HISTORIES WITH TRIBUTES AND MEMORIES
especially for their nieces and nephews
and their descendants
The Brothers and
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
“GLADYS” MCBRIDE STEWART
is condensed from the original history converting much of the story to
“first person,” to simplify it. I
believe that Gladys could have recorded it herself in this manner.
full history is beautifully done by Gladys’s daughters, Leva Gene
Carma Rae Neese, and contains the drama of episodes of her life.]
curiosity overcame terror and Gladys returned to the scene, to watch
door. So this was her father. My – isn’t
he handsome, and look how happy he is! And Mother, she looks radiant.
father, Robert Franklin McBride, had been away serving for two years on
mission for the Mormon Church. When he left, Gladys was about one and
years old. Now she was four. Glsdys
didn’t remember her father, or, that as a family they had their own
had lived on the McBride farm in Smithville, now called Pima, in Graham
Arizona. Gladys saw her little brother, Floyd, had joined the gathering
she watched father and mother, she felt warm and happy inside. Drawn
family circle, her father gathered Floyd, her and her mother to him in
embrace. How wonderful to feel her father’s arms about her and sense
feeling of a complete family. The father’s homecoming, meeting him with
fright became a favorite family story, and as Grandma Sims would often
“No one knew who was the most scarred, the frightened Gladys or the
Gladys’ parents, Robert Franklin McBride and Clara Sims, married on
Gladys, the first child in the family was born
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.
was born after Frank left and little Gladys, her younger brother and
were comfortably settled in their own home.
following is an excerpt from the McBride Story as told by Gladys
mother: “No one anticipated the drought that came upon the western land
year. (Gladys says that she always cries when I read or tell this
was no rain in the mountains or in the valley. No water in the rivers
canals and mountain streams. The vast grass range and table lands lay
and brown. No feed had grown for the cattle to feed on. The ridges and
were dotted wit the dead cattle and livestock. Large cattle herds were
wiped out. When the first payment for the cattle loan was due, Howard
gathered the remaining stock in and sold them, but it was only enough
the interest on the loan.” Mother and
the two small children left their home to move in with her parents in
There, she helped with the cooking and housekeeping and tending the
children who were still at home.
period of living with her parents within a busy family was the time
became old enough to remember back. She remembered how her uncles
played with her. They would pick her up and toss her back and forth to
another. There were many aunts and uncles on both sides of the family.
was one of 11 children, 6 sisters and 4 brothers: Mary , Susan, Lucy,
Maude and Nancy, and Samuel, Ammon, Albert and Oscar. Frank had many
and sisters, there were 22 in all. His father, Peter, had married
mother was Ruth Burns, and later his father married Laura Lewis. Sadly,
22 children, only 12 lived to adulthood. His brothers and sisters were
Perle, Enoch, Claude and Bessie Belle; and his half brothers an sisters
year 1908 found the family back in the
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
there were many, and her mother, always pregnant, or with a brand new
depended on her. She often felt it unfair as her brothers went off to
leaving her with heavy responsibility. However, seniority had its
and Gladys often accompanied her father on many of his community and
engagements, for he became an active community participant and a
speaker. She prized those times with her father.
held high priority with the McBrides. Learning and improving, whether
formal training or self-training found
Gladys a ready student. She attended grade school in Pima which had a
school touting four grades in one room. Though a small country school,
graduated some famous people. Henry Eyring, a world class chemist and
scientist, and Camilla Eyring, future elite lady of the Mormon Church,
the future President and Prophet, Spencer W. Kimball, to name a couple.
were her classmates. A good student,
especially adept with numbers and figures, she eventually became a
and a super genealogist.
Gladys finished eighth grade in Pima, the family moved to Safford where
Sheriff father could be closer to his offices in the County Court
she attended her first two years of high school after which she
Gladys, at 14 was recognized as an outstanding student. Told by her
that she would be given a special award for her scholastic achievements
won a very special something which would arrive after several weeks,
disappointed upon its delivery. When the “something special” did
found it to be only a painting of the
dances, picnics, Sunday afternoon ice cream socials, taffy pulls and
County fairs, Church bazaars, rodeos and ball games. Wherever the
that’s where Gladys longed to be, there with the other teenagers having
But, as often the case, her parents felt that she should pursue a more
path and should not concern herself with too much frivolous behavior.
especially liked to dance, she learned all the popular dances of her
Sunday afternoon lemonade social, a great get-together at someone’s
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
feelings (to her daughters): “Father was
very selective in what he would allow me to attend and do. He was a
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
pass by the house on the way to some get-together and would want me to
along. Father just wouldn’t let me go,
especially if it was just to goof off and be silly. Sometimes it was
was needed at home, but usually he felt I was better off not to be
time on nonsense. This side of my father was very hard for me to
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,
didn’t he want me to have fun? I was, however, an obedient child and
did as he directed, but I would have hurt feelings for a long time.”
grew into a comely young lady. She was fashionably slender with hazel
light brown hair that curled around her face. At five feet four and
inches tall she was about one-half inch taller than her daughters, and
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.)
considered herself a plain child and something of a tomboy. She had a
that she romped and played with until it became too aggressive and had
given away. She confided to her daughter, Leva, that Sundee, her
who excelled in many sports—volley ball and baseball, and even captured
championship in the discus throw, reminded her of herself, as she too
always involved in sports.
tells of when she was in the growing stage, with long arms, skinny legs
lanky frame. Her father, with great affection and humor called her his
Duckling.” Gladys says she didn’t really
mind because then she sort of wished she were a boy anyway. With five
as companions and playmates it was easy to be a tomboy. With her father
mercantile store to by her shoes, he jokingly said to the proprietress
cousin of her father) “do you have any shoes in this store to fit the
on this girl?” Gladys said she felt about as ugly and ungainly as a
could feel. The cousin took her father aside and gave him a good tongue
“Frank, Gladys is a lovely spirited child and you just mustn’t put her
with such rude comments. Come on now Frank, you are going to give her
inferiority complex by such comments. It’s time you start treating her
young lady instead of one of the rowdy boys.”
father took the advice from that time on she was regarded in a more
manner. Her dress and clothes became more stylish and feminine and she
expected to act in a more ladylike fashion.
was born on
father left to serve a two-year
my Dad returned in April of 1905, my parents resettled us on their
shortly moved to Globe for him to obtain work on the Roosevelt Dam,
freighting and then in building for his father-in-law’s firm located in
too. Back at the farm in Glenbar, my father added to our home and
several jobs, as he began to revitalize the farm. I stayed plenty busy
mother, dad and tending little brothers and sisters. By 1916, I was big
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
special times with just he and I together.
was an eager student in the Pima grammar school, I continued there
8th grade before moving to Safford at the time of my father’s election
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
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
aggressive, and she loved involvement in sports. Gladys adored her
though he teased her about gangliness and big feet to the point of
Fortunately, a good woman took him aside and clued him in on the error
way without mincing words. Thereafter, he saw to it that she dressed
and he expressed his expectations for her to be feminine and well
our family the future looked great, and I worked for the Big Six
Store in Thatcher as a clerk and cashier, but thunderous tragedy struck
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
death. Greatly distressed, a time of grave heart-ache passed before I
to mingle much in fun things with my friends.
I began a new mixing in social events with the youth—it happened—Martin
Stewart, recently discharged from the navy, spotted me and through
circumstances finagled to spend some extra time visiting with me. He
see me again, and dating lead to courtship, for we fell deeply in love.
