All posts by ancestryangel

About ancestryangel

Irish, Native American, Spanish, trailing after my ancestors and mostly a wife and a mother with a great family

Jacques family in the 1980’s or the Party Decade

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By the dawn of the 1980’s, we’d moved to Stockton, CA. My Grandma Tonita had passed away in the 1970’s, but by the 1980’s my Grandma Flora was ill. After my Grandfather Charles’ heart attack and passing in 1960, she had remarried in 1965. She had married Neil True. My mother wasn’t fond of him, but got along with him, for my grandmother’s sake. We all called him Pappy.

By 1980, Grandma Flora was 78 years old, had suffered a stroke and was then diagnosed with breast cancer. My mother moved her off the hill where she lived in Nevada City, and moved her into a small duplex off of Quail Lakes. Pappy had health issues too. Aunt Kay took care of all the bookwork/banking for them, so my mother took care of Grandma and Pappy. My mother was very close to her mother and she did her level best to take good care of her. However, it was difficult for her to deal with Pappy. My mother would hire someone to take care of Grandma Flora and Pappy would fire them. My mom took a lot of stress from him. Eventually, my mother gave in and she cared for Grandma and Pappy herself during the day and I would get done with school and go and stay there at night, taking care of them. They were mostly asleep the entire time I was there, however I did make them dinner, help them get into bed and then sleep over.

me and mom

We finally found a nurse that was a godsend. Her name was Emily. Suffice it to say, Grandma Flora liked Emily and so Pappy wasn’t able to fire her.

My mother’s time was consumed by her parents. However, Momma also had three grandchildren with whom she spent a great deal of time.

 

When we moved to Stockton, Tara Lynn was about two years old. There was a double fireplace that went from the family room to the dining room. Tara would peek through the fireplace and say, “I see Papa through the willow”. Willow was her name for window. She was such a cute baby.

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Tara Lynn in front of the “Willow”

By 1982, Grandma Flora was very ill and not doing well. She finally passed away on May 22, 1982. My mom was devastated. I’ll never forget the sight of her laying on her bed, sobbing. As soon as my grandmother had passed, Pappy’s “family” had arrived to take over with Pappy. They immediately wanted all of the money in Grandma’s account and began packing up their things, including Grandma’s belongings. My mother was so incredibly hurt. She internalized all of the stress and pain

At one point, my sisters and I may have broken into my grandmother’s home and retrieved everything of hers that we could. We may have.

My father squired mother away for a brief trip, hoping to get her back on her feet.

Eventually, Pappy’s family took him to Washington to live out his days. However, once he, too, had died, they shipped him back to California so that he could be buried with Flora.

A short time later, my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. Mother felt certain that she had developed the cancer from the extreme stress she had suffered. She was probably correct. She also found out she was suffering from diabetes. She had a mastectomy then had radiation and chemotherapy. She fought back.

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Eddie, Jim (Dad in the background) in the front yard of Harper’s Ferry Ct.

I used to play Scrabble with my parents. We’d sit at the kitchen table and play for hours at a time. We had such a great time playing that damn game. My mother was difficult to beat. She’d really get a thrill if she got a great word score. She was very competitive and found it impossible to hold back and then my dad would get tired of losing and decide he didn’t want to play any more. So my mom would think about letting him win but she just couldn’t do it. We played games all the time including Dominos, Black Jack, Thirty-One, Poker, and Uno. But we’d always go back to Scrabble.

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I graduated from high school in 1983

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My parents had two more grandchildren, Anthony Laubenstein and Nicholas Stromgren.

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John, Laurie, Dad, Mom, Jackie, Cammie, baby Nick, Tim, me, Rich, Tara, Jim and Eddie

My dad had been working in the Bay Area when we moved to Stockton and he continued to do so. He’d drive down to San Jose on Monday morning, some weeks he’d stay there for the entire week and then return to Stockton on Friday night. We lived at 3218 Harper’s Ferry Court. They were very happy to be back in the town where they’d met.

 

I met your dad, Paul, in 1984. We’d dated for several years then became engaged. My mother took my mother in law Maxine out to lunch by themselves. I was kinda worried about it but my mother drove them to the Nut Tree in Vacaville for a lovely lunch (as my mother was inclined to do). When they returned, I asked my mother what they talked about. She was cagey, just said that everything was fine. Truthfully, I think my mother was trying to gauge how Maxine would be as a Grandparent. I think my mother recognized that she wouldn’t be on this earth as long as she wanted, wouldn’t be able to grandmother you kids as she thought you deserved. The only thing my mother told me about that lunch was that she was surprised Grandma Maxine had said your dad wasn’t her hardest child to raise, haha.

In 1986, my cousins Rose Marie and Anna Marie Lujan threw a 70th birthday party for Aunt Flora (my dad’s double first cousin).

 

My parents and really our entire family had the best time. It was a Roaring Twenties costume party and they just had a ball. My dad had a few drinks and my brother ended up driving all of us home.

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1987 was the 35th Anniversary. I knew my mother was ill, I didn’t foresee her celebrating their 50th Anniversary, so I  put together a wedding for them. My parents had run off to Las Vegas (my Aunt Jean had notoriously given them six months before they divorced) and I just felt they really deserved a large affair. I planned it as if it were a wedding. It was amazing. All of my dad’s friends from when he was a teenager showed up. Relatives and friends alike, it was a hell of a shindig. I was very proud of how their wedding turned out. It was a great party.

 

By 1989, Paul and I got married. My parents paid for most of my wedding and it was a real opportunity for them to throw a fancy wedding.

 

We got married at Morris Chapel (yep, same place mother had married that other man) and had close to 200 people attend. Having my dad walk me down the aisle meant the world to me. My mom and Maxine lit two candles on the alter then your dad and I lit one unity candle. We had a nice wedding. Paul and I went on our honeymoon on a Mexican cruise. My mom was mad because I hadn’t called her during my honeymoon.

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By the time my wedding was over, Dad decided it was time for him to retire and for them to really start traveling.

We got married in September. We’d go to my mom’s house for dinner every night after work, because I knew Momma would be making dinner and really, why should I have to make a whole dinner too? Haha.

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By November 1989, my parents sold their home on Harper’s Ferry Court and had moved three hours away to Rancho Tehama. Their home was in a small community up in the foothills just south of Red Bluff, CA. We really enjoyed spending time there. I also learned how to cook for myself.  The end of the 1980’s found my parents squirreled away in a region where there were birds to watch, deer who visited and a daughter who called her mother every day, sometimes three and four times a day.

The new decade brought about new grandchildren, a new home and the end of the Jacques family as we knew it.

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(Venita) Maxine Bailey Bennett

November 13, 1925 – February 28, 2016

Maxine

Venita Maxine was born the fourth of five children to Leonard R. Bailey and Mary A Butterworth Bailey. Her siblings were (Leonard) Vaughn, Claron, Vayles and her one sister Mary Mirian Bailey Wadsworth.

The Bailey family

Before I started writing my blog, I had read a copy of a book that had been written by Aunt Mirian. She had given it to her sister Maxine and her writing was so beautiful, I was simply entranced. She detailed their lives of growing up as a family so perfectly, I could see and hear each of the family members without ever having met them. I was hooked. So, part of the descriptions we have of Maxine come from her sister. There was such a truth to her writing that I knew that I wanted to write something like she had written. She had loved her family and shared her words out of that love. That is what I have tried to do with my blog.

