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 Wilhelmina <I>Walser</I> Bowman

Wilhelmina Walser Bowman

Birth
Payson, Utah County, Utah, USA
Death 16 Aug 1968 (aged 87)
Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah, USA
Burial Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah, USA
Plot N_50_12
Memorial ID 158509 · View Source
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Married Henry Erying Bowman, Colonia Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico, later divorced. Married Ephraim Westen
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AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF WILHELMINA WALSER BOWMAN
On the ninth of November 1880 a little girl with blue eyes and curly chestnut brown hair was born to John Jacob Walser and Annie Elizabeth Louisa Schaerrer in Payson, Utah. When Annie the ten year-old sister showed the three brothers their little sister, George, two years old, clapped his hands and said, “How quick the angels brought her.” I was the sixth child in a family often. When grown, I was 5 ft. 2 in. Tall, weighed 125 lbs., chest 36", waist 30", hips 40". My skin was very tender and required much care to prevent freckles. My teeth were good. Though not a strong girl, my health was generally good. Measles were the only child sickness I had. I have worn glasses since I was twenty years old, but should have had them much sooner. A sister and four boys preceded me and four girls and one boy followed me making in all eleven children born to my mother. She was a small but courageous little soul and a devoted wife and mother. One of my early recollections is walking with her up a shady path one block from our home to see her mother and then on one block farther to see my father’s mother, my grandmothers to me. I was blessed 6 January 1881 by Berry Wride and baptized 6 December 1888 by Joseph Robinson in Payson and confirmed by David Lunt. I had my first years of schooling in Payson, Utah and remember the beautiful icicles that formed on the mill race flue in the winter, near out school. It was a fairyland to me, cold but enchanting. At this time polygamy became a political problem in Utah and my father was one of the many who spent a term in the Salt Lake City penitentiary for six months, although he his period was receded due to good behavior. While there he spent much of his time planning what he should in the future. He was sure he would not spend another period in jail. He decided that he would leave his home and go to Mexico where he could take care of his family in peace, so when he was released he made arrangements to go to Mexico. When I was 8 years old Father went to Mexico with his second family. He took with him my mother’s eldest son, John, to drive one of the teams. It was exciting for the children and we were all sure it would not be long before Father would send for us. News of what was going on in the new home land kept us all full of visions of the future. Two years later, when I was 10, he sent for Mother and our family to join him. The only thing that worried me was that all the new people I was going to meet would have to get used to my red hair. Dear mother felt so sorry for me that she planted a great dislike for my red hair that it was my great sorrow. I never got over it until I was grown and just forgot it, and enjoyed life in spite of it. We went to Deming, New Mexico by train where Father was to meet us and take us verland by team to Colonia Juarez. Colonia Juarez was a progressive little town nestled between rolling hills with a river running through the valley. South and west of it ran the mighty Sierra Madre Mountains with their great forests of towering pines and hardwoods. Access to the forests was difficult but roads were built and saw mills hummed and lumber was available for building. It was a pioneer life well organized for every family that went there to make a home and build an ideal community. My father soon had a successful leather industry started which became a thriving business until the Madero Revolution in 1910. It was a new adventure but a very advantageous one for there were great opportunities economically, religiously and socially. My father was a leader in musical activities and soon had a good choir, orchestra, and later on a well organized band all working to make life interesting and progressive. Several families had already established homes there and a complete ward had been organized. It did not take long to adjust to the new environment. A church meetinghouse was erected which was used for church, school and recreational purposes. Within a few years the little valley was full of green fields and orchards with cattle roving over the hills of green pastures during the rainy seasons. As their numbers increased more land was cultivated, and the river increased in volume to meet the needs of the people. By the time I was 