Geraldine Pitcher Jonas

Aunt Geraldine “Jerri” Pitcher Jonas passed away in May.  I wish to share her obituary and a number of photos I have of her.

Geraldine ‘Jerri’ Jonas, 85, returned to our Heavenly Father on 26 May 2016.  She was born 1 October 1930 in Smithfield, Cache, Utah to Mary Geraldine Fulkerson and Ronald Nelson Pitcher.

She grew up in Smithfield and graduated from North Cache High School in Richmond, Cache, Utah, in 1948.

She married Ellis Seth Jonas on 18 August 1947. They were sealed in the Logan Utah LDS Temple on 24 April 1964.

She was very industrious and resourceful in all she did. She spent many hours working in her flower gardens, surrounding herself with the beauty they brought.

She took many horticulture and flower design classes at Utah State University prior to opening Jerri’s Floral and Greenhouse in 1976. Her successful business lasted for over 24 years before she retired.

Jerri was an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She served as Relief Society president, Primary president, and as a counselor in the stake Young Women’s presidency along with many other callings. She served a LDS full-time mission with her husband, Ellis Seth Jonas, in the Arkansas Little Rock Mission from 1993-94.

She was very active in community service for Smithfield and Cache County. She played a big part in designing and making floats for Smithfield Health Days. She was known and appreciated by all who knew for her willingness to serve.

She is our beloved mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, wife and friend. She was proceeded in death by her husband, Ellis Seth Jonas; her sons, Kent Ronald Jonas and Dan Ellis Jonas; parents, Mary Geraldine Fulkerson and Ronald Nelson Pitcher. She is survived by her children, Mary Lou Jonas (Jarel Hoyt), Julie Ann Jonas (Darnell Kowallis), and Ronald Nelson Jonas (Denise Chambers); and sisters, Faye Pitcher (Don Schiess) and Jenness Pitcher Pond. She has 11 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, 4 June 2016, at the LDS meetinghouse at 79 E. 200 South, in Smithfield.
A viewing will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. on 3 June 2016, at Nelson Funeral Home, located at 85 S. Main St., in Smithfield. There will be a viewing for family and friends from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. prior to the services at the church. She will be laid to rest in the Smithfield City Cemetery.

Friend and Jerri

Friend and Jerri

 

School Picture

School Picture

 

Jerri is in the back between Evan and Lona, to the right of Ellis

Jerri is in the back between Evan and Lona, to the right of Ellis

 

B: Julie, Dan, Mary Lou, F: Ellis, Ron, Jerri

B: Julie, Dan, Mary Lou, F: Ellis, Ron, Jerri

 

Ellis & Jerri

Ellis & Jerri

 

Jonas home 25 July 2003

Jonas home 25 July 2003

I don’t have any of the family reunion photos from the past 10 years to share.  Maybe some of the rest of the family will share them or provide a copy to me so I can share them.

I really came to know Uncle Ellis and Aunt Geri (I know others spelled it Jerri, but I always used Geri and she signed my birthday cards that way too) while I was at Utah State.  I stopped in after I moved there in 2003.  As I got to know them quite a bit more, they invited me to dinner.  Eventually I fairly regularly went to Smithfield to get away, study, and do laundry.  It turned out to be a great opportunity to get away from campus, relax, and do homework.

I got to know Geri’s Mom, helped clean her home, and even did work for Jenness at her home.

I gave Ellis some books that I had that I thought he might be interested in and he gave me some of Great Grandma Lillians books as well as Great Grandpa Joseph’s books.  I still have them all.

Eventually I graduated from college, married, and moved away.  I always felt very welcome in their home and Geri always felt at ease to help me do things around the house.  I don’t know how many times I helped her weed some of her flower beds.

I wish I could have gone to the funeral but my own daughter, Aliza, was in the hospital.  Farewell until we meet again.

