Saturday, December 20, 2008

Sweet Traditions

Charlotte Ilene Butler

Thursday we drove to Pueblo. It was our last visit to Auntie Pinky. She was resting peacefully in a comfortable room decorated in a mountain lodge theme – a happy reminder of her beloved Estes Park. She was very weak, but aware of our visit. And in typical Pinkie fashion - people-lover, gracious hostess that she was – when I kissed her cheek to tell her good bye, she softly murmured, “Oh, don’t go yet.”

On the way home I reflected about the Pinky that I know. As a CD filled the car with beautiful music of the season, I remembered how much Pinky loved Christmas And then I remembered all the holiday goodies she made and shared with friends, family, teachers, and neighbors. Sharing home baked sweets -that was how she loved to celebrate the Christmas season.

I had never heard of pizzelles, much less tasted one, until I became a Butler and had my first Christmas with my new family. The round and almost lacy looking cookies were a staple in Butler family celebrations. Every December Pinky made dozens and dozens of the crisp, light treats and stacked them so carefully with waxed paper between. I have only vague memories of watching her make them, but I know it was a labor of love as a pizzelle iron only bakes 2 or 3 cookies at a time.

Her divinity candy, snowy white and flecked with chopped nuts, was to die for! Making divinity involves pouring a boiling cooked syrup over beaten egg whites and beating that mixture until it is too thick for the mixer to handle, and then adding chopped nuts or cherries. I know Pinky burned up more than one mixer during a candy-making marathon, but she just considered that part of the process!

A few years ago, I asked Auntie for her recipe for Date Nut Loaf. Of course she had it memorized – one couldn’t bake a million loaves and not memorize the recipe! I wrote it down just as she told it to me, including the step “Add a gob of vanilla.” I’ve used her recipe, but I think I need to make it many more times before the finished loaves are as yummy as hers were.

As I savor my memories of Pinky’s Christmas sweets, I feel a pull to introduce my children and grandchildren to these family favorites and make her tradition our tradition.

Thanks, Auntie, for the memories - I’m off to buy a pizzelle iron!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Honorable Discharge

On December 14, 1945 I received my Radioman 1st Class Technician rating. Technician does not mean the ability to work on radios, but that I had special duties as a radioman.

I also received my discharge on this day at the Separation Center in Shoemaker, California. They tried to talk us into joining the Naval Reserve, but I wanted no part of it at that time. Since I signed up later, I would have been ahead to have joined then. I left California and headed for home by train on 15 December 1945.

Award received for service from 7 December 1941 to 2 September 1945

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

What's for Lunch?

One day at Park View I received a call from a parent who said, “How do you take lunch count at Park View?” I though it was odd for a parent to ask, but I explained that we needed to know how many were going to eat the lunch prepared for students because the lunches were sent from the high school cafeteria.

She said, “I know that, but what does the teacher say to the students to get the number of lunches needed?”

I said, “They just ask, ‘How many are going to eat hot lunch today?’”

The parent laughed and said, “My daughter insists I make her a lunch to take, because her teacher says, ‘How many of you are going to eat that slop in the cafeteria today?’”

This teacher really hated the cafeteria and lunch duty and didn’t see why the children couldn’t go home for lunch the way we used to do (and with an hour for lunch). She also resented so many free and reduced price lunches. But she was chagrined that I had been called, and she agreed to change her lunch count method.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

O Christmas Tree

In December of 1958 we decided that we would get a permit and go to the mountains to get our own Christmas tree like we had read in so many stories about people doing. We would have sloppy-joes to eat (because we could take it up and keep it hot) and hot chocolate and wouldn’t need to have a fire.

Five men on a mission!
Lou, Jr - Don - Tom - Jim - Lou, Sr
blurry picture, but it documents the infamous day

We had our tree hunting expedition in the mountains near San Isabel, above Rye, Colorado. It was a cool, crisp day with snow on the ground and a lot of sunshine. It was a great day for a Christmas tree hunting party!

