Jonas – Coley Wedding

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

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

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

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

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

Joseph and Margaret Jonas about 1899

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Picture from Uintah Railroad Camp toward Weber Canyon about 1927

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

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

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

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

Joseph and some friends at work after a game of shoes

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

Joseph Jonas Maytag Warranty Certificate

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

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

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

LeReta Mary Jonas was born 1 August 1932 in Ogden.

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

Joseph Jonas Death Cert

Here is a copy of the newspaper notice.

Here is the burial notice.

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

Utah Idaho Central Railroad Company Time Table from 1932-1933

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

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

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

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

Joseph married Hilma Grace Erickson 17 June 1936 in Logan.

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

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

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

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

Norwood married Colleen Mary Andra 27 September 1946 in Elko.

Ellis married Geraldine Pitcher 17 August 1947 in Elko.

Lillian Driver’s License photo

LeReta married Lowell Hansen Andersen 19 March 1948 in Logan.

Lillian married Ray Laurence Talbot 16 August 1948 in Ogden.

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

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

1953 Marriage License

Lillian and Ren Bowcutt

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

Lillian Bowcutt in 1959

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

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

Lorenzo Bowcutt

Lorenzo Bowcutt obituary

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

Lillian in 1978

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

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

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

Lillian portrait about 1986

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

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

Bliss, Idaho

This photo is one that was among many in my Great Grandmother’s possessions.  Since I don’t have a clue who she is, I thought I would make it available with the information that is written on the back.

“Sweet Dorothy J Gruel”  (This may be Gruett, Cruett, Gruell, or some other variation in cursive writing.)

“Bliss, Idaho”

“Box 175”

“Age 14”

I recognize the building because it is still there and Bliss doesn’t have many buildings.  I don’t know if it was all grades in one, or just a high school.  Either way, I assume Ms. Dorothy knew my Great Grandmother, Lillian Coley, and sent the photo to her.  There is a chance this photo was sent to Lillian’s mother, Martha Christiansen Coley, and could be a niece or something to her.  I do not have her in my family file, cannot find her name anywhere, and hope this will be useful to someone.  My Great Grandmother Lillian was born in 1898, so if this girl is roughly the same age, this photo would have been taken around 1912.

Sweet Dorothy J Gruell Bliss, Idaho Box 175 age 14

Ellis Seth Jonas

With the passing of Uncle Ellis and his funeral today, I thought I would make available the pictures I have of him over the years similar to other family members.  My way of remembering him and honouring the family.  Until we meet again.

Ellis Seth Jonas was born 6 September 1926 in Lewiston, Cache, Utah to Lillian Coley and Joseph Nelson Jonas.  The fifth child of eight to his parents (my Grandfather, Norwood, was fourth).  Ellis was born on the tenth wedding anniversary of his parents.  He married Geraldine Pitcher 17 August 1946 in Elko, Elko, Nevada.  My Grandparents were going to elope and go at the same time but chickened out and ended up making the trip the next month.  Five children were born to the marriage; Kent in 1949, Mary Lou in 1951, Julie in 1954, Dan in 1958, and Ron in 1965.  Ellis died at home in Smithfield, Cache, Utah 12 August 2012 and will be buried today, 18 August 2012 in Smithfield.

Ellis as a boy.

A certificate regarding his promotion to North Cache High School.

I have a host of World War II pictures.  I will just present them all here.

Ellis is the second from the right in the second from back row.

A letter home near the end of the war.

I have this graduation picture.  I don’t know if it is high school or college, probably graduation from Utah State in 1951 or 1952.  At this link are a couple of photos from Ellis’ days coaching baseball.

A picture of Ellis on the ground at the 1957 Jonas Reunion.

Ellis Jonas (on the ground), children (l-r): Paul Jonas, Julie Jonas (sitting on Ellis), Janeal Jonas, Sherlean Talbot, MaryLou Jonas.

The Ellis and Geri Jonas family in classic 1970’s fashion.

Back (l-r): Julie, Dan, Mary Lou. Front: Ellis, Ron, Geri.

Working at the armory.

Ellis and Geri.

Here is a picture of their home in Smithfield taken in July 2003.

The last picture I have in life of Ellis is from 2009 with his great grand niece.

