James Roosevelt Starks and Ida Marie Bowers by J. Harker - HTML preview
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NOTE: There are several grammar and misspelling errors; these are kept in the record for the use of preserving the originality of the manuscript.
I, James Roosevelt Starks, was born 20 Jan. 1901, in Detroit, Red River, Texas. My father’s name is James Louis Starks. My mother’s name is Sarah Jane Wallace. I was the youngest of six children, five boys and one girl: Elzie Lincoln Starks, born 5 Oct. 1883, Ellis Washington Starks, born 4 July, 1885, William Arthur Starks, born 19 Sept. 1887, John Logan Starks, born 13 May 189`1, and Pearl May Starks, born 22 April, 1894. My father was a farmer by trade. My father and mother joined the Church of Jesus Christ 24th May 1905. I was only a small child. My father died when I was only five years old. I can’t remember but very little about my father. One thing I remember was my father liked to read and I liked to stand between his knees and look on the paper while he was reading. After my father’s death, my mother moved to Kelsey, Texas, where there was a branch of the church so she could be with the saints and be able to attend church. When I was only 15, my mother passed away, leaving me alone. I took what little money I got from my mother’s estate and went to school as long as the money lasted, which wasn’t very long. I lived with my sister, Pearl and her first husband, William H. Matthews, for a while and worked for him. Then I got a job working on the farm for a man by the name of Joe Hill, at Commerce, Texas. I worked there for two years. I got up in the morning fed the horses, ate my breakfast and was in the field before good day light, sometimes I would have to wait for it to get light enough to see where to plow. About all I got for work was my food, clothing and a little spending money and I worked from before daylight until dark. I didn’t weigh a hundred pounds until I was about 16 years old. I tried to join the Navy when I was about 18 or between 17 and 18. I was going to try to pass for 18, as you couldn’t join until you were 18, but I didn’t weigh enough, they wouldn’t let me join. I worked some in the harvest fields when the wheat was being harvested. That was really work too. I always ate real slow, but I found out when I was working in the wheat harvest you had to eat fast or you didn’t get very much to eat, so I changed my way of eating and I never was able to slow down, I still eat fast. I worked some in the woods, cutting timber, but I worked mostly on the farm until I was about 20, when I started to work at carpenter work. I worked first with a carpenter contractor by the name of Benjamin Burley Bowers, who became my Father-in- law. I married his daughter, Ida Marie Bowers. I worked at carpenter work for about 30 years. I was a finish carpenter and cabinet builder, then I had to quit on account of becoming allergic to wood dust. It gave me asthma. I have been a brick mason since quitting carpenter work, until I got my back hurt in 1962, then I retired. When I was a young boy, I started smoking, just to be with the boys, with no Father to teach me and my mother was in ill health for several years before she passed away, when I was 15. I was all on my own, you might say, with no one to guide me. My nature was not to do anything bad. I was never in any trouble with the law in my life. I attended church whenever I was close enough to go to church, but was not too active in working in the church until I was about 31. My habit of smoking kept me from holding an office in the church. I wanted to quit but just couldn’t seem to get a strong enough desire to. One Sunday after we got home from Sunday School, the Bishop, Nattie K. Bailey, came to see me and told me they needed a counselor to the Sunday School Supt. And asked if I would serve as counselor. I told him I didn’t keep the Word of Wisdom that I smoked. He said “you can quit that can’t you?” I said, “I guess I could”. He said the Superintendent said you might say you would quit, but you wouldn’t, but if you tell me you will quit, I know you will. And I will give you until 3 o’clock this afternoon to make up your mind.” After that I went out to the barn thinking about it and praying about it in my heart that the Lord would help me overcome my habit. I smoked my last cigarette on my way back to the house. I took a draw or two and threw it down with my mind made up, that was the last and it was! That cigarette I threw down lay there for days so white and shiny. Every time I went by it, it just seemed to stand out in front of my eyes, trying to tempt me. But I kept my promise and never smoked again to this day. I have served in the church in several different offices, as counselor to Branch President, Assistant Mutual Superintendent, Assistant Sunday School Superintendent, Genealogy chairman, Priesthood Quorum Presidency, Sunday School Teacher, Ward Teacher Supervisor, and Branch President, and have served 2 missions. I lived in Texas from the time I was born until 1939, when we moved to Mesa, Arizona, and lived there until May of1973, when we moved to Hyde Park, Utah. In 1975, we moved to Salem, Utah, where we reside at present, 1976. My talents and interests are mostly in building. I have built 5 new homes for my family while living in Mesa, Arizona. I have seen the sick healed and prayers answered. We came to the Arizona Temple in a Model T Ford car in 1933. It made us think of when the saints crossed the plains pushing a hand cart. We had to push a T model Ford instead of a hand cart. Anyway, we were as thrilled to get to Mesa as the pioneers were to get to Salt Lake. We were happy to go through the Temple and be sealed, and to have our children sealed to us, and to be sealed tour parents. It was a time we’ll never forget. We had many trials of sickness and car trouble, but the Lord blessed us and we are very thankful. We have been through the Temple many times since and done work for others who didn’t have a chance to do for themselves. I have seen seven Presidents of the Church. President Joseph F. Smith, President Heber J. Grant, President George Albert Smith and President David O. McKay, President Joseph Fielding Smith, President Harold B. Lee, President Spencer W. Kimball. James Roosevelt Starks was ordained a high priest June 23, 1949, by Lucius L. Gardner Sr. Lucius L. Gardner Sr. was ordained a high priest, March 27, 1938, at the Mazona, Mesa, Arizona, by Orlando C. Williams Orlando C. Williams was ordained by Orson F. Whitney, who was ordained by Joseph F. Smith, who was ordained by Brigham Young, who was ordained by Oliver Cowdery, one of the three witnesses, who was ordained by Peter, James and John, who was ordained by the Lord, Jesus Christ.
[END OF JOURNAL ENTRY]
I, Ida Marie Bowers Starks, was born on the 4th day of March, 1905, close to Elkmont, Limestone County, Alabama, at a little place called Hill School. My mother, (Octava Viola Peables Bowers), her sister, (Sarah Emmalene Peables) and their parents (George Washington Phelps Peables and Mary Martha Thornton Peables) had joined the Church of Jesus Christ or Mormon Church, as it was called, a few years before I was born. They had a big desire to go to a place where they could be with the Saints and attend church as there were very few members there and no church and the people there were quite bitter against the church. My father, Benjamin Burley Bowers, was not a member of the church at the time I was born, but was investigating the gospel. My family heard of a place in Arkansas where there were a few members of the church gathered and were having meetings in some of the member’s homes, so my parents (Benjamin B. and Octava Viola Peables Bowers), my grandparents (George W.P. and Mary Martha Thornton Peables), my mother’s only sister, Emma, and my brother Roy, who is just older than I, were all ready to move as soon as I was born and my mother was able to travel. So, the day I was a month old we arrived in Pocahontas, Arkansas and some Elders met us there and I was blessed in one of the stores in Pocahontas on the 4th day of April, 1905. Not long after my parents arrived there, they found it to be very sickly and they were told there would never be a set apart gathering place there, for the Saints, because some of the Elders had been killed not far from there. So, they decided to move to West Texas around Merkel and Abilene, but before leaving Arkansas, on 11 June 1905, my father was baptized into the church. My parents and grandparents were not satisfied in Merkel either and only stayed there for about two years. I had a sister, Mariam Elizabeth born while we lived there in Merkel, Taylor County, Texas, on the 2nd of August, 1907. In the fall of 1907 my family decided to move to a branch of the church called Kelsey, Texas, near Gilmer, where they could attend church and be with the Saints. This was where I grew up, in Kelsey. Times were hard and very little work was to be found. My father worked for one dollar a day and walked six miles- three miles there and three back. On the 17th of April, 1910 my second brother, Hyrum Bennion, was born in Gilmer, Upshur, Texas. The year after he was born (I was six at this time) my mother and my older brother, Roy, farmed some truck patches and a little cotton while my father worked at carpenter work. My mother would leave me to take care of the baby while she worked in the field. I was quite large for my age and more mature than most children at that age. My sister Viola Echo was born on the 21st of May, 1912, in Caney Creek, Gilmer, Upshur County, Texas. In the fall of 1912, I