Pioneer Women of Arizona,
Harriet Cornelia Clawson Lamb
Roberta Flake Clayton
Maiden Name: Harriet Cornelia Clawson
Birth: February 11, 1840; Buffalo, Erie Co., New York
Parents: Zephaniah Clawson and Catherine Reese
Marriage: Joseph Smith Lamb; September 4, 1857
Children: Joseph Smith (1858), Catherine Reese (1860), Victor Emanuel (1862), Louis Edwin (1864), Fredric William (1865), Helen Lillian (1867), Sydney Beatie (1870), Mark Vernor (1873), Royal Amos (1875), Leonard (1878), Ruth Katrinka (1880), Harriet (1882), Mae (1884)
Death: July 20, 1911; Mesa, Maricopa Co., Arizona
Burial: Mesa, Maricopa Co., Arizona
Harriet Cornelia came into this world shortly after her father, Zephaniah Clawson, left it. She was the youngest of four children—two boys and two girls, and her widowed mother joined the Church the same year Harriet was born. When the Church called for all the faithful to move to Nauvoo, the Clawsons did so, and this young mother also later crossed the plains with her small children.
When Harriet grew to young womanhood, she became the wife of Joseph Smith Lamb, and they were the parents of thirteen children. While living in Salt Lake City, Harriet helped her brother Hiram Bradley Clawson with costumes for plays presented in the Salt Lake Theater.
Joseph was associated with some other young men as members of a dance band. One night Harriet went somewhere, leaving him home to mind the baby. While she was gone, the band members came for him unexpectedly, saying they were engaged to play for a dance. He protested that he had to stay with the baby, but they overruled his objections, picked up “baby, cradle, and all,” and away they went to the dance. Harriet was very bewildered upon returning a little while later to find not only her husband missing, but the baby and cradle, too!
The family later moved to Farmington, and from there to Monroe, which was then in the process of being settled, living at first in the fort with the other settlers.
In about two years, danger from the Indians lessened enough that the people could leave the fort and begin to build houses on the city lots which had been laid out. Joseph and Harriet, with their children’s help, built an adobe house on a lot on the east side of town, later taking up a homestead on the west side. Joseph worked as a cooper, making trips into the mountains with his older sons to cut logs for material to make staves for barrels, tubs, churns, and buckets. The boys peddled the finished articles around the town to help keep the family.
It became Harriet’s responsibility to care for her family in the fort at Monroe for two years while Indian troubles threatened the new community there. It must have been a relief to all when it was judged safe to move onto the city lots. Harriet and the children helped Joseph make adobes for their new home.
After living in Monroe for nine years, they received a letter from David P. Kimball, telling of the Mormon settlement in Mesa, Arizona, and of the natural advantages of that country. So after talking it over, they decided that it would be a good place to go with their now large family of children. Gathering together an outfit consisting of one wagon drawn by four horses and another wagon drawn by a team of mules, they left for Arizona, about October 15, 1880.
Joseph Smith and Harriet Cornelia Clawson Lamb. Photo courtesy of Phillip Stradling.
Traveling up the Sevier River through Marysville, Panguitch, and by Orderville, they came to Pipe Springs. It took two or three days to go over the Buckskin Mountains and on to [House] Rock Springs. Finally, they arrived at Lee’s Ferry, on the Colorado River, where they camped all night before crossing the river on the ferry boat. Next came one of the most dangerous parts of the trip, the journey up Lee’s Backbone, which was a high rocky ridge of mountain with gorges running out from either side, the ridges between them looking like ribs of a skeleton projecting out from the central ridge or “backbone.” It was hard work to drive along this part, which was just wide enough for a wagon along its top, with steep canyons dropping away on either side. It was so steep that it was necessary to block the wheels with rocks every time the horses managed to pull the wagons up another foot or two on the trail. After conquering the Backbone, they traveled over sand and rocky hills.
There were eight living children in the family at this time and some of them contracted typhoid fever, becoming very ill. Joseph and Harriet were afraid their little daughter Ruth would die when they were at Rock House on the Colorado River, but she managed to survive. Harriet was a brave woman and nursed her children as best she could under the trying circumstances, with prayer and love, trying to make them as comfortable as possible while traveling in the wilderness.
They pushed on around San Francisco Peaks where Flagstaff is now located, although there was no city there at that time, just one open cattle ranch. The railroad had not yet got to this point. By that time it was November, and they traveled on to where the town of Williams now is, and then to Ash Fork. All this time the children were getting worse with the fever, and the parents thought Victor surely would die about the time they turned south through what is now called Lonesome Valley, but he, too, lived. They passed east of Prescott, down the Black Canyon, and out onto the desert north of Phoenix, arriving in Mesa the last of November. The trip from Monroe had taken six weeks. In Mesa, they were able to get butter and milk for the children and the sick ones were soon better, but some of the others then came down with typhoid fever after their arrival in Mesa, and it was February before all were well again.
Their first home in Mesa consisted of their tents pitched on the northeast corner of block eleven, on the tithing property, where they remained for about two months. Then they bought block 26 from William Crismon for a hundred dollars, selling the west half to Edward Bloomer for fifty dollars. Joseph and his sons built an adobe house on the southeast corner of their property, and another building facing Main Street, in which they opened a store, the second one started in Mesa. The latter building was later occupied by a Chinese laundry.
Joseph filed on a quarter section of land, and later selling the relinquishment for a span of mules, purchased another piece of ground and sold it for two hundred dollars, with which they bought goods to stock their store.
Harriet was blessed with an excellent sense of style and good taste in clothing. She ordered dresses from a catalog house in New York, choosing styles she felt would be becoming to various Mesa women. Almost invariably, the woman she had in mind when ordering a particular dress, would, upon entering her store, be attracted to that dress and buy it. One of her own favorite dresses was a plaid silk, which was very becoming to her, with her dark hair, blue eyes, and rosy cheeks.
Their home was made pleasant by the row of fig trees along one side of the yard, an osage hedge along the other, and cottonwood trees along the back. Apricots and plums grew in the yard, and there was a big lawn at one side, with a large porch connecting indoors and out.
Along with her many duties, Harriet also rendered church service, working in the Relief Society, and going into the homes of the sick to give aid. The socials afforded by the town in those times gave her much enjoyment, and she was very fond of reading. Her creative ability and aptness as a seamstress enabled her to make articles usually considered impossible by the average person, such as beautiful artificial strawberries, and once she made a pair of white shoes for her daughter Ruth. Her brother, Hiram B. Clawson (father of Rudger Clawson of the Council of the Twelve) came to visit her at Mesa. Upon his return to Salt Lake City, he sent dolls to her little girls.
While the family lived at Goldfield, people came to their dance hall from Willow Springs. If it chanced to rain, they stayed overnight sleeping on the floor of the dance hall, in which event Harriet served as an impromptu hotel keeper of sorts.
This courageous woman was a loving mother, always doing the best she could to make an attractive home, as well as helping out with the living. In Mesa, she arranged for her girls to sell buttons and notions around town, helped her husband in his grocery store, and kept a little notion store, selling thread, buttons, candy, etc. Later, she opened the first ice cream parlor in Mesa, having three tables and a counter. The milk was kept sweet by wrapping wet burlap sacks around the milk cans. It was the custom for people to come to town on Saturday nights, especially were the young people attracted by the delicious treat, which sold for twenty-five cents a dish, with crackers.
She died July 23, 1911, in Mesa, Arizona, nine years after the death of her husband. The newspaper report of her death stated, “Mrs. Lamb was a most highly respected woman and leaves as friends all who knew her.”
Ellis and Boone:
The various business activities Harriet Lamb participated in while living in Arizona is impressive. She was an expert seamstress, ordered items for her husband’s general merchandise store, operated an ice cream parlor, had a notions store, and ran the dance hall at Goldfield. Gold was found in the western slopes of the Superstition Mountains in 1892 and immediately the town of Goldfield, twenty miles east of Mesa, sprang up. As with many other mining communities in Arizona, its life was short; by 1898, the ore vein had run out and Goldfield became a ghost town. Sons Louis, Fred, and Roy Lamb worked in the mines at Goldfield, and Victor, Mark, and Syd ran cattle in the Superstition Mountains.
Joseph S. Lamb was an expert violinist. Often he played with Hyrum S. Phelps and Joseph Bond in Mesa, but he also had a family band. He and son Roy played the violin (and Roy sometimes played the piccolo), Fred played the guitar, and Mark the drums. The family orchestra provided the music for the dance hall at Goldfield.
Roberta Flake Clayton
Maiden Name: Emma/
Birth: March 27, 1831; Buncombe Co., North Carolina
Parents: Joseph Lanning and Margaret Morrison
Death: maybe 1900−10; maybe Snowflake, Navajo Co., Arizona
Burial: maybe Snowflake, Navajo Co., Arizona
No book on the lives of pioneer women of Arizona would be complete without a chapter on the life of “Aunt” Emily Lanning.
It cannot begin in the usual way with a brief reference to her antecedents; even her parents’ names are unknown to me, nor can I say that at such a time and place she was born. I only know that Buncombe County of North Carolina was the place and that March 27, long enough before the Civil War so that she was grown when it began, was the time.
In my impressionable years, perhaps no one had a greater influence over me. It couldn’t have been that “like attracts like” because it would be impossible to find greater dissimilarity.
“Aunt” Emily (as everyone called her, probably because that is a title of respect that the big family that comprises the little town of Snowflake gives its older women)—Mrs. seems so formal, had come west and as was the custom of strangers came to the hospitable home of the Flakes. Aunt Emily had the key that won her a home as long as she lived. She was a Tarheel and so was Mr. William J. Flake and Anson and Buncombe Counties joined. A one-room log house with a large fireplace was her specifications for her cabin, and it must be far enough away from the “big house” so that she could feel her independence.
To most of the townspeople, Aunt Emily was a very peculiar woman. No one ever saw her cry, no one ever heard her laugh, few saw her smile. Her features were coarse, almost masculine, her stride was decidedly so; her feet were extremely large for those old days when no woman ever wore shoes bigger than size 6. Aunt Emily had to have an 8, so she had to wear men’s shoes, and for economy’s sake all but her Sunday ones were of the “clod-hopper” variety.
Her thin gray hair was parted in the middle, twisted in a tight little knot in the nape of her neck. She wore a dark colored slat bonnet most of the time in the house and out.
She could chop wood and hoe in the field like a man. Her independence was proverbial. She accepted no favors. She paid for what she got. Work was her medium of exchange. She carded wool, on shares, for mattresses and quilts, as her bed was the choicest of goose down brought West with her. Her portion of the wool she spun into yarn, knit into stockings, socks, and mittens. These she dyed with leaves, roots, barks and berries, and exchanged for the little cash she had. When anyone needed help to whitewash or clean house and to do laundry work, she was willing to go.
She had such an aversion for the uniforms of the U.S. Army that she would go to her cabin and shut herself in when the paymaster of Ft. Apache and his soldier escort made their monthly trips to Holbrook. They stayed at the Flakes. She knew about the day of their arrival, that they stayed here overnight both going and coming so she would carry in enough wood and water to last and would barricade herself in until they were gone. During the Fourth of July celebrations she would do the same. These were her most hated occasions.
Although there is no known photograph of Emily Lanning, the violence of the Civil War, including the death of her brother at Chickamauga, greatly influenced her life. Here the Confederate line is advancing through the forest toward Union troops at Chickamauga; Alfred R. Waud, artist. Photo courtesy of Library of Congress.
In the good old days, the Fourth of July was the event of the year when Young America could make all the noise it wanted to. Day was ushered in by forty odd booms from the powder-primed anvils that were set off by contact with the red hot end of a long rod heated in a fire nearby. Serenaders on hayracks with organ, guitars, fiddles, accordions, and the best singers in town stopped at each house and inspired the inhabitants thereof with patriotic fervor and received in return cake, pie, lemonade, hot chocolate, or homemade beer.
At sunrise the Stars and Stripes were drawn to the top of the extremely high flag pole in the Public Square by the Flag Master, amid thirteen salutes of the improvised cannon and the shots of every gun and pistol in town from the old cap and ball, having been handed down in the Flake family from its time and only used on these occasions, to the old Sharps rifle, the .22s, the Colt .44s, and every size and make the town afforded.
Usually there was a parade of young people on horseback headed by the one fifer and one drummer and the solitary flutist, but always there was the forenoon meeting in the stake house, decorated with flags and bunting festooned from the gallery and supporting posts. Uncle Sam and the Goddess of Liberty or Miss Columbia—sometimes both—sat on the stage, while the Master of Ceremonies presided with Jeffersonian dignity.
Stirring strains of martial music were played as the townspeople assembled, called together by the church bell whose clear sweet tones can be heard two miles away. Then a fifty- or sixty-voiced choir came forth with two grand patriotic songs separated by prayer by the chaplain; then the orator of the day was introduced and with eloquence and gestures put everyone present in the proper frame of mind to do or dare anything for their country’s sake. The reading of the Declaration of Independence, a stump speech or two, usually of the comic nature, patriotic songs and recitations, punctuated at their close by booms from the anvil. On one or two occasions, when the oration became too long, the punctuation would come before the close, much to the chagrin of the orator, the relief of some of the audience, and amusement of the others. The captain of artillery always declared this was purely accidental.
The afternoons were spent in races of all sorts, all the children between certain ages, the boys and girls, the men and women, fat men’s races, three-legged ones—in which the inside legs of the contestants were securely tied together, sack races, potato and wheelbarrow races, blindfold races, and every other known kind were run. The prizes were peanuts and candy.
Then there were paper bags suspended from a tight rope; these were filled with air, nuts, candy, flour, or soot. The contestants with hands tied behind them would select their particular bags which they would jump up and tear with their teeth. Lucky was the one whose bag did not contain soot or flour. There was bobbing for apples, catching the greased pig, and many other exciting games. When this part of the program was over, then came the children’s dance, and the remaining candy and nuts were thrown on the floor and a scramble ensued to see which could get the most.
Outside of the Social Hall, a ball game would be in progress, sometimes between the married and single men, and the ladies would be torn between loyalty to their young dancers and their stalwart ballplayers. The higher the scores were on each side the more the game was enjoyed. When the games were over, all would line themselves up on the sidewalk to see the horse races, in which the best horses ran merely for amusement and to see whose horse ran fastest. Supper and chores over, then the festive day ended with a big ball at night for all over sixteen years of age, all but Aunt Emily.
I well remember the first one of these occasions after she came to live near us. All that morning I had watched for the smoke to come curling out of the chimney, or to see her around outside feeding her chickens or pig, but I did not see her. I became worried for fear she was ill, so I went to her house; the door was fastened. She had no window so I looked through between two logs where the mud “chinkin’” was out and there she lay on the bed with her head buried in the pillows. I called to her, and in a hoarse, cross voice she told me to go away and let her alone. I went and felt very badly about it until a few days after when she explained to me why she hated all this shooting and fuss, and the sight of the blue uniforms.
The tales of brutality of the Union soldiers, how they would ride by her home and with drawn swords cut off chickens’ heads to show their prowess, slash open the feather beds sunning on the fence to see the feathers fly, shoot their hogs to see them fall, commit all sorts of depredations to which even savages would not resort, until little rebel that I was, my blood would boil and I was ready like Joan of Arc to lead an army against the North and—kill ’em all. I was so serious in this that I used to take a miniature fife Santa had brought to one of my brothers and go out to Old Carney’s [Kearny’s] stable and play Yankee Doodle, and as he was a Cavalry horse, he should have known that stirring tune, should have quit munching his hay and gone prancing around the stable. He even paid no attention when I played the Reveille, Taps, or Retreat and other bugle calls—maybe that’s why the government condemned him.
Only once did Aunt Emily tell me the story that made me sob from sympathy, though her eyes were dry and flashed fury as she told me how her only brother, idolized by fond parents and six sisters, had been killed in the Battle of Chickamauga. That was why she hated the uniform of blue, and everything pertaining to the Yanks.
Hers had been a most lonely life. A bride for a day, her husband had disappeared, and she never heard from him again. No kindred that she ever spoke of, she was almost unknown to her associates; she had no confidants, accepted no sympathy, yet to me she was one of the most interesting people I ever knew—and I had an insight into her true life that no one else had. I often went to her lowly cabin to visit with her.
On these occasions she would sit in her low, rawhide-bottomed, homemade chair, and card wool or spin the white fluffy slender rolls into yarn as she walked rhythmically back and forth, answering my childish questions or telling me stories of the long ago. She would remove her bonnet and then the escaped strands of hair would form a soft frame about her face. When she smiled it was like sunshine bursting through clouds.