14 a high school was established so the young people could continue their education. At the time of the Madero Revolution, the school was known all over Mexico as the best High School in the country. At an early age, my father recognized I had considerable music talent, which he being a good musician promoted. I do not remember when I learned to read music, but I do remember father teaching children of the neighborhood music in the evening. He had a music staff drawn on the inner side of the lid on the flour bin. From that he taught rudiments of “solfeo” or sight reading of music. On these evenings, I would cuddle close to my mother and listen to the instructions given to the class. That was probably where I got my first lessons in music. When mother moved to Mexico she took her Esta organ with her and he started me playing on it. At 14 years I could play accompaniment for songs and at age 16 I was Sunday School and Church organist. When my oldest brother, Henry was killed in a saw mill accident I filled his place as organist for the Church Choir. I loved music so much that if I received a new selection I could stay home and practice it rather than go to a dance. I loved to dance, but I loved music more, and I played in the orchestra. Father and I often played clarinet and piano duets in programs. When I was 19, father sent me to Salt Lake City where I took music under John J. McClellan, then the Tabernacle Organist. He was my cousin and father started him on his musical career. He always said he hoped to return the favor. I was the one who received the returned favor. He gave me much more than piano training for all the time I was studying he guided me into the best musical entertainment in the city, also through him I was accepted into the Tabernacle Choir, and it was a must to be present at his organ recitals. He often said that one half of musical training was listening to good music. On my return to Colonia Juarez, Mexico, I taught piano and chorus in High School. On 27 November 1902 I became a plural wife to Henry Eyring Bowman, a successful business man and good member of the Church. My marriage had all three marks of failure: 1) too great a period of time between the first and second marriage, 2) too great a difference between their ages, and 3) lack of acceptance by the first wife and family. My husband was always very kind and considerate and I was as happy as possible under existing conditions. He was also a successful business man in the mercantile line. He had chain cooperative branches in all the Colonies and a large store in Colonia Dublan with many large warehouses to which the rail road would switch car loads of merchandise to keep supplies always on hand. He was also active in church and community affairs.

I was delivered of a stillborn on 4 December 1903. My first daughter, Maybelle, was born on 20 January 1905 and then my two sons were born: Henneth, 18 March 1908 and Maynard, 18 March 1911. We had financial security and a comfortable home, until the 1910 Madero Revolution made it necessary for all North Americans to leave Mexico in 1912. My husband’s business was completely ruined by fires and looters. I was left in full care of my four children much of the time. He provided as generously as possible for their maintenance, but it was a heavy load they had to carry, and I had little preparation for such a responsibility for he had always told me that I was to be the clinging ivy and he the sturdy oak, and was not to worry about finances, as that was his duty. Saving as much as possible he was forced to leave Mexico in 1912. My last child, Zerita, was born 2 weeks after arriving in El Paso, Texas. In September 1912, as soon as I could travel, my mother and two of my sisters, Laura and Eliza and I went to Payson, Utah. We lived in part of Uncle Jacob’s home for a year. Meanwhile, the war trouble was dwindling. Madero was killed and the country was in a state of waiting for a strongman to assume leadership. The Mormon colonists had already started to rehabilitate themselves and started over and built on what was left. Schools were opened and things were gradually shaping up for a better future. My mother received word from her husband that he was again located in Mexico and wanted her to be in El Paso as soon as possible. So we returned to El Paso in July 1913 and mother went into Mexico where she could be in her own dear home and I went to live on the Sholem farm where my husband and his older sons were farming the alfalfa farm on the Rio Grande near Las Cruces, New Mexico. It was a beautiful farm and the children were very happy with their freedom and the farm activities. We lived in what was once a beautiful building for orphans, but now was in a dilapidated condition. There were four rooms in good condition and my four children and I lived in them for 18 months. This place had 40 rooms with a large patio in