Levi Stewart’s father and mother, Brigham Freeman Stewart and Emma
Stewart and their family were successful enterprising ranchers with
and somewhat flamboyant personalities, and the men were supreme
family promoted basic principles within the home to develop proper
manners and behavior, emphasizing strong family bonds. The women of the
were wonderful cooks and set a table with tasteful finesse exemplifying
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.
newly-wed Stewarts, we made our first home on “The Big Ranch,” just
Solomonville, one of three fine ranches owned by the family. When World
ended, and the two older brothers returned to ranching, shuffling sent
me to live in Solomonville in the Claridge house, sharing it with
parents and two younger brothers. (Their first child, Freeman, was born
and blessed in the Solomonville Ward. This led to the reactivation of
family to regular attendance and church service.)
of the economics of the time, the family thought best to sell the
holdings, and they purchased a farm in
stay at the V-Dot Ranch in
in 1921, Cliff and Irene and Brig and Emma with their families moved
the “Upper Ranch,” one of two ranches purchased near Heber. Lurie and
Dave were left with Mart and me, but soon, Brig decided Mart and I
places with Cliff and his family. We made the trip by covered wagon to
Upper Ranch. (Another interesting story related in the complete
stayed with Brig and Emma at the Upper Ranch, 10 miles east of Heber on
road to Snowflake. Even though the Lower Ranch, 7 miles down from the
had three houses on it, it was too isolated for the baby and me to
feel safe while my husband rode the range working the cattle away from
days at a time.
all stayed at the Upper Ranch through the winter. Then, Mart left us to
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
was a quarter mile away. Freeman and Ted were constant companions, and
the old dog “Jack ,” from the V-Dot Ranch with us. Though very
enjoyed the days in each other’s company.
the year 1922, with operating expenses and mortgage payments coming
ranches could not support all of us. Cliff went to Holbrook to work for
Udall Transportation Company, and with the ranch work caught up, Mart
for an Ice Company, while we lived in Holbrook. Later in the year,
and Mart with our families moved to Globe to take advantage of better
with the mines. On our way we visited in Safford and Thatcher with my
for a few days. In Globe for only a month, Mart became dissatisfied
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
ranches. Back in the same house on the Lower Ranch, Mart was away for
the time, leaving me and the baby completely alone. (Gladys feared and
being alone all her life.) I hated the time he spent away for days and
out on the range —working the herds and on the round-ups. As winter set
moved out of that lonely place, in with my in-laws at the Upper Ranch.
went to Holbrook and stayed with a Mrs. Heward. There, Leva Gene was
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
but his grandmother Stewart visited us nearly every day. Verda and
living in their summer place in McNary visited during the first summer,
next two years there were few to visit with except those of the Stewart
I missed the association with my sisters-in-law and their children.
though oft times not, we had an old car at the ranch we used to bring
from Holbrook. A few times, Verda and Percy brought us things, when
through Holbrook. At other times, with road work going on close by,
that summer, I and Emma pieced and quilted several quilts; they are
the family. The times were lonesome but pleasant, and I learned to milk
and I let several setting hens hatch their chicks and helped to see
survived. That fall and winter, Verda invited Emma with
the summer, enough beans were planted and harvested by the men—though
was harvested—for our use during the coming winter. Emma and I spent
our spare time, harvesting the remainder, which brought us $20 to spend
ourselves and not on the mortgage payments. Lee, Cliff and Dave were
in Safford. Lee was working some for the other two who were running a
station. In the fall, Lee returned in a bare-essentials, old car. I
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
life, though I’d grown to appreciate it. Under way, after only 15
car stopped forever. A passing rancher hooked up to the car with his
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,
by train to spend six weeks with my mother in Thatcher. I was happy
kids could experience more Sunday School and Primary again.
on the Lower Ranch for only a short time longer, we moved into a
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
every other night. To keep our old car for my use at home, I would
two kids up early in the morning and drive Mart to work. That meant I
have to pick him up in town two days later. I always parked the
car at the top of a slope to give it a rolling start. Sometimes this
a friend had to run Mart home. Despite the inconveniences, we passed
there, and loneliness was our lot as much as on the ranch. We did get
back to attending church though, participating in most things in the
Ward. It was summer on 1925, Freeman would be six years old in January
would need to start school. It worked out with the school for him to
September in Holbrook.
planned to return to the ranch come fall, but I determined to rent in
to enter and keep Freeman in school. Brig, my father-in-law, was
separation, but finally he gave in, suggesting that instead of renting
rooms of a duplex, we should rent it all and let Emma stay there too.
the expense and jeopardy of driving the round trip back and forth from
rent-free house was a savings. We enjoyed church, each other’s company
found a little job in a bakery shop that didn’t interfere with
school, and Emma took in some boarders and had time to help me with
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
manage it all.
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
he hired on again with Dual Transportation Company.
They planned to move their base of operation
left Mart’s parents and Ted and Bob living in Snowflake, and we settled
apartment just west of the
constant stress, marital difficulties began to surface. I felt that if
could escape the family and be on his own, the problem might resolve.
start his own trucking business with an old truck. He hauled produce
valley to the
proceeds awarded to Mother by the State after the death of my dad,
and brothers built three rental houses for her on the corner of 9th St.
Ave. Mart and I bought one of these, and I lived there until 1951.
Mart continued running the service station, and, in addition, his
business on the side. On one trip with a load of potatoes coming from
as a heart attack, a blood clot from the damaged heart lodged in his
Amputation was determined necessary to save his life, but it was a real
and no one west of the
Kimball, remained throughout the operation.
(See book--Spencer W. Kimball,
p. 173) by his son, Edward, and grandson, Andrew, for President
account.) After the operation Mart was
not expected to survive, and he hovered between life and death for many
and nights. Then, a slight sign of improvement appeared, and though it
more than a year of healing, he made it, for Mart was a survivor.
began bookkeeping for the service station for supplementary income.
working somewhat too. But heartache was
in the making, for our marriage ran on rocky ground and many
reconciliation’s took place until the final separation. During this
Freeman, as his dad’s right-hand-man, chose to stay with his father who
running a farm across the river. Freeman, at 19, left for the North
States Mission, a cold place for an
Mart and Freeman’s many moves, jobs and businesses, I’ll return to me,
1934, I continued to work for the Stewart’s business and then the
National Bank hired me as a bookkeeper. I stayed with them for many
hours were long in those days, and until the books balanced, often not
could I leave. Later, I worked for Safford Auto Parts in the same
hours were shorter and I could spend more time with the children.
remarkable talent with numbers and accounting. She was always held in
regard wherever she worked.)
passing years were trying and unhappy. With the depression in full
women’s work sufficient to support a family was hard to come by. After
working hours, home awaited me with cooking, cleaning, patching, and
kids. I held and honored callings in the church though, as a Sunday
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
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
involved in so many things. Frustrations
and worry were my constant lot.
Gene fell in love at 17 years of age and married Lamar Kempton. They
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
with him. After his second amputation, I visited him in the hospital.
the several visits, discussing our situations and renewing our lost
companionship, we reconciled to begin again together. Mart was 52 years
I was 51, and after Mart was released from the hospital, we were sealed
time and eternity in the
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
repair shop, and with special designed rolling tables, shop enginuities
other adapted equipment, he developed a prosperous business regaining
esteem through independence. A splendid
example of affability, friendliness, courage and determination, he
succeeded despite his severe handicap.
He often repeated one of his favorite sayings, “You can’t keep a
next few years were good, and we kept busily involved in different
yet, we tried to be sensitive and were able to help others, especially
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
vegetable salads they thought were wonderful.
They believed I could make a few left-overs into a real feast.
and I attend Church together and attend the
1965, Mart’s health again began to fail.
The VA Hospital in
upon my arrival in
few years after Mart died, I sold the part of our lot with the garage
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,
digging to plant flowers and garden.
