Monday, October 17, 2011

George Henry Passey and Carrie Roberts (Parents of Lamont W Passey)

George Henry Passey, son of Thomas Passey and Druscilla Theobald was born on February 16, 1867 in Paris, Bear Lake, Idaho.  George Henry Passey married Carrie Roberts on September 2 1896 in Logan, Cache, Utah.  Carrie Roberts, daughter of John Roberts and Eliza Marie Sorensen, was born April 26, 1875 in Smithfield, Cache, Utah. 
Together, George Henry and Carrie had eleven children named George Iland, John (Jack), Eliza Drucilla, Lamont W, Milford Thomas, Vilda, Leola, Clinton Lyman, Lael, Blaine and Lloyd.

George Henry was raised on his parents’ ranch near Montpelier, Bear Lake, Idaho where they also had a dairy.  He attended school for three years at the ages of 10, 14 and 16 years old.  He worked for his father herding dairy cows and making cheese.  At the age of 20 years old, George Henry began to learn the carpentry trade.

George Henry Passey and Merinda Vilate Dimick (First Wife)

George Henry Passey married Merinda Vilate Dimick on September 14, 1887 in Paris, Bear Lake, Idaho.  Merinda Vilate Dimick, daughter of James H Dimick and Nancy Merinda Walmsley, was born January 23 1868 in Bloomington, Bear Lake, Idaho. 

George Henry and Merinda had four girls, Lottie, Flossie, Olive and Della.

Lottie died on March 3, 1890 in Paris, Bear Lake, Idaho.

Merinda (Dimick) Passey died on November 8, 1895 in Paris, Bear Lake, Idaho.

Carrie Roberts

American Molasses Candy Pull
Carrie Roberts, daughter of John Roberts and Eliza Marie Sorensen, was born April 26, 1875 in Smithfield, Cache, Utah.  The family lived in a two-room log house.  By age six, Carrie and her two brothers, John and Owen, were constant companions.  While there wasn’t much spending money for children, the children were sometimes given three eggs which they exchanged at the sugar cane mill for molasses skimmings.  Eliza Maria boiled the skimmings and then the children would pull the candy until it was right.  This was the only kind of candy the children had for many years.

There was the time Father, Mother, Aunt Fannie, Mother’s sister Mary Nelson, and I went in the wagon to the south field to pick peas.  I had filled my apron with nice fresh ones which I intended to enjoy eating all myself when we arrived home.  However, Aunt Fannie, wishing to be generous, took all those peas from my apron and gave them to Aunt Mary Nelson saying, “Oh, Carrie, you don’t really want these peas.”  But I did want them, and I cried long and hard.  I was heartbroken.
Carrie Roberts Passey

Carrie’s first schooling began when she was seven years old and lasted for only three months.  The students’ sat on long slab seats in one room of the teacher’s house.  They wrote on slates.  Carrie was baptized at eight years old in the creek.  She rode to the creek behind John on their old pony, Puss.  It was very cold and Carrie shivered for the four or five blocks riding home as she was dripping wet.

I knew that Father was planning to move from Smithfield, I wanted to give my friend, Lizzie Tidwell a yard of ribbon as a gift to remember me by.  Somehow, I had the misfortune to swallow the nickel.  I was happy to receive another nickel to replace the first one.
In the fall of 1883, our family moved to Bear Lake Valley.  Owen and I started ahead with the cows, on foot of course.  There were two loaded wagons which followed.  The first camp was made that night between Richmond and Franklin at High Creek.  The second night the camp was at the foot of the big dug-way east of Mink Creek.  It took three span of horses to pull the wagon to the top the next day.  It took most of the day.  So the camp was made there this third day.  After the fourth day of travel, we reached Liberty.  Father purchased our supper of bread and milk from Bishop Austin.

We moved on the next day to our new home in Lanark.  It was built of logs, had two rooms and no panes in the windows.  Mother, being the first wife, slept in the one bedroom.  Baby Hugh, of course, shared the bed.  My bed was in this room also, on the floor in one corner.  Aunt Fannie, the second wife, had a room in one corner of the kitchen behind a curtain made of a canvas wagon cover.  Owen and John (6 and 4 years) slept in rough wooden bunks in the kitchen.  The next morning we saw eight coyotes sitting on a knoll.

We lived in these same two rooms until I was twenty years old.
Carrie Roberts Passey

After about two years, John Roberts moved Aunt Fannie to Liberty to a home at the saw mill.  Then he built a one-roomed house on the hill.  Eliza Maria and Carrie spent the summers there so that John Roberts would be able to claim the land by homesteading it.  Summers, the boys slept in the granary.