Leona has always been very particular about her Christmas tree. It had to be of excellent shape with well filled out limbs in the right places, etc. So as soon as we got out of the car, the four boys went in four directions - each going to find the perfect tree that would suit Mom. As they each would find one, they would call for her to come see it. Since they didn’t stay together, she was having to run all over the mountainside to inspect the finds of each boy.

Naturally the boys never found the same tree, nor were their trees together, so she had a long walk between them. They were not finding very good trees that were satisfactory to her. As time went by, and after many trips across the little valley between the two ridges that the boys were on, she became less critical and finally said, “Just take any one; I’m tired!” Jim and Don carried a tree in from the forest, and we tied it on top of our station wagon. Leona got the lunch ready for us; we were all starving.

Christmas tree lunch
Jim - Don (front)
Lou, Jr - Tom - Leona (back

We had a good time, and the tree was satisfactory, but for some reason we never went back to the mountains for another Christmas tree!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Picture this . . .

Louis Butler in Adak - 1944

Check out that hair!
One of the first pictures he sent home to Leona.

He really was just a kid -
21 years old when this picture was taken

Winters are cold in Adak!

Do you think he knows how to use that?

Cleaning duty

Looking a little more grown up. . .

We all love a man in uniform -
especially this one!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Watch Out!

photo credit: Deepak Purchanda

One day I observed several students showing each other their new watches. It seemed odd that several children would all have new watches on the same day and in the same class! But not so odd, since they were Johnny’s [Aguire] classmates.

I asked one of the girls if she received the watch for her birthday. She said, “No, Johnny gave it to me.” About that time another girl said, “See mine. Johnny gave me one, too.”

Well I knew I had better find Johnny right away and find out where he got all of those watches to give away. So I looked around the playground and saw a large group all crowding in together. It was either a fight, or Johnny! Sure enough, everyone was surrounding Johnny, begging for a watch.

I approached Johnny and we headed for the office. When we got there, Johnny still had several watches on his arm under his shirtsleeve.

“Where did you get them?”

“I found them.”

“No you didn’t. Where did you get them?”

“At the KD Drug Store.”

Johnny and I went around to the rooms collecting watches and then we went to KD Drug Store and returned them. The manager at the KD hadn’t missed them. He went over to one of the counters and said, “There was a display here on a cardboard advertisement yesterday.” He didn’t know for sure how many were still on the cardboard, but he was glad to get back the dozen or so that we returned.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Johnny Aguire

Johnny Aguire was a memorable student in Dad's career. As I will post many of Dad's memories of this young "entrepreneur," a little background information may be helpful.

photo credit: Ely Mock

Johnny was in the 4th grade, Miss Mary Bell Offutt’s room when I went to Bessemer as a new principal in 1953. He lived with his mother who was quite old and his sister who was 12 years older than he was. He was very small for his age, a very wiry little guy with big brown eyes and he was very likeable. He got along well with the other children and with the teachers, except that he was often truant.

The biggest problem he had was his stealing. He was smart enough not to steal at school, though. In fact, the kids at school were often the ones who benefited from his shoplifting. He always had plenty of pencils, pens, paper, etc – enough to share with his friends!

His other major problem was that he would wander all over town and would stay out all night on many occasions.

During the summer of 1954 his caseworker had him placed in “Byers Home for Boys” in Byers, Colorado, near Denver. I had a letter from him telling me about being on the swim team there. The next I heard of him was that he was traveling with a carnival. Then I heard that he was in prison.

On September 25, 1996 I was at the opening of Bessemer’s new media center and met Johnny’s sister. She was there with her daughter, as she now had a granddaughter at Bessemer School. We reminisced about the many days we spent looking for Johnny or dealing with the problems he created. Their mother was older and did not speak English

Johnny is in his middle 50’s now [1996] and has lived a very hard life. He can see very little and hear very little and his sister said he looks older than I do. He has three sons.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

War-time Wedding -- Part 2

After reading what Dad had written about their wedding, Mom filled in with a lot more details. Her memories add another perspective and give us "the rest of the story."

