Thursday, October 22, 2009
Elizabeth Mildred Gerrard was born in Taylorsville, Utah. She attended the University of Utah and majored in speech. She, like many of the other girls on the Zion trip, was a member of the Chi Omega sorority. She was in several school plays and was on the staff of the Utonian Year Book. After she graduated from the university, she married the year book editor, Elmer Jenkins. They were married by John A. Widtsoe, Anne's father. Then, they took off to travel Europe for three months for their honeymoon. They returned to Europe again in 1959. She was quite the world traveler. Mildred followed her husband to Hawaii in 1942, where she served as a Gray Lady for the Tripler Army Hospital in Honolulu during World War II. She also spent 10 years teaching speech at the University of Hawaii. Mildred lived longer than any of the other girls. She lived to be 93 years old. When she died, her husband, Elmer, slipped into a coma and died 48 hours later. Some couples just have a hard time staying apart. Dora in her scrapbook on the Zion trip calls Mildred an "Eternal Woman". Mildred's daughter found that a apt description of her mother.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Nell Creer was a last minute replacement in the group of girls sent to Zion National Park. She replaced Marjorie Burrows, who got a leading role in the university play and had to back out. Nell was said to be the first girl from Spanish Fork to earn a college degree when she graduated from the University of Utah in 1922. After graduating, she taught in several local high schools until she married a doctor in 1930 and moved to California. She made a big impression on her students at Murray High School. One of her students, now in her mid-nineties, still can vividly recall what she learned under her watchful eye. Nell was left handed, and that intrigued her students so much that they all tried to write left-handed, too. She organized a girls' basketball team, and they would play against the University of Utah's team when they couldn't find another high school to play. Nell also trained and directed a posture team of 32 girls for an invitational meet at Brigham Young University, where they won first and second place awards during the four years that they entered. (Now, why don't they bring back that competition? Our modern high school students would be better off for it, I think.) Nell had met her future husband, John Frame, while going to the University of Utah. He finally came back to get her after going out of state to medical school. Nell must have loved to work with youth because in Los Angeles, during World War II, she organized large public dances for youth in the American Legion Hall. She felt that it was better for the youth of the city to have a fun place to go and socialize, under supervision, than to be aimlessly wandering the streets on Friday nights. 1,800 to 2,000 students would come to the dances every Friday where name bands and movie stars would entertain them. Nell had 2 sons of her own, but her youngest son was killed in an automobile accident while on his way to Brigham Young University. After his death, Nell dove into genealogy, and produced several books on her and her husband's family history, for which John and I are very grateful. We haven't been able to contact any of her family, so her own words about her life that she wrote in her family histories have been very helpful in getting to know her.
Monday, October 5, 2009
This is daring Dora. Her full name was Isadora Montague. She grew up in Payson, Utah, and she was not afraid to do things other girls would not try. In 1916, she was one of a party of young people who were in a car that was hit by an interurban train. Dora's collar bone was broken in the accident. The following year she sued the Orem Interurban Railroad and was awarded over $1000. All this happened when she was 17 years old. When the United States entered World War I, Dora enlisted in the navy. She worked in the recruitment office in Salt Lake City. She was perfect for publicity for the navy and often found herself pictured in the newspapers. In one picture, she is bravely holding out her bare arm to the long needle of a navy surgeon. If a girl yeoman can receive her injection of typhoid serum with a smile, boys, why can't you? After the war, Dora still doing stunts for the papers, including, throwing pamphlets out of an open airplane cockpit for American Legion Day. While in Salt Lake, she enrolled in the University of Utah and studied art. This made it perfect for her to be featured painting in Zion National Park early in 1920. Her daughter told us that she loved to in front of the camera. One of the most publicized picture from the week in Zion in May 1920 was of Dora hanging over a cliff in Zion on a rope swing calmly sketching. I don't think she was afraid of heights, but she was afraid of snakes. That was why it was Anne who boasted killing a rattlesnake in Zion and not Dora. That was probably a traumatic event for Dora. After Dora was married, her daring exploits died down, but she remained as spunky as ever. She spent more time in Zion after 1920 than any of the other girls. Her daughter recalled camping there as a family many times. In her later years, she moved to St George, near Zion National Park, so that she could continue to pursue her art among the grand vistas of Southern Utah.