Nellie Ann Gurr Rowley
Contributor: trishkovach Created: 2 years ago Updated: 2 years ago
Nellie Ann Gurr Rowley
Written by her daughter
Nellie Rowley Mecham
Deep in the heart of Richfield, Utah, in the year 1884, lived the family of Reuben Gurr and Margaret Marsh, this family had three children. Reuben, their oldest, was a lively boy six years of age, his two attractive sisters were Clarissa and Margaret Susanna. The Gurr home was a cozy and comfortable log cabin, surrounded by blossoming flowers of every hue. The singing of the birds even added to the lovely atmosphere of this special day, 28 May l884, when their fourth child came to gladden their hearts. She was a beautiful babe with long black hair, and sparkling brown eyes.
This sweet babe was given the name of Nellie Ann, the name Ann was given her in honor of her grandmother Ann Horrocks Marsh, who was a stately and dignified person. She had embraced the gospel back in her native country, England. Her husband whom she loved dearly could not see the beauties and truthfulness of the gospel, so she left him in England, and brought her four lovely daughters to America along with a group of saints. Nellie's mother Margaret was one of these four girls. Reuben the father of Nellie also had stalwart parents, Enoch Eldredge Gurr and Ruth Buckman. They too gave up family and friends for the gospel and left their lovely home in Australia to come to Zion.
When Nellie was a very small child she moved with her parents to Salt Lake City, making their home in the Fifth Ward. Nellie’s father was a polygamist and had one other family, so Nellie along with the others suffered some of the hardships the polygamous families were called to go through. When they moved to Salt Lake it be-came necessary for the children to use their mother’s maiden name, which was Marsh, instead of Gurr, their real name. It was under the name of Nellie Marsh that she started school, at the Wasatch School in Salt Lake City. She was also known as Nellie Marsh on the church records, and at Sunday School and Primary, until the polygamy trouble ended, then they were permitted to use the name of Gurr.
Nellie always treasured the memory of one special day at Primary when all the children went to Liberty Park and were given the opportunity to shake hands with the President of the Church, President Wilford Woodruff. He shook so many hands that it finally became necessary for him to have men hold up his arm, so he could shake hands with all the children.
Nellie was baptized, 2 Aug 1892, in the historic Tabernacle on Temple Square, the same baptismal font is still located under the famous organ.
After living a short time in the Fifth Ward they moved into the Salt Lake Tenth Ward, where they made their home.
During the time of the construction of the great Salt Lake Temple, Nellie had the privilege to ascend the scaffold on the eastern towers and touch the golden figure of the Angel Moroni which caps the central tower. She was nine years of age at the time the Temple was dedicated, and was in attendance at those memorable services. She along with the others assembled, raised her spotless white handkerchief in the Hosanna Shout. This to her was one of the glorious events of her life.
Some of the Gurr's relatives and friends had previously moved to Old Mexico, and encouraged the Gurr family to join them, so they finally decided to leave Salt Lake and go to Mexico.
Nellie's Sunday School teacher gave her two lovely handkerchiefs as a token of remembrance, these were very dear to Nellie's heart, and were put into a spec¬ial suitcase along with other keepsakes of the family.
Nellie, along with the other children, in a way disliked leaving their lovely home, yet they were both excited and delighted at the prospects of such a long trip by train. They were also full of anticipation of what they would see and encounter when they entered a foreign land.
January 1899 they began their journey, Nellie's grandmother Marsh lived with the Gurrs, so of course she joined them on their trip to their new home. The ride on the train proved to be both interesting and enjoyable to the children, but when they arrived at Pueblo, Colorado, and were waiting to change trains, someone must of taken the suitcase containing their prized possessions, including Nellie's precious hankies she loved dearly, this to her was a great loss.
When they reached the end of the railroad, they found two of Nellie's cousins, Dell and Jim Sellers, with a wagon ready to take them to their new mountain home. Riding in the wagon was a new experience for Nellie, and she became very frightened going over the rough mountain road, so she walked most of the way. After two days travel such as this was, they arrived in Pacheco, their new home.
Pacheco was a beautiful little valley, made up mostly of Americans that had been there only a few years, lovely as it was, a greater contrast to Nellie's home in Salt Lake could scarcely be imagined. Here were no paved streets, no electric lights, street cars, or many of the other comforts enjoyed by them. The only water system was wells, where they would draw the water out by hand, and then carry it into their home.
