Elsie Gale's Parents and Genealogy
Personal History written on February 13, 1978
My parents were George Henry Gale and Elsie Kartchner Gale. My father's parents were James Gale and Sarah Ann Thompson. My mother's parents were William Decatur Kartchner and Elizabeth Gale. My parents were first cousins, that's why you see the name Gale repeated in my genealogy. James and Elizabeth were brother and sister. Editors note: See Story of James Gale.
My great grandparents Henry & Sarah Wills sailed to America from Australia in 1853 with the Mormon Missionaries who had converted them to the Church, leaving their people unhappy with them for joining the Mormon Church, but they knew it was the true church of our Heavenly Father, & I'm thankful to this day that they did, as I may not of been a member of this wonderful church or had the blessings & opportunities that I have had in my life. They brought several children with them on the voyage & had one born on ship, so they named him Wandell Pacific Gale, the first name after one of the missionaries and Pacific, after the ocean they were sailing on. Their son James was my grandfather I generated from, as James had a son he named George Henry Gale who was my father.
My father George Henry Gale was born in Beaver, Utah, January 18, 1873. He worked hard at various jobs freighting, carried the mail & various other things for a livelihood. He had the opportunity to visit Snowflake, Arizona where his Aunt Elizabeth Gale Kartchner lived with Uncle Decatur Kartchner and their lovely family. There he met one of their daughters, Elsie Kartchner. She was slim and beautiful with clear blue eyes and naturally wavy brown hair, a very pleasant sweet personality, jolly and fun so you see why my father fell for her even though they were first cousins & were really like friends as they never knew each other before and they fell so much in love with each other they didn't worry about it. So much has been said of the dangers of cousins marrying, but their lives were good and strong and they were willing to risk anything that was to happen to their children, (but getting ahead of my story, nothing did). So after a lovely courtship, they planned to wed. (See recent news article on the low risk of cousin marriages.)
Editors note: See Map of Gale Family travels in Arizona & New Mexico.
In those days you didn't just hop in a wagon and take off to the nearest Temple. You planned the trip with your parents permission, blessing & of all things chaperones. My mothers' mother, Elizabeth Gale Kartchner traveled with my parents and others from Snowflake, Arizona to Manti, Utah to be married for time and all of eternity in the Manti Temple. It took several weeks to get there by wagon so you see it was only proper and fitting that other adults accompany them on the trip, besides they wanted to attend the wedding also.
Editors note: See Map of Mormon Honeymoon Trail.
I forgot to mention my mother was born on May 14, 1878 in what was called the Taylor Order near Snowflake. Now it's just called Taylor. My father was 5 years older than my mother but they really hit it off good together. We children never heard a quarrel or arguing between them and anytime my father was near a rosebush, he always picked one and presented it to my mother with all of his love. I also would like to say that my grandfathers on both sides had two wives and many children. For that reason I have many relatives in which I am proud. My husband, Alton Scott Foster has remarked many times that he believes I am related to everyone.
Going back to my father and mother's days. My father was a wonderful story teller. I mean a good one of pioneer tales, of his youth, and we loved to hear him tell them.
He always loved good horses and when he and mother were married they had a good team to travel with. There was one incident he told of coming back across the Indian country alone and my mother still a new bride. The Indians must of seen her beauty and followed them attempting to jump in the back of the wagon and steal my mother. My father saw what was happening and with a prayer in his heart and a good strong whip in his hand he snapped that whip on the backs of his swift horses and knocked those Indians out of the wagon or my mother would have been a stolen bride and I wouldn't have been here to tell this story.
My parents were married October 14, 1896
My father worked very hard and being a farmer his hands were always cracked and calloused but he wasn't afraid of hard work and sang a lot as he worked. We moved a lot as he would go where he could find good land to work and sometimes share crop with some other families. They had 8 children in the Eastern part of Arizona, then had an opportunity to work up land in Liberty, New Mexico (a small farming place) near Farmington. In fact the post office was called Liberty so that is where my sister Melva and I were born. Her being 2 years and 3 months older than I. She was named for my mother's sister that died in her youth. My father said the next child if it is a girl shall be named after mother. That day, June 10, 1918 a little blond babe was born. That being me, I was named Elsie after my mother. I weighed 8 pounds. It was cherry picking time at that time of year, and the joke I still hear from some of my family was mother got the cherries, and I got the juice. I was number 10 in a fun family of eleven.
It just seemed that I was my daddy's little girl. In fact, my sister Melva always said, "Daddy spoiled you, and you got anything you wanted around papa". We did have some memories together. I was always running after my daddy asking some of the dumbest questions, but oh how I loved him. He was so patient with me and always answered my questions. I had long white hair that curled easily and little high top button shoes and when my daddy would say "Tip Toe for Daddy" I would go up on my toes and turn one foot over in a shy pose and he would just melt.
I loved to run along the ditch banks when I went with him to irrigate the fields, it made me shiver to watch him cut a gopher into with his shovel. One time I remember my mother told me to go out in the field and tell my father and brothers to come to dinner. They were plowing the fields and worked early and took a break for dinner. Then they would go back to work until dark. I decided to take my brother Victor's little red wagon with my favorite dolls in it. So away I go across the plowed fields pulling the little wagon behind me.
I sensed a snorting sound behind me not real close, but too close to suit me. I knew I was doomed for a horrible death as I saw a big black and white bull charging towards me. My first thought was to drop the wagon tongue and run as fast as my little legs would carry me to my brother Rolly's team of horses. He saw the predicament I was in and was there ready to swoop me up and put me on one of the horses. I was shaking like a leaf. Very shortly a cowboy came galloping in the field swinging his rope over his head and lassoed the bull and lead him out of there. I later learned he was a neighbor and said his bull wouldn't harm a flea. You couldn't make me believe that!
Before I continue memorable experiences as a child I want to remark that my father and mother always took us children to the Ward we belonged too. After mother gave birth to a child was able they would take us to church where my father would give us a father's blessing. In the Jewett Ward, in the San Juan County in July 1918 my father gave me my name and blessing and at 8 years old my father baptized me on 3 July 1926 in the Chandler Ward.
Mother never gave any of us girls middle names, as she said the boys needed them in their business and we didn't. Anyway, my dad called me Elsie June allot. Not to mention allot of other nick names. I have never know a woman so sweet and even tempered as my mother. In spite of a large family and hard deliveries she worked hard to make a most humble cottage into a home. With her fancy work and good cooking they were happy and there was allot of love in our family for each other and still is.
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