Dora Maude Jones (Wife of Marvel Henry Hancock) A Utah Mormon Historian


Woodland Hills, United States

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Artist's Description

My family and I moved to Payson, Utah around 1903, and my 9 other siblings were all born and raised in this town. I was born in Chihuahua, Dublan, Mexico, the oldest of 10 children.

My life has been planned out by my Heavenly Father, and never once have I felt to question or resent my religion or home. My conscience has been a strict master at all times to me. Life has never been an easy, carefree and joyous time, but rather serious. It was my pride and joy not to miss school nor to be unprepared in a lesson, nor to be just commonly good. I had a deep affection for the whole farm. Oh… the walking we did in those days and how we’d walk home barefooted carrying those new, stiff shoes. When it got dusk we would go out and play Hide and Seek, Run Sheep Run, and Kick the Can. We played these games with our friends during Friday night parties, and would be expected home my 12:00 midnight. My brother Harold was my best friend also, we would ride the same horse together to and from school, we’d go to meetings and dances together, and go to movies with Harold’s best friend Marvel. It seemed only natural for me to start going out with Marvel. Marvel’s mother died in childbirth on March 29. 1916. His father was so depressed and leaned on his oldest son heavily. Marvel always had to help with the other kids and with home care and cooking. It was said that any girl would get a “prize” in Marvel because he was such a good young man. Marvel drove old Sox, a sorrel with white feet, and a one seated buggy. The horse knew the road well, and even though I was timid, I trusted myself with Marvel.

Marvel and I were married in the Salt Lake Temple on June 26, 1918. We went alone to Salt Lake City on the Orem Train. We arrived back in Payson about noon on the hottest day of the year and walked home from there. Just before we were married Marvel got a job working with the Highline Water District. His father furnished horses and a cart for him and he would turn the water out from the canal into the farmer’s fields, he would work from 6:00 a.m. until dark. Marvel had to join the Army. Fortunately WWI ended shortly thereafter and he didn’t have to go overseas and fight.

We bought our first home in 1927 We had a four room frame home and improved upon it. We added a sink and water, a bath and another room out back. We enlarged the basement and made a big bedroom there. We also got a gas furnace and really loved the comfort it gave us. Marvel improved the cabinets and put cement floors in the basement. We papered and carpeted and put up curtains. These were depression times; hard times with sickness. We finally got the house paid for in June, 1939.

We had three children, Marie, LaRay and Leah. Marie was the oldest and was blond. Marie had many, many girlfriends in school and enjoyed school, fashion, and hair-do’s. She and her husband, Vern Clayson traveled the world in the U.S. Army. There were so many things in Marie’s life, no one history can tell it all – the sadness, Army life, coming, leaving, going over seas, many houses, tears and home comings. Marie lived to the age of 62.

Leah had dark hair. Our little Leah became ill in November, 1931 and died February 17, 1934. Oh the suffering and anguish she had staring death in the face. We did everything we could do to make her comfortable. What a letdown when Leah died, I about lost my mind. Life was so empty and I was miserable and I lived only for Marie and LaRay.

We bought LaRay a trumpet with money from selling chickens, and he played in the school band. LaRay also worked for the Highline Water District, at the beet dump, and also on the railroad in Oregon. He married the girl next door, Donna, on May 29, 1946. Marie planned their wedding reception as I was in the hospital. LaRay and Donna rented a home here in Payson, Utah. On April 30, 1947 LaRay died suddenly. Much, much more sorrow! He died from a blood clot to his brain that was caused by a mining accident.

Marvel died from a stroke August 8, 1963. His death was so sudden. A huge funeral was held and many kind feelings were shown him. Oh I miss him so very much. My life seem empty without him. Thank heaven Marie, Vern and the children moved back to Utah to be near me.

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