Thursday, February 17, 2011

Happy 129th Birthday, Daniel Peter Woodland (1882-1954)!

Nita Welch's father

Daniel was a missionary to Japan over a century ago, and was a gentle soul.  He reminds me of President Monson in some ways, frequently speaking at funerals and quoting poetry.  His favorite song was "Little Purple Pansies"--so sing it for him today!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Happy 156th Birthday, Louisa Jones Hooper (1855-1908)!

Gayle Wells' great-grandmother
Louisa and James Hooper with baby William

Louisa was born in Wales, and immigrated with her family to Pennsylvania in her childhood.  At sixteen, she married James, a miner and British immigrant.  They had two children, William and Sarah Jane.  At some point Louisa joined the Church, since her daughter was blessed in Pennsylvania. 

The Hooper family moved to Salt Lake City sometime before 1880, and then settled in Park City soon after (possibly in 1883, since daughter Sarah Jane is mentioned as starting school there partway through the year).  Louisa mourned the death of her teenage son William in 1888.  She must have been happy to have her husband join the Church just a few months before she died.  (And then her daughter Sarah Jane Jensen did her parents’ temple work after they died.)

For your birthday, Louisa, we will fix up your headstone this year!  Anyone else want to be part of that?

PS--success :-)

Monday, February 14, 2011

February Party Game: Pick your favorite love story!

In honor of Valentine's Day, here are our most romantic ancestral stories!

William & Laura Woodland
William West Woodland lassoed Laura, courted her over her father's objections, and they eloped to the Endowment House (despite jealous local polygamous leaders who wanted to marry Laura and denied the couple a recommend).  Although William was a staunch LDS leader in the polygamous era, he never took a plural wife.  After his death, he appeared to Laura to comfort and warn her, and at last to meet her and take her home.

Isaac & Mary Sorensen
Isaac and Mary Sorensen were another couple whose devotion precluded other spouses.  Mary could not agree with the idea of polygamy, and Isaac had been urged by the Brethren to take another wife.  One evening he went to a Church dance, leaving Mary at home with three small children.  She got ready herself, went to the dance, and left the babies on a bench at the edge of the dance floor.  She was asked to dance again and again, and paid no attention to the babies wailing on the side.  Finally, Isaac could stand it no longer and said, “Mary, will you go home with me?”  They gathered up their children, went home, and that was the end of that. 

Agnes Martin Hunter had a love poem written about her (presumably by her husband Ebenezer):
She was not so beautiful of form or features it is true
If form an artist’s vision, or a sculptor’s eyes could view,
Her tresses were not silky, like the breezes blown aboutHer eyes were not the violet ones, the dreamy blue or brown
Her form not straight or graceful, her name of great renown
Her dress was not quite up to date, latest styles not known
But just to meet her was to love her
Just to be with her a joy
She was kind to all the friendless,
To the wayward girl and boy
And her face, though plain of features
Wore a look almost divine
For the love she bore to all the world
Made her countenance to shine.
And her smile would cheer the saddest
Smooth the heart so crushed and sore
And to those who really knew her
She was beautiful and more.

Malena & Nicolai Sorensen
Nicolai and Malena Sorensen were middle-aged Danish pioneers.  While crossing the plains, Nicolai rescued a lost child and was promised by the company leader that he could have his heart's desire.  Facing hardship and poverty in a new land, this immigrant might have chosen many material blessings, but Nicolai requested the he never be separated in this life from his beloved wife.  When they were in their eighties, Malena had been ill and died one morning at ten o'clock.  Nicolai instructed his sons to prepare two coffins as he would join her shortly.  He finished up some paperwork and lay down and died that afternoon at three; they were buried in the same grave.

Martin Heiner fell in love with his German weaver boss’ daughter and was jailed overnight because he got in a fight about his future wife Adelgunda. 

And the winner of together forever is...