ELVA BIGELOW CARTER
(This was scanned into a computer file by Stephen Rawlins in Feb., 1997, from the document: DON AND ANNIE BIGELOW LIFE HISTORY, prepared by their children in 1988.)
On Tuesday, April 25 1899 at 9:00 A.M., Don and Annie Bigelow welcomed not only the coming of Spring, but also the birth of their fifth child. This baby girl they named Elva. This baby was different from the four older children be-cause she had dark hair and brown eyes like her father. All the children before her had had light hair and blue eyes.
Elva was not three years old when she, with the other children, had Diphtheria. She of course, was too young to remember this. Four of Don and Annie's six children died in just six days. Elva and Ervin were the only ones that survived.
Elva went to school in Wallsburg and usually received good grades. When her father went on his second mission, Elva who was then twelve years of age, had to do what she could to help on the farm.
In 1918, Elva was dating Jessie Monroe Taylor. When Jess was drafted into the Army, he persuaded Elva to marry him before he was sent overseas. They were married 1 May 1918. Jess was sent to France. He came home after the war ended. Two children were born to them:
- Velma born 26 October 1919 Provo, Utah
- Jessie Keith born 3 February 1922 Wallsburg, Utah
Elva and Jess were divorced in May 1923. After the divorce, Elva went to Provo and worked at the Utah State Hospital. A friend who also worked there introduced her to Clyde Avor Carter. Elva and Clyde were married January 30, 1929. Clyde accepted and loved Elva's two children as his very own. He legally adopted them April 8, 1929. Elva and Clyde's children were:
- Myrna born 9 Nov 1929 Provo, Utah
- Carol Jean born 22 Dec 1931 " "
- Don Clyde born 21
Dec 1932 " "
Clyde and Elva lived most of their married life in Provo. Clyde worked for the Union Pacific Railroad.
Elva was the organist for the Primary and Sunday School, counselor in the Relief Society; she also taught the Bluebird Girls in Primary, was an In-Service Training Teacher, Relief Society visiting teacher and a Guide Patrol Teacher. She also belonged to the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers as well as to the Singing Mothers Group.
Clyde worked in genealogy and they both tried to go to the temple once a week. During World War II Elva also worked for the Union Pacific Railroad. She and Clyde provided a home for Elva's father for the last three years of his life.
In September 1962, Clyde and Elva started to work together at the Youth Home one day a week. While there, they tried to be friendly, kind and understanding to the children who were there. They wanted to try to influence, encourage and help those unwanted, misguided and, many times, unloved young people. They worked there until 1968.
Clyde passed away December 20 1968 and was buried in the Provo Cemetery. In 1971, Elva, with her daughter Carol, Carol's husband Stephen Rawlins and her sister Winona, went on a trip around the world. What a great opportunity and good time that was.
After the Provo Temple was dedicated, Elva began doing temple work there. She has done endowments and initiatories for thousands of the dead. She is still going to the Provo Temple four days a week and doing five sessions a day. Last year, 1987, she did endowments for 835 people. She still plays the piano and the organ. She, with her sister Emily, are called "those faithful sisters" at the temple and they certainly are.