Donna B. McBeth

17 Mar 1902 - 1 Dec 1978

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Donna B. McBeth

17 Mar 1902 - 1 Dec 1978
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Memories of my grandmother By Debra McBeth (Christiansen) My Grandma McBeth was a wonderfully fun, loving woman. My memories of her always bring a smile to my face perhaps that is because she had such an endearing smile herself. Although her name was Madonna (a name she disliked heartily) she was kn
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Life Information

Donna B. McBeth


Payson City Cemetery

901 E 400 N
Payson, Utah, Utah
United States

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Memories of Madonna Bingham

Contributor: Keith_Fraser Created : 4 years ago Updated : 4 years ago

Memories of my grandmother By Debra McBeth (Christiansen) My Grandma McBeth was a wonderfully fun, loving woman. My memories of her always bring a smile to my face perhaps that is because she had such an endearing smile herself. Although her name was Madonna (a name she disliked heartily) she was known by everyone as Donna. She was Grandma McBeth to me. She always wore “powder” and had a lovely smell. When I was about 3 or 4 I can remember sitting on the bed in her bedroom. She would sit on the stool in front of her vanity and brush her waist long, thick, gray hair. She would then wrap it up into a bun at the nape of her neck and put on a hair net. I loved watching her brush her hair. (I loved her bedroom set as well). It was comprised of a chest of drawers, a vanity, and a bed which included a head and footboard. The wood was a lighter color, for some reason it seems it was a tiger maple. The handles on the dresser and vanity were very ornate. It was impressive to a little girl. I was very distraught as a 14 year old when I found out that it had been sold after my grandpa died, grandma came to live with us and the farm house was emptied to be rented out. She lived in the small farming community of Benjamin, Utah as a child. When I was very small I remember going down to Benjamin with Grandma and Grandpa to visit relatives. The farms down there seemed very large to me and the homes were spaced about ½ of a mile apart. I played many outdoor games such as kick the can and sardines in a can etc. with children that I now assume to be distant cousins. Grandma talked often about Benjamin and the many relatives and growing up there. She talked about her Grandfather Manwill with some degree of sadness. He had decided to take a second wife during the winding up days of polygamy. Unfortunately, he chose a second wife who was already married who left her husband for him. As well could be expected, her Grandmother did not approve. As he became a fugitive from the law for the practice of polygamy, it lost whatever glamour it held for this grandfather and they separated and he returned home to Benjamin. He was not admitted back into the family so to speak and my grandma spoke sadly of her “old grandpa who was all alone, who the family disowned and who eventually became unable to walk.” “He died sad and alone,” said my grandmother. Grandma was well acquainted with death as a young girl. Her older sister Emily died when grandma was 14, a year later her oldest brother Alpheus died. (He did serve an LDS Mission, I’m not sure where. I do have a picture of him as a young man prior to his mission. ) It was merely 8 months after that, her mother passed away. Her older sister Cecile (Aunt Ceece as she was always called) and my grandma seemed to have a love/hate relationship. I was never privy to why they did not seem to get along. Perhaps it is because she assumed the role of mother figure after their own mother’s death. She was some 13 years older than grandma. They were the antithesis of each other in looks, Aunt Cecile was rail thin, a very angled face heavily lined. Grandma on the other hand was a large, big boned woman and in my memory she was always heavy set. I do remember however that Aunt Cecile knew what buttons to push to set off Grandma and she did it. Whether it was related to the church and if Aunt Cecile made comments about Grandma’s activity; I’m not positive, but I remember Aunt Cecile making grandma very angry on more than one occasion. As far as Grandma’s other siblings, she always talked fondly of the “baby sisters.” She had two older sisters who died in infancy, Susan May and Hazel. There was never a Memorial Day pass that these little sisters did not have flowers placed on their graves. There were 11 children in all. I vaguely remember Uncle Thayne, Uncle Joe. I remember Uncle Lavon coming to our home in Tooele when grandma lived with us. I mostly remember her