Red Rock Pass

Aliza and Hiram Ross on the rock at Red Rock Pass in Bannock County, Idaho.

On a trip to Preston, Idaho, I stopped with Aliza and Hiram (the only two with me) at Red Rock Pass.  Stopping at Red Rock Pass was a stop that was regular when I was a child.  I dare say every time we drove past Red Rock Pass, no matter who was driving, we stopped.  I remember the long walk up those stairs, I remember trying not to take the stairs.  If Grandma was with me, we would always walk around to the little cemetery around the back.

Hiram and Aliza Ross climbing Red Rock Pass.

I remember Grandma telling me that when they would drive to Downata or up to Lava Hot Springs as a kid, they would also stop at Red Rock Pass.  At least a third generation now does the same.  Every time I drive past, even if alone, I like to stop.  I hike to the top and look around.  Even when I had difficult times at Utah State University and needed a drive, sometimes in the night, I would drive to Red Rock Pass and gaze at the valley around me.  It connected me to the past, nature, and perspective of the world I live.

Grandma taught me early on Red Rock Pass was the leak, the drain, the overflow spot of massive Lake Bonneville.  It was here that erosion eventually drained the lake and completely changed landscape of the Snake River Plain.  It was here that northern Utah completely altered as well.  This one place changed the face of the earth.  Even in geography I learned that Lake Bonneville was so large that it actually indented the face of the planet and the release of this lake also changed the mountains and valleys as the load of the water displaced to elsewhere on the planet.  Part of the basin and range moved not just by plate tectonics, but also by redistribution of weight.  There I would sit imagining the Bonneville Flood.

It is at the cemetery behind this large rock left in the middle of the valley that Jefferson Hunt and many of his family are buried.  An early pioneer of the church he was at Far West, Missouri.  He lived in Nauvoo, Illinois, and served in the Mormon Battalion.  He helped found many communities (San Bernardino, California; Huntsville, Utah).  He lived in Oxford, Idaho, just to the south at the time of his passing.

It was later in life that I learned I had a missionary companion who descended from Jefferson Hunt (he was adopted).  As if that wasn’t enough of a direct influence on my life, Garrett Smith also affected me in his death.

Red Rock Pass is a place of reverence for my history, the history of the world, and the ongoing effect we have on each other’s life in the future.  It would help me overcome vain imaginations and the self-doubt that come to us all.  I plan to continue stopping at this little reminder of our little place in this very big and ancient world and the long-lasting influence we can leave upon it.

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100 Years of Flanders

John William Ross tombstone

(I originally published this in 2008.  I edited it and updated it with pictures for today, the 100th Anniversary of the Armistice.)

I thought I would write a little in relation to Veteran’s Day.  For the most part, it seems this holiday is somewhat forgotten in the United States.  Really, American’s celebrate the same day on Memorial Day in May.  I can understand the European View of holding it on the 11th of November.  It is the day WWI ended.

Arlington National Cemetery

Arlington National Cemetery, Nov 2005

I remember well the time I first experienced Veteran’s Day.  I sat in the Eccles Ward Chapel in Patricroft, England.  I sat there on 11 November 1999.  The services started at 11 AM.  We had the hymn, opening prayer, and a few comments by the Bishop until 11:11 arrived.  It was then we took two minutes to remember what was done.  Somehow those two minutes seared into my heart and soul.

Growing up in Idaho means we have little or no realization of any war.  There are small war memorials inside of cemeteries and an occasional one in a park to commemorate.  No war in modern days has taken place anywhere near Idaho.  Even the American Civil War means little to Idahoans.  My grandfather served in the Philippines during WWII but he spoke so little of it.  I had Uncles and Great Uncles who perished in WWI and WWII.  I have been to their graves but they are the dead, just like the other dead in the cemetery.  The idea of dying for one’s country meant very little to me.

