Friday, August 19, 2011

Lorenzo Davidson "Jumbo" 1861-1924


My name is Lorenzo "S" Davidson. I was not christened, nor baptized with the "S" to my name. It is something I have added on my own. I have always liked the name "Steven" (Stephen), and so, I have added the "S" to many civil records. Some Church records may also have the letter "S" as explained above. The "S" carries no period, which if it did, it would signify that the "S" is an abbreviation of some larger name or word. In my case the "S" stands alone- it does not stand for Stephen, it only stands for "S." Our family included my father, Hans Christian Davidson, my Mother Anna Marie Jensen and my older sister, Mary Dorthea (4 years old) and my elder brother, Hans Thomas (2 years old) when they immigrated to this country in 1858. My father was a learned man and was educated in Denmark He had his own home, was engaged in a very promising profession and the family lived "comfortably." After hearing the Gospel of Jesus Christ taught to them by the missionaries, being convinced by the Holy Ghost that this message was from God, Hans Christian and his wife Anna Marie joined this new Church - The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. But his neighbors, his own family and the police troubled him because he joined this new religion and persecuted him so much that he felt he had to leave Denmark Accordingly they made immediate preparations to leave Denmark and migrate to Zion in the New World- the United States.
My parent's family left Denmark in early March 1858, traveled 800 miles through Denmark Germany, England, then crossing the mighty Atlantic Ocean to New York (3,000 miles) then on the train for 1200 miles through Ohio, Illinois and Iowa, then for 180 miles via ox cart to Winter Quarters. Here my mother procured a horse and cart, placed her two children (Mary Dorthea age 5 and 2 ½ year old Hans Thomas and all our worldly goods on the cart, then she walked across the Plains (1146 miles) leading the horse by tugging on its bridle, finally arriving at Great Salt Lake City in September 1858. My mother was reunited with my father who had been herding animals and after a short rest stay in the City of Zion, my father moved his family to Battle Creek, (now called Pleasant Grove) Utah County in Utah Territory. He did so because A friend loaned him a cave or cellar for the winter, and because they had nowhere else to go. This cave had nothing more than a dirt floor and cold rock walls. It was a very cold winter and my father and mother and their two children spent much of that winter in bed to keep from freezing to death. My parents worked hard that year and found other lodgings- they found. a small farm in Battle Creek, which they purchased. They fixed up the farmhouse and made it warm and comfortable. This was our home for the next five years.
Within 11 months my little sister Bell (Isabell, or, Elizabeth) was born. Two years later on 31 August 18611 was born. Then two years later my younger brother, Amasa was born. With more children in the family it took effort to keep them all busy. My f other, Hans Christian enrolled Amasa and me in the somewhat new Wasatch academy that was right here in our own little town. We were the first in the family to have formal education from without the home. Father was also called upon to give speeches and lecture on the sciences and cartography.
We all had chores and obligations around the farm and more particularly with the animals. In the next 6 years four more children were born into our familay- twins Ephraim and Sarah and Lucinda and Joseph.
I will now bow out of the picture, and turn my story over to my grandson, who will complete it. Besides, I have been dead and gone for many years, long before most of you readers have been born, so he can tell my story in my place.

Lorenzo "S" Davidson

By Gwyn D. Davidson, a grandson

My grandfather, Lorenzo Davidson was born 31 August 1861 in Battle Creek, Utah (now called Pleasant Grove) in what was then known as the Territory of Utah. He was born during the time of the ill famous civil war that was being waged in the East. His father, Hans Christian Davidson had been born in Denmark and was a convert to the Mormon faith. Hans's wife, Anna Marie Jensen was also a convert to the faith and she had walked more than 1,000 miles across the Great American Plains with her husband. They settled in Great Salt Lake City for a short while then moved to Battle Creek where they lived for a stint of about four years. After subsisting in a cave, or side hill dugout in Battle Creek, Hans C. Davidson again moved his family 85 miles south to San Pete County, where many of the Scandinavian Saints had gathered; the year was 1864. The new place was called Mt. Pleasant and they found comfort in living among other Danes. In time a total of 10 children were born to them: (1) Mary Dorthea Catherine; (2) Hans Thomas [both born in Denmark]; (3) Elizabeth [sometimes called Bell or Isabel]; (4) Lorenzo; (5) Amasa, [These last three were born in Battle Creek]; (6 & 7) Twins Ephraim and Sarah; (8) Lucinda and (9) Joseph; these last four were all born at Mt. Pleasant in San Pete County, Territory of Utah. A little baby girl, named Sarah was born while they were at Battle Creek lived only six months. They loved her so much that when the next little girl was born (one of the twins), she also was named Sarah in honor of the little girl that had died. It was at these two places [Pleasant Grove and Mt. Pleasant] that most of the memories of growing up were developed. They were truly devoted to the faith, and were what is known as "Good Latter-day Saints."