There was a time honored custom that we faithfully observed until I was eighteen years old. The night before my birthday each year, I spent with her, cuddled up in her soft feather bed; she would talk me to sleep—then the next morning she would slip out about daylight, build a fire in her spacious fireplace though it was in August. She never used her stove but cooked over the fireplace. When she would finally call me there would be delicious breakfast of my favorite dishes, fried chicken, fried hominy, fried sauerkraut, and fried peach pie, with a corn pone baked in the bake skillet.
How I looked forward to those occasions as no other in the year. One night I awoke and found myself in her arms. I was so astonished that I lay speechless, and she did not know I heard her as she poured out all the love of her pent-up soul upon me. She never knew I heard, but from then on I understood.
One time Aunt Emily accompanied my father and mother on a long hard journey of several weeks to the dedication of the Salt Lake Temple. Roads in those days consisted of a few wagon tracks. Large boulders, deep sands and unbridged washes and gullies had to be crossed. In some way, the wagon in which Aunt Emily was riding at the time tipped over. Mother was terribly frightened for fear she would be killed or badly injured, but when the wagon was righted Aunt Emily crawled out from under the cover and asked, “Where are my specs?” Typical Aunt Emily.
When the last call came to her she went bravely and uncomplainingly as she had lived, and I love to think of the joy that must have existed over there when she joined those whom she had loved and lost.
Ellis and Boone:
This sketch is one of the few that RFC wrote in first person. This is all the more remarkable because Emily Lanning is not a relative and because so little is known of her. Nevertheless, she was cared for by the Flake family as if she were a relative. This is illustrated by the trip to the Salt Lake Temple dedication, of which Lanning was a part. Lucy Flake wrote in her journal, “1893 found us sad and sorryfull.” The family was still grieving over the death of her son, Charles. Lucy continued, “We tried to comfort each other. the last of February my Husband came home said we would go to Utah to the Dedication [of the Salt Lake Temple] and we would have to go by team as we could not raise the money [for the train].” They left Snowflake March 8 and arrived home May 1, 1893.
From census records of Buncombe County, North Carolina, it is possible to understand a little more about the Lanning family. Emily’s father, Joseph Lanning (1789−1870), was a farmer. He and Margaret Morrison (1796−1861) were the parents of six daughters and one son as follows: unidentified son who died at Chickamauga, September 1863; unidentified daughter; Zilpah/
The only census record listing Emily Lanning in Arizona is for 1900. It may be that Emily Lanning died between 1900 and 1910 and is buried in an unmarked grave in Snowflake. In her journal, Lucy Flake mentions Emily Lanning as late as March 3, 1899. In a sketch for Clayton’s sister, Lydia Pearl Flake McLaws Ellsworth, Emily is mentioned: “Aunt Lizzie Kartchner and Aunt Emily Lanning taught Pearl to knit, crochet, and make hair flowers.” Louise Larson Comish also described Emily: “Everyone called her Aunt Emily Lanning, even though, so far as I know, she was related to no one in the town. She cooked her meals in a black kettle hanging in her fireplace. . . . She gave us some molasses candy she had made in her big black kettle. But I was more interested in her large spinning wheel and the dexterity with which she operated it, changing a soft pat of wool into a long strand of yarn.”
Although Emily Lanning may be one of the unidentified women in some of the early Snowflake Relief Society photographs, there is no known image of her.
Ellen Malmstrom Larson
Roberta Flake Clayton, FWP
Maiden Name: Ellen (Elna) Malmstrom
Birth: February 13, 1826; Ostrathorn, Lund, Malmohus, Sweden
Parents: Olof Jonsson and Karna Petersson
Marriage: Mons Larson; 1852
Children: Betsey (1853), Caroline (1855), Lehi (1857), Alof (1860), Emma Ellen (1863), twins Parley and James Moses (1865), Ellen Johanna (1868)
Death: April 24, 1914; Glenbar, Graham Co., Arizona
Burial: Glenbar, Graham Co., Arizona
In 1826, on February 13, Ellen Malmstrom was born near the East-tower Lund, Sweden. She married in 1852. Her father was a wealthy blacksmith. Her husband Mons Larson was one of the king’s cabinetmakers.
They were members of the Lutheran church until some Mormon missionaries converted them to the LDS faith in 1859. The records in the archives of their native church say that they were well educated. On March 5, 1859, with their three children Betsey, Caroline, and Lehi, they immigrated on the ship William Tapscott to the United States. It took six weeks to reach New York. From there they went by train to Florence, Nebraska, where they had to buy supplies and prepare conveyances to carry them over a thousand miles of desert inhabited only by Indians and wild animals. They were told that several handcart companies had successfully reached Salt Lake City, and they thought that surely they could do what others had done. Her husband being a mechanic, they would build their own cart and pull it to the valley of the mountains. What an example of faith and courage to their descendants.
On June 9, 1859, they started with the handcart company led by Captain George Rowley. The journey was hard and tedious. The food supply was limited and the captain was harsh. He forbade them to let the oldest child, Betsey, who was not quite six, ride on the cart. This nearly broke the mother’s heart to see the little girl walking every step of the way. She always saved a crust of bread out of her own rations with which to encourage her child to keep trudging on. Betsey often said afterward that no food ever tasted so good to her.
Their baby boy became very sick, and they had very little hopes of him living, so the mother made her plans how she could prepare him for burial. But to their great joy, he recovered and was always a help and a comfort to them all their lives. They reached Salt Lake City September 15, 1859, making the journey in three months and six days. However, their troubles were not ended, as they could not speak or understand English and as a result they had difficulties in their business deals.
They went west and settled in the little town of Tooele, where everyone did their own carpentering, so there was not much chance to earn anything that way. So they went into the fields and gleaned wheat for their winter’s bread. Mrs. Larson sold a gold ring for a Dutch oven in which to bake their bread, and they were thankful for the chance of digging a patch of potatoes for one-fourth as their share. Thus through hard unaccustomed labor they managed to live.
Ellen Malmstrom Larson. Photo courtesy of Smith Memorial Home, Snowflake.
Their second son and fourth child was born in Tooele, Utah, in 1860. From Tooele they moved to West Jordan, where Mrs. Larson’s brother had located. Here Mr. Larson made a loom for his wife. She was an expert spinner and weaver and helped greatly with their income. Meanwhile she made her oldest son, now four, a pair of trousers out of sheepskins with the wooly side in. He still remembers how warm they were, and Betsey says she was never more delighted with anything than with a pair of wooden shoes for which they paid 25 cents.
While living in West Jordan, they had born to them a daughter, named Emma, and later twin boys, James and Parley. Parley lived only a few hours. In 1866 an old friend, August Tietjen, visited them and offered to give them employment if they would go with him to Santaquin in Utah County. They accepted his offer and soon had arrangements made for a farm and two city lots on which was built a three-roomed adobe house.
Along with farming, Mr. Larson spent a year building grade for the first railroad through Utah. Their eighth child, Ellen Johanna, was born January 16, 1868. On their lot, fruit trees, currants, and berries were thriving. They had teams, implements, and milk cows, hogs and chickens, and were prospering. Mines in Tintic were being opened up, which was an avenue for making money by freighting ore to the railroad, yet with all their work they had found time to beautify their home. They made a summer rest room, by setting trees closely together in a square. They made a top by bending the tops over a gable-shaped frame. It made a cool, shady, pleasant place to rest in during the hot summer days and to sleep in at nights. Tulips, hollyhocks, lilacs, roses, and other flowers beautified the grounds.
As time passed they became more prosperous so were making plans for building a larger better house, and considerable material was on the grounds when word came through the ward bishop that President Young was planning to colonize Arizona, and he wanted faithful, industrious, thrifty men with families to go as soon as they could arrange their affairs. So Mons Larson and August Tietjen were the families called from Santaquin.
Their two oldest daughters had married. The oldest had three children and the other had two. Notwithstanding the sacrifice this move would mean to them, they immediately began planning for another long trek through the desert where wild animals, savages, thieves, sand dunes, and bad water prevailed. But undaunted Mrs. Larson said, “Yes, we will honor the call.”
In 1878 on October 30th, Mons Larson left Santaquin for Arizona with his wife and five children. They had three wagons and five teams, also eight head of loose stock. As they were leaving, an old friend remarked that family could settle on top of a ridge of rocks and thrive. While en route they learned of a town which had been plotted out by Erastus Snow and William Flake named Snowflake. The Larsons decided to look the place over and perhaps locate there. So it was that on December 30, 1878, they reached Snowflake and the next day chose two town lots where they pitched their tent, hauled a load of wood, and were ready to begin building another home.
Ellen Malmstrom Larson and her children. Seated, left to right: Betsey, Ellen (mother), Lehi; standing left to right: Alof (wife May 394), Emma (669), James, and Ellen (663). Photo courtesy of Eastern Arizona Museum and Historical Society, Pima.
Instead of loading their wagons with furniture and other bric-a-brac, they brought axes, plows, shovels, hoes, harrow-teeth, nails, and a case of window panes. Also a complete set of carpenter tools, wool cards, and a spinning wheel. As wool was plentiful and cheap, Mrs. Larson made arrangements for 100 pounds so she and her girls would have something to do while the men were getting out logs for a house and for fence posts. There was a good demand for all the yarn they made, and they made $1.00 a pound. Every family knit their own stockings. By the next year, they had a loom made on which they wove beautiful coverlets for beds and rag carpets for the floors. She advocated the theory that those who could do the most practical things were the best educated.
During that first spring and summer food was very scarce. Mrs. Larson searched the creek banks for something green to eat. She found plenty of nettles which she cooked with a little meat and a handful of onion tops and thickened with oatmeal or pearl barley.
One day, one of her sons remarked that people took advantage of his father, because he was too honest. She replied, looking him straight in the eye, “My son, no man can be too honest.”
In 1881 when the Atlantic and Pacific railroad was being built along the Little Colorado River, Mr. Larson and two sons helped to build several miles of grade. Mrs. Larson went along to cook for them and five other boarders, always a true helpmate, cheerful and resourceful.
Mrs. Larson labored in the Relief Society as counselor and was always willing and ready to help nurse the sick, lay out the dead, and feed the hungry. Her husband made the first coffin in Snowflake.
On account of the town being above the irrigation canal the people had to plant their gardens out in their fields. This was unhandy and caused extra labor, also prevented the planting of trees. So the Larsons became discouraged and decided to move to Pima in Graham County. In October of 1883, they left Snowflake and settled in Pima where they stayed for about three years, then took up a homestead about four miles from town. Others followed their example and it wasn’t long until a town was established, now called Glenbar.
Mr. Larson died in 1890, and his wife secured a quarter section of land through filing.
One day their daughter asked them if they ever regretted having left dear old Sweden and their comfortable home and kin folks for what they got by coming to America. They said that at first, when their trials and hardships were almost unbearable, they might have turned back if they had the means. But when they had the means they didn’t want to go back, and they felt very thankful that they had come to this wonderful country. The daughter complained that if they had not left Utah, she might have had a better education. Her mother replied, “You will never lose anything through your parents having obeyed counsel.”
When asked if their trials and privations did not make them wish they had never joined the LDS Church, the reply was that the remuneration had been more than a thousand fold. One historian has truly said: “No weaklings could conquer the desert, the Indians, the wild animals and live and develop a country. It took brave men and women who were unafraid of hard work and difficulties.”
Mrs. Larson was a widow for twenty-four years. She was healthy and able to take care of herself for most of the time. She was active in Relief Society work and other religious duties. When she died at the ripe age of 88 years, she left a numerous posterity of healthy, intelligent, law-abiding citizens, numbering about 399 [in 1937]. She died at Glenbar April 24, 1914.
Ellis and Boone:
Mons and Ellen Larson traveled from Sweden to Utah to Arizona. The early poverty they endured when they first arrived in Utah is illustrated with this story from granddaughter Louise Larson Comish:
Father [Alof Larson] never showed much enthusiasm for Johnny cake or cornmeal mush. He would eat it, as an example to the children, for he often told us to eat what mother set before us. There is little [that] gets past a youngster’s keen eyes. Knowing full well that father did not relish these corn dishes, I asked mother, why. She told me this story.
When Mons and Ellen Larson came to Utah from Sweden to be “with the saints in the tops of the mountains” they suffered many hardships while trying to wrest a living from the desert land in which they settled. One year when the crops of one season failed to last till the next harvest, the family subsisted almost entirely on corn. It was good food, and it saved them from starvation, but “one can get too much of even a good thing.” So far as father was concerned he would be happy if he never had to eat corn bread or cornmeal mush again in his life.
Not mentioned in this sketch is the plural wife Mons married on January 23, 1876, Lorentina Olivia Anderson Eklund (1856–1935). Mons only brought his first wife, Ellen, on his initial trip into Arizona. He returned to Utah in the spring of 1879 for his second wife, Olivia, and her two children. In December 1879, when he was ready to leave Santaquin, he made the unfortunate decision to travel with the Hole-in-the-Rock pioneers. David E. Miller wrote, “Had he chosen to go by the already well-established route via Lee’s Ferry he and his family would have been in their new home long before the Hole-in-the-Rock expedition crossed the Colorado, and the expectant mother [Olivia] would have had a roof over her head by the time the baby arrived.” Eventually, Mons arrived at Snowflake with his second family, and then both wives moved to Glenbar in Graham County. Olivia had seven children, five boys and two girls, which survived childhood.
Only three of Ellen Malmstrom Larson's children made Snowflake their home after the Larsons moved to the Gila Valley. About 1909, these three families posed for a photograph: front row, left to right, Aikens Smith (son of Emma), Myrtle Smith (Emma), Foss Smith (emma), Josephine Smith (Ellen), May Smith (Ellen), Mons L. Smith (Ellen); second row, Emma Larson Smith, 669, Harry Wayne Larson, May Hunt Larson, 394, Ellen Larson Smith, 663; third row, Ethel Smith Randall (Ellen), Lorana Smith Broadbent (Emma), Ellen Larson, Louise Larson, Seraphine Smith Frost (Ellen), Jefferson Larson; back row, George A. Smith (Emma), Alof Larson, Hyrum S. Smith (Emma), Lehi Smith (Emma), Evan Larson. Photo courtesy of Norman Gardner.
In late September and early October 1910, the Alof Larson family outfitted a wagon and traveled to Graham County to visit relatives, especially his mother, Ellen Malmstrom Larson. When they arrived in Glenbar, Alof’s wife, May, described her mother-in-law: “She looks so pale and thin, but keeps about. She is slowly dying from a cancer in the corner of her eye.” May thought the cancer was not particularly painful. Ellen treated it as best she could and then would tie a cloth around her forehead to hide it. Nevertheless, it was nearly four years later before the cancer took its toll. May wrote, “Dear Grandma Larson died of cancer in her head. Poor soul has been slowly dying of it for at least ten years and for many weary months has suffered intolerably. Sister Betsy Carter [Ellen’s oldest daughter], has cared for her all this time.” May Larson’s description illustrates the primitive nature of medical treatment even in 1910.
Gustella Arminta Wilkins Larson
Author Unknown, Interview
Maiden Name: Gustella Arminta “Stella” Wilkins
Birth: August 13, 1874; Mona, Juab Co., Utah
Parents: Alexander Wilkins Jr. and Charlotte York Carter
Marriage: James Moses Larson; July 8, 1891
Children: James Milas (1892), Della (1894), Cora (1896), Alexander (1898), Rolland Henry (1901), Lavernal (1905), Ivan V. (c. 1908), Parl Mons (1910), Ellen Dollphine (1914)
Death: October 9, 1970; Phoenix, Maricopa Co., Arizona
Burial: Glenbar, Graham Co., Arizona
On August 13, 1874, a beautiful, brown-eyed, black-haired baby girl came to bless the home of Alexander Wilkins Jr. and Charlotte York Carter. They named her Gustella, but they called her Arminta Gustella most of her life. She was born in the picturesque village of Mona, Juab County, Utah. It was a small valley, nestled at the foot of rolling hills that were covered with foliage, plants, and wild berries.
Gustella’s paternal grandparents had integrity, courage, and powerful characters. Her maternal grandparents also had many inspiring experiences. They too gave up all their earthly possessions willingly for the gospel and went with their leaders to help make the desert blossom as the rose. When Gustella was but nine years old, her parents were called by the authorities of the Church to help colonize Arizona. They, like their parents and grandparents before them, didn’t hesitate but started preparing for the journey. Gustella’s grandmother, Sarah York Carter, was seventy-two years of age, and she drove one of the teams all the way. Gustella said, “The highlight of the trip for me was that my dear old grandmother, my mother’s mother, decided to go with us. I loved her very dearly and felt so safe when I was with her.” This grandmother was a self-trained nurse. She was always so willing to go and help when any one of her friends needed her, wherever she lived. Everyone called her “Aunt Sally.” Gustella’s grandfather, William Furlsbury Carter, was a good Latter-day Saint and obeyed the laws of the Church. He had two wives. Gustella’s grandmother was the first wife. The second wife had a young family growing up, and therefore needed a father’s help and sustaining influence. It was decided by all concerned that the right thing to do was for the grandfather to remain in Utah and rear the young family there. Gustella’s mother was the youngest of the first family, and she had a new baby. Because of the undertaking of this long and hazardous trip in a wagon, her mother, Sarah York Carter, was needed more on this trip than any place on earth. Gustella says, “I had close association with this grandmother, Sarah York Carter, until I was fourteen years old, and she told me the story many times of their joining the Church.”
