VERN DAVIS and AMORIE MECHAM
Contributor: Chynna67 Created: 2 years ago Updated: 2 years ago
Vern Davis was born 3 June 1894 in Wallsburg, Wasatch Co., Utah, the eighth child of William Luce and Rosalie Wall Davis. There seems little recorded of Vern's early childhood except his baptism date, 15 August 1903. He was likely baptized in Spring Creek, less than a block away from his home. His Grandmother Emma Ford Wall died in October of that year, and Vern's parents moved into the Wall home. The schoolhouse was less than a block east of the Wall-Davis home, and we assume that Vern attended school there. The Davis home was a two-story frame house with an upstairs with two bedrooms. A well in the front yard provided the drinking water.
Vern's daughter Donna recalls hearing about her father's bad temper. As a child, Vern had done something which especially provoked his father, who then sent Vern to Heber to stay with sister Jane Davis Harper, where he likely went to school to sixth or eighth grade.
He returned to Wallsburg and met and courted Amorie Mecham, whose grandparents ran the first store in Wallsburg. Vern, age 22, and Amorie (called Rhea), age 18, went to Heber in a covered wagon and were married there 29 November 1916. They made their first home in Heber, where their first child, a boy, Lennox, was born 16 December 1917. They moved to Lorenzo, Jefferson Co., Idaho, where Vern's sister Mary and her husband Francis Marion Whiting lived. Vern tried farming for a while. Their second son, Rex Vern, was born on 30 June 1919. When Rex was six months old, they moved back to Heber.
Vern decided to go to Barber school, living away from home during that time. When he was through school, he barbered in Heber until Ida was born 1 September 1921. When an opening came in Kamas, the family moved there. His first shop was in connection with a pool hall. When it burned down, he rented a small building next to the drugstore. Donna Rose was born 7 February 1925, in Kamas, Summit Co., Utah, the last of Vern and Amorie's children.
Years later, Lennox and Rex joined the CCC Camp and were stationed in the Duchesne area. They were in a motorcycle accident in Daniels Canyon. Lennox had serious head injuries from which he never fully recovered. Rex enlisted in the Marines in World War II and was sent to Shanghai, China. On his way home, the ship was bombed in Manila and he was taken prisoner at Corregidor for five months. He was held in the Philippines until October 1944, when he was put on an unmarked ship to Japan. It was bombed by the U.S. planes and Rex was killed. Lennox was a flight instructor and was stationed in California.
Vern was very bitter toward the Japanese and refused to cut their hair when they came into his shop. In 1949 he built his own shop. They bought a small two-room house on Main Street, a house which had been the first trading post in Kamas. They added on and remodeled until they were very comfortable. When Vern retired from barbering, he did carpentry work for a few years. Suffering a heart attack, he died 17 August 1963 at the age of 69 and was buried in the Wallsburg cemetery 20 August 1963.
Amorie Mecham, called "Rhea," was born 5 September 1898 in Wallsburg, Wasatch Co., Utah. She was the oldest of five children born to George Fayette Mecham and Ida Viola Boren. When Rhea was fifteen years old, her mother was pregnant with the sixth child. Her mother went into labor but then it stopped. A month later, she had a miscarriage and was taken to a doctor in Provo. She died soon after because of extensive gangrene poisoning. Rhea's father married again, to "Aunt Clara," just three years older than Rhea.
Rhea worked hard in the fields. She remembered being frightened of Indians, who could be seen on surrounding hills as she worked in the beet fields. Her father herded sheep, and the family visited his camp in the summers. Rhea experienced an earthquake in Wallsburg when she was young and told her family years later how frightened she was, not knowing what it was. When she saw Halley's Comet in 1910, when she was about twelve, she thought it was the end of the world.
Rhea's grandfather owned the first store in Wallsburg. He had poor health because of diabetes, so Rhea's grandmother would drive the horses and the wagon to Provo to get supplies. They raised a big family on money they made from the store.
After 1963 when Vern died, Rhea continued living in the family home in Kamas until she was eighty years old, then spent the final two years in a nursing home in Salt Lake City. She died 27 August 1981 in Salt Lake City and was buried 31 August 1981 in Wallsburg. The family home and the property were sold to the school district and the home was torn down.
