HISTORIES WITH TRIBUTES TO AND MEMORIES OF
THE PHILLIPS BROTHERS AND SISTERS
especially for their nieces and nephews and their descendants
DAVID DEE PHILLIPS
VIRGIL EDWARD PHILLIPS
ELEANOR ELIZA PHILLIPS MERRILL
JOSEPHINE PHILLIPS MCBRIDE
RODNEY KIMBALL PHILLIPS
JEAN ARNETTA DOWDLE
David Dee Phillips Jr., my oldest
brother and first born of the family came into the world
Elevated intelligence, he had a very quick
mind, and he was a smartalek on top of that. Although
just a child I was old enough to grasp the facts. It
came to the point that every time I heard a knock on the door any time
after dark, the thought immediately ran through my mind, “Oh no!
Quick to learn and grasp concepts in school,
his mind raced ahead of the pace set by his teachers. The
teachers of his day failed to keep his attention, allowing him much
opportunity to out-smart them. He hated school, but
under solid parental duress he did graduate from high school.
Some girl, or girls, were always in love with
him, but the day came when finally in 1934, one of them won his heart.
While living in
After they married, Dee and Lillian seriously
thought that our little sister, Jean, 25 years and nine months younger
Our own two little boys and little girl were
beautiful children, and Lillian and Dee loved them. But,
the second child and first son of my older brother, Virgil, became
their favorite. They thought he should be theirs too. Dark
complexioned, brown-eyed, wavy haired, beautiful Eddie, looked so much
"VIRGIL" EDWARD PHILLIPS
Kids need to fill this out several more pages.
FAMILY NEEDS TO EXPAND ON WHAT
A TESTIMONY SHOULD BE ADDED. YOU KIDS KNOW WHAT THEY WOULD WANT THEIR NEICES AND NEPHEWS TO HAVE PERSONALLY HEARD FORM THEIR LIPS.
ALSO NEEDED IS A FEW PARAGRAPHS ON THE DISPOSITION OF EACH OF THEIR CHILDREN.
His sister, Josephine Phillips McBride,
provides the following paragraph: Born
The men in our home: Dad, Dee -- especially
Virgil -- and Rodney all had voices of quality. They
sang at our piano frequently often bringing in their friends to enjoy
short, evening songfests. According to Mama, Virgil
had inherited his grandfather Phillips’s exceptional voice and sang
more than his brothers, more so during his high school and junior
college days. We loved to hear him sing, especially
his favorite, “On the Road to
ELIZA PHILLIPS MERRILL
sister, Josephine Phillips McBride provides these three paragraphs:
Eleanor graduated from high school and left for college.
The day of her departure, I smugly contemplated how nice
it would be to finally have a bedroom completely to myself.
Shortly after she left, I stepped into th room.
I was dumbfounded to discover that all of her things,
usually about the room, were gone, and the closet stood completely
devoid of her clothes. There I stood, suddenly
overcome with a very lonely feeling. How much I
missed her those first several weeks, but how happy I felt, as she
occasionally returned to visit us at home.
years passed, the day of my high school graduation arrived.
Entering the bedroom, to get ready for graduation
exercises, there on the dresser I saw a hundred dollar check, made out
to me from Eleanor. She had started teaching school
after she completed her first year of college. So,
she had a year’s experience behind her. A hundred
dollars doesn’t sound like much now, but it represented a huge amount
in those days. Mother asked me what I intended to
do with it. I said that I’d better save it for
school. She told me then and there that I could
spend it anyway I wanted. She said Eleanor gave it
solely to me, and I should spend it the way I wanted. Jean
was about a year old then, and after thinking it over, I told Mama I
wanted to use it to take her and Jean to
Quick and bright, and an “A” student, Eleanor also excelled in piano, for she not only took lessons, she extended herself far beyond that simple formality. She set herself apart from the ordinary as a tenacious, dedicated student of the instrument. Compared to me, she was possessed of a bookish, nervous, high-strung personality, probably due to her superior intelligence. Her personality and mannerisms were much like our Grandmother Nonnie’s.
(JO) PHILLIPS MCBRIDE
My life began on the eighth day of June 1912,
in Thatcher Arizona. Thatcher, in
Such a happy childhood, such happy growing-up
years, we children were "born of goodly parents." Our
parents loved us and always provided the good things of life. We were
given everything needed to foster a healthy, happy, physical, mental
and spiritual foundation. Of seven, I am one of six
children who lived to adulthood – baby Elmo died after living only six
Here in order are the dates of our births,
including their ages relative to mine: David Dee
Jr., September 30, 1904, 7 years 8 months older; Elmo, April 6, 1906, 6
years 2 months older; Edward Virgil, November 20, 1907, 4 years 7
months older; Eleanor Eliza, November 11, 1909, 2 years 7 months older;
(Me); Rodney Kimball, August 5, 1915, 3 years 2 months younger; Jean
Arnetta, July 5, 1930, 18 years 1 month younger.
My mother, Eliza Arnette Jones Phillips, was
She was very slender as I grew up.
The doctor gave her medicines hoping to improve her
appetite. Before Eleanor was born, while Dad was
serving his mission in
Mama, nearly five feet six inches tall,
appeared taller because of her slender build. Her
facial features were fine, her hair dark brown, and of complexion like
a porcelain doll. Always quite model-like and willowy her proportions
and shapeliness were very nice. She aged with calm
grace and retained her beauty exceptionally well throughout her life.
Born in .
A very handsome man: well proportioned, trim
of build -- except for a moderately protruding stomach when he was
older -- and always immaculately dressed, he stood about five feet ten
inches in height. Dark complexioned with wavy black
hair, many men envied his appearance and good looks, and many young
women had sought his company before he chose Mama. Exceptionally
well spoken, he enjoyed numerous friendships. He
was respected as an intelligent and accomplished man of wisdom.
Dad spent his boyhood in Thatcher. He
graduated from its schools, and after high school and two years
It seems we lived about one block from
everyone and everything: the Church: all of my best friends, both pair
of grandparents, the grammar school, the high school and the junior
college. I and all my brothers and sisters
graduated from the local schools in Thatcher.
Except for Jean, we were all born in the
house my dad, with Mexican help, had built for Mama, his
bride-soon-to-be, to move into after they were married. The
house was a sturdy little, sixteen-inch adobe wall home, with a
bedroom, kitchen, dining room and living room. Dad
and Mama moved into it, brand new, after their marriage. Our
home sat next to the bank of the picturesque, tree-lined
My maternal grandmother, Josephine Cluff,
affectionately known as Nonnie by her grandchildren and Josie by her
family and friends, had moved to the valley from
They first lived in Pima seven miles west of
Thatcher. Grandmother Josephine, brought up in a progressive and
educated family was a well educated woman for her time, and
multi-talented.. Her brother, Benjamin Cluff, became the first
While the family lived in Pima, Grandmother
Nonnie taught in the elementary school in Central, a smaller community
three miles to the east between Pima and Thatcher. She
later built a home in Central, and moved her family there. Eventually
After her children were grown and
independent, Grandmother Nonnie answered the call of the Prophet of the
Church to fill a mission in
Soon after completing her mission she
returned to the Valley, resumed teaching and married Andrew C. Kimball
of Thatcher, eight months after the untimely death of his wife, Olive
Woolley. With that union she assumed the ominous
task of raising Andrew's six children. Spencer W.,
one of the children, later became the twelfth President of the Church.
