Since there was much discussion of this pioneer ancestor, I decided that we should go on a field trip after church. It took a little convincing, but we got in the family truckster and headed south.
We visited the Moyle Family Park in Alpine and then found the large rock headstone at the top of the hill at the Alpine Cemetery.
We also ventured to This Is the Place park earlier in the week and here are some of my thoughts on being a pioneer.
Basically, being a pioneer (not necessarily a Mormon pioneer, but anyone living mid-1800's in the west) was extremely difficult. Their lives were full of grueling physical activity all day long. Preparing a meal would have taken forever, but to get that meal on the table would have been months worth of work to raise the animal, grow the crops, etc. We have it so easy today.
Their log cabin homes were so small. How did they fit? What did they do if there was a terrible snow storm and they didn't want to just sit outside? There was a small cabin at the park that was probably 12 ft x 15 ft with a small attic loft accessible by a ladder outside. The family that lived in this home had 10 kids!! Holy cow. They must have spent all day every day outdoors. There was no room for them inside anywhere. Crazy!!
Back to John Rowe Moyle . . .
He has quite an impressive story that is pretty well known. I was disappointed that there was not much mention of his wife Phillippa Beer at the Moyle Park. I'm not discrediting his sacrifice to walk to Salt Lake every week to work on the temple. It is a very impressive story. But, oh my goodness, his wife delivered 10 babies! Three of them died at early ages, but the other 7 (6 boys and 1 girl) of them would have been young enough to all live in Alpine at one time. When they settled Alpine, those kids ranged in age from 0 to 23 (the youngest was born in Alpine). During the time that John Rowe worked on the temple, Phillippa would have been in charge of an entire farm, living in a small dug-out house with as many as 7 kids. Now they were almost all boys and I'm sure they were put to work, but still!
Phillippa outlived John Rowe by a couple of years, but by the time he died, she had 6 kids remaining who ranged from age 31 to 54. She raised them by herself for 5 out of 7 days of the week. I think that is pretty impressive and I wish I knew more about her.
Anyway . . .
That is my tribute to Pioneer Day for this year! I'm glad I wasn't one.