Mojo Monday ~ The Conclusion of Lizzie’s Life

Nevada ship log showing Lizzie and family.
Lizzie and her daughters

Since February I have been sharing the story of my maternal second great grand aunt Elizabeth Talmer Roberts Shepherd.  She was the sister of my maternal great great grandfather Abel Roberts.  I chose Elizabeth “Lizzie”, because in delving into family geneology I had come across a comprehensive written story of her life.  I was impressed by this young woman’s courage and strength.  If you want to start at the beginning click here.   If you have been following her journey scroll down for the next and final installment of Lizzie and her family’s journey.

Valie took Grace with her and went up on the train to be with Addie for a couple of weeks. Thelma and Grace had a lovely time together in the fall of 1914 when things became quiet for the winter. Lizzie rented out the hotel and took an extended trip. They went first up to Burley, Idaho where Claude and also Edna were living. They then took the train down to Salt Lake City and to southern Utah to visit Lizzie’s brother Will and Ben Roberts. Following that they traveled to Olathe, Colorado to get acquainted with some new family members that had been born there; James Earnest Louise Wiggett (DOB 11/28/1912), Rollins Don Carlos Shepherd III (DOB 02/07/1913) and Agnes Prettyman (DOB 03/01/1913). The family stayed with Carl until about the end of January and then returned to Burley on the train.

When they returned they found George and Edna Hanna had a new son, Calvin Grant Hanna (DOB 01/12/1915). Carl and Annie Shepherd also had a son born that spring, Lyman Shepherd (DOB 03/28/1915). Annie was not able to leave her bed after the birth of this child. The doctor diagnosed her problem as enlargement of the liver, but Valie believed she have had cancer. Annie (Mary Anna Abercrombia Shepherd) suffered a great deal and died about three weeks later on April 18, 1915 in a hospital in Montrose. She was buried on April 21st at Olathe, Colorado.

Valie, Gilford and Bart
Valie, Gilford and Bart

Lizzie and Valie took the train and returned in order to help Carl with the young family. It became apparent he could not work and care for seven children. Annie’s son, Ira Caldwell, was sent off by train to his sister Brazilla in Green River, Wyoming. Electra and 11 and Bertha 9, and they stayed with their father on the ranch at Olathe. Lizzie took the four smaller children back to Denton, Montana. Lora was about 7, Clara about 5, Carlos just past two and Lyman was a new baby only a little over a month old.

Claude and Francetta remained at Burley, Idaho that year and had their first son, Claude Albert Shepherd, born there on August 6, 1915. Over in Colorado, Earnest Wiggett and Carl Shepherd lived on East Mesa at Olathe. Mary Wiggett has a younger sister named Hattie May Kinnaman, who lived with their mother Ellazia York Kinnaman Marley in Delta.   Hattie often came to Olathe to visit Mary. Carl took a job on Ash Mesa and boarded with the Markley’s while he worked on the canal. During this time he fell in love with Hattie. They were married at Mrs. Markley’s home in Delta, Colorado on January 16, 1916.

Meanwhile back in Denton, Montana, little baby Lyman Shepherd was ill all that spring. Although he was past a year old he could not stand on his feet and was ill until he died at age 14 months on May 1916. Lizzie asked the elders to have President Melvin J. Ballard come and conduct the funeral. He came and preached a very powerful sermon to the large crowd of towns people who came out of curiosity. Sometime later in the summer, Lizzie took the other three children back to Colorado. One cannot begin to understand the feelings of these young children who had lost their own mother, then just as they were getting settled into a life with their grandmother, were then taken back to begin life as members of a new family.

Sometime in 1916, Claude Shepherd decided to go to the Uintah Basin of Utah. According to history regarding Joseph Prettyman an Uncle Tom Roberts was running the post office at Cedar View, Utah. The Prettyman family arrived in Roosevelt about this same time and took jobs fencing land for the government Indian reservation in this area. About this same time Jim Peacock inherited $4,000.00 following the death of his father in England. He took this money and invested it with Claude on a piece of land near Red Cap, Utah. Claude build a small frame house for his family and Jim had a tent nearby. The following year another son, Robert Bartley Shepherd, was born to Claude and Francetta, on January 11, 1917.

Early in the spring of 1918, Lizzie rented a farm near Roosevelt, Utah. Both the Hanna family and the Huffman family, came up to the area. Two little cousins, Thelma and Grace, enjoyed walking to school together. Sometime early in April, as the girls came home from school, they waded in rain puddles and got very wet. Grace developed a case of croup and became very ill. The croup took her life in a few days and Grace Esther Shepherd died at the age of 6 on April 14, 1918. Bill Tubbs made the casket for her to be laid to rest in. The loss of this dear little girl was very hard for the family to accept.

