This is the story as my mother tells it.
This picture was taken when we lived in Cardston in a small old two bedroom rental house. The house was torn down to make way for the new hospital. As your birthdays were the same day a year apart we celebrated them on the same day. We did the Happy Birthday stuff; presents, lighting cake etc. in the house and then dad took the cake out into the back yard to take pictures. When I came out of the house with the knife and plates for the cake, this is what I saw. Your dad leaning against the house laughing as he took pictures. You boys never minded that you only got one cake but seemed to feel that it was yours to eat as you wanted…After all it was your birthday .
1941 MOVED TO MEDICINE HAT
Working for the railroad Jack got home some week-ends, it was lonely for both of us. One weekend when he came home he surprised me and said that he could hold a job full time in Medicine Hat. I really did not want to move to Medicine Hat, but we could be together more and Jack would spend more time with Millie and Alf. It took me from Christmas until May hoping Jack would find something around Calgary. I liked Calgary we were happy there. I don’t like the hot summers in Medicine Hat. I told Jack we could move when Millie and Alf were out of school. So in May 1941 we packed up and moved to Medicine Hat. We were closer to my family and relations. They were all German descendent and Jack was never happy around them. He did not like me speaking German in our home.
We rented a large yellow two story home along the Saskatchewan River. It was beautiful with a yard and well kept up. Then three of my brothers got married and lived with us in 1942. In June of 1942 I wasn’t feeling very well, and soon realized I was pregnant. I was so sick for three months. In the fall Jack bought a house up on the hill 444 11th street. The house we were in was up for sale, so we either buy it or move. Jack found the house and bought it without me even seeing it. When I did see it, I was sicker than ever. The floor and fireplace were painted forest green and as I wasn’t feeling very well and the color didn’t help. All we did was remodel for nearly two years. I didn’t feel good and was in bed most of the time. All the mess was very discouraging; Many times I wished I was back in Calgary.
January 2 1942
The kids and I are all alone, Second year since we moved from Calgary. Jack is away on a trip. Wonder what the New Year will bring, it’s such a mess with the war, things do not look good for the Allies.
My folks lived in Irvine about 25 miles from Medicine Hat. They all came in for Esther’s wedding to Jim Foulston. I made cakes and roasted chickens , we had a houseful for Feb 17, Esther’s wedding day. On the big day mom, pop, and relatives were all ready to go to the Church, it was a very cold day, I had phoned a taxi. When the Taxi arrived nobody knew where the Church was. Anyway we finally got to the Church which was only four blocks from the house.
Esther’s husband Jimmy as we called him was in the Air Force, he looked very handsome in his uniform. Esther was 20 years old, my mother was 59 years old. Esther and Jimmy went to Yorkton, Manitoba , where he was stationed.
GRANDMA CAROLINE SCHAFFERS STORIES
(As told by her granddaughter Martha M. Helm Salway)
My grandma Schaffer was short, round, jolly and witty. She always had a comeback for everything. She laughed a lot and people liked to be around her. As kids we knew she liked us, she played like a kid and thoroughly enjoyed life. The best times of my childhood were with grandma. These stories show her exciting , inquisitive personality.
Our farm was about 11 miles away from the nearest school. During school years we were boarded in Irvine, Alberta. Being the oldest I was responsible for my siblings. At the time, they were; Jim, Gordon, Jack, Eddy. We were divided up so half of us went to grandma Deering’s and the other half to grandma Schaffers. We all wanted to go to grandma Schaffers, but had to take turns. Irvine was a small town with the Canadian Pacific railroad tracks running through the middle of it. The town consisted of one grain elevator, a mercantile store, a butcher shop (my uncle Hausauer owned it) A bank, a pool hall and wooden sidewalks.
GRANDPA’S TRIP TO MEDICINE HAT
One week when I was staying with grandma Schaffer, grandpa decided to take the train to Medicine Hat, a city about 50 miles away. Grandma sure wanted to go with him. She teased, cajoled grandpa and even begged, but grandpa was adamant she stay home and take care of us kids.
