Here are a couple of photos from an Andra Reunion from about 1976. I believe this reunion was in Preston, Franklin, Idaho. These photos were from some tiny 110 film strips so they were pretty hard to scan. The photos are not high quality for that reason. But at least they are available and I can recognize the people in the photo.
We attended the Rupert 4th of July Parade this year and enjoyed it. I thought it was interesting to attend the Minidoka County Centennial Celebration in conjunction with the festivities this year. I wonder what Aunt Fanny Ross Phibbs and Calvin Dickerson Phibbs thought when they arrived in the area on 21 March 1913 and witnessed the creation of Minidoka County that same year. Calvin would go on to become a Judge in Minidoka County in 1918 and served for over 10 years.
While the Ross Clan has been in and out of Minidoka County for the past 100 years, we have left our mark for good or ill.
My thoughts turned to my own involvement in the Rupert 4th of July parade. Here are a couple of the photos I could find.
Just for fun because I do not know when else I would share them, a couple of pictures from the old Paul, Idaho parade. I can still remember climbing up the ladder on the back of the pup to get into the trailer filled with gravel for us to stand on. I remember looking down out of the trailer for the photo below. This first photo has the Fenton Apartments in the back (still there and improved).
With my brother-in-law entering the Missionary Training Center (and now already left for his Carlsbad California Mission) I looked through some of the photos I have from the MTC.
That morning we met with the Stake President to finalize everything before driving out to Provo, Utah, Utah.
One final blessing and setting apart before leaving.
The first picture is at the front doors before going in.
My first companion Elder Kody Young from St. George, Washington, Utah.
Our first snow while at the MTC.
One of my most distinct memories from the MTC was the heating. I don’t know what it was, but I ended up with a bloody nose at least once a day. I was not the only one. Apparently it had something to do with the dryness of the air and the ventilation systems. It made for long days where my head was not always in the lessons but often worrying about the next nosebleed and whether I had tissues nearby. If I had to go to the bathroom, the paper towels only seemed to make the problem worse.
Elder Holland came and spoke to the MTC while we were there. He insisted on the opening hymn as “Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer.” After we sang it, he wanted us to sing it again with the silly extra phrases we all know. It was quite a bit of fun hearing an organ play the introduction and then for us to sing along. It was also in this talk that he told us that if we had to come home before our time was up, we better come home on a stretcher. Even at the end, we should have worn out our days as missionaries. We were so close the the Christmas holidays that we regularly sang Christmas music.
Our MTC District attending the Provo Temple. Four of us were going to England, the remaining ones were headed to Peoria, Illinois. The thing I remember most about the Provo Temple were the white escalators. Years later when I went back, they were gone! I was a bit disappointed not to see the white escalators again.
There were a few things in the MTC that disgusted and horrified me but I will not relate them here. They were not becoming of missionaries and I let them know. There were also plenty of fun and enjoyable times.
Then the five of us were flying off to Manchester, England just in time for Christmas.
Some good friends and family came to see us off.
More friends and family. My Sister, Dad, and Great Aunt Andra and cousin Denise, all came to share. Sadly, my Grandma was told I was leaving from the wrong gate and was not present so I did not get to see her one last time. She made it to the concourse just as the plane was about to leave and they let her send a package on the plane to me. Very good friends to come say goodbye!
Maybe I can start sharing some more photos of the mission as time goes on. I should get out my journals to add some more flavor to these entries than just photos.
With Aunt Sergene’s passing, I thought I would make some of the photographs I have of her and her life available. I am wrapping this around the language of her obituary.
Sergene was born 2 February 1932 in Preston, Franklin, Idaho. She is the sixth of twelve children born to Mary Louise Wanner and William Fredrick Andra. My Grandmother, Colleen, is the fifth and was four years older than Sergene.
Sergene graduated from Preston High School in 1950. She was a cheerleader and the Preston Night Rodeo Queen where she was pictured on Roy Roger’s horse, Trigger Jr., on the cover of the Preston Rodeo program in 1949.
Immediately after high school she married a guy from Malad who turned out to be quite abusive. Sergene defended herself and quickly had the marriage annulled.
Sergene married Bert B Sorenson 22 August 1950 in Nampa, Canyon, Idaho. Two children were born to the marriage, Scott B Sorenson (1951) and Andrew S Sorenson (1953). Bert worked for Mountain Bell.
