A History of the Family of
EDSIL M. ALLRED And ALICE CHOULES ALLRED
their Forebears and their Children
Edsil’s Allred Lineage: Edsil Myron, Joseph Anderson, Isaac, William, Thomas, Solomon born 1680 England
Submitted by: Sharon Allred Jessop 04/09/1999
- The Forebears of Edsil Myron Allred
- TAP ROOTS
Before our country was a republic, there came to North Carolina and settled on land that later became Randolph County, members of an Allred family. One of them, Thomas Allred, was the father of William, who was born in Hillsborough District, Randolph County. William Allred married Elizabeth Thresher in Randolph County. Their first two children, James and Mary, were born in Hillsborough District.
Sometime before the year 1788, William Allred moved with his family to Pendleton County, Georgia. It was here that Isaac was born on the 27th day of January, 1788. Before Isaac was two years old, the family moved again, this time into Franklin County, Georgia. Here four more children were born - William, Martin, John, and Sarah.
According to John, his father William was a school teacher and fought in the American Revolution. Members of this William Allred family fought in the War of 1812.
In 1810, When Isaac Allred was twenty-two years of age, he married Mary Calvert, the daughter of John Calvert and Mary McCurdy. The Calverts were a fine Southern family who came into Virginia in the year 1608 and settled in Maryland Virginia with the colonists. The Calverts founded the city of Baltimore, which was named after (Sir) George Calvert, the first Lord Baltimore.
Disclaimer: Although some family histories and family trees claim Mary Calvert Allred was a direct descendant of Lord Baltimore, this has been proven wrong by additional research. For further information on this research and findings, please contact Maryellen West.
It seems that by the year 1818 the family had attained some financial influence and had acquired a home in Tennessee where their next five children were born.
AND THEY SHALL HEAR MY VOICE
Shortly after the birth of this child, a boy, in 1829, the family moved from Tennessee and settled on the Salt River, in Monroe County, Missouri. It was here that Isaac Allred and his family, his elder brother James and his family, and some of the older married sons of James settled and formed what is known and referred to in history as the “Allred Settlement”. It was likely that in this settlement these Allred families were first visited by the Elders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day saints. We find this place and there people lovingly referred to in the life history of President Heber C. Kimball and by other early Elders of the Church.
Although James was the oldest member of the Allred Family to join the church and was baptized into it on September 10, 1832, Isaac, his younger brother, accepted the Gospel at an earlier date. His record shows that he was baptized into the church in 1831, one year after it was organized. He was forty-three years of age. The Prophet Joseph Smith visited the Allred families on the Salt River and organized the Salt River Branch of the church. Most of the members of these families were baptized in 1832-33.
- FOR THE GOSPEL’S SAKE
During the expulsion of the Saints from Monroe and adjacent counties, Isaac Allred sought refuge for his family in Caldwell County, where they lived until 1838. In that year, the family moved to joint the body of the saints who had been driven from their homes in Missouri; and with them they settled at Nauvoo, Hancock County, Illinois.
When, on the 12th day of July 1843, the Revelation on the “Plurality of Wives”, including the eternity of the marriage covenant, had just been received by the Prophet and was being read by President Hyrum Smith to the members of the first High council, called by the Prophet Joseph, we find that Isaac Allred appears to be a member of that council. He is mentioned as one of the nine faithful council members who accepted the revelation as the word of the Lord to the Saints in these last days. The other three members rejected the revelation; they later apostatized.
James Allred, Isaac’s elder brother, was also a member of the High council at Nauvoo and was chosen as one of the Prophet’s bodyguards in the Nauvoo Legion. He helped to build the temple and assisted in giving endowments
It was while the Allreds were living at Nauvoo that the Prophet Joseph went to James’ wife, Elizabeth Warren Allred, seamstress by trade, and told her that he had seen the Angel Moroni with garments on and asked her to assist him in cutting out the garments. They spread unbleached muslin on the table and he told her how to cut it out. She had to cut the third pair, however, before the Prophet was satisfied.
The Allred families all knew and loved the Prophet and stood by him to the bitter end. They knew and bore record that he was a true prophet; else how could they, together with the rest of the Saints, have endured the violent injustice that their neighbors, now their enemies, heaped upon them.
In 1844, when the Prophet Joseph and his brother Hyrum were martyred, James Allred took his light spring wagon to Carthage and helped bring back the dead and wounded to Nauvoo, a city now in deep mourning, and for the time being, a city in deep despair.
After tensions had eased somewhat and the Saints were called together in conference, many if not all of the Allred families were present. When Brigham Young stood up to address the Saints, they saw the transfiguration of the Brother Young into the likeness of the Prophet Joseph Smith and heard the voice of Joseph. It was a strange yet quieting and peaceful feeling. They knew their beloved prophet was dead, but now it seemed that he stood before them. They also know in their hearts that it was the Lord’s way of letting the Saints know who their new leader should be.
- TOWARD THE LAND OF PROMISE
Isaac and his family were among the fifteen Allred families who fled before the mobs when they were driven from Nauvoo. The crossed the Missouri River on the ice and escaped into bleak surroundings of that uninviting land with the faithful followers of President Brigham Young.
In the meantime, war had been declared against Mexico, and the recruitment of able-bodied men was proceeding in all parts of the country. It is well known how the officials of the United States Government ordered that the fleeing body of Mormons be overtaken and that 500 of their young men by drafted for with into the army. And this after having permitted and even assisted in the expulsion of the Saints from their own homes and lands! The army officers had been directed to get 500 men or, upon failure of the Mormons to supply them, to count this people as traitors fleeing under false pretenses and therefore worthy of extermination.
The Saints were overtaken in Indian territory. Upon hearing the demands of the government officials, Brigham Young replied, “We are law-abiding citizens, and if we haven’t five hundred in men we will make up the number with stalwart women.” He then advised the young men to join the army. He promised them that they would not have to shed the blood of their fellow men and that this affliction, heaped on them in the hour of their trials, would finally turn as a blessing upon their heads.
From the group of fifteen Allred families, several members volunteered to go with the “Mormon Battalion” Among these were Reddick N. Allred, James R. Allred, T.S. Allred, and Reuben W. Allred. Reddick and James Redden were twin sons of Isaac.