sister, Aunt Aileen. She was so sweet and kind and loved my grandma and made her feel good about herself. Grandma married my grandpa, Albert Taylor McBeth in December of 1924. They lived in Salt Lake City and Grandpa worked for the Harris Dairy. They lived there until Grandpa took over the family farm in Payson, Utah. Most of my memories of Grandma are associated with the farm and Payson when I was young and then memories as a teenager and older when she lived with us. She and grandpa had four children; my dad, Max Bingham McBeth, Geraldine McBeth (Smith), Albert Ray McBeth, and Dennis Bingham McBeth. Memories of Grandma, the farm, the barnyard, the orchard, the root cellar are all intertwined and paint an idyllic picture of life on the farm. Grandma for the most part was an excellent, excellent cook. Her food was just marvelous. There were only a few things that I would say she didn’t cook to my taste was fried eggs. Perhaps this was just due to the fact that Grandpa smoked and didn’t have as good a sense of taste, I’m not sure. She would first have about ½ cup of bacon grease in the pan, turn the heat on high and cook the life out of the egg! It was crispy around the edges and she would cover it in black pepper. I remember one summer when my brother Scott and I were staying with grandma and grandpa for a few weeks. Scott made some comment about the eggs and grandma turned with a twinkle in her eye and a smile on her face – but you knew she meant business – and told Scott he better watch it her he’d get nothing for breakfast. Other than that, her food was so good. Her homemade bread slices were big and soft and almost didn’t fit in the toaster. I remember watching her “knead” the dough in a bucket type contraption that had a handle on top. Her pies were just to die for! The feasts we had for Christmas, Thanksgiving and New Year’s were looked forward to the entire year. She made the best mincemeat pies (even though they always gave me heartburn). Her apple pies were wonderful as well. Be it banana cream, lemon meringue, apple, pumpkin, mincemeat – you name it, just made it perfectly. In later years when she lived with us, I remember her distinctly tell me that the only really good pie crust was one made with lard. She stated it was such a shame you couldn’t get lard anymore. Crisco was the next best ingredient available. One summer when she had spent time with Ray and Marlene in Taos, New Mexico she had the chance to speak to some Native American women who made fry bread. She told me that these ladies also knew that Lard was the best thing to cook it in and gave a better piece of fry bread. Grandma was a believer in lard! Her steamed carrot and suet puddings were my favorite. She made a smooth lemon or nutmeg sauce to top them off and I could live off her puddings. She made a wonderful chocolate cake with white coconut frosting. She was often accused of “purposely leaving something out of the recipe” when she shared it with others as no one could make it as good as she did. She also made yummy jams and jellies. Her crab apple jelly was beautiful. She made it from crab apples of the trees in the field that was up by the church. It was light pink sweet jelly with whole little apples including the stem. Wow! Pottawattamie jelly was another favorite. I don’t even know if Pottawattamie plum trees still even exist – I would love to have one! She really wasn’t a fancy cook by any means, but everything she made was just plain good. I loved having hamburgers at Grandma’s house, they just seemed to taste better than the ones we had at home. It was a meal she always cooked for us when we went to the farm. Grandma canned, she baked, she collected recipes. If I picture Grandma McBeth, it would be like this; sitting in her wooden rocking chair in her living room, it is quiet except for the pendulum clicking of the wall clock. Her ankles would be crossed and her head tilted to the side would be resting on her hand with her elbow perched on the arm of the rocker. Grandma always wore a crisp clean housedress usually protected by a cobbler apron. She had “her table” which my father had made in junior high (my brother Kevin now has this table.) This sat next to her and was always piled with her letters, writing materials, and crochet or embroidery work. I couldn’t count the hours spent sitting on her lap rocking in the front room at the farm. One of my favorite memories was of Grandma singing what I considered to be a “risqué” song. It was called Ta-Ra-Ra-Boom-De-A. I’m not sure why I felt there was something naughty about it, but I certainly thought there was. The words went, “Mother, mother what is that? Hanging down that ladies back?” Shut-up you little brat, that’s the