The way Lou used to tell this story [of our decision to get married] was that he didn’t have anything else to write about [in his letters] so he said, “If you could get up here – we’d get married!” Hell and high water couldn’t have kept me from getting “up there.” Lou’s parents wanted us to wait until after the war to get married, and his mother said, “You can’t marry my son.” That did it – I went home and started packing. I didn’t even shop; I just took what I had. Even my wedding dress, although special, was not new.

It must have been very hard for my mother to put me on that train. It was a few days before my 18th birthday. She would have been more concerned if she’d known I didn’t even have a seat on the train. It was full of mostly military men, and I sat on my suitcase. After we got out of the station an Army Lieutenant gave me his seat. I don’t know where he went for the rest of the trip, but I was truly grateful for that seat.

In Seattle there were two train stations – one on either side of the street, across from each other. My train went in one station, and Lou was waiting across the street in the other station! He finally came across the street and found me. I was beginning to wonder if he had stood me up!

We thought we would be getting married in the Bishop’s office, but Sylvia Koons found out we were getting married and had the wedding in her home. They invited several couples, made us a cake, and gave us a present. It was a lovely wedding. The tall sailor in the wedding picture is Chet Fields. He was Lou’s best man. He was Lou’s closest friend when they were serving on Bainbridge Island. I guess Sylvia was the matron of honor.

We found a room in the Enyert’s home after about a month in the hotel. Mrs. Enyert was firm and a little bit bossy, but very kind to us. I was just a young kid, barely 18, and I think she felt like she had to teach me a few things. On one occasion I dropped and broke three of her plates, and I had to wander around Seattle to find replacements. Looking for the right plates was a lot easier than telling her I had broken them!

The Enyert’s house was a great big old house. The basement was a huge cavernous cellar that was the size of the entire house. I remember it being a very scary place to me, with a lot of stuff sticking out from the walls. Unfortunately, the washing machine was down there, and I hated to have to go down to do the wash. Everybody else would be in the kitchen, just at the top of the basement stairs, but at 18 years old I was so afraid to go down into that cave that I literally shook! I couldn’t stand to stay down there for any amount of time, so I ran up and down those stairs a lot while doing the wash.

Jobs with the telephone company were considered “essential” during World War II, and as a result I was able to transfer from Pueblo to Seattle without difficulty. I was a switchboard operator at home, but when I transferred I was a file clerk in the office. The office I worked in was close to the pier where Lou came in from Bainbridge Island every evening. The window in my office had a great view of the hill he walked up, and I could watch for him. When he got off the ferry he would come by my office, and we’d ride the bus home together.

We had about four months together. They were good months, a little hard at times, but we were together. He was given a leave to take me home, and then he was sent to Adak for the duration of the war.

Leona - Lou
March 1944

And it was a lot harder to put him on the train that time!

Monday, November 17, 2008

War-time Wedding

Eleanor Leona Carpenter - Louis Edward Butler
married 17 November 1943
Seattle, Washington

When I was home on leave, between Radio School at Moscow, Idaho and advanced training at Bainbridge Island in the Puget sound off Seattle, Leona and I talked about getting married in December. But after I got to Bainbridge, we decided that if Leona could get up to Seattle, and that was no easy undertaking, that we would get married. So my mom wrote me a letter of permission to get married (since I was not yet 21!), and Leona brought it out with her on the train. The transportation situation was difficult; gas was rationed and the trains were crowded with both civilians and the military always trying to get someplace a long ways off. She ended up sitting on her suitcase part of the way.

