NANCY ELIZABETH YOUNG VAN WAGONER
Sketch of the life of Nancy Elizabeth Young Van Wagoner by Her
Daughter, Maude Van Wagoner Fisher.
My mother, Nancy Elizabeth Young Van Wagoner, was born in Henry County, Tennessee, April 6, 1839. Her parents were Alfred Douglas Young and Annie Muldine Chappell Young. When my mother was still a young child she and her parents who had been converted to the L.D.S Church, moved from Tennessee to a farm about three miles from Nauvoo. My grandfather was sent to Tennessee on a mission and while he was gone the mob came and burned their house and took the best of their belongings, which grandfather had hid in the woods near by, leaving the family destitute. Grandfather was called home from his mission. When the saints were driven from Nauvoo they were among the number who trekked their weary way across the barren wastes. They were members of the Heber C. Kimball Company and arrived in the Salt Lake Valley in 1848.
My mother who was then a child of nine, walked much of the way, and carried her pet kitten which bore the distinction of being the first feline to arrive in the valley. After arriving in the Salt Lake Valley they had to plant all the corn and wheat they had brought with them. They had to go without bread for six months and wait until the crops were harvested. Mother and the other children were helping to drive the crickets from the crops when they saw what seemed to them to be a big black cloud. It turned out to be the beautiful seagulls. They came and landed all around the children who were working in the fieldsthey were not afraid of the children. They would eat all the crickets they could hold and then they would go to the ditch and drink. That would cause them to regurgitate all they had eaten and then they would go back and fill up again and again. God had heard the Saints prayers and had sent the seagulls to help them.
Grandfathers family moved out to a farm in Big Cottonwood Creek and they lived there until 1854 when they moved to Provo, Utah and settled in the First Ward on Second West and First South. My mother attended the schools of that day and 1855 she and Brother O. A. Glazier organized the first Sunday School in Provo.
On April 7, 1856 Elizabeth Young was married to John Halma Van Wagoner in the Endowment House in Salt Lake City. Brigham Young performed the Ceremony. She was the mother of seven children: John Alfred, Elizabeth Ann, Parley Pratt, Mary Evelyn, Frank Douglas, Stella Jane and Maude.
My mother was an earnest worker in the Church and served for many years as a Relief Society teacher. She was an expert needle woman and did much sewing for her neighbors. She was always on hand to assist in sickness and trouble. She was also an excellent nurse and spent much of her time in later years in that occupation.
She died at her home in Provo August 30, 1900, following an operation performed ten days earlier. Her sweet disposition and strength of character have been an inspiration to all who went through life with her and we feel the influence of her beautiful spirit as the years go by.
JOHN ALFRED VAN WAGONER
John Alfred Van Wagoner was born the 27th of December
1857 in Provo, Utah County, Utah, the son of John Halmagh Van Wagoner and Elizabeth Young.
He attended grade school in Provo and the Brigham Young University. He was a good scholar
and an excellent penman, and kept some fine journals of his work. He might have become a
teacher as he was gifted in that way had he continued his education.
At a party given by his cousin, Mary Fairbanks, in Payson he met Sarah Ellen Stark and after a lengthy courtship they were married in the Logan Temple on the 17th of February 1886, and made their home in Provo, Utah. Nine children were born to them, six boys and three girls.
John Alfred was a carpenter by trade, and he worked whenever he could get work, but it was seasonal and he didnt have work to do a great part of the time, although he was a very industrious person without a lazy bone in his body.
In his younger days he worked in Heber, Utah cutting ties for the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad. He lost part of one of his big toes at this work. He cut the ties by hand and hued them flat on two sides with a huge broad axe and snaked them out to the Provo River with oxen and floated them down to Provo. He also worked for the Oregon Shortline Railroad, now the Union Pacific, down in Southern Utah and Nevada as well as for the Denver and Rio Grande. At one time he worked for the Utah Copper Company at Lark near the Great Salt Lake. This was between carpentry jobs.
