Lydia Ellen (Nellie) Porter
Birth: Nov. 21, 1875
Death: Jul. 25, 1939
Lydia Ellen (Nellie) Porter was born on the 21st of November 1879 to Warriner Ahaz Porter and Mary Malinda Norwood at Orderville, Kane County, Utah. She was the 6th Child of a Family of twelve (12) children.
Nellie's Father and Mother:
Warriner Ahaz Porter was the son of Chauncy Warriner and Lydia Ann Cook. He was born on the 20th of May 1848 at Winter Quarters now Florence Nebraska. Warriner came across the plains as an infant with his Mother of 18 years Lydia Ann Cook in the Willard Richards Wagon Company. Warriner Ahaz Porter married Mary Malinda Norwood on the 5th of October 1867 at the Salt lake Endowment House. She was the Daughter of Richard Smith Norwood and Elizabeth Stevenson of Salt Lake City. Warriner Ahaz Porter married Martha Norwood on the 22nd of July 1873 in the Salt Lake endowment house. He married Rachel Ann Black on the 23rd of April 1871 at the St. George Temple. Rachel was the Daughter of William Morley Black and Mariah Hansen. Warriner Ahaz was a missionary to Mexico from 1899-1912. He was Seventy, High Priest, Constable of Kane County, Machinist, Lumber Dealer, Sawyer; Cabinetmaker and Farmer.
Nellie's Brothers and Sisters:
Warriner Eugene Porter
Walter Alvin Porter
Mary Elizabeth Porter
Arvel Wallace Porter
Effie Vilate Porter
Jessie Smith Porter
Hyrum Edward Porter
Jennie Arvena Porter
Millie Maude Porter
Mabel Amelia Porter
Lydia spent her most of her youth at Orderville, Kane County, Utah where her Family was part of the United Order. She played with her brothers and sisters and the other children in the community.
On the 24th of October 1883 Nellie was baptized a member of the LDS Church in Orderville, Utah.
Polygamy was made illegal through laws in the United States through the Edmunds Act in 1882. It defined "unlawful cohabitation"
As supporting and caring for more than one woman. The law disfranchised polygamists living in the Utah Territory and declared tem ineligible for public office. The U.S. Marshalls were constantly after those who practiced polygamy. Many people had to go underground to avoid arrest. Brigham Young urged Daniel W. Jones and Henry Brizzee to go to Mexico and find settlements there. On the 15th of May 1885 some Mormons began to travel to Mexico in the Chihuahua, Mexico. By the end or 1885 because of the persecution, Mormons started to pour into Mexico. Colonies were established including Juarez in 1885 and Pacheco in 1886. Chihuahua, Dublan, Morelos and San Jose were established in 1900.
Exodus to Mexico:
Nellie traveled with her Father Warriner Ahaz Porter and Mary Malinda Norwood to Chihuahua, Mexico at the Mormon Colonies. Warriner Ahaz worked in the sawmills. There were abundant trees in the area for the sawmills. The colonists created a beautiful community with large brick homes, beautiful churches and schools. There was much peace during this time for Nellie and her family.
Nellie Meets Her Future Husband:
She met the handsome Morley Larsen Black who had gone to Mexico with his Father William Morley Black. Morley Larsen Black was born on the 24th of October 1875 to William Morley Black and Anne Maria Hansen. Morley and his Family lived also in Orderville, Kane County, Utah.
Morley Larsen Black
The Porters and Blacks were excellent operators saw mills (where they made shingles, lumber for buildings /railroad ties) and gristmills.
Morley Larsen Black
Morley Larsen moved with his Father to Mexico in approx. 1890. Morley worked for Nellie's Father Warriner Ahaz Porter who operated a sawmill for making shingles. Morley Larsen lived in several places before settling in Cave Valley, Chihuahua, Mexico.
Marriage in Cave Valley, Galeana, Chihuahua, Mexico:
On the 6th of April 1896 Nellie at age 17 was married to Morley Larsen Black in Cave Valley, Galeana, Chihuahua, Mexico. They were the first couple sealed in the LDS Church by Anthony W. Ivans in old Mexico.