Donald Wanner Andra

Uncle Donald Andra passed away recently.  I wanted to share his obituary and a number of the good photos I have of him.
Donald Wanner Andra, 82, passed away on Friday, May 6, 2016 at his home in Chubbuck. He was under the care of Hospice and it made his passing a little easier knowing he had been well cared for.
He was born the seventh of twelve children on 15 Jul 1933 in Preston, Idaho, to William Fredrick and Mary Louise Wanner Andra. He married Carolyn Jepsen in Pocatello on 10 Aug 1951 and again in the Logan, Utah Temple on 17 Apr 1953. He met Phyllis Beverly McKinney while working in New York and married her 21 Sep 1957 in Hogansburg and they were sealed 21 Jul 1958 in the Logan, Utah Temple. Both marriages ended in divorce. He met and married Lolane Schiess 7 Feb 1973 in Pocatello and they were sealed 6 Jun 1974 in the Salt Lake City, Utah Temple.
Don worked on the family farm near Preston growing up. He owned and operated Don’s Chubbuck Tire for more than 18 years. He raised, admired, and showed quarter horses for most of his life. He enjoyed hunting deer, elk, pheasant, antelope, moose, and more. He loved sports, especially baseball and football when his own family was involved. He regularly worked in the garden, tinkered in the shed building trailers and other useful things, and preferred a good game, laugh, or joke.
Don and Lolane served two missions together in the Washington DC North Mission assigned to as workers in the Washington DC Temple from Aug 2007 to Jan 2009 and the Idaho Pocatello Employment Resource Center Mission from June 2010 to Dec 2011.
Don and Lolane wintered each winter in St. George relishing their time together with family and seeking yard sales.
Don is survived by his beloved wife of 43 years, Lolane; five children, Lori Kaye Gleim (Larry) of Orem; Vicki Lee Shope (Alfred) of St George; Timothy Don Andra (Diane) of Boise; Jonathan Andra (Carrie) of Boise; Toni Lyn Andra of Pocatello; two step-children, Mark J Buffat (Tanna) of Pocatello; Cari Lyn Minnesota (Larry) of South Jordan; three siblings, Ross Leslie Andra (Adelaide) of Salt Lake; Dale Andra (Judy) of St George; Larry Eugene Andra (Barbra) of Preston; 23 grandchildren, and 19 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents; eight siblings, William Fredrick Andra, June Johnson, Mildred Beck, Golden Rulon Andra, Colleen Mary Lloyd, Sergene Jensen, Robert Lee Andra, and Dennis Willard Andra.
A viewing will be held on Tuesday, May 10, 2016 from 6-8 pm at Colonial Funeral Home 2005 S. 4th Ave. Pocatello, ID 83201, 208-233-1500.
Funeral services will be held on Wednesday, May 11, 2016 at 11 am at the LDS Chubbuck 3rd Ward Chapel, 4773 Independence Ave. Chubbuck, ID 83202, with a viewing for one hour prior to the services at the church.
Interment, with Military Honors, will follow at Restlawn Memorial Gardens, 2864 S. 5th Ave. Pocatello, ID.
Sergene, Ross, Donald, Jon Wanner, unknown, Kay Wanner, Larry, Dennis, Sharon Johnson, Dale

Sergene, Ross, Donald, Jon Wanner, unknown, Kay Wanner, Larry, Dennis, Sharon Johnson, Dale

Donald, Sergene, Dale, Ross, Dennis

Donald, Sergene, Dale, Ross, Dennis

Donald, Dale, Ross, two unknowns

Donald, Dale, Ross, two unknowns

 

Donald, Millie, Larry

Donald, Millie, Larry

1960s Reunion: William, Donald, Larry, Bill, Golden, Dale, Ross

1960s Reunion: William, Donald, Larry, Bill, Golden, Dale, Ross

 

My beautiful picture

My beautiful picture

Don Andra family

80's reunion, Larry, Dale, Colleen, Ross, Sergene, Donald, Golden

1982 Reunion: Larry, Dale, Colleen, Ross, Sergene, Donald, Golden

Donald & Lolane

 

1984 Reunion: Ross, Colleen, June, Millie, William, Golden, Donald, Larry

1984 Reunion: Ross, Colleen, June, Millie, William, Golden, Donald, Larry

 

1989 Reunion (b) June, Colleen, Mary, Sergene, William, Millie, Dale (f) Donald, Ross, Bill, Dale, Larry

1989 Reunion: (b) June, Colleen, Mary, Sergene, William, Millie, Dale (f) Donald, Ross, Bill, Dale, Larry

 