My mother, through her mother's second marriage became
Spencer's older step-sister. She often said, "He was the most perfect
boy and young man I have ever known."
Mama, kind and loving, treated her failing
mother with every consideration. When Grandmother
Nonnie died, I was ten years old. She lived just a
block away up the street kitty-corner across from the church grounds
where Uncle Spencer, along with his brothers and sisters had grown up
under her prudent supervision. (The home, now
dedicated as an historical landmark, has a conservative mortared, rock
monument inlaid with a bronze plaque standing at the front edge of the
step-grandfather, Andrew C. Kimball, was serving as
the second stake president of the Saint Joseph Stake. He
had succeeded President Christopher Layton, my great-grandfather, who
had been released because of terminal illness. As a
girl, I only knew Spencer, as Uncle Spencer, and his father as Grandpa.
Of course, they were really step-uncle and
step-grandfather, but only as the years passed would I become aware of
that mere technicality. To me they would forever be
just my Uncle Spencer and my Grandpa. Several times
as we raised our three teenage children in Thatcher, Uncle Spencer,
then an Apostle, was a guest in our home. (See a
more detailed synoptic history of Josie and Andrew in the section on
As a small child and through my growing-up
years, I always loved people. In fact I think I
kind of still do. Anyway, when I was a
three-year-old, a theatrical couple arrived in our country town.
They had trunks of beautiful costumes for the youth of the
town they chose for the rolls in their productions. They,
like many of their kind in that time of history, traveled throughout
In preparation to present the play, "Tom
Thumb’s Bride," they chose me to be Tom’s bride. The
boy that played tom was a cute little boy, a year older, that I liked.
I've forgotten his first name, but his last name was Tenny.
My brother, Virgil, four years older, played a member of
the tuxedo-dressed wedding party.
In those days, all special events in Thatcher
of any size were presented in the large high-windowed, basement
cultural hall under the old and beautiful church. During
the play, from the stage, I gazed out over the packed hall through awed
little-girl eyes at so many people. The cultural
hall had filled to more than capacity. As a part of
the play, after the marriage ceremony, the
wedding party sat at a long table taking refreshment. It
spanned a good portion of the front of the stage, and home-made ice
cream was being enjoyed by all.
I remember well how yummy it tasted to a
little girl. But in that warm desert country, a
good part of it melted before I'd finished. No
matter, it all tasted good. With no intention of
wasting a single drop, the bride, the center of attraction, with
hundreds of pairs of eyes looking on, lifted the bowl to her lips and
drank it down to the last drop. The crowd roared
with laughter. Puzzled, I looked all around trying to understand what
had struck them so funny.
As little girls our early interests swept us
along playing hopscotch, jacks, jump-rope, and mothering the dolls we
so loved. Across the street at Dubie Michelson’s
house, her dad kept a cow beyond their orchard in their pasture.
In the pasture grew gorgeous bunches of high-stemmed
sunflowers. Around an old stump standing at the
perfect height, we bent the flower stems over it to fashion a bright,
yellow and green bowery over it transforming it, as far as we were
concerned, into a charming throne. There with the
stump framed with the lovely greenery and yellow flowers, we played
make-believe king, queen and princess. After tiring
of that we would go to the big grape arbor her dad had built that
spanned the entire back of their house. There in
the shaded enclosure, we, imagined as our stage, we played “movie star.”
We even broke off short, dried lengths of grape vine and
smoked them like cigarettes, mimicking the antics of the actresses of
the day. After tiring of the fun at Dubie’s, we
crossed the street to my place and played other make-believe games over
against and on the green bank of the big canal just a hop, skip and a
jump from our house.
An abandoned chicken coop stood leaning in
our back yard. Somehow we girls slid it over next
to the canal bank. We spent hours cleaning it out
and fixing it up. Complete with make-shift
furniture, walkways, a fence, and other amenities we had searched out
and spent time arranging, it became our own, private clubhouse.
The canal ran along the south side of our lot.
We all loved that two-foot deep, or more, 20-foot wide
flowing stream with its tree-lined, shady, grassy banks. The
bigger kids played in it at any time they wanted, and even though down
the canal a ways they had a deeper swimming hole, they often chose to
just play in it there by the house. The younger ones could too -- under
supervision. On one occasion when I was a
four-year-old, my footing slipped from under me and under I went.
Mama watched me sink out of sight and soon saw my curls
surface, floating along with the current. She
rushed a big brother to rescue me. Over the years,
many young lives had been claimed by the seemingly innocent streams of
the valley’s canals.
When we were small children, the Church often
chose to organize outings at a place called the Flume Camp at Cluff’s
Ranch. The flume shot lumber down its long slender
stretch from up high in the mountain where the timber had been cut.
The debarked and rough-cut lengths slid for miles down the
water-filled chute to its end located above the mill. Dragged
down to the mill pond, they waited their turn to be
converted to finished lumber. At the end of the
flume, the V-shaped, mossy sides and bottom gave us youngsters a full
fifty-foot ride. Our parents would lift us up over
the edge, place us on a board and let us go a sliding down.
The fast flowing water two or three inches deep carried us
slipping and sliding to its end where waiting, adult arms grabbed us,
and lifted us out rescuing us before we plunked to the
Out back, we kept chickens and a pig and
often pastured a cow. What I liked most about the
cow was the cream from the milk. Because of my two
big brothers I never had to care for the animals either,. Besides,
Dad always said that he hadn't been blessed with his pretty girls to
become farmers. Dad, though always good to his
boys, with his daughters he was a real softy. Why I
never helped take care of the milk either. After it
arrived in the bucket on the kitchen sink, Mama took charge of that too.
She always did everything.
When the milk came in, she first strained it
through a cloth, then poured it into containers and placed them in the
ice box. If there was not space there, she placed
them in a cool room. (The electric household
refrigerator hadn't been perfected yet.) Mother
left the milk to cool, and as it cooled the cream rose to the top where
it began to thicken. The longer it stood undisturbed the thicker it
became. We kids skimmed it off the top.
Mixed with cocoa and sugar we ate it straight and thick:
the thicker the better. And if we had none at our house, my very, best
friend, Dubie Mickelson, across the street, always had some in the
creamery room attached to her house. The ice boxes
of the time, all too small, had little capacity, and I remember if the
milk stood uncooled and unused too long it clabbered. If
it clabbered, Mama either made it into cottage cheese or fed it to the
chickens or the pig.
While in high school and college I had no
specifically assigned chores, nor did I work outside the home.
I think I was always kind of a "good for nothing."
Dad worked in Thatcher for years in the Big Six general
store for W. W. Pace, and then for Krups Department Store in Safford.
