Tricycle 1947

Mary Donaldson (left), Dena Donaldson, and Milo Ross in 1947

This is a fun photo of my father, Milo Paul Ross, in 1947.  Since I often see a similar facial expression in my own daughter and nephew, I thought I would post this picture now.  I have already written of Mary Williams Donaldson Stoker and Dena Donaldson previously.  I have also written of Dad’s parents.  This picture was taken in Ogden, Weber, Utah.

Letter from David Williams to Wales

I just came upon this letter written by David D Williams to his sisters in Wales.  In it he describes his trip to Utah from Wales.  The letter was originally written in Welsh.  I have written of David and his immigration in his biography.  As mentioned in the history, David is the son of Frances Henneys and John Williams born in Wales in 1832.  He immigrated to Utah in 1864.  I am including a picture of some rolling hills in Southern Wales that I took with some friends in 2003.  Funny how he thinks how beautiful Utah was (then), and yet we feel the same about his Wales!

Ogden City

October 13, 1864

My dear sisters,

I have reached the end of my journey in the valley of Great Salt Lake well and happy, and I hope that you are the same. I shall now give you some of the history of my trip from the Old Country. This little letter is not large enough to describe all I saw, but I shall do my best to describe the outstanding features as briefly and inclusively as possible. We started from Aberdare on May 17th for Merthyr, where we stayed overnight. Next morning, the 18th, we started for Liverpool. After leaving the old rugged, craggy mountains of Wales behind us, we came to the flat plains of England and there saw the most desirable land such as we had never seen in all our lives. It was full of apple trees, plums, pears, and all kinds of other fruit, nature was a feast of beauty, all kinds of beautiful buildings of red brick. By evening we reached Liverpool. (One-half dozen words obliterated by creased paper) the streets were all paved. There is no time now to give details about this place. Next day we went down to the docks, and there we saw the General McClellan. This immense vessel laid about 70 yards long carrying 2000 tons. After getting everything in order, the steamboat pulled us on to the river, where we saw the great eastern, the world’s chief wonder. May 21st, we set sail for New York across the Atlantic Ocean. We saw many large fish. About the banks of Newfoundland we saw many large icebergs, some of them 200 feet high, and the portion above the surface of the water was but a third of the whole, so this enormous block would stand 600 feet high if it were all visible. We had a successful journey. We got one bad storm for about 24 hours. We were on the ocean for a month and 3 days. After reaching New York, we were taken to customs offices where all immigrants have to pass. After getting all in order there, we started out by steamboat on the river Genessee for about 160 miles to Albany. Here we took the train, and away we went for hundreds of miles along the borders of Canada. Then we crossed the river to St. Clair and through a part of Canada, then recrossed the same river to the United States and on to Buffalo. Here laid a large lake called Buffalo Lake. I don’t know its size but it was scores of miles long. After changing trains, we went on to Quincy. This lies on the bank of the Mississippi River. We crossed this river to the State of Missouri. Here is the most delightful land we ever saw, vast plains for hundreds of miles. I did not see a single mountain during my journey from New York to Wyoming (in Nebraska). We went along the banks of Mississippi for about 900 miles to St. Joseph. This was as far as we went by train. We were on the train for 11 days and nights, and were very tired for want of a place to sleep, having traveled 2000 miles.

