Category Archives: Bennett family

(Venita) Maxine Bailey Bennett

November 13, 1925 – February 28, 2016


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.

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





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 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
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.
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.
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.


William George Bennett

Paul’s grandfather, Bill Bennett, was such a nice man. He was genial, always in a good mood and he loved my dimples.  My father in law Lloyd was very close to his father. He said he could remember being a boy living in England, and upon returning to their home, his father would pick him up and carry him in. He knew he was awake enough to walk into their home but the feelings of love were so wonderful, snuggled into his father’s arms, that he kept quiet and pretended to sleep.

Nowhere in his story will he tell you how much he loved music nor of his musical ability. No story is more touching than when Lloyd needed money for college and Bill sold his prized violin so that he son could afford college. Many years later, Lloyd never forgot that kindness and he and Maxine eventually replaced the violin with a new one. Bill enjoyed it then passed it along to Mary Jean. Bill could make friends with anyone and when he was older, he’d go to the mall and people watch.

Uncle Jack (relative of Bea’s, Paul, Bill and Lloyd at our wedding

He was at the end of his days when Taylor Bennett was born. I had my parents take us to my in-laws to see Grandpa Bennett with that baby girl, as soon as we were released from the hospital.


William George Bennett was born in Kimball, Alberta Canada on January 8, 1904.

He was named after his grandfathers, William Parker and George Bennett. His parents were John Harvey Bennett and Eliza Ann Parker Bennett.

Maria, Will, Edith and Eliza standing, mother Elizabeth seated

His mother Eliza was born December 10, 1872 in Hooper, Utah. She was called “Lyd” by family and friends. She was the oldest in her family and had two sisters, Maria and Edith and one brother, William . She went to school in a little adobe school house in Hooper and went as far as the fourth reader. She was even-tempered and easy to get along with. Her sister Edith used to say, “I never knew Lyd to have any serious troubles with anyone” with the exception of two boys they grew up with in Hooper. Those two boys were very mean to them and they would roll the girls in a ditch and put sand burrs in their hair and called it “Mormon lice”.

Eliza Ann was a great lover of music and dancing. She sang many duets with her sister Rie (short for Maria)  and she had many admirers. She dated lots of boys and at one time was engaged to a Charlie Whitehead but he wanted her to move to Mexico with him. She refused. It was at that time that she met a dashing young man from Kaysville who had moved to Hooper.  With her charm, her wonderful sweet personality and radiant beauty and lovely long blond hair caught the attention of John Bennett. They went to together for two years and were married on February 15, 1893. They had one baby, Nancy, who died at the age of 8 months and is buried in Hooper.


She then had Leah and Mabel and baby Ira and soon decided to move to Canada. They set out in September of 1898 in a covered wagon for the North West Territories of Canada. She had seven babies and the birth of the last baby brought grief and tragedy to their family. Due to the lack of proper sanitation and sterilized equipment, his mother contracted blood poison and passed away just eleven days after her baby had been born. Before she passed away, she called her children to her bedside and asked them to always be good and said to her husband John, “Please keep the children together.” Eliza Ann Parker Bennett was 32 years old.


Bill was the seventh child. His father was left with six children under the age of 9 and no wife. Bill Bennett’s grandmother, Elizabeth Alexander Parker arrived from Utah for the funeral and to take charge of the infant. She returned to Utah and took Baby Bill with her.

I can only imagine how blue his eyes must have been here

It was pre-arranged that Bill would remain in Utah with his grandmother until he reached three years of age. When the time arrived, his father John Bennett made the trip from Cardston to Ogden by train to take him home. Grandpa Bill remembered that visit even though he was so young.

Grandpa Bill said that his dear Grandmother had become attached to him. He went everywhere with her. She tended to sick people. He was very close to his grandmother. He played with his Parker cousins and sometimes Bennett cousins but mostly, Bill played alone.

One of the games he liked to play the most was cemetery. He would build the cemetery complete with little sticks for posts and string for a wire. He would bury little chicks, birds, and mice that died. This was on the south slope of the hill below their tiny home beside his Uncle Anthony and Aunt Edith Stoddard’s home.

