Monday, September 29, 2014

Millo Jonathan Ostler and Lucy Walker Hendry

This is the story of the only great grandparent that I actually knew.  All the others passed away before I was born.  Lucy Walker Hendry Ostler Jacobs was born in Scotland but I knew her as Grandma Lucy and she lived just down the street from my elementary school and church in Sugar City, Idaho.  She is a vivid part of my childhood memories.

Her husband, Millo (rhymes with pillow) Jonathan Ostler, died a year before my birth.

Millo was a lovely man who adopted Lucy's son, George.  Millo and Lucy also adopted two daughters.  Marvol shown in this picture being held by my grandfather, George Ostler.  Unfortunately, she passed away from Bright's Disease when just 6 years of age.

Millo and Lucy also adopted Maxene shown in this photo with her mother.  They were wonderful people with large hearts who suffered greatly during their own childhoods.  Here are their stories.

Christina "Hazel" Hendry and Lucy Walker Hendry

My life story by Lucy Walker Hendry Ostler

I was born of Scotch parents on 20 September 1884 at Govan, Lanark, Scotland the daughter of George Walker Hendry who was born 6 March 1855.  My mother’s name is Christina McGregor born in the year 1862. No other record found as yet until her marriage.

Very little is known of my early childhood as I will have to write from just where I can remember.  The first thing I can remember is one night after my father had returned from his work he sat me on the gate post and I asked him his name.  He said it was George.  I told him I liked that name and when I was as big and got a baby boy, I was going to name it George which I did.

Then after that I can remember going to meet him when he would come home from work and how he would play with us children.  I well remember the night my father was killed.  He was killed at the building of the Forth Bridge.  He was what they call a boiler maker in this country.  He was up on some of the large structure from what Mr. William Price told me and it was just about quitting time and the large hoist was lowered just a few minutes too soon.  It struck my father and beheaded him there before his fellow workmen.  He said it was terrible.  It brought every man to tears even to the Superintendent.  Mr. Price, the day he told me this, he couldn’t hardly tell me for crying.  He said It was so terrible.   He said my father and mother was the best friends he ever had.  Said they lived neighbors for years.  He thought a great deal of them.  Said I need never be ashamed of my people for he knew a number of them and finer people never lived on the face of the earth.

As a little girl I can remember Scotland for its beautiful green grass and beautiful trees, rain, thunder, and lightening.  The trees were low on the ground.  We could hide under them if I am not mistaken.

After the death of my father I can remember of going to my grand parents place to stay with my mother.  I guess it was her parents.  I can remember the big iron kettle that hung in the fire place and that we had mush for supper before we went to bed.  As near as I can figure, I was only about 4 years old at the time my father was killed.  I can remember while I was visiting at my mother’s parents once that I had a little girl friend by the name of Ethel.  We used to have tea every afternoon which was water in tin cups.  I can remember it wasn’t long after the death of my father my mother brought five little children to America.

I can remember of mother being very sick on the ship.  I don’t think any of us children were sick.  I guess we were too mean.  I know every time the door was open we wanted to get out on deck.  When I seen the big black waves I wasn’t the least bit afraid.  I never had any fear of water.  I think mother brought us children to Ogden.  There were other Saints that came at the same time.  We lived in a little house by the side of a creek.  I can remember the clear water running over the rocks.  Then another sad thing came into my life.  Mother married again.  I don’t know his name.  He took her and one sister and brother away to Montana.  As near as I can remember and when they got settled they were to send for the rest of us but that was more than forty years ago and we are still waiting for her.  I do hope the time will soon come that I can find her or my sister or brother so I can clear up the mystery.  We were left with a Mr. and Mrs. Robert Sneddon and soon after we were left there at Ogden her sister Belle came up from Taylorsville and took me to live with them as they had no girl.  There I had some terrible trials to go through.

