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

Thursday, November 8, 2012


My paternal grandparents were married the same month as my husband and I, December. They were married 5 days before Christmas  and spent the holidays and much of the month of January visiting many relatives and friends in Utah, before returning to the small Southern Alberta town of Magrath to begin establishing their home and family. The story of their courtship and those holidays is posted on this blog with the title 'Neil Snow Forsyth and Chloe Roseltha Hatch courtship and marriage.'

Married: 20 December 1911
Place: Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah
Sealed: 20 December 1911
Salt Lake Temple, Salt Lake City, Utah

Neil and Chloe had 8 children; 5 boys, a girl, and 2 more boys: Thomas Rex Forsyth, Neil Scott Forsyth, George Kenneth Forsyth, Mylo Wilfred Forsyth, Duane H Forsyth, Ruth Forsyth, Garth Dean Forsyth, and Bryce H Forsyth.

Several of Neil and Chloe's children have graciously shared their memories of parent's and family. Gratitude and special thanks are in order to each of them and their families for preserving the records of their parents, our ancestors. Neil's history, compiled and arranged in 1996 by his daughter Ruth Forsyth Horne (Robert), from his many handwritten and typed journals, may be accessed at the LDS Church History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah. We sincerely appreciate her work on these and other records as well as pictures she has shared. As much as possible she retained his spelling and punctuation.

Aunt Ruth tells us that, 'At age 80 her father bought a typewriter and taught himself to type because his handwriting was 'shaky'. A brief history, on this blog, of his childhood and growing years is titled 'Neil Snow Forsyth history'. With her kind permission I quote from her work.Grandpa tells us:

"Apr 14 [ca. 1912] – Will and Mary Evans and Ammon Mercer [siblings to Neil] came home with us after SS and had dinner with us. After Sac meeting Curtis Hatch, Chloes cousin from Granam came with his wife and had a short visit with us. Apr 21, Uncle Orrin Snow and Aunt Viola came from Raymond to attend services here and we all had dinner with Will and Mary Evans. Apr 28, Hyrum Ririe, Ralph Winnerton and I were the speakers at church.

"May 12  – We went to SS here then went to Raymond in the afternoon for Quarterly Stake Conference. The weather has been good since May 5. I finished disking and seeding, then I planted potatoes and other garden seeds thru May 17th.

"May 18 – I took Chloe and went to Johns farm [Neil's brother, John James Forsyth 1881] and did a small job of repair work on his house while Chloe visited with Jennie. It was stormy that day and cont. to storm for 4 or 5 days, so I did odd jobs inside till it cleared up. Then I worked the farm planting wheat and oats and ploughing summerfallow.

"May 30 – Chloe and I spent the evening with George and May Robins, English Converts. I spent most of the next two weeks watering, weeding and other maintenance on the farm.

"Jul 10, 1912 – Chloe went with me to Johns and I started working some changes on his house. As it was stormy I stayed there and worked for the rest of the week, then was busy with the farm for the next month.

"Aug 3 – We went to Lethbridge and saw the ‘Sels Floto Circus.’ On Aug 11, Will and Mary Evans, Chloe and I went to Raymond for Taylor Stake Quarterly Conference with Apostle Orson F. Whitney and Seventies Pres. McMurran. It was stormy both ways.

Sylvester Henry Pearce

"Aug 12 – Father, mother and her sister, Aunt Lucy Gardner [Rueben] came from Utah. Aunt Lucy [age 51] came for a month for a rest as her health is not very good. 

Aug 14, Chloes Grandfather [Sylvester Henry] Pearce [age 69] came and stayed with us till Aug 19th.

"Sep 15 – We had a bountiful harvest from our garden and the farm this year. This evening Chloe and I took our entries to the Fall Fair. I took 2nd prize on my Potatoes and 2nd on my alfalfa. Chloe took a first and two seconds on her home grown and preserved fruits.

"Oct 5 – My sister Mary Evans newborn baby died this morning. I made a coffin for it and helped Will dig a grave and bury it this afternoon. The weather is cold and stormy now but most of the harvest is in.

"Oct 22 – Chloe took sick soon after midnight, and I phoned the Dr. He came right up and he worked with her till 9:15 am when she gave birth to a 9 lb boy. He was very poor and weak and Chloe was in critical condition. The Dr. worked with them till 11 a.m. before he had them out of danger. I have kept busy taking care of Chloe and the baby. The baby sleeps most of the time and is gaining weight right along. [This day was Grandpa Thomas Hatch's 50th birthday.]