Their first home was a two room adobe house in the Provo First Ward. They lived there for three years and it was there that John and Walter were born. Ray was born at Grandma Van Wagoners. They bought a nice looking red brick house on a corner near there on the State Highway. Joseph, Louie and Earl were born there. From there they moved to the Fourth Ward and then to a red brick house where the Bonneville Ward Meeting House stood for so many years. Leland was born in this home. At that time it was still in the First Ward.
In 1899 they moved to the corner of Third South and Sixth East where they were blessed with two more children, Leah and Gladys. Gladys was born the 7th of February and died at birth.
Things were not easy for this pioneer family of growing children, but Sarah Ellen was a good companion to John Alfred and even though his work was seasonal, she was a good manager with her cooking and sewing. Trials came to this family early. Walter lived just three months and Gladys died at birth. Just one year later John Alfred suffered a stroke that left him unable to walk excepting with a cane and great difficulty.
His son, Joe, remembers once when he was milking a cow he got mad at the cow and kicked her and broke his toe. His favorite expression when exasperated was "dad Damn". He always would come home to see the circus when he was working up Eureka way, or near.
All during World War I he was kept currently informed of all the great events from his avid reading of the Congressional Record which his son, John, (who was Senator Smoots Secretary in Washington D.C.) sent him daily. He was always cheerful and jolly and the neighbors enjoyed passing by and talking with him as he was confined to his home. He died of another stroke on the 19th of June 1918, at Provo, Utah.
JOHN DANIEL VAN WAGONER
John Daniel Van Wagoner was born 3 December 1866, at Provo, Utah County, Utah. After his parents had been told by his third grade teacher to withdraw him from school as he would never be able to learn and should be taught a trade, he was the only boy to graduate with his class of sixteen girls from the Provo High School. He also graduated from the Utah State Agricultural College, Logan, Utah, and from the Georgetown University Law School, Washington, D.C. He was private secretary to Elder John A. Witdsoe, President of Utah Agricultural College at Logan, Utah. Later he went to Washington, D.C. and worked as the Private Secretary to Elder Reed Smoot, United States Senator from Utah, for about ten years. He left to become a Captain in the Judge Advocate Generals Office, U.S. Army, served as a lawyer during World War I, and spent sometime overseas in Europe after the Armistice. He returned to private law practice in New York City, but later attained the New York Government in their Public Utilities Branch. He wrote special lesson material for courses in the LaSalle Extension University (correspondence school of Chicago) on city gas, water, and public transportation subjects. He married Fay Armistead Hull of Roanoke, Virginia, on 24 October 1918, and they had one daughter, Olga Petersen, who has five children. He died of heart attack in his home in Brooklyn, New York on 2 March 1963.
RAY VAN WAGONER
Ray Van Wagoner was born 28 February 1890 at Provo, Utah County, Utah He filled a mission for LDS Church to Holland in 1910 and was District President. He was a Military Police and an Interpreter for the US Army of Occupation at Coblenz, Germany, after World War I for two years. He was salesman for Schilling Company and Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company for a time. He then went into the wholesale gas and oil business with his brother, Joe, in Anaheim, California. He married Goldie Thorn of Ogden, Utah on 20 June 1922. They had one daughter who died shortly after birth. He was Chairman of the Draft Board in Anaheim during World War II; was Exalted Ruler of the Elks Club; and City Alderman of Anaheim. At times he was Acting Mayor or Anaheim and was later the police Commissioner. He died of heart attack in Beaver, Utah, while on a vacation trip on 14 October 1958.
JOSEPH STARK VAN WAGONER
Joseph Stark Van Wagoner was born 23 February 1892 at Provo, Utah County, Utah. He was an electrician and construction worker and traveled around the Western United States working at many jobs. He was Manatger of the Puget Sound Light and Traction Company at Snowqualmie Falls, Washington, near Seattle for many years. He married Verle Imogene Case in Seattle on 3 June 1912. They had two sons. He moved to Anaheim where he went into the Wholesale oil and gas business and built up a thriving business and brought his brother Ray, in as a partner. He was active in civic life of the community. He was divorced by his first wife and later married Merle Virginia Whitmore. They married on 2 August 1939. He retired and lives in Anaheim, California.
