Samuel Francis and Emma Anderson

History of

Samuel Francis and Emma Anderson

–Compiled and written by Jennie (Johnson) Harding

Samuel Francis           1848-1880               (Birth to Marriage)

Far away in sunny England, in the busy town of Wednesbury, Staffordshire, Samuel Francis was born on the 13 of March 1848 at the Francis home on Queens Street.  He was the fifth child descending from a sturdy English family by the name of Francis.  His father was John Francis and his mother, Rosannah Titley.  His paternal grandparents were James Bowen Francis and Elizabeth Moore.  His maternal grandparents were Samuel Titley and Mary Foster.

Samuels father, John Francis was born 9 October 1813 in Bristol, Gloucester, England.  He ws a cooper by trade, as was his father before him.  He made all kids of wooden tubs, barrels, buckets and other articles in his little shop.  He was very proud and never wore his work clothes on the street.  His first love was Ann Rogers, and a few months after their marriage, she passed away, left him sad, and in his grief he wandered from home folks.  He later married Rosannah Titley, a nurse, who was born 19 July 1819 in Wednesbury.  They were married Monday, December 15, 1841.  The marriage was solemnized at the Parish church, according to rites and ceremonies of the established Church by banns.

John and Rosannah made their home in Wednesbury.  Here their nine children were born.  Mary Ann on 2 April 1842; John James, on 4 September 1843; Thomas on 25 May 1845; Elizabeth on 20 October 1846.  Then the Angel of death claimed the baby girl on 18 June 1847.  Another baby boy came to gladden the home, Samuel on 13 March 1848.  On the 29th of October 1850 another little girl was sent to them they named her Elizabeth also.  Death again entered the home.  This time little Thomas, not quite 6 years old was taken in March of 1851.  Three more babies came to bless their home:  Sarah on 6 September 1853; Joseph on 11 October 1856; and Rose Hannah on 13 December 1859.

These good people heard the Gospel and in January 1856, they accepted and were baptized and cast their lot with a group of people known as the “Mormons”.  Although they were derided and scorned, yet they were faithful and opened the door of their home for religious gatherings.  The children helped to clean the house, and brought in many a scuttle of coal to keep the fire burning brightly for the meetings.  Here under the roof of the Francis home, the Saints enjoyed the Spirit of the Lord.

It was about this time, as Samuel was seven years old, he was obliged to quit school.  He herded cows for a small wage.  All the children of the Francis family studied the Gospel, (and according to Mary Ann’s history, they were students of the Bible and had regular study), and so in 1857 of April 26th, Samuel was baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, at Westbromwitch, Stafford, by John Taylor.  Edward Southwick confirmed him.

Later Samuel worked in the coalmines for three or four years.  At 13 years of age he went to work in the iron works.  He helped to make rails for the first steam engine in England.  He lost three fingers when a huge piece of iron fell on them.

Word came to the saints in Wednesbury that the Church officials were going to join Wednesbury with Darlison and Willenhall, two small adjoining towns, into one branch.  Since the Saints at Wednesbury had kept free of debt, and their joining the Willenhall branch meant that they must share the financial responsibilities, many of the people were loath to support such a move, loyalty won out, however, and every Sunday the Saints at Wednesbury would walk to Darlison and thence to Willenhall, a distance of three miles.

The new “Mormon” saints were eager to go to America.  If there was not money enough for the entire family to go to Zion, the people were advised to send their older children and then to work and save until they could follow.  In accordance with this advice, John and his sister, Mary Ann Francis left Wednesbury, England for America in the spring of 1862.  They bade farewell to their dear ones and took their few belongings and went to Liverpool where they set sail for America.  Before they sailed they had to have their things checked to see if they had some provisions.  This made Mary Ann feel badly as all they had was a loaf of bread and a bucket of treacle (Molasses).  The captain had said they must not sail unless they had provisions.  Mary Ann told her brother that he could tell them what they had if he wanted to but she would not. He did this and they were allowed to sail and share the food that was served on the ship.  They got very little food and it was not very appetizing.

They were on the ocean in a sailing vessel for six weeks, as there were no steamships in those days.  Because of the scarcity of money, the saints took the cheapest passage, which was steerage.  They could not associate with those on the upper deck and they had to prepare their own food, what little there was of it.  It consisted mostly of sea biscuits, tea and bacon.  On the way they ran into some severe storms, which tossed the ship about, and at times ti seemed as though the ship would be dashed to pieces or be buried beneath the waves.  The Saints put their trust in the Lord and prayed for a safe voyage.  The captains of the ships always felt safe when they had Mormon emigrants on board, as not one ship was lost that carried the Latter Day Saints.  During the voyage they held meetings, sang hymns, preached sermons and rejoiced very much together.  One of Mary Ann’s favorite songs was “Hard Times Come Again No More”.  She sang this throughout her life.

After they arrived in America, they started their long trek across the plains.  She and John crossed the plains in the John R. Murdock Company.  They left Florence, Nebraska July 24, 1862 and arrived in Salt Lake City September 27, 1862.  There were 65 wagons and 700 people.  They had 14 deaths and two couples were married.   Mary Ann and John James walked.  After they had gone a considerable distance, John became ill, but he was compelled to walk as long as he could.  Finally he became so weak he had to ride, and Mary Ann had to lift him in and out of the wagon.  Later he became so bad, she had to stay in the wagon with him.  This made the teamster very angry and he said, “The two of them riding make the load too heavy”.  But it could not be helped.  The roads were so rough the wheels would strike rocks then drop into ruts.  He would cry out in pain.  She tried to make him more comfortable by holding him in her arms and on her lap.  She did this until the Lord saw fit to call his spirit home.  His body was wrapped in a blanket and buried by the way side.  This was a great sorrow to Mary Ann.

Among the group of teamsters there was a man by the name of Charles Green, whom President Young had called to go from Salt Lake City to go back and help this company of immigrants to the valley.  He showed Mary Ann many acts of kindness during her brother sickness, and in her sorrow and loneliness.  He would give her and a friend she had found a ride, when they looked tired and also give the foodstuff and extra blankets.

When they arrived in Salt Lake City, her things were unloaded on the ground.  She had no friends or relatives.  She never did for get how she felt standing there with no place to go.  Here her romance with Charles Green began to grow and their friendship ripened into love.  He told her he would take her to Sanpete County where he had been employed as a farmer and there she could inquire of his employer, as to his character.  Then if she could share his life and home he would make her his wife.  He took her to a Mrs. Brown in Sanpete Count, who was very kind to her and let her work for her keep.  Their courtship was not very long, and they were married in November 1862.  Now we will leave Mary Ann and Charles after they moved to Richfield to live.

Back in England on May 5, 1864 Samuel was ordained a Priest.  Two years later Samuel and his sister Elizabeth set sail for America on May 2, 1866.  They sailed on the ship called, “Arkwrite”.  They had much the same experiences as Mary Ann and John James had.  They traveled or walked in the Captains Thompson’s ox train.  Elizabeth said there were sixty ox teams in the Company, and they both contracted the same disease that killed their older brother John.  Elizabeth became so frail and weak that she had to ride in a wagon.  The jolting of the wagon caused her hipbones to wear through the flesh.  Samuel also became sick with this mountain fever, he was not allowed to ride in the wagons.  (In his own, Samuel John Francis history.)  He stated that his father was trudging along, oh so sick.  They were just a few miles from the Green River, and he was not able to keep up with the rest of the train, and they had disappeared from his view across the river.  At this time a band of 8 or 10-buck Indians rode up.  Before they reached him in his frightened state, he asked God to have mercy and protect him.  He was in this meditation when the chief grunted and made sign language to him.

The Indians were dangerous at this particular time, because of certain rights that had been violated by the whites.  So when they caught anyone who had been separated from the main group, the scalped them for revenge.  You can imagine Fathers feelings.  When the old chief pointed to a red bandana handkerchief he had around his neck.  He was thinking that he would do anything they asked, if they would but spare his life.

Possibly they knew he was sick, because the Indian said, “Pale Face …” Me pointing to the red bandana; so dad untied the handkerchief and handed it to him.  The Chief pulled out a long wallet made of buckskin, poured out some sliver, and handed it to Dad and signalled for him to go on down the road.  The Chief stood admiring the beautiful red scarf; then he shouted for him to stop.

“Now,” though Dad, “I am a goner.”

The chief walked up to Dad and showed him that there were two small holes burned in the handkerchief; and he demanded his money back.  So Dad forked over the money; and the chief proceeded to take out enough for what he thought the burns were, and then he handed the rest to Dad, patted him on the back and told him to go his way.  The main ox team wagons had crossed the Green River, about four miles ahead of where the Indians had contacted Dad.

Whether the scare cured the mountain fever, he knew not, but he made good time and got across the river by removing his clothes and carrying them above his head to keep them from getting wet.

My Father lived with his older sister Mary Ann and her husband Charles Green in Richfield, Utah.

He was taught about farm life and how to build houses as we as to drive oxen and horses.  He also acted as a scout to guard against the Indians.  He had received a call to do this.  His mission was also to settle and build up the country around Richfield.

At this time, the Black Hawk war was raging, and the Indians were very hostile.  They would drive off and kill their horses and cattle.  They burned their fields of crops and killed a number of people.  The men were called to take turns standing guard.  When the Indians were approaching, the one on guard would give an alarm by beating a muffled drum and all the med would rally to fight of the Indians.  It was a terrible sound in the dead of the night, to be awakened by that drum.  Mary Ann’s husband dug a cellar in which he could lock her and the children while he went off to fight the Indians.  One wonders what would happen if he had been killed and not returned.

After Elizabeth had recuperated from her sickness she also came to live with her sister Mary Ann in Richfield.  She lived there for a year and during this time she met William Braithwaite and in 1867 married him.  It was about this same time that after the Green family had lost most of the possessions, they were called to leave and they moved to American Fork while Samuel went on trying to build up and settle this part of the country.  He resided for a time in Gunnison and Chicken Creek.  He assisted in settling Levan, Juab County, where he became a Sunday School Superintendent.  In 1874 he joined the United Order and in that same year, September 16, 1874 he was ordained an Elder by Abina Di Pratt and married Sarah Ellen Gardener in the Endowment house, Salt Lake City.  This marriage was blessed with a son, George Samuel, who was born 18 June 1875 and is now a resident in Gunnison, San Pete County.  This was not a happy marriage and they soon parted, he leaving the home and property to her.

Now we will go back to England.  On the 26th of August 1869, the remainder of the Francis family wet sail from Liverpool on the steamer, “Minnesota” for America.  The Francis family now consisted of Father, Mother, Sarah, Joseph and Rose Hannah.  The ship docked at Castle Gardens on September 6, 1869.  They remained there a day and a night to pass examinations by customs and other government officials.

When the family at last set foot on ground, they realized how strange everything would be.  A Mr. Elkington acquainted with some of the Francis family remaining in England, introduced himself and aided them in finding lodging.  He offered to write to a Mr. Rigby a former neighbor to the Francis family whom he believed would be able to find some work for Brother Francis.

The new home of the Francis family was in Brooklyn and consisted of three small rooms in a large tenement house.  A hall ran through the house and the rooms were arranged on each side of the halls, upstairs and downstairs.  The Francis family shared their rooms with a Brother Charles Crowshaw, his wife and two brothers.  They were all strangers in a strange land and their common lot bound them together.  The furnishings were very few, consisting of a stove, a table and a few chairs and two beds.  The men built partitions to separate the bedrooms so the could enjoy some privacy.  Joseph, Sarah and Rose slept on the floor.

