John Nelson Jonas

I thought I would write on my Great Grandfather’s brother in anticipation of his birthday, he would be 125 this year.  Growing up, I never knew of Uncle John Nelson Jonas likely because nobody in my family ever knew him.  He passed away at the ripe age of 30 in 1918, a victim of Influenza.  The family knew of his widow as she lived on Main Street in Richmond, Cache, Utah and associated with their children.  Since I have some pictures of his family, I thought I would make them available.  My Great Grandfather Joseph Nelson Jonas did not live to be much older and so personal memories of him were lost many decades ago as well.

John Nelson Jonas was the fourth of seven children born in the marriage of Annetta Josephine Nelson and Joseph Jonas 14 August 1888 in or near Ellensburg, Kittitas, Washington.  He was christened 10 September 1888 at St. Andrews in Ellensburg.  About 1896, John’s mother, Annie, went to the Eastern Washington Hospital for the Insane in Fancher, Spokane, Washington (she is listed as Ann J Jonas).  She was in and out of hospitals throughout her life but as John was one of the older children, he would have known his mother a little better.

Annie got out of the Eastern Washington Hospital 31 October 1899 and went home to Ellensburg and continued to be a handful for the family.  The family on the 1900 Census was in Cle Elum, Kittitias, Washington.  Although that census does not include Annie and the census that year has Joseph Sr in both Cle Elum and Spokane about two weeks apart in June 1900.  Annie must have been back in Fancher.  Annie’s sister, Charlotte, visited in 1901.  Due to Annie’s mental and emotional state, and with Joseph’s approval, the Jonas family went to Utah to stay temporarily with Annie’s brother, Nels August Nelson.  Uncle August lived in Crescent, Salt Lake, Utah and the Jonas party arrived 3 July 1901 from Washington.

John, Joseph, and William Jonas probably right before moving to Utah in 1901.  The photo is stamped with Ellensburg on the matting.

John, Joseph, and William Jonas probably right before moving to Utah in 1901. The photo is stamped with Ellensburg on the matting.

Joseph for one reason or another went back to Washington with the oldest child Margaret.  Nels suggested it was legal issues; it might have just been the farm that needed attention.  Annie’s issues were such that Nels and his wife, Fidelia, signed an affidavit of insanity and had her admitted to the Utah State Hospital 1 November 1901.

Joseph had been raised as a Catholic and Annie Nelson had been raised LDS.  Annie decided she did not like LDS men and wanted to marry a Gentile and did so.  The children were raised Catholic in Washington.  Now in Utah, Uncle August made sure the children learned about the LDS faith.  The three boys, John, William, and Joseph, elected to be baptized LDS on 10 January 1902 in Crescent by their Uncle August in an ice-covered Jordan River.  All three were confirmed 12 January 1902 by Jaime P Jensen.  Rosa joined 6 February 1902, also in Crescent under the hand of Uncle August in a hole chipped in the Jordan River.  Margaret did not join as she stayed near her father in Washington.

In 1904, Rosa married a boy, Christian Andersen, from Richmond.  They married in Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah.  They moved to 137 E 100 S in Richmond.  John and his brothers resided with Uncle August until after their mother passed in 1907, then they would regularly and for prolonged periods stay with Rosa in Richmond.  William and John were both ordained Elders 6 January 1908 in Crescent.  In Richmond, both were again ordained Seventies 19 September 1909 by Charles Hart (1866 – 1934, 1st Council of Seventy).  John was endowed in the Logan LDS Temple 1 October 1909 and left to serve in the Southern States Mission.  He left 10 October 1909, arrived at Chattanooga, Hamilton, Tennessee 18 Oct, Montgomery, Montgomery, Alabama 21 Oct, and formally starting 25 October 1909.  The 1910 Census lists John at home in Crescent.

I understand John attended Brigham Young College in Logan but I don’t know any of the details of when or if he graduated.  Nellie told her nephew, Ellis Jonas, that John was the only one of the brothers who could keep a level head.  Just remember the source of that compliment – his wife.

John met Nellie Armina Andersen, a cousin of Rosa’s husband Christian, while staying in Richmond.  Nellie and John fell in love and were married 5 June 1912 in the Logan, Cache, Utah at the LDS Temple.

John and Nellie (Andersen) Jonas

John and Nellie (Andersen) Jonas

The above photo indicates it was taken in Salt Lake City at Cusworth’s Studio.  We don’t know the occasion, but it must have been something to dress up for, or just a sitting for a portrait.  Either way, the photo was shared with my Great Grandmother.

The wedding announcement in the Logan Republican on 25 June 1925, “On June 5th Mr. John Jonas and Miss Nellie Anderson of this place were married in the Logan Temple.  Mr. Jonas is managing his Uncle’s farm at Murray, Utah.  After a family reception at the home of the bride’s mother, Mrs. Armina Anderson, the couple departed for Murray where they will make their future home.”

John and Nellie had three children.

Calvin Andersen Jonas born 6 August 1913 and died 17 June 1991 both in Richmond.  He married Viola Florence Chapman (1921 – 2006) on 30 March 1957 in Elko, Elko, Nevada.  Calvin lived in his mother’s home until he passed away and then Viola remained in the same home until her passing.  It was Calvin who took the land and created a trailer park on the rest of the property to the welcome or chagrin of Richmond.  Calvin and Viola did not have any children, although Viola brought children to the marriage from her previous marriage.  I last visited Viola about 2005 and Viola had her daughter Dixie living with her to take care of her, the trailer park, and their ceramic store.

Melvin Andersen Jonas born 13 March 1917 in Richmond and drowned 16 Jul 1944 in San Marcos, Hays, Texas while he was in training at San Marcos Army Air Field.  Apparently he had just married Doris Everts on 17 March 1944 somewhere in Texas.  It is not believed they had any children.  Melvin was a lieutenant in the Army.

Melvin Portrait

Melvin’s Portrait before leaving for the war

John and Nellie purchased a home 3 April 1917 on the corner of Main and 200 E in Richmond (now 195 E Main).  The entire lot one, block 25 of Richmond City came with the home for $1,200.00.  They moved in when Melvin was only a few days old.  When John registered for the World War I Draft, he indicated he was a laborer at Utah Condensed Milk Company in Richmond.

WWI Draft Registration

I have included a copy of the full Draft Registration.  It is interesting to note John’s signature on the first page.

Nellie became pregnant and while with their third children tragedy struck.  John caught the spreading Influenza virus in the epidemic of 1918 and passed away shortly before Christmas on 19 December 1918 at home in Richmond.  Nellie gave birth to their last child months later.

Our cousin, Carvel Jonas wrote of John’s death, “‘Prior to 1974, 38 major flu outbreaks had been recorded, including the disastrous pandemic in 1918 which attached an estimated 500 million people, leaving 20 million dead,’ according to Science Digest March 1975.  The severity of the 1918 pandemic was due to the fact that it lasted for more than 14 months; ordinary epidemics in the average community last no more than six weeks before running their course,’ quoted from ‘The Encyclopedia of Common Diseases, p 722; by the Staff of Prevention Magazine, co 1976′.  Unfortunately John was one of the estimated 20 million who died.”

Carvel also writes, “Before John died he would play hide and seek with his two boys.  After John died the boys thought that their father was still playing the game and would try to find him when Nellie would come home.”

His obituary in the Deseret News stated, “Funeral of John Jonas.  Richmond, Dec 30 – Funeral services were held Sunday for John Jonas who died of Pneumonia, following influenza.  Mrs. A. A. Thomas and W.J. Thomas of Salt Lake furnished music.  The speakers were Bishop P.N. Nelson, Bishop J.L. McCarrey, and A.S. Schow.  The deceased is survived by a wife and two small children and several brothers and sisters.  The flu conditions have so well improved that the local health board has permitted the opening of places of amusement.”

