Leaving your mark

For this week, I thought I would share a photo of me in Chorley, Lancashire, England.  We had gathered for a Zone Conference and were waiting for the chapel doors to open.  At the time I thought it was a great idea to write something in the dew on the grass.  I guess something akin to writing something in the sand on the beach.  “Elder Ross was here.”  I hope my mark in England and Wales is a bit deeper than this jolly picture though.  The Preston England LDS Temple stands in the background behind me pointing to my handiwork.

Elder Ross written in dew on Preston Temple Grounds

Wanner-Schmid Wedding

Jakob and Salome Schmid are pleased to announce the marriage of their daughter Anna Maria to Johann, son of Johann and Anna Wanner.  Johann and Anna were married 6 June 1870 in Holzgerlingen, Böblingen, Württemberg.

Anna Maria Schmid was the third child of three born to the marriage of Jakob Frederick Schmid (he went by Frederick) and Salome Notter on 21 January 1849 in Holzgerlingen.  Solome was 38 years old when Anna was born and died two and a half years later in Holzgerlingen.  Anna’s father, Jakob, then remarried to Agnes Margarete Hasenmaier in 1852.  Unfortunately, Agnes passed away a year and half later when Anna was barely over 3 years old.  Jakob remained single as far as we know and raised the two girls and boy on his own afterward.  Jakob was a weaver.  Anna likely had few if any memory of either of her mothers.  Anna was christened the same day she was born.  Below is a picture of St. Mauritius’ tower in Holzgerlingen where Anna was christened.  This tower has been there since the eleventh century.

St. Mauritius Church in Holzgerlingen where Anna Schmid was christened

Johann Georg Wanner was the fourth child of five born to the marriage of Johann Friedrich Wanner and Anna Maria Marquardt on 18 October 1845 also in Holzgerlingen.  He was christened the next day in the same church as Anna.

St. Mauritius

St. Mauritius from the nave looking toward the chancel.  Inside this church is where Johann Wanner was christened

Holzgerlingen is a small town and it is very likely that Johann and Anna knew of each other growing up if not more personally.  Johann and Anna were married 6 June 1870 in the same church in which they were christened.

The altar of St. Mauritius in Holzgerlingen where Johann and Anna were likely married

The altar of St. Mauritius in Holzgerlingen before which Johann and Anna were likely married

Johann and Anna welcomed a baby boy named after his father on 29 October 1870.  Young Johann Georg was christened the next day in the same church, likely before a congregation seated in the below nave.

The chapel/nave of St. Mauritius where family sat for generations if not hundreds of years attending church

The chapel/nave of St. Mauritius where family sat for generations if not hundreds of years attending church

Johann and Anna welcomed Christina Wanner 30 March 1872 in Holzgerlingen.  She was christened on 1 April 1872.

The train platform at Holzgerlingen

The train platform at Holzgerlingen

Between 1872 and 1873 Johann and Anna moved to Grünkraut, Ravensburg, Württemburg.  This is about 50 miles to the south.  We don’t know why they moved to this tiny town.  It was in Grünkraut that Maria Magdalena Wanner was born 12 September 1873.  She was christened 14 September 1873 but I do not know which church the family used in Grünkraut.

Johannas Wanner was born 23 June 1875 and christened the same day in Grünkraut.  He died later that year on 5 November 1875.  He was buried at Atzenweiler according to family records, but I cannot find this place so it must be an area nearby Grünkraut.

Johannas Frederick Wanner came 28 July 1878 and was christened on 3 August 1878.  He died 12 November 1878 and is also apparently buried at Atzenweiler.

On 30 March 1879 Johann and Anna welcomed Luise Sophia Wanner.  Christening followed 6 April 1879 in Grünkraut.

Jakob Frederick Wanner appeared 14 January 1881 with christening 23 January 1881.

Fred told a couple of stories I think proper to share here.  I cannot verify accuracy or the time frame.  “They left the farm work to Grandfather and the children.  They used the milk cows to do the farm work and then would milk them morning and night.  They also got wood from the forest for fuel.  It rained a lot in Germany so the out buildings were connected to the house.  One time Grandma went downstairs to get some fruit.  She reached over and touched something hairy and she thought it was the devil!  It was a cow that had wandered down from the barn.  Dad didn’t talk much about his life as a child but he did say he got a drum for Christmas and then it would disappear about New Years Day and he would get it for Christmas again the next year.  He may have been joking.  The family belonged to the Lutheran Church and was very religious.”

Pauline Wanner arrived 1 April 1884 in Atzenweiler and was christened 10 April 1884 in Atzenweiler.

Gottlop Wanner showed up 18 June 1886 in Kronhalden with christening 29 June 1886 in Atzenweiler.

Lastly, Wilhelmina ended the caravan on 12 September 1887 in Atzenweiler and was christened 19 September 1887 in Atzenweiler.