Mrs. Crowshaw was expecting a baby within a short time so her husband was especially anxious to find work.  As her time neared she asked Sister Francis to enquire as to the customs of the new country.  When she learned that the Doctors fee was twenty dollars if engaged three months ahead of time and twenty-five if not, Sister Crowshaw was at a loss.  The funds of both the families were decreasing.  She asked Sister Francis if she had ever cared for a woman in confinement.  Sister Francis had assisted Doctors but she had never been alone.  She assured the troubled Sister, however, that if she had faith enough they would manage.  Two weeks later she gave birth to a baby girl. The experience opened up the way for Sister Francis to not only render great service to the Saints, but also at the same time earn money enough to pay for the emigration of herself and other members of her family to Utah.

True to his offer, Mr. Elkington had written to Mr. Rigby who sent for his old friend and helped him find work in the iron mills of Pittsburgh.  It is not difficult to imagine the challenge that faced Brother Francis in this new land.  He had been a skilled Cooper, a maker of wooden barrels and buckets and a cabinetmaker in England.  He accepted the work and worked in the mills for two years.

Joseph worked in a tin factory in New York.  This job had been offered him while they were still on the ship.  He accepted the offer and went to work the next day.  He worked there a year and received $7 every two weeks, which amount he faithfully deposited in the bak so he could go to Utah.

When Brother Francis went to work in the mills in Pittsbugh, Joseph probably went with him or followed him later because for the next two years Joseph worked in a scales factory in Pittsburgh.  Joseph also sang in Minstral shows and received money.  We know that he continued to save his money to help with the fund to take them to Utah.  During this time Sarah ‘lived out’, so she was sustaining herself.  Sister Francis was often called to help nurse and Rose was extremely happy in the responsibility of helping to care for the little baby girl.

At last through thrift and good management, Sister Francis had acquired enough money to take her daughters, Sarah and Rose and two other Sisters to Zion.

The women folk arrived in 1871 and lived with Charles and Mary Ann Green until the following year 1872, when brother Francis arrived and built a home for his family in American Fork, Utah.  Here he again tacked up his shingle of John Francis – Cooper.

On April 15, 1882 the Mother of all these Francis children passed away and she was buried in the American Fork Cemetery.  (Not much can be found about John Francis and rose Hannah Titley after they arrived in American Fork.  I do hope their lives were good and peaceful in their declining years.  They worked so hard to bring their family to Utah for the Gospels sake.  I see by the records that the Father lived for at least four years after his wife died.  His death date was 21 February 1886.)

Sarah Francis married Henry Charles Mounteer, Joseph married Annie Gardener, and Rose Hannah married William Grant.

By this time I think most of Samuels family were living in American Fork, Utah.  It is believed that he went back there and stayed with his family for a while.  He soon took up a homestead on the south shore of Utah Lake.  In fact this place went by the name of Lake Shore.  It was bout 6 miles from the new railroad, which lay west of Spanish Fork.  Here is where they could get on the train to go to Salt Lake City for supplies.  Salt Lake City was a distance of 60 miles away.  Anew irrigation plan was being made to irrigate this lower land, and the main canal was laid out with several ditches, which forked off the main trunk.  This land where Samuel lived was covered with sagebrush and desert grass.  In the low places he lake used to back up and form ponds of water.  The Indians, coyotes, rattlesnakes and water snakes were about the only roamers of this land before the Mormons settled these desert valleys.

The houses were built of logs and adobe.  The firs logs were taken out of the canyons of Spanish Fork.  The town Spanish Fork was named after the canyon, which divided an air current, one flowing to the north and one to the south of the valley which was discovered by the Spanish.

Samuel’s son, S. John Francis tells of a little amusing incident that happened to father when he lived in the south with his sister, and it was during the time of the Black Hawk war.  He was a scout, you will remember.  It was his turn this night to be the lookout.  He climbed a tall hill, which overlooks the village.  If he should see Indians coming he would sound the alarm by firing his gun.  Then the village men were to take arms and rush into the pass, which was a roadway to the valley where the saints lived.  While climbing the rocky steep side of the hill, his gun accidentally discharged.  The gullet grazed his face and blew a hole in his hat.  Well this was quite a scare for him, and he figured it would bring out their militia, and he hated a false alarm.  So waited and waited but no one showed up, neither his own men nor the Indians.  After about an hour, he anxiously climbed down and went to the guardhouse, but no one was there.  He reported his accident to his folks and then refused to return to the hill.

When Samuel was living in Levan, he secured a job on a farm for his brother Joseph, this Francis family always looked out for each other.  There was a great love for each other.  While Joseph was in Levan with his brother, he worked at many things.  He taught school one winter, and worked in saw mills.

Samuel went to start improving his homestead in Lake Shore in 1877.  His brother Joseph joined him later and helped him.  Joseph also went to the smelter to work and sent part of his wages to his brother to help pay for the homestead. Thus he obtained a portion of the land.  He also built a small adobe house on his portion of the land.  Samuel built a log cabin first on his portion of the homestead, adding a room now an again as needed.  The second room was made of adobe, later they added a lumber-room.  In 1877 when the two brothers were working on their homestead, the water situation was not good, since their homestead was two miles away form the springs and an ordinary well would not work being in the lowlands and too near the lake.  They had to haul all their water from the springs, which took a lot of time.  Joseph was a very good scholar and he had read about the wells in Australia where water would flow up through the pipes that were driven in the ground.  He decided to try for himself as the surface wells were so full of minerals that they were unfit for drinking purposes.  He built a tripod of three poles, fasted an pulley on the top; then ran a rope through it and made a crude hammer of old iron on one end of the rope.  He went to a blacksmith and had a piece of steel pipe fashioned with a sharp point and perforated with holes.  He fastened this to the lower end of a pipe.  The hammer was raised with rope and pulley and allowed to fall, hitting the wagon hub and driving the pipe into the ground.

His friends laughed and some if them even thought he was insane, but he and Samuel weren’t discouraged, they would take turns pulling the heavy hammer and pounding the pipe into the ground by hand.  On day when they had driven the pipe 45 feet into the ground, the point broke and as the men tried to remove the pipe for repairs the water came gushing to the surface.  They had succeeded in obtaining a stream of cold water, which was very clear. This was in 1878 and the well is still running a small stream.  As far as is known this was the first flowing well in Utah.  After his first well, which was on Samuels place, Joseph drove one for himself.  He improved his equipment, using horsepower instead of manpower.  He and Sam drove many wells in this vicinity and throughout Utah and Juab Counties.

Two years later, Samuel met a young Swedish girl from Benjamin, a small town close by.  Now I will give the history of their family up to the time Samuel and Emma meet.

Emma Anderson                1853-1880                        (Birth to Marriage)

Johan Anderson was born in Smolen, Sweden, April 4, 1829.  Neilla Hokensen was born in Skona, Sweden, November 8, 1827.  They were married in Sweden in March 1853.  (Their son John Anderson wrote this history, but I may put some inserts in which their other son Alfred wrote.  Alfred has it hat they were married in 1852, which sounds like it might be more likely to be correct.)

The first 13 years of the married life was spent in Sweden for 1853to 1866.  During this time they had a family of five children.  Their oldest child was Emma, and then came Hannah, Niels, Anna and Alfred.  Times were very hard in Sweden and my parents had great difficulty providing food and clothing for their family, so in 1866, they moved to Denmark, hoping to better themselves financially.

After arriving in Demark they began to wonder if their move had been an advantage to them.  They could find no person who would employ them, but Father and Mother were both expert weavers so they purchased a loom and went to work in their own dwelling.  The two of them kept the loom running 24 hours a day.  Father operated the loom for six hours and them Mother would work for six hours.

In Denmark three more children were added to the family, namely Mary, Johannah and John.  Before the birth of Johannah, Hannah passed away in Denmark not long before we came to America.

About the year 1874, our parents had saved enough money to buy a little home in Demark.  At this time they heard the Mormon missionaries for the first time.  Soon they were converted to the Mormon faith.  The missionaries encouraged them to come to America, so we sold our little home in Denmark and prepared to immigrate to America.  The home brought only enough money to provide transportation for four of us:  Father, Neils, Anna and myself (John).  We left Denmark June 19, 1878, on my sixth birthday and we arrived in Salt Lake City on July 19, just one month later.

Mr. James Gordon on Mill Creek employed Father, Neils, and Anna.  Father and Neils each received $20 a month and Anna received $10 a month.  I was given free board and lodging.

In the fall Anna was married to Andrew Jensen.  The following winter, when the work was finished at Gordon’s, Neils went to work on the section for the railway Company in Deseret, Utah.  Father and I kept house for ourselves in a little room in Benjamin, Utah, during the winter.

When spring came, father and Neils went into Spanish fork Canyon cutting ties while I was left with old day Jepperson to herd cows.  By June they had saved enough money for two more fairs and this time Mother and Johannah came to Utah.  They arrived on July 19,1879.  We had a very happy meeting in Salt Lake City on that date.  I remember travelling by ox team into Salt Lake City to meet them.

Two months later we sent for Alfred and Emma.  Father didn’t have enough money for their fares, but he borrowed from a friend.  By November 1879 we were all together in Utah.  Later we made our home on a farm in Benjamin, Utah.  Here father and mother brought up their family, and as the years went by the children were all married.  Father died March 10, 1905 in Utah.  At that time five of the children were living in Canada.  They were Niels, Alfred, Emma, Anna and myself.  All five of us went to Utah for father’s funeral.  He was buried in Spanish Fork, March 14,1905.  We brought mother with us to Raymond, Alberta where we were living at the time.  In 1907, mother and the five of us left Raymond to live in the Taber – Barnwell area.  Mother made her home with Anna until her death on April 19, 1909.  Her funeral was in Taber and she was buried in the Taber Cemetery.  In 1917 Anna died in Salt Lake City, and some years later Niels died in Lethbridge, Alberta.  July 19, 1924.  Emma died in Taber July 12, 1929.  Nearly a year ago on August 1946, Alfred passed away in Lethbridge.  Of the original family there are only the two youngest now living:  Johannah in Eureka, Utah and John in Barnwell.                          Signed July 11, 1947   J.W. Anderson

This is what Alfred had to tell us about the family, and I will ad it, because it may be of interest.

When John Anderson was about 24 years of age, he travelled as a salesman, taking orders for goods and having them filled by the manufacturing company in Sweden.  While travelling he met his wife in Scrona and married in the year 1852, making his home in Beckarge, Kronberge County, Sweden.  He bough land and started farming there.  This was during the war between Denmark and Germany. Times were very hard and he wasn’t able to keep up the payments on the land and so he lost it. He then moved to Jutland, Denmark taking his wife and five children, making his living as a bricklayer.  This was about the spring of 1867.  The following winter was very cold, and he made a trip back to Sweden to straighten up his business.  He was forced to travel on land, as the boats could not go on account of the water being frozen, a thing that seldom happened.  Hannah was the second child; she was very humble, kind and prayerful.  Seeing the sorrow of her mother she went to the Lord in prayer for comfort for her Mother. She got an answer to her prayer.  Her father would return home safely on a certain night and that he would be carrying a sack that would be divided equally over his shoulder and then when he came he would say he was tired.

So on the night he came Hannah would not go to bed for she knew he would come, and that night he came and said the things she had foretold he would say.  It was later the same year, Hannah heard of the Mormon missionaries.  She had a desire to hear them when she heard their teachings the Spirit bore witness of the truth to her and she came home with this testimony, that she knew they had the Gospel of Christ.  This caused the family to investigate.  Hannah was working away from home but through her testimony, the family was baptized.  Later Hannah was baptized.  Hannah also had it made known to her that she would never go to Zion, and she died with typhoid fever before she had a chance to go to America.

