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Iva Bell Swallow Bushnell
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Birth: Aug. 6, 1894
Millard County
Utah, USA
Death: Oct. 1, 1964
Weber County
Utah, USA

Iva Bell Swallow was born at Meadow, Utah, August 6th, 1894 to Charles Swallow and Isabella (Bell) Dearden Swallow. She was the third child of a family of twelve. Mary Elizabeth Bushnell (Iva's future mother in-law) was the midwife that delivered her, in the home that her parents were renting at the time. Iva was so tiny that they couldn't dress her so they just wrapped her in some soft material and laid her in a large shoe box.

The family moved to Fillmore, just 4 miles north of Meadow, when Iva was still a toddler. It was here that she became a big sister for the first time, to little Laura.

When Iva was four, her father went on a mission for their church. He was gone for a very long time, and Iva and her older brother, Tom, needed to help out more around the house. One day Iva was tending Laura and she asked Tom to tend her for a little while, he wouldn't and so Iva gave the buggy a shove and it landed in the ditch. There wasn't any water in the ditch but she remembered the spanking she got, and she still had to stay in the house and tend her sister Laura.

When her dad came home from his mission from England, he brought her a little set of china dishes. She was showing them to her friends when Addie Robinson Palmer gave them a shove, they fell on the floor breaking most of them. Iva cried and cried as she felt so badly as they meant so much to her coming all the way from England.

Iva was told to always come home after Sunday School, one Sunday she disobeyed and went over to a friend's Gladys Waldears'. Addie Robinson was there and locked Iva in a room and wouldn't let Gladys unlock the door and let her out. Iva cried and pleaded with them to let her out. When Gladys' father came home and heard her crying he hurried and let her out. Then he told Addie if that was the way she was going act then Addie couldn't come over anymore.

When Iva was about eight years old, she took the part of "Little Polly Flinders" in a Mutual play. She remembered wearing a little grey dress that was scorched and ragged. Not long after this play, Iva and her family moved back to Meadow; she was nine years old. This was a great trial for Iva. She said they dressed better in Fillmore and the people were much friendlier. Iva and her family liked Fillmore much better. She had pretty little dresses and petticoats trimmed with lace, that her mother had made for her. The Meadow kids made fun of her and she had a hard time adjusting.

Seeing how there wasn't a good place to be baptized in Fillmore, Iva waited until they moved to Meadow to be baptized. Henry G. Labrum baptized her in the Warm Springs not far from their home, in September.

Iva was a good student and she enjoyed school, but even the good students get in a little trouble every now and then. The old red rock schoolhouse had steps from outside leading up to the gym, with a banister. One day, Iva and a few friends slid down the banister. They had to report to the principle, Wesley Barton. He had them hold out their hands and he gave them three sharp whacks with the ruler!

There was a big creek that ran through the center of town, just north of their lot. Iva's mother, Bell, had cautioned her about jumping the ditch as her little sister, Laura, was often with her and their mother was afraid that Laura would fall in the creek. One day Iva jumped the ditch and Laura tried, but fell in. When their mother went to look for them, Iva, Laura, and her friend Edna Duncan, were up by the church house. Iva and Edna were holding Laura's dress out to dry. Their mom didn't switch them, but locked them in the old buttery. This was a room where their dad stored many of his store goods. Here Bell had the children's Christmas toys hidden that she had forgotten about. Here Iva and Laura were having a great time. When their Aunt Fannie had come for Iva to come churn, Iva didn't want to come out.

With Iva's father, Charles, running the post office and the Country Store, and having so many children in the home, everyone had to do their part. Iva, being the oldest girl, had to tend the younger children most of the time. As she got older, she helped in the store. She clerked in her dad's store for four years before going to high school.

Iva loved to dance, and when they would dance at the top of the old school house, the whole building would shake! They had quite a few dances, with a live orchestra, and they would have lots of fun! With no technology they had to make their own fun playing games, dancing, etc.

