Don and Lolane wintered each winter in St. George relishing their time together with family and seeking yard sales.
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
A copy of this autobiography of my Great Grandfather was given to me years ago. I wanted to make it more widely available. I will insert clarification or other information in brackets .
The Life Story of William Fredrick Andra Sr
I was born on February 11, 1898 in Meissen, Saxony, Germany to Wilhimina [Wilhelmina Christiana Knauke] and Theodor F. [Fredrick] Andra. My father died when I was about four years old [23 November 1902].
I was baptized in the Elbe River in  April 1909; came to the United States in the following month of May. I left at the age of eleven, one year ahead of the same boat, but were for some reason delayed a month. The boat that they had intended to take sank in mid-ocean. “The Lord moves in mysterious ways, his wonders to perform!”
Upon arriving here, I went to Fairview, Utah to work out my board and room from John R. Anderson, who was a former missionary in Germany. After being in Fairview for one year, I went back to Salt Lake to meet the rest of the family when they arrived. We had quite a struggle at first, but we made out when the rest had learned the language.
At the age of fourteen, my Mother took me to Preston, Idaho to the home of a former missionary [George Wanner] who had helped convert my mother in Germany. I thinned, hoed and topped beets; worked in the potatoes; and did many other things around the farm. There were about 24 head of cows to be milked. For my work, I got $18.00 a month. The next summer I got $25.00 and then $30.00 per month. In the winter I went back to Salt Lake City because there wasn’t any work left on the farm.
I worked in the Apex Mine in Bingham at the same time Jack Dempsey was a diamond drill sharpener.
The next winter, I worked in the coal mine at Wattis in Carbon County during the flu epidemic in 1918. My future father-in-law [George Wanner] took the flu and was in the hospital in Salt Lake City. Shortly after, his boy, Golden also caught the flu and died. I took the body home to Whitney, Idaho on the train.
I did the chores for the family because they all had the flu. After working for George Wanner for seven years on and off, I married at the age of 22 his daughter, Mary Louise Wanner, in the Salt Lake Temple on March 10,1920.
At a time when things were tough, I worked on the farm for James R. Bodily and in the winter I did janitor work at the Whitney School and meeting house for $30.00 a month. Then our son, William Junior was born. During this time, I helped build the sugar factory in Whitney.
In 1922, we moved to Salt Lake City and I worked for the Royal Bakery for one year and then we moved back to Preston and went into the café business with my brother Walter. We stayed in the café business until the end of 1925. We then bought the Wanner farm in Preston during depression times.
I used to dig basements, haul gravel and sand and haul sugar beets from the beet piles to the sugar factory for $4.00 a ton. It was hard making this $1000.00 principal and $500.00 interest, but with the Lord’s help and a good wife and children, we paid for the farm. In 1937 we bought nine more acres on the east side of our farm, making forty-four acres.
In 1937 I was made a High Priest. I have been a ward teacher for thirty-six years, ward teaching supervisor for seven years, and a group leader for the High Priests Quorum for twelve years. I am at present a director of the Mink Creek-Riverdale Canal Company.
Our main crops on this farm have been sugar beets and potatoes. We have raised peas and corn for many years. Our present family consists of twelve children; eight boys and four girls (of which two of the boys have passed on).
In 1947 I had a back fusion operation. It was very successful.
Seven of our children are married and we have twenty-eight grandchildren and two great grandchildren. One of the boys is in the Western States Mission now. We have had two on missions previously.
I would like to pass this biography on to my son.
Prepared and arranged November 28, 1961 by William F. Andra, Sr. (Age sixty-three)
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.
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.
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.
Thanks to Melece Hudson Salisbury, a Wanner cousin, for this photo.
She found this picture of John & Regina Wanner in a box of photos. I am glad she was diligent and sought out who they were rather than some of the alternatives.
It appears this might even be a wedding picture, or close to that time, of John & Regina.
I have shared the biography of John & Regina written by their daughter, Mary, before. Click on the link to read that history.
John George Wanner Jr was born 29 October 1870 in Holzgerlingen, Böblingen, Württemberg, Germany and died 5 January 1947 in Chicago, Cook, Illinois. He had been married once already and had two children before this photo. After Regina passed away, he remarried two more times.
Regina Friederike Nuffer was born 26 January 1869 in Neuffen, Esslingen, Württemberg, Germany and died 10 March 1942 in Preston, Franklin, Idaho. She had been married once already and had one child before this photo.
Hopefully some day I can write a more comprehensive history of John & Regina.
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.
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.
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.
I stumbled upon this old photo of Georg Friedrich Nuffer the other day. It is not often you come across a color photograph of a family member from so long ago.
Georg is the half-brother to my Regina Friederike Nuffer, daughter of John and Eva Nuffer. Georg is the son of John and Agnes Nuffer. Agnes Barbara Spring passed away 29 January 1867 in Neuffen, Esslingen, Wurttemburg and John Nuffer remarried to Eva Katharina Greiner 25 July 1867 in Neuffen.
Georg was born 20 January 1864 in Neuffen. The family immigrated to the Preston, Franklin, Idaho area in 1880, I believe to the Glendale area. He met and married Anna Elizabeth Rinderknecht 3 April 1888 in Providence, Cache, Utah. He died 31 March 1952 in Saratoga, Santa Clara, California. This photo I believe was taken somewhere near Preston. From the vehicles in the background, it was within a year or two before he passed away. It is a gem of a picture from the wrinkled suit, bushy eyebrows, and colors.