Sunday, October 4, 2015

Blast III: Ben's Family

Ben's great-grandfather, Hans Joseph Nielson, is standing in the back on the left of this handsome group of men from San Juan County. Based on their clothing, I have assumed this picture was taken about 1890.  I did some searching to learn who the other men might be, but came up empty.  Hans was among the group of men and women who made the infamous Hole in the Rock trek.  He met his wife on this journey.
After studying pictures of Hans, I was pleased to notice a strong resemblance between this man and his great-grandfather.  This photograph was taken just before Ben's mission to the Northern Far East Mission.  Included with Ben's mission call were flight instructions to Tokyo.  Ben asked his mother, "Is there a Tokyo, Maine?"
I'm guessing my sweet husband was about 12 when this picture was taken.  I've said it before and I'll say it again -- I see Kyle clear as can be.
I love this picture of Ben, and Ida Mar did, too.  Copies of this show up often in various stacks of pictures. 
Hans' granddaughter was Lydia Nielson, who is pictured here with her husband John Wiley Redd.  I clearly remember the first time I met Wiley, in his daughter Ida Mar's home.  He said to me, "Julie? Julie?  The best ___ mule I ever owned was named Julie!"  He drove a 20-mule team across the Nevada desert.  He eventually became the ranger at Natural Bridges National Monument.
This picture was taken on a family outing to the Bridges.  This is a little Ben, his mother Ida Mar, and sister Judith under Atomic Rock, which Wiley discovered in 1946.  Ben's father was behind the camera.
This was a picture taken on top of Atomic Rock, which I cropped so you would noticed Ben's overalls.
Included in today's large box of photos were four certificates.
My mother-in-law had a wonderful vocabulary and I was not surprised to see her spelling accomplishments started when she was very young.
Ida Mar's great-uncle was the stake president when she graduated from Primary.
In the 1950s, Ida Mar's husband had a series of strokes.  She renewed her nursing license and went to work.  Her husband Ben, anticipating difficulties in his future because of his diabetes, carefully saved his earnings for years so he could eventually buy their three-bedroom home outright so Ida Mar would never be saddled with a mortgage.
Seated in the center of this picture are Ida Mar's parents.  She is next to them on the right.  Her sister Louisa is on the left.  Louisa is one of my favorite names, pronounced with a long I.  Say it out loud.  It's beautiful.  Their four brothers are standing.
Ben, standing in the back on the left, loved his grandparents and spent many summers with them in Blanding.  Ben took this picture after his mission with a timer and a tripod and was delighted to see it again after all these years. He still talks about his grandmother's excellent cooking.  He has corrected me.  "It was legendary," he said.
The last picture I scanned in this morning is this adorable photo of Ida Mar and three cute grandsons.  Jeffy has tears in his eyes, but Davy and Sammie were clearly delighted to pose with Grandma Markham during one of her visits.

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