Mary Louise Wanner Andra Autobiography

Phyllis, Utahna, Sergene, Mary, Colleen, Millie, Edith

Phyllis Andra, Utahna Andra, Sergene Sorenson, Mary Andra, Colleen Jonas, Millie Beck, Edith Andra

Autobiography given Nov 1961
I, Mary Louise Wanner Andra was born the 5th of March 1901 in Cub River, Idaho.  My father is John George Wanner, Jr. and my mother is Regina Nuffer.  I have five brothers and one sister, Eva.  The oldest were twin boys: William C. and Willard.  The other three boys were Golden, Rulon, and Serge.  I came sixteen months later after the twins, so Mother had three in diapers.
In the fall of 1907 my father was called on a two year mission to Germany because he spoke the German language.  We didn’t have much while father was gone, but we were happy.
He returned in the fall of 1909 and we moved back to Cub River and in the spring of 1910 we moved to Whitney, Idaho where my father bought an eighty acre irrigated farm and a one-hundred-sixty-nine acre dry farm.  This farm was owned by my Grandfather Wanner.  My father planted beets, potatoes, grain and hay.  He also had a herd of cows and there was plenty to do!  Father was very strict and we all had to toe the mark.  I remember the twin boys and Golden, just younger than myself, and I had to thin the beets.  The first two or three years the mustard weeds were so thick you could hardly see the beets.
We kids went to grade school and had to walk three miles.  Sometimes we would ride horseback in the winter when the snow was so deep.  When it got cold enough to freeze a crust on the snow, we would walk on top and cut through the fields because the snow was above the fences.  We sure thought that was a lot of fun.
Our farm was just across the road from George Benson and their daughter, Margaret was in the same grade as myself.
In the 8th grade, I was chosen to take the part of Snow White in the school play.  In school, during the recess, we would jump the rope.  There was no one who could turn it fast enough for me.  I could outrun all my girl friends.  I even used to catch the boys and wash their faces with snow.
We also had a girl’s baseball team.  We would play Franklin and the surrounding little towns.
In the summer after school was out, I would ride horses.  I would go up to the dry farm and get the cows.  One time I took my little sister, Eva and as we passed a brush, Eva fell off and broke her arm.
After I graduated from the 8th grade, I wanted to take sewing course in Logan at the A.C. (Agricultural College).  After coaxing my father for several days, he finally decided to let me go.  Inez Wallace and I went to Logan on the train.  I had been down to Logan for three days when my father came and got me to work on the dry farm, getting the land ready to plant.
In 1918, my brother, William C. died in France.  He was in the 145th infantry.  Three days later, my brother, Golden died in Salt Lake with double leakage of the heart.  Soon after, my father sold the farm and we moved to Preston, Idaho.  My father bought the Parkinson Farm (4th South and 4th East).  Then my father planted beets again and I still had a job of thinning beets.  We lived in an old home while my father was having the new one built.
In the early fall and winter of 1918, I went around to different homes taking care of the sick.  There was a flu epidemic at that time.  I was taking care of my cousin, Emma Nelson (George Nelson’s wife).  He was a wrestler.  Emma died of the flu.
In the spring of 1918, I went to work for Roy and Alabell Hull.  I cared for the twins, did the washing, ironing, and all the cooking.  They had seven in their family and three hired men.
At that time I was going with a young man by the name of William Andra.  He was born in Germany.  While my father was on his mission, he used to go to the Andra home.  My father baptized his oldest sister, Frieda.
I met William and his mother while living in Whitney.  I was still going to school.  He and his mother came by train and my father met them at the train.  After a few days, William’s mother went back to Salt Lake and William started working for my father on the farm.  I guess that is when the romance began.  I was 16 years old.
While working at the Hull’s, William would come and get me with his new buggy and horse.  We would to go Preston to a show.  At this time William was working for Jim Bodily.  Jim Bodily was the man who bought my father’s farm.  I worked all that summer for Roy Hull for $6.00 per week.
That fall of 1919, I went to Logan to the County Fair and rode race horses for Joe Perkins.  I was offered a job of being a jockey, but I didn’t desire that kind of a career, although I loved to ride horses.
In March 1920, William and I were married in the Salt Lake Temple.  We made our home in Whitney, Idaho on the Jim Bodily farm (where Lorin Bodily lives, only north in an old house).  I even helped thin some of Jim Bodily’s beets.  Our closest neighbors were George & Kate Poole.  Kate and I spent many hours together sewing.
I joined the Relief Society right after I was married.  I was asked to lead the singing.  Sister Barbara Ballif was the President at the time.
We lived there a few months, then we moved to the home where Bishop Morris Poole now lives.  My husband quit Bodily’s and he and his brother, Otto thinned beets for different farmers.  In the fall, these two would top beets at the sugar factory.  I would go out and hitch up the horses in the morning while they ate their breakfast.
