30 June 1875 - 21 November 1932
By Stella Post Nelson
My father, Howard Orville Post, was born in Wichita, Kansas, 30 June 1875. His parents were John Milton Post and Alice L. Parker. He had one brother, Ernest Lionel Post, who was born in 1881, and one sister who died in infancy. Father's mother died the 30th day of August 1887, at the birth of the baby girl. She and her baby girl were buried together, the baby in her mother's arms. I think my mother told me this. At least it has been in my memory since I was a small child.
After the mother's death Ernest went to live with his aunt and my father stayed with his father. They batched and kept house together. The family was very poor because of so much illness. The years between 1887 and 1890 were difficult ones for the mother-less family.
Grandpa John Milton Post married Adelia L. McCollum in 1890. She became a true mother to the two boys and they loved her dearly. I cannot remember much that I heard about my father's mother, Alice L. Parker, but I remember him often speaking of his mother, Adelia. He always called her "Ma." I think Grandma Alice L. was not very well during her life. We had a picture of her at home. She was a very pretty woman with dark hair and blue grey eyes.
When I was about twelve years old, I remember so well that Grandpa John Milton and Grandma Adelia came to visit us in St. David, Arizona. Grandpa was medium build with very dark hair. I always remembered him as having dark eyes. He wore chin whiskers which were black and silky looking. One thing I can remember is although my father did not have facial features at all like his Dad, when they were walking with their backs toward us, they looked exactly alike of small build and stature. Grandma Adelia had reddish hair and was small build and very neat and trim. Everyone thought I got my red hair from her, but of course I didn't, she being our step-grandma. Dad always was proud and bragged about how neat his mother Adelia kept house, lamp chimneys shining and all things like that.
Grandma Adelia is living at this 16 March 1952. She has lived at 247 Pattie Avenue, Wichita, Kansas, as long as I can remember. She is 97 years old this year. Grandpa died 28 March 1920.
I remember Dad telling how his "Ma" had him take violin lessons, but like all boys he hated to practice. In later years he wished he had paid more attention to his music. Dad had a fine tenor voice. Mother played the organ and I can remember he and mother often sang together. I was a little girl then, but I can hear my parents singing and see Dad standing while Mother played and they sang. It is one of my happy memories. They often sang together on Church programs. Also when I was quite young Dad was in a Mutual play in St. David. There was a matinee for all the kids in the afternoon with the church windows painted to make it dark. He was the minister and I can still see him dressed in the dark frock of the ministry. Guess he did a pretty good job because he was affectionately called "Reverend" by some of his friends for many years after that.
I can also remember Dad telling about going with his Uncle Sydney Post to the opening of the "Oklahoma Strip" and about the exciting, thrilling ride they had at the "Strip."
My father, Howard Orville Post, and my mother, Tressie May Evans, were married 14 March 1897. For a long time Mother had some old love letters that she had from Dad and he from her. I don't know what became of them. One of them said something about Dad's cute little mustache.
After Dad and Mother were married, they lived at Mt. Hope, Kansas, for aboaut a year. My oldest brother, Clarence Evans, was born there. From Mt. Hope they moved to Harper County near Coreon Hill on a farm. Dad went back to Mt. Hope in the fall to harvest wheat and oats. The next fall they moved to Crystal Springs, still in Harper County. Here Alice Irene and I were born. Dad was farming here. Mother had joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Dad went to the meetings and was cordial and hospitable to the missionariess but was reluctant to be baptized into this new faith.
Dad wanted to move from Harper County.. He went down into Oklahoma looking for a new location. Sometime about this time he was very sick with typhoid.
Dad always disliked cold weather. It may have been the weather or because of Mother's desire to live near the church membership that was the reason they decided to move to Arizona or Mexico. They were to come west with Brother and Sister Elbert Tilton. The Tiltons had joined the Church at the same time that Mother was baptized. I expect one reason Arizona appealed to them was because Elder Thomas Kimball, one of the missionaries, was from Thatcher, Arizona. After Dad decided to come to Arizona he made a trip to Wichita to visit his folks and changed his mind. Before he decided not to move to Arizona with the Tiltons, Dad and Brother Tilton held a public auction and sold all their posessions. Dad even ordered a wagon, intending to come overland to Arizona.
