Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Ardella Laird (Park) ~ April 1929

One of EMB's photos
In the pictures I have from EMB, my great grandfather, we found a number of pictures of a young woman.  The two envelopes containing most of the pictures were labeled.  Both said "Indpce" in script that looked more like "Mapel" and "Apr 1929".  One said Laird and one said Ardella.

With that, I began the fun part.  And I found Ardella Laird (Park) from Idaho.

Ardella Laird Park ~ 1985
Ardella Laird Park
Ardella Laird Park looked similar to the pictures.  She was buried in a cemetery near my parents' home.  My mother (a high school teacher) asked one of her students about the name and was connected to one of Ardella's children who lived nearby.  And looking through our photos, they found one that Ardella Laird Park had kept a copy of in her photo albums.

Ardella grew up in Idaho Falls, where EMB and his family lived.  She was close to the same age as his oldest son.  And she graduated from Idaho Falls High School, just as my great-uncle did.  In 1929 she was serving a mission for the LDS church in Independence, Missouri.  After she came home, she married and became a teacher (at the school my nephews go to now).  Her autobiography is available at the link above.

Another of grandpa's photos
Now the pictures make sense.  My great grandpa visited Independence in 1929.  While there, he visited with a missionary from back home.  It is likely that he knew her family before that.  And what family doesn't want pictures assuring them that their son or daughter is doing well?  And, when far away from family and friends, who doesn't enjoy the serendipitous meeting of a familiar face?

Another of grandpa's pictures.  I'm guessing these are the sister missionaries
in Independence, Missouri, in April 1929.  Ardella is the second
from the left.  I'm still working on the other five.

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