Aunt Mirian was five years older than Maxine and said that Maxine had been born at home. They lived at 3507 South, 13th East in Salt Lake City. Because of their age difference, Aunt Mirian thought of Maxine as a troublesome younger sister. She resented having to share a room with her because her sister seemed like a foreigner, mostly because from the day Maxine was born, she was a saint. Maxine had a quiet, sunny personality, gentle and obliging. Maxine lived in a secure little world of her own, reading and drawing, and excelling in everything she did. Except her housework. Mirian recalled chasing Maxine up over the canal bridge and literally dragging her down to the house to finish some chore. That makes me laugh.

When Maxine was three, she was given the privilege of naming her baby brother. I cannot fathom anyone letting a three year old name a baby, but she choose Vayles. And that, my children, is why we don’t let three year olds choose names.Maxine as a little girl

Mirian thought Maxine was predominately a Butterworth, like her mother, inheriting all the good and worthy traits and none of the Bailey fire and brimstone. Maxine moved serenely through childhood, playing with her friend Bernice Cummins across the road. She was undemanding and pleasant, never one to pick a quarrel. When she was two years old, their father taught Maxine to spell all of their names and he delighted in showing her off.

 

When Maxine was in the 7th grade, her mother had been hit by a car crossing Highland Drive on their way to a show at their church. She was taken by ambulance to the County hospital. Mirian said they had been waiting for a movie to start at the church when a neighbor came to take them to the hospital. Mirian walked into the hospital holding Vayles’ hand, scared to death what they would find. Her mother was lying on a gurney. Her hair had come undone and was hanging over the side of the bed. She had a great bloody gash on her head. Her mother’s face was white with pain and shock but she still whispered that she was alright to her children. Mirian couldn’t recall who had taken the children back to the house, but she’d spent the night next to Vayles, her youngest brother. They were all too upset to sleep. In the morning, a car came down the drive and Mirian thought her mother had died. She hadn’t. It was her Uncle John bringing her father home, but Mirian said she would never forget that awful moment when she was certain her mother had passed away.

sisters
Maxine and Mirian

Their mother’s pelvis had been fractured and her left leg was broken in eleven places. Some of the doctors thought it should be amputated but her doctor said no. He put a huge cast on it from her thigh down to her toes with ugly looking pins through the knee and ankle.

Mirian says, “I remember dreaming one night that she had indeed died and I ran from the sleeping porch where Maxine and I slept, down the hall to her room and stood by the side of the bed straining in the night light to see if she were breathing. She (her mother) must have sensed me being there because she awakened. I was so relieved I began to cry. She held out her arms and I fell on top of the covers as close as I could manage to get to my mother in her narrow little bed and she held me tightly against her until I could stop crying.”

Maxine was forced to miss the 7th grade completely. She stayed home and cared for her mother after not being able to find a nurse. Maxine was chosen to stay home because Mirian was a senior in high school and her parents wanted her to graduate with her class. Mirian says it didn’t slow Maxine down one bit. Maxine went straight into the 8th grade and brought home straight A’s.

 

Mirian was given $1 each day and she would have to decide what to make for dinner, walk to the store and then go home and make dinner for “three hungry brothers, a sometimes impatient father, uncomplaining Mama, Maxine and myself.” She’d feed 7 people on that $1 a day. Ground beef was 2 lbs for a quarter and their cow provided milk. They churned butter from the milk and they had plenty of eggs.

Mirian said her diary, during this period of time, was filled with her own withering disapproval of Maxine’s adolescent laziness (as she judged it) and the mountains of wash and ironing she had every Saturday.

We are so lucky to have such a clear picture of Maxine’s childhood: how her life was impacted by the way they grew up on a farm, her mother’s accident, and how the consequences of that accident played into their futures.

Maxine and mother
Maxine and her mother,Mary Bailey

The Bailey family was a fine Salt Lake Mormon family and took their religion seriously. One of the tenants of their church is to write in their diary every day. Maxine took this seriously indeed. From the time she was a young girl, Maxine kept a diary and wrote in it every day. Her diaries are very fun to read because most of the diary entries would contain where she went and what she did, but every once in a while, the real inner Maxine comes out. These little gems make each diary a wonderful read.

big bailey kids
Bailey kids

In the diary from November 13, 1940, her fifteenth birthday, Maxine says she left for school in a “I must appreciate my blessings mood.” She wore an orange dress and her stockings kept sliding down at the knees. She says all in all, school wasn’t much fun that day. Maxine received $2 for her birthday. At the eleventh hour, she went to a carnival at Z.C.M.I. (a department store in Salt Lake. It stands for Zion’s Cooperative Mercantile Institution, the very first department store in the United States. This store was founded on October 9, 1868). Claron didn’t get a doughnut, none of them had cider but it was fun. She ended her birthday by deciding she would ask Eugene to go to the dance with her the next day at school. She didn’t do any of her homework and didn’t put up her hair. She ends her post, “good-nite”.

 

By 1943, Maxine’s birthday entry says her dinner was super. Her best friend Bernice brought her a lovely green scarf and was asked to stay for supper. Mirian and Milton gave Maxine a bracelet and necklace. Vayles gave her a huge bottle of lotion and Claron contributed $2.01 toward the gift. She says they wrapped wedding cake until 11:30 p.m.. and that the bride to be (Mirian) was rather silly. This makes me laugh and we get to see some of Maxine’s thoughts of Mirian. Mirian and Milton Wadsworth were married on November 19th, 1943.

 

 

Maxine graduated from Granite High School in 1943 and not surprisingly, went to McAllen, Texas, on her Mission for the Mormon Church. She learned to speak fluent Spanish and had a terrific experience there.

Next up…a Tuesday Bride

Bride

 

 

Jacques Family in the 1970’s

Sylvaner

After our Santa Clara home sold, we lived for a brief time on Sioux Lane and then moved to our next home at 6027 Sylvaner Way in San Jose. Today, that home is valued at $1,446,000 but back in the 1970’s it was a just a lovely home in a new subdivision. It was a single block off Almaden Expressway and the streets that surrounded it were Zinfandel, Rhinecastle and McAbee.

Camille had moved out with her friends, Susie and Annie Ellis for a brief period of time, but by 1973, she was married to David O’Brien.

Cammie gets married
Starting on the bottom step, David, Cammie, Dad, Robert (a gentleman friend of Aunt Jean’s) Mom, Aunt Jean, Sam, Laurie and Sally
cammie's reception
At Reception for Cammie and Dave

When we first moved to Sylvaner, Tim was just graduating from high school and then he took off for Europe to go backpacking with his friends, Rainey and Christie. Laurie had a bedroom there too, but in short order, both she and Tim had moved out and the only ones left living at home were Jackie and myself.

mom and dad
Mom and Dad

It is important to stop for a minute and reflect on my mother’s health.  Her physical health was greatly impacted by a single event that took place in 1968. She had been working for Lockeheed Electronics when she fell down a flight of stairs, damaging her shoulder and breaking her back. She suffered great pain and for most of my childhood, my mother was either in the hospital, just getting out of the hospital or simply in pain. She eventually had five back surgeries, a knee replacement, and rotator cuff surgery. She suffered from debilitating migraines as well and physically her pain never ceased. However, my mother was the single most optimistic person I knew. She would be in devastating pain physically, but she’d plaster a smile on her face, sing a song and just be the nicest person around. She loved dancing with Tim. On Sunday mornings, they would get the newspaper and read it in bed. We would eventually find our way into their bedroom because we loved hearing my mom and dad talk about everything. It was so wonderful to listen to their conversations that everyone would end up in the same place. We’d climb into their bed and just chat up a storm and laugh. Eventually, mother would head to the kitchen and start breakfast. She’d make eggs and fried potatoes, but the crème de la crème were her biscuits. She made homemade biscuits that were simply heavenly.