Armina Andersen Jonas was born 5 March 1919 in Richmond and died 30 March 2011 in St. George, Washington, Utah.  She married Don Farnes (1916 – 1978) 10 March 1937 in Logan.  Don was gone by the time I was born, but I remember stopping to visit Armina at her home in Kimberly, Twin Falls, Idaho with my Grandma in the late 1980′s.  I stopped the last time in Kimberly about 2008 shortly before she moved to live with her daughter in Southern Utah.

Calvin, Armina, Nellie, and Melvin Jonas about 1925

Calvin, Armina, Nellie, and Melvin Jonas about 1925

Nellie remarried to Arnold Thornley (1893 – 1969) on 14 April 1926 in Logan.  It must not have been a very long marriage as very few seemed to remember him.

Nellie continued to live in their home until she passed away 11 December 1953 in Salt Lake City of myocarditis.

Her obituary stated, “Nellie A. Jonas – Richmond, Cache County – Mrs. Nellie Andersen Jonas, 64, died Friday night in a Salt Lake hospital after an operation.  Born July 26, 1889 at Richmond, daughter of George and Armina Carson Andersen.  Resident in Richmond entire life.  Married to John N. Jonas in 1912, in Logan L.D.S. Temple.  He died in 1918.  Active in L.D.S. Church…”  I need to get a copy of the full obituary to share it.

John and Nellie are buried together in the Richmond Cemetery.  All three children are buried within a stone’s throw.  John’s father and Nellie’s parents are also a stone’s throw away.

Jordan-Watkins Wedding

Thomas and Margret Mordecae Watkins are pleased to announce the marriage of their daughter Margret to David Jordan, son of Benjamin and Mary Evans Jordan.  David and Margaret were married 21 September 1839 in Merthyr-Tydfil, Glamorganshire, Wales.

Much of the history below is taken from the sketch written by David and Margret’s granddaughter Martha Evans Anderson (1870-1930).  I have fleshed it out with dates and additional detail from source documents.

Margret Watkins was born 10 September 1816 in Merthyr-Tydfil.  She is believed to be the second of 5 children born to Thomas and Margret Watkins.  We really do not know a whole lot about Thomas and Margret Watkins.  A number of stories have survived which are shared below.

David Jordan was born 7 February 1820 in Merthry-Tydfil.  He is the first of four known children born to Benjamin and Mary Jordan.  Just like Margret’s parents, we really do not know much about this family.  At least minimal family history dates or stories have come down regarding either line.

Benjamin and Mary Jordan “were of a religious turn of mind and taught the Bible when he was just a boy, refined and of a gentle manner.”  Mary Jordan passed away in April 1843 when the family was still young.  The family consisted of David, Jane, Sarah, and John.  The Jordans were “a very refined and considered High Class people and of a high moral and religious character.  They were always proud of their personal appearance, always well dressed.”  The brothers were “devoted brothers, they lived and worked together with kind and friendly for each other.  When David and Margaret had children they all lived as a loving family together…this brother was named John Jordan.”

We really do not know anything of the Courtship between David Jordan and Margret Watkins.  “At this times Wales was in a prosperous condition and David and Margret were soon settled in which was very comfortable and spacious.  They had an extra room so that his father and one brother could live with them in their home.  His father lived only two weeks, when he died.  His brother continued to live with David and his wife.”

“Margret (Watkins) Jordan lost her mother when she was very young, leaving her father with a family of small children.  While the family was without the mother’s care, Margret met with an accident which left her with a crippled arm for the rest of her life.  This happened when she was about 2 years old…when her sister was carrying her on her back, when she slipped and fell.  Margret cried for days from pain before they learned that she had a broken arm at the elbow.  It had already started to set, it had been so long since it happened that they thought the child could not stand to have it rebroken and set properly, so it was never properly taken care of.”

“Margret’s father married again and brought into their home a most worthy and wonderful new mother to the children.  Grandmother used to tell us that she never remembered her real mother but their step mother was all that our real mother could have been.”

“When Margret was still in her teens and because of her crippled arm, she was apprenticed in a school for sewing.  The sewing at that time was all done by hand, they had no sewing machines.  Margret took to that kind of work very readily and was very satisfied to become a very good seamstress, while still a very young woman.  She was able to construct some of the finest work in the area.”

“Margret had a blind brother who learned to play the harp.  He was often requested to play, to entertain for groups at entertainments.  He carried his harp with him everywhere he went.  He was employed to play at different places and went alone to his employment places with his harp.  He became very popular and was loved by all his friends and family.”

“Margret continued to follow her trade as a seamstress after her marriage to Grandfather David Jordan, because she was very popular among the people of her community for her sewing.  As her family duties increased on her time, they had six children, two of which died in infancy, she gave up a lot of her sewing and devoted most of her time and energies to her family responsibilities.”

“David and Margret were among the very first in their area to embrace [T]he Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  They were baptized [18 January 1849].  Their children all grew up in the church.”

At this time there was a large branch of the Mormon church in their area of Wales.  “Their family was very faithful and devoted to their new church.  David was a good singer and also a composer and poet.”  He composed a number of beautiful poems.  One song was in honor of the Prophet Joseph Smith.  “As children, we remember hearing him sing this beautiful song, the music was very sweet and the words were all in Welsh.  We only understood it in part, but there was just something about the song that touched us very deeply.”

When they embraced the LDS church they had two little children, Mary and her older sister Gwyn who were 3 and 5 years old.  They were raised in the LDS church and were baptized when they reached 8 years old.

David and Margret’s first son was Thomas Jordan born December 1840 in Merthyr-Tydfil and dying June 1841.  We know very little about this little boy.

The first daughter was Gwenlliam Jordan born 2 August 1842 in Merthyr-Tydfil.  She was baptized in August 1851.

The second daughter was Mary Watkins Jordan born 5 December 1844 in Merthyr-Tydfil.  She was baptized 1 January 1852.

“David was a coal miner.  He and his brother went to work every day in the coal mines.  They were paid good wages at the time, so they did very well economically.”

“One day David’s shift in the mine interfered with his Priesthood meeting so he traded shifts with a friend of his.  He was the secretary of his group and felt like he should attend his Priesthood meeting.  Grandmother Margret told us that she remembers the incident very well.  It was a beautiful day and all was peaceful and calm.  Then at 9:30 am word came there had been an explosion in the mine.  People rushed to the place and it was soon learned that a large number of miners had lost their lives in the explosion and among them was David’s friend who was working in his place.  This was a great sorrow for David.  He loved this man very much and he was there instead of David.”

“As time went on, conditions changed.  Little by little the miner’s wages were reduced causing hard times.  Then there were strikes putting them out of work entirely for months.”

“Their two girls had by now grown into their teens.  They found employment and became independent.  There was also two little boys in the family.”  These two boys would have been David and Thomas.

Charles Jordan was born 3 November 1848 in Merthyr-Tydfil.  He died in December 1848.

Margret Jordan was born 26 Jul 1850 in Aberdare, Glamorganshire, Wales.  She died in June 1852.

David Moiah Jordan was born 7 June 1854 in Merthyr-Tydfil.

Thomas Jordan was born 17 March 1857 in Merthyr-Tydfil.

Ann Watkins Jordan was born in 1861 and we do not know how long she lived.

“Margret now returned to her sewing again to support the family during the hard times.  In a few years, the two girls got married and came to Utah, leaving their parents and the two brothers in Wales.  This happened in 1864.”

I have previously written about Gwenlliam Jordan and her marriage to David D Williams at this link.

“David and Margret had now been members of the LDS church for 20 years.  They were however very happy and contented until their daughters left for America.  They were also making every effort to join their daughters in Utah.

“Then they were made very sad by the death of their youngest son.  He was 11 years old.  Many of the members of their church had gone to Utah and they were feeling lonesome and sad.”  David Moiah Jordan died 14 October 1865.

“The Elders that served as missionaries in their area always found a big welcome in the Jordan home, even in the middle of the night would stop by and found a welcome and told them that it was like coming home.”

“They themselves were making every effort to prepare to go to Utah themselves.  They were planning to sail with the next company of Saints that were to leave by ship for New York.”