Irwin John Jonas

One of my first memories of England is the day after we arrived.  We were taken into Altrincham Town Centre and there we proselyted for an hour on the way to the mission office.  I did notice the cenotaph.  I thought it rather oddly placed.

Arlington Cemetery

Arlington Cemetery, Nov 2005

While I served in Hyde, Cheshire one of the ways we knew where to turn in town was at the cenotaphs.  The same in Dukinfield.  When we arrived early at a member’s house we would loiter at the cenotaph to street contact until time for dinner.  Regularly I thought these things were oddly placed.  I knew they were naming those who died in the ‘Great War’.  For some reason or another I thought they doubled up on the names over the various cenotaphs.  It never occurred to me names are not typically duplicated on these things, or if they do, the intention is not to do so.

Ellis Seth Jonas

Suddenly I found myself sitting in a church meeting remembering.  These souls did not fight for my country.  However I felt come into my heart a gratitude for their sacrifice.  Could I do the same thing if called upon?  Somehow a dawning realization came upon me of the hundreds if not thousands of names I had seen on cenotaphs in my first year in England.  They were everywhere.  There were continuous reminders of the dead who fought for their country.

William Jr Military Pic

About a month later I found myself walking the streets of Runcorn, Cheshire.  There is a large cenotaph probably 15 feet tall.  The bus would drive by it every day.  I could not help but notice the little red, fake flowers on popsicle sticks stuck in the flower bed all around it.  The cenotaph meant more to me by this point but what were the little red flowers?  I noticed each of them had a name written on them and they appeared hand-made.

James William Ross

I asked what the little red flowers meant that were still scattered everywhere a month after the 11th of November.  I was then told about Flanders Fields and the poppies.  The poem was shared with me.  It made sense, I felt the poignancy of it.  I have a cousin, Harry Coley (1891 – 1917) who died in Broodseinde, Flanders, Belgium as part of the war.  His body was lost in the mud and potholes of the war and never recovered.

The imagery is intense while the poem isn’t all that catchy to me.  In fact, some of it still doesn’t make sense to me so I share only the first verse here:

In Flanders Fields the poppies grow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

David Delos Donaldson (back), John Edmund Donaldson (left), and William George Donaldson

Would I have this type of courage?  Would I be willing to go and serve my country so willingly?  Even if I was drafted, unwillingly?  To set aside all other hopes and aspirations to serve my country?  I did so to serve a mission for my church.  I would think I would be willing to for my nation.  While I am not entirely enamoured with my country at the present, would I still be willing to do it?  Probably.

Art and Golden Coley

Art and Golden Coley

In fact, I feel some desire to serve in the military.  My life hasn’t permitted the chance and my wife is against the idea.  I don’t think I will be making the decision to join.  But I wish to honour those who do and especially those who died in doing so.  Accordingly, when I saw my clock at 11:11 this morning, I stopped for 2 minutes to remember.  What does our future hold?  I don’t know.  But our past is nobler because of these good souls who gave all.  Not only to join, but they never returned.  We were on the side of right then, and our nation was preserved.  I hope and pray our nation continues on the side of right and we will yet be preserved.

Guarding the tomb

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Arlington, VA, Nov 2005

An Wanner uncle of mine arrived in Whitney, Idaho a year after his death in WWI.  His remains arrived in a lead casket which was buried with great fanfare for the small community.  WWII repeated this scenario with another Uncle, another family line, buried in Richmond, Utah.  His body arrived months later and he was interred with great fanfare.  May we live our lives in such a way, regardless if dying for our nation, but let us die in such a way that the community wishes to come out and pay homage for your great sacrifice for the future of man, good, and our country.

Milo James Ross

Fred & Vic Hunt

Fred and Vic Hunt, with Clara, Bert, Harold, and Mary

I stumbled upon this photo.

