Edis Irwin and Leah Bathsheba Bodily Rawlings


Edis was born August 9, 1889 in Fairview, Idaho, the fourth child of Ephraim James and Eliza Jane Shirts Rawlings.His eight siblings are Effie Belma born May 1, 1884, James Richard born January 10, 1886, Walter Eugene born October 3, 1887, Marvin Asa born October 25, 1892, Jennie Eliza born June 19, 1894, William born February 4, 1896, Elsie Elizabeth born May 2, 1897, and Alameda born February 16, 1900.

 

His parents had taken up a homestead of 160 acres north and east of the Fairview church house.They built a one-room log house here, which they later moved, along with other buildings, to ten acres of land they had purchased north and west of the homestead. It was at this location that Edis lived and grew to manhood.

 

His formal education consisted of attending grades one through seven at the North Fairview one-room schoolhouse and grades eight and nine at the Oneida Stake Academy.His vocational education began at an early age when he was charged to weed the garden, feed the chickens and young calves and gather the eggs.By the time he was fourteen years of age and doing a mans work, he had learned much about farming, operating and repairing machinery, carpentry, blacksmithy and some building.

 

At the age of twenty, he suffered near fatal injuries during a threshing machine accident and wasn't expected to survive.His injuries included a severe skull fracture, loss of his left eye and part of his left ear along with extensive burns and bruising.The Elders were called to administer and through the power of the Priesthood, he was promised that he would get well.His survival surprised everyone except his intended, Leah, who nursed him back to health.

 

 Leah was born October 31, 1887 in Fairview, Idaho.Her parents are William and Delilah McFerson Bodily and her seven siblings are Mary Matilda born July 16, 1877, Miriam born May 3, 1879, Frank Edwin born February 12, 1881, Charles David born June 12, 1883, Lydia Emma born October 5, 1885, Daniel Dimon born May 24, 1892, and Herbert Neas born March 26, 1894.

 

Her father William's first wife was Sarah Talbot Bodily and her six half siblings are William Edward born August 20, 1865, Jane Eliza born November 12, 1866, Ruth Elizabeth born May 22, 1868, Robert Henry born February 10, 1870, James Richard born February 11, 1872, and Sarah Lovinia born September 23, 1873.

 

Her education was received at the Fairview School and Oneida Stake Academy in Preston.She learned much about gardening while helping her mother and also became very familiar with farming, as she was frequently required to help her father in the fields.She played the piano in the Fairview Orchestra performing at dances and other special events.

 

On October 20, 1909 Edis and Leah were married in the Logan, Utah LDS Temple and together they were blessed with six children.Edis LaVern, Carl Alden, Gretta (Wiser), Dorine (Betts), Marjorie, and Ardeth (Kierstead).They purchased a farm on the Bodily place in Fairview, Idaho where they lived from 1909 through mid 1945.Running the farm and operating the threshing machinery provided for a good living and afforded them the opportunity to frequently share the fruits of their labors with those less fortunate.They purchased his fatherís share of the threshing machinery when his fatherís health began to fail.

 

Following the birth and death of Marjorie in November of 1923, Leahís health was such that she wasnít expected to recover.However, with the love and care provided by Edis and eldest daughter Gretta together with her faith and determination, she did recover much to the surprise of everyone except herself.

 

In mid 1945, with only daughter Ardeth still at home, they sold their farm and moved to Phoenix, Arizona where they lived for two years before moving to Salt Lake City, Utah.Edis, being an active and industrious man all of his life, found work as a night watchman for a local company and, except for being awake at night, was pleased to have something to occupy his time.

 

Leahís health had been marginal since about 1918 when she nearly died from Typhoid Fever, which left her with substantial kidney damage.Following a fall, which broke her clavicle, her health deteriorated quickly and in April of 1952 she passed away leaving behind a lonely and heart broken man.She was a strong lady both physically and emotionally and possessed a quick wit along with a good sense of humor.In addition to being an excellent mother, homemaker, cook, and gardener, her desire to help others in times of need brought her much love and respect as well as a lot of personal satisfaction.

 

Edis married Margaret Rue Larsen Harding in November of 1952 and they resided in Salt Lake City until her passing in October of 1957.He relocated to Phoenix, Arizona and in July of 1960, he married Bertha Johanna Nelson Bright Cole.Bertha, who had been a Fairview neighbor for many years, was a widow having previously lost her second husband, Truman Cole. Edis and Bertha resided in Phoenix, Arizona during the cooler months and Fairview, Idaho during the warmer months.But, once again he was left alone when, in November of 1967, Bertha passed away.

 

In late summer or early fall of 1970 Edis, wanting the comforts of a milder climate, was relocated to a senior's only mobile home park in Vista, California.This move placed him near daughters Gretta, Dorine and Ardeth where he resided until his passing in February of 1973.

 

He was a devoted member of the LDS Church as well as a thoughtful and prayerful man.At an early age, his mother taught him how, why and to whom to pray which he felt was very helpful throughout his life.He was a truly good person who frequently provided assistance to others and especially those who were less fortunate.He possessed a unique understanding of human nature and had a mischievous sense of humor, which he exercised throughout his life.

 

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SOURCE:Autobiography dated November 20, 1964 as updated by Gretta Rawlings Wiser and Irwin Don Wiser.