When it was time for grandpa to leave, grandma grabbed my hand and said “Come” we will see grandpa off on the train. So we walked the block to the train station and waved as grandpa got settled by a window on the train. The train started and grandma did an amazing thing. She pressed a large penny into my hand and said “Take care of the kids” I watched dumbfounded as my fat rolly polly grandma quickly hopped on the next coach and was of to Medicine Hat. She waved to me with a delighted grin on her face.
The next day I was anxiously waiting at the train station for their return. Grandpa and grandma stepped onto the platform, both grinning and talking excitedly. I could hardly wait to hear about their adventure. I was sure grandma would get in trouble. At supper I dared to ask. Grandpa said “When I got off the train in Medicine Hat, there was grandma waiting on the platform smiling, just as I had left her. At first I was thinking we had gone back to Irvine. Then I couldn’t figure out how she got to Medicine Hat before me. But that’s my Caroline, ALWAYS FULL OF SURPRISES.
We laughed and all agreed that our grandma was indeed full of surprises.
The Land West of Leavitt
This land lies west of Leavitt, Alberta, Canada. It is between the Rocky Mountains and the city of Cardston. It consists of rolling hills, covered with tall grass and all kinds of wild flowers like buttercups, twinkling stars, red tiger lilies and hyacinths, and my favorite crocuses that thrust their heads through the sow in the springtime, so the hills are lavender and purple. The winters are harsh with the wind blowing off the mountain peaks.
The nights are special, black sky with stars twinkling so close you feel you can reach up and touch them. The moon throwing light across the meadows. Silence except for insects chattering, an occasion cow mooing, or owl hooting. Even the trip to the out- house is a beautiful experience. I think if I, a newcomer to this land, feel this strongly, Glynn, who spent his early years riding horse- back, driving a team of horses or a tractor, plowing fields, cutting hay, growing up with the feel of the black soil under his fingernails, the urge to return was stronger. He walked or rode a horse to school in Leavitt, two miles over the hill. Swimming in Lee’s creek with his friends, (they dynamited the creek so they could have a swimming hole.) Working summers painting boats at Cameron Lake, Fishing at Waterston Lake.
Glynn’s grandparents John Ephraim Redford and Sarah Almira Leavitt drove a team of horses pulling a covered wagon from Cache Valley, Utah to homestead the land in Leavitt. There were a lot of Leavitt families already settled in Leavitt. All descended from Robert Patefied Leavitt.
The land stretched from Lee’s creek on the south and to the Indian reservation on the north. They built their first home about five miles south of the reservation. It was built of logs cut and hauled near Waterton, as there were few trees on the home land. They raised nine children; Owen, Nora, John, Blanche, Arvin, Eleanor, Antoinette, Julia and Arilla. The log cabin home was still standing when we lived there, being used for an animal shelter. John and Sarah then built a large two story home over by Lee’s creek. They sold off some of the land during the hard times.
When Pearl and Owen got married, John and Sarah moved into Cardston to work in the Temple. Pearl and Owen bought the land from his parents. John Ephriam made Owen promise that he would never let the land go out of the Redford name. Life on the land was never easy for Owen and Pearl. Pearl lost two children at birth and almost died both times. Glynn remembers his mother being sick a lot when he was growing up. When Glynn was 6 years the house burned down with everything they owned. The family moved into John and Sarah’s old log cabin. They started to build another home, which consisted of a bedroom, main room and a kitchen. Hauling water from a spring, heating and cooking on a large coal stove. Coal oil lamps at night, an out- house with a Sears catalogue. Glynn had a brother Sidney and a sister Leola, Leola left home when she was about sixteen years old to work in Calgary. In 1941, Glynn was 8 years old his brother Sidney had considerable abdominal pain and was taken to the hospital in Cardston to have his appendix removed. The doctor came out to tell Pearl and Owen that Sidney had died, it was not his appendix, but yellow jaundice and they should not have operated. Sidney was 20 years old, just getting ready for his mission.