Dad and Mother went to Waco, a farming district about twelve miles south of Wichita. Dad farmed that summer and was very successful. They decided to prepare to come to Arizona that fall. They decided to bring their produce with them. Mother put up lots of food. It must have been a busy prosperous summer. Dad chartered a railroad car and in it brought a team of horses (a fine team), their farm stock, cows, pigs, and twelve dozen chickens, farming implements, household goods, corn to last all year for feeding, fruit, smoked meat, a barrel of kraut and a barrel of vinegar.
Dad had a dog named "Shep." He was an old dog so Dad thought it was best to leave him with his brother, Ernest, in Wichita. After the train started and miles from town Dad looked out and there was Shep, feet sore and lame but faithfully following his master. At the next town Dad stopped and took "Old Shep" with him in the car bound for Arizona. Dad came ahead in the railroad car with their belongings. Mother and the three children came later, on the train, after she had visited her fvolks.
Mother told me one time how Dad and his father and brother cried as they parted. Dad was never to see his brother Ernest again in his life. Eighteen years were to pass before he was to return to Kansas, that was when his father died in 1920.
Ernest married Percy Rittenoure and in a year or two (1908) died suddenly with erysiplas (sic), being sick only a few hours. I remember when the news came of his death. Dad and Mother were building a chicken coop. Dad laid his head on the boards and sobbed for a long time. I'm sure he felt desolate. Dad and Grandpa wrote often to each other. Grandpa was an ardent Democrat and his letters were often about his political views. He was a great admirer of Woodrow Wilson.
To go back to the time Dad and Mother came to Arizona - they lived on the west side of the San Pedro River near St. David. The location was about where the Powder Plant is now, They farmed here. It was while they were living here that Dad was baptized a member of the Church. After Dad accepted the Gospel he wanted to mingle with the membership and become a part of the little community.
In the years that followed, Dad worked at farming and some other jobs. He worked in Benson for a while. I think he worked for the Southern Pacific, cleaning out the passenger coaches when the trains stopped in Benson. I have a faint recol-lection of living in Benson. No doubt my brother, Clarence, or my sister, Alice, remember more of it than I do. We also lived in Bisbee for a few years. Dad hauled ore down the river and over to Cochise.
The family was growing - Lola Orville and Hazel Adeline had been born.
The October of 1906, after Hazel was born in June, Dad and Mother took their children to Salt Lake City to have their sealings done and receive their enowments. Dad had become a Deacon, Teacher, and was ordained a Priest by Wm . G. Goodman 21 August 1904. He was ordained an Elder by John S. Merrill 28 September 1906, before they left for Salt Lake to do their temple work. Dad was in the Sunday School Superintendency with Clarence Dana in 1906, and was Assistant to Wm. G. Goodman in the Sunday School in 1907. He was ordained a High Priest by Hyrum M. Smith when he was a Coun- selor to Bishop Crozier Kimball. After he was released from this position, he was sustained as Ward Clerk under Bishop Kimball, then under Bishop Wm. G. Goodman. Dad was gifted in figures and had a natural ability as a record keeper.
Dad and Crozier Kimball became very close friends and remained so even though Bishop Kimball moved to Utah. Dad
thought of moving there too, but after a visit up there decided it was too cold for him.
After 1908 sometime, I'm not sure just when, Dad became the Rural Letter Carrier for the St. David District. He delivered mail all the way up to Curtis Flat. For a long time he drove the route with a buggy and team, then he got a new car (I have a picture of that first car) and how proud we were of it. Driving the car made the delivery much more comfortable and faster, so Dad had more time for caring for his farm and stock. When Dad drove the team and buggy often it was very late before he got home. Sometimes he was about frozen as well as exhausted.
Kelvin was born in 1908. Dad was very proud to have another son. I guess he had about decided he was getting his share of girls.
Soon after Mildred was born we moved to the twenty acres Dad had bought from Francis Goodman. Dad and Mother built a two-room house and drilled a well on the twenty acres. Later the house was enlarged into a comfortable home. This was our home all the rest of the time we lived in St. David. The home burned down after they moved to Tucson. These twenty acres are owned now by my brother, Clarence. He bought them from Mother some years before her death.