The people in Pacheco were all good faithful Latter-day Saints, they created their own entertainment, and were having a dance the night the Gurr family arrived in town. Nellie's cousin Ann ask her to go to the dance, but she did not feel much like dancing after her long trip. She had walked until her feet were sore, however Nellie did go over with Ann and looked through the windows to see the dancing of the quadrille, Virginia Reel, and so on. This was the last time she just watched others dance, because Nellie was now blossoming into a lovely young lady. She was very beautiful and attractive in every way. Her pleasing personality and sparkling brown eyes won the hearts of all.
The fourth of July found Nellie beautiful in her new dress. During the day the young folks desired to go for a horseback ride, Nellie's cousin Dell let her ride his best saddle horse. They were riding along enjoying themselves very much when they came to a ditch of water. The horse Nellie was on jumped the ditch, Nellie of course was not used to horses and did not know how to hold on, so she was left sit¬ting in the middle of the stream in her lovely new dress.
The people in Pacheco always had a big celebration on "May Day", the year Nellie was sixteen this celebration had a very special meaning for her, as she was the one chosen as “May Queen", this was truly a lovely experience for her, having that beautiful crown placed on her head and knowing she was to reign as Queen over the entire celebration.
Nellie often admired her mothers and grandmothers ability to care for the sick. She felt a desire to obtain what knowledge she could along that line, and at the age of seventeen took a course in nursing and obstetrics under Dr. Ellis R. Shipp. Nellie enjoyed very much this course of study, and put it to greater use in her later life.
Nellie was very popular among the young folks of town, several young boys had tried to win her heart, but for some time William Parley Rowley was the only boy in the whole town as far as she was concerned. He seemed perfect to her in every way, and had been her dream man for some time. She was very proud of him as she sat beside him in Church and the ward entertainments. She also enjoyed his company at dances, parties or wherever they choose to go. Then came the glorious night she had dreamed of for some time, when her tall, dark, handsome man took her in his arms and ask her if she would become his wife. She never dreamed of such joy as she now felt, and to her it seemed they were alone on top of the world.
Nellie had previously planned to teach school the coming winter, but of course now her plans were changed some, although she did teach school from September until it closed for the Christmas Holidays.
This was indeed a happy and busy young couple, during the next few months as they prepared for their life together. Nellie had received the proper training to make a wonderful wife and mother. Soon they had things arranged so they could make definite plans, and decided that the coming New Year’s Day would be the day of days. William's sister Emma was a beautiful seamstress and assisted Nellie by making her lovely wedding dress.
1 Jan 1902 an impressive ceremony was performed by Bishop George W. Hardy unit-ing William and Nellie together as husband and wife.
Nellie's mother was known as one of the best cooks in town, her homemade chicken and noodles and pies were the delight of all. For this great event, relatives and friends from all over town came to join in the feast.
William was a very ambitious, hardworking young man, and soon had their new home finished and ready to move into. He was a good provider and made life pleasant for his charming bride. She also delighted in preparing lovely surprises to please her husband.
This choice couple commenced married life by sharing it with their church, they both held positions in the ward. Nellie taught in Sunday School, Primary, and Relief Society. She was known for her beautiful handwriting, and was the scribe for Patriarch William M. Black, she appreciated this privilege and did much work along that line.
25 Oct 1902, their cup of happiness was full to overflowing, for that day a choice spirit direct from the presence of our Heavenly Father came into their home. She was a darling baby girl with black curly hair and brown eyes. They later called this precious babe Vera.
Nellie's Grandmother Marsh, acted as both doctor and midwife on this occasion. She was known to be one of the best in town.
Life now was even more interesting for Nellie as she cared for both husband and child. It seemed so perfect to have a cradle in their home, and hear the soft cry of their new baby daughter. Time went on and this new baby was soon walking around the house and yard. When two years later, 6 Oct 1904, their adorable son Wil¬liam Parley Rowley Jr. was born, he was a beautiful baby with long black hair.
9 July 1907 their daughter Nellie was born, Reuben followed two years later, 24 June 1909. He was another lovely boy, and soon won a spot deep in the hearts of all the family.
