History: Lillian Alcorn

The children got back into school and were adjusting quite well, however it did seem rather hot for February. The elementary school was about three blocks away and the high school was about four blocks in the opposite direction. Both were good schools.

Grant seemed to still have his bad spells of breathing difficulty. It seemed to be worse when he ate certain foods. Then one day we left him with Leonard’s girls to tend for a few hours and they fed him a lot of cookies and other things. That night he had a terrible spell and we were up most of the night. We thought sure we would lose him this time. So the next morning we called a Dr. Hamilton in Pasadena. He was supposed to be one of the best baby specialists in the area. When Dave  called for an appointment he was told that the doctor was filled up for three months. Dave told them that that wouldn’t do us any good as our baby wouldn’t live that long. The doctor then told us to bring him over at closing time and he would take care of him. The doctor didn’t think he could possibly have asthma, but after examining Grant he decided that he really did have asthma and a serious case, too. He made an appointment for us to take Grant to Helen James, who was to give him a number of tests for allergy. We kept the appointment and she pricked the skin on Grant’s little back with some kind of needle and then put a drop of liquid on the spot. She did this in about 200 places. It was surely hard to stand back and watch him being hurt and crying so hard. We took him back the next day for the results and we found that he was allergic to wheat, potatoes and beef. We then took him back to Dr. Hamilton and he gave us a prescription to help him whenever he began to get stuffed up. We also discovered that oranges would help him over his spells, so we would give him all he would eat.

We hadn’t been in El Monte very long when Grace became quite interested in the boy next door. His name was Donald Eugene Smith, and he was in the Navy. They became very good friends and then one day in June they came to see us and talk to us about getting married. They were both so young that we didn’t feel they were ready for marriage or prepared to face the problems of married life yet. We told them that they should think it over very carefully first and study each other to see if they could get along. After all, they were the ones who would have to live with each other. They did decide to wait a while before making any final decisions, but they didn’t wait very long. They approached us again in July and still felt that they wanted to get married, so we agreed to let them become man and wife. Arrangements were made for a 4 August 1945 wedding. The bishop of the ward, Fred S. Batch performed the ceremony in his own home and then the young couple was honored at a reception in the home of Don’s parents (Joe Ben Smith and Coral Lorraine Bolton)*. They then moved to San Pedro where Don was stationed with the Navy.

*Joe was married to Marjorie Elizabeth Snyder and Coral was married to John Joseph Everhard at the time, not sure which home the reception

It was surely hard to see Grace go out on her own as she had been so much help to me in the home and with the younger children. She was a very good little housekeeper. I now began to realize just how much help Grace had been all through the years. She was so faithful and responsible.

Both Dave and I worked in the ward and had several different positions. I soon began to realize that we had to spend more time with the family to teach them the things they should know and I tried to do this. But I still worked in the Relief Society and the MIA. Dave taught the Sunday School class that Douglas and Ralph were in. He also was a Genealogical Committeeman as well as working with the Welfare program and Elder’s Quorum Presidency. So you see we were kept pretty busy.

Dave had found work with the U.S Rubber Co. for the first six months we were in El Monte as a bagger of tires. When summer came he began to take on other jobs to help with the expenses of a large family. We had been used to raising much of our food and now we were in the position of having to buy most of it.

It was hard to keep the children occupied too. They were used to farm life and having the run of the farm. But in the city there was so much mischief to get into when they weren’t in school. They did find enjoyment in going to the school grounds and playing ball which helped fill much of their time and was surely a big help to us in their management.

In June, Dave quit U.S. Rubber and went to doing carpenter work around the neighborhood. Then he went down and joined the Carpenter’s Union and they sent him out on jobs and he kept pretty busy and made $1.35 an hour which was pretty good in 1945.

One day the school called me and told me that Douglas was having a lot of difficulty seeing well enough to read. They recommended that we have a special eye operation, which at the time we didn’t have money for. Soon after, the President of the El Mote Lion’s Club came to see us. They wanted to sponsor the money for the operation from a special fund they had for things of this kind. We were told we could pay them back as we were able, so we agreed and an appointment was made for us at the Eye Clinic down in Los Angeles. Dave had to work, so I took Douglas down to the clinic for the surgery. They said the muscles in the back of his eyes needed adjusting. They had to remove his eye and adjust the muscles and then put it back in place. After that it was necessary to take eye exercises for months to get the muscles adjusted to working together. We had had some warning that there was something wrong with Doug’s eyes while we were living in Montana. We had purchased glasses for him there. One day Douglas came home from school in Harlem without his glasses, which had cost about $20.00. When we questioned him about them, he told us he had sold them to a playmate for a nickel. We had quite a time getting them back as the boy’s father said that a deal is a deal. But finally he consented to let us buy them back.

We had a wonderful group of friends in El Monte and we used to do quite a few things together. We would go to parties, movies and enjoyed being together. We were all members of the Church and attended Church functions as a group, too. There had been several surprise birthday parties given within the group and Dave said one time that it would take a lot of doing to surprise him. So the gang decided to put it to the test and they planned a surprise birthday party for him. We were going to have a get together on Dave’s birthday anyway and go to the Deardens’ home to make donuts and play games. What Dave didn’t know was that they were coming to our place first to surprise him. They all parked their cars around the corner and came quietly into the house. One of the ladies came in first and asked where Dave was and I told her he was in the bedroom, but to be careful that he might be dressing. Well she didn’t hear the last part of my sentence and the whole group, led by several ladies barged into the bedroom with a big “SURPRISE.” I believe they were as surprised as Dave was because he was just putting on his trousers and they were all very embarrassed. We had many good laughs about it later.

