Click to Return to Home Page
Biographies
     A B C D E F G H J K L M N P R S T W Y
Acree, Lydia Elizabeth 1858-1928
Allred, Sarah Lovisa 1817-1879
Anderson, Leonel Howard 1913-2003
Master Biography (1899-1995)
Leonel Howard Anderson (1913-2003)
Autobiography dated November 27, 1996

My name is Leonel Howard Anderson.  I was born June 1, 1913 at Acequia, Minidoka County, Idaho, the fourth child and the first son of Leonel Anderson and Hilda Ann Christena Hokanson.  I have five sisters, Goldie, Mildred, May, Edith, and Ruth, and two brothers, Vernon and Keith (Keith being adopted.)  My father passed away on April 8 1951 in Pocatello, Idaho after suffering a stroke.  My mother passed away April 23, 1970 in Pocatello, Idaho.  They were good people and taught us good values and how to work. 

The first six years of my life were spent in Salem, Idaho and Island Park, Idaho at Anderson Canyon Saw Mill (where we lived in a tent during the summer months.)  One of my first recollections was at the saw mill when we kids were playing up on the hill near the mill.  Someone shouted that there was a bear and Mildred grabbed my hand.  I must have been about three or four years old.  I don’t think my feet touched the ground as she raced to our tent with me in tow.  We never did see that bear, if there ever was one.  In Salem we lived in two rooms and a lean-to with my grandmother, Cecilia Swenson Anderson.  I started school in the Old Grey Rock School House at Sugar City, Idaho when I was six years old.  I remember the old circular fire escape that we used as a slide.  At noon we would go to the sugar factory and fill our pockets with brown sugar.  The man always had a wheelbarrow full of brown sugar for the school kids.  I spent my first year of school in Sugar City.

About 1920, we moved to Hamer, Idaho where my father spent his homestead right on 160 acres just northeast of Hamer.  We cleared the sage brush from the land with a rail and four head of horses.  We would drag the rail over the brush in one direction and then turn around and go back over the brush in the other direction.  Then we would pile it and burn it.  We never did get water for the place, so we never raised a crop.  I spent the second grade of school at Hamer, where I learned to sew on buttons among other things.  I was baptized in the lake made by the flowing wells just one-half mile east of Hamer on June 1, 1921, my eighth birthday, by my uncle, James R. Turman.  I was confirmed by Elder E. P. Jensen, the Bishop of the Hamer Ward, as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 

During the summer of 1921, when I was eight years old, my father sold the farm and we moved back to Salem, Idaho for a short time.  We then moved to Rexburg, Idaho, where we lived in Grandmother Mary Christena Jensen Hokanson’s house on North Third West Street, which was almost to the Old Kahoon Park and Dance Hall.  While living there, my job was to keep our milk cow fed.  We had some neighbors by the name of Hinckley, who had a dairy herd.  Their son, Cloyd Hinckley, and I would herd their cows and ours’ through what is now Porter Park in Rexburg and up on the hill just south of the current Ricks College campus.  This is where I saw the first airplane that I can remember.  The pilot landed on that hill and left the plane to go get gas.  While he was gone, Cloyd and I gave that airplane a thorough inspection.

We had a swimming hole in the canal just west of our house.  The banks were very high and the big kids had made a slide on one bank.  I couldn’t swim, but was sitting at the top of this slide when I slipped and went into the canal.  Roy Cole tried to get me out, but I almost drowned him.  I remember my feet touching bottom and I just walked out.  After that I learned to swim.

For the next five years beginning in 1921, my father followed road construction where he worked as a fireman.  His work made it necessary for us to move often and I attended most of the schools in the Snake River Valley, sometimes two schools in one year until I finished eighth grade.  From Rexburg we moved to the Hay’s Project near Shelley (now Woodenville.)  While we lived on the Hays Project, I had a grey pony named Dixie.  Once a week, I would ride Dixie to take a flour sack full of bread and food to my sisters, Goldie and Mildred (Mid), who were going to high school in Shelley.  The ride was five miles each way.  In the spring of the year, my sister May and I would earn a little extra money by burning the tumble weeds out of the canals and ditches.  One winter I tried trapping muskrats in the canal, but didn’t have any luck.  We smaller kids went to a two-room school house we called Taysom, just west of the Snake River west of Shelley.  I would skate on the canals to school and back home every day.  When we didn’t skate, we would ride a horse or go in a sleigh.  The sleigh was driven by my cousin, Lewis.  One day he was shining around a corner and tipped the sleigh over in the canal – kids, lunches and all.  Luckily, no one was hurt.

