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Dorothy Eva Penrose Woodland -MY HISTORY: From her autobiography

Dorothy's memories of her family, her childhood in Salt Lake, life during the Flapper Era, the Depression, World War II and the Post-war years.

MY HISTORY

DOROTHY EVA PENROSE


I was born July 11, 1909, at our home, 1156 Third Avenue, Salt Lake City, Utah. I was the youngest of three children, my brothers were Edwin Ray and Alton Barwell, (Bud). Our parents were Edwin Centennius Penrose and Eva Catherine Davis.

My Father was the son of Charles William Penrose and Lucetta Stratford. Mother was the daughter of Alfred Oxenbould Davis and Margaret Bateman.

Dad was born in Ogden, Utah on July 4, 1876, hence the name Centennius. When I was a small child, I thought that the Fourth of July celebration was in honor of my father.

Mother was the first girl and the second child, born in Alta, Utah. She was born July 9, l873. Alta was a small mining town in those days. Now it is a very popular ski resort. When the mining community was there, they used to experience snow slides in the winter, which would destroy anything in their paths. Fires were always a hazard, and they had only primitive ways of controlling them. When Mother was a baby, a fire destroyed the town, forcing the residents to leave. Grandfather Davis was the Telegraph Operator in A1ta. When they left there they settled in West Jordan.

Grandfather Penrose was the only son of Richard Penrose and Matilda Sims, he was born February 4, 1832 in Camberwe1l, London, England. His father died when Grandpa was still a young boy. We have tried to find his death date, but to no avail. When we were in London two years ago, we went to Camberwel1, and tried to trace it, but were not successful. So much of that area had been bombed in World War II, the records may have been destroyed.

Richard was born September 16, 1798, in Redruth, Cornwall, England. The only information that we have about him was that he was a Third Degree Mason in Cornwall and York Counties, as well as in Cork County, Ireland. His wife Matilda was born August 1804, in Stratton, Cornwall, England. Grandpa did not talk about his early life in England, and we do not know why his father went to Camberwell, or what kind of business he was in.

Grandpa's family had great hopes for their son. However, at the age of eighteen, he heard the missionaries of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and joined the Church, much to the regret of his Mother and four sisters. This caused a rift in the family, as they belonged to the Baptist Church, and could not understand his accepting "Mormonism". His Mother was interested in genealogical records and had kept those of the family, but we do not know where they are now.



My father was born in Ogden. Grandpa was editor of the Ogden Standard Newspaper. Dad was the sixteenth of eighteen children born to this family. Ten of the children died, some a few weeks or months old, a few lived for a year. When I think of the' agony and heartbreak that my Grandmother endured, each time a baby died, my heart aches for her and the sadness that she had to face. She was a very great lady.

When Dad was still a young boy, Brigham Young asked Grandpa to move to Salt Lake and become his associate editor at the Deseret News. In 1880 be became editor in chief. He was made an Apostle in 1904, and in 1911 became counselor to President Joseph F. Smith. When he died Heber J. Grant became President, and chose Grandpa to be his first counselor. He held this position until he died in 1925; He was 93 years of age.

Grandma Penrose died before I was born. I have always regretted not knowing her. My parents told me that I was like her in many ways. I have many happy memories of Grandpa when he visited our home.

He gave me many beautiful blessings when I was growing up that influenced my life. I used to visit him whenever I could in his office in the Church Office Building. He used to introduce me to President Grant and the other General Authorities. He always gave me a quarter before I left. It was a lot of money to me, and I appreciated it. I loved him very much and to me, he was a great man. He had so many talents.

My Father used to tell me of the time when the Church members were practicing polygamy . . . . It was the custom of the Church to have the first wife's approval for her husband to take a second wife. Grandpa asked Grandma to give her consent for him to ask this girl to become his second wife. What a difficult decision this must have been for Grandma, especially after all that she had endured. She did give her consent and Grandpa married her. Her name was Elizabeth Lusty. She and Grandpa had 10 children. We always called her Aunt Lizzie, and loved her very much. Because I did not remember my Grandmother, she took her place in my affections.

When Grandpa was 54 years old he married Dr. Romania Bunnell Pratt. She was the first woman doctor in Utah, and had instigated the building of the first hospital, built in Utah, called the Deseret Hospital. After she had earned her degree, she returned to Utah and started practicing. I think that she must have been the first Pioneer woman to believe in equal rights for women. I remember her well; she was always sweet and kind to me.

I also recall the time that Dad told me of the way that the Authorities were being persecuted for practicing polygamy. Many were sent to prison for their beliefs. To avoid arrest, Grandpa disguised himself as a woman, until he could board a train, then he and another Authority, went to Washington D.C. to appeal to President Grover Cleveland in behalf of the Mormons. President Cleveland could not, or would not, help them . . . .

Mother’s family on her Mother's side also crossed the plains in a covered wagon. Her Grandparents were Thomas Bateman and Mary Street. Thomas was from Bolton, England, Mary from Manchester, England. They married in 1829 and joined the church seven years later.



In 1850 they joined a company and resumed their journey to Utah. They had many trials along the way. The Indians stole some of their goods, Cholera struck the camp, but fortunately, no one died. The Indians greatly admired their baby, Margaret, as she had black eyes and hair, and they tried to barter with her parents for her.

