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Olla Rebecca Owens Cole

Olla Rebecca Owens Cole was born 10 June 1882 in the friendly little town of Willard, Box Elder County, Utah, to Martha Ann Waite Owens and Owen Owens.

In the spring of 1888 when Olla was just a little girl, they moved to Star Valley, Wyoming, where they lived until her Mother was taken by death. They packed her body in new mowed hay and traveled by team and wagon back to Willard. It was a long hard trip. They traveled night and day and the little children were crying for their Mother. They made the trip in good time and she was buried in Willard.

Olla lived with different ones of the family and then went to live with her sister, Annie L. Wells, and helped her take care of her children and the Post Office there at Willard.

She spent her school days there. When she became a young lady, she possessed a very good voice and loved to sing. There were seven young couples that run around together and had lots of fun. They went dancing, had candy pulls, and went sleigh-riding. They were called the Jolly Fourteen.

Olla went with Ed Cole a lot and grew very fond of him. In the spring on the 19th day of March, 1901, she married Edwin Voss Cole at Brigham City. In the fall on the l9th day of November, 1901, they went to the Logan Temple where they were sealed together for time and all eternity by President Shephard.

They lived in Willard that winter and on the tenth day of January, 1902, a baby girl came to bless their home. They named her Myrella Ann. When summer came, they rented some land and raised beets, corn, tomatoes, potatoes and onions, and did pretty well at that. They stayed there the next summer. On the 10th day of September, 1903, another baby girl was born, and they named her Rachel Odessa. She had lots of dark hair. When she was old enough, so they could, they moved to Idaho Falls, Idaho, and farmed land there.

Then in the spring of 1905, they moved to Ammon - just east of Idaho Falls on another farm. There their third little girl was born on the 23rd of September, and they named her Alice Lavon -- but I guess they forgot what they named her because they called her Bonnie all her life.

While they still lived at Ammon, in the summer of 1908, on the 18th day of July, their first little boy was born. His name was Owen Voss. They stayed there until in the spring of 1909, when they moved back to Treasureton, Idaho, where Ed had worked before he was married. Here they filed on a homestead of 160 acres. It was about 4-1/2 miles north of Treasureton. It was called Stockton. They worked hard here to develop the land so it would produce and be a farm where they could have a home for themselves. They built fences around the place and built a house. They planned and enjoyed every minute of this for they were to themselves and making a home for their family, but they had to move back to Treasureton so the girls could go to school in the winter.

Ralph Edwin was born on the 27th day of December, 1910. He was a tiny little boy, only 4 pounds, but with Olla's good care and their faith and prayers, he lived and was always a joy. Olla helped there in the Ward. She played the organ for Relief Society, and helped entertain by giving readings or singing at ward parties. They made a lot of dear friends there.

Sister Annie Kirby loved to sing with her. She wrote this tribute to Olla:


There are many happy memories

In these lines I write today,

And a world of warm affection,

More than any words could say.

She filled our lives with sunshine,

And we all loved her.

She was gentle and dear as a Mother.


One cold and stormy November night, their third son was born. It was the 16th of November, 1912. They named him Jesse and was going to name him Jesse Waite when they took him to Church, but he was so tiny and it was such a bad winter, they didn't get to take him out. Then he died suddenly one morning on the 27th of December, 1912, and he is buried at Willard, Utah.

Now the Government had passed the Enlarged Homestead Law so Olla and Ed got more land. Now they had 320 acres -- some farming and some pasture land. Ed got a job buying and hauling cream for the Mutual Creamery Company. He would gather it from the farmers and ship it to Salt Lake City, Utah. This took him away from home a lot of days and Olla was left alone with the children. One day while Ed was gone, she became very ill. She lay on the bed with drops of sweat standing out on her face. She asked her little children to kneal down around her bed and pray for the Lord to bless her and make her well. (Myrella was only 11 years old at that time.) They prayed with tears streaming down their faces. After this Odessa ran to the closest neighbor, which was more than a mile away. She got Sister May Purser to come to see if she could help their Mother. When she came in and saw how awful sick Olla was, she said, "We must get some one who has the Priesthood to administer to her."

Soon Brother George Kirby came by with a load of wood from the canyon. They stopped him and asked him to give her a blessing.

He was just a very young Elder and was afraid he couldn't give her a good blessing, but Sister Purser helped him and Olla was almost immediately made well. When Ed came home, she met him as usual. He was so thankful for what had been done for her. She was a Mother with a wonderful spirit and great faith in the power of the Priesthood. They were helped through many ills this way. They didn't send for the doctor because it would take a whole day for him to get there from Preston.

Now in the spring of 1915, their fourth baby boy came to gladden their home again. They named him Ottis LaVerrel and called him Ottis.

In the year 1916, they sold their homestead in Stockton and bought a home and some land in Preston, Idaho. They moved to the city but Ed still hauled cream from Treasureton and Riverdale.

The home they bought was in the Preston Second Ward. Here Olla worked in the primary as first counselor and taught the Bee Hive Girls class in mutual. She was so happy to live close to the Church so she could take part in it.

Ed bought her an organ. Haw happy she was. They would play and sing to the children in the evenings and how they loved to hear them.

It was on the 7th day of July, 1917, another little baby boy came to the Cole home. They named him Willard Wayne. When he was only 16 months old, in the fall of 1918, the World War I was over and the soldier boys were coming home again. Everyone was so happy and thankful for this. The influenza came to Preston. m e schools and the picture shows were closed. They didn't even hold Church meetings, trying to avoid the spread of this dreadful illness. When some one had to go to the store, they wore masks over their faces.

It was on a Monday in November that Lavon took the flu, and by Saturday the whole family was sick with it. Aunt Mary Cole phoned to their folks in Willard and told them of their illness and that they couldn't get help and the hospitals were full.

Now the folks sent Mrs. Tyner up from Brigham City to help take care of the sick. Annie, Olla's sister came up too but the doctor wouldn't let her go in the house, so she stayed with the neighbors and helped all she could. But Olla took pneumonia, and on the 29th day of November, 1918, she passed away, leaving seven sick children and a mighty sick husband. The doctor didn't think he could ever get well. Then Annie took her sister, Olla, back to Willard on the street car, and she was buried on the 2nd day of December. A graveside service was held there for her. Her sisters and brother and her friends arranged it all as Ed was so bad, but he was so greatful that they took over and did have a nice service for her.

Ed was also thankful to their good friend Lizzie Jane Williams, who came down from Treasureton and stayed until the children were well again and he was able to be up and around, but it took him a long time to get his strength back so he could to work again.

Ed was a kind and loving father and he stayed by his children. He never left them alone at night and he never married again. He said he wanted to keep his children with him and he wanted them to be happy. So Olla's children grew up and were active in the Church, and were all married in the Temple for time and all eternity.

One son and four grandsons have filled L.D.S. missions as of 1970. One has spent 6 years as a missionary.

Written by Alice LaVon (Cole) Taylor, daughter of Olla Rebecca (Owens) Cole. This sketch was taken from genealogy pedigree charts and family history records.


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