Monday, March 14, 2011

Bessie Isabel Bickley, daughter of William Green and Jane Walton Bickley history

Dear family: Good morning! Here is the history of Bessie Isabel Bickley Law, 4th child and third daughter to William Green and Jane Walton Bickley as recorded on my CD I have of the histories of our family and others. Have a wonderful day, and please read this wonderful life story. Love Uncle Jim


Bessie Isabel Bickley Law, was born on December 18, 1878 to William Green and Jane Walton Bickley. She was the 4th child and third daughter who lived of those born to this couple. She was the pride and joy of all who were in the household. She was a sweet natured child and brought happiness and cheer to all who knew her. This was true all through her life. For all who knew her loved her for her kindness and cheerfulness, her love of her fellow man, and thoughtfulness of others.

She, like the rest of the family was very gifted with musical ability. She composed her first piece when but a small child, and her mother often asked her to play it, which encouraged her. As a baby she often slipped from her mother's lap and ran to the organ and picked out tunes with one hand she had heard others play. She composed many pieces before she was 12. When only about nine or ten, she broke her leg, and while recovering her couch was placed near the organ so she could play as much as she desired.

She was privileged to hear her father and brother and sisters as they practiced the music to play for the dances at Fort Cameron and other places. Her father, Professor William G. Bickley, was a very learned and talented musician and taught and played many musical instruments and was a member of Beaver's first band. He led the choirs wherever he was and composed many anthems for them to sing. He also composed a great many other numbers and was always eager to play for anything or anyone. Like her father, Bessie was very talented and gifted and loved to play for any occasion.

She wrote different parts for different instruments, and had an orchestra in her own family. They put on recitals in Delta, and she was proud of her 10 children as they grew to manhood and womanhood and developed their musical ability.

Her mother, Jane had always drank tea in England and still continued it here. When Bessie came along she constantly pleaded for just a taste from her saucer. She'd slip the tips of her fingers into the saucer and taste it until she learned to like it. Jane resolved that, rather than raise one child to drink tea, thus breaking the word of wisdom, she would quit, herself. She had an extremely difficult time, but she did quit it.

When the Delta First ward was trying to raise money, she wanted to compose a musical to put on to raise money. One night she woke up and got up and wrote the musical. Her father came from Beaver and helped put it on and they raised enough to make the down payment. He composed many musical numbers and hymns, “Haste to the Sunday School,” being one that was in our Hymn Books for some time. She also composed many poems, another of her many talents.

She served nine years as President of the first Delta Primary, fourteen years on the Stake Relief Society, four years on the YLMIA Board and thirty years as Delta First Ward Organist. She was past president of the DUP and the First President of the Delta Am. Legion Aux. Arthur L. Cahoon, Post 89. For two -years she was State Chaplain of the Am. Legion Aux.

She was prominent in music circles, having composed many anthems now sung by LDS choirs and won first prize for her Centennial song in the West Millard Contest, Utah Pioneers. She organized her own children into an orchestra, leading it herself, playing in various wards in Millard Co. using musical selections of her own compositions.

On April 24, 1930 a musical was put on by the Delta 1st ward choir using compositions of Bessie Laws. This is a list of her compositions played or sung:--

ADORATION-----Anthem sung by the choir

I LOVE YOU---- orchestra of Frank, Iris, Rondo, Nina Law

When The Meadow Lark is singing----Vocal Solo

MOTHERS OF MEN----Reading by Mrs. Fannie C. Hilton

HAPPY HOURS----SAX and Cornet duet by Nina and Rondo

CALL and ANSWER----Vocal Trio

FOR YOU----Orchestra of family

DAY DREAMS----Instrumental Duet by Frank and Iris


OLD GLORY----Patriotic reading


Rolling Waters----Orchestra


All accompanied by Bessie Law

She was born and raised in Beaver, Utah. On Oct. 18, 1896 she married Robert Joseph Law, who was also born and raised in Beaver. They lived in Beaver until 1905. Then they moved to Milford where He became a partner in a meat market. They had 4 children at this time. In 1907 she went to visit her sister May in Draper, Utah. In a short time she received a letter from Rob that he had sold their new 4 month old home and his share in the meat market. Le Grande cried for he thought his daddy had sold the hammer. They investigated several things, living on a farm for a short time, but nothing suited them. He went to Idaho to look around, and thought he had found a place he wanted. He had to come home without making the deal but wrote a letter, by the time they read the letter (as it became lost) the place was sold. Bessie was happy over this as she wanted to stay in Utah.

