History: David William Rowley

Ralph (Ralph Alcorn Rowley) wrote and asked if we could come down to El Paso, Texas to see them. I decided to take my vacation and Hubert (Hubert Tidwell) said we might as well go in his almost new van, so we would have a place to sleep. We took along quite a bit of food, which was lucky, as it turned out. All went well at first. We spent my birthday in the Saint George Temple and started in from there. To make a long story short, in trying to make a short cut we got lost and spent 3 days in the desert. We didn’t even know what state we were in for Thanksgiving Day. Later we found out that we didn’t see anything alive except a stray cow or two and a rabbit.

The full account of this scary adventure can be found in Stella’s (Estella Cordelia Tidwell) life story, but let me say this…if the Lord hadn’t answered our prayers and hadn’t helped and protected us several times we would never have gotten out of there alive and we wouldn’t have been found until spring. Hubert burned the engine up in his van and had to wait to get a new one. We took the bus back to Bountiful and were thankful to be home safely.

All the family had Christmas dinner at Grace’s (Grace Harriet Rowley) that year, then Stella and I stayed with her children while Grace (Donna Diane, Ronald Steven and Lillian Lorraine Smith) went to Texas. Cheryl (Cheryl Jeanette Smith) had taken the car and driven there a few days before. Grace decided to let Cheryl stay with Ralph for a while and she came back around the first of the year.

This year of 1966 started off with a bang. On 23 January 1966 Clayton (Clayton Alcorn Rowley) and Jana (Janevie Clegg) added a little girl to their family. Charrielynn was the name she was given and she brightened that home considerably.

Then in March, Marge (Marjorie Ann Judkins) and Dwain (Dwain Eugene Judkins) added another son to their family. This was their sixth child and fifth son. He was born on 13 March 1966 and was named Darrell Wayne Judkins. When Dwain told Dwana (Dwana Kay Judksin) she had another brother she went to her room and cried, she was tired of brother. As it turned out, she realized that this new little brother was pretty special and she would keep him after all!!!

Grace’s troubles were not over – it was discovered that she had cancer. They flew her to Lackland Air Force Hospital in Texas for cobalt treatment. Estella and I stayed at her home and took care of her children, the three still at home, for seven weeks. We went to a school program while we were there and Estella accidentally fell into a hole in the parking lot and hurt her back. She has had to have lots of treatments. She has never gotten over the effects of that fall.

In April, Harold (Harold Norman Johnson) and Myrna Jean and Virginia (Virginia Fern Johnson) and her husband (Chad Layne McKnight) came down for conference. The Mormonaires, a group they sang with was furnishing the music for the Priesthood session. Stella was so happy. This was the first time she had seen little Cory McKnight, Virginia’s baby. Virginia sat at the piano and played so many beautiful pieces and then they sang for us. We recorded some of it.

June was a big month for us. First, Emerson (Emerson Adis Rowley) and Sarah (Sarah Marie Alderson) came to see us and Estella finally had met all of my family. While they were still with us, Ralph and his family stopped in for a few days on their way to Glasgow, Montana where he had been assigned. Then on June 10th, Francis (Hugh Francis Rowley) and Erma (Erma Thornton) came to pick us up to go on a trip we had planned with them. I had been wanting to take my wife to Montana ever since we got married. In order for Estella to stand the ride I would take her on a fast walk around the block whenever we stopped for gas or something. Even at that she rode a lot of the time on her knees because it hurt her so bad to sit.

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History: David William Rowley

They settled into their new home and it was good to have them there. They invited us over for Easter Sunday and a lovely dinner. I always tried to keep things in repair for Grace (Grace Harriet Rowley) as much as possible. I also tried to help her with the children (Cheryl Jeanette, Donna Diane, Ronald Steven and Lillian Lorraine Smith) but I couldn’t seem to, not as much as I would like to have done, anyway.

In July of that year I had to go back to the hospital. Grace’s little girl, Lori, was in there at the same time with a kidney operation. We visited with each other, I had an infection that kept me from going back to work for quite a while, so we took a trip out to Myton, Utah and stayed with Stella’s (Estella Cordelia Tidwell) friends, Howard and Virginia Roberts. They took us to the dinosaur museum and to where they were digging the bones out of the mountain. It surely was interesting. We also took an interesting trip over to Flaming Gorge with them.

In the early part of October, Hugh (Hugh Alcorn Rowley) and Gail (Gail Jensen) came for a short visit. It was nice having little Carol (Carol Annette Rowley) in our home. They were good enough to make room for Estella to go back with them so she could see California and have a visit with her daughter, Geneal (Geneal Rose Johnson). She was able to get the two couples together for one day, anyway. It has always been our wish that our two families could get to know each other.

On 14 November 1964, the War Department called and said that Grace’s husband (Donald Eugene Smith) had been killed and they thought her father should be with her when she heard the news. Estella came and got me at work. Grace was all broken up, of course. If I remember it right a bomb had exploded under the jeep Don and another soldier were riding in.