Nov 11th Mrs. Amy Bennion and Mrs. Phoebe Fleming, two of Chloes cousins came and spent the afternoon with us.

"Nov 14 – I started building a house for Wm Passey and with a few weather delays I had it all closed in by Nov 22nd. On the 27th I started work in Welling to do some building for John Heninger.

"Dec 1 – We took the baby to church where I blessed him and gave him the name of Thomas Rex. He and his mother are both doing very well. Dec 8th a bunch of us got together and organized to put on a play, ‘One Girl In A Thousand’ I stayed home all week studying and rehearsing. We put it on Fri night. We had a packed house and cleared $70. We bought books for the SS with the money.

"Dec 14 – I sold 20 young roosters to the Grant and Davis Store for .35 per lb. Erma Woodruff and Ellsworth Bevans were here from Cardston, visiting her parents, on their way to Salt Lake to be married. We spent the afternoon with them. Dec 22nd BP Harker called me out of the audience in Sacrament Meeting to give them a talk on the life of Joseph Smith.

Dec 25, 1912 – My mother cooked Christmas Dinner for all the family in Canada. There were 13 grownups and 8 grandchildren. Bell was the only one not here. It was the first Christmas I had spent with my family for 12 years. We had a very happy day visiting and singing together.

"Jan 12, 1913 – Mary Forsyth Evans birthday was on Jan 6, Chloe Hatch Forsyth was Jan 9, and J Frank Forsyth Jan 12. Because of the snowdrifts and cold weather there was no church service. We all met at my place and had a triple birthday dinner party. It was 22 below zero at 5 p.m. that evening, the coldest for the winter to date.

"Jan 19 – Was promotion day at SS and the teachers were promoted with their classes, so now I am the teacher of the Theological Class. Chloe went to SS with me as the weather has moderated. After SS we took Rex to the Photographer and had his photo taken (with us). Jan 24th we had dinner with Ammon and Florence Mercer [Neil’s youngest sister], then we went to a concert put on by the Magrath Ward choir, in the Electric Theater that evening.

"Jan 28 – Mr Stacey took me into Lethbridge and interduced me to Mr. Jackson, the general manager of the Citizens Lumber Co. and we made arrangements for me to take over as manager of their Magrath Yard on Feb 1st. Mr. Stacey had sold me his home and was moving to Utah.

"Feb 1st – I started in the Lumbar Yard. Stacey and I signed our agreement that day and I paid him $475 down on the home, leaving a balance of $1,525 to be paid at 5% interest. That afternoon I cleared a place across the driveway from the office to build a shop where I can do carpenter work in my sparetime. I cut some of the material that afternoon and built the shop the next day.

"Feb 5 – When I got to the office to open up, the Co. Auditor was there to audit the books and turn the business over to me. Stacey had helped me make out my first report the day before, now I was left on my own.

"Feb 26, They had a farewell party at the church for the Stacey family. Mar 2, I was sustained as Ward clerk in the Magrath Ward. Mar 21, we moved into our new home. Mar 31, Fred and Fern Anderson came over from Raymond and stayed overnight with us. They are moving to Utah this spring. Sanford Dudley and his new bride spent the evening with us and the Andersons.

** Business is good. I have 2 ½ acres in this place and I have a small nursery. We have 2 milk cows, 1 pig. I got strawberry plants and native currant starts from fathers place, I have plenty to keep me busy nights and mornings. In my spare time at the lumber yard, I made some butter boxes for the creamery and window boxes for the Bank of Montreal. I finished a baby bed for Rex to sleep in and a wash bench and baby bed for Mary Evans. May 13, I am planting my garden between showers, and I’ve put in a quarter acre of alfalfa. **

"Jun 1913 - Business was good at the Lumber yard all through the month of June, the rains and the sunshine have made the crops grow fast and the whole country looks wonderful. The Lord is surely blessing us here and we thank him for his many blessings unto us."

Another event that significantly affected this family occurred in June and July of 1913. On June 27, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints announced a temple would be built in Cardston, Alberta and the site was dedicated July 27 by Joseph F. Smith.

"July 1, 1913 – Being Dominion Day we all went out to Johns farm. The whole Forsyth family had dinner there and we enjoyed the day very much visiting and singing together. July 13, we had new green peas out of our garden, and our strawberries and currants are coming on now. We raised a good garden and I cut alfalfa and corn fodder to feed my milk cows. We had plenty of eggs from our hens for our own use and to sell, chickens and turkey to eat and some for market. We made our own butter and raised our small fruits.

