History: Grace Davis

One of the first homes Verda May remembers was a long, one room, log house. It was chinked between the logs with pieces of wood and then mud to keep out the cold. The walls on the inside were covered with muslin and it was cleaned regularly by white-washing with a mixture of lime and water which was brushed onto the muslin. The roof was covered with logs, then straw and packed with dirt. Little wild flowers, grass and weeds used to grow up on the roof. Very often when it rained, it took many buckets and pans to catch dirty “drips.”

They used kerosene lamps and lanterns and the five gallon kerosene can was a necessity when going into town for supplies. They didn’t have mattresses such as we have today, either. They had “ticks” filled with straw and laid on a frame-work with slats of wood on the bottom. How the children loved to snuggle down into the covers with the smell of fresh straw permeating the night air.

The first “carpet” Grace and Hugh Thompson had was a large piece of burlap. Grace put a layer of straw on the floor, laid the burlap over it, and then tacked it down all around to hold the straw. The straw acted as a pad and this made pretty good “carpet” for the bedroom floor. The bare floors were scrubbed regularly until they were almost white from the use of homemade lye soap and hot water.

One of the first stoves they had was a box-type of malleable iron. It was heavily nicked across the oven, on the warming oven, on the little door at the end of the firebox, and on the ash pan. This all had to be kept clean and shining. The wood box was always by the stove and was close to the corner. It was not only a place to store wood but also a “place of correction.” Instead of the proverbial woodshed, all these parents had to do to punish David William, was to make him stand in the wood box. This hurt him worse than spanking.

It always hurt Hugh Francis, the oldest child, to be sent to bed without his supper. The children don’t recall ever being punished by spanking. Hugh Thompson and Grace did very little of that kind of punishment. The children could sense when they had hurt or upset their parents by disobedience, as very little was said, but that hurt the children more than if they had been given a physical type of punishment.

When Grace’s father divided his homestead among his children about 1911 or 1912, Grace’s share lay on the north next to the canal. About 1913, Hugh Thompson decided to homestead a dry farm which was located about fifteen miles from where they were living and they managed both of these places for quite a while.

This dry farm was located about ten miles southeast of Ririe, Idaho. It lay on the south side of a large canyon. They had to drive down a long dug way into Willow Creek Canyon. Then followed the canyon on the south to the forks where two more canyons converged. These canyons were called Meadow Creek and Deep Creek. Proceeding south up Meadow Creek for about half a mile, they came to where they later built their home. To get out on the flat where they had their farm and built their first home, they had to go up another dug way on the west side of the canyon. There were acres and acres of grain planted on this flat land which stretched for miles.

To be continued…


History: Grace Davis

Grace, Hannah, and Charlotte all learned to work at everything outdoors as well as to cook and take care of the home. David Peter raised good horses and this is where his daughters learned to love horses. Grace loved horses and practiced trick-riding, becoming very proficient at it. Grace was very capable in handling them and was never happier than when she was outside working with them. David Peter took great pride in the fact that his girls were accomplished in these outdoor skills and had a great capacity for work.

Caroline was not in good health for several years and passed away on 30 November 1903 at Milo and was buried in the Shelton Cemetery near Ririe, Idaho.

On 19 August 1909, David Peter married again. Effie Cornelia Fowley Greene was a widow with three girls, Laura, Pearl, and Ruby. To this marriage was born a boy, David Peter II (often called Dee), born 31 January 1911, and a girl, Naina DeEsta, born 8 February 1913. Effie died shortly after the birth of the baby girl in 1913, so Grace took the baby and cared for her until David Peter decided to put her in another home, later adopting her to a family by the name of Robinson in Idaho Falls. Grace’s youngest son, Walter, was about two when DeEsta came to live with them. They lived in a one-room house and to say the least they were crowded. How true is the saying “Where there is heart room, there is house room?”

Grace was about 5 ft. 7 in. tall and weighed about 160 pounds. She had raven-black hair and dark brown eyes, inherited from her Welsh and English parents. She was quiet and unassuming, never projecting herself onto others. Inheriting the Welsh love of music, she went about her work with a song on her lips. She was a very hard worker, learning early in life how to take responsibility and always doing more than her share of any work. Necessity made her a fast worker.

