Thursday, December 17, 2020

Gifford Chairs

 Samuel Kendall Gifford was an apprentice for Edwin Whiting [KWJW-7B9] in the Nauvoo area where he learned to make chairs. Edwin Whiting was also the local branch president who performed the wedding of Samuel to Lora Ann Demille in 1848. She was a granddaughter of Joseph Knight. They initially pioneered in Manti Utah in 1851. By 1865 they moved to Rockville in Southern Utah  and later to Springdale which is surrounded by Zion National Park.

He continued to make chairs and taught some of his sons the same skill. There were some complaints about the quantity and quality of wood available for them to work with. Recently I met via Family Search a third cousin of mine (another 2nd great grandson of Samuel Kendall Gifford) by the name of Bill Fairbanks.  He owns two of the Gifford chairs and today sent me photographs of the chairs. 

Very intriguing ropework.  I think I'll try to match that weaving.  Should be a fun project.

Update from Bill Fairbanks: "The rope weave was done by my father [Merwin Gifford Fairbanks KWC8-L1X]  in the same pattern as the old leather stringing that was taken off of the chairs. He stripped the layers of paint and put the rope weave seat on in the late 1950s.
[The chairs] are mine. I understood that they actually came across the plains."

Friday, December 4, 2020

Ross McGee: The rest of the Story


The Ross McGee Family Story: Installment 5

(In the words of Myrna McGee Smith) 

After the war was over Ward and Irene [Despain] moved to Granite while he attended school at the University of Utah. They later moved to Coalville where Ward was Principal and teacher at the North Summit LDS Seminary. After leaving Coalville,  Ward was Coordinator of Seminaries in Southeastern Utah at Price, Utah and then Coordinator of Indian Seminaries in Provo, Utah. Later they lived in Pullman, Washington where Ward received his doctorate degree.  Then to St George, Utah where he was Director and teacher at the LDS Institute at Dixie College. They had many church callings from Bishopric, High Priest Group Leadership, teaching opportunities for both of them. Prior to his retirement they went to Hilo,Hawaii at the LDS Institute for four years. It was an enjoyable experience for them. Since that time Ward and Irene have served at the St George Temple.                               

Ward and Irene are the parents of three children. Mary Ann, Steven and David.

School began for the family of Ross and Elsie McGee during that year of 1943 in American Fork, Utah.  Lloyd, LaRaine and Colleen were at the American Fork High School and Leola and Myrna at the Harrington Elementary. 

 Lloyd and LaRaine both had jobs very quickly after we moved to American Fork. They worked for Bob Crookston hauling hay and later LaRaine worked for Mutual Creamery which was later called Arden Dairy.

 It was an adjustment especially for Myrna after attending a school in Granite with three grades in one room to a school in American Fork that seemed so large and overwhelming to her.  She was in Miss Rasmussen's class (who was very stern and irritable) She went to school with Leola and wanted to stay with her, but she couldn't go in her class so she left the school and walked home and told Ross that she wasn't going again.  He very patiently told her that she had to go to school and he would take her.  The next day she would go to school and then end up going home again and each time Ross would take her back to school.

Then she told the teacher she was sick so she would spend time in the sick room until the door got locked and she couldn't get out and she screamed out the window for someone to let her out.  After that she decided she would have to go to class and finally seemed to adjust.

The next year in the fourth grade she did much better because she had Mrs. Hill for her teacher who really gave her special love and attention that she needed and she like school after that. 

Solon was married to Louise Christiansen, a daughter of Henry Oscar and Eloise Christiansen on November 14, 1943 in Salt Lake City. On May 12, 1944 they were sealed in the Salt Lake Temple. They are the parents of six children: Diana, Kathleen, Michael, David, Melody and Rosemary. Solon died on October 4, 1983 and was buried in Kearns, Utah.

Ross didn't work at Geneva Steel very long because of his age he had to quit and find other work. In 1944 he was working for Walker Construction as a night watchman near American Fork Canyon. Walkers Construction was putting in a big pipe line and had been filling in the trench over the pipe by taking one of the construction roads and pushing the dirt from it as a fill.  We had heard that there was a big fire up the canyon so Lloyd and LaRaine drove up to make sure that Ross was alright. As they drove along in LaRaine’s Model A the dirt road  came to a an abrupt halt and the road dropped 10 feet.  Lloyd’s head hit the rear view mirrow necessitating several stitches in his forehead.  He woke up the next morning in the hospital with a sore knee which resulted when his knee put a dent in the area of the car under the dashboard.

After living in American Fork for a time Ross became active in the 4th Ward where he became close friends of those in the High Priest Group and enjoyed their friendship.  Elsie became involved in genealogy and family records and they began attending the temple very often.

After working at different jobs Ross began selling McNess Products and worked at this for sometime until his health didn’t permit him to do very much.

Lloyd worked at Geneva Steel for a time when he was a senior in High School working the swing shift for six months. He graduated from American Fork High School in 1945 and the following  month was drafted into the Army.  His basic training was at Camp Roberts, California. He later signed up for three years in the regular army joining the Corps of Engineers. In January 1946 he was sent to Germany where he was with an engineering company and was assigned to guard the war prisoners.

LaRaine graduated from American Fork High School in 1946.  He stayed with Ward and Irene for a time when he worked for Al Despain on his farm. Later he lived in Salt Lake with a friend Paul Hansen. After Lloyd returned from the service he also lived with LaRaine and Paul. LaRaine eventually had his own business in construction and under ground telephone lines.

On November 16, 1949 LaRaine married Dolly June McCandless, a daughter of Gene and Hazel Green McCandless  in the Salt Lake Temple.  They made their home in Salt Lake City where LaRaine continued with his construction business.

 LaRaine was active in the Scouting Program in their Salt Lake City Ward for about fifteen years, which he enjoyed very much.

 He and Dolly have enjoyed all of their antique cars which he started getting even when he was still in High School and through the years. They have enjoyed traveling with a group of friends driving the antique cars on many trips.

 LaRaine and Dolly are the parents of four children: Susan, Gary, Kenneth and Kerry.