Grandma Parker convinced his father to leave him with her. He continued living with her until he was six. Then his father arrived with his step-mother, Jane Powell, and his brother Marlin and sister Zelma. It was time for Bill to return to Canada. He became acquainted with his sister and brother and it was going well until it was time to leave Hooper, Utah for Ogden to catch the train for Canada. Bill realized that he was leaving his grandmother and it was very hard for him to part from her, especially as he could see she was crying when he got on the train. He cried for hours after the train pulled out of the station. He said he’d left his early childhood and his grandmother, which had been his only link to his mother.

Grandma Parker and Bill

card from grandma


When Bill arrived in Canada, he found himself in a new world. There were lots of brothers and sisters he had never met, many cattle, horses, and chickens which seemed strange to him in such numbers. Everything seemed very big to him.

Because he was so new to the family, he was the center of attention. Everyone was kind to him but he felt bewildered as they all wanted him to play at the same time. It was difficult after growing up as an only child.

Bill soon found that he was expected to do his full share of chores which included bringing in kindling and coal for fires and drawing water from the well. He also learned to milk a cow. This was his chore, twice a day, for years to come.

Bill standing on the far right and his father sitting with a baby on his lap, his step-mother to Bill’s right.

As a teen, they played Hide and Seek, Run Sheep Run, Baseball, and horseback riding. He would roam the hills among the chokecherry groves and down by St. Mary river.

Bill kneeling in front of his baseball team

As he grew older he began to work in the fields, plowing, etc. to plant wheat. His father was considered the biggest and best thresher man in Alberta.

Bill was an eager student and he was the first in his family to earn an 8th-grade diploma. But working on the ranch came first and he was not able to finish his schooling.


The church was a big part of their lives. He received his mission and on February 19, 1925, took the train out of Cardston along with three other missionaries. His father and step-mother traveled with him as far as Sterling. Bill said he’d never forget his father hanging onto his hand as the train left, tears running down his cheeks and saying, “God bless and protect you son.” Bill felt sure his father must have been thinking how proud his mother would have been of him.


They were on the S.S. Montcalm for nine days before landing in Liverpool, England. Bill thought England was quaint and charming and he spent eight months in the Liverpool district. From there, he went to the Norwich district where he could meet up with one of his friends, Forest Wood.


His companion, Elder Murphy and he rode their bikes to Northampton and he met the Jackson family. Their eldest child was a beautiful 17-year-old Beatrice Mary. They had a wonderful weekend. Bill was released from his mission and on March 27, 1927, he set out to say his goodbyes to people he had met over the course of the previous two years, including the Jackson family. He then left England to make a trip across Europe including Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Italy and France before returning to Canada. He returned home to his family and one day while out riding with his father, he told his father of meeting Beatrice. He told him of some of her talents and her beauty and her devotion to the gospel. He told his father that he’d like to make her his wife. His father said, “I suppose there are just as good and reliable girls in England as in Canada.” Bill got a job then made plans to make Beatrice his wife.

Telegram from Beatrice, telling Bill of her arrival

She joined him on April 12, 1928, and they were married one week later, on April 19th, which was also Beatrice’s birthday.


They had a three-week honeymoon to Salt Lake City, Utah, then returned to Canada. They lived with his parents for a short while and then moved into a third story apartment in the “Tolley House” which they dubbed “Seventh-Heaven”. William Lloyd Bennett was born on August 21, 1929.


They were happy in Canada until the depression came along in 1932. By then, Bill had no work and couldn’t find a job anywhere. He had walked miles looking for work and when he returned home, he found his wife and young son sitting in the dark. The electricity had been shut off for non-payment. His in-laws felt if they went to England, they could get work. They sold all their belongings and boarded an ocean liner, the C.P.R. and crossed the Atlantic to Tilsbury Docks, London where they took the train to Northampton.

They stayed with the Jackson family for a while and they both found employment. Soon, they were able to buy a home. They lived in a duplex next to friends and life was good there.

We have all of these amazing records and pictures since Grandpa Bennett was a good Mormon man. All of the information contained in this came from Grandpa’s Brief Life Sketch that he put together. But it’s not brief. That’s the only lie contained in it. What happens next, of course, is World War II. I am going to quote Grandpa Bennett now.

“A mad man, Adolph Hitler was at the helm of German politics and he believed he was a super power in the world. In England, air-raid shelters were built or prepared. Military action was stepped up and given No. 1 priority. Many were enrolled in Home Defense, including myself. I took a course in St. John’s Ambulance procedure along with many other men in Northampton. ”

Beatrice wrote to the Mormon Mission President to ask his advice. He felt sure the world was indeed headed to war. They decided to sell their home and return to Canada. They were lucky to sell their home quickly and their friend Irene joined them.  They left Northampton and went to Southampton to catch their ocean liner. The ship they were to board was taken over by the Government as a ship for troops. They were assured that if they went to Liverpool, they should be able to get a ship from there.

