LIFE STORY OFALBERT ALEXANDER McCAIN AND RHODA ELIZABETH CHAMBERLAIN McCAIN
WRITTEN AND COMPILED BY MARIE IVERSON WAITE (A Grandaughter)
Albert Alexander McCain and Rhoda Elizabeth Chamberlain
ALBERT'S CHILDHOOD AND EARLY LIFE
Albert Alexander McCain was born November 7, 1866 in Euchee Meigs County, Tennessee. He was the first child born to John Newell McCain and Eliza Jane Dannels. His mother, Eliza, had been married before to a Mr. Reece and had one daughter, Mary Jane Reece. Albert had one full sister just younger than he. Her name was Sally McCain.
Albert's ancestors originally came from Scotland and Ireland. He inherited the blue eyes and the red hair of the Irish.
From what little I have heard about his parents, his mother was a large woman and very domineering. She ran the farm and the family just as she wanted. Albert's father seemed to be a very kind and gentle man. He was of medium-build a very hard worker and a good provider for his family. Albert was the only boy on his mother's side of the family to ever grow to manhood.
He was born and raised on a dry farm owned by his parents, near Sweetwater, Tennessee. The country in that part of Tennessee is made up of rolling hills covered with thick timber and underbrush, Many wild berries, nuts and persimmons grow in wild profusion.
It was the custom for everyone in that district to turn their pigs loose in the woods, to eat and grow fat on the abundant supply of wild nuts anti fruits. Then when some one needed fresh pork, several of the neighbors would get together and go hunting some pigs of suitable size. By the time the pigs grew up, they had become wild. No one branded their own pigs, but would kill any that were available.
Wild boar, deer, raccoons and possums also wandered the country side and were hunted by men and their packs of baying hound dogs.
The Tennessee River runs through the country where Albert and Rhoda were born and raised. Now there are four large dams built on this river. As a result, the water is backed up into large lakes. One of these lakes covers the spot where Rhoda was born.
The people here engage in farming, but each farm has to be cleared of the timber and thick underbrush. This is such hard work. As a result, the cleared fields are small. The largest not over ten acres, and usually much smaller. These fields have to be worked constantly to keep the forest from taking over again. It is dry farming but usually there is plenty of rainfall.
At an early age Albert was taught to work hard on his parents' farm where they raised corn, cotton, tobacco, and when the growing season was wet enough they raised peanuts. They also raised some fruit trees and always their vegetable gardens. They always raised pigs, cattle and horses that were needed for meat, milk, and to help with the work on the farm.
Albert's folks had Negro slaves to help with the farm work, but Albert too, did his full share. He learned to hoe, drive a team of horses and work in the tobacco and corn fields. One of his special jobs was to look for tobacco worms and kill them for a few could soon destroy a whole field of tobacco plants. Albert soon learned to harvest the tobacco when it was ready. It had to be cut, stemmed, washed, graded and dried. He was around twelve years of age before he learned how to grade it properly.
Even though he had to work hard at heart he was just a mischievous fun-loving boy. He loved to play war with the neighborhood boys. He happened to be the oldest, so he just about ran things his way, saying if they didn't do things as he said he would feed them to the wild pigs or cut off their ears with the pocket knife he always carried in his pocket. He would have them do things for him and pay them off with fresh vegetables from the garden. Even then he was a big tease, and this mischievous delight stayed with him all through his life.
While growing up Albert usually wore blue bib overalls and shirts of unbleached muslin. While young he developed the habit of going to bed early and arising early in the morning. This proved to be a very thrifty habit for a farmer. He kept this habit all his life, even after he retired and had no reason to getup early.
Albert always seemed to be happy, usually whittling or singing as he worked. He loved to chew on cinnamon bark as he went about his work. He was blessed with a beautiful tenor voice, and sang in the Church choir most of his life, up until a short time before his death. He also played the harmonica and the Jew's harp.
When Albert's daughter, Mary, went on a visit to Tennessee, in later years, she visited the old McCain farm, where her father was born and raised. Albert's half sister Mary Jane Reese Lemons lived there for years before her death. The old family home had burned to the ground and another house was built in its place, but Mary did see an old gnarled apple tree still alive that was planted before her father was born and under which her father played as a boy. He also probably climbed through its branches as he and his young friends played their imaginary war games.
While growing up, Albert belonged to several different churches.
He received very little education, about one year of schooling in all. He attended a very small country school, where all the classes were held in one room, with only one teacher. He learned to do a limited amount of reading, writing and arithmetic.
It was here at school that this red-headed, mischievous boy met a tiny young girl named Rhoda Elizabeth Chamberlain. Somehow, he just couldn't resist teasing her at every, opportunity. She resented him and his attentions very much, but there was something about her that he just couldn't ignore. She was always some one very special to him, for he married her several years later.
After they were married, he was somewhat jealous for a while, of any attention paid to her by other men. One time he became so jealous that he mixed a little soda and sand stone together, tied it in a neat little package and put it under Rhoda's breakfast plate. They always used to turn their plates upside down, when setting the table. He attached a small note to the package saying, "Love powders, from Sam". (Sam was an old boy friend of Rhoda's before her marriage.) All this upset Rhoda very much, because she knew Albert had no reason to be jealous. Through prayer and their love for each other, he was able to overcome his jealousy and wasn't bothered by it again.
The people in the south seemed inclined to be quite superstitious. They also had ways of doing things that seem queer to us now. They had stories that were told and handed down from generation to generation. These stories usually grew and changed somewhat in the telling until they became legend. They especially enjoyed, and it seems, believed in "scary stories of spooks or haunts".
Grandpa Albert always loved to tease. He teased any children who happened to be around. He even teased his wife some. Later he teased his own children and even liked to scare them, by telling spook' stories, as was the custom of people from the south. He would tell his children of "Booger Boos" outside at night and he would make scary noises to make it all seem more real. Many times, he would hide in dark places and scare them.
In the evenings many times he would play with his children, sometimes getting down on his knees and going after them, making noises to scare them. They would run and scream and once in a while someone would get hurt. He would have great fun and would shake with laughter, but sometimes it wasn't very funny to the children or their mothers.
In later years he turned his teasing to his grandchildren and later the great grandchildren were favored with his special brand of attention. If he could tease them enough to make them cry, he would laugh with great merriment and little Grandma would scold him by saying, "Now, Grandpa".
But no matter how much he made them cry they kept coming back for more. There was something about this laughing, happy man with the twinkling blue eyes and sandy red hair and mustache, that drew us to him like a magnet and we all thought he was simply wonderful.
He loved to sing and would often sing catchy little songs to his grandchildren to tease or attract their attention. One especially remembered by his granddaughter, Eva, was "Pretty Red Bird".
No one ever seemed to quite compare with or could take the place of this laughing man we grandchildren were all privileged to call "Grandpa".
Grandpa was ordained a deacon by Bishop George Billings in Jensen. He then worked himself up and became worthy of all the different positions in the priesthood until, on February 17, 1929, he was ordained to the highest office, High Priest, by William 0.Bently.
Rhoda Elizabeth Chamberlain when 17 years of age
Rhoda Elizabeth Chamberlain was born May 26 1870 in Roane County Tennessee. She was the first child of the marriage of Francis Jane Cundiff and John Wesley Chamberlain. It is believed that their ancestors originally came from England. This was her mother's second marriage. She had first married Francis Nelson. They had four children, Bill, Mary, John and Alex. They lost both Mary and John by death when they were infants.
Awhile before their fourth child, Alex was born Francis was called into the Confederate Army to fight in the Civil War. This must have been an awful experience for Frances, seeing her husband off to war. She had been weaving the cloth to make him a new suit of clothing, but before she could finish it, he was called away.
He came back later for one short week, then he left never to be seen or heard of again. It was assumed that he must have been killed by bushwhackers or met with some other unfortunate accident. Poor Francis must have been heart broken with grief. It was soon after this tragedy that she gave birth to her fourth child a son whom she named Alex. He of course never saw or knew his father.
Francis later married John Wesley Chamberlain. They had two children, Rhoda Elizabeth and Jerry Marson.
When Rhoda was born, she was such a tiny sickly baby that she wasn't expected to live. She was such a wee babe, that a teacup would go down over her head and rest on her shoulders. It was considered a miracle that she lived, especially in those days of very few doctors, hospitals and limited medicines. Of course, we all know she was kept alive by the Lord because she had a mission to fulfill here on earth. Rhoda never did grow very large. The most she every weighed that I know of was ninety-five pounds. Although she was always tiny, yet in courage and endurance, she was a pillar of strength to those around her.
Rhoda had two half brothers living, Bill and Alex, and of course her full brother, Jerry. Alex was ten years old when she was born; she always thought so much of him and looked up to him.
When Rhoda was four years old, she had a pet cat that she was very fond of. She often fed it out of her spoon as she ate her bread and milk. They seemed to go everywhere together. One day as Alex was doing his chores little Rhoda and her cat tagged along. As Alex went through the barnyard gate the cat ran up on the gatepost. As Rhoda started through the gate the cat jumped down on her, scratching, tearing and biting her something awful. All the while it was making the terrible noise of cats fighting. Alex ran back, pulled the cat off and killed it. To little Rhoda this was a most frightening and heart breaking experience. To think that, something she had loved and cared for so tenderly could turn on her and treat her in this way. She never cared for cats again.
But this pet cat wasn't the only thing that treated her badly, when it should have loved her. Her own father was often a harsh and cruel man and many times treated his children very badly. On one occasion he brought home some molasses. This was a rare treat to the children, who had very few sweets. Rhoda was given some. It tasted so good that she asked for a second helping. This made her father so angry that he filled her plate full and whipped her until she ate it all. As a result, she was ill for several days.
While still a boy Alex once took very ill with typhoid fever. As he started to improve, the doctor said he should eat very little and especially nothing with fat of any kind. As he continued to improve so did his appetite and he became very hungry. One day, his mother had gone out to do the chores. So Alex crawled out of bed and across the floor to the corner fireplace where they did the family cooking. There, sat a kettle of cabbage seasoned with quite a bit of fat meat. Alex was so hungry he ate out of the kettle with his hands and ate all he wanted. Little Rhoda was in the room and saw it all. Alex made her promise that if it should kill him; she would never tell what he had done. But this stolen lunch seemed to be just what he needed, for he improved more rapidly from then on. So he decided to tell the doctor what he had done. It made the doctor very angry, because he had disobeyed him. But Alex always felt that his remedy was better than the doctor's.
One humorous incident happened when Alex was a young man. Like most boys, he loved to tease his younger brother and sister. One time when he was out in the woods, gathering wood, he found some fox firewood. This wood is greenish gray in color and when dry and somewhat decayed, it glows at night, like fire. Alex fashioned a scarecrow from this wood and left it out in the woods along the trail. He then took his load of wood for the fireplace on to the house. He was saving the scarecrow for just the right time to take home to frighten the children.
Then one dark right as Alex was returning a home from seeing his girl, he was walking along the trail through the woods He looked up and saw this glowing image of a man, with outstretched arms and his hand on fire. His heart leaped into his throat and he turned to run. Then he remembered about his scarecrow he had made. He stopped and. threw rocks and found that he had indeed been frightened by the scarecrow he had fashioned to scare his little brother and sister with. So the joke was on him.
When but a small child Rhoda learned to make lye out of ashes and then use the lye with scraps of fat to make their soap. The fat, the lye, and water were all put in a tub or large iron kettle and set over an outside fire. It was a very hot, backbreaking job to stand over the fire and stir the soap, for hours as it boiled. When it had cooked enough it was aside to cool, then cut in bars to be used.
When Rhoda and Albert were children, matches were a luxury item. They were so scarce and high priced that they were out of reach for most of the poor families in Tennessee. So each night the fire in the fireplace had to be banked, by covering the hot coals with ashes, to keep them alive until morning. If the coals all died out, Grandma would have to walk to the nearest neighbors, sometimes a mile or two away. From them she would get a start of live coals. It was quite a job to keep the coals alive as she hurried home. Sometimes, they would all go out and she would have to return to the neighbors for a new start.
VERY LITTLE SCHOOLING
Rhoda had very little opportunity to go to school, but during the time she was ten or eleven years of age, she went as much as possible, to the little country school near by. Here classes were held only three months out of the year. All classes were held in one room and taught by one teacher. This settlement was so small that it had no name.
Rhoda only went to about three months of schooling in all. The only thing she really learned was to say the ABCs forward and backwards. Rhoda wasn't able to attend school any more because of the illness of her mother. She had to stay home most of the time, to help her. Everything else Rhoda later learned of spelling and arithmetic she taught herself. Years later as her own children went to school, she learned along with them and was soon able to help them with their spelling and numbers. She became very good at spelling and learned to read print but not hand writing. She learned to figure in her mind, but not on paper. She never did learn to write, which proved to be a great handicap to her all her life.
When Grandma Rhoda was a small child, she used to go with her mother to the Methodist Church although she was never baptized or sprinkled because this was one thing her mother didn't believe in.
Although Rhoda's childhood had never been a happy carefree one, the worst was yet to come, for soon the heavy burden of worry, heartache and finally deep sorrow was to rest upon her frail shoulders.
Her precious mother became incurably ill and bedfast for over two years. During this time, Rhoda waited on her mother and also did the house work, taking care of the rest of the family the best she could. Her great concern however, was for her mother, who had always been her protector and shield. Her mother was the one person in whom she could confide and go to whenever something troubled her. She was the one person who loved her so tenderly and whom Rhoda loved more than anyone else on earth.
It was a sad and wearisome task to wait on her dear mother for one so young. Many nights her mother would take bad coughing spells and little Rhoda would get up and hunt desperately through their small, limited supply of medicine or remedies for something that might stop the cough.
After two long years of this all the time watching her mother growing steadily worse, Rhoda finally lost her dear mother in death. So deep had been her concern for her mother and so long the habit of getting up at night to care for her that for quite some time after her mother's death Rhoda would arise automatically while yet half asleep and go to look for something to stop her mother's cough. Twelve years was such a tender age for one to lose a mother, especially when her father was such a cruel and heartless man.
Grandfather John Wesley Chamberlain must have always been a very miserable unhappy man, for him to mistreat his children so. Perhaps it all started in his childhood when he was put out to another couple to raise, because his parents had such a large family they couldn't care for all of them. We can imagine what a feeling of resentment this could cause in a child. He probably felt he wasn't loved or wanted.
