Lethbridge, AB, Six days in Bridgeview RV Resort, #109
Eight year, one months in our bus.
ANDREW JACKSON WALTON & HARRIET BATES NOBLE.
We came to Lethbridge because we wanted to find the cemetery and graveside of Dennis’s father, Charles Herbert Walton. He is buried in Temple Hill Cemetery, a Mormon cemetery located in Raymond, a small town about 25 minutes south of Lethbridge. Charles Herbert Walton was born on 29 Jun 1887 in Scofield, Carbon, UT. He was the seventh child of Andrew Jackson Walton and Harriet Bates Noble. Charles died on 4 May 1974 in Ogden, UT.
Dennis’s mother , Mary Ellen Barker Chugg Walton, is buried in Ogden, UT next to her first husband, Karl Willis Chugg, who left her a widow in 1935. Dennis’s father, Charles Walton, wanted to be buried in Raymond, AB next to his first wife, Ida Ann Paxton, who left him a widower in 1930, and also next to their four-year-old daughter, Wanda, who died in 1918.
Dennis’s grandfather and Charles’s father, Andrew Jackson Walton, was the son of Utah pioneers. After their move from Mexico, Oxford County, ME to Sessions, UT, he helped his parents in various settlements running a threshing machine and then a sawmill. He was 39 by the time he met and married 14-year old Harriet Bates Noble, the daughter of Utah pioneers. Both Andrew and Harriet grew up within an environment of plural marriages and this, along with a 25-year age gap may explain their flexibility in agreeing to divorce 18 years later.
Dennis is descended from a long line of Latter Day Saints who were pioneers and settlers in Utah Territory. His grandfather, Andrew Jackson Walton, was the youngest of Arthur Hannaford Walton and Martha Madora Walton’s three sons. Arthur and Harriet joined the great Mormon exodus in 1845 when they left Maine in a covered wagon caravan headed for the Salt Lake Valley. Andrew was ten years old when they arrived at Rock Island, IL on the Mississippi River. The family settled temporarily in Montrose, IA and then continued to Sessions, UT arriving in 1851 when Andrew was sixteen.
After Martha’s death, Arthur married Rebecca Huff who contributed five more sons and a daughter. Father and sons continued to live and work together in various fluid partnerships as a factor of economic success. They lived in Bountiful and then Richmond where they had a machine shop and ran a threshing machine. When the threshing machine business came to an end the family moved to Hardscrabble Canyon where they bought a sawmill. Andrew also prospected for ore and kept a forge to assay ore.
Dennis’s grandmother, Harriet Bates Noble was the daughter of Joseph Bates Noble (1810-1900) and his sixth plural wife, Julia Rozetta Thurston (1841-1916). Joseph was 45 when he married 14 year old Julia. Julia was born in New Haven, Seneca, OH and migrated with her family to Utah Territory in 1850 when she was nine years old. Harriet, the second of Julia’s four children, followed in her mother’s footsteps, when she also married at the age of fourteen.
Between 1874 and 1892, Andrew and Harriet had nine children and led a hard life trying to make ends meet. Andrew ran a sawmill in Scofield and when business waned, he built a log blacksmith shop. He was an expert steam boilermaker and a good carpenter. Hattie contributed financially as an accomplished dressmaker. She increased her financial worth after she completed a course in professional nursing and obstetrics in 1889. This cannot have been an easy task since she delivered Matilda in the same year and her last Walton child, Estella, two years later.
Early in 1891, the blacksmith shop burned down and Andrew moved from Scofield to Cleveland in Emery County where he bought a steam engine and portable sawmill with a partner. Because of winter hardships in Hardscrabble Canyon, he told Hattie to remain in Scofield with the children. Another reason given for this decision is that the older boys were restless and were attracted to the cash paychecks of the Scofield mines. However, only Andrew, 16, and possibly William Danie, 10, might have qualified for this work. The separation led to divorce a year later. By then Hattie’s oldest son, Andrew, was 17. Her oldest daughters, Caroline and Hattie were 14 and 13. Sons, Danie, Arthur, and Charles were 11, 7 and 5. Daughters Sara, Matilda and Estella were 9, 3 and 1.
Scofield is located about 150 miles southeast of Ogden, UT where Dennis was born. It is a coal mining town on the east side of the Manti-La Sal National Forest. It sits by UT-96 south of Scofield Reservoir and State Park. The valley had luxuriant growth of native grasses and was utilized by the first settlers as pastures for immense herds of cattle.
