History: Lillian Alcorn

The boys were active in the Future Farmers of America organization in school and had projects of chickens and pigs at home. Douglas had the chickens and Clayton had the pigs. One Saturday afternoon, the boys had all gone to the movie except Grant and Hugh. Clayton’s pig was due to have a litter anytime and it happened while the boys were at the show and Dave was at work. I took Hugh into town and sent him into the theater to get the boys. When he found them they were in the middle of the row and Hugh couldn’t get to them so he said in a loud whisper, “Clayton, Clayton, come quick, your pig is having chickens!” Needless to say this brought down the house as all the people around the boys heard Hugh’s excited declaration and had a good laugh.

27 September 1950 was a day of mixed emotions for me. I received word that Grace had given birth to another lovely little girl the named Donna Diane; and we also received word that my father, Clark Alcorn had died (27 September) in Idaho, and they were having his funeral 3 October 1950. We wanted to go to the funeral, but we couldn’t decide whether or not to take the family. Dave remembered that at his Dad’s funeral, he was the only one without his family, so we decided to take the children and go to Harlem. We made arrangements to leave and had a safe trip. It was good to see many of our relatives and friends again, and all of my brothers and sister were together again for the first time in a long while. Even Verl was able to make it. It was a reunion, saddened only by the purpose.

Dave’s employers had both been drafted back into the Armed Services, and so his job was gone and in looking for the other work, we found that it was scarce around Gridley. So Dave went to Eureka, where his brothers Walter and Emerson lived, and found work there. He worked in Eureka the winter of 1950-51 and into the spring. Then I went over to see if we could find a house and move our family there. We looked at several, but we hadn’t decided on one when I had to go back to Gridley. When school was out, we knew we would have to make a decision on a house and we finally bought one located at 4217 Little Fairfield St in Eureka.

The children said their farewells again to many friends they had made and we picked up after selling our house in Gridley and made another move. We all liked Eureka, except for the undependable weather. Adjusting wasn’t too hard as Dave had been there for over six months and he knew the people in the branch quite well. We also had relatives there for the children to enjoy.

Before we left Gridley, we had received word that David’s body was being sent home and we could plan a funeral. After we moved, we notified the Army and shortly after we had settled in Eureka, David’s body arrived. We moved in July of 1950 and David’s body came just a few weeks after. His body was escorted by a very nice military escort. We had a lovely funeral and because we didn’t know too many people we hadn’t expected many to attend, but there was a nice group of people there. The main speaker was Lowell Thompson, who has proven to be a life-long friend ever since we met him in Eureka.

David was buried in a lovely cemetery (Ocean View Cemetery) with full military rites. The cemetery was not far from our home in Eureka. There was a lovely view of the ocean from his plot and it was a restful place.

In August, we were attending MIA as usual and enjoyed the activities that it offered. The branch usually had a dance after class time each week. This one Tuesday evening in August Dave and I had danced a fast member. I was a little out of a breath when we finished, but nothing too unusual. I felt tired as I had worked hard that day and we decided to leave MIA early. When I got to the car I was having pains in my chest and by the time the family got there the pain was getting quite severe and spreading down my left arm. I told Dave that we had better hurry and get home as I didn’t feel at all well. I frightened Dave and he drove as fast as he dared. On the way home we passed the General Hospital and the pain was getting so bad that I could hardly stand it. Dave decided we had better stop at the hospital and find out what the trouble was. When we got there he jumped out of the car and came over to my side and opened the door to help me. He reached for me and I remember saying “Oh, Dave, I’m gone!” Then everything went black. I went limp and slipped right through Dave’s arms and skinned my knees on the gravel. In the meantime, Dave sent Marjorie and Hugh into the hospital for help. They were so excited that the attendants couldn’t understand them so they just followed the kids out to the parking lot. They got me into the hospital and into bed and contacted the doctors.