EARL VAN WAGONER
Earl Van Wagoner was born 27 September 1895 at Provo, Utah County, Utah. He attended BYU in Provo and later graduated from the Utah State Agricultural College at Logan, Utah, and the George Washington University Law School, Washington, D.C. He was private secretary to Elder John A. Witdsoe, President of the Utah State Agricultural College at Logan, Utah and later went back to Washington, D.C. to work as a private secretary to Elder Reed Smoot, US Senator from Utah. He later was a lawyer in General Counsels Office, Bureau of Internal Revenue, in Washington, D>C> He married Elizabeth White Stewart on 23 September 1931 in California and they had two daughters and three sons. He was an FBI Agent in Chicago, and was among the agents who captured the Notorious criminal John Dillenger. He later was Regional Manager of the Federal Trade Commission of all the Western States, with headquarters in San Francisco. He died of a heart attack at his home in Palo Alto, California on 15 December 1957.
LOUIE ELIZABETH VAN WAGONER (SMITH)
Louie Elizabeth Van Wagoner (Smith) was born on the 30 on November 1893 at Provo, Utah County, Utah. She graduated from the Brigham Young University Normal school there. She was called to fill a mission in the Hawaiian Islands in 1913 where she taught at the Church school of Laie, Oahu, Hawaii. Upon her return she went to Snowflake Stake Academy. There she met and married Jesse Marsden Smith on 19 July 1917. She was active in the Church and served for 23 years on the Stake Primary Board. Louie was a most thoughtful and benevolent neighbor to all in the community where she was greatly loved for her Christ-like kindness and charity. She died suddenly from an operation in Mesa, Arizona on 16 June 1939. She was deeply mourned by all. The priesthood brethern worked night and day in order to have the Chapel of the new Church building finished to hold her funeral there. The funeral was one of the largest ever attended in Snowflake. The following September, Louies husband, Jesse, was called to serve in the Stake Presidency as a counselor. In 1950 he was made Stake President and he ser4ved in that position until 5 June 1963, when he was called to be the President of the Arizona Temple at Mesa. Jesse married Marvel Etoile Bailey on 17 December 1943 which added two more daughters and three sons to the family.
LELAND VAN WAGONER
Leland Van Wagoner was born 7 April 1899 in Provo, Utah County, Utah. He moved to Seattle, Washington where he worked for the Willard Storage Battery Company and also worked in Portland, Oregon for the same company. He returned to Utah where he married Leona Elizabeth Mildenhall of Provo, Utah on 2 June 1920. They moved to Seattle, Washington, where he worked for the Eastman Kodak Company. They had one daughter and three sons. He was a fine photographer and when they moved to Provo, Utah he had his own photo finishing store there for fifteen years. Later they moved to Salt Lake City where he was the Chief Staff Photographer on the Salt Lake Tribune for ten years. He later was in charge of the Tabernacle Organ in Salt Lake City. He toured the organ factories in the East and Canada to teach technicians installing the new hundred thousand dollar organ in the Salt Lake Tabernacle. He was in charge of all the organs in the LDS Church program. His first wife died and he married Mary Sheets Bowman on 28 September 1940 in Salt Lake City. They were divorced and he married Irene LaRue Jacobson on 27 June 1952. He now has his own Photographic studio and camera repair shop at his home in Salt Lake City, Utah.
