Donaldson-Van Leeuwen Wedding

George Henry and Minnie Van Leeuwen are pleased to announce the marriage of their daughter Dena to David Delos Donaldson, son of Mary Elizabeth Donaldson and the late William Scott Donaldson. David and Dena  were married in Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah on 16 July 1919.

David is currently an independent plumber in Ogden, Weber, Utah.

The couple will return to make their home at 2310 Grant Avenue in Ogden, Utah.

David Delos Donaldson (he went by Dave, his son also went by Dave or Davie, so to keep them clear, I will refer to father as David and son as Dave) was born 26 March 1894 in Evanston, Uinta, Wyoming.  He was the second of seven children born to William Scott Donaldson and Mary Elizabeth Williams.  I have previously written of David’s parents at this link: Donaldson-Williams.  David grew up in Evanston, Uinta, Wyoming and Park City, Summit, Utah before moving to 2270 Moffits Avenue, now 2270 Ogden Avenue, in Ogden, by the time he was six.  He lived at this address until he moved to Twin Falls, Twin Falls, Idaho to work for Ballantyne Plumbing Company as a Sham Filler.  When he registered for the World War I draft on 5 June 1917, he was living on Shoshone Street North in Twin Falls and listed that his mother and two siblings were dependent on him.  He may have listed this in hopes of not being drafted.

Ballantyne Plumbing & Heating Company was newly incorporated (about 1916) by Varsell Ballantyne who had just moved from Ogden.  Varsell had been one of the incorporators of The Ogden Plumbing, Gas & Steam Fitting Company in 1904 or 05.  He had worked in the same spheres as David’s father and probably felt some desire to help the Donaldson family and invited David to Twin Falls.  He may also have been the master to which David was an apprentice, or another plumber worked with in the Ogden PG&S Company.  While David worked for Ballantyne Plumbing Company, it was located at 145 Second Avenue East in Twin Falls.  David lived on Shoshone Street North, probably not far from his employment.

The draft card indicates that he had gray eyes, black hair, and stood tall and stout.  David served in the U.S. Army during World War I.  When he was finally drafted, he went to Utah to report with his two brothers who were also drafted (another brother would also serve in World War I).  Unfortunately, the government cannot find his service paperwork and very little is known of his time served.  His obituary indicates he served in the 91st Division of the Army.  We do not know his dates, but this division fought in the Battle of Saint-Mihiel in 1918 and went on to fight in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive through the rest of the year.  It was in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive that David would receive his life lasting injuries to his lungs from the dreaded gasses of World War I.  One lung collapsed and never worked again, the other lost a large percentage of its capacity.  He would receive weekly treatment for the rest of his life (over 30 years) for these injuries at the Veterans Hospital in Salt Lake.  He became a member of the Disabled American Veterans, Ogden Chapter 4.

l-r: Ed, David, and George Donaldson

Berendena Van Leeuwen, who went by Dena, was born 28 December 1898 in Ogden.  She was the 10th of 12 children born to Gerhardus Hendrik and Hermina  Janzen Van Leeuwen.  I have written of George and Minnie’s marriage here: Van Leeuwen – Janzen Wedding.

Nine of these children would live to adulthood and marry.  Both parents joined the LDS church in 1887 and immediately sought to immigrate to Zion.  The family immigrated to Utah in 1888.  Gerhardus waited until the next year to immigrate.  Gerhardus had fallen from a ladder at work giving him head injuries that lead to epileptic seizures and bouts of insanity.  These considerations were perceived as mental illness at the time and could have kept the family from being admitted had they all come together.  The Van Leeuwen’s immigrated from Arnhem, Gelderland, Netherlands.  In the United States, Dena’s parents were known as George Henry and Minnie Van Leeuwen.  The Van Leeuwen family lived at various places in Ogden, mostly near Wall Avenue and 33rd Street.  Her father worked as a carpenter, more on the finishing side, for employment.  George may have even known of the Donaldson family.  Dena was baptized in the LDS church 7 November 1907 in Ogden. The family was extremely tight knit and was known for their large and very tasty family meals.  If company came over, a meal was put on.

George’s head and mental injuries continued to worsen as the years passed.  The family either had to keep him safe or calm him down before.  By the time 1911 rolled around, his fits were becoming uncontrollable.  Dena referred to her “Daddy” as tender and sweet and then at the switch he would become angry and threatening.  He had made enough threats and raised enough raucous that neighbors called the police.  George was committed to the Utah State Mental Hospital in Provo, Utah, Utah in 1911 when Dena was 13.  The family tried to get him out and succeeded.  Unfortunately, he lost control again and ended up spending the rest of his life in the mental hospital.  The family would drive down nearly every weekend to pick up “Daddy” and keep him for the weekend before taking him back.  By the mid 1920′s, they could not even take him home on the weekends his condition was that poor and uncontrollable.  “Momma Minnie,” as she was known to friends, died in 1921 in Ogden.  George died in 1932 in Provo.

Dena as one of the youngest children of the family was known among siblings as telling slight variations of stories to other siblings such that it would cause some contention within the ranks.  While the siblings were never distant from each other, a feud of one sort or another was always brewing or being fought.  It would always pass, but Dena often started many of the feuds and received a bit of flak for it.

David returned from the war and met Dena Van Leeuwen.  We do not know about the courtship or how they met.  We do not know why they chose to be married in Salt Lake.  David and Dena took a honeymoon to California.

David resumed work as a plumber in the 1920′s in the Ogden area.  Between 1920 and 1928, 5 children were born to David and Dena, all in Ogden.  Twins named Dena Dorothy and Dora Mary were born 28 May 1920.

Gladys Maxine arrived 20 September 1921.  Here is a picture of the three kids with Gladys against the wheel of the car.

Maxine appeared 3 August 1924.  Lastly a boy, David William came 25 November 1928.

A shot of all 5 children on the front porch of the home that David built at 629 8th Street in Ogden.

Here is a picture of the home from the side.  You can see from this point that the home is probably older than 1920′s and that Dave probably added the addition onto the back rather than building the entire home.