This left Glynn alone on the farm with his grieving parents. Owen bought a large herd of cows, to calf in the spring. That summer there was a draught, the hay was low, and couldn’t be bought anywhere. Then Owen along with other ranchers sent their cattle by boxcar to Edmonton (where there was lots of hay) the cost of shipping and boarding the cattle soon took the cattle and Owen and the others lost everything on that venture. They sold off some farmland to pay the bank and other expenses.
John Clark Redford was born Oct. 5, 1943. Glynn and I were married in 1950.
The house Owen and Pearl were living in caught fire and burned down, (after Glynn was married) once again they lost everything. This time Owen was able to build a home with electricity and running water. They tried raising sheep and cattle. Pearl would card the wool and make quilts. Owen worked on threshing crews and in the lumber camps, He also broke horses for the Indians. Owen also played a Tuba for a band. The band played for dances around the area.
In 1965 we left Orem and moved into Cardston until Pearl and Owen could make arrangements and get moved. The bank was able to loan us money to buy 100 head of cows. Once again disaster hit, the cows were diagnosed with hoof and mouth disease, and infection called ‘Brucellosis”, which caused the cows to abort their calves. There were several cases around. It was very infectious and the cows had to be killed and burned. This was a difficult time for us but the government paid to destroy the animals. We borrowed some more money from the bank and bought 150 head of cows that were ready to calf in the spring.
Christmas came with lots of snow, cold and windy the boys had to walk about a mile to the road to get the school bus, as it would not come up our road until the road was cleared. While getting a Christmas tree our family was in a car accident in Mt. View. A few days after Christmas Glynn started to have back pain. He had to go to Calgary for back surgery.
The Redford home was located in the middle of nowhere. The rocky mountains about 12 miles west, Cardston about 12 miles east, and the little village of Leavitt about 5 miles east on the highway. We were two miles from the main road leading to Waterton Lakes. Glynn’s aunt Ella lived about 2 miles down the hill north of us by the highway. We didn’t see much of their family. We had a dirt road running uphill to the farm; it was kept ploughed by the municipality when school was on. The school bus would come to the house and turn around, most of the winter the kids had to walk through the snowdrifts to the highway.
When the boys got home from school, they fed the pigs, fed and watered the horses and checked the cows in the fields. The farm was covered in snow most of the time with a strong west wind blowing off the mountains, often we had blizzard conditions with the temperatures dropping to 30 degrees below F. Then a Chinook wind would come through bringing the temperature to 40 degrees above F. within an hour. Then everything was warm and muddy.
While Glynn was in the hospital in Calgary all was going well, the cows decided it was time to calve, and then it started to snow, one of the worst snow storms Southern Alberta ever had. In three weeks we had 72 inches of snow, which stayed on the ground. And this was the end of April and 1st week of May 1966. The cows were out in the field without hay, the phones were out. Glynn’s parents and John were in Cardston, and couldn’t get to us as the roads were covered with snow drifts and impassable. I’m sure they worried about us city folks trying to care for 150 head of cows ready to calf.
Rod and Derek with their great ingenuity saved the cows. They took the hood off an old junk car, turned it upside down and attached ropes to it and piled hay on the hood. They attached the ropes to the saddle horn, got on the horse and pulled the hay out to the cows a couple of miles away. The third week Glynn’s parents had hay dropped in from a helicopter to the cows in the field.
Meanwhile Randy and Robbe dug a tunnel through the snow to the pig barn. The mother sow had ten baby piglets. Three of the piglets were not doing very well so the boys brought them into the house and fed them with a baby bottle. We put them in the bathtub. Lori was four years old and she thought the piglets were fun and would let them run all over the house.