Other sports Iva liked, besides dancing, were horseback riding, hayrack riding, and sleigh riding. In the evening the fellows would pile hay on a hay rack and all the guys and gals would pile on. They would often go down to the warm springs and go swimming. They would sing going down and sing coming back, and would have a great time! In the winter, it was sleigh riding time. The snow was so crusty and usually one to two feet deep.

Iva had a lovely voice and she and Laura used to sing duets. She also sang in a quartet with Laura, their brother Tom, and Rulon Stott. They were kept busy singing in different functions in the ward.

In March, 1911, Iva stayed with her mom night and day when she had her ninth child, Myrtle. Iva did all she could to help her mom, Bell, but after several days she got to where she wasn't feeling very well. A very close friend of the family, Hattie Stewart, was there helping as well. Iva's mother and Hattie persuaded Iva to go to bed. She had neuralgia and so was very miserable. The women promised to wake Iva if things turned for the worst for her baby sister, Myrtle. Little Myrtle died that night, but no one woke Iva. When Iva woke and found that her baby sister had died, she cried all the while changing the cold cloths on the baby during the day. That was the way they preserved or kept them before the burial, as they didn't embalm at that time.

When Iva was eighteen she attended high school at Fillmore, as there was no high school in Meadow. Her second year in high school, she went with her brother Tom to the BYU High School for one semester in Provo, from Thanksgiving to April. She received high grades and got her full grades in domestic science, arts, and sewing. In school they did needle work and had to draw their own patterns and design them for their own clothes. She went home when her mother had her brother, Theron, in 1915. After coming home she went back to work at the store with her dad.

When Iva and George (husband) were children and teenagers, Iva didn't care for him. George was the fellow next door, and Iva thought he was too good to the girls and would do anything they wanted. George liked Iva but she liked other fellows better. She liked one particular fellow and almost became engaged, but they broke up their friendship. Soon George started writing to Iva, as he was away on a mission in Pueblo, Colorado. George's mom liked Iva and kept George posted on Iva's friends.

Iva took a dress making class from Sigrid Pearson. She was taking her sewing lesson when George got home. He had soon changed his clothes and was helping his dad with the hay. Brother Peter Pearson came home and told Iva and Sigrid that George was home, and handsome he was! Sigrid laughed and said she would have to walk Iva home as she wouldn't be safe, as Iva was very pretty too. George was on top of a big haystack feeding the cattle when Iva came down the sidewalk. It didn't take him long to get down and come over to meet her. They had a beautiful courtship and soon decided that they wanted to get married. They were married on September 29th, 1915, in the beautiful Manti Temple. George's mom, Mary Elizabeth, went to the temple with them as it took several days to get there.

Iva and George Bushnell lived in the two upstairs rooms of George's parents for the first few months of their married life. They then moved into the old Bushnell home across the street from Iva's parents. They found the place was overrun with bedbugs. The second night they moved in they could feel them biting. George lit the lamp and the bugs were thick on the table legs, the walls, and everywhere you looked. Iva and George had to really work to get rid of the bugs.

Iva and George's next move was to Milford, Utah, where George worked in the railroad round house as a mechanic. The two were very happy there. Iva was very disappointed when George's parents wanted George to come back to Meadow and help out on the farm. Iva said he was a very good mechanic and could have worked into a very good paying job. The employers like George very much and wanted him to stay.

They moved back to Meadow where they had their first child, Mildred, in spring of 1916. The United States entered into the war of World War I in 1917. Later, Iva and George had Howard "Elmo" in July of 1918, four months later the war ended.

When Elmo was just a baby, George once again got a job with the railroad. The family then moved to Delta, Utah for a year, then back to Meadow. They moved in for a while with George's sister Lula and her husband Emil Pearson.

George had planned to build Iva a home across the street there, but George's parents thought another house was such a good buy that they persuaded George to buy it. Iva was very disappointed as she wanted her own home that she helped plan. The home they bought was an old adobe house, with three big silver maple trees around it. It had two small bedrooms, a front room, large kitchen, and a screen porch. No indoor plumbing or electric lights.

