Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Leland and Clara Cottle are married October 3, 1921 in Malad, Idaho and return home that same night to start their life together. They live in the two north rooms of the family home that also houses Alice Kemp Anderson Cottle and 7 other children. Not a lot of privacy in that arrangement! It is the start of the Roaring Twenties where the old is being tossed aside for the new. The motto is “more, more, more” and the economy booms. Radios become common in most households and – lo and behold – indoor plumbing is becoming standard in city homes (In the rural areas it is still the outhouse and a Sears and Roebuck Catalogue). Movie stars like Rudolph Valentino and the “it” girl Clara Bow become national icons. Sport stars abound, led by Babe Ruth and his partying life style, and are admired by millions. Automobiles, a luxury before WWI, are now a necessity. Henry Ford and his assembly lines make the Model T affordable to the masses. Probation is in force, but Speakeasies abound and alcohol is readily available. Jazz is the music of choice; women earn the right to vote and set new fashion guidelines. Gone is the rigid Victorian dress code, along with corsets and long dresses with covered arms and legs; to be replaced with Flapper dress, bare arm and a short skirt – a rather shocking change. Bankers have few regulations and stock manipulation is rampant. There is a general feeling, even among politicians, that prosperity will never end and everyone should “live like there is no tomorrow.” Now how does all this play out in Stone, Idaho? Let’s drop in and find out.
Newlyweds Leland and Clara are not wholly sweep up in the Roaring Twenties but it does inspire a feeling of optimism in the young couple and Leland decides to pursue the lifelong dream of owning his own farm. However, this does not happen overnight for the financially cautious Lee and his new bride and there are many hurdles to be crossed before this comes close to being a reality.
Leland and Clara spend their first few summers in a little cabin on a dry farm (this means no irrigation is available – they must rely on the rain to produce a crop) they purchase. It is a small farm and the income it provides is not enough to live on. To try and pay for the dry farm Leland takes all sorts of work. In the winter he freights corn the 40 miles from Malad to Stone. He makes two trips a week, starting from Stone, driving the team to Malad, loading the corn, sleeping under the wagon for a few hours and the driving back to Stone where he sells the corn to sheep ranchers in the area. He does this twice a week for six weeks. He also works at the Garland sugar beet (much more about sugar beets at a later date) factory one winter. But by far Lee’s main enterprise is posts! That’s right, fence posts. Just look about the countryside and see all those fenced fields and pastures, requiring thousands and thousands of eight foot cedar posts. Well, someone has to provide all those posts and Leland is the man. He has a good team of horses, a wagon, a saw (not a power saw, just a plain old manual push and pull type), and a propensity for hard work. He most often travels to an area called Black Pine to find the necessary trees, cuts and trims a load (by himself) and then heads back to Stone. Sometimes he sells the posts for cash, but more often than not he uses them to barter for things he needs or wants, including groceries, a bob sleigh and even their very first rocking chair. One winter he trades 800 posts for his first car, a used Model T Ford, the car is fun to drive, but in Lee’s eyes, not very practical. So before long he trades the car for horse, a cow and a pig – now he has the beginnings of farm herd. The horse he adds to the team making it easier to pull a loaded wagon, the pig produces food for winter and the cow, named Acey, is the mother of many fine heifer calves (Lee has one credo concerning calves, “never, under any conditions sell a heifer calf, but keep just one bull calf a year to butcher for meat, a second - every four years for breeding purposes and sell the rest of the young bulls to the first sucker that comes along) as Lee continues to build up his dairy herd. Leland still has only one main goal and it is always a variation of the same theme – to own and operate a successful farm/ranch operation, one that will provide for his upcoming family and even an inheritance for his yet to be born children. But how to finance such an adventure is puzzlement. He can always find work and is able to provide for the daily necessities – but his long term dream remains largely unattainable, alas life continues and it is not long (1923) before a blonde, blue eyed baby girl arrives that they name Bea.