Sergene purchased The Wig Wam in Burley in 1969. She purchased the Ponderosa Beauty Salon in 1973 and the Merle Norman Cosmetics store in Twin Falls in 1976. She only purchased the businesses, not the buildings in which they were located. The Ponderosa closed in the 1980′s and the salon with it. I don’t know when she sold or gave up the Twin Falls store. She ran the Burley location until she retired from it in the early 1990′s. It was a sort of forced retirement as the restaurant next door caught fire and Sergene not to make the repairs to her building but just close shop.
Sergene had a knack for golf and bowling. She participated in the Idaho State Amateur Golf Tournament for 53 consecutive years. She was honored as the Burley Municipal Ladies Golf Association champion from 1956 to 1986. She regularly participated on the Idaho Women’s and Chapman couple’s golf circuits. She also served as a member of the Idaho Couples Golf Association.
Bert passed away 4 March 1991 in Burley, Cassia, Idaho.
Sergene married Harlan Brent Jensen 13 November 1991 in Elko, Elko, Nevada.
Harlan passed away 4 February 2002 in Burley.
Sergene then spent considerable time with her dear friend and companion Edward Neil Dean from that point forward. They were close friends and golfing buddies.
Sergene passed 14 February 2013 in Lake Havasu, Mohave, Arizona.
I found this biography written by Mary Louise Wanner Andra of her parents. I will write a separate history for them in the future, but I thought I would make this one available unadulterated by me (typed completely as written in the book, although I added the photo).
This biography was published in Whitney Centennial 1889-1989: Whitney’s First 100 Years. It was published in 1991 by the Whitney Ward, written and edited by the Whitney Ward Centennial Book Committee.
Our father, John George Wanner, Jr., was born in Holzgerlingen, Neckarkreis, Wuerttemberg 29 October, 1870. His parents were John George Wanner and Anna Maria Schmid. He was the oldest in the family of five boys and five girls.
His father had a small farm and some cattle. He was also a road overseer. So dad, his mother and brother and sisters did most of the farm work. They also got wood from the forest for winter fuel.
Dad’s parents were very religious people and belonged to the Lutheran church. They were very hard workers and tried to teach their children correct principles. Dad tried hard to follow in their footsteps.
His parents joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1891. They made sure all their children were baptized as they became of age. His parents could see that it was the only true church on the earth, and they wanted to go to America, where they could worship as they wished. They also felt it would give their children a better opportunity in life.
His parents were the only ones in their respective families who joined the LDS church. Our dad was baptized in July in 1891, and came to America with one of the missionaries – a brother Terrell who was from Providence, Utah. Brother Terrell took good care of him and helped find work for him to do and provide for himself.
Dad got a job working for brother Fred Nuffer in Glendale, Oneida County (now Franklin County), Idaho. In 1893 his father, mother, and his brothers and sisters came to Cache Valley from Germany. Dad and brother Nuffer met them with a wagon and buggy in Franklin, Oneida County, Idaho, June 18, 1893. I am sure he was happy to see his family again, as it had been almost two years since he had seen any of them.
Dad met a lovely girl from Providence, Utah, by the name of Eliza Sterling, and this relationship blossomed into marriage in 1894. They were blessed with two sons, George and Earl Wayne. This marriage was not a very happy one and they were divorced.
On the 31st of August 1898, dad married Regina Nuffer who was a sister of our uncle Charles August Nuffer. [Daughter of the marriage of Eva Katherine Greiner and Johann Christopher Nuffer] On 9 November 1899, they were blessed with twin boys, William and Willard. As time went on they were blessed with more children, a total of five boys and two girls.
Dad went on a mission to Germany in the fall of 1907, leaving a wife and six children. On March 8, 1908, their son Serge was born. Mother and the family were living in a home John Nuffer built for dad. It is a rock house on East Oneida Street in Preston, Idaho. This house is still standing and is in good condition at this writing – June 1979.
When Serge was a few months old, mother took all the children and had a picture taken and sent it to dad so he could see the new baby.
While Dad was in Germany, he met William Andra’s mother and family and baptized the eldest daughter Freda.
