The Pulham Family Organization -- descendents of Archibald Pulham

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Eulogy of Archibald Pulham

Presented by your loving Grandson, William Edward Isaacson,
at the funeral services for Archibald Pulham on December 5, l992


I stand before you today as one of the 128 direct descendants of Archibald Pulham, and am proudly and very humbly representing the other 34 grandchildren in giving this tribute and life sketch of our dearest Grandpa Pulham. At most services of this type the overwhelming feeling is one of sadness, but I think that Grandpa Pulham would rather that we have a celebration of happiness and rejoicing as we talk of his wonderful life. For as they say in the movies: Grandpa Pulham, you truly had a wonderful life.
Archibald Pulham was born December 30, 1894, in Richmansworth, Hertford County, England, to Frederick Joseph Pulham and Laura Jane Carter Pulham, the third of four sons, Barrett Frederick, being the oldest, Montague Arthur next, and Frank George being the youngest. Archie's father Frederick was a church warden for the Church of England and was a noted musician and pipe organ builder and tuner. The family was very happy and prosperous but Frederick gradually became disenchanted with the Church of England and made contact with the Mormon missionaries in 1898 and soon after joined the church. Frederick was almost immediately excommunicated from the Church of England, lost his position as a church warden, and was disowned by his own family. He soon decided that to raise his young family under more favorable circumstances, and to be with the Saints, he would move the family to Utah. They began their journey by train from Liverpool and were taken to the station in a tumblecart, which is a type of two-wheeled carriage pulled by a horse, and were accompanied by Grandma Carter, Archie's mother's mother. In the midst of a very tearful goodbye, Laura, Archie's mother, picked him up out of the tumblecart and put Archie at his Grandmother Carter's feet and said, "We're going to leave Archie here because we don't want to break up the family ties." Well, Grandmother Carter immediately picked up little Archie and put him back in his mother's arms and said, "Laura, Archie is to go to America. That is where he belongs." Many years later, on Grandpa Pulham's 85th birthday, he said that he believes he had a destiny to come to America and many times said how much he loved his Grandmother and said that he believed his grandmother was inspired to pick him up and put him back in that tumblecart.
So on June 20, l900, Frederick Joseph Pulham, then in his 42nd year, with his wife Laura Jane Carter, then in her 35th year, with their four little boys boarded the steamer Vancouver, with 60 other Saints, for the long journey to America. The passage took ten days with meager accommodations and much sea sickness, arriving in Quebec and then traveling by train through Montreal, Boston, Buffalo, and Chicago. The long train trip through the Midwest was especially hard with little food, sometimes no water, and at times nowhere to sleep. They finally arrived at their destination on July 6th and were met at the Thistle Junction by Brother West who was their sponsor and who lived in Mount Pleasant. He helped them immeasurably and assisted in finding them a home in Mount Pleasant and helping them in every way. The adjustment to life in the country was difficult, with Frederick traveling from town to town on a bicycle making a living as a piano turner. But with determination, courage, unusual thrift and hard work, the family settled into their new life with the strong testimony that their membership in the church was worth any price.
Within the first year in Utah, to afford the family greater opportunities, Frederick moved the family to Provo and moved into a home on what is now about 6th West and attended the Pioneer Ward. Archie and his brothers thrived here, with the family enjoying such luxuries as milk from their own cow, eggs from their own hennery, and took great pride as they rode to Church in their own horse and buggy. Archie developed a love of music from his parents, and became quite well known in the Pioneer Ward as a member of various singing groups, duets, quartets and even the ward choir. It seems that at the same time, another choir member who came from a family with a background of strong devotion to the church, began harmonizing with Archie, who in the ten years the family spent in Provo, had grown into a handsome young man.
Essie Magdalene Terry came from the well know Mormon family of Charles Alfonzo Terry who had settled on what was then called the Provo Bench area and is what we now know as Orem. This family was active in the Pioneer Ward and as Arch grew to maturity, he and Essie became sweethearts. As Essie said in later years, she would never marry an Englishman, she coming from pioneer stock from the Fairview area, and teased Arch that it took some time for her to get used to his big nose. But Arch and Essie soon became constant companions, singing in many duets throughout the area.
But before this couple could become eternal, Arch made the decision to fill a mission for the church first. So in 1914, Elder Pulham left the Pioneer Ward to serve in the Southern States Mission for the church. Grandpa Pulham was set apart by James E. Talmadge in the Salt Lake Temple and has related to many family members some very spiritual and sacred experiences that he had on his mission, as his lifetime of church service began.
At that time, missionaries traveled without purse or script, so were completely dependent on the good graces of their contacts and church members in their area of labor for support. One of Grandpa's favorites sayings was that when he would knock on a door towards evening he would say, "We are Mormon Elders and we are so hungry we don't know where we will sleep tonight."
