Saturday, August 17, 2013

Miracles of Temple Hill in Pacheco, Chihuahua, Mexico - Alexnder Findlay Macdonald

Throughout our childhoods, our family (Lynden and LaRee Lunt Bluth) and Uncle Chato's family went to Pacheco every summer. The 50 miles of road were so rough that our tires had blow-outs - - and the one-way road was so narrow that we had to back-up if any other vehicle was on the rocky road.  It seemed like our vehicles hung over the edges of cliffs!  Our mothers, the Lunt girls, had been raised in Pacheco, and we stayed in the original adobe home of their childhood.  We loved picking Tiger Lillies and White Star flowers, playing in the creek, swimming in Box Canyon, riding horses, and playing on Temple Hill - a pine forest hill with steep ledges that overlooked the Pacheco River down below.  There was an "altar/memorial" built of stone and concrete in the forest on top of the hill, which used to have a plaque on it, but which was missing.

I didn't know in those years how sacred that spot was, nor how much had been sacrificed by my great grandfather, Alexander Findlay Macdonald (great pioneer and explorer) and others as they obediently helped to find a place of refuge for the thousands of saints who would move away from persecution to live in the Mormon Mexican Colonies.  Alexander Findlay Macdonald was a Stake President and referred to as President Macdonald in journals from that time.

From LDS Church records:  "January 15, 1885 John Campbell and Alexander F. Macdonald left Christopher Layton at Corralitos and they rode up the San Diego Trail and on westward about 15 miles to the Corrales Basin - - arriving about noon on the 3rd day (Jan 18, 1885).  They intended to go on over the range into Sonora, Mexico.  Upon arriving they prepared a meal under a cedar tree, among the willows, on the east side of the creek.  After dinner President Macdonald (43 years old) lay down in the shade of the cedar tree and went to sleep, while John Campbell went scouting around the valley.  Upon Campbell's return President Macdonald said, "This is the place...we have gone far enough.  We will return to Corralitos." 

Grandma Lucy Macdonald Bluth said that her father had told the family that he had a dream and in vision had seen a small Temple on that hill.  He knew that from that point the light of the gospel would be taken throughout Mexico.  M.F. Trejo, a Mexican national and friend of AF Macdonald, was the man who translated the Book of Mormon into Spanish - and the promise of the Book of Mormon being taken to the Lamanites flourished - and continues going strong throughout our generations.

From LDS Church records:  "Saturday, January 18, 1885 a party was organized with Francis M. Lyman as president of the company, Apostle Teasdale as Captain and Recorder - and GC Richardson captain of the guard.  Isaac Turley was called as Comissary, Alonso Farnsworth and Edmond Richardson called as Cooks, MM Sanders and Israel Call as Packers - and AF Macdonald and Jesse N. Smith as Committee.  Passing the Piedras Verdes river they camped at Cave Valley, July 23rd.  At noon the next day we killed three deer in the Corrales Basin and camped on the bluff of the west side of the valley where we hoisted the American Flag at half-mast in honor of the 24th of July (Pioneer Day).  Ten men and eighteen animals were in the party."

"Ten years later at Casas Grandes Apostle Francis M. Lyman met AL Farnsworth and told him to go and locate the ground where he, Lyman, had hoisted the Flag, and to mark the tree that the Flag was on and write the names of the ten men on it - - asking people to perceive it.  I did this."  (AL Farnsworth Salt Lake record)  Apostle Lyman asked Edward Stevenson, one of the seven Presidents of the Seventy, to dedicate the ground at that spot and to preserve a record of it.  The two men located the spot and did as they were assigned. 

Over the years the tree holding the wooden sign burned down and the Aaronic Priesthood of the Pacheco Ward built the altar of stone and concrete.  Hilven Cluff said:  "When I was in the Aaronic Priesthood, our Bishop, Marion Wilson, told us to gather all of the bronze we could find around the old sawmill cites.  We did so.  Then Bishop Wilson, a blacksmith, melted down the bronze and made a bronze plaque with the names on it.  We all went up on Temple Hill and built a monument out of rock and cement and bolted the plaque on it."

November 5, 1892 Apostle Teasdale said to the Pacheco saints:  "Pay your tithes and love your neighbor as yourself.  Put yourselves in a position to win God's favor, and I see no reason why we cannot have a Temple in Pacheco.  (Salt Lake Record)

My grandfather, Clarence Lunt, the Bishop of the Pacheco Ward prophesied:  "The time will come when we will build a Temple here in Pacheco, when thousands of missionaries will be wanted."  In a dream he had seen people with backpacks coming to a Temple on Pacheco's Temple Hill.

