History: David William Rowley

Dad had some skin cancers on his face neck. He had heard about a man in Saint Anthony, Idaho who could remove them. So on his way to Montana he stopped there and they were removed. It was an herb remedy that this man had gotten from the Indians. It was applied in the form of a poultice and after a few days, when the poultice was removed, the cancers came with it. Dad had them in a bottle, roots and all. He had been given a jar of black salve to apply where the cancers had come out. He had some of it for a long time and it would heal any kind of wound or sore. Dad was sick from the treatment for a week or so. He went back for more treatments a couple of times, then he seemed to be all right.

Mother, Verda and Mary Galloway, Hugh’s wife, came up on the rain. The wind and dust was blowing very hard when they arrived and Mother cried. She never learned to like Montana. Her heart kind of stayed in Idaho. She would get homesick every once in a while and Dad would let her go back to visit with her relatives, since Verda was old enough to cook for the rest of us. Sometimes Dad would go with her. Several times Emerson went with her as well as Verda a few times and Walter, also. Francis went back to Idaho to work sometimes, but I never did get to go back and I really wanted to.

We got seed potatoes and other things to Zurich and put in a crop. Francis had a girl he liked in Idaho so he went back and worked there that summer. I thinned 15 acres of beets, mostly alone and it was very hard work.

A brother Barnes of Chinook was a field agent for the Utah Idaho Sugar Company. He came out to see us right after we got there and signed us for our beet acreage and found out that we were members of the Church. He told us they held meetings in Zurich. We tried to be there as often as we could. Winfield Hurst was the branch president and was a fine president.

I was asked to teach a class in Sunday School which I enjoyed very much. The students were thirteen and fourteen years old. Emerson was in my class. We weren’t there very long when I was asked to give a talk in Sacrament Meeting. I know our Heavenly Father helped me because it was one of the best talks I ever gave on faith and works.

We had all been going to Church in Zurich, but it was quite a ways to go so in the summer of 1925, the members from Chinook decided to organize a branch there. They had received permission from the Mission President and with his help they formed the Chinook Branch. In order to have a song books it was decided that each member was to bring a dollar to the meeting.

I had thinned a lot of beets for Dad, but he had so much expenses that he couldn’t pay me. I had worked for another man, too, but he couldn’t pay me either. I felt so bad that I couldn’t raise even one dollar. I was walking along to Church the next Sunday, with my head down and feeling really bad about it. The road was freshly graveled; in fact there were piles of gravel that hadn’t been spread out yet. I glanced to the side and there on top of one of those piles was a brand new shiny silver dollar. It was almost impossibility for anyone to have lost it there by heavenly means for me in my hour of need. I picked it up and went on my way rejoicing and was able to do my part in buying the hymn books.

To be continued…


Journal: Grace Harriet Rowley

I also remember when my Grandma Grace (Grace Davis) died from a goiter in 1935. At that time in history, it was common for the body to be kept in the house until the funeral. I remember wondering what was wrong with my Grandma, why didn’t she move. I did not understand that Grandma had passed away.

I also remember when Grandpa Rowley (Hugh Thompson Rowley) went to get Uncle Walter (Walter Illith Rowley) from his mission. He brought back the most beautiful necklaces I had ever seen. The necklace he gave me was a beautiful blue. I cherished it for a long time.

Great Grandma Alcorn (Mary Catherine Hammons), Grandpa Clark’s (Clark Alcorn) mother was a special Grandma, she used to keep bread and jelly in her dresser drawer.  When David (David Alcorn Rowley) and I went to see her we felt special because would give us a piece of bread and jelly from her dresser.

My Grandma Harriet Ann Weaver died in 1922, 6 years before I was born. When I was older Mom (Lillian Alcorn) let me wear her ring to school. It was either garnet or ruby. While I was at school the ring was stolen. I remember how hard it was to tell my mother that the ring had been stolen, but my worrying was for nothing; mother was very understanding. Thank goodness we found out who had the ring and were able to get it back.

My Mother was a beautiful seamstress and made me beautiful clothes. She also had a wonderful singing voice. Mother had pretty auburn hair. Once when I was about 12, I got sick and mother took me to the doctor. I don’t remember what was wrong. But I had to eat boiled egg shells. Mother would boil the egg shells until they were brown.

I grew up during the depression and things were tough to say the l east. When I was about eight, I was invited to go to a birthday party. We didn’t have money to buy a present so mother made a batch of fudge and I gave that for a present. The other kids laughed at me. They thought it was so funny. That was not easy to take. My mother was a wonderful cook and made the best fudge.