November 25th, Thanksgiving, our first son was born.  My husband thought he had more time before the baby came.  He didn’t have the stove put up in the front room.  He got all excited and really sweat trying to get that stove up.  Will and Laura Dunkley were our closest neighbors.  Laura was with me when the baby was born.  Dr. Bland delivered the baby.  We named him William, Jr..  After William Jr. was about six months old, each Sunday when we went to church, as we got out of the buggy, all the young girls would come running to take little Jr.. They called him the ward baby.
Towards fall, we moved again down in the Joe Dunkley home, back of where the store now stands.  My husband got the janitor job for the church and the school house.  He was getting $30.00 a month and we were paying $18.00 in rent.  In the spring of 1922 we moved to Preston on my father’s farm.  William helped my father with the crops and after the crops were up, in the fall, we moved to Salt Lake City, out in Sugarhouse.  My husband got a job at the Royal Bakery hauling bread to the little adjoining towns.
On the 22nd of June 1923 our second child was born.  She was an eight month baby, only weighed 4 1/2 pounds.  We named her June.  Mrs. Hymas came down from Preston to take care of me.  Brother LeGrand Richards was the Bishop of Sugarhouse Ward where we lived, so we had him bless our baby.
The next fall, my husband’s brother, Walt coaxed him to go into the cafe business at Preston, so we moved back to Preston.  They had a good business.  In fact, the business picked up after my husband started working there.  The young folks as well as the older ones took to him.  I didn’t like the cafe business because the children’s father seldom saw the children with their eyes open.  William was always used to the outdoors.  He was really a farmer at heart.
On February 6th, 1925 our third child came along.  Another little girl and we named her Mildred.
In the fall of the second year in the cafe, my father wanted to sell his farm, and we bought all the land on the south and my brother, Willard bought the land on the north of the road.  There wasn’t much money in raising beets, and it was hard for us to make payments on the farm with the interest being so high the first few years.  My husband had to do extra work outside the farm work.  He dug basements for new homes, hauled sand, gravel, also beets from the beet pile to the sugar factory, any job he could get to make the payments on the farm.
On August 5, 1926 another son came along.  We named him Golden Rulon after my two brothers.  When he was two and a half years old, Golden fell out of a swing and was paralyzed (all of his right side except his arm).  At that time we had a Dr. Milford who brought him into the world.  For one whole year, every day, except Sunday, I took him to town to Dr. Milford’s for treatment.  His office was upstairs in the old Greaves building.
On the 27th of May 1928 I had a little red headed girl and we named her Colleen Mary after me.
Later on, after a few years, we started to raise peas and the pea crops were real good.  One year the peas went to four tons per acre.  No farmer beat that crop.  I helped in the fields all I could.  We couldn’t afford to hire anyone.  We didn’t have tractors at that time.  This was the year we bought our first car, a Ford.  The Doctor said it was too far to walk to town.
In the year of 1932 another little blond girl joined our family.  We named her Sergene.  I guess I wanted her to be a boy so I could name him Serge after my youngest brother who died in New Zealand on a mission.  Dr.Orvid Cutler brought her into the world.  When she was six months old, they were having a contest at the Grand Theatre for the healthiest baby.  Out of one-hundred-ninety babies, little Sergene took the first prize and we were surely proud of her.
On July 15, 1933 another son came along.  We named him Donald Wanner after my maiden name.  Seemed like all the boys had curly hair and they would pass for girls.  I had a niece from Downey, Idaho who came to help do the house work.  She was crazy about Donald and I heard her say many times that he was the cutest thing this side of heaven.
In 1934 I was six and one-half months along, but just didn’t have the strength to carry my baby the nine months.  The doctor said he wouldn’t live and for us to give him a name, so we named him Robert Lee.  He lived four hours.  By this time I was plenty busy with taking care of the children, but the older ones were big enough to help.
On the 2nd of December 1936 another son came along.  We named him Ross Leslie after Dr. L.V. Merrill.  I was also made Relief Society Visiting teacher that year.
On the 28th of February 1940 another son joined our family circle and we called him Dale.  I used to take these last two little boys, hook the team to the beet puller and put one on each horse.  They thought it was fun.
My husband would do the hauling, the older boys and girls would do the topping.  We all had to get out and work hard.  We still didn’t have a tractor at this time, but got one shortly after.  My husband used the tractor to harvest the potato crop.
In June 1942 another little fellow came along.  We named him Dennis Willard, after my brother, and April 9, 1943 our number twelve, a son was born.  His name was Larry.  When you would see these three little boys in the yard, you could hardly tell which was who, they looked so much alike.
William Jr. was in the Spanish American Mission when Dennis was born.  Dennis died when three years old.  Since this time I was put in as Relief Society Chorister.
It is 1961 and they have divided the ward and put me in as Secretary of the Young Ladies Mutual.  Our second missionary, Ross filled a mission in Brazil and the third son to go on a mission ins in the Western States.  His name is Dale and he has one more year to serve.
I am proud of my husband, sons, and daughters.
This is a story of my life and I would like to pass it on to my posterity.
Prepared and arranged November 25, 1961
Mary W. Andra

