Melba Vance Calder History
Contributor: juicyjaffa Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago
THE HAPPENINGS OF THE PAST WHICH I DO AND DON’T REMEMBER
BY MELBA VANCE CALDER
With additions by her Daughter Valene C Hubbard and Grandson Val Hubbard
I was born at home, in Provo, Utah County, Utah on February 4, 1900, so I will be 100 years old in the year 2000. I wish to express my appreciation to my dear father and mother for their willingness to bring children into the world. I was the ninth child and seventh daughter, 2 more daughters arriving on the 30th of June 1902 (Bernice), and Lorene on the 1st day of January 1905, making 11 children.
I must have kept my first estate to have had the privilege of being born of such wonderful parents and having brothers and sisters who have many gifts and talents.
I recall one day mother had ladies in to quilt and I ‘acted up,’ as the saying goes. I was just 2 at the time. Mother said she couldn’t understand it for I was always so happy and good-natured. I guess I wanted to be noticed. Another time mother was peeling potatoes and I asked for one, but she said she needed them all to cook, so I sat down on the step and pouted. Just then father came home and said, “What’s the matter with my little girl?” and he picked me up in his arms, threw me into the air several times and kissed me and I forgot to pout any more.
Father taught us many, many songs and I still can remember them. When I was in the 1st grade at B.Y. Training School, I was asked to sing with 2 other girls for parents visiting day. We sang, “Hurrah! For the Red, White and Blue,” and we had flags to wave. Mother made me a beautiful red dress, and one girl had a white dress and one had a blue dress. Mother and father were there to witness the event. Miss Hermese Peterson was the teacher.
When I was in the third grade I wrote a story. Nina thought it was pretty good, also my teacher, Miss Elizabeth Lindsey, so it was published in the Y News. At that time the B.Y.U. Paper was called, “The White and Blue.” How proud I was. I also had a poem published that same year. I attended the B.Y. Training School until the 5th grade. Besides Miss Lindsey and Miss Peterson, I had Miss Gilchrist and Mr. Karl G. Maeser Jr. I loved school so very much and remember reciting poems etc. at many parent day occasions, also singing, as Karl G. Maeser Jr. taught us many songs. It didn’t take me very long to learn to read and the older children said I always could be found with a book in my hand reading.
I had a good friend and pal to play with, Thelma Eggertsen, and I loved her so much and was over there at her home so much. One day I asked mother to let me go over, and she said, “No, I was over there too much.” I coaxed and coaxed and she said “No.” Finally I went in the bedroom and prayed that mother would let me go over and this time she said “yes.”
The first letter I ever received was from father, as he was away teaching school in Thistle. I was 7 years old. It was such a thrill to get a letter of my own, and such a wonderful letter, and I could read it all by myself, too.
Tillie and Ray used to give me so many presents and wonderful gifts. I remember especially the beautiful doll. I loved it so very much and enjoyed it for a long time, but some boys broke my doll one day and just about broke my heart too. I didn’t dare to tell Tillie and Ray for a long time afterward.
I used to get the younger ones to play school with me. I was always the teacher, of course. There were Bernice and Lorene, and Jeralee and Clay, Angie’s children who were living with us. We did arithmetic, reading, spelling and singing. I would fix chairs for their desks. I may have taught them something, who knows?
When I was 8 years old I was to be baptized and I was just going out the door to go, when mother was called to go over to the neighbors. I was so disappointed, but found out later the lady had a baby and mother had to help her get it. I waited until March 22, 1908 and was baptized then, in the small font next to the tabernacle.
When I was around 10 years of age I started to take piano lessons from Ida Evans. I took just a few, then money got scarce, so I had to tell her I couldn’t take them any more. But she said I had done so well and had such a lot of promise (whatever that means), she wouldn’t charge me anything. I know I cried, and she did too, but I had to stop, but determined to go on by myself. (1) Father helped me and I never gave up wanting to play the piano and the organ too, and have been organist for all the organizations in the church, and chorister also, but of course would have done better with more training.
I can remember going on picnics and having glorious times. On one occasion we were traveling in the surrey to the lake at Geneva for a swim and picnic and were going thru some swampy ground when Clay fell out of the buggy and the back wheels went over his body and frightened us nearly to death, but it didn't hurt him at all for he went right down in the soft mud. That was one time a swamp came in handy. We were grateful all was well.
I played with Clay and loved him very much, but one day I was teasing him and holding him down and wouldn’t let him go, when all of a sudden some force took hold of me and I let him go—I have never forgotten this experience, and I know there is another world and power beyond our control. I think I was 9 and Clay was 6 years old. This is something I can never forget and a testimony of a love and concern for every soul born into this world. We sometimes think we are not of much worth, but every human soul is important and has a place in the universe.
I was 10 years old when Clay died from peritonitis, (2) and I can remember it very well, and how terrible we all felt. I had a feeling Clay would come back and talk to me, and when I told Angie how I felt, she said, “Oh how she wished he could come back and talk to her, for she would be so glad if he could.” I didn’t understand then, but I do now after losing loved ones, you long for them to come back to you, if only for a moment.
We moved out to the farm on the “Bench,” as it was called then, when I was around 12 years of age. Mrs. Cunningham came from the East and taught at the old Sharon school where father was principal, and I was in her class. Every student loved her very much for she was an excellent teacher and she taught here in Orem for many years. She also taught me when I was in the Eighth grade. She always had me ‘recite,’ when the school trustees visited our class. Sometimes she had me read some chapters out of the book she was reading to us in the first 30 minutes of class each day. Father taught me in the 6th and 7th grades at school, and these 2 years I enjoyed and loved so very much. Some children say they do not like to go to school, but I can really say I loved school all my school days.
Aunt Marintha (4) had a big family of boys, and mother had girls, and occasionally we would visit at their home in American Fork, and then they would visit us. What good times we would have. Mother made 2 gallons of ice cream frequently to supply everyone. We also loved to go to Alpine where we had many cousins. These good times will never be forgotten. We attended Cousin Inez Clark and Edward Burgess’ wedding supper. Three groups partook of a huge wedding feast. I can’t remember how many there were there.
I attended Lincoln High for one year, then attended the B.Y. High for one year.
Nina paid for me to take vocal lessons from Professor Reid for that year at B.Y.U. High. I stayed with Aunt Lucy (5) during the week days, then came home for the week ends. I rode the “Orem” interurban train back and forth—sometimes my friend Ted Calder would take me in his buggy.
I learned many of the hymns by memory, for always before we ate breakfast we would sing a hymn and then kneel in family prayer. We would gather around the piano in the evenings and sing for hours together. Mother made red pleated dresses for the girls and father taught them to dance the Scottish dance, “The Highland Fling.”
Mother and Nina visited California at the time of the fair in 1915, I think it was, and the younger girls stayed home with father. (Poor father!). Mother didn’t forget us on the 4th of July, but sent us some dresses she had made in California. One sister, Dora, had also made some so we were well fitted out to go out on dates. I always went with Zola so she wouldn’t have to go alone, so I started to date early, but I was big enough, for I was bigger than Zola who was four years older than I. We had good times together. The boys marveled at mother, for she would joke with them and they enjoyed it. I helped father on the farm hauling hay, picking fruit, etc.
One Sunday at church I met Ted Calder. I had a good pal named May Newell, and we had good times together. Ted and LeEarl Burr would always take us home from the dances but never escort us there, so we made up our minds to say “No” when they asked to take us home. After this happened just once, they always escorted us to the dances, etc, with the horse and buggy, that is.
