Shall thirst again

Ross CD 098

This is an interesting photo as it was in my Great Grandma and Great Grandpa’s photo albums.  David Delos Donaldson and Berendena Van Leeuwen Donaldson.  I assume it is from a trip they took to California.  Maybe they knew the person in the photo, I don’t know.  One of those photos that evoke more questions than answers.  I believe this picture was taken in 1919.

Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again:

But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.

John 4:13-14.


te Groen family

Johanna and Pieter to Groen

Johanna and Pieter te Groen

I have been corresponding with a distant cousin of mine, Carol Mann, in California.  She provided a couple of pictures, one of which is of my great, great, great grandparents.  It is very washed out so I hope she has the original or knows where she can get a better copy of the picture.

Among the other photos she provided is the one above.  This is of her grandparents Pieter Willem te Groen and Johanna van Leeuwen.  I have written of Johanna’s parents, Gerrit and Elsebina (Weenig) van Leeuwen, my great, great, great grandparents.  Johanna is the sister to my Gerhardus Hendrik van Leeuwen.

Pieter Willem to Groen was born 4 September 1865 in Arnhem, Gelderland, Netherlands and died 27 August 1942 in Long Beach, Los Angeles, California.  His parents are Derk Meindert to Groen and Jannetje Maria (Duverni) te Groen.

He married Johanna van Leeuwen 5 March 1890 in Arnhem in the Lutheran Church.

Johanna was born 1 September 1867 in Oldenzaal, Overijssel, Netherlands and died 24 February 1963 in Long Beach.

Together Pieter and Johanna had 10 children that I am aware.

Johanna Maria te Groen born 7 December 1890 supposedly in Transvaal, although that did not exist until 1902, so it was likely the South African Republic.  She died 2 January 1891 in Pretoria, Gauteng, South Africa.

Johanna Maria to Groen born 3 December 1891 in Transvaal, again likely South African Republic.  She died 10 January 1899 in Pretoria.

Gerhardus Hendrick te Groen born 19 February 1894 in Pretoria and died 5 May 1955 in Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California.

Willem Pieter te Groen born 14 September 1895 in Pretoria and died 4 May 1967 in Santa Ana, Orange, California.

Dirk Meindert te Groen born 27 January 1898 in Pretoria and died 20 July 1988 in Laguna Hills, Orange, California.

Paul Johannes Stofanas te Groen born 1 June 1900 in Pretoria and died January 1987 in Crescent City, Del Norte, California.

Elsebinia Maria te Groen born 17 October 1902 in Pretoria and died 5 February 1904 in Pretoria.

Jan Hendrick te Groen born 7 December 1904 in Pretoria and died 10 September 1999 in Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii.

Leendert te Groen born 14 October 1908 in Annapolis, Anne Arundel, Maryland and died 3 July 2003 in Laguna Hills.

Emil Fredrick te Groen born 27 November 1911 in Annapolis and died 27 November 2000 in Palo Alto, Santa Clara, California.

I have no idea what took te Groens to South Africa.  It was a time of change and turmoil in South Africa and the Dutch were active in Southe Africa.  It would be interesting to know if it was military or some other purpose for which they went there.  Maybe they left as the Dutch were losing influence and British were gaining more and more influence.  Hopefully someone can shed more light on the moves.

Unknown Pennsylvania Photo

Dad has continued to go through the items Grandpa and Grandma Ross left behind.  Here is a photo that unfortunately is likely lost to the past.  We are not sure why Grandpa and Grandma had it in their collection.  It could be an ancestor but it might simply be a flea market find.


Frankly, I cannot even tell for certain what the top of the photo is supposed to say.  Either way, there is the lady and the child in the bottom right corner.

The back of the photograph has “L. Whittling, Photographer, Cochranton, PA.” written on the back.   It also indicates “Presented to A Sawford”  For those interested, the back of the photo is shared below.

I attempted to find an A Sawford in the Cochranton area but did not immediately turn up anything definitive.  The other thing is we do not know if this person is related to Mr. or Ms. Sawford.  There is nothing to link Sawford to Cochranton.

