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Published especially for their nieces and nephews and their descendants

The Brothers and Sisters

Clara "Gladys" McBride Stewart
Floyd Franklin McBride
Leonard Robert McBride
Orlando Sims McBride
Darvil Burns McBride
Rubie Ruth (Ruthie) McBride Cochran
Bruce Lane McBride
Stanley Gage McBride
Frankie Thursa McBride Farr



[This is condensed from the original history converting much of the story to the “first person,” to simplify it.  I believe that Gladys could have recorded it herself in this manner. However, the full history is beautifully done by Gladys’s daughters, Leva Gene Kempton and Carma Rae Neese, and contains the drama of episodes of her life.]

 Young Gladys peeked around the door and viewed the scene that was taking place in the living room. A handsome, well dressed young man was hugging her mother and shaking hands and laughing with the others in the room. Grandma Sims was there and just moments before, Gladys was clutching Grandma’s skirts and watching the young man. He saw her and moved toward her. Gladys screamed in terror and ran from the room. 

Soon, curiosity overcame terror and Gladys returned to the scene, to watch from the door.  So this was her father. My – isn’t he handsome, and look how happy he is! And Mother, she looks radiant. 

Her father, Robert Franklin McBride, had been away serving for two years on a mission for the Mormon Church. When he left, Gladys was about one and one-half years old. Now she was four.  Glsdys didn’t remember her father, or, that as a family they had their own home and had lived on the McBride farm in Smithville, now called Pima, in Graham County, Arizona. Gladys saw her little brother, Floyd, had joined the gathering and as she watched father and mother, she felt warm and happy inside. Drawn into the family circle, her father gathered Floyd, her and her mother to him in an embrace. How wonderful to feel her father’s arms about her and sense the feeling of a complete family. The father’s homecoming, meeting him with such fright became a favorite family story, and as Grandma Sims would often relate, “No one knew who was the most scarred, the frightened Gladys or the very surprised Frank.” 

When Gladys’ parents, Robert Franklin McBride and Clara Sims, married on August 14, 1889, they settled into a small house her father had built just across the canal on his own father’s place (the Peter McBride farm). His brother, Howard , and he, bought a small herd of cattle and leased range to run them on. Thus, he established himself in the cattle business. Along with the cattle business, he also worked as a carpenter for John Sims, his father-in-law, helped his own parents—across the canal—with their farming and at intervals, hired out to ride the range for local cattle companies. 

Clara Gladys, the first child in the family was born June 23, 1900, in Pima, Arizona. She would become big sister to 8 others. Her life would span 88 years, from horse-drawn stagecoaches to super-sonic jets and outer-space exploration, including man’s firs steps on the surface of the moon. After Gladys’s birth, Floyd Franklin was born May 18, 1902, while his father was away serving as a missionary. Then, three more brothers in a row arrived:  Leonard Robert – February 14, 1904; Orlando Sims - November 23, 1907; and Darvil Burns – December 28, 1908. Finally, a sister, Ruby Ruth, was born February 13, 1911. Then two more brothers, Bruce LaneAugust 14, 1913, and Stanley Gage -  September 29, 1915, who died in infancy.  The last, Frankie Thurza, was born April 13, 1918, just two months after the tragic death of her father. 

When Gladys’s father left the family, answering the call to the Prophet to serve a s a missionary, her mother had a home. There were cattle on the range and there would be plenty for them until Frank returned.

Floyd was born after Frank left and little Gladys, her younger brother and mother were comfortably settled in their own home. 

The following is an excerpt from the McBride Story as told by Gladys Stewart, our mother: “No one anticipated the drought that came upon the western land that year. (Gladys says that she always cries when I read or tell this story.) There was no rain in the mountains or in the valley. No water in the rivers or the canals and mountain streams. The vast grass range and table lands lay barren and brown. No feed had grown for the cattle to feed on. The ridges and plains were dotted wit the dead cattle and livestock. Large cattle herds were simply wiped out. When the first payment for the cattle loan was due, Howard and Perle gathered the remaining stock in and sold them, but it was only enough to pay the interest on the loan.”  Mother and the two small children left their home to move in with her parents in Pima. There, she helped with the cooking and housekeeping and tending the young Sims children who were still at home. 

This period of living with her parents within a busy family was the time when Gladys became old enough to remember back. She remembered how her uncles teased and played with her. They would pick her up and toss her back and forth to one another. There were many aunts and uncles on both sides of the family. Clara was one of 11 children, 6 sisters and 4 brothers: Mary , Susan, Lucy, Amanda, Maude and Nancy, and Samuel, Ammon, Albert and Oscar. Frank had many brothers and sisters, there were 22 in all. His father, Peter, had married twice. His mother was Ruth Burns, and later his father married Laura Lewis. Sadly, of the 22 children, only 12 lived to adulthood. His brothers and sisters were Howard, Perle, Enoch, Claude and Bessie Belle; and his half brothers an sisters were Ether, Clyde, Laura, Della, Grace and Florence. Aunts Uncles and cousins galore made up Gladys’s life as she grew up. There were many family trades and skills to observe and Gladys, always one to watch and learn, was especially interested in carpentry. She expressed later that there was a time when she would rather watch her Grandfather Sims and her father doing carpentry than play with the other children. Apparently, she was her grandfather’s pet, for he took great delight in teaching her to properly saw lumber and hammer nails, a skill which would serve her nicely later in life. 

On April 5, 1905, a month shy of two and a-half years, her father returned home from his mission. He and Clara, and the two children settled back into the house on the Glenbar farm and Frank resumed making a living for his family. In late 1905, he moved his family to Globe, Arizona, where he obtained work on the Roosevelt Dam Project, hauling and freighting. Then, he worked for his father-in-law’s firm, “Sims and Sons Construction Company,” building houses and commercial building in Globe, for the Sims family had moved there earlier. 

The year 1908 found the family back in the Gila Valley. They sold the small house on the farm and moved into a larger house that Frank had built to accommodate his growing family. The next few years would see Frank with jobs and positions that would lead him into law enforcement. He worked as a ranch foreman, a cattle inspector, a legislative assistant, a deputy sheriff and then became the Sheriff of Graham County, Arizona. 

In 1916, Gladys was her mother’s right hand helper in every way. Big sister to the five younger brothers and her first little sister was a difficult chore, for there were many, and her mother, always pregnant, or with a brand new baby—they depended on her. She often felt it unfair as her brothers went off to play leaving her with heavy responsibility. However, seniority had its advantages and Gladys often accompanied her father on many of his community and political engagements, for he became an active community participant and a popular speaker. She prized those times with her father. 

Education held high priority with the McBrides. Learning and improving, whether from formal training or self-training  found Gladys a ready student. She attended grade school in Pima which had a small school touting four grades in one room. Though a small country school, it graduated some famous people. Henry Eyring, a world class chemist and scientist, and Camilla Eyring, future elite lady of the Mormon Church, wife of the future President and Prophet, Spencer W. Kimball, to name a couple. Both were her classmates.  A good student, especially adept with numbers and figures, she eventually became a bookkeeper and a super genealogist. 

After Gladys finished eighth grade in Pima, the family moved to Safford where her Sheriff father could be closer to his offices in the County Court House. There she attended her first two years of high school after which she attended the LDS Academy, a combination of the last two years of high school and two of junior college. She graduated from it at the age of 16. (The LDS Academy, forerunner of Gila Junior college eventually became Eastern Arizona Junior college and then Eastern Arizona College: a four year institution). 

Regressing, Gladys, at 14 was recognized as an outstanding student. Told by her teacher that she would be given a special award for her scholastic achievements and had won a very special something which would arrive after several weeks, she was disappointed upon its delivery. When the “something special” did arrive, she found it to be only a painting of the Salt Lake Temple, like one the family already had hanging in the living room. Later she learned it was a reversed painting, done on the inside back of the domed glass.  In time, she grew to cherish it, not only for its own loveliness but for the beautiful frame also. This style of painting, now a lost art-form is displayed with pride in the home of Carma Neese, her daughter, and ranks among her most prized possessions. 

Parties, dances, picnics, Sunday afternoon ice cream socials, taffy pulls and bon fires. County fairs, Church bazaars, rodeos and ball games. Wherever the action was, that’s where Gladys longed to be, there with the other teenagers having fun. But, as often the case, her parents felt that she should pursue a more serious path and should not concern herself with too much frivolous behavior. Gladys especially liked to dance, she learned all the popular dances of her day: the Charleston, the Turkey Trot, and she taught them to her daughters. Gladys also played a mean piano. The McBride family excelled in music and she inherited this gift. As a youngster she was given music lessons, but her teacher and her father lost patience with her because she wanted to play “Ragtime,” which was the popular music among the youth of that day. So, it was decided she didn’t need piano lessons if she wasn’t going to do serious music. Her favorite tunes were Mexicali Rose, It’s Only a Shanty in Old Shanty Town, Dear Old Hawaii, Land of My Dreams, There’s a Long Trail a Winding, Listen to the Mocking Bird, and the Missouri Waltz, to name a few. She entertained her children and grandchildren with her unique Ragtime style. Mostly, she played by ear. She also learned to play the harmonica and had a lovely alto voice which she added to many choirs and choruses. She often sang hymns and “old time” songs and accompanied herself on the piano. 

The Sunday afternoon lemonade social, a great get-together at someone’s home after church, was a favorite way for teens to socialize, and it was at such an  affair that Gladys would meet her husband-to-be. In reflecting back to those teenage years, Gladys tells of her feelings (to her daughters):  “Father was very selective in what he would allow me to attend and do. He was a very kind and loving person, but he was also a very strict and firm about, in what it was acceptable for me to be involved. Many times groups of laughing teenagers would pass by the house on the way to some get-together and would want me to come along.  Father just wouldn’t let me go, especially if it was just to goof off and be silly. Sometimes it was because I was needed at home, but usually he felt I was better off not to be wasting my time on nonsense. This side of my father was very hard for me to understand. I loved my father and felt great affection and respect for him but I just couldn’t understand why he was so strict and, in my judgment, unfeeling. Why didn’t he want me to have fun? I was, however, an obedient child and usually did as he directed, but I would have hurt feelings for a long time.” 

Gladys grew into a comely young lady. She was fashionably slender with hazel eyes and light brown hair that curled around her face. At five feet four and one-half inches tall she was about one-half inch taller than her daughters, and three inches taller than her mother. Though later, as an adult, she would take on the Sims stocky figure (though she struggled to stay slim) she was nicely proportioned and not too heavy. (Except for her youngest son, Lyle, her children struggled with the same problem.) 

Gladys considered herself a plain child and something of a tomboy. She had a pet deer that she romped and played with until it became too aggressive and had to be given away. She confided to her daughter, Leva, that Sundee, her granddaughter who excelled in many sports—volley ball and baseball, and even captured a State championship in the discus throw, reminded her of herself, as she too was always involved in sports.  

Gladys tells of when she was in the growing stage, with long arms, skinny legs and a lanky frame. Her father, with great affection and humor called her his “Ugly Duckling.”  Gladys says she didn’t really mind because then she sort of wished she were a boy anyway. With five brothers as companions and playmates it was easy to be a tomboy. With her father at the mercantile store to by her shoes, he jokingly said to the proprietress (a cousin of her father) “do you have any shoes in this store to fit the big feet on this girl?” Gladys said she felt about as ugly and ungainly as a person could feel. The cousin took her father aside and gave him a good tongue lashing: “Frank, Gladys is a lovely spirited child and you just mustn’t put her down with such rude comments. Come on now Frank, you are going to give her an inferiority complex by such comments. It’s time you start treating her like a young lady instead of one of the rowdy boys.” 

Her father took the advice from that time on she was regarded in a more genteel manner. Her dress and clothes became more stylish and feminine and she was expected to act in a more ladylike fashion. 

I was born on June 23, 1900, in Pima, Arizona, the first born of six boys and three girls.  (Her life spanned 88 years from the time of horse-drawn stage coaches, covered wagons, buggies and carriages, through the evolution into the age of jets, outer-space exploration and electronics). 

My father left to serve a two-year Texas mission when I was a baby, and my mother was expecting her next.  Left in relative comfort of good times on the productive farm, the immediate, unforeseen drought that set in devastated the hopes of security for my mother while Dad was away. The land turned brown and barren, the water disappeared and the live stock was sold, and finally, only enough remained to pay the interest on the loan. My mother, Clara, with her two children moved in with her parents in Pima until her husband returned.  Meanwhile, I, they tell me, enjoyed loving attention from many uncles and aunts and a carpenter grandfather who later taught me the use of common tools. That teaching came in handy for me later. 

When my Dad returned in April of 1905, my parents resettled us on their farm, but shortly moved to Globe for him to obtain work on the Roosevelt Dam, hauling and freighting and then in building for his father-in-law’s firm located in Globe too. Back at the farm in Glenbar, my father added to our home and worked at several jobs, as he began to revitalize the farm. I stayed plenty busy helping mother, dad and tending little brothers and sisters. By 1916, I was big sister to five brothers and a sister, and sometimes felt picked on.  But, I experienced special occasions with my father as he became involved in community political affairs. I prized those special times with just he and I together. 

I was an eager student in the Pima grammar school, I continued there through the 8th grade before moving to Safford at the time of my father’s election to the position of County Sheriff. There I finished two years of high school and then attended the second two—plus two years of college at the LDS Academy in Thatcher— graduating with honors. I also loved the several popular dances of the day and played, according to some, a “mean” piano. I played the harmonica too and sang in, what some again termed, a beautiful alto voice in choirs and choruses and for myself to my own piano accompaniment. I longed to be at all the fun young people’s activities that were going on for my age-group, but all too often, too much duty at home, compelled my parents to curtail too much of what Dad termed frivolity. Knowing that Dad loved me, I still considered him too strict and selective in what he allowed me to do. Though sometimes it hurt my feelings, I was “usually” an obedient girl. 

(With hazel eyes and light brown hair that curled around her face, Gladys grew into a fashionably slender, comely young woman. She stood taller than the average woman of that time at over five-feet four inches.  She, however, modestly considered herself plain—and a tomboy. She had a pet deer that was given away when it became too aggressive, and she loved involvement in sports. Gladys adored her father, even though he teased her about gangliness and big feet to the point of hurt. Fortunately, a good woman took him aside and clued him in on the error of his way without mincing words. Thereafter, he saw to it that she dressed stylishly, and he expressed his expectations for her to be feminine and well mannered.) 

For our family the future looked great, and I worked for the Big Six Mercantile Store in Thatcher as a clerk and cashier, but thunderous tragedy struck with the murder of my father and his two deputies four months before my 18th birthday. Grieving the loss, wondering, “Oh Father, how can we continue without  you….”  I stayed with my job, glad to be working so close to home, for my family had immediately moved to Thatcher after Dad’s death. Greatly distressed, a time of grave heart-ache passed before I began again to mingle much in fun things with my friends. 

As I began a new mixing in social events with the youth—it happened—Martin Stewart, recently discharged from the navy, spotted me and through peculiar circumstances finagled to spend some extra time visiting with me. He asked to see me again, and dating lead to courtship, for we fell deeply in love. We were married on February 21, 1919, in Solomonville. 

Martin Levi Stewart’s father and mother, Brigham Freeman Stewart and Emma Jepson Stewart and their family were successful enterprising ranchers with gregarious and somewhat flamboyant personalities, and the men were supreme cowboys. The family promoted basic principles within the home to develop proper social manners and behavior, emphasizing strong family bonds. The women of the family were wonderful cooks and set a table with tasteful finesse exemplifying their cultural Swedish ancestry and were all beautiful too.  The daughters were blondes, taking after their mother, but, Mart had his father’s dark hair and light eyes. 

As newly-wed Stewarts, we made our first home on “The Big Ranch,” just outside of Solomonville, one of three fine ranches owned by the family. When World War I ended, and the two older brothers returned to ranching, shuffling sent Mart and me to live in Solomonville in the Claridge house, sharing it with Mart’s parents and two younger brothers. (Their first child, Freeman, was born there and blessed in the Solomonville Ward. This led to the reactivation of the family to regular attendance and church service.) 

Because of the economics of the time, the family thought best to sell the Solomonville holdings, and they purchased a farm in Phoenix and a ranch in Skull Valley near Prescott. Brigham held a tight rein, directing the whole Stewart clan in a cooperative business effort. Mart was put in charge of moving the stock by rail to the new ranch, which separated him from me. I proceeded on ahead with Brig, in an old model Ford on what became an exciting trip in itself,. (See details in OUR MOTHER -- CLARA GLADYS MCBRIDE STEWART, by daughters Leva Kempton and Carma Neese, and HISTORY OF BRIGHAM FREEMAN STEWART AND EMMA JEPSON by Delva Stewart Ricks, pp 154 &155.) 

The stay at the V-Dot Ranch in Skull Valley had many unpleasant aspects for me as a young mother with a baby. The previous owners would not vacate until all the cattle were brought in and counted. I had to share the, less than adequate, ranch house with a jealous, cantankerous woman. In time, I worked so hard trying to please, plus the woman began to warm toward baby Freeman that it became half-way tolerable. Mart and I made our home there. Meanwhile, the Phoenix farm was quickly sold, and Brig and Emma, and than a little later, two of Mart’s brothers and their wives and families arrived to live on the ranch with us too. (The old V-Dot Ranch had enjoyed a colorful history worthy of reading about in the complete account.) 

Late in 1921, Cliff and Irene and Brig and Emma with their families moved north to the “Upper Ranch,” one of two ranches purchased near Heber. Lurie and Alvin and Dave were left with Mart and me, but soon, Brig decided Mart and I should swap places with Cliff and his family. We made the trip by covered wagon to the Upper Ranch. (Another interesting story related in the complete history.) We stayed with Brig and Emma at the Upper Ranch, 10 miles east of Heber on the road to Snowflake. Even though the Lower Ranch, 7 miles down from the Upper, had three houses on it, it was too isolated for the baby and me to remain and feel safe while my husband rode the range working the cattle away from us for days at a time. 

We all stayed at the Upper Ranch through the winter. Then, Mart left us to return to the V Dot. Later, Cliff and Irene, and Dave and Lurie, along with Mart and I, moved from the Upper Ranch  into the houses on the Lower Ranch. Cliff’s house was only 12 feet from ours and Dave’s, was a quarter mile away. Freeman and Ted were constant companions, and we had the old dog “Jack ,” from the V-Dot Ranch with us. Though very isolated, we enjoyed the days in each other’s company. 

During the year 1922, with operating expenses and mortgage payments coming due, the ranches could not support all of us. Cliff went to Holbrook to work for the Udall Transportation Company, and with the ranch work caught up, Mart worked for an Ice Company, while we lived in Holbrook. Later in the year, Cliff, Dave and Mart with our families moved to Globe to take advantage of better wages with the mines. On our way we visited in Safford and Thatcher with my family for a few days. In Globe for only a month, Mart became dissatisfied with his job. When his dad came through, he had little trouble convincing him and me to return to Heber with him. A special effort was needed to try to save the ranches. Back in the same house on the Lower Ranch, Mart was away for much of the time, leaving me and the baby completely alone. (Gladys feared and fought being alone all her life.) I hated the time he spent away for days and nights out on the range —working the herds and on the round-ups. As winter set in, I moved out of that lonely place, in with my in-laws at the Upper Ranch. 

I went to Holbrook and stayed with a Mrs. Heward. There, Leva Gene was born February 18, 1923.

Shortly, all of us moved back to the Lower Ranch. My in-laws and Al and Lee moved to the house Dave and Lurie had occupied before. Freeman had no cousins to play with, but his grandmother Stewart visited us nearly every day. Verda and Percy, living in their summer place in McNary visited during the first summer, but the next two years there were few to visit with except those of the Stewart family. I missed the association with my sisters-in-law and their children. 

Sometimes, though oft times not, we had an old car at the ranch we used to bring supplies from Holbrook. A few times, Verda and Percy brought us things, when they passed through Holbrook. At other times, with road work going on close by, Mart and Alvin would hire on with their teams. That was about the only time we had money for ourselves and not for just ranch supplies. 

During that summer, I and Emma pieced and quilted several quilts; they are still in the family. The times were lonesome but pleasant, and I learned to milk a cow, and I let several setting hens hatch their chicks and helped to see that they survived. That fall and winter, Verda invited Emma with Alvin to Phoenix. There, Alvin acquired more schooling and worked for Percy helping him with his sheep.  For me, it was a long, trying and snowed-in experience, and I was usually confined to in-doors because of the harsh Winter. I made it though, and with the arrival of spring then summer, new hope seemed to dawn. 

During the summer, enough beans were planted and harvested by the men—though not all was harvested—for our use during the coming winter. Emma and I spent weeks in our spare time, harvesting the remainder, which brought us $20 to spend for ourselves and not on the mortgage payments. Lee, Cliff and Dave were now back in Safford. Lee was working some for the other two who were running a service station. In the fall, Lee returned in a bare-essentials, old car. I hounded poor Mart to borrow it for us to make a visit to Thatcher.  Mart finally consented, and I looked happily forward to being in a community again with my family for a change from ranch life, though I’d grown to appreciate it. Under way, after only 15 miles, the car stopped forever. A passing rancher hooked up to the car with his team, and while I rode on one horse with Mart leading, we returned to the ranch discouraged. But not half as discouraged and mad as the ruined car’s owner.  We didn’t say any more about a trip in front of him. Later, with my two little ones, Freeman and Leva, I went by train to spend six weeks with my mother in Thatcher. I was happy that the kids could experience more Sunday School and Primary again. 

Remaining on the Lower Ranch for only a short time longer, we moved into a rent-free abandoned homestead 10 miles across the river from Holbrook while Mart on a new job drove the mail truck between Holbrook and McNary staying over in McNary every other night. To keep our old car for my use at home, I would roust the two kids up early in the morning and drive Mart to work. That meant I would have to pick him up in town two days later. I always parked the undependable car at the top of a slope to give it a rolling start. Sometimes this failed and a friend had to run Mart home. Despite the inconveniences, we passed the summer there, and loneliness was our lot as much as on the ranch. We did get started back to attending church though, participating in most things in the Holbrook Ward. It was summer on 1925, Freeman would be six years old in January and would need to start school. It worked out with the school for him to start in September in Holbrook. 

Mart planned to return to the ranch come fall, but I determined to rent in Holbrook to enter and keep Freeman in school. Brig, my father-in-law, was against our separation, but finally he gave in, suggesting that instead of renting just two rooms of a duplex, we should rent it all and let Emma stay there too. In truth, the expense and jeopardy of driving the round trip back and forth from our rent-free house was a savings. We enjoyed church, each other’s company and I found a little job in a bakery shop that didn’t interfere with Freeman’s school, and Emma took in some boarders and had time to help me with little Leva also. The shop-work earnings were the first that I had since before our marriage. This seemed to greatly impress my mother-in-law in how I was able to manage it all. 

Apparent now, that the ranches couldn’t be saved, Mart returned from them after suffering two bad bouts of abscessed tonsils during the winter. In the spring, he hired on again with Dual Transportation Company.  They planned to move their base of operation to Salt Lake, and asked us to go with them. Meanwhile, Irene, Cliff’s wife, passed away, and Cliff enticed Mart to return to Safford and become a partner in the service station with him and Dave. Only home twice in five years, we both rejoiced to return close to our families. 

We left Mart’s parents and Ted and Bob living in Snowflake, and we settled in an apartment just west of the Safford Elementary School. However, by September the rest came from Snowflake and moved into the same building with us. Bob had a persistent cough, and one day Freeman was sent home from school with a note saying that he might have whooping cough. Indignant over the silly notion, I soon repented, for the doctor diagnosed it as such. Freeman had caught it from Bob, but no difference, Freeman was blamed for starting the epidemic that spread within the school. Poor little Leva Gene got it too, and she was so terribly sick. The year was 1926, and we were back in the Gila Valley again, and it felt good to be reunited with my mother and brothers and sisters. Mart stayed with the service station, and eventually, the Stewart brothers station on the corner of Solomonville Road and the  Bowie Highway became his sole responsibility. During that time, on July 3, 1927, Martin Lyle was born in Thatcher at his grandma McBride’s home, and on August 25, 1929, Carma Rae was born in the Safford at the Larson Nursing Home. 

Under constant stress, marital difficulties began to surface. I felt that if Mart could escape the family and be on his own, the problem might resolve. Mart did start his own trucking business with an old truck. He hauled produce from our valley to the Northern Arizona towns and then loaded up with their goods returned to the valley.  I went along on the first trip with him to McNary. In route, on the  Black River Road, the light truck lacked the power to handle the heavy load of hay. Many times, I had to jump out and throw logs or rocks under the tires to stop the truck from rolling backwards. Though a hazardous trip, we delivered and then took on a load of lumber for the return. Still problems—with the weight, the vehicle couldn’t make the grades.  Mart left part of the lumber on the roadside, and later he was forced to do the same again. We finally finished the trip safely though. 

With proceeds awarded to Mother by the State after the death of my dad, Mother’s dad and brothers built three rental houses for her on the corner of 9th St. and 5th Ave. Mart and I bought one of these, and I lived there until 1951. Meanwhile Mart continued running the service station, and, in addition, his trucking business on the side. On one trip with a load of potatoes coming from Colorado to Arizona, Mart fell desperately ill, and we went to him and brought him home. 

Diagnosed as a heart attack, a blood clot from the damaged heart lodged in his leg. Amputation was determined necessary to save his life, but it was a real risk, and no one west of the Mississippi had ever performed such an operation on a patient that had afterward survived. A Dr. Rice came from Morenci to our prepared and totally disinfected living room. On a table especially built by his family, covered with sterile linen, the operation took place after the women left for my in-laws place and a blessing had been given by Spencer W. Kimball, our stake president. 

President Kimball, remained throughout the operation.  (See book--Spencer W. Kimball, p. 173) by his son, Edward, and grandson, Andrew, for President Kimball’s account.)  After the operation Mart was not expected to survive, and he hovered between life and death for many days and nights. Then, a slight sign of improvement appeared, and though it took more than a year of healing, he made it, for Mart was a survivor. 

I began bookkeeping for the service station for supplementary income. Mart began working somewhat too.  But heartache was in the making, for our marriage ran on rocky ground and many separations and reconciliation’s took place until the final separation. During this time, Freeman, as his dad’s right-hand-man, chose to stay with his father who was running a farm across the river. Freeman, at 19, left for the North Central States Mission, a cold place for an Arizona boy. Still with the station in Safford, Mart started running one in Thatcher too, then, he moved to Globe, where he managed another station. Soon, he moved to Mesa to help manage a citrus grove belonging to the Stewarts.Looking ahead, Mart and Freeman bought land in Lehi and there built a house and developed a dairy. Mart injured himself in a bad fall, and a blood clot formed in the other leg. It too was amputated, and  the dairy property had to be sold to cover the costly medical treatment, and Mart was admitted to the VA Hospital, where he remained for over a year. 

