Saturday, September 23, 2017

Great Grandmother Melissa Ann Atwood Shaw As Told by my Grandmother

History of Melissa Ann Atwood Shaw
As Told by Her Daughter Melissa Ann Shaw Wardle

Story of my mother, Melissa Ann Atwood Shaw, the daughter of Mary S. Barbar and Alonzo T. Atwood.  She was born 23 October 1859 at Harbor Creek, Erie County, Pennsylvania.  Her father was the father of 27 children.  He had two wives, having 13 children by his first wife and 14 by his second.  He was a brick mason by trade.  They lived in Pennsylvania until their son William was born in the year 1861.  On 2 October 1862, they left Pennsylvania with the James F. Brown Company wagon train to go to Utah.  Mother was only 3 years old and having no shoes because her parents were very poor, she had to walk bare footed to Sunday school and also on the way to Utah.  She was baptized there in 1870 by James Gilbert.
The family settled in Salem, Utah.  Mother lived with her parents until she was 12 years old when she went to live wither Uncle Walter and Aunt Adomia Atwood in Murray, Utah.  Uncle Walter owned and operated a brickyard in Murray, and mother helped Aunt Domie, as she was called, cook for the hired help there.  I have heard her tell how she had to work so hard for such a small girl.  She did the washing on a washboard by hand.  She ironed the clothing by using a flat iron that had to be heated on a stove.  For this work, she was paid $2.00 a month.
She lived with Uncle Walt until she married by father Osmond W. Shaw, May 14, 1879.  She had received her endowments in 1875.  She and dad lived at Salem, Utah where he owned and operated a shingle mill.  At Salem their first five children were born, and their oldest child died.  This was in the year 1889.

While she was living with Uncle Walt and Aunt Domie she told me that she taught school for a while.  How long she taught, I do not know nor do I know the age of the children she taught, but I do remember her telling about one of the students bringing an Ouija Board to school one day.  The board had numbers and letters around it.  It was about one and a half feet across and three yards around.  There is a planchette that points to the different letters or numbers to answer any question asked it.  This is one way of telling fortunes.  This day they asked it a question and the table it was on started to move around, jumping up and down.  Everyone was frightened and there was never another Ouija Board brought to school.
             In the spring of 1889 we settled in Teton Valley.  Dad went in first and found a place to settle.  Mother and her children came by train to Market Lake, now Roberts.  Father met them there and they came in a wagon.  I have heard my sister Allie tell how she walked some of the way and she talked about the beautiful flowers they saw along the way.  They settled close to Badger Creek, north of Tetonia.  There wasn’t a house on the place.  They had to live in a tent and the covered wagon.  The deer and antelope would come right up to the door and browse around.
                The first six months mother never saw another white woman.  The Indians were around quite a bit then. 
                They had a faithful old dog.  Mother used it for a watch dog.  One day father was away.  She and the small children were alone when two trappers came to her camp and were very rude to her.  She told them that her husband was coming home any minute and they still weren’t very nice.  So she spoke to the dog and he was ready to tear them apart.  So they got out of there really fast.
                Father then got a place from a man by the name of Nickerson.  There was a two room house on it and two lovely springs where the water was very cold and good to drink.  She [mother] enjoyed her home very much even though it wasn’t very nice.  They had horse blankets hand at the windows and doors for curtains.  There were also fie children born there. 
                Their first Christmas dinner in their new home consisted of deer meat and pies made out of wild currants she had picked and dried.  The pie crust was made of deer fat and it was delicious.  Mother could make the best pies I have ever eaten.  She was a wonderful seamstress.  She made all of her own clothes and also those for the children.  She knit all of their stockings.  I wore long loped hand knit stockings as long as I went to school that mother had knitted. 
                There wasn’t any doctor living in the valley, so when a baby was to be born a midwife was called in to care for mother and child.   When I was born she was very sick.  Neither I nor mother were expected to live.  Father made a bed in the wagon, with a canvas over the top and took us to a doctor in Rexburg.  At that time there wasn’t a hospital there so Father made arrangements for a lady to take us into her home and care for us.  She was sick for a month at her home and six weeks in Rexburg.  It was her faith that saved her life.  She asked the Lord to let her live to raise her family and her prayers were answered.
                They lived in that old two-room house until about 1910, when they moved into a nice new frame house that father built.  Mother buried two children at birth there, one boy and one girl.
                Mother was the first Postmaster in the Teton Basin and held that position for 11 years.  She also carried mail from Hayden to Leigh where she lived and ran the post office.  She had an old black horse named Nig.  She hooked him to a cart and every day, but Sunday, she made that trip about five miles distance. 
                All of her life she was very active in her church.  She served as a visiting teacher for the Relief Society, and also a teacher in the Sunday school.  She was the president of the Relief Society for a long time.  She was a very staunch tithing payer.  She raised chicken, ducks and turkeys, and always milked a large herd of cows.  It was from these that she paid her tithing.  While mother was president of the Relief Society, she had a granary built to hold their wheat as they used to take wheat for dues and other donations.  With the wheat money they were able to run the Relief Society and help the needy in the ward.  It was a large undertaking for a few women, and they were successful.  One year they had it almost full and they were all proud of their accomplishments. 
                In the year 1899 mother gave birth to another son, Earl.  Jan. 25, 1901 John was born.  He lived only long enough to be given a name and blessing before he died.  He was 7 months premature [2 months], tiny with a lot of black hair.  Father made a casket and the Relief Society ladies lined it with white silk.  It was very pretty.
Melissa Ann Atwood Shaw and her children
(back) Alma Ray, Allie Cornelia, earl Weilding, Melissa Ann, James Albert,
(front) Rosa Eliza, Osmond Wilding (husband), Melissa Ann (self) and William Lewis

