In this last installment, I pick up my Grandmother Ellsworth's life story where she left off in her own writings.
I will try to fill in the blanks with Grandpa's writings and with stories I've heard all of my life. If anything seems inaccurate it is just because I am going on mine and my parent's memories.
I've tried to be very careful about details though. If its a fact I'll leave it at that.
If it's a story I've heard from someone I'll tell you! My own words will be in italics.
The photo below is of Ruth Ellsworth and her dog Tippy.
Ruth was born to George Franklin Ellsworth Jr. or Frank, and his first wife
Sarah Caroline Janes Ellsworth, or Carrie, as she was known.
She was born on January 9, 1916 making her 11 months older than Annie's twins.
Her mother Carrie passed away from liver failure on Dec. 26, 1919.
Lora Dean & Dora Dean Corbett.
I am guessing this was taken in Mesa after Annie and the girls arrived with the Cummards.
A brand new family!
Annie Dean Ellsworth holding George Dean Ellsworth, George Franklin Ellsworth
Lora Dean, Ruth, & Dora Dean Ellsworth.
Quoting my grandpa's story (hereafter everything in quotes in this post will be from his writings),
"In July of 1920 Annie Dean Corbett, a Widow, and I began a courtship which led to our marriage on September 22, 1920 in Phoenix, Arizona by Bishop J. Robert Price. We left for St. George, Utah to be sealed in the St. George Temple. Due to a mix-up we had to go to Salt Lake City to get Annie's temple release from her first marriage. This was granted by President Heber J. Grant on October 5, 1920. He then blessed us with a wonderful blessing and we left for St. George where we were sealed by Pres. David H. Cannon on October 7, 1920. We stared home immediately after our sealing where we arrived Sunday, October 10th and found Ruth and Annie's twins, Lora Dean and Dora Dean, well and happy to see us. Then began a very happy life for all of us as a "new family".
Frank and Annie's first child together, George Dean Ellsworth
called, "a fine, big, blond boy".
born July 12, 1921
I remember being shocked when I first realized how old Grandma Ellsworth was when she began having children with Grandpa. At age 37 she bore my father and would bear four more children!
New sisters, and always so happy about it!
Lora, Ruth, & Dora.
The sisters with their dolls & baby George in his buggy.
You can see Annie standing in the background.
Their second child, daughter Naomi, "a lovely blond."
born Nov. 19, 1924
In the spring of 1924 The older three girls and George contracted measles. Lora and George were the sickest, with George nearly 3 years old coming down with pneumonia on top of the measles.
"...George had a hard time of it for nearly six weeks. During this time, Mama had to be taken to the hospital for an emergency operation, leaving George still in serious condition. He became so weak that he could hardly talk. When he recovered, he could not walk and had to learn all over again. We got him a scooter to strengthen his legs before he could start walking. His illness made him more bashful than ever.
When mama went to the hospital as a result of a miscarriage she was in a very critical condition and when the doctors finished their work, Dr. Greer stepped into the hall and told Uncle Gove (Phelps) and Floyd Griner (bro-in- law), who were waiting there to administer to her, to get in there quick as they had done all they could and now the Lord would have to do the rest. Mama's heart quit beating but when they put their hands on her head, it started with such force that it shook her whole body. The Lord blessed her and restored her so she could come home in a few days. She and George lay side by side on their beds and grew well together. Mama's healing was a great testimony for prayer and administration."
In April of 1924 the family sold their home to get out from under debt and moved in with Frank's mother and sisters who lived at 225 East 1st Ave. They stayed there until the fall then moved to a 20 acre farm east of Mesa, the old LeSueur place.
Next to join the family was Joseph Franklin Ellsworth
born May 25,1925.
Here are Annie with baby Joseph out on the desert somewhere!
Her hair is still quite dark here. She is 41 years of age.
On September 23-26, 1927 the Arizona Temple in Mesa was dedicated. Frank had tithed part of his time in using his team to help with the excavation of the site. George had helped with other boys from the stake in keeping the wet concrete from drying out too quickly by spraying hoses on it after school. The temple would become a large part of the family's life. On Sept 14, 1928
Frank and Annie Ellsworth were set apart as Temple workers by Joseph Fielding Smith.