After the work was finished at the Hay’s Project, we then moved to Shelley and then to Rupert.  For our next move which was to Paul, Dad bought our first car.  It was an Overland Touring car.  He had it all apart in 24 hours, just to see how it was made.  I believe he had parts left over when he got it back together, but it ran and took us to Paul.  I attended a little rock schoolhouse near Rupert during this time.  After the work finished at Paul, we then moved to Buhl where my Dad did some farming.  There we raised 40 acres of hay and corn that year.  We also took care of six cows and about 40 pigs for a fellow by the name of Leeder and our family lived in his two-room house while he visited his family in Europe.  Vernon and I slept out in the granary.  We would gather apples from the orchard and cook them in a big barrel over a fire and feed them to the pigs.  Sometimes we added corn and the pigs did well.  We had to walk two miles to school and back while we lived there.  I recall this year as the best year we had financially.

We moved to Pocatello in the fall of 1925 and I attended Irving Jr. High School where I completed the eighth grade.  I attended three months of the ninth grade, but because of financial difficulties at home, I quit school and went to work.  Oh well, I didn’t like school anyway.  At the age of 14, I became an elevator boy at the Yellowstone Hotel in Pocatello, Idaho.  In about three months, I graduated to bellhop on the night shift working from 7:00 PM to 7:00 AM.  I was working there on September 23, 1926, when Jack Dempsey lost the heavyweight boxing championship to Gene Tunney in Philadelphia.  I used to meet the trains that came to Pocatello at night with a baggage cart and bring the baggage to the hotel.  For this job I receive $1.00 a shift plus tips, which averaged about $4.000 per shift, which was good money in those days.  After Christmas that winter, I became ill with scarlet fever.  When I went back to work, I was fired because I wouldn’t bootleg whiskey to the poker games that were held on the fourth floor.  Both were illegal.

While living in Pocatello, a bunch of us boys went into Arbon Valley and rounded up some wild horses and drove them back to Pocatello.  My pick of the bunch was a little black stallion which I rode once.  We kept them in a corral at White’s Dairy.  Mrs. White, who was a staunch Methodist, thought we were being cruel to them as we were breaking them, so she turned them loose and then made us sit through Bible study one hour a week to repent.

We lived by the Portneuf River and one day while walking home along Arthur Street I found a women’s watch in the grass.  I picked it up and saw that it was a very nice watch with insert diamonds.  We advertised in the paper for the owner to claim it, but since no one ever did, I gave it to my mother.  She wore it the rest of her life.

In 1927, Dad went to Salt Lake City to work on the natural gas line that was coming into Salt Lake City.  I went with him and got a job selling ice cream for the National Ice Cream Company with a horse drawn wagon during the summer.  The family soon joined us and we lived in a home between Fourth and Fifth South on Post Street and then we moved to a home on Seventh South and Sixth West until the spring of 1931.  I then got on with the gas line digging trench for the pipe with a pick and shovel.  One day the fellow using the jack hammer quit and I volunteered to run it.  The foreman looked at me like I was crazy, but said, “Okay, kid, go ahead.”  I soon found I couldn’t hold the hammer down because my legs were too short to reach the ground, so I propped my belly up on top of the hammer and ran it that whole day.  It really churned me up to the point that it made me sick for three days.  That was my only day on the jack hammer.  I then worked for Couchman’s Sheet Metal Shop where I helped install the first furnace in the mining town of Bingham and also rain gutter and drain spouts on many homes on early South Temple and the Avenues.  Next I drove an oil delivery truck for Super Lube Oil Company, hauling the oil in ten gallon milk cans.  I guess I’ve tried about any kind of job there was.

