- Born 8 Jul 1890 Fairview, Sanpete, Utah
- Died 4 Sep 1979 Highland, Utah, Utah
- Parents: Lorenzo S. Davidson and Anna Louisa Peterson
- Spouse: Sarah Elizabeth Pearce (md. 8 Mar 1918 Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah)
- Children: Blanche Elizabeth Davidson, Alvin Lorenzo Davidson, Hyrum Davidson, Anna Vernessa Davidson, Thelma Pearce Davidson, Myrl Wesley Davidson, Ethel Davidson
"Arland was born 8 July 1890 in Fairview, San Pete County, Utah, in a frame building home. He was the second child of Lorenzo Davidson and Anna Louise Peterson Davidson. When Arland was 20 months old, his father and mother decided to emigrate to Wyoming and settle in the Big Horn Basin. The household consisted of one older daughter, Mary, of this union, and three half-sisters, Anna Wilhemine Peterson (Annie), Ellen Olive Peterson, and Regina Josephine Peterson (Rena) from a previous marriage of his mother to Johan Wilhelm Peterson.
"The family arrived in Teton Valley on May 22, 1892. The snow and drifts were so high they were afraid to travel any further. They shared a house with the Henry Todd family in Darby. On May 29, a week after they arrived, a brother Arthur was born.
"Because Arland was born prematurely, he was not very strong, and he didn’t walk until he was two years old. Also, he had scabs all over his head that caused his mother much concern.
"A log house was built and here Lenora and John David Nathaniel were born. When the valley was surveyed, it was found that the house was built upon the borderline of the Todd and Davidson farms. Because of this mistake Lorenzo built another home. The first log house was used for a dance hall, school house, and for parties, because it was the largest room around. In the second house, Eskil Leander and a stillborn son were born. Arland started school, then he was 8 years old. Sarah Holden was his first teacher. When he was in the sixth grade, he won the school spelling match by spelling the word, “Rome”.
"His boy friends were Boyd Todd, Archan Melvin Hill, and Sidney Blattner, with whom he had many enjoyable experiences. Fishing was a great sport. One time as he was riding a horse to go fishing he was thrown off onto a log fence, landing on his hip. His hip bothered him for three or more weeks.
"In 1902, an epidemic of diphtheria was in the valley. Arthur and Lenora were very sick, and it was feared that Arthur would not survive, as he was spitting up much , and fainting from weakness. Asifidity bags were tied around their necks, and the house was fumigated with carbolic acid and formaldehyde, to kill bacteria.
"Men came from the Pratt Ward to buy hay. Lorenzo asked them to have a prayer circle for Arthur. The next morning after the prayer circle, the little boy asked for a bucket of cold water. They hesitated in getting it for him, but he insisted, saying he would die if he didn’t get it. He doused his head in the water, and then said he was going to recover. Pete Larson, who was assigned to check out the sick families was very much surprised the next morning, to find Arthur almost fully recovered. He would not have to dig his grave.
"At first, Darby was just a small branch, with a few members. In 1895 it was organized into a Ward, with Emanuel Bagley as its Bishop. Arland’s mother was Relief Society President for 8 years, and Primary President for 9 years. She loved the Gospel, and taught it to the children early in their lives.
"Arland served in several Church jobs--1st Counselor in the Deacon’s Quorum, Assistant Secretary in the Mutual Association. He was ordained a Deacon in 1904, a teacher In 1909, and a Priest in 1909, and then an Elder in 1912. Parties and Church meetings were held in the Davidson home. People came long distances, and sometimes stayed all night.
"In the Spring of 1912, the family moved to a large brick home on the south side of Parker. Arland, being the oldest son, had many responsibilities. He helped to feed and care for 15-20 head of cattle, 10 horses, pigs, and chickens. His father let him build a barn by himself. As they hadn’t sold their farm in Darby, they had two farms to care for. The farm in Parker was quite rocky.
