History of Mary Estelle Whiting Jarman

The day was hot and dry when in Hachita, Grant County, New Mexico Mary Estelle Whiting was born September 10th, 1912 to Charles and Anna Eliza Jacobson Whiting. Doctor Thornberry of Hachita delivered her in the tent assigned to them by the U.S. Government, south of the town. Her mother, Eliza said that their tent was brightened by a baby "just big enough to love". Loving ladies of the tent city helped the Doctor in delivering her and in caring for them. Other babies born during the same period July, 1912 to February, 1913 were to the families of Winnie and Frank Whiting, Eva and Charles Fillerup, Lillie and Martin Sanders and Nora and Sam Donaldson.

On July 12, 1912, the Saints living at Colonia Diaz, Chihuahua, Mexico, were driven out due to the Revolution against Mexican Presidente Diaz. They came directly toward the protruding corner border of New Mexico, a distance of only 17 miles, mostly walking due to lack of space on wagons carrying water, animal feed and a few personal possessions, to become Evacuees and live several months in United States Government tents at Hachita, New Mexico. It was while there and under those conditions, that on September 10th, 1912, Mary Estelle Whiting was born.

Estelle was the sixth child in her family. Her 21 year-old brother John had been killed in a saw-mill accident at St. Johns, Arizona, just before they left Mexico. Her older sister Myrtle, age 19, was in Juarez when the family had to leave and could not join her family until August 3rd of that year, 1912. Their brother Albert James had died as a child 16 months of age. Their sister Iris was 16 and their brother Bill was 3 years old.

The land there was arid. Not much but sage grew in the place. Firewood was even scarce. The younger children were kept busy finding and gathering anything they could for fuel with which to cook. Water was available from a tower, which supplied the town. Children with wagons carried it to the tents as needed, for an occasional coin or two.

Estelle's father Charles Whiting decided to stay as long as possible in New Mexico close to the corner ranch, 45 miles south of Hachita, hoping to be able to return to Diaz in order to bring out other belongings and animals. He brought out all that he could, which was a very dangerous thing to do. Most was left to the whims of the bandits. Some of their animals were saved but little else.

Aunt Verona Snow Whiting, the first wife of Charles, had gone on with her children Amy and husband Ezral Thurber and Estelle's sister, Myrtle to St. Johns, Arizona.

Charles and Eliza moved to Franklin, Arizona, near Duncan, Safford and Thatcher, about 30 miles north-west of Hachita, New Mexico, where they farmed and worked hauling and doing washings. They continued to hope that they could still bring out their belongings, or that the unrest in Mexico would cease and they could return to their homes in Mexico, but they were never able to return. Charles Jr., (son of Verona and Charles) and his wife, Caddie Johnson Whiting with their children Pearl, Bryant and LuLu stayed close to them.

Charles did what he did best to provide for his family. He used his wagons and teams for hauling and hired himself and his teams for ploughing and whatever else he could do to earn a livelihood. Eliza did washings and "hired-out" to clean homes and care for new mothers, to also earn wages.

One day when they were away working, the little cabin they were renting burned down and all they had worked for and brought out of Mexico was lost again. Eliza was especially saddened by the loss of some curtains which she had earned by doing many washings for others. Iris, who was 17 at that time later recalled how her mother was comforted by friends and family. The Bishop at Franklin, Arizona gave Charles a hundred dollars to help them out, the first and only time the family had to receive assistance from the Church.

In the following year, 1913, the family moved to St. Johns, Arizona, to be with the rest of their family. Estelle's sister Iris helped by driving one wagon with her nephew Bryant acting as her swamper. Later, at Iris' funeral September 3, 1978, Bryant said, "she practiced her elocution on me the whole way". Baby Estelle and little brother Bill were good travelers, playing with their nieces and nephews, children of their older brother Charles Jr.

Estelle's grandmother, Mary Elizabeth Cox Whiting had moved to St. Johns, Arizona with four of her other sons, Edwin Marion, Arthur, John Clarence and Fredrick Walter Whiting and her daughter May. It was here at St. Johns that mother Mary Elizabeth had died July 5th, 1912, and was buried there just before Estelle's family was driven out of Mexico.