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Laurie, Jim, Tim, Bob, Cammie, Mom, Grandma Flora, Aunt Jean, me, Dad, David

Dad would come in to help her and she’d turn on her favorite music, usually a Frank Sinatra tune. She always wanted to dance with my dad, and even though she knew her back and leg would suffer, she just couldn’t resist. They really did have a great love for each other. It was a fun way to grow up.

 

Because the “big kids” had married or moved out, Jackie and I spent a great deal of time with our parents. In 1974, they took us on a road trip to Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming and we visited Expo 74’, the World’s Fair. This took place in Spokane, Washington. We had a fun trip.

Expo 74
Expo 74 trip

We also visited the 1976 American Freedom Train. It was a train that pulled into San Jose and it was filled with American Memorabilia. This included George Washington’s copy of the Constitution, Martin Luther King’s pulpit, a rock from the moon and the one item that impressed me the most, Judy Garland’s dress from the Wizard of Oz. This was such a cool event.

 

About this same time, Marriott’s Great America was opened in Santa Clara. We also visited this upon their opening as a family, including the big kids. This was the only time I ever rode a roller coaster, as my brother in-law David made me ride Willard’s Whizzer. By the way, there were no seatbelts nor bars, only the force of the ride kept you in the seat. There was a fatal accident on this train and it was eventually taken down. Scary to think about it now haha.

me three
a French Doll costume my mom made for me, a role in the Babe’s in Toyland play
me
Can we say Perm, anyone?
me two
PeeWee league bowling  trophy
me five
Perm wasn’t tight enough? Nope

By 1977, Laurie was married to Brian O’Shea and she was pregnant with Tara Lynn. My parents were elated about their first grandchild.

We also had a dog by the name of Muffin. Mother said she looked like a ragamuffin when she was brought home and so that was what we called her. She was pregnant at the same time as Laurie. Muffin was a very intelligent poodle/terrier mix. She wasn’t allowed down the hall in our bedrooms and was to stay in the family room. Muffin would sneak down the hall to my bedroom, snatch up a Barbie Doll and chew her feet off. I lost a lot of my dolls like that.

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Muffin

In the spring of 1977, Mom and Dad took me and Jackie on another trip. This time, we drove to my Aunt Fran and Uncle Don’s home in Florida. The Jones’ were friends that my parents made in Santa Clara. They would play cards together and just have the best time. My mother was a little older than Aunt Fran, so mother took Aunt Fran under her wing. They had started out as friends with Uncle Ron, Uncle Don’s brother, and his wife Aunt Bonnie. Our families grew up together and felt like family. We drove from CA to Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. Dad did the driving. The first day he drove all day and night, then we stopped by noon the next day. After that, we headed to Alabama and had a chance to visit my Uncle Bryan and Aunt Lillie in Birmingham. He was my mother’s uncle and she was very close to him. We also got the opportunity to meet Uncle Tom, my grandfather’s other brother.

Afterward, we drove out of Alabama, just ahead of a tornado. The sky was very black and quite frightening. We pulled into Pensacola, Florida in the afternoon. After securing a hotel, we drove around to see the town and have dinner. The entire town was closed. We couldn’t find anything open. We finally got back to our hotel and found that they were on a hurricane warning. That was scary too. The next day, we arrived in Titusville. We stayed at Aunt Fran and Uncle Don’s for several days. We visited the Glass Bottom Boats and the Kennedy Space Center. We also visited Uncle Ron and Aunt Bonnie and when we left Florida, we stopped to visit Uncle Don’s parents in Georgia.

 

On the way home, we drove through Memphis, TN but my dad refused to stop at Graceland, Elvis Presley’s Estate. I still hope to get there one day haha.

 

We drove back across the US and ended our trip in Las Vegas. We stayed in a two-room suite and we went to a dinner show and saw Dean Martin. He put on a great show. We spent Jackie’s 16th birthday in Las Vegas.

When we arrived home, our dog Muffin had a litter of 9 pups. That is a big litter for such a small dog. A couple months later, Laurie had her first baby. My dad thought she should name her baby Tara Linda because he liked the name Linda, but she was named Tara Lynn. My parents were so thrilled with that new baby. A short seven months later, they had their first grandson as well. Cammie had her first baby, James Matthew, in 1978 and by 1979, Laurie had her next baby, Edward Allen.

grandmas
Dad, Mom, Grandma Flora, baby Tara, baby Jimmy

As the 1970’s came to a close, my parents’ lives were filled with their grandchildren. But they were itching to move out of San Jose. The traffic was getting worse and they really wanted to return to Stockton, the town where they had met. Our parents sold our home and in November of 1978, we moved to Stockton. Jackie wasn’t pleased to be moving in the middle of her Senior year of high school. She stayed with a friend for the last month of school then joined us at Christmas. She graduated from Lincoln High in June of 1979. My parents were pleased to be back in Stockton. My Grandma Flora’s health was getting worse as the 1970’s ended and she, too, moved back to Stockton. As we close the 1970’s decade, my parents were relatively healthy, certainly happy and busy with parents, children and grandchildren. But as always, Tim and Jubie’s great love was the cornerstone of our family.

grandkids
Jim, Eddie and Tara, the original three

 

 

Check Your Sources!

I am a big proponent of obtaining as much documentation as possible. You cannot verify information without it. When you are researching an ancestor, there are some records that I love.

birth certificate for Tim

This first record is my father’s birth certificate. As you can see, he was born on December 9, 1927 at 5:00 a.m. Also, my father obtained the copy of this record on March 1, 1954.  His name is spelled out as Celestino Timoteo Jaquez. He is listed as the 11th child born to this mother and that upon his birth, he was the 8th child living. My grandfather Celestino’s occupation is listed as Odd Jobs, my grandmother Tonita’s occupation is listed as housewife. Interesting to see Grandma Tonita’s birthplace listed as Gobernador, NM which was located in Rio Arriba County. The county seat for Rio Arriba is Tierra Amarilla.

Celestino is listed as being born in Blanco, NM.

I know my cousin Tom Martinez is working on the records from the church, so I hope to be able to obtain a copy of those records as well.

celestino

The next record is a death certificate for Grandpa Celestino. This one is much easier to read. I like seeing who provided the information for the death certificate. This one was provided by Aunt Della and gives Grandpa Jacques’ address as her address, 1840 Charmeran, San Jose, CA.  She reported that Grandpa Jacques had been in California for 38 years, bringing us back to 1935 when he arrived here. That fits with the information we know. He died of pneumonia and Arterial sclerosis heart disease. It lists his date of birth as November 15, 1886 and his date of death December 29, 1973.

Juan N.

