Written by Dad (himself) and copied by Mom (Eva May Murdoch)
I was born July 9, 1899 in Provo, Utah. I was born in a little white house South of Grandma Holden’s house on 4th East and 1st North in Provo. I am the son of Martin Isaac Bushman and Ruia Holden Bushman. I was the fifth child in our family of seven. There were 6 boys and one girl. My parents lost three boys and a girl before I was born.
Mother asked a friend of hers, who was a Patriarch, Jessie B. Martin, to give me a blessing which he did. I received this Patriarchal blessing when I was 6 weeks old. It was a great comfort to my mother and father and a joy to have a baby in their home again. The first four children had previously died. My father was the scribe for this blessing. We have the original blessing in h is handwriting.
I was given the name of Bliss LeRoi Bushman. I was named after my grandfather, Giles Bliss Holden. His mother’s maiden name was Bliss and my middle name was after LeRoi C. Snow, a long time friend of my grandpa Martin Benjamin Bushman in Lehi.
Some of my earliest memories are of living on Second South between 3rd and 4th East in the Provo First ward. My brother Ted was born in this home, July 21, 1902. I was three years old at this time. My father taught at the Franklin School. He was one of the presidents of the Seventies Quorum of the First Ward in Provo Stake.
In 1904, when I was five years old, my father was called to go on a mission to England. He was 39 years old. Mother, Ted and I went to live with my grandmother Holden, who lived on 90 North 4th East. She was a widow. Grandmother took care of Ted and I while Mother worked at the county court house and later in the office of Roylance Fruit Company. This was to support our family. Grandpa Martin Benjamin Bushman supported Dad on his mission. Old Dr. Taylor, not a Mormon (His father was an apostate and he wasn’t baptized) said, “He would take care of us and he would never send us a bill. If any man has that faith to go on a mission, then I’ll do my part.” We weren’t sick very many times.
Father labored in Liverpool, London and Norwich conference. While he was in Norwich, he was made conference president. President Hugh B. Brown (then 19 years old) was his secretary. Pres. Brown told me that my Dad taught me in the Parker School. He said that I sure had to tow the line, while I was in his class. When Pres. Brown lived in the Yalecrest Ward, he told this to me.
President Heber J. Grant was the European Mission President. (I have a newspaper picture of the Elders in the Mission). Dad was away from home for over two years.
When he returned home, we moved to a home on 551 East First North in Provo, just a block from Grandmother’s house. We (meaning my Dad and Mom) later bought the house and lived there several years.
When I was 9 years old, my brother Robert was born, we were so happy to have a new baby in our home. We were a family again. My Father taught school for many years. He was Assistant Principle at the Franklin School and later Principal at the Page School. In the summer time, he leased 10 acres of land, raising garden produce–sugar beets and hay. As Ted and I grew older, we helped Dad on the farm. We had many good times together.
As a boy, I was interested in sports of all kinds, fishing, skating, hunting and roaming the hills east of Provo. I learned to swim in a canal east of us. I loved to swim. The canals and ponds east of us froze over each year. This is where we skated and had lots of fun. I used to ride my bike up along the millrace on Second West. In the summertime the fishing was good there and also in the Provo River. These were the things we did on Saturday.
When I was a little older, I used to go swimming and skating on Utah Lake and hunting in the hills East of Provo, with my friends. I was skating once on Utah Lake with a group of young fellows, when one of my friends, Stewart Reid–Professor Reid’s boy, fell through the ice and was drowned. That was a sad and frightening experience. We were warned to stay away from the Lake from then on.
Another experience I had with a friend, Freddy Ferguson, while we were hunting in the foothills, was when my friend put his gun down against a tree and the gun went off and shot half of his hand off. We tied a tourniquet on his arm and I ran for help a short distance away. The man had a car and got him to a doctor. The rest of his hand had to be taken off later.
About that time, my Uncle Alex Mortensen, a plumber, offered me a job with him as a plumber’s helper. I played ball for the Plumber’s League in Provo. I played catch, also shortstop during the summer. In High School, I played intramural basketball, which I enjoyed very much. I played stationary guard. BYU didn’t play football at that time. We did this through the week and on Saturday, but we were dressed up and went to Church on Sundays. Dad was Superintendent of the Sunday School at that time.
I joined the Boy Scouts in 1911, when I was twelve years old. It was the first Troop in Provo, Utah. The troop was sponsored by the Methodist Church. Me Seigal was the Scout Master at that time. The LDS Church didn’t have scouting.