They finally arrived in Salt Lake in September in 1850, and were sent to West Jordan to settle. A few months later Thomas went back to England to sell some property that he owned there. On his return trip he died on shipboard and was buried at sea. No one knows exactly what happened to cause his death, and the money he carried was not recovered. Grandma Bateman was stunned with the news, but with pioneer courage, faced the task of rearing her 12 children.

Mother's Father, Alfred Davis, was also of pioneer stock. His parents emigrated from England. He was one of seven children. . As a young man he worked as a telegraph operator, and I have read letters that he wrote to Grandma Davis when he was stationed at Battle Mountain, Nevada, a remote, lonely place. I cried when reading them, they showed how lonely, cold and miserable he was, so far from Grandma.

They had eight children, Mother was the eldest in the family. When she was a young woman, her father went to Montana, and on February 15, 1896 died there. His family is difficult for genealogists to trace in England, as they did not belong to any church.

After her husband’s death, Grandma took in boarders, Mother worked in a store selling lace, and her brother Fred got a job in order to help Grandma to hold the family together.

Grandma lived in a small frame house in Murray, and I remember going on the streetcar with Mother to visit her, I still remember her flashing black eyes, and all the children avoided doing anything wrong so that we would not be the recipients of one of her glances. We had such good times on her front lawn in the summer, making home made ice cream, and having the chance to lick the dasher, on the hand turned freezer. We do not have ice cream like that anymore. Grandma died when I was eight years old, I am so glad that I knew her, even if it was for so short a time.

Mother was acquainted with Grandma Penrose, and was visiting her when Dad returned from his mission. She had never met him before, but answered the door when he returned home. It was love at first sight, and a year or so later on June 28, 1899, they were married.

Dad had traveled without purse or script, on his mission. I have letters that he wrote to his Father, always addressed to the Honorable Charles W. Penrose, telling of his experiences. I hope that my family will enjoy reading them, and will appreciate them as much as I have.

Mother and Dad had been married almost a year, when Ray was born on April 13, 1900. Two years later Alton was born on June 26, 1902. Ray could not pronounce Alton so called him "Budder," this was how he got his nickname Bud.

After a few years, my parents bought our home on Third Avenue. It had just been built, when they bought it, and it was here that I was born.



Those years of growing up in that area were wonderful. There were only a few homes East of us, so we were raised in the hills and canyons. I grew up loving the mountains, and still have the same feeling whenever I look at them. I have never seen any others that compared to them in my estimation.

North of our home, just a block away, was the City Cemetery. Every new kid that moved into the neighborhood was initiated by being taken there and scared by ghosts and tombstones. My brothers were always the ghosts, and Mother was always missing sheets from her linen closet.

I remember the streetcars that ran past our home, they ran on tracks, and had trolleys that connected with overhead wires. The boys in the neighborhood made a practice of sneaking up behind the car and pulling the trolleys off the wires. More than one conductor chased them, and the air would be blue with curses. Bud was always in trouble and was known as the Penrose scourge in the neighborhood.

We also had floods in the spring, from Dry Canyon, and rattlesnakes and small animals would wash down past our home. One day, to our amazement, a dead cow washed down and caused a lot of excitement in the area.

Grandfather Penrose came to our home almost every Sunday, for dinner. When I was four years old he asked me what we could do to stop Bud from teasing me so much. I was seven years younger than Bud, and his greatest joy in life was teasing me, it was the bane of my life. I answered, “Cut his Froat!" Grandpa never forgot this, and laughed about it many times.

One time when he came for dinner, Mother had baked one of her famous caramel cakes. It had thick caramel frosting all over it. I slipped into the pantry, and picked all of the frosting from around the edges. I still remember how good it tasted. She was furious when she found it, but my Grandfather thought it was the cutest thing that he had ever seen. He loved me and spoiled me, and I loved him in return. I have always been grateful that I had the opportunity to know him so well, and have always appreciated all that he did for me. .

As I grew older, my parents wanted me to have piano lessons, but Dad was very ill and could not afford the lessons. My brother Ray had a part time job while he was going to school, repairing streets and digging ditches. He paid for my lessons out of his meager wages. He did this until he was married. He has always been so kind and considerate of me. He was like a second father to me and our relationship has always been very close.

I took piano lessons until I graduated from High School. When the depression got so bad, and we needed money, Dad had to sell it. I will always appreciate Ray giving me the opportunity to study music, and although I no longer play, I still have a great appreciation for good music.

I also wanted to take dancing lessons, especially ballet. When I became old enough to baby sit, I used my earnings to pay for lessons. I took lessons from Professor Jackson, the leading ballet instructor in Salt Lake. The lessons lasted until I graduated from High School and started working.

When the Influenza Epidemic hit the United States, during the First World War, thousands of people died from it. I became ill at school, and Mother and Dad stayed up all night caring for me. After a few days, I began to recuperate, but my parents came down with it and almost died. Ray and Bud took care of all of us and pulled us through. They were told to wear masks whenever they came into our room, so they would grab an old rag or dishtowel and wear it over their faces. It worked, and neither one of them got the Flu. People were so frightened of getting it, that no one would enter the house while we were ill. Neighbors would leave food and medicine on our doorstep to help us.

