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Maria Delila (Van Leuven) Alldredge was interviewed on June 12, 1968 in St. George, Washington County, Utah by Fielding H. Harris, a representative of Voices of Remembrance Foundation. She related her personal history of living in various parts of Utah, Mexico, Arizona and Nevada.

FH:Would you please give your full name?

MA:My name is Maria Delila (Van Leuven) Alldredge.

FH:What is your date of birth?

MA:My birth date is November 11, 1882.

FH:Where were you born?

MA:[I was born in] Aurora, Sevier County, UtahFH:What was your father's name?

MA:[His name was] Newman Van Leuven

FH:[What was] your mother's [full] name?


MA:[Her name was] Maria Elizabeth (Durfee) [Van Leuven].

FH:Can you recall anything from your early childhood?

MA:I was raised on a farm. A child raised on a farm always has its activities of farm chores. I had a brother older [Edmond "Ed" Sylvester Van Leuven] than me and one younger [Cornelius "Neil" Van Leuven] than me [and] we palled together. We were regular tomboys together. We had all kinds of fun that way.

FH:What were their names?

MA:I had other brothers and sisters older than them.

FH:How many brothers and sisters did you have?

MA:My oldest sister was [Celestia] Lavina [Van Leuven]; my brother next was 00:02:00"Lafe" [Lafayette] Van Leuven. I had a brother [Newman FranklinVan Leuven who] was poisoned [from] lye and died at two years old. I had [a] brother, Edmond Sylvester Van Leuven, then me, my brother, Cornelius Van Leuven, and a sister, Chloe [Geneva] Van Leuven, my sister, Cora [Etta] Van Leuven, and my brother, Zera [Dee] Van Leuven. They are all dead now [except] my two sisters, Chloe and Cora [Etta]. We are the only three [who are] living now.


FH:[Who] were the two that were tomboys with you?

MA:We played together in all of our activities. We had to go gather lucerne [alfalfa] for the chickens, the geese and the sheep. We would go down and see them. My brother [Edmond] was quite imaginative in making things and made a rack to go onto the wagon. Father [gave] us a pair of goats and we [used] them for our horses. He made a harness for them and we went down every day and got a load of hay, of lucerne, for these different [animals]. It was a lot of fun. While it was work, we had to do this. It was just some of our chores, but we had a lot of fun in doing it.


FH:Did you make fun out of it?

MA:We made fun out of it. My older brother, "Ed," would get up on the highest pinnacle he could find and jump off and dare me to do it. I would always follow him. Even if I [might] get my neck broken I would go! [Laughter] My other brother ["Neil"] was a lot like me. We all did about the same.

We always had cows to milk, three to five cows, and my older brother ["Ed" would] do the milking. I thought it would be fun to learn to milk. I would go out with him and get him to let me milk. He [would] let me try to milk. After a little [while] I [was able to] milk, then he said, "Alright, Sis. There is a cow. That is yours to milk." So I [was] into a bad job by wanting to learn to milk! [Laughter]

Those were some of the things we had to do on the farm. Of course, I had my chores to do in the home, too, helping my mother. We had a lot of milk. We had churning to do. We had a garden. We worked in the garden all the time and [did] 00:05:00all other household duties.

FH:What kind of a churn did you use to make butter? Was it a vertical churn [where] you raised the paddle up and down?

MA:We had the kind of churn [where you] raised the paddle up and down. My younger brother, Cornelius, was the one who usually helped me do the churning. We would take turns. When one would get tired, the other one would change off. That is the way we churned.

FH:Did you have some [education]?

MA:Yes. I didn't go to school until I was between seven and eight [years old]. 00:06:00But my mother taught me to read, decipher and to figure. I could read the third reader, so when I first went to school I was put in the third grade because I was so far advanced from learning at home. I was a student right along with the third graders. My mother was very good to take care of her children that way.

FH:How much [education] were you able to [obtain]?

MA:I went every year until the eighth grade. I went through the eighth grade in Aurora. Then we moved to Mexico and I took the eighth grade over again. It was almost the same as the first year of high school [inaudible]. I was a good student. I was an 'A' student in most all [of my] studies. English was my lowest grade. In Mexico, I had a special teacher, Bertha Pratt. She was an expert English teacher. She gave me the biggest uplift in English I ever had. I 00:07:00accomplished more in English that year than all the rest [of the subjects while] going to school. I did accomplish [very] good [grades] in English that year.

FH:Were there other teachers you felt were outstanding?