When President Young and his advance company proceeded on to the West, he advised the remaining body of Saints to stay were they were until the Battalion volunteers returned. The Saints were to raise crops to provide from themselves and to lay up stores for others who would follow. The members of the Battalion could assist their own families on the westward trek. James and his family remained with the other Allred families. and Allen Taylor was made captain over this company, still known as the Allred Settlement.
Isaac, and his family entered Salt Lake Valley with the second company in the fall of 1847. After the return of the Mormon Battalion almost one year later, the remaining company started westward with one hundred wagons. This group left Indian territory in 1848 and reached Salt Lake Valley in the fall of 1849.
- THE ALLRED SETTLEMENT IN SANPETE COUNTY
At the General Conference in October, 1851, President Brigham Young called some families to go to Sanpete County to establish settlements. The Allred families were part of this group. President Young advised James, now in his late 60's, to select a place in Sanpete County where he could locate with his numerous posterity and kindred and preside over them. Accordingly, he and his group of fifteen families settled near Canal Creek, on the east side of Sanpete Valley, between the towns of Mt. Pleasant and Ephriam. They arrived on March 25, 1852.
The first home was a small hut that T.S. Allred had hauled from Manti by ox team and erected in one day. Other houses were soon built, and the town was surveyed during that year. Meetings were held mainly in the cabin of James Allred and were attended by about a dozen families who spent the winter of 1852-53 there.
First known as the Allred Settlement, the little village was organized as a ward of the Church in April, 1853. Reuben W. Allred, who had been ordained a High Priest and set apart as bishop in October, 1851, was the first bishop of this brave little settlement.
The new ward did not last long, for the Walker Indian War broke out in July 1853, and events then moved rapidly. A raid on Mt. Pleasant cause about twelve families to move into the Allred Settlement, and everyone hurried to rearrange the little log houses in the form of a fort. Preparations were completed on July 19, 1953. However, when the Indians made their raid on the settlement, they drove off most of the livestock, leaving the crowded little fort with practically no means of subsistence. Consequently, by July 31, 1853, the last settler had left; and although to be reborn first as “Little Denmark” and later as “Spring City,” Allred Settlement had ceased to exist.
II Edsil Myron Allred
- OF GOODLY PARENTS
One of the sons of Isaac and Mary Calvert Allred was Joseph Anderson Allred. Joseph was born at Allred Settlement on the Salt River, in Monroe County, Missouri, on the 26th of April, 1831, the same year in which his father Isaac had accepted the Gospel. As he grew up in those troublesome yet glorious days of the newly restored Gospel, young Joseph shared with his parents and brothers and sisters the dangers and hardships that were their lot for the Gospel’s sake. But he knew that sweet spirit of peace which is ever present in the home where parents are faithful and steadfast in the love of God.
When the Saints were driven from one sanctuary after another and were family forced to move westward, Joseph Allred, now a boy of fifteen, bore his share of the load with courage and fortitude. Three months after his sixteenth birthday, he entered Salt Lake Valley with his parents and Brigham Young.
When he was a young man, Joseph married Rhoda Ann Palmer. They made their home for a while in Draper, Salt Lake County, where their first child, Joseph Gilbert, was born. Later, they moved to Kaysville, Utah, where four more sons were born: George Riley, Newton Devine, William, Geurnsey, and Isaac Henry.
One June 28, 1859, Joseph Anderson Allred joined the other Allred families when they again went into Sanpete County and permanently settled Spring city. The new ward was organized in January 1860. On the 6th day of January was born their sixth son and first white child in Spring City - Edsil Myron Allred. Six more children were later born to this God-fearing couple: Sidney, Mayrette, Elizina and Elmina (twin girls), Orin Erastus, and Maurn Herman.
- FROM YOUTHFUL ADVENTURES EMERGES A MAN
When Edsil was just a boy about fifteen years old, he left home to earn his own way. In those days the country was wild and dangerous, and up to the time he was nineteen he had many experiences that brought him face to face with the world about him and gave him a mature outlook on life. These four years saw him at work as a trekker, a ranch hand, a freighter, and a lumberjack. He shouldered a man’s responsibilities, braved dangers, made and lost money, and emerged at the end more appreciative of his family and religious background and ready to assume the rose of husband, father, citizen, and church member. He became more or less a peace maker and was loved by everyone. He was also a forthright man; and although he was quick-spoken, he would never say anything about anyone that he wouldn’t say in his presence.
Some of the experiences that Edsil had from fifteen to nineteen years of age are recounted here just as he old them to his children later in life. The very manner in which he tells of his adventures reveals his forthright nature, unadorned with false modesty.
- A TREKKER
“At one time there was group of Utah people who were going to Green River to work on the railroad. I was one of them. We left in the fall; and before we reached Green River, snow came and cold weather set in. Our provisions were very scant. In this group was a Negro boy who had taken a liking to me. When night came, we had to pitch our tents. We were very cold, and this Negro said he wasn’t going to help. He lay down and was going to sleep. Knowing what would happen if the boy went to sleep in this cold, I went over to him and forced him to get up and help. I told him if he didn’t, I would beat him. I finally got him to move around, but he was pretty angry at the time. However, after he got working and his circulation was quickened in his body, he was all right again.
Because the snow was deep, we lost the road and had to take to the foothills, which we followed. Food supplies had to be rationed, and some of the people because so hungry they would try to steal something to eat. It became necessary to place an armed guard over the food so it would last as long as possible.
When the captain thought we were near Green River, he sent out four men to scout around to see if they could locate the river. They separated, two men going one way and two another. When night came, two of the men came back; but the other didn’t. Each day searching parties went out. Finally the two men were located walking on a ridge. They had lost their way couldn’t find camp. They had decided to part and go in different directions. All they had was a plug of chewing tobacco, which they divided before separating. Before they had gone beyond calling distance, one had discovered a cabin. They received help here. Each day they went as far from the cabin as they dared and then returned at night. It was while they were out searching for the main body that they were found.
In early spring, after having had to live through the winter out in the open, we finally came to Green River. The ice had begun to melt, but we had to cut a channel through the ice to cross. We had barely finished this channel when the ice gave way and closed it in. The next day the work of cutting new one began all over again. The workers were hungry and cold and were not willing to go into the icy waters again. Volunteers were called. I was among those who volunteered, and we worked in the ice cold water all day cutting a second channel as the party could cross Green River.”
- A RANCH HAND
One whole year, I did nothing but ride wild horses to break them. It was when I was working on a ranch. Breaking wild horses was my special work. After I had ridden the horses a time or two, I would turn them over to other men to finish breaking.
