Death: December 18, 1973
Burial: Brigham City Cemetery, Brigham City, Box Elder County, Utah, USA
Find A Grave Memorial# 14169064
Biography of Mary Elizabeth Bickmore Schow
It was in this home that Mary Elizabeth, who was named after her father's two sisters, was reared. At this place, Lizzie, as she was called, grew and thrived with the sunshine, the smell of the new-mown hay, and all the rest that makes for a happy farm life. At the age of seven, she was sent to school. Lizzie, along with her brothers and sisters, had to walk about a mile to get to school. Sometimes she would ride a horse behind her brother Newman.
The schoolhouse was very comfortable, being made of logs with a huge stove in the center of the room. It was here that Lizzie excelled in spelling. There were two others (Jacob Abbott and Ellen Tams) that she feared. She became one of the teacher's "pets."
At one time the teacher said, "There must be no more dolls brought to school." Lizzie had smuggled her old rag doll into school, and forgetting for the moment to hide it, left it lying on her desk. Lizzie's heart skipped a beat when the teacher came along quietly, picked up the doll, and with his pencil made eyes, nose and mouth where the doll's face was supposed to be, then quietly laid it down and went back to his desk. Her heart beat on again when she knew she would not be reprimanded.
At the end of the term, she won a prize for being an outstanding student. The prize was a notebook and two lead pencils. This was indeed a prize in those days. It was the only notebook in school. Slates were used exclusively.
Robert Pierce was her first schoolteacher. He not only had scholastic training but was trained in music as well. The violin was his favorite instrument. He was the "music of Paradise."
At the age of eight she was baptized a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
She spent a very happy girlhood on the farm where she was reared since six months of age. Her chums were the girls of the Orgall, Welch, and Peterson families who were neighbors. Her father owned a large family orchard, containing one tree that had small but very delicious apples. One day she and her chum, Katie Peterson, bet one another that they could eat the most apples. Katie won. She ate twenty-two. That night Katie was very sick, but my mother would not sympathize with her. She told her she hoped Katie had learned her lesson. It was a long time before Katie enjoyed another "golden sweet apple" again!
Lizzie had a talent for dramatics and as a young woman took part in numerous plays and gave many readings. She had the leading role in "The Lady of Lions," "The White Lie," and others.
On December 23, 1903, she married Ira Michael Schow in the Logan Temple. To this union, ten children were born. The first four years of her married life was spent at Paradise, Utah. While there, they were blessed with two lovely daughters, Irene and Ellen. They lived in town but owned a farm on the outskirts of town. Thinking they could better their financial condition, they sold their farm, placed the money in a bank until a good opportunity presented itself to buy another farm, and moved to Logan, Utah. There a third daughter, Norma, was born. Norma was a tiny sweet girl who was always small for her age. After living in Logan for two years, Ira rented the McCulleck Ranch at Cedarville, Idaho, where they lived for one full year. He then invested his money in a farm and home at Weston, Idaho. there they spent some of the most pleasant years of their life, participating in social and religious activities. Ira was called as second assistant superintendent in the Sunday School, then later was a member (second counselor) of the Bishopric. Elizabeth, as she was later called, was active in the Relief Society. While at Weston, two sons were born, Ira Lee and Juel Reed.
Elizabeth was a good seamstress and made the children's clothing. At one time she told of buying the little girls some red shoes that buttoned up the side, of which they were very proud.
In 1916 they chartered a railroad car on the O.S.L. Railroad, loaded it with their household furniture and belongings, machinery and livestock, and moved to Rexburg, Idaho, where they leased land from the state. In that same year a son was born. A short time after he was born, a letter came from Elizabeth's father asking that the boy be named after him, Danford. Enclosed in the letter was a ten-dollar check to start his bank account, so the baby was named Danford, but generally called Dan or Danny. The two-dollar check was never put into an account for Danny since the family needed the money. At that time Mary Elizabeth was very ill, Dad had hurt his back in a loading accident, and Danny was having a struggle to retain the life that had been given him. Danny's inheritance became a family joke.
At the time of Danford's birth, Elizabeth recovered well until ten days after when she became very ill. She got pleurisy, which later turned to pneumonia. She was getting over that when her body started to swell and her tissues to fill with water. She had some sort of poisoning of the bowels. She was ill for months and not much hope was ever given by the doctor that she would recover. Both she and Ira felt that it was through the power of the Lord that she was saved. Almost every day she was administered to by two Latter-day Saint missionaries. One was a very prominent businessman in Rexburg who was lame having been born with a clubfoot. The other totally blind, having been struck by lightening a few months after returning from an LDS mission. Both were good Latter-day Saints and not lacking in faith. Elizabeth recovered and the doctor told her she was lucky to be above the ground.
At the same time that Elizabeth was sick, the baby Dan also became ill. Aunt Martha Thomas came from Logan to care for him. She often made the remark that "Dan is my boy," because she felt that it was through her loving and tender care and attention that she felt that he was saved. Although Elizabeth and Ira had the services of a doctor, nurse and a girl to do the work, nevertheless Dan needed the special attention that Aunt Martha gave him. Elizabeth, on the doctor's orders, was not supposed to nurse him, but Aunt Martha every once in awhile would put him on breast milk and kept the milk supply stimulated. He fed mostly on rice water. He was very skinny and everyone said he looked like all eyes and ears. Later, Elizabeth was able to nurse him and by six months he was well and a normal size.
In the spring of 1917 Elizabeth and Ira bought a right for a homestead and moved to Dubois, Idaho, living there until 1919. That year, because of a drought, water had to be brought to the city of Dubois by trains. This was the only means of a water supply except for one city well. Water sold for one cent a gallon. It was a little cheaper when brought by the tank. From the homestead they moved into the city of Dubois, where daughter Ida was born.