During Mart and Freeman’s many moves, jobs and businesses, I’ll return to me, back to 1934, I continued to work for the Stewart’s business and then the Valley National Bank hired me as a bookkeeper. I stayed with them for many years. The hours were long in those days, and until the books balanced, often not until 10 P.M., could I leave. Later, I worked for Safford Auto Parts in the same capacity. The hours were shorter and I could spend more time with the children. (Gladys had remarkable talent with numbers and accounting. She was always held in high regard wherever she worked.) 

The passing years were trying and unhappy. With the depression in full swing, women’s work sufficient to support a family was hard to come by. After long working hours, home awaited me with cooking, cleaning, patching, and three kids. I held and honored callings in the church though, as a Sunday School and Primary teacher and MIA advisor to name some. Down through the years, I faithfully saw to my children’s activity in the church too. The money never seemed to stretch to cover all our needs and I constantly worried about finances as life continued with Leva Gene, Lyle and Carma Rae growing up and involved in so many things.  Frustrations and worry were my constant lot. 

Leva Gene fell in love at 17 years of age and married Lamar Kempton. They moved to Tucson where he attended the University. About that time, Gila Junior College hired me to the creditable office of Registrar.  Meantime, the Air Force inducted Freeman and he became a pilot. At the conclusion of his stint in the service, he rejoined his father in Mesa where he met Stella Hathcock whom he married June 21, 1946. In 1947, Arizona State Teachers College at Flagstaff awarded Carma a scholarship to study voice. There she met and married Harry Bodie on October 17, 1947. Likewise, Lyle, while with his father in Mesa, met Ruth Resley, and they married on May 2, 1948. 

Mart had overcome his drinking problem many years before and had been praying for us to somehow be reunited. We had never divorced, and my thoughts still remained with him. After his second amputation, I visited him in the hospital. During the several visits, discussing our situations and renewing our lost companionship, we reconciled to begin again together. Mart was 52 years old and I was 51, and after Mart was released from the hospital, we were sealed for time and eternity in the Mesa Temple on December 20, 1951. For a short time, we lived in a house Lyle owned in Mesa. We then purchased a house on an acre on Vine, in Southwest Mesa. Later, I designed a home not only to meet my needs, but especially Mart’s wheel chair getting-about needs—wide halls, doors that opened the right direction and ramps, etc. We built the house on Olive St. and moved into it in 1956. (They lived there the rest of their lives.)


I worked in bookkeeping\accounting with the following:  an auto company, Mesa Steel Company, The Apache Junction Sentinel Newspaper, and finally with the Cow Palace Dairy.  Meanwhile, I did    bookkeeping for other individuals and small businesses out of our home.  Mart raised chickens, rabbits, and calves for resale.  After taking a class on small engine repair, he opened a lawn mower, repair shop, and with special designed rolling tables, shop enginuities and other adapted equipment, he developed a prosperous business regaining self esteem through independence.  A splendid example of affability, friendliness, courage and determination, he bravely succeeded despite his severe handicap.  He often repeated one of his favorite sayings, “You can’t keep a good man down.” 

The next few years were good, and we kept busily involved in different enterprises, yet, we tried to be sensitive and were able to help others, especially young members of the family.  We were comfortable in our new house and welcomed visitors -- family or friends.  My children always felt I was a good cook and I enjoyed feeding them on visits.  They especially loved the big pots of fresh garden vegetables and the macaroni and vegetable salads they thought were wonderful.  They believed I could make a few left-overs into a real feast. 

Mart and I attend Church together and attend the Temple and honored our callings.  Mart served as a Stake Missionary and I am a visiting teacher for the Relief Society.  We enjoyed being together, especially on the many short trips in the car exploring the out-of-the-way roads and places of the valley.  One nice compliment I received from Mart was praise of my excellent sense of direction, and my ability to not get lost. 

In 1965, Mart’s health again began to fail.  The VA Hospital in Phoenix was full, so we entered him in the Fort Whipple Hospital in Prescott.  After slowly failing, he died of a heart attack on March 13, 1966 at age 66 and was buried in the Mesa cemetery.  Again I found myself alone but would echo Mart’s words of, “You can’t keep a good woman down.”  I continued working till retiring at age 72. 

Also, upon my arrival in Mesa, I began avid genealogical research.  My family believed me gifted in remembering names, places, dates, and sequences.  I became the family genealogist for both families, and I was pleased too write many stories included in Delva’s aforementioned history and with the massive compiling job of AGAINST GREAT ODDS -- The Story of the McBride Family, by my brothers, Bruce and Darvil.  (The book was dedicated to her.)  I also made some wonderful discoveries of the early McBrides in Ireland and Scotland and also supplied much first-hand information for the book by Darvil, THE EVADERS, about events surrounding the death of our sheriff father.  I appeared as guest of a local TV special, SHOOT-OUT AT DAWN, by Jerry Foster, recalling the same events.  My family held me in high esteem as a story teller, and I recorded them for our future generations.  In addition to genealogy, I began another hobby -- crocheting afghans and covering close hangers for my children and grandchildren.  I enjoyed quilting too, and pieced and finished many of them and enjoyed many pleasant hours with Leva Gene, as we visited about family news. 

A few years after Mart died, I sold the part of our lot with the garage and repair shop for a modest profit.  However, CD’s were up, and with them I soon more than doubled my investment.  Also, I’ve stayed strong and energetic; but, arthritis has forced me to use a walker, and high blood pressure and gout irritate me because it limits my exercise, yard work, and digging to plant flowers and garden. 

In July of 1985, Carma bought a place in Mesa to be close to me to help when I needed her.  On October 15, I under went a mastectomy and made an excellent recovery with Carma and Leva here to help me.  Carma continued to help during the day and Freeman came to stay overnight for several weeks.  I continued with my genealogy, crocheting, took short jaunts in the car -- even though the family was growing in fear of my adeptness at it and began to refuse to ride with me -- kept track of all the grandchildren, feeling pride in their involvements and accomplishments, and loved the Sunday evening visits from Freeman and his family.  Stella and the three girls, whom I enjoyed, often brought homemade ice cream.  I looked forward to visits by my brothers: Leonard, Darvil and Bruce and my little sister Frankie and their spouses.  The church kept close track of me through good Visiting and Home Teachers, and the Bishopric came calling too.  I was still able to usually take care of myself. 

(To Mother, service in the church to many lonesome souls needing advice, companionship and transportation occupied much of her generous time.  Her family meant everything to her -- the most important thing in her life.  Radiant with her family gathered around, she still had no reservations about advising family members of critical mistakes, but, she was always the first to offer correcting help. 

The day came when she complained to Carma that she wasn’t feeling well, that she ached all over, that she wasn’t comfortable lying down and seemed lacking any energy to get around.  Carma encouraged her to seek hospital care, but she postponed it for a few days saying she felt a little better.  Finally, in discussion with Carma, she decided to go, and after Freeman arrived, they took her to emergency care on November 17, 1988.  Diagnosed with congestive heart failure, she seemed to respond well to treatment.  Family was with her almost continually, and she visited with Carma and Freeman in person and with Leva Gene and Lyle in New Mexico and Colorado by phone, and with many of her grandchildren.  Sunday evening, as Carma left the hospital, she told mother, “I love you.”  Mother

gently replied, “I love you too, dear.”  A few minutes before midnight, Freeman and Carma responded to summoning calls that she had taken a turn for the worse.  Before their arrival, she had passed away quickly without suffering -- 10 days after her first complaint -- at 12:09AM, Monday, November 21, 1988.  Clara Gladys McBride Stewart was buried in the Mesa cemetery next to her husband, Martin Levi Stewart.  She was 88 years old.  Wife, Mother and Grandmother.  She left four children, 18 grandchildren and 48 great-grandchildren.  

Leva Gene comments: “I can visualize Mother as she passed through the veil and was greeted by those dear ones who had gone before.  A figure stood out from the group that was there to meet her.  It  was Martin, her husband.  He was tall and straight and looked as I had seen him in a dream that I had when Mother and I visited Lyle in Colorado several summers ago.  In my dream, we were all (the family) gathered in Lyle’s yard, and we saw a car coming down the road that leads into his place.  It was an open car, and as it approached closer we could see a man standing up.  I recognized him, and called out, ‘That’s my Dad.’  He stood tall and erect and whole and was so beautiful.  Everyone ran to greet him, and we all gathered around him, and it was a joyous time.  Now, I can see Mart come to Gladys and say, ‘Well old girl, we finally made it.’  Then, he takes her hand in his and says, ‘Come on partner, let’s travel this road together.’  And I know that they will be there to greet us, their family, when it is our turn to pass from this life.”

 “My Big Sister Gladys,” by Darvil Burns McBride: Gladys was eight years older than me, and if anyone ever had a good big sister, I did.  She was a sensitive and highly intelligent individual.  As the first born of the family, as the rest of the brood came along, I know a lot of responsibility was placed upon her for her younger brothers and sister. I remember her as a very beautiful and popular young woman.  I recall many young men dating her, who came to the house to take her out  She always remained active in church with her children, and for years, served the family as our genealogist.  Through her insistence, we got into the work to produce the family book, AGAINST GREAT ODDS -- The Story of The McBride Family.

I’ll relate one interesting incident I heard from older members of the family.  Nearly everyone had fallen ill except Gladys.  Mother had asked Dad to be sure to bring home a sack of oranges for the sick kids when he returned home in the evening from work.  This was a rare thing to ask in those days because oranges were scarce and expensive, but, Dad complied.  He passed them out among us and we were all having a great time in eating the special treat.  Soon, Mother heard Gladys back in the other room sniffling and half crying.  She left to find the source of her problem and brought her in with the rest of the family.  Dad said, “For heaven’s sake, Gladys, what is the matter.”  She said, “Everyone is having a good time except me.”  Despite the fact that she had been working so hard to care for the sick family, Dad had brought an orange for all except her.  She didn’t even get an orange and felt completely neglected. 

Mart told me a story about her too.  They were living on the ranch in Heber and Thanksgiving was fast approaching.  Gladys discussed her concern with him about not having appropriate meat for the special holiday meal.  Mart soothed the situation by saying that there were turkeys out in the surrounding forest, and that he would go out and see if he could bag one for the family.  He left with the shot gun to hunt the game. 

Later, Gladys stepped out the back door and there on the porch laid a big fine red-headed bird.  Elated over the find, she thought to herself, “Well for heavens sake, he did get a turkey.”  She began to pick the feathers in preparation to clean it and roast it.  Mart declared that when he returned from the corrals, that he found Gladys with the bird half picked.  Laughing, he explained to her that while he’d been out hunting, he’d killed the bird and brought it back, but it wasn’t a turkey at all; it was nothing but a big, old, red-headed turkey buzzard. 

Gladys, “Her Legacy,” by Bruce Lane McBride:  My sister, Gladys, was the oldest in our family; and I, the youngest boy.  Three separate periods of her life stand out in my memory.  The first is when I was six years old.   A few months after her marriage to Martin Stewart, she came back to stay at our house in Thatcher, Arizona; and I didn’t know why.  For some reason she appeared different; but I didn’t know why.  Then one day the doctor came and there was a serious business going on at our house; but I still didn’t know why.  Then suddenly there appeared a little baby in our home; and I had no idea how it got there.  Freeman was born Jan 28, 1920, and Gladys and the baby soon returned to their own home. 

Very soon we were making frequent trips to Solomonville to visit the new arrival.  I was aware now that I was an uncle, which seemed about the best thing that could happen in my young life. 

The second period in Gladys’s life that stands out in my memory revolves around those traumatic times after Mart lost both legs.  Through many years of great difficulty, they weathered the storms together.  In Mesa they finally achieved a measure of happiness as Mart heroically mastered the techniques of performing useful labor, and to a significant degree became independent and able to care for most of his personal needs.  True to her sacred vows, “in sickness and in health; for better or for worse,” Gladys remained the anchor to her family and “strong right arm” to her beloved husband until his demise, March 13, 1966. 

During all those years Gladys had exhibited the indomitable spirit of her pioneer ancestry.  “Against great odds” that would have proven devastating to an ordinary person, Gladys remained true to every commitment, determined to make the best of a life that had been interrupted to an unfair degree by tragic events beyond her control.  She took steps to further her education.  Through study and experience she honed her skills to become an accomplished secretary and bookkeeper, her services always in demand by employers who expected accuracy and dependability. The final period of Gladys’s life became memorable to me because of personal involvement, as you shall see. 

Those familiar with Latter-day Saint theology know of Malachi’s prophecy concerning the mission of the ancient prophet Elijah in the Latter-days.  (D & C 2:2 and Malachi 4:5-6)  The spirit of Elijah became a dominant influence in Gladys’s life.  “the promises made to the fathers” were planted in her heart; and as one of the children, her heart was “turned to the fathers,” as she took over the leadership of the family genealogical effort.  Thus she became the main spring in promoting research, and the compiling of pedigree charts and historical data, typifying the fulfillment of Malachi’s prophetic words. 

For many years Gladys lived alone in the neat little home on Olive Street in Mesa.  My brother, Darvil, and I, with our families lived in California.  Often either or both of us would drop by to visit our sister.  About the year 1984 Gladys began suggesting that Darvil and I compile and publish a formal volume of family history and genealogy.  It would be a culmination not only of her own efforts, but that of many others who had gone before.  Because of her insistence that we were the ones to do the job, we finally got started.  The project became much greater than we had anticipated; but we had a lion by the tail and couldn’t let go.  

For a period of four years Gladys remained not only our mentor in many phases of the effort but of greater significance the inspiration and driving force behind the entire project. 

Sadly though, her health began to steadily fail and she passed away at age 88 on November 21, 1988, just one month before our book “AGAINST GREAT ODDS -- The Story of The McBride Family” was finally published.

Gratefully, the book is dedicated to Gladys McBride Stewart with the unequivocal declaration: “Except for her (Gladys’s) diligence in genealogical research, and without her insistence that the project get under way, this book would never have been written.” 

Let that be one more great legacy of our beloved sister.


Floyd was six years older than I was.  He was the easy-going mild tempered one of the family.  I don’t ever remember of him really getting mad at anything that I did or the other kids did.  I heard mother say many times what a beautiful child he was, and how she hated to cut off his curls.  I’ve seen pictures of him as a small boy with curls reaching his shoulders.  I can say of him too, that if any boy ever had a good big brother, it was I.  He treated me just like a perfect big brother should treat a little one.  Often, I must have tickled him, because I heard him many times telling the family about me and laughing and laughing.  But, being so young, I could never figure out the gist of what he was laughing about. 

He was so considerate of me, and took me along with him all the time to the fun places.  We went together down to the river, or out into the mesquites to hunt for rabbits or trap.  I learned much from him: How to make and set traps, and the ins-and-outs of exploring, hunting and camping.  He was a real naturalist at heart.  He loved to go out on little outings or camping or anything that would take him into the wild country.  Years later, I was not surprised to find he was still the same.  He and his wife and family went on all kinds of camping trips. 

Floyd had been through two years of high school when Dad was killed, and that was the extent of his formal education.  Because of the financial stress on the family, at 16 years of age, he went to work to help support us.  While he was working in Globe for the Miami Mining Company as an electrician making good money, he met and married Christine Owens.  Christine taught school in Globe.  There only child was Phil, and Christine, a diabetic, died of a stroke when Phil was but nine years old. 

After his wife’s death, he moved to Southern California to work for Uncle Oscar.  There, he learned the carpenter trade.  During that time, he met courted and married a younger woman, Elizabeth Harrington.  Their children are Sara Beth,  Ricky and Denice.  She is a wonderful woman and a wonderful wife to Floyd and a wonderful mother to young  Phil and her own children.  Later, they moved to Hayward, California where he used his knowledge of building.

By Floyd F. and Darvil B. McBride

T’was the day before Christmas when out of the house
Two creatures came hurrying, t’was me and my spouse.
Our stockings werer hng on the back of a chair,
Mine were miss-mates but her’s were a pair.
We jumped in the car and took off with great spark
In hopes that somewhere we’d find space to park.
The population explosion, oh what a pity
Had us hunting a place all over that city.
But I sniffed and hunted like an old Bloodhound
Until finally a parking place was found.
In hunting I had driven block after block,
So we still had a whole half-mile to walk. 

The stores were all jammed with thousands trying
To finally wind up their last minute buying.
The men and the women, especially fat ones
Knocked me around and trampled my bunions.
One thought assailed me as I sat on the floor,
Why everybody shopped at the same darn store.
And there were a lot of children there
Hoping they would see old Santa somewhere.
And the kids were shouting and having great fun
Trying out all the toys to see if they’d run. 

Well, we spent some time running, skipping and hopping
And finally wound up our last Christmas shopping.
Then Mom in her mini-skirt and I in my slacks
Settled at a lunch counter for a couple of snacks.
When out on the street we heard a great clatter,
I sprang from my stool to see what was the matter.
I am sure that by now by now you’ve guessed that it was
Some guy all dressed up like old Santa Clause,
With a great big bag full of goodies and toys
Making free handouts to the girls and boys. 

Quick-like I made myself look as small as could be
Sidled up to Santa and said, “What have you for me?”
“Ho ho,” laughed old Santa, “Well stick around gramps,
I’ll see if I have something that requires green stamps.”
So he rummaged around and came up with a box,
I said to myself, my traditional sox.
Next morning was Christmas and I didn’t feel hurt.
It wasn’t sox at all but a red and green shirt,
But now listen to this, for here’s the surprise,
The doggon thing was just the right size.
Next year I’m making sure that around our house
The biggest thing stirring is only a mouse.

(The follolowing is the non-verbatim eulogy prepared by Gladys and Bruce, for Bruce to present at Floyd’s funeral.) 

A VISIT WITH “MAC” -- Floyd Franklin McBride -- by Bruce Lane McBride:  Floyd Franklin was known affectionately as “Mac”.  He was born in Pima Arizona, May 18, 1902, the second child and first son of Robert Franklin McBride and Clara Sims.  An especially unusual fact is that our Dad was on a Mission in Texas for the church when Floyd arrived to the family, and nearly two years old before Dad could return to meet his first boy baby. 

Our parents and grandparents were among the pioneers who came out of Utah at an early date (circa 1882) to settle in the Gila Valley in South Eastern Arizona.  Floyd’s childhood began on the corner of his grandfather’s homestead in the days when mesquite thickets and irrigation ditches were the only playgrounds children knew.  While Floyd was growing up he learned to work on the farm.  Camping trips into the surrounding mountains with his father and brothers became the fond memories of his later life. 

When Floyd was seventeen years old, Dad was killed in the line of duty, serving as Sheriff of Graham County, Arizona, leaving a young family of eight children.  For a number of years Floyd played a major role in the support of the large family.  Obliged to quit school to help the family, he learned the building trade from his maternal grandfather, John Sims.  He became an expert carpenter and spent a good deal of his early working career in the mining towns of Globe and Miami.  Wherever he worked, Floyd, very dutifully sent money home to his widowed mother. 

Floyd Married Christine Owens and they had one son, Phil.  Christine died at an early age. 

Floyd subsequently met, fell in love and married Elizabeth Harrrison.  They raised a fine family of three children, Sarah Beth, Richard and Denise.  Floyd and Elizabeth lived in Haywire, California where he pursued a career of building homes, until the time of his death, July 19, 1977 -- a month and a day after his 75th birthday. 

Floyd was a very gentle person, usually quiet and unassuming.  Those who knew him best saw something of the pioneer spirit and much of the Old West in him.  He had a great sense of humor.  Ours was a happy family and Floyd laughed a lot.  Even in distressing circumstances he coiled see the lighter side.  I believe the last time I saw him he had composed a silly little poem.  Typical of his sense of humor, he sat in our living room and recited the entire composition, while we all had a good laugh. 

Floyd was athletic though not caught up in it, and he displayed the character and example of a good student.  Though denied education beyond junior high school (by the murder of his father and his sense of responsibility to his mother and brothers and sisters,) he had a sharp mind, quick to grasp the intricacies of whatever task he decided to undertake. 

Camping trips were an important part of Floyd’s life.  Many were the stories he could tell of exciting experiences on some of these safaris into the local mountains.  On one occasion he and a couple of friends took horses and pack animals on a trip into the Graham Mountains.  One little burro which was loaded with much of the equipment some how lost its footing and tumbled down a steep, rocky slope, distributing its load between the trail and the bottom of the canyon.  For many years I recall the several bent pots and pans and a torn tarpaulin around our place -- grim reminders of one of Floyd’s many escapades. 

A few years later, Floyd and Leonard were working at the mines in Miami -- baching together.  They took me there with them to stay a while.  They bought me my first pair of long trousers,  (replacing my children’s knickers -- short pants of the day all youngsters wore until finally grown up enough.)  They also included a new shirt, shoes and cap, and when I got homesick, they put me on the train for home.  A proud 10-year-old stepped off the train that summer back in his hometown, thanks to loving big brothers, who were deeply loved in return. 

The evening before the day of Floyd’s funeral, Josephine and Darvil and Velda and I, arrived at the mortuary in Hayward to find Elizabeth in the chapel where the body lay in state.  A spirit of calm and peace prevailed.  Elizabeth had been there most of the day, and, as she put it: “Just rapping with Mac.  I know his spirit is here.  I can feel his presence, and I have had a pleasant time sitting here listening to the soft music and enjoying a nice visit with him.”  We four joined Elizabeth for a few memorable moments, as we too, had a final visit with our brother and friend. 

The following is from a letter from Phil, Floyd’s oldest son and the only one born from the first marriage. 

Pop, Mother and Elizabeth (Pop’s second spouse), have all passed on. The first memories I have of Pop and my Mom (Christina) are when we were in Miami, Arizona, in the 1930’s. Pop worked for the Mines and Mom kept the home. Being a diabetic, she was sick quite a bit of the time. 

Pop and Mom married while in Miami, and then they moved to Los Angeles where I was born. Pop worked as a vacuum cleaner salesman and soon for the motion picture studios as a carpenter, which became his lifelong trade. 

They then moved back to Miami for a few years. Then we moved 20 miles east and over the mountain to Superior. Pop worked at first at the mines, and then he became a private contractor. Mom was involved in literary and art groups. She passed away in the 1940’s. (My memory of much of this is vague. So I haven’t too many details.) Mom was an artist. They had met while she was an art teacher at Miami High School. In subsequent years I have met some of her students. 

Mom had originally studied at the Chicago Art Institute, and later at Santa Fe New Mexico. She continued to draw and sketch, but because of our financial state, she could not afford paints. Pop in those times was very devoted to his family. He worked very hard at various jobs during the depression to support us. They both made great sacrifices. 

After Superior, Pop and I traveled to different jobs during WW II and eventually we ended up in Denver, Colorado. I was then sent to school in Santa Fe New Mexico, and Pop soon met and married Elizabeth Harrison, after which they moved to Oakland, California. Later, I joined them there. So far, I’ve been giving you the chronology. 

My memories of being in California were of hard working parents, with high moral integrity, and  all the while, they were dealing with a sometimes difficult teenager—me. Hard work and responsibility represented the theme at home. 

In 1947 I joined the Navy and after 3 years I completed my stint and returned home. In about  1958, I again left home, and this time it was for good. From then on, the only real relationship I had was through letters and occasional visits. In the last years I’ve had very little contact except with Sally through letters.

I wish I could give you more, but my memory level is not very good. I think if you contact Sally, she can provide you with much more than I can. 

I am presently living at Seattle Union Gospel Mission as a Resident Volunteer. I’m retired and am drawing social Security.  I’m attending church, I’m reading a lot and I take photos for the mission. (I used to be a news photographer for UPI when living in Los Angeles.) 

I hope this helps you in your endeavor. Again it is god to hear from you, my oldest cousin. 

Phil McBride




I was born on February 24, 1905, in Glenbar, Arizona.  My parents named me, Leonard Robert.  Dad’s name was Robert Franklin and I got that half of his name since I was the second son.  However, my parents and all my friends, except for a few who called me “Chinie,” always called me Leonard.  There in Glenbar I would grow up as a youngster.  My parents, my oldest sister and brother and I moved to Globe for about two years, while mother’s dad and some of his sons employed my dad in their construction business, building houses and commercial buildings.  After the stay in Globe when I was still too young to remember, our family returned to live on the family’s Glenbar farm. 

At six years of age, I attended my first year of school in the Glenbar one-room, schoolhouse.  Though the little school accommodated six grade levels, I attended the second, third, and fourth grades in the larger elementary school in Pima because my big sister and brother, Gladys and Floyd, were going there.  Each day we made the three mile trip there and back in Dad’s little hack of a buggy.  If needed, three could be stuffed in across the seat, and it had a fold up top and curtains that could enclose everything including the back box too. 

I had partly finished a year of the fourth grade, but because of blood poisoning I had to repeat the whole year.  The dogs and I, mostly the dogs, chased down a jackrabbit.  When I got hold of him, I put my bare foot on his head and pulled up on his hind legs to put him out of his misery.  When his head parted company with his body, a sharp edge on the neck bone scratched open the bottom of my foot.  I had quite a time getting rid of that infection. 

After Dad won the election for county sheriff, we moved to Safford into a rental house.  I attended the fifth and part of the sixth grade in the Safford Schools before Dad and his two deputies were murdered by draft evaders living in the Galiuro Mountains at their gold mine site.  Only weeds after his death, we moved to Thatcher into a vacant rental of Uncle Oscar’s.  About a year later, Mother bought the old Christopher Layton home on Main Street that he had built for his last wife, Elizabeth.  I finished the eighth grade in the Thatcher Schools at age 16, which brought my formal education to an end for a while. 

Under the disastrous circumstances that left me fatherless at the age of twelve, just fourteen days short of my thirteenth birthday, always curious, I grew day by day to be more and more of an inquisitive, adventurous nature.  At about age 15 I began to venture forth and eventually traveled throughout most of the United States.  My traveling accommodations, I assure you, were less than first class -- not too high up in society.  The roads of the western U.S. were few, slow and undeveloped, so I usually rode the freights.  Inside the box cars was best in cooler weather, but the tops of the box cars, the ore gondolas and the flat cars during warm times let me gulp in the new and fascinating sights of the varying country sides and cities of the endless land   

In those days, the vehicles were few, but when I could I was happy to catch a ride in a truck, or with a motorist, especially if the roads of the area were in better shape than those of rural Arizona.  After several months, or sometimes years, I returned periodically to my worried mother in Thatcher.  I stayed just long enough to be bitten by the wander-bug again, then I would be off on another adventure. 