In 1910, Dad’s mother and father sold their home and farm in Whitney to Dad. This is the farm Lawrence Bodily now has. Dad built a red barn that is still in use on the farm. After grandpa and grandma sold their farm to dad, they moved to Logan, Utah.
In 1913 dad’s parents, brothers and sisters had a family reunion at their home in Whitney. There was a large crowd and we all had a good time.
We all had to work hard and dad relied on his daughter Mary for many hard farm jobs. However, on Saturday nights he would take us to the picture show and give us each 25¢ to spend on the show and treats.
In 1917, I begged to take the sewing class at the USAC in Logan, as I wanted to learn to sew. However, I was only there a short time when dad brought me home to work on the dry farm. I have always felt bad about this as I wanted to learn to sew.
My brother, William, enlisted in the Army on August 5, 1917. He was with the 145th Light Field Artillery, Battery C. He left Salt Lake City for Camp Kearney on October 11, 1917. He left for France August 2, 1918. William contracted the influenza and died December 1, 1918. His body was brought home November 11, 1920, and interred in the Whitney Idaho Cemetery.
Just a few days before they got the sad news of William’s death, their son, Golden, died November 26, 1918 in Salt Lake City from influenza.
On January 8, 1921, dad sent his son Willard on a mission to New Zealand.
Dad and mother were to face still more sorrow when their son Rulon died February 26, 1924, in the Logan hospital.
Dad believed in missionary work with all his heart and soul and on December 15, 1925, he went to Tennessee on a six month mission.
In 1928, Serge went to New Zealand on a mission and died there October 5, 1929. His body was brought home for burial. The funeral was held in the old opera house in Preston, Idaho. These were trying times for our parents. Losing four sons, and all their bodies returned home in a box. This left them with only one son and two daughters.
On April 7, 1930, dad sent Eva on a mission to California. Dad was not a stranger to hard work. He raised crops and took good care of his farm animals. He took pride in having things looking neat and clean around the farm and yard.
When Dad operated his farm in Whitney, he was always up early in the morning and usually was the first to get to the beet dump in the morning. The story is told about some of his neighbors who decided to beat him to the dump. They got up extra early to get a head start. Before they got to the beet dump, they could hear George Wanner going down the rad ahead of them. They could hear him saying to his horses, “Gid up–gid up–gid up.”
When dad sold his farm in Whitney, he purchased 40 acres nearer to Preston and built a beautiful home on it. Part of it is where the Oakwood School is now located. When he retired he sold his farm and home to his daughter Mary and her husband William Andra.
Dad was successful in the various undertakings he engaged in. He was one of the first in Preston to have an automobile. When he brought it home he did not know how to stop it. He yelled “whoa” when he got in the garage, but before he got it stopped he had gone through the end of the garage.
Dad built the two little homes on the west side of second east and first south in Preston, Idaho. He also built three homes on first south and the south side of the street in Preston. Dad and mother lived in one of them until she died in 1942. Mother was ill for quite a while before she passed away. Dad cared for her the best he could and would take her for little rides in the car. She was unable to walk and dad would carry her on his back from place to place as they went visiting.
As many of you will remember, there was a humble side to dad. I have seen him cry when bearing his testimony and when he was grieved over the death of a loved one, a relative, or friend. He wanted to leave this world a better place than he found it, and I feel sure he made some contributions and brought this desire to fulfillment.
After mother died, dad remarried and went to live in Salt Lake City, Utah. This marriage was not successful and they were divorced. Later on he remarried again and was living in Florida. He became ill and wanted to get back to Preston. My son William went to Florida to bring him home, but when they got to Chicago, he was too ill to go on. So, William put him in the hospital where he passed away on January 5, 1947.
Regina Nuffer was born January 26, 1869 at Neuffen, Germany, a daughter of Johann Cristoph and Eva Katharina Greiner, she came to Utah with her family after they were converted to the gospel. She married Jacob Scheibel July 15, 1889, in Pleasant Valley, Carbon County, Utah. Her first child, Alma Katherine Scheibel Naef, was born, September 27, 1889. When her child was six months old, she and her husband separated and she moved back to Mapleton, Idaho, where she stayed with her parents on their farm. During this period, she would help people when they were sick, and her mother would take care of her child.
