Cove Fort

Having taken work all over the western United States during the great depression, David Delos Donaldson finally landed employment at the Ogden Depot in 1937 as Supervisor of Maintenance.  In 1939, he took his wife, Berendena Van Leeuwen Donaldson, back to California for an extended trip to visit family on both the Donaldson and Van Leeuwen family lines.

David and Dena hit the 1939 San Francisco World Fair and then wound their way over to Phoenix and up through Utah back home to Ogden.  A number of photos exist from this trip, including these two from Cove Fort, Utah.

David and Dena Donaldson at Cove Fort, Utah

 

David and Dave Donaldson at Cove Fort, Utah

On 4 November 2017, our little Ross family traveled to Cedar City, Utah for the Cedar City Temple Open House.

We immensely enjoyed our visit.  Well worth the trip.  Beautiful temple in every regard.

Cedar City Temple

 

Paul, Amanda, Aliza, Hiram, Lillian, and James Ross at the Cedar City Temple Open House

 

Jill Hemsley with Aliza, Hiram, Lillian, and James Ross at Cedar City Temple Open House

After we drove past Cove Fort on the way down, I kept thinking of the picture of my Great Grandfather David Donaldson and Grand Uncle Dave Donaldson from 1939.  I knew on the way back I wanted to stop and see if I could find the same site.

We stopped and had a great visit with the missionaries who serve at the site.  They also helped us find the spot of the picture from 1939 and we took the following picture.

Paul, Amanda, Aliza, Hiram, Lillian, and James Ross with Jill Hemsley recreating a 1939 photo of David and Dave Donaldson.

Here is the photo again for comparison.  The door behind Uncle Dave is the one behind Aliza and Jill.  The grey rock at the right of the bottom window behind me is the same to the right of Dave.

David and Dave Donaldson at Cove Fort, Utah

The missionaries had to visit with others about the history of Cove Fort.  The large tree in the old picture was only removed a few years ago, along with the well that David and Dave are standing in front.  We were able to figure out which side of the fort from the shadows (both sides look the same).  The fort was restored in the 1990s, so you can see the improvements in the windows, mortar, and the top of the walls above the roof.    But the photo is roughly the same area and vicinity.

I literally stood on the ground where my Great Grandfather David Donaldson walked some 78 years earlier.  Thanks to my family for indulging me.

The fort was an interesting place to learn and stop as well.  I recommend any passing through to stop.

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Flanders

John William Ross tombstone

(I originally published this in 2008.  I edited it and updated it with pictures for today.)

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.

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.

Growing up in Idaho means we had little or no realization of any war.  There are small war memorials inside of cemeteries 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 had been to their graves but they were 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 or two on the way to the mission office.  I did notice the cenotaph.  I thought how oddly placed it was.  It was something that we have relegated mostly to cemeteries in the US.  Once and a while you find one in front of a town or city hall.

While I served in Hyde, Cheshire once of the way we knew where to turn in town was at the cenotaphs.  The same in Dukinfield.  When we arrived early at one member’s house we would loiter at the cenotaph to street contact until time for dinner.  A number of times I thought how oddly placed these things were.  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.

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.

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.

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

Mary Stoker 81st Anniversary

One of the fun and frustrating parts of family history is how it keeps changing on you.  There are always more records, there is always more documentation on your ancestors.  Most of it is mundane and useless, even if it does give you a partial hint on your family.  But sometimes you stumble upon a gem.  As I did with this newspaper clipping.

I thought I had scoured Ogden’s Standard Examiner pretty thoroughly for familial references.  Nevertheless, I was searching for something entirely different and found this article.  I don’t know if I missed it before or if search capabilities have improved and caught now what I could not catch 5 or 8 years ago when I went through the Standard Examiner records.

Here is the entire page of the paper.

Page 7A of Ogden, Utah’s Standard Examiner, Sunday 19 April 1950

A couple of thoughts about the entire page.