MA:Louis Gordon was my teacher in Mexico and he was a very good teacher. All my other teachers were very good. I liked them all and had no problems with any teacher.

FH:Did you take trips with your dad?


MA:Do you mean when we went to Mexico?

FH:Tell about these trips and your experiences.

MA:My father was a great hand to take his family out on trips each year. One part of the year we would go up on the west side of the valley into the mountains [in Utah]. We would gather berries and he would do some hunting. This one particular [trip] was quite outstanding. We would go for two or three days or maybe a week at a time. When we went up, the road was clear, but we crossed a little valley and went on up into the mountains. While we were up there, a cloud- burst came. When we came back to come home, that little valley was full 00:09:00of rocks, great big rocks, some of them two or three feet square. Some of them were that large. We had to take the wagon over and lift up a wheel at a time, the men folks did, and raise them over these rocks until we could get across this bed of rocks that had washed down in the flood until we [were] on to the ground again. That was quite an experience. I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't been right there and seen it myself and known that those rocks were brought down through a flood.

FH:It is a good thing you weren't there when [the flood] came.

MA:We would have gone right down with the rocks! [Laughter]

Then he would take us on the eastern side of the valley up into the creeks fishing. He was a great fisherman. He liked to fish and, of course, we had all 00:10:00kinds of fun roaming around and playing around in the brooks and bushes. He was a great sportsman.

My folks always went to the dances with us. The first participation I had at a dance I imagine I was about twelve years old. My oldest brother ["Lafe"] taught me to waltz at that time to the tune of On the Sidewalks of New York. That is the tune I learned to waltz by. He was a perfect waltzer. He could waltz with a cup of water on his head and never spill a drop. He was that smooth [of] a 00:11:00[dancer]. He was a beautiful dancer [and] was my waltz trainer.

My father used to take our organ to the [dances]. In old times they didn't have facilities in the dancing places [inaudible] every dance then as we do have now-a- days. So he took our organ. He made a little special sled with wheels on to pull it over [to the dance hall]. We only lived kitty-corner [from] my place, that far. He would go over and he would play the organ with the orchestra. There 00:12:00was a brother there [who] played the violin and father would play the organ. They had a guitar or two with it and that was our music for our dances. Sometimes they would have an accordion with the music. In fact, that was the condition I was raised in ─ the dancing line until I was fifteen [years old] and then we went to Mexico.

My folks were always church goers. They took us all to [The] Church [of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints]. We were raised in the church. When I was about twelve [years old], I was serving as a Primary teacher. From then on, I have been active in all of the different [church] organizations from president down.


FH:That means Primary, MIA [Mutual Improvement Association] and Relief Society.

MA:In Sunday school I was the secretary for years and years. I had a dirty thing given to me! [Laughter] When I was serving as secretary in the [Colonia] Morelos Ward [in Mexico], the minutes hadn't been recopied for maybe five years. I had all of those minutes to record in the recording book. I had a real job, but I accomplished it and I took up my own minutes. I had them. I think it was five years [that] I was secretary in that Sunday school. I had been secretary in every organization. I had been president in every organization. I had been counselor in all the different organizations. So I have been active! I have been 00:14:00a Sunday school teacher in nearly all the different classes. My favorite teaching is the children, the smaller grades. I love the children [and] love to teach them. I wish I could go do it now. If it wasn't for my crippled condition I would still go teach. [Laughter] I have chances every little while to go and teach even yet, but I can't get out to do it.

FH:Have you studied genealogy?

MA:I [have] studied some in genealogy. I have been to some classes [and] I have my own book of remembrance.

FH:I can tell by the [items] I see in your home that you are very interested in genealogy.

MA:I am interested except for keeping up the record part. I have left that to my [children]. My son [Irvin Alldredge] and his wife [Dorithy] over here are my genealogists. Irvin lives right here by me.


FH:I notice a picture on your wall of your family tree. It is [very] outstanding.

MA:I have forty-one grandchildren and eighty-two great-grandchildren. I have quite [a] posterity. Most of them are in the church [fairly] well. I will have two or three more [born] this summer. [Laughter]

FH:How many [of your] children are living?

MA:I lost my first child. I had five [children] since [then].


FH:Are they all living?


FH:Are they all married?

MA:Yes, [and] they all have large families.

FH:That is a hundred and thirty-three living descendants including the in-laws. That is really posterity [with] more coming.