In the year 1917 my sister Angie decided to marry James (Jim) Rawlins; 27 June 1917. Then that September my sister Nina married James George Stratton. I guess it gave Ted and me the fever, as the saying goes, so on December 12, 1917 Edgar Hague (Ted) Calder and I were married in the Salt Lake Temple by Joseph Christensen. Mother accompanied us there. I was 17 at that time. It wasn’t long until we were blessed with children, first, a girl Valene, then Vance, Robert (Bob), David, June, Thelma and Beth.
Ted was very active in church positions, mostly as a teacher, and I was chorister r organist. We were in plays also, when time permitted. A fruit farm takes many hours of hard labor, with all the family having many tasks to do, but it was a happy life. I have sung solos many times at funerals and at church meetings. I also sang with my sisters.
One year five of us sang in the Salt Lake Tabernacle. Sister Florence Madsen directed, with Melba Pyne directing our stake chorus in preparation to go. There were Tillie, Nina, Zola, (Zola was organist of the Stake Chorus), Bernice and myself.(6) We have a picture of the chorus in our dark skirts and white blouses. It was thrilling to see President McKay so near.
Whenever my brother Ronald came around, we always begged him to sing. He had a most beautiful voice and he always gave freely of his talents. I can remember John A. or Jack, as we called him, whenever he came home he would pick me up, toss me in the air and recite this poem: “Only Melb, only Mob, only sweetest little dob.” I was smaller at that time. He used to recite many poems for us.
Mother brought home, Mary, my cousin, Aunt Eunice’s baby to take care of as Aunt Eunice had died. We were the same age, but Mary wouldn’t take the bottle. My family always kidded me by saying it didn’t seem to hurt me any, for I’m just a little on the husky side.
Grandfather Jesse B. Martin died in 1908, and my parents let me take the younger children down to grandmas home to view grandpa in his casket and visit grandmother. We were a little awed to see him that way. I was 8 at the time.
When mother took me down to grandmas house I always played with a little brass bucket she had, so when I was 8 years old she gave it to me and told me to always keep it. Sister Sadie said she would give me a great deal of money for it, but I’ve held on to it as a keepsake. (7)
Aunt Fronie and Uncle Orson Twelves lived in Provo, and I can remember many happy associations with them and their family and also Aunt Eunice & Uncle Roz Ferry’s family.
My mother and my sister Bernice, the nurse, have helped me at the birth of my children and I express my deepest appreciation and thanks and love to them for this kindness and help, and other kindnesses; also to all my brother and sisters who have been so good to me; to father and friends and neighbors and relatives who have influenced my life for good.
Ted sold our fruit in Vernal for many years and I have gone out and met the people. They are wonderful people there, a very friendly community.
In 1929 a group of friends got together and organized a club, now known as the Orem Literary Club. I can’t begin to describe the happiness and joy this association has meant to me through the years. So many outstanding club programs and numerous fun parties we have enjoyed together. Friendship is as eternal as love. I am acting as president at the present time, 1969. (8)
What a glorious time we had on Mother and Father’s “Golden Wedding Anniversary Day,” in 1931, with aunts, uncles, cousins, brothers and sisters. All the families assembled at Nina and George’s big home. All the children participated on the program in the evening at the Sharon Ward Chapel, a never to be forgotten day.
In my family, Valene married first; to R. Leo Hubbard, July 21, 1939 in the Manti Temple. A reception was held in the Sharon Ward recreation hall, gaily decorated for the occasion. Then Robert met Marjorie Sinclair while they were both attending B.Y.U. Marj was from the state of Washington. They were married in the Salt Lake Temple June 7, 1946. Their reception was held in the Joseph Smith Building on the campus. Thelma was flower girl (9) and David Christensen was escort. (*) Vance took Lois Williamson of Salt Lake for his bride the same year in the Salt Lake Temple, August 21, 1946. A reception followed at the Williamson home. Three years later June was married to O. Calvin Bird at home, August 12, 1949. The reception was held in the Sharon Hall.
David finally decided he would take the fatal step after meeting Shirley Erickson, from California, and who was going to school at B.Y.U. They were married in the Salt Lake Temple August 19, 1954. A reception was held in the Vermont Ward Hall, and one at her home in California. Ted and I were able to attend both, going to California with Glen and Herbert Aiken.
I love to travel. I recall the lovely trip to Nebraska with Vance and family to visit Valene. We also went on to Nauvoo and Carthage, Illinois. Then I returned to Nebraska later for the arrival of Val Douglas, Valene’s son, into the world. I prophesied a little girl, but he was a huge baby boy. No more prophesying! In 1966 I visited Yellowstone Park, etc. for the first time along with grandchildren Irene and Todd Hubbard (Val Hubbard also). I enjoyed every minute of the trip and the scenery and fabulous sights.
I worked in the Salt Lake Temple for one year, then family responsibilities kept me at home. I will never forget this great spiritual experience.
I have taught in Primary and was Activity Counselor in M. I. A. But mostly I was busy in music activities.
Our children enjoyed having their friends visit, and Ted would join in their activities. Uncle Harold, Ted’s brother, gave us a pool table which all enjoyed.
A great sorrow came to us when Beth was drowned in the canal, which ran through the farm. She was 2 years and 3 months of age. Four years later Thelma passed away from the disease of rheumatic fever. At that time Valene, Vance and Robert were married.
My sister Lorene passed away February 10, 1935. Father was struck by a car and killed on the highway in front of their home just 18 months later, at the age of 81. Mother lived to be nearly 93 years of age. She passed away March 19, 1955.
The three boys were called into the service to serve our country in the 2nd World War. Vance served in France, Bob in Italy and David in Japan and Korea. It was a great joy to have them all safe at home again after the war was over. Prior to going into the service, Vance had the privilege of serving on a mission in the New England Mission. The faith of the whole family was strengthened and our testimonies increased while Vance was on his mission.
In 1957 Ted and I were set apart as Stake Missionaries in the Orem, Utah Stake. I hesitated about accepting on account of Ted’s health, but he said he wanted to do it even if he weren’t able to finish his mission. He passed away suddenly on August 28, 1958 and our 2 year mission would have been completed the following January. I was released in December, and remember I had to speak in church the night of my release. It was a wonderful experience for us both. It brought us very close and we had many wonderful visits with people in the Stake.
I took the tour to the Hill Cummorah Pageant and New York and had a glorious time. Angie went with me. We will remember the many states we visited, and all the famous shrines we visited also. The Pageant was so magnificent, especially the appearance of the Savior as he descended from the sky. It was a glorious performance. I would like to see it again.
I have been to California several times to visit Zola and Dora and families, and my sister Sadies children and grandchildren.
I sold some property in the “River bottoms” in 1959, and bought a new home close to the 18th Ward Chapel and have enjoyed many gatherings of the children and grandchildren. This is the year 1967 and I will soon have a birthday and will be 67 years of age. I have a wonderful posterity having had 7 children, have 34 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren.
My greatest pleasure is in mingling together with my posterity. I am ward organist at the present time and I do enjoy this privilege of playing the melodious “Allen” organ in the Chapel.
I would like to tell my children to be faithful to the principles of the gospel, for we can obtain happiness and joy in no other way. I do know the gospel is true. I have had many happenings in my life which have given me this testimony.
Love one another and be forgiving to one another. Seek for the good qualities in each other, and my prayer for us all is that we might be worthy to be together in God’s Celestial Kingdom forever.
At the request of #1 son, Vance, I wrote this. By Melba Vance Calder (yr.?)
The first time I recall seeing E. H. Calder (Ted), was at a sacrament meeting at Sharon Ward Chapel. He sat right behind me and we visited a little. I think I was 15 years old at that time, I’m not sure.
When I was attending school at Sharon in the 6th and 7th grades I had a terrible case on Blaine Pack. Father was my teacher. I loved it, to be the teacher’s daughter. He often had us do racing, and I always won, except one day Blaine Pack said, “I’m going to win today.” So, I let him.
