Wednesday, August 15, 2012



This is a poem I had to recite as a very small child. All I could remember was just how scared I was and that my Mother, Mary Elizabeth Schow, had spent hours teaching it to me so I could say it in front of her Relief Society meeting.

Through the years I tried hard to remember the poem and could not remember except the last line. One night, as I was nearing my sixty-fifth birthday, I couldn't sleep so I turned television on. Of all programs it was the Johnny Carson program and as I was just about to change the channel I could hear the poem from so long ago being recited. I couldn't believe my ears. But Johnny was reciting it and told who the author was. So I went to the library and with a little bit of help, I was able to locate the poem and the sequel to go with it. This is the poem.
Beth Stagge

I never saw a purple cow,
I never hope to see one.
But I can tell you anyhow
I'd rather see than be one.

Ah, yes, I wrote the "Purple Cow"
I'm sorry now I wrote it.
But I can tell you, anyhow,
I'll kill you if you quote it!
Gelett Burgess

U.S. City Directories, Ogden, Utah 1977
Stagge Beth (Wid Marvin) emp Penney's h3062 Jefferson Av

Beth was a den mother for Cub Scouts of America when Bruce was a Cub Scout. She put so much time and effort into this activity. I remember her making a carousal cake for one of the Pack Meetings and remember them marching in a parade.

United States Census, 1930 for Beth Schow
Name: Beth Schow
Event: Census
Event Date: 1930
Event Place: Brigham, Box Elder, Utah
Gender: Female
Age: 8
Marital Status: Single
Race: White
Birthplace: Utah
Estimated Birth Year: 1922
Immigration Year:
Relationship to Head of Household: Daughter
Father's Birthplace: Utah
Mother's Birthplace: Utah
Enumeration District Number: 0006
Family Number: 332
Sheet Number and Letter: 15B
Line Number: 78
NARA Publication: T626, roll 2414
Film Number: 2342148
Digital Folder Number: 4547393
Image Number: 00203

Household, Gender, Age
Parent - Ira M Schow, M, 54
Parent - Elizabeth Schow, F, 47
Ira L Schow, M, 18
Reed Schow, M, 15
Danford Schow, M, 12
Ida Schow, F, 10
Beth Schow, F, 8
Edna Schow, F, 5
found on

Autobiographical Sketch:  Sister Beth Schow Stagge
This was published in our Ward monthly paper, so I thought you might like to read it.  it could have been better, but I didn't have much time on it.

I was born in Brigham City, Utah, on September 25, 1921, the eighth of ten children.  Our family consisted of three girls, three boys, then three girls, and a boy.  My parents were Ira Michael Schow and Elizabeth Bickmore.  Of the ten children, six are still living.  We have been extremely close-knit family, although we are scattered throughout the county.  We keep in touch regularly through a round robin letter.

I was blessed with the most wonderful parents in the world.  I have many memories of my childhood, many in connection with frequent sickness.  I remember Dad's often holding me with such loving care and tenderness.  I always felt so safe.  Mom often did the same.  I was often told of a time when I was seriously ill.  The doctor had been to the house and told Mother he had done all he could do.  Dad called the Elders to give me a blessing.  In the morning I was much better.  Both Mother and Dad felt it was due to the power of the priesthood which may have guided Mother to her home remedy of turpentine and sugar, followed by a good dose of caster oil.  At any rate, when the doctor came that morning and saw how much better I was, he was so happy that he went down town and bought me a doll.

Other memories of my youth are of the Brigham City Peach Days.  Every year we had to march in the parade.  One year one of my sisters was dressed as a doctor and another was dressed as a nurse, and I was also dressed as a nurse.  My Mother and sister had worked so hard on our nurses uniforms.  We made such a hit, we had to march in the parade the following year too.  I think we won first prize both years.  Peach Days were such special occasions.  We left home in time for the parade then spent the entire day participating in the festivities.