Dad had very poor health. He had contracted malaria while in the Southern States on his mission. He did not ever seem to regain his strength. We had very little money during our young years, but we were never aware that we were not as well off as our neighbors. Mother was usually President of Primary or Religion Class, and as a family we were all active in the 27th Ward. People did not move as much as they do now, so we had a stable neighborhood where everyone was concerned about the well being of others. We knew everyone for miles around, and never lacked for friends.

When I turned eight, Mother took me to the Tabernacle on the Temple grounds to be baptized into the Church. I can still remember how frightened I was when I was put under the water. After my baptism and confirmation, Mother took me to lunch at the Z.C.M.I. and explained to me the responsibilities that accompanied baptism.

It was about this time in my life that we heard that President Woodrow Wilson was coming to Salt Lake. We all were so excited when our teacher at the Wasatch School took our class to South Temple to watch the parade, and to see the President go by in his car. We could see him very clearly, as he was riding in an open car, and was wearing a tall top hat. It impressed me that he did not smile, but looked so sober as he waved to us. I realize, when thinking back, that this was the time that he was trying to convince the world of the importance of having a League of Nations.


Dad had been working as a deputy sheriff for a short time, and then was asked to be Commissioner of Roads for the State. His job was to examine the roads throughout Utah and to see that they were in good condition. We had never heard of freeways or highways then, as most of the roads were dirt. In order to be able to travel on the job, Dad bought a second hand army car. It was a Ford, an open car, with wide fenders, and ising glass windows that could be buttoned on at the sides. We traveled allover the State and had many wonderful trips to remember. We particularly enjoyed Bryce and Zion’s Canyons. There were no motels or hotels in the canyons then, so we slept in the car, or on the ground. We cooked our meals over campfires. I am sure that it was not an ideal way for Mother to travel, but it was heaven to me. I will always remember the trips and how much fun we had.

Across the street from our home on Third Avenue lived the Weidner family. They had two girls, Gunda and Goldie, and a boy, Woodrow. The oldest girl, Gunda, had the most beautiful chestnut brown hair that hung to her waist. She used to shampoo it often, and in the summer would sit on their front lawn and dry it. She used to let me brush it for her occasionally, and even through there was seven years difference in our ages, we became good friends. In 1924, Ray and Gunda were married, and we were so happy to have her in our family. She has always been a sister to me.

The First World War did not seem to affect me too much, as I was only eight when it ended in 1917. I do recall Mother adding things to the flour to make it go further, as there was a wheat shortage.

At one time she had the opportunity to buy a large amount of eggs from a farmer. She decided to store them in brine, and put them in our cellar, a dirt room under the house, The method of preserving must have been wrong because after a few weeks, we became aware of the most horrible stench around the house. When we tracked it down, we found that the eggs had spoiled, and if you have never smelled rotten eggs in brine, you have not missed much. It took a long time to get the odor out of the house.

We had survived the Flu and the shortages during the war. We were so grateful that Bud and Ray were not drafted. It was a long, heartbreaking war, the war that was to end all wars. I remember the hatred we learned for the enemy. We made fun of Kaiser Wilhelm, and were suspicious of any one of German descent. I remember my parents talking about the Bolshevists, and the I.W.W. (International Workers of the World.) News came to us by way of the newspapers, as radio and television had not been invented then. Special events called for special editions of the papers. Dad was working for the Deseret News, and was called many times in the middle of the night to go work on a special edition. A few hours later we would hear the newsboys calling, "Extra! Extra!" It was a big event when this happened.

We sang the songs, "Over There, Over There" and “Keep the Home Fires Burning," and “Johnny Get Your Gun." We were so happy when it was allover and our soldiers could come home.

When I was nine, the 18th Amendment, the prohibition law, was passed. It was a very stupid law that encouraged bootleggers, speakeasies, and crime. The night before it went into effect there was a wild time all over the country. The people tried to get as much liquor as they could before the law was enforced. Utah was one of the states that had gone dry a few years before. I can vaguely remember when there were saloons on Main Street. Many people made wine, beer, and a concoction called bathtub gin, because it was made in the bathtub. The 18th Amendment was repealed in 1932.

During the early Twenties, Dad was offered a job managing the Wilkes Theater. He accepted the offer and left newspaper work for a while. They had groups of actors that performed a different play each week. They were called Stock Companies. Dad made many friends among the actors, and we entertained them in our home on occasion. I remember Marjorie Rambeau well; she later became a movie star. A1so Gladys George and Victor Jory, who also became well known in Motion Pictures.

Being a member of the First Presidency of the Church, Grandpa was given use of a box at the Salt Lake Theater. Quite often he would give us tickets and we would see well-known actors in plays, light opera and opera. When I was about nine, my parents took me to see a great Shakespearian actor in the "Merchant of Venice." I got very upset and started to cry when Shylock demanded his pound of flesh, and how thrilled and excited I was with Portia’s impassioned speech. These were exciting times for me, and added much to my education and appreciation for the theater.

During the era, the silent movies became part of our lives, Ray used to take me to see silent cowboy movies on Saturday afternoons. We would ride the streetcars downtown. It cost a nickel to get into the movie, and a nickel for a large bag of popcorn, with real butter on it. They played a new segment of' the same movie every week. After the cowboy shows became less popular, we then enjoyed Fatty Arbuckle, cross eyed Ben Turpin, and the Our Gang comedies. Charlie Chaplin was a favorite, and Mabel Normand and the Gish sisters, Dorothy and Lillian, and Mary Pickford were popular.

