Sunday, August 31, 2008

James Andrew McBride (senior)


A pioneer to Pima, Arizona, James Andrew McBride was a frontiersman, farmer, and freighter. He and his family arrived in Pima in December of 1881. He married Elizabeth Clark on February 16, 1866.

James and Elizabeth purchased a farm in the Glenbar area, but freighting became a paying proposition so he traded his farm for a pair of horses and wagon. He began freighting from Bowie and Willcox to Globe. He received no money for his work, however, and was forced to take his pay in merchandise from the company stores.

Frequently, Elizabeth and the girls went with him on these freighting trips to Willcox or Bowie because they could make a better selection of clothing and other supplies they couldn't find at the company stores.

When the mines began to produce copper, the freighters hauled the metal to Willcox. For this, they received much needed cash. Now the family had money to pay taxes and could buy things not available at the company store.

After the railroad was built from Bowie to Globe, freighting by team and wagon stopped. Many who didn't have farms were having a hard time making a living. James and Elizabeth owned some farm land but not enough to earn a good living.

Bisbee was a flourishing mining camp so they, with their family, moved to Bisbee. Everything went well until James broke his leg. As soon as he was able to get around on crutches, they returned to Pima.

James and Elizabeth reared a large family: James Andrew Jr., William Edward, Don Carlos (the father of Willard C. McBride), Sarah Elizabeth, Frank Ashby (who died as a child), Jessie Bert, Lucy Agnes, John Henry, Phoebe Leila (died as a child), Rolla, Susan Nellie (died at age one), and Julia Ellise. Three of their sons filled missions for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Bert served in New Zealand, John in Australia, and Don Carlos in Samoa. Don Carlos served two missions to Samoa, where he was called as Mission President.

In the years James and Elizabeth spent in rearing their large family, they served in the ward, helped build school houses and a church, dug ditches and canals, and worked wherever they were needed. They left a legacy of hard work, service, and devotion to their faith.

Note: The above information was taken from POINEER TOWN, PIMA CENTENNIAL HISTORY. This is not meant to be a complete history of James Andrew McBride, Sr., but only a brief sketch of his life.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

James Andrew McBride and Mary Isabelle Bryce

James Andrew McBride was born December 11, 1866 at Santaquin, Utah to James Andrew McBride and Elizabeth Clark. As a young boy James Andrew worked with his father laying railroad tracks in the surrounding territory. While he, his father, and others were working in the McGaffy mountains in New Mexico, he was captured by Indians. He was later released because of the high regard his captors had for his father.

Mary Isabelle Bryce was born July 11, 1870 in the Pine Valley, Utah. The daughter of Ebenezer and Mary Ann Park Bryce, she came to the Gila Valley, Arizona with her parents in 1882 when she was twelve years old. They settled first in Pima, staying there until 1884 when they moved across the river to Bryce.

James and Mary married October 16, 1890 in Pima, Arizona. While in Pima, James farmed and tended a vineyard and orchard. He also served as Deputy Sheriff. In 1904, they moved their family to South Bisbee, called "Tin Town." Here, they had a dairy farm, selling milk to the people of Bisbee. Later, they moved to a ranch five miles east of Don Luie and homesteaded the land, (five miles from the Mexican border). They built a house there, using a tent for the kitchen, two bedrooms, one for the parents and one for the children, who slept on the floor.

As James came home from work early one morning after a snow, his horse fell,. landing on him and breaking his leg in two places. This accident caused him to suffer much the rest of his life. As a result, he had to wear a built-up shoe and limped when he walked. He was unable to continue working at the mine, so he and his family ran a small store.

They bought a farm in Bryce and returned to the Gila Valley. Here, he raised cattle and farmed. James served as Bishop of the Bryce Ward, serving in this calling for six or seven years. Mary served as a counselor in the Relief Society.

Along with others, they lost their farm during the Great Depression and moved to Safford, Arizona, where James worked for the government. After his parents passed asway, they moved back to Pima and lived in his parents' home. They enjoyed working there until James passed away on January 23, 1940, in Pima, at the age of 74 years.

Mary passed away December 1, 1957 in Thatcher, Arizona. Both James and Mary served faithfully in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints throughout their lives. They were buried side by side in the Pima Cemetery.