Ellis Jonas holding Gracie Christiansen

1955 Coley Reunion

I have these two photos of the 1955 Coley Reunion in Richmond, Cache, Utah.  These two pictures are obviously of the same group, the black and white one of much better quality, but I thought I would include the color one since it can add a dimension to the black and white (since it is pretty blurry).  The first picture seems like it was just for Coley descendants, but then spouses sneak in to the picture, so I really do not know what was the thinking for the shot.  The second photo has a few more people I will need help naming, especially the younger ones.  Let me know if there are corrections.  (Click on the photos to see them closer)

Back (l-r): Blaine Thomson, Olof Neilson, Lloyd Coley, Ivan Coley, Art Coley, Golden Coley, Lillian Bowcutt, Hannah Thomson, Gay Coley, Betty Coley, Edna Neilson.  Middle: Verda Coley, Carrie McMurdie, Clara Coley, Bill Thomson, Kathy Coley, RaNae Coley, Martha Coley, Gary Coley, Dean Coley, Stephen Coley.  Front: Shirley Coley, Lillian Thomson, Mary Coley, Janice Coley, Joy Coley, Nina Coley, David Coley, Susan Thomson, Doug Thomson.

Back: Blaine Thomson, Olof Neilson, Lloyd Coley, Ivan Coley, Bill Thomson, ?(child held by Bill), Hannah Thomson, Gay Coley, Betty Coley, Edna Neilson.  Two men in front of doors: Art Coley, Golden Coley.  Second row from back: ?(held child), ?, ?(partially obscured woman in front of Blaine), Verda Coley, Carrie McMurdie, Clara Coley, RaNae Coley, ?, Martha Coley, ?, Steven Coley.  Second row from front standing: Shirley Coley, ?, Evan Jonas, Lona Jonas, ?.  Back row of sitting children:  Dean Coley, Gary Coley, David Coley (partially hidden), Stephen Coley, Bob Jonas.  Second row of children sitting: Kathy Coley, ?, Doug Thomson, ?.  Front row: Lillian Thomson, ?(child held by Lillian), Ren Bowcutt, Lillian Bowcutt, Mary Coley, ?, Joy Coley, Janice Coley, Nina Coley, Susan Thomson.

Now comes the fun part of linking everyone together.  I will only link together those in the photo, so this is not the entire family.

Martha Christiansen Coley (1879 – 1961).

Lillian Coley Jonas Bowcutt (1898 – 1987), daughter of Martha, married to Ren Bowcutt (1883 – 1966), previously married to Joseph Nelson Jonas(1893 – 1932).

Evan Reed Jonas (1928 – 1999), son of Lillian, married to Lona Rae Jensen Jonas (1930 – 2012).

Edna Coley Andrus Neilson (1900 – 1983), daughter of Martha, married to Olof Alma Neilson (1891 – 1960).

Carrie Christiansen McMurdie (1906 – 1992), daughter of Martha, married Joseph Lorus McMurdie (1905 – 2000).

Hannah Marie Coley Thomson (1909 – 1982), daughter of Martha, married to William Surgeoner Thomson (1903 – 1985).

William McBlaine Thomson (1928 – 2001), son of William and Hannah, married to Lillian Moss Thomson.

Susan and Doug Thomson, children of William and Lillian Thomson.

Ivan Stephen Coley (1912 – 1994), son of Martha and not pictured, married to Clara McMurdie Coley (1914 – 2012).

Clarene RaNae Coley, daughter of Ivan and Clara.

Oley Lloyd Coley (1918 – 1998), son of Martha, married to Verda Anderson Coley (1918 – 2013).

Alice Maxine, Betty Jean, Lloyd Dean, and Nina Rae Coley, children of Lloyd and Verda.  (Is Verda Gay in the picture?)

Arthur Christiansen Coley (1921 – 2004), son of Martha, married to Mary Popwitz Jonas Coley.

Stephen Coley, son of Art and Mary Coley (Is Ronald Gary in the photo?).

Bob Jonas, son of Irwin John Jonas (1921 – 1944, son of Joseph Nelson Jonas and Lillian Coley Jonas Bowcutt) and Mary Popwitz Jonas Coley.

William Golden Coley (1924 – 2009), son of Martha, married to Shirley Hall Coley.

Shirley Kathleen (Kathy), Joy Ann, David Lynn, and Janice Coley, children of Golden and Shirley Coley.

Do you know the ? individuals in the photo, if so, please let me know.