LEAH VAN WAGONER (BARR)
Leah Van Wagoner (Barr) was born 8 November 1903 in Provo, Utah County, Utah. She was an organist of Bonneville Ward, LDS Church, in Provo and played for a ballet dancing school in Provo during her high school days. She graduated from Provo High School and attended George Washington University in Washington D.C. for three years, while working for the Bureau of Internal Revenue. She later transferred to Salt Lake City for two years with the Internal Revenue Service. Upon her return to Washington, D.C. she married George S. Barr form Charleston, West Virginia, on 8 of August 1931. They traveled into all but three of the 48 States of the Union. They had no children. She was Secretary to the Assistant of the WPA Administrator and later secretary to the National Director of Adult Education Program of WPA. Later she became secretary to the Assistant to the US Commissioner of Education for five years. She divorced George S. Barr on 11 August 1945 in Reno, Nevada. He had been overseas as Major in the US Army for two and one half years and had received the Bronz Star Medal. She later was secretary briefly to Ernest L. Wilkinson, lawyer, who later became President of the Brigham Young University. She was secretary with the US Department of State and attended the General Assembly of the United Nations in New York City in 1946. She was in a revolution in Bogota, Colombia, South America, as part of the US Delegation to the Ninth International Conference of American States in 1948, while the city was burned down around them and their building bombed. They were taken out by plane to Panama. She was later Secretary to US Congressman from Utah, Douglas Stringfellow. She moved later to Phoenix, Arizona, in 1953, where she became secretary to the State Adjutant General of the National Guard. She was Secretary to the Governor of Arizona, Howard Pyle. After his political defeat she worked as Fiscal Management Clerk and secretary to Personal Director of Internal Revenue Service. Later she went to Morocco, North Africa, in 1956, with US Army Corps of Engineers. While there she toured all of Europe and had a Mediterranean Cruise to Turkey, Greece, Lybia, etc. Upon her return to Arizona she was Clerk of the Draft Board, Selective System, in Yuma, Arizona, and was transferred back to Phoenix, Arizona, where she retired in1963. Aunt Leah passed away on August 29, 1968 after a long illness. Her contribution for this book and the genealogy of the family was very Great.
The following is a Tribute to Aunt Leah Van Wagoner Barr, Snowflake, Arizona, September 2, 1968:
Aunt Leahwords of magic, words of delight, words of love to a
small boy. Let me set the scene: The town, a small windswept town in Northern Arizona
filled with houses with no inside plumbing and people who had too much pride to know they
were poor. The time: a week after Christmas. The Place: a board and batten Post Office
which was more candy store than Post Office both of which were presided over by a little
kindly man who belied his Scotch ancestry. It was the school noon hour and all the
families in the town had a representative boy or girl or husband or wife while the
Postmaster called off the names of those who received Christmas packages. When a called
name coincided with that of a waiting child, you would hear a squeal of delight as the
child surged through the waiting crowd. This particular boy and his smaller brother waited
in vain for their name and sadly walked on home. "I wonder if Brother Murray
didnt see it," one said. "Maybe they left it in Holbrook, "the other
said. They were talking of the one package they knew would come; the one that had always
come; the one that had the real kids toys in it; the one that came this year and every
year; the one from Aunt Leah.
Another scene. The town of Provo. The year about 1925. These same two boys were there. Aunt Leah was there. Aunt Leah was there. They all had returned from a trip down town. The boys were crying. Aunt Leah was crying and speaking to their mother. "I told them to be careful; I told them not to cross the street. But they did anyway and this car almost hit them. To punish them I took their pop corn away." But as soon as she finished crying she gave their popcorn back to them; she was still the magic lady.
Another Scene. The city was Washington, D.C. The year about 1941. A scared young jobless country boy who had just been married arrived in Washington after an endless bus ride from Salt Lake City. He had only one point of reference in the city his Aunt Leah. She did not fail him - she took him in. they, she and her husband, George, regaled him with the wonder of the nations capitol; explained the intricacies of travel in the city and counseled him in the ways of finding a job. Aunt Leah was a part of the wonder of Federal service and she knew her way about in that maze. An outsider was bewildered and ran into successive stone walls; the insider knew where to go and what to do to find the job. The boy found a job as an elevator boy in the House of Representatives Office Building a humble beginning but a job and with this the boys wife could join him. The Magic still held. The lady was vibrant, alive, part of what went on; living in the hub of the world.