"Sep 1913 – They started building the Alberta Temple at Cardston. Bishop Harker and I collected money donated from our ward, as clerk I wrote all the receipts for temple donations. Chloes bro Lorenzo came to live with us, and go to high school here in Magrath."

Although Neil records the start of the building in September, the official ground breaking for the LDS Alberta  Temple does not occur until November 13. We return to the routines of his history in 1914:

"June 7, 1914 – Before there was any signs or thought of war breaking out, I asked Patriarch [John L] Gibb to come to dinner with me one Sunday, to give Lorenzo a blessing. After he had given Lorenzo one, I asked him to give me one,  …

"When I got this [patriarchal] blessing and read it over no one had thought of the first world war and Chloe and I both thought I would sometime be called on another foreign mission. We layed it away and forgot what it said.

Neil Scott and Thomas Rex Forsyth

"Sept 1, 1914 – Our second son Neil Scott was born.  On Sunday Nov 1, [1914] I blessed our 2nd son and gave him his name, Neil Scott.

Neil Scott and Thomas Rex Forsyth

"Dec 1, 1914 – I was elected on the Magrath School Board. Jan 7, 1915 I was made Chairman of the Board, I was re-elected in Dec 1915 and continued until I left for overseas June 20, 1916.

" ** 1914 – When the war started in 1914, and Canada offered to send men to fight, I talked a lot against it and said let them fight their own battles. But after it had been on for two years, and some of our boys had been killed (I) began to think different."

David O McKay standing 19 September 1915,
Cardston Alberta Temple cornerstone ceremony 

When the cornerstone for the LDS temple at Cardston, Alberta was laid by David O McKay, Neil and his father attended. The reason we know this is because we can plainly see their faces in a photograph taken at that time.We see him in the photo above just behind the coat tail of Elder McKay. His father, George James Forsyth, is behind him and to the left, partially hidden in the crowd.

George James Forsyth (white hair and mustache - partially behind man on left,
Neil Snow Forsyth squinting upward.

Other interesting photos and details may be found on an LDS web site providing additional details of this exciting time in the lives of members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. As work progresses on temple, many Latter Day Saint boys and men in the area begin to sign up with Major Hugh B Brown to go overseas to join the fighting in World War I. We read more about Neil's feelings as we return again to his own record:

"I talked to Chloe about going and helping bring it to an end, but never mentioned it to any others til April 1916. My bro in-law, Ammon Mercer and another of our school teachers and 4 more young men had enlisted and they were having a farewell dance for them. Major Hugh B. Brown came down from Cardston that morning to be at the dance. When I came from the office that night, I wanted Chloe to get ready and go to the dance with me, but she didn't feel like going. [From subsequent events we know she was about 5 months along with Uncle Ken.] She said I could go, if I promised not to enlist. I said I wanted to have a talk with Major Brown, but I wouldn't enlist. I went and had a talk with him, he asked me what Chloe thought about me going, and I said she didn't want me to go. He said he would not approve of any married man going without his wife's consent. When I got home she asked me what he said, and when I told her, she said, It’s decided that you don’t go. There was no more said about it. **

"May 15, 1916 – I was at the station when the train from Cardston came in and I saw Major Brown get off. While we were eating dinner that day Chloe said, I hear Major Brown is in town again, I have been taking to Florence this morning and I have decided that if you think you should go, I would rather you would go now with Major Brown and our own boys, than go later with someone else. I said, Shall I phone Major Brown when I get back to the office and tell him I am ready to enlist, She said suit yourself. So I called Major Brown and arranged the time to give my employer a 30 day notice and I would be ready to leave July 1st.

"Sunday morning I took Rex and went to SS. Chloe stayed home with Scott, when I got home Chloe asked me if I remembered the blessing Bro. Gibb gave me, we thought I would be called on another foreign mission. She said “This is it.” She had read that blessing while I was at SS. Then – I read it and we both felt that it was intended that I should go to war, and we felt sure I would return safely.

'June 10, 1916 – I got word from Major Brown that I must report at Medicine Hat for duty on June 20 as they were to leave there for overseas June 22. On June 12, we took stock at the lumber yard and turned it over to Campbell, but I stayed to on to help him until June 19.

1916 Magrath Alberta Canada Census

"June 20, 1916. I went to Medicine Hat and stayed at a hotel that night. My sister Florence Mercer stayed at that hotel and was still there to see her husband off the morning of June 22. We passed through Fort Williams June 23.

