D-Day Sacrifice

I wrote about Irwin John Jonas a year ago in regards to D-Day.  I have a new document I want to share relating to him.

As I mentioned then, he participated in the D-Day invasion and lost his life on 11 July 1944, almost 71 years ago, near Saint-Lô, France.  He was part of the 38th Infantry Regiment then in the 2nd Infantry Division.  They landed on Omaha Beach on the day after D-Day.

As you can see, this is the Application for his headstone giving his birth and death date.  He is buried in Richmond, Cache, Utah.

While the death is tragic enough, the family still has to deal with the paperwork and other related issues with someone’s death.  We often forget about those incidental issues.  Here is a copy of the document just to resolve the headstone issue.  I assume the military had a quarry and set of stone masons just to take care of all these headstones, and then the shipping clerks to have them sent all over the nation.

Let’s not just forget the sacrifice of those who died for our freedom, but also the family who sacrificed with the aftermath of such a sacrifice as well.


Sadly, the tombstone provided in this application has been seriously damaged by Richmond City.  For which they have ignored my phone calls and requests for communication.  Even more tragic, this was not the only marker I can see damaged by careless caretakers.


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.


Last weekend, I went fishing with my in-laws to Flaming Gorge.  I thought I had a couple of fish photos that I might share.

I believe this is one of the first pictures I have of me fishing.

Fishing Young 1

Here is another of a series, but this is the most modest.

Naked Paul Ross sitting in lake at camera

That is my foot, not some other anatomical body part!

Here is one where I actually caught something.

Paul Ross fishing mid 80's

That does not necessarily mean I am a fisherman.  I will be the first to admit that I know nothing about fishing.  But I still enjoy it.  I will have to post some of the pictures from our fishing trip last week as soon as I get the pictures.  Obviously I did not take pictures of myself fishing.  But here are some pictures I took on the trip.

After filleting a fish, Derek Hemsley, my brother-in-law posed for this gruesome picture.  This was in the home we were staying in Manila, Daggett, Utah.

2015-05-09 20.18.27-2

Here is a picture I took along the side of the River Green below the Flaming Gorge Dam.

2015-05-09 14.26.14

It was cold, but hauntingly beautiful.  It was not cold enough for ice, but we did not wade into that water for terribly long periods of time.  Looking forward to next year!




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.

Constance Josephine Eliza Jorgensen Christiansen

As if the name is not enough in and of itself!  She is my Great Great Great Grandmother and since we stopped at her grave in Portland, Multnomah, Oregon this past week, I thought it fitting to write about her.

Constance was born 23 April 1857 in Drammen, Buskerud, Norway to Olaves Jorgensen and Hanna Mathea Christensen.  According to the 1875 Norwegian Census, her name was Konstanse Elise Olavesen, but when she immigrated to the United States she was given her father’s last name, Jorgensen.  Actually according to the 1875 Norwegian Census, however correct it is, the last name is Jørgensen, but Americans don’t use that extra letter in our alphabet, so it dropped to the regular ‘o’.  I don’t know where she picked up the Josephine, if she ever really did.

She married Ole Christiansen about 1874, I have yet to find that date and location.  The two of them immigrated in 1889 through New York, New York, New York.  However, they both took the long way to America.  Walborg and Martha, their daughters, were born in Fredrikstad, Ostfold, Norway in 1875 and 1879 respectively.  Martha is my Great Great Grandmother.  Eivelda and Constance was born in 1881 and 1883 in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.  Then Henry was born back in Fredrikstad in 1887!  Then, the remaining six children were all born in Cache County, Utah starting in 1890.

Her parents later emigrated and lived nearby in Richmond, Cache, Utah.  Two of her sisters, Matilda and Amanda, also emigrated and lived in Cache Valley.

Constance Jorgensen Christiansen

Constance Jorgensen Christiansen (heads up, there is argument this might be Constance Christiansen Clawson/Huff, trying to get other photos to compare)

Her husband Ole passed away 27 February 1900 in Richmond, Cache, Utah and is buried there.  She passed away 10 December 1932 in Portland while staying with her daughter Jennie.  She had stayed for some time with Jennie as she was listed as living with her on the 1930 census.  I don’t even know what she died of for certain.  I was told at one point she stepped off a trolley in Portland, slipped and hit her head, and she later died from those injuries, but I cannot confirm that lore.

I knew she is buried was Multnomah Park Cemetery in Portland and while driving through made it a point to stop and visit her grave this past Wednesday.  I knew she had passed away and was buried there, I am not aware of another single relative in the entire cemetery.  Not that the cemetery is that large.  But I knew she was there, that she has an empty grave in Richmond so the circumstances were such that her body was not brought home for burial beside her husband.

2015-04-01 17.42.11

It struck me how solitary her grave is.  She does have two daughters buried or interred in Portland, but neither of them are in this cemetery.

2015-04-01 17.42.41

It even took me a while just to find it, it is near one of the roadways in the cemetery.

I cannot help but think of how far away she is from her parents and husband, even though she does have two daughters at least in Portland.  But for some reason her location disturbs me.  I don’t know why, I obviously had nothing to do with the decision 80+ years ago to bury her in Oregon.  Any person who might have known is long gone.  A death certificate might tell me more about her death, but not the reasons for her burial in Multnomah Park.  Some things we will likely never know in this life.

Lillie, Dean, and Gary

This is another photo sent to me by Nelda Clontz Lemburg, whose mother is a Sharp.  This is a better copy of the photo than the one I had.

Lillie Sharp, Gary Blanch, and Dean Sharp

Gary Blanch, Lillie Sharp, and Dean Sharp

I have previously written of “Uncle Ed” and included this photo.

This is Lillie Elva East Sharp with her son, Dean Sharp, and grandson, Gary Eugene Blanch.

Lillie Elva East was born 16 February 1888 in Warren, Weber, Utah to Louisa Calder East and Joseph Uriah East.

She and Edward William Sharp married 19 May 1909 in Plain City, Weber, Utah.

As I mentioned in the article about Uncle Ed, together they had 10 children, nine of which lived to adulthood.

Grandpa, Milo James Ross, said that his Aunt Lillie, who quintessentially became his mother, was a beautiful woman.  He loved her but his life was dominated enough by Uncle Ed that he did not get to spend as much time with her as he wished.

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