One time at a celebration there was a horse that had been through Utah, Idaho, and Wyoming without anyone being able to ride it. They brought it into Montana. Here a prize of a metal and seventy-five dollars was offered to the man who could ride the house. I got on it and stuck on; but when the helper came to take me off the horse, he found the front of my shirt and horse’s neck covered with blood. The horse had bucked so hard it had made my mouth and nose bleed.
One time I was hunting in the mountains for my horses. I was on foot. Suddenly, I came upon a big grizzly bear eating berries. I knew that if I ran, the grizzly would charge and catch me within seconds. Keeping my wits about me, I turned slowly back and went out around the bear. The bear didn’t bother me.
At another time when hunting some of my horses, I found horse tracks and began to follow them. After a while, I came to a narrow pass. I followed the tracks through and discovered an opening in the canyon. Not far from me were some men seated around a campfire. I had run into a hideout for outlaws. Since they had seen me, I didn’t dare go back. I rode up to the outlaws and asked them if they could show me the way out. I told them I was lost. They prepared a meal for me and then told me which way to go. Every second my life had been in danger from one false move or careless word.”
- A FREIGHTER
I went into Butte, Montana, to help build the railroad and decided to haul supplies with a mule team. Butte was a typical wild, railroad frontier town; and the first tents that were pitched were a saloon for the men and a tent for the women.
When the freighters brought freight into such towns as Butte and Helena, Montana, they would sell the load and then wait for other supplies to take back. At these places they would wait around for a few days to let their mules or horses rest up. The saloons were the places where the freighters would have to go to wait. In a place like this, temptation was very great; for some, the temptation was too great. One man in particular lost his twelve-mule team in gambling and had to mortgage his home to get the team back. But he decided to gamble some more. Again and again his luck was bad, until he finally lost everything he had and was ashamed to go home and face his wife and family.
One night I was sitting in a saloon waiting when a man came up and said I was wanted in the back room. I went in and found two men, one at each end of a table. By each man were money and cards, and each man had his gun pointed at the other. The man who had come to me told me to decide which man should have the money. I picked up the cards and found that one man held two deuces in the same suit. I pushed the money away from the man who held the false cards and towards the other. I then walked out of the room. Although I was around cards and saloons much of the time, I never took up with the habit and have hated cards throughout my life.
In 1877, when President Brigham Young died, I was in Butte, Montana. When the people there received this word, they shot their guns and rode up and down the streets shouting, “Old Brigham Young is dead! That will be the end of Mormonism!” As far as I knew, I was the only Mormon around there. I knew that if anyone found it out I went out on the street, my life would not be worth anything. So I stayed in my tent all day long. I was then 17 years old.
Once when I had gone to Butte, had sold my load, and was waiting to load up again, two men became quite friendly towards me and hung around me. Since I had a lot of money, I became suspicious of them. I asked the saloon keeper if he would keep some of my money. I kept $70.00. Later during the night, I thought I had a chance to go out a back door unnoticed. I remember going between two buildings; then someone hit me. When I regained consciousness, I was lying in a pool of blood. My money and my watch were gone. I managed to get back into the saloon and to tell the saloon keeper what had happened. I never saw the men again; they had left town.
One time I was hauling fast freight that was light and that had to go through in a hurry. Usually the other freighters and I traveled in groups of more than one wagon, but this time I had to go alone. When night came, I was forced to make dry camp, as there was no water. In the morning, I arose very early and without even waiting to prepare breakfast hurried on to get my horses to water. I had not gone far when I came to a wagon train burning. The Indians had set fire to the wagons, killed all the people, and taken their horses. I had a narrow escape from an Indian massacre.
Another time I arrived in Butte with my twelve-mule team. Here I took sick worth pneumonia and became so bad that the doctor was called. The doctor asked me to send for my folks, saying I couldn’t live. I thought that if I had enough faith I would get well. For months I had lived in a wild, rough environment; but I still remembered the little prayer my mother had taught me when I was a small child. I prayed to my Heavenly Father to help me get well, this being the first time I had prayed since I had left home. My prayer was answered, and it was not long until I was well again. I had to sell my mules to pay the doctor and the other people who had taken care of me. My mules were gone; but my faith had returned, and my prayers had been answered.
- A LUMBER JACK
“I felt that I couldn’t go home broke; so I got a job in a lumber camp. Here I was given the name,
‘Peg.’ It was the custom in the camp in the late fall to make a log jam. Logs were tied together to hold the other logs from floating down the river to the saw mill. The men would cut logs all winter and throw them into the river, where they would stay until spring. When spring came, the men would pull the ‘jam’ out and the logs would go down the river to the saw mill.
Now the ‘Boom,’ as it was called, was quite a celebration: and many people traveled far to take part in it. The big bosses of the lumber camps would gather and choose the best man with a team to drive the bulls or oxen that pulled the jam out. It was an honor to be chosen to crack the whip and drive the oxen. Now I had hauled freight with a twelve-mule team and knew how to use the whip. When I cracked my whip, the sound could be heard through the woods for miles; and so nobody was surprised when I was chosen to drive the bulls.
One of my jobs was to ride the logs in the river, and if there was a jam I had to straighten the loose ones so they would float easily. One day while riding the logs, I saw the body of a man under them. He had been doing the same dangerous work I was doing and had fallen off and drowned. I got the body out of the water but because no one knew the man or his people, I took it upon myself to see that he was given a decent burial.
One time in the lumber camp, I was brought out of the woods where I was working in order to run the engine while the engineer went to town. Sawdust and slabs of wood were used to fire the boiler. The wood was green, and sometimes it was hard to keep up the steam; so the engineer used to tie the pop-off valve down in order to get a good head of steam. There was another thing the engineer had to do. If the belt from the engine to the saw pulley started to slip, he would take a pine knot and hold it against the belt until the pine gum made the belt take hold.
I tended the engine until the regular engineer came back and didn’t have any trouble. Then I went back into the woods. The engineer had been back for only a short time and was doing what I had been doing - tying down the pop-off valve and rubbing the belt with a pine knot. Suddenly, the belt jammed the pine knot and pulled the man in and over the pulley, cutting him in two. That left the engine with the pop-off valve down, no one to tend it. Without someone to open the pop-off valve, the steam in the boiler was building up to a dangerous pressure. The men at the mill became frightened and ran into the woods for me. When I got there, the steam in the engine was so high the boiler was rocking. I knocked the block off the pop-off valve and the steam released with such force that everyone thought the boiler had blown up and ran for the woods.
