Wednesday, October 15, 2014

John William Gilson and Anna Lovisca Gilson

In the southwest sector a beautiful cemetery in Provo, Utah, lies a lonely grave (footnote 1).  Few people visit their and for many years it lay unmarked, almost forgotten.  It is the final resting place of John William Gilson, the father of 14 children, all boys.
It is with great interest that our family has undertaken the task of writing the history of our grandfather.  How could it be that a human being who lived 80 years upon this earth and sired a large posterity could die in such relative obscurity, almost forgotten by his own children and isolated from his father’s family?  (Footnote 2) what were the circumstances that led to this unhappy situation?  Why was John Gilson such a mystery to his family?  We hope to answer some of these questions in this history.
Let us say a word about our grandmother, Anna Lovisca Hepworth, at this point.  It may seem that her story was somewhat neglected in this history of John William Gilson, but we have tried to cover the 80 year period of his life in its entirety.  She did not come into his life until he was 51 years old, as his fourth wife.  Another reason we have not said so much about her is because her life is much better documented in the memories of her children.  She was always a faithful and devoted mother during all the difficult and the good times of her family.  Her place in the family is secure.  We will say more about her at the appropriate time in this history, however.
We will not be able to do justice to the histories of the children of John William Gilson in this account either.  It was necessary to limit the scope of this work in order to make it impossible task.  We hope that all the living descendents of John W will record their own histories and help to complete the histories of their direct ancestors who are deceased.  But now on with the story.
John W Gilson was a pioneer.  Undoubtedly the harsh realities of pioneering affected the way he looked life, economic activities, love, marriage and family.  Even in his native Iowa John W was faced with the problem of survival.  Born on 16 March 1848, in Dubuque, Iowa, he was two years old when his family moved into Western Iowa with a few other families.  They were the first settlers into the northern part of Adair County.  Many of the other places he was associated with later in his life were just beginning to be developed when he was there.  Corrine, Utah, was a new town in 1869 when he first came into Utah Territory.  Provo, Utah, was less than 20 years old at the time.  Wallsburg, or Round Valley (footnote 3) as it was called at the time, was about 10 years old.  Show Low, Pinetop and Williams, Arizona, were all frontier towns when he was associated with them.  Panguitch and Joseph, Utah, Panaca, Nevada, Mercur, Utah, Elba, Idaho, Honeyville and Deweyville, Utah could all be considered pioneer towns when he was there.
Undoubtedly he had learned to work hard as a youth, being the second boy in the family of 12 children.  It is probable that he was taught the virtues of sobriety, thrift, hard work, honesty and self-reliance.  By the time he was 16 years of age he felt that he was ready to be on his own.  The situation at home that led to his departure are not known entirely, but the reasons could have been economic in nature or he might have felt that he simply wanted to be on his own.  Part of the reason was probably due to some conflict or jealousy between he and his older brother Oliver, at least this is the tradition that has been handed down in the family.  He seemed to have respect for his parents and family, but the position of the second oldest in the family can be difficult.
But how did he survive on his own?  Family tradition claims that he came west with the surveying crew that was preparing the right-of-way for the Lane of the transcontinental railroad.  Other evidence seems to substantiate this tradition.  The eastern leg of the railroad started at Omaha, Nebraska, late in the year of 1863, about the time John W and family were moving to Richardson County, Nebraska, which is very close to Omaha the line between Omaha and Promontory, Utah, was completed on May 10, 1869.  The Utah Southern spur of the transcontinental railroad was then pushed into Salt Lake and was completed on 10 January 1870.  (Footnote 4) it is possible that John W worked on the spur or else he simply drifted into central Utah from Corrine, where the two ends of the railroad met.
It is interesting to speculate about the effect this experience of working on the railroad had on John W.  It seems certain that temperance was not one of the virtues emphasized on the railroad gangs.  The construction army consisted of ex-soldiers of the Civil War, both North and South, who had been hardened by the long and tragic war.  It consisted also ex-convicts and of Irish and German youth desperately trying to find their way in a hostile environment as well as a scattering of settlers that the construction crews had picked up on the way.  (Footnote 5) this experience could have had a profound effect upon an impressionable youth.
