I was born in Nutrioso, Apache County, Arizona. in a little Mormon community situated at the foot of Escudilla Peaks in the White Mountains of Arizona. I was born March 4, 1884. My parents were John Willard Lee and Lucinda Margaret Clark Lee. Father was a son of John Doyle Lee and Agatha Ann Woolsey. Mother's parents were John Wesley Clark and Evaline Brown Clark. Father was born October 11, 1849 and mother as born February 27, 1851 at Galveston, Texas.
Ida's parents John Willard Lee and Lucinda Margaret Clark Lee
I was born in a two-story log house on the west side of Main Street and south of the stream called Nutrioso Creek. Our neighbors were Brother and Sister James Wilkins. Sister Wilkins was my first Primary President and I spent many happy hours in her home. She was interested in young people and we enjoyed, as young people, going there for house parties.
A wild rose hedge grew between our home and the Brown's which was very beautiful in the summer when in full bloom. The wild rose has been a emblem of my home and a happy childhood. Father planted a row of cottonwood trees along the sidewalk in front of our home and Brother Brown did the same in front of their home. This was one of the beauty spots of Nutrioso, and the cottonwoods furnished shade for us children as well as others during the hot summer days. At night the moon looked beautiful shining through its branches. Across the street, east, were the old barn, corrals, granary and chicken coop.
Arizona Wild Roses.
I felt very fortunate in having Grandmother Clark near. She was the only Grandparent I knew. I have many fond memories of her and her neat little home, eating cookies from her cookie box which was never empty, and all the children coming that way enjoyed the contents of that box.
Ida's maternal grandmother, Evaline Brown Clark
we both recovered.
Below is a photograph of Lillian and Ida Lee taken about 1886.
Ida was 2 years old. She and Lil were very close all of their lives.
Look at my cute baby Granny Hambin!!
Look at my cute baby Granny Hambin!!
I was the fourth daughter and the eighth child of a family of eight boys and six girls. I had five sisters and eight brothers. This is the order of their births:
John Willard, Jr. 1871-1933
Hyrum Gulley 1872-1895
Oliver Lionel 1876-1878
Thomas Rainey 1874-192
These are my great-aunts and great-uncles; my mother Helen's aunts and uncles. I remember Lucinda Margaret, who went by Margaret or Mag. My Mom called her Aunt Mag. I also remember Minnie and Evaline who was called Eva. I also remember Uncles Marion and Claude. They were all so kind and sweet. Many of them had very nice voices. They sang for my grandmother Ida at several of her big birthday celebrations. Aunt Minnie lived right next door the Granny Hamblin (to the east) on East 2nd St. in Mesa, and Aunt Mag lived nest door to Granny on the west side.
(and may I add that Rainey looks so much like my Uncle Orland it is creepy!)
Lucinda Margaret 1880-1972
Children of John W. Lee and Lucinda Margaret Clark Lee
Back-Margaret, Thomas Rainey. Middle-Minnie, Frank, Lillian, John W. Jr., Dora holding her son Claude Lytle, Garland. Front-Evaline, Marion.Below you see the Great State of Arizona. Do you love my Photoshop skills? I did it without the help of my Rachel this time! Yay me! There is Nutrioso in Apache County near the border with New Mexico.
As my mind wanders back I know there was never anyone had a happier childhood than I did. All the family were musically inclined and how we enjoyed being together and singing the old favorite songs. Father and Mother both had good voices and often sang together in these family circles. We popped or parched corn, and made candy from homemade molasses, of which we always had plenty. Father was a good provider and Mother a good manager so there never was a time in out home that there wasn't plenty of food wholesome food.
When I was a very little girl, I remember how embarrassed I was, one day, when Iwalked up to a group of men and threw my arms around what I thought was my father's legs. The men all laughed and I looked up to see it was Brother Brown I was hugging instead of Father. I was on the verge of tears when Father, in his kind way, took me in his arms and pacified me and told me it was alright. What a kind man he was.
