Homer Brown Journal Homer Brown was the youngest child of Benjamin Brown and Sarah Mumford. He was
born August 9, 1830, in the town of Pomphert, Chautauqua County, New York, where he lived with his parents until about six or seven years of age. About that time, they moved [or visited] with many other members of the Church, to Kirtland, Ohio, and from there to Nauvoo, Illinois, where they built a home and lived until the expulsion of the Saints from that place in the winter of 1846.
He has told a number of interesting stories of his happy childhood in his home in western New York. He remembered the vivid autumn colors in the hickory and maple trees that grew on his father's farm and the farms of neighbors, and his delight at being allowed to go with others gathering nuts and sasafrass bark, and of watching his father and older brother tap the maple trees and make the delicious maple sugar and syrup. Those childhood memories were very dear to him and he always longed to visit the old home, but neverhad that opportunity. He always retained his fondness for hickory nuts and maple sugar, and usually bought a supply each fall.
From the time of leaving that lovely, peaceful spot, being driven away by their enemies, the enemies of truth and right, they knew no peace or safety until long years after their
arrival in the Salt Lake Valley, and he was middle-aged. He had a very clear and distinct memory of the Prophet Joseph Smith, who often visited in his father's home in Kirtland and in Nauvoo. It was when he was about seven years old that the Prophet and Sidney Rigdon stayed for seven days at the Brown home in Kirtland, Ohio when their enemies were in pursuit of them. Later, in Nauvoo, the two families became well acquainted, and when there was a great deal of sickness in the city, his father accompanied the Prophet from door to door, blessing and healing the sick. Father told of one occasion that was outstanding to him as a boy of 14 shortly before the martyrdom. A group of boys, of which he was one, were playing ball on a vacant lot in
Nauvoo,when the Prophet passed by. He stopped and played ball with them for a time. Shortly afterward, this same group of boys stood with bowed, uncovered heads and sad hearts, watching while the bodies of their loved "Brother Joseph" and his brother Hyrum, wrapped in buffalo robes, were being lifted from a wagon and carried into the "Mansion
House" in Nauvoo. He also viewed the remains again after they were in their caskets, ready for burial.
Always, until his death, he bore testimony of a knowledge that Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God. It was when he was in his sixteenth year that the Saints were driven from Nauvoo, and he had much work to do in helping his parents and neighbors to prepare for the long journey
to the Rocky Mountains. His father was a carpenter, and father, through helping him, mastered the trade while a very young man. Because of the great need of such workmen in Winter Quarters, they did not leave for the west with the first companies, but remained to help others until May 25, 1848, when
Father was nearly 18. To a healthy, robust boy of that age, the great journey across the plains, though fraught with many dangers and difficulties, was wonderful adventure rather than a hardship. He
hadswum the Missouri River many times where it was a mile wide, so he was ready and
anxious to help in fording the swollen streams, and in any other work to be done. He
writes of the thrilling experience of his first buffalo hunt: "When we arrived at Devil's Gate, I started out with some others to hunt buffalo. We killed two, after being gone two days." Again, "We left the head of the Sweet Water River on the 3rd of September, 1848, and camped at
the Pacific Springs, having crossed the dividing ridge [continental divide] between the waters of the Atlantic and the Pacific." On September 12, they stopped at Fort Bridger where they rested for a few days. During those few days, Father and his parents talked a good deal with Mr. Bridger, who took a
great liking to the boy, and when it was about time for the company to move on, he expressed a wish to have Father stay and work for him through the winter. Accordingly, with the
consent of his parents, he stayed as an employee of the American Fur Company, of which Mr. James Bridger was the head. Father's work consisted mostly in carrying raw furs to Fort Laramie and the Uintah Fort, and bringing back goods of all kinds to Fort Bridger. This was accomplished by means of
pack mules and pack horses. It turned out to be a very severe winter during which Father experienced his first real hardship. While traveling over mountain passes through extremely deep snow, in sub-zero weather, he and his companions suffered severely at times from
exposure, cold and hunger. At one time while returning with goods, a heavy fog came up which lasted many days and, having no visible trail to follow, they lost their way. They could see only the white
snow, with occasionally the top of a quaking aspen tree protruding one or two feet above
the level. This indicated that the snow was at least 15 or 20 feet deep.