That fall, having a desire to spend the winter near Ira's parents who were getting old, they moved to Mantua, Utah. The following Spring, they decided not to return to Idaho to live. Elizabeth and Ira took a trip back to Dubois, settled their affairs there and returned to Mantua.
They moved to Brigham in 1921 and lived in the Second Ward. Here another daughter was born. Dad insisted that she be named after her mother, but mother didn't like Elizabeth for a name, compromised by calling her baby Beth. All of Elizabeth's friends called her "Lizzie" which she liked as a girl, but in later life, she wished she had let them call her Elizabeth.
It was in Brigham that great sorrow came into their lives. Their oldest daughter, Irene, was stricken with typhoid fever and on 16 August 1923 she passed on, but the memory of her sweet and lovable disposition lived on in the hearts of her parents and brothers and sisters.
The family moved from Second Ward into the Fifth Ward. They lived on Seventh South and Main Street. At this place, Edna was born 5 June 1925 and Myron, a son, was born 3 January 1929. Hie lived only four months, again bringing sorrow to the home at his death. he died 4 May 1929 of pneumonia.
While in the Fifth Ward, Elizabeth and Ira spent a good deal of time in genealogy work, working in the Genealogical Society of the Fifth Ward.
In 1925 Elizabeth was voted a member of the Oak Camp of the Daughters of Utah Pioneers. In 1926, she was elected Vice-Captain. This office was held until April 1927 when she was elected captain, with Flora Hatch and Francis Stander as vice-captains. Elizabeth resigned on 25 October 1929 because of an expected visit from the stork. In 1934 she was elected to the office of 1st Vice-Captain of the County Company. This office she held for four years (two terms). This organization did a great service to the county by completing a book on the history of Box Elder County. The work of gathering material for the book had been going on for years and there were enough materials for several volumes. The organization to which mother belonged condensed and organized the material and published the book, "The History of Box Elder County." It was a very nice, leather-bound book, printed on nice paper and illustrated. The original manuscript was given to the Relic Hall in the Brigham City Courthouse and is being preserved there. In order to obtain money for the publication of the book, they had a hamburger concession each Peach Day Celebration. Elizabeth spent most of her time at this booth. They had the best hamburgers of any of the concessions.
The family lived at the South Main residence for about eight years then moved to a yellow cement finished home across from the ice plant on First West. A year later they moved to a large frame house on West Forrest Street.
In 1933, my mother found a two-room house for sale, and talked my father into buying it, even though he was reluctant. She was very anxious to have her own home. The first summer they moved in, the boys had to sleep outside. By fall, Dad, with the help of the boys, had a two-room basement built on the front of the house, and the boys were able to sleep there. The rest of the house over the years was gradually built up and remodeled -- two rooms over the basement, the old large kitchen was divided into a kitchen, bath, large closet, hallway, and the bedroom upstairs was divided into two bedrooms. Each new thing that was added or built brought a thrill to the whole family and of course the family did all it could to help. Dan helped by buying bathroom fixtures, Reed did most of the cement work in the basement, Ida had the electric wiring done in the living room and dining room, Lee put in some shrubs, fixed the front walk, and paid the last $200 mortgage. Ellen did a great deal by helping them make payments when the going got tough, and she was also good to the younger children by giving them nice gifts at Christmas time. I didn't do much except help Dad when I could. I remember helping him haul out the old adobe when he tore down the chimney to put up a new one. It was very dirty, dusty work.
At the time while Mother was working in the Primary, the organization was reorganized and mother as secretary was released. She felt quite badly about it but kept it to herself. They had taken all the old minutes which were written in notebooks and copied them all into ledgers which entailed a lot of work, but she had enjoyed the work, and felt that they had accomplished a lot of good. The Bishop, who was also an uncle, said, "Don't feel bad, Lizzie, someday you'll be Relief Society President." That was fulfilled while living in the Fourth Ward.
In the fall of 1934 she became a Relief Society class leader. She held this office until 15 August 1937 when she was called to be president of the Relief Society. While acting as president, she and her two counselors visited every home in the ward personally. She was always kind, gentle, and sympathetic with those who came to her for help.
After serving as president of the Relief Society, mother in 1940 managed the new welfare organization in Brigham. In 1943 she resigned and worked in one of the kitchens at Bushnell General Hospital, which was an army hospital built during World War II. She quit at Bushnell in 1946 when my father had a heart attack and had to be taken care of.
Mother's life has always been one of loving service to her family and to the public. Besides taking care of her own family, mother also helped raise two of her brother Danford's children, Ivy and John Bickmore. Her family loves and admires her for the sacrifices she has made for them -- the children's needs always came first. She always made a house a home and the spirit of love was every there. Mother and Dad always set a good example for their children, and we saw through them how beautiful a marriage could be. It is wonderful to think that their marriage will exist through Eternity.
Written by Edna Schow Jones with the help of Mother.
Box Elder Society
BRIGHAM CITY, May 2 - Members of the Oak camp of the Daughters of Utah Pioneers met at the home of Mrs. Mary I. Rich on Wednesday evening. The meeting was opened with the usual preliminary, with Mrs. Francis Stander, captain of the company in charge.
The program included musical selections by Homer Rich and Joel Greenhalgh; the lesson of the "Mormon Battalion Trail" by Crystal Woodland; sketch of the lives of James Hansen by his granddaughter, Callie Larsen; suggestions of sketches of the lives of pioneers by Mrs. Rena B. Hopkins and Mrs. Rose Young of the County company.
Following the program the bi-annual election of officers resulted as follows: ...Elizabeth Schow, second lieutenant....
The Ogden Standard-Examiner, May 3, 1931, page 4-C