Louise, Elaine, Alison, and Newel Comish


NEWEL HOWLAND COMISH, son of Robert Nephi Comish and Emma Jane Howland, born 30 January 1888 at Cove, Cache, Utah; died 17 March 1982 at Mendon, Cache, Utah and buried at Franklin, Franklin, Idaho; married 8 May 1913, Louise LARSON in the LDS Temple at Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah, daughter of Alof Larson and May Louise Hunt, born 15 May 1894 at Snowflake, Navajo, Arizona. Emma Jane Howland had married a second time to John Christian LARSEN Sr. but the marriage was annulled because it had taken place after the mandate and John was already in a polygamist relationship. There has been a lot of controversy and nitpicking into Newels birth date because of the circumstances and the fact that he was born into this polygamist relationship. All his records show that he is the son of Robert Nephi Comish, thus setting the controversy at rest. When Emma Jane entered into this second marriage with John Christian, she did not know that she was breaking the law and when she went to the Church Authorities about it, they suggested the above remedy It seemed to please everyone, at the time, and Newel has never questioned the arrangement and that is the way it should be. Newel attended the Utah State Agricultural College (now USU) in 1911. He did graduate work at the University of Chicago, then went to the University of Wisconsin where he earned an MS and PhD. He joined the faculty of the Oregon Agricultural College In 1915 as a professor of Economics and Sociology. In 1933 he joined the Business Administration Faculty of the University of Oregon. He founded the Cooperative Managers Association at Oregon State University, and Oregon Retail Distributors Institute at the University of Oregon. Newel authored the first book written on Consumption Economics and the first book on Channels of Distribution, which made him a pioneer in marketing. He also wrote the first book on Small Scale Retailing, wrote a fourth book and contributed 170 articles to national jounals. He was listed in "Who’s Who in America," "Leaders in American Science," RUS, and the "Directory of American Scholars." He was active in community affairs, including Boy Scouts, YMCA, Community Chest, and the Lions Club. During World War II, he was chairman of a Lane County, Oregon, War Bond campaign which raised $11 million in six weeks. He became a national retailing consultant after his retirement from the university in 1953. He and his wife later moved to Santa Barbara, California, then to St. George, Utah. They moved to Logan, Utah in June 1981 and joined the Logan LDS Fifth Ward. Louise was born in Snowflake, Arizona, and rode the train or the “old Bamberger," as it was called in those days, from Salt Lake City to Franklin, Idaho, with her new husband, Newel Comish. Newel introduced her to Pres. John A. Widstoe of the A.C. as the Utah State University was then referred. As they got off the train, Pres. Widstoe invited them to eat with him sometime. She was so excited but they never got the chance as their farm work kept them busy. Her first letter home bragged about the green trees and grass that were all over the place. It was quite a contrast to the barren land of her little Mormon community in Arizona. She learned to type on a small portable typewriter, which she held in her lap and the Whitetreadle sewing machine was also a part of their life. Their life together was a busy but happy life.