During the summer of 1929 the family took their first big trip together. They went to Utah to visit The Fox family. John Fox had been a mission companion of Frank's and he married Chloe Boyer who was of the Boyer family from England that had taken Annie in after Walter had died and she was still recovering from the twin's birth. What a co-incidence! They also visited other family members. They had quite an adventurous trip and it was sometimes treacherous. You'll learn more about it in Grandpa's story.
This photo was taken in Springville, Utah
at the Fox's home, summer 1929.
Back: Ruth, Annie, Lora, Frank, Dora
Front: Naomi, George, & Joseph.
This photo is of Chloe Boyer Fox with two of her children and Annie D. Ellsworth with Joseph in front of her. My mother told me so often Annie would sigh and express how very much she missed Utah and the beautiful mountains there. Utah is very desert-like compared to Hertfordshire where she grew up. I love that she came to the desert and was willing to stay!
Grandpa writes,"In the fall Mama and I again resumed our work as Temple workers and spent many happy years together helping others to receive the great blessings in the Temple. It was the most satisfying labor we ever did. Our family was blessed while we were so engaged. At first only two nights a week sessions were held; later they changed it to five nights. We worked regularly three nights a week and sometimes more.
Robert Lovell Ellsworth was born May 8, 1930, "on the farm on the highway. Mama had to be excused for a time from her Temple assignments. She had blood poisoning and became very ill until a chiropractor helped her out of it.. She soon recovered.."
Here is cute little Robert eating clover in the yard, which he loved to do!
Not long after Robert was born they traded their farm
for the George Brimhall home on North Hobson St. in Mesa.
They planted a lawn and flowers, fruit trees and grapes, a hedge and roses. In the years to come this yard would be the sight of many family gatherings in the cool of the evenings
as well as wedding receptions for the children. They were very happy there.
The house from the north, showing the newly put-in garden. This was a lovely bungalow. My mother remembers the pretty fireplace inside. It was made with beautifully colored rocks and had a nice mantle. She loved the dining room with the french doors which can be seen in the photo below. She had come from a large, but humble home and the Ellsworths seemed very well-off to her. They would laugh at that! Notice the old-style washing machine on the side porch? during this time Dad remembered that this house was the first one on the street to get electricity. All of the neighbors came to see the lone light bulb hanging in their kitchen and stare with wonder. The family soon purchased an electric refrigerator to take the place of the old ice box. Annie, being a nurse knew how important it was to keep certain medications very cold in that Arizona heat. She had all of the neighbors store their medicines in her fridge. She let them know that the side door to the kitchen would always be unlocked at night so they could come over and get their dosage without waking anyone up. Such generosity!
Here is a photo of Annie in the family car with baby Robert. She looks very much like my sister Sharon here in the set of her mouth, her forehead and brow line, and that nose!. I myself inherited those dark circles under the eyes!
Martha Ann Ellsworth was born May 6, 1932. Annie was now 48 years old! Here are her five younger children in about 1933, George, Robert, Joe, Naomi, and little Martha in the washtub cooling off! You can see Annie in the background enjoying her children.
Here are the three lovely older girls at about the same time. Lora, Dora, and Ruth.
"While picking grapes in 1935, Mama was stung by a scorpion. I grabbed it and threw it away and our pet turkey swallowed it. He was stung in the throat and died very quickly. We took Mama to the hospital where she was given a serum shot to counteract the poison. She became very ill and it seemed that nothing we did helped her. She could not eat and became very weak. We took her to California to Dr. Cecil. After her first treatment, she felt much so better that she ate her first meal and enjoyed our visit with Fern and Ted Gorrell too. (Fern was Frank's sister.) Mama improved rapidly...after that. Poor turkey, too!
This photo was taken of Frank and Annie ca. 1935-36.
In June of 1935 Dora married Norris Steverson.
In November of that same year Lora married Homer Hunsaker.
Norris & Dora Steverson, Lora and Homer Hunsaker.
On November 4, 1936 Annie became a grandmother, a role that she cherished! Here she is with John Steverson, Dora's son and her first grandchild. He wasn't alone for long. Ralph Earl Hunsaker was born on Dec. 26 of that same year.
Here are Frank and Annie enjoying a cool evening on the front lawn of the N. Hobson house as they did so often. They loved to sit and watch the children play. My own father inherited this habit! His greatest joy was sitting outside and watching his grandchildren play.
P.S. My own white hairs are coming in now in the exact same place as my grandmother's, the sides of my forehead. It doesn't make me like the white any more though, I just know who to blame!