The LDS religion plays and important part in their everyday lives so Leland and Clara feel something is missing in their marriage and in May of 1924 they decide to do something about it. And after much planning and preparation they are ready for a temple marriage. This means a 3 day trip, by horse and buggy to Logan, Utah where the nearest temple is located. Once again Uncle Sam and the Studebaker come to the rescue. He drives them to Logan, where they are married for time and all eternity (and 16 month old Bea is sealed to them), then spend the night with some friends and are back in Stone the next day. Now they feel prepared to tackle whatever life throws at them.
Leland is working both the dry land farm and also rents the home place from Alice and still doing odd jobs on the side to make ends meet. In 1925 a second baby girl arrives, they name her Alice, after her Grandmother and the family continues to grow. Then in 1927 an event takes place that puts an added twist into their lives, and once again it involves Alice Kemp Anderson Cottle. Tune in next week for the details
Monday, April 19, 2010
(1)Warren Harding is 29th president. He dies suddenly in August of that same year. (2) Babe Ruth is sold, by the Red Sox, to the Yankees (thus starting the "curse of the bambino")for "the unheard of sum of $125,000 - the most ever paid for a single ballplayer" (When it was latter suggested, in 1929, that Ruth was being paid more than President Hoover he replied: "Why shouldn't I, I had a better year!" (3) Fashion Alert Dated March 6th - "The Chief of police in Sunbury, Pa. has issued an edict requiring women to wear skirts at least four inches below the Knee. The chief was driven to this decision following citizen complaints. They expressed dismay over the sight of two women traversing the streets who had the lace on their skirts too distant from their ankles. The chief had sent some policemen in search of the offenders, but they returned empty handed." In a related story Utah is passing a statute providing for the imprisonment of women wearing skirts higher than three inches above the knee (who says Utah is not a liberal state?). (4) The League of Nations is formed - forerunner to the United Nations, it proves highly ineffective and lasts less than three years. (5) News item - "There are now 8 million, 1.9 even married, women gainfully employed in the United States, 37% as secretaries." (6) Banting and Best, Canadian doctors are the first to isolate insulin. (7) Britain to rule Palestine; Vatican objects. (I think this is where the whole middle east mess started). (8) King Tut' Tomb found. (9)"Mein Kamph" discloses Hilter's polices in book form. (10) 1922 First Reader's Digest Published. (11)Prohibition (18th ammendment) in force, 1920 - 1933. (12) 1927 Limdbergh files solo acorss the Atlantic. (13) Model A Ford introduced. black only, 50,000 pre orders - cost - $385 - 570. (Henry Ford is quoted as saying, "The American Public can have what ever color car they want - as long as it is black!") (14) Also; 1928 Mickey Mouse makes his first appearance; 1929 Herbert Hoover becomes president, and first Academy Awards are held; 1929 October 4th - Stock Market crash that signaled the end of the "Roaring Twenties" and the start of the Great Depression.
This is Thomas Henry Cottle, my Grandfather, husband (second marriage for both) to Alice Kemp Anderson Cottle Negus. He died suddenly, of a heart attack in Stone Idaho, March of 1918, leaving behind Alice and 8 children, my father Leland being the oldest. Any of you notice any resemblance?
Below is one of my most prized photos. Any Guesses before you read on? The little girl in the center is none other than Clara Anderson Cottle, my mother, with Charles Anderson on the left and Alice Kemp Anderson on the right. This photo was taken sometime in 1906 when my mother was just about 1 year old. Charles died later that same year. Notice any resemblances here?
Monday, April 12, 2010
Leland T, or Lee, as everyone calls him is nervous – no, even beyond nervous – he is terrified! The year is 1921 and he is about to ask the most important question of his your life. Can he do it? Will he get the right answer? Will he live through this nerve racking experience?
