Davidson and Farrier Family Histories

This is a site for us to upload family histories and pictures of our Davidson and Farrier family ancestors. I have not written most of the histories, although I have put together the timelines. The histories have been gathered from various sources, so I can't vouch for the accuracy of their information.

If you recognize any of these people and have information to add or correct, please post a comment, including your email address if you wish, so we can be in touch. I would love to connect with other descendants of these family members.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Walter Amos Siddoway, 1902-1995

  • Born 2 Jun 1902 Teton, Fremont, Idaho, USA
  • Died 2 Apr 1995 Nampa, Canyon, Idaho, USA
  • Parents: Amos J Siddoway and Agnes Davidson
  • Spouse: Velma Lucile Cherry (md. 16 Dec 1931 Dillon, Beaverhead, Montana, USA)
  • Children: Shirley Siddoway, Shirlene Siddoway, Walter Eugene Siddoway


[The following was written by a dear friend of Walter and Velma Siddoway.  This was read at Walter's funeral service.  The author of this blog did not write this.]

Walter Amos Siddoway was born 2 June 1902 at Teton City, Idaho, at the family home. He was the first of 4 children born to Amos J. and Agnes Davidson Siddoway. He had 2 brothers: Lawrence D. Siddoway of Shelton, Idaho who passed away Dec 13, 1989, and Donald R. Siddoway of Teton City who passed away Aug 1, 1976. His sister is Mary Collins of Ogden, Utah.

The few incidents I mention about his life will undoubtedly bring to mind many others to those of you who have known Walt many more years than I have. Walt loved to reminisce and tell about the early experiences of his life.

A five generation picture. Counter-clockwise from baby: Walter Amos Siddoway, Agnes Davidson Siddoway, Mary Ann McRae Davidson, John McRae, Eunice Fitzgerald McRae

In recalling his youth Walt said “I can remember when the first electric lights and cars came to Teton. Being kids we thought it was fun to go up to the corner a block from where we lived and when a car would come down the street we’d give a fast race with the car. We’d hold our own for about 3/4 a block, then we’d give up and they’d drive off and leave us.”

Left to right: Walter, Donald, Lawrence

Old Mag, with Donald, Walter, and Lawrence

During this time there were no water works in Teton and not many people living in Teton so ranchers would take their stock to a common watering place at the river north of Teton and families also obtained their water from there. On many summer weekends Walt and Lawrence and two other friends would ride horses to what was then known as Pincocks to swim — now known as Green Canyon Hot Springs. It was all open range then and in the Fall it was their responsibility to round up the horses from the hills South and East of Teton. They would camp one or two nights in the forest until the horses were found.

Walt attended elementary school at Teton and one year of High School at St. Anthony 1917. In 1918 school was closed because of the flu epidemic there. When Walt was 17 years of age his family moved to Idaho Falls where he attended his Sophomore and Junior years of High School. He then attended Business College in Idaho Falls and took courses in General Accounting and Typing.

The family moved back to Teton in the Spring of 1922. At that time Walt and his brother Lawrence went to Salt Lake City, Utah and attended Heniger Business College during 1922 and 1923. He was 21 when he completed a course in General Accounting and he then returned to Teton

In January 1931 Walt’s father went into the hospital in Rexburg for an operation. When Walt went to the hospital to visit his father he met Velma Cherry who was working there as a nurse. They went together during the summer and Fall and on December 16, 1931 they were married in Dillon, Montana. Their marriage was later solemnized in the Idaho Falls Temple on May 9, 1946.

Walt about the time of his marriage.

After their marriage they moved onto a farm in the Wilford area and there in 1934 twin daughters, Shirley and Shirlene, were born to them.

Walter with daughters Shirley and Shirlene

In 1938 Walt and Velma contracted to buy an 80 acre farm at Teton from his parents. There were no buildings on the farm so they lived in Teton and Walt traveled by horseback or horse and wagon to and from the farm each day. In 1939 they started to build their home. It was a four room house, but they were only able to finish two rooms that year. They moved into the home in January 1940. There wasn’t a well or electricity on the farm at that time so they would use gas and coal oil lamps. Wait dug a cistern and each week he would have to take one day and haul water in a large tank to fill the cistern. After World War II, in 1946, electricity was made available on the farm and made it possible to have electric lights and indoor plumbing for which they were very thankful and appreciative.