One old pack mule, who was very poor but very wise, soon learned that when he came near one of these tree tops he would sink in the snow and have to have his pack removed to get him out. So he contrived to "pull the trick" many times. Finally, they decided that since their provisions were getting too low to last till they reached Fort Bridger, they would return to Fort Laramie and procure a fresh supply. But traveling was so difficult that it took much longer than they had counted on. At last, although they had rationed their food and horse feed very carefully, they found themselves with nothing to eat and very little grain for their animals. Something had to be done. So, since the old mule was too weak to travel any farther on short rations, they decided to kill him that the other animals might be saved. They dressed the meat carefully and boiled some of it each day, and though it was very tough and so poor that no grease rose on the soup when cold, it kept them alive for the rest of
the journey, which lasted 21 days in all, although it usually took only six days. He worked for the American Fur Company until August 1, 1849, when he drove a team from Fort Bridger to Salt Lake City for a Mr. Waters for $1.00 per day. Arriving in Salt
Lake City sometime in August 1849. During the eleven months spent at Fort Bridger, he did much trading with various tribes of Indians and invariably won their friendship. This knowledge of their language and habits became a great help to him in establishing and preserving peace with them during the earlydays of Utah. His first winter in Deseret was spent in school, as were parts of each winter for several years, and he was an excellent student. But, as with all of the other pioneers, a great and important part of his education consisted of learning the great lessons of nature, in conquering the desert, building roads, canals, cities and schools, clearing and breaking new lands,
fighting crickets and grasshoppers, etc. He worked on the great tabernacle in Salt Lake for many months.
In the absence of factories, each family had to do most of their own manufacturing. Accordingly, Father learned besides carpentry, blacksmithing, shoemaking, broom-making,and many other things. He was a splendid first-aid man, being able to set broken bones, sew up wounds, extract teeth, etc. very successfully. He taught dancing school and was an especially good step-dancer. He was also a leader in amateur theatricals. He loved literature and wrote a good many poems and other articles. After he married, all of this knowledge of various kinds of work was used to good advantage in his own home, and he found much time to help neighbors. On October 20, 1852, he was married to Sarah Ann Woolf, by Father John Smith. They had ten children, seven of whom lived to maturity. Later they went through the
Endowment House. On October 12, 1856, he was married to Hannah Eliza Woolf (pictured at left), a sister of his first wife. They were married by Brigham Young in his office and later in the Endowment House. They had 14 children, nine of whom lived to maturity. On January 31, 1863, he married Bertha Nielson. She died May 12, 1866. They had one
child, Celestia, who was burned to death in Salt Lake City on September 29, 1871, with a sister, Harriet, a daughter of Sarah Ann. The two children were playing house in a corn crib and built a fire of straw to "cook dinner," as reported by Arthur, a brother who was four years old. The fire was not discovered until it was too late. On October 15, 1856, he moved to Nephi, Juab county, where he lived until about 1861 [spring of 1862, according to his brother Lorenzo's journal, p. 67], when he returned to Salt Lake City. He moved from there to Hyde Park, Cache County, sometime between 1871 and 1874, but stayed there only a few years and returned again to Salt Lake. In the fall of 1882, he sold his Salt Lake property and bought two farms "over Jordan" at Taylorsville, where he spent the remainder of his life. He died June 12, 1905, at the age of 74 years and 10
months. He was buried in Salt Lake City cemetery. Father's was a very active life. He was never idle. He was thorough in everything he did, and honest in all his dealing, and expected everyone else to be the same. To him, nothing
was so despicable as a hypocrite. Through most of his life he kept a daily journal, which was destroyed by fire after his death, while in the possession of his eldest son, Homer M.
Brown. However, some loose pages dating back to 1850 were found and it is from these
pages that most of the information contained in this sketch was obtained.
