History: David William Rowley

Next we went to Washington D.C. where Ralph (Ralph Alcorn Rowley) came for us and took us home to his family. They were very good to us and made us feel very much at home. Aleene (Aleene Sumsion) took us out to Mount Vernon where George Washington lived. Mount Vernon is very old fashioned and beautiful. The trees are very large and old. Holes in the trunks have been filled with cement to keep the trees alive. The lawns and gardens, the elegant manor house, the slave quarters, the livery stables, coaches, small gate-room school house, and many more things have been preserved and kept just as they were when the family lived there. It is something I hope all my family will be able to see sometime.

They took us out to see the temple site. The temple was almost finished on the outside and we were sure glad we saw it. They took us several places, including the Smithsonian Institute buildings. We fell in love with them. The ones we saw were filled with such indescribably wonderfully things. We would have liked to spend two months there.

We stayed with Ralph for 12 days then took the bus again and went to New Brunswick, New Jersey. We spent the next four days there with Sheldon (Sheldon Rowley Murphy) and his family. They gave us their master and made us feel so welcome. They fixed a picnic lunch and we went out to the beach on the Atlantic Ocean. Thanks to them we can say that we have at least waded in both the Pacific and Atlantic. The next day some friends of theirs took us with them to New York City and treated us like family. We saw many of the interesting things there. When Myrna Jean (Myrna Jean Johnson) heard Estella (Estella Cordelia Tidwell) tell about (and show the picture) leaning over a railing on the 69th floor of the Rockefeller Center to take a picture of the top of a huge cathedral, showing the tips of the spires and a cross on the top of the building, she said, “My goodness, I didn’t know you were doing things like that!”

Going across on the ferry and seeing the Statue of Liberty was nice and coming back from New York City through the Lincoln Tunnel was fun, too, actually seeing the thing we had heard about, made us feel like we were having a dream come true.

Sheldon had called ahead and made arrangements for some of the church members to meet our bus in Rochester, New York and to see that we got to the pageant and things. Brother and Sister Yahn were there and they took us in Palmyra where we had a picnic lunch with them. Then they took us to the Sacred Grove where Stella had a very spiritual experience. We went to the Smith house and all of this was so wonderful. That evening they took us to the Hill Cumorah Pageant. No one could describe the grandeur of that experience. The sound and lighting effects and the performance of the play are something I will never forget.

These nice people took us back to our motel room in Rochester where we couldn’t sleep in our expensive room because we were so wound up from the many things we had experienced that day. We could never have done it without the help of these wonderful people.

The next day we took the bus to Canada and spent most of it taking in the beauty of Niagara Falls. Estella was really taken with it and didn’t want to leave but we had to be on our way. We saw other places in Canada but a lot of it was during the night.

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History: David William Rowley

Ralph (Ralph Alcorn Rowley) was supposed to interview Colonel Bernard Fisher for the Air Force and he took us with him. He was a member of the Church and we found him to be a common man although he had been a real hero in the war.

We also went over to Archie’s (Archie Johnson) place in Boise for a visit and Ralph and Archie seemed to hit it off really well. They are about the same age and they both went to the “Y” and they filled missions about the same time. We were glad to see them like each other.

The first week in August, Clayton (Clayton Alcorn Rowley), Jana (Janevie Clegg) and their children (Bruce Charles, Burt William, Charrielynn and Michael Lyn Rowley and Doug (Douglas Alcorn Rowley) and Vonna (Vonna Ensign) and their children (William Douglas, Scott Calvin, Pamela and Roxanne Rowley) came up to see us. Jana’s sister came along, too. We had 17 in the house for meals, but the girls were really good to help with the work. We had intended to put the older boys out in the tent to sleep, but that was the time of year the mosquito’s moved in so that was impossible. We solved the problem by giving the bedrooms to Clayton and Jana and Doug and Vonna, putting the kids on the porches and the floor and the couch. We even had a rollaway bed in the kitchen. Estella (Estella Cordelia Tidwell) and I slept over at Harold’s (Harold Norman Johnson) we tried to show them a good time and we were very glad they came.

Doug was happy to show this country to Vonna because he had been driving a delivery truck up to the Treasure Valley for a long time. She loved it and wished they could move up here.

