[This is the history of the family of Neils Schow and Sarah Ellen Fotheringham Schow, as we remember it and can tell it, with help of diaries and the stories we loved to hear. We, Beverly Rae (Weston) Palmer and Betty Ellen (Crookston) Carson decided that someone should put together this history. We are two of few remaining cousins (granddaughters ) of Nels and Sarah (Nellie) Schow. This has always been a close-knit family and we have between us diaries, family stories and history told to us by our folks and other family members. There are genealogy sheets and pictures. We have tried to put all this together so it is interesting to all and hopefully accurate.]
Neils, or Nels Christian Schow was born December 6th, 1866 at Mantua, Box Elder County, Utah, to Neils Christian Anderson Schow and Anne Marie Kirstine Rasmussen Schow.
The family left Brigham City, where they were living when Nels was six years old, moving to Panguitch, Utah, with other settlers to help colonize the region. His father was a tailor by trade, worked in the Co-Op mercantile in Panguitch, being part owner.
There were three boys and three girls in the Schow family:
Anne was born in Panaca, Nevada, so it must be assumed the family was living there at that time. Nels's father passed away on February 2, 1879 and his mother died on July l2th, 1879, within months of her husband. She died following childbirth complications. Nels, his sister Gedske, who was married to James Henrie at the time, and younger brother Charles were left orphans within a few short months.
After the death of his parents, Nels lived in Escalante with his half brother James for about four years, then he went to live with his father's first wife (Aunt Mary) in Panguitch. She passed away when he was seventeen years old. Nels then went to live with his sister Gedske and her husband and was immediately put to work doing a man's work. He stayed with them for several years.
He attended school at the Murdock Academy in Beaver, Utah in 1887. While there he lived with Grandma Fotheringham's family; it was then that he met Sarah Ellen, affectionately called Nellie, whom he later married. They were married Nov. 9, 1889 at Richfield, Utah.
Nels taught school for two years at Orton, and one year at Cannonville, this was about 1891. The family then moved to PanguitchMetta and Kenneth were born while they lived there. Mother (Mary) informs me that Metta should have been Mette, that's the old Danish spelling. The family lived at Panguitch until 1894, then as the result of the 1893-94 depression and the fact that he was unable to collect monies due him, Nels was unable to make the final payment ($80.00) on his home and holdings there. The property was lost and the family moved to the Lower Valley, about twelve miles north of Milford, Utah. This was a new farming region, then opening up for homesteads and producing marvelous crops of grain and hay. The Schows homesteaded a farm about six miles south of Blackrock. They left the valley in 1896 and moved to Frisco, where Nels worked in the Horn Silver Mine, a silver producer, booming at that time. They spent the winter of 1896-7 there. The family was now increased to three children, Metta, Kenneth and Marie. Their next move was to Beaver, where they spent some time and then returned to the Lower Valley, now called Reed. They spent the winter of 1898 on the James Forgie farm, both families living there, Spencer had been born during that year.
Their next move was to the Smithson farm, for one winter, then back to Milford, where Mary was born in Sept. 1901.
Nels had an opportunity to take over the big Murdock Ranch in the Lower Valley as a sort of general manager, to share in the stock increase and in the crops produced. This was a big ranch, fertile and level it produced enormous crops of grain and alfalfa, and the family did very well here.
Nels furnished the beef cattle for the Meat and Grocery business operated by his brother-in-law, Steve Fotheringham in Milford. Letha was born in Frisco in December of 1903, possibly while the family was still living in Milford. In 1907 the Schows moved to Milford, where Nels joined Steve Fotheringham in the grocery business, disposing of his interest in the cattle etc. from the Murdock Ranch venture and investing it in the grocery business. He purchased a home in town, a two room frame structure and added to it. The partnership with Steve lasted for several years, then Steve sold his interest in the Milford store and purchased a thriving business in Newhouse. The Milford business became "N. C. Schow & Sons." The store catered to the miners at the Moscow Mine and Kenneth drove to and from the mine at regular intervals with groceries and he also carried mail.
Nels was a very capable cattleman and farmer but the grocery business was not his expertise; he was honest to a degree and assumed that everyone else was the same. He extended too much credit and could never pass up a hard luck storyas a result, he was forced to close the business and move back to Reed about 1912 or 1913. At this time Kenneth was called on a mission to Denmark and then with the war raging in Europe, the missionaries were returned to the states, Kenneth finished his mission in Kansas.
The old Curfew ranch at Reed was home for the Schows for several years, one hundred ten acres of very fertile land and it was made to pay, so much so, that it was sold in 1917 and the family moved back to Milford where Spencer and Mary were already living and attending high school. Nels also purchased land in Enterprise about this time and the family spent at least two summers there.
