by Achsah Stout McOmber
My parents' home was well organized. At a set time in the morning we would assemble in the large kitchen which was used as a dining room too. Then we would sing a hymn and father and his wives (whom we also called "the folks") would engage in reading the scriptures, discussing the doctrines of the church, read the latest word from the prophet, then proceed to eat breakfast. A similar procedure was repeated at evening time.
It was a great life with so many brothers and sisters of our own age. No need to run to the neighbors for playmates. If there were differences, as there were on occasion, they were quickly settled with a bear-like hug. No rocks or sticks were used.
At the age of seven I entered school. The following summer, 1897, father moved mother and the family to Hinckley, Utah, into a house bought from one Warrie Black. After spending the winter, mother moved back to Rockville, where my brother, Dewey was born. Aunt Julia and Aunt Misha came to take Mother's place in Hinckley. I recall that year the folks had a great many dried grapes. They were delicious except for the seeds. I solved the problem by getting some clean handkerchiefs, tying the grapes in one corner, and handing one to my sister, Juanita. "Now we can eat them," I said. It worked perfectly until we noticed we were chewing holes in the handkerchiefs. The following washday I heard Aunt Misha remark to Aunt Julia, "Julia, just look at these handkerchiefs. The mice have been at them." Juanita and I looked at each other. We were quiet as the mice.
It was during this winter that my sister Daisie came down with Typhoid Pneumonia. She missed six weeks of school and never entirely recovered from the effects of this malady.
Because of Daisie's illness and the need of fruit in the year of 1900, the folks decided to take her (Daisie) to a warmer climate to our old home in Rockville. Accordingly, in July, Mother with three of her children, Daisie, myself, and Leland, my baby brother of about five months, together with Aunt Julia, Juanita and Victor Black (a baby whose mother had died at his birth and whom Aunt Julia was nursing) left Hinkley for Rockville with my brother David as driver. There Aunt Julia soon rustled an orchard of fruit to work on and we began drying fruit for the coming winter.
During the fall or summer of this year Aunt Martha Cox with her daughter, Rose and son in-law, Francis Bunker, decided to move to Old Mexico. They had written to Father at Hinckley to help them move, which he did.
Because of my sister's rheumatic conditon (she was walking with crutches) mother, with her family, moved to Bunkerville, Nevada, to spend the winter rather than to the cold climate of Hinckley, Utah. My brother David stayed at Hinckley where he was badly needed on the farm as Father was in Mexico.
The death of my darling brother, Leland, saddened an otherwise delightful winter in Bunkerville, Nevada. This was my first experience with death. I couldn't endure the thought of having him buried in the dark cold earth. I begged mother not to let the men carry him to the grave. The speaker at the funeral gave absolute assurance that he was alive, living in the arms of loved ones who would carey and protect him, that we would have him again with all his precious personality. A sweet peace permeated my being. I was comforted an did not cry as they laid him to rest.
My sister's health gradually improved. She was now able to comb her hair and walk a few steps without help. In April we moved to St. George, on our way to Mexico, as Father had decided that the climate, the social life included, was perfect to rear his family. After six weeks of weary traveling on the burning deserts of Utah and Arizona, we arrived at Naco, Arizona, a little town bordering Mexico. A railraod track divided the town Naco, Arizona from the town Juarez, Mexico. Here we learned of Melvina's death, Aunt Jane's little girl, her third child to die. Morgan and Vernon, her two oldest, passed away in infancy. Employment was good in Naco in the form of freighting and as the family needed cash. My brother, David began freighting coke from Naco to the Canninea Mines in Mexico, and metals from the Canninea Mines back to Naco. Mother ran a small laundry with my sister, Artie, sometimes Wendall and myself as distributors and collectors.