On the labor day weekend I met Estella’s cousin, Ed Tidwell and his wife in their mountain home just above LeGrande, Oregon. This led to a sometimes blessing in our lives. I wasn’t working now, so when they invited us back we went. I helped them add two rooms to their house and we loaned them some money to save their place in Myrtle Creek from being sold for taxes. We ended up buying a trailer for the money we had let them have and some land to put it on. We did enjoy going up there and the feeling of having a place in the mountains was good. We seemed to be able to see all the constellations in the sky from our bedroom window while we were in bed. It seemed like we were clear out of the world but we could hear the train whistle at the foot of the mountain. We saw deer and I dressed out a deer, or helped Ed’s wife do it, that had been killed by a train. We had some good meat from that. Harold and his family came up there with is a few times. I bought a style chainsaw and we cut and took out quite a bit of fallen log wood and it sure helped out on the cost of heating our house, but it was really too far away to be of practical use to us. There were some real nice and very smart German Shepherd dogs up there that we learned to like very much.

It is interesting that there were no births in either side of the family this year, a rare thing. I remember an incident with the Senior Citizens. We were at dinner there on our anniversary and they honored us by having us stand up and tell something of ourselves. We did then Estella added that this was our 10th anniversary and we had 49 grandchildren (including the 3 great grandchildren). Many of them looked surprised but she laughed and told them that this was a second marriage for both of us.

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History: David William Rowley

When George (George Redd) and Geneal (Geneal Rose Johnson) came for a visit the whole family went to Cascade Lake for an outing. I found it very interesting to watch the squirrels gather their nuts for winter. They would cut the small cones out of the trees and let them fall to the ground then they would scamper down and gather them up and take them to their holes. We went up once when Timmy (Timmy Redd) was little and he had to be watched closely because he would walk right into the water up over his head!

In September 1971 Grant (Grant Alcorn Rowley) called and then he came up to see us clear from California. He wanted me to give him a father’s blessing which I was happy to do. He went to church with us and I was so proud to present him to my friends. Before long he wrote and said he had found the girl he was going to marry. We were so happy for him.

In October 1971 Terry (Terrel Johnson) was blessed with a little sister. Harold (Harold Norman Johnson) and Myrna Jean (Myrna Jean Johnson) named her Melody. She turned out to be a lovely and vivacious little miss.

Word came from Grant again – he said him and Linda Roskelley were going to be married in November and they wanted is to be there. So we drove to California in our Cadillac and it was very enjoyable. Grant and Linda met us and we immediately fell in love with the girl that Grant had chosen. They took us to Linda’s grandparents place and we were made very comfortable. This was in Roseville, California.

My birthday that year was very special because Grant and Linda were married in the Oakland Temple on that day, 24 November 1971. How privileged we were to be with them on that day and in that place.

Before we came home we went over to Eureka to see Emerson (Emerson Adis Rowley) and Walter (Walter Illith Rowley) and their wives (Sarah Marie Alderson and Lois Evelyn Chapman – respectively). We were treated royally there and really enjoyed our visit with them. It was almost the middle of December when we started home and the weather was bad. We got into some trouble that could have cost us our lives but both times, by the providence of the Lord and the kindness of some very real wonderful strangers, we came out all right. We were very grateful for His care and help in getting home safely.

We had a quiet Christmas with Harold’s family and there was snow on the ground for a change. Estella (Estella Cordelia Tidwell) was happy to hold and to love the lovely new granddaughter, Melody.

In the summer of 1972 we went down to Utah for a very wonderful family reunion just for my father’s descendants. Margie (Marjorie Ann Rowley) got the use of the chapel we used to take care of and being there brought good memories. We had such good food and such loving and visiting with our loved ones. All of my brothers (Hugh Francis, Emerson, and Walter Rowley) and my dear sister (Verda May Rowley were there and we had some really good pictures taken. I have a copy of the five of us in my bedroom and it is good to look at our smiling faces and to see Verda’s), so sweet and lovely as she always was.

This is the year we raised the garden with our dear friends and enjoyed discussing the Doctrine and Covenants, especially with them. We liked everyday we spent with them. We brought Ralph (Ralph Alcorn Rowley) and the children (Kurtis Wayne, Kristine, Lorrain, Janiel and Lynn Sumsion Rowley) out to see us after they had finished summer classes at BYU. It was a blessing to have them here and to have my granddaughter Janiel want me to baptize her. It was a joy to me. She was a special little sweetheart.

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History: David William Rowley

As soon as we got home from our visit with Ralph (Ralph Alcorn Rowley), I brought home the little dog, Rusty that I had been coaxing Estella (Estella Cordelia Tidwell) to accept. She hadn’t seen him, but I told her how cute he was. He was a thoroughbred Pomeranian and was much loved by his family. They were moving to England and couldn’t take him with them. Rusty was very smart and very special and it didn’t take him long to win Estella’s heart and he became her dog. She was going to people’s homes at night to babysit and when she left Rusty would go under the bed and sob, then go to the window to see if she was coming. If he couldn’t see her he would go back under the bed and sob some more. When she came home she would pick him up and talk to him and you could see where the tears had been running down his face. If we scolded him for something he would do the same thing. He was quite a dog and real good company.