The family was informed and all of my children were here shortly. It happened that Ralph (Ralph Alcorn Rowley) had a vacation coming, but it was hard for Hugh (Hugh Alcorn Rowley) to make another trip to Utah. The funeral was held in the Bountiful 18th ward and Don was laid to rest in the cemetery there. All of Don’s family was there except his old grandmother. Everyone was so good to Grace and the children. She decided that she wanted to go to California and spend Christmas with Don’s folks. Hubert (Hubert Tidwell) left to spend the winter in Arizona and Estella and I went to Nampa because Bob and his family were there for the holidays.

In February 1965 we received word that Leonard Alcorn (Leonard Clark Alcorn) had died. Also Grant (Grant Alcorn Rowley) called and told us that he was going to be sent to Vietnam and we wanted to see him before he went, so we went to California in Grace’s car. Gay Alcorn (Wendall Gay Alcorn) went with us and did a lot of the driving. He was sure good company.

The funeral for Leonard was held in El Monte. Being there and seeing and visiting with all of them brought back so many memories. Hearing Opal (Opal M. Rowley) sing at the funeral was good, too. We went places with Grant and we visited Hugh and Gail and George and Geneal. Hugh took us out to Burbank where we visited and exchanged some genealogical information with my cousin (on my mother’s side), Frankie Liddell Hill (Frankie Edra Liddell). It was a nice trip.

Estella’s daughter, Virginia (Virginia Fern Johnson) had a baby boy in May of 1965. Then Stella went out to California again to be with Geneal when she had her second baby. It was a boy.

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History: David William Rowley


I took my vacation on June 1964 and we started out on a long planned trip. We took two of my cousins who were both widows and sisters, Mable Clegg (Mable Ann May Stott) and Amy Allred (Amy Laura Stott). They knew the relatives and places we were going to visit. We set out across the Salt Flats and went as far as Ely, Nevada. There we visited with Marie Tilby and her family. They fixed supper for us and then took us out to see the Kennecot copper mine. It was quite a sight. The next day we went to Baker, Nevada and then across the line to Garrison, Utah. Here we visited some Rowley’s and a Paul cousin named Den Smith (Dennis Smith). He gave us some nice rocks for our rock garden. The next morning we explored the famous Lehman Caves which were nearby in Nevada. They were really wonderful. Amy who is 81 years old, had been in them when she was just a girl. It wasn’t developed then. They went down a ladder into a round hole and in some places they had to crawl on hands and knees to get from one room to another.

Next, many miles across the desert we found a little mining town called Pioche, Nevada. We were made so welcome; we were fed, sheltered and loved by my cousin Sadie Donehue (Sadie Butson). She is the daughter of May Paul Butson (Lavina May Paul). She told us that she thought her mother’s people had forgotten her.

Hubert (Hubert Tidwell) had been riding the brakes on our way to St. George, so I guess that is what caused our car trouble. At any rate when we were on the way up to Estella’s (Estella Cordelia Tidwell) cousin’s place. Hubert stalled the car. The place we were going was up against a red cliff. But after the car stalled I had everybody get out and I drove it on up. When I got to the top I had no brakes and couldn’t stop the car. Estella said she could hear herself screaming and praying because I was headed for the cliff where I could have gone over and rolled clear into the homes below. I was able to turn the car sharply into some brush and I high centered the car. I was sure praying all the time it was happening. We sure got on our knees and thanked our Heavenly Father for answering our prayers. The car had to be towed out and while it was fixed we stayed with our Paul/Rowley cousin, Verda Hotchkiss (Verda Day) and her husband Bill (Wendell Wade Hotchkiss). Estella and I went to the Temple.

On the way home we went through Zion’s National Park and Bryce’s Canyon. They were really beautiful. We spent the night in Orderville where we bought some nice rocks. We stopped at Cove Fort on our way back also and from there we went to Fillmore where we spend the night with my great, great Uncle Lorenzo Rowley. I felt that he was born way out of his generation. He was a character, between the car and the house he proposed to Mable and that night he just wouldn’t let us go to bed. He was talking to us about such things as when he had seen a flying saucer and had talked to the occupants.

The next day we were home. The five of us had no conflicts. We liked the same foods and we liked to do the same things and we returned with many happy memories. It was a trip I will never forget!

About the time school was out Grace (Grace Harriet Rowley) and Don (Donald Eugene Smith) and their family (Cheryl Jeanette, Donna Diane, Ronald Steven and Lillian Lorraine Smith) moved to Bountiful from Georgia. Don was being sent to Vietnam and he wanted his family close to Grace’s folks in Utah. Don rented a nice big apartment for them across from the 18th ward chapel. He had a talk with me before he left for this assignment. He seemed to feel more concern for his family as he was leaving, than he ever had on the many times when he had gone overseas before.

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History: David William Rowley

On 2 November 1962 we had the pleasure of going to the Logan Temple with Estella’s (Estella Cordelia Tidwell) daughter, Virginia (Virginia Fern Johnson) and her husband, Chad McKnight (Chad Layne McKnight), to be sealed. Their two little girls were like sweet little angels when they were sealed to their parents. Virginia was so happy that she wept.