Lorenzo Davidson's older brother, Hans Thomas, was 6 feet three inches in height and weighed in at and 235 pounds. At birth he was "Such a little thing" (said the ladies) for he only weighed 3 ½ pounds. But as he got older there were not too many who would challenge him because of his size. History tells us of one aborted altercation that took place on the unfinished St. George temple. A challenger came after him one day trying to pick a fight. Hans turned down his several challenges, saying he did not want to fight him. The man continued, anyway. Because of his persistence Hans merely poked two of his big fingers in the trouble maker's eyes and the challenger was done for the day. Hans did not seek fights nor did he want any, or run away from one. Even though he was large in stature, (very large compared to men of his day) he was not a fighter and he would rather be called or known as a peacemaker-easy to get along with. When he moved to Bridger Valley, near Fort Bridger, Wyoming the town people gossiped: "Have you seen the size of that new guy building the mill ?" [1] As told by Hans Thomas Davidson to his granddaughter Jeanette Davidson Hopkinson

Lorenzo, was also a big man. Not only was he big, but he also was very strong. He was known for his physical strength. He was 6 feet and 3 inches tall and he weighed 230 pounds. He liked to wrestle and he did not often run from a challenge. He had a nickname that he earned- friends and neighbors called him "Jumbo"-- named for a big and, strong famous circus elephant. The two names- Jumbo and Lorenzo just seemed to go together. The other boys and girls in the family were of average height and demeanor and were a normal part of a normal pioneer family.

There were not many opportunities for work or employment for a young man in that part of central Utah, unless, of course, if one owned some land that could be cultivated. With but few opportunities locally, most young men left home at an early age to seek their fortunes elsewhere. "Jumbo" went as far north as Butte, Montana where he found hard and dirty work in the underground coal mines. Perhaps the name "Jumbo" helped him find such work. At any rate, in time his boss challenged another mine superintendent saying that "Jumbo" could load more coal in an 8 hour shift than any man around and he put up a $50 wager to prove it. It was also stipulated that this contest had to be done after the regular day's work of 8 hours mining. And what would there be for "Jumbo" if he won? The superintendant agreed to pay him half of the prize ($25.00) if he won. Lorenzo loaded 61 mine cars with coal that night after work of (400 pounds each) while the other miner loaded 57 cars. "Jumbo" won the contest and his nickname followed him. And, oh, yes, he received his $25.00. [2] As told by Eskil Davidson to Gwyn Davidson

Lorenzo's father, Hans C. Davidson, had written him several times encouraging him to return home. He told his son that it was not a healthy or a desirable atmosphere around the mines. His father also wrote his son to be faithful to the Church and be active in it for that is the only place where one can find pure joy and happiness. Besides he had been gone three or four years and the father wanted to see his son. He also carefully informed Lorenzo that his mother, Anna Marie, was failing in health. Please come home the letters read. Lorenzo had a fond spot in his heart for his mother,

Lorenzo loved his mother and was concerned for her well being, and he wanted to see her again. For example when he worked away from home he would often leave a pile of chopped wood so that she would have plenty for that day's use. One time Lorenzo came home late at night and was awakened by her call for Amasa (next eldest son) to get her some more wood. The younger boy ignored the repeated call which made Lorenzo angry. He jumped out of bed and went to Amasa who still refused to get up, whereupon Lorenzo picked his younger brother up and threw him down the staircase and told his brother: "NOW GET SOME WOOD FOR MOTHER," which he did.

Lorenzo took the next train from Montana to Ogden Utah and from thence to Mt. Pleasant via the Utah Central, but it was too late. His beloved mother, Anna Marie Jensen, had passed away on 2 May 1886, only two days before. Lorenzo, however, had arrived just in time to attend her funeral. The family then sat for a formal portrait [on 5 May, 1886] in Mt. Pleasant, which photo is attached hereto for the record.