 Colleen graduated from American Fork High School in 1948. After her graduation  she was employed at the Mt States Telephone Co. She worked in American Fork and later was transferred to the Telephone Co in Salt Lake City where she lived with a group of girls.

 On January 17, 1952 Lloyd married Marna Ruth Maynes, a daughter of John Alexander and Sarah Louretta Despain Maynes.  Marna was a cousin of Ward Despain and a sister of Fred and Colleen Maynes. They were married in the Salt Lake Temple. 

 They lived in Salt Lake City where he was going to school at the University of Utah. They later moved to Wilmington, Delaware for Dupont Co. as a Research Chemist. In 1959 they returned to Utah where Lloyd worked at Thiokol in Brigham City until his retirement.

 Lloyd and Marna are the parents of eight children: Larry, Karen, James, Linda, John, Robert, Patricia and Heidi.

Lloyd and Marna have served in various callings in the church over the years, Lloyd serving in the Bishopric and High Priest Group Leadership. Marna has enjoyed serving in many teaching and other callings.  Since his retirement he and Marna have served in the Ogden Temple and at St Louis, Missouri serving a Temple Mission during 1998-99.

Leola attended American Fork High School through her Jr year and then moved to Coalville, Utah to live with Ward and Irene during her Sr year and graduated from North Summit High School in Coalville.

Leola married Roger Ball, son of William Alton and Mary Rogers Ball, on April 17, 1953 and lived in Salt Lake City for a number of years and then moved to Pleasanton, Calif. They are the parents of three children, Connie, Mary and Diane. She worked in banking while she was there. Roger and Leola were later divorced. She later moved to St George, Utah and there she continued working in banking. 

On July 7, 1992 Leola married Elwin (Pink) Rees in the Jordan River Temple and lived in Salt Lake City and recently in 1997 built a home in Hoytsville, Utah.

She has served in many position in the Church through the years. Primary and Relief Society and in the Young Women MIA program.

Myrna graduated from American Fork High School in 1953 and began working at First Security Bank in Salt Lake City. A business teacher from the high school referred several girls to work at that bank to give them experience. 

On Oct 12, 1953 she married Kale Smith, a son of Clyde and Florence Jeppson Smith. They were sealed in the Salt Lake Temple June 24, 1955. They lived in American Fork until Kale was called into the service training in Ft Hood, Texas and later at the Hanford Works in Richland, Washington. They lived in Kennewick, Washington. In 1958 they returned to Utah and lived  again in American Fork. Myrna worked in Provo at Deseret Federal Savings and Loan.

 In 1962 they moved to Salt Lake City, Utah and lived there for ten years and then in 1973 returned to American Fork. Kale worked for Gibbons and Reed Construction Co. as a Superintendent for highway construction until his retirement. Myrna worked again for Deseret Federal Savings and Loan and then from 1973-1999 at Bank of American Fork.

Kale served in the Elders Quorum Presidency in Salt Lake City and American Fork and Counselor in the High Priest Group and Temple Assignment Coordinator. Myrna has served in the Primary in Salt Lake City and American Fork and in the Young Women MIA program and Missionary Coordinator.

Kale and Myrna are the parents of three children: Judie, Marcia and Carol.

Colleen married Frederick Despain Maynes, a son of John Alexander and Sarah Louretta Despain Maynes on Sept 10, 1954 in the Salt Lake Temple. (Fred is a brother of Marna Maynes McGee. and cousin to Ward Despain). Fred and Colleen lived in Salt Lake City and then built a home in Granite, Utah.

 Fred worked at Jordan School District as an electrician and building inspector over construction of new schools.  Through the years he served as Scout Master  Elders Quorum President, Ward Clerk and in the High Priest Leadership. Colleen served as MIA Secretary, Primary, cub scouts, Librarian.

 Fred and Colleen are the parents of five children: Mark, Kurt, Jolene, Kevin and Brent. 

Ross spoke so often of his early life in Missouri and Oklahoma and always had a desire to return there one day.  He was able to realize that desire when Leo and Gladys took him on a trip back to Oklahoma in October 1962 and it was such a thrill to him. They went into Kansas and then to Oklahoma and Ross knew his way. He was only fourteen when he left there but he recognized it. It had been modernized some and he was so thrilled at the thought that he could go out where the old garden was, where they raised melons.  The farm wasn’t little anymore, it was now a fifteen thousand acre cattle ranch but the well they had dug in his youth was still there.  Ross was a great story teller and he enjoyed telling about his life there. He remembered so well the Dalton Brothers, the famous racketeers and told how they would greet them in their fancy saddles.  They gave these brothers watermelon they had raised and he thrilled to tell the story. He remembered the pond they played in but now it was a big lake with a dike. He talked about the ducks and geese they used to hunt there and as they traveled along he seen many ducks and geese and thought what a beautiful sight that was to him. 

 Ross would tell about the missionaries who came to teach them the gospel of Jesus Christ and how they enjoyed being around these Elders and how they got converted to the gospel and about their baptism. 

 He remembered how they just left their home there in Oklahoma and traveled to New Mexico and told how they got into Blanco Canyon and run into the Indians, who were all painted and they would scare people and how they ran out of food and how they had faith in the Lord that they would get through this situation and how they ran into a Mexican sheepherder and how he provided them with flour so they could make bread to eat. 

 Ross remembered moving on to Richfield and Springdale and into St George and the struggles they had through the years. And after moving north to Draper and Granite, how he would always talk of returning to St George again, how he had loved it there and always wanted to go back. 

Ross has enjoyed the closeness of his family through the years and has loved each one very dearly. He was proud of everyone of them. His posterity was eleven children, forty-one grandchildren, one hundred- twenty great grand children and the number of his great great grand-children will continue to grow.

 There is much mention of the lives of his brothers and sisters and his own children and not just a story of himself, but his family was his life whom he loved so much.

 Elise lived with Ross and Elsie through her life time until they had to live at Alpine Care Center and then she lived with Leo and Gladys for several years. She was very devoted and gave much service to her parents.

 Ross’s health continued to fail through the late 60's and 70's and in Nov 1975 was unable to care for himself and for Elsie so they then went to the Alpine Care Center.  Elsie passed away on April 28. 1976 and for the next two years it was very lonely for Ross without his wife. His health became worse and he passed away September 6. 1978.

