History: David William Rowley

While we were living near Margie I gave some of my extra fishing poles to her boys and I took them fishing. We did pretty good sometimes and I enjoyed having this to do with my grandsons we fished mostly in the Provo River, but sometimes I went to Deer Creek Reservoir and I used to like to watch the base swim around and around. We could watch our hooks and bait, then all of a sudden they might decide to take it, maybe come in quick, then change their mind. At Deer Creek I got some pretty nice fish. It was interesting to watch the water in the river. Sometimes it was so clear I could see the fish watching me through the water.

I had some interesting fishing trips with Lavern’s new husband, Dewey Chidester. We went over to Wellington on our vacations and went out to Joe’s Valley and really caught some good trout.  Lavern would cook up a pan full with bacon strips and we would eat them and then we would catch some more. It makes my mouth water just to think of it.

On another trip we drove the pickup and Dewey pulled a trailer up to Ferron Reservoir. It was a wonderful place to fish and there was a large snow bank where Rusty loved to play. I was so surprised to see that even up in the mountains like this there were dandelions everywhere.

The mountain was steep and we went through some water on the way back, then discovered we had lost our brakes and it scared us. We topped and let them dry out then we went safely back to Wellington and home the next day. Dewey and Lavern came to see us a few times while we lived in Provo.

Where we lived we could see the whole circle of mountains around Provo. That was one of the things we liked about being there. This is how I have tried to describe it. The scenery surrounding Provo was grand. The lake to the west was beautiful and especially at sundown when the sun was shining across the water reflecting the colors of the sky or looking brassy or gold. Sometimes the water was ripply and other times it was very still. I will never forget the pleasure I had in living there and seeing this and the everlasting mountains raising their solid bastions to the skies with Timpanogas lying asleep. Never to be disturbed but broken through by the canyon of the Provo River. What centuries it must have taken to make that canyon by steady, continual erosion, the beautiful sides of the mountain, changing into differed robes with the seasons. In the spring there is a lovely new green of grass and brush and trees, mingled with the rocky cliffs that tower so high. It would seem impossible to climb but when nearer seen and better known are crisscrossed by pathways that are unseen from below. As the seasons go on, she changed robes again, the oak brush becomes red, the quacking aspens put in their bright yellow and then the beautiful maples scatter their gorgeous hues of color. Then with the first snows they put on their white bonnets usually lasting till spring. The sight is so grand to see and remember. When I think of the glories of the earth I hated to leave such beauty. We should not let such things become old and common because they are constantly seen.

Estella had a special feeling about these mountain, too, especially Mount Timpanogas. There is a very lovely Indian legend about it. Sometimes when she was cleaning the rooms upstairs and she needed a break she would throw open a window (you couldn’t see through these chapel windows), even in the winter, and drink in the rugged beauty and partake of the peaceful message that seemed to come from those mountains.

To be continued…


History: David William Rowley

We soon had responsible positions in the ward. It was good to be back to work, also. I was put in as the leader of the Adult Aaronic Priesthood of the ward and Estella was chosen for the Spiritual Living teacher for the Relief Society. Our jobs were very challenging and we enjoyed them.

It was so nice to live just up the street from Dwain and Marge and their children. Dwain and I have always had a mutual admiration for each other and we love to talk and share ideas. I still feel the need to go back and renew that relationship.

This happened a few years ago, but I would like to share it now as we are talking about Margie’s children. We had taken Myron with us one day when he was about three or foot to hunt for garden rocks. We went over on the other side of Utah Lake. We found some nice rocks and decided the easiest was to get them to the car was to roll them down the hill because they were so heavy. Myron would pick up the biggest rock he could and he’d say…”1, 2, 3, boomty-boom,” and throw it down the hill, laughing as he watched it go. Grandma had left our good lunch behind but Myron was still happy even though we just had soda crackers to eat. He went on home to Bountiful with us and stayed a few days. He couldn’t understand why we were so tired after handling all those rocks, he wasn’t!

