Neil Lynn Rice 1941-2015

Obituary of Neil Lynn Rice

Neil Lynn Rice Obituary


Three Generations of Rice Family Photos



Calgary_Stake_Center_Dedication_1956 Calgary_Stake_Center_Dedication_Services_1956 Carl___Luella_Rice_1984 Carl__Luella__Maureen_sending_Susan_off_on_her_mission_to_BoliviaCarl_and_Luella_Rice_Wedding_Picture___1935 Carl_and_Luella_with_Elaine_and_Charles_Kimsey Carl_Rice_and_Luella_Oviatt_1935 Claresholm_from_the_Air Claresholm_Relief_Society_about_1938 Claresholm_Sunday_School Luella__Oviatt__and_Carl_Rice_and_Boys Luella_and_Grandchildren___Chad_Rice Luella_Rice_87th_birthday___June_2003 Luella_Rice_and_grandkids (1) Luella_Rice_and_Grandkids Luella_s_84th_Birthday_2001 Luella_s_Family Mom_at_Chuck_a_Rama_with_Ron_and_Lois Mom_in_her_kitchen Mom_in_her_kitchen_on_the_farm Rice_Women___Luella__Gayle_and_Maureen Ron_and_Lois_Marriage The_Rice_Boys Chloe__Stoddard__and_Scott_Rice_Wedding_Announcement Chloe__Stoddard__Rice_and_her_sisters Parker_Idaho_Chapel Sargent_Arlin_Rice

Paper Plates of Rice

The following collection of links are from a history book called “Paper Plates of Rice” which was compiled by Elaine Rice Gibb Kinzey

PLEASE NOTE: This book is over 1000 pages and will take some time to complete the process of placing it’s contents on this blog. Please be patient and check back periodically to view my progress.


Chapter 1

1-1     Robert and Mary (Sims) Royce

1-2     Samuel and Hannah (Churchill) Royce

1-3     Robert and Mary (Porter) Royce

1-4     Gideon and Mary (Dutton) Royce (Rice)

1-5     Titus and Lois (          ) Rice

1-6     Ira and Sarah Ann (Harrington) Rice

1-7     Leonard Gurley and Elizabeth Almira (Babbitt) Rice

1-8     Leonard Babbitt and Martha Jane (Stoddard) Rice

1-9     David Augustus and Hannah Priscilla (Parkinson) Rice

Chapter 2

2-1     Josiah and Elizabeth (Foote) Churchill

2-2     Robert and Joanna (Joane) (Brooke) Foote

2-3     Nathaniel and Elizabeth (Deming) Foote

2-4     John and Elizabeth (Whetman) Brooke

Chapter 3

3-1     John and Sible (Vessey) Porter

3-2     John and Anna (White) Porter

3-3     Nathaniel and Elizabeth (Groves) Porter

3-4     Robert and Bridget (Alar) White

3-5     Philip and Ann (Hawley) Groves

Chapter 4

4-1     John Dutton

4-2     Thomas and Susannah (Palmer) Dutton

4-3     Joseph and Mary (Cutler) Dutton

4-4     David and Lydia (Cook) Dutton

4-5     Henry and Judith (Birdsall) Cook

4-6     Samuel and Hope (Parker) Cook

4-7     Samuel and Hannah (Ives) Cook

4-8     Henry Birdsall

4-9     Edward and Elizabeth (Wood) Parker

4-10     William and Hannah (Dickerman) Ives

4-11     John and Hannah (Merriman) Ives

4-12     George and Maria (     ) Merriman

4-13      Nathaniel and Abigail (Olney) Merriman

Chapter 5

5-1     Titus and Lois (     ) Rice

Chapter 6

6-1     Benjamin and Ruth (Inman) Harrington

Chapter 7

7-1     Edward and Sarah (Tarne) Babbitt

7-2     Elkanah and Elizabeth (Briggs) Babbitt

7-3     Elkanah and Mehitable (Crane) Babbit

7-4     Zephaniah and Abigail (Hamlin) Babbitt

7-5     William and Lydia (Bishop) Babbitt

7-6     Lorin Whiting and Alimira (Castle) Babbitt

07-7     Myles and Sarah (          ) Tarne

7-8     Clement and Joan (Allen) Briggs

7-9     Jonathan and Experience (Harvey) Briggs

7-10     Ralph Allen

7-11     George and Catherine (Davis) Allen

7-12      Rice and Dorothy (Rodney) Davis

7-13     Humphrey Harvey

7-14     Turner Harvey

7-15     William Harvey

7-16     William Harvey

7-17     Thomas and AGnes (Clark) Harvey

7-18     William and Joanny (Hucker) Harvey

7-19     Samuel (John) and Elizabeth (          ) Crane

7-20     Henry and Tabith (Elizabeth) (Kinsley) Crane

7-21     Stephen and Mary (Denison) Crane

7-22     Stephen and Marie (Spaulding) Kinsley

7-23     John and Agnes (Willie) Denison

7-24     William and Margaret (Chandler) Denison

7-25     Edward and Elizabeth (Welde) Denison

7-26     John and Agnes (          ) Willie

7-27     John and Joan (Marsead) Willis

7-28     Thomas and Agnes (          ) Chandler

7-29     Johan and Joane (          ) Chandler

7-30     Tobias and Joan (Mumford) Chandler

7-31     Edmund and Amy (Derelye) Welde

7-32     Joseph and Elizabeth (Wise) Welde

7-33     Giles Hamlin and _____ (Ashley) Hamlin

7-34     James and Ann (          ) Hamlin

7-35     James and Mary (Dunham) Hamlin

7-36     Ebenezer and Sarah (Lewis) Hamlin

7-37     Cornelius and Mary (Mudge) Hamlin

7-38     Sir Thomas Dunham

7-39     John and Susannh (Kenny) Dunham

7-40     John and Mary (          ) Dunham

7-41     George and Sarah (Jenkins) Lewis

7-42     George and Mary (Lombard) Lewis

7-43     Thomas and Joyce (           ) Lombard

7-41     Bernard Lombard

7-45     Jarvis and Rebecca (Elsen) Mudge

7-46     Micah and Mary (Alexander) Mudge

7-47     Ebenezer and Abigail (Skinner) Mudge

7-48     George and Susanna (Sage) Alexander

7-49     Thomas and Mary (Gould) Skinner

7-50     Thomas and Mary (Pratt) Skinner

7-51     Thomas and Hannah (          ) Gould

7-52     John Pratt

7-53     Richard and Mary (          ) Pratt

7-54     James and Mary (Lewen) Bishop

7-55     John and Abigail (Willett) Bishop

7-56      Willett and Elizabeth (Sturdevant) Bishop

7-57     David and Sarah (Austin) Bishop

7-58     Nathaniel and Sarah (Hannah) (Adams) Willett

7-59     Jeremy and Rebecca (Basden) Adams

7-60     William and Mary (          ) Sturdevant

7-61     John and Mary (Ferris) Sturdevant

7-62     Zachariah and Sarah (Blood) Ferris

7-63     Richard and Isabelle (Wilkinson) Blood

7-64     John and Mercy (Atwater) Austin

7-65     David and Abigail (Peck) Austin

7-66     Jonathan and Lydia (Bradley) Austin

7-67     Thomas and Elinor (          ) Atwater

7-68     David and Damaris (Sayre) Atwater

7-69     William and Alice (Squire) Sayre

7-70     Thomas Sayre

7-71     William and Elizabeth (         ) Peck

7-72     John and Mary (Moss) Peck

7-73     John and Abigail (Charles) Moss

7-74     William and Agnes (Margate) Bradley

7-76     William and Joanna (Johanna) (Waddington) Bradley

7-76     William and Alice (Prichard) Bradley

7-77      Joseph and Silence (Brockett) Bradley

7-78     Samuel and Abigail (Atwater) Bradley

7-79     Roger and Frances (          ) Prichard

7-80     Sir John Brockett

7-81     John and Sister (          ) Brockett

7-82     David and Joanna (          ) Atwater

7-83     Horace B and Susannah (Susan) (          ) Castle

Chapter 8

8-1      Nathanael  and Jane (McMann) Stoddard

8-2     Arvin Mitchell and Caroline (Sargent) Stoddard

8-3     Abel Mogen and Sarah (Edwards) Sargent

Chapter 9

9-1     Timothy and Ann (Fielding) Parkinson

9-2     Charles Graham and Hannah Maria (Clark) Parkinson

9-3     Timothy Henry and Priscilla Jane (Williams) Parkinson

9-4     Thomas Henry and Charlotte (Gailey) Clark

9-5     Thomas and Sarah (Pearson) Williams

9-6     Thomas Pearson and Jane (Fawson) Williams

9-7     Abraham and Ann (Hodierne) Fawson

Chapter 10

10-1     Venis Elaine (Rice) Gibb Kimzey





Carl G Rice – Funeral Card




Carl Luella Rice - Dec 1984Kenneth, Ralph, Leland, Dee, Stella, Mattie, Mickey, me, Parley, Delena, Doris and Dona.  That’s the way the rhyme goes with me being the only one in the family to make it rhyme.

My parents Parley Hyrum Oviatt born August 31, 1876 in Farmington, Davis County, Utah and Effie Maude Simpson born August 17, 1881, also in Farmington, Davis County, Utah.  They were married August 14, 1901 in Parker, Idaho at the home of Mom’s parents, Rosella Grover and Henry Simpson, and on October 1, 1901 they went to the Salt Lake Temple to be sealed.  Then on October 18, 1904 they came to Canada by covered wagon to seek their fortune.  They intended to do this in a couple of years then return to Idaho and settle down (wealthy of course).  But like many of our young dreams, this just didn’t happen the way they planned and they never did go back to stay – both died in Canada.  The paper allowing them to cross the border said he had a wagon and team and $100.00 cash, his wife and two year old son.

Luella (Oviatt) Rice - 1930-31 High School YearbookDad worked in Cardston a while then worked at Johnson’s sawmill where Mom cooked for the men.  Soon he got a half section of land for a homestead two miles south and five miles west of the little town of Stavely.  It was in the Pine Coulee school district. The school was one mile east of our farm and was used on Sunday for our church services.

I was born the eighth child of Effie and Parley, June 16, 1916, in our farm house of the Pine Coulee school district, of the town of Stavely, Alberta, Canada.  The census man came to the home while Mom was in labor and Aunt Mary Oviatt (my Dad’s sister-in-law) helping with my birth, talked to him through the bedroom window giving him the names and birth dates of all the children. She kept thinking that maybe if he didn’t leave soon there would be another name to add to the list.  Dr. Thompson was also in attendance.  I was blessed by Edward J. Wood on Sunday July 21, 1916 at the Pine Coulee School and church.

When I was five months old, mother went back to the States to visit her mother in St. Anthony, Idaho, and took Stella, Mattie, Lillian and I with her.  While we were there we all managed to have the measles.  Before Mom left with us Dad said he couldn’t afford to go with us, but because we were sick and stayed so long Dad got lonesome and came down to bring us home.  He brought the four oldest boys, Kenneth, Ralph, Leland and Dee with him and they got the measles and our visit was extended to three months before we got home.  When we did return, Lillian caught cold and had pneumonia and was seriously ill for two months.

My earliest recollection of my childhood was when Doris first began to hold her bottle alone.  My cousin, Ellis Oviatt, who was two months older than I, learned to walk by pushing me around in the baby carriage.  We used to sit in the living room by the stove, playing with our dolls or blocks, particularly during the long, cold winter months.

Oviatt SistersBy 1923 there were twelve children in the family:  Henry Kenneth, Ralph Floyd, Effie Geneva (lived 26 days), Leland Lester, Dee Albert, Stella Maude, Freeman Sherman (lived 28 days), Mattie Rose, Lillian Josephine, Veda Luella, Parley Odell, Delena Irene, Doris, and Vennice Idonna.  We had a farm home – the house had a big kitchen, dining room, living room and two small bedrooms.  We had a big bunk house south of the house where there was a big round heater and beds where the boys slept and stayed most of the time. We had some cultivated and seeded land but some of it was pasture as we had some cows, horses, sheep, pigs and chickens and turkeys. We always had a big garden and Dad always planted a square of sunflowers which grew tall enough to make a playhouse for us girls. There was big hill (when I grew up I found it actually wasn’t so big) south of the buildings which was a favorite play area.  In the summer, old wagon wheels took us helter skelter down the hill, until one day it got away and we had a wild ride and tipped over at the bottom and we got banged up and scraped and bruised.  Parley (we used to call him “Buster”) got banged up the most I seemed to recall.  In the winter, we used scoop shovels for sleighs when Dad didn’t get time to build us homemade sleighs.

Just over the brow of the hill as you went down the southeast side of the hill was a huge rock in a kind of indentation.  This was a favorite spot for Delena, Lillian and I to take our rag dolls and play house there.  We pretended that it was a castle.  There was always and abundance of wild flowers on the southeast hill, and it was covered with wild roses, buttercups, daisies, crocuses, bluebells, shooting stars, and buffalo beans.  We played with what we called little stick people and dug square holes in the ground for rooms and made furniture from blocks of wood and used sticks for people.  Mickey and I used to pick up pretty little rocks from off this hill.  One time, after gathering an whole bucketful of these rocks, we were on our way to sell them for a nickel to the neighbor girl, Dorothy Carbine, when Dad intervened and curtailed our enterprising activities.  We also invented many games but also played hide and seek, kick the can, run sheep run, soft ball, hopscotch, and anti-I-over.  There were always quite a few of us to get together to have enough to play many different games.

We had a coal and wood cook stove in the kitchen which caused some great excitement on several occasions when the chimney and roof caught on fire – fortunately no serious incidents occurred. There was also a big “round oak” stove (made of steel with chrome on the top and bottom, round, dark body and a door on front) in the living room with an ising glass door where you could watch the blazing fire.  We seven girls slept in the living room, four at one end and three at the other of the davenport, which was made into a bed for us every night.  One time we were playing and jumping on the davenport and Mickey slipped and fell against the oak stove. She held out her hand to break her fall and I remember the big blisters which popped up.  The boys slept in a bunkhouse which had a little stove in it.  Mom and Dad slept in the one little bedroom and then we rented the other one out to a school teacher, Mr. Priestly.

When the pigs were small Lillian, Delena and I had a twine string for a bridle and rode them until they chewed it in two, or else bolted for a barbed wire fence which necessitated some scrambling to get off.  With the sheep, Dad had a ram.  One day, Stella went out to gather the eggs and got bunted down by this horned Billy goat, so Mattie came out to help, then Mickey, got bunted over and someone came running to help and got bunted down until 4 or 5 were involved and Dad had to rescue us all.  This ram always bunted down anyone who turned her or his back to him.

Before I was officially old enough to start school, Mother used to take me to school and leave me there with the older girls while she went to Relief Society or sometimes when she and Dad went to town to pick up groceries.  Every Friday afternoon, the school held a program put on by the students, or would play games, and others were allowed to attend.  One very, very cold winter day, before Mickey and I were old enough to attend school, we wanted to walk over to the program, but Mom would not let us go outside. Mickey and I put some rocks in the oven, and then wrapped them in newspaper to hold them in our mitts.  Mom went to the old pump house shed to do the washing, where there was an engine hooked to the washing machine.  While she was there, we bundled up and took our hot rocks with us.  We started out down past our gate and down the road and we were carefree and happy, anticipating a fun party at school with the older kids.  We got about 3/4’s of a mile toward the school, and were sorry we ever started out because it was so cold.  Edna and Jess Stanford saw us coming and brought us into their home to warm us up.  They kept us there until the rest of the kids came home from school and then sent us off with them.