Some of the company I was thrown in with, was not first class either; that element could be rough.  At times, I did well to sleep with one eye open and avoid turning my back.  Others were decent, good company, and friendships formed for as long as we headed the same direction.  I got good and hungry on many occasions, along with being too cold, if I wasn’t too hot.  Along the way when I needed pocket money to avoid desperate straits, I would stop and work for a couple of days, a couple of weeks or even months.  Once, I worked a whole winter in Chicago as a steel worker’s assistant.  We were building an elevated railway. 

The life was one of adventure.  I wasn’t really on the bum.  I never begged, but on occasions nice people offered me food and a place to stay the night for which I was grateful.  I worked for many a meal and a place to sleep -- in a rooming house, a flop house or the likes or even in a barn or a lone hay stack.  For about two years of my life I continued caught up in the fever to see what lay the other side of the desert, behind the next mountain, over the prairie, or through the forest -- always over there somewhere beyond the horizon.  In time I discovered the so called exotic places of the U.S. weren’t really that much different than back home in my good old Gila Valley. 

The exact years escape me now, but I settled down for a while with employment with Royden Construction Company, general contractors in Tucson.  I worked a couple of years for them building bridges on the highways.  But the day came when I caught a freight train to Needles, California, and from there I caught a ride in a truck to Los Angeles.  Uncle Oscar Sims was building in L.A., and I hired on with him.  While I worked for him, I also took classes in architectural drawing and design at a technical school.

Eventually, curiosity and the fever to travel and experience new things took its hold again, and I joined the U.S. Navy.  I took in the sights of most of the naval ports along the Pacific coast.  I remember having shore leaves in San Diego, San Francisco, Portland and Seattle as well as in Los Angeles.  My short-lived naval career ended within 18 months because of an injured knee.

To account for every year and remember the many experiences is impossible after the passing of so much time; too much water has gone under the bridge.  But, during the snowless season of 1926 or 1927, when the roads opened permitting the felling of trees to resume, I hired on with the Fischer Sawmill (later the Mount Graham Sawmill) eight miles up Ash Creek from Cluff’s Ranch.  There in the mountain working for the sawmill, forest fires started form time to time.  The Forest Service conscripted me on a few occasions to fight the wild blazes.  This introduction to the science of fighting fires led to important acquaintances that would stand me in good stead at a future date.

Meanwhile, during one winter I found work in Martin Stewart’s service station in Safford.  Mart was the husband of my oldest sister, Gladys. Later, I leased my own service station in Safford and managed it for a couple of years. To make a long story short, about this time I’d been bitten by the nicest, “worst bug” ever, for I fell in love with a beautiful young woman -- Olive Spafford.  After a romantic courtship, I won her over, and we married March I2, 1932.  She was the daughter of William and Ella Pomeroy Spafford, Mormon pioneers of Lehi in the Salt River Valley.  The family was comprised of four girls and three boys, of which Olive was next to the youngest of the daughters. 

In 1933, for better pay, I went to work for the Civilian Conservation Corps.  The CCC, a Federal Program spawned by the Great Depression provided board and room as well as wages.  Though paid by the CCC, I found myself working under direct supervision of the Forest Service in the Graham Mountains.  The mountains loomed up along the southern edge of the Gila Valley in which my home towns of Glenbar, Thatcher and Safford lay.  That first season, we worked the roads, built their bridges, built the Columbine Ranger Station, and the CCC barracks at Soldier Creek, and I helped finish up the Noon Creek project.  Later, the Noon Creek barracks became a Federal Prison Camp.

When the snows closed us out of the Grahams, our group was transferred to the Pinal Mountains outside of Miami, Arizona.  At that lower more clement elevation, we could continue with work projects through the entire Winter.  After the winter in the Pinals, I returned to work on Graham Mountain for the two seasons of 1934 and 1935. 

Near the latter part of 1935 ,till about 1938, I hired on with the Tanner Construction Company out of Phoenix.  This company also built bridges for the highways of the state.  I left plenty of sweat, and some blood, smeared on the lumber and mixed with the concrete on every bridge built on old highway 80, between Wilcox and the New Mexico border.  The old highway has now been mostly absorbed by the new Interstate-10.  I also worked for Tanner building bridges out of Kingman. 

In 1945, previous experience and old acquaintances paid off, for I received a permanent appointment with the Forest Service.  Employed on Mount Graham during the entire time I worked for them.  I felt fortunate to be permanent so close to home.  I retired on the last day of 1966.  All in all though, I spent a total of some 25 years with or under the direction of the Forest Service.  I kept busy in a lot of ways.  I made repairs, saw to the live stock, enforced the forest rules and  fought and directed the strategy of the control of hundreds of forest fires -- some small, some bigger and a few huge ones 

As for suffering injuries or avoiding the danger inherent with fires, I was quite lucky.  One never to be forgotten fire really blew up, and was fast getting out of hand.  The crew below me, trying to establish a line to prevent the fire spreading further up the hill had failed.  On horseback up above, I saw that the fire had gotten around them and was headed up hill with full intentions of reducing me and my mount to roast meat.  I turned the horse and moved up the ridge no faster than the blaze increasing its pace, racing toward me.  Of neccesity, I dropped off the ridge and headed down the slope trying to skirt the lateral line of flames.  Grateful, I succeeded in out-flanking the fire’s perimeter, reached the canyon, and rode down it to a point below the crew.  All of them knew for certain that I and my horse were goners -- somewhere up ahead well barbecued -- without sauce.  Soon, I came riding up behind them.  When they caught sight of me, I don’t know if they were glad or mad or thought me a ghost, but they indeed were surprised.  For the life of them, they couldn’t figure out how I escaped.   That was one time I could count my lucky stars that I knew Mount Graham Terrain. 

The largest fire I ever dealt with was the Nuttle Canyon blaze.  It began there and spread up and out into neighboring canyons.  Six hundred men from Colorado to California and in-between converged for the battle.  A fire in steep, rough country rich with fuel, it spread and spread growing so huge that it defied possibility of being controlled.  But, a miracle happened; I think the Lord had compassion for the great mountain as well as our weary lot, for He caused it to rain.  We had fought the blazing mountain side for 35 days before the rain came to lend its helping hand.  Even after the rain, a sizable crew stayed to track through the charred and blackened remains for another two weeks to extinguish all remaining wisps of smoke. 

Acting in the capacity of an inspector, I occasionally had to ask permitees (ranchers holding forest land leases,) to quit over-grazing the forest land, or to cease other infractions.  I always gave them fair and polite warning, though not always receiving politeness from them in return.  Those that wouldn’t desist, invariably ended up in court.  In three cases, I was called to testify during the litigations.  We acted partly in the role of game wardens too.  I came upon a few poachers, and in those cases the code compelled me to turn them over to state jurisdiction.  They could never contest their crime because they were caught, literally, red handed.  I never had to appear in court for any of them. 

I’ve always loved horses -- and mules to some extent.  I think a mule is much smarter than a horse in many ways even though they have the reputation of being stubborn.  Though I always preferred to ride a horse,  mules are the most sure-footed animal on tricky rough trails.  The horse can’t replace them as a pack animal either.  With good reason I’ve appreciated them many times.  I’m sorry to say that now I can’t ride any more because of my knees.  

I loved to hunt too, mostly locally as my job allowed, but never off on any big grandiose hunts.  I’ve killed my share of deer, but I’ve never killed a bear or an elk, and in all the time I’ve spent in the finest mountain lion country in the world, I’ve only seen three in the wild.  They are too clever and elusive.  I think the only  hunters that ever see them are those that hunt with a pack of hounds. 

As a kid, I remember going places with my dad a great deal.  I’ve forgotten the many instances and their  reasons, but I strongly suspect the real reason he took me with him so often, is because I was so much trouble at home.  I often went with him when he was campaigning for sheriff.  On one occasion, we were together and away from home, for about two weeks.  In his 1916 Model T Ford -- over the other side of the mountain in the Sulfur Springs Valley and the neighboring areas -- we visited the little places and all the ranches.  There, he renewed old acquaintances and made new ones while he was campaigning. 

Here, certain ranchers would invite the neighboring ranch people over to their own place for evening meetings.  In them, Dad would expound on his priorities and answer their questions and all in all have an enjoyable time.  We stayed the nights with the congenial people; we never lacked for invitations, for Dad as well as being a very likable person with winning ways, was very knowledgeable.  He gained the respect of all, for they easily recognized him as a man of exceptional integrity.  I remember staying the night with the, Miles Woods family, original settlers of the area.  Sometimes he left me at the ranches, while he took off on little side trips not missing a single opportunity to garner friendships which meant votes.  Once, he left me at the 76 ranch for two days, while he made his forays.  He visited virtually every ranch in the Sulfur Springs Valley, including Bonita, Lompock and Klondike and the rest of the Aravaipa country.  He made the acquaintance of every person he possibly could.  In time, they would all know him and express to me in later years their first impressions and the great respect they had for him. 

On that trip, we stayed one night with a family by the name of Estes, consisting of the husband, wife and their baby daughter.  Years later in my official capacity with the Forest Service, I was doing some inspections of the summer homes and their premises in the Graham Mountain community of Turkey Flat.  The resident of one place, a gracious elderly lady there with her daughter, also escaping the summer heat, discovered my name was McBride.  She asked me if I was related to Frank McBride.  I told her yes, that he was my dad.  She nearly had a fit, so excited was she to find one of his family, especially the very son that was with him when he stayed the night with them.  She said she had often wondered about what had ever happen to the family of Frank McBride?  Then, she freely expressed that in her entire life she and her husband had never been more impressed with a person than with Dad.  I remembered that she was the wife in the family and her grown daughter, the baby, at the ranch where Dad and I stayed over so many years before. 

I can’t remember now if Dad was still a deputy or was the sheriff when a couple in a covered wagon were making there way between Klondike and Bonita.  There on the lonely road a vicious low-life  murdered both and robbed them.  Soon reported to the authorities, Dad and a partner went to the scene of the ugly tragedy.  They easily picked up his boot prints and soon discovered they led straight up the back-side slope into the Graham Mountains.  It was already too late in the evening to begin following him into that steep, rough, brushy country, they camped for the night.  Early the next morning they started up the slope to track him down.  Dad and his partner on horseback proceeded on up into the treacherous country.  The story would later come to light that after dark the murderer reached the top of the mountain crest and there bedded down for the night.  In the morning, confused in his directions as to where he’d come from and in what direction he should go to make his escape, he headed down off the mountain.  The big problem though, he chose to descend by way of a route closely paralleling the way he’d gone up.  Dad and his partner heading upward, met him on his way down, and without incident apprehended him. 

On another occasion, treasured in my memory, he took me with him when he and several friends went up into the mountain to hunt deer.  The hunters killed a few nice deer and one bear.  Too young to dare trust with a rifle, I didn’t get to hunt, but I had a great time as the only kid lucky enough to be along with his dad. 

I was seven or eight years old when cotton was first introduced to The Gila Valley.  Grandpa Peter McBride planted a nice patch on his 160-acre farm in Fairview (now Glenbar.)  When picking time came, he promised us kids a nickel a row.  (In answer to how long was a row?  I can only chuckle and simply say, “Long enough!”)  All that first day, I managed to pick three rows.  The deal was that he would pay us each evening.  Well, there were several of us kids picking, and at the end of the day the field had one row left unpicked.  I don’t know what went on in his mind about me, but when he paid us he only gave me a dime.  Some preconceived false notion about me based on incorrect reports of past behavior -- no doubt.  I got mad and quit.  And that was the first and last cotton I ever picked.  When ever we did a little work for Grandpa, we soon learned he was a real  Scot, with the old country spirit, pretty tight with his money. 

Helping to clear ever more land, we kids were often kept busy cutting down the mesquites.  We hauled in the cut wood of the right size to burn in the fire place and the stove but set fire to the left-over piles of debris.  Then, we grubbed (dug out) the stumps.  Working for Dad, he paid Floyd and I a dime for each up-rooted stump.  Working for Grandpa, he gave us only a nickel.  Nevertheless, we even appreciated the nickel; it gave us a little extra spending money.  Regardless of his pinching ways,  he was a wonderful grandfather. 

As a five and six-year-old kid, I spent the better part of two summers up at Oak Flat, three or four miles from the now well known dedicated State Historical site of Peter’s Flat.  Grandpa had a cabin there, and Dad had built one there also a short distance from Grandpa’s.  Potatoes were the main crop, but he alsoraised pumpkins and other odds and ends for the family’s summer use.  To reach the fertile growing area, the team of horses pulled the wagon while a third horse followed along up to a level place above Cluff’s Ranch called the Blackberry Patch.  The road ended there, and a five-mile trail continued on up to the 8,000-foot level to Oak Flat.  When we got to the end of the road we packed the three animals with the provisions in the wagon and hiked up the trail with our own packs to the flat. 

After the early harvest, Grandpa packed his produce down with the horses to the wagon.  From there, the team hauled the wagon and its fresh load on down to the valley.  There he sold the produce and took care of other business in town.  He reprovisioned himself with what he needed and returned with loaded wagon to the end of the road.  Usually, he packed two horses and rode the third, making his way back up to the mountain site.  He repeated this routine as needed three or four times through the growing season.  When the cold finally brought the growing season to a close, and the final harvest was completed, we returned to our homes in the valley.   

Uncle Claud, Dad’s youngest brother, as a young man, left home to work and live in several places in Utah.  In time, he received his education at Utah State University and eventually became a professor there distinguishing himself as a teacher, author, husband and father.  (See AGAINST GREAT ODDS -- The Story of the McBride Family, 1988, page 163 by Bruce and Darvil McBride, for the fine historical sketch.)  I was 62 years old and still employed on Graham Mountain with the Forest Service when he phoned me from his home in Utah.  He asked if I could guide him to Oak Flat for a visit.  Of course I could, and would and wanted to.  When he arrived, we drove him up Swift Trail, over Ladybug Saddle and on around the mountain past the Columbine Ranger Station to Peter’s flat to look at the remains of the old potato pits he’d helped dig to store the harvest.  Then we returned to Columbine where the trail to Oak Flat began. 

Uncle Claud at 72 years of age had a lame leg from some earlier injury.  But, he and I struck off anyway, down the old trail for Oak Flat.  He told me that through the years he had remembered it as a paradise on earth.  He had made the many annual summer assents with his parents and the rest of his family to the cool lonesome wilds of the pines escaping the blazing heat of the valley below.  But, he knew he could never find his way to the old place without help, and I was pleased to be his company. 

When we arrived, he looked around surveying it carefully and began to ponder.  All the old memories began to fall into place.  As we stood there and poked about a bit, he said, “This is where it was.”  We stayed there for two nights, exploring the flat by day while he reminisced, sharing many of his memories as they flooded back to him.  He told me that when he was an older kid he had worked for a lumber company that had a flume running through Oak Flat that sluiced the rough cut lumber down to the end of the flume at the foot of the hills at the base of the mountain.  The company hired him to inspect the flume along its length and to repair the worn or weakened parts.  He shared many of his interesting experiences, expressing what fun those special years had been for him. 

After two wonderful days and nights, we walked on down the 5-mile trail to the old flat with the blackberry patch, the very place where we, each in our own time, had ridden in the wagon up from the valley to it, loaded the horses and walked the trail up to Oak flat to get on with the new growing season.  Later we would  return to find the wagon to carry family and harvest down into the valley.  We had arranged for his half-brother, Clyde, who lived in Pima, to pick us up at the blackberry patch.  After that great trip he wrote me off and on through the rest of his life, each time mentioning parts of the wonderful time we’d enjoyed together.  He said, “I’m ready to die now that I’ve visited Oak Flat again and passed over the old trail down to the blackberry patch.”  I had an old plow share that Grandpa used to use.  I found it at Oak Flat years ago.  Nothing remained of the wooden handles and beam that long since had weathered away or any of the other metal parts.  I packed it out on a mule, and lodged it in the fork of a tree in the back yard.  I also had the nearly complete plow with the weathered handles still in tact that I found at Peter’s Flat.  In 1994, having moved, leaving odds and ends with a neighbor, Darvil’s son, Mac, talked me out of them promising to keep them in the direct McBride line of our family 

Regarding the old flume: Made of rough-milled 2 x lumber, the bottom was approximately 16 inches wide, and the sides Veed out from it slanted up about 24 inches high. We knew of a four-year-old by the name of Neil Gardener who had climbed up the side of it where it passed by close to the ground.  The story goes that down and away he was washed in the fast moving stream quickly disappearing from the sight of those who had watched in horror as his trip began.  The people at the mill below four or five miles distant, just above Cluff’s Ranch, were phoned and alerted as to the young passenger on the ride of a life time.  Down  a-slipping he went riding the long, watery ribbon.  Waiting at the flume’s end, where it spewed the logs onto the ground a quarter mile above the Cluff’s Ranch pond,  the waiting rescuers caught him as he zipped out the end.  Reportedly, he survived the swift and slippery ordeal hardly scathed.  He had done what many a young lad of the valley had always wanted to do.  How they envied him.  The sad part was that he was too young to remember it -- much less to have enjoyed it. 

We boys often went to where the flume ended.  When lumber was not being sent down its length, most of the water was diverted so that it only ran enough to keep the wood soaked and swollen to prevent it from drying out and leaking.  We could always pick out a nice 2 x 12, because there was old lumber strewn all round.  We would pick out our floater and carry the 5 to 7-foot-long board up the length of the flume for about a half-mile.   There the flume passed close to the ground and we launched into the fast-flowing shallow stream.  We rode the board half submerged under us until it spit us out board and all onto the ground at its end. 

My grandmother, Ruth Burns, I remember of her always sticking close to home.  Quite a home body, we kids visited her nearly every day.  Though she loved us, and we knew it, and we loved her, as youngsters we had one special ulterior motive in mind.  Every time we arrived at her home she would give us a freshly baked slice of her light bread, spread thick with butter.  She baked almost every day, and that bread was really good.  If the whole truth were known, I’m afraid that, Zeke, my cousin, and I, nearly ran her ragged. 

Grandpa John Sims was always a builder.  From him and his son, Uncle Oscar, I got my first experience in carpentry and building.  I first started helping them with the lesser tasks as just a kid of 11 when living in Safford.  They made me the chief water boy responsible to keep their thirst slaked, and they gave me plenty of used lumber to pull the nails out of too.  That was about all I was good for then -- I guess. 

Later when our family was living in Thatcher, Grandpa Sims and Uncle Oscar were getting ready to build Grandpa and grandma a home on the vacant lot west of and next to our house.  We had made the adobes for the inner wall which would be lined on the outside with red, kilned brick.  The husky cement mixer was driven by a powerful gasoline engine that turned the mixing barrel with a load of calichi mud well slaked with lime, the mortar used to lay the adobes.  The crank-shaft end, sticking a ways out the back of the mixer never ceased to turn, as we went about our tasks through the day. 

Uncle Oscar, and Grandpa wore their khaki coveralls.  On this frightful occasion, as Oscar strode past the turning shaft end, loose fitting coveralls brushed against it.  It snagged hold of the material rapidly twisting it into a tight knot.  When all the fabric slack twisted up, Uncle Oscar was flipped off his feet, and he spun in a couple or three revolutions himself -- much like a big four-bladed propeller -- whacking arms, legs and head against the mixer frame and the ground.  Fortunately, the fabric tore and started to rip away from his body.  Standing close, I quickly reached over and pulled the wire off the spark plug stopping the engine.  We jumped to detach what was left of Uncle Oscar’s coveralls from the end of the shaft -- and from him.  

Bruised, skinned and in partial shock, he stood there uttering, “Lord Leonard, lord Leonard, lord Leonard.”  Stripped bare except for part of a sleeve still hanging over one shoulder and his underwear and shoes, he took stock of himself standing there for every passer-by to see.  Shaken and embarrassed, he dashed for the side door of our house.  As he neared the door he began to bellow out to my mother, (his sister) “Don’t come to the door Clara!  Don’t come to the door Clara!  Don’t come to ....”  As soon as Mother heard the desperation in the voice, she promptly rushed to the door.  When they met face to face at the door, we heard her scream, ”Aaaaaahhhhh.” 

Once inside the house Uncle Oscar cleaned himself up, borrowed some clothes and though somewhat ruffled returned to the job.  Later, Mother said she was never so scared in all her life to find herself confronted with that half-naked man at the door.  All of the family and most of the community were soon “in on” the story.  For many months with some -- and for years with others -- Uncle Oscar would put up with family and friends exclaiming, “lord Leonard” in his presence to remind and tease him.  Several years later, much to the delight of Darvil, but alas for poor Josephine, her parents bought the beautiful brick home that had been Grandpa and Grandma Sims home. 

On January 12, 1980, my dear wife, Olive, passed away.  Left alone without the sweetheart of my youth, those next several months defy the use of words to express what I felt inside.  Feeling so left alone, those were difficult times to live through. 

Searching for something to fill the awful void good fortune came to my rescue, for I began to keep company with another fine woman.  Well, keeping her in my company a great deal, friendship turned into deep admiration and in time into love.  Marvel Beals Taylor and I married on July 2, 1980.  I’ve been very grateful for the sparkle of her good company in my life.  Her father and mother, Richard Francis and Mary Alice Beals were residents of Pima.  Marvel is the second child in a family of 10 girls and two boys.

As a teenager and young man usually off adventuring, I had visited most of the states in the country.  But since my retirement in 1966, Olive and I were free to travel and enjoyed some nice trips.  Since I lost her and remarried, Marvel and I have traveled too.  We made a trip up through Canada and deep into Alaska, and we’ve visited Scotland and England as well as Hawaii.  I can even say now that I’ve visited every state in the Union. 

I’ve been asked to describe my personality and philosophy regarding my role as a superior in directing men. Most of my career with the Forest Service was spent as the Fire Control Officer and the General District Assistant.  I chose to not make men work under me by command.  My posture placed me in the position of a co-worker -- along side my men.  I always believed that to be the best policy to develop their respect for me and to hopefully be held in sufficiently high esteem to receive the best in cooperation from them.  On the job, I never deviated from that code.  The good men always looked upon me as a partner rather than a hard-nosed boss.  Together, we made a good team and accomplished much more than could be expected otherwise. 

Asked if I was a fighter by nature, I can answer that I had to fight a lot when I was in grade school, but I always got whipped.  [According to his two brothers, Darvil and Bruce, he seldom, if ever, lost a scrap.] 

I’ve never really worried about much, but I’ve gotten myself into a little trouble now and then.  I’m just not supposed to tell on myself about such things.  I’d rather nobody ever knew.  I was never really in any big trouble, just regular kid mischief stuff.  Called up before the justice of the peace once, he only reprimanded me.  We had a little trouble at a dance, Clyde Sparks and I got in a fight over a girl.  She wasn’t a girl friend, just a nice gentle neighbor, an Ison girl, that lived across the street.  Clyde was giving her a bad time.  So, I came to her defense.  It ended her problem but gave me mine.  Actually, the fight ended up about a tie.  [Wrong again.  Typical of Leonard’s humility and refusal to state the true facts for fear of being thought a bragger.  His youngest brother, Bruce, witnessed the fight, and he confirms that Clyde really got a good thrashing.] 

In response to good advice I would like to give to my young friends and relatives for their future welfare, and above all, for their happiness: I firmly advise -- take advantage of every worthy opportunity.  And, in dealings with your fellow men be honest, fair and square -- never act to the detriment of others, but always for the mutual success of all concerned. 

My partner, Marvel, and I are congenial with each other and get along well, and in fact are more in love with each other now than ever.   Also, we can be classified as being in our old age now; she is 86 and I’m 89.  How old is 89?  Well, in years, quite a few, but I don’t feel like it, and I’m still having fun.  Our house in Safford has been sold, and we have recently moved into a newly bought home in Mesa, Arizona, living three doors down and across the intersection close to Marvel’s daughter, Dorothy, and her good husband, Richard Harmon. 

Here lately, my wife and I have run upon a little luck.  We’ve received some winnings from the State lottery.  Of course we made the news in Arizona, but we’ve found out that the Orange County Register in Southern California -- and no telling how many other papers -- ran this article:  89-year-old Hits Lotto Jackpot  -- Leonard McBride became the first lotto jackpot winner from the town of Safford when he won $2.5 million in Wednesday night’s Arizona Lottery drawing.  McBride, 89, is the son of a Graham County sheriff who in 1918 was gunned down along with two deputies by World War I draft dodgers.  McBride and his wife, Marvel, don’t know yet what they will do with the money.”   Of course, at our age, we decided to cash out. 

The latter part of September, 1994, Marvel and I were invited guests of KGUN News on channel nine in Tucson.  Bruce, My youngest brother recorded the occasion.  Guy Atchley, the news commentator, opened with the statement:  “One week and one dollar at a time, is the strategy that finally paid off for Arizona’s newest millionaires.  Leonard and  Marvel McBride from Safford, won Saturday’s Lotto Jackpot.”  (Marvel and I, each holding an end of the giant “check”, some two feet high and four and one-half feet long, made our way up to center stage.  We held the mock check up for all to see the nine digit number of $1,208,193.60).  Ashley continued: “Once they got their hands on the check, there was no letting it go.  The McBrides won with a Quick-Pic; and, they are still not sure what they will do with the 1.2 million.”  (The camera zoomed in on me and I said:) “We don’t need anything, as far as that goes.  We own our home, and we own our automobile.  We don’t owe any debts; so, I don’t know; I’m open for suggestions.”  (Laughter erupted from the News staff.)  Atchley replied: “You’d better take your phone off the hook!  The McBrides have quite a history in Safford.  They are part of a Pioneer Family that settled there long before there was anything like a state lottery.”  (A close-up appeared of Marvel and the female staff member.) She said:  “One point two million on their hands and they don’t know what to do with it.  What a problem!”   (The staff laughed again in good humor as our part on the program ended.) 

Since we moved to Mesa, Marvel has had her ups and downs with health, but I believe she is getting better now.  And, on March 24, 1995, I celebrated my 90th birthday.  I was wined and dined by Dorothy and Richard and many called to congratulate me.  One nephew asked me how I did it.  I replied something to the effect that I didn’t exactly know, but that I had always been fortunate to enjoy good health, and that I felt good now too. 

(As an update, June 1996, I’m still enjoying excellent health, considering that I turned the page of another year in March.  At the age of 91, I’ve still got some kick left.  However, Marvel took a turn for the worst and for her to be monitored around the clock, she entered a rest home.  Since that time, she has gradually improved, and I’m able to bring her home about twice each week for a few hours during the day.)

The following are memorable accounts of Leonard by those who respect him and will always love him. Also included are stories by others that include Leonard and excerpts from Darvil and Josephine’s histories. 