Surely there was some good in him or Grandmother Francis would never have married him in the first place. A short time after his wife's death, Grandpa Wesley married a Martha Lewis and brought her into their home. This new step-mother cared very little for the children and resented them being there, refusing to feed them when their father was away. There was trouble and Martha left. Alex was away working at the time.
Rhoda 's father soon married a Nina Winchester, without first divorcing Martha. Nina soon left also. By now the law was after him. So he took Rhoda and Jerry and wandered from place to place hiding from the law. He changed their name for awhile, so the authorities wouldn't be so apt to find him and arrest him for having two wives.
He took his children and they walked clear over the Cumberland Mountains, until the soles wore off their shoes and their feet were sore and bleeding. Finally they stopped at the home of a widow named Martha France where they stayed for awhile.
While here, Rhoda told Mrs. France how badly her father treated her. As a result, when her father decided to leave, Mrs. France wouldn't allow him to take Rhoda. She said hiking around the country was not the thing for a young girl to be doing. He left Jerry with someone else to care for.
This was the last time Rhoda ever saw her father. Years later, Rhoda received a letter saying her father had died
RHODA GOES TO LIVE WITH ALEX
Before Rhoda's mother died; she requested that Rhoda and Jerry stay with their brother, Alex. So Rhoda sent word to him to come and get her. He soon came with a team and wagon the forty miles distance from his place. But they didn't get Jerry. He stayed with the people his father had left him with, for several years.
Rhoda then lived with Alex until she married around four years later: During this time, she worked out for different people for only fifty cents a week. This was the usual wage at that time; She worked long hard hours doing all kinds of housework and chores. She also did a lot of cutting and piecing quilt blocks.
The only kind of light anyone around that part of Tennessee had in those days other than the flickering light from the fireplace was from beef tallow. They would melt the tallow, put it in a dish and add a piece of cloth. The cloth would then be lighted. This would give off a dim warm glow, but was not really bright enough to do close work by.
Rhoda had very little time for herself or for any carefree fun, as a young girl should have. She was so young to have to make a living for herself
RHODA TELLS OF ALBERT AND OTHERS
When Grandma Rhoda was asked, in later years, how she first met Grandpa, she said she had known him ever since she could remember. They had attended the same school and she had disliked Albert McCain more than any boy in school. He was just a red headed; freckle-faced big tease and he seemed to pick on her more than any one else in school. Neither did she like his sister Sally.
I think even then Grandpa must have liked her a lot, but she being a little girl couldn't understand the ways of a young boy's heart and his desire to pay her attention. While Rhoda was in her teens and before she started going steady with Albert, several young men used to come to see her. One of them came to call on her one day. They had supper and as she was doing the dishes, he kept teasing her. Finally she picked up the dish cloth dripping with water and proceeded to hit him with it. This only made him laugh and tease more. He took a dipper full of water and poured it on top of her head. She then chased him around with a. butcher knife she happened to be washing. Her brother Alex stopped her and took the knife away. When telling about this incident she said, "I was a regular little spit-fire when I was growing up."
When Rhoda was working at the home of Mr. Jim Harding, she met a boy by the name of Tommy Walker, who also worked there. They became quite fond of each other and kept company for a long time, but finally broke up and went their separate ways.
At the age of sixteen, Rhoda had just been baptized into the Baptist Church. Alex and she had gone to Church one Sunday. Here they met and were talking to Albert and Sally McCain. Alex was going with Sally at the time. Rhoda still didn't like Albert, but as they all stood talking. Sally gave Rhoda a shove toward Albert. He caught her in his arms to keep her from falling. He then asked if he could walk home with her. She reluctantly gave her consent, so the four of them walked home together. From then on they started keeping steady company.
One evening, Albert and Sally came over to see Rhoda and Alex. After supper Sally and Rhoda were doing the dishes. Albert came in and said, "Hurry up, Rhoda, I have something important to ask you when we're alone." This irked Rhoda for some reason and she said "Ask me now or never." So in front of Sally and Alex, Albert asked Rhoda to marry him.
This surprised her very much as she had never thought of getting married, and she still hadn't let herself like Albert very much. So she told him she would have to think about it for awhile, for she had no intentions of getting married yet. She had been knocked around so much and had been hurt so many time, that she seemed to be afraid to let herself become fond of any one for fear of being hurt again.
At this time, she had a great desire to travel around and see the country and the wonders outside her small world. But alas, she was just a young girl, with very little money. It was so hard in those days for a young girl to travel around alone. So her adventurous dreams had to be put on the shelf, along with so many dresses of this life.
Albert Alexander McCain and Rhoda Elizabeth Chamberlain soon after their marriage
Rhoda continued to go with Albert for nearly a year longer and by trying, she really did learn to love him. She decided that if she couldn't travel the next best thing would be to marry him and settle down. It would be rather nice to really belong to some cherished by them in return. So she finally said "yes" to the question he had asked nearly a year before. They then set about making plans for their wedding.
She worked one week to buy the cloth for her wedding dress. She earned fifty cents and the cloth was five cents a yard. She usually used only seven yards for a dress, but for her wedding dress, she bought ten yards. She chose a white thin lawn material, with small, lovely blue flowers. She also bought white lace to edge the tiers of ruffling on the long full skirt. It was made with a tight bodices high neckline and long sleeves, all trimmed with lace edging. It all looked so dainty and feminine.
She worked for another week to pay to have it made, because she had no time off from her job. So her wedding dress cost a little over a dollar altogether.
Albert and Rhoda were married the eleventh day of October, Eighteen Hundred and Eighty Seven, by a Baptist minister, John Whaley, Their wedding took place on the porch of the home of Albert's half sister, Mary Jane Lemons, in Ten Mile, Meigs County, Tennessee. They were married about thirty or forty feet from where the old house stood, in which Albert was born.
The first week after their marriage, they stayed at Mary Jane's home. They then went back to live with Alex.
So ended one era of their life and a new one began. Although they were together now to love and comfort one another, still life was a constant struggle. They owned no place of their own, so moved around a good deal making a meager living by farming on shares. Rhoda went right into the fields to work by Albert's side, practically doing a man's work herself.
One year and a month after their marriage, they were blessed with a sweet baby boy, born November 14. 1888. They named him James Anderson and called him Little James. About this time Rhoda had so few dresses that she had to start wearing her wedding dress around home for a clean change. She mentioned years later, what a job it had been to iron it, with all the ruffles and especially with having to heat the heavy irons by standing them near the fireplace and changing often because they cooled so fast.
One day when Little James was about five months old, Rhoda was outside heating her wash water in a tub over an open fire. This was the only way they had of heating their water in those days. This day, there was a strong wind blowing, and Rhoda was wearing her long full-skirted wedding dress. The skirt blew into the fire and burst into flames. Grabbing her skirt up in her hands, she ran for the spring, which was about twenty-five feet away. She jumped into the ditch, putting the fire out. But, alas, her wedding dress was burned beyond repair. Her hands too, were very badly burned. She couldn't bear to even pick up her baby, so had to wait until Albert came home from the fields to help.
All this brings back memories of another fire when Rhoda was eleven years old. Her mother was sick in bed and the roof of the house caught on fire. No one else was around, so little Rhoda kept climbing up and down a ladder with a five-gallon wooden bucket filled with water, until she had put out the fire.
Rhoda and Albert were having many trials at this time, but unknown to them, the worst was yet to come.
When Little James was seven or eight months old he was such a bright and quick child and was walking around the chairs by himself. He was such a sweet joy to his mother and father and he was the main reason all the struggle seemed worth while.
But one day, Little James became very ill. They were told the dreaded news that he had brain fever as it was called in those days. It is now known as Spinal Meningitis. It was such a terrible disease and especially for the babies and small children. There must have been an epidemic because many of the babies around died from the disease.
Rhoda and Albert called in Dr. McCalin, who did all he could with the known remedies of the day, but to no avail. His mother tenderly nursed him and they prayed for his recovery. But, he was needed back in the spirit world for he soon slipped away from them and was gone.
They were broken hearted at his passing, and life seemed so empty and lonely, for so long, without the sweep presence of Little James. Rhoda told later about something that happened the day before Little James died. A morning dove came and sat on the corner of the roof of the house. It cooed and cooed for such a long time, that she went out to frighten it away. But it kept coming back to light on the same spot, which happened to be the corner of the house pointing toward the cemetery. It was such a mournful., melancholy sound, that Rhoda had a strong feeling that this was an omen or warning of what happened to Little James. For years afterward, she would cry every time she heard the mournful call of the morning dove.
LIFE GOES ON
Rhoda and Albert continued to live with Alex and Jerry stayed with them part of the time now, when he wasn't working too far away to stay at home. Uncle Alex and Albert bought a team of horses and an old wagon. This of course made their farming easier.
Rhoda and Albert's second child a daughter was born October 1st. 1890, at Euchee, Meigs County, Tennessee. She was given the name of Artie Francis. This baby really brightened their life and filled the empty space somewhat.
Rhoda never had a cook stove until after Artie was born. Before that time, she had always cooked at the fireplace in heavy black iron pots and kettles. She did her baking in a Dutch oven. They used corn bread most of the time. She would make hot corn bread for breakfast and would try and make enough to have some left over to use cold, for dinner and supper. They also used hot corn meal mush for supper a good deal of the time.
They always raised their own pigs and usually had fat pork to go with their corn bread. They always had a cow to supply milk for the family and chickens for eggs and meat. They also raised all kinds of vegetables in the summer time. This was the typical menu for most of the people in Tennessee at that time.
Grandma said they never had white flour in the house except at Christmas time. Then Grandpa would buy a small sack probably about ten pounds. This was enough to make a white Christmas cake, a few pies, and one batch of white bread. This was all a wonderful treat to them.
Grandma also told about once before they had a cow, how she would walk one and a half miles, twice a day, to one of the neighbors. There she would milk a cow, carry the milk home, strain it and let its stand until it soured. She then would pour it all in the churn and churn the butter. She then would take half the butter and the buttermilk back to the neighbor as she went to milk the cow the next time. Everyone used a lot of buttermilk for it was hard to keep milk sweet with no refrigeration.
Soon after they were married, Grandpa made the statement that he had never had all the eggs he wanted at one time. So one morning Grandma cooked him an even dozen for breakfast He ate nine of them. He always liked eggs but he never ate that many at one time again.
In Tennessee in those days there were no screens used on the houses. The flies and other insects swarmed in through open doors and windows. Rhoda would go get a willow branch leave the leaves on it and swish it back and forth over the table to keep the flies off the food.
In the winter after Artie was two years old they moved from Ten Mile to Sweetwater. They hired an old man to help them move. It took them from early in the morning until way in the night to move the distance of ten miles by team and wagon.
After they arrived at their destination Grandma Rhoda made a bed on the floor of their new home for Uncle Alex and the old man using her prized feather bed tick and her best quilts. Grandma a1ways used the best she had for guests. They later found that the old man had body lice and they were all contaminated. They tried every way they could think of to try and get rid of them.
Rhoda finally tried washing and boiling all the bedding and clothes every day. She would rub and wash those heavy quilts, bed ticks, and clothes between her hands and then try to wring out the water by hand. She then had to hang them all out on the bushes to dry for they had no clothesline. This was really a hard backbreaking job for her. She was such a frail little person and was expecting another child.
Washing clothes and bedding and hanging them out was considered much beneath a man's dignity so Grandpa felt he just couldn't lower himself to help her. They did, however finally get rid of the body lice.
Their first winter in Sweetwater was extremely cold with lots of snow and cold winds.
About this time Alex met and married Susie Jiles. They lived with Albert and Rhoda for a while. Alex had previously been married to another girl, but her parents were opposed to the marriage and took her away and soon had their marriage annulled. Rhoda's oldest half brother Bill Nelson married his cousin, Ruth Nelson, and raised a large family there in Tennessee. Alex was always very good and kind to Rhoda and Jerry.
In the year of 1893 on the 23rd of May a third child was born to Rhoda and Albert at Sweetwater, Monroe County, Tennessee. It was another sweet baby girl, but she was so small and frail that Grandma feared that she might not live. But after a month or so she began to do much better. She soon filled out and developed into a very pretty baby. They named her Mae Belle.
A NEW FAITH IN GOD
In the summer of 1895 they met the Mormon Missionaries. They had never seen or heard of the Mormons or their Latter Day Saints Church before.
Even so, there was something about these men that was so different. There was a wonderful spiritual feeling that couldn't be dismissed. Rhoda and Albert were very impressed and gave their consent for the missionaries to hold a cottage meeting in their home. They even invited the missionaries to stay with them. They gave their bed to the missionaries and they themselves slept on the floor.
It was the custom there in Tennessee for the girls and women to use snuff during meetings and the men to smoke. In fact even young children were urged and sometimes forced to chew tobacco and use it in other ways for medicinal purposes, such as a cure for stomach worms. Grandpa and Grandma also used coffee.
At this cottage meeting with the Mormon missionaries both Albert and Rhoda had a strong feeling of guilt about using their tobacco, so they hid it so the missionaries wouldn't see it. They had never been ashamed to use it anywhere before or in front of anyone. They knew nothing about the "Word of Wisdom" of the L. D. S. Church, but for some strange reason they knew it was wrong to use their tobacco. This feeling in itself was a great help in converting them to the Church and gave them a strong testimony of the truthfulness of the Gospel.
Later when they learned about the Word of Wisdom, Grandma slipped her tobacco into the fire and Grandpa threw his in the river. They never used it again. They also quit using coffee. All this was very hard for them to do because they had grown up with those bad habits since they were children.
They very soon saw and understood the truthfulness of this wonderful new religion. It was like a bright new day breaking in on their dark drab life. It opened up a whole shiny, new world for them with new hopes and dreams for a better life on this earth and wondrous promises of life eternal in the world to come. It gave the true meaning and purpose of this life. They now understood why they were here and what the Lord expected them to do to work out their salvation here on earth, so they could earn the exalted life in the eternities to come. They soon requested baptism in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
In the fall of 1895, November the 18th was a very cold day. The mill creek pond was already frozen over with ice. Nevertheless, the two Missionaries Elders Archie S. Richardson and Marion Clinger with Albert, Rhoda, Alex and Susie all went down to the mill creek pond for their baptism. The Elders had to take an ax and chop a hole in the ice to make a place for the baptism to take place. It was so cold, and Rhoda had just given birth to their fourth child, that the Elders thought it best for her to wait until the next spring when it was warmer.