Eventually he built his own store in Thatcher. I
worked there on a few occasions and enjoyed it and was good at it, and
was willing to do a lot more, but again, Dad used his two big boys.
I would have loved to wait on tables in a restaurant or be
hired as a baby sitter or nanny, but Dad said no, “I can make the
living for my family.” My mother enjoyed the store,
and she needed to escape the kids and house from time to time.
She really loved the respite away from the home and to
work side by side with Dad.
When I started school, there was no such
thing as kindergarten for five-year-olds. I began
the first year as a six-year-old in the first grade of the
The red, brick, elementary school is still in
use and now accommodates the middle school. The
first grade through the eighth were considered the
Elementary School when I began. As I entered the
seventh grade, the new junior high, for the seventh, eighth, ninth and
tenth grades had been completed immediately west of the former school.
This left the Elementary School with the first through the
sixth grades. Later, the Junior High building would
also include the eleventh and twelfth grades of high school also.
Eventually our three children would graduate from that
same high school.
As a youngster in the first years of school it seemed that the teachers always chose me for the lead roles in the skits, plays and operettas, and I enjoyed that, because I got to wear the prettiest costumes. Nevertheless, I recall one occasion when the measles made its rounds through the community, and I came down with them at the time the characters were being chosen for a play, and my best friend, Alberta Craig, took the main part that I couldn’t help but suspect would have been mine. I loved singing parts, and when requiring fervent voice, even as a small child, one could depend on me to sing good and loud.
Let me mention here that we lived in the day
of school segregation. The Mexican and Black
children had their separate classes. It consisted
of the first grade through the eighth grade, taught by their own
teachers in a single, large room for all ages.
In junior high, one exceptional teacher
taught me algebra and Spanish. He taught in such a
way as to make it fun. His wife, who he married
later and brought to Thatcher was beautiful. But he
was very homely; so skinny and ugly that he actually looked as if he
were always at death's door, but he lived until 1993. Regardless,
his wife was an exceptional teacher too, and she and he both liked me,
and would you believe it, they named their first daughter, Josephine.
I don't know if I had part in that inspiration.
Perhaps I did; I like to think so.
As teenagers we loved the dances only slightly less than we loved the boys. But what would the dances have been without the boys? We looked forward with eagerness for each Friday evening. Yes, the dances lifted our spirits during those wonderful times. Ballroom dancing in vogue, we whirled, dipped and turned in fox trots and waltzes through the warm desert evenings. One of my beaus, Reid Morris, how he could dance; I loved to dance with him. He was a darling, young man. Reid is still alive and he would have married me. He liked me -- like much. How fun and exhilarating those times were, and how sweet the memories.
[As her husband, the one who finally won the
prize, let me explain a bit more about Jo: "More
than just Reid, there were a lot of young men who wanted to marry her;
she really enjoyed the envied position of being the bell of the town.
So darned cute, pretty and considerate of all, the young
people of the valley greatly admired Jo, and many young bucks wanted to
date her. She never lacked for dates. At
the dances, constantly in demand, the boys kept her always on the floor.
I decided not to even try for her because of her extreme
popularity. But, things kind of worked out. I’ve
extract a several lines from a tribute paid to us by Frankie, my
youngest sister, and last of my siblings. She
writes: “I knew Josephine (Phillips) from the time
she lived in the home by the canal in Thatcher -- and I remember her as
the prettiest girl in town. When the Phillips
family purchased and moved into the house next door to us (into
grandmother and grandpa Sims’ house) and Darvil started courting
Josephine’s attentions, I was as happy and elated over that as maybe
Darvil was -- though really not quite, I’m sure.”] (The
complete tribute is found later in the history.)
Though I never considered myself much of an athlete, in junior high school I loved to play softball during the physical education period and break. I usually insisted on playing first base, and nearly always did because I usually got my way. In those days of no television and because of our country location, we knew little about ice hockey, or any other form of hockey. The day came though when the school acquired a lawn-hockey set. I absolutely loved that game and spent many happy school periods with my girl friends as we played it. It became my favorite in athletics.
Through high school and junior college, as
I've alluded to, my name always appeared on the school ballots for
something. But the areas I most loved to be
involved in included: operettas, dances, and plays. A
word more about the delightful operettas: I still
managed to come up with the lead part in most of those, and that kept
me very happy. I remember visiting the schools in
Since farming was economic foundation of the
area, many transients came and went according to the harvest seasons.
Among them, many boys had never learned to dance.
I liked being friendly to those boys and often coaxed them
out onto the dance floor to help them become familiar with the basics
of dancing and socializing.
Graduation exercises were held after
completion of tenth grade, and after that summer vacation we attended
our last two years of high school at the junior college building.
At the time, the eleventh and twelfth grades of high
school were accommodated with the college in the same building.
What fun! Principally L.D. S. youths
from the other Mormon enclaves came from many parts of
The schools and Church sponsored hay rides on
big, flat-bed, horse-drawn wagons that carried a few bales of hay
tossed on for comfortable sitting and lounging back. We
played, joked, shifted around, dangled legs over the side and jumped on
and off the wagon at will as the horses slowly plodded along through
the desert over the narrow dirt roads, in the cooler late afternoon and
early evening. Our destination would be the middle
of a broad, dry, sandy wash among big,
black-limbed mesquite trees, with a smattering of other
growth and rocks and the inevitable cactus. There
we would build a big bonfire, and after the flaming logs reduced
themselves to glowing embers, we roasted marshmallows or weeners to eat
with the other tasties brought for the occasion --
homemade ice cream often topped off the regular course. The
fun wasn’t over though, for we enjoyed the return trip, in more
comfortable, cool air. We wended our way back down
the silent road after dark, under moon and star-lit skies -- having
just as much fun returning as going -- often blushing over a stolen
kiss from a bashful boy who would kiss and run. The memories of the
fragrance of the desert and the newly baled hay still whet my desires.
What lovely outings -- a bygone day
Sometimes we planned picnic outings of the
same nature as the hay rides, but on horse-back. Dad
always took care of finding the right horse for me; he would go to a
friend and borrow the proper steed so I could always ride out and
return safely. I loved those outings on horseback.
I could have been a real horsy person if I’d had half the
Four miles west of Pima, to the south of the
highway about one-half mile, a beautiful formation of clay cliffs rises
from the desert floor. Because of their striking
orange color in contrast to the drab, gray, flat-land around them, they
had been named "The Red Knolls." Over 200 hundred
feet high, they were riddled with caves, crevices, tunnels and deep,
dark, seemingly, bottomless pits.
Dances, plays, operettas and operas were
important involvements in a young woman's life. Moreover, we considered
the preparation for and presentation of the "Red Knoll’s Pageant" the
most exciting cultural event of the year. For those
of us with interests in music and theatrics, we looked
forward to it with anticipation and high expectations. I
always took part in it as a member of the orchestra or the choral
group, but occasionally I'd end up with a small speaking part.
Selected for major rolls, Darvil had important roles in
five consecutive pageants. Annually for many years,
pageants continued to be presented to large audiences from the valley’s
communities, there in the open air of the desert.
