100 Years of Flanders

John William Ross tombstone

(I originally published this in 2008.  I edited it and updated it with pictures for today, the 100th Anniversary of the Armistice.)

I thought I would write a little in relation to Veteran’s Day.  For the most part, it seems this holiday is somewhat forgotten in the United States.  Really, American’s celebrate the same day on Memorial Day in May.  I can understand the European View of holding it on the 11th of November.  It is the day WWI ended.

Arlington National Cemetery

Arlington National Cemetery, Nov 2005

I remember well the time I first experienced Veteran’s Day.  I sat in the Eccles Ward Chapel in Patricroft, England.  I sat there on 11 November 1999.  The services started at 11 AM.  We had the hymn, opening prayer, and a few comments by the Bishop until 11:11 arrived.  It was then we took two minutes to remember what was done.  Somehow those two minutes seared into my heart and soul.

Growing up in Idaho means we have little or no realization of any war.  There are small war memorials inside of cemeteries and an occasional one in a park to commemorate.  No war in modern days has taken place anywhere near Idaho.  Even the American Civil War means little to Idahoans.  My grandfather served in the Philippines during WWII but he spoke so little of it.  I had Uncles and Great Uncles who perished in WWI and WWII.  I have been to their graves but they are the dead, just like the other dead in the cemetery.  The idea of dying for one’s country meant very little to me.

Irwin John Jonas

One of my first memories of England is the day after we arrived.  We were taken into Altrincham Town Centre and there we proselyted for an hour on the way to the mission office.  I did notice the cenotaph.  I thought it rather oddly placed.

Arlington Cemetery

Arlington Cemetery, Nov 2005

While I served in Hyde, Cheshire one of the ways we knew where to turn in town was at the cenotaphs.  The same in Dukinfield.  When we arrived early at a member’s house we would loiter at the cenotaph to street contact until time for dinner.  Regularly I thought these things were oddly placed.  I knew they were naming those who died in the ‘Great War’.  For some reason or another I thought they doubled up on the names over the various cenotaphs.  It never occurred to me names are not typically duplicated on these things, or if they do, the intention is not to do so.

Ellis Seth Jonas

Suddenly I found myself sitting in a church meeting remembering.  These souls did not fight for my country.  However I felt come into my heart a gratitude for their sacrifice.  Could I do the same thing if called upon?  Somehow a dawning realization came upon me of the hundreds if not thousands of names I had seen on cenotaphs in my first year in England.  They were everywhere.  There were continuous reminders of the dead who fought for their country.

William Jr Military Pic

About a month later I found myself walking the streets of Runcorn, Cheshire.  There is a large cenotaph probably 15 feet tall.  The bus would drive by it every day.  I could not help but notice the little red, fake flowers on popsicle sticks stuck in the flower bed all around it.  The cenotaph meant more to me by this point but what were the little red flowers?  I noticed each of them had a name written on them and they appeared hand-made.

James William Ross

I asked what the little red flowers meant that were still scattered everywhere a month after the 11th of November.  I was then told about Flanders Fields and the poppies.  The poem was shared with me.  It made sense, I felt the poignancy of it.  I have a cousin, Harry Coley (1891 – 1917) who died in Broodseinde, Flanders, Belgium as part of the war.  His body was lost in the mud and potholes of the war and never recovered.

The imagery is intense while the poem isn’t all that catchy to me.  In fact, some of it still doesn’t make sense to me so I share only the first verse here:

In Flanders Fields the poppies grow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

David Delos Donaldson (back), John Edmund Donaldson (left), and William George Donaldson

Would I have this type of courage?  Would I be willing to go and serve my country so willingly?  Even if I was drafted, unwillingly?  To set aside all other hopes and aspirations to serve my country?  I did so to serve a mission for my church.  I would think I would be willing to for my nation.  While I am not entirely enamoured with my country at the present, would I still be willing to do it?  Probably.

