|May Elizabeth Bloomfield Nicoll|
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|Birth: ||Jul. 8, 1904|
|Death: ||Mar. 9, 1993|
Life history of May Elizabeth Bloomfield
by May Elizabeth Bloomfield Gifford-Nicoll
MAY ELIZABETH BLOOMFIELD GIFFORD NICOLL
The following is a copy of a letter written by May Nicoll in response to a request for a life history by her daughter Beth.
Nov. 12, 1978
Here is a short account of my 74 years. I started writing it today at 12 noon and just finished at 2:45. I hope you can decipher it. My head, eyes and brain are too tired or I'd burn the account so I'll put it in an envelope and send it to you.
I've waited so long to get my own family history written, I sincerely hope I can go back in time and bring it up to date.
I was born July 8, 1904, in Hop Valley, Old Mexico, to Olive Parentha Gale and Joseph William Bloomfield. This place was settled by my father, and his two sisters. They had gone there because of polygamy. This was a small farming community.
We moved frequently over the mountain in Old Mexico as Father became employed by the Mexican government to build a railroad from Pearson and Dublan over the mountains. At one time we were on the mountain side and we could see the railroad in the valley near Dublan and Pearson.
Here we became acquainted with Poncho Villa, who came quite often to check on the natives living near our house.
While playing in the yard near our house, I found a sum of money wrapped in and old cloth. Father kept the money and showed it to Poncho Villa when he came next to visit. Poncho Villa told Father to tell all his relatives living at Hop Valley to leave Mexico as there was going to be a big revolution. This was the latter part of 1911. He told him to keep the money and use it to leave Mexico. Fathers relatives did not want to leave.
We gathered up what bedding, food and clothing we could and left. I don't remember whether Father went with us. He must have though. On the train leaving Pearson. When we got near El Paso, Texas, the train was held up by some of the revolutionaries. They were looking for Poncho Villa or some of his men. These men took the engine, the baggage car, and one of the passenger cars and went back to Mexico.
Some of the American men on the train took a hand car and headed for El Paso and sent back another engine.
On the train after we left El Paso, a news boy came through the car selling papers which declared the train had been held up in Mexico and all had been killed. Mother stood up and us five children stood up and showed the people we were very much alive. Not a shot had been fired. As near as I can remember we went to Franklin, Ariz. where Mother's parents lived.
Lordsburg, New Mexico, was our next residence for a while. My brother Rex was born there June 7, 1912. We had a birthday party all planned for June 9 for my sister Norene. We just couldn't see why that "nasty little boy" had to be born just then.
Father worked in the copper mines near Lordsburg. My Mother's brother Ruben had gotten Father a job there.
From Lordsburg we moved to Clifton, Arizona where another brother of Mother's got a job for Father in the smelters.
We were privileged to go to Sunday School which Father and a few other members organized and held in a school room.
The mine closed after the World War I or II. The next move was to Thatcher, Arizona where one of Mother's sisters lived. Sarah Mortensen.
We must have spent more time in Clifton than any other place because I was now ready for high school. My sister and I attended Gila Academy here working as janitors in the Gila Valley Bank for our tuition. There was very little employment for Father here. He worked on many jobs. Mother did quite a bit of home nursing. Norene and I did housework and babysitting to help out with finances.
Father had now gotten in contact with one of his brothers who lived in Toadlena, New Mexico. A big school was being built for the Navajos and a carpenter was needed. Move again and on to the Navajo reservation. No school. No church.
Father took me and went to visit his sister at Fort Wingate. I stayed there that summer and helped her in her boarding house. (The sister was one of those who was living at Hop Valley when we left Mexico.) When school was to begin in September I went to Toadlena. My parents decided Norene and I needed to finish high school. We were sent to Kirtland, New Mexico, to go to high school. We went. I stayed with Lena Biggs, Father's sister and Norene stayed with Alex Bloomfield, Father's brother.
What a change from Gila Academy. Two high school teachers for all four high school classes. We stayed with these relatives until October then we rented a room from Uncle Alex and set up housekeeping for ourselves. When we went home for Christmas we convinced our parents the school was no good and stayed home with them.