[The above history was copied from a copy of a mimeographed manuscript sent to Scott B. Brown from his sister, Edna Tanner. The following is a note from her which was written on the back: Dear ones all: We hope you all are well and have a jolly holiday season. I
thought this sketch worth having typed for each member of the family. So am sending yours hoping you will enjoy reading it. I knew Grandfather quite well, and admired him. Some of our best qualities come from him. Love and all good wishes, Edna.] Homer is buried in the City Cemetery, SLC, Utah Homer Brown Journal. Homer kept a detailed journal which was lost in a fire at his son's home. Here
is what is left of his journal: Homer Brown's Journal
Journal of Homer Brown
Josephine Mumford Brown was born 17 April 1880, in Salt Lake City, Utah, in a humble home located on 6th South Street between West Temple and 1st West. She was the 13th of 14 children born to Homer and Hannah Eliza Woolf Brown. Not all 12 of her full brothers and sisters were present to welcome her when she arrived. 5 of them had already been laid to rest: the first born, John Anthony, at 3 weeks of age; Oscar Benjamin, when he was one year old; then Zina, aged 2, who was followed just 2 months later by her next younger brother, James Devoe, who only lived 2 days; and the 9th child, Minerva Hannah, who had died at the age of 6 weeks. Her 7 living brothers and sisters, ranging in age from 21 to 2 years of age, were: Orson, age 21 (as yet unmarried); Solon, age 19 (who never married); Arthur (called “Arth”), age 13; Byron Nelson, age 10; William Edward (“Will”), almost 7; Lydia Eliza, age 4; and Ethel Belle, a little poast 2. “Josie” as she was called, was followed 2 ½ years later by another brother, Claude LeRoy, who never married, but looked after their mother during her 22 years of widowhood. In addition, Josie was fortunate in having another family–the children of her father and his first wife, Sarah Ann Woolf, a sister to her mother. This family consisted of 10 children, 7 of whom were living when Josie was born.
Homer Brown also had a 3rd wife, Berthe Nielsen, but Josie never knew her because she died of consumption in 1866, 3 years after their marriage, and her only child, Celeste, burned to death in 1870 along with Sarah Ann’s daughter, Harriet, while playing house with a toy stove in a corn crib.
“The 2 sisters and their children were just like one big happy family,” Josie would say when her children asked about her childhood, and what is was like to live during days of polygamy. Many time she said, “Father always tried to be just as fair as he possible could with his 2 wives and families. If he went to town and bought a bolt of cloth for one, he bought the same for the other.” When asked if her father had to hide or go to jail like many others did, she replied, “Father said he would never desert his wives or families or go into hiding. He loved them all and would not choose between them.” Although dates and records show that she was only 2 years old when polygamy ended in their family (through a Divorce decree granted to Sarah Ann in March 1882, and she would not have been able to remember from personal experience, still the unity and happiness of those previous years must have been deeply impressed on her mind by her parents, as she mentioned many times.
Children’s lives and attitudes are unavoidable affected by things that have happened to their parents and grandparents, and Josie was no exception, so it is important that we delve into her background a little to get a better idea of some of the things that made her the fine person that she became.
All 4 of Josie’s grandparents heard the Gospel, became convinced of its truthfulness, and accepted it with all their hearts. Then, in spite of being disowned and disapproved of by parents and families, they stayed true to their testimonies through suffering and sacrifice, and at times even at the peril of their lives. Their great faith and courage was rewarded in some cases by miraculous manifestations, the details of which can be read in their biographies. Their greatest hope was that the Gospel would mean as much to their descendants as it did to them. The Woolfs were living in New York City and the Browns in Chautauqua County in Western New York when the missionaries found them. Both sold their homes and migrated to Nauvoo, Illinois, where they built comfortable homes and became well acquainted with the Prophet Joseph Smith. He had been in both their homes many times and played ball with the boys. Here both of Josie’s parents, young as they were, gained strong testimonies of the truthfulness of the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ, which sustained them through all the trials to come.
Both families were forced by mobs to leave their homes in Nauvoo, and they spent the winter of 1846 in Winter Quarters, Nebraska. Sarah Ann DeVoe and John Anthony Woolf and their children (among whom were 13 year old Sarah Ann and 9 year old Hannah Eliza) came across the plains in 1847, arriving in the Valley in October. Sarah Mumford and Benjamin Brown and family (including their son, Homer, then 17) would also have come that year, had not Benjamin’s calling as bishop required that he stay at Winter Quarters and help outfit those in his care. He arrived in Salt Lake Valley in 1848 with his family, except for Homer, who came in 1849, having stopped off in Wyoming at the request of Jim Bridger to work for him that winter, which helped with the family finances.