                About 1916 Dad bought a Buick.  They were very proud of it, but one of the boys always did the driving as Dad never did learn how.  Mother bought a duster and a cap with a beak on it.  She tied a scarf over the cap and tied it under his chi.  She wore this outfit whenever she went in the car.  She always sat in the back seat and held on for dear life.  She gave instructions on driving to whoever was at the wheel, telling them not to go too fast and as she was very frightened.  They would go only ten miles an hour, but she was afraid it would get a scratch on it.  It was a touring car and the wind whistled through it.
                Mother went to Vernal, Utah only once to visit her mother whom she hadn’t seen since they left Salem to come to Idaho.  She stayed about a month and enjoyed herself very much but was happy to get back home.  I stayed at home and cooked for the hay men and kept care of the house.  I was about 15 or 16 years old at the time and had about 12 men besides the family to feed three hot meals a day.  We were all through with the haying when Mother got home.
                Mother was a very heavy woman.  I imagine she weighed about 200 pounds, but her health was never very good after my birth.  Her legs and feet bothered her a lot.  They would swell up and look like they would burst.  Sometimes they looked shiny like glass and had a transparent appearance.  They gave her much pain.  She got running sores from varicose veins and many times put her knees on a chair and pushed it around while she was doing her work.  I used to bathe and rub legs for her which gave her some relief.
                She always fed all the stray men who called on Father.  No man ever called at the Shaw place and went away hungry.  She would say, Melissa, put an a few extra potatoes.  You know Pa will have someone come to eat dinner with us.”  There was a cattle buyer by the name of Charley Christensen, who always came to our place if he was anywhere near at meal time.  I’ll bet I’d be safe in saying that Mother gave him several hundred meals over the years. 
                Although mother had poor health in the latter part of her life, she was always cheerful and helping someone who was less fortunate than herself.  She kept little treats for her grandchildren, some candy put away or cookies or apples that were hard and crisp.  Father had built a cellar out of limestone rock so that it was cool and keep food well.  The apples tasted as though they had just been picked, even month after month in the cellar.  The cellar had double doors to keep out summer’s heat and winter’s cold.
                She never let a grandchild’s birthday pass without a present.  It was usually something that she had made herself or maybe cloth for a new shirt or dress.
Melissa Ann Atwood Shaw

