My Great Great Grandfather started over again and again in his lifetime. He had unexpected things happen that changed his financial situation many times but every time he picked himself up and started over. He is a great example of economic resilience that we can look to now in times of economic uncertainty. In fact, I find some comfort in the fact that he survived much, much more than anything I will have to now. Family ChartMasters is doing very well considering the challenges the world is having and we are feeling very blessed for that. All of our employees have easily transitioned to working from home and we are keeping in touch with the tech tools my Great Great Grandfather never could have imagined. It is amazing to imagine what he would have thought of our company today, and I'm hopeful that I have his grit and strength for whatever comes.
Gaskell took his building skills to Los Angeles for a while, but after two years of work with little to show for it, he longed to raise his family in a more rural setting. So he and his brother moved their families to Idaho and bought a small potato farm in 1913. The families worked hard to maintain the farm but with the economic effects of WWI, they were unable to make a go of it. After two years of hard work, they decided to move their family south to Salt Lake City.
Arriving in Salt Lake bankrupt and in debt, Gaskell again started over building houses. He worked hard and it took him twelve years to pay off all of the Idaho debts. They returned to Rexburg, Idaho for a few years and prospered building homes until everything changed again in 1921 when the price of farm goods collapsed and the housing market followed. Gaskell found himself bankrupt for the fourth time.
The summer of 1921 saw the family move back to Salt Lake City. Once again Gaskell put his architectural and building skills to work with the help of his sons. Within 7 years he would lose Anna and two of his sons to tragic, unexpected deaths.
Gaskell's son George Romney wrote: Even though Father was driven out of Mexico penniless, with a large family to support, went broke in Oakley, Idaho, and later Rexburg, Idaho, and then again in Salt Lake during the great Depression he never became bitter. Furthermore, he didn't make me feel poor. He never took out bankruptcy, which he could have done several times. He and his son, Maurice, eventually paid off all his creditors.
His daughter Meryl likewise said she “never felt we were hard up. Our breakfast table in the tiny kitchen was a card table. Our two other homes had had attractive breakfast rooms. Mealtime was always a happy time for there was given love and spiritual uplift for meeting the day's encounters. We never felt poor or deprived. Daddy's great love, humor and concern were in abundance."
According to all accounts, he maintained a calm and gentle
personality throughout his life. He lived with a great inner peace that
he attributed to his daily conversations with God. His great courage,
common sense and integrity are a great lesson of resilience in the face of economic reversals.
Post written by Janet Hovorka, Owner, Family Chartmasters LLC
Wednesday, May 13, 2020
Monday, May 11, 2020
Viola Schwendiman Romney Talbot Thomas (or Nama as we called her) is larger than life in my family history. I've written about her here before. Perhaps it is because she is straight up my matriarchal line, or perhaps it is because she had such a dramatic life, perhaps it is because she is the great-grandparent I knew the best or perhaps it is because she had many similar life experiences to mine, I feel very connected to her. I've felt even more connected to her lately. I've added the following photos to my desk last week, to help me feel her strength in this challenging pandemic time.
I've been reading the history my mother wrote about Nama again with adult eyes. Eyes who have been through alot more of life's messiness than the last time I approached her story. I remember my mother interviewing Nama for this history on her porch when I was probably about 8 years old. I was mesmerized with Nama's story telling and the amazing life she had. But I never saw the depth of what she went through until recently.
Last week, my mother and I took a little trip to see the houses where this part of my family history played out. This house in particular was so moving to me.
|Whittier Church, site of one of Douglas' funerals|
|Yale Church, site of one of Douglas' funerals|
When Gifford Talbot, her second husband came along, it seemed that he could help her get out of all the problems she was dealing with. Beyond all the other issues she faced, she also had the husband of one of her friends trying to marry her. She said in her history that "I would have never married him in this world or the next, I don't think." But she married him after only knowing him for three weeks. Her step mother-in-law fainted when she told her, and she only told her parents afterward. He was good to her and her children and my grandmother adored her step-father.
|Apartment building where Nama again heard the devastating |
news that her second husband had unexpectedly died.