At any rate, we find John W in the Provo and Wallsburg area in the fall of 1870.  We know this because the records we have indicate that he first married in 1872 Mary Ann Penrod, daughter of William Lewis Penrod and Polly Ann Young.  (Footnote 6) within a year, or perhaps at the same time, John W took a second wife, Hanna 0wen, daughter of Seeley Owen and Elizabeth Pickle.  (Footnote 7) there seems to be some evidence that John W had two wives at the same time, (footnote 8) both young girls of 14 to 16 at the time I married him.  Of course at this time John W was only 22 years old.  If the idea of having two wives at a time surprises you, keep in mind that this was at a time when polygamy was an official doctrine of the Mormon Church.  And you taught and Wasatch counties were definitely Mormon country in 1870.  (Footnote 9)
John W probably spent the next 10 years of his life in Wallsburg.  This was an extremely important time of his life could have been the beginning of a fruitful and stable life for him and his families.  Certainly he was well-suited to the pastoral life of Wallsburg if his early life as a pioneer in Iowa was any indication.  He had two young wives and was an integral part of the solid Mormon culture that could have brought him a great deal of happiness.  We know that he joined the Mormon Church in 1872 (see Document No. 3) and was rebaptized in 1875, and his wife Mary Ann Penrod in 1877 (see Document No. 4), along with many other members of the Wallsburg Branch.
This stability in his life never developed, however.  We do not know all the reasons for this, but we do have some facts that may shed some light on the situation.  First of all, it appears that Mary Ann Penrod was not able to have children.  Even a second marriage to John Francis Norton in 1884 produced no children.  That must have been a disappointment, especially in a culture where having large families was a desirable condition.  The second blow came at the untimely death of his second wife, Hanna Owen, just 10 days after the birth of their first son, John A.  Gilson (see Document Nos. 5 and 6) and just a month after John W had joined the Mormon Church.  Certainly these were events that would have shaken anyone, especially someone who was so new to a way of life as different as the Mormon way.  Perhaps the parents of Hanna blamed John W for the misfortune, perhaps John W blamed himself.  Maybe he merely joined the Church to please his wives or to satisfy social pressure.  One thing seems certain, however: John W never seemed to recover completely from this adversity.  John remained a nominal member of the Church until the time of his death in 1927.  His church membership records stayed in Wallsburg until 1902, when they were transferred to Elba, Idaho, as he was just starting out marriage with Anna Lovisca Hepworth.
We are not certain that John W stayed in Wallsburg after about 1876, but we do know that his son John a Gilson stayed until 1880 (see Document No. 7) and his wife Mary a Penrod stayed there until at least 1877 when she was rebaptized.  In 1880 or 1881 Seeley Owen, who is a cattleman, took his family and his grandson John a Gilson to Arizona, probably to Williams near Flagstaff.  His family was still living there in 1900.Seeley Owen had died in 1892 and his wife had remarried.  Seeley’s two sons and John a Gilson were still living with Elizabeth Pickle Owen Hull in the 1900 census of Williams, Arizona (see Document No. 8).
At about the same time that Seeley Owen moved to Williams, Arizona, William Lewis Penrod took his family, including Mary Ann Penrod Gilson, to Show Low, Arizona, close to Snowflake.  Mary Ann remarried on for June 1884 to Francis Norton, the record stating that she had previously divorced John William Gilson.  The 10 year period from 1870 to 1880 in Wallsburg must have been one of great turmoil for John W.  Perhaps he had really desired to make something better of his life only to see it all slip away from him, either because of his own failings or the failings of others.  Perhaps cynicism developed during this period that left him lonely and frustrated.