100 Gladiolus bulbs for $1.69!

I love when they reference someone in the paper they give their home address.

Sears Roebuck & Co.  May soon be another thing of the past, despite being an institution of the American way of life for over 150 years.

Mattresses seem to be pretty much the same as they were 67 years ago.  Not that I expect lots of change, but other than these new foam mattresses, things appear to be much the same.

Call Sears at 2-5331!

Combination Offer, box springs and mattress only $42.88!

Utah’s Senator, Elbert D. Thomas has a new book out, “One Nation Under God” only $2.75.  I don’t think I can see a Senator now out selling a religious principles book.

Washers have changed a great deal since 1950.

Alcoholics Anonymous is still going strong today.

Anyhow, on to the reason why I am writing this post.  Mary E Stoker is my Great, Great Grandmother.  I have written about her previously.  But this little newspaper article tells us some things at least I had never known.

“An open house to honor Mary E. Stoker, old time resident of Weber county, on her 81st birthday anniversary, will bbe held Sunday, Apr 9, at the home of her son, J. E. Donaldson, 120 E street, Salt Lake City.  Relatives and friends are invited to attend.

“Mrs. Stoker was born April 7, 1869, in Ogden, a daughter of David D and Gwendolyn Jordan Williams, pioneer converts from Wales.  She spent her early childhood in Slaterville and moved to Ogden when she was 15 years old.

“She was married to William Scott Donaldson in Ogden, October 1890.  They had six children, William George Donaldson, and John Edmund Donaldson, Salt Lake City; David Delos Donaldson, Ogden; Ellis Donaldson, Pocatello, Idaho; Irvin T. Donaldson, West San Pablo, Calif.; Alvin Donaldson, Green River, Wyo.  Mr. Donaldson died Sept. 12, 1913.

“In 1918 she was married to Anthon Edward Peterson in Ogden.  Several years after Mr. Peterson’s death she was married to Thomas Stoker of Huntsville.  She has six sons, 22 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.  She also has three brothers, Hyrum Williams, John H. Williams, and Joseph Williams, Ogden, and one sister, Mrs. Louise Layman, Ogden.

“Mrs. Stoker remembers when there were not over 10 houses east of Washington, when mud was hub deep to wagons in stormy weather.  She remembers the first street cars, the first street lights and the first volunteer fire department.

“She went to Salt Lake City with her moth to attend Brigham Young’s funeral.  She was personally acquainted with Lorin Farr, first mayor of Ogden, D. H. Peery, Job Pingree, Franklin D. Richards, John Scowcroft, John Guthrie, W. H. Wright, George Kerr, Bernard White, Winslow Farr, Robert McQuarrie, and their families.  She knew most of the early settles of Weber county.

“Mrs. Stoker says there has been so much progress since her childhood that she takes great interest in new developments, inventions and methods of doing things.  She is so sure that many more wonderful inventions are just a few years away and she wants to live to be at least 100 years old because she enjoys seeing progress.

Much of that seemed standard and information we knew.  But she went to Brigham Young’s funeral when she was about 8 years old.  Why did her mother take her to the funeral.  Brigham did not serve any of his missions in Wales, so I doubt they were converts or knew him while he was a missionary.  But Gwenllian had enough regard for him that she traveled to Salt Lake City to say farewell.  Enough that she even took her daughter.  But that is an interesting side note to Mary.

The other information is more history of Ogden.  I am curious how well she knew the people listed in the article and how she knew them.  Now about half of the list does not mean anything to me.  As a non-Ogdenite, only a few of the names I am familiar.  Farr, Peery, and Richards.  The rest of these are lost on me and I will have to research their significance to her and the paper for another time.

Just a few more interesting insights into the lady I know as Mary Elizabeth Donaldson.

Here is a much better copy of the photo from the newspaper article.  She died 29 March 1951.

Hewitt Photo?

