MARGARET ANN MILLER
was the daughter of Scottish converts James Miller and Margaret Ann
Anderson. She was born 25 January 1856 in Salt Lake City. In January 1874,
she married Alma Charles Davis in the Old Endowment House in Salt Lake
City. They settled in Spanish Fork, and became the parents of twelve
In 1888, after the first six children were born, Alma Charles Davis
was called to fill a mission for the LDS Church to Great Britain.
He left his wife with the six small children to care for. "Father rented
out his farm, but both years there was a shortage of water and very little
crops were raised. Mother, being a good seamstress, took in sewing and
did very well earning money to send to Father and to help the family."
While he was gone, the children got scarlet fever, and the youngest boy,
John A., was left an invalid at 4 years old. Later this boy went to school
part time and tried to do light work, but was always in poor health.
"However, we were blessed in many ways. Mother served as a counselor in
the Relief Society. Six more children were born to the family after Father's
mission. The children of Alma Charles and Margaret Ann Miller Davis were:
**1. LETITIA ANN DAVIS LANT (1874-1919).
She married JOHN TANNER LANT in 1897,
lived in Payson and Garland, Utah,
and had seven children:
LUCILE LANT OBERHANSLEY,
DONNA LANT BARNEY,
DAVID LESTER LANT (who died at age one),
JOHN GLEN LANT,
ERMA LANT SHULER, and
one boy who died at birth.
2. MARGARET DAVIS HANSEN (1877-1959).
She wrote, "I was the second child in a family of
twelve, so there was always plenty to do around the
home. My older sister became a school teacher, but
my education ended with the eighth grade as I was
needed at home to help mother ...
I married Heber Johansen HANSEN on Nov. 23, 1898
in the Salt Lake Temple. When we had four small
children, my husband was called to go to Norway on
a mission ... we had five more children after his
return ... Our nine children are:
HAROLD DAVIS HANSEN,
WILMA CHRISTINA HANSEN LUDLOW,
PREAL HANSEN SNOW,
HEBER EUGENE HANSEN,
MARY LaFAYE HANSEN McKELL,
AFTON HANSEN BRADFORD,
DALLAS DAVIS HANSEN, who died of meningitis
one month before his eighth birthday.
Two of our children have filled missions;
PREAL to Northwestern States and
EUGENE to Czechoslovakia.
Sorrow came to our house when WILMA's husband,
DANIEL LUDLOW, was killed. He left his wife with a
small girl and a yet-to-be-born child. WILMA moved
back with us and here her son, DANIEL HANSEN LUDLOW,
was born six weeks after his father's death. DAN
lived with us most of the time until he was married.
He now (1966) teaches at BYU."
(His son, VICTOR L. LUDLOW, also became a religion
professor at BYU, and an author).
3. JAMES MILLER DAVIS (1879-1919).
Since JIM was the eldest son, he took the
responsibility for the family after his father's
death in 1903,
"acting as father, friend and financial assistant
for the family." He worked in the mines in Eureka
for several years, and then in 1905 he married
Estella Ann LEWIS in the Salt Lake Temple.
Shortly after his marriage he went to work for the
Utah-Idaho Sugar Co., and continued in their employ
until the time of his death.
"JIM was sincerely religious, and expressed this
conviction by subscribing to the brotherhood of man.
He also laid considerable emphasis on the law of
tithing, and felt that his many blessings were due
in no small measure to his adherence to this law."
JIM and STELLA had five children:
DALE DAVIS HART,
MILDRED DAVIS HATTON,
MAXINE DAVIS ANDERSON,
KATHRYN DAVIS REEDER, and
JAMES DOUGLAS DAVIS.
JIM's untimely death, in the flu epidemic of 1918-19,
robbed him of the pleasure of seeing his children
grow to maturity. His widow wrote in 1966: "I have
remained a widow since (JIM's death). Through much
hard work, and many prayers, I have been able to
maintain the family as a unit until the children
have all completed college and established homes of
their own. In spite of the difficulties of an early
widowhood, I have realized a life-long ambition of
having our youngest child, DOUGLAS, fulfill a mission."
4. ALMA CHARLES DAVIS, Jr. (1881-1942).
He was educated in Spanish Fork and at the Utah
State Agricultural College in Logan, Utah.
He was an Elder in the Church.
He worked in Eureka, Utah, in the mines for many
years. After his marriage to Mary Ellen FLYGARE he
settled in Salem, Utah, where he owned land and was
a very successful farmer. His first wife Mary died
in 1938, and he then married Agnes Lewis JACKSON and
moved to Spanish Fork. He had no children.
ALMA CHARLES DAVIS Jr. died in 1942.
5. JOHN ARCHIBALD DAVIS (1884-1900).
6. MARY ELLEN DAVIS EVANS (1886-1911).
She married William M. EVANS 10 Jan 1906. They
lived in Spanish Fork a short time and then moved
to Mammoth, Utah where her husband was employed.
