Saturday, October 8, 2011

Joseph Stanners Price and Elizabeth Susanna Reese (Parents of Violet Elizabeth Price)

Joseph Stanners Price, son of Robert Price and Susannah Juchau, was born March 22, 1874 in Paris, Bear Lake, Idaho. Joseph Stanners Price married Elizabeth Susannah Reese on June 1, 1904 in the Logan Temple in Logan, Cache, Utah. Elizabeth Susannah Reese, daughter of George Henry Reese and Elizabeth Jones, was born November 9, 1882 in Bloomington, Bear Lake, Idaho.

Together, Joseph Stanners and Elizabeth Susannah had ten children named Violet Elizabeth, Pearl, Gwen, Mabel, Ivor, Robert, Dora, Osma, Jay, and Roene.

Joseph Stanners started going to school when he was seven years old. His father, Robert Price gave him a book entitled “Robinson Crusoe,” which he took to one of his teachers to pen his name and the date April 12, 1882 on it. School attendance cost about $3.00 every three months. Joseph Stanners was always given plenty of work to do such as milking cows and feeding and watering the stock. In the winter, it took several hours to draw water from the well for the stock.

I was a sickly child and my mother, Susannah (Juchau) Price, thought that perhaps that I never would be very strong. But, as I grew I became more healthy and my father who always had plenty of work to do always kept me at work, when I was not in school, hauling lumber from the sawmill to the shingle mill or to Montpelier, Bear Lake, Idaho where he marketed most of the lumber.
Joseph Stanners Price
Hauling Logs in Winter
During the summer of 1888, Joseph Stanners spent his time at the dairy ranch in Nounan herding calves. He enjoyed herding cows especially when he could fish and swim at Nounan creek while the cows were feeding. One day a small herd of the cows crossed the railroad tracks and when the train came along, the cows spooked and ran back over the tracks and were hit by the train. Only one of the cows was killed.

In 1894, at the age of twenty, Joseph Stanners received a calling via letter from the Prophet Wilford Woodruff to take a five-month course in Sunday School Teaching at the Brigham Young Academy, at Provo, Utah and then train all the Sunday School teachers throughout Bear Lake County, Idaho. At this time, Sunday school was not limited solely to religious teaching but was also an important source of secular education for this pioneer settlement and farming community.

Four people from Bear Lake Stake boarded with the Bowden family at the cost $3.50 per week. Joseph Stanners wanted to stay in Provo for more schooling, however, the high cost of tuition and living there prevented him from staying. Instead, Joseph Stanners attended the Bear Lake Stake Academy that winter which was held in the Paris Second Ward meetinghouse with Professor Emil Maeser and his wife as teachers.

In the fall of 1896, Joseph Stanners received another calling via letter.

Joseph Stanners Price
Your name has been suggested and accepted as a missionary to Australasia. Will you accept the call and be ready to sail from Vancouver on November 8, 1896.
President Wilford Woodruff
Joseph Stanners wrote an answer accepting the call and had it endorsed by Robert Price, his father and Bishop of the Paris Second Ward. Joseph Stanners served a 3 ½ year mission amongst the native Maori people of New Zealand. Joseph Stanners did not keep a journal during his mission. However, some of his correspondence remains and has been compiled as a record of this mission.

Upon returning home from his mission, Joseph Stanners met a beautiful girl with a wonderful soprano voice who sang solos all throughout the valley, Miss Elizabeth Susannah Reese.  When Joseph Stanners and Elizabeth Susannah became engaged to be married, they planned to build a house in Paris on a half acre of ground his father, Robert Price, had given to Joseph Stanners.  The lot was a half acre one block west of the Paris Second Ward meetinghouse. 

Elizabeth Susannah Reese

Elizabeth Susanna Reese, daughter of George Reese and Elizabeth Jones, was born November 9, 1882, in Bloomington, Bear Lake, Idaho. She was raised and spent most of her single life in their home on the “Five Acres” one mile south and west from Bloomington. Elizabeth Susannah attended school in Bloomington.