With so many experiences in common, it is not surprising that Homer Brown met and fell in love with the Woolf sisters and married them-Sarah Ann in 1852 & Hannah Eliza in 1856. One event which affected the whole family for years to come should be mentioned. That event was a disagreement between Josie’s father and his bishop, William Thorne, about tithing, which resulted in Homer Brown being cut off (excommunicated) from the Church in 1882. Some of the people of the ward were not very charitable. Josie remembered riding down the road in their buggy with the family & hearing people shout after them, “There go the apostates Homer continued to determine the amount of his tithing at the end of each year, and although he couldn’t pay it to the Church, Josie remembers going with him in the wagon, which he did each year at Christmastime, to deliver foodstuffs to the widows and those in need. Of all the tests that had come to try their faith, those endured in 1882 must have been some of the most difficult for Josie’s parents and family. That they came through without bitterness should surely give their descendants courage to face their own trials and tribulations. At an early age Josie prayed for a testimony of the Gospel, and she was granted this great blessing; that testimony stayed with her, increasing over the years until her death. She found it a guide and inspiration many, many times. As she asked in humility for guidance and wisdom in solving her problems, she always found the strength and help she needed.
The family farm in Taylorsville consisted of 85 acres, bounded on the east by the Jordan River. There was a 6 room house, part of which was already built and part of which her father built. Josie’s duties were typical of a farm girl-herding and milking cows, washing dishes and milk pans, cooking meals, etc. She learned to mix bread at the age of 9, to knit at a very young age, and to make her own clothes. In addition, her mother took in boarders which, while it increased the income, also increased the washing, ironing, cooking and other chores. But the 3 young sisters, Ethel, Lydia, and Josie worked well with their mother. They talked and sang and laughed as they worked, which made the work lighter and more enjoyable. They learned to love to work. That the work did not seem burdensome is shown by Josie’s statement, “My mother was very kind, patient, and lovable, and I was bery happy and free in my childhoos, and learned to love every inch of the old farm.”
At times Josie also worked in various homes doing housework while living with the families. She learned many lessons in honesty, regard for the feelings of others, rights and privileges of family members, and hard work. When she was 19, she obtained work at the Murray Mercantile Store and worked there until her husband returned from his mission. Josie’s playmates from early childhood through youth were the Parker and Bringhurst children, who were near neighbors. Their amusements consisted of games and sports which were typical of young boys and girls raised on a farm–hide-and-seek, kick-the-can, run-sheep-run, baseball, swimming in the canal or Jordan River in the summer, and skating and sleighing in the winter. With a large family there were always plenty of people to play games after the work was done, & they had many good times with the companionship of brothers, sisters, and friends. Because there were so many children to send to school, and because of economic conditions, Josie did not start school until she was 10, when free schools started in Utah. Her mother had taught her reading, writing, arithmetic, and Geography, so that she was in the 3rdReader class when she started. She was frequently the winner in the “spelling bee.” The teacher was Warren Lyon, who had 75 pupils ranging in age from 6 to 20 years. Josie graduated from 8th Grade at the age of 17, but due to lack of resources, could not go on to High School. Josie attended Sunday School and other meetings in a little one room brick schoolhouse. The ward was then part of Taylorsville Ward, called the South Taylorsville Branch. She was baptized in March 1893 in the Salt Lake Tabernacle, just before she turned 13. In August 1903 Josie’s father was severely injured when their “pet” bull suddenly charged, bunting him high into the air. He not only had sever broken ribs, but serious internal injuries, which, according to his obituary notice, made him “more or less of an invalid for almost 2 years.”
While he was trying to recuperate from his injuries, Homer asked his wife to make arrangements to have him baptized as soon as he was able. He did not recover enough to have his desire fulfilled, but passed away 12 June 1905. We can imagine the joy that came to him when he was reinstated into the Church by direction of the First Presidency 17 Sep. 1907, with all former blessings reconfirmed, his son, Charles S. (“Farmer”) Brown acting as proxy. In October 1902, the fall before her father was injured, Josie met Aaron Lambert Quist when he came to board at her home while he worked at the nearby smelter as timekeeper. They kept company for 3 years, during which time both her father and Aaron’s father passed away. On 11 Oct. 1905, they were married in the Salt Lake Temple by Elder John R. Winder. Josie was 25. Aaron left the next day to fill a 2 year mission to Sweden, the native land of his parents. During those 2 years Josie waited at home with her mother, continuing to work at the mercantile store, carrying on her Church work. Besides writing to her husband, she also corresponded with her nephew, Hugh B. Brown, just 3 years younger than she, who was filling a mission in Great
Aaron returned 7 Dec. 1907, and they moved into the home Aaron’s father lived in until his death, at 9 Graham Court, near Liberty Park in Salt Lake City. They lived in the 2nd Ward where Josie was president of the Primary.