MA:I guess it is the end of my grandchildren, but my great-grandchildren are still coming along, thank goodness. [Laughter]

FH:You will have a big posterity before you leave [this earth].

MA:All of our children have good-size families. My oldest son, Irvin and [his wife] Dorothy, have eight [children].

FH:What is his wife's name?

MA:Her name is Dorothy Lillian (Young) [Alldredge]. They have eight children. 00:17:00One [of their children was] killed. We had the misfortune of having one of our little ones get run over by the car and get killed. She [Marietta Alldredge] was the sweetest little angel there ever was.

FH:Who was [your] next child?

MA:[The next child was] Nora Alldredge

FH:Who did she marry?

MA:She married Martin Vernon Iverson [and] they have seven children. They have 00:18:00one girl [and] six boys. I believe it was seven. I will have to stop and count them out!


FH:Who [was your] next [child]?

MA:The next one is [Vangie] Luree (Alldredge) McCuistion. She has six children. Her husband is Arthur McCuistion. He died two years ago of cancer [inaudible]. Then my next [child] is Lelan Dee Alldredge. He has twelve children, six boys 00:19:00and six girls.

FH:What was the name of his wife?

MA:[Her name is] Myrtle ["Tiny"] (Nelson) Alldredge. The next one is Verl I Alldredge. His wife is Ada [Helen] (Nelson) Alldredge. They have eight children. All [of my children] have big families. That is why I have a big posterity. They have all had good-size families.

FH:You wouldn't want to miss any one of them.

MA:No, I wouldn't. That is bothering me for fear I am. [Laughter] Not thinking 00:20:00about this I get a little bit frustrated.

FH:They will understand if you miss one. What do you remember about your father?

MA:He was a wonderful man. He was good to his children. I have to tell one little incident, the only whipping I ever [received] in my life from my father. It was a very just whipping. He had two families. My sister [who] was the same age as me, about, we went down into the fields one day and the grain was up waist high. It looked awfully nice for a romping place so she and I just [found] 00:21:00a spot and we romped. [Laughter] We mowed down a good-size portion of his grain. He came out and found us, caught us at it. There was a ditch that ran along there. He [took] a little switch and we each [had] a nice little switching which we needed very much.

So he had to cut that grain and use it for silo because it wouldn't ever come back up again as wheat. That was the only time that my father ever laid his hands on me at all. He was very strict but then, when he told us a thing to do or gave us advice, we knew he meant it and we accepted it. We didn't think that he wasn't telling us right and we didn't dare to defy him and go ahead and do 00:22:00things we wanted to do anyhow. If he said no, he really meant no. There was no quibbling about it. We accepted it. It was much different in those days than it is now. Children don't pay attention to what you say now-a-days.

FH:What do you remember about your mother?

MA:She was a very devoted mother. She was a hard-working mother. She worked at everything and she was very accomplished in all things that she ever tried to do. She was a great gardener. She was a good housewife, good housekeeper and a very good cook. We always had company. Loads of people would come in to us for a meal and she would get it for them. Of course, it was no trouble. We had plenty. 00:23:00It was on a farm. We had everything in the cellar to eat. The thing of it is we had to thresh in those days. They threshed different than they do now. The threshers would come. There would be thirteen to twenty men on a job. All the farmers would come. Their families would come, too; it was all relatives, practically. They would come, too. So we had a real harvest time. [Laughter]

FH:When you threshed, you fed the whole family.

MA:We fed the whole community! [Laughter] They all came, but boy didn't we have fun. [Laughter] We [children] would get in the bins of the wheat and push the wheat back [inaudible]. We had a lot of fun pushing the wheat back and the 00:24:00grains, oats and wheat and different things. It was all fun for us [children]. I don't know how much fun my mother [had]. They laid down quilts all over every floor and lay a [child] on it and every room would be full of [children]. [Laughter] It was quite a time. When you think about those times and think how they would thresh now-a-days out in the field, there is quite a difference.

FH:Was your mother a good organizer? Did she give the children quite a bit of work to do?

MA:Oh yes, my land, yes! We had to work. If we didn't, we [had] a little foot after us. [Laughter] I would like to tell about my brother just older than me. He was a great athlete. He was one of the best. He was a very highly accomplished baseball player. He could play any part in a ball game. No matter 00:25:00what, he was an expert. But he trained himself to that. We lived just kitty-corner from the school grounds and every recess we played ball. We all played ball and liked that. After school was out he had gardens to hoe and [other chores to do]. My brother would see some of the boys over on the grounds playing ball and he would slip away and go play ball. Mother found out he was over playing ball, so she would go after him and bring him back. He would get in the garden and drop his hoe and back he would go again. He was that crazy about playing ball. The tithing office was just below us and he would take a ball. He always had balls. He made his own balls. He would stand and throw at [the] 00:26:00tithing office hours at a stretch. That is why he became such a good pitcher. He was a first-class pitcher. He could throw with either hand. He could throw curves with either hand. He was a perfect pitcher.