In 1930, the family lived at 753 Browning Avenue in Salt Lake.  We do not know how long they were there, but they moved back pretty quickly to Ogden living on 8th Street.  Times were hard during the 1930′s so David went to Boulder City, Clark, Nevada to work on the building of the new Boulder Dam (later named Hoover).  He also headed to Napa, Napa, California to work in the shipyards as a pipe fitter, primarily on submarines. Jennie Bremer, a niece to David and Dena, told of a funny story when David was replacing the plumbing in their home after a serious earthquake in Los Angeles.  David was deathly afraid of earthquakes and while he was working in the basement or under a cupboard if an aftershock hit he would rise up and run from the house.  He told Jennie at one point that he did not want to be caught in the basement if the house should fall.  Well, being little kids, they played with this some.  They would sneak to the window of the room he was working in and shake the screen and windows in a way that sounded like an earthquake.  She said it was funny to see a man as big as “Uncle Dave” to hop up and run out of a room like that.  They would laugh and laugh over it.  They made sure not to do it too often so he would not suspect anything and she does not believe he ever knew of the joke they would pull on him at least once every time he visited.  She did comment it was a bit sad to see him winded for a while after he hopped and ran, but the guilt from it would only come later in life as she realized what she had done to him.

David would often visit family to help with their homes or other needs.  He also come home to Ogden fairly regularly on the weekends to visit the family. He finally found employment in Ogden at the Ogden Depot in 1937 as Supervisor of Maintenance.  In 1939, the family returned to visit the area David had worked, Donaldson extended family in the bay area, and the 1939 San Francisco World Fair.

After World War II, the family moved to 639 Wall Avenue.

Life in the 1940′s treated the Donaldson family much better, even despite the war.  David still had his penny-pinching ways.  Dave would refer to David as the “King of the Tight Wads.”  Dave started working about 12 years old as a shoe polisher at a barber shop on Washington Ave.  David had told Dave that now he was 12, he was expected to be a man and take care of himself, that the Donaldson household would no longer be carrying him.  When he brought his paycheck home, David would take half of it for the family.  This incensed Dave over the years and he quit reporting his full pay to his father, who took half of it.  David even went on to require Dave to pay rent for his space upstairs in the Wall Ave home. Sometime between 1942 and 1945, David’s mother’s husband had passed away and she wanted to move in with the Donaldson family.  David tried to get Dave to move his bed to the back porch so his mother could take the upstairs.  Dave made it very clear he would move his bed, but it would be out of the house and he would never come back.  David’s mother did not move in and Dave kept his “apartment” even after he married.

David insisted that Dena only needed two dresses and no more.  The family would often buy her dresses, shoes, or other things for her birthday and Christmas, so she did not ultimately go without.  But he refused to buy for himself or for her.  Dave and Betty Donaldson got a pretty serious scolding one time for buying Dena a crystal berry bowl indicating that it was going to spoil Dena and the family.

Dena grew up LDS and David did not.  Dena saw that all her children were raised LDS with little difficulty from David.  Apparently smoking is what kept him from being baptized.  When the time would come for Gladys to marry, the Bishop determined that he was not going to allow them to be married in the temple without David being a member.  David had made it known he did not want any of his girls to marry a poor boy and would not submit. All four of the girls married in the next two years, and then Dave in 1953.  Interestingly, David never joined the LDS church, but the family put it into the obituary that he was a member.  Gladys ended up being married in the Donaldson home on 8th Street, but David refused to allow the Donaldson Bishop to do the honors, so the Plain City Bishop of Glady’s husband, Milo Ross, performed the wedding.

Gladys married Milo James Ross 4 April 1942.

Dena married Chauncey De Orr Michaelson 7 December 1943.

Maxine married Sterlin Delaino Telford 24 December 1943.

Dora married Malcolm Claire Birch 11 September 1943.

Dave married Betty May Oram 12 April 1953.

Maxine, Gladys, Dena and Dora Donaldson (don't know which is which of the twins)

David retired in 1949 from the Ogden Defense Depot due to his physical condition and inability to breathe.  About this time, the family took a trek to visit family and friends throughout the west and to see some national and church historical sites.  Included was Hoover Dam, St. George Utah Temple, Mesa Arizona Temple, Cove Fort, Lake Mead, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.

The family, not caring about the thoughts of others, loaded the car and set off.  Dena, who loved and raised canaries, insisted they come with her.  So the canaries rode in cages that were wired to the outside of the car (and the canaries lived through the entire trek).  Dave joked that driving around they looked like the Beverly Hillbillies in their early 40′s sedan with bird cages wired to the back of the car.

David would claim that the only relief he could receive for his lungs was through smoking cigarettes which would calm his breathing and ease the pain.  Remembering also, this was also a slogan for some cigarette companies!  He picked up smoking while still in the military, but he would become a chain smoker very early on. The smoking would later aid in his death from emphysema.  It was not uncommon at all for David to light one cigarette from the one he was finishing.  He was also known as a dirty smoker among the family in that he would allow the ashes to fall anywhere and would even throw his butts on the floor in the house, in the toilet, or even leave them in the drain of the bathtub after he finished bathing.

David’s lung issues would come back to haunt him more and more as the years passed.  The cigarettes were no longer delaying the pain or inevitable loss.  His emphysema would come in fits to such a degree that he would be confined to bed and the family would have to place newspaper on the floor around the bed to catch the black phlegm (sometimes bloody) he would cough up.  His emphysema would become more and more restraining on his life in the last 5 years of his life.  It was the reason he had to take such an early retirement.  In the end, he had a couple of days where he was coughing and could not breathe and went to the Veteran’s Hospital in Salt Lake City.  After a two day stay, the chronic lung disease caused a cor pulmonale that took his life on 24 September 1953.  Four days later, he was buried in Ogden City Cemetery.

Dena moved on with her life and kept busy visiting and spending time with family.  Dave, who had recently married and was living in an apartment upstairs, decided it was time for a major cleaning of the house.  They completely and thoroughly cleaned the home, wall-papered and replaced wall-paper, and replaced the carpets and furniture to remove all the cigarette smoke grease and filth.