During the summer of 1890 LDS missionaries visited Grünkraut.  The missionaries apparently visited with Jakob, Anna’s father.  The missionary showed Jakob the Book of Mormon and Jakob took the missionaries home with him.  The missionaries lived with the family for a time and the Wanner family was converted.  Johann Georg Jr was the first to join the LDS Church on 11 July 1891.  Johann Sr, Anna, Christina, and Maria were all baptized 16 October 1891.  Jakob, Anna’s father, joined 22 February 1892.

Johann Jr emigrated to America with Elder Theurer.  They went to his home in Providence, Cache, Utah.  We don’t know who Elder Theurer is, but he helped Johann Georg, now John George, find employment with Fred Nuffer who lived in Mapleton, Franklin, Idaho.  Elder John Theurer had converted the Nuffer family in Germany, so it was likely a sibling of John who helped find John Jr his employment.

In 1893, the family emigrated from Germany.  John, Anna, Christina, Maria, Luise, Fredrick, Pauline, Gottlop, and Wilhelmina all departed Liverpool, England on 3 June 1893 on the Arizona.  They arrived on 13 June 1893 at Ellis Island in New York, New York, New York.  Immediately, the family caught multiple trains through Chicago and Salt Lake with the last stop at Franklin, Franklin, Idaho near where John Jr met them with a wagon.  The family arrived at Franklin on 18 June 1893 where John took them in to Preston.  It was in Preston that Luise, Fred, and Pauline, were baptized 7 June 1894.  Gottlob followed on 6 June 1895 with Wilhelmina 6 August 1896, all in Preston.

The family immediately began to integrate with society.  Christina married Charles August Nuffer 1 February 1894 in the Logan LDS Temple.  John Jr married Eliza Stirland 14 November 1894 in the Logan Temple.

Wanner Family about 1895,

Wanner Family about 1895.  Standing (l-r): Maria (Mary), Christina, Johann (John but went by George), Pauline.  Sitting (l-r): Anna, Jakob (Fred), Luise (Louise), Wilhelmina, Gottlop, Johann (John).

Maria, now Mary, married William Addison Wagstaff 17 June 1896 in the Logan Temple.  Luise, now Louise, married Jeffery Marcelin Bodrero 16 March 1898 in the Logan Temple.  John Jr remarried after divorce to Regina Frederike Nuffer 31 August 1898 in the Logan Temple.  Jakob, now Fred, married Mary Elizabeth Carter 30 September 1903 in the Logan Temple.  Pauline married William Henry Crossley 14 December 1904 in the Logan Temple.  Wilhelmina married Moses Bodrero 18 December 1907 in the Logan Temple.  Gottlop married Rebecca Hicks 16 November 1908 in Preston.

The Wanner family purchased a farm from John Nuffer, a brother to Charles and Regina, near Glendale, Franklin, Idaho.  Fred purchased the farm from them around 1910.  John Sr and Anna moved to Logan where they were living at 791 North 500 East when the 1910 Census was taken (the whole family was in Preston city limits for the 1900 Census).  On the 1920 Census I believe they lived at 304 East 500 North, but the census is unclear exactly what street 304 is on, but going from the pattern of the census taker I believe it is the address I have listed.

Johann Georg Wanner 1921

John died 16 February 1922 of pneumonia in Logan.  Anna listed their address as 272 East 400 North in Logan.  He was buried on the 19th in the Logan Cemetery.  She also died of pneumonia but on 9 December 1929.  She was living at the same address when she passed away.  She was buried 12 December 1929 next to her husband.

Anna Schmid Wanner

Apostolic Brush

Ruby and David Haight, Paul Ross, Rose and John Byrom

Ruby and David Haight, Paul Ross, Rosie and John Byrom

I stumbled upon this picture the other day and thought maybe it was time to share it.  This picture has an interesting story behind it.

On the far right are John and Rosie Byrom.  Rosie is mostly in the shadow so it is difficult to make her out.  I served in the Runcord Ward from around December 1999 to around August 2000.  John served as Ward Mission Leader and Rosie as a Ward Missionary.  (The Byroms have since separated and divorced).  I served in the ward for a long time and they remained in their callings for the entire time, so we built a friendship which, I feign to believe, still exists to this day.

I returned home from my mission in December 2000.  It was not long into 2001 that I learned the Byroms were planning on visiting Utah.  Of course, I invited them to spend some time in Idaho.

During the majority of time I served in Runcorn I had a companion by the name of Brad Hales.  Also in our district was a senior sister companionship of Meriel Peterson and Patricia Kleinkopf.  We were all native Idahoans and were in close proximity of each other.  It was natural that the Byroms also wanted to visit each of them while they were in Idaho.

This particular day we drove to Oakley, Idaho to visit Sister Peterson.  We had an enjoyable breakfast and conversation.  Sister Peterson decided she wanted to give us the tour of Oakley because there were some architectural gems that she thought the Byroms would enjoy.  I grew up near Oakley so I was familiar with many of these local landmarks.

We all piled into my little Camry and away we drove.  We had not made it very far driving down some of the streets of Oakley when Sister Peterson announced, “Wait, David is home, he will want to meet you!”  She had me turn around and we pulled into a little home in Oakley.