FH:What was his name?

MA:Edmond Sylvester Van Leuven was his name. He was a fast runner. He won a race in Douglas [Arizona] and they gave him a $25.00 prize for winning the race. The fellow down there, the head man coaching the ball game, said, "Van Leuven, I wish I had nine men like you and I would shout it out to the world for playing ball." He said, "You are the most perfect ball player I ever had anything to do 00:27:00with." He was that good. He just trained himself to it by playing in between his work. He would get out and play! [Laughter]

He and I played marbles together a lot. That was our great game, playing marbles. We would get out [inaudible] in the yard. My other brother was always joining with us. Father had us a great big high swing made and how we did swing. We just loved that big old swing! I can see it now. He would swing until the rope would slack. He would swing up so high. It would scare me to death. We would jump the rope and all those kinds of things that [children] did in those days. That is the way we played.

FH:What were some of the other things you did to have fun?

MA:We played Kick-The-Can. All of our neighbors would come. We were nearly all relatives in that town. We would all collect together on this square. It was right by the schoolhouse square. In fact, that property used to belong to my father. He let them have so many acres for the school grounds. We would gather 00:28:00round there every evening and would make a great big bonfire. We would play Run- Sheep-Run, Kick-The-Can and Pomp-Pomp-Pull-Away and Hide-The-Stick and [games] like that that [children] don't think of playing now-a-days. It has to be something more fantastic now but not so much fun. [Laughter] We had a lot of [good] times in our lives. We had a lively life. I always had a happy childhood, happy life.

FH:What [events] have you enjoyed most in your life right up to now?


MA:Really, the most enjoyment in my life is [the] raising of my family. That has been my highest enjoyment. I always took them with me wherever I went. I never left my children. I took them with me to all the parties and dances I went to. In those days we did it that way. I trained them to go to church from babies up. I never had any problem getting my children to go to church because I always went with them. We always were church goers. In Primary I was always in office and so I had to go to do the secretary.

FH:They expected to go.

MA:They expected to go and nothing else. I had no problem with them. As I say, I 00:30:00was most always an officer in the Primary and the different [organizations] so it was no problem to get them to go.

This [story] might be interesting. When we lived up in [Colonia] San Jose, Mexico, we had to go a mile and a quarter down to the schoolhouse from where we lived. We went to Sunday school and I had to be there at eight o'clock because I was secretary and they had an officer's meeting. I had to be there at eight o'clock. That meant I had to get out and get my chores all done. We had chores to do, cows to milk, pigs to feed, chickens to feed and water and breakfast to give the [children] and get them all ready and prepared to go to Sunday school. So I wasn't lying around much Sunday mornings. I had to be quite busy to get all this [inaudible].

FH:You had a meeting to be to at eight o'clock.

MA:At eight o'clock and we walked.


FH:How far did you have to go?

MA:[It was] a mile and a quarter. After Sunday school we would come back home, get our dinner and we would go back to meetings. In the afternoon we would come back. In those days, they had MIA on Sunday evenings. We would do our chores and go back to MIA. My children walked that time back and forth. They always went with me, even to MIA. I wouldn't leave them alone. We were out in the country there among Mexicans and I wouldn't leave them alone. I took them with me. They never thought anything about that. [Laughter]

FH:Did music play a part in your life?

MA:Music [has been] wonderful in my life. I love it! I have been in some places I have never seen [and] I have played some. I have musical children.


FH:What kind of music do you like?

MA:Anything that is good music! Anything! I particularly love accordion and organ music when it is played [well]. I love [the] violin. It's my style of music. I love anything that is good music. I will tell you how much I love it. It would have sent me crazy if I hadn't loved music so bad. I was so determined that [Lelan] Dee would learn to play the saxophone. [Laughter] I got him a saxophone. You know what it would be, blowing to learn to play an old saxophone.



