Sunday, January 5, 2014

Lizzie Roberts Wiggett Shepherd Tubbs

Today is my birthday - but that would be boring!   Maybe in 100 years!

I had a little help with family history today - meet Peanut!     As you can see, he is a lot of help!  Who can guess what site that is I have open?

Today, I am going to highlight my 2x Great Grandmother, Elizabeth Talmer Roberts, who died on this day in 1935.

Elizabeth had quite the adventurous, and often difficult life.  Lizzie was born on June 10, 1861 in Headless Cross, Worchestershire, England.  Her father was a blacksmith and her mother was a former school teacher.  She began working as a very young child.   First chasing birds from fields of growing crops, later at a needle factor with her mother, and then as a maid.  

Her first marriage was to John Wiggett on August 5, 1878.

In 1880, 2 of Lizzie's brothers had joined the Mormon church and moved to Utah.    By 1882, things were not great at home, John was drinking and spending long hours away from his family, which included 2 children.   Lizzie's family had been writing to Lizzie, encouraging her to leave England and to join them in them in Utah.   About this time, the family's 3rd child was born and died.   Lizzie hoped that a change would improve things with John and began making preparations to leave.

John did not come.    The story is that he went to the dock, but decided at the last minute that he could not leave his family and stayed behind.  Lizzie went ahead and left, along with her sister and family.   She had a sick toddler and was pregnant.  Her fourth child, John, was born in Utah, but died after on a few days.

In 1884, Lizzie began working as a housekeeper for Rollins Don Carlos Shepherd, and ended up marrying him in 1884.   He was 30 years older than her.     The family, which included Lizzie's 2 children from her first marriage, lived in Utah until 1893.   5 children arrived during this time - Rollins Don Carlos II, Marcus de Lafayette, Claude, Electra and Edna.

In 1893, after hearing about the opportunities available in the Big Horn Basin in Wyoming, the family loaded a covered wagon, obtained 75 cattle and a pony and headed to Wyoming.    Along the way, most of the cattle were killed or lost, and they arrived very late in the year with almost nothing.   A daughter, Adeline, was born in September.   Rollins Don Carlos worked on other farms to try to provide for his family.  They lived in the covered wagon and had little food or comfort.  

In Spring, the family decided to head to Billings, Montana for supplies, and left the older boys behind to care for their camp.    On the way home, Electra fell out of the wagon, and caught her dress on the break and was thrown under the heavy wagon which rolled over her and broke her back.   They headed back to Billings to find a Dr., but Electra could not be saved and died a few days later.

It was not until the following spring that the family had selected where they would build their farm and commenced clearing the land, building a home, and planting crops.

Things went well for the family for several years.  They farmed, gathered berries, hunted and the children grew.   2 more children were born during this time - Valie and Bartley.   The older children began to get married, and were busy setting up their own households, and grandchildren began to arrive.

Adie, Valie, Edna, Thelma, Lizzie and Mildred
As Rollins Don Carlos reached his 70's, he began to become erratic, and unpredictable and at times violent.   In 1903 he decided to leave the family and had divorce papers drawn up, mortgaged the farm, and left for Utah to live with his brother.    In 1904, the last of the 9 children was born - William Gifford.     Lizzie was 43 and Rollins was 74.

After Rollins left, Lizzie moved her family several times.   She took various jobs to support her family - including taking in boarders, cooking, running a store, and opening a diner.  

In 1906, following the death of Marcus, Rollins Don Carlos rejoined the family in Belfry, Montana. After a couple of very hard winters, they moved to Laurel Montana.  On Christmas day, in 1909, Rollins Don Carlos Shepherd died.

In 1912, Lizzie moved to Lewiston, Montana and rented a cafe.

Lewiston Dining Parlor

 In 1913, the new town of Denton had been formed, and the Railroad was coming.    Lizzie left Lewiston and moved to Denton, where she was sure there would be more opportunities.    

Denton Hotel, Dining Hall

By now, Lizzie was living with William Tubbs, who had been one of her boarders.    In Lizzie's obituary, it is indicated that she was married to William Tubbs, but I could not find any documentation, and the family history doesn't say for sure if they ever got married, and if so, when this happened.

By now, Lizzie had children and grand children living in Montana, Wyoming, Colorado and Utah.    She would visit the children, especially in times of need - when there was illness, or a death in one of the families.   William Tubbs was a carpenter and taught that trade to some of the younger boys.

In 1918 - Lizzie and Bill Tubbs moved to Grand Junction, CO along with several of Lizzie's children.  They stayed there for several years.

In 1934, Lizzie decided to travel to Salt Lake City.   The car broke down somewhere in the desert, and they had to wait awhile before Bartley was able to come from Helper, UT.    Lizzie became sick, and went to Bart's house in Helper where she died on January 5, 1935.

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