George and Belle Gardner came as pioneers to Lund, Nevada January 8, 1902, just two weeks after their marriage in the St. George Temple on December 24, 1901. George and his brother, David, had been in Lund since October of 1899 so had their farms and homes already established.
They left Pine Valley, Utah January 2, 1902 in a wagon loaded with household furniture and wedding presents. One of the wedding presents was a horse and saddle, a gift from Belle's father. They carried the saddle in the wagon and led the horse behind the wagon. When they arrived at Modena they picked up some furniture they had ordered from Salt Lake City. In their wagon they carried a "Charter Oak" cook stove, table and chairs, a bedstead, a sewing machine and other household articles.
When they stopped at Modena they met Lafayette and Alice Carter and their two children, Vera and Arthur. They had been visiting in St. George with their parents and were on their way to Lund so the two families traveled together. They arrived in Lund on the 8th of January 1902.
George had already given his new bride a description of their new home. He told her they had a picket fence around their lot. In her mind's eye, Belle pictured a white picket fence and was so disappointed when she saw a stockade fence built of cedar posts, but George called them pickets. It was a long while before she told George how disappointed she was in her picket fence.
George Cannon Gardner was born at St. George, Utah January 10, 1868 to Robert Gardner and Leonora Cannon. He was one of the older sons in a polygamous family so had at a young age assumed the responsibility of caring for his mother and brothers and sisters. A three year mission to Germany and Switzerland from 1896 to 1899 also helped prepare him for leadership positions he was called to fill later here in Lund.
Sarah Isabella (Belle) Forsyth was born in Pine Valley, Utah, September 1, 1877 to George James Forsyth and Sarah Sophronia Snow. When not quite two years of age, her parents, with their young family, moved to Loa,in Wayne County, Utah. Here Belle received her early education. Then a special dress-making class and a year of schooling at Brigham Young Academy at Provo prepared her to be a teacher. She taught school for two years then went to Pine Valley where she clerked in her uncle's store and helped care for her Grandmother Snow. She too was well prepared to meet the responsibilities of pioneer life.
When they arrived in Lund, John L. Whipple and his family were living in George's home so George and Belle lived with David and Ruth until their house was vacant. George and David worked together on their farms until they had boys old enough to help. David's home was on the lot where Dean and Wilma Whipple now live (1978). George's home was on the lot where Airien and Darlene Wise now live (1978).
George was always a hard worker, an early riser, and one of the first to the fields. But he also had time for his Church and civic duties, and time to help other people. For many years he would hook up his team to a scraper and clear paths after a snow storm so children could walk to school and Church on cleared paths. George's brother, Alonzo, would do the same for the children in the north part of town. If anyone ever needed a man to climb a derrick pole or a flagpole, George was the man to volunteer. A story is told of George as a young man in Pine Valley. One day he climbed on the roof of the Pine Valley Church and there on the ridge-pole of that roof he stood on his head.
George was always faithful in his various callings in the Church. He served as a Counselor in Bishoprics, in the Young Men's Mutual and was a Stake High Councilman when Nevada Stake was first organized in 1926.
Belle was just as faithful in all of her callings and she too was a hard worker and an efficient home maker. She loved people and always said she had the best neighbors in the world. Her neighbors felt the same about her. Shortly after their arrival in Lund she was put in as counselor in the Young Ladies Mutual Organization, then a year later she was sustained as President of the same organization and remained in that position until her son, Wayne, was born. She was also a teacher in Sunday School and the Young Ladies Mutual. In 1917, she was sustained as Ward President of the Relief Society with Della R. Ivins and Louisa Harrison as her counselors and May Reid, her secretary. This position she held for 11 years when she was released in 1928 and Ella Fawcett succeeded her. On special occasions she was called upon to give "recitations" and enjoyed sharing this talent with others.
Belle was ever willing to serve her state and county as well as her community. She was a member of the local school board, a County Farm Bureau worker and was always involved in political issues that affected the rural people.
George's and Belle's history would not be complete without mentioning the love and concern all people in this town had for each other. As Uncle George and Aunt Belle they were known to all, both old and young, probably because the early families had time to take their children with them to visit and spend the day with their friends and neighbors. The whole town was like one big family. Even the Indians who lived near the foothills east of Lund were a part of this big family. On the 30th of December 1902, all the men and boys were in the fields hunting jack rabbits. Belle was home alone with her month old baby son. He was so very sick and Belle prayed that someone would come to her aid. Two Indian women, Maggie and Becky, walked in and they went for help. Soon Belle's neighbors, Sister Ella Snow and Aunt Sabra Oxborrow, came. George and Orin Snow arrived about noon. They administered to the baby but he passed away. This baby, George Donald Gardner, was the first one buried in the Lund cemetery. Belle said, "Do you wonder I always loved those Indian Women?"