Harold and Myrna Jean came down for a short visit while we lived in this house. We enjoyed the children, especially Mike, who was growing into quite a fine boy. Little Steven was always a real curious child and this time he had to find out how everything worked, even if it was something that could hurt him. He didn’t want to mind nearly as well as he does now after a few more years of training at home. I have noticed this with so many children, they can be little stinkers when they are small, but if the parents continue to consistently and persistently train them in the way they should go, setting a good example all the while, the child becomes a real fine youth and man or woman.

The work at the chapel was new and hard especially at first when we were doing painting as well as cleaning. I was mowing the lawns, weeding and trimming edges as well. We enjoyed working in the house of the Lord because it was the House of the Lord and we always tried to remember this.

When October came there was a lot of leaves on the chapel yard. We were so busy that we dreaded having to get out there and rake them all up in piles and dispose of them, but we knew it had to be done. One day while we were both inside getting ready for Sunday, a big wind came up and blew those leaves all off the church yard and strait down the road for quite a ways. We were grateful to the Lord for sending the wind.

We were worried about Virginia and we knew that she could not take care of the yard work on our place in Bountiful, so on our weekly days off we would drive up there and take care of things and find out how the family was doing. These trips and the extra work was quite hard on us.

To be continued…

History: David William Rowley

That summer Virginia met a man from Twin Falls that she thought she was going to marry, so she moved over there in order for the girls to start school. In November we had an invitation to come up there for Thanksgiving. We went and we could tell that Bill was crazy about Virginia, but we had the feeling that she didn’t really love him. The turned out to be the case and her asking us to come up was really a call for help.

In a little while Estella went back there and on the 13 December Hubert and I took the Dat and a trailer and moved them down to Bountiful. The weather was threatening and our load was high and we sure prayed that we would make it back safely. We pulled in under the carport I had built and we were so tired that we just had something to eat and went to bed. The next morning there was about 8 inches of snow on the ground!

It really made Estella happy to have her daughter and her grandchildren living near. In March Virginia and I took the pickup and went back to Twin Falls and got her piano and some other things that she had left with a friend.

In the next June, Opal who had moved to Richfield from California, and Harold and Myrna Jean all came to our place to stay while they went to June Conference. Myrna Jean was in the Stake Relief Society and Harold was in the Bishopric and Opal was the head of the music in her ward. What a time they had together. They were all musicians and they played and sang and we sure enjoyed them.

Opal invited us to come visit and to bring Virginia and the children and so we did that summer. Cory had gone to Nampa to stay with his dad who had remarried. On our way down to Opal’s, Stella sat in the front seat. We all had a really good time. We went fishing over to Fish Lake and we spent one day hunting for nice rocks. We still have some of them. Virginia and Opal played and sang and visited and Opal fixed us sine really good meals. I helped get the weeds out of their garden. When we had to leave Rusty behind, he wouldn’t come out from under the bed, where we slept, until we came back. He was always this way with strangers.

Well, the time had come sooner than I wanted it and on 1 July 1969 I was retired from the David County maintenance crew. They held a kind of meeting for me and gave me a wrist watch. It was a good watch and I used it for a long time.

After I retired I jobbed around fixing up things on houses. Sometimes Estella helped me. It soon became clear that we could not stay in Bountiful and live on what income I had.

Marjorie let us know that her ward was looking for a custodian and we went down and had an interview with her Bishop, James May. He was a fine man and after a while we got the job. We moved Virginia into hour house and prepared to move to Provo. Thus I left the place o had lived for 13 years and began a new phase of my life.

This was a large chapel and took a lot of work. We started in August 1969. We rented a small house, at first, from Don Reese. It was just down the road from the chapel which made it really nice for us.

