Children of Laura Lewis & Peter Howard McBride

Laura McBride & Hyrum LeRoy Smith
Ether McBride & (1) Bertha Almira Carter and (2) Nellie Sonora Bryce
Junius McBride - died infant
Della McBride & Lehi Larson
Cora McBride - died infant
Clyde McBride & Zela Sims
Reliah Grace McBride & James Alma Larson
Keturah Flo McBride & Francis McLaws

Scroll down to see each child and their spouse

LAURA MCBRIDE - First Child, Daughter of Peter Howard McBride Sr. & Laura Lewis (m. Hyrum LeRoy Smith)

See additional story as written by Laura

Born March 14, 1884 in Pima, Graham County, Arizona, Laura McBride assumed the role of "big sister" in a family of eight children. Her mother, and name-sake, Laura Lewis, was the second wife of Peter H. McBride in a polygamous marriage. Both her parents had migrated from Utah to the Gila Valley; Peter in 1880, Laura Lewis a year later.

Despite austere conditions on the frontier, Laura McBride claimed a happy childhood. Her own account of her early years is filled with stories of adventure in the harsh surroundings of the mesquite - covered flatlands of the lower Gila Valley. Laura, it seems, had a special affinity for things in nature, and adapted readily to a primitive environment. A log cabin home, snakes, lizards, coyotes, cactus, flash floods, farm animals, birds, wild flowers, horse and buggy - all were a part of this special young lady's life as she grew up.

Laura started school at age six. Attending church on a regular basis was a must, though she often went barefoot to both, and often owned but one homemade dress.

When Laura was eight years of age, her father went to Mexico because of the trouble over polygamy. At this time she went with her mother and a younger brother and sister to join him there. Associated with other members of the Mormon Church at Juarez, the mother and the three youngsters remained throughout the winter of 1891 -92, during which time Peter returned to Arizona to take care of the farm. The one year in Juarez became a memorable experience for young Laura. There she was baptized in a river, and did baby sitting to help the family get along.

In Pima, Arizona, Laura finished grade school. At age sixteen she started school at the L.D.S. Academy in Thatcher, where she studied three years toward a teaching certificate. During this time she taught kindergarten students for practical training. In a class of thirty-five children was Spencer Kimball, destined to become the Prophet and President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day-Saints. In later life Laura found great satisfaction for having been involved as a teacher of President Kimball in his formative years.

Laura enjoyed a special relationship with her father. Along with a fine voice she also displayed good dramatic ability. She became a mainstay in her father's singing and performing groups. Together they shared their talents with. people over a broad area of the state.

At the Academy Laura had met and fallen in love with Hyrum LeRoy Smith. Following a two-year romance, they went by train to Salt Lake City to be married in the temple, April 12, 1906. The return trip brought them through San Francisco, California, where they witnessed the devastation that had recently befallen that great city by an earthquake. The happy couple first settled in Pima; but during the many years of their marriage, they lived in many places and engaged in many pursuits to earn a living. Together they served a two-year gospel mission among the Indians. Living on the Apache reservation, they greatly endeared themselves to their Lamanite brothers and sisters.

Hyrum and Laura had ten children, eight of which grew to maturity, all honorable men and women.

In her home ward, besides sharing dramatic and musical talents, Laura served for eighteen years as President of the primary, and assisted in all capacities in the Women's Relief Society. For more than forty years she researched the genealogy of her ancestors. Her contributions in this field are voluminous. Much of the research which has gone into the publication of this work, The Story of the McBride Family, was performed by Laura Smith.

Affectionately known as "Little Laura" (an appellation she disliked), she loved her family and revered her progenitors. In a long, productive life she outlived her husband by many years. Laura passed away November 11, 1982, at the home of her eldest son, Elmo, in Farmington, New Mexico, just short of age ninety-nine.