The trip to Arizona was very eventful. There were about thirty-five people in the company, composed of adults and children. All the children in the company that were large enough assisted in the tasks they could perform. Gustella being the eldest in her family helped with the baby brother, who was between two and three years old. Her mother was not able, and the father had all he could do getting the team over the rough roads and hills. The baby brother would balk [refuse to walk] whenever they came to a hill. Her uncle Bill had a balky horse that would do the same. They lost a lot of time working with that balky horse, but not on account of the brother, as little nine-year-old Gustella would pick him up and carry him. She recalls the happy time they had running behind the wagons, gathering wild flowers and pretty rocks. At night when they would camp and cook the dinner over the campfire, how very good the onions and potatoes would smell! She says that even to this day the aroma of potatoes and onions cooking takes her back to that trip so many years ago.
The first time she remembers meeting the man she later married was on the top of the White Mountains during this trip. They were traveling along when they heard a noise that sounded like Indians yelling their war cry and horses running. As the sound grew nearer they discovered a white boy who was just happy to see them. He knew they were crossing the mountain and about where they were. He had known the parents of Gustella in Santaquin, Utah. He was seventeen years old. He rode up to the wagon and asked Mother Wilkins to raise the wagon cover so he could see the children. When he saw Gustella he said, “Oh, a black-eyed girl! I am going to wait for her.” After a chat he rode on to Snowflake, and the company continued their journey. Finally they reached their destination of Pima, Arizona, which was then called Smithville.
Her father’s first job after arriving was logging in the Graham Mountains. He was thankful for work after this long trip. He then started preparing to make a home for his growing family. Gustella has had experiences from colonial life to jet age progress since first arriving in Arizona. She grew up in the small farming community where the hard-working, self-supporting farmer was the most important citizen. Because there were no factories, each household had to provide for their own needs. Each farmer had a garden, raised wheat, barley, and corn, as well as cattle, pigs, and chickens.
During Gustella’s childhood there were many Indian scares; Geronimo, the notorious fighter, was often on the warpath. Indian raids were not uncommon. At this time her father and others were working out of town at a place called the lime kiln. They were burning the lime for a large two-story church house they were building in Pima. One evening he was preparing to go out to the lime kiln in order to be there early the next morning. Her mother thought he had gone, when he came in and said he had a feeling not to go until the next morning. The Indians would leave the reservation every now and then, and while on these raids would kill everyone that came in their way. That is exactly what happened this particular evening. The Indians came through on a rampage and killed a Brother Thurston who also worked at the kiln. He and a friend had gone out that evening, but the friend escaped. It was a great shock to the whole community and especially to Gustella, as she and the daughter of Brother Thurston were very close friends. They sang together, and both families were very intimate. If her father hadn’t heeded the promptings of the Spirit, he may have been killed also.
Gustella also had an earthquake scare. Her father had a garden of young radishes. He had told the children not to pull the radishes while they were so small. But one day Gustella’s appetite conquered her, and as she stooped down to pull a radish the ground began to shake, moving her back and forth. She thought it was doing this because she had disobeyed her father, and she ran toward the house. In the house were Grandmother Carter and a cousin Sarah Ellen, and also her mother who was in bed with a new baby. The mother thought it was the children knocking against the bed and scolded them. The quake didn’t last long, but there was excitement all over the town, and all were very thankful when it was over.
Once again Gustella saw the boy James Larson that she had met on the White Mountains, who had vowed to wait for her. His family had now moved to Pima, Arizona. He kidded her again about being his girl and said he was going to wait for her. She, being a little shy and bashful, didn’t like it very much. After a time James went to Snowflake, Arizona, to attend high school. The next time Gustella saw James she was sweet sixteen, and he was in his twenties and a very handsome young man. Now, as he gave her more attention than anyone else, she rather liked it. With this encouragement, they began seeing each other often. Soon they knew it was real love. They were married the third of July 1891. The following month Gustella turned seventeen. She remembers her pretty wedding dress. Her mother was a beautiful seamstress, so she fashioned the creamy lacy material into a thing of beauty. “Uncle Henry Boyle,” as he was lovingly called by all, performed the ceremony. He was one of the now famous Mormon Battalion. It was a quiet wedding in her parents’ home with just the relatives and close friends to witness the event. Later they were sealed in the temple for time and all eternity.
Gustella "Stella" Arminta Wilkins Larson with her natal family; front row (left to right): Gustella Arminta, Charlotte (mother), Lottie, Alroy Alexander, Edwin Granville; back row: Christa Lillis, Parley Pratt, picture of father Alexander, William Edson, and Sarah Mellin. Photo courtesy of graham County Historical Society.
From this union nine children were born: Milas, Della, Cora, Alexander, Rolland, Lavernal, Ivan, Parl Mons, and Dollphine, all beautiful, healthy children. Gustella remarks that “They were such sweet, good and dependable children that all the money in the world couldn’t buy the happiness and joy I had with them.” Just six weeks before their fourth child was born, her husband received a call to go to the southern states as a missionary for the Church. Gustella encouraged him to accept the call, and they began to prepare. They succeeded in renting the farm to a good dependable man. James, who at this time was Senior President of Stake Seven Presidents of Seventies, was honored by them with a going away party. Gustella was to take a cake. Now her husband’s mother was famous for her lovely cakes, so Gustella decided to make it. She made her egg beaters from willows, as even hand beaters were not known in those parts at that time. In making the cake, she had some bad luck, and it did not turn out extra nice as she had planned. Then Gustella decided she would just make a plain one. This she did and decorated the entire cake with white icing. She was very timid about making a cake for such a large party but was very proud and happy when it was cut first and passed to the presidents at the head table. Others asked for the recipe. They were invited to spend the night with the President of the Academy and his wife, as they had a long distance to travel. Sister Cluff told her how they had all enjoyed the cake.
Gustella did all kinds of work to help sustain her husband while on his mission. She did such things as keeping house, taking care of the sick, and even did some sales work. The eldest daughter, Della, was just four years old but assisted her mother. She did her part at that early age to help keep her daddy on a mission. Many helped during this time, but especially the parents who lived on either side of her, and within walking distance. Therefore, James was able to complete a mission of over two years.
James and Gustella were living in Globe when the first LDS church was built. Her husband’s allotment was assigned to him, and since the families were given the privilege of working on the church or paying in cash, James chose to spend all his spare time working on the building.
All the children had true voices. Gustella had always loved to sing and had passed this talent on to them. She commenced teaching them songs very early. At this time the three eldest, Milas, Della, and Cora, were in school. They had learned a song entitled “This is the Way to Make a Shoe.” Just a short distance from them lived an elderly couple. The man was a shoemaker, and the woman kept boarders. A friend of the Larson family, a young girl named Helen Greenhalgh worked for them in the boarding house. The children loved to go and visit her because she was so good to them. One time during one of these visits, Helen asked them to sing to the old cobbler. They sang the Shoemaker song. It won the old man over heart and soul. Until this time, children had annoyed him, as they were always getting into his tacks, hammers, and tools. He gave the Larson children a very fine compliment. He said that he loved to have them come. They were so well trained and had such good manners, and they never bothered his tools or equipment. They loved the old shoemaker, and he never tired of hearing them sing. Later Helen became their aunt as she married their Uncle Ed.
Gustella has been active in the Church all her life, working in the various organizations. At fourteen years of age she was secretary of the Sunday School in Matthews Ward. Later she was counselor in the Primary when Laura Smith was the president. She was the branch superintendent of the Sunday School in Miami Ward. She was a teacher in both Primary and Sunday School in the Phoenix Third Ward. She has always loved her Relief Society and served in the presidency of the Miami Ward. She did Relief Society teaching for many, many years. In her early married life she would put her baby in the carriage, and the other children would trudge along the dirt road. They would all walk for miles to make all their visits. At eighty-six years of age, she was the oldest active visiting teacher in the East Phoenix Stake. She was a visiting teacher for about sixty years.
Although Gustella was an extremely busy wife and mother managing a family of nine (all but one grew to adulthood), she not only found time for her church work, but she fashioned, designed and made dozens of crocheted articles and braided rugs. All her children’s homes are adorned with her beautiful work. She won the blue ribbon at the State Fair in 1954, for her lovely braided rug. She had dyed the colors and designed it, then crocheted a scalloped edge. She sewed the braided strips together so skillfully that the stitches couldn’t be seen. At this time she was eighty years of age.
Gustella and her husband, James, felt their greatest achievement in life was raising honorable citizens and loyal church workers. Seven of the nine children filled missions for the Church. They have twenty-six grandchildren, ninety great-grandchildren, and six great-great-grandchildren. Doctors, lawyers, merchants, F.B.I. special agents, teachers, etc. are to be found in their posterity. All her children and grandchildren are devoted to her and call her beloved.
Ellis and Boone:
Although James Larson died in 1937, Stella lived until 1970. As such, her life bridges the pioneer and modern eras in the history of Mormons in Arizona.
Possibly one of the most important contributions the Larsons made to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was the time that they lived in the non-Mormon mining towns of Globe and Miami. As a Globe bishop, Ardell Ellsworth wrote, “Mormon families soon found that the copper mining towns of Globe and Miami, eighty miles west of Thatcher, offered employment opportunities.” When Nathaniel Nelms first came to Globe, he found few with any sympathy toward Mormons. Consequently, he did not let people know his religion until he had won the respect of employers and townspeople. Then he encouraged other Mormon men to seek work at Globe; a branch was organized in 1906 and a ward was organized one year later. As Ellsworth wrote, “By 1913 the brethren were working in the mines, in the dairies, as clerks in banks, stores and railway offices, etc. They earned a fine reputation for veracity, reliability and honesty. Instead of being shunned and hated as they were in the beginning, they were now given preference by employers.”
The few Latter-day Saints living in Miami, just west of Globe, found religious worship more difficult. They “had to make the long-rough journey into Globe,” and consequently “received most of their religious training in the home.” Then, a dependent branch of the Globe Ward was organized in 1912. Not only did James and Stella Larson live in Miami, but Lehi, another of Ellen Malmstrom Larson’s sons, also lived there and served in the branch presidency for ten months.
Most of the LDS families living in Globe and Miami came from the upper Gila Valley along with a few others who came out of Mexico during the Mexican Revolution. The Miami Ward history noted that “as is typical in a mining town, families came and went, but some of the early faithful families were: the . . . Joseph W. Greenhalgh, . . . Edwin Wilkins, . . . Jimmy [James Moses] Larson, . . . families.” During the Great Depression years, many mining jobs evaporated, and the Miami Ward was discontinued for a short time; the Globe Ward continued to function but with far fewer members. During World War II, many of the shuttered mines were reopened, and church membership in the area rebounded. Finally, in 1974, there were enough members in the Globe-Miami area to create the Globe Arizona Stake, but the Larson family had moved on to Phoenix, and Stella Larson had passed away.
May Louise Hunt Larson
Roberta Flake Clayton, FWP/
Maiden Name: May Louise Hunt
Birth: May 5, 1860; San Bernardino, San Bernardino Co., California
Marriage: Alof Larson; October 26, 1881
Children: Alof Pratt (1882), Hugh Malmstrom (1884), Lois (1886), Wallace Hunt (1887), twins Evan J. and Ivan G. (1889), Ellen (1891), Louise (1894), Hapalona (1896), Jefferson Daley (1897), stillborn (1901), Harry Wayne (1903), stillborn (1907)
Death: May 4, 1943; Snowflake, Navajo Co., Arizona
Burial: Snowflake, Navajo Co., Arizona
Coming from a line of school teachers on her mother’s side, it is no wonder May Hunt Larson was blessed with an exceptionally brilliant mind; this combined with the determination of her Grandmother Celia Hunt to master difficulties who at the age of seventy-one years learned to write, the courage of her grandfather, Captain Jefferson Hunt of Mormon Battalion fame, and the leadership of her father John Hunt who for over thirty years directed the affairs of the town of Snowflake, as bishop of the ward, made her an invaluable asset to any community.
May Louise Hunt Larson. Photo courtesy of Stinson Museum, Snowflake.
She was the daughter of John Hunt and Lois Pratt. She was born May 5, 1860, in San Bernardino, California, the second of eight children, six girls and two boys. When she was nine months old, she was very ill with influenza, which deprived her of the sight of one eye; but somehow she has managed to see as much and read and study more than most people with two eyes.
When she was three years old, her parents moved from California to Beaver, Utah. Here she went to her first school as soon as she could talk well, her mother’s sister, Ann Louisa Pratt, being the teacher. Later she attended school taught by her grandmother, Louisa B. Pratt, and to the school of another of her mother’s sisters, Ellen Pratt McGary.
She has little cards of merit from these teachers today, also one from Lucinda Lee, teacher when she was six and one-half years old entitling her “to sixty marks of credit, each of which denotes one lesson well recited.”
From thirteen to sixteen years old, she was a member of a select private school, taught by Richard S. Horne, or Teacher Horne as his pupils called him. This was the last school she ever attended. She taught a little class of girls in Sunday School, in Beaver, Utah, when but fourteen years old, and took part in a big Sunday School Jubilee, July 24, 1874.
In October 1875, her father moved to a little place called “The Cove” on the Sevier River. They had to go two and a half miles to Joseph City, the nearest small town to church and Sunday School, but were seldom absent.
When she was sixteen, she went down to Dixie, Southern Utah, where she spent a happy summer at the home of her Aunt Lydia Hunt, in Duncan’s Retreat, a small place, later washed away by the Virgin River.
In February 1877 her father decided to come to Arizona or New Mexico and President Brigham Young wrote him personally, giving him permission to locate at any of the colonies he might wish to join. They went down to St. George, the last town in Utah, traveled due south and crossed the Big Colorado at the Pearce Ferry, then through Walapai [Hualapai] Valley to Peach Springs and east to the Little Colorado, passed through Sunset and Brigham City, now Winslow and Joseph City, then east landing in San Lorenzo, New Mexico, thirty miles east of the Zuni village. They moved to Savoia Valley, twenty-five miles from Ft. Wingate, a soldier post, from which they got their supplies, arriving there June 1, 1877.
Here they had a terrible siege of smallpox for three months. The father, mother, and three older girls escaped it, owing to vaccination in California. The five younger children had it—some light, some very heavy, but all came through safely.
They made many warm friends among the Navajo and Zuni Indians. They would lend them money or clothing to wear at their dances, which were always returned.
In September 1878, her father answered a call to be the bishop of the new town of Snowflake, which had been created from the ranch of James Stinson on Silver Creek, a tributary of the Little Colorado, which was bought by William J. Flake July 1878. The family arrived in December 1878. The family of Mons Larson arrived about the same time. Here May has lived continuously except for short visits to different places.
A Sunday School was organized the first Sunday after their arrival, and May was chosen as teacher, chorister, and librarian. Also in a Young Women’s Organization, she was chosen as a counselor to the president.
The welcome the Larsons received from Bishop Hunt, his warm personality, and thoughtful kindliness made them feel at home. Mons was a master carpenter from southern Sweden and his wife an artist on the loom. They had many talents to offer a new community.
Alof was quick to note the bishop’s attractive, rosy-cheeked, brown-eyed daughter, May. Soon he was calling regularly at the Hunt home. For the rest of his life, the story of this stalwart Swedish boy would be entwined with that of May Hunt, for Alof asked her to be his bride. She gave her promise, and they made plans for a trip to the temple.
In 1881, the Atlantic and Pacific railroad was being pushed into Arizona from the east. Alof secured a job on this project, building grade, which netted him “cash in hand,” something almost unknown in an era of barter and trade. For 300 hard earned dollars Alof purchased a span of mules. That fall these mules were on their way to Utah, drawing one of five wagons making the trip over Lee’s Ferry. This was the first wedding party from Arizona to go north to a Utah temple, but so many future ones were taken across this ferry that the road was dubbed by Will C. Barnes, “The Honeymoon Trail.” Alof was chosen Captain of this expedition by popular vote. Alof’s sister, Emma, and her husband to be, Jesse N. Smith, President of Snowflake Stake, were members of this party.
Although their start was made in a drizzling rain, the remainder of the journey was blessed with fair weather. Everyone was in high spirits, the miles slipped by without incident or mishap. In twenty days, the party traversed the four hundred miles to their destination. On October 26, 1881, Alof Larson and May Hunt were married in the House of the Lord by the President of the St. George Temple, David H. Cannon.
