Sunday, July 1, 2012

To Part No More

Lavenia Andrus Miller McComb Tryon Sondberg (1854-1939)

My Second Great Grandmother

me --> Bruce Albert Buchanan --> Robert Amos Buchanan --> June Miller Eckstein Buchanan --> Lavenia Andrus Miller McComb Sondberg Tryon

Lavenia was one of 59 children because her father, Milo Andrus, was a polygamist and had 13 wives.  I always joke that she rebelled from that life by having four husbands herself.

However, I think that she had one true love. 

My Nona (Gertrude Buchanan) used to tell me that Lavenia divorced my second great grandfather by leaving Spanish Fork and walking 60 miles to Helper, Utah with her three children.  I don't know how much of that is true, but I do know she divorced her Mormon husband and then married a Catholic, James McComb.

James and Lavenia married in 1888 and had four daughters in four years.  In November of 1894, according to family legend, he took a train to Salt Lake and had lots of cash on him.  He was going to buy Christmas presents for his daughters and some equipment for the restaurant she and James owned.  He never made it to Salt Lake, he was murdered on the train for his money.

His body was found three months later in the Jordan Narrows, close to where Thanksgiving Point is now.  

I don't know if Lavenia even knew it at the time, but she was just a few weeks pregnant with their only son, William James McComb.  His life had a tragic end as well.

Just three years later, Lavenia is charged with battery for assaulting Mary Daly who leased the restaurant from her.  The report states that Lavenia was quite aggressive and hurt the woman's feelings.  The charges were dropped because the attorneys couldn't make it to the court because the roads were washed out.  

I wonder if her feelings about the restaurant were more personal than business.  She had shared this with her husband.  Maybe Mary wanted to change something that James had done.  Maybe she criticized the way James had run the restaurant.  Whatever it was that happened, one thing was for sure, Lavenia was suffering from a broken heart.  

This is what is inscribed on James' tombstone.

On that bright
Immortal shore
We shall meet
To part no more.

On the 98th anniversary of his death, Lavenia and James were sealed for eternity by proxy in the Ogden Temple, to part no more.


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