Lena May Ward
On January 30, 1894, Lena May Ward was born the third child of Amos P. Ward and Hulda Ann Munyon. They were living in the Guthrie Territory on 120 acres of land that Amos had claimed during the Oklahoma Land Rush of 1889. They had endured many hardships in trying to settle on their homestead because of Amos’ bad health. They finally rented some of the acreage so they could get the land built up. Not only did they have to endure the hardships of the land but also the hard time that was given them by old friends and neighbors after they had joined the Mormon Church on June 4, 1893. Conditions became so bad that the families who were members of the Church were advised by church leaders to move to Old Mexico to help colonize there. So, like the earlier pioneers, they sold their homes and land for what they could get, fixed up their covered wagons, loaded what possessions they could carry and headed west in June of 1896. There was Amos and Hulda Ann, their three daughters, Hattie, Cora, and their youngest–two year old Lena. They and four other families made the long journey across the land until they reached El Paso, Texas, approximately 800 miles and four months later. They were met by George Teasdale of the Council of Twelve of the LDS Church who was of great help to Amos and his family. They went on to Colonia Dublan, Mexico and made their home there.
Amos’ ailing health had prevented him from farming so he had taken up hauling freight for a living. On one of his trips to New Mexico, he suffered a heart attack and passed away on the 4th of July, 1909.
The family now consisted of four girls and one boy. The stayed in Mexico until all the Americans were driven out by the revolutionary, Francisco Villa. Cora was married and stayed in New Mexico but the rest of the family moved to Hyrum, Utah. Here Grandma met and married Warren Liljenquist and two of their nine children, Anna and Myrtle, were born. In 1917 they moved to McCammon, Idaho where they worked very hard on their farm.
While the children were young, Grandma always took care of them herself and brought them up with love and gentleness.
Warren’s health became poor, so during World War II, she went to work at the Pocatello airbase, traveling back and forth from McCammon. He died in 1947 and was buried in Hyrum.
After the war, Grandma first worked in a laundry and then for the Bannock Hotel, meanwhile moving to Pocatello. She retired from this job in 1971.
When she was about 63 years old, she decided to learn to dance, but did not tell anyone for fear she would be thought foolish and that people would laugh at her. However, her children were very pleased and when she wished she could swim, tried to get her to take swimming lessons too. This she did not do.
While attending dances at the Golden Age Club, she met August T. Jones, a very nice gentleman and on January 17, 1959, she became Mrs. Jones.
She shared a warm and affectionate relationship with Grandfather’s three children and their families. She loved flowers and spent many happy hours after her retirement planting and caring for her garden. Grandma’s life was dedicated to doing for others. Her gentle happy nature was an inspiration to her family and all who knew her. Her genuine smile will sorely be missed.
This is the life history of Lena May Ward Liljenquist Jones as read at her funeral services Wednesday, June 13, 1973. Passed away Saturday, June 9, 1973 in Pocatello, Idaho. Burial at Mountain View Cemetery in Pocatello, Idaho.