MA:To learn to play a saxophone ─ how nerve racking that would be! But there I stood it and enjoyed it. I made him think I enjoyed it. He [became] so he could play very well, he and my daughter. She played the piano and he played the saxophone for the dances quite a bit of the time. They [were able to play] very nice together. They would play in church sometimes. Luree played the piano and I led the singing for quite awhile. So we love music. She has two daughters that are very good players on the organ and piano. They are really very good. There is another one. I have a granddaughter, [Lelan] Dee's girl. She has a perfect ear in music. She can play anything she hears. Anybody can touch any note on the 00:34:00organ or piano and she can tell you what it is and never see it. She has that perfect of an ear.

FH:That is a wonderful blessing.

MA:She plays the organ and the accordion mostly. Oh, she plays it beautifully. A lot of the children are musical. Her brother is wonderful on the saxophone, too. A lot of them play music. We have a lot of music in our family.

FH:Have you enjoyed reading?

MA:In my reading life, in my home, we had nothing but the best. My father would not let us have any trashy reading, any novels. If it was a good story with good character-building in it, he let us read those, like St. Elmo or The 00:35:00Lamplighter, those novels that had good character-building in them. But anything that was of a novel or a trashy kind or these novels that they have now-a-days, he would burn them up as fast as they would come into the house. So we didn't ever take the time because we knew he wouldn't let us read them. We didn't read them. He always furnished us with the very best of literature. All the church magazines we always had in our home. In my home when I was raising my family, I always had all of the church magazines and the Bible stories and [books] that would be interesting to children.

FH:Perhaps this is one of the reasons your children are all active in the church.


MA:One good thing, I think. I have read The Book of Mormon seven times. I have taught it so much [that] I have had to reread it many times. I often know it by heart. I did at one time but, of course, I can't remember it now.

FH:Did you record the Pearl of Great Price?

MA:Yes. I recorded the Pearl of Great Price [for] my brother on his tape recorder. I read also The Book of Mormon for him, part of it. I don't think he finished it completely [inaudible], but we recorded part of it.

FH:That would [inaudible] him all about it and what to [inaudible].

MA:I have been a great reader of all the standard church works.


FH:Tell about your trip down to Old Mexico.

MA:My father [was] wearisome about his farming and thought he could do better by becoming a school teacher. He was always educated highly. So he went to the normal school to get a diploma to teach in school. He had to mortgage our home and the farm to do this. Things didn't turn out like he planned it to be. While he [received] his diploma for teaching and taught for awhile, it wasn't so successful, and we were about to lose our home. So he sold it and we went to 00:38:00Mexico. He had heard a lot of nice beautiful stories about Mexico. We had relatives down there and some of them had come back and put [talked] things up so beautiful to him that he [had] the Mexico fever. He had two families and he thought, by going down there, he could take his both families down there and live with them in Mexico. He served four months in the penitentiary for the other wife.

[Newman Van Leuven married Maria Elizabeth Durfee November 7, 1870 in Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah and Eunice Adelaide Broadhead November 27, 1879 in Salt Lake City. Newman and Adelaide divorced before the family went to Mexico.]

We went down but it was forty years before I ever saw my other brothers and sisters. When I came back, [it was] forty years before I [was able] to meet any of them.

FH:What were the living conditions like in Mexico?

MA:We had quite a hard time of it. We had some relatives in [Colonia] Dublan 00:39:00[Mexico]. That was where we headed first. We went to the custom house [at the state] line [in Deming, New Mexico]. You had to go through the custom house to [cross] from the United States to Mexico. We were there for two weeks waiting for President [Anthony W.] Ivins to come and help us through. We couldn't have [gone] through without him being there to help us with the Mexican [Consulate]. He eventually came and [took] us through and we went on. Father [had] chartered a freight [train] car for our furniture and horses and [other possessions]. My two brothers went with them and then father chartered a car [on a passenger train] for the family to go in. We [arrived at] Deming [New Mexico] and that is where we laid [stayed] for the two weeks. Then we went on to [Colonia] Dublan. I 00:40:00think it was two weeks it took us to go [there]. Mother's cousin [Ruth Paine] lived there ─ a wonderful family. He used to be our bishop in Aurora and was a wonderful man. So we went there and stayed awhile. Then [we went to mother's] brother and sister who were living over in [Colonia] Galeana [Mexico].

FH:What was the name of the bishop?