My Big Brother Leonard, by Darvil Burns McBride:  Leonard was three years and 10 months older than I.  Of the five boys in the family, Leonard certainly grew to be the most adventurous, especially in his early years. With due respect it can be said that Leonard “Marched to a different drummer.” 

During those early years he seemed to be searching for his nitch in life, which he eventually found, as evidenced by his own life’s story. 

Standing him in good stead as he knocked about the greater part of the United States from Job to job, were (are) such characteristics as a pleasant smile, a winsome personality and what amounts to a dogged determination for doing well the job at hand.  Whoever coined the expression, “As friendly as a speckled pup,” could well have had Leonard in mind.  Everybody likes Leonard.

One incident involving a certain service I performed for Leonard proved to be a meaningful experience for me and greatly appreciated by him. 

After he returned from one of his extended treks,  he hired on at the Clarson’s Lumber Mill up in Clarson’s Canyon on the mountain.  Before he left he took me and others of the family aside telling us that if anyone suspicious came asking questions about him, I should let him know just as soon as possible -- even if I had to hike all the way up the mountain to the mill, which I ended up doing.

Near the end of the summer a stranger arrived at our doorstep asking for him without giving reasons why.  With mother’s approval I prepared for the hike to advise Leonard, and as soon as I could, I started off on the long walk toward the mountain.  I remember not only feeling duty bound, but willing and anxious to make the difficult trip to deliver the message.  Walking the dirt road I fortunately caught a ride with a rancher for the first six miles up to what we kids called Hawkholler (Hawkhollow) at 4,000 feet elevation below the mesa at the foot of the mountain.  From there I started out on foot hiking up the steep rough road for an additional seven miles to the mill at an elevation of over 8,000 feet.  The walking, riding and long hike up, of more than 4,000 feet took the entire day.  I remember arriving at the mill after dark.  I told Leonard what had happened.  I stayed the night with him, and the next morning we returned home together hiking back the entire distance.  He gathered up his things and left home again.  Considerable time passed, and then we heard from him again by mail from California.  What ever the situation had been, it was no longer of concern.  After that, he remained in California working, I believe for Uncle Oscar.  Eventually he returned to the valley.

Through contacts and experiences as a conscripted fire fighter while working at the mill and later through employment with the CCC, he received a permanent appointment with the Forest Service.  Leonard rose to second in command on Graham Mountain, and if ever a man knew that country like the back of his hand, it was Leonard.  No man ever eclipsed him and its doubtful that any man ever will, for he knew every ridge, canyon, creek, peek, spring and seep, road, trail and slope, and he knew its steepness and the kind of terrain and growth, for he had been to all of them -- on more than a few occasions.  This store of knowledge gave him great advantage in controlling the periodic forest fires, for he knew well what number of men to send and where to deploy them.  He knew horses and mules  and how to ride and was an expert packer and an outdoorsman in every sense of the word.  On many occasions, I’ve heard residents of the valley saying in their own individual ways commenting about the constant threat of forest fires -- what would our mountain be like without Leonard McBride. 

Coupled with being very intelligent, his judgment of character and of men’s abilities were extra keen, and had circumstances been such that he could have gained more formal education, there is no doubt that the sky was the limit to what he could have attained in the Department.  His shear education by way of vast experience alone, qualified him for superior positions had it not been for the capricious silly rules and red tape imposed by a recalcitrant bureaucracy.

Leonard was the tallest and strongest of us boys as we grew up.  Obliged to defend himself in little fights, he generally came out the winner with his fists.  It seemed to me he was always having to use them.  Despite other peoples’ belligerence, reputation, size or age, he never backed down to anyone.  When he was forced, he stepped into the scuffle with a fierce quickness reminiscent of our father.  We should disregard the statements in his history of usually “being whipped,” or it coming out a “tie”.  Always the top dog, that couldn’t be true. 

In the course of campaigning for a seat in the Arizona State Senate, I visited with people who lived out around the mountain: farmers, ranchers leasing forest range, forest service employees and a host of others.  When they heard my name was McBride, they invariably asked, “You any relation to Leonard.”  Invariably. My yes answer brought the same response, “If  Leonard’s your brother, you’ve got my vote.”  Commanding  respect in his quiet unassuming ways, like I said, “Everybody likes Leonard.” 

The Quiet Boss, by Darvil David (Mac) McBride:  As a 17 and 18-year-old, Leonard hired me on to help fight several forest fires.  The first time, I spent a full week with a crew of about 25 men.  Leonard was there close by, most of the time, and I learned the simple basics of the art from him.  During the summer of 1953 after I graduated from high school, through Leonard’s thoughtfulness, I was hired as the fire guard at the cabin-community of Turkey Flat where I stayed with my parents, for they leased and managed the store and cabin rentals.  I cleaned up the camps and painted tables benches and outhouses, patrolled the road a couple of times each day looking for smoker-started fires, did repairs on pipes running from the springs and also went in on several snag and small fires started by lightning.  I helped fight a couple of bigger fires too.  One lasted for two weeks, and then I stayed another five days with three others putting out smokes.  It was remote, and we got our supplies via parachute drops and slept in paper sleeping bags and ate K rations and rolled boulders just for fun.  On three occasions Leonard sent me off as the crew leader, even though all of the men were older and some of them were tough, ornery characters to handle.  I risked my neck a couple of times threatening with a tool in the ready-to-swing position to stop fighting among them.  But, the experience was invaluable for me in later years. 

I always watched Uncle Leonard carefully.  I was proud of him.  He was truly as my father has just described.  When he spoke, men stopped to listened carefully, and after he gave his calm clear instructions -- men moved.  His language was free of course and filthy words, but he was always in control. 

On one occasion, a big husky boy from Pima and all 150 pounds of six-foot-one and three-quarter-inches of skinny me were making our way down a trail with Leonard in the lead.  The other kid and I walked as Leonard road horseback.  We came to a fallen tree about 18 inches in diameter that lay across the trail blocking all possible passage by horse or mule.  Leonard dismounted and pulled out an ax from his saddlebag.  He handed it to the boy who began to chop as instructed.  He was doing a pretty good job of it -- so I thought.  Soon, the kid tired and Leonard put his shoulders to the blade revealing surprising strength.  With each swing of the double-bitted ax the huge chips flew away from the large “V” that seemed to virtually be melting through the tree.  Stunned at the ease and swiftness with which he deftly divided it, I envied his skill.  Since that time I’ve seen chopping contests at county fairs -- demonstrations by champions -- and as my memory serves me, I would have dared wager a goodly sum on my Uncle Leonard against any of them.    

Learning from a “Pro, by Bruce Lane McBride:  On many occasions I went with my older brothers to the river or into the mountains either to haul wood or to hunt and fish.  It seems that Leonard took a special interest in me.  He liked to take me along especially when he went hunting, consequently I learned at an early age how to handle a gun and how to get along in the out-of-doors. 

I was with Leonard in the Graham Mountains (Clarson’s Canyon).  We slipped cautiously up a little draw, when suddenly the buck appeared through an opening in a thicket.  Leonard motioned for me to stay still while he moved a few feet ahead.  My heart was pounding, and I held my breath while he took careful aim.  With a single shot the deer fell.  It was the first deer I had ever seen killed.  I could not control my excitement.  I ran forward and would literally have leaped upon the animal, had not my brother held me back.  He showed me how to approach cautiously, in the event the deer was only wounded, for the animal, he explained, could be very dangerous even in the throws of death.  Little cause to worry on this encounter; the deer was shot squarely through the heart and was quite dead.

After he reached the top, climbed through the trap door out onto the narrow platform, I got scared.  Quickly I slipped into the house where mother happened to ask me where Leonard was.  I think it was my round, wide eyes that made her ask.  All I could do was take a big breath and say that he was out climbing the windmill.  She promptly marched to the back door and looked up.  She let out a scream, rushed back into the house, and hurried big brother Floyd to the rescue, all the time wringing her hands and moaning in deep distress.  Back outside we could see why mother was so alarmed.  There sat a Leonard on the very top, a-straddle the swiveling wind vane, riding as if it were a flying horse.  At mother’s insistence, Floyd swearing under his breath climbed the structure and assisted our errant brother down.

The Innocent Driver, by Darvil Burns McBride:  As a sheriff and as a good man Dad hated the use of alcohol and the destructive effects it had upon marriages, family and individuals.  He took personal satisfaction in apprehending the bootleggers smuggling hard liquor out of Mexico and through our valley.  Each not only ended up in the hoosegow, but there booty along with all there possessions were confiscated -- including their vehicles.  At one time in our back yard in Safford three of these cars were parked in tandem.  I distinctly remember they all had bullet holes in them.  One had at least seven and maybe more.  I looked at its back seat from the inside and saw where two had passed clear through the upholstery after passing through the metal. 

Where the keys were kept for those autos I don’t know, but I do know they weren’t left in them.  For a few days Floyd and Leonard had great sport with those cars -- when Dad wasn’t home, of course.  They would climb behind the wheels, put them in gear and press the starter button.  The batteries were strong enough to turn the engines over and slowly propel a car forward -- or backward, depending on the gear. 

Leonard never admitted he had found  the key to this one car that day, claiming it “started all by itself.”  Anyway, being in gear it crashed into the car in front of it.  I don’t recall all the damage but I’m sure it knocked out a headlight.  I think it also bent a couple of bumpers and punctured a radiator.  Dad was pretty darned mad and may have more than just threatened Leonard with a switch..

Comments On The Deer Hunt, by Darvil David (Mac) McBride:  While visiting with Leonard to gather family history, I told him that Bruce had recounted the story of how he had taken him along on a deer hunt.  Bruce had explained that it was his first experience to see a deer taken.  Bruce then freely expressed how much he appreciated the special attention Leonard had given him, and the experiences in which Leonard had purposely included him.  He told of how he looked up to him and loved him for the unselfish time he’d spent with him.  Leonard listened and fell silent.  His eyes softened as he gazed into space for what seemed a full minute as he pondered my words.  Then, almost with dampness in his eyes, in a throaty subdued voice he said, “Well of course, he was my ‘little’ brother.” 

The High Rider, by Darvil Burns McBride:  We lived in Safford after Dad took office as the county sheriff.  The rental had a big back yard and a windmill about 30 feet high.  We were allowed to climb around on it, but we were forbidden to go past the half-way level.  I was about nine years old and Leonard was close to 13 years old.  Together, we eyed it one day and Leonard suddenly announced his intention to climb to the top. 

After he reached the top, I unobtrusively slipped into the house where mother happened to ask where Leonard was.  With nonchalance, I answered calmly off hand that he was out climbing on the windmill.  She promptly marched to the back door and looked up.  She let out a scream and called our big brother Floyd who was almost three years older than Leonard to come out and help him down.  When we all went out to see why Mother was so alarmed, there sat Leonard on the very top, a-straddle the swiveling wind vane riding as if it were a flying horse.  Floyd climbed the structure under the instance of Mother and assisted our errant brother down.

Where the keys were kept for those autos I don’t know, but I do know they weren’t left in them.  For a few days Floyd and Leonard had great sport with those cars -- when Dad wasn’t home, of course.  They would climb behind the wheels, put them in gear and press the starter button.  The batteries were strong enough to turn the engines over and slowly propel a car forward -- or backward, depending on the gear. 

Leonard never admitted he had found  the key to this one car that day, claiming it “started all by itself.”  Anyway, being in gear it crashed into the car in front of it.  I don’t recall all the damage but I’m sure it knocked out a headlight.  I think it also bent a couple of bumpers and punctured a radiator.  Dad was pretty darned mad and may have more than just threatened Leonard with a switch.. 

The Plows, by Darvil David (Mac) McBride:  Linda and I passed through Safford to photograph a plow share (one blade) and a complete plow in Leonard’s backyard.  Leonard found the share some years ago at Oak Flat in the Graham Mountains where his grandfather, Peter McBride, used to farm.  He packed it out by mule.  He found the other plow, complete with the original, sun-bleached, fragile and warped, wooden handles at Peter’s Flat, at 9,000 feet elevation, a thousand feet higher than Oak Flat, another place his grandfather raised potatoes and pumpkins.  There, the distinct remnants of long, wide, deep, slope-sided storage pits are still there to be seen.  Leonard was not at home, but mission accomplished, we left to visit with him the next day in Mesa. 

Reminiscing,  by Darvil David (Mac) McBride:  In Mesa Leonard and I sat at the kitchen table at the home of his wife’s daughter, just three houses away from the new-bought home Leonard and Marvel were readying to move to.  As Leonard opened up and began recounting many interesting and precious interludes of family history,  he suddenly stopped in mid-sentence and stared at folded hands resting on the table.  After a moment of deep silence, he lifted his eyes to meet mine and said:  “I remind myself of old Andy Carlson.  As young boys, on many occasions we sat and listened to him by the hour as he spun his yarns sharing peculiar and exciting experience after experience.  Well, later when we were a little older, my friends and I sat together calculating his age by adding up all the tales we had heard.  He was a little over 300 years old.” 

The Final Decision, by Darvil Burns McBride:   Floyd became quite expert in the use of dynamite to blast out the mesquite stumps.  The invasion on the unimproved brush and tree-covered land was never-ending as the families sought increasing acreage to improve their lot.  Leonard, less than three years younger and an older kid at the time was Floyd’s right-hand in the effort; so, through the months he became a confident expert himself.  Because I was still just a young wart, the only job allotted me was chief errand boy and at times the “hole driller.”

We hadn’t lived in Thatcher very long when Leonard, somehow -- I’ll not try to second-guess -- appropriated some dynamite along with dynamite caps and fuse.  He hid it all under a loose porch step out the side door of our big Thatcher home -- a secret hiding place for some time known only to us boys. 

Again, not to insinuate anything that might be incorrect, but the local constable appeared at our front door, and Leonard under duress had to fess-up and hand over the cache from under the step.  Later, he appeared before the justice of the peace, and as I recall, there were other elders of the community present.  A captive listener, they reviewed, no doubt among other things, the folly of his indiscretion of hiding such a powerful explosive under the home where the family lived.  “Why you could have blown up the whole house and injured or killed someone.” They said.  The witness that described the incident to me said that Leonard stood silent for several moments apparently pondering the gravity of his covert act.  Then, soberly he raised his head to meet their stern gazes and said, “Let’er blow.” 

“Let’er blow” tickled the ears of the entire community.  The statement became a chuckle and a by-word, making Leonard famous for a spell, especially among the younger hero-worshipping set.  The tale surfaced now and again for many years to haunt him.  On second thought, I see it’s still here haunting him, and will now continue down through history -- like it or not. 

Saving Lowell Ballard’s Life, by Darvil Burns McBride:  Up from Thatcher through the foothills at the beginning of  Deadman’s Canyon is a large blackberry patch.  We kids loved to take a can of condensed milk, sugar, spoon and some kind of bowl up there and sit around and eat the berries to our heart’s content with the substitute cream and sugar 

Lowell Ballard, a kid from Globe was staying with a friend or relative in Thatcher.  He and Leonard had become good friends.  One day they had hiked up to the blackberry patch.  Poking around close by, they discovered a cave, and in it a couple of old cans of  blasting powder.  Really intrigued with it, Lowell wanted to take some, but Leonard decided not to have anything to do with it.  Despite Leonard’s decision, Lowell loaded up all four pockets.  Blasting powder looks like small varied sized smooth nuggets, but there is a fine dust mingled with it.  A blow with a rock or hammer, or a nugget scratched on a rock, or a spark easily ignites it.  When lit, a small mound of it in the open simply flashes up in a quick flame and puff of smoke. 

The afternoon got a little cool and the boys built a fire.  Up close to the fire to keep warm, Lowell was unaware of the fine black dust that had fallen down the front of his pant legs and filtered through his front pockets.   Suddenly, a pant leg caught fire.  The fire ran up to the pocket, causing the full pocket of powder blow up in a sudden flash.  Leonard immediately threw Lowell to the ground to roll him in the dirt and beat out the fire, but the other front pocket went off too. 

Fearing what could be the results of the back pockets, Leonard picked him up and raced thirty feet to the creek  where he plunged into the water with him, soaking the remaining pockets of powder and extinguishing the burning clothes.  He helped the severely burned boy rid himself of the useless clothes, gave him what he needed of his own clothes and though the boy was in partial shock and severe pain, they hiked back to town where he was treated by the doctor.   According to the doctor, Leonard’s quick thinking had probably saved Lowell’s life. 

Absent from home at the time when Lowell’s father arrived at the house asking to see him, he didn’t get to meet his great benefactor.  Finding that Leonard was gone, I Listened as he expressed to Mother his deep appreciation for what Leonard had done, saying that Lowell had told him the whole story, and that he believed Leonard had probably saved his son’s life.  He left mother a half-dollar for Leonard, in token of his appreciation.  Not that we expected anything, but we were all surprised that the father didn’t think his son’s life worth any more than that. 

My Brother, My Friend, by Bruce Lane McBride, Going Wild:  It is well known among family and friends that some of my greatest interests revolve around being in the mountains.  For many years the super activities of backpacking and trail camping have been foremost in my out-door pursuits.  I have asked myself, whence all this love for the mountains and all they represent?  Looking back for beginnings, I “blame” the whole thing on my older brother, Leonard. 

I was all of nine years old when I went “wild”; that is to say, when I received my introduction into the mountains; and Leonard is the one responsible. 

That was the summer I trailed (walking) behind a wagon loaded with supplies, up the steep grades into the Graham Mountain of Southeastern Arizona.  Leonard worked at a small saw mill at about 9,000 feet elevation, and I was to spend a couple of weeks there with him: As we made our way over the primitive roadway Leonard introduced me to many things, all new and wonderful to me.  First of all to “Hy” Clarson who drove the wagon and owned the saw mill, one of the most interesting and unforgettable person I have ever met.  There were the pot holes where the stream cascaded through a box canyon of near solid granite, the dugways and the different kinds of magnificent pine trees.  One dugway bore the name of “Penifold” -- named, I supposed, after the man who built it.  George Penifold died in an accident there, and is buried a few yards off the roadway.  Leonard showed me his grave enclosed in a picket fence.  I was impressed, and have since thought, what an interesting person he must have been.  He had probably requested such an unusual resting place. 

My stay at the saw mill was a one-in-a-lifetime experience.  I literally went “wild”, hiking every trail I could find, exploring canyon after canyon.  Leonard supplied me with a single shot, 22-caliber rifle and a box of shells, with the injunction, ”Don’t point it toward the cabin or the mill.”  Right then I decided I wanted to be a “Mountain Man,” to “live off the fat of the land.”  I shot at squirrels, chipmunks and wild pigeons.  I don’t think I ruffled fur or feather.  I don’t remember hitting anything except trees and rocks. 

During this period I ate my weight in eggs, bacon and hotcakes.  Old “Hy” (short for Hyrum Clarson) the mill owner, accused me of having hollow legs.  Where else could I stow all that grub? 

Besides being intrigued by the mill operation, I had some memorable experiences.  Leonard and I bunked in an area of the cabin that was not entirely enclosed.  At night some of the smaller animals of the forest would visit us.  One night I was awakened when some animal ran across my face.  We surmised it was a raccoon since many of the pesky bandits were in the area. 

At night I could sit out on the pile of logs and take in a wondrous view.  With the canopy of stars above and the valley lights below, I felt an integral part of the universe -- a king on my mountain throne, attended by a retinue of Lords and Ladies -- the stately fir and yellow pine -- with the Gila Valley for a footstool. 

One day my teen-age cousin, Albert Phillips, and his friend, hiked up to the mill.  They were asking directions to a cabin to the west of Clarson’s Canyon.  I knew the way, so I got permission to accompany them.  The trail junction was about a mile back down the roadway.  We took the trail to the cabin, took a look around and started back in the afternoon.  We had encountered tracks and other signs which according to my cousin, indicated there had been a bear on the trail.  Warily now, I kept one eye on the trail, the other on the forest, wondering all the while about the bear. 

By late afternoon we reached the junction.  Albert asked, “Are you afraid to go on to  the sawmill alone?”  with all the courage I could muster I responded, “Naw, what’s there to be afraid of?”  (In truth I was almost petrified at the thought of it; but what mountain man would ever admit being afraid?)

My friends went to the left toward their camp; I turned right.  Now I was alone with a mile of steep roadway to negotiate, in the bottom of a narrow, forested canyon.  It was yet early when the sun dropped behind the high ridge.  I didn’t know I could get so lonesome and scared. 

Sounds came from the forest on either side.  I imagined a bear or a lion stalking me along the way.  Quickly my hand went inside my pocket to be reassured that my pocket knife was there, an item no self respecting mountain man would ever be without.  I fondled it resolutely, not sure how it would fare against fang or claw.

A strange sound caught my attention.  I stopped to listen .... “Who-o, who-oo-oo.”  It trailed off in a weird, haunting fashion.  My blood ran cold as I remembered Leonard showing me the grave of the old mountaineer, George Penifold, just off the road way, not far from this spot.  Could it be his ghost still haunted these canyons?  I was thinking of ghosts and hungry lions, when suddenly there was a flapping of wings as a big owl passed close overhead.  Then I realized who the “who-oo” had been.  That blasted owl had scared the daylights out of me. 

Now a bit unnerved I quickened my pace, determined to get back to the mill before it got completely dark.  At long last I heard voices and soon spotted the source; Leonard and Hy’s daughter, Larue, had come out to meet me.

“Weren’t you afraid to hike alone?”  Larue queried.  Doing my utmost to suppress the quaver in my voice, I managed, “Naw, what’s there to be afraid of?”  I wasn’t very convincing. 

Since that time mountains and their trails have been an important part of my life.  I have probably hiked two thousand miles of mountain trails, but never a mile to match the one I traveled alone that evening, the first year I went “wild.” 

Beyond the Hills, by Bruce Lane McBride:   Leonard went on to eventually make the forest service his career, devoting his special skills and energy to preserving the mountain wilderness for all to enjoy.  For many years Mount Graham was his principal bailiwick, where he put to use many innovative ideas for preserving the environment and animal life.  At one time he almost lost his life fighting the forest fires that threatened to destroy his mountain.  I doubt that any one ever did a better job, he having gained the praise and admiration of all those who presided over him, and as well, those who worked under his supervision. 

Many times Leonard has asked me along on some part of his work or recreation, for which I am truly grateful.  He has taught me many things, not the  least of which is an appreciation of the wilderness environment he loves. 

And Leonard is a fun guy, always pleasant to be around; full of experience and interesting stories.  With a winsome disposition and eyes that smile, he is quick to turn a phrase and make a joke. 

At some future time we will meet beyond the veil.  If there are mountains in Paradise; you can be sure Leonard will be visiting them; and I’ll wager my harp (though slightly out of tune) against your slightly bent halo that he will ask me, “Would you like to go along?” And I will go along with my brother and friend.  Other than our family, there are two persons we would hope to meet -- Hy Clarson and George Penifold.


Orlando Sims McBride was born November 23, 1907, at Pima, Arizona.  He was the fourth child of Robert Frank McBride and Clara Sims McBride.  He was christened “Orlando” in memory of his father’s cousin, and “Sims” was his mother’s maiden name. 

His first grammar school years were spent at the Pima Public School which he attended until the family moved to Safford when he was eleven years old.  Shortly thereafter, in 1918, his father was killed while serving as Sheriff of Graham County, and the children were raised by their mother.  Sister McBride brought the family to Thatcher, and it was here that Orlando grew to manhood.  After graduating from the Thatcher Public School in 1922, he commenced high school at Gila, and graduated there in 1926. 

Early in life he seemed to set himself on a determined course to secure a fine education, but because of  finances, he could not commence college immediately, so he went to California for employment.  This was the first time Orlando had ever been away from home, and he was at times homesick and discouraged.  But he worked a year, then returned to enter Gila Junior College as a Freshman.  He was able to do this only by working at the college to meet his expenses, and the job he was given was the gymnasium laundry.  He washed towels two or three times a week, usually at the gym, but sometimes in his mother’s back yard. 

At this time, upon his return to school that he met Harvey L. Taylor, the newly appointed president of the college. A deep and lasting friendship formed between this man and the boy, Orlando, a friendship which was perhaps one of the most influential things in his life.  In his sermon at the funeral services for Orlando, Harvey L. Taylor said: “During the twenty years we have lived in Arizona I have been very closely associated with Orlando.  I know the intimate details of his life.  He has shared with me his worries, his joys and his sorrows.  I have listened to him plan the pattern of his life.  I have seen the mental struggle he went through to build for himself a philosophy of life, one that would help him most of all to serve others.  I have the blueprint of his life recorded in hundreds of letters which tell the wonderful story of a boy trying to find himself in a world of men; trying to establish his relationship to God; trying to think through all the problems of education, home building and wholesome living.  Mac (I always called him Mac) knew where he was going and what he wanted to do.  He got his inspiration from reading abundantly from good books, from the deserts and mountains and from his close association with good friends.  Mac was innately and deeply religious.  He believed in the power of prayer.  Often when we were together in the great silence, he would suggest that we kneel down and pray, not for any particular thing, but just because he wanted to feel close to his Heavenly Father.  He always prayed before a football or basketball game; before he went on a trip and after he returned.  His communion with God was genuine in every way, for he believed that God would hear and answer the prayers of the faithful.  Mac was a great student.  He read prolifically and memorized many of the poems and some of the prose which pleased him most.  He was mentally alert and enjoyed a good discussion on worthwhile subjects and problems.  I have never known any man in my life who was more strict in the discipline of himself.  He was strictly moral in deed and thought.  I have never known one single vile thing to ever pass his lips.” 

Orlando graduated from Gila Junior College in 1929, and was awarded a scholarship to attend Columbia University in New York City.  That fall he bid his family and friends goodbye and journeyed to New York.  Only twenty-one years of age, over 2,000 miles from home, and among strangers, he again suffered the pangs of homesickness and loneliness.  Letters to his mother indicated that he much preferred be in the West among his own people.  So, even before the end of the first quarter, together with Alonzo Adams and Carl McBride, two young friends, he hitch-hiked from New York to Provo.  The beginning of the winter semester found him enrolled at Brigham Young University. 

January 1931, while at BYU, he attended “Leadership Week.”  In a letter to his mother dated Saturday, January 31, 1931, he wrote: “During the week I attended 17 different functions.  I heard lectures, speeches, etc. on many phases of life.  I listened to some of the leaders of our church, President Grant included.  I have a broader vision & understanding of life now than I did a week ago.  I feel more certain that Mormonism is the truth & the way to perfection.  I am sue now that I shall not marry outside the Church.” 

