David Cannon Gardner, son of Robert Gardner and Leonora Cannon, was born at St. George, Utah, on November 4, 1875. He was the sixth child of the fourth wife of Robert Gardner, and from his early childhood he had to be very self-reliant. As a youth, he received very little education, as he had to help earn a living for his family. Many a day his day's wages were a quarter which he gave to his mother. He learned to read and write, and could "figure in his head "with the best of them. School was held only a few months of each year and he went as much as he could. His early years were spent in and around St. George and Pine Valley, Utah. During his early childhood, they moved many times from Grass Valley to Pine Valley and then to St.George.
(When he was a small boy, his father was called to preside over the United Order at Price Ward (which is now Bloomington), which functioned for a short time.)
As a young man, the family moved to Pine Valley. When David's brother, George, went on his mission, it left David to support the family. He remained in Pine Valley until he was married. When the Church opened up a tract of land in Nevada for colonization, he was one of the applicants. After obtaining this land, he came to Nevada in the fall to bring the cattle and organize things so he could move here permanently. He went back and married Ruth Burgess.
On December 20, 1899, in the St. George Temple, Ruth Fowler Burgess, daughter of George Martin Burgess and Rhoda Ann Dykes, and David Cannon Gardner were married. Ruth was the ninth child of eleven children and the youngest daughter. She lived most of her early life in Pine Valley and Grass Valley, attending schools there. Ruth learned to play the organ and served as organist in Pine Valley. The same organ is still in the Pine Valley Chapel.
David and Ruth set out for their new home in Nevada. Their sole possessions being a team and harness, a wagon, and such small personal belongings they could load in the wagon plus $60.00 cash. The trip over rough roads and in severe winter weather lasted a week.
They arrived in Lund on the fifteenth of January, 1900.
While their two room log cabin was being constructed, they lived with Ruth's sister, Alice Gardner. This log cabin was their home for seven years. When David's brother George married, he and his wife, Isabella Forsyth Gardner, lived with David and Ruth until they could get their home.
During the first years of their marriage, David spent the winters freighting. Ruth would keep the home fires burning and take care of the stock while he was gone. One of the youngest children's fondest memories is their mother playing the piano after they were in bed at night. This piano was the first piano in Lund and was purchased in the early 1900's.
David freighted to and from Modena, Utah; Delamar, Nevada; Reveille, Nevada; grain to the Florio Ranch in Duckwater, Nevada; as well as furnishing dairies in Ruth and McGill with hay. On the way home from Ruth and McGill, he would stop each trip and add to his winter's supply of wood. David freighted in the winter and ran the farm in the summer. Gradually they built up quite a sizeable farm, and bought a four room house which is still standing and being occupied at the present time.
David Gardner was active in all civic work and held positions of importance in the community for many years. At various times he was president of the irrigation company, president of the telephone company, and president of the Farm Bureau. While he was president of the Farm Bureau, he went to Boulder in the "good old days" when they made the core drillings to decide where to put the dam. It was also while he was president that the one and only successful county fair was held in Lund. He was also a school trustee and took an active part in the Parent-Teacher Association and all civic welfare programs. He was also a member of the Taylor Grazing Board.
Ruth Burgess Gardner has also been active in civic and church work. She was organist of Pine Valley Ward for several years and also of the Lund Ward. She worked as secretary and first counselor in Mutual, then as president for fifteen years. After being released as president, she served as teacher in different departments. She also
served as teacher in Sunday School and Primary, and as secretary and theology leader in Relief Society. She took an active part in civic affairs and P.T.A., and acted as Secretary-Treasurer of the County Farm Bureau for three years.
In November, 1934, David Gardner was called to be Bishop of the Lund Ward. Up until this time, he had taken no active part in Church work, aside from attending meetings now and then, and contributing generously to the various organizations whenever asked to donate. Whenever he heard of a widow needing help, many of them would find a sack of potatoes or a sack of flouron their porch in the morning and he hauled many a load of wood for the needy.
He resigned as Bishop on November, 1937, but was again sustained to that office in November, 1939. At the time of his death, October 13, 1941, he was still holding the position as Bishop of the Lund Ward. He was followed in death by his wife Ruth on September 16, 1956 after she had spent fifteen lonely years.
It is unanimously conceded that David was a very fine Bishop. He was respected and loved by the whole community. Through all his life his wife has been his constant companion and helper, ever ready to share his burdens and assist him in every possible worthy undertaking and to share his burdens and responsibilities. Her gracious hospitality and good cooking were an asset.
Two of their sons filled a mission for the Church. Howard in the Northern States and Milton in the Southern States.
Ruth and David had seven children. Howard Burgess, born January 8, 1901, who married Leona Bammes and they were parents of four children. Following Leona's death, he later married Evelyn Davis. Howard passed away on May 21, 1964. Leonora, born May 12, 1905, married Charles Perry. There were three children born to them. Leonora passed away on March 5, 1977. Pearl and Ruby, born November 19, 1911, passed away as infants. Beulah, born November 30, 1912, married Stanley Ross and after his death married John Echols. They now reside in St. George, Utah. Milton David, born November 19, 1918, married Joan Brand is and are parents of two children. Van Cannon, born September 17, 1921, married Margaret Ashby and they are parents of five children. Milton and Van are presently living in Lund. As of now, there are twenty-eight great grandchildren.
Written and submitted by:
Beulah Gardner Echols and Joan B. Gardner