The period of time that John’s wife Mary Ann Penrod and his son by Hanna Owen were in Arizona is the least well documented time of John’s history.  In fact, we have no direct evidence that he was ever in Arizona.  However, there is strong circumstantial evidence that he was there.  First of all, his only living son was living in the Flagstaff area and his wife, who did not remarry until 1884, was living in this Show Low area.  It seems logical that he was either with his wife and/or his son during this time or in the near vicinity.  However, family tradition has it that for some reason his son John a Gilson would not have anything to do with John W after a while.  Perhaps this is due to the prejudice held by the family of Seeley Owen if in fact they did blame John for the early death of their daughter Hanna.
Another thing that would lead us to believe that John was in Arizona was the strong possibility that he took up mining is an occupation for possibly the next 20 years, at least off and on.  His sons reported he carried a piece of copper around his neck.  According to his story, he got the copper from his own claim, but the possibility is that he worked in the large copper mine somewhere.  In the early 1880s the transcontinental railroad was completed through North-Central Arizona.  Lewis Penrod and Celia one might have gone to help complete the railroad.  Penrod was a lumberman by occupation.  Seeley Owen might have worked at this trade for a while.  Both Show Low and Williams, Arizona provided timber for the railroad.  In 1882, Jerome, which is about 50 miles south of Williams, opened up a large copper mining district (see Document No. 9).  John W could very well have worked at this or other mining areas in Arizona.  John probably also worked at the mines in Panaka, Nevada, or Mercur, Utah, after he was married to Emma Mae Allphin, his third wife.
On the fifth day of December 1892, John W married Emma Mae Jimmerfield Allphin (see Document No. 10).  Emma was 19 at the time and John was 46, although he declared his age to be 36 on the marriage document.  They were married by Israel Dodge Allphin, the father of the bride.  He was a justice of the peace for Garfield County, a prominent businessman in Panguitch, (footnote 10) as well as an active priesthood holder in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as evidenced by the many ordinances he performed as recorded on the Church records Panguitch.  Emma had been married to Joseph G Jammer field the previous year on 12 April 1891, also by her father (see Document No. 11).  Emma had a son, Joseph a.,  Who was born 19 June 1891.  He would’ve been a year and a half old when Emma married John W.  Although Joe was born a Jimmerfield, he declared later in his life that John W was the only dad he had ever had and that he was satisfied with that.
During the seven years that John W Emma were married, they moved from Panguitch to Joseph, Sevier County, Utah, to Panaca, Nevada, and then to Mercur in Tooele County, Utah.  Vervin was born in Joseph, Charles Dee was born in Panaca, and Benjamin Shelton was born in Mercur.  It would seem logical that John followed the occupation of a minor during part of this time.  They were at Mercur during its heyday.  (Footnote 11) Their second child Charles died at the age of 25 months in Benjamin at 10 months.  It is very possible that they both died at Mercur.
Sometime in the year between December 1897 and December 1898, and John W had separated and remarried.  Emma married George Franklin price of Draper on 19 December 1898 and John W married Annie Lovisca Hepworth on the 25th of the same month (see Document No. 12).  Interestingly, Emma and George were witnesses at the wedding of John W and Annie.
How John and Annie met is uncertain.  One account from Hepworth history indicates that they might have met in your recap, which is a mining town just south of mature in the same range of the Oquirrh Mountains.  The account states that Squire Hepworth stopped there on his way from Springdale in southern Utah to Elba in southern Idaho.  Another possibility is that they met in Draper.  Lucy Hepworth, sister to Annie, and Samuel Allphin, brother to Emma, were married to each other and are probably the cause of John W and Annie getting together.  Samuel and Lucy probably stopped in Draper to visit Emma, and Annie and John met there.
One interesting fact about the marriage of John and Annie was their ages.  Annie was 16 and John W was 51.  On the marriage document, and elicit her age is 19 and John listed his is 34, two years younger than the age he had given when he married Emma Allphin.  And Emma was a witness at the wedding!  We don’t know if Annie was deceived or whether John W merely held his age exceedingly well and it didn’t matter to her.