While in Salt Lake City, I bought my first car, which was a 1925 Buick Sedan.  I was laid off from Super Lube Oil in the fall of 1930 because of the Great Depression.  I couldn’t find work in Salt Lake City, so I left home and went back to Rexburg, Idaho in the spring of 1931.  I stayed with my mother’s sister, Aunt Flora Hokanson Statham, for about two months helping my cousin, Don, on the farm.  I then went to work for Charles Anderson in Thornton, Idaho.  My job was mostly with the sheep at lambing time.  That summer I went to Grasshopper Valley in Montana where I worked in the hay for the Marsashaw Ranch.  The following summer of 1932, I worked for the May Brothers’ Ranch near Bannock, Montana, where I worked on a “crazy rake.”  During the other seasons of those two years, I worked at farm work around Thornton, Idaho and lived in the Charles Anderson’s old house there.

We had lots of fun at Riverside and The Jungle Dance Halls.  It was at Riverside in 1932 that I met a girl by the name of Helen Taylor.  My cousin, Clyde Statham, introduced us.  She was then a freshman at Rigby High School.  We would often go to the dance at Riverside or The Jungle Dance Hall on Saturday nights and sometimes go to the movies during the week (when we had enough gas in the car to get from Thornton to Rigby.)  Helen’s father, George Taylor, did a lot of painting for the Royal Theatre and he took part of his pay in theatre tickets.  He kept the tickets in an old Prince Albert can and when Helen and I had a date, he would take out two tickets and give them to us so we could go to the movie. 

By 1933, my folks had moved to Rigby, Idaho to a home on First West between Main and First South, so I moved back in with my family.  My Dad had been injured.  He had been working for a potato company down by Shelley.  They were spotting two railroad cars and he was in between the cars and fell with his foot across the rail.  The rear car ran over his foot and nearly cut it off.  He then spent nine months in the Idaho Falls Hospital.  After he got well enough to work, we purchased a thrashing machine from Welby Walker at Lewisville and operated that for two seasons.  During this time, I also got a job during the winter for J. C. Penney as a salesman and I did quite well.  During the summer of that same year, I started working as apprentice paint with George Taylor of Rigby.  

Helen and I continued to date and she graduated from Rigby High School in May of 1935.  On November 18, 1935, I married Helen Fern Taylor, my sweetheart of three years in the Salt Lake Temple.  She is the daughter of Fern Wride and George Alvin Taylor and was born April 1, 1917.  She has truly been a wonderful companion and wife to me.  We have made our home in or near Rigby all of our married life.  Our first home was in a little cabin behind a service station.  The cabin was so small we could cook our food while sitting on the edge of the bed.  By this time, I was working full time for J. C. Penney and continues to do so until the spring of 1937.  Penney’s was a fairly new chain at that time.  I have wondered what would have happened if I had remained with that company.

During the summer months of our first two years of marriage, I continued to work for Helen’s father, George Taylor, and learned the painting trade.  Our daughter, Frances Arlene was born to us on January 4, 1937.  She was such a sweet baby.  Helen’s father died on April 8, 1937, when his only grandchild, Arlene, was three months old.  He was only able to hold his little granddaughter one time on the morning of the day he died, as he was a very sick man with heart problems.

After Helen’s father died, I bought his business equipment from Helen’s mother, and went into the painting business for myself.  I have worked at this trade all of my life, painting and wallpapering many homes and businesses throughout the Snake River Valley and beyond.  I worked at this trade and made a good living until arthritis in my hips forced my retirement at age 62.

Included in the painting business equipment which I purchased from my mother-in-law in 1937 was a 1929 Ford Roadster, our first car, for which I paid $75.00.  We lived in a two-room house behind Aunt Bea Walker’s home on the corner of First West and First South in Rigby for a while and then moved to three other homes in Rigby, including Helen’s mother’s home (located at 134 South 2nd West.) when she moved to California in 1941.  While living there, Helen’s sister, Lucile, came to live with us and later the family moved back home.  During the time we lived at Helen’s mother’s home, we had a baby boy born to us on January 21, 1939.  We named him Robert Leonel Anderson and called him “Bob.”  Bob has always been a very happy person.  I can still hear him blowing his tuba all the way home for lunch and back to school when he was in high school.