In the 8th grade at Spencer school all students from the region attended, Edgemont, Pleasant View, Vineyard, Lake View, Lindon and Provo Bench. All graduated. Mrs. Ora Cunningham was a splendid teacher. (3) When authorities visited, she had me recite poems and sometimes read chapters in our current story in the morning. I played the piano for the students to march in and out of the building. I attended the first year of High School at Spencer, then went to BY High, taking vocal lessons from Professor Reid. I stayed during the week at Aunt Lucy’s boarding house, then came home week ends. Ted often took me back to school in the horse and buggy, and sometimes I rode the Orem Interurban, as it was called.
Zola, May Newell, Nina and I rode the Interurban to dances at Pl. Grove, Am. Fork, and Lehi. We also went to Geneva Resort for dancing. At Geneva we met the Clegg brothers, Lewis and Joy. I thought Lewis and Zola would decide to join hands in Holy matrimony, but I guess it wasn’t to be.
I went out with Arthur Anderson and Samuel Helton from Pl. Grove and Courtney Featherstone from Lehi, and also Ted, with May and LeEarl.
Dances were held often in Sharon Ward amusement hall and we always had good times because there were so many of our own age group living in Sharon ward at that time, and many came from different places to the dances. My sister Zola was 4 years older than I, so we often went together. She was old enough, but I was bigger and looked older.
Zola, Nina and I picked fruit for Ted’s father, D. G. Calder. We picked cherries and raspberries. The farm was well kept, without weeds.
George Stratton was ‘going with’ my sister Nina and the 4 of us had some good times together. A great number of friends of ours were getting married, Roy Park and Lillie Burr, Kezia Carroll and Clifton Pyne, Ray Cutler and Rachel, Nellie Burr and Virgil Bullock, Minnie Crandall and Curtis Gordon, May Newell and LeEarl Burr, Dean and Bertha park, George and Nina, etc. George used to tell Ted how wonderful married life was, so I guess Ted caught the fever. He asked me if I could be ready in three weeks, and I said, “Yes,” so on the 11th of December, Ted and I and mother took the train to Salt Lake. We stayed at a hotel that night. Mother had made me a pretty blue chiffon dress for the occasion. I loved it so much and wore it until it was almost worn out, then mother made Valene a dress out of it. It was real cute. Mother was an excellent seamstress, but I didn’t inherit that talent. Well, we were married on the 12th of December 1917 in the Salt Lake Temple. Mother returned home that day, but Ted and I waited till the next day where a group chivaried us, as they called it. Friends and relatives gathered at the Calder home where we enjoyed ourselves. Larry Salisbury enjoyed playing the record on the
Phonograph, ‘Why I Picked a Lemon in the Garden of Love, Where they say only Peaches Grow.’
We lived at the Calder home with Uncle Frank until April when the folks came back from staying in Salt Lake for the winter. When Valene was 7 months old we moved to the River bottom house of 3 rooms, no electricity and only water from the canal to use for all purposes, drinking, washing, etc. In 1926 when Ted’s father died, we moved back to the Calder home. Ted’s mother moved to Salt Lake with her daughter, Catherine.
Vance and Bob were born while we lived in the River bottom. Valene, David, June, Thelma and Beth while we were living in the Calder Home.
Ted asked me if I wanted a diamond or a ruby and I said a ruby, so he got me one that had been in a stick pin. It was Judge Whitecotton’s ruby. (It was beautiful).
MELBA V. CALDER HISTORY CONTINUES FROM 1967
Maxine Stringfellow died with cancer in 1967.
It is now the year 1979 and I am now 79 years of age and as I’m still around I’ll finish up my history from 1967.
On May 17, 1968 Bernice died suddenly from a heart attack which made me so very sad, and I missed her so much because we were often together and I loved her dearly. She was just 2 years younger than I. She had joined our Orem Literary Club just the year before. Both Lorene & Bernice were wives of Ertmann Christensen. He is now married to Nola. Both Marvin and Francis Calder passed away that same year, same month, sons of D. O. Calder.
I worked for a year in the Salt Lake Temple as a receptionist, driving up and back by myself. Five O’clock was the hour to be at the temple, and I arrived home between 11pm and 12am. I stopped my assignment to assist June. Her husband Calvin had a serious operation with brain malignancy. He died March 8, 1969.
In January 1970 I went to the hospital with shingles. They are horrible things, and I hope I never have those things again, wow! (She did have them again, however, 14 years later in 1984, but got over them again!)
I went to Salt Lake to help Catherine, Ted’s sister, as she had broken her hip. Catherine died 17 July 1970.
June and Gerald, Sherry and Blayne and myself journeyed to Washington to visit Bob and Marj. We had a grand time up there. Gerald didn’t want to come home. On our way home we visited the Fair at Spokane, Washington, the only World’s Fair I have ever attended. It was great!
In 1971 Harold and Leora persuaded me to go on a trip to Hawaii with them while Harold’s malignancy was in recession. We had a glorious time on the Christopherson Tour. Not a word of complaint from Harold. First time on a plane for me. I’ll remember it forever. (10) (11)
Harold died in 1972. I gave his history at his funeral.
The Provo Temple was completed in 1973 and I was called to act as receptionist. I worked for 4 1/2 years and loved every minute of it. I resigned as I was having some heart (and hearing) problems. I go there as often as I can, trying to do my 4 endowments each month, sometimes more, sometimes less. (12)
The Senior Citizens of Orem organized a Fun Band and I have acted as Director. It has been a wonderful privilege to be in the band. We have had many happy performances together. We have been performing for 5 years, and this year of 1979 will be our 6th year together. (This year we will give it up).
The first grandchild to pass away was Richard Alan Calder, 9 years of age, son of Vance and Lois, a very sad occasion to us all, the cause of his death being a bad case of chicken pox. He died April 3, 1973. Little Shalah Nan, daughter of Michael and Gayle Bird passed away April 30, 1978.
In April 1976 Bob sent me the plane ticket to come visit them in Washington for 3 weeks. I had such a good time. Bob and Marj took Grace and I and Marty and we went to Victoria, Canada, crossing over on the Ferry. That was fun. Victoria is a pretty city. Returned home rested and refreshed to carry on life at home.
This date is September 6, 1979. I’m still ward organist, (13) member of ward choir, chorister of D.U.P., Camp Timp View, member of Orem Literary Club for 50 years, member of Senior Citizen Organization, Director of Fun Band, age 79. (Resigned at end of year and fun band was disbanded.)
The Calder clan visited with Lillian Calder Salisbury September 5. She is 90 years of age, but doesn’t look it. She’ll be 91, March 9, 1980.
Our posterity consists of 5 married children, but June and Valene’s husbands have passed away and two of our children died when children; 18 grandchildren married, 41 great grandchildren, making over 100 descendants all together.
On July 4, 1979 our family celebrated together at the Orem park, 69 present of my family and 35 not present, making a total of 102. Glorious time. Bob and Marj and some of their children were here on a visit, so more of us could be together at that time. I’m looking forward to July 4, 1980, when we plan to be together again, as many as possible, that is, so hope there will be a huge crowd and we all have fun being together again. (She was able to attend 6 more, the last one July 4, 1986, 6 weeks before she died.)
Valene took a month’s vacation and went to Greece to visit Irene and Manousso. She has given programs of her visit, so we feel as though we had traveled there also. She should have been rested up, but came home with a cold. She said the house looked as if she had been gone for a year.
My Rambler gave up the ghost as the saying is. That was the last day of November. I now have another car, a Chev. Nova I purchased on the 26th of December, the day after Christmas. Val and the boys fixed it all up good, so it runs really fine. I’m really thrilled about it when I can get over my fear of driving it out in traffic. March 2, 1980. I feel fine driving now and really enjoy it. (The price of gas is horrible).