Later on, Father bought the house across the street from the school house and from Mother's brother, Uncle John W. Clark. In the home, Garland, Marion, and Evaline were born. We enjoyed this home, being so close to school and church, for church was held in the little school house where I received much of my schooling. My school days began in a little log house north of our home in the lot adjoining us. My first teacher was Aunt Annie Pace Lee and also Emma Coleman. I don't remember who came first. Later an addition was built in front of the little white school house, and teachers were Mr. Gray, Miss Wood, Mary Wilkins, Mr. Burk, Mr. Estes, Brother Rencher, Byron Pace (a cousin), John W. Brown, and Willis Gibbons. Another one was a Mrs. Franks. I am sure these are not in order, it has been many years since school days. A school term at that time was only three months, then five, then six, and now children go for nine months out of the year. All these teachers helped in giving me basic training. Happy School Days!! How I loved them. Years later when I had my family and children going to school as they marched off at the beginning of a new school term, I found myself wanting to take my books and go too.
Later, Father sold this home to Uncle Wilson and aunt Lizzie Pace. She was Father's half sister. Father built a house on the lot where we lived in the little log house where I was born, and was still standing and remained there for many years. The new house was built of hewn logs and contained five rooms. Some of the happiest days of my life were spent here. Christmas was a great event. A Christmas tree was put up on the stage of the school house. It was lovely, decorated with home made decorations and a real live Santa Clause was there to distribute gifts. If there was an extra beautiful doll on the tree, we all knew who it would be for, for whose parents could afford such a gift as the Brown girls? But we were all happy with the gifts we received, which consisted of a bag of candy, nuts and popcorn, and one other small gift, a doll, a pocket knife, or marbles. We did not always have a community tree. At those times we would hang our stockings on the mantle piece and hurry on to bed so Santa would come and fill them with candy, nuts, popcorn, cookies, and maybe an apple, which was very much a rarity in those days, and we appreciated them more, I think, than children do today who have everything money can buy. I am grateful for parents who taught me to help share the iron and care for little brothers and sisters and I enjoyed it all. I learned to help with the chores around the place, milk cows, tromp hay, feed pigs and chickens, and herd calves. I enjoyed sewing and learned to make all my clothes as well as help with the family sewing. I pieced many quilt tops and helped quilt them, for it took many quilts to make beds for so large a family. I braided and crocheted many rugs. We always had woven rag carpets on the floors of the front room and bedrooms. We had "Rag Bees" where the neighbor women were gathered in and helped sew the rags together and wound into balls ready for the weaver's to use in weaving into carpets. These were social events shared by old and young alike. How proud mother was when a new carpet was woven, sewed together, and put on top of clean straw which was first spread on the floor. No one today with shag carpet could be more proud than Mother was over her rag carpet. One felt they had accomplished quite a feat when it was done. The activity was n the summer months; winter was for school. There were no compulsory school laws at that time and so when one went to school, it was because of the desire to learn. I never missed a day of school that I was able to attend.
The story of the community Christmas tree reminded me of another story I've read in the Laura Ingalls Wilder books. Here is the illustration of that special tree! Seems a bit unfair to throw everyone's gifts up on a tree and know, because of money, who would get the special ones. In this case though, Laura got the little fur wrap she was hoping for.
On this zoom-in you can see the Escudillo Mts. and the Coronado Trail. To the left of the photo you can see some County Roads. On Google Earth if you zoom in on them there are cabins and summer homes. They are sparsely placed. I imagine its so nice and quiet there!
Zoom in even closer and as you can see, Nutrioso hasn't grown much at all, over the years!
I highlighted Nutrioso Creek in blue. The rectangle outlined in purple shows the small area south of the creek and west of Main St. This is the area Granny says she lived in. Looks like about four lots to choose from!
In this screen shot we are standing at the top of the purple rectangle looking south on Main St. or County Road 2016. Look at those Cottonwood trees on the west side...Are they descendants of the one that the Lees and the Browns planted? Most likely! The little building to the left is a Post Office. That's all there is to downtown Nutrioso!