In 1942, we rented the Dowdle home across the street from the present East Rigby Stake Center on the Ririe Highway.   We lived there until 1944.  While living there, I had a contract painting all of the railroad buildings from Idaho Falls, Idaho to Lima, Montana for the Union Pacific Railroad.  I was away from home a lot and Helen had to milk the cow (she didn’t like it,) tend 500 chickens, plus take care of three acres of raspberries, but this made it possible to save enough money to buy our own home.

The home we purchased in 1944 was the old Omer Call home located at 190 West 2nd North in Rigby, across the street north of the current Rigby city Park.  We paid $1,100 for it.  It was a two-story adobe brick home built in 1900 with lots of rooms and no modern conveniences.  We remodeled it to a modern home, built a garage and shop, and made a very nice place.  We were very happy in that home for eleven years.  We were members of the Rigby First Ward and met in the old grey rock chapel which was on the corner of 2nd West and 1st North.  During the time we lived there, Steven Taylor was born on September 7, 1945 and Sharol Lyn was born on December 12, 1948.  Both children have brought much happiness to us.

In 1949 we began to square dance and soon were caught up in the square dance movement.  I became a caller and teacher from 1949 to 1960.  We taught many people to dance.  Helen and I received a trophy at a jamboree in 1953 for having taught the most people to square dance.  That year I also served as president of the Caller’s Association for the Upper Snake River Valley.  KID Radio also carried a weekly program every Saturday night featuring me calling square dances from the Rigby Armory.  We felt like we did a little missionary work, for several couples who were inactive came back to the church and went through the temple because of their experiences with us in square dancing.  It was a clean and happy activity which brought a lot of joy into our lives.  Often I would call dances four and five nights a week.  Finally Helen said “Enough!” and she wouldn’t go with me.  I had the opportunity to teach nationally and to call square dances for the movies, but I chose to stay home and raise my children.  Helen was a great help to me during those years, as always.

In 1955, we sold the home in Rigby and bought a 40-acre farm northeast of Rigby from Lester Hendrickson.  I had to quit painting for about a year to take treatment for a disease called Miner’s Consumption, which I got from the lead in paint. 

I have always enjoyed outdoor sports, such as hunting and fishing.  Helen and I and the children have done a lot of camping with Clyde and Leith Statham and family and Vern and DeEsta Pettingill and family.  As couples, we also have gone on lots of trips.  Helen and I especially liked to just get in the car and go for a ride for relaxation and enjoyment.

Arlene married Vaughn Thomas Hawkes on November 25, 1959.  Bob married Patricia Zundel on May 7, 1960.

In 1966, we sold part of our farm and kept eight acres.  We built a new home on four acres and deeded four acres to our son, Bob, for a new home.  We enjoyed our new home.  Arlene and Vaughn spent six years (1963-1970) in American Samoa with the LDS Church system.  They came home for a while in the middle of the six years and stayed with us during the summer we were building our new home.  We used our camp trailer for our kitchen and everyone slept in the garage.  After they returned to Samoa, Vaughn served as principal of Mapusaga High School.  Helen, Sharol and I had the opportunity to visit them in 1969 and had a wonderful trip.  We spent three days in Hawaii and then about two weeks in American Samoa.  We were there for many events – the high school graduation festivities including lots of fia fia (parties) and the creation of the second stake in Samoa which was created by Elder Howard W. Hunter and Elder Henry D. Taylor.  Creating the new stake was accompanied by a Royal Kava Ceremony which was such a rare ceremony, it was the first one held in American Samoa in fifty years.  People came dancing in a long parade and bearing gifts from fine mats to roasted pigs to present to the visiting church authorities. It was followed by many Polynesian dances, performances, and feasting.  It was a colorful and fascinating sight.

From 1964 to 1967, Steve served an LDS mission in South America.  When he came home, we sold our new home outside of Rigby and moved to Rexburg.  There we built a new building on 2nd West Street across from Porter Park and opened Anderson Paint and Decorating Center.  We did very well there in the store until 1974.  In 1973 and 1974, I had two new hip joints put in.  It was hard to run the store, so we sold the store to Steven and moved back to Rigby to our present location on the Ririe Highway.

Sharol married Bradley Duane Foster in May 14, 1971.

