Written by Fred Nuffer for 1938 Cornerstone at USU

Old Main at Utah State Agricultural College (USU now), Logan, Utah, about 1900. The iconic front and tower were build in 1902.  Fred Nuffer provided 3,000 feet of cut stone for the construction of the south wing.

From Utah State’s Facility Planning.

“Old Main is the landmark of Utah State University and remains the oldest academic building still in use in the state of Utah.  In 1889, plans for “The College Building” by C. L. Thompson were selected by the Board of Trustees just two weeks after the land for the Logan campus was secured. The site was chosen the next day so that the main tower would be due east of the end of Logan’s Seventh Street —Today’s Fifth North.  Construction began immediately on the south wing of the three -part building and was completed in 1890.

“With more money appropriated in 1892 than anticipated, the Trustees hired [K]arl C. Schaub to redesign an enlarged structure and the construction began for the east part of the central section and the north wing.  It wasn’t until 1901 that the money was assured for the completion of the building. The front portion along with the tower was completed in 1902 with the design of H. H. Mahler.

Fred Nuffer provided his own contribution to the construction of the south wing of Utah State’s Old Main.  Another interesting side link, Karl Conrad Schaub’s widowed mother married Fred’s father, John Christoph Nuffer.  She was Anna Maria Alker who married him Conrad Schaub who left her widowed in 1894.  Fred Nuffer provided stone, Karl provided design.  Karl and Fred’s brother, John were friends and worked on buildings together.

Another entry from “We of Johann Christoph Nuffer, also known as: Neuffer, Nufer, Neufer,” The book was published in April 1990 by Dabco Printing and Binding Co in Roy, Utah. I will quote from the book itself.


Utah State was founded in 1888.  It appears that the cornerstone was opened at 50 years in 1938 and a new cornerstone was sealed to be opened in 1988.  As Fred Nuffer was involved with some of the construction of the campus, he was requested to write for the cornerstone.  This was the original part of Old Main, south wing, of what is now Utah State University in Logan, Utah.

“I will recount in detail, as I remember it, the work done by myself and others in supplying stone for the construction of the Utah State Agricultural College buildings in Logan, Utah.

“In the year of 1891-1892, I made contract with Mr. Venables of Ogden to deliver about 3,000 cubic feet of cut stone.  Mr. Venables had previously tried to get the stone somewhere south of the valley, but found the stone unsuitable, and the party could not fill the order.  As I had furnished stone for several buildings in Logan, Mr. Venables came up to see me.  I lived near the quarry at that time.  He inspected the quarry and pronounced the stone suitable and gave me a contract to fill the order.  The quarry was located about ten miles up Cub River Canyon from Franklin, Idaho, on the left side slope going up the river, on a small tributary creek of Cub River called Sheep Creek.

“All work was done by hand.  The main ledge was about 20 feet above ground and about 20 feet wide and 400 to 500 feet long.  We used 12 foot churn drills and blasted large black loose from the main ledge.  We had to be careful how much powder we used so as not to shatter or cause seams in the stone.  We usually had to put a second charge in the opening made by the first charge to dislodge the block from the main ledge.  The block so dislodged was from 6 to 7 feet thick and about 20 feet long.  From then on, all tools used were hammers, axes, wedges, and squares.  Grooves were cut with axes wherever we desired to split the block, then wedges were set in the grooves about ten inches apart and driven in with hammers.  Then we dressed them down to the right measurement allowing one half inch for the stone cutters to take out all the tool marks we made.  Mr. Venables furnished bills for stone in dimension sizes as needed in the building.

“My brother, C[harles]. A[ugust]. Nuffer, worked on the job the whole time it lasted.  I also had a man by the name of Ed Hollingsworth of Preston, also Mr. A. Merrill and Mr. Abel Smart of Cub River, and Mr. Robert Weber of Providence.

“It took part of two years for the job, 1891-1892.  The hauling was all done with wagons and horses: 30 to 35 cubic feet was a good load for two horses.  The following names were the men doing the hauling: John McDonald of Smithfield, Jean Weber of Providence, and Jake Rinderknecht of Providence hauled more than any other.  He used to leave home at 3 a.m., load up the same day and get back to Logan by 3 p.m. the next day.  It was very hard on the horses.  I also hauled a good many loads with my own team.  All loading was done by hand on skids.

“I got 40¢ per cubic foot, of which 20¢ was paid for hauling.  We had a hard time handling the name stone to go on the front of the building.  When it was ordered it had 30 cubic feet in it and only one foot thick.  When the stonecutters got through with it they had found it too big to be hoisted in place so they made it smaller until there wasn’t much left.

