About Me

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Just to tell you a little about myself, my name is Vickie and I was born and raised in Kentucky. The majority of my ancestors have been in Kentucky since the 1790’s. I have always loved history, a good mystery and puzzles and that is what Family History Research is all about. As a child we would take day trips on Saturdays and head down some dirt road looking for old cemeteries. A lot of the time we weren't looking for anyone in particular, we just like to read the epitaphs. We would have a picnic lunch packed and have lunch at whatever cemetery we were at. If the weather was bad my Dad and I would go to a courthouse and dig through old records in musty old basements looking for our ancestors. So as you can see I have had an interest in Family History for quite some time.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Arthur Alma Kerby

The ancestor I am writing about this week is my husband, Roy’s granduncle, Arthur Alma Kerby who was born April 16, 1894 in Pima, Graham County, Arizona Territory the son of Francis Kerby III and Rachel Isabel Riggs.  He apparently went by the nickname of Art, because we have always heard him called Uncle Art.

Arthur was the twelfth of the fifteen children his father Francis had with his two wives Rachel and Leah and the tenth child of his mother Rachel.  Arthur’s full siblings were: Francis Kerby IV 1874-1934, married to Mrs. Lenora ‘Lee’ Clubb Bandy; Annie Isabel Kerby 1877-1951, married to Charles Buchanan Gordon & Milton Fisher; John Nathaniel Kerby 1879-1902, who never married; William Kerby 1881-1966, married to Mary Lillie Farley; Charles Kerby 1882-1963, married to Clarissa Lorena Pulsipher, Flaville Watson Elmer, Mattie Haynie Taylor and Lou Annie Berry; Jane Kerby 1884-1887, died young; Jesse Kerby 1886-1951, married to Florence Eugenia Wilson; Joseph Lee Kerby 1890-1956, married to Mabel Jewell and Julia Zozaya; Mary Myrtle Kerby 1892-1969, married to Joseph Mortenson (My husband’s grandparents); Elmer Kerby 1896-1967, married to Florence Edna Brittain and Nellie Alice Kerby 1897-1966, married to Andrew Mortenson.  Arthur’s half-siblings were: Thomas Washington Kerby 1882-1973, married to Mary Cecelia Dillman and Josephine Mortenson; Mary Ann Kerby 1884-1926, married to Samuel Ezra Pollock and George Henry Kerby 1895-1970, who never married.

While reading from the life story of Arthur’s father Francis Kerby III, which was written by Arthur’s half-brother Thomas, I learned some of the following as well as from of my own research.  In the spring of 1884, Arthur’s parents and their first five children as well as Francis’ second wife, Leah, and their son, Thomas, left Pahreah in Kane County, Utah to go to the northern part of Arizona.  In those days the roads were very bad going southward, and there was much danger among the Indians.  After many hardships, they finally arrived in Taylor (now in Apache County) in the first part of June, destitute but with great hope.   Here the Anti-Mormons were very bitter against the Polygamists and while here two daughters were born one to Rachel, named Jane and one to Leah, named Mary Ann, just two weeks apart.  Francis saw that he had to take his wife, Leah, back to southern Utah, so after returning from Utah he decided to move to the Gila Valley in the southern part of Arizona, in the area that would become Graham County where he went in 1887 and settled near the Matthewsville/Glenbar area.

Arthur’s father bought a small farm and also had an orchard and part of the time freighted from Bowie and Wilcox to Globe to help make a living for his large growing family.  Indian troubles weren’t quite as bad as they had been in previous years, but the family still needed to keep an eye on things, or animals and food would and could disappear quickly.

After the Manifesto in 1890, he went back up to Utah and got his wife, Leah, and her children, Thomas and Mary Ann.  On this trip they met with many troubles and hardships among the Indians.  One night an Indian came to the camp and wanted to trade six horses for a gun, but Francis refused.  Had he have traded, the Indian probably would have killed them all and gotten the horses back.  Francis III moved over to Pima in 1892, which was only about 3 miles from where they had been living and there they remained for a number of years.  The children worked very hard in helping their parent’s clear away brush from the land and in growing their own vegetables, a necessity in those years.  Arthur’s father worked building homes, roads and ditches as well as keeping his orchard and farm running.  It was during his time freighting and selling some of his produce from their orchard, that he saw the Sulphur Springs Valley in southeastern Cochise County, Arizona.
The following family picture shows Arthur as a little boy with his parents and some of his siblings.  From left to right setting: Rachel holding Nellie, Elmer, Francis III, Arthur & Charles, standing behind from left to right: Jesse, Myrtle (my husband’s grandmother), Joseph and Annie.  I believe this picture was probably taken around 1899 or so, since Nellie was born in 1897.