William Fredrick Andra Autobiography

Andra Boys: William, Donald, Larry, Bill, Golden, Dale, Ross

Andra Boys: William, Donald, Larry, Bill, Golden, Dale, Ross

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 [16] 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)

Adventuring in Alaska

My cousin, Deanne Driscoll, shared this article with me about my Great Uncle and Aunt Otto and Elizabeth Andra.

Otto and Elizabeth Andra family, August 1961

Otto and Elizabeth Andra family, August 1961

Adventuring in Alaska – for less than $120 a person

By Phyllis J Park Tribune correspondent

A three-and-a-half week tour through the rugged Canadian country …  spotting moose, lynx, mountain goats, there are and caribou along the highway …  Fishing, swimming and leisurely sightseeing their way to Alaska for less than $120 per person, proved to two Utah couples that vacation time can be “Adventure Time.”

Mr. and Mrs. Otto Andra, 4406 S. 3200 West street Granger, and Mr. and Mrs. Dan D. Lehman, 4425 Albright Dr., Holladay, were a bit apprehensive about tackling the Alaskan route and had been warned to be prepared for any emergency but, at the conclusion of their 7000 mile round trip with no flat tires, no car trouble, and good driving conditions, “We’re ready to go again next year, it was great!” they commented.

With a suitcase each, a grub-box with a small supply of food including dehydrated goods, a five gallon can a fresh water, and one spare tire, they started out.

They made camp by the roadside each night or at handy camp-grounds in the Yukon Territory, replenishing their food supply along the way and getting fresh water from nearby waterfalls and streams.  Meals were cooked over two one-burner gas stoves and they took the collapsible table and chairs for added comfort.

The Lehmans slept in sleeping bags on air-mattresses in a tent while the Andras “bedded down” in the back of their 1954 station wagon.

They took ten days to travel from Salt Lake City, to Alaska, going via Glacier National Park in Montana.

There were a few rough spots along the famed 1527 my all Alaska highway, built in 1942, connecting Dawson Creek, B.C.  With Fairbanks, but they found road repair crews constantly on the job and their only trouble came from dust and flying rocks from passing cars.