The Nation was shocked when Elinor Glynn's book, "Three Weeks", was published, and was later made into a movie. It was considered risqué, and the lines of people waiting to see it were blocks long.

During these times, we were so glad to have the war ended, the economy was settling down, the food shortages had ended, and things were getting back to normal. Dad's health was improving and we were enjoying life, which centered around our home and church.

When I was a sophomore in High School my Grandfather Penrose died. The school was closed on the day of his funeral, which was held in the Tabernacle. It was filled to overflowing. I had lost a dear friend and loving Grandfather. It took me a long time to adjust to the fact that I no longer had him to talk to.



A few years before I was born, Dad and Mother had bought our home on Third Avenue, it had just been built. They had to pay eight percent interest on the loan, and in those days of very low wages, it was a burden for them to meet .the payments. We loved it and were very happy in it.

One night, my brothers were taking care of me, while our parents were out for the evening. They put me to bed, in our parents’ bed. The wall of the bedroom divided it from the front hall. Bud had found Dad's pistol, and was fooling around with it. It accidentally went off and the bullet went through the flimsy wall and over my head, barely missing it. .

Aunt Maude and Uncle Sid lived a few blocks from us. Aunt Maude was Mother's younger sister. They had one son, and five daughters. They were as close as my own family, and not having sisters of my own, they helped fill this vacancy in my life. The girls and I had many battles and many good times as we grew up, and have always remained good friends.

When I was in the fifth grade of the Wasatch School, the principal decided to have me skip the sixth grade. When I graduated from Elementary School I was a year younger than my classmates. This was a handicap for me when I went to Junior High and High School. I was a fair student, but very shy, tall and gangly, and I could not keep up with the older students.

When I had graduated from the Wasatch School, my parents decided to sell our home. We moved into an apartment on Main Street, close to Dad's work. I felt so displaced, and hated the apartment, and West Junior High. Until I made new friends, life was very lonely for me.

I disliked algebra, and could not understand it, but for some reason I still cannot understand, passed the course.

After graduating from West Junior, I was enrolled in the Church School, the L.D.S. University. We had fine teachers and I gradually became acquainted with other students. I loved the speech class and oral expression, and English, but disliked gym and arithmetic. How I wish that I had understood more about arithmetic, it has been a detriment to me all of my life.

These were the days of the Flappers. We all wore dresses to our knees, or just above. We danced the Charleston and the Black Bottom and felt very daring. We did not think that our parents knew anything about life, and could hardly wait to show the world how smart we were. We called things that we liked “keen" and felt that we were very wild.

It was at L.D.S.U. that I first met Phil. He was on the basketball team that won the Conference that year. When I first met him, he had a broken leg and was on crutches. Even though we belonged to the same Ward, the Seventeenth, and lived a few blocks from each other, we had not paid much attention to each other until we were both in High School. He was too shy to ask me for a date until after we had graduated. We got to know each other better at the Ward dances. Phil and Bud were in charge of the dances, and played on the Ward basketball team.

When he finally asked me for a date, a romance started that lasted for the rest of our lives. We would get angry at each other, and break up. We would go with other people, at one time I thought that I was in love with a young dentist, Vernon Anderson. Phil and I always made up and seemed to be right for each other.

In 1932, on New Years Eve, he gave me a diamond engagement ring. We had dated for some time and were engaged for several years longer before we were able to marry. The depression had started and our parents depended on whatever we could pay for board and room. In spite of the wait, we enjoyed life. We had lots of friends in the same predicament, so we went as a group to shows, dances, picnics and when we were broke played a lot of cards together.

We had moved to another apartment on Main Street, not far from Phil's home, he would pick me up every morning and take me to work. He had saved for a long time, and managed to buy a new Model .A. Ford. It cost about eight hundred dollars, and had glass windows.

My first job was with a millinery store. I was an apprentice for six months, and earned five dollars a week. When I was advanced to the status of milliner, they raised my wages to seven-fifty a week. I worked for several millinery stores in the city, and gradually increased my wages to fifteen dollars a week.

Dad wanted me to go to college, but his health was so poor, I felt that I should start contributing something to the family.

Phil had gone on to Junior College, at L.D.S.U., and then went to work for Elias Morris and Sons. He worked as an apprentice, learning the tile business. After he had completed his apprenticeship he became a tile setter. He had to go out of town a lot. Morris's paid very little expense money, so he had to stay in poor hotels or boarding houses.

When I was a sophomore in High School my Grandfather Penrose died. The school was closed on the day of his funeral, which was held in the Tabernacle. It was filled to overflowing. I had lost a dear friend and loving Grandfather. It took me a long time to adjust to the fact that I no longer had him to talk to.

Ray had become a partner in the Independent Oil Company, and they were doing very well. He and Gunda had two boys, Ray, Jr. and Glen. They had bought the home on Third Avenue, that Gunda had lived in, and lived there for many years.