After this family were in Utah and when they moved to Benjamin, their fist home was a dugout, but it was not long until they were able to build a good home.

Samuel and Emma                     1880 on            (Courtship and family)

Now there was very little information of the courting days of Samuel and Emma, but in their son, S. John’s history he mentioned in a burlesque story he was telling of their courtship, that Emma had been engaged by Samuel to come and do the cooking for the men at harvest time, there really was no more information on this subject.  So on the 16 of September 1880, they were married in the temple in Salt Lake City.  They began life in a one-room log cabin, adding a room now and again as they could afford it, the next room being made of adobe, finally adding a room made of lumber.  In this humble little home is where all their children were born and raised. Finally a few years before they left Lake Shore and moved to Canada, Samuel built a beautiful red brick house with fancy trim and ample room for their large family.  It must have been very hard to leave that beautiful home and go to a foreign country that they knew nothing about, but the did go.  They were true Pioneers and I love my wonderful Francis side of the family.  I know they lived by faith, a very deep and abiding faith and I do hope that the descendants of this family will realize the rich heritage they have in being a member of this family.

We are very fortunate to have S. John Francis history, (Samuel’s son), so I will take from his history the experiences of this family while living in Lake Shore and the pioneering days in Canada.

He quotes this, “During all this time, they have fought the rabbits, grasshoppers, salt etc. to try to redeem a portion of old Lake Shore.  But having a good chance to change they moved to Alberta, and located in Taber in 1904.  They have had the good fortune to send both of their sons on missions, and these sons have returned honorable, and are still continuing in good work.  This family has all married now and all have married in the temple.  Josephine married John Henry Russell, Rose Hannah (my mother) married Frank Milton Johnson, Emma married Henry Niels Peterson, Samuel John married Mabel Smith Lee, Edwin Niels married Evaline Larson, Etta Florence married Valdamer (Walt) Peipgrass.  We must conclude that anything, which grows, is good; and the wages of sin is death.  But here we see growth.”

S. John describes the setting of their homestead in Lake Shore.  “The duck pond was near by the horse stable and the corrals where they hay was stacked and the grain threshed.  The irrigation ran by the cow corral.

“One of the first things my Father trained me to do was to ride a horse.  He would hold me on his lap when he rode home from work on the horses back.  At four years of age I could ride a horse alone.  My father also trained me to plow with a hand plow, when the handles would hit me on either side of the head, he would always take time out to show me how everything worked, and the easy way to make it do so.  I was always at his heels everywhere he went.”  A serious accident happened to this young boy, S. John; he was run over by a disc.  His father picked him up and took him to the house where he laid him on the bed and administered to him, praying God to spare his life.  He was unconscious about one and one half hours.  When he came to he was aware that his mother was kneeling by his bedside weeping and pouring out her heart in prayer.  His mother nursed him tenderly through this illness and I know these parents would have sought the Lord in mighty prayer, because they told him later that he must have had a greater mission in this life to fill or he surely would have died.

S. John quotes – “To teach me correct discipline and thrift when I was young, my Father rented out sixteen acres of re-claimed land, and he furnished the seed and helped me plant it into oats and alfalfa, in the fall the oats were cut by my father, and I stoked it and prepared it for threshing.  I then helped haul and stack it.  The problem of dividing the crop was left entirely up to my honesty.  He was making me a partner in the farm and things and called them ‘ours’.  The next spring and summer I took interest in all things he did, and especially the sixteen acres of alfalfa I was to cut this summer.  He allowed me to build a small derrick to unload and stack hay and do business, making the deals myself.  In fact, father and I were great pals, insomuch that I constantly wanted to be where he was.  He made my life happy, teaching me the easy way to do things, and telling me the history of his life.”

“A short time after, my father was taking his family and children to the Manti temple.  He took us all to have us sealed to him and mother.  His sister, Elizabeth lives in this town, in Manti, San Pete County.  (Probably at this same time the children of John and Rose Hannah Titley Francis were sealed to their parents also, because Mary Ann said in her history, “In the summer 1890, Mary went to American Fork where he sister Rose Hannah Grant lives and they with Samuel and Joseph all went to Manti to visit their sister Elizabeth and do some temple work.  At this time they were sealed to their parents.”)

This incident is a good example of Obedience:  S. John quotes:  “The death of my cousin, Tom Grant, stands out very vividly in my mind.  It happened during those early days in school Aunt Rose from American Fork and Aunt Mary Ann were visiting us, our cousins came also.  It was a Sunday.  Tom and John and Sam Green and some of the older boys wanted to go swimming at the point of the mountain.  We had taken our lunch and eaten it under the Bowery.  There was a resort at this point of the mountain.  George Francis, father’s first wife’s son was staying with us; and he and Tom came to get permission to go swimming.  Aunt Rose said “No”, because it was Sunday.  Father didn’t give his consent either, but the boys got their heads together and decided to sneak around the point of the mountain where they wouldn’t be seen, and they went swimming in the lake.  It was not long after when one of them all out of breath, came running to tell us that Tom had gone under and had not come up again.  You can imagine what excitement there was.  The men folk ran to the place he was last seen.  They stripped off and dived into the water.  The outer shore was a rock cliff, which abruptly broke into a deep cave below.  It seemed that my father was the only one who was determined to find the body and every time he went under to search for him, we kids would scream our fool heads off until he appeared again, and is seemed as if he would never come up.

Well they dived and searched until dark.  Father told me after that the body must have caught in a cave.  The next morning they went down early and there his body was washed upon the shore.

When I was old enough to handle a gun, I was presented with one from my Father.  I had earned some money, promised by obedience and I learned to hunt rabbits and ducks.  I was now fourteen or fifteen years old.

I remember my Mother, Rose Hannah, telling about her home life in Lake Shore.  Apparently there was a lot of mud there, (Maybe it rained often her, being so close to the lake) she said that it was her duty to get up early every morning so she could milk several cows before going to school.  Then she had to walk and wear boots because of the mud and then when she got to school the other children would make fun of her and say, “Boots, boots”.  They lived in a kind of lowland district, so that would account for the mud.

When the three other girls, Josephine, Rose and Emma had finished their grade school and since both Grandpa and Grandma Francis were very strong about their children getting a good education. (This is some thing they really stressed that all their children get a good education, in later years both the boys – S. John and Ted went to the BYA as it was called then (Brigham Young Academy) and Aunt Etta went to the Knights Academy in Raymond, Alberta.)

Josephine, Rose and Emma were attending the BYA in Provo, Utah.  Their father would take them to school in the buggy, the first of the week with plenty of provision and they would stay there all week then their father would come for them at the end of the week.  While Samuel was away on these trips the main work on the farm would be left for Samuel John to irrigate or whatever needed to be done.

Samuel John quotes:  “Now that I had outgrown the little brick school house, it was necessary to attend the higher grade school, which we called the Central School District.  This school was about two and one half miles east and north.”

On the 29th of October 1902, Emma Sarah married Henry Niels Peterson.  Then Emma learned that Henry was very anxious to go to Canada, and Emma was very upset because she could not imagine living that far away from her family, she loved them all so much.  Samuel had such a kind heart had couldn’t stand to see his daughter feel bad, so he decided to go to Canada also.  At the time Emma went to Canada her father went with her and his son S. John said, “I was about in this adolescent age of adventure when my father went to Canada, and left me alone with the ranch to run.  He went up there and filed on land and after the crops had been harvested, he sent for me to come to up where he was and help build a sugar factory.  These responsibilities my Father knew would make or break me.  Possible every young life has been broken into similarly; but at first, I though it was unfair to take ma away from all my friends and lovely adventures, to pioneer a new country.  But the thrill of going out in to the open, into the unknown, among the wolves, coyotes, Indians and other unsubdued environments like my Father was leading me into, at an age when adventure is the thrill of lie made me not willing but eager to go.”

I will go back to he Christmas before.  Apparently Aunt Elizabeth Braithwaite had invited some of the Francis cousins to come to Manti and spend Christmas with their cousins.  Rose, Josephine, and S. John went with some of the Grant cousins also.  Now it seems that all of these Francis families are very musically inclined in singing and playing different instruments, so these young people all got in a sleigh and drove to different towns to serenade everyone with their beautiful Christmas carols, and they had so much fun.  They went to dances and there was a full two weeks of parties lined up for them.  (Dear sweet Aunt Lizzie must have been an angel to put up with them for two weeks.)

One more things in this Francis family and how much they must have loved their family.  Their Mothers name was Rose Hannah or Rosannah, but every one of those children named on of their own children Rose Hannah, of course Aunt Rose Grant was Rose Hannah.  Uncle Joseph named one of his girls Gem Rose.  When I was a young child my Mother and Father used to visit Uncle Joe’s family so often and I remember my Father saying many times, “Let’s go to Lake Shore and hear Uncle Joe laugh.”  Those were some of the best times I ever had, what a fun loving family and it was equally as pleasant visiting Aunt Rose Hannah Grant.

s. John quotes:  “It was August 2, 1903 when I bade farewell to all of the gang – boys and girls who went to the train to see me off.  I reached Canada at Sweet Grass; and after having my baggage inspected, we traveled a short distance of sixty or one hundred miles to Stirling, a Mormon town thirty miles south of Lethbridge, and seven miles from Raymond; where my sister Emma lived.  Emma was the “Mary Ann” of our family.  She was the youngest sister of the first three born; and had married a fine young man by the name of Henry Peterson.  Father went to Canada at the same time Emma did; and she mothered him as she did me.  She became the wonderful mother of fourteen children of her own, and this previous experience in taking care of us as we came to Canada prepared her well for taking care of her own children.

Father met me in Stirling, where we loaded my baggage, and drove to Raymond.

The first job I got was helping to construct a sugar factory at Raymond.  The Knight brothers owned most of the Raymond district; the town being named after Raymond Knight.  The factory was built by Jessie Knight’s money and of course other moneyed men had an interest in it.  There were thousands of acres of planted beets and they were almost ready to be harvested.  But the factory had to be finished in order to mill the beets.  I was glad to have this experience.

So that we would have plenty of fuel for the winter, Henry, my brother in law got me to take his team and go to the Lethbridge cilary mines and haul coal.  It was a distance of about twenty-eight miles.  I would get up real early, and this would get me back with two tons of coal every other day.

We had people from all over the world helping with the construction of the sugar factory.  In fact experts and professional labor was necessary.  And every type of morality existed in our camps and ate at the boarding house.  We had an English pugilist an expert sprinter, Moldoon the wrestler, the big Swede who used to life weights.  On holidays, we would have contests in different feats.  Some would develop into fights.

Early in the spring of 1904 my folks moved all their earthly possessions from Utah to Canada, and located in a location, which afterward became Taber.  Mother and two of my sisters came on the train shortly before father.  Father and my brother Ted arrived with the cattle and the furniture on a freight train about two weeks later.  When the freight train arrived, father left Ted and a cousin Wilford Grant, to attend the cattle and horses at Lethbridge and drive them over land to Taber, a distance of thirty miles.

The boys, Wilford and Ted, started the herd for Taber, about three days after father had arrived in Taber with the furniture.  We expected it would take about that long to get them ready for travel.  Then we gave them two days to make the trip, as there were calves that were young and cows to be milked.  Their first night brought them about twelve miles out.  About dark they got some railroad ties and built them a hut to sleep in.  it looked like stormy weather overhead.  Remember there were no houses or people living between these towns on the prairies.

In the night, the wolves and coyotes barked fiercely, denoting that a snowstorm was approaching.  It turned out to be what they called their “May blizzard”.