Millo Jonathan Ostler

The Life of My Father, Millo Jonathan Ostler
by one of his children either George Ostler or Maxene Ostler

Millo Jonathan Ostler was born April 5, 1882 at Payson, Utah to William Gallop Ostler born March 3, 1835 Bridport, Dosetshire, England and Frances Alice Heaton born October 23, 1865 Warm Creek, Payette, Utah.  Five boys were born to my grandmother and grandfather Ostler.  A very sad thing came into daddy’s life between the age of 7 and 8, the passing away of grandfather 24 June 1889.

Daddy being the oldest of the family found it pretty hard in trying to get the family getting along.  He would anything he could get to do.  One day a brother Robert Madison came to grandmother and ask her if daddy could go with him to his little farm.  He said he had an awful weedy patch of potatoes he wanted us boys to clean out for him.  They pulled weeds from early morning until late night.  When we got through that night, Brother Madison paid us boys off.  He gave each of us a twenty-five cent piece, and for fear that daddy might lose his, he tucked it way down into the bottom of his shoe.  On the road home the other boys were telling each other what they were going to do with theirs.  Daddy knowing that he had a mother and two little brothers at home who were very hungry, he kept still.  When Brother Madison said he hadn’t learned from daddy in what he was going to do with his money.

“Oh!,” said daddy, “I am going to give it to mother, she will know what to do with it.  Maybe she will buy some potatoes because we haven’t any.”

Wen he got home he walked into the house as proud as a peacock and handed mother the money.

Many and many a time daddy went to bed on what they called a lumpy dick supper that is just flour stirred in hot milk.  He passed through lots and lots of hardships.

Maxene, Millo, and Lucy Ostler

The following information was compiled by my sister, Janis Ostler Palmer

Millo Jonathan Ostler was born April 5, 1882 in Payson, Utah.  His father, William Ostler was born in Bridport, England on March 3, 1835.  In 1847, when William was 12 years old, LDS missionaries came to their village.  He, his parents (John Ostler and Sarah Endacott Gollop), and siblings were some of the first converted to the gospel in their village.  In 1855 this family moved to South Hampton, England and it was there in the spring of 1859 that William and his younger brother, George arranged to sail to America on the ship, "William Tapscott."  The ship sailed from Liverpool to New York City.  William's occupation on ship records was listed as shoemaker.  It was a year later that William and his brother went from Florence, Nebraska to Salt Lake City in the Jessie Murphy Ox Train.  The rest of the John Ostler Family came to America in 1861 on the ship, "Manchester" and traveled to Salt Lake City in the Claudius Spencer Company.

Millo's mother, Alice Heaton, daughter of Jonathan Heaton, Jr. and Sarah Crissy Pedder, was born in Fayette, Sanpete, Utah on October 23, 1865.  Her parents both came form England to Utah in 1861 and after marrying in the Endowment House in Salt Lake City, settled in Payson, Utah.  Alice was William's fourth wife and 30 years younger.  His first wife had separated from him, his second wife had divorced him shortly after their marriage.  No children were born to these marriages.  His third wife died during child birth in 1880.  Soon after, Alice and William married June 9, 1881 in the Endowment House in Salt Lake City and made their home in Payson, Utah.  They had five sons, Millo being the oldest.  Alvin and Arthur preceded their father in death and Reuel passed away a few years later.  After William passed away when Millo was only seven years of age, there were five children left for Alice to raise.  There were two of her own, Millo and Alva, and three from William's third wife.

Millo went to work for a farmer getting a room, board and 25 cents a a month which he gave to his widowed mother.  At nine years of age he got a job for $2 a month working after school and on weekends.  He graduated from the 8th grade in Payson, Utah.