On June 5, 1976, the Teton Dam broke and flooded a large path through the Snake River Valley.  The water went through Rexburg and the store we had sold to Steve was flooded with about three feet of water and mud.  It was a terrible experience.  It was a humbling experience.  Many people came from as far away as Utah to help clean up the flooded homes and businesses.  It helped a great deal, but after the flood, Steve sold the building and moved the business to a larger building.  He did very well selling paint and materials to all of the people who were fixing up old homes or else building new ones to replace those lost in the flood.

Steve married Lori Lynn Kristof on September 16, 1977.

I have served in the church in many capacities.  I served as Scout Committee Chairman in the old Rigby First Ward for nine years.  I have served as dance director, counselor in the Sunday School, Superintendent of the Sunday School, secretary in the MIA, Aaronic Priesthood advisor for the Bishopric. Elder’s Quorum Second Counselor, Family History worker, and been a ward or home teacher about as long as I can remember.  I was baptized in Hamer, Idaho on June 1, 1921 by J. R. Turman and confirmed by E. P. Jensen.  I was ordained a Deacon in the Aaronic Priesthood on June 7, 1925 by Bishop Davis of the Paul Idaho Ward.  I was ordained a Teacher on March 8, 1931 by John McDougall in the Salt Lake City 25th Ward.  I was ordained a Priest on October 13, 1935 by William A. Tall in Rigby, Idaho.  I was ordained an Elder on November 10, 935 by D. E. Zundel, a Seventy on February 26, 1966 by Elder Bruce R. McConkie, and a High Priest on November 18, 1973 by Keith W. Sellers. 

Helen and I had 53 wonderful years together.  Our children gave us a wonderful party on our 50th wedding anniversary and we enjoyed seeing many friends who came to greet us.

We have a wonderful posterity.  Arlene and Vaught have eight children, Robert (Bob) and Pat have two children, Steve and Lori have four children, and Sharol and Brad have four children.  At this writing, I have four children, two sons-in-law, two daughters-in-law, eighteen grandchildren, thirteen great-grandchildren, and four step-great-grandchildren – all a blessing to me.

Helen passed away on September 14, 1988.  Since then I have been alone with lots of memories and still live in the home on the Ririe Highway.  Bob, Steve and Sharol live within three miles of me.  Arlene lives in Orem, Utah.

Brad and Sharol were called to preside over the California Arcadia Mission for three years beginning in 1992.  In November of 1994, I went to visit them for Thanksgiving. One night the Foster family took me bowling with some friends, the Smiths.  Everyone chose up sides and the losers had to buy milk shakes for the winners.  I was on Kara’s team.  I wasn’t the fastest, but I scored higher than three other members of the team.  Our team won and enjoyed having milk shakes bought for us.  Brad and Sharol served an honorable mission and did much good toward spreading the gospel.  They have returned now and live in their new home east of Rigby.

I still like to visit family and friends when I am able.  Arthritis seems to be my constant companion and it makes it hard for me to get around.  I still like to putter in my workshop refinishing furniture when I can.  Vern Pettingill and I recently enjoyed a trip up to Montana together.  I have been blessed with wonderful friends and family.  I have been blessed with a noble heritage and am grateful to those great people who accepted the gospel and suffered many hardships to come to Zion.

I am grateful that my Heavenly Father has given me many blessings and opportunities to serve.  I have a strong testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  I know it is true and I know of the many blessings that we can have if we live according to the teachings of our Father in Heaven.  I pray that we all might have these blessings, each according to his needs.  This I do in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen. 

                                                                                L. Howard Anderson
                                                                                November 27, 1996

Posterity of Leonel Howard Anderson and Helen Fern Taylor Anderson as of May, 2008:

Children:
                Frances Arlene Anderson married to Vaughn Thomas Hawkes  (Arlene’s info updated January 2014)
                                Grandchildren:       Susan Hawkes Wheeler married to Joseph Ferris Wheeler
                `                               Great-grandchildren:       Daniel Thomas Wheeler