I had no clue who David was and I was not familiar with the home we were now pulling into the driveway.  We all exited the car.  In the yard there was a man trimming his hedges with a large straw hat and a large set of sunglasses that you only see old people wear.

Since Sister Peterson indicated that David would want to meet the Byroms because they were from England, I remained at the front of my car in the driveway and leaned back against it in the hot, summer, morning sun.

I have to give a little bit of background on the month prior.  We are in the latter half of July 2001 at the point of this picture (I recollect it was the 21st, but may be wrong).  I had just spent considerable time in Hawaii with family at the beginning of the month.  During that time I picked myself up a shirt and a shell necklace among other items.  As you can see in the picture, I am wearing my red shirt (not the blatant Hawaiian design you regularly see).  For years I thought I was in a pair of board shorts too, but this picture corrects my memory on that tidbit.  But I had continuously wore my new puka shell necklace since the trip to Hawaii.

Back to the story, I am leaning on the front of my car watching the Byroms enter the back yard through the hedge and approach this old man in a large straw hat and holding an electric hedge trimmer.  The man stopped trimming and turned to greet his trespassers.  Curiously, after what was a short couple of moments, probably no more than 20 seconds of conversation, this man leaves the Byroms and Sister Peterson and headed my direction.

My first reaction was that I was doing something wrong so I looked around to see my misstep.  Alas, not seeing I had done anything wrong I approached the man and met him near his hedge.  He had set down his trimmer before arriving to me and he pulled his hand out of his glove to shake my hand.  I shook hands with him and he with his free hand reached up and took of his hat and glasses and asked me my name.

My first thought was something along these lines, “Boy, this David fellow sure looks familiar.”  He asked my name and I gave it.  He asked about my Ross name and whether or not it was Scottish.  I informed him it was my name but not the name of which my ancestors carried.  He then informed me that Ross was a common name in Scotland where he had served as a Mission President.

He then grew quiet and he sidled up closer to me and put the hand with the hat and glasses in the small of my back while still holding my other hand in a handshake.  He was now close enough that his face was in my shadow (and he was considerably shorter than me).  He then broke the handshake and with that hand reached up and touched my puka shell necklace.

“What is this?”

“My necklace?”

“I am disappointed that you have fallen from the principles of the gospel that we teach as missionaries.  We teach than men and women have separate and distinct roles and this is confusing the two.”

My first impression was, “How did you know I served a mission?”

This man then turned to walk away back to the Byroms and Sister Peterson.  As he walked away, the thought occurred, “You have just been rebuked by an Apostle.”

Then it dawned.  David was David B Haight, one of the twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  This was an individual I recognized as a Priesthood Leader and on my first meeting with him, I had been rebuked.

I stood there reeling from what had just happened.  It stung.  David went to the back door of his house and summoned his wife Ruby.  Ruby appeared and they all stood 25 feet away from me chit chatting about England, Scotland, and whatever else they were talking about.

What seemed like an eternity was likely only a minute or so, if that.  I remember reaching up and taking the puka shell necklace off and holding it in my hand.  I dwelt on what was really an unintended and probably unwanted visit that was a bother to me and this old man.  Sister Peterson just commented he was home and a few lines of dialogue just ended up potentially effected my eternities.  According to him I was already on the path, so I guess it did not matter what he said except to correct my backsliding ways.

Next thing I knew, the distant conversation between the Haights and Byroms had stopped and this Apostle was returning to me.  He again held out his hand as if to invite another handshake. I held out my hand with the necklace in it and he cupped his hand to receive whatever I was offering.  I dropped the necklace into his hand and once he realized what it was he let it drop to the ground.

He held out his hand again inviting mine in a handshake and I clasped his.  He sidled up close to me again, put his other hand in the small of my back, and was close enough to be in my shadow and that I could smell the salt in his old man sweat, and he continued…

“Where did you serve your mission?”  (I remember thinking that was an ironic question since the Byroms were from England, Sister Peterson served in England, and he asked where the fourth member of the party served his mission?)

“England Manchester Mission”

“How long have you been home?”

(After a quick mental tally) “Nine months”

“Elder, you hold the Priesthood.  You have a duty to uphold that Priesthood.  You should have been married by now.”

He released my hand, pulled his hand from the small of my back, turned, and walked away.  Maybe 4 steps later he turned around and said, “When it happens, I want to know about it.”

He returned to a conversation with Ruby, Sister Peterson, and the Byroms.

I stood there while they chatted for a few more minutes.  I do not recall hearing anything of the conversation between them, even if I was close enough to have heard.

Rosie had a picture taken of the occasion.  Sister Peterson sacrificed herself in the moment to take the photo that now memorializes this occasion.