Lucy was born in Govan, Lanark, Scotland on September 20, 1884 (some records say 1883.)  Her parents were George Walker Hendry and Christina McGregor.  She was named after her paternal grandmother, Lucy Walker.  When she was 4 years old, her father was killed in Scotland on June 2, 1887 as he was helping to build the Forth Bridge. He was 32 years old.  Soon after the Mormon missionaries taught Lucy's mother, now single with 5 children.  She joined the Mormon on November 18, 1887 after which she immigrated to the United States in April 1888 with her five young children on board the "Wisconsin" out of Liverpool with 69 other members of the Church. They passed through the customs house in New York and then transferred to a steamer for Norfolk, VA and then traveled by train to Ogden, Utah. The Mr. Price mentioned above was also a part of this group of Scottish saints.  The five children included Margaret or Maggie, the oldest born in 1880; David born in 1881; Lucy born in 1883 or 1884; Christina, called Hazel, born in 1885; and George born just 4 months before his father died in 1887.  According to Lucy’s obituary, her mother died and the children scattered to live in foster homes. (Lucy's own story written by her some years before her death tells a different story.)  Lucy lived in foster homes in Ogden and Salt Lake City.

She married Gervis (also known as Jarvis) Bates Mansfield in the spring of 1903.  This was not a happy marriage or time period for her because she divorced him and did not talk about him or let her first child, George born on March 20, 1904, know about his natural father.  He only discovered this information as a married man.  It appears that Jarvis never remarried and at the time of his death from heart disease at age 58 was living in a room of the Wilford Hotel in Preston, Idaho.

Lucy married Millo Ostler on January 24, 1907.  Not much is known about their meeting, except that they met in Ogden, Utah in June 1905.  This marriage was sealed in the Salt Lake Temple on June 5, 1907.  Lucy’s son, George, was also sealed to them at this time.  They were unable to have any children of their own but adopted two girls; Marvol Alice born December 3, 1916 and Maxene born May 26, 1924.  Marvol died of Bright’s Disease when she was just over 6 and a half years old.

Millo and Lucy made their first home in Salt Lake City in the 22nd Ward living with Millo’s invalid mother, Alice.  Millo worked for the Southern Pacific Railroad and Continental Oil Company in Salt Lake City.  The work on a smelter caused him to have pneumonia several times.  He sang in his ward choir and bass in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir for 15 years.  He served as scout master in the 22nd and 11th Wards.  He was also a counselor in the MIA in the 22nd Ward.  Lucy also had callings in the Salt Lake Wards.  She was a Relief Society teacher in the 22nd and worked in the religion class in 11th Ward. They moved to Spanish Fork for a time before moving to Teton, Idaho in 1919.  Lucy was a Primary teacher in the Spanish Fork.  Millo and Lucy lived five miles up the canyon from Spanish Fork.

Lucy and Millo lived in Teton just a short time before moving to Sugar City, Idaho in the fall of 1919.  A few reasons for the move to Idaho were Millo’s health, the fact that his mother had passed away, and that two of her married sisters, Millo’s aunts, now lived in Idaho.  The sisters were Martha Heaton married to Robert Cluff and Selina Heaton married to Albert Searle.  The Cluff’s lived in a rock home directly south of Sugar City and the Searles lived on Moody Road and had a big red barn.

In Sugar City, Millo probably first worked on his Uncle Robert Cluff’s farm.  A few years later Millo took up the trade of shoe making that his father William had also practiced.  His father had at one time made shoes for some of the Brigham Young family.  Mill’s shoe repair shop was in Harris’Building on Main Street, west of the Harrison Meat Market.  This building also had two apartments.  Millo, Lucy, and family lived in the apartment in back.  When the Harris Building was sold, Millo moved his shoe repair shop to an empty room downstairs in the old bank.  Then later it was moved around the corner and a bit east in an empty space next to the old theater entrance.  When Millo became ill at the end of his life, his shoe equipment was sold to Tom Price, a shoe repairer in Rexburg.

Millo’s second job was his contract to haul the mail from the depot to the post office.  When he did this either Lucy or Maxene would cover the shoe repair shop.  In the winter he used an over sized sleigh.  In the summer he put wheels on it to use until he could buy a pickup truck.  The post masters during this time were Chris Schwendiman and Zeke Holman.  His daughter, Maxene, remembers in the spring the baby chicks would come in and that her Dad would mostly deliver them right to the families, because so few families had telephones.  Millo got sick in 1950 and had to stop hauling the mail.  When he needed a day off, his mail hauling subs were  George and Johan Lusk, his wife Lucy, and his daughter, Maxene.