“It was now 9 years since their two daughters had gone to Utah.  One day the Elders called on them and told them that the next ship would sail in three weeks.  They counted their money which they had saved and it was not enough.  So they decided that they would have to wait for a later sailing date, until they could accumulate some more funds.”

“When they had secured the money they needed, they sent word to their daughters of their plans so they would expect them.”  The Jordan’s departed 29 July 1872 from Liverpool, Lancashire, England.

“After a lazy and weary journey crossing the Atlantic Ocean, they landed in New York City, on the 13th of August 1872 and remained in New York with their 15 year old son.  They found employment and remained there until October.  They received a letter from their 2 daughters containing money for them to continue to Utah.  Some of the money came from their daughter Mary’s husband, who sold his team of horses to get the money to send to them.”

They arrived in Brigham City, Box Elder, Utah on 10 November 1872 “after visiting in Ogden with their oldest daughter Gwenie Williams, and then they continued on to Brigham City where their daughter Mary Evans lived.  It is useless to try and describe how happy they all were to be back together again after 9 years of being apart, and praying for the time when they could all be together in Zion.”

David and Gwenlliam Williams

David and Gwenllian Williams

“The first winter in Utah was very hard on them because of the extreme cold temperatures and the abundance of snow.  It was particularly hard on Grandfather David because he was used to working underground in the coal mines of Wales.”

“Their daughter Mary and her husband William Evans were living in their two room log cabin at 1st East and 3rd South, just one half block south of the First Ward Meetinghouse.  They had 4 children by now, Margret, Mary Jane, Martha, and Abraham, who was just one week old when their grandparents arrived in Brigham City from Wales.  These newly arrived grandparents remained with William and Mary and their 4 children in their small home the rest of the winter of 1872.”

“At this time the railroad was being built from Ogden to Logan and the three men, Grandfather Jordan, son-in-law William, and the 15 year old son (Thomas) of David and Margret Jordan, all found work building for the railroad.  It was very difficult for David and his son to endure working out in the awful cold weather through that first winter.”

“Two years later, William Evans purchased another house on a large lot.  The house had 4 rooms in the Third Ward at the corner of 3rd West and 3rd North.  It was on the northwest corner of the intersection.  When they moved into the bigger house with their 4 children, they sold the old house to David and Margret who lived in their log home for the rest of their lives.”

“They lived comfortable and made it very attractive and comfortable.  They were neat and tidy people and they kept a beautiful garden which they were very proud of and they produced a lot of products for their table.”

“They were very interesting people to talk to and had many interesting and the conditions and memories of their lives in Wales and the extensive knowledge and testimony of the gospel, made it always a pleasure to visit with them.”

“As time went on they worked at many different things that there was to do around Brigham at that time, which was all real hard labor.”

David and Margret attended the Endowment House in Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah to receive their own endowments on 10 October 1878.  David and Margret were sealed to each other the same day.

“Their son Thomas grew into manhood and they decided that they would build themselves a better house.  They erected the foundation and bought as much of the material for the house as they could the first year, with hopes that the next year they thought and hoped that they could continue building the house.”

“However, the winter came and there was no work to be had for them.  Their son Thomas decided to go to Evanston, Wyoming to work, putting up ice, and they had some relatives.  He obtained employment in one of the coal mines near by.  He was doing well and was very happy there with the thought that he would be able to help his parents with their new home building.”

“This was not to be because Thomas was severely injured in an accident and word was sent to his parents at Brigham City.  His father, David, went to Evanston to see his son but Thomas died just one hour before his father arrived on February 28, 1880.”

“This was a great sorrow to Thomas’ family and destroyed all their hopes for completing their home building plans.  When spring came, David sold all the building materials that he had accumulated for their new home, spent the rest of their lives in the original small log house.”

“Their sorrow over the loss of their son weighed so heavily upon them that it changed their life’s hopes for the future.  However, their faith and convictions in the gospel and the LDS Church which they accepted in Wales; and the trust in their Heavenly Father never failed them.  Faithfully they continued to attend all their church duties and their testimonies grew and were wonderful to hear them speak.”

“Grandfather David was able to adapt himself to most any kind of employment; and with the products of their well kept garden and the fruit that he raised in the years at their home, they had a comfortable living.”

“They also took a great interest in the Temple work of the church and were some of the first to attend the new Logan Temple after its dedication in 1877.”

“They had their family genealogy all in order so that when the temple was ready, so were they.  They traveled to Logan often to do temple ordinances for the members of their family and stayed a week at a time on many occasions to do this temple work.”

“This work of love continued until David’s health began to fail, but he continued to obtain information and prepare records on the members of their family for the work to be done in the temple for their dead ancestors.”

David and Margret were sealed to all their children in the Logan Temple 27 June 1888.  Gwenlliam and Mary were both happy to be physically present for the occasion.  All of the other children had passed away prior.

David Jordan

David Jordan

“Grandfather David Jordan’s life came to a peaceful end November 26, 1893 in Brigham City, Utah.  So peaceful and sweet was his passing away that our family can be proud of that dear old Grand Sire.  He was the first fruits of the gospel in our family.”

“Grandmother Margret was not the last one in their little home, and she felt the loss of her companion very keenly, but she was visited and comforted by her living daughter and grandchildren.  She wanted to continue living along in their home.”

“It had been 25 years since she and her dear husband came to live in that little log cabin; and there she wanted to stay until she could go to join her dear departed companion.”

“She lived another 7 years after her husband died.”

Mary Jordan Evans, LaVan Jones, Margret Evans Jones, Margret Jordan

Mary Jordan Evans, LaVan Jones, Margret Evans Jones, Margret Jordan

“She died November 19, 1902, at home in Brigham City, Utah.  She was buried in the Brigham City Cemetery beside her beloved husband.

A side note at the end of the above: “This was written by granddaughter Martha Evans.  This story was copied from a note book, in the hand writing of Martha Evans.”  “It is probably a repetition of the story I have previously translated from his hand-written record that I have previously had translated and distributed some years ago.  However, I am sure that it is more more in detail than the one I translated previously because there is much more of it.  Yours truly, Wesley Anderson 10 May 1986″

Gwenlliam passed away 3 September 1900 in Slaterville, Weber, Utah.  Mary passed away 8 December 1923 in Brigham City.

Edna Coley Neilson

With the recent passing of Ivan Blaine Neilson, I decided to prepare a history for his mother Edna Coley Neilson.  Especially since I just recently came in possession of a number of new photographs of the family.  Some day I will write a history of her parents, my Great Great Grandparents, but I am hoping some more photos of them will appear in the upcoming months.

Edna Coley was born 23 November 1900 in Lewiston, Cache, Utah.  She was the second of ten children, my Great Grandmother Lillian being the oldest, born to Martha Christiansen and Herbert Coley.

I don’t know much about Edna’s personality.  I have been told by numerous people that Edna was the preferred child of Martha and was often doted on to the the dismay of the siblings.  I don’t know that tells me much of her personality though.

Edna married Gerold Andrus (1903-1984) 17 April 1921 in Richmond, Cache, Utah.  The next month, 15 March 1921, Harold Christian Andrus was born.  Gerold and Edna were only married for a very short time, a shotgun wedding and a shotgun divorce.

Edna married Olof Alma Neilson (1891-1960) 23 July 1923 in Logan, Cache, Utah.  They were sealed 30 July 1924 in the Logan LDS Temple.  I don’t know if Harold was adopted legally or not, but Harold went by Harold Christian Neilson the rest of his life.  The only father he knew was Olof and Olof treated Harold as if he was his own son.

Olof and Edna would have what appears to be ten children together.  The records certainly show ten children, but I believe one of them is a duplicate, or mistakes in names leading to a duplicate child.  Nobody is alive to confirm either so I will list all ten but point out where I believe the duplication exists.

Alma Russell “Russell” Neilson born 23 Jun 1924 in Richmond.  He married Gloria May Olson on 9 Oct 1946 in the Salt Lake City LDS Temple.