Fredrick Lawrence Hunt, born 18 September 1887 in Plain City, Weber, Utah, married Victorine Sharp, born 23 November 1889 in Plain City.  Victorine Sharp is the brother to my Ethel Sharp and daughter of Milo Riley and Mary Ann Stoker Sharp.  Fred and Vic were married 25 November 1907 in Ogden, Weber, Utah.

Fred and Victorine Hunt marriage license

Fred and Vic had 5 children, Clara Leona born 14 October 1908, Fredrick Bert born 20 August 1910, Harold born 24 March 1914, Mary born 12 October 1916, and Howard born 6 September 1921.

Howard died in World War II 12 May 1944 in Italy.  Bert was electrocuted with his son Bob on 4 September 1960.

Hunt Death Notice

Here is another photo I have of the family.

Fred and Vic Hunt with Mary, Fred, Harold, Howard, and Clara

Here is Vic with two of her daughters, Clara and Mary in 1963.  Fred passed away 23 Decemmber 1967 in Ogden.

Clara Wilbur, Mary Cowan, Victorine Hunt in 1963

Clara married Glen Monroe Wilbur and passed away 9 October 1980.

Victorine passed away 27 August 1987 in Ogden.

Harold married Ina Etherington and died 28 May 2002 in Plain City.

Mary married Carl Richard Cowan and passed 7 March 2016 in Layton, Davis, Utah.

Oneida Stake Academy

Aliza and Hiram Ross on steps of Oneida Stake Academy.  You can see the ongoing stone and foundational work here around the steps.

This year my Uncle Larry Andra notified me that during rodeo week in Preston, Idaho, there would presentations on the Nuffer and Wanner families at the Oneida Stake Academy the last week of July.  Amanda had continuing education in Utah so I jumped at the opportunity to go and take the oldest two.

We stayed with Uncle and Aunt Larry & Barbara Andra at their home.  We enjoyed the parade and other activities in northern Cache Valley.  It was also fun to reconnect with family.  Dale Andra was visiting and also staying with Larry & Barbara.

Larry and Barbara Andra with Aliza and Hiram Ross.

Along with the other festivities, we visited the Oneida Stake Academy.  We viewed the updates and ongoing improvements being made to restore that historic building.  (You can help give for its restoration.)  It was fun to also look closely at the pioneer faux painting and other quirks of pioneer Preston.

My link is that of Fred and John Nuffer, brothers to my Regina Nuffer Wanner.  They were a part of the tapestry woven in the construction of that building.  You can read more about the construction of the Oneida Academy and the Nuffer connections at the OSA website.  John provided oversight of the construction and Fred provided the stone from his quarry.

The Oneida Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints filled most of current Franklin County and part of Bannock County.  The Idaho Legislature carved Franklin County (named after Franklin D. Richards, not Benjamin Franklin) from Oneida County in 1913.  The Oneida Stake began in 1884 with its headquarters in Franklin, Idaho.

Inside the main hall, there was this photo and brief history of John Nuffer.  I have previously shared John Nuffer’s autobiography.  I have other posts referencing John, including his history included in the History of Idaho.

Aliza and Hiram Ross with a picture of John Nuffer inside the Oneida Stake Academy.

That same day we visited a number of the local cemeteries where direct ancestors are buried.  I will share those photos in another post.  I am grateful that my ancestors helped build this part of Idaho (as well as the rest of Cache Valley).  Hopefully my children will come to some of that same appreciation that I hold.

 

Surprise in a picture frame

When you do a little family history from time to time and other people know about it, then you find out you get interesting phone calls or notifications when something comes up.  My Aunt Jackie called to let me know that she had found some photos in a box and a purse.  I invited myself over to see what was there.

In the process she showed me a picture of her when she was a baby.  Here is the photo.

Jackie Jonas as a baby

It is a beautiful picture well protected and preserved in its frame.  Here is a much poorer copy of the photo that I have from Great Grandma Lillian Jonas’ photo album.