Arch returned home from his mission in March of 1917 to find Essie anxiously waiting for her sweetheart. After a short courtship, they were married for time and all eternity in the Salt Lake Temple on June 27, l917. They made a truly handsome couple, still making beautiful music together and singing often in many church functions. They spent a short time in Provo and began their family with the birth of Archibald Richard Pulham in 1919. But at the same time Essie's family, the Terrys, had moved to McKinnon, Sweetwater County, Wyoming. At the encouragement of the Terrys already homesteading in McKinnon and because the newlyweds both had great love for their family, Arch and Essie decided to move to McKinnon and try their hand at homesteading.
The life was hard and the work never-ending, with many a stew pot filled with jackrabbits, shot by Arch. I think this must have been the time in Arch's life when he fell in love with his lifetime hobby of fishing which probably started out of necessity to supplement the menu there in McKinnon. But even in the privation of McKinnon, the family grew as Kenneth Terry Pulham was born in 1921 and then Faye Pulham a couple of years later. One of the great accom plishments of which Grandpa spoke of often, and which he was very proud, was his being called to be Bishop there in McKinnon. Grandpa was also instrumental in forming the first ward in McKinnon in 1921. He also proudly attended some years later, in l957, the dedication of the first McKinnon Ward Chapel. Even though work was hard and times were lean, Grandpa always put service to the church first and was made Bishop at the young age of 25. This pattern of church service continued throughout his life.
This little family endured in McKinnon for seven years with many disappointments including spending one whole summer raising poultry to take to market in Evanston only to have the whole load spoil in transit. Finally, in the middle of the night, Arch said, "Let's go back to Utah." So without even taking the dishes out of the cupboards and even leaving his gun behind the door, the family moved to Payson to join other members of the family. Aunt Maggie and Uncle Jesse had moved there some years earlier. It seemed that whenever the family moved, it was to join other members of the family that were already there.
Blessings poured out on Arch and Essie in Payson as Glen Reese Pulham was born in 1925 and Charles Frederick Pulham a couple of years later. Reese said the only good thing that happened to the family in Payson was that he was born there. Arch worked for Beneficial Life as an insurance agent but it seemed that Payson didn't have a lot to offer. So when Arch got word from Raul Tripplett, a life long friend, that Raul thought Arch could get on in the Police Department in California, the family piled in the car with a song on their lips and love in their hearts and headed for Costa Mesa, California, in 1928.
As it turned out, Arch applied for the police force but was turned down. He didn't find out until much later that he was inch too short to qualify for police duty. Undaunted, Arch went right to work for Texaco on Signal Hill painting storage tanks.
Life in California was wonderful, filled with many happy memories. The family continued to grow as Betty Jean, my mom, was born in l928. Then a move to Long Beach the next year as Evelyn was born and the family was complete. They all remember creating quit a stir as they went on their frequent excursions to visit friends and family members who were living in the area. A family of seven children in those days was not very common.
The family finally found a home they liked at 133 North Verdugo Road in Glendale, California, where they stayed for the next 13 or so years. Everybody remembers the house in Glendale and they remember the many car excursions with the surplus gas from Signal Hill. Arches favorite stop was at the many beaches around Glendale and he impressed the children with his great swimming ability. Essie wasn't impressed and always told him not to go out so far. Grandma just really didn't like the water.
Another very memorable car trip was down to the waterfront where the family would watch the ships being unloaded. One day they all remember watching the workers unloading bananas. Well, Grandpa decided to buy a stalk for the children and for the grand sum of about 75 cents bought a huge stalk full of bananas, tied it to the overhead strut in the top of the old Studebaker, and went down the road with the kids all eating bananas and throwing the peels out the windows. I can imagine the double-takes even now.
One of the other memorable events that everybody remembers are the many trips back to Utah to attend the Terry reunions. They were held at such fun spots as the Geneva Beach on Utah Lake, Vivian Park in Provo Canyon, and Schneiter's Hot Pots in Midway. Family visits and support and togetherness was always made a priority with Arch and Essie.
During this time, another great priority was always church activity and service as every member of the family accepted callings. This culminated as Dick, the oldest, came of missionary age and was called to fill a mission to the Southern States. He departed in June of 1941 and served diligently in South Carolina and Florida.
This marked the beginning of some drastic changes in the home life for Arch and his lovely family. With the events of World War II unfolding, Arch would soon see three sons leave home and serve their country. Kenneth, going first, to serve in the Air Corps as a radio gunner on B-24's, Reese serving in the Navy as a radarman, and later, Dick in the Navy, leaving shortly after his return from missionary service.