John W and Annie went Elba with Squire Hepworth and family.  George Price, Emma and the two boys, Vervin and Joseph, stating Draper for a while but followed soon after.  In fact, what followed was a grand reunion and Elba.  Squire Hepworth and much of his family from two marriages were there; John W and Annie with their boys John, Stan and George were there; George and Emma price with Joe and Vervin were there; Samuel and Lucy Hepworth were there; even Israel Dodge Allphin, father of Emma, was there!  (See Document No. 13)
the period of time between 1919 07 was probably happy time for the family.  In fact, John Franklin Gilson, oldest boy of the marriage, recalls this time with pleasure.  There is evidence that John W even made an attempt to maintain his membership in the Mormon Church.  In 1902 his Church records were transferred from Wallsburg, Utah, where they had remained for 30 years.  Other Church records of the clan were transferred from Panguitch in Springdale, Utah, at the same time.  At the time John W was in his early 50s and probably still able to do a good days work.  With advancing age this became more difficult for him because of failing health.  This might have become part of the difficulty in the marriage.  It must be admitted that starting a marriage that resulted in the birth of nine boys at the age of 51 must have taken some courage.  There is nothing to make us believe that this marriage was not started with the best of intentions and with high hopes.
He for long, however, parts of the Klan started to drift away from Elba.  George and Emma price first left in 1903, settling eventually in Tremonton, Utah.  John W and Annie left before 1907 and lived in Honeyville, Utah where Glenn was born and then Brigham City, Utah where art was born.  During this time John used to visit the home of George and Emma price and play with their children, especially Emma L. Price, their oldest daughter who was nine or 10 at the time.  (Footnote 12)
by 1912 John W and his family were living in Salina, Utah, where Walter was born.  From Salina the family moved back to Utah County.  Bert was born in Goshen, Utah and Robert in Santaqin, Utah.  It was during this time of great transition that things really started to turn sour for the family.  While living in Levan one winter John became so ill that he could not leave his bed for much of the winter.  Of course at this time he was approaching 70 years of age.  The problem seemed to be rheumatism or arthritis.
The family moved a great deal in the Santa:, Goshen, Elberta and Eureka area.  While living in Elberta, Glen Gilson recalls that they lived “North of the tracks,” at “old lady Wolf’s place,” “the place that burned down,” “the big high house,” “the place out on the flat,” and “the Whitney place.”  During this time John W lived with his family off and on.  Things would go well for a while but then there would be an argument between he and Annie and he would be gone again.  During one of these arguments, and he kicked him out of the upstairs part of the house where there was heat and made him sleep downstairs where the animals were kept.  In the morning he was gone again.  He would stay away for a while, leave and then return and want to stay with the family again.
It was during this time that he lived a while with Vervin in Bear River, Utah.  Things didn’t go smoothly there either.  One time he made a little cart, took Raymond and Drusilla and went around town gathering up junk.  Vervin and he had words about it and Vervin made the kids quit going with him.  This may John W angry and he left, probably to go back to the other part of the family in Elberta.
Glen Gilson tells of one humorous occasion when John W returned to his family and Elberta.  Glenn and some of the other kids saw an old man with a long white beard coming down the lane.  He walked with the aid of a cane and seem to have a slight limp.  They thought it was their father but couldn’t be sure.  As they approached him, he called out to them in the faults voice, “Is you faddah to home?”  This totally faked the kids out and they took off like scared jackrabbits, thinking that he was someone else.  Of course he got a good chuckle out of this.
In 1920, when he was about 72 years old, John W moved to Spanish Fork where he was to live out the remainder of his life.  He and Glen took off from Elberta to Spanish Fork, in an old sheep wagon.  In Santaquin one horse went lame and he replaced it with a jackass which he purchased for two dollars.  He hooked the jackass up to the wagon alongside his blind mayor Lindy and proceeded to Spanish Fork.  They camped on the west side of Spanish Fork, sold the outfit for $45 and camped on the sidewalk for a couple of days until they could find a place to live.  He then took a buggy actual inbox and converted it into a moving furniture repair business.  He even had handbills printed to advertise his business.  Glen stayed with him for a while and then took the train back to Elberta.