MIRACLE TODAY!  In 2012 the Mexican government built a beautiful highway to connect Chihuahua and Sonora, and it replaces the rough, road of boulders that we struggled to drive over in order to arrive in Pacheco.  The Lord works in mysterious ways - His miracles to perform!   The road goes right past the cemetary where the my Lunt pioneer ancestors were buried, and through Pacheco town, past the LDS Church.  In my lifetime I have seen so many miracles - temples that dot the earth - and as I drive to the Mesa Temple each week to serve there, I pass the Gilbert Temple which is soon to be completed.  We are preparing for our Savior's return!  I am so grateful for faithful ancestors whom the Lord trusted enough to give in vision His mighty works which would come in a future date!  And ... we, their offspring, get to see the Lord's hand working those mighty miracles!  Jacque Bluth Gurney

Gordon and Mariann Bluth invite you to come to the Colonies at the perfect time of year, to travel up the new highway to Pacheco and to see historic and interesting sights.  Labor Day Weekend 2013

Sunday, August 4, 2013



Wife #1 - Johanna Hammerstroom
Their child:
(1)  Fredrick Zacharias Bluth

Wife #2 Josephine Albertine Rose
Their Children:
(1)  Tyra Josephine Bluth
          Infant Death 

(2)  Bearnard August Bluth
          Infant death
Wife #3 - Johanna Johansson

Their Children:
(1)  Johanna Augusta Bluth
            Infant Death 

(2)  Rosia Elvera Bluth
         Infant Death

(3)  Rosemilda Ranghilda Bluth
married Heber Erastus Farr (1875-1965)
Their children:
▪ Halvan Heber Farr (1906-1984)
▪ Ivan Bluth Farr (1908-1908)
▪ Deral Winslow Farr (1909-1997)
▪ Maybelle Farr (1911-2003)
▪ Winnifred Farr (1913-2007)
▪ Lawrence Waldo Farr (1915-1957)
▪ Josephine Farr (1917-unknown)
▪ Keith Sawtell Farr (1919-1929)
▪ Azona Farr (1921-unknown)
▪ Nadine Farr (1923-unknown)
▪ Yvonne Farr (1926-unknown)
(4)  Oscar Emanuel Bluth
married Lucy Lavinia Macdonald (1884-1949)
Their children:
▪ Lothaire Bluth, Sr. (1910-1975)
 Fannie V. Bluth (1912-1998)
▪ La Prele Bluth (1914-2002)
▪ Flossie Bluth (1916-living)
▪ Mac Bluth (1918-1998)
▪ Lucy Bluth (1921-1989)
▪ Oscar Emanuel Bluth, Jr. (1922-living)
▪ Gayle Bluth (1925-2013)
▪ Lynden Bluth (1928-1982) 

(5)  Jared William Bluth
Buried in Deming, New Mexico – enroute to Mexico
(6)  Carl Emil Bluth
Married (1) Clara Farnsworth (1886-1958)
Their children:
▪ Emil Carl Bluth (1909-1994)
▪ Genevieve Bluth (1912-1989)
▪ Virgil Roneal Bluth (1914-1999)
▪ Franklin LaMar Bluth (1916-2005)
▪ Ada Bluth (1919-2004)
▪ Dewey Clyne Bluth (1922-unknown)
▪ Lloyd Fredrick Bluth (1924-1927)
▪ Ione Bluth (1926-unknown)
Married (2) Margaret Wickel (1900-unknown) – no children

Wife #4 - Sophia Anderson

(1)  Axel Fredrick Bluth
    (1881-1911) (adopted)
 No children
 (2)  Oliver Ferdinand Bluth
Married Agnes Scott (1896-unknown)
 Their children
 ▪ Elaine Bluth (1922-unknown)
 ▪ Oliver Scott Bluth (1924-2014 at 90 years)
 ▪ Rolla Bon Bluth (1927-1979)
 ▪ Jerry Dean Bluth (1930-1947)
 ▪ Rose Lynette Bluth (1938-unknown)

Wife # 5 Hulda Josephine Ossmen
Their children:
(1)  Ellen Josephine Bluth
MarriedThomas Henry Jones (1883-1953)
▪ Josephine Jones (1917-2003)
▪ Lawrence Henry Jones (1920-unknown)
▪ Elma Jane Jones (1922-unknown)
▪ Thomas Ossmen Jones (1924-unknown)                

(2)  Earl Lawrence Bluth
           Infant death


                               By Fannie B. Hatch, his daughter 
Last evening, Daddy was on his bed resting, as he has for so many years.  I pulled up my chair and asked him if he would mind telling to me about his childhood. Tears came into his light blue eyes, as they did many times in the next few minutes.  Those years were heartbreaking years to remember, and he said, “When I think of those days and conditions, I wonder how we ever pulled through.”  I began to understand his fears that grew out of the hardships of those years when he was a boy – those years when the pioneers first came into Mexico seeking refuge. 

