Little League

I found this in my journal.  It’s dated January 20, 1993:

“Today at work, I was remembering Hebe’s last game and I thought it would be fun to write it down.

It was the championship game.  Hebe’s team, the Blue Jays, had finished in first place in the regular season and they had one more game to win in order to finish first in tournament play as well.  However, they had to play the Yankees, the only team they had never defeated.

During the first two innings, Jake, the Jays pitcher, was really wild and gave up a lot of runs.  After that, he settled down and the Jays’ hitters started chipping away at the Yankees’ enormous lead.  Going into the last inning, the Yankees were ahead 14-6.

Hebe had been in a wicked slump all season, but before the game, he and Alex had spent a long time in the backyard, working on Hebe’s hitting.

His first time up that inning, Hebe walked and scored.  Then, everyone starting hitting or getting on base and scoring.  Mom and I started getting nervous, hoping that Hebe wouldn’t come up again.  We didn’t want him to make the last out.  But, he did come up again. It was 14-13, the bases were loaded and there were two outs.  Alex was standing against the fence, bouncing with nervous energy.  The situation was really tense.

And then, I’ll never forget it, Hebe got the most beautiful hit right over the second baseman’s head and into center field.  Hebe threw his fist into the air and ran to first.  Two men scored.  The players ran onto the field, jumping and yelling.  Mom screamed.  I screamed.  Alex had tears streaming down his face.  It was baseball at its best.  It was family at its best, too.”



Whitney was originally the name of a place.  Whitney Parish in the western part of Herefordshire near Wales, was in the valley of the River Wye. Wye River

In the distribution of land among the followers of William the Conqueror, the area known as Whitney was granted to Sir Turstin, also known as “Turstin the Fleming.”  Sometime between 1100-1200, one of Sir Turstin’s descendants, following the custom of the time, took the name of Whitney as a surname.  

John Whitney was born in England in 1589.  Educated at the famous Westminster School and trained as a merchant tailor, John seems to have been a very successful and distinguished gentleman.  In April 1635, John booked passage on the Elizabeth and Ann for himself, his wife Elinor and their sons John, Richard, Nathaniel, Thomas and Jonathan. They arrived in America in June 1635 and immediately settled in Watertown, Massachusetts.  John Whitney held several important positions in the community including constable, selectman and town clerk.  He died in 1673.

The posterity of John and Elinor Whitney are innumerable.  Among their descendants are Eli Whitney, inventor of the cotton gin; Newel K Whitney, first bishop of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Dad.Whitney Store



Geneological and Family History of the State of Maine, by Harry Sweetster Burrage and Albert Roscoe Stubbs

Whitney Research Group

The Mayor’s Peach Tree

Ray Beal and I, as teenagers, used to terrorize the town of Leeds.  Don’t misunderstand.  We weren’t malicious, only mischievous.  We didn’t destroy property; we just made noise.  With half sticks of dynamite.

I don’t remember how we got the dynamite; I think Ray acquired it.  There was some mining going on around the town, and maybe he knew where Western Gold and Uranium kept it stored.  I suspect that its acquisition was somewhat outside the law, but I honestly don’t remember being too concerned.

We had a number of sticks along with primer caps and some fuse, and we cut them in half, put a primer cap on the end of about a foot of fuse (it looked like small black rope about an eighth of an inch in diameter) and inserted the cap and fuse assembly into the end of each half stick.  Then at night we went around Leeds, on the outskirts, away from any buildings, animals, or people, and woke the town up with our fabulous firecrackers.

Willard McMullin was the town’s mayor, the owner of The Log Cabin Inn, a gas station and one room grocery, and he was partially deaf.  He started hearing about those mysterious booms in the middle of the night and the rumor that we were responsible, and so he approached us without reproach.

“I haven’t heard a thing.”  He said.

Ray said, “Of course not, Willard.  You’re deaf as a post!”

“Well, I want to hear one.”  He said.

So that night we wedged one of the dynamite sticks into a crook of two limbs of a peach tree he had in his front yard, and split the tree in two.

The next morning we wandered into the store.

“Did you hear that?”  Ray asked.

“Didn’t hear a thing.”

But we heard plenty when we took him out and showed him his mangled peach tree.

Thomas Billington Nelson

I preface this post by saying that I’m fairly certain each of our children gave a talk in Primary telling this story.  But here it is for posterity.  And a little more information, also.

Thomas was born May 9, 1835, in Mt. Vernon, Illinois. When he was an infant his father joined the LDS Church and they eventually settled in Nauvoo, Illinois.  Thomas wrote about his time in Nauvoo:

I was baptized when I was eight years old by the great Prophet Joseph Smith in the Mississippi River.  I well remember the Prophet and his brother Hyrum.  I have heard them preach a great many times, and well remember the trying scenes of Nauvoo.  I saw both of these great men after they were killed and brought home; passing through the room where they lay, with my parents.  I well remember the cries and prayers offered up to the Almighty God by many good mothers for the protection of their husbands and loved ones from the mob who were in the country to destroy the Saints.

Thomas wrote further of the trek to Salt Lake.  He was in his “14th year” and was “small, stout, active, and willing”.


On March 27, 1853 Thomas married Mary Catherine Welker, age 21, he turning 18 the following May.  Of her he wrote: “she was well qualified for a housekeeper and mother and in due time presented to me eleven children”.


On June 25,1867 Thomas married Dortha Christina Jensen Sorenson who bore him nine children.


