Friday, July 30, 2010

If you haven't been in Greeley lately . . .

 . . . here are some pictures of the beautiful spot where Dad is buried.

Lush  grass and lots of big trees make Sunset Memorial Garden a pleasant, green oasis.

Family members like to stop by.
 Glenna - Lou - Leona
March 2009

Leona - Don - Emily - Katie
July, 2005

  This week the anniversary flowers are a bright spot against the green grass.

 The marker looks as beautiful now as it day the day it was put in place.

It's a peaceful place to visit.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

In Memory

 Respectful grandsons performing a final act of service for a much loved grandfather
July 30, 2005

Louis Butler

Louis Edward Butler, 82, of Greeley died Wednesday, July 27, 2005 at his home.

He was born March 16, 1923, in Haswell to Jesse L. and Mable E. (Davis) Butler.

On Nov. 17, 1943, he married Eleanor Leona Carpenter in Seattle.

Mr. Butler was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He grew up in Pueblo and served in the Navy during World War II. He was stationed in Adak in the Aleutian Islands. After his discharge, he went to college and graduated from Colorado State College of Education, now the University of Northern Colorado, with a master's degree in 1954. He also served in the armed forces in the Korean War. Afterward, he taught elementary school and was a principal for 33 years in Pueblo. After his retirement in 1983, he and his wife completed several missions for the LDS church, serving at the Haskell Junior College in Lawrence, Kan., and at LDS temples in Germany and Switzerland.

Mr. Butler was active in Boy Scouts for many years and received the Silver Beaver award for outstanding service.

Survivors are his wife, E. Leona Butler of Greeley; four sons, Louis E. Butler Jr. and wife Kaylene of Pleasant View, Utah, James A. Butler and wife Tesi of Colorado Springs, Charles T. Butler and wife Carol of Yuma, Ariz., and Donald E. Butler and wife Lynnette of Greeley; a sister-in-law, Charlotte I. Butler; 17 grandchildren; and 25 great-grandchildren. Also surviving are a niece, Beth Butler, and two nephews, Charles Butler and Gary Butler.

He was preceded in death by his parents and three brothers, J. Eldon Butler, Charles L. Butler and Delbert L. Butler.

Services will be at noon Saturday at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 2116 23rd Ave., Greeley. Interment will be in Sunset Memorial Gardens, Greeley.

Friends may visit from 6:30-8 p.m. today at Stoddard Funeral Home and 11 a.m.-noon Saturday at the church. 

obituary posted in the Greeley Tribune, July 29, 2005

Friday, July 23, 2010

Great Opportunity for the Grandparents

In February of 1991 [after completing our mission], we returned back to Pleasant View, Utah. We stayed with Lou, Jr. and Colleen for a short time and then took our 5th wheel and left to visit with all of our children. While visiting with Chuck and Carol in Nevada, they got transferred to the Yuma Proving Grounds, so we took our trailer and traveled with them to Yuma, Arizona.

Tommy had received his mission call to the Austria, Vienna Mission just as we were getting ready to go to Yuma. So we agreed to come back to Yuma later in the summer and take Tommy to Provo to the MTC when it was time.

We traveled some more, seeing family, and then in July returned to take Tommy to the MTC. It was a wonderful, memorable time in our life. 

 Some last minute packing in Grandma and Grandpa's trailer

On his way to the Missionary Training Center

7 August 1991Today was the day that Tom reported to the MTC! Some interesting facts:
• currently 27,000 missionaries serving
• 340 missionaries reporting today
• 18,500 missionaries went through the MTC last year.

We all had a few tears in our eyes as we said goodbye to Tom. It was a great few weeks that we had with him, and we are very proud of him and know that he will do well.
Then a couple of years later we had the privilege again of taking Chuckie to the MTC as he prepared to go to Denmark on his mission. This was another great opportunity for us. 

 Chuck and Grandma headed to the Missionary Training Center
16 June 1993

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Announcing . . .

This gem was hiding in a file folder - just waiting to be found.  I'm fascinated with it, and couldn't resist posting this bit of history.

Notice how clear the postmark is - and the postage was only 1 cent!

Announcing the birth of Shirley Nadine Maxson
Her mother is Marjorie Davis Maxson, sister of Grandma Mable

It appears that the picture and text have been transferred to the post card by use of carbon paper which was in wide use until the mid 1950's.  I wonder how many announcements the Maxsons sent . . . could have been a lot of tracing.