 Ross was now able to return to St George, Utah where he and Elsie McGee are buried at the St George Cemetery.


Monday, November 2, 2020

The Ross Solon McGee Story: Installment 4

(in the words of Myrna McGee Smith)

In April 1938 Ross McGee and his family moved a few miles north to Granite.  The town of Granite has a lot of history and was a special place to live.

Granite is a story of a land and its people.  Granite is of Rich Pioneer Heritage...

As early as 1859 the land on which Granite Ward is located was used as a camping ground for workers who were cutting rock in Little Cottonwood Canyon to be used for the building of the Salt Lake Temple.  It was soon found that this granite was excellent stone from which to construct this great Mormon Temple.

Solomon Joseph Despain was the first person to homestead Granite.  He homesteaded 160 acres and later sold several acres to different individuals.

It should be noted that most of the people who lived in Granite were related to each other from his line.

Granite was originally called Ragtown because there was no permanent  buildings.  The residents lived in large railroad tents that closely resembled large giant rags.  The town of Granite grew to be a town of considerable importance.  Granite was also known as Temple Rock Quarry.  After forty years of removing granite stone to build the Salt Lake Temple Granite became a recreational paradise as well as a spiritually rooted environment where families could live peacefully and with total commitment to their God.  Granite was fast becoming a very good place to live.

We moved into a home owned by Roland Egbert. Roland was a cousin of Charles Despain’s family. We were good friends of many of the Despains and eventually became related to them through marriage of family members. We were able to live in Roland Egbert’s home for five years just for taking care of the house and the land. This house years earlier was the Granite School. Later the front part was built on. This house had not been lived in for a long time so it was in need of repair and painting, so with the help of Gladys & Leo and Russell and Alice it was fixed up so we could live in it.  The house was a brick home with lots of rooms, the front room had an arch-way making two front rooms but one was made into a bedroom and it had three other bedrooms, a big kitchen and a storage room on the back of the house. It had no bathroom and no running water. 

There was a well outside (called a cistern). We had to draw water out with a bucket out of this spring well. During the summer we kept the cistern full of water by flowing in water from the irrigation ditch. We would fill it in the fall but that generally was not enough to keep it supplied all winter. As a result we had to haul water in 10 gallon milk cans for our water supply. Each spring we would clean out the floor of the cistern so we could start the process over again.  The house was on a large area with fruit trees and a place for a garden and a berry patch and another area of Barnes and a chicken coop. We had a team of horses that us little kids would ride while our Dad walked behind the plow tilling the garden area.

The old Granite Ward holds many memories.  It was on the corner a block down the street from our home. The church was called the White church because of the color of the bricks which were painted white.  There were approximately 150 people in the ward while we lived there.  When we first moved into this Ward in 1938 our first Bishop was Riego S. Hawkins with J. Fred Potter and Charles W Despain as Counselors and S. Peter Peterson was Ward Clerk.  Brother Peterson often said very long prayers and we called him St Peter. 

In 1939 James Whitmore (who was also the school Principal) was called to be Bishop with Elbert Despain and Emerson Hand as Counselors and Joseph W Despain as Ward Clerk. 

We have memories of the many church dinners and get togethers in the basement of the church. Our mother made many quilts and doilies along with others where they held bazaars and other fund raising dinners to help cover the cost for our Ward.

Our mother had a calling in the church as Blazer Teacher and spent a lot of time working with the young boys in our Ward.

After Ross quit working at the Draper Feed Mill, he worked in Granite building rock irrigation ditches.  He built a rock wall on the side of our house to separate the yard from the orchard area.  He was very proud of his rock wall he built and it was there for over fifty years.

We really loved it while we lived in Granite.  Lloyd and LaRaine spent many hours building little roads up through the oak brush and trees where they could drive their go-carts they made out of old wagons or push old car tires up and down the hills and run after them and try to reach them before they would fall over which was a great sport in those days.

There was a time when we drove over to Draper to see Uncle Jim and Aunt Sally when LaRaine and Lloyd were playing with a dog and when we drove back home the dog had followed our car back to Granite, so we had to take it back to Draper to try and find the owner.  Uncle Elias had two dogs that kept getting into his animals so he gave them to the boys. 

 One dog we had was very attached to Lloyd and LaRaine and each day about four o'clock it seemed to know when the bus would be coming and it would run down the road to meet them. All us kids loved that dog but it got in some people's fox or mink farm where they had poison set out and it began to foam at the mouth so Dad had to put it to sleep. Dad buried the dog at the top of the field and it was really a sad day for all of us.

There was a lot of wild cats that hid under the shed except when Dad and Mom were around they would rub against their legs and purr but would run and hide if us kids came around, so we didn't like them very well and if we could catch them we wasn't to nice to them. 

We didn't have running water in the house so it paid off to have a well close to the garage. Myrna was playing like she was a movie star and of course had to roll up paper and play like she was smoking a cigaret until the burning paper burned her fingers and she dropped the burning paper right next to a bottle of gas or oil and it caught the garage on fire.  Lloyd had to run to the well to get water to put out the fire.  Then the waiting for Dad to come home and to have to face him was very hard for her. But he just sat her on his lap and was very kind and told her of the dangers of playing with matches and that she must never do that again. It was a well learned lesson.

Down the street from the church was the Granite Elementary School. It was a two class room school with one teacher, Miss Broadhead who taught first, second and third grades and the Principal Mr. Whitmore who taught the fourth, fifth and six grades.  Most of the students were kind of scared of Mr. Whitmore because he was very strict with them and they knew he meant business. 

There were mountains and hills that surrounded Granite and one such mountain will always be remembered the year of the big fire.

It was thought that Don Peterson, who was the son of Mrs. Weiss who lived on the corner from us had caused it. He had an argument with his step-father and went up on top of the mountain and set the fire. As the time passed the fire got steadily worse and by night it was a full blaze.  Late into the night you could see the flames rolling down the hill side and going across the road as it reached our house and sparks hit the roof.  We had to get out of the house and Dad took his important papers and took them down by the garden and buried his strong box. It was a great relief when the fire was out. 