started to school in Kelsey at a big red brick school house up on a high hill. I remember I wore my hair in long curls around my shoulders and the children at school would twist my curls and play with my hair until it would be so tangled that when my mother would try to comb it, it would hurt so bad that I would almost faint. My hair was dark brown and my eyes also. I was on the chubby side and I was always quiet and a mama’s girl. I liked to help my mother with the housework. In the spring of 1913, I was eight years old. I wanted so much to be baptized on my birthday. My school teacher was an Elder there on a mission and I liked him and wanted him to baptize me. After school on the fourth of March, which was my birthday, we went down from the school house to the foot of the hill where there was a pond of water. My parents met us there and a few others and I was baptized. The water was so cold it was almost ice, but I wanted to be baptized too badly for cold water to stop me. That night after I was baptized, Elder Rich, who baptized me, and another Elder came to our home and confirmed me a member of the church. That was a happy day in my life as I have always had a desire to keep the Lord’s commandments. I cooked my first meal not long after my eighth birthday. My mother had the mumps and was real sick in bed. I can still remember two things I cooked: fresh peas from the garden and corn bread. When I was nine and ten years old I pieced two quilt tops. I was eleven years old on the 4th of March 1916 and on the 10th of March, my youngest sister, Vernice Otto, was born. I did all the cooking, most all the washing and all the house work while my mother was not able to do the work. In the year 1917, my parents moved about fourteen miles from Kelsey to a place called Lone Mountain. There was no LDS Church there and it was too far to travel in a wagon to church, so we had Sunday School at some of the member’s houses. It was at my grandfather’s (George & Mary Martha Peables) house most of the time. I was 12 years old at this time and was made Secretary of the Sunday School. In the fall of 1917, my father decided to go back to Alabama to visit his parents (James Melville Bowers and Cyrena Victora Mumea Bowers) as it had been almost thirteen years since he had seen them or his brothers and sisters. (From oldest to youngest: Charles Henry; Fredrick Jay; Franklin Dorsey; Emma Almeda; Asa Gilbert; Nettie (Jessie-a twin) and Gracie (Bessie-a twin). So my parents and six of us kids went back to visit my father’s people. It was the first and last time to see my grandparents. My father was the only one of his family to join the Mormon Church, and his people were quite bitter against the church. My grandfather (James M. Bowers) was a minister of the Church of Christ, or Christian Church, as it was sometimes called. When grandfather Bowers was speaking one time, he said all his children were saved but one and he was lost (that was my father he was speaking of because he had joined the Mormon Church). My father and mother tried to tell grandpa a little about the church while they were there visiting, and after they came back he wrote my father a letter and told him he wanted to come to him so bad. That he studied about it all day and dreamed about it all night, but he had been in bad health and never was able to come. My father always thought grandpa wanted to come to him to join the church. On our way back home from visiting my father’s folks we were exposed to the measles on the train. My father was the only one in the family who had had the measles, so a few days after we arrived home, my mother and six of us kids had taken the measles and at the same time my grandfather (my mother’s father, George WP Peables) took pneumonia and my grandmother (Mary Martha Thornton Peables) got down sick, so my father had to take care of all of us, doing all the cooking, taking care of the stock and everything. All the neighbors around were sick with measles and pneumonia, so he had but very little help, but of course there was no need of much cooking; we were all too sick to eat. My mother was expecting a baby at this time and she took double pneumonia along with the measles. The doctors said there was no chance for her to live, she was unconscious for weeks and for several hours lay as if dead. She couldn’t even swallow. My father had lots of faith. He would sit by her and keep her mouth wet with a swab and twisted the phlegm from her throat to keep her from choking to death. My father had the Elders administer to her and we know it was through the faith and prayers that she lived. The doctors also told her she would never be able to carry her baby. At Easter time I remember my mother was still sick in bed and was just beginning to gain consciousness. I was 13 years old at that time and I was making Easter dresses for myself and my sisters. I had helped my mother sew some before then, but that was the first time to make a dress all by myself and we had to cut our own patterns. On the 4th of July, 1918, my mother had the baby the doctor said she would never live to have. He was a perfect baby boy. His name was Ernest Nathan. He is now 48 years old and has eight children and two grandchildren. When I was 14 years old we moved to a branch of the church called Enoch. It was about four miles from Kelsey. Just after we moved there I was made assistant Secretary of the Sunday School. Then later I was made Secretary. I served in these offices for several years. I also served as Assistant Secretary in Relief Society, Visiting Teacher in Relief Society and Counselor in Mutual before I was 17 years old. I married James Roosevelt Starks on the 24th of November, 1921. I had just turned 16, eight months before. Jim was the youngest child in a family of six - five boys and one girl (from oldest to youngest – Elzie Lincoln; Ellis Washington; William Arthur; John Logan; Pearl May; and last was James R. Starks). We had very little money to start out with, as times were hard and work was scarce and pay was low. We bought a little wood stove, our dishes and cooking ware. Our families gave us a bed, some pillows, and a safe as it was called. It was a small cabinet with screen over the doors to put dishes and food in. My husband, Jim, made us a lamp stand to put our kerosene lamp on. We lived in a small apartment with no conveniences as we have today, but we were as happy as if we had a million dollars. The first meal I cooked I remember I made buttermilk biscuits. Jim took one out of the dish and said “this has been about something that wasn’t fit to eat.” For a minute I was about to get mad. I thought he was making fun of my bread. He meant it had been about fire. So we had a good laugh about it. We had to heat our water on the stove to wash dishes and take baths and all. We had to go out to a well in the yard to get the water and draw it up with a rope and bucket. We had to heat our water outside to wash clothes and then rub the dirt out on a rub board. I have gone into the woods lots of times and brought up wood to make a fire under a pot to heat water to wash, then draw the water out of a well and stand and rub clothes on a board all or most all day. We made our own bread, churned our own butter, and made our clothes. On the 13th of November, 1922 our first baby was born in Gilmer, Upshur County, Texas. She was a nine-pound girl and we named her Eva. It was a cold, bad day that day; it was raining and freezing. Eva had big blue eyes and auburn red hair. Then on the 9th of July, 1924, we had another girl. She weighed ten pounds and we named her Vernice. She didn’t have but very little hair at first, then when she was about two years old she had blonde hair and blue eyes, then a little later, her hair turned auburn red like Eva’s. I used to dress them like twins. In 1927, on March 23, our first boy was born. We named him James Delton. He weighed ten pounds and had dark hair and light brown eyes. On June 1, 1930, a Sunday morning, just about daylight, our fourth child was born. She weighed 8 ½ pounds and we named her Mavis. When she was about a year and a half old she got sick with what we thought to be the croup. She didn’t seem sick, just coughed croupy, then she began to have choking spells, so we rushed her to the doctor and he told us she had diphtheria or membranous croup and was too near dead to do anything to help her. The doctor finally turned to her Dad and said for him to go the drugstore and get some serum and he would give her the shot but didn’t think she would live long enough for the shot to take effect. The doctor wouldn’t let us leave her in the hospital because it was contagious, but told us to take her home and he doubted if she would live until we got home. We lived about three miles from there. You can imagine how we felt, leaving the hospital not knowing but that by the time we got home she might be dead. I know we must have prayed most of the night. We could hear her breathing all over the house. The doctor told us he gave her such a strong shot that it might affect her heart if she did live over the disease, and if she was living he wanted to see her the next morning. By the next morning she seemed well and was down playing and talking, so we took her to the doctor and we couldn’t hardly make him believe she was the same child. He called the nurse to come and look at her. He said he didn’t believe that she would live to get home and here she seems to be well. He said he never saw anything like it. A few days later our son Delton got sick and we were afraid he had what our little daughter Mavis had so we took him to the same doctor and