One day when Reuben was a tiny babe, Nellie put him in his buggy and pushed him over to one of her dear friends, Emma Jane Johnson. Nellie went with the intentions of spending the afternoon with her, so she took the baby buggy into the house. She then sit down and began to crochet and visit. Immediately she felt impressed that she should take her baby and leave. When she told Emma Jane she must go, Emma said, "Why must you go, you came to spend the afternoon?" Nellie replied, “I know I did but I now feel I must go." Nellie immediately left, took her baby just across the street and into William's mother’s home, when a big bolt of lightning came and struck the house she just left, knocking the ceiling down in the room exactly where her baby had been not five minutes before. Nellie always felt that her baby’s life had been saved by her responding to the inspiration she received.
1910 brought a great change into this family’s life. William received a call from the First Presidency of the Church, asking him to come into the United States to fill a two year mission in the Southern States. Of course William and Nellie realized they must always accept any call that comes from the ones in authority, but down deep in their hearts they felt that to spend two years without each other would seem like an eternity to them. In one way it was something they could hardly stand to think of, yet they each had a strong testimony of the truthfulness of the Gospel, and knowing this call came through inspiration from their Heavenly Father, they both put forth every effort to see that it was fulfilled.
Nellie was permitted to go with William as far as Salt Lake City, her sister Maud and husband Moses, Brother Wallace and wife Beth, Cousin Ann and husband Joe, made the trip with them. While they were there they all went through the temple and and received their own endowments. Nellie's sister Clarissa and husband Amos came from Oregon to join the group. It had been years since they were together, and this reunion was greatly enjoyed by all.
11 Nov 1910, they arrived back in Mexico, just in time to witness the beginning of the great revolution. Due to the absence of any civil law in that country, the saints went through many unpleasant experiences.
One day while Nellie was tending the store of George Johnson, a group of Mexi¬cans came in and demanded that she give them some groceries. Nellie's daughter Vera was with her at this time, she was a tiny girl, but weaved her way among those Mexi-cans to the only door and ran for help. Brother Johnson soon arrived and helped supply the Mexicans with groceries. This was quite an experience for Nellie, and she was grateful when that group of Mexicans left and rode away.
Trouble in the country grew steadily worse. The church authorities advised all saints to leave and come into the United States. This of course was a trying experience for them to leave their lovely homes and all belongings, except what they could put into one trunk, and bedding for each family. It seemed especially hard for Nellie, and she missed her dear William greatly during those trying days.
Nellie had in her possession one hundred and fifty pesos, (dollars) she was concerned as to how she could keep it away from the Mexicans. Her Bishop advised her to make a cloth belt and sew the money in it, and wear it under her clothing around her waist. When the belt was completed and ready to wear it weighed twelve and one half pounds. Nellie kept it on her night and day until she was safe in the United States.
When they arrived in El Paso, Texas, Nellie had the privilege of being the nurse when Beth her brother’s wife, gave birth to a new son. The tent they were in was so small that the doctor and nurse could not both be in it at the same time, yet they got along fine, and mother and babe did nicely.
Nellie continued on to Richfield, Utah, with her parents and other members of her family. After arriving there, Nellie, Maud, Beth, and families all lived in the same house until their husbands came. Moses and Wallace were away to work, and William was still on his mission. However William 5 mission was almost completed, so Elder Charles A. Callis, his Mission President, released him to go and care for his family.
What a joyous reunion this was, 31 Aug 1912 they were reunited as a family again. Nellie was very grateful to have her loving husband lift the great responsibilities of this new life from her shoulders. William and Nellie immediately rented a house and moved their family to be by themselves. They remained in Richfield until January 1913.
15 Jan 1913 William and Nellie took their family into that sacred temple in Salt Lake and were sealed by the power of the Holy Priesthood, for time and all Eter¬nity.
William and Nellie felt they would like to see the country before buying a home so they took their family and went by train to Oregon, Washington, and California, then back to Utah.
In 1914 they moved to Buckhorn, Iron County, Utah, where they built a lovely home. While living in Buckhorn, Nellie was the President of the Primary, and a counselor in the Relief Society.