"In the summer of 1913, a group of young people—Mary, Arland, Arthur, Lenora and Lottie Rhodehouse went on an outing. They were chaperoned by a man and his wife, and they all went to Jackson Hole. Here, by the lake, they built a log raft. All of them went out on the lake, but Arland. Because he loved fishing, he hiked up the side of the lake where he found a boat. He got in it and asked Lottie to go with him. They circled round and round the raft. And because Lottie was Arthur’s girl, this teasing made Arthur jealous.
"He was called to go to Salt Lake City to meet with the General Authorities to be ordained an elder. He was ordained Nov. 5, 1913. The next day, Nov. 6, he received his endowments. He was called to serve a mission in Sweden. Thirty elders crossed the Atlantic on the Ariscratic [sic]. After docking at Liverpool, he traveled on, arriving at Stockholm, Sweden on Dec. 6. One of the men who crossed the Atlantic with him was Elder LeGrand Richards, who was to preside over the Swiss-German mission. He labored first in Eskilstuna with Homer Holmgreen, his companion. One day, while tracting, a man who disliked the missionaries pushed Arland down the stairs. He labored for awhile with two companions, J. Alma Johnson, and Carl J. Carlson, and spent several months on the island of Gotland.
"All missionaries were called home from Europe, when World War I broke out. After leaving Stockholm 28 Oct., 1914, the elders stopped in England to get their assignments to finish their missions. He was called to finish his mission in South Carolina. Charles A. Callis was the president of the Southern States Mission; headquarters were at Chattanooga, Tennessee.
"After laboring for a year, he became ill with typhoid fever--25 Oct., 1915. He spent 41 days in the hospital and another four weeks recuperating. before he could travel home. He arrived in Parker, Jan. 5, 1916. That spring, he moved to Dehlin—about 20 miles east of Idaho Falls, to run a farm with his sister Mary and her family.
"It was that summer that he met and courted Sarah Elizabeth Pearce. She was from Paradise, Utah, but was keeping house for her brothers who [were] also farming in the Dehlin area. They courted for more than a year and then journeyed to Salt Lake City, where they married on Mar. 8, 1918 in the Salt Lake Temple.
"Patriarch Thomas Wakitt Lee gave him his patriarchal blessing in July, 1919. Arland served as first counselor to Bishop Ezra J. Nelson, with Russell William serving as 2nd Counselor. He also served as counselor for Bishop Arthur Schweider.
"A daughter, Blanche Elizabeth was born 8 Feb. 1919. Arland assisted as school trustee for five years. A severe draught made financial conditions very bad. The crops didn’t start growing until the middle of the summer. Unable to meet their debts and mortgages, they were forced to move from their farm, and Arland turned the farm over to his brother Arthur.
"Their first son, Alvin Lorenzo, was born Nov. 27, 1920 in Iona, Idaho. A second son, Hyrum, was born Sept. 28, 1922. He was not well, and lived only two weeks. Sarah stayed with Arland’s sister Mary, while Arland took care of the farm and animals. Later the little family moved to Iona, Idaho. A daughter, Anna Vernessa, was born Dec. 14, 1924, in Idaho Falls.
"Arland's father, Lorenzo, died April 12, 1924 in Salt lake City.
"They moved back to the dry farm after Anna was born. Sarah stayed with Arland’s sister Mary, while Arland stayed on the dry farm, taking care of the animals and chores.
"In the spring of 1925, Arland and Sarah moved to Parker, Idaho, to the house where Arland lived as a youth. He farmed the land jointly with his brother Nathaniel. Here, a daughter, Thelma Pearce, was born Feb. 24, 1926.
|James Albert Pearce, Arthur Davidson, Charles Housley, Arland|
James & Charles are Arthur & Arland's brothers-in-law
"To get wood to burn, Arland took two trailers and a couple of teams of horses to the Island Park area.
"In the spring of 1926 Arland assumed the mortgage on the farm. He was to farm the north part and Nathaniel the south side. They exchanged houses because Arland was living on the south lands house.