July of 1985, Carma bought a place in
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
about advising family members of critical mistakes, but, she was always
first to offer correcting help.
day came when she complained to Carma that she wasn’t feeling well,
ached all over, that she wasn’t comfortable lying down and seemed
energy to get around. Carma encouraged
her to seek hospital care, but she postponed it for a few days saying
a little better. Finally, in discussion
with Carma, she decided to go, and after Freeman arrived, they took her
emergency care on
replied, “I love you too, dear.” A few
minutes before , 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 ,
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
visited Lyle in
relate one interesting incident I heard from older members of the
family. Nearly everyone had fallen ill
Gladys. Mother had asked Dad to be sure
to bring home a sack of oranges for the sick kids when he returned home
evening from work. This was a rare thing
to ask in those days because oranges were scarce and expensive, but,
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
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
family, Dad had brought an orange for all except her.
She didn’t even get an orange and felt
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
see if he could bag one for the family.
He left with the shot gun to hunt the game.
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
picked. Laughing, he explained to her
that while he’d been out hunting, he’d killed the bird and brought it
it wasn’t a turkey at all; it was nothing but a big, old, red-headed
“Her Legacy,” by Bruce Lane McBride:
My sister, Gladys, was the oldest in our family; and I, the
boy. Three separate periods of her life
stand out in my memory. The first is
when I was six years old. A few
after her marriage to Martin Stewart, she came back to stay at our
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
second period in Gladys’s life that stands out in my memory revolves
those traumatic times after Mart lost both legs. Through
many years of great difficulty, they
weathered the storms together. In
all those years Gladys had exhibited the indomitable spirit of her
ancestry. “Against great odds” that
would have proven devastating to an ordinary person, Gladys remained
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
in demand by employers who expected accuracy and dependability. The
final period of Gladys’s life became memorable to me because of
involvement, as you shall see.
familiar with Latter-day Saint theology know of Malachi’s prophecy
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
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
of pedigree charts and historical data, typifying the fulfillment of
many years Gladys lived alone in the neat little home on
a period of four years Gladys remained not only our mentor in many
the effort but of greater significance the inspiration
and driving force behind the entire
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.
the book is dedicated to Gladys McBride Stewart with the unequivocal
declaration: “Except for her (Gladys’s) diligence in genealogical
without her insistence that the project get under way, this book would
have been written.”
that be one more great legacy of our beloved sister.
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
or the other kids did. I heard mother
say many times what a beautiful child he was, and how she hated to cut
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
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
the family about me and laughing and laughing.
But, being so young, I could never figure out the gist of what
was so considerate of me, and took me along with him all the time to
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.
had been through two years of high school when Dad was killed, and that
extent of his formal education. Because
of the financial stress on the family, at 16 years of age, he went to
help support us. While he was working in
Globe for the Miami Mining Company as an electrician making good money,
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
his wife’s death, he moved to
THE DAY BEFORE
By Floyd F. and Darvil B. McBride
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
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.
follolowing is the non-verbatim eulogy prepared by Gladys and Bruce,
at Floyd’s funeral.)
VISIT WITH “MAC” -- Floyd Franklin McBride -- by Bruce Lane McBride:
Floyd Franklin was known affectionately as
“Mac”. He was born in Pima Arizona,
parents and grandparents were among the pioneers who came out of
Floyd was seventeen years old, Dad was killed in the line of duty,
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
Married Christine Owens and they had one son, Phil.
Christine died at an early age.
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,
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
was athletic though not caught up in it, and he displayed the character
example of a good student. Though denied
education beyond junior high school (by the murder of his father and
of responsibility to his mother and brothers and sisters,) he had a
quick to grasp the intricacies of whatever task he decided to undertake.
trips were an important part of Floyd’s life.
Many were the stories he could tell of exciting experiences on
these safaris into the local mountains.
On one occasion he and a couple of friends took horses and pack
on a trip into the
few years later, Floyd and Leonard were working at the mines in
evening before the day of Floyd’s funeral, Josephine and Darvil and
I, arrived at the mortuary in
The following is from a letter from
Phil, Floyd’s oldest son and the only one born from the first marriage.
Mother and Elizabeth (Pop’s second spouse), have all passed on. The
memories I have of Pop and my Mom (Christina) are when we were in
and Mom married while in
then moved back to
had originally studied at the Chicago Art Institute, and later at
memories of being in
In 1947 I joined the Navy and after 3 years I
stint and returned home. In about 1958,
I again left home, and this time it was for good. From then on, the
relationship I had was through letters and occasional visits. In the
I’ve had very little contact except with Sally through letters.
wish I could give you more, but my memory level is not very good. I
you contact Sally, she can provide you with much more than I can.
am presently living at Seattle Union Gospel Mission as a Resident
I’m retired and am drawing social Security.
I’m attending church, I’m reading a lot and I take photos for
mission. (I used to be a news photographer for UPI when living in
hope this helps you in your endeavor. Again it is god to hear from you,
TO FINISH LATER. SEE SIDE “B” OF TAPE # 9.
MORE CONTRIBUTED BY
was born on
six years of age, I attended my first year of school in the Glenbar
schoolhouse. Though the little school
accommodated six grade levels, I attended the second, third, and fourth
in the larger elementary school in Pima because my big sister and
Gladys and Floyd, were going there. Each
day we made the three mile trip there and back in Dad’s little hack of
buggy. If needed, three could be stuffed
in across the seat, and it had a fold up top and curtains that could
everything including the back box too.
had partly finished a year of the fourth grade, but because of blood
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
Dad won the election for county sheriff, we moved to Safford into a
house. I attended the fifth and part of
the sixth grade in the Safford Schools before Dad and his two deputies
murdered by draft evaders living in the
the disastrous circumstances that left me fatherless at the age of
fourteen days short of my thirteenth birthday, always curious, I grew
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
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
better shape than those of rural
of the company I was thrown in with, was not first class either; that
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
would stop and work for a couple of days, a couple of weeks or even
months. Once, I worked a whole winter in
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
which I was grateful. I worked for many
a meal and a place to sleep -- in a rooming house, a flop house or the
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
the other side of the desert, behind the next mountain, over the
through the forest -- always over there somewhere beyond the horizon. In time I discovered the so called exotic
places of the
exact years escape me now, but I settled down for a while with
Royden Construction Company, general contractors in
curiosity and the fever to travel and experience new things took its
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
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.
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
managed it for a couple of years. To make a long story short, about
I’d been bitten by the nicest, “worst bug” ever, for I fell in love
beautiful young woman -- Olive Spafford.
After a romantic courtship, I won her over, and we married March
1932. She was the daughter of William
and Ella Pomeroy Spafford, Mormon pioneers of Lehi in the
1933, for better pay, I went to work for the Civilian Conservation
Corps. The CCC, a Federal Program spawned
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
the snows closed us out of the Grahams, our group was transferred to
the latter part of 1935 ,till about 1938, I hired on with the Tanner
Construction Company out of
1945, previous experience and old acquaintances paid off, for I
permanent appointment with the Forest Service.
for suffering injuries or avoiding the danger inherent with fires, I
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
me and my mount to roast meat. I turned
the horse and moved up the ridge no faster than the blaze increasing
racing toward me. Of neccesity, I
dropped off the ridge and headed down the slope trying to skirt the
line of flames. Grateful, I succeeded in
out-flanking the fire’s perimeter, reached the canyon, and rode down it
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
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.
largest fire I ever dealt with was the
in the capacity of an inspector, I occasionally had to ask permitees
holding forest land leases,) to quit over-grazing the forest land, or
other infractions. I always gave them
fair and polite warning, though not always receiving politeness from
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.
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.
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
the finest mountain lion country in the world, I’ve only seen three in
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.
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
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
certain ranchers would invite the neighboring ranch people over to
place for evening meetings. In them, Dad
would expound on his priorities and answer their questions and all in
an enjoyable time. We stayed the nights
with the congenial people; we never lacked for invitations, for Dad 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
trips not missing a single opportunity to garner friendships which
votes. Once, he left me at the 76 ranch
for two days, while he made his forays.
