JOURNEY FROM COLONIA, DUBLAN, MEXICO TO TUCSON, ARIZONA
--as written by Florence Matilda Farr Stock
There came to the house of Joseph Alma and Ocena Farr, a baby daughter, born March 8, 1903 in Colonia, Dublan, Mexico and they named her Florence Matilda.
When I was six years old my parents left Mexico, and came to Arizona. There was four other families, my Uncle Heber and his family, John Alma Young and his family, Fredrick G. Williams and family.
Uncle Nephi Bingham, came down to Mexico on a visit, he had told them about the rich farming land in Tucson, Arizona, he said they would be able to make some extra money, which would enable them to improve and build up their homes there in Mexico. They all listened to him, so the four famileys decided to get ready to leave.
They started to prepare for the long and tiresome journey ahead of them, the wagon Father fixed up for Mother was an over jet wagon, it had springs on the side, which made it much easier to ride. My father put a pair of bed springs in the back so he could make a bed for Mother, as she was ill.
Mother had just bought a new rug, and she didn’t want to leave it, so Father put the rug over the wagon bows, then put the cover over this, which made it much warmer, they started to travel in November when the weather was beginning to get rather cold.
We left Dublan, Mexico November 18, 1909, at sundown. We traveled for a little while, and then camped by the roadside for the night. The next morning we traveled to Colonial Morelous (Morelas). We stopped there for two days to rest and visit with a dear friend, Howard Young.
From Morelous we traveled to Oxacao, this was the hardest part of the whole journey. The road we traveled on as we left Morelous was not even a road, we had to journey over a very steep and dangerous trail, the trail was so narrow that one wagon could only go at a time, and it barely fit. The trail got so rough, the wagon started to tip toward the edge of the mountain, all the passengers had to get out and walk. Mother was so ill that they had to put her on a horse, which one of the men had to leed. Mother had to hold my little sister Arthella, who was only two months old at the time of the journey.
The wagon still tipped, so the men had to stand on one side of the wagons, to prevent them from tumbling over the side of the mountain, they finially made it to the bottom of the mountain with no one hurt. There was one canyon so dence with tall trees and bushes that we could hardly see to travel through.
During the next part of the journey we had to travel through a pass it was called the Devil’s Half Acre. This pass was nothing but big boulders. The smallest rocks were larger than a persons head, the path was so very narrow and only one wagon could go through at a time. The wagons just made it over the bumpy trail.
This was not so good for Mother, because she kept getting sicker and sicker as we traveled on. After two weeks of hard traveling we finially came to Nogalas (Nogales). We was held over two weeks, because the Mexican government was so slow in getting us across the border, they taxed all of our belongings, then we was finially able to leave. We left Nogalas at 6 p.m. December 16, 1909.
We finially reached our destination, Tucson, Arizona. The journey from Nogalas was not too hard, as the road had been traveled more than the other road we just come over.
The four families rented a ranch, and bought some cattle and horses, and other animals. We ranched and farmed for two years, and never went back to Mexico. We settled down in Tucson to make our home. This was because of the Exodus that came in 1912, when all the people who lived in Mexico was driven from their homes and many of them came to Tucson, and settled here for quite a number of years.
Mother was sick for a long time after we arrived in Tucson, she got so pale and thin, nothing seemed to help, the DR. said she had blood posining, caused from not having the proper care after child birth, the poison all seemed to settle in her leg, the DR. said he would have to operate, and amputate her leg. My Father felt so bad, just seemed he couldn’t have it done.
Every one fasted and prayed about it, and it seemed to be made known to those older, that they should make a poltice of antoflogestine, and then apply heat, which they did, for several days, and brought the infection to a head, it broke, and my for the awful stuff that came from it, after a week or so of draining, it began to get a little better. Mother was so weak, she had to learn to walk again. I can remember my Father pushing her around in a baby carriage, as we didn’t have a wheel chair.
(Note: antiphlogistine – a highly medicated poultice. It acts as a semi-solid casting material to partially immobilize and rest the affected area, reduce inflammation, diminish swelling, and "cool out" the damaged area. It provides continuous moist heat to the inflamed area, thus releasing tension and relieving pain. It also provides a moderate amount of compression to the affected area. Antiphlogistine also has an excellent "drawing effect" on abscesses, insect bites, and bee stings.)