MA:Harry Paine was the bishop's name. His wife [Ruth] was my mother's cousin. Her brothers and sisters lived over in [Colonia] Galeana. My Aunt Chloe [Geneva] was sent there and my uncle, Edmond [and Ellen Durfee and Celestia Spencer] and their families. So we went over there. We thought we would go over and see what 00:41:00we would find there. When we [came] over there, we didn't like the situation so we only lived there a couple of months and came back to [Colonia] Dublan again. Father [bought] a lot there. We lived in a tent and wagon covers until they [made] homemade adobe [bricks] and made us a four-room adobe house. We were happy to get moved into that house.

When we lived there, it was hard. There was no wood in the country. All the wood that was there was just fine, little mesquite trees about as big as your finger. That was what we had to feed our stoves and do our cooking and baking and all. It was quite a tedious job [as the wood was] full of thorns and slivers. So that 00:42:00was discouraging. The land we had was fertile, very fertile, but there wasn't enough water and we couldn't obtain enough water. Father and the boys dug a well and he made a wooden pump, mind you. It had a great big long handle on it that you pumped the water out. Then he made troughs to catch the water in [to flow] out onto our garden. We pumped the water out of that well and watered our garden. We had a lovely garden. We even made a strawberry patch. Oh, the lovely strawberries, great big strawberries! You could hardly put one in your mouth without mashing it! They were so large and delicious. It was lovely. Everything 00:43:00grew there just wonderfully well.

FH:If you had had plenty of water you could probably have done [very] well.

MA:[We needed] water and wood. There wasn't enough water. I don't know what the people are doing now for water. I believe they are building more wells, but I'm not sure. I don't know just what they are doing.

FH:I have heard that they are drilling wells.

MA:I think they are for water now. It was big open country. My, how the wind would blow down there, too! We heard about [the] country over in Sonora [Mexico and] what wonderful wood they had over there. So my father and mother [went] in our little buggy and took a trip over to [Colonia] Morelos, Mexico, to Sonora, to see what the country was. They fell in love with it because they could keep warm over there. They could make a fire to keep warm. The wood was gorgeous all 00:44:00over the land, great big trees, great big round trees that were just cut down. It looked [very] good to us! [Laughter] So he bought a lot there. They turned around and came back and sold our home and we moved to [Colonia] Morelos. We were there several years. No matter where we went, it wasn't long until -- if you are active in the church you don't have to be one place very long until you have more [positions] than you can take care of. I wasn't there long until they pulled me in as secretary there. Then I served as counselor in MIA.

FH:Did you enjoy all these [activities]?

MA:Yes. It was a joy to me, very much. That was my life.


FH:Were your little children growing up at this time?

MA:No, that was before I was married.

FH:Did you get married down there?

MA:Yes. I met [Isaac "Ike"] Alldredge in [Colonia] Morelos country.

[Isaac "Ike" and Maria Delila (Van Leuven) Alldredge were married August 16, 1902 in Colonia Morelos, Sonora, Mexico. She was his second wife.]

MA:They [were] teaching polygamy down there. Some of it worked out alright and others didn't.

FH:Was it a hard school?

MA:A hard school, [a] hard life. There was a lot of good in it, in a lot of ways. A lot of good [came] out of it, but it was a [very] hard life.


FH:Were your children born down in Mexico?

MA:Four of them, [Aritta], Irvin, Nora and Luree. I lost my first [child, Aritta].

FH:What events led up to your having to leave [Mexico]?

MA:The Mexican [Rebellion started in about 1910]. The Mexicans started fighting there and they were taking everything. The insurrectionists were taking everything that they would come to. They would kill and take your property away from you.

FH:Were they led by Pancho Villa?

MA:Yes, that is right. We had to get out. The President of the United States [William Howard Taft] and [the president of] our church advised the people to all leave. That is why we left. We thought it was going to be [for] a short time and we could go back and obtain our homes again. But it never did [happen]. People in [Colonia] Dublan and [Colonia] Juarez [in Mexico] did go back in. They 00:47:00have quite good colonies down there now, I think. But the [people from Colonia] Diaz never did return. The people over in our country, [Colonia] Morelos [in] the north country, none of them ever went back there to live. They just dilapidated [ruined] the whole country. The Mexicans kept the farms and houses [inaudible].

FH:Where did you go [when you left] Mexico?

MA:We went to Douglas [Arizona]. That was the first place we could go to in Arizona. We lived there awhile and then we were just scattered everywhere. The people were scattered all over the country.

FH:Where did you go to from Douglas?