while he was examining him, he asked him if he was a Mormon. He was still so shocked at our little girl living, he seemed to know there was a greater power that had something to do with it. When this doctor was on his death bed he sent for the President of the Branch of the Church to come and asked him to pray for him and he told him he had known for a long time that there was something to Mormonism, but the people were so bitter against the church he didn’t think he would dare join the church. He told some people around there you couldn’t kill a Mormon. On November 11, 1932, our fourth girl was born. She had dark hair and real sky-blue eyes. Her name is Nevada. We call her Vada. When she was about ten months old we decided to try to go to the Temple. Our crops burned up that year and times were very hard. Work was hard to get and we didn’t know just how we would ever make it, but with the faith we had and the desire to come to the Temple, we started making preparations. My husband took the best parts of some old cars and made us a car to make the trip. My father and mother wanted to come too, so my father did some carpenter work to pay for him a truck to come in. We sold our furniture and whatever we had to get enough money to start out. We planned to get work along the way to finish getting money to make the trip, as all the crops where we lived had burned up for the want of rain. There was very little work to be found. My father and my husband were carpenters by trade. My father put all the bedding, cooking utensils, dishes and things we would need on his truck and fixed the mattresses so some of the children could ride in the back of the truck, as he had one son still at home and one of my sisters, (Mariam Elizabeth Bowers, had passed away on 24 December 1927 in Enoch, Upshur, Texas,) and left a little boy, Frank Friddle, to raise, One of my sister’s (Viola Echo) husband (Luther Howard Bailey) had passed away (11 June 1933, in Enoch, Upshur, Texas) and left my sister and two children, so they lived with my father and mother. So that made seven in their family and seven in ours. The fourteen of us started out with the faith the saints had when they started to the Rocky Mountains. My husband, Jim, has said ‘we didn’t push a hand cart, but we pushed a Model T Ford’, as we did a lot of times. We had eleven hundred miles to go from Gilmer, Texas to Mesa, Arizona. After we had traveled two or three hundred miles we got work and stopped for a while. While there my mother got real sick with something like Flu or Pneumonia, and some of the rest of the family got sick. I had trouble with my teeth and had toothache for days. As soon as my mother got better, we moved on to another place and worked for a little while. My mother still wasn’t well as her lungs had bothered her real bad; every time she got a cold it would go to her lungs since she had had double pneumonia and measles. The next move we made we stopped in Safford, Arizona. The night we arrived our baby was real sick. We didn’t have but just a few dollars in money. I can’t remember for sure but as well as I remember it was around ten dollars. We rented a cabin for the night and took our baby to the doctor. The next day we got a house to live in and a job. Just after we arrived in Safford, my father got down sick with the flu and almost died. There was cold weather and work was scarce. It looked at times like we would never be able to make it to the Temple. One of my father’s brothers, hearing how sick my father was, wrote my parents a letter and told them if they would come back and not go any farther he would send them the money to come back. My youngest brother, Ernest, who was with my parents, was only fifteen years old at the time, and was small for his age. He said to my father, “You know what we started out to do and don’t turn back until that is done, until we get our Temple work done.” He said, “I will work and do all I can to help make money to live and to go on to the Temple.” And he did. He worked and helped in every way he could. My father was administered to and through faith and prayer finally got able to travel again, so on Christmas Day we left Safford for Mesa. The first night we stayed on the Indian reservation west of Thatcher, as it was late when we got everything loaded and ready to go. We rented some cabins and stopped for the night as it was Christmas. The Indians were drinking and riding horses screaming and carrying on all night. As we didn’t know much about Indians, I was so scared I couldn’t sleep very much. The next morning we started on our way and that night we stayed in Globe. We began to hear how bad the mountains were between Globe and Mesa and we were kinda worried. My father had a Model T truck loaded heavily and as he started coming down the mountain, along where the tunnel used to be, his brake bands burned out and had to be replaced twice. At that time the roads were so narrow it was impossible to pass in some places. I know the Lord was really with us or we would have never made it. We went from Globe to about sixteen miles east of Mesa. We stayed there that night and came on to Mesa the next day. We found out when we got to Mesa that the Temple would only be open the next day and then it would be closed for several days. We went to see about renting clothes to go through the Temple and found we couldn’t rent clothes for our girls. It being winter, we couldn’t get white dresses, so we bought white material and sat up that night and made white dresses for our girls on our fingers, my mother, my sister and I. Our little girl, Mavis, had the earache and cried most of the night. It looked like we were going to be kept from going to the Temple up to almost daylight before our little girl quit crying with the earache. We got ready and finally made it to the Temple on the 29th day of December, 1933. My mother was sealed to her parents. My father and mother were sealed, and they had all their children who were with them, sealed to them, which were: my sister Echo and I, Ida Marie, my brother Ernest and my sister Mariam, who had passed away. My husband, Jim, was sealed to his parents. My husband and I were sealed and our children were sealed to us. My sister, Echo was sealed to her husband who had passed away and had her children sealed to them. My nephew, Frank Friddle, whose mother had passed away and was being raised by my parents, was the only one of the 14 of us who was not sealed that day. We all felt so sorry for him. His parents had been divorced before his mother passed away. He wanted to know that day why he couldn’t be sealed to someone. If young people could only understand, what it means to find a girl or boy who is active in the church, and who is worthy of a Temple marriage. Then if they would live the Gospel after their marriage, there would not be so much sorrow in the world today. After we had finished our Temple work that day, we were all happy and thankful to the Lord that we had finally accomplished what we had set out to do. But we had other worries. We were about out of money with no job and no place to live. I think we had $10.00. We heard there was work over around Buckeye, Arizona, so we all drove over there and we got a place to live and a job. Some of our children got sick and we couldn’t hardly make enough to get by as they didn’t pay very much for work in those days. We sold our car and we all started back home in my father’s old Model T Ford. It was in January of 1934; the weather was cold and work was scarce, but the Lord did provide. My husband got a job just after we arrived back in Enoch, Texas and in a few days after we arrived in Enoch, our children all got the measles. They were real sick for days. We would have to sit up and be up and down at night with them and then have to get up early and my husband, Jim, would have to go miles to work and work all day in the cold, bad weather. Vada, our baby at that time, got bronchial trouble after the measles and it looked at times like she wouldn’t live. We rented a farm and farmed that year. Our oldest children often speak now of that year; that it brought the happiest times of their lives, when they were all working with their Dad in the field and all came in hungry and able to all sit down and eat together. In 1935, on April 17, we had another girl born to us. Her name is Arlene. This made us five girls and one boy. In the spring of 1936 we bought some land and my husband, Jim, built us a house. About this time I was put in as Primary President. I would take all my five children and we would walk for about a mile to the church where we had Primary. Some of the older children would help carry the smaller ones. This same spring our children all got the mumps and Jim, my husband got them too and almost died. In the fall of 1936 we decided to go back to Arizona, but we only stayed for a short time. Our little girl Mavis, who had diphtheria and came so near dying, fainted and fell on the floor one morning. We were real worried about her as the doctor had told us she might have a bad heart from the shot he gave her for diphtheria. So we decided to go back to Texas, but before leaving we wanted to get our Patriarchal Blessings. My husband and I and our 3 oldest children were the ones who went for our blessings. But when we got there the patriarch said he wanted to give our little girl Mavis her blessing. She was only 6 years old at the time so he gave her a blessing and promised her she would live to see the wicked destroyed from the earth and would see the Reign of Righteousness ushered in and would see the Glory of God hang over the Temple as a cloud and would