January 25, 2010

Lillywhite Children; (Parents, Joseph Lillywhite and Mary Ellen Willden)

Children on the Trek:
Mary Elenore (Born: 13 Jul 1872 Place: Beaver, Beaver, Ut. Died: 14 Jul 1931 Place: Phoenix, Maracopa, Az.  Buried: 17 Jul 1931 Place: Mesa, Maracopa, Az

Joseph Jr. Born: 25 Oct 1868 Place: Beaver, Beaver, Ut . Died: 12 Jun 1921 Place: Agua Prieta, Sonora, Mexico. Buried: 16 Jun 1921 Place: Mesa, Maricopa, Az

Charles Willden Born: 26 Dec 1874 Place: Beaver City, Beaver, Utah. Christened: 29 Dec 1874 Place: Beaver City, Beaver, Utah .  Died: 16 Jun 1947 Place: Mesa, Maricopa, Arizona   Buried: 20 Jun 1947 Place: Mesa, Maricopa, Arizona. (Photo on left)

Jeremiah Lawrence born 29 Jan 1877 Beaver, Beaver, Ut. Died: 25 Oct 1893 Place: Woodruff, Navajo, Arizona.  Lawrence was accidentally shot and killed.  He was a noble, good, bright boy and Charles loved him with all his heart.  It was a severe shock

John LeRoy Born: 6 Apr 1879 Place: Beaver, Beaver, Ut.  Died: 28 Jul 1887 Place: Woodruff, Navajo, Arizona    During the summer of 1887 a measles epidemic prevailed in Woodruff and the little brother John who was 10 years old was stricken. Pneumonia complicated his recovery from measles, and “we gathered about his bedside to witness his most earnest pleadings: “Don’t let me die, Papa. Pray for me.’ The little fellow sat up in ed and pled as I have never heard another plead for life, until his voice became a whisper but his lips still moved in pleading for life. My good father earnestly prayed for his recovery until John’s voice was stilled in death. I have witnessed many pass way but never one who pled for life as that noble little fellow. Sometimes we’ll understand. (Charles Willden Lillywhite history)

Charles Willden wrote a detailed biography in 1943 about the family's earlier life and experiences in Utah and Arizona.  The sections focusing more on the children is listed below. The biography is possessed by Linda Wright of Blanding, Utah  A summary of the first part of this story is found on http://Trekholeintherock.blogspot.com

Charles Willden described the family's situation after1888:  “After father’s death we learned what actual want and hunger meant.  We had the staples of food: cornbread, coarse ground what flour, and a good supply of wholesome milk.  They had many good friends  in Arizona who helped them during this difficult time.  He also recalled a time when they were so destitute they even ate a black crow.
            When their father died, Joseph Jr. was the oldest child of 5 boys and two girls.  The youngest Annie Louisa  was nine months old, and Joseph was 20.  That summer Joseph traveled to St. George with his bride to be, Sylva Owens, and with his sister Mary Eleanor who became the 2nd wife of Robert Tyler.  Mary’s marriage did not last, and she divorced Tyler and in late 1893 married Henry Coplan, Charles’s brother-in-law.  They eventually had nine children.
            During the summer of 1889 abundant rains caused flooding in the area. Charles was required to bail out the underground milk cellar, and he contracted typhoid fever while working with the stagnant water, and was prostrate for many weeks, and reduced to a “mere skeleton.”  He experienced at this time a near death experience, feeling his spirit leave his body, and seeing his family mourning his imminent death.  As his spirit settled down again, the fever pains returned, and his life was spared.  He was 14 at this time, and had to learn to walk and talk all over again.
            After Joseph’s marriage, their mother asked Joseph to operate the family farm and take care of finances.  However, Joseph was never interested in farming, while Charles found it very interesting, so he ran it until 1900 when the family sold out and moved to Mexico Joseph had “uncanny intuition” for contract jobs, and they did well on those.  Some of the types of contracts this involved were: furnishing hundreds of cedar posts. Flagging with sandstone the east end and upper surface of the Woodruff Dam, furnished forage for all government troops going to and from Fort Apache, and from Keams Canyon.  Joseph and Charles also freighted from Holbrook to Fort Apache, a round trip usually taking 10 days to 2 weeks.  On one of these trips in Oct. 1889, following his recovery from typhoid, Charles was terribly injured in a freighting accident, and he includes many details about the accident and his recovery though he was left with one leg 1 3/4 inches shorter than the other.  They freighted all over Arizona, even going as far as Globe.  They had several close calls with the Apache Indians.  He also credits his brother Joseph for helping him avoid the start of a tobacco habit. The wonderful details of his stories would make for a great movie!
            In the fall of 1892 Charles entered Snowflake Academy and met his wife to be, Margaret Coplan, she also was from the Beaver area.  They were married in Luna, Socorro County, New Mexico and then the next year drove to Manti to be sealed, Dec. 22, 1893.  They eventually had 9 children, 5 boys and 4 girls.
   Another tragedy befell the family while they were in Beaver helping his in-laws more.  They received word that his younger brother Lawrence was accidentally shot and killed.  He was a noble, good, bright boy and Charles loved him with all his heart.  It was a severe shock and he was especially concerned about his mother facing yet another heartache.  He did the endowment work for his brother Dec. 27, 1893 before they headed back to Woodruff.
   Their trip home through the snow and mountains was especially hard, and full of danger and accidents.  Charles again adds great detail recounting these stories.  Traveling in those days with horse and wagon was no easy feat, but Charles and his wife, seemed ever ready to go help friends and family whether they were in Tuba City, or Beaver. 
     The summer of 1906 after completing a few profitable road contracts, they determined to move to Mexico where they established a flour mill at Agua Prieta.  The family lived in Morales and six children were born to them in MexicoIn 1906 Charles Willden Lillywhite replaced Orson Pratt Brown as bishop and served in that position for 6 years. The Lillywhite brothers’ business was just going great, until the Mexican revolution closed their doors, and they were advised to move back to the US.

While in Mexico Charles married Abigail Estella Lee, Linda Wright's (of Blanding) grandmother .  She had two girls. The oldest died of diabetes as a child and the younger was Linda's  mother, Maude Helen Lillywhite. Abigail contracted breast cancer and died in SLC when my mother was a young child. Through the Lee family The Lillywhite's share a common ancestor with Pres. Harold B. Lee.
            The rest of the the Lillywhite history details the challenges and changes in the life of Charles and his family.

More information is still needed on the other children

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