From here we went by steamboat on the Missouri River for 200 miles to Wyoming, and here we came to the plains. We stayed in Wyoming for 3 weeks. July 21st we started over the plains, a company of 500 to 600 people, men, women and children, and about 80 wagons. After traveling on the plains for about 11 weeks, we reached the City of Great Salt Lake on Oct. 4th. This is the most beautiful city I ever saw in my life. It is full of apple trees, plums, pears, peaches, damsons, grapes, melons and all kinds of other fruit. The buildings are large and beautiful, and you seldom see a double house, but each house separate with a garden adjoining. The streets are all straight for miles, not a crooked street in the city. I stood by Brigham Young’s house facing the south, and I could see 20 to 30 miles of perfectly straight road. We can see for 80 miles here better than you can see for 20 there. After being here several days, I learned that father and my brothers were in Ogden City, 40 miles away, and that Richard is coming down to the festival (conference). This gave me no small amount of joy, for this was the first news I had of my father that he was alive. I saw Richard in the city, and when the festival was over, we started for Ogden City. John has moved out 200 miles from here, and he and his family were well when last heard from. Father is well and contented and he was as glad to see me here as I was to see him, and to hear that you are all well there. They want you to come next time and would love very much to see you. This is three times as good a country to live in if you care to work. I know that Sally is unable to come without help, but if Mary is able to come if nothing untoward has happened, and I would advise you, Mary, to come out next time, so we can later help Sally and her family. I would like to know whether or not you intend coming next time so I can give you a few instructions. It is a great country if one is wise to take advantage of the elements, and to do everything for one’s self, for which I can greatly commend these people, more so than the people of the old country. The women make all their own clothes – weave, roll, and everything; it’s a poor place for a tailor to live on his trade. They also make soap, candles, vinegar, yeast and everything for their own use. These people raise the material for sugar, and make molasses like the tressels you have, except that it is much better. The sugar is all in this molasses, and the refuse that comes from this is what you have for treacle. There is nothing else in particular that I can add at present. Father sincerely sends his regards to you, to his old neighbours, and to all the Saints, and hopes to see some of their names in the paper as immigrants the next time. Richard sends his regards to you and to all the saints and his acquaintances. Give me an answer as soon as you can, so I can have sufficient time to write back if you should come out next time. If you want to know anything, ask in your letter and I shall answer it with pleasure.

This briefly from your dear father and your brothers, John, David and Richard Williams.

Please give this letter (accompanying this one ) to William Rees.

A few words to William Rees, my brother in the gospel. I have taken my pen in hand to send you a few lines, hoping you are well and happy, and enjoying the comforts of the gospel, as I do myself at present; and I thank God for that. I intended to give you a little news of the plains and its creatures. But from what we hear, it is not likely there will be an immigration over the plains for some time, because the Indians are rather cruel and are at war with the United States. We were on the plains for 11 weeks because of difficulties. We joined another train (wagon train) and in all we had 150 wagons with about 1200 people; our train was about 4 miles long. The last train of saints came to Salt Lake City on Oct. 20th. Trains of gentiles had joined them along the line, and I heard people saying that they stretched over 10 miles while traveling. Eighty of the rich people of Salt Lake City were called, last festival (conference) to go south 600 miles and raise cotton, and the rich everywhere are being called on to help; and there is also a widespread call for people to go there to settle. They are going to build ships on the Colorado River, for that is the way the next immigrants will come, around the Cape Horn. I have to finish at present for want of space on this paper, with fond regards to you, to Thomas Griffiths and his family, to Mary Hoskins and her family, and to all the saints alike.

This briefly from your old brother in the Gospel, David Williams.

D.R. Mr. David Williams, Ogden City,

1895 Plain City Student Body

Back (l-r): Eva Edwards, Ada Skeen, Isabell Skeen, Unknown Rogers, Cecile Richardson, Grace Draney, Aseal Ipson, Beatrice Cottle, Ethel Garner, Josie Bramwell, Edna Garner, Unknown Rogers, Amanda Olsen, Rachel Garner, Freda Wheeler, Murald Hodson, Alfred Skeen. Middle: Frank Vause, William Knight, Clarence Richardson, Grant Hansen, James Hunt, Delwin Sharp, William Skeen, Chester Davis, Ace Draney, Lee Boyd, Eli Lund, Richard Bates, Alfred Coy, Parley Hansen, Edward Folkman, Jesse Lund, Charles Bramwell, Stella Hodson, Etta Lund, Ella Hodson, Luman Green, Walter Maw. Front: Charles Maw, Ruby Stoker, Annie Cottle, Edna Hansen, Susie Boyd, Gertrude Knight, Hazel Spiers, Rose Liljenquist, Nellie Maw, Martha Hansen, Mabel Ipsen, Maude Marriott, Daisy Coy, Alminda Lund, Joseph Skeen.

Here is a picture of the Plain City, Weber, Utah school student body in 1895.  Apparently this was the entire student body and this photo was reproduced in the 15 March 1959 copy of the Ogden Standard-Examiner.  I have a couple of relatives in the picture and that is probably why my Grandpa and Grandma Ross pulled it from the paper and have kept it with their possessions.  The names all come from that same paper caption although both of the unknown Rogers just have Miss.  If anyone knows where to get a clearer scan of the photo, I would appreciate it as this 60 year old paper isn’t the best version.  I do not think the school in Plain City had another name besides the Plain City School.