Glen stayed with his father in Spanish Fork one summer before he entered the county infirmary in 1922 at the age of 75.  Glen said that his father took him around and introduced him to all of his friends with pride.  John W lived in the county infirmary five years before he died 19 March 1927 at the experienced age of 80 (see Document No. 14).
After his death the family continued to live in the Central Utah area, with the exception of John Franklin who moved his family to southern Idaho to live.  John W’s widow, Annie Lovisca Hepworth, died at Eureka, Utah, on 18 May 1943 at the age of 50.  She is buried in the northeast section of the Payson city Cemetery.
This fragmentary history contains the meager information we have about John William Gilson and the women who shared his life.  In the next section we will try to add some substance to him and Anna Lovisca Hepworth by adding some personal recollections of them by their children and grandchildren.
Recollections of John William Gilson by John Franklin Gilson, a son
My father, John William Gilson, married my mother, Anna L.  Hepworth, in 1899 in Salt Lake City, Utah.  He was 55 years old when I was born on 7 January 1902 in Elba, Idaho, and the first memories I have of him are the best ever.  He was a very kind and loving father, and as I remember a good-looking man.  He was a big man, bigger than I am and really made of iron.  As a young man he would have been dangerous.  In fact, he stayed dangerous until after I left home.  He had a temper that increased as he got older and began to drink more.  But as a youngster I used to love to get on his lap and pull his whiskers and have him tell me what a good boy I was and how I was going to grow to be a big man and how we would have a nice big ranch with lots of horses and cows, pigs and chickens.  This never came to pass, but I was thankful for those memories.
As he got older, he was stricken with rheumatism and arthritis which got worse and worse.  Despite his age and illness, I got another brother at least every two years until mother had brought nine boys into the world.  We did pretty well for a while until Dad could only work in warm weather.  Some winters he was bed fast almost all winter, but when warm weather came he would get new vitality and would be back to work.
He was a hard worker.  I used to brag to my buddies about how many fence posts he could cut in the day.  I remember he took Stanley and I with him so many times after posts and wood.  He loved the mountains and would take time to tell us about the land formations and mineral faults he knew about.
He had many talents.  He was a good carpenter and did good Network.  He was a good blacksmith and inventor.  He invented a quick-adjusting wrench.  I hated to see it go when he send it to the U.S. Patent Office.  He also invented a beet topping machine.  It was carved and put together from wood, all except the gears in the topping knife.  It had a been on the top to put the beats in and to load the wagon from.  It was too big and complicated for the times, though, and with hand labor at a $1.50 to $2 a day it didn’t pay.  But he did figure out how to make the equipment, including the measuring wheel that put the knife at the right height to get the top from the next beat.  My brother Vervin did later perfect and manufacture of the topper that worked and only took two horses to pull it.
I remember Dad telling us, “Don’t steal or lie or cheat, don’t smoke and use tobacco and don’t drink liquor.  Don’t be a booze fighter, you can’t whip old John Barley Corn.”
He taught us boys all the skills he had.  His sons were all good machinists, carpenters and builders, as well as blacksmiths and qualified to hold a job with many other skills.  Dad proved to me that he was a good farmer also.  In 1916 he had a five-acre farm in Elberta that raised the tallest corn and the biggest ears that those Iowa and Kansas farmers had seen since they left home.  The next year he had the best field of sugar beets and the most bushels of wheat to the acre that was grown in Elberta.  He did it by himself because the younger boys tromped the beet tops too much.  When the money came in for the beats, his last pay day, he spent it all on the family.  He bought the best washing machine they had in Provo.  He also bought new clothes for the family and other much-needed things.
When I start to think about it, I can realize the fluster and disappointment he felt being unable to support his family with his gnarled and twisted hands and body.  How many of us could have done better starting a large family at age 55?