When I was eight, I was baptized into the Church and the Elders placed their hands upon my head, I had a warm spiritual feeling come over me that I have never forgotten and remembered all my life. I have always known the church was true.
Elizabeth Susannah (Reese) Price

Elizabeth Susannah spent her early years riding horses side-saddle and climbing trees at the farm. She was very proud of her parents’ fancy buggy with flaps and fringe on top. Her parents, George and Elizabeth (Jones) Reese both spoke Welsh at home, consequently, Elizabeth Susannah spoke both Welsh and English. As is typical of the Welsh, her parents were both good singers and Elizabeth Susannah was blessed with a beautiful voice also. She was said to have had the best voice in Bear Lake County, and all through her life she was called upon to sing. Elizabeth Susannah sang at almost all of the funerals, parties, and meetings held in Bloomington and Bear Lake County.

Elizabeth Susannah also played the harmonica and the guitar. She would sing or play the harmonica during the intermissions in the dances in Bloomington. Elizabeth Susannah also liked to whistle and was good at it. Her parents thought whistling was unladylike. Her father often said, “A whistling girl and a drowning hen are neither fit for God nor man.

When Elizabeth Susannah was twelve, she had scarlet fever, and the high fever caused her hair to come out. When it grew back in, it was curly and as a young girl she wore ringlets down to her waist. Her hair was a golden brown color, and she was very small, with a tiny waist.

Elizabeth Susannah went to Fossil, Wyoming, to work on a ranch. While there, she met Frank Mecham. They became very fond of each other and Frank asked Elizabeth Susannah to marry him. After some deliberation, Elizabeth Susannah wrote a letter accepting the proposal. The mail which included her acceptance was robbed and never received by Frank. Elizabeth Susannah took this as an answer to her that she should not marry Frank.

When Elizabeth Susannah returned from Wyoming, she went to work for Ed Sutton who introduced her to Joseph Stanners Price, a returned missionary and fine Paris boy. Joseph Stanners had heard Elizabeth Susannah sing in stake conference and had become interested. He went to Bloomington to a dance and heard Elizabeth Susannah sing again. After the dance, Joseph Stanners walked her home.

Joseph Stanners with his cutter and buggy began making regular trips to Bloomington to join the “Lovers’ Club” that would go sleigh riding and sing. Elizabeth Susannah also joined and would always pitch the songs and lead them. They would bundle up in quilts with hay in the bottom of the sleigh. Joseph Stanners and Elizabeth Susannah soon became engaged and he sent to a mail order house for her ruby engagement ring and his gold pocket watch.

Joseph Stanners Price and Elizabeth Susannah Reese

Joseph Stanners Price married Elizabeth Susannah Reese on June 1, 1904 in the Logan Temple in Logan, Cache, Utah.

Wedding Picture
Joseph Stanners and Elizabeth Susannah (Reese) Price
Marriage Certificate
Joseph Stanners and Elizabeth Susannah (Reese) Price
Robert Price allowed Joseph Stanners to use the sawmill to saw the logs he would buy free of charge. Joseph Stanners purchased logs from the loggers for roughly $6 per 1,000 feet. He used and sawed 21,000 feet in building the house. Joseph Stanners had not yet finished the home he was building in Paris, Idaho when he and Elizabeth Susannah were married, so Joseph Stanners and Elizabeth Susannah lived in a room in Susannah (Juchau) Price’s home for a few months. In the fall, they moved into their own home. 

The Price Girls
Gwen, Pearl and Violet
Elizabeth Susannah had a very beautiful voice, untrained, but very pure of tone. She taught the girls many songs. Violet and Pearl sang duets. At the age of six and four, Violet and Pearl were asked to sing at a program. People wanted them to sing again and kept clapping, but the girls wouldn’t sing, even when given a nickel each. With more practice and another sister, the Price Girls, Violet, Pearl and Gwen, sang and performed throughout the Bear Lake valley.

