Grace Harriet Rowley) and her family had returned to the United States in December 1959 and we were hoping they would be with us for the holidays, especially Christmas but they couldn’t make it. Lillian (Lillian Alcorn) worked very hard preparing for Christmas and cooking the dinner. The Christmas gathering was at our place that year and it was lovely. Lillian’s brother Harold (Archie Harold Alcorn) and his wife Mary (Mary Gregory Askins) were with us, too.

On 2 January 1960 Lillian had baked cookies and was sewing on an apron when we decided to go into Salt Lake to see Doug (Douglas Alcorn Rowley) and Vonna’s (Vonna Ensign) new baby, Pamela (Pamela Rowley) who was a month old. Clayton (Clayton Alcorn Rowley) had gone out for the afternoon and Grant (Grant Alcorn Rowley) came with us. It was a very cold day and when we got there Doug was working on a flat tire. I stayed with him and Lillian climbed the stairs to their apartment. Pretty soon Douglas said, “Let’s go up, too.” When we got up there we found Lillian lying on the floor. We called Dr. Taylor and the fire department. They couldn’t help. The doctor said she was dead before she hit the floor. Apparently what had happened was that when she got to the top of the stairs and into the apartment she was quite pale, but didn’t seem to be in any trouble. She stepped into the bathroom and it hit her. Vonna heard a thump against the door and she called out, but after no answer she opened the door and Lillian just laid out on the floor. She had fallen against the door in a sitting position with her back against the door. As it opened, she just laid back onto the floor at Vonna’s feet.

She had seen herself lying there, thirty years before in a dream. Lillian had seen herself climbing a long flight of stairs, then she had seen herself looking down at her body and could see loved ones and others trying to revive her.

Lillian had told us that when she died she wanted to be laid beside her mother (Harriet Ann Weaver) so after her funeral on 5 January 1960 she was buried next to her mother in the little cemetery near Penrose and Thatcher, Utah, where she had lived as a child. Her resting place daces the hills she used to climb and ride horses on as a youngster.

Her death came so suddenly and with such a shock. She hadn’t seemed to be ill for a long time. Of course, she had a bad heart attack when we lived in Eureka, California, but she had rested and taken really good care of herself. She had been told that her heart was completely healed. She did get upset over things easily and I suppose this was hard on her. Lillian was a very good person, but she took things too seriously sometimes and got uptight about many things. This might have had something to do with her fatal attack.

Lillian’s funeral was in the Bountiful 3rd Ward chapel and was conducted by our Bishop Norman E. Bowen. The main speaker was Lowell Thomson from Provo who was a very dear friend of ours from Eureka, California. He gave a very fine talk and told about the family and gave some very good tributes to Lillian and the family. Bishop Bowen also gave some lovely tributes to the family and our beloved wife and mother. Bishop Arthur Sperry of the Salt Lake 4th Ward, Temple View Stake also spoke. He had some nice things to say about Lillian and the rest of our family. My niece, Opal Cutler sang, “Beyond the Sunset” and It affected me very much. I remember that song also affected Douglas very much. It was so hard on the children to lose their mother. It was especially hard on the ones who weren’t married because they didn’t have anyone to share their grief.

To be continued…

History: David William Rowley

Ralph (Ralph Alcorn Rowley) had gone back to BYU and was active in the R.O.T.C. He became the student Commander of the BYU group. He met a young woman there that he thought a lot of. We liked her very much, too. Her name was Aleene Sumsion. She was from the state of Washington and after she graduated from BYU in June of 1957, she went home to work for the summer. Ralph spent some time there during the summer, also.

Ralph and Aleene decided to get married in the fall and set their date as 21 August 1957. Douglas (Douglas Alcorn Rowley) and Vonna (Vonna Ensign) had been married just 11 months before. Ralph and Aleene chose the Salt Lake Temple. Most of the family was at the ceremony and the reception that followed. Aleene taught school while Ralph finished his last year at BYU.

In the fall two more grandchildren were born. Marjorie (Marjorie Ann Rowley) added a little girl named Dwana Kay Judkins – 186, born 26 September 1957. Vonna had her first baby, a boy, born 4 November 1957 whom they named William Douglas Rowley – 164. They were both hale and healthy.

Clayton (Clayton Alcorn Rowley) came home from his mission in June of 1958. He had the unusual experience of being called to the California North Mission, the area we had just moved from. He had some wonderful experiences to tell us about. He had left from the Salt Lake 4th Ward and when he returned we were living in the Bountiful 3rd.

Ralph and Aleene had their first baby on 21 May 1958. It was a boy they named Kurtis Wayne Rowley. Ralph was sure glad to be the father of a son.

I was still in construction work but with the fall my job ran out. Dwain’s Dwain Eugene Judkins) father (Leonard Newell Judkins) offered me a job working for him in Orem, Utah. Sometimes Lillian (Lillian Alcorn) and the boys (Hugh Alcorn and Grant Alcorn Rowley) came down on weekends and sometimes I went home to Bountiful for the weekend. I stayed with Dwain and Margie. I surely enjoyed their little children (David Lenn, Deon Eugene and Dwana Judkins). We all spent Christmas with them in Orem. Just before this, however, Vonna gave birth to her second son, Scott Calvin Rowley, who was born 19 December 1958. This made us 10 grandchildren.

Following are excerpts from a letter I wrote to my brother, Francis (Hugh Francis Rowley, after a trip to Idaho:

“I don’t know if Verda (Verda May Rowley) has contacted you since we went back to Montana or not, but we had quite a trip when we went up to Aunt Mary’s (Mary Ann Jones) funeral.

“We went up to Rigby that night. Verda stayed with Virginia, my old girlfriend. The rest of us went to a hotel. The next morning I walked around town, but there were not many places I would have recognized after all these years. I was sure glad to see my old Sunday School teacher, Ralph Hoggan, who got me started reading the Book of Mormon,

“We contacted the Calls and Jesse and Frank and their wives went with us up to the old dry farm where we used to work and play together as children. We went in two cars and drove up through Ririe. A few of the old places were still there. When we reached the Bingham dry farm I saw they had it all under irrigation from pumping wells. It was all green with a beautiful crop of potatoes.

To be continued…