Christmas was a special time of year for everyone. The trees would have candles on them and we would string popcorn. Mother would make homemade candy and goodies. Most of the presents were handmade too. Mother would sew clothes and Dad (David William Rowley) would make toys. We sang together as families and would go on horse drawn sleigh rides when there was enough snow. It was a wonderful time of year with many happy memories. When I was 12 or 13, the boys got a bike and I got a silver watch.

On Sundays the families would get together and make homemade ice cream. It was a wonderful blessing to have family close by and we did a lot of fun things together.

History: David William Rowley

Having my mouth and throat burned so badly affected my speech for years. Trying to say my name, “Willie Rowley” was especially difficult. I couldn’t pronounce my l’s and r’s and even grownups, who should have known better, would reportedly ask me my name and then snicker behind their hands when I would try to say it. I got so I would walk around several blocks to avoid anyone who might speak to me. I think this had a great deal to do with making me shy and caused me to have a poor self-image. I have often thought what a help it would have been if my family had started calling me David then, as it was so much easier for me to say than Willie.

When I was in my early teens I practiced in front of a mirror until I was able to speak more plainly.

I was still quite small when my father moved back on the David Peter Davis homestead and farmed it for Grandfather David Peter Davis. We were probably living here when Dad (Hugh Thompson Rowley) bought a new pair of shoes for both Francis (Hugh Francis Rowley) and me, telling us not to get in the water with them. When he returned from town he found us wading in the creek in our new shoes. Needless to say we got a tanning that neither of us ever forgot.

While living near Rigby, a beautiful, brown-eyed, curly brown haired boy joined our family, my brother, Emerson Adis. He was born on 4 September 1909. He was blessed in the Milo Ward where we attended church. He was so cute and had my mother’s (Grace Davis) eyes and as a result he could do wrong as far as Dad was concerned. I suppose my nose was out of joint, as they say, but it seemed like it was this way in all the years we lived at home.

Emerson had the brown eyes, but with Dad having ash blonde hair. I guess it was impossible for any of us children to inherit our mothers blue-black hair. A few years ago one of my Coles cousins told me that what she remembered about her Aunt Grace (my mother) was watching her brush her lovely black hair. She said mother’s hair was very long and black. Blue sparks would flash from her hair as she brushed it. We three older children had blue eyes and light hair that later turned brown.

Just two years later my mother gave birth to another sweet baby boy. He was named Walter Ilith. He was born on 8 December 1911 at Idaho Falls, Idaho. He also had brown eyes, but a much quieter disposition than Emerson. Our Dad was working on the dam at Idaho Falls when the baby, Walter, got the whooping cough and we almost lost him.

In our growing up years I always felt protective toward Walter and we have loved each other very much all through the years.

To be continued…

History: Grace Davis

David William married Lillian Alcorn in Chinook on 14 July 1927. They were married by the Branch President, W.B. Peterson.

In November 1928, one of Grace’s cherished dreams came true when Verda May, her only daughter, received a call to go on a mission. Her heart sank, however, when she found out that Verda May had been called to the Central States — which included the South. She had had a friend who had gone to the South, contracted Malaria fever and had suffered the rest of her life from it. Verda May finally convinced her that she’d be all right. Verda May’s faith was such that she knew she’d be all right as her call had come through inspiration and the Central States was where she was needed. Grace, however, was never entirely convinced until Verda May came home again — as well as when she left.

Shortly after her return from her mission of twenty months, Verda May started going with Bert Lund Murphy, who also had just returned from a mission to the North Central States Mission. They were married 17 December 1930 in the Alberta Temple at Cardston, Canada, by President Edward J. Wood. On 13 October 1935, they were set apart as Presidents of the MIA and served until 6 April 1941, when Bert Lund was set apart as the Branch President of the Harlem Branch.

On 21 December 1933, Emerson Adis, Hugh Thompson, and Grace left Montana for Idaho Falls. This trip was always thought of as taking a honeymoon, as they never had one. They arrived in Idaho Falls on the 22 or 23 of December. Emerson Adis let Hugh Thompson and Grace take his car and he stayed in Idaho Falls. As Emerson Adis recalls, his folks truly acted like newlyweds. As he thinks back over the years, this occasion has always given Emerson Adis a glow of satisfaction and a good feeling, as it was the only time that Hugh Thompson and Grace were able to get away together for any length of time and enjoy themselves, free from worries of making a living.

Emerson Adis married Sarah Marie Alderson, 19 August 1934 in Chinook, Montana. She was the daughter of Authur Alderson and Gladys Violet Demon.