“The most difficulty I had was in not getting my pay from Mr. Venables.  We overlooked a large 4-horse load at the final settlement.  A few minutes after I had signed the receipt for the final payment in full I discovered my mistake.  Mr. Venables refused to pay for it, although I produced the bill of lading signed by him.  He didn’t dispute the debt, but said he had a receipt paid in full.  He didn’t have anything, and the government property couldn’t be attached, so I was the loser of about $15, which seemed a lot of money to me at that time.

“by Fred Nuffer, Sr.


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.

The Nuffer name

Coat of Arms for Martin Neuffer, 1594-1638

I had another person e-mail me this week attacking that I had the wrong spelling of my family line: Nuffer.  I am pretty sure I have my line correct because it shows on all legal documents, tombstones, and everything else I have seen.  I know some of the other family have changed their names to other variations thinking it is more correct.  I don’t really care to argue or dispute it, my direct line in the United States is not in question, nor is it in Germany for the first few generations before or after our family left.  Where the variations go before that are upon the spelling of an author and the spelling of names were not standardized.

Another entry from “We of Johann Christoph Nuffer, also known as: Neuffer, Nufer, Neufer,” The book was published in April 1990 by Dabco Printing and Binding Co in Roy, Utah.  I will quote from the book itself.

“The name Neuffer, Nuffer and its many forms is of Celtic Origin and later became an Alemann surname.

“The Celt’s were barbarian tribes which occupied Southwestern Germany from at least the late 6th century B.C..  They were remarkable for their height, muscularity and fair coloring.  Their basic economy was mixed farming.  They were noted for their high spirits and love of war and excitement generally.  They were hospitable, fond of feasting, drinking and quarreling, and incapable of prolonged concerted action.  They loved art and greatly prized music and many forms of oral literary composition.  (Encyclopedia Britannica).

“Many Celtic villages have been uncovered in the area of Southwest Germany where our ancestors came from.)

“The Alemanni or Alamanni were a loosely knit confederation of Germany tribes who were first mentioned in connection with a Roman attack on them in 213 A.D..  They were originally composed of fragments of several Germanic peoples.  They had no central government and only joined forces when it was necessary for their defense.  Their language became the High German Dialects used in the Southwesternmost part of the German speech area.  Modern alemannic dialects include Swiss German, Alsatian and the German dialects spoken in Liechtenstein and the extreme western part of Austria.  (Encyclopedia Britannica).

“This is probably a major contributor of the Swabian dialect that our ancestors and the current population of Wurttemberg speak.  It is significantly different from the modern High German.

“Stawitz has stated that the meaning of the name refers to adjectives such as Awake, Springhtly, Merry, Gay, Chipper, Hale & Hearty, Vivacious, Full of Life, Ardent, Fervent, Lively.  (“Richard Stawitz “Die Neuffer aus Munsingen”)

“The name is part of a great group of original surnames in Southern Germany ending in er and one of the seven most prominent names in the region of the State of Wurttemberg.  (Die Nueffer aus Munsingen 1400-1900 by Richard Stawitz)

“The German pronunciation of the name is as follows:  Nuffer = Noofa oo as in book, short a.  The above is only an approximation of the u sound since there is no sound in the English language that exactly duplicates the German u in this case.  Neuffer = Noifa, oi as oy in boy, short a.  Nufer = Newfa.  When a name ends in er the r is dropped.

“The family name may have been taken from the town of Neuffen.  However, this is not certain as it appeared in several areas at about the same time.  This is about the time of the first written records in that part of Germany.  Since it is apparent that the name preceded the first records it becomes impossible to trace its exact origin.

“Today in Germany the Family Neuffer is the largest and most prominent of the different Neuffer, Nuffer, etc. families and Nuffer is the second.  There have been many other spellings of the name such as Nifer, Neifer, Neiffer, Nyfer, Neyfer, Neufer, Nufer, Nufer, Nuofer, Nuover, Nuber, Nuffer, and others.

“Our family came from Neuffen and spelled their name Nuffer for the last 2 generations prior to emigrating and Nufer for 3 generations before that.  Prior to the early 1700’s we have no positively accurate genealogical connections but it appears that we are connected to the Neuffer family.

“Since coming to America most of the family have kept the name as Nuffer but some members have changed it to Neuffer or Nufer.  Given the fact that the name has changed several times over the history in Germany it cannot be said that there is such a thing as “the” correct spelling.