Joseph Stanners continued to work at the lumber mill up Worm Creek Canyon. In the summers, Joseph Stanners and Elizabeth Susannah would take their three girls up the canyon for a picnic to eat out under the pine trees. The family would watch the chipmunks and the chickadees a lot. It was always fun for the girls to watch their “Papa” saw lumber. Joseph Stanners always had a big swing fastened to a large tree limb. He would push the girls up so high. They spent hours in that swing.

Joseph Stanners served in countless Sunday school positions including administration and teaching positions. During this time, the Bear Lake Stake had roughly 23 Sunday schools. Joseph Stanners spent the first Sunday of each month at home, then visited the Sunday schools the other three Sundays of the month. Traveling was done by way of horse and buggy, as there were no cars at that time, and to visit the farthest schools from Paris, Joseph Stanners and his companions would start Saturday afternoon so as to be there for Sunday morning school.

In 1910, Joseph Stanners and Elizabeth Susannah and family moved to Bloomington, Bear Lake, Idaho having purchased a 70 acre farm about two miles from there. Joseph Stanners wanted to be with his family more and Elizabeth Susannah also wanted to be closer to her aged parents.

In 1918, the year of the great Spanish Influenza epidemic, school was cancelled for several weeks. Many people died that year and Joseph Stanners was called on a lot to administer to people. They thought he was such a good man that his faith and prayers would help them. Everyone in the family had it except for Joseph Stanners and Mabel. Violet was very sick, but Pearl was the worst with a fever of 105. Fortunately, all recovered.

Each of the children, girls and boys alike, learned how to saw wood, do chores and sharpen cross-cut saws, pocket knives and axes They learned to feed chickens and pigs, pitch hay and every type of farm work. Threshing time was always a big event for the family. It would take about 12 or 16 men to help with the threshing, and Elizabeth Susannah would have to cook for them. In 1918, they did their threshing on Thanksgiving Day. Their grain was stacked out on the farm and they threshed over 700 bushels. The roads were so bad that they could not get home for dinner. There were about six inches of snow on the ground. Thanksgiving dinner, complete with pies, cake and hot rolls, was served on the grain stacks as this was the only dry place they could find.

Joseph Stanners and Elizaberh Susannah (Reese) Price Family - 1920's
The cooking for a family of twelve was a full-time job. Every night Elizabeth Susannah would mix a batch of bread before going to bed. Many of the neighbors borrowed starts of yeast from Elizabeth Susannah because her live yeast was always fresh. She would always save enough yeast for a start and would add potato water and sugar to it, and then she’d always have good yeast, and her bread was exceptionally good.

The canning season was always a busy one. She would can 500 to 600 quarts of fruit. Most of this fruit would be purchased from peddlers who brought it from Utah. In the spring of the year, Joseph Stanners would get ice from the lake and store it in sawdust and then each Sunday, Elizabeth Susannah would make an eight quart freezer of ice cream. All the children would help turn the freezer, and then before the day was done the ice cream would be done too.

Elizabeth Susannah’s cupboard always had the nicest, spiciest smell being full of mincemeat pies. Cheese was always kept in the cupboard rather than in the refrigerator which was used for the milk and butter. The home-made yeast as well as townhouse crackers and peppermints could always be found in stock in the cupboard. Homemade rootbeer was kept in the cellar in the summertime.

Breakfast consisted of cream of wheat (germade) with cream and sugar dished into plates to cool quickly so the kids could eat it and dash off to school; soft-boiled eggs cooked exactly the same way - just to perfection; and Postum (a caffeine-free hot coffee-like drink). The only time tea or coffee was served in the home was when Tommie or Aunt Mary Jones or some of the other relatives came, and then Elizabeth Susannah would fix them one or the other. She always kept some on hand for them, but the children never tasted either.

Among the children’s fondest memories were Elizabeth Susannah’s sour cream cookies, home-made noodles in beef soup, apple dumplings, apple pie, chili, pumpkin pie and homemade hand-turned ice cream.