I looked up the information for each individual.  I found most of them, except for a couple whose names were just not in Plain City or they must have only been there a short time.  Sometimes with those old clippings whoever gave them the names might have put a married last name rather than a maiden.  Hopefully someone can correct the rest of the names.  The two principals I could not nail down because of the difference in age I could not define and there were so many with the same name within 30 years of the age of most of these students.  I put the one I think is most likely but welcome corrections.

Eva Edwards (?-?)

Ada Myrtle Skeen (1885-1977) married Daniel Popple Williams (1881-1919) and Edsin Byrum Allred (1881-1960).

Isabell Electa Skeen (1889-1963) married Thomas Etherington Charlton (1887-1956).

Unknown Rogers (?-?)

Cecile May Richardson (1888-1975) married Robert Clyde Hellewell (1887-1967).

Grace Elizabeth Draney (1887-1972) married James Burt Atkinson (1880-1935).

Aseal Andrew Ipson (1889-1981) married Lucy Isabell Knight (1883-1989).

Mary Lew Beatrice Cottle (1887-1971) married Claud Leslie Kimball (1885-1958).

Ethel Garner (1886-1968) married Ephraim William Manning (1884-1970).

Josephine “Josie” Trena Bramwell (1887-1973) married Joseph Herman McCowan (1886-1964).

Mary Edna Garner (1888-1948) married Horace William Wayment (1885-1969).

Unknown Rogers (?-?)

Amanda Christine Olsen (1888-1968) married George Daniel Moyes (1889-1958).

Rachel Ann Garner (1889-1980) married George Leo Sandberg (1887-1949).

Freda Wheeler (?-?)

Murald Vinson Hodson (1887-1970) married Elda Herriot Barnett (1895-1979).

David Alfred Skeen (1885-1969) married Bertha Kerr (1885-1976).

Francis “Frank” Freedom Vause (1883-1974) married Vera Jaquetta Child (1885-1961).

William Thomas Knight (1881-1973) married Eliza Alzina Taylor (1886-1963).

Clarence Richardson (1883-1976) married Louie Marie Rawson (1881-1982).

Martin Grant Hansen (1883-1925) married Alice Maud King (1881-1951).

James Hunt (?-?)

Delwin Sharp (1884-1969) married Violet Grieve (1881-1964).  Obviously related to my Sharp line.

William Delbert Skeen (1884-1940).  Not sure this is the right William Skeen, but pretty sure.

Chester Davis (1883-1948) married Nellie Clark (1891-1950).

William “Ace” Hamilton Draney (1885-1979) married Ethel Skeen (1883-1979) and Vera Ann Toombs (1895-1977).

Levi “Lee” Alfred Boyd (1883-1972).

Eli Edgar Lund (1884-1955) married Mary Millie Hutchins (1882-1947).

Thomas Richard Bates (1884-1969) married Dora Evaline Taylor (1885-1981)

Alfred Jonathan Coy (1882-1957) married Mabel Adella Ipsen (1885-1954).

George Parley Hansen (1886-1968) married Criesta Zenobia Anderson (1889-1979).

George Edward Folkman (1885-1914) married Florence Evaline Maw (1888-1969).  Florence’s mother was a Sharp.

Jesse Leander Lund (1886-1918) married Myrtle John Hawkley (1895-1960).

Charles Bramwell (1885-1971) married Annie Myrtle Shupe (1888-1968).

Estella Dora Hodson (1887-1981) married Parley Paul Taylor (1886-1974).

Etta Letitia Lund (1887-1968) married Robert Alfred Witten (1873-1937).

Ella Doris Hodson (1887-1968) married James Earl McFarland (1889-1951).

Luman Peter Green (1886-1980) married Veda Jane Walker (1888-1981).

Walter Maw (1887-1912) married Della Neal (1888-1961).

Charles Maw, I think this is Charles Edward Maw (1875-1950).  Principal.

Ruby Stoker (1885-1965) married George Angus Spears (1878-1943).  She is a relative through our Stoker line.

Annie Jane Cottle (1881-1974) married Joseph Pierce Stock (1878-1954).

Edna Rebecca Hansen (1884-1958) married John Elmer Robson (1884-1930).

Susan “Susie” Emma Boyd (1885-1969) married August Steiner (1874-1949).