Many times Nellie and Beth, (Wallace's wife) would hitch old Fritz, their fav¬orite horse to the buggy and go to Parawan, fourteen miles away, to do their shopp¬ing and visit with Nellie's parents who were at that time living there. Occasionally Old Fritz, would get tired and just stand there, nothing could persuade him to go on. Sometimes they would work ten or fifteen minutes to get him started to move again. They certainly enjoyed those trips, even though it took all day to make one.
In January 1915 Nellie went to Parawan to stay with her parents for a while, and to be near the doctor. Her fifth child, Albert Marvin, a beautiful boy with long black hair and dark eyes was born, 31 Jan 1915, at Nellie's mother’s home. This was the first time in her life that she ever had a doctor, or anything to ease the excruciating pain of childbirth.
February 1916, while William, Nellie and family were at Sunday School, their home caught fire, burning all their belongings except some bedding and a trunk that William was successful in getting out. This was the second time in Nellie’s life she was left with just bedding, and a trunk. This being a warm day the family had left their coats home, which also added to their loss. Nellie's parents had previously moved to Buckhorn to be near some of the family. They had William and Nellie come and live with them until William could get their home ready. The walls of their home were made of adobe, and William being a first class carpenter soon had his family back in their own home.
1918 brought great sadness to Nellie's heart, her mother whom she loved dearly, became seriously ill. Nellie left her own home and children with her sixteen year old daughter Vera, who did a marvelous job in caring for both, during the months that Nellie stayed night and day with her mother. Nellie remained at her mother’s side always to see that everything possible was done for her. 16 May 1918 just as the sun was going to rest, her dear mother, who was honored, loved, and respected by all who knew her, slept peacefully away, as her loved ones gently watched over her.
In the spring of 1919, William and Nellie decided to move to Provo, Utah. They traveled by horse and wagon, taking two weeks to make the trip. It was a very pleas-ant trip for all. After arriving at Provo, they purchased a home and a ten acre fruit farm at Orem, Utah.
The last of January 1920, William, Nellie, and family contracted the Influenza. The "flu" at this time was a dreadful disease. People were very frightened of it, they even made masks of several thicknesses of gauze and tied them over their mou¬ths to try and keep the germs out. William's mother, who was then living in Idaho, learned of the family’s illness and immediately came to them. She did all in her power to care for the family, William, Nellie, and their two children Vera and Parley were all very ill. This indeed was a trying time for all. On the 5 Feb 1920 their loving, and devoted husband, son, and father answered again the call of his Divine Maker for another Mission, leaving his wife and family this time in great sorrow. This was a bitter experience for Nellie, to have her sweetheart taken from her side, never to see him again in this mortal life. She was so ill that she could not even get out of bed. Her daughter Vera was also to ill to attend the funeral.
After the funeral, Newell K. Young and John Stubbs came to Nellie's home, while there they administered to Nellie, and as Brother Young was sealing the anointing, tears were running down his cheeks as he said, "The Veil is removed from my eyes, and I can see William happily engaged in preaching to those in the spirit world". He also said, that Nellie must not mourn for him, because our kind Heavenly Father who knows best, needs him for a more glorious work. This of course gave Nellie great comfort, and helped her to understand just why she should be called again to part with the one she loved most dearly.
6 June 1920, just four months after the loss of her husband, Nellie gave birth to a sweet daughter with light hair and blue eyes, whom they named Violet, honoring Nellie's youngest sister. This new babe was a great comfort to her sorrowing mother, and helped her to pass some of those long lonely hours. Even after the baby came Nellie's health still remained very poor, and it became necessary for her to have a major operation the following year.
Parley was not quite sixteen years of age at the time his father passed away, but as soon as school was out in the spring, he and Reuben took their team of horses, Pet and Pearl, and commenced hauling rock to the crusher, which resulted in making the cement road through Orem. They did this heavy work until the road was finished.
The following year Nellie's health had improved, although she now had a heart condition as a result of her trouble and sickness that remained with her always.
Vera, who had been very faithful in caring for her mother during all those months of illness, began now making preparations for her wedding. She was united in marriage to Acel Nielson, 5 Oct 1921, in the Salt Lake Temple.
Early in the spring of 1922, Nellie decided to move to town, where she thought work would be more plentiful for her and her children. She traded her home in Orem for one on third south and seventh east in Provo.
