A History of Perry Alma Burr and Hansenna Hansen
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A History of Perry Alma Burr
and Hansenna Hansen*
Perry Alma Burr
*(This history is chapter 32 in A History of the Burr Pioneers, edited by Wesley R. Burr and Ruth J. Burr and published by the Burr Family Organization in 1995. The published book has other pictures of Perry and Hansenna’s family and over 1,000 pictures of relatives and ancestors that are not included in this version because this is just the text in the chapter. The larger book is available at the LDS Family History Library and the Church History Library in Salt Lake City, and the BYU Library in Provo, Utah.)
The son of Henry Uriah and Julia Caroline Beal Burr, I was born January 8, 1879 in Burrville, Sevier County, Utah. My grandfather, Charles Clark Burr, was the first one who settled that part of the county in the year 1874. So the small settlement was named Burrville. I lived there all my boyhood years. I had a very happy time with my brothers and so many of my Burr cousins, as two of my uncles and two aunts and their families lived there.
At the age of six in the year of 1885, my folks with several other families would go to to a valley just north of Fish Lake; a place called Johnson’s Flat. They would go there for dairying purposes, to make cheese, and to summer range their cattle. My father, Henry U. Burr, with his family, was among those who were there at this time.
We lived in log houses with dirt roofs. Our house was leaking after a heavy rain storm. The poles on the roof were decayed, and the weight of the extra dirt caused the ridge pole to break, and the roof caved in on us, causing injuries to several who were in the house at that time. Those injured were my aunt Jane Cloward and two of her children. One child had just stepped out of the door as the roof caved in on us.
A cook stove was in the center of the large room. Myself and my cousin were by the stove drying our feet in the oven when the tragedy happened. It broke his leg, causing his death a few days later. They dug me out of the dirt. I was unconscious. My father laid me on the ground for dead while getting some others out. One of my aunts, Laura Water, came to me, and seeing a spark of life, she began to work with me. I came to, and did not seem to have any bad effects. I was placed in the same bed with Elmer, my cousin who was also injured. He died during the night. His mother, Aunt Jane, also died in less than a year. My mother, her baby Orson, my oldest sister and a cousin, being in the other end of the room, were unhurt.
We had a ward organized in Burrville. We attended Sunday School, Primary, and M.I.A. I was ordained a deacon in 1891, and a priest in 1900.
We children were taught to attend our church duties as much as we could.
Some of my jobs were to herd the cows and sheep. In the fall of 1895 I was tending sheep on the meadow. It was damp, and I contracted inflammatory rheumatism and was sick all winter and could not attend school. There were no doctors nearby, so we relied on the Lord. I had a great deal of faith in being administered to by the elders of our church. They were called in several times, but I did not seem to get better. One day my mother asked who I wanted to come and administer to me. I asked for Uncle George Burr and Brothers John and James Anderson. I had just had a very bad spell and was in so much pain and could not have anyone touch me. After they administered to me, I soon got better and have not been bothered since. I was healed by faith.
My school education was limited; I just went through the eighth grade. After leaving school I went to work for wages away from my home wherever I could get work. But I worked for a very low wage, not more than $15 or $20 a month. When I was twenty-one years old I worked at Murray, Utah for two years, for the Howe Dairy. I received $25 per month. I always sent money home to my folks.
In March about 1903, I and a boy friend decided to go to Idaho and hunt for work. I managed to get enough money to take the train as far as Shelley, Idaho, where we went to a sister of this fellow and some acquaintances. We visited there for a while looking for work, but could not find any. It was the latter part of March. I went to Grant, Idaho, and stayed with Uncle George and Aunt Laura Waters for a while. Then I got steady work from Neal McMillian. I worked there for two years. He paid me $30 a month.
I was active in the Church in Grant and ordained an elder December 13, 1903 by John Henry Smith at Rigby, Idaho.
About that time I met and became interested in Senna Hansen. I always admired her appearance, and Aunt Laura Waters told me if I wanted a good girl, she was the one for me. So I became more interested in her and started going with her in December 1904 and proposed after nine or ten months. We were married December 20, 1905 in the Salt Lake Temple. I had about $60 left for our wedding stake to buy a home. From there we went to Burrville, Utah and visited with my folks and relatives and friends.