George and Belle had a good life together. They lived close to their Heavenly Father and were able to bear their sorrows along with their pleasures in rearing their family. Eight more children were born to them. All were born in Lund and all lived to maturity.
Tirza, their oldest daughter, was born in Lund on the 18th of March, 1904. She married Orvil Hendrix the 22nd of April 1925. They had five children: Orvil Scott, Mary Belle, Loleta, Joanand Sara Jane.
All are married and have children except Sara Jane. She was married but had no children, and passed away in St. George in 1967. Orvil and Tirza are living in St. George, Utah. For years they were Temple ordinance workers at the Temple.
Wayne was born in Lund on the 14th of September 1905. He married Helen Carter the 10th of September 1930 and they have five children: Elbert Wayne, Vesta, Sherril, Robert and MaryAnn. All are married and have.families. Wayne is still farming the same farm his father farmed in the early days of Lund. Wayne and Helen both keep busy with farm work, gardening, Church and genealogy research. They visit their families quite often and have traveled to some interesting places in Europe and America.
Kenneth was born in Lund on the IOth of April 1908. He married Frances Simpson the 29th of September 1932. They had two daughters, Darlene and Dorothy Ann. They lived in McGill several years then moved to Salt Lake City where Kenneth died the 7th of May 1951. Their oldest daughter, Darlene and her husband, Raymond Bowen and only child, Verneta, were killed in an automobile accident in 1956. Dorothy Ann and her husband and three sons are living in Logandale, Nevada (1978).
Cannon was born in Lund the 23rd of June 1911. He married Elinor Stuart the 27th of June 1940. Cannon operated part of his father's farm until 1977 when he sold to his cousin, Van Gardner. Since then Cannon and Elinor have been free to enjoy the mild climate in Southern Utah and Nevada. Although they have no children of their own, through the years they have both been busy with Church and community service, and both have helped in horse shows, ball games and other activities that involved youth. Each child in town is very much a part of them.
Sara was born in Lund the 26th of February 1913. She married Vance McKenzie the 1st of June 1932. They have five children, all married and living in Nevada. Three of them; Rodrick, Geraldine and Kenneth and their children live here in Lund. Phyllis and her husband and three boys live in Elko and Donald and his wife and four girls live in Carson City. Both Vance and Sara are busy in Church and community service. Sara is the family genealogist and is doing a great work.
Florence was born the 1st of October 1914 at Lund. She married Eugene Besswanger the 10th of September 1941. To that union were born three daughters, Susan, Dana and Jacqueline (Jackie). Susan and her three children live in Heyburn, Idaho where Florence lived for the past twenty years. Dana and Jackie live in Salt Lake City, Utah where they work and are active in Church and Genealogy research. Florence passed away July 25, 1979.
Alice was born the 3rd of February 1917 in Lund. She married Shirley Hendrix the 7th of June 1939. The oldest of their three children, Shirleen, with her husband and children live in Anchorage, Alaska. Their oldest son, McKay and his family live in Santa Paula, California. In 1968, their youngest son, Val Gene, was killed in a car accident while on a Mission in Eastern United States. Alice passed away the 27th of May 1973 after many years of illness.
Leonard was born the 21st of June 1920 in Lund. He married Reva Whitehead the 17th of August 1943. Their five children were born and raised in Salt Lake City. They had four sons and one daughter: Steven, Karolee, Kyle and Rennie and Joel. Their son, Kyle, died in November 1975. In November 1977, Leonard and Reva moved to St. George, Utah where they are close to the Temple. They are in hopes a milder climate will improve Leonard's health. Both have been busy through the years, he in Scouting and as a member of the High Council and as a Counselor in Bishoprics, and Reva in various church jobs. They both enjoy golfing, bowling and other sports together and with their children.
To date, April 3, 1978, George and Belle Gardner have had 9 children, 28 grandchildren, 95 great grandchildren and 14 great great grandchildren, a total posterity of 146.
Written and submitted by:
Sara G. McKenzie
Helen C. Gardner