When she got better, we moved into a two room house, and Father took the wagon bed off the wheels and we girls, my sister Iris, who was just younger than me, slept there. My youngest sister, Arthella, slept in a bed in the house where my Father, and Mother slept.
We lived there for quite a while, then Father built us a house on a tract of land, about 40 acres, and there we lived for twenty years.
When I was 12 years old I had a terrible thing happen to me, it was on the 24th of July 1915, we was celebrating the comming of the Pioneers into Salt Lake City, which our Church has done for years, and still does. I had not felt very well, and didn’t want to go, but inasmuch as I had been asked to help sing on the program, I went. After the program was over, my Mother had to go home to fix dinner for my uncle, I was feeling better so decided to stay and watch the different sports. A croud of us girls was watching the boys play baseball, we were cheering, and yelling, when they would make a home run. Several times some of the boys, who was not playing, had been throwing fire crackers near the girls, to make them yell and jump, so we just sort of ignored them, so they would leave us alone, and we did want to see the ball game.
Well, one of these fire crackers landed close to me, and caught my dress on fire, the dress was out of thin materil, and it went like wildfire soon I was all ablaze, there didn’t seem to be a thing to use to smother out the flames, one of the men used his hands and brushed, and tore the clothes off me, some one found a quilt to wrap around me, as I didn’t have a thing on by now. I was burned so badly by this time, and was in so much pain, I don’t remember much after that. I was taken home, a DR. was called, and then I was rushed to the hospital. I was there two or three weeks, they kept me dopped a lot, because I was nearly frantic with pain.
I was taken home in a panel truck, they had made a bed for me. When we reached home I was carried into the house and placed on a bed, and there I lay, for nearly a year. It was a terrible ordeal, I can tell you.
When I was sixteen, I went over to Los Angeles, to a hospital, the name of the hospital was, The Sisters of St. Joseph, I went there to have skin grafting done, by a well known DR. I was there five months, and during that time I had five operations, that was another painful and trying time, one I shall never forget.
While I was in the hospital, my cousin, Lula Farr, who was on a mission for our Church, came to see me, her boyfriend, or fiancé, whom she was going to marry when her mission was completed, came to see me several times, he was in the service of his country, and was stationed at Palyo, Alto, California (Palo Alto).
Seems as though fate has a way of doing things, my cousin married someone else, when her mission was over, the fellow who came several times with her to visit me in the hospital, was the fellow who saved my life, and was the man I married, two and one half years later, his name was Francis Stock. (Note: Francis is the young man who brushed out the fire when Grandma's clothes caught fire and provided the blanket to cover her.)
We were married November, 15, 1921, at my home, by my uncle, Heber Farr who was the Bishop of our Church here in our little mormen town, the name of the town was Binghampton. It was given that name, because they were the first people to settle here, two Bingham brothers and their familys.
Frank had been called to go on a mission, the Spanish Mission, so on December, 28, 1921, we left by train for Salt Lake City, he was to report to the mission home there. While there we visited a number of relatives, and friends. Then on January 11, 1922, we went to the Temple, Salt Lake Temple and received our endowments and was married for time and all eternity by Stephen L. Richards.
At that time my aunt, Flossie Elggreen, went with us and did endowment work, for Frank’s Mother, Olive Maria Stock.
Then on January, 15, 1922, we left Salt Lake, and started back to Tucson, Arizona, I was met by my parents, the train left soon after, taking my husband on to El Paso, Texas where he was to report for his mission. He was there for several months, and from there he was sent to Brownsville Texas, where he labored with the Spanish people fro 19 months. While there he took very ill, dangue fever, he was sent to the mission home, in El Paso, Texas, he was there for a while, and then he was sent home. He had lost a lot of weight and it took him quite a few months to regain his health, and get his strength back.
(Note: Dengue fever is a virus-based disease spread by mosquitoes. Dengue fever begins with a sudden high fever, often as high as 104 - 105 degrees Fahrenheit. A flat, red rash may appear over most of the body 2 - 5 days after the fever starts. A second rash, which looks like the measles, appears later in the disease. Infected people may have increased skin sensitivity and are very uncomfortable. Other symptoms include: Headache - especially behind the eyes, fatigue, joint aches, muscle aches, nausea, swollen lymph nodes, and vomiting. The condition generally lasts a week or more. Although uncomfortable, dengue fever is not deadly. People with the condition usually fully recover.)