                About the year 1919 Mother took very sick.  She was in the Idaho Falls hospital for a time.  When she was better she came home but she took a change for the worse.  She was too bad to take back to Idaho Fall so Father hired a nurse to come and take care of her.  Father took mother to Omaha, Nebraska to see a doctor about this time.  I don’t remember if it was before or after she was in the Idaho Falls hospital, nor do I remember how long they were gone.  Mother had suffered a long time when her death came on June 20, 1920 about five o’clock in the evening.  She was 61 years old and didn’t have a gray hair in her dark brown hair.  She was laid to rest in the Cache Clawson Cemetery in Teton County.  She was missed by all very much as she was loved most dearly.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Bill and Bob Springall as told on Family Search

This story I have found on family Search.  Bob and Bill Springall are my mothers half brothers.  I was in tears after reading this story.  I have gotten to know both these uncles better as a result.  

This picture was shared by Steven Booras on Family Search and shows Bill and his friend.

The Story of Gordon Bartholomew and William Earl Springall

Written by Steven William Springall Booras, 25 October 2016. SOURCES: Expanded from original notes in personal family files written in 2006, recorded at the time of the experience with additional information obtained from, and When Brother Bartholomew first met us in the sealing room of the Provo Temple, he related the story of how he met my uncle, William Earl Springall, during WWII on board ship in the Merchant Marines serving in the Pacific Theater. William and Gordon became best of friends. Rather than hanging out in bars and other places where the sailors would go when off duty while on shore leave they would visit art galleries and history museums in the cities where they were docked. Gordon was not a member of the LDS church during the time of their friendship in the service but was a protestant and was a member of the Methodist Church. Over a period of time William was able to introduce the church to Gordon and on occasion took him to church. After the war they parted ways but stayed in contact with each other over the years. Gordon married and settled in Binghamton, New York. William married and settled in Las Vegas, Nevada. Gordon soon after marriage joined the church in 1961. That same year, while I was serving on my mission, my father, William’s brother, Robert William Springall, passed away. Years later Brother Bartholomew served several missions as an ordinance worker in the Washington D.C. Temple from 1986-1997, the Orlando Temple from 1997-2002, and the Provo Temple from 2002-2009. My uncle William Springall passed away in 2003. My mother, Nelda Johnston and my father, Robert William Springall, divorced about 1946. My mother remarried to William Edward Booras. My brother and I were formerly adopted by William Edward Booras. Hence the name change. In 1963 Mom and William Booras divorced while I was serving in the military. Even though I have been doing family history most of my adult life my dad, mother, Terry, and I were never sealed. Through the years my mother had no inclination of wanting to be sealed to Robert Springall. My wife, Susan Lindsey, and I had many discussions with our family about the possibility of sealing of dad, mom, Terry and I. We saw no prospect of that ever happening. My wife passed away in December, 2005 after 40 years of marriage. Early in the following year, 2006, my son Kimball persuaded me to take a trip with him back to California. It would be a trip of healing and renewal. While there I visited my brother Terry and his wife Mary. I also visited my mother, Nelda Johnston Springall Booras. During my visit to her Oakland apartment one afternoon she mentioned she had been pondering recently, for the first time, the thought of being sealed to Dad. And that Terry and I should be sealed also. This was a complete surprise and reversal of her willingness to be sealed to dad. I was amazed. However, she confided, that being divorced from dad and remarried and divorced again she admitted that this was keeping her from making the decision to be sealed thinking the divorces would prevent the ordinances from taking place. I informed her that that would have no bearing on her worthiness or policy of being sealed. She could go to the temple that very afternoon and be sealed. There was nothing keeping her from doing so. This is a