Luella School_DaysSchool was held in the Pine Coulee School House – a mile east of our home, and we would ride or walk to school.  We usually took a little tin lard pail with a lid on it to take our lunch to school.  Dad always kept little pencils sharpened to a fine point with his pocket knife and gave them to us kids.  I started school when all grades were in one room.  Miss Nettie Hillier was my teacher, up until about grade two – she later married Bob Smith. Every Friday, if arithmetic was not done well enough, one had to stand in front of class and sing a song.  I couldn’t do arithmetic very well, but I couldn’t sing either.  One of the only songs I knew that was short and would satisfy the teacher was:

Sarah, Sarah,

No one could be Faira,

I love Sarah and Sarah, she loves me.

Luella Oviatt Rice and Flora HutchisonI can still remember the ghost stories the older kids told and scared us younger ones as we sat beside the little school house eating our lunch from our tin buckets.  Sometimes we walked to school and sometimes we went by buggy but mostly we rode a horse. I never liked to ride horses.  I can still remember going over to Uncle Jack’s and their kids all liked to ride but I’d stay in and read to Aunt Mary while she washed milk bottles and scalded them (Uncle Jack delivered milk in Stavely for many, many years).

Often four or five of us would ride our horse “Baldy” to school.  One of the little kids would sometimes get scared riding this huge horse, would slide off and inevitably pull the others along side.  Or “Baldy” would meander off in search of tall grass, with all of us attempting to steer him in the right direction.  As he lowered his head to eat, the front rider would slip off and then several of the rest of us would follow along behind.  He stayed in a barn by the school while we were inside attending class.  Then we would ride him back home.

We had a piece of blackboard nailed to the wall beneath the west window in the kitchen to practice our schoolwork.  When I was very young, before starting school, I can remember writing (scribbling likely) on the blackboard, then looking at the beautiful pictures made on the window by Jack Frost.  We would stand by this window admiring the designs but would eventually end up scraping off the frost to quench our thirst.

Luella_Oviatt_Rice_Gleaner_and_Beehive_CampWhen attending school, Christmas trees had real candles in little clip on candle holders – of course lit only when grownups lit them and closely supervised the tree all the time.  Christmas gifts were usually homemade dolls, mitts, scarves or toques, small boxes of crayons or a slate and slate pencil, and most likely a popcorn ball in the toe of a stocking.  Santa was very poor in those days but we were happy with what we got and knew no differently, we didn’t know we were poor.  Dad would make us small, wooden sleighs (wooden runners with a box and a pin in the center so the whole sleigh would turn in a circle), or little rag dolls, and sometimes we would even receive a newly purchased storybook. What a joy to find an orange in the toe of a sock or a popcorn ball along with a scarf, a pair of socks, or a mouth organ maybe, a box of crayons, a piece of chalk and a slate, or a little, purchased story book.

The favorite toy I liked playing with the most, were carved, wooden dolls, made for us by Dad.  They were carved from a flat board about one foot long, five inches wide and one-half inch thick.  When we pulled the string at the top, the doll walked or danced or sat for us.

Luella_and_Delena_in_their_Christmas_DressesI remember one Christmas we children had verses to learn for the Christmas concert at the school, as every child was given a part to recite.  I had to recite this verse:

When I was a little girl just so high,

My Mamma took a big stick and made me cry.

Now I’m a big girl, Mamma can’t do it,

But Papa takes a big stick and goes right to it.

Mom had gotten many yards of tan hopsacking and we all got new dresses – I kind of think the Relief Society got it in bolts for the members.  Of course the dresses were all made of the same material but were made differently and trimmed with brown velvet. Mine was gathered at the waist and had a brown velvet belt with little flowers embroidered on the collar, cuffs, and belt.  I can remember reciting my little verse for everyone who came, even the Watkins man, Mr. Burnham, who stopped by our place quite often. The verse was about a little girl going to a party.

When I was at the party,

Said Betty, aged just four,

A little girl fell off her chair

Right down upon the floor.

All the boys and girls,

Began to laugh but me.

Why didn’t you laugh, pray tell?

I didn’t laugh I answered ’cause

I was the girl that fell.

At the Christmas concert all members of the family attended and we recited – some sang (not us), sometimes we did drills as a group, each of us holding a dowel stick with little tinkling bells on each end.  We did exercises in unison holding each end of the stick with the bells tinkling.  Santa Claus came and wonder of wonders called each of us by name and gave us a gift from his big bag.  I remember getting a big picture and story book – all my own!

Pine_Coulee_School_Kids_1921Our life on the farm those days was a relatively simple, quiet, peaceful life, with Sacrament Service and Sunday school in the Pine Coulee school house and primary in the member’s homes. People came from miles around in wagons and democrats, on horseback or in buggies.  We had family prayers and personal prayers and expressed a sublime and simple faith in our Father in Heaven.  We were fortunate to have President Edward J. Wood visit our small branch in early days – in fact Lillian and I were blessed and named by him as babies.  President E.J. Wood was president of the Alberta Stake in these early days and used to visit our Ward at Pine Coulee.  President Hugh B. Brown was president of the Lethbridge Stake and used to visit our ward too.  These were very spiritual men – President Wood became president of the Cardston Temple and President Brown became an Apostle and later a counselor to President David O. McKay.

We went to Primary in different homes (Mary Rhodes, Amy Stanford, Edna and Jesse Stanford) and learned such songs as “We Thank Thee Oh God For a Prophet”, “Give Said the Little Stream”, “In Our Lovely Deseret”, and other church songs and gospel truths. Ward Teachers were always welcome in our home and each one was expected to take her or his turn standing behind a chair and bearing a testimony.  Home missionaries, called from other wards on short-term missions, were called to spend a week or two weeks living with different families in our ward, and holding cottage meetings each night in a different home.  We used to have block meetings where several families got together and the home missionaries also attended.  We sat around the living room in a circle and after the missionaries spoke to us we started at one side of the room and each one stood and bore his or her testimony.

Even though everyone had large families, we visited back and forth for Sunday dinners.  Of course, there was always home made ice cream and the yummy paddles to lick, fried chicken and mounds of potatoes and gravy.  Usually the evenings ended up with taffy pulls or buttered popcorn or popcorn balls.  Sometimes we were asleep when it was time to go home from church or concerts or visits to neighbors.  Then, we kids would be carried out to the buggy or wagon and put to bed on layers of straw covered with quilts for the ride home.  We were always amazed to find ourselves snug in our own beds the next morning.  We never owned a vehicle growing up and had to rely on horses and our democrat for transportation.  This buggy had one front seat where three people could sit and then the back part of the wagon could be made into a bed or comfortable area for all of us kids to snuggle up in when traveling back and forth to church or when visiting.  In the winter Dad would have sleigh runners to use over the snow.                         Pine_Coulee_Primary__1919_or_1920_ Aunt Mary and Uncle Jack lived 4 or 5 miles north and west of our place so there was much visiting between our two families. There were several Mormon families in Pine Coulee district and Table Butte area – Susan and Bill Lucas (Winona, Ida, Albert, George, Mary, Vivian, Jenny, Celma, Vera), Jesse and Edna Stanford (Don, Bud, Grace, Beth-chummed with, Jesse), Nunham and Amy Stanford (Glen, Gladyce, Ruth, Gay, Paul, Allen, Stanford, Phyllis), Manson and Blanche Campbell (Grace, Alice, Bryce), Joseph Smith  and Ada Brown, Rhoane and Maime Smith (Frank and George), Bob and George Smith, Dave and Blanche Brown, Leonard and Jennie Jones, Harry Smith’s, Havelock and Venice Smith, Frank and Leah Rodgers, Hatches (Mary, Henrietta), Carbines, Olivers, Hayes, Burbanks.  Schoolmates I recall having had at Pine Coulee were Lucille, Beth and Grace, Don and Bud Stanford, Glen, Hugh, Claude and Clyde Stanford, Thelma, Wanda, Veda and Venly Brown, Irwin and Alta Brown, Henry and Marjorie Jones, Winona, Ida, Jennie, Vivian and George Lucas, Lozina, Rachel, Lorena, Genevieve Oliver, Mary and Henrietta Hatch, Grace and Alice Campbell, Frank and George Smith.

When I was seven years old, we had a picnic down at Willow Creek south and west of our place.  I was chosen Queen of the May and Claude Stanford was King – we danced around the May Pole with colored streamers to wind up the pole.  I can still remember Mother putting powder on my freckled face for the occasion.  When I hear crows cawing through the trees I still think of those times when we went down to the creek where they were so noisy in the trees.

Indians used to come for rodeos down at the creek and all the neighborhood used to go down – some participated and most watched. The Old Swimming Hole in the bend of the creek below the rock cliff was a favorite gathering place.  When we go there now and see the swallow nests of mud clinging to the cliff above the hole it brings back memories of those days.  Our older brothers instilled a fear of water in us younger kids because they insisted on dunking us and throwing us in and scaring us, so we, at least I, have always been afraid of water because of it.  I remember Delena and myself holding hands and slowly walking out into the water from the creek, each step with the water rising.  We continued to creep out until soon the water was to our waists, our necks and even up to our noses before someone rescued us.  Perhaps we would have continued to move into the stream, almost mesmerized by the currents.

On Sunday we would go to Willow Creek and watch the Indians in their rodeo events.  Dad knew the Indians by name and would often stop to talk with them.  When Dona was a baby, Dad was joshing with them and said he’d trade his white baby for the Indian one.  One big, strapping, older Indian with a large hat took Dona into the tent in which they were camping.  The rest of us started crying and screaming that they couldn’t have our baby.  Dona set up crying and the Indian quickly brought her back – from then on whenever she saw anyone in a cowboy hat, she began to holler.

I remember riding in the back of the buggy and dragging my feet in the creek as we crossed it (no bridge) and remember the rippling water and how it made us feel we were floating down stream when in reality it was just the water moving.  We spent many mornings out in the hills west of the farm and along the creek picking berries and picnicking while we picked berries.

One day a neighbor stopped at the farm and saw all of us kids running around playing and when he visited another neighbor, he said, “There’s a party over at Oviatt’s place – kids running and playing everywhere.”  The neighbor said “That’s not a party, they all live there.”  It was a hard life I’m sure for Mom and Dad but we children didn’t notice as we didn’t know of better things.

The Watkins and Raleigh man used to visit through the district with their horse and wagon and wooden cases that opened up to show a vast array of flavorings and salves and goodies as we children stood quietly, wide-eyed watching.  We children would quickly run and tell Mom when we saw him coming, then line up and watch as he opened the door to the box on the back of his cart.  Mr. G. Butler and Mr. Burnham were two of the traveling men who frequented our farm, and occasionally stayed overnight with us, after driving out from Claresholm.  There was always room and an invitation at our table for the Watkins man or Raleigh man to stay and eat – even for the old tramp.

It seems groups of Gypsies traveled through the country in their covered wagons with items and goods to sell or trade, and one day such a wagon drove into our yard.  A man and lady got down and talked to Dad – just then a big rooster walked by.  The man asked if he could have it – Dad laughed and said jokingly “Sure, if you can catch it!”  The Gypsy went to the back of his wagon and lifted the canvas and out jumped eight or nine children who chased the rooster and finally caught it.

Dad was a very kind and loving father who spent time sharing stories and playing with us, when not working in the fields.  Mom was more reserved, soft-spoken, and a hard worker.  She was well-educated, having attended Ricks Academy for a while, and would read stories to us and always encouraged us to do our best in school. She accepted many positions in the ward and at one time was president of the Claresholm Relief Society.  One Christmas, Dad and Uncle Jack bought Mom and Aunt Mary mink fur neck pieces with a long tail on one end and a beady eyed fox head on the other end. They hid them in an oat bin, but Mom hunted and found them before Christmas.  I still remember playing with the soft fur with the beads for eyes of the fox head.  She used to have long hair and we’d brush it for her and watch in fascination as she wound it up, working a switch or long hair piece into it to make it appear thicker.  One time Dad grew a mustache and Mom didn’t like it, so while he slept she shaved half of it off so the other half had to be shaved off too.  I remember that we would stand on Dad’s toes and he would dance around with us on his feet, sometimes with two of us at a time, with him singing or humming a tune.  He used to tell us stories and recounted the time when as a small boy, he went to the local circus which had come to town, and heard the caller yell out, “Come and see the only cow that has a head where the tail ought to be.”  He and his other small friends bought a ticket and once inside found a cow backed into a stall, much to their disappointment.

Sometimes when Dad would kiss Mom, she would gently chide him, “Oh Parl, the children are watching…” and we would go off giggling.  They were careful to instill obedience with their love, and were also strict, in that we were taught to be kind and loving with each other and to obey our parents.  If we didn’t obey, I can remember sitting on a chair with my face to the corner and not being able to play with the others for a while.

Whenever Dad and Mom went to town I can remember standing on a chair and watching out the east window of the dining room for the black speck four or five miles east, which came closer and closer. We could see as they turned off the road going south from Stavely and as they turned west, we watched the black speck until it was close enough to recognize who it was.  Sometimes it turned out to be a neighbor, but how happy we kids were when that tiny black speck finally got close enough for us to see that it was Mom and Dad’s rig. We would run down the lane to meet them and like as not Dad would have a bag of flat, quarter-sized pink, blue, yellow or white sugar candy with writing on it; some such writing as “I Love You” or “Be Mine”.  Other times he would bring licorice, all-day-succors or hard tack candy.

There were no electric lights, running water for the kitchen, or gas or electric stoves.  We had no radio or TV, but we did have a wind-up gramophone with round records that were rolled-up paper made of celluloid.  We had kerosene lamps to fill and glass chimneys that needed cleaning too often.  Water was carried to the house in buckets from the well to be used for drinking, washing, cooking, and we bathed in a tin tub by the warm stove – stoves everlastingly needing to be fed logs or Mom would say “quick, run get me a bucket of chips (of wood), I need a hot fire to bake my bread”.  I wonder sometimes how many loaves of bread my Mom baked to keep us all filled.  Bread and milk was quite often our supper at night.  Mom also made her own butter, washed on a scrub board and had a gas engine washer.  The drinking water bucket was always frozen during the cold nights.  No flush toilets – just follow the path past the bunk house, under the clothes line out to the outhouse (two-holers) where the Eaton or Simpson catalog hung on a string.  Could be looked at too – sometimes in season we had a box of apple or peach paper wrappers, a welcome relief from catalog pages.

We always had a big garden with a root cellar for keeping vegetables in and we had a cream separator and any spare butter or eggs were exchanged at “Brand’s Store” for groceries or other needs.  Eggs were packed in a bucket of oats to get them to town without breaking.  I remember Mom used to like to eat a fresh piece of lettuce, with a light sprinkling of sugar.  I like to eat it this way too, on occasion, but many folks are surprised to see this.  Mom used to buy big orders of groceries in the fall.  I remember the silver colored aluminum canisters with nice lids, full of coconut and other goodies – the twenty pound boxes of raisins, dates and dried apricots and peaches inside. Mother had kept her wedding cake on an high shelf at the foot of their bed, in a cardboard box.  This remained there for years and years, but every so often, several of us would sneak a piece of the cake by standing on the foot of the bedstead and reaching inside to the pretty pink and green icing.  It was good and hard and sweet, just like hard tack candy.  Whether or not, Mom was aware of our mischief, I do not know, but she never scolded us for it.

I can’t remember a flower garden but I do remember there was always rows of tall, large sunflowers.  Sometimes I recall Dad planted them in a square and as the stalks grew bigger and bigger and taller and taller, they formed walls for a play house for us to play in.  I don’t remember being given much responsibility until the older girls began to leave home.  I was always very small for my age, so mostly I helped the others do dishes and make beds, and sometimes had to feed the chickens.  When old enough, we graduated to the responsibility of cleaning the pesky separator, which had to be thoroughly washed and scaled with boiling water, every day.  It was used at night and then had to be washed after the morning milking.