MA:We went over to Tucson [Arizona] for awhile. Then I went back down to Douglas. That was where my mother and brother [Zera Dee] were. My father was up in Salt Lake [City, Salt Lake County, Utah] with sarcoma. He had his leg 00:48:00amputated clear in the hip. He was with my sister [Lavina] in Salt Lake City. So I went back down to Douglas where my mother and my brother [Zera Dee] were. My youngest brother [Zera Dee], my mother and I and my children went to Salt Lake [City]. We took the train and went to Salt Lake [City].

FH:Did you go there to live?

MA:No, not to live, only for awhile. We were just scattered around. I went to my sister's [Lavina]. We had no way to live [and] had nothing to live on. After three weeks, we went from Salt Lake [City] to Eureka [Juab County, Utah] where my brother [Edmond] just older than me lived. I went up there and I stayed with him for a long time, quite awhile. Then we went for my mother and my father [when they] were able to go with us. He was on crutches. He only had one leg, 00:49:00but he could do the most wonderful things on crutches you ever saw. He was sixty-two years old. [My father], mother and my youngest brother, Zera [Dee], went over to Aurora. We [had] a place there, a couple of rooms from my aunt [Vilate], mother's sister. We lived there and that was where my baby, Dee [Alldredge], was born. We lived there six months. [At] this time, "Ike" Alldredge was wandering around from place to place trying to locate a place where he could get a farm or something to make a living on. Every place he tried for awhile it would fall under. Two were places that he had gotten from the 00:50:00church, too, and yet they confiscated it and took it from him. The land didn't seem to produce enough to [make] the payments and make a living, too. He lost [them]. That was in Tucson.

He went from there up to [inaudible] then to Kaolin [Nevada]. The church had opened up a project in Kaolin so he went there and he got it. We thought we were going to make it there sure, but it fell under, too; [it was] not a church organization.

FH:Was this something like the United Order?


MA:No. Just individual people [who] bought their own individual farms, but they just couldn't make their payments. When you can't make your payments, you lose your land. Then I went from my brother's [Edmond's] place [in Eureka, Utah] down to Kaolin where my husband was living. We lived there for a couple or three years and then we lost our land. He went up to Hinckley [Millard County, Utah]. He was a blacksmith, a very good blacksmith. He depended on that [work] a lot and farming was his main post [job]. But he just couldn't get a farm, pay for it and keep a family going, too. He went up there and [did] blacksmithing for 00:52:00awhile. He didn't make it too good so he came back down to Mesquite [Nevada]. I stayed in Kaolin [by] myself for a long while. Then I went up to Hinckley and he came back down to Mesquite and [bought] a lot there and built us some places on that.

FH:Did you end up in Mesquite?

MA:We stayed in Mesquite for two or three years. We couldn't make it there. He lost his land and tried to buy and lost it there. So then he went back up to Hinckley. He had a proposition up there. He thought he could make it. He was foreman out on a ranch for a long while. I did go out there with him and cooked 00:53:00for the men on the ranch for a year or two ─ two years, I think it was. We lost that. He gave it up. He didn't want it any longer. So I went back over to my other brother's [Lafayette] [who had] moved up to Utah [by] then. He was out working in the mines. My mother and my brother [Lafayette] were living to the side of my brother, Edmond [Sylvester]. I went back up there and was there with them [for] a couple of years. "Ike" Alldredge was running around to one place and then another, back and forth.


FH:[Your] sister Cora [Etta] was still [living] in Douglas?


MA:She married a man in Douglas and was still down there. Mother went back down there to be with her when one of her babies was born. My brother went back down there [and] was working down there for the railroad company. I am leaving out a lot [of information], but then you cannot keep up with all of this. He [Isaac "Ike" Alldredge] went back up to the moody place again. That is where he was raised in ─ Deseret [Millard County, Utah] in that country. That is why he kept going back up into that country, big open farming country. I went back up 00:55:00there and that was the place [where] I told you that I moved every month for six months. I moved every month.

FH:[Did you live in] different houses?

MA:[Yes, in] different houses. That is when my baby, Verl [I], was so sick. The [children caught] the whooping cough in school and he was subject to croup. When he [caught] the whooping cough from them, he also had croup with it. He went into acute pneumonia. Three different doctors said it was impossible for him to live. I sat up in bed with him up over my shoulder for three weeks. I never lay down. I was just sitting up with him over my shoulder. If I laid him down, he 00:56:00would go as black as black. He couldn't get his breath at all. I lived under prayer constantly for him. He couldn't eat anything. He was eighteen months old at this time. He had forgotten how to walk. He [was] so weak he couldn't walk. His little eyes were just set back in his head. It just looked like it was impossible for him to live. There was a man [who] went by in his wagon [with] a load of hay. He went home and told his wife, "Sister Alldredge's baby won't live tonight. I can hear him breathing clear out in the street." He was breathing so hard. We had him out under the tree where he could get more oxygen, more air.