On 16 Oct. 1908, their first child was born. It was a daughter, but stillborn, due to the fact that Josie had smallpox 6 weeks before the birth. Aaron also contracted the disease and almost lost the sight of one eye because of it.
Josie’s sister, Ethel, passed away 19 Aug. 1909, after suffering for many months from the after-effects of diphtheria and a bad heart. She had 2 young daughters, Lois and Leah. Lois came to live with Josie and Aaron, while Leah lived with Josie and Ethel’s brother, Orson Brown, and his wife, Alice. Lois was just 4 years old when she came to them and was an important part of the Quist family and a great help to Josie until her marriage in 1923 to Albert Roy Scott. Just before Christmas 1909 their first Homer Brown Quist, was born 21 Dec. 2 years later, at Thanksgiving time, Stuart Brown Quist was born 26 Nov. Helen Josephine Quist was born 22 April 1914. In the spring of 1916, they sold their home in Salt Lake and moved by train to a farm near Arco, Idaho, with the plan of raising their children away from the unwholesome influences of the city. Also, the doctor had warned Aaron that he would not live long working at the smelter and inhaling the fumes.
On their way to the new home they stopped at Thomas, Idaho, to visit with Josie’s mother, her brother, Claude, and her sister, Lydia Evans, and family. Lydia was married and living there and her mother and Claude had recently sold the old h ome in Taylorsville and had a cementblock home built next door to Lydia. Josie was happy that she would be living so much closer to her mother again, but there was still 65 miles of desert between them & visits were not frequent. With this move to Arco, the electric iron, gas range, indoor bathroom, and other luxuries were left behind. The bare log walls were covered with Navajo rugs, a pretty rug showing a boy loving a dog, and what quilts could be spared. That winter was a cold one and wood could not be spared to have a fire in the heater often, so only one room was heated by the cook stove. It was so cold that Blaine Aaron, who had been born 28 Sep. Was kept wrapped in many thicknesses of flannel to keep him warm–just as though he were being taken outside to sleep. How cold the bedroom was when they went to bed. Ice got so thick on the windows that one could only see out of a little strip at the top of the bottom sash. The snow was so deep and the drifts so high that one could not even see the roof of the Thueson home next door. Those winters were long, hard ones; months would go by without the family going to town. Lois and Homer went to school in the old black school wagon (as did all the children for years to come). When the snow got too deep for the horses to pull the wagon, they went by bobsled. Arthur Wayne was born 5 Aug. 1918, just before the Armistice was signed at the end of World War I.
In the spring of 1919, when Homer was 9, he contracted the dread disease, diphtheria. The doctor came in his buggy and said it was a good thing he got there when he did or Homer would have been gone. He vaccinated him with toxin-anti-toxin–a new discovery in medicine. He also vaccinated the rest of the family so they would not contract the disease. Aaron had to live with one of the neighbors for a time so there would be someone out of quarantine who could go to the store for supplies.
It was indeed a happy day when the family could go to Sunday School again. They met in a little 1 room white frame church, but a new brick building was soon built to replace it. After Church meetings, dinner, and chores, the family would gather in front of Aaron, or on his knees so they could see the picture, as he told stories from the big family Bible. The stories became real to them through his telling, and the children began to know that the Lord would fight their battles (as He did for the children of Israel) if they loved Him and kept His commandments. After the story, they often popped corn over the old cook stove, and in winter had the treat of hot chocolate. The warmth of the little home was more than physical–the warmth of love was shared too. In 1920 they moved into a 1 room house on the Carey Act to “prove up” on another 40 acres of needed irrigated land. The dry farm had failed to produce 4 years in a row, and was abandoned without remuneration. In 1921 they moved back to the regular farm, and it felt good to be back in 2 rooms instead of one, and to be near the stables, so they did not have to go so far to do the chores.