Christmas time was important around the Price home. Joseph Stanners would always go up the canyon and bring home the most beautiful tree he could find. For days, the children would make chains out of colored paper, and string popcorn to decorate the tree. Sometimes they made ornaments out of pretty cards or colored paper. Then they always put white candles all over the tree.

On Christmas Eve we would light the candles, hang up our stockings wherever it was convenient, and then sing carols.  Christmas morning was such fun.  Our stockings were always filled with candy, nuts, and one orange, usually the only orange we would get that year.  We always put the biggest apple we could find on the table as a gift for Santa Claus.  It was always gone the next morning. 
Violet (Price) Passey

All of the Christmas presents for the children came from Santa.  One Christmas Eve, Violet, Pearl and Gwen went down to the outdoor bathroom (down by the orchard and near the woodpile), with lantern in hand, and in the very deep snow.  Hidden at the corner of the house they saw three little red chairs.  These same little red chairs which appeared under the tree the next morning immediately confirmed to the girls their suspicions about Santa. 

I used to feel bad because mother and dad never gave me a Christmas present -- it was always Santa Claus.  I had wished they liked me enough to give me a Christmas present. 
 Jay Price
Another Christmas Eve, Elizabeth Susannah started frantically making a dress for Osma.  Elizabeth Susannah had it about half done, when Joseph Stanners came home from the store and whispered something to Elizabeth Susannah.  The dress was quickly put away, and was finished after Christmas, as the dress they had ordered from the catalog had come in the mail just in time.

During these young years, entertainment in the winter consisted of sleigh rides, coasting, snow ball fights, candy pulls, oyster stews, family get-togethers, especially at Aunt Mary Jane’s, where the piano kept music going all the time with much singing and anyone playing an instrument that could.  Summer entertainment included games like “Run, Sheep, Run”, trips to Fish Haven and the Bear Lake Hot Springs. 

In 1924, Lillie Jarvis died leaving the town without a postmaster.   Since no one wanted to be the postmaster, the post office was about to be taken away permanently and the town put on a rural delivery.  Joseph Stanners commented that he would rather take it on himself than see it taken away.  Bishop Hart jumped at that opportunity encouraging Joseph Stanners to sell his farm and become the Postmaster in Bloomington.  Fortunately, Joseph Stanners had a large family of girls and boys who one by one as they became old enough helped sort and deliver the mail and run the store.

The cabinet of mailboxes was purchased from Bert Jarvis for $75.  It didn’t take long to find that this was a time-consuming job with not much pay.  Joseph Stanners decided to sell a few groceries along with it in order to make a living.  He bought Bryan Haddock’s stock and moved the post office across the street, where they operated for two or three years.  Then when Milt Floyd sold out, Joseph Stanners rented his store for $15 a month, and moved up to the old co-op store.  The J. S. Price family spent many hours there until Joseph Stanners was retired from the post office in 1944. 

Joseph Stanners Price Post Office and Store
Bloomington, Bear Lake, Idaho
There was a large mail-order business in those days.  Most people bought from Montgomery Wards or Sears and Roebuck.  Twice a year each family would get a brand new catalog from each company to drool over.  Christmas time was always a busy time in the store and post office, as there would always be lots of packages coming in, and everyone was concerned as to whether his package would arrive in time.  Joseph Stanners would always get in a lot of candy for Christmas.  It would come in 30 lb wooden boxes. 

Many people would bring in butter and eggs instead of cash to pay for their groceries.  Carrie Briscoe’s and Mary Nelson’s butter was always in great demand.  The eggs would be packed into cases of 30 dozen and sold wherever they could find customers.  Many of the eggs went to Kemmerer, Wyoming and Brigham City, Utah. 

 Many winter mornings Joseph Stanners would walk up to the store in 30 or 40 degrees below zero weather, or in one of those Bear Lake blizzards and make a fire in the old stove to warm up the place.  From the time the snow first came in the fall until spring, they would never see bare ground.  Winter came to stay. 

