Monday, September 14, 2015

Time Travel Tuesdays~ Ida Lee Hamblin Part 16~A New Calling, Native Surprise, Moving Again!

Hi! I did better with the cutting and pasting this week. At least the font is all the same and almost all the same size! Last time we Time Traveled the year was 1924 and the Hamblin family was living in St. Johns, Arizona, while Grandpa Carl worked about 15 miles away in Concho, helping build a road. Baby number 12, my Aunt Shirley, had arrived. As if Ida wasn't busy enough, the Lord knew she could give more.

About six or eight months after Shirley's birth, Bishop E. J.
Whiting came to our house and told me they had chosen me to be
their next Relief Society President. I was really shocked. What
could I say? I had never refused a call to labor in any of the
organizations. I had been a counselor in Relief Society, Class
Leader, and Visiting Teacher. I had taught both in Sunday School
and Primary, counselor and teacher in MIA.
I taught religion class
and was one of the first representatives in the ward to help
further Genealogy work. All these jobs I could fulfill with the
help of the Lord, but with my large family, to accept the office of
Relief Society President, seemed more than I was capable of doing.
I looked at Bishop Whiting and said, "Bishop, have you ever looked
at my
family and saw how much like stair steps they are?" His
reply was, "Yes, Sister Hamblin, I have, and I know that the
mothers with the large families are the ones who do the best jobs,
and I know that with God
's help you can do it." With two good
counselors, Fanny Christensen, and Mary Jones, Iris Platt as
Secretary and a good core of class instructors and visiting
teachers, we succeeded and the work went forward, and I enjoyed it.
I learned to love all those I labored with and I had the support of
all the women of the ward, as well as the Bishopric. I held this
position until we left St. Johns in the spring of 1926.

(While in St. John's)
We bought the old Rothlisberger home and moved into it. It was a
two story, rock building. On the lot next to us lived Brother and
Sister Ben Richey. They were real old friends of Mother and Dad.
We enjoyed them very much. There was a kitchen, living room, and
two bedrooms, upstairs, with steps going up on the outside of the
kitchen, and on the south a bedroom, which Grandmother
Rothlisberger slept in, and ate with us, until better arrangements
could be made for her by her family. There was a large room on the
ground floor which was entered from the back. It had been used as
a washroom and was very dirty. I worked for days to clean it out
so I could put beds in it. We were very comfortable in this house,
had much more room and had a large lot so we could have a garden
and also a corn patch. My husband was still working building roads
and [which]
 was over around Concho. I continued working in the
Relief Society and attending other church duties. I was so pleased
that I had no trouble in getting my children in Primary and Sunday
School. They were always there with me and their father, when he
was home.

During the winter my family all came down with the flu.  It was
sweeping the country. Fern was the only one who escaped. She had
it in Nutrioso when my brother Rain's family had it. She was left
at their house in order for the others to escape it. And I was
pregnant and flu went very hard on pregnant women. So this time,
Fern was well enough to take care of us. She made a good nurse and
cook, we got along very well
. On Saturday night Carl, who was
working on the highway between Concho and St. Johns, came to the
door, which was not locked, and started to open the door. I
hollered at him to not come in as we were all down with the flu.
He came in, saying he would not
take it and would be alright. All
he did was walk through the living room and through the kitchen and
on to the little bedroom off the kitchen and went to bed. He got
up early the next morning and went back to camp. The following
week he came home with the flu. I think he had it worse than any
of us. He went to bed and it was close to three weeks before he
was able to go back to work, and then he was very weak. I was able
to take care of him and the children. We had very good neighbors
and friends who called and brought cooked food and delicacies for
the sick. I have always been blessed with good neighbors, and
wherever I have lived I have tried to be a good neighbor.

In July 1925, my brother Rain, who was working out the other side
of Luna, came home for the Fourth of July. Shortly after he went
back he became very ill and returned home. As he became worse he
decided to go to Phoenix and go through a full examination in a
clinic. So his friend, John Earl, went with him. He was examined
and it was found that he had cancer, or at least that is what the
doctors thought. After they got him ready for surgery the doctor
asked him if he wanted to say something. He told them "yes", he
wanted to tell John Earl that in case they opened him up and found
cancer or any other serious thing wrong with him that he wanted him
to see that they go on with the surgery, and not sew him up and
send him home to die a horrible death as they had done Father.
Poor Rain, he had sat by Father's bed and seen him suffer and die
by inches, and now just two years later he was sick with the same
dreaded disease. They made the incision, and sure enough they
found cancer. Of course they did not operate, but sewed him up and
released him to go home. But Rain was not deceived, he knew they
had done the very thing that he had asked them not to do. When
they got to St. Johns, he stayed all night with us. Even in that
short time he was vomiting up everything he ate. The cancer was
situated at the lower end of the stomach where food went into the
intestines, and nothing could get out of the stomach. Fortunately,
he did not have to wait as long as Father did. He passed away on
October 20, 1925, within a few days of the date of Father's death.
What a sad thing for Mother, to lose her husband and in two years,
lose the son whom she had come to rely on so much. But God's ways
are not man's ways, and perhaps Father needed him to help with the
great work there is over there of spreading the gospel to those who
have gone on before us, without an opportunity of hearing it here.
I like to think of it being the case, especially when my dear
husband was snatched from me at a time when I needed him most.

Thomas Rainey Lee
His resemblance to my Uncle Orland (Ida's son) is remarkable.

Rain and Rhoda Lee

This is a picture of Thomas Rainey (Rain) Lee
driving one of the freighting wagons that the Lees operated in Nutrioso.