Their ship left the dock side by side with another ocean liner. It was a great relief to be on board the ship but their problems were not over. They had a German submarine try to sink their ship but it was taken out. Then, the afternoon of the second day at sea, a plane flew overhead. The crew members mounted guns on it until it identified itself as English, out searching for German submarines. They stood on deck with gas masks and life jackets. To great relief, they finally arrived in Canada.

Bill and Lloyd
Bill and Lloyd

Now, they had to begin again, finding new employment and a place to live. They stayed with family then moved into an apartment in the big Marsden Home then to the Wolf home to be nearer their dream home as it was being built. It was a happy day when they moved into the basement of that home.

The urge to join the Army was great and thus Bill joined the Royal Canadian Armed Forces and he left his wife and son, along with daughter Darlene, and trained in Calgary. Then he went on to Lethbridge where he was asked to serve in the Quarter Master Stores where all of the clothing and personal items were kept. Their battery then joined the 6th Regiment. He then served in the 112th Battery.  After several months, he was released to go home. Once there, he joined the Air Force Reserve as a 2nd Lieutenant to train new recruits.


Then Bill got a job at Cooper Transport, driving a truck. It was while he was driving truck that he learned of the troubles with the Bach family. Bill phoned the school and was told that Miriam certainly needed a home and some loving care. Bill called her father and asked if he’d like Bill and Bea to take Miriam and he said yes. Bill told him they would want to adopt her and her father said he couldn’t take care of all of his kids so it would be okay.

Lloyd, Bill, Miriam, Darlene and Bea

Then Bill went to work for the Cahoon Hotel and worked there for 9 years. He finally resigned on October 31st, 1956 and moved to Salt Lake City, Utah.

Cahoon hotel

He had to find new employment and soon had a job at the Salt Lake City School District as a Custodian then he went to work as a Building Engineer at the Salt Lake County Detention Center. His son Lloyd was his boss and Bill said he never had a better boss.  He retired on July 30th, 1971.


He went back to Canada in 1971 to secure his right to the Canadian Old Age Pension. Bea was still in Salt Lake and he’d missed her very much. He lived with Miriam and her husband while he was in Canada then returned to Salt Lake.

After Christmas, he and Bea returned to Salt Lake, where their daughter Miriam was very ill and then passed away.

In retirement, Bill and Bea were able to travel to England and Europe, Canada and the United States. Bill ends his history by saying that “I’m very grateful for my training and was raised to believe in God and our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Bill and bea
Bill and Bea on their 60th Wedding Anniversary, in the backyard of their home in Salt Lake City

At the end of his life, Bill and Bea moved to Stockton to live with Lloyd and Maxine. They were well cared for until Bill’s death on December 2nd, 1992, at the age of 88 years old.  Bill died of heart failure.

This last photograph is one of Bill’s prized possessions, an autographed portrait of President Ronald Regan.


Beatrice and William…their last years

Lloyd, Bill, Miriam, Darlene and Bea

Well a new year has arrived. 2017…Here is to good times with family, good days ahead and good stories.

When we left off with Bill and Bea, they were living in Canada and had at last adopted Miriam and had a very fine little family.
Lloyd worked after school during high school, making $25 a month. When they had finished building their home, Lloyd didn’t want Bea to put her old coal stove into the new kitchen that had been built so he gave her $100 toward buying a new stove.


When the time came for Lloyd to go off to college, he was accepted at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. Bea took in sewing to help pay for Lloyd’s schooling. Finally, on very short funds, Bill sold his violin to help pay for college. Bea cried over that for years but when Lloyd and Maxine were long married, they purchased a new violin to replace it.

Lloyd had been gone to college for a bit when a woman came to see Bea. She didn’t know her but the woman was from Simpson Sears Mail Order Office and she said she had heard of Bea and wanted her to come work at their office.

She and Bill had difficult times in their marriage but the one thing they agreed on was providing an education for their children. She went to work there and Bill was working for the Cahoon Hotel…(spoiler alert, Aunt Miriam married Golden Cahoon).