Bud had married Glenna Reid, and they had a daughter, Gayle. Bud was Headman in the Line-o-type department of the Deseret News. We used to play cards and go to lots of dances with Bud and Glenna and Ray and Gunda. We taught Ray, Jr. and Glen to ski when they were old enough, and as a family we remained very close.

When I was about eighteen, Lindberg made his historic flight to Paris. His plane, “The Spirit of St. Louis," was a single motor plane. When he made his triumphant return to the United States, he traveled around the country. When he came to Salt Lake, I saw him pass by in the parade. I was so impressed with his youth and daring, to fly in that open cockpit plane for thirty-three long hours across the At1antic Ocean. I was always interested in his life and career, from then on. The Nation’s heartfelt sympathy went out to Lindberg and his wife, when their little son was kidnapped and murdered.

Radio had become popular with the public, and Dad had bought an Atwater Kent radio, and we spent many hours listening to Amos and Andy, Fiber McGee and Molly, and the Hit Parade.

Talking movies were being shown then. The first talkie was A1 Jo1son in "The Jazz Singer." What excitement it was to hear him talk and sing "Mammy." We swooned over Rudolph Valentino, adored Mae West and laughed hysterically over the antics of W.C.Fie1ds. To me, he was one of the greatest comedians of all times. Gloria Swanson, Harold Lloyd, Douglas Fairbanks, and the great vamp, Theda Bara, were all popular, and influenced the thinking and styles of the Twenties.

In 1929 the stock Market crashed. People had bought stocks on margin, ten cents on the dollar, banks were closing, and people lost their jobs. Thousands lost their fortunes, many committed suicide. It was a common thing to hear of men jumping off high buildings. War Veterans, many with college degrees, sold apples on street corners, for five cents each. Lots of men left their families and homes, and tried to get jobs in other parts of the country, usually with no success. It was a common sight to see freight trains go by with hundreds of men catching a free ride to some other place. Homes were lost, people were hungry, and unable to help themselves. The song "Brother Can You Spare a Dime," was typical of the times. Families moved in together, and everyone tried to help each other and their neighbors.

Dad was working for the Deseret News again, and his job was quite secure. However, every few weeks he would come home and tell Mother that his salary had been cut again. I also took many cuts, and finally worked for a dollar a day and was glad to have it. We were among the more fortunate to have steady incomes.

Dad had so much compassion for anyone in need, and as he walked to work in the mornings, he was always a target for men that were begging for a nickel or dime, so that they could eat. I do not think that he ever refused anyone.

These were hard times for Phil and me. We wanted to get married, but simply could not afford to. Phil's work at Morris's was not steady, as building was so slow. He found a job in a place that manufactured furnaces. He worked for fifty cents an hour, and did tile work on the side when it was available.

Our group of friends loved to dance, and if we could scare up the price of admission, would go to a dance. The big name bands were traveling all over the country then, and we danced many times to Louis Armstrong's band, Ted Lewis, Harry James, Guy Lombardo, the Dorsey Brothers, and other well-known bands. One time Phil and I won a box of chocolates for waltzing. We also took up skiing, although we did not have ski equipment. We used cut up tire tubing for bindings, and used old skis that we had found. We wore hiking boots and riding trousers, and were in the hills skiing whenever we could get away and afford a gallon of gas to get there.

Things were so bad that President Roosevelt started the CCC camps. They hired men and boys to build roads, and conservations projects. They earned a dollar a day, and were fed and housed. Many successful men today remember learning to work in one of the camps.

Dad's health had grown progressively worse. He had developed heart trouble. He kept on working, but many times was so ill, he could not go to work. We could see that his condition was getting worse. Ray and Bud did all that they could to help us. Dad did not believe in insurance so we had nothing to fall back on when he was so ill. The Deseret News kept him on as long as they could, the boys helped financially, and my paycheck would help pay the monthly bills. Toward the end we had to hire a nurse as Mother and I were so exhausted. He died February 9, 1935. He was 58.

My Father always called me Dorothy Anne, his pet name for me, or little princess. I thought he was the kindest, most intelligent man that I had ever known. I will always miss him, and have wished so many times that he could have lived long enough to know our daughters. He would have loved them so much, and would have been so proud of them.

He was self-educated. He quit school after the fourth grade. He loved to read, and read everything available. His handwriting was beautiful, he had a fine vocabulary, and an impressive way of speaking. His articles in The Deseret News were always well written, and interesting to read. Not many reporters had a byline in the paper. Dad earned his, and was proud of his achievement. I have felt that he could have been a fine novelist, if his health had permitted. He had faults and weaknesses, but they were very few.

In his work, he saw much of the seamy, mean, immoral side of life. He was assigned to cover all of the executions at the State Prison, and there were many in those days. He covered mine cave-ins, and all sort of accidents, and reported them accurately. Even though he ~aw this side of life, it did not change the gentleness and goodness of his nature. He helped so many people that were in trouble.

After his death, Mother and I moved to a smaller apartment on South Temple. After figuring our assets, found that we had very little to live on. My wages would not cover everything, Mother had some small dividends from some stock in Ray's company, but somehow we managed, and helped Mother through a very difficult time.