Return to Top of Page


- Second Child and First Son of Peter Howard McBride Sr. and Laura Lewis (m. Bertha Almira Carter)

In September, 1971, at the age of eighty-five, Ether McBride compiled a short autobiography. His clear, fast-moving style of writing is evidence of an alert mind, seldom equaled by one of such an advanced age with less than a high school education. His active, interesting life is best told by excerpts from his own writing:

I was born 13 Aug. 1886 in Pima, Arizona. I didn't start school until I was eight years old. My first school was a little log school house in Matthewsville. - I next attended school in Pima. They tell me everywhere I went I went on a run, that I could out-run all the kids in Pima. Nobody could catch me.

As a young boy I had a guitar. I used to sit on our front steps in the evening and play and sing. One evening I heard something rattling, and as I raised up, there close to me was a huge rattler ready to strike. It had been charmed by my music, I guess! But it didn't take me long to lose my audience.

When I was fourteen I was doing a man’s work. I worked sixteen hours a day for fifty cents a day, riding horses, buying groceries and camping out. I attended the L.D.S. Academy in Thatcher, Ariz. for two years. In 1907 I had to leave school and find a job. I went to Clifton and worked at Whipple's Dairy for awhile, then I decided to go to Roosevelt Dam and work on the road. It was winter time and we were camping out when I came down with the mumps. The boys would set me out a few glasses of water, then go to work leaving me there alone. I don't know how I kept from dying, I was so sick.

I left Roosevelt and took a job with the Government, to go north in the pines to cut telephone poles. While camping out in these different jobs I had several exciting experiences with bears and coyotes coming into camp while I was alone, and without a gun to protect myself. - - - I came home in June and married my childhood sweetheart, Bertha Carter, June 9, 1909 in Solomonville, Ariz. by Judge Bunch. We moved to Clifton and I went to work at a dairy.

During a strike at Morenci mines there were riots and killings. Bertha was so afraid, and became so lonesome for her folks, she decided to return to her home in Glenbar and stay with her folks for a while. At this time I was working as shipping clerk for Phelps Dodge Mercantile. During the strike I solicited for the union. I sold supplies to the strikers and walked through the picket lines until my pockets were bulging with money. - - - I was getting homesick to see my family so one day I rode a bicycle home. What a ride! The wind was blowing so hard I can still feel the sand striking me in the face. (A sixty mile ride over primitive, unpaved roads on a standard bicycle.)

During the time Ether resided in Clifton he joined a ninety-four piece band, playing the clarinet. He also played the guitar and was recognized for his beautiful bass singing voice.

During a period of twenty years the family of Ether and Bertha grew to ten children. During this time, and succeeding years, Ether's work activities were many and varied: farmer, bookkeeper and salesman for a garage, water boss for the Dodge Nevada Canal Company, breeder of farm animals. His church services were no less varied: ward clerk, bishop's counselor, home missionary. Ether continues:

My wife, Bertha, who had been in ill health for several years, passed away at the Ellsworth Hospital in Safford, Ariz. Mar. 18, 1947, and was buried beside our son in the Pima Cemetery." I was sad and lonely, and one day in May of 1947 my son-in-law, Catlett McEuen, asked me if I would like to have the Glenbar Store. I said I would love to have it. He contacted Free Palmer, the owner who had it up for sale, and we made the necessary arrangements to take over at once.

On Dec. 4, 1950 I married Nellie Bryce Matthews of Mesa, Ariz. In 1951 we bought the M.J. Ferguson home on the east side of the store and sold our home to my sister, Grace Larson.

Nellie was a wonderful wife and companion and helped with the store when she could. She was a good partner to my mother when she was old and helpless.

Bonnie and Clyde - Hold-up at Glenbar store - Eastern Arizona Courier, Wednesday, April 24, 1968

McBrides Relate Hold-up Episode

Much has been said about the exciting and dangerous pursuit which landed three characters calling themselves Bonnie, Clyde, and Jessie James in the Graham County jail.

