Thursday, December 30, 2010

My Mother Ileen Jane Wright Wardle

My mother is the daughter of Mina Geneve Brandley Wright and Charles James Wright.  She has a twin sister Charleen and a younger sister Rose Marie.  These are a few pictures of her family my brother Charles has posted on a family Facebook group.

Grandma's house

l to r Charleen, Bill? Rose Marie, Ileen

Ice box like this in Grandma's home

Grandma and Grandpa Wright with Rose Marie in foreground

Mom and her family

Sunday, December 26, 2010


Because of the season, I am interested in Wardle family Christmas stories.  I don't know if anyone can go back as far as telling of any Christmas of Isaac Wardle, or of any of his children.  If anyone has any stories could they please share them, and we can put it into a blog.  Billy

Saturday, December 25, 2010

1856: Conference Discourse; Brigham Young

Brigham Young must have approached the general conference with heavy heart.  He had been informed the day before that close to 2000 immigrants were on the plains, two handcart companies, two wagon companies, several freight companies.  It was already early October.

Brighan Young had met with church leaders the evening before to discuss what was needed.  The handcart plan was established with the idea that the Saints would be met on the plains with resupply wagons.  This was lacking, and the handcart companies would be facing starvation rations.

And so Brigham Young introduced the theme of the conference:

"I will now give this people the subject and the text for the Elders who may speak today and during the conference.  It is this.  On the 5th day of October, 1856, many of our brethren and sisters are on the plains with handcarts, and probably many are now seven hundred miles from this place, and the must be brought here, we must send assistance to them.  The text will be, 'to get them here.'  I want the brethren who may speak to understand that their text is the people on the plains.  And the subject matter for this community is to send for them and bring them in before winter sets in.

That is my religion; that is the dictation of the Holy Ghost that I possess.  It is to save the people.  This is the salvation I am now seeking for.  To save our brethren that would be apt to perish, or suffer extremely, if we do not send them assistance...

I will tell you all that your faith, religion, and profession of religion, will never save one sould of you in the Celestial Kingdom of our God, unless you carry out just such principles as I am now teaching you.  Go and bring in those people now on the plains."

An so was put into motion one of the greatest rescue operations of the Mormon migration.  The rescuers would be successful in bringing many Saints to the valley, while over 200 of them would die along the trail.  By the time the meeting had concluded men were making preparations to be part of the rescue.  Women removed underlinens to donate to the cause.

I composed a song which was intended to convey the Spirit of this meeting.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Teton Pass Photos

Vernal Wardle and Joe Cleavinger

Wilford Wardle driving the team, Twin Slides area

Twin Slides area

Wilford working on road

Grandfather Wilford at the plow

My grandfather and many of his brothers, as well as my great grandfather William Haston Wardle helped build a road over Teton Pass 1915, 1916.  It is not the pass that is used now, but would be an older road.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Close Your Eyes; Martin's Cove Song.

This is a simple song which honors the handcart pioneers as they were in Martin's Cove.  Its being simple is what made it so poignant, in letting people experience this event. When we performed this Ashley Orton sang this song and Bishop Joseph Eliason played the piano.  They did an excellent job.

The lyrics, in case they are hard to follow above:

Close you eyes, see them for real
Close your eyes and be on that hill.
Feel the wind bite at your face.
our thread bare coat gives you no grace.

Hear the snow crunch under your feet.
With the Saints, the cold try to beat.
The frozen ground under your bed
Gives you no place to rest your head.

Hear the wind blow through the trees,
Coyote's yell, song on the breeze.
Snuggle warm, the temperature falls,
Freezing, freezing, nothing thaws.

Close your eyes, see them for real.
Close your eyes, and be on that hill.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

William Haston Wardle, My Great Grandfather

William Haston and Anne Sorenson Wardle

William Haston far left, Uncle Doon, two sons-in-law and sons Wilford, Reed, Leo, Vernal, Orrin and grandson Dennis

William Haston, Audrey Wardle Chase, Kenneth Chase, Wilford Wardle Sr.

William Haston and Anne Sorenson Wardle

b: Leo, Wilford, Orring, William Haston, Vernal, Reed, Norval f: Delilah, Anne Sorenson, Mary Ann, Elbirdie (Leroy absent)

William Haston is second from right with Sophia (stepmother) and Charles and Hannah
 William was the only son of his birth mother Mary Ashton.  His father was Isaac Wardle.  His mother passed away shortly after birth and the tender age of 16.  William was raised by his father's third wife, Sophia Myers Wardle.  Our family lore indicates that his mother wanted to name him after her father William Ashton.  However on her death bed, her cockney accent was thick, and his middle name came out as Haston rather than Ashton.
b: Wilford, Audrey, Melissa, Mary, Anne (mother) Aunt Hattie f: Birdie, Delilah, Orrin, William (father) Week of July 4 1916

Half brothers, Charles, William Silas

Uncle Doon (Junius), Aunt Edna, Aunt Mary Peterson, Anne and William

William and Anne marriage photo

William and Anne center with children and grandchildren

William Haston

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Last Crossing of the Platt River

The Last Crossing of the Platt, at present day Casper, marked the beginning of the tragedy ad struggle for the Martin Handcart Company.  Crossing the river, just as winter cam on, was trying or the Saints.  But there was a bridge over the Platt just a few miles from the the handcart company forded. 

The book Westward documents this, as well as he reason for not using the bridge:

The first of these bridges, built by a French frontiersman, Reshaw, spanned the river just east of the site of Casper.  It was there in 1857 [6] when the belated Mormon handcart companies trailed by.  Members of those companies have told the writer that they would have used this bridge, but they could not pay the high tolls.  As an alternative they had to pull their cars through the cold stream, which nearly swept some of the women and children down with it.  That same afternoon a bitter wind froze their water-soaked clothing and bedding; and a snowfall at night took a heavy toll of lives.  This was the beginning of one of the major tragedies of the plains. (Driggs, Howard,  P. 87) 
Isaac Wardle indicated that the handcart troubles started at this river crossing.

Isaac indicated that the serious problems for the company started after the last crossing of the Platte River:

…We encountered a sever[e] snow storm at Platt[e] Bridge this was early in October. Then our old men and women and some of the younger children began to give out and to get sick and many of them died which I helped bury, but we kept moving on a little every day in spite of the cold and hardships. At one time I became so weary and over come with cold that I fell down and was forced to lay there for some time. About this time one day while we were stopped for noon two men rode into our camp, they were "Joseph Young" and Ephraim Hanks who had come to tell us that men where coming to meet us with teams and wagons from Salt Lake City.  (Church History, Wardle)

Two who forded the Platt

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Mural from Grandma's Church

This mural is the back of the chapel in the church in Logan on the corner of 100 East and 100 North.

Cold in Wyoming and Utah

It was cold on our trip to Utah (10 and a half hours from my sister's house to Utah) and was thinking of complaining.  However our travels eventually took us to Evanston.  The windshield wiper fluid froze in our car.  I had to get out and throw snow, or washer fluid on the windshield to clean it, as the moisture on the rode would make it hard to see through the windshield.  It was cold as we were traveling early.

Echo Canyon

Devil's Slide
But as we traveled through Echo Canyon, and into the Evanston area, I had to think of the handcart pioneers who were in the cold for over a month, with no shelter other than a tent and no heat other than a campfire.  I was inconvenienced.  But never was my life threatened, or was I subject to frostbite.  How did they survive?