She told of an incident which happened in her early teens which taught her a never forgotten lesson in responsibility. She had been given permission to attend a social function for the young people. As often happens, the time slipped away faster than she realized and it was long past chore time when she arrived home (in those days they never had fast cars to get them home in a hurry). As she walked in the door, her father informed her she still had the chores to do. You can imagine how she felt, especially when there were others who could have done them for her this once.

Grace’s schooling began with her family’s move from Samaria to Milo in 1883. The first school in this entire section of the country was on Willow Creek in the homes of George and John Heath and their neighbor, Orvill Buck. The teacher’s name was Miss Jennie Beam. In 1886, a log building was erected by the settlers to accommodate the growing number of children.

In the book “Pioneer History and Development of Milo Ward, 1880-1960,” a picture is shown of one of the first schools built in the valley. This log house was located on the northwest corner of the present David Cook farm on the Ririe Highway, just about one-half mile east of the Milo Road, which is located about a mile and a half from David Peter’s farm.

To be continued…

History: Grace Davis

The father of Grace Davis, David Peter Davis, was born 29 May 1854 at Aberaman, near Aberdare, Glamorganshire, Wales; the son of David William Davis and Charlotte Nott Jeremy. His parents were converts to the LDS Church when David Peter was ten months old, they immigrated to the United States because of their religious beliefs and they hoped to find better working conditions than in the mines of Wales.

They lived in Pottsville, Pennsylvania, where a daughter, Mary Ann, was born on 30 August 1856. Another daughter was born at Alma Town, Illinois in 1860, who was named Ellen Jane. Apparently, they were on their way through Missouri in 1861 when Ellen Jane took ill and passed away on the boat going from St. Louis to Florence, Nebraska and was buried at Harmon on the banks of the river 25 January 1861.

Grace’s mother was Caroline Anne Coles, a daughter of Rueben Coles and Hannah Terrill. They were both from England, but had immigrated and were living in Cedar Fort, where Caroline met David Peter Davis when he came to Cedar Fort to work. He met Caroline at a dance during the time they were holding an LDS Conference in Cedar Fort. They were friends for two years. Caroline was only seventeen and David Peter was twenty-one when they were secretly married on 8 October 1875.

Grace was the first child of eight born to David Peter Davis and Caroline Anne Coles. She was born 21 August 1876 in Cedar Fort, Utah. Her mother was living in the home of Grace’s grandparents, Rueben and Hannah. Of the eight children born to David Peter and Caroline, only Grace, Parley, Hannah and Charlotte lived to adulthood.  David Rueben died at the age of twelve and the others (two sons, Evan and Polly Davis) died at birth.

Parley was born 17 July 1878 at Cedar Fort, Utah. He never married and died 20 September 1943.

Hannah was born 21 November 1880 at Samaria, Idaho.

David Reuben was born in Samaria on 2 February 1883. When David Reuben was twelve years old, he and Parley were driving some horses. Parley became aggravated because they wouldn’t go where he wanted them to go; he picked up a slivery stick and threw it. It missed the horse and hit Rueben in the face. Not having drugs and medication to treat such things like we do today, tetanus or lockjaw, as they called it then, soon developed and Reuben lay for a month–slowly dying from the infection and starvation. He could neither eat nor drink. David Peter and Caroline sat by his bedside and watched their son slowly slip away from them. For some time David Peter was bitter about this as he couldn’t see the justice in one so young having to suffer so much. David Rueben died 20 September 1895.

Charlotte, the third daughter, was born 1 February 1866 at Milo, Idaho, in a log cabin with loop-holes for defense against the Indians. She was a frail child with a rheumatic heart. Because of this condition she was never really in good health and sometimes in very poor health.