Uncle George and Aunt Lucy, with Mother and Father's help, organized a Sunday School. We studied the Book of Mormon. Father and Uncle George were the teachers and made the lessons very interesting. Aunt Lucy and Mother took care of the music.
To fill our time during the week I helped Uncle George and my cousin Fern in the trading post. Norene helped Clara Bloomfield, Uncle Dick Bloomfield's girl, in the kitchen at the Navajo school. Nellie Bloomfield, another of Uncle Dick's girls, was the teacher for the anglos - my younger sister Sara, my three brothers, John, Rex and Milan, Uncle George's children, four in number, and the three Brink children.
Uncle Alex from Kirtland came into the scene about now. He convinced my parents we would have better opportunities for school and church at Kirtland. Father would be able to find work at Shiprock so we moved to Kirtland.
Norene had had enough of Kirtland and went to Ramah with Nellie. She got into teaching, married Claire Hassell, and didn't return.
Mother was gone quite a bit about this time to be with Father. I was "selected" as mother and father for my younger sister and brothers after I finished high school here.
Work played out at Shiprock and Father came home to Kirtland to help build on the church here and do whatever he could find to do. The whole country was in a depression after World War I.
After finishing high school at Kirtland I decided to go to Summer School at Las Vegas, New Mexico and get a certificate to teach school. Away I go to Summer School and away Father and the others go to Fort Wingate to help build another school.
Now another move, back to Kirtland for my family. I go to Foster Canyon to teach school. Here I met Allen Gifford, Sr. We were married at Las Lunas, New Mexico April 13, 1927. He and his brothers were working for Breese Lumber Co. in the Zuni Mountains.
If I thought I had lived in many places prior to 1927, here was move after move wherever loggers were needed in the Zuni's.
Between moves I went to my parents twice where two of my children were born. Willia May and Vergie Olive.
Back to Foster Canyon after Vergie was born. New job with Alex Gifford at Tererro, New Mexico, in the mountains north of Santa Fe. I was too pregnant with my third child Beth so I was left with my sister Norene at Bluewater. After Beth was born, Norene took me to live with her at San Mateo, New Mexico.
Al came to get his four girls in October. Beth was born August 6, 1932. On to Tererro.
Al and his brother were employed in the woods and at the saw mill for a mining company. We spent our Sundays fishing in the Pecos River or just staying home and enjoying our girls.
Pregnant again and the doctor told us to get off the mountains so I could be near him and Al could be near the hospital for the treatment on his injured leg.
Al decided it was about time he got his mother to come live near us. She came after Thanksgiving 1933. It was a good thing she did because her son, my husband, was killed in a mine explosion February 22, 1934.
Where to go, what to do? My dear neighbors at Tererro suggested I go to my parents at Kirtland. My brothers John and Rex came to my rescue. After the funeral at Taos they moved me home with them.
Al was buried at Taos, New Mexico. This I did because dear Mother Gifford wanted it. Anything to please this very dear Mother.
Back to Kirtland. I lived with my parents until my father, my brothers and my neighbors could build me a house. My son Joseph Allen Gifford, Jr. was born in Kirtland July 31, 1934. I stayed there about four years, finished high school at Kirtland, which was now an accredited high school. After Christmas in 1938 I got a teaching position in Chaco Canyon where the University of New Mexico was in charge of excavating the ruins.
Here I taught all eight grades. Here we met many wonderful people. We had no car but my dear neighbors were always glad to have us go with them.
A new teaching position came up the next year at McGaffey, New Mexico. Mother Gifford and her son Alex and family were near there. Mother Gifford came to live with me. She was so much help to me as was Alex. My children loved him and his wife Cora as much as any children could love a mother and father.
New position at Ramah. Here I taught the first, second and third grades until Vergie and Beth had finished the eighth grade and Willia was already in high school. Opportunity came to go back to Kirtland where I felt my children would have a better chance in an accredited school.