They had two boys:
WILLIAM STERLING EVANS and
JENNINGS DAVIS EVANS.
In the summer of 1911 Mary became sick, leaving
Mammoth and coming to the home of her mother where
she stayed ten days and then passed away with
Typhoid-Pneumonia, 16 July 1911, at age 25.
Soon after her death her husband went to the temple
and had her work done and the boys sealed to them.
Their son W. STERLING EVANS was the Salt Lake County
Clerk for many years.
7. JANE ELIZABETH DAVIS (1890-1891).
She died of whooping cough at the age of nine months.
8. HOWARD LEWIS DAVIS (1892-1949).
After graduation from high school in Spanish Fork,
he went to a business college in Salt Lake City.
He took a job with the Utah-Idaho Sugar Company in
He there met and married Ellen McFARLAND. They lived
in Spanish Fork, Salt Lake, and Idaho Falls,
but also had to travel a lot for Howard's work, going
to California, Colorado and other western states.
They became the parents of five children:
STERLING HOWARD DAVIS,
MELBA HELEN DAVIS JACK,
LILY BERYL DAVIS GRIFFITH,
MARY ELAYNE DAVIS, and
MARGARET ALLEN DAVIS
(the youngest two had not yet married at the time
the book was written in 1966, and were employed as
legal secretaries in Salt Lake City).
All of them in this family attended college,
and MELBA and LILY both served in the WAC before
their marriages. HOWARD Jr. was in combat in the
Air Force during WWII.
9. FARREL CHRISTINE DAVIS REESE (1894-1918).
After graduation from high school she lived in
Payson, Utah, with her older sister until she met and
married Amos REECE. They moved to Salt Lake, where
she died of the flu on Nov. 27, 1918, at age 24.
FARREL had one son,
NILES DAVIS REECE,
and was an active member of the Church.
"She was known for her ambition and spunk."
10. WILMA DAVIS WETZEL (1897-1965).
She was the tenth child born to the family and was
teased by her older brothers as being "tithing".
At the age of 18 she moved to Salt Lake City and
resided with her older sister FARREL and worked at
the Auerbach Department Store.
WILMA married Franklin E. WETZEL in 1920, and they
had three children:
MARGARET, who died at birth,
DICK DAVIS WETZEL, who became a pediatrician
in Salt Lake City, and
ARDA WETZEL LEATHAM, who graduated in elementary
education and taught in the Salt Lake City
schools before her marriage.
11. VERNON MILTON DAVIS (1899-1951).
When a young man VERNON went to Idaho Falls to work
and there he met and married Eva FIELDING in 1927.
VERNON stayed in Idaho Falls, and with his wife owned
and operated a very successful grocery business.
Although they had no children of their own, they were
very good and helpful to all their nieces and nephews.
12. LILY BYRL DAVIS (1903-1918).
"She was only nine months old when her father died,
and throughout her short life was a great comfort to
her mother." She attended school in Spanish Fork.
The family had moved to Salt Lake City when the flu
epidemic hit, and she died of the flu on Nov. 29, 1918
at the age of fifteen.
Alma Charles Davis died at age 55, on Sept. 24, 1903.
Mother was left with ten children; the oldest, Letitia Ann or "Letty"
Davis Lant being twenty-eight years old, and the youngest, Lily Byrl
Davis, nine months. Mother did the best she knew how for her family.
Mother sold the home and farm in Leland and bought a home in Spanish Fork
Second Ward and owned it until she passed away. Around 1917 two of her
boys and also her daughter Wilma worked or were going to college in
Salt Lake, so Mother went to Salt Lake for a time to make a home for
them, but soon after this the family was struck with the flu. It was a
very bad epidemic in 1918, and seemed to affect healthy young adults
the worst. Mother lost four of her children within five months, three
being married and leaving young families (Letitia Davis Lant, James
Miller Davis, and Farrel Christine Davis Reece); also her 15 year old
daughter, Lily Byrl Davis. Mother had it very bad also, but survived
it. She then moved back to Spanish Fork, where she could enjoy her
neighbors and friends."
She remained a widow for nearly 21 years; but then in 1924, at the
age of 68, Margaret Ann married again; to Edward Creer, Jr. They were
sealed in the Salt Lake Temple for time only. Edward had been
previously married to Alma Charles Davis' sister Mary Sophia, for 45
years. She had died in 1923 at the age of 69, leaving him a widower.
Margaret Ann and Edward Creer's marriage lasted for nearly four years,
until he passed away in 1928.
"Mother had an operation at the age of 70 and her health failed
after that; she died at age 78 on April 6, 1934. She was a faithful
Latter-day Saint and was loved and admired by all her family and
friends, as was our loving father."
Alma Charles Davis and his wife Margaret Ann Miller are buried in
the Spanish Fork cemetery, near his parents (Capt. John Tucker Davis
and Letitia Ann George) and her parents (James Miller and Margaret Anderson).
by Karen Bray Keeley
by Sandra S. Bray