One winter, Joseph Stanners had been in a hurry to go to Pocatello, Idaho and mistook a can of gasoline for a can of kerosene, and started the fire with it.  The fireplace went up in flames.  Joseph Stanners fast thinking led him to close all the kitchen doors and keep the fire concentrated to the kitchen.  He awakened the family and told them to jump out of the window.  Dora was given the keys to the store and told to go and get the fire extinguisher from the store. 

Robert hopped out of bed and shoved his hand through the upstairs window pane to break it.  Dora jumped out of the window into the snow and ran to the store in her bare feet.  Roene jumped out the window and followed Dora to the store.

When spring came, the south side of the store was the most popular place in town.  The ground always dried faster there, and the first marble game of the season started there.  When the whole section got dry, the horseshoe pitching games started.  There would be a steady game going all day long. 

Elizabeth Susannah always had a strong testimony and was always faithful to her church and taught her children the Gospel.  She has always been a devoted wife and mother, and her home and family have always been her chief concern.  She has sacrificed much in order to let her children have what they needed.  Many nights she would sew into the middle of the night so that her daughters would have Christmas dresses or 4th of July dresses.

On one 4th of July, Joseph Stanners and Violet ran a concession on the town square, and Gwen ran the store, and they all worked hard all day, while Pearl looked pretty on a float as Miss Idaho. That same day all of the younger kids entered the races and each won in their own groups. They entered foot races, bicycle races and backward bicycle races. It was an eventful day for all.

One summer outing, the family went to the Hot Springs. Osma was swimming in the deep and got into trouble. Elizabeth Susannah saw Osma going down under for the third time. She called to Joseph Stanners who threw Roene from his back to Elizabeth Susannah and went straight way after Osma to pull her up just in time.

Another time, Ivor put Jay on a calf out under the apple trees, and then twisted the calf’s tail to make it run. Elizabeth Susannah looked out the window just as the calf started to run and bucked Jay off. She came out running, saw Jay, and screamed, “You’ve killed him. You’ve killed him.” She carried Jay into the house and Jay didn’t make a sound for a few minutes. Finally, Jay started to cry. It was the sweetest sound Elizabeth Susannah and Ivor had ever heard.

Elizabeth Susannah and her son Jay had taken Joseph Stanners to the hospital in Salt Lake and got back home in the evening the next day. Her son, Robert had stayed home to run the store and do the chores. In the middle of the night, Elizabeth Susannah got Jay up and wanted him to administer to his brother Robert. Robert was sitting in a chair in the kitchen and couldn't move or talk. Robert had eaten some meat that had been in a pan on the back of the stove and had ptomaine poisoning. Jay had only recently been ordained an Elder. As soon as Jay finished the Administration to the Sick ordinance, Robert started talking and stood up. They all promptly went back to bed.

Original Lyric Cards - After the Ball, Pretty Quadroon, Pretty Pond Lillies
Elizabeth Susannah would often sing and accompany herself on the guitar or with chords on the piano. Some of her favorite songs were “Pretty Pond Lilies”, “My Pretty Quadroon” “After the Ball,” “When Them Cold, Cold Winds Begin to Blow.” Elizabeth Susannah and Joseph Stanners loved to sing in the double mixed quartet and they sang such lovely songs as “Come Where the Lilies Bloom” and “Moonlight Will Come Again.”

At one time, Elizabeth Susannah taught some of the Primary boys how to play the harmonica, and she had a harmonica band. The boys loved this and some of them became very good on the harmonica. Elizabeth Susannah always sang in the choir and was chorister for the Relief Society much of the time, and was a visiting teacher.

Joseph Stanners served as a ward clerk, bishopric counselor and finally as president of the Ward Genealogical Committee while living in Bloomington, Bear Lake, Idaho. He loved Shakespeare and Dickens and was well versed in astronomy. Every morning he would get up and read the newspaper clear through. Each night the family gathered, turned out chairs and knelt down for family prayer. On cold nights, the children would often put their feet in the oven (to warm themselves) and listen to Joseph Stanners explain gospel principles and answer their religious questions.