Dave called the chapel and President Walter Bingham, the Branch President came and took the children home. The doctors told Dave that I had had a heart attack, a coronary thrombosis. They also told him that the first crises would pass in 24 hours. I was in an oxygen tent. If I survived the first 24 hours, the next crises would be 72 hours. If I passed that I would probably survive.

An unusual dream came to me during this crucial time. I dreamed I saw my mother in an old-time buggy. She seemed to be very happy and was going someplace singing. I didn’t know just where it was she was going, but she was singing. I wanted very much to go with her and held out my arms to her. She told me that I wasn’t ready to come and that I was needed at home. I remember being very disappointed because I had to stay behind. Shortly after this dream I passed the 72 hour crises and was on my way to recovery.

Ralph and Clayton had been working in Montana at the time of this attack, and I asked Dave not to send for them, but of course he did. They came home as fast as they could. Dave also contacted my sister Melva and she came up for a few days to help out at home. Elder Delbert L. Stapley was in Eureka attending a district conference while I was still in the hospital so Dave arranged for him to come and give me a blessing. I appreciated this very much.

The Relief Society helped out at home very much, although Marjorie took over the major portion of the work and cooking. Ralph liked to tease her by saying that he lost over 7 pounds with her cooking. While I was in the hospital, which was over six weeks, Marjorie also had to buy Grant’s school clothes. She did a fine job except she didn’t allow for him to grow. By the time school was half over they were all too small and we had to get him some more.

When the time came for me to come home from the hospital the doctors wanted someone to be there with me and to help with the work and worry. So we made arrangements for Grace to come and stay with us and help me. She came from Virginia where they were stationed. Soon after she came with her two little girls, Don was given an overseas assignment, but he was unable to take his family with him right at first, so Grace and the girls stayed there in Eureka with us. After I was back on my feet a little, Grace and the girls decided to find an apartment and she went to work as a waitress in a local drive-in.

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

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

Updates

Journal: Jeanette Sperry; December 1, 2017

Added Categories:

  • Tuesday
  • Jeanette Sperry – 16
  • Emma Elizabeth Webb – 133
  • Emily Louisa Miller – 118
  • Caroline Webb – 47
  • David Arthur Sperry – 49

This Day In Our Family History; December 1, 2017

Added Categories:

  • Cambridge, Gloucestershire, England, United Kindgom
  • Phoebe Sperry – 280
  • Joy Sperry – 275
  • Mary Lamont – 276
  • Henrietta, Monroe, New York, United States
  • Robert Sperry Lunt – 24
  • Nephi, Juab, Utah, United States
  • Alfred Oscar Lunt – 15
  • Jeanette Sperry – 16
  • Mary Elizabeth Enlow – 192

John Rowley and Sarah Wright Family Messenger; December 1, 2017

Deleted Categories:

  • 1957
  • December

This Day In Our Family History; December 2, 2017

Removed Sealed to Spouse for Samuel Blakesley and Hannah Potter in 1650

Added Categories:

  • Wellington, Shropshire, England, United Kingdom
  • Edna Viola Nelson – 8
  • Pleasant Grove, Utah, Utah, United States
  • Nels Rosenquist Nelson – 25
  • Grace Viola Harper – 26

John Rowley and Sarah Wright Family Messenger; December 2, 2017

Added Categories:

  • April 1
  • 1823
  • Hanley, Staffordshire, England, United Kingdom
  • October 30
  • 1843
  • Glasgow, Lanarakshire, Scotland, United Kingdom
  • June 7
  • 1901
  • Fillmore, Millard, Utah, United States
  • July 14
  • 1824
  • June 14
  • 1886
  • January 18
  • 1845
  • October 13
  • John Thompson Rowley – 197
  • November 7
  • 1847
  • Jane Paul – 198
  • May 22
  • 1868
  • EHOUS – Endowment House; Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah, United States
  • June 23
  • 1880
  • SGEOR – Saint George Utah Temple; Saint George, Washington, Utah, United States
  • January 31
  • Spring Glen, Carbon, Utah, United States
  • February 23
  • 1849
  • October 3
  • 1883
  • Meadow, Millard, Utah, United States
  • August 16
  • 1851
  • 1852
  • September 26
  • 1853
  • 1881
  • October 21
  • 1925
  • November 11
  • 1856
  • 1859
  • April 4
  • 1858
  • January 1
  • 1878
  • 1943
  • April 2
  • 1919
  • September 21
  • 1951
  • July 24
  • 1860
  • February 16
  • December 11
  • 1864
  • October 10
  • 1888
  • Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah, United States