My 80th birthday anniversary was celebrated to the fullest, and I had a grand time, one I’ll never forget. First, a dinner at Chuckarama with a wonderful program. Bob surprised me with his presence, as I didn’t know he was coming, which meant all the family were there. Marj didn’t come, but they all sent Bob for my birthday present. Marcia wrote a poem for me. Wasn’t that something? Even John and Bernadine Herbst came to help celebrate from California. The open house was just perfect. I enjoyed it so much and had a glorious time. Many calls on the phone, lovely cards and letters. It was just wonderful. Monday night a turkey dinner was enjoyed by 11 grown ups and the doings were taped. Ert and Nola took Nina and I out to dinner on Friday and we had a
Grand time, one I’ll never forget. First, a dinner at Chuck O Rama with a wonderful program. Bob surprised me with his presence as I didn’t know he was coming, which meant all the family were there. Marj didn’t come, but they all sent Bob for my birthday present. Wasn’t that something? (Marcia wrote a special poem ). Even John and Bernadine Herbst came from California to help celebrate. The open house was just perfect. I enjoyed it so much and had a glorious time. Many calls on the phone, lovely cards and letters. It was just wonderful. Monday night a turkey dinner was enjoyed by 11 grown ups and the doing were taped. Ert and Nola took Nina and I out to dinner on Friday and we had a good time visiting and eating. Bob left on Wednesday as Marj was sick with a strep throat.
This Sunday starts the new schedule of Sunday meetings. Everyone seemed real happy with the change. Beth and Dallas had the baby named today, Clint Thomas Bock. Jody was baptized yesterday, the 1st of March and then confirmed the 2nd, which was today.
Deaths, 1973, through 1979
Leo Hubbard, July 18, 1976Zola Malone May 24, 1977
Marie Williamson, May 28, 1978Corine Partridge, June 5, 1978
Helen Borquist Sands, Sept. 29, 1975Shallah Nan Bird, April 30, 1978
Matilda V. Elliott, Dec. 4, 1973Raymond Elliott, March 1, 1974
John A. Vance Jr., Jan 11, 1974Erastus S. Borquist, June 13, 1974
Dora V. Borquist, Jan. 7, 1975Angie V. Rawlins, April 8, 1976
Helen B. Hadley, Feb. 19, 1979
The following notations, written by daughter Dorathy Valene Calder Hubbard. 1999
(1) Grandfather was too proud to accept things he could not pay for. But how generous he was himself.
(2) Clay had a ruptured appendix, thus the infection
(3) Mrs. Cunningham taught me in the ninth grade, which was her last year of teaching.
(4) Marintha and Grandma Matilda Vance are sisters and married brothers. Marintha had nine boys and two girls and grandmother had nine girls and two boys.
(5) Lucy Wasden was the daughter of Great grandfather Martin and his second wife.
(6) I never heard a trio I enjoyed more than my mother, Aunt Bernice and Aunt Nina accompanied by Aunt Zola.
(7) Mom didn’t have a mixing bowl so her precious brass bucket was well used for this purpose. Many a batch of biscuits, pancakes and cakes were stirred up in her ‘mixing bowl.’ I only remember her making one batch of cookies when we were young, but she made dozens of them after she moved to her new home, but still using the brass bucket.
(8) A group of friends also formed a bridge club. She loved to play bridge, and brought home many of the prizes. She and her sisters played cards also. They didn’t just play for fun, they were out to win!
(9) Thelma and Irene (granddaughter) were flower girls wearing identical dresses I made. The dresses were made from a soft plastic-type material as material was still hard to get at that time. David and Thelma were for my reception.
(10) In 1973 Uncle Harold and Aunt Leora convinced Mom to go with them to Hawaii. She bought a swimsuit, wore her wig and had a wonderful time. Uncle Harold had leukemia and it was the last trip he and Aunt Leora could take together. Mom and
Aunt Leora were always good friends. (Mom and Aunt Lillian were also great friends besides being sister-in-laws. They didn’t get to visit each other very often, but had fun conversations on the telephone quite often.) Mom enjoyed two trips to Disney Land, the last one being to see the Rose Bowl parade after spending New Year'’ eve enjoying a nice meal and listening to Lawrence Welk and his Orchestra. I went with she and Aunt Nina on the Senior Tour. She acted as historian on her bus and did a great job of writing up the experiences of the trip. We went to other places as well. In April of 1986 was her last trip, and it was to California with Aunt Nina and family members. She wasn’t too well, but felt much better down there. She and Aunt Nina enjoyed the sights being wheeled around in wheelchairs. Mom had to be talked into the wheelchair but came to realize the wisdom of doing so.
(11) She was on a 747 and she saw that the wings would move up and down a little in the light turbulence. The pilot was walking by and she asked him about it. He told her they were designed to flex up to 6 feet. After that she felt better about flying. Val Hubbard
(12)In 1972, she was called to work in the Salt Lake Temple. She really enjoyed it, but said it was a bit scary once in a while as she drove home by herself in her Rambler at 11pm. There wasn’t too much traffic on the road then and she said the shadows on the road were a bit frightening at times. Once in a while she rode with her friends, the Wilbergs. (That was sometimes scary, too).In 1973 the Provo, Utah Temple opened and she served as an ordinance worker there for 4 ½ years, asking to be released then, as she wasn’t hearing too well.
(13) When she asked to be released as organist (because of her hearing problem) Bishop Crandall was reluctant to do so and kept putting it off for over a year until she insisted. She told me later she was sorry she had quit at that time. Even though she felt like she was playing too loud, the Lord was blessing her and everyone loved to hear her play. She played because she loved it and it was evident. Her grandson, Lynn Calder sold organs (the fun kind), and purchased one for her, which she enjoyed for a few years. She didn’t play much the last year of her life as she didn’t feel much like it.
Added by Grandson Val Hubbard.
From my memory when we interviewed Grandma Calder about her life about 1980 If I find the original transcript I will update.
Hardest thing in life? Death of her 2 daughters. Thelma died from complications of Rheumatic fever. They knew she was sick, but the fill in doctor at the time said it wasn’t Rheumatic fever. After many months their original doctor returned (was in the army?) and properly diagnosed the problem, but by then the damage to the heart had been done.
Beth drowned in the Canal. They were very careful with the canal. There was a 6 foot fence with gates they locked when crossing the Canal. She was with Beth and Thelma when she noticed Beth was gone, not more than a minute. After 40 years Grandma Calder doesn’t know how Beth just 2 years and 3 months old got over the fence and fell in the canal.
Grandma Calder would never leave anyone that was really sick alone. She did once early in her life when she had to go get something for treatment. When she returned they had died alone. She was not going to let that happen again.
We asked her what liberated women? Without any hesitation she said, “THE WASHING MACHINE!”. That has done more to free up time for the family than any other thing. Sadly we don’t always use this extra time to help one another as we should. Dishwasher wasn’t that great, they were called children.
Why didn’t you tell anyone about how Valene was born? She was a young bride and embarrassed that people would count the weeks. Valene was a honeymoon baby that came a tad early. Grandma Calder took a buckboard ride for 20 miles to the ward picnic and back the day Valene was born. (I don’t think Valene likes to be jostled to this day.)
What was the most amazing thing? Men landing on the moon. The phrase that was prevalent when she grew up was “I could no more do that than go to the moon”, but we finally did! We found out that day that Grandma Calder was a space nut. She had kept a scrapbook and followed the space race all the way to the moon. She could hold her own in space discussions with most anyone then, but she hardly if ever mentioned it to the family.