Betty told me that as long as she knew the family that she really loved Dena.  She said everyone loved Dena.  She said that when she remembers the home in Ogden on Wall, that every time she drove into the driveway that the curtains would part and a Dena’s curly white hair, bright blue eyes, and big smile poke through with a little wave.  Apparently she had an infectious laugh which was both giddy and happy.

Four of her siblings were still alive and she had 11 grandchildren by the time 1955 rolled around.  Then one day she was visiting at the home of Jane (Jantjen in the Dutch) Bremer, her sister.  Dena needed to hurry off and Jane warned her that she should not go.  Jane was known in the family for having the gift of foretelling the future.  Jane told Dena that if she left at that time she would be in a terrible accident.  Dena gave no heed and left to go on her way.  Dena was known by all to speed, and she was doing so this day.  Sure enough, as she drove north on Wall Avenue in Ogden and at reaching 2nd street, a truck made a left hand turn from the right lane and hit the rear passenger side of the 1955 Oldsmobile.  Her vehicle was sent careening and slammed broadside into a telephone pole on the north east corner of the intersection (133 feet from the point of impact).  The initial hit threw her into the passenger side of the front seat with the passenger door open, her leg partially out of the opened door.  Then the impact collapsed the dashboard in on her and slammed the open passenger door on her leg.  She broke her hip, leg, and back with a number of other injuries.  The door had closed and latched on her leg and had to be cut open.  She was taken to the hospital where the family did not expect her to live.  She underwent a pretty major hip and back operation.

Dena was put into a full body cast for the next six months that reached all the way up to her armpits. Dave created this bar with a rope/cloth over the bed by which she could lift herself up so they could place a bedpan under her to do her business.  Betty would help her do the business, clean her up, and make sure her needs were tended.  The cast was eventually removed but she could not properly walk or get around very well.  She was pretty much confined to her home for the rest of her days.  At times a little heat came into a relationship and she would go spend some time with one of her other children, but she came back.  She had a terribly heavy hospital bed she used these last few years.  Dave made it clear early on that once he moved that bed out of the house again, he was not ever moving it back in so her stays elsewhere were of short duration.

Dave and Betty would take Dena around to visit places and get out of the house.  Betty joked that Dena loved to go fishing and that she could catch fish in the gutter if she tried.  She had a gift for catching fish. Dave and Betty set up a little camp chair so she could fish on camping trips.  They would leave her be for a while and she would giggle at the birds and once and a while one would fly to her.  She giggled openly and happily at everything.  Her grandson, Milo Ross, remembers her in the full body cast but yet she would smile and the whole world would smile with her.  He thought she was a funny lady with tongue twisters, slight Dutch accent, and catchy little jingles.

Dena had problems with her body that come from inactivity, like regular kidney stones and other painful problems.  But she always had a twinkle in her eye and a contagious laugh.  She never, if ever, complained about the lot cast to her in life.

On the 5th of March, 1959, Betty Donaldson, Dena’s daughter-in-law had finished work and was headed to the theater to catch a matinee.  She felt a distinct impression that she should go home.  Dave was at work and she had the whole afternoon free, so she did not see the need to go home.  As she waited in line at the theater, she knew she needed to go home so she caught the bus.  She made it home and all was well.  She changed her clothes and then Dena called up to her.  Dena had this sinking feeling in her chest, was not feeling very well, and was asking Betty for help.  Betty called the Dr. and for an ambulance.  Dave, who never called home from work, had felt impressed to call home.  Betty was just headed up to the hospital.  Dave met her there.  Dena had suffered kidney failure which lead to a heart attack and she passed away that evening around 10:30 PM.  She was buried four days later next to David in the Ogden City Cemetery.

“All right, then, I’ll go to hell”

We have the old story of Huck Finn told by Mark Twain.  The struggle in Finn’s mind.

All religious and secular thought was that it was moral and right, as citizens and god-fearing individuals to turn a slave in, to return him or her to the proper owner.

In that conflict, Huck really thought he would go to hell if he did not return Jim to his master, or at least report him.  In the end, he did what he felt was right.  That was directly contrary to both the legal and ecclesiastical realm.

“All right, then, I’ll go to hell.”

He would not report Jim and go on with his life.  He would rather go to hell than do the injustice to his friend.

Amazing how little things have changed since that time.  Slavery has passed away in this nation.  But the mentality has not.  Some still stick those old creeds and notions which are not divinely inspired, but still taught.  They demean and belittle other men, and yet in their pious attitude go about believing they are righteous.

It was with dismay that Amanda believed she is going to hell.  A friend of hers, a friend, is telling others that Amanda is going to hell.

“All right, then, I’ll go to hell.”

We are not Christians, that is what they say; just like blacks are not people.  We believe in a different God, just like their skin is different.  Well, if that is the way their God and church life, preach, teach, then I do not want a part of it.

“All right, then, I’ll go to hell.”

Their God condemns to hell all those who might be erring in judgment.  Their God condemns all those to hell who never even had an option to err in judgment.  Their God condemns to hell all those who never even had a chance to know of God.  Why would I want to be in a heaven where such a God lives?

“All right, then, I’ll go to hell.”

Mormons are not Christians because we believe in a different Christ?  Our Christ is a dear friend and close associate.  Their God is a distant impersonal God.  Our God has a body, parts, and passions.  Their God has no substance, being, or place.  Our God has characteristics, perfections, and attributes.  Their God, well, they can’t agree on his personal characteristics.

“All right, then, I’ll go to hell.”

Our God believe sin building up people and helping them, inasmuch as they want to be helped.  Our God is benevolent.  Their God will tear down and lock in some burning place even the best of souls who possible erred.  Their God is malevolent.  In the story of Ezra Benson, our God gives a new doll to have the child leave the old doll.  Their God tears apart the doll to reveal the sawdust and stray to have the child leave the doll.  If that is their God…

“All right, then, I’ll go to hell.”

Just as there were those in the days of Christ who could not move on from their strict reading of the law (scriptures). So also are there those today who cannot come to Christ because they are too locked into the scriptures.  They strain at a gnat and swallow a camel.