That night the ward teacher came. He came alone that night. I don't know why he 00:57:00didn't have his partner with him, but he was alone. He was a wonderful man. He said, "Sister Alldredge, is there anything I can do for you?" I said, "Yes. I wish you would administer to my baby." So he did, and while he administered to him, the baby opened his eyes and smiled. That was the first change he took for the better.

FH:Do you know this man's name?

MA:I think his name was [Charles Woodbury]. [Verl I] began to get better from then on. That was the first night that he slept normally. For weeks he hadn't slept, hardly a bit. I just held him constantly in my arms. I didn't dare lay 00:58:00him down.

My husband's sister [Susie (Alldredge) Theobald] was a first-class nurse, almost the same as a doctor. She put him in what they called a creosote steam. She put him under that two or three times to bring him back to life. He went right off as black as dark. She put an umbrella over him, covered this up with a sheet and put the creosote steam under it and that would be [like] an oxygen tent. In those days, they didn't [have] oxygen like they have now-a-days. That was his oxygen tent. That would bring him back to life again. She brought him back three times that way. Oh, if I didn't have something to go through! I went down until I weighed 112 pounds. People can't believe it. Like my sister, she finally took a picture of me as I was working one day. It was so horrible! [Laughter] I was 00:59:00just hysterical, but I was going through something to make me that way.

[Verl I became] better from then on. It left him with hard breathing for months. My brother, "Ed," and his wife [Dorothy Van Leuven] came over from Eureka to visit me. He said, "Oh my land, "Sis," I would take that [baby] to the doctor right now." I said, "He is well. He is well now." "Well and breathing like that?" I said, "Yes. It is getting lighter. I think eventually he will come out of it. His breathing is getting better and that sound is getting less." It did and after a few months he could breathe naturally. But he had that for [a] long [time].

That was a great testimony. Because I tell Verl [I] now, "You were saved for 01:00:00something. You have eight lovely children. You performed a wonderful mission." He had a boy on a [LDS] mission and just now sent another one out. They are living the gospel as near as they can. He was faithful --.

FH:I heard one of their children talk in church the other day and give [their] testimony. It was a wonderful testimony.

MA:The mother [Ada] nearly died when the baby, Alan [Alldredge], was born. She just had the nick of her life [and] was saved by faith then. After she was better, they gave a testimony. [Inaudible] Every one of them [rose] and bore 01:01:00their testimony about how thankful they were that their mother had been spared and given back to them. [Inaudible] It was a beautiful testimony [that] they all gave.

FH:After this lifetime of experiences [that] you have lived through and your wonderful posterity, it would be a good thing for you to give them counsel and advice.

MA:I have always done [for] my children and my grandchildren as far as I could. 01:02:00They often tell me how they have appreciated the advice and counsel I have given them. I have always tried to set a good example as far as the gospel is concerned. They all appreciate that. I have dozens of letters and cards from my grandchildren thanking me for such a lovely heritage, how thankful they are that they have such a lovely heritage and how thankful they are for their grandmother and the advice and counsel she has given them. So they all appreciate me, I think, quite a bit. I have never had one of my children, nor my grandchildren, ever give me a sassy word out of all that generation.


FH:[That] speaks well for you.

MA:I think it speaks well for them, also.

FH:They had to be trained. It had to come from somewhere.

MA:It shows their appreciation of me.

FH:Any special counsel you would like to [leave] them?

MA:To always live the gospel, do what is right and by all means shun evil. Keep on the good path, live the gospel and do the Lord's will. That is my advice to everybody and all of my posterity, of course.

FH:Do you have a testimony of the gospel?

MA:Yes, my testimony is strong in the gospel. I love it. I know that this is the true church and true gospel. We had it given to us by divine revelation. Whoever 01:04:00studied the gospel at all couldn't think anything different than that. It is a wonderful church. Anyone [who] lives it or tries to live it is the most happy, I think, of any people on earth.


MA:I have a strong testimony of the gospel.


MA:I think President [David O.] McKay is one of the loveliest men. He is just as Christ-like as any man on earth could be and all of the other presidents, too. They have been wonderful prophets.