But Albert was baptized by Elder Clinger and confirmed by Elder Richardson, There had been threats made that there would be trouble if the baptism took place. When the Elders were about to baptize Aunt Susie a man rode up on a horse. He said if they baptized her they would all be mobbed on the spot. Aunt Susie stood there in the icy water freezing and yet pleading to be baptized, so they went ahead with it and no mob appeared.
They received more threats so that night, when the church members held their meetings several of the men took their guns in case of a mob but none appeared.
Rhoda and Albert's young baby was their third daughter and was born October 27th, 1895. They named this dear baby girl Mary.
The following May 20th, 1896, Rhoda was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. After they accepted the Gospel, most of their family and friends turned against them and their persecutions and trials became sore, indeed. Grandpa Albert's folks were very bitter toward them and blamed Rhoda, for them joining the church. All of Rhoda's Aunts and Uncles, who had once thought so much of her, turned against her after she became a "Mormon".
They received many threats against them and their families. One day, they found a letter on the fence addressed to "Albert and Alex Mormons". In the letter was a picture of a coffin. A note said, that is where they would soon be if they didn't quit the Mormons. Another threat made was that Albert and Alex would be taken for slaves and their wives and children would be given to other men. They received many such threats. I think we can clearly see how Satan was working through other people to stop the growth of the Savior's Church here on the earth. I know it is hard for us to even begin to imagine what sacrifice these, our parents and grandparents, made to join the church that most of us take so for granted.
THEY LEAVE TENNESSEE
Their situation was becoming desperate, for no one would give the men folks work, so that they might support their families. Finally Albert and Rhoda decided to leave the green wooded hills of their native Tennessee, the place of their birth. They started the long move (in those days) toward Zion, or in other words, Utah, the headquarters of the church. They wanted to live the rest of their lives among the people that believed as they now did, where they would be accepted, respected, loved and treated well, as it was their right to be.
They decided to make their destination Jensen, Utah, where lived Archie Richardson, one of the Mormon Missionaries who had converted them. He also was instrumental in helping them make the move to Utah. So they bid Alex and his family good bye and told them to come on to Utah as soon as then could. They gave up their homes relatives; friends, household goods and belongings, even most of the food they had and left their beloved hills of Tennessee for the Gospel. They could take with them only a few choice possessions and one of these was Rhoda's prized feather bed (tick) that had belonged to her mother.
The Albert McCain family in Missouri, 1898 Front: Mary, Albert, Rhoda, Leoma Back: May Belle, Artie
They left by train and by the time they reached Missouri they realized they didn't have enough money to go on to Utah. Albert had an uncle Anderson McCain living in Missouri so they stopped there to see if Albert might find work. They at first lived in an old house. Then Uncle Anderson let Albert cut and hue logs to build a one-room log cabin on his farm in which they could live. Albert worked hard during their stay in Missouri a period of two to three year to save up enough money to, go on to Utah.
While here in Cains Hill Cedar County, Missouri another precious baby girl was born to them on August 3rd 1898. They named her Leoma. She was the only one of the girls to have lovely auburn red hair like her father's.
While living in the first old house on Uncle Anderson's farm, all the water for household use had to be carried from a well quite a distance from the house. As the girls were still very small, an wash day, Grandma would pack a lunch, load the girls and the laundry in the wagon. She then would drive to the well. While the children played and slept in the shade she would do her washing. She would then spread the clean clothes out on the bushes to dry. After the laundry was nice and clean and dry she would gather up everything children included load them all back in the wagon and drive home again. I imagine she had a tired feeling of deep satisfaction for much accomplished and a day well spent.
In those days, wash day was really a day filled with good hard work. All the clothes were washed by rubbing them between her hands. After wash day, Grandma was then faced with the task of doing her ironing with the heavy flat irons they used in those days. They had to be heated on the wood stove. If they were fortunate enough to have one. If not they were stood next to the fire in the fireplace until hot enough to use. The irons cooled off fast so had to be changed often for a hotter one, so they needed several irons to change off with.
While in Missouri they had a deep well with steps going down inside to the bottom. Only a small amount of water was in the bottom. Grandma would put their milk in a bucket fasten a cloth over the top and then it would be taken down into the well and set in the water. Here it would be kept cool and sweet. Once Aunt Mary spilled the milk into the water. Grandma then had to dip it all out and put clean water in.
Aunt Mary, their third daughter remembers one time when she was around four or five years of age. One day Grandma and Grandpa were going to the field in the wagon. They told the girls to stay at the house, but Mary ran along and hung onto the back of the wagon as it went along. After going some distance, her father happened to look back and see here and said, "Mary go back to the house". She said, "No, I won't do it." Her father stopped the wagon, handed the lines to Grandma jumped out of the wagon with his big long hickory willow in his hand that he usually used to encourage the team along. He switched Mary a few times on the bare legs and said, "Don't ever tell me you won't do it again." Mary headed for the house on a run and she really learned a lesson. She never again told her father, she wouldn't do it
Grandpa was usually happy-go-lucky and full of fun, but he demanded respect and obedience from his children and his grandchildren.
THEY MOVE ON TO UTAH
Finally Albert and Rhoda saved up enough money to make the trip on to Utah. So about 1900 at the turn of the century they headed west for sure going by train. Some of them became very sick from riding on the train. They arrived in Heber, Utah and were met by Brother Archie Richardson who had been released and returned home from his mission after converting them. He took them on to his home in Jensen, Uinta County by wagon. Leoma was just a tiny little thing of about two years of age, but she remembers seeing a very large dog there at the depot, that looked as big as a horse to her.
Here in Utah they were taken in by Bro. Richardson's family and made to feel wanted welcome. Here they were shown love and respect by the Richardson family and everyone else They no longer felt like homeless outcasts but felt like they were finally among their own kind. Here they knew they could live their lives and religion as they pleased, without persecution and hatred. Here they could settle down and raise their family up in the ways of the Lord.
They were so grateful and deeply appreciative of all the help the Elders and others had given them to open up this wonderful new way of life for them. They stayed at Bro. Richardson's place for about ten days, then moved on to the Johnny Jensen place on the banks of what was called the Slew. They stayed there for about a month, then moved to the Holgate House, a block away.
They began their life here in this new country in a very simple and humble way, but because of their industrious and honest ways, they soon became self-sustaining and began to gather around them some of comforts of life,
While living here their sixth child was born on May 5th, 1902. When the midwife told Rhoda that she had a sweet baby boy, she could hardly believe it. When she was finally convinced it was true, she was overcome with joy. She had hoped for another son ever since Little James had died. They named the new baby John Harold.
As usual, here too, Rhoda found a place to plan a garden. A Mrs. Arson, who lived one and a half miles away let Rhoda plant a garden at her place for half of what she raised. The garden was so far away that she would leave the older girls to care for the baby and go work in the garden all day going home only at noon and night. Before leaving home, she would prepare what was called a "sugar tit" (A spoonful of sugar tied in a white cloth). When the baby got hungry and fussed while his Mother was gone, the girls would put the sugar tit in his mouth and hold it for him to suck on to pacify his hunger. Rhoda always nursed her babies and knew nothing of formulas and bottles for babies, and had no refrigerator or ice box to keep milk cold and sweet.
Rhoda worked in every way she could to help provide food and a living for her family. They worked extra hard the first year or so in Jensen to get started there.
Rhoda always made her girls a new dress for the fourth of July usually made from lawn or voile which were thin cool summer materials popular in those days. They always received a new heavy winter dress for Christmas. They usually went barefooted a lot during the summer, but had new shoes during the winter.
The family next moved to the section known as the River Bottoms on the banks of the Green River. They were living here when Rhoda's brother Alex Nelson, his wife, Susie, and their three children arrived in Utah from Tennessee in 1902. This was a happy, joyous They had all been extra close and had all been through so much together.
Alex and his family stayed with Albert and Rhoda for a few weeks then moved to a place of their own.
Later the same year, Jerry, Rhoda' s younger and only full brother came on to Utah also, and lived with them for some time.
It was about this time that Albert took a job driving the US mail from Jensen Utah to Rangely, Colorado. He would go out one day, stay over night at Rangely, and drive back home the next day. He also worked out for other farmers the days he didn't drive the mail.
When driving the mail he used a small buggy and two horses. During the cold weather Grandma and the girls would heat rocks wrap them well and put them in the buggy to help keep him warm. Coming back home the next day, he would get pretty cold.
An amusing and yet dangerous thing happened to him on one of these return trips. The winter was bitterly cold and the snow deep and frosty. His hands, feet and face became numb with cold. Finally it got so bad that he thought surely he would freeze to death. So he got out of the buggy and tried to trot along behind, hoping it would warm him up. Soon he met two trappers on their way out into the mountains. They insisted he take a good big drink of whiskey to help warm him up. He hated to do it, but decided even this would be better than freezing, so he took some, and it really did help warm him.
He went on and delivered the mail to the post office, then on to where he should have unhitched the team from the buggy. But by now, he was feeling so sleepy, he just turned the hoses loose still hitched to the buggy, after driving through the big gate.
He staggered on to the house without his coat or gloves hardly noticing the cold now. Grandma put him to bed working hard to get him warmed up. She then sent Artie and Belle back to see if they could find his things. They found his coat and gloves on the trunk of a fallen tree near the gate. They found the horses out in the slew still hitched to the buggy.
Grandma realized how near Grandpa had come to freezing to death. He didn't remember anything he did after the trappers gave him the drank of whiskey. He was so sleepy it's a wonder he ever arrived home. This was the only time anyone ever knew of him taking a drink of whiskey and in this incidence, it probably saved his life.
While Uncle Jerry was living with Grandpa and Grandma, he began to go with a rather large plump girl, by the name of Miss Wardell.
One night the community was having a party at the Church. The Bishop, who happened to be the master of ceremonies that night, told a joke about Uncle Jerry and his girl that went something like this. He said, "Jerry always carries two pieces of chalk in his pocket. When he wants to hug his girl, he takes a piece of chalk in each hand and reaches around her both ways, as far as possible, and makes two marks. He then moves on around, he reaches and makes two more marks. It takes three moves to make sure he hugs all of her." This embarrassed Uncle Jerry so much that he left the party and went home. I don't blame him. I certainly don't think it was a very nice joke, especially as far as Miss Wardell was concerned.
While Uncle Jerry was living with them in Jensen, Artie their oldest daughter would follow him around stepping in his footsteps. He asked her one day why she followed him instead of walking up by his side. She replied that she liked him so much, she wanted to walk in his footsteps. I think most of us have had this experience with our own children. It certainly makes us stop and wonder if we are taking the right kind of footsteps in the right direction for them to follow.
After Uncle Jerry had lived an Utah for a while, he left and went to California to work. Rhoda never saw her brother again. He wrote one letter to her. Later she received a letter from one of her first cousins Sam Ray. He was the son of Rhoda's mother's sister. Sam said that Jerry was at his home in California. Rhoda answered the letter, but never heard from Sam or anything about Jerry again. This was the cause of great heartache and worry for her for a big share of the rest of her life. She loved Jerry very much and yearned to know if he was all right, or what had happened to him. She never knew if he ever married or what became of him.
A THIRD SON
John Harold and Archie McCain
While living in Jensen another dear son was born to them on December 15, 1905. They gave him the name of Archie Albert. He was named after his father and Brother Archie Richardson one of the missionaries who had converted them and who had helped them so much. This new baby also had beautiful red hair like his father's and his sisters Leoma. This was their last child. They had seven in all.
EXPERIENCES IN JENSEN
One of the first things Leoma remembers happened when Harold was only five days old. Grandpa was away from home and. Grandma was busy mixing bread when a group of Indian men came riding up and stopped at the gate. Indians were still quite hostile in those days, and the government was having a great deal of trouble getting them to stay on the reservations. There was constant conflict between them and the white people. So, naturally Grandma and her children were very much frightened when they saw then ride up and stop at their gate. Grandma quickly took her children and hid them under the bed cautioning them not to make a sound. She then went back to the door to face the Indians as bravely as she could. After talking and looking around, the Indians finally remounted their horses and rode away without coming to the door. How relieved Grandma was as she breathed a prayer of thanks, She then called her children out from under the bed.
When the children became old enough they started to school. Part of the time, they went by buggy, part of the tine by horseback and even walked some of the time. They lived around five miles from the school. One cold winter Grandpa made a sled for them to use while there was snow on the ground. They used their old horse named Engine to pull it. One evening as they were coming home, one of the runners came off the sled and they had to ride on home with only one runner.
At that time Grandpa also had a bay mare named Belle or Little Belle, as she was usually called. She was quite a character. She would balk every time she was hitched to a wagon. When she finally did decide to go she would try and run. She was always so spooky and unpredictable. They also had another horse they called Old Pet.
One winter evening as the girls were riding home from school Belle and Leoma were on Little Belle and Mary was on Engine. They passed a team and wagon with a dog following. The dog got too close to the her horses anal. got stepped on and began to yelp. This frightened Little Belle and away she went. Belle and Leoma hung on for dear life with skirts and hair flying. Little Belle ran several miles before they could stop her and find if they were still in one piece.
On another occasion, Leoma and Mary were out riding. Mary was on Little Belle with the riding saddle and bridle. Leoma was on Old Pet with a work bridle with very short reins and no saddle. They sopped at a ditch to let the horses drink. Leoma had to turn loose of her reins because they were so short. Little Belle finished drinking first and started on down the road. All of a sudden Old Pet gave a leap over the ditch and Leoma fell backward into the water so she had to go home and change her clothes.
When Leoma was a small child her mother made her a pretty new print dress for her coming birthday. On the morning of that long awaited day she was so anxious to put on her new dress. Her mother said she should wait until the afternoon when they were having a party for her. But Leoma couldn't see the harm of putting it on then, so she coaxed and coaxed, saying she would be very careful and not got it dirty. Her mother finally gave in and let her have her way.
Later her mother went out to the wood pile to kill a chicken for the party and Leoma tagged along to watch. Grandma chopped off the chicken's head and turned it loose to flop. It jumped so close to Leoma that blood splattered all over her new dress. She had to change and wear an old dress to the party, How she cried and wished she had done as her mother wanted her to. This certainly taught her a lesson "that mother knows best".