When the steam had cleared away, the first thing I saw were the engineer’s head and shoulders resting on a box just as if they had been placed there. No one in the camp would touch the engineer; my folks thought it was me, because they knew I had been running the engine that day.
When I was nineteen years old, I was called home to my mother’s bedside just before she died. She told me that I had caused her more worry and grief than any of the others in the family. This was because I had been away from home so much and because most of the time they didn’t know where I was or what I was doing. As I listened to my mother and realized how thoughtless I had been at times, I determined never to cause sorrow to anyone else if I could help it. All through life I have remembered my mother’s words.
III Alice Choules: Forebears and Childhood
- EARLY RECORDS
Of the early Choules history, little is known. The name “Choules” could have been derived from the German “Scholtz”, the Norman “Schule”, or the English “Scholes”. The first ancestor known to us is one Gilbert Choules, who was born about 1690 at Great Bedwyn, Weltshire, England.
As far back as we know, the Choules were farmers. John Choules acquired considerable wealth by this means. John Choules, Jr. was very prosperous in his early life and also acquired considerable wealth. He was at the point of retiring and had entrusted a lawyer with the final details of the matter. When he went for the money, the lawyer had left town with John’s life’s earnings. He then set up a shoe shop and began to make shoes. This he did throughout the remainder of his life. He learned how to make shoes by tearing down an old shoe and putting it back together again. To learn a new trade at such a late stage was a real accomplishment. His son Jacob took up the same business and worked at it until his death in January, 1874.
Sarah, another child of John Choules, Jr., married a James Gilbert. James Gilbert earned his living by hauling coal and delivering it around town. Sarah did many things to help her husband earn a living. She ran a van which hauled passengers to the town of Melborough on market days. Also, she bought farm products and sold them in town to the neighbors.
- THE HAND OF DESTINY
Jacob Choules, Sarah’s brother, married Elizabeth Smart. They had two sons and one daughter. Then Elizabeth passed away. Later, a son and the daughter died. Jacob and his one son, George, were left alone.
It was during these trying times that the Mormon Elders came to their door. For some time the elders preached the Gospel to them and to their neighbors. Some of the people in the region accepted the Gospel; some rejected it. Jacob and his son George, his sister Sarah, and her son Elijah accepted the Gospel with all their hearts and were baptized. Jacob’s house became the meeting place of the Saints in that community.
Some nine years later, Eliza Newbury, an orphan who lived in the village, became converted to the Gospel. When Eliza joined the Mormon Church, her grandmother, with whom she stayed and her only living relative, turned her out of the house. Being a prayerful girl, Eliza asked her Heavenly Father for help. In a dream, shortly after, she saw a man whom she knew she would marry. At one of the meetings she attended, she met Jacob and was startled to see that he was the man in her dream. Jacob fell in love with her, and soon they were married. Six children were born to them.
Jacob was considered very efficient in his work of making shoes and earned a good living for his family. He worked hard to provide for his growing family; but during the last years of his life his health failed. After a long illness, he died in January 1874. Eliza as left a widow with seven children. Not long after Jacob’s death, their youngest son passed away.
Jacob had no sooner died than the minister of the Methodist Church came to Eliza and offered to help her and give her provisions for her family if she would leave the Mormon Church. Here was a test. She told her minister she would rather prepare her own husband for burial than deny the Mormon faith. She held to her faith and prayed to God for deliverance. Within a few hours the president of the mission came to the house. He told her he had a strong impression to go to the Choules home. He found Eliza in her grief. Filled with righteous anger towards the Methodist minister, the mission president told him that a sickness would come upon him because of his evil doings that the flesh would drop from his bones, and that he would die. Not long after this, the prophecy was literally fulfilled. The minister took sick, his flesh did rot and drop away from his bones, and he died a horrible death.
Although Eliza received help in the form of provisions and strengthened faith in God, it was not long before she and her five children and one step-son were in a pitiful condition. Charles, the eldest child, was then twelve years of age and worked on a farm to help his mother support the younger children. She also received some help from George, her step-son. But had Eliza not been courageous and resourceful, she would have had to break up the family in order that they might survive.
- A NEW LIFE IN ZION
After two years of struggle, Eliza received help from the Church and migrated to Salt Lake City. Tom Jennings, the same missionary who had helped her so much when her husband had died, helped to get money from the church for her passage. She arrived in Salt Lake City with her five children: Charles, Emily, Oliver, Annie, and Alice. Charles was then 15 years old, and Alice was 5.
Here she worked and kept her family together and paid back the money for her passage. She did come practical nursing and served as midwife, a common practice in those days. Poor families would call in an older woman who had had some experience and would have her deliver the baby or give any other medical attention the family needed. Eliza also often took care of the younger children, prepared the meals, did the housework and laundry, and cared for mother and babe.
For a while, or until she was able to pay back her debt to the Church and get settled, she took the youngest children to Provo to stay with a sister-in-law. Finally, when she had earned enough, she brought back her children to be with her.
Eliza then got a job as chambermaid in the home of William Jennings. Her eldest daughter, Emily, worked for Tim Jennings. Later, Emily worked for Apostle John Henry Smith, father to George Albert Smith. The Smith family was very kind to Emily. Alice, the youngest child, had the privilege of playing with little George Albert Smith, who was from April 4th to September 27th older than Alice.
- LITTLE ALICE CALLS UPON THE LORD
When Alice was seven years old and was staying with her aunt in Provo, she had a faith-promoting experience that was to help her throughout her life. Here she attended school with her cousin, Sara, a girl about her own age; but she was very homesick, and her mother had promised to come to Provo on an excursion. On Saturday, Alice received a letter from her sister Emily saying that her mother was very ill and would not be able to go to Provo on Monday as she had planned.
Alice went to her room and knelt down in Prayer. She asked her Heavenly Father to let her mother get well so she could come to see her. All day Sunday Alice wouldn’t eat, and her aunt, thinking she was sick, told her she couldn’t go to the evening meeting unless she had something to eat. Finally, Sara told her mother that Alice was not sick but was fasting for her mother.