He visited virtually every ranch in the
that trip, we stayed one night with a family by the name of Estes,
of the husband, wife and their baby daughter.
Years later in my official capacity with the Forest Service, I
some inspections of the summer homes and their premises in the
can’t remember now if Dad was still a deputy or was the sheriff when a
in a covered wagon were making there way between
another occasion, treasured in my memory, he took me with him when he
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
enough to be along with his dad.
was seven or eight years old when cotton was first introduced to The
Valley. Grandpa Peter McBride planted a
nice patch on his 160-acre farm in
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
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.
a five and six-year-old kid, I spent the better part of two summers up
Flat, three or four miles from the now well known dedicated State
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
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
our own packs to the flat.
the early harvest, Grandpa packed his produce down with the horses to
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
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
final harvest was completed, we returned to our homes in the valley.
Claud, Dad’s youngest brother, as a young man, left home to work and
several places in
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
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.
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
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
sluiced the rough cut lumber down to the end of the flume at the foot
hills at the base of the mountain. The
company hired him to inspect the flume along its length and to repair
or weakened parts. He shared many of his
interesting experiences, expressing what fun those special years had
two wonderful days and nights, we walked on down the 5-mile trail to
flat with the blackberry patch, the very place where we, each in our
had ridden in the wagon up from the valley to it, loaded the horses and
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,
the old flume: Made of rough-milled 2 x lumber, the bottom was
inches wide, and the sides Veed out from it slanted up about 24 inches
knew of a four-year-old by the name of Neil Gardener who had climbed up
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
who had watched in horror as his trip began.
The people at the mill below four or five miles distant, just
Cluff’s Ranch, were phoned and alerted as to the young passenger on the
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
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.
boys often went to where the flume ended.
When lumber was not being sent down its length, most of the
diverted so that it only ran enough to keep the wood soaked and swollen
prevent it from drying out and leaking.
We could always pick out a nice 2 x 12, because there was old
strewn all round. We would pick out our
floater and carry the 5 to 7-foot-long board up the length of the flume
about a half-mile. There the flume
passed close to the ground and we launched into the fast-flowing
stream. We rode the board half submerged
under us until it spit us out board and all onto the ground at its end.
grandmother, Ruth Burns, I remember of her always sticking close to
home. Quite a home body, we kids visited
every day. Though she loved us, and we
knew it, and we loved her, as youngsters we had one special ulterior
mind. Every time we arrived at her home
she would give us a freshly baked slice of her light bread, spread
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
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
nails out of too. That was about all I was
good for then -- I guess.
when our family was living in Thatcher, Grandpa Sims and Uncle Oscar
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,
brick. The husky cement mixer was driven
by a powerful gasoline engine that turned the mixing barrel with a load
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
Oscar, and Grandpa wore their khaki coveralls.
On this frightful occasion, as Oscar strode past the turning
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
revolutions himself -- much like a big four-bladed propeller --
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
engine. We jumped to detach what was
left of Uncle Oscar’s coveralls from the end of the shaft -- and from
skinned and in partial shock, he stood there uttering, “Lord Leonard,
Leonard, lord Leonard.” Stripped bare
except for part of a sleeve still hanging over one shoulder and his
and shoes, he took stock of himself standing there for every passer-by
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)
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,
inside the house Uncle Oscar cleaned himself up, borrowed some clothes
though somewhat ruffled returned to the job.
Later, Mother said she was never so scared in all her life to
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
family and friends exclaiming, “lord Leonard” in his presence to remind
tease him. Several years later, much to
the delight of Darvil, but alas for poor Josephine, her parents bought
brick home that had been Grandpa and Grandma Sims home.
for something to fill the awful void good fortune came to my rescue,
began to keep company with another fine woman.
Well, keeping her in my company a great deal, friendship turned
deep admiration and in time into love.
Marvel Beals Taylor and I married on
a teenager and young man usually off adventuring, I had visited most of
states in the country. But since my
retirement in 1966, Olive and I were free to travel and enjoyed some
trips. Since I lost her and remarried,
Marvel and I have traveled too. We made
a trip up through
been asked to describe my personality and philosophy regarding my role
superior in directing men. Most of my career with the Forest Service
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
for me and to hopefully be held in sufficiently high esteem to receive
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.
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
lost a scrap.]
never really worried about much, but I’ve gotten myself into a little
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
neighbor, an Ison girl, that lived across the street.
response to good advice I would like to give to my young friends and
for their future welfare, and above all, for their happiness: I firmly
-- 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
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
doors down and across the intersection close to Marvel’s daughter,
her good husband, Richard Harmon.
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
latter part of September, 1994, Marvel and I were invited guests of
on channel nine in
we moved to
an update, June 1996, I’m still enjoying excellent health, considering
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
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
Brother Leonard, by Darvil
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
those early years he seemed to be searching for his nitch in life,
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.
incident involving a certain service I performed for Leonard proved to
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.
the end of the summer a stranger arrived at our doorstep asking for him
giving reasons why. With mother’s
approval I prepared for the hike to advise Leonard, and as soon as 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
the mountain. From there I started out
on foot hiking up the steep rough road for an additional seven miles to
mill at an elevation of over 8,000 feet.
The walking, riding and long hike up, of more than 4,000 feet
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
contacts and experiences as a conscripted fire fighter while working at
mill and later through employment with the CCC, he received a permanent
appointment with the Forest Service.
Leonard rose to second in command on
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.
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
the course of campaigning for a seat in the Arizona State Senate, I
with people who lived out around the mountain: farmers, ranchers
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.”
Quiet Boss, by Darvil David
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
him. During the summer of 1953 after I
graduated from high school, through Leonard’s thoughtfulness, I was
the fire guard at the cabin-community of Turkey Flat where I stayed
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
for smoker-started fires, did repairs on pipes running from the springs
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
boulders just for fun. On three
occasions Leonard sent me off as the crew leader, even though all of
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
them. But, the experience was invaluable
for me in later years.
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
instructions -- men moved. His language
was free of course and filthy words, but he was always in control.
one occasion, a big husky boy from Pima and all 150 pounds of
three-quarter-inches of skinny me were making our way down a trail with
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
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
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
from a “Pro,” by
Bruce Lane McBride: On many occasions I
went with my older brothers to the river or into the mountains either
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,
I learned at an early age how to handle a gun and how to get along in
was with Leonard in the
he reached the top, climbed through the trap door out onto the narrow
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
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
Innocent Driver, by Darvil
McBride: As a sheriff and as a good man
Dad hated the use of alcohol and the destructive effects it had upon
family and individuals. He took personal
satisfaction in apprehending the bootleggers smuggling hard liquor out
the keys were kept for those autos I don’t know, but I do know they
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
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..
On The Deer Hunt, by Darvil
While visiting with Leonard to gather family history, I told
that Bruce had recounted the story of how he had taken him along on a
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
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’
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
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.
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
Leonard to come out and help him down.
When we all went out to see why Mother was so alarmed, there sat
on the very top, a-straddle the swiveling wind vane riding as if it
flying horse. Floyd climbed the
structure under the instance of Mother and assisted our errant brother
the keys were kept for those autos I don’t know, but I do know they
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
propel a car forward -- or backward, depending on the gear.
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..
Plows, by Darvil David (Mac)
McBride: Linda and I passed through
Safford to photograph a plow share (one blade) and a complete plow in
backyard. Leonard found the share some
years ago at Oak Flat in the
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
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
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
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
had heard. He was a little over 300
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.”
hadn’t lived in Thatcher very long when Leonard, somehow -- I’ll not
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
some time known only to us boys.
not to insinuate anything that might be incorrect, but the local
appeared at our front door, and Leonard under duress had to fess-up and
over the cache from under the step.
Later, he appeared before the justice of the peace, and as I
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
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
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.”
blow” tickled the ears of the entire community.
The statement became a chuckle and a by-word, making Leonard
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
like it or not.