I shook hands again with Elder David Haight and Sister Ruby Haight and we headed on down the road to see some other homes.  I ended up driving many more hours that day to Boise, Idaho City, Stanley, and elsewhere chauffeuring the Byroms through some of the sights of Idaho.  Rosie Byrom teased me about the moment the rest of the time I was with them.  After all, it is not every day that you get rebuked by an Apostle.  I cannot recall if they overheard the conversation or if I told them about it.  I cannot imagine that they overheard the conversation due to the close proximity in which David and I spoke that day.

Oddly enough, it weighed on me for a long time.  It became the butt of jokes as time went on, especially as David continued to age.  He was already over 95 at the time of my meeting him.  Roommates and friends would indicate that I better hurry or else I would not fulfill the rest of my duty to let David know when it happened.  I will not lie, it became a great story to tell people.  People loved to hear about my rebuke by an Apostle.

I regularly tell the story to individuals I am close to and that wear a necklace.  Missionaries I worked with I regularly told the story, especially if they wore a necklace.  I admit, I never wore a necklace or bracelet of any type since that date.  I know a number of missionaries who have “fallen from the principles we teach as missionaries” and forsaken their evil ways.  Honestly, I do not know that the story is one that should be heeded by others.  But for the deep effect it had upon me at the time and the power in which he spoke to me, I recognize it was for me.  Others should be careful about applying revelation of others to themselves.  But I do believe there is a principle here that we can learn, I just don’t know that I can very clearly articulate it.  I know the principle clearly for me, but don’t know how narrow or general to make it in application to others.

I remember Rosie reminding me that if I properly repent, I would be married within another 9 months.  Boy if that did not apply a little pressure!

As a side, I did pick up my little puka shell necklace and ended up giving it to a friend when I returned to Missouri later in August.  I don’t believe she has any clue what that little necklace meant to me.

There is more to the story.

On the following Monday, I believe 23 July 2001, I was in Salt Lake City with the Byroms.  After an endowment session, Rosie announced we were to go to the Church Administration Building.  She did not tell us why and I thought she just wanted to see the sights from the Church Office Building.  We walked in the Church Office Building and after Rosie talked to the man at the desk, she said we were in the wrong building and we needed to go to the Church Administration Building.  I informed her that the Church Administration Building was not really open to the public.  Rosie announced that we had an appointment.

In light of my experience a few days before, I was not really thrilled about our appointment in the Church Administration Building.  We walked around to the front door of the Church Administration Building and walked in.  As we approached the man at the security desk he asked,

“Are you the Byroms?”

Rosie responded, “Yes.”

“We have been waiting for you.”  (Never a very heartwarming phrase, whether the morgue, jail, CIA, bank, or Church Administration Building)

The man then responded, “You will need to leave your bags here, take the elevator to the fourth floor, take a right, and it is the last door on the left.  I will let them know you are coming up.”

We entered the elevator and headed to the fourth floor.  Rosie then turned and commented to me, “John helped provide security and drive for Elder Ballard while he (Elder Ballard) was in England for the Preston Temple Dedication.  He told us that if we were ever in Utah to stop and pay him a visit.”

Suddenly the realization came to me that I was going to visit with my second Apostle in less than a week.  I am a fairly laid back guy but felt some apprehension after the experience just days before.  We turned the corner and there stood M Russell Ballard in the doorway.  He invited us in to his office, introduced us to his secretary, and then ushered us into his office.  Across from his desk, I think, there were two nice wing-backed chairs.  Another chair was already there for me, or we pulled up a chair.  Elder Ballard left the office for a moment and then reappeared pushing a little chair toward me.  We were already all seated and he asked,

“Where is your wife?”

“I am not married.”

“Oh, that is something you will have to fix.”

He turned to push the little chair back out the door.  I heard Rosie chuckle and comment, “In the mouth of two or three witnesses…”

Elder Ballard returned and took his seat and we had a nice conversation that probably did not take more than 15 minutes.  Once again, Rosie had a picture taken.

Paul Ross, Rosie and John Byrom, Elder Ballard

Paul Ross, Rosie and John Byrom, M Russell Ballard

That was the extent of the interaction and I felt some sting from the second witness of my duty to uphold the Priesthood.  But it was a pleasant experience.  Rosie reminded me often after that, “In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.”

Well, time passed and eventually Elder David B Haight did pass from this veil of tears at the end of July 2004, three years after our encounter.  Fortunately, Elder Haight and I did have an opportunity to talk again regarding our first interaction that lessened the blow of the occasion.  Nevertheless, roommates and many friends called after Elder Haight’s passing to let me know how dire my situation was now that the revelator had passed and I had not fulfilled my duty.

Rosie commented to me that I could fulfill my duty by reporting my marriage to Elder Ballard when the time came.

Well, forward a few more years and I became enamored with a little red-headed girl from Kaysville, Utah.  She came to enjoy her time with me and after a while we would end our walks with a little dancing on the porch of the Alumni House at Utah State University.  It became a regular thing to end our walks and evenings out with a dance and closing conversation on the porch of the Alumni House.  I dare say we danced on the porch of that building more than 60 times.  It was on the porch of this little Alumni House that I made an unofficial proposal to Ms. Hemsley.  It just seemed like the right place.