On Wednesday, Alice received a letter saying to meet her mother at the station. Her aunt couldn’t understand. The letter from Emily on Saturday had reported Alice’s mother to be desperately ill. Now, on Wednesday, she was able to come on the train. When Eliza arrived, she explained to her sister-in-law what had happened. She had been terribly sick on Saturday, and the doctor was frankly worried. But on Sunday, she suddenly began to feel better, By the end of the day, she was well again. The doctor could not understand. He said it was the greatest miracle he had ever seen. He told her, on Monday, that she could dress. On Tuesday, he said the best medicine for her would be to go to see her little girl in Provo. Then her sister-in-law revealed the reason for this miracle. Taking Alice in her arms, she said to Eliza, “This little child prayed and fasted for you all day Sunday.” Little Alice couldn’t understand why her mother and auntie were crying; she herself was so happy! This was her first testimony. Her prayers had been answered. Eliza probably owed her life to the fact that she had taught her little girt how to pray and fast.
Richard Rollins, an old friend of Eliza’s when they had lived in England, had also migrated to Utah and was living in Richmond, Cache Valley. There his wife died. Some time after this, knowing Eliza was living in Salt Lake City, he went to see her. Both of them had growing families and needed one another. It wasn’t long until they decided to get married. They moved to Fairview, Idaho, when Alice was eight years old. This was in 1878 or 1879. On a newly taken homestead, Eliza reared the two families and lived until Richard’s death in 1912.
Alice attended school in Fairview. Her teacher was Annie Hoppins, a young girl only sixteen years old. She lived in Smithfield, Utah. Although Alice loved school, she didn’t like to go out at recess time to play. She would stay inside and study. When the teacher insisted that she go outside, Alice would just stand and watch the other girls play. Finally, one day her teacher told her to bring a crochet hook to school and she would teach her how to crochet during recess time. As a result of this new interest, Alice and her teacher became very fond of each other and were often together. Alice was now thirteen years of age.
- Edsil and Alice
- A DETERMINED WAGER
One day at recess time, in the middle of October 1873, Dave Lee, a boy friend of Annie’s, came to the schoolhouse to see her. With him was a friend whose name was Edsil Allred. Annie and Alice were crocheting together, and Alice met the two boys. After the boys had gone, Annie turned to Alice and laughingly asked, “Well, Alice, which of those boys do you Want?”
“I want the black curly-headed one,” replied Alice half jokingly. Of course, that was Edsil. Annie said that Alice couldn’t have him, because she, Annie, liked him herself.
“I’ll have him before spring,” promised Alice in the same joking manner. The girls didn’t see the boys again until December. Annie had gone to Smithfield for the Christmas holidays, and Alice was permitted by her parents to go there for the holiday dances. Edsil Allred also appeared in Smithfield for the dances. From that time on, Alice and Edsil began keeping company. Alice had won the wager.
On January 29, 1888, when Alice was seventeen and Edsil twenty-eight, the two were married in Fairview, Idaho. They made their home in Lewiston, Utah. On July 11, 1888, in the Logan Temple. Edsil and Alice were sealed by the Holy Priesthood as husband and wife for all eternity. In the course of the next few years, the following children were born to them: Joseph N. In Lewiston, Myron Erastus, Alice Ann and Emily Priscella in Fairview.
- MERCHANDISING IN ARIZONA
Edsil was not in good health, and the doctors advised him to move to a warmer climate. He had an older brother, Joseph, who had gone to Arizona and had tried to persuade Edsil to join him; Alice didn’t like to leave her home and her folks in Fairview; but when the doctor advised it for Edsil’s good, she gave her consent.
In December 1896, they left Fairveiw, Idaho. They made the trip by train in weather 24 degrees below Zero. When they arrived in Thatcher, Arizona, it was dark and they were among strangers. Alice was very homesick. Thinking to make Alice feel better and put her in better spirits, Edsil went out and picked a rose that was in full bloom; but when he gave her the rose, she was so homesick she cried.
They lived with Joseph for a while, and Edsil started to work for the Layton and Allred store. He would take their produce to Globe. They had been selling their butter, eggs and other foodstuffs in Globe by going from house to house, taking several days to get rid of their load. When Edsil started to haul for them, he went right to the stores, got rid of his load in a few hours, and started on his way home the same day. He worked in the town of Thatcher for two years. One month after coming to Thatcher, a son was born. The date was January 25, 1897. Unfortunately, he contracted pneumonia when he was almost two years of age and died November 3, 1898.
After the death of Gilbert Charles, they rented a farm from C.M. Layton which was located in Central, two-and-a-half miles from Thatcher. They ran the Layton farm for about two years and then bought a home in Central. After they made Central their home, Alice was satisfied and wasn’t homesick so much after that.
Edsil started the first creamery in the Gila Valley. It was located on Joed Cluff’s place, in Central. Later, Edsil moved the creamery to Thatcher. Edsil and Alice would milk and average of twenty cows and make milk into butter and cheese, which they shipped to Globe. It was here that Eliza May was born, June 16, 1900.
- DEATH HOVERS NEAR AT CENTRAL
In the spring of 1901, Edsil came down with typhoid fever; and within a few hours the doctor said there was no chance for him to live. He went to Thatcher and told Joseph that Edsil would be dead by morning. Joseph came right down and stayed with Edsil throughout the night while Alice, her face drawn with fear for Edsil’s life remained with her little baby and the other children in another part of the house. In the morning, Edsil was still breathing, and Joseph began to hope that, somehow, his life could be spared.
In the meantime, Alice and Joseph had sent for the Elders. By mid-morning, Elders Joseph Bigler, George Shurtz, and George Coombs had arrived. Joseph led them into the room where Edsil, eyes sunken and barely conscious, was fighting for life. One of the Elders anointed the fevered head with oil; and another, Joseph Bigler, sealed the anointing. In his blessing, Elder Bigler pleaded with the Lord to let Edsil live to complete the mission he had come on earth for. Then, addressing his words to the dying man, he said, “Edsil, exercise faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be healed. You shall yet become a judge in Israel and a patriarch to bless the children of men.” With this promise, made in the name of the Lord, Brother Bigler finished the sealing. The Elders removed their hands from the head of the stricken man, turned to Joseph, and said gravely, “Brother Joseph, now he’s in the hands of the Lord. Whatever happens now will be God’s Will.” Then with an encouraging word to Alice, they left. Within a few minutes and from that time on, Edsil began to improve. Joseph and Alice knelt by him and thanked the Lord.
