When Grandma Ran Away

Grandma Vivian (Luce) Swanstrom ran away from home when she was 25. Her parents had great ambitions for her, but she had other ideas. They sent her to finishing school in Denver, but she didn’t like it. She came home to the ranch at Big Piney after the first semester, and refused to go back. … Read more

Joseph Bates Noble

I’m reading Joseph Bates Noble: Polygamy and the Temple Lot Case (2009). Goodreads says: “In 1892, a deposition was taken in a Salt Lake City courtroom to gather evidence in a land ownership battle between two offshoot branches of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) The dispute centered on ownership of land … Read more

Champaign Baptist Church

My great grandmother Essie (Wilson) Luce was raised in the Baptist church. She married Wilford Luce in 1898 in Champaign, Illinois, then moved west to Wyoming to take up life on his ranch. I was curious about the church where they got married. I was fairly certain it would have been a Baptist church, but … Read more

Harke Luce

Recapping: Harke Luse was named on a list of men able to bear arms at Scituate, Massachusetts in 1643 (Nathaniel B. Shurtleff, ed., Records of the Colony of New Plymouth, in New England (1857), 191). Beyond this nothing is known. Everything else stated in various sources in speculative. Charles Banks’ Theory Banks speculated the name … Read more

Wyoming Brands

There’s a book on the cattle brands of Green River, Wyoming. Branded: History of Green River Valley and Hoback Basin Brands (2016), compiled and published by Green River Valley Cattlewomen. My great grandfather Bill Luce (1864-194) lived there. I bought the book, thinking his brands might be mentioned. No such luck. I asked Jonita Sommers. … Read more

Miss Wolcott’s School Denver

My maternal grandmother, Vivian Luce attended Miss Wolcott’s School for Girls, a finishing school in Denver. She studied things like piano, French, water colors, needlework, elocution, etiquette, and other things appropriate to Edwardian ladies. I estimate she was there about 1914 to 1916. Wikipedia defines finishing schools: “A finishing school is a school for young women that … Read more

Eleanor Harley

Malatiah Luce, of Martha’s Vineyard married a woman named Eleanor Harley or Harlow. Everything I’ve found about her online comes directly or indirectly from Charles Edward Banks’ 3-volume History of Martha’s Vineyard (1901, 1966): 59. Malatiah(3) Luce, (Thomas(2), Henry(1)), b. 1710; res. T., husbandman; m. Eleanor Harley (or Harlow) 5 July 1738, who was b. … Read more


The 1850 census of Deseret (really taken in 1851) shows two boys in the household of Stephen Luce. There’s a mystery here. The Mormons got to Utah in 1847. The Luces arrived in 1848. Everyone was still settling in when Brigham Young decided to conduct a census that would be the official 1850 census of … Read more

Ruth Luce

Ruth (Grant) Luce was always one of my heroes. She was born in Maine the year before the American Revolution. She came west with the Mormons when she was 72 and lived another 12 years after that. She died at the age of 84, having been a pioneer of Nauvoo, Salt Lake City, and Ogden. … Read more

John Grant Luce, 1847

When I moved to Salt Lake City in 1977 one of the first things I did on a day off was walk over to the Pioneer Monument on Main Street and South Temple. I wanted to see if there were any Luces on the list of the pioneers. The list is short, just the very … Read more