Nels was town Marshall for a time about the year 1910, but the harsh treatment accorded prisoners at that time was completely foreign to his nature, so the position was of short duration.
While on the Curfew farm he was appointed County Commissioner and served two terms. In order to attend the meetings it was necessary for him to flag the train at Reed Station, ride to Milford, and then take a stage from there to Beaver, making this a two or three day trip.
Nels went to work for the Union Pacific Railroad on January 1, 1918, working at the freight depot as a checking clerk. During the depression the railroad cut their working force as an economic measure and his job was abolished, so he went to Delta for a time, when that job was abolished he went back to Milford as a section hand in order to save his seniority, his foreman said of him that he could out work any two of his men. He retired February 1, 1937 at the age of 71.
He was ward clerk for a number of years, also acted as 2nd counselor to Bishop Burns and as a clerk for Bishop Bird. He was an ardent fisherman and enjoyed nothing more than a picnic trip with his family or a hunting trip with his grandson, Jack Weston Jr., a sport he enjoyed until about 1955 when he was forced admit that he could no longer "sight his gun."
This history was written by his daughter, my Mother, Mary Schow Crookston, in another part of this history will be a collection of little stories that Mother wrote about all the things she remembered about growing up, I'm sure there will be something each family will enjoy, as she told something about everyone. Her memory to this day is fantasticI think she can out-do me at times and she is 93. There is a story Grandpa and Grandma used to tell about Grandpa's father, he was the eldest son of a very wealthy landowner, I believe a castle was even mentioned, but he stood to inherit the holdings. He decided to migrate to the United States and his father told him if he did that he would be written out of the family Bible, disinherited. He came to the United States and when Kenneth was on his mission to Denmark he made a trip to the family estate. Just as they had said, Neils Christian Anderson Schow had been marked out of the Bible. It was as though he had never existed. I don't know if the story is true, but it makes good telling doesn't it? I found some pictures and articles on the part of Denmark that the Schows came from and will put them in this history. (1995).
I want to share my memories of Grandpa Schow, I hope Beverly will too, Johnny Weston should have some very good ones too, if we can get them all together. I wasn't as lucky as a few of the cousins who lived in Milford and grew up around Grandpa and Grandma Schow but we did spent every summer there, from early June to late August. I think those summers held some of my very best memories. When I was little, Grandpa was eight feet tall, at least so it seemed, I guess when you're small a tall man looks so very, very big. He was a big man, over six feet tall and big boned. His hair was brown, fine and thinning as he got older, but he didn't go gray until he was in his late seventies. His eyes were blue and he had a quiet, gentle way about him. I don't remember ever seeing him mad; oh, once or twice he'd chase us out of his garden, maybe turn the hose on us, but only in fun.
He had such patience. I remember him teaching me to fish, Of course he would have to bait my hook and if I was lucky enough to catch a fish he'd have to take it off the hook. (I did catch a few!) All this time he was trying to do a little fishing of his own, but he never said a thing. All the families, the Westons, the Smyths, the Crookstons and sometimes the Lewis's would camp out for ten days to two weeks in the Beaver Mountains or up on the Mammoth, in the Cedar Mountains. Every summer we did this, and Grandpa never missed a trip. Those days the roads were terrible, the cars were just as bad and we always had to stop at least two or more times on the way because the radiators were boiling over. Grandpa was always the first out of the car, carrying a can or pail to get water for the car. He never missed a picnic up in the cedars out of Milford; we ate a lot of suppers up in the cedars. He brought in the first wood for the fire, and never failed to warn us children to look out for rattlesnakes!
Every once in awhile he would go somewhere that took him out of town overnightdid that make me happy! I could sleep in his feather bed. He had his own room out on the back porch and that bed was something specialI'd get in and sink out of sight, but was it comfortable!
I remember him telling us of the time in Panguitch, when he was just about ten or eleven, the militia came to get John D. Lee, who was next door. He remembered the men all in black and John D. Lee was hiding in the chicken coop, it left quite an impression on him, especially after they killed Mr. Lee at Mountain Meadows.
I can still see his big workworn hands; he had eczema. Whenever we were in the mountains he'd find a pine tree and smear pine gum on the raw spots, claimed it really did help. He had a real green thumb; his gardens and flowers were wonderful! My Mom said if he'd set a fence post in the ground it would probably sprout. He really did enjoy life. He and my Dad, Frank Crookston liked to walk up or down the Beaver River together, fishingthey liked to fish anywhere for that matter. He did his hunting with young John Westonthey spent a lot of time together. During the depression my Dad lost his job, Grandpa arrived on the train with a big trunk filled with potatoes, cabbage, beets, carrots and bottled preserves. He was really something! I wish my children could have known him as I did but they were too little to remember him before he became ill. He died September 18, 1962 on my Mother's birthday.