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,
afternoon got a little cool and the boys built a fire.
Up close to the fire to keep warm,
what could be the results of the back pockets, Leonard picked him up
thirty feet to the creek where he
plunged into the water with him, soaking the remaining pockets of
extinguishing the burning clothes. He
helped the severely burned boy rid himself of the useless clothes, gave
what he needed of his own clothes and though the boy was in partial
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
from home at the time when
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
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
was all of nine years old when I went “wild”; that is to say, when I
my introduction into the mountains; and Leonard is the one responsible.
was the summer I trailed (walking) behind a wagon loaded with supplies,
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
we made our way over the primitive roadway Leonard introduced me to
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
person I have ever met. There were the
pot holes where the stream cascaded through a box canyon of near solid
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
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
been. He had probably requested such an
unusual resting place.
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
shells, with the injunction, ”Don’t point it toward the cabin or the
mill.” Right then I decided I wanted to be
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.
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?
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.
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
throne, attended by a retinue of Lords and Ladies -- the stately fir
pine -- with the Gila Valley for a footstool.
day my teen-age cousin, Albert Phillips, and his friend, hiked up to
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?)
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.
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
that evening, the first year I went “wild.”
the Hills, by Bruce Lane
McBride: Leonard went on to
eventually make the
forest service his career, devoting his special skills and energy to
the mountain wilderness for all to enjoy.
For many years
times Leonard has asked me along on some part of his work or
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.
Leonard is a fun guy, always pleasant to be around; full of experience
interesting stories. With a winsome
disposition and eyes that smile, he is quick to turn a phrase and make
Sims McBride was born
first grammar school years were spent at the
in life he seemed to set himself on a determined course to secure a
education, but because of finances, he
could not commence college immediately, so he went to
this time, upon his return to school that he met Harvey L. Taylor, the
appointed president of the college. A deep and lasting friendship
between this man and the boy, Orlando, a friendship which was perhaps
the most influential things in his life.
In his sermon at the funeral services for
1931, while at BYU, he attended “Leadership Week.”
In a letter to his mother dated
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
accepted a teaching position at
a “6 View Letter Card” (6 photo postcard ) sent home in August 1937,
“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)”
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
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.
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
people in its thick shroud, one is left to wonder which way to go and
get there. Were it not for the roads,
sidewalks, and certain sign posts along the way, all would become lost
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
man made ideas. It is good to know that
we have the way of life that no fog can dim.”
attended the summer session at the
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?
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!
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;
discouraged, still pursue,
Until life’s best is won by you!
the funeral services, Jesse A. Udall spoke of
were happy to receive that kind of an invitation, and we talked about
matter while we were in camp. And I do
not hesitate to say that there was no
promptly I received answers back from all of the other stake presidents
concurring in the nomination, and it then became my privilege to write
Presidency of the Church and make the recommendation that all of the
Presidents of the Arizona District had agreed upon nominating Orlando
for this very important position. And
very promptly an answer came back from President Grant and his
confirming the suggestion and authorizing me to set apart Brother
this very important work in the military services.
wanted to tell you that at the time I set Brother McBride apart for
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
“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.
two or three months ago I was with a group of National Guard officers
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
posterity, because Orlando McBride was one of the most learned men in
of religion in our Church or anywhere else.
And what he said had a lot of weight and a lot of influence.
Colonel Mendenhall told me the other day that a boy out at
his first leave,
carrying on his Chaplain’s duties, he held services for the Latter-day
boys - four or five meetings each Sunday.
usually the voyage required only four days, submarines several times
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.
three months in the La Guardia Hospital he was sent to
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.”
his discharge, Orlando and Evelyn returned to make their home in the
with his small family, he was anxious to commence the building their
home. During the summer and in all of
his spare time from school duties, he worked on the its construction,
lived in their new home just a year and five months, a period of great
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
funeral services were held
gems of his philosophy are recorded in his personal journals, and this
following excerpt is typical of his quality life:
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
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.”
active in the Church, a full tithe-payer, he never failed to perform
or refused any responsibility or position.
During the years he taught in the Thatcher Schools, he served as
of the Thatcher Ward Mutual. After his
return from the mission field, he served as Stake Mutual President in
Joseph Stake. In addition to his M.I.A.
work, he was an active Sunday School teacher and performed uncounted
other church organizations. He served as
a High Councilor in both the
in the art of public speaking, he gave untiring service to the
large - seldom refusing when called upon - though many times it may
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.
A. Udall said in giving the obituary at the funeral services: “I should
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
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.”
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:
and seven years ago, my parents brought fourth upon this continent a
species, conceived in hope and dedicated to the proposition that the
created just him. Now he is engaged in a
great tug of war, as to whether St. Peter will beckon him in, or the
himself will trip the trap door. “
I look back over those 87 years, my thanks and appreciation go first to
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
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
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
swashbucklers. A little taller than the
average man, wiry and sinewy-muscular of build, gave him the appearance
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
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
difficult to beat. Those who knew of him
preferred to enjoy his unassuming, humorous, pleasant company rather
mix-it with fists.”
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
the law in the sparsely populated, western end of the county where we
she did not have an easy life, even though in the beginning, she grew
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
buildings in Globe and
in the country town of
to my chagrin, at the supposed age of eighty, I discovered my birth
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
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.
truth finally came to light. At the time
of my arrival into this world my father happened to be on a
construction job in
fifth in the family, I was the first of the nine children who crowded
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
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
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.
older brothers together with our oldest sister, Gladys, attended school
neighboring town of
the daily trips to school, Orlando and I, the two youngest, stood up in
back behind the seat in the little bed, while our big brothers sat in
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
called the hack.)
trips in the buggy to and from school I remember well, especially
cold winter months. Orlando and I had to
dress extra warm with heavy coats and snuggle down back up against the
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
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.
Dad was elected sheriff of Graham County after having served two years
deputy, we moved ten miles east, up river to Safford.
There, the stage was set for great and
ominous changes in our lives. After
little more than a year, he and two of his deputies, Martin Kempton and
Wooten were killed in line of duty.
1918, during the First World War, Dad and two of his trusted deputies
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
help the family survive the tragedy, living quarters were offered to
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
Thatcher I grew up as an average country boy, in honorerable but
poverty, for my mother never let me forget that though poor, our
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
the varied terrain and vegetation of the river bottom, we played
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
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
there. Imagination only placed limits on
us. Many interesting and peculiar
experiences occurred while we combed the wilds of that great playground
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
the age of five and seven, my three older brothers and I often stripped
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
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
reaping a harvest. With our hands we
caught catfish, some great big carp, the razor-back bonytail and
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 several species of night birds left their prints in the muddy edges,
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
the boneless delicacies.
my life, I’ve always retained a love for hunting, fishing, camping,
packing and athletics. In the outdoors
the early days of my youth I’ve had chores and jobs and though an
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;
grandfather McBride with his chickens and egg business; gathered
the ditch banks and sold them by the bunch door to door; worked in the
fields as a loader, pitcher, bailer and hauler; picked, thinned and
cotton; worked at the Power mine panning gold; worked for the Indian
a smoke chaser (fire fighter) high in the mountain forests, stationed
tower, in Northern Arizona; herded cattle along with a little
two dwellings and several additions and did summer contract plumbing. Also, there were a number of other jobs
kept me occupied.
Thatcher after Dad was killed I entered the third grade and didn’t look
until I graduated from
spent my two Junior High School years in the new building that opened
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
school were then meeting. In my senior
year I was elected as President of the Senior class and graduated from
school in 1930. In my graduating year at
the Jr. College I served as President of the Student Body.
1934, I graduated from Northern Arizona University (then Arizona State
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
leading man in only one stage play at the Jr. College, I participated
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.
first year at
second year was considerably different.