These war years were trying times for everyone with Arch and his family being no exceptions. There is a very memorable book compiled a few years after the war by Charles and his sweet wife Monte which includes copies of all the letters between the different family members during the years between l941 and 1946. The accounts of the boys in combat to the descriptions of the dances and parties attended by the girls are fascinating and are all punctuated with some wonderful photographs.
As you all know, photography was one of Arches great loves and he started early and we now have literally books full of priceless photos which we have to remember important events and family activities. In reading that book of letters, you cannot help being impressed with the great love and concern each family member had for the other and they are filled with gospel truths and principles. That record of correspon dence between these special people is priceless.
This time brought about many other changes in Arch's family with the travels and adventures of the many family members and big changes in everyone's life due to the war. This brought Arch to work at Lockheed Aircraft in l941, first as a welder then as an efficiency expert. This really wasn't Arch's favorite job because he really hated the shift work and the disruption it meant to his family. So as happened many other times in his life, Arch decided to make a move, again to be closer to the family. This time it was decided to move "home" to the Provo Bench, by now being called Orem, to be closer to the family. Several of the Terry family were now living there and they just wanted to be close by. So in 1943, the family made the big move to a little farm of about 20 acres that they bought on the highway to Provo canyon under the shadows of Mount Timpanogos. This was a fruit farm with cherries, peaches, pears, apples, strawber ries, raspberries and plums. It was a dream come true for Arch but the girls were less excited because the house had outside facilities, which was bad enough, but they were across the footbridge over the ditch to make matters worse.
With Grandpa's lifetime of experiences working in California and Wyoming, he jumped right in and began whipping into shape a very profitable and productive farming operation. But it was important and essential that the whole family got involved, for everything that was done was a family activity. From planting tomatoes to raising broiler chicks, everyone had a job to do and joyfully did it with Grandpa at their side.
He equipped the farm and used his many mechanical skills to remodel and repair the needed farm equipment which was in short supply due to the war efforts. But the war began producing other effects, also. With three sons away to war and help difficult to come by, farm production fell and Grandpa spent time traveling with Uncle Ira selling insulation to supplement the family's income.
Then on a January evening in l945, the family decided to go to the movies and while away, a fire took their house from them. It was a total loss with little of their lifetime of accumulations being saved. But even with such adversity, Grandpa took it all in stride, getting up the next day and going to work cleaning up the mess and immediately setting about to rebuild. But, as Grandpa often stated, the family received tremendous blessing as a result of the fire. Countless neighbors pitched in and helped out with time, hard work, and support and they re ceived significant financial support from countless loving neighbors, even during the hard times of war shortages.
Grandpa became the architect, the contractor, and the builder, and by summer's end had rebuilt a wonderful house, much improved over the one that the fire had consumed. They girls were elated with the indoor plumbing and all the modern conveniences of 1945.
1945 was an important year to Grandpa Pulham for another very significant reason. On March 26, l945, Grandpa was called to be Bishop of Vermont Ward in the Sharon Stake. Again, even though life was hectic with rebuilding the home and hard and constant work on the farm, Grandpa never hesitated and loved his service to the Church as Bishop. As an interesting note, I have a copy of Grandpa's Bishop Certificate and it is signed by Heber J. Grant, J. Reuben Clark, and David O. McKay. Very inspiring to see those signatures, but my grandpa always seemed to be associated with the great men of the Church.
After the war years, each of the seven children began to form their own eternal family units with Dick marrying Elma Jane Sanders in February, 1944, while Dick was on leave from the Navy. Betty Jean marrying William Leon Isaacson, I'm proud to say my mom and dad, in 1945. Then 1947 was a busy year, first with Charles marrying Ella Montez Jones, May 28, l947, and then Kenny marrying Dona E Hafen, and Faye marrying Donald Max Lunceford, both on June 27, 1947. It should be noted that that seemed to be a significant day in Grandpa's life because that is the day he married his eternal sweetheart and is also the day Dick got home from his Mission. Then in 1952, Reese married Marylyn Phyllis Newbill and in 1953, Evelyn married Glenn Ray Frandsen.
This must have been a wonderful time for Grandpa and Grandma as their family began to grow again with the arrival of the grandchildren. From my earliest recollections, I can recall the fuss Grandma and Grandpa Pulham made over me, and each and every grandchild was made to feel very special and there was no doubt of the great love that was always present in Arch's home. And the lifelong tradition of family gatherings and trips and the perpetuation of attendance at the Terry Reunion, which now had grown to a huge event usually requiring the whole park or the recreation hall at the church.