I well remember a cloud burst that broke over this little town, Naco. It happened at the close of a hot summer day. My brother, Wendell and I were returning to our home which was on the outskirts and east of Naco and which consisted of a tent and top of a covered wagon box. As we neared our home we noticed funnel-like clouds of dust swirling along the hills east, moving Southward. We sensed danger and broke into a run. The instant we reached the tent door, a blinding flash of lightening followed by a deafening crash of thunder broke the lamp-chimney, plunging us into darkness. A downpour of rain driven by terrific winds shot through the canvas tent. Everything was drenched. A stream of water six inches deep swept through the tent. The tent shivered and swayed and probably would have collapsed had not all hands, Mother's, Daisie's, Wendell's and mine, held and supported the bending pole. I'll never forget Mother's white face moaning, "She'll never make it." "Who?" I cried. "Artie." Then I realized my sister Artie was missing. She had been sent over the railroad track, or border line, into Mexico to Aunt Rose Bunker's place in Juarez for a start of yeast. As soon as it was possible to breath outside, mother left us in search of Artie. The clouds were pouring buckets of water and big balls of fire were thundering down the railroad tracks. "Father in heaven, save mother, sister, Artie and us," we prayed as we pushed and held desparately to the tent pole. Mother had not been gone long until brother Bundy, our nearest neighbor who lived a few feet away, came to our door asking how we were making out. When he learned mother had gone over the railroad tracks in search of Artie his face paled. "Your mother will never make it. She will be electrocuted." Even then he started hunting for her. After what seemed eons of time the storm abated some; the rain was still pouring through the tent. However, we heard voices and to our joy, mother and Brother Bundy were returning. Artie was not with them, but had been left with Aunt Rose and family, not knowing the anxiety she had caused. Mother had peeked under the tent, saw Artie holding a tin plate over the lamp and left, fearing to show her frightened face, to return to us.
|Achsah and her Brothers and Sisters : (L-R) Standing : Achsah and
Center: Wendel, Daisie, Emerald; Sitting: Juanita, Artie
Another incident occurred while living in Naco. As stated above, David was freighting to the Canninea Mines. Artie and I were eager to go with him. Other teamsters were allowing members of their families to accompany them. Why couldn't we go too? So after much coaxing, mother and David consented to our going to the mines. As I remember it took two days to reach the mines. The teamsters set up camp just outside of the town limits. The womenfolk stayed at camp while the men drove their freight into the mines, unloaded the coke, replaced it with the sacks of ore. As there was time on our hands, we with the other women, decided to go down into a big canyon and gather choke cherries. After wading through scrub oak, willows and brush, we arrived where the choke cherries grew in abundance. Our buckets were soon filled and we returned to camp to enjoy the luscious fruit at our evening meal. The following morning we asked brother David if he would like more choke cherries. Upon his reply in the affirmative, Artie and I set out, this time alone, down the deep canyon. Where were the choke cherries? Across, up and down and farther up we went, but no berries. At length I heard the snap of a twig. Looking up the canyon, I saw a black swarthy Mexican coming toward us leading a burro. I touched my sister. She looked at my terrified face and followed my trembling finger. She paled, "Oh God, save us." My heart hammered so, I feared more than ever. He certainly could see us as we crouched behind a leafless bush of willows some twelve feet from him. God not only closed his ears, but shut his eyes as he slowly pssed us. We crouched there until he was far enough down the canyon that he could neither hear nor see us. We scurried up the canyon and onto the road, where we found we had wandered two miles from camp.
On the next and last trip my brother made to the mines, I went with him alone. Artie apparently had had enough. At night as we looked into the starry heavens, my brother explained about the Lord's great creations, their marvelous order, their functions, the mission of Jesus Christ, his part in it, the plan of salvation and doctrines. As I stated above, this was David's last trip to the mines. He came down with typhoid fever; mother had studied and practiced medicine to quite an extent, but she labored long and desperately to no avail to conquer this disease. I remember one morning David woke up and looking earnestly at mother said, "Mother, I've seen Jesus Christ; he told me my life had been acceptable to the Lord, and that I was a privileged character; I could go anywhere or place in his kingdom." I was thrilled but when I looked at mother's face it alarmed me. It expressed fear, apprehension, and anguish. She quickly left the room and broke down and wept long and sorrowfully. I learned later that she and father had promised the Lord when David was an infant and desperately ill (they had lost their first child in infancy) that if He, the Lord, would restore and heal David until he reached manhood, then they would let him go or the Lord could take him. David was now critically ill.