Orlando’s personality, talents and gifts were multiple and versatile.  He loved sports and excelled in athletics, with a place on his school teams, in basketball and football.  He was captain of the football team during his last year at Gila, and during the same year he served as the President of the Student Body.  At Gila J. C., and at BYU he enjoyed participation in dramatics.  Though voted the outstanding actor of the student body, first and foremost, he was a thinker, student and scholar. 

In December 1932, he received his Bachelor’s Degree from BYU.  Home with his family for the Christmas Holidays, with full intentions to return and continue his studies at BYU, he accepted a teaching position at  Thatcher Junior High School.  He taught the remainder of that term and the following year.  He then became Principal of  Pima High School, which position he held for two years, until accepting a call from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to fill a full time mission in England.           

Orlando arrived in Plymouth, England  June 22, 1937, from where he made a four hour train trip to London with twelve other missionaries.   With Hugh B. Brown, the mission president, a wonderful bond of love and friendship formed, which lasted throughout his life.  In a letter home dated August 31, 1937, Orlando wrote:  “I guess I did not tell you that I have been made the Supervising Elder of the district in which I labor.  There are eight missionaries in this district and seven branches of the church (the same thing as wards at home).  I am the supervisor of the elders and the branches.  In other words I am almost similar to a stake president, except that it is quite different here in the mission field.  But it is a big job and a real responsibility.  It is quite unusual to choose such a new missionary as myself to fulfill this position.  But since I am somewhat older than the average elder, and because there happened to be a particular need for me, I was appointed.  Of course I will try to do my best.” 

In a “6 View Letter Card” (6 photo postcard ) sent home in August 1937, Orlando tells about the Council House and the City Square:  “The Council House is similar to our City Halls in America.  It is where the city council meets, and where the police laws of the city, etc., are passed.  The general affairs of the city are carried on there.  The open space in front of it is called the City, Square, or The Old Market Square.  Right out in the very center of this square is where I might be seen each Thursday and Sunday nights between the hours of eight-thirty and ten o’clock, standing upon a two foot high platform preaching the gospel to a congregation of on-listeners.  The X marks the spot where we hold our meetings.  Many people congregate near and on the square nightly, especially Sunday.  We begin our meeting by one of us clambering upon the stand and shouting loudly that the Mormon missionaries are here again with an important message.  If we shout loud enough and wave our arms something like a windmill, or like Jessica, Jeana and Frankie hailing a ride to Safford, we attract a crowd.  Once the crowd is gathered the main speakers are introduced.  Generally we have no trouble with the audience, but sometimes there are hecklers in the crowd that will shout out that they do not believe what we are saying, or they will make some wise crack to get us off the track of the topic we are on.  But we hold our patience.  Eventually we make friends even with the hecklers.  It is quite a task and quite a challenge to speak to such audiences.  It takes the best we have in us to do well.  The noise of the streets, busses, automobiles, firetrucks sometimes, all add to the din.  We have to raise our voices to a high tone sometimes to be well heard.” 

Orlando found himself often concerned about his mother’s health.  In a letter to her from Nottingham, England, dated October 7, 1937, he wrote:  “Mother, I surely am sorry to learn from time to time that you are still ill and unable to regain your perfect health.  I wish that something could be done to help you get well.  I wrote Bishop Tate the other day and asked him to have some of the priesthood call at home and administer to you.  I do not know if you have had this done or not.  But it seems that you have tried all the advice doctors can give.  It’s likely the Great Doctor will be able to help you even if earthly ones cannot.  I have faith that He can and will.  I also told the Bishop that our group of missionaries would hold prayer in your behalf, and that if we would all exercise faith you would get well.  I am sure this will help!”           

A letter dated October 19, 1937, shows his humor and light side.  He wrote:  “Did I tell you we have moved again?  After the conference was over and certain transfers had been made, the ones who were left, took up batching.  To be right frank I don’t like it nearly so well as the other arrangement we had.  It takes too much time, there, too, the darn rugs get to poking up in spots where we sweep the dirt under them.  I don’t know what is wrong with the rugs, anyway.  Then, the other day when we came in we were greeted with a severe odor which we discovered came from the garbage can that hadn’t been emptied for only a couple of weeks.  Something  must be wrong  with these garbage cans to do a thing like that.  Besides all of this, my two companions have gotten nervous disorders.  They seem to have lost  control of certain muscles of their bodies.  Every time they bend their elbows their mouths fly open, and they won’t close again until they put something in them.  So, consequently, our food supply is kept low.  But none of us are losing any weight, nor sleep over these problems.”           

“You may be surprised to know that I have already taken part on one musical program and am preparing to do so on another.  Five of we missionaries sang a couple of hymns.  Now we are preparing to sing “Polly Wally Doodle” and  “Clementine” at a Church social .  You will notice that the choice of songs is not much better than my choice of recitations (Dangerous Dan McGrew)”

“Everything one learns at home is useful on a mission.  I have already recited one of my low-brow poems and everyone liked it so well that they keep asking for more.  I suppose I will recite all of them before its over - even the “Potato Bug Murder”.  I have directed two one-act plays and taken part in one.  In the work of the Gospel every talent one has is useful. 

“A dense fog has settled upon the city.  With the coming of the night everything is engulfed in utter darkness.  ---As the fog creeps cat-like up and down the streets of the city, obscuring all vision, hiding buildings and people in its thick shroud, one is left to wonder which way to go and how to get there.  Were it not for the roads, sidewalks, and certain sign posts along the way, all would become lost in the darkness.  Such is life.  Without the Gospel, which is the road and sign post to eternal life we would be lost in the world, blinded by the fog of man made ideas.  It is good to know that we have the way of life that no fog can dim.” 

In June 1939, Orlando toured many European countries - Germany, Holland, France, and Belgium before sailing from England for home: “This trip to the continent is one of the most educational experiences I have ever had.”  There were eight missionaries who sailed on the “Mauretania  - described as “a palace afloat” Upon arriving in America, he wrote, “Surely seems good to be in America.  This is the greatest land on earth.  One realizes that after being in the Old World for two years.”  He stayed  in New York City  to go to the World’s Fair.  Then it was on to Salt Lake City, Utah and finally home around July 4, 1939.

He attended the summer session at the University of Arizona, then in September of that year he started teaching at Thatcher High School.  Here he renewed his acquaintance with Evelyn Watson, who had taught fourth grade under him in Pima. 

Orlando loved watermelon.  Often Evelyn and he would take a watermelon down to the Gila River bottom, find a shady place and enjoy the watermelon and the afternoon.  In a letter to Evelyn, Orlando wrote, “Remember the time we stood together on the high hill above Thatcher near Robinson’s Ranch?  I know you do.  With arms locked around each other’s waists we stood gazing upward to the higher peaks of Mt. Graham.  As the wind swished at our hair, and as we breathed deep of the fresh, free air, do you recall the poem we recited:  It has become our theme poem. 

                                    How are you headed?  On up grade,
                                    Fearless, dauntless, and unafraid;
                                    The light of victory in your eye;
                                    Your shoulders squared, your head held high? 

                                    Because you vowed, “I shall prevail:”
                                    You dare not, cannot, must not fail.
                                    No power on earth can hold you back,
                                    You are traveling on the victor’s track! 

                                    On, on, scale heights that tower so steep,
                                    Through storm and night and tempest sweep;
                                    The goal is yours, you’ll win the prize;
                                    Though oft you stumble, quickly rise;

                                    Be not discouraged, still pursue,
                                    Until life’s best is won by you!           

During his mission Orlando determined to build a home for his mother, and he and Evelyn planned to be married in the fall after completion of this self-allotted.  His brothers and he did build their mother’s new home, but then, the call to the U.S. Army came, and his marriage again postponed.  Commissioned a chaplain with rank of second lieutenant, and went with the Arizona National Guard to training camp. 

In the funeral services, Jesse A. Udall spoke of  Orlando’s appointment as a Chaplain:  “In connection with Orlando’s military record, I happen to know perhaps a little more about that than most anyone else.  It was in the summer of 1940 while we were in National Guard Camp that General Tuthill and Colonel Herndon, then the Colonel of the Regiment, indicated to me and to Colonel Mendenhall who was then Captain in the local company that they would like to see a man of the Mormon Church made a Chaplain of the 158th Infantry because they anticipated that very shortly the organization was to be greatly increased in number. 

“We were happy to receive that kind of an invitation, and we talked about the matter while we were in camp.  And I do not hesitate to say  that there was no man in Arizona that was more fitted and qualified for this job than was Orlando McBride.  And upon our return, I wrote to all of the other Stake Presidents in Arizona and told them of the offer that had been made by the authorities of the regiment, the military authorities of Arizona, and suggested to them the name of Orlando McBride to fill the position. 

“Very promptly I received answers back from all of the other stake presidents concurring in the nomination, and it then became my privilege to write to the Presidency of the Church and make the recommendation that all of the Stake Presidents of the Arizona District had agreed upon nominating Orlando McBride for this very important position.  And very promptly an answer came back from President Grant and his associates confirming the suggestion and authorizing me to set apart Brother McBride for this very important work in the military services. 

“I wanted to tell you that at the time I set Brother McBride apart for this work that the Spirit of the Lord was there in very rich abundance.  I have never had a more spiritual experience than when I set him apart for this very, very important position in the military services. 

“He succeeded in his work to the satisfaction of all who came in contact with him, and I am sure that the Lord approved of his work to the last degree.  He made a fine impression with all of those with whom he came in contact.           

“About two or three months ago I was with a group of National Guard officers in Phoenix, and Captain McWilliams asked me if I knew McBride from the Gila Valley, the Chaplain.  I assured him I did.  He told me what a fine friend he was and complimented him for the fine talks he made to the men of the regiment, and said there was not another Chaplain like him, as far as he was concerned. 

Colonel Mendenhall and Major Aaron Nelson likewise informed me how well he was received, how large the crowds were that came out to hear his sermons.  And they were masterpieces!  I would give a lot, and I know you would, if those sermons had been written so that we could have them to pass them on.  How valuable they would be to us and to posterity, because Orlando McBride was one of the most learned men in matters of religion in our Church or anywhere else.  And what he said had a lot of weight and a lot of influence. 

“And Colonel Mendenhall told me the other day that a boy out at Glendale, Arizona saw him and commended upon the excellence of Chaplain McBride and said how he liked to hear his sermons.  And so, if all of the men whom he helped while he was in the Army could be here today, it would take a building much larger than this one to accommodate them, and there would be a great crowd assembled here today to pay their respects to the memory of Orlando McBride.” 

Granted his first leave, Orlando came home, and he and Evelyn were married in the Arizona Temple on March 26, 1941, and together, they returned to Camp Barkeley in Abeline, Texas.  The following December war was declared, and his Company received orders to sail for an unknown destination.  Evelyn came home to her parents, and Orlando went with his company overseas, where he spent the following year in the Panama Canal Zone.  During this time he was promoted to Captain. 

Besides carrying on his Chaplain’s duties, he held services for the Latter-day Saint boys - four or five meetings each Sunday.  In Panama, the first signs of deterioration of his health manifest themselves.  On August 26, 1942, he was hospitalized there in Panama, and in September, ordered to report to the La Guardia Hospital in New Orleans. 

Though usually the voyage required only four days, submarines several times attacked his ship prolonging arrival for twenty-four days.  Even in a state of illness, he continued holding regular services on the ship until destinations end. 

After three months in the La Guardia Hospital he was sent to Camp Roberts in California, where he continued his service as Chaplain.  His health again failed, and in June 1943, he was ordered to the Hoff General  Hospital in Santa Barbara, California.  In October he received a medical discharge from the Army.           

In his personal journal he records:  “Looking back over the long months of military duties, I feel to thank the Lord for the enriching experience.  It has been a fine education.  My vision has been broadened; my horizon widened; my understanding deepened; my testimony of the gospel greatly strengthened.”           

After his discharge, Orlando and Evelyn returned to make their home in the Gila Valley, where their two children were born: Evelyn Joy, September 27, 1943, and Orlando Watson:  April 27, 1945.  Again, he became a member of the Thatcher High School faculty, and the following year he was appointed Director of the Religious Institute at Gila Junior College. 

Now with his small family, he was anxious to commence the building their own home.  During the summer and in all of his spare time from school duties, he worked on the its construction, at 1202 6th Avenue in Safford.  Few men have enjoyed working and achieving the goal of building a home for wife and children as did Orlando. 

They lived in their new home just a year and five months, a period of great joy for them: completely happy in his married life and devoted to spouse and children.  He played and romped with the children more than most fathers. Once at home after a days work teaching at the institute at Gila Junior College, Evelyn Joy and young Orlando enjoyed rides in a wheelbarrow up and down the sidewalk.  He’d then tell Evelyn it was her turn and for him to have a rest.  His vibrant desire for continued education had not left him.  Prompted to begin a year’s work at BYU, Evelyn and he relinquished the comforts of their home taking their family to Provo to live, where he received a part-time teaching position on the BYU faculty.  In the his last letter to his mother, dated July 18, 1947, he wrote: “The first session of summer school ended today and I have registered for a second one which will begin Monday.  I am very pleased to be here and have this opportunity to study again.  Evelyn seems to like it better now than she did at first.  Our new home sort of spoiled us.  Our apartment here although quite roomy has just enough in to get by with.  For a refrigerator we have an ice box.  The kitchen range sits on the sink table.  I can lift it with one hand.  There is no bathtub, just a shower.  The beds are by no means as soft as ours and there is no living room furniture except some hard chairs and one occasional chair.  There is ample clothes space but no doors on the closets.  In fact everything is in the open.  The kitchen has only one drawer.  You know how many we had at home. But we are getting by and really enjoying it.   A new Branch of the Church has been organized out of the Wymount Village  where we live.  Evelyn has been made the Relief Society president. ---The kids have kept well.  They don’t forget Arizona.  Evelyn Joy often mentions Grandma Bride.” 

Orlando passed away in Provo, Utah, July 23, 1947, at the age of 39 years, 8 months.  His family, accompanying the body were graciously flown back to Safford in a private airplane owned and flown by Wilford Crockett.  Years later, Brother Crockett mentioned to Orlando W. that this was the last time he flew an airplane. 

The funeral services were held Monday, July 28, 1947, at 4:00 PM in the Layton Ward Chapel in Safford, Arizona.  Orlando W. recalls only one event of this experience - it was the 21-gun-salute by the military at the graveside services.

Many gems of his philosophy are recorded in his personal journals, and this following excerpt is typical of his quality life: 

“I would rather be honest than acquire all of the wealth of the world.  I would rather be honest than be popular or be honored by those of my community.  My friend told me one day that the public was gullible; he knew their weaknesses and played upon them.  He gained public acclaim, but I think he was not honest in getting it that way.  He gained the world, but lost his soul.” 

“Our scriptures tell us that there is a certain class of persons in Heaven who are just men made perfect.  These are men in whom in this life there was no deception of any sort.  Their lives were frank and clear like a pure crystal.  When confronted with the thin line between truth and the lie, they chose to say the truth when the lie would have sounded like the truth.  Thus, they sacrificed the world and reached perfection in the presence of God.”           

Always active in the Church, a full tithe-payer, he never failed to perform any task or refused any responsibility or position.  During the years he taught in the Thatcher Schools, he served as president of the Thatcher Ward Mutual.  After his return from the mission field, he served as Stake Mutual President in the St. Joseph Stake.  In addition to his M.I.A. work, he was an active Sunday School teacher and performed uncounted duties in other church organizations.  He served as a High Councilor in both the St. Joseph and Mt. Graham Stakes.  He was loyal and devoted to his friends, and all who knew him loved him in return.  Evelyn’s mother and father loved him as a son and he was the favorite “Uncle Orlando” of all the children. 

Gifted in the art of public speaking, he gave untiring service to the community at large - seldom refusing when called upon - though many times it may have been unwise considering his delicate state of health.  He had an unfaltering testimony of the Gospel, and sought every opportunity to bring its light to others. 

Jesse A. Udall said in giving the obituary at the funeral services: “I should like also to say a word about his ability as a teacher.  Surely, this young man was inspired in his leadership of youth.  Last summer one of the girls in Thatcher was called upon to make a talk in Sacrament Meeting.  She talked on the Old Testament.  She said she took that class under Brother McBride because she thought that was one of the easiest ways to get another hour of credit.  It turned out to be one of the most interesting courses she had ever taken in all her life.  No wonder it was interesting!  It dealt with the fundamentals of life and taught to her by a master at the subject.  And so it could go, I imagine, with hundreds of youngsters in this valley and elsewhere who have come under the sound of his voice.  They would give similar testimonials as to the excellence of his work.” 

After Orlando’s death, his wife, Evelyn, moved back into their home in Safford and raised their two children.  She had taught school before their marriage so she resumed teaching to earn a living for the little family.  She was always active in the Church and also in professional organizations.  She was the first woman to be President of the Safford Education Association.  She taught school for thirty-five full years.  She also was considered a great educator, influencing for good - all students fortunate enough to have been under her tutelage.


Born December 28, 1908, one year before Abraham Lincoln, my favorite president, became a hundred years old, and four years before Arizona became a State doesn’t make me a celebrity,  but it does date me.  I have always said that I came too late to be considered a part of the “Old” and too early to be looked upon as part of the “New”.  Enough important things like railroad, electricity and the gasoline engine had been invented by then that the director of the U.S, Patent Office was caused to announce something to the effect that his position had become obsolete and the office would probably close soon, due of course, to the fact that everything of importance and value had already been invented. 

Today, (Dec 28, 1995) I turned 87, and since that happens to be a significant number in history connected as it is with the esteemed values of my favorite President, I have decided that through this entire year of 1996, whenever asked my age, I shall answer:           

Four score and seven years ago, my parents brought fourth upon this continent a new species, conceived in hope and dedicated to the proposition that the world was created just him.  Now he is engaged in a great tug of war, as to whether St. Peter will beckon him in, or the devil himself will trip the trap door. “ 

As I look back over those 87 years, my thanks and appreciation go first to my father, Robert Franklin McBride, and my mother, Clara Sims McBride.  The longer I tarry in this life the more I come to respect and value their efforts in my behalf and on behalf of our family.  More and more am I brought to recognize that they were people of greatness. 

My father, Robert Franklin McBride, was born in the town of Eden, Weber County, Utah, on January 4, 1875.  Though there were limitations on his time, like all dads who strive vigorously to provide for a large family; he spent quality time with us when he could.  His life cut short, of course, deprived us of that kind of attention. though only a month and a-half past nine years old when he was killed, I have many fond memories of him.  I relish them all, and others of my family, friends and his best friends have shared with me.  All his children called him Papa. 

A brief description with mention of some of his fine attributes is in keeping with this history:  Among the area’s swains of his day, he enjoyed great popularity.  Very handsome, likable man: as attested to by the beauty and charm of the girl he married, he managed to compete with the swashbucklers.  A little taller than the average man, wiry and sinewy-muscular of build, gave him the appearance of being easy on his feet.  To paraphrase Harvey Foster, a long-time friend of his:  “He was quick and cat-like in his movements.  He commanded considerable respect in his youth as well as a young adult and mature man.  He had acquired the reputation early on of being, ‘pretty darn handy with his fists.’  Most would-be challengers wisely left him alone with respect to fisticuffs.  Few looked for physical trouble with Frank (Frankie) McBride.  Though never the aggressor, when left without recourse, he had put many down on their back-sides.  His natural quickness of mind and reflexes, no doubt, were the primary advantages that made him so difficult to beat.  Those who knew of him preferred to enjoy his unassuming, humorous, pleasant company rather than mix-it with fists.”  Harvey  added that if there was one thing Dad detested and refused to tolerate, it was disparaging, or off-color remarks, among men about women. 

Besides farming, and being a pretty good carpenter and a part-time cowboy, Dad served as County Cattle Inspector for several years.  Later he served as Graham County Deputy Sheriff, entrusted with keeping the peace and bringing to justice fugitives of the law in the sparsely populated, western end of the county where we lived. 

Born March 22, 1880, in Brigham City, Arizona, Mother, imbued with the pioneer spirit lived to the age of eighty-two.  (Brigham City now is non-existent.  It had struggled for survival near Joe City; close to Show Low, Arizona on the banks of the Little Colorado River.)  She was a petite, slender slip of a girl, extremely beautiful, quiet and slow to anger, she spoke no ill of anyone.  Mother, so much a part of my life as an infant, toddler and child, memories of my childhood hardly picture anyone else.  As good a mother as ever raised a family, she was something special.  She gave birth to nine of us, and whether or not we were planned or just happened, I never knew, for she never proffered an explanation.  But, I do know we’ve all been grateful for life itself, for the life she struggled so successfully to provide us, and especially for her love. She carried on with most of the task of bringing us up without the help of a husband, being only thirty-eight when Dad was killed. 

Overall, she did not have an easy life, even though in the beginning, she grew to young womanhood as a daughter in a family with extra means.  Her Father, my Granddad Sims, successful in various enterprises, in time would own his own furniture store in Pima.  practiced as a carpenter and cabinet maker he made much of the furniture himself.  He continued in other ventures too, especially as a builder of homes and commercial buildings in Globe and Miami as well as in the Valley.  He did finished carpentry as well as rough, and owned one of the biggest and finest homes in Pima.  Active politically; the mayor of the town for several years, and a devout active member of the Church, he would provide his family with much more than just the necessities of life.

Born in the country town of Glenbar, Arizona, I lived there for the next eight years.   Our home, in the small community of Glenbar, Arizona some fifty miles west of the New Mexico Border, lies in the wonderfully fertile valley of the Gila River.  About seventy miles of the river meanders its way through the Gila Valley.  Glenbar is about three miles east of Pima on the north side of the railroad tracks and has previously been known as Fairview, Matthewsville, and jokingly as Hog Town. 

Much to my chagrin, at the supposed age of eighty, I discovered my birth year was 1908, not 1909.  I’d been led to believe this because of a numerical error in the family history record.  When nine or ten, Mother and I had discovered the entry, questioning its accuracy.  Since I preferred, at the time, to be younger, I chose the latter date.  However, my oldest sister, Gladys, of excellent memory, harbored doubts and periodically questioned it.  She stayed firm, believing the correct year to be 1908. 

The truth finally came to light.  At the time of my arrival into this world my father happened to be on a construction job in Globe, Arizona.  Naturally, Mother wrote him informing him of the blessed event.  He immediately responded with a post card addressed to ME.  Recently I discovered that very card among some old neglected odds-and-ends I had collected many years ago from Mother’s home after her passing.  There, plain as the nose on my face, appeared the bold, black, postmark date.  Though somewhat perturbed to discover the truth,  I was, in fact, eighty-one instead of a much younger eighty.    

The fifth in the family, I was the first of the nine children who crowded our homes to be born in the new house dad built on the farm in Glenbar.  Here are the comparative ages relative to mine of my brothers and sisters:  Clara “Gladys” was born June 23, 1900 – 8yrs. 6mos. older; “Floyd” Franklin, May 18, 1902 – 6yrs.  7mo. older; “Leonard” Robert, February 24, 1905 -- 3yrs. 10mos. older; “Orlando” Sims, November 23, 1907 – 1yr. 1mo. older; Ruby “Ruth”, February 13, 1911 – 3yrs. 2mo. younger; “Bruce” Lane, August 14, 1913 – 4yrs. 8mos. younger; “Stanley” Gage, September 29, 1915 – 6yrs. 9mos. younger; “Frankie” Thursa, April 13, 1918 – 9yrs. 4mos. younger. 

 I guess I was no different than hundreds of other kids raised on rural farms.  I endured my first year of school in one room with about twenty other kids where the first six elementary grades were represented.  My second year was spent in Pima with another twenty or so kids, this time all near my own age. 

My older brothers together with our oldest sister, Gladys, attended school in the neighboring town of Pima, three miles away.  I believe Gladys had completed school there, so, that made room for me to ride with my three brothers in the buggy: the reason I went to school in Pima as a second-grader, instead of continuing in the Glenbar school.  We had a little hack of a buggy with a small extension of its body -- the “boot” they called it -- extending rearward, much like a  miniature pickup bed.  We carried a part of a bail of hay with us each day for the horse.  We left the horse and buggy behind the school in an area especially designated for tethering the horses while we were there.  I remember seeing Floyd, Leonard or Orlando going over in the middle of  the school day to toss the horse a flake of hay. 

Making the daily trips to school, Orlando and I, the two youngest, stood up in the back behind the seat in the little bed, while our big brothers sat in the bench seat.  To steady ourselves, we gripped the hack's rods on each side in front of us.  (Though a hack is a kind of buggy, the buggy canopy itself, was also called the hack.) 

The trips in the buggy to and from school I remember well, especially during the cold winter months.  Orlando and I had to dress extra warm with heavy coats and snuggle down back up against the back seat.  I wore a wool knit cap pulled down over my ears and half of my face. Wrapped around my neck I wore a heavy m muffler (scarf). 

In clement weather the trips were fun for a little boy of seven.  Since my school day ended two hours earlier than that of the older boys, my parents allowed me to walk home by myself if I wanted, which I opted to do on many occasions.  I knew the way along the road, but I also learned the shortcut.  I followed the railroad tracks which went straight towards home, unlike the curvy road.  Of course, I'd always ask permission of mother that morning, and if the weather seemed acceptable she always said yes.  Walking would get me home an hour earlier than the others.

When Dad was elected sheriff of Graham County after having served two years as deputy, we moved ten miles east, up river to Safford.  There, the stage was set for great and ominous changes in our lives.  After serving little more than a year, he and two of his deputies, Martin Kempton and Kane Wooten were killed in line of duty. 

In 1918, during the First World War, Dad and two of his trusted deputies were shot down by draft evaders they were attempting to arrest.  Two young brothers, John and Tom Power, in a desperate effort to evade the draft, with the help of their father, Jeff, and a live-in friend, Tom Sisson, surprised the arriving officers with deadly gunfire.  The shooting occurred in the wild and remote solitude of the rugged Galiuro Mountains, some seventy-five miles from Safford, where the evaders were hiding,.  The three lawmen were killed along with the brothers’ father.  The tragic shoot-out left nineteen fatherless children "two yet unborn" and evoked the greatest manhunt in the history of a huge portion of the Southwest.  The entire state of Arizona and its extensive surroundings was on alert.  At the peak of the twenty-eight day manhunt, more than three thousand men, most of them on horseback, many in automobiles and with the help of an airplane, combed and scouted the Sulfur Springs Valley, the Chiricahua Mountains and the Cochise Stronghold area.  The fleeing trio, finally captured about ten miles below the Mexican border by a small detachment of soldiers from Fort Hachita, New Mexico, were in a desperate and pitiful condition, seeming relieved to be captured.  (The event is well documented my book, and in history and outlined elsewhere in this volume. 

