Ruth Keep Griffin – Sweet Courage and Loving Labor

ruthkeepfrommarianshipley“Walter and Ben, were brought home shot in the legs,” the wagon jolt having discharged a gun. Ben lost his leg but Walter recovered. Their mother, Ruth Keep Griffin was acquainted with difficulty but met life with courage and a smile, likely influenced as a child by the faith of her family. “One night while grandmother Keep was in bed, her oldest daughter, Mary, came to her bedside and asked what she could get for supper as there was nothing in the house to eat. Grandmother answered, ‘Set the table, child, and the Lord will provide.” Just then there came a knock at the door. When Mary opened it, an old gentleman friend of Grandfather Keep’s came into the room. When he learned the condition of want they were in, he put his hand into his pocket and handed Aunt Mary money to get them all something to eat.” Ruth came from England to America at age 11. She worked, and developed skills. She met and married the faithful and hardworking John Griffin. Starting in a dirt floor log house they pieced together furniture as they build their family having eventually 13 children. She lost her hearing, but not her smile. She was the family gardener. “Flowers couldn’t help but grow for her with the care she gave them.” She sang, she danced, she joked, she knitted. They were a united family, in sorrow and joy. She was a radiant flower of Newton, Utah till she died at the age of 77.

Please ‘Leave a Reply’ below with your reaction to this story, and share with your family.

(by Kenneth R. Hardman, based on article, Ruth Keep, written by Lucy Griffin Jenkins, as told by Ruth Keep Griffin, in John Griffin and Ruth Keep – A collection of histories of the descendants of John Griffin and Ruth Keep, by Geraldine G. Griffin, June 1988, photo from contributed by Marian Shipley) #AncestorClips

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Dona Jean Hansen Losee – Forever Close to God

dona13During the boom-town 1950s in Los Angeles, Dona Hansen, the queen of the church Gold and Green Ball, and daughter of a self educated businessman and a most charitable mother, culminated her youth in what she thought would be the crowning event, marriage to a promising man. A short time later while anticipating their first born, her husband left her. She was devastated. “I didn’t think anyone would want to marry a divorced woman with a little son,” she thought. Dona prayed as she always did, was blessed by the prayers of others, and remained “close to [her] Father in Heaven and Savior.” Some time later Dona received a proposal of marriage from a man not of her faith, and she went away to Salt Lake City to consider her future seeking direction in the Temple. She felt inspired to return to Los Angeles. Upon her return, she felt and knew that he was not the one. To her surprise, her fiancé informed her, “I have just met a fellow at church. In fact, he is just what you are looking for.” Driven by the Spirit of the Lord, she stood in church and bore her testimony. Her fiancé and friend Ferril Losee were in attendance. Ferril thought, “She is wonderful but… to good for me.” A short time later, noting the absence of the ring, Ferril asked Dona out on a date. They drove to the beach where, as the sun set upon a beautiful day, the sun rose on a glorious union. Ferril said that he “would be the happiest man on earth if [Dona] would consent to marry him.” Dona knew the Lord was in it, and agreed. (by Kenneth Hardman, adapted from, Losee, Ferril A., The Losee Family History, Ancestors and Descendants of Lyman Peter Losee and Mary Ann Peterson, Nov. 2000, pg. 125-126) #AncestorClips

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2016 – 10 Most Read AncestorClips

2016mostreadancestorclipsThanks for reading AncestorClips in 2016 – Click below and enjoy again the most read stories. Stand by for more inspiring stories in 2017.

Abraham and Elizabeth Coon – Ever Faithful
Ardella Elizabeth Anderson – The Greatest Scare of my Life
Rachel Ault Elton – Escaping Shipwreck
Myrtle and Edna Elton – About Pigs, Giggles, and a #3 Bath Tub
Lehi Nephi Hardman – A Skillet and a brown-eyed Lass
George Ault (1871 – 1878) – The Drowning of Little Georgie
Sidney Lehi Hardman – Tougher than Stitches
George Clark and Elizabeth Phoebe Rye Morris
Jacob Hardman – Horses and Homesteads
Andrew Fredrick Losee – Teacher and Farmer
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Ferril Andrew Losee – Runaway Horses

ferrilloseeteen“One day when… 14 years old, I was on top of a load of hay. In crossing over a bridge some of the hay was grassy and moved on me. I put the reins to the horses over the ladder and went back with a pitch fork to straighten the hay. The horses lunged forward and pulled the reins off of the ladder. Then, they ran down a hill, pulling the wagon with them. I could not guide or stop them. They ran faster and faster… I jumped off the wagon which was moving at high speed just before we got to the highway. A big… freight truck… plowed into the side of the wagon. It killed one of the horses and seriously hurt the other…I avoided serious injury… [but] was very sad… I doctored the injured horse every day for about three months. It finally healed. I learned compassion and dependability in doctoring that horse.”

