This blog is an Oscar Emmanuel Bluth and Lucy Lavinia Macdonald family gathering place - designed to strengthen family bonds, to strengthen individual family members - especially our children, to preserve sacred stories and heritage and to gather family history in an effort to produce a Bluth Family History Book.
Lucy was born 24 November 1884 in Mesa, Arizona to Alexander
Findlay Macdonald and Fannie Van Cott, the 4th wife of his
polygamous marriage.She was their 4th child (2nd living) named after
her maternal grandmother, Lucy Sackett Van Cott.When she was
an infant of 6 months she was taken with her living sibling, Byron, and her
mother by train to join her father and move to a new land, Mexico.Her father had been called by the LDS prophet,
John Taylor, to help in the negotiation for land in northern Mexico where the
Saints (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) could live in peace, free
Just after Lucy’s birth (she was his 25th child)
Alexander had left Fannie and family to try to find a place of refuge in
Sonora, Mexico.When he and the group of
Brethren that were called by the Prophet failed to reach an agreement with the
Tarahumara Indians in Sonora, they returned to the U.S. for further
instructions from the First Presidency of the Church.At Stake Conference in St. David, Arizona,
Alexander was notified that he was to proceed immediately to the State of
Chihuahua, Mexico to make arrangements for the purchase of land for
Alexander waited for Fannie, Byron and Lucy in El Paso,
Texas (Spring 1885) where he had wagons with provisions for their trek to
Mexico.They would reach their
destination for settlement by way of Casas Grandes and the Santo Domingo cattle
ranch (years later Lucy’s husband, Oscar Bluth, would manage the cattle ranch).
The night that the pioneer band camped in the ranch her
mother, Fannie, gathered a pan of Bermuda grass in order to beautify the area
that she would be helping to colonize. This trait of beautifying the land with grass, flowers and trees continued down to her daughter Lucy.
The colonists were delighted with the beautiful farming area
that they found near Cuahtemoc, and they lived in tents, caves and huts during that
first difficult winter.They learned
that the area where they had begun working the soil belonged to the wealthy
Luis Terrazas and were forced to move to a less desirable place, two miles up
the Piedras Verdes River.It was a
narrow, rocky valley where the river ran underground, and were distraught as it
seemed a dismal prospect for farmers - - yet they prayerfully proceeded.
One day the tent that Fannie and Lucy were in shook so badly
that all of the dishes rattled in the cupboard.Fannie rushed outside to tell her son, Byron, to stop throwing his ball
against the tent.However, she learned
that it was an earthquake that caused the upheaval!A
miracle occurred!Springs of water
opened from the ground which caused the Piedras Verdes River to flow freely
through the valley.The Saints knew that
Heavenly Father had heard their prayers!
Fannie Van Cott Macdonald with children Lucy, Byron and Flora
Alexander went up the river to the canyon that would
eventually be called Colonia Juarez and surveyed a town site.He worked hard to eventually build a brick home
for his wife and family and eventually the family was blessed with another baby
girl, Flora Hermosa.
Lucy had volumes of raven black, curly hair and she grew to
be six feet tall!Every day her mother
combed out eleven long ringlets with several tied on top of her head with a
ribbon.She was full of vigor and
enthusiasm for life, extremely bright, talented in music with a beautiful
singing voice and was an accomplished pianist.She was a “tom boy” and her father did not approve of her spunk, as he
was Scottish with strong Victorian ideals, but Fannie delighted in Lucy’s
During much of Lucy’s childhood her father lived in Colonia
Garcia with another of his wives, and Lucy helped her mother by sorting mail,
as Fannie ran a post office from their home.Lucy also ironed linen and baby clothes for Fannie Harper at the Harper
Hotel down the street from their home to help earn money.
In her father’s last years he was serving as a Patriarch,
and asked Fannie to take Lucy with him to serve as his scribe as he traveled
from town to town.Fannie wanted her
daughter to have a good education – and she worked hard on the board of the
Academia Juarez, to ensure that the quality of education available in town was
of highest possible.She put her foot
down and would not allow Alexander to take Lucy away from her education
opportunities at the Academy.This
became a source of contention between her parents, and when Alexander wanted to
arrange a polygamous marriage for Lucy her mother said “absolutely not”!As determined as Alexander was, Fannie was a
match for him!Lucy developed from both
of her parents a strong personality of her own.Like her mother, she was educated and bright, and like her father, she
channeled his dynamic leadership in the community - - getting the best of each
Lucy graduated from the Academy in 1906 where she played a
piano solo “The Flower Song” at the graduation ceremony.She wanted to further her education and
attend college, but there was no money for her to do so and she continued
helping her mother with the post office as well as working at the Harper
Shortly thereafter, 12 November 1909, she married Oscar
Emmanuel Bluth from Colonia Dublan in the Salt Lake Temple.Oscar was a hard-worker whose family had a
difficult background, and he sacrificed and saved much to take Lucy to be
married and eternally sealed in temple.The trip was long and difficult, but they were both determined “to do it
right”!They made a handsome couple,
both tall and very good looking!
When they returned to Mexico they settled in Colonia Dublan
at the “Old Place” (the original Bluth homestead) at the north end of
town.Later, as Oscar became more
successful, they moved into the large brick 2-story Bluth home.Lucy and Oscar had 9 children, and all were
born at home with a midwife in attendance:Lothaire, Fannie “V”, LaPrele, Flossie, Mac, Lucy, Oscar E, Gayle and
Lucy was a pillar of strength in both her home and in the
community.Everything that she did
seemed to be on a grand scale!When she
baked bread she made 18 loaves at a time and her home had a continuous flow of
out-of-town guests and people in need.Her home was always opened to those who needed a meal and a bed.
