Monday, October 26, 2009

'Behind' the photos ...

Fern is on the left. Now, for those of you who wonder why it has taken me so long to post photos from Fern's books ... I have been stalling, thinking that I'd fix the photos first, identify them, make them all pretty and "printable" ... But, I have changed my mind.  This photo and the photos below are typical of Fern and her friends: a funny, crazy lot. And the fact that Fern wrote all over her photos (I don't know who doctored the eyes on this one), and even cut herself out of photos when she didn't like her picture is Grandma and therefore, history, too.

I interviewed Marva, Georgan and Fern many years ago about some of the "capers" they got into.  They all were in their late 60s at the time, and they were all laughing so hard I thought Grandma was going to pee her pants. (Which, as you know, we wouldn't put past Grandma.) I'll post that interview sometime soon!  It is great fun.  I am hoping to find the audio in my stuff to post, too; if not, I hope Blue Mountain Shadows has it in their archives.

Marva, Fern and friends

Marva, Georgan, Fern and Harry?

The above photos are of Marva and Fern during their school years. They were always really good friends and later became sisters-in-law.  I don't know who the other girls are other than Georgan Hurst Burtenshaw. These three were "The Three Musketeers."

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

This page of photos was in Fern's Book of Remembrance. Top row, l to r: William Hart Laws + Jennie Ann Johnson, June Laws + Lucy Cordelia Johnson, Fern Laws. Bottom row, l to r: Lorenzo Johnson (son of Didymus Johnson and Ruhama Stevens), Emma James (daughter of William James and Jane Haynes), Mary Ann Gadd, James Parley Johnson + Eliza Jane Rowley. (Thanks, Mary, for the corrections.)

A. J. Russell photo of laying of last rail at Promontory

William Hart Laws was here at the laying of the last rail at Promontory, Utah, although he said he was near the back, not close enough to see the actual driving of the spikes. Directly after the Transcontinental Railroad was finished, he worked on the Utah Central Railway from Ogden to Salt Lake. He was in his 20's and not yet married.

The town of Johnson

Did you know there was a town called Johnson in southern Utah, northeast of Kanab in Kane County?

"The town was settled in the spring of 1871 by four Johnson brothers: Joel Hills, Joseph Ellis, Benjamin Franklin, and William Derby."

Read more:

William Derby Johnson history

William Derby Johnson
Born: October 27, 1824
Died: April 13, 1896

History by Vivian Cram Knudsen*

William Derby Johnson, born October 27, 1824, in Pomphret, Chautaugua County, New York, was the eighth son and the fourteenth child of Ezekial and Julia Hills Johnson. When ten years old, William accompanied his mother to Kirtland, Ohio, where on April 9, 1836, he was baptized by Samuel Bent into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

In about 1848, William met a little Quaker lass, with black hair and eyes, to whom he immediately lost his heart. Her name was Jane Cadwallader Brown, daughter of Abia and Abigail Cadwallader Brown. Her birth occurred June 5th, 1832 in Birmington, Miami County, Ohio. She and William were married November 9th, 1849, six months after her 17th birthday when William was 24. They remained sweethearts throughout their entire lives.

In the spring of 1855, while flowers were perfuming the wildwoods, William decided to go into business for himself.  He secured from the forests raw material from which he constructed a combination home and store. Then taking the $250.00 saved from wages earned in clerking in his brother, Joseph E.’s drugstore, he set out for St. Louis to purchase fancy notions, candy, etc.  On his return, he began merchandising. Toward the close of the year, he moved to Winter Quarters, Nebraska, where in the spring of 1856, he witnessed the first company of handcarts as they passed through on their endless trek to Utah.

In May of 1857, he located in Florence, Nebraska, 12 miles from Council Bluffs, where opportunities were better for his business venture, and where he acted as postmaster, school trustee and alderman. Two daughters were born to them while they lived in Florence, Nebraska, Julia Abbey and Esther Almira.

In the spring of 1861, it was agreed that with his three wagons, six oxen and two horses, they would emigrate with a company then leaving for Utah. William’s nephew, Sixtus Johnson, son of Joel, was captain of the group and William’s widowed sister, Almera J. Smith Barton, and her three daughters, Della, Elvira, Julie, and Jane’s brother, Abia William Brown, accompanied them. En route, the two families experienced a terrifying experience, when in playing robbers with a supposedly empty gun, William’s son Elmer, shot Almera’s daughter, Della, in the back of the head. Although the child screamed loudly and blood flowed profusely, it was discovered to their relief the ball had lacked sufficient powder to do any real damage. Only the skin had been grazed.