In 1939 Annie and Dora took a trip to the California coast to visit Norris who was attending school. They were later joined by Frank, Joe, and Martha. They got to attend a Fourth of July show and see fireworks in the Los Angeles Coliseum which had been the home of the 1932 Olympic Games.
January 6, 1941 was the day Annie sent off her oldest son, George, to the East Central States Mission. On June 18, 1941 Daughter Naomi married Roy Elmo Harris in the Arizona Temple.
Here are lovely bride 'Noni' and handsome groom Roy with his parents next to him, and her parents Frank and Annie next to her. That's sister Lora over her right shoulder.
Here is the family all together in 1941.
L-R-George, Naomi, Dora, Lora, Ruth, Martha, Annie, Joseph, Robert, & Frank.
On January 24, 1942, Ruth married Rulon Detlef Blunck in San Francisco, CA by German E. Ellsworth. Rulon was stationed at the Presidio there and Ruth had gone there to work, and so they met! They came to Mesa to be sealed on Nov. 24, 1942.
On April 12, 1942 Frank and Annie welcomed their first granddaughter, Julie Harris.
On June 5, 1942 George married Helen Hamblin in the Arizona Temple. He had a ruptured appendix while on his mission and becoming very ill, had to come home in Sept. of 1941.
In this photo are : Back-Naomi & Roy Harris, Frank Ellsworth. Middle-Lora Junsaker, Annie Dean Ellsworth, Alta Standage (Frank's sister), & Ida Lee Hamblin (Helen's mother).
By this time there were many family members enlisted in the armed forces because of World War II.
George was US Army Air Corps, Joseph was US Navy Airforce, Son-in-law Rulon Blunck was US Army, and son-in-law Roy Harris was US Army Air Corps. This was a worrisome and terrible time for those left at home. My mother tells me that the day my father George shipped out to go over-seas, Annie went with them to Union Station in Mesa. There were tearful good-byes and finally George left them and boarded the train. Mom thought she might never see him again until such time as he was able to come home, God willing. Suddenly Annie grabbed Mom's arm and said, "Helen! Helen! Look!" Mom looked to where her mother-in-law was pointing and saw that Dad had come outside of the train onto the steps of the car he had boarded. He was holding onto the hand rail, watching as the train started to move. Annie said, "Go on Helen, GO ON!" At her urging Mom ran forward and threw herself up into Dad's arms for one last embrace and kiss. When she returned to Annie they walked arm-in-arm back to the car with mother Annie sobbing the whole way. It was very hard on her to have her sons gone to fight a war.
Annie with her son George just before he went overseas.
My father told me of a time during the war that showed his mother's keen spirituality and how close she was to understanding the Holy Ghost's promptings. Joseph had been sent to the Pacific Theater of the war and was part of the retaking of the islands from Guadalcanal to Japan. He was a gunner in a plane for the Naval Air Force and in some pretty fierce fighting. At one point he was hit by a bullet. I wish I could recall what my father told me about how badly he was injured. Annie and Frank were asleep in the middle of the night when she suddenly sat straight up in bed with such force that it startled Frank awake. He asked what was wrong to which she replied, "Something is wrong with Joseph!" They lay awake the rest of the night praying and worrying. They found out many days later that he had been hit and that it was at the same time that Annie had known it.
Joseph with Martha after he had enlisted.
These two inherited their mother's beautiful dark complexion and hair!
Here is Annie during the war years with her grand daughter & my oldest sister Sharon Lynn. This picture make me gasp when I first saw it after Sharon's death. Sharon resembled her very much when she was older, right down to the wrinkles in her forehead! My mother lived with her own mother while Dad was gone to war. Granny Hamblin lived very near the Ellsworths at 218 E. 2nd St.
My mother would visit the Ellsworths quite often, taking baby Sharon in the bouncy buggy. My Aunt Martha tells me that it was the brightest spot of her days to see Helen and Sharon coming toward the house on Hobson St. Sharon was always laughing and smiling. When she was a bit older and walking, they would walk east on 2nd St. to where it met Mesa Drive (where the present day YMCA is) and cut through the fence of the home that my father had been born in. It backed up to the Ellsworth property. They would come to the side of the house where Sharon would run into the kitchen calling , "Granny! Granny! Granny!" All of the grandchildren loved Annie so! She was always so loving, kind, and sweet to us all.
