LIVES OF WILLIAM ABRAM McINTOSH AND NANCY LENA GUHL

by John McIntosh


Click here to return to home page
 
 

Nancy Lena Guhl McIntosh
(scroll down for another photo)

William Abram McIntosh
(scroll down for a family photo)








        My father, William Abram McIntosh, was born 17 September 1859 at St. John, Tooele County, Utah.  He was the son of John McIntosh and Caroline Elizabeth Caldwell.


Caroline Elizabeth Caldwell McIntosh                                  John McIntosh

    When he was three months old his father died, and his mother was left with four children: Isaac, by a previous marriage, Mary Anne and John David.  My father was the youngest.  A year or two later his mother married George Dymock and one son was born to them, named George.
        Shortly after his birth his father left St. John and hasn't been heard of since.  My grandmother was left alone now with five children.  They had a two-story frame building in St. John and my grandmother owned a small farm in the north part of town.  Not much is known of my father until his marriage to Nancy Lena Guhl on Aug. 30, 1883.
        As a young man, he was in the sheep business with his cousin for a number of years.  He was a lover of sports, foot racing, wrestling and especially baseball, being pitcher most of the time.  I have seen him walk across a baseball diamond on his hands.
        After his marriage to my mother, they built a small home in St. John.  This building, somewhat remodeled, is still standing.  They moved a house from Clover that belonged to my grandmother, and put it 18 to 20 feet north of their home.  My grandmother lived here until my parents moved to Wyoming in 1900.  They later built a room between the two buildings.
        My father owned a small farm of about 30 acres not far from our home.  The land was fertile but water supply was scarce.  The town of St. John consisted of about 15 or 20 families.  It is about 15 miles from Tooele and about 50 miles from Salt Lake City.  My father used to butcher beef and sell the meat in the town and surrounding towns.  He did some freighting, hauling milled ore from Ophir to the terminus of the railroad near Stockton.
        My mother's parents were Soren Peter Guhl and Mariane Madsen Christensen Guhl.


Soren Peter Guhl                                                           Mariane Madsen Christensen Guhl

        She was married Aug. 30, 1883, to William Abram McIntosh when she was 18 years old.  They lived in St. John, Tooele County, Utah.  Their first home is still standing and is owned by Lawrence Russell.  It had a half-story upstairs.  Their first child, William LeRoy, was born June 22, 1884.  William Abram owned about 30 acres north of St. John and half a mile.  He was in the sheep business for several years, but went out of it approximately 1893, during the panic.
        A few years after their marriage, Lena's mother, Mariane, lived with them.  They built or moved a home for her some 18 to 20 feet north of a one-roomed shingle-roofed house.  Sometime later, William Abram joined the two houses by building a large house connecting the two houses.  This house had a dirt roof.
        Shortly after, my grandmother fell and broke her hip, which never healed and it was necessary for her to walk on crutches the rest of her life.
        My mother was active in Relief Society work and was a counselor for quite a number of years.  She spent many hours in caring for the sick, especially when new babies were born, and also in taking care of the people at death.
        After their son William LeRoy, a second son was born; John Willard was born March 20, 1896.

Mary family 
This is a family photo taken in 1899.

