Grant had a little red wagon and a cute little puppy dog. One day he put his puppy into the wagon and went for a walk. He was about three years old or so and he walked with a pretty steady gait. When I missed him, I began to look for him and soon many of the neighbors were helping me. I finally found him about two blocks away in front of the Nazarene Church sitting on the steps. I gave him a good scolding and switched his little bottom a time or two and told him that he mustn’t go off like that again with his wagon and puppy! A few days later, Grant came running into the house and said, “Mommy, I went for a walk, but I didn’t take my puppy and wagon!”
Another amusing story about Dave happened here in El Monte. The ward had asked him to be a helper for Santa Clause at the ward Christmas party. The children happened to be around when they brought him the suit and were quite proud to tell their friends that they knew who was going to be Santa Clause at the party. The night of the party came and the children lined up to talk to Santa, when Marjorie got up to him she had the most astonished look on her face and as she walked away she said, “that must be the real Santa, because it isn’t my Dad!” We had asked our good old neighbor, Mr. Hester to take Dave’s place.
In August of 1946, Grace was expecting her first baby and of course our first grandchild. We were very excited and anxious about the event. When her time came, they were unable to get in touch with her regular doctor and finally after she got to the hospital and was delivered, they discovered that the little boy had tried to inhale before birth and his little lungs were so congested that he had to gasp for every breath. They worked with him for fifteen hours but to no avail, he died. It was a terrible shock to all of us as we were all looking forward so much to the baby. Grace and Don were very upset about it as they had wanted a baby for a long time. He was named Donald Eugene Smith, Jr.
Our oldest son, David was about 17 years old now and really enjoyed going to dances and having good times. He was a very good dancer and was well liked by his friends. David became unhappy with school and was mixed up about a lot of things. He disappointed us when he decided to quit school and join the Navy, but we have to learn to accept the things which come. We had wanted him to finish his schooling and all, but he didn’t want to. He was stationed in San Diego, California.
Dave went to work for Fadel Construction Co., building a flying bomb base up in the San Gabriel Canyon. He worked for them for quite a while. While working for Fadel we received word that Dad Rowley had died, this was in 1948 (14 March). Dave prepared to attend his funeral in Montana. We decided not to take the family and when Dave got to Harlem he was sorry we all hadn’t gone with him as most of the other members of his family had brought their families.
There was a lot of violence and crime in the big city and so many influences that were not good for the children, that we decided it might be best if we looked for a smaller community to raise our family. We put our place up for sale and when it sold we prepared to leave for Gridley, California. We bid our friends goodbye and moved as soon as school was out.
We stayed with my Aunt Jeannette for a couple of weeks while we looked for a place we could buy. After about two weeks we bought the Melissa Clements home just off the Colusa road on Grace Ave. it was about three miles from town. It was much more of the kind of environment that we desired for our children. We made the move with six of our living eight children. David was in the Navy and Grace and Don were also in the Navy.
We sought out the LDS chapel, one of the first things, and enjoyed becoming acquainted with the good members in Gridley. The summer we got there, we were at a loss as to getting an income coming into the home, so Dave took the children and started to pick fruit. They would get up real early in the morning and work until afternoon. They picked peaches, prunes and other varieties. One day, just before school started, Hugh, who was only about 9 years old, climbed a tree to pick some fruit. He lost his footing and fell. He grabbed for another branch as he fell, but it was rotten and it gave away with him. He broke his arm and started school with his arm in a cast.
On Thanksgiving Day, 1948 Marjorie complained of a sore throat. The next day we took her to the doctor and he told us that she had diphtheria. There was only one other case in the whole town and we didn’t know the person involved. The family was put in quarantine for about three months. Dave lived with a neighbor during this time because he had to continue working. Most of the children were with us except for David, who had been discharged from the Navy. He stayed with another neighbor and went to school. We spent Christmas without daddy that year. Dave did come to the door and watch the children open gifts and play with some of them, but didn’t dare come in. Before we could get rid of the bug, both Marjorie and Hugh had to have their tonsils out.
In June of 1949 Grace and Don did have the baby they had waited so long for. It was a lovely little girl. Shortly after that, Don was discharged from the Navy and they came to Gridley to live. They named the baby, which was a girl, Cheryl Jeanette. Don couldn’t seem to adjust to the life of a civilian and he reenlisted in the Army. The Army afforded more time for his family than did the Navy. Just before this time, our son David also enlisted in the Army.
David was sent to Japan in 1949, and was there close to when the Korean conflict started in 1950. He was sent to Korea and we received word that he was missing in action as of 16 July 1950. We were very upset about this report and anxious for him to be found. We didn’t hear any more from the Army until December. In the meantime, another soldier had been reported missing whose family was Catholic. Their beliefs of the life after death were so much different than ours, that it was a real testimony to the family and myself when we saw how distraught this other family was. As far as they knew this was it, the end. But we knew that someday we could see our son again. We received word in December that David had been killed and as soon as they could they would send his body home. We were all saddened by David’s death but we would prefer that to his being a prisoner and going through some of the experiences that we had heard that our prisoner were going through.