This is a story of what took place in that country market where Bonnie and Clyde forced an 82 year old man, who depends on a walker to get around, to hand over all the money he had in his cash register and his wallet. The total sum was $20.

The site was McBride's Market at Glenbar, about three miles west of Pima along U.S. Highway 70. The time was, according to Ether McBride, proprietor, 11:10 a.m. Tuesday, April 16th, (1968).

Mr. McBride was over at his vegetable counter straightening up. It being Monday, they had just made their weekend bank deposit. A woman and a man walked in. He went up toward the front of the store to wait on them. Mr. McBride gave the following details:

The woman ordered two cartons of cigarettes, but I only had one carton of the kind she asked for, "I can let you have one carton," I told her, "One pack will be enough," she said. I turned to hand her the pack, and saw she had a gun on me. "This is a stick-up," she told me. I kidded her a bit and said, "Oh, you couldn't scare any one with that toy." She said, "Mister, I mean business." I looked around and there was a man with his gun on me too. After I gave her the money, she said, "I want your wallet!" I told her, "Oh, there's nothing in there." She said, "give it to me anyway."

The whole time they were in the store, she did all the talking. The man never said anything. Of course he didn't have to with that gun in his hand.

In the meantime, Mrs. McBride, who was at their home adjacent to the store, noticed the car as it sat in front of the store. "The man kept it running, and acted awful nervous," she said. "I though I'd better go see if anything was wrong."

As she walked through the back door, Bonnie and Clyde took off out the front door, and sped off in their awaiting get-away car.

The McBrides have been there in their store for 21 years and this is the first time they've ever experienced a hold-up. By Jacque Felshaw.

Author's Note: Details of their arrest and how much time the culprits spent in the county jail is not known.

Nellie passed away February 18, 1971, at her daughter’s home in Mesa, Arizona and was buried in the Mesa Cemetery.

Ether continued to operate the Glenbar Store for a number of years, even while barely able to get around with the aid of a walker. Ether was a good man, blessed by all who knew him - a worthy example of faith and good works. He died suddenly, September 17, 1979, at the end of the day as he was preparing to close his store; age ninety-three.

Return to Top of Page


DELLA MCBRIDE - Fourth Child and Second Daughter of Peter Howard McBride Sr. and Laura Lewis (m. Lehi Larson Jr.)

Extracted form a life sketch written by an unknown relative.

Della McBride Larson was born November 16, 1890, in Pima, Graham Co., Arizona. She was the fourth child and second daughter of Peter Howard McBride and his second wife, Laura Lewis McBride.

Della was specially loved because she was filling a void left by the death of a brother, Junius, just older than she. As she grew older, she seemed to grow prettier with her fine features, her hair being a very big attraction.

Music was an important part of Della's life. In about 1898 Grandma McBride and son Ether, together, much to young Della's delight, bought a new organ from Chicago. Della began playing the organ in the Matthews Ward under the direction of her father, who was the music director. Wherever there were music programs of any kind, Della was in the midst of them playing for parties, cantatas, operettas, and everything. It wasn't long until she was giving music lessons to girls older than herself.

Della attended the Academy in Thatcher for two years, from 1907 through 1909. It was here that she graduated from high school, and here at the Academy that she met Lehi Larson, Jr. who had just returned from a four-year mission to New Zealand.

Lehi and Della were married at her home May 21, 1910. Later they journeyed to Salt Lake City, there to be sealed on June 8, 1910. (During the early years of their married life they lived in several Arizona towns: Clifton, Miami, Globe, Safford, and of course, Glenbar.)

