Marjorie Gallacher Peterson

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 I was born August 11, 1904 at home, 527 East 700 South in Salt Lake City, the fourth child of John and Mary Gallacher following John Henry, Mark and Anna. We lived in a little cottage that grandfather Gallacher gave my mother and father for a wedding present. I grew up and lived in that little cottage all my life.

 I went to the Hamilton School and walked every day four blocks with my two older brothers and one older sister. It was nice for me to have older ones so I didn’t have to pioneer the way to a far distant school. They all took my hand and led my way and let me know that it was a friendly schools I never was afraid of starting school. I had fun at the Hamilton School. My oldest brother, John, was in charge of the athletics. He would encourage us all to race. He would go to each class and pick the fastest runner, When I came to the third grade, I was the fastest runners and he would, let me race with the other children. I could race rather well because he had trained me. All the Gallachers were athletic and the youngest brothers of my father (his mother had fifteen children) were athletes at the LDS High School. All my own brothers were very apt and capable.

 When I was twelve years old, my brother Mark was the champion runner for all the high schools and all the grade schools in the Salt Lake Valley at age 16. But he overdid in his athletics, and ten days after he turned sixteen, he died of leakage of the heart. As he was very ill, we all took care of him the last summer he lived .

 One day, my brother was to be married in my grandmother’s beautiful big home, I was supposed to stay home and tend my brother Mark as he was very sick. And I cried because I wanted to go to the wedding at my grandmother’s home around the corner. But my brother pulled me over to him on the bed and said to me, “Margie, you’ll never be sorry.” And he died a week later.   I was never sorry. He knew he was going to die. It was such a sad thing for me at twelve. I could hardly get through school that year. But then we had to carry on; my mother was grieved terribly to lose a 16 year- old boy. But we had to carry on anyway.  The war came about shortly after that and my oldest brother went to war.  We had many, many, sad experiences, but also many, many, happy ones. 

 Mother was a happy persons She was an elocutionist and she taught us how to speak. She would read us lots of funny stories and dramatic stories. She had gone to the university University of Utah for one year.  She took two subjects: sewing, or dressmaking, and Elocution. She was always teaching us by her poetry.  Father had also gone one year and he had learned orthography, which is really spelling in English, and one or two mathematics classes. They thought one year at the university was enough. Then, my father went into the restaurant business with his father. All our lives, we were children of the restaurant business. Then my father got to run the Hermitage in Ogden Canyon which all the honeymooners would go to after they’d get married in Salt Lake.  And so as a little girls I got to live at the Hermitage.

 Another year he got to be in charge of the restaurant for Mr. Simon Bamburger at Lagoon, where they had a beautiful restaurant. Mr. Bamburger built a little cottage next to the restaurant where Johnny Gallacher and his family could live to run this restaurant. And out on Lake Lagoon was a beautiful bunch of boats. My oldest brother was supposed to tend us while mother took the cash in at the restaurants


 One day when I was about 4 years old, my brother was supposed to tend me. He thought it might be nice to put me on the Merry-Go-Round. I got free rides as long as it was on and it was horse drawn so it didn’t go very fast. I was on a horse that didn’t move so he thought I was safe, He came back in an hour to get me, and he couldn’t find me anywhere and they looked and looked all over Lagoon, Held been out on the lake with a girl who had come up from Salt Lake named LaVonne Chandler who he wanted to show around the lake and the lagoon. They thought I’d fallen in the lake, but I hadn’t. Guess where they found me? I was under the Merry-Go-Round covered all over with dirt and rolled over and over and over... I was unconscious. But mother was so terribly practical. She had a doctor book. It said that when people get terribly scratched and terribly dirty, all you do is scrub them with soap and water and wrap them in gauze.  And so, that’s what she did.

 But later on after I was married, I found out I had a broken jaw. When I was 12 years old I had to have orthodontic work and they didn’t know why my lower teeth went up over my upper teeth but it was because I had a broken jaw which changed my bite pattern.  And anyway, for $35 a dentist in Salt Lake quickly straightened my teeth. I worked hard all that summer and paid for it myself by being a nursemaid of the little children of Mrs. Lovesy. Then when I was married (to a doctor) and my husband took x‑rays (he wanted to know why I had such a funny bite) he found out that I had had a broken jaw and a skull fracture. I still have a big bump on my forehead where my skull was fractured. I guess mother did the thing she thought best for me ... let me lay quiet on a bed, and I seemed to survive. So, if my grandchildren think I’m a little funny, it might be because I broke my head when I was 4!!!  

When I was in the third grade, I had scarlet fever about at Christmastime. My older brother Mark had come home from school with scarlet fever. Mark and I were the only ones in the family that got it, and the rest of the family were quarantined out and they lived at my grandmother’s, around the corner. Mother had a brand new baby and the whole rest of the family lived at my grandmother’s.  There was a bright yellow orange flag on our front porch and it said SCARLET FEVER, QUARANTINED FOR 30 DAYS, So I got acquainted with my brother Mark who I loved so dearly. We had good times. He carved me a doll out of wood from the kindling box at Christmastime and that was all I got that year. But the ward choir came over on Christmas eve and sang carols to us and brought lovely food to us so that we didn’t feel that we were left out.  In all my childhood life I was happy and had so many nice brothers and sisters. At nights they would all study around the round table in the dining room.


 My father worked all night long a lot of the time managing a big restaurant in Salt Lake called Finch and Rodgers. He sold out his share of his father’s business to his brother-in-law named Al Pritchard previously. He worked 12 hours, from 8 at night until 8 in the morning. The restaurant was very fashionable, but it was open all night long, We didn’t see much of him, so my mother raised us and she was such a good one to teach poems, help us with school and church work. She got us to go to church regularly.  She was president of the MIA for 12 years. On Saturday afternoons my father gave all his time to us and we’d go to Beck’s Hot Springs. We learned to dive from our father’s shoulders. We’d jump in and swim the little distance to him. We never got to be good swimmers, but we loved it. We could swim back to dad. We would get back to mother and she would have our high-buttoned shoes all polished with jet oil and all our Sunday clothes washed and ironed and ready for Sunday meetings, We went starched and prettied up to Sunday School. After I got scarlet fever, I got a mastoid, and for one year I couldn’t go to school. I felt so bad because I didn’t get promoted because I didn’t go to school that year.  I worked awfully hard from then on, and got to be the highest in the class in fourth, fifth and sixth grades.


 When I went to junior high I took French and I got the lead in the French play. The war was still on in 1917 and at Summer School, we put on a French play to raise money for the war effort. “Madame DuMar” brought hundreds of people from all over. We rented the 2nd ward amusement hall and made $400, enough to buy several knitting machines to knit socks for the soldiers which we had previously been doing by hand. And so, we were able to have a lovely experience there.

 I graduated from junior high school with a double promotion so I was able to enter West High School with a lot of the girls from our neighborhood who were my same age, We decided to go to West High because they offered a business course along with our regular high school courses. They offered shorthand and type and very good business subjects. We used to take the streetcar to West High. The streetcar had a track down the middle of the street to run on and on top of the trolley car there was a rope attached to a little wheel that contacted overhead power wires held in place by telephone poles about six to every city block. All the trolleys were taken to Trolley Square near our home on 6th East and 6th South at midnight.  You call it Trolley Square even now, but we called it the "car barns" in those days. Then the motormen and the conductors would walk to Trolley Square to start the trolleys at 6 a.m. for men to go to work We had service every 20 minutes on our 5th East line from Liberty Park, up through town and up to Fort Douglas Chapel. We would transfer downtown when we would go to school to a trolley car that took us to the old West High School.