During these years I was President of the Alpha Zeta Beta Sorority, a national non-academic social sorority. I met so many fine friends, and we had so much fun together. One year I was a delegate to a Province Meeting in Denver. I also attended a convention at Long Beach, California. This was a few years before Dad died. Helen Pembroke, a close friend of mine, and I traveled by bus. We had very little money to spend but had a wonderful time. The Convention was held at the Virginian Hotel, a lovely place on the beach. We were delighted by the lovely parties, dinner dances, and luncheons that were held at the hotel or the Pacific Country Club. Our Long Beach hostess arranged dates for us for the dances, and my date turned out to be a very nice young man, named Arthur McCartney. He was my escort during the convention, and after it was over, Helen and I went to Los Angeles for a week. We stayed with a friend of Mother's, who owned a hotel there. Arthur would bring a friend for Helen, from Long Beach, and they would take us to dances, shows, sightseeing, and boating. Arthur and I became good friends, and corresponded for several years, until Phil and I were married. It was a happy carefree time in my life and I am grateful to him for helping to make it so pleasant.

After Dad's recent death, we did not want or could afford a large wedding reception. We wanted no publicity, or parties. We did not count on our friends and relatives, they all wanted to entertain for us. There were twelve lovely parties and showers, and the newspapers, having known Dad so well, had many articles and pictures of the parties and our marriage. We were married in the Salt Lake Temple, June 5, 1935. After the ceremony our families came to our apartment for refreshments, before we left for our honeymoon.

Phil had some work to do for Morris's, in Idaho Falls, so he did that first, and then we went to Yellowstone. It had just opened for its summer season, but was still bitter cold. We stayed in a little log cabin, and Phil tried to keep it warm, by making huge fires in a little wood stove. We almost burned the cabin down, trying to get it a little warm. We had not taken any food with us, as we thought that the stores and restaurants would be open. Nothing in the Park was open, finally Phil went to the Rangers Station and explained the situation to the Ranger, and he invited us to have dinner with his family that evening. They had beans, home made bread and applesauce, and I have never tasted anything better. We stayed in the Park until the next day, and then went to Jackson Hole for a day, before starting for home.

We found a larger apartment after we returned home. It was located on C Street and Sixth Avenue. It had two bedrooms, one for Mother, and she lived with us for a year. It helped her to make the adjustment after Dad's death. During that year we had many relatives stay with us for weeks at a time. After Uncle Sid died, Aunt Maude stayed with us for three weeks, and Aunt Mettie Davis was with us after Uncle Tom, Mother's brother, died. Ray stayed with us for three weeks when Gunda and the boys had the mumps, and were quarantined. Phil was earning about twenty dollars a week. We really learned how to stretch a dollar that year.

We had bought a puppy in Idaho, we did not realize that he would grow into a large dog. He had been bred for a sled dog for racing. We had him for five years, and he was an important part of our family. He was loved by everyone, we named him Todd, and when he was killed by an automobile we were heartbroken.

These were happy years, even though Phil was away from home so much. When he was home, we would ski, and there was usually a Sorority party to go to, usually at the Hotel Utah or the Country Club, We did not have much money, but we had friends whose Fathers belonged to the Country Club.

Mother and Aunt Maude decided that they should go into some kind of business; they rented a large house, and turned into a boarding house. We all admired them and encouraged them in their venture, but the work exceeded the profits, and they had to give it up after a year or two.

Phil and I had moved into a small apartment on F. Street. We bought old furniture, and refinished it. We were expecting Dianne, and were so happy with the prospect of having a baby. After she was born, my friends told me that I walked as if my feet did not touch the ground, and acted as if I was the first woman to have a baby. She was the only baby in either family, and everyone made such a fuss over her. Dad Woodland used to drop by every day to hold her and play with her.

We needed more room, so moved into a remodeled house on First South. The owner had converted the upstairs into two apartments. The couple that lived in the other apartment were Mary and Stewart Hansen. Stewart was a struggling lawyer. The four of us became close friends, and had so much fun together. Years later, Stewart became a. well-known Judge in Utah.

Dianne was 18 months old when we bought our home at 1838 South 11th East. We had to borrow the money for the down payment from our families, and the house cost $3400. We have lived in it for 45 years.

Mother came to live with us for another year. We were glad to have her, as Phil was away working most of the time, and I was alone with a small child.

We doubled the payments on the house, and paid for it in twelve years. We paid back the money we had borrowed from our folks, and started to remodel the house. Dad Woodland helped us so much with the remodeling.

Bud and Glenna had been having problems with their marriage, they separated for a while, and then were divorced. This was our first experience with divorce in the family. We all felt so unhappy about it, as we loved Glenna and Gayle. They sold their home and Glenna and Gayle went to live with Glenna's Mother in California. Bud stayed with us for a few weeks, until he could find a place to live. A few years later he married Ellenor Lee. She was registered nurse and had also been married before.


A month after Sue was born, Japan bombed Pearl Harbor. It was a sneak attack that took place on December 7, 1941. I was afraid that Phil would be drafted, but having a family, exempted him until near the end of the war when he was put into the classification of 1A. Phil was so patriotic, and wanted to serve his country, but I was grateful that he did not have to go.

We had many things to contend with, such as food stamps, gas rationing, we could buy 4 gallons of gas a week. We stood in long lines to buy a little meat. We dug up our back yard and planted a Victory Garden, as they were called then. Our doing without was just an inconvenience, compared to the suffering that was being experienced in the countries that were over run. We became involved in the war with Germany, and were horrified, when the news began to filter out to this country, of the persecution and mass murders of the Jews.

