• “Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple. Dr. Suess

Monday, January 9, 2012


Neil Snow and Chloe Roseltha Forsyth nee Hatch 
I knew my father's mother.
But she died when I was a child.
I will never forget the kind gentleness of my Grandmother.

I remember sitting in front of a large plate glass window at a table in her kitchen eating. Grandma, my mother and some aunts were cleaning up a meal. Grandma was washing the dishes. I do not know why I was eating later and by myself, perhaps I had been napping.

Several times one of the aunts tried to get her to let them wash the dishes but she stayed in the dish pan. I worried that she had too much work to do. When I had finished eating I carefully licked my plate until no more food was on it.  I then gave it to my mother who was drying the dishes and putting them away.  When she gave it to Grandma to be washed I got very upset and cried out loudly. I think I was young enough to only be able to say a few syllables to let them know it was clean and did not need to be 'washed'.

Grandma gave the dish back to me and it was held it up to the light so I could see the tracks of my tongue to show me it wasn't completely clean.  I kept it and turned it this way and that to examine it.  The next time I let anyone have that plate it was polished like a mirror - not a trace of the tongue (used to lick it some more) or any food remained to be seen.  Grandma took it and put it in the cupboard.

My wise grandmother recognized and validated the service I tried to give to her.  From that small beginning I learned to help others.

Note: My mother tells me that later on after I left the kitchen Grandma washed it and they all had a good chuckle about it. She tells me that Grandma was a meticulous housekeeper.

Grandma Chloe grew sweet peas in her yard. I love sweet peas. She taught me that the more you pick them (and share them) the more sweet peas you have.

Names and dates tell us a few life details. A few journal entries and historical notes provide glimpses into the past. Pictures show a few more details but washing dishes together clearly demonstrates her character. Such memories warm my heart - sometimes I deeply miss her.

Born: 9 January 1886
Woodruff, Navajo, Arizona, USA elevation 5144 '

Chloe's  husband Neil's history contains a short biography of Chloe. From it we learn that her family moved from Woodruff to Alpine, where the rest of the family was born, when she was age 2I conjecture that the family may have moved to Alpine to be nearer to Viola Melissa's parents. We know that Chloe's maternal grandparents moved to Alpine Arizona in 1879.  On their family record we see that a daughter is born in Woodruff Arizona in 1883 and a son in Alpine in 1886 and a daughter in Alpine in 1888. Records state they moved back to Vernal, Utah in 1890 but we know that after the death of Chloe's mother that Grandma Pearce helped with the children.
The mountain community of Alpine, Arizona can be found in the midst of the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest. Situated at the eastern end of the White Mountains and near the headwaters of the San Francisco River, Alpine is the highest town in Arizona at an elevation of 8,050 feet. As of 1960, it was the highest place in place in the United States where farming was successfully occurring.

The town was settled in 1876 by Anderson Bush who built a log house originally known as 'Fort Bush'. Bush sold his holdings in 1879 to William Maxwell and Fred Hamblin, settlers who established the town as a Mormon community. Just east of Alpine, close to the New Mexico border, Luna Lake is visible [on satellite views]. The wetlands surrounding the lake house a wildlife refuge for bald and golden eagles.

Baptized: 2 Oct 1894

In 1878, 2 years after Mormons first colonized the area, Lorenzo Hill Hatch, Chloe's grandfather moved his wife Catherine and her family  from Savoia, New Mexico by trading his property there to Ammon, Nathan and Samuel Tenney for their property at 'Tenney's Settlement, Arizona.  The small village was renamed 'Woodruff' in honor of apostle Wilford Woodruff.

"Although not founded by Mormons, this town was sold to them in the 1880s. Like other towns on the Little Colorado River, Woodruff suffered from regular floods. Its post office was established in 1880..."

Chloe was born into a time and place of upheaval, colonization and general lawlessness. People in the United States of America were moving west seeking new lives, land and wealth.The Tonto Basin Feud, an infamous range war that exterminated the families involved, took place in the immediate area between 1882 and 1892. It was also known as the Pleasant Valley War and has been immortalized in books and movies.

Railroads were expanding coast to coast. Holbrook Arizona (previously known as Barado's Ranch), approximately 10 miles from where she was born was founded when the railroad built a station at the Horsehead Crossing and renamed it after an engineer, about 5 years before she was born. Holbrook was known as a place 'too tough for women and churches'.

Did any of this nearby history affect her or her family?
We do not know how much.
We must imagine between a few lines of dates, places, and events.