We got word that they thought the cobalt had killed the rest of Virginia’s (Virginia Fern Johnson) tumor. The doctor had told Estella that they could never get all of the tumor without doing too much damage to her brain, but if the tumor was benign it would dry up. However, their troubles were not over. Virginia had left Chad (Chad Layne McKnight) and her Aunt had bought a big mobile home and had moved it onto Harold’s (Harold Norman Johnson) property in New Plymouth, Idaho, for Virginia and her children (Cory and daughter McKnight) to live in.

We received word that Harold and Myrna Jean had been blessed with another baby boy on 12 January 1968. He had dark hair and brown eyes and was a real sweetheart whom they named Terrel (Terrel Johnson).

I began to realize that this was the last year for me to work. It seemed like the time had gone by too fast – that I just couldn’t be that old. We talked about what I might do after I retired. I thought it might be well for us to get a chapel to take care of, but Estella did not much of that idea at the time. We had agreed that we must get out of debt before I retired. We had been working and saving hard to get the place in Bountiful paid for. After I married Estella, we paid out about $9,000, to get it clear. We had a good boost from Grace (Grace Harriet Rowley) when she paid the rest on the siding and roofing I had put on the side of the house. Then Estella’s sister Lavern (Lavern Todwell) had given us a long term loan of some money she had come into. We also sold Estella’s place in Nampa.

We decided to go to Idaho for Mother’s day that year. It was the first time I had been in New Plymouth and I was quite impressed with the little town and with Treasure Valley.

Virginia wanted us to sleep in her bedroom, but we ate most of our meals with Harold. Virginia seemed to be in good spirits. The hair hadn’t grown back on the sides of her head yet so she had made bands to match her dresses to wear around her head. Harold sang at the Mother’s Day program and Virginia played for him. We enjoyed seeing Harold’s and Virginia’s children together. We stayed at Archie’s (Archie Johnson) on the way back and I marveled at how Janae (Janae Johnson) was so good to help her mother (Verna Johnson).

In June, after we had our trip to Idaho, a new little red-headed boy came to Clayton (Clayton Alcorn Rowley) and Jana (Janevie Clegg), they named him Michael (Michael Lyn Rowley). We were glad to see that he was healthy and strong.

Finally on 18 July 1968, Dwana (Dwana Kay Judkins) got her little sister. Dwain (Dwain Eugene Judkins) and Margie (Marjorie Ann Rowley) had a little girl they named Margene (Margene Judkins).

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History: David William Rowley

They (Ralph Alcorn Rowley and Aleene Sumsion) had a nice big house and they made us very comfortable. We enjoyed seeing the baby for the first time. Little Janiel (Janiel Rowley) was such a pretty little girl, too. She seemed to like her Grandpa as did the others. Lorrain (Lorrain Rowley) was a bit shy and didn’t talk very much. I noted that Kurt (Kurtis Wayne Rowley) was really growing and getting really smart. We enjoyed watching the children unwrap their toys and the dinner was really good. We had brought along a lot of warm clothes expecting to freeze, but it wasn’t so bad.

Our ticket was good on the bus as well as the train, so we came home that way and it didn’t take nearly so long.

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History: David William Rowley

Before we leave 1966 I want to tell you about an experience of mine that happened back in October. There was a big harvest moon out one evening when I got to go on my first airplane ride. Estella’s (Estella Cordelia Tidwell) friend Virginia Roberts, had a nephew living in Salt Lake who flew planes. One evening he took us to Provo, landing the plane and then flew back. On the way back, when we were flying over the mountains he let me take the controls for a while. It was really a thrill and that big moon looked closer to earth than we had ever seen it before. It appeared, suddenly, just above the turn of the mountain, as we were going down.

Things went pretty smoothly in our lives for a while, then in October 1967 Chad (Chad Layne McKnight) called us and said that Virginia (Virginia Fern Johnson) had a brain tumor and that they were to operate on her the next morning. Grace (Grace Harriet Rowley) helped Estella get ready and then she drove us to the airport. It was in the night and it took only 45 minutes for that jet to get her to Boise where Archie (Archie Johnson) met her. She got to the hospital in time to talk to Virginia the next morning before they took her to surgery. They had already cut off her hair and Estella gathered it up and saved it.

Virginia was operated on the morning of 17 October 1967. It was a bad time for all of us because they found that the tumor was malignant. She came through the surgery fine and went to Harold’s (Harold Norman Johnson) home to convalesce because they were taking care of her baby, Cory (Cory McKnight). Estella stayed for a while, then came home. Virginia took cobalt treatments for quite a while.