We all wore long-legged underwear and long, heavy, ribbed stockings in winter, held up by garters pinned or buttoned to a panty waist, made of Robin Hood flour bags with the printing still on.  All our panty waists, pants and slips, like as not, were made of flour sacks or sugar bags.  Most clothing was home made, but sometimes Mom would send away in the Simpson or Eaton catalogues and get a large order for us, others came from Grandma Grover.  We wore little canvas running shoes to school and had shiny Patten leather dress shoes with a bow on top, others were laced, to wear to church.  We also had high buttoned shoes, necessitating a button hook to close them and we sometimes had high topped laced boots as well.

In the summers, sometimes Dad would take the wagon box off the wheels and then use the wagon bed and the horses to go up into the hills.  He would haul logs home to be sawed up and split to burn and feed the greedy stoves for cooking and heating.  These would be used for the kitchen stove, the big, round oak stove in the living room, a stove in the pump house to heat wash water, and the boys had a heater in the bunk house to keep warm.  He loved fishing and on these trips he always took time fishing.  The neighbors would gladly do his chores while he was gone so they could share in the big tub of trout fish he brought back.

One year the school teacher boarded at our place, Frederick Louise Ethelbert Priestly, and of course slept in the bedroom off the kitchen.  He was sixteen years old and fresh out from England. When he first came to our home, the older boys took him out snipe hunting where he endured several cold hours in the dark looking for the small, non-existent creature, while the boys had sneaked home and were fast asleep.  We little girls could just barely reach the screen on his window to scratch and make a noise on it , then hurry away to hide – what fun and giggling went on if he found us and pretended to scold us.  Of course the best of chicken or desserts was set aside for William Louise Ethelbert Priestly, who stayed a year with us, then moved on to another home.

Our nearest neighbors were Manson and Blanche Campbell.  We girls were permitted at times to go play with Grace and Alice, their two daughters.  They had lots of water and I remember being permitted to walk around and see the beautiful flowers and garden and even a lawn they had.  He raised purebred cattle and I can remember keeping his fence and our fence between us and the several big red and white bulls that walked the fences, we thought, looking for a place to get out and after us.  His fences and buildings were always kept ship shape, painted and in good repair.  Our buildings and fences always needed repair, with so many mouths to feed, there was never money for new posts or buildings or paint.  It must have been quite a task to keep us fed and clothed.

Our wheat crop was so small; the threshing machine came and was gone before we had enough of watching the bundles pitched in and the long spout pouring grain into the grain tank and the beautiful golden straw piling higher and higher in the stack. Sometimes they came and went while we were in school, so we missed the excitement and fun of it all.

I don’t remember much of Grandma Grover, Mom’s mother, but she visited us on the farm from St. Anthony, Idaho.  Mom took the train back to Idaho to see her several times.  One time she took four or five of us with her and went home for a visit.  One of us got the measles and one by one we all got them, so her visit extended to month.  Dad got lonesome and brought a couple more of the kids to Idaho.  We all came home together and Lillian had complications from measles with pneumonia and was very, very ill.  Mom always brought a huge box about 5′ by 2′ by 2′ full of old clothes and shoes, bags of dried apples and fruit.  We’d get new clothes made from these old clothes.  Aunt Mattie worked as department store manager, so ofttimes would give Mom clothing and shoes that didn’t sell well in the store.  I remember receiving a pair of pointed toed shoes to wear to school and would sit on them so others would not notice how different they were.  I think I was the only one who could fit into them because of my small foot size.

Grandma Grover came up to Canada several times.  Each time she came there was always a big wooden box full of dresses to be remade for us girls and bags of dried fruit and shoes for whoever they fit.  As most children we sometimes displayed lack of manners or table etiquette.  One day Lillian reached across the table instead of asking.  Grandma was tall and big and quite strict; she gave us all a lecture and said if we reached we should say “excuse me”.  A bit later Grandma reached for something and Mickey reminded her of her manners and she said “Excuse an old lady for reaching”.  During the course of this same meal, Mickey wanted some more rice, reached across the table and then proceeded to apologize to everyone by herself repeating “Excuse an old lady for reaching”.  I don’t think that Grandma Grover was very pleased with her response.  This was our favorite saying for quite a while to cover up our reaching.  I kind of think Grandma would have preferred Mom and Dad to go back to Idaho to live, but we were settled and had many responsibilities with our large family for Mom and Dad to return where they had nothing to go back to.

Dad’s brother, Uncle Frank, and our cousin’s, little Frank and Joel came with him several times.  His wife, Josephine, did not come up with him.  We enjoyed their visits as they played with us kids.  I remember sitting on their laps and reading to them from our little readers, and feeding them papers which they pretended to eat, to amuse us.  They taught us to spell wood pecker:  we-e-o-edly-wood-c-e-ock-eedly-peck-eck-ocker.  Or we’d ask one of them to spell stocking and they’d say “white” or “black”?  When we’d tell them white, they’d spell out W-h-i-t-e or we’d say black, they’d spell b-l-a-c-k.

I was baptized in the Willow Creek river (the familiar swimming hole by the big rock cliff) near Stavely, Alberta, September 14, 1924 by Richard L. Johnson, a member of the ward.  I imagine they waited until they had a group of us to be baptized before venturing over to the river.  The following month, October 12, 1924, I was confirmed a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by Joseph Smith Brown.


All this came to an end when Dad decided to move us to Claresholm – somehow he had $600 to buy a five roomed house and in November, 1924 we packed up our possessions on the hay rack with a team of horses.  Some of us kids rode high on top, along with our pet cat, as Dad drove the 28 miles to Claresholm where we began a new life.  There was a kitchen with a walk-in pantry, a back entry way, a living room and one bedroom downstairs, and two bedrooms upstairs.  There was an outhouse, chicken house and run, and an old barn at the south end of the lot.  We were two blocks from downtown, a block west of the church, and five blocks from school.

I remember that every Friday night, old-time music, done by fiddlers, was broadcast on the radio.  Our radio was a brown, veneered oblong box, which sat on a table in the front room. Because radio broadcasts were sporadic, and sometimes sent out from 5 p.m. until midnight only, they were considered a special treat, and something we eagerly looked forward to.  This fiddler’s music was very lively and fast.  Delena and I would sit in the front room on the leather davenport, (which opened out into a bed), bouncing up and down to the beat, and waving our arms to the music. Kenneth would make us quit bouncing around, warning us that the springs would come undone because we were wearing them out.  When he left the room, we would start up again, until he reentered, and issued his warning glare or told us emphatically to do as he said.

We first attended in the little, two-roomed red brick school house on the east side.  Mattie, Mickey, Stella, Delena, Parley and I, all had Miss Benson when we entered grade five.  Mickey and I walked to school and would be held up by trains at the track.  We’d be late and say there was a train even if there wasn’t.  I remember lying in bed upstairs in the home place and would hear the first bell ring, and then would have to scurry around to get to school. Half an hour later we’d be up, dressed, breakfasted and running the mile to school.  My grade three teacher was Miss Kirk, grade four -Miss Matheson, grade five – Miss Benson, grade six – Miss Laidlaw, grade seven – Miss Simpson, grade eight -Miss MacWilliam, grade nine – Miss Daugliesh, Mr. Kirk, and Mr. Foster.

I still remember someone telling about Mr. Fairer who was killed by a train when running across the railroad tracks and tripping on a pile of ashes (dumped by the steam engines on the tracks) between the rails.  Everyone told us kids that Mrs. Fairer was a witch – she used to wear a long, black coat and tiny hat. She lived in a large, unpainted house (Gwen Toone’s lot) southeast from our home.

After grade five, I moved across the road to the larger red brick building, where I attended until I graduated in grade twelve. I entered High School on September 2, 1930 when I was fourteen years old.  As students we attended school in this red brick school house with the winding staircase, where we climbed to the top to hear the janitor, Mr. McKenzie, ring the school bell by pulling on the long rope, which he sometimes even let us take a tug on.  I remember Mr. Foster, the principal, Miss Mary Bell (Bennett), French teacher, Mr. Kirk.

We first attended church in the Oddfellow’s Hall on Main Street and went to Primary in the homes of members.  In the winter of 1924, Dad helped the members of Claresholm Ward move the chapel from Woodhouse five miles south, to Claresholm.  They had railroad ties and metal tracks and pulled the chapel on them using wheels, moving the ties and tracks from behind to the front as horses pulled the building.  We would run out after school down the railroad tracks to the outskirts of town to watch them pull it on the frozen ground.  They eventually made it over to the east side of town, just several homes away from us, to the foundation and basement.  The present ward church in Claresholm sits in the area to where this church was originally moved.  It was later taken by truck to Fort MacLeod, and is now an apartment house.

Things seemed to be going pretty well for us, and then one day Oliver Symmonds came and wanted to take Dad up to the farm to look at some horses he wanted to buy.  Dad had been sick all night and Mom did not want him to go.  She used to rub his arms with liniment to help relieve the pain, but it was not caused by rheumatism.  Dad left to go up with the other men (Hyrum Symmonds was an horse buyer).  They all decided to take a break while up at the farm and take some time to play rummy or whist- Dad dropped a card and bent down to pick it up.  He collapsed and immediately died from a massive heart attack.  This was on June 22, 1925.  They were to stay all night and come back on the 23rd.  It must have been about 7:30 on the morning of the 23rd when Leland, my brother, who had been working four miles south of town at George Gibson’s farm, came bounding up the stairs into our bedroom to tell us kids our Dad was dead.  We were still in bed and what a harsh, rude awakening.  A kind, gentle, loving father was gone, leaving Mom with twelve children – confused, frightened kids that didn’t understand about death and all its implications!  I was eight years old and in grade three and remember having Miss Kirk as my teacher during this sad time.  Grownup preparations, talk and sorrows, left us kids (me anyway) bewildered, frightened and tearful and Mom was heartbroken and apprehensive about the future alone.  Later, we were driven out to the farm where he lay in his coffin in the living room and Mom rushed over, crying, “Parl, Parl, what will I ever do without you?”

Dad’s brother, Uncle Frank and his two sons, his sister, Aunt Phene (Josephine), and Grandmother Grover arrived the morning of the funeral from Idaho.  President Hugh B. Brown was President of the Lethbridge Stake and came out to Pine Coulee to speak at my Dad’s funeral.  The little school house was full – whenever I hear “Oh My Father” sung, I remember that day.  President Brown said “He may not have been a financial success, but he was a splendid husband and father.”  He was buried in the Stavely Cemetery.

Ralph took over the farm for one year and he bought a bed which he pulled down from the wall.  It looked like a dresser with drawers and had handles on it, but not real drawers.  Leland and Florence then lived on the farm for a few more years, before the taxes were in arrears, and the farm was eventually sold to someone else.

Life goes on – Mom bore the brunt of this great loss, more than us kids, I’m sure.  Aunt Mary would come and stay and Mom would say that it was so nice to have an adult around to talk to. She and Uncle Jack still lived west of Stavely out at Table Butte. Kenneth, Ralph, Leland and Dee didn’t go to school in Claresholm, the rest of us kids did.  They worked around Stavely and we settled into school, Primary, Church, Sunday school, Mutual and life without Dad.  We had a cow which Mom or the kids older than me, milked and carried water to down in the vacant lot.  We had enough for our use and we sold the rest to the Chinese restaurant on Main Street of Claresholm.  Once, Mom sent Parley to deliver the milk, when he returned Mom asked him what the “Chinaman” had said. Parley said “I’m not sure but it sounded like Hung-I-munge-chucka-chucka-fungi-O-aligata-mungi-O.  This became our favorite saying.

The vacant lot a block west of our home (by Jean Toone’s home now) was the preferred playground for a neighborhood ball game, kick the can, run-sheep-run or other games.  We still had a two holer outhouse, but we had electric lights and a gas stove, a cold water tap in the pantry with a bucket underneath.  Later on we got a sink and cupboards in the kitchen though.  At the back of the house, there was an old, wooden pickle barrel full of dills in brine.

Once a week, Mom used to catch the train in the morning, and go to Stavely to Relief Society and come back on the train in the afternoon.  All of us seven girls would be at the station to meet her.  Once the train station keeper saw us lined up and asked us who we were waiting for.  “We’re waiting for our mother.”  “That’s wonderful, that will be nice to see her again, and “he said” how long has she been gone?”  And we responded, “Since this morning.”  We acted as though she’d been gone a week or two instead of four or five hours.  There were lots of people who would go down to the train station to watch the people get off and on the trains.

At the age of fourteen, I received my patriarchal blessing from Patriarch E.W. Bushman, of the Claresholm Ward.  We went over to Sarah Whitehead’s home in town, with a group of other kids who also received their blessings.  I graduated from Primary in 1928, at the age of twelve, and then a year or two later, became secretary of the Primary when Alice Whitehead was president.

We were given the privilege of going to the temple to do baptisms for the dead.  We were cold and stiff, riding the long way in a truck, but soon forgot all that when we saw the temple. President Wood took us up to the Prayer Room where we had a meeting, and we each promised him we would attend Sunday school and Sacrament Meeting whenever it was possible to do so.  Then we were baptized.  I was baptized ten times.  I joined the Mutual when I was fourteen years old, with Artence Rice as my Beehive leader.  We had candy pulls and parties and many enjoyable times.

We got a radio with earphones.  I can still remember playing ball on the lawn after school and taking turns running in and listening through the earphones.  Later we got a radio where we could all hear it without earphones.  Mickey and I played basketball in high School where we played outside on a cinder court.  I’m sure it must have been a slower game than when we played on an inside floor.  Cinders can cause many a bruised and scraped knee or whole leg and thigh, elbows and palms if you fall just so, but if you don’t know anything better you can still have fun on a cinder court.  We went to silent movies when the conversation was written across the bottom of the screen and music was a live orchestra or piano player in a pit below the screen.

The Nils Thompsons, (elevator operator), lived just across the street from us – there was Trygvie, Lily, Mildred and Gordon.  Every night after school they all got in their old vintage car and went for a drive in the country.  Lily was my friend and would sometimes invite us to ride with them.  Dorothy Dixon and her folks were immediately west of them and still west of us and Mirium Amundsons were west of them and still west of Amundsons was Atkinsons – Eva’s family – through the back yard was south of us was Sam Whitehead’s place – east of them was Daniel Burbanks.  East of us was Cramers and Hagermans, Torbits and later Holts were across the street, north and east of them was Strangs and Mrs. McCardell and our school teacher Miss Calder where Mickey worked. I later inherited her job.  Mrs. McCardell had T.B. so slept on a glassed in porch to get fresh air and lots of sunshine.

After school one of us girls took turns going into Dixon’s home to play quiet games with Dorothy Dixson, otherwise we were off to the vacant lot to play.  We would occasionally be invited to take drives in their car on Sunday or after school in the evenings. One of us would be asked to ride with them, usually Delena. Sometimes we went out east 1/4 mile to Adolph Amundsons to play with Iris Amundson.  They had a huge high roofed barn with a heavy rope fastened high in the peak.  We’d climb a ladder and stand at one ledge, swing down to the center near the ground and up again to the opposite high ledge.  It took a while to make one full half circle and back to your starting point again.  I’m sure the process was speeded up by the presence of a snorting, angry sounding, black stallion in a stall somewhere in the barn, pawing and clambering to get at us (we were certain of that).

In 1934, when in Beehives, a group of us went with Bishop George Toone (Henry’s dad) to the Waterton Mountains.  It was the first time I had ever been right up in the mountains.  Hannah Toone Puzy, Evelyn and Delcy Quist, Ida Swenson Johanson (Stig’s first wife), Lila Oviatt Stanford, Jean Toone, Idonna Rice Quaster, Clarice Mulholland Harding, Artence Champney Rice, Mickey and I, all spent several days camping, hiking above the Cameron Falls, and even eating cold beans out of a can.

Several times we had the occasion to perform baptisms for the dead by traveling down to the temple in Cardston.  This was an inspirational experience for us all.  And once a year, people would come from miles around to the church in Claresholm for “President Wood Days”.  There would be a morning meeting and we would bring our lunch to put it all together on the basement’s long tables, and then we’d go back and attend an afternoon meeting.  We enjoyed his spirituality and the very powerful sermons given about his miracles, missionary labours in the islands, and his experiences in the Alberta Stake Presidency.  These were never to be forgotten meetings – they strengthened and helped our testimonies and love of the gospel grow.

