George Muir and Rosellen Ladel Muir

Photograph taken at their homestead near Sugar City, Idaho about 1915.

Mendon Utah Logo

George Muir and Rosellen Ladle MuirGeorge Muir and Rosellen Ladle Muir

Mr. George Muir, also of Mendon, and a worthy fellow, is loading a car with all his household effects, implements and cattle. Mr. Muir is shipping to Sugar City, Idaho, where he has acquired a 320 acre dry farm. We wish Geo., and his wife and family, success in their new home. (The Logan Journal, April 25, 1914 Page 3.)

George Muir, like so many young Mendon men before him, found his chances of making a livelihood on the meager available ground near Mendon, not sufficient for his growing family. Born in Mendon, Utah on October 8, 1878 he picked out one of the pretty Ladle girls, Mary Rose Ellen Ladle and took up a farm or homestead near Sugar City, Idaho. He would not be alone up there, for it seemed half the towns young men went to this part of Idaho to stake their claim in life. Starting out from scratch, much as his parents and grand parents had done before him, he dug the well and found enough timber to make a house. The whole of the cabin would fit quite nicely into many of the living rooms of today… but that is another story.

George and Rose Ellen had seven children, the last of these, a daughter named Hazel and her older brother Preston, were born at the farm near Sugar City, Idaho. The rest were born in Mendon with the help and comfort of Rose Ellen's mother and the mid-wives whom practiced here. After Hazel's birth, Rose Ellen did not bounce back, as she had done the previous six times, she had felt with the experience she had, that with a little help, she could have children at the homestead. Besides with five other little ones to care for, and George to tend the farm, what else could she do. Everything would be fine, just like last time. It was not. A month and a half after the birth of Hazel, Mary Rose Ellen Ladle Muir passed away due to an internal hemorrhage. She just slowly dwindled in strength and health until here poor body could take no more, she left a husband and seven children under the age of thirteen. Hazel, due to the sickness of her mother got off to a very poor start in life, besides coming early into the world. With no mother to care for her and the simple stark existence of a log cabin, George sent Hazel in a shoe box along with her mothers body, back to Cache Valley. Freight was paid for the remains of Rose Ellen, but the still as yet living Hazel got to ride for free. She was carried up front by the engineer as a personal exemptions. NO one thought she would make it to Mendon alive. George thought that he was sending both his wife and his new born daughter, home to Mendon for burial.

It sounds crazy in todays world, I know, but times were harder then and death made its rounds and would or could visit a family more that once at a time. They did the best they could, with what they had, as sad as it was. That cold early December morning the train left for the Cache Valley, everyone thought two bodies were or would be onboard. Fate intervened here, someway, somehow, this poor undernourished baby, did not die from exposure nor lack of food. She lived to grow and prosper, raised in the home of her grandparents, more likely by her aunt Clella. I marvel every time I here this story told, and retold. Out of the darkness, of loss beyond acceptance… a little premature infant girl lived.

Hazel Muir married Fred Sorensen and had a family of four children of her own here in Mendon, they are living and doing fine scattered about the country. When I see them I can not but think of the slender hand of the creator, whom protected and watched over Hazel as she made the journey in what was intended as her coffin, a shoe box, from Sugar City, Idaho to Mendon, Utah by steam train, in the care of the engineer whom was just doing the family a favor, getting everyone home for interment.