I met some of his old friends from Wallsburg and Provo myself and they told me how he played ball barehanded and ran races.  He won many of the races too.  They knew him as John Fry or John Gilson and had many fond memories of him.  Remember that the Steele, Hansen and Gilson boys got up a ball team to play the Goshen boys.  Stanley and I asked Dad about getting ball gloves or mitts and he just laughed at the idea.  “Catch the ball barehanded,” he said.  “That’s the way to handle the ball.”
He always wanted to call him Pa.  Joe Gilson and I were visiting at Rockland, Idaho, and Joe said, “Pa Gilson gave me my name.  It’s the only name I’ll ever have but I’m happy with it.  I think all of his sons feel the same way.  Thank you, Pa Gilson.”
Additional comments by Glen C. Gilson, a son
Glen Gilson was probably as close to his father in his later years as any the boys.  Glen was his dad’s pet, his mother used to say.  Glenn says his dad used to whip him lightly occasionally but not much.  He was aware of his father’s drinking problem, but he claims he never saw him drink.
He remembers his father as a good shot.  He can remember them shooting a coyote at Elberta.  He also recalls a time when some cattle drivers were going to take their herd of cattle across his place in Elberta.  John William went inside and got his rifle, sat down on a box in threat nuclear we cows it came across the line.  The cattle drivers found another way to go that day.
According to Glen, John W was not lazy.  He was always busy if he wasn’t sick, even at 70 years of age.  He cultivated a wonderful garden, a big one.  He was a cabinet maker and a good blacksmith.
Even though the life of John W and family was mostly a matter of survival, Glen remembers some good times also.  Because it when the family lived up Goshen Canyon they loaded some hay in the wagon, took the family and went up on the Creek to fish.  On the way back Glen fell asleep and didn’t wake up until he was in bed.  He never could figure out how he got from the Creek to the bed.
Memories of Anna Lovisca Hepworth Gilson by Sylva Fay Gilson Craig, first granddaughter
It’s surprising how little one remembers of a person from childhood days.  When I think of Grandma Gilson, my first thoughts are of how much we loved her and how happy we were to hear that she was coming for a visit.  She didn’t come bearing gifts as many grandmothers of today do.  Instead she came entirely with love and a helping hand.  Very often her visits coincided with the arrival of a new baby in the family.  At such times she would cook and care for us and the new baby.
As a small child of about six or seven, I can remember my parents talking about how Grandma was getting blind and that she needed surgery on her eyes if she was to continue to see.  The doctors at the time called the problem granulated eyelids.  We were living at Malta at the time and the country doctor, Dr. Craner, was engaged to do the surgery.  He performed this operation in the kitchen of the little country house where we lived.  There was no electricity, no running water or any of the modern conveniences.  Grandma sat on the stool in the kitchen and my father, John Franklin, held her as the operation was performed.  There was no anesthetic given to kill the pain.  Dr. Craner cut out a piece from her eyelids and stitched it up so that they would no longer droop over the cornea, cutting off her vision.  This is probably the first time I was to hear the sounds and feel the fear of real pain.  This operation, though performed under such crude conditions, proved to be very successful and Grandma was soon able to see much better.
When Grandma wasn’t cooking, cleaning or doing other household chores, she would sit down and automatically pick up her crochet hook and her fingers were busy creating many beautiful doilies, dresser scarves, pillow slips and even a lovely crocheted bedspread.  The little pieces of material that were left from making aprons she would cut into small patterns and stitched to make beautiful quilts.  These were the things with which she decorated her humble home in the gift she gave to her family and friends.  As little girls we used to be fascinated with her stitching.  She would give us a piece of crochet thread and a hook and show us how to stitch.
Grandma lived in Idaho at times but also lived in Utah a great deal of the time.  We grew up in the times of the Great Depression and no one could afford to travel, so we didn’t get to see her real often.  When she did visit from Utah, she would bring us stories about our cousins, uncles and aunts.