One beautiful day in the summer of 1922, Nellie's sister Violet, after completing her household duties for the day, and leaving her baby girl Margaret asleep in her bed, went outdoors and began to work in her yard. After a few minutes Violet felt impressed to go into the house and look at her baby. As she did she could tell something was wrong, she quickly grasp the baby in her arms and ran to Ronald. They immediately got into their car and hurried to the doctor’s office, but their lovely child was gone. The doctors were at a loss to find out what happened, as this baby was strong and healthy in every way. Violet and Ronald then brought the baby's body to Nellie's home where it remained until time for the funeral.
This sudden shock and heart break seemed to be more than Violet could take, her health began to break, all nerves in her body began to die. Violet again came to Nellie's home where she was cared for. 13 Nov 1922, she left her loved ones here, to join those who had previously passed on.
Nellie kept Violet's two children, Edwin and Beatrice for a few months, until it became necessary for her to obtain work. Her daughter Vera then took the children and cared for them while Nellie made good use of the education she received while a girl. She began working as a nurse in the Westwood and Beck Hospital, helping to bring hundreds of babies into this world.
Parley, who had been faithful in helping his mother, especially since the passing of his father, commenced a new life as head of his own family. He and LaRue Edwards were married in the Salt Lake Temple, 15 May 1924.
1926 brought sorrow into Nellie's life again, on the 10th of September her father passed away, at the home of his daughter Addie Edwards, where he was then living.
In October, Vera, who was then living in Spanish Fork, came to her mother’s home. On Vera's birthday 25 of Oct 1926 they were all rejoicing over the birth of another darling Vera, just one thing came to mar that perfect day. They learned that Vera had developed a serious heart condition. Nellie took a vacation from the hospital to devote her entire time to her daughter, and did all that any devoted loving mother could do. Acel secured the best medical help available, and did all in his power to save his loving wife, yet Vera was never able to get out of bed again.
Nellie had a very unusual experience during Vera's illness. Vera was as rational as anyone ever was, yet she conversed with loved ones that had previously departed this life, until she herself had a great desire to go and join them. Vera was only twenty five years of age, very happy in her marriage, and now her life had been blessed with her darling baby, something she had longed and prayed for the five years she had been married. Now since having such glorious experiences, she was happy to leave all, and go to assist in the work she had been told she was needed for. Vera told the exact hour she was going to pass away, the day her funeral was to be held, and how she would like the room arranged the day her body lay in state at her mother’s home.
Just a few minutes before two a.m., 10 Dec 1926, Vera ask to see her baby, she sat up in bed, held her tiny babe in her arms, and smiled such a sweet heavenly smile, that any words could never describe it. She then said, "That is enough", and handed the baby back. Vera laid her head back on the pillow, and shut her eyes. In a mom¬ent or two she opened her eyes, turned to Nellie and said, "Mother, why didn’t you folks say, amen." Nellie said, "Why Vera". Vera then replied, as she raised her arm upward, "All those people up there were praying for me, and they just said amen." Vera then shut her eyes again, and her spirit slipped quietly away without her even moving a finger.
Nellie continued to remain at home for some time to care for Vera's baby girl, then it became necessary for her to resume her duties at the hospital. Acel took his baby daughter to Vera's Uncle David and Aunt Clara Rowley’s, they had previously ask if they may have the privilege of caring for the child. They made a lovely home for her and kept her until Acel remarried, then he and his wife Elma, raised her to lovely womanhood.
While attending General Conference in Salt Lake City, Nellie and Theodore Martineau met again for the first time in years, they had known each other while living in Mexico. Theodore's wife had previously passed away, leaving him with two small children, James and Ruth. Nellie and Theodore began corresponding with each other, and thought if they married it would be better for all concerned. They were married for time in the Salt Lake Temple, 14 Oct 1927. Nellie quit work and took Theodore and his two small children into her home to care for them.
Theodore worked in the General Shop, and after some time, business became slow, and he thought that perhaps if he had a good farm he could do more for the family. In 1929 Nellie turned her lovely home over as part payment on a large fruit farm in Pleasant Grove.
9 April 1929 Clarassa, Nellie's oldest sister, passed away in Portland Oregon, leaving her husband Amos Perkins and their ten children.
In the spring of 1930, Parley, LaRue, and family were living in the Provo Third Ward. He was working at the Provo Foundry, where he had been employed for several years. Parley had suffered with a serious kidney condition for many years, but still kept on working.
The first part of April, Parley's physical condition forced him to quit work. He took his wife and family over to Nellie's home in Pleasant Grove and remained there. Parley was always kind to his mother and others in the home. He was a devot¬ed husband and loving father to his sweet wife LaRue, and their three children Nola, Grace, and William Parley. 2 May 1930 their hearts were all torn with grief as they saw their beloved Parley depart this life’s mission.
In the fall of 1930, Nellie and Theodore were told they would have to leave the farm, because they were unable to meet the payments. October of that year they took their furniture and left, renting a home to move into.
After being deprived of their home they carried on doing the best they could, always finding time to serve their Maker in whatever position they were called to. They were always interested in temple and genealogy work, and did much along those lines.
12 May 1944, Wilford, Nellie's brother, who was a Bishop of one of the Wards in Nevada, passed away leaving his wife Letha and four children.
When the Geneva Steel Company came to Provo, homes were very scarce, so Nellie's two sons, Reuben and Albert, also her daughter Nellie's husband, Lynn Mecham, built a lovely home at 650 West 1st North in Provo, and gave it to their mother. Nellie was very grateful to own a home again, she loved and appreciated it more than words can say.
After moving into their new home, Nellie and Theodore continued to enjoy temple work. They made many trips to Salt Lake Temple on the bus, sometimes going through three sessions a day. They received a deep satisfaction for their labors, and were always ready and willing to go to the temple whenever they had the privilege.
Then came that glorious day when they were ask to be ordinance workers. They were both very grateful and happy, and realized they would need to be near the temple, so they rented a room in the Gibbs Apartments, at 69 North State, Salt Lake City. They stayed there during the week, then came to Provo to their own home each weekend.
Nellie was set apart as an Ordinance Worker in the Salt Lake Temple, 11 Aug 1947 by President Joseph Fielding Smith, who was then the President of the Salt Lake Temple. She appreciated this glorious calling very much, and was grateful beyond words to have the privilege of serving her Heavenly Father in His Holy Temple, and associating with such choice people.
Nellie was greatly blessed by our kind Father, she was given the added strength necessary for her to work four days a week at the temple, and never missed a day for years.
As the temple closed for the Christmas Holidays, 19 Dec 1953, Nellie's daughter Nellie and son Marvin, went to Salt Lake and brought Nellie and Theodore home. Nellie was very tired, her heart at this time was so bad that her feet and legs were swollen up, yet she had worked in the temple all day. Nellie developed pneumonia on New Year’s Day 1954. The doctor made daily visits to see her, she soon recovered from the pneumonia, but her tired heart continued to grow steadily worse. She was then at her daughter Nellie's home, where she was cared for during her illness. Her children, brothers, and sisters, were all very thoughtful of her, they all came to see her often, and did whatever it was possible for them to do for her.
22 Apr 1954, Nellie's children were all with her except Reuben, he had previously been to see his mother that morning, finding her the same as usual, had left on his delivery and was up at Wallsburg. About 10 a.m. Nellie held her arms out as if to embrace her beloved husband, who was taken from her over thirty four years before and said, "Oh papa, I've waited so long, please take me with you now." She then said, "I want to tell my children good-bye first." She called each one in their turn. When she called Reuben and was told that he was at work she said, "I cannot go without telling my Reuben good-bye, he has been so good to me.” Reuben was called and of course came the minute he was located.
Nellie seemed to improve and remained the same until later that evening when she again called all of her children to her side, each one in their turn were held in their mothers loving arms, and instructed as to certain things she would like them to do.
In talking to her daughter Nellie, she told her that one of William's great-great aunts had been missed, and because of that, was suffering terrible. She also told her that William would like his family to be responsible for seeing that her work was done. Nellie replied that she would be happy to do it, and ask her to tell her the name of this Aunt. She said, "I don’t know the name. It is just one of papa’s great, great aunts." Nellie immediately got her pencil and book and wrote the information down just as her mother had spoken it. Her mother then shut her eyes and seemed to be asleep for a few minutes, then she turned to Albert and Nel¬lie who were at her side, and spoke these words, "The name, the name is Besty Ann Rowley." She then continued by saying, "Now don’t ever forget that name for if you do, I'll be held responsible for her suffering." She also told her children that she must remain here until that name was taken care of. The entire night was spent by her talking with and instructing her children.