My position was terminated and I went back to Bluewater, got a teaching position at the oil wells at Hospah Lease. No high school for my children. I sold my home at Kirtland, bought a car, left my children, Beth with a cousin in Gallup, Vergie and Allen with Norene in Bluewater. Willia had gone to Cody, Wyoming to be with my brothers Rex and Milan. I began teaching at Hospah.
During the summer I would leave my children with my parents at Kirtland or with Mother Gifford near McGaffey while I went to school to qualify for a better teaching certificate.
My sister Norene talked me into leaving my children with her one winter to get more credit toward my degree. Vergie had married Cecil Rowley, Beth and Allen were the only ones left at home. I went to my last summer school leaving them alone and finally got my degree. If it hadn't been for the help of my parents and Norene and the help and cooperation of my dear children I'd never made it through.
Allen developed rheumatic fever. I had to leave Ramah, moved back to Bluewater and left Allen and Beth to go to school again. Then back to Ramah with Allen in bed. Beth married Don Chapman. I finished that year at Ramah and moved back to Bluewater, started teaching in Grants and stayed put, teaching in Grants and Bluewater.
Allen was eighteen and wanted to go into the service. Beth came to live with me. I met and married Arza Hamblin Nicoll August 23, 1952. I took him and his son as my new family. I continued with my teaching at Bluewater.
The uranium boom came along and we tore up our lot and put in a laundry and trailer court. Arza would take care of the business while I was in the class room. We had times of good and bad as in most marriages.
My children were all married and had come back to Bluewater off and on to be near Mother. God bless them for their love of me.
Beth moved to Modesto, California. I tried to visit her once a year. One summer when I went out there, Arza was training a horse, and the horse fell and rolled over him. Arza was hurt more than we thought. We had torn out our trailer court and he had built a horse corral and went in for training horses which he was very good at.
From that time on he complained of his head hurting him. We couldn't find any doctor who would check his head. He kept getting worse. He was ever considerate of me even though he was hurting. He stopped riding his horses and always said his head hurt. He began to act strange and slept most of the time. On December 29, 1974, after I had gone to Sunday School, he accidently shot himself.
Thanks to my dear friends in Bluewater and my children, I was able to finish that year of school. In the spring I retired after 40 years of teaching and started running my small business, the business and teaching were too much for me. Another boom came along, people needed places to park trailers. I had the horse corral torn down and put in the trailer court again.
As of this day, November 12, 1978, I'm in good health. I wouldn't need to have this business because I have enough from my Social Security and teachers retirement to live on with ease, but who wants to just set around?
I have five lovely and outstanding children: Ellen, Al's girl from his first marriage, Willia May, Vergie, Beth, and Allen, 20 lovely grandchildren, and 14 or so great-grandchildren. Willia and her husband Leon and their son Joseph will be here for Christmas again this year. Vergie and Allen are here and Beth is in Modesto, California.
The following is added by her daughter Beth Martin in 1993.
Over the past 10 years or so, the family have held a birthday party for Mom in Bluewater each year on or near her birthday in July. Afterwards, she would come with us to California and spend a week and we would send her home by plane. She really looked forward to this. All of her children that could and any other of her relatives that wanted came to her party. Her favorite food for this was always fried chicken, and she always wanted Vergie to do the chicken. And she liked Allen's wife Zella to make and decorate her cake. We held the party at her home as long as she was able to be there. Then later, after she was in the nursing home, she always wanted to go out to Bluewater and have her party on Allen's lawn. This we did until 1992, and that year she was just not able to do so.
In the fall of 1986, she had a mastectomy. She had had a lump removed the year before, and was told that it was not cancerous, but the lump that was found in 1986 was in the same place and was cancer. While she was on the operating table, the doctors discovered another lump in the other breast, which they diagnosed as cancer also, and she had another mastectomy two and a half weeks later. We wondered how the second lump was missed on the pre-op exams, but who can say?