When I was about eight years, my dad bought a farm in the Rupert, Idaho area.  We were able to move at the time so Grandma and Uncle Art lived and farmed it the first year.  Uncle Art had a patch of the most beautiful strawberries.  Grandma made jams and jellies.  She also canned lots of plums from a tree that was growing on the farm.  I remember on one visit we made a whole meal of canned plums with bread-and-butter.  They were so good and we all laughed and had a good time trying to make the plums and bread-and-butter come out even.  She also cooked lots of asparagus picked from the ditch banks.  This was not my favorite dish, however.
When we moved to the farm Grandma and Uncle Art continued to live on another farm in the same area.  Remember they lived closer to the school and we did.  On one cold windy afternoon I went to her house after school because I had cramps in my stomach and couldn’t walk home.  She gave me something warm to drink and help ease my pain before I went on home.  While I was there Uncle Art came in looking very ill and went to bed.  He was never to recover from this illness and died a few days later from pneumonia.
Grandma did many odd jobs to help support herself.  I remember working as a cook for the sawmill and logging crew at Art Schelect’s sawmill in Hegler Canyon.  There she cooks three meals a day for the crew of men, also taking care of Mrs. Schelect and her family and new baby.  She started long before daylight and finished up late in the evening.
Grandma’s last visit to our home was in 1942.  At this time she was living in Utah and came to help out when my youngest brother Sherman was born.  I was 16 at the time and had just completed high school and was leaving to attend Albion Normal School.  My mother, Mildred Wall Gilson, and grandma Gilson drove me to Albion.  At the same time they arrange to have Dr. Sater care for my mother during the delivery of her child.  They found me a room in a home there and drove away.  I cried as they left because this was my first separation from home and family.  Mom told me later that Grandma Gilson begged her to return and take me home but grow up we must.
Grandma was alone with my mother when Sherman was born.  Dad had gone on foot to the nearest neighbor to call the doctor.  I’m sure she had experienced helping with childbirth many times.  Grandma Gilson died shortly after this visit but the memory of her is with us still.
Grandma Gilson had nine sons and any of them will tell you how deeply she wanted a daughter.  She always showed great respect and love for all of her daughters-in-law.  She was never critical or interfering, but quietly reminded her sons to be kind to an understanding of them.  She was overjoyed with each new grandchild and was so happy to have both grandsons and granddaughters.
As a small child, I remember having a spat with my brother and same “I don’t like boys.  When I grow up, I’m never going to have boys, I’m just going to have girls.”  At this, Grandma Gilson retorted that she would rather try to raise nine boys and nine girls.  This incident had little bearing on my feelings at the time but over the years these words of Pastor my mind many times.  In 1946 I married Edwin L Craig, a widower with a three-year-old son.  Two years later our first child was born, a beautiful bouncing baby boy.  This was to be repeated three more times before our family was complete.  Each time I want a girl, yet finding each son so lovable.  With each child, Grandma’s words would flash through my mind.  I now understand her feelings, but I also know that we both would have loved a girl along with our sons.
These are the impressions that Grandma Gilson left to my heart and life and I can truly say, “Grandma Gilson, I love you.”
Additional Comments by Glen C. Gilson, a son
Glen Gilson remembers his mother as the glue that held the family together during much of their family life.  He remembers her as rather mildly capable of handing out disciplinary the occasion called for it.  One time when Art was giving her a hard time, she threatened him but he replied with a “You can’t catch me.”  Well, she caught him and made him howl, according to Glen.
Glen also recalls that she really had to work hard all of the time.  One thing she did was take in washings.  John and Stan bought her Sears washing machine, one you had to pump with your hand and foot.  Glen claims he became the motor for it.  She would say to him, “Give it about 54 pumps and then you can stop.”  According to Glen, this happened almost every day.
One thing that Glen recalls with some sadness was the fact that he never saw his Grandfather Hepworth, a fact that must have caused any some sorrow to.  Despite the fact, she always made something for brothers and sisters for Christmas and tried to keep in touch as best she could.