The last record here is for Juan Nepomuceno Jacquez. I had a harder time obtaining this record and so I received a letter back, stating that they could not give it to me. They said only a child/grandchild could obtain it. I laughed and said, my Grandfather died in 1973 and my father died in 2003. I had to send them the death certificates for my father and my grandfather both in order to get this one. As you can see they stamped it for genealogical use only. Juan N. was born on April 8, 1856. His father is listed as Jose O. Jacquez and his mother listed as Franciquita Vigil. They were both born in Colorado. Interesting to see that this time, it is my grandfather Celestino providing the information for the death certificate. He died on May 28, 1943 and is listed as a widower.

I have been searching for a death certificate for one of my great-grandparents. My Grandma Flora’s father, Henry Carter Burgess. I have been searching for a long time. I don’t have his date of death, nor do I know where it occurred. I don’t know where he’s buried and it drives me crazy. I found a few people had a date of death for him on Ancestry.com. Now, sometimes you run across someone else who has pertinent information to your research. However, I felt like I had discounted those individuals and thought, shoot, I should revisit this information. I pulled the Find a Grave site and found this picture.

Henry C Burgess

I still didn’t feel like this was correct. Then I found the death certificate online.

HC Burgess death certificate fake

Okay, once I found this, I was certain. This is not my Henry Carter Burgess. The date of birth is wrong, the spouse name was wrong. Also, his father’s name was John W. Burgess and my Henry Carter was born in Kansas, not Indiana. This was not my ancestor.

One of the biggest lessons to remember when searching on Ancestry.com or any other site, is that you must know what you are looking for, or you will end up with incorrect information on your tree. The best source for you is to interview your relatives now. Now, before you lose the opportunity.

 

 

Flora True Leadership Award

My grandmother was such a powerful force in my life. She was a hard worker from the time she was a young girl. She worked in lots of office jobs and in the credit department of a store. She used her initials so that no one would know she was a woman. Flora also had a gift. She could talk to anyone and everyone. Eventually, she went to work for a vitamin company. She left that company and went to work for Shaklee Corporation. She was sued by the company she left because the company knew they were losing a good saleswoman. Flora showed up to court in a housecoat and the judge had a hard time believing this was the person that companies were arguing over.

She became friends with Dr. Forest Shaklee, the gentleman who started the Shaklee Corporation. He started the Shaklee Company in 1951 and the first building was at 12th and Harrison Streets in Oakland, CA.

Early Shaklee Corporation days
Original Shaklee building

Dr. Shaklee adored Flora and he believed in nature’s ability to heal. When she first met him, she was reading an article about Royal Jelly. The article said that Royal Jelly was a cancer preventative and Dr. Shaklee told her, don’t you believe it. It was no more cancer preventative than any other good nutrition. Flora thought she had found an honest man.

in her office

Dr. Shaklee ran his business by the golden rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” This was a rule Flora lived by. When Dr. Shaklee honored Flora during a convention, Flora arrived on the stage wearing a beautiful red gown. He said she was wearing red and was always out scratching for business. Right there, he affectionately called her his “little red hen.”

flora and dr shakleee too
Neil, Flora and my cousin Bobby on the far right

Shaklee Corporation sold vitamins, diet and health products, along with all natural cleaning products. Grandma Flora became a driving force in the company. Dr. Shaklee started selling products in 1946 and by the 1950’s, the company was close to going out of business. Dr. Shaklee credited Flora as being the crusader who changed the course of Shaklee history.

Grandma and dr shaklee
Getting pinned

Dr. Shaklee was trying to keep the business going and worried about paying bills. Flora said, “Those bills are going to be paid.” That month, she went out and sold half the company’s business. It had never been done before and has never been done since. My mother used to say that if Grandma got on an airplane, she would have sold to five different people and have three more wanting to sign up to be a distributor under her. She worked her truth and believed in her products with her whole heart. It was easy to see why she was so great at spreading her message.

addressing salespeople
Addressing a sales force

Dr. Shaklee said that, above all, Flora True stands out as the leader of all other salesmen.

at a convention
Flora at the microphone

Flora earned the first car that was ever given away. It was a 1956 Chevrolet Bel Air.  She said it took her one month to earn that car. She earned a new car every year.

1956 Chevy Bel Air
I believe this is the 1956 Bel Air (My grandfather and cousins standing in front of it)

 

new car
Always a new car

In 1981, Shaklee Corporation celebrated their 25 Anniversary with a Golden Jubilee. They paid to fly my grandmother, my step-grandfather, my mother and myself to San Francisco from our home in Stockton for the celebration. My grandmother had been ill but was determined to  make it to the ceremony.

Dr. Shaklee paid tribute to Flora, as much as Flora paid tribute to Dr. Shaklee. She had suffered from breast cancer, had a mastectomy, had suffered a stroke and was in ill health. She forced herself to walk across the stage and Dr. Shaklee came out to meet her. You can watch the video here.

 

The next year, on the occasion of Grandma Flora’s 80th birthday, we held a celebration in Stockton for her.  Dr. Shaklee and Dorothy came to Stockton for Flora’s party, along with the rest of her family. It was the last birthday the Little Red Hen would celebrate.

flora and dr shaklee three

Flora died on May 22, 1982.

After her death, Flora’s reputation continued at the Shaklee Corporation and eventually, an award was established in her honor. They invited my mother Jubie and my Aunt Kay to attend the ceremony in Montreal, Canada in 1984. They were presented with the first award

Flora True Leadership Award Presentation
Jubie and Kay being presented the first award
Flora True Leadership Award
Letter that accompanied the award
Flora True Leadership Award statute
Flora True Leadership Award

Because we had grown up with the Shaklee products, my family had continued to use them. My father used Basic H (as a floor cleaner and a shampoo, because, you know, why not?) and so I needed to replace his bottle of Basic H and I simply looked up a sales associate in our area, called her up and went to retrieve the bottle.

When I arrived at her home to pick up my product, the lady gave me the Basic H and we spoke for a few minutes. I told her my grandmother used to sell Shaklee products and that perhaps she knew her? The lady assured me that she didn’t know anyone in the business as she had only been in Shaklee for a few years. I said, “Oh, my grandmother, Flora True, used to sell here in town.” The lady starts shrieking, “Flora True? Oh my god, are you kidding me? Never in a million years did I think when I got up today, I’d be meeting Flora True’s granddaughter.”

Haha, I didn’t realize being related to Flora was that amazing. I don’t think we really appreciated how they felt about her because she was just grandma. We knew she was an amazing person, but it was so nice to have others think of her in that way as well. I cry every time I watch the video of her, because it is such an accurate reflection of who she was, even though she was already very ill. She was damn determined that she would walk across that stage, and she did.

P.S. The picture of the Shaklee building was provided by and used with permission by the Dr. Forrest C. Shaklee Facebook page.

Celia Jacques Herrera Family

My Great Aunt Celia was a wonderful little lady who loved to laugh, tell a story and have a shot, if you don’t mind. She was great to us and I know how much my dad loved her. I can still hear her voice in my head. Some of my cousins have asked me to look for information on her husband, Fred Herrera. I have found a lot of documents that appear to be for him. This World War 1 draft card is one of my favorites.

Uncle Fred's Registration Card

She lost her husband in 1974, but I know their love endures. We see it very clearly in the faces of those beautiful babies like sweet Adeline and Ezra. Cousins, here is your list. As always, if there are any corrections, please feel free to shoot me a quick message and I will get it addressed promptly. Love you guys.

