Clara Elizabeth White

Before coming to the Order

I was born March 18, 1921 to John Elbert and Bertha Arminnie White, and was christened Clara Elizabeth White,  I was the fifth of six children. Olive Arminnie, Joel Francis, LeGrande Porter, Reece John, Clara Elizabeth, Rula Edith. Reece and Rula died in infancy.

When I was two, we moved to Pipe Springs Fort in Arizona and was there until 1925. Father ran the fort and did tours when people came through. One time a bus came through and some women went into a room and found mama in bed with a new baby, (Rula). A lady from New York took up a collection plate from the tourists on the bus and gave it to mom for the baby.

Fort in Pipe Springs, Arizona

When I was 14, my mother (“Minnie” White) was going to cottage meetings with Burke Frandsen, Bill Whitmill and others, and was very interested in the things they were studying.  Mother had met with Elden Kingston and asked for permission to join the Co-Op.  He told her they weren’t taking new members at this time. I, Clara, had heard a lot of bad things about the Kingston’s and I didn’t want to join.  One day when these men came to our home for a cottage meeting, I went into the bedroom, so I didn’t have to be in the meeting.  It was cold in the bedroom, so I had to leave the bedroom door open to get a little heat.  I couldn’t help but hear the things that was being said.  I became quite interested so I moved closer to the door so I could hear better.  I decided the bad things I had heard wasn’t true and I felt good about these people. On January 17, 1936 Elden Kingston came to see if mother still wanted to join the Co-Op. By this time, I was very glad to be able to join.  Just before my 15th birthday we officially became members. Bro. Marion Brown came with his truck to move us (mother,LeGrande, and myself) to Bountiful on March 5, 1936. Mother and I rode in the front of the truck with Brother Marion Brown, LeGrande and Brother Mac Frandsen rode in the back. It was very cold and due to his illness of double leakage of the heart LeGrande got sick and never recovered. He died May 28, 1936.

 Working on the dry farm

One summer I was working on the dry farm in Idaho. My job was to herd the sheep.  I was out watching the sheep and could hear the rushing water of the river and it made me very thirsty.  The sheep were grazing so I thought I could go down to the river to get a drink, but It was quite a steep climb to the river and by the time I got back to the top I was thirstier than when I went down.  I found the sheep had strayed from the area.  There were hills everywhere.  I didn’t know which way to go so I got on my knees and prayed to Heavenly Father to guide the horse in the right direction.  The horse started going and when I got to the top of the hill, I saw the sheep running at a fast speed straight for the fresh grain.  I knew if they got to that grain it could cause them to bloat and die.  I again got on my knees and asked Heavenly Father to help get to the sheep before they got to the grain.  Suddenly a big whirl wind came up right in front of the sheep that stopped them, and I was able to get to the sheep and herd them back.  I got on my knees a third time to thank Heavenly Father for his help.

Personal Inspiration in Marriage for Sis Clara

After joining the Co-Op, I had become acquainted with many of the members there.  Once my 18th birthday had passed, I started wanting to know whom I should marry. I wanted to have a personal testimony from Heavenly Father about who I should marry. About this time, I had the following dream, “I was walking along the road and was tired from walking.  Bro. Burton and his wife Vivian came along in a buggy and gave me a lift.  I was very grateful for the ride.  This was all there was to the dream.” It had a very strong positive feeling with it and I wanted to know if this was my answer, so I asked Brother Elden while he was in Bountiful on business.  “He told me to ask Heavenly Father if this was a true dream to give it to me again, or one with the same feeling.  I never had any other dreams, but a few days later I was working at the grocery store and Sister Vivian came in and said that they were moving to the dry farm and that she wished I could go with them because it got very lonesome up there. When she said this a very warm feeling came over me, like it was with the dream that I had had earlier.”

Brother Burton and Clara White

I told Brother Burton Dye and his wife Vivian that I would join their family. I took my vows on November 2, 1939 in the house on the city farm, where we were living at the time with Bro. Clyde’s family. Vivian and I got along well and were very close our whole life. We always felt that each other’s children were our own.  

Vivian Dye and Clara White

Moving to  Elmo

In April of 1940 we moved to the Perry place in Bountiful. Brother Burton had a dream, that Brother Elden had a sick baby in his arms. He could see that Bro. Elden was tired and needed some rest. He asked to let him hold the baby for a while. He handed him the baby and he started to sing to it, and it fell asleep in his arms. Brother Burton sent a copy of the dream to Brother Elden, he told him he thought the baby meant the Elmo place, and if there was anything, I could do to relieve him to let me know.

We moved to Elmo on June 20, 1940, taking only our personal things. We traded homes and furniture, instead of moving everything from both homes. The house was a two-room log cabin with a dug-out basement with two rooms. One room had a wood floor and the other was dirt.    

In October a crew came down to dig potatoes and my mother came with them to cook for the crew and to help me, for I was due to have a baby. I had a baby boy on October 19, 1940 and we named him Dennis LeGrande White.

Kitchen Addition Built in fall of 1950

We had no Electricity or running water, so we hauled it in, in barrels and heated it on the stove. We used kerosene lamps for lights and an outhouse for a bathroom. We washed our clothes on a washboard and ironed them with a flat iron we heated on the stove.

We moved to the mine and back to Elmo several times throughout the years, due to lack of space because our families were growing.  I believe it was in the fall of 1950 Burton built a kitchen onto the log house,which gave us another room for beds.    

I had ten children while living at Elmo and the mine, my children are Dennis LeGrande, Alice Lucille, Clyde Delynn, Rulon Earl, Vernon Eugene, Carla Beth, Dorothy Elizabeth, Rachel Irene, Bertha Joanne, and Gertrude Jolene (Trudy).

6 of Clara's children who lived at the Elmo House (Dennis, Alice, Rulon, Clyde, Vernon, & Carla)

In the fall of 1962, we moved to the mine for the last time. We were there for about 1 ½years when Brother Ortell came to the mine and asked me to move to Woods Cross and work at VaLannes. We moved in May of 1964, just after school ended. They had moved new houses onto the farm and Sister Merlyn moved into one and we moved into her old house. I lived in this house until 1983 when I moved into Lorna’s small trailer.  I lived there until I moved into Wayne Jenkins trailer in 1986. That was my last home.

I worked at VaLannes Manufacturing, Co-op Shoe Repair, Economy Shoe Repair in Ogden, I helped my daughters Rachel and Alice at Imperial Market, East-side Market, and at Standard Restaurant Supply.

I was diagnosed with congestive heart failure, and the doctor said most people at this point only live for 5-10 years. I beat both of those time schedules.

Clara Elizabeth White Dye died October 8, 2001 after a long battle with Congestive Heart Failure.

Information in this biography was based on the autobiography of Clara Elizabeth White.
Compiled by Carla Peterson

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