Edna Shepherd

Late in that same summer, George and Edna Hanna had another son, Harold Raymond Hanna, born at the ranch near Roosevelt, Utah on August 25, 1918. Also that same year Scott and Addie Huffman suffered a loss of twins. Addie had been having labor pains for about a week and was very ill. When the babies came on September 6, 1918, they were stillborn. The twin girls were given the names Adeline and Valie. They were buried at the foot of Grace’s grave in the Roosevelt Cemetery. Addie was very sick for about three weeks. She had always wanted twins and took the loss very hard. Valie stayed with her and took care of the family until Addie recovered and became stronger.

Late in the fall, most of the Shepherd family moved to Grand Junction. Addie became very ill. Valie went to the druggist to ask what they were using to help and he just shrugged and said “Nobody knows what to do.”, so she went to the grocery and bought a bag of onions and a bag of lemons. She made a big pot of onion soup and kept everyone drinking hot lemonade. Everett had a high fever and went out of his head talking about Grace. This alarmed his mother and the family very much. Many people were dying each day during this epidemic of flu. Everyone worried for several days that Addie would not have the strength to survive. Finally she and the others began to improve. However, when Francetta Shepherd got the flu in February, she was not so fortunate. This strain of flu seemed to be especially violent for young children and for women who were expecting. Francetta was one of these women, and after many days of being very ill she died. Francetta Kelsey Shepherd, only 23 years old, was buried at Roosevelt, Utah beside her daughter Grace on February 14, 1919.

Early in the spring of the same year, Claude moved his family to Grand Junction. It took him eight days to travel with his wagon from the town of Wellington in Utah, to Colorado. Both Bart and Claude went to work for the irrigation company in the area known as the Redlands South of Grand Juncton. Lizzie and Valie took care of the young boys. It was Grandma who raised Claude and Bob from then until manhood. Late in the fall , the family went to Olathe and spent the winter of 1919-1920 there. It proved to a be a pleasant winter as all the young people would get together at different homes for Saturday night dances.

About the middle of May, Valie returned to Grand Junction to be with Addie when her baby arrived. She and Addie were very close and she always looked forward to spending time with her family. She was there with them when the baby, Glen Huffman, was born on May 31, 1920. Early in June the rest of the family returned to Grand Junction. Scott and Addie were just getting ready to move out into the Redlands where Scott had taken a job with a ditch company. The company had a house for them. The Shepherd family moved into the house that they had been living in. Soon after this, Valie and Thelma were going downtown one day when they met John Garrett on the street. He had gotten a piece of steel in his eye, and had been to the doctor. He was wearing dark glasses to protect his eye for a few days. Soon he and Valie were going together again. He took a job irrigating on the Redlands too, and became a frequent visitor at the Huffman’s house.

That spring there was an epidemic of whooping cough. Florence, Nellie and Agnes Prettyman all had it. So did Marie Wiggett when her family came for a visit at Addie’s house. The older children would survive it, but a tiny baby did not have enough strength to endure the endless coughing. When Glenn began to get very sick, Addie called the doctor, He came and left a prescription slip. Valie walked out in the fields and asked him if he would take his care and get the filled for the, which he did. However, the baby died before the medicine could help him. Baby Glen Huffman passed away on June 31, 1920. Addie took the loss of this baby very hard. This was the third baby she had buried in less than two years. Claude stayed at Olathe until he had the crops all in. Then in the summer he traveled down to Grand Junction. He and Bill Tubbs got a big carpenter job over at Gateway, Colorado and they worked there until the last of August.

Sometime during the year before, when they were living in Grand Junction, Valie had met a girl named Maude McGovern. She had first met her at church. Later Valie went with Edna and George, and a group to a dance at Maude’s house. When Valie came home from this dance, she had told Bart that she had met his wife. Bart really laughed at this idea and said he was not very interested in girls and the idea of a wife was far from his mind. Valie had almost forgotten about this incident, since it was almost a year later. Soon they met up again with Maude following their attendance at the family wedding of Sarah Prettyman and Loren Craig on June 12, 1920.

After the wedding, Loren and Sarah were taking a group over to the store for a treat. In the group was Valie, John and Bart. On the way they met Maude. Valie introduced her to everyone else, ignoring Bart. Bart kicked his sister in the shin saying “Sis, aren’t you going to introduce me?” Valie responded “No, this is the girl you didn’t want to meet.” Then she said, “Maude, this is my brother Bart.” Maude talked for a few minutes, congratulations were expressed to Loren and Sarah Craig, then Bart and Maude linked arms and walked off together. They were together from that moment on throughout the rest of their lives.