This Day In Our Family History; December 3, 2017

Removed sealed to spouse in 1650 for Samuel Blakesley and Hannah Potter in The Mesa Arizona Temple

Added Categories:

  • Charles Gilbert Lunt – 19
  • SLAKE – Salt Lake Utah Temple; Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah, United States
  • ARIZO – Mesa Arizona Temple; Mesa, Maricopa, Arizona, United States

John Rowley and Sarah Wright Family Messenger; December 3, 2017

Added Categories:

  • Lillian Alcorn – 31
  • David William Rowley – 30
  • Marjorie Ann Rowley – 36
  • Orem, Utah, Utah, United States

Journal: Jeanette Sperry; December 4, 2017

Added Categories:

  • Friday
  • Jeanette Sperry – 16
  • Caroline Webb – 47
  • Henry Melvin Sperry – 52
  • Emily Esther Sperry – 50
  • Emily Louisa Miller – 118

This Day In Our Family History; December 4, 2017

Deleted endowments for Nels Rosenquist Nelson, they were completed December 11

Added correct parents for Joseph and Moses Mansfield under sealed to parents on this day. Their parents are: Richard Mansfield and Gillian Drake

Added Categories:

  • Paisley, Renfrewshire, Scotland, United Kingdom
  • Litchfield, Staffordshire, England, United Kingdom
  • Alfred Oscar Lunt – 15
  • Nephi, Juab, Utah, United States
  • Alfred Lunt – 40
  • Priscilla Pitt – 41
  • Nels Rosenquist Nelson – 25
  • SLAKE – Salt Lake Utah Temple; Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah, United States
  • Florence Thora Harper – 76
  • Harriet Gibbons – 68
  • John Francis Gibbons – 163
  • James Robert Gibbons – 164
  • Henry Gibbons – 165
  • Sarah Gibbons – 166
  • Elizabeth Gibbons – 167
  • John Gibbons – 162
  • Sarah Wild Cole – 163

Journal: Jeanette Sperry; December 5, 2017

Added Categories:

  • Saturday
  • Jeanette Sperry – 16

This Day In Our Family History; December 5, 2017

Added Categories:

  • Slimbridge, Gloucestershire, England, United Kingdom
  • James Wood – 247
  • Ann Amos – 248
  • Wolverhampton, Staffordshire, England, United Kingdom
  • Lydia Wood – 251

John Rowley and Sarah Wright Family Messenger; December 5, 2017

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  • 1853
  • Fillmore, Millard, Utah, United States
  • England, United Kingdom
  • August
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  • 1854
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  • 1855
  • 1856
  • November 11
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  • December 15
  • February 23
  • 1957
  • 1857
  • Meadow, Millard, Utah, United States
  • California, United States
  • Missouri, United States

This Day In Our Family History; December 6, 2017

Added Categories:

  • New Haven, New Haven, Connecticut, United States
  • Cambridge, Gloucestershire, England, United Kingdom
  • Esther Olpin – 130
  • David Webb – 129
  • Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah, United States

John Rowley and Sarah Wright Family Messenger; December 6, 2017

Added Categories:

  • David William Rowley – 30
  • Bountiful, Davis, Utah, United States
  • Springville, Utah, Utah, United States
  • Fillmore, Millard, Utah, United States
  • Price, Carbon, Utah, United States
  • Orem, Utah, Utah, United States

John Rowley and Sarah Wright Family Messenger

RALPH NEPHI ROWLEY HISTORY continued
-by historian, Luella Jones Downard

In the spring of 1853 each man was given as much land as he could fence and cultivate. Ralph Nephi Rowley and his father-in-law, Hugh Thompson, each had land allotted to them along the hills east of Fillmore, known as the “Best Ditch” farms.