Iva and George were blessed with another son, Faryl, in 1921.

Iva was never very well. When she was young she had many sore throats and swollen glands. She also had numb spells. Her feat and hands would go numb, and up her body, and may times they would be having family prayers when she would almost pass out. George would lay her down and continue on with the prayer. Afterwards, he would hurry and get a pan of really cold water, and one with really hot water, and put her feet in one and then the other. George would rub her arms and hands with rubbing alcohol. Iva was never able to lie flat on her back because of the curvature of her spine. In later years, a doctor thought that she had polio when she was younger. As she got older she developed arthritis. For her ailments she drank tea, which she hated to take. She wouldn't add any cream or sugar to it, as she said it was medication and it wasn't supposed to taste good.

George used to go for several weeks at a time out on the desert assessing sheep, leaving Iva and the little ones to take care of the chores. They had good neighbors, especially the Sam Ames family. Many times when Iva would be out chopping wood, and one of the Ames boys would climb over the fence and take the ax away from her. They would cut a big pile of wood, often enough to fill her wood box.

When Iva had her fourth child, Joy, George was out on the desert assessing sheep. Mary Elizabeth (her mother in-law) delivered her, and Iva had quite a hard time with the labor and delivery. Jane Ames was there to help, and the women couldn't get Joy to cry and breathe right. In order to help Joy, they would put her in a big pan of hot water and then in a pan of cold water trying to shock her system into breathing correctly. Finally, Mary Elizabeth handed her to Jane and said, "You take the baby and do the best you can. Iva has waited long enough and if I don't take care of her, we might lose the mother and baby!" Thankfully, both Iva and Joy lived long after.

In the evenings, when George was out assessing the sheep, Iva would rock the children, sing them songs, and tell such good stories. Mildred, being the oldest, was often a big help to Iva with the children.

In the summer of 1924, Iva had her fifth child, Dean. That same summer, the family moved to Black Rock, Utah. It was hard for Iva to leave her home in Meadow, but she did so that she could be with her husband.

They lived in a frame house, with no indoor plumbing. It was drafty, and when the wind blew (and it often did), the sand and dirt would sift inside. Iva was a very neat housekeeper and all this dirt grieved her tremendously. To see the sand constantly in her window sills and the floor was a trial. Iva was also lonesome in Black Rock, though she was much happier when the Adams family moved there.

The next summer George moved the family back to Meadow and to the "old place" as they lovingly called it. While they had lived in Black Rock, someone had broken in and stole Iva's diamond ring! She hadn't been wearing it, as her hands were swollen. The thief also took some of her cherished keepsakes, which grieved her very much.

Iva always bottled many quarts of fresh fruit and bottles of jam and preserves. She had a big kitchen, but with all the washing she had to do, it got plenty warm in the summer. She would put the big boiler on the stove full of hot water. She would scrub the white clothes and then put them in the boiler, scrub them again, and rinse before they were hung on the line. In the summer, Iva would clean the screened summer porch real good. George would put rollers under the stove, disconnect the stove pipe and put a cap over the hole. Then he and Iva would roll the stove out on the porch. George would connect the stove pipe to the chimney on the porch. Out would go the table and oh, what a treat that was; so much cooler! The screens had canvas blinds that could be rolled down when the sun was too hot, or the wind was blowing too hard. Then when autumn came, and it got too cold to cook and eat on the porch, back would go the table and stove.

George built another room for the house. It was big enough for two double beds. One was for the three boys, and one was for the two girls. Iva was so happy to have this extra room.

Later, George piped water into the house. They put a bucket and wash basin on the shelf of the cabinet, just inside the south wall and they all were so happy! This made life much easier for Iva, as she no longer needed to go outside after the many buckets of water to fill the reservoir on the stove, tea kettle, or to drink.