gospel of repentance and forgiveness. She literally brightened up and became more enthusiastic about the prospect of being sealed. It was decided then to plan for the sealing. I promptly told Terry, Mary, and my son Kimball of the surprise decision to have the sealing’s performed. I told everyone I would immediately begin the process of preparing for the ordinance. I asked mom which temple would she like the ordinances performed. Being in her 90’s I suggested that our family could come here to the Oakland, California temple. She thought that would be wonderful. Upon returning home to Utah I started the arrangements of preparing the family records, notifying family members, and coordinating and clearing dates. The Oakland temple was chosen as the temple for the sealing. Just prior to notifying the Oakland Temple and scheduling the sealing session mom called me. She thought she would like to travel to Utah and perform the ordinances in the Salt Lake Temple. That was the temple she had her own endowments done. We agreed that would be great also. However, in the middle of June mom called again, she gave it further thought and prayer and now she wanted the sealing performed in the Provo Temple. Again we all agreed. On the 29th of June 2006 I scheduled the sealing in the Provo Temple. The date was set for 29 July 2006. The afternoon of July 29, our family was gathered in the sealing room of the Provo Temple. My son, Kimball Springall would be proxy for Dad, Robert William Springall. Terry and Mary Booras, Nelda Booras, Kimball, and I were setting in the instruction room adjacent to the sealing room waiting for our sealer. The rest of the family were waiting in the sealing room. Now, in 2002, Elder Bartholomew and his wife had moved to Payson, Utah. He then started working in the Provo Temple, his 3rd temple assignment. One morning when coming to the temple he noticed the family sealing name of Robert William Springall for a family sealing scheduled for the 29th of July. He immediately requested the sealing. He kept it for several weeks until the day came, wondering if there would be a relationship. As soon as he walked into the sealing instruction room he closed the door and asked softly “does the name William Springall mean anything to you”? And, “was he related to Robert William Springall”? We informed him that they were brothers. He was elated. He then related his story of his close relationship with William during WWII and always remembered him and that his influence was a major factor in his joining the church. I asked him would he be willing to share his story with the rest of the family now seated in the sealing room waiting. He said he would be more than happy to do so. When we entered the sealing room, finding all the family there seated around the alter he again related his story about his relationship to dad’s brother. We all marveled at the story and the spirit filled the room. Mom, Kimball, Terry, and I kneeled at the alter and Brother Bartholomew performed the sealing. We were now sealed for time and eternity. Elder Gordon Manly Bartholomew passed away the 2nd of April 2009 and was buried the 6th of April 2009 in the Payson City Cemetery, Payson, Utah. The spirit of the Lord was in “rich abundance” in that sealing room. We all felt it. The Lord's hand was definitely directing these affairs. We felt the presence of our family members who had passed onto the spirit world. All of which testified that the work of the Lord does and will come to pass in His due time and that it is true. We rejoiced in the Lord. There is and was then an influence beyond the veil that brought this sealing to pass, I so testify. President James E. Faust. “Perhaps in this life we are not given to fully understand how enduring the sealing cords of righteous parents are to their children. It may very well be that there are more helpful sources at work than we know. I believe there is a strong familial pull as the influence of beloved ancestors continues with us from the other side of the veil.” “Dear Are the Sheep That Have Wandered,” General Conference, April, 2003.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Birth Record for Mary Ann Ashton

Among other things this record reports Mary's parents, Sarah Ann Ashton (Barlow) and William Ashton.  It gives her father's career as a spinner.  Her mother signs with an X.  The date of birth is July 1851.  It was registered on the ninth so birth is before the ninth.  I can't make out a day.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