Gertrude Knight (1886-1970) married Hyrum Ezra Richardson (1886-1962).

Hazel Spiers (1885-1941) married Austin Tracy Wintle (1884-1977).

Rose Liljenquist (?-?)

Millie Maw (1884-1951) married Charles Joseph Buckley (1884-1959).

Martha Catherine Hansen (1887-1963) married Henry Merwin Thompson (1885-1976).

Mabel Adella Ipsen (1885-1954) married Alfred Jonathan Coy (1882-1957).

Maude Marriott (1880-1972) married Wallace Ridgeway Bell (1881-1947).

Daisy Louise Coy (1884-1968) married Hyrum Parley Hogge (1883-1941).

Alminda Drucella Lund (1881-1966) married Harold Waldermar Johnson (1888-1967).

Joseph Skeen, I think this is Joseph Lawrence Skeen (1857-1915).  Assistant Teacher.

Donaldson 4 Generations

Dora Birch, Mary Donaldson, David Donaldson, and (boy) Jan Birch

I thought I would share this 4 generation photograph taken about 1950 or so in Ogden, Weber, Utah.  The older lady is Mary Elizabeth Williams Donaldson (7 April 1869 – 29 Mar 1951).  David Delos Donaldson (26 March 1894 – 24 September 1953), her son, stands to her right.  The other lady, Dora Mary Donaldson Birch (28 May 1920 – 30 July 2001), is the daughter of David.  The boy, Jan Claire Birch (3 August 1945 – 14 April 2004) is the son of Dora.

I have written previously about Mary (Donaldson-Williams Wedding) Donaldson and how stern and mean she apparently was in her outward demeanor.  This photograph is a complete and polar opposite portrayal of the lady so many have given to me.  There must surely have been some joy and happiness in there as this photo seems to indicate (if it is in fact Mary, some are not so convinced).

David (who went by Dave in life) I have also written of previously (Donaldson-Van Leeuwen Wedding) and mentioned his overall characteristics.  I wanted to take this opportunity to share another story I just heard recently.

I mentioned in the post about David that he was known for being a tight wad.  Well, apparently after he passed away, Dena had a dream about him coming to her during an afternoon nap.  He told her that she needed to go to the pantry.  She could not figure out why in the world she would need to go to the pantry but did so anyway.  She walked into the pantry, downstairs, and turned on the light and started to look around.  She noticed what appeared to be a loose brick and went over to investigate.  The bricks came away and in a little lockbox behind she found a quit-claim deed to the home made to her and about $1,500.  That was quite a bit of money in 1953, but it was just enough to pay off all David’s doctor and funeral bills.  There was even enough left for some nice things for Dena.

Dora and Jan Birch I really do not have stories for at this time, maybe some day.

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.

Donaldson – Williams Wedding

David and Gwenlliam Williams are pleased to announce the marriage of their daughter Mary Elizabeth to William Scott Donaldson, son of Joseph and Sarah Donaldson.  They were married in her parent’s home in Slaterville, Utah on 2 Oct 1890.

William is currently employed with Union Pacific Railroad as a conductor in Ogden.

The couple will make their home in Ogden.

The farther you get back on some of these family lines, the less we know about the individuals and their lives.  This really is unfortunate.  If they had kept journals, or recorded some of their thoughts and at least given us some history, how much the richer we would be.  Look at how much a few sentences written on the back of this old photograph tell us that we would not otherwise know!

The back of this photograph has the following written on it.  “[illegible] master (??) held this photo for about 46 or 48 years then gave it back to me for a keep sake.  when she left for California to make her home.  she was 70.  taken in 1891 we lived in Evanston Wyo.  Donaldson was Union Pacific Conductor.  Mary Elizabeth Williams Donaldson.  Born apr 7th 1869 on Wall ave. between 24th and 25th street.  Just South of the Brigham Hotel in the old home.  Daddy sold the old home to Barnard White.  William Scott Donaldson Born June 18 1865 Cape Vincent Jefferson county New York.”

I assume the writing is by Mary herself since there is a reference of the photo being given back (William died in 1913).  But then why would she refer to her husband as “Donaldson” in reference to his work?  The details given of the birth and its location with the references of “Daddy” selling the home makes me think it is safe to assume this is written by Mary herself and the language is probably a norm of the time.