Another time, Grandma took Harold and Leoma with her and they went up to a neighbors. Mrs. M. P. Johnson's for a visit. They had a little girl about Leoma's age, named Alice. The little girls felt very happy and full of life so began to play. Baby Harold was just toddling and tried to follow them around. As kids will they began to run away from him. They found themselves running down the road. They felt so adventurous that they just kept on running. They ran on and on passed Leoma's house and on until they came to the Billings apple orchard. Those lovely apples looked so delicious to these little runaway girls. So they proceeded to help themselves. They had been there munching apples about an hour, feeling very smart and self-satisfied.
Finally they happened to look up to see both their mothers coming toward them with a very determined air and each one carrying a long willow stick. They willowed their lively little daughters every step of the way home. Leoma didn't have far to go but the last she saw of poor Alice her mother was still willowing her on down the road. They both learned a double lesson that time and that was not to run away and not to take apples that didn't belong to them.
When Artie became old enough, she started to work out for different people helping with chores and housework. At one time she was working for a family by the name of Williams. Leoma loved to go visit her there. It was soon to be Artie's birthday. Grandma and the family were planing a surprise party for her. Leoma wanted to go over and visit Artie. She was told to be sure and not tell her about the party. She promised faithfully not to say a word.
Mr. Williams loved to tease Leoma whenever she came over. To show him that she knew something he didn't she said, "I know something I won't tell". He begged her to tell him, but she said no. This went on and on until she finally weakened and said she would tell him if Artie wasn't there. On purpose Artie went out the door. Leoma waited until she saw Artie pass the window then she told Mr. Williams all about the surprise party. She found out later that Artie had crept back to the door and had heard everything that was said. So the party was no surprise after all.
On one Fourth of July celebration, the whole town went down to the banks of the Green River for races and sports. There was a Wall girl that lived near the river. She was Aunt Belle's age. She invited Leoma, Mary and some of the other girls over to her home for awhile. She gave Leoma a small toy flat iron to take home with her. Leoma was so pleased with it. Later on in the day, the children went swimming in the river. This Wall girl went out too far, was sucked under and drowned. It was rumored that she had said she knew she was going to be drowned that day. Leoma kept the little flat iron for many years and thought of the generous young girl and her tragic death.
On another Fourth of July there was a contagious disease going around so Grandma decided to keep the little boys at home but both Mary and Leoma were supposed to be on the float so they had to go. Someone told Grandma that if the girls would swallow a small piece of assafidity and wear a piece tied in a cloth, around their necks it would keep them from catching the disease. So Grandma bought a bar of it. They were in such a hurry that they forgot to take it while they were getting ready. Mary took the bar along and before they arrived at the celebration they stopped the horse and buggy. They each swallowed a piece of the nasty stuff and Mary tore up a hankie in which to tie a piece around each of their necks. They then went on to town. They didn't get the disease.
Leoma was Miss Iron County and Mary was Miss Uinta County in the Parade. Leoma had taken along 89 cents, which she had been saving ever so long. She had this precious money tied in the corner of her hankie. After the parade, she and Mary walked around and looked at all the things to buy. She would say to herself, "If I don't buy that, I'll have enough money for a new dress." Finally, she looked down at her hankie, and to her dismay, the corner had come undone and all her money was lost. She then wished she had gone ahead and bought some of those good things she had seen.
One year, late in the fall, Grandpa picked the remainder of his large crop of watermelons to store away, for fear it would frost. They stored them everyplace there happened to be a little room. They even rolled a lot of them under the beds. One day a young man Ephram Albert Snyder came to see if they had any melons to sell. They said no they didn't have any to sell. Leoma remembers thinking what a funny thing for them to say when there were so many watermelons under the bed.
Later on, this young man married Artie, their oldest daughter, and became a member of the family. They were married February 14, 1910. Their second daughter Belle began going with a young man named James Elihu Hiatt. They called him Jim. One Christmas, he came to see Belle, and while there, broke out with the measles. They were all quarantined in. Most of the children took the measles too.
Grandma Rhoda never missed an opportunity to bring a little extra in to help buy things her family needed. She became an agent for the Haygood Produce selling from door to door. She received prizes for doing such a good job. She won a new washing machine as one prize. It was modern for those days and a wonderful invention but we now refer to that kind as the old-fashioned half moon style that had to be turned back and forth by hand. But it was wonderful compared to scrubbing the laundry between one's hands.
Grandma Rhoda also won a lovely set of china trimmed with red hearts. There were even small individual butter plates that seemed to be little girls' play dishes to the grandchildren.
Grandma also won a set of cut crystal trimmed with pink flowers. I know even most of the grandchildren remember this sugar bowl cream pitcher and covered butter dish. Grandma used them for so many years and was so proud of them. I believe there was still a piece or two in use when she died so many years later.
About this time while in Jensen, her son-in-law Albert, was making a business of fishing from Green River, but he didn't do very well at selling them. As Grandma was already going from house to house with her Haygood products, Albert made a deal with her to sell fish at the same time. After the fish were caught they were cleaned and packed in barrels of chipped ice. This ice was always taken from Green River during the winter when it had frozen several feet thick. They used ice saws with which to saw out large blocks. The ice was then packed in icehouses with straw or sawdust. It would then last all summer to be used when needed.
Grandma would drive a buggy to town loaded down with the barrels of iced fish. One of the children would go with her, usually Leoma or Mary. They would go from door to door asking if the people would like to buy some fish. If so they would choose the ones they wanted They had several different kinds for sale, but the largest was white fish, sometimes weighing as much as thirty to forty pounds each. They usually sold and delivered a thousand pounds of fish twice weekly. She built up her business until she was soon taking orders ahead and could have sold more fish if they could have caught them faster. During the time that Grandma peddled fish, she ate and handled so many, that she could never stand to eat or smell them after that.
Grandma used to tell of one time when Archie and Harold were small boys. They were naughty one day, so she decided to punish them. She put them down in the cellar under the kitchen floor. Here they stored their potatoes and other vegetables and fruit for the winter. The boys were so quiet down there that she temporarily forgot they were there. She remembered with a start and wondered if they might have smothered down in that dark hole. She rushed to the trap door, and opened it. The sight that met her eyes was far different from what she had feared.
They both sat each eating a large red apple (some choice ones she had hidden away for Christmas). Years later, when Grandma would tell about it, tears would come to her eyes and she would say, "I was so thankful they were all right, that I couldn't scold them for eating some of the Christmas apples. I can still see their happy innocent faces looking up at me."
While in Jensen, Grandpa and his girls made all the brick for the new Church house and also the schoolhouse. The girls would put them out to dry and later on they would turn them over to dry the other side. Grandpa also did carpenter work at different times. Grandpa also owned a lot of honeybees at one time. He extracted the honey and sold it at one time for as low as 75 for a five-gallon can full.
In the winter, Grandpa would shoot and trap the big snow shoe rabbits. Then he and Grandma would fix and dry the meat to use during the summer.
Grandpa traded work back and forth with the neighbors. Grandma and the girls helped a lot with the farm work. The girls remember helping Grandpa haul hay. They would ride on top and tramp the hay down as it was thrown up by some one using a pitchfork. All hay was hauled loose in those days by team and wagon. The tromping helped pack it down so it wouldn't fall off while being hauled. Grandpa used to tell the girls they surely made good boys. This of course was high praise coming from their father.
SEALED FOR TIME AND ETERNITY
On October 2, 1912 their second daughter Belle was to be married to James Elihu Hiatt in the Salt Lake Temple. Grandpa and Grandma decided to go with them and go through the temple for their oven endowments. To be sealed for "time and all eternity" and have their children all sealed to them. What glorious fulfillment and wonderful experience this was. The temple was so beautiful and such a sacred and holy place. And now they knew they would belong together after death and also have their children.
They also had the joy of seeing their daughter married in the temple.
They had gone part of the way to Salt Lake by team and wagon. They left them at a small railroad town by the name of Price Utah and took the train on to Salt Lake. At this time Grandma had blood poisoning in her arm. They took her to a doctor in Salt Lake and had it lanced. She was bothered with it for months. Another time Grandma became very ill and underwent major surgery. For so long afterward she was so run down and weak. She just couldn't seem to regain her health and strength.
A HARD STRUGGLE
The doctor felt that she should drink coffee for awhile as a stimulant. Rhoda felt that it might help her but hated to drink it because it was against the Word of Wisdom. Brother Richardson said he felt proud that he had converted her so thoroughly that She refused to drink it even when she was sick and needed it. He and the doctor explained to her that coffee was for medicinal purposes and should be used when needed. She finally agreed and started to use it for the first time since she and Grandpa joined the Church. But as she had feared she and Grandpa developed the habit again.
Years later Grandma was to Relief Society meeting and heard the president of the ward Relief Society, Sister Andrus bear her testimony and tell what a struggle she had had to overcome the habit of using coffee but how she had finally succeeded. Grandma was deeply impressed and decided if Sister Andrus could do it, she could too. She prayed and promised the Lord if He would help her overcome the desire for coffee she would never taste it again.
The first few days were terrible anguished days when she thought surely she might die. But finally through prayer and her great desire to quit she was able to conquer the habit. She said, "The devil might kill me, but he can't conquer me." She never tasted coffee again She made her children promise that, even if she should become ill again and want it they would never let her have it.
Grandpa also stopped the habit and never tasted it again
FUN AND TRAINING
The family used to love to sit around in the evening and listen to Grandpa and Uncle Alex exchange scary stories the usual custom of men from the South. The family loved to make ice cream with an old fashioned hand operated freezer. They would invite their friends and neighbors over and have parties often.
Some of their favorite refreshments were ice cream, popcorn, parched corn and honey or taffy candy made right at the party with everyone joining in to help. Grandpa would play the harmonica or the mouth harp and they could have a wonderful time. They always enjoyed having friends drop in and made everyone feel welcome. They usually insisted they stay and eat with them.
They always had religious training in their home for their children. They always had family prayers night and morning and taught the children to take their turn. Grandpa would read the scriptures aloud to the family in the evening. As he read Grandma usually sat knitting of mending as she listened.
Grandpa would arise early Sunday morning and get everyone up. He would insist that they all got dressed and ready for church early, so they could be there in plenty of time. He always insisted that his children do anything that was a asked of them in the church.
My Grandparents were always willing to help anyone at any time that needed it. Many times Grandpa was called out during the night to help administer to the sick or sit up with the dead. In those days they had no mortuaries so the dead were taken care of by the relative or the people of the ward or town.
Grandpa and Grandma always paid their tithing and fast offerings and taught their children to do so. In those days money was scarce and many times tithing was paid with produce from the farm, such as one tenth of the butter, eggs, hay and grain.
They always tried to keep the Sabbath day holy by doing no more than was absolutely necessary.
Grandpa always tried to teach his children that whatever they did, they should do it the very best they could. He himself set a good example by trying each year to improve their living conditions. Each year he tried to raise watermelons, corn, hay or any other crops better than he had the year before. He always took good care of his livestock. His team was always sleek and fat, also his other animals.
He was always fixing and mending harnesses, fences or anything on the farm that needed it He always believed in taking care of what you had. Grandpa invented a very good and original gate latch for his front gate. When it was pushed shut, it would lock automatically and couldn't be pushed open from the outside. One would have to pull up the latch to open it. He was always strict about his front gate being closed and insisted all the children shut it when going out. Grandpa also cobbled shoes or mended them for his own family and also the neighbors. He had his cobbling outfit for a long time,
By now, they had gathered things around them so that they were doing well. They owned forty acres of land lots of cows, pigs, horses and also poultry of different kinds. They were well established in the Church and the community.
THE MOVE SOUTH
In 1913, their son-in-law, Albert Snyder, received word that his father had died and left him a gold mine in Arizona. He and his wife, Artie, decided that they should move down there and see what the mine along the Colorado River was like.
Grandma hadn't been feeling at all well. She and Grandpa thought her health would be better in a dryer, warmer climate, so they decided to move also. They practically gave away most everything they had for the second time and took with them only their choice possessions.
Grandpa had a dark gray team of horses named Dick and Nancy. Nancy had a crippled foot, which didn't bother her walking any. He hitched them on the heavy wagon and drove it. Mary and Leoma, then 17 and 15 years of age drove a large buggy drawn by Little Belle and Pet.
Albert and Artie also took a wagon and buggy. Albert drove a big roan team called Lug and Tug. Artie drove the buggy drawn by Bolly and Kate. They had two small children at the time, Milas and Vera. Grandma tended and cared for baby Vera during the trip. The boys Archie and Harold helped with the chores around their evening camps.
The good people of Jensen had begged them not to go. They had so many dear friends and also relatives there, but they had made up their minds about this new adventure and no one could talk them out of it. Even the girls, Mary and Leoma, were excited about going.
On June 10, 1913 they pulled out with all their possessions in the two buggies and two wagons. They waved goodbye to dear friends and relatives. They left behind them their daughter Belle and her husband, Jim, also Alex and Susie.
Little did they know what dry hot weather and desert country awaited them on this long slow trip to Arizona. They took things slow and easy, stopping along the way when they found a cool, shady spot with water. They would rest and feed their horses, also rest themselves, do their laundry or whatever needed to be done. They would sometimes stop a day or two at one place.
As they arrived at Leeds, Utah on the 4th of July a celebration was going on and they could see a parade in the distance. They didn't join in the merriment however because they felt too dusty from traveling. They camped near by the town. Mary did go to the dance that night. They went on to St. George and decided to rest for a few days and doctor the bad sunburn most of them had received from the long hot hours traveling in the sun.
Here in St. George they were told that they couldn't possibly cross the dry hot dessert that time of year for they would surely choke to death or die from sunstroke. It was so hard for them to know what was best for them to do. They finally decided to go to Modena, a small railway town, and charter a boxcar there to take their teams, wagons and possessions on into Arizona. When they arrived at Modena, they found this plan would be far too expensive, much to their sorrow.
So they decided to just follow along the railroad track and depend on it to guide them where they wanted to go. This proved to be a long hot difficult trip. The sun beat down on them unmercifully for long full days with never a sign of a cloud in the sky to give them relief. There was no road to follow but sometimes a trail. They had to keep crossing back and forth over the railroad track to bypass hills or gullies that were impassible.