My Dad's Three SIblings Who Passed Away In Their Infancy

 My father's family lost three children before my father was born.  Audrey and Lula where his older siblings.  Then came Little Willie, Myrtle Mary, and Wanda Helen.  Grandma tells their story:
On Nov. 15, 1919 our first boy was born.  He had red hair.  We named him William Hashton after Grandfather Wardle.  We called him Willie.  He was a very sweet boy.  We almost lost him when he was born as he had a hemorrhage.  He bled from eyes, nose, mouth and bowels.  The doctor gave him several blood transfusions.  He took two blood from me.  That checked it.  He lost so much blood that he was so cold, almost like death.  They wrapped him in blankets and put him in the oven to try and keep him warm.  The doctor gave him a sedative to keep him quiet when he wasn’t 24 hours old.  He lived to be two years and four months.  He was sick most of his life.  When he passed away his hair was white.  We had moved to Pocatello and were living there when Willie passed away.  Just before he died we had another little daughter born on Dec. 10, 1921.  She looked like the other girls with long dark hair.  We named her Myrtle Mary.  She was just a little doll, but the Lord saw fit to take her.  We were only permitted to keep her three months.  We had four children.  All of them, Wilford, and I were all sick at the same time with the flu.  There was a bad flu epidemic.  Wilford and three of the children had flu and pneumonia.  Two children were taken.  Willie died March 1 and Myrtle March 4, 1922.  That was terrible.  We were all too sick to leave the house so we had a little service for both of them at home.  It took a long time to get over the loss of my children.
    On March 29, 1923 we had another little girl born.  We named her Wanda Helen.  She also had dark hair and blue eyes.  She was a beautiful child.  She lived to be eleven months old.  We enjoyed her very much.  She and the other girls got whooping cough.  Wanda got pneumonia with it.  She passed away Feb. 10, 1924.  It was a very sad blow to all of us.

Little Willie who was born with red hair; but it went white due to health issues.
I do not have pictures of the two girl; only of William Hashton Wardle.  My father, James Wilford Jr.  was born, 1925 and Phyllis and Verna followed him.  

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Audrey Wardle Chase

Grandma and grandpa's family, Grandma Meliss,a Shaw Wardle, Lula, Audrey, Grandpa WIlford Wardle, Verna, my father James Wilford, and Phyllis
My Dad's four sisters. Lula, Audrey, Verna and Phyllis
These are Aunt Audrey's pictures from Family Search.  Some I placed there, but just recently my brother Charlie placed many pictures from old negatives he developed.  Audrey was the oldest child of James Wilford Wardle Sr. and Melissa Ann Shaw Wardle.  She married Ellis Bennion Chase.  She had five children grow to maturity, Kenneth, Anne, Dale, Carolyn and Roger.  And two more who died in infancy, Audrey and Gary.  Her husband passed away shortly after Roger was born from a heart condition.  She was a school teacher and worked for many years teaching English in Pocatello.  She passed away in 1998.

In these pictures I am not sure who she is with; perhaps Ellis' family

Lula and Audrey

Camping, with one of her sons

I am pretty sure this is with her oldest daughter Anne
Road trip to Othello, Audrey and Kenneth, my mother is in car, Connie and Sara, Carolyn and perhaps Anne standi

Last picture with her husband Ellis Chase

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Grandma by Lydia Hartle Kilpack

This poem appeared in the Legacy Newsletter for Daughters of Utah Pioneers, Spring 2007.  

Could I leave home and Mother
And sail to a distant shore?
Could I, after losing loved ones, 
Say I was more blessed than before?

Could I give up all I had worked for
To help others on their way?
Do I appreciate the comforts 
That are mine to enjoy today?

Grandma, you could do these things
And do them gladly too
Because your faith in God was strong
And to that faith were true.

If I'm worthy then to meet you
I'll be glad to take your hand
And give my heart-felt love to you
Within that better land.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Mary Ashton Wardle Obituary

Found this gem on family Search where it had been contributed by Iva Beckstead.  this lists place of death as West Jordan and age as 20.  She is buried in South Jordan Cemetery which is more likely location of death.  Also they have inflated her age slightly.  Mary's is the last obituary in this picture.