Bartley and Maude
Bartley and Maude

It was not many days after this that John Garrett purchased a ruby engagement ring and presented it to Valie.  When they announced their plans to be married soon, Bart and Maude thought it such a good ideas, that the two couples began to make plans for a double wedding.  The wedding date was set for July 31, 1930, however, just a few days before the wedding Maude’s step-father died, and her family convinced her she should wait until a later date.  John and Valie went ahead and were married as planned at the home of Scott and Addie Huffman on the Redlands.  They moved into a little house on Main Street and began housekeeping.  John was working on the Redlands where he did irrigation work.  The following Sunday afternoon, August 8, 1920, Bartley and Maude were married at the home of Maude’s mother.  In a few days they moved to a small house in West Camp of the Redlands, where Bart became an overseer of this irrigation camp.

About this same time, Claude and Bill Tubbs came back to Grand Junction from the job at Gateway, where they had been building houses.  Just a month later the family had another wedding when William Tubbs married Lizze Shepherd on September 8, 1920.  They were married at the elders place on Rude Avenue.  John and Valie stood up with them.

After this group of marriages, there remained only person left to be married in the family, and since Gilford was only sixteen years old, he had a few years before he met and married Detta Arhea Norwood on May 5, 1924.

Lizzie Roberts Shepherd Tubbs
Elizabeth “Lizzie” Talmer Roberts Shepherd Tubbs

In December of 1934, George and Edna Hanna were coming to Salt Lake City, Utah to go through the temple and Lizzie decided to join them.  They left Grand Junction, but somewhere out in the desert the old car broke down.  They had to wait quite awhile in the cold before Bart was able to come from Helper and get them.  Lizzie got chilled and became sick.

It was not long after Christmas that her cold turned to pneumonia.  She was weak and tired, and her hip injury pained her a great deal.  Elizabeth “Lizzie” Talmer Robert Shepherd Tubbs died on January 5, 1935 at the home of her son Bart in Helper, Utah.  She was buried at Price, Utah on January 10, 1935.

Lizzie Tubs Obituary
Lizzie Tubs Obituary

Lizzie Grave

Mojo Monday ~ Valie’s Healing and Lizzie’s Growing Family

Who are your ancestors?  Whose DNA did you inherit?  Have you done any researching or digging into your family’s history?  Have you unearthed any interesting stories?

Since February I have been sharing the story of my maternal second great grand aunt Elizabeth Talmer Roberts Shepherd.  She was the sister of my maternal great great grandfather Abel Roberts.  I chose Elizabeth “Lizzie”, because in delving into family geneology I had come across a comprehensive written story of her life.  I was impressed by this young woman’s courage and strength.  If you want to start at the beginning click here.   If you have been following her journey scroll down for the next installment of Lizzie and her family’s journey.

Valie, Gilford and Bart
Valie, Gilford and Bart

It was in about December of 1909 that Valie, one of Lizzie’s daughters, began to feel ill. Her first symptoms were rheumatic pains in her joints which ached, so that she slept many nights with her feet propped up on the oven door for warmth, as she sat in a larger rocker. Early in April while on an errand for her mother Lizzie, she was caught in the rain and became thoroughly chilled. She spent several days in bed but finally was allowed to go back to school. On the last day of school there was a picnic and they were caught in a heavy rain. She became soaked and for the next few days was very ill. She had improved some when it was time for her mother to go into the mountains to cook for her brother and another man who were building homestead houses. Lizzie took Valie along thinking that the mountain air would do her some good. After a sold week of an earache while in the mountains Valie was returned home to the care of her sister Adaline, who was sixteen. Valie was fourteen at the time. Lizzie then went back to the mountains to cook for the men.

The third day Valie was home she began to feel worse and when her sister brought her lunch, Valie began to hemorrhage from the nose and mouth. Adaline was frightened and sent for the doctor and send Douglas Spencer to the mountains for Lizzie. It was almost dark when he started out and had about fifteen miles to ride on horseback over unfamiliar trails. Adding to his troubles, a blizzard came up and he became lost. Lizzie had already gone to bed in the camp when she heard someone calling out. Claude, nor anyone else could hear the calls, but nevertheless Lizzie had the men get up and light a lantern. They went outside and called out into the darkness. A nearly frozen Douglas Spencer heard the shouts and located the camp.