Their house was always surrounded by beautiful flowers and they always raised a large vegetable and flower garden. In addition to farming, Walt had a small herd of dairy cows and also in the winter he worked several years in the sugar factory and later in the potato warehouses.

In 1941 Stake missionaries began visiting with Walt and he was baptized into the LDS Church November 1, 1941. He was ordained an Elder and became very active in the church. He has held a number of positions in the Church. Twice he served as Counselor in the Elders Quorum. He was ordained a Seventy and served as instructor in the Seventies Quorum, as a Stake Missionary, and Assistant Ward Clerk in Teton Ward. Later he was ordained a High Priest.

He was also a faithful Home Teacher. I believe there were few if any times he missed going Home Teaching until in his old age he became too feeble to continue.

Their son, Eugene was born May 16, 1942. In 1948 when Eugene was starting school, Walt was President of the P.T.A. He recalls that they bought the first recorder for the school. He enjoyed being involved in community affairs.

 Unknown date.

It was in 1954 when I became acquainted with Walt and Velma when I began making regular visits to their home for a very beautiful reason. Walt and Velma were very kind and generous to me and I always felt very much at home in their home. I feel it a great privilege to have become a part of this great family. I think that Robert and Karen feel the same way. As grandchildren came along, Mom and Dad Siddoway became affectionately known as Grammie and Grandad. They greatly enjoyed their grandchildren.

Walt retired from farming in 1967, and that year he and Velma bought a camper for their pickup truck and drove to Alaska, where they spent the summer with Eugene and Karen. Eugene was stationed there with the Air Force. Walt said this adventure was one of the highlights of his life.

In 1985 they sold the farm and moved to Nampa, Idaho, to be able to be closer to Eugene and Karen and their family.

In their later years the health of both Walt and Velma began to deteriorate, but they continued to live in their home in Nampa until they felt they could no longer care for themselves. In March of 1992 they moved to a care home in Meridian. Velma passed away 17 Oct 1992. They had been married almost 61 years. Walt was very lonely from then until his on April 2, 1995.

He is survived by his two daughters, Shirley Smith of Boise and Shirlene Davidson of Aberdeen, his son, Eugene, and his sister, Mary Collins of Ogden, Utah. He has 13 grandchildren and 25 great grandchildren. He was preceded in by his wife and two brothers.

Brothers and Sisters, I have a testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I know that Mother and Dad Siddoway had a testimony also and they tried to live up to the covenants they have made with our Father in Heaven. I liked the Scripture Bishop Chandler quoted at the Memorial Service last Thursday. D&C 42: 22 “Thou shalt love thy wife with all thy heart, and shalt cleave unto her and none else.” Though they may have had some small problems they were totally devoted to each other. They understood the importance of family and that the family can be sealed together as a unit for eternity.

I remember one special occasion. After they moved to Nampa, Walt and Velma went to the Boise Temple and were sealed to their parents. I remember the special feeling I had on that occasion that is difficult to describe. That the sealing power had linked our family to many generations past.

I believe that Mother and Dad Siddoway are having a wonderful reunion and are rejoicing in the good family they have. When we honor one we honor both of them.

--Written by a dear friend of Walter and Velma Siddoway, and read at Walter Siddoway's funeral service.

* * * * *

Front row: Karen Lundquist Siddoway, Velma Lucile Cherry Siddoway, Shirlene Siddoway Davidson, Robert Smith. Back row: Walter Eugene Siddoway, Walter Amos Siddoway, Myrl Wesley Davidson, Shirley Siddoway Smith. 3 June 1989

* * *

Life Sketch of Walter A. Siddoway

I, Walter A. Siddoway was born 2 June 1902 at Teton City, Idaho to my parents A. J. Siddoway and Agnes Davidson.  I was the oldest of 4 children.  I had 2 younger brothers, Lawrence Davidson Siddoway and Donald Ray.  I had 1 sister Mary Agnes.