Olga Helen “Helen” Neilson born 28 July 1926 in Richmond.  She married LeRoy “Roy” Hulse Draper 25 May 1943.

Olof and Edna, Harold, Helen, and Russell Neilson

Olof and Edna, Harold, Russell, and Helen Neilson (14 May 1927)

To Lillian and Joe, when she was 10 months old.

To Lillian and Joe, when she (Helen) was 10 months old

Olof and Edna Neilson holding Russell

Olof and Edna Neilson holding Russell

Martbamary Neilson born and died 2 July 1927 in Richmond.  He does not have a tombstone if he is buried in Richmond.

Hebert Neilson born 25 November 1928 and died 26 November 1928 both in Richmond.  He has a tombstone in Richmond.

Aenotta Neilson born and died 1 September 1929 in Richmond.  This and the next child were either twins or just variations on a name.  Only a documentation exists for the next child.

Jennetta Neilson was born 1 September 1929 and died 2 September 1929 in Richmond.  Jennetta also has a tombstone where Aenotta does not, you would expect Aenotta would since they were supposedly twins.

Ole Neilson was born and died 19 October 1932 in Richmond.  He was buried 20 October 1932 in the Richmond Cemetery and has a tombstone.

Russell Neilson

Russell Neilson

Ivan Blaine Neilson was born 26 April 1935 in Richmond.  He died 16 January 2013 in Yuma, Yuma, Arizona.  He was buried 25 January 2013 in Smithfield, Cache, Utah.  He married Gloria Gilgen 8 June 1954 in Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah.  They were later divorced.  He remarried to Rebecca Anne Pitcher 4 September 1981 in Smithfield.

Ivan Blaine Neilson

Ivan Blaine Neilson

Lastly, Martha Mary Neilson was born and died 6 July 1937 in Richmond.  She is buried in Richmond.

Lillian, Edna, Martha (sitting) Coley in the 1940's

Lillian, Edna, Martha (sitting) Coley in the 1940′s

Russell Neilson

Russell Neilson

Harold Christian Neilson

Harold Christian Neilson

Nelen Neilson

Helen Neilson

Russell and Gloria Neilson

Russell and Gloria Neilson

1955 Coley Reunion, Richmond, Utah

1955 Coley Reunion, Richmond, Utah

I named the people in the reunion photo here.

Olof passed away of a heart attack at about 9:30 am 13 April 1960 at home in Richmond.  He died almost instantly.  He was buried in Richmond on 15 April 1960.

Edna’s mother passed away 14 August 1961.  The family gathered for the funeral 17 August 1961 for the funeral.  The photo below was taken that day in the Richmond Cemetery.

Art, Golden, Wilford, Roland, Lloyd, Edna, Hannah, Carrie, Lillian, Ivan Coley at their mother’s funeral in 1961

Edna, Will Thomson, Lillian

Edna, Will Thomson, Lillian in the mid 1960′s

Edna lived close to her sister, Lillian Jonas, now Bowcutt, and Lillian makes regular reference to Edna in her journals.  The thing that stands out to me is how close they were in that Edna would regularly aid or stay with Lillian.  Also, Lillian makes regular reference to Edna’s attending the temple in Logan.

Harold took his own life 9 March 1966 in Phoenix, Maricopa, Arizona.  His body was brought back to Richmond for burial.

Edna lived in Richmond until she passed away 6 April 1983 in Richmond.  Her funeral was held 9 April 1983.

Edna's funeral program

Edna’s funeral program

Biography of John Christoph Nuffer

This is the biography of John Christoph Nuffer written by Alma Katherine (Kate) Scheibel Naef, granddaughter of John Christoph Nuffer.  Kate’s parents are Jacob Schiebel and Regina Friederike Nuffer.  I will type it exactly as it is found in the book, “We of Johann Christoph Nuffer, also known as: Neuffer, Nufer, Neufer,”  The book was published in April 1990 by Dabco Printing and Binding Co in Roy, Utah.

Johann Christoph Nuffer

When grandfather Nuffer was still in Germany, he was a dress goods weaver, did truck gardening, and also had a grave vineyard.

At that time his family consisted of my grandmother, Eva Katherina Griner Nuffer, his second wife, my mother, Frederika (Regina), her two brothers Charles August and Adolph, and two sons, Fred and John, from his first wife, Agnas Barbara Spring Nuffer, who died in Germany.

Their home was on Main Street and was made of lumber and rock.

They belonged to the Germany Lutheren Church, and were visited by mormon missionaries who came from America to preach the Gospel to them.  This made their hearts rejoice and in 1879 they were converted to the mormon church or Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  Elder John Theurer of Providence, Utah, U.S.A. was the Elder that preached the gospel to them and later baptized them.

At the time there was a canal or mill race that ran close to the back row of houses.  They had planned to do the baptizing at night so they would ot cause any disturbance around the neighborhood.

At the time there was a family who had an upstairs in their house and they watched through the upstairs window and saw grandfathers family go out the back way into the canal.  As soon as this family saw them, they rumored it around the neighborhood, and before morning the whole neighborhood knew that the Nuffer family had been baptized into the mormon church and of course, persecusion started.

After having been baptized, they had the desire to come to America, the promised land, to be with the main body of Saints.

My grandmother, Eva Katherina Griner Nuffer, was a woman of great faith as I have heard my mother and Uncle John Nuffer speak of many times.  Uncle Fred said in his history that she was a good woman as well as a good mother.

Eva Kathrina Greiner

They left Germany in 1880.  While coming across the ocean, the children had the measles so it was not a very pleasant journey.

They arrived in Providence, Utah about 15, May, 1880 where they lived for three years.  It was while here that Mary (Maria) was born.

Grandfather and family left Providence and moved to Mapleton or Cub River, which at that time was called St. Joseph.  At the time they put the Post Office in, there was already a St. Joseph in Idaho, so they had to give it a new name.  They named it Mapleton and it could well be called such for it was in the mist of so many beautiful maples.  The hills and canyons were loaded with these maples.

The Nuffer ranch or homestead was located on the north-west of Mapleton which the Lord had well provided for the pioneers with black, furtile soil.

Grandfather’s farm was cut in half by the main traveled road.

On the east side was the land where his homes, stables, and orchards were located.

The orchard was on a hill side a little north-west of the second house.  The orchard contained applies, different kinds of plums and prunes, cherries, pears, peaches, grapes, strawberries, raspberries, gooseberries, and currents.

On the side there were also many shade trees which furnished shade in the summer months for the buildings.  Some of those trees are still standing and are about 80 years old or more.

On the west side of the road was a meadow.  A creek ran through this area.  The creek was loaded with bushes and willows which were used in making the fence which surrounded the homestead.  Uncle Charles August ad Adolph helped Grandfather make these fences.  Also they would help Grandfather with his farming.

Also on both sides of the creek grew Timothy and Red Top which Grandfather used for hay.

On a steep hill side to the west of this hay was a grove of Quaken-asp trees which were used for making fence posts.

To the south of this meadow land was a pasture.  Besides being covered with short meadow grass, it had many wild violets and Johnny Jumpups.

The many colors of violets resembled a beautifully spread carpet.

This farm from one end to the other was a beautiful place, but, as time went on the hand of man destroyed this beauty.

The first winter they lived in an unfinished log house.  The floor joist was in the floor, but winter came before they could get the lumber to finish it.  This was a very uncomfortable winter, and they were snowed in many months at a time and could not get to town for supplies, so they had to live on what they raised on the farm.

Many times when sugar was not available, Grandmother would roast sugar beets in the oven and squeeze the joice out of them for sugar to keep her yeast alive and also for other sweetening purposes.

When flour was scarce, they would grind wheat in the coffee mills to make their bread.

The Germany people liked hot drinks, so they would roast barley or wheat and grind it to use for hot drinks.

Since bottles and sugar were so difficult to get, they would dry many of the fruits and vegetables which they raised and also wild fruits such as Chokecherries and Serviceberries.

They would also use wild gooseberries which grew along the creek and sweet them with honey when they were in season.

