Thursday, October 27, 2011

Lily Jane Bullock Kidgell; A Grand Lady.

abt 1905 Fred Cashmore Kidgell - Lily Jane Bullock
Stella Lily - Ariel James - Fred Charles. 

In this lovely portrait taken about 1905 one more child has been added to the Kidgell family.  A boy named Ariel James, born 16 April 1902 in Logan.   I would guess he is about three years old in this picture; Stella Lily would be ten and Fred Charles eight.  Two more children would complete this family, a daughter Melba born 26 February 1906 in Pocatello, Idaho.   They also raised Preston C. Affleck born 9 November 1910 in Logan who was the son of Lily Jane’s sister, Alice Bullock Affleck.  Alice died six weeks after Preston was born leaving seven children.  Alice requested Fred and Lily Jane to take the baby and raise him if anything happened to her.   
Picture below is Melba at age four; love that bow in her hair and her sophisticated pose!
Melba Kidgell abt. 1910

Lily Jane was a dress maker/seamstress. It's most likely she made the clothes she is wearing in this portrait. Such beautiful detail in this blouse and skirt. Lily Jane was fourteen years old when she attended a school for dress making in Logan taught by Lydia Haws.  She would walk from her home in Providence  to Logan and home again each day she attended the dress making class.  Mrs. Haws told her she received more benefit out of her work than any other girl she has ever had.  
She spent many years teaching women from all over the Cache Stake to make over clothing.  When all her children were married she worked six years doing alterations for the Ready-to Wear store called 'The Leader' in Logan, Utah. 
(Taken from her life story by Melba K. Gedge)
During the depression years Lily Jane Kidgell had been in charge of the sewing center for the Logan Stake.  This was an early fore-runner of a welfare square or Deseret Industry type of program.  When the program was changed the worker's honored Lily Jane for her countless hours of service .
 4 March 1940 Ada E. Merrell wrote the following tribute:

A Pioneer
A sewing center was Relief Society’s dream,
And to Sister Kidgell—a sewer Supreme—
Goes the honor for making that dream come true,
Because of the wonderful things she could do.

Why she’d take an old coat and a skirt and
A dress, which most folks would say were
Simply a mess; and the next thing you knew
From this mess she would bring a quilt
That would almost be fit for a king.

Then with rags and old sox and some
Rope, if you please, she would fashion fine
Rugs with the greatest of ease.  Each day
Thru the racks of used clothing she’d go;
And glean out the things really worthwhile to sew.

Into aprons and dresses or trousers of such,
As were needed by many good families so much.
And day after day making the rounds, there
Wasn’t a thing anywhere on the grounds that
Couldn’t be used in some way or another, to help
Children and grownups from having to suffer.

Not only used clothing, but frayed nerves as
Well; were mended and smoothed by her magical spell.
When the women she worked with grew weary
And tired, she’d help and encourage until they’d
Be fired, with new hope and desire—To do all
They could, for not only their own but each
Others best good.

Now to the Region our center has gone—
With the changes that come as our Church
Marches on, but we’ll always be proud of the work we
Began—When asked to assist the Security Plan.

As the years come and go, and we see the plan grow—
There will be many people each wanting to know, 
“Who started  the work and then put it
Through” and we’ll say,
Sister Kidgell, a pioneer true. 

What a lady!  More on the life of Lily Jane and Fred continued.