At one time when they were crossing the track because of a deep gully the wheel of Grandpa's s wagon got stuck between something on the track and his team couldn't seem to pu1l it loose. Then in the distance they could hear the whistle of a coming train. Arties's husband hurriedly unhooked his team and hitched them in front of Grandpa's horses and they jerked everything off the tracks just as the train went rushing by. Can't you just see their horrified and then relieved expressions?
But this wasn't the worst of their trouble, for soon came the dreaded time when their water was all gone. After many miles of torture, they did finally reach a small section house along the railroad. Here they were able to buy a small amount of water for themselves but none for their poor horses.
The horses became so thirsty and tired that they could hardly drag along. Finally they reached the Wiser Ranch in the upper pert of the Moapa Valley. Here they finally found plenty of water. How wonderful it was to once again have plenty of that precious God-given gift that we usually take so for granted. They were so thankful and knew the, Lord had heard their desperate prayers and given them and their horses the strength they needed to go on until they found water.
They then went on and later came to the Huntsman or Hunter Ranch. They stopped and here they saw their first Pomegranates growing. They then journeyed on to Logandale, Nevada. They decided to stop here for awhile. The men folks got a job picking cantaloupes and the women took the job of cooking for picking crew. This was hot, backbreaking work for the men, but it seemed good to stop and work for a while.
They made good money here and Grandma felt better then she had for years, so they decided to stay here and not go on the Arizona. They had had enough of traveling over the dry hot desert country. They later decided to make their home in Overton, Nevada right near Logandale. This part of the country is the Moapa Valley but was often called the Muddy Valley. While living in the Van Rancelers house they soon learned the reason for this nickname. It rained so much at one time that the Muddy River overflowed its banks and flooded farms and homes. The muddy flood water washed right through Grandma's house.
Grandpa waded out hitched the team to the wagon and backed it right up to the door. His family all climbed in and they drove up to Artie and Albert's place. They lived on the same farm, but their house was on a hill. The flood left several inches of thick mud all over every thing. Grandma's house was such a mess that they never oven bothered to clean it up. They moved out the things that weren't ruined and rented a. place from a Mr. McDonald. Here they lived in screened built-up tents. Grandpa then built a bowery over the tents to provide shade.
Here the girls started to work out for people, and they all soon met and made many friends. This was about the time of the beginning of World War I. Mary and Leoma had met a girl named Annie Iverson. She invited them over to her home. There she showed them a picture of her brother Victor who was in the Marines. Later, when be was released from the service Leoma met him in person.
They soon fell in love. Mary too had met a young man Wilbert A. Cromwell. They were married February 26, 1916 in Overton, Nevada. Leoma and Victor were married later the same year on December the 23rd, 1916. They were married at her home by the Stake President William Jones. Her sister Mary had made Leoma's wedding dress.
Grandpa and Grandma also lived in a small town near Overton called Kaolin, Nevada. They started to buy a farm here. While here they worked in the Church a great deal. Grandma was first counselor to Sister Wells in the Relief Society. Grandpa was a counselor in the Sunday School to James F. Hiatt, his son-in-law. Uncle Jim and Aunt Belle had been left in Jensen, but had since also moved to the Moapa Valley. We can see what a close knit family theirs was. When part of the family moved it usually wasn't long until the others followed to live near by.
But Grandpa and Grandma still weren't satisfied in the Moapa or Muddy Valley. Things just didn't seem to work out as they should. They heard about homesteads to be had in nearby Arizona at a place called Mt. Trumbull. They decided to go take up a homestead and try their luck at dry farming. They moved out through the mountains by team and wagon and helped settle that community. Artie and Albert also moved out and took up a homestead. A few years later Victor and Leona did the same. I believe they each homes 640 acres or a square mile.
This was a very dry harsh country with no rivers or streams and only a few small springs way up in the mountains but none in the general area of Mt. Trumbull. The terrain of this country was gently rolling hills wooded with cedar or juniper trees and scattered pinion pines. There were also level flats between and around the hills that could be dry farmed. On the east was a large rocky ledge that ran north and south for many miles. Everyone called it "The Ledge."
There was no natural supply of water so large ponds were built with teams and scrapers scooping out the dirt from the center and using it to build up high banks all the way around so that it was like a large bowl. Those ponds or reservoirs had to be built in a good location where a "wash" (a deep gully made by floodwater) would empty into it and fill it with floodwater when it rained. Every one had a pond, sometimes two or three or more.
It seemed that in this dry country when it did rain it really came down. There were usually violet electrical storms where the lightning flashed and the thunder crashed right overhead. Many times the lightning would strike a tree near by. When these storms came they would send streams of muddy water running all over in a very short time. The washes would soon be running full of muddy water. The ponds would fill up and everyone would be happy because there was again plenty of water, the sustainer of life for a while.
There were dry spells when the ponds would dry up. Then the livestock would have to be taken great distances. Some of the people had cisterns they would fill from the water in the ponds after it had settled and cleared. This they would use during the dry season. Sometimes this water had to be hauled great distances.
As soon as Grandpa's family moved onto their homestead he went right to work building or having built (I'm not sure which) some ponds so they would be ready to catch flood water if it rained. He built two I believe. Uncle Albert Snyder and his boys built many ponds in that country ever the years. They were very good at it and other people hired them. The people who lived in this country had to be hardy, hard working people to make a living.
Grandpa and Grandma had always raised a garden but here in this country with very infrequent rainfall they found the task very difficult indeed. They received very little harvest to reward their efforts. But even here they accomplished the almost impossible. Grandma had a small plot fenced off with chicken wire to keep out the long eared, long legged Jackrabbits. Inside she always had a few shallot onions also sage. (She always raised her own sage for seasoning. She would dry some for winter use.) She also raised rhubarb: It was called pie plant in those days and how we all loved those delicious pies Grandma made from it. It was too dry out there to raise fruit trees although a family or so had a few trees they would water by running a small stream to them from a pond. But nearly all the fruit had to be hauled in from Utah. This was a rare treat.
Leoma McCain Iverson with two of her children, Keith and Sharon standing in front of the remains of the dug-out house in Mt. Trumbull
When my grandparents took up their homestead they built a two-room lumber house right on the side of a hill so they could dig back into the side of the hill to make a store room or cellar. It was dark and cool. Grandma set pans of rich milk there in screened-in cupboards to let the thick clotted cream raise to the top. She then skimmed it off to make delicious homemade butter.
My first meeting and recollection of my Grandparents was here at this house or while they were living in Mt. Trumbull. When I was about four years of age, I believe, I remember going into the storeroom with Grandma and seeing two bright yellow eyes peering at us from the darkness. This was very frightening to me and I would cling to Grandma's skirt but she would say, "Don't be afraid, it's only old Tal. He stays in here to catch all the mice." But I was always afraid of that large jet-black cat with the piercing yellow eyes even if he did have the reputation of being, a good mouser.
I remember so well the big old cedar tree in the front yard. It seems that we children would stand end peel off some of the loose bark that would easily come off in long strip. But most of the tree seems to have been worn smooth from things such as harness bridles and tools being hung on nai1s driven in the large trunk.
Of course there were no grass or flowers in the yard because of no water. But it seems that the ground was packed hard and smooth and kept clean. Grandmother always had a rain barrel at the corner of the house to catch the precious rainwater. This was used for the washing of hair or any delicate things. We grandkids loved to look into the barrel and see our own reflections in the water as we pulled faces at ourselves or "hollered' down the rain barrel as the song goes.
I remember the ceiling of Grandma's house was made from unbleached muslin being stretched tightly across and tacked into place. How well I remember the homemade front door that had no knob, but was held shut by a 1atch on the inside. To open it one pulled on a leather thong and this raised the latch so the door would swing open.
All this brings to my mind Aunt Artie's house. I remember going there as a small child and marveling at so many interesting pictures on the walls and ceiling of the front room, for it was all papered with sheets from a mail order catalog. I would lie on the floor and gaze up at the pictures and think how handy it was that I didn't even hive to turn the pages.
Grandpa had some corrals built from cedar posts set in the ground upright and fitted close together to make almost a solid wall. I can see them yet with shaggy brown bark hanging loosely and peeling off in places. He always seemed to have pigs of several sizes rooting around the barnyard and there was always Grandma's chickens running loose.
And do any of you remember the nice little trail that went around the hill to the north?
Grandpa had a long brush fence to divide his fields. It seems to me that there were trees and limbs piled and fitted into a long row to form the fence. I remember going down the trail and climbing over at a certain place that was worn smooth by constant use.
I can see in my mind's eye Grandpa's old hound dog Bolly and I still seem to hear his deep, throaty bark. While visiting Grandpa and Grandma I was awakened many times at night by his barking but I always thrilled to hear him. It now seems to be a long ago haunting sound.
As a child at Mt. Trumbull I remember how lovely the wild flowers were in the spring. Do you all remember the tiny pink Sweet Williams that grew everywhere? We grandchildren would pull off the small blossoms and suck out the sweet nectar from the base of the flower. It was always a special thrill when we would find a clump of beautiful sweet smelling snowball flowers. I remember running from one cedar tree to another searching for the tall purple spikes of wild flowers that usually grew there. There was also the bright red and bright pink flower we called honeysuckle that grew on the higher mountains or up next to the Ledge. The spikes were covered with tiny florets that were lovely to look at and especially sweet to taste
There also grew several kinds of cactus here that had beautiful waxy blossoms in the spring. There was one kind called prickly pear with large flat pear shaped leaves covered with spines. They had beautiful bright pinkish red blossoms and after they had blossomed they bore a rosy sort of plum shaped fruit along the edge of the leaves. These could be safely eaten having a pleasing tart flavor (if I remember correctly).
One day, there were about half a dozen of us small grandchildren at Grandma's. There was one cousin older than I was that said she knew where some prickly pear fruit was. We small children looked up to her and were sure she must know a prickly pear if she saw one so we all followed her out in the flat where a lot of cactus grew. She showed us what she said was the fruit and invited us all to have one as she too picked some. We all eagerly helped ourselves to the light green buds. Soon after we had eaten them our mouths were filled with pain. We all ran to the house. I remember seeing my older cousin run to the rain barrel at the corner of the house and start splashing water into her mouth then she would dig at her tongue with her fingers.
I and my brother ran in the house to our parents. They found that our tongues and the inside of our mouths were covered with tiny cactus spines. They spent hours picking out what they could but I believe I have the scares to this day. The things we had eaten we found later, weren't even similar to the prickly pear at all, but such are the ways of children.
Do you grandchildren remember some of the games we used to play at Mt. Trumbull? When there was snow on the ground we played Fox and Geese. We also had wonderful times jumping out of Uncle Albert's barn loft into the hay below we also chased mice there. We had tree houses too. During the summer we had great fun swimming in Uncle Albert's swimming pond. We liked to play with the Horny Toads that would play possum and make themselves rigid so you could tip them up by pushing down on their tails.
There were very few toys in those days so we made our own. Some of the boys spent hours building miniature ranches with corrals and ranch houses from small sticks. Their cows and horses were made from the vertebra bones from a dead animal. Harnesses and small farm implements wore made for the workhorses. We had such wonderful times with our invented games.
The reason I have mentioned all these things that don't exactly pertain to Grandpa and Grandma is because I thought it would recall a lot of humorous and pleasant memories to many of us and would give our children and grandchildren a closer glimpse into our past lives.
Looking back now it seems that Grandma always wore an apron. This was a very useful and versatile piece of clothing. The original purpose, I believe was to protect and keep her dress clean but Grandma could do just about anything with hers. She would use it to gather in the eggs from the chicken coop vegetables from the garden and kindling and chips for the fire. It could be pulled up over her arms if she was outside and it was a little chilly. She could use it to quickly dry her hands on if this had to be done in a hurry. I have seen her apron full of fluffy new chicks as the old mother hen worried about. If some one cane unexpectedly she could slip into a fresh starched apron and be spic and span at a moment's notice.
Grandma usually liked the large wrap-around type that fully covered. I can remember her saying once that she felt undressed without her apron. At Mt. Trumbu1l I remember helping her fill her apron with small tender green shoots of the tumbleweeds early in the spring. Those were carefully washed to be cooked and eaten as greens. They were delicious. Later on after the tumbleweeds had grown and matured it was a melancholy sight to see them go tumbling across the field in a gust of wind and dust.
Grandma always; had great faith in prayer. She prayed about most everything and felt that they always needed the Lord's help to get through each day. One time at Mt. Trumbull Grandma and Eva Snyder, her granddaughter were both on horses trying to help Grandpa, Archie and Harold corral two other horses. They were all stationed at certain places to turn the horses into the corral. Time and again the horses would break back just before getting to the gate. Finally Grandmother said to Eva, "Let's go over back of those trees and pray." They did and she prayed aloud that they would be able to get the horses to go into the corral. Grandma soon had the idea for her and Eva to hide back of a tree that stood near the corral gate. As Harold and Archie drove the horses around near the gate again where they usually broke back. Grandma and Eva jumped out from behind the tree. This startled the horses so that they turned right into the corral.
On another occasion, one of the horses had broken loose and went out into the pasture with the bridle on. The bridle came off and was lost. This was a real tragedy in those days because it was the only bridle Uncle Harold had and he had to ride his horse to work. Everyone spread out and searched nearly every foot of that pasture but found no bridle. Again Eva was privileged to hear Grandma pray. She can still remember part of that prayer, so simple and humble, "Dear Father please guide my feet that I might be lead to find the bridle." Grandma then walked out across the field toward the brush fence, stooped down and picked up the bridle.
Grandma always felt that you should try as hard as you could to do something and if you still couldn't do it then ask the Lord for help.
While living at Mt. Trumbull Grandpa was put in as Sunday School Superintendent. He would either walk to Sunday School or go by team and wagon of course his family went also. They lived a mile or so away He was always so strict about getting to the Church early so he could make a fire and make sure the large room was clean and the benches arranged right. He then would ring the bell one half hour before Sunday School was to begin. I can still hear the loud clear pealing of the "Half Hour Bell"! The sound carried for miles around. Everyone lived so far apart there that they usually brought their lunch to church. They visited while they ate dinner after Sunday School. They then had Sacrament meeting before going home. The people often commented how faithful Grandpa was and what a good job he did.
While at Mt. Trumbull they took their two small grandsons Robert and Arthur raise and care for. The boys' mother Mary had had a very sad and unhappy marriage to Wilbert (Bill) Cromwell so they wore divorced. Aunt Mary was awarded the boys but she had to work to support them so her parents decided to take care of the boys as their own and she worked in Salt Lake City to support them. Years later she married a Lloyd Holladay.