After the funeral and taking care of matters at home, Lorenzo began thinking of a former acquaintance --one in which he had had an interest. The girl was about his age but she had moved away and had been gone several years and was now living in Wyoming. He found out where she was living and went to see what prospects there might be. She greeted him with a big iron fry pan, and ordered him off the porch or she would brand him with some "Mormon Hot sauce," which she had bubbling in the pan. He soon discovered that "Hell hath no fury like a spurned woman." "Jumbo" went looking elsewhere.


About this time Lorenzo met a charming young widow who was a spiritual giant. She had emigrated to this country from Sweden at the age of 18 and came with her immediate family. She had married and had three little girls, but her husband had died suddenly of "quick pneumonia." Her family lived in Mt. Pleasant and was one of the stalwart LDS Scandinavian families in the area. Here was a ready-made family and a great lady at the head of it. She also saw this handsome young man and considered the possibilities.


This young couple, Anna Louisa Peterson, and Lorenzo Davidson were married civilly on 4 March, 1887 and in a short while after the wedding Lorenzo and his new bride went to the nearby Manti temple where he received his endowments. They lived in nearby Fairview for several years, and in time Mary and a son, Arland Lorenzo, were born to them. Lorenzo and his wife decided that they needed more ground, now that the family had five children in it, so they began making plans to homestead in Wyoming in the Big Horn Basin. They left Fairview on the 15th of April, 1892. This was a wet and cold and a bad time to travel however, they needed to start as soon as possible to arrive in the Basin (500 miles) to be ready and prepared for the first Wyoming winter. Traveling with them were Carl and Lena Gjettrup and their family and also Carl's brother, Pete. They purchased a milk cow so that they had fresh milk as they traveled. Lorenzo drove four head of horses pulling a wagon and a half trailer hitched to it. Christian Jacobsen, a brother in law to Lorenzo, also drove a wagon and team. Lorenzo was 31 years old and his wife, Anna Louisa was 33; the three girls from the first marriage were: Anna, age 13; Ellen, age 11; Rena, (sometimes Regina) age 9; then the two youngest from this marriage were: Mary, age 4; and Arland Lorenzo, nearly 2 years old.

Lorenzo built hutches and cages for all the chickens, geese, turkeys and pigs and mounted the cages all around on the outside of the wagons. Inside the main wagon they kept their household supplies. The trailing wagon that was attached to the main wagon was used as the camp wagon. It contained a small stove, dry goods, a folding table, a few dishes and a dasher butter churn. A large bed was built along the back with places under it for storing various supplies. The third wagon was to be filled with many fruit tree starts, bushes, berries, plants, shade trees and everything for a vegetable garden when those items arrived.

Lorenzo had wisely planned ahead purchasing the various trees, plants, planting stock and hand tools, plows and he made room for them all. The seeds, plants, trees and bushes etc. were ordered by mail from the Stark Brothers Fruit Farm of Louisiana, Missouri but they had not arrived in Utah via the mail by the time this little group departed. Lorenzo had made arrangements with a friend to bring all these things, which had been ordered by mail, to them while they were on the trail. In time all was received and placed in the wagon Grandfather Lorenzo Davidson brought many of the first fruit trees, bushes, berries, plants, bulbs, vegetables, and flowers starts to arrive in the Territory. He was able to give many plant starts to neighbors and friends from all over. [3] from Eskil Davidson to Gwyn Davidson

When they left Fairview Lorenzo had intended to settle in the Big Horn Basin of Wyoming. He had also considered going as far north as Montana, but when they arrived in Salt Lake City, and heard of the deep snows in these considered places, the upper Snake River Valley looked to be a better choice. There was a lot of snow and rain that fell as they passed through Cache County so they camped for a time in a meadow near the new Logan temple. With warmer temperatures and less snow they continued northward past Swan Lake, and Marsh Creek. Then they began to traverse a difficult 18 mile section through the Portneuf Narrows, or as some called it Portneuf Canyon. Many years later when Grandmother Anna Louisa was reminiscing about the toils of this trip she explained to her young son, Eskil "How hard it was to travel through Portneuf Canyon," She explained. It was filled with huge, black lava rocks, some higher than the wagons and their covers. They had to overcome waterfalls, cascades, marshes, cedar trees and wild range that the Portneuf River meandered through. "Our animals," she explained, "...had to pull our heavily laden wagons through 18 miles of torture until we reached Black Rock. Remember, this was in the days before the railroad," she said.
[4] As told by Eskil Davidson to Gwyn Davidson