 The boy, who was thought to be responsible continued to get into trouble and a little later the Weiss home burned to the ground and it was thought by some neighbors that maybe he was the cause of that fire too.  Later in his life he went to jail for car theft. It was then that the Weiss family moved away from Granite. They moved to Delta where they managed a bakery. 

Our families spent a lot of time together, mostly Leo and Gladys and Russell and Alice. Golda lived in New Mexico so we didn't see her very often. 

One year we had a surprise birthday party for Dad that was really fun. Leo and Gladys hid their car up in the field so when he came home he wouldn't know what was going on. Mom had a nice dinner prepared with homemade ice cream for dessert. Us kids played hide and seek out in the sugar cane and we trampled down the stalks in a lot of places.  After Leo and Gladys and Russell and Alice left Dad went out to do his chores and seen what we had done so we were in a lot of trouble.

We also spent a lot of time with the family going to Liberty Park and taking our picnic lunch and riding on the rides and riding on the Ferry Boat around the pond.  We went to Lagoon on occasion which gave us many memories and many good times together.

We became acquainted with the Despain family when we first moved to Granite in 1938. Merland Despain was our paper boy and on occasion his brother Ward would bring the paper (most likely so he could see Irene). In the winter Merland had quit so LaRaine took over the paper route. Ward had a new bike so he gave his old one for LaRaine to use.

One of the memories we have was that of Sunday morning December 7, 1941 when Pearl Harbor was bombed by the Japanese and it threw the United States into World War II. When we were at school following the attack,it was announced by the President of the United States that there would be a black out. No home or business was to have on any lights on and there was such a feeling of fright. 

In 1941 when Irene was 16 and Ward was 19 years old they started dating in between Ward being away at college and Irene was still in High School. 

With the war going on the gas was rationed and so there wasn't much opportunity for them to go on dates in a car so Ward came to our home for dinner quite often and they would go for walks around Granite. This was usually on Sunday and every time they looked behind them there was five brothers and sisters tagging behind.  This happened quite often and Irene would get so mad at us and wanted us to quit bothering them. But we continued to be the five little pest and kept following behind them. 

Even the night they got engaged Leola was behind the curtain watching the whole thing when Ward gave Irene her engagement ring.

 Ward knew he would soon be called into the service and would have to leave so they decided to make plans for their wedding.  Irene wouldn't graduate from High School until the end of May.  But They knew their future was very uncertain with the war and wanted to get married before he left.

 Charley and Elsie Despain became very special to our family. When Dad worked at the Arms Plant during the war each week-end Mom and the boys would go pick him up. Elsie Despain would come over to our house just to check on us kids and make sure we were alright while we were alone or she would come over and we would just go for walks up through the fields picking wild flowers and visiting with her. 

Ward and Irene were married March 19, 1943 in the Salt Lake Temple. Mom and Charley and Elsie Despain and members of their family went to the Temple to see them get married but Dad wasn't very active in the church at that time so he couldn't go. It must have been hard for him not to be there.  They had a wedding reception at Ward's brother and sister in-law Joseph and Nina Despain's home in Granite. It was a special day for all of us.

Ward and Irene lived in a one room cabin that Ward’s grandfather had built many years earlier. It was used in Logan for Ward to stay in while he went to school.  After they were married Ward hauled it back to Granite for them to live in behind Despain’s home. One day she made a delicious looking lemon pie for Ward and left it setting on the cupboard when LaRaine, who was working for Despains after school was tired and went into the cabin to get a drink of water when he seen that lemon pie and just thought he would take a little piece of it.  When Irene came home she knew exactly who had done it and was she ever mad at him.

Ward was called into the service about two weeks after their marriage. On April 5, 1943 he left with a group of R.O.T.C. friends for Camp Callan, Calif. After his basic training Ward’s group was sent to Logan, Utah to attend a special school and Irene was able to be with him again for about two months and then Ward got his orders to ship out to Officers Training School in North Carolina and wives were not allowed to go so Irene left Logan and returned to Granite and stayed with Despains for six months . War time was a very hard time not knowing when they would be able to be together. Ward got his new assignment to California when Irene was able to be with him but it only lasted for two months. It was so up and down not knowing what was coming next until new orders came and then it was to Georgia and Alabama where they could be with each other again but for only a short time and then the orders came for overseas duty. Irene then returned to Granite and stayed with Despains again. 

A year after Ward entered the Army he became a 2nd Lieutenant and was promoted to 1st Lieutenant during the year he was overseas. After a month on a ship as they crossed the Pacific  Ward arrived in the Philippines and served there for a time and he was then sent to Japan. After serving overseas he was able to return to the States to finish out his service time and Irene was able to be with him until his discharge.

On July 18, 1943 Emerson Hand was called as the new Bishop of the Granite Ward with Elmo Despain and Joseph Despain as Counselors.

 He and his wife Margaret had lived at the Wasatch Resort in Little Cottonwood Canyon just above Granite since 1930. Just six weeks prior to this new calling his wife Margaret died while giving birth to their fourth daughter and left Bishop Hand with an overwhelming responsibility both at home and in the ward. Many wondered how he could possibly take on this responsibility as a Bishop but many came to his aid. 

 One person especially who helped him was Geneva Pingree, a neighbor up in Wasatch.  She became a wonderful source of help to him in the care of his children. A nurse, Genevieve (Geneva) Glen  who had helped his wife Margaret in the hospital before she died later began to date Emerson Hand and a year later in 1944 he married Genevieve and in the four years to follow she gave birth to twin girls and a little later one more girl making seven daughters for the Bishop. 

 During the summer of 1943 Ross had been told that they were hiring at Geneva Steel. In August 1943 Ross bought a home from Cyril Gines and the family loaded all their belongings and moved to American Fork. It was hard for us kids to leave Granite. 


 to be continued:

 The Ross Solon McGee Story.  Installment 3

(in the words of Myrna McGee Smith)

After the family left Crescent they moved just a few miles south to Draper into the Fitzgerald home. Russell milked cows at a dairy there and Leo would come and haul the milk to a creamery in Murray.  Gladys worked for Rasmussens in Sandy and for Alma Smith in Draper doing housework. She stayed at Smiths while she went to school at Jordan High School in Sandy and worked for them after she got home.