In the fall of 1927, Iva and her husband George, and several other couples from Meadow, went to the Manti Temple to do endowment work. It was hard to get there so they stayed several days. They would rent rooms from people living near the temple. One night they were all sitting in one big room after supper, laughing and talking. Iva and others were sitting on a spring couch and it tipped over and Iva fell, hitting her tail bone. Iva was pregnant with George Jr (June), and with the persuasion of Mary Elizabeth, Iva was going to have this baby delivered by a doctor (due to her injury). When the time came in Feb, however, the doctor was gone and Mary Elizabeth delivered this grandson anyway. Mary Elizabeth was a little nervous, but Iva got along just fine without any problems.

When Howard and Mary (Iva's in-laws) moved to Oasis, they convinced George to move his family into their old home. Iva didn't want to, as she knew that if she did she would never get her dream home that George had promised to build her. Iva never stuck up for what she wanted, and she never opposed George.

After the move, Iva had her big garden as usual. George would plow it, and help plant it. Iva and the children would care for it after that. She loved her flowers so much. After supper, in the summertime, if there was any daylight left, you would generally find her out in the garden. She would be picking raspberries, weeding the big old garden, or getting the weeds out of her flowers. Just a little help from one of the boys and you would think they had done something so special!

Iva was such a good cook. She never considered herself one, but all her family thought so. She used to make the best scones and omelets. She made her own delicious bread. Iva baked every other day, eight big loafs, and oh! What aroma, better than any perfume! If the children got there, and they usually did, just as it came out of the oven, Iva would cut the round loaf (or cob, as they called it) into delicious slices . When she made cakes, or in the fall when she made jam, she would let the children scrape the pans. Sunday mornings she would get up early and make a big pan of cocoa, using milk. It was so good! After, she would get the kids off to Sunday school.

Iva and George loved to dance. Meadow had a good orchestra and they would have quite a few dances and people would come from surrounding towns to them. One of their highlights in the summer, was when some people built a hall and swimming pool resort down west of Hatton, called Winnakah, and they and other couples from the area would go attend the dances.

The Great Depression began in in 1929. Times were tough and Iva saved every way she could. Still though, the family would always find ways of having fun.

March 25, 1934, another son was born. Van was born on a Sunday morning, with the help of Dr. Freeman and Mary Elizabeth. He was a beautiful fellow with fine light colored hair.

Mildred, the oldest child, graduated in May of 1934. She had an opportunity for a job in Ogden, Utah, doing housework. Iva needed her, but the Great Depression was on, and they didn't have much money. There were no jobs in the area for young people, so the oldest child left the nest.

At this time, Joy, would often read to Iva while she burned the midnight oil (so to speak), patching worn knees in blue jeans, darned holes in boys socks, or stitching garments. Sometimes they would read the Book of Mormon, but more often than not, it was a novel from the high school library that Joy had to read and write a book report on.

Iva became pregnant during these hard financial times, and it was a difficult pregnancy. Her feet would swell so much that she had to wear George's house slippers. Even though she was pregnant, she still made her son, Elmo, and his wife, Iris, a wedding cake. It was a three layered round cake, with chocolate frosting, and served with freshly picked raspberries from her garden.

On October 30th, 1939, little Charles was born. Dr. Freeman and Mary Elizabeth delivered him. He was a special little fellow and was only permitted to stay with the family a day. Howard "Charles" Bushnell died October 31st, 1939. This was a real trial for Iva as she missed him so much. She couldn't go to the cemetery, and this really hurt her.

It was getting to be the end of the Great Depression, and America had joined in the war, of World War II, with the attack on Pearl Harbor. In 1942 Iva, George, and their family moved to Ogden, then to Sunset. It was three years after moving to northern Utah, World War II came to an end.

George eventually had a home built at 1741 N Main, right next door to their oldest daughter Mildred and husband Glen. Her dream had finally come true! It didn't take long before Iva had her lawns in, and her flowers, fruit trees, and garden. This was really her home again; yes, and George helped.