While Rob was looking for a place, Bessie was praying that they might be guided where to go so they could do good and be happy. Then they heard about Burtner, Delta and he went to look it over. He came home enthused and said there were just a few shacks among the greasewoods but "If you are willing, let's go." Bessie was willing so the deal was made. She took the younger 4 children and went to Beaver to stay with her mother for awhile.

Rob took Le Grande and with teams, implements and wagons went to Burtner to prepare a place for them to come to. This was in Feb. 1909. About 2 weeks later he sent for her to come on Saturday. She had to go to Milford and take the train from there. By train time, her friends had persuaded her to stay over and go to meeting and SS with them. She sent a letter on the train telling him she would come the next night.

She spent an enjoyable day with friends, but when she told the Bishop, where she was going, he said, "A rattlesnake wouldn't live there." No one seemed to know where Akin (post office name) was but a friend said she had a brother in law going to Burtner. So she was introduced to Louis Humphrey and he helped her with the children. When he got off at Oasis another man took his place. He was kind and helped her with the children.

When they stopped for Akin it was pitch black, not a light on or anyone in sight, not even a box car. A man stepped out of the dark and asked it this was Sr. Law. He said, RJ was there the night before with a team and buggy but when she didn't come he decided she would let him know when she was ready to come. The letter had got lost and didn't come for 2 months. The man was Irvi McCullough, there to put the mail on the train.

He took Iris on his shoulder and Frank by the hand, and Bessie with Dycie and Orena trailed along behind, through brush, no road or path, for about a mile. When they got to the house Rob was surprised as he didn't expect them yet. That was their introduction to Burtner now Delta, Utah.

Bessie’s prayer had indeed been answered. They had found a place where they could do good and be happy. She was loved by all with whom she came in contact. It was a rough life pioneering a wild country, but they had a wonderful life and raised a wonderful family of 10 children, 7 daughters, and 3 sons, who have grown to be wonderful men and women with families of their own. Rob and Bessie lived in Burtner (Delta) the remainder of their lives. He began merchandising, and because of his good service, kindness and help he rendered when the diversion dam went out, his business grew, until he had to move to larger quarters, twice and finally built a large department store, which he sold to Delmart, when he retired. Everyone learned to love them. He was always eager to help others and gave credit whenever he felt it necessary. Many people were able to pull through that year of no crops because he helped them out. It was pretty hard on him but with help from Salt Lake, he was able to survive.

He passed away on December 11, 1944 and at his funeral it was said, "I think there is no greater tribute I can pay this man than to say that he was an idealist and possessed Faith, Hope, and Charity. Faith to carry on, Hope to stimulate him, and charity towards his fellow man. This character was content to put forth work, that the Desert might blossom 'as a rose'."

After he passed away, she carried on but was finally stricken with arthritis and suffered a great deal and passed away on 20 of Aug. 1947 at their home. The girls had all been with her for some time helping to ease her suffering all they could. I would like to give a few excerpts from the funeral and obituary:

From George F. Boyaek: I thought of her service in this locality, of her wonderful talent to make up anthems, which are sung in many places all over this church. It was my privilege to introduce many of these anthems in wards along the coast and I was proud to say they were compositions of one of my friend. I felt honored. Then I think of her untiring efforts as a real pioneer.

Then I look back and think of the people coming into the church discouraged, feeling downcast and gloomy, with the problems of pioneer life. Sr. Law sat at the organ or piano and played beautiful strains of music for sacrament and the choir and added so much to that hour of worship, that many people went home with hearts much lighter, with more courage, to face the problems of life. Many times I have told her, as I met her in the aisle, 'You'll never know in this life and maybe not in the life to come, the feelings you have soothed, the hearts you have cheered and the comfort you have given through that soft and gentle touch.