Grandpa always seemed to know how to tease or challenge his grandchildren into helping him. He many times didn't ask or tell Robert or Arthur or the others to help but he pointed out the results if they didn't. If they didn't help him carry water from the pond to each of his precious melon vines they couldn't have any of the melons when they were ripe. Sometimes he would say, ''If you don't help me the yahoos will get you." We thought of yahoos as being Grandpa's very own personal kind of animal that no one else had ever seen, We usually all pitched willingly at whatever he wanted done.
MOVE TO BLLOMINGTON
McCain Home in Bloomington. They sold it in 1935 and moved to St. George. Later it was abandoned and left like this.
Finally Grandpa and Grandma decided dry farming and the life at Mt. Trumbull was just too hard with little opportunities for it to become any better. So they moved away. Uncle Harold had a place in Kanarah, Utah near their daughter, Belle and her family so they went there to live with Harold for a year or so. They then had an opportunity to trade their dry farm in Mt. Trumbull, Arizona, to Mr. Jones for a farm and home in Bloomington, Utah just five miles south of St. George.
Bloomington was a very small farming community located on the banks of the Virgin River. This river had a small stream during the hot months but could turn into a raging rolling monster during the spring when the floodwaters came down. Some of the farms gradually lost part of their fields as the river widened its channel.
But Bloomington was a peaceful little settlement where they learned to know and love their neighbors, the Carpenters and two Larson families who lived there. Later on their daughter Belle and family and also Leoma and family lived in Bloomington for a while. Their son Harold had gone up in Utah to work for while and Archie had married and was working with the Rodeo.
There was a country school in Bloomington for a while where all the grade school classes were taught by one teacher. The high school children were taken to St. George. Later the grade school was discontinued and the children were all taken to St. George for their education.
They had a small branch of the church there over which Grandpa was presiding elder for some time.
McCain home in Bloomington after restoration.
The home from the west showing the granary with the cellar below.
Their home here was built of black rock with foot thick walls, which helped to keep it warm in the winter and cool in the summer. There was a long screen porch along the east-end, and how well I remember the breezes blowing through. There was always a bed or two there and was a favorite meeting place for all the grandkids during the hot part of the day.
There was a granary just west of the kitchen door with a cellar built underneath. There were several lovely fig trees growing in the yard and a few choice pomegranate bushes. Grandma had some beautiful colored Four O' Clock flowers blooming on the south side. It runs in my mind that they were planted by Vera (Artie's daughter). Vera stayed with them a good deal of the time because of ill health and she needed to be near a doctor. She was always a. great joy and help to Grandma. Her folks were still living at Mt, Trumbull and life on the dry farm was just too hard on her.
There was usually a crowd of grandkids at Grandma's. Sometimes they were with their parents and sometimes without them. Of course there were always Robert and Arthur, and then I think all the rest of us took turns staying there. Sometimes there were at least half a dozen at once. A lot of us lived near by and there was nothing as exciting as going to Grandma's.
While here Grandpa had to haul water for household use from St. George by team and wagon hauling two barrels at a time. This was a time consuming job twice a week. He had a heavy stand built out in front of the gate between two large cottonwood trees.
When he returned home from town, he unloaded the barrels of water onto the platform, which was the same height as the wagon bed. They then used a short black rubber hose to draw the water out by the bucketful as 1t was needed. Those trips town after water usually took most of the day and seemed to be an awfully long ways, especially in the heat of the summer. Yet we grandchildren went along every chance we got. We felt important riding along with Grandpa, even though he delighted to tease us about his Yahoos that he said lived up in the rock cliffs along the way. We half way believed they did live there and wouldn't have been surprised to see most any, kind of monster come into sight. But yet we were sure Grandpa would protect us if any should appear. But never the less we tried to be extra good for Grandpa so that he would tell his Yahoos to leave us alone.
On these trips to town anything such as eggs, butter, vegetables, figs, or other produce they wanted to sell, were taken along. They always tied the team back of Mathis Market in St. George. Grandma had a regular market at Mathis market for most of those things they had to sell. There was a special demand for her fat tender asparagus shoots. Hers seemed to be the finest grown around.
How well I remember hearing Grandpa call Robert and Arthur early in the morning. My, how they hated to get up. And how I remember hearing them laugh some nights after everyone vas in bed. They would lie in bed and laugh so hard they could hardly stop and Grandpa would threaten to give them a good thrashing if they didn't shut up and go to sleep.
I remember so well watching Robert and Arthur going up the hill with the milk buckets to do the milking. In a short time here they would come back down again with their buckets full of steaming foamy milk. Grandpa and the boys kept busy with the farming, raising hay, grain, sugar cane; corn and even broom corn for the making of brooms.
I car remember watching them make molasses up the hill west of the house. There was a large rock fireplace there with a high chimney and vat where the cane juice was boiled. First the juice was extracted from the sugar cane. It seems this was done by a horse being driven around and around to turn two heavy rollers of some kind. The stalks of cane were fed between the heavy rollers. The cane was crushed and the sweet juice was extracted to be used for the molasses. We children loved to watch the juice bubble and boil, as it became thicker and darker in color. It seems that it had to be stirred and skimmed often.
We grandchildren used to keep busy sucking sugar while it was in season. There were two ways this could be done. You first peeled off the outside leaves, leaving only the smooth long jointed stalk. Then you could either start chewing at one end, sucking and twisting as you went until you had extracted all the delicious juice or you could break the stalk up into joints. You would next peel one joint at a time, bite off a mouthful, chew and swallow until all the juice was gone, then spit out the pulp and take another bite.
Grandma kept busy in her garden here in Bloomington raising all the usual and some unusual things such as the vine peaches. This was a small round fruit about the size of a peach, but it grew on a vine like a cucumber. They turned yellow when ripe and made delicious preserves. We had never heard of them before or since. Grandma also raised okra, which she liked very much. As a child I thought it was horrible. Grandpa raised Artichokes, a sweet, root vegetable. He fed them to his pigs, but we grandkids liked to eat them too.
There was always the usual patch of watermelons, to the great delight of us children. I remember some of us girls learned the trick of chewing red watermelon with gum to make it a beautiful shade of pink. Of coarse gum wasn't very plentiful then and we had never heard of pink gum for sale.
At one time Grandma had an incubator and would sometimes hatch out as many little chicks as one hundred at a time. She usually put eggs under any hen that wanted to set, also.
They had some fruit trees here scattered around the farm. We children helped spread out cut apples and peaches on the roof of the screen porch to dry, many times.
During the hot summer we grandkids really enjoyed swimming in the big irrigation ditch that ran along the edge of the hill just west of the house. A row of big shady cottonwood trots followed the ditch around the hill and on up into the fields. There was a footbridge across the ditch on the way to the corrals, which was on top of the hill.
Grandpa always had a saddle horse or two, but we especially remember old Nero, a white horse, who belonged to Robert and Arthur. He was getting along in years when I remember him, but we all enjoyed riding him.
There were a lot of wild burros and donkeys roaming the country down along the river. Many times, Robert, Arthur and some of the neighbor boys and sometimes we girls would go down on horses and round some of them up. We would then drive them home to a corral. The boys would then have a great time riding them. They would sometimes dare us girls into trying it. After every one had been bucked off several times, the burros would be turned loose to rest up for our next Wild West show.
We also had many wonderful times playing in the sand along the river. Having chicken fries and such along the river at night, around a large bonfire. It was great fun to go slipping and sliding through the slick red mud on the river, after a flood had gone down.
We had many a race across the river on horses, most of us riding bareback. There was one old horse that usually laid down in the water when we crossed it. Whoever was on him cou1d plan on a good ducking. But we as well as the horse enjoyed it.
While staying at Grandma's I always felt it was a special privilege to sleep with her. (Grandpa had his own room and bed). Grandma's bed was soft because of her feather bed tick that was once her mother's. It was so enjoyable to sink down in that soft bed. Grandma loved to have us granddaughter's brush her long dark hair (she always wore it long in a bun at back of her head). Brushing her hair always seemed to make her sneeze, but yet she would say she cou1d just fall asleep if we would keep brushing. They had a phonograph and records and we children usually kept it pretty busy. One of our favorite records was the "Wreck of Old 97". We wore that record out playing it over and over again.
Here is an incident told by their granddaughter, Eva Snyder Force, quote: "I never thought Grandpa was too serious about life, he was usually so happy, good natured and took things more or less for granted. Until one time, when I was in Bloomington with them. Uncle Archie was at home and was very sick.
One afternoon, Grandma and I were trying to give Uncle Archie a bath and change his bed. He went into a coma. Grandma told me to run and get Grandpa quick. I ran. He was in the granary fixing a harness and came running in. Grandma was crying and wringing her hands in her apron and was almost historical.
Grandpa said in a voice that I did not recognize "Stop that". Grandma stopped and he said, "Lay your hands upon his head with mine and pray. Eva, run for Brother Carpenter". I did.
When Brother Carpenter and I returned, I thought Uncle Archie was dead, but as soon as Bro. Carpenter started to anoint the 0il to administer to him, Uncle started breathing better and by the time Grandpa finished the sealing, Uncle could talk and ask for water. In only two or three days he was well and working again.
That experience made me see Grandpa in a new light. From then on, I had more love and respect for him than I had ever had before. He was no longer just a fun-loving Grandpa, but a strong level-headed man who knew the power of the Priesthood he held and knew how to use it."
John Harold McCain
Grandma had been quite ill. On one occasion, but she was finally getting better and able to be up and around a little. One night she dreamed of her son Harold over and over again. The part that she remembered most was setting on the floor holding Harold's head in her lap and kissing him over and over again. She couldn't forget the fact that he would never kiss her back.
The next morning she was in the kitchen trying to help Grandpa get breakfast, but she was so weak from her illness. Grandpa was then called across the street by Brother Carpenter, saying he was wanted on the phone.
While he was gone, Grandma saw a white dove in the kitchen over the table. She glanced at the window to see if it might have been left open, but it wasn't. Then the dove seemed to speak to her and say, "I have come for you, are you ready to go?" Grandma said, "Yes, take me I am ready". She then started to reach for it, but it vanished.
As Grandpa came back across the street she could see that he was crying. She met him at the door and said, "Harold is dead isn't he?" Grandpa asked her how she knew. She said a heavenly messenger in the form of a dove had made it known to her. Because of her dream of Harold and the dove she knew what had happened. This was the second time a dove appeared when she lost a son in death.
Her great faith and belief of a world hereafter gave her the strength to endure her deep sorrow at her great loss. She knew if she lived worthy she would go to meet her dear son, Harold, someday and also Little James.
Although she was weak from her illness, she found the strength necessary to get ready to make the long trip back to Jensen, Utah where Harold had died September 11, 1928 from mountain fever. They met Mary in Salt Lake and went on together. After the funeral, the three of than drove Harold's little car home to Bloomington. Harold was unmarried.
THEY MOVE TO ST. GEORGE
After Harold's death, Grandpa and Grandma sort of lost interest in the farm and all the hard work. It was just too much for then, so they decided to sell out and move to St. George, where life would be easier. This they did in 1935. .
Soon after they moved to St. George they lived in the Woodury place until they moved into their own home. While there they celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary. They then moved onto a small lot next door to their daughter, Artie. Here they planted fruit trees and a garden, raised a few chickens and sometimes a pig.
ROBERT AND ARTHUR LEAVE
Robert and Arthur lived with their grandparents until they graduated from High School. They then went to live with their dear mother, Mary in Salt Lake City. Here they found work. It was hard for Grandpa and Grandma to have them leave. They seemed like their very own.
Helen and Arthur Cromwell
When World War 2 broke out, they were both called into the service, Robert in the Army and Arthur in the Airforce. (Arthur had married and had one small son, Richard.) Arthur was tail gunner on a big bomber. He had completed all but one of his missions over Germany before he was to be released to return home. On his last mission his plane was shot down and he was killed.
Less than a year later his older brother Robert was killed in action on Luzon in the south seas.
The heartache and grief of their mother and grandmother knew no bounds. Only Grandma's great spiritual strength and ability to endure trials and hardships, enabled her to carry on and give strength and comfort to her grief-stricken daughter Mary, as it was almost more than she could endure. She had also lost her husband Lloyd Holladay, in a trucking accident the same year. She now had no family of her own left so she went to live with her mother and father.
Yes, Grandpa and Grandma suffered with each of their children and grandchildren when they were called to mourn or endure physical pain. Two sons-in-law also passed away, Artie' s husband Albert and Leoma's husband, Victor, leaving them both with children to finish raising. Vera Snyder, the oldest granddaughter also died without ever marrying
Front: Belle, Albert, Rhoda, Artie Back: Mary, Archie, Leoma,picture of Harold on the wall
Grandma usually kept a picture of these dear departed loved ones. On the round table in her living room. Grandpa's picture that had been taken by the Look magazine hung on the wall. He was very proud of this and so were we all for they had done a feature article about him and his broom corn, and his picture had been on the full cover of their magazine.
Here in St" George, Grandma had a special small old-fashioned rocking chair that fit her back "just right". She had worked so hard during her life that her back bothered her a lot. She had sat so many hours piecing and making hundreds of quilts over the years. Many for her family and many on shares. She used to make a quilt for some one for enough material to make one for herself. She was a beautiful quilter and taught all her daughters to quilt very well, too.
It was while living here in St. George that many of the great-grandchildren got to know and love these two dear people. Grandpa teased all of them, just as he had his own children and the grandchildren. They soon learned that he always seemed to have a baby chicken in his pocket somewhere. They would search through all his pockets but could never quite find its hiding place. But they knew it was there because they could hear it peeping. As they searched, Grandpa would shake with laughter.
Then Grandpa would probably grab them and tickle them with his chin whiskers. (He wore a mustache most of his life, but in later years, he shaved it off.) The louder he could make them laugh and scream, the better he liked it. Peace loving little Grandma would say, "Now Grandpa, now Grandpa."
Whenever he left the children alone they would come and tease him until he would play with them, so they enjoyed him and his teasing just as we had before them.
He used to laugh and tell me that the first time he ever saw me when I was a baby, I was sitting in a box or a tub and he went over to me and said, "Hello Fatty." He said I took one look at him, opened my mouth and cried until my face was all red. I used to tell him that no girl likes to be called fatty even if she is.