In the morning when they awoke, they were covered over with snow, which the wind had drifted in to form a bank over the railroad fence and ties they had made their little room out of.  They had plenty of covers and furs to keep them warm.  Wilford was to camp life, because he had just come off a sheep camp in Idaho.

The storm had driven off all the cattle.  The only livestock were their horses, which they had blanketed and tied to the fence.

After saddling their horses early that morning, they drifted with the story to the southeast.  Shortly the storm abated, and it was all clear.  The sun came out and they could see for miles, but there was not a critter or a live thing in sight.  But they kept riding, thinking the cattle must have gone in the same direction as the storm.  About boon they came across a ranch house by a lake.  The rancher took them in and fed them and rested their horses.  Then they circled all that afternoon and night.  Then they came back to the ranch house to sleep.  They stayed at this ranch for four nights.  In the daytime they would go out in different directions.

The fifth day we at Taber got uneasy and sent out a searching party for them   I was one of the party, there were six of us, who with our guns, scouted the prairies.  The first night we found the ranch where they stayed, but the boys didn’t come in that night.  They had gone to Taber.  After a day, father sent the boys back to look for us.  We didn’t know that they had gone home; so they were searching for us while we were searching for them and the cattle.  Of course they could have frozen, but that wasn’t likely with Wilfords experience in Idaho.  One of our party went to Lethbridge to see if they had left there yet.  He was to meet us that night at the ranch house.  That night we all found each other at the same ranch house; but there were no cattle to be found.

Some of the party, after five days riding returned to Taber with the boys; but yours truly and three others took a team and buggy and two horses and searched for two weeks in every known direction; sleeping at night in the buggy.  After this long search, we returned finding neither hide nor hair of those cattle.

We thought that possible, having a strange brand on; some cattle rustlers had driven them across the line.  Most of the ranchers were friendly and accommodating, and we would run into them about every nine to fifteen miles along the river; but out farther they were about twenty to forty miles apart.

After I had rested, father came to me and said;  “Jack, we must find those cattle and I want you to go and look for them, even if it takes you all summer.

The weather was beautiful.  The sun shone down upon the grassland and it was springing forth-new life.  There was plenty of rich food for traveler.  I knew that father meant every word of what he had asked me to do, and he had brought me up to obey him.  He never asked me to do anything that I couldn’t do, and he always followed me up and saw that I did whatever he had asked me to do.  This time I was on my honor…

After saddling my horse (my bedding, fur and rope were tied on the saddle, and also enough food and grain to last about one and one-half day.  Father gave me his wallet with about fifty dollars in it and said, “There will be enough to put you up at night at ranches and hotels for a while.  When you are about out write home for more.  But don’t come back without finding where the cattle went; or better still, bring them back with you.”  Then he placed his hands on my head and gave me a Fathers Blessing.  I felt like Jacobs son, Joseph, when he was sent to find his brothers out in the sheep country.  I must have been favored in order to have won such confidence above others with more experience.  I had dreamed a dream about some lost cattle, before this thing happened, and had told my Father about it.  But in this dream I was riding a by horse.  He would lie down and let me get on, then rise to his feet.  He was a horse who had been taught many tricks.

Well, I started out due south, which in time would take me to the Canadian Border.  Somehow I kept drifting to the right and by night, I landed in Raymond, and stayed with my sister Emma.  I saw many herds of cattle, but none were ours.  That night I stayed in Lethbridge, the place where the cattle were unloaded.  I thought this would be a logical place to get a weather report and geographical directions from the old settlers and trappers who knew the country.

I put my horse in a livery stable, and asked if I could take my blankets and sleep in the loft on the hay, which I did.

That night, just before I turned in, I humbly knelt and talked to God about this whole thing.  He had been good to me the two nights I had been away from home.  So after thanking Him for His kindness and protecting care, I asked Him if He would reveal to me the whereabouts of these cattle, that I might have a dream or manifestation of some kind, or to be led to find them, because time was slipping by and spring was here and those cows that had to be milked would be ruined if much more time was lost…

I had one of the best night’s rest I had ever had, cuddled in my blankets in the hay, but I had no dreams and I had no sense of direction.

I enquired about rancher and settlers on down the river, in the opposite direction we had talked of and from whence the storm came, rather than where it had gone.  I started north, after winding about four miles, I saw someone about one half mile away riding as fast as he could go, then he would go slowly.  Soon he stopped and got off his horse and was sitting down.  I rose up and we passed the time of day.  I asked him if he had seen our cattle, and as I described them, he spoke up and said; “I’ll tell you just where those cattle are.  I saw them by that lake.” And pointed to the east.

I lost no time getting to that lake, and sure enough, there was the whole bunch of fifty or sixty head, and the young calves that had been born during the time they had been lost.  Most of them were lying down after having a good feed and drink out of the lake.

I know that I had my prayers answered, that I sincerely asked for the night before – I started for home with them, but with these newborn calves, it was slow travelling.  Two gave out, and I tied them on my horse and I walked beside my horse.  That night, I camped near Chin Coulee and stayed in a tent with some three people travelling by team.  All three entertained me with their mandolin, guitar and violin.  They could play and sing!  Of course I wasn’t so bad myself as I could play the guitar and sing all night.  So we entertained the coyotes until the wee late hours.  I slept that night with the boy, the third part.  The next day I rounded up the stock and drove to a gravel pit, where the railroad was loading gravel to make railroads with.  The operator sent a telegram to Taber for me, telling where I was and asking the folks to send me the dog, a team and a wagon to pick up the calves.

Wilford and Ted met me with the wagon and a saddle horse. We loaded the calves, and before the sun had gone down, I was home with the whole caravan.  Many of the cows had caked bags and some had dried up.  Wherever they were during the two weeks that we searched for them is still a mystery.  They were found within four miles of the place where they were lost the night of the May Blizzard.”

Going back, before they came to Canada.  Samuel John quotes, “Henry Peterson, my brother in law, and I went out the winter before and dug wells on the homestead.  (This while they were in Raymond)  Father and Henry filed on these homesteads, by proxy, before they went to Canada.  The one on Henry’s quarters was about six miles away from Taber.  We had quite an experience in camping and traveling from Raymond to Taber, a distance of about forty-seven miles across the prairies.  There wasn’t a living soul in all that distance and in the winter we had to locate by compass, and chain the corner stakes of these lands and start digging for water without getting on some other claim.

In the Biography of Samuel Francis, it states, “He steeled in Taber, Alberta, Canada, in 1904 and was ordained a Seventy, May 11, 1904 by Joseph W. McMurrin and subsequently, became a President of the 151st Quorum of Seventy.

s. John quotes:  “Walter Robins and a carpenter had built a barn on a city lot in Taber.  So when stock arrived, there would be shelter for them.  In fact the barn was walled off into rooms and so when the Francis family came, they camped in it intent for several months before our house was finished.  This Walter Robins was my sister, Rose’s boy friend who she met in Idaho while teaching school that winter.  He accompanied her after school had closed and followed her to Canada.

Now in a Booklet that was put out, entitled, “Taber-Yesterday and Today”, we read “Samuel Francis built a large barn, and lived in it until his house was ready for occupancy.  This barn being larger than the Hull tent, church services were held in it and then later in the house after construction.”

In 1903, Mr. Hull and his boys were the first settlers in Taber and probably five other families.  In 1904 more settlers began to arrive about ten families and that includes the Francis Family.  Many businesses started up.  Coal was mined in Taber in the spring of 1905, and at that time there were over three hundred people being employed at the mines.  In addition to the Canada West Mines there were smaller mining concern such as White Ash, Reliance, Superior, Rock Springs, Monarch, Eureka, Golden West and Majestic.  Many new businesses sprang up, hotels and such.  Newels store stood on the northeast corner of what is now the high school and dormitory ground.  Josephine Francis Russell was the first clerk.  This store was a department store where you could buy groceries, dry goods and hardware.

Aaron Johnson (My grandfather Johnson) was a drama director and he directed the first home drama.  Some of the first play actors were Milton Scott, Frank Johnson (My Father0, Rose Francis, Maggie Layton, Charles Edwards, Nora Collett, Eliza Hansen, Hazel Walton, Helma VanOrman, and others.  (I will add a little here.  These drama’s are where my mother and father met and fell in love.)

On March 15, 1904 the Taber Branch of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was organized with Samuel J. Wing as presiding Elder.  This was the first formal religious gathering in the place and was largely attended.  The Branch Sunday School was organized on May 8, 1904.  In July 1904, R. A. VanOrman was chosen as assistant Superintendent and Josephine and Rose Francis were appointed to the Sunday School staff.

The Relief Society was organized on August 11, 1904; with Minnie VanOran as president and other officers were Mary E. Lindsay, Emma Francis, Margaret Evans and Minnie Layton.

About this time, Aaron Johnson, took up homesteading on a large piece of land where Dog Town now stands.  It is also called the Johnson Addition; he built a two-story home on it.

I will add this thought:  Someone said:  This was the beginning of our town of Taber, and to this hardy band of men and women belongs the honor of founding the town.

Now, it is not certain when Samuel built his beautiful home in Taber, probably one of the nicest homes at that time with five or six rooms, but it must have been in 1905-1906, because they had a picture taken of it, with all the family except Samuel John who was on a mission at this time.  Leona was a baby of two or three months, so I guess this is the best way to establish the building of this house.  Anyway this was a dear beloved home, so many of us knew that home and visited our Grandparents there and many fond memories were experienced there, with our beloved Grandparents.  That house still stands there today, and it has been stuccoed and fixed up some, but it is still the same to me, this being the year of 1987.

Samuel John was called in the fall of 1905 to fill a three and one half year mission in South Western states.  He states that they had the crop harvested for the fall.

I imagine it was a great joy when they were able to move into their lovely home.  Rose my Mother, apparently decided to stay with her family, because she didn’t go back to Idaho to teach school.  I have an idea that she had found another interest here and that was my Father, Frank Milton Johnson, they were the lead actors in the drama “Kathleen Mavaurneen” and from that time on interest began to grow.  Nellie Josephine, and Rose Hannah were very dear close sisters and at this same time they were going throughout their courtship time with their future husbands, Josephine’s friend was John Henry Russell and of course Rose had her eye on Frank Johnson.  Josephine worked in the Newel store, and one of the Newel boys was pretty interested in her also, she was very beautiful.  I understand that her future husbands Uncle had Josephine picked out for John Henry.  Anyway during these lovely courting days, Rose and Josephine made an agreement with each other to take turns using the parlor, and while the one couple had the parlor the other couple would have the kitchen, and visa versa for the next time.

Josephine and John Henry Russell were the first to be married.  They were married 4 April 1906.  Rose and Frank M. Johnson were married the next year on the 8 May 1907.  They were sealed in the temple in December 22, 1907.  Rose and Frank lived for a while on a homestead claim, not far from town, but before I was born they moved to the north end of Taber in a small cottage, where I was born, in July 1908.  Josephine and John Henry had a little baby girl born in March 1907.  They named her Norma.

Samuel John Francis came home from his mission.  Here are his words, “I reached Canada October 13, 1908.  no one was expecting me that day.  That was a glorious time, and marked one of the happiest days of my life.

It was early just before dawn, I trudged my way up the ridge because it was one of the driest paths there was.  The town lay asleep.  That quiet moment just before the birds came out to sing, not even a breeze.  Now and then a rooster would crow.

I entered the south porch and disturbed the dog.  He came out to meet me.  He was mother Carlo we brought from Utah when he was but a pup.  He was a snarly little black and grey dog, of the shepherd type.  He never let and intruder into the home, but I beat him to the punch.  I spoke to him calling him by name, and he remembered me as though it was yesterday.  His delight to see me was somewhat like that with which a dog greets his master.  He then began to bark and romp all over me.  I knew if I didn’t hurry and get inside, he’d wake the folks up and my surprise would be of no use.