While Edsil was recuperating from the effects of the fever, Alice and the children were able to keep things going fairly well. The children were small; but Alice and the two boys, Joe and Myron, took care of all the chores. She would set Eliza, not yet a year old, on the bed by Edsil while she helped the boys milk. That spring, the Central Ward all turned out and brought in the crops for him.
- LIFE IN THE ROUGH IN MORENCI
On September 6, 1902, another son, George Newel, was born to Alice and Edsil. When George was about a year and a half, Edsil moved the family to Morenci, a mining town inhabited mostly by rough elements, predominantly Mexican and Italians. The reason for the move from Central was to run a dairy. They milked 25 to 30 cows a day and sold the milk mostly in pints and quarts. In those days a pint of milk sold for five cents.
Joe and Myron, the oldest of the boys, had to help deliver the milk with a pack horse, a large can strapped to each side. They would leave early in the morning to go all over that town. It took a long time with a horse. Then when they had a special order, such as for restaurants or for close-by places, one of the older girls, Alice Ann or Emily, would have to walk and pack the milk. Alice would worry from the time she left until she returned, for fear something would happen to her. If anybody came to the house for milk, Alice or one of the girls would go out and milk a cow that had already been milked and try to get a least a pint of milk. That was the way most of the Mexicans bought it.
They lived in a small house near the stables where the cows were kept. Not far from the house was an open-pit mine; and whenever the miners got ready to blast the rock out, they would call to the Allreds to take cover. Then while the members of the family huddled together under the strongest portion of the structure, the rocks, some as big as your head, would fall all around.
One day, Myron and Emily went to town, which was several miles away, to deliver some mild. They had to pass through a long railroad tunnel. Just when they were in the middle of the tunnel, they heard a train approaching. The only way to escape with their lives was to flatten themselves right tight against the wall. This they did, and while the train thundered past with it’s awful noise and smoke, Emily was almost frightened to death; but Myron was able to remain calm and kept telling her that they wouldn’t be hurt.
One time, Myron and Alice Ann took some milk to a Chinese restaurant. They went on foot and, arriving at the back door, were let in by the Chinese cook. He had long, black hair, braided down the back. He stared long and heard at Alice Ann, then just a little girl. Imagine how terrified she must have been! But then Myron stepped bravely in front of her and stood looking at the Chinese. After a moment, the Chinese stepped back. Myron held out his hand for the money, received it, and took Alice Ann by the hand and left.
There weren’t any native whites like themselves living close to the dairy, and so the children played with the Mexican children. All the Mexicans like Edsil and loved to play with the children. One day, one of the Mexican neighbor’s baby died. The Mexicans wanted Alice Ann and Emily to go and help carry the casket. Alice didn’t want them to go, for it was a long way out in the country and down a mountain side. Edsil, however said they would be safe and it would offend their friends not to allow them to go; so the girls went. The dead child was small, but the children had to carry the casket the whole distance. All the way to the cemetery, the Mexicans in the funeral procession laughed and sang. When they family reached the cemetery, the two girls were tired and frightened. The they witnessed what was to them a strange burial ceremony for the little baby.
For about a year they struggled hard to make the dairy pay, but they didn’t do too well. Then, too, there was quite a lot of sickness in the family, and Alice felt she couldn’t stand it any longer; so Edsil moved the family back to Central.
- In the Service of the Master
- I’LL GO WHERE YOU WANT ME TO GO, DEAR LORD
Soon after they returned to Central, their twins, Darus and Dora, were born to them. The date was March 2, 1905. Their happiness over the coming of these twins was marred, however, by the illness and death, within the year, of little George Newel. He was not quite three and a half years old.
Edsil and Alice hadn’t been in Central long until Edsil was made superintendent of the Sunday School. Shortly after that, he was set apart as counselor to Bishop Alva S. Porter. Two years later, on June 6, 1908, he was put in as bishop of the Central Ward, being set apart for this goodly work by Apostle John Henry Smith. Edsil was bishop of the Central Ward for 18 years. During all these years, his duty as bishop always came first. It was not uncommon for him to be away from home most of the time, visiting the poor and administering to the sick. Many a time his team of horses would stand hitched up all day, waiting for him to come.
At one time, when he was a counselor to Bishop Porter, he and the bishop went to administer to Caroline Adams. The doctors had given up and had said she couldn’t possibly get well. She wanted so much to see her daughter that she didn’t want to die then. When Edsil put his hands on her head, he promised her that she would get well. After they had left the home, Bishop Porter chastised Edsil for making her this promise. Edsil replied that he didn’t know why he had said such a thing, which was beyond his power. The two men went into some bushes and knelt down to pray about the matter. When they emerged agin, Edsil felt better about having made her that promise. Indeed, Caroline Adams lived to bear testimony that Brother Allred’s’s blessing and faith had made her well.
On another occasion, while Edsil was bishop, his son Darus, then a very small boy, was pushing a stick along the dusty road. Suddenly, the stick ran against a concealed rock and forced the other end back into the boy’s mouth, making a hole in the roof of the mouth. He was rushed to the doctor, who said that nothing could be done. The doctor just put a piece of cotton in the hole and sent him back home. All during the rest of the day, anything Darus would eat or drink would come out through his nose. That night, in the course of a regular bishop’s meeting in the home, Bishop Edsil asked his counselors to help him administer to his son. They all knelt and prayed with great faith for the healing of the little boy. The next morning, the hole in Darus’s mouth was healed completely. He could eat and drink perfectly well. Faith and prayer made him whole.
In May, 1926, and twenty-five years after receiving the promise from Elder Joseph Bigler, Edsil was set apart as patriarch. Those present on that occasion lived to see this promise fulfilled. He was still bishop, but was released from this calling at the following Conference. He remained a patriarch until his death. Alice and their daughter Rhoda Bell served as scribes, writing the blessings as he gave them. He gave a total of 565 patriarchal blessings.
One day, Deliah Mecham came to Edsil Allred for her blessing. She had no children and wanted a child more than anything else into the world. In his blessing, Edsil promised she would be a mother in the flesh. Not long after this, the Mecham’s adopted a child, and Deliah thought that her blessings had been realized. Later, however, she had a child of her own; and a few years after that she had twins. She was a very happy mother because of her faith in our Heavenly Father.