streamers down her back!” “Ta-Ra-Ra-Boom-De-A, Ta-Ra-Ra-Boom-De-A, Ta-Ra-Ra-Boom-De-A, Ta-Ra-Ra-Boom-De-A.” Not much when I look at it now, but I loved it then. She also would sing “Up, up in the sky, where the little birds fly. Down ,down in their nests, the little birds rest.” Grandma McBeth had a beautiful flower garden. She had peonies, iris, oriental poppies, hollyhocks, a snowball bush, a bridal wreath bush and an old fashioned yellow rose bush. To this day, I have peonies, hollyhocks and poppies in my garden. She taught me how to make Hollyhock dolls out of the blossoms and I never remember her getting upset with us picking her flowers. Grandma did beautiful embroidery work and crocheted afghans and doilies as well. She was rather a large woman, and did not do many “active” types of things. But as she sat, her hands were not idle. I know that Grandma was very touchy about her weight. As a little girl, I don’t remember thinking twice about it. In fact I rather oddly thought that “everybody” had a thin grandma and a heavier grandma. (I came to this conclusion because I did and so did many of my friends. It was only one day, when I asked one of my friends grandma’s who wasn’t really thin, but wasn’t really heavy if she was my friend’s “fat” grandma or her “thin” grandma – it didn’t go over very well!) Grandma didn’t have very good health either. She did not like the doctor and it was more than a fight to get her to go to the doctor. I remember several instances of Dr. Oldroyd coming out to the house to see her as she refused to go see him in his office. I remember her having hypertension problems; I recall also that she took water pills. Grandma had what I learned when I grew up, was a severe episode of depression/break down. What it was attributed to, I don’t know. I remember that Grandma suddenly started wearing a “turban” on her hair – and we didn’t see her head without this turban for probably 5-6 years after that. We went to the farm every weekend for a few years. My mom would cook meals, clean house, wash clothes, change linen etc. so grandpa and grandma would be taken care of for the coming week. Children weren’t generally filled in as to what was going on. We were told that Grandma was not feeling well, don’t make noise, don’t yell, don’t bother her. When we would go to the farm, it would be very quiet, she would be sitting in the rocker and staring out the window. She would give us a hug and a kiss but I knew that “Grandma wasn’t herself.” And then one day, the silk turbans came off. She had lost a significant amount of her hair and so she purchased what was known as a “rat” (a hairpiece that was a bun). She pinned this at the nape of her neck and put a hair net over all her hair. This is how she wore her hair until she died. Grandma had a lot of friends. They seemed even then to have “cliques” and I know that there were certain groups that grandma was not part of. One of her dearest friends was Elsie Ashworth. Grandma loved everything about Elsie and her husband Clay, except for the fact that “they ate their corn on the cob when it was barely white, not even any flavor in it yet!” Ashworths on the other hand thought grandma and grandpa ate their corn when it was old and starchy! Elise had a light airy, funny laugh, Clay was bald, had a hearing aid and I think missed a lot of what went on. They were good people who made me feel warm, comfortable and loved. It said a lot about their times that people went to “visit” each other. I don’t think there was a week go by that the Ashworth’s and Grandpa and Grandma didn’t visit one another. Grandma was particular about her children’s names. This was especially true about her daughter Geraldine. It was “Geraldine” and she always called her that. Now her sons, and her husband, and Geraldine’s husband all called her Gerry – which really made Grandma fume inside. I asked her one day about my dad’s name. My dad was a big, man and Max fit him well. I asked, “Grandma, how could you name a cute little baby, MAX?” I got her finger waved right in my nose about it being a fine respectable name and how dare I! Then one day, I had a sweet little grandson – named Max and then I knew! Grandma was a member of the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers. I don’t know how active she was, or what she had to do with them. But I know she was proud of the fact and had a membership card. Holidays were always special at the farm. Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, and Memorial Day were the biggest celebrations with lots of family around. She always made sure there was plenty of good food, i.e. rolls, potato salad, pickles, jams and jellies. Until my grandparents came to live with us, I only remember having a few Thanksgiving dinners at our home. We generally went to the farm. I remember thinking that the song “Over The River and Through the Woods” was written for us, about Grandma’s farm house in Payson. Thanksgiving meant a wonderful meal, with “dry” dressing. Evidently there are two thoughts on dressing at Thanksgiving, a wet very moist dressing and a dry dressing. Grandma believed in dry dressing and I followed suit and like it that way as well. Her pumpkin pies were the best. Every New Year’s eve until Grandma and Grandpa came to live with use were spent at the farm. Our parents traditionally celebrated with their friends in Salt Lake and so they would bring us to the farm, go to Salt Lake and come back in the wee hours of the morning. Every New Year’s Eve was the same and it was perfect. We had Squirt pop in creen bottles that was cold and refreshing. We also had popcorn. We played Michigan Rummy; the only time we ever played Michigan Rummy was New Year’s Eve. The TV would be set to the station that had Guy Lombardo and his orchestra playing at the Waldorf Astoria. I loved New Year’s Eve! I was surprised when I was older to find that Memorial Day was not the huge holiday that I had grown up with. It was as big as the 4th of July, or Thanksgiving in our family. We always went to Payson. The extended family would all come to the farm. Grandma took specific care in preparing flowers for the graves at Payson Cemetery. Hanging up on nails in the garage were large white metal baskets to put flower arrangements in and set out on the many graves. Most of the flowers came from Grandma’s garden and yard. There were usually snowballs, bridal wreath, peonies, flags (iris), lilacs and sometimes wild yellow roses. She put a lot of thought into which arrangements would go on which graves. The cemetery was gorgeous on Memorial Day. The graves were all covered with beautiful flowers. As soon as we finished “decorating the graves” (some people called it decoration day back then) we would go back to the farm and have a big picnic type feast. Grandma would always make potato salad, fried chicken, and chocolate cake with coconut frosting. I never remember thinking that this might be stressful at all for Grandma, it just seemed the natural place to be and the natural thing to do. I still love Memorial Day and am “tugged” to whatever cemetery is closest to me at the time. I remember being quite shocked to find out that the whole world didn’t celebrate Memorial Day as I had as a child. Grandma had a washing machine on the back porch, and an iron and ironing board. I don’t ever remember hearing the washing machine run – or see her iron as I think about it. But I remember clothes on the clothes line and her clothes were always neat, so she must have ironed them some time! I do have her ironing board still and have used it for my entire married life. I like it! Grandma McBeth like jewelry. She liked brooches and earrings. BUT – she had what I now believe was a nickel allergy. She wasn’t able to wear her earrings very long before she would have red, itching ears and a rash going down her neck which then would flake and peel. But she did like them. I still have an assortment of her earrings and brooches and I wear them from time to time. Grandma was an avid letter writer. She was always writing letters to family and close friends. She sent cards and I remember her laboring over picking the right card. Her letters extended to siblings, nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. Her letters and writing materials always set on the table my dad made next to her rocking chair. When she came to live with us she had a little basket she kept all her letter writing materials in. She would always sit and read what people had to say tin their letters to my mom and the rest of us when she lived at our home. Grandma and grandpa came to live with us when I was about 14, in the 8th grade. Grandma helped with some of the cooking when they first came to live with us. She always saw to my grandpa’s needs. I think if there was anything I learned from my grandma McBeth it was how to be a totally devoted, faithful, serving, wife. I never heard her say anything negative about my grandpa. I never heard her scold him to get mad at him. If she was, she hid it well. She was solicitous of what Grandpa needed. She served him his food first and made sure he had what he needed before she ate or saw to herself. When Grandpa became ill from the radiation treatments, she took care of dressing his burns and incisions and and doing everything she could to make sure he was comfortable. She worried about his health, worried when he had no appetite and became thin. She was devoted to