Pacheco, Chihuahua, Mexico:
Later Morley Larsen and Nellie moved to Pacheco, Chihuahua, Mexico. Morley Larsen moved with his brother and their families to Cave Valley to work at a ranch owned by Moses Thatcher. He met Rachel Lunt in Cave Valley who he later married as his 2nd wife.
Morley Larsen returned to Pacheco, Chihuahua, Mexico with his families.
Children Born in Mexico:
William Morley Black b. 27 March 1897 Colonia Pacheco, Chihuahua, Mexico;
Ivy Mariah Black Brockbank b. 9 July 1898 Colonia Pacheco, Chihuahua, Mexico
Perry Warner Black, b. 1 Jan. 1900 Colonia Pacheco, Chihuahua, Mexico.
Lione Black, b. 6 March 1902 Colonia Pacheco, Chihuaha, Mexico
Reva Black Kirby, b. 28 June 1905 in Colonia Pacheco, Chihuahua, Mexico
Jose Black, b. 1908 Colonia Pacheco, Chihuahua, Mexico,
Orin Porter Black, b. 15 Aug. 1910 Colonia Pacheco, Chihuahua, Mexico
LeGrand Black, b. 24 September 1912 in Pearson, Chihuahua, Mexico
Sadness in Mexico:
Nellie had given birth to a son Lione Black, b. 6 March 1902 Colonia Pacheco, Chihuahua, Mexico. He died in 1903 at age 1.
Pearson, Chihuahua, Mexico:
After Morley Larsen returned from the Mission to Mexico City he moved his families to
Pearson, Chihuahua, Mexico in 1910 where there was work. Pearson has a large electric sawmill owned by the British Sawmill Company Pearson. Morley Larsen was the supervisor of the local workers, because he had an excellent command of the Spanish language. Morley was also the chief night watchman at the mill. Morley worked here until 1912.
Husband Called on a Mission:
In Mexico Nellie learned to be self-sufficient when her husband Morley Larsen was called on a Mission for the LDS Church to Mexico, City from 1905 to 1906. Nellie drove a team to transport lumber and building materials by wagon to her house. She and her neighbors helped built an additional room on the house to help support her growing family.
Mexico was becoming very dangerous for the foreign born citizens during the Mexican Revolution. Francisco "Pancho" Villa and other revolutionaries were fighting and disrupting the peace.
Evacuation From Mexico:
President Taft requested all Americans to leave Mexico in 1912. The Stake President Junius Romney told church members in that they had to evacuate. Mormon colonies were evacuated to El Paso, Texas. Pancho Villa and other factions were fighting and making it dangerous for the Mormon colonists.
Most of the Mormon colonists thought they would return someday as did Nellie and Morley Larsen. A beautiful china set and other items were buried. Reva said that while they fled from Mexico a farmer's plow broke all the china buried in the ground.
Nellie had a young child LeGrand and Morley Larsen thought it was advisable that she travel to El Paso with her parents.
On approximately the 15th of October 1912, Nellie with children and LeGrand 10 days old left Mexico. She boarded a train at Pearson, Chihuahua, Mexico. The train took Nellie, her children; Bill, Ivy, Perry, Reva, Jose, Orin and baby LeGrand; her parents Warriner Ahaz and Mary Melinda Porter to El Paso Texas. They stayed in tents at the El Paso U.S. citizen refugee camp that was in an abandoned lumberyard. Each Family had only a few square feet to eat and sleep. The train then took them on to Thompson, Utah. It was a several days journey by train. They traveled the rest of the way by wagon to Grayson, Utah southeastern part of Utah that is now called Blanding, San Juan County, Utah. Nellie first lived in tents with her Family in Blanding, Utah.