Grace’s health kept getting worse and finally the doctor told Hugh Thompson that she needed an operation for the goiter, and that she didn’t want it done in Montana and if she wanted to go to Idaho, for him to let her go. So about the middle of February 1935, Hugh Thompson, Walter Ilith, and Verda May took her by car to Idaho Falls. She lay in the hotel room for about two weeks while the doctor waited for her to rest and get ready for the operation. On the last day of February, she was operated on while Walter Ilith and Verda May were sent to Shelley, Idaho to get Hugh Thompson’s sister, Annie (Harriet Ann ‘Annie’ Rowley). After the operation, she had to have a second one for she began bleeding internally. Her strength was not sufficient to stand this strain and she passed away at 9:00 am the morning of 1 March 1935, which was Aunt Annie’s Birthday.

Funeral services were held at the Wood’s Mortuary. Grace had always wanted to be among her friends and relatives in Idaho. Montana was never really her home. A large crowd came to show their love and respect for her at the services. Her body was held and interred in the Harlem Cemetery, Plot 16.

To be continued…

History: Grace Davis

When school opened in 1924, Emerson Adis and Verda May went into Chinook to go to High School. Verda May was in her third year and Emerson Adis was in his first. Walter Ilith went to a country school called North Yantic, which was near their home. Earl and Vera Murphy, and Emerson Adis and Verda May rented a small house and batched. Verda was unable to start at the beginning, as Grace needed her to cook for beet men. She was six weeks late, but made her grade.

On 9 September 1925, Hugh Francis married Erma Thornton. The ceremony was performed by the Justice of the Peace, Mr. Harold Ziebarth and they moved in with the family as Hugh Francis was helping his father on the farm.

In the fall of 1925, Verda May started High School in Chinook, but in the latter part of October she suddenly took ill. After spending a couple of days at home, she was taken to the Sacred Heart Hospital in Havre and spent a day under observation. On 13 October 1925, she was operated on for appendicitis by Dr. J. S. Almas. She was in the hospital for three weeks as stitch abscesses developed. Just before Christmas, Grace, who was so homesick, decided to go to Idaho for a visit. It was decided that Verda May would go with her. They arrived there two days before Christmas, just in time for Grace to attend her Grandfather’s (Reuben Coles) funeral.

Verda May came home in April 1926, in time to help her sister-in-law with the family’s move to the Charles Christensen ranch, Southeast of Zurich. Soon after, however, they found that they could not get along with the landlord, so they packed up again — moving to the Roy Colgrove farm. Grace missed the short time they lived at the Christensen place, as she was still in Idaho. She came home in June to the second new home. They rented this place for two years.

Moving again!! It seemed as though moving was all they every did — but this time Hugh Thompson bought the 160 acres of very good farm land known as the Jake Everett place, and that was the last move for them. They moved there in the spring of 1927, after Hugh Thompson had built another log house.

This home put them in the Harlem Branch and the church house had been placed on the northwest corner of the farm before Hugh Thompson bought it. It was just across the ditch from their orchard and garden. This made it very convenient to attend all services, conferences, and recreational activities which were held. They enjoyed this very much and being that close, they did the janitorial work as well.

Once more Grace had the opportunity of becoming active in the Relief Society. She didn’t spare herself in trying to make a success of bazaars, plays, dinners, singing groups, compassionate services, visiting the sick and needy, taking fresh vegetables, fruit, baked goods, and whatever she had to share with those who were in need and less fortunate. She was very handy with her hands and did much knitting, crocheting, and embroidery work. One thing she did love to do was to set quilt blocks together and quilt them. She did many. She was a counselor to the President, Gladys Johnson with Maude Munsee as the second counselor, for about seven years. She was set apart 5 February 1928 and served until her death in 1935.

To be continued…

History: Grace Davis

On 7 April 1924, David William and a cousin, Hugh Galloway, arrived in Lohman, Montana on the freight train with the stock and furniture. They borrowed a wagon from Mr. A. S. Lohman, the man from whom Hugh Thompson had rented the farm, and they soon had the furniture and stock unloaded from the box car and moved to the farm, which was only a couple miles from the town. Mary Galloway, Hugh Galloway’s wife, and Verda May arrived on the train the same morning at Chinook and after they spent the day at the hotel, Mr. Lohman picked them up and took them out to the ranch where David William and his cousin were waiting for them.

Hugh Thompson, Hugh Francis, Emerson Adis, and Walter Ilith came by car. They stopped in St. Anthony, Idaho where Hugh Thompson took some treatments for cancers on his face, caused by blows he had received as a young man. They spent two or three days in St. Anthony, then came on to Montana arriving the following week. Grace got to Lohman in the middle of May. As soon as the family was all together again, they found the closest place where they could attend church was at Zurich, as they had a small branch there. It was about twenty miles from Lohman, but they did manage to attend a few times that first summer.