On reaching Salt Lake City, William purchased a house and lot consisting of one and one-fourth acres from Elder Israel Ivins, on the location near the Union Pacific depot.

The following year, 1862, he was called with others to retrace the long trail to the states in the Capt. Miller Company, to aid in bringing in more emigrant saints. Returning home he was met at Fort Bridger by his son, W.D. Jr., and his brother, George W., who were transporting a load of fruits and vegetables. In April, 1862, accompanied by his son W.D. Jr., he made a second trip to the states, this time in the John Murdock train. The trip was made in 52 days, one of the quickest times on record in an ox team train.  They renewed acquaintances with friends in Council Bluffs and Florence, and after an absence of four months, returned in September with the Capt. Alvirine Company to again take up life in Utah. On October 16, 1863, Jane and William suffered their first severe loss when their little daughter, Mary succumbed to whooping cough.

In the early spring of 1866, the Black Haws War became violent, and a call went out for more volunteer troops. William enlisted, but his son, W.D. Jr, 16, and large for his age, volunteered to go in his stead and after considerable persuasion, gained consent, leaving for Moroni, Sanpete County, Utah, June 5th, serving three months.

A mission was next required of William, the call coming at the October Conference of 1869.

William operated stores throughout the greater part of his life.  He made trunks, household furniture and harnesses which he sold along with medicine and drugs, mostly manufactured by himself. Jewelry and bakery goods were also handled in the store, and a small dairy was run in conjunction with it, two of William and Jane’s daughters having the responsibility of milking and making the cheese. Pies and cakes came from Jane’s kitchen.

In the autumn of 1870, the Johnsons disposed of the Salt Lake property and moved to Southern Utah as President Brigham Young had called them to settle in Hay Canyon east of Kanab, Utah. The name was changed to Johnson. Here they lived until they were called to help colonize Diaz, Chihuahua, Mexico, where William built a large home. His yards and surroundings were landscaped beautifully, as he was an ardent lover of beauty; a charming park, lush gardens, fish ponds and flowers of all kinds had a part in his yard. William was ever solicitous for Jane’s comfort and welfare, providing her with numerous conveniences. In Mexico, Native labor was employed and the work merely overseen. Rather than to distress his wife, William acceded to her wishes to refrain from polygamy.

Jane was fond of sewing and did exquisite needlework, especially in quilts. She was neat and took pride in her appearance, usually appearing gowned in becoming black taffeta with bonnet to match. William was a trifle stout and of medium height – a mild and fine looking man, and being naturally retiring, avoided the limelight as much as possible, as also did Jane. Speaking from the stand was not in their line, yet wherever they lived, they effected an influence for good.  In giving and sharing, they played more than a full part.
On one occasion in William’s travels, loaded with merchandise, he met with a rather unusual experience. A pedestrian, somewhat under medium height, with black hair and beard, was given a ride and to William’s astonishment, seemed fully acquainted with his camping plans for the night, cautioning him against them, as the Indians would give trouble there that night. As the stranger alighted, William turned to inquire of him more specifically, but found he had literally disappeared. The warning was heeded, however, much to Williams’ advantage, for emigrants camping at that sot that night were massacred by the Indians.

William was ordained a High Priest in Diaz, Mexico, March 27, 1894, and on December 22, 1895, under the hands of Francis M. Lyman, was ordained a Patriarch of the Church. He and Jane were the parents of twelve children: William Derby, Jr., Elmer Wood, Jennie Ann, Julia Abby, Esther Almera, Mary Maria, Abia Ezekial, Bryon Elwood, Joseph Eills, Carlos Smith, Hannah Zelnora and Lodemia Viola. Three of their children: Nancy Maria, Carlos Smith and Lodemia Viola died in infancy. The remaining nine married and raised families.

William Derby Johnson, Sr.’s death took place April 13, 1896 at 72 years of age at his home in Colonia Diaz. His wife, Jane, died 12 years later on January 19, 1908.

Vivian Cram Knudsen

*Source: From the typewritten family history documents of Fern Laws Palmer, great granddaughter of William Derby Johnson.  Word document entered on computer 1-27-06 by Deniane Gutke Kartchner, 3rd great granddaughter of William Derby Johnson through Fern Laws.

William Derby Johnson Sr.

William Derby Johnson family

Lucy Johnson and sister Bertha

This is Lucy Cordelia Johnson ("Mom" is written in Fern's handwriting) and her sister Bertha. At least my mom (Lurlene) and I are pretty sure that's who the other girl is ... Bertha is "Bertha Irene Johnson Harvey" married to James Douglas Harvey.

