Lydia Alveretta Spencer was the fifth child born to John Henry Spencer and Lucy Lodica Elmer, and she was my great grand aunt. Lydia was born in Payson, Utah on 21 May 1873. Sometime around the time that Lydia turned four years old, the family relocated to Sanpete County, where she spent her childhood. On 1 Jan 1899, at the age of 25, Lydia married John Wesley Tidwell.
John Tidwell was born 22 January 1861 in Pleasant Grove, Utah County, Utah to William Nelson Tidwell and Mary Elizabeth Reynolds. John had previously been married to Mary Rosetta Gardner, another of my great grand aunts from the Gardner family line, who died in 1892.
By the time the 1900 census had been enumerated, both of Lydia’s parents were dead. She was with her husband in Sanpete County, and their first daughter Bertha had been born. Her younger brother Elmer Bert Spencer is living with the family. Lydia’s father’s “other” wife, Jerusia Spencer is living nearby with her minor children.
When we find Lydia and John in the 1910 census, we see that they have relocated their family to Marysville, Freemont County, Idaho. Lydia tells the enumerator that she has given birth five times and that three of the children are living:
1. Bertha Tidwell (1900-1989 – married Howard Lawson White Craven);
2. Teresa (1906 – ?);
3. Lydia Lodica (1909-1998 – did not marry);
4. Thomas Elmer Tidwell was born 1903 in Utah and died 1909 in Idaho; and
5. Vera Tidwell was born 16 Jan 1908 in Idaho and died that same day; and
By 1920 the couple has added another daughter, Effie (1911 – ?).
By the time the 1930 census rolls around – John Tidwell continues to have a house full of women! The family is still present in Marysville, Idaho. Lydia is 56 years old; John is 69. They state that they own their own home worth $500 – and that it is not a farm. John lists his occupation as farm laborer. Also in the home are Bertha, age 30 and Teresa, age 25 – both state they are married – but no husbands are with them in the census. Younger daughters Lydia Lodica,, 20 and Effie, 18 are also in the home.
John Wesley Tidwell died seven years later at the age of 76. He is laid to rest in the Pineview Cemetery in Ashton, Freemont County, Idaho.