During the summer of 1921 Josie was not well. She had stomach ulcers and was pregnant, and could only drink buttermilk. Helen went around to the neighbors to get the buttermilk they saved for Josie, so she could have some nourishment. Her feet and legs swelled badly, and Aaron wrapped them with bandages each morning before she could get out of bed. But still she cared for the 6 children, washing in the old wooden washer, boiling the clothes, hanging them mon the linne, churning butter, caring for the meat when they killed a pig or a beef. On Saturday, 24 Sep. Twins were born–Marion and Mary. They each weighed just a little over 3 pounds, and were so small that Josie could put her wedding ring over the hand of each and slide it up to the shoulder. She did not have enough milk to feed 2 babies, but her sister, Lydia, came to help and brought a recipe for formula–such a new thing in those times. She would warm it over a kerosene lamp at night. In spite of all their efforts, Marion was too weak and he died 17 Oct. 1921. It was faith, grit and Lois’s loving care that brought Josie & baby Mary through the winter.
Josie’s heart had been getting progressively worse through the years, and she could no longer lie down to sleep. The doctor was consulted and he suggested she have her teeth pulled. He thought there were pus bags on some of her teeth, which might be causing a strain on her heart. Accordingly, that was done, and that night Josie was at death’s door from the poison released into her bloodstream. Aaron administered to her, calling on the Lord and pleading that He spare her life. His prayer was answered and she was spared.
After the doctor’s first examination, Helen had been told to learn all she could from her mother about taking care of the home and family, as the doctor did not expect Josie to live more than 6 months. Helen was able to continue to go to school, but had to get up early in the morning to get housework, washing, ironing, and other chores done before school. She also had to get up at four hour intervals in the night to give the prescribed doses of medicine to her mother. Josie did all she could sitting on a chair, telling the children just how to do things. Gradually she gained strength, and eventually was able to resume most of her normal duties. She cooked for hay men and threshers, took care of the garden, canned fruits and vegetables, and sewed clothes for the family.
Summer was the time for visits from relatives and friends. On such occasions Josie would make a freezer of homemade ice cream, a cake, and other goodies for a lunch, and all would go for a picnic up the canyon, down by the river, or out to Craters of the Moon. Friends and relatives loved to come and see Aunt Josie. Beds were made on the floor or outside under the stars. The family all enjoyed beautiful sunsets, watching the stars at night, watching billowy clouds in the daytime, the aurora borealis, moon and sun dogs, and once a moon bow, when the moon was very bright and it rained at night. Cold mornings on the edge of the desert had some pleasant experiences, too–watching for mirages and seeing what one could imagine them toi be.The children were blessed to have a mother who could help her family enjoy the beautiful things of the earth.
In 1925 Josie and Aaron bought a “Model T” truck (one ton) and paid for it by hauling milk to the cheese factory in Arco. This really improved life on the farm. Josie’s mother died 3 Dec. 1927 at the age of 89 years at Thomas, Idaho. She had lived a long and fruitful life and all missed her very much.
Near the last of August 1930 Blaine became very ill. Aaron and Josie did all they could to alleviate his pain, but it persisted 2 or 3 days. Toward midnight one night the pain subsided and he slept. Aaron had gone to bed. When Josie prepared for bed, she took off her shoes and saw before her an open grave. There was no green grass or covering–just a lot of gravel thrown back, but there seemed to be a light coming out of the grave. This experience frightened her because she felt it was intended for Blaine. She didn’t wake Aaron because she knew how tired he was; however, she did not sleep until about 3 a.m. When she awakened, Blaine was in intense pain, and they rushed him to the doctor in Arco, who immediately sent them on to Idaho Falls, 60 painful miles away, for surgery. The appendix had ruptured and gangrene had set in. While Blaine was in surgery, Josie went out on the fire escape and waited and prayed. She prayed that if Blaine would be tempted beyond his power to endure, he should be taken now, but if he could grow to honorable manhood and fulfill a good mission in life, his life be spared. As she finished praying, a sweet peace came over her, and she felt that the will of the Lord would be done. Following surgery, Josie stayed to care for Blaine for 3 weeks until he was out of danger. On t he way home, she stopped at Thomas, Idaho, to visit her sister, Lydia, and family.