She had several small strokes that just seemed to make her confused for a few hours, and didn't seem to leave any other lasting damage. Then in January of 1987, she had a stroke early in the morning as she was getting out of bed and fell to the floor, landing with a leg under her. It had been very cold the night before, getting down to about 6̊, and she had turned her heat off to conserve energy. So the house was very cold. Cecil, her son-in-law found her about 10:30 that morning, and she was suffering from hypothermia, as well as the effects of the stroke. She had probably been on the floor for four hours or more. She then spent some time in the hospital, and later was transferred to a nursing home in Grants, as the doctors and family felt she could no longer live alone.
She spent several years in a nursing home in Grants and then the "powers that be" or in other words, Social Security and Medicare, decided that she was getting too much money to be eligible for the funds that had been granted to help her be able to stay in the nursing home.
Vergie and her husband Cecil, took the money Mom had coming in and rented her a small apartment in Grants, and completely put aside their lives to make Mom as comfortable as possible and take every care of her they could. She and Cecil spent every night and week ends with her, and had a woman come in during week days to help with her care. This gave them a chance to do her laundry and whatever else needed to be done for her and get caught up with their needs.
Mom passed away March 9, 1993 in Grants, New Mexico after a long illness. She had had several strokes, and had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease.
Her funeral was held in Grants and she was buried in Bluewater on March 13, 1993. Her son, Allen Gifford spoke at her funeral, as did a long time family friend, Clifford Young. Her son-in-law John Martin and granddaughter LaDonna Wagoner sang together at her funeral. Donald Chapman dedicated the grave. The casket was made by Clifford Young, and had been arranged between her and Clifford some years before. Her four children and all but three of her grandchildren, and her two stepchildren, were at the funeral.
May Elizabeth Bloomfield
The following is a history that was written by Rinda Roundy Bell and was read at a special celebration for May Bloomfield (Nicoll) called "May Day". The celebration was similar to "This is your life" and was held in May of 1988. The history was read by T.J. McNiell, who was her Stake President at that time. He acted as a Master Of Ceremony at the party.
On the third of June 1894, Joseph William Bloomfield and Olive Parintha Gale started a new family unit in Thatcher, Arizona. They were excited about their future for they had already overcame one obstacle to be together. Joseph and Olive met in Mexico where they lived with their parents. A short time later, after they met, Olive and her parents moved to Arizona. It was hard for young couple to be apart so as soon as he could, Joseph went to find his sweetheart.
While they lived in Thatcher a beautiful baby boy by the name of Joseph Ralph came to live with them on the 24th of April, 1895 and their house was full of joy, but soon this joy turned to sadness because on the 10th of October, 1895, Joseph Ralph left their home and went back to live with Heavenly Father.
In the fall of 1896, Joseph and Olive received the call to go back to Mexico and help with the colonies that were established there. They moved to Mexico during this time and began working on the railroad that was being built from El Paso, Texas to the Sonora Settlements. Life was hard and they faced many challenges but they believed that they were doing what was right for them.
January 21st, 1900 became a special day in their lives for that was the day that President Anthony W. Ivans came from Salt Lake City and sealed them for time and all eternity.
After this sealing Joseph sent his sweetheart to visit her parents, to rest, and to have a baby. On June 9, 1900, Olive Norene was born. Joseph was thrilled over his new daughter and came and moved his family back to Mexico. This time they settled in Colonia Hernandez. On June 29, 1903, James William was born and life was good for the Bloomfield family. Both parents wanted a large family so when they found that Olive was expecting again so soon after Willy was born they were thrilled. May Elizabeth joined their family on July 8, 1904. She was a beautiful baby and both parents took a lot of pride in her. Her brother Willy was fascinated by this new baby that had come to live with them.
May was 4 years old when her brother John Leo came into their family. Olive loved children and was excited to be a mother, even though at times it was a challenge. She wanted her children to be well educated and this desire she passed on to May.