Another scene. The place is the pre-existence; the time is right after the turn of the century, earth time; the speaker is the Master of the Universe. "Leah", he said, you have been with us only a few million years but it is time for you to graduate from this place up here; and because you have this special magic, you are enthusiastic and generous; you love greatly and are kind; you will go to this wonderful family in which my Sons Gospel is loved and dwells. And Leah, in spite of how much we love you, when you are down there you will not remember us here and you will make your new way, using only the wonderful brain and understanding that you have been given. The only thing that will go with you is this fine spirit of yours but perhaps way back in a small corner of your mind you will know that we love you and that you are coming back to us."
And with some such preamble Leah left the familiar land where she had dwelt a long time with her Heavenly Father and entered into the World on 8 November 1903. And she entered into a family where people were thoughtful, not only of each other, but of those outside the family. This was a family where money was scarce, but ambition was high and indeed it was a family where the Gospel of Jesus C dwelt. Here she went to Primary and to Sunday School and to Sacrament Meeting. Here she developed her love for literature and learning and music; here she developed the aspirations that led her away from the family hearthstone to Washington which had been a land of opportunity for two of her older brothers. This city was to be her home for most of her life. Here like all her brothers and sisters on earth Leah made some mistakes; here she found some triumphs; here she found some pain and sorrow and here she found the glory of achievement. She had great aspirations and she worked toward them. Here she turned her music talents to the benefit of her church. Here she married and later here she separated from her husband. Following the separation, the lure of far away places seized her and she spent a year working for the government in Colombia, South America; then she went to Phoenix and then she spent two years in Asia Minor and then she came to Phoenix and then she went to Yuma and then she came back to Phoenix. Here her body began to fail her; it shrank and became just a suggestion of the beautiful woman she had been. But with her failing strength she found strength of spirit and many of the things she had always wanted to do in the church she did here painfully and carefully. She worked in the Relief Society; she went to the Temple; she worked untold hours at her genealogy. Like many great ones of his earth; her soul found utterance through her flesh grew weak. With Job she could say,: "Though after my skin worms have consumed this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God." And she knew with assurance that Christ did indeed say, "I am the resurrection and the life. He that believeth on me, though he were dead, yet shall he live." And she believed.
A final Scene: A guardian angel is reporting to his Master. "Master, the woman Leah Barr has fought the fight and has run the course. Her body confines her spirit over much; I would recommend that this spirit be brought here to Paradise where it can again finish tasks worthy to its scope. Her body falters and her senses grow dim; there is no work; no person there for her to love; her generous spirit and her great mind are fettered by a body which will not respond. Here we have need of a soul such as hers; here there are hearts to touch; here there is music that has not been played; here her spirit can have full flight.
And the Master who knoweth all things said on August 29, 1968 mortal time. This day shall she be with us in Paradise.
May those of us who remain here; those of us who have loved Leah; so live that when our summons comes to "fly to the Eternal realms beyond" we may go as the Eagle mounts toward the sky with full assurance that the welcome mat will be out.
I pray this in the name of Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, Amen.
Van Marsden Smith
Lilia Smith was born the 18th of March 1925 in Snowflake,
Navajo County, Arizona, the daughter of Jesse Marsden Smith and Louie Elizabeth Van
Lilia attended the public schools of Snowflake, Snowflake High School; University of Arizona, University of Colorado, and New York University. She received her Bachelor Degree in Business and Public Administration in 1948 at the University of Arizona at Tucson, Arizona.
Her occupations have been housewife, secretary, and Genealogist. She migrated to New York in 1948 where she is still living.
She Married David Warren Seegmiller the 30th of October 1950 in the Arizona Temple at Mesa, Arizona. They have one son, Jesse Frank Seegmiller, born the 30th of September 1951 in New York City, New York. Jesse is now a Freshman at Brigham Young University.
She has been active as program chairman and recording secretary in the Parents Association of the Bronx High School of Science, the honor high school where her son attended.
At the division of Manhattan Ward her husband, David was called to be Bishop of the new ward. At present Lilia is relief Society President having served previously in that position from 1952 to 1957. She was Archivist for the Historian Documents Collection of Queens College of the city and University of New York which was their special collection of documents of New Your City and New York Stake, with the rank of Lecturer.
