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

Wanner, John George, Jr. and Eliza Sterling/Regina Nuffer

I found this biography written by Mary Louise Wanner Andra of her parents.  I will write a separate history for them in the future, but I thought I would make this one available unadulterated by me (typed completely as written in the book, although I added the photo).

This biography was published in Whitney Centennial 1889-1989: Whitney’s First 100 Years.  It was published in 1991 by the Whitney Ward, written and edited by the Whitney Ward Centennial Book Committee.

John George Wanner Jr Family abt 1912. (l-r): Eva, William, Golden, Serge (sitting), John, Regina, Rulon, Willard, Mary.

Our father, John George Wanner, Jr., was born in Holzgerlingen, Neckarkreis, Wuerttemberg 29 October, 1870.  His parents were John George Wanner and Anna Maria Schmid.  He was the oldest in the family of five boys and five girls.

His father had a small farm and some cattle.  He was also a road overseer.  So dad, his mother and brother and sisters did most of the farm work.  They also got wood from the forest for winter fuel.

Dad’s parents were very religious people and belonged to the Lutheran church.  They were very hard workers and tried to teach their children correct principles.  Dad tried hard to follow in their footsteps.

His parents joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1891.  They made sure all their children were baptized as they became of age.  His parents could see that it was the only true church on the earth, and they wanted to go to America, where they could worship as they wished.  They also felt it would give their children a better opportunity in life.

His parents were the only ones in their respective families who joined the LDS church.  Our dad was baptized in July in 1891, and came to America with one of the missionaries – a brother Terrell who was from Providence, Utah.  Brother Terrell took good care of him and helped find work for him to do and provide for himself.

Dad got a job working for brother Fred Nuffer in Glendale, Oneida County (now Franklin County), Idaho.  In 1893 his father, mother, and his brothers and sisters came to Cache Valley from Germany.  Dad and brother Nuffer met them with a wagon and buggy in Franklin, Oneida County, Idaho, June 18, 1893.  I am sure he was happy to see his family again, as it had been almost two years since he had seen any of them.

Dad met a lovely girl from Providence, Utah, by the name of Eliza Sterling, and this relationship blossomed into marriage in 1894.  They were blessed with two sons, George and Earl Wayne.  This marriage was not a very happy one and they were divorced.

On the 31st of August 1898, dad married Regina Nuffer who was a sister of our uncle Charles August Nuffer.  [Daughter of the marriage of Eva Katherine Greiner and Johann Christopher Nuffer]  On 9 November 1899, they were blessed with twin boys, William and Willard.  As time went on they were blessed with more children, a total of five boys and two girls.

John & Regina Wanner

John & Regina Wanner

Dad went on a mission to Germany in the fall of 1907, leaving a wife and six children.  On March 8, 1908, their son Serge was born.  Mother and the family were living in a home John Nuffer built for dad.  It is a rock house on East Oneida Street in Preston, Idaho.  This house is still standing and is in good condition at this writing – June 1979.

When Serge was a few months old, mother took all the children and had a picture taken and sent it to dad so he could see the new baby.

While Dad was in Germany, he met William Andra’s mother and family and baptized the eldest daughter Freda.

In 1910, Dad’s mother and father sold their home and farm in Whitney to Dad.  This is the farm Lawrence Bodily now has.  Dad built a red barn that is still in use on the farm.  After grandpa and grandma sold their farm to dad, they moved to Logan, Utah.

In 1913 dad’s parents, brothers and sisters had a family reunion at their home in Whitney.  There was a large crowd and we all had a good time.

We all had to work hard and dad relied on his daughter Mary for many hard farm jobs.  However, on Saturday nights he would take us to the picture show and give us each 25¢ to spend on the show and treats.

In 1917, I begged to take the sewing class at the USAC in Logan, as I wanted to learn to sew.  However, I was only there a short time when dad brought me home to work on the dry farm.  I have always felt bad about this as I wanted to learn to sew.

My brother, William, enlisted in the Army on August 5, 1917.  He was with the 145th Light Field Artillery, Battery C.  He left Salt Lake City for Camp Kearney on October 11, 1917.  He left for France August 2, 1918.  William contracted the influenza and died December 1, 1918.  His body was brought home November 11, 1920, and interred in the Whitney Idaho Cemetery.

Just a few days before they got the sad news of William’s death, their son, Golden, died November 26, 1918 in Salt Lake City from influenza.

On January 8, 1921, dad sent his son Willard on a mission to New Zealand.

Dad and mother were to face still more sorrow when their son Rulon died February 26, 1924, in the Logan hospital.

Dad believed in missionary work with all his heart and soul and on December 15, 1925, he went to Tennessee on a six month mission.