Jackie Jonas 6.5 months old

I have no reason to believe this photo was not taken the same day.  Same clothes, same hair, just a different position.  This photo was in my Great Grandma Lillian Coley Jonas’ photos and had written on the back “Jackie 6 and half months”

The photo Lillian had was mostly black and white and pretty small.  The new photo is better quality and an 8 X 10.

Unfortunately, the frame was damaged so I took the picture out so we could hopefully fix it.  GUESS WHAT WAS BEHIND THAT PHOTO?

Norwood and Colleen Jonas wedding picture

This is by far the best copy I have of this photo now.  The best I had before was this wallet photo with its damage.  You can see it is cut, ragged, bent, and had blemishes on its face.

While the new photo appears to be a copy and has a haze, almost like it was a copy made from one within glass, it still gives the detail and another glimpse into the personality and soul of Grandpa and Grandma.

It is the photo, I even tried a small area to see if there was a film on the photo itself.  There is not.  As for now it is the best quality photo I have and happy to have it in my scanned collection.

Related to the purse and box, there are probably at least 100 photos there, many of them 1 X 2 or even smaller.  It will take some time to scan them all and there are a few I do not recognize.  Looking at the photos, I have a hunch a number of the photos came from my Great Grandpa and Grandma Andra as well as Great Grandma Jonas.

As always, there is more out there.  Family history is not just about the dates and information, it is about preserving the history, including photos, for later generations.  With photos, it is about getting the people in them named as well so that when the people are gone, it is still known who is who.

2nd Grade, Paul Elementary, Paul, Idaho

Back Row (l-r): Gary Bliss, Ryon Carney, Brandi Cole, Mandy Ball, Cody Bell, Adrian Hurtado, Nicole Catmull, Amanda West; Middle Row: Ms Robin Anderson, Emily Neibaur, Skyler Spidell, Michael Hollis, Robyn Olson, Beau Twiss, Logan Schenk, Adrian Rios, Max Bailey; Front Row: Scott Torix, Genevive Olivas, Josh Kraus, Candace Ingram, Shane Hossfeld, Jeri Lynn Parks, Desirae Paoli, Jimmy McCray.

I ran into Robin Anderson one day and told her I was missing some of my photos from elementary school and asked if she had a copy I might get a copy.  She indicated she had a scrapbook full of all the years she taught.  She said she would see if she could find it and let me take a copy of the photo.

I wasn’t in when she dropped by but she left the book.  I took my time going through it and scanned not only my 4th grade picture but a few others.  This is one of them.  This was my grade, but she apparently taught second grade that year, so these are all my classmates.

I am very happy she took the time to find the book and share with me.  I am happy to share with you.  (I am still hunting for Ms. Suhr for 3rd grade and Mr. Mendenhall for 6th grade if you have a copy!)

This is a 2nd grade class picture for some of my classmates at Paul Elementary, Paul, Idaho.  This was the 1986 – 1987 school year.

Normally I organized photos with married names and dates. Since all are still alive, I will forgo any of the dates. I have added the married last name for the ones I know. If you have corrections, please let me know.

Miss Robin Anderson

Max Bailey

Mandy Ball married ?

Cody Bell

Gary Bliss

Ryon Paul Carney (1978 – 1991)

Nicole Catmull married Manning

Brandi Cole

Michael Hollis

Shane Hossfeld

Adrian Hurtado

Candace Ingram married Ennis

Josh Kraus

Jimmy McCray

Emily Neibaur married Haynes

Genevive Olivas

Robyn Olson married Powell

Desirae Paoli

Jeri Lynn Parks

Adrian Rios

Logan Schenk

Skyler Spidell

Scott Torix

Beau Twiss

Amanda West

Spring City, Utah

Manti Temple, Paul & Amanda Ross

Last weekend was Amanda’s sister’s wedding in Manti, Sanpete, Utah.  We went down to attend the wedding for Zachary & Alyssa Smart.  It was a wonderful trip, time to get away, celebrate the wedding and reception, and enjoy ourselves.