Fun Fact about carbon paper
from this website

Pellegrino Turri created carbon paper for his wife [probably his lover], who had gone blind from illness. He wanted a device she could use to duplicate her letters so she would not have to deal with the mess of a quill and ink and would not have to rewrite the same correspondences repeatedly for friends. The "CC" field used when sending emails to more than one recipient is a reference to carbon paper. It is an abbreviation for "carbon copy."


  • Pellegrino Turri created carbon paper for his wife, who had gone blind from illness. He wanted a device she could use to duplicate her letters so she would not have to deal with the mess of a quill and ink and would not have to rewrite the same correspondences repeatedly for friends. The "CC" field used when sending emails to more than one recipient is a reference to carbon paper. It is an abbreviation for "carbon copy."

  • Friday, July 16, 2010

    The roof overhead

     Any mention of the Davis sod house, would be incomplete without the following incident.  Birdie and Norman both wrote of it in their histories; I'm sure it was an experience that left a mark.

    From Birdie who would have been about 7 years of age at this time:
    One summer night a storm came up and during the rain, hail and wind we experienced our first tornado. It stormed so badly that our roof was ripped off. As already stated it was a mud and tarp roof, and with little imagination one would know of the mess and turmoil the family found themselves in during the middle of the night. The kitchen was the gathering place, and after the first excitement, mother began checking children only to discover that Floyd was missing. He was still in bed with the mud all over him, even in his ear, but it hadn’t wakened him. He being only a toddler, we dug him up and took him into the kitchen with the rest of us bundled up in blankets huddled around like a tribe of Indian papooses. At the time it wasn’t funny, but to look back on it as all experiences become, one has to smile at the picture. The mess was something to clean up; however, the neighbors came from all directions to help. As soon as we could get the material for the roof, we had a wonderful experience of neighborly help in the roof raising.

     Norman's memories - he would have been about 4 years old:
    The storms on the Colorado prairies – rain, hail, wind or snow – with no trees or mountains to check the force, can be severe. One night a real storm with rain, hail and wind, struck the ranch. The sod roof was torn from the main part of the house, leaving the bare boards. In minutes the rooms were flooded and the beds soaked. Quickly we fled to the lean-to kitchen and huddled there, awaiting the end of the storm. Suddenly we heard crying, and found Floyd, the toddler, had been left behind in the rain-soaked bed.  The next day the neighbors came in, in true neighborly fashion, and helped cut sod for a new roof, and we were quickly back in our soddy home. 

    Although funny now, I cannot imagine Della's fear and concern when she discovered that her baby - probably less than 18 months old - was missing.  And then, imagine the mess to clean up . . .

    Tuesday, July 13, 2010

    A new home

     The Davis family is growing:
    Norman Edward - born 12 July 1896      
    Augusta Irene - born 5 August 1897
    Floyd Jim - born 10 June 1899

    Sod house built in Nebraska in 1886 - image
    not the Davis home, but probably similar

    Birdie's account continues as she remembers their first homestead:

    During this time [1896-97], Daddy’s brother Jim came to visit us. He had heard of the government land to be homesteaded east of Colorado Springs near Ramah, Colorado, so went up and took a look. He could get a plot along a long draw and seen he could have a meadow for hay, so filed on it. He built a nice two bedroom house, barns, and corrals, and was real happy with it. Then Uncle Jack, another brother, came and took out a claim on a place joining on the east of Jim. Uncle Jack built a small bachelor shack on his land.

    They finally talked Daddy into going up there and in the spring of 1898 he filed on his 160 acres. It was three miles north and east of his brothers’ places.

    We moved from Pueblo then and lived with Uncle Jim while all three of the brothers built the house, barns, etc on our own homestead, ten miles east of Ramah, Colorado.  Not too much was accomplished this summer with tending chores, putting up hay and tending crops on Jack’s and Jim’s places. But foundation [for the house] was laid, and floor joists were in, etc. I can remember how much fun it was to run across and jump over the joists. I could jump from one to the other, but Norman had to crawl over, land between and crawl over the next. I would meet him as I came back. We did that by the hour.