Jo and I had married in the summer and she came with me that
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,
had plenty to eat and readily available fuel to keep our little cook
going and spent a wonderful, poverty stricken year, satisfied that we
our three children, I’ll insert some of Josephine’s history, so she can
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
would have sworn then that the time of arrival had come.
But, only a false alarm, I would continue a
bit longer in discomfort.
the middle of the night my water broke; I knew the time had finally
arrived.. The next day,
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
always wanted, so desperately, that Dad bought it for her.
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
mother and father's family. And next
door, his Grandma Mcbride and Frankie, Darvil's youngest sister, they
thought him very special and helped to care for and tend him. Our first hardly had a chance to be a
before the second came along thirteen and one-half months later.
third year Darvil taught in Solomonville, we lived in one of the
above the Drug Store We waited expectantly for our second baby to
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.
didn’t work, but finally, to my great relief, Darvil walked in the door
minutes before the doctor delivered our second boy.
Jon Robert, was born
When Jon grew big enough to walk well, I
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
one in all the world. But, when one would run to
the other, seeing them together, I
both are ten-times cuter together.”
months after Jon was born, the time had come for our third and last
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
Dr. Platt drove in, about in the afternoon of
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
and care for the children. Each in their
own special ways were exceptional.
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
three brothers had been working on mother’s new house in Thatcher all
year. I hated to leave at the time, for
it wasn’t quite finished, but I knew Orlando and Leonard would soon get
tide us over until we could established ourselves in
still on the aforementioned milk route, we had moved to
we told our landlord, Mr. Smiley, we were going to buy a house in
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
instructor. They had Jo doing about
especially the piano. How they did
1945 we sold our
returning to the Valley, we made a deal with Jo’s mother in which we
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
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
one year. A few days later, Eldon
Randall caught up with me in the post office and asked if I would be
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.
1957, and for nearly the same reasons as existed when we left Solomon,
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
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)
after being elected, we sold the business.
Then after eight years of service to the people of
the fireplace gas log, business years we resided in
these years, continuing a tradition my oldest son had set during the
previous years, we hosted the extended family and many of their and our
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
1985 we sold our
have had the same job in the Corona Del Mar Ward for the nearly eleven
while we have lived here – home teacher and ward representative for the
magazines and news. While complaining to
the Bishop about my extended stay, all he said was , ”Well, if you
be released in four or five years, why did you do such a good Job?”
oldest, Darvil David (Mac), married Linda Ann Larson of
Robert, married DeNell Louise Crismon of
Jo, married James Gregory Porter, born
At this point, we have 28 grandchildren, 60 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild.
conclude this snapshot of history, that I leave especially for you, my
and nephews, and your children and on down through your generations,
many there may be, I’ll share the greatest of treasures that mankind
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
of our own brothers and sisters: a knowledge of the truth found in the
of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”
Not that we wish to boast or impress, nor do we in any way
strength of the testimony of others, but to leave the whole as a legacy
ones who follow. And we hope this brief
sketch bears witness of what we claim, for we, of assurity, bare solemn
of the following:
modern and ancient scripture, through revelation and inspiration to
prophets, we know that God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ are
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
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,
that even today a living prophet leads and guides this, his people.
believe the original Church, as organized by the Savior, fell into
after the death of Christ’s apostles. Thus the Priesthood, the
man to act in the Lords name upon the earth, was taken away, ushering
Dark Ages, making it necessary for a “restoration of authority” in
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
undertake the search ourselves.
an obligation rests upon our shoulders since we know, without a doubt,
previous statements are absolutely true.
Therefore we can not; no! we dare not deny it, and are driven to
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,
in our own time and way, have arrived at our religious conclusions on
and feel that we have had no dependence “on the arm of flesh,” against
the Savior has warned.
years now we have expressed this fact to each other: that we do not
a certain time ever arrived in our lives when first we “started to
“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. .
our lives are harried by the question of what are the rules by which we
live? Again the answer is, “search and
ye shall find, ask and it shall be given, knock and it will be opened,”
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
now, after the many testimonies which have been given of Him, this is
testimony, last of all, which we give of him: That he lives! For we saw him!”
we have not seen Him personally, but believe Joseph Smith to be a
God, we sense we know him, and boldly bear the same testimony: That He lives!
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.
of the twin devils, “selfishness” and “pride”, “the root of
all sin.” They
are evil bed-partners, ever entwined, masquerading in many disguises --
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?
and “covetousness” invariably accompany selfishness and pride and are
destructive to the integrity of the human soul and sound relationships
others. All of the aforementioned
eventually lead to unforgiveness, which is hate, an ugly and foreboding
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.
in its numerous forms, to any degree, will deny the Holy Spirit’s
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.
in its many forms creeps in, ever so gradually, slowly but surely,
with slithering tentacles. Young and
old will avoid it like the plague or suffer terrible, grave unhappiness
life and if not repentant -- awful consequences in life after death.
know you. We care about you and
yours. We love you.
your Aunt Jo and Uncle Darvil.
RUTH (RUTHIE) MCBRIDE COCHRAN
from a tribute
What’s In a Name
sister, who passed away
sad we were at her passing as she left a husband and two young
Ruth and Charles Edward (Petie); saddened also as we thought of our
at this juncture had laid to rest a husband, an infant son (Stanley) a
son (Orlando) and now a mature daughter, besides her own parents.
recent times Ruthie had been a real comfort to Mother, having asked her
often and spend time with the family in their lovely home in
and stately in demeanor, with an unusually gentle disposition, Ruthie
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
true to the faith; as a Business secretary, highly efficient; as a wife
parent, passionately devoted. Ruthie was
highly endowed in the twin talents of acting and dramatic reading,
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
of Edgar Allen Poe’s, “The Bells”. At
about the same age, (13 years) she recited, on a church program, “The
Before Christmas.” And there were many
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
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.
believe I was required to pick and sell figs from our two trees to come
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”.
further example of the generosity of Ruthie and Russsell occurred years
when I sustained a serious leg injury on the job in
NOTHING FROM ELLA RUTH YET
THE TWO MESSAGES LEFT
am the seventh child in the family of nine children of my parents,
Franklin McBride and Clara Sims. Their
children are, in the order of their births: Gladys, Floyd, Leonard,
Darvil, Ruth, Bruce, Stanley and Frankie.
three years old my father was appointed as Deputy to the Sheriff of
County, in consequence of which we moved ten miles up the river to
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
his two trusted deputies, Martin Kempton and Kane Wooten, were killed
line of duty by the infamous Power Brothers,
home was in Thatcher for the next twenty years.
While not in school or church I would usually be found in some
activity involving the desert, the mountain or the river.
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.)
these thoughts in mind I surmise that I must be the product of mesquite
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
went through the scouting program and gained the rank of Eagle and the
Palm. Eugene Mangum and I were the first
in our troop to attain the rank of Eagle.
finished high school in the year 1931 and enrolled the same year at
of the most memorable experiences of my life were during the summer of
1933. I decided to accompany Al Cazer to
his home in
the summer was over I made the return trip to
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
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.
next morning I discovered I was the only “hobo” on that train. No one else had been successful in making it
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 in the morning I caught the
October of 1933 I enlisted with the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps),
spent approximately six months encamped on
the fall of 1934 I started school at the
will be remembered that these were the depression years and there was
little work to be found. I left
arrived home the latter part of April, 1935, but found very little to
occupied around the valley. Another
friend, Otis Ray, who had been going to school in
one time on this trip we were stranded at a watering tank fifteen miles
El Paso, Texas, having been escorted by the railroad guards, at gun
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
the “blinds.“ By morning we were obliged
to abandon the passenger train for the slower means of transportation,
freight, which we rode all day, arriving in
the return trip we took a different route across
Hondo we were not well received. As we
were resting near the school house the sheriff advised us not to spend
night in town. Consequently we walked
out on the highway, as though we were leaving, but instead waited under
near the tracks until about , when we caught the freight
of the remainder of this summer I worked on some relief projects and
few dollars building erosion dams in the washes and ravines on the
south of the valley. One day during
lunch hour, one of the boys about my age began sounding off about his
as a wrestler. Someone on the crew
knowing that I had at least a fair ability at this sport ventured the
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.
wasn’t about to come to grips with him since he was bigger than I by
inches and 20 pounds. With a quick
maneuver of one foot I knocked his feet from under him and he hit the
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
down. After this the noisy one wasn’t
noisy anymore and we heard no more about wrestling.
was ordained an Elder in the Melchizedec Priesthood
of my companions had a guitar. When we
would hold cottage meetings we would often entertain by singing some of
church hymns. Elder Hansen did well with
the lead; I struggled with the bass.
