Sunday, February 3, 2013

Life Story of Leo Thomas Grover

I was the third child and first son born to Thomas Martin Grover and Isabella Hogg, in North Morgan, Morgan County, Utah on March 3, 1897.

Morgan is in a beautiful little valley in Weber Canyon where the Weber River flows. Our pioneer families settled on both sides of the river dividing the town of Morgan into North and South Morgan. My father's family settled in North Morgan on property that his mother, my Grandmother Heiner, had inherited from her family. Grandmother Heiner passed away when my father was 15 years old. My mother's family, the Hogg's, had settled in South Morgan. The young people from both North and South Morgan would meet at the "Switch" (railroad station) to visit with one another. Father had hurt his hand and was having a hard time tying his horse up. Isabella Hogg helped him tie it up. This act of kindness was the beginning of their friendship and courtship, which later resulted in their marriage on 29 June 1892 in the Logan Temple. My three older sisters and I were born there in Morgan.

Probably, my earliest memories were of my Grandfather Grover staying with us on weekends. I later found out he had been an Ordinance Worker in the Logan Temple. I remember thinking it strange he would always wear his Sunday clothes to "work" when we weren't allowed to.
When I was about three, my father and Uncle Bob (mother's brother, Robert Hogg), decided to move their families to the Snake River Basin where many of their relatives had already moved. So early in the spring of 1900 they made their long trek. They had 23 cows, several horses, chickens and other livestock; and they traveled with all their belongings stacked high on two wagons.The move took three weeks.My father rented a home in Sugar City. Mother and we four children came by train. 
Dad and Uncle Bob built two log homes on 160 acres they each homesteaded in Salem, Idaho. In order to homestead, you were required to plant at least 40 acres of trees to cut down on soil erosion. They planted fruit trees, berries and pine trees. We worked hard clearing the land and planting crops. Mother had a large garden and any flowers she could find to plant. Her father (Grandfather Hogg) had been a professional gardener for rich people in Scotland before coming to America.
I graduated from 8th grade and that same year we moved into Sugar City where we could attend high school and later, Ricks Academy. We enjoyed life very much in Sugar City. I was very active in the church serving in the Deacon and Teacher Presidencies.
The Wilding family lived on a neighboring farm and my sister, Merle, married Ellis Wilding. At that time, I started dating Ellis' sister, Leone. Once while courting Leone, I took another girl to a dance. On the way home, we fell asleep. The horse we always used with the buggy was used to going to the Wilding house. So it went there and stopped until Mr. Wilding woke to do his chores. He told us we better be gone before Leone woke up.
Leone and I were married 29 May 1918 in the Salt lake City Temple by Alvin F. Smith.

That same year, we moved to Chapin in the Teton Basin next to my folks. This was a bad one as it was a very cold winter and a flu epidemic broke out. Many people died. Mother, Dad and all my brothers and sisters fell ill. Norma and I were not living at home. Norma had been at the Academy studying to be a nurse. She cared for all the family and I helped all I could with the chores. We dug graves where we could get through the frozen ground. Sometimes we had to bury the dead in the deep snow banks until Spring. Merle's husband, Ellis, died leaving her with two small children. The rest of the family, with the blessing of the Lord, survived. That same year, World War I broke out and several of the younger boys went to war.
We lived in Chapin for about eight years where our first four children were born: Elmo Thomas, 4 July 1920; Della Leone, 28 September 1921, Ben Leo, 23 June 1924, Joel Sterling 15 March 1926. While living there, I held positions at different times as counselor in the Bishopric, scoutmaster (being one of the first in Idaho), Ward Clerk, and others. At that time the church would have farmers serve Winter Missions for three months. In 1920, the year Elmo was born, I was called to serve one of these missions. This was hard for Leone an a new baby being left alone in winter. 

Ducks and geese were plentiful in the Basin and I was able to kill enough to make a full feather tic. I believe it took about 300 birds.
In my Patriarchal Blessing, I was told I would have power to control the elements and heal the sick. The last year we were in the Basin, the crops were about ready to be harvested and a storm was moving in over the mountains. I knew if it hit, our crops would be ruined. I prayed to my Father in Heaven, with every fiber of my being. The storm split and left my fields to be harvested. We were the only ones to harvest crops.                                                     (google image)