We lived in Teton from 1902 until 1919.  [Walter with his parents and brothers.  Mary wasn’t born until 1924.]  We then moved to Idaho Falls until the spring of 1922.  In 1917 I went to 1 year high school in St. Anthony then moved to Idaho Falls in 1919 and finished high school there.  The flue was bad in 1918 there was no school held.  Then went my sophomore & junior year in Idaho Falls – 1919-1920.  In 1921 I quit high school and went to Business College in Idaho Falls and took courses in general accounting & typing.  We moved back to Teton in the spring of 1922.  Then I went to Hennigar Business College in Salt Lake City from 1922-1923.  My brother Lawrence and I went to business college together.  I graduated from business college completing a course in General Accost Accounting.  Then I came back to Teton and lived there ever since.  In those days there were boardwalks in St. Anthony and we used to get a big kick listening to the sound of walking on the boardwalks, the echoes you could hear them coming for a block away.

I can remember when first electric lights came to Teton also the first cars to come to Teton.  Lawrence and I used to go up to the corner a block from where we lived and run as fast race with the car.  Of course the car always won.  The first car was owned Jay Williams father.  He made the same run every evening so we’d go up to the corner and wait, when he came down we’d give a fast race with the car.  We could hold our own about ½ the block then we’d give out.  They would drive off and leave us.  We didn’t have water works in Teton.  We’d take the stock right north over west side through James Siddoway’s field over to the river to water them.  People got so they took turns going over there and watching the cattle while they were watering.  Teton didn’t have many inhabitants then.  I don’t think there were over 200 families in Teton at that time.  To go up to Newdale, we would go up to what is known as the Butler corner – go straight south 1 mile turn east and go up the range on horses.  We came out at what now known as Green Canyon Hot Springs.  Then it was known as Pincocks Springs.  We usually made this a weekend trip.  We used to go up every weekend.  There was Irving Archibald, Ern Siddoway, Lawrence and I used to do that until towards fall, then we had to round up horses.  At that time it was all open range.  We would spend 1 or 2 nights up in the forest, get on the trail, when night came just make camp then get up in the morning and go again.  Sometimes it would be someone else’s animals.  We’d always chase them out to make sure.

They had the spring (Green Canyon) up on the hill then.  There was a pool built up there.

My parents were from Salt Lake.  Dad and Mother were both born in Salt Lake.  I don’t know where Mother’s Father was born.  Then mother’s father Walter Davidson migrated to Salt Lake.  He was a sheep man in Utah.  He kept in sheep until he retired.  Dad’s Folks came from England.  His Father was Robert Siddoway.  He was a carpenter by trade.  My grandmother came to this country in her teens then came across with the hand cart company.  Robert Siddoway and my grandmother Emma Jackson were in the same handcart company.  They joined the Church in England.

My Grandmother Davidson (Mary Ann McRae) was born in the church.  As far as I know Grandfather Davidson didn’t belong to any church.

Grandfather Siddoway was a polygamist.

My first church activities was shortly after I joined the Church.  I was made an Elder.  I worked 2 different terms as counselor in the Elder Quorum Presidency.  The first was 1st C. for 2 yrs then there change in the bishopric and I was 2nd C.  When the Church started out with 2 ward clerks I was the 2nd Clerk under Bishop Aaron Ricks.  My stake missionaries were Vernon and Mildred Mortenson and Gordon Johnson.  Jim Skinner was the ward teacher who influenced my life through ward teaching.  I was put in 70’s quorum.  Teacher in 70’s quorum for 3 years.  I’ve been a home teacher for years.  The year that Eugene was starting school the fall of 48 I was Pres. Of the P.T.A.  Orey Clark was Vice Pres.  We bought the first recorder for the Teton School.

Dad went in for an operation and I met your Mother in the hospital (Rexburg) (Harlo Rigby’s) along in Jan in 1931.  Went together until Dec. 16 then married in Dillon, Mont.  In the spring we moved to Wilford.  Lived there until daughters were born, then we moved back to Teton and lived there ever since.  We bought the farm we now have from by Dad.  WE built the home at the farm 1939 and have lived in that house ever since.

The highlight year of my life was when we went to Alaska 14 June 1967 and stayed until 1st Sept.