Although Grace was good about concealing her feelings, the family knew she was unhappy in Montana. Verda May caught her in tears more than once and though she never explained the tears, Verda May knew she was lonely and missed her friends and loved ones left behind in Idaho. The first year in Montana didn’t help Grace feel any better, either. In fact it was most discouraging. They had lovely weather, but there were too many little “winged entertainers” which made life miserable — especially the mosquitoes. Every time anyone went outside, it was necessary to put on a wide brim straw hat from which a net veil hung down around the shoulders. A cloud of the miserable little creatures followed everywhere you went. Even the horses and cows were not immune. They were literally covered with mosquitoes out in the fields and had to have nose bags on all the time, especially towards evening. To the Rowley’s, who had always loved to be outside and especially enjoyed the “cool of the evening” — this part of Montana wasn’t the place to live.

The spring after they got there, they all pitched in to help get the crops in — beets, potatoes, grain and flax. Grace did more than her share of planting a large garden and caring for it mostly by herself. She also raised some chickens, having bought some brooding hens and some eggs from a neighbor.

An incident happened later in the spring of 1924 which became very amusing and gave Grace her start in the turkey business. Verda May had gone to work for a Mrs. Lillian German, who raised turkey’s and sold hatching eggs. She had ten pens with ten turkey hens in each pen. It was Verda May’s responsibility, along with other chores, to gather the eggs each night. She was given orders to never leave any eggs out overnight. To Verda May’s consternation, one evening she found 33 eggs in one nest. As badly as she hated to do it, Verda knew she had to be honest and tell Mrs. German. She really got a “scotching”, and then was told she could just as well throw them away as they were not good. On impulse, Verda May asked how much she wanted for them. Taken by surprise, Mrs. German said all for $1.50. She had been getting $2.50 per dozen. Verda May took them home and Grace put them under some hens and hatched out thirty pullets. Imagine Mrs. German’s surprise — and Verda May’s! After that, Grace raised turkeys every year and made a nice little profit on them.

To be continued…

History: Grace Davis

While living on this ranch, they belonged to the Clark Ward. It had been many years since they had had the opportunity of Ward activities. Hugh Thompson and Grace saw to it that the children benefitted from all of them — Primary, MIA, Beehive and Scouting, also attendance at Sacrament Meeting and Sunday School, and all the amusements which were available through these organizations. Hugh Thompson was drama director for a year or so while living in Clark Ward. The boys became involved in Boy Scout work, Grace in Relief Society, and Verda May became a Beehive girl. It was here, also, that Verda May became a teacher of the beginning class in Primary. She was only fourteen, but through this opportunity she began to realize what a blessing it was to be able to serve the Lord.

They also went to school there, the three older ones, Hugh Francis, David William, and Verda May, graduating from the eighth grade in a class of eleven students. Robert E. Weller was their teacher. Hugh Thompson and Grace always encouraged their children to take advantage of all the schooling they could, as well as all of the Church activities.

They moved again, this time to the Webster farm just one and a half miles west of Ririe, which they farmed only one year. This placed them in the Shelton Ward, necessitating the making of new friends and working under new conditions. That fall they rented this place and the following fall (1922-1923) Hugh Thompson, Hugh Francis, David William, and Verda May went to Lincoln to work during the Sugar Factory campaign. This was done to help supplement their budget as they didn’t make very much on the farm. Verda May cooked for boarders while the men worked in the factory. This left Grace with the younger boys to keep in school. She wasn’t very happy to have her family split up like this, but she sacrificed much and did everything to work along with her husband. She was a true “helpmate.”

Sometime during 1923, a rabid dog chased a puppy belonging to the family into the kitchen through the open door. They rolled around on the floor close to Grace and Verda May. Grace was very frightened, but also very brave. She managed to brush the dogs out of the kitchen in order to protect her daughter and herself from an obvious fate. Grace used her voice and a broom to accomplish this task. Neither of the women was bitten, but were very shaken by the experience.

In the spring of 1924, Hugh Thompson really exploded a bombshell when he announced to the family that he had decided to move to Montana. It seemed that he just couldn’t stay out of Montana. Although Grace had given her consent to the move, she was very unhappy about it. Leaving the place of her childhood, all her old friends and relatives nearly broke her heart, but true to the teachings she knew to be true that she should be a helpmate to her husband and follow his counsel and advise, she agreed to go and make another home. These moves were hard on Grace. Her health wasn’t very good and she had suffered from a goiter for many years, along with other complications.

To be continued…