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

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History: Lillian Alcorn

In the first stages of this winter, when the river started to freeze over Dave’s folks let their cattle water and they got down on the ice and it gave way. They lost around 15 head of cattle. Even though they got them out they froze to death. Some of them went under the ice and some froze to death right in the water and some after they got them out.

The children were growing very fast. Grace started to school while we were working for the Johnson’s. She went to a little white school house about half a mile away from home. She was such a cute little girl for her age and very responsible in doing things she was asked to do. She was my baby-sitter when I wanted or needed to go places. But David was just as mischievous as Grace was dependable. David had to be doing something all the time. One day about the time Grace started school my father and his mother came to see us so we were able to get this four generation picture.

In the summer of 1936 we found that the Spud Murphey place was up for sale by the owner, Mrs. D. M. Tait who lived in Pasadena, California. George Watkins had been renting it for several years and wanted to buy it. Dave wrote to Mrs. Tait and offered $2400 for the place. We got a letter right back from her and she said that Mr. Watkins had offered $3000, and that if we would split the difference she would sell the place to us instead. It seemed that Mr. Watkins has misrepresented the truth and taken advantage of her lack of knowledge of conditions. So Dave met her attorney in Helena and they signed a contract.

Dave then located a house out in the hills where he had been building reservoirs. The house belonged to Mrs. Zollicoffer. Most of the windows were broken out and most of the doors were gone, but Dave offered her $30 for it and she took it. So we moved it down on the place but didn’t get a chance to put it on a firm foundation. Instead we just blocked it up. We had become so involved with getting our spring planting done and all our crops in. we lived in a small house on the corner of Dad Rowley’s place. Then one day a big wind came and blew the two-story house off its blocking and some of the blocks went up through the floor. It completely ruined the house. So we had to postpone moving into our own place for a while longer.

Francis and Erma had been running the Thomas Everett place but lost the lease and didn’t have any place to go, so he and Dave made a deal. Francis took the west half of the Murphy place and he was to pay half of the cost of the place. It wasn’t long before Francis moved an old house onto his side of the farm and we lived in part of that house.

While we were living in this house I decided to go to an auction sale with some of my friends. My baby wasn’t due for another couple of weeks so I felt safe in going. It was late October and beginning to get cold. After I got home I fed the family and laid down to rest. At 8:00 p.m. that evening I gave birth to my sixth child, a very welcome little girl. It was 28 October 1936. She weighed about 8 lbs. and was an hour old when the Doctor finally got there. We decided to name this new daughter Margie but when Dave was up blessing her he named her Marjorie Ann Rowley. We were all thrilled with her and all wanted to take care of her. Grace didn’t feel so much alone now, as she had a sister whom she loved and cared for.

Since the first house we bought had been ruined, Dave made arrangements to get the buildings off the old Crawford dairy farm and we moved them down onto our property. We dug a full-sized basement, ran the cement and put the house on it. The other building included a granary and a garage (which Dave gave to Francis for helping) and some chicken coops. We got all these buildings set up on the place and when Marjorie was about a year old we moved into the first real home of our own. This was a wonderful thing for our family.

The plot of ground where we had to set the house was gumbo soil and in wet weather it would stick to our feet so badly that one could hardly walk. The old saying was that if someone would walk across the yard and find a place to clean his shoes off, he would have the starting of a good farm. It was hard to keep a house clean in wet weather especially in that kind of soil. The children were growing so fast and were so energetic and were always doing something and every time they came in the house they left a trail of this gumbo soil.

We always had a lovely garden and with our chickens and cows we got along fine. We had no barns or buildings for our cattle and with those cold winters it proved trying to us. Dave would go out to milk the cows and they would have frozen tits. The men would nearly freeze themselves before they would get through milking. All we had for our protection was a corral and some boards put up for a wind breaker.

As I said, we could live off the place but we had to have machinery and supplies, so we took out a loan with the Federal Security Association. We got our machinery to operate the farm and bought some more cows. But from then on we were under their supervision; however, we still enjoyed our new home and the security of being on our own. We were where our children could play and run on that which was ours. Our home was half a mile from the Branch Chapel where we held our services and other activities.

We were always active in the Church. I tried to instill in my children a desire and pride in attending to their Church duties. I started this when they were as young as two weeks. I worked in the Relief Society and was a Primary Teacher. Dave was teaching in Sunday School and MIA and was chairman of The Genealogical Committee.

In the summer of 1938 we found we were going to have another blessed event in the family. We were very happy and thankful. This would be our seventh child. Before the baby arrived we had some very cold weather. On 29 January 1939 the baby was born. It was 10 minutes past midnight and 40˚ below zero. Being in the middle of the night all the other children were asleep. Douglas heard the baby cry though and called out, “What’s pulling the cat’s tail?” he didn’t realize that at that moment another new soul had just breathed his first breath of life. This baby was a beautiful baby boy with red hair. It was our third red-head and we named him Hugh Alcorn Rowley.

In the summer of 1939 Dave bought a good high-roofed barn from up north of Zurich for $250, and then hired Carl Dolovan to move it down on the farm for us. Dave had the foundations all poured and ready and they set the barn right on the foundations. Dave then fixed it up. He made half of it for the cows and the other half was fixed to handle two teams of horses and a grain bin. It also had a hay loft which held almost enough hay for the whole winter. When we bought the house it didn’t have many cabinets or working space, and I needed more. Dave looked around at some that other people had and then built a lovely set of cabinets for me. We had a nice kitchen sink, although we didn’t have a drain for it. I used to keep a five gallon bucket under the sink to catch the water and then the kids would dump it for me. We didn’t have running water so there wasn’t too much danger of the water running over.

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