Saturday, January 4, 2014

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks # 1 Ida Norton Layton

Amy Johnson Crow posted this challenge.
Who's up for a challenge? I've started "52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks," a challenge to blog (or write somewhere) once a week about a specific ancestor. It could be a story, a biographical sketch, a research problem -- something specific to that ancestor. You know you want to write more about your ancestors, so let's encourage each other to do that!

I am going to see how this works out! I am starting with my maternal Grandmother Ida Isabell Norton Layton 1903-1996 from Central, Graham, Arizona, United States.  She loved Family History and shared it with me. She could remember the dates and places of every father, mother, brother, sister, child and grandchild.  She could pull that information out of her memory, anytime she was asked.  She told me that she  always wanted to write the story of her family but didn't think she was a good enough writer to do it, so it didn't get done.  She collected lots of genealogy through the years though, so that is going to help  link the stories together. When the Central, Arizona Centennial was approaching the town decided they wanted to publish a book to commemorate the event.  It has the town's history and life sketches of the Pioneer settlers and the then present-day residents.  Grandma Layton was one of the old-timers called upon to share her experiences and verify those of others.  Here is one of the stories she shared.

Shivaree of Ralph Layton and Ida Norton, Lloyd Norton and Vera Cluff

Many couples married in the early part of the century were subject to "shivaree" pranks.  This old tradition has fortunately died out.

31 December 1921 the double wedding of Lloyd Norton and Vera Cluff, Ralph Layton and Ida Norton was "shivareed".  The ceremony was held at the home of of John and Etta Norton, parents of Lloyd and Ida.  Only the parents and grandparents of both couples were invited.  While Bishop Edsil Allred was performing the ceremony, all the brothers and sisters and cousins gathered outside the window and stared in.  Sister Emma Layton, Ralph's mother, reached up and pulled down the window blind, but that did not seem to help much.  As soon as the ceremony was over, Ted Norton gave a loud shrill whistle.  The shivaree crowd rushed in and grabbed Lloyd and Ralph.  Vera and Ida rushed into the bedroom, changed their wedding dresses, and made it to the car only to be pulled out.  The crowd drove off with the grooms, leaving the brides standing in the road.  After leaving Ralph and Lloyd stranded that night at Link Ferguson's goat ranch some 30 or 40 miles away, the group returned.  They had warned Lorenzo, Wallace, and Jessie Jenkins, Zola Claridge, and others who happened to be playing for a New Year's Eve dance in Klondyke that evening, not to pick up the grooms and bring them back to Central.

In the morning, Ralph and Lloyd went to the road and waited for the band to come along.  The grooms caught them on a hill where the Model T had slowed, trying to get up the hill.  They jumped on the running boards of the car and rode a little way until the men in the car finally said to them, "Well, you might as well get in."

Back in Central, New Year's Day being Sunday, Vera and Ida attended Sunday School and Sacrament Meeting.  About 4 o'clock in the afternoon, the disconsolate brides started walking toward the center of town.  They were met by their husbands who were driving Ralph's father's car.  The girls jumped in and the four of them did not return to town until after midnight.

( A Century in Central 1883-1983, page 67-68, excerpt)

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