Saturday, April 6, 2013

How I Almost Became Mitt Romney's Cousin

John Cooper Houston (1876-1960)

My Great Grandfather

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

I was reading John Houston's journal and discovered that I almost was Mitt Romney's cousin.  Yes, that Mitt Romney.

Here's how.

When John Houston finished his mission, he had been working along the Rio Grande in New Mexico, near El Paso, Texas.  A land I know very well.  He left behind his mule and the "Gospel Cart" and went to Salt Lake City.

Do you think it was like a taco cart, only it sold Book of Mormons?

On his way home he stopped in Salt Lake City to report at the President's office.  President Joseph F. Smith said, "Brother John, I have one request to make of you; go home and get married."

And he did.  He proposed to Eliza Adelaide Asay after a New Year's Eve "End of the Century Party" on Jan. 1, 1901 as the sun was beginning to rise.   

Her grandmothers Sarah and Eliza both came across the plains to join the Mormons in Utah.

Nine months and six days after they married, they had their first child, Lucy Ora.  John was a school teacher at the time and they all wanted to see "the teacher's baby" so they filed in, one by one, past the bed.  One boy said to another outside the bedroom, "My ain't she ugly, she looks just like the teacher!"

John decided it was now time for him to find a place for his family and settle down.  He narrowed his choices down to two.  One of his choices was to go to Mexico where several Mormons had settled.

I could see why he considered this choice.  It was close to where he had served his mission.

He also considered another location in the Big Horn Basin in Wyoming.

This choice also made sense.  Addie's mother wanted to move here because she already had two sons living there and wanted her other three sons to live there too.

John couldn't decide which direction to go, north or south.  

He went to his father for advice.  His father said that he should stay in the United States.  So they chose Wyoming.

If they had picked Mexico, they would have met this guy

and his son.

Mitt Romney's grandfather
If they had, then 11 years later they would have been driven out and taken refuge in El Paso.  

Maybe some of the Houston kids would have married some of the Romney kids.  Which means Mitt Romney would have been a cousin.

Instead, I just married someone who sort of looks like him.

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