But first, let’s go back a bit and see how Lee arrives at this important juncture in his life. Lee is the oldest (1901) son of Thomas Henry Cottle, born in Far West, UT but spends most of his life in Stone, ID. Life is not always easy for Lee and his siblings. His mother Ella dies when he is but 9 years old and has three younger siblings to watch after. Shortly thereafter Lee’s father, Thomas Henry, goes to Portage and returns to the Cottle homestead with a housekeeper, the recently widowed Alice Kemp Anderson and her 5 year old daughter Clara. Upon arrival Thomas Henry lines up all his children for inspection, introducing each of them to Alice and Clara. Leland remembers well his first sighting of Clara. “She was just the sweetest thing I ever did see. She seemed very shy, but happy to be around children her own age.” Clara’s first question concerns the whereabouts of the youngest child, 2 month old Ella, and is disappointed to learn Ella is at an Aunt’s house and will not be home for a couple of days. From that time on, Clara becomes Ella’s chief baby setter and playmate. It is not many months until Thomas Henry and Alice are married and Lee and Clara settle into the same household, growing up as brother and sister. Not much is known of their relationship during this period, but it is safe to say they had the same ups and downs as most siblings.
Being the oldest, Lee takes a major role in the operation the ranch (farm) and accepts many responsibilities not normally thrust upon a 14-15 year old. He becomes the chief bronco buster (something he did for much of his life) and head handyman. Lee has a way with horses and can tame even the toughest ones with a few kind words and the ever present carrot in his back pocket, although he is bucked off his fair share of times. Lee has the knack for fixing things and is always repairing machinery, fences, buildings and other gadgets, using whatever material is available and his ever present pliers.
Lee’s world suffers a second major blow with the death of his father, Thomas Henry, in 1918, and now he is the oldest male in the family of nine, consisting of his step mother Alice and 7 siblings (3 full siblings, 3 step siblings with Thomas Henry as father and Alice as mother and 13 year old Clara). Lee quits school after grade 8 and does what he can to help Alice keep family and farm together – often working for other ranchers in the area, quickly gaining a reputation as someone who knows how to work and can be trusted to complete a job quickly and effectively without a lot of adult supervision. This goes on for a couple of years. Over that time Lee notices a change in Clara – she is no longer that gangly little girl that seems to always get in his way. She is growing up, and looking better and better each day. Not only is Clara becoming quite the little homemaker, taking charge of the younger children and preparing meals when Alice is away on church business, she is developing a charming personality and turning into a young women. Unlike many girls of that day she is interested in an education and persuades Mom to let her attend the local school if she keeps up with her household duties. Clara completes grade 6 – but in that short time instills within herself a love of education (which she carries throughout her life – as will be seen later).
Now Lee finds himself spending more and more time in the company of Clara. He doesn’t call it a “date” it just happens that more often than not they need to go to the store at the same time or run into each other just out for an evening stroll. In fact, before long, spending time with Clara is the highlight of Lee’s day and, more and more, he goes out of his way to make it happen.
This brings us to 1921 and the reason for all the nervousness. Lee is thinking of asking Clara to marry him! The debate goes on in his mind as he walks down the path to the meadow, just hoping to run into Clara. It goes something like this; “Some people will think I’m marring my sister.” “So what do I care, she is the person that makes me happiest, and she is not my sister or any other relation and if I don’t act soon, someone else is going to grab her. I have seen the way that Orvie Steed looks at her each Sunday. For me it’s now or never.” Just then his thought process is interrupted as he literally bumps into Clara.
“Why Lee you seem to be in deep thought, whatever can be on your mind?” Clara inquires sweetly.
“I – I – I was hoping you might think about considering to consider the possibility that you might become my wife,” Lee stammers.
“Why Lee, what are you trying to say?” Clara counters.
Lee bursts out, “Dang burn it Clara, will you marry me?”
“Well, that’s not a very romantic proposal, but I think it's not the type of proposal but the type of man behind the proposal that counts. And Lee, with me you count a lot. Of course I will marry you. I thought you would never get around to asking me”
And so it is that on October 3rd 1921 twenty year old Leland T Cottle and sixteen year old Clara Anderson climb into the back seat of Uncle Sam Kemp’s (Alice’s brother) brand new 1920 Studebaker (one of the few cars in Stone) and the 40 mile ride to Malad for the court house wedding ceremony. They returned that same day and start their marriage life living in the two north rooms of the family home. And from this humble beginning comes forth another strong branch on the Henry Cottle family tree. More next week (Writer’s note: Of course, for Craig, Roger, Kathy and Brent, this is Grandpa and Grandma Cottle)
Sunday, April 11, 2010
It has come to my attention that I've not formally announced our recent relocation. So: we've formally relocated. All phone numbers are the same as they have been (all that virtual stuff, you know), so there's no need to update those for the time being. The new physical location is 4266 Spring Creek Lane, Bellingham, WA 98226. If you google it you'll see an empty lot. If you bing it, you'll see the same empty lot, but better views (I particularly like the bird's eye view). The lot isn't empty anymore.