“Cautious driving was our secret to no car trouble!”  Mr. Andra stated “and we took our time, never going over 50 miles an hour, with frequent stops and lay-overs to enjoy the sights.”  At a service station half-way up to Alaska we heard a fellow in an expensive make car, bemoaning the fact he had already experienced 14 blowouts and when he “dug” away from us leaving a shower of gravel, we thought we knew the reason why.

“The milepost were what we liked,” they said.  It’s a simple yet thorough method of guiding travelers along the way by means of numbered milepost and a mileposts guide-book, describing conditions, accommodations, and services at each post.  There are also handy telephone boxes on poles along the roadside for emergency calls.

Six fun-packed days were spent in various cities in Alaska where they visit the huge gold dredges that strained out thousands of dollars worth of gold each day, splurged $25.00 for a fling at boating and fishing in the Valdez Harbor with the net result of 64 various, tasty fish, and they watched it become dark at 12:45 a.m. and begin to lighten up an hour later.

And what did the women wear on the trip?  “We packed lightly with pedal-pushers and blouses as the main items in our wardrobe,” said Mrs. Andra.  “We didn’t need our coats, it was hot in the daytime and sweaters were enough that night. We found we needed our two pairs of flat-heeled shoes and advise others to take plastic or rubber overshoes to use in the wet, muddy spots they may encounter.”

They said at the border it was necessary to show identification such as driver’s license or birth certificate and since Mr. Andra was born in Germany he had to show a passport.  And they had to assure customs officers that they have sufficient funds with them to cover their trip and possible emergencies.  Checking with your car insurance company concerning foreign coverage was suggested by these travelers, too.

The Salt Lake Tribune HOME Magazine, September 15, 1957, p 30.

Liz and Otto Andra

Liz and Otto Andra

Otto Carl Andra was born 15 May 1902 in Meissen, Germany.

Otto married 25 November 1925 in the Salt Lake Temple to Rebecca Amelia Christensen born 6 March 1904 in Mink Creek, Franklin, Idaho.  She died 16 December 1931 in Salt Lake City.

Otto and Rebecca had two children, Rebecca Ila Andra (1926-2006) and Otto Carl Andra (1929-1929).

Otto remarried 17 February 1932 in the Salt Lake Temple to Elizabeth Mauermann born 27 October 1911 in Salt Lake City.

Otto and Elizabeth had six children, Elizabeth, Iona, Carl Otto, Albert (1938-2009), Carol, and Virginia.

Otto died 20 June 1982 in West Valley City, Utah.

Elizabeth died 14 June 1998 in Salt Lake City.

Otto and both wives were buried in Wasatch Lawn Memorial Park, Salt Lake City.

Draper Temple

Amanda and I are struggling to keep up with visiting the new Utah Temples.  In 2006 we had a goal to visit all then eleven Utah Temples.  We ended up hitting Bountiful, Jordan River, Logan, Manti, Monticello, Mt. Timpanogos, Ogden (before rebuilt), Provo, St George, Salt Lake, and Vernal.

In the intervening years and miles for us, Brigham City, Draper, Oquirrh, and Ogden have been dedicated (or rededicated).

Since we arrived back in the Intermountain West, we have struggled to get to these new temples.  Now with a family and two work schedules, taking the time to hit the new Utah Temples has taken a little more time and effort.  Here is a picture of our visit to the Draper Temple in 2013.

Draper Utah Temple

Draper Utah Temple

We had better hurry to catch up some because Cedar City, Payson, and Provo City are all in the works.

Theophilus and Martha France

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.

Theophilus France, in the middle, nicknamed Foghorn

Theophilus France, in the middle, nicknamed Foghorn

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.

Franklin Bank, circa 1895

Franklin Band, circa 1895, Theophilus France is sitting second from the right, supposedly as the leader

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.

Martha Coley

Martha Coley

Beat the Draft

(l-r): Kenneth Barrow, Ellis Lund, Milo Ross, Jim Jardine, Glenn Geilmann, Victor Wayment, Earl Collins

Here is an interesting photo from 16 October 1942.  These boys all knew they would likely be drafted.  These men decided to enlist together so they could at least choose their branch of the military.  This picture was snapped in Ogden, Weber, Utah before catching the train to Fort Douglas in Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah.