Did she ever go on the family hunting trips each year? Only once, she remembers they had to stop every mile to pump up one of the tires in the model T. They finally found it was only a loose valve stem. She said after that trip it was no vacation for her, but was for the men. So she decided that when the men would all go on a hunting vacation, so would she. She stayed home with little to do and it was a vacation. Normally she did cooking, washing etc. for the family and all the farm hands and many times for whoever else was living with them.
She could make almost any cake from scratch and memory. Cakes were easy and fun. She made Kool-Aid in her later years for the grandkids, but she doubled the ingredients, Kool-Aid and sugar. She grew up drinking fruit juice and the Kool-Aid had to be strong enough to be drinkable.
Grandma remembered that as a child she could run well. One Fourth of July celebration when she was small they had a 100 yard dash with 50 cents (a lot of money for a kid then) as the prize. This was at Geneva Park by the lake. She said she ran as hard as she could, but was going so fast at the end she couldn’t stop and ran into the belly of a big fat man. She won the prize.
All her sisters learned to dance the Highland Fling, but for some reason Grandma Calder never learned it growing up. She regretted not learning it when she was younger.
John Alma Vance 1855
Contributor: juicyjaffa Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago
JOHN ALMA VANCE
Written and compiled by daughter Matilda Vance Elliott
John Alma Vance was born on 17 September 1855 in Alpine, Utah County, Utah. He was the son of John Wesley and Angelia Vail Vance. He was the eldest of six children, (one sister and four brothers). At twelve, John Alma was given a great deal of responsibility when his mother was left a widow. His father was a Major in the Black Hawk War, and was called to Sanpete to serve there. Before he left Alpine, he drilled a group of men and boys and John Alma was chosen as drummer boy by his father.
After his father left, John Alma did all the chores for his mother and herded their cows on the foothills during the summer and fall months. In Alpine, at the present time, was a partly torn-down rock tower, called the Moyle Indian Tower. This tower had peepholes for the observance of the Indians. John Alma went in there many times to see if he could see a sign of any Indians. If so, he would run and get the cows and hurry home as fast as he could run. John Alma helped his mother in every way possible.
He didn’t know what it was to have a pair of shoes for everyday wear and when Sunday came, that was the day for shoes. When he was a little boy, helping his father with the hay, he had an accident that bothered him all his life. His father placed a scythe in the bottom of the wagon next to the spring seat, and John Alma sat in the seat swinging his feet back and forth like a child will. Once he swung his foot back too far and nearly cut his heel off. By not having a doctor to take care of his foot properly he suffered with poor circulation in his foot all the rest of his life. In the wintertime, especially, his foot would become so cold that he could hardly endure the pain.
He loved to attend Sunday School, and especially loved to sing the songs of Zion. He began to study without a teacher the notes of the music. His father played the violin and John Alma loved this violin and would practice for hours to the distraction of his mother. He became quite efficient playing the violin and played the organ exceptionally well. (He also played the flute).
His desire for an education was so strong within his soul and it was a struggle to help his mother and still save a little to attend the Brigham Young Academy under Karl G. Maeser. He attended school until he could pass the examination for a teacher and receive a certificate. He really prepared for his life’s work, for he taught for forty-one years. His first opportunity to teach was at Alpine in the winter of 1879-1880, when he was twenty-four years of age. In April, May and June he went to Springville to teach in a new schoolhouse in the south part of town. While he was there, he boarded with Uriah Curtis, whose family held a dear spot in his memory. He promised to go back in the fall after his vacation in Alpine to teach at Springville again. He did so, and his school numbered about ten pupils. With this few in number, it was impossible to pay his board and other expenses. He had taught school for two weeks when he received a letter from Scipio Trustees offering him $60.00 in cash payable monthly, which he at once accepted. He commenced teaching school on the 20th of September in a brick house located in the center of town, laid off in a big square piece of ground. He had an excellent school this whole season and was promptly paid.
He was very well paid for accepting a position in Scipio, for when he went to Sunday School he saw a young lady teaching a class. He asked the superintendent who she was, and he replied that she was Matilda Martin. As he gazed at her, he thought, “That is my future wife.” And so it came to be that the beautiful young lady became his wife. Their courtship lasted three months. Let us quote from his journal: “John Alma Vance and Matilda Martin were married by Daniel H. Wells in the Endowment House, Salt lake City, June 2nd, 1881. According to previous arrangements, on our return to Alpine on June 3rd, a delightful feast was prepared at the bridegroom’s former home by his mother and friends, which was partaken of by the immediate connections of the family. Many congratulations with presents were given when all repaired to the meeting house engaging in the enjoyments of a dance in connection with all citizens of the city who desired to participate. Prayer was offered by Brother John Devey. The newly married couple were in attendance and led on the floor when the lively music, Kirkham band did justice to the occasion by leading out on the tune, ‘Come to the Wedding!’ Shortly after we passed a week very agreeably in Provo, visiting the sisters and friends of my wife. Returning to Alpine, we lived with mother Vance, employing in the most profitable manner under the circumstances, getting a few household articles, and preserving fruit. By the time we had concluded on coming to Scope, enough had been accumulated as to make quite sufficient for one team in hauling. Our traps snugly packed with brother Angus as teamster we bade farewell to our good folks of ‘Mountain Home’ and found ourselves safe in Scipio on the night of August twelfth.”
John Alma does not state that he traveled to Salt Lake with team and wagon to be married with his sweetheart. How differently today do the young people travel to get married, but there wasn’t a happier couple than were married that day, and their qualifications could not have been on a higher plane. Such a beautiful couple; who can describe them? You cannot, for their happiness was beyond description. Two months after their marriage, John Alma commenced teaching school at Scipio. It was not long, however, until he decided he must have a home so he purchased two cots with two room log house which he and his wife white-washed and patched the cracks between the logs. He always believed in making a home of his own, no matter how humble that home might be. His first daughter was born on the 26th of March 1882, and was named Matilda in honor of his wife, Matilda and his wife’s grandmother, Matilda Bigler.
On May 29th, John Alma was sustained as 2nd Counselor to Bishop Yates. He was set apart as a High Priest for this position. Apostle Amassa Lyman gave them instructions in regard to their work in the bishopric. A little later a meeting was called at the Town Hall in Scipio and he was selected to act as Director and Secretary of Incorporation. On August the 25th he was called with the rest of his family to the bedside of his brother-in-law, Jesse B. Martin’s little girl, Dora, who was not expected to live. Jesse asked his father, Jesse B. Martin to pray as they all knelt down for her. Brother Martin asked the Lord to reveal to one of them a cure for Dora. The Lord did so that night to sister Johnson, grandmother of the child. While on her bed, before going to sleep, there appeared a light before her in which were shown five yellow and some blue flowers. Feeling this an answer to prayer, she arose and walking near Sister Phillip’s garden recognized the very flowers shown in the vision. On taking them to where the child was, they made a drink of them, which had an almost immediate effect; the fever leaving at once and the child recovering for which God was praised.
John Alma had a very bad fever for three weeks, and was confined at home, but through the blessings of the Lord was made well. His school opened on the 4th of September and he was happy to get back to teaching again after working in the fields during the summer months.
On December 23rd, he received a notice from the county clerk that he was elected by the people of Scipio to act in the office of Trustee and secretary for the Irrigation Company and was to qualify 20 days thereafter. In the month of January he told of weather conditions at Scipio. “It kept the boys most of the time bringing in wood and then they could not keep warm. The cold wind sighed through every crack in the log cabins.”
After school was dismissed for the summer, John Alma, his wife and baby left Scipio for a visit to Alpine, and while there he helped his three brothers put up a barn and haul hay, and in the evening they would spend the time playing their violins and his brother Reno, playing his piccolo which they all enjoyed very much.