After the war ended and the men started coming home life settled back into a more normal pace. Joseph remained in the service being sent to Guam to finish out his enlistment. Annie and Frank went to San Pedro Base in California to pick him up and bring him home after his time in the service was over. Finally they could breath a sigh of relief with all of their boys safe at home. It was at this time that the decision was made to trade the home and property on North Hobson for a farm in Chandler so that Joe could farm with his father. The land was very sandy and hard to water. Annie named the place "Sandy Acres". It was out on Williams Field Road just past the main part of Chandler. Grandpa writes:
"The sand blew so badly that it was hard to get the crops to grow. mama was never very happy with it but made it as home-like as possible. We built a house for George and a new dairy barn. Joseph was married to Carrie Allen on March 9, 1947 in the Arizona Temple. They came to live with us until we could build them a home."
Carrie Allen and Joseph Franklin Ellsworth at the temple on their wedding day.
"The farm was a great place for the grandchildren to come and stay
and enjoy themselves with our boys."
That summer Frank and Annie began a yearly trip to visit Ruth and her family in southern California. They would bring home all sorts of berries and cherries to preserve. In the early summer of 1948 Frank and Annie moved from Chandler and leased a farm on Alma School Road in Mesa.
"Life was much happier for Mama after such a hard two years on 'Sandy Acres'."
Annie Dean Ellsworth in the front yard on Alma School Road. Look at those wide-open spaces to the south! Dean Ellsworth is at her left, I am guessing the girls are Dianne & Marian Hunsaker with Sharon Ellsworth in the middle. (?) I love the picket fence!
Sharon shared some fun memories of "Granny Ellsworth", as she called her. Annie had the grandchildren convinced that she could charm a wart right off of you. She would pluck a long hair from her head and tie it tightly around the wart. She would then tell the child not to touch it or even think about it for two weeks or so. Sure enough, just like magic, that wart would disappear! Sharon also said that during earlier years when she still had only a little white hair that she would sit on the floor and have one of the grandchildren sit behind her and brush her hair. She would pay them a penny for every white hair they could find and pull out of her head!
September 6, 1949 Martha Ann married Melvin Grant Randall.
On July 1, 1950 Frank and Annie bought a lot on South Nina Drive. It was just a short walk through the cotton fields to the north to get to Lora and Homer's home on West Main St.
They built a house and moved in on September 1st.
"we were very happy to be in a home of our own again. It was comfortable for us and Mama was happy in it. We soon had our yard prepared for lawn and planted it for winter. Then we prepared for our flowers and soon had them growing. Mama loved flowers so much that we planted a variety of them, especially roses, both tree and bush."
My mother loves to tell of how Annie loved those flowers with all of her heart. She fought a war with the 'wooly worms' or caterpillars that would come out of the cotton fields by the thousands. They would try to consume her tender plants. Mom remembers finding Annie in the back yard one time with a pair of scissors snipping those caterpillars in half as they crawled all over her beloved flowers. The tears were streaming down her face as she worked to save her little piece of Eden! She would give my brothers a nickle a piece for the wooly worms after they had slowed down a bit. The boys would go on hunts for them out in Granny's garden.
In the spring of 1951 they planted trees and more flowers. Then they took a trip to Houston, Texas to visit Roy and Naomi's family. Dora went with them and they had a lovely trip. After Robert came home from his mission he was called into the service of his country during the Korean War. He was stationed in El Paso. He came home on leave and married Ruth Kleinman on April 19, 1953 in the Arizona Temple.
Life on South Nina Drive was lovely for Annie and Frank. They enjoyed their yard so much, especially when the grandchildren came to play. Sunday afternoons became the day for the whole family to gather there.
Here is a photo of Annie on the front porch with John Randall, Ruth Blunck,
Helen and Ruth Ellsworth in back.
Sharon Ellsworth beside her and Martha Randall on the end.
Another photo from the same day. Back : John Steverson,Robert and Ruth, Ruth and Rulon.
Middle: Martha and John, Helen, Sharon, Annie, with Richard and Dean Ellsworth up front.
I love this photo taken while Robert was still on his mission because his mother Annie is holing his portrait so he can be included. This was a typical gathering of cousins, aunts and uncles.
Annie and Frank in their front yard on South Nina Dr. Look at the cotton fields behind them (home to those Wooly Worm raiders!) The Rosarita factory would be built far back there. I remember the scent of refried beans being processed when we would visit!