When coal oil was not available for lights, they would make a wick out of cloth and soak it up with grease and let it burn.

Grandmother would catch rain water in a barrel and put wood ashes in it to make the water soft when ther wasn’t any soap for washing.

They made brooms out of fine willows to clean their shoes off with.

I remember seeing these willow brooms leaning against the door.

They also made baskets from small willows for cloths baskets or for whatever the need would be.

It was in the house by the orchard on 20, February, 1893, that my grandmother, Eva Katherine Griner Nuffer died of pneumonia.

I don’t know just how long Grandfather lived in this house when he married his third wife, Anna Elisabeth Weirman Nuffer.  She had three children, Fred, Ida, and Jake Weirman.

Later they moved back to the first house they built in Mapleton.

Later Grandfather built a one room log house a few rods west of the first house.

Grandfather sold his ranch to the Hull Brothers of Whitney and moved to Preston.

The home in Preston was a two-room frame house west of Uncle John’s rock house which was located in the south-east part of town.  That house is still there, but has had more rooms built on to it.

The next place he moved to was Logan, Utah.  It was here, 1, December, 1901, that his third wife, Anna Elisabeth Weirman Nuffer died.

While still living in Logan, Grandfather married his fourth wife, Maria Alker Nuffer.

After living in Logan for some time, they moved back to Mapleton where Uncle Charles August Nuffer built them a one-room log house in his orchard.

Uncle Charles August’s house was just over the ridge and not far from the old Nuffer home.  His house could be seen from Grandfather’s orchard.

I don’t remember just how long they lived there before they moved back to Preston.

Uncle John Nuffer and some of his boys built them a two-room rock (or cement) house.  It was across the street, south, and a little east of Uncle John’s old frame house.

It was here in this house that Grandfather died 12, April, 1908.

Grandfather had poor health the later fifteen or more years of his life.  He had terrible headaches, kidney trouble, and other such ailments as stomach and liver.  All these and more made him suffer a great deal.  Just before his death, he was nearly blind.

I am grateful for my pioneer grandparents and the heritage they have given me.

Prepared and arranged June 1961 by Laurine and LaNada Hancock daughter and granddaughter of Katherine (Kate) Naef

-

I wanted to add a couple of notes.

There appears some debate who had the middle name of Christoph, some believe it was only Sr, others only Jr.

Eva Katherine Greiner is the proper spelling.

Anna Elizabeth Weirman is Anna Elizabeth Reber who was a widow of Gottfried Weierman (some sourches Weiermann).

Maria Alker is Maria Anna Alker who was a widow of Conrad Schaub.

Wanner, John George, Jr. and Eliza Sterling/Regina Nuffer

I found this biography written by Mary Louise Wanner Andra of her parents.  I will write a separate history for them in the future, but I thought I would make this one available unadulterated by me (typed completely as written in the book, although I added the photo).

This biography was published in Whitney Centennial 1889-1989: Whitney’s First 100 Years.  It was published in 1991 by the Whitney Ward, written and edited by the Whitney Ward Centennial Book Committee.

John George Wanner Jr Family abt 1912. (l-r): Eva, William, Golden, Serge (sitting), John, Regina, Rulon, Willard, Mary.

Our father, John George Wanner, Jr., was born in Holzgerlingen, Neckarkreis, Wuerttemberg 29 October, 1870.  His parents were John George Wanner and Anna Maria Schmid.  He was the oldest in the family of five boys and five girls.

His father had a small farm and some cattle.  He was also a road overseer.  So dad, his mother and brother and sisters did most of the farm work.  They also got wood from the forest for winter fuel.

Dad’s parents were very religious people and belonged to the Lutheran church.  They were very hard workers and tried to teach their children correct principles.  Dad tried hard to follow in their footsteps.

His parents joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1891.  They made sure all their children were baptized as they became of age.  His parents could see that it was the only true church on the earth, and they wanted to go to America, where they could worship as they wished.  They also felt it would give their children a better opportunity in life.

His parents were the only ones in their respective families who joined the LDS church.  Our dad was baptized in July in 1891, and came to America with one of the missionaries – a brother Terrell who was from Providence, Utah.  Brother Terrell took good care of him and helped find work for him to do and provide for himself.

Dad got a job working for brother Fred Nuffer in Glendale, Oneida County (now Franklin County), Idaho.  In 1893 his father, mother, and his brothers and sisters came to Cache Valley from Germany.  Dad and brother Nuffer met them with a wagon and buggy in Franklin, Oneida County, Idaho, June 18, 1893.  I am sure he was happy to see his family again, as it had been almost two years since he had seen any of them.

Dad met a lovely girl from Providence, Utah, by the name of Eliza Sterling, and this relationship blossomed into marriage in 1894.  They were blessed with two sons, George and Earl Wayne.  This marriage was not a very happy one and they were divorced.

On the 31st of August 1898, dad married Regina Nuffer who was a sister of our uncle Charles August Nuffer.  [Daughter of the marriage of Eva Katherine Greiner and Johann Christopher Nuffer]  On 9 November 1899, they were blessed with twin boys, William and Willard.  As time went on they were blessed with more children, a total of five boys and two girls.

Dad went on a mission to Germany in the fall of 1907, leaving a wife and six children.  On March 8, 1908, their son Serge was born.  Mother and the family were living in a home John Nuffer built for dad.  It is a rock house on East Oneida Street in Preston, Idaho.  This house is still standing and is in good condition at this writing – June 1979.

When Serge was a few months old, mother took all the children and had a picture taken and sent it to dad so he could see the new baby.

While Dad was in Germany, he met William Andra’s mother and family and baptized the eldest daughter Freda.

In 1910, Dad’s mother and father sold their home and farm in Whitney to Dad.  This is the farm Lawrence Bodily now has.  Dad built a red barn that is still in use on the farm.  After grandpa and grandma sold their farm to dad, they moved to Logan, Utah.

In 1913 dad’s parents, brothers and sisters had a family reunion at their home in Whitney.  There was a large crowd and we all had a good time.

We all had to work hard and dad relied on his daughter Mary for many hard farm jobs.  However, on Saturday nights he would take us to the picture show and give us each 25¢ to spend on the show and treats.

In 1917, I begged to take the sewing class at the USAC in Logan, as I wanted to learn to sew.  However, I was only there a short time when dad brought me home to work on the dry farm.  I have always felt bad about this as I wanted to learn to sew.

My brother, William, enlisted in the Army on August 5, 1917.  He was with the 145th Light Field Artillery, Battery C.  He left Salt Lake City for Camp Kearney on October 11, 1917.  He left for France August 2, 1918.  William contracted the influenza and died December 1, 1918.  His body was brought home November 11, 1920, and interred in the Whitney Idaho Cemetery.

Just a few days before they got the sad news of William’s death, their son, Golden, died November 26, 1918 in Salt Lake City from influenza.

On January 8, 1921, dad sent his son Willard on a mission to New Zealand.

Dad and mother were to face still more sorrow when their son Rulon died February 26, 1924, in the Logan hospital.

Dad believed in missionary work with all his heart and soul and on December 15, 1925, he went to Tennessee on a six month mission.

In 1928, Serge went to New Zealand on a mission and died there October 5, 1929.  His body was brought home for burial.  The funeral was held in the old opera house in Preston, Idaho.  These were trying times for our parents.  Losing four sons, and all their bodies returned home in a box.  This left them with only one son and two daughters.

On April 7, 1930, dad sent Eva on a mission to California.  Dad was not a stranger to hard work.  He raised crops and took good care of his farm animals.  He took pride in having things looking neat and clean around the farm and yard.

When Dad operated his farm in Whitney, he was always up early in the morning and usually was the first to get to the beet dump in the morning.  The story is told about some of his neighbors who decided to beat him to the dump.  They got up extra early to get a head start.  Before they got to the beet dump, they could hear George Wanner going down the rad ahead of them.  They could hear him saying to his horses, “Gid up–gid up–gid up.”