It was when they moved to Safford that Della felt the most secure financially. They were in the grocery business and also "Open Air Theater," and were better able to provide for a growing family. They raised eight children. Della made many sacrifices for them that most of them were not aware of at the time. There was one time, however, when she did something for her own enjoyment. That was when she made the trip to Mesa and sang in the chorus at the dedication ceremonies of the Arizona Temple. This was a highlight in her life, (1927),

During the late 1920's, things got especially difficult for Lehi and Della. It finally came to the point where the family had to go into the cotton fields to pick cotton to be able to survive. This was very hard on Della as she was not in the best of health. During this time they had moved back to Glenbar. In an effort to better things, Lehi went to Phoenix to work. With this separation things became even harder for Della. With a big family to take care of, her health worsened, and just one week after her last daughter, Clydella Fern, was born, she passed away on February 2nd, 1930.

Grandmother Laura McBride consoled the children and took care of them the best she could. She told them that she believed their mother was their guardian angel. Perhaps she was right as they have all turned out pretty well, and all, when the time came, married in the temple.

Return to Top of Page


CLYDE MCBRIDE - Sixth Child, Third son of Peter Howard McBride, Sr. and Laura Lewis (m. Zela Sain)

Clyde McBride was the youngest boy in the family of eight children born to his mother, Laura Lewis. (Two children died in infancy.) His mother was the second wife of Peter Howard McBride in a polygamous marriage. Clyde was born Oct. 21, 1895, in Pima, Arizona.

He attended grade school in a one room adobe school house in Matthewsville, (now Glenbar), with one teacher for eight grades. In his early years he worked on his father's farm in Glenbar and on Mount Graham where he helped raise potatoes and haul them to the valley.

At age sixteen he went to work for a dairy in the mining town of Morenci, Arizona. There he also delivered groceries on mules for the Phelps Dodge Mercantile Company. Many houses in that canyon town were reached only by foot paths. Clyde also worked a short time in Miami, Arizona, at a dairy. He returned to his home in Glenbar, and had saved enough money to buy himself a bicycle. Desiring to further his education, he used the bicycle as transportation the eight miles to the Gila academy in Thatcher. He attended that school for two years. In 1916, Clyde and a friend, Phil Day, organized and incorporated a jitney service, hauling passengers between Lower Miami and Claypool. They called it the Lower Miami Stage Company. They charged a fare of ten cents. While engaged in that operation, he met Zela Sain, the girl he would later many.

By this time the First World War had started. In 1917 Clyde was drafted into the United States Army where he served a better part of two years. When the war ended, he returned and married Zela, and they made their first home in Claypool. She is the daughter of James Thomas Sain and Mary Hope Smith. She was born July 5,1901, in Garvinsville, Texas.

Soon Clyde sold his half interest in the jitney service and they moved back to Glenbar. Except for a short period of time spent in California, Clyde and Zela were settled in Glenbar on the farm during the next thirty-six years. Here they raised their six children.

In February of 1958, Clyde and his son Neil bought a farm in Fruita, Colorado. On six hundred acres of land they settled and operated their farming enterprise for ten years. In 1968 Neil was seriously injured in a car accident. This changed the picture for the farm in Fruita. They sold out, whereupon Clyde and Zela moved back to the Gila Valley and settled in Pima, Arizona.

At this writing (March 1988), Clyde and Zela are in Pima, he ninety-two and she nearly eighty-seven. They are in good health and happily engaged in genealogical work and other interests.

Return to Top of Page


RELIAH GRACE MCBRIDE - Seventh Child and Fourth Daughter of Peter Howard McBride Sr. and Laura Lewis
                                                                   (m. Alma Larson)

In 1971 at age seventy-three, Reliah Grace penned the "Short Story" of her life. Going beyond the mere chronicling of events, those few paragraphs reveal a beautiful life, filled with love for her family and a deep appreciation of parents and her surroundings.

Born December 17, 1897 in Pima, Arizona, Graham County, "Grace" grew up in the humble environment of a large family in a rather primitive setting. Recalling the early years she writes:

My childhood days were happy days, even though my home wasn't much even as a shelter (it leaked bad when it rained), still it was home, and home is where the heart is, also where those you love are. And we had all-out-doors as our playground, twenty acres covered with grand old mesquite trees that had been growing there since the beginning of time. Each season brought its own joys, like the fragrant blossoms in the spring, their cooling shade in the summer's heat, ripe, golden mesquite beans to chew in the fall, and when a occasional winter snow storm came our mesquite thicket was magically turned into a winter-wonder-land. Our forest was teaming with wildlife in the trees and on the ground. The quail and roadrunners always held an enchantment for me.

