Our Family

Our Family

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

A Few Memories and Digital Connections

John Alfred Wright (1882-1962)
Louisa Ann Staples Wright (1882-1944)

We stayed overnight at my parents' last night. We made sure we cleaned up after ourselves, washed the sheets, etc., to be sure we were not a burden. They like us to come. We had a restful exit as dad insisted on making waffles.

On arrival last night, I had a flash in the bedroom where I noticed the familiar portraits of my mom's grandparents. "Hey," thought I, "those aren't in the digital family pics I have from my mom." I was thinking of the ways they could mysteriously disappear to be carefully packed in our car but I opted for the straightforward approach the next morning.

Checking out my dad's printer, which was fortunately a Dell hooking up to my laptop very easily with a usb line, I then told my mom the plan to have the photos scanned. It worked. I got them uploaded to FamilySearch and showed them to her which led to our discussion of the Ranch picture.

On the Utah-Wyoming Border and the Mormon Pioneer Trail below the Needles
Piecing together tonight what she told me today working with notes she gave me previously, I am now able to identify all the people in the photo. My explanation is attached to the pic on FamilySearch.org:
My mom and I reviewed this photo today. She confirmed the identification of her mother, Winnie Lavaun Wright. She says the shorter man, center, is her father, Glen Wood Peterson (if not him, it's his brother Joe). The man shaking hands is Glen's uncle, Henry Peterson, who worked for Deseret Livestock as did Glen. At that time, Deseret Livestock was a private cooperative organized by families in south Davis County. The three girls with bobbed hair are Lavaun and her two sisters, Athelene and Fannie. Earlier notes from my Mom identify the young boys in front as Cal (in the car) and Wayne Briggs (facing other direction). They were stepsons of Ed and Eva "Blaken." A little checking on Ancestry and FamilySearch gave me Edward R. Lakin (1894-1949) and Eva. Wayne Golden Briggs (1921-1982) and Calvin Briggs (1923-2009) and were the sons of Eva Peterson Briggs. Ancestry kept falling together until I realized that Ed Lakin was Eva's second husband. So the young woman in the hat is Eva May Peterson Briggs Lakin Webb (1903-1991), older sister to Glen. And the boys, Cal and Wayne, are her sons by her first marriage. (Aunt Eva ended up married three times). The house at the ranch was described as kitchen and washroom through the door in the log section with bedrooms behind. The frame section with peaked roof was the formal parlor in which young children were not allowed. Uncle Henry is shaking Glen's hand. Did he ride up with this family? Was it a congratulations on engagement to Lavaun? It's also interesting that neither John nor Louisa Staples Wright appear in the photo. By the clothing and hillside, it appears to be Summer. And it is clearly a special occasion as the Wright girls did not usually wear fancy dresses on the Ranch. The Wright Ranch is one of the last places the mail would come and the sheep herders, such as Glen Peterson, would stop by there to pick up mail. That is how he met his future wife, Lavaun.
And - who took the photo?

I knew Aunt Eva pretty well. In fact, my wife got to know her pretty well on a long ride back from Oregon for my Grandparents' 50th Wedding Anniversary (1979 - We married in 1980). We thought we were just about safely home when the old folks in the car (Aunt Eva, Aunt Ruth, and Uncle Ward) had to stop at the Maddox House out of Brigham City for dinner. It's still amazing that my wife married me after that experience.

The moral of this story: keep asking questions, keep scanning pics, keep loving your spouse.

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