I was a fairly good student and liked school because my friends were in several of my classes, but I disliked math.  Lily Thompson was my best friend and we spent many wonderful times together in school.  Mickey, Delena and I were really good in school and church basketball.  I was little and quick and was a really good player – we had many fun times in basketball.  We played basketball in the basement of the church.  We traveled all over to play and were many times champions.  This was tricky as the basement wasn’t too deep and the church had been set on three or four, two-foot deep iron beams protruding into the basement.  We learned to play without throwing the ball high, but low enough to miss the beams.  This was to our advantage when we played in our own hall and disadvantageous to teams who came from other wards. Then when our teams played in wards that had high ceilings, they had the advantage over us.  It was great fun to play or to watch our Mutual Men and Gleaners teams play.  I played when the games were in our ward but I didn’t go when they traveled to other wards.  Since we lived just three doors west of the church, we soon became janitors for our ward, so we practiced lots of basketball shots when we finished cleaning.

Our vacant lot was used on occasions when the circus came to town.  What fun to watch as they unloaded the tents and animals, etc.  Chatauqua came to town in the summer too and set up the big tent.  This was one way the folks in the small towns enjoyed a bit of big city culture.  Museums, singers, dancers, dramas, jugglers, trick dogs, etc.  Sometimes we were able to go inside but I think mostly we hung around outside to catch some of the excitement and at least hear the music.  Sometimes it was held in the skating rink.  We had mutual plays and dances in the church basement.  Once a year we had a Gold and Green Ball with a Gleaner selected as Queen with attendants and crown bearers.

The first boy I ever went out with was Leonard Rush, a Catholic boy, so I felt quite guilty about going with him to shows after attending mutual and hearing lessons about dating LDS boys. He didn’t want to take me to our Mormon Church dances, so we ended up not dating for too long.  They had dances every Saturday night in the church basement.  At first, Delena and I were too young to date or dance, so we would go and sit all night listening to the music and watching everyone else dance.  I guess the best dance I ever went to was when Carl first asked me to go to a church dance -I really felt important.  I continued to date Carl during the last half of my grade twelve year.

I remember a time when Mickey and I sloughed school and left with our friends, Flora Hutchinson and Myrtle Smith Berry.  Stella also came with us.  We skipped out on the Friday afternoon and drove down to the bridge over the Old Man River down by Fort MacLeod and spent the time together enjoying our new-found freedom. I’m not sure of all that we did but someone had a camera and recorded pictures of our philanderings.  When I went to school Monday morning, I found that if I’d gone to school that past Friday afternoon, I would not have had to write my final exams.  I’m sure I must have been disappointed; considering this was the first time I had ever sloughed my classes.

During one summer and sometimes during the school year, I worked for Elizabeth (Lizzy) Smith, a member of the church, out on her farm south and west of town, for $4 a month.  Ralph had an appendectomy and received a many-tailed binder from Lizzy, and then she took $2 out of the $4 she owed me, to pay for it.  She would only allow me to use one dipper full of scalding water to scald the whole separator.

During this time, I remained active in the church and during the 1934-35 school year, I taught a Church History Sunday School class.  I continued to attend school in Claresholm and graduated from the High School in June of 1935 with my grade twelve diploma.

It was during this time that I also met and shortly thereafter married Carl on 27 November 1935.


Carl Rice and his sisterCarl “G.” or “J.” Rice, named after the church educator Karl G. Maeser, was born August 5, 1908 in Claresholm, Alberta, Canada. He was the first child born in Canada after his parents, Otis Scott Rice and Chloe Stoddard immigrated from Parker, Idaho to Alberta with their four children, Scott’s parents and immediate family. Carl was blessed September 6, 1908 by Elder George W. Pack.

In the late 1890’s, Carl’s grandparents, Leonard Babbitt Rice and Martha Jane Stoddard had built a store near their home in Parker, Idaho and operated a mercantile business.  They also accumulated many horses and haying outfits, bundle wagons, mowing machines and other farm implements.  Riley, Leonard’s oldest son, displayed a lust for adventure and convinced the family to move to Alberta, Canada where “glowing opportunities” existed.  Riley argued that by selling out all their land holdings and properties, they could go northward and by working together with the plentiful labor in the family, break up hundreds of acres, reap thousands of bushels of grain and with the railroad established, they would be assured big returns.

Eventually in 1906 Len and Janie and most of their family chartered train boxcars and shipped all of their farm machinery and horses to Cardston.  The Cardston area was speedily being settled by people from Utah, Idaho and Eastern Canada.  The Rice’s eventually settled on a section of level prairie land three miles south of Claresholm.  In the spring of 1907, Scott returned to Idaho and brought the rest of his family up to Alberta.  They brought their four young children with them; Otis Scott born September 13, 1900, Ula born November 6, 1902, Arlin Earl born August 7, 1904 and Alice Lucille born August 10, 1906, all in Parker, Idaho.  The following year on August 5, 1908 Carl G. was born in a small, three-roomed, wooden-framed home east of the railway tracks.  It is most probable that a midwife or physician assisted in these births in a visit to the farm home.  Sister Whitehead, a midwife and member of the Relief Society, assisted in many of the births of the families who lived in this area and probably assisted Chloe in the births of her last three children. Idonna was born January 4, 1911 and Leonard Cyril was born February 28, 1913.

The first winter in Canada had very little snow, called an open winter.  In that same year, 1907, the family lived in the Whitehead home, three miles southwest of Claresholm.  The section of land was divided among the family members and Scott bought the southeast quarter from his brother, Rile.  It was a time for Scott to be independent while still contributing to the family threshing crew.  In the spring of 1908 they moved to a farm one mile east of Skiba’s farm, (now Carson’s feedlot).  It was across the tracks and one-half mile north of the old Sorenson place; they lived here until 1917.  This is where their last three children were born.

With the help of Scott’s brother-in-law, Lynn Carter (Harriet Rice), three large duplex‑style homes were built on the northwest corner of the northwest quarter (north and east of the present

Rice farm).  Lynn Carter was an excellent carpenter and built many farm homes for settlers in the area.   These homes were originally occupied by Scott’s parents Leonard Babbitt and Martha Jane, Scott’s sister Caroline Elizabeth and Joseph Mullender Workman and most probably Scott’s other sister Harriet Celestia and Lynn Carter.

On July 17, 1904 President E.J. Wood met with the saints and organized a ward comprised of fourteen families.  The meetings of the Ward and auxiliaries were held in the homes of the Saints and in the Starline School alternately.  In July of the following year Bishop John W. Drollinger, Sr. chose S.R. Faddis and Joseph M. Workman as counselors.  The Relief Society was reorganized and Edla Rice (Riley Rice) was chosen as president with Sarah Drollinger and Eliza Quist.  Elizabeth Smith was Secretary-Treasurer.  As the membership continued to grow, two lots were purchased in Claresholm but opposition was encountered so they built a tithing granary and continued to hold meetings in homes. In 1909 a church was built near the Rice-Workman properties and called the “Woodhouse” Ward.  Jody Workman was the choir director with his wife Caddie (Caroline Elizabeth Rice) as organist.

They bought a large steam engine for harvesting and did custom threshing with their crew of men.  The Rice-Workman Steam Threshing outfit was one of the first in the country and was operated by Scott, his two brothers Rile and Gus, and the Workman boys.  This family team broke up hundreds of acres of ground preparing the prairie soil for grain and planted crops for themselves and others. They bought large threshing outfits with bundle wagons, cook cars and all that was necessary to carry out harvesting.  Chloe cooked for them, living in a bunk car and cooking out of their wheeled cook car.  They moved their threshing outfit from farm to farm harvesting crops between Claresholm and Cardston.  Some years brought bounteous harvests and some were very disappointing. Alberta, with its early frosts, late springs, unexpected storms and long droughts, took its toll on their farming operation and harvesting cooperative.  The Rice-Workman Steam Threshing Company was no longer profitable and by 1915, nearly this entire original group had returned to Idaho.  Only Scott and Chloe, William Isaacson and Hazel Lavera Rice, and Jody Workman and Caroline Elizabeth Rice remained.  Leonard and Janie had already moved back in 1912 to live in St. Anthony, Idaho.

(Paper Plates of Rice by Elaine Rice Gibb Kimzey)

The year of 1910 was one of the driest years on record in this part of the country, and there were many forest fires west from Claresholm, in the mountains.  This summer, when Carl was two years old, their whole Woodhouse Ward packed up and drove their buggies and wagons down to Waterton, to camp for a week.  Carl still talked about what a wonderful time they had in that beautiful spot.  It must have made quite an impression on him at that young age.  WW I started in 1914, when Carl was six years old.  He remembered the beginning of this Great War and also recounted the Armistice celebrations which took place four years later, November 11, 1918. A parade traveled from Calgary all the way down to Fort MacLeod, a distance of over 100 miles.

On January 2, 1915, Scott Rice was returning from a trip into Claresholm by taking a shortcut following the railroad tracks, the only clear trail to and from town.  It was a cold and stormy evening, about eight-thirty, when he rode his horse from town, south to the farm.  During such a blizzard, it was not uncommon for him to find his way by following the railway tracks which diagonally transected the two eastern quarters of their section. No doubt the roads at the time would only have been poorly constructed trails formed by wagon and horse traffic and during a January storm, not easily traversed.  On this night as he rode home the wind was blowing hard from the south and he probably held his head tucked low, braced against the blowing snow. He did not know of train number 540, approaching from the north, and the bell and whistle when blown, were not heard in the storm.  He was but a few yards from where he would have turned off the track to go east towards his home and would have been home long before train time, had it not been for the fact that the horse was a very slow and quiet animal, and even with the noise of the train approaching, it failed to make any attempt to get out of danger.  He was struck by the train and thrown from the track.  Badly injured, he was taken by train to Granum where it is believed he died before reaching the town.  Claresholm did not yet have a hospital or the personnel to render the treatment his broken body required.  Dr. McMillan, of Granum, pronounced him dead at 10:30 p.m., from a closed head wound.

Chloe was in the house at the time and heard four long whistles which indicated an accident, and later heard a shot fired (probably as they killed the horse).  She sensed the danger and knew in her heart that something terrible had happened and worried that Scott had been involved, but it was not until the next morning that the family was told of the accident.  Carl’s vivid memory of that day was of the distress signal of those four long blasts blown by the train’s whistle, indicating an accident had occurred.  He still recalled that sound being repeated; the loss of his father impacted him heavily and he felt the loss of many ways.

It must have been overwhelming to Chloe to know she was now responsible for the family’s welfare, the youngest, Cyril, was not yet two years old and Otis was fifteen.  Carl was only seven years old.  He commented on remembering the coffin which held his father’s body as it remained in the center of the living room.  As a child it must have been a confusing and very sad time to feel the loss of his father, knowing the anguish his mother felt and yet not understanding what this meant for the future of the family.

Scott was buried January 6, 1915 in the Claresholm cemetery. Those of the family who remained in Alberta, church members and neighbors would have attended the funeral held in the L.D.S. “Woodhouse” church less than a mile from their farm home.  The bleakness of the weather that time of the year could only have added to the sadness Chloe and her young family must have felt as they buried a husband and father.  There was much concern and worry as Chloe contemplated how she would provide for her young family. She would have felt very much alone in her circumstance.  Whether financially unable to return to her family in Parker or whether determined to remain in the area of her husband’s dream, it is not clear.  Carl was baptized on his birthday August 5, 1916 by William J. Whitehead and confirmed the following day August 6, 1916, by David E Quist, in the Claresholm Ward.

At some time in 1917, the quarter section of land apportioned to Scott was traded by Chloe after his death for an half section of land adjacent to and west of the original Rice-Workman section. The remainder of the land owned by the Workmans was eventually sold – Bill Isaacson and Hazel Rice moved to Champion to farm; David “Gus” Rice and Priscilla Parkinson were already in that area. Chloe and her family were the only ones who remained in the Claresholm area from what began as a promising venture when Scott’s brother Riley envisioned the family farming enterprise.

Chloe moved to the half section, previously owned by Alfred Sorenson, because the house on the property was in better condition (built by Coles).  It is not certain about who was living in the three Rice-Workman homes but the family moved to one of the homes for only a short time before moving permanently to the new acreage. Years later one of the homes burned to the ground, one was purchased and moved to the current “Simpson” farm but has since been destroyed and the third home was moved into Claresholm (owned by Hope Oliver for years).

Soon after Carl remembers that Chloe planted many trees around the newly acquired farm.  He tramped around with her and helped plant them – it was a considerable amount of work as they planted over 100 trees of several varieties.  These grew in towering groves protecting from the wind and providing shade in the warm summer months.

In the early years of Carl’s education, he attended the Hoosier school, a one roomed country school which housed several grades at one time.  It was located adjacent to the railroad tracks one mile east of the farmhouse. The foundation and front step, along with a commemorative plaque, are still visible today.  Carl spoke often of the times he rode his pony and occasionally he walked.  He owned a favorite pony which he rode to school, raced and worked to perform other farm chores.  It was a lop-eared pony, but when it got frisky or tired, its ears would stand straight up. Carl knew to be prepared when it ears straightened, head dropped and then its knees buckled.  The pony would tumble down and whoever was riding either jumped off or toppled off when the pony lay down.  He rode this pony for many years and even during the last two years he attended at the Claresholm School.  The automobile was only just beginning to come into more affordable use.  Most of his youth on the farm was of the horse and vintage carriage.

We know little about his school days other than a few stories he’d tell of these early years.  He referred to the times when the children played “lame Indian”.  They would play this game with any new boy who moved into the area.  He says that you had to go up to the new greeny and ask him to play.  The fellow would be anxious to play and you would show him how it was done.  You then put your hand down like a stirrup and let him mount up upon your back to give him a ride.  Then you’d say it was your turn to be the lame Indian, so he’d put his hand down as a stirrup and you prepared to mount up.  The main difference being that you made sure you stepped in a fresh cow pie before stepping up onto his cupped hand.  He also related other boyhood games where one fellow would jostle with a schoolmate, while the other knelt on all fours behind them.  At a strategic point in the pretended confrontation, the schoolmate was backed up against the kneeling friend, and quickly toppled over backwards.  They no doubt engaged in these activities during recess or lunch breaks between school classes.

He also tells of the time two brothers from a neighboring farm, threatened to “clean his clock”.  One of them put up his dukes in front of him and the other sidled around behind him.  Carl immediately went into action and in one round house punch, he clipped the first one on the jaw, knocking him cold, and continued on around, also catching the other one on his jaw, and that was the end of the fight.  He once retold the story at the supper table and stood up to give a demonstration of the punch.  This time he hit the wall behind him as he twirled around, and sported a sore hand for a few days.

Sometimes Carl’s mischievous, boyish ways got him into a problem or two.  He and Dean Burbank were on their way home and had to go past the L.D.S. church located just a few hundred yards from the Hoosier school.  They started tossing rocks at each other, then over towards the church, where a couple smashed through some windows.  They were in a great deal of trouble when it was discovered who had damaged the windows.

