I thought I would write about Edward William Sharp today (some also list him as William Edward Sharp, I am not clear which is correct), known to the family as Uncle Ed. He has a tender, yet thorny, position in the family.
Edward William Sharp was born 25 October 1887 in Plain City, Weber, Utah, the seventh child to Milo and Lilly Sharp. My Great Grandmother, Ethel, was Ed’s younger sister, number 11 in line. I have written more of Ethel’s marriage to Jack Ross. Ed Sharp comes into the family line more closely when Ethel died in 1925. She left behind five children, namely: June, Milo, Paul, Harold, and Earnest. The four children were taken back to Paul, Minidoka, Idaho in 1925 to be raised by their Ross grandparents, James and Catherine Ross, while Jack got back on his feet. As winter came and progressed the family struggled. Earnest passed away the fall of 1925 in Rupert, Idaho. Jack was gone for unknown reasons and James and Catherine called Ethel’s family to come get the four children. Starting that winter of 1925-26, Milo Ross was raised by his Uncle Ed. June went to live with her paternal grandparents, the Streeters in Ogden. Paul and Harold were raised by Ed’s siblings, Vic Hunt and Del Sharp respectively. Sadly, Paul fell from a loft in a barn in 1932, broke his arm, and suffered a concussion that would take his life in 1932.
Edward Sharp met and married Lillie Elva East 13 May 1909 in Plain City. She was born 16 February 1888 in nearby Warren, Weber, Utah. Together they had 10 children.
Edna Louise Sharp born 11 January 1910 in Plain City.
Florence Evelyn Sharp born 30 June 1911 in Plain City.
Marjorie Lillian Sharp born 23 June 1913 in Plain City.
Ethel Sharp born 8 July 1917 in Plain City.
Elmer George Sharp born 15 June 1919 in Plain City and died 12 November 1923 in Plain City.
Ruby Elaine Sharp born 13 February 1922 in Plain City.
Milo Riley Sharp born 27 November 1927 in Ogden.
Josephine Sharp born 18 March 1927 in Ogden.
Edward Junior Sharp born 24 January 1930 in Ogden.
Dean Sharp born 28 April 1935 in Ogden.
As a reminder, Grandpa, Milo Ross, was born in 1921 in Plain City. He falls right in the middle of the entire family and became one of the siblings. To tell the difference between Milo Ross and Milo Sharp, I will use their last name.
Unfortunately, things were not quite that easy. Ed farmed a nice little farm in Plain City. He also had some cows, pigs, and other animals. The family grew up in the Depression with all the anxieties and difficulties that came with it. Fortunately the farm was mostly paid for and the farm provided for itself and the family.
Despite technically being blood to Ed, Milo Ross was treated differently than the other children. Milo Ross was not allowed to eat with the rest of the family. When the family was done with the meal, then Milo Ross could eat. Often alone. Milo Ross was expected to work longer than the rest of the family, into the time while the rest of them ate. Milo Ross was also expected to arise earlier and get things in order for the day before the rest of the family. He did not often get to eat with the rest of the family for breakfast and often only got some bread and milk. He was also given some of the more undesirable jobs around the farm. For example, it was his job to tend the onions which often left him smelling of them and he found that embarrassing.
Ed also had some drinking issues and had a certain temper. Of course his family saw the issues that arose as part of the alcohol, but it was Milo Ross who felt it. He was the one who suffered the wrath of Ed’s drinking bouts at the end of a belt or sometimes worse. While Milo Ross loved his cousin-siblings, the relationship was not as kindred with Ed.
Milo Ross was only one year in age from Ruby who he ran around the countryside with. They were close enough that they would hold hands. They did quite a bit together. He was also close to Milo Sharp, but he was still three years behind him in age. The older siblings, Edna (who went by Louise), Florence, and Ethel were good to him, but were close to each other and did mostly their own thing. Ed kept Milo Ross busy that he did not get as much time with the younger children but he grew close with Josephine and Edward (known as Eddie in the family). Dean was young enough that he was around him some, but did not have as close of a relationship.
As I mentioned in the story of Ed’s parents William & Mary Ann Sharp, she also went by Lilly, the Sharp and Stoker families came to Utah as converts to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. A number of issues arose in Plain City and families left the church. Ed’s parents followed that suit remaining with the Episcopalian faith. Ed and Lillie did as well, but were not very active. The Mormons continued to work on bringing the families back to the church. The Sharp family started to work through Delwin’s family first and the faith spread through Ed’s nieces and nephews and into his own family. Only one of Ed’s siblings joined the LDS faith while alive, and that was Vic in 1975.
Marjorie, Ethel, and Ruby all joined through the waters of baptism on 12 May 1939. Milo Ross joined 2 July 1939 (only after 18 as Ed would not give consent otherwise). Louise, Florence, Milo Sharp, Josephine, and Eddie all joined 3 January 1943. Dean was the last on 31 October 1943, he was not 8 in January to join with the remainder of his siblings.
As soon as Milo was of age, he looked for opportunities to get out. He eventually married, moved in with his in-laws, and then the impending war took his services abroad.
Milo Ross did not tell only negative about Uncle Ed. Grandpa regularly told of how he learned to work hard under Uncle Ed. While somewhat an outsider, Ed kept in contact with the extended family and Grandpa’s position in the family meant he was regularly tending to his Grandmother, Lilly Sharp mentioned above. While it was his strict duty to clean out his Grandma’s bedpan, keep the kitchen and house wood split and stocked, and whatever else she needed or wanted. Grandpa relished those moments in her home and with her.
Lillie East Sharp died 4 September 1942 while separated from her husband. She had started divorce proceedings but died before they completed. She was buried in Plain City. Milo Ross remembered her as a beautiful lady who he sometimes told his woes, but she acknowledged the issues but took no steps to resolve them.
Ed died 24 August 1962 in Othello, Adams, Washington. The family brought him home and buried him in Plain City too.