As soon as it was light enough for them to see they started back to Laurel. The doctor had been to see Valie who was still having violent hemorrhages. When Lizzie arrived he told her that he did not know what the problem was but thought that Valie should be taken to Billings, Montana to a hospital. Lizzie asked him if he thought an operation would be necessary to save her life. He told her he didn’t know since he could not diagnose the problem, but that it might be the means of saving some other life. Valie had lost so much blood that the doctor admitted he had little hope she could withstand the trip to the hospital. Lizzie told the doctor that if it was the Lord’s will that she die, that she wanted her to die at home. Early the following morning Valie had another hemorrhage, this being the eighth one. The doctor returned but said he had done all he could. He told Lizzie that she was dying and pulled the sheet up over Valie’s face as he left. Lizzie stood in the kitchen praying for her daughter, when a knock came on the door. There on the porch were two Mormon missionaries. They came in and talked to Lizzie and held a prayer circle in the kitchen. They then entered Valie’s bedroom. Valie who had been only semi-conscious for three days and unconscious all that day responded when one of the elders took her hand and asked if she would like to be administered to. She was able to respond that she would. In the blessing she was given it was promised that she would recover and become a mother in Zion.

Valie ended up recovering from her unexplained illness. The same missionaries who had visited her on her “death bed” returned one day and marveled at Valie’s recovery. They shared their story of how they had come into town the night before and had planned out their route for the next day. They had planned to go to the opposite end of town, but the next morning one of them had a strong feeling that they should go the other way. They had only gone a short distance when a neighbor told them that there was a Mormon family nearby and how the daughter Valie was very sick. They were the only Latter Day Saints family living there at the time. The doctor who had told several people that Valie would not live through the day later stated that he believed a higher power must have restored her health. Valie had no further symptoms of that mysterious illness. In later years after a few years of marriage and after several doctors told her she would never have a child, she went on to eventually raise a large family.

Edna and George Hanna lived for a while at Red Lodge, Montana, during this time. Addie came up from Laurel and visited with her sister. It was here she became acquainted with Scott Huffman. Later Scott came down to Laurel to visit her. It took them awhile to realize how much they cared for each other, but when they did, they became a very devoted couple. When Valie began to feel better in the fall, the Shepherd family moved to Red Lodge. They were there when Scott and Addie’s first child, a daughter named Thelma Huffman was born on October 11, 1910.

The following year her sister Edna and husband George Hannah had a son named Milburn Minor Hannah on July 21, 1911. Brother Claude and his wife Francetta Kelsey were also living at Basin City and their first child, a daughter named Grace Esther Shepherd was born on August 25, 1911. Francetta was a very young wife and mother, only fifteen years old. Her parents Benjamin Franklin and Bolettie Vance Kelsey encouraged her to remain with them that year while Claude worked at Thermopolis on a sewer line and later at Crosby, Wyoming in the coal mines. It was at Thermopolis that Valie met Jim Peacock. Claude invited him to join the family for Thanksgiving dinner. Jim had been born in England and enjoyed hearing the soft English spoken words of Claude’s family. Jim also found himself attracted to Valie and the whole Shepherd family. He spent the next ten years near and around the family, even as they moved about. While Lizzie was at Thermopolis in 1912 she decided to sell the ranch in Burlington. She sold the 160 acres homestead that the family had worked so hard to pay off for $4,000.00.

Earnest Wiggett, Lizzie’s oldest son, had taken his family to Olathe, Colorado and was farming there. After the ranch sold, Carl and his family also went to Olathe, as did Burton and Florence Prettyman. A man named Bill Tubbs who was an artist, architect, carpenter and wood craftsman also entered the picture about this time. He had many talents, but didn’t always put them to use and too often sought solace in the bottle. There was much good in Bill though and Lizzie could see this in him. She chose to accept him as he was. There was sometimes resentment in the family when it seemed Lizzie put Bill before her own children. Yet they also recognized that he treated all her children with respect. He taught Claude the carpenter trade, and Bart and Gilford also learned craftsmanship from him as they grew into manhood. Lizzie was past fifty years old when Bill came into her life, and they stayed together until her death.

In the spring of 1912 the Shepherd family went north to Lewistown, Montana. Lizzie rented a café on Main Street called the Lewiston Dining Parlor. Lizzie did all the cooking, while Laura Clark and Helen Bolden helped Valie wait on the tables. They ofte had fifty men to serve for meals. Claude was working with his tems for a steam shovel outfit. Bill Tubbs was building some homestead houses. Scott and Addie Huffman were living in Red Lodge, Montana. Scott was doing bookkeeping at the coal mine at Washoe. Their second child, a son named Everett Roland Huffman, was born on August 23, 1912.

Lizzie Roberts Diner Lewiston Montana
Lizzie Roberts Diner Lewiston Montana

In the spring of 1913 the family went up to Denton, Montana. This was a new town about sixty mile northwest of Lewistown. The railroad was just being built into the town and plan were being made to build two large grain elevators. Lizzie felt there would be a lot of work there so she bought a piece of land that had a small old building on it and began to feed boarders.