He was born Jan. 19, 1885 in Ogden, Utah.  He was a little over four years old when his father and mother, so very poor, arrived in the Dublan Valley.  They had left Ogden six months before.  They arrived in Deming, New Mexico by train and remained there to get ready for the journey into Mexico by wagon and team.  While in Deming, there was an epidemic of diphtheria, and a little brother contracted the disease and was buried before they left.   

After many discouraging hardships, the group arrived in Dublan, Mexico, 24th of June 1889.  I had never heard until now that the Bluth family was one of the first to settle in the locality of Colonia Dublan.  There were two families camping there at the time of their arrival:  George Lake and Samuel Foster.  There were no homes, no streets laid out, and few prospects.  There was little water for irrigation.  However, there was land, and when the town was eventually surveyed and laid-out into plots, the Bluths acquired 25 acres for 300 pesos.   

For a year the family had lived in a tent with a bowery attached which made a kitchen and “outdoor living room.”  He remembered the cold of that winter with a shiver.  But now they had property.  So with the entire family helping they built one room on their farm.  There were three wives and five children. 

They didn’t have any equipment or animals for hard labor and hauling.  The wives carried wood on their backs from the river.  The children hunted in the fields for edible plants.  Times were hard and sometimes they were hungry as well as cold.  Later he realized that his mother didn’t eat usually with the children, for she knew the amount they had wouldn’t be enough for all.  Oscar (my Daddy) had chickenpox.  His mother tenderly wrapped him in an overcoat and had him sleep on the floor in the corner behind the door.  It was the least drafty there. 

One of the wives, Aunt Sophie, worked outside of the home and earned money to buy store clothes.  My daddy was 12 years of age when she bought him his first pair of store shoes and blue denim overalls.  Aunt Sophie held a warm spot in his heart, because she unselfishly shared her earnings with all the children.  He was good to her all his life.  He made it a point to see that she never needed anything after she stopped working.  I remember of her coming into the home to get what she wanted.  Sometimes it was just attention and kindness that she was seeking.  Mother was especially kind to her.  We didn’t realize how unselfish she had been during those impressive years. 

It was impossible to make a living off a piece of property with little irrigation water, and no equipment to work the land.  More than that, my Grandfather was a finishing carpenter and had never farmed.  So when my Daddy, the oldest son, was around 13 years of age, he left home to go to a near by ranch, Corralitos, to seek employment.  This way he was able to buy a wagon and team.  Before long he was able to make the farm produce.  He lived in the valley all these years and steadily added to that small beginning.  He owns the original 25 acres, and the “Old Place” is a landmark to which he is sentimentally attached.    

After the wheat was planted each winter there were two or three months for schooling.  Living came first, for the family had suffered through a poverty they didn’t want to repeat.  Then, too, it was the trend to encourage boys to learn a trade and attending school was discouraged.  The people were too poor to maintain a teacher for a very long time so there was little book-learning. 

More settlers came in, and the presiding Elder was George Lake.  Later, an LDS Ward was organized and Winslow Farr was the first Bishop of the Dublan Ward.  My Daddy remembers with kindness his primary teacher, Lydia Knight Young.  She called to take him with her, when she found that he was missing from Primary. 

As he began to prosper a little, he bought a one-seated sport model buggy and a fine team.  He went to Colonia Juarez and enrolled in the Academy.  They were encouraging the older boys to come to school.  There he was on the baseball team, the catcher.  He had ability that he passed on to his sons later.  He lived during the week with the Clayson family, and drove home for the weekends.
Across the street lived the Macdonald girls.  In those times he said Colonia Juarez had fine, good girls, and this was likely the attraction.  The boys were rough and tough, he thought, but he admired the girls.  He stayed in Colonia Juarez most of two winters, but eventually gave it up, as it was costing the family too much.  Their entertainment at that time was baseball and sports and dancing when they could stir up some music.  A fiddle and an organ were the musical instruments they had.  I asked him what they did for baseballs.  He said they made them.  He said they were a little dead, but it was fair for all. 

He worked hard and saved money for the long trip, and married Lucy Lavinia Macdonald in the Salt Lake Temple on the 12th of November 1909.  They had nine children.  He provided for them very well, gave them good educations, and all have been married in the Temple.  His wife, Lucy, died in 1949, the first of this family to pass away. 

I sometimes think that the hardships of those formative years left such an imprint upon my Father, that he actually has fears about poverty that effect him yet, even though times in recent years have been good to him. 

He kept five members of his family on missions besides several others that were not related to him.  He had been blessed financially and took this means of showing his gratitude. 

He died 17 Jan 1964 in Colonia Dublan, and buried 18 Jan 1964 in Colonia Dublan, Chihuahua, Mexico.   

          Grandpa Bluth with Grandchildren Lynden Lothaire, Oscar Alan, Clarence Gayle, Yvonne, Jacqueline and Vicki

Grandpa Bluth with  Vicki sitting by his side