Thomas Christian Windous was born 11 May 1864 in Moroni, Sanpete County, Utah, the son of George Edward Windous and Anna Maria Christensen. When he was six and a half years old his mother passed away, so he went from home to live with his father who was herding sheep outin the desert for several years. This gave him very little time to get his schooling, but he got all there was possible during this time.
When he became a young man he went to work for a very wealthy family who later became his in-law parents. He fell in love with the Jacob Arnoldus family, and he chose or I should say what I have heard my mother say, that "her father chose her to be the wife of Thomas Windous."Margaret Christina married Thomas Christian 4 September 1888. They made their home in Moroni where six of their children were born. The family went to the Manti Temple, 21 October 1896, to get their endowments and sealings.
The L.D.S. Church was asking for volunteers to go to Eastern Nevada to colonize and establish wards for the Church in that area. Tom was among the men who had helped to build the beautiful Manti Temple, and this had given him the urge to go and build more for our great church. The family joined several others to make this great adventure possible. They arrived in Preston 19 October 1899. Soon after, they moved to the Moon River Ranch 50 miles south of Preston, and Tom took charge of a mail route between Sunnyside and Fryberg, going by team or horseback. The family endured many hardships during the two years before they moved back to Preston to start school and some much needed church activity.
Tom was not a religious man, but he saw to it that his family all got to church. He did enjoy community and civic duties and he always did his job well. He was postmaster in Preston for seventeen years. The daughters usually took over the care of the office because Tom craved hischildhood job, out with the sheep, and he would take off every chance he could get. He loved to be out alone in the country with the sheep herd. He was never meant to be a farmer, but he did raise some very large gardens and he fully enjoyed going out for wild berries and pinenuts inseason and hunting for meat.
Tom used to sing some, and he called for the square dancing for many years. He was sheriff in Preston for many years, school janitor for several winters, a member of the school board, and water master for a long time. He tried to do his part in the town activities and celebrations. Those good old days are all gone forever, but will never be forgotten--so good to recall and talkover when old friends meet.
Tom's health was not very good at any time. He died at the age of 59 on 29 September 1923 at his home in Preston, the new maternity home he had always wanted his noble wife to have. Tom was buried in a casket covered with white outing flannel trimmed with coarse lace. It was made by our home carpenter, Albert Madsen, a convert from Denmark. The total cost was $35.00--a good one and very beautiful. It was placed into a concrete box in the family plot at the Preston Cemetery. His large family all attended the funeral services held in the Ward Chapel.
Margaret Christina Arnoldus Windous was born 28 August 1870 in Moroni, Sanpete County, Utah, a daughter of Hans Jacob Arnoldus and Inger Sophia Fredricka Sorensen. Margaret was a hardworking farm girl. She knew all about farming, gardening and the care of farm animals. Shealso knew how to cook and was an immaculate housekeeper. Her father built the first two story brick house in Moroni. She attended the Moroni schools where she received her education.
Tom and Margaret had a family of six when they left Utah, and it grew to be ten in all. The precious mother, Margaret C., sensed the true value of this wonderful family, and she tried with the help received from the father, Tom, to give them what was necessary to live and be comfortable.
Margaret C. was chosen by the Church and the people of the town to be doctor and nurse for the little town and outlying ranches. They sent her to Salt Lake City to take the necessary training. She took four of her children, Ina, Maggie Bell, Adeline and George, with her. She became a very successful person, and through faith and prayer and trust in the Lord she truly did a marvelous job. She did become nurse, doctor, and midwife for all the valley. There were other mid-wives, but she did most of the deliveries. She delivered more than 1,000 babies and never lost a mother. It truly made a lonely home and family, and her children had to sacrifice a lot with their mother so busy, from daylight to all hours of the night. She came and went, depending on her one horse and buggy, and her dog to take her places any or at all times and to come back home safely.
Everyone honored, loved, and praised her as a queen, for her great ability, courage, love and willingness to serve with or without pay.
During the Influenza epidemic in 1918 she visited and nursed about two hundred patients and lost only a ten day old baby. This is a record any doctor would be proud of, but she took nocredit to herself, as she said, she feels that she is "only an instrument in the hands of the Lord."
For some time after Tom passed away, Margaret C. kept her maternity home in Preston, theone she and Tom had Albert Madsen build. Then she decided to sell the home and move to Ely where she kept up her nursing. She worked with the doctors in Ely in the hospital for awhile,then she had her own maternity home in East Ely, but she still worked with the doctors. In 1932 she moved again to a new brick home in Central Ely where she continued her nursing and delivering babies when necessary. No one was ever refused her kind services. Her records show she waited on Indian, Gypsy and all nationalities, and she gave them all the same tender loving care. One of her patients, Mrs. Lloyd McArthur of St. George, Utah, wrote the following:
TO SISTER WINDOUS
I came to your house a stranger
On a mission the greatest in life.
I was met at the door and your welcome
Conquered every strife.
The days spent in waiting
The companionship with you
Are days I shall always remember,
God bless a mother like you.
Through hours that were gravest
You gave the spirit of comfort and peace,
Of all women--you are the bravest,
Your mission should never cease.