2004 Reunion, Millie, Larry, Ross, Dale, Donald

2004 Reunion: Millie, Larry, Ross, Dale, Donald

 

Donald, Paul Ross, Angela, Lolane

2007: Donald, Paul Ross, Angela, Lolane

 

2007: Rowing a boat at Jamestown, Virginia

2007: Rowing a boat at Jamestown, Virginia

 

Donald, Lolane, Lori Kaye, Larry

Donald, Lolane, Lori Kaye and Larry Gleim

 

2007 Andra Reunion: Donald's family at the reunion

2007 Andra Reunion: Donald’s family at the reunion

 

Donald and Lolane, Amanda and Paul, Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens, Richmond, Virginia

Donald and Lolane, Amanda and Paul, Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens, Richmond, Virginia

 

2008: Congress Hall, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Amanda and Paul Ross, Donald

2008: Congress Hall, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Amanda and Paul Ross, Donald

 

Ross, Donald

2010 Reunion: Ross, Donald

 

2010 Reunion: Ross, Donald, Larry, Sergene, Neil Anderson

2010 Reunion: Ross, Donald, Larry, Sergene, Neil Anderson

 

Lolane, Diane, Tim, Toni, Kevin Curbow, Donald, (f) Dustin, Cynthia

Lolane, Diane, Tim, Toni, Kevin Curbow, Donald, (f) Dustin, Cynthia

Mary Louise Wanner Andra Autobiography

Phyllis, Utahna, Sergene, Mary, Colleen, Millie, Edith

Phyllis Andra, Utahna Andra, Sergene Sorenson, Mary Andra, Colleen Jonas, Millie Beck, Edith Andra