help to serve the ten tribes in the Temple. I never did worry about her any more, that promise relieved my worries all together. We did go back to Texas and stayed until the fall of 1939 when we moved back to Mesa, Arizona, and made it our home. It was in the time of the depression and we really had it hard for a while until World War II started and there began to be more work and people got better pay for their work. My husband was a carpenter, he had plenty of work for several years. He worked long hours out on the desert, part of the time, building Prison Camps. He worked on Williams Air Force Base, also Luke Air Force Base. Working long hours in much dust, and lumber dust, he started having Asthma. He built five new homes for us in Mesa, Arizona. On the 16 of July 1943, our second son was born in Mesa, Maricopa County, Arizona. We named him Louis Darwin. We were real proud of him. He had blue eyes and auburn hair. Darwin is the only one of our children that wasn’t born in Gilmer, Upshur County, Texas. Our other son Delton was 16 years old when his little brother was born. He was real proud of his little brother. He had a job working and making a little money, so he went to town and bought a big rocking chair to rock the baby. Delton also bought a baby bed and a play pen. For Christmas he bought Darwin a little Rockey Horse. When Darwin was about two years old, Delton went in the service. He joined the Navy on the 22 day of March, 1945. Delton was shipped overseas around the first of August. They had been on the water three days when the Japanese surrendered. But he was sent to China and was over there until the next April before he got to come home. It was real hard for us to have to see him go. The war was so bad at that time we were afraid that we would never see him alive again. But the Lord did bless him, and Delton tried to live a clean life and keep the word of wisdom and live the Lords Commandments. Delton was blessed for it, he never had to fight. He worked in the office as a Yeoman or book keeper. Darwin worried about his brother as small as he was. He would wake up in the night if it was raining and say, poor Delt, if he heard a train whistle he would say, poor Delt. We all shed many tears, and I think that put more gray hairs in my head than anything. We were all so thankful when Delton arrived back home safely. My husband Jim got asthma so bad, he had to quit carpenter work. He started laying brick and block for a living. In 1963 he got his back hurt and he had to have an operation on his back in 1964. He got along real well for his age, but he never was able to go back on the job any more. We have done work in the Temple for quite a few names, some of our dead kindred and others. I have worked in the church as Sunday School Secretary, Primary President, Primary teacher, Counselor to Mutual President, Relief Society Visiting Teacher, Counselor to the Relief Society President, and Assistant Secretary in Relief Society. My husband and I filled a two-year stake mission, and have worked with the Indian people. We have also worked with the Stake Mission by helping with the baptisms once a week. Our children are all married and have families. We have 24 grandchildren, and three great grandchildren, with one on the way. In June 1966, we had all, of our children home with us, plus all of our grandchildren except for two, and all of our great grandchildren. 1967-We went in for a tithing settlement with our Bishop, Bishop Hiatt. We sat down, and he started talking to us about going on a mission, which really shocked us very much. We had hoped sometime to be able to go on a foreign mission, but had about given up all hopes as our health wasn’t very good. My husband had surgery on his back in 1964, and he had hay fever real bad and asthma at times. My nerves were real bad, and I had stomach trouble and gall bladder trouble. The Bishop told us to think about it and talk to our children. He also told us if we were called he was almost sure we would be called to Scotland, or someplace over there, as they were so in need of missionary couples. I was always scared of water and the thought of going overseas gave me a chill. But I decided if that was where the Lord wanted me, that would be where I would go and if I or we got killed in the service of the Lord, I knew it would be our time, so I had settled the worry in my mind about going overseas. When we received our call, I was kind of disappointed for I had my mind all set on going overseas. Our call was to the East Central States Mission. We began to make preparations to go. We were to go in the mission home on the sixth of March. We had to pick out what we had to take with us and store the rest, so our son Darwin and his family could move into our home and live there and take care of it while we were gone. We had to go get a checkup by the doctor, get our shots, get our clothes, suitcases, and a thousand other things. They told us to be studying the missionary lessons. So we started our job with a prayer in our heart and faith that the Lord would be with us and help us to do the job we had been called to do. We got all our things packed and stored what we were leaving and already we were going to take with us. We were going to be keeping house, so we had our bed clothes, cooking vessels, and dishes enough to get by with. So on the 20th of February 1967, about one p.m., we had our car packed and ready to start to Utah to stay with our daughter, Eva, who lived at Hyde Park, Utah, until time to go in the mission home. We stayed the first night at Kanab, Utah, the next night we were at our daughter Eva’s. She made me a coat suit and we visited and shopped for clothes until time to go in the mission home on the 5th of March. The night before we went in the mission home we stayed all night at Sandy, Utah, with my niece, Daphene Jarvis. The next day, the 6th of March, 1967, as we were loading the car to go to the mission home, we were all talking and taking pictures. At the mission home, when we took our clothes up to our room, we found we had left the bag with all my dresses. So after we got registered, and they gave time for the evening meal, instead of eating, we drove back to Sandy to get the bag of clothes we had left. We were in a big hurry and as it was late in the afternoon, traffic was heavy and we were quite nervous trying to hurry and get back in time for the meeting. We got back just before the meeting started. The class was down in the basement, so we went down in the basement and sat down, in a few minutes, my husband said, “I am so sick I believe I am going to have to get out of the room”. He had to climb the steps out of the basement. I was afraid he was going to fall so I got up and followed him. Jim made it up the steps and down the hall to where the steps started up to our room on the second floor. He was so near out he just bumped into the wall and fell to the floor. I took hold of his arm as he went down and jerked him back to keep his head from hitting the steps. Sister Richards, the mission home mother came to us. She brought wet towels and we bathed his face and rubbed him until he came to and got enough strength to go on up the steps to our room. After the meeting was over, President Richards and an Elder Vance who was in the mission home came up and administered to him. Jim went to sleep and got up the next morning at five o’clock, got dressed, walked down to the hotel for breakfast. He came back, went to all the meetings the rest of the week and never had any more trouble. We know it was through faith, administration, and prayer that he was made well. We attended all the meetings all that week. One day we spent most of the day at the Salt Lake Temple. We went through a session and then went up to the solemn Assembly Room. It was so beautiful, it made you feel like you were in heaven. They had a question and answer period for the missionaries. We were set apart as missionaries on Thursday, March 9, 1967, by Marion D. Hanks. When Marion D. Hanks laid his hands on my head, to set me apart, he told me that I was worrying about not knowing the missionary lessons, for me to quit worrying; that my labors would be mainly in other things. It shocked me so bad that he knew how I felt, that I couldn’t help crying because the only way he could know how I felt was through the inspiration of the Lord. He also set apart my husband, Jim. We had our last meeting on Sunday, March 12, 1967, in the evening, before going to our field of labor. It was a testimony meeting. There were about 300 missionaries there. The testimony meeting was at the Tabernacle. We were all to bear our testimony and quote our favorite scripture. It was wonderful to be able to stand in the same place as the Prophets of the Lord had stood so many times and bear my testimony. The scripture I quoted was Amos 3:7 – “Surely the Lord God will do nothing but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the Prophets.” My husband, Jim, also bore his testimony and quoted a scripture. We stayed that night at my niece’s, Daphene Jarvis, at Sandy, Utah. We were to leave the next morning for Louisville, Kentucky, as that was the mission headquarters. We heard on the news that some of the roads were closed, so we didn’t know what to do, so Jim called the Mission Home in Louisville, and the Mission President told him to come the southern route. That meant we had to go back to Flagstaff, Arizona - almost back home in Mesa. So on the 14th of March, 1967, we started out with the snow so thick we couldn’t see very far in front of us. I was about scared to death as I had never been in much snow, but