        In the winter of 1891-92, an epidemic struck the town and quite a number died.  On Jan. 12, 1892, my eldest brother died, and my brother Charles Marenus died.  When my brothers were stricken, I was sent to my mother's room, and did not catch the disease, which was diphtheria.  On account of the epidemic, no funerals were held.
        St. John had one small store, and a church built of stone in which Sunday school and church were held.  There was a one-roomed large schoolhouse.  Drinking water was carried in by a water bucket and we used a dipper.
        During the time we lived in Utah, my father was engaged in butchering beef and selling it in St. John.  We raised alfalfa hay principally on the farm and some was hauled to Mercur mining camp.
        I remember quite often when beef was butchered the Indians from Skull Valley, who often stopped near our house, would take the entrails -- tripe being a special delicacy among the Indians.
        In April 1893, my parents went to Salt Lake to the dedication of the temple.  This was an important event for the Mormon people.
        About this time pupils went to school in Clover, about two miles from St. John.  I remember riding to school.  We had a one-horse cart drawn by a white mare, and she was a pretty good trotter.
        A few years later a brick schoolhouse was built and I recall Father being on the school board.
        Life in those days was rather simple compared to today (1960).  We generally raised enough pork for use, which was cured in brine or merely dry-salted.  Beef was put in brine.  We raised no fruit in St. John, but Tooele valley was a fruit country and it was bought quite cheaply.
        My mother was a deeply religious woman.  We often went to meetings which seemed terribly long.  While gospel principles were taught, there were no outlines or regular scheduled lessons or visual aids.
        In the spring of 1900, my father, along with Orson and Mark Johnson, started for Wyoming with team and covered wagon.  The church was getting land in the Big Horn Basin to start settlement.  They left in the spring and my mother had the responsibility of looking after the affairs while they were gone.  During the summer we all had whooping cough.
        My father returned in the fall, but while in Wyoming had made a deal to buy 160 acres of land one mile sough of Burlington.  They made preparations to leave in the fall.
        They left on a mixed train from a depot near Stockton.  They had quite a number of cattle, several work horses, two saddle horses, and their household goods, furniture, etc.  I do not know how long the trip was, but I am sure it was pretty slow.
        They got to Bridger, Montana, the nearest railroad station to Burlington, and unloaded their stock and household goods -- which they loaded on wagons and took by team to Burlington.  They arrived in Burlington Oct. 1, 1900.  There was on the place then a two-room log, dirt-roofed cabin.
        The farm had about 30 acres of cultivated alfalfa hay.  In the spring of 1901, some 20-30 acres of sagebrush land was plowed and put into crop.  The means of transportation was team and wagon.  As it was about a mile and a half from school, those attending school walked only in very bad weather.
        In 1901, a tract of land adjoining the present town was purchased by my father and others, and divided into city lots and sold for building lots.  People had very little money but there was good community spirit.  Everyone shared in many ways and were very helpful in times of need.
        In the winter of 1901-02, we had an epidemic of smallpox and many were quarantined.  Those not sick brought food and medicine to those quarantined.  Our family had several sick.
        In March 1903, my father died after an operation for appendicitis.  Mother was left with eight children -- the eldest 17 and the youngest 1.  A few years later we moved into town, having built a two-room house at the east of the lot my father acquired before his death.
        We still continued to run the ranch by renting it, and later by my brother and me.  We, as a family, did janitor work for the school for a number of years, and we later bought a house and had it moved several miles to our town lot on the southeast corner next to the main road.  This house was a frame, shingle-roof building, three rooms downstairs and two rooms upstairs.  This provided a much more comfortable house than we had before.  The previous one had a dirt roof and in wet weather we had to set pans on the floor to catch the rain.
        Our home was a place where we often had many of our age group, and would gather in socials and games.  Quite a bedlam, sometimes, but Mother enjoyed it.
        While Mother had very little schooling, she was quite a reader.  Reading and spelling seemed a natural gift.
        As the years went by and my sisters graduated from grade school and high school, they all taught in and around Burlington, and helped support the family.  As I look back over the years, I can appreciate their efforts in making things comfortable for their mother and making it possible for her to have some of the comforts of life without working so hard.
        In the spring of 1912, I was 26 and was sent on a mission.  My mother desired it, and while I had very little money of my own, my older sisters supported me while I was gone.  Ira, though young, took care of the farm.
        While I was gone, my mother's half brother -- affectionately known as Uncle Reanous -- came to live with the family.  He lived with us and with my mother after the family was on its own until his death in 1933.
        During the influenza epidemic of 1918-19, most of the children except me were ill with it.  My youngest sister Gertrude was going to school in Salt Lake City and she got the flu.  My mother went to care for her, but she died a few days afterward.  She was 19 years old and a very lovely girl.  Mother bore this trial bravely.
        About this time my brother Lester began to have trouble with partial paralysis of the right arm and leg.  He was taken to several doctors and to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, but none seemed to help him except for a short while.  Finally in the spring of 1928, he was taken to a specialist in Denver who diagnosed the trouble as a mastoid.  As he was constantly getting worse, he was operated on, but a few days afterward he passed away (28 years old).  This was one of the hardest trials my mother had, as he had been with her for so long, and he felt so dependent on her.
        As the home she had lived in became too large for her, the house was moved to the farm and a smaller house was built for her on the same location (due south of the LDS church on Main Street) where she lived until her death.  The years she lived there while she was able to care for herself were perhaps the best years of her life.  While she lived along, her children and grandchildren came to see her often.  She was always busy as long as she was able.  She did considerable reading, she crocheted, made rugs, did sewing and was a great lover of flowers.  She loved to attend graduation exercises, as there was always some of her grandchildren in the graduating class.
        During her later years she had arthritis, which caused her back to be crooked, and it became an effort for her to walk.  It bothered her terribly during the last few years.
        Her body seemed to just wear out, and she passed away on June 1, 1959, being 94 years and 1 month old.  She was loved and respected by all who knew her.


Nancy Lena Guhl McIntosh, date unknown.


Nancy Lena Guhl McIntosh, probably not too long before her death.
WANLGMcIntosh headstone 2
Click here to return to home page