Phil had gone to work, as a supervisor at the Arms Plant. They made bullets. He worked shift work, and did tile work whenever he could.

We were not prepared for war, and found ourselves fighting on two fronts. Adolph Hitler was over running Europe, and the Japanese were defeating us in most of the battles. We wondered what had happened to this countries resolve in the last war, that it would be the war to end all wars.

Phil's brother, Jean was drafted, and sent to Italy, and assigned to the Signal Corps. He and his wife, LaNore had only been married for a short time, and we were so sorry to see them separated.

Eventually the wars ended, Hitler went down in defeat, and committed suicide. Then an unheard thing happened, America dropped an Atom bomb on Hiroshima. This ended the war with Japan. We had unleashed the most horrible menace that could be imagined, and the world would never be the same again.

When Susan was three years old, we had another little girl, a darling baby, with enormous eyes, and auburn hair. Our lives at this time were really complete, we had our three lovely daughters, a nice home, a little Cocker Spaniel, named, Janie. She was part of our family for twelve years. America seemed to be getting back to normal, and for the first time in our married lives, we were able to save a little money. Phil was still traveling a lot, but usually came home for the weekends. I was teaching a class in Primary, and getting to know the members of Sugarhouse Ward.

In the summertime, we would go with Phil when he worked out of town. We also took many trips, taking the whole family, including cats, dogs, and whatever pets we had at the time. We had some most enjoyable trips, and saw a lot of the Western part of the country.



In the late forties, I remember Senator McCarthy, and his witch-hunt for Communists, especially in Hollywood, among the actors. Times were changing so rapidly, we could hardly keep up with them.

Phil's Father became ill, and we could not find what was wrong with him. He had broken his back, when a young man, and had suffered pain with it for years. He became bedridden, and Phil and Jean would go to his home every night after work, and help their Mother care for him. After several weeks he was taken to the hospital. He died there on April 1, 1950. He was such a good, gentle man, and I loved him very much. He was always helping us, when we made changes in our home. He was wonderful to the children, and I am sure that the girls remember the walks that he took them on, to the State Capitol, and the times that he played the player piano for them. He was never too tired to amuse them.


In 1953 Mother began to have health problems . . . . . she had a lump on the side of her throat. . . it was malignant. [The cancer specialist] told us it was inoperable. She had been living alone for a while, so we found a room with friends, just across the street from us. When her condition worsened, we brought her home and cared for her until nine days before she died. We had a very close relationship, and I felt that I had never really reached maturity, until after her death, and had to realize that I could no longer go to her for advise. Ray and Gunda, Bud and Ellenor were very supportive, and did everything that they could to help us during her illness. Mother died July 24, 1953.

The girls had all gone to the Forest School, then to Irving Junior High, and on to South High. When they were small, we had a swing, a tricky bar, and a sand pile in the back yard. All the children in the neighborhood used to play there. We also had a tetherball in the driveway and we all enjoyed using that. Dianne loved to play softball, Sue loved to bat a tennis ball against the garage, and Laurie was always climbing trees. I usually could find her in the tree in our front yard. Besides their school work, they all had lessons in dancing, ballet and tap, ice skating, and swimming. Sue also took lessons in ceramics and painting. We always had pets of all kinds, Laurie was always bringing home stray animals. We had the dubious honor, one weekend, of caring for a white rat that Laurie had brought home from school.

Television was becoming more popular, so we bought a set, and enjoyed watching Milton Berle, Sid Caesar, Imogene Coca, and the other early personalities that were on T.V. then. We were amazed and thrilled with this new invention.

Mother Woodland had realized a life long dream, she went to the land of her birth, Sweden. Shelah and Art were on a mission there, she stayed with a cousin, and also did some research for her genealogical records. She enjoyed visiting with her relatives, and during the six weeks that she was there, saw a lot of the country. When she came home, she was thin, and did not feel well. She went to her doctor, and he sent her to the hospital for tests. She was operated on, and it was found that she had cancer. It had spread through her digestive system. After a week or so, they released her. She stayed with us for ten days and then stayed for a short time with Jean and LaNore. Her condition grew worse and she had to return to the hospital, she was there for nine weeks. We arranged our time so that one of us could be with her most of the time. She died February 21, 1956. She had always worked so hard and had few pleasures in life. We were so grateful that she had been able to go to Sweden.


One day Laurel asked me to go with her to the Church Employment Offices to see if they had a part time job for her at the Genealogical Library. There were no openings at that time, but the woman that interviewed her asked me if I would be interested in a part time job at the Salt Lake Temple. She gave me a number to call, and at Laurie's urging, I called and made an appointment to be interviewed the next day. I had not worked outside the home, since our marriage, except to help friends or neighbors. When I told Phil about the offer, he encouraged me to keep the interview, and if I wanted the job, to try it for a while.

The next day I went to the office of Dan Hansen, and after talking to me for a short time, he offered me the job. I told him that I had not worked since my marriage, and was inexperienced in the work, but he assured me that they would train me.

The day that I reported for work, I was so frightened. I did not know that I had gotten myself into. They assigned me to the Sealing Department, and I worked for four hours a day learning the work.