Estelle lived at St. Johns first in rented homes until her Father could build homes for her Mother and Aunt Verona. Her Grandmother Mary Elizabeth Cox Whiting owned two lots in St. Johns, which the family felt should go to their brother, Charles. Obtaining lumber from brother Eddie's Lumber Mills, Charles was able to build two small houses for his two families. Eventually a few pieces of furniture were obtained or made, making the homes more liveable.

An observation by Estelle's brother, Frank Marion Whiting, tells of their father, Charles' enjoying the labor of using his team and wagons for a livelihood and in breeding fine horses and in Animal Husbandry. He had learned earlier that his farming skills were not as productive as these other vocations. Although the family was able to grow a few things for their own needs, they did not plant large crops for sale or barter. They depended upon income derived by hauling lumber, grain and alfalfa to the people in Apache County. He was an expert teamster. He could drive two wagons abreast simultaneously.

Charles was good at making simple pieces of furniture. One piece shown in pictures of the Brown household was a rocking chair that he made for his daughter, Estelle. Estelle often said, when seeing the pictures, "daddy made that little chair for me". It was used in the George and Iris Brown household for many years, where Estelle grew up.

When she was 5 years old, Estelle's father was killed in a wagon accident. While hauling a load of grain near St. Johns, with two wagons, one of his horses saw a dead animal at the side of the road and shied, throwing Charles under the wagon, where his head was crushed. His son Bernard was with him and went for help, but it was too late. By this time Myrtle had married Archibald Isaacson, and Iris had married George Brown.

During World War I, there was a terrible influenza epidemic, killing many in the world. George was away in France. Their mother, Eliza, with Estelle and Bill were staying with Iris. Eliza became ill and died of influenza. At this time, Estelle was not quite 7 years old. She and Bill lived with Iris until the armistice. Later Bill went to live with Myrtle and Arch.

As a sister, Estelle was very helpful, a real friend and a good example to the 8 Brown children, (her nieces and nephews). She was loved dearly by George and Iris. She and Bill played together often. They loved to climb trees at grandfather John William Brown's home across the street. They played in the grain bin and would sometimes chew the wheat until it was like gum. Estelle was also an expert gatherer of pine-gum. She knew how to find the pink colored gum on the old pine trees, not the clear or dark-colored kind, which was bitter and sticky.

Estelle went to school at the Elementary School, then attended St. Johns Academy for her High-School education, where grandfather John William Brown was the School Master. She was loved by all her Whiting and Brown cousins. Several of the families had inter-married. Frank Brown had married Martha Whiting. Jack Albert Brown had married Elda Whiting. May Whiting had married Herbert Berry, a cousin of the Brown's. These were but a few. Several Whitings' married Berry cousins also. Herbert Berry married May Whiting for example. All this was Estelle's close family.

They had great fun, often holding dramatic plays in the horse-shoeing stalls. A friend of hers, Norma Jarvis remembered a reading that Estelle had given, which told of a family who had the mumps having a "swell" time. Estelle was usually a cheerful, playful person full of fun. She admitted to being "not quite a Saint" as the temptation to taste someone else’s ripe watermelons in the field became too great. She swam in the city irrigation ditch along with half the town along its path as it wound its way across the back of homes in St. Johns. She played "Sailor" with her sister's wash tubs and delighted in her special close relations with nieces and nephews, many older than her. She also loved to swing from the rafters in the barn, down onto the new piles of hay.

Sometimes during the summers they made home-made ice cream with fresh cream and with ice stored from the winter in ice houses, using saw-dust from the saw mills to insulate it. It would not thaw all summer long. They also roasted fresh ears of corn over campfires and sang for hours. The 24th of July was always a very special time for celebration in the town. There were new dresses, races, dances and games. The summers were filled with many happy memories spent with family members and friends.

When she was 14, Estelle was very sad when her grandfather John William Brown died, November 3, 1926. Barbara remembered being awakening by her to learn of the loss and of their crying together.