Update: LOST:OLD TRUNK

I am republishing this old post with a pretty cool little update.  I first published this post on the 26th of October 2006.  I am happy to report that while the trunk was not located, its contents have been!  I will not disclose where these contents were found, the important part is that family once again has these items.  Future posts will start to share these contents as I have the opportunity to review, scan, and make it available.  There are some pretty cool, and useless, items in these contents.  Everything from tokens obtained in Cigarette packs for Hoppie’s Billards in Richmond, Cache, Utah to a stash of photos that I can only hope we can name all the individuals captured.  Calendars from 1934 to mail received in the 1940’s.  Telegrams regarding the bringing of a body home (9 years after dying in World War II) to receipts from the Benson Stake (Richmond, Utah) Tithing Office.  Franklin Institute flyers from 1930 to a wallet of my Great Grandfather containing receipts from the day he died in 1932.  This will be fun.  None of the journals have been found yet.  The flag from her son’s coffin is not present (yet).  The person is still looking to see if there are more items, which I hope there are.  As a taste, here is a photo from a negative found in the contents of Yellowstone Falls.
Thanks be given for this modern miracle.

Yellowstone Falls about 1966

Here is the original post.
Here will certainly be a different blog. It is both a prayer and an announcement for the world. There is also a hope that the miracles of God
will be manifest. I ask that those who read would offer up a prayer and hope for the same.

My Great Grandmother, Lillian Coley Jonas Bowcutt, grew up in the mountains to the south-east of Richmond, Utah. She was born to Herbert and Martha Christiansen Coley in 1898 and was the eldest of 10 children. In 1916 she married Joseph Nelson Jonas in the Logan Temple and had 8
children.

Joseph Herbert Jonas
Spencer Gilbert Jonas
Irwin John Jonas
Wilburn Norwood Jonas
Evan Reed Jonas
Ellis Seth Jonas
Lillian Jonas
LeReta Jonas

In 1932, Joseph, her husband was electrocuted working for the railroad in Ogden, Utah. His father had worked for the railroad, and most of his family also worked for the railroad. He was made manager and had moved to Ogden from Richmond only a year or two before.

The family moved back to Richmond. Lillian then did her best to raise the boys. She remarried in about 1959 to Lorenzo (Ren) Bowcutt in Preston, Idaho. Ren died in about 1966. She lived alone mostly until the mid 80’swhen she moved in with her daughter, Lillian, in Layton, Utah.  Here is the reason for writing. Through all these years, she kept a trunk with personal possessions. Contained therein are the birth certificates of all her children. We know she kept journals through most of her life in calendar books issued by the insurance companies. There are at least 10 of these journals in the trunk. There are a couple photo albums that were hers and her mother’s. Also there is the flag that draped her son’s coffin after his death in WWII. There are apparently some books that came over with her grandfather from England.

This trunk of is wonderful value when it comes to family history work. The only thing that might be of any worth is the trunk, but it is so old and
worn that I cannot imagine it would hold any monetary value.  Somehow, for what reasons I do not know, my grandmother ended up with the
trunk. I only remember it being placed in one of the upstairs bedrooms of my grandmother’s house and we were forbidden to look in it. She placed a television on it when we were younger to keep it from younger hands. It sat in that same space, even until I left to go to England for my mission.

In 1999, she died, and shortly thereafter, somebody broke into her house.  The trunk is one of the objects that were stolen. My aunt was living there at the time but insists she has no idea who made off with it. She thinks it is somebody she knew or knows. There might be other items that were taken, but the official inventory was not taken for another week or two afterward.

So here is the plea. This trunk would have little or no value to anyone who is not a member of the Jonas/Coley family. I sincerely hope that whoever did this deed, friend or foe of the family, would not have carelessly thrown away or destroyed the trunk and its contents. In fact, I don’t care about the trunk. But it is the possessions of the trunk which are of great interest at present. All living members of the family still ask me
regularly about the trunk. Their own birth certificates are in there. I am interested in the history and priceless information contained within that
trunk.

Here is the plea to those who come upon this blog. If you are searching for the owner of the trunk, please contact me. While there are no individuals who would possess the names in the trunk in Southern Idaho, I hope you stumble on this blog. There will be no questions asked, we just want the inventory, any of it. If you are just reading and can understand the plight, please offer a prayer to heaven in our behalf that this priceless gem is returned to those who would honour and cherish it. This is a deep and sincere desire of my heart.

Jorgensen and Christensen

Robert Mathis shared with me this copy of a short history written by Amanda Emilie Jorgensen.  It is a history of her parents, my fourth Great Grandparents.  It also has a reference to Hanna’s parents.  This was written around 1933.
History of my Parents

My father Olaves Jorgensen was born in Drammen Norway 19 November 1830.

When he was twelve years old he started working in a saw mill for Mr Kjer.

My mother Hannah Mathea Christensen was born in Drammen Norway fourteen November 1831. She was a dressmaker when she was old enough to work. They were married fourth november 1855 in Drammen Norway. Two girls were born there. Constanse and Olga. Then Mr. Kjer transferred Father to Fredrikstad Norway to another saw mill and he worked there until he came to America in 1896.