In 1875 coal was discovered and a small mine was opened. Most of the first miners were Mormon converts from the coal districts of Wales, England and Scotland. A series of railway companies bought rights as the coal mines grew in magnitude and the supply seemed inexhaustible. On 1 May 1900, an errant spark touched off the fine haze of coal dust deep underground and the Winter Quarters #4 mine exploded. 199 men died making this one of the worst coal mine disasters in history. 105 widows and 270 fatherless children were left behind. Coal mining continued to operate with declining profitability until the 1930s.
Harriet still lived in town at the time of this disaster. The 1900 US Federal Census was taken a month later in June. No one in the Walton family was killed. Harriet is 40, head of household and divorced. She lives with Andrew J., 26, Hattie E., 19, William D., 18, Sarah J., 16, Arthur B., 16, Matilda, 11, Charles H., 12, and Estella, 8. Her occupation is listed as “Hostel Keeper” and there are seven boarders: McKenna, Overman, Isaacson, Smith, Barrett, Green, and Morris.
One of these boarders must have developed into a romance because on 27 Feb 1901 in Scofield, 41-year old Harriet married 35-year-old George Emanuel McKenna (b. 1866 in Ireland). Their daughter, Nettie Melba McKenna was born in Scofield on 9 Jan 1902. Shortly thereafter, the couple moved to Raymond, AB. Sadly, Harriet’s second husband, George McKenna, died three years later in 1904. Their daughter, Nettie, died on 26 Feb 1905 in Raymond.
In the 1906 Canada Census of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta, Harriet puts the Immigration Year at 1902. In the census she is widowed and Head of House living with her children, Charles H., 19, Matilda, 17, and Estella, 15. There are four boarders in their mid-fifties: Evangeline, Maud, John, and Robert.
After her children were married, Harriet returned to Salt Lake where she worked in the Salt Lake Temple. She died on 4 Apr 1930, while living with her daughter Sarah Higgs in Barstow, CA and is buried in the Temple Hill Cemetery next to her youngest child, Nettie Melba McKenna and her son, Charles Herbert Walton. Her first husband, Andrew Jackson Walton remained in Cleveland where he died on 7 Dec 1905. He is buried in Cleveland Cemetery.
CHARLES HERBERT WALTON
Charles Herbert Walton was 54 when Dennis was born. He wasn’t a talkative or demonstrative man and there was a large age gap between he and his son. Consequently, there is much that Dennis does not know about the life of his father. There are questions about Charles’s father, Andrew Jackson Walton. Charles never spoke of him. Andrew and Harriet separated and ultimately divorced when Charles was only 5 years old. Given his age, it is likely that Charles knew little of his father.
Charles Herbert Walton was born 29 Jun 1887 in Scofield, Carbon, UT. In 1902 when he was 15-years old he moved with his mother and step-father to Raymond, Alberta, Canada. It seems likely that he remained near his mother in Raymond to provide help after she lost her husband in 1904 and their daughter in 1905.
On 24 Jan 1912 in Salt Lake City, Charles married Ida Ann Paxman, born 20 Nov 1889 in Provo, UT. They lived in Ogden where they had a daughter, Wanda born 21 Oct 1912. On 16 Jan 1915 their second daughter Iona was born in Ogden. The couple moved to Raymond where Charles farmed with his oldest brother, Andrew. Here Wanda died on 25 Oct 1917 and was buried in the Temple Hill Cemetery. Their third daughter, Lila, was born on 29 Nov 1921 in Raymond.
Charles suffered from epilepsy and their frequent moves were probably prompted by episodes witnessed by employers or clients. Even into the 20th C., epilepsy was viewed with religious superstition and with causes attributed to divine punishment or possession by evil spirits. Such episodes would have prompted a quick removal from the scene.
For “health reasons” the family decided to seek a warmer climate and settled in Los Angeles where Charles enrolled in the Golden State College of Chiropractic. He graduated in 1925 and established a practice in the beach town of Inglewood, CA. Some years later they returned to Raymond. On 4 Sep 1930, Charles lost his wife and his daughters lost their mother. Ida was buried at Temple Hill Cemetery next to her first daughter, Wanda.