Kenneth William Barrow (1921-2011)

Ellis Marion Lund (1921-1984)

Milo James Ross (1921-2014)

James “Jim” Fay Jardine (1921-1994)

Glenn Geilmann (1920-2013)

Victor R Wayment (1920-2013)

Richard Earl Collins (1921-2003)

All of them were fortunate to return alive from the war.

Ross – Sharp Wedding

Jack and Ethel Ross holding June Streeter about 1920 in Paul, Idaho.

Milo Riley and Mary Ann “Lilly” Sharp are pleased to announce the marriage of their daughter Ethel to John William “Jack” Ross, son of James Thomas and Damey Catherine Graham Ross.  They were married at Fort Logan, Arapahoe, Colorado by an Army Chaplain (Julius J Babst) on 11 January 1920.

Jack is currently employed with the US Army as a cook at Fort Logan, Colorado.

The couple will return to make their home in Plain City, Utah as soon as he completes his enlistment with the Army.

Jack Ross was born 2 September 1890 in Pulaski, Pulaski, Virginia.  He was the second of four children born to James Thomas Ross and Damey Catherine Graham.  Read more about Jack’s parents here.  We really do not know much of Jack’s childhood.  His mother joined the LDS church on 27 February 1898 and his father on 17 April 1898 in an unknown location.  Jack and his older brother Robert Leonard joined on 30 July 1900.  I have been unable to find the Ross family on the 1900 Census.  By July 1906, the family was living in or near Welch, McDowell, West Virginia working in the coal mines when Fanny and James were baptized.  Jack married Nannie May Day (she went by May) on 6 July 1910 in Squire Jim, McDowell, West Virginia.  To this marriage was born Hobart Day Ross (who later went by Hobart Day) on 1 Jun 1911 in McDowell County, West Virginia.

James and May Ross holding Hobart about 1912

Jack’s younger sister, Fanny Elizabeth married Calvin Dickerson Phibbs on 22 December 1906 (listed as a miner) and then moved to Rupert, Minidoka, Idaho in 1912.  Initially Calvin and Fanny moved to Rupert and purchased 80 acres to the northeast of Rupert.  He dabbled with cattle and real estate while also working as an electrician.  (He was eventually elected as Rupert City Clerk and in 1918 as Minidoka County Probate Judge.  He was admitted as an attorney to the Idaho bar 15 December 1919.)  At any rate, in 1911 the construction of a new sugar factory in Burley, Cassia, Idaho was drawing a number of potential workers.  Word reached the remaining Ross clan in West Virginia, probably from Fanny, of the upcoming opening.  The remaining Ross family rode a train of coal from McDowell County directly to southern Idaho.

Jack’s wife, May, did not come with him for one reason or another.  She divorced him shortly afterward and remarried to Andrew Cleveland Parson(s?) on 22 November 1913 in Gary, McDowell, West Virginia.  We do not know anything of the Ross family between 1913 and 1917 other than they were working at Amalgamated Sugar in Burley.  Jack enlisted in the U.S. Army on 23 April 1917 in Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah and served in Battery E, 4th FA Rec Ser; Co. C, 21st Bn USG; 5 Rct Co (I do not know what any of that means) at Fort Logan, Arapahoe, Colorado, until 6 June 1919 when he was permitted leave.  He had obtained the rank of Sargent and was awarded the WWI Victory Button and Medal.  As far as I can tell, he never left U.S. soil.

Jack’s parents were working on farms around the area during the summers and then at the factories during the winter.  Robert listed his parents as living in Idahome, Cassia, Idaho in September 1918 when registered for the World War I Draft.  Jack’s parents moved to Paul, Minidoka, Idaho and started working on the first beet campaign in 1918 at the new Paul Amalgamated sugar factory.  Jack visited his parents in Paul on leave (starting 6 Jun 1919) and it was there he met Ethel Streeter running a store on Main Street, now Idaho Street, only a block or two from where his parents lived.  Jack reported back at Fort Logan on 13 August 1919 to 12 August 1920 when he was discharged from Fort Logan.