We stayed there in Burrville until about February 10, 1906. I traded what property and cattle I had, for four head of horses, harness and covered wagon. We loaded up what we had for our trip back to Idaho. We had bedding, a small wood stove, dishes, and our wedding gifts that had been given to us. We traveled in style, me driving four head of horses the distance of 650 miles in a storm, with cold and muddy roads all the way. We had plenty of food and cooked our meals on the little stove. We made our bed on the trunk and boxes we had our things packed in. We bought feed for our horses all along the way as we stopped to camp.
I was very sick one night, and thought I could not live until morning. But we prayed, and the next morning I felt okay and we went on our journey. It took us seventeen days from the time we left Burrville until we arrived in Grant, Idaho the first part of March 1906, at my wife’s father’s place, Jeppa Peter Hansen. He helped us to make a down payment on a farm, which was then in Garfield, Idaho, three miles west of Grant. We had 120 acres of land, but did not have enough water for that amount of land.
At this place our first child, a son, Gerald Dean Burr, was born January 5, 1907. We lived here in this place about five years. I worked in Sunday school, mutual, and priesthood quorums. Our second child was also born at this place, DeEsta Burr, born October 26, 1909. Soon after, we sold this place and bought a small place in Bybee Ward, which now belongs to Lewisville Ward, Idaho. Our third child, a daughter, Emma Bernita Burr, was born May 15, 1912. I continued to be active in the Church.
In 1913 we moved on a dry farm near Debois, Idaho. I homesteaded 160 acres. We spent three or four summers trying to raise crops. We built a nice home, raised two pretty good crops, but after that it was a failure. About the year 1918 we moved back to Grant and worked for my brothers-in-law, Otto and Nephi Hansen.
We sold our place in Bybee to Carl Hansen, brother-in-law, and in Grant lived in my mother-in-law’s home. It was a little three-room house. We lived there for two or three years.
On December 25, 1920, I was ordained a Seventy by Josiah Call.
The year 1921, I rented the Charles Fife place for two years. It was a large six-room house, the nicest house we had lived in. It was located close to the Grant cemetery. We did pretty good here. The children were big enough to help me very much on the farm.
In the fall of 1923 we moved to Lewisville, Idaho, and rented a farm of eighty acres from a Mr. Kinghorn. We did fairly well on this farm. The house was a four-room log house with big trees around the house and lawn. It was by the railroad track, close to the school and church. The farm land was across a canal and railroad tracks. The children also helped me a great deal on the farm. The two girls worked on the farm too. Gerald finished his high school at Midway, which was about one and a half miles north of Lewisville. DeEsta also went one year there.
In the fall of 1925, I made a deal with my mother to buy her small five- acre fruit farm on Provo Bench in Utah. We sent Gerald and DeEsta to Provo in time to start school in September. They stayed with relatives until the rest of the family arrived. I sent my wife, Hansenna, and three children on the train. Two of these were my wife’s sister’s children who we had taken to raise. What things we did not sell or ship by train, I loaded in a wagon and started for Utah. It took me ten days to make the trip. My team was Peach and King, a very fine team of horses. I arrived in Provo on November 11, 1925.
I took over my mother’s place of five acres. I paid her $900, furnished a house for her to live in and paid $250 cash each year as long as she lived. I bought a three room house in Provo for her to live in. I borrowed the money from G. H. Heindselman, who held the mortgage on the place.
In 1926 I rented a small place from Mr. Mitchell. I only made enough to pay expenses. In 1927 I rented a place in Vineyard, raising mostly hay. I was always trying to make a little more than what we could make from the five acres on the fruit farm on Provo Bench.
December 1927 I bought a Chevrolet touring car from my brother G. M. Burr in Salina, Utah.
In August we brought my wife’s mother from Idaho to see if doctors in Provo and Salt Lake City could help her eyes, as she was going blind. They did not help her very much. She lived with us the rest of her life.
December 11, 1972, I was ordained a high priest at Provo, Utah.
In 1928 I rented a fruit farm from Mrs. Sarah Salisbury, a widow in Orem. I received fair returns from that place. The five acres of our own were not enough to keep us busy or to make enough money from, so I would rent other places most of the time.