Art and Golden Coley

Art and Golden Coley

In fact, I feel some desire to serve in the military.  My life hasn’t permitted the chance and my wife is against the idea.  I don’t think I will be making the decision to join.  But I wish to honour those who do and especially those who died in doing so.  Accordingly, when I saw my clock at 11:11 this morning, I stopped for 2 minutes to remember.  What does our future hold?  I don’t know.  But our past is nobler because of these good souls who gave all.  Not only to join, but they never returned.  We were on the side of right then, and our nation was preserved.  I hope and pray our nation continues on the side of right and we will yet be preserved.

Guarding the tomb

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Arlington, VA, Nov 2005

An Wanner uncle of mine arrived in Whitney, Idaho a year after his death in WWI.  His remains arrived in a lead casket which was buried with great fanfare for the small community.  WWII repeated this scenario with another Uncle, another family line, buried in Richmond, Utah.  His body arrived months later and he was interred with great fanfare.  May we live our lives in such a way, regardless if dying for our nation, but let us die in such a way that the community wishes to come out and pay homage for your great sacrifice for the future of man, good, and our country.

Milo James Ross

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4th Grade, Park Elementary, Richmond, Utah

Back (l-r): Jay Purser, Kirt Hatch, Jeff Theurer, Charles Pratt, Gary Anderson, Mr. Harold Grunig;  Third: Faye Housley, Shanna Bullen, Debbie Day, Ann Bair, Peggy Plant, Genna Randall, Susan Jones; Second: Fern Housley, Sherri Bundy, Barbara Housley, Jane Robinson, Beth Ann Miller, Sandy Jonas, Dixie Eskelson, Beth Cartwright; Front: Zan Christensen, LuDell Tripp, Leslie Smith, Kim Christensen, Jimmy Johnson, Reed Webb, Steven Bowles

This picture is from the 1963 – 1964 school year at Park Elementary in Richmond, Utah.

Mr. Harold Junior Grunig (1924 – 1994)

Gary Anderson (? – living)

Ann Bair married Downs (1954 – living)

Steven Bowles (? – ?)

Shanna Bullen married Gibbons (? – living)

Sherri Bundy (? – ?)

Beth Cartwright (1954 – 2018)

Kim Christensen (? – living)

Zan Leonard Christensen (1954 – 1996)

Debra Lynn Day married Purser (1954 – 2010)

Dixie Eskelsen (? – ?)

Kirt Hatch (? – living)

Barbara Housley married Sharp (? – living)

Fay Housley married Purser (? – living)

Fern Housley married Taylor (? – living)

Jimmy Johnson (? – living)

Sandra Jonas (1954 – living)

Susan Jones (? – living)

Beth Ann Miller (1954 – 1974)

Peggy Anne Plant married Ivanyo (? – living)

Charles Pratt (? – living)

Jay Purser (? – living)

Genna Randall (? – living)

Jane Robinson married Larsen (? – living)

Leslie Smith (? – living)

Jeffery Theurer (? – living)

LuDell Tripp (? – living)

Reed Leon Webb (1954 – 1992)

 

3rd Grade, Park Elementary, Richmond, Utah

Top (l-r): Susan Jones, Ann Bair, Kirt Hatch, Mrs Faun Dahle, Charles Pratt, Jeff Theurer, Zan Christensen, Mrs Leola Ash, Barbara Housley, Jane Robinson, Sandra Jonas; Middle: Sherri Bundy, Faye Housley, Peggy Plant, Barbara Watts, Debbie Day, Shanna Bullen, Fern Housley, Beth Cartwright; Front: Steven Bowles, Reed Webb, Kim Christensen, Jay Purser, Gary Anderson, Leslie Smith, Jimmy Johnson.

This 3rd grade picture is from the 1962 – 1963 school year at Park Elementary in Richmond, Utah.

Mrs Leola Long Ash (1920 – 2008)

Mrs Faun Singleton Dahle (1904 – 1994)

Gary Anderson (? – living)

Ann Bair married Downs (1954 – living)

Steven Bowles (? – ?)

Shanna Bullen married Gibbons (? – living)

Sherri Bundy (? – ?)