the center, once cultivated in grand style. Father’s other family lived in a large building not many rods distant. Maybelle and Henneth went to school in Doña Anna close by. If family relations had been more pleasant, living there would not have been bad. The first year of the undertaking would determine whether the project would succeed. Everything was promising and the crops were good, labor was plentiful and there was sufficient equipment. Just when the first bumper crop of alfalfa was ready to harvest a week of rain set in. A few acres of alfalfa were cut but with a week of rain the ground became to wet to allow the heavy equipment to operate. After 10 days of daily rain, the crop was destroyed. That crop was to have made possible the 1st down payment. Of course there would be other crops and he stayed on the farm 2 years when my husband’s health began to break. By the end of the second year he realized it was a losing proposition. So things were settled and it wasn’t long until I was left alone with 4 children to care for. Joe and Laura Thygerson (my sister) came up to live and work on the farm. My mother came to be with Laura when their first baby came. It was wonderful for me to have my mother and sister there, but when they all left it was worse than before. My husband encouraged me and asked me to be patient for he was sure we could all go back to Mexico and be in own homes again. Spring came and leaves and trash were raked up and burned. Zerita and Maynard, too young to go to school were charmed with the fires and decided to clean the patio. It just happened that I was over at the other home sewing some shirts on the machine and they were left with the Mexican children and their mother who lived at the bottom of the patio. The greater part of the house was used for storing hay and other crops. The children gathered up trash and piled it in front of the large room filled with bailed hay. In no time the fire let into the hay and the whole half of the house became a roaring furnace. It was a terrible loss, but I always said that it brought me my freedom. I had tried many times before to get my husband to let me return to my father and mother, but he would never consider it. I wrote my father of the fire and asked if it would be OK to go back to him. He wrote back immediately, “Come home any time you wish, but do not come without your husband’s consent.” I saw hope ahead. I now had something to work for. Father had two families. He felt I couldn’t be by myself. So with what I had left I returned to Colonia Juarez. In three weeks we were on our way to Mexico and arrived there September 1915. I was asked to teach third grade. The three children were in school and Zerita was so happy to be with her grandmother and everything worked out well. The two boys had chores to do and Maybelle was quite a helpful girl in the home. They all felt they had a part in the new life and they adored their grandmother and she loved them. They were a little afraid of their grandfather, but that soon wore off. My husband sent me money regularly, so financially we had no worries. The children were happy and Colonia Juarez afforded them many opportunities for advancement and recreation. The river was the great attraction and they all learned how to swim well. The first year was difficult, but school responsibilities helped me adjust to my new life. As the year passed I planned to continue in teaching. Things worked out beautifully. With my savings increasing instead of decreasing I began to feel I could carry on. Father encouraged me to plan for better preparation for teaching. So I decided when Maybelle was ready for advanced training and all the children in school would be the time to make the venture. In 1919 Pancho Villa began operating on the northern border and when he raided Columbus, New Mexico, my husband insisted on my returning to the United States. We went to St. George, Utah and got an apartment near the Junior College. The children were well placed in their grades. I registered for a full normal course and in 1921 I received my Dixie Normal College diploma the same day that Maybelle graduated from High School. In 1922 we moved to Salt Lake City. I went to the University of Utah that summer, the next winter and the following summer. I had more credits than those required for graduation but lacked my exact science group requirements, so I did not get my diploma until 1937. Maybelle graduated from the L.D.S. Business College. In August of 1923 we returned to El Paso, Texas, where Maybelle got employment and the rest of us returned to Colonia Juarez where I was the principal for the public school for two years and then taught high school for several years. As the children advanced in years and education they left home. Henneth graduated from High School in 1927 and went back to his father where he attended Utah State at Logan, Utah for one