Some of their close neighbors here were Jonathan P. Smith and Albert Shail. Jonathan P. Smith had come over the plains in the same company as Hugh Thompson. Ralph’s sister Mariah, who had buried her first husband, George Olom, and little son, Uriah Olom, in England and later migrated to Fillmore with her daughter, Zuriah Olom, married Jonathan P. Smith.

Zuriah Olom later married George Albert Shails.

Another of their close neighbors was Amasa Lyman, (whose son, Lorenzo Snow Lyman married Zuriah Rowley, the oldest daughter of Ralph’s brother, James Rowley).  Years later Amasa Lyman’s son Ira Depo Lyman, married Ralph’s daughter, Elizabeth Ann.

Another neighbor was Richard Day, whose daughters Mary and Martha, became the wives of Ralph’s brother James. Years later when James died, Ralph married his brother’s wife, Mary Day Rowley, in polygamy.

We have several records of Ralph and Mary receiving their endowments and also of Ralph attending for James with Mary Day and that they were sealed.

In July of 1853 there were a great many Indian scares and depredation. The fort was guarded night and day by both close and picket guards. Men went to the fields in large companies, carrying their guns with them for protection at all times. Kanosh and his friendly Indians helped harvest the grain.

Conditions became so bad that the State House workers took down their shanties and moved them into the Fort, where they would be safer from Indian attacks.

George Arthur Rowley in one of his histories relates: “Here they built a dugout in which to live, there is a monument on the place now.” Mary Ann’s father Hugh Thompson probably lived with them and the children in this humble home.

In August 1853 martial law was declared. A triangle of steel was made to use in sounding an alarm to call the men and boys from the field when there was an alarm. The milch cows were herded together and guards placed around them. At night they were all taken to a public corral and milked while the men took turns standing guard.

On September 13, 1853, a man, William Hatton, was killed by the Indians while standing guard at this corral.

Ralph and his father-in-law were both fine stone masons, and they helped to cut and lay rock for early state structures.

On October 26, 1853 a baby boy was born to the Rowley’s, while they were living inside the fort wall. They named him Walter Thompson Rowley. When Thompson is added to the name of a Rowley child it is to honor the beloved grandfather, Hugh Thompson. He had had no male child to carry on the name of Thompson. This may account for one reason for honoring the name but I like the reason George Arthur Rowley gives in one of his histories: “I love the name of HUGH and I named one daughter Hughetta, because I love it so. The stories I have been told of him make me very proud of his name and memory.” What a pity that none of those stories were ever written. Now we know only that his character was such that “HUGH THOMPSON” is a name of honor among the descendants of Ralph Nephi Rowley and Mary Ann Thompson.

This little bank of pioneers harvested their first crop of grain by cradle and gathered the stocks by hand, making them into bundles. They then laid the bundles on large pieces of canvas and led the horses over the bundles to thrash the wheat out. With the help of the wind they separated the wheat from the chaff. When it was washed and dried it was ready to be ground into flour. As there was not a flour mill within a hundred miles, they then ground the wheat into flour in coffee grinders. This was a hard tedious task and even little John and Hugh took turns at turning the grinder. They learned to make corn into hominy. This constituted the main items of their diet that winter.

In the spring of 1854 the workshops were moved back onto the grounds of the State House, where work was resumed. By December 1, 1854, all the walls and masonry work was done on the State House.

George Arthur Rowley tells us in one of his histories: “During the summer of 1854 Ralph Nephi Rowley discovered the sulphur beds which are located about seven miles south and east of Cove Fort in south Millard County. He hauled sulphur in the raw state and sold it to Brigham Young in Salt Lake City. He made many trips into Salt Lake with the sulphur, and on one occasion, Brigham Young paid him a yoke of oxen and wagon for the sulphur. In later years a company with money developed the sulphur beds and put in a refinery to sell sulphur all over.