Beth Cartwright (1954 – 2018)

Kim Christensen (? – living)

Zan Leonard Christensen (1954 – 1996)

Debra Lynn Day married Purser (1954 – 2010)

Kirt Hatch (? – living)

Barbara Housley married Sharp (? – living)

Fay Housley married Purser (? – living)

Fern Housley married Taylor (? – living)

Jimmy Johnson (? – living)

Sandra Jonas (1954 – living)

Susan Jones (? – ?)

Peggy Anne Plant married Ivanyo (? – living)

Charles Pratt (? – ?)

Jay Purser (? – living)

Jane Robinson married Larsen (? – living)

Leslie Smith (? – living)

Jeff Theurer (? – living)

Barbara Watts (? – living)

Reed Leon Webb (1954 – 1992)

 

Once Amanda went to school

Amanda’s VCU Graduation Announcement

For the 10 year anniversary of Amanda graduating from VCU, I thought I would share her graduation announcement.

Congratulations again Amanda!  Happy Mother’s Day too!

“The President, Faculty, and Graduating Class of Virginia Commonwealth University School of Dentistry announce that Amanda B. Ross is a candidate for the degree of Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene Summa Cum Laude

“Commencement will be held Saturday, May 17, 2008 Richmond, Virginia

Brigham Young College 1915 Crimson Yearbook

I am a member of a Cache Valley Group on Facebook.  After some people posted a number of old photos, I asked if anyone knew if Brigham Young College had yearbooks and if someone had one for roughly 1915.  Within a day, Jennifer Johnson, a cousin of mine had found a copy of the Brigham Young College Crimson yearbook and made it available to me.  Here is a copy of the full 1915 Brigham Young College Crimson Annual if you are interested.

Sure enough, there on page 31 is my great-grandfather, Joseph Nelson Jonas (1893 – 1932).

Joseph Nelson Jonas’ Brigham Young College yearbook picture

Here is the full-page.  This is page 31 of the pdf.  The front of the yearbook says Crimson Annual 1915.  Page 4 shows that it includes the classes of 1915, 1916, 1917, and 1918.

Brigham Young College Crimson yearbook, page 31

Here are two copies of his diploma.

Joseph Jonas graduation diploma from Brigham Young College in Logan, Utah

 

I also found Joseph’s 1st cousin, once removed, Paul Ernest Nelson (1888-1970), was one of the teachers at BYC.  An interesting side note is that the page below states he, “Likes his Ensign.”  He and Martha Eunice Ensign were married 19 August 1914 in the Salt Lake Temple.  It also states he “[e]xpects to be a professor in psychology.”  Their first son, Paul Ensign Nelson, was born 26 June 1916 in Berkeley, California while he was attending school.

Brigham Young College yearbook, page 26

Here is a dedication to the Presiding Bishop of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Charles Winder Nibley (1849-1931).

Dedication in 1915 Brigham Young College Crimson Annual to Charles Winder Nibley

Charles W Nibley was the Presiding Bishop from 1907 to 1925.  He was a kind benefactor to Brigham Young College and as Presiding Bishop was involved with the school.  Bishop Nibley was released in 1925 and became a counselor to Heber Jeddy Grant until his death in 1931.  He is one of the few people to serve in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who was not an Apostle.

Charles Winder Nibley (1849-1931)

Brigham Young College was located in Logan, Utah.  It was founded by Brigham Young shortly before his death.  The college was meant for individuals from Northern Utah, Idaho, and Wyoming.  When The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints closed all its academy’s in 1926, except Brigham Young University, it suffered the same fate.  The buildings were sold and became Logan High School.

As records become more and more available, who knows what else we may find of our ancestors.

 

 

2nd Grade, Park Elementary, Richmond, Utah

Back (l-r): Reed Webb, Roland Hobbs, Jeff Theurer, Kirt Hatch, Zan Christensen, Gary Andersen, Flora Allen; 3rd Row: Susan Jones, Peggy Plant, Ann Bair, Jane Robinson, Molly Lulwyler, Debbie Day, Barbara Housley; 2nd Row: Shanna Bullen, Pamela Bun, Beth Cartwright, Sherry Bundy, Fern Housley, Faye Housley, Sandra Jonas, Barbara Watts; Front: Jay Purser, Michael Smith, Brent Haslam, Tommy Hatch, Jimmy Johnson, Kim Christensen, Leslie Smith

This picture is from the 1961 – 1962 school year at Park Elementary in Richmond, Utah.