We will close the account of John William Gilson and Annie Lovisca Hepworth for a while, realizing that the full story can never be told are fully understood even if it could be told.  It is the story of real people who still live today and with whom we will be able to associate sometime in the future.  It is a story of struggle, a heart rate, but also of achievement and satisfaction.  We look back on their lives with the knowledge that we stand on a very narrow place from which to judge them or their conference.  Despite this limitation, however we know that we have a good heritage and we pay tribute to those that laid the foundation for our lives.
Document No. 10:  Marriage license of John W.  Gilson and Emma Mae Jimmerfield
Document No. 11: Marriage license of Emma Mae Allphin and Joseph Jimmerfield
Document No. 12: space space Marriage license of John W.  Gilson and Annie Lovisca Hepworth
Family Record showing Anna Lovisca Hepworth, daughter of Squire Hepworth and Margret Ellen Cox, married to John William Gilson, with nine sons
Footnote 1 – the official location of John Debbie Gilson’s grave is lot 69, block seven.  The verbal directions are that it is just north of eighth south and west of eighth West.  We believe that Robert Gilson was responsible for having the headstone placed there.
Footnote 2 – for the account of his father’s family, see the history of John Gilson and Amelia Goodvin in the Gilson family histories.
Footnote 3 – scene from an airplane, the Valley is indeed perfectly round.  As the author of this history recently flew over the Wasatch range and look to the south of deer Creek Reservoir, the Valley with its snowcapped mountains ringing it was a spectacular sight.
Footnote 4 – “History of Utah Since Statehood,” Noble Warrum, vol 1, 1919, SLC, pp. 346-47
Footnote 5 – “The Transcontinental Railroad and the Development of the West,” Leonard J Arrington, Utah historical quarterly, volume 37, 1969, pp.  7-10.
Footnote 6 – see family group record for this marriage.  See also Document No. 1 for census record of her family.
Footnote 7 – see family group record for this marriage.  See also Document No. 2 for census record of her family.
Footnote 8 – however, it is possible that John W and Mary and Penrod were divorced soon after their marriage, but the fact that she did not remarry until 1884 and that they were both living in Wallsburg until 1875 or 1877 might indicate that they were divorced later on.
Footnote 9 – polygamy was a practice that was open to all members of the Church, but there were rules govern it.  First of all, the permission of the first wife was prerequisite.  Secondly, permission of the bishop in the state present was required, and thirdly, the ceiling was performed in the endowment house.  However, since polygamy was not sanctioned nor condemned by law but was a lot of the Church only, it is probable that individuals could ignore some or all of these rules and still be tolerated in a Mormon community.  Polygamy was sometimes encouraged by families for economic reasons and frequently by a barren wife such as Mary Ann Penrod was.  Also, men marrying much younger women was probably more tolerated in pioneer times and it is now.
Footnote 10 – “History of Garfield County,” DUP, acting 49, pp. 22, 38, 67.
Footnote 11 – “The Daily Harold,” Promo, Utah, Tuesday, December 28, 1982:… Mercur made history when the world’s first completely electric mine and mill began operation there in 1898 The powerline span 32 miles from the mouth of Provo Canyon to Mercur… It was one of the first 44,000 V transmission lines in the world.  It was the longest use of such voltage in the world at the time.  Mercur was a sizable, albeit out of the way, boom town with a population of 12,000…
Footnote 12 – in the summer of 1982, Helen Gilson Selman and James N. Gilson interviewed and recorded on cassette tape the remarks of Emma Allphin, oldest daughter of Emma Mae Allphin and George Price.  She remembered John W very well and said that he used to spend quite a bit of time and the price home.  She would sit on John’s lap and really quite liked him.  However, her account of him was quite contradictory and she expressed some distrust of him.  She also stated that her mother and father were somewhat fearful of him.  She remembered “Aunt Annie” with great love.

[Insert:  Pdf photo of John William and Annie Lovisca Hepworth Gilson from Hepworth Family folder] 

No comments:

Post a Comment