Our son, Gerald, was called on a mission to Denmark. In March of 1929 I left with my brother William Burr to get a job in Susanville, California to earn the money for his mission. I first got a job at Lassen Saw Mills, where I worked for one summer. Then I got a job at the County Hospital in Susanville, as an orderly, for $100 per month. By the first of January 1930, I had enough money saved to send Gerald to Denmark for his mission. I rented our place there in Orem while Gerald was gone. I sent Gerald $25 and $30, and sometimes extra money, for twenty-seven months, and didn’t seem to miss the money at all.
In 1932 Gerald returned from his mission and took over the place again. On May 1, 1933 Gerald married Rhea Busby in the Salt Lake Temple. They lived in the place in Orem. My wife, DeEsta, Bernita, and two girls of my wife’s sister, whom we had raised, as their mother had died, came to Susanville to live.
In 1934 Gerald did not want to stay on the farm any longer, so I turned it back to my mother, Julia Caroline Burr. Gerald and his wife moved to the home in Provo that I had bought for my mother,and she moved on the farm. My brother LeEarl Burr took over the farm and the care of mother.
I attended to all my church duties while in Susanville, California. I did not hold any special positions, except ward teacher, but attended all of the meetings I could, paid tithing, ward assessments, and fast offerings, and tried to do the best I could. I attended Sunday School for four years without missing one Sunday, for which I received an emblem of honor.
Our daughter, Emma Bernita, was married in Susanville, California September 15, 1933 to Orval Arco Morgan. Arco came out here to get her; they were married by the branch president, then left for Orem, Utah, where they made their home.
In October 1937 I sent our daughter, DeEsta, on a mission to Southern California for two years, and paid all her expenses. We were blessed while doing this service.
The third of May 1938, my mother-in-law, Carole Hansen, died in Susanville, California. We took her body to Grant, Idaho for the funeral and buried her on May 8, 1938. She suffered very much before she died. She was blind and bedfast for the last two or three years of her life.
On May 27, 1939, my wife, Norma, and DeEsta, who had just returned from her mission, left to Provo, Utah to establish our home in the place we had bought in Provo. In December 1939 I quit my job at the Lassen County Hospital in Susanville, California, and joined my family in Provo, Utah.
In the spring of 1940 I rented, on shares, Parley Dixon’s fruit farm in Orem. We lived in a little one-room cabin which was by their home. I cleared $400 that summer and worked very hard.
The spring of 1941 I rented another farm from Mr. Green, on the State Highway, just across the street and a little north from our daughter, Bernita’s home. I stayed with them most of the time, and they also helped me when they could. I only cleared $200. I had an accident with the horses that laid me up for a while. It was at this time that my brother William Burr, from Susanville, California was killed in an accident; a tree fell on him. I was unable to go to his funeral.
February 1942 I worked on W.P.A. until May. I then got a job as janitor at the Uinta Theater for $80 a month. Then in October of 1942, I started working for the City and County for $100 per month. It was later raised to $144.50 per month. I worked for the City for a few years. It was then I moved back to the County with much less pay. I am now seventy-seven years old and am still working, lucky to still have my job. We are thankful that I am still able to work and have a job. We have our home all paid for. We have made some improvements on our place. We built a small room on the back, had a gas furnace put in, and have a gas stove. We have new carpets in the rooms. Our home is nice and comfortable for us now. I have considerable money saved for when I am not able to work any more.
I have always paid a full tithing and fast offering and can testify that we have been blessed in so doing.
On December 20, 1955, we celebrated our Golden Wedding Anniversary. On Thanksgiving, November 1955, our children and families were here for dinner and a day of visiting. Two daughters from California and their families were here too. The children presented us with a television set, which we enjoy. We also had pictures taken. To this day, June 1956, I am feeling pretty good for my age and enjoy life.
PERRY'S LATER YEARS
by Bernita Morgan
Dad always enjoyed fourth of July parades in Provo close to their home at 128 South 3rd East. We would see it each year, and also the twenty-fourth of July parade in Salt Lake City, which would go past my sister Norma Naffsinger’s place on 875 South 300 East. They would go up with us, Arco and Bernita, and family nearly every year. He also enjoyed baseball games on television and games played in Provo.
On Monday, July 30, 1956 at 7:30 a.m. on a Greyhound bus, Mother and Dad went with a group conducted by Mr. and Mrs. W. E. Losee of Provo, on the LDS Historical Eastern Tour. They paid $396 for their fare and were gone eighteen days. They had a wonderful trip, saw many historic places, and made many friends while traveling.