Claude took a job hauling freight from Stanford where the railroad ended at that point in time. It was a muddy wet spring. The heavy mud on the unimproved roads rolled up around the wagon wheels and made it hard to travel very fast. Claude hauled lumber from Stanford to build the Denton Hotel. Bill Tubbs drew up plans which included a gas lighting system, which he planned, built and kept operating. He and Claude did most of the work. They moved into the hotel just before Thanksgiving, and it became the family’s source of income for the next five years. They had a pump house behind the hotel with a nice well. They had six bedrooms upstairs to rent. There was one bedroom downstairs. The old majestic range stood in the kitchen. Bill built a long convenient counter in the kitchen to serve from and made shelves above it for the dishes. He build a sturdy table on the other side of the room where the pump was located. They were always heating water for some purpose. There was a large reservoir on the old stove. Each room upstairs had a pitcher for water and a basin for washing in, but the wash tub had to be used for a weekly bath. The toilet facility was located on the back of the property, but each bedroom had its own covered convenience tucked under the bed.

Lizzie Dining Hall Denton Hotel Denton Montana
Lizzie Dining Hall Denton Hotel Denton Montana

While they ran the hotel Lizzie enjoyed the luxury of having someone else do the washing. She sent the sheets out weekly to be done. Lizzie was too busy feeing about a hundred men three meals a day. They served the food family style at five big table. Lizzie cooked big meals of meat, potatoes and gravy, and some kind of vegetable. She always made pie for lunch. In the early afternoon, Valie would bake two great big sheet cakes for supper, one white and one chocolate. Valie and Katie took turns waiting on tables. In 1914 Claude brought his family up to Denton and his wife Francetta also helped with serving. Valie and Francetta became close friends and little Grace, at about 18 months was the darling of the family.

Young Gilford, as a small boy, built a play house and a garage under the back stairway and put a neat fence all around it. These were good settled years for the family. Lizzie bought two other pieces of property here. Bill Tubbs built a five room house on one of these lots which they rented out for income and later sold to the blacksmith. He built a smaller two room house on the other lot where the family lived later for a short time. Edna came down and stayed with the family during the summer and George came down in the fall and worked on the construction of the bank building. Scott and Addie Huffman’s son Wilfred Scott Huffman added to the family when he was born on October 14, 1914.

To be continued….

Mojo Monday ~ Back On the Ranch

Shepherd Family Photo
Shepherd Family Photo

Elizabeth “Lizzie” Talmer Roberts is the sister of my maternal great great grandfather.  In the process of doing genealogical research I came across a story written down about her.  Her story begins in when Lizzie was born on June 10, 1861 in Headless Cross, Worchestershire, England.  I have been sharing her story here in Mojo Mondays and if you want to start at the beginning you can do so by clicking here.

…Meanwhile back at the ranch in Burlington, both of the young wives had recently given birth to baby daughters. The children born at the time were daughter of Carl and Annie, Bertha Adaline Shepherd, born on October 30, 1906 and daughter of Earnest and Mary, Mary Ella Wiggett, born on October 31, 1906.

Earnest and Carl brought their father by wagon from Burlington up to Belfry. That night the weather changed, a strong wind came first ahead of the storm. Claude and Edna spent most of the night trying to hold the ridge-pole steady to keep the tent from blowing away. The next day they went by wagons in a snowstorm to Bridger, Montana, about ten or twelve miles north. Here Laffe was laid to rest. His grave was marked with a large rock slab with the letter “S” painted on it. In 1973 his sister Valie would make a trip to Wyoming and Montana and she was able to locate a very efficient caretaker at the Bridger, Montana cemetery. He searched his records and located the grave site.

The storm continued very strong.   Lizzie took the girls, Bart and Gilford, and traveled back to Belfry on the train. Later the boys brought Rollins Don Carlos and the teams and wagons back to Belfry. When Earnest and Carl were ready to travel back to Burlington they left their father with his family. The family lived that winter in a tent on the bare ground. It was remarkable that those in the family made it through the winter.

That winter and the next spring was a very hard time for the family. In the summer, Claude and Burton Prettyman were able to get gobs on the railroad near Billings, Montana. When the Ringling Brothers Circus came to town, the kids saw the first circus they had ever seen. When the job was finished in the fall, the Shepherd family went back to Chance, Montana and the Prettyman family, to Red Lodge. In a short time, Burton Prettyman and three of the young boys had thyphoid. They were very ill and were taken to the hospital. The family recalled how during that summer Forrest Prettyman, who was just past five years old, had said to his grandmother Lizzie on several occasion, “When I die, will you bury me by my uncle Laffe?” Forrest died on September 18, 1907.

Lizzie and her family came for the funeral and stayed with Florence until Burton and the other boys were better. Later that fall the Shepherd and Prettyman families went down to Worland, Wyoming to work on the big Hanover Canal. The children did not go to school that winter. Joe and Earnest with Valie and Addie, would take the big cross-cut saw and with a couple of kids on each end, they would cut wood for both families. One day the four of them were playing down by the river and taking turns being pulled on a sled on the ice along the bend of the Big Horn River. The rope slipped out of Joe’s hand as Earnest and Addie, on the sled, headed for the swift open channel. Joe quickly slid out on his stomach to grab the end of the rope. His quick action saved them from plunging into the freezing icy river.