we knew what our duties were and we just had to trust in the Lord and do our part, so we did and we hadn’t gone but just a few miles when we ran out of the snow and had nice weather the rest of the way to Kentucky. We arrived in Flagstaff, Arizona about 7 pm that night. We didn’t let our children know we were there that night. We were afraid they would try to come up to see us that night and we knew we needed to rest and be ready to be on our way the next morning, for we were already a day late and we had a long ways to go. So when we got ready to leave Flagstaff the next morning we called our children and let them know where we were and that we were leaving Flagstaff. We stayed the next night, 15th March, in Tucumcari, New Mexico. The following night, the 16th , we stayed at Joplin, Mo., and the 17th, at Locus Grove, Indiana. We arrived at the mission home on the 18th of March at Louisville, Kentucky. The Mission President told us we would be laboring at Danville, Kentucky, about 85 miles from there. So we went on to Danville. We arrived there in the afternoon of March 18, 1967. The Mission President told my husband to go out to Danville and get acquainted with the members. It would be two weeks until Conference and he would be sustained and set apart as Branch President. So that was what we did. We rented an apartment the day we arrived and lived there the two years we were in the mission field. Jim, my husband was set apart as Branch President on 2 April, 1967. The next day after he was set apart we had a baptism in Danville. Two girls were baptized. The ex-Branch President did the baptizing. The two girls were Salley Icen and Sherin Stinnet. On the 23rd of April I was set apart as Relief Society President. We worked hard trying to build up the Branch, as the Branch was about to collapse, there were only 12 or 15 members attending church. We looked for members, visited those who were inactive and tried to get them coming out to church and helping out in church work. We were told there were some there who wouldn’t do any kind of work in the church and we would be wasting our time if we tried to get them to. Anyway, we tried and had good luck with some. One of the ladies I chose for 2nd Counselor in the Relief Society and her daughter was made Secretary of the Sunday School and they served well as long as we stayed there. The branch work and Relief Society work went well. We soon had a good crowd out to church and Relief Society. The Lord blessed us as we tried to do our part. The Relief Society women worked and made articles like aprons, plaques, pillows, flower baskets, and quilts and sold them. We bought a new sewing machine for Relief Society, curtains for the building, a Book of Mormon, a Bible, and Doctrine and Covenants for the church, and other things. My husband was a carpenter, so he remodeled the building or dwelling house where we had church with the help of some of the members, and put carpet on the steps so there wouldn’t be so much noise when going up steps and coming down. They tore a partition out between two rooms to make our chapel bigger. We enjoyed much of our work there, of course we had times of disappointment and sadness. We taught one lady by the name of Francis Lawson and my husband baptized her and a couple by the name of Paul George and his wife on 30 May 1968. The attendance grew, at times the building was filled. There were quite a few new members brought into the church. One time there were two girls baptized: Peggie Bealer and her niece, Janis Maverly. The Elders had taught them and they were baptized one Saturday afternoon. Peggie’s Dad was very bitter about her joining the church and some of her uncle’s had made threats that they were going to do if they caught the missionaries out there. They lived up in the hills or knobs, they called it, in Kentucky. It was getting late in the day when the baptism was over and the Elders had to take them home. It was several miles to where they lived. Peggie was of age and didn’t have to get her Dad’s consent, but she did talk to him and try to reason with him. Janis’s Father gave his consent for her to be baptized. The Elders asked us to go with them to take the girls home, as they were afraid there might be trouble. We didn’t know what we might run into. We might be shot but we were in the hands of the Lord and trying to do our job, so we went with the missionaries and the Lord did protect us. One afternoon when we were on our mission in Kentucky, we went to visit a family up in the hills, the Kentucky people call them knobs instead of hills. In a lot of those hills they make whiskey and some of the missionaries got in trouble and came near to getting killed. The people in some of those areas are very bitter against the church. It was getting late in the afternoon when my husband and I got up there and I told him we should hurry and get out of there before night. There were just one family up there that belongs to the church. We stayed longer than we intended and it was dark when we started down the hill and came around a short curve, there was a man hanging out from a limb over the road, my heart about jumped out when I first saw it. He was dressed with overalls, shirt, shoes, and socks, with a quick glance it looked like a real man. It really did scare me and I thought maybe it was a warning to us. It was really a dummy but he was hanging with a rope around his neck and looked real scary. We didn’t know what we might see next, it might be a rope around our neck, but we happen to think ...it was Halloween night. I don’t know if that was what it was put there for, or just to warn us. It was not a public road and was used only by a few people. There were trees all along the road, and a quite scary place. In January 1969, I got word that my father, Benjamin Burley Bowers was in ill health, and my sister, Echo, was taking care of him and was worn out and couldn’t take care of him any longer. So we went home about a month early from our mission. We went by Texas, where my sister lived and had my Dad fly to Mesa, so we could take care of him. On the 24th October, 1969, our grandson, Ronald Thomas was killed in a car accident, our son Delton, my husband and I flew back to Cincinnati, Ohio to be there for the funeral, and to be with his mother, (our daughter) Vernice and his father Joe Thomas and their family. It was a real sad thing. We were at his wedding in December 1968 and ten months to the day we were at his funeral. He had a son, Brian Michael Thomas, born 13th September, 1969. just 20 days before his death. Ronny was teaching in High School and was on his way home after school, when this drunk man ran into him and knocked his car off an embankment and killed him. On 24th November, 1971, we celebrated our 50th Wedding Anniversary in Mesa, Arizona. All of our children and companions, grand children (except four) and great grand- children (except seven) were there. All the family went to Sir George Restaurant for dinner and had a program there, then we went from there to our daughter’s Mavis Lisonbee home for an open house at 832 W. 8th Street, in Mesa.Our seven children sang two songs, “Let the rest of the world go by” and “I need Thee every hour”, they sounded so wonderful. Our children had a large painting made from our Wedding Picture. They bought us a clothes dryer and a lot of smaller items. Our grandchildren bought us a set of dishes and a set of silverware and a set of beautiful glasses with a gold band around the top. My aunt Emma, her daughter, Mable, and family gave us a set of glasses with gold on them. We received other gifts and money from friends and relatives. My sisters sent me a gold candy dish, some gold cloth to make my dress and my husband a gold shirt. We had a wonderful time . We will never forget. We have the most wonderful family in all the world. They all went all out to make it special and a wonderful time for us. In 1971, our daughter Mavis and her husband, Bernie, took us on a trip back to Ohio and New York, back to Danville, Kentucky, where we had filled a mission. We had a real nice trip. We went up to New York to see the Pageant I had always wanted to see it but had about given up on ever being able to go that far away from home. Our daughter, Vernice, her husband, Joe and their youngest son, Joey, went with us from where they live in Cincinnati, Ohio. We all had an enjoyable trip and the pageant was a beautiful sight to see. We all visited the home of Joseph’s father and the Sacred Grove. I could just feel the spirit there and see and feel how it was the day of Joseph’s vision. It was calm and quiet and the birds were singing. Such a peaceful feeling and there was only one spot where the sun could shine down through the trees on the ground and that spot was bare, no grass or anything growing. It made me wonder if that was the place where Joseph kneeled to pray. We came back by the Niagara Falls that was beautiful too. We could see over into Canada, but it was getting late and we had a long ways to travel, so we didn’t cross over into Canada. Our daughter Eva, and her husband Homer took us on a trip back to visit our daughter Vernice and her family in 1972. We had a wonderful trip and visit that year. In May 1973 we moved from Mesa, Arizona to Hyde Park, Utah. We had been taking care of my father Benjamin Burley Bowers for about five years. He was blind and almost totally deaf and had sat in darkness and silence until he lost his sanity. He passed away on the 2 July 1973, in Provo, Utah. We had his body flown back to Mesa, Arizona so he could be buried by my mother. We lived at Hyde Park, Utah for about a year