We read in a journal/history of her Grandfather, Lorenzo Hill Hatch, that as he traveled by buggy to Tonto Basin in June 1888 on Stake Business that he spent the night at Pine Creek and that Jim Tewksbury, a notorious participant in the range war, passed the night at the same location.  Other records tell of one of his sons involvement with some of the range war problems.

He also tells of the wars and dangers of the conflicts with the Native American tribes and the Spanish people indigent to the area. He personally supervised the construction and living arrangements of forts, making and maintaining peace, and at one time rescuing a tortured captive.

Thomas Hatch

Chloe's Father: Thomas Hatch (1862-1951)
son of Lorenzo Hill Hatch and Catherine Karren
I note here that on our pedigree chart, on the day prior to Chloe's birth, her great grandmother, Ann Ratcliffe, (Catherine Karren Hatch's mother) died in Provo Utah [8 January 1886]. Even though Chloe's paternal grandparent's had been living in Woodruff Arizona they moved to Utah the fall of 1885 and Catherine would have been in Utah when her mother, Ann Ratcliffe, died. The property in Woodruff was left in the care of their son, Thomas (Chloe's father). The Lorenzo Hill Hatch family returned to Arizona in a few short years 1890/92.

From the journal/history of Lorenzo Hill Hatch we glean a little more information about Tom's freighting business. "In 1880 the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad began laying track into Arizona Territory from Albuquerque and many Mormon men found the work to be a way of making much needed cash. Several of Lorenzo’s older sons worked at grading and laying track. Others worked hauling freight for the Army at Ft. Apache, eighty miles from the railhead. In November, Lorenzo mentions that “Thomas came home from [Fort] Apache where he had been freighting, ..."

In 1882 Lorenzo writes that, Thomas age 22, was "in the southern part of this territory or in California freighting... [and has] fear he will be a rough man. He is good to his Mother and Hyrum and the children [but] I am very anxious about him ... [In a letter to a son in Utah] his opinion of his unruly wild Arizona sons at that time was, "As far as faith in God is concerned, I don’t think there is one of the boys that care a fig.'  In 1886 Tom wrote to ask his father if he might 'rent' [out] the place in Woodruff'.

From other records we learn that the railroad owned every other parcel of the unsurveyed Arizona land and 

Tom Hatch had no assurance that he could obtain title to the land he and his father worked to improve.

About 1896 Chloe’s father was called as Bishop of the Alpine Ward. He was set apart by Heber J Grant and John W Taylor. Life was good to them, for the times they were living in.

Chloe's Mother: Viola Melissa Pearce 
(1865-1899) daughter of
Sylvester Henry Pearce and Roseltha Melissa Reynolds.

Notice her mother's death date.
Chloe was only 13 years old.

My Aunt Ruth, Chloe's only daughter, tells me Viola Melissa died in childbirth. Neil's history of Chloe, that Aunt Ruth compiled and arranged notes: "In 1899 tragedy struck this family, with the death of their mother on February 9th. Chloe was just 13 years old and unable to care for the family with her father away much of the time with his freighting business. For a time they all lived with Grandmother Pearce. When they moved to Woodruff the following year, Kate lived with Grandpa and Grandma Hatch [and moved to Utah with them at the end of the year to continue to help her grandmother]. Chloe and the others lived with Aunt Nora Savage. Chloe helped care for Wren [Lorenzo] who had kidney problems. At times some of the other children lived with other aunts and uncles. It seemed to Tom that family unity was difficult."

The LH Hatch journal history tells us, "Thomas ... and his seven motherless children visited in Woodruff.  My sympathies were touched very much. All of them are bright and as good as could be expected. He [Thomas] was a-going to leave two of them with us, but the oldest girl [Chloe] of thirteen said she could not sleep if she did not have them where she could care for them.”

about fall 1894
back row l-r : Thomas Hatch, Victor held by 
       Viola Melissa Pearce, Thomas Layfayette [Faye]
front row l-r: Chloe, Catherine [Kate],  Lorenzo[Wren], Mary