I was fifty-five years old, starting to learn all the details that I needed to know. I had experience in working in the Church Organizations, and had held positions of leadership in Primary, Mutual and Relief Society, and I was not afraid of hard work. This background helped a little, but in spite of it, I made every mistake that could be made, while learning. My co-workers were so patient and kind to me, and helped me learn all the details that I needed to know. After I had been there for four months, Dan asked me if I would work a few more hours each day. I worked from 1:00 P.M. to 7:00 P.M. During the evenings, when things were usually quiet, I would use the time to try to learn to use an electric typewriter. I had to take a lot of kidding for it, but became fairly efficient at it.

I had been made an Interviewer at the Temple, and was in charge of the 5:15 P.M. Session. I interviewed those coming to the Temple for the first time, also those going to be married.


One night when I was leaving work, I saw a crowd at the Tabernacle. I went over to see who was there. It was President Kennedy. President David o. McKay introduced him and President Kennedy gave a fine speech. It was so thrilling to see, and hear, this young President, he gave us so much hope for the future. Such a short time later, we were so shocked and saddened, when he was assassinated in Dallas, Texas. His brother Bobby met the same fate, some time later, in Los Angeles. We wondered what kind of men would do these terrible things, that seemed so senseless, and we wondered what was happening to our country.

After learning the Sealing Department at the Temple, Dan had asked me if I would like to learn the work in the Baptistry. Margaret Glad was Supervisor of the department. We liked each other and became close friends, and she did so much to help me learn the many details of the department. I worked for several hours in the Sealing Department, then spent three hours in the Baptistry, and then went upstairs to take care of the Interviewing.



The Sixties were troubled times, everything seemed to be changing. The young people wanted to try their wings, and many did not want to live at home. Values that had been so important in our lives, seemed to be unimportant to so many of the youth. We began to read about, and hear stories about dope and its use. We knew so little about it, and were not prepared to combat it. In 1950, we had been involved in a war in Korea, called a Police Action. This was followed later, by our involvement in a hopeless war in Vietnam. It was such an unpopular war, and the young people rebelled against it, and rightfully so. Young men burned their draft cards, in protest, some moved to Canada to avoid going to war. Too many of our young men that did go, were maimed or killed. Civil rights were being tested, and some of our students were joining protest groups, with many problems not being solved.


Our lives have been very busy and productive, we hope that our health will remain good so that we can continue doing the things that are important to us. I have made many mistakes in my life, I hope that I have learned something from them, and won't repeat them. I have had a good life, the unpleasant and the sad things, that have happened to me have made me appreciate the good things that have come my way. Our marriage has also been a good one. Phil and I have been married for 46 years, and I believe that it is going to last a few more. We have had our share of problems in our married life, and I am glad that we have been able to work them out together. I firmly believe in marriage, and hope that the world will some day go back to some of the old fashioned principals. Stable homes and loving family life are so important in raising children. Happy marriages do not happen by chance, but must be worked at, and taken seriously, with each member having the opportunity to reach his potential, in any field that interests him. We are so pleased with our children, and the homes and security that they provide for their children. We are so grateful for the thoughtfulness and concern that they all show for us.

In writing this history, I have tried to give some of the highlights of my life, to give you some understanding of the changes that we have seen in the world, and to give you a record of your ancestors and your heritage.

We have lived through four wars, and are so grateful that we did not have to experience the horrors that so many millions endured. We also survived the Great Depression, it taught us to be cautious and saving, perhaps too much so. Now we are trying to learn to cope with inflation.

We have seen the mode of transportation change from the earliest automobiles and trains, to the modern way of travel by airplanes. We have enjoyed the results of radio, T.V. and are now trying to understand the computer age. We have watched, by television, spacecraft launched into outer space and watched a man walk on the moon, and more recently thrilled with the take off and landing of the space shuttle "Columbia" and wonder what effect it will have on our lives. It has been an exciting time to live.

The years have gone by so rapidly, looking ahead seems to be so far in the future, but looking back, our lives have moved so quickly and we wonder what has happened to the time. Whatever time that we have left, we hope that we will make the most of it.

We have learned so much from each one of you, you have given us an understanding that we would not have had otherwise. We appreciate each one of you so much, you have all contributed something to make our lives happier and worth living.

I ask your indulgence, in my efforts in writing about my life. Lots of things have been left out, but I have tried to write the things that affected me most. I did not intend for it to be so long, and I know that things are not always in sequence, it is difficult to organize and control memories Thank you all for encouraging in this project.

As I read this history, I realize that it is more of a family history than a personal one. Our children have meant so much to us, and anything you do is important to our lives. You have all been so thoughtful and kind to us and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

It is interesting now to watch our grandchildren grow and mature. Each one of you have brought so much happiness to our lives. We wish that we could leave you a world of peace, but perhaps things will change in the future, but whatever happens we know that you will contribute something good to it.

I have always been proud of our Pioneer heritage, we learn so much from our ancestors, and of their achievements, and I hope that this record of our family will help all of you in the future. It has been written with much love for all of you.

May 20, 1981

Dorothy P. Woodland

Note: What you have read is an abridged version of Dorothy’s long autobiography. The original is available to her descendents upon request.



Owner/SourceWoodland Family
DateAbridged version 2008
Linked toDorothy Eva Penrose

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