and then moved to Salem, Utah where we live at this time, July 1975. Up to this date, July 1975, we have 7 children, 29 grandchildren and 31 great grandchildren. Our two sons are Second counselors in their Bishoprics and three of our daughters work in the Relief Society. In July 1975, we flew back to Cincinnati, Ohio, to visit with our daughter, Vernice Thomas. Three of our other daughters went also. Vada and her husband Mel and their son, Mike, from Vallejo, California; Mavis and her husband Bernie from Mesa, Arizona; Eva and her husband Homer and their daughter Tami from Hyde Park, Utah. We all had a nice visit for a week, then after they had all gone home our daughter Vernice took her car and we went to Kentucky to see my brother, Bennion, at Elizabeth Town and from there over to Danville, Kentucky, where we had filled our mission. It was nice to get to go back where we had filled our mission and see the people once again. They have a new church there now on five acres of ground, a beautiful place. Some of the ones that were baptized are still faithful members, some that we tried to get active all the time we were there, finally got back active. One lady came up and threw her arms around me and said “do you remember me, I am Virginia Simpson, you know you tried to get me active all the time you were here. I finally got started back”.The Branch President is James Stinnett. He was the first counselor to my husband while Jim was Branch President. We had dinner with the ex-Branch President, James Ison. My husband took his place when we arrived in the mission field. In January 1976, we went down to Arizona for our grandson Chris Cline’s wedding. While we were there we went to two funerals. One of my husband’s brothers, William Starks, who died, 6 Jan, 1976, and my Aunt Emma Cody, my mother’s only sister, she died 26 Jan, 1976. She was 93 years old, but was still alert and she composed many poems. I gave the history of her life at the funeral. In the fall of 1976, our daughter Vernice got something wrong with her throat and arm. She was operated on and the doctor fount it was malignant, so they had to take her thyroid out. The doctor told her husband she was so bad they couldn’t even treat her. Later, after all the tests were made they said they could treat her, but it would take a long time before she would get over it and it would take many treatments. She had one treatment in the spring of 1977, she got along fine. After the treatment they came to Mesa, Arizona to visit. All the others of the families met there, our daughter Eva from Hyde Park, Utah; our son Delton from Salem, Utah; our son Darwin from Spring Lake, Utah; our daughter Vada from Vallejo, California; our daughter Arlene from Tonto Basin, Arizona and our daughter Mavis that lives in Mesa, Arizona. While the family were all there we had a family picture made. It makes us happy to see the love in the family and how they enjoy being together, for the love they have for each other and the love they have for us as parents. In the fall of 1977, on the 21st day of September, I was getting ready to go to Relief Society meeting. The phone rang, I picked up the phone and someone said “I’m ok”. I couldn’t figure out at first what it was all about. Our daughter said “Mama, I’m ok”. Then she told me she had just got through taking tests and a blood scant. I think she said she was on the table for a hour and a half. The doctor checked to see if they could find any sign of the cancer. They couldn’t find any trace, when I realized what she was telling me, the tears began to flow from my eyes, and I thanked my Father in Heaven for blessing our daughter Vernice. In October 1977, our five daughters came to visit us, our sons already live here. We were getting ready to move from the farm out on the highway to up town Salem. Our seven children put on their work clothes and went to work painting the house inside, they all joked, laughed and had a wonderful time together. They all expressed in words what a wonderful time they had together. One of the girls said it was so wonderful all of us being there together with never a cross word, with everyone happy. The best way she could describe it was like being in heaven. In July 1977, we had a “Starks Reunion” up at Salt Lake City. My husband, Jim, and his only two brothers living were there, Elzie and Ellis. It was his oldest brothers, Elzies, 92 Birthday. There were quite a few of the Starks family there and all seemed to enjoy the day. The next morning, I said something to my husband about the reunion and he didn’t remember one thing about the reunion. He had a light stroke, the doctor said, and was blessed not to be paralyzed. In 1977 we did work in the Temple for several names of our kindred dead on the Bowers and Mumea or Mumoi lines. We are always happy to be able to do work for our loved ones. In February 1978, we went down to Mesa, Arizona for our grandson Mark Clines wedding and the next morning Jim couldn’t remember a thing about the wedding. Guess he had another light stroke or blood clot, but he seems okay now. 9 June 1978: Something came on the news today we will remember for a long time. President Kimball announced that after many long hours of fasting and praying in the upper room of the Temple, He received a revelation from the Lord that the time had come for the blacks to receive the Priesthood. All worthy male members, of the church, are to receive the blessings of the Priesthood along with the blessings of the Temple. On October 3, 1978, I went with the Relief Society ladies to Salt Lake City for a tour at the Visiting Center and we also went through the Relief Society Building and had lunch at the Church Office Building. It was an inspiring day, we really enjoyed the day. Linda Bird was President of our Relief Society in Salem. 1978 - All our children have visited us this summer and we really did enjoy having them with us for a few days. We had Thanksgiving dinner with our oldest son, Delton and his wife, Jeanette, and their daughter, Deann, also their son Dennie and his family from Mesa, Arizona. Then the next day we went up to our daughter, Eva Seamons and her family. This year of 1978 we have been able to do work in the Temple for a few more names on our Bowers and Mumea lines, also some on the Peables line. Christmas in 1978 was spent at Mesa, Arizona. We went to Mesa with our daughter Eva and her husband, Homer and daughter, Tami, our son Delton, his wife, Jeanette and daughter Deann. Our youngest son, Darwin and his wife Diane Tucker; and their six children (Shelley; Jeniffer; Jared; Brian; Shaye; and baby Krislee) came down a few days later. We had a real nice dinner with our daughter, Mavis Lisonbee and her family. Today is January 20, 1979, it is my husband’s birthday. He is 78 years old today. He has been helping our daughter and her husband do some work on a house, dry wall and paint. He does real good for his age, he still doesn’t need to wear glasses to drive. As of this, the 20th day of January 1979, we have 7 children, 30 grandchildren (all living except two), one grandchild was still born and one killed in a car accident, and 44 great grandchildren. We have 81 descendants. Our two sons are still working as second counselors in the bishopric and three daughters working in the Relief Society. My husband Jim is counselor to the High Priest quorum presidency. I am Relief Society visiting teacher, and we both take care of the greeting at Sunday School. In March of 1979, our daughter Eva, her daughter Tami, my husband Jim and I all went to Arizona to be there for our youngest daughter, Arlene and her husband, Steve’s 25th Wedding Anniversary. They had a big celebration at Tonto Basin, Ariz., where they live. They had lots of food and there were many friends and relatives there, and they all seemed to have a nice time. Several people came up and talked to me and told me what wonderful people Arlene and Steve were and what good neighbors, always ready to help anyone. Some of our children have visited us this year, our daughter Mavis and husband Bernie, our daughter Vada and her son Mike, our daughter Eva and husband Homer visit us quite often as they don’t live as far away as our other daughters. We are always happy to have them come. It is always a joy to have any of our children, or grandchildren come visit us. On the 28th of December, 1979, our granddaughter, Deann Starks got married in the Provo Temple, to Bill Davis. We were very happy to attend the wedding and to see her get married in the Temple for time and eternity. We have been greatly blessed this year of 1979, with health enough to be able to do the things we needed to do and with all kinds of fruit and vegetables to eat and to put away for future use. We are also very thankful and grateful to our Father in Heaven for all the blessings for our children and their families, and the lives our children are trying to live, and the way they express the desire to improve their lives and for the faith they have in a living God. Our two sons have been released from 2nd Counselors to the Bishop in their Wards. Our oldest son, Delton, has been called to be a High Councilman in Salem Stake. Our youngest son, Darwin, moved from Spring Lake, Utah to Orem, Utah, and he was made First Counselor to the Bishop in the Ward in Orem in February 1980. Our son, Delton and his wife, Jeanette have been called to be Temple workers in the Provo Temple. On April 6, 1980, we listened to the Conference Broadcast from Salt Lake, also from New York, over TV. It was 150 years since the Church was organized, which was the Sesquicentennial for the Church. We heard President