Ethel Sharp was born 9 April 1898 in Plain City, Weber, Utah.  She was the 11th child (8 siblings living by the time of her birth) of 12 children born to Milo Riley Sharp and Mary Ann Stoker, AKA Lillian “Lilly” Musgrave.  I have written about this family at this link: Sharp-Stoker Wedding.

Ethel was confirmed in St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Plain City 15 May 1912.  Somewhere during this decade she was involved in a train accident on the Utah-Idaho Central Railway line between Plain City and Ogden, Weber, Utah.  I have been unable to locate any newspaper clippings or other information on this accident.  Anyhow, she obtained a settlement for her injuries.

She married Mark Lewis Streeter of West Weber, Weber, Utah on 7 May 1917 in Ogden.

Mark and Ethel Streeter

She made large deposits at Ogden First National Bank in June 1917, potentially her settlement.  We have checks from not long after that through August 1918 written out from Paul State Bank.  Interestingly, the checks state, “Paul is the Cream of the Minidoka Project, We Have the Cream of Paul.”

I have written about the photos recently found which include two photos of the Streeter Ice Cream & Confection Parlor.  Ethel Sharp and Streeter Confection.

Ethelyn June Streeter was born 4 June 1918 in Paul (she died in 2012).  Pictures of June are at the link in the preceding paragraph.  The divorce of Mark and Ethel was final after Mark had enlisted in the Army 3 March 1919.  Mark indicates in his autobiography that after he enlisted and left Ethel fell in love with Jack and that was the reason for their divorce.  Jack did not meet Ethel until June 1919, three months after Mark enlisted in the army.  Jack returned from his leave in Paul to Fort Logan in August 1919.  Ethel ventured to Fort Logan in January to marry Jack.  The 1920 Census lists him as a cook just days before Ethel arrived and the two were married.  She left little June with the Streeter family in Ogden.  We do not know much about the short dating period, but she traveled all the way to Colorado to marry him.  Whether she was head over heels for a poor military boy or something else, we do not know.  We do not know how long she stayed in Colorado or even if they came back together after his discharge.  We assume Ethel sold the store before going to Colorado.  After his discharge, Jack and Ethel moved to Plain City and he worked for Amalgamated Sugar Company at the Wilson Lane factory.  This was roughly a 7 mile walk to work one direction.  Milo James Ross was born 4 February 1921 in Plain City in a little log home just to the west and north of about 2971 N. 4200 W.  I have written of Milo James Ross at this link: Ross-Donaldson Wedding.  Here is a picture of the little log cabin in about 2005, shortly before it was torn down.

At some point, Jack and Ethel found their way back to Paul where Jack worked in the fields and at the sugar factory.  Paul Ross was born 14 February 1922 in Paul.  Work took Jack back to the Burley sugar factory and John Harold Ross (who went by Harold) was born 7 November 1923 in Burley and then moved back to Paul.  By 1924, Jack and Ethel were living with Jack’s parents and trying to make enough to get by.  Milo remembers walking to church in Paul before his mother died, he thinks a Presbyterian or Episcopal church.

To ease the load on his parents, the family moved back to Plain City.  Ethel gave birth to her last child, Earnest Jackson Ross, on 16 July 1925 in Plain City.

Sadly, Ethel passed away 21 days later on 6 August of puerperal septicemia (Blood poisoning from obstetric delivery).  Earnest lived to 20 September and he passed away in Idaho from malnutrition.  Jack is listed as the informant on the death certificate for Ethel.  Jack could not afford burial plots so Edward Sharp, Ethel’s brother, provided the burial plots where Ethel and Ernest are buried in Plain City.