Mrs. Flora Greene Allen (1906 – 1996)

Gary Andersen (? – living)

Ann Bair married Downs (1954 – living)

Shanna Bullen married Gibbons (? – living)

Pamela Bun (? – ?)

Sherry Bundy (? – ?)

Beth Cartwright (1954 – 2018)

Kim Christensen (? – living)

Zan Leonard Christensen (1954 – 1996)

Debra Lynn Day married Pursuer (1954 – 2010)

Brent Haslam (? – living)

Kirt Hatch (? – living)

Tommy Hatch (? – ?)

Roland Hobbs (? – ?)

Barbara Housley married Sharp (? – living)

Fay Housley married Purser (? – living)

Fern Housley married Taylor (? – living)

Jimmy Johnson (? – living)

Sandra Jonas (1954 – living)

Susan Jones (? – ?)

Molly Lulwyler (? – ?)

Peggy Anne Plant married Ivanyo (? – living)

Jay Purser (? – living)

Jane Robinson married Larsen ( – living)

Leslie Smith (? – living)

Michael Smith (? – ?)

Jeff Theurer (? – living)

Barbara Watts (? – ?)

Reed Leon Webb (1954 – 1992)

1st Grade, Park Elementary, Richmond, Utah

Top (l-r): Oral L Ballam, Flora Allen, Leslie Smith, Barbara Housley, Kirt Hatch, Ann Bair, Shanna Bullen, Jimmy Johnson; 2nd Row: Zan Christensen, Jane Robinson, Sandra Jonas, Jeffery Theurer; 3rd Row: Barbara Watts, Reed Webb, Susan Jones, Faye Housley, Molly Lulwyler, Beth Cartwright, Gary Andersen, Johnny Durney; Bottom Row: Peggy Plant, Kim Christensen, Fern Housley, Pamela Bun, Roland Hobbs, Debbie Day

This picture is from the 1960 – 1961 school year at Richmond Grade School (the name given in the photo). I only knew it as Park Elementary.

Playground to the North of Park Elementary, see the Benson Stake Tabernacle on the far left.

I had to do some research and talk to a few people.  Originally the site of Park Elementary was the old Richmond High School.  Richmond High School was built in 1911-12.  North Cache High School was built in 1920.  Richmond High then became Richmond Grade School.  In 1939 an addition was built and it was named Park Auditorium.  Richmond Grade School was always called Park Elementary, but nobody knows when it formally changed or adopted the name.  Cache County School District just recently abandoned the buildings and donated it to Richmond City.  The students now attend White Pine which is now an elementary school.

I understand the 1911-1912 high school portion has been torn down with the 1939 Park Auditorium addition the oldest portion of the complex.  The Auditorium and other newer additions are still present, but will now house Richmond City offices.

1959 Jonas Reunion with Park Elementary in the background with the auditorium addition.

Mr. Oral Lynn Ballam (1901 – 1993).  He was both the Principal and 1st Grade Teacher.  He has appeared in other posts as teacher and also as student!
Flora Greene married Allen (1906 – 1996)
Gary Anderson (? – living)

Ann Bair married Downs (1954 – living)

Shanna Bullen married Gibbons (? – living)

Pamela Bun (? – ?)

Beth Cartwright (1954 – 2018)

Kim Christensen (? – living)

Zan Leonard Christensen (1954 – 1996)

Debra Lynn Day married Pursuer (1954 – 2010)

Johnny Durney (? – ?)

Kirt Hatch (? – living)

Roland Hobbs (? – ?)

Barbara Housley married Sharp (? – living)

Fay Housley married Purser (? – living)

Jimmy Johnson (? – living)

Sandra Jonas (1954 – living)

Susan Jones (? – ?)

Molly Lulwyler (? – ?)

Peggy Anne Plant married Ivanyo (? – living)

Jane Robinson married Larsen (? – living)

Leslie Smith (? – living)

Jeffery Theurer (? – living)

Barbara Watts (? – ?)

Reed Leon Webb (1954 – 1992)

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