While at Alpine, John Alma agreed to teach school at Alpine for a term, taking in payment, an organ. While waiting for school to commence, he helped his brothers haul hay. But while helping one day, he fell from a load of hay and cut a gash in his head and remained in bed two days, and then called for the elders and they laid on hands and administered to him. He was able to get up and was able to commence teaching school. He and his wife decided for her to go home to Scipio and look after everything until he finished his one term of teaching at Alpine. His term finished and his arrival at home made him very happy to be back with his family again.
He began teaching at Scipio on the 14th of November. Another girl was born on December 14th and was named Angie Isadore.
He played for weddings and all other dances for $1.50 an evening.
John Alma received word that his brother Reno was married to Marintha Martin, his wife’s sister, by D. H. Wells in the Endowment House, Salt Lake City, March 27th 1884. His
His school ended on June 18th 1884. In the summer he received an offer of the Trustees of Nephi to teach school at the rate of $75.00 per month. He was undecided what to do so he wrote two letters, one accepting and one declining their offer, placed them each in a separate drawer, then he and his wife knelt down in prayer to god, that he would direct him in choosing, that he would draw according to His will. He arose and walked to the right-hand drawer and took the one declining their offer, which he posted right away. He decided to teach the following year at Scipio and never regretted his decision. On October 20th 1885, a boy was born to John Alma and his wife Matilda. They named him John Alma after his father, but they called him Jack. Their lives seemed so perfect to have this wonderful little boy in addition to the two little girls.
John Alma kept up the ward records for they didn’t have ward clerks as the wards do now in the bishopric. He was called to go with the Bishop and the other counselor to organize a ward. When he came back he had the opportunity to buy a 10-acre piece of ground and another 40 acres to raise corn and wheat. Taken from his journal showing the love of his work in the church: “I take great joy in observing the Sabbath, in meditating upon the revelations given to Joseph Smith, the Prophet.”
John Alma proved this statement for during his lifetime, he proved that he was always on hand to give service in the church and also gave time and effort in civic affairs in whatever community he lived.
Another girl was born on August 8th, 1887, and named Dora, the fourth child in six years and two months of marriage. In his journal at this time he wrote: “Every year of wedded life should strengthen our vows, sweeten our affections, make our desires more holy and make our hearts more pure. May we have much wisdom to bring up our children right.”
These beautiful words of John Alma should be engraved upon the hearts and lives of every married couple to help them live better lives.
Going to the schoolhouse one evening for choir practice, he found the building crowded with brethren and sisters who had met and were in waiting to give him a surprise. Taken from his journal this is what he said of this event: “Being totally ignorant of any such an event it was a complete surprise. On entering, Brother Thomas Memmot who was in charge, conducted me to the head of the hall. Here I sat down. Brother Memmot in a neat and appropriate speech presented a beautiful framed picture of the Apostles and Temples, a gold colored watch chain and a pair of cuff buttons. I replied as best I could and felt full of blessings to all, especially to the sisters who had gotten up the surprise as a memento of their regard for my labors in the Scipio Ward.”
On January 3rd, 1888, Ann Martin was hired by the Trustees to teach the Primary Department, making teaching much easier for him. At the close of the school year, on May 1st, 1888, John Alma and his wife decided to move to Provo, having taught at Scipio for seven years. He matured a bargain of trading his home in Scipio for one in Provo at this time, for he received an offer to teach school at Tooele and commenced teaching August 10th 1888.
On his daughter Dora’s birthday he invited George F. Richards and his family to eat watermelon that he had raised weighing 30 pounds. John Alma taught school another semester at Tooele, but he recalled an experience that was very dear to him at Provo. Here he had attended the exercises for his brother Oscar at the Brigham Young Academy, who received the highest percentage in his class of the nine graduates. His brothers from Alpine, Reno, Anguss and James (James is most likely a transcription error) were there also to attend the exercises. At the close of another teaching at Tooele, he decided to move to Alpine in June 1890 for he received an offer to take the position of principal of the school. His brothers and his mother lived at Alpine and of course he loved to practice with his brothers where three played the violin and on the piccolo. They formed a band called the Vance Brothers Band.
On July 10th, 1890, another baby girl came to bless their home, and they named her Sadie. He commenced teaching September 1st, 1890. He had an average of 85 pupils in attendance, quite a large number for one teacher. In 1891 he received nomination for the office of city recorder for Alpine. He was also chosen as home missionary of the Stake. During the summer he built an eight-room brick house and on November 10th, the family moved into this lovely home. Another son was born on the 2nd of January 1892. This son was named Ronald. At this time, he and his brother, Reno went to Salt Lake to take part as singers in the Mutual Chorus, which chorus won the prize of $250.00. The title of the chorus was “Comrades in Arms.”
Another daughter, Nina was born on July 28th 1893. In the fall of that year, he didn’t obtain the school at Alpine, so he accepted an offer as principal at Freemont, Wayne County, Utah. He taught there until spring, and the next fall, John Alma accepted a position as principal at Highland School, just three miles from his home. He, with two of his daughters, walked to and from school every day. In the fall of 1895 he commenced teaching as principal of Alpine school again. At that time the school was divided into two departments, one grammar school and one primary. He was called as home missionary in Utah Stake, which included Lehi, American Fork, Pleasant Grove and Alpine.
Taken from his journal: “On January 2nd 1896, a little daughter is welcomed to our household, number 6, the eighth child. This is celebrated on Ronald’s birthday. This daughter was named Zola. We thank the Lord for another blessing. May her feet be kept in the path of all virtue.”
John Alma commenced teaching in the fall of 1896 at Highland. He was chosen as a delegate from Alpine and Highland to democratic convention at Salt Lake City, and his expenses were paid. In June, he attended summer school at Provo. He agreed to teach school at Freemont again and there were 78 pupils in attendance. He taught until Christmas then came home to spend the holidays with his wife and family. Upon his return to Freemont he was kept busy during his spare time giving music lessons on the organ and violin. While at school one day, a little girl dislocated her elbow, so John Alma set it in place the best he could and she got along all right, which made him feel very happy, for doctors were a distance away. In March the Trustees said they were so pleased with his school and his work with the pupils that they wanted him to come and bring his family and live thee permanently. To show their appreciation, brother Billings took him home to dinner and brought him back to the school house where it was filled with young and old citizens and when he came in, they all stood up and the band played. Upstairs, the tables were all spread for a hot dinner. He could hardly express himself, when the people requested him to give a speech. The school was dismissed April 15th and the next day he left Freemont to return to his home at Alpine and he was sure happy to be with his family again. On May 17th 1898 John Alma sent a letter to Freemont Trustees to inform them not to depend on his teaching there the following year. He did not accept the offer at Pleasant Grove and decided to go to Lehi to have consultation with Brother Andersen as to the proposal made to him to assist him at Vernal Academy.
He didn’t feel right about going to Vernal and received a release from Brother Andersen. He later accepted a position as principal at Goshen School. He took his two oldest daughters to keep house for him and also to attend school. His teaching commenced September 11th 1898. One of the first meetings that he attended he was asked if he would lead the choir. Later, a violin duet was given by John Alma and Brother Fowler.
Every Saturday that it was possible he attended the U.E.T.A. at Provo. He expected his wife to meet him after one of these conventions and when he arrived at American fork, he was informed that his wife was thrown from the cart while she was driving to meet him. He hurried to his home in Alpine and found his wife’s arm in bad condition. The doctor would not tell how badly the arm was injured. John Alma had to leave in a day or two to teach school at Goshen. When he attended a meeting, a prayer was offered for his wife’s restoration and she got along and her arm was fine with no after effects. After the closing of school at Goshen he and his wife decided to sell their home at Alpine and buy one at Provo, where his family would have the advantage of a good school. He bought a home three blocks north of the Brigham Young Academy which made it very convenient for his family and also for him to attend summer school. From September 17th 1899 to May 4th 1900 he taught school at Goshen. February 4th 1900 a baby daughter was born and named Melba.