To be continued…

History: Grace Davis

History of Grace Davis

Bert Lund Murphy – Son-in-Law (Husband of Verda May)
Caroline Ann Coles (208) – Mother
Charlotte Davis (214) – Sister
Charlotte Nott Jeremy (421) – Paternal Grandmother
David Peter Davis (207) – Father
David Peter Davis II – Half Brother
David Reuben Davis; Reuben (212) – Brother
David William Davis (420) – Paternal Grandfather
David William Rowley (30) – Son
Effie Cornelia Fowler – Stepmother
Ellen Jane Davis (423) – Paternal Aunt
Emerson Adis Rowley (89) – Son
Erma Thornton – Daughter-in-Law (Wife of Hugh Francis)
Evan Davis (215) – Brother
Grace Davis (86) – Self
Hannah Davis (210) – Sister
Hannah Terrill (429) – Maternal Grandmother
Harriet ‘Annie’ Rowley (199) – Sister-in-Law (Sister of Husband, Hugh Thompson Rowley)
Hugh Francis Rowley (87) – Son
Hugh Galloway – Nephew (Son of husbands sister, Harriet Ann Rowley)
Hugh Thompson Rowley (85) – Husband
Jane Paul (198) – Mother-in-Law
Laura Greene – Stepsister
Lillian Alcorn (31) – Daughter-in-Law (Wife of David William)
Mary Ann Davis (422) – Paternal Aunt
Mary Leah McGary – Wife of Nephew Hugh Galloway
Naina DeEsta Davis – Half Sister
Parley Davis (209) – Brother
Parley J. Davis – Paternal Uncle (?)
Pearl Greene – Stepsister
Polly Davis (216) – Sister
Reuben Coles (428) – Maternal Grandfather
Ruby Greene – Stepsister
Sarah Marie Alderson – Daughter-in-Law (Wife of Emerson Adis)
Son Davis (211) – Brother
Son Davis (213) – Brother
Verda May Rowley (88) – Daughter
Walter Illith Rowley (90) – Son

To be continued…

How Are You Related To Me?

Maternal Great-Great-Great-Grandfather: David Peter Davis – 207
David Peter 207 – Grace 86 – David William 30 – Grace Harriet 10 – Lillian Lorraine 3 – Kellie Jeanette 1

Maternal Great-Great-Great-Grandmother: Caroline Ann Coles – 208
Caroline Ann 208 – Grace 86 – David William 30 – Grace Harriet 10 – Lillian Lorraine 3 – Kellie Jeanette 1

Maternal Great-Great-Grandmother: Grace Davis – 86
Grace 86 – David William 30 – Grace Harriet 10 – Lillian Lorraine 3 – Kellie Jeanette 1

Maternal Great-Great-Great-Uncle: Parley Davis – 209
Parley 209 + David Peter 207 – Grace 86 – David William 30 – Grace Harriet 10 – Lillian Lorraine 3 – Kellie Jeanette 1

Maternal Great-Great-Great-Aunt: Hannah Davis – 210
Hannah 210 + David Peter 207 – Grace 86 – David William 30 – Grace Harriet 10 – Lillian Lorraine 3 – Kellie Jeanette 1

Maternal Great-Great-Great-Uncle: ‘Son’ Davis – 211
‘Son’ 211 + David Peter 207 – Grace 86 – David William 30 – Grace Harriet 10 – Lillian Lorraine 3 – Kellie Jeanette 1

Maternal Great-Great-Great-Uncle: David Reuben Davis – 212
David Reuben 212 + David Peter 207 – Grace 86 – David William 30 – Grace Harriet 10 – Lillian Lorraine 3 – Kellie Jeanette 1

Maternal Great-Great-Great-Uncle: ‘Son’ Davis – 213
‘Son’ 213 + David Peter 207 – Grace 86 – David William 30 – Grace Harriet 10 – Lillian Lorraine 3 – Kellie Jeanette 1

Maternal Great-Great-Great-Aunt: Charlotte Davis – 214
Charlotte 214 + David Peter 207 – Grace 86 – David William 30 – Grace Harriet 10 – Lillian Lorraine 3 – Kellie Jeanette 1

Maternal Great-Great-Great-Uncle: Evan Davis – 215
Evan 215 + David Peter 207 – Grace 86 – David William 30 – Grace Harriet 10 – Lillian Lorraine 3 – Kellie Jeanette 1

Maternal Great-Great-Great-Aunt: Polly Davis – 216
Polly 216 + David Peter 207 – Grace 86 – David William 30 – Grace Harriet 10 – Lillian Lorraine 3 – Kellie Jeanette 1