Carrie did not attend school again until she was 12 years old.  Sometimes, for part of the winter, the children would stay at the home of her father’s second plural wife, Aunt Fannie, to be able to go to school.  Later they traveled from the ranch by team every morning and back at night, to get what little schooling they could.  Sometimes they almost perished in the winter blizzards.  One fall, Carrie walked three miles morning and night to school for six weeks.

I’ll never forget a very hateful girl who chased me every day on my way from school.  One day when I was riding in the wagon with Father, we saw the girl.  He threatened to hold her head under the water in the creek if she ever did it again.  She never did.
Carrie Roberts Passey

The school term lasted a little more than three months each year.  Each new school year brought a new teacher; the teacher would each begin at the same place at the first of the term and end up the same place each year at the end of the term.  Consequently, Carrie only got as far as fractions in mathematics.  The school was one room for all grades and included all ages from six to eighteen. 

Being the eldest in the family, it fell to Carrie to help her father as well as her mother working in the hay and grain fields.  She also herded sheep and cattle and spun yarn and knit stockings for the family at times.  There was never-ending weed pulling, and ice to be dug from the shed to be used in the creamery.  All the family washing was done on the washboard, and there was a new brother or sister every two or three years. 

One exciting day on the farm, Carrie’s father, John Roberts, staked a bull to a willow bush.  The bull had wound the rope around and around the bush.  It was up to Carrie to free the bull before he was hurt.  With an ax in hand, Carrie chopped the rope in two about a foot from the bull’s nose, and ran around the corner to safety just as the freed bull rushed by.  After hearing this story and seeing the rope, John Roberts commented “Why didn’t you cut the rope a little closer; why waste a whole foot of rope?”

Another time, coyotes attacked the sheep on the hill and almost killed a little lamb.  As it could not be saved, Carrie put it out of its misery and with Eliza Marie’s help, hung it to a clothesline post and dressed it.  They were able to save three-fourths of the meat.

The children did have fun in the winter.  They rode in the bob sleigh, coasted down hills on scoop shovels, on flat boards and in old dish pans.  It was a thrill when their “sleds” shot into space as the make-shift sleds hit the snow-covered log placed there for that very purpose.

George Henry Passey and Carrie Roberts (Second Wife)

George Henry Passey married Carrie Roberts on September 2 1896 in Logan, Cache, Utah.  This same day, George Henry had all of the temple work completed for Miranda Vilate, his first wife also.

George Henry and Carrie lived in Lanark, Bear Lake, Idaho.  Over the next four years, George Henry and Carrie started their family with two sons, Iland and John (Jack).  While Carrie was recovering from childbirth, the family was struck with scarlet fever.  Flossie died in 1900 in Paris, Bear Lake, Idaho.

George Henry was in the A.O. Woodruff company sent to settle the Big Horn area in Wyoming in 1900.  During this journey, George Henry did construction work in Kemmerer, Oakley and Cumberland, Wyoming. 
In 1902, three months after the birth of Eliza, George Henry and Carrie moved to Stirling, Alberta, Canada.  The family rode a narrow gauge railway for a portion of the trip.  The trip was tiring as the baby cried most of the time.  George Henry left for Stirling two weeks ahead of the family, with their furniture; he met them at 10 p.m. the night they arrived in Stirling and took them to a temporary home.  After two weeks, the family moved to their permanent house which had two rooms.  They were more fortunate than most of the colonists who were living in tents.  The family, bag and baggage, had moved one thousand miles north to a land of open prairie, a land of promise, a land of just more hard work and the beginning of a 14-year battle with the seasons and vulgarities of nature.  Perseverance always pays off and the land was made to produce and give up its bounties.  Summers were filled with berry picking on Milk River Ridge and on the St. Mary’s River.

Stirling was a little LDS settlement about 60 miles north of the International Boundary between Canada and the United States on the railroad line from Great Falls, Montana to Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada.  The soil was very fertile and the countryside was soon taken up as farms or stocked with cattle.  The countryside was rather flat or slightly rolling with practically no mountains.  There was a lot of wind that swept through the countryside from a southwesterly direction, blowing almost every day.

In Stirling, Alberta, Canada, George Henry began working on his newly acquired farm and home.  They had moved into a two-room house in the northeast part of town.  They also acquired a farm acreage east of Stirling, with grain, hay and pasture areas.  During 1902 and 1903, George Henry helped to build the flour mill and amusement hall in Raymond, Alberta, Canada and a railroad bridge near Magrath, Alberta, Canada.