year. The following year he went to Butte, Montana to work in the mines. While there he met Fern Grover. They were married 22 October 1928 and had three girls, Bonnie Nadine, Loa Jeanne, and Muriel. Things did not work out well and on 27 December 1938 they were divorced. Maynard and Zerita graduated from High School in 1929 and Maynard went back to Henneth where he stayed for one year and then returned to El Paso and joined the Air Force where he was sent to Randolph Aviation Field near San Antonio, Texas where he received 3 years of training. Zerita entered the nursing training school at the Masonic Hospital in El Paso. I married Ephraim Oscar Western, 14 August 1928, who died nearly four years later in June 1932. During these years I was principal of the Chuichupa public school and taught 5-6-8 grades for two years. While there my mother lived with Laura and Effie but returned to me when I went back to Colonia Juarez. While she was in El Paso she began to show ill health. Zerita came home to assist in caring for her. Two years later she died on 20 June 1932 and was buried in Colonia Juarez. In September 1932 Zerita went to Salt Lake City and entered the L. D. S. Hospital School of Nursing and graduated in 1925. After Ephraim’s death I went to Mexico City to visit my daughter Maybelle for three months. Mexico City is a beautiful city to relax and prepare for the next years of school in Colonia Juarez. When Maynard was honorably discharged he returned to Mexico and we worked together to improve the home and the orchard. Father came to live with us in 1934. In 1936 I had sabbatical leave so he stayed with John and Will in Dublan while I was gone. In 1936 I went to Brigham Young University in Provo and put my first quarter in chemistry, geography and geology which met my required units for graduation with a B. A. The rest of the year was given to advanced education and latest methods of teaching and in June 1937 I received my B. A. diploma in the School of Fine Arts and continued my High School teaching. Father came home and was with me only one month when he suddenly died without pain or struggle on 25 July 1937. We buried him beside mother. I was alone now for Maynard had gone to Bisbee to work the year before. In 1941 I went to Mexico City to visit with my daughter Maybelle. When I had been there four months I began to weary of idleness. One day while with Maybelle, she and I went window shopping downtown. An American lady came up to us and began talking to us. Her name was Mrs. Palm. She was looking for an English teacher for the 2nd grade in her private school. When she learned that I was an accredited teacher with credentials for teaching in Mexico, I was at once engaged to take the subjects taught in English in 1-2 grades and a native teacher took the Spanish subjects. It was a very interesting school year for it was located in one of the most beautiful parts of Mexico City. It was almost like being transferred to a fairy land. That was the first time I had taught the 1st and 2nd grades. In my former work I had taught all classes from 3rd grade to Seniors in High School, so that year completed all my elementary and high school without a break in chronological scale. In 1942 I went to Bisbee, Arizona to keep house for Maynard, but was with him only 3 months, when I received an emergency call to teach in an American School in Cananea, Sonora, Mexico. One of their teachers had died suddenly just at the close of school for Christmas Holidays and I filled the vacancy. After school closed I returned to Maynard and stayed with him until he was drafted into the armed services. After he was gone I returned to Cananea and taught one more year spending my Christmas Holiday with my sister Laura and family in El Paso, Texas. While there I received word Maynard had passed his examinations for officer training, but his ears prevented the promotion, so there was a chance he would be released for defense work. After the close of school, I went back to Colonia Juarez and sold my home to my nephew Floyd Walser for ten thousand pesos. By this time Maynard had received his discharge from the army. On 27 March 1943, Zerita broke her wrist and came to Cananea. Dr. Hoagland examined her arm and found that it had to be re-broken and reset. He gave her a perfect wrist. 