By December 5, Mr. and Mrs. Alof Larson were back in Snowflake. May’s journal reads, “We began housekeeping in a very primitive way.” There was not a room to be had, so they pitched a tent for themselves. This domicile could not withstand Arizona’s vigorous breezes. They toppled the fragile shelter more than once. When road conditions permitted, Alof would drive his mules to Pinedale for a load of sawed logs. Soon he began construction of a one-room log house. This was the first unit of the only home the Larsons would ever know.
In this home, May gave birth to thirteen babies, nine boys and four girls. The only help received in her deliveries was afforded by local women. They were “called and set apart by the Priesthood to act as nurses and midwives among the people.” Their training was received largely in the school of experience. Six of May’s babies died, two in infancy, two in young manhood, and two full-term males were stillborn. The remaining seven grew to maturity and married. Alof and May were made happy with twenty-nine grandchildren. And they lived to see some of their great-grandchildren, having been privileged to observe the 57th anniversary of their marriage. As they journeyed into the sunset, they were appreciative of their family, of the companionship and thoughtful consideration that the children and grandchildren afforded them. And their hearts were warmed by the knowledge that the children were doing their share of the world’s work.
May Hunt Larson with her children; Jefferson Daley on lap, other children (left to right) Wallace, Louise, Evan, Alof Pratt, Ivan, Hugh, and Ellen. Photo courtesy of Roma Lee Hiatt.
Always active in church work, May was teaching a Sunday School class when she was fourteen years old, the beginning of many years of service in this organization. In the YLMIA, May was a counselor for both Ward and Stake; four years she was on the Stake Genealogical Board; and in the Relief Society she was assistant secretary, secretary, teacher, and counselor. Then for sixteen years she served as President of the Snowflake Relief Society. In this organization, with a prayer in her heart, she served her community.
As a mark of endearment, she was called “Mazie” by her sisters. Most of the town’s inhabitants called her “Aunt May.” No one was refused who came to her door asking to be fed. Her friends were to be found wherever she was known. In times of rejoicing, folks liked to have her with them, for she could be gay. In times of trouble, she was a source of strength and comfort. Her memory was proverbial. She gave readings on a variety of subjects. As a public speaker, May was fluent, understanding, and poised. In her later years, she was often asked to speak at a funeral.
In 1931, she and her husband celebrated their Golden Wedding Anniversary, surrounded by hundreds of friends and relatives from far and near, who joined in wishing them many years of continued happiness together. When Snowflake Stake honored Alof Larson at the end of three decades as counselor in the Stake Presidency, his wife came in for commendation also. Note this salute: “‘Aunt’ May Larson . . . devoted wife and helpmate of our honored guest; wise and beloved counselor of the mothers and daughters in Zion, with a heart large enough to mother the entire stake . . . .”
May was a great reader and selected the best that she found to put in the scrapbooks she was making for each of her children’s family. She kept, however, the one she began in her childhood, which contains many choice selections in prose and poetry.
A remarkable woman in very deed and one whom to know was to value very highly. She had been a mother to her motherless brothers and sisters and to all the motherless, and a true friend to all widows and fatherless. The tributes she received on her birthdays and Mother’s Day, from widely spread sections, testified to the great circle of friends that were hers.
In January 1939, Alof passed away suddenly from a heart attack. Seeking solace in temple work, May lived on for four years. Then cancer struck. Ellen nursed her mother through her short illness with such skill that training and experience had given her that May died peacefully without knowing the nature of her affliction, May 4, 1943.
Ellis and Boone:
In 1978, granddaughter Ilene L. Shumway added to this sketch. She wrote:
In my teen years, May was not able to do her work. It was due to arthritis in her knees and so a Saturday assignment for myself or one of my sisters was to clean Grandmother’s house. Floors were covered with throw rugs that all had to be taken out and shook. Not hard, but gentle. Dusting to do and kitchen floor to mop and change the sheets on the bed. There was a pan of clabber on the table for Grandpa when he came in from the field and he would sprinkle a little sugar over it and say, “Try some, sissie. It is good.” But I could never do it. Grandma kept the best kettle of hominy [in] the back room. To dip my hand into it and eat was so delicious. And her molasses cake, her cookies of various shapes and sizes and BIG. . . .
One could not do wrong in Grandma’s house for all around the room were pictures of grandmas and grandpas, looking right at you. Grandma also had a rocker that had a secret drawer in it. This was fun to sit in and imagine the treasure in the secret drawer.
On February 4, 1894, Andrew Jenson of Salt Lake City visited the Snowflake Stake. Jensen and Stake President Jesse N. Smith spent two weeks traveling to Joseph City, Obed, Sunset, Woodruff, Snowflake, Taylor, Pinedale, Juniper, Adair, Pinetop, and Woodland collecting “historical facts” and preaching. May Hunt Larson wrote, as the first entry in her journal, “In the spring of 1894 Andrew Jensen, assistant Church Historian came to our ward (Snowflake), and in gathering up records, dates, etc. he advised all families to keep a record and a journal. In compliance therewith, I, May Hunt Larson, concluded to try and write a little of our lives for future use.”
Although this event was also the impetus for Lucy Hannah White Flake’s journal, May Hunt Larson came from a family of journal writers, and so it is somewhat surprising that this was the beginning of her journal writing. In 1916, RFC wrote in her own journal, “Aunt May Larson and I were talking last night about keeping journals. She thinks all they are for is to write down what you do, for instance, ‘Monday, washed and knit.’ I told her in 50 years her people wouldn’t care when she washed or knit, but what she thought about while she was doing it. I read her a few pages from mine.”
In 1956, daughter Louise Larson Comish wrote a short essay called “Mother and Her Journal.” She began:
Looking back it seems to me that writing her journal was Mother’s hobby—something she enjoyed doing. I remember that as a child I got the impression from watching her as she wrote in her book that it seemed to give her real satisfaction. It was a sort of relaxation from the ordinary chores of home making. She wrote easily and well. Holding her pen with relaxed thumb and fingers she would dip the shiny point in the square bottle of ink and methodically without haste, fill line after line of each page of her book. She apparently had no difficulty formulating her thoughts for her pen moved quite steadily unless interrupted by household demands. She had a real genius for spelling and could quote the rules for the placing of vowels, so there was no stopping to look up words in the dictionary. Yes, I believe she liked to write. She was well known for her good letters—long and “newsy”. This I am really in a position to appreciate since I received her letters regularly from 1913 until her death in 1943. These letters, written usually at the first of each month, contained much of the material that found its way into her journal. . . . This is my version of how she “did” her journal. By the kitchen window where she had her sewing things, could usually be found an ordinary pencil tablet like school children used. In this she jotted down things she thought should go in her journal. On the window sill were letters, on the backs of some could be found other notations. At one time I remember, she had a paper hanging on the back porch on which she had written the names and dates of new babies as they arrived in Snowflake. In no sense I feel, was this journal a diary in which she made a daily record, a place where she gave vent to frustrations or told little secrets. It was more like a record of her people as advocated by her church. . . . When she had a day free for writing, one would find her in a fresh apron sitting at the front window her record book open and the leaf of the sewing machine and the pencil tablet and other notes on her lap, carefully she recorded in permanent form the thought she wanted in her book. . . . These volumes represent many woman-hours of work, a labor of love, done largely for the joy of doing it.
May Hunt Larson’s journal has become an important source for Snowflake history, in part, because she continued it until her death in 1943.
Cynthia Abigail Fife Layton
Maiden Name: Cynthia Abigail Fife
Birth: July 22, 1867; Ogden, Weber Co., Utah
Parents: William Nicol Fife and Phebe Abigail Abbott
Marriage: Joseph Christopher Layton; September 2, 1886
Children: Joseph Christopher (1887), Glenna Seline (1889), Edna Cynthia (1891), William Walter (1892), Iretta (1894), Phoebe Caroline (1896)
Death: December 14, 1943; Phoenix, Maricopa Co., Arizona
Burial: Thatcher, Graham Co., Arizona
Possibly one of the most trying experiences any pioneers ever encountered were endured by the family of Mrs. Cynthia Layton, when upon arising one morning, many miles from any settlement, they found their team had strayed away, and they were stranded on the desert. On their way to help settle Arizona they had faced many difficulties, but this was the worst. There they had to remain until the runaway horses could be found, and that took several days. This was in 1880, when William N. Fife left his home in Ogden, Utah, to go in search of a new home. November is a bad month to start on such a journey, but with the delay it was almost unendurable to the mother and children.
Cynthia was born in Ogden, July 22, 1867. Her parents were William N. and Phebe Abbott Fife. Her life has been anything but a happy, sheltered one. But through it all she has gone bravely, as befitted a pioneer.
Cynthia Fife Layton with husband, Joseph C. Layton. Photo courtesy of Graham County Historical Society.
The first home the family had in Arizona was in Smithville, now known as Pima, but they did not remain there very long. The next move was to the Chiricahua Mountains, where her father took up some land, and they made their home there. Three of her brothers, John, Orson, and Walter hauled timbers from these mountains for the mines at Tombstone. The country was new, and they experienced many unpleasant things.
It is hard to tell which was the worst menace to those early settlers: the rustlers, the Mexicans, or the Indians. The Laytons were not molested by the rustlers, but one of Cynthia’s aunts was killed by a Mexican. He was going through the country and found her and her daughter alone. He shot her and tried to kill the daughter. The infuriated neighbors found him and hung him to a tree near the house.
The Indians kept them in constant fear for many years. Her brother John and two other men were in the mountains getting out mining timber when they were surrounded by Indians. The two other men were killed, and John was shot three times, but miraculously escaped death. Sacks filled with sand were heaped high inside the house to be put in the doors and windows in case of an attack by the Indians.
Cynthia did not have much chance for an education, but she was a keen observer and made the best of her opportunities.
On September 2, 1886, Cynthia was married to Joseph Layton, a son of the famous pioneer, Christopher Layton, who did so much for the pioneering of Cochise and Graham Counties. As soon as they were married, they went to St. David to live. They only stayed there a year, and then moved to Thatcher where their oldest child was born. They built them a nice home but only stayed there a short time, then went to Layton, Arizona, took up a farm, and built themselves a small house.
Her husband decided to go into the cattle business, and so they moved back to St. David. Tiring of this, they moved to Thatcher, built another home, and went into the mercantile business.
One of the saddest things that Cynthia endured was when her little three-year-old daughter died of blood poisoning. This was her eldest daughter and a very promising child.
The store business proved to be too confining for her husband, and so they traded it to his father for a farm. They were only there three months when her husband passed away and left her with five small children, the youngest a baby girl of eight months. Thus Cynthia was widowed at the age of twenty-nine years, leaving her with a great responsibility of facing the hardships of life without a companion, and with a necessity of providing for herself and her small children. Only by the hardest of work, the strictest economy, and good management was she enabled to do this.
Her only recreation was in her church work. She held positions in the Sunday School and Relief Society, and served in the Primary for twenty years. Seventeen years of that time she was Stake President of that organization. She had to travel from one town to another visiting the different ward organizations. For many years she was a member of the Ward Choir and enjoyed singing very much. This helped her drive the blues away.
The most tragic experience through which Cynthia has been called to pass was when her youngest son, employed at the Industrial School, was hit on the head with an axe by one of the inmates and killed. He left a wife and three children. Having endured widowhood and the rearing of her own little family, her heart went out in sympathy to her daughter-in-law, and for her sake she tried to be brave.
Building of homes did not cease with the death of her husband as she has built two more during her lifetime. She spent two winters in Mesa at the Arizona Temple. She has just cause to be proud of her family, as they are all honorable members of society.
Her last days are among the happiest she has spent, as she has the satisfaction of having lived a useful life and making the best of whatever came along. She is highly respected in the communities where she has resided and has many friends in the southern part of the state who honor her for her courage and devotion to duty. She is one of the few pioneers of the early eighties who still remains to inspire in the hearts of the younger generation with a desire to carry on.
Her death was on December 14, 1943. She was seventy-six years old, and was buried in Thatcher, Arizona.
Ellis and Boone:
Cynthia Layton’s father, William Nicol Fife (1831–1915), was born in England and apprenticed as a carpenter. He planned to sail for Australia, but in Manchester he came in contact with Mormons, was baptized, and then immigrated to Utah. He married Diana Davies in 1854, settled at Ogden, and began raising a family. In 1866, he married Phebe Abigail Abbott, widow of James Brown. At the time of this marriage, she had an eleven-year-old daughter, Phebe Adelaide Brown, and a three-year-old son, Orson Pratt Brown. William and Phebe Fife only had one daughter who survived to adulthood, Cynthia, the subject of this sketch. One year later, William also married Phebe’s sister, Cynthia Abbott.
Orson Pratt Brown became one of the important chroniclers of Mormon activities in southern Arizona and especially in Mexico. Of the move to Arizona, he wrote, “In the month of October of 1880, my stepfather William Nicol Fife, his two sons Walter Thompson Fife and John Daniel Fife and my mother Phoebe, sister Cynthia and myself started on a trip to Arizona. We had one team of horses, two mule teams and three wagons as we traveled down through the settlements of Southern Utah.” The party was delayed at Lee’s Ferry while Orson was sent back to search for stolen mules. Then they stopped at Sunset where Lot Smith invited them to join that colony. Brown said, “It was a new experience for me to see all of the people of the colony sit at the long tables in the big hall and eat together.” They continued on through Woodruff, Snowflake, and Fort Apache, arriving at Pima on February 1, 1881. After resting a week, they traveled south to the Sulphur Springs Valley and established a home they called the Oak Grove Ranch. William Fife immediately began exploring areas in Sonora, Mexico, and sent a report to President John Taylor. By the end of 1881, William’s wife, Diana, his oldest son, William, and daughter, Agnes, had also joined the family.
Cynthia Fife Layton (left), Mary Ann "Mamie" McMaster Layton (center), and Catherine Rankin Pace, presumably after 1901 when Cynthia Layton was stake Primary president and Mamie Layton and Pace were counselors. Photo courtesy of Graham County Historical Society.
It was at Oak Grove Ranch that the Fife family experienced Apache and Mexican attacks. This was the time and the area where Chiricahua Apache and U.S. soldiers were having their last skirmishes. When John Fife was shot and his two companions were killed at Piney Canyon by renegade Apaches in 1883, the women and children at the Fife ranch fled on foot to the nearby Riggs Ranch. A wagon was sent up the canyon to bring John home to recuperate. The five soldiers guarding John indicated that if help had not come soon, “they were going to tie him to a mule and bring him out.” Brown wrote, “We lifted him into the spring wagon where we had a mattress springs and started down the canyon.”
The next incident was in September 1884 when Diana Fife was killed by a Mexican, possibly trying to rob the home. Brown wrote that “it was a very sad, sad funeral, this Mexican murderer tried to [also] grab little Agnes who was 12 years old, and had made a proposal to the Mexican who was working on the Ranch that they burn the ranch, steal the horses, and take the girl, but the Mexican fought him and ran off and went to the nearest ranch for help.” McClintock noted that Western justice prevailed; the murderer was captured the next day and hanged. Brown also records that during the last campaign to capture Geronimo, soldiers were often stationed at the Fife Ranch.
In the 1880s, William Fife made several exploratory trips into Mexico with Erastus Snow, Moses Thatcher, and Christopher Layton, including a trip in 1887 with Snow. About this time, William Fife brought his third wife and family to Arizona. They were advised to move to Mexico, presumably to better live polygamy, but instead William and Cynthia Fife returned to Ogden, making it their permanent home although they eventually divorced. Later Diana Fife’s body was disinterred and taken to Ogden for reburial.
Cynthia Fife Layton, her mother Phebe Abbott Brown Fife, and her brother Orson Pratt Brown, however, all remained in southern Arizona and northern Mexico. These early incidents at the Fife Ranch and the later deaths of Cynthia Layton’s husband and children give some appreciation to the statement at the beginning of this sketch: “Her life has been anything but a happy, sheltered one. But through it all she has gone bravely, as befitted a Pioneer.”
Elizabeth Hannah Williams Layton
Maiden Name: Elizabeth Hannah Williams
Birth Date: September 16, 1858; Kaysville, Davis Co., Utah
Parents: Ebenezer Albert Williams and Ada Evans
Marriage: Christopher Layton; August 15, 1878
Children: Lawrence (1879), Lottie (1880), Leslie (1883), twins Lillian and Luella (1885), Priscilla (1887), Minnie (1890), Gilbert (1892), Elizabeth (1894), Wilmyrth (1896)
Death: August 9, 1945; Roseville, Placer Co., California
Burial: Thatcher, Graham Co., Arizona
It is doubtful if any other pioneer woman of Arizona has held as many important state, civic, social, and ecclesiastical positions as has Elizabeth Williams Layton, the widow of Christopher Layton, who is well and favorably known by all old-timers.