Bea and Bill had a number of people live with them over the years. This included their dear friend Irene who moved with them from England and was a help to Bea when Bill was off in the army. Irene had a sister by the name of Hilda and she married a gentleman by the name of Haydn and they stayed good friends with Bea and Bill over the years.

In 1953, she and Bill wrote to her parents and asked them to come back and live with them for a year. She and Bill sent tickets to them and they arrived in Christmas. It had been a long time since she had seen her parents. It happened that Lloyd graduated from the University of Utah while they were visiting so they were able to attend. After Lloyd’s graduation, they drove her parents to the Grand Canyon then to Knotts Berry Farm and other places in California before driving Lloyd and Maxine back to Salt Lake. Her parents really enjoyed that vacation and after they left the Grand Canyon, her father said, “We are having a millionaires holiday, mom, and it isn’t costing us a penny.”


They returned with her parents to Salt Lake that August as Lloyd and Maxine were getting married. They were very happy to be at their oldest grandchild’s wedding.

Daughter Miriam also had her first child during that trip so they were here in time to see Wendy born in March of 1954 (sorry to out your age, my dear, hahaha). Bea was the first person to hold Wendy after the doctor. Her parents returned home to England and their life settled into a normal routine once again.

Eventually, Darlene, their youngest, became unhappy in Canada and she went to Salt Lake, lived with Lloyd and Maxine and went to high school there. She went back to Canada but was itching to finish school in Utah. In 1956, Bill got the idea of moving to Salt Lake, too, and was very serious about it. Bea wasn’t keen on starting over. However, she finally told Bill that if he was able to sell their home, she would consider it. She really didn’t believe that would happen. Their home sold in the fall of 1956 and Bill went to Salt Lake first, to look for a job and to get them settled. Bill went to the Board of Education and got a job and purchased a house for them. Bea wasn’t happy and she sure didn’t like that house one bit. Darlene’s friend had gotten permission to move with them to Salt Lake. Bea went back to Canada for a bit, then asked her employer to hold her job for her while she decided if she really wanted to go to Salt Lake.  They moved to Salt Lake for good and Bea set out to make that tiny house her home.

Darlene got married in 1959 to Henry Watkins then Bea left that night for England to see her siblings. It had been so many years since she had seen them and missed them terribly. This was the first time she had flown in a plane. She was very nervous but really loved it.

While there, she was able to return to her folks in Northampton, able to see her Aunt Poll who was in a nursing home by this time, saw her Uncle Sid and Aunt Frances and her dear friend Betty Cook Wilson who now lived in Gloucester.

Bea was walking with her parents by the railroad station when she asked her father if he had ever been to Wales, where his family originated. He said he hadn’t. She told him, “Well, today is the day.” She bought them three tickets to Abergavenney, Wales. It was a lovely valley, hilly and so beautiful. Bea asked her father if he knew anything about his family, but he said he only knew that his grandmother was named Phoebe and nothing else.


They found a place to stay for the night then visited the old church of St. Mary. When they arrived at the church, the organist was playing, “Praise My Soul The King of Heaven” and the sun was shinning. Her father said, “Girlie, I wish I could tell you something about my family but I only know that my grandfather, Emanuel Jackson married Phoebe but that was it.” As they stood there looking down the aisle where his grandparents had been married, a book fell open and there on the right side of the book were the names of his grandparents, along with the year they were married and the names of the witnesses to their marriage.

They walked over to Mill Street and found the house that her great-grandparents had lived in and where her grandfather was born. They went up to an old castle which was mostly in ruins. There was a ceremony going on and when she found out it was for a Mr. Jackson and that he was a Freeman of the Borough (Okay, Yvonne again. So, I am unclear on reading Grandma Bea’s words if, in fact, it was a direct relative or not but that is how it goes.)

She finally returned to Salt Lake after the most wonderful trip home. Bill was waiting for her at the bottom of the plane steps. She was glad to be home.