Charles returned to Utah and was able to establish his chiropractic practice in Roy UT. The epilepsy symptoms disappeared. On 23 Dec 1936 he married Mary Ellen Barker Chugg, a widow struggling to manage four obstreperous teenage boys and a farm on the slopes of Pleasant View above Ogden, UT. The merged family included the four Chugg boys and Lila Walton who was 15. By then, Iona was 21 and married to Jack Mendenhall in Alberta. In 1936 Cecil Karl was 11, Melvin was 8, Glenn was 3 and Orville was a one-year old.
In addition, the couple had two children of their own. Marian Walton was born 24 Aug 1938 and Dennis Charles Walton was born on 15 Oct 1941, both in Ogden, UT. Charles gave up his practice and went back to farming. Although he saved the farm from bankruptcy, the Chugg boys never accepted him and behaved as if he was an interloper who had stolen their mother and their farm. Cecil in particular gave him a great deal of grief and the Chugg brothers followed his lead. In addition to the farm, Charles also worked as a cartographer in Ogden. During WWII he wrote a ward newsletter that was sent to men serving in the armed forces. He received many letters of appreciation from men in foxholes and trenches expressing their thanks for the cheer and news that the paper brought to them from home.
On 16 Aug 1958 Charles once again lost a wife and his children lost a mother when Mary Ellen Barker Walton died of a stroke. She was only 55 and her youngest child, Dennis Walton, was 16 when he lost his mother. After the children were grown, Charles sold the farm. In 1960 he married Eva Grace Farmer. He died on 4 May 1974 at the age of 86.
FINDING TEMPLE HILL CEMETERY
By 1974, Dennis was living in California, working as a mason, married with children and struggling to make ends meet. He went to Utah for the funeral but was unable to go to Canada for the burial services. He has never visited his father’s grave. He wasn’t even sure where his dad was buried. His sister, Marian attended the services with her children but they were all very vague about the location saying it was somewhere near Lethbridge in Alberta, Canada. As a twelve-year-old boy, Marian’s son, Kevin Christensen, retained very depressing memories. He remembered an empty and isolated prairie with tumbleweeds blowing across the cemetery.
Since I belong to Ancestry.com and do genealogy work, I sleuthed out the exact location years ago. I knew that Charles was buried on Temple Hill in Raymond and I even had row, section and plot numbers. But we didn’t know what to expect. It sounded like Boot Hill to me. I pictured a plain of dried up brown chapparel and a dirt hill with a few boot hill gravestone markers covered with dirt and dust. I told Dennis we should take some cleaning tools with us in case the stone lay flat on the ground and had gotten buried.
I looked it up and Wikipedia was not reassuring. “Temple Hill is an isolated hill located three kilometres north of Raymond, Alberta, Canada in the County of Warner No. 5.
‘Temple Hill was so-named by Mormon settlers of Southern Alberta because some thought that it would be an appropriate site for a temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Ultimately, the LDS Church’s temple in Southern Alberta was built in Cardston. The Temple Hill Motorcycle Track is located on the hill. The sand-based track is used for motocross and BMX races and for recreational users. Annually, the Temple Hill Motorcycle Track hosts the Western Canadian Amateur Championship in motocross.
‘Raymond’s only cemetery, Temple Hill Cemetery, is located on the eastern side of Temple Hill. The cemetery is owned and operated by the Town of Raymond. It contains two Commonwealth war graves, of a Canadian Army soldier of World War I and a Royal Candian Air Force officer of World War II.”
The day after our arrival, we planned to go to Raymond to find Dennis’s father’s grave at Temple Hill Cemetery. I “googled” Temple Hill Cemetery to find an address. I found references to the cemetery but no address or map. Finally on Google Maps I put in “Temple Hill Motorcycle Track” and got a location pin. Nothing of Temple Hill showed on the map but it gave me the intersection of Township Rd 64 (east-west) and Range Rd 205 (north-south). The Township Rd crossed AB-5 and I hoped to spot it on our drive south to Raymond.
Raymond is a small agricultural town. In 2013 Raymond had a population of 3,982 and it is primarily an LDS community. It was founded in 1901 by a mining magnate with plans to build a sugar factory based on locally grown sugar beets and it attracted 1,500 settlers within a few years. Today it is known as the “Sugar City”. In 1902, Raymond held an outdoor rodeo and called it a stampede. It was Canada’s first organized rodeo event and the “Raymond Stampede” is held annually every summer at the end of June.