Months later, Amanda and I returned to Logan under the guise of visiting some friends.  While on the campus I took her to that little porch of the Alumni House and there after midnight, now on 4 July 2005, I fell to my knee and proposed to her.  Of course she said yes and we danced and kissed there on the porch of the Alumni House.  Interestingly, before we left that night, I caught sight of a huge portrait hanging inside the doors that open to the porch that had become an important part of our courtship.  As I looked closer, I could see the familiar sight of a man whose face I knew.  As I got a little closer to see in the dark the portrait lit only by fire escape signs it dawned on me it was a portrait of David B Haight.

If that was not a little coincidental, and perhaps a little creepy, I do not know what is.  Elder Haight’s portrait had actually witnessed some of the most personal moments of my courtship.  The building I had only known as the Alumni House is properly named the David B Haight Alumni Center.  Somehow it seemed the whole experience had just came full circle.

We sent a wedding invitation to Elder M Russell Ballard with a short note explaining that due to Elder Haight’s passing I was sending the note and invitation to him to fulfill my duty.  He responded with a card thanking me for my note and invitation and suggested I consider my duty fulfilled.  He also apologized for not being able to attend our reception (which I am glad about, surely some further duty might have been laid upon me if he had!)

There is my story for the above photo with the Haights and Byroms.  Maybe some day I can tell my story about Elder Hales (the Apostle, not my missionary companion)…

Biography of John Christoph Nuffer

This is the biography of John Christoph Nuffer written by Alma Katherine (Kate) Scheibel Naef, granddaughter of John Christoph Nuffer.  Kate’s parents are Jacob Schiebel and Regina Friederike Nuffer.  I will type it exactly as it is found in the book, “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.

Johann Christoph Nuffer

When grandfather Nuffer was still in Germany, he was a dress goods weaver, did truck gardening, and also had a grave vineyard.

At that time his family consisted of my grandmother, Eva Katherina Griner Nuffer, his second wife, my mother, Frederika (Regina), her two brothers Charles August and Adolph, and two sons, Fred and John, from his first wife, Agnas Barbara Spring Nuffer, who died in Germany.

Their home was on Main Street and was made of lumber and rock.

They belonged to the Germany Lutheren Church, and were visited by mormon missionaries who came from America to preach the Gospel to them.  This made their hearts rejoice and in 1879 they were converted to the mormon church or Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  Elder John Theurer of Providence, Utah, U.S.A. was the Elder that preached the gospel to them and later baptized them.

At the time there was a canal or mill race that ran close to the back row of houses.  They had planned to do the baptizing at night so they would ot cause any disturbance around the neighborhood.

At the time there was a family who had an upstairs in their house and they watched through the upstairs window and saw grandfathers family go out the back way into the canal.  As soon as this family saw them, they rumored it around the neighborhood, and before morning the whole neighborhood knew that the Nuffer family had been baptized into the mormon church and of course, persecusion started.

After having been baptized, they had the desire to come to America, the promised land, to be with the main body of Saints.

My grandmother, Eva Katherina Griner Nuffer, was a woman of great faith as I have heard my mother and Uncle John Nuffer speak of many times.  Uncle Fred said in his history that she was a good woman as well as a good mother.

Eva Kathrina Greiner

They left Germany in 1880.  While coming across the ocean, the children had the measles so it was not a very pleasant journey.

They arrived in Providence, Utah about 15, May, 1880 where they lived for three years.  It was while here that Mary (Maria) was born.

Grandfather and family left Providence and moved to Mapleton or Cub River, which at that time was called St. Joseph.  At the time they put the Post Office in, there was already a St. Joseph in Idaho, so they had to give it a new name.  They named it Mapleton and it could well be called such for it was in the mist of so many beautiful maples.  The hills and canyons were loaded with these maples.

The Nuffer ranch or homestead was located on the north-west of Mapleton which the Lord had well provided for the pioneers with black, furtile soil.

Grandfather’s farm was cut in half by the main traveled road.

On the east side was the land where his homes, stables, and orchards were located.

The orchard was on a hill side a little north-west of the second house.  The orchard contained applies, different kinds of plums and prunes, cherries, pears, peaches, grapes, strawberries, raspberries, gooseberries, and currents.

On the side there were also many shade trees which furnished shade in the summer months for the buildings.  Some of those trees are still standing and are about 80 years old or more.

On the west side of the road was a meadow.  A creek ran through this area.  The creek was loaded with bushes and willows which were used in making the fence which surrounded the homestead.  Uncle Charles August ad Adolph helped Grandfather make these fences.  Also they would help Grandfather with his farming.

Also on both sides of the creek grew Timothy and Red Top which Grandfather used for hay.

On a steep hill side to the west of this hay was a grove of Quaken-asp trees which were used for making fence posts.

To the south of this meadow land was a pasture.  Besides being covered with short meadow grass, it had many wild violets and Johnny Jumpups.

The many colors of violets resembled a beautifully spread carpet.