When I was about 16 years old, Doctor Taylor took his son Albert, Walter Hedquist and myself, over to the Pleasant Grove Power House, at 4:30 a.m. He did this so that we could climb Mount Timpanogos from the West Side to the Top and then down the East Side. We had our bicycles sent up to Wildwood by truck. When we got down to Wildwood, we got our bikes and rode down the canyon to Provo in time to deliver my evening papers, all in one day.
The first three years of High School, I had a paper route. I carried evening papers to earn a little money to help me through school. Also, I fired the furnace at BYU Maeser Memorial Building and worked for Hedquist Drug Store. One of my first jobs was working at the Provo Brick Yard. I worked hard one summer for 10 hours a day for 10 cents an hour.
When I went to the University I fired the furnace. I was there at 5:00 A.M. to pull the clinkers and get the steam up by 8:00 A.M. I had to shovel the coal to fire the furnace. Then I changed my clothes and would be ready for school. I did this for two years.
I attended the Parker and Maeser Schools and Central Junior High School. I went four years at BYU High School and two years at Brigham Young University.
While attending BYU High School R.O.T.C., a group of us fellows decided to take the examination for officers training school. We passed the exam and later were sent to Camp McArthur in Waco, Texas, to be in C.I.O.T.S.-Officers Training School. I was there until the war ended. I was discharged January 10, 1919. I then joined the National Guard for two years. I was a sergeant.
During that time, I finished school at BYU and worked part time. The summer of 1919 after I was discharged, I worked in Vivian Park, for Grover Purvance. It was a summer resort. There were cabins for rent, recreational facilities, swimming, fishing, hiking and dancing. I was working there laying pipe to put water in the cabins. Many people vacationed there during the summer.
It was at one of those dances, that I met a cute little girl with blond hair, blue eyes, whom I fell in love with. Her name was Eva Murdock. She lived in Provo. We dated several times and finally went steady for a year and a half and decided to get married. She became my wife, January 20, 1921. We were married in Ogden, Utah, by Bishop Howard Jenkins. We stayed in Salt Lake for a few days and returned to Provo for a wedding reception and dance given by the Brides Parents, David and Emily Murdock.
The reception was held in the New Armory Building in Provo. Our brother in law, Bliss Cluff, was in charge of the building at that time. The Murdock Orchestra furnished the music for the dancing. About 200 friends and family attended the reception. Our marriage was later solemnized in the Salt Lake Temple on April 13, 1922.
Our baby, Nadine, was about four months old, and she was sealed to us in the Temple by Pres. George F. Richards. Eva’s sister, Minnie and her husband, Bliss Cluff, went to the Temple with us. We all had our endowments and were sealed as husbands and wives, the same day. They had two children sealed to them, Ruth and Jerry Cluff. Jerry was deceased. At this writing, Eva and I have been married 63 years.
At the time we were married, we lived in the North two rooms of Mother and Dad Bushman’s house, at 90 North 4th East. This is where Nadine was born. I was working for Smoot Lumber Company. Later I worked for John Beasley, at Mutual Coal and Lumber Company as a salesman and bookkeeper.
About this time, we decided to build a little house of our own. Mom and Dad gave us a lot on their property, next to their house. We build a little four room white house. We were so thrilled with it. Our next baby, Bliss, was born there, November 26, 1924.
I was offered a job by Gray Cannon Lumber Company, wholesale lumber brokers in Salt Lake as a salesman. I traveled Southern Idaho, Western Wyoming and Northern Utah. After a while I got tired of being away from home so much of the time. I took a job as manager of Piggly Wiggly Stores, which were just getting started in 1925.
We lived in Ogden and later transferred to Salt Lake. We lived on 828 S. 7th East, near Liberty Park. Our third baby was born while living there. We named her Colleen. She was born in the Holy Cross Hospital, July 14, 1927.
The next spring, I took a job with Fleischmann Yeast Company as Route Salesman. I enjoyed the work and was happy with my job. After two or three years on the Routes, I was put in the Bakery Division of Fleischmann Yeast Company, calling on Bakeries and assisting the bakers. I worked in this department for the next 35 years. I was also, secretary for the Bakers Association for 13 years.
The latter part of October 1937, I was transferred to Pueblo, Colorado for six months. Then moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico, as manager of Standard Brands. The name of Fleischmann Yeast Company was changed to Standard Brands, as the company had taken on other lines of food products.
