Grandfather, George Martin Burgess, was born April 2, 1839 on the border line of Caldwell Co. in Kentucky and Clay Co. in Missouri. His parents were Horace Burgess and Iona Almira Pulsipher. They had embraced the gospel in Missouri and were on their way to Nauvoo when Grandfather was born. His grandfather, Zera Pulsipher, was the first President of the Quorum ofSeventies.

Grandfather well remembered the Prophet Joseph Smith and told of being held on the Prophet's knee. Although he was only 5 years of age when the Prophet and his brother Hyrum were martyred in the Carthage Jail, he remembered the day their bodies were brought to Nauvoo and of the great sorrow and gloom that settled over all upon hearing of their tragic deaths.

Great Grandfather, Horace Burgess, was in the van guard when the Saints began to migrate to Utah. He fell victim to the cholera and died along the way. Grandfather was brought on to the valley by an uncle who had just returned from a mission to England in time to join this company of Saints. They came in the fall of 1850 with the Captain Johnson Company.

While yet a young man, Grandfather was called to help settle Lehi, Utah and from there was called to the Salmon River Country in Idaho to labor with the Indians. After filling this mission he made several trips across the plains to help other immigrants into the valley. And then by special calling he became one of the first settlers of St. George. After settling in Dixie Country, he farmed and raised cattle for a livelihood.

Grandmother, Rhoda Ann Dykes, was born May 1, 1846 at Nauvoo, Adams Co., Illinois. Her parents were George Parker and Dorcas Keeling Dykes. We know very little about Grandmother's early life nor just when her parents came to Utah.

Grandfather and Grandmother were married in St. George April 16, 1864. After their marriage they lived in St. George, Pine Valley and Grass Valley before coming to Lund. In 1880, Grandfather was made Presiding Elder at Grass Valley. It is interesting to know that he was President of the 29th Quorum of Seventies and was a veteran of the Black Hawk Indian War.

Grandfather and Grandmother were parents of 11 children, six boys and five girls, all born in Pine Valley except the oldest, born in St. George. Their children were:

 

George Edward - married Emily Jeffery

Lillie - died at age 3 years

Mary Alice - married Samuel Alonzo Gardner (my mother)

Howard Lee - never married, died at age 28 years

Ella May - married Orrin Snow

Willard - married (1st) Mary Whitby (2nd) Mary Read

Lucy Jane - married Daniel Hendrix

Horace Martin - died at age 1 year

Ruth Fowler - married David Cannon Gardner

Ernest Hungate - married Donna Miles

Clarence - married Jessie Reid

 

Grandfather spent 37 years of his life pioneering Utah's Dixie. He moved his family to Lund, Nevada in 1900 where he engaged in farming and cattle raising and was the town blacksmith fora few years. Many of the older people of Lund remember of going to the blacksmith shop to watch him work and to listen to his interesting stories. I wasn't very big at that time but do remember of trying to pump the bellows to keep the fire burning to heat the horseshoes. His blacksmith shop was on the lot above his home. Their home in Lund was the rock house east ofthe grade school where Lorain and Lydia Hendrix live (1977).

The Burgess family came to Lund with other early pioneers and at a Ward Conference held in the fall of 1900, Grandmother was sustained as President of the Primary. She and Grandfather faithfully attended their church duties and raised their children to be faithful Latter Day Saints. Four of their boys filled missions and the children who married, raised large families and left alarge posterity to honor their name.

Grandfather was patient, easy going and pleasant in the home and to all with whom he came in contact. Mother has told us how Grandfather liked a bullfight. She said he'd hear bulls bellowing in the night and get out of bed on a moonlit night and go to the pasture to watch them fight.

Grandmother wrote a journal dated December 19, 1890 to September 10, 1892. Milton and Joan were fortunate to find this journal among some of Aunt Ruth's keepsakes.

Grandmother wrote in her journal: "I have been long without a journal and hardly know what to write first, there being so many things that come to mind that I would like to remember. It seems like a visit to old friends to write once more in my journal."

We feel that other parts of her journal may have been destroyed.

An example of Grandmother's faith is shown in this statement: "I know there is many a sad heart today that the sun cannot penetrate nor warm into joyfulness while others are happy and gay. But every heart should try to look up and rejoice that things are as well with us as they are. We know that our Father in Heaven is just and doeth all things well for our good and we shouldtry our best to acknowledge His hand in all things."

In her journal, Grandmother recorded briefly each day's activities such as cooking (always for a large crowd, not all her own), sewing, butter and cheese making, washing and ironing, with always time to visit with their friends and neighbors and above all to attend to her church duties. This was her daily routine of hard work and loving service.

She often referred to Grandfather as "Ella's Pa" or "Alice's Pa" or "Lucy's" or "Clarence's" or any of the other children's "Pa" instead of calling him "George". She made mention of the Ruppe family who came to Utah with the Burgess family and lived with them and worked for them in Pine Valley.

Grandmother lost her hair after a serious illness and wore a wig. I felt it a special privilege to comb and fix her wig when I'd go there to visit.

They moved to Alpine in 1915 with Uncle Clarence and Aunt Jessie who had lived with them in Lund. Others of their family had moved to Alpine.

Grandfather and Grandmother both died at Alpine. Grandmother died November 10, 1918 and Grandfather died March 18, 1923 having lived long useful lives, true to their faith, their family, their country and to their God. They were honored and revered by their family and by all who knew them.

Written and submitted by:
Della Gardner Scow