Then I think of her as Primary Pres. Her service was outstanding there. I think of her labors in all her church work. She was a wonderful teacher. Many will rise and call her blessed, because she stood at the crossroads of their life, and guided them right. I think of her in all her services always willing cheerful, unselfish in all she was called upon to do. She would always answer in that sweet, cordial way, "Why sure," and would do everything so efficiently.

Her life was full of hope, fear, joy, sorrow, pleasure and pain, but she had that sweet way of hers, of taking all of the experiences of life, whether sunshine or shadow, and used them for her development. She didn't run away from tasks, but used them to make her that much stronger. When I think of her social life, she was always the life of the party. She was always a leader and would do her part to make people smile, and enjoy life, and make everyone happy.

I think of her as a neighbor. The roads were never too muddy for her to go and help someone out. One time I called for her to go with us to visit a shut-in. The inspiration we received, and the cheer she gave, those people will never forget. There is no task too great, nor time too precious, but what Bessie law would render service.

Gene Gardner: Bessie B. Law.---helpmate, and companion, Mother, Grand mother, great grand mother, sister, neighbor, friend, pal, home maker, dressmaker, cook, gardener, Business woman, hostess, poetess, entertainer, composer, pianist, organist, vocalist, chorister, conductor, president, chaplain, teacher, Delta's most beloved pioneer mother. Sister Bessie Law embodies all these appellations of dignity and the combination of these all made her the outstanding person that she was, No one in the world could put more sparkle and cheer into a hearty "Hello," than did Bessie.

Her life was full and fast. She smiled when others would frown. She sang when others would have wept. She praised when others would have found fault. She played when others would have sulked and whined . She gave when others would have selfishly kept. She prayed when others would have doubted and scoffed. She ran, when others walked. Her candle burned at both ends, not uselessly, but purposefully, so of course it could not last the night, but while it burned, it had such a beautiful light.

How glad she has made all of our, hearts with her beautiful music. I have always marveled at her ability and willingness, dependability, her generosity and capacity. But she gave us the secret of it all. She has a little canary. Each morning he wakes her up with a song. But is never satisfied until she tells him "Good Morning." "But, she said, "he never gets my first good morning. I always say my first good morning to my Heavenly Father. As I look out my lovely east window, and see the dawn coming over the hill, I thank him for all I have and ask Him to help me to live so He will always attend me and inspire me and help me to do His will."

Eliza Hook Taylor--She was always thoroughly converted to the D. U.P. Being Pres. of the County a full term, and Pres. of the Helen McCullough Camp. When the call came for each member to contribute $5 to erect a memorial on Capitol Hill in SLC she was so enthused and worked so hard we were the first camp to go over the top.

A bit from Nellie Workman--We were life long friends from the time we first met in 1909. One time my husband and I went to their store and Bessie insisted that we come in and eat with them. At that time people were having it very hard. The dam had gone out and the crops failed. It was pretty tough. But trust R.J. Law. He came to the people's rescue and let them draw on his store and let them pay as they could. After his kindness to the hard stricken people, many would go to the other store when they got a few dollars. My husband said, "No, we will go where they trust us." So he sent to R.J. and said, "I have a little money now. Shall I pay it on my bill and charge some more groceries? He said, "No, get what you want and if you have any left, and want to put it on your bill, you can.”

Bessie and Rob are laid to rest, side by side in the Delta cemetery along with their son Rondo who was killed in a plane crash in 1941 in the service of his country. The rest of the 10 children are scattered over the country with LeGrande and Frank living at Delta. They are still remembered and loved by all their old friends. Sister Nellie Workman lives in Salt Lake City and still gets in touch with Verda remembering the many good times she had with Bessie and Rob.

God just made her eyes like the stars above,

That His glory she could see.

And He filled her soul full of harmony,

That she shared with you and me.

Many dark clouds have been wafted away,

On wings of a mellow song.

For Bessie could melt the most wayward heart,

Correct the course that was wrong.

We humbly pray that our Father above,

Will not His power withhold,

To heal this beloved sister of ours,

And speed her back to our fold.

Compiled by Jennie M. W. Lee from funeral obituary, sermons at the funeral, a history written by Bessie, letters and other material she has collected through the years.

No comments:

Post a Comment