The family continued to attend the Woodhouse Ward, which was comprised of families located around the area.  They belonged to the Alberta Cardston Stake when President E.J. Wood was the Stake President.  He often visited the northern wards, traveling by sleigh or buggy, and later with the use of early model-T ford cars. Bad roads or cold weather did not stop them from visiting the ward members.  The incident is related of a mission group traveling with President Wood from Gleichen to Calgary, by automobile. Carl’s Aunt Caddie (Caroline Elizabeth Rice married to Joseph Workman) was one of the ones making this trip with the group. While going over an irrigation culvert at an excessive speed, the occupants were all thrown violently to the top of the car. Caddie’s nose was broken and mashed against her face as she struck the bow of the top of the car.  A part of her broken glasses was forced into her nose close to her eye.  The group saw her bleeding and discolored nose mashed flat against her face.  In great pain and suffering, she begged President Wood to reach forth his hand, touch her nose, and bless her that her nose would be healed.  “So with a very peculiar feeling in which there was no fear, but a firm confidence, I put my hand on her nose, and with a prayer in my heart, told her that her nose would be alright.”  After placing bandages on her face, the party continued to Calgary.  “Imagine our surprise,” wrote President Wood, “when we untied the cloths from her face and noted that her nose was in perfect shape and the dark color had been removed.”  Sister Workman simply said, wrote the President, “She knew her nose would be healed when I touched it.” (The Life of Edward James Wood by Melvin S. Tagg)

The Relief Society was a much needed and often called upon group of women who administered care and nurturing to the members in their ward.  There were several times the sisters came to their home when they were ill or needed help.  One time, Chloe was struck by lightening and was badly burned.  The sisters were called to help, before the doctor arrived.  They always came offering their love and assistance.

It was quite a struggle for Chloe to run the farm and keep all of her children fed and clothed.  Carl and the rest of the children did what they could to keep the farm in operation, while Chloe cooked for threshing units which were close to Claresholm.  She was a good cook and learned the culinary skills necessary to feed the large groups of men who toiled on the threshing machines.  They were long and arduous days.

Carl worked on threshing crews off and on during his early years as did his oldest brother Otis.  Harvest time kept these threshing outfits busy for long hours each day.  Stooks were pitched into bundle wagons from the fields and taken to the thresher.  Driving the teams close to the tractor and past the screaming pulleys and whirling belts to stop beside the threshing machine, was a tense performance which always excited the nervous horses.  The teams stood still while the bundles were forked gradually into the mouth of the machine where the grain and straw chaff was separated by rows of teeth and screens.  A funnel delivered the beads of grain into the grain wagons to be hauled to granaries or town elevators.  The larger funnel belched the straw from the blower to the straw stack to be bundled for feed or scattered on the land.

It was an hard country in which to progress at the best of times, but without a father, the struggles were magnified for Carl’s mother and the rest of the family.  Chloe alone provided for her seven children and it was not until the work of raising her children was completed, almost twenty-five years later that she remarried, in 1940.  She married her brother-in-law who lost his wife, Hazel Lavera Rice, in 1922.  The loss of Carl’s father during these tender years must have been a sad, sad time in his life and a very difficult thing for him to accept.  He occasionally spoke of this loss when reminiscing about his early years and referred to the train, sometimes pointing in the direction of the tracks, only a mile east.

Carl worked with horses and loved to have them well trained. He spent many hard days plowing the land, seeding and harvesting with his horses.  The days were long and he would have to feed and groom the horses before he left for school.  Five a.m. came early when he had to prepare them for the day’s work.  He attended the Hoosier school for the first six grades and then transferred to Claresholm until grade eight.  Because of the pressures of farm responsibilities, at the age of fourteen, he was compelled to quit school to perform the farm work necessary for supporting the family.  He recounted having to stand on the manger to harness the horses until he was taller.  When he was twelve or thirteen, he recounts the time and old workhorse fell over on top of him and “pret near killed me.”  The whole family was used to hard work. Carl used to reminisce that you didn’t need an alarm clock when his mother was around.  She was an industrious worker who was up before the break of dawn at five a.m. or earlier, out hoeing in the garden, sewing or doing other household chores.  She expected nothing less of her children.

About 1926, after Otis returned from a mission to the Northern States, both he and Carl built the barn out of used lumber. It has been in use on the farm for over sixty years.  The wooden granary on the farm was at one time the church tithing granary, which stored member’s tithes and offering paid in grain.  When the chapel was moved into town in 1925, this granary was most likely purchased for use on the farm.  The fall of 1926 was very stormy and the thrashing had to be done the following spring.  Carl also had a hayrack bundle wagon he first used to gather stooks.  This wagon was pulled by horses and later by a tractor, being used many years to fill the barn with stooks, then bales, and was eventually replaced by the use of trucks.

He loved the out-of-doors and spent many days fishing in the “gap”, in the mountains.  A couple of times a year, they removed the grain box from the wagon, drove several days back to the mountains to haul wood back for use in the wood burning stoves.  The winters continued to be harsh, and very cold, with temperatures easily dipping into the -40 F.  In 1925, a group of young people got together and went on a fishing trip back in the mountains. Carl and a friend rode the 75 miles up there, on horses.  Fishing had always been one of his favorite sports and since that time, he had many enjoyable fishing and camping trips back in the mountains.

During these courtship years, Carl obtained his patriarchal blessing January 26, 1931 by E.W. Bushman.


Carl knew me through the Claresholm Ward, when we moved to town just before Dad died.  Effie Maude Simpson and Chloe Stoddard were friends in Rexburg, having roomed together when attending Rick’s Academy in the late 1890’s.  Carl’s recollection of first taking notice of me occurred sometime in 1928, when he drove his graham page car to Cardston to take a group of young people to the temple to do baptisms for the dead.  I was assigned to ride in his car.  He said that there was just a special tingle that went through him and he felt that there was something very special about that drive.  It wasn’t until several years later that we began to date formally, sometimes traveling to Lethbridge for ice cream or just taking drives in his car.  Occasionally he would be at Otis’s garage and would offer me a ride to school as I walked past.  We attended dances at the Claresholm Ward, performing the two-step, square dances, and waltzes.  Carl was a very good dancer and really enjoyed these activities.  A band from the Starline (Wyatt Nowlin and Wayne Strang) would sometimes come and play live music.  Carl was very quiet and shy in his courtship, but managed to offer a marriage proposal in the summer of 1935.  We dated for a year with two or three minor spats along with good times, then one night as we were going for a drive in the country, he stopped the car and said, “I think we should get married, don’t you?”  I was so surprised I couldn’t say anything.  I was nineteen and he was twenty-six at the time.  He had been running his mother’s farm for the past few years.  I wasn’t sure I wanted to get married, yet I was excited about it too.

One day his mother and my mother and Carl and I went to Calgary for a day shopping and as he and I were eating in a small restaurant, he tossed a small package across the table to me and said, “Here’s a little something I got for you – I hope you like it.”  I opened it up and there was a diamond ring, which I loved. I had never owned anything so beautiful.  From then on we made plans more in earnest.  His mother and Cyril were still on the farm, but they planned to let Carl take over the farm.  They were going to California for the winter, so our plans couldn’t be finalized until their arrangements could be made.  So it was around the first of November before we could actually set a date, which we finally did, for November 27, 1935.

During grade twelve, I was working for Mrs. Hazel Strang McCardell, (Grandpa Jesse Strang and the school teacher, Miss Calder) who lived across the road from us for $8 per month.  She was a tuberculosis patient who needed her housework done in the mornings.  I would fix something for supper for her and then leave in the early afternoon so she could sleep. She spent most of her time bundled up in bed and slept in the front glassed-in porch where she could receive lots of fresh air and sunshine.  So with earned money, I managed to buy a new winter coat and a small brown velvet hat and a new wine dress with a white cape like collar and a pair of brown slipper pumps with a bow on the top.  Mrs. McCardell and Miss Calder, the teacher, gave me a pink nightie and a black satin housecoat.  Mom made me a long white satin wedding dress and that was the extent of my new wardrobe.  But to me it was fit for a queen as I don’t think I’d had that many new things all at once, ever.  It was an exciting time and a scary time – one minute I’d say to myself “I wish Mom would say “No you can’t, you’re too young” and the next I’d be afraid she would say it!”

There was a bit of snow on the ground, but it was mostly an open winter, during that day we drove to the temple in Cardston. I drove down with Carl in his graham page car, while Mom went with Alfred Sorenson.  Carl’s mother was already in Cardston preparing to leave for California with Cyril, after the wedding.  The first session we attended was very large, being attended by many ward members (Sorensons, Bishop Quist, Bishop Toone, family members). This was my first time to attend the temple and both Carl and I took out our endowments together on this day.  Following this session, we Carl and Luella Rice Wedding Picture - 1935were married by President E.J. Wood, the sealing room and outside hallway, also full of family and friends who had come to attend.  President Wood talked to us and suggested that we attend another session, so we did not leave the temple until seven p.m. that night.  After the wedding we went to a restaurant to eat and then we stayed at the Spencer hotel in Cardston.  The next morning we went up to Aunt Mary Stoddard’s home (Chloe’s brother Sam and his wife) in Cardston, to say good-bye to Grandma and Cyril before they left for California.  This was a mistake, as Cyril had drained most of the gas from the tank, as a wedding prank.  As we drove back toward Claresholm, ten miles out of Cardston, the car suddenly began to sputter and the gas gage registered empty.  I had to sit alone for about three or four hours on the Indian reservation, while Carl caught a ride back to Cardston, and picked up a can of gas.  I remember being quite nervous and scared having to sit alone, with the doors locked, waiting for Carl to return.

Upon arriving at the farm later that evening, Carl found that all of his horses had broken down the gate and were now gone. Because it was too dark to search for them then, he had to wait until early the next morning before venturing out to find them.  I stayed in my farm home while Carl spent the next two days tracking them, finally locating them at a farmer’s corral, who had kept them there, awaiting for the owner to arrive.  He never did find his riding pony.

We then went to Empress Hotel in Calgary, where we did some shopping and attended several movies.  I wore my new clothes for our wedding photo taken at a studio.  We had a coupon for this picture.  It was nice to spend some time together, enjoying the sights of the city, shopping and taking in shows (orchestras in the pit playing for the silent movies).

Having not lived in the country since the age of eight, I found this farm life to be a very different lifestyle to me.  There were no conveniences as I had enjoyed since moving to town, where we had electric lights, a gas stove, running water, and were close to church and stores.  I found my life to be more isolated and lonesome, having always had other sisters and brothers around while growing up.  I learned to light coal oil lamps, cooked on a wood stove, washed clothes on a wash board with lye in the water to soften the water (had to skim off the lye and chemicals from the water), and hauled water in buckets from the well at the southwest corner of the house, and of course, there was the outhouse in the back by the old chicken house.  There were sad irons to be heated on the stove, butter to be churned, set hens to be tended, the separator to be washed once a day, and lamp chimneys to be cleaned. I gave up many of the conveniences to which I had grown accustomed to when living in town.

On our first Christmas, we went into town to spend the day with Mom, and the girls at the house, Mickey, Delena, Doris and Dona.  We enjoyed a turkey dinner with all the trimmings and spent the day visiting and playing games.  It was a very cold, cold winter that year.

In the spring of 1936, Chloe and Cyril returned from California and lived with us until after our first child, Allen Earl, was born in 1936.  He was a little baby, weighing about five pounds.  We named him after Carl’s older brother, Arlin Earl.

Luella (Oviatt) and Carl Rice and BoysWe settled down to many hard times and hard work without many conveniences.  Carl was up at 4 am to till the land with horses. The following year, in 1938, Carl bought a steel-wheeled lug Minneapolis tractor, which considerably eased his strenuous farm load.  During this time of the “dirty thirties”, the land became so very dry and barely productive.  Crops were sparse, but prices were also low, 25 cents a bushel for wheat, being a common payment.  The stems were so short that they were impossible to stook.  Carl had to build a special box to catch the heads of the wheat as they were cut by the binder.

My sisters, Delena, Mickey, Doris and Dona stayed in the home place with Mom.  Bud worked up in Stavely at this time.  Mickey was the postmistress and both Doris and Delena worked under her.  Donna was still attending school in town, not yet old enough to work.  In the winters after I was married, I would go up to town a couple of times and spend the day with Mom.  If a storm came up, Carl would walk up when the roads were drifted in.  On other occasions, I would sometimes spend time with the girls playing cards and generally enjoying their company.  Claresholm was still a growing town and was making the transition to the use of automobiles. There was still D.D. Dickmeyer’s big livery stable where people would bring their horses to be taken care of (North of Otis’s garage), and a blacksmith shop (across from the post office).  The Traveler’s Inn (south of Soby’s grocery store), the post office and a theatre rebuilt by T.C. Milnes, with a pit and orchestra.

When Carl and I were dating, he had a big graham page two-seater car.  His mother couldn’t drive it so Carl inherited it.  He eventually cut the back seat off and built a truck out of it after we were married.  One day, Grandma and her husband Bill Isaacson, came over from Champion, just a few days before Christmas.  Then Cyril, Bill and Carl went to Lethbridge and left Grandma, Allen and I home on the farm.  It was the Christmas program in town at the church.  We wanted to go but the men didn’t get back, and we waited and waited.  Finally, we decided we’d go alone and I was elected to drive, having never before driven anything.  I drove very slowly and we made out fine, and enjoyed the concert.  We again drove slowly home and found the men at home, wondering where we were. That was my first time driving alone and from then on I was not afraid to try it alone.

On June 28, 1938, three months before Gordon was born, Mom died.  She was out in the back yard working in the garden, when her throat suddenly swelled up from what she thought was a bee sting. The girls helped her into the house and put her to bed.  During this time, the power man, Mr. Prendergast, came to the house, and then volunteered to go to the hospital for an ice bag for her throat.  This still did not help the swelling go down and by the time the physician came, she was no better, having a very difficult time breathing.  He recommended that she be taken to the hospital. While there, they tried to lance the area in several places, but the swelling remained.  She died while the medical staff was working with her and it was listed on her death certificate that she had died of a thyroid hemorrhage.  No one is clear as to the real cause of her death, but she had suffered with goiter much of her life and this may have had an influence in her death.  Velma Miller made her burial dress and gave each one of us girls a small piece of the cloth.  Her funeral was held in the Claresholm Ward chapel, preached by Joseph Brown, our former bishop from the Pine Coulee ward.  It was a sad time for all of us, but particularly for the younger members of the family.  Dona was only two years old when Dad died and now only age fifteen at Mom’s death.

Ronald Gordon was born in 1938 and in the spring of 1941, Neil Lynn was born.  Allen needed glasses and was fitted at the age of five; he has worn glasses ever since that time.  World War II was well under way and the Canadian forces had been involved since 1939.  I remember the feelings of uncertainty during this time, and often, we would sit around the radio to learn of the latest battles.  Parley signed up with the Signal Corps of the Canadian Forces and served much of his time in France.  We always looked forward to receiving his letters from overseas.  In May of 1941, in Ontario, Doris married Stanley Westhaver, who was also serving during the war, in the army. When Stan served overseas, she came back to Claresholm, and lived in a home they had west of the school.  Delena was dating George Parkinson, who was also in the air force and served overseas as a gunner.  They were married in Claresholm in 1943.

Allen started school in 1942 and we had to drive him in to town or at times, alternated with our neighbors, the Whiteheads, so he could attend school in Claresholm, rather than the Hoosier school east of the farm, across the tracks.  We felt that school in town would be more comprehensive and they did not yet have a school bus system organized for the farming community at this time.

Rice Boys 1946During the weekdays, he occasionally stayed in town with Aunt Doe, while Stan was overseas, but he cried and cried when we left him there.  When Doris moved back east to be with Stan during his leave time from the army, we moved into their two-roomed house for one winter before moving back to the farm.  Carl also started working at the airport doing some carpentry work, building more of the hangars needed for the airplanes.  This helped supplement our income.  These years were a little more profitable even though food coupons were used, gas was rationed and appliances were not sold. All available metal was needed for military efforts.

During one of our visits to the girls at the home place, Gordon was upstairs playing.  The window happened to be open and there was no screen on it.  Somehow he tipped out of the window and fell two stories to the ground, barely missing an iron stake which protruded six inches out of the ground.  He was unhurt but very frightened and also scared all of us.