Gladys married Leo George Bateman on Oct. 14, 1929 in the Salt Lake Temple. He was the son of George Leo and Milrhea Cushing Bateman. Leo and Gladys lived on a farm in Sandy where they had chickens and fruit trees. Leo was working for a dairy hauling milk at this time.

Golda was working for the Shaws doing housework. She lived in with the Shaw family while she went to school and then worked for them after school.

 After Golda got out of school she went down to Kirtland, New Mexico to live with Uncle Elwood and Aunt Celia.  She can remember how sad Ross was when she left and he had tears in his eyes and Golda cried as she waved good-bye to him as she looked out the back window of Uncle Elwoods truck and waved to him until they were out of sight. 

 Russell followed Golda down to New Mexico and stayed with Uncle Elwood and Aunt Celia for awhile and then he returned back to Draper where he worked for Boyce's on their dairy.  There was one time he almost lost his foot in a farming accident hauling hay.

 Golda met Lloyd Taylor in New Mexico and since her church records were still in Utah Ross had to talk with the Bishop to get a recommend for her to be married in the Temple.  They were married in the Logan Temple Jul. 9, 1930.  They made their home in Kirtland, New Mexico. Lloyd and Golda are the parents of four children: Leo Bryce, who died at birth, Con, Robert and Ravelle.

Lloyd and Golda were later divorced.

 On October 19, 1962 Golda married Ernest LaCell Brammal in Springville, Utah.

They have made their home in Mapelton, Utah.

 It was about this time in 1930 Ross and his family moved across the railroad track and lived in the Walbeck home which only had a frontroom and one bedroom.  Ross and Elsie slept in the frontroom and all the kids slept in the bedroom.

 Colleen was born on July 20, 1930 at the home in Draper.  Elsie had been out picking dewberries that day and then Ross had to go get Dr. Sorenson, who had to come from Riverton.  Elise hurried and got the baby things out of the trunk and then heard Colleen cry and she seen that red hair.  Aunt Sally came down to help dress her and Ross had to bottle the dewberries. 

After Colleen was born Elsie got real sick with what was called Brights disease which had to do with the kidneys and she had blister like sores all over her legs and the Dr said she probably  wouldn't live very long, but she finally got better.

Ross worked for Joe Mickelson on his egg farm where he gathered and washed the eggs that were then sent to the stores to sell. He also worked at the Draper Feed Mill, along with his two teen age sons Lloyd and LaRaine.

Ross built a home in Draper which looked the shape of a chicken coop.This home was across the street and down the road from Jim and Sally Washburn. 

On June 3, 1933 Leola was born in the home at Draper. Leo and Gladys picked out her name.  When she was about seven or eight months old Elise would take her over to see Grandpa McGee.  His health was failing at this time and he would motion for Leola to get her attention and would touch her fingers with love and affection . Grandpa Solon Huff McGee died at the age of 80 on Feb. 3, 1934 when Leola was eight months old and was buried in Draper, Utah.

Elise can recall the many skunks that Grandpa McGee had. He had a bunch of them that he kept in a pen.  They didn't have any scent and were treated like their pets.

On Sept. 30, 1935 Ross and Elsie's sixth child Myrna was born at their home in Draper. A neighbor Mrs. Maxfield asked LaRaine if his Mom had her baby yet and he said "well sure, she's two years old.  This was Leola since he didn't know his mother was going to have another baby. LaRaine walked in and asked what was Rhoda Washburns baby doing here.

Gladys and Leo lived on a farm in Sandy, Utah in a two room house when they had their first baby Randall Leo on June 27, 1932 but he only lived a few hours and died that same day.  On Oct. 23, 1936 they were able to adopt a baby boy they named Bruce Kent. They later moved to Salt Lake City in the Sugar House area. Leo and Gladys were active in their Stratford Ward for many years where Gladys served as Relief Socity President and later the Stake Relief Society President. 

In about 1934 Russell was at a dance with Leo and Gladys where he met Alice Greenwood, a daughter of David Ezra and Sarah Jennet Bishop Greenwood from Sandy Utah. They were married in the Salt Lake Temple Oct. 15, 1937.  They have three children Russell Stamn Jr, Cheryl Ann and Boyd Russell.  Their first child died the day of his birth.

Russell and Alice lived most of their married life in Salt Lake City. They were active in their Kenwood Ward where Russell served as Elders Quorum President and High Priest Group. He and Alice served in many callings there.

Russell died on January 30, 1985 and was buried at Mt View Memorial Estates.

In February of 1938 Ross and Elsie were getting ready to drive into Salt Lake City to go shopping. It was a cold winter day so Ross had built a big fire in the stove to keep the children warm while they were gone.  Irene was thirteen years old and was going to tend the other children. Ross was warming something on the stove to be used to help his car to run when it burst into flames and caught the whole house on fire.  Ross tried very hard to get the fire out and to get what belongings they had out of the house and in the process was burned badly himself.  In a very short time the house was completely destroyed along with most everything else they had. 

Our family moved in with Uncle Jim and Aunt Sally for a short time and then we moved into Uncle Jim's brother Ross Washburn's other home. We all felt a close love for Uncle Jim and Aunt Sally.  They had a chicken farm and we loved the many times we were there, having a lot of fun with our cousins.  We never went to see Uncle Jim's and Aunt Sally's home without her making sure we had something to eat and she always made us feel welcome.

In 1936 Elias and Etta (a younger sister of Ross) left St George and moved to Draper, Utah where he worked for two brothers called Sapp and Sapp running their farm.  It was while Elias worked for them that he fell from a hay stack and broke his back and from then on he wasn’t able to do very much. They lived for a time in Grandpa Solon McGee’s home and later lived in Murray at about 4200 So. 9th East.