Mother heard the noise and came to the window and saw me.  She opened the doors and her arms to me.  Was it a thrill to be home again!  I had caught a cold and was hoarse; so I couldn’t shout as I used to.

It was Sunday morning, and being too wide awake to sleep, I went to Sunday School.  Here I met my old friends.  Of course I had to give a response in Sunday School and the Bishop announced that I would be the speaker of the afternoon meeting, although I was so hearse I could hardly speak above a whisper.”

I am going back to 1906; S. John was on his mission.  I have been told that one of Samuels homesteads was on the land where Floyd Anderson lived, about three miles west of Taber, and maybe later he had some more land southwest of that.

S. John received a letter from his sister, Rose telling him about this incident.  Here he quotes:  “It happened in the winter of 1906 that my father got his leg broken and almost lost his life.  I was in the mission field in Mississippi.  My sister Rose sent the news in a letter. I wish I had the letter now.  She told it in such a pathetic manner.  I shall try to give it to you the best I know how, because it is a part of old Prince’s life – this horse I trained to lay down, and many other things he learned to do.  During the summer, Father had put up hay on Uncle John Anderson’s quarters, about seven and one half miles west of our home.  There was no one living at Uncle John’s at that time.  The grass hay that grew by a lake had been fenced in to keep the stock out, which roamed the prairies.

This winter he was out of feed for the horses and stock, so he hooked up old Prince and Pat and journeyed to the fenced hay stack, loaded his hay and was about to start home when he noticed some horses that resembled some he had lost the spring before.  So he decided that he would get on old Prince and ride out to see if they were his.  The horses were wild and afraid of riders and they began to run.  So he thought he would circle around them and drive them into the hay corral.  Then if they were his, he would rope them and drive them home.

There was about one inch of snow on the ground, just enough to cover up the badger holes.  This made it very dangerous for old Prince, but he was very sure footed and loved to chase horses.  So father let him out.  He was doing fine.  He had passed around in front of them, and had just headed them towards the stack when he hit a badger hole and went down.  He must have been travelling with great speed because the skidding and sliding as he fell too off all the hair from the side he fell on.  The impact broke off both bones in father’s right leg, just below the knee.  It stunned father for a few minutes.  When he came to, there stood old Prince right over him, pawing him with his foot.

The horse had gotten up, and instead of running away like most horses do, sensed what had happened to Father, and knew he was disabled.  Father remembered that I had taught him to lie down, and do other things. So he patted the front leg that was pawing him and asked him to lie down so he could crawl onto his back.  He knelt down and lay right beside Father until, he could get on.  Then he told him to get up; which he did.  It must have been quite a struggle for both of them, because Father weighed somewhat over two hundred pounds.  He rose to the wagon where the other horse was.  Then he got off and hopped over to the harness, put in on Prince, hooked both horses to the loaded wagon, pulled himself up on the top of the load, from a ladder which was built on the front of the rack and then drove all this distance in the cold February winter night.  When he got home he shouted for help.  Ted was just getting ready to leave for work in the mine, so they had quite a time getting him off the load and into the house.  The leg had swollen so badly that the doctor was surely afraid.

While he was convalescing, he developed pneumonia, and for days he lay between life and death with a high fever.   Well God was good to him, and especially to me, to save the life of the best friend I ever had.

When I reached home two years later, father told me that we would never sell Prince at any price.  So I said, “Father he belongs to you.  Do with him whatever you see best.”

When Prince got to be twenty-one years old, or became of age, he was never hooked up or made to labour any more.  He was turned loose to do as he liked and whatever he wanted, people would let him have.  He became known for his good deed, and many people came to see him and inquire about his heroic deeds.  His training in opening doors and climbing fences came in handy in the wintertime for him.  If he wanted to get some hay off a high barn, he put his front feet on the wall of the fence and rose up on his hind legs to reach what he wanted.

He lived until he was twenty-four years old; in fact he outlived my Father.  I believe he sensed him being gone, because every now and then, he would miss Father.  Father used to see him somewhere and call him and rub his broad forehead.  And when father didn’t show up anymore to pet him, he would come to the house, and whinny and call as if to ask where Father was. The last year of his life, he was seen south of Taber and west of the purchased homestead, and that was the last I ever saw of him.  Some neighbours said he died out there on the prairies.

In one entry here in S. John’s history, he mentions the problems his Father had with a new binder he had bought, apparently it had been assembled wrong, and they worked many long discouraging days on it.  Then in all this frustration, he mentions, the thrill of the success of a bumper crop.  He said they could cut around 30 acres a day.  There was a drought in 1914, that they couldn’t even harvest the feed for the livestock.  It was good that they had the mines to supplement their farms.

On August 11,1904 the Relief Society was organized with Sister Minnie VanOrman as President, Emma A. Francis was chosen as her first counsellor and they held this position for 25 years.  On 2 October 1904 the Taber ward was organized, with Ransom A. VanOrman called to be the Bishop.  This same day Nellie Josephine Francis was called as President of the YLMIA.

Now somewhere around 1908 or 1909, Samuel took over or bought the Johnson Addition land.  Now this was the homestead that my grandfather Johnson was homesteading, and he and his family had decided to go back to Utah.  My Grandfather had built quite a nice house on the land.  I know that Samuel and Emma used that house.  (It may have been easier and handier for them to live there during the summer, where they could be closer to their work)  Florence Peterson Tufts told me that she used to stay with Grandma sometimes.  Grandma would cook a nice big dinner, and Grandma and her would put it in the buggy and take it out in the field for the men.

In Ted’s history he said that he went on a mission in 1910.  my Father, Frank M. Johnson also left for a mission in West Virginia near the end of the year of 1909 and also John Henry Russell went on a mission about the same time, so Rose and Josephine with their two baby girls, Norma Russell and I Jennie V. Johnson, lived in with their parents.  Aunt Josephine worked in a store and Rose took care of little Norma and also took in sewing, because she was a beautiful seamstress, and in this way they were able to help support their husbands.

One time before Ted left for his mission, (I have been told), Norma and I were playing with the water hose and our Uncle Ted came out and we turned the hose on him and let him have it full blast.

Our dear Grandmother Francis never learned to read or write so she did not understand when anyone was trying to enjoy reading.  She did however love to have anyone read to her.  She had so many dear friends here in Taber, mostly Danish or Swedish and she and her dear friends mostly talked in Danish or Swedish so I suppose it would be very hard to learn to read English.  Well the story goes:  When Grandpa came in from work, he liked to read the paper, and Grandma was too busy talking to him so he would take his paper and go to the outhouse.  Then Grandma not to be outdone would go out and throw rocks at the outhouse but Grandpa was full of fun and also a great tease.

The Francis had their garden on the west side of their house; their bedroom was on the Westside of the house.  One day as Grandpa was out running water from a hose on the garden, he looked in the bedroom window and there was Grandma in her underwear, all stooped over so without any hesitation, he turned the hose on her and let her have it full force.  She was so mad at him that she ran out of the house to catch him, but he was running up the road and she went after him in her underwear.

Grandpa Francis loved to sing, he always sang in the choir and he had a very strong voice, certainly this gift has been passed down to most all his descendants.

He also was the kind of person that liked to have everything ready, his shoes all shined and suit brushed.  He was always a very good ward teacher along with the other church positions he held.  Both of my Francis Grandparents were very faithful church members.

In Edwin Niels (Ted) Francis history, he tells how he went on a mission in 1910.  He served a two-year mission in the Northern States Mission.  Ted quotes in his own words: “During the time I was on my mission, my Father Samuel had accrued debts that he was unable to pay.  Samuel was a kind trusting soul who could not turn away anyone who came to him in need even though he did not have the means to really spare the help asked.  So he often signed notes with the banks to help people obtain loans from the banks.  In many cases these people never paid the loans and the debt in turn fell to Samuel who had signed the note with them.  Edwin worked hard along with his Father to pay off these debts in order to maintain the family good name.  It was a good lesson to him and served him well on other occasions when people would ask him to co-sign notes with them for loans.

Samuel John Francis was married to Mabel Smith Lee on the first of June 1911 in the Salt Lake Temple.  Then in 1911, the same year my Father, Frank M. Johnson, was honourably released from his mission, and so my Mother packed all her belongings and took me and we met him at Salt Lake City and then we went to live in Mapleton, Utah, building a lovely home on the foothills of Mapleton Mountain.  Over the years my Mother was so lonely for her dear beloved family in Canada she wept whenever she read t heir letters or wrote to them.  They did come to visit us occasionally, and they were grand experiences.

In 1913 on the 24th of December, Edwin N. Francis and Evaline Larsen were married in the Salt Lake temple.

Samuel was ordained a patriarch, may 3, 1914, by George F. Richards at Raymond, Alberta, Canada.  Aunt Josephine and perhaps Aunt Emma received their patriarchal blessings from him.  It was said that Aunt Josephine acted as his scribe when she could.  He was a patriarch until he died.

I thought it would be very interesting to insert the explanation of a Patriarch by Thomas S. Monson, “Patriarchs are humble men.  They are students of the scriptures.  They stand before God as the means whereby the blessings of Heaven can flow from the Eternal source to the recipient on whose head rests the hands of the Patriarch.  He may not be a man of letters, a possessor of worldly wealth, or a holder of distinguished office.  He however must be blessed with the priesthood power and personal purity, to reach to heaven for divine guidance and inspiration.  A patriarch is to be a man of love, a man of compassion, a man of judgment, a man of God.”  That certainly describes my Grandfather.

Samuel had another serious accident while working on the farm.  He had a runaway with a team of horses hitched to a disc.  He fell off and the disc ran over him, hurting him very badly, and he never seemed to get over it.  As it grew worse they thought he had prostrate trouble.  Norma Russell Christensen says in the history she wrote, “It was at this time that Grandpa was told that he would have to undergo a very serious operation.  Horses had run away when he was working the land with a disc.  This machine was dragged over him.  Lethbridge doctors sent him to a specialist who was coming to Medicine Hat, to remove the bladder tumour.  Major operations were uncommon in those days and dreaded.  I can still see Grandpa in front of a mirror, in the kitchen, trimming his beard before leaving on the train.  He was being extra jolly, trying to make Grandma, Mother and all of us quit worrying.  If I remember tight, Uncle Ted went with them.  There was great mourning among family and friends when word came that he didn’t survive – he didn’t come out of the anaesthetic.  He passed away April 13, 1918, a month after his 70th birthday.  He was buried April 20, in the Taber cemetery.  I felt badly that I couldn’t go to the funeral – I had to baby-sit.  But I did go with Grandma many times to visit the grave.  I stayed with her and started school, staying until summer holidays.  I was with her in the fall for school again.  Many friends came to console her.  I remember one lady to read a poem she had written in admiration of Grandpa.  Grandma had us read it often.  I remember how blessed my mother felt that she had been privileged to have received her patriarchal blessing from her beloved Father.

Here is a copy of the poem that Sister Minnie VanOrman wrote for Samuel Francis.  It is entitled:

In loving Memory of Brother Samuel Francis,

who departed this Life April 13, 1918

Just seventy years, you trod life’s pathway

Through life’s journey here below,

Through many trials and many sorrows

You have passed as on you go.

You have walked the path of duty

Trusting God, with every care.

Ever going onward, upward

‘Til the goal you reached at last.

How dearly you prized the Gospel

And you honoured every call

Until you reached the highest,

A beloved Patriarch of us all.

Our Father in Heaven loved you.