Other fond memories are of our Christmases.  Although Christmases were lean at our house since we never got more than one present, it was always one of the best, happiest times of the year in our house.  Mother always had managed to fix a special dinner and to have some goodies around.  Her sweet rolls were especially good.  One very special Christmas; we didn't have a tree the day before Christmas; we were all after Dad to get one, pestering him all day.  Finally as it was getting dark, he told three of us children we could go to Ken Jensen's to get one.  He gave us fifty cents.  We ran all the way because we were afraid the place would be closed.  Arriving there just in time, we told Mr. Jensen what we wanted.  He gave us our choice of trees but didn't take our money.  When we got home, Dad put up the tree and we decorated it with paper chains, strung popcorn and cranberries, and a few ornaments.  When we were through, I stood back and thought surely I had gone to heaven.  To me, it was the most beautiful tree in the world.  I don't remember getting any presents that next morning.  All I know is we had a beautiful tree and a very happy Christmas.  Mom and Dad had a way of making a bad situation turn out to be something wonderful.

I recall that when I was a very little girl my Mother would spend hours at her treadle sewing machine.  She was an excellent seamstress, but she also had very bad legs and couldn't always operate the treadle.  I'd sit on the floor and do the treadling for her.  In fact, all of us children would take our turns doing that.

I was baptized on October 5, 1929, when I was eight years old.  I attended school in Brigham City and am a graduate of Box Elder High School.  Years later I went to Heneger's College to learn machines in order to obtain a job.

On February 21, 1940, I married Marvin Louis Stagge.  After we were married, we lived in Ogden for three years then moved to El Cerrito, California, where we lived for about twelve years.  We then moved to Concord, California, in 1955.  My husband was a parts manager for one of the biggest Ford dealerships in California for many years.  In 1968 we came back to Ogden on a vacation.  At that time Marvin's father needed our care, and also to be near my Mother, so Marv retired and we moved here to the home where I currently reside.

My husband and I had three wonderful children: Gary Louis was born in Ogden, Utah in 1941; JoAnn was born in Brigham City, Utah, in 1943; Bruce Clare was born in Richmond, California, in 1951.  I was privileged to stay at home to raise my children.  Both Gary and JoAnn still live in California; Bruce lives in Layton, Utah.  I now have eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

After we moved back to Ogden, I started to work at J.C. Penney's in 1970, retiring in 1984.  My husband died May 6, 1975 from pneumonia.

I've always had a strong testimony of the gospel but at times was not active in the church, although I always maintained a degree of involvement with the church.  After I retired and returned to total activity in the church, I received my temple endowments and was sealed to my husband August 30, 1985.  I've never been happier in my life than since being active in the church.  I was called to work in the Ogden Temple on May 25, 1989, but regrettably had to be released from that calling on September 4, 1990, because of poor health.  I loved every minute of my service there.

In 1987 I had heart surgery.  I have such a strong testimony of the laying on of hands by the priesthood.  I never would have come through the surgery without it.  Priesthood blessings have helped me through many illnesses in my life.  I now suffer from chronic asthma and have to be on oxygen all the time.  My condition prevents my attending church as much as I would like to.

With my health as it is now, I am blessed to be able to stay in my own home.  Having good renters in the basement, starting with Bishop Larry Giles, has made it possible to remain in my home.  Currently Joan and Michael Freestone of our ward are living there.

During my life I have had many hobbies.  Among them are sewing, oil painting, knitting, crocheting, plastic canvas work and other kinds of crafts.  I loved bowling and bowled on a leagues for many years.  I have always loved music.  I even played the French horn in my high school band.  Music has been a source of joy all through my life.

Everyone in our ward has been so wonderful.  I have been blessed with a wonderful heritage and with wonderful children.  I'm very proud and happy to call myself Beth Schow Stagge.

The First Word, Orchard Park 1st Ward, Ogden, Utah, May 1994

U.S. Social Security Death Index for Beth Stagge
First Name: Beth
Middle Name:
Last Name: Stagge
Name Suffix:
Birth Date: 25 September 1921
Social Security Number: 528-16-8945
Place of Issuance: Utah
Last Residence: Weber, Utah
Zip Code of Last Residence: 84403
Death Date: 22 December 1995
Estimated Age at Death: 74
found on

Personal Record
Blessed 6 November 1921 by N. J. Valentine;Bishop Thos. C. Blackburn; Clerk May R. Horsley (Second Ward Box Elder Stake)
Baptized 5 October 1929 in Brigham City, Box Elder, Utah, by Delbert N. Hansen (P)
Confirmed 6 October 1929 by Clarence E. Merrell
Married Marvin Louis Stagge on 21 February 1940 in Brigham City, Utah by Wilford Freeman
Patriarchal blessing by Nephi J. Valentine on 15 November 1937
found in genealogy book of Beth Schow Stagge

Letter to her Mother and Dad
Dear Mother and Dad,

I thought I just drop you a merry Christmas and a happy new year.  We will sure be thinking of you.

