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Thurber, Bertha Malvina, 1877-1949



  • Existence: 1877 - 1949

biographical statement

Bertha Melvina Thurber (1877-1949) was an LDS wife, mother, and homemaker, and worked on Hill Field [Air Force Base] during World Ward II. She raised nine children to adulthood.

Bertha Melvina Thurber (blessed as Albertha) was the second surviving child and daughter of Albert King Thurber and Agnes Brockbank, born in Richfield, Utah on February 10, 1877. She was educated at the Sevier Stake Academy, the local public school, and Brigham Young Academy. After earning a teacher's certificate, she taught school at Vermillion, then worked as a hired girl in various homes and assisted her mother in her work as Richfield Relief Society President, as well as learning homemaking skills from her such as gardening, beekeeping and animal husbandry, sewing and other handwork, and glovemaking. In 1897, she also got a job as deputy to County Recorder Eliza C. Ross. Bertha married John Lowe Butler, whom she had known since they were young, in the Manti LDS Temple on November 15, 1899; they raised 11 children (two died as infants). While the children were young, they farmed and moved back and forth between Kimberly and Richfield, then to Camas Prairie in Idaho.

After John's health began to decline in 1915, they traded the property for a farm (and later a mercantile business and home) in Acequia so that their children could attend high school. John also worked as Postmaster. With not enough work for the grown boys to do in this business, they moved to a farm in Twin Falls in 1922. After suffering financial ruin, they rented another farm and also worked in mining, fence-building, and a sugar factory to make ends meet. They subsequently moved to farms in Hollister and Eden (Idaho), where John died in 1937. Bertha (at first with her younger children) moved among the older children's homes in Shelley, Idaho; Logan, Utah; Detroit, Mich.; Salt Lake City and Ogden, Utah. After her children were grown and gone and her husband was on an assignment elsewhere, she got a job as a janitor at Hill Field (later Hill Air Force Base) during World War II, later working in the Dispensary and the Reclamation unit; she was given her release in 1945 and moved to Salt Lake City. Bertha was devoted to the Gospel and served wherever called, including the Relief Society presidency, Mutual Improvement Association, Richfield Tabernacle Choir, Sunday School and Relief Society instructor, Stake Genealogical Committee, etc. She died in Shelley, Idaho on October 16, 1949.

Albert King Thurber family papers [MSS 8045], circa 1826-2011 (second child/daughter, Albert King Thurber/Agnes Brockbank; born Richfield Utah, February 10 1877; education Sevier Stake Academy, local school, Brigham Young Academy; earned teacher's certificate, taught at Vermillion; worked as hired girl, helped mother with Relief Society work; learned gardening, beekeeping, animal husbandry, sewing, glovemaking, etc.; deputy to County Recorder Eliza C. Ross, 1897; married John Lowe Butler, Manti Temple, November 15 1899; 11 children, 9 lived; farmed, lived in Kimberly and Richfield, moved to Idaho; traded for business in Acequia for children's education; John postmaster; moved to Twin Falls, 1922, for work for boys; failed, rented property, mined, built fences, worked sugar factory; moved to farms in Hollister, Eden; John died 1937; rotated living with children to not be alone; janitor at Hill Field, then Dispensary and Reclamation, released 1945; moved SLC; served in Relief Society presidency, Mutual Improvement Association, Richfield Tabernacle Choir, Sunday School, Stake Genealogical Committee, etc.; died Shelley Idaho, October 16 1949).

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Albert King Thurber family papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS 8045
Scope and Contents

Contains research files on Albert King Thurber's family and ancestors. Materials were compiled by his descendants and William Hartley, the author Another Kind of Gold, a book on Thurber. Includes correspondence, maps, photographs, diaries, and other records. Items were created in England and America from 1783-2011.

Dates: approximately 1783-2011; Majority of material found within approximately 1783-1964