"The Las Amigas Club,” the college girls
organization, elected me president during my last year in junior
college. With a lot of talented help, I supervised
the decorating of the gymnasium for the Girls Dance that year.
We chose "
[Karl Green and his wife bought the trailer
park and our red brick house on
That same year, the members of the Boys Club
were responsible for the decorations of the Spring Formal Prom.
It consisted primarily of desert flora: Every
imaginable type, kind, and variety of age, size and color of desert
plant and cactus accented by a diverse spectrum of subdued, colored
lights transformed the drab gymnasium to sensational, ethereal beauty.
It turned out, many expressed, to be as beautifully
decorated as any prom in the history of the school. In
that period of time, few people took plant life from our vast, desert
resources. Nothing was endangered, and there were
no laws to prohibit gathering it.
Growing up in the arid, desert country, I
took for granted the desert's unexcelled beauty. I
believe for the first time in my life, it was during the preparation
for that prom that I first caught glimpses of the real magnificence of
the great, dry, desert country with its myriad’s of strange and
beautiful plants. Our valley had so little rainfall
that the farmers and the business people dependent on crop success,
constantly petitioned God for moisture in public, church, and private
We had lots of different, fun things to do
for dates. We went to special lecturers, musical
and dramatic presentations, given by talented musicians invited to the
college. We often made ice cream at someone's home
and sat visiting and laughing. Sometimes the boys
would spend hours cracking black walnuts, gathered from the wild trees,
for the homemade ice cream -- the thick hard-shelled nuts were bears to
extract the meat from. Or, we would take the ice cream out into the
hills in the early evening for dessert after a bonfire and wiener roast
or hamburger fry, or just a marshmallow toast. In
general, we grouped together with Darvil’s friends and their girl
friends. Gordon Stowell and Bernice Phillips (my
first cousin), Fenton Taylor and a girl friend, and others.
Three years in a row I went to the College
Prom with the student body president. A different
one each year of course. First I went with Homer
Elledge who had come from Globe,
The exciting part of the evening was the
promenade. I felt privileged and thrilled to lead
the promenade each of those three years on the arm of the student body
president. I liked the atmosphere of the
spirit-lifting occasions. We dressed in beautiful
formals, were in the company of handsome young men and in the midst of
colorful, tasteful decorations and exceptional orchestral dance music.
Such fun times for a young woman of my inclinations.
I loved the dances.
After graduation from
After Darvil returned from summer school that
year, we were married August the 18, 1933.
This is a good time to share the story of the marriage and
our unique honey moon. Darvil had written of it
many years before:
“Jo and I honeymooned in a six by ten canvas
tent at eight thousand feet elevation in the
“It was well past midnight the next night
when we -- husband and wife of four hours or so -- bid good night to
friends, Gordon and Bernice Stowell, who had driven us, and thanked
them for the favor. We warned them not to leave us
stranded from the comforts of the civilized world, such as they were in
those days, for more than ten days, and to bring any frivolous goodies
to eat that might come to mind when they returned. What
a marvelous place! And the frustrated shivareers
without the least idea, knew not how a "coachless" couple so completely
disappeared after the wedding on the lawn.
“Well, I wish I had time and space to tell
you about the wonderful ten days spent in forest and canyons of that
beautiful and quiet area, but that's not the point of my story.
How would you like to have your own special place on the
National Forest Service maps named in honor of "your" honey moon?
It took many years to finally happen but that's one
honeymoon caper Jo and I can boast about.
“Casting about one day for some means of
leaving our mark upon the isolated haven, I took ax in hand and strode
to a huge slab of ponderosa lying prone only a few feet from our
quarters. A powerful bolt of lightning had recently
split the giant trunk leaving a three-foot, wide, white surface, smooth
and fresh lying there on the ground, tilted at a forty-five degree
angle to the horizon. In an hour, with my sharp
blade, I Veed-out thirteen huge letters on its virgin white surface
spelling out the words, "HONEYMOON CAMP." Then
invigorated from the exertion and radiant because of pleased remarks
from my new bride, I gathered bits of charcoal from the fire pit.
With them I blackened the grooves until the rough-hewn
letters stood out like vigilant sentinels against the dawn lightened
sky. The next day I put final touches on the job by
cutting in our names and the date - 1933. The last
time we visited the camp, about thirty years ago, the mountain road
passed within a hundred yards of our trysting place, where a narrow
trail led into the trees. To our astonishment we
discovered that the United States Forest Service had accepted the
handiwork of my double-bitted ax as authentic. For
there beside the trail stood a sign -- HONEYMOON CAMP - 100 YARDS --
and a black arrow pointed up the trail in "our" direction.
“How many others complimented our hideaway
for the same purpose we will never know. Probably
not too many. Kids afford luxury hotels now-a-days.
Do we feel cheated by not having enjoyed the same, or do
we envy them? Not at all, for how many hotels would
have ever remembered us enough to name a honeymoon suite after us, even
though our names were clearly on the register?
“After the experience, Jo said, ‘I had never
been much of an outdoors girl, but I do remember the beautiful,
pristine setting of our place. We enjoyed some
wonderful hikes, and in silence we stood in awe of so many magnificent
vistas. The only hard part wasn't the hike down, but the trudging back
up the hill to the road. It was a long way, but
worth it, and we both would have extended it, if it were possible.’"
A huge cottonwood tree on the edge of the
front yard extended its branches out over the entire yard even reaching
over our front porch. Nearly always, during the
seventeen years of my life in that home, we had some kind of a swing
hanging from a big branch high in the tree on which we spent many hours
playing. In the back yard, a colorful hammock
stretched between two smaller trees. A favorite
pastime on summer days, was to lay there and read a book. As the
hammock gently swung in the shade, I would often, slowly, savor
spoonfuls of peanut butter as I read.
The day came when we could no longer safely
play in the big canal. At its headwaters where it
was diverted from the
Also as a teen-agers and older, we continued
For a while we had a nice place in Safford to
swim, just three miles away, when a new electric plant was being built.
There was a big concrete lined pool filled with water
which afforded much quicker access than way out thirty miles at
Recently married, living in Solomonville
there were six of us girls, most with new little ones. We
all loved music; we each had a good ear for it and could carry parts.
We sang as a double trio at many functions in the
community and by special invitation throughout the valley. The
diversion it provided us from the rigors of daily routines were
pleasant breaks. We loved practicing, traveling and
I loved being a part of ward choirs and
singing in other large groups. I sang with the
Singing Mothers of the Solomonville, Thatcher and
Though I had a love for the piano and had
been given every opportunity in time, expense and the same wonderful
teachers along with Eleanor, I neglected practicing. Actually,
it seems that the only time I really put my all into it was only for
the fifteen minutes just before I arrived for the lesson. Actually,
piano came easy for me, maybe I was a natural, for I learned to play
quite decently for having been such a lazy student.
As my three little children grew older, I
insisted on gathering them to the piano to sing. At
the time, the church published a new beautiful and sweet primary
hymnal, with a selection of delightful pieces for children.