Cutting the wedding cake

The Koons family - wedding hosts
and perhaps one of Lou's navy buddies

We were married on November 17, 1943, at the home of the Koons family that we met at the University Ward. We had dinner and a cake, and it was awfully nice of the Koons to make it so nice for us. Leona worked at the telephone company while we were in Seattle, having transferred from the telephone company in Pueblo where she had been working, so we managed to have enough money to live on.
Housing was almost impossible to find because of all of the military and all of the shipyard workers and all of the aircraft workers, etc. We only had to stay in a hotel for a few days until we were lucky to just find a room in a private home. They also rented out a couple more rooms in the upstairs of their house, and we shared a bath with a couple of other couples. We had no facilities for eating, so we ate out when we first got the room.

We hadn’t been there long, before Mrs. Enyert (the landlady) told Leona we could use their kitchen for our evening meal. Knowing we had nothing and were very young, she felt sorry for us and was a help to us.

Gasoline ration stamps

At this time, gasoline was rationed as well as much of the food such as meat, sugar, etc. We didn’t have [ration] stamps yet and Mrs. Enyert told Leona that they had a grocery store were we could buy our groceries. She would give Leona stamps and she would tell her not to tell her husband that she gave them to us! Then we would go to their store and Mr. Enyert would come around and give us stamps on the sly which he would say that some customer gave him because they didn’t need them! He would always say for us not to tell his wife because she would not like it as it is really against the law. So we had more [ration] stamps than we could use.

Grocery ration stamps

After they had let us use the kitchen for a while, they suggested that we could stay down in the living room after supper if we would like. So we now had the use of the kitchen and the living room, plus she had lots of advice for Leona about how to cook! They were very nice to us and we appreciated it very much.

Most of the time I could get off of the base for the night, but it would mean riding a bus to the Sound, catching a ferry and riding for about 30 minutes, then getting off at the pier in Seattle and catching a bus to ride another 30 minutes or more to our apartment. Then in the early morning I would be back on the bus – ferry - bus and back on the base to study or stand watch for the day, and then start all over again after work. But it was worth it! We were young and had plenty of energy for the demanding schedule.

Lou and Leona
so young - but so in love!

65 years later - still so in love!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Eleanor Leona Carpenter Butler

Eleanor Leona Carpenter
born - November 14, 1925

Leona with her mother, Lorene "Toodie" Carpenter
back left of picture

Leona - 1928
3 years old

Leona (about 7 years old)- Lorene

As I read through many years of Dad's journals, I realized that he always made note of Mom's birthday on November 14 and mentioned where they ate for her celebration. Those notes of birthday recognition were usually followed by a narration of what they had done that day, typically involving service for someone else.

In 1989 Mom and Dad were serving a mission in Switzerland and spent almost all of their time together. They had to use a little creativity and intrigue to surprise each other for birthdays and holidays. As the following entry shows, Dad really gave it his best shot!

14 November 1989 - Leona's birthday.
I lost the card I had bought her for her birthday! I had carefully sneaked over to the cash register after picking it out while she was shopping and paid for it, put it in my inside pocket and rejoined her. This morning when I went to get it out of my pocket, it wasn't there.

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

James Alan Butler, aka "Pretty Gee-Gee"

James Alan Butler

Jim was born during Dad's football season. Mom recalls the events surrounding his birth:

I do remember a game when Lou was laying on the field after a play. He just had the wind knocked out of him, and he really wasn't injured. I guess it didn't bother me too much because Jim wasn't born until the next day. The game was on November 8, 1947.

Look at those eyes!
Mom remembers that as a toddler, Jim would look in the mirror
and say, "Pretty Gee-Gee."

Lou, Sr. with Jim

Happy Birthday, Jim!

Friday, November 7, 2008

I consider it a privilege. . .

Tesi - Jim - Leona - Lou
November 7, 1975

Since Lou was serving as the Stake President of the Pueblo Stake, he had the authority to perform marriages. It was a special occasion for him to perform the marriage ceremony for Jim and Tesi.

November 7, 1975 – Jim and Theresa Ann Sandoval were married. I performed the ceremony with these words of introduction and then followed with a prayer and the traditional marriage ceremony.