Mother sent for father, who was now in Colonia Diaz, Mexico, who came immediately. She entered the room, David raised himself up, greeted Father and asked if he knew that McKinley, the President of the U.S. had been assassinated (President McKinley was shot by assassins Septemer 6th and died September 14). Father was quite encouraged when he saw David was able to talk. Typhoid had struck in Colonia Diaz, where the rest of the family was located. Emerald had been very sick, had lost his speech, but had recovered. Father was hopeful for David. Thirty hours after father arrived David died. Leland's death was a terrible blow but David's passing away was appalling. I thought my heart would burst with grief. It was 9:00 P.M. when he died. I sobbed and cried the whole night. It was the saddest funeral I ever attended and the most heart breaking experience. He had been so close to me. He was tender, kind, yet firm. He had all the virtues a mortal could acquire; his spiritual teachings, advice and counsel and most of all his example were never forgotten. His life was as a guiding light leading me to the best that was in me.
As soon as possible, after David's death, we packed our few belongings and were on our way to Colonia Diaz in company with other colonists, which was fortunate for us as we did not know the road. How I dreaded the coming reunion of Mother, Father and my Aunt's father's other wives. Since the separation of our family at Hinckley, Utah Leland, Melvina, and my elder brother David had passed away. It was the most heartrending meeting I ever witnessed.
After settling in Diaz we felt our troules were over but death struck again, and beautiful, brilliant Carlyle, Aunt Sadies boy of four, was stricken with pneumonia, and in four days he died. Ruth, a golden haired, angelic girl of Aunt Julia's took sick one morning just before I left for school and before I come home, she, too, died! Death was picking the flower of the flock. Typhoid struck again and Irving, another stalwart son was stricken and died. Would it ever end? Father fasted and prayed four days. He looked so terrible and stricken I feared for his life, too! The folks then moved out of town on as acreage hoping the country might improve the family's health. While father was plowing, little Willard, Aunt Jane's youngest and only son followed his father, sitting on the damp earth which had just been plowed. Whether this caused his sickness and death I do not know but in three days he too sickened and died.
Although the winter in Diaz was the most disasterous in the history of our family, still it had its bright spots. I made the acquaintance of four of the loveliest girls it had been my privilege to meet; Mynoa and Annie Richardson, Frannie Fredrickson, and Verna Johnson. We played hopscotch the whole winter through, and the lines of that game remained on the school grounds for years after. To my knowledge these girls are still living after a span of sixty years!
After the death of Willard, father, in desperation, moved to another location, Hop Balley, a small settlement west of Juarez. He left Aunt Julia and family with Daisie and me in Juarez, a town abundant in fruit orchards. Our purpose for staying was to can and dry fruit. Juarez was also the center of church activity down in that part. It boasted the only Church Academy in Mexico. The president of the stake, which included all the Colonies, and all the church leaders lived here. In September 1903, sickness hit the family again. I was the victim, but here was a doctor who knew the disease and under his care I soon recovered. Mother, who had signed a contract to teach school in Diaz was called to my bedside. As soon as I was able to travel, father moved mother and family, along with Wendell, Aunt Sadies oldest son, to Guadalupe, a little town south of Dublan. This little town was a branch of the Dublan ward and boasted twelve families. After arriving, father and mother converted one of the large rooms into a school room where, together with the other children of school age, were taught the regular elementary subjects by mother. I remember this and the following year as the most fun time of my life. I was captain of a ball team and a dandy team at that.
Father maintained a home in Juarez, too, where his children could attend the academy in the winter, and can and dry fruit in the summer. It was in this village my sister Daisy met and married Edmund Richardson.
In the spring of 1903, Arthur Benjamin Clark bought the said farm and his wife, the former Marinda McOmber, and her son, Calvin, operated it. As Guadalupe was a small village and our home, the only place in which one and all could meet together, church activites were held there. It was at these socials, entertainments, Mutual Improvement Association (M.I.A.) and Sunday School organizations that I met, became acquainted, fell in love with, and eventually married Calvin Delos McOmber, stepson of A. B. Clark and son of Marinda Griffith McOmber Clark.
How well I remember at a Christmas party held in 1905, Calvin asked if I would go to a dance in Dublan the coming week. I replied I'd have to ask my mother. However, this date never materialized, for he was striken with typhoid fever that night, which almost cost him his life. It took weeks and months before he recovered.