"During the autumn of 1927 Arland had a most remarkable spiritual experience. Rainfall had been scarce, crops were small, prices were low and yet payments of the farm must be met. One night as he lay awake thinking about their financial situation, he found sleep impossible. He decided to arise and read in the Improvement Era and pray to his Heavenly Father. He began by reading an article by Elder John A. Widtsoe, ‘Alma Speaks to the Twentieth Century’. And as he relates his experience.... "I hadn't read very far when a personage appeared in my room, standing in the air. His apparel was plain, his countenance was beautiful, giving the impression of extreme intelligence. I did not converse with him, but I felt his supreme being surround me. I don’t think he had any message for me, except to bring peace to my troubled mind. He was of rather large stature, and reminded me very much of President Woodrow Wilson. I received the impression that he was Alma - the same that was written about by Elder John A. Widtsoe of the Council of the Twelve. Peace came to my soul. I haven’t been in much debt since. I take the vision to be a fulfillment of my patriarchal blessing’s promise, ‘Thou shalt see visitations of angels, receive different portions of the Priesthood and labor in various callings.’”
"On Sept. 20, 1927, a son, Myrl Wesley was born. Two years later on Christmas day 1929, a daughter Ethel was born.
"In the fall of 1931 as he and his brother-in-law Irl Rohwer were hauling potatoes out of the potato pit he was caught between the top of the load and the ceiling of the cellar. Irl administered first-aid by blowing into his mouth. He tried for some time to revive him, and at last his efforts were successful.
"The mortgage was foreclosed and in the spring of 1932, the family moved to Egin Bench (the Kimball place) on the south side of Egin. It was during the depression of the 30’s and people had to work very hard to get the means to care for their families. Arland worked, for different farmers. He cut wheat for Mark Orgille. Mr. Orgille gave him permission to rake the hay grounds after Mr. Orgille had hauled the hay off.
"In 1933 Ethel got pneumonia and was very sick. Cinthia Orgille came and helped care for the child until she recovered.. The family lived in the three room frame home on this farm for two years.
"Arland then moved his family to the north side of Egin to the Doss Hargis place. Winter and spring of 1934 brought no snow or rain so the sub-irrigation water was very low. He was renting 80 acres of ground. Arland provided the best he could for his family. He gave his children a patch of potatoes, and in the fall the crop was sold, and the money divided up among the children. All the machinery was pulled by horses. Hay was hauled by horses pulling a hay rack. Hay was stacked by using a derrick and the Jackson fork, which took the hay from the hay rack to the top of the hay stack, by the use of a horse pulling it with a cable. Grain was cut and shocked, then hauled to the farm yard, and thrashed with a thrashing machine. Some of his horses he rode. He liked horses, and gave each a special name--some of them were Tony, Snap, Nig, White Queen, Black Queen, and Kidd.
"The family bought a car--a 1928 Dodge which had been owned by the President of B.Y.U.--Karl G. Maesor [sic]. During the summer of 1936 the family drove to Yellowstone Park for three days. They also went again in 1936.
"During the winter, water was hauled from the canal by the farm, and also from the lake north of the farm with a “dummy sleigh”. Blocks of ice were stored in sawdust and used in the summer to freeze ice cream for an occasional treat. He always took his family to Church, even in the winter when drifts were high. Rocks were heated and placed in the sleigh. With blankets, the family kept warm while riding to Church.
"Choke-cherry picking was fun. The family loaded up the wagon, put in buckets and wash tubs, and would go berry picking out north of Egin, by the sand dunes.
"Arland and Sarah took their family fishing. They would travel in a wagon pulled by horses. The best fishing holes were in Snake River, south of Egin. Fish were fried over a campfire for a tasty picnic dinner.
"The family rode to Bear Gulch and to Elk Wallow, to get wood for the winter supply. Picnics were eaten and huckleberries were picked to be taken home to bottle. The relatives would remark that Arland always provided Sarah with plenty of wood. Arland and his two sons chopped wood until the woodpile was half as high as the house. This would be carried to the woodshed by the girls, where they would stack it inside for the winter supply.