Grandpa used to sing cute little songs about us children. He would sing "Lady Red Bird" to Eva when she wore a favorite red dress.
Grandpa still went to his beloved choir and did his ward teaching that he had always been so faithful with for so-many years. Feb. 17, 1929 he had been ordained a High Priest by William 0. Bently.
My grandparents always loved to have any of us come to see them and they usually insisted we stay and eat with them. They always had delicious meals. I especially remember Grandmas homemade sauerkraut, chicken and dumplings, and her fine jellies.
Grandma had had to have her teeth taken out years before, so she had to eat soft food or finely chopped food She dearly loved small tender green onions, and I can still see her sitting and cutting, up the green tops so she could eat them.
Grandma always welcomed us all to her house with a kiss and said goodbye in the same way. Even after Grandpa and Grandpa had no chores or anything to worry about doing, they still got up early. They would have breakfast over and the housework and few little things done by the time many were just getting up. They then would be ready to lay down for a nap. It's hard to break such a thrifty habit you have had all your life.
They especially liked to listen to Roy Acuff on the Grand Old Opera years ago. He was from their native Tennessee and that was the type of country music they knew and loved.
Grandpa was always some one so extra special to me, How I remember the last time he ever talked to me before he died. I was in St. George visiting, from my home in Idaho. He came to my mother's place one evening just around sun down. We sat on a log in the back yard and he talked to me seriously about our life here on this earth and the reason for it all. He talked of the gospel and of how it had changed their lives and how much it meant to him. At that time all my little girls love and adoration changed to grownup love and deep respect for this wise, gentle, kind, fun loving man who was my grandfather.
GRANDPA, TOO, LEAVES US
The next time I saw him, he couldn't even talk to me. He had been sick for quite some time, gradually getting worse. Aunt Mary lived right with them so she bore the main burden of taking care of Grandpa. When he was on his deathbed all the rest of his children came home to help in every way they could. I was called at my home and told how bad he was. He was 88 years old and they couldn't see how he could get better.
I felt that I just had to see him once again so I took my small daughter Patsy and we went to St. George to be with my Mother, Leoma. To see if I could be of some help with this dear man who had meant so much to me ever since I could remember.
When I went in to see him, he was so ill that he couldn't speak and didn't seem to know any one. When I took his hand and they told him I was there. I felt his fingers tighten on mine two or three times and I felt sure he really knew I was there.
All of us were so sad at his passing on July 19, 1954, but of course knew death must come to us all and he had lived a good full life and was ready to go. He had a very nice funeral and was buried in the St. George cemetery.
Grandma took his going very well. She was so brave through it all but we a11 knew what a great loss she felt. From then on she looked forward and wished for the time that she too could go.
The following is a tribute given in Grandpa's funeral.
A Tribute To Brother McCain Written by Lucy H, E. Graff, July 20, 1954
Brother McCain joined the Church in 1885,
Was baptized in a stream of floating ice,
He left his home and came out here,
To be with the saints he loved so dear.
He toiled and worked with all his might,
To help others see the Gospel's light.
He earned his living by the sweat of his brow,
Had faith God would help him ---- somehow.
He set good examples for his girls and boys,
For they were his greatest pride and joys.
He enjoyed being with them in their work and play,
Taught them the Gospel and how to pray.
He also taught them to work for their daily bread.
To do work for the living and the dead.
Taught them to be honest, kind and ever, true,
And to be faithful in all they were asked to do.
He was so fond of his sweet little wife,
For she helped him through the trials of life.
When sorrows came, she was close by his side,
And they crossed the bridges together narrow and wide.
In his illness, he uttered a constant prayer,
Asking God that he might be prepared,
To meet Him in His eternal home
And sweet peace on his countenance shone.
He prayed for his family that they might have peace,
And that their love for the Gospel would increase.
He prayed for faith and unity among all of them,
And the last word he uttered was "Amen".
To you, dear Sister McCain, we wish to say,
May God comfort and bless you this day.
May He bless the family each and. every one,
To finish the work their father has begun.
The following article appeared in the St. George paper.
Albert Alexander McCain Services held in Second Ward.
Funeral services for Albert Alexander McCain, 88, were held in the Second Ward Chapel, Thursday, under the direction of Bishop V. Pershing Nelson.
Mr. McCain died Monday evening, July 19th, of causes incident to age.
He was born in Meigs County, Tennessee, November 7, 1866 to John Newell and Eliza Jane Dannels McCain and here grew to manhood and received what little schooling he had.
He married Rhoda Elizabeth Chamberlain October 11, 1887 and they lived on a farm. They were converted to the L. D. S. Church and in November, Mr. McCain was baptized in Mill Creek Pond where they cut a hole in the ice to do so.
His family turned against them after they joined the L. D. S. Church, so they decided to come west and landed in Heber City, Utah in 1901.
From there, they went to Jensen, Uinta County where they lived until 1913 when they moved to Overton, Nov. From Nevada they moved to Arizona and later to Utah, settling in Bloomington, until 1935 they moved to St. George, Utah.
Mr. McCain served in various positions in the Church, such a superintendent of Sunday School. He was a high priest at the time of his death and he had always sung in the choir.
He was a faithful husband and father of seven children. Five survive him with his wife. They are Artie F. Snyder, Mary Holladay and Leona Iverson of St. George, Utah, May Belle Hiatt, Modesto, Calif., and Archie McCain of Phoenix, Arizona.
Mr. and Mrs. McCain had a happy life for more than 67 years.
Mary Holladay, their daughter, sat faithfully at his bedside during his illness, taking care of him. His other children helped in every way they could.
Grant Johnson of the bishopric conducted the service, with Mrs. Ada Cannon at the organ,
The speakers were Patriarch George E. Miles, President Harold S. Snow, Ellis Everett and Bishop P. V. Nelson and Mrs. Lucy Graff read a Tribute written by herself and Louise Asay.
The music was vocal solos by Vernon Worthen, and Rhoda Jackson and a duet by Mr. and Mrs. Pratt Miles.
D. W. Woodward gave the invocation and Warren Rollins the benediction: Andrew 0. McCarthur dedicated the grave in the City Cemetery.
Pallbearers were grand and great grandsons.
LIFE GOES ON
Aunt Mary continued to stay and care for Grandma after Grandpa died. They were always together. Grandma couldn't stand to sit very long on the hard uncomfortable benches sometimes found in churches or other public places, so Aunt Mary always carried a small pillow for her to sit on.
On one 24th of July celebration (it's now called Pioneer Day, I believe), Grandma was crowned the oldest lady in Washington County at the old folks' party given by the Daughters of tie Pioneers. She received a gold and silver crown.
For the last several years of Grandma's life, on her birthday, Aunt Mary would make her a big beautiful birthday cake and friends, neighbors and loved ones would come wish her well. This seemed to please her very much.
During the last several years, Grandma was so frail and thin that she was always cold. She would usually wear a shawl around her head when she went anywhere. During the last year of her life, she was feeble and unable to wait on herself very much. Aunt Mary would bathe her and Grandma would say, "Oh if I could just wait on myself I would be so glad. It makes it so hard for you, Mary, to have to do so much for me." Mary tried to assure her that she enjoyed waiting on her and would continue to do so.
Grandma loved to have Aunt Mary pack a lunch, prepare a jug of ice water, and take her on a picnic. They would ride up on the black hill or up on the red hill by the water tank. There they would sit and talk as they gazed down over the city. The beautiful white Temple stood out from the green of the trees and lawns in majestic splendor,
Grandma enjoyed going for a ride to Leoma's, Bud's, or over to Washington to visit Keith and Verla. Also to Eva's or Edwin's and Hannah's. She didn't usually feel like staying very long though because she tired easily.
When Grandma turned 90 years old, they honored her at a Birthday Party. She said she knew she would never live to see another Birthday, and she didn't.
Since Grandpa's death, the McCain and Alex Nelson families had been having a yearly family reunion, It was usually held in St. George because of Grandma. So in 1960, we decided to pay special honor to her.
I was asked to help with a tribute for her. I said I would write one if I could also read it, because I had never been around very much to honor her, since I had married and moved away.
At the reunion, held in June of 1960, Grandma was presented with a corsage of gardenias and pink rosebuds. It was the first gardenias she had ever received. She was also presented, later on, with a large spray of salmon pink gladiolas.
Following is the tribute given in her honor by me, a granddaughter, Marie Iverson Waite.
A Tribute to Grandmother McCain
Dearest Mother, Grandmother, Great Grandmother, and Great, Great Grandmother, of this long title you can well be proud.
We, your family, have gathered together to honor you and pay you homage and to say how much we love, cherish, and respect you this day
It's so hard to find the right words to tell you what you have meant to all of us all our lives.
Although you were always such a tiny little thing and never very well you somehow found the strength and the heart to meet and surmount the many trials and hardships that have confronted you all your life
You are the hub that has held your large family together as we spread out into all parts of the country. Your home has been a very special kind of meeting place for your family. Whenever any of us come home one of the very first things we want to do is to "Go see Grandma."
When we Grandchildren were small the phrase "Let's go see Grandma" had a wonderful magic sound that would fill us a11 with excitement and anticipation. It was at your place that we, the Grandkids, always had cousins to play with because you and Grandfather were always taking care of some of us.
Looking back now, I can see that you and Grandpa had a lot of love, patience, and understanding to put up with so many of us Grandkids around so much of the time.
I often think back of my own childhood and feel so blessed to have had the association of you and Grandpa. Not all children are so fortunate. Those who aren't miss so much of the happiest experiences a child can have.
We grandchildren had so many happy times and experiences together at your place and now, we have so many wonderful memories to recall.
It mattered not where your home happened to be you drew us all there like a magnet. Whether it was at Mt. Trumbull, where you had to dry farm and haul your water from a pond and fence your small limited garden to keep out the jackrabbits or at Bloomington where you still had to haul your drinking water from town by team and wagon. But there you raised wonderful gardens and fenced them to keep out the chickens and the Grandkids.
Or here, in St. George, where you have only to turn a tap to get a drink of water. Where you and Grandpa raised nice gardens for a few years but then decided your garden raising days were over and so you laid aside your rakes and hoes and at long last started to take things a little easy.
It was at your home that we, the Grandchildren and most of the Great Grandchildren, had the experience of being loved, teased and chin-whiskered by our dear lovable Grandpa.
How well we remember searching his pockets for the baby chicken that always seemed to be there. We never actually saw this tiny chick, but we knew he was there because we heard it, whenever we happened to be near Grandpa.
We also knew there were some kind of queer animals, called Yay-hoos living in the hills, because he never missed an opportunity to tell us about them especially if we happened to be with him on one of his regular trips from Bloomington to St. George after water. At times we would have been frightened of his Yay-hoos if Grandpa hadn't been near by, to protect us, if one should appear. And those trips after water seemed to take so long and it was so hot in the summer, but we were always anxious to go whenever possible.
No one could have filled the role of Grandpa better than ours. We love and cherish his memory
And, Grandmother dear we your Grandchildren will always cherish the heritage of ideals, that you and Grandpa have passed on to us. If you two hadn't had the courage and strength to give up family, friends and possessions and the faith to embrace the gospel when you heard it, we your posterity might never have found the Gospel and the true teachings of the Lord to guide and direct our lives. For this alone, we are deeply grateful and thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
Benjamin Franklin once said, "The heritage of the past is the seed that brings forth the harvest of the future."
Yes, Grandma, we your family have many cherished memories of our lives with you and Grandpa, now your own children would like to reminisce and recall a few more of these to your mind
" Mama dear, this is Artie speaking to you, It's hard for me to find the words to tell you just how much you've always meant to me. You've always been a wonderful Mother to me, when I was a child and after I've been grown and married. I've been so fortunate to have-been able to live so near to you and Dad, so much of the time. Remember, when we decided to move from Jensen and could hardly bear to be separated from you and Dad, so you decided to move south with us, just so we could all stay together. That was a long, hot, dry trip we took and nearly all choked to death. When we arrived in Overton, Nev. we decided to stay there instead of going any farther.
I want to thank you for taking care of my children so many times, when they had to be near a doctor and when they stayed with you because they were working near by. You did so much for them, fixing lunches and other meals, and waiting on those who were sick. Vera loved you and Dad and loved to stay with you. She enjoyed so much being able to sew for you and help you in every way she could. Remember how she loved to make quilts?
And, Mama, do you remember way back in Tennessee, you used to go pick black-eyed peas and you would take me with you. I had a little dog, named Rock that went along also. One day I remember special. We had a large bucket of water and a cup along. After we had made a round, we would have a drink. I asked you if we could give Rock a drink from the cup too, and you said, "No, we don't want drink in the same cup with a dog." Finally it got so hot that I couldn't wait to make the round before getting a drink, so I and Rock would walk way back up to the bucket after just going one row. On these trips, when you weren't with us, I would give Rock a drink out of the cup. He really seemed to appreciate those drinks and at that time I was sure he would have choked to death if I hadn't given them to him. I can see now that I was a naughty little girl, but you didn't seem to mind drinking in the same cup with a dog, when you didn't know it. You always worked so hard to make things better for us children and you've always taught us children to live right and try to make our lives worthwhile. I'm so grateful to have a mother like you and my heart is filled with love for you and Dad.
And now, Mama, this is Belle talking to you. There are so many things I remember about you and Father. I remember when we children were small, you taught us all to kneel by your side and learn to say a little prayer each night, before going to bed. Do you remember the prayer you taught us?
Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep:
If I should I die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take.
Bless Mama, Daddy and us children. Amen.
And Mama, another thing I remember that has been a great testimony to me, was one time when we were all home together and sleeping in one room. I noticed that there seemed to be something wrong with you. I spoke to Artie about it and she called you several times, but you didn't answer, so I called and you couldn't seem to answer, so I screamed out, "There is something the matter with Mother, she is dying."
Father jumped up and hurriedly lit the coal oil lamp and we all got out of bed to see what was wrong. You couldn't speak or look at us or even move and we were sure you were dying. We got the consecrated oil and pried your mouth open enough to pour in a tiny bit and then Father led us in prayer as we all knelt by your bedside.
