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December 13, 2018

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John Francis and Lauretta Hepworth Astle Family:
From the Memories of Grace Emily Astle Frank
Compiled by her daughter, Charlene Frank Knighton

On a beautiful Sunday morning, as was the custom, all the people in the Star Valley area were going to Church. The Astle family had just tied their team to the old hitching post when another team of horses drove up. Someone said, "There's Brother Hepworth and his other family." The family consisted of himself, his wife Hannah and two lovely young daughters, Eliza and Lauretta.

As usual young men were interested in the young ladies. One of the Astle boys made the passing remark, "I'm going to marry that young one." It wasn't long after this statement that a courtship really began between the two, John Francis and Lauretta, the younger Hepworth girl. They're courting consisted of much horseback riding, sleigh riding, dancing and candy pulls along with other things. All during the courtship, plans were being made for a wedding in the near future. John Francis worked hard on the farm and spent many long hours hauling logs from the canyon to build a new house for his future bride. Lauretta helped her mother with the cooking, washing and all things she could, to help with the work. She also watched the building of the house and was pleased with the progress being made.

Now was the time for Lauretta and her young man to be married. They left early one morning in a covered wagon, taking her mother along for the trip to Logan, Utah. It took three days to make the trip. They were married in the Logan Temple the ninth of September 1891, with President Marriner W. Merrill officiating.

On the 13th of July 1892, John Francis Jr., was born. Lauretta was not yet seventeen and her husband was twenty-two.

John Francis Jr., lived in Grover, Wyoming most of his married life. He married Signe Katheryn Fosberg. She later left, leaving him with 4 children to raise. His sisters, Arstanie and Agnes helped with the children until he married Laura Carling in 1927. They became the parents of 5 children. John Francis Jr. died at the age of 59 of cancer.

Klea Lauretta was born on her parent's third wedding anniversary. She was a pretty baby with blonde hair and blue eyes. A few days later, a letter from the Church headquarters in Salt Lake City arrived at the home. John Francis was called on a mission to preach the Gospel to the people in the Southern states. When Klea's Dad arrived home in his Prince Albert suit and a Derby hat, she ran into the house to her mother as fast as her legs could carry her. Klea Lauretta Astle married a widower, Joseph Richard Baer. She was his second wife. She worked extremely hard on the fruit farm helping to raise Joe's six children along with the seven children she and Joe had together.

Vernon Lenox Astle was born April 5, 1898. In the winter of 1918, influenza spread over the Valley. Most of the family members were so ill they did not leave their beds. On December 23, 1918, Vernon, who was now 20 years old past away and the next day, Christmas Eve, his mother Lauretta died too.

Arstanie Elvira Astle was the fourth child in the Astle home. Arstanie was the patient child. She helped her mother with all the babies, helping keep the babies asleep on a pillow while her mother finished the washing. Arstanie married Frank Nye in 1929. He was twenty years older than Arstanie. She and Frank lived in Paris, Idaho. They did not have a lot of money, but owned their home in that Bear Lake town. They had one son together, Roy Astle Nye. After Frank's death, Arstanie moved with her son to Salt Lake City. She worked as a housekeeper in many homes, including Elder S. Dilworth Young's home. Arstanie lived until she was 96 years old, with most of her time being spent living in the Avenues in Salt Lake City.

Clara Pearl Astle was born in Grover, Wyoming on March 12, 1901. Pearl married George Isaac Carling in the Logan Temple. They lived their married life in Providence, Utah. George and Pearl had 9 children. Pearl raised a lot of beans and worked hard on the family farm to help supplement the family's income. Pearl made beautiful quilts and was a sought after seamstress. She died of cancer at the age of 73.

On August 12, 1902, David Elmer Astle joined the John Francis and Lauretta Hepworth Astle home. A boy was a welcome addition to the family. David married Gertude Anderson in 1929, but she died the following year in November 1930. David then went on a Church mission. He met his future wife Margarita Elfrieda Foerster on his Eastern States Mission. They had three sons. David lived up the road from his sister Pearl. He died a week or so after Pearl. David was a painter by trade, besides a farmer. He helped his father on the farm in Providence.

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