Edna’s Family

  • Priscilla Lujan Lerwill
    • Ray Lerwill
    • Kathleen Lerwill
    • Daniel Lerwill
    • Pamela Lerwill
    • Brian Lerwill
      • +13
  • Willbert Lujan
    • Melissa L. Martin
      • +1
    • Tim Lujan
      • +2
    • Daniel Lujan
      • +1
    • Kayli Lujan
  • Ben Lujan
    • Perri Lujan
      • +1

Effie’s Family

  • Linda Edwards
    • Jeff Davis
      • +5
    • Shellie Hardin Garcia
      • +2
    • Kenny Hardin
      • +2
    • Wendy H. Barbieri
      • +3
  • David Cree
    • Kimberly Cree
      • +3
    • Tania Cree
    • Bert Cree
    • David Cree

Freddie’s Family

  • Jeanie M. Herrera Nixa
    • Rachael Nixa
      • +4
    • Justin Nixa
  • Paul Herrera
    • Paul Jr.
    • Atlantis
  • Joyce Herrera Holiday

Polly’s Family

  • Steven Stewart
    • Heather S. Dahlenberg
      • +1
    • Steven Stewart Jr. (Esteban)
    • Jacob Stewart
  • Mary Frances S. Zaklan
    • Hillary Zaklan
    • Matthew Zaklan
    • Melissa Zaklan
  • Scott Stewart

Leroy’s Family

  • Monica Herrera
    • Denae Beland
      • +2

Gerry’s Family

  • Jack McMurry
  • Julie Raymos
    • Kathleen Speed
      • +1
    • Samuel L. Raymos
      • +1
  • Robert Raymos Jr.
    • Robert Raymos III

Early Tim and Jubie Jacques family life

Tim and Jub
Tim and Jub, always in love

The beginning of my parent’s marriage was tough from the standpoint of others. I’ve spoken about my Grandma Flora and Grandpa Charles felt about my father. To be fair, my Grandma Tonia felt equally disdainful toward my mother. Truthfully, my father could have married a nun and my Grandma Tonita would have thought that the woman wasn’t good enough for her son. I’ve known people like that.

Mom and Viola...pregnant with Cammie
Jubie, pregnant with Cammie, Viola, pregnant with Mitzi

By the time my mother had Cammie, she and Tim were living with Grandma Tonita. Grandma Tonita might not have liked my mother much, but my dad had helped her buy that home and there was no way Grandma Tonita would deny my father anything.

Cammie and Mitzi or Michelle Figueroa
Cammie and Mitzi, infants in the crib

One day, Grandma Tonita got mad at Jubie. She picked up infant Cammie, took her into the bedroom and locked the door. To say my mother was livid is an understatement. No cell phones in those days, so my mother went to Uncle Fred’s house to tell him. Uncle Fred was able to get ahold of Tim, who was on a job site. Tim came home right then, collected Jubie and Cammie and they went to stay at Uncle Fred’s until they could get themselves a place of their own.

 

Dad worked in underground construction and worked on job sites all over Northern California. They began moving from city to city, following his job sites. They started out in Tracy, CA then went to a million other little tiny towns, often staying at small motels. They ended up in Paso Robles, then Salinas, when they discovered Jubie was pregnant again. Jubie decided moving around was tough enough with one child, but the idea of two children was too much. They moved back to Santa Clara and bought their first home at 3481 Shafer Drive. In April 1955, they moved into their new home and Timothy James was born that May.

Shafer drive
Shafer Drive

Their family was expanding quickly and Laurel Renee was born the next year. By 1958, they had a five year old, a two year old and an infant. Mom used to say she’d have her kids in bed by 7 pm because she needed to keep her sanity.

Timmy in the tub
Baby Timmy in the tub

They had moved into a neighborhood in its infancy. Other families moved onto the street. Henry and Jeanne Hassman, our next-door neighbors, became friends. Henry worked as a machinist at Kaiser Aluminum. They lived at 3475 Shafer Drive.

Tim and the kids 1956
Timmy, Tim and Cammie enjoying pool life

The Purse family lived at 3474 Shafer. Candy Purse was the same age as Laurie and they ran the streets together. The Schmidt family, the Hildebrands, the Morgans. Gus Hildebrand and Henry Hassman were in the Navy together in WWII.

 

The Moon family lived at 3471 Shafer Drive. Rebecca Schmidt, Dave and Kitty Payne at 3488 Shafer Drive,. The Flocchini family at 3591 Shafer Drive and the Walker Family, including daughter Ila (Poky) Walker. After the husbands left for work, the wives would get together for a coffee klatch every morning, while all the children played at each other’s homes and in the streets. This is where their family life started. Jubie invited the whole kindergarten class for Cammie’s birthday and the entire class showed up, in costume.

One of our neighbors, Candy Purse, shared a story and I’m retelling it, with her permission.

“I can even tell you a story I’m not sure if you guys knew. It was the day I fell in love with your dad. I’m not sure if you were born yet, I don’t think so, but I used to go over there and play with Laurie and Tim and you had a picnic table on the back patio.
We used to always play dress-ups and pretend we were on stage and perform a little shows. I was up on the picnic table I’m not sure if Laurie and Tim were up there with me or if they were watching but I think I was dancing around and I tripped and fell.
I hit my head on the concrete and I heard from others, it sounded like a watermelon. It knocked me out cold and I must’ve been about 4-6 years old. Your brother or sister must’ve ran in and told your dad.
He scooped me up and ran across the street and I was still out cold. First thing I remembered was him standing at my door and my mom was surprised and he told her I fell. When I heard his voice my eyes opened and I looked up and he was crying and looked very scared. I was looking at my hero and I fell in love with him at that moment.

 

He used always tell me I was his favorite little girl in the neighborhood because of my pretty red hair.”
Candy Purse
Candy Purse and Susi Moon, used with permission

Candy Purse did go on to marry a Hispanic gentleman and credits my father with influencing her decision.

2
Timmy, Laurie and Cammie

The neighborhood stores were Dicks Grocery Store, Baskin Robbins, Ben Franklin Five and Dime. The bar, Barber shop and Baskin Robbins are all still there. It was a bucolic, Mayberry existence.

Shafer Drive Tribe
Shafer Drive Tribe playing dress up, including Jackie and Laurie, the first two on the left

They took many trips together, trips that mostly centered on camping. They would camp with Tim’s family including Fred and Alice, Dorothy and Sam and Angie and Tom.

vacation
Timmy, Jackie, Cammie and Laurie, a real “Brady Bunch” vacation lol

The 1960’s left a big impression on my parents. Jubie said that when President Kennedy was shot, Jackie was just a baby and it was very frightening. Then, Lee Harvey Oswald and Jack Ruby were shot on T.V. too, one right after the other. It was difficult to leave the television, they were so afraid something else would happen.

When the moon landing occurred, Tim thought it was all bullshit, that it had been filmed on a sound stage. Dad was that way, it took a lot to convince him. He never ended up believing in the moon landing, incidentally.

In the 1960’s, the kids were attending Pomeroy Elementary, Curtis Junior High and Buchser High School. By 1961, Jacqueline Celeste was born and finally by 1965, me. Mother gave each of her children full names. I was named Yvonne Annette. Their family was complete.