Donna Davis Prescott lives in Kamas now. Ida Davis Farley Gregory lives in Phoenix, Arizona. Her first husband died on Iwo Jima and left her with three small children.
-Information gathered by Opal Davis Ollivier, then written by Opal and Mariam Adamson West.
EMMA FORD WALL
Contributor: Chynna67 Created: 2 years ago Updated: 2 years ago
Emma Ford Wall was born 6 December 1834 in Harmony, Chautauqua Co., New York. Her parents were William Martin Ford, Sr., and Hannah Lucile Mayo, who were fairly well-to-do and well-educated. Emma, the sixth child, had four brothers and two sisters. The family moved to Nauvoo some time after 1837, where Emma's father worked on the temple. During the completion of the temple, the scaffolding broke and father William died from his injuries, leaving his wife and six children. Emma was ten years old.
In a history of Emma's brother Martin Ford, written by his son John Ford, is a brief account of the period following William's death: "Father was only twelve years old, but he was their only support. He was living in Nauvoo when Joseph and Hyrum Smith were killed by the mob and when the Saints were driven from their homes. Father was baptized into the church by Sidney Rigdon. After the Martyrdom of Joseph and Hyrum, father bought a yoke of cattle and a wagon. The next spring he with the rest of the family bid goodbye to Nauvoo and started west with the second company of Saints. They suffered very much from the cold and stormy weather. They continued their journey to a place called Mount Pisgah. They stayed there that summer and father worked until they had food enough for the next trip. They traveled that summer and came to the Sweet Water in Iowa. They stayed there until the following spring, then started on their westward journey, reaching Council Bluffs, Iowa on the banks of the Missouri River. They then moved about six miles down the river to a place called Traders Point. Father was about twenty years old then. He worked there three or four years hauling logs for the steam boats."
At this point in the story we do not know how Emma finally got to Utah. But she married William Madison Wall 23 January 1858 in Salt Lake City. She was 24 years old and he was 37. He had two other wives before Emma and married two others after. At the time of their marriage, he had had ten children.
Emma lived in Wallsburg in a log cabin much like the ones of the other two wives. She had five children, the third one being Rosalie Wall (Davis). Emma raised sheep, sheared them, washed and carded the wool, made it into yarn, and then wove the yarn to make fabric. She not only made clothing for her own children but for the rest of the Wall children, 30 in all. With scraps she made beautiful rugs, one of which she gave to a grandson, William Raymond Davis, and his wife Matilda.
When William Wall brought home to Wallsburg his fourth wife, whom he married in Salt Lake City just less than two years after he had married Emma, the three other wives all had one-roomed log cabins. William went to the cabin of the first wife and asked if she had room for the two of them. Nancy said, "No, indeed!" He asked the second wife and got a similar answer. At the third door, Emma answered: "Of course we have room," she said sarcastically, looking at her one room. "Of course I have room. Indeed I do." Emma also had twins just less than one year old.
One charming story told by William and Emma's daughter was about the homemade shoes William made for all his children. A big dance was coming up and Rosalie needed new shoes. When her father did not get them finished, she was very disappointed. William said, "I'll save the first dance for you."
William M. Wall took one more wife in December 1865. He died 18 September 189 and Emma died 13 October 1903 and was buried in Wallsburg.
--Written by Mariam Adamson West from notes by Opal Davis Ollivier and a history of Martin Ford by John Ford.
CHARLES L. DAVIS
Contributor: Chynna67 Created: 2 years ago Updated: 2 years ago
Charles L. Davis was born 13 February 1897 in Wallsburg, Wasatch Co., Utah, the ninth of eleven children of William Luce Davis, Jr. and Rosalie Wall. At this time the Davises lived in the little log cabin on the long valley road. When Charles was six years old, his grandmother Emma Ford Wall died, and then the Davises moved to her home downtown. We assume that Charles attended school in the new schoolhouse just a block from his home. Records indicate that he was baptized 22 August 1905. His younger sister Bessie died in March of that year of a severe case of measles and whooping cough.
Probably in February 1918 Charles and a nephew, Orvall Davis (and likely Rex Cummings, who later married Vera Davis, a niece of Charles) came back to Heber by train from Idaho, where they had been working. Orvall was very ill with the flu, and they had been sent home to Wallsburg - where his entire family got the flu. Rex and Charles were quarantined for a period of time. They helped bury the bodies of those who had died of the flu.