He has work for you to do,

For he has fully fried you

And has found you firm and true.

Though we miss your loving counsel

In our gatherings everywhere.

Now you’re gone we will not recall you

To this earth of toil and care.

And we say to wife and children

Do not grieve beyond despair

For you, all, shall meet in heaven

And enjoy his presence there.

— By Minnie VanOrman

When we received the word in Utah, my mother, Rose, really was upset.  She cried so much because she loved her Father so much.  We were all so grieved.  We helped her to get ready and we drove her to the train, she took her two youngest children with her and I stayed with my Father.

Grandpa Francis was so beloved to all his grandchildren that knew him.  He was a great tease, which we loved, he was so jolly and he taught us cute little ditty songs and he knew how to entertain us.  Grandma was a lot of fun too.  You will see by some of the tributes or memories that some of the grandchildren have written how much fun our grandparents were, we all loved them.

I am going to add the tributes and memories of some of the grandchildren.  Many of the grandchildren say that they did not know Grandpa Francis.  Grandma lived around 9 to 11 years after grandpa’s death.

Norma Russell Christensen lived with Grandma quite a bit, after grandpa’s death.  These are her remarks:


Samuel and Emma Anderson Francis

–Memories by Norma Russell Christensen

I really value my Francis and Anderson heritage!  I feel that I was probably the most fortunate of the Francis Grandchildren.  Mother and I were taken into their home while my Father was on a two-year mission.  Then our family spent two winters in Grandma’s home after she was widowed.  When we lived in Lethbridge, we always looked forward to their visits when they travelled to and from conference, or when they went by train, for visits to Utah.  Every year we thought of Grandpa on March 13, his birthday.  Being born on March 12 made me feel especially close to him.  I remember well how dearly my Mother and all our family loved both of them.

When I was about a year old, my Father John Henry Russell was called to the eastern states mission.  My Mother, Josephine, worked in a store in Taber, so her folks had Mother and me living with them in their Johnson Addition home.  They welcomed Aunt Rose and Jennie also, when Frank went on his mission too.  Both grandparents were staunch and Active Church Members.  I was so proud of Grandpa, being a Patriarch and Mama acting as his secretary when people came to the home for blessings.  Grandma was a counsellor to Sister VanOrman in the Relief Society for 25 years.  She gave encouragement and support to Grandpa, both of her boys and to her sons-in-law in their Priesthood duties, missions, educations and work.

I remember Grandpa Francis as a very humble, religious, patient and tender loving man.  He had brown eyes and was average height 5’8”, and black hair and beard that didn’t go grey, and he kept it very neatly trimmed.  I don’t believe that he ever raised his voice or spoke harshly.  I loved sitting on his lap, and was so sorry to see his poor hand, minus three fingers.  He told how he lost them while working in the iron works in England.  He told about working at a very young age in the mines there too, to help his family.  His brown eyes twinkled when he teased any of us, and especially when he trotted the young children on his knee or foot, singing cute little old ditties.  He was always so patient and so much fun.

Mama told me about their farm and lovely new home that they all hated to leave, in Lake Shore, Utah when they came to Canada in 1903.  They were ambitious and had the Pioneer spirit, so the Francis family followed the Petersons (Henry and Emma and the Andersons, settling in Taber, North West Territories (Alberta in 1904 and 1905).  They purchased the Johnson Addition Home (Dog Town) west of town.  They moved up on a homestead and a Pre-emption, in 1905 they built a beautiful white cottage in the North end of Taber – a good location not far from church, school and businesses.

Grandma was a wonderful wife and mother, Grandmother, and neighbour.  She was short, plump, blonde and blue eyed.  She loved Grandpa and her children.  She was ambitious for them insisting that they get the best education possible, at Church schools, public schools and missions.  Her ambition and drive really helped all of them to achieve and accomplish what they did in life.  Mother, Aunt Rose, and Aunt Emma were set to the Brigham Young Academy while they were still in Utah.  The boys went to the BYA also and Aunt Etta attended the Knights Academy in Raymond after they were in Canada, and both boys went on missions.

Grandma was not afraid of heavy work.  She took care of outdoor chores when the men were busy or away, besides doing housework, canning, making soap, and curing meat.  One time when a calf got badly cut in a fence, she knew it was necessary to butcher it.  She did the job herself, and then took care of the meat.  In her later years she painted her house on the outside.

Grandpa raised a lot of pigs while they lived in Dog Town.  He had built a beautiful pen with a long shifting door that held back while he put the feed into the troughs then shifted forward again to allow the pigs to eat.  It was very efficient and so fascinating to watch while the pigs grunted hungrily behind.  I loved to go with him when he did the chores.  The cow barn was against the side of the Coulee, hill giving good drainage.  I remember Aunt Rose and Mother taking Jennie and me for a walk along this Coulee on Sunday afternoon, to show us the spot where Uncle Frank and Aunt Rose had lived for a while when first married.

My mother worked in a store in town.  I looked forward to her coming home at night.  She often brought me candy.  One evening I started out to meet her and got in the minefield.  I remember Aunt Rose calling me and running after me.  She showed me the dangers – cracks in the ground and she held me up to see down the mineshaft.  It was a deep dark hole.  Just then a blackened miner climbed up.  I was small enough to be suitable frightened.  I didn’t forget that lesson.

I have fond memories of sitting on Grandma’s lap in Sacrament meeting and Aunt Etta or Mama’s lap when they sang in the choir going to sleep many times.  I remember being taken with my parents to Uncle Jack and Aunt Maybel’s wedding party held in her Aunts large two-story home.  Then I was with my parents at Uncle Ted and Aunt Eva’s wedding party, when they returned from the Salt Lake Temple.  This was held in the Lar4sen home.  When I got tired they put me on a bed, falling asleep to the beautiful music and singing.  They all had such musical talent.  I always appreciated seeing Aunt Eva at the piano or organ and Uncle Ted leading the choir or singing, Aunt Eva’s father playing the violin and Uncle Ted and Uncle Jack in the town band.

They were happy years – Christmas together, July 24th programs and celebrations at the river, and Dominion Days at the fair grounds.  These were the times that our cousins got together and had so much fun.  Aunt Emma always brought such delicious treats – potato salad, new peas, strawberries, ice cream and cakes etc.  Uncle Henry saw to it that they always had new potatoes and new peas for the 24th of July.  We were in Utah visiting Uncle Frank and Aunt Rose in 1915 for the Pioneer celebration.  Aunt Rose did such beautiful sewing.  I was so happy when she made Jennie and me pretty white dresses with tiny rosebuds on the material to wear to the celebration.  The dresses had high waists, full skirts and puffed sleeves.  Jennie taught me not to be afraid to jump from the hayloft into the hay below.  We got acquainted with Stella Fields then too.  She went with us on a camping-fishing trip up Billy’s Mountain.  I could go on and on about these highlights in my young life.

I was about 3 when my father returned from his mission.  He had to get used to being a father.  He was sure I had been spoiled when I didn’t want to eat all the food put on my plate.  Grandma thought he was too severe with me, and reminded him how young I was.  How good they all were to me.

They helped my parents move back to their two-roomed house near our Russell grandparents.  Mama had bought some furniture besides sending money to my father and helping a bit with food expenses.  Our mother was so much like her family, ambitious and wanting to be independent and pay her way.

Mt father took a garbutt business course in Lethbridge, so was away again a great deal.  Grandpa Francis gave mother a cow to milk.  She quit working in the store, and she kept busy with a garden and milking, and carrying water from Grandma Russell’s nearly a block away, besides her housework.  She worked hard and it wasn’t long until Harold was born.  My father was so proud of his first son, when he was able to be home with us.  Two years later I came home after a 24th of July Celebration at the river to be surprised with a new sister, Berna.  Our father took a job in the CPR offices, so was able to move us to the city to be with him.  This was in the fall of 1913.  We all loved to go back to Taber and Barnwell and visit.  Then we loved having Grandma and Grandpa and relatives visit us when they came to Lethbridge on the train to conference or on their way thought to Utah.  Visiting in Taber, I remember Grandma’s cottage with a large lot.  In the living room they had a beautiful pull-down lamp in the center of the ceiling, a davenport, and a wonderful new style gramophone to enjoy their favorite records and a full length mirror with an ivory and gold frame, that they had brought with them when they had come from Utah.  This had been bought in the Grant store in American Fork.  The dining room held a chine cabinet, buffet, and a rectangular oak table – a beautiful set.  In one bedroom were a lovely brass bed and a large wardrobe with a mirror in one side, (today this would be called an armoire).  These would be really valuable antiques now.  Grandma and Grandpa sat in easy chairs in the evenings listening to their music ‘Beautiful Isle of Somewhere’, ‘Loves Old Sweet Song’, ‘Beautiful Dreamer’, ‘When you Come to the End of a Perfect Day’, ‘ Whispering Memories’ and others.

This home was on the corner west of Peter Hammers two-story home.  They had a cow barn at the east end of the lot, next to the lane and a two-story granary with an outside staircase that we children had fun playing on.  The lower floor was used later for a garage when Grandma bout a Chevrolet car.  While we were here I played with Mata Hammer.  We were about four years old when Mata contracted Polio.  I remember Grandma going over to help Sister Hammer, and everyone worrying about Mata – especially because she had lost a brother and a sister from this same disease, just before her birth.

My mother was a farmer at heart.  Good crops in 1915 and 1916 helped the farmers to prosper.  In the spring of 1917 mother persuaded my father to take time off the railroad and go to his dry land farm north of Taber.  We were all with Grandma and Grandpa Francis while our two-room house was moved out.

The rest of this paragraph was copied into Grandpa and Grandma’s history.  It is concerning Grandpa’s death.

My folks moved to the north farm a dry land homestead.  I spent some of the summer with them but a lot of the time with Grandma.  She bought a Chevrolet car and was determined to learn to drive it.  To start it she had to crank while I pulled the choke and handled the gas feed.  We went out to my folks at the farm., we went to see Aunt Eva and Uncle Ted, and to visit Grandpa’s grave.  Cars weren’t so easy for women to drive in those days, but she worked at it.  We couldn’t resist kidding her.  When Grandma worked she also worked her tongue from side to side.  This was noticeable when she was driving, because she was preoccupied with it.  1917 was a hot summer and dry also.  Crops were thin and burned.  Harvest was poor, so my Father went back to Lethbridge and the CPR.  Grandma had mother and the five children move in with her for the winter.

Cold weather came early, and many people were very sick and many died with “Influenza”, and pneumonia.  Schools and public meetings were closed for quite a while.  On the advice of health authorities, Mother, Grandma and I made masks of several layers of gauze, held over the mouth and nose by tapes around the ears.  To go to the store or for mail, everyone wore these.  It was that contagious.  In the evenings Grandma played her gramophone for us, and had us dancing around the living room floor.  She was always so much fun.  When Grandma and Mama wanted private talks, Grandma talked in Danish.  Mama seemed to understand.  We had fun learning a few Danish words, but couldn’t understand their conversations.  I will always remember her happiness November 11, 1918, when we were aroused to hear horns and bells ringing, giving us the news of the end of World war one.  She had us dancing around in our nightclothes.

When Grandpa’s will was settled, a division was made for each child.  It was agreed that Mother should have to Dog Town home, with 35 acres of irrigated land.   We lived there the summers of 1918 and 1919.  There was another hot dry and not too prosperous a period.  My father took time off the railroad to put in crops, and then went back to the CPR.  We looked forward to his visits, which weren’t too often, so we moved to town with Grandma again.  Harold, Berna and I went to school.