him and I appreciate having had that example before me as a young girl and teenager. After Grandpa passed away, Grandma didn’t cook as much as she had. She did was dishes and until the last few years of her life, she generally washed the dishes from the evening meal. It was what she felt she could do to contribute. Grandma was unique in her last several years living at our home. When I was a teenager, she would sit in her rocking chair (it was by the front room window at the time) and look out the window when I was coming home from a date. More than once I would see her peeking out the curtains and then she would reach up and flip the porch light off and on – my signal that she felt I had spent “plenty” of time saying good night! Her sense of propriety was that from generations before my time and my brothers and I did not always agree with what she felt was “respectable.” I specifically remember one Christmas when Scott bought a skirt and blouse for his girl friend. Grandma was very upset that Scott would buy something so “personal.” Now, in our minds buying lingerie, is personal, not a skirt and blouse. As we talked about it, I argued this wasn’t personal, it was just a skirt and blouse – then Grandma said, “In order to buy that he would have to know what sizes she wears – and that is too “personal” for a girlfriend. Maybe the world would be better off today if we still thought that way! Grandma was very hard to “buy” for. When it was her birthday, Mother’s day, Christmas, everyone would call me my mom to get “ideas” or to say, I’ll send you some money and you pick something out for her. Most of the gifts she received,, Grandma would slide under the bed. We had a standing joke about looking under Grandma’s bed if you needed something because surely she had one of everything under her bed! So buying presents for Grandma was hard. She expected a gift but was very opinionated about the gifts she was given. The last few years it just became so hard for people to buy her anything that they would give her “food.” There would be boxes of chocolates, cheese and cracker gifts etc. One year our neighbor Russ came into the front room just before Christmas to put Grandma;s present under the tree. He slipped it under the tree and told g Grandma not to peak. Grandma remarked, “Well, I hope that’s not a box of chocolates! I hate the fact that when somebody can’t think of what to give you, they give you a box of chocolates!” Well, it was indeed a box of chocolates. So after Grandma had gone to bed, Russ came and got the present from under the tree and bought her another gift! We always reserved the right to buy her “bloomers.” This was what the type of undergarment Grandma wore. I remember going with my mom on many occasions to the JC Penney store in Tooele and buying grandma some new “bloomers!” Grandma did embroidery and crocheting while she sat, which she did a lot of. Her size and health just didn’t allow her to be very active. While she sat and watched her several soap operas on television, she did hand work. She made beautiful afghans, and a host of embroidered pillow cases. Grandma was very quiet about Grandpa’s death. She didn’t talk about it and I remember thinking it was probably “just part of life” to her and not all that unexpected. It wasn’t until a few years after he died that we came to realize the deep impact and tool it had taken on her. After Grandpa died, my grandma wore the same dress. We finally came to know that it was the dress she had been wearing the day Grandpa died. It was a navy blue shirtwaist dress with white polka dots on it. My poor mother washed and repaired and mended and fixed that dress over the next seven or so years. My mom used hemming tape and iron on patches, everything she could possibly think of to repair it as Grandma would get quite cross if mom tried to tell her that it was no longer repairable. Grandma had a closet full of beautiful clothing items, none of which she would wear. She would wear a robe or cotton snap up housedress until mom would get the dress washed and dried. As Grandma ‘s health deteriorated and all of us children had left home, she wasn’t always very kind to my mother. She started to refuse to bathe or to let my mom take care of her in any way. My parents eventually were able to get a home health nurse to come in and do things for her, which she would just not allow my mom to do. Grandma died in early December of 1978, just a year before my dad passed away. I will always be grateful for the chance that I had to have lived with my Grandma McBeth. As grandchildren we knew our grandparents better than any of our cousins because they were a part of our everyday life for our teenage and early adult years.

