Church History in Canada: The Call to Canada

Church History in Canada: The Call to Canada
My mother, Martha Louise Jessop, went with her father in most of the western U.S. on railroad contracts. All the children in her mother’s family liked to go also rather than stay in Millville, Utah, as they thought the life more exciting.
1 - Martha Louise Jessop.jpg
Among the workmen in grandfather’s railroad crew was the man who would become my father, Magnus Holm. He and mother met and were married on April 15, 1891.  It was a very lovely wedding for those early days. They had a $25 wedding cake. Mother’s wedding dress was an exquisite creation of lace over satin. They had a wedding dance for the townspeople of Millville with Cache Valley’s best orchestra.
2- Holm, Magnus.jpg
They had planned to go to Canada immediately, but because of the objections of Grandfather Jessop they decided to stay in Cache valley where they rented a farm in Newton, lived there three years and had their first two children. At the time they farmed in Newton, wheat sold for only 25-cents a bushel and other products were proportionately low. At the end of the third year, they felt  the urge to go to Canada; their father planned to operate a creamery business at which he was very specialized. On September 20, they left and travelled with wagons and horses, covering 800 miles and taking six weeks to make the trip to Cardston, Alberta.
3 - Holm Wedding.jpg
Part of the food for this long trip was supplied by killing and cooking the chickens they had with them. When they made camp, the cook stove was unloaded and set up upon the ground where Mother made our meals and also baked a large batch of bread for the next week’s journey.
4 - Mormon-Trail-marker.jpg

This trip must have had many of the hardships of early pioneering on the journey as they had two small children — one two and one-half years old and one 11 months. I am sure my mother endured many difficulties on this trip as they camped out at night and cooked all their own meals over a campfire. There were seven people in the party — the three children, Mother, Father, and two young men who wanted to go to Canada.

Upon their arrival at Cardston, November 1, 1895, they had just $1 left. They moved into a two-room house, and luckily my mother found several American stamps in a small book in the house. She used these to write home and several letters arrived back in Utah before the post office discovered these were not Canadian stamps.

The first winter in Canada was a hard one. Upon arrival, they had asked a man if this were a good country and he said, “It’s a fine country, but you have to have a search warrant to find a dollar.”

In the second year after their arrival, they homesteaded land near what is today Kimball in the Province of Alberta. My mother’s first home on their own land consisted of one large room, built of logs with a dirt floor and a dirt roof. Mother, who was always noted for her thrift and resourcefulness, pasted old clothes over the logs to make a smooth wall and then papered the cabin with newspapers. As a floor covering, she made a carpet of gunny sacks fastened down by wooden pegs driven into the carpet at its edges. Straw had been placed under the carpet. All visitors commented about the good appearance of this little home.  It was into this clean, but humble, home that I was born.

Later they built a comfortable home and ran a cattle ranch for 11 years. During this time, five of their eight children were born.

While in Canada, my mother was called in 1906 to serve as a Relief Society President. This responsibility had many duties. For example, all burial clothing was made by the Relief Society. Also, they prepared the dead for internment. Sometimes my mother was required to neglect her own family in order to give this public service. Once while she was president, she went with the bishop to buy clothing for a young mother who had passed away. It was in winter, which meant very uncertain weather conditions. They travelled a distance of 15 miles to Cardston to purchase the clothing and on the return trip were caught in one of the country's worst blizzards that delayed them about 10 hours. Mother had left her nursing baby with her 10-year old daughter. She declares that when she did get home, the baby and her daughter Dollie sobbed all the rest of the night.

While in this calling and as a mother of 8 children, she led a very busy life. In our home, my father and mother always had family prayer and kept the Word of Wisdom; also, we all attended church regularly and my mother always helped with all worthy causes whenever called upon.

In all my years at home, I have pleasant memories of my home as being clean and orderly, always having appetizing meals, however humble our place was. Eventually Mother had more than 96 living descendants — seven living children, 32 grandchildren, 55 great grandchildren, and two great, great grandchildren.

She had done the work in temples for 600 souls since she started to keep track. Her spirit of independence and thrift has always been an inspiration to me. Even in her eighties, she displayed considerable self-reliance — keeping her own vegetable and flower gardens, doing considerable reading, keeping herself posted on current events, making her own clothing and doing hand work for others. She has always been blessed with a green thumb, and at 82 years was still an active gardener.
5 - Ripplinger, Lorraine Holm

It is my hope and prayer that if the Lord will allow me to live to an advanced age as she did, I will be at least partly as functional and self-reliant as she was.

Lorraine Holm Ripplinger, died in 1980, in Cache Valley, Utah. Her grandson, Randall R. Ripplinger, returned to Canada in June 2013 with his wife, Linda, to serve as missionaries including writing for the website.

Lorraine Holm Ripplinger, died in 1980, in Cache Valley, Utah. Her grandson, Randall R. Ripplinger, returned to Canada in June 2013 with his wife, Linda, to serve as missionaries including writing for the website.