Autobiography given Nov 1961
I, Mary Louise Wanner Andra was born the 5th of March 1901 in Cub River, Idaho.  My father is John George Wanner, Jr. and my mother is Regina Nuffer.  I have five brothers and one sister, Eva.  The oldest were twin boys: William C. and Willard.  The other three boys were Golden, Rulon, and Serge.  I came sixteen months later after the twins, so Mother had three in diapers.
In the fall of 1907 my father was called on a two year mission to Germany because he spoke the German language.  We didn’t have much while father was gone, but we were happy.
He returned in the fall of 1909 and we moved back to Cub River and in the spring of 1910 we moved to Whitney, Idaho where my father bought an eighty acre irrigated farm and a one-hundred-sixty-nine acre dry farm.  This farm was owned by my Grandfather Wanner.  My father planted beets, potatoes, grain and hay.  He also had a herd of cows and there was plenty to do!  Father was very strict and we all had to toe the mark.  I remember the twin boys and Golden, just younger than myself, and I had to thin the beets.  The first two or three years the mustard weeds were so thick you could hardly see the beets.
We kids went to grade school and had to walk three miles.  Sometimes we would ride horseback in the winter when the snow was so deep.  When it got cold enough to freeze a crust on the snow, we would walk on top and cut through the fields because the snow was above the fences.  We sure thought that was a lot of fun.
Our farm was just across the road from George Benson and their daughter, Margaret was in the same grade as myself.
In the 8th grade, I was chosen to take the part of Snow White in the school play.  In school, during the recess, we would jump the rope.  There was no one who could turn it fast enough for me.  I could outrun all my girl friends.  I even used to catch the boys and wash their faces with snow.
We also had a girl’s baseball team.  We would play Franklin and the surrounding little towns.
In the summer after school was out, I would ride horses.  I would go up to the dry farm and get the cows.  One time I took my little sister, Eva and as we passed a brush, Eva fell off and broke her arm.
After I graduated from the 8th grade, I wanted to take sewing course in Logan at the A.C. (Agricultural College).  After coaxing my father for several days, he finally decided to let me go.  Inez Wallace and I went to Logan on the train.  I had been down to Logan for three days when my father came and got me to work on the dry farm, getting the land ready to plant.
In 1918, my brother, William C. died in France.  He was in the 145th infantry.  Three days later, my brother, Golden died in Salt Lake with double leakage of the heart.  Soon after, my father sold the farm and we moved to Preston, Idaho.  My father bought the Parkinson Farm (4th South and 4th East).  Then my father planted beets again and I still had a job of thinning beets.  We lived in an old home while my father was having the new one built.
In the early fall and winter of 1918, I went around to different homes taking care of the sick.  There was a flu epidemic at that time.  I was taking care of my cousin, Emma Nelson (George Nelson’s wife).  He was a wrestler.  Emma died of the flu.
In the spring of 1918, I went to work for Roy and Alabell Hull.  I cared for the twins, did the washing, ironing, and all the cooking.  They had seven in their family and three hired men.
At that time I was going with a young man by the name of William Andra.  He was born in Germany.  While my father was on his mission, he used to go to the Andra home.  My father baptized his oldest sister, Frieda.
I met William and his mother while living in Whitney.  I was still going to school.  He and his mother came by train and my father met them at the train.  After a few days, William’s mother went back to Salt Lake and William started working for my father on the farm.  I guess that is when the romance began.  I was 16 years old.
While working at the Hull’s, William would come and get me with his new buggy and horse.  We would to go Preston to a show.  At this time William was working for Jim Bodily.  Jim Bodily was the man who bought my father’s farm.  I worked all that summer for Roy Hull for $6.00 per week.
That fall of 1919, I went to Logan to the County Fair and rode race horses for Joe Perkins.  I was offered a job of being a jockey, but I didn’t desire that kind of a career, although I loved to ride horses.
In March 1920, William and I were married in the Salt Lake Temple.  We made our home in Whitney, Idaho on the Jim Bodily farm (where Lorin Bodily lives, only north in an old house).  I even helped thin some of Jim Bodily’s beets.  Our closest neighbors were George & Kate Poole.  Kate and I spent many hours together sewing.
I joined the Relief Society right after I was married.  I was asked to lead the singing.  Sister Barbara Ballif was the President at the time.
We lived there a few months, then we moved to the home where Bishop Morris Poole now lives.  My husband quit Bodily’s and he and his brother, Otto thinned beets for different farmers.  In the fall, these two would top beets at the sugar factory.  I would go out and hitch up the horses in the morning while they ate their breakfast.
November 25th, Thanksgiving, our first son was born.  My husband thought he had more time before the baby came.  He didn’t have the stove put up in the front room.  He got all excited and really sweat trying to get that stove up.  Will and Laura Dunkley were our closest neighbors.  Laura was with me when the baby was born.  Dr. Bland delivered the baby.  We named him William, Jr..  After William Jr. was about six months old, each Sunday when we went to church, as we got out of the buggy, all the young girls would come running to take little Jr.. They called him the ward baby.
Towards fall, we moved again down in the Joe Dunkley home, back of where the store now stands.  My husband got the janitor job for the church and the school house.  He was getting $30.00 a month and we were paying $18.00 in rent.  In the spring of 1922 we moved to Preston on my father’s farm.  William helped my father with the crops and after the crops were up, in the fall, we moved to Salt Lake City, out in Sugarhouse.  My husband got a job at the Royal Bakery hauling bread to the little adjoining towns.
On the 22nd of June 1923 our second child was born.  She was an eight month baby, only weighed 4 1/2 pounds.  We named her June.  Mrs. Hymas came down from Preston to take care of me.  Brother LeGrand Richards was the Bishop of Sugarhouse Ward where we lived, so we had him bless our baby.
The next fall, my husband’s brother, Walt coaxed him to go into the cafe business at Preston, so we moved back to Preston.  They had a good business.  In fact, the business picked up after my husband started working there.  The young folks as well as the older ones took to him.  I didn’t like the cafe business because the children’s father seldom saw the children with their eyes open.  William was always used to the outdoors.  He was really a farmer at heart.
On February 6th, 1925 our third child came along.  Another little girl and we named her Mildred.
In the fall of the second year in the cafe, my father wanted to sell his farm, and we bought all the land on the south and my brother, Willard bought the land on the north of the road.  There wasn’t much money in raising beets, and it was hard for us to make payments on the farm with the interest being so high the first few years.  My husband had to do extra work outside the farm work.  He dug basements for new homes, hauled sand, gravel, also beets from the beet pile to the sugar factory, any job he could get to make the payments on the farm.
On August 5, 1926 another son came along.  We named him Golden Rulon after my two brothers.  When he was two and a half years old, Golden fell out of a swing and was paralyzed (all of his right side except his arm).  At that time we had a Dr. Milford who brought him into the world.  For one whole year, every day, except Sunday, I took him to town to Dr. Milford’s for treatment.  His office was upstairs in the old Greaves building.
On the 27th of May 1928 I had a little red headed girl and we named her Colleen Mary after me.
Later on, after a few years, we started to raise peas and the pea crops were real good.  One year the peas went to four tons per acre.  No farmer beat that crop.  I helped in the fields all I could.  We couldn’t afford to hire anyone.  We didn’t have tractors at that time.  This was the year we bought our first car, a Ford.  The Doctor said it was too far to walk to town.
In the year of 1932 another little blond girl joined our family.  We named her Sergene.  I guess I wanted her to be a boy so I could name him Serge after my youngest brother who died in New Zealand on a mission.  Dr.Orvid Cutler brought her into the world.  When she was six months old, they were having a contest at the Grand Theatre for the healthiest baby.  Out of one-hundred-ninety babies, little Sergene took the first prize and we were surely proud of her.
On July 15, 1933 another son came along.  We named him Donald Wanner after my maiden name.  Seemed like all the boys had curly hair and they would pass for girls.  I had a niece from Downey, Idaho who came to help do the house work.  She was crazy about Donald and I heard her say many times that he was the cutest thing this side of heaven.
In 1934 I was six and one-half months along, but just didn’t have the strength to carry my baby the nine months.  The doctor said he wouldn’t live and for us to give him a name, so we named him Robert Lee.  He lived four hours.  By this time I was plenty busy with taking care of the children, but the older ones were big enough to help.
On the 2nd of December 1936 another son came along.  We named him Ross Leslie after Dr. L.V. Merrill.  I was also made Relief Society Visiting teacher that year.
On the 28th of February 1940 another son joined our family circle and we called him Dale.  I used to take these last two little boys, hook the team to the beet puller and put one on each horse.  They thought it was fun.
My husband would do the hauling, the older boys and girls would do the topping.  We all had to get out and work hard.  We still didn’t have a tractor at this time, but got one shortly after.  My husband used the tractor to harvest the potato crop.
In June 1942 another little fellow came along.  We named him Dennis Willard, after my brother, and April 9, 1943 our number twelve, a son was born.  His name was Larry.  When you would see these three little boys in the yard, you could hardly tell which was who, they looked so much alike.
William Jr. was in the Spanish American Mission when Dennis was born.  Dennis died when three years old.  Since this time I was put in as Relief Society Chorister.
It is 1961 and they have divided the ward and put me in as Secretary of the Young Ladies Mutual.  Our second missionary, Ross filled a mission in Brazil and the third son to go on a mission ins in the Western States.  His name is Dale and he has one more year to serve.
I am proud of my husband, sons, and daughters.
This is a story of my life and I would like to pass it on to my posterity.
Prepared and arranged November 25, 1961
Mary W. Andra