Husband Stays in Mexico For One Year:
Morley Larson stayed with his wife Rachel Lunt and her Family in Pearson, Mexico. He had several close calls with the rebels and was shot at several times at the sawmill. He was shot at on 9th of June 1913 at the Pearson Saw Mill and escaped by hiding in a ditch. Morley Larsen took off his belt and his gun and wrapped them in a red handkerchief and hid them in a hole in a rock.
The problems continued to increase with the revolutionaries.
Morley sold his property, bought a wagon returned with Rachel Lunt Black's Family from Mexico in 1913.
In 1913 Morley Larsen returned to Blanding to see Nellie and his children.
Life in Blanding, Utah:
Morley Larsen built Nellie a two-room home on the west side of Blanding near West Water. This home was across the street from the current Edge of the Cedars Museum.
Morley Larsen tried to support his Nellie and Rachel Families that was very difficult. He bought a cow for Nellie's Family and one for Rachel's Family so they could have milk. Morley worked by driving a freight wagon with the help of his boys.
Children Born in Blanding and Huntington, Utah:
Guss Porter Black, b. 9 May 1915 Blanding, San Juan, Utah
Fonda Black, b. 1916 Blanding, San Juan, Utah
Dallman (Dall) Larsen Black, b. 6 May 1922 Blanding, San Juan, Utah
Raline (Rene) Black Metcalf, b. 2 August 1923 Huntington, Emory, Utah;
Nellie's son LeGrand Black remembers that it was very cold in the winter in their wood frame house. LeGrand said the Family would try to stay warm from the wind by putting paper over the broken glass panes. LeGrand said his Mother Nellie was alone much of the time and did not receive much assistance. Morley Larsen had twenty-four children in two families.
Nellie was good to her family. She was an excellent cook. Nellie cooked excellent hot bread and butter with pinto beans cooked in a kettle. Her squash pie was to die for. She baked water cookies. She made excellent cottage cheese. Her specialty was potatoes and milk gravy.
President Redd of the LDS Church would give Nellie and her family food from Redd's Store in Blanding.
Nellie was industrious;
Nellie, despite living in poverty had to support her family in many ways.
Nellie supported her family by carding wool to pay for milk. Some of the family members thought these wool fibers may have made her asthma worse and increased her health problems. She raised a couple of runt pigs for meat. Her daughter Reva said that if Nellie hadn't raised a garden the family would have had nothing to eat. She grew English peas, tomatoes, cucumbers, apples and pears.
Nellie would go to Moab, Utah in an old wagon to get a load of fruit to can.
Nellie had fun. She was an excellent swimmer and taught her children to swim.
Her son LeGrand remembers he and his brothers went to a corral where a big bull was residing. The bull chased the brothers who climbed into the top of the tree. LeGrand remembers the boys were worried that the bull would get their mother so they didn't call out. LeGrand said the boys stayed in the tree for a very long time until the bull left.
One time Nellie's chair fell through the pine floor at their Blanding home. Nellie broke her ribs. LeGrand remembers that Nellie just lay in her bed for a long time. LeGrand said this was a difficult time for the Family.
World War I:
Nellie's son Bill Black joined and fought with the U.S. Army in World War I in France. When the soldiers returned from the war they had to be under quarantine in Blanding due to a threat of the veterans spreading the pandemic flu that was worldwide.
Around 1918 Nellie got the flu during the flu epidemic at the end of World War I. She was extremely ill and never fully regained her health.
Nellie sang songs to her children like, "Briney O' Lynn". She was an excellent singer.
Her son LeGrand Black said of his Mother Nellie, "She had a great sense of humor and an optimistic attitude."
Nellie had a sense of humor. She would tell jokes. She would pretend like she would faint. This she did best when her children were fighting.
Nellie nearly died of the flu just before Dall was born.
Courage to Make a New Life for Her Family:
Nellie decided in 1926 to leave Blanding and go to northern Utah. She traded a piece of her property for a car. Orin at age 14 drove his Mother Nellie, brothers and sisters; Dall, Rene, Fonda, Gus and LeGrand. The car broke down in Price Canyon. They made it up to Salt Lake where they stayed with Nellie's Daughter Ivy Black Brockbank and later moved to Sandy, Utah.
