Then his world fell apart. His beloved Mother took sick and died. He was about eleven. It was just too hard to understand. Why had God let this happen? What was he going to do without her? All kinds of unanswered questions raced through his mind, as kindly neighbors came to prepare her or burial. All night they sat up with her body, and tried to console and help him.
Life was much harder after his mother's death. Hannah was about eight, and John only four. He had to help Dad with the farm and help Hannah take care of John.
Then one day about a year latter, when he was sure he had things well in hand, his Dad, who was a Quaker Preacher, told his family he was going to marry a young Quaker Widow with four children. It was quite an adjustment for a young man to make but still it was nice to have a woman around the house again to help with the work, besides her two big boys could also help with the chores. Now their family was nine. Each one making more work, but there was also more hands to do the work. But the one he really took to was his new little sister. She would follow him around and watch everything he did with the worshipful eyes of a four year old for a big brother that didn't put her off. He spent hours fixing things for her, helping her, and just letting her follow him. He would walk slower so she could keep up, he pretended he needed help, when it would have been easier to have done it alone. All in all she made this new situation bearable.
Then one day his world collapsed around him again. He was working in the field when he saw the beginning of a funnel cloud. Sometimes they just blew over, but sometimes full blown tornados developed. He started for the house then he saw Malissa Jane coming toward him across the fields. He ran for her as fast as he could, trying to reach her before the funnel cloud did, but he just couldn't quite make it. The funnel blew her over, and kept her just out of his reach. He raced with all his might, but just couldn't get quite close enough to grab her. All the way across the field she was tossed and turned. Finally after what seemed like hours, when his lungs were about to burst he managed to grab her as the capricious wind dropped her and moved on. It was to late however, she is already dead. Most of her bones are broken. She is like a limp rag in his arms. Again the Lord, his father and step-mother are always talking about has let him down. Again the thing he loves most in this world has been taken from him.
He stayed around home for awhile longer but his heart was just not in it. He really didn't get along to well with his Step-Mother and her other children. He found she was expecting another child so he decided this would be a good time to make it on his own.
He left home and wandered around the country doing odd jobs and living as best he could. He ended up in California. The Civil War was beginning so he decided to join the Union Army. He serves for a few months as a rail road engineer, but he has to have a physical and it develops he has a very bad heart. He is given a medical release. He met some people called Mormons and decides to find out more about them. When he does he gains a testimony and joins this new Church. He finds answers to many of the questions he has asked himself for years. He had decided to never let himself love again, but now he realizes he can.
It hurts to loose those you love, but knowing you can be with them again makes all the difference.
He meets a young lady named Hattie Worman and falls in love. He marries her. They move to Pioche, Lincoln, Nevada where he works as a merchant. He is thirty-five and his new bride is just seventeen. She finds it hard to adjust to this kind of life, and problems in the marriage soon become un-surmountable, and they get a divorce.
Once again he finds himself alone. He moves to Fort Apache, Arizona. He starts a lumber business. Here he meets a family by the name of Workman. The mother has had a large family in polygamy. Levi is quite attracted to her thirteen year old daughter. When he has assured the Mother that he does not believe in polygamy and would never go into it, she agrees to the marriage. On the 24th of October, 1884, when he is 44 he marries Adelia Mariah Workman who is thirteen, but large for her age. She has some problems accepting this marriage, but he is good to her. He works hard for his family. He provides them with the things they need. His first son is born a year later. How proud he is of this boy. Now he finally realizes what life is all about. Soon other children join their family. As each one comes he learns again the meaning and purpose of life. How grateful he is now for his early up bringing and how it has helped him to accept Mormonism. The Church calls him in a Mission to teach the Indians. He hates to leave his young family but goes anyway to answer the call of the Lord. It is a long two years and when he returns home he has lice. His wife and the wife of his companion meet them at the border of the Arizona territory with a change of clothes, because they will not let them back into the country otherwise. It is good to be home again. He moves his family around to make a living., but in the end decides to return to Utah to be by Adelia's large and loving family. It hasn't all been roses, but he learns you have to take the good with the bad. Two boys of their 9 children die in infancy. It is hard to accept because he loves each of his children. Each holds a special place in his heart. He has the knowledge of the Gospel, knowing he now has the chance to see his loved ones again. There is always the others that must be provided for.
One daughter, Zella has eyes as blue as his. This makes him feel very proud, but something goes wrong and as she grows her eyes get weaker. He is heart broken. He spends a lot of money and time trying to get help for her, but nothing seems to help. At 12 she has to be taken from school. She has such a brilliant mind. It is almost more than he can stand. He would give anything to be able to help her, but just like Melissa he can do nothing.
He cuts the lumber for the first buildings for the College at Cedar, Utah. It is a good feeling to be a part of something like that.
The turn of the Century comes and goes. He is working hard. His family is growing up. His wife is very good to them all. He feels all things considered the Lord has been very good to him.
Then, for some reason disaster strikes again. Tom, his oldest son takes sick and dies. Again the same old questions, now he has at least some of the answers, but still the pain of loss is almost more than he can handle. He tries but somehow the heart has gone out of him. A sore develops on his throat and simply refuses to heal. He goes to the Dr. but he can not seem to help. It takes awhile but soon the cancer works into his system and on 30 May 1906 he dies. This is very hard on his family as he still has several small children. He has worked hard and tried hard to provide for his family. He owned a saw mill that he moved around where lumber was needed at the time of his death, but because of her inexperience with men who are out to cheat, Adelia loses it in a swindle.
His family all loved him and missed him very much.