But the big epidemic of the flu came on us that fall (1918) and I was only 13 and was in high school. But, they closed the high school down because of the terrible influenza epidemic. People were dying right and left. One evening on our block, five people died of influenza. We had no antibiotics and they died of acute pneumonia with that terrible influenza. My father’s sister Maude died.  My parents had gone to visit her, and the doctors were all so tired out with all the sick people.  My Uncle Al begged her, “Maude, please don’t die and leave me with all these little children to rear!”  But she died that night. Mother thought that we children should all do our part and tend those who were sick, so she let me go out into the neighborhood and tend families where all the whole family was stricken. At 13, I was able to nurse Mrs. Berkeley, who lived a half a block away and their 3 little children. They all had the pneumonia and the daddy had died and the mother was still awfully sick and had the three little children so mother sent me up there. They all got well. Mother would make hot broth and squeeze orange juice and I would get it from my home every day. I would feed it to them, and hold their heads while they vomited.  They were vomiting red blood and it was so sad to see them suffer so and I grew to be very strong in that I could face sickness and not be afraid. I was blessed in that the Lord didn’t let me get influenza even though I was close to it. There were others that helped out when I was just a teen-age girl.

 I went all through high school with one winter dress and one summer dress. I would wash my summer dress out at night and starch it. In those days we didn’t have permanent press.  We had such hard clothing to iron. But I had a lovely pink and white striped dress with a very high waist and it was long to my ankles. The first year of high school I wore high lace up shoes that laced up to my leg about 12 to 15 inches and I wore long black cotton stockings and black bloomers. After I got into my last year of high school we had a dear friend named Mrs. Lovesy who had no children. She adopted two little girls. She would bring beautiful clothes to my sister Anna and me so that we would have pretty clothes for high school. She kept me in pretty rose colored skirts, but they were still so long they reached the tops of my shoes.  I graduated from high school in a dress that was a short dress. But my mother made me a beautiful graduation dress.  Because I liked pink so much, she made it out of pink chiffon and lined it with taffeta. It had an overskirt with ruffles around it. My mother made it so beautifully. 

 By then I was going with Vernon Derrick from the First Ward.  He took me to many beautiful Sunday night parties in his ward. His ward’s group was Max Christensen, and Lawrence and Hal Richmond and Rudi Ericksen and they had their separate girls. The boys would take us to each others’ homes to have refreshments after we played Sunday night games and told jokes, after attending night meetings in the First Ward. That was the way we were courted. We just didn’t go during the week to a show, but Sunday nights we would have these dates. Once in a while the boys would take us down to the 8th South and 5th East after Sunday night meeting and treat us to ice cream. We’d have an ice cream soda for 10 cents and a fudge nut sundae for 15 cents and it was good homemade ice cream and homemade fudge topping too. You got a lot for your money in those days.  

My sister Anna always seemed to have lots of beaus.  It seemed like I was always the one left doing all the chores at home when she would leave to have fun with the boys.  One day I said to mo mother, “Why does Anna get all the beaus when I’m the nicest!!?”


My oldest brother Henry served in WWI along with many of our neighbors and friends. My husband and his two brothers, Verne and Harold also. They had several stars in the service flag in their window showing how many were in the armed service. They had three stars in their flag and one was a gold star. That was for his brother Verne. We named our own first son after that brother that my husband dearly loved. Everyone put their shoulders to the wheel to win that war. I was only 14 years old when it was over but I can remember it well.  Before we had a telephone we would be awakened in the night by newsboys walking in the streets and yelling, “Extra, extra, read about the new casualty list,” We had no way of knowing what Utah man or men were in the casualty lists except by these extra papers.  We were all excited and scared and fearful. But we were all united. We thought our country was fighting to preserve democracy. It was a world war –  yes – a war to end all wars. My father bought liberty bonds though we could not afford them. All the children bought 25 cent thrift savings stamps, and that was giving it to the government and holding it until the war ended.  All of this was war effort.   I won a $5 thrift stamp savings book in a junior high school contest for the best slogan to help sell more thrift stamps.  In the President’s cabinet was a man named Mac Adoo who wanted children to help sell more thrift stamps. My winning slogan was this, “three nickels, a dime or a quarter will do, to buy a thrift stamps to help Mae Adoo.” Food was hard to get as so much was needed for the boys in the services.  My mother won a prize for a wartime fruitcake recipe. It was called “eggless butterless sugarless fruitcake.” It was mostly whole wheat flour, raisins, molasses, honey and malt. We still use that fruitcake recipe to this day. Ruth has it and  serves it hot right out of the oven. We did not have a cow, but got skim milk from the diary for 5cents a gallon. After school, I’d take two pails and go to McCann’s dairy 2 or 3 blocks away and brought back the milk. The buckets were filled with fresh milk and we’d drink it all up because we didn’t have a refrigerator.


Instead of having mutual, Mary Leatham who was mutual president, would have the mutual girls make bandages for the soldiers. She told me if I wanted to have piano lessons, I should go early and scrub the oilcloth tables where we folded the bandages. (I had two lessons, but I was too old and too busy earning good grades in school to pursue it further). We all brought clean kitchen table knives and pressed the gauze bandages into the folds that they were supposed to be in and there were so many of each kind. They would take the stacks and stacks we would finish to another place for more sterilizing, be packaged, and sent off to the boys at the front.

 When the war ended we had a wonderful experience. It was such a fun time. We thought it was such a relief to know the war was ended, November 11, 1918. The schools were all closed because of the epidemic and so for that month, my sister Anna and I worked in the knitting factory which was a block or so from the school. Mr. Jones, the neighbor, hired us and we inspected the knitted goods and put them in boxes. When the war ended, the boys from our neighborhood who delivered for the knitting factory, got us in a truck and we sat in the back and drove through all the streets of the city and we pounded cans and things and everybody was so excited and made all sorts of noises as if they were having a great big celebration. It was a wonderful day!  At that time, our oldest brother was in the war.  His wife was living with us and expecting a baby and she went into labor –  false labor from the excitement.  A couple of weeks later she gave birth to a little nephew, little Jackie Gallacher. And it so happened that Jackie was reared by my mother because my brother’s wife was a Catholic and she wanted to go be with the Catholic people in California.  She didn’t want the baby so she gave my mother the baby and so he grew up like our little brother. He grew up to be a man and studied medicine in California and at the age of 33 he died after heart surgery which he had had as a result of a kidney infection which he had had since childhood.


I got to be President of the West High School Tennis Club.  I also wrote the words for our high school graduation class song. These are some of the words that I remember:

“Farewell West High, Your memory through life unto us will be

Our hope, our aim to prove true, since the day we bad adieu.”  That was the chorus.

The first verse went like this –  

“Our school days so pleasant with youthful joys

We call old chums both girls and boys.

We cannot forget the true high school friend

Though far away he may send.”

The high school English students who were graduating were asked to write words that matched a popular song, “Mello Cello Melody.” My words seemed to fit the song the best. We all sang it at our graduation exercises, and they were sung for years afterward.

 Then as I went I finished a business course and graduated from West High School and on my graduation day my girlfriends and I went out and got positions but I worked for Billings Stenographic Bureau in the summertime. I addressed envelopes and took dictation over Dictaphones.

