History: Alvira Deseret Lindsay (1868-1947)

Source: An account by her daughter, Maia Hurst Daines, with minor changes by Ty Richins.

Life in Bear Lake, Idaho

Alvira Deseret Lindsay was born on 16 January 1868 in Paris, Bear Lake, Idaho to William Buckminster Lindsay and Sarah Henderson. She was the sixth of eight children. Her father made shoes for his children, but with so many it was often impossible to get around to all of them. Consequently, Alvira learned at an early age to do without many things in life. In fact, “Dessie” would often run through the snow bare footed and then climb on top of the shed to get warm in the sun. Her children recall that when “Dessie” recounted the hardships of the early days, she was never bitter, but always spoke of her half brothers and sisters and their mothers with love and respect.

Alvira did not get to attend school unless one of her brothers found it necessary to stay home from school. She was willing and anxious to learn and attended whenever the opportunity arose. Like all families at that time, they had to pay tuition for the boys to attend school. She was fun-loving, but also serious. Alvira took advantage of her limited learning to study the scriptures and teach them to others throughout her life.

While still a young girl, Alvira found it necessary to work hard to help support the family. Consequently, she found employment in a dairy. She found the days at the dairy long with little pay. She told her children of an amazing incident that happened while working at the dairy: One day she was bringing some butter from the dairy and a man, who was looking for another wife, stood waiting to ask her a question. It was impossible to hear his question above the noise of the machinery in the dairy, so she just gave him a nod, only to discover later that she had said yes to a proposal of marriage.

There had been a number of chances for marriage, but Alvira preferred to wait for the one and only. The young man who had proposed to her at the dairy was Frederick William Hurst, Jr., an artist and builder from Logan, Utah. He was in Paris, Idaho at the time to work on the tabernacle there. He passed the Lindsay home one day and saw a pretty little eighteen-year-old girl standing by the well with two huge buckets of water calling for her brothers to come help her. Frederick went to her rescue and helped her with the water buckets.

Frederick and Alvira kept company, fell in love, and were married a few months later (October 18, 1885) in the Logan Temple. The couple lived in Paris, Idaho until after their first two children, Merrill and Lillian, were born. Frederick then went to Salt Lake City to use his wonderful talents in working on the interior of the Salt Lake Temple. Alvira joined him in Salt Lake City, and they lived there until after the birth of their third child, Leona. They then returned to Paris, Idaho where my Frederick built a beautiful home, which they all lived in for many years.

Alvira’s youngest child, daughter named Laverda, was born in September of 1907. She was able to enjoy all of her children for three months, as Inez (Ninie) passed away at the age of fifteen. To say the least, that Christmas was a sad one for the Hurst family. A few years later, Alvira lost Clawson, who died at the age of eight. Then her mother, whom she had taken care of for several years, also passed away.

Family Life

Alvira always remembered her family’s birthdays with something special and she always made Christmas and Thanksgiving days to be remembered. Alvira kept herself busy and did many things besides taking care of her family. She loved flowers; she always had a garden in the summer and flowering geraniums in the window at other times of the year. Alvira would tear her children’s discarded cotton dresses into strips and sewed these strips together. The she wound them into balls and took them to another town to be woven into bright new carpets. Alvira could also drive a horse and buggy with the best and often made trips by herself to Montpelier when Frederick was there. However, she would often get into difficulties with high water and bad roads before getting back home.

In the summer the Hurst family would go for rides in the hills to gather service berries and chokecherries or go for an outing to the lake. Alvira always took along a picnic lunch to make the trips more pleasant. One of Alvira’s daughters, Maia, told of their experiences at conference time when her Aunt Sarah Weaver’s family would spend the weekend with the Hurst family. Alvira and Aunt Sarah together would make the children laugh and keep them entertained for hours with stories of the Bear Lake Valley.

The Hursts left Paris, Idaho in 1913 and moved to Logan, Utah. They were never to see their home in Paris again. While fire later destroyed the house, it could not destroy the family’s memories of it. Cache Valley was beautiful, and the Hurst family seemed to fit in and were able to take up a new life there. When the family was established on North Main Street, they took up activities in the ward. Alvira was soon busy doing temple work which she continued for many years. Together with Aunt Harriet, Alvira did extensive genealogical work.

The year 1917 was an eventful year for Alvira. Three of her children were married—Leona to Parley Savage; Maia to Lavere H. Daines, and Clyde to Pearl Peterson. Soon after, Clyde went to Europe for World War I. Her son, Merrill, died suddenly on the 26th of December, which would have been his wedding day almost to the hour. He was going to marry Ethel Dayton of Dingle, Idaho.

Alvira often sat up with the sick and was a wonderful nurse for her family when their children were born. Her grandchildren loved her dearly and always enjoyed her good humor and fun. Alvira enjoyed being a member of the Relief Society and was a visiting teacher for many years. She spent many hours quilting at the ward and did beautiful quilting work.

Frederick passed away in January 1933. With his death, Alvira lost a wonderful companion whom she loved and missed very much. She kept on working in the temple and church, doing all she could to help others. Finally her health became much worse, and she could no longer do the things she wanted to do. However, she was always pleasant and her family enjoyed having her in their homes. The last three years of her life were spent in helplessness, and she died in November 1947. She was buried in the Logan Cemetery.