In 1905 I began to attend the Juarez Stake Academy where I majored in a normal course in Teacher training. I think this little Academy boasted some of the best teachers in the Church. George Romney, father of our Apostle, Marian G. Romney, Erastus Fellerup, Charles McClellan and last but certainly not least, my beloved Guy C. Wilson, who inspired and determined my future actions and standards regarding the training and disciplining of my children. He taught Theology, History, and Psychology. Throughout all the teaching of these subjects he brought out the overall plan of God in shaping the destinies of mankind; "That he plants his footsteps on the sea, and rides upon the storm," for the good and salvation of his beloved children. In psychology he taught this truth, that one becomes strong by living a positive life, by determined effort in mastering difficult tasks of great acheivement; that one is not strong by partaking of sin and vice then "repenting" of these sins. That one who sins is a slave to sin. That we are weak as long as we are tempted. Knowing these truths, I took great pains to teach my children to shun the very appearance of evil, to form good food habits, as habits can be our friends or enemies. I took advantage of the great spiritual growth the Church affords. I literally lived by the church standards. The church was my staff and stay in helping me shape the habits and character of my family. No one can afford not to take advantage of it. All that I or my family are or hope to be we owe to our Heavenly Father and His wonderful church.
In the summer of 1908, my husband and I started dating and continued through the winter as we attended the Juarz Stake Academy and in the summer of 1909, June 24, were married in Guadalupe by Bishop A. D. Thurber of the Dublan Ward. Three months later we boarded the train for Salt Lake City where we were sealed on October 7, 1909, in the Salt lake Temple. We decided to remain in Blackfoot, Idaho, or other towns in this locality as Emma Hale told us any one holding a hammer could draw a wage of five dollars a day, which was big wages for those days. However, my husband didn't find employment as a carpenter but began working for one Harvey Allred, selling Raleigh goods, spices, extracts, and other household items. This job lasted three months then faded out. We then moved to Groveland, Idaho, a few miles north of Blackfoot. My husband worked at anything he could find from sorting potatoes, hauling beans, to carpentry. How we longed to be in Mexico on our farm! But it took cash to travel and we were expecting our baby in April. At 6 o'clock, April 11, 1910, I felt the greatest thrill I had ever known, the most miraculous thing I had ever witnessed; I looked upon my new born infant and thought what God had wrought!
Following this great event of our son Calvin's birth, my husband found employment in building a home for Aunt Nellie Hale which afforded enough cash to buy our tickets to our home in Guadalupe, Mexico. "The Folks" gave us a room in their home there to set up housekeeping. It was here, January 24, that we were blessed by the birth of our second son, George Emerson. We had really begun our life's career.
Soon after our arrival in Mexico, a political disturbance began to show itself in that country. These rumblings became louder until open revolution was the result. The first incident was on December 24th when the railroad bridges between San Pedro and Guidad Juarez were burned. Francisco Madero was the leader of the revolutionary forces. His platform was to take the land away from the rich and divide it among the peons or poorer classes. This platform swept him into power. He was elected President of Mexico.
The incompetency of Madero was soon recognized. His inability to inaugurate his land reforms produced counter revolutionary forces against him. At the time trouble broke out in the colonies, one Jose Inez Salazer was commanding the revolutionary forces in the Casas Grandes area.
On March 14, President Taft placed an embargo on the shipment of arms into Mexico. This antagonized the rebels against the Americans as they were in need of horses, saddles, and arms to continue their revolt against Madero.
In April, President Madero sent his General Huerta, who crushed Arozco first at Tuvison then at Barkimba. These defeats sent the rebel force into the Casas Grandes area. Since the rebel forces realized their cause was hopeless they preferred intervention on the part of the United States rather than the administration of Madero whom they considered a traitor. To bring about intervention of the U.S., the rebels planned to disarm the Americans, then attack them in force thus forcing the U.S. to intervene.
