History of William Verland Whiting

After 13 years of yearning for more children, a sweet little boy was born in Colonia Diaz, Chihuahua, Mexico, August 12th, 1909. He was so welcome. He was his family's delight and his name was to be William Verland Whiting. His father, Charles Whiting, and his mother, Anna Eliza Jacobson, had not had children for so long, because of Eliza's developing an illness which was not understood very well in those days. Having lost another wife, and other children in death, gave them greater concern for her health and well being.

Soon after "Bill's" older sister, Iris, was born, his mother Eliza began to experience "blackouts", where she would not be aware for a few seconds. She would not fall down, but only stand motionless. These were seizures of a petit mall type, better understood and controlled in these later days, under medical awareness. Some thought she had an injury, but it can also be brought on from various illness'. With no doctors in their area, they did the best they could. Eventually a medication was found to control the seizures, but it caused blemishes on her beautiful complexion.

His older brother, John, was 19 years old, his older sister, Myrtle, 17, Iris, 13. John was only to stay in Mexico two years of Bill's babyhood. Myrtle taught school, so was away sometimes.

With the injury and death of his older brother, John, August 12th, 1911, began shock after shock for the family to endure.

The death of his grandmother, Mary Elizabeth Cox, in St. Johns, Arizona, July 5th, 1912, came just days before the exodus from Mexico July 28th, 1912. With only 6 hours to prepare, in the middle of the night, they had to leave by 10 AM, taking only the barest essentials.

His mother was expecting another baby. Across the border, at Hachita, New Mexico, USA, they stayed as exiles in tents for awhile, where a little sister for 3 year old Bill, Mary Estelle was born on September 10th, 1912. With no place to call their own, Bill's father Charles, 59 years old, his mother Eliza, 41 years old, poor as paupers, they had to start from scratch. They had their lives and the Gospel. The family finished out the year working to provide the few essentials needed for living, then travelled on. Just before they were to leave, while the family was away working, the small house they were renting burned. Again, they lost all.

In the spring of 1913 they arrived at St. Johns, Arizona, to join other members of the family, who had gone on ahead. Charles, his father, and older sons gathered lumber from uncle Eddie's sawmill, and two houses were built for his mother and aunt Verona.

His two sisters, Myrtle and Iris were married, Myrtle to Archibald Isaacson from St. Johns, September 26th, 1913; and Iris to George Albert Brown from St. Johns, July 18th, 1917.

When Bill was only 8 years of age, he experienced the loss of his beloved father, Charles, in a tragic accident, while hauling grain by wagon from Nutrioso, to St. Johns on December 20th, 1917. Charles and uncle Bernard, were each driving two wagons with four horses. Just outside of St. Johns, the horses shied at the sight of a dead horse by the side of the road and swung widely, throwing Charles off and under the wheels, where he was killed instantly.

World War I was on. Several family members were called to serve. Those Bill had just begun to know were now gone from St. Johns.

During the influenza epidemic following the war, several people of the town died. Weakened also by her illness as well as the struggles since exile, his mother Eliza, died of influenza at age 46, when Bill was 10 years old, on January 23rd, 1919. They were all living with Iris while she took care of her ailing mother. Bill and Estelle stayed on with her and her family for some time, then Bill went to live with his sister, Myrtle and her husband, Arch Isaacson.

Bill and Estelle loved each other. They often went to "grandmother" Thurza Brown's yard, where they climbed the tall trees and played with all their cousins. Grateful for sisters to love them, still these little children had little emotional security, with so many recent shocks of life. Sisters are good. Mothers and fathers are better. They did the best they could for each other.

Bill attended school at St. Johns Academy. He was often an actor in plays sponsored by the community, sometimes with Iris.

At a young age, he looked for and found a father figure in Carl Hamblin. He left and went to live at Carl's home.

At age 20, in Red Mesa, La Plata, Colorado, Bill met and married Vira May Hamblin, born at Nutrioso, Arizona, daughter of John Dudley Hambliln and Emma Celestia Willden, on September 22, 1929, during the time of the great depression. They had one child born there, a son Wallace Dean, on June 20th, 1930. Bill was a hard worker. He had a steady job in spite of the depression. Vira's family was having a struggle and they all came to live with them. This was a burden for young Bill. He could not carry it longer. He asked his wife, Vira to leave her family, bring their baby and go away with him, but she would not. They were later divorced. Bill had little contact with his son from that time on.

After the divorce, Bill decided to see the country, so without much money, he hitch-hiked and rode the rails, across the United States and back.