With warmer days they made better time to Ft. Hall, the Indian post 11 miles north of Pocatello. They continued for 24 more miles to the very beautiful and large waterfalls at Eagle Rock (now called Idaho falls). The following day they made the very important crossing of the East Fork of the Snake River at nearby Lorenzo Village. The water was high and running fast, and Lorenzo guided his small band up-stream about 4 miles to a wide and gentle ford where, with the help of and some well placed rocks and timbers they were able to cross the river and turn east toward their ultimate destination -Teton Basin. [5] from Alvin, son of Arland to Gwyn Davidson

After stopping at Rexburg the men of the company left their families camped at a very beautiful meadow and they rode up the Teton River for 45 miles to Driggs and Darby Flat. Here they found flat ground, rich soil and lots of water and selected sites for homes and barns, fields and pastures, then headed back the 45 miles to Rexburg to get their families. The date was 23 May 1892 when they finally arrived at Teton Basin. They found that only two families- the Henry Todd family and the Ellington Smith family had already homesteaded and were living on Darby Flat. This pioneer group stopped at the Todd home, a one-room log cabin at the mouth of Darby Canyon. When they saw the condition of Grandmother Davidson, they gave their one bed to her while Mrs. Todd slept on the dirt floor. One week later Anna Louisa gave birth to a son-the first white child born on Darby Flat, Idaho. They named the new baby Arthur Cleveland, named for President Grover Cleveland. Lorenzo's party had traveled for 38 days and 430 miles since they left Fairview, Utah Territory. [6] From Eskil Davidson to Gwyn Davidson


Mr. Todd had built the walls of another room at the north of his cabin, but winter had arrived before he could finish it. Lorenzo shoveled the snow out of it, chinked the logs and put on a roof. Here his family lived for several cold months until he could clear a bit of land and get things started for his own home. He homesteaded 160 acres adjoining Todd's property and the Gjettrups filed on 160 acres just west of the Davidson claim.

On 5 August 1895 the Darby Ward of the Bannock Stake was organized and Anna Davidson was chosen as the first Primary President. This position she held for seven years. Church meetings were held in the Davidson cabin. Zion was growing and Lorenzo obtained logs and built a larger and better cabin in the center of his fields. The first cabin was then used as a church meeting house and school house. Arland Davidson began his formal schooling in that first farm house. When the stake became reorganized in 1902 into the Teton Stake Grandmother Anna Louisa was set apart as its first Stake Relief Society President, a position she held for nine years. On 13 December 1896 a third son, John David Nathaniel was born and on 19 May, 1899, Eskil Leander was born. He was a large baby and weighed 14 pounds at birth. [7] minutes of the Darby Relief Society meeting

The first settlers, (Henry Todd family and Ellington Smith family) brought water down from the creek flowing out of Darby Canyon. It was at best a very rough hand dug ditch. Lorenzo had other ideas. He obtained pipe from somewhere, built some dams and head gates and brought the water down in a very efficient way by pipes to the fields below. This way he could control the flow and destination of this very valuable resource. [8] Alvin Davidson, son of Arland to Gwyn Davidson

Their neighbor, Ellington Smith had a reputation of "flying off the handle" or "losing his cool." He was bad tempered, and easily lost his temper. He did not run from a fight. The snow was often very deep on Darby Flat. It was wild country and Lorenzo did what he could to protect his livestock from the many preying dogs, wolfs, mountain lions and bears and all other predatory animals. One night he heard some dogs barking and saw them chasing some of the animals that were in the coral. Lorenzo got his gun and shot into the pack hoping to drive them away. He, unknowingly, hit a dog belonging to Mr. Smith. The dog went home, bleeding and the next morning, early, Smith came to the door with a loaded shot gun intending to shoot and kill Lorenzo for shooting his dog. Lorenzo talked to the man for some time; his temper cooled and he went home. Some years later this same Ellington Smith had his troubles and nourished his grievances and imagined troubles until they became mountains. He followed his neighbor, a Mr. Neil into his field and killed him. He shot him at close range with a rifle to the head and Neil fell into the stream of running water which washed much of the matter in his skull away. Anna Louisa, the president of the Relief Society was called to the Neil home where she prepared the body for burial. She packed the empty skull with cotton and made the man's head look acceptable for the viewing. [9] History of Anna Louisa Peterson Davidson by Edna L. Davis.

About this time the Davidsons obtained their first kerosene lamps. They now could read at night or do so many needed chores. They chinked the logs again. Then they papered newspapers all over the inside of the cabin, which made it even a bit warmer.