In about 1893, after the death of her mother, she moved to Weber County, Utah, and worked for the Will Taylor family in Farr West and the Bowman family in Ogden. She again returned to her father’s farm. On her way home, she stopped in Logan and walked out to Providence to visit a friend. While eating lunch, she happened to think that she had left her new coat on the train. She went back to Logan to the train station and they sent out a tracer. In a few days she got her coat back. After returning to Idaho, she worked for several people in Franklin and Preston. She lived in one room of her brother John’s home in Preston. Her brother was on a mission in Germany at the time.
On August 31, 1898, she married John George Wanner in Logan, Utah. That winter she lived on his ranch in Worm Creek or Glendale, Idaho. In April she moved with her husband, daughter, and step son, Wayne, to the Bancroft flat, a little west of where Grace is now.
She was known as a fine, well mannered woman. Her niece, Athene Hampton, said that toward the end of her life her health was not very good and she had a hard time speaking. When Athene and Louisa Nuffer would visit, they would converse by writing notes to each other. She died on March 10, 1942, in Preston, Idaho. Her funeral in Preston was very well attended.
I have read a number of stories lately about individuals who have lost their children at young ages. Some due to health reasons, some birth defects, and other reasons. I do not want to lessen any of the pain that come from such a loss. I have never suffered any loss of a child. I do think I would struggle more with having a child for a few years and then losing them. A child whose personality I have not really perceived and a hope and glimmer I never glimpsed seem like it might be easier to let go to the eternities with the knowledge I will raise them at a future time. But the loss and separation of having that child become a part of my daily life, whose personality fills my home, whose laughter and cries I recognize in another room, and then losing them to a future date seems more deep and poignant. I hope I never have to experience either, but I know others have and will still endure such a trial.
I have a Grandfather and five great grandparents I never met. While I know their image, some of their personality, their lives are woven into mine; I cannot recognize that influence. I have one great grandparent whose only memories are of her sitting in a lawn chair at reunions and laughing at us playing. But the grandparents and great grandparents I mingled, played games, and enjoyed their presence I miss. Some days terribly. I imagine it would be somewhat similar with the loss of a child, although the stillborn or soon passing child will have memories in the mind and life of the parents. Who knows, maybe it is any memory that makes it difficult.
In that light, I thought I would share some history, photos, and stories of Robert Lee and Dennis Willard Andra, my Grandmother’s brothers.
Robert Lee Andra was born 24 August 1934 in Preston, Franklin, Idaho. He was the eighth of twelve children born to Mary Louise Wanner and William Fredrick Andra. All I ever really heard about Robert is that it was a long, hard birth. He was born in the morning and passed away by the end of the day. Grandma told me he never really turned the right color, he had a tint of blue up until he died. She remembered her Mom holding the baby what seemed like all day. Little Robert was buried in the family section of the Whitney, Franklin, Idaho cemetery.
Dennis Willard Andra was born 10 January 1942 in Preston, Franklin, Idaho. He was the eleventh of twelve children born to Mary Louise Wanner and William Fredrick Andra. I imagine he grew up like any other child in the Andra household; one of many, playful, and a little mischievous. One of Don’s only memories are of Dennis in the highchair as a little boy, probably similar to this photo.
Here is a picture of Dennis with some siblings and cousins. This is a scan of a copy of a photograph. I hope some day I can get a scan of the original photograph so it is higher quality. Sergene, Ross, Don, Larry, and Dale are all siblings of Dennis. Sharon Johnson would be Dennis’ niece, June’s daughter (Sharon is one year younger than Dennis and a few months older than Larry). Jon and Kay are maternal first cousins. I have another photo of just the Andra siblings together, but its quality is so low that Dennis is not really distinguishable, so I did not post it.
Dennis had just celebrated his third birthday with his family on 10 January 1945. My Grandmother, Dennis’ sister Colleen, told me a story that still made her cry 50 years later. Dennis came in to her in the middle of the night. He could not sleep and his ear hurt. Grandma got up and made him a hot pad for his ear and held him for a while. He seemed to feel a little better so she laid him on her bed. She pulled out some dark red fingernail polish and painted his fingernails. He just laid there and watched her. It was clear to her that he was not feeling well. After she finished painting his fingernails she got up to take him back to his own bed. He did not want to go, he wanted to sleep with his sister. She got pretty stern with him and told him he had to sleep in his own bed. She carried him to his bed and tucked him in.