Everybody who knew Edsil loved and admired him. Bishop Waltzer, of Mimia, Arizona, had met Edsil at meetings in conference and had heard reports on his outstanding work as a bishop. One Sunday, he told the people in his congregation about Bishop Allred. He described what an unusual man he was and said, “If only I had the kind and wonderful personality he has. I wish every one of you in this building could meet and know him. Your life would be richer.” One of Edsil’s daughters was in that meeting, but Bishop Waltzer didn’t know she was there. What he had said about Edsil was a general belief held by most people who met him. With his white, curly head, his kindly features, and his outgoing love for everyone, he brought to mind one of the great prophets of the Old Testament.
It was an inspiration to hear him speak; and although he had very little education, he was called many times to speak before groups composed of highly educated men and women. One of these occasions was the outgrowth of a visit by Harvey L. Taylor, President of Gila College in Thatcher. (After moving to Mesa, he became superintendent of Mesa schools and was later called to work at Brigham Young University.) Brother Taylor and his wife came to father for a patriarchal blessing. After bestowing the blessings, father visited with them for some time. Then when they arose to leave, Edsil went to the car with them, although he wasn’t a bit well. President Taylor was so impressed with his kindness and wonderful personality that in an assembly he got up and told of the wonderful man he had met. He said, “I called on an elderly man. He was unlearned and hadn’t read or otherwise learned about the social graces we call etiquette; but his kindness and politeness impressed me very much. I shall never forget his wonderful personality.”
He later called on Edsil again and asked him to please give a talk to the student body. He explained, “I want the student body to meet and hear you talk.” Edsil hesitated, but he was not one to refuse a request; so he said he would try but didn’t have much education and didn’t feel he was capable of doing it. Taylor was so impressed that he insisted he talk to his group. That night, he walked the floor, trying to think what he could say to such a gathering. He told his wife Alice, “This is the hardest thing I have ever been asked to do.” He prayed over it that night, and the next morning he arose early and studied. When it was time for the assembly, Edsil was there but he had no notes. During his talk you could have heard a pin drop. After, several of the teachers told him that he had just given the best talk that had ever been given to that student body. All of them praised him highly. Edsil returned home to Alice. He didn’t say much, but she could tell he was satisfied with the way things had gone; and she rejoiced in his success.
- I’LL BE WHAT YOU WANT ME TO BE
Some years after Edsil’s death, an Allred man from Canada was in the Gila Valley visiting some of his wife’s folks. Everywhere he went people would ask, “Are you any relation to Edsil Allred? He was one of the most wonderful men I ever knew.” Finally, he told his folks, “I want to meet Edsil Allred’s wife. She must be an outstanding woman. If he was so wonderful, his wife must be wonderful, too.”
An indeed she was. One Sunday, her husband asked the Stake President Andrew Kimball to come home to dinner. After the meal, President Kimball put his arm around Alice. “Sister Allred,” he stated, “that was the finest dinner I have ever eaten. And, Sister Allred, you are not only a good cook but a worthy helpmate for a bishop. If all my bishops had a wife like you, I wouldn’t have any trouble with my bishops or with their records and reports. Yours are always on time. It takes a good wife to stand by a man to make a good bishop.” Too much praise cannot be given for her faithfulness, sacrifices, and effort she put forth in helping her husband with his church work.
But Alice, also, was a faithful worker in the church. For two years before they went to Morenci, she was a counselor to Emma Shurtz in the Relief Society. In the same year that Rhoda Bell was born, July 21, 1908, Alice was made counselor in the primary. Soon after, she became the president of the primary, a position she was to hold for eighteen years. Alice was a faithful worker; and even though she had nine children to care for (Delva Naomia, her last child, was born September 17, 1910), she never shirked her first duty to her church. In fact, even when her health was not good she insisted many times on going.
After she had been released as primary president, Alice was asked to serve in the Relief Society as a counselor to Lydia Cluff. She held this position for three years and then was counselor to Dela Webster for four more years. In addition to her responsibilities as counselor, Alice was also a visiting teacher. She also found the time to do temple work in the Mesa Temple.
Of course, many times during her life her faith was increased and her testimony strengthened. But three faith-promoting incidents seemed to remain with her the longest. The first was the miraculous recovery of her mother’s health when Alice was a little girl in Provo, Utah. The second was the life-giving blessing her husband had received at the hands of the Elders. The third was the miraculous healing of her son’s mouth after he had jabbed a hole in the roof of his mouth with a stick. A fourth incident was soon to impress itself on her mind and heart.
One day, she and her daughter Eliza May were washing. They had a tub of boiling hot water to carry between them. Suddenly, the handle on Alice’s side broke off, and the scalding water spilled all over her feet and legs. The pain was almost unbearable. Eliza May helped her mother, screaming in agony, into the house and sent for her father and for the doctor. The burned proved to be serious, and it was not long before her whole body was affected. Day by day her condition grew worse, until finally she was so sick that she was not expected to live. Eliza May had been helping with the nursing until her own baby became sick. Then she had to devote all her attention to it. Edsil then sent Darus to Miami for Joseph and Emily. The Elders came every night, but still Alice didn’t get any better, Finally, one night it seemed she was going. Edsil and Emily were sitting up with her alone. Edsil took the bottle of oil and anointed her head. Then he and Emily prayed for her asked the Lord to heal her, if it be His Will. Before morning, she was improving for the first time; and before many days had passed, Alice was completely well again. After the prayer was over, Emily said to her father, “I am so glad you added, ‘If it be Thy Will.”
“I am, too,” her father replied. “I feel we have been too demanding and not humble enough.”
Alice’s membership in the Mormon Church occasioned much joy and happiness in her life; but there were times of trial when the tears of sorrow ran unchecked down those dear cheeks. Such were the times when she was unable to keep her children on earth with her, when Gilbert Charles and George Newel left her bosom for life in the brighter world. Such, Also, was the time when the death of her sister Emily left an emptiness in her life.
Alice had been left alone with the children and the chores while Edsil was in California. On the advice of Dr.. Platt, the family doctor and friend, he had gone the for an operation to correct a serious sinus condition that had developed from a broken nose suffered during his early wild-horse breaking days. Her own health was bad, and even with the help of the children it was all she could do to see to things that needed attention. She was feeling very low in spirits. It was while she was in this that she received word of Emily’s death in Utah. This was a hard blow to her, especially with Edsil away. He was always a comfort to her in such times of stress and need. But after a while, Alice dried her tears and turned her thoughts back to the tasks at hand. That was Alice - an indomitable, loving, and determined soul.
