"Going to the roots of the Vandiver Family"
June 23, 2024




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Stanley George Smith
An Autobiography written September 1964
and typed by his daughter, M. Jean Smith Vandiver from notes found in a folder in his desk.

Stanley George Smith
Stanley George Smith

I, Stanley George Smith, being born of goodly parents in the year of 1894, on the 12th day of August, and with a desire in my heart that my posterity will know some of their ancestors and where and who they were, I will say that I am the son of Arthur Smith and Sarah Alice Bishop.

My father was born in England (8 August 1861) and emigrated (30 April 1866) to the United States at the age of about six years with his parents, James and Emma Sutton Smith, who had heard the gospel of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and believed and were baptized and had a desire to join the Saints and Church in the mountains of Utah.1 The Smith family was on the ocean six weeks and finally got to Winter Quarters (by train) from where they started west with one of the first mule teams to cross the plains. My father, Arthur, and grandmother, Emma Smith, walked the entire distance to Salt Lake. Grandfather, James Smith, having contracted rocky mountain fever, was given wagon rides and care.

My mother, Sarah Alice Bishop Smith, was also born in England (25 July 1857) in the town of Cheltenham, Gloucester. Her parents were James and Sarah Stanley Bishop who also joined the Church and migrated to Utah. With them were two girls and four boys. When Mother and part of the family landed in Utah, they were sent to Kaysville, a town about twenty-two miles to the north of Salt Lake to live with the Smith's until they found a place of their own. It was through this arrangement that my father, Arthur Smith, and my mother, Sarah Alice Bishop, met and were later married in the Logan Temple 26 May 1886.

To this union were born eleven children. The first boy and third child, Frank, born in 1890 died in infancy. The seventh child, Dora, died at about six years of age. All the rest lived to maturity and at present three boys and three girls are still living, this being the first of September 1964.

Ida, the oldest, born 2 April 1887, married Thomas L. White. To this union were born two boys and six girls.2 Mabel, born 12 October 1888, never married and was accidently killed at the age of 56. She was visiting with her sister, Bertha, and family in Romeo, Colorado, and was accidently shot on 6 August 1945. Claude, born 18 March 1891, never married and at present is 73 years of age. Ralph, born 16 November 1892, married Alta Trumbo. They settled in Oregon on a farm. To them were born two girls, Donna Jean and Darlene. Ralph died 12 January 1937 and is buried in The Dalles, Oregon.

Stanley, the writer of this account, was born in Kaysville, Utah, 12 August 1894 and grew to adulthood in and around Kaysville where I received my teaching and schooling - attending the little red school house of the day. It was around this place where I first went to Sunday School, Primary, Religion class and other church organizations and where my knowledge of the Church was first taught me publicly. We were taught and practiced a deep reverence for the laws and commandments at home.

My sister, Dora, was born 1 May 1896 and died 5 May 1902. She was laid to rest in the Kaysville-Layton cemetery.3

Hubert B. Smith was born 13 September 1897. He lived at home and kept the farm going until he joined the army during WWII. While in the army, he met and married Lucille LeDuc. After the war they settled in Flint, Michigan, where they both work in the auto industry. They are living there at the present time - 20 September 1964. Their intentions are to visit me and the Western states during October. I look forward to his company as it is several years since we have been together or seen each other. No children were born to this union, but there are two step-daughters whose love for him fills a gap left vacant not having children of his own.

Bertha Alice was the next child to come into the family on 11 July 1899. Like the rest, she received her early education in and around Kaysville where she attended the public school and local LDS church of which she served a mission of two years in and around Toronto, Canada. She worked and earned enough money to pay for most of her expenses while on the mission. She married Leonard Nielson of Romeo, Colorado, and went there to live. They reared a family of two boys and four girls4 and endured the hardships of life in that arid part of Colorado and at this writing she and her husband still live there.

Madeline, born 14 January 1901, in Kaysville, received her education and Church teaching also in the public school and local LDS church. She married Clarence McLatchie and to them were born four children.5 Madeline sought and obtained a good college education and taught in Ogden, Utah, where they made their home. She still lives there at the present time. Clarence died of a massive stroke about 1940-1941.

Nora was the last of the family, born 31 October 1902 in Kaysville. She, too, spent her early life around Kaysville where she received her early training and education. She followed a business career - working in Salt Lake City, Washington D.C. and Denver, Colorado, as a government official in bookkeeping and accounting work. It was while living in Denver that she was stricken with a blood clot and after several months of illness passed away at the home of her sister, Bertha, in Romeo, Colorado. She was laid to her final rest in the Kaysville-Layton Cemetery.

This comprises a short sketch of the family of Arthur and Alice Bishop Smith, my parents.

1. Arthur was actually 4 years old going on five, and there were also two little girls - Jane, 3, and Martha, 1 ½ years.
2. Arthur, Alice, Dora, Nellie, Idella, Frank, Donna and Errna.
3. Dad told me that he and Dora were real pals. - Jean S. Vandiver
4. Don, Ivan, Delia, Wilrna, Loraine, Nanalee (Don was killed in a truck accident. Ivan was killed in plane accident.)
5. Faye, Myrna, Eldon, Carol (Faye died like her father of a massive stroke in 1979 - age 54)

The following has been added by M. Jean Vandiver to complete the history of the above family:

  • Arthur Smith died 22 March 1924 - age 63 - of pernicious anemia.
  • Sarah Alice Smith died 16 June 1940 - age 83 - heart and old age.
  • Ida - died 3 July 1984 - age 97.
  • Claude - died 12 April 1964 - age 73 - coronary disease due to diabetes. Claude estranged himself from the family after becoming upset with his sister. He was not heard from for several years. His mother died not knowing where he was. Finally, Stanley traced him with help from his Idaho Senator, Social Security and the Veterans Administration to Phoenix, Arizona, where he had died unknown and was buried in a pauper's grave. Stanley had him reburied in a cemetery in Tolleson, Arizona, and had a headstone put in place.
  • Stanley - died 29 June 1980 - age 85 - massive stroke.
  • Hubert - died 17 February 1988 - age 91 - severe arthritis & old age.
  • Bertha - died 23 May 1994 - age 95 - asthma & old age.
  • Madeline - died 21 March 1986 - age 85 - Alzheimer disease.
  • Nora - died 10 October 1959 - blood clots, gangrene - amputation of both legs.

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