The children all enjoyed school in Gridley. Grant started kindergarten in Gridley the last year we were there, in the fall of 1950. The children all learned to like Gridley and had many friends and enjoyed their associations. Hugh had a paper route part of the time we were there, and Clayton worked on a dairy farm for a neighbor. We were able to have a garden here and I enjoyed that very much. I also had some chickens here and it just seemed more like home.
To be continued…
Aleene Sumsion – Daughter-in-Law: Son Ralph’s (34) wife
Archie Harold Alcorn 97) – Brother
Bert Lund Murphy – Brother-in-Law: Sister-in-Law Verda’s (88) husband
Cheryl Jeanette Smith (12) – Granddaughter: Daughter Grace’s (10) daughter
Clark Alcorn (91) – Father
Clayton Alcorn Rowley (35) – Son
Coral Lorraine Bolton (28) – Son-in-Law’s Mother: Donald’s (9) mother
David Alcorn Rowley (32) – Son
David Lenn Judkins – Grandson: Daughter Marjorie’s (36) son
David William Rowley (30) – Husband
Deon Eugene Judkins – Grandson: Daughter Marjorie’s (36) son
Dollie Cook – Wife of Maternal Uncle: James Jr’s (228) wife
Donald Eugene Smith (9) – Son-in-Law: Daughter Grace’s (10) husband
Donald Eugene Smith Jr (11) – Grandson: Daughter Grace’s (10) son
Donna Diane Smith (13) – Granddaughter: Daughter Grace’s (10) daughter
Douglas Alcorn Rowley (33) – Son
Dwain Eugene Judkins – Son-in-Law: Daughter Marjorie’s (36) husband
Dwana Kay Judkins – Granddaughter: Daughter Marjorie’s (36) daughter
Emerson Adis Rowley (89) – Brother-in-Law: Husband David’s (30) brother
Erma Thornton – Sister-in-Law: Brother-in-Law Emerson’s (89) wife
Fannie Marie Weaver (Aunt Fannie) (229) – Maternal Aunt: Mother Harriet’s (92) sister
Grace Davis (86) – Mother-in-Law
Grace Harriet Rowley (10) – Daughter
Grant Alcorn Rowley (39) – Son
Hannah Davis (210) – Husband’s Maternal Aunt: Mother-in-Law Grace’s (86) sister
Harriet Ann Weaver (92) – Mother
Hugh Alcorn Rowley (37) – Son
Hugh Francis Rowley (87) – Brother-in-Law: Husband David’s (30) brother
Hugh Thompson Rowley (85) – Father-in-Law
James Albert Weaver Jr (228) – Maternal Uncle: Mother Harriet’s (92) brother
James Sheldon Nelson Sr – Wife of Maternal Aunt: Fannie’s (229) husband
Jesse Verl Alcorn (99) – Brother
Joe Ben Smith (27) – Son-in-Law’s: Donald’s (9) father
John Joseph Everhard – Son-in-Law’s: Donald’s (9) stepfather
Joseph Lorenzo Alcorn (96) – Brother
Karen Andrea Goe – Niece: Maternal Aunt Melva’s (98) daughter
Kurtis Wayne Rowley – Grandson: Son Ralph’s (34) son
Leonard Clark Alcorn (93) – Brother
Lillian Alcorn (31) – Self
Lillian Lorraine Smith (3) – Granddaughter: Daughter Grace’s (10) daughter
Margaret Jeanette Alcorn (224) – Paternal Aunt: Father Clark ‘s (91) sister
Marjorie Ann Rowley (36) – Daughter
Marjorie Elizabeth Snyder – Son-in-Law’s Stepmother: Donald’s (9) stepmother
Marvin Ballard Alcorn (95) – Brother
Mary Catherine Hammons (218) – Paternal Grandmother: Father Clark’s (91) mother
Mary Francis Alcorn – Cousin: Brother Archie’s (97) daughter
Mary Gregory Askins – Sister-in-Law: Brother Archie’s (97) wife
Melva Alcorn (98) – Sister
Myron Nelson – Cousin: Maternal Aunt Fannie’s (229) son
Pamela Rowley – Granddaughter: Son Douglas’ (33) daughter
Ralph Alcorn Rowley (34) – Son
Robert L. Goe – Brother-in-Law: Sister Melva’s (98) 1st husband
Ronald Steven Smith (14) – Grandson: Daughter Grace’s (10) son
Rosina Weaver (Aunt Rose) (469) – Mother Harriet’s (92) maternal aunt
Royal James Rowley (205) – Husband’s Paternal Uncle: Father-in-Law Hugh’s (85) brother
Scott Calvin Rowley – Grandson: Son Douglas’ (33) son
Sharon Lee Rowley (38) – Daughter
Verda May Rowley (88) – Sister-in-Law: Husband David’s (30) sister
Vonna Ensign – Daughter-in-Law: Son Douglas’ (33) wife
Walter Illith Rowley (90) – Brother-in-Law: Husband David’s (30) brother
William Douglas Rowley – Grandson: Son Douglas’ (33) son
William Vernon Alcorn (94) – Brother
William Weaver (457) – Maternal Great-Grandfather: Mother Harriet’s (92) father