This farm from one end to the other was a beautiful place, but, as time went on the hand of man destroyed this beauty.

The first winter they lived in an unfinished log house.  The floor joist was in the floor, but winter came before they could get the lumber to finish it.  This was a very uncomfortable winter, and they were snowed in many months at a time and could not get to town for supplies, so they had to live on what they raised on the farm.

Many times when sugar was not available, Grandmother would roast sugar beets in the oven and squeeze the joice out of them for sugar to keep her yeast alive and also for other sweetening purposes.

When flour was scarce, they would grind wheat in the coffee mills to make their bread.

The Germany people liked hot drinks, so they would roast barley or wheat and grind it to use for hot drinks.

Since bottles and sugar were so difficult to get, they would dry many of the fruits and vegetables which they raised and also wild fruits such as Chokecherries and Serviceberries.

They would also use wild gooseberries which grew along the creek and sweet them with honey when they were in season.

When coal oil was not available for lights, they would make a wick out of cloth and soak it up with grease and let it burn.

Grandmother would catch rain water in a barrel and put wood ashes in it to make the water soft when ther wasn’t any soap for washing.

They made brooms out of fine willows to clean their shoes off with.

I remember seeing these willow brooms leaning against the door.

They also made baskets from small willows for cloths baskets or for whatever the need would be.

It was in the house by the orchard on 20, February, 1893, that my grandmother, Eva Katherine Griner Nuffer died of pneumonia.

I don’t know just how long Grandfather lived in this house when he married his third wife, Anna Elisabeth Weirman Nuffer.  She had three children, Fred, Ida, and Jake Weirman.

Later they moved back to the first house they built in Mapleton.

Later Grandfather built a one room log house a few rods west of the first house.

Grandfather sold his ranch to the Hull Brothers of Whitney and moved to Preston.

The home in Preston was a two-room frame house west of Uncle John’s rock house which was located in the south-east part of town.  That house is still there, but has had more rooms built on to it.

The next place he moved to was Logan, Utah.  It was here, 1, December, 1901, that his third wife, Anna Elisabeth Weirman Nuffer died.

While still living in Logan, Grandfather married his fourth wife, Maria Alker Nuffer.

After living in Logan for some time, they moved back to Mapleton where Uncle Charles August Nuffer built them a one-room log house in his orchard.

Uncle Charles August’s house was just over the ridge and not far from the old Nuffer home.  His house could be seen from Grandfather’s orchard.

I don’t remember just how long they lived there before they moved back to Preston.

Uncle John Nuffer and some of his boys built them a two-room rock (or cement) house.  It was across the street, south, and a little east of Uncle John’s old frame house.

It was here in this house that Grandfather died 12, April, 1908.

Grandfather had poor health the later fifteen or more years of his life.  He had terrible headaches, kidney trouble, and other such ailments as stomach and liver.  All these and more made him suffer a great deal.  Just before his death, he was nearly blind.

I am grateful for my pioneer grandparents and the heritage they have given me.

Prepared and arranged June 1961 by Laurine and LaNada Hancock daughter and granddaughter of Katherine (Kate) Naef

I wanted to add a couple of notes.

There appears some debate who had the middle name of Christoph, some believe it was only Sr, others only Jr.

Eva Katherine Greiner is the proper spelling.

Anna Elizabeth Weirman is Anna Elizabeth Reber who was a widow of Gottfried Weierman (some sourches Weiermann).

Maria Alker is Maria Anna Alker who was a widow of Conrad Schaub.

Sergene Andra Sorenson Jensen

With Aunt Sergene’s passing, I thought I would make some of the photographs I have of her and her life available.  I am wrapping this around the language of her obituary.

Sergene was born 2 February 1932 in Preston, Franklin, Idaho.  She is the sixth of twelve children born to Mary Louise Wanner and William Fredrick Andra.  My Grandmother, Colleen, is the fifth and was four years older than Sergene.

Sergene standing, Ross, Donald, Jon Wanner, unknown, Kay Wanner all kneeling, and Larry, Dennis, Sharon Johnson, and Dale Andra

Sergene standing, Ross, Donald, Jon Wanner, unknown, Kay Wanner all kneeling, and Larry, Dennis, Sharon Johnson, and Dale Andra

Sergene in school

Sergene in school

Colleen, Larry, Ross, Dale, Sergene about 1945

Sergene graduated from Preston High School in 1950.  She was a cheerleader and the Preston Night Rodeo Queen where she was pictured on Roy Roger’s horse, Trigger Jr., on the cover of the Preston Rodeo program in 1949.

Sergene in High School

Sergene in High School (I only have a scan of a copy, hopefully some day I can have a scan of an original)

Andra Family Portrait, 1947; back (l-r): Bill, Golden; middle: Sergene, Millie, Colleen, June; front: Don, Larry, Bill, Dale, Mary, Ross.

Andra Family Portrait, 1947; back (l-r): Bill, Golden; middle: Sergene, Millie, Colleen, June; front: Don, Larry, Bill, Dale, Mary, Ross.