I bought one for each child and put their names in them.
I don’t know what has become of Mac’s and Sally’s, but I
still have Jon’s. I’ve promised it to him when I
die -- but, not until – and who says I’ll precede him. Many
of them were compositions by Mildred Petit; her name, new to me then, I
met and grew to know her well after moving into the East Pasadena Ward.
After we moved to
I admit I really loved the
"Help-Your-Self-Laundry" business we bought in
Regarding our three children, I’ll insert
some of Josephine’s history, that tells of them: “We
expected the arrival of our first child in January. Two
weeks before the day, though, if I had already had the experience of
delivery, I would have sworn then that the time of arrival had come.
Only a false alarm, I would continue a bit longer in
In the middle of the night my water broke, so
I knew the time had finally arrived. The next day,
He weighed well over nine pounds.
A beautiful baby in perfect form and health, we thrilled
over him. He was born in the front bedroom of my
parent’s red brick house. The house built by
Darvil's Grandfather Sims and his son Uncle Oscar; the house that Mama
always wanted, so desperately, that Dad bought it for her. The
room is at the north-west corner. It’s window opens
to the front porch.
Mac started life as a beautiful and good
baby, and he grew to be a good child and a beautiful child.
An easy child to have around and exceptionally loved,
because he was the first grandson born to my mother and father's family.
Living next door, to the east, his Grandma McBride and
Frankie, Darvil's youngest sister, they too thought him very special
and helped to care for and to tend him. Our
first hardly had a chance to be a baby before the second came along,
thirteen and one-half months later.
The third year Darvil taught in Solomonville,
we lived in one of the apartments above the Drug Store. In
February we waited expectantly for our second baby to arrive.
The time for the new one came closer day by day.
Arrangements had been worked out for a signal to the
downstairs for them to notify Darvil at work. Well, it didn’t work, but
finally, to my great relief, Darvil walked in the door only minutes
before the doctor delivered our second boy. Jon
Robert, was born
Well I would see one boy alone and think,
“Isn’t he the cutest thing in all the world.” Then
when I’d see the other one I’d think he must be the cutest one in all
the world. But when one wouk run to the other,
seeing them together, I thought, “They bothe are ten times cuter
Seventeen months after Jon was born, the time
had come for our third and last baby to arrive. I
remember thinking that I would just turn over and die if the third one
wasn't a boy too. I could only picture three little
boys in my mind's eye.
After Dr. Platt drove in, about in the afternoon of
Now, two small toddlers and a new baby complicated our lives. We really had our noses to the grindstone. To relieve the work burden, we hired three different young teenagers to help with the chores of the house and care for the children. Each in their own special ways were exceptional .”
At this time,
June 1996, I want to share the following encapsulated information
regarding the lives of our children:
Darvil David (Mac), married Linda Ann Larson of
married DeNell Louise Crismon of
married James Gregory Porter, born
At this point, April, 2005, we have 3 Children, 75 grandchildren, and 11great-grandchildrenat.
this snapshot of history, that I leave especially for you, my nieces
and nephews, and your children and on down through your generations,
however many there may be, I’ll share the greatest of treasures that
mankind can have. It is Darvil’s and my testimony
of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. With out doubt, it
is the greatest legacy that we can leave to our posterity and the
posterity of our own brothers and sisters: a knowledge of the truth
found in the “Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”
Not that we wish to boast or impress, nor do we in any way
discount the strength of the testimony of others, but to leave the
whole as a legacy to loved ones who follow. And we
hope this brief sketch bears witness of what we claim, for we, of
assurity, bare solemn witness of the following:
modern and ancient scripture, through revelation and inspiration to
modern-day prophets, we know that God the Father and His Son Jesus
Christ are real, separate and living celestial beings after whose image
we have been created. We know also that the Holy
Ghost is a real and living Personage, who if He chose to show himself
would appear as a man – as would the Father and the Son. We
believe also that Christ is the Cornerstone of this church, that
through Him prophets are still called, and that even today a living
prophet leads and guides this, his people.
the original Church, as organized by the Savior, fell into disbelief
after the death of Christ’s apostles. Thus the Priesthood, the
authority given man to act in the Lords name upon the earth, was taken
away, ushering in the Dark Ages, making it necessary for a “restoration
of authority” in these latter days. We know that
through the faith of and instrumentality of the Prophet Joseph Smith,
such has occurred. Ancient prophets, apostles and
the Savior Himself amply prophesied the demise of the Church, and also
its restoration. Though this truth is clearly
confirmed by the scriptures, and is daily taught by our authorities,
each of us, to know, must undertake the search ourselves.
obligation rests upon our shoulders since we know, without a doubt,
that the previous statements are absolutely true. Therefore
we can not; no! we dare not deny it, and are driven to express it to
Likewise we stand obligated to express the following: Although we have chosen to bear our testimonies as a team for this abbreviated history and have been support to one another, we each, in our own time and way, have arrived at our religious conclusions on our own, and feel that we have had no dependence “on the arm of flesh,” against which the Savior has warned.
For years now
we have expressed this fact to each other: that we do not recall that a
certain time ever arrived in our lives when first we “started to
believe” or started “to have a testimony.” ‘If such
a time did occur, it was at our mother’s knees. And
we know that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is just something that
has always been and to which we truly belong. It
gives one a feeling of being enveloped and lovingly surrounded by
goodness and truth.
Through our humble way, giving no heed to sacrifice, we have striven to teach our children the truth and the importance of honoring it, and pray that such in turn will bless the lives of their children. Though hardly claiming perfection, we feel warmed by the degree of success the exemplary lives of our children and their spouses. We look upon them with pride. They are testimony in themselves. What peace of mind that reality brings, reminding all that “peace of mind” is the core of true happiness and comes to one through the observance of eternal and true principles with obedience to those principles. Principles unknown to and not expounded by the preachers-at-large of so-called Christian religions. .
lives are harried by the question of what are the rules by which we
should live? Again the answer is, “search and ye
shall find, ask and it shall be given, knock and it will be opened,”
all an admonition to search it out on your own. God
is just -- He has provided the information -- make the effort!
Now we end out testimony by quoting from the 76th
section of The Doctrine and Covenants beginning with verse 22:
after the many testimonies which have been given of Him, this is the
testimony, last of all, which we give of him: That he lives!
For we saw him!”
have not seen Him personally, but believe Joseph Smith to be a Prophet
of God, we sense we know him, and boldly bear the same testimony:
That He lives!
things we jointly testify and signature.
Many years of experience in life qualifies “and compels” us to leave requisite advice for your happiness: The key to success in raising up righteous children has been clearly delineated by ancient and modern scripture and by living prophets of our day: You will be living examples of diligence in family prayer, daily scripture study, family home evening and periodic, personal interviews with your children. To the degree you fall short of obedience to this admonition; the degree of your success will be diminished. Also, display affection to your spouse, play and work together as a family, develop family traditions and often express your satisfaction and love to your children. These are the vehicles through which your children will learn that these are the paths to happiness and true success that they should follow. With maturity, this truth will distill upon their minds, and in turn, as if they had discovered it on their own, they will teach the same to their own children.