+: Parent
-: Child
=: Spouse

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…

History: Lillian Alcorn

History of Lillian Alcorn Rowley

Aleene Sumsion – Daughter-in-Law (wife of son Ralph Alcorn Rowley – 34)
Bert Lund Murphy – Brother-in-Law (husband of sister-in-law Verda May Rowley – 88)
Cheryl Jeanette Smith (12) – Granddaughter (daughter of daughter Grace Harriet Rowley – 10)
Clark Alcorn (91) – Father; Papa; Dad
Clayton Alcorn Rowley (35) – Son
David Alcorn Rowley (32) – Son
David Lenn Judkins – Grandson (son of daughter Marjorie Ann Rowley – 36)
David William Rowley; Dave  (30) – Husband
Deon Eugene Judkins – Grandson (son of Marjorie Ann Rowley – 36)
Dollie Cook – Maternal Aunt (wife of Maternal Uncle James Albert Weaver Jr – 228)
Donald Eugene Smith; Don (9) – Son-in-Law (husband of daughter Grace Harriet Rowley – 10)
Donald Eugene Smith Jr (11) – Grandson (son of daughter Grace Harriet Rowley – 10)
Donna Diane Smith (13) – Granddaughter (daughter of daughter Grace Harriet Rowley – 10)
Douglas Alcorn Rowley; Doug (33) – Son
Dwain Eugene Judkins – Son-in-Law (husband of daughter Marjorie Ann Rowley – 36)
Dwana Kay Judkins – Granddaughter (daughter of daughter Marjorie Ann Rowley – 36)
Emerson Adis Rowley (98) – Brother-in-Law (brother of husband David William Rowley – 30)
Erma Thornton – Sister-in-Law (wife of brother-in-law Hugh Francis Rowley – 87)
Fannie Marie Weaver; Aunt Fannie (229) – Maternal Aunt (sister of mother Harriet Ann Weaver – 92)
Grace Davis (86) – Mother-in-Law
Grace Harriet Rowley (10) – Daughter
Grant Alcorn Rowley (39) – Son
Hannah Davis; Hannah Foster (210) Husband David William Rowley’s – 30 Maternal Aunt
Harold Archie Alcorn (97) – Brother
Harriet Ann Rowley; Annie Robinson (199) – Husband David William Rowley’s – 30 Paternal Aunt
Harriet Ann Weaver (92) – Mother; Mama
Hugh Alcorn Rowley (37) – Son
Hugh Francis Rowley; Francis (87) – Brother-in-Law (brother of husband David William Rowley – 30)
Hugh Thompson Rowley (85) – Father-in-Law
James Albert Weaver Jr; Albert (228) – Maternal Uncle (brother of mother Harriet Ann Weaver – 92)
James Sheldon Nelson Sr – Maternal Uncle (husband of Aunt Fannie – 229); Blessed Lillian
James Sheldon Nelson Jr – Maternal Cousin (son of Aunt Fannie – 229)
Jesse Verl Alcorn-Perry; Verl (99) – Brother
Joseph Lorenzo Alcorn; Lorenzo (96) – Brother
Karen Goe – Niece (daughter of sister Melva Alcorn – 98)
Kurtis Wayne Rowley – Grandson (son of Ralph Alcorn Rowley – 34)
Leonard Clark Alcorn (93) – Brother
Lillian Alcorn (31) – Self
Lillian Lorraine Smith (3) – Granddaughter (daughter of daughter Grace Harriet Rowley – 10)
Margaret Jeannette Alcorn; Jeannette (224) – Paternal Aunt
Marjorie Ann Rowley; Margie (36) – Daughter
Marvin Ballard Alcorn (95) – Brother
Mary Francis Alcorn – Niece (daughter of brother Harold Archie Alcorn – 97)
Mary Gregory Askins – Sister-in-Law (wife of brother Harold Archie Alcorn – 97)
Melva Alcorn (98) – Sister
Myron Nelson – Maternal Cousin (son of Aunt Fannie – 229)
Pamela Rowley – Granddaughter (daughter of son Douglas Alcorn Rowley – 33)
Ralph Alcorn Rowley (34) – Son
Robert L Goe – Brother-in-Law (husband of sister Melva Alcorn – 98)
Ronald Steven Smith; Ronnie (14) – Grandson (son of daughter Grace Harriet Rowley – 10)
Rosina Weaver (468) – Maternal Great Aunt
Royal James Rowley (205) Husband David William Rowley’s – 30 Paternal Uncle
Scott Calvin Rowley – Grandson (son of son Douglas Alcorn Rowley – 33)
Sharon Lee Rowley (38) – Daughter
Verda May Rowley (88) – Sister-in-Law (sister of husband David William Rowley – 30)
Vonna Ensign – Daughter-in-Law (wife of son Douglas Alcorn Rowley – 33)
William Douglas Rowley – Grandson (son of Douglas Alcorn Rowley – 33)
William Vernon Alcorn; Vernon (94) – Brother
William Weaver (457) – Maternal Great-Grandfather

To be continued…