From the journal/history of Lorenzo Hill Hatch we learn a few details of what life in the area and time may have been like for Chloe and her family.
In 1888 the town of Holbrook burned.  This dramatically changed the owners and use of the land in that area. "When the large brick ACMI building [a store] in Woodruff was vacated by the move to Holbrook, the Woodruff people put it to good use as a church, school and social hall. They purchased an old train bell, and mounted it on the roof. For many years this bell called folks for all occasions. It rang out fast and gaily for dances and weddings, and tolled slowly for funerals. One half hour before any church meeting, the bell warned of the approaching hour ...
"[1897] Lorenzo’s home in Woodruff was a low-roofed frame house with a long front porch. Doors off the porch led directly to Catherine’s bedroom and May’s bedroom. There were paths of flat sandstone all around the house, but the path from the front gate to porch was especially grand. It consisted of flat stones quarried from the town hill laid tightly together, end to end, each stone about five feet wide and eight feet long. This path led past two great locust trees and in the summer, beds of hollyhock and zinnias ...
"[1899] The frost held off and Lorenzo was still hauling hay in October. He had no help, what with all the "little boys going to school," and so he took a ladder to climb onto the load and tromp it down as he hauled.
"His woodshop where he made furniture, repaired wagons and built what was needed for his household of that of neighbors, was a vital part of Lorenzo's 'setup'. One grandchild remembers the shop as a place with many curious tools, which no one was allowed to touch. There was a wood lathe used to fashion legs for chairs and posts for bedsteads. The grandchildren loved to make the smooth, white shaving on the floor crinkle and crunch under their bare toes. Across from the workbench was the blacksmith quarters with an anvil, hammer, tongs, furnace and the 'mysterious bellows, or blast bag.' "
On his 75th birthday [4 January 1901] LH Hatch's daughter Nora Savage (with whom Chloe lived) 'took charge' of a 'grand affair' for him. He had been released from his 24 year 'mission' to colonize and settle Arizona, and was returning (with Catherine) to Utah. Many of his children and grandchildren that had been born and raised in the area remained - never to see them again. "The weather during the next week must have been fair, for twenty-five members of the Hatch family went to nearby Petrified Forest for a picnic. Eighteen grandchildren were the more part of the party. Though the Petrified Forest was within twenty miles of Woodruff, Lorenzo had apparently never visited there before, since he remarked, 'It was a grand sight to see this petrifaction.' "

Neil's history compiled by his daughter Ruth explains more about Chloe's family circumstances at the time of their move to Canada, "By 1901 Tom had lost much in his business and in an effort to pick up his life again he decided to leave Arizona. He had heard of new land opportunities in Canada, so in the spring of 1901 they all traveled to Logan, Utah. In Sept, with financial help from his father, He left with his family, by train, for Canada. Here they stayed one week at Immigration Hall in Lethbridge. While here they received vaccinations and all the children were sick except Chloe. They had only one trunk of clothes and some bedding, so Tom bought a team and wagon, some furniture and moved them to Sterling. He bought two building lots and built a little home, and started the children in school. He also bought a hundred calves and they had a good winter in Sterling.

In the spring of 1902, Tom got a job with J W Wolfe in Spring Coulee, so in April the family moved again. Chloe said this trip was so cold they nearly all froze to death. Mary said the large unfinished house they lived in was built by Manley Brown, father of Hugh B Brown. They shared the house with the Elisha Laycock family. Sister Laycock taught the girls many useful things about homemaking. Chloe tells of braiding rag rugs for the floors in this home to make it warmer....

"In the spring of 1903 Tom bought a section and an half of land from J W Wolfe and farmed it. Sometime during this year, Lorenzo who was just twelve got infection in his leg and had to have it amputated. Chloe was assigned the task of taking care of Wren during his recovery, sometimes he was so miserable he couldn't even stand a clock ticking in the room. This incident broke his bather’s heart again, and in the fall of 1904 he sold his land to W L Thompson and took his family to homestead at Brant, Alberta.

"There was no school at Brant, so Tom encouraged people around to get one built. All the children were soon back in school, walking in the summer and riding horseback in the winter. The years were hard, extreme cold in the winter, hail storms and prairie fires in the summer.

"The nearest meeting house was in Frankburg so the family attended there. Sunday school was in the morning and Sacrament Meeting in the afternoon. Between services they were invited to dinner throught the kindness of the Franks, McPhies, or Larsons. Often in the evening after church many of the young people would go to the Hatch home for a fireside get together.

Chloe writes, that while in Brant her father served as Branch President of the Frankburg Branch, and she held various positions in the Branch. She taught a Sunday School class and also a Primary class, and the last year she was Primary President and served at times as a chorister."

Neil's short biography of Chloe also contains a brief story of her first suitor at age 16.  An additional blog post is devoted to her courtship and their marriage

Chloe's Spouse: Neil Snow Forsyth
Married: 20 December 1911
Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah, USA

Chloe Roseltha Forsyth nee Hatch 
Died: 13 November 1962
Cardston, Alberta, CANADA
Buried: 16 November 1962
Cardston, Alberta, CANADA

I attended my grandmother's funeral. My memories and documentation of her passing are published on 13 November.