The Salt Lake Temple was closed for quite a while so Estella and I went to many of the other temples on excursions and we enjoyed it very much.

About the first of the year Hugh (Hugh Alcorn Rowley) brought a beautiful girl home for us to meet. Her name was Gail Jensen. In about a month Hugh told us that they were getting married. I told him that he hadn’t known her very long. He said, “You should talk, you set the example by getting married in six weeks after you net!” That shut me up! They were married 9 February 1963 in Las Vegas. Their marriage was solemnized in the Los Angeles Temple.

On 11 May 1963 another little boy came to bless Dwain (Dwain Eugene Judkins) and Margie’s (Marjorie Ann Rowley) home. They named him Mark Ammon and he proved to be a live wire and kept the whole family on their toes. Stella and I took care of him for a few days when he was about a year old.

Clayton (Clayton Alcorn Rowley) and Jana (Janevie Clegg) were getting anxious to have children, but so far they had not been able to, so they went to Elder Harold B. Lee for a special blessing. Elder Lee had married them. Shortly after this special blessing, Jana became with child. They were so happy. It soon became apparent that they were going to have twins! As time drew closer they had x-rays taken and it was discovered that the twins were joined together on their backs, but it was just a skin joining. Jana became ill and was not feeling well so Clayton asked the father of a good friend of his, Brother Dehaun, to come over and give her a blessing. The twins were born shortly thereafter. Stella and I were allowed to see them and the sores they had. These little boys were named Bruce Charles and Bert William, and they were born 3 June 1963, My how my progeny was increasing. The twins made my 16th and 17thgrandchildren.

About this time Grace (Grace Harriet Rowley) and Don (Donald Eugene Smith) came by on their way from California to Georgia. They were anxious to meet my new wife. I could see right away that Grace and Estella like each other. It was good to see the children (Cheryl Jeanette, Donna Diane, Ronald Steven and Lillian Lorraine Smith) and to have them back if only for a little while.

In August or September 1963 Estella’s sister Lavern (Lavern Ellen Tidwell) came up to visit and introduced her to our neighbor and landlord, we were buying the place from him, Bill Mitchell. They had both lost their mates so they decided to get married. We tried to tell Lavern that she should get to know him better. Anyway we had a wedding for them in our home on 23 November 1963. President Kennedy had been assassinated the day before. It was really nice for Stella to have her sister living just down the street.

Stella had another little granddaughter born to Archie (Archie Johnson) and Verna on 23 January 1963. They named her Janae Johnson.

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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.

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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!”

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History: David William Rowley

Now both of our girls (Grace Harriet and Marjorie Ann Rowley) were married, two sons (Douglas Alcorn and Ralph Alcorn Rowley) were in the armed services and one was on a mission (Clayton Alcorn Rowley), so that left just two boys (Hugh Alcorn and Grant Alcorn Rowley) at home. Margie had done a big share of the work since her mother (Lillian Alcorn) had the heart attack, now Hugh took over. He was really a good cook. He had always been very good with Grant and was always so cheerful and good to help. He and his mother seemed to be very close at this time, also.

In the fall of 1954 Grace and Don (Donald Eugene Smith) came back from Germany. She was expecting another baby soon, so she and the two girls (Cheryl Jeanette and Donna Diane Smith) stayed with us while Don went on to his duty station. On 7 November 1954, she gave birth to a baby boy, they were very happy to have a son for they had lost their first one. They named him Ronald Steven Smith.

Margie was also expecting a baby and on 7 March 1955 her son David Lenn was born. Lillian wet to Utah to be with her. She was gone for quite a while, almost a month. When she came back she told me she wanted to move to Utah. She had been born and raised in Utah and many of her relatives were there. We both had a desire to do temple work and genealogical research. I wanted to wait until I could get a decent price for our place in Eureka, but both Lillian and Hugh pressed me so hard, they were impatient to move, that I sold in a hurry and probably didn’t get as much as I should have had for it. We put most of our furniture in storage and lost some of it due to a flood before I was able to come back for it.

We lived in Provo for a while and I worked on the BYU campus maintenance crew. Then we decided to move to Salt Lake City. We located a house to rent. It was in the Salt Lake City 4th Ward in the Temple View Stake. We found we needed our furniture so Hugh and I went back for it at that time.

I was put in as one of the seven Presidents of the Seventies there and worked in genealogy. We tried to go to the Temple every week. We also did all the research we could. We made some very good friends there in the Temple View Stake and especially in the 4th ward.

On Christmas day, 1955 all the family except Grace was home. Clayton had been discharged from the Army; Douglas was on leave from the Air Force, and Ralph had received an honorable release from his mission. Dwain (Dwain Eugene Judkins) and Margie came up and we had a lovely Christmas.

While at home on leave, Douglas met a young woman in the ward by the name of Vonna Ensign. He was quite taken with her. When he was discharged from the Air Force in March 1956, he again started dating her. Vonna was very good for Douglas and they made a fine couple.

To be continued…