A little note for the "Fern Family": One of Bertha's daughters is Irene Harvey, who married Ivan Rogers "Punk" Watkins... Fern and Irene are first cousins.

Johnson family group sheet

This old family group sheet shows Lucy Cordelia Johnson's family and where she fits as the daughter of James Parley Johnson and Eliza Jane Rowley. I'm going to have to do a completely different blog for the Johnson's and Rowley's! (And don't worry if you're confused, because it's confusing... But we'll get it all straight eventually, which Johnson goes with which ... )

Johnson family photo

Can someone help me identify these members of the Johnson family in the photo? It was with the Johnson stuff in Fern's Book of Remembrance.

Comments from Mary Jane: l-r   Gladys, Nellie?,unknown?, Mary Evalean, Male unknown?, female unknown ?.  Any idea when and where the picture was taken?  (NO)  Could one of them be Etta Lunt McFarlane?

Johnson Pedigree Chart

Our ancestor here is William Derby Johnson. June's mother is Jenny Ann Johnson Laws and her father is William Derby Johnson.

Laws Coat of Arms

This is the Laws Coat of Arms page that Fern had tucked into her books. It's pretty generic; there is another version I posted that says "Laws of Norfolk."

Blanding cemetery records for Laws family

Following are links to the Web site pages containing information 
about Laws family members who have been laid to rest in the 
Blanding City Cemetery.

This is where you will find Laws names:
And this is the main link if you want to look for more 
(like Palmer or Barton)

Tribute to Dwight Laws

* The tribute below was sent to me by Lola Kaye last year via email. I loved reading about Dwight's life and thought it would be appropriate to post the tribute here.  - Deniane

Note from Lola Kaye with the tribute: "I am sure that some of you were unable to attend Dwight's funeral.   It was a wonderful tribute to him.   Dwight was a giant in my eyes and I know that many others thought the same as I did of him.   Dwight's son David gave this eulogy of his father in the funeral, I thought that you all might like to read it.   I am going to put it in with my geneology stories. I am so thankful to be a "LAWS", what a blessing it is in my life. I love you all - Lola Kaye Laws Manhart"

Richard Dwight Laws

Our life as a dream, our time as a stream glide swiftly away
And the fugitive moment refuses to stay.
For the arrow is flown and the moments are gone.
The millennial year presses on to our view, and eternity’s here.
Oh, that each in the day of His coming may say,
“I have fought my way thru: I have finished the work thou didst give me to do
Oh, that each from his Lord may receive the glad word;
“Well and faithfully done: enter into my joy and sit down on my throne.”

Richard Dwight Laws was born on November 26, 1939 in a tiny hospital in Moab, Utah to Julian Asa Laws Jr. And Marie Black and spent the first 8 years of his life in Blanding. His father died in 1943 when he was only 4 years old.

Marie remarried Presley DuVall in 1947 and moved the family to Little Bear, Wyoming. It is there that he learned to ride a horse, rope a calf and stay out of the way of  rattlesnakes.   He also attended a tiny 1 room schoolhouse in Chugwater, Wyoming.

In 1950 Presley and Marie moved to the Avenues in Salt Lake.   It is there he met almost immediately his lifelong friend Terry Summerhays and formed the loose group of friends known as “The Fellas”.

Although he lived in Salt Lake, he spent many summers in Blanding working with his Uncles, Frost Black and Bill Laws and also Kay Lyman and living with his cousin and dear friend Arvid Black.

He attended West High School where he participated in wrestling and band.

He served an honorable full-time mission in the North Central States in 1960-62.   It is there that he once quipped to his companion during church in St. Paul, Minnesota that he had just met his future wife.

After returning from his mission he went to work for KSL delivering tapes of conference during marathon plane itineraries, and later installing radio systems for conference broadcasts around Europe and South America.

He married the love of his life, Linda Lorraine Heurkens (Pup) on Friday, July 13, 1962 in the Logan, Utah LDS temple.   Yes, Friday the 13th.   It explains much.

He went to work in the Airline industry for KLM and Pan Am and in the course of the next 8 years traveled to nearly 100 countries all over the world including cold-war Russia, Polynesia and most of the South Pacific, Southeastern Asia, Africa, all of South America, all of Europe, and much of the Middle East.