The reference to the Brigham Hotel (called the New Brigham Hotel on the National Registry) is interesting because that building is still there at 2402-2410 Wall Ave.  No homes still exist in that block.  We knew she was born in Ogden, but from that little note, we now know which block of Ogden.  I have written about her parents at this link: Williams-Jordan Wedding.

The writer on the photograph indicates that the Donaldson family lived in Evanston, Wyoming in 1891.  William George was born 23 Aug 1891 and David Delos 26 Mar 1894, both in Evanston.  (Read more about David’s family at this link: David Donaldson Family)  Mary may very well have been pregnant in the photo.  The photo was taken in Ogden or Park City as the bottom of the photo tells us that is where Adams Bros (and ride an elevator!) was located.  The family then moved to Park City, Utah where Joseph Ellis was born 28 Aug 1896 and Irvine Todd on 11 Jun 1898.

On 11 Jun 1900, the family lived at 2270 Moffatt’s Lane in Ogden.  Moffatt’s Lane is no longer the name of the street, it was renamed between 1910 and 1920 as Ogden Avenue.  William is still a conductor for the railroad.  On 20 Apr 1910, the family lives at the same address and William indicates to the census taker he is now a plumber and owns a shop.  William and David are both listed as apprentices, and I assume both are for their father. Somewhere in all this, he also had a confectionery store, of which we have one picture but no other information.

William Scott died 12 Sep 1913 of bladder cancer at Dee Hospital and was buried in the Ogden City Cemetery on the 14th.  He was barely over 48 years old.  The death certificate indicates William was the owner of a plumbing business.

William Scott was born 18 Jun 1865 in Joyceville, Frontenac, Ontario, Canada.  His mother was born in Cape Vincent, Jefferson, New York.  You can read more of his parents and siblings at this link: Donaldson-Todd Wedding.  As far as we can tell, all the children were born in Joyceville.  He did mention on both the 1900 and 1910 Censuses though that he was born in New York.  Maybe this was to claim his privileges as an a U.S. citizen.  Who knows.  He is not found on the 1880 Census presumably because he is in Canada.  Several of his siblings also finally show on the 1900 Census in New York and Ohio, but his father and mother lived their entire lives near Joyceville or Pittsburgh, Frontenac, Ontario, Canada.  His venture west most likely came with his employment by the railroads.  He did not join the LDS church until 1911.  His son John Edmund joined in 1910, Joseph Ellis the same day as his father, and William George and Samuel Alvin within the next 4 years.  The others did not join (although David Delos obituary says he did).

Back l-r: Todd, George, Mary, William. Front: Dave, Alvin, Ellis, Ed Donaldson.

Mary probably grew up near where she said she was born.  She was the oldest child (that lived) of 10 children.  The census taker in 1880 described the home as on the railroad grounds in Ogden.  The block where she said she was born is very near the Union Station and may have qualified as the railroad grounds.  The original station which was built in 1869.  No street or anything else, just on the railroad grounds.  The 1870 census does not give any indication where the family lived other than in Ogden.  The last two children were born in Slaterville (1881 and 1885).  The marriage record indicates in 1890 that Mary was a resident of “Slateville”.  The 1900 census records do not tell us where in Slaterville.  Mary’s mother, Gwenlliam Jordan Williams died there in 1900.  When David died in 1911, he was back in Ogden living at 3256 Wall Ave (this home is gone).

Mary remarried 11 Jul 1918 to Anthon Edward Peterson.  The family still lived at 2270 Ogden Ave in the 1920 census.  The four youngest still living at home.  By the time the 1930 census arrived, Anthon and Mary were living at 541 Washington Ave, which house I believe is still standing.  Anthon and Mary would remain together until he passed away in 1942.

All accounts of Mary is that she was stern and cold.  Her grandson, David William Donaldson (Dave), indicated that she was snooty, high-minded, and a brat.  Apparently she was very condescending and negative in every interaction.  After Anthon Peterson passed away, she sought to move in with her son, David Delos Donaldson and family.  The offer was apparently there to take her in for whatever years she had remaining.  However, Dave was not having any of that and indicated that if she moved in, he moved out.  This was between 1945 and 1948.  She ended up not moving in because of Dave.

Back l-r: David, Ellis, Edmund. F: George, Todd, Alvin Donaldson

Mary remarried 20 Nov 1945 to Thomas William Stoker (a cousin of mine on a different line).  They remained together until she passed away of old age 29 Mar 1951 in Ogden, just shy of 82.  At the time, Thomas and her were living in Huntsville.