Elizabeth’s father, Ebenezer Albert Williams, and her mother, Ada Evans, crossed the plains together. Ebenezer was one of the hired men of Ada’s mother. The widow Evans was considered very well to do in Cardiff, Wales, and when she decided to come to America and on to the Rocky Mountains, she brought not only her own family but several of her employees.
Frederick Piercy made this sketch of ships leaving Liverpool harbor in 1853; Elizabeth Layton's mother, Ada Evans, crossed the ocean on the Jersey, which also carried Piercy; drawing by Frederick H. Piercy. Photo courtesy of Church History Library.
Unlike the majority of Old Country emigrants, the Evans crossed the ocean and the plains in comparative comfort. They arrived in Salt Lake City in 1853, got a good home in Kaysville, Utah, which is still in the possession of the family. (1938)
Regardless of the difference in social position, Ada and Eb Williams fell in love with each other and were married shortly after arriving in the West, and on the 16th of September, Elizabeth was born.
Good singing seems to be a national trait of the Welsh people, and the Evanses and Williamses were no exceptions. The father and mother sang as did all of their children, Elizabeth playing the accompaniment on the organ in the olden days and then on the piano. The Williams family owned the first piano in Kaysville.
One of Elizabeth’s brothers visited their former home in Wales, and a dear little old neighbor lady told him as soon as she heard him sing that she could tell he was Ebenezer Williams’s son, that his father always sang at his work, and that he had had the best voice she had ever heard. From the time Elizabeth was old enough, she sang in the church choir and as a soloist on all special occasions.
The home where Elizabeth was born was on the mountain road at the mouth of Weber Canyon. There were three levels on the mountainside where the cattle grazed, and from the house it was not hard to locate the milk cows. It was one of Elizabeth’s chores to drive the cows home. When the Indians became so threatening that everyone had to move into a fort, she did not want to go, because she loved the beauty and grandeur of the view from their home and was very happy when it was considered safe for them to return.
Elizabeth’s education began in a private school. She was always studious and won several prizes. The first one was a little book Fanny Fern offered for the best writer. She still has this book and prizes it very much; also the Bible which she later won for being the best all-around scholar. She says that she thinks one of the boys should have gotten it, only he didn’t like grammar. What boy does? The game she liked to play best at recess was town ball or “Danish” ball as it was then called. Two captains choose up sides, and the best players were selected first. If Elizabeth was not captain herself, she was generally the first one chosen, as she was tall, could run fast, and was a good batter as well.
Elizabeth loved the great out-of-doors, and was happy when she could go to take her father’s lunch when he worked in the field. Her father was her idol, and folks used to call her Eb because she was quiet and reserved like him. Most of the time during the summers, the children of the pioneers had to go barefoot to save their precious shoes.
One year the potato worms were terrible, and it was the horror of Elizabeth’s life. She would stand on one foot while she surveyed the ground around to find a place to put the other foot down where there were no pesky worms.
Elizabeth Hannah Williams Layton, tenth wife of Christopher Layton. Photo courtesy of Graham County Historical Society.
Elizabeth developed into a beautiful young lady. Her abundance of dark auburn hair was admired by her friends, and there was always a demure look in her hazel eyes that was sometimes believing [beguiling?], as she liked fun of an innocent sort as well as anyone. Above the average in height, she did not stoop, as so many tall people do, but was almost regal in her bearing.
As a consequence of all her charms, Elizabeth had many suitors, and yet, when she decided to marry she selected a man old enough to be her father and who had been married before. When asked why she did not choose a young man nearer her age, she smiled beautifully and said, “Oh, Christopher Layton was a man among men, and I was always so proud of him. Never for a moment did I ever regret my marrying him, which took place August 15, 1878.”
The Laytons came to Arizona in February 1883. Mr. Layton was called to preside over the settlements on the Gila which formed the St. Joseph Stake.
When the Young Ladies Mutual Improvement Association was organized in Kaysville, Elizabeth was the treasurer. When she came to Arizona she worked in both the ward and stake Relief Societies traveling by team to visit the outlying districts, which were some of them a hundred miles away.
Their first home in St. David was a tent, staked down on the sage- and mesquite-covered flat. Two years later the headquarters of the St. Joseph Stake were moved to Thatcher. Ryder Ridgway wrote:
President Layton had his older sons move Elizabeth and her children, Lottie, Leslie, Lillian and Louella, to Safford. It took three wagons with four head of horses to each wagon to haul their belongings.
This was a dangerous trip, for the Indians were on the war path. When they arrived in Benson, the[y] found all the women and children had been taken to Ft. Bowie for protection from the Indians. Twenty-four hours later they arrived in Willcox and were advised to go to Ft. Bowie. Mrs. Layton and Joe Allred decided against going to Bowie and left for Munks Ranch. The men there were surprised they hadn’t met the Indians. Elizabeth sat in the front seat with Joe with a six-shooter in her hand watching for Indians. Once she was in the back of the wagon feeding her babies and she heard Joe empty his six-shooter. Of course she thought this meant massacre for all of them. To her great relief, she found Joe had been shooting at a deer. They finally reached Safford in safety.
It took a great deal of love and loyalty to leave a good home and go to this kind of an existence, but Elizabeth had this love and took her husband “for better or worse,” and she always tried to make the best of everything.
She had great joy visiting the wards of the stake with her husband in his official capacity as president of the stake. She was given the position of postmistress, which she held first for about a year when her husband got the mail contract and she had to give it up—later she took it again at the urgent request of her friends and acted in that capacity for ten years.
She was a director of the Citizen’s Bank; was chairwoman and worked very hard to get suffrage for the women of Arizona.
Mr. Layton bought a large grist mill and moved it to Safford. Elizabeth remembers distinctly the Indian scares of those early days, when they came and took the teams from the wagons, and when the two Wright brothers were killed.
Elizabeth Hannah Williams Layton. Photo courtesy of FamilySearch.
There were plenty of trying times, epidemics of sickness without doctors, crop failures. Elizabeth was the mother of ten children. The eldest died when two weeks old, and the others grew to maturity. Among her jewels were a pair of twin girls that were the joy of their parents’ hearts.
Mr. Layton died August 7, 1898; Elizabeth was almost disconsolate and never ceased to miss him. She grew old beautifully and gracefully; a woman of great culture, refinement, and spirituality. There was a queenly air about her, and a depth of understanding that endeared her to all who knew her. She divided her time between her children, some in the Salt River and the Gila Valleys where she always found a hearty welcome. She had a natural sweetness of disposition, a countenance which expressed an abiding love and faith that sustained her through years of pioneering in Arizona.
She died at the age of eighty-seven, August 9, 1945, in California and was buried in Thatcher, Arizona.
Ellis and Boone:
When Christopher Layton came to Arizona in 1883, he was accompanied by his wife Elizabeth, their two children, two of Elizabeth’s siblings, three of Layton’s older sons, and a few other family members. Layton “chartered two [railroad] cars and loaded them with horses, mules, furniture, farm implements, seeds, alfalfa, oats, wheat and flour enough to last a year.” Layton gave this explanation for the move:
During the next two or three years 1880–1883—although I had broken no law of God or man, it became necessary for my personal safety that I should be in hiding from those who were so strenuously making arrests under the Edmunds-Tucker-law. Finally my wives and children agreed that, although they disliked very much to be without my presence, yet they would rather know that I was at liberty than to have me dodging the hounds of the law, and under these conditions, I accepted a call to preside over, and make a home for, Saints in Southern Arizona.
In September 1884, two more of Layton’s wives, Rosa and Septima, also came to Arizona, but Elizabeth was the only one that remained in Arizona long-term. As a much younger wife, her long years of widowhood were filled with many civic and ecclesiastical responsibilities. In addition to the positions mentioned in the sketch, she was “secretary of the Union and Montezuma [irrigation] canals,” and Ryder Ridgway thought that as president of the bank, “she was the only woman bank director in the state of Arizona at that time.”
Ridgway also wrote about Elizabeth Layton’s support for her husband when discussing women of note in Graham County. He succinctly summed up Elizabeth Layton’s life:
Time and again Elizabeth contributed to her husband’s many accomplishments and triumphs—first president of the St. Joseph Stake; founder of the now Eastern Arizona college; owner and operator of a pioneer stage line; operator and owner of a grain mill, an ice plant, and Thatcher’s first store.
Elizabeth, who served Thatcher as its first postmaster, commencing March 10, 1888, was a poised and articulate lady who was good for Christopher, as he was for her. The richest of this outstanding couple’s many legacies to Graham County was a splendid family.
Ann Eliza Hakes Leavitt
Lucinda Helen Leavitt Randall
Maiden Name: Ann Eliza Hakes
Birth: February 15, 1858; Santa Clara, Washington Co., Utah
Marriage: Lyman Utley Leavitt; December 27, 1875
Children: Mabel Clair (1876), Avis Laverne (1878), John Rowe (1880), Lucinda Helen (1883), Lyman Hakes (1885), Lucy Pearl (1886), George Wilford (1888), Clarence Edgar (1891), Joseph Collins (1892), Francis Harry (1896), Arthur Floyd (1898)
Death: February 2, 1926; Pine, Gila Co., Arizona
Burial: Pine, Gila Co., Arizona
Ann Eliza Hakes Leavitt was the wife of Lyman Leavitt and daughter of Collins Rowe Hakes and Mabel Ann Morse Hakes. She was born February 15, 1858, at Santa Clara, Utah. Her parents, a young married couple, were making the journey from San Bernardino, California, to Utah, and Mother was born in a covered wagon as they were camped on the bank of Santa Clara River. As soon as her mother was able, they continued their journey to Parowan, Iron County, Utah. My mother was the eldest child in a family of twelve children, ten girls and two boys. By the time Mother helped raise this large family of brothers and sisters, she was well qualified to take the responsibility of a family of her own.
Her parents later moved to Kanosh, Utah, where she met and married my father several years later on December 27, 1875. My mother was the second wife of my father. He was married to Ellen Brown in 1857. They had heard and accepted the gospel and on May 12, 1863, with two small children, they joined a company of Saints and started their long journey across the plains to Utah. They eventually settled in Kanosh, Utah.
In 1883, Father, along with several other families of Saints, was called to go south and help settle the Mesa, Arizona, country. His first family of five children were pretty well grown up, so his first wife Ellen preferred to stay in Kanosh with her children. My mother with their little family of three children, two girls and one boy, born to them while living in Kanosh, packed what few things they could bring with them in a covered wagon, and they started their journey to Arizona. It was a long, hard, tedious journey for them, but with my father’s pioneer spirit, along with their faith and prayers, they made a safe journey to Arizona.
They arrived in Mesa in 1883, and Father pitched a tent and made Mother and the children as comfortable as possible under the circumstances, and soon after they got settled in this tent, I was born June 9, 1883. I can’t imagine the discomfort and hardships my mother must have suffered living in a tent in Mesa during the summer months with four small children, but I never heard my mother murmur or complain about these things. She was a real pioneer wife and mother. Father purchased a lot in town and in a very few months had us all moved into a comfortable adobe house. A few years later, my father purchased a farm about a quarter mile east of the old flour mill. The rest of my mother’s eleven children were born in Mesa.
Ann Eliza Hakes Leavitt. Photo courtesy of D. L. Turner.
We grew up in the old home we loved so much, a home of love, faith and prayer, and understanding. My seven brothers, three sisters, and myself took our turn along with Father and Mother in family prayers every day. Of course we had our differences, but we always settled them (to the satisfaction of some of us anyway). Dad and Mother worked terribly hard, as all pioneers did in those days. Mother made cheese and butter and helped in every way. She also raised ducks and made her own pillows and feather ticks (as we called them) for our beds. She was a beautiful seamstress and made her own patterns and did a lot of sewing for the wealthy class of people. She made the wedding dresses for her four daughters, but these days ended all too soon for us.
In 1899, my father was again called by the head of the Church to leave his home and move to the Tonto Basin country to be the bishop of a little community up in the pines known as Pine; it was in Gila County, Arizona. I think this was the hardest thing my father ever had to do. To accept this call, he must leave all these years of hard work behind and only take what he could haul in two covered wagons with Mother, and him, and six children. My two older sisters were married and three of my brothers had passed away while we were living in this dear old house. My parents always heeded the call from their church leaders, and we were soon on our way to Pine where we arrived at our destination in the fall of 1899. He purchased a city lot and a large field. We moved into an old log house, but Father soon built a large comfortable home for us. He was getting along in years, and on February 23, 1912, he passed quietly away.
After my father’s death, Mother took in sewing and other work, including boarding local school teachers, and kept my brother Joseph Leavitt on a mission. She held many positions in the Church and was always helping others who needed her. After my younger sister Pearl died in 1922, Mother went into her home and cared for her family of seven children until her own death February 2, 1926. She was a wonderful wife and mother and loved by all who knew her and revered by her family of children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
Ellis and Boone:
The move from Mesa to Pine was difficult for Ann Eliza to accept, but granddaughters Dot Toot and Mabel Shumway wrote:
They never questioned—they began making preparations. . . . The fifth day of August all was ready. Two wagons packed, horses ready, two saddle ponies for the children. Slowly they moved out of town. All along the way friends ran out to wish them well and shed a tear or two. It took them ten days to make the trip over rocky dangerous roads. They arrived safely. . . . The family soon fit in with their new friends and found peace and happiness in the little valley of Pine.
Leavitt was sixty-eight years old when he was set apart as bishop of the Pine Ward by his father-in-law, Collins R. Hakes, on February 16, 1900. He served until November 18, 1903. The home that he built for his family still stands and is today part of the historic Pine-Strawberry walking tour.
Lyman and Ann Eliza Hakes Leavitt with some of their children, grandchildren, and other relatives (children: Floyd standing next to Eliza, Pearl behind Eliza to the left, and George upper right corner). Photo courtesy of Wayne Standage Jr./
Ann Eliza Leavitt served others throughout her life, both through formal Church callings and also in private settings. She served in the Relief Society presidency and was president of the YWMIA. She traveled to Salt Lake City one year for conference. To raise the funds for this trip, the family dried and sold peaches. Eliza spent the last years of her life caring for grandchildren. Her daughter Pearl, married to Bert Randall and living in Pine, died on March 19, 1922. This was a particularly harsh winter, and Eliza was visiting another daughter in Lehi. Deep snow made it impossible to travel to Pine for the funeral, but as soon as the roads were open she was there to help.
As one of Pearl’s daughters wrote:
Bert’s wife passed away . . . at the age of 37, leaving him with seven children all under 14 years of age. He worked to keep the family together even though he had to be away a great deal. His mother-in-law, Eliza Leavitt, came to live with them until she died in 1926. He [also] had help from his mother and his sister Emma who lived on one side and from his brother Frank and his wife who lived on the other.
Helping raise motherless children was simply something that many pioneer women did, including Eliza Leavitt the last few years before her death.
Annie Eliza Hamblin Lee
Roberta Flake Clayton, Interview
Maiden Name: Annie Eliza Hamblin
Birth: February 1, 1867; Clover Valley, Lincoln Co., Nevada
Parents: William Haynes Hamblin and Betsey Jane Leavitt
Marriage: Ezra Taft Lee; September 10/
Children: Marcus Ezra (1884), William Oscar (1885), Linda (1886), Clara (1888), Wallace (1890), Willard (1892), Joseph Haynes (1894), John Amasa (1896), Edwin Hamblin (1897), Heber John (1899), Jacob Grant (1901)
Death: March 15, 1954; Salt Lake City, Salt Lake Co., Utah
Burial: Mount Olivet Cemetery, Salt Lake City, Salt Lake Co., Utah
Bright, vivacious, glad to tell her life’s story is Annie Eliza Hamblin Lee, born February 1, 1864, in Clover Valley, Nevada. Her father William Haynes Hamblin died there, and her mother Betsey Leavitt Hamblin left there when Annie was eight years old and with her uncle Jacob Hamblin went to Kanab, Utah. Her uncle advised them to take their cattle and go to Piarrah [Paria], which was then included in Utah, but later became part of Arizona. Later when they came to Arizona to colonize in 1876, they brought about 100 head of dairy cows and horses. They stopped for a short time on the Little Colorado at the settlements already started there. Some of the family had gone to the northern part of the state near the New Mexico line to a place called Bush Valley, now known as Alpine, so the others followed. They got there in April 1879 and began at once putting in wheat on land they had taken up, and then built themselves log houses.
The location was beautiful. The valley was surrounded by tall pines and quaking aspen, and the grass was getting high enough for the horses and cattle to eat. There were many ice cold springs in the Mogollon Mountains and quite a stream ran through the valley.