Eskil shared this family story about himself:
"The following happened at the church sacrament meeting where and when I was to be blessed and christened. My father, Lorenzo, had already chosen a name for me. [In the Mormon faith babies are named (christened) and blessed when they are about one month old ]. However, my mother did not like the name Lorenzo had selected and when she passed me on to the waiting hands of the ecclesiastical authority who was going to christen me, she whispered a strange and new name to him. The name she had chosen and told to the priesthood authority was a Swedish name: "Eskil," a place near where she had been born. And so the christening and blessing passed and Lorenzo had no choice in the matter. The deed was done; my father never did like the name, and he often teased me, calling me "Dick. "He seldom called me by my real and correct name. To him my name was a funny Swedish one. One time I became so mad because he so often called me "Dick" that I obtained a big piece of chalk and I wrote the name "Dick" all over a coal shed- inside and outside, top and bottom, all over. It took me all day. When my father saw all the writing he was moved and he got the point. Seldom did he tease me by calling me "Dick." Actually our relationship between us became better after this learning experience. [10] Eskil Davidson to Gwyn Davidson

Every Fall and at various other times Lorenzo did freighting to earn extra money to buy necessary supplies. These were generally purchased in St. Anthony and sometimes special farm machinery was purchased in Idaho Falls then hauled all the way to Teton Basin, a distance of 80 miles.

The Davidson family and the others depended on wild meat for much of their diet. One day Lorenzo and his neighbor were in the nearby hills hunting for elk. The neighbor was on the other side of the stream while Lorenzo was on this side. All of a sudden a huge brown bear leaped out from the forest on to the hunter and took him down. The bear tore off part of the man's left shoulder. Lorenzo, in an attempt to try and save the man's life leaped across the stream, yelling and screaming at the top of his lungs. He came wildly swinging his gun and with a mighty "Jumbo" swing he dispatched the bear by breaking his gun into two parts crushing and mashing the bear's very sensitive nose. Again and again Lorenzo struck the bear with his broken gun. Again and again he crushed that bear's nose and mouth. It was now a very dead bear. He had killed it with his two bare hands. "Jumbo" killed a bear" the word went out to the neighbors. The man's life was saved. It is no wonder the people called him "Jumbo." [11] As told by Eskil Davidson to Gwyn Davidson

Anna Louisa's brother, Andreas who still lived in San Pete County, Utah was a skilled carpenter by trade. Lorenzo and his wife wrote him several letters inviting him to come up north and visit relatives in Idaho. He accepted their offer and spent a full four months with them and remodeled their home by adding three new rooms. This made four very nice large rooms and two more up stairs. The one large front room was used as a bedroom for Mary and Lenora, and it served as a place for dances and parties. Her brother, Andreas had served his sister and brother in law very well indeed. It seemed that most all the activities in the area were held at the now very comfortable Davidson home. [14] History of Anna Louisa Peterson Davidson by Edna L. Davis

[The question arises: How did Andreas travel to Darby, Idaho from Fairview, San Pete County, Utah, a distance of more than 420 miles,(with his carpenter tools). The records do not answer this question. However regular rail service was available before the turn of the century as far south as San Pete County, Utah and as far north as St. Anthony, Idaho by 1898. The steel railroad bridge over the Snake River was completed at Lorenzo, Madison County in 1900. Lorenzo and Anna, his relatives, would likely have met him at the train depot in St. Anthony then by stage or wagon 40 miles to Darby].

Eskil shared the following:
"When I was a little boy I found many Indian arrowheads on the ground. I picked them up by the cans-full. There were many of them and they were easy to find." [12] Eskil Davidson to Gwyn Davidson

One Christmas all the children but myself received a dollar for a holiday gift. We were so very poor my parents thought it would be alright if I did not have a gift like all the others because I was the smallest in the family and "he won’t mind." Of course I was hurt. My mother called me into the house and told me to wash my face and hands for she had a surprise for me. I was so very happy and surprised when she presented to me my Christmas—a beautiful orange—, something I had never seen before. It was so sweet and tasty and I never forgot that experience. [13 Eskil Davidson to Gwyn Davidson
Lorenzo had heard that a circus was coming to St. Anthony now that the rail line had been completed between Idaho Falls and points north. He wanted his children to have the opportunity of seeing the rare animals that they only read about. As a family they usually made three or four trips a year to St. Anthony to purchase or trade for those items they could not make or raise at home. This would be a good time to make this a shopping trip also, he suggested. They would buy or purchase or trade for such needed supplies as flour, sugar, some canned goods, kerosene, paraffin wax, medicines, sewing materials and supplies, rifle and shot gun shells, and certain other hardware. It was 40 miles from Darby to St. Anthony and it required five or six days to make a complete round trip.