Lucy started serving meals for freight train crews three times a week, because there were no cafes in Sugar City.  In about 1928 or 1929, when Maxene was 4 or 5 years old, her parents rented the Phillips house.  It was a two story house located one block south of the drug store.  Here they took in boarders.  One room downstairs was for a woman school teacher and the upstairs rooms were for gentlemen, most of whom worked for the Sugar Factory or at the potato pits by the Union Pacific Depot.  About four years later, when Maxene was 7 or 8, this home was sold to Albert Holmes who had 13 children.  Millo and Lucy were buying the Larsen Place one block east and one block south of the Phillips house, but needed to to vacate before the new home was ready, so Mr. Jim Simmonson, a widower, who had taken meals with them offered for them to stay in his home during the interim.

At the Larsen Home (so called because it was built by Lee and Ruth Larsen) the Ostlers had a large garden and many flowers.  Lucy made flower arrangements to give to families for funerals and special occasions.  She also shared her garden produce with many families.  At this smaller house Lucy had room for just one boarder, but continued to feed 8 to 10 people during the sugar beet and potato harvests.  Many of her former boarders would stop by when they were in the area to visit with Millo and Lucy, and to show their families the lady who made the best chicken and dumplings, pies, etc.

Millo and Lucy also found tie to serve in the church in Sugar City.  He was a ward of home teacher most of his life.  He worked on the genealogical committee for 20 years.  He was secretary of the High Priest Group for the last 18 years of his life.  Both Millo and Lucy served two temple missions in the Idaho Falls Temple in 1948 and 1949.  The first year they were asked to do 70 endowments and the second year to do 25.  On their certificates of release dated March 1, 1950, Millo had done 99 endowments and Lucy served as proxy for 114 endowments.  One great-granddaughter remembers Lucy’s love of temple work.  Lucy’s ‘Book of Remembrance’ is full of family group sheets where Millo and Lucy served as proxies for ancestors.  Lucy also worked in the Relief Society.  In the booklet “Relief Society Memories of Rexburg and North Rexburg Stakes 1883-1945,” Lucy is in the photo of the Sugar First Ward Relief Society.  The history mentions that in May 1934, Lucy Ostler and Sarah Harris were in charge of a dinner that served 250.  It was part of a dinner concert with Mary Thomas and her ladies’ glee club.

Mary Thomas was my great aunt on my father's mother's side. She is standing on the right in front of her brother Alfred Ricks, Jr.  This photo also includes my paternal grandmother and her siblings.

Millo passed away at home on a Monday morning, October 1, 1951 of leukemia after suffering for a year.  He was buried October 4, 1951 next to his daughter, Marvol’s grave.  She had proceeded him in death on August 29, 1923.

 Leo Jacobs and Lucy Walker Hendry Ostler Jacobs

After Millo’s death, Lucy married Leo Jacobs on February 22, 1952.  He had also lost his spouse.  Great-grandchildren, who knew her as Grandma Jacobs, remember going to her new home just north of the Sugar City Chapel after school before heading to Primary.  There was a large garden and beautiful hollyhocks.  Lucy died April 30, 1966 and is buried beside Millo in the Sugar City Cemetery.   Leo outlived her by a few years and my family continued to visit him when in Idaho.  He was a great man as well.  I found Leo's story on Family Search and he and his wife also did temple work in the new Idaho Falls Temple.  I wonder if that might be how they became good friends.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

A return to Duchesne

Last Memorial Day, we journeyed to Duchesne and other important Jenson/Jensen family history spots with Aunt Alice.  Last weekend we returned without Aunt Alice following through on a promise.  We also took pictures of places we somehow missed last time (something to do with Glen taking the pictures out of the window :)

This is one I most regretted.  This is the home where George and Della Jenson raised their large family of 13 after the Depression had squashed many of their dreams and plans.  Aunt Alice showed us this place just across the street from their nicer home and said, "Can you imagine that many people living in that small house?"  The back add on may be on the same footprint where Jordan and his brother, Aral built a slab wood lean to so as to have a place to sleep away from all their sisters.

