Friday, October 7, 2011

George and Aquilla (O'Dell) Dye

A number of years ago, our stake president asked us to find out how our family came into the church.  My mom joined the church when my sister was about nine-years old.  I thought I knew about my dad's side.  My grandmother had been a member all her life.  Her mother was the child of pioneers.  My grandfather joined the church when my dad was a boy.  In all of this, I had forgotten my maternal great-grandfather's story.  This story, miraculously, found me.

Tonight, as I was going through some papers, I ran across the story again.  I thought I'd share it here just for the mere fact that I want this saved for posterity.

Here's a little bit of background....When I started this blog back in December of 2007, I was corresponding with a cousin.  She, Mary, is a cousin of my mom's and lives in Montana--where my dad's family is from--the Bitterroot. 

While on her computer one day, Mary decided to search my dad's family names to see what she'd find in Montana.  She sent me three different stories including this article from the newspaper.  Of course Mary, who isn't of the LDS faith had no idea that I'd be searching for such a story.

"Most people who were not Mormons were unintereseted in the missionaries' message, but occasional contacts with those who were receptive, like George and Aquilla Dye, ranchers in Corvallis, restored their enthusiasm.  Having recently dreamed of two men who vistied her ranch with an important message, Aquilla welcomed the two missionaries who approached her home seeking lodging and food one evening.  Within a short time the Dyes had embraced Mormonism, providing the nucleus for a Sunday School in Corvallis that would eventually grow into a branch congregation.  In their sermons and in reports they sent to the mission headquarters, the missionaries also related accounts of faith-promoting healings following priesthood blessings.   For instance, one missionary who visited the Dyes' home in 1898 shortly after their conversion 'found a house full of sickness.'  Aquilla requested a priesthood blessing for each member of the family, following which each claimed that they 'were instantly releaved [sic] of pain.'  The telling and retelling of such stories nurtured a sense of identity among local Mormons as a divinely favored people caring for each other."

Maurine Hughes, interview by author, August 11, 2004, Hamilton, Montana, transcript in author's possession; Young diary, April 3, 1898.

A nice little tender mercy.


vaxhacker said...

That's a great idea. I'll have to think a bit to see if I can really recall the story of where exactly we came in to the church. It's one of those things that seems obvious when lurking in the back of my mind, but if pressed to actually name names and facts, I can't quite place most of them.

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