 During high school I did have two dates. One was the boys dance my Senior year and a boy named Vern Derrick in the First Ward took me.  I took him later to the girls dance and that is the extent of my dating in high school. But I had the fun that one has with lots of good girlfriends and we went to all the high school games and to the ballet at the famous Salt Lake Theater and it was only 25 cents to go to “nigger heaven” which was the fourth circle up and we would go on Saturday afternoons for a quarter.  We would see some of the best plays – “Mitzi,” and “Tea for Two” and all the marvelous plays that were acted by New York stage actors. There was “Indian Love Call” and it was a beautiful experience to go to that beautiful Salt Lake Theater, even from the fourth circle up! We would look down and see the beautiful plays the visiting New York companies would put on during their week long visit.


My father never owned a car when I was home. He got one when I was married, the same year that he died. But his father, my grandfather, got the first Apperson car sold in Salt Lake City. My Grandfather Gallacher was quite a wealthy man and he had to have the best and the firstest. In those days the Apperson car cost $5,000 and it was as big as a Cadillac. They had always had a large barnful of nice horses for their children to ride. The girls all had sidesaddles and rode around Liberty Park. They also had a beautiful big black surrey with fringe on top. I used to take my little red chair and sit between the front and back seat when my grandmother and grandfather would ride around Liberty Park, every Sunday night after night meeting. I remember that well, because they always wanted me to ride and there was always room for me.

 Those two dear grandparents were generous Scotch people. They shared everything they enjoyed with others, and they never kept things all to themselves. I listened intently to grandmother’s conversations with the dear old ladies . . . Sister Woolenbeck, and Sister Corbett and relatives they would treat to Sunday night buggy rides. They talked of who was in love with who or who had been married, born, or buried.

 The rides in the new Apperson car were not as much fun as we thought they would be. We often had a flat tire. Grandfather fixed them, but there was only one paved road and that was 5th East from South Temple down to 9th South through the park.  They were dusty, dusty, dusty, dusty roads most of the time. Once grandfather ran out of spare tires and we bumped home on the rim of the worn out tire. Every pedestrian would point and say, “Hey mister, you’ve got a flat tire on your back wheel. And grandfather didn’t like it at all. People would say to him, “Get a horse, get a horse.” He finally did get his horse out of the barn and take the surrey out instead of the car.

 Every Thanksgiving night, all the cousins of the Gallachers would gather on my Grandfather Gallacher’s big veranda front porch, and we would sing “Over the River and Through the Woods to Grandmother’s House We Go.” We thought it was fun to surprise them and we hid in the bushes until they would come out to see who was singing. Then we would be invited in for Thanksgiving turkey dinner. Grandfather owned one of the first big restaurants on Main Street that was called the Saddle Rock Café where the Tribune Building now stands. He was a wonderful cook. All his 13 married children and their husbands, wives, and children sat at a long table and an extension table through the arch from the dining room to the parlor. They had the drumsticks and the breasts and the meat of the turkey and all the children sat at a long table in the huge kitchen. We had the wings and the neck and the legs with gravy and dumplings and mashed potatoes. The desserts were pies and Scotch short‑bread. We were loved!! The children performed in the parlor reciting verses and playing piano pieces and singing or trying to do the Highland Fling or the sword dance as our dear Grandfather could do and tried to teach us. He had his own Scottish kilt and he had the Stuart plaid on. It was a marvelous memory to me.


I want to tell about my grandmother Magdalena Schneider who joined the Church.  She lived in Berne Switzerland and was a school teacher in the Lutheran Church. One day she was going home from school and she saw some missionaries and she and her friend, Elizabeth Galli listened to the missionaries and she and her friend would do this every once in a while after they’d teach school.  They joined the Mormon Church without telling their parents.  When Magdalena’s mother and father found out that she had joined the Mormon Church they told their minister that ran the school and he tried to make Magdalena leave the Church.  He told her she had to choose between the Mormon Church and the Lutheran Church.  She chose the Mormon Church and said that she’d been a member for some time and that she wouldn’t give it up.

 Then they tried to make her choose between the Church and her home and she chose to leave her home. She moved to France and was a governess for children in a family.  She tried to earn enough money to try to come to America, but she couldn’t earn enough money to do so. Finally, the missionaries there told her about a wonderful opportunity to come to Utah accompanying a crippled lady and taking care of her cow. When they got as far as Florence, Nebraska on the train, they stopped and bought all the equipment necessary to join the company that was coming to Utah.  She was to take care of a cow that was to be tied to the back of the wagon of this crippled

woman and her brother. She followed them and walked a great deal of the thousand miles between Florence, Nebraska and Salt Lake City. She arrived in the valley safely without harm but she did have two or three near escapes.  Indians had their eyes on the cow and on the pretty girl that was watching it because she loitered way behind the camp. One time by a brook where there were a lot of Indians, they almost took her but a man rode back on horseback and helped her get back to the camp so she wasn’t harmed by Indians.

 When she lived in Salt Lake at first she spoke only German so she couldn’t teach.  During that time, she helped people by being a  governess of children.  She met a convert to the Church who had come a year before named Henry Reiser.

 He was the first Jeweler in the state of Utah.  Brigham Young gave him land on the corner of First South and Main Street to set up a shop for jewelry.  He had come from Zurich, Switzerland where he had learned to be a watchmaker.  He was married to a lovely woman who had two little boys. Her boys were young when they finally got enough money saved to come to Utah.  On the trip across the ocean, she lost her little boys. One was buried at sea and one was buried on Staten Island.  Typhoid fever broke out on the sailboat that they came across on to Utah. Then she learned that she could never have any more children.  This woman made acquaintance with Magdalena when she came to Utah. The two women became well acquainted and she talked my grandmother into marrying Henry Reiser in polygamy.  She said, “If you will marry my husband and have children and let me help you rear them, I will encourage this marriage.” So Magdalena married Henry Reiser in 1861 and this first wife helped my grandmother rear her children.  This woman, Susanna Rupp died in 1874, 13 years later, and my grandmother was the senior wife. Then Henry Reiser was asked to go back to Switzerland and he converted 100 people from Zurich. Then he came back to Utah and continued as a prominent Utah watchmaker.

Magdalena had a daughter named Josephine, and then she had a son named Albert Schneider Reiser, and then she had my mother, the last of all her children, and she was born in 1875 in Salt Lake City, right across the street from the old Pioneer Park which was called the Old Fort. Grandfather Reiser built two houses there – one for his first wife and one for my grandmother. She bore eight children, and only three of them lived through the second summer. They didn’t have refrigeration and she couldn’t nurse her babies and so she lost them with summer complaint and things like that. My mother grew up very happy in a home where grandfather had three wives, There were three little homes side by side and they would play with the other children and have their little cousins and they had their “cousins” for their best friends. Mother always said that polygamy was well lived in her father’s household. He was equal and never unfair with any one of them. They never quarreled.  Mother never let us say anything against polygamy, although in our day we thought it terrible to have polygamy, but not in her situation. Well, Mother grew to be 12 years old and then her mother died. Her older brother married and lived in the home and she lived with her older brother and his wife.

 When mother was 19 she married John James Gallacher whose father owned the first restaurant on Main Street. He was the oldest son of John Gallacher and Annie Impey Gallacher, converts from Scotland and England. They had a big wedding at their new home at 661 South 500 East, a big 20 room home. They served 8 courses to 500 guests because Grandfather Gallacher was a very prominent businessman and had all his business friends come to the wedding. They served oysters on the half shell and had them shipped in by railroad from California. They served the other 8 courses on the lawns on their beautiful home. Mother’s oldest boy was John Henry Gallacher.   John, after her husbands father, and Henry, after her own father. But after John Henry was born, Mother and Father decided that father should go on a mission. He went to the southern states mission. He was in Galveston, Texas at the time of the terrible Galveston flood. They had to administer help to the people who were caught in that terrible flood. But he returned and then they had Mark, who was about 7 years younger then her oldest child. Then she had Anna, and then she had me.