The new settlers planted potatoes and grain such as wheat and barley. The altitude was too high to grow corn and many of the vegetables. The wheat was frost bitten and that made the flour very sticky, and when baked it was always black and sticky. After a few years, the seasons changed or they got a different variety of seed, for they raised good grain and some of the hardier varieties of vegetables.
In July, of this first year, when everything was growing fine, the Indians made a raid. The commanding officer at Fort Apache sent word to the settlers to “fort in” as the Indians were on the warpath, so a log fort was quickly constructed and the families all moved in. The roofs were of logs covered with dirt, and most of the floors were dirt, but some of the more ambitious had “punchin” floors (logs smoothed off on one side and fitted together). In one corner of the enclosure was a large corral made of thick pine logs. All of the animals were kept in there, and the men took turns standing guard at night.
Food was very scarce in those days. Their bread was made of barley bought at Springerville, washed, and ground in small coffee mills. All had plenty of milk and butter. A few had chickens, but they were too valuable to kill. There was an abundance of wild game such as deer, antelope, and turkey. In the fall, there were wild grapes from which a delicious jelly was made, and there were “dill berries” (a small red berry) and ground cherries.
Annie is a lover of nature, and says that she had often thought that was the most beautiful mountain scenery that eye ever looked at, especially when frost came and the quaking aspen turned a golden yellow.
Never could these people up in the mountains feel perfectly secure as they were so close to the abode of the Apaches. Always the cattle and horses had to be guarded. The young boys took turns doing this. At one time when Annie’s brother Duane Hamblin was seventeen years old and Will Maxwell was two years older, they herded the horses out in a grassy cove where the horses were sort of protected. The grass was so good, and they had herded there every day for a week bringing the horses in at midday when they came for their lunch, but as they had seen no signs of Indians in all that time the boys decided they would leave them long enough to go and eat. When the boys were returning, they saw eight Indians ride out of the pines.
The Indians started for the boys, waving their Winchesters, and motioning them toward the fort. The boys had sense enough to go, and the Indians started rounding up the horses. The boys rode as fast as they could go to give the alarm. The men had their work teams on their farms farther up the valley, and as luck would have it, they just drove in as the boys came up. They hurriedly threw the harness off their horses, mounted them, never waiting to saddle them, and took after the Indians. When they saw the men coming, they left the horses and started toward the fort, knowing the men would go back to protect their families, and then they drove the horses away. Among them was a pet team belonging to Mrs. Hamblin, Old Carrot and Fan—this team would follow the road when hitched to a wagon and were so well behaved they did not need a driver, so it was a great loss when they were taken, and when Duane found his fine gray race horse “Silver Tail” was gone, he swore vengeance on all Apaches. It was not considered safe or wise to follow the Indians at that time as the fort was so far from other settlements, so the horses that were left were kept in the stables at night. About two weeks after the saddle horses were taken, Annie’s older brother went out to the stable one morning and found all the work teams gone, also those belonging to a neighbor named Burns, so they decided they would have to go after them. This was what Duane had been hoping for. With the best mounts that were left to them, Mr. Burns, Will, and Duane took a pack horse and started trailing the Indians. Their anger and resentment against the marauders kept them hot on the trail for a day and a half when the older men began to reason that it was no use, that they were just being lured into the Indian country and would all be killed. The boy would not listen, but said he would follow them till he died rather than to lose Silver Tail. He started on alone. The men looked at the determined boy, then at each other long and earnestly, then turned and followed the kid. They rode across a big mesa when they heard firing. They secreted themselves as best they could until it ceased, then they rode to the brink of the mesa and there had been a fight. When they rode up they saw a bunch of white men and found that it was the sheriff and his posse from another county, and that it was not Indians but a couple of Mexicans that had stole the horses from the stables. Both Mexicans had been killed, and the horses were tied to nearby trees along with two saddled ponies belonging to the Mexicans. The sheriff told the boys to take those horses as their owners were dead and it might in a way pay them for their trouble. So they got their own horses and these two belonging to the Mexicans and started home. They had not gone many miles when they came to a camp and there were two Mexican women. They were young and good looking and neatly dressed. When they saw the Americans leading their horses away they inquired what had happened. The men told them and started to ride away when the girls begged so for their ponies that they had not the heart to take them.
Some of the settlers got paid from the government for their horses, but the lawyer Mrs. Hamblin had employed on the case went to the Spanish American War. The case was dropped, and she got nothing for them.
Brother Will bought several teams on time payments and went to Holbrook to work on the railroad. Then the family had their first decent bread in many months. Will got his teams paid for and in the spring went back to Bush Valley to put in the crop. The Hamblin family had established a reputation for honesty, and the merchants in Springerville would give them credit from one harvest to the next if necessary.
Widow Hamblin and her family moved to Nutrioso where there was a sawmill brought in by the Brown brothers from Pine Valley, Utah. Here they lived in grand style with wood floors, doors, tables, and bedsteads. The rough log walls of the front room were lined with an unbleached muslin called “factory.” Annie says, “I love to think of them days because they were so nice.” Someone brought in a rag loom, and as soon as their clothes were so worn that they could no longer be patched, they were ripped up, washed and the best parts pressed and used in quilts and the rest torn in narrow strips, then ends sewed together and woven into carpets for the floors. Until a family was fortunate enough to have a carpet, the floors had to be scrubbed to a snowy whiteness with sand and lye made from cottonwood ashes.
Annie Eliza Hamblin Lee. Photo courtesy of Alger/
Never a scrap of cloth was thrown away. The smallest pieces were hooked into burlap sacks for rugs. Some very pretty designs were worked out by the artistic fingers of Annie. Wool was bought, washed, carded into bats and put into the quilts for batting. Flour sacks colored with dock root a bright yellow furnished the linings for the quilts. The hooks used for the rugs were made from the heart of the quaking aspen trees.
Goods boxes were used for dressers. These had curtains made of white cloth, and were trimmed with tucks and homemade lace. Annie’s mother had a fluting iron and the neighbors used to bring their ruffled dresser scarfs to her house to flute the ruffles made stiff with a starch made of flour; they stayed clean a long time too, because the children were never allowed to go near the dresser nor the bed in the day; a pallet on the floor served as a resting place in the daytime. All pioneer women took pride in keeping house and yards clean.
Here Mrs. Lee paused in her story to say, “We were very happy as we were good and kind to each other, and honest, too. I always say ‘my angel mother’ when referring to mine, because she was never cross, never raised her hand to strike one of us.”
Her school days began in Clover Valley, then in Kanab, Utah. She went to Springerville to school and stayed with a cousin. When her shoes wore out, she had to quit school and go to work. She never got more than her board and $1.50 a month. Slates were used to write on at school. Annie got to be a fair speller.
In the home, modesty was one of the chief virtues, and the front room often served as the family bedroom. The boys would go outside while their sisters went to bed. The lights were then put out, and boys got into bed and in the morning they would dress before it was light, and the girls would dress in bed.
Just before she was seventeen, Annie became the bride of Ezra Taft Lee. They had only met a month before, fell in love at first sight, and were married in September 1880. The wedding took place at noon. A fine dinner was served to the family and friends, and a big dance at night. Annie’s uncle, Jacob Hamblin, the famous Leather Stocking of the West, performed the ceremony. They could not buy a wedding ring, so the groom whittled one out of wood which she wore, and they often laughed about that. Even though they gave a wedding dance, the young folks were not content and came to the house and serenaded them with old tin pans, buckets, or anything on which they could make a noise.
Mr. Lee was a good worker. He could paint, could make and burn brick, and build a house from foundation to roof. He worked so fast that he only took contracts for his building.
Annie recalls one incident that might have been a hazardous one, but at the time she thought nothing of it. She and her husband went over to Fort Apache to move her brother’s family back. There is a long steep hill called Seven Mile Hill, and just before they reached the top, one of the tires ran off a wheel. It happened on a small level place with a spring nearby. At first Mr. Lee thought he could fix the wheel but found he could not but would have to go to Ft. Apache to get help. He hated to leave his wife there alone, but she told him she would be alright, so he got on the only horse that would ride and rode away. When he got to the post, he got a man to go up the hill with the running gears of his wagon and get the wheel. They took it down to the blacksmith shop and agreed to bring it back as soon as it was fixed. Mr. Lee came back and they waited around the rest of that day. As they were eating breakfast next morning, two Indians rode up. They said they were going out hunting. Mrs. Lee recounted:
We gave them their breakfast and they rode away. We waited and waited for the man to bring the wheel, but he did not come, so after a while I insisted on my husband going to see what was the matter. I told him I would sit in the wagon with a .22 rifle across my lap, so he went. I wasn’t afraid only I thought I would make myself safe. When Mr. Lee got to the post he saw the mail carrier and asked him if he would bring the wheel in his buckboard. The driver said he surely would so went and got the wheel. My husband rode back as fast as he could, which wasn’t very fast as it was uphill all the way. Just as he rode up, one of the Indians came back. He watched my husband harness the horses, and the mail driver came with the wheel, and the Apache rode away. The buckboard driver looked at me and said “Madam you should never have done this. When you get on top of the hill you look on the mesa and see the graves of the people the Indians have killed when they have been traveling. The man that carried the mail before me was killed. When you get up you can see the tracks where he swerved his buckboard around among the trees and the Indians shooting at him.” We saw it as he had told us. We went on to Black River before we stopped. There we found a company from Utah waiting for the river to go down so they could cross. We were very glad to meet them. There was a cable across the river to pull a flat boat with a wagon on it. The teams were taken over separate.
We went on and got my sick brother and his family and started back. When we got to Black River it was raining terribly, and we could only see when it lightninged. We had to cross the river after dark as we were afraid it would rise and we couldn’t cross. Then we had to go up on the hill to camp as there was where the wood was. We had a time getting a fire started, but we finally did, got dry, had a good hot supper, and soon felt better.
Mrs. Lee was the mother of eleven children. When her two eldest were small, they took scarlet fever and diphtheria and died within two days of each other.
The family moved to Moab, Utah, lived there two years and then moved on to the Gila. When they started back to Arizona, Annie had a baby only two weeks old. The trip was a hard one, although they were fixed as comfortably as possible. They had two teams and wagons; Mr. Lee drove one of them and Annie drove the other. After passing Fort Apache, when they had reached the top of the hill, an Indian [woman] on her horse caught up with them. She had a letter from her cousin who was in school, and though she spoke some English, she wanted Mrs. Lee to read the letter for her. This she gladly did. Mrs. Lee had some leftover baking powder biscuits and asked the Indian woman if she wanted them. She was glad to get them and then told her not to go any farther, that the Indians had broken [off] the reservation and that they were all on top of the hill a little ways off, that they were all drunken on tizwen and were awful mean when they were drinking. Mrs. Lee called her husband and told him what the [woman] had said. They were then in the narrowest part of the canyon; there was only room to turn out of the road and draw the two wagons together. By the time they had taken care of the horses and had a fire started, it was getting quite dark. Mrs. Lee spread a Navajo blanket before the fire and placed four of the children on it leaving the baby asleep on the wagon. From their campfire, they could see the spark from the Indians’ fire and could hear the Indians whooping and yelling. Suddenly they heard a horse coming down the road and a moment later, an Indian and his [wife] turned and came to their fire. Both were drunk and jumped from their horses. The old [woman] could hardly stand. She reeled around the fire and asked for some of the bread Mrs. Lee was cooking. She gave her part of the cake she had in the frying pan. In the meantime, Mr. Lee had taken the Indian off to one side and had given him a smoke. The [Indian woman] suddenly went to the blanket where the children were and with her finger marked across them and said, “We are going to cut you up with our knives tonight and kill all of you.” The Indian had noticed the [woman] and ordered her to go away and leave the children alone. He then put her on the horse and climbing up in front, rode away to Fort Apache for more tizwen.
As soon as supper was over, Mr. Lee put out the fire and put the children in his wagon, and he sat in there and kept watch over them that night. The next morning they arose early and started on once more. It was twenty miles to Black River, and they didn’t stop until they got there.
The next day they reached the Gila River, and though the river had recently been very high, they drove up to the bank and were about to drive in when some men on the other side of the river yelled to them and told them not to cross there on account of quicksand. Mr. Lee turned to his wife and told her they might as well have dinner—that the only thing they could do was to travel along on that side of the river until they could find a place where they could cross. This was a difficult matter as the old road had long been abandoned. After much anxiety over the Indians and a very hard journey, Safford was reached. Here the Lees settled for a while and then moved to Layton, Arizona, to rear their family.
When the World War broke out, three of Mrs. Lee’s sons enlisted. Two of them went to France. Of this trying time Mrs. Lee says, “When my boys took the train to leave for war, I said as I kissed them goodbye, ‘Boys I would rather see you die on the battle field than to see you hiding while brave men go to fight for your country.’” They returned home but two of them died from the effects of the war. All brought honorable discharges, so the mother was satisfied.
Dainty, little, unassuming, Mrs. Lee, beautiful in spite of the years and hardships she has endured, is still very active and spends her time in usefulness. Most of her winters are passed in the sunny Salt River Valley, where with her many friends she often lives over the stirring days so familiar to all Arizona pioneers.
Anna Eliza Hamblin Lee died in a rest home in Salt Lake City, Utah, March 15, 1954.
Ellis and Boone:
When Betsey Jane Leavitt Hamblin brought her children to Arizona, she not only came because church leaders wanted Arizona settlers, but according to her youngest daughter, Priscilla Hamblin Alger, Betsey had an additional reason. Priscilla wrote, “One reason for my mother and brother being so anxious to move away from Utah was the fact that the Indian Chief Navajo Charley had fallen in love with my sister Annie who was just 12 years of age and very pretty with long brown hair and brown eyes. The Chief told Brother Billie that if he would let him have Annie, he would give him 100 head of sheep, 50 blankets, and be just like his own brother. Billie told him no, she was [too] young to marry and she would cry and be lonesome to leave her own people. But he [the chief] kept coming back and the last time he said she should have 1000 sheep and be his favorite wife, wouldn’t have to do any work, the other [women] would wait on her all the time. Mother told Uncle Jacob Hamblin about it and he advised them to go to Arizona.”
Annie, Ezra Lee, and their family moved many times before finding a permanent home; they were in Nutrioso until 1886, in Layton in 1888, back in Nutrioso in 1890, in Tuba City 1892 and 1894, and finally had settled in Layton by 1896. In the Gila Valley, they first lived at Layton and later at Lebanon. The family was still living in Graham County in 1900, but by 1910, Ezra was living in Panguitch, Utah, with his married daughter, Clara, and Annie was in Graham County with their sons. Both list themselves as “widowed” in 1910; neither could be located in 1920.
By 1917 when draft registration began before World War I, the Lee sons were scattered. Joseph was working in Mohave County for the Grand Gulch Mining Company; Edwin was married and a miner at Globe; Amacy was farming in Overton, Nevada; and Wallace was married and farming in Kapalapa, Nevada. As adults, different family members lived in Arizona, Nevada, Utah, and probably New Mexico.
Ezra Lee died in Panguitch in 1925. In 1940, Annie Lee was living in Mesa, and this is probably where Clayton interviewed her. Eventually, Annie’s youngest son, Jacob, became a patrolman in Salt Lake City, and at the end of their lives, both his sister Clara and his mother came to live near him. All three died in Salt Lake City and are buried at Mount Olivet Cemetery.
Malinda Catherine Passey Lisonbee
Lora Lisonbee Hancock
Maiden Name: Malinda Catherine “Minnie” Passey
Birth: August 9, 1866; Paris, Bear Lake Co., Idaho
Parents: William Passey and Aseneth Viola Wilcox
Marriage: James Thompson Lisonbee; January 1, 1886
Children: James Lorenzo (1887), Joseph Earl (1888), Detta A. (1890), Dora Veralda (1900), William Boyd (1903), Lora Aseneth (1904), Winona (1907)
Death: January 8, 1957; Mesa, Maricopa Co., Arizona
Burial: Mesa, Maricopa Co., Arizona
Malinda Catherine Passey was born in Paris, Bear Lake Co., Idaho, on August 9, 1866; she is the daughter of William Passey and Aseneth Wilcox Passey. She was born in a little log cabin with a fireplace. At the rear of the cabin was a lean-to cellar. She slept in a trundle bed that rolled under her mother’s when not in use. She went to school in Paris in snow about three feet deep on the level. Her father had heavy leather boots; he would lead the way and Minnie would follow behind him. She finished three or four years of school.
The family moved to Bear Lake on the Island. Her father built a couple of log cabins. He raised stock and milked some dairy cows, sold butter in Paris for 10 cents per pound. School on the island was one mile and a half away. Father took the children in a wagon to school. The school teacher’s name was Strickland.