Logan Cemetery

On the 10th we made a pilgrimage to Logan for our own time while living on Darwin Avenue.  We certainly miss our time at Utah State University and in Cache County, Utah.

We all know that people are just dying to get into Utah State, almost quite literally.  The campus now completely surrounds the Logan Cemetery, although not technically on campus.  Since we were driving around the school, I had to stop and at least pay homage to my ancestors buried in the cemetery.

Hiram Ross, John & Anna Wanner Tombstone, Aliza Ross

Hiram Ross, John & Anna Wanner Tombstone, Aliza Ross

John and Anna Wanner are my 3rd great grandparents, 4th to Aliza and Hiram.  I have written of them before.  Their son, John Jr, his daughter Regina, her daughter Mary, her daughter Colleen (Lillian’s middle name), her daughter Sandra is my mother.  I have to note that this post will post on John George Wanner’s 170th birthday, who was born 18 October 1845 in Germany.

Aliza Ross, John & Anetta Nelson, Hiram Ross

Aliza Ross, John & Anetta Nelson Tombstone, Hiram Ross

John (Johannes) and Anetta (Agnetta) Nelson (Nilsson) are my 3rd Great Grandparents.  Their daughter, Annetta, her son Joseph, his son Wilburn (Norwood is his middle name but what he went by, his daughter Sandra is my mother.  I have yet to write their history, but you can read quite a bit from their son’s autobiography, Nels August Nelson.  Note that this month, John was born 188 years ago on 7 October 1827 in Norway.