In June his wife’s sister Eunice Ferre died at Scipio, leaving a family of ten children. The baby, a girl named Mary, was only a month old. His wife took the baby to care for and to her and her own family, the two little girls were just like twins. On the last Sunday in November 1900, John Alma was set apart to act in the capacity of Superintendent of the Sunday school in Pleasant View ward. He was also chosen as principal of the Pleasant View District and taught in the Page School. The distance from home to school was about a mile so he decided to walk, which he enjoyed very much. The following year he was still principal of school district and had an assistant, Mrs. Snow to help him in the Page school. James F. Hoyt taught in Mountain and Walter Cluff at Lincoln. School work kept going on and on so John Alma said:
“If you are tired and have not won,
Never stop for crying,
All that’s good and great is done,
Just by patient trying.”
On June 30th another baby girl was born and named Bernice. After school closed in April 1993 John Alma went to Goshen and taught a summer music school, which helped him financially. When he returned, he worked with the trustees to secure teachers for the Pleasant View district. He was still principal of the district, but his teaching now was music in the schools. He made two visits per week in each school. On October 16th 1903 he visited seven departments in one day and the most he had accomplished at one time. He was called by Brother Eggertson as leader in the first Intermediate Department in Sunday School Union Meetings and was appointed to visit Timpanogos and Lake View Sunday Schools. He read a paper he had written on the subject, “The Best Method of Teaching and Using the Sunday School hymns in the Sunday School.” This was read before the music section at the Union Meeting and was received with a great deal of appreciation. In May 1904 these schools of Pleasant View closed with a very fine program. John Alma did a great amount of writing for Lincoln Trustees. He was chosen as Stake Sunday School chorister. January 1st, 1905 another baby daughter was born, the ninth daughter and eleventh child. She was given the name Lorene.
In the school district, the changes that were made were: Miss Hood took Barney’s place at Sharon and Barney re[laced Miss Green at Lincoln. Miss Green was chosen to succeed Kartchner at the Spencer School. John Alma purchased materials for the Mountain School and visited Page, Spencer, Sharon and Vineyard schools. September 1905 he still held the same position as the previous year. In 1905 he purchased five acres on Provo Bench with a big one room house on it. His farm was located about one half mile from Sharon School. His work in the Lincoln district closed May 1906. During July he and his daughter Angie accepted a position to teach at Fruitland, New Mexico. They had a very successful school year and decided that the would go back again the following year, but John Alma had a fine position offered him to teach as principal of Thistle School with a raise in salary and the convenience of being so near home. During the summer, he and his family worked very hard on the fruit farm. In the fall of 1908 he was engaged by the Trustees to teach the Grammar grade at the Sharon School. He continued in that position for 8 years. In 1910 his wife moved from Provo to the bench and some of the family came with her to attend school at Sharon, the rest attending Brigham Young Academy. It was thirty years since he married on the 2nd of June and this is what he said in his journal:
“Matilda and I were married in the Endowment House! How time has fled leaving to our care, our love and our instructions eleven children. May our loving Father be praised and His name be glorified! May we ever prove faithful to the dear children given us and execute the Lord’s will to the end of our days!!”
November 19th, 1911 a ward was organized and named Sharon. Dean McEwan was chosen as Bishop, Paul Millit, first counselor and Charles Terry, second counselor and Leo Knight as recorder. Bishop Lewis of long ago related a vision when men were plowing the sage brush on Provo Bench. Quote, “I see orchards, gardens, houses, schools, and churches in all this bench region.”
John Alma continued to teach at Sharon and on May 18th 1913 bought five more acres north of the five he had already purchased. This made a great deal of work when put in fruit.
January 17th, 1915, the eighth grade was transferred to the Spencer School, making his work a little lighter. At this time he was granted a life diploma by the state Board. On May 1st, 1915 he was installed as regular ward teacher in the sixth district. His wife Matilda and daughter Nina returned from the san Francisco fair and he was sure delighted to see them. It was August 23rd 1915 when they returned. John Alma added more to his house which made the place very comfortable.
On October 1st 1919 he left for Wyoming to teach at Burnt Fork in Coon Hollow Schoolhouse. He was very successful and went again the following year. However, in January a contagion broke out in the community and he had to come home. This was the last teaching John Alma did after 41 years of service at the age of 65 years. After arriving home he had the opportunity of having city water piped into his home, which he greatly appreciated. At this time he did a great deal of endowment work in the temple for his kindred dead.
On March the 21st 1926 he and his wife left for California to visit their daughter Sadie, and when they came back in May they sold their home with 10 acres of ground. John Alma decided to buy an acre of ground on the State Road and build a home there. He also built two large chicken coops and went into the business of raising chickens. He planted a family orchard and fruits of all kinds. He loved to beautify his home surroundings with flowers and shrubs of all kinds and took great delight in getting up early in the morning to work on his place.
June 3, 1931, the wedding anniversary of he and his wife was truly a golden one. All of his family of eleven children, two boys and nine girls came home to attend this fifty years of marriage of their father and mother. Everyone was permitted to return home, bringing with them the grandchildren of this noble pair. The event was celebrated at the home of his son-in-law and daughter George and Nina Stratton. In the evening a program was given by the family at the Sharon ward house. It was a joyous occasion, for many friends and relatives attended the program. The program was presented by family members.
Genealogy took a large share of his time with service in the church at all times. He and his wife were invited by their daughter, Sadie of Bellflower, California to spend the winter with her family. while they were there on March 10th, a terrible earthquake shook Long Beach and surrounding towns. They stayed out all night but their daughter’s home being stucco did not fall but cracked in places. Many of the brick homes crumbled down. After this, John Alma hurried home and his wife soon followed. There was not room in the car for them both to come at the same time.
At the age of 75 years he underwent a critical operation, but John Alma came through all right. He had so much faith and the family prayers were answered in his behalf. His daughter Bernice, a graduate nurse and a faithful daughter took the best care possible at the hospital and also when he came home. After his health improved he wrote to many of his relatives to get names he listed on temple sheets for the endowment work to be done for them.
February 10th, 1935 his youngest daughter Lorene died, leaving three small children. This was a hard blow on him and also his family, but he had a feeling that it would not be long until he would be able to join her. On his 81st birthday is an entry in his journal: “So glad to be able to write this date; my mother’s first-born child, just 81 years today, made parents and neighbors glad.”( …….) I never have heard who was the attendant nurse. I am quite sure doctors were out of the question in that small town, so truly isolated. It was called at that time Mountainside, but later from a suggestion of President Heber C. Kimball was permanently called Alpine, on account of the mountainous environment. A two-story adobe building later erected close to the one room building then occupied. I remember in the building as a little boy wearing petticoats or something. ‘Old Carpenter Beck’ was the every-day worker. It was quite a remarkable thing in that early day for a man to be positively forward enough to build such a large structure. It is quite proper to assert that it was the sensation of the day.”
The next and last small entry was made September 29th: “Tuesday, September 29th, 1936. Autumn weather simply charming. Ray and Tillie moved to their new location last night before bedtime. How quiet and comfortable it all seems once more. Angie and James R. with Maxine were down for a short visit Sunday. The brown grass in our lawn almost covers up the green. All except the new laws are showing the same trouble. It seems little use to fight this persistent enemy.”
September 30th, the next evening, John Alma was killed on the highway in front of his home. (It was dusk and he didn’t see the car coming and stepped out in front of it. Grandma was with him, but he didn’t hear her warning. They were coming from milking the cow pastured in a neighbor’s pasture).it was a terrible shock to his wife and family, but sometime they may understand why this should have happened to a husband and father they all loved so dearly, and who was a noble man of God. (His daughter Melba said she heard him state he wanted to die quickly and not suffer).
