Amy and I went to visit my mom's parents Tuesday afternoon. We regularly go for lunch and a visit -- the kids love it (pictures coming in the next post).
While there, my grandpa gave each of us copy of this picture.
His grandparents and all of their children. His dad is the third from the right in the back row, with the handsome swirl of hair. I must say he's the most handsome of the bunch and he looks just like Grandpa in his younger days (I picked him out right away).
And then Amy and I sat while Grandpa told stories about these aunts & uncles he knew well. 10 boys, 2 girls.
Bill had Tuberculosis in a time when that meant confinement in a room built separate from the house. The two sisters brought food back to his room regularly, but both were weakened and died fairly young of the same disease, one without ever having married.
Doctor was given his name simply because he was the seventh consecutive son. Apparently that was commonly done (with some biblical origin?), an interesting tidbit that I have never heard. But I suppose there simply aren't so many seventh consecutive sons born these days.
Dudley's wife died young, leaving 5 small children. He remarried and had 12 more for a total of 17. His oldest daughter was born on the precise day that Arizona gained statehood - February 14, 1912. She is still living in the valley.
When asked what his grandpa was like the answer was: "He was the best darn fellow you ever did meet." That status was apparently gained partially due to his Model T Ford, which he once let his 9-year-old grandson drive. Some things really don't change within a single century. Hero status amongst a 9-year-old boy still takes that same route.
Amy asked what his grandma was like. Apparently, she was quiet...people sometimes thought her grouchy. We looked at this picture and concurred that this woman was tired. And there was no time for nonsense. She obviously raised a clean, sharp family of 14, and actually managed to get a picture of them taken in the 19-0something's. And that sure seems like something huge (which I totally understand having just gotten pictures of my small family of five).
About a month ago, Arizona had a regional conference in which one of the speakers (I unfortunately don't remember who) spoke about Arizona's beginnings. I was beaming inside with pride as he retold stories of Daniel Webster Jones. Grandpa's grandpa (the father in the picture above) was the son of Daniel Webster Jones, who came to Arizona in 1877.
In addition to translating the BOM into Spanish, Daniel Webster Jones was sent by Brigham Young to settle Arizona. A group of saints had recently returned from a trip to Mexico and they reported to President Young that they had almost perished along the way due to the fact that Arizona was "uninhabitable." Some people still say that today (Nate during the summer). This group found no water and were in bad condition when they prayed to the Lord for help. Soon there was a fall of rain and snow, depositing plenty of water for the cattle and to fill up their barrels. In the morning they were refreshed and headed back to Salt Lake. When asked by Brigham Young what he thought of that, Dan answered:
"I would have filled up, went on, and prayed again."
Brother Brigham replied, putting his hand on Dan, "This is the man that shall take charge of the next trip to Arizona."
And so he did, settling in Lehi with his family, making me a 5th generation Arizona native. I love hearing stories about family history and knowing about the people that came before me. That afternoon with Grandma and Grandpa telling us stories was priceless and I am grateful to have the picture and the stories to go along with it.