Life timeline of Donna B. McBeth

Donna B. McBeth was born on 17 Mar 1902
Donna B. McBeth was 12 years old when Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife, Sophie, Duchess of Hohenberg, were assassinated by a Yugoslav nationalist named Gavrilo Princip in Sarajevo, sparking the outbreak of World War I. Archduke Franz Ferdinand, Archduke of Austria-Este was a member of the imperial Habsburg dynasty, and from 1896 until his death the heir presumptive (Thronfolger) to the Austro-Hungarian throne. His assassination in Sarajevo precipitated Austria-Hungary's declaration of war against Serbia, which in turn triggered a series of events that resulted in Austria-Hungary's allies and Serbia's declaring war on each other, starting World War I.
Donna B. McBeth was 27 years old when Babe Ruth becomes the first baseball player to hit 500 home runs in his career with a home run at League Park in Cleveland, Ohio. George Herman "Babe" Ruth Jr. was an American professional baseball player whose career in Major League Baseball (MLB) spanned 22 seasons, from 1914 through 1935. Nicknamed "The Bambino" and "The Sultan of Swat", he began his MLB career as a stellar left-handed pitcher for the Boston Red Sox, but achieved his greatest fame as a slugging outfielder for the New York Yankees. Ruth established many MLB batting records, including career home runs (714), runs batted in (RBIs) (2,213), bases on balls (2,062), slugging percentage (.690), and on-base plus slugging (OPS) (1.164); the latter two still stand as of 2018. Ruth is regarded as one of the greatest sports heroes in American culture and is considered by many to be the greatest baseball player of all time. In 1936, Ruth was elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame as one of its "first five" inaugural members.
Donna B. McBeth was 37 years old when Adolf Hitler signs an order to begin the systematic euthanasia of mentally ill and disabled people. Adolf Hitler was a German politician, demagogue, and Pan-German revolutionary, who was the leader of the Nazi Party, Chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945 and Führer ("Leader") of Nazi Germany from 1934 to 1945. As dictator, Hitler initiated World War II in Europe with the invasion of Poland in September 1939, and was central to the Holocaust.
Donna B. McBeth was 43 years old when World War II: Hiroshima, Japan is devastated when the atomic bomb "Little Boy" is dropped by the United States B-29 Enola Gay. Around 70,000 people are killed instantly, and some tens of thousands die in subsequent years from burns and radiation poisoning. World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945, although conflicts reflecting the ideological clash between what would become the Allied and Axis blocs began earlier. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all of the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. It was the most global war in history; it directly involved more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. In a state of total war, the major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.
Donna B. McBeth was 54 years old when Disneyland Hotel opens to the public in Anaheim, California. The Disneyland Hotel is a resort hotel located at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California, owned by the Walt Disney Company and operated through its Parks, Experiences and Consumer Products division. Opened on October 5, 1955, as a motor inn owned and operated by Jack Wrather under an agreement with Walt Disney, the hotel was the first to officially bear the Disney name. Under Wrather's ownership, the hotel underwent several expansions and renovations over the years before being acquired by Disney in 1988. The hotel was downsized to its present capacity in 1999 as part of the Disneyland Resort expansion.
Donna B. McBeth was 63 years old when Martin Luther King Jr. received the Nobel Peace Prize for combating racial inequality through nonviolence. Martin Luther King Jr. was an American Baptist minister and activist who became the most visible spokesperson and leader in the civil rights movement from 1954 until his death in 1968. Born in Atlanta, King is best known for advancing civil rights through nonviolence and civil disobedience, tactics his Christian beliefs and the nonviolent activism of Mahatma Gandhi helped inspire.
Donna B. McBeth died on 1 Dec 1978 at the age of 76
Grave record for Donna B. McBeth (17 Mar 1902 - 1 Dec 1978), BillionGraves Record 13593754 Payson, Utah, Utah, United States