(by Ferril Andrew Losee, excerpt edited by Kenneth R. Hardman from The Losee Family History – Ancestors and Descendants of Lyman Peter Losee and Mary Ann Peterson, compiled by Ferril A. Losee, Jana K. Hardman Greenhalgh, Lyman A. Losee, 2000, pg. 135. Photo from family albums) #AncestorClips, also at FamilySearch

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Dorothy Mae Griffin Hardman – God knew what was coming

1957-dorothy-croppedSome major customers didn’t pay; and Glenn’s cabinet business began to fail. Dorothy was very concerned about family bills and groceries. In the 1960’s they built their second dream home, welcomed their sixth child, and served anxiously in church assignments while building a growing company. Not able to focus on her church leadership position, she thought to ask for a release, and find a job. Glenn said, “No.” But her thoughts persisted. She had served well; surely God would not expect more. She couldn’t sleep, she prayed, she cried, and prayed more. She decided to ask for the release the next day. Thinking this choice would relieve her pain, she tried to sleep. “Not so! I turned and tossed and wept some more,” she said. In desperation she asked God, “Isn’t it the right decision?” Immediately, a flickering light in her mind became bright and she distinctly knew her decision was not the Lord’s will. “I did not understand why,” she said, “but I told him I would continue to serve as long as He had need of me…” She then felt peace. She new they would be blessed. Years later she looked back and realized that God new what was coming; what the family needed, and who needed her at that time. Dorothy’s specific fourth year of service was the exact time period needed for God to work miracles through her in the lives of at least two other people. Dorothy’s oldest daughter became deathly ill. The failure of the family business had resulted in a new job for Glenn, and relocation a year later that put the family in proximity to doctors who could diagnose and treat her rare disease.

(By Kenneth R. Hardman, based on excerpts from Sidney Glenn Hardman & Dorothy Mae Griffin, Their Story and Their Life, Vol. II, 2016) #AncestorClips Also at: FamilySearch

Traits and Patterns – This was not a unique behavior for Dorothy; when faced with challenges, she prayed, went forward, and trusted in God. I have been grateful for this example all my life and find great comfort and success in faith and trust when faced with difficulty.

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Cornelius Peter Lott – The Prophet’s Farmer

CorneliusPLottCornelius breathed deep and wiped his dusty brow, the rich soil bringing forth its Illinois potatoes and grain on this hot summer day in 1844. All was well; or at least it should have been. Cornelius felt a foreboding as he heard horses and looked up from his work. It was Joseph Smith, his brother Hyrum, and other familiar men approaching slowly. Cornelius ran the Smith farm and recalled many glorious conversations while working side by side with his friend, employer, and spiritual leader.

The horsemen stopped, but for a moment. Their solemn leader, as though knowing he would never see his farm again, looked out and said, “Who would want to leave a place like this?”a With love and encouragement, he looked down and said, “good-bye my friend.”

A month earlier in a similar scene, Cornelius mounted and accompanied Joseph to Carthage, but that trial was postponed.b This time, as the party continued along the dusty road, Cornelius may have remembered that dusty occasion in Nauvoo, picking up his supplies, then wrestling with the prophet in the clearing outside the Red Brick store. Many had gathered around and all challengers had been thrown by the prophet. In his mind Cornelius could still hear Joseph’s cheerful voice that day, “Here! I have thrown down pretty nearly everybody about the place except Brother Lott, and I believe I can throw him down, too!” More townsfolk had gathered from the store to watch the event. In the circle, Joseph and Cornelius, “ran together several times, but the best [Joseph] could do was to get [Cornelius] down to his knees.” Cornelius had exclaimed, “I told you, my boy, that you couldn’t throw old man Lott.”c

Back at the farm he looked again down Parley street, the dust nearly settled as the party had disappeared around the bend toward Carthage. Two days later the tragic news came; Joseph and Hyrum were dead.