“I consider it a privilege to conduct this ceremony for you.

"We believe marriage to be ordained by God, to help develop His attributes and that absolute loyalty to one another is essential.

"Most Latter-day Saint weddings are performed in temples, homes or chapels, with sealings to be performed in the temple as soon as possible.”

Soon after their wedding, Tesi was baptized, and in due time they were married in the Salt Lake Temple.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

An inside View

Dad's handwritten daily journal

I've already recorded my thoughts and feelings about this family history project. But even more interesting to me is what Dad recorded in his journal about his interest in sharing his family history with all of us. Obviously none of us would be enjoying his life through this blog if he hadn't followed the counsel to keep a journal and a history.

January 7, 1989
– I’m spending a lot of time sorting pictures into envelopes by families. Then I will start putting them into albums. It has been interesting – both new things and seeing pictures of things I enjoyed in years past. I want to get this project finished and then get started on my old diaries, appointment books, and photos to make a meaningful and interesting journal. I am finding the old pictures very fascinating and leading to some genealogy work. I wish Mom and Dad would have written on pictures or on the albums so I would know who people were. I have to try to put them into albums so as to save them, but also to make them meaningful to our children and grandchildren.

I found pictures of both of my grandparents and also their golden weddings. Those group pictures brought back some memories, but I have forgotten so much!
I’ve purchased 12 – ½ inch notebooks and 200 page protectors for the photo albums.

Family pictures in the notebooks

20 January 1989 –Since I don’t have any page protectors I am just slitting the paper for the corners of the pictures to stick through to get them to stay in the notebook. Then I print about the pictures in the very smallest print on my computer printer and tape it to the picture or next to it in the notebook.

2 July 1992
– I went out in the garage [in Pleasant View] and started getting some of the things that I want to take back to Greeley with me. I found a lot of pictures and old journals that I need for my autobiography. I also got a lot of books that I want, including some books from our trips to Germany and also of our mission. I could fill the truck with just what I looked at today. I piled them up by the front of the garage. Now I have to go through them and dust them all off good before I re-box them for the trip to Greeley.

28 July 1992
– I got all of the pictures put together in the top of my closet. I am now getting close to being able to start getting my autobiography started in earnest.

Journal entry
10 April 1989

31 July 1992 – I went through all of my notebooks of journals, appointments, agendas, etc. and filed them in folders by the year. Now I will have to go through them and put them in chronological order as the next step. I have them in five boxes. I also found several more notebooks full of pictures, so it is now about 63 notebooks full of pictures, plus the briefcase and a few boxes of pictures. I must get the rest of the pictures in page protectors and label a lot of them before I forget all about them.

19 April 1993
– I started on my autobiography by setting up a file cabinet with sections of topics and began writing. I will be able to write about any section now, such as service time, scouting, church service, etc.

7 August 1993
– Davis Family reunion. Every time we got a chance, I was showing Aunt Florence and Uncle Norman my pictures and trying to get names to go with old pictures. I showed them how I am working my pictures and journal together.

1 September 1993
– Spent most of the day working on my journals. I did some work on 1930 – 1953. I’m just putting information on the disk that I had in the files. I can add a lot more if I take the time to think about what I have listed, and if I look through the pictures of those years.

7 September 1993
– Worked some more on my journals, finding pictures and trying to remember.

19 November 1993
– Aunt Florence is here to visit for a few days. All week long she and I have been talking genealogy. She told me many things about her genealogy trip with Uncle Evan, and I got some information on many of Grandpa Harker’s brothers, etc.