16 April she returned to El Paso. I went to Mexico City and stayed with Maybelle and family from 30 September 1943 to 30 November 1944. She had a beautiful home and her son Carlos was a very intelligent boy of 8 years. While there I taught English classes in an American private school. On the 20 July 1944 Maybelle had a serious operation and for a while seemed to improve, but on 30 October she had to have a second operation which almost caused her death. While I was in Mexico City, Maynard was employed by the National Cash Register Company. He was sent to their school in Chicago and Dayton for six months of training and was then placed in Roswell, New Mexico to open a branch service department there. I left Mexico after the closing of school and returned to El Paso, 1 December 1944 where I stayed with Zerita for a few weeks then went to Roswell to be with Maynard. We were comfortably located, but our rent was high at $90 a month for two bedrooms and kitchen privileges. On 26 June 1945 we received word Zerita’s baby had arrived on the 21st. Mother and baby were doing well. The baby was a girl 8 lbs. 5 1⁄2 oz. 23" long with lots of red hair much like her father’s sister’s hair. When I saw Zerita she looked very weak and tired and appeared somewhat nervous and high strung. Shortly after that we returned to El Paso until Maynard was placed permanently in the National Cash Register Company at Albuquerque. While he was getting established I went to Colonia Dublan to visit my sister and family. In Albuquerque we bought a beautiful 5 room home for $8,000. I paid $2,500 as a down payment with the understanding that if I could always be welcome, it would me my contribution to the home, but if the time came when I was not welcome the money would be returned. We were very happy in our new home. Fruit trees, lawn, flowers and garden were planted. Maynard was regularly being promoted in the company and he enjoyed working as superintendent assistant in Sunday School and secretary in the Elders Quorum. I was class leader in Relief Society and second counselor the following year. On 18 June 1948, Maynard married Rosa Lee Osborne, a widow with two children – girl 14; boy 12. I took another trip to Mexico and Maynard was transferred to Santa Fe, New Mexico. I returned and was with them for 15 months, during this time I baby-sat when possible for neighbors and friends. Shortly after their marriage, we received word that Floyd’s wife, the nephew who bought my home, had died of cancer leaving a family of six children 3 - 14 years, 4 boys and 2 girls. I was the only relative free to go to his assistance. So I went back to my old home and managed his home for 26 months. We always had good maid service, but six children between these years are challenging at any time. It was a very broadening experience and I was happy while there, but was relieved when Floyd found a companion his age to help him carry on his home duties. He married Ann Vance, a former friend whose children were grown. It was time now for me to plan for my future. My niece Ida Jackson and her husband said when you are through at Floyd’s we have a room for you as long as you wish it. So I went back to El Paso and stayed with them for two years. Those two years were very happy and rewarding years. I was active in Relief Society teaching the Theology class and later Stake Magazine Representative. While in that position my stake had the highest percentage of sales of the Relief Society Magazine and I received as a prize a year subscription to the magazine which I sent to my daughter-in-law in Neosho, Missouri, hoping she would get interested in the Society’s activities. Maybelle and her son Carl moved to Salt Lake City in June 1950 where he attended the University of Utah and Maybelle was employed in the Church Office building. Meantime, I put in my application for life membership in the Sarah Daft Home in Salt Lake City. There was a long waiting list, but after 5 years I reached #1 and was notified to come to Salt Lake to be there when the opening came. Maybelle and her son were now in Salt Lake City and Carl was going to the University and she was employed as bookkeeper. I have many relatives and friends in Salt Lake City so felt there would be the best place to make my home. On my way to Salt Lake City I went to visit my older son Henneth and Kitty, his wife, in Goodman, Missouri on their 70 acre farm and had 10 weeks to consider making my home there, for he felt he ought to see I was well placed for my declining years. I was very much inclined to accept his proposition. There was one drawback. Very little church activity and I had never been where I wasn’t active in church activities for I had worked in all the auxiliaries and was now vitally interested in Relief Society. So we decided to wait until I felt sure what I wanted. From there I went over to Albuquerque to see Maynard and family and did so enjoy my two lively grandsons, Bruce and Gary. I couldn’t stay long for I wanted to be in Salt Lake City for Carl’s, Maybelle’s son, graduation from the University of Utah. He had completed the work with honors when he had just passed his 19th birthday. Carl and Ann were married in the Salt Lake Temple on 16 December 1955. It was a very serene and beautiful wedding. After the service, Maybelle took the wedding party (9) to the Temple Square Hotel for a dinner which was very delightful. The following evening, 17 December, they had a reception at the 33rd Ward newly remodeled chapel. I