Mother was very religious and always went to some kind of church but never felt satisfied. She lived in an apartment house and was talking to a lady named Mrs. Ask that lived across the hall. Religion was mentioned and mother said she wanted to find a religion that baptised people like Jesus was baptised.

Mrs. Ask asked her if she had ever heard about the Mormon people and mother said no. Mrs. Ask said to be ready Sunday afternoon and she would take her to hear the Mormon Elders.

As soon as mother heard the Elders preach she knew it was the true church. The Priest and other people tried to tell her it was wrong but she wouldn’t listen. The Elders had to take her to the ocean to be baptised after dark as they would be arrested and put in jaail if they were seen baptising people.

Mother was a very faithful member and the missionaries were always welcome in their home. She was President of the Relief Society for years.

Father wanted to join but didn’t dare to because he knew he would lose his job. Father was baptised just before he and mother came to Utah.

They went directly to Richmond Utah in Cache Valley to be near their daughter Othelia. They were here four years and had never had the opportunity to go to the temple when mother died in November, 1900. Father and Othelia and Constanse came to Logan and did the work for mother and she was sealed to Father. Father died in November 1904 and they were both buried in Richmond Utah.

Mother told me that the pastor of the Luteran Church said her parents Christen Hansen and Marie Evensen were the most beautiful couple he had ever married while he was a pastor.