Our promised stop on north up the road to the Utahn Cemetery came next.  I had brought my divided iris bulbs from Arizona and we were going to plant a few to see if there would indeed be perpetual flowers for Memorial Day as we had seen by other graves last May.  First, we did a bit of cleaning up, including the leftovers from the nursery in Duchesne where we had purchased flowers months before.

We found two rocked off spaces on each side of the marker for Clive, George, and Della.

We created a bit of a water basin to capture more rain or snow.  Yes, it was raining even as we worked.

We brought a jug of water to add moisture for a hoped for good beginning.

Six deep purple irises for each space . . .

also next to the marker for Hazel.

We had brought a shovel and a hoe plus some gloves, but the rain increased the longer we stayed.  It was all a bit overwhelming.  Glen stated, "What I need is a blow torch."  Perhaps a crew can be assembled in the future to really clean the site.

Once again we drove the highway back along the Duchesne River.  After a detour up the road along the north fork of the Duchesne River we made our way back to the main road and stopped at Moon Ranch where George was herding sheep when he died.

We were more adventurous this time, and took that dirt road going up the hill in the background.

When I see corrals with a loading chute at the side of the road, I know there have been many round-ups in the past.

I loved this tree announcing "orange."

Once we got to the top of the ridge, Glen turned around so that I could take pictures from the window on the way down.  The Moon Ranch on a rainy day.

There was the sheep herder's wagon, but it also looked like he or she might now enjoy a cabin as well.

Glen said, "Make sure that you take a picture of the sheep."


So I zoomed in as far as I could zoom and there are the sheep but just barely.

The horses were pretty, too.  In the background is the road and sign leading into the ranch from the paved road.

It was a bit sobering to think of George passing away here all by himself save for his dogs and sheep and being found a day or so later.  There were autumn colors then as well on October 15, 1963.

Truly sacred ground for the Jenson/Jensen family.  This makes my 1000 published post.  Some how, it seems a proper one to honor with a special number.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Ode to Fall

Today is the official beginning of my favorite season, Fall.  What is not to love about Fall?  It is nature's last hurrah with enough shouting for everyone.  Hubby and I enjoyed a drive in the misty, rainy, colorful Utah mountains this weekend.

There were bits of color everywhere.

I've decided a misty day may be the best kind of leaf peeping day.

There was a kind of wonder to it all as sky met mountain.

I was thankful for a roadway that allowed me to easily participate. 

I love how the trees take turns being the star.

While the evergreens provide constant balance.

I'm known for loving red, but I also love the autumn colors which are so warm and inviting.

Don't you?

"Summer's loss seems little, dear, on days like these." - Ernest Dowson

"Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns." - George Eliot

Friday, September 19, 2014

Alfred Ricks and Winnifred Lovenia Roberts

I had a wonderful relationship with my Grandmother Georgianna Ricks Ostler for the first twelve years of my life.  She would tell me about her parents and I was always so sad that they had both died before I was born and she would say, "I'm so sad that they didn't get to meet you, too."

I love this picture of Alfred Ricks and Winnifred Roberts, two people who had little chance for a long and formal education but who enriched the lives of so many others.  As I searched out pictures and stories of their life, I began to feel a stronger connection and admiration for them both and their lives which spanned an incredible time during the end of the 19th Century and the great progress of the the 20th.

Alfred was born on November 28, 1868 in Logan, Utah to Thomas E. Ricks and his fifth wife, Ellen Marie Yallop.  Read more about their story here.  Alfred's family remained in Logan until Alfred was four years old and then the family moved to a large farm one mile west of Cache Junction.  He was the second boy in a family of three boys and five girls.  Ephriam was two years older and Ernest was two years younger.  A younger brother, Josiah, died at the age of four years.  Ellen was the oldest of the girls followed by Charlotte, Edith, Elizabeth, and Zina.