In 1928, Serge went to New Zealand on a mission and died there October 5, 1929.  His body was brought home for burial.  The funeral was held in the old opera house in Preston, Idaho.  These were trying times for our parents.  Losing four sons, and all their bodies returned home in a box.  This left them with only one son and two daughters.

On April 7, 1930, dad sent Eva on a mission to California.  Dad was not a stranger to hard work.  He raised crops and took good care of his farm animals.  He took pride in having things looking neat and clean around the farm and yard.

When Dad operated his farm in Whitney, he was always up early in the morning and usually was the first to get to the beet dump in the morning.  The story is told about some of his neighbors who decided to beat him to the dump.  They got up extra early to get a head start.  Before they got to the beet dump, they could hear George Wanner going down the rad ahead of them.  They could hear him saying to his horses, “Gid up–gid up–gid up.”

When dad sold his farm in Whitney, he purchased 40 acres nearer to Preston and built a beautiful home on it.  Part of it is where the Oakwood School is now located.  When he retired he sold his farm and home to his daughter Mary and her husband William Andra.

Dad was successful in the various undertakings he engaged in.  He was one of the first in Preston to have an automobile.  When he brought it home he did not know how to stop it.  He yelled “whoa” when he got in the garage, but before he got it stopped he had gone through the end of the garage.

Dad built the two little homes on the west side of second east and first south in Preston, Idaho.  He also built three homes on first south and the south side of the street in Preston.  Dad and mother lived in one of them until she died in 1942.  Mother was ill for quite a while before she passed away.  Dad cared for her the best he could and would take her for little rides in the car.  She was unable to walk and dad would carry her on his back from place to place as they went visiting.

As many of you will remember, there was a humble side to dad.  I have seen him cry when bearing his testimony and when he was grieved over the death of a loved one, a relative, or friend.  He wanted to leave this world a better place than he found it, and I feel sure he made some contributions and brought this desire to fulfillment.

After mother died, dad remarried and went to live in Salt Lake City, Utah.  This marriage was not successful and they were divorced.  Later on he remarried again and was living in Florida.  He became ill and wanted to get back to Preston.  My son William went to Florida to bring him home, but when they got to Chicago, he was too ill to go on.  So, William put him in the hospital where he passed away on January 5, 1947.

Regina Nuffer was born January 26, 1869 at Neuffen, Germany, a daughter of Johann Cristoph and Eva Katharina Greiner, she came to Utah with her family after they were converted to the gospel.  She married Jacob Scheibel July 15, 1889, in Pleasant Valley, Carbon County, Utah.  Her first child, Alma Katherine Scheibel Naef, was born, September 27, 1889.  When her child was six months old, she and her husband separated and she moved back to Mapleton, Idaho, where she stayed with her parents on their farm.  During this period, she would help people when they were sick, and her mother would take care of her child.

In about 1893, after the death of her mother, she moved to Weber County, Utah, and worked for the Will Taylor family in Farr West and the Bowman family in Ogden.  She again returned to her father’s farm.  On her way home, she stopped in Logan and walked out to Providence to visit a friend.  While eating lunch, she happened to think that she had left her new coat on the train.  She went back to Logan to the train station and they sent out a tracer.  In a few days she got her coat back.  After returning to Idaho, she worked for several people in Franklin and Preston.  She lived in one room of her brother John’s home in Preston.  Her brother was on a mission in Germany at the time.

On August 31, 1898, she married John George Wanner in Logan, Utah.  That winter she lived on his ranch in Worm Creek or Glendale, Idaho.  In April she moved with her husband, daughter, and step son, Wayne, to the Bancroft flat, a little west of where Grace is now.

She was known as a fine, well mannered woman.  Her niece, Athene Hampton, said that toward the end of her life her health was not very good and she had a hard time speaking.  When Athene and Louisa Nuffer would visit, they would converse by writing notes to each other.  She died on March 10, 1942, in Preston, Idaho.  Her funeral in Preston was very well attended.