Sunday, January 6, 1957 was my Dad’s birthday. Dad was seventy-eight years old and was still working at the City Building, the city had not retired him yet. November 25, 1957, Dad was taken to the Utah Valley Hospital in Provo, Utah and was to be operated on the next day, November 26, for prostate gland operation. He got along pretty well for his age.
December 26, 1957, Dad was operated on for a hernia. Having had two operations so close together, it was at this time he decided to retire, since he was not well enough to continue working. January 1958, Dad was still secretary of the high priests of his ward, but had not been to church for about two months because of the operations. But he was getting stronger and able to get out more. He would take a taxi to go see his mother, who was not so well and was over one hundred years old.
March 30, 1958, Mother and Dad attended the big birthday dinner for Julia Caroline Burr (Dad’s mother) on her one hundredth birthday, at the home of LeEarl Burr in Orem. The dinner was for the nine living children and their partners. Aunt Effie and husband, Orson Olson, came from California for the occasion. Pictures were taken and a good time enjoyed by all. Monday, March 31, 1958 was open house for Grandma Burr at the home of her daughter Nellie Bullock, in Provo.
During the summer of 1959, Dad was feeling pretty good. He helped with house cleaning, yard work, the little garden they had, and would walk to town to do all the shopping. He would also go see his mother Caroline Burr, each week. She was failing; after all, she was 101 years old.
On Wednesday, September 9, 1959 Dad and Mother got a telephone call at 11:00 p.m. saying Dad’s mother, Julia Caroline Beal Burr had passed away; she had been unconscious for a week and she was 101 and a half years old. The next day, LeEarl (Dad’s brother) came for him to go to Aunt Effie’s to help make arrangements for the funeral, which was held September 11, 1959 at Olpin Mortuary in Orem. She was buried in Payson next to her husband, Henry Uriah Burr.
March 1962, Dad had the privilege to see his grandson Perry Cunningham leave for a mission to Germany, a great joy to him. Also, on September 23, 1962 he attended the farewell of his grandson Clive Dan Morgan, who was leaving for a Mission to New Zealand.
On January 3, 1964 we took Dad to Doctor Parker in Springville to see what he could do for his stomach. He said Dad had ulcers, and put him on a diet, and gave him some medicine to take. Dad was getting weaker each day and did not care to eat. March 4, 1964 we again took Dad to Doctor Dayton, because he was getting weaker. He said for us to take him to the hospital Thursday, which we did.
Sunday, March 22, 1964 he passed away, and was buried in the Provo Cemetery.
HANSENNA HANSEN BURR
Hansenna Hansen Burr was the third child of seven children born to Jeppa Peter Hansen and Caroline Anderson Lilirose. She was born on November 10, 1882. Her parents were immigrants to America from Denmark and Sweden when they were young; they met and married in the early settling of Utah.
I, Hansenna, as a child worked very hard, having to help my parents with everything. I always had to walk wherever we went, or some of the time ride horses or drive horse wagon and buggies. I learned and was very good at handling horses when quite young.
In the spring of 1889, Jeppa Peter Hansen moved his family from their home in West Weber, Utah, to a pioneer homestead in Idaho when it was first settled. Part of the family stayed in Ogden until Father got a house built, which was about six months. Then we took the train to Idaho Falls, where Father met us in a wagon. We rode a distance of eleven miles to our home in Grant. No houses were to be seen during that distance, nothing but sagebrush. It took us three hours to make the trip. When we arrived there, I did nothing for several days but cry.
My sister Caroline took me for a walk through the brush. She said, “we will go see the swale.” I thought this to be a large animal. When we got to the stream I said, “Where is the big animal?” She said, “This is what I meant. This is a natural stream of water where everyone gets the water to drink and irrigate their farms.” I was baptized in this stream of water when I was nine years old.
There were four other neighbors and it wasn’t long until many others arrived and took up land. In 1890, a one-room log school house was built which was used for about ten years. Then they built a frame one-room school house much larger. There I finished my school in the eighth grade.
Dancing and sleigh riding were our main sport in the winter. We looked forward to the Fourth and Twenty-fourth of July and Christmas, as our main holidays. They were enjoyed with great pleasure. They were the only times we would have new dresses and shoes.
At sixteen years old I was chosen second counselor to the president of the Primary. At that same age, or the year 1898, I was a teacher in Sunday School and Primary in lower grades until I was married. I also worked in the Mutual Association. I was capable of working in the organizations when young.