While building log houses, the bears would come at night to pick fruit from the hawthorn bushes. All they ever saw of bears were their tracks.
Malinda Passey Lisonbee. Photo courtesy of Krauss, Perry and Lora, 221.
One day Mary Dalrimple, Sophia Perry, and Minnie went out to pick sarvisberries on the river bank. A crashing noise came through the bushes. The girls’ first thought was of a bear and they ran for home. Sophia got a large splinter in her foot, but they outran the bears.
Her father lived about a quarter of a mile from the river. When the river was down, they had a crossing, but when the river was up, he had a large boat he had made and helped people across the river.
One day she went to visit Mary and Sophia. Mother gave her permission to go if she wouldn’t go swimming. The girls begged and begged Minnie to go swimming. She finally did and was nearly drowned. She remembered then her promise to her mother and thought that’s what she got for not minding. That made her afraid of water all her life.
She moved to Arizona when she was fourteen years old with her parents. William Kimball, Barney Raydell, Ed Bloomer, John Horne, and William Passey comprised the company. It took about two months to make the trip. Her mother was very sick on the trip, so sick she could hardly raise her head. The roads were terribly rough. Ed Bloomer was also sick on the way with rheumatism. Water was quite a problem. They had to carry it in barrels on the side of the wagons. They arrived in Mesa on November 21, 1880.
Minnie used to go out and work for 50 cents per week and washed for some people. She also did some nursing for $3.00 per week.
James Lisonbee came from Monroe, Utah, with a load of fruit to sell. He met Minnie at a children’s dance at her mother’s place. It was love at first sight and courtship blossomed into marriage in about six months. They were married at her father’s home January 1, 1886, by her father, William Passey. The couple stayed at Passey’s for a few weeks, then moved into Griffin’s house until time for the baby to come, and then she went home to her mother’s. They lived in a tent for a while on the old Pierce place. They bought an old piano box to put in the tent for a wardrobe. Minnie was so happy she cried about it. They moved on the banks of extension canal into another tent for a while.
They moved to Monroe, Utah, for seven years. They went through the St. George Temple when Ren was about eight or nine months old. When it was about time for the second baby to come Minnie heard that her mother Aseneth Passey was visiting Martha Parker Wilcox, her grandmother. She went over there, but Aseneth had gone before she arrived. Her baby, J. Earl, was born at his great-grandmother’s home. Mrs. Locklan was midwife.
Minnie and Jim moved back to Monroe for about five months, then started for Arizona with a hackney team. They got as far as ___ and turned around and came back as far as Circleville and spent the winter there. They had a very hard time that winter. In the spring, they went back to Monroe.
In November 1889 when Earl was about fourteen months old, Minnie came to see her mother in Arizona for a three-month visit. After returning, they moved into the old rock house with his mother on the farm. Here Detta was born. Then they moved into town into a log house. Jim went to work with the sheep for John Heaton in Orderville. He worked for him till he got a team and wagon, and then the couple with two sons and one daughter came to Arizona to make their home.
They bought five acres and some bees. Jim went on a mission to Colorado. Later they traded five acres for an old home northeast of Mesa where they lived for about twenty-two years. Minnie served [sewed?] and took care of the bees. She hired a man to pull honey. She and her twelve-year-old son extracted, and her brother Bert and son Ren took it to market. She lived on this money and kept her husband in the mission field and saved $300 in the twenty-seven months her husband was gone. She bought a baby buggy, a horse buggy, and a sewing machine. Veralda was born while he was away. Minnie made a trip costing about $100 to visit Jim.
Boyd, Lora, and Winona were born on the old home ranch. It had a wonderful orchard on it. Minnie raised lots of chickens. Jim tried the butcher business, goat business (1902), hog business (1914), dairy business (1910) and farming (Queen Creek 1909−10), but the bee business was the most successful.
In about 1923, they sold the old home and moved to Chandler to take care of bees. Jim’s health failed and he went to Utah to a higher altitude. The family moved back to Mesa in an apartment at Aseneth Passey’s.
Minnie took confinement cases and went out nursing and made quilts and did anything to help make a living. She sent Winona and Lora to school. By 1926, all the children were married. Minnie worked hard to put in city water, a bathroom, and make her home comfortable. The last year of her father and mother’s life, she made them happy by her kind services to them. After working hard to fix up her home, she went to live with her daughter Detta who was not so well because of arthritis. There she lived for several years, and she was well and active. She lived in Phoenix, Tucson, and in El Monte, California. She didn’t like the fog in California so she came back to Arizona to live.
From about 1941 to 1947 Minnie lived with her daughter Lora Hancock. Her kind hands were always appreciated in that home while she was there. Carlene, Dorene, and Lora Sue were born to the Hancocks while she was there.
Her son Earl was ill, and she went to live with him and his wife Norma. There she stayed about three years until after Earl’s death. She stayed a while with her son Lorenzo and his wife Eda, her daughter Veralda West and husband Joe, and daughter Winona Beadle.
After Wilford Biggs, husband of Detta, died, Minnie went to live with Detta again. They pooled their capital and with the help of their children and grandchildren they built a little home in back of the place of Tommy Inman, the husband of Grace Biggs Inman, a granddaughter. Detta did not live long to enjoy this nice little home, but Minnie stayed on living there. She loved her little home and was comfortable and happy there. Grace and Tommy were kind and watchful. Minnie’s children looked in on her and called her on the phone. On January 1, 1955, she no longer could stay alone, so Perry and Lora moved her into their home. There she spent the last two years of her life. She was dearly loved by her grandchildren and was a blessing to the Hancock home.
James Thompson and Malinda Passey Lisonbee with sons James (standing) and Joseph, c. 1889. Photo courtesy of Eastern Arizona Museum and Historical Society, Pima.
She loved the gospel and had a desire to see her children living good lives and keeping the faith.
She was hard of hearing. She has always worked hard to help take care of her family. She made quilts for all of her married grandchildren and children. Many of her children and friends are enjoying rugs that she made. She was neat in her appearance and her home was kept neat. She was honest, hard working, humble, good natured and had an unfailing testimony of the gospel.
Ellis and Boone:
The sewing of clothing was an important task for most pioneer women. For a short time, Malinda Lisonbee kept a little notebook listing some of her day-to-day activities. Sometimes she describes sewing new clothing, and other times she describes mending and remodeling to accommodate growing children; most of these references are to her grandchildren. A few excerpts from this notebook illustrate her projects:
The month of March 1944 I made Grandma Hancock 4 aprons & fixed her petocoat [petticoat]. I made Delight a dress, Dixy a dress & a skirt with straps over shoulders & made Carlene a dress. Feb. made Lora 2 aprons & Carlene a dress. A dress for Delight and one for Dixy. Delight a dress. On the 23 March made Lora a dress, 4 little peticoats & put new belts in Delights and Dixys & fixed the straps on peticoats.
Oct 4, 1944 Made 9 outing flannel peticoats. Finished 2 little dresses. Riped hems on to little dresses & hemmed them over. Lengthened 4 little peticots. Mendid 6 little dresses & sewed on buttons. Cut of sleaves of shirt hemed them up. On 12 of Oct finished 2 little dresses & mended a pair of garments. Put elastic in 5 pairs of panties. Hemd acrossed to up [top] of 4 handkerchief. Fixed a pair of pants I made & moor little dresses.
 With this sketch so similar to the sketch for Joseph Smith Lamb in PMA and with RFC stating there that “the stories that are not signed are ones I wrote and edited myself,” it seems safe to assume an authorship of RFC. Clayton, PMA, iii.
 “Joseph Smith Lamb,” in Clayton, PMA, 268–70.
 Catherine Clawson (age 44) and three children came across the plains with the Brigham Young company of 1848. Harriet was eight years old. MPOT.
 Hiram Bradley Clawson (1826–1912) built the Salt Lake Theater in 1861–62 at the direction of his father-in-law, Brigham Young. It seated 3,000 and was used until 1929. Charles Metten, “Salt Lake Theater,” in Ludlow, Encyclopedia of Mormonism, 3:1255; “Hiram B. Clawson,” in Jenson, Latter-day Saint Biographical Encyclopedia, 1:629–30.
 See Caroline Marion Williams Kimball, 362.
 The steep drop from the road is usually described as only on one side. Peterson described Lee’s Backbone (formerly called Lee’s Hill) as “a tilted and precipitate apron of rock” and included two photographs. There was a lower crossing, near where the river drops into Marble Canyon, which was sometimes used. The early question was this: Do you use a more dangerous crossing of the Colorado and then an easier climb away from the river, or do you use a safer crossing and the difficult climb up Lee’s Backbone? Generally, the latter decision was made. Peterson, Take Up Your Mission, 77−80.
 Hiram B. Clawson and Isaac Trumbo negotiated with the Democratic Party to gain their support for the admission of Utah as a state; Utah became the forty-fifth state on January 4, 1896. Edward Leo Lyman, “Utah Statehood,” in Ludlow, Encyclopedia of Mormonism, 4:1503. Rudger Clawson (1857–1943) was ordained an Apostle in 1898; he was President of the Quorum of the Twelve from 1921 until his death. Ludlow, Encyclopedia of Mormonism, 4:1634–35; “Rudger Clawson,” in Jenson, Latter-day Saint Biographical Encyclopedia, 1:174–78.
 Kate Burton and Emma Daley Ellsworth also claim to have opened the first ice cream parlor in Mesa in 1887. See Catherine Barlow Burton, 83.
 Although PWA, Ancestral File, and the tombstone in the Mesa Cemetery all list Harriet Lamb’s death date as July 23, 1912, her AzDC lists the date as July 20, 1911, and her obituary was published on July 21, 1911. Ancestral File and the Mesa tombstone both list Joseph Smith Lamb’s death date as October 10, 1901. “Death of Pioneer Lady of Mesa: Mrs. Harriet C. Lamb Passed Away at 6:30 Yesterday Morning,” Arizona Republican, July 21, 1911.
 Granger, Arizona Place Names, 295; Turner and Ellis, Latter-day Saints in Mesa, 17.
 “Joseph Smith Lamb,” in Clayton, PMA, 270.
 Although Emily Lanning lived in Snowflake, there is no burial record for her in the Snowflake Cemetery and no AzDC was located.
 The Battle of Chickamauga, in northwest Georgia near Chattanooga, Tennessee, took place on September 18−20, 1863. This battle had the second highest casualties of all the battles in the Civil War; the Union lost 18,454 men and the South lost 16,179. Echoes of Glory: Illustrated Atlas of the Civil War, 232–43.
 Possibly a search of Buncombe County, North Carolina, marriage records would be productive, but the marriage date and name of spouse are unknown at this writing.
 See Christabell Hunt Flake, 187; Flake and Boone, Diary of Lucy Hannah White Flake, 52.
 Ibid., 52–59.
 1850 census, Jo Lanning, Buncombe Co., North Carolina; 1860 census, Joseph Lanning, Buncombe Co., North Carolina; 1870 census, Zilpha Lanning, Fairview, Buncombe Co., North Carolina; 1880 census, Naomey Jenkins, Fairview, Buncombe Co., North Carolina; 1900 census, Naoma Jenkins, Fairview, Buncombe Co., North Carolina; http://
 Emily Lanning was living next door to Christabell Hunt Flake at Snowflake. It is difficult, however, to locate Emily because her surname lacks a “g,” which is also the case sometimes in Lucy Flake’s journal. 1900 census, Emly Lamine, Snowflake, Navajo Co., Arizona.
 Other dates in the journal where Lanning is mentioned are February 20 and December 24, 1896, and January 8, 1897.
 Lydia Pearl Flake (1881−1975), http://
 Comish, Snowflake Girl manuscript, 38.
 This sketch was submitted to the FWP on January 16, 1937, and then rewritten for PWA. Although the paragraphs contain the same information, the PWA version has dates which are obviously incorrect. Nevertheless, the PWA sketch does have some added names and dates, so this sketch is a hybrid of the two versions.
 No AzDC was located for Ellen (or Elna) Malmstrom Larson. Her tombstone reads “Ellen Larson,” but it is indexed at findagrave.com as Elna Larson.
 The William Tapscott made three voyages (in 1859, 1860, and 1862) carrying a total of 2,262 Saints across the Atlantic Ocean. The March date above is probably when the Larsons left Sweden; they sailed from Liverpool on April 11, 1859. Sonne, Ships, Saints, and Mariners, 198−99.
 George Rowley was captain of the eighth handcart company with 235 people, sixty handcarts, and eight wagons. MPOT.
 This date generally appears as September 4−6, 1859.
 August Tietjen (1814−94) settled in New Mexico but eventually returned to Santaquin. Ernest A. Tietjen, son of August, lived in Ramah and died in Bluewater, New Mexico. See Leonard J. Arrington, “Mormons in Twentieth-Century New Mexico,” in Szasz and Etulain, Religion in Modern New Mexico, 101−23.
 It seems likely that this is a quote from Levi Edgar Young (1874–1963). Thomas Cottom Romney wrote, “Levi Edgar Young makes the following observation relative to the quality of men chosen by Brigham Young to found colonies: ‘Brigham Young in founding the infant settlements, carefully selected the best and strongest for the pioneer work. No weaklings could conquer the desert, the Indians, the wild animals, the extremes of climate and live and develop the country.’” Romney, Mormon Colonies in Mexico, 31–32. Another version of this quote is found in Young, Chief Episodes in the History of Utah, 23–24.
 PWA had this date as April 14, 1914, but it was either April 24 as on her tombstone or April 25 as recorded by daughter-in-law, May Hunt Larson. In addition, May Larson wrote that a baby girl was born to Stella Larson the same day, and a delayed birth certificate lists her birth date as April 25, 1914. Journal of May Louise Hunt Larson, 196.
 Comish, Snowflake Girl manuscript, 21.
 Miller, Hole-in-the-Rock, 129–32. Miller also included a long description of the birth of John Rio Larson written by Ellen J. Larson Smith. Smith concluded, “Because of Olivia’s unusual vitality, she was able to be up the fourth day, packed her belongings and climbed into the wagon, travelling all day over rocky roads. She said the baby never had colic. If it wasn’t snowing she could bathe him, otherwise, this wise young mother of twenty-three, who now had three babies, rubbed him well with flannel instead of bathing him.”
 Journal of May Louise Hunt Larson, 156.
 Ibid., 196.
 The original sketch for Stella Larson in PWA also included an eight-paragraph sketch of the life of her great-grandmother Nancy Kennedy Wilkins, written by daughter Nancy A. Wilkins Colton. It is not included here because (1) this information does not apply to Arizona pioneering, (2) Nancy Kennedy Wilkins is not closely related to Stella, (3) Nancy Colton was not born until after the family arrived in Utah, and (4) some of the information is incorrect and cannot readily be verified.
 1910 census, James M. Larson, Township 6, Graham Co., Arizona; 1920 census, James M. Larson, Miami, Gila Co., Arizona.
 But, in fact, she was almost always known as Stella; all official records in Arizona (birth, death, and census) and May Hunt Larson (a sister-in-law) in her journal use the given name of Stella.
 Frank Thurston died May 23, 1886. McClintock, Mormon Settlement in Arizona, 254, 291.
 Henry G. Boyle (1824–1902) was a member of Company C of the Mormon Battalion, served as a Mormon volunteer in California, and arrived in Utah in 1848. He left Utah in 1851 with Charles C. Rich and Amasa Lyman to settle San Bernardino, served two missions to northern California, and returned to Utah in 1858. He served seven missions to the southern states and was mission president from 1876 to 1878, when he sent the Arkansas converts directly to Arizona. In 1887, he served time in the Utah Territorial Penitentiary for polygamy and spent the end of his life in the Gila Valley. He was buried in the Glenbar Cemetery. His reminiscences and diaries (1846–88) are at MS 1911, CHL. Burgess, Mt. Graham Profiles, 2:42, 223, 308–9; Landon and Metcalf, Remarkable Journey of the Mormon Battalion, 101–2; Ricketts, Mormon Battalion, 264–67; “Henry Green Boyle,” in Jenson, Latter-day Saint Biographical Encyclopedia, 4:380, 733–34.
 Seventy: a priesthood office in the Melchizedek Priesthood usually associated with missionary work. Quorums of Seventy have always been led by seven presidents rather than a president and two counselors as in other priesthood quorums and church auxillaries. Seventies were first ordained in 1835, but no priesthood office has undergone as many changes as the Seventy in the intervening years. Originally, quorums were independent of geographical areas, but this changed in 1883; by 1888, there were 101 quorums organized by stakes when James Larson left on a mission. In the mid-twentieth century, many men were ordained Seventies when called as missionaries. In 1975, a First Quorum of the Seventy was established to assist the Quorum of Twelve Apostles, and in 1986, all stake quorums were dissolved and worthy men were ordained high priests. Alan K. Parrish, “Seventy: Overview,” in Ludlow, Encyclopedia of Mormonism, 3:1300–1303.