got an apartment at Miss Van Cott’s, near Maybelle, and near the University. One day Carl came in and said, “Grandmother, I’m worried about you. I am sure you are not going to be happy without some thing to do, for you have always been in activities that kept you occupied.” I said, “Carl, I’m worried too.” He then suggested I go to the Institute of Religion of the Latter- day Saints. I asked, “Do elderly people go.” He said, “Oh, yes, and all the students will welcome you.” I said, “I’ll think about it, Carl.” So the next day I went over and registered for several classes. He was right. I did enjoy it, for it was one of the most rewarding courses I had ever taken. When my credits were counted I had enough to get a diploma in the Spring of May 27, 1956. At the graduation exercises all the students were informed a surprise was coming. As the students marched to receive their diploma they also received a gift of the Triple Combination–Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants and Pearl of Great Price in large print and beautifully leather bound and with their name printed in gold. It was a gift from elder George C. Knapp and presented by Dr. Lowell L. Bennion, Director of the Institute of Religion. In June I left my apartment and went to Wm. Christensen’s home to assist his wife who was a wheel chair patient. They were very fine type of people and had a lovely home, but stayed only 2 months for even though his wife was very small, I could see my back wasn’t able to do the lifting of the patient for long. Mr. Christensen was the Ballet Master at the University of Utah and went to San Francisco on a regular basis to work with the San Francisco Ballet. From there I went to Mrs. Fox to assist her with her husband who had leukemia and stayed with her 19 months. It was a challenging, but interesting life I was having. Many adjustments were necessary but it was a good experience I was going through waiting for my final call to enter the Home. On 20 October 1956 my sister Effie died and six months later, 21 May 1956, my brother George lost his wife Margaret suddenly. Both died of heart trouble. While at Fox’s I received my Social Security Card. I am surely appreciative of the check that comes every month. On October 1956 I went to the Hotel Utah to meet my niece Gladys Wagner to go to the dedicatory service of the Relief Society Home and to tour the building. It is a magnificent building and beautifully furnished. I took the conference over the radio at Fox’s. I had been working 2 years and I felt I should better visit many of my relatives who were very dear to me, so on the 13 of April 1957 I left Foxes and made my headquarters with Mrs. Ella Cowles, a very dear friend’s for a while. I went to Provo on 19 May 1957 and spent 4 days with Anna Liddiard, Helen Jones and Dolly Johnson. I enjoyed so much being in their homes, getting acquainted with their families. Helen and husband took me to Payson to see my cousin Adelia S. Dixon and other relatives. Stayed 4 days and went to Spanish Fork with her and her son Paul. From there went to Ephraim for a 2 week visit with Effie Franks and her family. She is a daughter of my sister Effie. They have a large turkey farm. It was a most interesting visit for I had never seen a large flock of turkeys before. They were so large that they were frightening. While there Effie and I went to the temple in Manti for her birthday. When I left they gave me 2 turkeys all dressed for the oven and informed Maybelle to get storage for them until we wanted to use them. When I got home we decided to have a Walser get together and use the turkeys as the basic course for refreshment. We had a large group and a very lovely time together in Ivan and Anna Bentley’s beautiful new home. On 2 June 1957, I left for Neosho to visit Henneth, my older son and family. Missouri is a beautiful state and full of interesting places. Every day brought a new activity for there was so much to see and do. I had a delightful time helping to paint the porch on the new house they have built. They planned it, drew blue prints to scale and built it mostly by themselves. It is a very modern, pretty and well built home. The rest of the work they will do as they can for the continuous rains prevent them doing scheduled work. They have shown their skills and their accomplishment. Just to drive around was joy and the people were equally charming. I was enchanted with their weekly auctions. On the 28th I received a card from Mrs. Cowles telling me my name had been called for the Sarah Daft Home. There was a vacancy. I was surprised for before I left Salt Lake City, I was told there would not be a vacancy for possibly 2 or 3 years. It made it necessary for me to make another difficult decision. Henneth had made me an offer a week before to build me a nice little home close to his, if I would pay for the materials. He would do all the