Dora Vance Borquist selected the following poem for her father:
I follow a famous father, His honor is mine to wear
He gave me a name that was free from shame, A name he was proud to bear.
He lived in the morning sunlight, And marched in the ranks of right.
He was always true to the best he knew, and the shield he wore was bright.
I follow a famous father And never a day goes by
But I feel that he looks down on me, To carry his standards high.
He stood to the sternest trials As only a brave man can;
Though the way be long I must never wrong, The name of so good a man.
I follow a famous father And him I must keep in mind
Though his form is gone…I must carry on the name that he left behind,
It was mine on the day he gave it; It shines as a monarch crown;
And as fair to see as it came to me It must be when I pull it down.
I follow a famous father Not known to the printed page
Nor written down in the world’s renown As a prince of his little age.
But never a stain attached to him and never he stooped to shame;
He was bold and brave, and to me he gave the pride of an honest name.
The notes in brackets were made by a granddaughter D. Valene Calder Hubbard and great grandson Val Hubbard. Also minor formatting edits.
(The day of his services the chapel was filled to overflowing with loving family, friends and neighbors. I remember Bishop Bellows weeping, as did others. My father Edgar H. Calder was a speaker and had a hard time, as well.)
(Grandma Melba Vance Calder told me that when the family walked to church Mother Matilda Vance would walk in the front, all the girls in a line behind and Father John Alma Vance would be in the rear, making sure his daughters were not bothered on their way to church. VH)
MATILDA MARTIN VANCE
Contributor: juicyjaffa Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago
MATILDA MARTIN VANCE
Daughter of Jesse Bigler and Sophronia Moore Martin
Written and compiled by daughter Angie Vance Rawlins
Like Nephi of old, I was born of goodly parents, and my appreciation and love for them grows with the years. My mother, Matilda Martin Vance, was born in Lehi, Utah the third of September, 1862, Her father, Jesse Bigler Martin, was a shoemaker and was doing a thriving business when he was called by Brigham Young to go to Scipio. He was to be the bishop and also take complete charge of preparing them for Indian troubles. That was in 1863, when my mother was just two years old. There were five children older than mother and they all wished they could remain in Lehi.
After arriving in Scipio, Grandfather had a fort built. Mother remembered living in the fort. Her mother, Sophronia Moore Martin had made friends with an Indian named Panecary. Whenever he was passing through Scipio they always traded something each had that the other wanted—blankets, beads, or moccasins for flour, sugar, eggs, etc. On one occasion, Panecary climbed to the snow in the tops of the mountain to bring back to grandmother enough snow and ice to relieve her throat, swollen with quinsy. She always said Panecary saved her life. He came twice while they were in the fort to warn grandfather that an Indian attack was imminent.
When mother was about 12 years of age she went to Salt Lake to live with her Aunt Bathsheba. She attended school there and helped her aunt by milking the cow that winter. She finished her education in Scipio under Brockbank, who she said was a fine teacher.
She grew into lovely womanhood, was charming and witty, and when the new teacher who had just graduated from the Brigham Young Academy under Brother Karl Maeser came to town, she completely won his heart. They were married the 2 June 1881 in the first Endowment house by Brigham Young. Mother carded the wool which was to be her wedding dress. She also spun and dyed it and wove it into cloth, then cut it out and sewed it. With the pleats and overskirt, she looked like a model of the day.
Mother remembered when the telegraph was put through Scipio as it had to be installed in her father’s home. She also remembered the many visits of Brigham Young and other authorities of the church when they arrived for conference, or were on their way to the southern towns of Utah. Sometimes her mother had a hard time finding enough for them to eat, or a place to sleep, but somehow it was done. In those days her folks killed and cured their own meat. They had a smokehouse of logs to smoke the pork and parts of beef, and they prepared barrels of flour to last a year. So if their few chickens were laying eggs, and the cows were producing milk, all went well. Brigham Young always wanted a bowl of cream and corn bread for his supper. Often his wife and some of his children came with him.
When father and mother were first married they lived in a log cabin across the lots from her mother. There, their first baby, Matilda, named after her mother, was born the 26 March 1882. The second, Angie Isadore, named after father’s mother and his sister was born 14 of December 1883. Their first son, John Alma Jr. was born in the same place, 20 October 1885. Another daughter, Dora was born 8 August 1887.
We moved soon after Dora’s birth to Provo and then to Tooele where father continued to teach. While there father and mother were close friends of George F. Richards and his wife, and of course we played with their children, Tillie with Georgie and I with Nervie. All this time father must have been longing for his old home and folks in Alpine as we moved from Tooele to Alpine where he taught for many years. Sadie was born there, 10 July the year we moved. Ronald was born there 2 January 1892, and Nina was born 28 July 1893. Zola, mother’s one curly-headed baby was born 2 January 1896, two birthday celebrations on the same day.
About this time we moved to Provo where we older ones could have the opportunity of attending high school and college. There, Melba was born 4 February 1900. Bernice was born 30 June 1902, and Lorene was born 1 January 1905.
In all her struggles and trials, mother proved to be a choice daughter of the Lord. If the children were quarreling and ran to her to settle the dispute, she would make a witty remark that would set them all to laughing. She was always even-tempered and pleasant, a loving mother who would do without food and anything else she stood in need of to provide and care for her family. She was a marvelous cook; somehow she provided dinners out of almost nothing. Many times when company came and the house was filled to overflowing we all sat down to eat and what wit and fun prevailed. Mother was also a genius at sewing; she would look at a pattern or picture of a dress one of us wanted, but her own pattern, then make the dress a perfect fit. What good times we had as we grew to adult life. Father taught us to sing and harmonize and to read music which resulted in many happy hours spent around the piano. Father and mother joined in all our fun. Our friends were welcome, and the house was full two or three times a week.
Death finally came to our home. Lorene, the youngest, who was afflicted with a weak heart after the first siege of “flu”, was pregnant again. She had given birth to three children, but now the “flu” was striking again. Lorene became one of its victims and died the 10 February 1935. Ronald who had a bad case of diphtheria when 12 years of age was also afflicted with a weak heart. He died the 11 of March 1948.
But a blow came from which mother never fully recovered. Father was killed while crossing the street in front of their home by an automobile driven by a 16 year-old boy. She gave herself over to her daughters and lived with them while waiting for father to come and get her. She lived to be 93 years of age. She died 19 March 1955 in Pleasant Grove.
The following additions are by granddaughter Dorathy Valene Calder Hubbard
All the children’s friends and later their spouses, loved Grandma. She told her daughters if they had any dispute with their husbands, they weren’t to go to “Mother,” but to send their husbands to talk to her. She always liked to “stick up” for her son in laws. They loved Grandma’s chocolate cake, and one time, my mother said two soon to be son in laws, ate a whole cake before Grandma could even put any frosting on it.
My mother said the family got together and decided that each family would send grandma and grandpa ten dollars each month. Uncle Chester Herbst did so faithfully, but not all the rest.
Grandma recited poetry very well, and some of the poems were rather long ones to memorize. She did a lot of crocheting. She loved to do cross word puzzles.
When I was married Grandma didn’t have any money for a present, and she gave us one of her pretty table lamps that I imagine had been a gift to her.
Grandpa and Grandma had a wonderful 50th wedding anniversary celebration, with lots of good food and a wonderful program presented by the family in the evening. All family members with the exception of three grandchildren (who were not allowed to come) were there. Grandma made me a chiffon dress out of one of her old dresses for the occasion.
Grandma giggled, and my grandma Calder said I took after her as I giggled, also.