Our mother taught us to appreciate and enjoy the beauty of this earth. She loved flowers, and one of the sweetest memories of my life was the Sundays after church when we hitched old Bess to the buggy and drove up into the foothills to gather the wild flowers in the spring.

As far as money and material possessions were concerned, everyone in the area at that time was poor. Grace recalls the time that someone told her that the McBride family was "poor". I can still feel the shock I felt, for I never thought of us as being poor. We had so much of this world's goods that counted. We could never be classed as poor. We had a mother that loved us so much that she worked hard to give us all the advantages she could. We had good books to read, all the church magazines, and she bought an organ so we could have music. We had good health, all the good fresh air we could breathe, food enough, mothers bottled fruit was the best in the world. We had all the blessings of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Mother always took us children to Stake Conference in Thatcher, and most always one of the apostles was there. We were the lucky ones. So few of the other kids in town got to go.

Grace attended the school in Pima through the tenth grade. A summer spent in Miami, Arizona, working in a laundry offered her the thrill of having some money of her own. Indicative of her sense of responsibility, she states, "But after I paid my board and sent some home to mother, I didn't have much left, but I did manage to buy some nice clothes."

After finishing school, and following a summer's romance, she married Alma Larson, Sept. 27, 1914. During the next twenty-five years Grace bore thirteen children - and all but the first one grew to maturity. Except for a short time in which they lived in Phoenix, Arizona, this family lived in Glenbar, much of the time through the depression years of the early nineteen-thirties. Despite the hardships of raising such a large family, this noble lady was able to state: Many people didn't hesitate to tell us how crazy we were to bring children into the world during such terrible times. Maybe we were, but with the help of the Lord we managed to raise them all up to be honorable men and women. I tremble at the thought of how great would have been our loss if even one of them were missing. Nothing worthwhile ever comes easy.

I am humbly grateful for their accomplishments in education, service to their church and country; for their lovely wives and noble husbands they have chosen, and for the seventy some-odd beautiful grandchildren they have blessed us with.

Grace lost her husband Alma in 1956, and her eldest son, Wendell, in 1970; but her magnificent philosophy of life has seen her through all these sorrows. Her service in the church is legendary - always involved with the sisters in the Relief Society and working with the youth organizations of the ward. Interests in later years centered in missionary work and genealogical research. At this writing (1988), Grace is ninety years of age, in reasonably good health living in Pima, Arizona - revered by a great host of descendants. Typical of the wit of this venerable lady is her recent statement: "People often ask me what I do with my spare time. I tell them that so far I haven't had any."

Grace bore Alma thirteen children. Twelve of them grew to maturity. One, their first, they kept only two years.

Return to Top of Page


KETURAH FLO MCBRIDE - Eighth Child and Fifth Daughter of Peter Howard McBride Sr. and Laura Lewis
                                                                             (m. Francis Earl McLaws)

Keturah Flo was the youngest in a family of eight children born to her mother, Laura Lewis, who was the 2nd wife of Peter McBride in a polygamous marriage. With other brothers and sisters she grew to maturity on a portion of the original homestead of her father in Glenbar, Arizona. That is where she was born, May 25, 1900 in a small lumber house in an area that had been reclaimed from the mesquite and willow-covered flatlands along the Gila River in the Gila Valley.