I had many experiences with driving and handling horses in Idaho, as that was the only way of transportation in those days. We had teams and wagons, and also buggies.
In 1904, I met Perry Alma Burr at a dance. He had come from Burrville, Utah, to Idaho looking for work and was staying with his Uncle George Waters. I thought he was a fine young man. In October of the same year, we started to go together and were married December 20, 1905, in the Salt Lake Temple. From there, we went to Burrville to visit all of Perry’s folks. We stayed until February, then with wagon and team, and all of our belongings, left for Grant, Idaho, which took seventeen days for the trip. It was a cold and stormy honeymoon trip.
We had many moves and adventures in the next years of our lives. We moved to Utah and then to Susanville, California.In 1932 in Susanville I was appointed second counselor to Jean Porter in Relief Society. I worked in Relief Society and Sunday School all the time we lived in Susanville, and also took care of my two nieces and my mother, who was bedfast. I compiled and wrote the history of Susanville Relief Society, from the beginning to the present time, September 1937 to December 1937.
My mother died in Susanville, California, on May 3, 1938. We took her body to Grant, Idaho for the funeral and burial on May 8, 1938. This was where her husband and her children that had died were buried.
The fall of 1937, we sent our daughter, DeEsta, on a mission to Southern California. She was gone for two years, returning home in 1939. I was released from all offices in May, 1939; we were moving back to Provo, Utah, to live in our home at 128 South 3rd East. Perry stayed in Susanville until December 1939, when he moved home.
I was put in as president of the Provo First Ward Relief Society on May 10, 1953, which I held for a little over two years. I took a tour trip with a group of ladies the last of April 1956, by Mrs. Losee of Provo. We went through Manti, St. George, Mesa, Arizona, and Los Angeles Temples and many places of interest in California, including the Zion and Bryce Canyons, which I have always wanted to see. I enjoyed the trip very much. Perry and I went on an LDS historical tour in July of 1956. We were with a group of forty-four people and were gone eighteen days. We saw the Hill Cumorah Pageant, and it was a wonderful trip. I don’t generally like to travel, but did enjoy this trip. Also, in June 1957, Perry and I went with a group to a number of temples. We went to the Logan, Idaho Falls, and Canadian temples, and had a good trip. We were able to see Perry’s nephews in Canada, and on our way home we went through Yellowstone Park. We saw many things there and stayed one night.
I had a chance to see five of my grandsons go on a mission and to witness temple marriages for six of our grandchildren. We have always tried to attend the temple as often as we could, when we had a chance to go with someone, as we didn’t have a car to drive.
In November 1957, Perry was taken to the hospital to be operated on for prostate gland. He got along pretty good, and was in the hospital for five days. Then, in December 1957, he went to the hospital again for a hernia operation He had trouble with his stomach. Doctors X-rayed and said he had ulcers. With some medicine, he was a little better, but he had to be careful to stay on his diet. Perry had to retire from his job, at age seventy-eight. We had some good trips together. On December 1958, we took the bus to spend Christmas with DeEsta and family, the first we had been with them for Christmas. We had a great time. Also, we got to see our daughter Elese in Susanville, and her family and many friends.
On September 9, 1959, Julia C. Burr, Perry’s mother, died, at 101 and a half. The funeral was on September 11, 1959, at Olpin Mortuary in Orem. She was buried in Payson cemetery by her husband. She will be missed by her family.
The fall of 1962, our grandson Clive Dan Morgan was called to fill a two- year mission to New Zealand. We attended his farewell testimonial on September 23, 1962, and he left on a plane on October 16, 1962.
The fall of 1963, Perry got the flu, and all winter he was sick, gradually losing weight. We took him to see a doctor. They said he had ulcers. He took medicine but was not much better. We had him in the hospital for a week or so. The doctors said they could not do any more for him. We took him home, but Bernita and I could not take care of him. So we had to put him in Willard Rest Home, just two blocks from our house. He was there eleven days till he died on Sunday, March 22, 1964. He surely suffered the last year of his life. Now he is free from pain and suffering. Gerald and Rhea were here, as well as Arco and Bernita; Norma and Hal had just gone back to Salt Lake. The funeral was on March 26, 1964, in the Provo First Ward church, with Bishop Davis in charge. Elese and Kenneth Sidwall came from California, and also DeEsta, Howard Cunningham and family.