We will go on happy and leading our lives doing our own thing.  We will go on peacefully building up our kingdom and Zion for Christ’s return.  They can go on drawing lines in the sand and condemning everyone who dares to cross it.  We don’t give much of a hoot.  Why do we care if they think we don’t worship their Christ.  Agree with thine adversary quickly while thou art in the way…

“All right, then, I’ll go to hell.”

If it makes them happy, in some sadistic way, then let them think we are going to hell.  Just as the Jews missed Christ the last time, there seems to be a lot of Christians who are missing him this time while he is in our midst working mighty miracles.

We will worship our God, they will worship theirs; both in our delight and happiness.  We will just have to see which one is more lasting.  One thing is for sure though, we are learning to overcome the devil and hell now.  They think they are avoiding it; even in telling us our destination.  But even if we were sent to hell, we would be happy for we know the true God in whom to rely.  He can save us from hell, the pit, and darkness.  Theirs just condemns more souls to go there.

“All right, then, I’ll go to hell.”

“Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it.”  Mark 17:33.

William and Maria Wagstaff

Back row: Willard, William, Annie, Parley, Maria, Jesse. Front row: Elsie, Edna, Herbert.

Since this is another peripheral line, I will not get to write much on this family.  But this photo I thought deserved to be shared with others.

Maria Magdalena Wanner, the mother of this family in the photo, is the sister to my Johann Georg (John George) Wanner Jr.

William Addison Wagstaff was born 7 November 1860 in Kirstead, Pinxton, Derbyshire, England.  He passed away 31 May 1931 in Ogden, Weber, Utah.

Maria Magdalena Wanner was born 12 Sepember 1873 in Grünkraut, Tübingen, Württemberg to Johann Georg Wanner and Anna Maria Schmid.  Her whole family joined the LDS church in 1891 and immigrated to the US in 1892 settling in Logan, Cache, Utah.  She passed away 23 October 1952 in Ogden.

William and Maria were married 17 June 1896 in the Logan LDS Temple.  To this marriage were born 11 children.  All of which were born in Glendale, Franklin (then Oneida County), Idaho.

George William Wagstaff born 26 January 1897, died 4 February 1897.

James Addison Wagstaff born 24 June 1898, died 14 March 1913.

Annie Eliza Wagstaff born 27 December 1899, died 20 December 1940.  I do not think she married.

Wilford John Wagstaff born 28 August 1901, died 23 June 1903.

Parley Leroy Wagstaff born 9 April 1903, died 18 Jan 1996.  Married Eliza Dorothea Blanch 14 March 1929.

Willard Lesley Wagstaff born 3 March 1905, died 21 January 1973.  Married Mary Isabell Gibson 19 October 1927.

Jesse Olsen Wagstaff born 9 January 1907, died 27 October 1991.  Married Berta Edna Gibby 28 October 1936.

Herbert Spencer Wagstaff born 11 November 1908, died 19 March 1962.  I do not believe he married.

Edna Leona Wagstaff born 10 July 1910, died 11 January 1997 in Kaysville, Davis, Utah.  Married Horace Raymond Owen 10 March 1933.

Elsie Magdalena Wagstaff born 7 August 1912, died 4 December 1990.  Married William C Coleman 17 January 1974.  I do not know if she had a marriage before that.

Albert Wanner Wagstaff born 8 July1915, died 19 August 1970.  Married Marvel Irene Higley 2 October 1948.

The entire family moved to West Weber, Weber, Utah after the last child and before 1920 and remained there the rest of their lives.  Most of these children died in or near the Ogden area.  One or two returned to the Preston, Franklin, Idaho area, probably due to relationships from before the move.

The individuals in the photograph above are as follows from left to right, front row consists of the three children in front.  The photo above was taken about 1914 after James had died, but before Albert was born.  Aren’t they a cute little family?

If you have more information to add to this family, I would be happy to correct or add to it.

Jeanette Stoker Rogers

Since I just wrote about Milo Riley Sharp and Mary Ann Stoker (Lilly)(link here: Sharp-Stoker Wedding), I thought I would share a photo or two that surfaced in relation to Lilly’s sister, Jeanette.  Her name comes up in various forms Janetta, Jeanette, and Jeanetta.  However, her death certificate and other official documents all list Jeanette.

The 1861 census lists her as born in Brewood (pronounced Brood or Brude), Staffordshire, England.  The same place her father, William Stoker, was born.  Other individuals, their sources unknown to me, list her birth location as Kinver or Wolverhampton, both in Staffordshire, England.  Wolverhampton and Brewood are about 20 minutes away, so at least we know for sure which neck of the woods we are in.  Either way, she was born 3 February 1856.

I mentioned in the link mentioned above about how her family joined the LDS church, traveled to Utah, and how William Stoker farmed out the children from his first marriage to other families.  Jeanette was raised by Lewis and Catherine Garner in Plain City, Weber, Utah.  Jeanette is listed with both her father’s family and also the Garner family (as Janet) on the 1870 Census.

She married Charles David Rogers (17 March 1850 – 2 September 1914) on 22 December 1875 in Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah.  To them were born 9 children: Charles David Rogers (1878 – 1880), Frank Rogers (March 1880 – 1900), Lawrence Edward Rogers (1 February 1882 – 29 May 1905), William Rogers (6 Dec 1884 – 27 July 1890), Agnes Delene Rogers (19 May 1886 – 22 March 1937), Catherine Hester Rogers (19 November 1887 – 7 February 1945), Maybelle Rogers (5 June 1890 – 4 February 1980), Louise Irene Rogers (24 April 1892 – 25 November 1956), and Loretta Camilla Rogers (7 June 1895 – 5 May 1985).

Charles passed away in 1914 and Jeanette remained a widow until she passed away 5 December 1941 in Sandy, Salt Lake, Utah.  She was buried 9 December 1941 next to her husband in the Sandy Cemetery.

Here is a picture of Jeanette with her grandson Joseph Andrew Christopherson probably around 1917 or 1918.