To help the family survive the tragedy, living quarters were offered to mother in Thatcher, three miles west.  The house belonged to her brother, Oscar, and became our home for a short time.  In 1919, we moved to larger and more convenient quarters on Main Street, the old Christopher Layton home that mother was able to purchase.  I never did know where the money for this spacious and wonderful old house came from.  It became our permanent residence and the little Mormon settlement of Thatcher, our “home town.” 

In Thatcher I grew up as an average country boy, in honorerable but dignified poverty, for my mother never let me forget that though poor, our heritage was as proud as the more fortunate and we were therefore as good as the next kid on the block, though no better.  She constantly reminded us also that someday we each must prove this to be true.  Willing to sacrifice all for education, she saw to it that five of her eight living children received college education. 

Within the varied terrain and vegetation of the river bottom, we played make-believe games.  Sometimes we stripped off most of our clothes and played Indians.  We built wikiups, Apache Indian style, hunted, fished,  explored and even challenged the huge muddy waves of the rushing torrent when the river was in flood -- a sport that had taken a few lives.  The river bottom afforded a source of unending enjoyment of many kinds; there seemed no end to all that we could do there.  Imagination only placed limits on us.  Many interesting and peculiar experiences occurred while we combed the wilds of that great playground of nature, so close and within easy walking distance of home.  Throughout this history, interspersed here and there, you will read of our river bottom sagas and of the Gila River itself. 

Between the age of five and seven, my three older brothers and I often stripped off our clothes and played in the shallow easy current.  A swim suit was unheard of.  In the latter part of the summer the river often dried up; it left small to large long narrow pools.  As the  water evaporated and the muddy pools grew smaller, the trapped fish became concentrated.   We had great fun catching them with our hands.  The river teemed with fish in those days, and the stories are many, about the locals with pitchforks and other riggings reaping a harvest.  With our hands we caught catfish, some great big carp, the razor-back bonytail and thousands of minnows.  Such a wonderful play ground for a young boy in the company of good older brothers.  As the river and the canals continued to dry up, the predators began to have their hay day.  Coyotes, foxes, raccoons, skunks, weasels, hawks and buzzards, as well as several species of night birds left their prints in the muddy edges, hinting of  nights of gorging.  We always strung the catfish on a slender willow branch and took them home to eat.  They were a welcome change of menu; mother and the family appreciated the boneless delicacies. 

During my life, I’ve always retained a love for hunting, fishing, camping, back packing and athletics.  In the outdoors of Arizona, I’ve hunted dear, bear, javalina, cottontail and quail.  Mostly, I’ve fished for trout in  mountain streams and lakes.  Moreover, I have done some deep sea fishing off the coast of Southern California and off the gulf coast of Baja California.  The great outdoors has always attracted me. 

From the early days of my youth I’ve had chores and jobs and though an educator a good many years, driven by an entrepreneurial  spirit, I have been self employed most of my life.  Other work besides what will be mentioned:  I gathered chips from the wood pile; kept water in the house hauled in from the pump; fed and watered animals; helped my grandfather McBride with his chickens and egg business; gathered asparagus from the ditch banks and sold them by the bunch door to door; worked in the hay fields as a loader, pitcher, bailer and hauler; picked, thinned and cultivated cotton; worked at the Power mine panning gold; worked for the Indian Service as a smoke chaser (fire fighter) high in the mountain forests, stationed at a tower, in Northern Arizona; herded cattle along with a little cowboying; built two dwellings and several additions and did summer contract plumbing.   Also, there were a number of other jobs that kept me occupied. 

In Thatcher after Dad was killed I entered the third grade and didn’t look back until I graduated from Gila Junior College in 1932.  Though I never “loved” school, I always felt comfortable about it’s requirements, and never once relinquished my determination to get an education!  I guess you’d call me a “participator.”  I had to be in everything.  If I couldn’t be President of the darn thing, (whatever it was) then I’d try for Vice President.  Two of my elementary years were spent as Judge of the School Court, which along with a jury of four and under the supervision of a teacher, court was held once a week to mete out justice to the waywards of the school who too often insisted on infracting the rules. 

I spent my two Junior High School years in the new building that opened in time for us high school freshmen.  That spring, I was elected as Student Body President for the following year.  (10th grade we called it.)  My association with Mart Mortensen, the Principal, was very satisfying.  Ruby and Jess Brimhall also played a major role in my life at that time.  In 1928, my educational efforts were moved to the Junior College building where the sophomore and senior classes of high school were then meeting.  In my senior year I was elected as President of the Senior class and graduated from high school in 1930.  In my graduating year at the Jr. College I served as President of the Student Body. 

In 1934, I graduated from Northern Arizona University (then Arizona State College, with a bachelor of arts degree, and a teaching certificate)  In 1937 I received my master’s degree from there.  In 1951 I did doctorate work at Stanford University which madet me eligible for college teaching, at which time I began my experience at Eastern Arizona College in Thatcher.  Though never an “A” student, (a few exceptions) school was a fun experience for me, and though I must admit I enjoyed the extra curricular and probably accomplished higher ratings in them than my required classes.  In high school and Jr. College, basket ball was my favorite.  I won many honors, the most prized of which is an individual trophy for most valuable player and highest scorer of a hard fought tournament. 

Though leading man in only one stage play at the Jr. College, I participated in many.  I never tell people the name of that play unless they ask, for it was titled  “The Fool,”  I believe I was the only E. A.J.C.  student who had parts in five of the Red Knoll’s pageants. 

My first year at Flagstaff, 1932-33, was not a happy year.  I had been courting Jo for about a year and Thatcher was a long way from that snow laden town.  Though a good sprinkling of L.D.S. attended the school, most were not, and it seemed, never attended church.  The dorms were full of tobacco smoke laced with purloined liquor  (These were prohibition days), while the topics of conversation included some sports and a major portion of sex; so different from my school days spent in Thatcher. 

The second year was considerably different.  Jo and I had married in the summer and she came with me that fall of 1933.  We lived in the summer cabins down on the mud flats.  Neither of us had a pair of rubbers to help us negotiate the hazards of snow, ice and mud, but we had plenty to eat and readily available fuel to keep our little cook stove going and spent a wonderful, poverty stricken year, satisfied that we had each other. 

Regarding our three children, I’ll insert some of Josephine’s history, so she can tell about 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.  But, only a false alarm, I would continue a bit longer in discomfort. 

In the middle of the night my water broke; I knew the time had finally arrived..  The next day, January 8, 1935, our first arrived a little after 11:00 o'clock in the morning.  We named him, Darvil David, after his dad and my dad.  My husband insisted we call him by his name, and I insisted we call him by my dad's name.  Disturbed with each other for refusing to budge an inch -- we just called him Mac. 

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. 

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.  And next door, his Grandma Mcbride and Frankie, Darvil's youngest sister, they too thought him very special and helped to care for and 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 We waited expectantly for our second baby to arrive sometime in February.  The time for the new one came closer day by day.  Arrangements through 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 February 26, 1936.  Another good and beautiful baby in perfect form and health blessed our lives.  We felt so fortunate, so proud, thankful and grateful for him. 

When Jon grew big enough to walk 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 then think he must be the cutest one in all the world. But, when one would run to the other,  seeing them together, I thought, "They both are ten-times cuter together.” 

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 one o'clock in the afternoon of August 22, 1937, our baby girl, Sally Jo, arrived.  A bit bald-headed, she weighed nine pounds.  When we saw how she looked, even though she was a her, all ideas in my mind of three boys melted away and ceased to exist -- she was such a beautiful thing.  But, she worried us; I couldn't nurse her and she didn't gain weight; she developed very slowly.  As I remember, three months later she had gained only one additional pound.  We were very careful with her though and finally got her straightened out. 

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. 

Now graduated, I was ready to brave the mysteries of the classroom.  A couple of weeks before the end, I received a phone call from Harold Clark, Principal  of the Solomonville School (years later it was renamed Solomon),  in the Gila Valley, eight miles east of my hometown of Thatcher.  My only interview for a job, I started in the fourth grade with a bunch of lovable kids, half of them Mexican, and during cotton picking season a good sprinkling of transients out of Oklahoma and Arkansas, most of whom smelled of grease and campfire smoke.  During these times I could have as many as forty students in my class.  I kept this same bunch of kids for two and a-half years through a half year of the sixth grade.  During the Christmas vacation of that year, the principal left suddenly for a job in Washington D. C., so in January of 1937, I became the Principal of the school.  Here I remained until May of 1942.  The war was at it’s peak in Europe and since war-effort wages were so inviting on the West Coast, we decided to take our shot at the bonanza. 

We three brothers had been working on mother’s new house in Thatcher all of that year.  I hated to leave at the time, for it wasn’t quite finished, but I knew Orlando and Leonard would soon get the job done. 

To tide us over until we could established ourselves in California, we stayed with Toots and Virgil in their Santa Ana,California home for two or three weeks while I looked for work.  Soon I found a job with the Golden State Creamery Co. in Long Beach where I ran a milk route while I made applications in the airplane and ship building factories.  In August of that same year (1942) I obtained a position with Douglas Aircraft in Long Beach as inspector of armaments on the B-17, the famous “Flying Fortress.”  The salary was good and the work very enjoyable. 

While still on the aforementioned milk route, we had moved to Newport Beach where we had found an ideal cottage right on the beach for the summer vacation the kids had been clamoring for.  In time for Christmas we moved down the peninsula to Seventh Street.  It was here, on Christmas Eve that I went to the hospital with my first kidney stone.  About twenty minutes before they got me to x-ray the pain suddenly stopped.  The bumpy seven mile ride to the hospital had dislodged the devilish thing.  They gave me a very effective prescription and sent me home immediately and glory be!…..I did spend Christmas with my family.   My first experience in a hospital had been only thirty minutes and glory be again! 

When we told our landlord, Mr. Smiley, we were going to buy a house in Westminster, he offered us that two-story, four-bedroom home practically on   ?        for $7,500.  We weren’t quite ready for that large an investment so paid $4,500 for this Westminster place.  (Today the Balboa house is probably worth $300,000.)  It  was in the interesting, Westminster, rural location that we met a couple who would be our close friends for the rest of out lives.   Karl. And Elverda Allred were great people, and though at times we lived miles apart we remained in close  touch  and enjoyed many memorable times together, especially fishing trips in our camping trailers.  (Karl would become my first counselor in the Huntington Beach Branch.) 

During our Newport-Balboa-Westminster stay we attended the Huntington Beach Branch.  The little group was so happy to have a new family such as ours that they received us with open arms.  In less than a year I was made President of that independent branch while I still kept my assignment as the gospel doctrine instructor.  They had Jo doing about everything, especially the piano.  How they did appreciate her! 

In 1945 we sold our Westminster place at a pretty good profit -- took our earnings and bought a “Help-Yourself-Laundry” and a nice house in ‘Wilmington.  We remained there active in that ward and helped build a new chapel, until the World War II ended.  We sold our business and property, at which time I took a job with the Woodbury Businesss College in Los Angeles.  They sent me to the Grand Junction area in Colorado where I did high school student recruiting  for them .  Though substantially successful, but not liking the salesman work, we packed up  and took ourselves back to good old Thatcher.  Just weeks before we had visited there for Jean and Glenn’s marriage. 

Upon returning to the Valley, we made a deal with Jo’s mother in which we made the monthly mortgage payments on her house and declared ourselves at home.  I had immediately gone to see my old friend , Lafe Nelson, still superintendent of schools in Safford.  He had a sixth grade vacancy, so I went to work for him that fall – taught two years in Safford and was then hired by Bill Harless at Eastern Arizona Junior College as Dean of Men and Vocational Guidance counselor.  The position was  ideal and my efforts commendable, but due to highly controversial problems with a new president I resigned after one year.  A few days later, Eldon Randall caught up with me in the post office and asked if I would be interested in the principalship of the elementary school there in Thatcher.  So, I had gone full circle.  The one time student, then janitor of the school of fond memories had come back to be its principal.  For three of the four school positions I have held I did not make a formal application or sit in interviews.  I was each time approached by the employer and each came as somewhat of a surprise. 

In 1957, and for nearly the same reasons as existed when we left Solomon, I resigned my Principalship in an attempt to improve my financial condition.  I went to work for La Faun Mortensen to run his Insecticide and defoliant business, which we later took over as our own.  We ran it at Thatcher in conjunction with a corner grocery store.  There we were busy with the tasks at hand when our fortunes took a different direction.  I was elected to the State Senate in 1960  (See Senate Years) 

Soon after being elected, we sold the business.  Then after eight years of service to the people of Graham County, we sold our Thatcher property and took ourselves back to California where Mac was struggling getting a business started of the manufacture of fireplace gas logs while going to dental school at USC.  With a little financial contribution I was able to make and the time available to me, we were able to get our product on the market.  This operation, in which we came up with different designs of log sets, swept the market on four occasions. A half-dozen other manufacturers bought our logs from stores and copied them each time.  Nevertheless, we kept the upper hand, dominating the market with new creations.  This very successful business occupied my attention for about seventeen years.  Then, my grandson, Dal, took it over in 1981 and operated successfully until it was sold in 1988. 

During the fireplace gas log, business years we resided in Pasadena where the business was located.  Though we remained members of the Pasadena Stake we had membership in three different wards – the Pasadena, the East Pasadena, and the San Marino wards.   We were always active and held many positions.  One of these I enjoyed to the Nth degree, and dispared at leaving it when we moved to Newport Beach in 1985.  For three years previous to the move, I had served as editor of the ward news letter, run off about every other week.  It soon expanded from a one or two page flyer to a seven to ten page news paper.  With a willing staff we covered every tiny event that might occur during the week.  We even had an editorial page, and each quorum and auxiliary was represented on the staff.  Not to brag, but President Muns, our stake president, said ours was the first and only successful ward news letter he had ever seen.  The ward historian practically copied it verbatim to make his annual historical report   I still have a copy of every issue in a large three hole binder. 

During these years, continuing a tradition my oldest son had set during the four previous years, we hosted the extended family and many of their and our special friends at the annual Rose Parade on 17 occasions.  It became my job to set up as many as fifty seats along the rout which ran only a couple of blocks from our Villa Street home.  Such wonderful entertainment that ended with poor Jo feeding forty or fifty in the back yard around the pool.  It had become a wonderful family tradition hard to give up. 

In 1985 we sold our Pasadena property and moved to Newport beach.  Again we had come full circle.  One of the reasons we are back was to keep a promise made to Jo when we left so many years before, that some day I would bring her back to the water-front that she so loved. 

I have had the same job in the Corona Del Mar Ward for the nearly eleven years while we have lived here – home teacher and ward representative for the church magazines and news.  While complaining to the Bishop about my extended stay, all he said was , ”Well, if you expected to be released in four or five years, why did you do such a good Job?” 

Our oldest, Darvil David (Mac), married Linda Ann Larson of San Grabriel, California.  She was born August 28, 1935.  Her parents are Lloyd Anthone, born June 24, 1900 in  Fay, close to Pioche Nevada, but  raised in Utah; and Dora Isabelle Hicken, born June 28, 1901, in Heber City, Utah.  Mac and Linda have eight children – five sons, three daughters, 12 grandchildren and one great-grandchild.  (Linda and DeNell have taken in stray kids like some adopt stray cats.)  All of Mac’s five boys and one of the strays filled missions.  Also, the stray’s children think of them as their grandparents, and Mac and Linda treat them like their own, so that makes nine more.  Presently, they live in Corona, California, where they have resided for over 30 years.  Because of an injury high in the neck, other health problems and surgery, Mac was forced to retire from 30 years of practice in dentistry.  Much improved, both are embarking on their own pet projects of new businesses.  Their five married children were married in the temple and are active, holding responsible positions.  The three single ones, are working and going to school, and all of them are active and have callings in the Church too. 

“Jon” Robert, married DeNell Louise Crismon of Mesa, Arizona.  She was born August 15, 1937 in Mesa, Arizona.  Her parents are David Edward, born December 25, 1915 in Mesa, and Nellie Campbell, born September 15, 1919 in Cambridge, Massachusetts.  Jon is a pilot for DHL Airways, a carrier service, and DeNell works for American Arlines.  They presently live in Villa Hills, Kentucky, just across the Ohio State line from the Cincinnati Airport from where he flies and she works.  They have ten children – five sons, five daughters, and  17 grandchildren.  Four of his boys and one daughter have filled missions.  The six married, were married in the temple and each are active with responsible church positions.  The younger ones are in middle school, high school or college and are happily engaged in a myriad of Church and school activities. 

Sally Jo, married James Gregory Porter, born October  6, 1936 in Solomonville, Arizona.  Jim”s parents are Glen H., born October 16, 1903, in Bryce, Arizona, and Wanda “Maude” Marshall, born August 26, 1910 in Eden, Arizona.  Sally and Jim had had three boys and adopted an infant baby girl.  Two of her boys filled missions and three of her four children have been married in the temple.  Sally has 20 grandchildren.  Her subsequent marriage to Herschel Butterfield, finally brought real happiness into her life.  Hersch has four children, two boys, two girls and 7 grandchildren.  The three married, were married in the temple.  Two of his boys and one girl filled missions and all are active and responsible in the church.   Hersh was born April 21, 1938 in Murray, Utah.  His parents are George Jefferson, born 1888, in Herriman, Utah, and Edna  Marie Naylor, born in South Jordan, Utah.

At this point, we have 28 grandchildren, 60 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild.                                     


To conclude 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 Jo’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: 

Through 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. 

We believe 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. 

What an 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 others. 

Likewise  we stand obligated to express the following:  Although we have chosen to bear our testimonies as a team, 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 “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 extended family represent.  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. .

Sometimes our 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: 

“And now, 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!” 

though we 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! 

To these things we jointly testify and signature.       Darvil B. McBride       Josephine “Phillips” McBride
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? 

“Envy” and “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 prior to forgiving them is a form of revenge.  Simply, it is a subtle but real form of pride in disguise.  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.

Immorality in 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 fine friends.  Immorality prowls about behind many pretty masks.  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 you.

Love your Aunt Jo and Uncle Darvil.


Extracted from a tribute written for Orlando Jr. about his father, Orlando Sims McBride, by his oldest sister, Clara Gladys McBride Stewart:  “I always thought there was quite a bond between Orlando and Ruthie.  When Ruthie was real ill in the hospital in Phoenix, and our family had just learned that her illness was serious, Frankie and I were visiting her, and while we were sitting beside the bed she said to us, ‘Orlando was her today.  (Orlando died nearly eight years prior to Ruthie’s passing away.)  He asked me why I didn’t come over here with him.  He said there was lots of work for us to do.  I told him maybe I would be with him a little later, but would wait awhile.’  This was about six weeks before the leukemia that claimed her life took her away from us.  She was under sedation a lot, but was perfectly rational when she told us this—just like he might have been in a neighboring town or somewhere near.” 

What’s In a Name 

My sister, who passed away June 2, 1955 was two years six months older than I.  Her name was Ruby Ruth; but we called her, affectionately, “Ruthie”.  A short time before her death (of leukemia) my brother Darvil and I visited her in the hospital in Phoenix.  She had requested us to administer to her; which we did, asking only that the Lord’s will be done; if He willed to take her, let her go in peace.  How we loved our dear sister. 

How sad we were at her passing as she left a husband and two young children, Ella Ruth and Charles Edward (Petie); saddened also as we thought of our mother, who at this juncture had laid to rest a husband, an infant son (Stanley) a mature son (Orlando) and now a mature daughter, besides her own parents. 

In recent times Ruthie had been a real comfort to Mother, having asked her to come often and spend time with the family in their lovely home in Phoenix.  A dutiful daughter, Ruthie had given Mother much needed companionship and looked after many of her needs. 

Slender and stately in demeanor, with an unusually gentle disposition, Ruthie was indeed a precious jewel, the name “Ruby” being especially suited to such a one as she.  From childhood, I remember how Ruthie excelled in everything she did: In school, an “A” student; in church, true to the faith; as a Business secretary, highly efficient; as a wife and parent, passionately devoted.  Ruthie was highly endowed in the twin talents of acting and dramatic reading, always in demand for parts in local theatrical performances and dramatic recitals.  I well remember when I was in the fourth grade, (she in the sixth) she came into our room and gave a thrilling recital of Edgar Allen Poe’s, “The Bells”.  At about the same age, (13 years) she recited, on a church program, “The Night Before Christmas.”  And there were many others. 

As to her preparation to leave this frail existence, Ruthie was extremely courageous, spiritually attuned, and trusting to divine providence.  Compared to Ruthie, I would rate myself -- a sluggard. 

The Cap Pistol Caper:  I remember an incident that made me out even worse than the latter epithet implies.  When I was six years old, and Ruthie eight, plus, we decided to save our money together.  Our pennies went into a small jar we kept on the cupboard shelf.  With great diligence and sacrifice we had accumulated the astronomical sum of fifty-cents.  Seeing all that wealth in the bottom of the jar became an invitation to purchase something I desperately wanted -- a cap pistol.  Without batting an eye, I took the money and bought the cap pistol, a roll of caps and a fair supply of candy.  As a mere six-year-old I don’t believe I thought of it as stealing, because upon bringing home the ill-gotten loot I proudly displayed it to all and offered some of the candy to my partner in finance. You may well imagine how that magnanimous gesture went over with Ruthie -- and my mother.  Ruthie was forgiving; but that event ended any further thought of a joint savings account.

I believe I was required to pick and sell figs from our two trees to come up with the “two-bits” -- Ruthie’s share that I had purloined from the jar. 

Selfless Act:  After Ruthie had married and moved from Thatcher, she and Russell, her husband, were especially liberal in sending gifts back home.  One gift that we all thought extra special was an electric clock.  Mother gave it a prominent spot on the mantel above the fireplace.  In those days (could have been as early as 1938) an electric clock was something of rarity, at least in our “neck of the woods.”  (Not many years had passed since Floyd had wired our house for electricity.)  And what a beautiful piece it was, a constant reminder of generous givers.  For certain, in uncounted ways, Ruthie was a “giver”; only rarely a   “taker”.

A further example of the generosity of Ruthie and Russsell occurred years later when I sustained a serious leg injury on the job in Ajo, Arizona.  After a considerable length of time in the local hospital, I was sent to a specialist in Phoenix for therapy, that I might regain the use of my leg.  For a period of weeks I stayed in their home as I made daily trips to the therapist.  Thanks to them I was saved considerable expense and was in a position to receive proper car for the injury.  Since their two children were grown, I have contacted Ella Ruth a few times.  She is enough like her mother in appearance, bearing and disposition, that I have had the startling, though pleasant impression of being in the presence of my dear sister.  Ella Ruth must be aware she is of a truth, in the image of a “Ruby.”









Arizona became a State of the Union in 1912.  I was born the following year, August 14, 1913, at a place in the Gila Valley that was often referred to as “Lizard Bump.”  It had a better name -- Fairview -- but since it was little more than a bump in the road, and there were a lot of lizards running around among the mesquite trees, the cactus and creosote bushes, the nickname seemed appropriate.  It could just as well have been called “rattlesnake, something-or-other,” because there were plenty of them too.  But it was a gentle spot and lizards are harmless little creatures, so “Lizard Bump” seemed about right.  Eventually the name was changed to Glenbar. 

I am the seventh child in the family of nine children of my parents, Robert Franklin McBride and Clara Sims.  Their children are, in the order of their births: Gladys, Floyd, Leonard, Orlando, Darvil, Ruth, Bruce, Stanley and Frankie.  (Stanley died in infancy). 

When three years old my father was appointed as Deputy to the Sheriff of Graham County, in consequence of which we moved ten miles up the river to Safford, the County Seat.  The following year he was elected Sheriff, (1917).  After little more than a year in office, tragedy struck our family and others, when he and his two trusted deputies, Martin Kempton and Kane Wooten, were killed in the line of duty by the infamous Power Brothers, Feb. 10, 1918.  (No details here; an event well documented in Arizona’s history).  Very soon we moved to Thatcher, a few miles to the west.  Thatcher, a Mormon settlement since its inception in 1883, is where our family grew up.  Over the succeeding years my mother turned down opportunities to remarry.  The manner in which this slip of a woman accomplished the Herculean task of single-handedly raising her large family to become honorable men and women, has earned for her a station that only the angels can know. 

My home was in Thatcher for the next twenty years.  While not in school or church I would usually be found in some outdoor activity involving the desert, the mountain or the river.  Mount Graham held a special attraction for me, where I would hike, and camp and fish.  I often felt compelled to cross the next canyon and top the next ridge, if for no other reason than to see what was on the other side. 

I have heard it said that a person is largely a product of his environment, and that the early years of one’s life have the greatest impact on his destiny.  Old Jake Holiday, one of my more disreputable acquaintances, put it more to the point in his homely word of wisdom:  “If you want to know how come you are the way you are, just take a look at where you lived and what you did as a kid growin’ up.”(That’s the Gospel according to No-Saint Jake.)

With these thoughts in mind I surmise that I must be the product of mesquite and cactus deserts, a two-mile-high mountain, and a stream of muddy water.  That’s a fair appraisal of the physical environment of the section of Southeastern Arizona where I spent my youth. 

I went through the scouting program and gained the rank of Eagle and the Silver Palm.  Eugene Mangum and I were the first in our troop to attain the rank of Eagle. 

I finished high school in the year 1931 and enrolled the same year at Gila Junior College in Thatcher, graduating the spring of 1933.  Two of my closest acquaintances during this time were Alvin Cazer from Ely, Nevada and Ray pace from Hayden, Arizona. 

Some of the most memorable experiences of my life were during the summer of 1933.  I decided to accompany Al Cazer to his home in Nevada for the summer.  The only means of transportation we could afford was by freight train.  We were several days and nights on the road, and when Al’s dad met us in Ely, Nevada, we were pretty sad looking characters indeed, having endured several unusual experiences.  Al’s folks lived on a cattle ranch about 30 miles north of Ely, and during my stay there that summer we did a great deal of riding  and camping.  I helped them “salt” the range then went on a round-up which lasted about two weeks.  I learned more than ever before about roping, tying and branding cattle. 

Before the summer was over I made the return trip to Arizona, but this time by myself, as Al decided to remain on the ranch.  I had six dollars in my pocket when I started home.  I made it to Caliente by highway, about 200 miles distance.  From there I caught a freight train to Las Vegas.  In that city there were literally hundreds of transients who were stranded.  There were armed guards riding on top of each train to prevent anyone getting on.  I went alone about a mile to the end of the railroad yards and waited.  About dusk a train pulled out going rather slow through the yards.  As the engine passed me, I swung on at the rear of the first car.  The guard spotted me and waved his gun, but I stayed put out of sight.  The train picked up speed and after traveling into the desert about 50 miles, stopped at a small mining operation to pick up a car of ore.  The guard forced me away from the train and I was left behind. 

