December Newsletter 2014 We honor a former principal, Wayne Edwards, who served also as a counselor, teacher and coach at Hurricane High School. He is our recipient in 2014 of our Modern-day Pioneer award. His family paid tribute to him, and Lee Beatty and DeLoy Evans did also. We are grateful for Wayne’s life and example not only in the field of education, but also for his community and church service. We want to extend our Congratulations to him.
We also talk about our Traditional December fund raising dinner that will be held on the 6th. These funds help us honor our ancestors through plaques and monuments. As well, we talk introduce our website and explain how to get around in it, as well as talk about the links that are found there, like Pioneer Histories, Chapter History, and Community History, plus several other links.
JOSEPHINE ROBISON WALSH
By Ace Robison a Nephew
In a quiet family celebration last week my jaunty, bright, and vivacious Aunt Josephine celebrated her 96th birthday. Aunt Josephine is one of the last of a generation born during World War I, the war that was to end all wars, and is a true pioneer as the story you are about to read will prove.
Josephine Robison Walsh was born in Logandale, the youngest child of Joseph Hancock and Nellie Hinckley Robison. Aunt Josephine was the last of seven children born to Joseph and Nellie. Joseph and Nellie came to the Muddy Valley (it was not yet called “Moapa Valley”) on New Year’s Day, 1909.
Nellie’s brothers had purchased a large tract of promising farmland in Logan, and Joseph who owned many good horses and the necessary equipment was prevailed upon to make the journey to the Muddy to clear the dense brush and level the land for spring planting. Joseph and Nellie liked it here, bought land of their own, and decided to put down roots.
Six years and many challenges and hardships later, Josephine was born in time to be the unwitting participant in one of the last great sagas of the Old West.
Times were difficult and by 1916 Joseph was reaching the end of his financial rope. Hearing from reliable sources that a mining boom was taking place at Jarbidge in far-northern Nevada, Joseph and oldest son Ben loaded their horses and freight wagons on the train for the long haul north to Jarbidge.
Everything in Jarbidge had to be hauled in by horse team over 65 miles of mountain trails from Rogerson, Idaho. The long dug-way grade into Jarbidge Canyon averaged not more than a foot wider than a wagon and the slightest miscalculation or mishap meant a fall of thousands of feet for horses, rig, and drivers. Joseph and Ben, with years of experience building railroad grade in Montana and freighting between St. Thomas and the Grand Gulch Mines, were skilled teamsters and felt up to the challenge.
Things went well for them and by autumn Joseph sent for Nellie and the children including 6 month old Josephine. In late November Nellie, with her children in tow, took the train to Salt Lake City where she left her oldest daughter Juanita to attend school in Provo. Nellie proceeded on to Rogerson where she hired a car and driver to take them to a roadhouse at a desolate place on the trail called Rattlesnake. There they were to board the Jarbidge-bound stagecoach for the final leg of the trip.
Unfortunately the weather turned bad (it was December 5th) and Nellie and the children arrived at Rattlesnake too late. The stage driver, fearing bad weather on the treacherous Jarbidge Canyon dug-way, had left without them.
As it turned out their missing the stage was an act of Providence although Nellie didn’t see it that way at the time as she had to find a place for her tired children and herself to sleep in a none-too-civilized roadhouse. The kind-hearted tavern-keeper, seeing her plight, offered her the best he had; an attic loft where loose straw would serve as their mattress for the night. As it turned out, December 5, 1916 was an historic night.
The stage on which Nellie and her children would have been had they arrived in time was carrying the mail and a strongbox containing the payroll for the mines. There were no other passengers except Frank Searcy the experienced and capable driver. Sometime after successfully negotiating the descent down the treacherous dug-way the stage was held up, Searcy was shot and killed, and the strong box was stolen.
When the stage didn’t show up on time the postmaster sent a capable man on horseback to find the stage, assist if possible, and bring back the first-class mail. Several hours later the rider returned. He had ridden to the summit but had failed to sight the stage. A search was called for and the stage with the dead Searcy was soon found in a bramble of brush by the side of the road.
We can only guess at the anguish that would have been felt by Joseph and Ben as the search was underway and until they learned that only Searcy was on the stage and the family was safe at Rattlesnake.
And that, as the saying goes, is the rest of the story. The story is true and the stage robbery described was the last stage robbery of the Old West.
So you see, my 96 year old Aunt Josephine Robison Walsh truly is one of the last of the pioneers of the Old West.
***My mother is now 98 and is living at the Hurricane Rehab. Dan Walsh
November Newsletter 2014 A Recap of October’s Dinner meeting with Steve Christensen’s search to found out about his father who was an aviator in the II World War, losing his life during a bombing raid over Germany. It was interesting to learn about the huge monument erected there by the Germans honoring those Americans who lost their lives in that particular crash. As well we tell of November’s meeting to honor one of our own chapter members as a Modern-day Pioneer. Someone who has served on our board for many years. Along with that, for the many years of service he has dedicated his life to in the community and to his church.There is also more information on December’s chapter fund raising dinner.