How thankful I am that Logan Cemetery maintains its graves in such a dignified manner.  May it continue to do so.  Other cemeteries in which my ancestors repose (like Richmond and Preston) have done far less in reverential treatment of these sites.

In the background you can see part of the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.  A location of MANY memories while at Utah State University.

 

Logan revisited

Later this year will be our 10 year anniversary.  Ten years since we were married in the Logan LDS Temple in Cache County, Utah.  Since we were down with the kids in Logan for a reunion, we made a stop.

Hiram, Aliza, Amanda, and Lillian Ross

Hiram, Aliza, Amanda, and Lillian Ross

The day turned out to be beautiful despite being the middle of October.  Other than the angle of the sun, you might never have known it was October.

We took a picture in one of the doorways that we also took pictures 10 years ago.  Time flies.

Amanda, Lillian, Hiram, Paul, and Aliza Ross

Amanda, Lillian, Hiram, Paul, and Aliza Ross

Of course I have heard multiple comments on my neon toes!  Thank you to my in-laws for making me push my boundaries and wear toed shoes.

On the way home I asked the kids their favorite part of the trip.  The quick response for both was the temple.

I have always felt a strong family connection to the Logan Temple.

John Nuffer and Eva Greiner, my 3rd great grandparents were sealed here 123 years ago in 1892.  They were married 25 July 1867 in Neuffen, Esslingen, Wuerttemberg.  You can read of them here.

Olle Christiansen and Constance Jorgensen, my 3rd great grandparents were sealed here 122 years ago in 1893.  They were married in 1874 in Norway (and have yet to find the exact date and location).

John Wanner and Anna Schmid, my 3rd great grandparents were sealed here 117 years ago in 1898.  They were married 6 June 1870 in Holzgerlingen, Boblingen, Wuerttemberg.  Read more about them at this link.

John Wanner and Regina Nuffer, my 2nd great grandparents were married and sealed here 117 years ago on 31 August 1898.  Read of them with this click.

Herbert Coley and Martha Christiansen, my 2nd great grandparents were sealed here 115 years ago in 1900.  They were married 1 December 1896 in Lewiston, Cache, Utah.

Joseph Jonas and Lillian Coley, my great grandparents were married and sealed here 99 years ago on 6 September 1916.  Read more of their marriage here.

Paul Ross and Amanda Hemsley, us, were married and sealed here 10 years ago on 20 December 2005.

This is just the sealing ordinances.  This does not include endowments, baptisms, or second washings and anointings for my ancestors.  I received my own endowment here with my father on 1 September 1998.  Who knows what future ordinances for my family may take place in Logan.

All I know, I miss the days of attending the Logan temple.  I miss learning in the House of the Lord for Stake instruction.  I miss the fill the temple sessions where we would work in the temple all night long.  I miss going to the temple with roommates.  I miss doing endowment sessions on a regular basis with my wife, we often feel guilty leaving our kids with others for that long (and the drive).

One thing I know, and I hope my family history work proves this, I know the temple blessings are real.  I see them in my life and feel them on a regular basis.  I am grateful for my ancestors who went before and provided an example of what, and what not, to do.

Aliza kept asking if she could go inside the temple.  I told her she would have to wait until she was at least 12.  I am glad Aliza and Hiram also feel the draw to the temple.  Hopefully those covenants are already beginning to find the way into their little hearts.  Great promises and responsibilities come from the temple.  That is my testimony.

Draper Temple

Amanda and I are struggling to keep up with visiting the new Utah Temples.  In 2006 we had a goal to visit all then eleven Utah Temples.  We ended up hitting Bountiful, Jordan River, Logan, Manti, Monticello, Mt. Timpanogos, Ogden (before rebuilt), Provo, St George, Salt Lake, and Vernal.

In the intervening years and miles for us, Brigham City, Draper, Oquirrh, and Ogden have been dedicated (or rededicated).

Since we arrived back in the Intermountain West, we have struggled to get to these new temples.  Now with a family and two work schedules, taking the time to hit the new Utah Temples has taken a little more time and effort.  Here is a picture of our visit to the Draper Temple in 2013.