When I was young I had two sisters who could play the piano well, Anna and Ruth.  They could play all the latest songs. We all stood around the piano and sang songs. At mutual, we would have dances every Tuesday night and an orchestra would come and play and we would just go to mutual and afterwards we could stay. My first dance was with a boy named Milt Iverson, and I didn’t even know how to waltz. The first waltz that came he asked me to dance.  Poor boy, he really suffered but he asked me again, so I guess he made it through. Then we went on to the beautiful songs that were sweet “A kiss in the dark was to him just a lark but to me was a moment supreme” and “Over there, over there, send the word, we’ll be there” during the war.

There was “A baby’s prayer at twilight” and many sad ones, and many happy ones to help cheer boys. The war was imminent and we wanted to win that war. It was a terrible war. But we all put our shoulders to the wheel and America was a wonderful country. America was a country that got behind the war – especially the Second World War. But America went through periods where there were wars that weren’t popular – the Korean War and the Vietnam War. We didn’t have a real cause and we didn’t feel like we won those wars. But when they were won America was proud.

After my one experience with Milt Iverson, I decided I was going to be a good dancer. So, I went to dancing school and learned to do the Charleston, and I was very good at it. If you could see me now I could almost step it off. And it was fun and everywhere we went we sang and danced Charleston dances and then formal dancing    the tango was really good.   I went for a while with Lew Elggren who was our bishop’s son, and he was a beautiful dancer.  I didn’t like him but I surely liked to dance with him. He’d do the hesitation and he’d do a backbend and sway me back and forth and OOOH that was beautiful. . .  One time I went with a man named Jewel  Trowbridge to the dance halls out at Saltair. 


Saltair was a big pavillion and it was a beautiful resort out on top of the water built on piers. The biggest open air dance hall in the world was out on that big pavillion. While I was out there I’d dance with different boys from our ward –  we’d have ward outings. I never just danced with just anybody, but I knew all the boys that I danced with, but we never went with partners. We just went on an open car. The railroad that went out there was called the Saltair Railroad and they’d have 10 to 12 open cars just with no sides on them, just benches, one right after another, maybe 40 benches on each car. We would be so crowded that we’d fill every car on every train.  When we’d get out there we’d swim for 25 cents in long black bathing suits.  Our bathing suits had long black bloomers, with long black sleeves and  we’d all wear bathing caps because the salt water has 22% salt and we’d have to keep the salt out of our hair or else it would go stiff with so much salt. We’d swim for a long time and then we’d go back under the pavilion under the dance floor where there were lots of tables and we could take our lunches.  We’d have homemade root beer and sandwiches and fruit.

 We also had our ward dances at Saltair.  I remember a very embarrassing incident. The leader of the orchestra that came to our ward was a handsome boy. He looked like he was Italian and he had shiny black hair slicked back into a pompadour. He wore a tight fitted jacket and led an eight  piece orchestra, which we could get for something like $2 a man and we thought that was great. One day we planned a marvelous basket lunch. My mother was president of the mutual so she had me make the most beautiful basket. It was a basket that Concord grapes come in –  it was long and narrow and it had a little handle that went over the top of it.  I trimmed it with shirred pink crepe paper and I made it ruffle, ruffle, and ruffle, from the top to the bottom of it, and across the handles.  I put chicken salad sandwiches and slices of cheese and cakes and cookies and fruit in it.  It was the most beautiful basket! My mother was so proud of me for fixing it.

They put my basket up last to be bid on by the boys in the ward.  Every other basket had been bid on from up to a dollar.  Some of them went for 25 cents. Some went for 50. And the girl who got a $1 – that girl really felt like the ward had made a lot of money off her. When my basket came up it was more fancy than the others and the leader of the band bid on it. But he didn’t know the rules –  whoever bid on it had to eat the lunch with the girl who packed it. He had his girl there –  off to one side away from the band on the stage and he bid $4 for my basket!! The price went up and up and up and everybody bid on it, the bishop and everybody, but he bid $4 and he got the basket. Then, I ran and hid so he wouldn’t find me because everyone knew that his girl was there. He found out that I had packed the basket and he went to the bishop and said to find the little girl who packed the basket and tell her to choose one of the boys in the ward and eat it with him, but that he was going home with his girl. He was a great guy!

My father operated the first big café at Saltair.. He was known as amiable Johnny Gallacher. His restaurant was called “The Ship’s Café.” He brought crabs to his fine restaurant and the young stylish couples went to Saltair and ate at his restaurant and then they went to the dance pavilion to dance,

 While my father ran the café, my mother would often take all seven of us children to Saltair. We had family reunions and picnics after swimming there too. We rode a giant roller coaster and went in the fun house when we were teenagers. We took a streetcar to the Saltair Depot from our home to the open air cars. It cost us only 25 cents round trip and  included entrance into the gates at Saltair. 

 Our bathing caps were made of big round circles of oilcloth with elastic around the edges and it kept the salt out of our long braids and our curls. Of course we all learned to float with our heads high and bent forward. It seemed we stayed hours in the waters, it was so pleasant and cooling. We met many friends and laughed and rested on the water with our big black bloomered bathing suits puffed out about us. When we were through, each dressing room was equipped with a shower so we could clean up for a night of fun at the concessions and watching the dancers after the picnic. The wind would blow through the whole dance hall and cool us. I would often watch my father and mother dance. He was a wonderful waltzer! He even used to take prizes for his waltzing. We were not anxious to go home to our hot houses without air conditioning, when we could watch others dancing to the lilting sounds of Ern Sweeten’s dance orchestra.. There were two brothers who had the orchestras out there, and they were famous. We were sleepy and sticky from eating candy and mother pushed us and pulled us onto the open cars that took us back to Salt Lake City and our hot little cottages that we called home.


As I graduated from high school, my mother went off for a visit to her friends in the Northwest, where our bishop had been called to be president of the Northwestern States Mission. His name was Heber C. Iverson and all that summer they wanted mother up at the mission home. So, I took charge of our little family.  My older sister Anna got married that year.  My brother Stuart and my sisters Ruth and Berta were in my charge and I stayed in my grandmother’s house around the corner while mother was away.  At the end of the summer the principal of West High School where I graduated called me and told me that they wanted me to be the stenographer for the Orem Railroad (the Salt Lake and Utah Railroad) and there I found that I had a wonderful opportunity to grow and get a knowledge of business and how it was carried on.  I was really delighted, although the pay wasn’t the best.

 They sent me from the school saying that I was one of their graduates who could really use her head. I wasn’t the fastest typist or the fastest taking shorthand but I was accurate and my judgment was good. Then I went to work for that railroad and stayed there seven years .

I was finally secretary to the President, Mr. Walter Orem, and to the Treasurer, Mr. Frank Orem. They had a little railroad from SLC down to Payson and over to Magna. It was an electric railroad and it shipped the produce from Utah county down to Salt Lake County where it was always used.  During the seven years, every year I had a month’s vacation with pay and I could get transportation on any railroad or steamship but I had to get back in a month to resume my position. I got to go to California two or three times, and down to Florida, to Mexico, up to Canada through the Canadian Rockies. And I even went on a steamship up to Skagway, Alaska and traveled on a narrow gauge railroad all through Alaska and saw the beautiful country.