You have been successful in this calling,
Greatly blessed in your home life too
With your friends and loved ones so many around you
May your cares be very few.
After so many years of untiring service, Margaret Christina Windous sort of wore out at the age of 80. She had lingered on for eight years when she passed away at a rest home on 1 November 1958 in Ely, Nevada. She was laid to rest by Tom in the Preston Cemetery along with many of the old original "Preston Pioneers."
The ten children of Tom and Margaret all grew to maturity in Preston. They attended school there and were an outstanding family of young folks; being very active in all civic and church activities.
The first child was Sophia Eloise, born 11 April 1890. She loved book work and became the postmistress under her father, Tom, for 17 years. While working in the post office in McGill, Nevada she met and married Charles Huffman. He was the foreman at Duckcreek, over the water and pipe line that was used in McGill where Kennecott Copper Company had a smelter. Eloise's brother-in-law, A. L. (Andy) Petersen performed their marriage ceremony. Her sister Lily and her husband have done Eloise and Charles' temple work for them in the Salt Lake Temple. Eloise passed away 18 November 1974.
The second child was a girl, Ina Maria, born 20 March 1892. She married Heber Alma Berhman, who had lost his wife in Oregon and had a small son to care for. They were married 17 August 1910 in the Salt Lake Temple. They lived in Preston for several years, then moved to McGill where he was bishop while working there for Kennecott Copper Corporation. They moved to California near Bell flower where he worked at Firestone Tire Co. Ina suffered many years with arthritis. She died 15 May 1954, and was buried in Chula Vista, California.
The third child was a son born 11 July 1894. They were so glad to get a boy, they named him Thomas Arnoldus. He married Gladys Cazier. They went to the Salt Lake Temple to be sealed 18 January 1922. They lived at the ranch at White River for some time, then they moved to Reno, Nevada where they both worked at the Veterans Hospital. He died in Reno, 2 January 1973, and is buried there.
Twin girls came while they were still living in Moroni. They were born 2 March 1897. They were so different, so their grandfather suggested that they be named Lily and Violet. They were baptized in one of the streams near Preston. Violet started playing the organ for Sunday Schoolat the age of 11, under the supervision of Bro. George F. Morley Sr. After Levi Taylor of Ogden, Utah, North Weber Stake, came out to Preston to give patriarchal blessings, Violet and Andy decided they were for each other. They were married in Ely, 2 April 1917, and were sealed in the Salt Lake Temple, 4 April 1917. The trip to Salt Lake City was their honeymoon. Lily married the best man at her twin's wedding, Sidney Lindsay (Ted) Burton, 15 July 1919, and they were sealed at the Salt Lake Temple, 15 July 1920. Andy and Violet have had over 62 years living together in Preston, Nevada, then moving to Buhl, Idaho, and then back to Preston. Lily and Ted lived in Parowan, Utah, then in later years they lived in Las Vegas, Nevada where Ted passed away. Lily is living there at present. Violet had eight children (six lived to maturity); Lily had two.
After Maggie Bell was born in Moroni, 16 June 1899, the family moved to Nevada. Maggie Bell learned to recite and she knew and wrote many beautiful poems. She married Orthello Carlyle Bradley, 2 October 1918, in the Salt Lake Temple. They lived in Preston until his folks passed away, then he got a job in Ely and they moved there permanently. They had six children. Maggie passed away 9 August 1973 and Carlyle passed away 29 June 1979. They are buried in the Preston Cemetery.
Adeline, the first child of the Windous family to be born in Preston, was born 7 January 1900. She was a book minded girl and was secretary for many organizations both in church and town. She was postmistress for many years after she was married. She married Carl Madsen, a convert to the Church from Denmark, 6 October 1920, in the Salt Lake Temple. They lived some years in Preston, Nevada, then moved to Chula Vista, California, and then to Las Vegas, Nevada. They are retired now and are in Las Vegas.
George was born 17 June 1904, the second boy, a big blue-eyed baby and their pride and joy. He married Noma Allred, 25 April 1925, and they have one girl, Deon. George became active in the Church after they moved to Ely, and they went to the St. George Temple, 8 November 1958. George is now the president of the Windous Family Organization.
Pearl Romania, the baby girl, was born 3 November 1908. She was sort of a lonely child, so she had strict attention from all the family. She married Dwight R. Hoopes. Pearl worked hard while her husband was getting his education. They moved to Salt Lake, and after many moves they moved permanently to St. George where they purchased a large beautiful home. They have one son who is a dentist.
Udell was born 8 May 1911, at Preston, Nevada. He attended school in the new school house built in 1915. When his mother moved to Ely, Dell went too and went to work. He then took up refrigeration and electrical appliances as his livelihood and has done real well. He met Nell Drollinger and they were married 4 September 1937. Andy and Violet went with them to the Idaho Falls Temple, 13 July 1951, to be sealed as a family. They have three sons who are all married and have families of their own.
Six couples of the Windous family have lived more than 50 years. That is some record for a large family of ten children.
Written and submitted by:
Violet Windous Petersen