Thursday, January 23, 2014

The Lopsided Tree (52 Ancestors #1)

Still trying to get my first blog out.  It's about my father, Frank Morrison Gill. 

But first, why a lopsided tree?  Because, on the paternal side, I have traced six generation of Gills back to 1776 in England with many children and marriages.  On the maternal side - not so much.  The tree dies after my mother and grandmother.  There are over 1,700 people on my tree; all but five are from the paternal line.  Frank’s grandfather joined the Mormon Church and emigrated from Wales to Utah in 1878.  Frank Morrison Gill was born December 9, 1904 in Salt Lake City to David Richard Gill and Ellenor Morrison.  He as the last of six children, five boys and one girl. 
On-line newspapers are a vast store of information, but a racehorse named “Frank Gill”, came up more than my father.  City directories were better.  I found that Frank lived with his parents and siblings at 258 N 8th West in 1921, he was a student.  In1923 he worked at The Salt Lake Tribune, where many other Gills made lifelong careers.  In 1924, Frank worked at his brother Harry’s garage.  In 1925 he’s 21 and boards at the family home.  After that, he is gone from Utah. 

In the 1930 census Frank is in Ruth, Nevada, married with two children: wife Peggy, 24; daughter Ora, 1; and 4-month-old David.  Peggy is back in Utah in 1935.  The 1940 census shows Frank married to my mother, Roberta Muir.  He’s 33, she’s 18.
Family legends say that Frank's mother, Ellenor, told Roberta, "Don't marry him.  He has a terrible temper.  He was in reform school.  He's a drunk and a wife beater.  Oops. It was a stormy marriage.
Their first baby, my sister Patricia, was born in March 20, 1941.  Kennecott provided low-cost housing for workers, and Frank and Roberta moved to Ruth, right on the edge of the open copper pit.  Their shack had wood/coal cooking and heat, and a bathroom, but no tub.  Mother bathed three little girls in a #3 washtub in the kitchen. 

The pit in Ruth was the largest open pit in the world.  It was our playground. 
The marriage lasted about three years.  They divorced in 1954.  Frank lived the rest of his life in Ruth, working as “Engineer”, driving steam locomotive for Kennecott.  He had family as his sister Ora and her family lived in Ely.

Frank died in 1971 and is buried in Ely, Nevada. 

No comments:

Post a Comment