According to bing (and a couple of other sources):
- we're 92 miles from the Roger and Cathie household, 94 miles from Safeco Field (though I'm not going unless they start winning....sheesh....), and 105 miles to SeaTac airport
- we're 938 miles from Heather and Christopher's place, and 1344 miles from Jamie and Jeff''s place
- we're 23 miles from the Canadian border at Blaine, WA, though we have four border crossings to choose from that are all about the same distance from us
- we're 52 miles from Vancouver, British Columbia (yes, we're much closer to Vancouver than we are Seattle). We're 95 miles from Victoria, BC, though it involves going either north or south and taking ferries; it's only 43 miles south-west from here to Victoria as the crow flies (we are indeed north of Victoria)
- we're 6.5 miles from Western Washington University where Sam will be going in the fall, 4 miles from Squalicum High School where J'Neil will be going, and 1.4 miles from Whatcom Community College that both Sam and J'Neil will be attending at different times over the next few years
- for those Twilight fans out there: we're 178 miles from Forks, WA
- we're 710 miles from Kathy and Craig's place in Edmonton - (it looks like it would be a very cool drive up through Kamloops and Jasper), and 697 miles to Brent and Jodi's place in Lethbridge
- there are lots of routes to the homestead in Cardston, ranging from 719 miles of freeway driving in the states to 676 miles through winding mountain passes in the states to 687 miles through winding-er mountain-er passes in Canada.
- we're 311 miles from our house in Kennewick, 394 miles from our house in Clarkston, 1233 miles from our house in Las Vegas and 940 miles from our house in Sandy
- we're 823 miles from Stone, Idaho, where we last left our exciting family history stories and it’s 4669 miles from here to Horsley in Gloucester, UK where Henry Cottle (my great-great-great grandfather) is originally from
- and finally, we're 2731 miles from Hanalei, Hawaii
Thursday, April 8, 2010
So this was supposed to be posted in January but I didn't have time to finish it and just got back around to it now. My bad. Anyway this is an ice festival Edmonton has every year. This year we had above freezing temps during the day so they were having a hard time keeping the ice as ice, but it was perfect weather to go hang out outside. So here are some highlights from Bailey and my visit.
This slide is made entirely of ice and is wicked awesome. The picture is actually taken from our spot in line, it was a pretty popular attraction.
Bailey at the top of the slide
View from the top, just about to go down
Bailey wandering in the ice maze
Hanging out in the ice castle
Relaxing on an ice bed
**I was able to change the post date so that it appears here in April** Kristin
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Author note – I have found this the most difficult part to write thus far. It is hard to put into words what it must have been like to be a single mother with 8 children in 1918 – a time before the advent of Social Security, health insurance, welfare or other social safety nets we now take for granted. Alice survived and thrived by hard work, quick wits and a steadfast faith. However, I do not want to paint Alice as a tragic figure. I have come to know a different side of that little old lady sitting in a wheel chair in my parents’ living room in the 50’s and 60’s. I hope to portray, in this brief account, a plucky, hardworking, humble woman – determined to succeed against all odds. Alice Kemp Anderson Cottle Negus is one of my new heroes! And now, on with the story.
As a single mother with a mortgaged farm to pay for and eight – that’s right –eight children, ranging in age from 1 to 17 years, to support, Alice has many sleepless nights. Leland the oldest, is a good help around the farm and the others quickly learn to do their part or go hungry. However, on this night, she is kept awake by a real dilemma. It seems after the sudden death of Thomas she discovers the county government pays a small widow’s pension, about $8.00 a month, and she is using the pension mostly for groceries and other items she cannot trade or barter for. But earlier today she received a visitor from said government who confronts her with the rumor that she is using some of the pension to pay her tithing (more than a rumor, it is true). He goes on to tell her that the law states explicitly that, in his opinion, it is not permitted to use pension money to “donate to a church” and furthermore if she does not immediately stop the pension will be withdrawn! What to do, what to do? Alice always tries to follow the teaching of the prophets and while Thomas was alive tithing is always paid in full. But now, should she forgo the tithing for just a bit, in order to put food on the table? NO! The very next day she composes a letter to said government, telling them exactly what they can do with their widow’s pension – as for her and her house they will always pay a full tithing.