Immediately after high school she married a guy from Malad who turned out to be quite abusive.  Sergene defended herself and quickly had the marriage annulled.

Sergene married Bert B Sorenson 22 August 1950 in Nampa, Canyon, Idaho.  Two children were born to the marriage, Scott B Sorenson (1951) and Andrew S Sorenson (1953).  Bert worked for Mountain Bell.

June, Millie, Mary, Colleen, Sergene, about 1956.

June, Millie, Mary, Colleen, Sergene, about 1956.

Sergene, Scott, Bert, Andrew Sorenson in Preston

Sergene, Scott, Bert, Andrew Sorenson in Preston about 1957

1959 Andra Reunion, Phyllis (Don), Utahna (Golden), Sergene, Mary, Colleen, Millie, Edith (Bill).

1959 Andra Reunion, Phyllis (Don), Utahna (Golden), Sergene, Mary, Colleen, Millie, Edith (Bill).

Bert, Andy, Jackie Jonas, Sergene about 1964

Bert, Andy, Jackie Jonas, Sergene about 1964

Bert, Sergene with Jackie Jonas in front, and Andy Sorenson about 1964

Bert, Sergene with Jackie Jonas in front, and Andy Sorenson about 1964

June, Millie, Colleen, Sergene mid 1960's

June, Millie, Colleen, Sergene mid 1960’s

Andra Reunion, 1967, Sergene, Colleen, Millie, June, Mary.

Andra Reunion, 1967, Sergene, Colleen, Millie, June, Mary.

Sergene purchased The Wig Wam in Burley in 1969.  She purchased the Ponderosa Beauty Salon in 1973 and the Merle Norman Cosmetics store in Twin Falls in 1976.  She only purchased the businesses, not the buildings in which they were located.  The Ponderosa closed in the 1980’s and the salon with it.  I don’t know when she sold or gave up the Twin Falls store.  She ran the Burley location until she retired from it in the early 1990’s.  It was a sort of forced retirement as the restaurant next door caught fire and Sergene not to make the repairs to her building but just close shop.

Times News, 18 May 1976

Times News, 18 May 1976

Sergene with her parents in the late 1970's

Sergene with her parents in the late 1970’s

Colleen, Millie, June, Sergene, 1977.

Colleen, Millie, June, Sergene, 1977.

Sergene and Bert in the 1980's

Sergene and Bert in the early 1980’s

Millie, Colleen, Sergene

Millie, Colleen, Sergene

Sergene had a knack for golf and bowling.  She participated in the Idaho State Amateur Golf Tournament for 53 consecutive years.  She was honored as the Burley Municipal Ladies Golf Association champion from 1956 to 1986.  She regularly participated on the Idaho Women’s and Chapman couple’s golf circuits.  She also served as a member of the Idaho Couples Golf Association.

Sergene Golf

Bert and Sergene in the late 1980's

Bert and Sergene in the late 1980’s

Bert passed away 4 March 1991 in Burley, Cassia, Idaho.

Sisters at a funeral, 9 March 1991, Burley, Idaho, Colleen, Sergene, June, Millie.

Sisters at a funeral, 9 March 1991, Burley, Idaho, Colleen, Sergene, June, Millie.

Sergene and Colleen in San Diego

Sergene and Colleen in San Diego

Sergene married Harlan Brent Jensen 13 November 1991 in Elko, Elko, Nevada.

Harlan and Sergene Jensen in the mid 1990's

Harlan and Sergene Jensen in the mid 1990’s

Millie, Sergene, and puppies

Millie, Sergene, and puppies

1998 Andra Reunion, Milie and Vance Beck, Sergene Jensen, Colleen Lloyd.

1998 Andra Reunion, Milie and Vance Beck, Sergene Jensen, Colleen Lloyd.

Harlan passed away 4 February 2002 in Burley.

Sergene then spent considerable time with her dear friend and companion Edward Neil Dean from that point forward.  They were close friends and golfing buddies.

Sergene, Neil, and Vance Beck in 2007

Sergene, Neil, and Vance Beck in 2007

Sergene and Neil in 2008

Sergene and Neil at Lava Hot Springs in 2008

Ross, Don, Larry, Sergene, Neil Dean at 2010 Andra Reunion

Ross, Don, Larry, Sergene, Neil Dean at 2010 Andra Reunion

Sergene passed 14 February 2013 in Lake Havasu, Mohave, Arizona.

Sergene's Funeral Program

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.

Robert Lee and Dennis Willard Andra

I have read a number of stories lately about individuals who have lost their children at young ages.  Some due to health reasons, some birth defects, and other reasons.  I do not want to lessen any of the pain that come from such a loss.  I have never suffered any loss of a child.  I do think I would struggle more with having a child for a few years and then losing them.  A child whose personality I have not really perceived and a hope and glimmer I never glimpsed seem like it might be easier to let go to the eternities with the knowledge I will raise them at a future time.  But the loss and separation of having that child become a part of my daily life, whose personality fills my home, whose laughter and cries I recognize in another room, and then losing them to a future date seems more deep and poignant.  I hope I never have to experience either, but I know others have and will still endure such a trial.