Sharp-Stoker Wedding

Milo Sharp, Archie Richardson, Mary Ann and Ethel Sharp, Roy Richardson

William Stoker and the late Emma Eames Stoker are pleased to announce the marriage of their daughter Mary Ann to Milo Riley Sharp, son of William Sharp and Mary Ann Sharp.  They were married in at the Episcopal Church in Plain City, Weber, Utah on 11 May 1879.

Milo is currently a farmer in Plain City.

The couple will make their home in Plain City.

Just trying to write these first three paragraphs was not easy with this family.  So many twists and turns with each individual name makes it difficult to find the proper wording and fashion to form the sentences.

I struggled on whether to call Mary Ann by her other known name, Lillian Musgrave.  After marriage, she was known as Lilly M Sharp.  Mary Ann was born 24 February 1861 at in Reading, Berkshire, England.  The family was likely living at 18 Albert Street within St. Mary’s Parish.  She was the fifth and last child (some show her as the 6th of 7 children though) of William Stoker, a journeyman saddler working in Reading, and Emma Eames.  Emma contracted tuberculosis (listed as phthisis on the death certificate) and passed away 28 April 1863 at the same address after a year struggle with the disease.  Mary Ann never knew her mother.  Her father and older sister (Alice) joined the LDS church 27 May 1863.  Her older brother, William Thomas, eleven years her senior, had joined 5 December 1860.

The family wasted no time in gathering to Zion.  The Stoker family departed from London on a ship called “Amazon” 4 June 1863.  George Q Cannon dedicated the ship which was entirely of Saints (880+) headed for Zion.  It was this same ship that Charles Dickens wrote that the Mormons were not taking misfits and scoundrels, but the “pick and flower” of England.  Even George Sutherland, future U.S. Supreme Court Justice was on this ship.  Here is a link to the story by Charles Dickens: The Uncommercial Traveller.  The LDS church also tells of the story that day at this link: Amazon Departure.  The ship sailed to Liverpool before finally heading out for America.  Elijah Larkin, who would help found Larkin Mortuary, noted that on the 16th and 20th of June, Thomas Stoker was administered to due to a sickness since leaving Liverpool.

The “Amazon” landed at Castle Gardens, New York, New York on 18 July 1863.  The Saints took rail to Albany, Albany, New York and then to Florence, Douglas, Nebraska through Detroit, Wayne, Michigan.  From there they hoofed it on to Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah Territory arriving 3 and 4 October 1863 (depending on which of the two companies), just in time for General Conference.  Several of the company wrote of Brigham Young coming out to greet them and giving them advice.

William moved almost immediately to Ogden, Weber, Utah and set up shop working with leather.  William wasted no time in remarrying to Eliza Sinfield in Ogden 18 May 1864.  While Mary Ann is listed as a child for William and Eliza on the 1870 Census, she was actually living with George Augustus and Victorine Jane Dix Musgrave.  She is listed with their family on the 1870 Census as well.  Additionally, the other children from this first marriage were also being raised by other families.  Family lore indicates that William and Eliza could not afford to raise these older children and farmed them out to families that could afford to take care of them.  Other evidence points that they were not all that poor, but it is not likely we will ever really know.  Here are three of the sisters later in life.

l-r: Mary Ann Stoker Sharp, Jeanette Stoker Rogers, Henrietta Stoker Weston

Mary Ann was raised by George and Victorine Musgrave.  She knew who her real father was, but had no real childhood memories of him.  George Musgrave was a school teacher and musician in Plain City.  George and Victorine were unable to have children and Mary Ann was probably a welcome addition in their home.  Victorine had also been adopted.  Although not formally adopted, George and Victorine called her Lillian Musgrave, but she grew nicknamed Lilly.  The rest of her life she went by Lilly and took the Musgrave as her middle name after she married with the obvious middle initial “M”.  Here is a picture of Victorine Jane Dix Musgrave.  Her son, Austin, even lists his mother’s name as Lillee Musgrave.

George and Victorine knew music and taught school.  Naturally, Lilly was taught the same.  She ended up participating in the second dramatic association in Plain City.  Some of their shows put on were, “Mistletoe Bough,” “Mickle Earl,” “Maniac Lover,” “Fruits of the Wind Cup,” “Streets of New York,” “The Two Galley Slaves,” “The Rough Diamond,” “Earnest Mall Travers,” and “Ten Knights in a Bar Room.”

All was not well in Zion during these years in Plain City.  Family lore has it that when a Bishop (Lewis Shurtleff, branch president 1870-1877, bishop 1877-1883) extended himself beyond what the members felt was right, these families made sure it was known.  The final straw came when Bishop Shurleff started telling the members what they would give as tithing.  These were not just on the fringe members, but good standing members of the church in the area.  William Sharp (Lilly’s future father-in-law) began construction on St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in 1877 for many of these disaffected members (Still standing today and owned by the Lions in Plain City).  For whatever reason a significant group of members were excommunicated between 1877 and 1882.  Many of Plain City’s leading members were excommunicated.  Excommunicated 31 January 1879 were William Sharp (the same who built the new church), Mary Ann Sharp (William’s ex-wife, divorced in 1876, Lilly’s future mother-in-law), William Skeen, Edwin Dix, George Musgrave (Lilly’s adopted father), Thomas Musgrave, Thomas Singleton, Thomas Davis, George W Harris, Jonathan Moyes, John Moyes, Winfield Spiers, James Wadman, Robert Davis, John Davis, and Thomas Robson.  These lists also have “and wife” as well as “and family” which seems to indicate that this list may have included spouses and families.  Mary Ann Sharp (Lilly’s future mother-in-law) is the only woman, but perhaps because the rest were representing their families, where with the recent divorce she was not represented by William.  Many of these families returned to the church after time away, some individuals never did.

While Lilly’s name is not on the list, she was probably classified with the Musgrave family.  We do not have any record of her baptism, but she was with the Musgrave family attending the newly established St. Paul’s Episcopal Church.  Although it seems Victorine Musgrave was excommunicated, she continued active with LDS Relief Society (or she was not excommunicated).  It was during this time, Lilly also come to fall in love with Milo Riley Sharp.  William Sharp, with the assistance of Milo, had also helped build the Musgrave’s new home.  In St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, J. S. Gellogly married Milo and Lilly on 11 May 1879.