[Copied from a tape Dad made several years ago, about 1983.]

* * *

Autobiography of Walter Amos Siddoway

I was born in Teton in the house now owned by Jim Thompson on June 2, 1902.  At that time the house was just the three rooms on the west side.  It was built the summer of 1901 by my Father.

Mother and Father were married in June of 1901 in Salt Lake City and moved here as soon as they were married.  I lived there until they sold their home in the summer of 1919 when we moved to Idaho Falls.

The first school I attended was a rock building located where Joe Briggs’ [?] house now stands.  It was a four-room school with two rooms downstairs and two rooms upstairs.

When I was in the 7th grade, the school was enlarged with two more rooms downstairs and two rooms upstairs, making it eight rooms, the largest school for a small town in the valley, and we were sure proud of our beautiful school.  It was used until in the 1930s, when they built the present school.

I have seen a lot of changes in Teton.  The first was the electric lights.  The first power house was back of the Teton flour mill and used a water wheel to turn the generator for the power, and everybody kept a lamp handy, as the electric power wasn’t very dependable.

The first post office that I can remember was located just west of the old garage and was a log building with a dirt roof run by a couple by the name of Poggee.

After the post office was moved, a very modern drug store was built where the old garage building now stands.  It was more modern than either St. Anthony or Rexburg had, and people came here for medicines that were not available in other towns around.  And attached to the drug store was a barber shop that at times had two barbers.  It got on fire one night and was completely destroyed, and it was several years later that the garage was built by several men here in town and was later sold to Mell Searle.  He had the dealership for Ford cars.  The first car I owned I got from him.  It was a Model T and cost me $1150.00 new.

I graduated from the 8th grade here in the spring of 1917 and went to high school in St. Anthony that fall and winter.  I drove a very modern one-horse buggy in the fall and spring and rode my horse while the snow was on the ground, as in those days the roads were not kept open and the snow was very deep, as high as the posts on the fences.  And at times horses and sleighs could not get through, but my horse was very good and I never missed a day.

The next winter, 1918, was the winter that was terrible.  It was the winter of the flu that took so many lives throughout the whole country, about 20 here in Teton.

In the spring of 1919 Father sold our home in Teton to Ward Baker, the father of Ray S. Baker and we moved to Idaho Falls to a very nice home located at 239 11th Street.  The house is still there.  We lived there until the spring of 1923, then Father decided that he couldn’t stand another summer of retirement, so we moved back to Teton and we took the farms back that he had rented out.  And I farmed from then on until my health forced me to retire.

The farm that we now own is one of the farms that Father owned.

When we moved back from Idaho Falls, Father bought a nice home one block north of the main street in town.  It is a yellow brick and is now owned by Francis Ard.

I think that I have recorded enough of my early life and will now say something of another part of my life.

The greatest event, or should I say one of the great events, of my life was when I met the girl that was to become my wife.  We met in the early part of 1931 and were married December the 16th, 1931.  That was during the Great Depression as it has become known.  In the spring of 1932 we moved to a farm in east Wilford.  Times were very hard.  Wheat was selling for from 35 cents to 40 cents a bushel, hay $5.00 per ton, potatoes if you were lucky enough to have very good ones were worth 30 to 40 cents a hundred pounds, and wages were about two dollars for a ten hour day.  At that time I was in partnership with my father in a large flock of sheep, and we sold our wool for from 6 cents to 8 cents a pound and good fat lambs brought about 7 cents a pound.  So you see farming wasn’t very profitable, but everything was about the same, so we had a very hard time.  But we were very happy and we were full of hope and I never got discouraged, although I did long for better times as we had no modern conditions in our home: no electric lights and had to haul our drinking water about a mile in a wooden barrel.  In the summer we had water in a ditch in the field where the horses and the two cows we had could get water.

In those days there were no tractors to do our farm work with.  I had four horses I farmed with, and as there was very little money, sometimes we would hitch two of them to a wagon when we had to go to town for groceries.  And in the winter we used a sleigh if the snow wasn’t too deep, as we lived close to the railroad track.  If the road was closed and the train had cleared the tracks, we would walk to St. Anthony for our groceries, a distance of about eight miles.