As we finished and arose, you opened your eyes and looked at us and asked, "What is the matter?" So we told you what had happened and then asked you what had been wrong? You said it had felt like a big black man had been sitting on your chest and was choking you. As you were talking, an Elder, Uncle Johnny Rassmuson, who lived near by, came into the house. You told him what had happened and he said, "Yes, Sister McCain it was the Devil and he is still in the room." So then Elder Rassmunson administered to you and commanded the evil one to leave. Then you were all right.
All this left a great impression on me that I could never forget. And, Mama, I have seen you healed many times under the hands of the Holy Priesthood.
Mama, I have always loved you and Father so dearly, and I shall never forget how happy I was when you both went to the temple the day I was married. I'm so grateful for all you've taught me."
"Mama, this is Mary and it's now my turn to thank you for doing so much for me all through the years. I doubt that any of us today would have the courage to give up so much and come to a strange new country for the gospel as you and Father did, landing in Jensen with only 50 to your name.
The very next day happened to be my birthday and the good people we were staying with gave me my first birthday party. They popped corn, made lemonade and cake and invited all the neighborhood children my age. It was wonderful.
How I remember that you always had a flock of chickens, turkeys and sometimes ducks. Once when you went to the field with Father you told us girls to be sure and get the turkeys in if it started to rain. It did rain, so Artie and I went to get in the turkeys. We looked to see where Belle was at, and there she was, busily trying to gather in the little ducks off the ditch so they wouldn't get wet.
Mama, I want to thank you so much for taking care of my boys all those years, so I could work and make a living for us. You took care of them as though they were your own. Now it is a joy to me to have been able to help you and dear Father during the last few years to try to repay you in some small way. You were both the best parents any one could have. "
Mama, dear, this is Leona and I'm next in line so it's my turn to attempt to tell you what a wonderful Mother you've always been to us children.
You were always kind and patient with us and so thoughtful.
How well I remember of coming home from school so hungry, and you always had a big kettle of food cooked for us. My, it tasted so good. You could make the best bread pudding I ever tasted. It was my favorite dish when I was a child.
How well I remember when Harold was a baby and we lived near a man with only one leg. His name was Will Moon. Somehow, I got the idea that I might be him in the next world. This worried me a great deal. You, Mama, could see that something was wrong and asked me about it. You assured me that I would not be Will Moon, but only myself. Your explanation completely dispelled all my little girl fears and I worried no more. I had complete faith that you and Dad knew just about everything.
Some mornings while I was growing up, I would awake and the house would be so quiet and I would get such a lonely feeling and would wonder where every one could be. I would hurriedly dress and go to find you, and there you would be, near by, hoeing in garden. You were always there when we needed you, Mama.
I want to take this opportunity to thank you for everything you've done for me and all the things you took time to teach me."
Mama, this is Archie last but not least. I just want to say I love you so much Mother Dear and I know you are the dearest Mother anyone could have. What more could I possibly say to let you know how much I appreciate you and everything you've done for me.
So Grandmother, dear, ninety years you've courageously met the hardships and struggles of life. Now your hands are wrinkled and worn and your cheeks pale from care and strife. As the seasons have passed over, they have left the silver in your hair. But this only makes you more lovely to us who really care.
Grandma, I thought this poem by Sarah Ahlstom Nelson with a few changes here and there, would be a fitting ending for our tribute to you.
Ninety years you've climbed with courage over the rugged hills of life,
Ninety years of joys and sorrows, ninety years of happiness and strife.
Stalwart youth and graceful maiden, Knelt beside the alter low,
Pledged the vows that naught could sever on that day so long ago.
Hope was strong and young hearts eager to begin the tasks of life,
Toil and hardships left undaunted, brave hearts ready for the strife.
Just a simple little cottage, but love made a home complete.
Baby faces came to bless you, baby voices wondrous sweet,
Tender memories cluster round those happy days of by-gone years,
Boys and girls around your fireside, telling you their hopes and fears.
Yours, the guiding hands that led them in the paths of truth and right.
Yours, the words of hope and courage, yours the prayers for them at night.
Life has brought both cloud and sunshine, joys and grief have your own,
But you trod the path of duty and your name for good is known.
Now sons and daughters gather round you with their children's children too,
Love in every heart abounding for your life so fine and true.
After I had read the tribute, I stooped over to give Grandma a kiss. She whispered, "Bless you, bless you."
GRANDMA PASSES AWAY
In September 1960, all of Grandma's children were called home because she had taken a definite turn for the worst and they knew she wouldn't live long. The tiny little lady that had been so frail and yet so strong all her life was now ready to take the next big step along the way of progression.
The day she died, all the children and some of the grandchildren were gathered there. They heard her speak several times to some one they could not see. She seemed to be talking to Grandpa, Vera, Little James, and possibly Harold. They felt the presence of someone spiritual, very strongly. They were very probably there to take her with them to the Spirit World. So she easily slipped away into eternal life on September 22, 1960 at 1:40 A.M. She had a lovely funeral and was buried Sept, 26 at 2:00 P.M. in the St, George cemetery by the side of her husband.
Following is a talk given by Bishop V. Pershing Nelson at her funeral.
In July, just six years ago, I stood at this same rostrum and spoke briefly to most of you who mourn today. I remember now how deeply I was touched as I witnessed the fortitude and assurance and the dignity and faith with which a frail and gentle little lady accepted the decision of our Father in Heaven to recall to His presence, her husband and companion of nearly 68 long years.
Today I approach the responsibility of speaking briefly at the services for that same sweet, gentle soul who then touched my heart so deeply, and I do so with a feeling of sincere humility. At the same time, I am grateful for the privilege of being permitted to say just a little of the very much that can well be said in tribute to her. I am even more grateful for the conviction in my heart that Sister McCain, while she yet lived in this Mortal realm, wao aware of the affection and esteem I felt for her.
In the mundane affairs of life, where we see countless numbers of confused men and women groping blindly and often foolishly for status and power and worldly achievement, it is so refreshing to find, occasionally, a simple, kindly, unaffected child of God who has found the way. One whose life and faith alone are her credentials, in whom there is not room for sham or pretense. One who has planted her feet on the path of life that Jesus described in His Sermon on the Mount. One whose dedication to simple goodness and gentle kindliness has rewarded her with that serenity and peace of mind and heart for which we all so feverishly strive and clamor.
These were the virtues and the attributes, which were so prominent in Sister McCain. She had no false goals or foolish aspirations. She did not subscribe to that prevailing and relentless urge and impulse rampant in the world today which demands that we exhaust ourselves in the quest for satisfaction of superficial wants. The fulfillment of which does not bring peace to our hearts or our minds. But only drives us like quarry slaves toward the attainment of other objectives, which are equally futile and unimportant. She had learned a truth that most of us are not big enough to accept. To be content with what we have is the most secure of richest.
When I think of Sister McCain, I recall the story told of Joshua Liebman, the modern author and philosopher. As a young man, he undertook to draw up a catalogue of those things in life of greatest good and he set down this inventory of earthly desirables: health, love, talent, power, riches and fame, and then proudly showed his list to a wise elder. This venerable old man reviewed the list in thoughtful silence, and then said to his young friend: "An excellent list, and set down in not unreasonable order. But it appears that you have omitted the one important ingredient, lacking which your list becomes an intolerable burden."
He then crossed out the entire schedule and wrote down in bold print these three simple words: "PEACE OF MIND." "This is the gift", he said, "that God reserves for his special proteges. Talent and health He gives to many. Wealth is commonplace, fame not rare. But peace of mind he bestows cheerily. "This is no private opinion of mine", he explained. "I am merely paraphrasing from the psalmists and philosophers. Lord of the universe say these wise ones, "Heap worldly gifts at the feet of foolish men. Give me the gift of the untroubled Mind." She had learned that great lesson of life that the sum of all our material possessions does not necessarily add up to the satisfactions and contentment we seek in life and that inner tranquility can flourish without the material supports of property or fame or even the buttress of physical health. She had discovered that great truth that Peace of Mind can transform a cottage into a spacious manor hall and the want of it can make a regal residence nothing but an imprisoning shell.
I remember, how warm and sincere were the pressure of her fragile hand and the glow in her face as she has greeted me on countless occasions both while I was her bishop and since that time. I recall how genuinely happy she always seemed to be when I would call on her, which I tried as often as I could to do. Even since I moved away, I have been to see her on several occasions and have inevitably felt uplifted in spirit and greatly rewarded for the time I have spent. To convey these feelings to those about you is a God given gift, and, in the final analysis, is the only compensation in life that measures up to the gold standard of the Lord.
As I remember Sister McCain, I think of the question put to Jesus by his tempter: "Master, which is the great commandment in the law?" And Jesus said unto him: "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." I think of His teachings to the multitude on the Mount, when He said: "Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven. Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness for they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God."
It has sometimes seemed unfair to me that the acclaim of the world is so often misdirected to those who so aggressively and often unworthily pursue it, while countless noble souls appear to live out their lives in quiet but respectable oblivion. Then I remember that the Savoir said, "Therefore, when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee and when thou prayest, do not do as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men, for verily, I say unto you, they have their reward." Real virtue the kind of virtue possessed so abundantly by this humble woman, is its own reward.
Your mother has left behind, I am sure very little in the way of physical riches but she has bequeathed to each of you who are her children nevertheless, the story and example of a beautiful and well lived life. She has taught you, by her example, that honest toil and simple goodness have many compensations, She has personified the laudable qualities of mind and character and exhibited the virtues of a good life. There can be no finer legacy in any estate. It is your responsibility and opportunity to so live that you may always in good conscience wear the mantle of her goodness.
I am mindful today of the pain in all your hearts, but I am especially aware of the loneliness that Mary must feel. She has already borne more than her share of tragedy and her devotion and loving helpfulness to her mother has been a mutual blessing. Perhaps this little poem by an unknown author, which I associate with the philosophy of Sister McCain will sound a responsive chord in all you children and furnish a degree of solace to your hearts.
O, Lord, who knowest every need of mine. Help me to bear each cross and not repine; Grant me fresh courage every day, Help me to do always without complaint! 0 Lord, Thou knowest well how dark the way; Guide Thou my footsteps, lest they stray; Give me fresh faith for every hour, Lest I should ever doubt Thy power and make complaint. Give me a heart, 0 Lord, strong to endure; Help me to keep it simple, pure; Make me unselfish, helpful, true, In every act what ere I do, and keep content. Help me always to do my share, Make me courageous, strong to bear sunshine or shadow in my life! Sustain no in the daily strife to keep content.
May the Lord bless you and comfort you and hallow your mother's life in your memory, I pray, in Jesus Name, Amen.
This article appeared in the St. George paper.
RHODA ELIZABETH MCCAIN, 90, DIES AT HOME.
Mrs. Rhoda Elizabeth McCain, 90, 441 South 100 West, died at home Thursday of a heart ailment. Born May 26, 1870, Roane County, Tennessee, to John W, and Francis Jane Cundiff Chamberlain. Married to Albert A. McCain October 11, 1887, Meigs County. Marriage later solemnized in the Salt Lake Temple Church of Jesus Christ of LatterDay Saints. Came to Utah in 1900, living in Jensen, Uintah County until 1913. Homesteaded on Arizona strip prior to making their home in St. George, Utah since 1926.
Husband died 1954. Active L. D. S. Church member. Survivors: son, daughters, Archie A. McCain, Phoenix, Arizona; Mrs. Harry (Artie Snyder) Gifford, Mrs. Leoma M. Iverson, Mrs. Mary M. Holladay St: George; Mrs. James E. (Mae Belle) Hiatt. 21 grandchildren, 71 great grandchildren four great great grandchildren.
Funeral services were held Monday in the Fourth Ward Chapel. Burial was in St: George cemetery.
JUST THOUGHTS OF MINE
Yes, Grandma too had lived a long fruitful life, always giving so much of herself to her family, friends and neighbors. She was always so meek, kind, gentle, patient and loving.
She was never one to preach sermons, but lived her life as an example to others, inspiring them to do their best.
Although my grandparents had a long hard life filled with hard work, trials and sorrow, they also received much joy and satisfaction. They enjoyed seeing the accomplishments of their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. They loved them, everyone.
During their long life Grandma and Grandpa had seen many inventions and modern conveniences come on the market,, Also much progress and changes come about.
But to be able to buy matches cheaply from a store, to start a fire whenever needed was a miracle indeed. Grandma greatly appreciated the invention of the fruit jar. To be able to preserve food for her family was indeed wonderful. And to be able to go to the store and buy soap was really a big help. To make her own had been such a hard tiresome chore.
Grandma said the invention that really helped her most in raising her family was the now simple and old-fashioned wash board. Before that, she had had only her hands to wash with.
Many of the new conveniences my grandparents never did enjoy, but in later years, Grandma did have and enjoy a new gas range and gas wall heater with a thermostat control. This was certainly a far cry from carrying live coals from the neighbors.
Just two or three months before Grandma's death I was visiting in St. George. Some of my family and I rode on down to Bloomington one evening for an outing. This was the first time I had been there since my grandparents lived there years before. I could hardly believe the change that had taken place, for it was now nothing but a small ghost town.
My grandparents' old home is falling to shambles and it gave me such a sad, lost feeling, as I walked through it and looked at the rooms. These rooms had once meant so much to me and so many others.
As I walked around the yard, I tried to imagine things as they had once boon. This was very difficult; because now the figs and pomegranate bushes, which had once been tame and cared for, grew in wild confusion.
Yes, this old house that had once hold so many dear ones and so much happiness would soon be no more. Even now it had nothing to identify the dear ones who had once lived there and called it "home". It, like they were fading away into that great vastness known as the past.
As I stood thinking, the thoughts crowded in on me, of what a small thing man really is and what a short time they live here, compared to the great plan of things,
How difficult it is for man to leave a mark strong enough to last long after his passing. The only way this can be done is through his children and the good he does while on earth.
But, we, the descendants of these two dear people, will remember them for many years to come, and if we live worthy, we will soon join them in the hereafter. We know they will be waiting to welcome us, each one in our turn. As always, I'm sure they will welcome us with outstretched arms and a kiss.
They are not dead! They have but passed.
Beyond the mists that blind us here,
Into the new and larger life,
On that serener sphere.
They have but dropped their robe of clay,
To put their shining raiment on;
They have not wandered far away,
They are not "lost" or "gone".
Though disenthralled and glorified,
They still are here and love us yet;
The dear ones they have left behind
They never can forget.
I began collecting and compiling this material during the summer of 1960 and completed the printing during the year of 1961.