work. I was so happy for I was sure it would be a very proper thing to do. The only drawback was there was very little Church activity there. I would miss not going to Relief Society and Church when I wanted to go. We had made plans that were very enticing for a very harmonious family arrangement and were so pepped up about it. If I went to the Sarah Daft Home, I could have easy contact with all I would miss in Missouri besides being able to go to the Temple, also the genealogy library. I am happy about it, but I had just begun to feel one of my family wanted me and I would be with my own. The amount I would have to pay to get in the Sarah Daft Home would pay for the materials for the home. Both propositions were equally promising in their own way, for I felt secure in both of them, but which was the right one to take? That was the question. I tried to be humble and asked my dear God to direct me in my feelings that through the inspiration of his Holy Spirit I would make the right decision. He has been so kind in leading me in the past 3 years in making difficult decisions. I knew He would do the same at this critical time. My faith is strong in the power of prayer. I rely on it always to help and keep my relationship with my Heavenly Father always open and harmonious so I can cooperate with him in doing what is best for me. So now again prayer lead me in thanksgiving and humility to my Father and Guide to lead me in the path He would have me travel. “Thy will, Oh God, not mine, be done.” I decided I should return to Salt Lake City. On July 19, 1957, I left and went to Albuquerque to see Maynard, my younger son, and family and had been there only a short time when we received word of Albert C. Wagner’s death. He was my brother-in-law and greatly loved by everyone. I cut my visit short, but I did see all my friends in Albuquerque and Santa Fe. While there I went to the Santa Fe outdoor opera and saw Madame Butterfly with Faye Gardner and also went up to Hyde Park on Sunday where we celebrated the 24th Pioneer Day of the L. D. S. Church. A very beautiful outdoor service was held followed by a picnic. I also visited Los Alamos, the famous atom bomb and atomic energy laboratory. I returned to Albuquerque on August 27th where I stayed a few more days while Rosa Lee went to Honolulu to be with her son when their first baby came. I then went to El Paso where I visited with Laura, my sister, and Ida Jackson my niece and families. On the 24th September I boarded the bus with my brother John for Colonia Dublan to stay with Tilly Wagner who had lost her husband a short time before. It was the first time I had ridden over the new paved highway. Willa Wagner met us at the station. The country was beautifully green because of frequent rains. While there I went to Colonia Juarez, my home town, to see loved ones and friends and stayed with my niece Reah’s family while she and Herman went to El Paso on business. It was so nice to see everyone and the progress they were making. January 1958 - Christmas season has come and gone with the usual rush and excitement and sickness. This time I spent part of my time in bed with flu which ran its regular course. Today I feel I am on the point of full recovery. It’s a hard thing to get rid of. Dublan is burying its oldest citizen, A. B. Call, who died in his sleep. He was 94 years old and a very remarkable man. He had been the bishop of the ward for many years and was the Patriarch of the Juarez Stake when he died. I closed my account with the Industrial de Dublan and am ready to return to El Paso. 24 February 1958 - Stayed one week with Laura and then stayed with Ida and Lee and readjusted my accounts with him and got a check large enough to get me installed as a Life Member in the Sarah Daft Home. After that I left for Lubbock to see Zerita and family and received a hearty welcome from the family also an invitation to remain permanently with them. Art made it plain my finances were not to be used in the home. So different from anything in my past experience, but by this time I had decided the Sarah Daft Home would fit my needs best. While there I took my granddaughter, Sandy, to see the Icescapades which was very beautiful also the Pops Symphony Orchestra concert. I saw McBeth put on by Tech College in Lubbock and we all saw the Passion Play by the company that puts it on once every 10 years at Obermaergau in Germany. I went to Zerita’s church and met many of her friends who are very nice and interesting people. The next Sunday I went to my L.D.S. Church and got acquainted with many of the LDS Group. The chapel is too small and plans are to either sell it or enlarge it. Lubbock is quite a new town. In 1925 it was a ranching district. Now it is an agricultural center and very progressive with 145,000 population and promises to become a cultural center with good educational opportunities. While in Lubbock I