Aunt Rose, Aunt Emma and my mother were all expecting babies in the spring of 1920.   A letter from Aunt Rose, in Utah, telling how poorly she felt had everyone worried.  She had lost babies soon after they were born.  Grandma had been there and Mama could travel on a pass, and Grandma thought she needed a holiday, so it was agreed that Mother go to Aunt Rose.  Grandma was so good to take care of us.  It must have taken a great deal of patience.  How I loved it when she allowed me to take a friend up in the attic to play, and dress up in old clothes, stored in a large metal trunk – some embroidered silk and velvet jackets and capes, skirts with fancy belt buckles, buttoned shoes and plumed hats.  I’ve often wondered what happened to them.  I hope they were donated to the drama group.  After the ‘flu’ epidemic, and the approach of spring, Grandma insisted that we needed a tonic, so every day we had to take sulphur and molasses.  Harold would disappear and give Grandma a time hunting.  He found numerous hiding places – under beds, in cupboards and closets.  He liked to tease and disliked sulphur and molasses.

Not long after Mother returned from Utah, Aunt rose and her baby died.  Then Grandma went down to Uncle Frank, Jennie, Leo and Myrle.  Mama and Aunt Emma were more fortunate.  Evalyn, our youngest sister was born April 5th, and Aunt Emma had a lovely daughter, Marie.  Mother had let me crochet and knit for this welcome little sister.  Then she allowed me to bathe and dress our baby every morning, before school.  How I loved this pretty baby, and felt so grown up doing this in Grandma’s kitchen.  Aunt Hannah Fields, Grandma’s sister, came back with her to see Canada and to visit relatives.  We all enjoyed her and were glad to hear about Stella again.

The fall of 1920, we moved back to Lethbridge.  For health reasons our Father had transferred from the CPR offices and gone on the road as a trainman.  Now he was home more.  We loved having Grandma, Uncle Ted and Aunt Eva, Aunt Emma and Uncle Henry with their families come to conference and to visit.  Grandma came to help when Mother had miscarriages.  She wouldn’t consider my missing school, so we got up really early on Monday morning to do the washing before I had to go to school.  Fumes from a gas leak in the kitchen stove made me sick, and I fainted several times.  Grandma and Harold dragged me out to the porch for fresh air.  She had me drink salt water until I was able to clear my stomach, then lie down for a while before leaving for school.  Grandma finished the big washing.  I have wished so often that our parents and Grandparents had been able to have the labour saving devices that are available today.  We all loved Grandma’s hugs and kisses.  We loved the confidence she had in her children and grandchildren.  She gave encouragement, and when many older people thought the worst of the younger generation, she was sure we were capable of great things.  She liked having us read to her or tell her about stories we had read or shows we had seen.  She was so pleased that Leona and I became teachers.  She must really he happy now, with the accomplishments of all her descendants.

We had a big Family Reunion at Grandma’s one summer when uncle Jack and Aunt Mabel drove up from California with their children.  I can’t remember how many of us there were, but it was wonderful to be with Grandma, Aunts, Uncle’s and cousins to visit and enjoy all the good things to eat.

Then sometime in 1928, Grandma fell from a stepladder when she was housecleaning.  Shortly after she experienced pain and abdomen distress.  In the spring of 1929, she came into the hospital in Lethbridge, for tests and x-rays.  The doctor told mother that she wouldn’t have long to live because she had cancer.  I was teaching in Stirling, and came home in my landlady’s car to spend Easter holidays.  This unhappy news was a shock.  Before my landlady and children went home, she permitted me to use her car to bring Grandma home from the hospital.  Grandma didn’t have to be told what was wrong sensing the trouble herself, and that her remaining time on earth was to be short.  She seemed anxious to be with Grandpa again.  At family prayer, we prayed that she might recover and stay with us longer, but she was so brave.  She begged us to pray that she be allowed to go quickly.  As soon as she was able, she insisted on going to her own home.  She must have suffered greatly because she didn’t last long, passing away July 12, 1929, just before her 76th birthday.

In 1932, the Depression years made work on the railroad slow.  My folks were glad to move to the farm at Dog Town again.  Uncle Ted ambitious like his parents and my Mother, helped my Father and brothers repair and fix up the house.  They all worked hard on the farm, with a large garden, sugar beets and canning.  Harold taught school then went in to chiropractic school in Iowa.  Berna worked in the cannery, Del at the theatre, and Dad going back to the trains when he was called.  The old Francis home was a real blessing to my family until Mother took sick in the spring of 1937, with her left side paralysed.  She was in the hospital in Lethbridge about seven weeks, passing away June 22, 1937.  We have always been so thankful that Uncle Ted suggested that Mama be placed beside her mother and father.  Then when our father died, May 21,1959, he also suggested that there was room in the Francis plot for Father to be there by Mother.  Now Uncle Ted and Aunt Eva are there also; such wonderful people for our parents to be with, and what a wonderful family to belong to.  “The loved dead have to be with us always.”


– By Myrle (Johnson) Boren

My earliest recollection of Grandma Francis was when she came to visit us in Mapleton, Utah.  (She was widow at this time).  She always had a pair of beads or some trinket to delight the heart of a child, and she showered me with love.

At the time of my Father’s death, January 30, 1925, Grandma was in Santa Anna, California, spending the winter with her son, Dr. S.J. Francis.  When she learned of my Fathers death, she had Uncle Jack write a letter immediately to my Johnson Grandparents to tell them that she would take the youngest child, which was myself, to raise and live with her.  At this time Grandma was 72 years old – I was 8 years old.  That was quite an undertaking, don’t you think?  Especially when you consider that my Father spoiled me by giving me everything, I ever ask for.

Grandma was a very spiritual person, and I will talk more about that later on.  But the night after the letter was mailed to Utah, Grandma had a vision; my mother and father came to her and sat upon her bed.  My mother was holding the baby that died with my mother, during childbirth.  Grandma asked my father what he was doing now, and he answered that he was building homes again (one of his earthly occupations).  Grandma and Uncle Jack and Aunt Mabel and all their family felt that my parents had come to thank Grandma for deciding to take me to raise and oh, what a great and wonderful decision it was for me, for my Grandmother has been a guiding light to me ever since.  She was the one who saw to it that I went regularly to Sunday School, Sacrament meeting, primary and religion class.  Once I stayed at school playing on the teeter totter and swings until I was sure Grandma would say it was too late to go to primary, but no sir, no matter how late I was, she sent me to Primary.  How I thank her now for that.  She was the one who inspired me to have a temple marriage.  She was the one who strengthened my testimony, though her great faith and her many visions, and her great love for Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father and the gospel.  How I love and appreciate her for all this.  The gospel meant so very much to her and consequently it meant a lot to me also.  I remember her telling me how she cried and cried each time she thought of hose Jesus was crucified for us.

Well Grandma came to Utah and took me with her to visit all the relation in the Lake Shore.  It must have taken us over a month to visit all of them, there were so many.  Finally we started for her home in Taber, Alberta, Canada, by train.  It took us three days.  We stayed at hotels for two nights once in Butte, Montana and once in Great Falls, Montana.  We arrived in Taber on March 11,1925.  Then Grandma had to visit all her children and brothers and cousins.  She took her with her again, and it took a month to visit everyone.  I started school on April 11, a month after I arrived in Canada.

Everyone had told me how strict the teachers were – and oh, was I ever scared to death of school.  Believe me.  I was so scared I never got into any trouble, but I was hopelessly behind in my studies.  I hadn’t got to school since the day my Father passed away and the schools in Canada were much farther ahead of the US Schools because their school year was longer and their discipline was much stricter.  We had to march into the schoolhouse in time to a drum, played by Delwin Harding, and ouch how those teachers grabbed us by the shoulders if we would be out of step.  We rose to attention whenever a teacher entered the room.  We rose to attention whenever we answered a question.  Once when a teacher asked me a question, and I did not hear her clearly I said “Huh?” and the most shocked expression came over her face.  She looked like she was going to strap me.  Finally she regained her composure and explained, “In Canada one never says Huh, but rather, Pardon me or Excuse me, if you have not heard correctly.”  So I was really more careful after that.  Grandma always upheld the teachers and told me that if I got a strap at school, I’d get a whipping at home.

She encouraged me to be the best one in my class and always stand at the head of the class.  By the time I reached the 4th grade, I was able to please her by doing this.  She always rewarded me 25 cents for standing first, 15 cents for standing second and 10 cents for standing third.  I was proud to take my report card home when I was one of the top three.  Grandma wanted me to go on to school beyond high school and become a teacher.  Grandma had never had any formal schooling; she lived in Denmark in her younger years.  She had to go to work as soon as she was old enough to be bound out, so consequently, reading and writing and any kind of education was dear to her.

Grandma believed in work and soon taught me how to make a bed with a feather tic mattress, how to sweep and dust and mop a floor.  She was very affectionate and always had a kiss for me before and after school and bedtime, and she was most spiritual.  We prayed a lot together and I was expected to say my own private prayers.  Once I had an attack of appendicitis and Grandma had the Elders come in and administer to me.  I was healed immediately.

Grandma encouraged me to take part in church and school functions.  She was happy to see me reciting poems, singing and giving talks.

Grandma was a good cook and she made many wonderful meals.  I didn’t like vegetables when I went to live with her, but each time she cooked a new one she would say, “Try it, just try it,” and I would and it would be delicious and so she taught me to like vegetables.  She encouraged me to eat and eat and eat.  It was so cold in Canada and I was always hungry, so before long I began to get fat and oh, how that pleased Grandma, to see me fatten up.  She had me wrote her letters.  In each letter she had me write, with great pride, that I was getting fat.  I thought it was great too; then.

Grandma had lots of friends and many of them came to her home. She spoke Danish and so did all her friends.  It was fun listening to them.  She always kept her home so clean and beautiful.  She had a lovely big white home and she filled it with love and happiness.  Grandma loved to tease and keep me laughing.  She encouraged me to do a lot of reading and I learned to love books, and traded with anyone who would lend ma a book.

Grandma always had a garden, and raised many vegetables.  She worked hard in her garden and had me help her.

She loved the cultural aspects of the town as well as the church.  She always went to all the Chattaqua’s and bought season tickets for me too.  The Chattaqua’s were in town for three days, each summer.  Aunt Emma and some of her family would come in and join us.

Grandma loved her children and went by train to visit them every time she had an opportunity.  Uncle Ted would take us to his home almost every Sunday for dinner and oh, what delicious meals Aunt Eva prepared.  We went to visit Aunt Josephine and family in Lethbridge, Aunt Etta in Raymond, and Aunt Emma in Barnwell and oh how I learned to love that visiting also.  I loved my cousins; we had great times together.  Aunt Etta sewed dresses for me.

Uncle Jack and Aunt Mabel and all their seven children came to Canada one summer and oh, what a wonderful time we had with them.  Aunt Mabel sewed some dresses for me, while she was here.

Aunt Emma and some of her younger children often came form Barnwell to stay a day or two with Grandma, and oh, how pleasant it was to have aunt Emma and her children here.

As I said before, Grandma was most spiritual, and in tune with the Lord.  She often told me this experience.  The evening my mother Rose died, May 27, 1920, Grandma was sitting by her kitchen window and could see anyone approaching her home, suddenly she saw her husband, who had been dead for two years, walking toward the front gate.  As he walked in front of the old garage he was blocked from her view, so she jumped up and ran to the front gate to greet him, but by the time she got there, Grandpa had disappeared.  Grandma was filled with apprehension and felt that something serious had happened to one of her children.  Several hours later she received a telegram notifying her of my mothers death.  Grandma had many other experiences similar to this one.