The road between St. Anthony and Darby, Victor, Driggs and beyond to Jackson Hole was a well traveled one. It was used by traveling salesmen, horse traders, gamblers, outlaws, cattle traders, highway men, snake oil peddlers, innocent civilians, hardware and farm equipment salesmen, real estate agents and everyone else who thought he had business or interests on this well traveled and important road. [There was no railroad to Teton Basin until 1912, and to this present date (2010) there is yet no rail service to Jackson Hole from St. Anthony. Freight still is trucked in.] It is no wonder, then, that this road was strewn with many hundreds of wine, whiskey, beer, heal-all liquid panacea, vitamins, tonic and medicine bottles, most of which were smashed or broken or shot-through; but some were unbroken and unscathed, very perfect glass bottles. These, Lorenzo said, were to be found by the children and carefully checked to have no crack, chip, or break of any kind and each bottle was to be carefully stored in a “gunney sack" and carried home with them.

At an appropriate time Lorenzo gathered his children around him, built a small but hot fire, took a piece of fence wire, put it into the fire until it was red hot, then he wrapped that hot wire around the bottom part of the glass bottle (usually 4" to 6"). Lorenzo then took the hot glass bottle and dipped it in a tub of ice water, causing the bottle to break in a very straight line, so that the result looked like a perfectly good drinking glass. One of the boys then would grind the rough edges with the sandstone grinder. The jars were then filled with food and sealed with paraffin wax to complete the works. Thus the Davidson Family "glass works" made many jam, jelly and other food jars for family use. [14] Eskil Davidson to Gwyn Davidson


(1) Grandfather Lorenzo had a tobacco problem he had not learned to control. However, he had his heart in the right place. He did not want his sons to smoke. He also did not want them to drink liquors. He came to Eskil and talked to him in a serious vein. He said: "If you will not smoke or drink faithfully in your teenager years, I will give you a real gold watch when you are fifteen years of age." Of course this was a wonderful thing because a gold watch in those days was a very rare possession. Accordingly, Eskil promised his father he would live faithful to that trust and charge. Never did Eskil drink or smoke. He was faithful to his promise. When he became 15 years of age, his father, true to his promise gave him a gold Elgin watch. Eskil treasured that watch all during his life. My father, Eskil, gave me that watch and I have that very wonderful watch in my possession to this day (2010) Eskil Davidson to Gwyn Davidson

(2) Lorenzo was asked to go one a mission. He was using tobacco at the time and said he wanted to wait until fall so that he would have time to give up this dirty habit. He did not quit smoking and he did not go on a mission so he sent his son, Arthur age 17 to go in his place to Sweden.

(3) He was a kind father—He loved his children; He provided for their physical and temporal needs.

(4) The Davidson farm was considered the best farm in all of Teton Basin. The real estate agents always wanted to show his farm.

(5) Lorenzo was asked by his stake president to prepare himself to be called and ordained a patriarch. He had a difficult time separating his spiritual and temporal needs and wants, hence that call never came.

(6) Lorenzo was clerk of the school board and had charge of hiring the teachers. He was clerk for nearly 20 years. He saw to it that the students had the necessary schoolroom supplies. He helped make the rough
plank desks and benches. He was also clerk of the irrigation water association and had charge of regulating the distribution of this very valuable resource. Lorenzo built a blacksmith shop on his property for his needs and also for his neighbor's needs. He would usually rise at 4:00 am to sharpen tools, shovels chisels and other necessary tools before breakfast so as not to disturb them.

(7) Lorenzo often pronounced blessings on his children.

(8) He had a smoke house and cured meat and had a reputation of being very successful in preserving and curing meat. he also went to neighbors home and cured meat for them on their own property at their request.