In the winter of 1944, we bought a house from Mickey, and moved back into town.  She was married to Alfred Hill in June of that year and was moving to Turin, northeast of Lethbridge.  This was a huge two-story white home on the southwest side of town.  It had a stairway on the outside and we rented out the upstairs to air force couples, while we lived downstairs.  Delena and George rented from us for a while after the war had ended, and Marie and Red Templeman lived next door (west) in a little white house.  This enabled the boys to go to school, and I enjoyed living back in town again, but Carl had to drive back and forth to the farm.  One night, while I was alone with the boys, a man tried to get into the house.  He knew the former tenant, so felt comfortable just walking in and attempted to come through a door of a room we had converted into our bedroom.  We had our bed pushed up against the door, which prevented him from opening it all the way.  His very insistent manner frightened me, but he finally left after I refused him entry and kept repeating that the woman he knew no longer lived here.

Laron Mervyn was born in 1945.  It was during this time that I was in the hospital with Laron, that Lynn became ill with appendicitis.  He was staying with Doris in her home back of the school, while I was in the hospital.  When Carl came in from the farm he took him quickly to the hospital and that night he was operated on, just before the appendix was close to rupturing.  It was about eight months later that I became ill and also had to have my appendix removed.  Carl looked after the boys while I was in the hospital, but Laron stayed with June Burbank until I recuperated. He had a hard time remembering who we all were and adjusting to us when he returned home again.  We lived in town until the spring of 1946, before we sold this home to obtain a down payment of $2000 to buy the farm, and then moved back out to live permanently on the farm.  The farm cost us $8000 at the time, a very large sum of money in these frugal times.

Carl enjoyed working with the farm animals and particularly enjoyed our dog “Ol’ Spike”, who was well trained to fetch the milking cows from the field.  They could be more than a mile down in the field and Spike would round them up, merely with a word or two from Carl.  As the boys began to grow older, old Spike was always at their side wherever they roved on the farm.  Carl recalled the time Gordon wandered down to where he was working in the field.  He watched the grain parting as both Gordon and the dog walked through it.  Gordon was still quite small, too small to be sent back on his own to the house.  So, he raised the lid to the drill box and sat him down in the back.  He continued on with his work and then came back to check on him.  It took him five minutes to stop laughing when he found him asleep, covered with thick dust. He picked him up and carried him back to the house, and chuckled as he related the incident to me.

When the war ended in 1945, we all went up by a vacant lot northeast of town and built a huge bonfire.  Towns and cities from Calgary to Lethbridge also lit bonfires, starting with Calgary. When the next town ten miles away saw the fire, they lit their own, and so on, all the way down the line. The whole town came out to celebrate and listen to radios telling of the end of the long war. When standing around talking of the end of the war, Red Templeman remarked that it still wasn’t very exiting.  He said, “Let’s do something for excitement”.  To emphasize his statement, he turned around and pounded his fist on the windshield of our old Chevy car. The passenger side, front window cracked into a large star, spreading out in all directions.  Red felt a bit foolish and later replaced the left half of the windshield.

Lenoy Whitehead, a neighbor south of us in town, a former classmate and a member of the church, was killed in the war.  He was the only one I personally knew who died in the war, but all of us knew people who had served in the war.  We were all very excited to know of the war’s end, that those serving would soon return home again, that rationing would end, and our lives would be more stable.

Carl continued to farm, using machinery he purchased and often had to repair.  He was very frugal and learned to make use of everything, figuring out how things worked, and repairing them long after they should have been worn out.  He was a plumber, carpenter, electrician, mechanic, heating specialist, and was not afraid to tackle work that was new to him.  He read up on the subject to increase his proficiency, and then went to work to accomplish the task.  The boys spent many hours with him, working in the garage or occasionally riding with in the fields.

One time, when Carl and I were operating the binder (it took two people to operate this machinery), I was driving the tractor and Carl sat behind the binder to oversee the whole operation.  He made certain the canvas pulled smoothly over the rollers, the blades cut the grain at the correct height, the pulleys and belts remained unjammed, and then he tripped the lever, lowering the stooks to the ground at the precise moment.  It required concentration and careful coordination of the machinery.  Allen and Gordon rode with me on the tractor, while the binder, pulled behind, cut the stalks of wheat and bound them together into bundles.  It was hot, dirty and dusty, and while sitting on the floor beneath the tractor seat, Gordon fell asleep to the lull of the engine.  He slipped off the tractor and landed between the steel-lugged bull wheel and the blades of the canvassed elevator of the binder.  It was a miracle that he fell only in this small area, for had he fallen in any other place; he most likely would have been badly hurt or killed by the machinery.  When I looked down to check on them, and seeing Gordon gone from his spot, I quickly jumped down from the tractor, leaving it still driving forward. Carl must have run up to stop the tractor, I can’t recall, because I was frantically searching for where he had fallen, praying for his safety, yet fearful of a tragic outcome.  By this time, Gordon was just behind the binder, most likely startled by the incident, but not really aware of the dangerous situation of which he had survived.  Badly shaken by the incident, I refused to drive the tractor any more and did not allow the boys anywhere around the machinery.  I’m not sure how Carl finished binding the grain without my help that year.

When shopping in town, at Erickson’s grocery store next to Otis’s garage, Carl spent time with Otis, and I went inside shopping.  Outside, there was a no-parking sign on a round cement block.  It twirled around and Gordon and Lynn were spinning on it like a merry-go-round, when it got out of control and crashed into the huge plate glass window.  Of course, they scurried back to the car, probably being about age 6 and 9.  The owner went running outside to catch the kids responsible.  We ended up paying about $30 to repair the damage, an expense which dipped into our small budget.  I think Carl switched them with a belt once we got home, the only time Lynn recalls being physically punished by Carl.

During the next five years, our boys became interested in and played much basketball between their required chores of feeding pigs, milking cows and helping with field work.  They spent many hours playing with the cousins when we all got together.  They played baseball, built the tree house, jumped in the hayloft and even built a raft for the slough.  We had many family get together with all my sisters and their families.  The cousins loved the outhouse!

Winters were long and cold and the drinking bucket was always frozen over.  The pot-bellied stove in the living room was frequently blazing to heat the whole house.  And every Saturday night, water was heated in the round tin tub for bathing for Sunday services.  Sometime during this time, we received electricity for the house, where we no longer had the inconvenience of coal oil and gas lamps.  There was a light system we purchased from Stig Johanson, a series of batteries, charged by a gas engine.  We kept them in the basement and when the lights began to dim, Carl would go out and start the engine.  It was several years later before we actually received power directly into the house.

One summer, Carl and I took a trip to Great Falls and Spokane with Jake and Lil Dunn (friends the Hills), and Mickey and Alfred. We both left our kids with Doris, and at church that Sunday, there was one whole bench filled with twelve little cousins.  We spent time shopping and enjoying the sites.

In 1950, after the harvest, when I was expecting, Carl took the train back east to Oshawa, Ontario to buy a new car.  He drove our first brand new car, a blue Pontiac, all the way back across Canada, and wrote me from Brampton, Ontario, lamenting his lonely drive home and voicing his concern about me having the “sense” to wait for him before having the baby.  Three days after his arrival home, Luella Gayle was born.  On that Tuesday afternoon, Delena announced to the Relief Society the birth of our new little girl, after having four boys.  They all clapped and cheered and were so very happy for us.

When Gayle was eighteen months old, we went up to Aunt Do’s home by the church.  She had a full little blue and white ruffled skirt on her dress, which caught fire as she crawled near the open doors of the gas stove in the living room.  It all happened so very quickly, with the fire lapping up the ruffles and singeing the back of her hair.  I wrapped her up in a dish towel to put out the fire, and then we raced her off to the hospital.  She spent one week in the hospital due to the resulting complications of pneumonia and an infection from the burns on her back.

Carl worked hard on the farm and we began to have a bit more money to upgrade our home.  In the early 1950’s, we got running water in the house which replaced the white washstand, basin and dipper in a bucket and the need to bath in the round tin tub.  We converted our pantry into a bathroom, adding a sink and cast-iron four-legged bathtub.  It was wonderful to now have running water directly in the house.  Allen began driving an old Plymouth car made into a truck, which had sat around on the farm for several years.  Prior to this time, both he and Gordon would walk into town to attend Mutual or basketball games.  It didn’t run very well and I think they learned some of their mechanical skills by tinkering with this car.  When they were really young they would go out and practice on an old thrashing machine parked out in the back, by taking it apart and attempting to put it back together again.  I don’t think Carl was very happy with their early endeavors to attempt mechanical repairs.

In 1953, we were blessed with another little girl, Lola Maureen, born six weeks prematurely.  We both spent that Christmas in the hospital and when we returned home, she slept most of the time for the first couple of months.  This was a very busy time in my life, caring for six children; Allen was seventeen years old when Maureen was a newborn.  In September 1957, Allen received his mission call to serve in Northern California, returning two years later, in 1959.  Gordon too, received his mission call to serve in South Africa from November, 1958 until December, 1960.  We all drove down to the Lethbridge bus depot with Eddie Toone, to send Gordon off.  They had saved some money for their missions, but it was a struggle to have them both serve for one year at the same time.  Gordon had worked on a bridge crew and painted bridges throughout the area.  It was during this time that we took in two foster children, Nicky and Darrell Metz, who lived with us for the following four years.  Aunt Mary and Uncle Jack and Doris and Stan also took in children from this same family.

In 1959, I was very ill, having suffered a miscarriage.  I was hurriedly taken to the Claresholm Hospital and badly in need of blood transfusions.  George Parkinson rushed to Calgary and brought it back to the hospital here.  I was hospitalized for several weeks and Carl was left to care for the family while my health returned.

The Rice FamilyDuring these years of my marriage I continued to work in the church:  having taught in the Primary prior to my marriage, I also worked with Sister Gwen Toone in 1943, as a second counselor.  I participated as the Relief Society magazine director under Artence Rice (sister-in-law) in 1948, taught nursery class in Sunday school in 1949, became gospel doctrine teacher in 1950.  I was again a second counselor in the Primary, set apart August 24, 1952, then became a Relief Society worker to teach the Social Science lessons the 17 October, 1954.  Then I taught the genealogy lessons in Sunday school from January 1955 to January 1957, and was later set apart as the ward work director counselor or second counselor in the Relief Society August 12, 1956.  On September 24, 1961, I was set apart as a counselor in the Relief Society by Bishop Henry Toone.  Carl and I went to Salt Lake City to Conference in 1952 and saw President David O. McKay and the other General Authorities of the church. And it was on July 24, 1954 that Carl and I and our six children attended the dedication of the new Claresholm Ward Chapel, when Milton R. Hunter spoke.  We also all attended the dedication of the Calgary Stake Center September 16, 1956 – Lynn, Laron, Gayle, Maureen and I all shook hands with President and Sister McKay.

While serving in the Relief Society, an incident took place in which a disagreeance occurred.  Being in a leadership role, I became personally distraught and very concerned in attempting a resolution.  One night, while unable to sleep and constantly ruminating a possible solution, I heard my mother’s voice come to me in a distinct and clear voice.  It was quiet but unmistakably her voice, as she lovingly told me not to worry about this problem, it was not worth it.  My impression was that she was very concerned about me and that things would eventually work out.  It was not worth my constant attention and worry.  As it so turned out, things somehow did become resolved and did return to normal.  I was appreciative of this manifestation and concern for my welfare, and realized that the veil, at times, can be very thin, in our receiving help from those who very much love us and worry about what we do in this life.  This confirmed my assurance of life after death, and strengthened my testimony.

Shortly after Allen and Gordon’s missions ended, Lynn left October 20, 1961 to serve in the Eastern States of Connecticut and New York.  He participated in the Hill Cumorah Pageant for both years and wrote to us of New York City and Niagara Falls and returned in October, 1963.  I spent many hours writing weekly letters to all of the boys when they were away on their missions. Both Allen and Gordon married during Lynn’s mission.  Allen married Linda Irene Neitz, in 1962 and four months later, Gordon married Carol Elaine Sandusky.  Both Gordon and Lynn started school at Ricks College in September, 1963.

I started work at the Claresholm Care Center and was trained as a nurse’s aid, to care for patients suffering from mental disorders.  I enjoyed the work and learned many different skills and continued to work varying shifts for the next seven years.  Ron started school at Ricks in September of 1964, one semester before leaving on his mission for the Western States Mission February 20, 1965 to March 1, 1967.  Gayle, Maureen, Carl and I, all traveled to Rexburg in May of 1965 when both Gordon and Lynn graduated from Ricks College.  They had an extra cap and gown, so I donned it and we took pictures all standing together.  Gordon and Carol had their small daughter, Susan Joy, when they attended school.  During the graduation ceremonies, Lynn received a trophy for his acting in several drama productions.

Lynn continued his education at Brigham Young University the next year and in January of 1967, joined the U.S. army.  This was during the Vietnam War, when many were drafted into service.  He was eventually called to go overseas and served a tour of duty in Vietnam from May, 1968 to September, 1969.  Carl and I, Gayle, Maureen and Mickey all drove together to take him to Great Falls to send him off to training before being shipped to Vietnam.  He served as a photography specialist and was fortunate not to see direct action, but knew some who were killed in action.  When he was on leave, several helicopters were destroyed on his base and a few men lost their lives.  It was a time of worry and concern, with our prayers always focused on his safe return.

At one point, we did not receive any letters from Lynn for several weeks, which then stretched into a couple of months. Despite our continuous writing every week, we did not hear anything back.  Fearing the worst and not knowing what could possibly be taking place, I began to search for a letter that we had received from his commanding officer, orienting us to his tour of duty. Somehow, I had misplaced it, and the more I searched in vain, the more anxious and distraught I became.  For several days, I looked in every conceivable place, with no success.  I knew then, that the only way I would be able to find this letter was to pray to the Lord and ask for his help.  I knelt down and asked for intervention, because I had done all I could.  Immediately, upon rising, I went directly to a dresser drawer and retrieved the letter with the address of his commander.  Several days following my letter to the commander, we received a letter from Lynn.  He must have been very distressed and frustrated with his situation there, in not communicating with the family.  I am not sure of the details, but for the remainder of his tour of duty, we received his letters quite regularly.  Carl and I, Gayle, Maureen and Lois went to Great Falls to pick him up from his honorable army discharge.

Laron had been attending university at BYU, and he met his wife, Lois Rayl, from Pleasant Grove.  They were married in 1969 in the Salt Lake Temple.  During this summer, we did extensive remodeling of our living room and bedrooms.  The following year, in 1970, it was discovered that I had cancer, where I had to undergo both surgery and chemotherapy.  I decided to quit work at the Care Center and spent several month recuperating.  My patriarchal blessing refers to the times that my life would be spared through the power of priesthood blessings.  This certainly was a fulfillment of that part of my blessing.

I had spent much of my service in the church within the Relief Society, many times as a teacher and several as a counselor.  It was in July of 1974 that I was asked to serve as Relief Society President and did so for the next two years.  Elizabeth Toone and Emma Brown served as my counselors.  It was a time of growth and service and during the first several months, it seemed to us as though we were caterers, because there were so many funeral dinners and church farm dinners to be organized and carried through.

Carl and Luella RiceWe took many trips to the States, mostly to Idaho and Utah, to take our kids to and from school, attend a wedding, and several graduation ceremonies.  Gayle graduated from Ricks College in 1972 and then BYU in 1974.  Maureen received her degree from Ricks College in 1975, her Bachelor’s degree from BYU in 1977 and her Master’s degree in Organizational Communications in 1980.

Carl and I continued our life on the farm and actively participated in the Claresholm Ward.  Our children all left to pursue their own interests, in education and life.  We did some traveling and financially, we were more satisfied and able to help our children with some of their needs.  Gayle, Carl and I took a trip to Utah and then Maureen came with us to San Francisco to visit Lynn, who now lived there after returning from Vietnam.  We also visited with Carl’s younger sister Idonna, who lived north of San Francisco.  We visited many of the sites, such as Fisherman’s Wharf, the winding street, and watched many of the large ships come into port.