In 1910 the family moved to Dublan, Mexico, May was 6 years old at this time and was full of energy and curiosity, she was quite a handful for her parents so they assigned Norene to keep up with May. On the 25th of July 1910 May had a sister born by the name of Sara Vergie whom she just adored. That December just before Christmas, Olive took her children and boarded a train for the United States. She was taking her children to visit with her parents in Arizona. May was really excited about this trip because she had seen the trains when they came into the railroad camps but she had never traveled on one so this was going to be a real adventure for her. Olive kept her children entertained by having them identify different things on the train and on the countryside. When they stopped to fill up with water, Pancho Villa and his men surrounded the train. Every window on both sides of the train had a man pointing a gun in it. Mexico was having a revolution at this time and Pancho Villa stopped the train to see if there were any Army men on it. After they had checked the train over and found that is only carried passengers from the Sonora Settlements on it, he apologized and had them all gather into one car and then took the engine and the empty car and left.
May was not afraid of Pancho Villa because she had seen him many times before at the railroad camps when he came to check on the men there. Several of the men from the train took a hand car and used it to go to El Paso to get help. The passengers all arrived in El Paso sometime after midnight and all were glad to go to the hotel and go to bed, it was a very tiring experience. The next morning the newspaper had reported that several had been killed and wounded in the holdup, but in reality not one shot had been fired.
It was the Spring of 1911 before Olive and the children could return to Mexico and be with Joseph. What a reunion they had for they had been separated many months. The next year was one of uncertainty for the family for there were many rumors that they would have to leave Mexico very shortly or get caught in the Revolution. Joseph moved his family to a railroad camp outside of Pearson and in April of 1912, Pancho Villa visited the camp again but this time he told Joseph to take his family out of Mexico before it was too late. Joseph replied that he did not have the money to leave as he had not been paid for several months. It was the custom there to pay the Mexicans first so that they would not join the army. Pancho Villa told him to do the best that he could but to get out soon.
May was playing outside the next morning and found some old cloths and inside she found 50 american dollars, Excitedly she ran to show her father. Joseph being an honest man set about to find the owner of the $50. His boss Mr. Tenney told him to keep the money as it would only cause trouble if the Mexicans knew anything about it. Still Joseph felt he should try to find its owner so he asked Pancho Villa if it was his - Pancho told him to keep the money and to get his family to safety and this is what he did. This incident really impressed May and she always wanted to be honest as her father in all that she did.
Joseph moved his family to Lordsburg, N.M. taking only the cloths on their backs and a few quilts. In Lordsburg May's family settled near her Uncle John's place. The family began to plan a birthday party for Norene and the children were really excited, in fact they were counting the days until the 9th of June, however, on the 7th of June, Rex Gale was born so that all the plans for the party had to be canceled. May and the older children were very disappointed and for awhile they refused to forgive Rex for ruining that birthday party. As soon as Olive had recovered from giving birth to Rex, Joseph moved his family to Clifton, Arizona as work was plentiful there.
On July 14, 1914, George Milan joined their family. May and her family lived many years in Clifton in a large tent that had a wooden floor and wooden sides. At first times were really hard for this family but the children looked on this as an adventure and as children do, found fun and excitement in all that they did.
It was in Clifton that the family grew close together. May's parents helped to organize a Sunday School so that the children in the area would be taught the gospel. May's father taught them about the Book of Mormon and had the children so enthralled in the stories that they couldn't wait until they met again so that they could hear some more. It was at this time that May developed a real desire to be a teacher, one just like her father.
May's family met every morning and every night for family prayer and this proved to be a great way for her parents to teach her about faith and prayer. For Family Home Evenings the family gathered around the table in the evening and played games. Some of May's favorites were Old Maid, Pit and Dominoes. Olive loved music and would often gather her children around and sing and play the guitar for them. She could make her guitar sound just like a Hawaiian Ukulele and make up funny songs that sent her children into gales of laughter. Some of the families favorite songs were: Love at Home, Secret Prayer and O My Father.
School was a fun time for May. She loved school and love to play the games the children played. One day several of them were playing tag when Rex fell and broke his left arm and May helped him to learn to write right-handed. May and her brothers and sisters loved to go into the hills around Clifton and look for arrow heads but their very favorite thing to do was play Hide-N-Seek, Run Sheep Run, and Kick the can. May was very athletic and her team generally won. She was known for being able to move really quick and was very accurate when she threw something, talents she kept even when she was older.