Jacques kids at easter
Timmy, Jackie, Laurie, Cookie and Cammie – 1966
cookie
Cookie (so called Cookie for a San Francisco Giant, Harry “Cookie” Lavagetto.) Dad just liked the way his name sounded and started calling me Cookie Love, then finally Cookie
family trip
A real 1970’s look about us, Laurie, Timmy, Jubie, Jackie and Cookie

By the 1960’s, the big kids were running with friends, and starting to live their own lives. By 1972, mom and dad decided to move. It ended a period of time in our lives when we lived as a whole family. By the time we moved to San Jose, Cammie had moved out, Tim and Laurie shortly thereafter and it was just Jackie and I left at home.

Jacques kids in the pool
Playing in the pool

 

As the 1970’s took over our lives, we left behind our early selves and moved into a new phase. Grandchildren ahead!

kids 1970
The Jacquez family, circa 1970

 

Ruby and Tim, the love story

dental school graduation
This was my father’s favorite picture of Momma

 

Funny that Mom’s love-life story starts with Grandma Flora. In about 1974 or so, Jackie and I were staying at Grandma Flora’s house up in Nevada City. Mom and Dad would leave us at Grandma’s house and go to Reno for the weekend. Jackie and I were playing in the extra bedroom. Grandma used to keep a Noah’s Ark, a plastic ark filled with animals for us to play with, as well as all my Nancy Drew and Hardy Boy Mystery books. Jackie and I were playing one day, and Jackie found a photo album that was stuck under the bed. Jackie pulled it out and there was a picture of a bride.

Bride.jpg

She looked at me and I looked at her. It was Mom. She was wearing a bride’s dress and simply looked beautiful. We thought, wow, I’ve never seen this. Jackie opened it up and we found beautiful pictures of all of Mom’s family.

 

 

 

However, the last couple of pictures were shocking.

 

They weren’t dad. They were pictures of a tall, blond man. We were shocked. Jackie quickly put it away back under the bed. I really was confused. I knew my parents had been married in Las Vegas and that was definitely not my father.

As soon as mom got back to Grandma’s house and we got her alone, Jackie said, “We found something in the bedroom.” Mom went to the bedroom with us and Jackie pulled the album out.

Mom said, “Oh that. I was married before.”

What? Mind blown. Hahaha we were so shocked. But my mother, you have to understand, Momma figured if she didn’t make a big deal out of something, then it wasn’t a big deal. She said, “Oh, it was annulled. That’s like it never happened.”

We had several conversations after that about this marriage and really, lack of a marriage. So, I shall tell this tale.

Mom and Bud Affeldt
Mom and Bud Affeldt. She met him at Aunt Kay’s wedding

To start at the beginning, mother had a ton of boyfriends she dated throughout high school. She dated Ramon Erradaberry, her first boyfriend as well as Bud Affeldt and numerous other guys.

After graduating from high school, she went off to a college to become a dental assistant. Her parents moved from the Fresno Area to Stockton, CA in approximately 1948. She lived with her sister Kay until she graduated in 1949.

high school graduate

She briefly lived in San Francisco while at Dental Assistant school then moved to Stockton.

When they met

So she met Tim first. They were out cruising and the guy that dad was cruising with knew the girl mom was with. They ended up all in the same car and mom was in the front seat with dad. The car was full of kids. Tim pulled the car over on the side of the road and he kissed Jubie the first night they met. Jubie’s friend shouted “Juuuubbbbbie” because mother had let him kiss her. Jubie fell in love with Tim that night.

Now, I only know vague details on the rest of the story. I asked my mother, “If you met Dad first, how the hell did you marry Ted before you married Dad?”

She said that her parents didn’t like that her boyfriend was a Latin, as Jub would say. So, at some point, she met Ted Kuchenriter.

I know she and Ted were no love match. She said she walked down the aisle knowing that all her parents’ friends were out there and that her father was waiting for her. They had spent a lot of money on her wedding and she couldn’t disappoint them. So, she walked down the aisle, knowing she didn’t love Ted and couldn’t stay married to him. She loved Tim. She said she was doing him a favor, she didn’t love him and they would have only ended up divorced.

img_3513
This was from the wedding book and such cute signatures including Aunt Kay, Grandma Flora, Bobby’s hand written signature, and Aunt Jean

She had a pretty wedding and stayed married to Ted “for about two weeks” before she had the marriage annulled. I am not certain how long that time was but she said she never consummated her marriage. He went off to the Korean War and was overseas.

img_3529
Wedding reception. Aunt Jean is on the right in the foreground.

When Jubie had their marriage annulled, Ted came back. She said he was standing in front of her when she told him that she was ending their marriage. She said that if he had a gun in that moment he would’ve shot her, but as it was he took off his wedding ring and threw it at her. She didn’t care. She was in love with Tim and that was what she wanted.

when they married
Married

She and Tim threw her wedding ring from her marriage to Ted into the lake.

She went back to Tim and they eloped. They ran away to Las Vegas with their friends Don and Shirley Honeychurch and got married. So she didn’t have the big wedding, lots of flowers, gifts and friends.

wedding anniversary
Don Honeychurch, Jubie, Tim, Shirley Honeychurch Booth

On the occasion of their 35th wedding anniversary, my siblings and I threw them the wedding party that they never had. I felt that their celebration was long over-due. Don and Shirley Honeychurch who had already divorced, were both there and it was a great night.

 

I think the lesson here is great. Your heart knows what it wants. People know, deep down, what they want. Times have changed. I know my mother was desperately afraid of disappointing her parents. Fear is a powerful motivator. But I think love is an even bigger, more powerful motivator. I can honestly say my parents love was real and never wavered. They loved each other until the end of their days. But, Momma puts it best, so I shall let my mother tell you herself.

Ruby May Hardin Jacques

 

I have resisted the idea of including my parents in this blog because my blog was for relatives who had passed on, relatives that my children would never get to know. I knew this would be a difficult post. My parents stay alive in my mind and obviously, this post would be much more personal. I watched Prince Harry of England say that he avoided speaking of his mother for years, because he knew it would be painful, he couldn’t bring her back and thus what was the point. His was a point I understood well. He said that he had to talk about her, feel the pain and be okay with it. I don’t think I’ll ever be okay with my mother’s absence but here we go.

It is difficult to speak of my mother without being sad but our relationship was so filled with love. No one loved me like my mother. She made each of her children feel that way. She was not perfect. I am aware of this fact. She was simply good. My mother had a good attitude about life. She was a positive person. As children of Depression Era parents, we knew our parents had experienced struggles and tough times. Their love, however, was and is so encompassing, they only needed each other to be complete. So, to begin at the beginning.

Scan_20170429
On the back of this baby picture, it looks like her father wrote, “Jubie, age 6 months…send this one back”

Ruby May Hardin was born on February 9, 1930, to Flora and Charles Hardin. She was born in Borger, Texas and as you can see her listed on the 1930 U.S. Census as two months old and that the complex where they live is inhabited by people who worked, as her father did, for the railroad.

1930 census

Her mother had named her Ruby May but her father nicknamed her Jubie. That name stuck and she was known as Jubie her whole life. Jubie was the baby of the family and babied by everyone. Her closest sibling was Aunt Jean and Jubie would say that Jeanie would make every chore fun, no matter what the chore. By the time Jubie was six months old, they’d left Texas and moved to New Mexico.