Beware of the
twin devils, “selfishness” and “pride,” “the root of all sin.”
They are evil bed-partners, ever entwined, masquerading in
many disguises, easy to see in others -- but very difficult to
recognize in ourselves. Think about it.
Is their anything unacceptable before Deity that does not
have its root in these too bed-fellows?
“covetousness” invariably accompany selfishness and pride and are
vastly destructive to the integrity of the human soul and sound
relationships with others. All of the
aforementioned eventually lead to unforgiveness, which is hate, an ugly
and foreboding shroud of darkness we should never allow to envelope us.
Remember well, that to require apology of someone before
forgiving them is a form of revenge. Nevertheless,
of ourselves we must always require apology to others, lest they seethe
against us crippling themselves.
“Service and activity in the church” is a saving principal. To exempt yourself because of any foolish, illegitimate reason is to forfeit “eternal life” (exaltation) in the Eternities, which state is entirely different from immortality, for though we shall all be resurrected and live forever, few there are that shall be exalted and worthy to be in the presence of God. For your own welfare after death -- heed well these eternal truths.
its numerous forms, to any degree, will deny the Holy Spirit’s
blessings upon you, and you will gradually but surely waste away your
integrity. Immorality ravages marriage and
alienates individuals from children, other family and friends.
Immorality prowls about behind many pretty masks too.
Watch your step for it masquerades in comely tresses,
including supposed humor, comedy and art. Take care
that you not rationalize damaging indulgences because of supposed
redeeming qualities within that which is evil.
Immorality in its many forms creeps in, ever so gradually, slowly but surely, entangling with slithering tentacles. Young and old will avoid it like the plague or suffer terrible, grave unhappiness in this life and if not repentant, awful consequences in life after death.
We know you. We care
about you and yours. We love
Love your Aunt Jo and Uncle Darvil.
Rodney was born
Janice (Jenes) Smith, was the oldest daughter
of James Byron and Cordella May (
Rodney claims his very first memory of his
childhood was when his mother accidentally stuck him with a safety Pin
as she changed his diaper.
When he was four years old he went to
Every summer his mother and he rode the train
Rodney’s mother, Nettie, and grandmother,
Nonnie, held many positions in the Relief Society Presidency in the St.
Joseph Stake. Back in those days, the stake
extended as far east as
He was told as a child that he had a heart
murmur and would not be able to play sports, but he loved to watch
football, basketball and baseball games. He was
active in the Boy Scouts of America, and went on many camp-outs with
his young friends. The love of the out-of-doors
stayed with him throughout his adulthood. He
enjoyed fishing and hunting, and especially enjoyed time with his son,
David, and his brother-in-law, James Woodford, spending wonderful times
As a boy, he love to garden and kept his
family will supplied with vegetables and his favorite snack, popcorn.
All of his life he kept a neat and clean yard which
arrayed his home, which probably stemmed from his agriculture
experience as a youth.
Rodney enjoyed being the youngest child of
the family until he was 15. That year, 1930, his
little sister, Arnetta Jean, was born. She was the
apple of his eye, and throughout his life he called her, “My little
Sometime during his boyhood, a room was built
on to the garage, and served as his bedroom. He
recalls that he enjoyed inventing “things” and at one time concocted a
contraption, that when someone entered his bedroom a fishnet fell on
their head, loud music began playing, and large spools began to whirl
around the room!
Rodney loved music. He
inherited this trait form his mother and father and was greatly
influenced by his sisters: Eleanor, Jo and Jean who all were talented
piano players. Although he never learned to play
the piano, he had a nice singing voice, but was modest about letting
people know it. One of his favorite hobbies when he
was older was building stereos and radios.
Rodney had an extremely high IQ and loved all
math classes. After graduating from Thatcher High
in 1933, he attended one year of college at
At the age of 17, he started dating Janice.
When Janice left to attend
Rodney and Janice had three children: two
daughters and one son. On the day their first
daughter, Kay, was born in January of 1937 in
Because of Janice’s ill health, Doctors had
advised her against having any more children. However,
October ___ , 1942, they were blessed again with another daughter,
Mikele Sue. Then, much to their delight, a son,
David Byron, was born December ___ , 1949.
Rodney continued to work for Western Auto
Supply for ten years until March, of 1945 when he was drafted into the
Navy. He received his training as a submarine parts
After returning home to his family in
Safford, he went to work for Sears, Roebuck and Co. as a salesman.
He remained in their employ about three years, and then
went to work for Safford Auto Supply, owned by Marshall Carson.
He eventually became manager of their store, and remained
there until his retirement in 1972.
Throughout the years, Rodney and Janice kept
in close contact with his older brothers, Dee and Virgil, who had moved
Rodney and Janice had thirteen grand
children, and sixteen great grandchildren. Janice
preceded Rodney in death in 1986. After her death,
he remained in their home in Safford until his stroke in 1989, which
left him paralyzed on one side. He was in the
Veteran’s Hospital in
Rodney was a quiet unassuming man.
He did so many good things for people in his own quiet
way, never expecting any recognition. He was a man
of honor and integrity, a hard worker and good provider for his family.
He loved his God, his country and his fellowmen.
He will always be missed by all who knew him.
A special thanks should go to Mikele and Jean
for the countless hours of compassionate service to him while he was in
the hospital, and a special thanks to Jo, Darvil, Sally and Herch for
the many trips to Safford to visit with him while he was confined to
the nursing home. He loved you
Kay La Rue, born
After pre-dental at Thatcher, we moved in
Graduating in 1961, Elwood joined the Air
force. We were stationed at Travis A.F.B. near
My husband has been a wonderful spouse and
father, and after his first love, his family, he has enjoyed extensive
big game hunting, not only in the
In 1984, we moved to Pinetop in
the heart of the beautiful white mountains of
Mikele, (Time to brag Mike.)
(you girls will have to help him brag.)
Josephine (Jo) Phillips (Rodney’s older
sister) provides the loving memories contained in the following
fourteen paragraphs: My baby brother Rodney was
As a small boy, Rodney and I went with Mama
as she chauffeured her mother (my grandmother Nonnie) to her many
meetings at the different wards, for she was the stake relief society
president. With Nonnie, Mama, Rodney and I attended
the board meetings as well as the regular meetings of the wards she
visited. After I was old enough to be left in the
care of others at home, Rodney continued going along with Mama and
Quick and bright in school, the active
youngster was diagnosed as having a heart murmur. The
doctor cautioned Mama and Dad to not allow him to be involved in
athletics. He could have been a fine athlete, but
without athletics he found more than enough to keep himself happy.
Behind our old house, Dad built an ample sandbox with
solid lumber sides. Rodney and I spent many happy
hours wrapped up in our imaginations, digging holes, building
mountains, making lakes and streams, laying out towns, roads and trails
and playing with bottle horses. Later, he took real interest in
scouting. He loved gardening and also, he developed
a love for everything and anything to do with electricity.