When the family moved to Laurel, Montana in the spring of 1908, Lizzie rented a house which the family called “The Coffee House.” The railroad was building a big ice house there and Lizzie took one room where she served family style meals to a few boarders. These were very hard times and work was hard to find, but there were quite a few men employed in building the big ice house. One of these was a young man named Douglas Spencer, who became very fond of Addie. When the ice house was about half built, it collapsed. One man was killed. Douglas Spencer dove into a ditch under the flowing, which saved his life, but his foot was caught and badly broken.

Another of the men who worked on this job and came to board with the Shepherd family was William Tubbs. William Tubbs had been born August 29, 1878 in Omaha, Nebraska. According to family stories, he had married there and was the father of two small children, a boy and a girl. The story goes that he came home one evening to find another man loading his household furniture and his family into a wagon. When he asked what was going on the man bluntly told him that he was in love with the wife and that they were leaving together. A fight followed and the story continues in that the other man was knocked backwards over the wagon tongue and died of a broken neck. Ill Tubbs left Omaha that night. Were he went on his westward journey, nor how long it was before he came to Laurel, Montana.

Later that year the family moved to a smaller house and Lizzie still continued to cook for a few men. Claude worked at the livery stable and there he met a man by the name of George Hanna. After George met Edna he became a frequent visitor of the family. Early in 1909 George and Edna went to Billings, Montana to be married. They moved into a small place of their own not far from where the family lived. It was here that they had their first child Mildred Fay Hannah on September 24, 1901.

Sometime in 1908 Earnest and Mary Wiggett left the ranch and went to Olathe, Colorado. Their daughter Millie Wiggett was born on January 1, 1909, but sadly she died the next year on December 22, 1910. Carl and Annie were still living on the homestead. Two daughters were born to them during this time, Lizzie Lora Shepherd on October 13, 1908 and Clara Shepherd on August 20, 1910.

Many people were out of work and the winter of 1909 and 1910 found many people facing very hard times. Claude and George worked at the liverly stable. Addie worked for a lady who ran the section house. Addie helped with the cooking and in the kitchen. Valie suffered from pains in her legs and her joints all that winter.

Earlier in the year their father used to take a couple of coal buckets and would follow along the railroad tracks to pick up coal. There was a curve in the railroad tracks a short distance from the house. Sometimes coal would fall off the train as it rounded this curve. Often the firemen would toss a few shovelfuls of coal off the train for people to pick up. One day in the summer father had gone for coal, but had become tired and sat down on the track where he proceeded to fall asleep. Addie notices that her father was gone just about the time she heard the train whistle. She ran out and pulled him off the track. She then gave him a lecture and asked him to stop going after coal. This was about the only time he ever left the house. He seemed more and more tired as winter and cold weather arrived.

Often the family was without good food that winter. As Christmas approached they were very bad off and had very little to eat. When their father got up on Christmas morning he went to Lizzie in the kitchen and told her he was going to die. He went over to a couch-like bed which they kept in the kitchen. He laid down, went to sleep and then died in his sleep. Rollins Don Carlos Shepherd died at age 79 on December 25, 1909. A heavy winter snow storm came up the day of his funeral, just as it had when Laffe was buried. Valie remembered the teams that pulled the hearse, and how several of the men stood on the side of the hearse to add their weight to keep it from tipping over in the heavy snow.

The family remained in very destitute conditions that winter. One of their boarders, a man by the name of Ezra King brought the family a twenty-five pound sack of flour, which was all the food they had in the house at that time. Malnutrition may have contributed largely to compounding the problems which beset Valie at this time, for it was in the sprint of 1910 that she suffered an illness which almost took her life.

To be continued….

Mojo Monday ~ Time of Change for Lizzie

ELizabeth "Lizzie" Talmer Roberts
Elizabeth “Lizzie” Talmer Roberts

Elizabeth “Lizzie” Talmer Roberts is the sister of my maternal great great grandfather.  In the process of doing genealogical research I came across a story written down about her.  Her story begins in when Lizzie was born on June 10, 1861 in Headless Cross, Worchestershire, England.  I have been sharing her story here in Mojo Mondays and if you want to start at the beginning you can do so by clicking here.