About this time, January 22, to be exact, the little town of Guadalupe experienced a terrible tragedy. On that night about four Mexicans came to the home of Elizabeth Mortense, our nearest neighbor, raped, robbed, and finally killed her. George M. Kock, a young man who came to her assistance, was also killed. A funeral was held two days later in which A. W. Ivins was the principal speaker. The people were counseled to live closer together, arm and prepare for defense at a moment's notice. Consequently, Aunt Misha Black whose husband had been murdered in 1908 moved from her farm and occupied the north two rooms of father's home. From this time on we lived in constant fear. My husband secured two revolvers and a rifle. We kept one revolver in the East end where there was an outside entrance of the large room where we were living; the other one (revolver) was kept in the west end where we slept, and which end had also a door leading out. We were advised to shoot first! How I dreaded the thought of ever using those guns! Practically every night I would spring up, grab the gun under my pillow prepared to shoot the imagined Mexican I thought had entered our living quarters.
It was at this time the Revolution initiated by Francisco Madero against the Diaz Regime started and in the course of a few months bands of rebels were passing through our little town, ravaging out farms and homes of livestock, principally beef and cattle, grain and other farm produce. General Salazar, head of the rebel army, demanded all the arms of the LDS. (Note: "LDS" and "Mormons" are two terms commonly applied to identify the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a nickname, as it were.) He, General Salazar, informed the Mormon leaders, Junius Romney and Henry E. Bowman, that he would withdraw all guarantee of life and property if the Colonists did not comply. This ultimatum placed the Saints in a perilous position. Two thousand soldiers were waiting nearby for orders to kill. It was decided to make a show of complying while at the same time to send the women and children to the United States. How my heart ached at leaving my dear father and brothers. There they were, standing below us as the train pulled away. Would I ever see them again? My husband's mother was bedfast, had to be carried, consequently he was allowed to board the train with the women and children. At 7:00 P.M. we arrived in El Paso. As I stepped off the train, I saw our beautiful flag, the stars and stripes, fluttering up above me, in the gentle breeze. My heart leaped and my eyes filled with tears. Thank God for the flag and what it stood for: security, freedom and life! The 2,000 refugees were provided with food, shelter, bedding, etc. at a large lumber yard east of El Paso and on the outskirts of the city. Bathroom and kitchen facilities were soon installed by the city aids.
For two weeks we waited in the lumber camps for word from the Church arthorities as to whether to go back to our homes or not. The church leaders advised us to seek temporary residence in the U. S. until the government in Mexico was more stable. Some of my husband's relatives lived in Logan, Utah, my husband had spent his early life in this vicinity. We decided to make Logan, Utah, our home for the time being, and while here, hoping to find suitable employment. On August 12, 1912, my husband, two children, aged six months, and two years, my mother, sister, Artie, brother Dewey, my husband's invalid mother, and I bid farewell to the lumber camps in El Paso, Texas, and boarded the train for Logan, Utah, where we soon were housed in a fairly comfortable brick house with some furniture and food provided by one of the good Bishops of Logan.
My husband found employment at the A.C. College building hen houses and pig pens. My sister, Artie, entered the B. Y. College of Logan. My brother, Dewey, began his schooling at the Lowell Jr. High School.
After staying two years in Logan waiting for affairs to straighten out in Mexico, word came from the Church authorities that the Mexican refugees in the U. S. were to look to the United States for their future homes as Mexico was in a disrupted state of affairs; consequently, my husband set out to go locate a suitable place to live. In Oakley, Idaho, a huge earth dam had just been completed. Dry farms near by were available, acres of dry farm land, but misfortune was still our lot. After borrowing money to build a two room house, fence forty acres of land, secure a team, harness, implements etc., we found our dry farm was dry indeed. On account of the drouth, the wheat was so shrunken that the crop did not pay for the harvesting. Had it not been for some carpentry work my husband had secured, we would have been destitute indeed. Meanwhile, the town had a setback too. The big dam failed to deliver enough water for the land it was supposed to cover.
Although our finances were in the reverse, our family was on the increase. Soon after our arrival in Oakley, our third son, Arthur, arrived, July 28, 1914. Two years later, October 30, 1916, Ferryle made his appearance while we were living at the Cramer place. My brother Emerald and wife, Geneva Black Stout, lived in the west end of the same house and they, too, were blessed by a lovely baby girl. She was born three weeks prior to our son Ferryle, and they named her Beth. Many were the games of Rook Geneva and I enjoyed together that winter.
