DCCS BIOGRAPHIES

Beulah Fern Frandsen Whitmill

October 5, 1905  to  January 25, 1943

Sister Beulah was born October 5, 1905 in Kimball, Idaho to Erastus and Annice MacArthur Frandsen.  She was the fifteenth of 18 children.  She was a sister of Brother Burke, Brother Perry, Brother Mac, Sister Thera, who was married to Brother Ammon Nielson, and Sister Blenda, who married Brother Ernie Ekstrom.

Beulah and her husband, Brother Bill Whitmill were married on July 31, 1924 in Idaho Falls.  Their marriage was solemnized in the Logan Temple on August 8, 1928.

Bill grinned a lot but he didn’t laugh aloud very often.  If he was grinning, you could tell he was pleased.  Beulah teased him a lot; she could really make him grin!

They made their home across the street west of the church in Basalt.  They had five children while living in Basalt: William Dewayne, Fern Olea, Delpha Ruth, Alton Boyd, and Arlene Annice.  All of them were born at home and were delivered by a midwife.  Arlene lived only three weeks.

The Great Depression began on October 29, 1929, when the bottom dropped out of the stock market.  That day is now referred to as “Black Tuesday”.  The banks failed and many people lost their jobs.  Just putting food on the table was a hardship.  More than 60% of the families in the nation had a yearly income of less than $2,000, which was considered the bare minimum to provide a family with the bare essentials.

The prosperity of the 20’s gave way to the hardship and poverty of the 30’s.  Beulah’s brother, Burke Frandsen, lived on a nearby farm.  The farmers all helped each other when needed and worked hard together.  It was the only way to survive; and survive they did!

The summers were a time for lots of chores – weeding the garden, canning and big picnics with Uncle Burke’s and Aunt Blenda’s families.  They would pack a big lunch to take to Tautphaus Park in Idaho Falls.  A big treat was sandwiches made on bread from the store.  The kids would gather eggs to sell to the store for bread and a jar of Miracle Whip.  Those were wonderful, busy times.

Bill and Beulah enjoyed people and always welcomed company into their home.  Everyone loved to be there.  The kids were always included in the festivities.  They would often get together with Beulah’s brothers and sisters.

Minnie White (Sister Clara’s mother) was a midwife in the Kimball area and delivered many of the babies, including Beulah’s.  She would stay with the family for 10 to 14 days to take care of the mother, new baby and the family.

Through Burke, Bill met Brother Clyde Gustafson, a shoe repairman, who was also interested in studying the gospel.  Clyde introduced him to Brother Elden, Brother Charles and Brother Marion Brown.  Charles Kingston organized cottage meetings at different homes to discuss the gospel.  Brother Burke, Brother Perry, Brother Ammon Neilsen, Brother Burton Dye, and their families would come.  They talked about perfecting themselves and following God’s laws.  All of them seemed to be searching for a better way to live their lives.  They wanted to unite together to live economic communalism where everyone lived “United Order”.  The meetings would go far into the night nearly every night.  When Bill met Charles, he invited him to hold a meeting at his home.  Bill also invited Minnie White to come to that meeting.

In early June 1935, Bill and his family moved to Bountiful, Utah where he joined the Co-op.  Bill was one of the men that went on what is known in the Co-op as the "Teton trip".  They left on June 19 and were gone for about 10 days.

As harvest time approached, Bill and Burke Frandsen went back to Idaho to take care of the farm up there.  Burke and Bill moved their families into Burke's mother's house in Kimball.  Burke's mother had moved in with her daughter Blenda and her husband Ernie Ekstrom across the railroad tracks.

When Bill and his family moved away from Basalt, Minnie White was really concerned.  No one knew what had happened to them as they hadn’t told anyone where they were going.  She had felt so strong that he was her link to being able to live United Order and she didn’t know what she was going to do.  She really felt lost.

One day, in November 1935, Minnie saw Bill in Firth and asked him where he had moved to.  He told her he had gone to Bountiful and joined a cooperative there.  He invited her and her family to come to a meeting at his home.  Minnie met Elden Kingston and Marion Brown there.  She asked Elden if she could join.  He told her they weren’t taking any more members at that time.

On January 17, 1936, Elden and Marion went to Minnie White’s home in Basalt.  He asked her if she still wanted to join and she said that she did.  He told her Bill and Burke would come up in a few days to move them to Kimball. Ammon and Thera Nielson had moved to Bountiful so the Whites moved into their house in Kimball.

On March 5, Minnie White’s family moved to Bountiful.  In April, Ernie and Blenda Ekstrom moved to Bountiful, bringing Burke's mother with them.  Bill moved into their house in Kimball, which made more room for Burke’s family.

Bill's Farm in Kimball Idaho

After Bill's family moved to Kimball, they had four more children: Floy, Phyllis Aurella, Samuel Eugene, and Belva Jean.  Samuel also died in infancy, living only about four and a half months.  He was buried in Basalt with their daughter Arlene.

Bill and Beulah’s house in Kimball was a resting place for many traveling between Bountiful and Marion Brown’s dry farm near Tetonia, Idaho.  Marion and a few others would always stop and spend the night when making the trip.  Cars traveled at around 25-30 miles an hour then, so the trip was a long one.  Beulah would cook a nice meal and they would have homemade ice cream.  The kids thought it was a treat to sleep on the floor so the company could have the beds.

As the 30’s ended and the 40’s began, there were rumors of war in Europe.  On December 7, 1941, the United States was drawn in to World War II.  The families were faced with more hardships.  There were gas rationing and food coupons.  Many commodities were hard to get and money was scarce.  Tires were almost impossible to get.  Many young men were drafted into the army.  However, the family had more troubles at home.

Beulah was starting to have more health problems.  She suffered from rheumatism and dropsy.  Her legs would swell and she had to stay off them.  At the end of February in 1942, Thera Nielsen went to Idaho for a few days to help her.  She seemed to do better for a while, and then she started to get weak again.  In July of that year, Bill brought her down to Salt Lake to stay at Blenda’s for a couple of weeks.  When she went back to Idaho, Sister Anderson went up with them to help doctor her.

In August, she saw a heart doctor.  Her heart was quite enlarged and the doctor didn’t give her much hope.  Over the next few months, she would stay for a time with Blenda or Thera, and then she would go home to Idaho for a while.

On January 10, 1943, Bill took her to stay at Blenda’s again.  This would be the last time.  Her two youngest girls stayed with Thera.  On January 23, Bill came down from Idaho, as Beulah had taken a turn for the worst.  He was with her when she died on the morning of January 25 of heart failure.  She was 37 years old.  She was buried in Basalt with her two babies.

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