While living in Salt Lake, we had two other children. Beverly was born October 22, 1930 and Joanne was born April 17, 1932. We lived at 125 K Street in Salt Lake City on the avenues. Joanne was five years old when we left Salt Lake. We lived in Albuquerque, for the next 10 years and enjoyed it very much. We bought a new home and lived in it about 8 years. After that we were transferred back to Salt Lake as manager of Standard Brands in Salt Lake City. In July 1964 I retired as District Manager at age 65. I had been with the company for 40 years, the Fleischmann Division.
Since that time I have had a little business of my own representing Blockers Cocoa Co. and Virginia Dare Extracts in 1984. I am 85 years old and still going. I don’t know how much longer, but I still enjoy selling these products.
I am grateful for my heritage, my grandparents and great grandparents, on both sides of the family. They were true faithful Latter Day Saints. They traveled west to Nauvoo and joined with the Saints going to Utah.
Father’s family were German Swiss, on the Bushman side, my Grandfather, Martin Benjamin Bushman was born in Bart Township, Lancaster, Pennsylvania. His father was born there also. His mother was born in Berne, Switzerland. My grandmother’s name was Lucinda Goodwin. They were from Connecticut, of English descent.
My grandfather, Martin Benjamin Bushman walked most of the way with his parents from Nauvoo, when he was 17 years old. He went back with others driving ox teams to help the Saints on their way to Utah. He would leave after April Conference and would be back in time for October Conference. He went over 1000 miles each way. He did this for two years.
My grandmother Lucinda Goodwin, with her parents, came around the Cape of South America on the “Good Ship Brooklyn”. Off the coast of Chile, South America, my great grandmother, Laura Goodwin, who was an expectant mother, fell down the Hatchway or (stairs) and died from the fall, May 6, 1846. This was just as the ship rounded the Horn. Instead of burying her at sea, they waited two days until they were close enough to the Juan Fernandez Islands and buried her on the Goat Island. While they were stopped there, they replenished their supplies of water, fresh fruits and vegetables. Many of the people on board had scurvy for lack of fruits and fresh vegetables. The ship finally landed in California, near what is now San Francisco, on July 31, 1946. My great grandfather was left with seven children to care for. In 1852, Isaac Goodwin sold his property in San Francisco and moved to San Bernardino. Lucinda, my grandmother, learned to speak Spanish very well. They later moved to Utah, in answer to Brigham Young’s call and settled in Lehi, Utah.
My Father, Martin Isaac Bushman, was the oldest of 20 children. His Father, Martin Benjamin had two wives–his mother, Lucinda was the first wife and Martha Worlton was the second one. Dad worked hard as a young man helping his father earn a living. He was a big strong man, 6 feet, 3 inches tall. He weighed about 225 pounds when he was older. He was the first young man from Lehi to go to college. He said he never had a store bought suit until he went away to school at Brigham Young Academy in Provo. Under Karl G. Maeser, he received a two year normal diploma, which entitled him to teach school. He did this for over 35 years. The Brigham Young Academy was on Third West and Center Street in Provo, where the Farmers and Merchants Bank now stands. He was a Police officer for about eight years and night Captain at the Utah State Hospital for a few years. He filled a two year Mission to England for the Church.
My Mother’s family were mostly New England people from Connecticut, New York, and Eastern States. Holdens were English and came to America in the early 1600’s. (1634 or 16440. The Tiffanys were Irish from Belfast, Ireland, and immigrated to Massachusetts about 1660. The Bliss family were Norman French, they went to England with William the Conqueror. They spelled their name Blys and came to America in about 1657 and settled in upstate New York. Later they all moved to Utah.
My grandfather Holden was in the Black Hawk Indian War about 1860. Mother was proud of this. My Dad used to tease Mother about this. He would say when they were together with friends, “You know Ruia, (My Mother) father killed Black Hawk. He ran him to death. Black Hawk was chasing him. That was always a good story.
My Mother Ruia Holden Bushman was born in Provo, Utah, October 21, 1866 to her parents Giles Bliss Holden and Almira Tiffany. She was the oldest of seven children–four girls and 3 boys. Mother was a beautiful woman, with hazel eyes and long, dark hair she was about 5 feet 4 inches and weighed about 110 pounds. We used to tell her that she weighed 100 pounds wringing wet. She was a wonderful Mother and would do anything she could to make us happy. She loved her home and family. Mother and Dad lost 3 boys and a girl, before I was born. I was the first one to reach four years old. I was the oldest boy and then there was Ted and Robert.
We were raised in a loving, kind family and had many good times together. We knew we were loved by our parents as they always, wanted the best us. They were such good examples for us to follow.