In 1917 we bought a four acre tract located southwest of the Oakley townsite, where we moved a two room frame house, which we enlarged by adding to it a large living room, kitchen and bath. The seven years we spent there were indeed happy, although hard times were still our lot. Winston, Adrian, and David increased our family to seven boys. Here we began our weekly family nights in which the boys happily participated. What a joy and thrill it was to see each and all do their little best to perform.
About 1919 we mortgaged our dry farm and bought a 22 acre plot of ground which was also southwest of the Oakley townsite. This afforded us hay and grain for the livestock. In 1919 an abandoned school house was just north of our home was converted into a cheese factory, which factory was an asset in that it afforded us whey for our pigs and a market for our small dairy herd. I can picture my two oldest sons now, carrying whey from the cheese factory followed by 12 to 15 squealing little pigs. They seemed to make great sport of it. One little lame pig they named Brother Elison. It was fun to watch the pigs sliding and rolling on the frozen whey in zero weather.
Another picture I recall is my husband walking along the ditch bank with two or more little boys hanging onto his hand as they went to Sunday School. I recall one method I had to induce Calvin Jr. to like Sunday School. Across the street on a vacant lot, boys about the age of my eldest son used to gather and play baseball on Sunday morning. I noticed Calvin Jr. avidly watching these games. Finally one Sunday morning he said: "Mother, I don't want to go to Sunday School." I wasn't too surprised. I knew how he loved to play ball. I merely said, "Well, how nice. I've been wanting to go to Sunday School myself, but I can't seem to get the dishes and beds done up in time. Could you, oh would you wash the dishes and do up the work and let me go?" Just then his father came in and in glowing terms I told him of the new set up. Accordingly, the next Sunday, he stayed home. When I returned from Sunday School sometime later, Calvin was still struggling with the beds. I cheerfully helped him, praising him for his unselfishness, his good work and willing spirit. But the third Sunday he came up with "You know, Sunday School is made more for little boys than big folks. Don't you think it's my turn to go to Sunday School?" I replied, "Certainly, I do, and I think we can arrange the work so we can both go!" And I did. That was the only time I ever had to use subterfuge on him, to get him to attend church.
In 1925 my husband, together with Julius Neilson, became interested in the soft drink business, particularly orange juice. We decided to leave Oakley. After traveling to Portland, Oregon and other places, these two finally separated. My husband set up business in Pocatello and Julius Neilson in Salt Lake City. Our drink stand was not in operation until well along in August and because of the climate we soon closed down and rented our stand to a candy concern. The following summer we tried again, but abandoned the project. With a family of seven boys we felt it necessary to get on a farm. Luckily for us, we located a farm near Pocatello owned by a Mr. Brady, who also owned the largest hotel in town. In 1927, on February 26, we were surprised and delighted to receive into our family a baby girl, our last child and only daughter, Velma. "I'll bet she'll be spoiled!" was the universal conjecture. She got so used to this remark that when we'd introduce her, she would beat them to it and say "and I'm not spoiled!"
Calvin and Achsah
The next fifteen years period was one of madly rushing: Father and boys running routes, milking cows, washing buckets, bottles, hauling hay, threshing grain, etc. Calvin and Emerson drove the school buses during the school terms, helped some in nearby farms during the summer. While the boys were busily engaged with the dairy herd, I was just as busy with the housework. From 7 a.m. until 9 p.m. there was a meal being served at the large kitchen table. I ran three Maytag washers, baked over 50 lbs. of flour into bread each week. Aside from my home duties, I was actively engaged in church activities. For three yeas I taught the adult class in Mutual, fifteen years as the Theology teacher in Relief Society, and four years the Gospel Doctrine class in Sunday School. In the fall of 1932, my eldest son, Calvin, was called on a mission to Czechoslovakia. Soon after, I got word my father was very ill. I arrived at his bedside the latter part of September. He was in a coma, as the doctors had put him under morphine. I wanted to tell him of my son's call to a mission. I knew how it would thrill him! But the Doctor advised against it. To bring him back to consciousness would cause untold agony. So he passed away without knowing of his grandson's call. Early in January of 1934, Emerson was called to the Southern States. In 1934 Arthur was also called to the Southern States. In October 1937 Ferryle performed a mission in Germany. Before his mission was completed, the great World War II broke out. He was called home to the U.S.A., and finished his mission in the Central states. Winston served in the North Central States Mission. Six of the boys filled honorable missions. David, the last son, would have been called had it not been for the war. However, he performed missionary work where he was stationed in Fort Fannier, Texas, such as helping the mission locate meeting places, arranging cottage meetings, acting as Superintendent of Sunday School, etc. In 1944, July, our youngest son, David, was inducted into the service, and soon after, my husband and I were called to fill a mission in the Southern States. In November we arrived in Tampa, Florida, where we filled a six month mission. In May 1945, we left Florida in company with two young women who were responsible for us securing a car and gasoline, as they were servicemen's wives.
