Monday, February 25, 2013

Remembering - Mildred May Phillips Ivie - Obituary 1954

Mildred May Phillips was the third child and second daughter of John Edward and Emma Eliza Street Phillips. Mildred was born in Park City, Utah on November 7, 1904. Her father was a blacksmith and miner in Park City at the time.
John Edward Phillips and Emma Eliza Street and John Edward Phillips on their Wedding Day May 4 1899

In 1907, the family moved to Salt Lake City and lived there until 1918. During this eleven-year period, seven more brothers and sisters were born. Eventually, her parents would have thirteen children, including four sets of twins. Mildred as one of the oldest in the family had a great deal of responsibility in helping with these younger brothers and sisters.

In 1918, her father went to Mackay, Idaho, a booming mining town, to start a blacksmith shop. Just before school started in 1918, Mildred, her mother, and the other children joined him. It was difficult to find housing in Mackay when they arrived.

While attending school in Mackay, Mildred met Orie Ivie. One day Orie invited Virgil, her brother, to help him pull over an outhouse. With the help of their horses and plenty of rope, they pulled and pulled and finally managed to get the outhouse set up in the middle of town. The Marshall was secretly watching, and just as they finished, sweaty and tired, the Marshall told them it was time to take the outhouse back. 

Mildred left home to marry in 1923.
Orie P Ivie, Sr.
The night before Orie and she were to be married, Orie's sister Ada gave her a bridal shower and Orie did not get Mildred home until midnight. Ed was waiting at the door with a razor strap. He was going to give Mildred a whipping for being out so late! He told Orie not to come back until he could keep gentleman's hours! 

Mildred and Orie were married February 23, 1923. 

Their twins Orrin and Orie were born November 11, 1923. Mildred was busy with two babies. Mildred always had a great sense of humor and when someone asked her, "How do you ever get that diaper smell off your hands"? She jokingly replied, "Make bread!" Ha!

Mildred had a girl, Phyllis May Ivie, on 1 September 1927. She died when she was two and a half years old of TB (tuberculosis) Meningitis. She was buried in the Mt. McCaleb Cemetery in Mackay. 

Two years later a son Leonard was born, July 19, 1929. Later he was called Corky. He was followed by Billy February 8, 1931; E. Lorraine Ivie Acciavatti,
; and Betty June Ivie (McAlister)  June 29, 1936. All of the children were born in Mackay, Idaho. Mildred's mother Emma was the midwife for all the deliveries. 
White Knob is just above Mackay, Idaho. Mildred Phillips Ivie (cook) shown with the cook shanty and the boys bunk house on White Knob

The family lived in Mackay during these years while Orie worked building roads in the area. He also worked mining at White Knob a few miles above Mackay. The water was brought up from the creek and living conditions were very primitive. The mine closed in 1928. 

On August 15, 1934 the family moved to Atlanta, Idaho where Orie worked in the silver and gold mines.

Her daughter remembers those early years. We came back to Mackay for Betty's birth in June of 1936. The twins rode the entire distance back to Atlanta on the running boards of the truck because thre wasn't enough room for them to ride inside. 

In our home in Atlanta, there were always friends and music. It was a beehive of activity. My dad and the twins, Orie and Orrin, played musical instruments.

To help ends meet, my mother, 
Emma Eliza Street Phillips, took in boarders who loved her and called her mom. We always had plenty of good food to eat. Mom was an excellent cook and could put a scrumptious meal on the table in nothing flat. Mom also took in laundry and ironing. She would box it up neatly and we kids would deliver it in our red Radio Flyer wagon. On top was a freshly baked loaf of bread.

My mother's health was never very good. She was born with leakage of the heart, which later turned into enlargement of the heart.

In Atlanta there was lots of snow. My mother could ski and snow shoe with ease. She also loved to dance, which my twin brother's would play for town dances.

Atlanta had a bad fire which destroyed a lot of the town. It was a terrifying time. My folks helped many to get their things saved from the flames. When the fire was over, our house was full of people staying for a while. My mom would put out food fit for a banquet with such ease. She was in her glory when helping other people.

We moved to Hiawatha, Utah August 30, 1943 so that Orie could get work in the coal mines. While there, we had many problems with Billy who was retarded. My folk's placed him in a training school in American Fork. It was very hard on the whole family, especially my mom, probably one of the hardest things she had to do. Visiting Billy was very heart wrenching.

Billy Lee Ivie
We left Hiawatha, Utah on a greyhound bus April 16, 1946. We arrived three and a half days later in Seattle, Washington. The folks had tickets for the steamship to Alaska. But found when we went to pier 42, that there was a longshoreman strike. We went every day to the pier but the strike lingered on. A lot of other people were also waiting for passage to Alaska. They decided to charter an aircraft to fly them there. It had been eighteen days in hotels and eating out. The expense was taking a heavy toll on everyone's finances. We had six in our family, so it was expensive. 

A plane was eventually chartered and loaded with our goods and people. Off we went!. We developed engine trouble before we reached Annette Island. Turning around, the plane flew back to Seattle where it was repaired. 

We left again the next day arriving on May 7, 1946. Upon arriving in Alaska, we stayed at the Parson's Hotel for about a week before finding a place to rent. 

My dad, John Edward Phillips, got a job on Elmendorf Air Force Base, my mom with Anchorage Laundry and Cleaners.

My dad started building a log house on some land they had bought. There wasn't any electricity, plumbing, or water. We hauled our water for a quarter of a mile from a pitcher pump. We had gas lanterns, did our laundry on the washboard.

My mom couldn't leave Billy so far from her. So they took him to Alaska. The folk's gave away and sold almost everything they owned except for a very few personal things. It was like going to an unknown land, a kin to covered wagon days. My parents had always had the dream of going to Alaska, so after the war was over, they were off to pursue their dream, whatever it would bring.

The first year mom took a job with Anchorage Laundry and Cleaners. She was allowed to bring Billy with her. She and Billy both enjoyed the job. She worked one year, until her health really started to fail.

She took pills to keep body fluid down, then shots, then tapping. She was to go through this process many times in the next five years. She never uttered a complaint. You never knew how bad she felt, as she was always "fine!" My mom in her illness was an inspiration to anyone who knew her. She accepted her lot in life. It wasn't easy, but she stayed gentle, kind and loved everyone. In all ways, she was a saint!!

She was concerned for Billy's welfare, after her death. She said, "I could go in peace, if I knew Billy would be taken care of." I said, "He will be." Even in death, her concern was for someone else. 

Mildred may Phillips Ivie died on Mother's Day, May 12, 1954 in Anchorage, Alaska and was buried a few days later in Angelus Memorial Park, Anchorage, Alaska.

Contributed by Carol Tilton.

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