"The winter months brought rabbits to the haystacks. Arland would poison them. Then the furs were sold to help with finances. One year 1000 rabbits were sold at five cents apiece. One night he brought 213 rabbits home. He also trapped coyotes and bobcats on the “Junipers”-- the mountains to the north.
"About the year 1939, crickets became a threat to the crops. Hordes of them came from the north-east. For miles, ditches were made with tin on one side to keep the crickets from coming onto the farms.
"The cattle herd increased to about sixty head. During the summer, they grazed on the “brakes’, north of the place, which was the area between the farms and the sand dunes. Sometimes they were taken across the sand hills. The girls took turns taking the cattle out to graze, and going to get them at the end of the day.
"The farm home was lit by kerosene lamps until 1940, when an electrical line was extended to the farm.
"Arland had several Church jobs. In 1941, he was appointed first counselor to Bishop Merrill Cruser. Ivan Mathie was the second counselor. He served as a Ward Teacher and a Gospe1 Message teacher in the Sunday School.
"In 1941, Blanche married Charles Bert Christensen, who was from Chapin. Idaho. Alvin was called to serve as a missionary in the Western States Mission.
"World War II started in Dec. 1941. Gas, meat, sugar, and tires were rationed. When meat was needed, Arland supplied the family with venison.
"Two years later, Alvin returned from his mission. In 1945, he married Clara Salerno from Salida, Colorado.
"In the fall of 1948, Thelma went on a mission to Holland. Myrl at this same time went to the Spanish American Mission.
"In March, 1948, Ethel married Darrell Lords, of St. Anthony, Idaho, and in April, Anna married Alden P. Adams of Cedar City, Utah.
"While keeping two missionaries in the mission field, Arland bought a farm on the South side of Egin, the Dr. West Place. Final payment was made just before Myrl returned from his mission. Farm prices were higher, after the war.
"In June, 1953, Thelma married David White, of Philadelphia, Pa. Myrl married Shirlene Siddoway from Teton Idaho, in 1955.
"Arland and Sarah accomplished one of their main goals in life when all of their children were married in the Temple. They made many trips to Idaho Falls to do temple work.
"Arland got sick and hemorrhaged from stomach ulcers in Sept., 1951. He was in the hospital for several days. He had another attack on November it 1953. He spent 57 days in the hospital in 1957 - in several trips. On Oct. 2, 1967 he was operated on in the Idaho Falls hospital. Two thirds of his stomach was removed. A gland operation was done in the University of Utah Medical Center in Salt Lake City about this time.
"His health returned, and Arland and Sarah continued to attend the temple regularly. Pres. Kilpack asked him many times to work at the veil in the temple. He did endowment work for many people in the Idaho Falls, Salt Lake City, Manti and Logan Temples, and a few times in the Provo Temple. He kept a record of every name he did work for, over a thousand names.
"Arland continued to farm until 1963 when he sold his half of the place to Alvin. They continued to raise a large and beautiful garden. Sarah’s health was failing, and Arland gradually took over the household duties as well as the garden.
"Arland was grateful for the many blessings he received in his active and full life and expressed his gratitude many times and especially for his wife as they supported each other in serving the Lord.
"One of his greatest desires was to help his grandchildren financially, as they served on missions. From 1975 to 1979, he spent much of his time among his children, and going to the temple as often as he could. He loved to read and although his eyesight was poor he read the scriptures through many times."
--This account of his life was recorded by Ethel as her father dictated it to her.
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Arland developed cancer of the throat in the spring of 1979, and spent several weeks in the L.D.S. Hospital. in Salt lake City. He passed away on Sept.4, l979, while staying at Anna and Alden’s in American Fork, Utah. He was survived by his wife, six children, 34 grandchildren, and 24 great-grandchildren. Funeral services were held on Sept. 8, at the Egin Bench Chapel and burial was at the Parker Cemetery.