Mom and her sisters
Jeanie, Jubie and Kay

Jubie had blue eyes, alabaster skin, freckles and bright red hair. When she went to school, she was made fun of for her freckles and red hair. The kids in her class called her turkey egg (apparently a turkey egg is speckled, a reference to her freckles). A friend of hers wrote us a letter after she passed and she said my mother had a reputation of being able to beat up any kid in the 6th grade. Momma didn’t take a whole lot of shit. 

Life in the early 30’s was difficult and her father thought they could have a better life if they moved to California. Her father drove them to California in his old Touring Dodge.

Dodge_Touring_1926
1926 Touring Dodge

They moved to California with two other families, the Coates and the McDonalds. They arrived in California in approximately 1933-1934 when Jubie was about 4 years old. She recalled living under the Woodson Bridge in Corning, California as they had no home when they arrived and camped out with lots of other families. Her father had a first cousin, Jack Trapp, living in Cottonwood, CA. Jubie wasn’t raised with a lot of family close by, so the Trapp family was the only family they had in California. Jack Trapp’s sister-in-law, Cora and Carl Smithers also lived in the area. These became my mother’s family and she played with all of their kids, Onera and Imogene Smithers and Doris Jean and Dorothy Faye Trapp.

Scan_20170504 (2)
Smithers children and Jubie on the top right

They lived in Corning while Jubie was in 1st to 3rd grades then they lived in Yuba City from the time she was in the 4th to 6th grades.

First grade
second row from the bottom, second from the right

Then they moved to Fresno. They lived at 255 Mariposa Street in Fresno. Then her father wanted to have acreage so they moved to Riverdale and leased 360 acres to farm cotton and alfalfa. They lived there until Jubie was in the 8th grade and her mother managed a frozen food company. Flora decided that her husband wasn’t making a living on the farm so Flora went into town and bought a house. That was the first house they ever owned. They lived in that house from the time Jubie was a freshman in high school until she was a junior. Then her father moved to Stockton in 1947.

 

mom and grandpa
Charles and Jubie

My mother used to say she wasn’t fond of cats because she witnessed one being drowned but she did have a lot of animals. Her favorite animal was a sheep she named Lambie pie. Her first boyfriend, Ramon Erradaberry’s parents had a bummer lamb, one raised away from its mother and fed with a bottle. This was when they were living in Riverdale. Her lamb was a very loving animal and it was the first time Flora ever allowed a pet to be in the house. Lambie Pie slept in the kitchen near the free standing stove. They had that lamb for at least two years. Every day, the lamb and her dog would go down to the end of the lane and wait for Jubie to come home from school. One day Jubie went to town with her mother instead of going home after school. Lambie Pie was hit out on the road by a truck. Jubie wouldn’t allow anyone to eat her lamb and thus they took her home and buried her in the yard.

Momma was very close and enjoyed a great relationship with both her parents.

Hardins
Charles, Flora, Jeanie and Jubie

 

Mother’s closest friend outside of her family was Maybelle Geiger. They did so much together and mother just loved that lady. Later in life, one of the only times my mother left dad at home alone, she went to see Maybelle in Fresno.

mom and friends 5
Maybelle Geiger Rowlands, Jubie and another girlfriend Alice Garcia. Alice taught Mother to make homemade tortillas.

 

Mom and friend's mother
Mrs. Geiger and Jubie



Another best friend was Jeanene Christensen and Jubie became friends with her in Yuba City. Here is a cute picture of them together, along with a cute picture of Jubie with Jeanene’s mother, Mrs. Christensen.

 

 

Jubie went to school near where she lived. However, when she started high school, her sister Kathleen thought it best that Jubie be sent to a boarding school. Now, if you knew my mother, you knew what a baby she was and I could tell from a mile away that wouldn’t be a great choice for her, but off to boarding school she went. Mother cried every day. She called her mother daily. Finally, after six miserable months at Lodi Academy, a 7th Day Adventist School in Lodi, Mother was allowed to return home. Momma said one day when she was at boarding school, she had kitchen duty. Mother got up and wiped up tables and figured she had to sweep the floor anyway so she wiped the crumbs and tossed them to the floor. Her teacher screeched at her that it wasn’t the proper thing to do. 

 

Mother had a wide array of friends and they used to go downtown to the movie theater on Saturdays. You could get in for a nickel and there would be a cartoon, a 15 minute serial, a news reel, then a double feature movie. They would stay there all day. On December 8, 1941 when Jubie was 11 years old, she was listening to the radio and heard the bulletin come on that the United States was entering World War II. She picked up the phone to tell her mother and her mother asked her, “Jubie, are you sure what you heard?” She said she was and it turned out she was correct. The U.S. had entered WWII and life changed again.

 

They listened to radio programs including the 15 minute mystery called “I love a Mystery” and starred Tony Randle. They listened to Our Miss Brooks and Fibber McGee and Molly. Everyone spent their evenings listening to these programs. 

Flora had joined the workforce and thus Jubie was the person who would make dinner for her family. Her mother taught her how to cook and she was a wonderful cook. I could spend a 10 minute diatribe on how wonderful her biscuits were and yet you simply could not appreciate them without having experienced them. She made so many dishes well and she passed those dishes on to her children.. Her potato salad was also heavenly. When I make a dish like that, I always enjoy it just a little bit more when I think, oh Momma would have been really proud of this dish.

When Jubie was 18, her girlfriend Jeanene Christensen and her mother went to visit Jubie and the Hardins. Jubie thought she was all grown up, certainly old enough to do her own thing. She and Jeanene took off for San Francisco. They took Jubie’s car and left a note for Flora and Mrs. Christensen. Needless to say, this episode gave Flora a migraine headache and Mrs. Christensen was very upset. The girls checked into a hotel, walked around town and then went to dinner. They went back to the hotel and spent the night. They really didn’t do anything to be upset about, but Flora was certain they were going to be kidnapped.

 

Jubie moved to Stockton in 1949 as she stayed in Fresno with Kay and Dick from 1947 to 1949, so she could finish high school. She worked during the summers in the frozen food plant and made enough money to buy her own clothing. Jubie was a responsible person and she babysat for children. She would be paid in silk stockings since they were not sold in stores, but if you were in the army you could buy them in the PX. When they announced that the war was over, everyone in their town went outside and celebrated together. People were kissing people in the street, regardless if you knew them or not. It was a very exciting celebration and they were all just thrilled to death to be alive.

Jubie and Dorotha
Jubie and Dorotha

My mother had so many friends. I could build a border wall with the pictures of all of the weddings in which she was a matron. When she was 19, she and her friend Ellen Schneider and Ellen’s boyfriend Ray (he later married Ellen) took his car and drove to Canada. Ellen had been raised by Ukrainian parents in Canada. They had a wonderful time until Ray got sick with trench mouth, a severe gum infection.

 

Jubie was a joiner. She was in clubs and had a large base of friends.

Jubie in school
Bottom row, third from the left
Mom in high school
middle row, second from the right
high school graduate
High school graduate

I will continue my story on my next post. I knew going in, there was a lot of information to cover and I don’t want to overload anyone. Not to put too fine a point on it, we’ve arrived at my mother’s love life and it was an interesting period in her life. I have so many details of her life because after hearing Paul’s grandparent’s tapes of their lives, I decided I would record mother telling her stories. These were stories she had told me my whole life. I wanted to make sure I would get the details correct. I started interviewing my mother and we talked for about 45 minutes before we were interrupted by someone visiting. We turned off the tape and never got to continue it. I am grateful for the information and the chance to hear my Momma tell her stories once again.