Nellie lived in an old house in Sandy without running water, bathroom and electricity between two railroad tracks. The Union Pacific tracks were in front of the house and Denver Rio Grand was behind the house.
The Depression struck the U.S. in 1929. The effects of the depression were felt in Utah as well. Many people lost everything they owned.
On the 10th of September 1929 Nellie's Mother Mary Malinda Norwood Porter died in Salt Lake City, Utah.
On the 28th of May 1932 Nellie's Father Warriner Ahaz Porter died in Salt Lake City, Utah.
During the Depression around 1933 Nellie lost her house because she was unable to pay off the $300.00 loan.
Optimism in the Face of Personal Tragedy:
In 1927, Nellie lost two (2) of her family members. Fonda got stomach cancer and was very ill. Nellie spent many hours in the hospital with Fonda before she died at age 11. Jose was working on a farm in California. His appendix ruptured and Jose died. He was 18 years old. The Family did not have enough money to send his body home for burial. Some kind people in California raised enough money to bring Jose's body home for burial. Both Fonda and Jose were buried in the Sandy City Cemetery, Sandy City. Salt Lake County, Utah.
Through poverty, the Great Depression and personal loss Nellie never lost faith and hope. Her philosophy of life was. "You do the best you can on what you have left".
Nellie planted a big garden in Sandy and sold cucumbers to bring in money for her family. She did a lot of ironing to try to make ends meet.
Her children went to Sandy schools and participated in sports at Jordan High School.
Orin was Captain of the football team. LeGrand Gus and Dall also participated in track, football and Basketball. Dall was also a great baseball player. Her son Gus was later to go on to be All American in basketball at BYU. Kline Black of Rachel's Family stayed with Nellie for two years so he could participate in school sports at Jordan High School.
Nellie would keep a pot of warm water to treat her son's injuries when they played sports.
In 1933 Nellie lived in the basement apartment of aunt Myrtle Redd's home at 24 West North Temple.
Nellie got asthma and was ill for two years before she died. LeGrand thought perhaps she had brown lung from all the carding of wool when she was younger. She had to sit up sometimes just to breathe since lying down made it difficult if impossible for her to breathe.
LeGrand and June Black returned from Aberdeen, Idaho to Salt Lake City in 1935 to be closer to Nellie. They moved into an Apartment on North Temple just north of Temple Square.
Guss said that Nellie was in the hospital near death from heart problems and the doctors kept expecting her to go at any time. She kept hanging on until Morley Larsen saw her. He walked in and kissed her. She passed away several days later.
At approximately 4:00 PM on the 25th of July 1939, Nellie age 60 died in Salt Lake City, Utah of Arteriosclerotic Heart Disease . She was buried in the Sandy City Cemetery, Sandy City, Salt Lake County, on July 28, 1939.
LeGrand said of his mother, "She had a great sense of humor and an optimistic attitude".
"Her children and grandchildren became her gold".
Her children became, Professors, Educators, Military Officers, City Officials, Business, Good Citizens, Homemakers, Church and Community Leaders.
Her grandchildren have become Physicians, Dentists, Engineers, Educators, Good Citizens, Homemakers, Business Church and Community leaders.
"Nellie never gave up hope in better life"
"Seldom has so much courage, love and strength been exhibited by an Individual."
"She gave a gift of hope to her Children and Grandchildren which have made and continue to make this world a better place."
Children of Lydia Ellen (Nellie) Black and Morley Larsen Black
William (Bill) Morley Black
b. 27 March 1897 Colonia Pacheco, Chihuahua, Mexico. Veteran of World War I and World War II. Bill did farming in Aberdeen, Idaho d. 14 March 1952, American Falls, Idaho. Bill was buried in Sandy City Cemetery, Sandy City, Salt Lake County, Utah.