The Whitings' presented plays and gave lots of entertainment to the people of St. Johns before Brother Anderson came to put on more sophisticated plays, operettas and musicals.

When George had a job offer in Phoenix, 200 miles from St. Johns, the family moved there. Estelle came back to St. Johns to finish her high school for a few months, where she lived at Aunt Cynthia Brown's house (the first wife of Grandpa Brown). That summer, when she returned to Phoenix, she worked selling cosmetics door to door and at A & W Root Beer stands. It was this summer that she also met and was courted by Marlin Joseph Jarman. Marlin had a sporty little Ford coupe with a rumble seat. She said she had lots of friends but didn't date much until she left St. Johns.

When the summer in Phoenix became too hot, the family went back to St. Johns for a short escape. It was here that Marlin came to claim his bride of just under 20 years of age. They were married by Bishop Anderson in George and Iris' home, on the 4th of August, 1932. On their way back to Phoenix, they spent their honeymoon and were sealed in the Mesa Temple October 18th of that same year. Their first home was at Marlin's brother Will and his mother Jarman's. Next, they rented from Grant's a home in the midst of a beautiful citrus grove. It was here that a tow-headed beauty, Carol Lynn was born.

Sometimes, when George would attend insurance conventions, he would take Iris with him, leaving their children in the care of Estelle and Marlin. One time, during a two-week trip, when they returned, the baby, Frank clung to Marlin and screamed when his parents wanted to take him back.

The above is by Beverly Brown Killpack, niece of Estelle. The following is by Estelle and Marlin's Daughter, Carol:

Some of the earliest memories of Mother and Dad were at our home on 38th street in Phoenix. Our parents were renting a little house located on the property of Paul and Susie Grant at 36th street and the Arizona Canal. Their first child, Carol was born there in 1933. Marlene, their second child was also born there in 1935.

Mother and Dad bought 2 1/2 acres of land on 38th street between Thomas Road and Indian School Road in about 1935. At the time this was way out in the country with unpaved roads and lots of weeds. It was here that home for most of us began. Dad built the little house in which we lived and were raised. Kieth, Stephen, Catherine and Douglas were born there.

By this time, Dad had gone to work for Arizona Public Service. At that time it was known as Central Arizona Power and Light. He started there and steadily rose through the ranks to the position of Supervisor of Distribution. He knew the power lines so well that he could tell where he was in the city by looking at the wires and where they went. He was responsible for a number of innovative types of equipment that the company adopted for use. He was always very busy during the summer thunderstorm season and many times would be out two or three days at a time, working overtime and time and a half, without sleep. These phrases became very important as they meant extra money for the family.

The summer storms could be violent. On one occasion, on 38th street, a storm came up pretty bad and Dad was set to go to work. We were living in a tent and the wind was rocking it pretty good. He left and got about half a mile down the road when he saw that the storm was getting a bit worse, so he turned around and headed back home. He found us trying to keep dry and keep the tent from blowing away. He just picked us all up and put us in the car and waited until it blew over. We were all scared to death and were so glad to have our dad there. We did feel protected and loved by our parents. Although we had little in the way of material possessions, we did know they would do anything to see that we had food, clothing and shelter.

We had many happy summers as children. There were large trees to climb and hide in and places where we could dig fortresses in the ground to see if we could dig to China.

Down the street there were large irrigation ditches where we spent many hot summer days swimming, floating in inner tubes from tires and making mud houses and towns on the ditch bank.

We always had a fresh cow, chickens, ducks and for awhile a large draft horse named "Bess" that dad used to cultivate the pasture and large garden that we kept.

Mother canned and put up vegetables and fruit from the garden and elsewhere. We would have to clean and sterilize the canning jars and help peel and prepare the produce. This was hot steamy work that was done on a cooking stove in a kitchen without air conditioning, in the hottest part of a Phoenix summer. We learned early that if you wanted to eat, you had to work to get it.