On May 25, 1964 we received word that our daughter, Elese Travis, from California had been in a car wreck and killed. Norma, Hal, Arco, Bernita and I went by car to Susanville for the funeral. It was cold weather and a long trip in a short time to stay. It was a sad occasion. All her brothers were there and also her children, Sandra, Dickie and Linda. We saw many people I had known in Susan-ville. Gerald and Rhea also went with Denzil Thornick from Ogden, and DeEsta and Howard Cunningham from Sacramento. Elese was buried in the cemetery at Jamesville, California.
On October 23, 1964, our grandson Clive Dan Morgan arrived home from his mission in New Zealand where he had been for two years. He has changed and is more grown up—a wonderful boy.
It has been a hard, lonesome life living alone, not being able to go places of any distance unless someone takes me. However, I am able to walk to church, the grocery story, and downtown when needed. I am grateful for the health I have to do this much for myself. I visit the sick and homebound and go to church, to keep me busy. My children come often, and I can call Arco and Bernita on the phone each day.
HANSENNA'S LATER YEARS
by Bernita Morgan
On March 26, 1969, mother was alone in the evening when she fell to the floor in the bedroom. In much pain, she knew she had to get to the telephone for help, so she crawled to the frontroom where the phone was. She called the next-door neighbors, but they were not home. So she called Bernita in Springville. We got there as soon as possible. We called her doctor, and he came and thought it was a broken hip. We took her to the hospital, and found that, sure enough, her hip was broken. The next day, the doctors operated on her and put in a pin. She was in the hospital about three weeks.
When we had to take her from the hospital, she could not stand or walk, and I was unable to lift and care for her, so it was decided that she would receive the needed care in a nursing home. Norma helped us find a suitable place, and we moved her to the Utah Valley Care Center at 1775 Dakota Land, Provo, Utah. She entered there April 14, 1969. She is in a wheelchair, as her hip never got strong enough to hold her weight. The doctor felt at the time she would not live very long. But she has been in this care center eight years and has failed a little each year. We all go to see her two or three times a week.
In April, 1977, the patients at the care center were moved to a new building at 1020 South 11th West in Provo, Utah. Many of the patients had a hard time adjusting to the new living quarters. Mother has been quite well, except that she gets lost in the additional hallways and space. She has been a wonderful patient and has not caused any trouble or problem for the nurses and those who care for her. She still has her sense of humor and is quite cheerful most of the time. In 1976, Dr. Fairbanks pulled her bottom teeth, which were ulcerated. She doesn’t have any teeth on the bottom at all, so she is on a soft diet that doesn’t require much chewing. She always says her prayers—and has been asked many times to give the prayer in Relief Society meetings the wards would bring to the center.
On her next birthday, November 10, 1977, mother will be ninety-five years old. On her ninetieth birthday, we had a family gathering at our home in her honor, which she enjoyed very much. May the Lord be merciful to her and not allow her to suffer too long. She has been ready and waiting to join Daddy for a long time.
On October 23, 1978, Monday night, about 9:30, the care center called and said one of the nurses’ aids had let mother fall out of her wheel chair on her face, cutting and bruising her face badly. They took her by ambulance to Utah Valley Hospital for examination by a doctor, and then brought her back to the care center the next morning. She looked so bad and was in so much pain they kept her under sedation most of the time. She did not know us after that and slept most of the time. We prayed every day she would be relieved of her suffering. On November 3, 1978, Friday evening, we had been over to see her. Then about 12:30 a.m. on November 4, the Lord heard our prayers, and she passed quietly into eternity to be with our dad.
She was taken to the Walker Mortuary, Provo, Utah, where on November 7, 1978, the funeral was held at 11:00 a.m., and she was buried in the Provo cemetery beside our dad, Perry Alma Burr. The casket was beautiful and mother looked nice compared to the way she had looked before she died. We all love her dearly. The funeral was all given by the family, except the musical numbers. The pallbearers were her grandsons. She will always be remembered by her love, consideration of others, ability to work, and service in the church. She endured to the end.
DEESTA BURR CUNNINGHAM
I am the daughter of Perry Alma Burr and Hansenna Hansen Burr. My brother Gerald Dean, two years older, lives in Ogden, Utah; my sister, Bernita Burr Morgan, two years younger than I, lives in Springville, Utah.