My mother said that she remembers Nama always saying that she "needed a Miltown." Nama was always anxious that something else hard was coming her way and I really understand why. When you go through something so shattering, out of your control and unexpected at a young age, it gives you an unsettling fear about what is coming around the corner. I have a similar fear from similar circumstances but I'm working to deal with that in more constructive ways. I also am thankful for more of a support system than Nama had. She went on to have a happy life and worked through everything to be wildly successful in business. I'm working on creating that strength too.
Wednesday, May 6, 2020
This is my paternal great - grandfather and great - grandmother. Their names are Benjamin Butler Wallace and Rosa Olive Owen. They met and married in 1916. They had seven children, six boys and one girl. They had a family farm, and a daily milk route. They did not have much by worldly standards as they raised their kids. Despite not having much, Benjamin always thought with his heart and made sure to do everything in his power to make sure that his children were given everything they needed and that his wife was treated like a queen. These two individuals showed their children that with hard work, love and faith you can not only survive, but you can be the difference in other people’s lives.
During the Great Depression, their dairy operations continued, but not all of their customers were able to pay. My great-grandfather knew that even though some of the folks on his route couldn’t pay (and they couldn’t necessarily afford for people not to), the milk that he was delivering was a necessary part of their diets. So he continued to deliver and told them not to worry about paying until they could afford it. He also allowed for the trade of goods or services and payment during these hard times.
My great - grandmother, Rosa, had a motto, “Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.” This is a motto that was definitely lived by. My great-aunt, their daughter, Dorothy, recounted in her memories a great example of this. “When I was four years old, Mom made me a dress out of her old one on her treadle sewing machine. (She mentioned this in her diary.) If something could be used again, or for something else, it was accomplished. Mom even ironed the Christmas wrapping paper that had been used so it could be used the next Christmas. During the War, flour bags were made of material printed with attractive designs. I remember how excited I was when Mother made me a dress from one!”
Learning more about my ancestors, constantly gives me a greater appreciation for the sacrifices they made and for the life that I have.
Post written by Amberley Wallace, Designer, Family Chartmasters LLC
Saturday, April 11, 2020
This is my paternal grandfather, Owen Wallace, he was nothing short of amazing and resilient in every way. Born the second out of seven children, he grew up working hard every day on the family farm. When WWII broke out, he was drafted into the Army. He was a part of the invasion of Normandy on Omaha Beach and earned the bronze star for his valiant service. He also received the Golden Glove award for amateur boxing in the Army.
When the war was over and he returned home, he sent word to a beautiful woman he met during his time in Europe. He married that woman, who became his first wife, his “war bride,” Berta. He had two sons with Berta and they ended up getting a divorce not many years later. He continued to farm and raise their two boys, until he met my grandmother, Angeline. Angeline already had six children of her own, but they fell in love and he ended up adopting my dad as his own son. Owen and Angeline had two more children together. A real life “Yours, Mine and Ours” story. And this man worked hard, delivering milk along his milk route, right up until he died at age 82. Everyone who knew him remarks on how hard of a worker and loving of a man he was.
I will forever be grateful that he kept a detailed journal of his life and his experiences during the war. This man epitomizes enduring hard times and coming out on top and moving forward.
Post written by Stacy Wightman, Designer, Family Chartmasters LLC
Post written by Stacy Wightman, Designer, Family Chartmasters LLC
Tuesday, April 7, 2020
Andreas Ferdinand Gregersen's father died in the war between Denmark and Germany when he was only a year old. His life in Denmark changed from that point on. He and his widowed mother were very close, and his mother wanted the best for him. When he was age thirteen she sent him with her friends the Madsens to Immigrate to America and she planned to follow the next year. They would never see each other. Andreas missed his mother for the rest of his life.