When dad sold his farm in Whitney, he purchased 40 acres nearer to Preston and built a beautiful home on it.  Part of it is where the Oakwood School is now located.  When he retired he sold his farm and home to his daughter Mary and her husband William Andra.

Dad was successful in the various undertakings he engaged in.  He was one of the first in Preston to have an automobile.  When he brought it home he did not know how to stop it.  He yelled “whoa” when he got in the garage, but before he got it stopped he had gone through the end of the garage.

Dad built the two little homes on the west side of second east and first south in Preston, Idaho.  He also built three homes on first south and the south side of the street in Preston.  Dad and mother lived in one of them until she died in 1942.  Mother was ill for quite a while before she passed away.  Dad cared for her the best he could and would take her for little rides in the car.  She was unable to walk and dad would carry her on his back from place to place as they went visiting.

As many of you will remember, there was a humble side to dad.  I have seen him cry when bearing his testimony and when he was grieved over the death of a loved one, a relative, or friend.  He wanted to leave this world a better place than he found it, and I feel sure he made some contributions and brought this desire to fulfillment.

After mother died, dad remarried and went to live in Salt Lake City, Utah.  This marriage was not successful and they were divorced.  Later on he remarried again and was living in Florida.  He became ill and wanted to get back to Preston.  My son William went to Florida to bring him home, but when they got to Chicago, he was too ill to go on.  So, William put him in the hospital where he passed away on January 5, 1947.

Regina Nuffer was born January 26, 1869 at Neuffen, Germany, a daughter of Johann Cristoph and Eva Katharina Greiner, she came to Utah with her family after they were converted to the gospel.  She married Jacob Scheibel July 15, 1889, in Pleasant Valley, Carbon County, Utah.  Her first child, Alma Katherine Scheibel Naef, was born, September 27, 1889.  When her child was six months old, she and her husband separated and she moved back to Mapleton, Idaho, where she stayed with her parents on their farm.  During this period, she would help people when they were sick, and her mother would take care of her child.

In about 1893, after the death of her mother, she moved to Weber County, Utah, and worked for the Will Taylor family in Farr West and the Bowman family in Ogden.  She again returned to her father’s farm.  On her way home, she stopped in Logan and walked out to Providence to visit a friend.  While eating lunch, she happened to think that she had left her new coat on the train.  She went back to Logan to the train station and they sent out a tracer.  In a few days she got her coat back.  After returning to Idaho, she worked for several people in Franklin and Preston.  She lived in one room of her brother John’s home in Preston.  Her brother was on a mission in Germany at the time.

On August 31, 1898, she married John George Wanner in Logan, Utah.  That winter she lived on his ranch in Worm Creek or Glendale, Idaho.  In April she moved with her husband, daughter, and step son, Wayne, to the Bancroft flat, a little west of where Grace is now.

She was known as a fine, well mannered woman.  Her niece, Athene Hampton, said that toward the end of her life her health was not very good and she had a hard time speaking.  When Athene and Louisa Nuffer would visit, they would converse by writing notes to each other.  She died on March 10, 1942, in Preston, Idaho.  Her funeral in Preston was very well attended.

Clara McMurdie Coley

With the passing of Clara Coley this week, I thought I would put together a quick little history with the photos I have of her.  A good portion of this is written around Clara’s obituary.  I have an autobiography of Ivan so I will create a separate post for him in the future.

Clara McMurdie was born 26 January 1914 in Paradise, Cache, Utah with a twin brother Clarance (1914-1919).  She was one of 11 children born to Sarah Amelia Checketts and Joseph Kay McMurdie.  She grew up in Cache Valley and her family moved to Richmond, Cache, Utah when she was a few years old.  It was while they lived in Richmond that she met Ivan Coley who was a few years older than her.  Clarance died and is buried in Richmond.  Her family moved to Buhl, Twin Falls, Idaho in 1928.

Joseph and Sarah McMurdie in 1960

Joseph and Sarah McMurdie in 1960

Ivan hitchhiked all the way from Utah to Idaho to be with Clara after her family moved to Buhl.  They were married 22 October 1930 in Buhl.  After marriage, they moved and lived at the Coley Ranch in Richmond.  They were later sealed 10 February 1932 in the Logan LDS Temple.  An interesting side note, the great grandson of the Bishop who married them presided as the Bishop over Clara’s funeral.

Ivan Coley and dog

Ivan Coley and dog

Ivan and Clara moved back to Buhl and survived the Great Depression there.  They purchased a 160 acre farm in Melon Valley in Buhl.  That farm was sold in 1961 and they purchased five acres just outside of Buhl and kept that property for 36 years.

Joseph McMurdie, Clara, RaNae (Cookie), and Ivan Coley about about 1964

Joseph McMurdie, Clara, RaNae (Cookie), and Ivan Coley about about 1964

I have in my records that there were five children born to Ivan and Clara although the obituary only has 4 listed.  I will have to determine which is correct.

Sarah Colleen Coley born in 1932 in Richmond.

An unnamed son was born 12 February 1934 in Buhl.  He died the same day.  If I understood it correctly, this little boy was stillborn.  Apparently he is buried on the McMurdie Farm in Buhl.  I wonder if the present owner is aware of the grave or if it is marked?

Lorus Ivan Coley (“Bud) was born 1 August 1936 in Buhl.  He died 23 October 1962 while on a hunting trip down near the Nevada border.  Initially reported to me as an hunting accident, I later learned it appears to have been a murder framed to appear as a suicide.  Apparently there is an open investigation ongoing at this time on this matter.  I will be interested to learn the outcome of the matter.

Clara, Colleen, and Bud

Clara, Colleen, and Bud

I was told there was an unnamed son born in 1938 who also died the same day who was stillborn.  I do not have an exact date for this one so I suppose what makes me question it is that Clara’s obituary does not mention him.  I will have to find out more from the family.

In 1942, Ivan’s father Herbert came to visit for part of the summer.  At Ivan and Clara’s home near the well, he fell and broke his hip.  This injury would lead to his death in September.

Lastly, Clarene RaNae Coley born in 1947 in Buhl.

Bud and RaNae

Bud and RaNae

Danny Todd, Ivan, Bud, and RaNae Coley

Danny Todd, Ivan, Bud, and RaNae Coley

Clara at a Coley Reunion in 1955

Clara at a Coley Reunion in 1955

Clara dedicated her life to love and care for her family and friends.  Even into her late 60′s she was known to outrun her grandchildren.  Ivan and Clara dedicated their lives to their grandchildren.  Grandchildren often spent many nights, or even weeks, on the farm.  Clara loved to quilt and made beautiful blankets.  She also made rugs from all the fabric scraps.  She was left-handed.  She worked at a number of jobs including bus driver.

Ivan and Art Coley (brothers) with Clara and Mary (Art's wife) in the mid 80's

Ivan and Art Coley (brothers) with Clara and Mary (Art’s wife) in the mid 80′s

Clara and Ivan in the early 80's

Clara and Ivan in the early 80′s

Ivan and Clara celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary in 1990.  It is about this time that I have my first memory visiting Ivan and Clara with my grandmother Colleen Jonas (technically a niece-in-law).

60th Wedding Announcement

60th Wedding Announcement

Cutting the cake at their 60th anniversary party

Cutting the cake at their 60th anniversary party

Here is a photo from May 2012.  She was 98 years old and looked to be in great shape and pretty classy.  I visited with her about this same time and she identified a number of individuals in photographs for me and still had a sense of humor.

Clara Coley May 2012

Clara Coley May 2012

Clara passed away on Christmas Day 2012 at the St. Lukes Regional Hospital in Twin Falls.  Her funeral was held 4 January 2012 in Buhl with the burial between her husband and son in the West End, Buhl, Idaho cemetery.

Clara Coley Funeral Program

Clara Coley Funeral Program

Jonas – Coley Wedding

Herbert and Martha Coley are pleased to announce the marriage of their daughter Lillian to Joseph Nelson Jonas, son of Joseph and Annie Jonas.  They were married 6 September 1916 in Logan, Cache, Utah at the LDS Temple.  The photo above we think was taken around 1930 or so and is not a wedding photo.