Carl found the farm life more demanding, but he continued to pursue the work that he had always loved.  Farming was the primary work of his life and something which he dearly enjoyed, despite the long hours and heavy work.  There were times when we had pigs, then cattle, or both, but we usually had additional animals to supplement our farming income.  We always had chickens for fresh eggs and quite often milked several cows for milk and butter.  Carl enjoyed the freedom afforded by farming, loved the outdoors, and liked working the land and watching it produce new crops.  There were heartaches when hail or drought damaged the grains, but we always had sufficient for our needs, and have felt blessed of the Lord in raising our family and living this farming lifestyle. There were also times when farm life was difficult, demanding of our skills and time, consuming our energy and tying us down, but overall, there has been a quiet peace and beauty in the farm.

We have taken advantage of living close to the mountains, and despite my frustration with tents, camping and cooking in the outdoors; we did spend some of our vacation time west of our home. Between planting and the harvest, we would pack up our gear, and take the family on a two or three day fishing trip.  I never fished but stayed close to the camp and took short hikes, enjoying the scenery.  I rarely went with Carl or the boys, since they traversed many miles in their efforts to catch the “one that got away”.  They sometimes went all on their own, leaving me to the comforts of my home, which I did not mind.  The kids all have a fundamental appreciation of the outdoors, even though they are not all fishing enthusiasts.

Carl’s favorite day would be spent on the Race Horse river, or the northwest branch of the Old Man river, where he’d not see another person fishing the whole day.  He liked to reminisce about the times of going to the mountains by horseback, when the fishing catch was abundant and the fish size enormous (perhaps some exaggerated remembering).  He often told of the time he was fishing and chanced upon another fellow fishing a nice hole.  He asked how it was going and the man related his unsuccessful attempts to catch a large fish, which nibbled but refused to solidly bite his hook. Carl says he asked permission to give it a try, so he threw in his line and within a short time had pulled out three large fish, much to the surprise of this astonished man.  He often donned his hip waders, fishing vest, and favorite hat, adorned with fish hooks and tied flies.  My image of his fishing days consist of seeing him standing waist deep in a flowing river, happily casting his line into a likely spot.  He became quite adept at fly fishing, fine honing his casting style, proficiently learning to tie flies, and skillfully executing the art of surprise in quietly sneaking up on the fish.

Our life within this quiet farming community afforded the opportunity to associate with many fine people, several of whom have been our neighbors, since moving to the farm.  We were able to more frequently attend the temple and took many trips to Cardston by ourselves or else with others from the ward.  Most frequently we would leave early in the morning taking in two or three sessions in a trip.  We sometimes thought of moving closer to Cardston, but the farm has always been a priority and I don’t really think that Carl would have sold it.  He always felt that it would serve as a refuge for his children if the times ever became severe enough that society at large could not support the current lifestyle.  We spent many quiet evenings at home, reading the Book of Mormon or other church references, often alluding to the signs of the times.  One of Carl’s favorite sayings about the future involved the dividing of the righteous from the wicked, “the righteous will become more righteous and the wicked more wicked, so much so, that there will be a great separation between the two”. He watched the changes within our world and was convinced of this separation, believing that the church members would need to be very supportive of one another, in order to survive the coming calamities.  We have always practiced family prayer, where we have knelt before the Lord, night and morning, to express our gratitude and to ask for blessings in our lives.  Many times I have felt the spirit of the Lord in answering our prayers, not with an abundance financially, but with good health, sufficient for our needs, and protection from evil influences.

In 1984, Carl suffered a massive heart attack and had to drastically cut back on the heavy farm work.  I think he found it difficult to give up his physical freedom in completing work he had done his whole life, but he gradually turned over much of the farm responsibilities to Ron.  Ron and Lois lived on the farm for a while and then later purchased their own ranch ten miles west of the farm.  He then farmed both acreages, helping Carl do most of the labor here.  He helped out doing the lighter farm work and was very much involved in decisions made concerning the crop production.

In November, 1985, all of our children worked together to organize a celebration honoring our 50th wedding anniversary. They invited family and several friends to attend a dinner held in the ward auditorium.  They put on a small program, and had us sit at an head table, where everyone clinked their drinking glasses, compelling us to give the obligatory kiss in front of the crowd. We were not really used to this attention and were a bit shy about it all.  Gayle had made a decorated cake and we even had pictures of us cutting the cake, kind of a celebration which we never had when we were married fifty years ago.  It was a very, very cold day, with no snow, but we were grateful for the efforts of everyone in honoring our time together.

Carl Rice - Funeral CardIn the fall of 1986 Carl completed the summer fallowing, and then we took a trip to Utah to spend almost a month with Maureen. We traveled throughout southern Utah and towards the first part of November returned to Alberta before the weather conditions worsened for driving home.  One evening we attended a ward bazaar at the school, and we remained talking with many of the members, enjoying our time with them.  After returning home, Carl began to experience more chest pain late that evening.  He debated on having one of the boys come and give him a blessing, but it was late and he made the decision to not call this time of night.  It was in the early morning hours of Tuesday, November 11, 1986, that Carl again suffered a massive heart attack, which took his life and he died suddenly in our home.  I called to have Lynn and Ron come down to the house, knowing that Carl probably could not be revived.  We called the paramedics who pronounced him dead about 3 a.m., and then took his body to the hospital.  Funeral services were held the following Saturday afternoon.  A sudden storm, with blowing snow and cold temperatures hampered the travel of many who called to offer their condolences, but felt the roads were too hazardous to make the trip to the funeral.  Carl always disliked traveling under adverse conditions and would have told everyone to stay at home anyway, rather than drive under such conditions.

Luella 2001 @ farmThis has been one of the most trying times of my life and for several months, I had major adjustments to make.  It was difficult to conceive of a life without Carl, my companion of fifty-one years.  I chose to stay on the farm where things were familiar.  It was a comfort to still be reminded of my past married life, while at other times, there were painful remembrances of the loss.  I had many hours of time to myself and I became more accustomed to my new life.  Shortly after, I was called to the French Extraction Program in the ward and learned to love doing this genealogy work.

Mom in her kitchen on the farm 2002In the fall of 1989, Gayle and I were preparing to go on a trip to meet Maureen in Portland to spend some time with Renee and Allen Rhyason.  I needed my temple recommend renewed prior to the trip, so made an appointment with President Beazer, of the Fort MacLeod Stake.  Instead of commencing the interview, he just sat and looked at me for a long time, and then he finally said, “How would you like to go on a mission?”  I responded that I hadn’t really thought about it.  He didn’t say anything for a long time, and then he looked me straight in the eye and then continued by telling me that he could envision both Carl and I walking hand in hand to the Celestial Kingdom.  He then proceeded with my temple recommend interview.  Just as he knew it would, his words about a mission stuck in my mind, and one day several months later, as I sat across the desk from Bishop Wynder, I asked him if he had suggested a mission for me to the Stake President.  He said that he hadn’t, but thought it would be a good idea.  I then said “if it seems like a good idea, then I am willing to try.”

It was in March of 1990, that I packed my suitcases and headed to Salt Lake City to spend the next year working as a Church Service Missionary in the Family History Department.  I traveled to Utah with Allen and Linda, who were picking up Chad after his mission to Arizona.  Maureen had obtained a third floor suite in the Garden apartments for me.  Many missionaries lived in this area and I soon became accustomed to my new life, so far away from Alberta.  I was very nervous starting out and worried excessively that I would not be capable of doing the work.  But, I remembered my setting apart blessing, which specifically promised me success and the ability to participate fully in the duties required of me. And, of course, just as everyone else knew, I soon learned my responsibilities and grew to love my time there.  Evelyn Hooker and Gwen Toone were also serving some of their mission during my tenure.  I met many wonderful people from all over Canada and the United States and we were able to associate both at work as well as during extra-curricular activities.  My days were busy, up at 6 a.m., to devotional in the visitor’s center by 7:15, and then off to the fourth floor of the Church Office Building to spend the remainder of the day from 8:00 until 4:30.  We took about an half hour off for lunch, usually eating in the large lawn area with a fountain, situated directly east of the temple.  If the weather was warm I would take a lunch to eat outdoors, or at other times, would eat in the basement cafeteria.  The prices were very reasonable for a nice meal.  Every day I would walk about four city blocks, Salt Lake City blocks, that is, but the walks were good for me.  My health was good the whole time I served my mission, except for a bout with bronchitis towards the end of my mission.

Maureen and I spent nearly every weekend together, touring the sites, attending concerts on temple square, shopping or occasionally attending a good movie, such as “Driving Miss Daisy”. She usually drove to Salt Lake, but sometimes I took the express bus to the mall in Orem and then she’d pick me up.  I did not take my car to Salt Lake and even if I had, I would have felt very nervous driving on those very busily trafficked streets.  I was glad not to have the worry and soon got very used to walking everywhere.  During the year, we attended the Manti Temple Pageant, the David Whitmore open-air play in Idaho, and several parties, all with the missionaries from my area.  On Mondays, we held family home evening, rotating the meeting location, and I attended church in a building across the street north from my apartment.  Nearly every Sunday morning we walked to Temple Square to hear the “Spoken Word” broadcast, sitting through the practice sessions and then remaining for the actual performances.  I felt privileged to participate in so many wonderful activities.

The Rice Family1On weekends, Maureen took Evelyn and I shopping, since there were no grocery stores within walking distance.  During the last six months of my mission, Maureen and I spent hours in the genealogy library Xeroxing and computer downloading genealogy on both the Oviatt and Rice sides.  Brad and Jolayne sometimes came down to do research, since Brad was taking a genealogy class at BYU.  So my time here was full and productive and I always had things to do to keep me busy.  I enjoyed my time in my small apartment and didn’t mind not having a permanent roommate.


During the summer, President Brimhall allowed me to take two weeks off to come home.  Gayle and Dona drove down and then we spent a few days, before all driving up to Oregon to spend some time at Canon Beach, visiting Renee and Allen, and then driving to Victoria Island and across British Columbia for a few days with Jocelyn and Shawn in Vernon.  We then drove home to the family reunion in High River.  It was wonderful to visit everyone again, but I missed my mission work and felt the loss of the spirit being away from it.  Maureen, Gayle and I drove back to Salt Lake and then Gayle drove her car back to Alberta.  It was comfortable to be doing the work I was called to do on my mission, and I was soon back into my former routine.

Luella_and_Grandchildren___Chad_Rice Luella_Rice_and_grandkids (1)During the Christmas season, there were concerts every night on temple square and Maureen and I attended many of them, including the Christmas message in the tabernacle, by the First Presidency, and “The Messiah”, performed by the Utah Symphony and the Oratorio Society.  This December, Gayle and Lynn drove to Utah, and we spent Christmas in Provo, with Maureen.  It was a very cold winter, quite unusual for Utah, and Gayle and Lynn were disappointed in not coming down to more balmy weather.  We had a fun time and this was probably my first Christmas away from my Alberta home.  We had all the trimmings, with a tree, decorations, presents, turkey dinner and snow.  One afternoon we all traveled to Salt Lake to see the western movie, “Dances With Wolves” at a theatre with a huge, wide movie screen.  Later on, we went to see the lights on Temple Square, but it was so bitter cold that we didn’t wander around too long.

Luella_Rice_and_GrandkidsAll too soon, my mission came to a close, with me packing up my belongings and saying my good-byes, to many wonderful people I had come to know and love.  It had truly been a growing experience and strengthened my testimony of the gospel and increased my love for a God who was mindful of me and knew exactly what would help me out the most, after Carl’s death.  I regained my confidence and found that anything is possible with the help of the Lord.  I returned home in April of 1991 to resume my life on the farm with my family and ward activities.  Not too long after my return, I was again called to the French Extraction program in the ward, working one day a week with Alice Chatterton.  My return had ended my long, productive days, daily walks and continuous associations with my missionary companions.

IMG_4183But it was nice to be back in my own home and I soon settled back into a comfortable, slower paced lifestyle.  I enjoyed being closer to my family, back into my familiar ward and able to drive my car again. Things are not as busy as they were on my mission, but I enjoy this settled lifestyle and cherish the memories created.

Leonard Gurley Rice 1829-1886

Leonard Gurley Rice (1829-1886)

Source: Rice Pioneers: Family Groups and Stories, compiled by David Eldon Rice. Pocatello, Idaho. 1976. No copyright information listed. Editor’s note: This work contains a few minor changes to David Rice’s compilation.


Leonard Babbit Rice and Elizabeth Babbit RiceLeonard Gurley’s parents, Ira and Sarah Ann Harrington Rice, were living in Northville, Wayne County, Michigan, when he was born September 3, 1829. Missionaries came to their home in Michigan while Leonard was a young child, and the family became members of the newly restored Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and soon joined the body of the Church at Nauvoo, Illinois. He remembered well, watching his father and other men helping on the building of the Temple there. He remembered, too, those sorrowful days surrounding the martyrdom of the Prophet Joseph Smith and his brother, Hyrum Smith. He stood with the thousands of Saints in that hot summer sun when their bodies were returned to Nauvoo in an open wagon.

The Rice home was burned by mobs the year the Mormons crossed the Mississippi River in 1846. Leonard’s father and two of his older half-brothers had preceded him to Utah to prepare ahead for the rest of the family. By this time his mother, Sarah Ann, had given birth to twelve children, ten of whom were living. Leonard, who was then 19, and the oldest son of the remaining children, carried the responsibility of bringing part of the family, Oscar North, 15; Adelbert, 9; Hyrum Smith, 4; Adeline, 11; and Caroline, about 7; across the plains to Utah. It was a great disappointment to Ira that not all of his family came with Leonard. Sarah Ann, the wife and mother, had, no doubt, died, for no mention is made of her. The motherless children were often placed in the custody of someone in the family until they were old enough to sustain themselves.

A Family of His Own

Elisabeth Babbit 1830Leonard Gurley returned the next year to help other emigrant trains. He met and married Elizabeth Almira Babbitt at Kanesville, who was already planning to travel West with the next company. Their honeymoon was spent driving teams along the pioneer trail to Utah. Leonard was made Captain over ten wagons and his wife did much of the driving of their own wagon. They made their home in Farmington, Utah.

Leonard had proven himself to be an expert horseman and one who could drive an ox team with skill. He had learned the advantages of friendliness and patience with people and he had an empathy for them that made him humble, as well as noble, and he knew how to keep the wagon train moving. These attributes of leadership put him in high demand as a wagon master for many trips back and forth across the pioneer trail.

In 1851, Leonard returned again to Iowa, hoping to bring the rest of his father’s family. In a letter to his wife, Elizabeth, he wrote that he had seen his older sisters who had married and preferred not to join the Saints in Utah, and that his younger brother, Ephraim, who would have been 5 or 6 years of age, had drowned. This loss grieved Leonard much, for he had been most anxious that all of his mother’s family be reunited in Utah. Again, he made no mention of his mother in his letter, so we have to assume that she had died earlier.

On a later trip, he met his wife’s dear girlhood friend, Margaret Buckwalter, who had been widowed, but who had remained firm in her determination to get to Utah. Upon their arrival in Utah, a sweet experience saw Leonard and Margaret married as Elizabeth placed Margaret’s hand in Leonard’s in marriage on 2 January 1853. Leonard’s two families, Elizabeth’s 11 and Margaret’s 7 (though not all of these children grew to maturity) lived close for many years to enjoy a unity seldom found in single families.