My cousin, Lee Koldewyn, provided this photo to me.  He obtained this photo from his grandparents, Andrew and Maria Hewitt over 50 years ago.  He believes the photo is of family, but is unsure about who.  I offered to post it for him to see if that will give any other leads.

From the face of the photo, it was photographed by H. H. Thomas of Washington Avenue, Ogden, Weber, Utah.  Heber Harris Thomas ran his Washington Avenue shop from the late 1880s to 1909.  He started his shop and was called to serve a mission to the British Isles.  He returned about 1890, so this photo is likely in that time period between 1890 and 1909.

The clothing would definitely point to the 1880s and 1890s, but an older woman into the early 1900s might still be wearing that fashion, so the clothing fits the time period but does not narrow the years.

Lastly, the lady is older in the photo.  At a minimum she is 70, so we are looking for a person that is over her 70th birthday or so during when Thomas was running his studio.

Maria Hewitt is a sister to my Berendena Van Leeuwen Donaldson (1898 – 1959).  Maria Van Leeuwen was born 15 November 1893 in Ogden.  Her parents were George & Harmina Van Leeuwen.  None of Maria’s grandparents made it to Utah from Netherlands to have their photos taken in Thomas’ studio.    I have enough pictures of Harmina Janzen Van Leeuwen (1860-1921) to know that the photo is not of her.  That means we can turn from my Van Leeuwen clan to that of the Hewitt clan.

Of course, we have nothing to say for certain whether this photo is a relative of Andrew George Hewitt, but there is an assumption this person is related to Andrew.

Andrew George Hewitt was born 17 September 1892 in Marriott, Weber, Utah.  His parents were George Joseph Lemuel Hewitt (29 February 1872 – 7 March 1946) and Prudence Ekins (22 May 1862 – 18 November 1948).  While Prudence lived to be 86 years old, her time over 70 is outside the time frame for which Thomas was photographing in Ogden.  She is not a candidate.

George Joseph Lemuel Hewitt’s mother was Clarissa Wilson born 29 April 1836 in Green, Richland, Ohio.  She passed away 18 August 1890 in Ogden.  She died at the age of 54.  I could not locate any photos for her.  While she fits the location, she does not quite fit the correct time frame for the age of the lady in the photo nor is she quite fit the time frame for Thomas’ studio.  Does not seem a likely option.

Prudence Ekins’ mother was Rebecca Burnham born 20 March 1829 in Moulton Seas End, Lincolnshire, England.  She passed away 29 September 1894 in Slaterville, Weber, Utah.  She died at the age of 65 years.  I could locate some photos of her and she was a thin, narrow faced woman.  She does not appear to have any relation to the woman in the photo.  Her location fits, her age is not quite so sure, and Thomas was operative during that time.

That excludes both of Andrew’s grandmothers.  Does he have any great grandmothers who might match?

Clarissa Wilson Hewitt mentioned above was the daughter of Agnes Hunter.  Agnes Hunter Wilson was born 27 December 1811 in Erie, Erie, Pennsylvania.  She died 7 February 1886 in Ogden.  While I could not find out the exact year Thomas opened his studio, there may have been some overlap in time frames.  She died at the age of 74.  The only photos I could locate of her was when she was younger.  A number of features of Agnes could match the woman above, but there were also many distinguishing features.  The nose, mouth, and lines of the younger Agnes Hunter Wilson just do not seem to fully line up.  However, I could maybe be convinced that Agnes was a relative of the lady above.  Here is Agnes Hunter Wilson’s photo from FamilySearch.

Agnes Hunter Wilson (1811 – 1886)

Matching the photos, if this is indeed a photo of Agnes Hunter Wilson, shows similar bone structure, but very different noses and mouths.  I am not convinced these are one and the same, but could they be related.

Agnes had one sister, Mary, but she died in 1878 and could not have been photographed by Thomas.