Ours was a happy, united family. My father was a farmer, and we lived on several rented farms during my childhood. I went to grammar school in Grant and Lewisville, Idaho; my freshman year of high school was at Midway High.
Our family then moved to Utah—to what was then known as “Provo Bench,” an area now known as Orem, Utah.
I finished my next three years of high school at Lincoln High School in Orem. We lived on a small fruit farm, so I learned to pick raspberries, strawberries, peaches, plums, cherries, and other berries and fruits.
After high school graduation I went to business college in Salt Lake—Henagers and LDS Business College. It was while I was finishing up business school that I met and married a young man from Pueblo, Colorado. He was working in Salt Lake for the U.S. Geological Survey. The marriage ended after two years, and I moved with my family to Susanville, California. My father was working at the county hospital at that time.
In 1937 I was called on a mission to the California Mission and labored in Bakersfield, Fresno, and San Diego, California. I also served in Prescott, Arizona, which was part of the California Mission at that time.
After my mission I worked for a while in Provo, Utah, and then went to Sacramento, California to live with a friend and work in the Bank of America. My first Sunday in Sacramento is memorable, because that was when I met my present husband and life’s companion, Howard Lionel Cunningham. He lived with his widowed mother, Ellen Bendit, and was active in the Church and in scouting. He now has a continuous scouting membership of over seventy years and has earned many awards during his long service.
We are the parents of four sons: Perry Howard, James Burr, David Ross, and Bruce Lee.
Howard and I have always been active in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, having served in capacities too numerous to mention at this time.
Howard was the bishop of the Carmichael, California Ward for five and a half years. The area the Carmichael Ward covered is now three stakes. I think the most special and soul-rewarding calling we had was that of ordinance workers in the Oakland Temple for eleven and a half years. My husband’s health problems necessitated our release. Howard has Parkinson’s disease, and I care for him at home; this takes most of my strength as well as my time.
BERNITA BURR MORGAN
Bernita Burr Morgan was born May 15, 1912 at Bybee, Freemont, Idaho to Hansenna Hansen and Perry Alma Burr. Her family moved from Lewisville, Idaho, in 1925 to Provo Bench, where she finished grade school and graduated from Lincoln High School in 1931.
Orval Arco Morgan was born in Arco, Idaho (he was named after the town), to Ada Rawlinson and Daniel Seavy Morgan on October 30, 1908. He was only a few months old when his folks moved to Delta, Utah, Aurora and later to Gunnison, Utah. He went to school in those places when he was old enough. He finished the eighth grade then worked with his father in the coal mines in Kenilworth, Utah. His folks moved to Orem in 1928 and rented small farms.
They met in Orem about 1930 and went together some for a few years. On May 10, 1933 they were engaged. September 15, 1933 they were married in Susanville, California, where Bernita's folks lived. They then came back to Orem, Utah to make their home. One year later, on September 12, 1934 they were married in the Salt Lake Temple. In July 1946 they bought their home in Springville. Arco got a job as custodian for the Nebo School District, where he worked for many years and was loved by all the children.
The Morgans have four children: Myron B., Clive Dan, Ray Alma and Brenda Lee. The Morgans are very proud of their children and grandchildren and get together often as a family. They have been in four wards and lived in the same house. Arco retired in May 1974, having worked for the school for twenty-eight years. His hobby is repairing bicycles and lawnmowers.
Arco has been in two bishoprics, S.S. superintendent, he has been involved in scouting and genealogy. Bernita has worked in Primary for twenty-five years, being president of the 11th ward and secretary of the Relief Society in two wards, as well as holding other offices. She worked on the genealogy committee for many years, sang with the singing mothers and choirs of each ward she lived in. They enjoy going to the temple often.
September 15, 1983 was our Golden Wedding anniversary. The children hosted an open house at the 14th ward for all relatives and friends. It was a wonderful time.
On August 8, 1989 Arco died of a massive heart attack. The funeral was held August 11, 1989 at 14th ward and he was buried in the Evergreen cemetery in Springville.
Bernita and Arco have thirteen grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren. Bernita celebrated her 80th birthday May 15, 1992, with family and friends at a party in Springville. She enjoys pretty good health and is thankful to her Heavenly Father for his blessings each day.