Ted and I always got along well together. He was a good brother. Sometimes we would have a little argument. Mostly when I would tease him. Once when I was teasing him, he got so mad, he picked up a chair round and threw it at me. I ducked and it went through a window. Of course Dad scolded us and gave us a good paddling. Ted was crying and said, “Well, if Bliss hadn’t ducked, it wouldn’t have broken the window.” We all used to laugh about that. Ted grew up to be a great artist. He was a fine commercial artist. He worked for Howell and White, a large advertising agency in Salt Lake City. Meier and Frank, a big department store, employed him in Portland, Oregon, as Art Director. Later in Salt Lake, he worked at ZCMI as Sales Promotion manager for several years. He later moved to Santa Maria after he retired. He was called to be a Patriarch in the church there. He was also a Bishop.
He married Dorothy Lyman on the 10 September 1930, in the Salt Lake Temple. They were the parents of three children, Richard Cherry and Willard (or Bill). Ted died, December 30, 1980 in Santa Maria, California of a stroke.
My youngest brother, Robert, was a great sportsman. He loved the great outdoors. He had a cabin in Provo Canyon at Sundance Resort. He loved being there. He was a partner in the B and H Drug store in Provo, Utah. He was the Pharmacist in the store. They had a very good business. Bob married Jessie Hunter in the Salt Lake temple, January 15, 1934. They adopted two children, Carolyn and Gloria. They were sealed to them.
Bob was a High Priest and served in a bishopric while living in Salt Lake. He lived a while in Reno, Nevada before living in Provo. He died of a heart attack, 9 July 1971. It was on my birthday.
My Mother, Ruia Ange1ine Bushman died of a stroke, 4 March 1948. My Father, Martin Isaac Bushman died of a stroke, Sept. 24, 1933.
In January 1964, Eva and I were called to be ordinance workers in the Salt Lake Temple, which we enjoyed very much. I took all the parts in the Temple, except Eve. I enjoyed taking the part with my wife, Eva, as Adam and Eve. After seven years of ordinance work, I was set apart as a Sealer in the Temple. I have been a sealer for over 10 years. I was set apart by President Harold B. Lee, on 17 October 1972, in his office in the Church Office Building. We used to give a page to put in our Book of Remembrance, of my line of authority to each couple when I performed their marriage. I gave out about 500 copies.
I have really enjoyed this work. It’s been a very special privilege for me to perform the marriages of 12 of my grandchildren. Beverly and Keith McCune were married for time by me. The last marriage I performed was for Debbie Doxey, my granddaughter and Robert Stevens, at Christmas time, 28 December 1984. I have done hundreds of sealings for the dead. I have sealed wives to husbands and children to their parents. At present, due to age (85) and illness, I am on leave (January 15, 1985), I have served for 20 years in the Temple.
My son in law, David W. Doxey, has been made a sealer in the Salt Lake Temple. I am real happy and proud of him. Eva and I try to go to the Temple about once a week to do endowments. It is a great work.
SERIOUS ILLNESSES AND LATER SALT LAKE EXPERIENCES
I have been saved from serious illness several times by the blessings of the Priesthood. The first time when I had a ruptured appendix about 1933-4. I lived in the 21st ward and my home teacher was jack Sears and he blessed me and I got well.
The second time was when I had nephritis at about 65 years. I was very ill for quite a long time and Elder Delbert Stapley of the Council of the Twelve gave me a priesthood blessing and restored me to health. Nadine wrote down the words that were said at the time.
The last illness was where I had two serious operations. One for removing a hernia and prostate cancer that had resulted in a serious infection and I had to go back in the hospital. I was blessed by our Bishop George H. Durham. I recovered from those illnesses, but I am 85 years old and walk slow with a cane. I have congestive heart failure and it is hard to walk with so much swelling. I have worked a little and tried to go to the temple for endowments when I can.
When we came back to Salt Lake and settled in Yalecrest Ward on 1762 Yale Avenue, we were asked by the Temple Group in the Ward to join them. President Spencer W. Kimball was a member with his wife. He was an apostle at that time. Delbert W. Stapley belonged to it also. He was an apostle also. The rest were all high up in the Church, all members of the ward. We would go to the Temple once a month then meet afterwards for dinner at one of the member’s homes. We had them at our home many times and many good times together. We did this for over 20 years. We then decided to go to the Lion House for dinner each time after the Temple. One couple would be the host for the night and we are still doing it.
Also our 255th Quorum of Seventies have met once a month since 1950. Now we meet and go to a good café for dinner then, to one of the homes for dessert and spend the evening. Our group from the 21st ward doesn’t meet much anymore. We are getting too old to drive much at night, especially in the winter. We met with these people before we left Salt Lake and after we got home from Albuquerque, for many years.