ELIZABETH ANNE SMITH
Elizabeth Anne Smith was born the 2nd of June 1936 in
Snowflake, Navajo County, Arizona, the daughter of Jesse Marsden Smith and Louie Elizabeth
Her education was in the Snowflake public schools. She received her B.S. at the Brigham Young University in 1958. While there she was secretary to the A.S.B.Y.U. Senate from 1954 to 1957.
Her favorite recreation is swimming. She enjoys signing in the ward choir.
She migrated from Snowflake to New York in 1961 after filling an L.D.S. Mission in Oklahoma and Missouri.
Anne married Hans Klarer, a commercial artist, the 22nd of July 1965 in Kusnacht, Zurich, Switzerland. The marriage was later solemnized in the L.D.S. Temple in Mesa, Arizona with her Father performing the sealing.
Anne is serving as President of the Young Womens Mutual Inprovement Association at Manhattan Second Ward.
She and her husband are the proud parents of Miss Andria Klarer born 3rd December 1968, their first child.
KATHERINE STEWART VAN WAGONER
Katherine Stewart Van Wagoner was born 23 September 1939 in Chicago,
Cook County, Illinois. She is the daughter of Earl and Elizabeth White Stewart Van
Wagoner. She attended elementary schools in Illinois and California. She also attended the
Brigham Young University at Provo.
She enjoys bowling, playing the piano and organ, which she is talented in. She also takes pleasure in directing dramatic productions for the church and dancing. Her hobbies are knitting, sewing and gardening.
Katherine is a member of the LDS Church, having been baptized 5th of February 1949. She is Sunday School Chorister, Road show Director, Music Director in M.I.A., and Organist in Sunday School and Sacrament Meeting. She also teaches Piano in her home.
She married David Reed Baumgarten the 28th of August 1963 in the Logan LDS Temple in Logan, Utah.
Missions filled by Descendants of John Alfred, son of John Halmagh, and Sarah Ellen Start Van Wagoner:
Ray Van Wagoner (son) 1910 Netherland Mission
Louie Elizabeth Van Wagoner (dau) 1913 Hawaiian Mission
Jesse Marsden Smith (son-in-law) 1914 Eastern States Mission (has been Stake President counselor, Stake President and is now Mesa Temple President)
Van Marsden Smith (grandson) 1938 Eastern States Mission
Margaret Alice Eccles Smith (gr. dau-in-law) Eastern States Mission
Earl LaDru Smith (grandson) 1940 Hawaiian or Central Pacific Mission
LeRoy Stark Smith (grandson) 1946 Central Pacific Mission
Leland Alfred Smith (grandson) 1949 Hawaiian Mission
Marilyn Claire Day Smith (granddau-in-law) 1955 New England State Mission
Elizabeth Ann Smith Klarer (granddau) 1959 Central States Mission
Earl Van Wagoner, Jr. (grandson) 1952 Eastern States Mission
Daniel Richards Allen (grandson-in-law) 1953 Argentine Mission
David reed Baumgarten (grandson-in-law) 1956 German Mission
Charles John Van Wagoner (Grandson) 1957 Swiss Austrian Mission
Stewart Van Wagoner (grandson) 1966 Southwest Indian Mission
Robert Leland Van Wagoner (grandson1947 Texas Mission
Mary Gertrude Wood Van Wagoner (granddau-in-law) 1946 Texas Mission
Donald Fred Tatton (grandson) 1940 Northwestern States Mission
John Henry Van Wagoner (grandson) 1946 Japanese Hawaiian Mission
Gary Mildenhall Van Wagoner (grandson) 1950 Great Lakes Mission
Stephen Van Smith (gr. grandson) 1962 Guatemalan Mission
Craig Dean Tatton (gr. grandson) 1963 Eastern Canadian Mission
Allan Lee Smith (gr. grandson) 1965 Peruvian Mission
Leland Roy Tatton (gr. grandson) 1965 New Zealand Mission
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