In honor of what he knew to be true, Cornelius Peter Lott became a ‘captain of tens’ crossing the plains in charge of widow Mary Fielding Smith’s wagon. He was a high councilman at Winter Quarters, three times a church farm caretaker, a missionary, and faithful priesthood holder.d,e

(by Kenneth R. Hardman – To my father-in-law, Ferril Andrew Losee, great-great-grandson of Cornelius Peter Lott. Thank you Joan Losee Hardman for your help preparing this story) #AncestorClips, Also at: FamilySearch

(a) Joseph Smith – History, Vol. 6. Chapter 29, p. 558.
(b) IBID, Vol. 6, Chapter 19, p. 412,
(c) Launius, Roger D., and McKiernan, F. Mark, Joseph Smith, Jr.’s Red Brick Store, 1993, p. 19-20. link
(d) Losee, Ferril A., Hardman, Jana K., Losee, Lyman A., The Losee Family History – Ancestors and Descendants of Lyman Peter Losee and Mary Ann Peterson, 2000, p. 20. link
(e) Ford, Gary S., Cornelius P. Lott and his Contribution to the Temporal Salvation of the Latter-day Saint Pioneers Through the Care of Livestock, a thesis, BYU, Dec. 2005. link

Inherited traits and patterns of goodness – (from Joan Losee Hardman) From Cornelius, we learn to faithfully go on in the face of pain or loss. I’m impressed with his hard work and admire his faith and support of his family. He never lost faith in the prophet of the restored Gospel.

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George Clark and Elizabeth Phoebe Rye Morris – Patterns of Patience

Screen Shot 2016-08-20 at 2.18.36 PMPhoebe wiped tears from her face as her creek-soaked children happily burst into their small summer home. “Why are you crying,” they asked. Phoebe quickly got them pulling molasses candy as she pushed back on her memories. She was happy with her husband, her children, and her faith, but change was hard. They had joined the Latter-day Saints in England. Back home, Elders had come regularly for cottage meetings, singing songs of Zion. George and Phoebe had a roast feast on the Sabbath, then they would walk up the rolling green pasture amongst the large oaks. As shoe makers he fixed soles and did tacking while she sewed them. He would then walk 10 miles, deliver their work, receive pay, and bring back work for next week. They ate bread and butter, simple black English tea and sometimes bread pudding with sugar and a raisin. Some family members had already immigrated and George had been anxious to take his wife and children. In 1883, they sent little Clara and Lillie to Salt Lake to live with family. A year later, George made the trip. He worked on a farm to earn travel for the rest. A year later, Phoebe set sail with the other 4 and eventually they enjoyed a happy reunion living in Bingham Junction. Phoebe wiped another tear as she looked at her stove. “I miss my cooking fireplace,” she thought. Until beds could be filled with straw or corn shucks, they were simple quilts on the floor. Money was tight for school, so the children often worked away from home, but at least they were together on Sunday afternoons. George worked on the railroad from Midvale to Bingham coming home each day with a sunburned nose in the summer, or an icy mustache in the winter. Having sacrificed some of their English connections for the gospel, George and Phoebe knew that their separations were only temporary. Again with sacrifice, they made a week-long journey to the Logan Temple where their family was united for always.

By Kenneth Richard Hardman, based on material in, Hardman Biographies – Ancestors of Sidney Glenn Hardman and Dorothy Mae Griffin. #AncestorClips

Inherited Traits – Like great-great-grandma and grandpa Clark, I have always been anxious to be with family, and to be united with people of my faith. At the same time, changes have never been easy and I miss my family members when we are separated.

Patterns of Goodness – I can learn from their pattern of hard work as cobblers, farmers, railroad workers, and in raising a large family. They demonstrated patience to get their whole family to Utah, a few at a time. I can apply their patience to the hopes I have for the long term spiritual destinations of my family. Thanks grandma and grandpa Clark for my life, and for your example.

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William Parley Elton – Poet of Honor

William Parley EltonCroppedMy great-grandfather William was 11 when his father died, and the English officers came to take him and his four brothers to the poorhouse. “How we clung to mother’s dress,” he said. Isabella was, a little woman. But in faith and work, [she was] a wonder. “Not one of these boys goes,” she said. “Each and everyone will go to Zion.” William had to quit school to sell papers, sweep crossings, and sell milk door-to-door. He worked in a small store, never touching money left laying around by the manager. “I wouldn’t take anything I did not honestly earn,” he said. No one doubted Williams honesty. Encouraged by his mother’s faith and letters. One by one all 7, plus mother made it to the valleys of the Salt Lake. In Utah and Colorado, at age 16 he maintained railroad ties for the Rio Grande, was promoted to surveyor, track foreman, bridge inspector, and conductor, sending every penny he could to his mother while contributing to the college education of his younger brother. On a work assignment he met Rachel Ault at the Cedar Valley station. They later married and ran a boarding house. Self educated, William spoke as though a scholar, brilliant in mathematics. Knowledgeable men often came to him to solve problems. He was happy, shook hands with everyone, did not find fault, and expected his children to respect others, especially their mother, and would not settle for any kind of sloppy job. He honored people, hung photos of servicemen on his wall, and wrote a poem for each funeral in the community. “And my dear loved ones, Lord I pray, protect, direct and guide each day. Dear Lord in truth may I increase, that when my mortal life shall cease, I may be worthy, Lord, with thee, to serve through all eternity.”