“It is interesting to note that in Germany today if you find a community with Neuffers in it you will seldom find any Nuffers there and vs.  In the town of Neuffen which is supposedly the source of the Neuffer name there are no Neuffers living there, only Nuffers.  There is no record of any Neuffers having been born there.  There are records however of Neuffers having lived there for short periods as Government or Church officials.

“There is no doubt that we can bear this name with pride and dignity when we understand the noble origins and the distrinction with which our forbearers have carried it.

Included with this explanation regarding the Nuffer name, there is also a letter from W. Peter Nuffer of Richfield, Utah dated 4 January 1990 to Lloyd Neuffer of Ogden, Utah.  This letter included an editors note: “Because of Peter’s wide experience, while living and working in Germany, in searching original records and talking to many people carrying the different forms of the Neuffer name, he was appointed, at the Nuffer family reunion, in 1988, to determine the proper spelling of the name.  His opinion, contained in his letter, was that the spelling used during life should be used.  An attempt to follow this idea was used in compiling this family history.

Here are the contents of the letter.

“Dear Lloyd,

“After researching and thinking more about the subject I think it would be a mistake to spell Johann Christoph’s name Neuffer on the cover of the book.  I fear it would bring considerable criticism to you and may weaken the authenticity of the book.  Expecially since any serious researcher would not be able to find convincing evidence to favor the spelling Neuffer in relation to Johann Christoph.

“You say that you have seen the Neuffer spelling on Logan Temple records.  I have not been able to locate that, in fact enclosed you will find a copy of the Logan Temple Index card which shows the spelling as Nuffer.  On his birth and marriage records in Neuffen the name is spelled Nuffer.  (See enclosed copy of the Neuffer parish records).  On the U.S. immigration records and the Wurttemberg emigration records it is also shown as Nuffer.  (see enclosed emigration index).

“You mentioned that the researcher you hired spelled it Neuffer.  This is the case only on the pedigree chart.  On the family group sheets it is spelled Nuffer.  I asked some researchers in the Salt Lake Family History Center why a researcher would have done this when the parish records that they used were clearly Nuffer.  They said that sometimes a researcher will use the same spelling all through a pedigree chart to maintain consistency even if the spelling is different for some individuals.  They said that this is especially true if it is the way the patron spells their name and if they indicate some sensitivity about the spelling.  They said a pedigree chart is only for convenience and is not considered an official document as a family group sheet is.

“As I have said before I have no hang up as to how anyone spells their name.  But I do feel strongly that when you use an individuals name such as Johann Christoph Nuffer it should be spelled the way he spelled it in life.

“Enclosed are some additional and updated sheets and a map for the book.

“Best Regard

“W. P. Nuffer


History of Idaho: John Nuffer

Back l-r: Austin, Willard, Luther, Louis, Herman; Middle l-r: Myron, John, Florance, Edwin, Louisa, Agnes; Front l-r: Karl, Athene Nuffer

From “History of Idaho” and found in Volume III starting page 1197.  “A Narrative Account of Its Historical Progress, Its People and Its Principal Interests”  This book is by Hiram T. French, M.S.  The book also says it is Illustrated and published by The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago and New York, 1914.

I found this book while at Utah State University originally.  I knew the history was inside but did not copy it then.  I finally returned a few years ago, found the book in the new library, and made a copy.  But at least I had it.  I found it just recently on Google Books.  This is John Nuffer, half-brother of my Regina Nuffer Wanner, not her father as some have previously indicated.  John went by John, his father John Christoph, went by Christoph and Christopher.  I have kept the spelling of the article.  You can also read his autobiography too.

“A quarter century’s residence at Preston constitutes Mr. John Nuffer one of the old timers of this vicinity.  The mere fact of long residence, however, is somewhat of an empty distinction without works accompanying such residence.  In the case of Mr. Nuffer there can be found ample evidence both of long residence and accomplishments in the realm of practical affairs and in good citizenship.  Mr. Nuffer in early life was a graduate of one of Germany’s foremost schools of architecture.  All his life he has been a builder and contractor and in Preston in particular probably much the greater part of the higher class public and residential buildings has been done under his supervision, or through his business organization.

“Mr. Nuffer was born in Wuertemberg, Germany, December 4, 1862.  He is a son of Christopher and Agnes Barbara (Spring) Nuffer.  The father, who was a wine grower in the old country, came to America in 1882, first settling at Logan, Utah, but a year later came to Oneida county, Idaho, where as one of the early settlers he took up land and was a homesteader and farmer until his death in 1908.  He was born in 1835.  The mother, who was born in Germany in 1838, died there in 1865.  Of two children, John is the older, while his brother Fred is also a resident of Preston.