This next family picture was probably taken around 1905 to 1908 possibly, with all the living children of Francis and Rachel, their son John had died in 1902.  Standing from left to right: William, Jesse, Myrtle, Charles & Arthur; setting from left to right: Joseph, Francis IV, Elmer in front of him, Francis III, Nellie in front of him, Rachel and Annie.

In the spring of 1911, Francis, his wife Rachel and some of their children, including Arthur the subject of this sketch moved to the small town of Webb, this little town is now known as Elfrida located in Cochise County, Arizona.  Arthur’s older siblings were getting married and starting families of their own and so Arthur and his two brothers, Joseph and Elmer were mainly left to help their father with the farm and orchards during their growing up years.  Arthur’s father bought 80 acres there in the Sulphur Springs Valley and soon built a house where he lived until the day he died in 1925.  I need to do some more research to figure out exactly where his land was located.  Arthur had attended school in Pima as well as in Webb and is listed on the 1912 Webb School District #29 school records.

This next picture shows from left to right: Rachel, Francis and Leah Kerby with their friends James & Anna Mortenson in Webb at the old church house which was located on Mormon Road by the Whitewater Cemetery.  Arthur’s sister Myrtle married James and Anna’s son Joseph Mortenson in 1912 (my husband’s grandparents), so this picture may have been made about that time.  Also Arthur’s half-brother Thomas and his sister Nellie married two more of James and Anna’s children, Josephine (twin to Joseph) and Andrew Mortenson in 1914, so I am assuming this picture was probably taken between 1912 and 1914.

Life was soon to change pretty drastically for this family.  Arthur’s father’s second wife Leah died in 1915, which left an empty hole in all of them.  She had stayed up in Pima with her youngest son, when Francis and Rachel went to Webb, but was well thought of by all of the family.  Then World War I started in Europe and soon young men were being called up here in America to go and fight the Hun, as the Germans were called back in those days.

I have found World War I draft registration cards for Arthur and all of his brothers, Francis IV, William, Charles, Jesse, Joseph, Elmer, Thomas and George.  I don’t know for certain if all of them served overseas though, but I do know that Arthur and Elmer did.  First is Arthur’s draft registration card, then a picture of Arthur in uniform, he sure was a good looking young man.  The next picture shows Arthur and Elmer possibly at Camp Funston during training in 1917, before they went overseas.  Elmer had written on the picture marking him and Arthur thankfully.

Arthur’s sister Myrtle ended up with some of the cards and letters that Arthur had sent home during his military service and these items passed on to Myrtle’s daughter Anna, who passed them on to my husband and I, since she did not have any children and we were and are into family history quite a bit.  Following are just a few of the items we have and I love this cartoon postcard he sent home.

The following letter was written on December 11, 1917 at Camp Kearney, California thanking the Porter’s and others for sending them some things from home.  In the next picture you will notice an arrow pointed down and that is Arthur standing at attention before the parade was to start in San Diego according to what he wrote on the back of the card.  The next card the arrow is pointing up showing where Arthur was standing during this same parade in San Diego.

Arthur wrote a few cards and letters to Athena Porter and her parents, Alva Sylvenus Porter and his wife Eliza also wrote to Arthur while he was in France.  From the tone of the letters it looks like Arthur and Athena may have been sweethearts, or that may have been Arthur’s intentions when he returned from the war.  Just a side note but in 1932, Athena’s little brother Alva Rich Porter, 1907-1994, would marry Arthur’s niece, Anna Isabel Mortenson, 1913-1987, oldest daughter of his sister Myrtle.

Arthur according to his letters served as a private in Company H, 30th Infantry in the 3rd Division in the United States Army during World War I in France.  The 3rd Division arrived in France in April 1918 at the beginning of the last series of German offensives designed to end the war.  The 3rd Division contained the 7th, 5th & 30th Infantry Regiments and after July of 1918, the 3rd became known as the "Rock of the Marne" Division.

One of the letters from Arthur was written on July 28, 1918.  He mentions they have just left the front and he wrote the letter that night.  This matches exactly with the info I received from Glen Mortenson, one of my husband’s first cousin, about the Battle of the Marne.  “The Aisne-Marne Counteroffensive: On the night of July 22nd, the 30th Infantry after having been resupplied with new men and equipment was ordered to support the 38th Infantry which had crossed the Marne River into Mezy.  The French were on the right and the 4th Infantry was on the left.  The 30th Infantry arrived in Mezy at 1 p.m. on the 23rd of July.  At 6 p.m. on the 23rd were ordered to relieve the 38th Infantry during the night.  On the evening of the 23rd, 700 replacements reached Charteves.  However, only those assigned to the 3rd battalion (about 250) saw action.

During the night of the 23rd/24th an advance along the lines of the 30th Infantry was ordered to take place in the morning.  Six companies advanced Northeast above Jaulgonne, taking Franquate Farm and reaching the Bois de Le Charmel, where they dug in.  They suffered heavy casualties during an artillery barrage during their advance and while in the Bois de Le Charmel.  The six companies advanced slowly through the Foret de Ris, North of Barzy-Sur-Marne, meeting severe machine gun and artillery fire, finally reaching the ravine just South of Le Charmel Chateau on July 25th.  During the night of the July 25th/26th advance the 4th Infantry entered Le Charmel and then established a connection with the French on the right of the 30th Infantry.  No further objectives remained for the 30th Infantry.  On the evening of July 28th, the 30th Infantry was subsequently withdrawn to the St. Eugene area.

The casualties sustained by the U.S. 30th Infantry Regiment during the Aisne-Marne Offensive are as follows: 12 officers and 700 men.

Arthur would have been right in the thick of things during the war on the front lines and it is no telling what all he would have seen or endured during this battle alone.  The things the men and women of our military have gone through to ensure our freedoms is not something we should ever take lightly.  Here is the letter he wrote to Athena on July 28, 1918.

The following letter was written by Athena’s parents Alva and Eliza Porter on July 21, 1918 in Webb, Arizona and apparently Arthur never got to see it as the mail was hard to get to the front lines and it was sometimes months after they were written before they reached the intended recipient.

As you can tell from the above envelope Arthur did not survive the war and was killed in action on the front lines in France on October 30, 1918.  I do not know what battle it may have been or if it was just a skirmish somewhere on the way to a major battle.  I need to see about ordering his military records from the National Archives and see if that information is located in those records.  I don’t know how soon it was afterwards that his parents were notified, but my husband’s cousin Glen has the following picture and frame that must have been given to them afterwards.

According to Glen who has done some research on the time Arthur was in France, because of his service he could have received the following medals and worn the following type insignia's.

I found the following newspaper article from December 4, 1918 where Arthur is mentioned as having been killed in action.  I am working on this from our hotel room so I don’t have the name of the newspapers with me.

Arthur’s body was not shipped home immediately from France, but was he was buried there and then in 1921 he was finally shipped home to his parents.  From newspapers I found dated June 9, 1921 and from another dated June 12, 1921 we read the following:

I don’t know how his parents reacted to his death, but I am sure it was a heavy blow for both of them as well as for his siblings and for his friend and possible sweetheart Athena Porter.  Then almost three years later to have his body brought home for burial in a closed casket, I just can’t comprehend the sorrow they all must have felt.   Arthur’s mother Rachel passed away November 26, 1922 and his father, Francis followed on November 12, 1925 and are all buried at the Whitewater Cemetery.  Athena Porter finally married on November 20, 1920 to Roscoe Nephi Lofgreen a little over two years after Arthur was killed in France.  Athena moved to California and died December 21, 1968 in San Diego.

Arthur Alma Kerby was buried with full military honors at the Whitewater Cemetery in present day Elfrida, Cochise County, Arizona and the following is the tombstone that marks his final resting place.

May we never forget the sacrifices that our military men and women have given in war and in peace time, Uncle Art, we salute you, your service and sacrifice.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Elias Jones

The ancestor I will be telling you about this week is my 4th great-grandfather on my mother’s side whose name was Elias Jones.  Elias was born in about 1799 in North Carolina and had moved to the White County, Tennessee area before 1821.  I believe Elias was a son of Lazarus Jones, but I have yet to find his mother’s name.   I also believe that Elias may have had siblings named: Amassa Jones ca. 1795 – after 1840; James Jones ca. 1801 – before 1880, married to Ann; Byram Jones ca. 1803 – after 1880, married to Jane Malone; John Jones ca. 1805 – after 1850, married to Lucinda Roberson; Claiborne Jones ca. 1808 – after 1880, married to Frances Keeling; Susannah M. Jones 15 Dec 1810 – after 1860, married to William Billingsley and Nancy Marinda Jones ca. 1812 – after 1880, married to Samuel Johnson.

All of these people lived in the same area of Jackson County, Tennessee and sometimes are on the same land or court records, so I believe there is definitely some kind of relationship between all of them, but as of yet I can’t find anything that says for certain, only circumstantial evidence so far.  Family stories also say that Elias’s father, Lazarus Jones came from Wales to North Carolina and then to Tennessee where he died before 1860.

Elias was married in about 1821 to Parthena Ellis, possibly in the White or Jackson County, Tennessee areas, but again I have not found a marriage record to say for certain when their marriage occurred.  Parthena was a daughter of Elijah Ellis and Margaret Madden.

Elias Jones and Lazarus Jones both purchased land in Jackson County, Tennessee in 1827, 1832 & 1840 for a total of 150 acres each.

Elias and Parthena had at least twelve children together, and they were the following: Three sons, names unknown at this time that were all born before 1830, but with the surname of Jones I don’t know if they died young or if they married and I just haven’t found the right boys yet.  The rest of the children that I know of for certain are: James William Jones 1828-1903, married to Lucinda Billingsley; Thomas Reece Jones 1833-1920, married to Malitia Jane Lemmons; Mary Ann ‘Polly’ Jones 1834-1909, married to Labon Lafayette Loftis (My 3rd great-grandparents), then to Nathan H. Huff then to a Mr. Keens; William E. Jones 1835 - after 1900, married to Susan J.; Rebecca Isabel Jones ca. 1837 - after 1901, married to Asa Meeks Denson then to R. W. Norton; Elijah Jones ca. 1841 - before 1880, married to Mary A. Swearingain; George Washington Jones 1843-1928, married to Sarah Emmaline Shane then to Sarah Margaret Elizabeth Sheehanee; John Anderson Jones 1845 after 1910, married to Mary J. then to Mary Ann Frances Curnel and Alexander A. Jones 1847-1923, married to Harriet Swearingain.

I do have a couple of pictures of some of the children of Elias and Parthena and they are the following.  The first is of James William Jones, his wife Lucinda Billingsley and some of their grandchildren, possibly.  Next is of my 3rd great-grandmother Mary Ann ‘Polly’ Jones Loftis and another one of her with her youngest daughter Elvira Huff, son-in-law Robert Pogue and their 3 children: William, Lelia & Melma Pogue. 

I had thought that Elias Jones had died before 1850, because his wife and children were listed on the 1850 census, but he was not listed with them.  I knew he was still alive in 1848 though, because I found him in some court records for that year.   I finally found out that he had died intestate before August of 1852, but still didn’t have a death date for him.   I then received an e-mail from Mitzi Freeman in January of 2000, she had received some microfilm from the Jackson County, Tennessee loose court records in the court case of James Draper vs. James Jones et al.  In the case Carroll A. Jones was deposed and he was asked if he knew whether Elias Jones was dead.  He answered yes that he saw him buried, and he had died in Union County, Illinois on September 24, 1850 but the record did not say what the cause of death may have been or what Elias was doing up there. 

Carroll Anderson Jones was a son of Amassa Jones and if Amassa was indeed Elias Jones brother, then that would mean that Carroll was Elias’ nephew.  I have always wondered what Elias was doing up in Illinois, maybe looking for land for the family to move too, I guess I will never know the answer to that question though.   

So, somewhere in Union County Illinois my 4th great-grandfather was buried, probably in an unmarked grave and maybe somewhere along an unknown trail.

Elias’ wife, Parthena Ellis Jones continued living there in Jackson County, Tennessee around the Flynn’s Lick area and sometime after the 1860 census she apparently died, because I have not been able to find her on the 1870 census or any record of her leaving the area.

Elias Jones born in about 1799 in North Carolina, married around 1821 or so in Tennessee and died in Union County, Illinois on September 24, 1850 in an unknown grave.  Not a lot is known about this grandfather of mine, but he left a lot of descendants scatter all across the United States today.

If anyone out there reads this and has more to add to the life of this man I would love to hear from you.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Joseph Mortenson

The ancestor I will be telling you about this week is my husband, Roy’s, grandfather, Joseph Mortenson.  I only met him once, because he passed away just a few months after Roy and I were married.  You can talk to people in the little southeastern Arizona town of Elfrida, in Cochise County, and all the older people especially, will remember, Uncle Joe, and they all have fond memories and many stories to tell about this special man.

Joseph Mortenson, was born on May 23, 1892 in Bush Valley, which is now called Alpine, in Apache County, Arizona and was the eleventh child, he also had a twin sister who was named Josephine Mortenson, the twelfth child of James Mortenson, 1847-1930, and Anna Sophia Erickson, 1849-1928.   James was born in Denmark and Anna was born in Sweden and they came to America in 1855 and 1863, respectively and met each other in Utah and were married in 1866 and became the parents of twelve children.  Their first six children were all born in Utah, but their last six children were all born in Bush Valley.   The Indian situation, Apache’s, were still being pretty bad every now and again, so a lot of the time they spent living in the fort, during the years they lived there in Bush Valley.  I love the following picture of Joe and his twin Josie, when they were just babies, look at the smiles on those faces.

From Joseph’s life story that he wrote in 1973, we read the following: “My sister Mary, who is five years older than I, remembers the small log cabin in which I was born.  It was a humble pioneer home.  My parents were surprised when there were two of us instead of one, so my mother gave her mother’s broach to the midwife for delivering me.  She had made only one quilt to give to her.  We were her 11th and 12th children.   When we were born Josie was the healthiest looking and I was the skinny one.  Now it’s just the opposite.  They fed me soaked bread, clabber and burro milk and she nursed mother.  One time, after we moved to Mexico, my mother dug a hole in the dirt floor of their home, poured water into it and sat the bucket of my milk in the hole to keep my milk from souring.   Since it was terribly hot and we had no refrigeration this was the best she could do.”

Joseph Mortenson’s siblings were the following: Anna Boletta Mortenson, 1868-1942, married George Calvin Williams, then Peter A. Dillman; Margaret Amelia Mortenson, 1870-1948, married Melvin Swapp; Sarah Etta Mortenson, 1873-1957, married James Thompson (brother to my husband’s grandfather, Peter Elmer Thompson); James Martin Mortenson 1875-1967, married Emily Davis Hawkins; Edmond Grevelious Mortenson, April 8, 1878 – June 15, 1878; Charles Elmer Mortenson, July 31, 1879 – September 26, 1880; John Wilford Mortenson, 1881-1959, married Adelia Ada Johnson; George Franklin Mortenson, 1884-1965, married Edith Western, then Lula Ethel Smith; Mary Amanda Mortenson, 1886-1982, married Broughton Lunt; Andrew Mortenson, 1889-1984, married Nellie Alice Kerby and Josephine Mortenson, 1892-1980, married Thomas Washington Kerby.

When Joseph and his twin sister, Josephine were about nine months old, their parents and some of their other children, left Arizona for Old Mexico in February of 1893.  From a history that daughter Margaret Amelia wrote about their journey to Mexico we read the following:  “We had a good wagon and a large buggy so mother rode in the buggy.  These were pulled with some very good horses.  We first moved to Oaxaca, Sonora where my oldest sister, Lettie lived.  As I remember, we lived in a tent close by our sister, however, father soon built a three-room house down by the river – several miles from town.  This house was built with forked posts at the corners, sun-dried adobes laid up for the walls with a brush and dirt roof.  For doors mother hung quilts and at the windows, where usually there was glass, were unbleached muslin and there were dirt floors.  But the room father and mother and us girls slept in, mother put down home-made carpets she had woven and brought with her.  We next moved up by Brother and Sister Peter Dillman.  Here, father built one room by setting four forked posts in the ground with a brush and dirt roof.  The walls were wagon covers with mother’s carpet on the inside and for the door the table was turned at night. Once while father was over to Dublan to get a few groceries, we were awakened in the night by a scratching noise on the canvas. The next morning when Brother Dillman came over he looked at the tracks.  After tracking it into the woods nearby he told mother, “A lion has been here to visit you.””

The following picture is a family group of Joseph with his parents and some siblings, it was taken in about 1896 in Old Mexico.  The boys in the back from left to right are: John Wilford, James Martin & George Franklin; next row, Dad (James), Mary Amanda, Mom (Anna) & Andrew in the front are the twins, Joseph & Josephine.

Joseph had an interesting life growing up in Old Mexico, again from his sister Margaret Amelia’s story we read: “Dad had gone to Juarez to get groceries from Brother Eyring, when we were all awakened in the night by hoof beats of a horse.  We were always on the lookout for Indians as they were still killing and stealing.  We were terrified!  We had two very fine dogs who seldom ever let anyone strange come near and so, of course, they let us know someone was coming.  When a voice called out, my brother-in-law recognized it immediately as “Negro Bob” from Bearsfords’s ranch. He wished to stay until morning and were we thankful to have him.  The flood came on November 28, 1905 – our place in Oaxaca was on high land, but my sister Lettie’s home was nearer the river and her roof began level with our foundation, but it was five foot deep in our front room.  My father worked getting all the lower people out and their belongings.  When mother saw it was still rising she, Joseph and Josephine began hauling food out in a new express wagon, taking things to the foot of the hills a few blocks away.  All our nice furniture was in the house, the beds floated so that all that got wet was what hung down.  The dining table also floated with father’s Bible and other church books on top, but they did not get wet.  Mother had several sacks of flour and several sacks of dried peaches in the loft undamaged.  We had two Chester White pigs that were fat and ready to kill that the water ran over their pens, but in the morning they lay as contented as pigs can be.  They divided our food as many had none.  The flood had washed the field of my father’s away and the canal, and so he sold our house and lot which contained a lovely orchard to Brother Haymore for two horses and harnesses.  With the money my grandfather had sent mother, they bought a new wagon and went on flat cars to Magdalena, Mexico to do freighting. “

Joseph’s parents, James and Anna came to Cochise County, Arizona from Old Mexico where they had been living in the Mormon Colonies down there, in 1909, and lived there on the east side of Mormon Road between Gleason Road and the school road, in the town of Elfrida.  Both are buried at the Whitewater Cemetery, which is also on Mormon Road, but on the west side.  The following are pictures of James and Anna when they were older and living in Elfrida.

We now begin Joseph’s time in the Sulpher Springs Valley of Cochise County, Arizona.  Again from Margaret Amelia’s story we read: “In February 1909 my father sold out to Dave Black and moved to Whitewater.  This is in the eastern part of the Sulphur Springs Valley.  His place was across from E. M. Baldridge, the Baldridge place was first owned by my brother John.  Here, father and Joe broke 25 acres of land after digging the brush with pick and shovel.  They broke this land with a walking plough and horse, dug a well with a shovel and bucket, fenced the land, made adobes by hand and put up two rooms, later adding another.  During this time, Joe cut wood and sold it in Douglas for $3.00 a double bed wagon load.  Father and mother had a nice little garden.  Father and Joe would draw water out of a well with a bucket and fill barrels of water and mother and Josie would do the irrigating during the day, Father was past sixty years old and starting a new home.  George and Andrew homesteaded north of the Baldridge farm.  About this time all of father’s horses died from eating mesquite beans but one, nine good horses.  After this Joe went over to the Safford Valley to work for Hawk and Anderson in the summer time from 1909 to 1912.  It was during this time he met Mary Myrtle Kerby.”

I believe the following picture was taken around 1910 or so, of Joseph, with his parents and all of his living siblings.  The top row from left to right is: James Martin, Joseph (my husband’s grandpa), John Wilford, Andrew & George Franklin, then their mom (Anna) & Dad (James).  Front row from left to right is: Josephine (twin to Joseph), Mary Amanda, Margaret Amelia, Anna Boletta and Sarah Etta.

Again, from Joseph’s life story we read: “We were married by Bishop, Philemon C. Merrill in the Kerby’s beautiful yard under the lovely shade trees. We were honored with a big wedding dinner that night.”  On June 12, 1912 in Pima, Graham County, Arizona Joseph and Myrtle said, ‘I Do’ and thus begin their lives for the next 57 years, before death took Myrtle, who suffered from diabetes and who died on August 13, 1969 at the hospital in Aqua Prieta, Sonora, Mexico.  They became the parents of nine children: Anna Isabel Mortenson, 1913-1987, married Alva Rich Porter; Joseph Owen Mortenson, 1916-1984, married Rosealee Lois Dees; Arthur F Mortenson, 1918-1930, they say he was what was called a blue baby and his heart was never strong; Elnora Mortenson, 1922-2007, married Floyd L Thompson (my in-laws); Roy Edmund Mortenson, 1926-1996, married Myrtle Lovelle Long; James Don Mortenson, 1929-2007, married Esther May McGinty and Walter Lee Mortenson, 1933-1984, married Glenna Marie Knotts.  I never met Arthur of course since he died young, nor did I ever meet Walter, but I did meet all of my mother-in-laws other siblings.

Joe and Myrtle built their new home on Mormon Road in 1921, from Joe’s life story he says the following about his and his father’s homes.  “At the writing of this account, June 7, 1973 I am still living in Elfrida in the same house, near four of my children, Anna, Owen, Elnora and Don.   Before this house was my home it was used as a store, post office, school, dance hall and a church.  It is now over 50 years old.  I helped dad make his last brick home and it is now owned by Harold and Jennie Gardner.   It is about one fourth mile south of my home and the land has a common boundary.”  The following is a picture of Joe’s home and of his father James’ home as well.

The following picture is of Joe and Myrtle in 1925 with their first four children, from left to right: Anna, Elnora (my mother-in-law), Owen, Myrtle, Joe and Arthur.

This next picture was taken in 1947, with all of their living children, from left to right standing: Walter, Roy, Owen & Don, the setting from left to right: Anna, Joe, Myrtle & Elnora (my mother-in-law).

Joe was a fantastic farmer, from all of the stories that have been told, his corn was taller than most and his fields were always fertile.  J  I love these pictures of Grandpa Joe with his corn and with his milk cow.  Then the one here of Grandpa Joe and Grandma Myrtle, and you can see how very high the corn could get.

Joe and Myrtle never went too far from home.  Living on a farm is not conducive to traveling, since you need to be there pretty much most of the time, for watering, weeding, etc.  The following picture says it was Easter 1950, at the Coolidge Dam, apparently Joe and Myrtle, did leave Elfrida at least once.  J

This is a picture of my husband Roy in 1955, when he was a baby with his grandma Myrtle.

Joe & Myrtle at their 50th wedding anniversary party in 1962, at the Elfrida LDS Church building, with some of their children, from left to right: Anna, Roy, Joe, Owen, Myrtle, Don & Elnora.

This is my husband, Roy, standing beside his Grandpa Joe in front of his grandparents’ home.

Joe & Myrtle at the time of their 55th wedding anniversary in 1967, in their home there on Mormon Road in Elfrida, Arizona.

Joe & Myrtle in 1969, not long before she passed away.

Grandpa Joe, had a stroke a few months before he passed away and never fully recovered from it, he passed away on February 18, 1979 at the Cochise County Hospital in Douglas, Arizona.  On the 21st he was buried by his wife and son Arthur in the Whitewater Cemetery.

There is so much more that could be written about this man and his family.  He was a wonderful husband, father and grandfather and was loved by all who knew him.  He loved his church and his country too.  He was a tireless worker who did not know the meaning of the word relax and neither did any of his children, especially my mother-in-law, Elnora.  He was a man that is still missed to this day.  I wish I could have gotten to know him.