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.
the summer months in
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
Saint groups who came into the
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:
classes, public speaking, missionary work, etc.. Malin Lewis, a
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
the beginning of 1944, the
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
new engines, a project of no mean proportions.
and I returned to our activities in the church.
Our second child, Steven Bruce was born in Ajo,
Velda and I in seeking “greener pastures,” moved to Wilmington
I went into a bicycle and washing machine repair business with my
Darvil. Our third child, Leora Jo was
born at the hospital in
we kept in touch with the saints in Ajo.
The branch meeting house was completed.
Church membership increased, resulting in a ward being organized
construction of a new ward house.
worked for the Department of Water and Power twenty seven and a half
during which time I advanced from lineman to patrolman and eventually
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
Robert became a Boy Scout, he and I took up backpacking, an outdoor
pursued in earnest during the next dozen years; first with Robert and
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
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
went into the Answering Service business.
She owned Answering Services successively in
these many years in the
filled a two-year mission in
Jo attended B.Y.U.,
completed high school and then moved to
July of 1985 we sold our home in Northridge and moved to
Velda and I moved to
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
extracted the following from “Twenty Degrees and Stretching,” a short
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
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
jarring the arm into the shoulder socket.
My friend drove me home and to the doctor who pronounced it a
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.
visited the doctor, then a specialist on many occasions and began
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
the therapist, even submerged in a hot pool.
Cortisone shots, changes of prescription, and the caring
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
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
my wallet. The standing joke with my
brother was that whenever the check was presented after a restaurant
had real difficulty getting my wallet out.
became months and I became despondent, beginning to feel sorry for
myself. I lapsed into depression because
thoughts of being destined for life to unrelenting pain of a crippled
and shoulder. Faithful to the letter
doctor’s instructions, exercise, therapy treatments and taking
prayed always for help. However, as deep
discouragement swept over me after enduring the crippling effects, and
intense emotional disturbance, my tack changed
to a now -- desperate fervency in prayer.
the end of May, five months since the “minor injury,” I offered up my
“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
begin to respond to treatment. I didn’t
expect it to be easy or painless. “Just
let the process begin,” I pleaded.
was Wednesday afternoon. I called my
home teacher, who was our bishops first counselor, and told him I
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.
Lord had a different plan. At 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
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
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
the Prophet Joseph Smith, after he had suffered greatly through all
afflictions heaped upon him by his enemies, and after languishing many
in the vile prisons of Missouri. Through
revelation he was told, “All these things shall give thee experience,
be for thy good.” And yet in a little
while he would come off triumphant. “The Son of Man hath descended
all. Art thou greater than he?”
good man then administered to me, rebuking the infirmities which had
me, and pronouncing a blessing in the name of the Lord that “the
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
night I enjoyed my first good night’s sleep in weeks, and the pain had
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.
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
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
restoration of my shoulder, arm and hand would finally come about. I knew clearly to whom to give credit.
Darvil David (Mac) McBride: While visiting
with Leonard to gather family history, I told him that Bruce had
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
for the time he’d spent with him.
Leonard fell silent, his eyes softened, and he gazed into space
several seconds as he pondered my words.
Then, with dampness in his eyes, in a throaty subdued voice, he
“Well of course, he’s my little brother.”
compiling and submitting the foregoing pages of my personal history, I
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
am now eighty-three (83) years of age, and in light of my experiences,
them not detailed in this history) and many of them not only exciting
I marvel that I have lived to tell the story.
I believe that except for divine providence, my life could have
taken on any one of numerous occasions.
Reckless? No; adventurous?
Yes! By the measure of some, a little
mother spoke often of “Guardian Angels” and the hand of the Lord in the
of those with faith in Him. These things
I have always believed, and have put a lot of trust in what the Lord
in store for me, and my loved ones. With
these feelings have come the assurance that my life has had a purpose
all, though not always sure just what that purpose might be (modesty is
virtue, they say).
have I been blessed with a lovely wife; beautiful, patient, devoted,
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
probably have been unable to do many of the things that we have done
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
pages I have written for both of us, especially for the benefit of our
and nieces and nephews and their descendants.
Be it known that the gospel of Jesus Christ has been the
in our lives. I cannot imagine what our
lives would have been if not having been raised by noble and believing
and if together we had not stayed close to the Lord’s true church, The
of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Together we bear fervent testimony of the restoration of the
through the Prophet Joseph Smith.
be brief to these three primary truths, we bear testimony, the Holy
our witness, 1) “Jesus Christ is truly the Savior, having wrought out
atonement and all that pertains and results therefrom; 2) the gospel
Christ’s church have been restored through the latter-day prophet; 3)
of Mormon is true, another testament of the divine mission of the
Savior. To read its pages and ask in faith
witness is unfailing in receiving this testament.
and I would like to pass on to our posterity and all who read these
if one will order his/her life with the ideals springing from these
truths, he/she will surely be on the right path, have a firm hold on
Rod” which leads to the “Tree of Life”, to partake of its precious
humbly bear witness by the Holy Spirit, which is the spirit of prophecy
malice toward none; and charity to all….
Bruce and Velda McBride
an absolute sense however,
touching the baby she had lost, I am sure she was aquatinted with the
taught by the Latter-day Prophet, Joseph Smith.
He said, “...all children who die before they arrive at the age
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
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
and glory than the other, and is freed a little sooner from the
wicked world.” (Teachings of the Prophet
Joseph Smith, Deseret Book Co., 1965, pp 107, 196, 197)
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”
“FRANKIE” THURSA MCBRIDE FARR
was born in Thatcher,
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
hearing about him through the family and even from many other people
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.
early I became errand girl for my Grandmother Sims spending many hours
eating special little meals she would prepare for just us two, and I
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
across the fence from our home (Josephine
Phillips father, David Dee purchased it.) and a few others in the
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
getting her to bed, caring for every little need, tucking her in so
she then turned the lamp down low so Grandmother could go to sleep, and
being able to leave the room after the ordeal, anxious for her own much
rest, she was beckoned within minutes to return -- by the familiar call
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
you uncross it for me?”
other was ever like my wonderful Mother -- I loved her so much that I
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
myself. When the Mangums discovered I
was gone, they rushed over to my house to see if I was safely there,
feared I might have walked in my sleep
and gotten lost.
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
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
only their feet could be seen. Darvil
sat on the right, with his right leg tucked back and a false leg all
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
and give it a hard shake. Enjoying the
game and following instructions, woe and behold, with a hard jerk of a
fell over backwards to the floor holding the dismembered leg. It’s needless to discuss the uproar it
caused -- at my expense, of course.
trickery that takes the cake was when they made a dummy out of a shirt
of pants, complete with shoes and socks.
They laid it on the bed stomach down and put a puffed up pillow
what was supposed to be the head and told me it was Orlando there
asleep. They explained that he needed to
and they gave me a board and said to give him a swat, and if he didn’t
the first time, I was to swat him again harder.