"June 26, 1916 – We arrived at Ottowa at 4 a.m. at 8 a.m. we marched up to the parliament building and were inspected by His Honor the Duke of Canaught. As we went through the English speaking settlements across Canada, the people welcomed us with cheers, but the French settlements in Quebec Province had no cheers for us. We stopped and marched through the town of North Bay. A small boy came and took hold of my hand, and held it all through the parade. He told me his father had gone to the war. It made me think of my two boys at home with their mother [who happens to be 7 months pregnant].

"June 28, We reached Halifax at 2 p.m. We went right on board the liner Olympic with 5,000 other troops. Early the next morning they pulled out into the barber and stayed there all day. Then 4 men were taken off, as German Spies. We set sail at 6 p.m. July 4, (6 days crossing) two torpedo boats met us and escorted us into Liverpool Harber. July 9, The Germans made an air raid on the British coast, near enough for us to hear the bombs drop.

"July 18, Major Brown and Sgt. Major Harrison with 16 of us Pirvets were transferred to the cavalry and the next day we went to Summerset Barracks and were assigned to the ‘Fort Gary Horse’. I was right at home in the saddle, and got along very well.

"July 27,  9,000 Canadian troops landed at Liverpool. We keep hearing the big  guns in France, There is considerable activity in the air here too, day and night. ...

"Aug 29, Sam Hughes was here inspecting us. We stood in the rain all day and got soaked through, while he stood under a hedge with an umbrella over him and kept dry. Today I got a letter from Bro. Faulkner, telling me that he, Sis Faulkner and Nellie were in Cheriton. He had enlisted in Calgary and brought his family over with him. I went and spent the evening with them. Aug 30, I got a 6 day leave. I went to London, then Coventry. I visited saints and friends as I travelled to Birmingham. Sun Sept 3, I went to the Conference Home for SS. Then Pres. Laird and I went to Spearbrook and held Sacrament service. After that we went home with Fred Lamb. [Neil baptized Fred Lamb February 1909.] I was one of the speakers in the evening meeting. Later Pres. Laird and I went to Dudley, Woodside and Tipton visiting saints along the way. Sept 5, we went back to Dudley and I left to return to my unit. When I got there that evening, there was a letter telling me my third son was born Sept 2, and that Chloe had named him George Kenneth.

George Kenneth, Chloe Roseltha, Neil Scott and Thomas Rex Forsyth

"Sept 14, I went to Ceasors Camp after supper, My bro. in-law Ammon Mercer, Roy Harris and I went to Faulkners and we all went and saw ‘The Battle of the Somm’ at the Electric Theatre in Folkstone. Sept 17, we had church parade this morning, Ammon Mercer, I and Gifford spent the rest of the day at Faulkners. We had a very pleasant afternoon and evening in song and conversation.

 [Neil's World War I adventures will comprise a separate post. We skip ahead now to 1919 and his return to his family. During the war and the time his unit waited to 'ship out' he was able to spend a significant amount of time traveling and visiting in his mission areas.]

"May 16, 1919 - ** Because there was not a ship available to take us home, I took leave to visit my mission area again.  At Deseret I met other Canadian Soldiers from the 13th Bregade. From there I went to Coventry for Sat. and Sun. and I was the speaker at their evening meeting. Then on to Dudley and Tipton where I stayed overnight with the Angus family. May 20, I went into Birmingham, but found no one home at the Conference House or Bro. Lambs, so I stayed at Sis Lily Pitts that night. She had a boy 12 and a girl 10 who had never been baptized, also a sister who is not a member of the church. So I talked about baptism and other doctrine while I was there. I extended my leave so I could baptize all three the following Sunday.**

"May 26, I returned to Coventry and then on to London where I saw a show ‘In the Night Watch’.

"May 28, I sent a suitcase home by C.R.O. then returned to my unit. Again our ship was given to another unit so I was given yet another leave to visit my mission.

1916 Scotian passenger list with Neil Snow Forsyth top  mid right

"June 10, Our unit entrained for Liverpool, where we boarded the Scotion and after a short delay we finally pulled out June 13, 10 a.m. The seas were rough, so I was sick much of the trip home. June 18, the ship received a wire announcing the Hanley Page had flown the Atlantic in 19 hrs and 20 min.

"June 19, We entered the Gulf of St. Lawrence in the evening. We had a pleasant two day voyage up the St. Lawrence and docked at Quebec at 5:30 p.m. We left for Montreal at 7:30 a.m. and arrived there at 7:30 p.m. June 22 We got off the ship and onto a train.