Uncle Jack from England, Bill, Myself and my father in law Lloyd in the background, 1989 at Morris Chapel, University of the Pacific, Stockton, CA
Bea, Bill and baby Taylor, home from the hospital to see her great-grandfather, 1992

Bill and Bea lived happily in Salt Lake until about 1991 when they moved to Stockton. Lloyd had the annex turned into a room for them as he knew Bill’s health wasn’t great and that he couldn’t have Bea there taking care of Bill alone. Bill died on December 2, 1992. Taylor was just two months old and we all traveled back to Salt Lake for his funeral. Miriam Bennett Cahoon suffered from ALS and had died on August 8, 1973. She is buried in Cardston, Alberta, Canada. Darlene and her family arrived for Grandpa Bennett’s funeral, as did his Canadian grandchildren. A couple of nights after the funeral, Paul and I went with his cousin Rodney, Darlene’s only son, and his wife out for a few hours. My mother in law kept Taylor and Aunt Darlene kept Rodney’s little boy who was about two. Cousin Bill had driven us downtown and when he returned for us, he said, “Boy, your baby has been crying since you left.” I kinda freaked out and said, “My baby?” (Taylor was a good infant and I was so shocked) and he said, “No, theirs.” Turns out poor Darlene’s grandchild didn’t appreciate being left. That Taylor Bennett, however, was a trooper. Good as gold, her Grandma Maxine said.

60th Wedding Anniversary celebration for Bea and Bill in Salt Lake City, Utah 1988

Grandma Bea moved back to Stockton for good. Her Salt Lake home was sold and she lived with Lloyd and Maxine. My children all got to know her well. I spent many hours with her. One time, I took her and Grandma Maxine (after Lloyd had passed away) to a Thanksgiving dinner in San Francisco at my brother’s home. It was a really great night. I would take her shopping and to lunch and we would talk. She would tell me stories of her life and especially about her baby that she had lost. She still mourned his loss after all that time. In her ancestry book, she pasted a picture of Paul in the place where his picture would have been. She had nothing to remember him by, just his memory.

Her Ancestry page with no picture for her baby, instead Paul’s high school picture
Lloyd, Paul and Bill
Bill and Bea and their family in 1984…Chuck, Scott, Paul, Carol, Anita, Mary, Maxine, Wesley, Bill, Bea, Brent, Lloyd
Lloyd, Bea, Darlene
Paul, Carol, Bea, Anita, Mary, Maxine and Lloyd
Carol, Maxine, Mary, Bea, Myself and Anita, shopping excursion
Bea, Lloyd, Debbie (Daughter of Miriam)
Bea and Lloyd (son of Miriam)
Myself, Taylor and Great-Grandma Bea
Bea, Taylor and baby Jacques Bennett and boy was she happy to have that Bennett name continue
Taylor, Bea and Jacques
Maxine, Lauren McBride and Grandma Bea
Darlene, Bea, Maxine, Mary, Lauren, Anita, Ryan
Bea and Great-Granddaughter, Hailey Bennett
Bea and Hailey Bennett, Lloyd’s last grandchild
Grandma Bea and Hailey

On December 18, 2005, Beatrice Mary Jackson Bennett, at the age of 96, went home to the people that missed her the most: her husband Bill, her parents Harry and Bea Jackson and her sons Lloyd Bennett, Baby Boy Bennett and her dear daughter Miriam.

Bea and Bill Bennett





Beatrice and Bill …part II

Bea and Bill

Another year has come and gone. I am looking forward to 2017, researching my ancestors, sharing their stories with everyone, continued writing. This year saw not as many posts as the year before but when my mother-in-law Maxine left us, she left a little hole in my soul. She was the last piece of our lives that we had held onto, that little piece of a parental love. Now, I will continue my stories and hope to bring each person to life, just a little bit, for a brief moment. As always, my editor, Taylor Bennett, has my sincere gratitude for her patience and love and helping me put together my thoughts. This is my last post for 2016 and my first post for 2017 will conclude the Beatrice Mary Jackson Bennett story. Cheers!

Beatrice Mary Jackson met William George Bennett on June 30th 1927 when two missionaries came to her home in England. Brother Bennett was there to meet a missionary who he left Canada with on his mission and was told to meet him at the home of the Jackson Family. William played the violin and Beatrice played the piano. They had that in common and by the time that he left, Bill asked Bea to write to him. They had only seen each other in person three times. They wrote to one another over a one year period. He sent her a ring that he had purchased in England and taken home with him to Canada. He sent for her and on March 31st, 1928 Bea embarked on the S.S. Montcalm for an 8-day trip across the ocean to Canada at the age of 18. She had a wonderful trip.


She disembarked in Canada and went by train to Lethbridge where Bill was to meet her. He wasn’t there. She stayed on the train to Cardston. When she arrived, she was met by a stranger who introduced himself as Ed Wolsey. He told her his wife was in the hospital with a new baby boy. She was Merelda, a sister to Bill. Bill had been given the wrong time that the train was to arrive and he’d missed her. She was in bed when he finally arrived and it was a joyous meeting. They were married a week later, April 19, 1928, her 19th birthday.