Just a little girl, I followed their instructions and began to
harder and harder to no avail, while they stood behind me back by the
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
trenches. One evening while walking
those trenches, I came to the big hole dug for the cesspool, and I had
feeling I wanted to jump -- because I had always wanted to know how it
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
before such a childish inclination might influence me again.
early education all took place in Thatcher at the Elementary school,
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
June McBride, Miss Reed, Arthur Mercer and Mr. Mangum.
the third grade, Edna Brimhall introduced us to “music” -- and oh how I
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
her house to take piano lessons. I don’t
believe I took lessons during the Winter months until I was in junior
high school, at which time I would walk to the College after school to
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.
junior high and high school teachers were: Paul Guitteau, Mrs.
Kathleen Kendricks, Merrill Hatch, Ella Hancock Chlarson, Orlando
brother), Evan Madsen. Beatrice Mickelson, Olive Evans, Arlene Borquist
Freestone. At the college I was taught
by J. Loyd Olpin, Monroe Clark, Ben Johnson, Evan Madsen, Johnney
Bentley, Nellie Lee, Wilda Merrill, Mr. Lorenzo, Wesley Taylor, and
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.
only did I gain quartet experience, but I was chosen to sing in the
choruses and join the “Messiah Presentation”, of the College and
chorus. This wonderful annual
presentation was first started through the influence of Mr. Evan
music teacher at
full name is Zechariah Philip Farr. His
Father, Zechariah, passed away on
returned to Gila for the second year of school , and as he and his
into town in their topless fliver and parked on main Street in
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
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.”
following year, we both attended
next year, Phil stayed to graduate and receive his “bachelors degree”
came home to work in the Agriculture Adjustment Administration office
court house to help my mother and prepare for marriage.
On my birthday,
August 3, just a few days before the marriage, I was honored with a
tea and shower hosted in the home of my older brother, Darvil Burns
his wife Josephine, who were then living in Solomonville, a community
*** 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
brother] of Solomonville were hostesses at the latter’s home in
Monday at a trousseau tea and shower in honor of Miss Frankie McBride
McBride’s marriage to
Philip Farr of Farmington, New Mexico, is to be solemnized at the
Saints Temple, Salt Lake City, August
flowers and ferns
were employed as table and room decorations, with a long, lace-covered
on which the many gifts received were displayed, as the central
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
Ajo [an older brother] presided at the tea table.
Girl: The bride-elect is a daughter of Mrs. Clara
McBride of Thatcher, one of the hostesses [and the daughter of] the
McBride, former sheriff of Graham county. She [Frankie] was born and
Thatcher, and is a graduate of the Thatcher High School, Gila Junior
College, [in] Thatcher, and Arizona
State Teachers College, [in] Tempe.
[Philip] Farr is a son
of Mr. and Mrs. Zechariah Farr of
McBride will leave
Thatcher August 14. The couple will
spend the week following their marriage at
we moved to
1938, just two years before we were married, Phil and I with three
couples -- Boyce Lines and La Preal Rogers, Leila Ferrin and one of the
boys along with a third couple that time has dimmed, were chosen to
the “All Church Dance Festival” in Salt Lake City out at Salt Air in
beautiful old pavilion. While in
first year in Kirtland was very eventful.
It was Phil’s first teaching position and his first pay-check,
$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
event” arrived. Clara Sue, a six and
one-half pound baby girl, was born
third year found us back in
living in Coolidge, our second little girl, Phyllis -- named after her
was born. in the
War II, now in full swing conscripted Phil in June 1945 to serve in the
Army. He moved us to
service in the Army kept him away from us for only five months. After spending time at
Phil’s discharge, we moved to
the Miami Ward, Phil and I were called to the positions of chorister
organist. We also worked in the M.I.A.
and helped organize and present the “Green and Gold Ball” during two
years. Our little Phyllis was
crown-bearer for the queen at one of them, and Phil and I danced in the
show during the intermission. Shortly, a
new bishopric was formed and Phil was called to be a councilor to
Naylor, formerly from Thatcher. All were
set apart by Apostle Henry D. Moyle.
next move took us to
there we moved to
one day out of the clear blue, a total stranger, Clifford Young, came
house and offered Phil a job helping to
build a chapel in
a change, he took another job under Clifford Young who had a logging
in the mountains close by. Phil became
the foreman of that business for a short while. Clifford served as the
while working as a building
contractor. He hired Phil to work with
him on a building project in Grants,
time we were awakened in the middle of the night by a tremendous blast
our bed. We were so very frightened,
thinking at first that maybe the furnace in the basement had exploded
earthquake had happened. We found out a
few days later that the atom bomb had been tested at White Sands,
Bluewater we moved back to
1961, Maxine, Phil’s sister, called and offered us a certain amount of
and her big Albuquerque home to live in -- if we would come and take
her five children. In 1958, her husband
had been killed in a plane crash, and she needed time to leave and find
another place. We moved in the fall, in
time to enroll the school-age children in School -- the four of ours
kept with us, except for our Betty Ann who was not old enough yet, and
of Maxine’s except for her little Jeffrey, yet not old enough.
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
marriage. We had five who were still
with us: Jerry, Dennis, Lana, Robert and Betty Ann, which added to
children amounted to a staggering ten children for us to care for.
went to work for Romney Produce. We
bought a “Red Rambler” station wagon so we could take all the children
with us at the same time whenever we wanted.
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.
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
enjoyed living in the city where we cared for Maxine’s children for
years. After she remarried, she returned
and kept them permanently. At that
point, we bought our first home in
1964, I accepted a job at
the close of the school year, Phil was home and I entered the hospital
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
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.
the Fall, Dennis joined the service and the rest of us moved to
was called to work in the M.I.A. as a counselor and then as the Bee
Teacher, Ward Organist, Primary Organist and then I was called to be
President of the Relief Society. At the
same time, I was also substitute teaching in the schools, and became
sold our home in
1974, Phil essentially left teaching, and we with Dennis and his wife,
and their two little ones moved to
back to the
and I are now back in the Stake Name Extraction Program, and we are
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.
also involved in a small business called “Kountry Kitchens” with a girl
in Safford. We take orders for food,
both for daily use and for storage.
lives continue to revolve around church activities and as usual we are
busy people enjoying life.
Let us include a brief up-date on our family as of January 1996:
Sue Solomon, age 53, now single, is still living in
Penrod, age 52, is a legal secretary.
She and her husband, Lance Penrod, are without children at home
Philip, age 49, and his wife Carol and family live in
McBride, age 47, and his wife Melanie (Jim Smith’s granddaughter) and
live in Hurricane
Jeanine Cheney, age 46, and her husband Glenn and family live in
Franklin, age 45 (named after my father) and his wife Connie have four
-- Kelly Robert, Andrew Franklin, E’Shell Marie and Brooke Leigh. The family lives in
Ann Cheney, age 37, is single again and lives in
and I, the proud parents of this wonderful family were age 72 and 71 at
time of this picture, about August 15, 1990, taken at Murry Park in
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.)
children, from left to right: Jerald
Philip, Clara Sue Solomon, Phyllis Penrod, Dennis McBride, Betty Ann
Robert Franklin and Lana Jeanine Cheney,
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”
the rest of the family. Despite the fact
that she was the youngest and could well have been spoiled beyond
Frankie turned out just the opposite.
Rather shy and reserved, she took on many of the fine toned
our mother. Compassionate and congenial,
she traveled in a wide circle of friends and became, indeed, a favorite
many of her associates. I
don’t think any of our family ever heard of Frankie getting into any
trouble or causing any problems in school or the community.
thing that stands out most in my mind is the group of girls that
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.
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.
line in an old western ballad went like this: “Go beat the drum slowly
the fife lowly; sound the death march ....”
Frankie, then about four years old, asked, “What is a
drumslowly?” Leonard’s answer was, “A
something like a fiflowly.” That, I
believe is an appropriate joke to be told on a budding musician.