Mom for the last picture

John Harvey Bennett 1870-1932

John H. Bennett was born on July 4, 1870 in New Harmony, Utah to Nancy M. Taylor and George Bennett. It is important to understand the circumstances under which he was born in order to appreciate who he was. I am not a member of the church of Ladder Day Saints and the only information that I knew was that my mother-law’s family were LDS but didn’t realize that my father in law’s ancestors were, too. John Harvey was Grandpa Bill’s father. We know that Grandpa Bill was born in Canada and retired in Utah.
I did not appreciate how closely his ancestors were tied to the beginnings of the LDS church. It is difficult to tell his story and leave out the church so I will include bits and pieces so we can make sense of his life. My children often say the people who lived a long time ago aren’t our family. However, without those ancestors, my children would not exist. That is huge to me. There is an Ancestry.com card that says “If you don’t know your history, then you don’t know anything. You are a leaf that doesn’t know it is part of a tree.”
Okay, lecture over.
John H. Bennett’s story really begins with his parents. His mother Nancy M. Taylor and father George Bennett were born in Leyland, Lancashire, England. His father was born October 10, 1810. They first heard of the Mormon Church after the first missionaries arrived in England and they made plans to join the Saints in Zion. They left England in 1841 to many trials and tribulations. They arrived in the Salt Lake Valley on October 10, 1852, five months after the arrival of Brigham Young.
John H. was the fifth child born to his parents. His father had been called to assist in opening a town called New Harmony. While living in a log house with dirt floors, a dirt and straw roof and no windows, John was born.  When he was six, the family moved back to Kaysville. Interesting to note that George Bennett had more than one wife. His second wife was Sarah Bennett.
When he was a boy, John was expected to work in the fields and help with the stock. At nine years old, he was left in charge of a large flock of sheep and lived in a camp wagon, moving the heard to greener pastures, as necessary. It was a lonely life for a boy but he accepted the responsibility.  He made decisions which he acted upon and was a lesson that he used throughout his life.
I feel a kindred spirit from my family to Paul’s family. My family were sheep herders too. Must have been a lot of sheep.
John was a lover of horses and worked with a team and wagon. When he was sixteen, he left Kaysville and went to Hooper, living with his brother George and sister in law Mary Ann. While living there, he met a friend by the name of Adam Russell. They worked together on a horse power threshing machine for three harvest seasons. One time, they went to Ogden the day before Christmas and got a “little teed up.” Now, I will assume that means they were drunk. Ha! He was a fun Mormon.  “They returned to Hooper and went to Grandma Parker’s home and she gave them strong coffee so they would be in shape to go to the dance that night. This was when he was courting Lyd”.
Dancing was about the only amusement they had and a dance was held every Friday night. John was a good dancer and very popular on the dance floor. Music consisted of violin, mouth-organ or accordion and sometimes they used a jaws harp and a pitch fork.
John was a lover of sports, too. Adam Russell said of him, “He loved sports and liked to run foot races and horse races and play baseball. He was very popular and liked by everyone. In fact, he was a great leader and everyone respected his opinions.”
It was during this time that he lived in Hooper that he met Eliza Ann Parker. Her gracious charm and kindness to everyone appealed to him and he started dating her for dances, horseback rides and strolls in the evening after church. After a courtship which lasted about two years, they were married in Hooper, Utah. Eliza’s wedding dress was made by Mamie Williams of a tan, silky material.
J.H. Bennett wife Eliza
Eliza
The night after the wedding, they had a wedding dance (how apropos). Relatives and friends came to the dance to wish the couple well and they danced quadrilles, waltzes and two steps. Eliza’s sister Rye said of them, “They were very much in love and very happy together.”
J.H. Bennett wedding picture
Isn’t that wonderful? I can’t always say that about my ancestors. Not all were in wedded bliss. But it was apparent these two were in love. So sweet.
After they married, they lived with her mother and John ran the farm for his mother in law. His brother in law Adam Russell (yes, Adam married Eliza’s sister Maria) told John  he had a stable that he could have in exchange for a few days work as payment. John and Eliza fixed this up for their first home. Their first baby was a girl they named Nancy.
The summer after they moved in, John and Adam went to Nevada to put up hay for a rancher. Adam said, “We got up one morning and John said to me, “Ad, our baby is dead”. Adam made fun of him a bit for making such a remark but two hours later, the postman came and John’s remark proved to be true. There was a letter from his wife telling him that baby Nancy had died.
About a year before he’d married Eliza, John had driven a herd of cattle from Utah to Canada.
J.H. Bennett ploughing the potatos
The rolling hills, the fertile soil and lush grasses together with the beautiful Rocky Mountains to the west appealed to him. After they were married, John again thought  of moving to Canada. Soon after the birth of their fourth child, Mabel, he asked Eliza if she would move with him and she said she would go anywhere he wanted to go.
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They began making plans and started out in a covered wagon with Levi Wheeler. Levi was married to Lovisa, John’s sister. Lovisa was a very dear friend to Eliza. They left in September of 1898 and traveled to Camas, Idaho where they stayed for the winter with relatives. Early the next spring, they set out again over the long weary miles to the Canadian border.  After their arrival in Cardston they took up homesteads on land southwest of Kimball.
J.H. Bennett crop
John arrived in his wagon with his wife, family and $10 in his pocket. They lived in the covered wagon the first year while preparing the virgin sod for planting their crop of wheat.
J.H. Bennett crew
Jane and John Bennett, Center of photo
That summer, they collected enough logs to build a one room home. The nearest center to purchase supplies was 14 miles away so trips were rare. Money was scarce so purchased items were done by exchange.
J.H. Bennett home in Canada
Soon they moved to the Kimball Valley, closer to a school and church. In June, 1900 their first Canadian child was born, Zelma and 1902 baby Marlin arrived. Then, 1904 was the arrival of baby William George, named for his grandfathers but the tragedy of Eliza’s death arrived as well.
J.H. Bennett ploughing the potatos
After the death of Eliza, John had a difficult time. She was the love of his life and he was left with six children under the age of 9. Family and friends helped him until he was able to locate a woman to come in and help care for his family. Her name was Jane Powell Empey. She had two daughters from a previous marriage. They eventually married and had six more children.
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John goes on to be a leading citizen of his town, well respected and profitable. William George comes to love his step-mother Jane and she treated him very well. That is comforting to me. He really loved her and while a step-parent has a difficult job, to know that Jane was able to come in and care for and love those children of Eliza’s is nice to think about. The fact that Grandpa Bill loved her so much shows her character too.
J.H. Bennett and second wife
John and second wife, Jane
This is just the beginning of John’s story, but what a great legacy of John and Eliza’s love.
J.H. Bennett
John Harvey Bennett

J.H. Bennett and Marlin, Bill's brother

Paul’s Grandfather Bill not only kept written biographies of his ancestors, he also kept numerous photographs. We are so lucky we can weave his words and photographs to give a complex picture of his history. I, for one, am grateful my children will have such a significant amount of knowledge of their ancestors.