May's family then moved to Thatcher, Arizona where she attended Gila Academy. It was during this time that May became acquainted with President Spencer W. Kimball. In fact she worked with him cleaning the bank that the Kimball's owned. They swept the floors and empty the wastebaskets and the next morning before the bank opened they would dust the furniture and sweep the sidewalks. In her spare time May and Spencer played in the Kimball orchards. In addition to cleaning the bank, May and her sister Norene, earned 25 cents an hour babysitting. It wasn't long before Joseph heard from his brother George that an Indian School was being built in Toadlena. N.M. So Joseph moved his family to New Mexico. It was hard on the family because there was no school here or even a church. May went to visit her father's sister in Fort Wingate and stayed there that summer and helped her with her boarding house. When school began that September, May's father came and took her back to Toadlena. Her parents decided that Norene and May needed to finish their education so they sent them to Kirtland to go to school. Norene stayed with her Aunt Lena and May stayed with her Uncle Alex. In October the girls made arrangements to room together at their Uncle Alex's and really enjoyed being together. When they went home for Christmas the girls convinced their parents that school wasn't any good and that they should stay at home. A decision that May later regretted.
On May 16, 1920 the family received word that Willy had passed away in Arizona. The one thing that May remembered about Willy was his great love for gardening and flowers.
While at Toadlena, in order to fill her time during the week May helped her Uncle George in his trading post. In 1922 her Uncle Alex came and convinced her parents that the children would be better off if they moved back to Kirtland so that they could attend school, so the family moved to Kirtland. Her father was gone quite a bit during this time looking for work and Olive accompanied him whenever possible and they left May in charge of the children when everyone was home from school.
After finishing high school at Kirtland, May decided to go to Summer School at Las Vegas, N.M. and get a certificate so that she could teach. After May received this certificate she went to Foster Canyon to teach school.
While there May met a young man that won her heart. He worked for the Breese Lumber Co. that was logging in the Zuni Mountains. His name was Allen Gifford and on the 13th of April they married. May said she thought that she had moved a lot when she was a child but now they moved every time the job changed. When she became pregnant with Willia May she went to Kirtland to be with her parents. Willia was born on the 19th of September 1929. A year later she went to her parents again and on the 8th of November 1930, Vergie Olive was born.
After Vergie was born May and the girls went back to Foster Canyon. After awhile a new job came and Allen moved his family to Tererro just north of Santa Fe to work in the mountains there. May did not go with him because she was expecting her third child. Beth Iola was born on the 6th of August, 1932 at Bluewater, N.M. where May was staying with her sister Norene.
In October Allen came and collected his girls and took them home with him. What a happy time this was for May and her girls, when Allen did not have to work they would spend time playing with the girls - going on picnics - fishing and just being together. May was expecting again and Allen injured his leg in a logging accident so the doctor recommended that they move off the mountain to be nearer to him. Allen decided at this time to get his mother to move in with them and help May. For this decision May was deeply grateful because she did need some help but even more than that she loved Allen's mother.
Mother Gifford moved in just after Thanksgiving and things were going great when a tragedy struck their home on the 22nd of February 1934. Allen Gifford had been killed in a mining explosion. May was heartbroken over this turn of events, she did not know what to do or even where to go. They buried Allen in Taos at the request of his mother. May would have done anything for Mother Gifford because of the great help she was at this time. May's brothers Rex and John came and moved May's family back to their home. As the time drew near for May's baby to be born, her father and brothers and neighbors got together and built May a house to live in. On the 30th of July 1934, Joseph Allen was born. May stayed in Kirtland for the next four years and finished high school which was now an accredited high school. After Christmas of 1938 May received a teaching position at Chaco Canyon where the University of New Mexico was excavating some ruins. She taught all eight grades. The next year she taught at McGaffey.