Paul, Amanda, Aliza, Hiram, Lillian, and James Ross at Manti Temple

I have done enough family history that I knew my 4th Great Grandmother is buried in Spring City.  Like other locations, if I am in Sanpete County, I make an effort to stop and visit her grave.  I think the last time I was able to stop was about 2003, so it had been about 15 years.

Paul, Aliza, Hiram, and Lillian Ross at the grave of Johanna Johannsson Benson (Bengtsson)

Here is how we are related.

My mother’s name is Sandra Jonas.

Her father was Wilburn Norwood Jonas (1924 – 1975).

His father was Joseph Nelson Jonas (1893 – 1932).

His mother was Annetta Josephine Nelson (she went by Annie) (1864 – 1907).

Her mother was Agnetta Benson (she went by Annie) (anglicized from Bengtsson) (1832 – 1873).

Her mother was Johanna Johansdotter (which shows up on the tombstone as Johansson) (1813 – 1897), who was married to Nils Benson (anglicized from Bengtsson).

I really don’t know tons about Johanna.  Nels August Nelson makes only passing reference to his grandmother.  I have been unable to find when she immigrated to the United States.

Hiram and Aliza Ross waiting for a hummingbird to land on them

Johanna Johansdotter was born 15 February 1813 in Öringe, Veinge, Halland, Sweden.  She met and married Nils Bengtsson on 4 July 1830 in Veinge, Halland, Sweden.  Nils was born 1 August 1802 in Brunskog, Tönnersjö, Halland, Sweden.  Together they had 8 children together.

Agnetta Nilsdotter born 9 Dec 1832.

Lars Nilsson born 11 May 1835.

Ingjard Nilsdotter born 17 February 1839.

Christina Nilsdotter born 21 June 1841.

Bengta Nilsdotter born 19 March 1843.

Nils (Nels) Nilsson born 23 August 1846.

Borta Nilsdotter born 6 April 1849.

Johan Petter Nilsson born 31 August 1855.

Nils passed away 12 March 1859.

Johanna was baptized a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on 11 May 1861.  Agnetta was baptized 10 November 1863, Lars 5 May 1860, Ingjard 5 May 1861, Christina 4 February 1866, and Nils Jr 5 May 1860.  Johann joined 7 September 1893 after immigration to Utah.  The other two were after their deaths.  Bengta and Borta did not join or immigrate to Utah.

Johanna’s daughter Agnetta (Annie) traveled with her husband Johan Nilsson from Halmstadt, Sweden through Liverpool, England docking in New York City, New York on 3 June 1864.  I cannot tell that Johanna traveled with Johan and Agnetta.

Most of the children upon traveling to the United States were given the last name of Benson instead of Nilsson.

The children spread.  Agnetta went with her husband to Logan, Utah.  Lars went with his family to what is now Sandy, Utah.  Ingjard to what is now Sandy.  Christina to Vernon, Utah.  Nils to Spring City, Utah.  John also to Sandy.  For whatever reason Johanna went with Nils to Spring City and remained there the rest of her days.  She passed away May 1897, we do not have an exact date.  Nils served a mission from 1892 to 1894 back to the Scandinavia mission.

Manti Temple 2018

An interesting tidbit about our trip to Manti.  We stayed in a restored home of James Marks Works.  He was the brother-in-law to Brigham Young.  It was an early home with various additions, modifications, and ultimate restoration.  James Marks Works and Phebe Jones had a daughter named Mary Ann Angel Works.  Mary Ann is the second wife to Nils Benson and they had 9 children together.  The home in Manti we stayed may very well have been visited by my 3rd Great Grand Uncle and his 9 children, all of which were grandchildren of James Marks Works.  James Marks Works died in 1889 and the first of the 9 children were born in 1892, but James’ son James Marks Works (Jr) kept the home and continued working the sawmill behind the home.