The next morning Great Grandma went in and found Dennis in eternal sleep, he had passed away in the night. Great Grandpa took little Dennis’ body in and laid him on their bed. Don remembers that his little foot curled a little and Great Grandpa straightened it out. Don saw his father cry from the circumstances. Here is a picture of little Dennis laid out for his burial at Webb’s Funeral Home in Preston. My Grandma had a better picture (which I don’t have), but this is again a scan of a copy until I can get a better scan or an original.
If you look closely, you can see that Dennis’ fingernails painted dark red. Grandma would look at the picture and her eyes would tear up. I remember her at one point saying that she felt bad she had spoken sternly to him before putting him back to bed. She loved him dearly and showed it by spending time with him, but the last words she spoke were perhaps harsher than she wanted some of his last feelings. I also know she wished she would have let him stay in her bed, not that it would have changed the outcome, but he might have felt a little more loved.
Dennis died 13 or 14 January 1945 (although his tombstone and death certificate says the 14th) in Preston. The difference in death dates is probably found in the family have him dying on the 13th when he went to bed, the coroner and formal documents have him pronounced dead the next day. His parents went with the 14th on the tombstone and he probably did die in the early hours of the 14th. He was buried 17 January 2012 in Whitney beside his brother. Both brother’s graves are at the heads of their parents.
Colleen’s journal only gives these few comments about her brother. On 9 January (which is a day off from the formal records) “Dennis birthday”. On 13 January 1945, “My darling brother Dennis died.” On 14 January 1945, “Several people came. I am thanking them.” On 17 January 1945, “My dearest brother’s funeral. I just couldn’t hardly see him go.”
With a third photo identified with a Bruderer in it, I thought I would make these photos available. From my understanding, the Bruderers were good friends of my grandparents, Norwood and Colleen (Andra) Jonas, when they lived in Richmond, Cache, Utah. When my grandparents moved to Burley, Cassia, Idaho in 1968 the friends did not see each other as much. Leonard and Donna (Andrus) Bruderer also eventually moved to Brigham City, Box Elder, Utah. Leonard and Donna also lived next door to my Great Grandma Lillian Coley Jonas (Edna’s sister)(and across the street from the Dorney family).
I visited with Donna in 2007. She is an Andrus and her father is Gerald Andrus(1903-1984). Gerald married my Great Grand Aunt Edna Coley(1900-1983) on 17 April 1921 and had a son, Harold Christian Andrus(1921-1966). Harold is my cousin and is an Andrus although raised as a Neilson. Gerald and Edna were married less than a year or so and he remarried to Donna’s mother, Ida Christena Smith, in 1923. Harold is Donna’s half-brother and I called to visit with her more regarding Harold than the Bruderer line. I did mention I had a photo of Leonard and Donna from many years ago as well as a photo of their daughter Lola. Leonard Bruderer passed away in 2006 (born in 1922).
Herbert and Martha Coley are pleased to announce the marriage of their daughter Lillian to Joseph Nelson Jonas, son of Joseph and Annie Jonas. They were married 6 September 1916 in Logan, Cache, Utah at the LDS Temple. The photo above we think was taken around 1930 or so and is not a wedding photo.
Lillian was born the first child of ten to Martha Christiansen and Herbert Coley 26 August 1898 in Lewiston, Cache, Utah. Both Herbert and Martha were Mormon immigrants to Utah in the 1880′s. Herbert and Martha both had native land accents from England and Norway respectively. Herbert was a diligent laborer who would acquire full ownership in their home by 1910. Martha was a strict and involved homemaker and mother.
Lillian grew up assisting her mother in maintaining the home, large garden, and raising younger siblings. By the the time she married, she had six younger children who were in the home (three more were yet to be born). When Lillian was born, the family lived in Lewiston. By 1910, the family had moved to Wheeler, Cache, Utah (or the 1900 Census did not have Wheeler broken from Lewiston). The Wheeler area is almost 6 miles directly to the west from Richmond, Cache, Utah as indicated by the link. We do not know where they lived in Wheeler.