There was a time when Lloyd and LaRaine worked for one of the men in Draper. (I think a Mr. Smith) and they received an old bicycle for payment. This was a small two wheeled bike which didn’t have a chain on it and only had one pedal, but it would go if they pushed it, so they would push it up the hill and then ride down. At this time Gladys and Leo were still living in Sandy, which was a few miles from Draper and they decided to go visit them by riding the bike. Gladys remembers that LaRaine had said to Lloyd, “Lets go see Gladys, she might have something good to eat”.  They left without telling our parents where they were going but somehow Gladys let them know where they were.  We didn’t have a telephone, but she must have called the neighbors who transmitted the information.  Later that day Leo and Gladys took them home.

They knew they were in trouble so the instant they got home they ran out into the back yard and started to gather wood. Mom heated water in a tub outside to do the laundry and they thought this might alleviate the punishment that would be forthcoming. It didn’t seem to do very much good, however.

Solon had been going to school in St George and when he was in the 9th grade he came up to Draper and lived with Ross and Elsie again and attended Draper Jr High and was there until Grover and Martina left St George and moved to American Fork, then Solon went back to live with them and attended school at American Fork High School in about 1938. Solon would visit often with Leo and Gladys and with Russell and Alice. He would knock at the door and then Alice would see his face pressed up against the window with a big grin on his face.  Later Grover and Martina moved to Brigham City and operated a bakery for Leo and Gladys for a short time and then they moved to Salt Lake City. They lived at about 5th South and 4th East Salt Lake City and then at Rose Park near North Salt Lake where they lived until they died.


 The Ross Solon McGee story: Installment 2

(in the words of Myrna McGee Smith)

Ross McGee and Elsie Gifford had been acquainted for a long time but Elsie had left Springdale and was living with her brother Nathan and her mother in Delta, Utah. So they wrote letters to each other and then on May 23, 1922 they were married in the St George Temple. On this same day Russell was baptized at the St George Temple.

Henry and LaRetta and their family lived by the D at the black hills in St. George. It was while they were living there that Russell and their boys were playing and found an old bullet shell when Arden picked it up and it exploded and blew off the fingers of one hand. They had to rush him to the hospital, but he had to spend the rest of his life with no fingers on one hand.

At one time when Ross and Elsie were living at the Gregson home in Washington Fields in St George an Eagle kept flying around near Elise and Gladys was real worried about her for fear the Eagle would hurt her.

On Elise's birthday on Dec 4, 1923 Martina took her to the St George Temple to be baptized.  After her baptism Martina took her back home and Gladys told Elise to go get a comb so she could fix her hair.  At this same time a bunch of kids were hiding in another room and surprised her with a surprise birthday party.

In 1924 Ross and Elsie were living out in the Washington Fields where Ross worked a farm for Seegmillers. One day when he was coming home with the wagon and the team of horses, he began crossing over a bridge at the canal when the horses were spooked, they reared backwards breaking the spring tooth.  Ross was on the round seat when the horses came backwards on to him, and he knew he had to squeeze out before they started struggling. He was certain his back was broken because his legs were numb but he knew he had to get out from under those horses. He crawled on his stomach up and out of the canal and was crawling on his stomach when Mr. Seegmiller came along and seen him there.  Mr. Seegmiller got the horses and wagon and then lifted Ross into the wagon and took him to the house. 

Golda ran a mile to a drug store to get medicine for the pain he was having.  There was a Dr. Nelson, who was a Chiropractor. He came to the house to help Ross get better and hopefully be able to walk again.  Dr. Nelson was a very large heavy set man, and also blind  When he would come to the house to help Ross, He would feel his way along the hedges until he could find the door to the house.

Ross learned to walk again by pushing a chair in front of him. It took him a year of doing this to learn to walk again. 

Elsie was expecting her first child before this accident happened and on Feb. 20, 1925 Irene was born. Then the following year on Oct. 18, 1926 their second child Lloyd was born, but at a different house because they had moved again.

When Golda was sixteen years old in 1927 she was given a job at the Hotel in Cedar City so Ross drove her there. He was very worried leaving her there and kept telling her to make sure the door to her room was securely locked.

On Jan. 24, 1928 LaRaine was the third child born to Ross and Elsie. They had moved again so he also was born in a different home.

Jim and Sally and their children left St George in 1924 and moved to Draper along with Grandpa Solon Huff McGee. Beverly and Bruce were born in Draper.  They first lived in a house that looked like a chicken coop and later built their home where each one helped and they moved in during the year of 1934.

Henry and LaRetta left St George and it is thought that they settled near Bluff or Riverton and lived there for awhile and later moved into Salt Lake City.

In September 1928 Ross and Elsie and their family loaded their Model T Ford with as much of their belongings that they could and had someone move the rest of their furniture in a big cattle truck when they moved up north. They moved into a home in Crescent which was between Sandy and Draper on State Street in  a house that was behind a store and service station. 

In about Dec of 1928 when the family was living in Crescent Russell and Elise with some friends were playing Cops and Robbers in the barn where there was a granary and Elise had ran onto a cellar when Russell was chasing her and it caved in with her.

Another time Elise and Russell and another neighbor girl were playing in a building they played by when Elise went up a ladder and fell through the door out into the driveway and scraped up her face rather badly. Gladys was in bed after having surgery for mastitis and had her tonsils out and Leo had just come over to see her.  They were going together at this time and he got there just as Elise fell and got hurt.

While they were living in Crescent Elise needed to go and get the milk down the road at Atwoods and Irene wanted to go with her but Elise told her she couldn't go because she wasn't cleaned up and it’s a good thing because when she and Lloyd were out playing he wandered out by a sheep or a goat that was tied up by the irrigation ditch and he fell in, so Irene ran and told Russell that Lloyd had fallen into the ditch and he ran as fast as he could go and pulled him out just before he went through the culvert.  Elise said when they got him back to the house and was getting him dry they asked him how he was and he said just "shine".  He was only a little past two years old.  They were very lucky that he didn't drown.

to be contniued:

Ross S McGee: The rest of the story...

 In clearing my Dad's office, I found an unlabeled disk with a Word perfect document on it.  I had already uploaded an excerpt from this to his Memory on Family Search.  But I feel like now is a good time to share the rest of the story.  It does overlap with living individuals but I think it is so long ago, that it will be ok with them and will bless their kids to know more about how they lived. I think this document was created by Myrna McGee Smith.