received telegram that by not accepting the opening at the Sarah Daft Home my number was now #20, so it would be a year or two before I received another call. I thought I would visit Maynard on my way to Salt Lake City, so I went to Albuquerque and stayed quite a while. The 24th of May 1958 Bruce was baptized by his father and confirmed by his father the next day. While there Harold Bowman and Louise Turley spent an evening with us. Harold was here for the conference and youth conventions and Louise had the youth conference to look over. Harold was the president of the Mission in that area. On the 11th of July, Maynard took me to Santa Fe for another visit with the Gardners and other friends. This time we saw at the open air Opera, Wurthering Heights. It was especially prepared by Ford and is a great production. At its premier critics from all parts of the U. S. were present and it was greatly praised for it rendition. Some gave it Grand Opera placement. Before leaving I saw the breaking ground for the new chapel. They hope to have it completed in 2 years and on the Sunday before the 24th we went to Church at Hyde Park with an appropriate pioneer day service and picnic afterwards. On the 24th Faye Gardner took me back to Albuquerque in her new Dodge. I received a very unkind welcome from Rosa Lee, so I decided to return to Salt Lake City soon. On 22 August 1958, I returned to Salt Lake City to be ready to enter the Sarah Daft Home. I stayed with Minnie Anderson 1 month and then went to Jackie Nokes, 2075 Lincoln Lane. She was engaged in the Romper Room T.V. production and I took care of her boy who was too young to go to school. She was a very charming person and had a beautiful home and nice neighbors. It was a nice place to be while waiting for my call. Maybelle was married to Lyle Brady in Salt Lake Temple, Raymond Clayton officiating, on 15 January 1959. After the wedding George and I were invited by the Brady family to the wedding breakfast at the Harmon’s eating House. The newlyweds went on a 10 day honeymoon trip. I entered the Sarah Daft Home on 15 May 1959, and I have been very satisfied with its management and the environment. In September of 1961 I spent three weeks managing Maybelle’s home while she and her husband went on their vacation. Being in the Sarah Daft Home makes it possible for me to do many things I have always wanted to do. It affords good transportation to any part of the city and is near the University of Utah. An abundant life can be lived if one is able to adjust to the varied membership and still maintain personality and individuality. It is a real challenge, but is possible. In 1963 I was made a Relief society Visiting Teacher. I was sure I would enjoy the work. I have always been active in Relief Society, but because of teaching duties I had never worked in that branch of the work. My companion was Connie Low. 1964-I was asked to continue as Lesson Teacher of the D. U. P. It is a very interesting part of D. U. P. activities since it is giving history of members of the organization. You really get the heart beat responses of the members as given in their biographies. When Mrs. Dugan, one of the Board Members of Sara Daft Home died, it left a very empty place in the Home. She was so awake to the welfare of its members and a real guardian over all. But there is always some one to fill the vacancy. Mrs. Sumner was very good, and although we miss Mrs. Dugan things are going very well in the home. If there are unpleasant situations they are between members not a fault of the management of the home. I have been here 5 years and am well satisfied with the home. This autobiography was assembled by Carlos M. Bowman from several drafts written by Wilhelmina Walser Bowman. The latter part was taken from her diary. This is the last entry found in Wilhelmina Walser Bowman’s diary. I am close to all Church activities and am keeping up with lessons in Relief Society, and Sunday School. These branches of church work are very well managed and provide wonderful study in religion and cultural enlargement. Wilhelmina Walser Bowman died on 16 August 1968, in Salt Lake City, Utah and was buried on 19 August. She spent approximately the last two years of her life in a nursing home after suffering a stroke that affected her both physically and mentally.
son: Kenneth E. Bowman (1901-1982)
son: Maynard Waldo Bowman (1911-2000)
dau: +Zerita Bowman (1912-1999)



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  • Maintained by: DawnTreader
  • Originally Created by: Utah State Historical Society
  • Added: 2 Feb 2000
  • Find A Grave Memorial 158509
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Wilhelmina Walser Bowman (9 Nov 1880–16 Aug 1968), Find A Grave Memorial no. 158509, citing Mount Olivet Cemetery, Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah, USA ; Maintained by DawnTreader (contributor 48307796) .