To be continued…

History: David William Rowley

As soon as we got home from our visit with Ralph, I brought home the little dog, Rusty that I had been coaxing Estella to accept. She hadn’t seen him, but I told her how cute he was. He was a thoroughbred Pomeranian and was much loved by his family. They were moving to England and couldn’t take him with them. Rusty was very smart and very special and it didn’t take him long to win Estella’s heart and he became her dog. She was going to people’s homes at night to babysit and when she left Rusty would go under the bed and sob, then go to the window to see if she was coming. If he couldn’t see her he would go back under the bed and sob some more. When she came home she would pick him up and talk to him and you could see where the tears had been running down his face. If we scolded him for something he would do the same thing. He was quite a dog and real good company.

We got word that they thought the cobalt had killed the rest of Virginia’s tumor. The doctor had told Estella that they could never get all of the tumor without doing too much damage to her brain, but if the humor was benign it would dry up. However, their troubles were not over. Virginia had left Chad and her Aunt had bought a big mobile home and had moved it onto Harold’s property in New Plymouth, Idaho, for Virginia and her children to live in.

We received word that Harold and Myrna Jean had been blessed with another baby boy on 12 January 1968. He had dark hair and brown eyes and was a real sweetheart whom they named Terrel.

I began to realize that this was the last year for me to work. It seemed like the time had gone by too fast – that I just couldn’t be that old. We talked about what I might do after I retired. I thought it might be well for us to get a chapel to take care of, but Estella did not much of that idea at the time. We had agreed that we must get out of debt before I retired. We had been working and saving hard to get the place in Bountiful paid for. After I married Estella, we paid out about $9,000, to get it clear. We had a good boost from Grace when she paid the rest on the siding and roofing I had put on the side of the house. Then Estella’s sister Lavern had given us a long term loan of some money she had come into. We also sold Estella’s place in Nampa.

We decided to go to Idaho for Mother’s day that year. It was the first time I had been in New Plymouth and I was quite impressed with the little town and with Treasure Valley.

Virginia wanted us to sleep in her bedroom, but we ate most of our meals with Harold. Virginia seemed to be in good spirits. The hair hadn’t grown back on the sides of her head yet so she had made bands to match her dresses to wear around her head. Harold sang at the Mother’s Day program and Virginia played for him. We enjoyed seeing Harold’s and Virginia’s children together. We stayed at Archie’s on the way back and I marveled at how Janae was so good to help her mother.

In June, after we had our trip to Idaho, a new little red-headed boy came to Clayton and Jana, they named him Michael. We were glad to see that he was healthy and strong.

Finally on 18 July 1968, Dwana got her little sister. Dwain and Margie had a little girl they named Margene.

To be continued…

History: David William Rowley


Ted Thaxton and I had been very good friends for some time, and he and his wife invited us to go up to their cabin in the mountains above Mirror Lake one weekend. They had a comfortable cabin in a beautiful area. There was a small stream nearby and some small lakes not too far away. I walked a small stream nearby and some small lakes not too far away. I walked over to some beaver ponds that had been built in some of these lakes. This sight brought back many memories about beavers and as I sit here in March of 1979, I am 75 years old, but as these memories come back to me I think I would like to share them with my grandchildren. It’s a novel way they build their homes out in the middle of the lake, and they build them good! As they build their dams in the creek which causes the pond or small lake to form, first they drive pieces of limbs of trees deep into the mud out in the middle of the stream. This is the beginning of their home. Then they weave smaller limbs in between and pad mud all over and all around their work. The center of their home is water and they enter this from tunnels they build from sticks and mud is built really solid and tight. This is above water and is where they sleep and raise their young. It is also where they store food for winter. I have drawn a picture to show you how this was done. Their home looks rough on the outside, but is quite an engineering feat on the inside, as are their dams.

I am reminded of some of my experiences with beavers. During the depression I had to trap to bring in some extra money so we could pay our expenses since we couldn’t get much for our crops. One day I found a great big hole under the river bank. I thought it was probably a beaver’s so I set a trap for it because I really needed the money I could get for its skin. The hole ran up under a large tree, in amongst the roots, so you see they don’t always build in the middle of a pond. I went back in a day or so and I had the beaver and I noted that he really had a good home.