That night Lydia had a stroke, so Josie stayed to help. Before Blaine went home from the hospital, Lydia died and was buried. As Josie stood looking into the open grave after the casket had been lowered, she realized that this was the grave she had seen that night a month before, but she felt that a change had been made in the call because of her prayer in Blaine’s behalf. After Helen’s graduation High School, she advanced through 3 jobs until in 1934 she got a call to work at Boise for the Governor’s Emergency Drought Relief Committee as a secretary. She worked in the State Capitol for 3 years , the last 2 as secretary to Ezra T. Benson, a member of the committee. On 30 July 1937, she married Cleve H. Milligan of Smithfield, Utah, whom she had met in Brother Benson’s office.
The years 1931, 1933, and 1934 were almost total crop failures for the Quist family. Drought, depression, and children ready to go to college or get training for life were problems of great concern. Cows for which Aaron had received offers of $160 to $180 had to be sold for $10 a head because they had no feed for them and there was no market. Many families left Lost River Valley during this time, but the Quist family voted to stay. Josie later wrote of these experiences in a letter to Helen in Iran on Thanksgiving Day.
“This is Thanksgiving Day. I have been lying here awake for some time counting my many blessings, and I find them almost too numerous to be counted, and every year adds a few more–I’m thankful for the water we have had with which to irrigate our lands the last few years. But I must not fail to also give thanks for the lean years of the past, for they taught us some valuable lessons; thrift, industry, humility, resourcefulness, the power of prayer–“ What a joy it is to a mother to see the children she has loved and cared for make decisions that she feels will bring them joy, study and work to achieve and be of service to their fellow men, and seek good companions. In spite of drought, depression, and poor crops, her sons went to college for a few years, supporting themselves, but getting help with foodstuffs from home. It was with great joy that she saw Stuart accept a mission call to California in 1936. The next spring Homer decided to go on a mission, too. He was 28 years old, still single, serving in the bishopric of the Arco Ward and teaching at the Lost River School. He was called to serve in Argentina.
His mission president said that Homer was so anxious to work that he needed 2 companions, one could not keep up with him. But still Homer felt he was not doing enough and seemed to feel a great urgency about his work, as though his time was so very short, which proved to be true.
On April 16 Homer and his companion went for a trip into the “campo” (country) with an investigator to teach the Gospel to his friends. While there they went hunting birds on their diversion day. A covey of birds flew up between Homer and one of the friends (a novice with guns), who jerked his gun up to shoot, but it went off accidentally, and Homer received the shots in his legs. He had to ride 3 hours on a bus to the hospital in Buenos Aires, where he was given the old-fashioned tetanus toxin-anti-toxin. He had a delayed allergic reaction to it from which he died 29 April 1938. Josie always knew in one way or another when something had happened to one of her children, and this was no exception. She had seen Homer in a dream the night before; he was dressed in his brown suit and just walked in the kitchen door without saying a thing, but with a worried or frightened expression on his face. Josie didn’t know what was wrong, but was frightened and had spent a sleepless night. The body was shipped home on a boat accompanied by a returning missionary, taking a full month to arrive.
During the month of waiting, Apostle Melvin J. Ballard was the visiting authority at a stake conference. It was arranged for him to come out during the noon hour and have dinner at the Quist home. He gave Aaron and Josie each a wonderful blessing, laying his hands on their heads and promising them comfort and health and strength. In addition, he blessed Aaron that he would begin to be more prosperous. This was soon fulfilled, because Homer’s life insurance paid the mortgage on the farm, and provided a missionary fund for Arthur and Blaine. Josie had other experiences and manifestations regarding Homer and her sister, Ethel, that seemed to fulfill the following lines in her patriarchal blessing. “Thou shalt be warned of dangers and of events to come by dreams of the night–The Lord has heard thy petitions–and by prophetic vision thou shalt comprehend the will of the father.”
Blaine left for a mission to the Northwestern States in 1939, the year that Mary left to enter nurses’ training at Ogden. After Blaine’s return, Art filled a mission to the Northern States in 1941.