Charles served in the Army during World War I. He was in a machine gun battalion in California when the war ended.
Charles and Lacy Van Wagenen were married 21 February 1921 at Provo, Utah. They lived in Park City, where their first son, Charles Levan, was born. Another son, Kent Leroyd, and a daughter, Arva Jane, were born in Midway, where they lived close to their Van Wagenen grandparents. Kent remembers the cow they had when they lived in Midway. She got loose and ruined their vegetable garden. This must have been a traumatic experience because daughter Arva in her June 1993 letter to Opal Davis Ollivier mentions the same cow. Arva's complete letter follows:
Have to apologize for my lack of memory - but I find unless you are around people who share the same memories things do fade away.
My father was a kind man and all of us tried not to disappoint him. He worked very hard and many times had to live in other cities in order to support us.
Van, Kent and I were all born in Midway, Utah, where we had a small parcel of land next to my grandparents Van Wagonen. We had some crops and a milk cow (always named Bossie). As I recall, food was canned and preserved for the winter - but my father worked in the mines in Park City even then. When the Depression was at its peak (1931) we moved to Salt Lake in hopes of finding work. Both maternal grandparents died and whatever businesses existed in Midway were gone. My mother's oldest sister lived in S.L.C. and seemed to be doing quite well.
In the back of my mind dad was offered a job for Standard Oil prior to our move to Salt Lake - but my mother did not want to leave her family. Kent may remember more about this.
At any rate we rented a house first on the West side - there were no more jobs available in S.L. so my father went into the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps). He worked outside Salt Lake and was home as I recall on weekends. We moved three times during which my father was able to go back to the mines - but we either did not have a car or it was too costly and time-consuming to commute so he lived in Park City until we moved to Conway Court, where I remember his making his breakfast and lunch very early in the morning before leaving for the mines.
I am guessing but I believe mother opened a beauty shop close to our house and dad took his barber training before I was 8 years old, which would make him about 35 or 36. Soon after that they bought a house at 333 Beldon Court and opened their own shop on 7th East. Both of them worked at least 6 days a week and were at the mercy of their customers (any hour they would meet them to do their hair).
My spotty recollections: Dad telling us his father told him it was time for him to marry - but that he was to marry an Indian rather than a cousin.
Our friends were always welcome at our house while dad was alive. He played cards on Saturday night with all of us - including all our friends; we had very high stakes and were quite daring with our stick matches (the legal tender of the games).
He was a hunter and fisherman - opening day of either season was his real holiday. I guess he was a pretty good shot - I grew quite tired of venison as a child. Doubted that his fishing was very good. I still like fish and heaven knows that during the Depression any food that was available became a staple. He took my brothers with him on all his outings and since I was a tomboy I was not crazy about being left out.
We had a Model-T Ford and we used to drive to Heber on Sunday to visit his family. Remember Uncle Ray's root cellar and what a fabulous cook Aunt Jane was -- the motel Uncle Vern or was it Ern had and helping in the summers with the maid work -- staying with Aunt Jane and sleeping upstairs in the feather bed and waking to the sound of the cow bells as the cows were being taken to pasture.
Must have been obnoxious -- remember standing on the back of grandma Davis's rocker and pushing it too hard. She merely reached around and that kind old lady pinched me - hard - but I never did that again; the quilts grandma was always making, and the rhubarb always in the yard.
Always wanted to do well -- dad expected it and I felt he would be very disappointed if I let him down. He worked so hard, never complained, had a good sense of humor, respected others and made friends of anyone he met.
Although we never had any money and were in general terms poor, we were always taught "hard work never hurt anyone," to be honest, to be considerate, and no one was any better than we were nor were we better than anyone else.
I guess I never realized how hard he worked trying to be a good parent until he died. I found some books on child rearing in his papers with many things underlined on how to handle problem children and knew most of them referred to me. My father died of a massive heart attack in May of 1941. He was 44 years old."
-Compiled and edited by Mariam Adamson West
Memories of William Luce Davis, Jr. & Rosalie Wall Davis
Contributor: Chynna67 Created: 2 years ago Updated: 2 years ago
Even though many memories about William Luce and Rosalie Wall Davis have been recorded in the history of their oldest son, William Raymond Davis, and his wife, Lydia Matilda Fausett Davis, there are additional stories which should not be lost. These stories and bits of information, which a daughter-in-law Lizziebell Murdock Davis recalled, are part of a tape made when Lizziebell was 76 years of age. She married Hugh J. Davis, second son of William and Rosalie, in 1912.
"I remember how kind and soft-spoken William was, a very gentle man. He had great empathy for others. If anyone was in trouble he was the first to help. Many times he would take me and Billie in his wagon far into upper Wallsburg to turn the water. On the way we had to pass the Nuttle home where a Willie Nuttle lived. He was a retarded boy who was not responsible for his actions and so that he wouldn't run away his folks kept him chained by one ankle. When William passed the Nuttle home he would stop, get out of his wagon and go up in the yard where Willie was chained. William would talk to him and Willie would put his arms around William. I was frightened of the boy and as William drove on up the road and had to leave the wagon to turn the water, he would stop the wagon in the middle of the creek and I would feel safe.
"Grandpa William played the violin and although he had one, he liked to play mine because it was a better one. He would play for the dances and I played the piano. One night everyone had had such a good time at the dance and after it was over, some of the men began going outside as they often did for a little nip. Some of them had a little more than they should have! (Lizziebell laughed as she remembered this night, but she revealed no names, which was part of the charm of the story.) The next day, Hugh woke up with a terrible headache; he was very ill. He didn't even want to get up. So I just left Billie with him and went to visit Jane for the morning. Billie didn't want to stay indoors so Hugh had to get up, take him outside and change him I don't know how many times. While I was to Jane's, Grandma Rosalie came to Jane's also and she said to me, "Where is Billie?" When I told her I had left him home for Hugh to tend she said, 'Well that's just fine, that's what he needs!'
"I remember one more story about Grandpa William. It happened at the time he was the watermaster and he had taken a blanket with him because of the need to stay at the main headgate. Some criminal whose folks lived in Wallsburg and who had escaped from jail came into the east end of Wallsburg on a horse to visit his family. In the dark, he could see the figure of Grandpa William with the blanket over him. He raised his gun to shoot as William raised up and identified himself and asked what the trouble was. The criminal said, 'Oh! My God, William, I almost shot you.' William did not turn the man in or reveal his whereabouts and later the criminal's story appeared in a magazine called 'The Country Gentleman.' Grandpa William took this magazine which came out once a month. When he got the magazine, William would invite all of the people from Rosehill to his home and have me read a continued story about this man. After the 'reading' Grandma Rosalie thanked me and told me how well I read, but Grandpa William just praised me to the hilt! No matter what you did he couldn't praise you enough."
The women did Relief Society work often, and often it would take them all day. They would quilt over in the little church and if the quilts were not finished, for instance, or if someone from Rosehill brought a quilt down to be quilted or finished and the women had too many to do, they would just stand the quilts, still on the frames, against the wall and let them stay there through Sunday church until the women could work on them again.
One day that Rosalie was doing Relief Society work she had made potato soup for William and the children who were home. William hated potato soup and although he was very kind, he had let Rosalie know how much he disliked the dish. This particular day William had had hours of work to do as watermaster of Wallsburg besides his own farm work. About lunch time he came to Lizziebell and Hugh's home, a block or so north. Lizziebell asked him if he wouldn't like to have some lunch with them. To her surprise he accepted the offer not knowing that Lizziebell too had made potato soup. Billie at this time was a very small child so Lizziebell had cut the potatoes and onions just as small as she could. To William's surprise, he loved the soup and ate about four bowls. When he told Rosalie that he had eaten the most delicious soup at Lizziebell's, Rosalie adjusted her recipe.
Eliza Wall Wardle, niece of Rosalie, remembered William and Rosalie very well. She had stayed in their home often. She said that nothing but good could be said about them.
William was a very kind man and Rosalie was an angel, a very neat housekeeper and a very good cook. She took care of the sick and helped prepare the dead for burial for many years as Relief Society president. She was Relief Society president in 1909.
Daisy Davis Vickers said that her mother went around to every child to take care of them for a couple of weeks when they got their babies.
She also went to help at least one granddaughter. She stayed with Maud Davis Adamson when her third child, Boyd, was born. Mariam remembers how kind and loving she was. This was in November of 1929, just one year and one month after William died.
--written up by Mariam Adamson West, Great-granddaughter