She served on the school board, nursed the sick all over the
2 communities (often staying at their homes to tend them for several
days).She was Relief Society President
for many years and she took care of those who died by preparing burial
clothing, dressing the deceased person, lining the coffins with white cotton
outing-flannel, cooking mountains of food for the bereaved family, packing the
remains of the food in bottles of ice until distant family members could arrive,
then she rushed to the church to play the piano for the funeral.The Juarez Stake records show that she held
many responsible callings in the LDS Church.
When the Mesa Temple was dedicated the Colonies organized
the choir and Lucy directed the choir for the temple dedication.She
played the piano for countless other church meetings, dances and parties.She chaperoned the young people on the swims
in the river and was the barber for her children and their friends.She purchased fabric by the bolt and sewed
dresses for her 4 daughters and 2 nieces.Lucy drove a team and a wagon to take the children to gather black
Lucy eventually planted black walnut trees around the
sidewalks and hedges on the perimeters of their property.She had a huge L-shaped rose garden and
Bermuda lawns that were manicured and bordered with violets.A triangle shaped area was filled with all
sorts of flowers.Lucy was famous for
her flowers – especially her roses!
Lucy was progressive and known to be a woman ahead of the
times.She was the first woman to have
her long black hair cut and bobbed (Manuelito, the barber, kept her hair
trimmed), the first to shorten her dresses, and she pitched her long, heavy
black stocking in exchange for nylons.She was the first woman to have and to drive a car in the Colonies.She subscribed to “The El Paso Times”
newspaper (although it did not arrive daily) and she read every word, keeping
up on the news in the United States and in the world.She was hungry for knowledge and encouraged
her children to seek for learning.
As a mother, she encouraged her children to work hard, to
study hard and to learn all types of musical instruments, to sing, to be
involved in plays and operas, and to be athletic.Her children excelled in all areas, were very
intelligent, and she encouraged them to serve missions.Lothaire served a 3 year mission and Oscar
served also.Gayle was called to serve
in the Navy for World War II.Lucy was
faithful in writing to her children and to family members, where letters that
were saved give incredible history of the family and the area.
Ora Lunt Bluth tells of her mother-in-law:“Oscar and Chato married Marie Tonks and Ora
Lunt.The boys took their wives to live
with their parents in the big Bluth home.Grandma Lucy had a maid named Reyes.A piece of plaster had fallen off the wall upstairs where the couples’
rooms were.Marie and Ora, being young,
assumed that Reyes would pick up the plaster, so they passed it for 2 days as
they went up and down the stairs.Reyes
told Grandma Lucy that plaster had fallen, and that her daughters-in-law kept
walking past it.Grandma Lucy chastised
them – and Ora picked it up, making sure to never slack at household chores
again.Grandma Lucy taught Ora how to
iron white shirts - -showing her that there is an order to it:first the collar, sleeves, cuffs, the front
sections and then back.”
Her unselfish nature and her testimony of the restored
Gospel of Jesus Christ enabled Lucy to live a life of service and
leadership.She nurtured her children as
well as her sister’s family.When Flora
(married to Loren Taylor) died and left three small children, Lucy took them in
and cared for them until Loren remarried.
As there were no hotels in town, Lucy’s home was where
people from out of town came to stay.One guest, Mr. Mead, brought her rose bushes and raisins from
California.George Houghton came to stay
often, stating that he loved her homemade bread.
In 1949 Lucy was struggling with heart problems and went to
stay with her married daughter, Flossie Bluth Robinson, to see a doctor in
Phoenix, Arizona.The doctor gave her
stern instructions to live a quiet life and to avoid excitement as there was a blood
clot near her heart.However, Lucy went
to see her grandson’s baseball game, as Jerry Van was an excellent baseball
player.When Jerry hit a home run she
cheered with all of her usual gusto!Shortly after the game she died of a massive heart hemorrhage.Oscar came and drove her body back to Mexico.
Lucy was loved and admired by all who knew her.She had lived an honest, forthright and
energetic life.Of all the Macdonald
children, Lucy lived the longest in Mexico – although, ironically she was not
born there and did not die there.Lucy
was buried in the Colonia Dublan cemetery.Her old MAJESTIC wood-burning stove is still in Chato’s house.
NOTHING IS LOST
26 July 1949 - By Grace Zenor Pratt
Grace Pratt was of an artistic temperament, and shut herself
away from the world to some extent.Lucy, realizing this, sought her out and they found many things to
enjoy.Although Grace at times seemed
too aloof to reach, Lucy never gave up.The day of Lucy’s burial, Grace bid her truest friend goodbye with this poem:
We passed her garden yesterday after the
Each weary rose had dropped its heavy head.
Perhaps they missed her tender, loving touch
And mourned with us, believing she is dead.
She is our friend, one who has shared our
aiding us in our tasks with kindly hands,
strengthening our faith; her faith that
and sealed our friendship with those shining
This is our wife, our mother, loved and
What nobler, fuller life could any woman
than to be honored so, to be loved and kept
in loving memory far beyond the grave.
Her roses are not dead; they bloom again
some sweet April-scented time of Spring.
Her hands will find new tasks, her flowers
without much of toil or earthly sting.
She is not gone, each loving kindly thing
she said or did, lives on in every heart.
Nothing is lost or wasted, only the falling
with which we say farewell when we must part
but she who lives again in that fair wondrous