Effectual Struggle

There was a time in the mission when I was really struggling with some things.  It was not one thing in particular, but with a whole host of different little things combined.  Add to that all the concerns and prayers for investigators and it can become a bit much at times.  It was during one of these times I had a pretty significant experience.
We had been out tracting all morning.  It was sometime probably about March of 1999.  I am too lazy to go find the date in my journal.  But it had been drizzling on and off all morning.  We actually came back with a pretty good list of call backs but I still had a number of things weighing on my mind.  There was one in particular with relation to my companion.  I want to make it known we did not have any big issues, but some things he did brought out inadequacies in myself, I believe in no fault of his own.  I was struggling how to overcome some of these feelings and disappointments.
The morning had been spent on exchanges with a Canadian, Elder Morton.  We returned for lunch and I was so exhausted and stressed under the weeks of dealing with things I went upstairs and plopped on my bed to take a quick kip.  However, as I laid there, I just keep rehashing things.  It was then I just stopped, opened my eyes, and asked, “What am I supposed to do?”
There I laid pondering that phrase when I very distinctly heard a scripture pop into my mind.  It was not an audible voice but I reopened my eyes to make sure nobody was there.  I laid there alone on the bottom bunk wondering what in the world the scripture said.
The scripture was Mosiah 7:18.
My first reaction was, “What in the world is in chapter 7 of Mosiah?”  I had no clue what was even going on in the chapter, which piqued my interest all the more.
I rolled out of my bed and located some scriptures to look up the verse.
“And it came to pass that when they had gathered themselves together that he spake unto them in this wise, saying: O ye, my people, lift up your heads and be comforted; for behold, the time is at hand or is not far distant, when we shall no longer be in subjection to our enemies, notwithstanding our many strugglings, which have been in vain; yet I trust there remaineth an effectual struggle to be made.”
It was absolutely powerful.  Somehow, the words seem to answer exactly what it was I was asking.  They hit me as they say, like a ton of bricks.  Every single time I read this chapter I think of this experience.  Every time when it seems difficulties just won’t go away, I seem to remember this scripture.  This is my comfort scripture you can say.  Regardless of what burdens we are under, lift up your head and be comforted.  The time is not far ahead when these things will no longer be.  Whether in death, release, or in the deliverance from the scenario, an end will come.  Then a warning, a suggestion, a plea for endurance because still an effectual struggle is to be made.
It is not enough just to wait it out.  A struggle must still be made.  We must continue working through things, not just give up.  The verses go on…
“Therefore, lift up your heads, and rejoice, and put your trust in God.  In that God who was the God of Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob; and also, that God who brought the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt, and caused that they should walk through the Red Sea on dry ground, and fed them with manna that they might not perish in the wilderness; and many more things did he do for them.  And again, that same God has brought our fathers out of the land of Jerusalem, and has kept and preserved his people even until now; and behold, it is because of our iniquities and abominations that he has brought us into bondage.”  (Mosiah 7:19-20)
The Lord has done so much good in our lives, don’t lose sight at the moment.  God’s promises always come true.  They will always ring in a new day, eventually.
Looking back, I can see how much this has come to pass.  As I have made the eventual struggle ever since, I find my blessings are becoming greater and greater.  I feel more and more in tune.  I see miracles all about me in my life.  Who really could ask for anything more?  I haven’t really been through a whole lot in my life either.  Some would disagree with me, but I keep pressing forward and making the effectual struggle.  Somehow everything works out right.  I have been fortunate it has all worked out for me in this life.  I fear there are many who it does not work out for in this life.
Some of my blessings are being realized in the past week.
This past weekend, the effectual struggle of helping out friends, listening to friends, continuing to foster friendships in the difficulty of school and university, and especially with friends after marriage opened doors for me.  I was invited to Vernal to spend time with three other friends who all lived on Darwin Avenue in Logan.  Anna, Allen, and Brad.  Anna, for all intents and purposes, is an old girlfriend.  I certainly don’t see it that way with a negative connotation.  However, both of us struggling through despite some awkward times, proved to be a foundation and grounding point where we can move on and have become great friends.  Allen, another individual I got to know fairly well, but never as well as I would have liked, through the struggle of maintaining contact, proved to be a great deal of fun, mutual respect, and some business dealing.  Brad, the struggle to maintain contact has turned into a bond and friendship I have never heard of between any other two missionary companions.  That relationship has affected so much of our daily lives I am not sure I could even begin to define its influence.
We meet up for a weekend together in Vernal.  It was a blast.  We hiked canyons and climbed cliffs.  We sought out petroglyphys and outlaws.  We toured Ashley Valley’s water treatment facility.  We enjoyed meals, told jokes, and explored museums.  What a blast.  All from the effectual struggle of not feeling adequate or capable of reaching out to effectively connect with others.
That commitment has gone even further.  I have maintained relationships with parents of many friends I went to high school.  Sometimes, I am not even in contact with the friend anymore, but am still with the parents.  One such relationship was with a girl named Nicole.  Again, a girlfriend by world standards, but we really just enjoyed ourselves.  That ongoing friendship not only with Nicole, but with her parents may turn out to bring other opportunities (perhaps business too) now.  Who would have ever thought that the parents who called every 10 minutes while we clasped to brick ledges holding on to our lives (all in complete safety) would become fast friends?  Who would have thought the parents of a girl whose piano bench I would break early one morning by sharing it with my date would spend hours with me showing my photos of their safari to Africa and motorcycle trip through New Zealand?
These are just a couple of examples on my effectual struggle to be better at reaching out, maintaining relationships, and remembering others would have blessed me in so many ways.  What is especially true is I am seeing some of these blessings while yet in mortality.  That too, is probably another blessing of making the effectual struggle.