The next night Nellie had a good night’s rest, the rest she had had in months. Her daughter Nellie awakened early while her mother was still sleeping, and felt that she should write Erwin Rowley and tell him of the glorious experience they had, and send some money to him to be forwarded on to the family genealogist along with the information her mother had given her. When Nellie finished the letter, she returned to her mother’s room just as she was beginning to awake. Nellie told her mother she had written the letter and ask her if she would like to hear it. After reading it to her, Nellie ask if it was alright, her mother assured her that it was and ask her to please get it in the mail.
A few nights later LaRue, (Parley’s wife) who had just moved from Oregon to Salt Lake, came to stay all night with their mother, and help care for her. At bed time Nellie called her children together for prayers, her mother seemed to be having a good sleep. Nellie said, "Let’s all go in quietly and kneel around Mothers bed, even though she is asleep." Nellie was grateful to have LaRue with them again, and felt that she too might appreciate the privilege of praying at the bedside of their mother, so ask her if she would say the prayer.
It was a beautiful prayer, she thanked our Father for the sweet mother they were then kneeling around, for the lovely life she had lived, and for the beautiful example she had always set for her children to follow, also told how she had always loved and appreciated her. During the prayer, Nellie was wishing her mother was awake so she could hear what was being said. After they had risen to their feet, and all quietly standing just looking at their mother and grandmother, she turned her face to LaRue and said, "LaRue, Parley wants to thank you for that lovely prayer," then she continued on with her deep sleep. This was such an unusual experience that they all just stood looking at each other for some time.
A few days later Nellie called several of her grandchildren to her bed side, she held their hands while she talked to them, she told each in their turn what she would like them to do.
During Nellie's illness many of her friends from Salt Lake came to see her. She also received many cards and letters from them, some contained all the names of her co-workers. One of President Heber J. Grant’s daughters, (Florence Smith) came and brought her a lovely bouquet of flowers.
Nellie was one who appreciated lovely things, she was a beautiful woman, very neat in her appearance, and she found beauty in everything. In spring she enjoyed the flowers and trees, and in winter she found just as much beauty in the new fallen snow. Nellie also enjoyed beautiful handwork and was continually making some herself. She made many beautiful quilts, sold some to the Mormon Handicraft in Salt Lake, and gave many to family and friends. She also loved pretty dishes, and was always buying some.
5 May 1954, Nellie’s condition made a slight change for the first time in almost two weeks. That day her daughter Nellie received a letter in the mail from Erwin Rowley, stating that he had put the name of Betsy Ann Rowley on a sheet and was sending it to be cleared. Nellie read the letter, then went into her mother’s room and told her about it, and ask if she would like to hear it, she answered, "I don’t need to hear the letter."
Early that evening Nellie was blessed with a sweet, peaceful sleep, she awakened at eight p.m. in the arms of her loved ones that she had waited for so long to see.
The temple veil she had on, was presented to her as a token of love from her dear friend, Sister Lillian Ferguson, of the Salt Lake Temple.
The services and flowers in honor of Nellie were most beautiful, relatives and friends thronged the building until it was necessary to stop them, in order to commence with the service which was then fifteen minutes late. Many car loads of friends from the temple were in attendance. The services were conducted by Bishop Ralph C. Fletcher, invocation was David L. Rowley Sr., speakers were from the Salt Lake Temple, President Robert D. Young, and President Robert I. Burtin. There was a tribute by Ruby Edwards Cameron, and the song, "In the Garden", was sung by Ethel Lewis. “That Wonderful Mother of Mine”, by Alene Edwards Felix and her husband Joseph. “Going Home”, by Grant Rowley and the benediction by president Philo T. Edwards. Lynn Mecham Jr., Albert M. Rowley Jr., Elden J. Mecham, Vern K. Rowley, Van Washburn, and LaVor Madsen, carried the remains of their grandmother and gently laid her at the side of her loving husband, 8 May 1954, the day before Mother’s Day. The dedicatory prayer was offered by Bishop Arthur D. Taylor.