Comparing the photos of Agnes’ daughters (Clarissa’s sisters) and none of them fit the bill.  I could not find photos of all the sisters and the ones I did do not match the woman at the top.  None of Clarissa’s daughters would have been old enough to be photographed by Thomas.

Ultimately, I am not convinced this is Agnes Hunter Wilson, nor could I find an ancestor of Andrew Joseph Lemuel Hewitt that seemed to match.  Nothing of the family resemblance matches the Van Leeuwen side.

Hopefully I have provided enough information someone could find this post.  Hopefully someone has a similar photo of this woman to make the connection.

 

8th Street in Ogden, Utah

While in Ogden, Utah, last weekend, I was driving north on the old highway.  On a whim, I wondered if the home my Great Grandparents lived in on 8th Street was still there.  I pulled over and found my previous post to find the address and the photos of the home.

As I wrote then about David and Dena Donaldson, the home is located at 629 8th Street, Ogden, Weber, Utah.  I believe the address has stayed constant, but I am not sure.

A newspaper accident referenced a plumbing accident with David D Donaldson in the story, living at 629 8th Street, on 30 July 1926.

I found a published newspaper jury summons indicating David D Donaldson was still living in the house on 19 December 1935.

If I remember correctly, my grandparents were married in this home 4 April 1942.

Here are the photos I have of the home.

Nice long side shot of the home.

Donaldson 8th Street home with back addition

A close up of the front porch.

Dena, Gladys, Maxine, Dora holding Dave Donaldson (Dena and Dora are twins and may be switched)

Well, I found the house.  I was not sure it was even still there, but sure enough, I could recognize it from the old photos.

Not to be creepy, I knocked on the door.  I explained why I was bothering the lady who answered and even showed her the first photo above.  The lady said they had just purchased the home about a month ago.  They were in the military and moved in.  She gave me permission to take some photos of the home.

West side view of 629 8th Street

 

East side of 629 8th Street

 

Porch up close of 627 8th Street

Can you see the five children sitting on the porch?  The spigot is no longer there on the right side of the steps.  It was interesting to me walking up to the door as I imagined my grandmother, Gladys Maxine Donaldson Ross, sitting there in the very middle.  The railing is gone, the posts obviously updated, and a new deck.

Another shot of the front door

If walls could talk, what would they say?

I don’t think I realized the home had a basement.  Here is a YouTube video with some shots inside the house.

 

 

 

Eagle Scout

I received my Eagle Scout on 19 October 1993 making it 23 years ago!  Where does the time go?  Here are some photos of that occasion.

Newspaper clipping from the South Idaho Press.

Newspaper clipping from the South Idaho Press.

My Dad, Milo Ross, is also an Eagle Scout, so he could make the award to me.  Mom refused to step into a Mormon church, so my Grandma, Gladys Donaldson Ross, stood in for her.  Mom finally showed up and came in and then became offended because Grandma stood in her place.  Sometimes you cannot win!

The Court of Honor.

The Court of Honor.  Me, Grandma, Dad on stage with the Eagle Nest.

paul-ross-eagle-court-of-honor-with-gladys-and-milo-ross

 

Dad shaking my hand afterward for photos.

Dad shaking my hand for a photo for the newspaper.

Here is one of those awkward teen photos.  Dad had me take a picture before we went to the Court of Honor.  I borrowed someone else’s pants so they did not fit.  I was already in love with the green trousers.

paul-ross-eagle-uniform

I have a couple of the invitations and the programs for the Court of Honor.  Next time I stumble on them I should scan a copy so they are also saved for posterity.  Just remember, we all go through that awkward teenage stage.

Shall thirst again

Ross CD 098

This is an interesting photo as it was in my Great Grandma and Great Grandpa’s photo albums.  David Delos Donaldson and Berendena Van Leeuwen Donaldson.  I assume it is from a trip they took to California.  Maybe they knew the person in the photo, I don’t know.  One of those photos that evoke more questions than answers.  I believe this picture was taken in 1919.

Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again:

But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.

John 4:13-14.