“The grade schools of Germany were the source of Mr. Nuffer’s education up to his fourteenth year.  At that customary age, when the German youths take up an education for practical life, he entered the Royal Architectural College at Stuttgart, where he was a student for four terms, and on leaving school as a budding young architect, he followed his profession in his native country for four years, up to the time of the removal of his father to America, when he became a resident of the western county.  Mr. Nuffer has been largely engaged in contract work since coming to Idaho, and during the past ten years has had a large business of his own as an architect and builder.  A complete list of his work at Preston and vicinity would be too long, buth some of the more prominent structures should be mentioned.  They include the Oneida Stake Academy, consisting of two buildings; the Western [should be Weston] Tabernacle; the Preston Opera House; the McCammon public school, the grade public school: Fairview, Mapleton and Whitney public schools; the Tabernacle at Grace; the high school at Grace; the Latter Day Saints church in the First Ward; and most of the business blocks as well as many of the larger and more attractive residence structures in Preston.  Mr. Nuffer is a director and secretary-treasurer of the Cub River and Worm Creek Canal Company.

“His part in civic affairs has been hardly less important than in business.  For four years, or two terms, he served as justice of the peace of Preston; one term as village trustee, and was clerk of the village board for one term.  His politics is Democratic.  He is a high priest in the Church of the Latter Day Saints, and served a two years’ mission for the church in Germany.

“In November, 1885, at Logan, Utah, Mr. Nuffer married Miss Louise Zollinger, a daughter of Ferd and Louise (Meyer) Zollinger.  Her father died December 16, 1912, and her mother is living in Providence, Utah.  Her parents were pioneers of Utah in 1862, having crossed the plains to the then territory.

“The marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Nuffer has been blessed with a large family of eleven children, who are named as follows: Luther Jacob born at Providence in 1886, is a resident of Preston and is married and has two children; Willard John, born at Preston in 1888, is a graduate of Idaho State University in the law department and is a young lawyer at Downey, Idaho; Louis Ferd, born at Preston in 1889, is a school teacher in Preston; Herman Christ, born at Preston in 1891, is a student of civil engineering in the University of Moscow; Austin Eckart, born at Preston in 1893, is a high school student; Carl Joseph, born in 1895, died in 1904; Agnes Louise, born at Preston in 1898, is a schoolgirl; Myron David, born in 1900; Florence Myrtel, born in 1902, and Edwin Joseph, born in 1904, are all attending school; and Athene Barbara, born in 1907.

“As a successful man and long business builder in this section of Idaho, Mr. Nuffer has a very high opinion of the state and forecasts its taking place among the first of American states.  He has had a career of substantial self-advancement and practically all the propserity he has won due to his own labor.

“His fondness for home life has precluded any association without outside organizations except the church in which he has had a prominent part.

That ends the history from The History of Idaho.  I thought I would provide some additional details on the family.

John was born in Neuffen, Württemberg, Germany.

Louise was born in Providence, Cache, Utah.

Luther Jacob was born 21 June 1885 in Providence and died 27 January 1952 in Oak Grove, Clackmas, Oregon.  He married Rosa Morf and later Mary Crockett.

Willard John was born 19 January 1888 in Preston and died 27 January 1948 in San Bernardino County, California.  I am not aware that he ever married.

Louis Ferdinand was born 20 September 1889 in Glendale, Oneida (now Franklin), Idaho and died 19 August 1966 in Canby, Clackmas, Oregon.  He married Ruby May Jensen.

Herman Christopher was born 12 October 1891 in Preston and died 23 August 1940.  He married Virginia Pryde Simmons.

Austin Eckhert was born 6 August 1893 in Preston and died 2 March 1944 in Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California.

Karl Aron was born 6 September 1895 in Preston and died 7 February 1905 in Preston.

Karl Nuffer

Agnes Louise was born 11 May 1898 in Preston and died 28 June 1983 in Downey, Bannock, Idaho.  She married Raymond Hurst.

Myron David was born 21 July 1900 in Preston and died 24 November 1976 in Logan.  He married Camille Cole.

Florence Myrtle was born 19 October 1902 in Preston and died 23 March 1994 in Soda Springs, Caribou, Idaho.  She married Heber Wilford Christensen.

Edwin Joseph was born 25 August 1904 in Preston and died 21 June 1996 in Ogden, Weber, Utah.  He married Jennie Arrella Smart.

Athlene Barbara was born 21 November 1907 in Preston and died 23 November 1991 in Preston.  She married Adrian Biggs Hampton.


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.