Emma Jane Howland Comish Primary ... Interesting Biblical, or other, stories were read or told. These had an ethical tinge. In fact, they were chosen deliberately to convey the desirability or truthfulness, honesty, industry and obedience and other equally important morals. Deportment in all its various forms was explained and impressed upon the plastic minds. Songs were sung and memorized. And to encourage the trainees, they were sometimes permitted to perform at parties, or in Sunday School, in front of their elders. Emma Jane loved this work and put much effort into it, She was rewarded by noting the progress of the children and receiving warm praise from their parents. The Relief Society offered Emma Jane, along with the other, church ladies, an opportunity to exercise their social abilities. The women laid out the dead, washed and clothed them for burial, for the professional undertaker had not appeared on the scene at that time. They answered the call of the needy, supplying them with food and clothing and fuel. They visited the sick and offered words of encouragement to them. They took turns on giving lessons on the Gospel. Occasionally, they even ventured into literature. A member was assigned to treat the life and works of some famous author. Quilting bees were held. Once or twice a year, the ladies gave a dinner party at the Church House. To these parties their husbands were invited to partake of delicious foods and listen to the specially prepared program. Emma Jane entered into these activities, enjoying them immensely. At the evening of life, the Comish mother moved into her new house in Franklin. Here, by preference she lived alone, but some of her children lived nearby to assist her when needed Unfortunately, rheumatism attacked her hands and bent her fingers out of shape. From this ailment, she suffered excruciating pain. Despite the pain, she insisted on doing her own housework and kept the place neat and clean. She proudly combed her beautiful black hair, hardly tinged with grey. She parted it in the middle, braided it and wound it into a bun, which she wore toward the back of her head. She groomed herself becomingly and continued to go out socially, especially to church meetings. Apparently, she kept completely alive to the people and things about her to the very last. At the age of 69, she died with rheumatism of the heart. One tribute to her is found, given in a newspaper, covering her funeral. Here it is: "Mrs. Emma Jane Comish died December 24, 1917, of rheumatism of the heart. The funeral was held here (Franklin) December 27 and was attended by practically all the grown people of Cove and Franklin. "Mormons" and non-"Mormons" alike turned out to show their respect for her memory. The services began at 1 o'clock, Bishop S. C. Parkinson presiding. Prayer was offered by Cecil Woodard and the benediction by Robert G. Lowe. Mrs. Nora Daines and Miss Hazel Larsen sang solos. The speakers were Bishop H. L. Blair of Cove, former Bishop L. L. Hatch (of Franklin), Thomas Durant, and Bishop S. C. Parkinson. "Mrs. Comish was the daughter of Martha D. Howland and Henry Howland and was born in Ogle County, Illinois, January 14, 1849. In 1852, she and two of her sisters, Helen Packer and Martha Nash came to Salt Lake City witi their mother, their father having died on the plains. The family resided in Salt Lake till 1860 when they moved to Franklin, where Emma J. Howland married Robert Nephi Comish in 1865. Ten years later the couple moved to Cove, where Mrs. Comish proved up on a homestead and devoted devoted herself to the rearing of a family in which labor she was very successful. For eleven years she was President of the Primary Association of Cove and for nearly as long, she was in the Presidency of the Relief Society, and a teacher In the Sunday School. "Mrs. Emma J. Comish was the mother of ten children: Joseph N. Comish of Mountain Home, Utah; William H. and Myron E. Comish of Grace, Idaho; George F. Comish of Franklin, Idaho; Mrs. Peter Whitehead (deceased); Mrs. J. C. Larsen, Jr. of Lewiston, Utah; Robert C.Comish of Grace, Idaho; Mrs. William Robinson of Franklin, Idaho; and Newel H. Comish of the Oregon State Agricultural College, Corvallis, Oregon. She also is survived by two sisters and a brother: Mrs. Helen Packer of Showlow, Arizona; Mrs. Robert Parsons of Blackfoot, Idaho; and Don Hickman of Eureka, Utah. All the living children, together with the second sister attended the funeral." Deseret News, Jan. 5, 1918.]