By the time Lillian married Joseph, the family lived at roughly 1950 E 9000 N to the south and east of Richmond. The remainder of the cabin built by Herbert Coley was still in the middle of a cow pen in fall 2012 on the south side of the road, but was in pretty poor condition. Ellis Jonas took me there about 2002 and indicated the home to me as where they lived when he was a little boy. Martha moved in to town, Richmond, after Herbert passed away in 1946.
Joseph Nelson Jonas was the sixth of seven child born to Annetta Josephine Nelson and Joseph Jonas 19 November 1893 in or near Ellensburg, Kittitas, Washington. About 1896, Joseph’s mother, Annie, went to the Eastern Washington Hospital for the Insane in Fancher, Spokane, Washington (she is listed as Ann J Jonas). She was in and out of hospitals throughout her life but as Joseph was one of the younger children, he would not have known his mother a little better.
Annie got out of the Eastern Washington Hospital 31 October 1899 and went home to Ellensburg and continued to be a handful for the family. The family on the 1900 Census in Cle Elum, Kittitias, Washington does not include Annie though and the census that year has Joseph Sr in both Cle Elum and Spokane about two weeks apart in June 1900. Annie’s sister, Charlotte, visited in 1901. Due to Annie’s mental and emotional state, and with Joseph Sr’s approval, the whole Jonas family went to Utah to stay temporarily with Annie’s brother, Nels August Nelson. Uncle August lived in Crescent, Salt Lake, Utah and the Jonas party arrived 3 July 1901 from Washington.
Joseph Sr for one reason or another went back to Washington with the youngest child Margaret. Nels suggested it was legal issues, it might have just been the farm that needed attention. Annie’s issues were such that August and his wife, Fidelia, signed an affidavit of insanity and had her admitted to the Utah State Hospital 1 November 1901.
Joseph Sr had been raised as a Catholic and Annie Nelson had been raised LDS. Annie decided she did not like LDS men and wanted to marry a Gentile and did so. The children were raised Catholic in Washington. Now in Utah, Uncle August made sure the children learned about the LDS faith. The three boys elected to be baptized LDS on 10 January 1902 in Crescent by their Uncle August in an ice covered Jordan River. All three were confirmed 12 January 1902 by Jaime P Jensen. Rosa joined 6 February 1902, also in Crescent under the hand of Uncle August in a hole chipped in the Jordan River. Margaret did not join as she stayed near her father in Washington.
In 1904, Rosa married a boy, Christian Andersen, from Richmond. They married in Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah. They moved to 137 E 100 S in Richmond. Joseph and his brothers resided with Uncle August until after their mother passed in 1907, then they would regularly and for prolonged periods stay with Rosa in Richmond. The 1910 Census lists Joseph at home in Crescent. Read more of Brother John Jonas.
Joseph attended Brigham Young College in Logan and graduated with his diploma 3 June 1915. We don’t know much about his time at Brigham Young College but the story goes he wrestled with their team and did so very effectively. William, Joseph’s brother, was apparently here at school during some overlapping periods. Joseph became well known for his love of gospel conversations. He was known for regularly discussing and even arguing the gospel with extra determination. No hard feelings developed due to his ardor in arguing since others would always agree to a handshake after a good debate.
Below is a copy of a picture believed to be from his graduation at BYC. I have not been able to find the original of this photo or a copy at Utah State University’s archives where the Brigham Young College limited records are located (which are less than cooperative on letting me rummage through all the unknown photos).
In Richmond Joseph and Lillian met when Lillian’s father, Herbert, hired Joseph to help harvest hay. It was within six months, according to the story, that they were married. The two were married 6 September 1916 in the Logan LDS Temple.
Joseph registered for the draft of World War I on 5 June 1917. When he registered, he indicated he was a laborer working for Olaf Neilson, the man who would later become a brother-in-law. He indicated he was taking care of his wife and father. He also indicated that his eyes were brown and his hair was brown. He is listed as short and stout. Here is his signature from that registration. According to his family, he stood about 5’6″ and was very muscular.
Joseph’s father passed in Richmond in June 1917. Lillian gave birth to Joseph Herbert Jonas 14 August 1917 in Richmond.