The winters in Bear Lake Valley in those days were hard. Thirty below zero was common and the blizzards were awful. However, the sleigh rides were great fun. Every family had a bob sleigh pulled by a team of beautiful horses. Everyone would bundle up in their heaviest coats and boots, etc. With loads of heavy quilts to huddle under, with just the faces out, the Price family would head for Paris to visit relatives. As the children got older, of dancing age, groups of young folks would go across the valley in sleighs to Dingle to dances. The girls all wore long black cotton stockings, high laced shoes and bloomers.

There were no furnaces in those days.   The only heat in the house was from the cookstove in the kitchen and a pot-belly heatrola in the living room.  The bedrooms would be very cold, and Elizabeth Susannah would heat bricks, put on a sweater, and take the children to bed.  All the children slept with at least six heavy quilts and usually three children in each bed.  It was always a treat to sleep in the middle as it was warmer there.  Each child was carefully tucked in before Elizabeth Susannah was through.

The beds were covered with straw ticks mattresses which would be change from old straw to new once a year.  The living room was carpeted with hand-loomed carpeting, with new straw under it every spring.  The carpet would be taken up and out on the clothes line and beaten with sticks or brooms until all the dust was out, then it would be put back on the floor with clean straw under it, and stretched into place.

The Saturday night bath was an ordeal; heating water on the kitchen stove, placing blankets over chairs around the little round tub for privacy, etc.  But oh, what bright shiny faces for Sunday School the next morning.

Sickness came occasionally to the family.  Robert had earcyplis as a baby and took convulsions, and Ivor had to have his nose operated on; several of the children would hold their breath, and one day Jay held his breath until he went black and they thought he was dying.  Several had operations of one kind or another.  Always there was a bottle of consecrated oil handy, and Joseph Stanners would use his priesthood to administer to them.

Occasionally Elizabeth Susannah would have a quilting bee and invite the neighbors in to help make a quilt. When the quilt was on, it would about fill the living room, and the children would have great sport playing underneath the quilt. 

Our folks set such a good example us.  They made a peaceful home they made for us filled with music and love, surrounded by dahlias and sweet peas.
Robert Price

Joseph Stanners and Elizabeth Susannah (Reese) Price
Elizabeth Susannah’s aunt Mary Jones, brother Lotwick Reese, half sister Mary Jane Reese and half brother Thomas Reese would visit often during the year.  Once a year, all the families would have a party, and that was a glorious occasion for the children.  Thomas (Tommie) was a bachelor and lived alone all his life.  He stuttered, but had a bright mind, and a keen sense of humor.  This money was used on genealogical work for the family. 

In 1944, Joseph Stanners and Elizabeth Susannah moved to Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah.  When they were in Salt Lake, Elizabeth Susannah and Joseph Stanners were called on a Stake Mission for two years.  They labored in their own vicinity.

Whenever the children left after a visit, Joseph Stanners and Elizabeth Susannah would stand in the doorway and wave until the family was all the way out of sight.

One of the highlights of their later life was when they portrayed the Golden Years of Life in a pageant in the South Second Ward in Salt Lake.  They looked lovely as a gray-haired couple and they received many compliments on it.

Elizabeth Susannah (Reese) Price died February 4, 1967 in Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah.

Joseph Stanners Price died October 7, 1972 in Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah.

Joseph Stanners and Elizabeth Susannah (Reese) Price Family - 1940's

Joseph Stanners and Elizabeth Susannah (Reese) Price Family - 1950's
Welfare Square Staff
Timekeeper, Joseph Stanners Price (standing)
Joseph Stanners and Elizabeth Susannah (Reese) Price

Joseph Stanners and Elizabeth Susannah (Reese) Price

Mission Companions - Joseph Stanners Price (seated left)

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