One time in 1963, I was fishing on the upper Provo River with some friends from Bountiful. I was going from one point to another on the river. There was a little pond of water in my path too wide to step over, so I stepped in it. I soon found myself in mucky water over my head. I put my fishing rod across from one side to the other and I got myself out. Then I had to go swimming to wash myself off. I had fallen into an old beaver tunnel about 500 feet from the river’s edge. They are quite the engineers and builders in their line of work.

Thinking of these things has conjured up another memory. We had a dog that was really hard on coyotes. One morning when I was driving into town I saw a coyotes and thinking he was alone I set Tip on him. It turned out that there was two coyotes and when Tip would chase one the other would chase Tip. It was several days before Tip came home. I don’t know what happened. He never told me, but I’ll bet he really gave them a chase, especially if he got close enough to get a hold of one.

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History: David William Rowley

They had a nice big house and they made us very comfortable. We enjoyed seeing the baby for the first time. Little Janiel was such a pretty little girl, too. She seemed to like her Grandpa as did the others. Lorrain was a bit shy and didn’t talk very much. I noted that Kurt was really growing and getting really smart. We enjoyed watching the children unwrap their toys and the dinner was really good. We had brought along a lot of warm clothes expecting to freeze, but it wasn’t so bad.

Our ticket was good on the bus as well as the train, so we came home that way and it didn’t take nearly so long.

To be continued…

History: David William Rowley

Before we leave 1966 I want to tell you about an experience of mine that happened back in October. There was a big harvest moon out one evening when I got to go on my first airplane ride. Estella’s friend Virginia Roberts, had a nephew living in Salt Lake who flew planes. One evening he took us to Provo, landing the plane and then flew back. On the way back, when we were flying over the mountains he let me take the controls for a while. It was really a thrill and that big moon looked closer to earth than we had ever seen it before. It appeared, suddenly, just above the turn of the mountain, as we were going down.

Things went pretty smoothly in our lives for a while, then in October 1967 Chad called us and said that Virginia had a brain tumor and that they were to operate on her the next morning. Grace helped Estella get ready and then she drove us to the airport. It was in the night and it took only 45 minutes for that jet to get her to Boise where Archie met her. She got to the hospital in time to talk to Virginia the next morning before they took her to surgery. They had already cut off her hair and Estella gathered it up and saved it.

Virginia was operated on the morning of 17 October 1967. It was a bad time for all of us because they found that the tumor was malignant. She came through the surgery fine and went to Harold’s home to convalesce because they were taking care of her baby, Cory. Estella stayed for a while, then came home. Virginia took cobalt treatments for quite a while.

I think we spent Thanksgiving with Dwain and Margie. We enjoyed little Darrell. He has always seemed like a child who had deep thoughts and would accomplish much in this world.

Ralph had been wanting us to come to Montana to see them so we decided to go up for Christmas. Since Estella had enjoyed riding on the train in the past we decided to go that way. I had been working really hard and we were rushing around getting ready when we noticed that our old toilet had run over and water was clear out into the hall and the next room. We both worked like troopers getting the water cleaned up and I suppose all that stooping was what caused me to get a terrible nosebleed. I am kind of subject to them anyway. Grace came over and we got the bleeding stopped just before train time. Grace took us to the depot and we had just gotten on the train when my nose started to bleed again. Fortunately, we had brought some towels. A strange man took me to charge and accompanied me to the men’s room and soon got it stopped again. Altogether I had lost a lot of blood.

The train took us to Logan and switched our car off where we sat trying to sleep in the reclining seats for a good part of the night. Finally we started and arrived in Great Falls the next day. We went on to Havre and stayed with Bert and Verda for a couple of days. They had bought a nice little home and had been a real help to Aleene and the kids while Ralph was in Guam on duty. We finally got to Glasgow where Ralph met us. Kristine had come in with him and she sat on my lap and talked up a storm all the way back to their home. She gave her Grandpa a few kisses, too.

To be continued…