About ten o’clock that night I heard another train coming.  There was a slight up-grade here and fortunately it was not going at excessive speed.  I said a little prayer, let the engine and a few cars pass, then running as fast as I could, looked around and caught hold of the ladder rung of a box car.  I was literally jerked off my feet and swung hard against the side of the car, but I had a firm hold and was safe aboard. 

The next morning I discovered I was the only “hobo” on that train.  No one else had been successful in making it out of Las Vegas.  Neither were there any guards; and the brakemen did not bother me.  I rode all alone across the hot deserts of Nevada and California with no opportunity of getting anything to eat, arriving in Colton, California that evening.  Just outside Colton, I found myself in a real hobo jungle.  I was invited into a little hut and handed a spoon.  There were about six men seated in a circle with a gallon can of blackberries in the middle.  Each person had a spoon and we all dipped into the can until the berries were all gone.  A loaf of bread was also shared by the group.  A tasty meal. 

That night I lay down in the corner on a piece of cardboard.  It got a little cold and one of the “Bindle Stiffs” tossed me a blanket from his “balloon.”  At four o’clock in the morning I caught the next train. 

More of California and then through Yuma, Arizona and on to Phoenix.  I caught rides on the highway from Phoenix and got home July 3, a little the worse from the wear and tear of the journey, but glad to be home after only spending two dollars during the four days. 

In October of 1933 I enlisted with the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps), and spent approximately six months encamped on Mount Graham.  During this time we were building roads and trails and erosion dams to conserve the water shed.  Part of the time we were encamped at treasure Park and the remainder of the time at Noon Creek.  My older brother, Leonard , was also in the CCC.  We were quartered in the same barracks and had many memorable times together.  He was a crew leader, a “Forty-five dollar man”.  The general wage was $30 per month (Depression wages). 

In the fall of 1934 I started school at the University of Arizona in Tucson, sharing a house with several others from the Gila Valley.  I completed the first semester and was obliged to leave school because of lack of funds and poor grades in some subjects. 

It will be remembered that these were the depression years and there was very little work to be found.  I left Tucson, as might be expected, by freight train, arriving in Phoenix with only a few dollars.  I got a job for a limited time with an ice company, taking ice out of storage and loading it on to trucks bound for the lettuce packing sheds.  However, I was anxious to get back home thinking perhaps I could do better somewhere closer to home. 

I arrived home the latter part of April, 1935, but found very little to keep me occupied around the valley.  Another friend, Otis Ray, who had been going to school in Tempe, Arizona, influenced me to go with him to his home in Sharon, Mississippi.  We left Safford June 17, hitching trains all the way. 

At one time on this trip we were stranded at a watering tank fifteen miles outside El Paso, Texas, having been escorted by the railroad guards, at gun point, away from the train as it pulled out.  Late that evening, about dusk, a passenger train stopped to take on water.  It suddenly occurred to Otis and me: here was our opportunity.  The moment the train started we made a run and got on between the engine tender and the first car, the “blinds.“  By morning we were obliged to abandon the passenger train for the slower means of transportation, the freight, which we rode all day, arriving in Marshall, Texas in the evening.  Here again we caught the passenger train, riding the blinds into  Shreveport, Louisiana.  More freight trains and more experiences we were finally in Canton, Mississippi and then to Ray’s place in Sharon.  At this place in the country, called “Ray Town”, the people were extremely poor: conditions almost primitive.  My stay in Sharon with the Ray’s and their relatives and friends is recounted in a diary which I kept from day to day.  Suffice it to say I met some nice people, had an enjoyable time and learned much about the Deep South, its customs and its people. 

On the return trip we took a different route across Texas.  We swung south through Houston and San Antonio, then through Hondo, Del Rio and to El Paso.  Here again we had some unusual experiences 

In Hondo we were not well received.  As we were resting near the school house the sheriff advised us not to spend the night in town.  Consequently we walked out on the highway, as though we were leaving, but instead waited under a tree near the tracks until about midnight, when we caught the freight train.  In Del Rio the civil authorities met the train and would not allow anyone to get off, which suited us just fine.  As usual I was glad to be back home, and as usual mother was greatly relieved knowing I was safe and had not been in any trouble.  True, I had safely survived a number of life threatening situations, including the hazards of catching fast moving trains and sleeping in hobo jungles, and had learned to stay out of trouble by putting up my hands and being obedient when guns were pointed at me.  Perhaps as life threatening as anything was the food in Ray Town, consisting primarily of lima beans and sow belly, cold coon and collards. 

Part of the remainder of this summer I worked on some relief projects and earned a few dollars building erosion dams in the washes and ravines on the water shed south of the valley.  One day during lunch hour, one of the boys about my age began sounding off about his ability as a wrestler.  Someone on the crew knowing that I had at least a fair ability at this sport ventured the thought that I might take him on.  I said I wasn’t interested.  But, encouraged by others of the crew, he gave me an outright challenge.  So the encounter began. 

I wasn’t about to come to grips with him since he was bigger than I by three inches and 20 pounds.  With a quick maneuver of one foot I knocked his feet from under him and he hit the ground hard.  We squared off again and this time a little different technique brought the same results.  But he came up again, and this time we came to grips with each other.  Soon we were both on the ground, stirring up quite a commotion in the rocks and bushes.  But my opponent didn’t have much wind left in his sails after the first two falls and it wasn’t too difficult to pin him down.  After this the noisy one wasn’t noisy anymore and we heard no more about wrestling. 

I was ordained an Elder in the Melchizedec Priesthood October 12, 1935, by Bishop Udall and was called on a mission to Texas this same month.  During the next two years I traveled extensively throughout the state of Texas doing missionary work in most of its principal cities and in many small towns and in the country.  On several occasions we traveled in the country without purse or scrip, depending upon those whom we contacted for food and lodging.  I had many faith promoting experiences and enjoyed some of the spiritual gifts such as faith, knowledge, discernment, charity and healing. 

One of my companions had a guitar.  When we would hold cottage meetings we would often entertain by singing some of the church hymns.  Elder Hansen did well with the lead; I struggled with the bass. 

Our transportation method was primarily by hitch hiking on the high ways -- sometimes by train or bus.  I kept a record: 11,400 miles by hitch  hiking, 5,000 miles by train or bus. 

During the summer months in Texas, the accepted style of headdress for men was straw hats (stiff, and flat tops).  The standing joke was that, come winter, we would shred the straw hats and eat them for breakfast -- not bad with cream and sugar. 

Soon after returning from my mission I met Velda Norton.  Velda is the youngest in the family of John Edward Norton and Mary Etta Webster, both of whom were among the Latter-day Saint groups who came into the Gila Valley during the pioneer period.  Her brothers and sisters in order are Ted, Loyd, Ida, Hazel, Laura, Dee, Riley and Erma.  Their home was in Central, Arizona, but for many years the family owned and operated a goat ranch in the Arivaipa Canyon country.  Velda’s youth was spent either at the ranch or on the farm in Central.  She remembers well the rough gravel roads as she walked barefoot nearly a mile to school or to the country store and Post Office.  Her favorite enjoyment was riding her pony, “Peanuts”, always accompanied by “Boots”, her faithful dog.  The latter attended school as faithfully as did his mistress.  When Velda graduated from the eighth grade, Boots was properly dressed for the occasion and received a diploma along with the other students.  Velda was just out of high school when we met at a dance in Safford.  Oh happy day!  After a brief courtship we were married September 19, 1938 at her home in Central, Arizona.  At the time I was working as a motion picture projectionist for the Long Theater at Safford.  Soon we transferred to Ajo, Arizona where I managed one of Mr. Long’s Theaters for a period of three years.  Our first child, Patricia Layne was born October 13, 1939. 

At this time only a few Mormon families lived in Ajo.  Soon after our arrival a small branch was organized in which both Velda and I filled multiple assignments: teaching classes, public speaking, missionary work, etc.. Malin Lewis, a returned missionary was called as branch president, to serve for a time without counselors.  I was called as branch clerk, and worked closely with Malin in the early affairs of the church there. 

On March 8, 1941, I left the theater business and took a job with the Phelps Dodge Mining Co. as a helper on an overhead line crew.  I applied myself and studied much.  At the end of two years I was a qualified lineman and electrician.           

By the beginning of 1944, the United States had been at war with Japan and Germany a little over two years.  I was drafted into the Navy, March 14, 1944.  There followed, boot camp in San Diego, California, Radio Technician School in Chicago, Illinois, Electrician Mate School in Gulfport, Mississippi.  I was retained as an instructor in the latter school for the next year, and was finally discharged from the Navy at Shelton, Virginia, January 5, 1946. 

Now back in Ajo, I took my old job back with the Phelps Dodge Corp.  A change over in the method of ore haulage from the open pit mine to the crushers now got underway.  The change was from steam powered to electric powered locomotives.  I was made foreman in charge of constructing the overhead feeder and trolley lines to power the new engines, a project of no mean proportions. 

Velda and I returned to our activities in the church.  Our second child, Steven Bruce was born in Ajo, June 5, 1947.  By this time the branch membership had doubled and we began a program for raising funds to build a chapel.  I accompanied President Lewis to Los Angeles where our plans were submitted to the mission president, Oscar McConkie.  He was favorably impressed and agreed to “consult the presiding brethren.”  Back home in Ajo we purchased a cement mixer and a brick-making machine and started forthwith to make concrete bricks.  As it developed, the Phelps Dodge Corp. donated a parcel of land, the church approved the project, moneys were donated and otherwise appropriated and the project moved ahead. 

However, Velda and I in seeking “greener pastures,” moved to Wilmington California where I went into a bicycle and washing machine repair business with my brother, Darvil.  Our third child, Leora Jo was born at the hospital in Long Beach, California, November 10, 1948.  Very soon it became evident that our venture in Wilmington was not a profitable one, so I took a Civil Service examination with the city of Los Angeles, passed with an excellent grade and was soon working as a lineman for that city’s Department of Water and Power, beginning November 16, 1949.  We moved immediately to Van Nuys in the San Fernando Valley, an outlying section of Los Angeles.  Our fourth and last child, Robert Kane, was born in Van Nuys, California, September 15, 1954. 

Incidentally, we kept in touch with the saints in Ajo.  The branch meeting house was completed.  Church membership increased, resulting in a ward being organized and the construction of a new ward house. 

I worked for the Department of Water and Power twenty seven and a half years, during which time I advanced from lineman to patrolman and eventually into supervision, as foreman of overhead line crews, retiring in May 1977.  During this time we lived at several different locations: Van Nuys, Reseda and Northridge.  I took some night courses and secured a vocational teaching credential with the Los Angeles Trade Technical College, where I taught two nights a week, a course for electrical craft helpers.  Velda and I held many responsible positions in the church.  I filled a two-year Stake Mission and served for a time as the Bishop’s counselor in the Northridge Ward, then as Bishop of that ward.  These were years of phenomenal growth of the church in California.  It was our privilege to contribute with labor and finances to the construction of four new ward houses, as well as the Los Angeles Temple. 

When Robert became a Boy Scout, he and I took up backpacking, an outdoor activity I pursued in earnest during the next dozen years; first with Robert and his scout troop and later with my older son Steven, and Son-in-law, Larry Logan.  The norm was a week or ten days in the Sierras covering distances between 35 miles and 70 miles over trails and cross-country. 

Velda could never be induced to trail camping, not even in moderation.  Her stock statement was, “I don’t care how far into the wilderness I get, as long as I can sleep in a motel and eat in a restaurant.” 

Velda went into the Answering Service business.  She owned Answering Services successively in San Fernando, Grenada Hills, Mission Hills, Canoga Park and Simi, retiring in 1983. 

During these many years in the San Fernando Valley our children had grown to maturity.  Layne married Lawrence Edward Logan.  Their children are Cheryl Ann, Catherine Marie, and Michael Edward.  One of her primary interests is genealogical research. 

About our children: 

Steven filled a two-year mission in Texas.  He received his degree in civil engineering at Brigham Young University and joined the Air Force Reserves.  He married Barbara Bailey, and their children are Bridget Nicole, Troy Steven, and Dustin Tyler.  His second marriage is to Julie Ann Soderquist.  He is a pilot  for United Air Lines and works part time as an engineer for The California Highway Department.  Steve is also still in the Air Force Reserves, and has attained the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. 

Leora Jo attended B.Y.U., Hawaii and married Rabindra Narayan.  Their children are Andrea Lee and Jacob Rabindra.  Leora’s second marriage was to Eddie Lee Sheets.  Their children are Seth DeWayne and Spencer William.  This marriage too was terminated at no fault to her.  She presently lives in Lafayette, Colorado. 

Robert completed high school and then moved to Colorado where he worked as a Security Officer for industrial firms.  Robert is an ardent student of the scriptures and gospel themes.  He has served faithfully in many capacities in the church.  He is an excellent teacher, having taught classes for the youth, priessthood quorums and the Gospel Doctrine course.  He has a great musical talent.  He has also served as ward clerk.  In our home ward in Northridge, California Robert was called to officiate in baptisms for the dead.  He fulfilled this calling so extensively and faithfully that his Quorum President dubbed him “Bob the Baptist.”

In July of 1985 we sold our home in Northridge and moved to Newport Beach, Ca.  There we lived near Darvil and Josephine.  (My brother and his wife.)  Thanks to the able assistance and cooperation of our wives, Darvil and I were able to co-author the family history and genealogy, “Against Great Odds -- The Story of the McBride Family”,  a Herculean project which consumed the bulk of our time and effort for three to four years.  Darvil and I gratefully acknowledge the efforts of others who had gone before.  Had not the ground work been laid by such faithfuls as our Aunt Laura McBride Smith, a cousin, Florence McBride Turley, and most recently, a sister, Gladys McBride Stewart, the family book would never have attained the excellence and the acclaim it enjoys today.

Subsequently, Velda and I moved to Tucson, Arizona, where we reside at this writing, September, 1994.  Velda serves as Librarian at the Bonanza Ward.  I am teaching the Gospel Doctrine Class in Sunday School.  Robert, yet unmarried has recently moved from Longmont Colorado, is locally employed and is living with us.  We have ten grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Velda and I have just observed our fifty-sixth wedding anniversary.  She is seventy-three and I am eighty-one.  We are in good health and enjoying associations with family and friends.  My favorite pastimes are writing short stories and hiking.  Carrying only lunch and water, I continue to hike the trails of the desert and nearby mountains.  I love the desert environment, and I have determined that a six or eight mile hike keeps the juices flowing and my joints from creaking. 

I’ve extracted the following from “Twenty Degrees and Stretching,” a short story, and accurate, account I penned of  in 1979:  The day after Christmas of 1977, with a friend, I’d gone into the San Gabriel Mountains north of Los Angeles to see the snow and take a little hike.  Upon parking the car I started across the road.  My first step onto the thin, black ice covering the road resulted in a slip.  Crashing to the road I landed so as to take much of my weight on my right arm, spraining the wrist and hand and jarring the arm into the shoulder socket.  My friend drove me home and to the doctor who pronounced it a minor injury.  However, after two weeks of disuse, bursitis set in, depriving me of 90% use of the limb.  A frozen shoulder became my plight, and incessant pain my constant companion. 

I visited the doctor, then a specialist on many occasions and began attending physical therapy sessions three times a week. The pain only became worse as I tried to slake it with prescription drugs.  I continued with painful home exercise after excruciating sessions with the therapist, even submerged in a hot pool.  Cortisone shots, changes of prescription, and the caring therapist, all in vain, for the discomfort and movement  failed to improve, and the pain continued to drain me.  Unable to do a hundred menial things which I’d taken for granted before, such as buttoning, zipping, tying laces or turning a doorknob, I languished in the predicament.  I was unable to raise my hand further than the top of my ear and couldn’t put my right hand to my back pocket to extract my wallet.  The standing joke with my brother was that whenever the check was presented after a restaurant dinner, I had real difficulty getting my wallet out. 

Weeks became months and I became despondent, beginning to feel sorry for myself.  I lapsed into depression because of recurring thoughts of being destined for life to unrelenting pain of a crippled hand arm and shoulder.  Faithful to the letter regarding doctor’s instructions, exercise, therapy treatments and taking medicines, I prayed always for help.  However, as deep discouragement swept over me after enduring the crippling effects, and now intense emotional disturbance, my tack changed  to a now -- desperate fervency in prayer. 

At the end of May, five months since the “minor injury,” I offered up my plea, “Dear God, let thy healing influence be with me.  Give me a strong right arm that I may better serve thee.”  I re-examined my faith and feelings.  I had always believed in miracles and had felt the hand of the Lord many times in my life.  I wasn’t asking for an immediate healing, but rather that the hands of the little Danish therapist be guided and that I would begin to respond to treatment.  I didn’t expect it to be easy or painless.  “Just let the process begin,” I pleaded. 

That was Wednesday afternoon.  I called my home teacher, who was our bishops first counselor, and told him I needed help.  Would he please bring someone with him the next day and administer to me.  He agreed that he would.  Possibly he could have the Bishop accompany him.  That would be fine.  I had hoped he might suggest that.  I planned to fast the next day to be spiritually prepared for a blessing. 

The Lord had a different plan.  At Nine o’clock that evening there came a knock at the door.  It was the good bishop.  I assumed that my home teacher had told him of my request and that they had decided to meet at my home that night instead of waiting for tomorrow.  Had he given him that message?  “No,” he said, “I just felt impressed to come by and see you.  Apparently I got the message all right, but it didn’t come from you home teacher. 

We talked.  I explained my dilemma to him, most of which he was already familiar with.  He sensed my despondency.  He referred to a scripture from the Doctrine and Covenants, a revelation given to the Prophet Joseph Smith, after he had suffered greatly through all manner of afflictions heaped upon him by his enemies, and after languishing many months in the vile prisons of Missouri.  Through revelation he was told, “All these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good.”  And yet in a little while he would come off triumphant. “The Son of Man hath descended below them all.  Art thou greater than he?” 

The good man then administered to me, rebuking the infirmities which had come upon me, and pronouncing a blessing in the name of the Lord that “the adhesions would be torn asunder,” and the healing process would begin.  He asked further that the pain would diminish to the point I could bear the work that had to be done.  My spirits began to soar as the bishop departure. 

That night I enjoyed my first good night’s sleep in weeks, and the pain had actually begun to subside.  I made my regular visit to physical therapy on Thursday.  The therapist put me through the usual routine of massage and stretching, and said she could finally feel something giving in the shoulder.  She thought some of the adhesions were giving way, and she could move the arm a little farther.  I was elated. 

The same occurred Friday at the next session.  The little Dane’s sensitive perception told her of definite improvement.  It was time to see the doctor again.  The doctor said: “You have improved.  You have regained 20 degrees!  The muscles are stretching.  I am encouraged with your progress.” 

I was ten feet tall.  I felt I had gained those 20 degrees improvement of motion in just two days.  There was still a lot of work to do; but the struggle was easier now that the pain was gone.  Normal use and exercise would strengthen the muscles, and complete restoration of my shoulder, arm and hand would finally come about.  I knew clearly to whom to give credit.   

By Darvil David (Mac) McBride:  While visiting with Leonard to gather family history, I told him that Bruce had recounted the story of how he had been with him on a deer hunt, and it was his first experience to see a deer taken during a hunt.  I told him of how much he appreciated the special attention and experiences with his big brother, and, how he looked up to him and loved him for the time he’d spent with him.  Leonard fell silent, his eyes softened, and he gazed into space for several seconds as he pondered my words.  Then, with dampness in his eyes, in a throaty subdued voice, he said, “Well of course, he’s my little brother.” 

August 1996: Since compiling and submitting the foregoing pages of my personal history, I have had cause to reflect many times on the events of my life.  I realize that what I have written is but a synopsis of an eventful life.  As the saying goes, “A lot of water has gone under the bridge” since “Lizard Bumps” (Fairview/Glenbar). 

I am now eighty-three (83) years of age, and in light of my experiences, (many of them not detailed in this history) and many of them not only exciting but hazardous, I marvel that I have lived to tell the story.  I believe that except for divine providence, my life could have been taken on any one of numerous occasions.  Reckless?  No; adventurous? Yes!  By the measure of some, a little too adventurous. 

My mother spoke often of “Guardian Angels” and the hand of the Lord in the lives of those with faith in Him.  These things I have always believed, and have put a lot of trust in what the Lord might have in store for me, and my loved ones.  With these feelings have come the assurance that my life has had a purpose after all, though not always sure just what that purpose might be (modesty is a virtue, they say). 

Especially have I been blessed with a lovely wife; beautiful, patient, devoted, and willing to be of service to others; the love of the my life.  Except for her energy and ambition to successfully conduct a small business (Telephone Answering Services) we would probably have been unable to do many of the things that we have done for our family.  Velda is a prime example of a wife and mother who can be successful both inside and outside the home.  She was there and capable at the time we felt it necessary. 

These pages I have written for both of us, especially for the benefit of our children and nieces and nephews and their descendants.  Be it known that the gospel of Jesus Christ has been the dominant factor in our lives.  I cannot imagine what our lives would have been if not having been raised by noble and believing parents, and if together we had not stayed close to the Lord’s true church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  Together we bear fervent testimony of the restoration of the gospel through the Prophet Joseph Smith. 

To be brief to these three primary truths, we bear testimony, the Holy Ghost being our witness, 1) “Jesus Christ is truly the Savior, having wrought out the atonement and all that pertains and results therefrom; 2) the gospel and Christ’s church have been restored through the latter-day prophet; 3) the Book of Mormon is true, another testament of the divine mission of the Savior.  To read its pages and ask in faith for a witness is unfailing in receiving this testament. 

Velda and I would like to pass on to our posterity and all who read these pages that if one will order his/her life with the ideals springing from these basic truths, he/she will surely be on the right path, have a firm hold on “the Iron Rod” which leads to the “Tree of Life”, to partake of its precious fruit. 

We humbly bear witness by the Holy Spirit, which is the spirit of prophecy

With malice toward none; and charity to all…. 

Bruce and Velda McBride

  "STANLEY GAGE MCBRIDE                                    

Stanley Gage, The favored One -- by Bruce Lane McBride:  My brother Stanley was eighteen months old when he died on March 26, 1917.  I was a little more than two years and a month older than he.  Yes, I do remember him to the extent that that I knew he was there.  I was well aware that he was my little brother and have recollection especially of the day he was buried.  Someone (it must have been my mother) explained to me that he was placed in a deep hole in the earth, and that he would not be with us anymore. 

In an absolute sense however, Stanley has been a part of our family’s life.  Our mother often spoke of him, as she did of our Dad and the others who had gone before.  She often expressed her belief in a life here-after. 

As touching the baby she had lost, I am sure she was aquatinted with the doctrine taught by the Latter-day Prophet, Joseph Smith.  He said, “...all children who die before they arrive at the age of accountability, are saved in the Celestial Kingdom of Heaven.  He also taught: “The Lord takes many away, even in infancy, that they may escape the envy of man, and the sorrows and evils of this present world; they were too pure, too lovely, to live on earth.  ...The only difference between the old and the young dying is, the one lives longer in heaven and eternal light and glory than the other, and is freed a little sooner from the miserable, wicked world.”  (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, Deseret Book Co., 1965, pp 107, 196, 197) 

These are gospel truths, not just noble thoughts or wishful thinking.  As strange as it may seem to most of us, those who die young may be, after all, the “favored” ones.


I was born in Thatcher, Arizona, April 13, 1918, just two months after the death of my father, Robert Franklin McBride, the sheriff of Graham County. 

I can surely say that my childhood days were happy ones.  I was not subjected to the mourning  of my father’s death as were my mother and brothers and sisters, for I never knew him.  However, as I grew older I became more acquainted with my father by hearing about him through the family and even from many other people wherever I would go.  There have been times in my life I knew I felt his presence. 

Memories of my childhood include such people as my Grandpa and Grandma Peter Howard and Ruth Burns McBride, Grandma Susan Oyler Sims -- who lived next door -- my brothers and sisters,  my sweet mother and many friends and teachers.

Quite early I became errand girl for my Grandmother Sims spending many hours with her eating special little meals she would prepare for just us two, and I even had the privilege of reading to her.  I did not know Grandpa Samuel John Sims, for he died while I was very young.  My family told me that he used to play with me and carry me around as he went about doing his work.  I understand he passed away when I was about two years old.  Here in the Valley I often see buildings made of brick that he built -- including his own home just across the fence  from our home (Josephine Phillips father, David Dee purchased it.) and a few others in the extended area. 

Grandmother Sims became disabled so we moved her to our home to take care of her.  I like to recall this little story about her often to my self and others, for I still get a good laugh over it.  Grandmother was unable to do anything for herself, and one night after mother had gone through the usual routine of getting her to bed, caring for every little need, tucking her in so securely, she then turned the lamp down low so Grandmother could go to sleep, and finally being able to leave the room after the ordeal, anxious for her own much needed rest, she was beckoned within minutes to return -- by the familiar call -- “Ah Clara, Ah Clara, Ah Clara.”  Mother stepped to the door and said, “What is it Ma?”  And on this occasion Grandmother said, “One of my toes is crossed, will you uncross it for me?”      

None other was ever like my wonderful Mother -- I loved her so much that I never wanted to be very far from her for any length of time.  One day my friend, Zona Mangum, a little older than I, asked my mother if I could stay over night with her.  Too shy to let my mother know I didn’t want to go, she gave her permission.  But, I got up very early in the morning before any of the others and returned home by myself.  When the Mangums discovered I was gone, they rushed over to my house to see if I was safely there, for they feared I might have  walked in my sleep and gotten lost. 

Each one of my brothers and sisters played an important part in my life for good.  We often played games at night and the boys would play tricks on me, but always in fun.  Darvil was responsible for several of the tricks played on me, but of course with the help of Bruce and sometimes Ruthie and Orlando.  One very vivid trick in my mind could be called “Shaking Hands and Feet with the King and Queen.”  Darvil, the King, and perhaps, Ruthie, the Queen, would sit side by side with a blanket spread over their laps so that only their feet could be seen.  Darvil sat on the right, with his right leg tucked back and a false leg all stuffed properly with his shoe on it, was positioned in its place.  They told me to start with Ruthie and shake each hand and foot and when I got to Darvil’s right leg I was to be less gentle and give it a hard shake.  Enjoying the game and following instructions, woe and behold, with a hard jerk of a shake, I fell over backwards to the floor holding the dismembered leg.   It’s needless to discuss the uproar it caused -- at my expense, of course. 