 The last two years I was asked by our bishop to keep my brother Stuart on a mission to Germany. Then the railroad didn’t do so well; it was having competition with the trucking companies that didn’t have to keep up a right of ways.  All they had to do was to keep good trucks and they could ride on the highways. Near the end of my stay at the railroad I went on a trip to New York. I had a girlfriend named Mildred Peterson and she was on a mission in New York and I promised I’d see here there which I did. When I did try to be with Mildred, I got on a boat in New York harbor and went up to Boston Harbor an a night boat one Sunday after conference, at the New York Brooklyn Mormon chapel. Mildred got on my boat; she heard I was looking for her but I missed her in New York although she searched the boat for me and we both tried to make connections. My friend, Maude Ackroid and I had gone to our stateroom and we missed her. We went to Boston on that pleasure boat and had a beautiful trip. When we got to Boston we took a parlor car to New Hampshire where we were met by my aunt, Bessie Gallacher who was my father’s sister. She was married to Schyler Constant and her husband’s sister was a millionaire and they owned the Onyx Hosiery. They had vast estates; a thousand acres of land in New Hampshire, beautiful land that went all the way up to Mt. Washington. They took us in an open convertible all through New England for the next day or two. Then we came back to their beautiful home. We had the guest rooms and maid service and we thought we were very., very lucky to be in her beautiful home. The maids would even come in in the evening and bring gingerale and cookies for us to snack on after formal dinners. They had a wonderful long table where many people could dine –   relatives that came and stayed and visited. 

 They had formal waiters that waited on us! We felt like we had really “been in the money” that week.  However, we came back to the dull reality of life.  But it wasn’t really dull. We came back on the train to Salt Lake City and I began working to support Stuart on his mission in Germany. He was first stationed in Southern Germany. He sent back many pictures of the beautiful Bavarian Alps. Stuttgart was his first city and then Hamburg and towards the last in Nuremberg and up into Wilhelmshaven even up North.  Now that’s divided into 2 or 3 nations but that was a huge mission at the time.  He was supposed to go to Switzerland, and Hugh Jo Cannon was President of the Swiss German Mission.  He was a dear friend of my mother and my uncle Albert Reiser and he saw to it that Stuart got to travel after his mission and he traveled through Switzerland and Italy and France and other parts of Germany and England before he returned from his mission. By the time he returned home from his mission, my sweetheart Albert Peterson had planned for us to be married. We asked Stuart to be the best man at the wedding.


I first met my husband when I was twelve years old. I was a pretty good ice skater. I would always go skating with my friend Mildred Peterson.  But I wanted to skate long after dark. I lived two blocks away from Liberty Park ice lake where we ice skated.  But Mildred would assure my mother that her big brother who went to the University and was graduating that year would come down after his classes at the U of U and ice skate with us. He would let us hold onto his hands in chain fashion and he would skate us around the lake so fast that we thought it was wonderful. He had a big block “U” on his sweater.  He was an athlete –  a football player and a track man. We were thrilled to be able to go around the lake with him! Nobody else but his sister Mildred and I could skate that fast with him. Little did he know that little freckled faced girl with braids was the girl he would marry twelve years later. But he did and I was mighty glad because I loved him dearly! I will always remember that occasion which he didn’t remember for a long time until I reminded him.

Let me tell you a little about my husband, James Albert Peterson.  He was a graduate of the University of Utah in 1916.   He taught High School in Tooele and at Rexburg High School in Idaho.  He was an officer, a lieutenant, in World War I, in the machine gun division.  He graduated from Officers Training School in Fort Benning, Georgia. When the war ended he returned to teaching high school in Rexburg, Idaho and he lived with a Dr. Stanley there.  The doctor talked him into studying medicine so he went back to pre‑med school at the University of Utah and then entered their 2-year medical school. When he finished there, he transferred to the George Washington Medical School in Washington D.C.   He paid for his own medical school tuition and living expenses.  He worked eight hours every night as night elevator man in the U.S. Senate office building.  He got to know many senators who came back to their offices to study and work with committees.   He had his own desk in the basement by the elevator where he could study.  His last year he lived right in George Washington Hospital and served as an extern.  Then he was an intern and resident and then returned to Salt Lake City in 1925 and moved in with his parents who were also in our ward.   His father and sister both encouraged him to take me out, Our first date was to a wedding in our ward.   He was slow but persistent in his courting. I sometimes had to wait several weeks between dates but it was worth it!!!

 His first kiss came after many, many dates. We went to a Daughters of the Utah Pioneers dance in the ward. He was a doctor and always late for his dates. Mother had made me a beautiful pioneer costume.  Everyone had gone on to the dance and I was home alone waiting for him. When he saw me he must have thought I looked lovely because he said “OOOHHH!!!” and pulled me to him, and kissed me on the forehead.   Boy, was I thrilled ! He was so handsome  – tall and dark and with such chiseled features. 

From then on, he picked me up for work in the mornings and took me home at night.   He drove a beautiful Dodge coupe. One night when his Dodge was in the garage being repaired we were walking home from work along 3rd East.  He showed me an empty lot across the street from the Sumner School. He said, “I’m going to build a duplex here.”  I asked, “Who is going to live in it?” He said, “You and me. . .”   And that was my proposal of marriage.  Then he pinned his fraternity pin on me.

 We were pinned from 1925 to 1928. Once in a while, an old beau of mine would come to the office to talk during my lunch hour. One time he wanted to have lunch with me. I said I’d have to ask my steady beau. When I asked Dr. Peterson, he said, “Okay but you won’t see me anymore.” So that was that!

 We were married in the Salt Lake LDS Temple,  June 6, 1928. We planned a beautiful wedding. We had 500 guests at the Covenant House for our reception which is now the LDS Business College  – the beautiful Colonel Wall’s home on South Temple and about 3rd  or 4th  East.  In the mean time, he had started to build a duplex on a lot that his father had given him for a wedding present.  It is now known as 643, 647 South 3rd East. We picked our own fireplace with plaques of pioneers in tile above it. We ordered all the lumber through the railroad and Morris and Merrill and the brick was from Henefer where my sister Anna lived.  The men were given their contracts from my husband’s father and he was retired and lived a block away at 753 South 300 East.  He would come up every day and keep the workmen working.  Dr. Peterson was struggling to make a start of his practice as a young physician and surgeon. He kept his office always at 903 Boston Building where he was associated with Dr. Roy Groesbeck, a surgeon, and Dr. Samuel Paul, the school city doctor, and Dr. Green who was a dentist. He set up his practice and was quite well established by the time we were married, June 6, 1928.

 Our honeymoon was out of this world! We went on a train down to San Francisco.  Then we transferred to the boat the “Yale” and sailed down to Los Angeles and San Diego where we were met by my cousin Dorothy Gallacher Bjarnson, who was also a newlywed.  We were their house guests for two weeks at their beautiful new home. We traveled to other cities and sights in California and to the beaches and had a grand time.  We sailed back to San Francisco on the “Harvard.”

 In 1929 a terrible financial crash began the Depression.   It hit the whole United States; it hit the whole world. We felt it keenly.  Banks failed right and left.  People could not get their money out of the bank. Finally we listened over our radio to President Franklin D. Roosevelt who gave us a fireside chat and told us that there was nothing to fear but fear itself. He closed all banks in the United States for a week so we had no choice. We had to trust each other. We traded services.  My husband had to deliver babies and give the mother and baby after care for six weeks for a $25 charge, not to be paid in cash but trade. We bought things mostly by trading services.