Mission Call & a New Wife

Leonard’s life was one of sacrifice for others. Between the years of 1848 and 1867, there are repeated incidents of calls to assist not only the pioneers on their trek westward, but rescue missions to destitute areas in outlying colonies. Leonard had the faith and courage of his families in Farmington while he was away from them so much of the time. Because of his skillful handling of teams, wagons and people, he was in demand as a wagon master and Captain. He was a frequent companion of President Young on his many ‘preaching tours’ to new colonies as the Church spread to outlying areas. He was called upon to help in the rescue of the Martin Handcart Company. He, with other elders, took six wagonloads of supplies to the stranded company under the leadership of Edward Martin. He was one of a party of men called to assist in the Green River Expedition to Wyoming in 1853. In 1854, he again went with Brigham Young to settlement outposts in Southern Utah and into areas that later became Southern Nevada. There was also the time he was part of a rescue party sent to meet a company of pioneer Saints stranded in winter snows. They found and carried men too weak to walk, women almost frozen, and many children through the icy waters of the Sweetwater River. Never had men witnessed so much misery and suffering. That night, the bedraggled and freezing rescue party made camp for the destitute company five miles west of the Sweetwater River. It took almost a month to get back to Salt Lake City. Leonard took cold and became severely ill, from which he never fully recovered.

It is noted in Journal History of 1857 that Governor Young and a party of travelers left Salt Lake City to visit Idaho settlements along the way to the Salmon River Valley. The distance of this trip to Fort Lemhi was 380 miles. Their teams, carriages and wagons made the trip in 32 days. Leonard Gurley Rice was said to have driven Brigham Young’s carriage. Roads were non-existent. Fort Lemhi had only recently been established in 1855.

On 1 May 1865, soon after the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, Leonard was called on a European Mission by the Church. He left Elizabeth Almira, whose last child was due in September of that year, and Margaret, with her family of young children, in Farmington, with instructions for the older children to carry on and help their mothers all they could. It was 5 July 1865, when he and Elders Nathaniel H. Felt and Aureleus Miner began their journey by Overland Stage. They reached New York City August 19, and boarded the S.S. Virginia for bound England. Leonard performed an honorable mission. Through prayer, his knowledge of the Gospel increased and he was able to overcome the temptations of discouragement and the things of the world. In a letter to his family he wrote, “My heart and mind are upon my children more than all things else in this world … I am thankful to say of myself (God be praised) I stand firm … I hope to perform the balance of my mission as honorable as I have what is past … May God bless you all is the prayer of your husband and the children’s father.” He was released from his mission on 21 March 1867.

Leonard’s return home did not end his calls from the Church. He was assigned to be in charge of relief wagon trains sent to meet companies of Saints coming to Utah. On his last wagon train trip in 1867, he had command of foreign converts from many lands speaking different languages. In that last crossing was Lucy Jane Stevens, who became his third wife. Ruth May Fox was in this same company and some of her written words, expressing appreciation for Leonard Gurley as a Captain, were these:

“No one who has not had the actual experience of crossing the great plains … can realize what it meant to be a Captain of a large company of emigrants of different nationalities, various occupations and decidedly diverse habits of life, some of whom had never camped out at night in their lives, who had not so much as seen a yoke of cattle, and of course, did not understand the language which frontier oxen were accustomed to….There were weary ones to be encouraged, the over-zealous to be held back; order must be maintained, rations measured out, and men appointed to guard the cattle and the camp; many of these had never seen an Indian nor fired a gun … With Leonard as Captain, I remember him as a fine looking man, spoken of as an ideal leader who was not known to have lost his temper the whole of the journey, and of whom I heard few complaints….Oh, what could we have done without a Captain? God bless his memory.” (Source not given.)

Leonard and Lucy Jane Stevens were married in Salt Lake City on 11 January 1868. They became parents of seven children; the youngest was only two weeks old when Leonard passed away on 12 September 1886, having suffered from pneumonia he contracted in the penitentiary while awaiting trial as a polygamist.

He saw the Church grow from a small beginning to be well established in the Valleys of the Rocky Mountains. He left a large posterity and bore a strong testimony of the divinity of the restoration of Christ’s Church on earth. He was buried in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Ira Rice (1793-1868)

Ira Rice (1793-1868)

Source: Rice Pioneers: Family Groups and Stories, compiled by David Eldon Rice. Pocatello, Idaho. 1976. No copyright information listed.


An admirable attempt has been made in recent years to establish verification for the incidents and circumstances that surround the life and works of Ira Rice. Some details have been rather allusive and what has been written concerning him has not always been accurate. The following is written according to that which has been given in several accounts and include such statements that seem to have common agreement.

Ira Rice & the War of 1812

Ira was born on October 28, 1793 at New Ashford, Berkshire County, Massachusetts, the son of Titus Rice. His mother’s name is recorded as Lois, but her maiden name is yet unknown. Ira was the youngest child in his family and became an orphan early in life. We find him living with relatives in Western New York State where he grew to manhood. A state of unrest existed in his home area following the boundary dispute that had been settled after the Revolutionary War. The British, in that particular area, held territories to the West of the thirty-mile distance of the Niagara River, between Lake Ontario and Lake Erie. Ira became familiar with the fertile land that bordered both sides of the river and he, no doubt, had heard much about the importance of waterways to American shipping. The British, holding the opposite bank of the river, were well fortified. For some time prior to the War of 1812, both British and Americans engaged in preparation for a coming conflict.

It is noted that Ira enlisted in the War of 1812 when he was 19 years of age. His enlistment papers describe him as a farmer, five feet eight inches tall, light hair, blue eyes, having come from New Ashford, Berkshire County, Massachusetts.

The American recruits were poorly equipped and wretchedly disciplined. Their weapons were personally owned and they were without uniforms, but their cause was real. During Ira’s eighteen months of service, and while at Fort Erie, the near defeated British put the American Independence to one more of its many tests. They set fire to a powder magazine, resulting in an explosion that scattered a small force of two hundred or more men in every direction. Nearly all of the American boys were either drowned trying to escape across the river or were shot at the bank. Ira slid over the bank and saved himself by swimming downstream four miles to safety. He liked to tell how he leaped over the steep bank into a small hemlock tree, broke off a limb, and with it slid into the dancing waters below the falls of the Niagara River to escape with his life. It was January 1, 1813, the end of his last enlistment period.

The Ira Rice Family

A year later Ira married Minerva Saxton, and to them was born five children: Ira Jr., Asaph, Maryette, Juliette and William Kelsey. They lived in Farmington, Palmyra, and other near areas of Ontario County, New York.

Details grow dim, but the Rice’s, who were living so near the place where the Prophet Joseph Smith received his first vision, must surely have heard of this sensational event. It was in this area that Ira’s wife, Minerva, died in 1824, and it seems evident that, shortly following, Ira accepted a Government payment to veterans of the War of 1812 in the form of a land grant in Michigan. Though the land was considered unfit for habitation, it must have given Ira one of his greatest challenges.

It has been said that Ira married his second wife, Sarah Ann Harrington, before leaving for Michigan. She was the daughter of Benjamin and Ruth Harrington. Census records of Wayne County, Michigan list Ira and Sara with five sons and three daughters which, no doubt, included the three living children of Minerva, showing that Sarah Ann had added five children to Ira’s family. By 1831, the Rice family had moved to Ypsilanti, Washtenaw County, Michigan, and six or seven more children were born to them while there.

In spite of the unfavorable account given concerning the wilds of Michigan, men such as Ira tackled the task of cutting down trees, building log cabins and planting crops. Ira and his sons shot bears and their pelts were used as bed coverings and rugs. Fish, wild game and wild fruit were plentiful and, at times, their only food supply. His land holdings, as well as his personal property and livestock gains prove that Ira’s move to Michigan was a successful venture.

Pioneering West

The Rice’s were visited by missionaries of the newly organized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the family became members in about 1840. The spirit of gathering urged them to join the driven Saints in Nauvoo, Illinois. Records show the extensive property and livestock holdings of Ira Rice and his sons in and near Nauvoo, as well as farmland property in Pontoosuc Township. Had the Rice’s renounced their religion and remained in Illinois; they could well have become wealthy people. We are told that their comfortable home near the Temple was burned by the mobs. It is thought that Ira and his family were among the many who left Nauvoo in February of 1846 and crossed the Mississippi into a snow covered wilderness.

While at Mt. Pisgah, Ira and his son, William Kelsey, returned to Nauvoo to obtain grain and other supplies from their farms. They were successful in obtaining as much as could be loaded in their caravan of wagons.

Early in the spring of 1847, Ira was preparing to leave Council Bluffs with the first company of emigrants. Once more President Young felt that it would be wise for Ira to return to Nauvoo for more grain and supplies. Ira owned good teams and wagons and was able to freight supplies and assist many families to get to Winter Quarters, including the Orson Pratt and Lorenzo Snow families. For this reason, the trek further West, for the Rice’s, was delayed until a later company left. One written sketch asserts that they were assigned to Captain Hunter’s 100, C.C. Rich’s 50, and Shurtliff’s 10 that left Winter Quarters June 21, 1847. In the same sketch we are told that Ira Rice, his two sons, Asaph and William Kelsey and William Kelsey’s wife, Lucy, and their baby daughter, Ellen, arrived in the Salt Lake Valley, September 28, 1847, and spent the Winter in the Old Fort.

Ira Rice in Utah

In those early companies, it was not unusual for the men to precede their families to Zion to prepare for them. This was the case with Ira. He sent word back for his family to come to the Valley in the spring of 1848. Ira and Asaph had built a log cabin in what is now known as Farmington, Davis County, Utah, hoping that Sarah Ann and the rest of the family would soon be united with Ira. When the expected company arrived, it was found that his son Leonard Gurley, but 18 years of age, had brought his three brothers, Oscar North, age 13; Adelbert, age 9; Hyrum Smith, age 4; and two sisters, Adeline, age 11 and Caroline, about age 7. Data is indefinite regarding the death of Ira’s wife, Sarah Ann. She had given birth to twelve children under most difficult conditions. The sacrifices occasioned by the cruel treatment of the mobs and the exposures that were endured by the pioneers had undermined the health of many. This we know—Sarah Ann died, but the where and the when has not been established to date.

When Ira’s son, Leonard Gurley, returned to Iowa in 1851, he wrote to his wife, Elizabeth Elmira, saying that he had seen his older sisters, Harriet and Henriette, but that his younger brother Ephraim, who would have been 5 or 6 years of age, had drowned. This grieved Leonard much, for he had been most anxious that all of his mother’s family be reunited in Utah. He made no mention of his mother in his letter, so we have to assume that she had died earlier.

Ira did not remain long in Farmington. When a settlement was opened up in North Ogden, he is given credit for building the first log cabin there. An excerpt in the North Ogden Centennial, reads, “On March 4, 1853 … Thomas Dunn, who had been President of the temporary Ward (Branch), set up the previous December, became Bishop, with Ira Rice and Edwin Austin his Counselors.” It was here in North Ogden that Ira married his third wife, Elizabeth Ann Morris Butler, November 20, 1856. Ann was a handcart pioneer of 1856, whose husband had died in South Wales. She and her two fatherless children had found the stability of home and family once again.

Cache Valley, Utah

The glowing report of Cache Valley reached the ears of Ira and his sons, Asaph and Oscar North, and they moved in 1859, locating in what is now Providence. During the first few weeks, and until logs had been hauled from the canyons for building homes, each pioneer family was sheltered in their wagon boxes. Houses of logs with dirt roofs and rough board floors and with cloth covered windows were soon built. Each house had a fireplace in one end where fires were started with a flint and tinder.

In a local history written by Joel E. Ricks, it is noted that on 29 November 1859, High Priests came together at a meeting and among those from Providence was Ira Rice. By 1866, Providence was a thriving settlement; Ira and Ann were living in comparative comfort. Ira was 73 years of age and his eyesight had been impaired by an infection. When the call came from President Young for volunteers to go on a colonizing mission, called the Muddy or Cotton Mission to the south under the direction of Erastus Snow, Asaph accepted. Ira and his son, Asaph, had remained close associates through the years, living and working together much of the time, so Ira again chose to accompany him on this mission. Reference has been made, though the source is unavailable, that President Young advised Ira and Asaph to return to Cache Valley, rather than continue on to a new settlement in their waning years. But they had already sold their properties in Providence and the lure of the trail won out.

Washington County, Utah

The journey became even more difficult as the desolation of the land was encountered. From a journal of Ephraim Hall, who was with the company called at the same time, we understand that when they reached Ash Creek near St. George, President Snow instructed them to go on 90 miles further south and settle in the Muddy Valley. Most of the company did go directly to the Muddy, but Ira and Asaph, with a few other families, settled at Beaver Dam, now in the state of Arizona. In another journal, William E. Jones wrote:

“On the 23rd of December, 1867, flood waters came down the Beaver Dam Wash and raised to the top of its banks. The next day, the bank where the homes stood, began to cave in. By noon, all had moved their goods from their houses. Some of the houses went in the flood.”

The Rice’s were left homeless. According to several reports, Ira worked so hard helping in the move to higher ground, not just once but two or three times, that he became severely ill as a result of over-exertion and exposure. The story, as told by descendants of Ann’s children, relates the fact that Ira never fully recovered from the experience of the flood at Beaver Dam. From the time of the flood in December of 1867 and April of 1868, Ira and Ann moved from the flooded settlement back to Ash Creek near St. George, now known as Washington, Utah. Ira died April 14, 1868, at Washington. Verification of details is found in Ann’s application for a War of 1812 widow’s pension.

Ira’s grave may never have been marked, but if it was, it has long since been obliterated by time. Only through a recent investigation has the location been established and a worthy monument been placed at the site. No pioneer is more deserving of words of praise in his memory. His sacrifices for the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ in latter days and for the establishment of Zion in the West can be matched only by a few of our pioneers. He left an emulative heritage that can only be compensated by posterity through individual loyalty of faithfulness.



His great great grandfather may have changed the name from “Royce” to “Roys,” and his grandfather may have changed it to “Rice.” Ira Rice’s father served in the Revolutionary War, and Ira served in the War of 1812 as a private or sergeant under Captain Joseph Hart’s company of Colonel Peter Allen’s regiment. Ira had a narrow escape from the British, jumping into the river below Niagra Falls and swimming to escape. Shortly after the war he married Minerva Saxton, but she died a several years later. Ira then went to Michigan to settle in wild country made available to veterans, where he lived with his new wife Sarah Ann Harrington. Missionaries found them there, and they converted and moved to Nauvoo. Ira and his family acquired property and some fine horses, and had a nice house by the temple, but after the martyrdom of Joseph Smith their home was burned by a mob. They fled during the winter, and during the trek west got as far as Mount Pisgah before Brigham Young sent Ira back for supplies. Ira helped Orson Pratt and Lorenzo Snow’s families go west. From Winter Quarters, Brigham Young again sent Ira back, to get grain in Nauvoo. Eventually Ira made it into the valley with Captain Edward Hunter’s 100 in September of 1847, wintered at “Old Fort,” and built a log cabin in what is now Farmington. He had come forward alone, but the next year his children came out. Sarah was not with them; she likely died along the trail. The family lived in Ogden and then in Cache Valley, which was wild enough that the area made for–on one occasion–a dramatic, multi-day grizzly hunt for a marauding bear that took its toll on the hunters before it was killed. By now Ira had married a third time, to Elizabeth Ann Morris Butler, who had crossed the plains by handcart, had been a housekeeper for Ira Rice, and then married him. At 73, Ira volunteered to colonize Utah’s Dixie, and headed south for the “Muddy” on a cotton mission. Brigham Young saw him and told him he didn’t need to go, but they were already on the way so they continued. A flood near Beaver Dam (the southwestern Utah area, not the Cache Valley Beaver Dam) washed away their belongings, sickness set in, and they were released to go back to Cache Valley. Ira died en route, in St. George.


Married Ira Rice in Michigan and began raising a family of twelve children (and Ira already had children from his earlier marriage to Minerva Saxton). Moved to Nauvoo after converting to the LDS church, received her endowments in the Nauvoo temple, and was blessed by patriarch Hyrum Smith. The family prospered in Nauvoo, but they were eventually driven out by mobs. Sarah apparently died on the trek west, while her husband was ahead establishing a home in northern Utah.

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