Thanks for all your work, Dad.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Clownin' Around

Principal Louis Butler
October 31, 1977

Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Della and Harker - 50 Years Together

ViAnna FiDella Shafer - Charles Harker Davis
50th Wedding Anniversary
October 30, 1939

In his personal history Norman E. Davis, their son, gives us a few details about the marriage of Harker and Della - Lou's maternal grandparents:

"Charles Harker Davis and Vienna Fidella Sheaffer (Shafer on their wedding certificate) were united in marriage October 30, 1889 by Michael Keinan, Justice of the Peace, and witnessed by her sister, Caroline Shaeffer and Mrs. Bell Herbert.

"Father was a cowboy at that time, working around Springer, New Mexico. After some time they decided to make their way to Pueblo, to work and make a home, to start life as a family."

These newspaper articles report some details of the celebration. Note that Charles and Louis Butler (grandsons of the couple) sang "Put on Your Old Grey Bonnet."

Unfortunately, the wish for "many more years of wedded bliss" was not to be. Harker passed away 10 months later in August, 1940.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Sunday Best in Alaska

LDS Church Building
about 20 miles from Clam Lagoon - where the naval facility of Adak was located
note the "cars" in the parking lot!

I didn’t get to church very often[while stationed at Adak],because we worked through Sundays if our section was on duty, which was half the time. It was also difficult to get transportation to the Main Navy town where the chapel was located. Our Radio City, as it was called, was set several miles off from the main facilities of the island because of the secret nature of the mission, so we had to go by bus most of the time to get any place except the Army Air Base.

Military Church Group near Adak
I can't find Dad in this picture, but he recorded that this was the group
he went to church with.

We did have about 35 Latter-day Saints who usually attended meetings, and one Red Cross Lady, the only sister.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Hegler's Swimming Pool

Delbert (1) and Louis (12) with family pets
about 1935

When I turned 12 years old, I joined Scout Troop #2 at the Bethel Methodist Church with several of the neighborhood boys. Our church did not have a Scout Troop at this time. Piff Wallace was the assistant Scout Master to Mr. Reeves.

An arrangement was made between Hegler’s Swimming Pool and Scout Troop #3 for the troop to work at the pool in the spring to prepare it for the summer swim season. The work had to be done on Saturdays during April and May.

Ray Hegler

The Hegler family owned a farm which included a stream in which they cleared out the brush and built a dam.  This dam created a pool of water about 150 feet long and 75 feet wide which made a very nice swimming pool.  In addition to the pool, the Heglers built a bath house, diving towers and boards, parking area and fencing.  It was a great business!

The pool consisted of a dam across a ravine and a stream working its way down to the Arkansas River. It was about a half mile north of Highway #50 and ½ mile south of the Arkansas River.

The stream would bring in silt from the fields which drained into the stream all summer. So we would wash the silt out of the sand, re-sand the pool bottom, and clear out any trash or growth from the incoming stream.

We would re-sand the area on top of the dam and on the beach on the west side of the pool. We would scrape and repaint the tower, diving boards, fence, dressing rooms, and business area.
  In return for our work, we could swim free all summer.

Just before the pool opened for the public, the Heglers always had a pit barbeque pig for a big meal and party for the workers.

After the first year, our neighborhood boys took over the project, and the Scout Troop dropped out of it. We continued the project and free swimming until we were well into high school, and then some boys stayed on as life guards, etc. The group stayed on and swam free until WWII broke out and most of us ended up in the service.

We often went to Hegler’s on Friday after school and slept there Friday night. We would work and play and swim as soon as the pool filled (even though the water was very cold when it first filled.) Some stayed over Saturday night, but most of us had to come home for Sunday church meetings.

We did a lot of swimming for the summer when we could talk one of our parents into driving us out there. It was about seven miles from our neighborhood.