He performed his services so reasonably and we traded services because people didn’t have the money to pay doctors. There were not any insurance companies to help us earn our money so we had lean years those years after 1929 until 1933 when things began to pick up.  Many a baby he delivered for $25 and many a tonsil he took out for $12.50 and many an appendectomy for $50. And even then it was trading services. . .  But there were many poor people.  Too many as a result of the depression. They would come back and come back.  A woman would have 5 babies and never even have the first one paid for. But he said, “I have faith in people.” And he really did. They came back and paid most of their bills.  He said, “You just have to have faith in people and give people your services and give it willingly.”  This he did and he loved being a doctor. He loved every minute of his life of service as a physician and surgeon.  

After we were married, we were two years before we had any children. I worked after we were married as secretary to Governor George H. Dern who was governor of the state of Utah. I worked in the Utah State Capitol until 3 months before Margie was born.  I weighed 108 pounds when I got married and gained 22 pounds during my first pregnancy. Governor Dern was chosen by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to be Secretary of War during the depression years.  He decided to organize the CCC camp because of so many unemployed young men. This was the Civilian Conservation Camp and was an excellent way to get all those young men actively working in Public Works Association projects. They worked for a dollar a day and were a uniform with CCC on the sleeve.  



My oldest was Marjorie Yvonne who was born January 20, 1930 at the LDS hospital and was delivered by Dr. Roy Groesbeck. I had a long, hard 3 days of labor but she came into the world a beautiful baby.  We enjoyed her a lot.

 Then I had Verne Albert on March 30, 1931. And then I had Fred, August 13, 1933.  That was all the family I had, but they were a great joy to me. They were pretty little brown-eyed children and they played together beautifully. We outgrew the little duplex on 3rd East.  We were still in the state of depression in 1933, but our dear friend Parley Eccles told us of a big home on the corner of Douglas Street and 2nd South a block from the University.  He said, “That home has the prettiest view in Salt Lake, but it needs remodeling. But if you buy that you’ll be happy there.” And so, Dr. Peterson went over and looked it over and decided it was what he wanted.

 He had it changed from a big old gay 90's home into a colonial home that looked like Mt. Vernon.  It had 12 big white pillars and a big veranda on the upper story and it was about a 15 room home. It was well built    it was made of adobe and was faced with redwood facing on the outside painted white with green shutters like the colonial homes. We lived there and enjoyed the beautiful view.

 We enjoyed our membership in the University Ward where Albert was for 5 or 6 years superintendent of the Sunday School.  The first year I lived up there I was president of the Primary and I worked in Primary all my life. I never wanted to be anything but a Primary teacher. I loved little children. I worked with them all my days, in fact just last year in 1977 I quit teaching primary because I had pain in my knees and couldn’t get back and forth. But I loved to teach –  Trailbuilders the first year and I had lot of boys who I worked with. I took them on hikes and enjoyed it. Then I taught the Homemaking group for years and then I taught the 7 and 8-year olds –  the CTR group.  The last 10 or 15 years I have taught lessons to CHOOSE THE RIGHT.

We moved from our home on 12th East and 2nd South during the year that our two boys were in the Korean War.  We moved to 2021 Wasatch Drive which is about 21st South and Wasatch Boulevard. Our little Marjorie had her three lovely children; her oldest, Diana Sue, then a little boy James Peter who died after 4 months with a bad heart at birth. (We learned later that if he had been born years later he could have had heart surgery and been well.) But he was a beautiful little boy who looked like Diana with dark eyes and dark hair and a beautiful face.  And it was sad to lose that little boy I’ll tell you. He had to be in oxygen all the time for those 4 months. Then she had Ricky who was Richard Gilbert.

 Then next was David Brett. Then they went to Africa with her husband Dr. Richard Gilbert Barton who had to give two years to the service after finishing medicine and practicing a short time. The military required them to give two years of time.  He thought he was going to Germany and so Margie bought all the children heavy clothing.  When his assignment was changed at the last minute, they sent them quickly instead to Africa – Nouasseur Air Force Base near Casablanca, Morocco. He was the obstetrician for that Air Force base and delivered all the babies for all the Americans there.  Margie and Dick got to go to the opening of the Swiss Temple and saw many people who came to Switzerland to see the dedication of the temple.  They took their little children –  Diana, Rick, and David  all across Europe and enjoyed the sights. They also got to go to Portugal. When they were dismissed from their services overseas they were able to take a cruise on the Mediterranean Sea on a ship that took them to the coast cities of Italy and Greece and North Africa and then they came home by boat to the USA. They had flown over by airplane going into Nouasseur AFB near Casablanca but when they came home they went home by boat. Their hands were full because those little boys were a handful. The little girl would watch her step but to watch little children on a boat crossing the ocean, that was really a task. They shipped their car over to NY harbor and there they picked their car up and drove up through New England and up to Michigan to see my brother Stuart where he was professor of German languages at Michigan State University at East Lansing.

 They came slowly back home and lived at Dick’s parents home for a year while they were building a pretty home at 4323 Diana Way. They were lucky to get a home on Diana Way named after their oldest daughter. At that time they brought home the next little boy, Jeffrey Hunter, then a little girl, Laurie Brynn, then another little girl Holly Brooke. Marjorie had multiple sclerosis and had been getting progressively more handicapped  Her next two children were born while she was in a wheelchair    Christopher Blake and Rebecca Jill. She has many talents. When she was young she was a good skier, artist, dancer and model and also an excellent pianist. She is a good home executive and disciplinarian.


Our oldest son Verne came back from the war and attended the University of Utah and received a BA degree in English. He later studied at Harvard and at New York University until he entered the University of Maryland Medical School. After graduation he lived at Fort Washington on Long Island and studied psychiatry. He practiced there until 1967 when he moved back to Salt Lake City and set up offices in St. Mark’s Hospital. He and his wife Judy Eagle have two sons, John and David.

 Verne used to work as a bagger boy while still in high school. He used his money to study flying at the Kemp and Kelsie Flying School at the old Salt Lake Airport. He didn’t tell us he was taking flying lessons. Once, when we thought he was studying after school singing in Lyle Bradford’s a capella chorus at East High School, he phoned up and said excitedly, “Mother, mother, I soloed today.” I answered, “I didn’t know Lyle Bradford would let you solo!”  He answered “Oh., Mother don’t you know? There are three important things in life     you are born, you die, and you solo fly!!!” He was only 16 years old but he could solo fly. That was something I really loved Verne for!


When Fred was a 4-year old boy he made up words. He called my soups “gaggedy” when he didn’t seem to like them.  If he didn’t like something he would say, “It isn’t my favorite.”

In first grade he didn’t want to learn the Dick and Jane books that he read. They were too dull. He would try to read big medical books. But in the fourth grade he finally was convinced that reading was necessary and now he is an avid reader and printer.

 Fred used his GI bill money to study printing at Los Angeles Trade and Technical School and at the Morganflower Printing School in New York City. He is now president of a small printing organization in Applegate, California. He never married.


We didn’t have a radio or television when I was a girl. When we came home at night, we read books. My father had an early evening off once a week, and I remember he would gather us together and would read aloud to us after we had our evening meal around the dining room

table.  I remember especially one story he read to us called The Beauty of the Purple. And it was a beautiful love story about Aspesia.  We enjoyed it so much and couldn’t wait for the next chapter. We were tempted to read ahead, but we waited for Dad to come home and read it to use Those were our family home evenings and they were wonderful!!!