More of the same; Life

Time keeps ticking by too quickly sometimes.  I have so much to write but not as much time as I would like to do it in.  Such is the limitations in the probationary game.  There are plenty of achievements to report though in the past week or two.
This evening I spoke with Gerald Neuffer in Columbia, Missouri.  In a most random turn of events, I noticed that a Jenna Neuffer became friends with my friend, Kami Lowe on Facebook.  With a name as rare as Neuffer, I knew all odds were in my favor of having a near shared ancestry.  I sent Miss Neuffer a message and asked for her Grandfather’s name and phone number.  Which she supplied.  Come to find out, I even had Gerald already in my family history.  I just had his first name Myron (Gerald is his middle name but he goes by it.  Probably due to remove confusion with his father’s name being Myron).  He knew the Andra’s well and said he remembered Millie, who was just younger than him.  Funny how small a world it is.  He went to get his PhD and never left Columbia after moving there in 1947.  We conversed for a little while he dug for information verifying I was not this total stranger calling for his family history for some other sinister reason.  He sounds like a good guy.  He asked if I was doing genealogy.  I confirmed I was and that I was the family historian.  He then happily related he was basically that for the Neuffer/Nuffer family.  I was definitely glad to hear that.  What is the chances of the Andra historian running into the Nuffer historian in Columbia Missouri?  Very far removed from Preston, Idaho!
I received a phone call from Jacqui yesterday about the Phibbs/Ross/Beachell family.  I tried returning her call and spoke with her mother for a few minutes.  I am glad she finally returned my message.  I only left it in May!  That was before we moved!
In other news, there was an e-mail that found its way to me from Robert in Fresno, California.  A most interesting question.  He asked if I knew of any of the siblings of my Constance Jorgensen.  I always felt Constance most likely had siblings but was never able to find any.  Between her parents marriage and Constance’s birth, there is twelve years.  I was sure there were other siblings.  Olavus and Hanna Mathea Jorgensen immigrated with Constance and settled in Richmond, Utah.  Constance married Ole Christiansen and gave birth to my Great Great Grandmother Martha Christiansen who is the mother of my Lillian Coley.  Constance died in Portland, Oregon while visiting and was buried there.  In the whole episode, I knew some day I would have to do some research in Norway to find the rest of this family.  Well, Robert e-mailed me asking me if his grandmother, Amanda Jorgensen Swensen could be a child of Olavus and Hanna.  He produced a copy of a hand written copy pedigree she had produced in 1935.  Sure enough, everything lined up.  Well, Amanda was born another 12 years after my Constance (24 after the marriage of the parents).  She immigrated to Utah a good 10 years after her parents and sibling came over and settled in Logan, Utah.  By the time she arrived her parents were both deceased and her sister had married.  It seems that she never knew she was only 15 miles from her parent’s graves and her sister.  The exciting news is that Amanda gave us the names of her siblings, none of which made it to America to her knowledge.  We added the 5 siblings.  Don’t know their ages, but definitely gives some more to go from.  That will give us much more to go from when the time for the Norway research begins.
I am happy to report I completed the New Testament this evening.  I am one day late.  If I had read the one chapter a day, I would have finished yesterday.  Last weekend put me just off enough that I did not catch up in time.  I completed the Book of Mormon on schedule this year on August 27th.  Now I can go through some General Conference talks and some other reading for the year.  Next year is the Doctrine and Covenants which you can almost read three times in a year.  I think I will just do it twice though.
The ward continues to blossom when it comes to family history.  It seems like people are doing their homework, research, and compiling regularly.  I have e-mails at least once or twice a week for help on something.  That is an indication something is going on.  That is definitely something which is a good thing.
Online the family history work continues to reveal new and interesting things.  I received an e-mail from a Homer Mason.  He was inquiring concerning the Jonas family in Washington State.  Come to find out, Anna Jonas is his Grandmother.  Anna was the daughter of William Jonas who was the brother to my Joseph Jonas; father to my great grandfather Joseph Nelson Jonas.  He knows very little so it has been fun introducing him to the family.  I have especially enjoyed his research on a line of the family I have not been able to crack.  It has proved not to be an easy line for him, but with his living in Yakima, he is much closer and capable of doing the work than I can.  I really hope I am accepted to the University of Idaho for Law School.  Then I could work on the Jonas, Ross, and Sharp lines in Washington State.
Stepping back to the Andra family.  This past weekend Amanda and I took a trip to Washington DC for our monthly temple visit.  But a new aspect as emerged.  My Great Uncle and Aunt, Donald and Lolane Andra, are now serving a mission in the temple.  We went up Friday night and stayed with Amanda’s Uncle and Aunt in Springfield.  Saturday we picked up Don and Lolane and made our way to Mt. Vernon.  They thoroughly enjoyed themselves.  It was the 18th Century Fair so there were masses of people.  Don and Lolane are good and quick on their feet.  Despite being in their 60’s they move well.  Don reminds me so much of my Great Grandpa.  I get a kick out of both of them.  We were limited on time as they had to be to the temple to work later in the afternoon.  We did probably the fastest walking tour of Mt. Vernon I can imagine.  We zoomed all over the grounds, through the fair, and then back up to their apartment to change and attend the temple.
On a side note, as I went into the endowment room, I noticed the officiator’s name was John Whatcott.  I looked at him and asked if he was from Kanosh.  He looked a bit surprised at me and said he grew up there.  I told him of the Whatcott’s I knew.  After the session he asked me to remain in the celestial room so we could visit.  We had a great visit.  Come to find out he knows Don and Lolane from St. George.  Small world.  Don knew which session we were on and waited for us to leave the celestial room.  He walked us down to the next floor and we parted again.  I met Don’s Home Teaching companion, Elder Toronto, while picking up Amanda’s Aunt’s glasses from the temple lost and found.  Funny how interlinked the world is, at least in the church.
I have not made mention of it yet, but I am going from contractor status to full associate status at Bank of America.  Meaning, I will be an employee of Bank of America and not an at will person filling a seat.  Many companies now do the contractor business as they can then hire on employees after they have shown their worth.  I must have done well enough for them to offer me employment starting October 1.  I am excited.  Business has been picking up.  I don’t know if it is from the crunch in the market or what.  Bank of America definitely stands on higher ground than those feeling the squeeze or sinking under the housing market.  One thing is for sure, with this rate cut, we are expecting the next month to be hectic.
My birthday came and went just like every other day or the year.  I am back to being congratulated for it being my unbirthday.  I received all sorts of e-mails (which will take me a good week to respond to them all), many messages on Facebook, and a couple of cards and gifts.  Amanda and I enjoyed a nice big meal at Chili’s for dinner.  We joked about it being our triannual beef night.  It is birthdays or anniversary that I get to eat a steak.  Monday was a 12 oz Ribeye.  Mmmm, so good.  That is of course not mentioning the Idaho potatos.  Amanda got me a shirt, a jump drive, and something else which slips me at the moment.  I also received a journal, a few checks, and some other random memorabilia.  I honestly don’t feel any different now than I think I did when I was 19.  Except the fact my knee was reconstructed in 2004 and doesn’t give me the issues it did at 19.  So I guess I feel better than at 19.  I have filled out in stature, even added a little padding in the middle,  and perhaps a little wiser.  Life is good.
My blessings continue to flow despite my inept nature.  I continue to be given the little peaceable things of the kingdom from time to time.  They make the living and endurance all worth it.  Line upon line right?  Sometimes I wish it was more page upon page, but alas, I am not the one running the show.  Church goes well.  I feel spiritually well.  Not the muscular behemoth I would like to be spiritually, but I feel strong enough to do what needs to be done and any forseeable adventure.