In 1919, Joseph and his two siblings, Rosa and William, had all moved to Idaho. They operated a dry farm raising grain in Cleveland, Franklin, Idaho. Christian and Rosa, along with Joseph, did most of the work on the farm and lived about a mile apart. William taught at the school in Thatcher, Franklin, Idaho. The Andersen and Jonas families also kept cows, pigs, chickens, and a sizable garden. This is the only home Joseph and Lillian Jonas would together own. Joseph arrived with the cows in Thatcher on 1 April 1919. Lillian stayed in Richmond due to her pregnancy and while Joseph established the farm. Communications were slow because mail was held at Thatcher. Joseph and Lillian only heard from each other when Joseph made it in to Thatcher to pick up the mail or send a letter.
Spencer Gilbert Jonas was born 1 September 1919 in Richmond. Lillian and the two boys joined Joseph in Cleveland.
The 1920 Census found the Jonas family on 26 January 1920 living on the Cleveland Road outside of Thatcher.
Irwin John Jonas was born 2 September 1921 in Cleveland, but listed as Thatcher.
In 1923 or early 1924, the family then moved to Lewiston, Cache, Utah. The farm was not working out and he was able to obtain employment with the Utah-Idaho Central Railroad. Joseph worked on a section gang, just like his father had. The gang’s job was to repair rotten timbers, hammering in spikes, tightening bolts, and maintaining the rail line. He worked 7 days a week, sometimes all night, coming home only after a shift was over.
The family lived in a boxcar that had its wheels removed. A ditch ran under a portion of their home. Another boxcar nearby was used as a storage shed. It was here 15 May 1924 that Wilburn Norwood Jonas was born. Ellis Seth Jonas arrived in this home 6 September 1926, their 10 year wedding anniversary.
Joseph kept a tub of furnace oil in the shed. It accidentally caught on fire and and Joseph immediately announced to Lillian that the storage shed would burn down and probably their home too. Joseph, known for being a bit of a prankster, was not believed by Lillian despite his insistence. Joseph ran back to the shed and picked up the burning tub of fuel and carried it outside the shed. While he saved the shed and his home, he found himself in Ogden for several weeks with 2nd and 3rd degree burns. A 9 February 1927 newspaper mention in the Ogden Standard Examiner tells of his being brought to the Dee Hospital on Tuesday the 8th for treatment of burns to the face.
In 1927, Joseph was promoted foreman and oversaw the Quinney line through Wheeler, Thaine, and ending at Quinney (now Amalga). Later, he accepted another foreman job and moved to the railroad town of Uintah, Weber, Utah where he lived in row housing. Here is a picture taken while living there.
Joseph filed for divorce 2 March 1929 claiming Lillian had deserted him. The article in the paper indicates they had not lived together since 20 February 1928. It was during this time on 4 September 1928 that Evan Reed Jonas was born in Ogden. The divorce was dismissed on 9 March 1929 due to the party’s stipulation. Joseph again sued on 8 April 1929. He was ordered to pay $75 a month until the case was resolved. Joseph and Lillian had the case dismissed after they worked out their issues.
The family later moved into a comfortable home owned by the railroad at 102 17th Street in Ogden, Weber, Utah. It was a row house, but since he was Section Foreman, the only one with a porch. Joseph’s father, Joseph, had also served as Section Foreman. Joseph’s main responsibility dealt with the Huntsville and Plain City/Warren lines. During this time Joseph and Lillian became known as generous hosts where all visitors were always given more than enough to eat. Joseph prided himself on the vegetable garden they grew at this home.
On 6 November 1929 Lillian was hit and ran over by an automobile driven by Jack Mobley. It knocked her unconscious but she quickly regained consciousness. She spent the night in the hospital and was pretty seriously bruised and lacerated but suffered no broken bones. Joseph and Lillian admitted they were walking in the middle of the road when the accident occurred.
Joseph and Lillian continued active in the LDS church. Joseph regularly debated and discussed religion with others. He was also known to be strict in adherence to principles and expected his children to do the same. He was not afraid to “switch” his children when they got in trouble or disobeyed. One thing family members always commented about Joseph was his ability to remember and recall scripture in a conversation and discussion. Not only that, but when questioned to prove it, he was familiar enough with the book that within moments he could find the chapter and verse. His familiarity with the bible surprised many people, especially from a railroad laborer.
Lillian Annetta Jonas was born 15 July 1930 in Ogden. The 1930 Census found Joseph and Lillian at their home on 9 April 1930. The family was fairly comfortable, they could even afford some of the best appliances.