He moved his family to Blanding in 1975 to raise his family in a small town environment. It was during his stay there that part of his Patriarchal Blessing was realized.   He was promised that during his life he would find ways to get to know his deceased father.   During his run as county commissioner, he met and spoke with many people who knew his father well and told him many stories about Asa.   He left Blanding in 1984 to change careers once again.   He was employed at BYU in the division of continuing education as Associate Director of Travel Study as well as Director of Conferences and Workshops and Director of Independent Study.

His hobbies were many and varied.   He built his own house in its entirety in Blanding (and helped with scores of others), SCUBA dived all over the world (usually legally), had a private pilots license (and flew commercially for scenic aviation in Blanding), wrote several fictional novels and a few non-fictional biographies, owned a hot-air balloon, wrote remedial reading material that was used worldwide, sang in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir (even commuting from Mesa, Az for more than 2 years and holds the record for longest commute and most logged miles by the member of the choir), played the piano and trombone (in the famous Francis Lyman band and in high school with the dance band Stardusters), was an excellent wrestler during college, rebuilt automotive engines, loved jeeping and 4-wheeling and Sunday rides into the mountains, and could hike for miles searching for Anasazi Indian ruins.   He played competitively (and often fiercely) in basketball and softball leagues (although his favorite was playing in city league softball with his sons and grandsons).   He would stand at the back door and lob long-distance hook shot after hook shot saying “Just one more, I’ve got the range” as we chased down all the misses until he made one at last and ducked into the house claiming victory.   He loved horses and owned more than 14 over the years.   He rarely missed the chance to act as tour guide through his beloved San Juan County to those who had never see its wonders.

Yet his oldest and most beloved hobby was motorcycles.   He won 14 different motorcycles and loved to ride them.   During his trips he visited all but 2 of the 50 states, traveled through Mexico, Canada and even Alaska.   It didn’t take much coaxing to get him to join a cross-country ride or even a day trip.   At the conclusion of each long road trip he was barely recognizable in his full leathers, boots, helmet hair, 10 hays growth of beard and bandana.   Yes the bandana, it was always with him.   He was a member of the Temple Riders Association and loved to ride with them.   Our best guess is that he logged nearly 200,000 miles on his motorcycles.

Next up the line was his firm belief in education.   Even while raising several children he continued his dogged pursuit of a bachelors degree, which he earned in 1974 for the University of Utah at the age of 35.   It took him many years but he never gave up.   He served on the San Juan board of education for more than 7 years.   Then in the early 80's he was given an opportunity that would alter the course of his life.   He was offered the chance to get his Doctorate degree.   It was technically not a difficult decision for him though the actions necessary would prove tough.   In the end, he left his boyhood town, sold his truck for tuition money, turned over the house he built with his own hands to foreclosure, moved his family to Provo and finished his degree.   Graduation day in 1985 with a degree in instructional science at the age of 46 was something else - what a great example to watch your dad fulfill a life-long dream.   There are many in this audience that are the beneficiaries of his dedication to education.   This is why Independent Study was such a dream job to him.   It is where he finally found his niche in life and the culmination of his talents, abilities and passion.   He could use HIS education to help others get THEIRS.   It was a perfect fit.

Yet with all of his many professional accomplishments and awards, with all the marvelous trips and tours, with all his wonderful experiences, his family was his greatest passion and in his mind, his highest and most noble achievement.   56 directs descendants, and each of us thought we were his very favorite.   He loved to spend time with his family.   Many have been on motorcycle trips, jeep trips, 4-wheeling trips and hikes with him.   Many others have helped write and edit his books.  Yet others have participated in his favorite dialogue.   “Guess what?   What Granddad”   “I love you, that’s what”.   And each of us has had many opportunities to just sit and talk with him, to sit at his knee and learn from a master teacher.   And there are literally hundreds of individuals that Dad ‘adopted’ into his family.   If you walked in his home, you were treated as family and expected to act like it.   You were welcome to anything in the fridge or pantry, but you were also expected to wipe the counter and sweep the floor.   He fed thousands as part of pancake Sunday (but you had better stay out of the kitchen).

He passed away quietly and peacefully on March 10, 2008 of complications due to Thyroid cancer surrounded by his wife and all nine of his children.   He is survived by his wife, Linda: his children Jodi, David Joseph, Roger Dwight, Richard Asa, Ryan Quin, Juli, Reed Arthur, Robert Dru, DuVall J and their respective spouses: His dear and beloved step-father and step-mother Presley and Evelyn DuVall: 36 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren.   He is pre-deceased by his father Asa, mother Marie and one grandchild Emma.