In the spring of 1926, we were on the move again. Our desire was
to get located where we could make a living and be together more. 
We were expecting again and the Sisters of St. Johns Ward gave me
a baby shower, the only one I had ever had. How grateful I was to
them and how I hated to leave my dear friends, but [I] had to go.
We left Blanche and Fern until the school term was ended. Both
were in high school. Blanche stayed with Don and Alma Peterson,
and Fern stayed with Brother and Sister Henry Overson. How we
hated to leave them, as we knew how lonely life would be without
them. But we kissed them good by and started out. We left St.
about noon. I drove one team and wagon and Carl had a four-
horse team and wagon. He had Orland with him and occasionally one
of the girls, Fay or Klea, would ride with them. The first night
out we made camp early as it was raining and the roads were muddy.
The second night we camped between St. Johns and Ramah, in the
cedars, just a short distance from the road that turns to Ramah.
This was a good camp site. Carl took the horses down the road,
several miles expecting to find water at a windmill. On arriving
there, he found it dry. So we made a dry camp that night. All the
water we had was a half gallon jar I had in my wagon for the
children to drink. We had traveled all day where there was water
from the rains, but that was of no avail now. We opened canned
tomatoes and gave to the children so they wouldn't get so dry. We
started early the next morning and the last thing I did before
leaving camp was to pick up the Winchester and put it in the wagon.
No one noticed the sack which carried all our camp fire equipment,
dutch oven, frying pans, buckets, etc., but we had gone too far to
turn back. About ten o'clock, Carl stood up in his wagon and waved
his hat, to let us know he had spotted water ahead. We quickly
unharnessed the horses to let them drink and built a fire to fix
breakfast. That was when we discovered the camp equipment was
missing. I had bread, cookies, and canned goods we could lunch on
now that we had water, but it (the water) was not the best in the
world. The horses didn't mind and they needed it even worse than
we did. Then we continued on toward Ramah.

This map shows the journey. For your reference, I've put pink dots on Nutrioso at the bottom, Ramah in the middle, and Gallup, NM at the top.
 I was born in Gallup!
Grandpa was working in Concho, AZ, Ida was living with the children in St. John's, and they traveled to the Zuni Mts. in New Mexico. (The green area north of Ramah)

We arrived there early in the evening, and camped just outside of the Zuni village. We pitched our tent, made beds, and Carl went to the store to get something for our supper and breakfast. I was in the tent washing the children and dressing them for bed, when an old Zuni Indian opened the tent door and looked in at us. The children all 
commenced screaming. That was the first red man they had ever
seen. He got quite a kick out of seeing them so scared, but to
them it wasn't very funny. Early the next morning after prayers
and breakfast, we were on our way. I often thought while traveling
this road, of the time my father, brother Frank and I had traveled
it about 25 years ago. The next night we arrived in Ramah, at my
brother John's home. How glad I was to see them, as it had been
several years since we had seen them. Had a nice visit with them
and left early the next morning.

(If you look back at this post, you will remember that Granny and Grandpa lived in the Zuni Mts. for a bit, early in their marriage, while the Lees were moving back from Farmington and Hammond, New Mexico to Nutrioso, Arizona. The men worked cutting timbers for mining operations in Kettner. It was here that Carl and Ida rode the Zuni logging train in the cab of the engine, back into Arizona to meet up with a party of Saints going to Salt Lake City to be sealed in the temple.)

Back to the story~
 Our plans were to go up in the  Zuni Mountains where there was always work for the strong men and teams. I shall never forget having to drive the team around the road by the Ramah Reservoir. The rains had filled it so full that water had covered the road, which was dug along the side of a big cliff. I was so frightened, but I dared not let the children know
I was as they were all crying. I had a good gentle team, 
and needless to say, I hugged that cliff very close and kept my eyestraight ahead, as I had always been afraid of a large body of water. With a prayer in my heart, and the reassurance of my 
husband, with his broad smile, we made it without any trouble, but would not like to try it again.


Ramah Reservoir

Cliffs on either side that Carl and Ida drove along.

Ramah Arch on the cliffs.

Well, I'd really have to love a place to brave that steep canyon road after the rains. My Granny was a tiny woman. I like to think of her handling a team of horses with one hand,  and manning the brakes of the wagon with the other!  My mother told me often that of all the places they ever live, they loved the Zuni Mountains the best. It is really is beautiful country.

Don't you love the story of the old Zuni man peeking into the family tent and getting a kick out of the children's screams? I'm sure it startled Ida and I'm very sure she didn't appreciate the chaos he caused!

As a high school-er, I wore a lot of turquoise jewelry made by Navajo and Zuni Native Americans. It was quite popular and my mother liked to buy it. Some of my favorites were the pieces made by the Zuni Tribe. They are know for their "Needlepoint" jewelry. They started cutting the stones with sharp, needle-like points in the 1920's at about the same time Carl and Ida lived near the pueblos. Below are some examples of their beautiful work.

I like this Zuni take on a  Squash Blossom necklace.

The Zuni are also known for their inlaid stone jewelry 
such as those pictured below.
 The traditional stones are  black jet, red coral,  white mother of pearl, and blue turquoise. 

The pottery of the Zuni is unique in its design and markings.

My mother has quite a love for Native jewelry and pottery and I am sure it can be trace d back to the family's time spent in the Zuni Mountains and the Bluewater area.

Next Time...Life in a Logging Camp, Beautiful Bluewater, and Baby # 13!! Will it be a Boy or Girl? Let's see, the count right now is 10 girls and two boys (one of each died in infancy, so 10 living children 9 girls and one boy.) What's your guess? 

1 comment:

URFAVE 5+1 said...

I love these family history posts. I love reading about these great ancestors. It reminds me that I have absolutely nothing to ever complain about. I'm completely amazed at all that they did and endured. Thank you for sharing! I'm looking forward to getting to see you this week! We sure love you!