They stayed with his parents for a couple of months until they found a third-floor apartment that they dubbed “Seventh Heaven” and they had very happy days there.

After that, Bill wanted them to live on a ranch that his father owned. Bea felt that was a mistake as she was no country girl. Their nearest neighbor was a mile away and they lived on the U.S. border.

Bill’s father wanted them to move to Kimball and take care of his ranch there so they did. Lloyd was born on August 21, 1929. Her parents wanted to come to Canada and she wanted them to come. They thought they would be able to help care for her family while her father looked for a job. It didn’t work out that way. It was 1929 and impossible to find a job anywhere. She wished they had never come because her father never ended up finding a job. Her father decided to take her brother Ray and head back to England. He had nothing to go back to because they had sold everything to get to Canada.


Eventually, Bill had sold enough wheat that they could make a down payment on a little house in Cardston. Times were very difficult. The rest of her family went back to England and the day Bill came home, Bea was sitting at the table with Lloyd on her lap because the electricity had been turned off. They simply had no money. Bill’s father died on July 3, 1933 and they had no one left to turn to. That following April, Bill had walked miles and miles looking for work and couldn’t find a thing. They sold their car to make ends meet. On April 19, 1933 Bill left the house and didn’t wish her a happy birthday or happy anniversary and she cried after he left. He came home early in the afternoon and had earned 75 cents. That was the happiest birthday she had ever had. She said it was funny how love grows when you only have each other and one small boy.

Bill, Bea, Lloyd, Aunt Poll

She was seven and a half months pregnant on May 3, 1933 when she became ill. Her second baby was born and lived for less than two short days. No money to bury her poor baby. They wrote to her folks in England and they were told that they could have jobs if they went back to England and so she, Bill and Lloyd, now 4, sold everything they owned then had to catch a ride with a stranger who was traveling to Montreal in a Packard Straight Eight and wanted help driving.


They arrived in England and in short order they both had jobs and were doing much better. She paid her parents for their room and they both recuperated. They had a good life in England, Lloyd started school and they did well until 1938. Bill had continued to want to return to Canada, his home, but they were very happy in England.

In 1938, things were becoming very troubling in England. Hitler had taken over Germany and Jews were being arrested and murdered by the thousands and many had escaped to England with terrible stories.

Bill wanted to take her and Lloyd to Canada. She wrote to a church elder who had been in World War I, and he told her that England would be at war within the year. They left their jobs, gave up everything they had acquired and prepared to leave for Canada. They had purchased tickets for a ship but it kept getting moved from date to date. Finally, they left Liverpool on the Montroyal, which was loaded with people. Two ships went out with two destroyers next to them. The Germans had sunk a ship by the name of Athenia. They were carrying a lot of passengers that had survived that sinking and their stories were tragic. One woman had lost her husband and children on the Athenia. Her child was in the bathtub and she could hear him screaming when the torpedo hit the ship and couldn’t get to him. While they were on board the SS Montroyal, they heard an explosion and their ship rocked from one end to the other. Lloyd was about 10 years old and white as a sheet. They scurried up to the deck with their gas masks. The sirens were screaming and they got into their lifeboats as they had been instructed. They found that a submarine had been following one of the ships and the destroyer next to them had dropped a depth charge and sunk that submarine. Passengers on deck had seen oil raise from the submarine.


They finally made it to Canada and took the train to Cardston and met up again with Bill’s family.

They adopted a baby girl, Darlene, in February of 1940 and they had a happy little family. Bill was working as a Manager of a grocery store when Pearl Harbor was bombed and Bill decided, against Bea’s wishes, to enlist in the Canadian Army. Bea was left with two children at home in Canada.



When Bill returned, he found a job at Will Cooper Transport and they soon adopted Miriam. Bea had gone to Lethbridge with Bill in his truck and when she was returning to Cardston she saw a little girl sitting in the cab of the truck. She asked Bill who she was and he said Miriam Bach, the child of a man who worked for Bill’s father on the ranch. Miriam was nine years old. She asked if she could come and stay with Bill and Bea. They told her yes and they took her home for two weeks but she stayed the entire summer. She acted so hungry and couldn’t get enough to eat. When summer was over, it was time for her to return to her home and she cried and cried so much. The following year, Miriam wanted to come back to Bill and Bea’s home and Bea told her no.