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Later that year, we sold out and moved to Chance, Montana where our youngest son Hart was born. The weather was very bad and we were snowed in. We had to deliver him without the doctor present. The Lord was with us again and he was born healthy and strong on __ ______ 1927. While in Montana, I served as the Mutual President. While we were in Belfrey, we had a big snow, a couple of feet and then it rained and froze hard. There were thousands of wild horses in the plains. The men in the area knew the horse would starve with no way of breaking through the ice, so we rounded them up to load them on train cars. I counted more than 7,000 wild horses. There was more than a four mile solid string of horses. The mares would foal on the trail and just have to leave them behind. Many horses were saved by the town people.
"We decided to move to Draper, Utah. While we moved, Leone being about ready to have another baby, went to her parents house in Sugar City. She took the two youngest boys with her. Beth was born at that time __ ______ 1929. We bought a large farm in Draper, right where the penitentury at the Point of the Mountain is now. We had large orchards, a dairy farm and lots of chickens." "While we were living in Draper, I became very ill. My brother, Ross, on his way home from serving a mission in South Central States stopped to see us. When he saw my condition, he immediately picked me up and got me to the doctor. My appendix had burst and I was unable to even move. He undoubtedly saved my life."
" This was the beginning of the Depression and we lost the farm and most of our belongings. We moved back to Driggs to a small farm a couple miles south of town with a small log house where we lived for several years. Most of the time there, I was Scoutmaster and Deacon advisor. On __ _____ 1933 our youngest child, Mary, was born. We still lived in Driggs, but Leone went to her folks in Sugar City to deliver the baby. Leone had a very hard delivery and nearly died, losing a lot of blood with complications."
(Thomas Martin Grover Family, children and grandchildren in front of the house on the highway in Driggs)
"Very early in my life I developed a great love for the outdoors, hunting and fishing. Our family spent a lot of time camping. I loved to swim and was an expert swimmer, saving five people's lives in my lifetime."
(Uncle Ross and Dad comparing their big fish- uncle Morgan worked on the picture to make the fish longer- they ended up with double fins)
"In 1937, we moved to Lost River, (Moore, Idaho). We took seed potatoes with us and started the certified spud industry there. We planted over 100 acres that year with spuds. The weather was perfect and our crop was good. We built two potato cellars that year and filled them both. The next year, we planted what we needed and sold the rest of the seed. There were over 5,000 acres planted in spuds that year in the valley and many more cellars built. While in Lost River, I was Sunday School Superintendent and Chairman of the Boy Scout Troop Committee."
"World War II broke out in 1941 and Elmo and Ben joined the marines. Elmo went to Hawaii as a radio and electronics expert and Ben went in the infantry in the South Pacific."
"Leone was married in Moore to Legrand Caldwell and had three children: D; D, and J. LeGrand also went in the Service and Leone lived with us during that time. J was born while she was staying with us in Moore. The winter was bad. I went into town after a doctor and when we returned, Leone was very weak. The doctor and I, holding the Priesthood laid our hands on her head and blessed her while the rest of the family knelt in prayer in the kitchen. Through the Lord's blessing, Leone and baby survived. J was very tiny but grew to be a beautiful young woman. She was always a favorite because of that experience."
"Joel and Hart later joined the Navy and served in the Pacific. We moved to Richfield, Idaho. In about 1940 while living there, Ben was wounded badly in the war. He was in the hospital in San Diego for many months in a full body cast and was still there at the time the war ended. Ben has suffered a great deal of pain all his life as a result of that wound."
The family of Leo Thomas and Lizzie Leone Wilding Grover:
Elmo, Ben, J., H.,
Leone, B., M.,
Leo and Lizzie
Leo at the place in Castleford in 1954.
Leo, in Arkansas in 1954 while on his mission.
Photos from one of the family reunions held at Alturas Lodge in Idaho.
"Throughout my lifetime, I have built many homes and cabins and enjoyed my carpentry work. I played guitar in a dance band during the 1940's."
"In 1962 while living in Gooding, Leone and I were called to serve as caretakers for the Gooding Stake Camp at Alturas lake where there were several cabins (one for each ward) and a large lodge with a comfortable caretaker's cabin. We had several family gatherings and a special reunion with brothers and sisters and children while we were there."
Leo Thomas in Arkansas on his mission in 1963. He was in charge of harvesting the pecans.
"It was while we were in Gooding, we were called to serve a full time mission in the Gulf States. This was a wonderful experience. We baptized 30 people. While on our mission, we found a bilding for th church to buy for a meeting house. Leone baked bread to raise money to remodel the building. She baked as high as 50-60 loaves a day and the elders sold it. The bread was very tasty and they would always sell all she could bake. It was known as "Mormon bread". I remodeled the old building and made a fine meeting house with a kitchen and bathrooms. We had sold all our belongings at auction to have enough money to go on that mission so on our return, we settled in St. George to work in the Temple. We attended at least two sessions almost every day. While living in St. George, I remodeled two homes and built two cabins."

Wednesday, September 11, 2002

Idaho Falls, Idaho

We later moved back to Idaho Falls and lived the remained of our lives in and around Idaho Falls, working in the Temple until my health failed in 1980.

Monday, September 9, 2002

Photos of family at Leo'-s Funeral

Lizzie Leone, at the funeral of her husband Leo Thomas Grover. Sitting with her sister Aunt Vera.
Other photos are of other family members at the funeral.

Thursday, August 8, 2002