(by Kenneth R. Hardman, based on writings of grand-daughter Beverly Elton Hunt, compiled in Hardman Biographies – Ancestors of Sidney Glenn Hardman and Dorothy Mae Griffin) #AncestorClips

Inherited Traits – Like great-grandpa Elton, I feel like I’ve inherited the tendency to be honest. I’ve written a few poems in my life. As I read this story, I relate to his desire to learn, to be happy, to greet people with cheerfulness, and to respect others. I could further follow his example of working diligently, even when times are tough, to never find fault, and to make sure my work is well done, not ‘sloppy.’

Patterns of Goodness – Grandpa Elton was committed to honesty and cheerful work. His faith moved him forward and his vision of eternity, instilled by his parents was a pattern I admire and desire to emulate in my life.

Please follow this blog, add your comments about this ancestor, his traits, and the example he sets for us, his descendants.

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William Wallace and Annie Lillie Walker – True Greatness

WillLillieWalkerFamilyCropped“Lillie and the children were still in bed when Will came rushing into the log home, ‘Fire.’ She grabbed the baby and he carried the little girls out just as the ceiling fell on their bed. There was no water system, so it was soon all gone but a few logs. They made a small room out of these logs, shingled it and moved in before winter.” In time the family grew to 9 children, but it would have been more. Two babies died very young, and one daughter, Birdie, died as a young adult. Each loss was painful. Will worked hard. He was kind and loving, singing with Lillie, playing mouth organs with the boys, whistling while he drove horses, thrashed and sacked wheat. Will was generous when he sold his vegetables, and always had time to wrestle with the boys, and play with the children. “Prayers were always said at the table, everyone on their knees by the chairs that had been turned with their backs toward the table… Lillie… taught the parents class in Sunday School.” She worked hard, loved her family, but had her trials. When baby Blanch died, Lillie wrote, “For a long time, I went around trying to do my work and care for the family, but my heart was broken. With the help of the Lord, I overcame it all, and one morning, as I went to the creek to get a pail of water, the gloom seemed lifted and everything seemed to put on a new life. Those beautiful mountains on the west seemed to be so near and the blue sky overhead. I said to myself, ‘You foolish woman, Look up and thank God for all this beauty that you have been so blind to all these days…’ From then on, things seemed to be more to live for.” Lillie outlived her husband by 40 years. Her son said that her beauty was the kind “that emanates from heart to heart and affects the fiber of each and everyone…”

(Adapted by Ken Hardman from, William Wallace & Annie Lillie Clark Walker Book of Remembrance: Their Life, Their Family and Their Story, compiled in 1985 by Dorothy Hardman, granddaughter. Some excerpts from Lillie’s autobiography) #AncestorClips

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William Wallace Walker – A Sheep Share for a Wedding Stake

WilliamWalkerThe two-year-old twins, Ellen and William, were excited when the baby came. Olive, was her name. But, 10 days’ later joy was robbed by tears as their mother passed away. William Walker was one of those twins. He was born in the spring of 1870 in Millcreek, Utah to James Craig and Elizabeth Griffiths Walker. Sorely missing their mother, this was a difficult time for the Walkers. The twins were taken in by their mother’s family. Eventually, Will went to live with his older sister, Mary Ann, and he worked in sheep camps as a tender or herder. Raising sheep was a year-round job, shearing in the spring, moving flocks to the mountains in the summer, then to market in the fall. He worked hard and earned a share in a sheep herd. While herding sheep, he no doubt heard of marvels near and far like the typewriter, the telephone, and the transcontinental railroad. It was in fact that railroad that brought the lovely Lillie Clark from far away England. They danced, they courted and they married. William sold his sheep herding share for a ‘wedding stake’ of $200. His first real home was a two-room log hut in the cottonwoods in Salt Lake, with bare floors, a wooden bed with a straw tick, two wool quilts made from his sheep and a companion he loved very much. (To be continued) #AncestorClips

(by Kenneth R. Hardman. Reference: William Wallace & Annie Lillie Clark Walker Book of Remembrance: Their Life, Their Family and Their Story, compiled in 1985 by Dorothy Hardman)

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