Milo tells the story of the funeral for his mother.  He remembered that he was not permitted to look into the casket to see his mother.  The casket was up on the table and he could not see a thing and all he wanted to see was his mother.  Within days Jack took the four children back to Idaho and dropped them off with his parents.  Milo remembers his father riding the train holding baby Earnest in his arms.  Earnest passed away in Rupert.  James and Damey Ross took care of the remaining children through the winter of 1925-26.  June and Milo do not remember their father being there for the winter.  June’s only real memory of this period was of creamy buttered potatoes that were common and that she acquired a great love for.

By the time spring rolled around, Jack or his family had contacted Ethel’s family in Plain City and indicated they could not afford to feed and take care of the children anymore.  Os Richardson, Ethel’s brother-in-law drove to Idaho to pick up the four children.  Milo remembers the drive from Paul along the poplar lined highway from Paul past the sugar factory down into Heyburn, across the old river bridge through to Declo, Malta, Strevell, and back to Plain City.  The children were “farmed” out to family.  Milo was raised by his Uncle Ed Sharp, Paul by his Aunt Vic Hunt, and Harold by his Uncle Del Sharp.

We have very little information on what occurred in the life of Jack from this point on.  He found his way back to West Virginia where he tried to convince May to remarry him.  She had remarried and was having none of that.  This is the last time Hobart Day Ross ever saw his father.  Hobart went on to become a preacher.  He awoke blind one morning after being kicked in the head by a horse.

Jack found his way to Rock Springs, Sweetwater, Wyoming where he married a lady named Zana Cogdill on 29 November 1926.  She was previously married to Frank Coffey and was going by his name.  I have been unable to determine what happened to Frank.  She had a son already named Orval A Coffey. The 1930 Census on 2 April 1930 finds the two of them in Crawford, Delta, Colorado where he is working as a foreman in a battery shop and living with the brother of Zana’s first husband (?!?).

We do not believe this marriage lasted very long either.  Jack made several visits back to Plain City to see his children.  He would take a taxi out to Plain City, pick up Betty Booth, and the two would ride over to the fields where Milo was working.  We assume the same happened with Harold.  Paul died from a concussion in 1932 after falling out of a barn.  The car would pull up at the end of the field and would toot its horn and Milo could see the occupants wave.  It was not until he visited his father in 1948 that he realized this was his father waving at him across the way and that the lady was Betty Booth.  (Interestingly, Milo had given assistance to Betty Booth in the form of coal and helped pay some of her Dr.’s bills before she passed).

Jack reappears for the mandatory draft registration for World War II living in Stockton, San Joaquin, California working for Werl Zuckerman on McDonald Island with a Stockton mailing address.  He lists his nearest kin as his sister Ms. C. D. Phibbs (Fanny) living at 529 S. California Street in Stockton.

Milo received a telegram in 1948 telling him that his father was dying in a Veteran’s Hospital in Livermore, Alameda, California and that he was requested to come.  Milo tried to convince his brother Harold to go with him but Harold wanted nothing to do with his father.  Milo took the bus to Livermore and found the hospital. He arrived somewhere around midnight and found his way into the building and climbed up a couple of floors and found a corner he could sleep in until morning.  He heard coughs from a room and somebody in the room ask for the time.  He poked his head in and asked if anyone knew of Jack Ross.  Jack indicated he was in the room and wanted to know if it was Milo or Harold at the door.

They visited until an orderly came in and kicked him out.  He slept in a corner for a while and then told an orderly that he had come all the way from Utah to see his father and that his father was dying.  The orderly then let him stay with his father until he passed.

Fortunately, Milo and Jack were able to visit.  Milo asked why his father never came to visit and his father insisted that he wrote letters, sent gifts, and that the Sharp family kept the children from him.  He did not believe him at the time.  Vic Hunt, Ethel’s sister, had received the letters and told Milo about them after her husband and son were electrocuted in 1960 (thinking it was a form of punishment for her keeping them secret) but still did not give them to him. They passed to her son Harold in 1987, and to her grandson Archie in 2005.  Archie turned them over to Milo in 2010.

We know very little of his time in Wyoming, Colorado, or California before his passing.  Jack indicated in 1948 that life had been hard and he never had much.  So little is known of these years, hopefully some more of the story will come out in the future.

John Ross Tombstone