"June 26, We arrived in Medicine Hat at 1:20 a.m. We went to the Demobilization Bldg and had a bath and went to bed. We were demobilized at 8:30 a.m. and left for Lethbridge at 12 noon. Emil Ehlert was there with Chloe and the three boys to meet me, and he took us to Magrath in his car. Kenneth will be 3 years old Sept 2 and he sat on my lap for the first time on the way home. 

Ken, Scott, Chloe, Neil, and Rex Forsyth

"July 8, I went to Lethbridge and joined the Great War Veterans Association and had some work done on my teeth. I have worked around the home ever since I got back, fixing up some of the things that had been neglected in my absence.

"July 12, We all went to Cardston to visit Chloes sister Kate and family. We went to church with them on Sun. After church we went to Glenwood, and spent the night with her sister Nora Dudley. Monday we all went to Waterton and back, July 16, Chloe and I and the boys went back to Waterton and stayed till Sat. then returned to Glenwood and went to church. July 21, we returned home to Magrath.

"July 24, I bought a Model T Ford. I took the family to Raymond and back in the evening. July 26, I took my brother Tom to Raymond, then went to Lethbridge and back to Magrath.

"Aug 2, 1919 – We went to Cardston for Conference and I went through the temple under construction. On Tues. we went to Glenwood, then back to Magrath.

"Aug 7, Ira Fletcher and I left for Utah with our family’s. He in a new Chev. And I in my Ford. We had nothing but dirt wagon roads to travel on. I burned out a connection rod, broke a steering rod and ruined a tire and tube in the 3 ½ days it took us to get to Bountiful. We visited with Father and Mother, they moved t Bountiful in 1918. We also visited with other relatives in Salt Lake, Provo, Logan etc. About Aug 15 we took Rex to Salt Lake to a Dr. to have his tonsils out. The Dr. had me give the anesthetic, and performed the operation in his office. I came out carrying Rex, still unconscious, with Chloe and the other two boys. When we got to the car there was a ticket in the seat for illegal parking. When the police saw us, he came and asked me a few questions, then gave me some friendly legal advice and tore up the ticket. Rex recovered in a day, and was never troubled after that.

"Aug 28 Fletchers came and we headed for Canada. We arrived home Sept. 1 in time for Rex to start school.

** I keep busy with my farm and nursery and doing carpentry work for friends and relatives. **

"April 12, 1920 – our 4th son was born and we named him Mylo Wilfred.

"Oct 31, 1920 - ** Father and Mother came to Canada to celebrate their Golden Wedding Anniversary here, with their children and grandchildren. Neil wrote the ... tribute ...

"1921 – I now sell a lot of trees to people in Cardston, Hillspring, Raymond, as well as here in Magrath. Much of my carpentry work is for the C.C. Thompson family in Spring Coulee.

"1922 – I am doing carpentry work all around Southern Alberta.

"June 3, 1922 – Our 5th son was born today and his mother named him Duane H. (Duane tells the story that Dad said he would call him June, but mother wouldn't have a girls name for a boy.)

"Aug 26, 1923 – Chloe and I went to the dedication of the Cardston temple. We attended several sessions of the temple that winter.

"Mar 24, 1924 – I went to Cardston and saw Mr. Perry, the Soldier Settlement Field Man. He took me out and showed me the ¼ section south of town that they wanted me to buy. April 5, I decided to buy the land in Cardston. April 7, Mr. Perry came and checked my stock and equipment and I signed the contract with him.

"When school was out the end of June, I sold my home to Wm. Mendelkow, I took his home south of Magrath as part pay and I rented it to Ida Chipman. I put a hayrack on my wagon and loaded all my furniture, chickens etc. in the rack, I hooked four horses on it. I put Rex (age 12) on the saddle horse and started him out with the cattle and horses. I took Scott on the wagon with me and we headed for Cardston. I left Chloe and the other three boys to come later on the train.  We stopped at Fred Wagners, a farm near Raley that night. We went on to Cardston the next day. Chloe and the three boys cam on the train the next day. I bought 80 acres north of my ¼ sec. from C.E. Snow.  

Additional adventures are posted seperately for the Forsyth family's Cardston years. Better or additional pictures may be forthcoming as they are discovered/digitized. These few poor quality photo copies indicate there are some wonderful pictures available from this era. Do you have any? Will you share?