4 Generations: Jan (boy), Dora, Mary Donaldson, David Donaldson

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.

Aeroplane squalls

I thought I would take an opportunity to voice a complaint.  I know it isn’t normally in my nature to complain, usually I try to give the benefit of the doubt or to press forward with the ‘can do’ attitude.  But since nobody else seems too concerned about it, I will air my concerns out where a few may agree.
What ever happened to service?  What happened to the customer, the consumer holding a special place for businesses?  It seems somewhere the status quo, business as usual, and possibly profits have taken over.
Two weeks ago I took a pickup in to have it serviced.  They told me it would be ready on Wednesday.  I returned on Wednesday to have them tell me that more work had to be done and I needed to authorize the work.  What happened to calling me to ask to authorize?  What happened to calling me to let me know the pickup would not be done?  I let it slide and authorized them to do the work.  They then told me it would be done on Friday.  I made it clear to them the truck had to be done first thing on Monday morning because I was supposed to drive it to Pasco, Washington for work.  Not only did I need to drive the truck, it would be left there so taking another vehicle was not an option.  Well, Friday arrived and I called in to make sure it was done, and I was assured the job was completed.  I drove in on Friday to pick it up and it wasn’t even out of the back of the shop yet, let alone completed!  Once again, I let my irritation slide, the changing of my plans, and the trip in to pick up the truck.  Remembering, this requires another person’s help to get a ride in to pick up the truck.  Monday rolls around and the truck is still not completed!  Nobody once again notified me, nobody told me anything.  Finally, Wednesday I pick up the truck, pay the bill, and head home.  My boss moved my trip to Pasco for the Monday after.
I then left my personal vehicle for a service.  The story goes on from there.  When I left my personal vehicle I made it very clear I would be in Pasco, Washington for the week and I would need to be notified if they had any problems or questions.  They said there would be no problem for my coming back the following week.  Well, today, I arrived to find my truck had been looked at but nothing had been done!  I was about ready to start swearing at the man!  He told me I had to authorize the work before it could be done because some gasket needed replaced.  I showed him right on the paper where it said I would be out of town and that I would need to be called.  I asked why I was not called.  He said he did not know.  I told him I had been dropped off and was taking my pickup with me.  I was not a pleased customer!  I drove out of the parking lot vowing I would never again do business of any type with Goode Motor in Burley or Rupert, Idaho.  They have forever lost my business.
In conversation afterward I found out my Dad has had the same problem.  He even notified the manager, Garth Williams of the issue.  I guess he took in his truck to be serviced and they started asking him a bunch of stupid questions.  The guy got huffy with him when Dad told him to go out and get the information from the truck.  After two episodes of this, Dad said he would never do business again with Goode Motor.  So all those who read, here are two customers who are highly unhappy with the business, especially with their service department.  They even gave Dad a coupon for service when he bought the truck and they would not honor the certificate later.  How is that for forging loyal customers.
That episode pretty much tainted the rest of my day for me.  Tonight I sat in the airport for my flight from Salt Lake City to Portland, Oregon.  Our flight was supposed to take off at 7:05 PM.  No, the flight was delayed.  Two hours later I finally board the plane.  Just to press the button on their customer service I went to the Southwest Airlines Ticket Counter and complained.  I told them there should be some reimbursement for my ordeal and they were putting me late.  I lied and said I was going to miss my business engagement.  They offered me their sympathies and basically wished me well.  I told them there was not point of going now and wanted a refund.  This request was denied with a document giving me a phone number to call my complaint.  You would think that customer service would be able to take care of a problem in the airport without my having to make a phone call to listen to some fake woman directing me.  What happened to honoring your word?  What happened to pleasing the customer?
Lastly, I completed McCullough’s 1776 this evening in my hours wait to board my delayed flight.  The discontent I noticed of poor service in the Ford dealership and in Southwest Airlines only turned into more rancor as I thought of what it was we fought for in the Revolutionary War.  We separated ourselves from Britain and fought a war for abuses less than what we currently face with our present government.  What is even more frustrating is the fact that we as Americans let business and government so dictate our lives.  Hey look, they are even going to give me $1,500 of my own money back and then want me to go spend it!  Well, geez, thanks for giving my own money back and then tell me what to do with it!