I think we spent Thanksgiving with Dwain (Dwain Eugene Judkins) and Margie (Marjorie Ann Rowley). We enjoyed little Darrell (Darrell Wayne Judkins). He has always seemed like a child who had deep thoughts and would accomplish much in this world.

Ralph (Ralph Alcorn Rowley) had been wanting us to come to Montana to see them so we decided to go up for Christmas. Since Estella had enjoyed riding on the train in the past we decided to go that way. I had been working really hard and we were rushing around getting ready when we noticed that our old toilet had run over and water was clear out into the hall and the next room. We both worked like troopers getting the water cleaned up and I suppose all that stooping was what caused me to get a terrible nosebleed. I am kind of subject to them anyway. Grace came over and we got the bleeding stopped just before train time. Grace took us to the depot and we had just gotten on the train when my nose started to bleed again. Fortunately, we had brought some towels. A strange man took me to charge and accompanied me to the men’s room and soon got it stopped again. Altogether I had lost a lot of blood.

The train took us to Logan and switched our car off where we sat trying to sleep in the reclining seats for a good part of the night. Finally we started and arrived in Great Falls the next day. We went on to Havre and stayed with Bert (Bert Lund Murphy) and Verda (Verda May Rowley) for a couple of days. They had bought a nice little home and had been a real help to Aleene (Aleene Sumsion) and the kids (Kurtis Wayne, Kristine, Lorrain, Janiel and Lynn Sumsion Rowley) while Ralph was in Guam on duty. We finally got to Glasgow where Ralph met us. Kristine had come in with him and she sat on my lap and talked up a storm all the way back to their home. She gave her Grandpa a few kisses, too.

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History: David William Rowley

We went with Francis (Hugh Francos Rowley) and Erma (Erma Thornton) to Kalispell and enjoyed the beautiful country very much. Then over the highline road which Estella (Estella Cordelia Tidwell) said seemed like the top of the world. We saw some big mountain sheep, then on to Havre. Verda (Verda May Rowley) went over to Harlem with us. My how the memories flooded back; we visited Sharon’s (Sharon Lee Rowley) grave and also my mother’s (Grace Davis) and father’s (Hugh Thompson Rowley). Then we went out to our old home and Estella got to see the country and places where I spent 20 years of my life. When we got back to Havre, Bert (Bert Lund Murphy) had a turkey dinner ready for us and boy was it good because we were all really hungry.

While we were gone to Montana Hugh (Hugh Alcorn Rowley) and Gail (Gail Jensen) had a baby boy. They named him Stephen Michael. Hugh and his family had moved back to Utah and he had gone into the insurance business. They were living in Layton. We went right out to see the new baby.

I had a few days left from my June vacation, so Hubert (Hubert Tidwell) and Estella and I went to Wyoming. We caught quite a lot of fish in the Green River and we dug out fish fossils from the side of the mountain. It was sire cold there, even in the summer

August came and with it word that Aleene (Aleene Sumsion) had given birth to her fifth child, finally another son. They named him Lynn Sumsion Rowley. Ralph (Ralph Alcorn Rowley) was very happy to have a second son.

Soon after we got word that Estella had a new grandson, also, born to Bob and Tita. We wished we could go see them. In November we got word that Geneal had given birth to a new baby girl. Stella felt bad that she couldn’t go down to be with her.

For my birthday that year, 1966, the children gave me a big “surprise” birthday party. It was held in Hugh’s chapel in Layton. There was quite a crowd and they were all my family! Being so near Thanksgiving we had a big turkey dinner and had such a good time. I will never forget it.

This year proved to be a bumper crop of grandchildren for us both. I had four and Estella had two. Then to top it all off, I received word that I was a great grandfather! Cheryl (Cheryl Jeanette Smith) had married a nice young man (Robert Michael Owens) she met at Ralph’s and now she had a baby. They named him Robert (Robert Eugene Owens), and he was born 18 December 1966. My cup runneth over! We had dinner with Douglas (Douglas Alcorn Rowley) and Vonna’s  (Vonna Ensign) that Christmas. Grant (Grant Alcorn Rowley) was home from Vietnam and went with us.

I was still working for the Davis Count School District. They had moved their shops from Farmington to Kaysville. The head of the carpenter shops was Claud Moore, my old friend from California. Estella and I visited them once in a while.

Harold (Harold Norman Johnson) brought his family down for a few days’ vacation and we had a nice visit. They told us that Chad (Chad Layne McKnight) and Virginia (Virginia Fern Johnson) were having marital troubles. We had suspected it before.

We were working almost constantly with our genealogical records, sending many sheets to the temple. We enjoyed this work so very much and were receiving heavenly direction in our efforts to do research. Estella was especially having spiritual direction. Refer to her history for details of some of these miracles.

To be continued…