When he met and was dating a girl from Globe, Arizona, he would come to Iris' home in Phoenix to have her iron a special shirt for him to wear. He was working near Globe, helping to build roads. December 3, 1937, at Globe, Arizona, he married Lola Loeta Snoddy. She was born at Hilton, Texas, June 12, 1914, daughter of James Moten Snoddy and Alice Jane Lynn.

Their life was centered around Bill's work, which was highway construction with Arizona State Highway Department. They owned a trailer home and moved it to various locations as needed. When they worked near Phoenix, he and Lola would park it in the back field, near George and Iris' home. He always drove a good truck and pulled a nice trailer.

Bill had a nice collection of guns as a hobby. He was a gunsmith and designed his own gunstocks. He loved to own and display them.

He was very friendly and loved to visit his family whenever he could. He would tell them of his experiences. The children climbed upon his knee and loved him. He was remembered with fondness as a person with a kind heart by his nieces and nephews. He was a hard worker and a good provider for his family.

A new baby, William Verland Whiting, Jr. was born at Phoenix, Arizona, January 18, 1943. He lived only two days. Services for the baby were held at Greenwood Memorial Park, buried in the area "For Babies Only", behind the mausoleum. Bishop David O. Stohl conducted the services and dedicated the grave. B.H. Alexander, counselor in the Phoenix Third Ward Bishopric, gave a prayer. A song was sung by Marlin Jarman, Bill's brother-in-law. A few remarks were given by a friend of Bill and Lola', Harless Smithson.

Now, World War II was under way. He was inducted into the Army and left for Fort McArthur, California, January 28, 1944. Later he was stationed at Camp Abbott, Oregon, then Camp Bowie, Texas, then he sailed for Europe with Company F, 333rd S.S. Engineers Regiment, serving under General George W. Patton. During the war he was involved in constructing air runways and roads as a heavy construction operator. On two separate occasions he had tractors blown out from under him.

After the war he returned home. Lola had saved all his money for him, but had not waited for him. They were divorced in 1946 at Phoenix. Bill was very upset at this time in his life. He tried as best he could to fill his time with work and family. It was at this time that Bill decided to see other parts of the United States. He travelled by hitch-hiking through most of the country.

While his nephew, George A Brown, was still overseas in the war, he took George's wife, Alice Pritchard Brown, to dinner a few times. She said he was a very nice person.

He later re-married, this time to a widow, Faye Nielson, from Utah. She was raising two grand-children at the time of her marriage. Because of Bill's need to move with his work, it was difficult for the children to get their schooling. A boarding-school was the solution for a period of time.

The family later settled in Cornville, Arizona, where they built a home by their own efforts. Bill ingeniously used surplus World War II ammunition boxes for the construction of the walls. It had a lovely garden, including a small greenhouse, where Faye raised African Violets, which she sold in the Flagstaff market.

Iris, Estelle and Barbara visited Bill and Faye at Cornville quite often and they corresponded regularly.

When his wife Faye died of diabetis in February of 1979, Bill asked her children to stay on with him and take care of him in his ill health, with the agreement they could have the property when he died. He suffered with emphysema and needed an oxygen tank in his home during the latter part of his life. They cared for him until his death, two years after hers, July 14th, 1981. The funeral was held in Cornville, Arizona. Some of those attending his services were his only living son, Wallace Dean Whiting and his wife, Ethel; Elva Shumway, Barbara Brown Lee, Beverly Brown Killpack, Raymond and Leonard Isaacson, Estelle Whiting Jarman, several of his wife Faye's family. He was buried at the cemetery in St. Johns, Arizona, near his mother and father... together at last.

Bill's son, Wallace Dean Whiting, lived with his mother, Vira May Hamblin, and her second husband, W.R. Brakey. Dean filled a Church mission to Tahiti, has served as a bishop and as a temple guide in Salt Lake City, and at this date, 1990, is an ordinance worker at the Jordan River Temple as well as branch president of the Tahitian Branch at the Mission Training Center, in Provo, Utah. Dean married Ethel Jensen, daughter of Leo Lorenzo Jensen and Lydia Ceril Jones from Bountiful and they have 6 daughters, Christine Whiting Carroll with 4 children, Mary Ann Whiting Forgie with 3 children, Teresa Whiting, Nina Sue Whiting Amott, Jeanette Whiting Ballamis with 4 sons, and Denise Yvonne Whiting at this time, 1990. (11 grand-children).

  1. Wallace Dean Whiting
  2. Iris Whiting Brown
  3. George A Brown, Jr.
  4. Barbara Brown Lee
  5. John Whiting Brown
  6. Beverly Brown Killpack
  7. Raymond and Lorraine Isaacson