In those days the winters were very bad.  The snow would get from four to five feet deep and I have seen the temperature go to 45 degrees below zero and stay that cold for several days at a time.  Our house was very poorly built and there were times when our water bucket which we kept full of water in the kitchen would be frozen in the mornings when I lit the fire to warm the house up.

We lived there from 1932 until the fall of 1934, the fall that the girls were born.  Then we moved back to Teton, where I went to work that fall in the sugar factory in Sugar City.  I forgot to mention that after we returned to Teton from I.F. I spent the next two winters at Henniger Business College in Salt Lake where I studied bookkeeping.  I graduated from there with a certificate as a cost accountant.  The school sent me on a job in a little town in southern Utah by the name of Lund, but when I got there I found that my salary was so low that after paying my room and board I would have the grand total of $10.00 left to pay other expenses for the month.  So I caught the next train back to Salt Lake and left the next day for home and decided that I would rather farm.

After we moved back to Teton, I rented a little piece of ground and raised some potatoes and continued to work in the sugar factory in the fall until they closed the factory.  It has now been torn down and there is a spud sorting plant where the factory was.

I have never regretted coming back to the farm and my schooling has been a big help throughout my life.

As I have looked back on my life, and think of my family which I am very proud of, I wish that I could have taken more time with them for camping trips.

As I have mentioned, our girls were born while we were living on the farm in Wilford.  I’ll never forget what a hard time I had telling them apart and how happy I was to be the father of two beautiful little girls and how much I wanted a better home for them and their mother, whom I love very much.

About two years after moving back to Teton, I bought our farm from my father and in the fall of 1939 I decided to build a home of our own, as after leaving Wilford we had been renting.  So as soon as I got through harvesting, we started work on our home.  I dug the basement with a team of horses and a scraper.  Then I hired a carpenter to help me get started.  We were able to get our home near enough completed that we moved here on New Year’s Day 1940.  We didn’t have the walls finished and very little money, so I got some very low-grade plywood and used that on some of the walls until we could get the money to have them finished right, which we did the winter before our son Eugene was born.  As I have stated before, I am very proud of my family and also their partners and their families.

Farming in those days was a lot different than it is now.  We didn’t have tractors in those days, and if we could work 12 acres a day, that was a big day as we walked behind our harrows, which was a far cry from sitting on a tractor.

I have taken several trips in my life.  I spent some time in Los Angeles in the winter of 1926, and I went to Denver, Colorado when we sold our lambs when I had sheep.  And we visited with Eugene and Karen when they lived in Glasgow, Montana.  But the tops of all trips was our trip to Alaska, in 1967.

[From a hand-written, undated manuscript.]


Kathy said...

Hello Cousins!
I was not aware of this
part of the family...
I come down through
Joseph McRae and his
daughter Mary Jane McRae
who married a McGuire.
Do you know of our family?
I was looking for pix of
Eunice Fitzgerald and came
across your site. Interesting
family history. Thanks for sharing.
K. Tabler Tian (McRae,McRae,McGuire,Smith,Tabler)

Kathy said...

Hi, Cousin!
Great to hear from some other McRaes! I'm glad you enjoyed the site. I'm afraid I don't know any other descendants through your line.
Best wishes to you.

Lorizing said...

Dear Kathy, your heartfelt testimony just brought tears to my eyes and quickened my resolve to complete my genealogy. Thank you for wearing your heart on your sleeve, so to speak. I'm proud to have such a genuine cousin (no matter how distant) who honors the eternal bonds of family. Kindest Regards, Lori

Kathy said...

Oh, Lori, I'm embarrassed to tell you this: I didn't write this history. I need to add a note to that effect. This was written by a dear friend of Walter and Velma Siddoway, my maternal grandparents. He read this at my grandfather's funeral service. I apologize for the misunderstanding, and I will correct this right away! (I don't have the name of the man, unfortunately.)

That said, I do have a testimony of the Gospel and of family history work. I have had amazing miracles as I have researched my family and my husband's family. I am so thrilled that my blog has helped anyone out there.

Thank you for your kind regards.

All the best!