With complications and delays, we did not actually leave for Raymond until the late hour of 3:00 PM. Heading south of Lethbridge on AB-5 we saw open grasslands from horizon to horizon. This is a big prairie country and all of it is green. I was amazed to see large bands of horses grazing where one would expect to see only cattle. I’ve never seen so many horses in fields as I’ve seen here in Alberta. They look so beautiful grazing in these immense green fields.
We passed the tiny hamlet of Welling and began to try to read the small street signs for the many country crossroads. We could not read them without literally pulling over and stopping. Finally we saw a small sign for Raymond with a left arrow so we turned off on Hwy 52 driving east towards the town. The crossroads all had range road numbers and I hoped to see Range Rd 205 but what I saw was 21-6 and such. We passed Broadway, clearly the main street in town and came to the end of town at Hwy 845. Turning north we spotted a long east-west hill rising above the level plains. (Raymond has an elevation of 3,130 ft.)
It could only be Temple Hill and soon we saw a left turn arrow on a small Temple Hill sign. Turning west we saw a gravel driveway. There was no sign but it looked promising so we turned south. Uphill we saw a large wrought iron fence and a sign: Temple Hill Cemetery. We found it — no thanks to the Town of Raymond.
Much to our surprise, the cemetery turned out to be large area with 12 lanes and 13 wide rows completely covered with grass. The rows are very well filled with gravestones. It may have been a dusty boot hill in 1974 but it has clearly changed since then. It is however, forbidding and unwelcoming. We had the dogs with us for our country outing and a sign clearly said “no pets”. It also said that we couldn’t leave flowers on the ground or in a loose vase. The vase had to be attached to the gravestone. We had not brought flowers since this was an exploratory drive but we had planned to return with flowers. We parked down the hill of Row 1 in the shade of a tree. Leaving our dogs and hoping they wouldn’t bark we walked halfway up to what we thought might be Section 17 and began to look for a marker with the name of Walton.
Soon we found grave markers for Harriet’s sixth child, Charles Herbert Walton, together with his wife, Ida Ann Paxman Walton and their first daughter, Wanda Walton. To our surprise we also found Harriet Bates Noble Walton, wife of Andrew Jackson Walton, mother of Charles Herbert Walton and grandmother of Dennis Charles Walton. We also found Harriet’s last child, Nettie Melba McKenna, the daughter of George Emanuel McKenna.
It occurred to us that the cemetery probably contains many other Walton connections. We went down to a small portico by the entrance where the cemetery has posted a list of all gravesites. It is very well organized and easy to use. We looked up the sons and daughters of Harriet, the brothers and sisters of Charles, the aunts and uncles and first cousins of Dennis. We were amazed at the large number of his relatives all residing in this one cemetery. It was late and we decided to make a second visit to look for the rest of these family members.
We returned on Sunday, June 14th and spent a pleasant hour and a half searching for gravestones.
We found Harriet’s first child, Andrew Jackson Walton with his wife, Floretta Amanda Anderson.
We found Harriet’s third child, Hattie Elizabeth Walton with her husband, John Taylor Heninger, Jr. Hattie (1879-1975) married John in Salt Lake City on 23 Dec 1903 and the couple settled in Raymond, AB where they had 11 Heninger children. John Taylor Heninger, Jr (1875-1949) was a sheep rancher who owned a lot of land. Dennis recalls that John was a large man and that he flew a plane. The family later moved to Lethbridge. After Heninger died, Hattie traveled and wrote an excellent and very comprehensive genealogy book, “Links of Walton History” that was published in 1969.
We also found other Heninger’s, the children of Hattie and John. They include Hattie’s first child, Ray Taylor Heninger, her sixth, John Walton Heninger, and her seventh, Paul Milton Heninger. Hattie’s ninth child, Beth Heninger Galbraith is there together with Beth’s husband Bruce Galbraith and their child, Paul Heninger Galbraith.
We found Harriet’s fourth child, William Danie Walton with his wife, Maybell Nunn Crandell together with their first child, Ervin Cecil Walton.
Uncle Danie was Dennis’s favorite uncle because Danie made him laugh. Dennis says that he would come out every morning with a big grin and fool with his hearing aid saying, “Testing, testing. Hello are you there?” Danie and his wife lived in Lethbridge.
Dennis has always felt badly about the fact that his parents were buried separately by their first spouses. After our visit to Temple Hill Cemetery he felt much better about it. As he saw how many relatives surround his father and realized how much of Charles’s life was spent in Raymond, he felt happy for his dad and glad that he could be buried at home next to his first love.