Grandma was very smart and shrewd in her business dealings.  She and Grandpa had accumulated a nice big farm, and a lovely home in Taber.  Grandma took pride in her big yard and planted many flowers around her home.  We both carried many buckets of water for them from the well.

She kept chickens, and we had fresh eggs and many chicken dinners from them.

She always allowed me to have one or two cats for pets, which I greatly appreciated.

Grandma had had one of the first radios in town.  She was most proud of it, and would sit in front of it far into the night, listening to the good music and marvelling at such a fantastic invention.

Grandma loved to dance.  She would lift her skirts above her slippers and dance and dance.  She was especially fond of the waltz, and foxtrot.  She taught me to dance.  Grandma had quite a way with her, she loved people and they loved her.

Grandma and I talked of going to California for a full school year and we planned to go the year I was in the 7th grade, but the November of 1928, Grandma was housecleaning.  She was hanging curtains in the front room; she fell of the ladder and broke some of her ribs.  She was in constant pain, but she would not go to a doctor.  She suffered until in the spring, and then finally her family persuaded her to go into Lethbridge to some doctors there.  They discovered cancer, where her ribs had not healed.  There was nothing that they could do.  We were all heart broken.  Aunt Hannah, her sister from Eureka, Utah, came up and spent a month with her.  Uncle Jack came from California and brought her a trunk of oranges.

Grandma suffered terribly.  Jennie and I took care of Grandma for a long time.  Finally on July 12, 1929, Grandma passed away.  She had lived a noble life of goodness, kindness, helping the poor and needy, the widowed and spreading happiness wherever she went.  Oh, what a wonderful mother Grandmother had been to me, what a fine home she created for me.  I will never forget the great love she had for me, and the fine training she gave to me.  She has been a guiding light to me all my life, and I love her for it all.

(In Grandma’s will she left money for Myrle to go to the BYU and receive her training to be a schoolteacher.  Bless our dear Grandma Francis.)


Samuel and Emma (Anderson) Francis

–By Jennie (Johnson) Harding

My earliest recollections of my Grandparents, Samuel and Emma (Anderson) Francis, was, perhaps the winter of 1914, when my brother, Leo Frank was born.  I was nearly six years old at this time.  My mother, Rose Hanna (Francis) Johnson, was expecting a baby.  She had been so homesick for her parents in Canada that winter and so that my mother might have her baby at their parent’s home.  It was decided that we would all go to Canada, and spend the winter with our dear loved ones.

We travelled to Canada on the train, my father, Frank Milton Johnson, and my mother and I.

Samuel Francis, as I remember, was a very jolly man; he had a real hearty laugh.  He was on the stout side, and I really loved him.  He had a full beard, which I thought was very interesting, and he liked to tease, but most of all I felt that her really took time to be interested in me.

Grandma always seemed to be very capable.  She was a lot of fun too.  I loved her.

I remember a little about their home, and yard and the neighbours.  Their home was so nice.  In one of the bedrooms they had a folding bed.  In the daytime when it was pushed up against the wall, it looked like an elegant piece of furniture, then at night it was made down into a nice comfortable bed.  As near as I can recall, the barn was east of the house, and there was a well in the center of the yard, with a chicken coop on the north side of the well.  Grandpa had so many nice horses.  One was a big stallion.  He seemed so big and powerful to me and I was afraid of him.  He stomped and snorted and was so big, I called him the ‘Stompy Horse’.

One evening Grandma asked me if I would like to go with her to feed the chickens and gather the eggs so right away I asked Grandpa if he was going to let the Stompy horse out, and he assured me he wasn’t.  I went out with Grandma to feed the chickens.  All of a sudden the barn door flew open and all the horses snorting and stomping and rolling, with Old Stompy Horse leading them.  They headed for the well to get a drink.  I was really scared and I remember how Grandpa laughed.  Well when the horses had been safely locked in the barn, Grandma gave me a buggy whip and told me to go and give Grandpa a whipping, so I did, and I hit him with all my might and he danced around and jumped in fact it was a funny jig and I finally forgave him, and he was my friend again.  I used to like to sit on his lap.

When the weather was good I played with some neighbour girls.  They were Peter Hammer’s girls, Mata and Norah, they lived in the big house on the corner.  They had real small playhouse that had been built for them.  We had os much fun.  Mata was crippled because she had polio, and sometimes we pushed her around in a buggy that had been fixed for this purpose.  Hannah Hammer, their mother was one of Grandma’s dear friends.

One night when my mother was very sick, Grandpa had been teaching me a song.  It went, “Oh dear doctor m son John, went to bed with his britches on, one shoe off and the other shoe on, oh dear doctor, my son John.”  I went around singing this song, until finally, my Father, (who was worried about my Mother) told me not to sing that song again, or I would get a spanking.  I really wasn’t going to sing it again, but Grandpa whispered in my ear and said, “Sing it again.”  So I did, and my father gave me a good spanking.  At that time I certainly thought Grandpa to blame.

One winter, Grandpa and Grandma came to Utah, to visit us.  I remember how happy we were, preparing for their visit, and I knew they would bring treats.  One of the treats they brought was some candy, and when I was biting into it, my loose tooth came out.

My parents made a bed for me on the floor in the bedroom, where my Grandparents were to sleep.  I thought this was going to be a lark, but later on in the night I was awakened by such loud noises.  It was my Grandparents snoring.

Grandpa used to sit in my father’s easy chair and read the paper and I always thought it was so interesting to watch him.  He would he holding the paper and reading, then soon the paper would begin to slip and then Grandpa would be snoring, and as he snored through his beard, he would blow the hair out and then in, but he was a dear Grandpa.  We hated to see them leave, they were so much fun.  They came to visit us one summer too.  I remember putting up hay, and it always fell my lot to tramp the hay down on the load.  I used to get pretty tired, but when Grandpa was there he got on the load and he could really tramp it down.  In fact it almost felt like the hayrack would tip over, if he was near the edge.  It was sure great to have him help and I believe it was at this time that we were all on the load of hay taking the load of hay to the yard to be unloaded, and right there in the middle of the field my Father said, “Woe” to the horses.  He threw the lines on the ground and said, “Let’s go fishing.”  Well we did go fishing and it was fun to go with my Grandfather.  These visits with my Grandparents must have been pretty special for my mother because she was always so homesick for her parents and brothers and sisters.  Every time she got a letter from them she cried.

When we knew Grandma had cancer, I stayed with her quite a while to help her and I felt so bad about her illness, but she never spent any time feeling bad about it.  She amazed me by being so reconciled and actually anxious to pass on as though she were preparing to go to some big event.  Indeed she was anxious to meet with Pa again, and Rose and Frank.  She never seemed to be afraid of anything in this life, and certainly she wasn’t afraid to die.  Perhaps it was her great trust and faith in the Lord.

At Grandma’s funeral, all of her granddaughters sang.

(Myrle and I were talking one day about our dear Francis family.  All of them so dear to us and we mentioned how happy our Grandparents must be knowing that their families are carrying on in the gospel and how almost every family have produced Bishops, Stake Presidents and missionaries and how their families are carrying on in getting good education, going to the temple.  They were so strong in these things and we all knew their great desires.)

Melva Peterson’s Memories of her Francis Grandparents

(I got permission to write down her thoughts.  I was delighted with the things she told me.)

She said that Grandpa like to tease Grandma (and I really thing that Grandma was no slow-poke in getting back at him.)

When Melva was young she used to stay with them, she said that Grandpa was a great hand at teaching her things.  He had patience and perseverance in this.  He had the idea that Melva could learn a lot about school before she started, so he spent a lot of time with her, teaching her to read and also to play the organ.  (He taught Emma, his daughter how to make buttonholes.)

Grandpa really like the children, and would say to Emma and Henry, “If you don’t bring the children you don’t need to come.”  Sometimes he would call them on the phone and say, “Well the Chinook has come, so now you can come and bring the children.”

Melva said she was really fascinated with a little puppet that Grandpa had, the arms and legs were held on with strings.  He put on such an interesting performances with this little puppet.  He would whistle or sing a real lively little tune, and as he did he would tap the puppet causing it to jump and dance in time to the tune.  The children would all be spell bound.

Grandpa loved the choir and would never miss the practice or meeting.  He had a deep base voice.  (The kids would say, that he had a voice that bellows like a bull.)

Melva’s Grandparents on the Peterson side, were celebrating their Golden Wedding, so Grandpa Francis taught Melva to say a little verse: “If a task is once begun, Be it great or small, Never leave it ‘til its done, Do it well or not at all.”  Now Melva did not want to say this little verse, so she would run away and hide.  Then Grandpa would hunt for her and insist that she learn it.  They went to the Golden Wedding in a surrey with the fringe top.

Grandpa liked to buy candy for the children.  He would go out to Barnwell with the horse and buggy to see the Peterson family and on the way he would go to sleep letting the horse go on his own, and the horse would head into their place, with Grandpa still asleep.  The children were always so excited to see them.

Grandma had the courage to face up to situations and problems.  She wasn’t afraid to speak up to what she thought was right.  When the Petersons had a new baby, Grandma always came along with Dr. Hammon in the buggy in the cold or the sunshine.

After Grandpa died, Melva was staying with Grandma, and one day Grandma hitched the horse to the buggy, filled a cream can full of water, and took her rake, how and shovel and she and Melva went to the cemetery to clean Grandpa’s grave, and water the plants.  When she was finished she told Melva, “I promised Pa that if he died first, that I would dance a jig on his grave.”  So she lifted her skirt and really stepped it off on his grave.


Biography of Samuel Francis

Sketch of the Life of Mary Ann (Francis) Green

The Francis Family, by Norma (Russell) Christensen

The Life of Rose Hannah (Francis) Grant

History of Elizabeth (Francis) Braithwaite by Mary L. Thomas

My Life’s History – by Doctor S. J. Francis

Johann Neils Anderson by John W. Anderson

Johan and Nills Anderson as given to Florene (Peterson) Tufts, by Uncle Alfred


A short Biography Sketch of Edwin Neils Francis

Barnwell History Book

Frank Tank 77 to Taber Today

Golden Jubilee

Boohlet – Taber, Yesterday and Today

My Francis Heritage – by Norma (Russell) Christiansen

Emma Augusta (Anderson) Francis – by Myrle (Johnson) Boren

Memories I have of my Francis Grandparents – by Jennie (Johnson) Harding

Melva Petersons Memories of her Francis Grandparents

Aunt Rose Hannah (Francis) Grant – Sister of my Grandfather Francis [My Mother was named after her.]

Aunt Rose H. Grant always said, “I learned not to grieve more than my strength could bear, because there would be another problem to meet just around the corner.”

She firmly believed, “The Lord fits the back for the burden.”

Some more sayings of Aunt Rose Grant:

“If a thing is worth doing at all, it is worth doing well.”

“Telling the truth is freedom for the soul!”

“If the Lord is on your side, your problem is small.”

“Where there is heart room, there is house room.”


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Gordita
    May 12, 2011 @ 05:22:39

    Thank you for posting this and the other information about the Francis family. It’s wonderful!


  2. Lee Francis
    Jan 19, 2016 @ 19:28:10

    I am Lee Edwin Francis, grandson of “Doc” Samuel Francis. My middle name comes from Edwin “Ted” Francis. Thank you for the wonderful life story…


  3. Shawn Francis
    Feb 15, 2018 @ 15:23:59

    I have had a paper copy of this history since my father (Lowell, son of Howard, son of Edwin “Uncle Ted” Francis) gave it to me more than twenty years ago. I’d been reading it the past couple of days, and after finishing it this morning, I wanted to know more! A Google search brought me here. Thank you for the effort made to make this available online. I’ll be following…
    Shawn Lowell Francis


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