We lived at the home on 38th street until about 1949 or 1950 and then mom and dad built a new 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom home on Wilshire, between 40th street and 44th street and Thomas Road and McDowell. What an exciting event that was. To have a real bathroom and inside toilet was pure luxury and we watched that house go up with growing anticipation. It was wonderful and we girls especially appreciated having our own bedroom and bath. It was while we were waiting for our home to be built that Edwin was born. We were renting a house at the time so Ed did not live in the house on 38th street.

It was always exciting and fun to have a new baby come home. I don't think we ever felt jealousy because of them. We all had our turn watching and caring for them and they were just a lot of fun. Of course we didn't have the 2AM feedings, diaperings etc. to do either.

Several experiences stand out during our growing up years that were etched in our memories. Keith was about 4 or 5 years old when he became very ill with a high fever and hallucinations because of it. Of course it scared us all and mother and dad took him in to Doctor Running, a local pediatrician. The doctor was quick to diagnose osteo-mylitis, a fatal bone disease, and he put him in the hospital immediately. Well remembered is the feeling of loss and panic when our mother and dad returned home without our little brother. Mother was crying and dad was nearly beside himself with grief and fear. Keith was administered to by the priesthood that night and promised he would live. The doctors had no such feelings however and gave us little hope. There was no drug to treat this disease at that time. Penicillin was not yet available, though it was in use during the late years of World War II. He did live however and hung on until penicillin became available with which to treat him, something of a miracle. Dad often remarked that they would look at him and say "This boy should not have lived." Of course, they meant he could not have lived according to their wisdom and ability to treat him. We knew, because our parents taught us, that it was the power of the priesthood that saved him, otherwise he could not have lived.

It was during this time that Douglas was born. He had a tough time of it. The umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck a number of times and he was born dead. The doctor worked for some time to get him breathing and finally did. About six weeks later, Douglas became very ill and listless. He almost seemed unconscious at times and so another trip to Doctor Running was necessary and another diagnosis. This time it was polio, a dread disease,that came in the summer time and caused a paralysis of the muscles. There was no known cure. And so we saw our mother and father again have to leave a child in the hospital and come home with the terrible news. It was a hard time for our parents and for all of us. It was several years before we were again together as a family and what great joy and happiness it was to again see our little brothers and have them home.

Mother and Dad's 8th child was born after our move. Timothy was a beautiful big boy, born after Carol was married in 1953.

Mother and Dad were able to serve in a number of different positions in the Church and were called several times as stake missionaries. They served for years as Extractors for Temple names.

In 1968, Dad retired from Arizona Public Service and they decided to buy some land in Paonia, Colorado, to be for a retirement home. They put a trailer and lean-to on it and it was fairly comfortable. They had five acres of land and grew fruit and vegetables on it, which kept them busy during the summer months there.

During this time, they were called as full-time Missionaries to Little Rock, Arkansas, Mission which later became the Tulsa, Oklahoma Mission. They had many sacred, hilarious, sad and aggravating experiences on that mission, but it remains a supremely happy experience for both of them. If health and finances had permitted, they would have served another mission.

Mother has served others all her life. She has cared for her children and husband, her neighbors and friends with love, counsel and wit. She has baked "tons" of bread and cinnamon rolls, canned vegetables and fruit, has sewed, knitted and crocheted for children and grandchildren. She has had an unbeatable spirit and wit. She has endured and fought back from illness and misfortune. She even conquered a snake bite.

Dad has also been very hardy and a valiant soul. He is very talented musically. He could make anything with his hands. He was strict, but at the same time was a tender parent, who loved his children and was very proud of them.

We children feel blessed to have had a Mother and Father who taught us the Gospel and set an example of service and sacrifice for us. All of their Sons (5) served LDS Church missions and all their children were married in the Temple and are active in the Church today. This is no small accomplishment.

This year of 1992, they now have over 40 Grandchildren and several Great Grandchildren. They truly have a posterity that arises and calls them "blessed".

These are only some of the memories and highlights as remembered by Carol, their daughter, of a long and eventful life together for Mary Estelle Whiting, Marlin Joseph Jarman and their family.