Kimball speak from a Chapel in New York and bear his testimony of the truthfulness of the Gospel, and told about at Easter, of last year (1979) he and his wife and 1st Counselor, Eldon Tanner and others, were in Jerusalem and followed the footsteps of Christ.President Kimball dedicated the Church at Fayette, New York, also the Peter Whitmer Home. It is wonderful to see all the inventions that have come about since the Gospel was restored 150 years ago. And we know that the Lord has a hand in this, so His work could go on here on earth and his work could be accomplished before the millennium. The Gospel can be preached to all nations on TV by satellite, and all the computers are helping so much in preparing the records for Temple work. It is amazing how much faster they can get the records ready for Temple work. There are hundreds of names the work is done for each day in the Provo Temple alone, and think of all the other Temples today. In May of 1980, we received word our daughter Vernice was very ill, we flew out on May 31, 1980, to Cincinnati, Ohio. Our daughter Eva went with us and our daughter Mavis and her husband, Bernie flew out from Arizona the same day. Our daughter, Vernice was down in bed and couldn’t hardly stand to be moved it hurt her so bad. After we had been there about two weeks our other two daughters came out, Vada from California, and Arlene from Arizona. We enjoyed visiting and being together very much. We also prayed together. Our daughter Vernice did get some better. She got to where she could sit up and walk around some. After all the girls went home, my husband and I stayed until the 11th of August, 1980. It was so hard to leave her in such a bad condition, but we were not well and were afraid we might get down sick. They moved Vernice to her son (Donnie’s) place the day we left, so she could have someone take care of her and be with her. Her family are real good to her and her daughter-in-law, Jackie, treats her like she would her real mother. We arrived home on the 11th of August 1980. All the fruit was getting ripe and some of the garden needed to be taken care of, so we started working at that. On the 24th of November, 1980, we celebrated our 59th Wedding Anniversary. Our son, Darwin and his wife invited us over to their place. My sister, Echo, was here visiting with me, so we all went over to Darwin’s. They sang songs and played the piano and violin. They made a tape of their songs and music for us. They are all real talented. We had refreshments after the songs and music. We all had a nice time and enjoyed it very much. All our other children were away. We received cards, gifts and phone calls from them. They are all so good to us. The next morning, 25th of November, 1980, Darwin called about 10 o’clock and told us their baby girl was born about 9:25 that morning. They named her Kallie Joy. That made us 31 Grandchildren. On September 20th, 1980, our 51st Great Grandchild was born to Joey and Kandie Thomas. They named her Krystal Brooke. On Thanksgiving Day, Diane got out of the hospital with the new baby and they all came over here for dinner. Darwin’s family, were the only ones of our family we had with us on Thanksgiving. Our other children are all still away. All live away except our son Delton, and he has gone to Arizona for the winter. Our daughter Eva, came down after Thanksgiving and stayed about a week, she lives at Hyde Park, Utah. We really enjoyed having her visit us. Her daughter, Tami, came up from Snow Collage and stayed a day or two, before she went home with her mother. They helped me get some typing done on Genealogy. Sunday, December 7, 1980, was a special day for us. We went to see our little granddaughter, Kallie Joy, blessed. Her father, Darwin, and our other son, Delton blessed her. Then we went to another Ward to witness the confirmation of one of our Great granddaughters, Eva Estel Hamberlin. Her father, Dewayne Hamberlin, confirmed her, a member of the Church, Dewayne is our grandson. It really makes me happy to see my family trying to live the Gospel and seeing the men honoring their Priesthood. This year, 1980, is about to come to a close and we are so thankful for all the blessings of this year and all the past years. We still have each other, all our children, all our grandchildren, but 2 and all of our great grandchildren. We have had good crops this year with lots of fruit and vegetables. The Lord has been so good to us, and our family is so good to us. We are so thankful for all these blessings, and for the Gospel of Jesus Christ that helps us to live as we should to be with our family forever. This is the 2nd day of1990. I haven’t been writing in my history for quite some time. So many things have happened, that was so heart breaking, I haven’t felt like writing. Someone said it seemed that all I wrote about was sad things. It seems that is most of what I have had the last few years. Oh, I shouldn’t say that! I have been blessed in many ways along with the sad and heart breaking things. The Lord has blessed me to be able to stand up under all these trials and I am still here trying to do what I can to help anyone I can, even if it be those that are not living the gospel to someone in need of food. I try to help what little I can. We lost our first daughter, Vernice, on the 25th of June 1981. Then we lost our youngest daughter, Arlene, on the 8th of September 1984. Our son, Delton has Parkinson’s disease and his wife, Jeanette has heart trouble. Our oldest daughter, Eva has heart trouble and has had a pacemaker put in her. Our youngest son, Darwin and his wife separated, which really made us sad. They have seven children. On the 5th of October 1989, my husband, Jim, got up in the night to doctor a place on his leg that he had hurt the day before. (He couldn’t see very good, one of his eyes just went out one day when he was walking around. He had it operated on and it was not a success. So he couldn’t see very good). He went to sit down on the toilet and set so far over to the edge that he fell across the bath tub that was by the side of the toilet, and hurt his side. We took him to the Doctors the next morning. They said he had one rib broken and told him there was nothing they could do that he would be in a lot of pain for a few days, and he would just have to take it easy. We took him back home. I had picked a lot of green tomatoes the day before, as it was time for frost, and my family loves green fried tomatoes. I told him I was going into the kitchen and fry the tomatoes and put them in the freezer. So I peeled the tomatoes, sliced them and rolled them in flour, sprinkled salt and a little pepper on them and put them in hot grease until they were cooked. I had to turn them often so not to burn them. When I told him I was going into the kitchen to cook the tomatoes I had picked, he said he would go into the kitchen and stay in there while I did that. He could sit in the straight kitchen chairs better than he could the recliner chair, because it hurt his side to lean back. So, he went in the kitchen with me and when I got a skillet of tomatoes about fried, Jim looked over at them and said “Oh, them tomatoes looks so good, I feel like I could eat a whole skillet full”. There didn’t seem to be anything wrong with him, only his side was sore from the fall. Not long after he ate, he started vomiting and his stomach was swelling, so we called an ambulance to take him to the hospital. They x rayed him again and said he had two ribs broken and had obstruction of the bowels, and that he might have to be operated on. I have never been able to understand what happened, when we took him the first time and they x rayed him and told us he had only one rib broke and didn’t seem to think it was nothing much, that he would be in pain for a few days, and a few hours later he was in such a dangerous condition. They had said he had two ribs broken and he hadn’t even been doing anything only sitting there in the chair in the kitchen watching me cook. While in the hospital, he had a needle in his arm and tubes from his bowels, so several days they didn’t let him have a drop of water or food of any kind. They let him put a little piece of ice on this tongue, when his mouth got so dry. Finally, the swelling in his stomach left and he began to get better and he began to eat good and they thought he would be ready about the next day to go home. I got his clothes ready to bring him home and he came down with pneumonia. Then the next thing they told me was he had blood clots and they didn’t think he was going to make it. He didn’t. He passed away 16th of October, 1989. The night before he passed away, the nurse called me, on the phone, and said my husband wanted to talk to me. She called me by my first name, Ida, and I couldn’t figure out what person over there (at the hospital) knew me by my first name. (I found out it was my Relief Society President, of the Salem Ward, Abbie Bird, daughter of Linda Bird.) My husband told me he never felt so awful. He said his throat was so dry that he couldn’t hardly swallow. I told him the doctor was giving him antibiotics and for him to drink a lot of water. He said he would try in a few minutes. It wasn’t too long, after we hung up, until the nurse called me again and she wanted to talk to me. He wasn’t feeling any better. It was about 11 o’clock and I had never been to sleep, so I got up and dressed and my daughter Mavis took me over to the Hospital. I sat there by him the rest of the night and held his hand. He said, “You are so good to me”. The nurse gave him a shot and he finally went off to sleep. I stayed there until about 6 