 

Milo Riley Sharp

 

Milo Riley Sharp was born 23 Jul 1857 in Lehi, Utah, Utah.  He was the fourth of six children born to William and Mary Ann Bailey Sharp.  Mary Ann did have a child, Lorenzo Padley, from a previous marriage in which she was widowed.  William and Mary Ann Sharp immigrated to Utah in 1853 after joining the LDS church in 1848 and 1846 respectively.  At first they were sent to Lehi but had a number of issues with range for the cattle and some other minor squabbles.  Water was also not found to be very dependable in the Lehi area.  William learned of land north near Ogden that was going to be opened up from some of the Saints passing through Lehi (abandoning Salt Lake City before the arrival of Johnson’s Army).  These Lehi Saints were told of ample land and good water that was available west of Ogden.  A scouting expedition went to search out the area in the fall of 1858 and visited with Lorin Farr who told them of the available plain to the west.  You can read more of his parents at: Sharp-Bailey Wedding.

The Sharp family left with other Lehi Saints on 10 March 1859 to travel to this new area.  The group arrived 17 March 1859 at what is present day Plain City.  William Sharp put his carpentry and masonry skills to work making adobe brick and helping build the first homes in Plain City.  In one of these first adobe brick homes is where Milo Riley grew up.  William served in the Plain City band, the Plain City Z.C.M.I. board, a builder, and a city leader.  Milo’s little sister, Evelyn, was the first girl born in Plain City in October 1859.

Milo’s mother, Mary Ann Bailey Sharp, moved out on Christmas Eve 1875 and refused to come back to William.  William sued for divorce and Franklin D. Richards granted the divorce (in probate court) on 19 May 1876.

Milo Riley Sharp as a young man

As mentioned earlier, the Sharp’s also had a falling out with the LDS church and were excommunicated the same day as the Musgrave family.  Since there were not loads of people in Plain City, Lilly and Milo knew each other.  The conditions in the community, their respective families excommunication, probably help to forge the commonalities they had and lead to their marriage.

Milo kept busy working with his father building homes and other masonry and carpentry work.  He also had time to play first base at baseball and played on Plain City’s first baseball team.  The team could beat all the other northern Utah teams except Salt Lake.

The marriage of Milo and Lilly eventually produced a quiver of 12 children.  Milo Ray on 29 February 1880.  George was born 2 August 1881 and passed the same day.  Effie was born 6 June 1882 and died 6 September 1883.  Delwin arrived 30 June 1884.  Ernest and Austin came 7 Jan 1886.  Edward William appeared 25 October 1887.  Victorine showed 23 November 1889 and later married Fredrick Lawrence Hunt.  Mary Irene materialized 26 June 1892 and married Oscar “Os” Child Richardson.  Edith dawned 4 February 1895 and married Clements Richard Martin.  Ethel was born 9 April 1898 and I have written of her at this link: Ross-Sharp Wedding.  Emily appeared 5 April 1900 and quickly extinguished 31 July 1900.  Nine of the children lived to adulthood and 8 of those married and had children.

Mary, Lillie (Mary Ann), Ethel (baby), Victorine, Edith (in front) Sharp

Milo built a new home for the family early on so the family had room to grow.  He added to it as more room was needed as you can see in this photo.  We do not know the year it was originally built, but we know the children after 1888 were born in this home.  The home’s address is 2897 N. 4200 W. in Plain City.

Milo successfully farmed all of these years.  He kept busy with civic affairs.  He was elected constable of Plain City on the Republican ticket in 1891.  In 1893, he sat on a committee to investigate the incorporating of Plain City, although it was not incorporated until 1944 with grandson William Albert Sharp serving on the town board.  Milo and Lilly were singers and continued to play in the Plain City bands.  Lilly was also well-known for her poetry.  In 1911, Milo finished building a new home, pictured below (address is 2771 N. 4200 W. in Plain City).  Milo farmed hard until he caught influenza and eventually pneumonia passing away at the early age of 59 at 9:30 a.m. 24 June 1916 at his sister’s home, Victoria Maw, who lived at 5 Warren Court (which I believe may now be Warren Row or Lane in Ogden).  His funeral was held in the little church he helped his father build, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church on 27 June 1916.

Lilly lived in this home until she passed away in 1935.  Her son, Ernest Sharp, never married and helped take care of her and then lived the rest of his life in the home.

Lilly kept a clean home.  The grandsons were taught to stop by every time they passed, especially to and from school.  This permitted dishes to be washed, wood to be hauled, and wood to be split.  Lilly had a strict regimen for cleaning pots, dishes, and pans (especially bedpans).  This included the outdoor pump station, even with lye to remove odors.  The boys knew to take special care not to make a mess when carrying fire wood or in any other way on entering the home.  The gate was always to be closed, whether coming or going.  While this might seem stern, she always opened the door for those coming and going and gave them a warm smile.

Mary Ann Stoker Sharp

Mary Ann Stoker Sharp

Lilly often made bread, keeping her own live yeast, often from warm potato water.  She had her own milk separator and used it.  The boys helped make butter and she treated the boys to buttermilk and warm bread.  She would also warm apples in the oven to share or dried fruit.  She kept a full root cellar with homemade cured meats, dried fruits, and bottled vegetables.  The Sharp family had onions that could be used to flavor soups and other needs.  Many of the family still grow these onions even until today.  Many mushrooms and water crest were gathered too.

Lilly often had kind words and a warm, gracious smile.  She kept a small table in the pantry where she brushed her teeth with salt, baking soda, and a bar of soap.  The bucket was always there with a drinking cup and a ladle to draw water.  She was thin and tall.  She wore long dresses from her neck to her feet with shoes that went up about six inches.  She kept her hair rolled in the back of her head held with a comb with long teeth.  If she was not thin enough, she wore a corset to make her look even smaller.  She was very neat and proud in her appearance.