 I remember well the invention of radio. My brother Stuart had an inventive mind and studied the workings of radio. He made our first radio by wrapping copper wire around an empty Quaker Oats box and hooking it up to a $5 earphone set and some kind of a little crystal that touched the wires.  Later we used the bed springs for our antennas.  KSL was the only broadcasting station.  It was owned by the Church and the talent was just the local people around Salt Lake that would sing on the program. One night I came home and  turned on the radio and  tuned in and heard the announcer say, “We will now hear ‘Let Me Call You Sweetheart, I’m in Love With You’ requested by Marjorie Gallacher.   I hadn’t requested it, and somebody was just playing a joke on me, and I was so embarrassed!

Dr. Peterson and I used to enjoy reading together at night. He had an extensive library and enjoyed reading old favorites with me.  We didn’t have a television or a radio, but we enjoyed this pastime together. In those days, we didn’t have an answering service and that way we could get our own calls.  I later got a little girl to live in our back room to help answer the phone and tend the kids, and do the evening dishes. She attended LDS Business College and studied until 4 and then walked home to help me – all for only $5 a week, plus her room and board.  When we moved by the University, we got University girls and boys.  That way we always had a good answering service.


 During World War II many of my nieces and nephews went to the war. The girls went as nurses, and the boys went as pilots and as foot soldiers to the South Pacific or to Europe.  Every able-bodied person at home did volunteer work. Food and gasoline were rationed, we had school children gather tin cans and scrap iron. We saved grease drippings from our cooking and collected it; and then we took it to a certain place to be used for war effort. We tried to cheer our soldiers on with courageous songs and programs. We were so united fighting for freedom and democracy in the world. No sacrifice was too great. Utah made parts for battleships and submarines. Utah had great air bases. Utah had Bushnell Hospital for evacuation of war-weary soldiers coming out of the South Pacific. I worked there at the USO and also in the Utah USO in Salt Lake.  I taught those sick soldiers art lessons and other skills to take their minds off the horrors of the war.  They had just been flown from the South Pacific. Oh, there were too many heartbreaking memories of that war!!!

Then came the Korean War not too many years after. Yes, by this time we were so sick of war and rumors of war. My own two sons were so young I thought they could get a year of college in before they went to war.  But Uncle Sam said no and the draft board said no.  There was much anxiety among young men. They tried to study hard at school the draft hung like the sword of Damocles over their heads. Our older boy wanted to study medicine. He started fall quarter at the U of U, after spending one year at Pepperdine College in Los Angeles.  But some man phoned me from the SLC draft board, and said that our son would be drafted and the next day his name was at the top of the list, unless he went down and enlisted immediately. When Verne heard this, he rushed out to the old Salt Lake Airport and enlisted in the Air National Guard.   He was quickly activated and sent to Olathe, Kansas in one of the worst Mississippi River floods. There he learned radar and was the ham operator for the bases.

 When his term was nearly up, the officers took him and his buddies to dinner and talked them into signing up for jet pilot training, telling them they were high on all the tests. They were to go and enlist in the USAF before their enlistment was up in the air national guard. They went to St. Angelo, Texas and Big Springs, Texas and got their jet training. After training nearly a year, Verne graduated and a week after graduation was assigned to Korea. He received training for a few weeks in Las Vegas. We visited him once there, but he only had a few moments to be with us.  Later, Fred flew down with me to see Verne depart at Walnut Creek, California. We had breakfast with him at the Officers Club, but afterwards he was notified that all jet pilots must leave immediately and we never saw him again until after the Korean war was over.

Fred had one quarter at BYU and one at the U of U and then he was drafted and left for 6 weeks training in California and Texas.  Then he was flown by air to Korea stopping over a half hour at the SLC airport long enough to say a quick goodbye.


I lost my sweetheart on October 19, 1966 when we were back in New York We went to a convention in Boston and then on over to New Hampshire to my aunt’s home. My aunt had died but her daughter was still running that big estate and they wanted us to come up where my husband who loved golf, could play on their private golf course.

 We first went to New York to be with our oldest son Verne for a short time.  Then Verne drove us to Boston where we went to the medical convention. They honored Dr. Peterson for his many, many years of devoted service to the medical profession. Then he went with a slight cold over to New Hampshire where my cousin, Connie Constant, took us to their estate.  We thought we would have a wonderful time over there but in 3 days he died of a severe pneumonia.

 We put him in a hospital in Wolfboro on Lake Winnepesake, the town near Province, Rhode Island where she lived.  But it was too small a hospital for good care and he died in 3 days.

Verne came from Port Washington, NY, where he practiced psychiatry, and took me home where we had his funeral the following Saturday in SLC.  He had many many patients and friends who loved him dearly and who paid him honor –  even the Governor of the State, Herbert Maw and Ned Winder and William Walker’s son Keith Walker paid tribute to him at his funeral. While I was saddened greatly by his loss, I have now lived 14 years without him and I keep that memory of that beautiful marriage and that beautiful life with him. I was with him 41 years and I had 3 lovely children.


I have many hobbies. I enjoy painting china and have done so since before I was married, and I fire it.  I enjoyed watercolor painting with my husband. We studied with DeAnna McDonald and really enjoyed the relaxation this afforded. We often painted together with our grandchildren and taught them many art concepts.  I also enjoyed working with oil and painted a huge picture of Christ resurrected. Arnold Frieberg came and spent an evening helping me put sunlight in the background.

 I took lessons from sculptors far three years from Torfiet Knaphas and Avaard Fairbanks, Jonathan Fairbanks and Florence Peterson Hansen, and finally produced a little pioneer figurine which was sort of an official pioneer doll during the Centennial of the Days of 47. The governors had a national convention in SLC on July 24th of 1947 and each Governor’s wife was given one of these figurines.  At the Lion House I was asked to tell why I made the figurine and I told all the governors’ wives that it represented my dear grandmother, Magdalena Schneider who loved her religion enough to leave parents and family and homeland to come to Zion to this beautiful family-making valley where all the pioneers united to build an empire, a center where her religion could be lived and shared.

My grandchildren are also a big hobby of mine, I have tried to faithfully support all of their athletic endeavors.   I also have enjoyed letter writing to those on missions and giving them counsel.


All my life I liked Primary.  In the 2nd Ward I used to teach before I even had a position, before I got married.  When I got married I was first counselor to the primary president, and Florence Beuhler Maw, the wife of the governor later, was the president. Then I had a baby and I taught the Trailbuilders.  I stayed with the boys for many years. When I got up to the University Ward, they asked me to be President for a couple of years, but then I went back to teaching Trailbuilders.  In the Monument Park Ward I worked with the CTR children and I loved them. lt.s a great experience to teach children who are about to join the Church and to teach them how great an experience it is to join the Church. I did have a while when I worked in the Mutual with the University Ward and I worked in the Sunday School in the University Ward because my husband was superintendent for 5 years.

 I enjoy being a churchgoer. I like to go and enjoy talking with my friends. I feel by going I am lifted so I can go on for the rest of the week. I do love my Church. 

 Two of my grandchildren went on missions for the Church, Diana Barton Webb went on a mission to Hong Kong after she graduated from the U of U Magna Cum Laude and taught junior high school 4 years. Jeffrey Hunter Barton went to Madrid Spain on a mission, and was financial secretary there.

 On my 74th Birthday my granddaughter Diana wrote an ODE TO MARJORIE G. PETERSON and that sums up my life pretty well. . .