Achsah, Calvin and all their children (L-R)
Standing : David, Winston, Ferryle, Arthur, Adrian
Seated: Calvin Jr., Calvin Sr.,Velma, Achsah, Emerson
Arriving home, we found ourselves all alone, the children were scattered. Velma had gone to California to live with her brother Ferryle and his wife, Merial. David was in the service, Adrian had married, so we rattled around in the old home like two marbles in a a big bucket. Soon after, we traded our farm for our son Calvin's brick triplex at 2715 Poleline Road, where we lived, and rented the old home. The old milkhouse and also the cinderblock house which had been built to house some chinchillas, were converted into rentals which afforded us an income. Added to this was a two unit house on 441 East Putnam, which brought us a small sum.
In 1958, November 2, we sold our brick triplex back to our eldest son, Calvin, and moved to 549 De Soto, Salt Lake City. This arrangement worked out admirably, since we could be near the Genealogical Library. For a long time we had been interested in getting genealogical data on my husband's neglected side. Also, this new arrangement made it possible for our son, Calvin, and family to have a better dwellng place. We soon found the new ward to be very friendly. The Bishop was most cordial and the organizations were democratic and sociable. We soon were adjusted and really felt at home in the Capital Hill 2nd Ward. My husband wa asked to be a Temple Officiator. I enjoyed the Relief Society sisters and was soon in the harness.
I am indeed thankful for this wonderful church where on can travel from coast to coast from Canada to Mexico and enjoy the rich out pouring of the Lord's spirit, hear the same divine truths and feel the great spirit of Christ's love and the brotherhood of his saints.
(Calvin Delos McOmber passed away in Palo Alto, California, on November 20, 1969, at about 1 a.m.
Achsah Stout McOmber passed away in Pocatello, Idaho, on January 15, 1971, at 8 a.m.)
It was the custom of my father to put the children to bed with stories of the Bible, Book of Mormon, of the early organization of the Church, the trials, experiences and miracles of Joseph Smith, the restoration of the true Church of Jesus Christ. I thoroughly believed all my father and mother taught me and as I grew older I believed the doctrines taught by my Sunday School and Primary teachers also. However, when I reached the age of 13, I began to look about me. I realized that there were Catholics, Presbyterians, Lutherans, Methodists--who far outnumbered our church members. They too, believed in their church doctrines. Wasn't it reasonable to believe that the majority were right? How was I to know that we were right? I went to my father, who was well informed as to the doctrines and practices of the primitive Church of Jesus Christ and who had a most powerful and convincing testimony as to the truth and divinity of our Church. He advised me to read the Book of Mormon. I was familiar with the story told by Joseph Smith of the Angel Moroni's visit, his instructions and translation of the plates, the miraculous way in which these ancient records were preserved. So I got the Book of Mormon and with a prayerful heart began reading: "I Nephi, having been born of goodly parents, therefore I was taught somewhat in all the learning of my father, and . . . having been favored of the Lord in all my days, yea having had a great knowledge of the goodness and the mysteries of God, therefore I make a record of my proceedings in my days. Yea, I make a record in the language of my father, which consists in the learning of the Jews and the language of the Egyptians. And I know the record which I make is true." I thrilled with an emotion which is difficult to describe. It seemed as though I could hear Nephi's voice! I knew now within myself that this record was true; that Joseph Smith was indeed a prophet of the Lord. That this was the Church of Jesus Christ. I continued reading until I finished the Book of Mormon. The dealings of God recorded in this book, the doctrines of salvation, the ordinances, the miraculous diliverances were all true. How thankful I am for my testimony. It is my most pricelss possession. God revealed it through the gift and power of the Holy Ghost given to me following my baptism into his church.
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