Dad worked hard and farmed, contracted road work as well as having the Rural Route. Having a large family to care for, I'm sure was a great anxiety for him. But in all his endeavors, always by his side, was his faithful, loyal wife to help him and smooth out as many rough spots as possible and to guide and help him build his faith and testimony of our Heavenly Father and His Gospel.
About 1926, Dad lost his job as Rural Carrier. It seemed like a disaster to him and caused him great sorrow and worry. He came to Tucson and bought a franchise to run the bus out to Pastime Park where the Veterans' Hospital was then.
The old home in St. David was sold, and Dad and Mother bought a home at 102 N. Euclid Avenue in Tucson. It was a duplex and they lived there and rented part of it. Dad learned to love the Tucson Ward and enjoy his association with people there. Bishop Alando B. Ballentyne became his close friend as did Bishop Valess Dewey.
The franchise on the bus line expired and Dad was hard put to make a living. He worked at contracting as he had done off and on through the years with R.H. Martin. Sometimes they didn't make much, but other times they did better. Dad worked with R. H.. Martin building the Broadway Subway. While working there, he was covered by a cave-in and narrowly escaped with his life. In telling about it, he said that he had the most awful dread of the picks striking his legs as they dug him clear of the dirt.
These were the years of the depression and employment was hard to get. Dad went to Paulden, Arizona, to work with his trucks on a job that his friend, R.H. Martin, had up there. Paulden i near Prescott, and while there Dad was able to go to Church and renewed his friendship with Bishop Jody Johnson who lived in Pomerene for years before that. They had worked building the canal to Pomerene when that little community was just settled.
November 21, 1932, Dad was killed while working as the dump boss on the job above Paulden. Mother had been up to see him a few weeks before and they had a very happy time together. Mother said Dad treated her like a queen. My husband, Earl, was working at Paulden too. He said he had never seen Dad happier than when Mother visited him at Paulden. Dad and Earl were home a few days in October and Dad went to Church on the Sunday night. Bishop Dewey called on him to talk. He was sort of surprised, but pleased. Among other things he said how much he loved the people in the ward and for them to save him a sack of candy because he would be home for Christmas.
My brother, Clarence, filled a mission in the Western States Mission, from St. David Ward. My brother, Kelvin,, filled a mission to Germany from the Tucson Ward. He had returned before Dad's death a few days and we were getting ready to go to Paulden to see Dad and visit a few days when word came of his death. Kelvin did not get to see his father alive.
In a patriarchal blessing given to Dad, he was told he would preach the Gospel to the Lamanites and see them come into the Church by the thousands. After Kelvin had finished his mission to Germany, and been released, I expect it was time for Dad to begin his mission in the spirit world, and he has probably been busily engaged in the missionary work there.
The Relief Society at Prescott dressed Dad for burial. Clarence and Kelvin went to Prescott to bring the body to Tucson. He was brought to 102 N. Euclid . That is the way Mother wished it to be, and it was a comfort to all of us. Even Lucille, who was about five, climbed on a chair and stroked his hair and talked to him. His funeral was at the Chapel on East Sixth Street, and a second funeral was in St. David, 25 November 1932. President Alando B. Ballanatyne and Bishop Valess Dewey spoke at the funeral in Tucson. Elder George Boyd, a grandson of Brother Tilton, and Patriarch Edward T. Lofgreen spoke at the funeral in St. David. The music and singing were lovely. Dad had many friends, both Church mem-bers and his associates in his work.
One time Dad told his friend, Crozier Kimball, that he felt that he had done little of worth in his life. Brother Kimball as-sured him that raising a family, sending two sons on missions and trying to live the principles of the Gospel was a worthy life for any man.
Dad was honest, generous, and during his life learned the valuable lessons of repentance and forgiveness. His acceptance of the Gospel opened the way for his worthy progenitors to receive the blessings of the Gospel. I, for one, will be forever thankful to my good parents because they accepted the Gospel and taught it to us, their children. As I become older and can more appreciate my parents, my love for them increases. "Honor they Father and thy Mother" is the great commandment which we will all do well to heed. And there is no better way to honor them than to live the Gospel which they had the courage to accept. It is the richest heritage that they left us.
Source of material: Family genealogy records, Life sketch of Tressie May Evans Post, Memory