Bea was working part time in a grocery store when she met Alfred Bach, Miriam’s half-brother. He told her that when Miriam had left them the year before, her mother didn’t’ pick her up as promised but Miriam was staying at Bill’s cousin’s home. Her mother had gone away with another man and Miriam was ill and in the hospital.

The following week Bea went with Bill to Calgary and found that Miriam was a very sick little girl. She had been underfed, under clothed and overworked. They went home and a week later Bea called her in the hospital and when Miriam asked if she could return to them, Bea told her that Bill would go and see her father, to see if he would allow them to raise her.

Bill talked her father into letting them keep Miriam and she came with such threadbare clothing, they simply threw everything away and started from scratch. She had suffered in the hospital with yellow jaundice and looked pitiful. Miriam ate and ate and after dinner asked if she could have a peanut butter sandwich. Bea told her she could. Miriam had nightmares when she first came to them. Two weeks later, Bea found out that the other children had been removed from Miriam’s home too. Miriam was afraid she would be returned to her mother but Bea and Bill put in to legally adopt Miriam.

Miriam was a good and loving daughter. She became very good friends with Lloyd and both she and Darlene adored their brother.


So, Bea and Bill went through a lot in their lives. World War I, the Panic, Depression, back to England, World War II, birth of two children, the death of one child, adoptions, a return to Canada and a more settled life. It will take one more post to finish their story, as they lived a very full life.


Paul and I traveled with his parents and grandparents and this picture was taken in North Carolina on that trip. I stayed in the same room with Grandma and Grandpa.

Myself, Grandma Bea and Paul at our wedding, 1989
Taylor Bennett and her Great-Grandma Beatrice reading together
Maxine, Lloyd and Grandma Bea
Grandma Bennett

Beatrice Mary Jackson Bennett

So, in keeping with my “people I knew” theme, I am going to start my Bennett posts with Paul’s Grandma, Beatrice Mary Jackson Bennett. Grandma Bennett was a short, outgoing woman who was always well dressed and who adored me. You can see why I started with her. When I met Paul, she was the first person to really welcome me and always made me feel at home. My mother-in-law Maxine wasn’t too warm to me in the beginning (my sister-in-law raced out to the driveway, just to see if I was “another bimbo with big-boobs” (I wasn’t!)). But Grandma Beatrice, she adored me.

She was always well dressed and my family thought she looked just like the “Queen of England”.  She wasn’t the Queen of England, but she was born there. She weighed 12 pounds at birth and her father said, “My gosh, she’s a funny thing.”  Her mother’s feelings were hurt because she was so proud of her new baby. They lived at 19 Brook Street in Northampton, England on April 19, 1909. Her father was Harry Jackson and her mother was Beatrice Wardle Jackson. She had four siblings, Evelyn (Eve), Albert (Bert) Raymond (Ray) and Eileen.

Beatrice in front of 19 Brooks St, Northampton, England

My parents really loved her too. She treated my parents very well. Grandma Bea was a very warm and engaging person. She could get hyped up, especially if she thought you might throw the silverware into the trash or if a Christmas gift she purchased for someone was lost in the shuffle and she was frightened someone else might open it in error. But she was always in my corner. One day, right after Paul and I got married, an old girlfriend of his called his parents home, just to say hi to him and check in. Grandma Bea told the girl that he was married now and had no wish to talk to her. Funny, right?

Harry Jackson and Beatrice Wardle Jackson holding Beatrice Mary Jackson

When she was a young child, she remembered The First World War, her father leaving for the war when she was about 7 and her mother would sit by the fire and cry. Before he left, they had experienced their first air raid. Her father had gotten them out of bed and then went next door to collect Mrs. Smith and her children, as their father was already gone in the war. The windows were all covered with dark blinds and they all sat in their home waiting. They heard bombs falling and one fell at a home behind her Aunt Phoebes and people were killed.

She could remember her Grandfather Henry Wardle (1860-1914). He used to walk up to their home every day. That was his daily walk. He would say he was coming to play with the “Childer”. That was a Yorkshire word and he was from Yorkshire. She just loved him and he would play school with her and he was a special person. He would take her down to the store and she always got a little treat and then he’d let her watch the children play on the field in the school nearby. One day he didn’t come and she would ask her mother, “Where is my grandpa, why doesn’t he come anymore, Mum?” and she said her mother would just cry and cry.