One thing I can say, I do not have an ancestral line that came through Pennsylvania.  I cannot even find a relative that went to live in Pennsylvania on the Ross, Sharp, Stoker, Donaldson, or Van Leeuwen lines.  Hopefully with the limited information, someone related might be able to find this relative.



Baby Milo Paul Ross

Since I am on the baby kick lately, I thought I might post some other baby pictures.  (This is a repost from 2010, but due to Grandpa’s passing, I am reposting it)  With the latest posts of myself and little Aliza as a baby, I thought I would add the two oldest pictures I have of my father (showing him at his youngest recorded images).

Milo Paul Ross born on Independence Day in 1943 in Ogden, Utah.  He weighed in at a flat 8 pounds, 22 inches.  He was discharged at 7 pounds, 10.5 ounces.  His parents were Milo James Ross and Gladys Donaldson Ross.  They resided at 829 8th Street in Ogden, Utah.  Well, Grandma did.

Grandpa had just landed in Hawaii with the Army.  A biography at the University of Utah said, “Ross soon shipped out to the Hawaiian Islands, leaving behind his young pregnant wife. As his unit landed on the big island of Hawaii on July 4, 1943, a voice on the loud speaker said, “Sergeant Ross, congratulations. Your wife and son are doing well, and, one more thing, before you get off the ship you and your men have guard duty for the next four hours. Welcome to Hawaii.”

Grandma told the story how every night before going to bed Grandma showed Dad a picture of Grandpa and told him to kiss it goodnight.  When Grandpa stepped off the train years later, Dad knew who is father was at sight.  I doubt Dad remembers much at such an early age.  It would be interesting to know his recollections.

Grandpa told me that when he left Grandma they made an agreement that no matter where they were, both would kneel and pray at 9:00 PM at night for family prayer.  Even though they were miles apart, this was a way of maintaining their relationship despite distance and not knowing whether letters would arrive at the other end.  Grandpa said there were nights he felt his family very close, especially in a lonely foxhole with people dying around him.

Anyhow, more about the photos of the little boy above.  The top photo was taken in July 1943, which means it was within 3-4 weeks of his birth.  He is held in the photo by his grandmother, my Great Grandmother, Berendena Van Leeuwen Donaldson.  She went by Dena her whole life.  I cropped the photo down just to show Dad.  My first impression of this picture is how much he looks like my Aunt Caroline in this photo.  If it wasn’t for the written date on the photo, I would think it was her.

The second photo is also cropped.  This will probably be the closest I get to nudity on this little blog.  This photograph indicates it was taken at 8 weeks, putting us at the end of August or beginning of September 1943.  Perhaps he needed a little help with Bilirubin, hence sitting out in the sun with all exposed.  Either way, he does not look entirely pleased with the situation.

Looking at the two photographs, I can see a slight expression from the second photo in little Aliza.  Amanda and I see quite a bit of me in little Aliza, and we see more of the Jonas/Coley brow and facial features, at least at this stage.  We all know how children move through different looks as they grow up.  We shall keep a keen eye out for intimations of Dad.  But here are two photos of him.

Ross-Donaldson Wedding

David and Dena Donaldson are pleased to announce the marriage of their daughter Gladys Maxine to Milo James Ross, son of Jack Ross and the late Ethel Ross.  They were married in the Donaldson home on 8th Street in Ogden, Utah on 4 April 1942.  (This post originally appeared in 2010 and is reposed due to Grandpa’s death)

Gladys is a 1940 graduate of Ogden High School.

Milo is a 1939 graduate of Weber High School.  He is currently employed with American Packing and Provisioning Company as a supervisor in Ogden.

The couple will make their home in Plain City.

While short and sweet, there is much more of a story behind those words.  Milo and Gladys met  in 1940 when Gladys and her sisters rode their bikes all the way to a celebration in Plain City.  Later they would meet at the Berthana, which included a dance hall on the second floor (built in Ogden about 1914).  The Berthana later converted to a roller skating rink before closing in the 1970’s.  The building is still there although I do not know what the use for the building is currently.