    Well, come spring 1899 – they started the walls, the house was to be a three bedroom deal with a kitchen and dining room on the southwest side making it in an L shape with all the bedrooms on the north side. In those days a lot of the houses were “adoba” houses. Having lived in New Mexico where Indians and Mexicans built all their houses of adoba, and that was what we were to have. To make the bricks those days, they plowed the grassy land four inches deep and cut the sod into 12”x16”x4” bricks and laid them up with thick mud like they lay our brick today with cement. It was laid up with grass down in a wall. This was laid on the roof too – over the sheeting and two thicknesses of black tarpaper. Of course the roof had to be pretty flat to keep this from washing off. This really made a warm house and real deep windows for mother's plants. She always had every window full of house plants. Dad said it was good the windows were tall in there or they wouldn’t be much light get in.

    Norman has also written about this home, but he refers to it as a "soddy"

    On June 10, 1899 Floyd Jim was added to the family, and the “soddy” was becoming more crowded. Mother was not well, and had lots of work. I don’t remember the size of our sod house, but I remember when it was in the making, and I remember running in the trail after the cutter, when the sods were being turned up. The cutter left a trail 12 inches wide and 4 inches deep. Our homestead “soddy” was large enough that there was room to have square dances in the living room end, and bedrooms in the other end. The growing family never seemed to have too much room. 

    This website has a good description of the construction of a sod house - it wasn't easy work! 

    And when I read about rodents and snakes burrowing through the dirt walls and roof, I knew I was born in the right generation!  Check out this website for some down to earth (no pun intended!) details of sod house living.
    I have an increased respect for Grandma Della.

    Friday, July 9, 2010

    Dora Alice Davis

    We read the beginning of the Davis family history as recorded by Birdie Bell Davis Harriman, 2nd daughter in the Davis family in this previous post.  The following is a brief account of the short life of Dora Alice, first child.

    Dora Alice Davis (back row, middle )
    Charles Harker Davis (back row, right)

    This five-generation group is the only picture I have found of Dora, and it appears to be a composite made from several individual images.

    On October 20, 1890 Mother hustled Daddy out on a cold night to get Aunt Bell to stay with her while he went for the Doctor. A little girl [Dora Alice] was delivered in due time, dark hair, brown eyes, plump and short of stature. She took up her abode in a large reed baby buggy Mother had managed to get for her.

    Three years went by without much change in routine, tent life for Mother, dairy and steel work for Daddy while Dora Alice grew, walked, and showed good signs of being very bright and happy. She was very good at reciting her nursery rhymes and a great joy to her parents.

    On April 20, 1893 a sister put in her appearance. Quite the opposite in characteristics. Very fair and red headed. They grew and learned to love one another in play for the first nine months. Then scarlet fever took over. Dora failed to break out and we lost her. This was terrible to the young couple, but they didn’t have time to grieve extensively for they were busy trying to save me, Birdie Bell. The fever had caused me to have dropsy [edema.] I was just learning to walk, and by the time I got over the two diseases I had to learn to walk all over again. I seemed very lonely and went round calling sister and saying, peek-a-boo, Mother related.

    Because she was the oldest child, none of her siblings had memories of her, but still they felt a connection to her as their sister.  Many years after her death, members of the family placed this marker on her grave in Pueblo, Colorado.

    Written on the back of the picture in Mable's handwriting:
    "They all like the stone.  Thanks to all of you.  If the folks . . . " 
    The rest is cut off, but I imagine it said,   "could see it, they would be so proud and happy." 

    Tuesday, July 6, 2010

    Are you listening to me?

      A couple of examples of highly effective lectures I [Lou] gave to youthful offenders of school rules: 

    #1  One day I was once again trying to convince a fourth grade girl that if she would change her ways, she and I would both be happier than we were then.  I was give her my very best lecture when she asked, “Mr. Butler, do you think you could grow hair if you wanted to?”

    #2  I lectured a first grader who had been literally carried into the office for refusing to obey a teacher on the playground and then kicking, scratching, etc.  I got him settled down and was discussing his behavior and it appeared he was buying the advice I was giving him.  Then he held up his hand, and I asked him what he wanted to say.  He said, “Mr. Butler, have you ever eaten chicken at Popeye’s Restaurant in Denver?”

    I wonder how he kept a straight face!

    Saturday, July 3, 2010

    Happy, Happy Birthday!

    Donny - Tommy

    61 years old today!