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Morgan Family Pioneer Heritage
Life Story of Ada Morgan Radford

Ada was a daughter of William and Lovina Ross Morgan


Ada Melissa Morgan Radford was born June 28, 1896 at Neeley, Idaho, a small town just five miles from American Falls, Idaho. Her parents were William and Lovina Morgan. They were among the Latter Day Saints of the Church called to help settle in Idaho. Their first home was in what is known as a dugout. She was the fourth in a family of thirteen children. Ada remembered when she was a small child, her father going to Pocatello for supplies. While he was gone the Indians came with a man's head on a long pole. They were sure it was her father and were very relieved to learn that it was not him. They were pioneers in the true sense of the word, suffering all the hardships of starting life in a new country, making do with what they had. Nevertheless they were a happy family. Ada's mother must have been a remarkable woman as she taught her daughters the art of keeping house and cooking and caring for their families in a truly fine way.

Ada suffered from rheumatic fever for many winters. She was confined to her bed for many weeks at a time and was so ill that little hope was held that she would ever be stong enough to live a normal life. During the times that she was well enough, she helped her mother and two older sisters, Jane and Julia, raise funds for the Church by serving oyster suppers for the people of the surrounding area. These suppers drew many people, including the "cowboys."

She met Daniel or "Dee" Radford on the day he came from his home at Rudy, now known as Ririe. His family ran a sawmill in the mountains above Rudy. He spent three years courting Ada. They were married on the 6th of March, 1906, in Pocatello. They lived at Rudy until shortly before their first baby was born. Dee took Ada to be with her mother when the baby was born on April 2, 1907. They called him Rulon. The little family then stayed in Neeley and homesteaded a dry farm. After they had proved up on the dry farm they moved back to Ririe. A daughter Verna was born while they were living on their homestead. When they moved back to Rudy they bought eighty acres of land and built a new home. Another daughter was born to them called Bernice and also a son Don. Ada became Relief Society Teacher and Secretary of the Relief Society of the Perry Ward. They helped build a new church house on which they all labored. It was built of rock from the nearby hills.

In 1925 the family moved to the Osgood Ward to farm for the Utah-Idaho Sugar Company. They worked extremely hard on this farm raising sugar beets, potatoes, grain and hay. Most of the work was done by hand or with the machinery available in those days, which meant that they worked from sunrise to sunset, and then Dee would have to go out in the fields during the night to change the irrigation water. They hauled wood for the winter all the way from Kelly's Canyon above Ririe with a team and wagon, taking three or four days to make each trip. They would meet Ada's brother Dick and his family up there and help each other get out the wood. Her brother Al and his family lived near them in Osgood and they would usually take turns doing each other's chores while the other one went after wood. These outings were a lot of work but also a lot of fun and enjoyed by everyone. The first thing Dee would do each time they started to make camp was get out and beat the brush and surrounding ground to see if any rattlesnakes were there. The women would cook the meals on the campfire and watch the children while the men cut wood. The fishing was never neglected and they always had several meals of pan fried trout fresh from the stream. After the wood was all cut and loaded came the exciting and scarey ride down out of the canyon with the big loads of poles.


Ada Morgan Radford in a wagon/tent camp with her first four children. Camps such as this were used commonly when hauling wood from the mountains or working on construction of such projects as the Conant Dugway road or Big Feeder Headgates.

Ada was work director for the Relief Society in Osgood and received recognition for fifty years of teaching. She cooked for the Osgood school children with Mrs. Piper for seven years and they all loved her very much. In 1938 they bought a farm still in the Osgood ward, built a home there and Rulon and Leona bought the one adjoining them. Dee's health was failing by this time and he only lived a short time after they got their house built. Rulon passed away suddenly from a heart attack in 1953, leaving Leona and eleven children. Before Dee died they fulfilled a goodwill mission to Logan, St. George, Salt Lake, Manti and the Mesa Temples. They also completed a work mission in the Idaho Falls Temple. After Dee's passing Ada sold the farm and bought a little house on 9th street in Idaho Falls. While living there she continued her work in the Relief Society. She was a very talented seamstress, quiltmaker, and was also known for her cake decorating. Her cakes and quilts earned many dollars for the building projects of the wards she lived in. She designed many of her quilts and they are real heirlooms.

Berniece suffered from rheumatic fever and depended on her mother much of the time for help with her two little boys and for nursing care. She passed away when she was just 39 years old, leaving the two boys in the care of her mother and her husband. They lived with Ada until they were grown.

Ada had twenty one grandchildren and sixty two great grandchildren and 1 great great grandchild when she died. Prior to her death she was hospitalized several times. She always had a very independent spirit, it was very hard for her to ask anyone for help. She got out and painted the outside of her house when she was past eighty years old. She was a very hospitable little lady and she loved all little children and they responded to her kindly and loving ways. She loved flowers and always had them growing all around her yard. She was much loved by her neighbors, friends and relatives and they will miss her very much. She has earned her place in the Kingdom of Heaven for she was a great and Godly woman.

Gravestone for Dee and Ada Radford

Click on the link above to see a picture of Dee and Ada Radford's headstone in the Shelton, Idaho cemetery.

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