Alfred spent his youth doing the tasks of a boy on the farm, milking and herding cows, riding horses, and general chores.  By eleven years of age he was doing regular farm work such as plowing and harrowing, driving a four horse team or yoke of oxen which was not unusual for a boy in those days.  He had his own horse and spent Saturday afternoons riding with is friends and going fishing.  The young Ricks brothers were entrusted with running the farm while their father filled a three year mission to England for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

When Alfred was fifteen in 1883, his father was called by President Brigham Young to come to the Snake River Valley to help colonize and develop the resources of this area.  The whole family was soon involved in establishing homes and cultivating and raising crops in this new area.  On November 27, 1889, just in time for his birthday, Alfred married Mary Adeline Roberts in the Logan Temple.  The Roberts family had moved from Malad to this new place shortly after the Ricks family.  Mary Adeline was the oldest daughter of John Lloyd Roberts and Mary Adeline Ensign.  She had Welch ancestry and a very musical family so had been sent to Logan to study music.  She used this talent at church in the choir and as an organist.  When she died during child birth, as did her baby son, on January 30, 1892, it brought great sorrow to all who knew her.

Alfred had a most difficult adjustment to make but he determined to go on and bought a relinquishment on a home site from John R. Young and then filed on the place.  Money was scarce and to help financially on this new venture, he worked with Mary's father, John Lloyd Roberts, on freighting lumber from Montana.  On January 18, 1894 Alfred was remarried in the Logan Temple to Winnifred Lovenia Roberts, the younger sister of Mary Adeline.  They built a small log house on the land that Alfred had purchased and together they cleared the land and made a productive farm.

This is a picture of my childhood home taken in the late 1950's.  The part of the house seen behind the chimney was the original log cabin with the back addition added later but before my parents time.

This farm was eventually purchased by my parents who purchased it from my grandparents who had inherited it from Alfred and Winnifred.  I lived in the farm house of which the main part was the log house built by Alfred and Winnifred.  Those thick log walls provided a home that was warm in winter and cooler in summer.  When the Teton Dam broke in 1976,  this farm, no longer owned by my parents, was in the direct path of the flooding waters and the home was destroyed.

Early family picture of Alfred Ricks Family
L to R: Alfred Ricks, Jr., Alfred Ricks, Mary Adeline Ricks, Winnifred Lovenia Ricks, and Ellen Ricks.
This picture was probably taken in time period of 1902 to 1904 as Lee is not in picture having died in 1901 and Georgianna, also not in picture, was born in 1904.

Alfred and Winnifred had nine children; Mary Adeline whom they named after Winnifred's sister, was born on November 1, 1894; Ellen Ricks was born on February 3, 1896 but passed away at age 13; Alfred Ricks, Jr., was born on February 8, 1898; Lee Ricks was born on June 21, 1900 who passed away at 18 months, Georgianna was born on May 15, 1904; Lorin was born on December 21 1906; Fontella was born on January 29, 1910; Marjorie was born March 5, 1911; and the last baby boy  "Baby Ricks" born and died on January 25, 1914.

Alfred and Winnifred Ricks children in 1906 or 1907
L to R:  Ellen, Alfred, Jr., Georgianna, Lorin, and Mary Adeline

The first five children were born in Salem, meaning on their farm or the John Lloyd Roberts' farm.  When Sugar City was platted and created in 1904, their land south of the new Sugar City changed from Salem to Sugar City.  In 1904, Alfred moved his family from the farm to the new town site where he had built a fourteen-room home for his family.

Sugar City home which stood just north of Sugar-Salem High School when I was a child.  
Note the little girl standing on the porch.