Ivy Mariah Black Brockbank
b. 9 July 1898 Colonia Pacheco, Chihuahua, Mexico married 17 March 1921 John Orlan Brockbank, b. 1Aug. 1898 Huntington, Utah son of John Park Brockbank and Ellen S. Truman. Ivy died 12 February 1965 in Ogden, Utah.
Perry Warner Black
b.1 Jan. 1900 Colonia Pacheco, Chihuahua, Mexico. Perry was a Manager for the Stockton Water Lines, died the 2nd of May 1984 in Stockton California. Buried in Sandy, Cemetery, Sandy, Salt Lake County, Utah.
Lione Black, b. 6 March 1902 Colonia Pacheco, Chihuahua, Mexico, d. 1903. Buried in Mexico.
Reva Black Kirby,
b. 28 June 1905 in Colonia Pacheco, Chihuahua, Mexico; Married Pete V. Kirby, b. 7 August 1902 Huntington, Emery, Utah son of Thomas J. Kirby and Amelia Manson. Reva died in
b. 1908 Colonia Pacheco, Chihuahua, Mexico, He worked on a farm in California. d. 10 Sept. 1927 in California of a ruptured appendix. Jose was buried in Sandy City Cemetery, Sandy, Salt Lake County, Utah.
Orin Porter Black
b. 15 Aug. 1910 Colonia Pacheco, Chihuahua, Mexico.; Married Vanice Beck, b. 8 Sept. 1913 Provo, Utah, daughter of Reid Beck and Annie Passey. Orin was a Bishop, Patriarch for many years in the LDS church. He was an Insurance Salesman for Metroplitan Life Insurance, an accomplished equestrian rider and a Community Leader. Orin died on the 24th of February 2003. Orin was buried in Sandy Cemetery, Sandy City, Salt Lake County, Utah
b. 24 September 1912 in Pearson, Chihuahua, Mexico; married 28 March 1935 June Bateman, b. 2 June 1916 Bern, Bear Lake, Idaho daughter of Alberto Wilber Bateman and Sophie Olive Kunz. LeGrand was on the Stake High Council, Salt Lake County Sheriff, carpenter for Granite School District and Councilman for Murray City. LeGrand
died on 08 September 2002. LeGrand was buried in Murray City Cemetery, Murray, Salt Lake County, Utah.
Guss Porter Black
b. 9 May 1915 Blanding, San Juan, Utah; married 29 Aug. 1938 Lois Hall, b. 27 May 1917 Lake Shore, Utah, daughter of Jasper Lansing Hall and Caroline Ferguson. Gus was an All American basketball player for B.Y.U. He was a High School Basketball Coach and Drivers Education Teacher for Spanish Fork High School. Gus is an accomplished equestrian racer. Gus currently lives in Salem, Utah and celebrated his 90th Birthday.
b. 1916 Blanding, San Juan, Utah, d. 23 February 1927 of Stomach Cancer. Fonda was buried in Sandy City Cemetery, Sandy City, Salt Lake County, Utah.
Dallman (Dall) Larsen Black
b.6 May 1922 Blanding, San Juan, Utah; Married 13 Sept. 1946 Anna Joy Larsen, b. 10 September 1925 Fairview, Sanpete, Utah daughter of Lewis Lorenzo Larsen and Martha Birdella Anderson. Dall served as a decorated Lt. Colonel in the U.S. Army in World War II, Professor of English at the Salt Lake Community School, Writer and Author of Several Books. Died in 2004 in St. George, Utah. Dall was buried at Sandy City Cemetery, Salt Lake County, Utah.
Raline (Rene) Black Metcalf
b.2 August 1923 Huntington, Emory, Utah; married 12 July 1946 John Cleo Metcalf, U.S.A.F. Colonel, b. 28 Dec. 1920 Mineola, Wood, Texas son of Daniel Columbus Metcalf and Connie Elizabeth Shirley. Rene served in the Marine Corps during World War II. Rene is an accomplished family history writer who resides in California. ... show more