Joseph was especially glad to have a girl after six sons in a row.
Joseph and Lillian had a scare in 1931 when their son, Joseph, disappeared for a couple of weeks. He had been kidnapped by a Mr. J J Nelson and taken to Pocatello, Bannock, Idaho. He was finally recovered on 20 June 1931. The man was arrested after he beat young Joseph in public and the police determined Joseph was the missing boy from Ogden.
LeReta Mary Jonas was born 1 August 1932 in Ogden.
On Tuesday, 6 September 1932, a month after LeReta was born and on his 16th wedding anniversary, Joseph went to work as usual. Joseph knew the dangers of working on the railroad. It was near lunch time and his son, Norwood, was taking Joseph his lunch. Joseph saw Norwood and got down off a trolley near Lincoln and 20th Street, near the American Can Company plant. After getting off the trolley, he turned and walked toward Norwood and hit his head on a wire Mr. Child had strung down to do some welding. (Mr. Child was haunted by this episode the rest of his life because Joseph had warned him about the way he had hung the wire.) The shock knocked Joseph on his back unconscious and not breathing. Joseph died immediately but doctors worked on Joseph for over an hour. Lillian said Norwood was forever affected by the event. Joseph died at roughly 1:00 PM.
Here is a copy of the newspaper notice.
Here is the burial notice.
As a historical side note, here is the front of the train schedule Joseph had in his wallet at the time of his death.
The loss of Joseph dealt the family a hard blow not only with losing a family member, but it also lost them the company housing in which they were living. Lillian, at the mercy of family, moved immediately back to Richmond to be near her family. Lillian’s father, Herbert Coley, was appointed administrator for Joseph’s estate. The railroad paid out roughly $1,200 to Joseph’s estate. The funeral, transport, and burial of the family cost Lillian $150. The estate did not begin making regular payments to Lillian until 1934. Until then, Lillian wrote to the railroad for assistance and help. The railroad was happy to provide passes for the family to travel. Unfortunately, the company quit handling company coal so they could not fulfill her requests but allowed the boys to have all the used railroad ties they wanted for firewood.
Fortunately, the money from the estate was enough to purchase a home for Lillian in Richmond from a Melvin & Bernetta Smith for $500. This gave Lillian a home to raise her children and less worry about providing for her family. The home was located on the north side of the road at roughly 65 E 400 S in Richmond, Utah. Herbert and Martha, Lillian’s parents, lived across the street, but their home was a good couple hundred feet from the road.
Lillian made good effort to raise six unruly, now fatherless, boys and two girls. At Joseph’s death, the children were ages 15, 13, 11, 8, 6, 4, 2, and 1 month. The Jonas brood were known for being a bit coarse and boisterous as the years went on. Only a few years would pass before the children would start marrying.
Joseph married Hilma Grace Erickson 17 June 1936 in Logan.
Spencer married Viola “Jimmie” Amelia Cole 5 August 1938 in Farmington, Davis, Utah.
Irwin joined the army 6 July 1939 and immediately left for training. He eventually married Mary Elizabeth Popwitz 17 June 1943 in Rochester, Olmsted, Minnesota.
Evan married Lona Rae Jensen 15 March 1946 in Elko, Elko, Nevada.
Ellis married Geraldine Pitcher 17 August 1947 in Elko.
LeReta married Lowell Hansen Andersen 19 March 1948 in Logan.
Lillian married Ray Laurence Talbot 16 August 1948 in Ogden.
Lillian spent the new few years in an empty home. She knew Lorenzo “Ren” Bowcutt over the years. She accepted his offer of marriage and they were married 12 June 1953 in Preston, Franklin, Idaho.
At the time of her marriage to Ren, she had 22 grandchildren, 21 living.
Ren passed away 5 April 1966 in Logan (born 12 May 1883 in Honeyville, Box Elder, Utah). Ren was buried in Riverside, Box Elder, Utah.
She lived in the same home until the early 1980′s when she moved in with her daughter Lillian in Layton.
Lillian died 11 February 1987 in Davis Medical Center, Layton, Utah. She was almost 88.5 years old. She was buried beside her husband (55 years later) in Richmond 16 February 1987.