     The continuation of Ross Solon McGee's story after 1900. The McGee family had been living in Fruitland, New Mexico and at last had bought a farm at the head of the valley. It was a beautiful farm to them, with plenty of fruit trees and other good crops and they felt that nature was smiling down on them.

 William James and Elese Schmutz Hunt began their life together on March 22, 1878 and were married in the Salt Lake Temple. Their children are Annie Elizabeth born Jan 2,1879 and William Albert born Sept.15, 1880 while they lived in St George, Utah. They then moved to Pine, Arizona where on Apr. 10,    1882 their third child Martha Louise was born. Then between 1883 and 1888 Ida, Cecelia and on May 6,1888 Irene was born.  

 In the spring of 1883 the people of Pine, Arizona built a fort and lived in it with all their livestock for several weeks to protect themselves from the

Apache Indians who had threatened all the country until the troops from Fort Defiance defeated the Indians and took them back to the reservation.

Then the Hunts had to give up the home they had worked so hard for because they were asked to go to Tuba, Arizona. On Oct 10, 1892 another son was born to them and was named Elroy.

On Mar.3,1902 they left Tuba and let the horses lead the way and they traveled toward San Juan County New Mexico and finally arrived at Olio (now Kirtland). They finally bought a place in Jewett Valley with the $2,200.00 they had received from the sale of their property in Tuba, Arizona.

It was at this time in 1902 that the McGee family became acquainted with the Hunt family.  Elwood and Ross began dating their daughters Cecelia and Irene, and Ulysses was dating Matilda Palmer. During the next six years there would be a wedding every year for the older children.

On Oct.11,1904 Elwood and Celia Hunt were married in the Salt Lake Temple. They are the parents of Harvey, Stella, Ruth, William Elwood, Charles Ellis, Richard, Clifton, Lawrence and Celia.

The following year on September 8, 1905 Ulysses and Matilda Palmer were married in Kirtland, New Mexico. Their marriage was later solemnized in the Salt Lake Temple on April 10,1912. They are the parents of Iona, Ethel Ruby, Ray, Newell, Bertha, Erma, Glen, Wayne, LeRoy, and a child Amelia. The correct order for her is not known.

On Mar. 22, 1907 Ross McGee married Irene Hunt in Kirtland, New Mexico. They are the parents of Gladys, Golda, Russell, Elise and Solon. 

It was during the year of 1901 that Sally met Jim Washburn in Kirtland, New Mexico when they were eleven years old. Jim's family had moved from Huntington  Utah. A son of James Fredrick and Lydia Spencer Washburn. They went to school together, rode horses, danced etc., and as all young folks do. . . they fell in love!

There had been so many storms and flooding that it ruined a lot of the farm ground and it became hard to make a go of the farming so the Solon and Emily McGee family moved to LeGrand, Oregon in 1907 looking for better farming. It seemed that if one member of the family moved most of the others soon followed.

Jim Washburn soon followed Sally to LeGrand, Oregon, there he worked in the apple orchards and stayed close to the McGee family. In October 1908 at the age of eighteen Jim and Sally traveled by train to Salt Lake City, Utah and were married in the Salt Lake Temple October 8, 1908.

At this same time Henry was dating Laretta Wilson whose family had previously moved from Salem, Idaho. A daughter of James Henry and Phoebe Coleman Wilson.  They also traveled to Salt Lake City and were married in the Salt Lake Temple on Oct. 8, 1908. They are the parents of Thelma, Ivan, Arden, Carl, Cleome and  Kenneth.

On Feb. 10,1909 Carr married Pearl Vilate Stolworthy in the Salt Lake Temple.  They made their home in New Mexico. They are the parents of Melvin Carr, Roscoe Henry, Jewel Solon, Fern and Kenneth Lamar (called Kelly).

Jim and Sally Washburn made their first home in Nampa, Idaho. Solon and Emily and the rest of the family left Oregon and followed them to Nampa, Idaho still looking for work and farm ground. They contracted with some farmers to clear their ground for farming. They would take large log poles and wrap heavy  chains around the poles and would pull the poles with the team of horses to clear the sage brush from the ground to cultivate it for planting.

Here in Nampa, Idaho Ross and Irene had their first child Gladys on July 23, 1909 and Jim and Sally's first child Nita was born on Aug. 27,1909.

In 1911 the McGee family along with Jim and Sally Washburn moved to Oakley, Idaho. On July 7, 1911 Ross and Irene's second child Golda was born. 

On Dec. 18, 1911 Jim and Sally's  first child Nita died and was buried in Oakley, Idaho. They grieved greatly over the loss of their baby.

During this same year in New Mexico the great flood of 1911 washed away much of the best farming land. All the Hunt family could do was to save their cattle by going on higher ground and there they planted fruit trees.

Jim's family had moved from New Mexico to Blanding, Utah so Jim and Sally decided to go there, too. They traveled in a covered wagon. Here in Blanding their three children Emily, Myrl and James LaVar was born.  Then three years later they moved to Springdale and here two boys Guy Mack and Clem was born.  In 1920 they moved to St George where Jim worked at farming. He peddled farm produce to Cedar City.  One child was allowed to go with him. Jim taught good things to do and say. He gave 13 eggs to the dozen, an extra ear of corn and heaped his cups of fruit.  He said this was his "...and then some".  It made him happy. The days ended with the children kissing their parents. They always said " Good night, I love you".  Jim and Sally often said, "Don't let the bugs bite".  There was no electricity and no inside water.  The water had to be carried in the house and boiled on the wood burning stove.

After Jim and Sally left Idaho with much struggle in finding work the McGee family moved back to Utah and settled near Richfield. They worked on a ranch in Siguard, Utah and Ross and his brothers ran a show house in Richfield.

On July 4, 1913 Ross and Irene's third child Russell was born in Richfield, Utah.

On July 22,1914 James Grover McGee married Martina Nelson Grevsen in Richfield  Utah. Their marriage was solemnized in the St George Temple Mar. 26, 1918.They are the parents of Garth, EuGene, Dorothy and Louella.  They also had Solon, son of Ross and Irene McGee in their home for many years after the death of his mother.