(9) About eight years after the Davidsons settled on Darby Flat the Darby ward was organized and Emanuel Bagley was chosen Bishop. The Manifesto had been read and accepted by the Church. Some members claimed Bishop Bagley was still practicing polygamy and those members thought they had aught against him. Other members who had other claimed grievances could not agree on what was the supposed difficulty and what the disfavor was over. Some of those who claimed the bishop had a problem also had other problems of their own, such as the Word of Wisdom, tithing keeping the Sabbath, card playing and gambling. At any rate Lorenzo and two of his cronies agreed among themselves that they would not vote to sustain Bishop Bagley but would vote to oppose him. At the meeting where the vote was taken the two friends of Lorenzo "chickened out" and voted to sustain the new bishop. This angered Lorenzo, for he had his own tithing and Word of Wisdom problems and he wanted to vote anyway. When it came for a sustaining position Grandfather Lorenzo jumped up on a bench and loudly exclaimed "No! No!” He was promptly disfellowshipped by the bishop. Some years later Bishop Bagley told him he had been excommunicated. because of his non sustaining vote. Later he was rebaptized and was again ordained an elder. [The Church records do not show any excommunication. In coming into full fellowship he had not lost his membership, therefore he did not have to be rebaptized, or be ordained again] .


Grandmother Anna L. became very tired of the very cold winters and deep snows at Darby; she was not getting any younger. Grandfather Lorenzo felt much the same, so they took a ride to St. Anthony and looked at several small farms in the area. But there was something more afoot involved in it;—DIVORCE ! Anna had spent her entire life in service to the Church, to others and in teaching her children to be faithful to the Good Lord Above. Lorenzo had become not closer, but further from the Church and its teaching. He refused a mission call, when he was asked to prepare himself to serve the Lord. The stake president asked him to prepare himself and be worthy to serve the people as a patriarch. He refused. Lorenzo and his wife Anna were growing further and further apart. They thought this would be the best time to split and start anew. So, with a new home it was decided to announce this stirring change at the time of the move to Parker in 1912

Anna Louisa loved the Lord, and the Church and enjoyed the many blessings that inured to the family by adhering to is laws and commandments. Grandmother and her family were very disappointed and sorrowful when Lorenzo would not prepare himself to become a patriarch, when called, neither would he send Nathaniel on a mission, and he continued his tobacco habit. They had found fine little farm with two homes on the property nice brick home, ample water in nearby canals. But, Lorenzo moved out and for a time lived with his daughter Lenora and her husband. He tried making a living by doing whatever work came by; He grazed sheep, was a fruit tree pruner, trapped animals, was a big game outfitter and fruit tree manager. Everything went sour for Lorenzo now that he was living alone. He never had much money to send to his three missionaries—Arland and Arthur who were in Sweden serving the Lord, and in time Eskil was serving in the Mexican Mission. Grandmother sold butter and eggs and provided funds for Eskil, her "Baby Boy in Texas" on a mission. She did everything in her power to make it possible for Eskil to stay on his mission for 36 months. But as for Lorenzo he struggled and paid a heavy price not doing his duties as a father in Israel. To his credit, Eskil, the youngest member of the family wrote often to his father, Lorenzo.

The next twelve years were muddy at best to be sure. Lorenzo loved his family but he was removed from them. I am certain his sad and lonely life without his family and wife hastened an early death. He died on 12 April 1924 in Salt Lake City and was buried in a lonely grave in Mt. Pleasant Utah, next to his parents.


1. (From Lorenzo at Filer, Idaho to Eskil Davidson on his mission).
"Filer Idaho August 7, 1921: E L Davidson Sat Antonio Texes
my dear bloved son Eskel it is now a long time since I rote to you so i will try again I am well and feel good now hoping that these few lines will find you well also "I went back in the mountains Herding sheep for a month that are a dogs life" " my helth was very poorly so I quit" .... "mother [Anna Louisa, his former wife] was out there and was just going home haven't herd from Parker since i was there last spring Nethanial wont anser my letters Wall [Well] my Dearboy I hope you are getting along good and love your mission But sory to say that I haint [been] abel to help on your mission Have lost 200 dollar in hard work and cant get it I am not abel to work much for it hant so easy for me to get money to help you I will now send you 5 it are very small it is that much enaway if I have good luck with trapping this fall and winter maby I can doe better" .... Wishing you the best of wishes may god Bless you my his spiret bee with [you] constently Desire are that we may be blessed so we can help you to sustain with your labor.
Be and as Ever your Father L S. Davidson Iona Idaho"

2. Letter from Lorenzo at Filer, Idaho to " Eskal L. Davidson [at] Parker, Idaho" Dated Feb 10, 1924:
"...Give mother[Anna Louisa Peterson, his ex wife] my best wishes as I don't wish her no rong. god bless you and all of yours wishing you all a happy and Prosperus year my best wishes and Love from father, --L. S. Davidson"