Lillian was born the first child of ten to Martha Christiansen and Herbert Coley 26 August 1898 in Lewiston, Cache, Utah.  Both Herbert and Martha were Mormon immigrants to Utah in the 1880′s.  Herbert and Martha both had native land accents from England and Norway respectively.  Herbert was a diligent laborer who would acquire full ownership in their home by 1910.  Martha was a strict and involved homemaker and mother.

Lillian grew up assisting her mother in maintaining the home, large garden, and raising younger siblings.  By the the time she married, she had six younger children who were in the home (three more were yet to be born).  When Lillian was born, the family lived in Lewiston.  By 1910, the family had moved to Wheeler, Cache, Utah (or the 1900 Census did not have Wheeler broken from Lewiston).  The Wheeler area is almost 6 miles directly to the west from Richmond, Cache, Utah as indicated by the link.  We do not know where they lived in Wheeler.

By the time Lillian married Joseph, the family lived at roughly 1950 E 9000 N to the south and east of Richmond.  The remainder of the cabin built by Herbert Coley was still in the middle of a cow pen in fall 2012 on the south side of the road, but was in pretty poor condition.  Ellis Jonas took me there about 2002 and indicated the home to me as where they lived when he was a little boy.  Martha moved in to town, Richmond, after Herbert passed away in 1946.

Joseph Nelson Jonas was the sixth of seven child born to Annetta Josephine Nelson and Joseph Jonas 19 November 1893 in or near Ellensburg, Kittitas, Washington.  About 1896, Joseph’s mother, Annie, went to the Eastern Washington Hospital for the Insane in Fancher, Spokane, Washington (she is listed as Ann J Jonas).  She was in and out of hospitals throughout her life but as Joseph was one of the younger children, he would not have known his mother a little better.

Joseph and Margaret Jonas about 1899

Annie got out of the Eastern Washington Hospital 31 October 1899 and went home to Ellensburg and continued to be a handful for the family.  The family on the 1900 Census in Cle Elum, Kittitias, Washington does not include Annie though and the census that year has Joseph Sr in both Cle Elum and Spokane about two weeks apart in June 1900.  Annie’s sister, Charlotte, visited in 1901.  Due to Annie’s mental and emotional state, and with Joseph Sr’s approval, the whole Jonas family went to Utah to stay temporarily with Annie’s brother, Nels August Nelson.  Uncle August lived in Crescent, Salt Lake, Utah and the Jonas party arrived 3 July 1901 from Washington.

John, Joseph, and William Jonas probably right before moving to Utah in 1901.  The photo is stamped with Ellensburg on the matting.

Joseph Sr for one reason or another went back to Washington with the youngest child Margaret.  Nels suggested it was legal issues, it might have just been the farm that needed attention.  Annie’s issues were such that August and his wife, Fidelia, signed an affidavit of insanity and had her admitted to the Utah State Hospital 1 November 1901.

Joseph Sr had been raised as a Catholic and Annie Nelson had been raised LDS.  Annie decided she did not like LDS men and wanted to marry a Gentile and did so.  The children were raised Catholic in Washington.  Now in Utah, Uncle August made sure the children learned about the LDS faith.  The three boys elected to be baptized LDS on 10 January 1902 in Crescent by their Uncle August in an ice covered Jordan River.  All three were confirmed 12 January 1902 by Jaime P Jensen.  Rosa joined 6 February 1902, also in Crescent under the hand of Uncle August in a hole chipped in the Jordan River.  Margaret did not join as she stayed near her father in Washington.

In 1904, Rosa married a boy, Christian Andersen, from Richmond.  They married in Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah.  They moved to 137 E 100 S in Richmond.  Joseph and his brothers resided with Uncle August until after their mother passed in 1907, then they would regularly and for prolonged periods stay with Rosa in Richmond.  The 1910 Census lists Joseph at home in Crescent.  Read more of Brother John Jonas.

Joseph attended Brigham Young College in Logan and graduated with his diploma 3 June 1915.  We don’t know much about his time at Brigham Young College but the story goes he wrestled with their team and did so very effectively.  William, Joseph’s brother, was apparently here at school during some overlapping periods.  Joseph became well known for his love of gospel conversations.  He was known for regularly discussing and even arguing the gospel with extra determination.  No hard feelings developed due to his ardor in arguing since others would always agree to a handshake after a good debate.

Joseph Jonas graduation diploma from Brigham Young College in Logan, Utah

Below is a copy of a picture believed to be from his graduation at BYC.  I have not been able to find the original of this photo or a copy at Utah State University’s archives where the Brigham Young College limited records are located (which are less than cooperative on letting me rummage through all the unknown photos).

In Richmond Joseph and Lillian met when Lillian’s father, Herbert, hired Joseph to help harvest hay.  It was within six months, according to the story, that they were married.  The two were married 6 September 1916 in the Logan LDS Temple.

Joseph registered for the draft of World War I on 5 June 1917.  When he registered, he indicated he was a laborer working for Olaf Neilson, the man who would later become a brother-in-law.  He indicated he was taking care of his wife and father.  He also indicated that his eyes were brown and his hair was brown.  He is listed as short and stout.  Here is his signature from that registration.  According to his family, he stood about 5’6″ and was very muscular.

Joseph’s father passed in Richmond in June 1917.  Lillian gave birth to Joseph Herbert Jonas 14 August 1917 in Richmond.

In 1919, Joseph and his two siblings, Rosa and William, had all moved to Idaho.  They operated a dry farm raising grain in Cleveland, Franklin, Idaho.  Christian and Rosa, along with Joseph, did most of the work on the farm and lived about a mile apart.  William taught at the school in Thatcher, Franklin, Idaho.  The Andersen and Jonas families also kept cows, pigs, chickens, and a sizable garden.  This is the only home Joseph and Lillian Jonas would together own.  Joseph arrived with the cows in Thatcher on 1 April 1919.  Lillian stayed in Richmond due to her pregnancy and while Joseph established the farm.  Communications were slow because mail was held at Thatcher.  Joseph and Lillian only heard from each other when Joseph made it in to Thatcher to pick up the mail or send a letter.

Spencer Gilbert Jonas was born 1 September 1919 in Richmond.  Lillian and the two boys joined Joseph in Cleveland.

The 1920 Census found the Jonas family on 26 January 1920 living on the Cleveland Road outside of Thatcher.

Irwin John Jonas was born 2 September 1921 in Cleveland, but listed as Thatcher.

In 1923 or early 1924, the family then moved to Lewiston, Cache, Utah.  The farm was not working out and he was able to obtain employment with the Utah-Idaho Central Railroad.  Joseph worked on a section gang, just like his father had.  The gang’s job was to repair rotten timbers, hammering in spikes, tightening bolts, and maintaining the rail line.  He worked 7 days a week, sometimes all night, coming home only after a shift was over.

The family lived in a boxcar that had its wheels removed.  A ditch ran under a portion of their home.  Another boxcar nearby was used as a storage shed.  It was here 15 May 1924 that Wilburn Norwood Jonas was born.  Ellis Seth Jonas arrived in this home 6 September 1926, their 10 year wedding anniversary.

Joseph kept a tub of furnace oil in the shed.  It accidentally caught on fire and and Joseph immediately announced to Lillian that the storage shed would burn down and probably their home too.  Joseph, known for being a bit of a prankster, was not believed by Lillian despite his insistence.  Joseph ran back to the shed and picked up the burning tub of fuel and carried it outside the shed.  While he saved the shed and his home, he found himself in Ogden for several weeks with 2nd and 3rd degree burns.  A 9 February 1927 newspaper mention in the Ogden Standard Examiner tells of his being brought to the Dee Hospital on Tuesday the 8th for treatment of burns to the face.

