Monday, June 19, 2017

Father's Day tribute to my Dad

I found this book at an estate sale for a dollar. It has been a slow but fascinating read about the Ricks Academy then junior college now BYU-Idaho that is part of my family history. It has also given me a new perspective of my father who has been gone for almost 40 years. Over and over I have recognized the names associated with Ricks who were friends of my father.

He attended college at the University of Idaho where he studied agriculture and eventually bought the family farm between Rexburg and Sugar City. He gave service as he visited and helped with the dairy operation at Ricks via his friendship with J. Wendall Stucki.

He gave service at the Sugar City Ward dairy farm where he was close friends with Marion Forsyth who had also been his advisor in FFA in high school.  

He traveled the back roads of Southeastern Idaho providing services to dairy farmers and sometimes I rode along in his red pickup truck on many of these visits. So I share just two of the names I knew, but there were many more and I realized that my father's life was a short one but a rich one full of good friends and service. Happy Father's Day Dad! It has been great to have this new perspective of your life!

Photos: book cover;  

FFA Club at Sugar Salem High School;  
newspaper article about FFA with Marion Forsyth facing my father Gary:
me and my dad;
great grandfather of my father, Thomas E. Ricks, also founder of Fremont later Ricks Academy.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

A family history story of Gervis Bates Mansfield

Today I received a gift.  One I had been hoping for.  I knew a bit about the birth father of my grandpa, George Lloyd Ostler, but had never seen a picture or heard a detailed story.  I decided that I would research more about this elusive man and hopefully learn more about him and his family background.

I found this picture posted to Family Search Memories today.  Finally my desire had been granted.  I could now see what Gervis Bates Mansfield looked like.  The notation on this picture stated,  "My grandmother Thelma Mansfield's keepsake photo of her two half-siblings Gervis and Etta."

Brigham Young Mansfield is shown here with his daughters, Nora and Etta.  He was born in England in 1851 and immigrated to America in 1863.  He settled in northern Utah and eventually the southern Idaho town of Samaria.  His first wife, Henrietta Almeda Douglass, passed away after giving birth over her short lifetime to several babies of whom only two survived; Henrietta Lucretia (Etta) Mansfield and Gervis Bates Mansfield.  Both are pictured as adults in these pictures.

Etta and her husband owned this hotel in Preston, Idaho.  It is here that Gervis (also Jarvis) passed away in his room in the hotel.

The Preston Cemetery is also where he was buried.  Fortunately, he was reunited with his only son, George Lloyd Ostler and his family before passing away.

George Lloyd Ostler was born March 20, 1904 to Lucy Walker Hendry and Gervis.  They had married in 1903 in Ogden, Utah where George was also born.  The couple soon parted ways and Lucy remarried.  Millo Jonathan Ostler became the adoptive father of George.

George did not realize that he was adopted until he was the father of his own boys, Max, Gary, and Paul Ostler all born during the 1930's.  Paul arrived after the father/son meeting thus his middle name of Mansfield. All were  able to travel to Preston, Idaho before Gervis passed away in 1938.

How did Lucy and Gervis meet?  This is conjecture on my part.  This is a picture of sisters Hazel Hendry and Lucy Hendry taken near the time of both their marriages in Ogden.  Hazel married Richard Briggs Douglass, the half brother of Henrietta Almeda Douglass and mother of Gervis Bates Mansfield on November 12, 1901.  Could that be where Lucy first met Gervis?

This is a picture of Gervis and Lucy's wedding certificate of April 27, 1903.  Lucy is using the name Rich which was the surname of her foster family of Taylorsville, Utah at the time.