3. Letter from Lorenzo in Parker, Idaho to his son, Arland on his mission in Tennessee, dated 7 March, 1915: "Our dear Beloved Son and Boy I will now try and rite a few lines to let you know how we are getting along we are all comferebtly well at home and hoping these few lines will find you the same just received your letter yesterday of feb, 27 and we was glad to here from you agane and to here you are getting along well and up sertinly want to here that you are getting along well i am not feeling exactly well and haven't gon to meating so I will try to rite you a few lines it is almost impossible for me to rite I owe one letter before this one I will endever to rite again ...."
"...good money is aufel scarce and hard to get and it keeps us moving all the time to keep up if it wasent for the cows and chickens I dont know how we could keep up and now they are taring the [sugar beet] slicer down and we wont get eny more [beet] pulp so we want to sell out if we can there are to much work for us to doe here we hafto quit off some of this work as we are to old to stand we should take life a little more Easyr our familey are nearly grown and they want to get of to themselves and look for nomber one ...."
"last Friday I rote a letter to your president souther states mission Chattanooga 417 Tenn and sent him a check for $50.00 for him to send you all you nead get you a good suit of close and get what you need so you can travel and perform your dotey of missionar labor I don't wot you to morn about our affairs at home now is when we nead to help you and when you get home you can help your self ...."
"...We wish you all the best of success and we Pray god will Bless you with his holey spirit and you may enjoy the spirit of your labars seek the Lord always Pray and preach the gospel loud and strong Keep in clost tuch with the holey commandments and the golden rule and then you will make many f rends and you will prosper"
We all remember you in our prares i think of you Every day of our life and we remember what your labor is there for we want to keep in clost touch with you so I will close my letter for today and I Beg parden for not riting before you rite if I don't I dont doe much and get tired to easy we all join in and send our best love to you. Good luck From you Father
Lorenzo Davidson

4. Letter from Lorenzo in Crystal Springs, Filer, Idaho to E. L. Davidson,
in San Antonio, Texas dated 12 July, 1922:
"Cristel Springs Filer Idaho July 12 22
E. L. Davidson
"My Dear boy I will again try rite to you I can say I feal well and good and hope these few lines will find you the same as it leaves me"
"I got a letter from Mary and Charls to my surprise I found in it a letter from you and others ....glad to here from you but area long time ago and your letter traveled a long ways then back to you ...." "pleased to see that you are getting along well with your mission but sory to say it are so hard to get money to help the work along ...." "It has been hard for me to get along I hope to God better from now on for me I am still here working for Tylers I will now send you $15.00 That isnt very much it will help a little ....having considerbel doctor bill to pay and now comes my life inshorance to pay to if I live to years more ...."
" are a little warm here at times. The 4 of July it was 111 in the shade, ,but nites are fair cool I work entirely with the Orchard and viniard and garden all the time now ...." "I think you would soon bee Coming home it will bee a great treat to come back again but your labor are worth all ...." "God bless you and your mission laboring that are some thing that you will never forget nor loose if you stay with through the gospel will bee a great credit to you here on earth and here after ...""I dont know how long I will stay here ..." "Nethaniel never rites to me so I quit riting to him I here from the rest of the folks once in a while..." "I am tired to rite so I will quit for this time hoping to here from you soon and to here that you are well and sound and I say to you Enjoy life ....
May peace and gods Blessings bee with you and I wish you all the blessing and best wishes your father can give you. Remain as Ever your Father
L. S. Davidson
Cristel Springs, Filer Idaho


In writing this short life history of my Grandfather, Lorenzo Davidson it has done for me at least one important thing. I have learned to love my grandfather and to be patient in his weaknesses. I am amazed at the tremendous hardships he had to pass through on a daily basis just to feed and clothe his family. People of his generation lived in another time and circumstance. They often had no rail service, no electricity, no warm houses, no time for schools; food was gathered that very day to be consumed that day. And, of course there were days when there was no food. Daily living was a constant struggle.
I have became tolerant of his weaknesses and foibles. He had a tobacco problem; but he was honest. He worked hard. He often delivered the midwife 8 miles away for another family, using his own team, then waited for her by the hour to bring her home—all gratis. I have learned he truly loved his family and tried to do the best he could for them.
I am anxiously waiting for the time when I can meet and greet and thank properly my grandfather Lorenzo.
The Great and Perfect Teacher has touched me in this project. So also has this study. Together they have helped me understand just a little better that we cannot judge any man.

"Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, Ye shall be judged;
And with what measure ye mete, It shall be measured to you again."
Matthew 7:1-2

Gwyn D. Davidson
March 3, 2010
Draper, Utah

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