It was in 1941 that electricity came to the Q Farm. Stuart did the wiring. It was wonderful to have light at the switch of a switch after 25 years of struggling with kerosene and gas lamps. It was also a great blessing to have a bathroom in the house, and water in a tap instead of having to pump by hand from the well. How wonderful it would have been to have these blessings while the family was growing up, but they were appreciated when they came. Then came World War II and 4 marriages. Married Air Force Pilot Onas Lee Mays of Howe, Idaho, in Tallahassee, Florida, 3 Sep. 1942. He left 10 days later foir 18 months of foreign duty in Iceland. Stuart met Erva Watson, an Army nurse,, while inn Texas and they were married in the Mesa Temple 1 Oct. 1943. Art married Lenora Lillian Wilkie of Idaho Falls 28 May 1946, in the Idaho Falls Temple. Blaine married Marie Knighton of Moore, Idaho 3 Aug. 1951, in the Logan Temple. Mary and Onas and 2 children were sealed in the Logan Temple 3 July 1950. Stuart, Blaine, Onas and Erva served their country during World War II, but Erva was the only one to serve overseas in a combat zone. It was surely a great joy to have them all come home at the end of hostilities.
Josie had 2 bad sick spells in these later years. She suffered a strangulated hernia in 1943, and when she was 65 she had the mumps, suffering so much that her family feared they might lose her. But she won that fight, too.
19 April 1951, Aaron suffered a stroke which grew progressively worse until his death 2 May 1951. He (and Josie–at least later) had known for 17 years it would be at that time, because early one morning in the spring of 1934 as he was getting dressed, a voice came into his mind and said, “You have 17 years to live.” It startled him and he sat down on the bed and figured that it would be when he was 72 (1951). He was buried in the Arco Cemetery on 5 May. Blaine and Marie moved into the family home in Arco, and Josie moved to North Logan in a small house right next to Mary’s. She made a good adjustment to a new ward and community and was much loved there. She was near the temple where she enjoyed working. She and Mary were on their way to the temple when a collision occurred’ she was thrown out of the car fracturing 16 ribs and 3 vertebrae and putting her in the hospital for 3 months. Her injuries healed, but her heart and kidneys gave out, and she also lost her speech. She suffered long but patiently. She let her family know that she wanted to return to her little house and die there. When she was brought to her home, she could not talk, but caressed each loved piece of furniture
and whatnot with her eyes, indicating that this was what she wanted.
She died 5 June 1954, after having lain in a coma for nearly 2 days. Suddenly, she opened her eyes wide, closed her mouth, and looked at the front door with a look of recognition and greeting that caused everyone in the room to turn and look at the door expecting to see someone there. It was evident that she could see someone she knew and loved. In a few minutes she was gone. It had been made known earlier to her daughter, Helen, that Aaron and Homer had come and were waiting for her. Also on the other side to greet her were her son, Marion, her parents and all but one (Farmer Brown) of her 24 brothers and sisters. What a joyful reunion that must have been. Funeral services were held in the North Logan Chapel, with the principal speaker, her nephew, Hugh B. Brown. Her remains were shipped to Arco, Id., where services were also held under the direction of her son, Bishop Stuart B. Quist.
No tribute is too great to pay this great woman. The courage and endurance with which she met hardships, trials, sorrows, and suffering was a wonderful inspiration to her family. Her patience, gentle way, and gentle love shown in raising her children was a thing of beauty. Her life was one of unselfish and untiring service to her God, her husband, her children, and her beliefs. She took great pains to teach her children to live clean, honest, honorable, upright lives, and toi stand loyal to the truth. She was indeed wise in taking her children to the farm, because the lessons of taking responsibility, cooperation with one another, accepting sun and wind and rain, facing discouragement, and making the best of what comes are best learned there. All of her children learned the joy of work. “To see death gently pronounce its benediction upon the fullness of years, to see it merciful hand remove the infirmities of one who has traveled long and become weary of the journey, is a hallowed experience.”
Helen Quist Milligan and Mary Q. Mays, Daughters
Typed into the computer 24 Oct. 2002 by Kathleen Jardine Woolf Idaho Falls, Idaho
Information from book JOHN ANTHONY WOOLF FAMILY Publ. 1986.
Deseret News, 1878-10-16:
Davis County Clipper, 1903-09-04:
Salt Lake Herald, June 12, 1905:
Salt Lake Herald, 1905-11-29:
Salt Lake Herald 1905-12-5:
Salt Lake Herald, 1906-01-13: