Friday, February 19, 2016

Ellis & Jean postcards

Ellis was Asher's eldest brother.
Ellis Merkley
From the personal albums of Delores Horton, Aug 2012
A few postcards survive between Ellis and his special flame, Jean, when he was serving in the Southern States mission between 1906-1908.  
"Jean Gerber, 1908"
From the personal albums of Delores Horton, Aug 2012
The following are from the personal albums of of Delores Horton, scanned between Sept 2013- April 2014.  Some of the postcards are images of both the front and back of the card, scanned and arranged as a single image.  They have been transcribed below each image to the best of my ability, correcting spelling wherein I was aware.

Heber, June 11, 1906
Here I am in Heber.  Have come up to stay a week or two and then I am going home.  I am roaming so much I don't know when I'll get my mail but I'll write in a day or two.
Best wishes,
July 8, 1907 (2:30pm)
Dear Jean,
I am now in the depot at Chattanooga and have a few minutes to wait before our train leaves for Atlanta.  I drop you this card to let you know all is fine with me.  I have had a good time so far on my trip but find it hot as love in July.  I am very glad my labors are in Ohio.  I expect a letter to meet me in Atlanta so I will write you again soon.  If you see spots on this card it is sweat not tears so don't you cry.  Be good, keep smiling.
From one who often thinks of Jean

(Stamped: 3 Sept 1907)
Hello Ellis
Dear Ellis-
[Thought] you would like this picture.  Might be of interest to a Vernalite so far away.  I tell you this house is something to be proud of and we all feel thankful for it.  We are all quite well. [Mable?] is feeling pretty well today, in fact for a few days I [thought] I would write tonight but too many children to tend so will try tomorrow.  
With love,

(no written message, but dated around 1 Nov 1907, addressed to Jean, mailed from Ohio)

Maeser, Utah
Feb 18, 1908
Dear Ellis:
Yours of tenth reached me last night.  Delighted was I?  Well I guess yes.  So you really, truely, surely, intent to come home and that very soon?  You can rest assured that one little girl is having palpitation of the heart.
Wonder if this will reach you ere you depart?  Well if it does or if it don't I am doin' it.  I sorta want to address you at Cinti once again so here goes.
By the by, those valentines ha ha!  They are just too cute for any use.  Such unique affairs, and so expensive of a.. you know. 
I sincerely hope Bro. B. gets well immediately, for his sake for your sake, for my sake.  Don't you?
Say be we had [some] a jolly sleigh ride and dance, Leap Year.  We girls took the boys to a party.  The only regretful remorse was the aftermath occasioned by late hours, I mean early- 4:30 and on.  That isn't bad for Mutual Officers and Pres of Stake D.B. is it?
What if Bro. Bills doesn't get well son, that wicked 'if' makes me stand still often.
Sweetheart I am O so tired tonight so I'll not try to write more.  Remember I am just the same to you.  Will tell you all the stories of two years before many day now.
Lovingly Jean
Where shall I send this?

Cincinnati, Ohio
Feb 28 '08
To the Girl I soon will meet
Dear Jean, In [haste] I write you these lines to let you know I soon will be on my way.  I am to go to Chicago on business on the first (Sunday) And will be there perhaps one day and then west I go.  I will likely have Chicago the second and go to Denver.  That will mean the night of the third I will get to Denver.  However this may be one day to fast.  Which I think it is.  I rather expect to get to Denver on the evening of the fourth.  That night if I catch my train out I will be able to get the 2 p.m. train on the Uintah over to Dragon.  Then the stage will bring me in to Vernal on the sixth.  Now I will try and let you know more [definite] so you can meet me if you wish to in the south side of the town.  If all goes well I may send you a wire from Dragon and you get Ezra to come with you to see that all goes well and meet me so I will not have to walk home from town.  By the way don't meet me in the city.  The poeple will think I want to take your life.  And may get me arrested for setting a bad example to the young people.  However I trust that will come out ok.  I am well and happy and hope to see you not long after you get this letter.  I am very busy and have now got to go and see Elder Bills [off] on the train to Columbus.  All are dandy.  I will explain more to you when I speak to you face to face.  Keep smiling and "May God Bless You".  Wishes to You From [Your] wandering sweetheart Who loves You Still, 

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Keturah's quilt

The following photos are of an inherited quilt with a history to it.
Apparently, this quilt came across the plains with Keturah Thurman Peterson as a young girl.  Her daughter, Mary M Sander, took this quilt off of Keturah's bed after she passed away and passed it down her family line.  Upon last inquiry, this quilt was in the possession of J. Haugosen.

Pretty, isn't it?

Monday, December 29, 2014

Doug and Rhea get together

Doug is the eldest son of Asher and Birda.

This video was put together rather hastily for a Christmas surprise this year.  I'd collected the photos and interview footage in previous months and years before, and I'd always MEANT to assemble something up this avenue, but never got around to it.  I'm glad I finally did.  :)

Password hint:
What is the name of Doug & Rhea's baby of the family? 
(Caps sensitive)

Friday, December 12, 2014

Photos of Isabrand Sander

Isabrand Sander Jr. married Asher's sister, Mary, making them brothers-in-law.
The following are a few images of Isabrand when older that have not yet been posted.

From the personal albums of Shannon Andersen
From the personal albums of Jane Haugsoen

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Mary Merkley photos in college

The following are a handful of photos of Mary Merkley when she was attending school in Provo.
"Siblings Mary and Ellis Merkley, outside a house in Provo, UT"
From the personal albums of Delores Horton
Mary Merkley and roommates
From the personal albums of Delores Horton
Written details on back of photo above
(names of all girls lined up)
From the same source as above

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

More Diamond Mountain photos

The following are additional photos of the Diamond Mountain homestead I have not yet posted.
1926- Diamond Mountain Homestead
Isabrand Sander, Margret M Hanson, Asher, Mary M Sander, Birda holding son,
FRONT Virginia Merkley looking at her mother
From the personal albums of David Ahrnsbrak
Asher and Ray/Roy Merkley, 1929
Diamond Mountain and dog, Six
From the personal albums of David Ahrnsbrak
1931- Buffie Hatch and Virginia Merkley on Calico
up at Diamond Mountain.
From the personal albums of Tamera Lund
"Asher on the way with sheep to Diamond Mountain,
May 22, 1936"
From the personal albums of David Ahrnsbrak
Asher with nieces and nephews at Diamond Mountain
(Aird Merkley is recognized on far right)
From the personal albums of Tamera Lund
Homesteading on Diamond Mountain
Sander girls in photo
From the personal albums of Shannon Andersen
"Keturah's Diamond Mountain Cabin"
(Likely grown Sanders girls and Virginia M Hacking, 2nd from right)
From the personal albums of Tamera Lund

Friday, April 4, 2014

Helen Merkley in photos

Helen Merkley Colton was one of Asher's sisters.
The following are a bunch of photos of her in her younger years that have not yet been posted.
All are from the personal albums of Sarah Nielsen.
Baby Helen Merkley
Younger Helen Merkley portrait
Helen Merkley portrait in oval
Helen Merkley portrait
Young Helen Merkley
Another young Helen Merkley
Helen Merkley by ivy

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Lottie Hodson & Joseph Harper

Lottie Blair Lewis Hodson was an older half-sister to Birda.
(Their father was Siney Lewis Sr, but they were born to different mothers.)
After Lottie's husband, Allan K. Hodson died in 1904, she remarried a man named Joseph P. Harper (of Salida, Caffee, Colorado) on 17 Oct 1906 in Salt Lake City, UT.
Thus, she became Lottie Blair Lewis Hodson Harper.... or just Lottie Harper.

No photo exists of Joseph P. Harper to my knowledge

Marriage License Application:
Film# 0429065
Marriage License:
Film #049298
 Newspaper notice:
SOURCE: Vernal Express 1906, Oct 27, p.3
My initial impressions of Joseph P. Harper are not favorable, as 11 months later when Lottie died due to complications in childbirth, Joseph expressed no interest in caring for his new baby or the 5 year-old son from Lottie's previous marriage, and essentially skipped town.  I can find no further trace on Joseph Harper, and honestly don't care to.  This is about as far into the story as he ties.

Lottie's probate record, p.33:
SOURCE: Lottie Hodson Harper probate
8th Dist Court, Uintah Co,
Probate Case Files, Case 137-138,
UT State Archives, Series 14198
Researched Aug 2013
Text highlighted by me
Lottie's probate record transcribed (highlighted portion only):
"... That the husband of said deceased, Joseph Harper, who is entitled to letters of administration, refuses to take them and has said he will not bother with it and turned the whole matter over to your petitioner with the request that he see to it, and that the said Joseph Harper has left this County...."

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Lottie Lewis & Allen Hodson

Lottie Lewis was one of Birda's half-sisters.
She married Allen K Hodson* (of Ashley Precinct, UT) on 28 Dec 1898 in Ashley(Vernal?), UT
Thus, she became Lottie Lewis Hodson.
*The name is also commonly found spelled as "Hodgson".
Allen Hodson and Lottie Lewis
Photoshopped together by me
Found in the personal albums of Dallas Workman
 Marriage License:
Film # 0481100
 Newspaper notice:
SOURCE: Vernal Express 1899, Jan 5, p.1
Newspaper notice transcribed:
"One of Millward's young lords carried off one of our young ladies starting last Wednesday on the voyage of life.  The benedict is Heber Carrol and the blushing bride, Miss Lottie Lewis.  We wish them a pleasant journey."

Newspaper correction: 
SOURCE: Vernal Express 1899, Jan 12, p.2
Newspaper correction transcribed:
"Ever since the Express came from press last week Heber Carroll has been endeavoring to coax his wife home, but as Al Hodson had the license and not Carroll, as reported by our Fourth ward correspondent, Heber found his task a hopeless one and concluded to console himself by spending the winter in the Uintah Stake Academy."

1900 Census:
I include the 1900 census here as it gives interesting clues just a year or two after their marriage.  If the census was taken door-to-door, this implies that on one side of their newlywed nest was Lottie's married half-sister, Annie Carroll, and on the other side was the rest of the Carroll clan, namely Edmund and Ester Carroll- WHO ALSO happened to be the witnesses present who signed on Lottie and Allen's marriage license... interesting little tidbit, yes?

Allen unfortunately died just a few years later in 1904, so it's a miracle to have the little bits of information we do about their nuptials and where they lived during this early timeframe.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Death info on William Lewis

William Harrison Lewis was a half brother to Birda.
He came through Siney Lewis Sr. and his second wife, Elizabeth Blair.

Unfortunately, no known photo of William exists.

According to this document the following dates apply:
BIRTH: 9 Dec 1879- Holladay, Salt Lake, Utah*
DEATH: 3/4 May 1896- Vernal, Uintah, Utah*
He was 16 years old when he died.

Newspaper notice:
SOURCE: Vernal Express 1896, May 7, p.4
Newspaper notice transcribed:
"... A young man in Fourth Ward by the name of Lewis 16 years old, died Sunday of typhoid pneumonia..."

The reason I can tie this notice to "Willie" Lewis is due to the following written history that indicates his existence, as well of that of his sister, Lottie:

From the written document, "Memories of my Father, Siney Lewis Sr." written by his daughter, Mary Hatch on 18 Jun 1958, and found in the personal documents of Glen Hatch, there is this indication:
"(p.1)... Shortly after we moved to Midway, Betty died and left two children.  Four other children had died before and Lottie and William were the children she left.  Father brought little Willie to Mother where he lived until his death at 16 years old...
(p.2)... During our first year in Vernal, we lost our dear brother, Willie, at 16 years old.  (He was Betty's son.)  He was never well and strong.  He had what they called inflammatory rheumatism- a very painful thing, and he suffered constantly.  It was then that Father, in his sorrow, wondered if we had done the right thing in moving to Vernal..."

Another document written by Mary Hatch, "My Life" (written 25 Dec 1956) found in the personal albums of Glen Hatch, recalled this detail as well (p.12):
"...The next fall, after we moved to Vernal, we lost Willie at the age of 16.  He never was a healthy child.  I can still see his round, pale face.  I wasn’t old enough to think much about his sickness, but I remember a strange incident at the time of his death.  It was thought that he had passed away.  Father and several others were by his bed when, all of a sudden, he raised up.  He said, “He had been on the other side, that he had seen his mother and Jesus and that he was going to them, that he wasn’t permitted to stay here any longer.”  He said many strange things, then passed away.  As he lay there so still and white, I’d slip around to the back of the sofa that he was on and peek over and watch and think- why did they put money on his eyes, why couldn’t he breathe, etc.  A new experience had come into my life.  I wasn’t too sad.  It isn’t meant that children grieve too much..."

Death certificates are not available in Utah until 1904, so unfortunately there is no further paper trail I can find on Willie to this point.  Dang.

*These dates are derived not only from indications in the newspaper, but from the information provided through (see link in the source info below the headstone image) and family group records.  The only discrepancy is that the newspaper would date his death as May 3, while the billiongraves records and family records state it was May 4.  Birth location was derived from information provided on a family group record, though I haven't been able to find evidence of this elsewhere.  A possible source would be through: LDS Midway Ward #6408, p.62, line 1546.  I will have to confirm this at a later date...

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Ellis & Jean Merkley- 60 years together

Ellis Merkley was Asher's older brother.
Ellis and his wife, Jean, celebrated over 60 years of marriage- this post covers that hallmark.
Photos and documents are all from the personal albums of Delores Horton unless otherwise stated.  Articles are not transcribed, but can be read/examined by enlarging the article images.
Jean and Ellis
Anniversary Invitation:
*For some reason this image has decided to become blurry when posted.
For those interested in a better copy, please contact me...

Milestone article:
NO SOURCE- likely Deseret News or Salt Lake Tribune, 1968
Found in the personal albums of Delores Horton
 Anniversary notice:
SOURCE: Vernal Express 1968, Jun 27, p.10
"Ellis and Jean in their home, 60 years married"
"Jean and Ellis Merkley- 60th Wedding Anniversary, 1968"