William & Arvilla Yancey and family
I William Yancey am the fourteenth child and eight son of my parents, Adam and Alice Tolman Yancey. I was born 24 February 1909 on my brother Daniel's birthday and at our new home in Groveland, Bingham County, Idaho.
Our home, a large brick house built by my father stands next door to the church, and was the largest house in Groveland. It was surrounded by a white picket fence which father built when he was nearly blind, and trees were planted around the house and grounds. Father original owned a large part of the land which is now Groveland. Later he had it divided into lots and sold to people reserving 120 acres for his own. Thus my parents were truly pioneers, settling in a new land.
The first thing I remember vividly is falling from a small foot bridge into the canal which runs behind our barn, I saw a goose across the canal and went after it. I still recall going down and down. Some other children and my sister were swimming there and saw me fall into the water. Sylvia, my sister, grabbed me and pulled me to safety.
I started school at five years in the old Groveland school and remember how once I stuffed some papers and junk into the furnace register and it caught fire and when the smoke came into the room I was a "scared boy".
When I was seven, my father and mother adopted a baby girl - my sister Ruth. I was baptized the 2nd June 1917 by Jonathan H Hale in the canal in which I had almost drowned, where it runs alongside the church. On such days as the fourth of July and other celebrations there would be programs and contests, ball games, ice cream and soda pop. There was room under the grand stand to put up refreshments for sale. I and other imps like myself would put fire crackers thru the floor to drop on the people underneath. It was a great sport to us then to see them jump and scream.
I lived at my sister Bertha's for a short time while mother was in California and celebrated my fourteenth birthday there, receiving a copy of the Doctrine and Covenants and Pearl of Great Price from' mother, which is one of my prized possessions today.
I had a pony which I rode a great deal. Most of my time in summer was spent in swimming and skating in winter. I can remember the days of the silent movies and the noise and rejoicing in 1918 when the Armistice was signed and Cyrus, Daniel and others came home from the war. I remember my father very little as I was just eleven when he died. I recall that he was nearly blind and in poor health, but he loved order and neatness and always had a place for everything keeping everything in its place.
Being the youngest of the family and separated from the others by several years I grew up rather alone and remember more about the younger members of the family. I recall that Cyrus was badly wounded in the war. Also that we made barrels of cider for we always had lots of apples from our orchard. I remember when Uncle John, father's brother, was with us although he died when I was about thirteen years old.
I graduated from the Groveland grade school and also took the first
year high there. Then in the fall of 1927
I went to live with my sister Sylvia and family at Pocatello and
attended High School there. Also enrolled
in the Seminary Class where we enjoyed many different activities such
as presenting programs in the different wards and went on hikes and to
On the 29th of January 1929 I was called on a mission to Great Britain. I labored first in Ireland, and while there a minister made it his business to warn the people against us. This resulted in making them curious about us and opened many doors to us that would have been closed otherwise. I was then transferred to England, laboring, in Birkenhead, where I could visit the Mission Office and there became well acquainted with Dr. John A. Widstoe. While in the town of Burnley, in Lancashire, I baptized Frank Lord and his mother, a widow, Mrs. Nancy Lord and have corresponded with him up to the present time.
I was released from my mission 13 Feb. 1931 and returned to Salt Lake City and then on home. On 27 Feb 1931 married Arvilla Ellsworth in the Salt Lake Temple. She was the daughter of Claude William Ellsworth and Matilda Ann Flarum and I met her while going to school in Pocatello. She graduated from Pocatello High School and also from the school of Pharmacy at the University of Idaho and is now (1948) working as pharmacist in the L.D.S. Hospital in Salt Lake City. She also has been active in the Sunday School, the M.I.A. and helped in different musical activities.
We made our first home in the Rainbow Cabins in Pocatello. The following summer we lived in Groveland while I worked in the crops. In the fall we moved back to Pocatello and I got a job at the Western Coal Company. After several years in Pocatello, we moved to Salt Lake City where for sometime I was a watchman on the Railroad but now have a job running a truck for Z.C.M.I., Salt Lake City.
We now have a family of three girls and three boys, Sharon Avon, David Odell, Marvin Verne, Ivan William and Paula Claire, all born in Pocatello and Arvilla Ann horn in Salt Lake City. Just recently we purchased a small acreage near the city and hope to make a home there and provide employment for the children.
Arvilla Yancey and children