Henry Wardle
Mary Jane Mottram Wardle

When she was about seven, her mother would send her down to the “cue” line to wait to receive food. Her mother would warn her not to let the women push her out of line and that it was very important she get that food because if she didn’t, they might not have any food for the week. Bea would stand there with her sister Eve, who was two years younger than her, holding onto her hand and fighting for their place in line. They would get pounds of potatoes or pounds of carrots.

There was an old wood yard on Broad Street in Northampton where she and her sister Eve would push their baby pram to the yard to pick up wood. There was a German prisoner who was very kind to her and her sister. He had two small daughters at home in Germany so he would fill the carriage as much as he could get into it and then she and Eve would push it back home. The wood cost them sixpence.

Beatrice and Eve

She remembered the day the Armistice was signed on November 11, 1918. They weren’t allowed to go far from home but that day they were free as birds and could go anywhere, so she took her sister Eve to the Market Square alone and people were passing out pennies.

Bea and her mother, Beatrice

Her family joined the Mormon Church when she was 12 years old. Her father had a best friend who had gone off to America to live in Salt Lake City and he sent two missionaries to their home in London and they were baptized into the LDS church. She said it wasn’t easy to be a Mormon in those days. No one wanted to be friends with them and missionaries were having a rough time too.

Harry Jackson, Beatrice Wardle Jackson, Beatrice Jackson, Eve Jackson

She attended St. George’s School for Girls in London. She loved school very much and her best friend was Betty Cook and they were called “the inseparables”.

Bea was very close to her father. He would wake her early in the morning and say, “Girlie, would you like to go for a walk?” They would walk for miles. She could talk to her father and they would sing and pick blue bells.

Jackson Family

She had to leave school at the age of 14 and go to work to help her family. She worked in a shoe factory on a special beading machine.


Christmas was a special time for their family and her parents would sit near the fireplace and sing. Her father would make up song lyrics, like “Hark, the Herald Angels Sing, Beechams Pills are the just the thing. Peace on Earth and Mercy Mild, two for adults and one for a child”. They would laugh and her mother would say, “Harry you fool.”

Her Grandmother Wardle and Aunt Gladys would come for Christmas in a taxi paid for by her father. They would to go her Aunt Frances’ home for Boxing Day then to her Aunt Annie’s home for a treat.


Evelyn                                                               Bert and Ray

One time she and her sister Eve had gone to her Aunt Poll’s home, wearing lovely white dresses, new white shoes and socks then decided to play in the water barrel where she kept the soft water to wash her hair then into the chicken coop. Aunt Poll cussed then said, “You young buggers, get out of those clothes.” She washed their dresses, worked on their shoes and socks and sent them home again with a warning to “not tell your parents, you buggers.”

Aunt Poll’s  son, Aunt Poll, Lloyd and Bea in about 1934

She met her husband Bill Bennett only three times before she married him. He was on a mission to England when he met her the first time. After that, the corresponded by mail and eventually she traveled on her own to Canada to marry him.

Bill and Bea Bennett

Bea’s story continues when she arrives in Canada to marry  Bill but I will continue that on another post. It is a long story and well worth re-telling, well worth remembering. She was a woman who lived through World War I, the boom of the 1920’s, the Great Depression, World War II, a child who lived, those that died and those that came into their lives.


Grandma Bea lived long enough to spend time with my children and to get to know each of them. She really adored Taylor and she, along with Grandma Maxine, took Taylor to lunch every Wednesday at Home Town Buffet. Taylor was allowed to pick her lunch and they would spend several hours together, reading books, playing and just being good to my daughter.

Beatrice was a good Mormon, but she wasn’t such a good Mormon that her husband wasn’t allowed to drink a Coke. But like all good Mormons, she made an incredibly detailed autobiography of her life. She also left a voice recording of her life. Genealogy was very important to her. She spent hours researching and her work meant so much to her. I am not a Mormon nor are these my people but her work means a lot to me, because without those people, my children would not be who they are.

I have to say a big Thank You to my sister-in-law Anita Bennett McBride. Had she not shared all of these items with me, we wouldn’t have such great detailed memories , pictures and a pretty complete history of Beatrice Mary Jackson. Now, all of Bea’s grandchildren and great-grandchildren will have access to those memories as well.