David Delos Donaldson and Berendena Van Leeuwen are Gladys’ parents.  Read more of her parents at this link: Donaldson-Van Leeuwen Family.  David was a plumber by trade who had lung problems from being gassed in the Argonne of France in World War I.  He suffered from lung ailments the rest of his life.  He mostly worked in the Ogden area but worked prior to marriage in Phoenix, Arizona and Twin Falls, Idaho.  He also sought work in Boulder City, Nevada during the depression and as a steam and pipe fitter during World War II in Napa, California.  Apparently during World War II he worked almost exclusively in submarines.  You can read more of their marriage and family at the link above.  She went by the name of Dena her entire life.

Gladys and Maxine Donaldson ages 5 and 3.

Dena grew up LDS and David did not.  David’s parents were not active LDS and most of David’s siblings joined the LDS church between the ages of 10 and 22.  David and one brother did not.  Dena saw that all her children were raised LDS with little difficulty from David.  Apparently smoking is what kept him from being baptized (he picked up smoking after being gassed because he said it soothed his lungs).  When the time would come for Milo and Gladys to marry, they wished to be married in the temple.   For whatever reason, the Bishop determined that he was not going to allow them to be sealed without David being a member.  I do not know which Bishop, but I have a suspicion it was Gladys’ Bishop and that he knew the Donaldson family.  He probably hoped to bring errant David around so his daughter could get married.  The plan backfired.  It would not have worked anyhow because David was pretty set on Gladys marrying a wealthy man and would not have minded if the wedding had not gone through.  Milo said they wanted to get married and were not interested in waiting around for a Bishop to figure out what he was doing.  A week before they were actually married, they decided to elope.  They packed up and drove to Evanston, Wyoming on snow covered roads.  They arrived and decided they better do it proper with family around.  They enjoyed a meal and drove back to Ogden on a very snowy set of roads.  Leading them to get married in the Donaldson home the next week or so.  It would take them another 34 years before they finally made it to the temple to get sealed.  Perhaps the Bishop was inspired.

They married in April and World War II was in full swing.  They rented a place in Ogden for a few weeks until moving to Plain City and rented there (on 4700?) until they built a home after the war.  Milo and a group of buddies then went off to Fort Douglas to enlist in October 1942 rather than wait until they were drafted.  They anticipated at least a few more days or weeks in Utah before being shipped off.  However, Milo was put on a train that same day to Camp Lewis in Washington.  He spent the next two to four months there, he cannot remember for sure.  Gladys would move to Camp Lewis to be with him through basic training.  By this point the two knew they were expecting a baby.

Milo shipped out for Needles, California to Camp Ibis.  Due to his experience with building, he was one of the men asked to lay out some of the buildings for the latrines and then helped in starting the construction of those buildings.  Their division stayed there a few months before heading off to San Francisco from which he was put on a boat and headed to Hawaii.  He landed in Hawaii on the 4th of July 1943 with the loudspeaker welcoming the men to Hawaii and announcing the birth of a son to Sergeant Ross.  I have written of that baby at this link: Baby Milo Ross.

Gladys would live with her parents in Ogden until Milo returned from the rigors of war.  Her parents moved from their address on 8th Street down to Washington Boulevard during this time.

Milo worked for American Packing and Provisioning Company some in high school and on afterward until he went into the service.  American Pack would be sold to Swift & Company in 1949.  This packing plant would remain in use until the 1970’s when it was closed.

I have written previously about Milo’s loss of his mother in 1925 and her family keeping him from having contact with his father, John William Ross.  Here is the link: Ross-Sharp Wedding.  He was raised by his Uncle Edward William Sharp in Plain City.

Anyhow, the family would go on to have 2 more children in 1946 and 1948.  Milo received a homestead in Washington State in the late 1940’s, early 1950’s, but I do not know more about it.  The homestead is believed to have been abandoned because of medical needs of Judy and the family returned to a newly built home in Plain City around 1948 or 1949.  The family then built the current home at 2532 N. 4100 W. in 1955 and have resided there since.