- In the Evening of Life
- ON THE THRESHOLD
During a large part of his life, Edsil suffered from a heart ailment; but in spite of it led a vigorous life. He ran a thresher for years and would go all over the valley with the machine. When, finally, he could no longer do this strenuous work, his son Darus took over the thresher, and he began selling
these products. In this work he met old friends and made many new ones. He was never in too big a hurry to stop and visit with people, even if they didn’t buy anything. Many times his sympathy and kindness brought him new friends. Then the time came when he couldn’t go on these selling trips because of his heart. Darus once again followed in his father’s footsteps and learned, every day, how many friends his father had made and in what high esteem they held him. Darus continued with this business for five years.
Time after time, during a heart attack, his wife and Emily wondered if the end had come; but through faith and prayers and the efforts of old “Doc” Platt, Edsil’s life continued to be spared. His mission here on earth had not yet been completed. But even though he had to slow down, he had worked so hard all his life that it wasn’t easy to do. Dr. Platt said no more work, but still he would try to do something. Each time he did so, no matter how much easier he thought the task was, he had a sick spell afterward.
Finally, he decided that if he was to live, he would have to stop working altogether. So he tried in other ways to content himself. He would sit and read by the hour; and as Alice worked on her quilting, he would read to her. Alice was making a quilt for each one of her children; and Edsil was so proud of these quilts that he would sit and pick out the pieces and help her place them where they belonged. Indeed, he was as interested as was mother in seeing the quilts completed.
- WELL DONE, THOU GOOD AND FAITHFUL SERVANT ...
In his last days, he seemed contented and happy just to be there with his wife and visit with the children when they dropped in to chat. He loved his family and enjoyed reading right to the last, he was able to be up and around the house. On the morning of the day he died, one of his good friends, Ted Adams came to visit him. They sat and chatted for some time.
Edsil breathed his last the afternoon of February 19, 1937, at the age of 77 years. His death brought sadness to his dear wife and family, for although they all knew his time was near at hand, his passing caused an emptiness in their lives that nothing in this life could fill.
The little church in Central was packed, class room were filled, and people were turned away for lack of space. The High Council of the L.D.S. Church was there in a body. The services reflected the simple dignity of Edsil’s life on earth.
- A TRIBUTE TO EDSIL MYRON ALLRED
A poem expressing the love people had for Edsil and their appreciation for his service to them in the Central Ward was written by one of his friends.
Now you’ve gone away up there,
You’ve left us here a vacant chair.
With your snow white hair
And smiling face.
There’s no one here to take your place,
Through the years of work in our ward.
You did much good for the work of the Lord,
But now your earthly work is done.
A place on high you’ve certainly won.
For God is just and fair.
That’s why we know you’ll stay up there.
Although you’ve gone away from here
And caused us to shed many a tear.
Yet proud we are of the life you led
And cherish in memory what you said.
Father dear, we want you to know
That throughout this world
Wherever we go
We’ll entertain not an evil thought
If we follow the teachings which you taught.
Farewell, dear Father, goodbye we say
Until we meet resurrection day.
Then happy you’ll be for this earthly life
With friends and children and your dear wife.
The death of Edsil brought great loneliness into the life of Alice. He had given her life added meaning ever since that far away day in Fairview, Idaho, when she had seen him for the first time. Now he was gone...gone....Nevertheless, her sons and daughters were near to make the loneliness easier to bear. Then, too, her faith was strong. She attended her church meetings, bore her testimony often, and kept on with her work in the Relief Society. She was always willing to take part in anything that was asked of her. Young folks and old often came to her for advice and encouragement.
When her children began to leave Central to seek employment and settled down in other places, they bagged her to come and make her home with them. Alice wished to continue to make her home in Central as long as she lived; but she made many visits to her children in Mesa and Phoenix, Arizona, in New Mexico, and in Utah. Always, however, she returned to Central. Some of her grandchildren came to live with her at different times. They and her great-grandchildren were always thoughtful and considerate of her.
During her declining years, her crocheting became a great comfort to her. She loved to crochet while she listened to the stories on the radio. She crocheted table cloths for each of her children and grandchildren and also for many of her friends and neighbors. Many of her pieces she sold, but she was always giving her doilies away. When her eyesight began to fail, she still continued to crochet the patterns she remembered so well.
- DAY IS DONE
When Alice realized her health was failing, she very seldom consented to leave her home. It was then that Rhoda came to Central to live for the next dozen or so years, so she could be near her mother and care for her.
In May 1955, Alice suffered a heart attack. In her weakened condition she contracted pneumonia. Although she recovered from this, her eyesight was further impaired. After this sick spell, she was never left alone. One of her children was constantly with her. In-spite of her advanced age of eighty-four, Alice would rally from periods of weakness and begin to feel better. Then she would enjoy visiting with her friends. But soon she would become ill again. It seemed she was growing steadily weaker.
At last, on July 13, 1955, eighteen years after the death of her husband and surrounded by her family, Alice passed away. The news of her death spread quickly through the little town of Central. The people were shocked and saddened; and by their kindness and helpfulness to the Allred family they revealed how dearly they had loved that precious soul. Beautiful services were held for her in the new Central Ward Chapel, and some of Alice’s dearest friends participated. She was survived by two sons, six daughters, fifty-four grandchildren, and one hundred thirteen great-grandchildren.
- A TRIBUTE TO ALICE CHOULES ALLRED
Of the many tributes paid to Alice, perhaps none was so touching as the poem composed and read by James Smith, one of the speakers at the funeral. He prefaced the poem by saying that Sister Alice Allred had been a mother to him.
“TO MY MOTHER”
I see her in her rocking chair
When day’s long work is done.
I visualize her beauty rare;
I know the love she’s won.
I see the toil of months and years
Well worn now in her brow.
I see her calming all my fears -
I see it plainly now.
I marvel at her tender love
And at her gracious care.
I kneel before the throne above
To give this humble prayer:
Take care of Mother Dear, oh God,
And bless her in Thy sight;
For on Thy righteous path she’s trod
To bask in Gospel’s light.
She’s taught each daughter and each son
To love and honor Thee.
A great reward she’s rightly won
For all eternity.