Sunday, July 8, 2012

Charles Ingalls... denied!

John Cooper Houston (1876-1960)

My Great Grandfather

me --> Ruth Rasmussen Buchanan --> Alice Houston Rasmussen --> John Cooper Houston 

If doing things outside of our comfort zone is good for our mental health then having lunch with my great grandfather, John Houston, would make me extremely mentally healthy.  That's because of all my ancestors, he scares me the most--even though I was born nine years after he died.

John Cooper Houston on his mission in Arizona.
Copy of photo in the LDS Church Vault in SLC, UT.

The reason why he scares me is because of the stories I grew up hearing about him.  Here are three stories that make me afraid to have lunch with him.

1. When my grandmother was born, the family named her Dorothy.  John gave her a baby blessing in their ward. On his way to the front of the chapel, he decided he didn't want her name to be Dorothy, but Alice.  So he blessed her as Alice Houston.  When he brought the baby back down, his wife didn't say anything and the family from that point on called her Alice.

2.  When Alice was a little, she and her siblings got together and decided that calling their dad "Father" was old-fashioned.  The cool thing to call your dad was "Pa."  So they held a meeting, voted on it and decided from now on they would call their dad, "Pa."  They went to John and told him of their plan.  Alice said that he became very stern and said, "You will call me 'Father' and nothing else."

Sorry Charlie!

3. When John was older he would often visit his grandchildren.  My uncle Art was just a little guy when John was still alive.  He told me that one day he and his grandpa, (oops, I mean grandfather) were walking on the sidewalk.  Art noticed an ant trail on the sidewalk and began stepping on them, killing the ants.  John stopped walking and turned to Art and said, "Stop killing those ants.  They are Heavenly Father's creations and they deserve to live as much as you do."

But I'm sure my fears aren't justified.  After all he looks like the sweetest guy in the world.  

As long as I don't call him great grandpa.


  1. Your posts are really fun to read - your approach to family history shows that you are an accomplished writer with a great sense of humor. That is an awesome combination.

  2. Nah - there is nothing to fear. :-)
    Enjoy your lunch!
    Theresa (Tangled Trees)

  3. I love these stories. My grandmother is your grandmother's sister, LaVonne.


    1. I loved Great Aunt LaVonne. I have such fond memories of her. One time I had her come to my R.S. as a guest speaker. She told this one story about how during the 60's she had a bomb shelter and there was a nuclear explosion and so her family huddled in the bomb shelter for safety. Someone was trying to get into the bomb shelter and was knocking on the door. By the time she got to the door, the person was dead. The audience was staring at her like, "What on earth?" Then she stopped and looked at everyone and said, "Oh, I forgot to tell you, this was a dream I had." Everyone laughed. I also remember that she was interviewed for the paper once and revealed that she and her husband were opposite parties and every election their votes cancelled each other, but they still would go out to vote. My husband and I are also opposite parties, and I've never forgotten that. We still go to the polls every year too!