I have a Grandfather and five great grandparents I never met.  While I know their image, some of their personality, their lives are woven into mine; I cannot recognize that influence.  I have one great grandparent whose only memories are of her sitting in a lawn chair at reunions and laughing at us playing.  But the grandparents and great grandparents I mingled, played games, and enjoyed their presence I miss.  Some days terribly.  I imagine it would be somewhat similar with the loss of a child, although the stillborn or soon passing child will have memories in the mind and life of the parents.  Who knows, maybe it is any memory that makes it difficult.

In that light, I thought I would share some history, photos, and stories of Robert Lee and Dennis Willard Andra, my Grandmother’s brothers.

Robert Lee Andra was born 24 August 1934 in Preston, Franklin, Idaho.  He was the eighth of twelve children born to Mary Louise Wanner and William Fredrick Andra.  All I ever really heard about Robert is that it was a long, hard birth.  He was born in the morning and passed away by the end of the day.  Grandma told me he never really turned the right color, he had a tint of blue up until he died.  She remembered her Mom holding the baby what seemed like all day.  Little Robert was buried in the family section of the Whitney, Franklin, Idaho cemetery.

Dennis Willard Andra was born 10 January 1942 in Preston, Franklin, Idaho.  He was the eleventh of twelve children born to Mary Louise Wanner and William Fredrick Andra.  I imagine he grew up like any other child in the Andra household; one of many, playful, and a little mischievous.  One of Don’s only memories are of Dennis in the highchair as a little boy, probably similar to this photo.

Dennis about one year old

Dennis about one year old

Here is a picture of Dennis with some siblings and cousins.  This is a scan of a copy of a photograph.  I hope some day I can get a scan of the original photograph so it is higher quality.  Sergene, Ross, Don, Larry, and Dale are all siblings of Dennis.  Sharon Johnson would be Dennis’ niece, June’s daughter (Sharon is one year younger than Dennis and a few months older than Larry).  Jon and Kay are maternal first cousins.  I have another photo of just the Andra siblings together, but its quality is so low that Dennis is not really distinguishable, so I did not post it.

Sergene standing, Ross, Donald, Jon Wanner, unknown, Kay Wanner all kneeling, and Larry, Dennis, Sharon Johnson, and Dale Andra

Sergene standing, Ross, Donald, Jon Wanner, unknown, Kay Wanner all kneeling, and Larry, Dennis, Sharon Johnson, and Dale Andra

Dennis had just celebrated his third birthday with his family on 10 January 1945.  My Grandmother, Dennis’ sister Colleen, told me a story that still made her cry 50 years later.  Dennis came in to her in the middle of the night.  He could not sleep and his ear hurt.  Grandma got up and made him a hot pad for his ear and held him for a while.  He seemed to feel a little better so she laid him on her bed.  She pulled out some dark red fingernail polish and painted his fingernails.  He just laid there and watched her.  It was clear to her that he was not feeling well.  After she finished painting his fingernails she got up to take him back to his own bed.  He did not want to go, he wanted to sleep with his sister.  She got pretty stern with him and told him he had to sleep in his own bed.  She carried him to his bed and tucked him in.

The next morning Great Grandma went in and found Dennis in eternal sleep, he had passed away in the night.  Great Grandpa took little Dennis’ body in and laid him on their bed.  Don remembers that his little foot curled a little and Great Grandpa straightened it out.  Don saw his father cry from the circumstances.  Here is a picture of little Dennis laid out for his burial at Webb’s Funeral Home in Preston.  My Grandma had a better picture (which I don’t have), but this is again a scan of a copy until I can get a better scan or an original.

Dennis Viewing

If you look closely, you can see that Dennis’ fingernails painted dark red.  Grandma would look at the picture and her eyes would tear up.  I remember her at one point saying that she felt bad she had spoken sternly to him before putting him back to bed.  She loved him dearly and showed it by spending time with him, but the last words she spoke were perhaps harsher than she wanted some of his last feelings.  I also know she wished she would have let him stay in her bed, not that it would have changed the outcome, but he might have felt a little more loved.

Dennis died 13 or 14 January 1945 (although his tombstone and death certificate says the 14th) in Preston.  The difference in death dates is probably found in the family have him dying on the 13th when he went to bed, the coroner and formal documents have him pronounced dead the next day.  His parents went with the 14th on the tombstone and he probably did die in the early hours of the 14th.  He was buried 17 January 2012 in Whitney beside his brother.  Both brother’s graves are at the heads of their parents.

Colleen’s journal only gives these few comments about her brother.  On 9 January (which is a day off from the formal records) “Dennis birthday”.  On 13 January 1945, “My darling brother Dennis died.”  On 14 January 1945, “Several people came.  I am thanking them.”  On 17 January 1945, “My dearest brother’s funeral.  I just couldn’t hardly see him go.”