Our first child, a daughter, whom we named Fern, was born September, 21, 1922, while her Father was on his mission, she was 15 months old, when her Father returned, so it took them a few days to get acquainted.
I stayed with my parents while Frank was gone, and were they ever happy with their first grandchild, naturely with so many aunts and uncles she didn’t lack for attention, and she was sorta spoiled.
When Frank came home, we moved to a large ranch, he bought a large herd of cattle, or, milking cows, he had to borrow the money from the bank, as he had sold everything he had to keep him on his mission, we had exactly $75.00 dollars left to our account, after he returned home. Milking all those cows, and all the hard work that goes with it, was a big job more than he was able to do, as his health was broken, from this sickness, so he had to sell the cows to pay off the debt to the bank. Then for a few months he had to take it rather easy, and get plenty of rest, which he did for a few months.
His next job was driving trucks, for MR. Fred Fickett, which he did for a number of years. Our second child, another daughter, whom we named Erlene was born, September 30, 1924.
For two more years he drove trucks, hauling ore from Hiltons mines, to Pantano, Arizona, then a third child was born, a son, whom we named, Francis Lamar, he was born July 4, 1926, almost on his Fathers birthday, which was July 7, his first son.
When our son was nine months old, my folks left Tucson, and moved to Ogden, Utah, how we did miss them, seemed like we had no one, Franks Mother was dead, and most of his brothers were gone.
Frank next got a job as Foreman in a lumber yard, for FoxWorth and Killen, while working there, we built our first home, it was near Davidson school. It was a small house, but we were so happy to have one of our own, we lived there for five years, during that time another son, born August 11, 1928 whom we named Joseph Moroni, then a daughter was born, April 17, 1930, whom we named Shirley, then another daughter, whom we named Bessie Mae, she was born November, 19, 1931. Frank had been out of work for several months, times were very hard, there just wasn’t any work to be found. During the summer Frank worked for a fellow who had a large farm, and some cows, so for his work he received one gallon of milk a day, and $10.00 a week, it wasn’t much but at least we had something to eat, and during those days, that was about all any one had.
(Note: America’s Great Depression is regarded as having begun in 1929 with the Stock Market crash, and ended in 1941 with America’s entry into World War II.)
Then on November, 1st, 1931, Frank got a good job, as Ranch Foreman, for a fellow by the name of Cleveland Putnam, he was just 21, and had come into an inheritance, left to him by his Father, he had just been married a short while. He bought this Ranch, which was 25 miles from Tucson, near Vail, Arizona, he named the ranch, Rancho Del Largo. He built a lot of new buildings, the house we were to live in wasn’t finished, so the children and I had to wait for several months, before we could move up there, it was in March, 1932, when we was finally able to move in. We liked it very much, and had a wonderful house to live in, there was three bedrooms, a bath, living room, and a nice kitchen, and a large porch across the front of the house. With all the milk, eggs, fruit and vegetables we could use we did very well.
We had horses to ride, two large lakes to boat ride on, all so there was fish to catch, so the older children had a lot of fun, their was a large swimming pool, which we all enjoyed in the summer time. The children went to Vail school, we lived there for five years, then Mr. Putnam sold the Ranch and moved to California, with his race horses. While we was on this ranch, Frank and I drove to California, taking one of the horses in a trailer, over to Santa Anita, where Mr. Putnam had his race horses.
We got someone to stay with the children, so I was able to go, it was the first real trip we had taken together since the children came, we had a wonderful time, we went to the races every day while we was there, which was five days, it was fun betting on the horses, we didn’t win a lot, but we didn’t loose either, we made enough to pay for our meals, and hotel, we both enjoyed ourselves very much, and I shall always remember the good time we had.
From Rancho Del Largo, we moved up to the Empire Ranch, this ranch was owned, and run by the Boice brothers, Frank Boice, was the one who was in charge there, they owned a large herd of beef cattle, they also had a large farm, which they wanted Frank to run for them, Frank planted acres of alfalfa, barley, and a lot of corn.
We lived there for seven years, the children went to the Empire school which was about 12 miles from the farm, the school bus picked them up, I drove the school bus for one year, the year my youngest daughter Bessie was 6.