The trickery that takes the cake was when they made a dummy out of a shirt and pair of pants, complete with shoes and socks.  They laid it on the bed stomach down and put a puffed up pillow over what was supposed to be the head and told me it was Orlando there asleep.  They explained that he needed to be awakened, and they gave me a board and said to give him a swat, and if he didn’t wake up the first time, I was to swat him again harder.  Just a little girl, I followed their instructions and began to swat harder and harder to no avail, while they stood behind me back by the door in an uproar.    

As just a young child I can remember when the high school was being built.  We lived just down and across the street from the construction, and I would leave the house and go over to play in the trenches.  One evening while walking those trenches, I came to the big hole dug for the cesspool, and I had the feeling I wanted to jump -- because I had always wanted to know how it felt to fly.  I stood there on the edge as I sized up the whole situation.  I finally concluded that there would be no way to get back out, so I turned and ran before such a childish inclination might influence me again.    

My early education all took place in Thatcher at the Elementary school, Thatcher High School and Gila Junior College.  I then attended Arizona State Teachers College at Tempe, which in the end provided me with a decent education. 

Harvey Mangum was the principal of the elementary school.  My teachers, beginning with first grade through sixth, are as follows in respective order: Ruby Brimhall, Miss Pullium, June McBride, Miss Reed, Arthur Mercer and Mr. Mangum. 

In the third grade, Edna Brimhall introduced us to “music” -- and oh how I took to that.  She not only taught us how to sing but taught us to play the harmonica.  I was honored to be in her harmonica band, and during the summer I would walk to her house to take piano lessons.  I don’t believe I took lessons during the Winter months until I was in junior high or high school, at which time I would walk to the College after school to take lessons from Professor Wanlass.  I took them only for a short time from him.  I also had two or three lessons from Opal Moody who came to the house. 

My junior high and high school teachers were: Paul Guitteau, Mrs. Guitteau, Kathleen Kendricks, Merrill Hatch, Ella Hancock Chlarson, Orlando McBride (my brother), Evan Madsen. Beatrice Mickelson, Olive Evans, Arlene Borquist and Mr. Freestone.  At the college I was taught by J. Loyd Olpin, Monroe Clark, Ben Johnson, Evan Madsen, Johnney Riggs, Ivans Bentley, Nellie Lee, Wilda Merrill, Mr. Lorenzo, Wesley Taylor, and Bill Kauffman.  Perhaps there were others whose names I cannot recall. 

One of the highlights of my high school years and on through  junior college was belonging to a girls quartet.  With my three close friends, Jeana Allred, Jessica Udall, and Margaret Tate, we sang four-part harmony.  Our music teacher, Evan Madsen, taught us how to play the ukulele and sing as we played -- later, though we discontinued the ukuleles and usually sang acapella, but sometimes with Jesica, the talented girl that she was, accompanying us on the piano and singing her part too.  We were recognized as the “Ladies Quartet” of the college for the two years we were there.  We were invited to sing  often for wedding receptions, showers, high school and college assemblies, Lions and Rotary Club meetings, music festivals, and even funerals.

Not only did I gain quartet experience, but I was chosen to sing in the school choruses and join the “Messiah Presentation”, of the College and community chorus.  This wonderful annual presentation was first started through the influence of Mr. Evan Madsen, the music teacher at Gila Junior College.  In 1936 the first Messiah production was presented to the community, in the L.D.S. Church in Thatcher.  My future eternal companion, Z. Philip Far, “Z” for Zachariah, arrived at school that year.  I was thrilled to be a part of that wonderful experience, as was Phil.  This new handsome man soon began to capture my interest and we were both members of that first Messiah presentation.  As it happened, Phil and Spencer W. Kimball were placed next to each other singing in the tenor section.  (Fifty years slipped by and Phil and I returned to sing in the 50th Messiah there in Thatcher at the college.  Uniquely, we were recognized as the only two there who were part of the original event, and we were honored with the presentation of a special plaque for our presence.) 

Phil’s full name is Zechariah Philip Farr.  His Father, Zechariah, passed away on February 11, 1993.  His Mother was Pearl Jarvis.  She passed away December 15, 1983.  Phil is the oldest member of his family and now is 79 years old, and the only boy of the bunch.  His sisters are Amy Pearl Armstrong of Orem, Utah, Verdell Palmer of Provo, Utah, Mary Harris of Safford, and Maxine Brozo of Wolfforth, Texas.  Phil’s grandmother Farr was Mary Ballentyn and her father was Richard Ballentyn who started the first Sunday School in the church.  Phil was born in St. Johns, Arizona March 31, 1917.  His growing-up-years were spent in several places such as Lakeside, Springerville, Holbrook, and St. Johns, Arizona, Hunington, Utah and Bunkerville, Nevada.  Perhaps this is why we moved around so much.  It was easy for us to pick up and move if we thought the grass was greener on the other side of the fence. 

Phil returned to Gila for the second year of school , and as he and his friend drove into town in their topless fliver and parked on main Street in Thatcher, they spied me crossing the street by the “Big Six” store.  Phil caught up with me and asked if there was a dance anywhere in the valley that night.  I told him there was one in Safford on the Open Air Pavilion, and I told him I was going with my girl friends.   To my delight, he and his cousin-friend, Waldo Dewitt, showed up at the dance and Phil and I danced together many times that evening.  This started a real friendship and after school commenced we were both cast together in the same play, and our friendship grew into a real “love affair.” 

The following year, we both attended Arizona State Teachers College in Tempe a great experience for me, my first try away from home on my own.  School was serious yet fun, for Phil became my date for all the school activities.  He was also on the football team, added excitement for me. 

The next year, Phil stayed to graduate and receive his “bachelors degree” and I came home to work in the Agriculture Adjustment Administration office in the court house to help my mother and prepare for marriage.  On my birthday, April 13, 1940, we became engaged.  We traveled to Salt Lake City, Utah and On August 15, 1940, in the Salt Lake temple, we were sealed for time and eternity by Nikolas G. Smith.  It was a very special time -- for it was a double wedding.-- Phil’s sister, Verdell, and Miles S. Palmer were also sealed.  Phil’s parents, his sister Amy, and his Uncle Dewey and Aunt Ester Farr were present for the wedding.  Phil being older than Verdell, we were sealed first. 

On August 3, just a few days before the marriage, I was honored with a trousseau tea and shower hosted in the home of my older brother, Darvil Burns McBride and his wife Josephine, who were then living in Solomonville, a community just east of Safford. 

*** The following headline and article appeared in the Graham County Guardian newspaper on August 7, 1940:  Tea and Shower Given on Monday in Neighbor City:  Mrs. Clara McBride [Frankie’s mother] of Thatcher and Mrs. Darvil McBride [Josephine, wife of Frankie’s older brother] of Solomonville were hostesses at the latter’s home in Solomonville Monday at a trousseau tea and shower in honor of Miss Frankie McBride of Thatcher. 

Miss McBride’s marriage to Philip Farr of Farmington, New Mexico, is to be solemnized at the Latter-day Saints Temple,  Salt Lake City, August 15. 

Summer flowers and ferns were employed as table and room decorations, with a long, lace-covered table, on which the many gifts received were displayed, as the central attraction. 

Mrs. Leonard McBride [Olive Spafford, wife of Frankie’s older brother] presided at the gifts table.  Mesdames Gladys Stewart [Frankie’s sister and first born of the family] and Arlo Smith of Safford and [Mr.] Bruce McBride of Ajo [an older brother] presided at the tea table. 

Is Thatcher Girl:  The bride-elect is a daughter of Mrs. Clara McBride of Thatcher, one of the hostesses [and the daughter of] the late Frank McBride, former sheriff of Graham county. She [Frankie] was born and reared at Thatcher, and is a graduate of the Thatcher High School, Gila Junior College,  [in] Thatcher, and Arizona State Teachers College, [in] Tempe. 

Mr. [Philip] Farr is a son of Mr. and Mrs. Zechariah Farr of Farmington [New Mexico].  He also is a graduate of Gila Junior College and the Arizona State Teachers College, Tempe.  With the opening of the school year in September he is to assume the directorship of music of the Kirtland, N. M. public schools. 

Miss McBride will leave Thatcher August 14.  The couple will spend the week following their marriage at Salt Lake City, and will then go to Kirtland to establish their home. Sixty guests were received at Monday’s tea. ***

So, we moved to Kirtland, New Mexico, a small town next to Farmington where Phil’s folks were living.  The gave a double reception for Phil and I and Verdell and Miles.  Needless to say, it was a big affair.  Our first home was exciting.  Phil taught music and drama in the schools.  We helped with the music in the ward and were also called to be ward and stake dance directors.  This afforded us the opportunity to learn so much of dancing techniques.  To learn the dances for the up-coming dance festival to be held in Salt Lake City.  Brother W. O. Robinson, from the Mutual Improvement Association General Board in charge of dancing, came to our ward to teach Phil and I the dances.  That night all of the ward M. I. A.  members were gathered and many were paired off in couples.  He had Phil take another partner and I was privileged to dance with Brother Robinson during the whole evening as he demonstrated the steps.  What a wonderful experience and thrill for me to dance with such a marvelous professional.  When my husband and I came together again as partners, he had learned to become just as graceful and sure on his feet as Bro. Robinson had taught me. 

In 1938, just two years before we were married, Phil and I with three other couples -- Boyce Lines and La Preal Rogers, Leila Ferrin and one of the Eyring boys along with a third couple that time has dimmed, were chosen to dance in the “All Church Dance Festival” in Salt Lake City out at Salt Air in the beautiful old pavilion.  While in Salt Lake City, for the first time I gazed upon the Salt Lake Temple, and there we vowed to have our marriage consummated, and of course our dream came true on that special day in August of 1940. 

That first year in Kirtland was very eventful.  It was Phil’s first teaching position and his first pay-check, all of $84 which became our monthly earnings for the next two years.  For the first time, I began to give piano lessons, we bought our first car, but even better, our first little “blessed event” arrived.  Clara Sue, a six and one-half pound baby girl, was born June 30, 1941.  We named her after her grandmother, my mother, Clara  and my mother’s mother -- Mary Susan Sims.  Phil drove all the way to Thatcher and back to bring my mother to help us with our little “new one.”

The third year found us back in Arizona.  Phil took a new offer teaching in the high school in Coolidge, and it included a substantial raise.  Again, he taught music, drama and had a classroom responsibility for part of the year.  He was also assigned as the freshmen class sponsor, remaining the sponsor through their entire four years. 

While living in Coolidge, our second little girl, Phyllis -- named after her dad -- was born. in the Florence, Arizona hospital January 4, 1943.  (the Power men who murdered my father were imprisoned in the Florence penitentiary.  One of them was alsom born on the forth (possibly 1875,) the same date of my own father’s birth.  I thought that was quite a coincidence. 

World War II, now in full swing conscripted Phil in June 1945 to serve in the Army.  He moved us to  Mesa where his folks were then living.  The two babies and I stayed with them for about two months.  I then moved to Alzona Park in Phoenix where I was close to Amy, Phil’s sister, and her husband Ned, and also close to my sister Ruthie and her family. 

On December 11, 1945, Amy drove me to the Good Samaritan Hospital, and that evening our first little boy was born -- Jerald Philip.  We were so fortunate, because Phil arrived to visit us while we were still in the hospital only two days after Jerry came.  What a happy reunion for the three of us. 

Phil’s service in the Army kept him away from us for only five months.  After spending time at Camp Hood in Kileen, Texas, they transferred him to Camp Grant in Rockford, Illinois.  He tells of the many times he was out on maneuvers only to be called back in for a dance-band practice for the dance that night.  One time, after  returning from maneuvers all soaked and wet from the rain expecting to get some rest, near disaster struck.  The barracks was hit by lightning.  He suffered a terrible electrical jolt but came through it all right.  Fortunately, he never suffered any real injurious experiences as he served out his military tenure.  With Jerry’s birth, the three children exempted him from having to serve longer, one of the fortunate that received an early discharge. 

After Phil’s discharge, we moved to Miami, Arizona where he began teaching again.   Our second little boy, the fourth child, Dennis McBride Farr, was born August 7, 1947 while living there.  However, he decided to arrive in the Springerville Hospital, since we had driven to St. Johns to visit Phil’s Parents. 

Teaching in Miami was a great experience for Phil.  He commanded a 60-piece marching band, won high ratings at the music festivals, went to El Paso on two occasions to march in the Sun Bowl Parade, where he performed in concert with other bands during the half time.  Also, his majorette received special recognition for her style of performance in leading the band.  I was chaperone for the girls on those two trips to El Paso.. 

In the Miami Ward, Phil and I were called to the positions of chorister and ward organist.  We also worked in the M.I.A. and helped organize and present the “Green and Gold Ball” during two different years.  Our little Phyllis was crown-bearer for the queen at one of them, and Phil and I danced in the floor show during the intermission.  Shortly, a new bishopric was formed and Phil was called to be a councilor to Veldon Naylor, formerly from Thatcher.  All were set apart by Apostle Henry D. Moyle. 

Our next move took us to Saint Johns for a year.  While there, our fifth child and third girl was born in the Springerville hospital May 2, 1949.  We named her Lana Jeanine. 

From there we moved to Farmington, New Mexico, a place we dearly loved, where Phil taught again in Kirtland.  There in the Farmington Hospital our sixth child and third little boy was born April 24, 1950.  We named him after my father, Robert Franklin.  He and Lana were less than a year apart.  (When Robert was six weeks old, I again entered the hospital  to have a thyroidectomy.) 

Then one day out of the clear blue, a total stranger, Clifford Young, came to our house and offered Phil a job  helping to build a chapel in Bluewater, New Mexico.  We moved there in the fall where Phil taught for a year, then served as the principal for the next year while he also became the overseer of the work on the chapel until it was finished. 

For a change, he took another job under Clifford Young who had a logging contract in the mountains close by.  Phil became the foreman of that business for a short while. Clifford served as the Branch President while  working as a building contractor.  He hired Phil to work with him on a building project in Grants, New Mexico a few miles from Bluewater.  With the experience gleaned from working with Clifford, Phil learned much of the building trade.  He also worked in the laboratory at Anaconda Uranium Mine, which had just opened there.  As a point of interest, the Bluewater vicinity was an ideal place for raising carrots.  Fields and fields of carrots were planted, and it was interesting to watch the harvest in the summer. 

One time we were awakened in the middle of the night by a tremendous blast shaking our bed.  We were so very frightened, thinking at first that maybe the furnace in the basement had exploded or an earthquake had happened.  We found out a few days later that the atom bomb had been tested at White Sands, New Mexico, causing the earth to quake. It was so severe that it left its effects on several of the houses and buildings in The area.  Also, the new chapel had to be repaired in several places where it had caused cracks to appear. 

From Bluewater we moved back to St. Johns in the summer of 1954.  For the fun of it and a change, Phil peddled watermelons on the Indian Reservation.  A while before school started the principal of the Show Low School, Charles Whipple, appeared at our door looking for a music teacher, offering Phil the job.  He hired him on the spot.  With that move, we settled in Show Low for seven years. 

January 23, 1958, our fourth little girl and seventh child was born.  The older children clamored to name her, so they each put the name of their choice in a hat, in drawing, out came the name, “Betty Ann.”  After eight years without a baby around made this event a special and happy one for the whole family. 

In 1961, Maxine, Phil’s sister, called and offered us a certain amount of money and her big Albuquerque home to live in -- if we would come and take care of her five children.  In 1958, her husband had been killed in a plane crash, and she needed time to leave and find work in another place.  We moved in the fall, in time to enroll the school-age children in School -- the four of ours that we kept with us, except for our Betty Ann who was not old enough yet, and the four of Maxine’s except for her little Jeffrey, yet not old enough. 

Clara Sue had married Curtis Solomon in 1960, and they lived in Show Low.  We Left Phyllis with them since she wanted to stay and continue working at the Show Low Theater, while she prepared for her marriage.  We had five who were still with us: Jerry, Dennis, Lana, Robert and Betty Ann, which added to Maxine’s children amounted to a staggering ten children for us to care for. 

Phil went to work for Romney Produce.  We bought a “Red Rambler” station wagon so we could take all the children along with us at the same time whenever we wanted. 

We were soon called to positions in the ward.  Again, I was the organist, and with delight I played the huge     pipe organ of that beautiful building.  We both held callings in the M.I.A., and for a short time I served as the Stake Mia Maid Leader.  Again I had a sick spell and had to be released from all my church duties for awhile. 

Our three boys, Jerry, Robert and Dennis played on the ward basketball team.  The team won first place in the stake tournament which gave them the privilege to go to Denver for the regional tournament.  Phil, an assistant to the coach was asked to take a car load of players to the games, so I got to go along too.  Our team reached the final play off.  It looked like we were going to win when one by one, the boys fouled out.  They finally got down to three boys.  Guess who they were?  Yes, our three boys – Jerry and Dennis, and little runty Robert, only a substitute.  Phil was so excited that he sat on the side lines yelling, “Come on son, come on son, come on son!”  Which one was he calling to?  of course, all three.  But alas, having lost their main players they were unable to hold on.  Tragically, they lost by one basket. 

We enjoyed living in the city where we cared for Maxine’s children for almost two years.  After she remarried, she returned and kept them permanently.  At that point, we bought our first home in Albuquerque and lived there in it for three years. 

In 1964, I accepted a job at Albuquerque Valley High School as book room manager, and Phil accepted an offer to teach in Sanders, Arizona, and he alone moved there to begin the school year.  We decided not to move the family yet as our son Dennis was to graduate form high school and Jerry had to complete his 11 months course at the Albuquerque Electronic Institute.  Moreover, he was working for KOB-TV, his first job to gain some good experience.  Also, Dennis’ high school band had been chosen to march in the Rose Parade in Pasadena on January 1, 1965. 

At the close of the school year, Phil was home and I entered the hospital for a hysterectomy.  I had not been there a week when the two counselors of our Albuquerque Third Ward came to visit me and asked if Phil and I would talk in church the following Sunday, on the subject of Family Home Evening.  I left the hospital on Saturday and was at church on Sunday.  I remember well how I laboriously limped to the pulpit to give my talk. 

In the Fall, Dennis joined the service and the rest of us moved to Sanders, Arizona.  While living in Sanders, Phil was called as a counselor in the Sanders Branch Presidency. Later, he was set apart as “the” branch president.  Soon, the Lamanite Branch and the Sanders Branch were combined to form the newly organized Sanders Ward, and Phil was set apart as the first bishop of the new ward.

I was called to work in the M.I.A. as a counselor and then as the Bee Hive Teacher, Ward Organist, Primary Organist and then I was called to be the President of the Relief Society.  At the same time, I was also substitute teaching in the schools, and became the secretary of Valley High School.  I worked in that position for six and one-half years. 

We sold our home in Albuquerque and built our own, new home in Sanders, and we moved into it in 1968.  To sum up the ten years we lived in Sanders  -- it was much like being on a mission among the Indians. 

In 1974, Phil essentially left teaching, and we with Dennis and his wife, Melanie, and their two little ones moved to Orem, Utah, next to Clara Sue and Curtis.  After two months there, we moved to Fairview where Phil repaired homes, did substitute teaching, sold dehydrated foods, the magic Mill, Bosch Mixers and Shaklee Products.  I worked in a dental office training to be a dental assistant until I had another sick spell.  When I recuperated, I found employment in the school cafeteria. 

Fairview was a lovely place, but Dennis and Melanie moved back to Arizona in 1976, and our youngest, Betty Ann, married June 5, 1976.  So we decided that Arizona would be the best place for us too, and in 1977, we moved back to live in Safford.  We made our home there for a year and a-half. 

On March 19, 1979, Phil and I were hired to care for and teach six retarded adults in a group-home in Pima.  We worked a schedule of five days and five nights with two days and nights off each week.  Alternate care took our places during our time off.  Necessary for our convenience to move from our rental house in Safford, we arranged for our house trailer to be moved from Keams Canyon, Arizona.  The people to whom we sold it to and were making payments had abandoned it, so we relocated it on to our own property in Pima that we had previously purchased from Dennis and Melanie.  There we stayed during our two days off, much closer and more convenient to our work.  We worked in the group-home for five years and when it closed in 1984, we moved permanently into our trailer.  And here we are living now at the date of this writing – June 16,

Moving back to the Gila Valley has been good for us.  I have found relatives here that I didn’t know I had.  Both of us have reacquainted ourselves with old friends that we went to school with here at the college many years back.  In the Pima third Ward, Phil and I held music positions again for seven years, but in April of 1986 we were called to the stake name extraction program and served there a year and a-half until assigned to be the coordinator of the work.  In November of 1989, our stake president, Keith Crockett, approached us concerning working in the temple.  We accepted the challenge and our bishop arranged for us to be interviewed by the Arizona Temple President on January 9, 1990.  To our surprise he read to us a letter from Ezra Taft Benson, president and prophet of the church, that we had been found worthy to be temple workers and would we commit to fill a mission in the Arizona Temple.  Our answer was “Yes”, and on January 18, 1990, Phil and I began our two year Temple Mission in the Arizona Temple.  It was a wonderful experience and has been a great fulfillment in our lives.  One of the nicest times in the temple we experienced was when all of Darvil and Jo’s family arrived for the endowment and sealing of their granddaughter, Jon and DeNell’s daughter, Amy Jo.  I was privileged to take Amy through for the endowment.  What a splendid experience it was. 

Phil and I are now back in the Stake Name Extraction Program, and we are enjoying it very much.  I give piano lessons four days a week and have six students.  We present a recital at least once a year, and sometimes twice.  

I’m also involved in a small business called “Kountry Kitchens” with a girl friend in Safford.  We take orders for food, both for daily use and for storage. 

Our lives continue to revolve around church activities and as usual we are still busy people enjoying life. 

*** Let us include a brief up-date on our family as of January 1996: 

Clara Sue Solomon, age 53, now single, is still living in Orem, Utah, with Susan and Julie at home with her.  Michael Rand is married; Charlie, single again is working in Colorado; Joey is in Oregon taking a course in meteorology; Mark is home from a mission and going to college; Curtis lives over seas; and Clara Sue is very busy with music programs and working Avon Products.  She also works in the ordering department at Sears. 

Phyllis Penrod, age 52, is a legal secretary.  She and her husband, Lance Penrod, are without children at home and living in Lakeside, Arizona.  Their oldest daughter, Kristie Lynn, is married and living in Mesa.  Derrek Wade is married and living in Mesa.  Shellee Kae, now single, lives with her sister Lorilee, and both are working in Mesa.  Brian Lance, now single, works in Cincinnati, Ohio. 

Jerald Philip, age 49, and his wife Carol and family live in Littleton, Colorado.  Jerry recently retired from A.T.& T. after 20 years with the  company.  Their Stephanie, the oldest, is married and she and Jeffer;y live in Tempe, Arizona.  Jason Philip is married and living near Littleton.  Jamie Lynn, soon to graduate from high school and Travis still are still at home. 

Dennis McBride, age 47, and his wife Melanie (Jim Smith’s granddaughter) and family live in Hurricane Utah.  Their oldest daughter, Sussannah, is married and lives in Washington, Utah, near Saint George.  Denney, 3 years out of high school, works near home at a convenience store and station.  Maura Louise, just graduated from high school and works at Taco Time.  Lorin, Angela, Jesse, Celia, and Jace are still at home and in school.  Dennis is employed by Rocky Mountain Grocery, and makes a trip to Zion National Park, every day, and keeps the stores well supplied with Holsum Bread and Hostess Cakes, etc. 

Lana Jeanine Cheney, age 46, and her husband Glenn and family live in Battleground Washington.  Lana, a registered nurse, works at a hospital in Portland, just across the Columbia river border.  Michael Robert and Dale Edward are married and live in the vicinity.  Cameron Philip, out of school is working and living there. Jeanine Ellen is in college and working and engaged to be married.  Brandon Scott, Tanya Lanae, and Brent David are still all at home and in school.  Their home, approximately 30 miles from Mount Saint Helens, was showered with ashes of its eruption in 1981. 

Robert Franklin, age 45 (named after my father) and his wife Connie have four children -- Kelly Robert, Andrew Franklin, E’Shell Marie and Brooke Leigh.  The family lives in South Jordan, Utah.  Robert teaches math in the middle school.  He has recently taken clown lessons and is now a full fledged professional clown.  He marches in parades and entertains at birthday parties etc..  Also, he sings in a men’s chorus and in a barber shop quartet. 

Betty Ann Cheney, age 37, is single again and lives in Elko, Nevada.  She is now the manager of a restaurant where she has worked for several years.  Her Ann Monique will soon graduate from High school, Vincent, Jessie and Derrek Zachery are all at home and in school.  Derrek is the exception regarding school, for he is a “ring leader” in his day-care center. 

Phil and I, the proud parents of this wonderful family were age 72 and 71 at the time of this picture, about August 15, 1990, taken at Murry Park in Salt Lake City, during our 50th wedding celebration  We are standing in the middle.  (Now, in June of 1996 we are feeling our age, at 78 and 77.) 

Our children, from left to right:  Jerald Philip, Clara Sue Solomon, Phyllis Penrod, Dennis McBride, Betty Ann Cheney, Robert Franklin and Lana  Jeanine Cheney,

The Family Darling -- by Bruce Lane McBride: Frankie was born abut two months following the untimely death of our father.  It was more than fitting that she be given, as might be expected, her father’s name; and she became the “darling” of all the rest of the family.  Despite the fact that she was the youngest and could well have been spoiled beyond redemption, Frankie turned out just the opposite.  Rather shy and reserved, she took on many of the fine toned qualities of our mother.  Compassionate and congenial, she traveled in a wide circle of friends and became, indeed, a favorite among many of her associates. I don’t think any of our family ever heard of Frankie getting into any kind of trouble or causing any problems in school or the community. 

The thing that stands out most in my mind is the group of girls that Frankie became close friends with in high school and in her junior college years.  They included Jessica Udall, Margaret Tate, Gena Allred and Claudia Foster.  They were known affectionately as the “Grin Gang”.  I suspect it was because they smiled a lot.  But more than that, they were a happy group who played ukuleles together.  This was such an unusual activity that it captured the attention of just about everyone.  They developed real talent and were called upon to play and sing in programs throughout the valley. 

Since childhood, Frankie had toyed with the piano which we had in our home, displaying not only an interest in music, but latent talent.  Then beyond her performances with the Grin Gang, she seriously pursued the piano to become an accomplished pianist.  For many years she has give piano lessons and otherwise excelled in the field of music. 

One line in an old western ballad went like this: “Go beat the drum slowly and play the fife lowly; sound the death march ....”  Frankie, then about four years old, asked, “What is a drumslowly?”  Leonard’s answer was, “A drumslowly is something like a fiflowly.”  That, I believe is an appropriate joke to be told on a budding musician.

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