This was a special time for May because Mother Gifford came to live with her. She was so much help and the children loved her so. A new position was given May the next year at Ramah. May taught 1st, 2nd and 3rd grades there. May stayed in Ramah until Vergie and Beth finished the 8th grade there, Willia was already in high school. An opportunity came for May to teach in Kirtland so May packed up her family again and moved there. Her position was terminated so she moved back to Bluewater. She secured a teaching position at Hospah but there was not a high school there so she left her children and went to teach. Willia had gone to Cody, Wyoming with her brothers Rex and Milan. Beth was with a cousin in Gallup and Vergie and Allen stayed with Norene in Bluewater. During the summers, May would leave her children with her parents or Mother Gifford in McGaffey and go to school so that she could earn a better teaching certificate. Of this time May has said, "If wasn't for the help of my parents and Norene and the help of my dear children I would have never made it through and got my degree. God bless them all."
May graduated from the New Mexico Highland University at Las Vegas, New Mexico on Thursday the 16th of August 1951, with a bachelor degree.
May's children began to leave home during the next few years. Willia married Leon Garrison. Vergie married Cecil Rowley. Beth married Don Chapman, they later divorced. She then married John Martin. Allen was 18 and wanted to go into the service. He later married Zella Hitchcock. May has 22 grandchildren, 37 great-grandchildren, and 1 great great-grandchild. She also has a step-son and a step-daughter.
May began teaching at Grants and Bluewater. During this time May met and married Arza Hamblin Nicoll on the 23rd of August 1952. May continued teaching at Bluewater school and Nick took care of their trailer park. There were good times and bad times as there is in every marriage. One of the highlights during this time was when May's children all moved to Bluewater, she enjoyed her children very much.
May went to visit Beth who had moved to Modesto, California one summer. While she was gone, Arza was training a horse when it fell and rolled on top of him. He was hurt more than anyone had thought at the time. He began to complain of a pain in his head and as time went on the pain got worse. He began to act strange and began to sleep a lot. The doctors could not find what was wrong with him. Finally on December 29, 1974 after May had gone to Sunday School, Arza accidentally shot himself and died. This was a really hard time for May, with the help of her children and her friends in Bluewater she made it through that year. May taught in the Grants Municipal School District for 23 years. She touched the lives of hundreds of children during her stay at Bluewater.
Here are some stories concerning this period of time:
When I got into Mrs. Nicholl's class I was really scared because I heard that she was a mean teacher but it didn't take me long to find out that she was a fair teacher and that she had a lot of compassion for her students and cared a great deal about them and wanted them to succeed in her class. One day several of the boys that were in the back of the room were talking and she asked them to be quiet. They quit for a little while and then started talking again. She asked them again to be quiet and went on writing on the blackboard when the boys started again. Before you could even blink an eye, she picked up that eraser and hit those boys with it. Boy, were they surprised, they didn't even see it coming. She made a believer out of all of us in her class that year.
One day Mrs. Nicoll took us into the gym and was trying to teach us how to climb a rope. We were really trying to climb that rope but our technique was all wrong. She tried to explain to us what we were doing wrong but we didn't understand. Finally she just grabbed that rope and up she went. When she came down she told us that if a 70 year old woman could to that we could too. And we did.
May taught school for over 40 years and it has been estimated that she taught 1100 students during this time. Of her it has been said that she was a great teacher of that I would like to change - She was a master teacher.
Joseph William Bloomfield (1869 - 1940)
Olive Parintha Gale Bloomfield (1876 - 1941)
Arza H Nicoll (1902 - 1974)
Joseph Allen Gifford (1901 - 1934)*
Willia May Gifford Garrison (1929 - 1994)*
Vergie Olive Gifford Rowley (1930 - 2002)*
Joseph Ralph Bloomfield (1895 - 1895)*
Olive Norene Bloomfield Hassell (1900 - 1992)*
James William Bloomfield (1903 - 1920)*
May Elizabeth Bloomfield Nicoll (1904 - 1993)
John Leo Bloomfield (1908 - 1963)*
Sara Vergie Bloomfield Hansen (1910 - 1954)*
Rex Gale Bloomfield (1912 - 1981)*
George Milan Bloomfield (1914 - 1979)*
Pioneer Memorial Park
New Mexico, USA
Maintained by: Stephen Johns
Originally Created by: Jerry Sandin
Record added: Dec 26, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 45805592
Added: Mar. 30, 2014
Added: Jan. 17, 2014
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