Perhaps the letters from his mother were the motivation for his joining the pony express when he was 18 years old. He worked all of his young years in heavy work, taking care of the "town herd" of cows, clearning and planting hundreds of acres. He lived with several families that took care of the young boy and taught him English, writing and math in the evenings. Eventually he found work cutting timber for the railroad and with the wages he made, be bought a strong wagon and some horses. He witnessed the driving of the golden spike when the railroads from the east and west came together. After his work in the railroad, he turned to the Nevada silver mines and began hauling food, wood, and bullion over long dangerous rocky trails to the mining communities. After six years of hauling goods, he had saved considerable money and decided to visit the families who had helped him in his youth. He returned to visit the Sylvesters whose daughter Althea had quite grown up. Andrew left to add to his means so that he could take care of a wife and then soon returned to be married. Eventually they moved to Silver Reef , Utah where they had a very comfortable life. They had servants, dressed lavishly and celebrated holidays in great style. Althea always dressed up in the afternoon for Andreas' return from work.
Eventually they purchased a ranch from a renowned agriculturist with many well developed fruit trees, grapes and beautiful gardens. They had apples, plums pears and almonds and worked to preserve and bottle all the fruit. Their home was situated at the crossroads of between two well established settlements so they had many visitors and lots of people came to trade and buy fruit. Andreas continued to work the mines. They had ten children and educated them well with the many books and musical instruments they had at the ranch. Eventually the children all left for colleges graduating as teachers, business people, dentists, and lawyers. In his later years, he took exquisite care of his mother in law and continued to urge his mother to come to America until the dreadful day he received the black edged letter that announced the death of his mother. He sobbed and sobbed and no one could comfort him. Andrew was kind and compassionate because of his loneliness as a young man. He was healthy and loved to play jokes on people. His children all came to say their last goodbyes as he passed on July 26th, 1922.
Andreas was my great great grandfather. I hope I have those good hard working genes in me. I do like to play jokes on people and I love my mother, but I'm glad that I've never had to be separated from her as Andreas was. He was a hard working participant in the amazing settlement of the Western United States.
Taken in part from "The Life of Andrew Ferdinand Gregerson" written by his daughter Althea G Hafen.Post written by Janet Hovorka, Manager, Family Chartmasters LLC
Wednesday, April 1, 2020
George Welton Ward has the distinction of establishing the Ward family legacy in America. Throughout his life, his name was synonymous with a positive example and industrious work ethic – honorable characteristics that would shape the family’s solid reputation for generations.
Here is a journal entry from George's treacherous voyage across the plains:
"While traveling one Sunday afternoon, a violent hailstorm came up, and before we could all get our teams unhitched, the storm was on us in such fury that many of the teams ran away and jumped into the Platte river. Hailstones as large as hen’s eggs fell, and people were obliged to cover up their heads with quilts and blankets for protection against the frightful pelting. Some took refuge under the wagons until the storm passed. Some of the wagons were overturned and many persons were hurt. The singular part of it was that half a mile up the road there was not enough rain to lay the dust. The storm was local, and did not extend more than half or three-quarters of a mile in every direction. In more recent years these local storms have been known as ‘cloud-bursts.’
When we arrived at the Black Hills we were all worn out. Our cattle were footsore, and the horses having no grain, were weak and tired. Our provisions began to run low, and things looked decidedly squally. It was getting late in the season, and father was fearful we might get caught in a snowstorm in the mountains, when allmight perish with cold and hunger."
Despite all the adversity he was faced with, George left a legacy of hard work. George Welton prided himself in doing his farm work carefully and systematically. He trained his family of boys to be thorough in their work, as well. Because of his training, the work of George Welton Ward’s family drew attention among their neighbors. Edwin Cordon remarked, “There wasn’t a man that could stack grain to shed water like George Welton Ward."
I'm grateful to George Welton Ward for establishing the legacy of my family in the United States. #ResilientRoots
Post written by Katherine Ward, Marketing Director, Family Chartmasters LLC
Tuesday, March 31, 2020
I've talked about my Paternal Grandmother on the blog before, and I've spoken far and wide about the resilience she blessed me with through a quilt she made for me. But I've never written much about the resilience she showed in her own life. She was a strong lady who instilled lots of fortitude in me that is coming in handy right now.