Dad was teaching, always teaching.   It could be well said of him that his life reflected his words.   They were never at odds.   His life was his greatest teaching tool, and he used it to great effect.   Way to go out at the top of your game Dad.   Well done, thou good and faithful servant.

This photo of the Laws siblings was taken on Christmas Day, 1967. L to R: Bill, Harry, Fern, Parley and Wayne. Lurlene and Asa were both deceased.

Christmas Day, 1967

This photo was taken on Christmas Day, 1967. Back row, L to R: Fern and Lynn Palmer, Harry and Marva Laws. Front row, L to R: Jean and Wayne Laws, Dot and Bill Laws, Parley and Mariam Laws.

Keed Laws death certificate

Larry Keed Laws was Uncle Bill and Aunt Dot's first child.

Zenos Marvin Laws death certificate

Monday, October 19, 2009

William Hart Laws death certificate

Wilma Laws Galbraith

Born: 18 May 1893, Colonia Diaz, Galeana, Chihuahua, Mexico
Married: 23 Aug 1912, Hatchita, Hidalgo, New Mexico to 
Died: 20 Jun 1968, Blanding, San Juan, Utah
Buried: 24 Jun 1968, Blanding, San Juan, Utah

Life Sketch of Wilma Laws Galbraith Written by Wilma Laws Galbraith

I, Wilma Laws Galbraith, was born in Colonia Diaz, Chihuahua, Mexico May 18, 1893 to William Hart Laws and Jennie Ann Johnson in a little adobe house, not many years after the Saints settled there. I went to school through the eighth grade. I lived in Mexico until I was 19 years old, leaving there July 28, 1912 when the Americans were driven out.
My parents taught me of the Gospel and I always attended the different organizations. I worked in the Primary for five years before leaving Mexico. After arriving in New Mexico, I married Edmund Powell Galbraith Aug. 23, 1912. We stayed in camp with the Saints until the 29th of August, going to Richfield, Sevier County, Utah, arriving in Richfield the 3rd of September, 1912. We lived in Richfield for four years and two sons were born to me there.
While living there I worked in the Religion Class as song leader for a year. I came to Blanding the 3rd of May 1916. I have had six children born here, two sons and four daughters. Two of my children have been called to the other side. My baby girl died when she was 16 months old and my son died when he was fourteen years old with heart troubles. I have worked in both the Primary and MIA and enjoyed it very much. My children hate all been very good and clean and so far have been ambitious both in church and every day life. The boys are all going to college and girls in High school trying to make something of the life I have given them. I am thankful for the teachings of my Parents and Teachers who have been over me. I am thankful to my Father in Heaven for all his blessings to me and mine.

Additional Files:

Resources: Heartbeats of Colonia Díaz by Annie R. Johnson
Available through LDS Family History Library on microfilm (1440903) or on the International Floor at the Main Library in Salt Lake City (972.16/D1 F2j).
A Story of William Hart and Jennie Ann Johnson Laws by Donna Laws Hemingway
Available through LDS Family History Library on microfilm (2055457 Item 5) or at the FamilySearch Center at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building in Salt Lake City (929.273 L44).

Lu Laws death certificate

1981 Laws Reunion Invitation

Harry and Fern.

File says "Fern, Wayne at Carlisle Ranch"

Bill, Dorthea, Lynn, Lurlene.

Harry, Parley and Bill Laws.

Parley's family at Shirley's wedding.

Lynn Palmer and Harry Laws.

The Three Musketeers

L to R: Marva Jones, Fern Laws and Georgan Hurst.  "The Three Musketeers" is what they called themselves!  It fits!

Marva Jones Laws

L to R: Marva Jones and Harry Laws (not married yet), Georgan Hurst (Burtenshaw) and Fern Laws.

Bill Laws

Bills Laws obituary and funeral services

Bill's hat

This poem was written by Bill's wife Dot and given to Fern Laws Palmer.

Wayne Laws

Wayne and his wife Jean.

Poem about Wayne by his sister, Fern

Asa and Lurlene Laws during the time period they were leaving Mexico to come back into the United States. We had the date and where the photo was taken figured out but I am going to have to go back to my emails to get the right caption here. It will be forthcoming!

Lurlene Laws Barton, Lucy Johnson Laws, Fern Laws Palmer.  I love this photo! Isn't it great?  Just something about the way they are all standing.  Women power!!!

Asa and Marie, Bill and Dot.

Laws girls

Lu Laws (center). Her daughters are sitting next to her - Lurlene left, Fern right. Daughters-in-law, from left to right, are: Marva Jones Laws, Marie Black Laws and Dot Black Laws.