Brought up in a strict Latter-day-Saint home in an area given almost entirely to farming, her childhood revolved around scenes on the farm, going to school and to church. One very small building served many purposes in the community of Glenbar: school, various church meetings, for dances, plays and all the community affairs of that day. Flo has left this description of the conditions at the old adobe schoolhouse:

There was no electricity so at night people came to parties bringing their own coal oil lamps and flashlights. There were two hanging lamps in the house but many times not useable. Of course, there was no water for the school, not a tree or a blade of grass. Two outhouses, way out in the back, one for girls and one for boys. When I was a kid there going to school, I remember we would all run down to Bishop Larson's home and get a drink from the pump at recess or at noon. What a mess we would make, but I don't remember Sister Larson ever complaining. Ami Curtis hauled water for the school in large barrels and left them on a platform that year, and each child had to bring his own cup, no water for washing face and hands, only in emergencies.

It was generally the custom at the school in the spring for the gang to go to the Clay Banks, children, parents and the whole town, everyone brought picnic. We would dig for water in the wash, and it was good and cold. What fun to climb to the top of the banks and slide down on homemade sleds which were always left there. We would dig for sego roots, wild onions and several kinds of bulbs that were good to eat; and gather wild flowers to take home, the more adventurous ones would make a tour of the coyote dens. (From Laura Smith Research.)

Despite the humble circumstances in which she grew up, Flo seemed determined to get an education and be able to be self supporting. Of her career beyond grade school she writes: "I graduated from the Gila Academy in the spring of 1920. I took the late teacher's examination and received a first grade certificate entitling me to teach in the elementary school for four years, renewable for two years - in other words good for six years. That summer nine of us girls from the valley went to San Diego and attended the summer session there. I borrowed money from the bank of Pima, my brother Ether McBride signed the note. Several other girls also borrowed money. We had a wonderful time.

While I was there Hyrum Smith sent me a contract to sign to teach the following year in Glenbar at $100 a month. (the very school she had attended as a child). I was to teach the first four grades. I had between 36-40 youngsters at first, but as the year progressed some moved away. Quite a number of them were my nieces and nephews and I tried not to show partiality, then there were other problems. I loved children and loved working with them, but I was green at the work and needed a supervisor, or someone to help me, but I was all alone.

This school was later consolidated with the Pima schools and I was offered a job teaching, but I wanted to spread my wings and try it over the mountain, meet new people, so I went to Flagstaff and graduated there, taught school one year in Eager, Arizona."

Flo was highly successful as a school teacher and could have continued in a career that she found rewarding. But she decided to marry and raise a family. June 8, 1925, she married Francis Earl McLaws. During the next twenty years three sons and two daughters were born to them. Due to difficult financial circumstances the family moved and lived in several locations, Mesa and Phoenix, Arizona - later to California, first in Los Angeles, then to Highland Park. Their fifth child was born in Highland Park. Subsequently they moved to Sun Valley California (near Burbank), where they made a business of manufacturing vibrating chairs. This thriving business venture took Francis to many places throughout the Unites States, where the chairs were promoted at fairs and home shows.

One of their sons, Lawrence Gael, who filled a mission in Australia, and made his home there, gives these recollections of a devoted mother: "Mother disliked her given first name, and her children were grown before they ever heard of it. We children were full of admiration for the way she was able to keep the family together, when left alone in Mesa, Arizona, during the depression. Those were poor but happy days. Mother took in washing and ironing, and we received welfare.

After we moved to California and were reunited with dad, during the time just before the war, mother gave birth to her fifth child, Carol Ann. Unfortunately Carol was afflicted with Down's Syndrome disease. Mother devoted the rest of her life to helping this special girl. Mother was devastated when Carol died at age thirty-two.

Dad stayed with his vibrating chair business until he retired when almost eighty years old. By this time mother was ill. Hers was a life filled with many hardships, but of total devotion to her family and to the church. She wanted nothing more from life than that her children be good Latter-day-Saints.

It appears that following the death of the daughter, Flo's health began to deteriorate. She was given all the care a devoted companion could give her. She passed away March 26, 1984, and is buried in Burbank, California.

Return to Top of Page

Return to Laura Lewis page