 The month was August

The day –  eleven

When a wonderful bundle

Arrived from heaven

 ‘Twas John and Mary

Who in nineteen-o-four

Were blessed with a baby

A girl to adore!

 They named her Margie

And watched her grow tall

She was so sweet and good

And helpful to all!

Her family worked hard

And taught her the truth

She loved all her sisters

Anna, Berta and Ruth

 One day at age twelve

She went to go skating

Who dreamed her friend’s brother

One day she’d be dating!  

She worked on the railroad

For one Mr. Orem

Vacations were many

And how she’d adore ‘em.

 When her brother Stu

Got a mission call

Margie worked and saved

And gave him her all.

 One day a physician

Came into her life

On the sixth day of June

He made her his wife!

 How happy they were!

So in love. . . and this led

To the entrance of Margie

And of Verne and of Fred.

 Now Margie kept busy

Days - she’d cook and she’d scrub

Nights - she’d be entertaining

The Merry-Go-Round Club

 As if that wasn’t enough

She’d serve on committees

For mental health and for church

And for renters in cities.

For diversion she’d paint

And play golf and crochet

Paint plates and make quilts

And form dolls out of clay.  

Then along came the grand kids

And oh what a list;

Two Dave’s, John, Jeff, Rick,

Beck, Laur, Hol, Di and Chris.  

When we need her help

Gram is always around

When she nurses and tends

Love and good food abound

 When it comes to love letters

You’ll find no neglect.

They’re signed “Love, Gram,

With love and respect.”

 Old age slow her down?

I’m afraid you’re mistaken

She’s practicing hard

The karate she’s taken.

 On every occasion

She’s right there to feed us

Her angel food cakes

In her lime green Adidas.

 Where to find her?  Let’s see –

She’s toting her golf cart?

More likely she’s browsing

The aisles of K-Mart!

 Now it’s August eleventh

And you’re seventy-four.

Gram, we’d just like to tell you –



When I asked my granddaughter Laurie what she first remembered about me, she said that she remembered loving to come to stay overnight at my house because I had the very tall poster beds and made her feel very special.  She said that I made her feel like I really cared about her and what she was doing and what she liked to do. She said, “You listened to us a long time.  You seemed to understand us, and that is what we like about you.” When I asked her what else she remembered she said she remembered my funny jokes and funny poems that seemed so interesting. She said that when she became a teenager she remembered one or two poems that I used to tell that seemed to say in words what she was feeling inside.

 “It takes two for a kiss, one for a sigh,

Twain by twain we marry, one by one we die,

Joy is a partnership, grief weeps alone.

There were many guests at Cana, Gethsemane but one.”

 The granddaughters Diana, then Laurie, Holly and Becky, in turn remember that I made one special poem apply to them, and that was a poem one to tell them to be good in a certain way.

 “Diana, dear, don’t think me queer when I suggest most tritely,

That when your beau gets up to go, just show him out politely.

And never more step out the door as if to keep him longer,

His love for you if good and true will thus be made the stronger.

For men of worth and noble birth, pursue a maid with pleasure.

But if she’s one without this fun, she is too cheap to treasure.”

 Another went like this:

 “Thank you for the flowers you sent, she said,

And blushed and hung her head.

I’m sorry for the words I said last night,

And your sending the flowers proved you were right.

 He forgave, and as they walked beneath the summer bowers,

He wondered who the hell sent her those flowers.”

 Laurie and the other grandchildren remembered that when they were preschool age and would come to visit me, I would teach them how to print the ABC’s and also how to do cursive writing. I was very, very anxious to have them be good at writing because writing well meant a great deal in life.  I notice that all my grandchildren write really wells so some good came from visiting me.

As I talked to Laurie, she said that her strongest memory of me was of me listening to her in her young days.   Listening to her interests and activities as she grew into schooldays and activity in the Church and how she liked piano lessons and all the little things that come with growing up, All the grandchildren have needed to know that I really cared how they were progressing. Chris and David tell me yet that I helped to make them well when they were sick and perhaps my little remedies did help them.

Perhaps of most help was my little feeling that everything was going to be all right, like the great poem by Robert Browning says:

 “Morning’s at seven,

The hillside’s dew-pearled,

God’s in His heaven,

All’s right with the world.”

 And it is! If we love others, we will have love returned to us.  If I leave them any message at all it is to love and never to hate.  If you hate, you have an enemy.  And your enemy is yourself because if you hate your hurt yourself.  So don’t hate, just love and love as Jesus loved and taught us to love. Forgive and be kind. If you say anything, ask yourself three question . . .

Is it true? Will it hurt? Is it necessary?  If it doesn’t seem necessary, even it is true don’t say it. There are too many hurts in the world.  Be one to give love and kindness all your days. I hope I have given this thought to my grandchildren. There is a poem I used to say to the older grandchildren, that I want to share with my great-grandchildren..

 “Be good sweet maid, and let who will be clever.

Do noble deeds, and don’t dream them all day long,

And thus make life, death, and the vast forever one grand sweet song!!”

 Life is full of lots of ups and downs. There will be lots of downs, but there will be more ups because our blessings are more numerous than our heartaches.  Even though you go through a period when you might have heartache, you’ll find that it is good to count your blessing. “Count your blessings, not your golf strokes.”

 Pray constantly, children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. Pray in your heart, pray on your way to work, pray on your way to play, pray for protection from wrongdoing and wrongdoers. We can be guilty of both, but let’s not have guilt, but lets have love in our heart. If we do something wrong, let’s quickly right it. Let’s quickly tell others how much we want to do for them.  If we spend our energies in serving others, we’ll quickly forget our own ailments.  We will think constantly of the welfare of others, which is true Christianity.  Our Heavenly Father sent Jesus to teach us how to live, and mostly he told us how to love and how to give, for loving and living is giving of yourself and your talents. We learn it in our religion, and in our everyday lives.

 Everyday in our lives we learn from somebody. We’re never so important we can’t be done without, so don’t get egotistical.  But we always can learn from someone    from the mailman who might say some cheery word or from the milkman who might pass on a little experience he’s had and we want to be cottager, we don’t want to be a proud or a haughty person and at the top of the ladder all the time.

We want to give our children a good start in life, but money isn’t everything.  The most important thing is people.  A little girl once told the king of the Philippines, “A foreigner is a friend I haven't met yet.”  About money, “the little that a righteous man hath, is better than the riches of many wicked.”  Remember the slogans that I always have above my sink    “Have your own way and everyone will hate you” – “Ask, listen and understand” –   That helps you through life.   Everybody wants to be listened to and understood.  “Never criticize, condemn or complain.” One great man said, “In all thy getting, get understanding.” That’s such a secret to living a good life. 

 Love is a magic word.  It’s wonderful in romances.  That’s the beautiful part of life.  I’ve known it because  I was so happily in love with a wonderful husband.  He loved me dearly and was true to me all the days of his life.  I also have a testimony of the love that Jesus had for us.  I believe in my religion.  My church has taught me many things and I love it dearly and  those who help it to run. 

 I am slow to learn but I am learning every day of my life.  All these years I have learned something every day.   If I quit learning, then that’s stopping progress.  I believe in eternal life, eternal progression.  Even when we die, we are going to progress for eternity. We have a chance to make it a beautiful eternal life if we live right in this life. So let’s all try for that.  For my children, my grandchildren and my great-grandchildren, “ Let’s try for eternal life!”  For the Lord has said, “This is my work and my glory, to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.”

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