Ralph Nephi Rowley, had a pottery from 1854 until early 1880. Ralph was a master potter, he was he was also skilled in building kilns. He had learned to make pottery kilns as a boy in England He built a fine pottery just east of the Chalk Creek. In the early stages Ralph did prospecting for clay and other material. illegible volcanic glass, which is the illegible stone and the pumy stone. Ralph assisted in getting them developed illegible the Twin Peaks in south Millard County illegible  bed of the Beaver River, which fed into Sevier Lake, which is south illegible the Twin Peaks are in South Millard County, near the Black Rock station for The Union Pacific Railroad. The river now flows into a reservoir, there illegible not run as far north as it did then illegible plaster of Paris when it becomes hard and dry will absorb water. It makes the best kinds of molds, so he had to have it. He found moutains of of gypsum in the Levan and Nephi Districts. Gypsum is pounded or ground fine like flour and placed in an iron kettle and cooked. When worked just right you can mix it with water and make a paste and let it set for a few minutes and it becomes hard. Plaster of Paris is gypsum in the finished product and gypsum is used in making cement. Illegilble a big plaster works in the illegible  and in the Salt Creek Canyon above illegible John Rowley, who lived in Nephi illegible water mill and ran it for a long illegible (Ralph) found feldspar in good illegible”

Ralph Nephi Rowley was a very brave men to illegible prospecting into country held by Indians and so far away from the protection illegibleoments. He played a very important role in the building up of this country and in many of its industries. He was a good friend to the great Chief Kanosh; this friendship is one of the reasons he was able travel to far places in search of the many different minerals etc. that he needed in his work. Perhaps it was his great faith, illegible he was a man of exceeding great illegible protection that he would receive illegible Mighty.

In 1855 the people of the Fillmore were called upon to practice the United Order, by assigning all their earthy possessions over to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Like Nephi (whose name he had added to his own), he knew that God does not ask a thing of us without providing a way that His commandment might be kept. Ralph humbly and uncomplainingly followed the advice of the Church Presidency to the letter and he signed a paper like the following:

“Be it known by those present that I, Ralph Nephi Rowley, of Fillmore City in the County of Millard and the Territory of Utah, for, and in consideration of the good will which I have for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, give and convey unto Brigham Young, trustee in trust for the said church, his successor in office, and assigns, all my claims and ownership to the following described property, to wit; (Then followed the description of his farm lands and his pottery and whatever lands he had acquired at that time with all livestock he owned, he assigned every single thing he possessed). Together with all rights, privileges and appurtenances there unto, belonging or appertaining. I also covenant and agree that I am the lawful claimant and owner of said property, and will warrant and forever defend the same unto the said trustee in trust, his successor in office, and assigns, against the claims of my heir, assigns or any person whomsoever.

(signed) Ralph Nephi Rowley”

Thus Ralph again stood the test – that he would do all that was asked of him fully and faithfully. What a test, to sign away all that he had or ever hoped to have and to agree to leave all that he had to the Church and not to his ancestors to leave something to their children. We know that he did it gladly and yet what a test it was! Hugh Thompson, Mary Ann’s father, also turned over all that he possessed also, including the 10,000 gold sovereigns that he had brought in the drawer of the heavy oak chest. Converted into United States money, this would have all belonged to Mary Ann and the children at his death, for they were his only heirs. Think of the schooling and prestige, the lands and possessions this would have bought for their descendants. This was gladly given for they knew that the Gospel was true and that they must stand every test! Oh that we, the descendants of these most worthy ancestors could all inherit the TESTIMONY that they had, that this great thing that they did would not have been done in vain. This lesson they gave us that to obey all of gods commandments and to do gladly all that is asks of us, to remain faithful to the end, is a greater inheritance that $50,000.00 or all the riches of the earth! There were others who gave all they had at that time but in my opinion Ralph, Mary and Hugh were put to a greater test for everything was put in a common storehouse and each family got supplies etc. as it was needed. Therefore those who had little would share alike with those who had a greater amount. It was easy for those who had little. The work was divided among all Saints both men and women, thus keeping everyone employed and on the same economic level, which did away with poverty, as well as preventing the accumulation of great wealth, a socialistic form of religion.