Alfred Ricks' life was very closely connected with his brother, Ephriam.  They formed a business partnership which lasted for thirty-five years until the death of Alfred on October 24, 1927.  Through this joint enterprise they were financially successful and their families grew up with love and respect for one another.  They invested in land, sheep, cattle, a mercantile, and the banking business.  They became joint owners of about 500 acres of land under cultivation which annually produced between twenty and thirty thousand bushels of grain and three hundred tons of hay. They introduced the first threshing machine outfit into the country and for years spent their summers working on those machines. The business of irrigating and ditch building occupied a good share of their attention and they took an active part in the building of canals in the area.

Snapshot of the younger children probably around 1915-16
L to R:  Georgianna, Marjorie, Lorin, Fontella

Alfred held many positions of responsibility in his community.  He was on the school board for many years, Chairman of the Board of County Commissioners of Fremont County, Director of the Teton Island Canal Company, president of the Rexburg Milling Company, and served as Field Foreman for the Utah-Idaho Sugar Company.

Sugar City was formed when the sugar beet factory was planned in 1903 and then built in 1904.

This historical plaque gives detailed information about the sugar factory and its history.  Just click on the picture to read.  Alfred played a big part in the formation of the little town of Sugar City.  He was manager of the Sugar City Mercantile from 1904 until the time of his death.  During these busy years he acted as president of the Fremont County Bank of Sugar City and president of the Farmers' and Merchant's Bank of Rexburg.  He invested much of his money in the building up of Sugar City and Rexburg and financed many enterprises in the Snake River Valley.  He gave financial aid to many of his extended family, church ward, and a helping hand to many a home builder.

One of several buildings in Sugar City and Rexburg built under Alfred's tutelage.

Charles Rees Evans and family visit the Alfred and Winnie Ricks family during their 1915 trip to Yellowstone Park. Left to right:  Alfred Ricks, Fontella Ricks, Effie Evans, Vilda Evans, Charles Rees Evans (half brother to Winnifred's father John Lloyd Roberts), Winnifred Ricks, Marjorie Ricks in front of mother, Winnie Evans, unknown male, Georgianna Ricks, Lorin Ricks.  I love this picture of them in their everyday clothing and hair styles, especially Winnie's housekeeping hat.

The Sugar City Ward of the Church of Jesus Christ was organized the same year that Alfred and Winnifred moved their family to their new Sugar City home.  Alfred was made counselor to Bishop Mark Austin.  The following year he was made Bishop with J. B. Gaddie and John K. Orme as his counselors.  He served as Bishop until July 1927 just before his death in October 1927.

Old Rock Church built in Sugar City's early days while Alfred was bishop.  This photo is from the late 1950's and the newer church is shown on the left.  During my childhood, I attended Sunday School and Primary in both buildings.  The Old Rock Church is no longer standing, but the newer chapel survived the failure of the Teton Dam.

He was a man much like his father, active and vigorous, making his own way at an early age. He had a keen shrewd business mind and unlimited energy.  He loved the Snake River Valley and strived to build it up and make it better.  Although his formal education was meager, he was a well informed man, excellent organizer, and a natural born leader.  Many came to him for advice and he loved and influenced many.

Winnifred Lovenia Roberts was born December 17, 1875 at 10:30 am in Malad, Idaho to John Lloyd Roberts and Mary Adeline Ensign.  She was named after her paternal grandmother. Winnifred was the third child in a family of ten children.  To read more about her parents and family go here.

As a young girl, Winnifred's jobs were tending the younger children and scrubbing the wood floors with sand to keep it clean.  The Roberts family moved to what would become Rexburg, Idaho in the spring of 1884.  It took two weeks to travel from Malad to Rexburg and being spring the waters were high and they had difficulty in crossing the Snake River.  They remained in Rexburg until the spring of 1887 when Winnifred and her family moved to Alberta, Canada leaving her siblings Mary, Daniel, and Luther behind so that they could go to school. The home in Canada consisted of a one log room with a dirt floor and roof.  The beds were made of green logs with rope ties and straw ticks.  The cupboard was two wooden boxes stacked on top of each other and the table a box with four poles for legs. The chairs were an assortment of cast offs.  A cook stove had been left  and coal could be gotten close at hand.  They enjoyed their stay because they felt secure.  Her father, who had an additional wife, had been sought by federal authorities.