It was a time of change for Lizzie too, and while these things affected her, it was in a different way. She was just past forty-three years old and still a strong and vigorous woman. She had fought with William Packard over the irrigation water. Packer insisted that Carlos had given the water right to him, and Lizzie insisted that he was not going to have it. She had used the water to irrigate five acres of wheat and had seen it come to a good harvest under her care. She would stand up for herself, so in the Spring of 1904, when the crop was coming along, she rented out the ranch land as pasture. Then she took the livestock and her six children and moved from the ranch into a house on the Prettyman place down by the river. She stayed here for a few months. Her husband was left in the care of Earnest Wiggett and his wife Mary. They moved back to the ranch and their first son Leslie Wiggett was born there on September 3, 1904.

Early in the Spring of 1904 Lizzie decided to leave Burlington. She had a covered wagon to carry a few belongings. She took a horse for Claude to ride and a pony, which Edna rode. They helped to drive the cattle and milk cows, which they also took. Lizzie’s son Carl was also very restless and perhaps hoped for a better start somewhere else or perhaps he felt his mother needed his help during this time. Lizzie, Carl, and Annie with her three young children, left Burlington together. They traveled across Wyoming that summer finding work where they could. Somewhere along Lander, Wyoming the children found lots of wild berries growing along the creeks and river.   They picked large quantities of the berries to use fresh and Lizzie and Annie made jelly as well. They moved on southward to Atlantic City, which was a very rough frontier town. They lived in a tent and the wagon that summer. Lizzie sold milk and butter. She baked bread to sell and took in washing from the miners there. Carl and Laffe took a job with their teams cutting and hauling cord wood and railroad ties. The man who leased them the land for cutting did not own the land and they were ordered to get off or be shot. The boys had the wagon loaded but were afraid to drive it out because of the threats. Edna at age twelve was not about to let that load be left there. She climbed up and drove the wagon down to the mill without incident.

Once again that summer, Edna kept the family from having trouble. Lizzie had been carefully saving the money she made so she could pay the mortgage on the ranch. She has nearly a thousand dollars and was keeping the money in a large trunk. One evening two very rough men came to buy break and she went to the trunk for change. When they got outside the tent, one man said to the other, “That old lady has plenty of money in that trunk. We will come back after dark and get it.” Edna happened to be standing where she heard them. As soon as they were out of sight she told her mother. Lizzie put the money into two small sacks and pinned them to the inside of Addie and Valie’s clothing. She told the girls if she was caught that they were just to keep on walking. The family went to the home of the Marshall for the night. When they returned to the tent in the morning, the trunk had been kicked open, the contents scattered about and the place torn up, but the money was safe. Lizzie took it to the bank that day and sent it off to Burlington to apply on the mortgage of the ranch.

Another story to add here is how Bart, who was not yet five years old, liked to dig through the trash near their tent, which happened to be near a saloon. One day he picked up a round object, but his sister Valie told him it was just an old poker chip and to throw it away. Bart was convinced it was as good as money and sure enough earned one dollar for it. He gave it to his mom to go with the other mortgage money and he liked to tell everyone how he found the last dollar to pay on the ranch mortgage.

The family stayed in Atlantic City until the fall of 1904. Carl and Annie’s first child, a daughter names Electra Shepherd was born there on September 20, 1904. Carl gave her the name of his beloved little sister who had died as a child. In the later Fall of that year, Carl and Annie went back to Burlington to the ranch. Earnest helped Carl build a two room house on the upper forty acres. The two young men, with their growing families, lives and worked together on the ranch for about five years.

Lizzie moved to Thermopolis, Wyoming that Fall. All the children went to school there that winter. Lizzie’s last child William Gilford Shepherd was born there on December 18, 1904. In the spring of 1905, Bart was ill with large abscesses on his legs. There were no miracle drugs in those days and infections were common. Lizzie could not cure them with home remedies, so she took him to one doctor who wanted to lance them. She was not satisfied with his quick diagnosis and took him to another doctor. He told Lizzie if they were lanced, the boy would never walk again. Lizzie took him home and made homemade poultices of soap and sugar to gather the infection. Finally they broke and drained. Bart was in bed most of that spring. When the family left Thermopolis in the spring, they made a bed in the back of the wagon for Bart. Valie had just completed a most satisfactory full year of school and enjoyed being Bart’s teacher. She taught him to write all the letters and when they ran out of paper they wrote on the side of a wooden box. They had some little “Buster Brown books” they had received when they bought shoes. The read and reread these stories, and also anything that had printed letters written on it. Valie was evidently a successful teacher for when Bart started school he was put right into the third grade where he could read with the best of the class.