Derek and I got on the horse and went out to check the cows in the field. On the way home a blizzard came up and we were not able to see the horses head. We prayed and the answer came to Derek, he said he had read a book where the guy just let the horse find the way home. So we tied the reigns to the saddle horn kicked the horse and put our heads down and prayed while the horse led us to a fence which we could hardly see, and the he followed the fence to the house. We were warm in the house with propane gas, enough food, and plenty to do. I remembered my favorite scripture in Proverbs. Where it says to trust in the Lord with all thy heart and lean not unto thy own understanding and He will direct thy paths. He certainly answered our prayers and directed us home.
It was a tremendous experience, but we were glad to see a snow plough coming up our road with Glynn’s parents behind it.
Once we got out we went to Calgary to bring Glynn home. He was in a body cast from neck to top oh his legs. Doctor said he would be in the cast six months. It was hard for him, when he couldn’t help with anything on the farm.
We soon realized that Glynn would not be able to manage the cows with a body cast. We were all heartbroken to leave the farm and move into Cardston, as we felt we would never be back again. We just knew our future did not lie in Southern Alberta.
We moved into a house across Lee’s creek . It was a large house with an apartment upstairs. We settled into the ground floor apartment, I continued to work at the Cardston Hospital. The boys were able to continue going to the same schools. Glynn was able to take care of Lori and the home while in his body cast. He got around well with a cane for balance.
When Glynn got out of his cast, we moved to Salem Oregon. Glynn worked in the State Penitentiary and got an associate degree in business. I worked at the State mental hospital. In 1976 we purchased a 60 bed nursing home in Eugene, Oregon. Later we built a 120 bed rehab nursing home which we owned and managed until we sold it in 1995, retired and went on a mission to Sudbury, Ontario. When we returned home we served as ordinance workers for 10 years in the Portland temple.
Written by Glynn and Millie Redford in 2017.
Four years after Thomas Rowell Leavitt married Ann Eliza Jenkins, he married a second wife, Antonett Davenport. She was born 2 Sept. 1843 at Hancock, McDonnough County, Illinois. They were married at the endowment house at Salt Lake City by Pres. Brigham Young 9 March, 1861. She was as beautiful young lady, tall and graceful with dark hair and eyes that sparkled. She loved life and people and especially her religion. She understood the principles of plural marriage practiced in the church at that time. The first wife had to give her consent before this marriage could take place.
Two apartments were built exactly alike, a large living room, and one bedroom downstairs and bedrooms upstairs. Ann Eliza and her family lived in one apartment and Antonett and her family lived in the other one. After this house was completed Antonett moved from her home in Wellsville. While Antonett lived in Wellsville, Thomas bought her a four-lidded cook stove. All the neighbors came to see it. She had plenty of work and hard times all of her life. Like most pioneer mothers life was hard, especially as her husband could not be at home while their children were young. Most of their children were born on the farm. About this time persecution was rife against all polygamist families in Utah.
When her tenth child was due, Antonett’s husband Thomas, was in hiding in the canyons south of Wellsville. He felt impressed that he was needed at home. He traveled on foot in the dead of the night. When he arrived home he found his beloved wife, Antonett dead, not being able to deliver her child. Dr. Armsley at Logan had been sent for but declined to come. His own child had the croup. When he came the next morning Grandfather met him at the door and ordered him off the place. He said, “My wife is dead. You would not come when we needed you and we don’t need you now.”
Antonett was strict with her children but a wonderful mother, a staunch Latter-day Saint, a loving wife and neighbor. She died at the age of 37 years and is buried in the Wellsville cemetery. What a comfort Ann Eliza and Antonett had been to each other. They shared their joys and sorrows and lived in constant fear for the safety of their husband. When he could not be at home with them, Grandmother Ann Eliza told her friends, “I’m glad there is someone else who can love him just as much as I do.” They shared and shared alike in times of sickness and health. They went to church with their little children. They sang beautifully together. But now what could they do? This was a very sad time for the family.
From the book: The Life of Thomas Rowell Leavitt. page 33