At our new house on
Rodney fell in love with Janice Smith; they
loved each other dearly and eventually married. Janice’s
mother was very attentive to her and her children and Janice’s
wonderful father had an outstanding singing voice. I’m
reminded of a special gathering at our home when he sang for us in his
beautiful bass voice. He was a darling man with his
daughter and her children.
When a small girl, Janice met with a terrible
accident that nearly cost her leg. Throughout her
life, the leg gave her endless trouble and required repeated, extensive
and expensive medical attention. Her pregnancies
and deliveries were complicated by the affliction too. She
bore it all with patient courage: hardly, if ever, uttering a complaint.
Weakened in her declining years, the leg was finally
amputated to extend to her a better, quality of life with less
Their first baby was a beautiful daughter,
the only child in the family for a few years. Kay
enjoyed her mother’s unbridled attention. Rodney
did his best trying to somehow curtail Janice in her extravagance with
Kay. But in the end there was nothing held back
from the little one. For special occasions,
birthdays and Christmas, it seemed that Kay got everything.
Despite the effusive shower of attention on an only child,
it didn’t harm darling Kay in the least. She has
become one of the great stalwarts of our family.
Immensely talented as a seamstress, Janice’s
creations for Kay were marvelous, done with perfection
and good taste. She could look at a store dress, or
any other, and from memory duplicate it exactly. Sewing,
her hobby, she stayed with it in some form or other during her entire
life. Kay, as a little girl, had a wardrobe so
extensive that she couldn’t possibly enjoy it all. Fortunately
for Sally Jo, guess who became the beneficiary of many of those
wonderful creations? We loved them because they
were truly exquisite and made by one we dearly loved. I
know that my delight with the generous gifts, in turn, delighted Janice
too, for she was a giving woman.
Mikele, the second child was petite and
beautiful, but had a lot of rascal in her as a baby and little girl.
She grew into a beautiful woman, a kind and unselfish
daughter, mother and grandmother. She rendered
untold hours of selfless service to her mother before she passed away,
then to her father who suffered terribly before he died.
The third child, David, arrived when Janice was ailing. Her health problems became so great that on a few occasions I spent as much as a week of nights taking care of David so Janice could rest to regain strength. Rodney had to work and had no possible way to see to the care of the baby and the two girls as he was compelled to make a living. David was a beautiful baby and child, and a handsome youngster and young man. He and his father spent many enjoyable outings together fishing and gallivanting in the outdoors. But Rodney didn’t stay close to the church like his family wanted. Regardless, he was a good and unselfish man, and we all loved him dearly.
The Navy drafted Rodney into service when Kay
was about two years old. He spent much of his two
Service in the navy wasn’t to Rodney’s liking.
A happy man to have it behind him, he returned home with
enthusiasm for the future. Before he’d gone into
the service, professionally, he kept books and sold auto parts for Leon
Kelly’s store in Safford. Upon returning, he worked
for Marshall Carson. That man had great admiration
and respect for Rodney, appreciating and loving him for his dedication
and integrity. When the elder Mr. Carson died,
Rodney continued running the auto parts business under the direction of
the wife and sons. They appreciated him a lot too,
but, the oldest son gradually became a problem to work with, causing
Rodney to resign, for which the selfish son had been conniving.
Janice had her hands full with her own health
problems and her family, and appropriately was unable to spend much
time with Mama during her ailing years. Thanks to
Janice’s understanding though, Rodney was free to be attentive and
thoughtful toward our mother. He visited her often
during his lunch hour and other times, especially when he knew I
couldn’t be at home with her. Mama so appreciated
Rodney’s time with her and the special attention given to her by he
“baby boy.” I was away with Darvil on a senate
trip, and Eleanor and Rodney were with Mama when she died. Showing
a depth of insight and compassion toward me, they told me that they
knew through conversations with her that she was glad that I was away.
They understood my feelings of fear, that she would pass
away without me there to be of comfort to her.
Life became a ponderous ordeal for Rodney
during Janice’s suffering before she finally passed away, for he
suffered also for her. Two or three years after she
died, he suffered a stroke that severely incapacitated him: to the
extent that he couldn’t even turn himself over in bed. His
suffering was so awful that medications hardly relieved his pain.
His passing was a blessing, a relief from a long period of
agony -- not just for him alone, but for his dear children too -- and
for Jean and me.
“Darvil” Burns McBride (brother-in-law)
provides the following four paragraphs: After six
years of marriage, in the summer of 1939, we left
the three kids with Jo’s mother in Thatcher. With
Jo’s brother, Rodney, and his wife, Janice, we drove into
We don’t remember many of the particulars,
but we do remember our amazement over the prototypes of new inventions
in all areas of science. We were wide-eyed over the
many marvels of that modern day -- fifty-five years ago. We
gazed in captivated awe at the new “
Headed home, looking forward to staying the
Poor Janice became sort of an irritation on
the way home. She had left her only baby, Kay, and
she was so homesick for her. “She got the bit in her mouth,” so to
speak, and could hardly be reined in. She tried
every ploy in the book to bring an earlier end to our trip.
We stretched it out the whole seven days though she kept
up a persistent nagging.
from Rodney Phillips in
There is not much in the way of local news, the enclosed clippings will
verify this. Valentines Day was a disaster weather-wise. (Strong
winds blew all day) with rain, hail, sleet and snow, really a …bad day
to go swimming in the river. Then to top that, the following Monday we
had a second performance. Today so far looks like a fait day if the
…wind stays low I may be able to pick up a few pecans on the deck. To
you, this may sound a simple thing, but to me with my bit of
equilibrium problems it’s a chore.
all of you are well and enjoying the nice climate and
that the ‘oil spill’ is not up to your North Windows. (Signed)—Much
Love to both, Rodney
health at the time is poor and failing fast, and he
was very appreciative of all who had a hand in making him comfortable
and tending to his needs.)
Add to, refine and correct. I’ll
continue to help you Rodney Phillip’s kids as you need. But,
with 11 kids, 22 grandchildren and one great-grandchild and a wife and
aged parents, I’m just as busy as you three are. And
this history will be of great importance to all of our children as well
as to all the children of your father’s other brother’s and sisters.
Old tired Mac
Josephine (Jo) Phillips McBride (Jeans older
sister), and Darvil David (Mac) McBride (a nephew) provide, from
memory, notes and audio recordings the following history: In
my heart I [Josephine] know I’m at least partly responsible for Jean’s
birth. At thirteen through fifteen years of age, I
had dreams of a black baby, a deformed baby or a white beautiful baby;
I dreamed about all kinds of babies that could come into our family.
I had always wanted a little sister and I constantly
prayed to Heavenly Father for one. At the age of
seventeen, while Eleanor and I busied ourselves getting ready for a
dance, Mama entered our room. She said, “So you can
talk about me tonight and spread the good news – I’m going to have
On the Fourth of July, Dubie Mickelson’s
family invited me to go with them on an outing to the mountains, and we
left the morning of the next day. Later, Mama told
me how glad she felt that I had been invited, but she added that she
knew the baby would be born that next day while I was away.