The family returned to Burlington for a short time that summer, then Claude and Carl took a contract to bale hay on the Y.U. sheep ranch some distance west of Burlington, at a place called Pitchfork. The boys used a baler that was driven by horsed. They hooked the team to the baler, and then the team went around in a circle. The hay was put into the baler which pressed it into the shaped of a bale. A wooden block was dropped into the baler to regulate the length of each bale. Edna and Addie had the job of dropping the blocks between the bales. The bales were then tied with baling wire. They worked long hard hours, and one night Addie, who was very tired, dreamt that they were still working. She shouted out in her sleep, “Block Carl, block! This bale is a mile long now.” They baled a good many tons of hay that season. They piled the bales into long stacks. There were six or eight long stacks of these bales.

Lizzie spent several weeks of misery that summer with a big abscess under her arm. She could hardly mix bread or take care of the cooking for the hungry workers. Later that summer the family went to Bear Creek where Lizzie established a little store in part of their home.

In the summer of 1906 her son Claude went to Chance, Montana to work on a ranch. It was here that he first met Scott Huffman. Scott was recuperating from lung problems following pneumonia. His family had sent him to the farm of his uncle Onie Hall, to do light work and breath clean air. Claude and Scott became friends.

Early in September Laffe took some time off to go on a fishing trip. He went with a fellow named Ross Nixon. (Ross Nixon was married to Rose Clark, who had a sister named Laura Clark. His brother Claude would marry Laura many years later.) Laffe and Ross took the spring wagon and were gone several days. When Laffe returned home he was very sick. He asked Valie and Addie to unhitch the team and take care of them as he was too sick to stand up. He went right to bed and was very ill for many days. He had caught typhoid fever. After a while, he began to feel better. Lizzie decided that the water at Bear Creek was adding to Laffe’s problem, so they packed up and moved down to Belfry, Montana. Laffe did feel better for a while and would sit outside in the sun, but his strength did not return and he continued to feel ill, which gave cause for concern to his mother Lizzie and family.

Claude took a job hauling lumber that Fall. In handling the lumber, he got a big half-inch sliver in his thumb that appeared to go nearly to the bone. He tried to ignore it. One night he rode about six miles to visit his girl and when he got home he was in so much pain that he fell off the horse. A doctor came and lanced and drained the wound. Claude nearly had a case of blood poisoning as a result of that incident.

The weather stayed open and quite warm until late into the fall. Laffe would feel better for a while, then would take very ill again. One day he was sitting up and a neighbor brought over a plate of food. It looked and smelled good to him and he ate it all, seeming to enjoy it very much. In a short while he began to cough. His cough became worse and he began to hemorrhage. Soon he became violently ill and he died that evening. (Marcus De Lafayette Shepherd died at age 20 on November 14, 1906.)

Belfry, Montana was a very tine place with neither stores, nor a cemetery. Lizzie had to send Claude and Edna to Red Lodge, a trip or ten or twelve miles up over the mountains, to get a casket. When they got to Red Lodge, the store keeper sold them a coffin and clothing for Laffe to be laid away in. He also included a black veil for Lizzie to wear as was the custom of the day. When they got ready to start back, the stubborn old horse Kate balked as she often did. Claude was just about at the end of his patience. He picked up a 2 x 4 and gave her a beating. This caused the horse to kick wildly and Edna held the reins praying Claude would not be kicked in the head by the flying hooves. Finally the got the mare under control and made the trip back home safely. Lizzie notified the family at Burlington, and they began to prepare Laffe for burial.

To be continued…..

Shepherd Family Photo
Shepherd Family Photo

Can You See Me?

CC Magazine Logo (1)


Today in Cosmic Cowgirls Magazine
is my latest article called

Can You See Me

One of the more powerful and moving experiences of my life was at a Cosmic Cowgirl member conference two years ago.  One of our leading members, Carmen Baraka, led us through a beautiful ceremony that involved each of us standing face-to-face with another member, while holding hands and gazing into one another eyes.  The words we then spoke from the heart were “I see you.  You are my sister.”   We then moved down a person and repeated the same actions and words. There was a great deal of emotion in the eyes and voices of each woman, some who may have only met for the first time that weekend.  Yet,  for me in that moment, I felt like we were really seeing past all the exterior masks, that the veils had been lifted, and we were seeing into the very souls of one another.  I felt deeply moved by the experience and wished for all of humanity to connect in that soul to soul way, as it was healing and inspirational.

Click this link Can You See Me or the one above to visit Cosmic Cowgirls Magazine to read the full article.



A Poem ~ Can You See Me?

Can You See Me

Can You See Me?

who are you

and where

did you come from

I am just a mongrel

white girl

with a blurry and

undefined culture

I seek connection

and sisterhood

my skin may be white

on the outside

but I feel

the pain

of all

my sisters

I have deeply

felt the losses

and struggles

of those

who have come before

since I

was born

But your words

stake ownership

and my perceived




from you


my heart

and our community

How can we

be a tribe

when such lines

are drawn

when all I seek

is love

and belonging

I see you

you are my sister

Can you

see me?

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