 George Cluff (1860–1929) was president of the St. Joseph Stake Academy (also known as the Gila Academy) from 1891 to 1895 when he became superintendent of schools for Graham County. His wife was Pamela Fortie Cluff (1869–1947). Burgess, Mt. Graham Profiles, 2:198, 376–77.
 This mission would have been from fall 1898 to fall 1900; son Alexander was born October 28, 1898, and Rolland was born September 7, 1901. This missionary service should not be confused with the James Larsen of Moroni, Utah, who also served in the Southern States Mission from April to July 1898 and returned home because of illness. Deseret Weekly, August 1, 1898. Larson’s brother, Alof, also served a mission (to the northern states) during this time, leaving Snowflake May 18, 1898, and returning August 25, 1900. Journal of May Louise Hunt Larson, 59, 72. Alof’s mission is not mentioned in the sketch for May Hunt Larson, 394.
 Helen Vilate Greenhalgh (1885–1979) married Edwin Grandville Wilkins (1879–1943). AzDC, Edwin Grandville Wilkins.
 Ardell Ellsworth, “Globe Ward,” in Taylor, 25th Stake of Zion, 250.
 Mr. and Mrs. Carl Blake, “Miami Ward,” in Taylor, 25th Stake of Zion, 290.
 Taylor, 25th Stake in Zion, 90.
 RFC’s FWP sketch for May Hunt Larson was submitted on July 16, 1938. The first part of this sketch is from the FWP submission, but the second half has been completely rewritten and enlarged. Pioneer Women of Navajo County reports this as written by Louise Larson Comish, March 1965, at Santa Barbara, California. It also includes an update of the lives of the Larson children, but some pages are missing. Comish included references to May’s grandfather, Jefferson Hunt, and grandmother, Louisa Barnes Pratt. Comish described Louisa Pratt as “Mormondom’s First Woman Missionary.” Pioneer Women of Navajo County (partial manuscript of PWA, Mesa FHL), 2:103−110; Smith, Captain Jefferson Hunt of the Mormon Battalion; Carter, Heart Throbs of the West, 8:189−400.
 For additional photographs, see Ellen Malmstrom Larson Family, 388, and Lucy Hannah White Flake, 193.
 Rencher, John Hunt—Frontiersman.
 “Lois Barnes Pratt Hunt,” in ibid., 91−96.
 “Alof Larson,” in Jenson, Latter-day Saint Biographical Encyclopedia, 3:141.
 Smith, Captain Jefferson Hunt of the Mormon Battalion; Sutak, Into the Jaws of Hell; “Jefferson Hunt,” in Jenson, Latter-day Saint Biographical Encyclopedia, 4:747–48.
 Ellsworth, Dear Ellen.
 Lydia Gibson married Gilbert Hunt on April 23, 1847, at Pueblo, Colorado, where the Mississippi Saints and the Mormon Battalion sick detachments and families were wintering.
 Barnes did not give the trail this name until 1934; earlier it was known as the Mormon Wagon Road. Barnes, “Honeymoon Trail to Utah,” 6–7, 17–18.
 David H. Cannon (1838–1924) was born in Liverpool, England, and died in St. George, Utah. He was a younger brother of George Q. Cannon, and the nephew of John Taylor. When the St. George Temple was completed, he served as an assistant to temple president Wilford Woodruff, then assistant to President John D. T. McAllister, and finally on August 28, 1893, he became temple president and served until his death. DeMille, St. George Temple, 216–37.
 The two babies that died were Lois at age 5 months and Happylona when 10 days old; one of May’s twins, Ivan, died at age 15, and Jefferson Daley died at age 17. When Lois died in 1886 after being sick only thirty hours, May wrote, “It seems enough to break a mother’s heart strings to have her nursing babe snatched away so suddenly, but these things we have to bear and the Lord will bless those who trust Him under such severe circumstances. We lost so many babes that summer.” When her last stillborn boy was born in 1907, she wrote, “Sister Ramsay waited on me. I got along very well. Scarcely an ache or pain, only a heart ache.” Journal of May Louise Hunt Larson, 21, 38, 76, 97, 135, 202.
 Ilene L. Shumway, “May Hunt Larson,” in Elliott, Memoirs of May Louise Hunt Larson, 14.
 Journal of Jesse Nathaniel Smith, 398−99.
 May also wrote that she hoped “to be assisted by my father, brothers and sisters, and my aged grandmother, Celia Mounts Hunt” when summarizing the family history before 1894. Journal of May Louise Hunt Larson, typed by Helen Larson Coplan and Mary Margaret Scott (c. 1995), 1.
 Flake and Boone, Diary of Lucy Hannah White Flake; Boone, “‘As Bad as I Hated to Come’: Lucy Hannah White Flake in Arizona,” 55−87.
 Ellsworth, Journals of Addison Pratt; Ellsworth, History of Louisa Barnes Pratt; Ellsworth, Mormon Odyssey, the Story of Ida Hunt Udall.
 RFC journal, December 20, 1916, typescript in possession of Ellis.
 Journal of May Louise Hunt Larson, 636.
 Helen Larson Coplan and Mary Margaret Scott compiled a list of births, marriages, and deaths that May Hunt Larson mentioned; their list is not a complete list of births and deaths in Snowflake, but it is sometimes a useful tool for historians. Ibid., 637–65.
 Although the given name Phoebe is usually spelled with an o, Cynthia’s mother’s name is often (but not always) spelled without it.
 John Daniel Fife (1863–1944) and Walter Thompson Fife (1866–1927) were the sons of Diana Davies Fife; Orson Pratt Brown (1863–1946) was the son of James Brown and Phebe Abbott (later Fife).
 Diana Davies Fife (1837−84), wife of William Nichol Fife, died September 11, 1884, at her home in the Sulphur Springs Valley. McClintock, Mormon Settlement in Arizona, 291.
 In 1883, John Fife was working with Tom Fernoy and John Lobby/
 McIntyre and Barton, Christopher Layton.
 Glenna Seline Layton died February 12, 1892.
 Joseph Christopher Layton died May 10, 1897, at Thatcher.
 An incomplete discussion of her tenure as stake Primary president (with a list of counselors) is found in Taylor, 25th Stake of Zion, 401.
 William Walter Layton died December 19, 1921, age 29, at the Industrial School in Safford.
 All Brown quotes from http://
 Whitney, The History of Utah, 4:162–64. http://
 McClintock, Mormon Settlement in Arizona, 291.
 Although RFC did not submit this sketch to the FWP, it was written in 1938. It seems likely that she intended to submit it because the information about the marriage to Christopher Layton does not mention polygamy.
 “Christopher Layton,” in Jenson, Latter-day Saint Biographical Encyclopedia, 1:363–64; McIntyre and Barton, Christopher Layton.
 All children were given the middle name of “Williams.” The twins were the first of Elizabeth’s children to be born in Arizona.
 Ebenezer Williams and Ada Evans crossed the plains with the Claudius V. Spencer Company of 1853. MPOT lists Williams as age 22 and lists Evans’s age as unknown; the 1860 census lists them as 28 and 21, respectively. 1860 census, Ebenezer Williams, Kaysville, Davis Co., Utah.
 Apparently, Ada Evans did not come to America with her mother (who died in Wales). Ada (an orphan) came with a sister, Elizabeth (age 16), and a brother, Henry (age 10); their grandmother, Hannah Riden Bowering, had emigrated earlier and later died in Kaysville, Utah, on March 15, 1858. The children crossed the ocean on the ship Jersey. The Jersey left Liverpool on February 5, 1853, and arrived in New Orleans on March 21. The voyage was described as pleasant and included the noted artist Frederick Piercy. MMBYU; Sonne, Ships, Saints, and Mariners, 115–16; Sonne, Saints on the Seas, 76–77, 96; Piercy, Route from Liverpool to Great Salt Lake Valley, 62–70.
 Although this was originally Funny Fern, surely it refers to Fanny Fern, a pseudonym for Sara Payson Willis (1811–72). As a widow with two children, Fern began writing a weekly newspaper column. She turned these columns into her first book, Fern Leaves from Fanny’s Portfolio (1853), and also published a children’s book, Little Ferns for Fanny’s Little Friends, the same year. She is best known for her novel, Ruth Hall (1854), which was a thinly veiled autobiography, but Layton’s book may have been one of Fern’s three books for children. Warren, Fanny Fern, 1–5, 314–15, passim.
 This was a polygamous marriage. Williams was Layton’s tenth and last wife; when they were married in 1878, Christopher Layton had five wives still living.
 This quote from Ryder Ridgway was inserted because there is no mention in PWA of the move from St. David to the Gila Valley, and without understanding this move the remainder of the sketch does not make sense. “Elizabeth Layton,” in Burgess, Mt. Graham Profiles, 1:201−2. For a more complete version of this move, see McIntyre and Barton, Christopher Layton, 249.
 She “was Thatcher’s first postmaster in 1887” and that she “served for twenty years.” Mt. Graham Profiles, 1:202.
 See “Wright Brothers Killed by the Indians,” in Clayton, PMA, 511−13. Newspapers across the nation reported this incident. “Killed by the Indians,” Wichita Daily Eagle, December 3, 1885; National Republican, December 3, 1885; McCook Tribune, December 10, 1885; “Killing of the Wright Brothers,” The Daily Enquirer, February 5, 1886.
 McIntrye and Barton, Christopher Layton, 145.
 Ibid., 141.
 In August 1884, Layton wrote to his wife Rosa, asking her to come to Arizona, but she replied that she did not want to leave Utah. Then Layton wrote, “One day I received word from the stage driver that my wives Rosa H. and Septima S. were at Bowie, so I took a team and went over there. Found that they had written to me when they had concluded to come, but I, not having received it, had not been at Bowie when they arrived, which was a great disappointment to them. We came back to Safford on September 15.” Ibid., 150–51. However, Rosa returned to Utah in June 1885, and Septima returned in March 1886. Several of Christopher Layton’s sons and daughters from other wives (particularly Rosa and Septima) made Arizona their permanent home. Harvey, Septima’s Children, 15.
 “Elizabeth Layton,” in Burgess, Mt. Graham Profiles, 1:202.
 “Dec. 3, 1980 Graham County Women of Note,” Burgess, Mt. Graham Profiles, 2:252.
 The PWA sketch began with this statement: “This was written by her daughter, Lucinda Helen Leavitt Randall of Pine, Arizona.”
 “Collins Rowe Hakes,” in Clayton, PMA, 209−11; “Collins Rowe Hakes,” in Jenson, Latter-day Saint Biographical Encyclopedia, 1:559–60.
 Jenson published very few biographies for women, but Mabel Hakes was included in his first volume. “Mable Ann Morse Hakes,” in Jenson, Latter-day Saint Biographical Encyclopedia, 1:811–12; Mabel Ann Morse Hakes, 231.
 Lucinda (Cindy) Randall, “The Life History of Lyman Utley Leavitt,” in Clayton, PMA, 272−82.
 Avis Laverne Leavitt Rogers, 585.
 PWA had this location as Sacramento, but the Hakes were in San Bernardino, and Santa Clara is not on the route from Sacramento to Utah.
 Lyman and Ellen Leavitt lived in Cambria, Hillsdale Co., Michigan. The May 1863 date may have been when they left Michigan; the Leavitts are listed as “unknown company” in the MPOT. By 1864, they were living in Centerville, Davis Co., Utah, and in 1870, they were living in St. Joseph, now Lincoln Co., Nevada. 1870 census, Lyman Leavitt, St. Joseph, Rio Virgin Co., Utah Territory.
 There is no evidence that Lyman Leavitt’s first wife ever came to Arizona, so federal authorities might not have considered him a polygamist. However, there was some persecution of general church leaders, and Leavitt spent a few months in Mexico with relatives.
 The three brothers who had died were Lyman Hakes Leavitt, born June 1885, and died September 18, 1885; Clarence Edgar Leavitt, born August 25, 1890, and died September 18, 1891; and Francis Harris, born April 8, 1896, and died July 6, 1896.
 Dot Toot and Mabel Shumway, “Lyman Leavitt,” in Northern Gila County Historical Society, Rim Country History, 147–48.
 See “Avis Laverne Leavitt Rogers,” in Eisenhower, Lyman Leavitt, Pioneer.
 Ruby Bondurant, “Bert Davis Randall,” in Northern Gila County Historical Society, Rim Country History, 170–71.
 Although this sketch was written from an interview with Annie Lee somewhat earlier than 1954, there is no record of it having ever been submitted to the FWP.
 Duane Hamblin (1862−1936) later became a member of the Arizona Rangers. He and Maxwell were part of the posse that pursued the Bill Smith Gang of Blue River into northern Graham County. On October 8, 1901, a gun battle erupted, leaving Bill Maxwell and Ranger Carlos Tafolla dead. Ellis and Turner, White Mountains of Apache County, 45; Wilhelm and Wilhelm, History of the St. Johns Arizona Stake, 242–43.
 William Dudley Hamblin (1856−1934).
 The running gear is the wheels, axles, springs, and frame usually today of a motor vehicle, but here of a wagon. When pioneers reached their destination, they often lifted the wagon box off the running gear and used the box for temporary housing.
 Marcus Ezra Lee died February 20, 1886, and William Oscar Lee died February 22, 1886, both at Nutrioso.
 It is likely that this should be Moabi, Arizona (near Tuba City). Sons Willard and Joseph were born in Tuba City, and all of the children list their birth place as Arizona. There is another place in PWA where Moabi was spelled Moab, and RFC or her typist may have inserted the word “Utah” without consulting Annie Lee.
 Tizwin (usually called tiswin): a fermented drink made by the Apaches from sprouted corn.
 The two who died may be Joseph Haynes Lee, who died November 12, 1933, and Heber John Lee, who died March 15, 1929; AzDCs not located. The latter may be Heber James Lee, born 1890, died 1928, buried in the Lebanon Cemetery. Findagrave.com #48000611.
 Holographic sketch by Priscilla Lee Alger, copy in possession of Sherryl Pursley Martin.
 All locations are from birth places of children at FamilySearch.org.
 Ezra Lee, 1910 census, Panguitch, Garfield Co., Utah; Annie E. Lee, 1910 census, Lebanon, Graham Co., Arizona.
 Joseph Haynes Lee, Edwin Hamblin Lee, John Amicy Lee, and Wallace Lee, “World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917–1918,” ancestry.com.
 Ezra Taft Lee, died September 19, 1925, Utah DC.
 Annie Lee, 1940 census, Mesa, Maricopa Co., Arizona.
 Mount Olivet Cemetery records, Salt Lake Co., Utah, #176842, 176897, and 176852, findagrave.com; Annie Hamblin Lee, Utah DC.
 “James T. Lisonbee,” in Jenson, Latter-day Saint Biographical Encyclopedia, 2:140.
 Sarvisberries is the Mormon pioneer name for Utah serviceberries. American Indians mixed serviceberries with dried buffalo meat pounded into a powder and fat to make pemmican, a high-energy food often used when traveling. The pioneers used serviceberries for pies and jellies.
 It seems likely that this list refers to William H. Kimball, who married Louella Hickox; Bernard Radell, who married Sarah Sirrine; Edward D. Bloomer, who married Belle Sirrine; and Henry James Horne, who married Mary Ann Crismon (they had a son named John Franklin).
 James Lorenzo Lisonbee was born February 10, 1887, at Mesa, Arizona.
 Joseph Earl Lisonbee was born at Cedar Fort, September 22, 1888. The midwife is likely Julia Ann Rocker Laughlin (1828−91), widow of David Sanders Laughlin of the Mormon Battalion. David and Julia lived at Cedar Fort and are both buried there.
 Although this was originally “hockey team,” it probably should be hackney team, meaning a team with old, worn out horses. RFC, however, should have used the adjectival form, hackneyed. The location where they turned around is blank in PWA.
 Detta Lisonbee was born July 17, 1890, at Monroe, Sevier Co., Utah.
 Dora Veralda Lisonbee was born February 26, 1900. Veralda, Boyd, Lora, and Winona were all born in Arizona.
 James Lisonbee died December 8, 1926, at Mesa. AzDC.
 Asenath Viola Passey died August 27, 1927, and William Passey died January 2, 1929, both at Mesa. AzDCs.
 Lora Hancock was part of the Granny Band in Mesa; see Barbara Ann Phelps Allen, 36.
 Joseph Earl Lisonbee died March 10, 1949, at Mesa. AzDC.
 Wilford Biggs died October 29, 1949, at Mesa. AzDC.
 Detta Lisonbee Biggs died October 7, 1950, at Phoenix. AzDC.
 Krauss, Perry and Lora, 2:226, but see 2:212−27.