The kids are so excited about Christmas.  They ask us about every hour how long it is till Santa will come.  We have a beautiful tree this year and our room is decorated very nice.  We have everything ready and we are just waiting.  Marv fixed a two wheeled bike up for Gary and we bought a tryke for JoAnn.  I think the kids will have a good time.

I took the kids into Oakland last week to see Santa.  Each child that sees Santa has his picture taken.  They are sure cute the ones that we got of the kids.  After Christmas I am going to send them home for you to see.

We got a letter from Ralph the other day.  He is getting married the 27th and then him and his wife are coming out to see us on their honeymoon.

Marv has been getting all kinds of Christmas presents out at work.  He is as happy as a kid.

Well I guess I had better close for tonight.  And again we sincerely wish you a merry Christmas and a happy new year and may God bless you both and may this letter find you both well and happy.

Good night dears
Beth, Marv, Gary and JoAnn
Sent from El Cerrito, California, December 22, 1946

She played the French Horn.  Third row third from the right. Age 16
Box Elder High School, Brigham City, Utah 1939
"The Box Elder Band of four years ago had a very fine and high reputation.  After a lapse of two years it is out to regain that reputation.  After a fine trip to the coast last summer the band started school with a determination to become the outstanding band of the state.  There are many graduating seniors who have never been in an outstanding box Elder Band and they are out to win.  So watch Box Elder's Band become the state leader it once was."
Found on

Box Elder High School Yearbook, Brigham City, Utah 1937
Found on

I think she is in the fifth row in front of and between the two girls in white.
"Last year we rated highly superior in both "Sight Reading" and "Marching" at Price.  Although we will be playing this year, without thirty-eight of last year's graduates, we know we hve a good band and will be fighting for dear old Box Elder.  We have had a read successful year having played at all football and basketball games, at our gym, and have taken the usual fine trips with the chamber of Commerce and the Peach Days Committee.  The really fine support we have had from the School Board and our community makes us proud to be in Box Elder's Band; and we hope we can continue to merit the compliments that come to us."
Found on

Box Elder High School Yearbook, Brigham City, Utah 1937  
Vocations Club
Top row 2nd from right 
"Wisdom is knowing what to do next: skill is knowing how to do it; and virtue is doing it.
Our club consists of 56 girls all interested in finding the ting in life that we can do best, and that will bring in return the greatest amount of happiness.  We further believe that Booker T. Washington was right when he said, "Everyone can find some place and do some work better than anybody else.  To find that place at the earliest day and to do that work in the worthiest way, that is to be successful."
Found on

Ogden, Utah, City Directory
 Stagge Marvin L (Beth) h 88 Wilson la

Beth Stagge (Wid Marvin) employee Penney's h3052 Jefferson Av
3052 Stagge Beth Mrs @ 392-4312

Richmond, California, City Directory, 
1519 Richmond El Cer
Spouse M L Stagge

Beth Stagge, 2324 Jerilyn dr Concord
Spouse Marin L Stagge

Spouse Marvin L Stagge Found on

Beth Schow (left in photo) was born in the church, but became inactive when she was married. She had some Word of Wisdom problems over the years, which may have caused her health problems with her lungs and heart. After her husband (Marvin Louis Stagge) passed away, she spent some time with her sister Edna Jones (far right in photo). While staying with her sister, Beth was able to conquer her Word of Wisdom problems. They worked on making quilts, which helped her concentrate on something positive. Beth was always an expert seamstress and loved creating clothing, crafts, and quilts. (Her granddaughter Laura Ann Miller has a pink baby quilt that Beth made during this time.) Beth lived in Ogden, Utah, at this time, living in the home she and her husband bought after her in-laws passed away. During this time she became active in the church. She was able to go to the temple and have her husband and children sealed to her. She then became a temple worker in the Ogden Temple, until her health made that impossible. I think that all her life she wanted to come back to the church, but various circumstances had stopped her. Her story is a great example of never giving up on someone's returning to the Gospel no matter how long they had been away. The Lord always provides a way when someone is willing to make the effort.
written by her daughter, JoAnn Stagge (Miller)

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