Berendena Van Leeuwen Donaldson Funeral

Sitting (l-r) Dora, Betty, Gladys, Maxine.  Standing: Unknown woman, back of man, back of man, Eddie Telford (in front of wheel of car)

Dena Donaldson graveside service.  Sitting (l-r) Dora Birch, Betty Donaldson, Gladys Ross, Maxine Telford. Standing: (l-r) Unknown woman, back of man, back of man, Eddie Telford (in front of wheel of car), Jan Birch, Richard Michaelson, Johnny Telford, Unknown man, Les Collins, Unknown man reaching out, Mary Hewitt, Andy Hewitt (face behind Mary’s head), Dena Michaelson, Mike Michaelson, Unknown man’s head, Minnie Berglund.

Here is a photo from the graveside service of Berendena “Dena” Van Leeuwen Donaldson in the Ogden, Weber, Utah Cemetery.  I have previously shared Dena’s life story.  But I thought I would make this photo available and hope maybe we can find a few more people in the photo.  My father says he was present, but did not make it into the photo.  He seemed to think he was standing with Jan, Richard, and Johnny, he may very well be the hidden person under the bough of the tree.  He provided me the names of the people in the photo, but I do not have a second confirmation for the names, so if you can confirm or correct, I would appreciate your help.

Dena died 5 March 1959 in Ogden.  This picture was taken 9 March 1959, the date of her funeral and this graveside service.  Three of Dena’s children are seated (Dora, Gladys, and Maxine).  Betty is Dena’s daughter-in-law.  Dena, Dena’s daughter, is standing also beside her husband Chauncey Michaelson.  Dad seems to remember Grandpa (Milo Ross) and Dave Donaldson are blocked by the tombstone on the right of the photo.  Two of Dena’s sisters are visible (Mary and Kate).  Dad could not identify any of the other people as they were either not family or distant enough he cannot recall them.  I think the man to the right of Johnny Telford and the man to the left of Mary Hewitt are Dena’s brother-in-laws, but I do not know which (only four were still living; George, Ellis, Ed, and Alvin), but they have Donaldson traits.

My Handsome Father

Similar to what I did for my Mom’s birthday this year, I thought I would catalog some of Dad’s childhood through photos for his birthday.  I will only take him through about 1961 when he graduated from high school.

Happy Birthday Dad!

Dad was born in Ogden, Weber, Utah.  He and Grandma, Gladys Donaldson Ross, lived with her parents Dave and Dena Donaldson.  Milo and Gladys lived in Ogden until 1946 his father, Milo Ross, returned from World War II.

8 weeks old

Color photo of Baby Milo with Proud Mama, Gladys Ross

Milo with Grandma Donaldson in late 1943

Baby Milo and Gladys Ross

Color Portrait 1 in 1945

Color Portrait 2 in 1945


Milo with Aunt Dena Donaldson in 1944

Dad with Grandma

Milo Ross and Joan Stauffer in 1944


Dad and Grandma in 1944

Gladys and Milo with sled in 1944

Milo kissing his Mom

Milo with his Uncle Davie Donaldson

Winter 1944, notice the tribute to his father with the stripes on his arm

Dad with a wagon painted for him

The family then moved to Plain City and lived in a little log house (that Milo Sr was born inside in 1921) on 4200 West.  As you can see below, the house now had a clapboard outside.

Milo and Gladys in 1945

Mary Blanch and Milo Ross in 1946

Smiling in 1947

Milo, Gladys, and his tricycle

Milo with his Grandma, Dena Van Leeuwen Donaldson, and Great Grandma, Mary Elizabeth Williams Donaldson Stoker.

In 1948 the family moved into a new home on 4800 West in Plain City.

Milo and Judy Ross in 1948 on carousel

Gladys Ross holding Judy (left) and Caroline (right) and Milo standing in front in 1948

Caroline, Milo, and Judy Ross about 1950

Judy, Milo, and Caroline Ross with Santa about 1951

First day of school about 1953

Unknown, Unknown, Unknown, Milo, Gladys, and Judy Ross at Yellowstone in the mid 1950’s

School portrait about 1954

Milo in his scouting uniform about 1954

The Ross family moved to the current home on 4100 West in Plain City in 1955.  You can see the previous home in the photo above.

Yearbook picture about 1956

Eagle Award clipping in 1957

Eagle Scout

Duty to God Award clipping

Duty to God Award in 1959

Weber High School Graduation 1961 clipping