A little internet searching led me to Ray Hegler's obituary as published in the Pueblo Chieftain:

Hegler, Raymond E.
Raymond E. Hegler, 86, passed away Jan. 20, 2005. Survived by his loving wife of 19 years, Anna Hegler; his children, Alan Hegler, David (Cathie) Hegler, Gail Hegler; grandchildren, Melissa Merrill, Michael Hegler; his stepchildren, Marge (Jim) Penrod, Janice (Larry) Crump, John (Marcella) Mravich; grandchild, Becky Penrod; special niece, Pepper (Bill) Rhinehart. Also survived by numerous nieces and nephews. Preceded in death by his parents, Frank and Mary Hegler; first wife, Jean Townley; brothers and sisters, Pauline, Herman, Frank, Fred, Theodore, Wilma, Anna and Isabelle. Ray was the owner and operator of Hegler Swimming Pool. He raised fish at the Hegler Trout Farm. Ray was a member of the Eagles, NRA, Carpenters Union, Fin and Feather Club. He also loved to dance, have fun and was a kind and loving person.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Friendships, firmly cemented

The first LDS Church building in Pueblo, Colorado
Seventh Street and Fountain Ave

picture dated 1908

The first [LDS Church] meetings (about 1896) were held in the homes of various members for the first few years. The first regular meeting place was in a lodge hall over White & Davis Store when it was located at Third and Main Streets. The next place was the old D.A.R. Hall. In 1903, lots were bought at Seventh Street and Fountain Avenue and a one-room building was erected in which to hold church meetings. The money for material was donated by the local members, and they did the actual work of building the church. Three additions were made to this building from time to time as the membership grew.

This building was where Mable first attended church after she started meeting with the missionaries. This was also the building the family when the family attended when Lou was baptized in 1931. The building was sold in 1940.

Second LDS Church in Pueblo, Colorado
Fourth Street and Kingston Avenue

in use 1937 - 1955

[In 1937] the church building at Fourth Street and Kingston Avenue was purchased. But with the steady growth of the Pueblo Ward, it became apparent that the membership would soon outgrow this building, and a building fund was started [for the purchase and/or construction of a new building.]

Within a few years, the church at 4th and Kingston was in constant need of repairs, and the membership had grown until, even had the building been in perfect condition, it would still have been inadequate.

In the early part of 1950, John Bonforte
, an aeronautical engineer who became a home builder after World War II because he needed a house himself (according to an article in the Pueblo Chieftain newspaper), started developing the Belmont area of northeast Pueblo, and early in 1951 he started building the first residences. Bonforte knew that to make Belmont attractive to the people who would move there, that they would want schools and churches, and he gave liberally of land to the school districts, and he let it be known that certain sites were available to new churches who would erect a building that would do justice as a place of worship and help make Belmont beautiful.

Louis Butler
2nd Counselor in the Pueblo Ward Bishopric

As a member of the bishopric, in July [1954] I got to turn over a spadeful of earth at the groundbreaking ceremony for the new chapel.

By August 1954, he had deeded to the Pueblo Ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints a plot of ground at Constitution Avenue and Bonforte Boulevard, and construction on this beautiful building had begun.

During August, 1954, the actual construction of the church was started with the labor of the many men, women and children who were members of the Pueblo Ward, and also many who were not members; firms helped by discounting the cost of work and material other members who were heads of construction companies gave freely the use of their time, equipment and employees.

Those who donated the most labor (hours) on the building were Pearl Shaner and Jesse L. Butler. A railroader, Jesse would come in from a run for the railroad and go immediately to the construction.

Friendships, firmly cemented with the laying of each brick, grew as members industriously worked to furnish the building, do landscaping, and pay off indebtedness. many remember the tantalizing odors of baked goods wafting from the kitchen as members, under the direction of Ream Carpenter, a baker by profession, fill previously taken orders each Friday and Saturday.

Completed building
Constitution Avenue and Bonforte Boulevard

On October 12, 1957 we attended the dedication of the Pueblo Ward Chapel. The dedicatory prayer was given by Elder Mark E. Peterson.

The historical narrative, written by Maurice Evensen and Verda Gibson, was taken from a program dated October 24, 1982 commemorating the 25th anniversary of the building's dedication.

Stories about Jesse Butler and Ream Carpenter's involvement in the church construction will be told in a later post.