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Harrison David "Harry" Rivers
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Birth: Apr. 21, 1869
Lewis and Clark County
Montana, USA
Death: Jul. 22, 1923
Big Horn County
Wyoming, USA

Son of Charles Rivers and Lavina Miller

Married Mary Melvin Owen, 14 Nov 1901, Panguitch, Garfield, Utah

Children - Maude Lucile Rivers, Walter Harrison Rivers, infant Rivers, Pearl Lavina Rivers, infant Rivers, Irene Grace Rivers, Charles Guy Rivers, Gene Owen Rivers

Biography - Harrison David Rivers (real name Ackerman) was adopted by Charles and Lavina Rivers, possibly of Stevensville, Montana, while in infancy. He never knew his real parents. His mother passed away when he was about twelve years of age. Nine months later the grief stricken father was laid to rest beside his dear wife. Harrison began traveling, working here and there and practically raising himself.

Charles Rivers, his foster father, was a partner in a liquor business in Stevensville in 1870. "Rivers and Dobbins" was the business name listed in the "Pacific States Directory for 1870."

Harrison David gathered a few of his belongings and with the $1000 dollar check Mr. Dobbins gave him for the Rivers interest in the store, he turned his back on Stevensville and set his goal for eastern horizon. He was given meals and lodgings at different places along his way as it was awhile before he could find anyone with enough money to cash his check.

Many years passed as he traveled from place to place. Lonely years? Oh, no. True, he missed his mother and father very much but everyone was his friend, especially the little children and seeing new places was a delight to him. He worked in one place and then went on his way to another location to find work.

After years of roaming his footsteps led him to Mt. Carmel, Utah where he lived with a family named Heaton. Now, he was trying his hand at farming, but previous to that he had been mining most of the months. He met Melvina Owen here at Mt. Carmel and courted her for about ten months. This was in the days before the horseless carriage so Harrison David had a very fast trotting bay mare, and they, Melvina and Harrison David were seen quite often dashing through the streets. They were married at the home of Luvica Miller. There were thirty close friends present and very delicious lunch was served. After a short honeymoon, they moved to Nevada.

"Harry" as he was called, worked in gold mines in Nevada, Park City, Utah, and Gold Roads, Arizona during the first part of marriage. In 1911, they decided to move to Lovell, for that was where Melvina's "Vina" mother had moved to help settle the area. Annie Patience Allphin came here in 1907.

Harry farmed for a while when they first went to Lovell. Then he became the town marshall and then deputy sheriff for awhile. In about 1916 or 1917, he went to work at the town pump house, where water was pumped from the Shoshone River for culinary purposes.

During the winter Harry was custodian of the three school houses. He played with all the children at recess--played marbles with the boys--turned the rope for the girls "jumping rope." They all loved him. His health began to lag noticeably during the winter months so all the family turned out in the evening to sweep the classrooms and for the general cleaning.

When it was time to plant the garden, Harry couldn't plant one whole row of seed without being utterly exhausted. So he supervised the job while the family finished the planting. He was ill for quite awhile-under the doctor's care-and finally the Doctor sent him to the hospital in Basin, Wyoming for further examination and treatment.

Harry was brought home from the hospital just a week before he passed away on 22 Jul 1923. During this last week, he fretted so because he had not yet been baptized. So he asked Bishop Carlton if he could be baptized and that very day preparation was made. Vina said, "Guy and Irene, run fast and stop at every home on the way and tell our friends that Papa is to be baptized today!" They all dropped whatever they were doing and hurried to the chapel. He was helped to the font and Seth Ira Johnson baptized him. On the way back to the car, he would not let anyone help him. He said, "Now, I can walk alone." Three days later, July 21, 1923, he passed away from cancer.

Vina had a rough time of it financially. She received a pension of $25 per month and worked only occasionally cleaning the offices of the Sugar Factory. She took in washings and washed by hand. Maude quit school and went to work. The children were all proud of the clothes their mother made for them. Vina passed away November 9, 1959, at Napa, California. 
Family links: 
  Mary Melvina Owen Rivers (1886 - 1959)*
  Irene Grace Rivers Schow (1912 - 2002)*
*Calculated relationship
Lovell Cemetery
Big Horn County
Wyoming, USA
Maintained by: SMSmith
Originally Created by: Lovell Cemetery
Record added: Jul 17, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 39545110
Harrison David Harry Rivers
Added by: Lovell Cemetery
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- SMSmith
 Added: Oct. 23, 2011

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