On September 2, 1914 Louella married Herbert Norman who is the son of Mons and Julia Johansen Norman from Mt Pleasant, Utah. They are the parents of Rex, Miriam, Clarence, Rowland and Bonnie. After their children were grown they went to the Salt Lake Temple on Aug. 10, 1973. Through their life they were very involved in Lodge and Club Organizations. Herb worked as a farmer,         railroad worker and later in his life construction in building bridges. He was very proud of the many bridges he built.

The McGee family left Richfield and moved to Springdale, Utah during the year of 1915. Ross and Henry still made their molasses.  Henry would usually boil his until it was real dark but Ross made his into a caramel color and his would always sell first. They would haul it on wagons to Cedar City to sell it.

Irene was expecting Elise and shortly before her birth she was resting under a tree at their home laying on a hammock when a snake came down the tree onto Irene's shoulder and scared her so bad she went into labor.  It wasn't quite time for her birth since she wasn't due until Dec. 22nd so Ross and Henry had traveled to Las Vegas in their wagons with the team of horses to sell their molasses so he was not at home when Elise was born on Dec. 4, 1915. Elise only weighed three pounds and could fit in a shoe box.

For a number of years William Hunt had encouraged Ross to take his family to the Temple. Eleven years after their marriage they went to the St George Temple and were sealed together on March 22, 1918.  On this same day Gladys was baptized at the St George Temple and then she and Golda, Russell and Elise were sealed to their parents.

Early in 1919 Grandma (Emily) McGee became ill and on May 2, 1919 at the age of almost 64 she died. The many years of packing up and moving across the country must have been very hard on her. She was buried in Springdale, Utah

The family later moved to St George. Ross and Irene lived in a home in St George in Berry Springs, here they raised water melons.  Ross, Grover and Henry ran a bakery and a candy store.

On Sept. 16, 1919 Golda was baptized at the St George Temple. Two days later on Sept. 18, 1919 Solon was born to Ross and Irene.  Four months after Solon’s birth Irene became very ill with the flu.  From the memory of Golda, second child of Ross and Irene: In early 1920 much flu was going around, but at the church the Primary was having a dance and party and she wanted to go so bad.

Her mother said she didn't want her to go and get around the other children because there was so much flu. Golda stomped her feet and cried until her mother finally let her go. Soon both Gladys and Golda were sick and then Irene caught the flu and it was soon an epidemic.  Irene was to sick to care for herself and go to bed because of her young family and a small baby.  When she got worse she had to  stay with Aunt Orpha, she was the wife of one of Elese Hunts brothers.  She lived under the D at the black hill in St George. Irene just couldn't get better and it was here that she died February 12, 1920. She was buried at St George, Utah.

After Irene died Ross's brother Grover and his wife Martina took Elise and Solon. Golda stayed with them quite awhile to help with Solon and Elise.

It was a very hard time for Ross and his young family to be without Irene.  Elwood and Celia were living in St George at this time so Gladys and Golda stayed quite often with them after their mother died. Gladys was staying at Julia Foster's home where she worked for her doing housework after she got out of school. 

Ross would travel in the wagon with the team of horses to Grover and Martina's to see Solon and Elise.  Elise would hide out in the wagon so she could go home because she didn't like staying with Grover and Martina, so Ross took her back home with him.

to be continued:

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Marna Ruth Maynes McGee 1931-2020




BRIGHAM CITY - Marna Maynes McGee, 89, passed away on October 14, 2020 at the home of her daughter Heidi in Ogden Utah. Marna (nee Marna Ruth Maynes) was born in Butlerville, UT on September 1, 1931 to John Alexander Maynes III and Sarah Louretta Despain. She was the 9th of 10 children and the first daughter which was excitedly announced by the Doctor.

She married Lloyd Ross McGee on January 17, 1952 in the Salt Lake LDS Temple. They shared almost 65 years together. Lloyd and Marna moved their young family to Wilmington, Delaware for three years, then returned to Utah in 1959.

Marna was an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and faithfully served in many callings. She served a temple mission at the St. Louis temple, a Senior Couple mission to Brattleboro Vermont in the Boston, Massachusetts Mission. She served in Primary, Young Women and Relief Society, and served for 20 years as an ordinance worker in the Ogden and Brigham City Temple.

Her interests were her family. She was active in PTA, 4-H and cub scouting having served in many leadership positions. Her children are widely scattered and she and Lloyd traveled often to visit the grandkids on their special occasions including a baby blessing at a Coast Guard Light House in Washington State and baptisms in Delaware, Florida, North Dakota, California and Alaska.

Marna loved to travel with her sister Mary and their husbands to visit many Temple dedications and attending a session.

Surviving are her children: Larry (Michele) McGee, Pacifica, CA; James (Carla) McGee, Neola, UT; Linda (Dave) Anderton, Palmer, AK; John (Julie) McGee, Riverside, CA; Robert (Rachel) McGee, West Jordan, UT; Patti (Frank) Kasten, Phoenix, AZ; Heidi (Monty) Pickrell, Ogden, UT; 28 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren; brother Fred (Colleen) Maynes and brother-in-law Leroy (Mary) Jones, sister-in-law Myrna (Kale) Smith.

Preceded in death by her loving spouse, her parents, brothers: Darrel, John, William, Lawrence, Alden, Robert, Gaylen Maynes and her sister Mary Jones, daughter Karen (John) Atwood, and two grandsons Clarence Atwood and Derek McGee and one great-grandson Nathan McGee.

Funeral services will be Wednesday, October 21, 2020 at 11:00 am at Myers Mortuary Chapel, 205 S. 100 E., Brigham City, UT. A live stream of the service can be viewed on Marna’s online obituary page at see also this link:

Viewings will be Tuesday from 6:00 to 8:00 pm and Wednesday from 9:30 to 10:30 am at Myers Mortuary.  The family requests that those attending follow social distancing guidelines and masks, as recommended by the CDC.

Interment will be in the Brigham City Cemetery.

Condolences may be sent to the family at