Being next door to her daughter, Mildred, Iva became real close to her grandchildren. Georgia said, "Grandma used to save the rain water, in a big tub and then she would wash her hair in the rain water. We didn't have a back yard, a lawn, but they did and would always let us play there. It was kind of fun having them next door.

"I didn't have a lot of friends, so I would go over and hang out with them a lot. Then at night time, I would be in my room pretending. We didn't have a blind or curtain, so they could look right in and see me from the kitchen window. I guess I was their entertainment for nights, for a long time when I was growing up, when I was little. I remember they would tell my mom things, and when I finally realized that then I stopped. I used to go in my room, and I had mirror on my dresser, so I would twirl and I would play dress up, and pretend I was dancing and a ballerina, and they would be watching me and I didn't know! Now I think about it and I'm glad. When I did get older, then my dad bought a blind.

"The houses were so close together, and they didn't have air conditioners or anything, so in the summer, when it was hot, they would open their kitchen window and my mom could talk to them from the side porch and they would just talk. She (Iva) was best friends with my mom, they did everything together."

Iva loved ice cream and playing rummy and panjandrum, as George did. Because of this, the family enjoyed the treats, rides, and games in their home as a family. The family home evening policy was started in their home long before the LDS church came out with it and made it official. Iva made the home a place where the children ALWAYS wanted to be.

In 1946, when Dean (Iva and George's son) married his beloved wife, Stella, George was not happy. Stella was older, and a Presbyterian. Iva had a different approach though, and said, "Son, if Stella is the one you've chosen as your life's companion, and you truly love each other, then that's the way it should be and you have my blessing. I only want you both to be happy." That is the way she was, always loving. Later, George did apologize for his behavior.

Iva and George always attended the LDS church and did all they could to help serve our Father in Heaven. She always worked in the church when she could, health permitting. Iva did each job faithfully, even going to primary when she wasn't very well, but she had a job to do and she did it. Dependability was surely her motto.

George said, "She is and always has been an inspiration to me. Always a wonderful wife and mother. She has always made our home attractive for us and also our friends and our children's friends and playmates. They have always been welcomed. Never a time when they have been turned away; when our children were hungry, they were fed also. She always encouraged our family to read good books, and we have always had musical instruments, whereby we could enjoy music. Often we would gather around the organ or piano in the evenings and all sing." George loved her deeply and always called her "Doll".

Iva's husband, George, died just after Christmas in 1962. She was very lonely and nervous without him, so her granddaughter, Georgia Porter, would go over in the evenings and spend the nights with her.

From Georgia's recollections, "My grandpa, George Bushnell, died when I was eleven. Of course they lived right next door to us and Grandma was such a sweet, little, grandma but she would get scared at night. She was all alone in the house so she needed somebody to stay with her so I would go over there every single night and stay with her. I think there were only one or two nights I didn't in two years.

"At first I was staying in her bed with her and then she told my mom that I rolled all around and kept waking her up, so she asked if I could sleep in the room next; it was a two bedroom house. So I slept over there. I feel bad that sometimes I came over a little bit too late, but, gosh I was eleven, twelve. I would go over 9:30, 10 o'clock, but she would always be sitting there in her little chair, in the living room with the light on, crocheting. She would always wait for me to come over, and then we would talk a little bit. She would make thee best rice pudding custard I have ever tasted, and I can't duplicate it, I can not duplicate it, I don't know how she did it. But she would have it in the fridge waiting for me and so then she would give some to me in the little, red bowl that I have, and she would give me some and I would eat and she would talk with me and then we'd go to bed.

"I have to tell you about her birds. She loved parakeets and canaries. She had these two parakeets in her kitchen and she had names for them. Before that she had canaries that would sing and sing and sing, but she felt so bad when they died so she got parakeets. She wasn't quite attached to the parakeets as she was to the canaries. They would chirp at her and she loved it. That was a ritual every night, she would cover them and take them to the storage room and shut the door. Then in the morning she would bring them out and uncover them and they would be all awake, and they just gave her a lot of company. She loved those birds.