Here is a picture of the Manti Temple from James Marks Works’ home.

Manti Temple from James Marks Works’ home

Another interesting side note that I remembered from the last time I walked around the Spring City Cemetery.  Orson Hyde is also buried there.  I walked the kids over to Elder Hyde’s grave and we snapped a picture there as well.  I explained his role as an Apostle, President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Dedication of Palestine for the return of the Jews, clerk to Joseph Smith, lawyer, Justice on Utah Supreme Court.  The kids didn’t seem to care much…

Hiram, Lillian, and Aliza Ross at the grave of Orson Hyde

Here is Orson’s short biography from the Joseph Smith papers.

8 Jan. 1805 – 28 Nov. 1878.  Laborer, clerk, storekeeper, teacher, editor, businessman, lawyer, judge.  Born at Oxford, New Haven Co., Connecticut.  Son of Nathan Hyde and Sally Thorpe.  Moved to Derby, New Haven Co., 1812.  Moved to Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio, 1819.  Joined Methodist church, ca. 1827.  Later affiliated with reformed Baptists (later Disciples of Christ or Campbellites).  Baptized into LDS church by Sidney Rigdon and ordained an elder by JS and Sidney Rigdon, Oct. 1831, at Kirtland.  Ordained a high priest by Oliver Cowdery, 26 Oct. 1831.  Appointed to serve mission to Ohio, Nov. 1831, in Orange, Cuyahoga Co., Ohio.  Baptized many during proselytizing mission with Samuel H. Smith to eastern U.S., 1832.  Attended organizational meeting of School of the Prophets, 22–23 Jan. 1833, in Kirtland.  Appointed clerk to church presidency, 1833.  Appointed to serve mission to Jackson Co., Missouri, summer 1833.  Served mission to Pennsylvania and New York, winter and spring 1834.  Member of Kirtland high council, 1834.  Participated in Camp of Israel expedition to Missouri, 1834.  Married to Marinda Nancy Johnson by Sidney Rigdon, 4 Sept. 1834, at Kirtland.  Ordained member of Quorum of the Twelve by Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer, and Martin Harris, 15 Feb. 1835, in Kirtland.  Served mission to western New York and Upper Canada, 1836.  Served mission to England with Heber C. Kimball, 1837–1838.  Moved to Far West, Caldwell Co., Missouri, summer 1838.  Sided with dissenters against JS, 1838.  Lived in Missouri, winter 1838–1839.  Removed from Quorum of the Twelve, 4 May 1839.  Restored to Quorum of the Twelve, 27 June 1839, at Commerce (later Nauvoo), Hancock Co., Illinois.  Served mission to Palestine to dedicate land for gathering of the Jews, 1840–1842.  Member of Nauvoo Masonic Lodge, 1842.  Member of Nauvoo City Council, 1843–1845.  Admitted to Council of Fifty, 13 Mar. 1844.  Presented petition from JS to U.S. Congress, 1844.  Participated in plural marriage during JS’s lifetime.  Departed Nauvoo during exodus to the West, mid-May 1846.  Served mission to Great Britain, 1846–1847.  Presided over Latter-day Saints in Iowa before migrating to Utah Territory.  Appointed president of Quorum of the Twelve, 1847.  Published Frontier Guardian at Kanesville (later Council Bluffs), Pottawattamie Co., Iowa, 1849–1852.  Appointed to preside over church east of Rocky Mountains, 20 Apr. 1851, at Kanesville.  Migrated to Utah Territory, 1852.  Appointed associate judge of U.S. Supreme Court for Utah Territory, 1852.  Elected to Utah territorial legislature, 27 Nov. 1852, 1858.  Presided over church in Carson Co., Utah Territory (later the Nevada Territory), 1855–1856.  Served colonizing mission to Sanpete Co., Utah Territory, by 1860; presided as ecclesiastical authority there, beginning 1860.  Died at Spring City, Sanpete Co.