Winnifred loved the beautiful large wheat fields in the fall.  They returned to Rexburg in the spring of 1888 for a short time before moving to the farm her father had homesteaded two miles north of Rexburg and on the south side of what is now Sugar City.  Record show that Winnifred was the first child baptized in Rexburg.  Her schooling was limited because she was needed at home.  Her mother had bad headaches causing her to remain in bed some of the time.  The school she did attend was a one room log school and her teacher was Sarah A. Barnes. Winnifred's social life consisted of quilting bees, apple peeling bees, candy pulls, and dancing which she never out grew.  The floors may have been rough, but it was oh, so much fun.

Alfred's and Winnifred's first home was just a small room but it was clean and warm and they had a nice stove with plenty of fuel.  Winnifred's first Christmas gift from Alfred was a new clothes basket and she was most grateful. Water was drawn from a deep well and they used kerosene lamps. This was their home for ten years.  Winnifred was a hard worker and was a wonderful helpmate no matter the venture.  They raised stock and it was during this period of life that they invested in sheep and the threshing business.  With united effort they were soon making a good living for their family

Sugar City neighborhood with Ricks children and their friends

There were struggles in Winnifred's life.  During the diptheria epidemic in the early 1890's three of her siblings died.  She was also infected but credited a Priesthood blessing from her future father-in-law with saving her life.  Both her sister and her mother died as they gave birth during this same time period. She lost two children, Lee and Ellen, while in their youth. Her son, Lorin, contracted polio when two which affected his left leg and her last baby died at birth.  She became a widow at just 51 years of age.

Winnifred, wearing apron, with her children and spouses July 20, 1931
L to R: Lorin and Guyla Ricks, Winnifred, Marjorie behind her, Mary and Emery Thomas, Georgianna and George Ostler, Rachel and Alfred Ricks, Jr.
I'm not sure of all the children in front, but my father, Gary Ostler is the dark haired child with his head turned toward his parents

Winnifred was known for providing a place of fun and good times for her family and they enjoyed plenty of parties, vacations, trips, picture shows, music lessons, and her children's friends were always welcome in her home for good times. Although she had a large family of her own, it was seldom that there were not one or two extras living there as well.  After the death of her husband, she continued her good works helping the poor and sick, learned to play the piano, read many good books, did lovely handwork of all kinds, and kept herself busy and happy.  She was most known for her unselfishness and always considering the needs of others first.

Her daughter, Marjorie, described her as small in stature with dark hair, brown eyes, and small feet and hands.  She was a natural nurse always caring for the sick and cheering the poor and needy.

Winnifred and Ephriam Ricks on the front step of her home

In July of 1937, she married Ephriam Ricks, the older brother of Alfred, who had also lost his spouse.  They lived at her home in Sugar City until her passing on November 25, 1947.  So in a sometimes sad chain of events, she had married the husband of her sister and then the brother of her husband.  She was always blessed with the means and health to bless the lives of others.  Her husband received this letter near the time of her death.

Childrens Home
Boise, Idaho
December 12, 1947

Dear Mr. Ephriam Ricks,
As an expression of sympathy in your bereavement, and as a tribute to the memory of your wife, Mrs. Winnifred L. Ricks, a gift has been made to the Childrens Home Finding and Aid Society of Idaho in her name by the Idaho Wool Growers Association, for the purpose of helping homeless and dependent children.

Sincerely Yours,
Kathryn C. Wolfe, Supt.

Adult children of Alfred and Winnifred
L to R:  Mary, Alfred, Jr., Georgianna, Lorin , Fontella, Marjorie 

 Christmas gathering of the extended Alfred and Winnifred Ricks Family in 1955
My parents are standing in the upper right corner and my brother Farrell and I are in the front, also on the right.  
These are the familiar faces of my childhood.

 Both Alfred and Winnifred are buried in the Sugar City Cemetery.