She kept a spinning wheel in the home for the times when she would spin wool into thread.  She also had the grandsons help turn her mattress from time to time.  She did not leave the house much in her later years unless she had a ride, but even then did not stay long before going home.  It was clear she enjoyed watching her grandchildren.  The last decade or so of her life, she had to use a hearing tube to hear.  Some of her grandchildren joked that it was like using the telephone, just you could see who was on the other end.

Lilly passed at 10:55 p.m. at her daughter’s home, Victorine Hunt, 6 May 1935 of hypertension with chronic major carditis and pneumonia.  She had remained faithfully active in the Episcopal Church until she could not get around very much.  Later in life she needed assistance as she could not walk very far.  Her funeral was held in the Plain City LDS chapel with Rev. John W. Hyslop officiating on 9 May 1935.  She was buried with Milo in the Plain City Cemetery.

Raymond Draper, Caroline Ross Gallegos, Milo Ross

Slumbers Not

I stumbled upon this photograph again tonight and thought I would share it.  This picture was taken by an old roommate of mine at Utah State, I do not remember for sure which one, I think Mark Morris.

The contrasts of the photo are pretty dramatic.  This is taken from Darwin Avenue in Logan, Utah.  You can see the Wellsville Mountains on the west side of Cache Valley.  You can see the lighted Logan LDS Temple with its greenish spires and lighted facade.  Some other silhouettes are discernible and will be recognized by most people who have lived in Logan, particularly the LDS Tabernacle Spire and the red Wells Fargo sign.  This photo was taken 12 November 2003.  You have to click on it and zoom in to get the full effect.

Whenever I see the picture and the amazing sunset, I am reminded of Felix Mendelssohn’s oratorio named Elijah.  The song particularly that comes to mind is “He watching over Israel, slumbers not” (from Psalm 121:4).

I know God is watching over Israel and not slumbering.  In the end, all things will come out right.  He is in charge, this is His world and His plan.

“When I shall have gathered the house of Israel from the people among whom they are scattered, and shall be sanctified in them in the sight of the heathen, then shall they dwell in their land.  [T]hey shall dwell safely therein, and shall build houses, and plant vineyards…they shall build with confidence, when I have executed judgments upon all those that despite them round about them; and they shall know that I am the Lord their God.”  Ezekiel 28:25-6.

“Let your hearts be comforted concerning Zion; for all flesh is in mine hands; be still and know that I am God.”  D&C 101:16.

Williams-Jordan Wedding

Perhaps there is something intimidating about writing your own thoughts. Sometimes those creative juices flow, but usually I sit down thinking I need to write something and nothing is really there. I find life fascinating so I know it is not because nothing is happening around me or in my own life. I write in my journal every night, for the most part, and do not feel like rehashing the same stories. My journals will be available to my family and others probably for a long time to come. However, I do have hundreds of photographs that I think I have learned some stories on which probably are not recorded.

Therefore, as a hope of continuing family history by preserving the stories with some of these photos, I start my new goal. To start posting pictures with my thoughts, perspective, musing, and whatever else I might feel to include.  So, here we go.  A sort of a picture is worth a thousand words expose.  I think part of me hopes I might find further clarification and other answers for the unknown bits of the stories I might present.  Please feel free to share.

Here is a portrait of David D Williams and Gwenllian Jordan.  I do not know what the D stands for.  Still hoping I will find that out at some point.

David was born 12 November 1832 in Pembrey, Carmarthenshire, Wales to John Williams and Frances Henneys.  His father was a Collier (coal miner).  On the 1841 Census, John is then listed as a farmer in Pembrey.  David joined the LDS church 12 July 1849.  His father joined in 1851, and siblings John in 1837, Joseph in 1853, and Richard in 1855.  John Haines moved to Pennsylvania in 1855.

In 1864, David immigrated through Liverpool and New York to America. He met Gwenllian Jordan in Liverpool, probably with the other Saints waiting to immigrate to the Zion.  They embarked on the “General McClellan”  on 21 May 1864 with a shipload of Mormon converts.  The two married on the ship 22 May 1864.  David and Gwenllian married while the ship was still in the Bramley-Moore dock of Liverpool Harbour.  Gwenllian’s sister, Mary Jordan, was also on the boat and married William Evans the same day on the River Mersey as they left Liverpool.  Thomas Jeremy, the presiding Elder on the ship married both couples.  These four disembarked together at Castle Gardens, New York (both Gwenllian and Mary using the Jordan name) on 23 June 1864.  I do not know if any other siblings of either David or Gwenllian were on the ship.  None of the others on the ship appear related.

The company of Saints from the ship were met by Joseph and Brigham Young Jr, sons of Brigham Young.  They then took the “”St. John” to Albany.  From there they took a train to Rochester, St. Joseph, and then Chicago where Parley P Pratt Jr met them.  From Chicago they took the “West Wind” to Wyoming, Nebraska Territory.  There a wagon train awaited and provided transportation to Utah.  The train arrived on 4 October 1864 (depending on which wagon train they traveled).

Gwenlliam was born 2 August 1842 in Merthyr-Tydfil, Glamorganshire, Wales to Margret Watkins and David Jordan.  She joined the LDS church on New Years Day (in probably cold baptismal waters) in 1851.  Her parents joined a few years before and I don’t know if any of her other siblings besides Mary joined the LDS church.  I believe Thomas did.  Her parents immigrated to Utah in 1872.

I am guessing the photograph of David and Gwenllian was taken while they were in the 40′s.  That is, of course, assuming the photograph is really of them.  This is a photograph in my Great Great Grandmother’s, Mary Elizabeth Williams, possessions.  She was the third child of David and Gwenllian so I have little reason to suspect the authenticity of the people in the photograph.  The photo was probably taken in Ogden since they settled and remained there the  rest of their lives.

David and Gwenllian had 10 children, 5 who lived to adulthood. I list the children below.  David worked as a farmer.  He passed away while sitting in his chair 27 November 1911 in Ogden.  Nobody was around when he passed but it seems to have been peaceful.  He had suffered from some heart problems and senility that came with his age.  Gwenllian apparently died in Slaterville from what her death certificate indicates as paralysis of the brain.

