Saturday, August 11, 2018

A Day in Ely, Nevada - August 2018

In mid-July of 2018, many of the descendants of
Orson and Shirley Rhoades Lauritzen
gathered at the birthplace of Orson
in Preston, White Pine, Nevada.

Orson and Shirley Rhoades Lauritzen

Kerry and I were unable to attend, due to some prior commitments, so a few weeks later we drove through the area
on our way to another destination.

Kerry had never been there, but I had attended a reunion of the
surviving siblings of Orson
close to thirty years ago.

Here are some things I saw and learned about on this trip.

First of all, why in the world were they there?
Most had lived in and/or been born in Utah.
So, what brought them to Nevada?

This, I believe, may be the answer:  The Edmunds-Tucker Act

It basically boiled down to plural marriage,
otherwise known as polygamy.

Senator George F. Edmunds of Vermont, and
John Randolph Tucker of Virginia, 
presented what was to be known 
as the Edmunds-Tucker Act in 1887.

The main focus was the practice of plural marriage,
and the many immigrants entering the country who would be
engaging in this practice.

"Since the people upholding polygamy in our Territories are reenforced by immigration from other lands, I recommend that a law be passed to prevent the importation of Mormons into the country."

It passed by a vote of 38-7,
and even though President Cleveland refused to sign the bill, 
he did not veto it.

It became law on 3 March 1887.
It was not repealed until 1978.

Many who were engaging in the practice of polygamy moved to other areas.

This act meant:
1.  The Church was disincorporated, as well as the
Perpetual Emigration Fund (used to pay forward for those emigrating to the United States).
2.  Public officials, and those who would be willing to serve as a juror, or vote, required an anti-polygamy oath.
3.  Spousal privilege was revoked, requiring wives be able to testify against their husbands.
4.  Replaced local judges with federal judges.

It also meant LDS Chapels were already taken over by the government,
with the threat of the Holy Temples also being confiscated, too.

It was during this time period that the family moved to Nevada.

Whether it was because of the turmoil,
or in spite of it...
I'm not sure yet.

What I do know is that a very good family moved 
to the desert country of Nevada 
where it's hot, and dry, and very forlorn.

I had never quite seen a cow sign like this one.

This beauty just seemed to be posing for us.

Kerry's father, Orson was named for his uncle James Orson Lauritzen.  I believe this is his mother on the right.

Metropolis, Nevada is not really a Metropolis by today's standards.

Mary Elizabeth Baker Terry was born in New Jersey. 
Her parents were both born in England,
and are buried in St. George, Utah
I can only imagine the stark reality of settling in the west after coming from the east, where it is much more green and verdant.

Peter Lauritzen and Mary Loanna Terry,
who were Kerry's grandparents.
Peter was born in Moroni, Utah,
which is in the central part of the state.
Mary was born in St. George, Utah,
which is in the southwest part of Utah.

I am going to assume the above photo was taken in Nevada,
for it matches up with others from that time period

The old school in Preston, Nevada.

I can't even imagine living in this little log cabin
in Preston, Nevada.

The chapel in Lund, Nevada.

 The above four photos are a representation of what 
Kerry's sister, Content Maxwell did
to honor the ancestors who were from this area.

Cemeteries were located both in Preston and Lund.
These contain the ancestors of the Orson William Lauritzen family
when they lived in Nevada.

A reunion was held in mid-July 2018, 
which Kerry and I were unable to attend.
So, a few weeks later, we made a trip there ourselves
on our way to some of my speaking assignments.

Content wrote up some wonderful histories of the family who lived there, and had them covered in very thick lamination.
They are bound with one ring,
and are either hung or laid on the graves.

This is one of the best ideas I have ever seen.

She also had some green indoor/outdoor carpet stretched over the graves, since it's not very green there.

 Little Lauris Elden Lauritzen was the firstborn child of 
Peter and Mary Loanna Terry Lauritzen's twelve children.
And, he only lived 13 days.
Their feelings of losing their oldest child wouldn't have been any different than their son, Orson, who would lose his oldest son.
Nor, of Orson's son Kerry,
who would also lose his oldest son.

Orson William Lauritzen, Kerry's father, was born in this tiny town in 1918.

Flowers were blooming at the edge of the property
where Orson was born.

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