He kept his two wives in one large house with two apartments exactly alike. When polygamy was declared illegal Thomas could not give up either of his families and so spent much of his time in hiding in a specially prepared cave.

As a summary of his life he wrote, “We have 20 children, 16 living, all in the church; 8 grandchildren, 30 great-grandchildren.  Mary Catherine Welker Nelson is seventy-three years old, I, Thomas Billington Nelson, am seventy years old, Dortha Christina Nelson is 56 years old.  All are living in Arizona, in good faith in the Gospel.”

Thomas died Feb. 19, 1918, in Thatcher, Arizona.  Mary Catherine Welker Nelson died Dec. 8, 1920, in Franklin, Arizona.  Dortha Christina Nelson died Feb. 8, 1916, in Thatcher, Arizona.

Thomas Billington Nelson and Mary Catherine Welker Nelson were the parents of Elizabeth Mary Jane Nelson.  She married Anton Peter Madsen and they were the parents of Samantha Madsen.  She married Heber Christian Nelson and they were the parents of Lola Samantha Nelson.  She married Wilford Charles Brimley and they were the parents of me, Lucile Brimley Eastman.  How grateful I am for all of them.

Source:THE NELSON FAMILY compiled by Mansel Hyrum Nelson, published 1970.


At the Johnson House #1

Roundtable Discussion is something that we do as a family, every Sunday after dinner.  During Roundtable, we talk about the best and the worst of the week before, we calendar for the coming week, we make announcements and we talk about any issues that we may have.

A few weeks ago, I decided to add a Family History Moment to our Roundtable Discussion.    I told my kids that I thought it would be fun for them to know some of the things that I remember about my family.  I invited Jeff to do the same.  We take turns; I share something one week, he shares the next.  So far, we have shared minor details.  I have told them about singing The Old Bass Viol with Grandpa.  I told them how much I used to love listening to the Onion Street Singers rehearsing at our house.  Jeff talked about his grandpa, who used to work in a candy factory and the time his dad jumped out of the window at school and ran home.

Their response was immediate and amazing.  They have been incredibly attentive and really interested in all that we have to say.  A couple of weeks ago, when it came time for our Family History Moment, Noah said, “Yes!  I love Family History!”

Their reaction was really my primary motivation for starting this project.  I am newly aware of how interesting minor details can be.  Those are the things that I hope to share.  I hope that you will have the desire to share yours, too.

Thomas Hancock

When the Revolutionary War began, Thomas Hancock was too young to join the army.  Toward the end of the war, when he was old enough, Thomas attempted to enlist.  His two older brothers had already been killed in the fighting and Thomas’s mother, Jemima, was distraught at the prospect of losing her only remaining son.  Upon learning the details, General George Washington told Thomas that his family had already sacrificed enough, that the war would be over soon anyway and sent him home to his mother.

Thomas Hancock was a third cousin of John Hancock, signer of the Declaration of Independence.  Thomas was born in Massachusetts in 1763.  According to his son Levi’s account, Thomas was about 5 feet 9 inches tall.  He had dark eyes, black hair and was rarely ever known to lose his temper.  “Indeed, he was called the best dispositioned man in all the country,” wrote Levi.



Thomas married Amy Ward in Massachusetts in 1785.  Amy’s father, Jacob Ward, was a general in the Revolutionary War.  Sarah Hancock, a daughter, wrote, “My mother was a daughter of General Jacob Ward, spoken of in Lexington, Mass in the History of the Revolutionary War of 1776. Many an hour I’ve listened to the tales of war.”

The Hancocks lived in Massachusetts, Vermont, New York, Pennsylvania and Ohio.  While in Ohio, they heard the preaching of Parley P. Pratt, Sidney Rigdon and Oliver Cowdery.  Thomas and his daughter Clarissa were the first to be baptized.  

After joining the church, the Hancocks moved to Kirtland, Ohio, Far West, Missouri and Yelrome, a settlement about 45 miles from Nauvoo, Illinois.  They experienced all the trials and hardships of the early members of the Church.  Thomas died in Yelrome in 1844.  Amy died in Iowa in 1847, en route to the Salt Lake Valley.

The connection between Eric Eastman and Thomas Hancock is as follows:  Eric Eastman – Blance Savilla Jones – Amy Sophronia Whitney – Job Hall Whitney – Clarissa Alger – Clarissa Hancock – Thomas Hancock



Thomas Rogers

Thomas Rogers (1572-1621) was a passenger on the Mayflower.  Originally born in Northamptonshire, England, Thomas and his family moved to Holland in 1614 to escape religious persecution.  In 1620, Thomas and his 18-year-old son Joseph boarded the Mayflower and set sail for the new world.  Upon landing at Provincetown Harbor in November of 1620, Thomas and 40 other passengers signed the Mayflower Compact, the first governing document of Plymouth Colony.


Thomas died during the first winter in Plymouth Colony.  His name appears on the Pilgrim Memorial Tomb in Plymouth, Massachusetts.

RogersGrave RogersName

According to Governor William Bradford, “Thomas Rogers died in the first sickness, but his son Joseph was still living, and was married with 6 children.  The rest of Thomas Rogers children came over, and were married, and had many children.”

The link between Thomas Rogers and Eric Eastman is as follows:  Eric Eastman -Blanche Savilla Jones – Amy Sophronia Whitney – Elizabeth Jane West – Betsy Jane Fish -Horace Fish – Joseph Fish – Nathan Cooper Fish – Joseph Fish – Margaret Woodworth -Joseph Woodworth – Elizabeth Rogers – Thomas Rogers