Alice continues to strive in every way to “be a mother and father to the children and to teach them the best she can” and at the same time take care of the material needs of life. This she does by every means possible. She milks the cows, by hand, and sells the milk about the neighborhood, takes in sewing and does other odd jobs for money or barter. Leland and Dewey hire out to neighboring farmers, not so much for a wage, but for hay, grain or other items needed to keep the farm going. At one point Alice realizes that she needs to sell a cow to make a mortgage payment. She narrows it down to two cows, Brownie and Skipper. All the kids campaign to keep Skipper – a family favorite. After much deliberation she decides Brownie will go. But that night during her prayers “Heavenly Father made it clear to me to sell Skipper.” So, despite the children’s protest, Skipper is loaded up and shipped to a neighboring farm. Two days later Skipper suddenly dies and in the words of Alice, “If I had not listened to my Heavenly Father and sold Brownie instead of Skipper I would have been out two cows instead of one.”
Although pressed with making ends meet, Alice does not neglect her church duties. She uses a horse and buggy to go visiting teaching. She also teaches a Sunday School Class and is a counselor in the Relief Society presidency.
Times are not all bad. Alice holds, “family night” long before it becomes church policy. This consists of evening games held after the long working day. Alice eagerly participates in all the games, her favorite being the foot races that start on the porch, wind down across the canal ditch, where you watched closely that someone did not “accidently” bump you of the edge of the bridge, then around the corrals and back up the trail to the porch. At age 30 something, Alice could still beat all but the two oldest boys. After the games and the snacks (often just a carrot or, on special occasions, bread pudding) the kids all gather around for story time, their favorite stories being those of Alice reminiscing about her childhood. She would tell them of the time, at age ten, she helped her brothers herd cows in the sand dunes. The sand was scorching hot, and since she did not have shoes, she would carry large leaves to stand on to cool her feet. When the cows moved she would pick up the leaves, run quickly to a new spot, put down the leaves to stand on again. The kids were never sure if this story is true or if she is just pulling their legs. But they loved it just the same.
Alice survives and thrives, by herself, on the farm for the next nine years (more about two of her children in the next episode). In 1927 she meets John Negus (first wife is Thomas Henry Cottle’s sister) and, after a proper courtship, they marry in the Logan Temple. (Note – John Negus worked at various occupations during his lifetime, but often as a sheep herder – for a couple of years his partner was a young man from Rock Springs, WY. Since sheep herding is a summer occupation the two men had time on their hands during the winter and they decided to try their skill at selling clothes and other dry goods, setting up a small shop in Rock Springs. After one year of this John said, “This is never going to pay off, count me out.” so the two parted company. Oh, by the way, the partners name? J.C. Penny!). At this time she has only 4 children still at home. She spends the next 30 years with John, until he passes away in 1957, and for the third time in her life Alice buries a husband. Alice continues to live with her daughter Clara and in the Sunshine Terrace in Logan until her death in 1977 at age 95. What an amazing story. Ed Cottle, her grandson reported the following at her funeral service:
During her lifetime
· She knew 18 of the 38 (1977) United States Presidents
· Electricity did not arrive in Cache Valley until she was 16 years of age
· The light bulb was invent three years after her birth
· She traveled with a horse and buggy, automobile, train, airplane and even lived to see men go to the moon
· She knew all the Latter Day Prophets (thru 1977) except Joseph Smith and Brigham Young
· Geronimo was not captured until she was 6 years old
· Twelve states were added to the United States during her lifetime (including Utah)
· Also of note – Mel and Jean Cottle lived in Grandma Negus’s Logan home down on 6th west while attending Utah State University between 1957-59