This following two pictures were taken in the back yard of Lora and Homer Hunsaker. This was the sight of many family parties. There was always barbecue, soda pop in a tub full of ice, games of Hide & Seek, and hugs from Grandpa and Grandma. This was right before I was born and I always felt so cheated that I couldn't be in the iconic grandchildren picture!
Here are the originals, Frank, Annie and their children.
Back: Naomi Harris, Dora Dean Steverson, Lora Dean Hunsaker, Martha Ann Randall, Ruth Blunck, & Robert Lovell Ellsworth, Front: Joseph Franklin, George Franklin, Annie Dean, & George Dean Ellsworth.
Grandpa writes, "Mama's health was failing so that she had a hard time to keep going. Her blood pressure became more pronounced as well as her diabetes. This caused her a lot of trouble. We called in the Elders and she would get quick relief. She had to take insulin regularly from then on. In the summer of 1957, Mama and I went to visit Ruth and family. Mama's troubles kept her from having a good time inasmuch as she wasn't feeling well. This was her last trip as she became afraid to get very far from home for fear she would become sick."
In 1959, "Mama was slowly weakening which caused us a lot of worry over her. It was hard to see her suffer as she did when those attacks would come. She was very cheerful and we called the Elders and she always got quick relief."
Here is Grandma Ellsworth as I remember her with her pure white hair and sweet smile. This is the backyard of the home on Nina Drive. They truly turned it into a little oasis for the family!
Frank and Annie Ellsworth in their lovely backyard.
This photo is of Annie in a chair in her bedroom on Nina Drive. She loved to knit and crochet. Her work was beautiful and expert. She taught my mother how to crochet and my mother taught me! I'll be forever grateful for that talent passed down lovingly! I have a sweet pink angora bonnet that Grandma crocheted for me when I was born. I also have two lovely quilts that she made for me. I'll share those with you soon.
This is a photo of me and my brothers Richard and Dean in front of the house on Nina. Those African Daisies were some of Grandma's favorites. I remember them very well. My father pulled seeds from the dried up flowers there in front of the house and planted them in our own yard. Those seeds have been passed down. My brother Dean still plants daisies in his garden that came from Grandma's original seeds. I'm going to have to remember to get some of those!
This is the only picture I know of where I am in the same photo as Grandma. I am riding my cousin's Wonder Horse (thanks Doug!) and Annie is smiling at me. I treasure this because it is how I remember her. (I also see a lot of my father in her face there.)
"Mama failed quite fast during the spring and summer of 1960. In July and August she had some very bad attacks. She suffered terribly until the Elders came, then she would be relieved at once and feel much better for a few days until another attack. Each one was worse than the last. When she had one very severe attack, we took her to the hospital. She knew she was not going to stay with us much longer and told me in the ambulance that the end was very near. It was very hard to accept the fact but she rapidly failed until we had all the children come home to see and be with her at the last. She was going into a coma as Naomi arrived from Paris, France by plane. At 12:20 a.m., September 6, 1960, our Dear One left us, and all of her pain and suffering, to go to the place prepared for the righteous. Thus ended the greater part of me."
That last line breaks my heart. Grandpa missed her so when she was gone.
Annie Dean Ellsworth lived an amazing life of faith, hard work, and knowing how to find joy in all things. To think of where she came from, the poverty, having to leave home at age 11, working the remainder of her childhood and into adulthood for her living,, to learning the true and restored Gospel of Jesus Christ and having such faith that she left her homeland all alone to start a new life; she remains a great example to us all.
My father loved to tell of a time during the Great Depression, when men traveled the country looking for any work they could find, many of these "hobos" would knock on the side door of the house on Hobson. They would ask for work and if there was anything that they could do to earn a bite to eat. Dad said that no matter how little the family had, his mother never turned anyone away hungry. She would give them what she could, and the family would be blessed for it. He never forgot that lesson.
If anyone reading this has memories of Grandma Ellsworth that you would like to share please DO! Write them in the comments so that we can all enjoy them. I only have two vague memories. One was her birthday and she was at Aunt Lora's house. I remember her sitting in an armchair in front of the living room window and me climbing up into her lap. I remember feeling so happy to see her. The other was at the house on Nina Dr. I just remember her sitting in the old rocking chair that my brother Dean now owns, and she was smiling...always smiling!