Hortense Snow was born April 25th in 1911. She was the daughter of Erastus Beaman Snow Jr. and Rosina Christina Gregerson. Her mother grew up on a ranch with lots of books, was college educated and taught school before she married. She loved literature and taught all of her children about the importance of an education. She loved to travel, entertain and use the good china--all qualities she instilled in Hortense.
Rosina ran a dress shop in their town and Hortense was always impeccably dressed. She learned to sew, play the piano and the clarinet, traveled and served a mission for her church. After graduating from school and returning from the mission, one morning her mother came downstairs and said, ""Hortense, I've not slept all night. I have been worried about you. I don't think you should go to San Diego. You have said several times you might like to go to BYU. Get yourself ready and go on to college. I don't think you will find San Diego the same place now that your mission is over. I would like to keep you here to run the dress shop for me. I have considered selling you the business. I know you could manage the shop and do a good job, but I won't make an old maid, out of you." So Hortense packed up and left for college the next morning.
Hortense was nervous about going to school but she enjoyed her home economics classes and decided to major in that. She was president of her sorority and had lots of friends and boyfriends. When she was about to graduate in the sprint of 1934 her mother took ill and died in April. Rosina insisted that she graduate and not come home to care for her or she might not graduate. Hortense did graduate with her teaching credentials and accepted a job at a high school for a year before returning to take care of her father and the dress shop.
That fall, one of her teachers came to the shop to visit and encouraged her to go on with more school about consumer education and bookeeping to be better at managing the shop. So Hortense left again after Christmas to continue her education. There she met my Grandfather G. Alvin Carpenter. After two years of writing letters, they married June 10th, 1938. Hortense worked for the State Extension Staff as a clothing specialist until they married and moved to Reno Nevada.
After stints with Alvin's job in Reno and Berkeley, CA, and getting his PhD at Cornell in New York, they settled in Logan, Utah and began to raise a family. Hortense put her homemaking skills into her three children, Paul, Don and Colleen. She was a wonderful mother and taught the children to be hard workers with a couple of acres of fruit trees, gardens. chickens and a horse. Hortense canned and froze all of the vegetables and fruit that they raised. She made sure the children all had piano, speech and art lessons. During this time she finished her work on her MS degree except for the thesis. She also renewed her teaching certificate. Little did she know how valuable that would be soon in her life.
After 16 years in Logan, Alvin moved the family to work for the University of California at Berkeley in 1956. Shortly after, Alvin was diagnosed with diabetes and Hortense became worried. To quote her son Don, "She wanted to make sure she could support the family if necessary. So she began as a substitute teacher and then accepted a full time position teaching home economics at Alhambra High School in Martinez California. This proved to be a great blessing in her life. Not only did the extra income help during the children's expensive college years, but it gave Hortense the added peace and assurance, increased self-confidence and new opportunities to serve others in ways that were rewarding and satisfying. Having raised her own children, she felt more competent, and qualified to teach foods and nutrition, clothing, family finance, and family life than she ever felt as a young college graduate teaching home economics."
After 12 years of teaching, Hortense retired at the same time Alvin retired from UC Berkeley. They moved to Provo, Utah to be closer to their grandchildren and Alvin worked for 10 more years as a part time faculty at BYU. It was then that I got to spend most of my time with Grandma. Each grandchild got to visit by themselves for a week and Grandma taught us how to sew, needlepoint, cook and we went for long walks in the mountains where she taught me the names of all the wildflowers. She organized summer sewing and home economics classes for the children in the neighborhood with her many sewing machines and the room she kept full of fabric. She made her granddaughters beautiful clothes and we had huge family dinners on Sundays and holidays. She loved to hear the piano recitals her grandchildren would perform and she used her many sets of china and dishes for entertaining. She taught me that I was going to college, it was just a matter of which school I picked. She knew that it was best for a woman to be prepared to have a career, even at a time when many women didn't.
I'm thankful for a grandmother who taught me so much about kindness, faith, and courage. When she passed, 6 years after Alvin did on July 6, 1991, she left a great legacy of determination and drive that I draw on today.
Post written by Janet Hovorka, Owner, Family Chartmasters LLC