                                                                Richard Vaughn Hawkes married to Julie Rodgers
                                                                                                R Harrison Hawkes
                                                                                                                Spouse:  Katelyn Camille Johnson
                                                                                                Hannah Hawkes
                                                                Diane Hawkes married to Kelvin Jones Foutz
                                                                                                Tyson Buddy Foutz
                                                                                                                Spouse:  Jessica Bingham
                                                                                                                                Son:  Hayden Foutz Jan, 2014
                                                                                                Kelsi Foutz
                                                                                                Quentin Vaughn Foutz
                                                                                                Katelin Foutz
                                                                Pamela Hawkes Tobler married to Richard Brent Tobler
                                                                                                Nathaniel Brent Tobler
                                                                                                Sarah Tobler
                `                                                                               Jacob Thomas Tobler
                                                                                                Benjamin Richard Tobler
                                                                                                Catherine Tobler
                                                                Cynthia Hawkes Rees married to Steven Michael Rees
                                                                                                Hunter Thomas Rees
                                                                                                Jessica Rees
                                                                                                Tyler Rees
                                                                                                Rachel Rees
                                                                Daniel Harvey Hawkes married to Kari Nicole Bowers
                                                                                                Joseph Daniel Hawkes
                                                                                                Leo Morgan Hawkes
John David Hawkes married to April Nadine Clinger
                                                                                                Genevieve Nicole Hawkes
                                                                                                Ella Fiona Hawkes
                                                                                                Preston Thomas Hawkes
                                                                                                Cecelia Hawkes
Scott Michael Hawkes married to Natalie Halladay
                                Brooklyn Hawkes
                                Sydney Hawkes
                                Boston Scott Hawkes

 

Robert Leonel Anderson married to Patricia Zundel
                                                Richelle Dawn Anderson Roecker divorced from Richard Roecker
                                                                                Nicole Roecker
                                                                                Whitney Roecker

                                                Robert David Anderson married to JoEllen Cottle
                                                                                Jacob Anderson
                                                                                Travis Anderson
                                                                                Trent Anderson
                                                                                Randy Jo Anderson
Steven Taylor Anderson married to Lori Kristof
                                                Merideth Dawn Anderson married to Jason McElprang
                                                                                Eilish McElprang
                                                                                William McElprang
                                                                                Cyndel McElprang
                                                Ashley Anderson married to Jeff Martinsen
                                                                               
                                                Piper Marie Anderson married to Luke Prizer
                                                Matthew Howard Anderson
Sharol Lyn Anderson married to Bradley Duane Foster
                                                Kara Jo Foster married to Steven Holmes
                                                                                McKenna Holmes
                                                                                Jack Holmes
                                                                                Sydney Holmes 

                                                Melissa Lyn Foster married to Jeremy Livingstone
                                                                                Hayden Livingstone
                                                                               
                                                Erica Ann Foster married to Ben Dansie
                                                Michelle Dawn Foster married to David Chapple

 

The following missions have been served by the children and grandchildren of Leonel Howard Anderson and Helen Fern Taylor Anderson:

Arlene and Vaughn Hawkes:  6 years each in American Samoa with Church School,  1963-1970
                                                                2 years as senior missionaries in Italy Milan Mission 2003-2004
                                                                18 months MTC Church Service Missionaries, Provo MTC 2005-2006
12 months as institute directors, Santa Monica College Institute, Santa Monica, California, California Los Angeles Mission
                                                               
                Their children:
                                Richard:                 2 years in New York Rochester Mission
                                Daniel                     2 years in Florida Fort Lauderdale Mission
                                Pamela                    Eighteen months in Arizona Tempe Mission (Spanish speaking)
                                Cynthia                  Eighteen months in Japan Tokyo North Mission\
                                John                       2 years in Taiwan Taichung Mission
                                Scott                       2 years in Guatemala Guatemala City North Mission
                                Grandchildren:     
                                                Harrison                 2 years in Hungarian Budapest Mission
                                                Tyson                    2 years in Canada Calgary Mission
                                                Hunter                    2 years in Oregon Salem Mission
                                                Quentin                  2 years in Arizona Tempe Mission
Bob and Pat:
                                Robert (Rob)      2 years in California Arcadia Mission

Steve                                                      2 years in Andes Mission and South Andes Mission, South America
                                                Matthew                                2 years in Texas Mission

Brad and Sharol                                    3 years, each 3 years, mission president and mother, California Arcadia Mission, 1992-1995
                                                                Brad sustained as member of Second Quorum of the Seventy,  April 2009.

(Editor's Note: Leonel died 1 December 2003 at the age of 90.)

TaylorAssociation.org