I still vividly remember the huge Thanksgiving dinners with Grandpa always sitting at the head of a huge table and with always a great message and a special prayer over the family he loves so much. There were Easter egg hunts in the back yard, and probably the most anticipated event by the grandchildren was the Christmas Eve program at Grandpa's. Each grandchild had the opportunity to recite a poem, do a dance, sing a song, tell a joke, or in some way have the spotlight for just a moment. And everybody remembers that one special gift that each got to open at the Christmas Eve party. One personal memory: I can still taste the ginger snaps that were always in the cookie jar, way up on the counter in the kitchen.
Well, as Grandpa began to slow down a little with the farm work and with the boys and girls all starting their own families, Grandpa began to shift his activities away from the farm and gradually sold portions of the property. But even though Grandpa was approaching the years of life when many people began to think of retirement and a slower pace, he continued hard work as a painter, a tile setter, a church custo dian, and many other vocations during those years.
But perhaps the saddest moment in Grandpa's life occurred in July of 1956 when it was learned that Charles and Monte had been killed in a automobile accident near Rock Springs, Wyoming. Charles had just completed work on his Doctorate Degree at the University of Nebraska and was returning to Utah for a visit with the family. This wonderful couple were taken from us much too early but will ever be remembered from their work on the written history of Charles Alfonzo Terry and the compilation of the Letters of the War Years, which they compiled after hundreds hours of work researching, typing and printing, all at their own expense. But again, let's make this a day for rejoicing, and let's think of the joyous reunion Grandpa Pulham and Charles and Monte are having right now.
Another important era in Grandpa's life unfolded in October of l960 when he was called to be the manager of the Timp Missionary Bookstore on State Street in Orem. This store was run by the Seventies of the various stakes in Orem and it was Grandpa's responsibility to manage the store. Never mind that he was now 66 years old and eligible for retirement. Again, church service came first as many long hours were spent at the book store.
The final chapter of a lifetime of church service began August 22, l965, when Archibald Pulham was called to be a Patriarch in the Orem Stake of Zion. In reviewing the certificate, of which I have a copy, it should be noted that Grandpa was set apart as a Patriarch by Elder Richard L. Evans, and the certificate is signed by David O. McKay, Hugh B. Brown, and N. Eldon Tanner. Again, Grandpa is associated with the great men of the church.
Patriarch Pulham served in that capacity actively for over 25 years and enriched the lives of over 1500 individuals with his inspired blessings. I am proud to say I received my Patriarchal blessing from Grandpa some years ago and two of my children had that opportunity also. There are probably countless members here today who also had that choice experience.
There were lots of other great activities to occupy Grandpa's time with his lifelong love of fishing at every opportunity that arose. He was a master fly tier and I have in my possession virtually hundreds of his creations. He loved photography, including the darkroom and developing aspects of it all. We all are blessed with numerous photos he has taken and his famous photograph of the Provo Temple adorns many of our homes still. I still have two photos he did for me some 16 years ago to hang in my new Dental office in Alpine.
Grandpa also decided he liked motorcycles, somewhere after the ripe old age of 80, and went on many a ride with his buddy, Herb Macey. He was always a deer hunter and after a particularly hard day dragging deer out of the canyon, he devised a wheeled cart, made from odds and ends in the garage and using a bicycle tire. Our family still has that cart and it has seen use for some 35 or 40 years.
And one of Grandpa's many great talents was his storytelling. He had a remarkable memory and amazed many listeners with his ability to recite totally from memory long poems and stories. We all decided one year to get him to recite a couple of our favorites, Yuba Dam and St. Peter at the Gate. We recorded them and had them printed. I am the proud owner of a signed copy of each.
And finally, I think all of us here can agree that Grandpa's greatest love was his dear sweet wife, Essie. We all know of their life-long romance and the beautiful relationship they always had and their total commitment to each other. In Grandma Pulham's last years, she had many afflictions and spent a good deal of time at the home with just her sweet eternal companion at her side. Grandpa always made sure her every need was met and kept up her good spirits. They were temporarily separated October 17, l973, after fifty six years of life together. This was a sad and lonely time for Grandpa, but again, can you all imagine the great joy of that reunion that has just recently occurred. As Grandpa said in his message to the family in June 1991, he was so looking forward to joining Grandmother, when the Lord sees fit. Their sweet reunion is reason enough for us all to rejoice here today.
Grandpa's last couple of years here on this earth were spent at the East Lake Care Center where he received outstanding care for which the family is very grateful. He remarked in a recent visit with his children at his side that he was 97 -- close to Heaven. We can now amend that to 97 -- gone to Heaven.
Archibald Pulham has left this earth with 7 children, 35 grandchildren, 85 great-grandchildren, and one great-great-grandchild: a total of 128 direct descendants. To quote Grandpa, "The struggles and the true devotion of parents for their children should never be forgotten. Children should cherish such examples." What finer example could we all have than Archibald Pulham.
WE LOVE YOU GRANDPA!
In the name of Jesus Christ, AMEN.


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