Draper Utah Temple

Draper Utah Temple

We had better hurry to catch up some because Cedar City, Payson, and Provo City are all in the works.

Theophilus and Martha France

In an odd twist of fate, I thought I might share my latest story in search of the family of Theophilus and Martha France.  I stumbled on this photograph when scanning the photos of my Great Great Grandmother.  She married Herbert Coley, whose sister, Martha Ann, is shown above.  This photo was in the collection, likely from Martha France herself, to my Great Great Grandfather Herbert.  The photo just had the two names written on the back of the photo.

Since, I have tried to track down the family with little or no success.  I will give some of the limited history I know at this point and then close with my latest little find.

Theophilus was born 26 December 1863 in Dudley, Staffordshire, England.  He married Martha Ann Coley 4 November 1891 in Logan, Cache, Utah in the Logan LDS Temple.  Martha was born 18 August 1860 in Lutley, Worcestershire, England to Stephen and Hannah Maria Rogers Coley.

Theophilus was a musician that took the family to various places chasing performing and music instructions.  Mostly in Cache Valley, but also taking in a jaunt to Salina, Sevier, Utah.

Theophilus France, in the middle, nicknamed Foghorn

Theophilus France, in the middle, nicknamed Foghorn

Born to the family were 5 children.

Ada France born 1 April 1893 in Franklin, Franklin, Idaho and died 14 February 1957 in Caldwell, Canyon, Idaho.  She married Henry James Flippence.

Marguerite France born 19 October 1894 in Franklin and died 20 Mar 1936 in Logan.  She married George Bright.

Franklin Bank, circa 1895

Franklin Band, circa 1895, Theophilus France is sitting second from the right, supposedly as the leader

Wilford France born 25 Mar 1897 in Lewiston, Cache, Utah and died 28 August 1986 in Los Angeles County, California.  He married Elsie Arvilla Brown.

John France born 22 May 1899 in Lewiston and died 18 June 1953 in Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah.  He married Meryln Burton.

Beatrice France born 16 October 1901 in Lewiston and died 14 October 1997 in Salt Lake City.  She married Robert Wallace Ekenstam.

From the census records, it appears Martha may have had a son (maybe a brother) named Frank.  He appears and then disappears.  He may be a cousin who came over from England with Martha and then died, married, or just moved away.  I cannot trace him down again, so this is one question I have always wanted to answer.  But finding a member of this family has not proved easy.

I knew Theophilus and Martha are buried in the Lewiston Cemetery.  Her brother, George, and their parents, Stephen and Hannah, my Great Great Great Grandparents are also buried there.  Theophilus died 30 October 1923 in Lewiston.  Martha died 18 July 1949 in Parma, Canyon, Idaho.

George Bright and Marguerite Coley had at least 8 children, but only one of them lived to marry.  I knew her name was Gennevieve Bright and that she had married a man by the name of Elvon Monson Jensen 22 April 1947.  He died in 1990 and trying to track down a lady Monson in Utah or Idaho, especially where she could have remarried, seemed an impossible task.  I left it there and tried some of the other lines.

In 2011, I was in my office and visiting with the wife of the other attorney from who I rent office space.  I knew Kent was from Preston and in a lull of the conversation asked the name of Kent’s parents.  She mentioned Elvon and Gennevieve.  I could not tell where, but I knew that Elvon Jensen was in my family history.  That night I looked him up and sure enough, there he was.  I rent office space in Burley, Idaho from my 3rd cousin, once removed!  Kent’s children are my 4th cousins.

It was with some sweet satisfaction that I was able to provide a copy of the photograph of Theophilus and Martha above to him.  He had not seen a picture of them before.  I asked that he put me in contact with the member of his family who does the family history on the France/Coley line.  Maybe I can help bridge some of the divide and flesh out more fully the Coley line in Utah and Idaho.

The picture above of Theophilus and Martha was scanned in 2006.  Who knew that I would be providing a photo of ancestors to a line who did not have a photograph.  Maybe there will be more such stories in the future with all the photos I have and continue to make available.  We can only hope.  Here is a photo of Martha later in life, I don’t know how old she was at the time.

Martha Coley

Martha Coley