In 1927, Joseph was promoted foreman and oversaw the Quinney line through Wheeler, Thaine, and ending at Quinney (now Amalga).  Later, he accepted another foreman job and moved to the railroad town of Uintah, Weber, Utah where he lived in row housing.  Here is a picture taken while living there.

Picture from Uintah Railroad Camp toward Weber Canyon about 1927

Joseph filed for divorce 2 March 1929 claiming Lillian had deserted him.  The article in the paper indicates they had not lived together since 20 February 1928.  It was during this time on 4 September 1928 that Evan Reed Jonas was born in Ogden.  The divorce was dismissed on 9 March 1929 due to the party’s stipulation.  Joseph again sued on 8 April 1929.  He was ordered to pay $75 a month until the case was resolved.  Joseph and Lillian had the case dismissed after they worked out their issues.

The family later moved into a comfortable home owned by the railroad at 102 17th Street in Ogden, Weber, Utah.  It was a row house, but since he was Section Foreman, the only one with a porch.  Joseph’s father, Joseph, had also served as Section Foreman.  Joseph’s main responsibility dealt with the Huntsville and Plain City/Warren lines.  During this time Joseph and Lillian became known as generous hosts where all visitors were always given more than enough to eat.  Joseph prided himself on the vegetable garden they grew at this home.

On 6 November 1929 Lillian was hit and ran over by an automobile driven by Jack Mobley.  It knocked her unconscious but she quickly regained consciousness.  She spent the night in the hospital and was pretty seriously bruised and lacerated but suffered no broken bones.  Joseph and Lillian admitted they were walking in the middle of the road when the accident occurred.

Joseph and Lillian continued active in the LDS church.  Joseph regularly debated and discussed religion with others.  He was also known to be strict in adherence to principles and expected his children to do the same.  He was not afraid to “switch” his children when they got in trouble or disobeyed.  One thing family members always commented about Joseph was his ability to remember and recall scripture in a conversation and discussion.  Not only that, but when questioned to prove it, he was familiar enough with the book that within moments he could find the chapter and verse.  His familiarity with the bible surprised many people, especially from a railroad laborer.

Joseph and some friends at work after a game of shoes

Lillian Annetta Jonas was born 15 July 1930 in Ogden.  The 1930 Census found Joseph and Lillian at their home on 9 April 1930.  The family was fairly comfortable, they could even afford some of the best appliances.

Joseph Jonas Maytag Warranty Certificate

Joseph was especially glad to have a girl after six sons in a row.

Joseph stands on the back row, second from the left. This is his Section Gang in Ogden.

Joseph and Lillian had a scare in 1931 when their son, Joseph, disappeared for a couple of weeks.  He had been kidnapped by a Mr. J J Nelson and taken to Pocatello, Bannock, Idaho.  He was finally recovered on 20 June 1931.  The man was arrested after he beat young Joseph in public and the police determined Joseph was the missing boy from Ogden.

LeReta Mary Jonas was born 1 August 1932 in Ogden.

On Tuesday, 6 September 1932, a month after LeReta was born and on his 16th wedding anniversary, Joseph went to work as usual.  Joseph knew the dangers of working on the railroad.  It was near lunch time and his son, Norwood, was taking Joseph his lunch. Joseph saw Norwood and got down off a trolley near Lincoln and 20th Street, near the American Can Company plant.  After getting off the trolley, he turned and walked toward Norwood and hit his head on a wire Mr. Child had strung down to do some welding.  (Mr. Child was haunted by this episode the rest of his life because Joseph had warned him about the way he had hung the wire.)  The shock knocked Joseph on his back unconscious and not breathing.  Joseph died immediately but doctors worked on Joseph for over an hour.  Lillian said Norwood was forever affected by the event.  Joseph died at roughly 1:00 PM.

Joseph Jonas Death Cert

Here is a copy of the newspaper notice.

Here is the burial notice.

As a historical side note, here is the front of the train schedule Joseph had in his wallet at the time of his death.

Utah Idaho Central Railroad Company Time Table from 1932-1933

The loss of Joseph dealt the family a hard blow not only with losing a family member, but it also lost them the company housing in which they were living.  Lillian, at the mercy of family, moved immediately back to Richmond to be near her family.  Lillian’s father, Herbert Coley, was appointed administrator for Joseph’s estate.  The railroad paid out roughly $1,200 to Joseph’s estate.  The funeral, transport, and burial of the family cost Lillian $150.  The estate did not begin making regular payments to Lillian until 1934.  Until then, Lillian wrote to the railroad for assistance and help.  The railroad was happy to provide passes for the family to travel.  Unfortunately, the company quit handling company coal so they could not fulfill her requests but allowed the boys to have all the used railroad ties they wanted for firewood.

Lillian’s signature from the back of one of the estate checks written to her.

Fortunately, the money from the estate was enough to purchase a home for Lillian in Richmond from a Melvin & Bernetta Smith for $500.  This gave Lillian a home to raise her children and less worry about providing for her family.  The home was located on the north side of the road at roughly 65 E 400 S in Richmond, Utah.  Herbert and Martha, Lillian’s parents, lived across the street, but their home was a good couple hundred feet from the road.

Lillian made good effort to raise six unruly, now fatherless, boys and two girls.  At Joseph’s death, the children were ages 15, 13, 11, 8, 6, 4, 2, and 1 month.  The Jonas brood were known for being a bit coarse and boisterous as the years went on.  Only a few years would pass before the children would start marrying.

Joseph married Hilma Grace Erickson 17 June 1936 in Logan.

Spencer married Viola “Jimmie” Amelia Cole 5 August 1938 in Farmington, Davis, Utah.

Irwin joined the army 6 July 1939 and immediately left for training.  He eventually married Mary Elizabeth Popwitz 17 June 1943 in Rochester, Olmsted, Minnesota.

Lillian’s portrait after the death of son Irwin in World War II

Evan married Lona Rae Jensen 15 March 1946 in Elko, Elko, Nevada.

Norwood married Colleen Mary Andra 27 September 1946 in Elko.

Ellis married Geraldine Pitcher 17 August 1947 in Elko.

Lillian Driver’s License photo

LeReta married Lowell Hansen Andersen 19 March 1948 in Logan.

Lillian married Ray Laurence Talbot 16 August 1948 in Ogden.

Jimmie, Lillian, and Lona Jonas with Norene and little Spence about 1948 (Lillian has a beet knife in hand, must have been fall)

Lillian spent the new few years in an empty home.  She knew Lorenzo “Ren” Bowcutt over the years.  She accepted his offer of marriage and they were married 12 June 1953 in Preston, Franklin, Idaho.

1953 Marriage License

Lillian and Ren Bowcutt

At the time of her marriage to Ren, she had 22 grandchildren, 21 living.

Lillian Bowcutt in 1959

5 generations about 1959, Lillian Coley Bowcutt, Martha Christiansen Coley, Joseph Hebert Jonas, Robert Lee Jonas, Joseph Leland Jonas

Ren passed away 5 April 1966 in Logan (born 12 May 1883 in Honeyville, Box Elder, Utah).  Ren was buried in Riverside, Box Elder, Utah.

Lorenzo Bowcutt

Lorenzo Bowcutt obituary

Lona and Evan Jonas visiting Lillian in the late 1960′s

Lillian in 1978

She lived in the same home until the early 1980′s when she moved in with her daughter Lillian in Layton.

Front (l-r): Spence, Joe, Ellis, Evan, Paul Ross, Jackie Jonas, Andra Ross. Standing: Jimmie, Hilma, Lillian, Lillian, LeReta, Lona, Colleen. Back: Dan Jonas, Larry Talbot, Unknown hidden, Unknown hidden in 1982

4 generations, Sherlean Talbot Collier, Rebecca Collier, Lillian Jonas Talbot, Lillian Coley Jonas about 1984

Lillian portrait about 1986

Spence, Lillian, Joe, Lillian, Ellis, LeReta, Evan

Lillian died 11 February 1987 in Davis Medical Center, Layton, Utah.  She was almost 88.5 years old.  She was buried beside her husband (55 years later) in Richmond 16 February 1987.