The grasshopper made their first appearance and they came in hordes. Ralph and his family watched as they ate nearly all of the crops in spite of anything they could do to stop them.

The grasshoppers came again in 1856 but not in such numbers as they had in 1855 and they were able to control them better so that more of their crops were saved.

Another male child was born to Ralph and Mary Ann, on November 11, 1856. They named him Ralph Nephi Rowley after his father.

The most of the pottery Ralph made at first and a great deal of it at all times, he turned over to Brigham Young or the Church, I suppose it was distributed as seemed best by Brigham Young. There is no record of what Ralph received in payment but it is my opinion that he considered it as a part of the labor he owed in living the United Order.

Ralph’s brother James Rowley left England and arrived in Salt Lake City sometime between December 1 and 15, 1856, in the William Hidgett’s Ox Train Company, which arrived in Salt Lake City in sections – (Journalistic History, December 15, 1856, page3). He came to Fillmore soon after this, where the brothers had a happy reunion. They were closely associated from that time on until James’ early death in 1881. (We have not at this time been able to learn if James came alone, but it is my opinion that he did – the record of his arrival can be found in the archives of the Church Historians office in the Presiding Bishop’s office in Salt Lake City). Ralph must have taken him into the pottery business upon his arrival, for he was also skilled in all things pertaining to the making of pottery, having been taught the trade by his father from the time he was a small lad in England. There are also many stories told of them making the pottery together. James may have made the trip from Salt Lake City to Fillmore by handcart, his son, George Rowley of Fillmore (1957), says he thinks he was told as a child that he did.

In the spring of 1857 Ralph and Mary Ann, with their four children, John, Hugh, Walter and Ralph Jr. went to make a new home in the wilderness south of them, Meadow. Three other families going with them, the Tompkinson’s, (Mrs. Thompkinson was a Rowley, Ralph’s cousin), the Tyler’s and John Lemmons. The James Duncan family had gone before them. They all located on the ridge about a mile west of the present to townite of Meadow. The “Ridge” was a gravely elevation resembling a railroad track grade which extended for miles north and south of where they had settled. The vegetation was mostly sage brush and meadow grass with cedar trees on the foothills. A few wild berries and some wild rabbits and deer.

Ralph and Mary Ann soon made themselves a dugout on the side of the ridge, not far from where the others were building one.

When this was done they began clearing the sage brush from the land, above the settlement, where they had decided  to make the fields.

Their oldest son, John, who was ten years old and Hugh, next younger, who was eight this first summer on the ridge were able to help a great deal in this new enterprise for they, with the boys of the other families were assigned the task of herding the cows, which were herded in one herd. They were also instructed to keep a sharp lookout for Indians. This was hostile Indian country for only a short distance from this place the great Chief Walker laid buried. He had died on this very same Meadow Creek. Before the coming of the Mormon Pioneers this had been a favorite camping ground of the Indians. These Indians were not hostile, but they were feared because of their close connection with Chief Walker.

Ralph was always friendly with Chief Kanosh and his Indians and they shared their scanty food supply with these Indians hoping that the friendship might continue.

That summer and fall they saw many immigrant trains pass. They had built their dugout homes along the ridge a short distance from the main travelled road to California, which came in just below the ridge.

Many of the members of these immigrant trains had helped to persecute and drive the Mormons from Missouri and other places. They did many things to annoy the Mormon Settlers as they passed through their settlements.

One day as John, Hugh and the other boys were herding the cows near the road on the ridge men from the immigrant train took the boy’s lunches from them and even shot at one of the little boys.

-To be continued-