Darvil and I married in August of 1933.
We moved to
We did come home at Christmas, and I’ll never
forget walking into the house. At first glance, I
noticed how shabby the living room had become. Times
were financially difficult for my family; we were in the middle of the
Great Depression. But, there was Mama, Dad and Jean
– my almost three-and-a-half-year-old, precious sister. Indescribable
warmth swept over me; at home that holiday season, I spent some of the
happiest days of my life.
Beautiful Jean enjoyed great popularity
during her school years. She had dimples like
Eleanor, and radiated a confidence, and decided poise and charm.
She came into the world with a gift for music.
Along with several friends, she received training in voice
and piano from a wonderful high school teacher. She
and two friends, one with a lovely soprano voice and the other with a
low alto voice formed a trio. I felt as though they
were nearly as good a the King Sisters or the Andrew Sisters.
They were very professional. Over a
period of several years, many gatherings were enthralled with their
lovely singing. Jean became a superb pianist and
organist also. Among her other accomplishments in
music, I know that for two years, the honor was hers to be the
accompanist for the “Messiah,” annually sponsored by the junior college.
Also, she sang in the Messiah whenever not accompanying.
Jean received her preliminary education in
the Thatcher Schools, which included a year at the junior college.
Later, while Mama attended a summer session at
Jean’s beauty and popularity gave her the
pick of many beaus. She had quite a case on one,
but dear Glenn won out in the end with flying colors. Early
in their romance, and to this day, Glenn has detested the sight of the
photograph of the one former boy friend. After she
had decided on Glen, Mama shared with me that Glenn came privately to
her and said, “I want to marry your daughter. And
Nettie, I’ll see that she never wants for anything.” In
my opinion he has successfully kept that promise. He
is a fine man, husband and father and we’ve always been glad to claim
him as part ours.
When Glenn’s mother, Elma Rosina Britton,
approached the time of his birth, she traveled to
Glenn attended school in a two-room school
At 18 years of age, September of 1944, he
entered the Air Force. He trained as a mechanic for
the B-32, a light bomber, eventually becoming the crew chief qualifying
him to be “the top turret gunner” of the aircraft.
Because of his father’s illness and
decreasing ability to manage the ranch, his Air Force career was cut
short. Granted a special “hardship discharge” March
of 1945, he returned home to assume the sole, difficult management of
the extensive ranch. Two months after returning,
his father passed away. At that time he bought out
his two brother’s shares in the holdings and continued to live in the
ranch home with his mother. Alone with the
responsibility, without the help of other family members, he managed
the affairs of the ranch in their entirety. Sadly,
after his mother’s death, under peculiar and unfair circumstances, he
was compelled to buy out his brothers a second time.
Jean met Glenn sometime in 1947. She
and a girl friend were cruising
We were living in
The natural, happy consequences of marriage
brought four beautiful children into their lives. For
several years they lived in the
During 1952 and 1953, Glen took upon himself
the additional labor of running his Aunt May’s
Glenn bought the old, substantial, adobe
Bleak house, a few miles from his ranch and renovated it, adding
beautiful improvements. But, they only enjoyed the
sanctuary of their new, comfortable place, for just a short time.
The house burned to the ground in the winter of late 1960
or early 61. There in the neighborless reaches
of rural cattle country, he discovered it ablaze. Hopelessly
alone, for Jean and the kids were gone, he was helpless to extinguish
it. Miraculously, by himself, with super human
strength, he saved Jean’s piano, night stand, cedar chest and her old
iron bedstead -- hers from the time she was a little girl. In
addition, he managed to save the heavily loaded freezer, the
mattresses, and a few metal drawers of essential utensils from the
kitchen. The rest of the lovely two-story structure
and all that remained within went up in ashes. It
was a terrible tragedy. Forced to return to live in
the family ranch house, they eventually bought a home in Safford.
In February of 1965, through Darvil’s
influence as a State Senator, Glenn was hired by the State Property
Assessment Division. Because of changing
circumstances for Graham, Gila, Greenlee, and
His primary interests lay in Jean and his
expanding family and growing children, but throughout his life as a
rancher, he always loved horses – that is, “Before I got so old, he
said. He has enjoyed hunting on the ranch also.
We managed to wring a little information out of him, for
he’ll never say a word that he believes someone might misconstrue as
bragging. Shear numbers defy a count of the
blacktail and whitetall deer he has taken. He has
shot coyotes, javelin, badgers, jackrabbits, cottontail, and quail in
great numbers, and a few bears also. No meat went
to waste, and often he shared the game with us. Interestingly,
the bears coyotes and mountain lions took a constant toll on the young
calves and weakened cows, and most of the other varmints destroyed game
and vegetation needed by the cattle. Harvesting
them kept a balance in nature and meant cattle dollars in the pocket.
While we lived in
We’ve always felt as if Jean and Glenn’s
children were sort of our own grandchildren.
We thought that Jill, Jean and Glen’s second child, might never learn to talk. After she finally learned, we almost wished she hadn’t -- she nearly talked us to death. She is so dear and sweet. She married young and a daughter was born before the divorce. She has raised her child by herself, but, she has had much compasionate help from her loving mother and father. Jill has loved her own child dearly, and her daughter distinguished herself scholastically, and now, she and her husband have a daughter of their own – Jean and Glen’s first great-grandchild. Jill was her dad’s right-hand cowhand, so to speak, for she loved the ranch, horses, work, hunting and all. Off and on she spent many weeks at the ranch with; her dad helping him. She says her dad’s estimate of having killed 1,500 to 2,000 rattlesnakes during his life is a gross underestimate. Jill says she personally has killed about 25 and in hunting with her dad over the years, she has taken 25 to 30 deer.
letter from Rodney Phillips in
Hi Kids, There is not much in the way of local news, the enclosed clippings will verify this. Valentines Day was a disaster weather-wise. (Strong winds blew all day) with rain, hail, sleet and snow, really a …bad day to go swimming in the river. Then to top that, the following Monday we had a second performance. Today so far looks like a fait day if the …wind stays low I may be able to pick up a few pecans on the deck. To you, this may sound a simple thing, but to me with my bit of equilibrium problems it’s a chore.
Wednesday was a busy day for me, John Stebbins (Adj. Gen. for our American Legion district) called by bringing me the Veterans Administration metal marker that I will install at the headstone of Grandpa Phillips, to identify him as (a) veteran of the Indian Wars. Then while John was here Lottie came down t visit a little while. (She was in Safford to see Jessie who is 92,) then Jean came in while they were both here (bring me a delicious dish of gourmet strip steak on toast with broccoli plus a cherry pie serving). She, Glenn and little Amber are all so very thoughtful, kind and generous to me. Last Monday she brought me nine Beef and Green Chile Burros which she had made at home and they are being enjoyed so much by the ‘King of Mexican Food Judges.’
all of you are well and enjoying the nice climate and
that the ‘oil spill’ is not up to your North Windows.
health at the time WAs poor and failing
fast, and he was very appreciative of all who had a hand in making.