The 1870, 1880, and 1910 Censuses have David and Gwenllian in Ogden.  The 1900 has the family in Slaterville which is where Gwenllian passed away.

I really do not know anything more about the lives of David and Gwenllian.  If you have anything more, please share.

The five who died as children are as follows:

David Moiah Williams – 15 August 1866 – 15 January 1867 both in Ogden.

Margaret Ann Williams – 22 June 1867 – 4 March 1868 both in Ogden.

Sarah Jane Williams – 4 June 1874 – 4 January 1880 both in Ogden.

Katherine Williams – 15 June 1876 – 22 July 1877 both in Ogden.

Rosa Bell Williams – 15 June 1878 – 15 September 1879 both in Ogden.

The children who lived to adulthood are as follows:

Mary Elizabeth Williams – 7 April 1869 – 29 Mar 1951 both in Ogden.  Married William Scott Donaldson (Link to their marriage post here: Donaldson-Williams Wedding).  Five years after his death, she married Anthon Edward Peterson.  Three years after his death, she married Thomas William Stoker. This is my Great Great Grandmother.

John Haines Williams – 14 May 1871 – 29 October 1954 both in Ogden.  Married Bernice Cowan.  He married a Charlotte and Pamela, but I do not know if the information I have is correct so I will not include it.

Joseph Williams – 10 March 1880 in Slaterville – 25 October 1960 in Ogden.  He married Charlotte Dinsdale.

Louisa May Williams – 16 October 1881 in Slaterville – 1 February 1960 in Ogden.  She married Louis Jackson.  Twenty-five years after his death, she married Thomas Wilson Laymon.

Thomas Hyrum Williams – 1 July 1885 in Slaterville – 21 May 1967 in Ogden.  He married Ethel Peterson.  Five years after her death, he married Erma Amanda Carlisle.

Murmuring Israel

I am supposed to be finishing up my Corporations reading (but I cannot bring myself to do it on a Sunday).  But I thought to share a few ideas before reading our scriptures and going to bed.

Today was a first for me.  Initially I had been asked to stand in for a priesthood ordination and I was happy to do that.  Well, the other two people who had been asked to stand in forgot.  It felt bad for the man being ordained since this was something that was very important to him.  Last minute, I was offered the privilege of conferring the Melchizedek Priesthood and ordained him to the office of an Elder.  It was an honour and a privilege.  It was the first time for me to have ever ordained somebody to any office in any priesthood.  In typing up the priesthood lineage, I almost felt like I had gained a son.  From here on out, at least as an Elder, I will be a part of his lineage and that will bind us throughout eternity.  Somehow I felt like a part of me went out and into him.  I don’t know if he feels or recognizes that, but I sure do.  Anyhow, I am glad the method for the ordination was clear in my head, and there was one right before for a refresher in verbiage and procedure.

Stake Conference last night and today were powerful.  I am impressed by how humble and simple our Stake Presidency is.  I have to admit, President Curtis Crane is a man I want to be like.  I see in him a type of person I want to be like.  I hope there is time.  The meetings included our Temple President speaking last night and our Mission President speaking today.  Of course the Stake Presidency also spoke.  It was good.  Something about hearing a large group of people singing together that always impresses me.  Powerful.

I know I had commented I would give some thoughts about the scriptures as we have been reading along.  Amanda has joined me in the reading and it has been good.  We will be starting in Exodus 32 tonight.  But the last few nights have held a couple of impressions I thought I would share.

The constant view of God to the people continues to amaze me.  The plagues that were taking place in Egypt were surely not unknown to Israel.  Furthermore, the fact that they were spared from the plagues would also be obvious.  While the magicians were able to reproduce some of the early signs (I cannot imagine they were weak reproductions) the power and magnitude became greater and greater.  Each miracle was more recognizable.  Finally, Israel finds themselves crossing through the Red Sea and headed towards a promised land.

“And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way, and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night.  He took not away the pillar of the cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people.”  Exodus 13:21-22.  I find this thought simply beyond comprehension.  Then I wonder if it is so obvious to the people of Israel what is really going on.

The people didn’t seem to recognize what power was leading them.  “Because there were no graves in Egypt, hast thou taken us away to die in the wilderness?  wherefore hast thou dealt thus with us, to carry us out of Egypt?  Is not this the word that we did tell thee in Egypt, saying, Let us alone that we may serve the Egyptians?  For it had been better for us to serve the Egyptians, than that we should die in the wilderness.”  Id. at 14:11-12.

Then in the next breath, “And Israel saw that great work which the Lord did upon the Egyptians: and the people feared the Lord, and believed the Lord, and his servant Moses.”  Id. at 14:31.

Right afterward, “the people murmured against Moses, saying, What shall we drink?”  Id. at 15:24.  “[T]he whole congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness.”  Id. at 16:2.

The Lord responds to their pleas.  “Then said the Lord unto Moses, Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my law, or no.”  Id. at 16:4.

“How long refuse ye to keep my commandments and my laws?”  Id. at 16:28.

“Why chide ye with me?  wherefore do ye tempt the Lord?”  Id. at 17:2.

“And the people murmured against Moses, and said, Wherefore is this that thou hast brought us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our cattle with thirst?  Id. at 17:4.

“Is the Lord among us, or not?”  Id. at 17:7.

“Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself.  Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people; for all the earth is mine.  And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation.”  Id. at 19:4-6.

“Speak thou (Moses) with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die.”  Id. at 20:19.

Anyhow, this is only Exodus, but we see this exchange going back and forth between Israel and the Lord (through Moses).  When will we ever learn to just be obedient and quit expecting the Lord to coddle us?  The next chapter (32) shows where Israel got themselves into quite a bit of trouble for their inability to be constant.  I hope I can be more constant.  I always remember the verse from 1 Nephi 2:12, “And they did murmur because they knew not the dealings of that God who had created them.”  Hopefully we can all find that relationship with God so that we learn his ways, and his dealings, and we don’t end up like murmuring Israel.