ROBERT NEPHI COMISH, son of William Comish and Elizabeth Kegg, born 12 December 1841 at Conchan, Isle of Man, Great Britian and christened 24 July 1842 at Kirk Onchan, Isle of Man, as Robert Comish. It is assumed that the name, Robert Nephi, was given to him at the time of his LDS baptism. Robert Nephi died 13 November 1882 at Cove, Cache, Utah, of Quinsy and buried a few days later at Franklin, Franklin, Idaho. He married 21 January 1865, Emma Jane HOWLAND in the Endowment House (EH) at Salt Lake City, Utah, daughter of Henry Howland and Martha Diana Case, born 14 January 1849 at Flagtown,Ogle, Illinois; died 24 December 1917 and buried 27 Dec 1917 at Franklin, Idaho. Emma married. (2) 27 April 1887, John Christian LARSEN Sr, but the marriage was cancelled because it took place after the mandate and John was a polygamist. Robert's father, William, had joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church or "Morman") in 1841 and so Robert was to be blessed in his church. Elizabeth did not join until 1848 and so was a bit worried about Robert and slipped over to her vicar and had him christened on 24 Jul 1842. He was a little over six months old at this time but the christening is recorded in the Onchan Parish Register. The first six children had been christened within an eight day period after their birth. In 1849, Robert's father and oldest sister. Jane, left for America and the remainder of the famiiy stayed in the Isle of Man until they could earn enough money to make the voyage to America. It took almost two years for his father to send for the family and in 1851, Robert Nephi started on the greatest adventure of his life. With his family, they left the Isle of Man for Liverpool, England, to meet the ship, the ELLEN MARIE. This ship was to take the family to America where the family would be reunited at St. Louis, Missouri. It was while they were living at St. Louis, that his youngest brother, Joseph, died on 6 July 1851 and was buried there. It took several years to make preparations to go to Salt Lake City and in 1855 they joined the Capt. John Hindley Company of emigrating Saints for the trip. There were two hundred emigrants traveling in forty-six wagons with ox teams in this company and they reached Salt Lake City on 3 September 1855. The family was then directed to move on to another location and they settled at Kaysville, for the next five years. The family was then called to help settle Cache Valley and as the family was now split up, Jane, Elizabeth and Margaret were married, they moved on without them. The family met with other Saints on the banks of the Cub River, near Franklin, ID, in Cache Valley and camped there for a few days. They were joined by several more small groups of Saints until there were eleven wagons in all that had joined for protection. (This was necessary because of the Indian threat.) Captain Thomas Smart was at the head of the column as it headed north and the Comish wagon was second, with John Comish as the teamster of their wagon. As the wagons neared, what is now Franklin, Idaho, another wagon whipped around the Comish wagon and later received the honor of being the second wagon into Franklin. However, when the line was drawn between Utah and Idaho, it was found that the Comish wagon was the second wagon to enter the State of Idaho. In 1864, at the age of twenty-two, Robert Nephi, with his brothers, drove an ox-team back to Winter Quarters and assisted in moving the poor emigrants to Utah. Captain William Preston was in charge of the wagon train, which consisted of four hundred people and fifty wagons. They reached Salt Lake City on 15 September 1864. Robert was also one of the Minuteman for the Franklin Colony and was always ready to leave on a minutes notice to help protect the pioneers from any incidents that might arise. This would include the colony and any wagon trains or travelers that were travelling through the area. He and his brother, John, along with Porter Rockwell and others, watched the Battle Creek Massacre of the Shoshoni Indians by the Federal Troops, north of Preston, Idaho, and always remembered the horrible event till the day he died. Robert Nephi was active in dramatics and was known as the "Star Actor" in their home dramatic plays and gave readings. He was five feet six inches tall and weighed one-hundred sixty pounds. His hair was dark and wavy and he had a very good disposition. In the spring of 1875 the Robert Nephi Comish family moved a few miles from Franklin, into what was known as Coveville, Utah, now known as Cove, Utah. Here they farmed one-hundred acres of land at the base of the mountain and along the Mountain Road. They built a nice home, set out an orchard and planted trees, flowers and a garden. East of the grove was a large spring and a pond with clear running water all year long. Everyone was welcome in the Comish home and like the rest of the Saints in the area, they became friends with the Indians that traveled through the area. Robert and Emma had issue: Children born at Franklin, Idaho. Joseph Nephi Comish, b. 17 Jan 1866; md. (1) Matilda Ann Goaslind; md. (2) Bertha Orvilla Bowcut, William Henry Comish, b. 20 Feb 1868; unmd, Myron Eugene Comish, b. 20 Oct 1869; unmd, Emma Miralda Comish. b. 25 Dec 1871; md. Henry Hoyt Day George Francis Comish, b. 4 May 1873; md. Margaret Wright Biggs Children born at Cove, Utah. Martha Elizabeth Comish, b. 14 Sep 1875; md. Peter Green Whitehead,. Harriet Esther Comish, b. 4 Dec 1877; md. JohnChristian Larsen Jr, Robert Carlos Comish, b. 5 Jan 1880; md. Violet May Chatterton, Jane Helen Comish, b. 8 Feb 1882; md. Ernest Wilburn Robinson, Newel Howland Comish, b. 30 Jan 1888; md. Louise Larson,

Robert Nephi Comish Emma Jane Howland Comish

left to right standing: Louis William Larsen; John Christian Larsen, Jr.; David Larsen
left to right sitting: Newel Comish; John Christian Larsen; Joseph Reuben Larsen

Franklin, Idaho Cemetery

Franklin, Idaho Cemetery


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