The George Henry Passey Family L-R Back Row: George Iland, Eliza Drucilla, John (Jack), Lamont W
Mid Row: Blaine, Carrie, Leola, Milford Thomas, Vilda, George Henry  Front Row: Lael, Clinton Lyman
Not Pictured: Lloyd
In 1904, George Henry started a homestead 19 miles east of Stirling, Alberta, Canada.  Five more children were added to the family; Lamont, Milford, Vilda, Leola and Clinton.  The Passeys didn’t have very good water rights on the land.  Drinking water was hauled in barrels from the coulee.  Much of George’s time was spent at the homestead and on railroad construction jobs.  Carrie led the family in his absence requiring her to haul water and search for cows on the open range. Poor water rights along with dry summers and hailstorms contributed to just a bare existence for the family. 
1905 came and went with its rains, snows, hail, drought and sunshine, too.   With family parties, neighbors dropping in, new home building, the young town spread its wings a little and tried to become a cog in the wheels of progress.  George Henry built a steel runner sled for the boys for Christmas.  Church baseball for George Henry and sewing projects for Carrie provided entertainment and relief from daily life.

Leftover lumber from railroad buildings worked on by George, Illand and Jack was used to build three more rooms onto the two-room house.  A cement cistern was constructed to hold water for drinking purposes.  The water was filtered through a three-foot depth of sand to purify it to some extent. 

George Henry and Carrie (Roberts) Passey
 During these years, the family farmed and had a herd of milk cows.  George Henry was away from home a great deal of the time working on railroad projects, building new lines and bridges.  He also traveled about the country supervising threshing machine work.  Most of the farm work fell to Carrie and the two oldest sons.
Winters in Canada were very severe at times.  The frost would collect on the windows so thick that it would have to be melted with hot flat irons in order to see outside. On the coldest of days, when they threw water outside, it would freeze in the air before hitting the ground.  Ice skating and ice boating offered enjoyment through the winter months.  There were summers of flowers and winters of blizzards, and all the living that comes to a family of eleven.  Drucilla wrote an essay and won the contest, bringing home a piano to the family.  In 1910, a hailstorm one mile wide passed over both George Henry’s fields in Stirling and at the homestead, taking away his entire crop.

George Henry and Carrie (Roberts) Passey

In 1911, George Henry sold the homestead to purchase a home in Paris, Bear Lake, Idaho.  After selling the homestead, he worked on railroad construction projects including stations and section houses at Foremost, Conrad and Rentham, Alberta, Canada.  The new railroad line was built to help homesteaders get their goods to market. 

In 1913, George Henry moved the family to Paris, Bear Lake, Idaho and sold the remaining home in Stirling, Alberta, Canada.  In 1916, George Henry built the Paris Garage and the Novelty Picture Show house.  He operated the Novelty Picture Show house for four years.  During World War I, the family witnessed some very hard times.  Bran bread, a little sugar, syrup and peanut butter was almost their only fare.  World War I was over and the family was back together again as Yankees after two sons returned safely home from the war.   Normal living then resumed in Paris, Bear Lake, Idaho.  Two more children were born: Lael and Blaine. 

George Henry worked at the Paris Phosphate Mine building cottages and other needed structures.  He also worked for power plants in Oneida, Idaho and Logan, Utah.  The eleventh child was born in 1921: Lloyd.  George Henry continued to do carpentry work for Conda Mines and Utah Power and Light Company. 

In 1924, George Henry was stricken with rheumatism.  At the same time, Lael had kidney failure and died.  The following year, Clinton died following an appendicitis operation. 

This double shock was too much for my nerves and I was on the verge of a breakdown; the nerve centers in my throat being most sensitive.  I came near to choking to death.  In May, 1925, I took treatments in the Logan Hospital.  While there, I went to the Logan Temple and received a blessing.  I was promised that if I would keep the Word of Wisdom and pray to the Lord, I would recover.  I have tried to live better and do as I was instructed.  My health greatly improved.  This has been a manifestation of God’s power where faith is exercised.
Carrie Roberts Passey

George Henry became the custodian for the Bear Lake County Courthouse and worked there until his death.

George Henry Passey died on March 19, 1941 in Paris, Bear Lake, Idaho.

Carrie was a pioneer with a great capacity for work, who found time to supplement her limited formal education through continuous self-teaching, rearing a large family, participating in the LDS Church, and finding expression of an artistic temperament through making rugs and quilts. She loved to serve others her entire life. She was always busy, braiding over 200 rugs and piecing and quilting over 75 full size and numerous twin sized quilts.

Carrie (Roberts) Passey died on October 23, 1966 in Montpelier, Bear Lake, Idaho.  She was buried in Paris, Bear Lake, Idaho.



More Pictures of George Henry and Carrie (Roberts) Passey:

No comments:

Post a Comment