o’clock, he seemed to be resting good, so my daughter brought me home to rest for a while, for I had been staying up there most of the time in the day and the night, when the nurses would let me. Some of the nurses was so afraid I would stay and I think I know why. They wanted to go somewhere and sleep or sit in a room some place and not wait on the sick. I have wondered if that was what caused my husband’s death. He told me how he would turn the light on and holler for help and they wouldn’t come to him at all. He was there in bed and tied down with needles and such, and he needed a bedpan, and they would never come. He tried to get out of bed and strained his self so much, maybe that was the reason he got the blood clots. If the nurse hadn’t known me, I wouldn’t have got to be with him the last night he was alive. The first night he was in the hospital, I wanted to stay with him and no way would she give in for me to stay. The Doctor called me the next morning after I stayed with him and told me he didn’t think my husband was going to make it. I went up there after I rested awhile and stayed until almost night. The room was full of different ones in the family, so I thought I would go home for a while. I had been there all night and most of the day and so worried about him. I said, “Dad, I think I will go home for a while.” He said, “Yes, you go home and get some rest. You look tough.” I said “Can you see that good without your glasses?” He said “Yes. You look tough.” I went home and I hadn’t been there but a just a short time, and my granddaughter, Shelly, called me and he was already gone. He had blood clots really bad. They had oxygen on him and he would try to pull it off. He thought that was what was keeping him from getting his breathe. Our youngest son, Darwin, said he was trying to keep his dad from taking the mask off. Darwin said his dad said “My Lord, My Lord, take me out of this” and he was gone. Before he fell and hurt himself, my husband, told me many times he wanted to die and get out of this world. He was so blind and had passing out spells. He said he was tired of not being able to do anything. If he was on the other side, maybe he could do something. I said “you don’t want to leave me, do you? What would I do if you left me?” He said he didn’t want to leave me. He wanted me to go with him. I said “well, that is not about to happen, that we both go at the same time. At our age it probably won’t be too long, but we are not about to go at the same time.” He said, well you can go live with some of the children or get married again. I guess his time must have been up, the way things turned out. Jim talked to me many times while I sat by his bed, in the hospital. He told me, he had been traveling through the most beautiful country he had ever seen. He said “the flowers were such beautiful bright colors.” He said he had never seen anything like it. He seemed to be in his right mind. He told me when I went over to the hospital one morning that my brother, Ernest had been to see him that morning. I knew my brother had been real sick for several days and he lived in Kelsey, Texas. Ernest was a temple worker in the Dallas Temple. He got real sick and was in the hospital for several weeks and they couldn’t find his trouble. My husband didn’t know Ernest was sick, and I didn’t tell him. I just said “Ernest came to see you?” He said “Yes”. I said, “Well, why didn’t he come to see me?” He said “you were probably on your way over here.” I said “Are you sure it was Ernest?” He said “yes, I’m sure it was Ernest, don’t you think I know Ernest? Do you think I am crazy?” Jim passed away the 16th of October 1989 and my brother Ernest passed away 9 days later on the 25th of October, 1989, my father’s birthday. When my husband Jim was telling me how he wanted to get out of this world and maybe if he was on the other side there would be something he could do, maybe Jim and my brother, Ernest, are over there teaching the gospel to a lot of our relatives. Jim and Ernest had both filled missions. Our second daughter, Vernice, that had passed away on the 25th of June, 1981, had married a man by the name of Joe Thomas. He passed away the 4th of January 1990, after my husband and brother had passed away in October. On the 27th of February 1990, my last sister living, Echo Bowers Dawson, passed away. I am the only one left of the seven children of my father, Benjamin B. Bowers and mother, Octava Viola Peables. I am the second child of the seven kids. I am Ida Marie Bowers Starks, born 4th of March 1905. I turned 86 the 4th of March, 1991. My husband, Jim, talked to me several times while he was in the hospital. He seemed to know that he wouldn’t get out, when he was in the hospital this time. Before, he just couldn’t wait to get out of the hospital. This time, he acted like he knew he wasn’t getting out and coming home. The first night he went in and they took him up to his room, he just looked around the room and said, “Well, there is a beginning to the end of everything, and this is the beginning to the end” which it was. He never did get out of that room, until they brought him out dead, or at least his body. Jim talked to me and told me how he loved me and what a good wife and mother I had been and he had always been true to me and had never been unfaithful. I have always been true to him and it won’t be too long before I will be with him again and next time I hope there will never be a separation again. We just liked from the 16th of October to the 24th of November (39 days) of having been married 68 years, when he died. We were married on the 24th of November 1921. We have been sealed to each other and our children sealed to us, for all time, by one holding the authority. Christ gave the apostles power that what they sealed on earth, it would be sealed in heaven, and that was the power we were sealed by. – Matthew 16 & 19. We had a good long married life and no one can imagine how you miss someone when you have lived together that long and worked together and raised a family and loved each other, unless they go through what I have. When you wake up and find you are all alone, your children all gone and you are alone. I am thankful for my children and all they do for me and I don’t know what I would do without them. But, they all have their mates and I am alone. I am thankful for the gospel and for the Testimony, that we will be together again. If it wasn’t for that, I don’t think I could have made it. I just hope and Pray that I can live worthy of that blessing and that all my family will live for the blessing of being together again. The second of September 1990, I moved from Salem, Utah to Orem, Utah, to my daughter, Eva and her husband, Homer Seamons, home. It was really hard for me to have to sell a lot of my things in my home that seemed to be a part of me, as I had a lot of them for many years. I had to give up my husbands and my home as I wasn’t too well and real nervous and didn’t feel like I could be alone. I am thankful for all my children and all they do for me. I stayed with Eva and Homer until the 2nd of December, then they took me to Mesa, Arizona, and I stayed with my other daughter, Mavis and her husband, Bernie, until about the middle of February. They were building a new home and I was there when they moved from the old home to the new home. It was really nice and I had a nice bedroom to sleep in. It was the first time anyone had ever slept in it. I enjoyed visiting with them and others in my family, my son, Delton and wife Jeanette and a lot of grandchildren and great grandchildren. Then my daughter, Vada, flew to Mesa, Arizona and she and I flew back to California. I stayed with her until about the second week in April 1991. I enjoyed visiting with her husband, Mel, and their son, Mike. I had not been able to be with Vada as much as the other girls, she had lived so far from us. All my family have been so good to me as I said before. They tried to do all they can to help me enjoy life. A few days after I came back to Utah, my grandson, Jared, came home from his mission from England. I was there to meet him and hear his home coming talk. It is wonderful to see and hear of my family trying to live a good life and trying to keep the Lords Commandments. Jared made a real good talk and seemed so humble and spiritual. One of my great granddaughters came back from England in April from a mission. I didn’t get to hear her talk, as she was in Mesa, Arizona. But my daughter Eva, who is her grandmother, was there and she said her granddaughter really made a good talk. About six weeks ago, my daughter, Eva and her husband, Homer, went to Mesa to be there for her granddaughters wedding. My son, Delton and his wife, Jeanette stayed here with me about a month, while Eva was in Mesa. It was nice to get to visit with them for a while. They are both in bad health, and it makes me so sad to see them in such poor health. On Father’s Day I had both my sons and three of my grandsons with me, for dinner at my son, Darwin’s house. I cooked some of the dinner and we had a nice visit. This is the 13th of July 1991. I am here at my daughter, Eva’s home. They have a nice big home and do all they can to make me happy. As of this date, 13 July 1991, I have 122 descendant’s; 7 children, 31 grandchildren, 73 great-grandchildren, and 11 great-great grandchildren. They are all living except 4. I lost two daughters, Vernice in 1981 and Arlene in 1984, and one grandson, Ronnie, got killed in a car accident, in October 1969, and one grandson, Weston, that was still born in December 1961.
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