"Another thing she loved was plants, so when you'd go in her bedroom by the window there was just all kinds of violets, ferns, and begonias. A lot of them she would re-pot and bring them in for the winter. She had lovely flowers. At one point she and grandpa had a rock garden and they loved their flowers.

"My mom (Mildred) and my grandma (Iva) loved Irises. Every single Memorial Day, we would go to the cemeteries. It would always be warm. We would take those irises and take wet napkins and rap them, and take them to the cemeteries. Usually the one in Morgan, but sometimes Meadow. That's were grandma's people are buried.

"She was so small and she had Scoliosis and so she was kind of bent over a little bit, her spine was crooked. One time I hugged her in the hall. She said, "Georgia you will never know how much this means to me, that you come over and you stay with your old grandma. Some day you'll grow up, and you'll get married, and some day I will be gone and I want you to always remember how you stayed with me and how much your grandma loved you. And I want you to be able to tell your children about staying with your grandma. I just looked up at her with my child-like eyes and thoughts and said, "Oh Grandma, you'll always be around. You'll never go, I love you so much you'll never go." Little did I know, a little over a year from then she was gone. I just have the best memories. I think that when I'm gone, that she'll be one of them to greet me. She was such a dear, dear soul."

Iva was a chorister in the primary. She was the historian for the primary until her death. She loved the children. Iva was historian and teacher in the Sunset 2nd ward at the time of her death. She also taught in the Relief Society and was a visiting teacher.

Iva Bell Swallow Bushnell passed away October 1st, 1964, at the Dee Hospital in Ogden, Utah, with a tumor behind her heart. She had just had her 70th birthday August 6th.

*Most of this biography is written by Iva's daughter, Mildred. While still living, Mildred had asked her siblings to write their memories of their mother. I have added those memories to this biography, as well as information from public records (such as census), I also spoke with Iva‘s granddaughter, Georgia, in 2010, and was able to record her recollections and add them to this biography. I am Mildred's granddaughter, Meliah, and am so thankful my grandmother took the time to write about her mother and collect memories from her siblings, and I am thankful to my aunt Georgia for sharing her memories.

Provided by Meliah Crow
Family links: 
  Charles Swallow (1865 - 1957)
  Isabella D Dearden Swallow (1873 - 1949)
  George Labrum Bushnell (1892 - 1962)*
  Mildred Hope Bushnell Porter (1916 - 1999)*
  Faryl George Bushnell (1921 - 1960)*
  George Junior Bushnell (1928 - 2005)*
  Charles Bushnell (1939 - 1939)*
  Thomas Charles Swallow (1892 - 1980)*
  Iva Bell Swallow Bushnell (1894 - 1964)
  Laura Swallow Beckstrand (1896 - 2000)*
  Noreen Swallow Labrum (1901 - 2000)*
  Norma Swallow Reid (1906 - 1969)*
  Donald Dearden Swallow (1908 - 1997)*
  Nola May Swallow Killam (1912 - 1992)*
  Theron D Swallow (1914 - 2003)*
*Calculated relationship
Meadow Cemetery
Millard County
Utah, USA
Plot: B6233
Created by: Bonnie Huish
Record added: Feb 10, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 65475454
Iva Bell <i>Swallow</i> Bushnell
Added by: Bonnie Huish
Iva Bell <i>Swallow</i> Bushnell
Added by: Teddi Kella-Fuller
Iva Bell <i>Swallow</i> Bushnell
Added by: Terry Jenson
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I enjoyed reading your bio. I have Swallow in my direct line. Maybe we are even related. RIP
- Teddi Kella-Fuller
 Added: Feb. 7, 2014

- alwaysmeliah
 Added: Jun. 16, 2011

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