Alice Ashcroft was born on September18th 1885 in Kit Green, Wigan, Lancaster, England to James Ashcroft and Mary Ellen Barton. She was the youngest of 5 children. Her siblings were Margaret Ellen, (later married Richard Thomas Rowbottom), William, (later married Mary Alice Burrows), John, (died when he was 21 years old0, and Amelia, (later married Harrison Booth).
She grew up at No 34 School Lane, about 4 ½ miles from Wigan, in Upholland. Not too much is known about Alice’s early childhood and teen years. She had about 9 years of schooling, which was quite a bit for those times in England. She worked in the cotton mills with her sister, Amelia. She also worked in a library and a home that took care of sick people.
She joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and was a member of the Wigan Branch, Liverpool Conference in the British Mission. She was baptized on September 19th, 1909 by Joseph Y, Card and confirmed on September 19th, 1909 by Thomas Walton.
She immigrated to America with her niece, Mary Jane (Janie Rowbottom) and her nephew, James, about August 20, 1910 on the “Laurentis” White Star Line from Liverpool, England. Janie had tuberculosis (TB) and they thought if they could get her to Arizona, she would recover. But Janie wasn’t allowed to come into the country, so Alice took her back to England, where Janie later died on April 21st, 1912.
Alice came back to America in 1912 on the “Carpathea” White Star Line. There is no verification of the ship’s name. Time, or port of entry.
When Alice arrived at Salt Lake City, Utah, she journeyed to Malta, Idaho where he r sister, Amelia, had married Harrison Booth and was living,
John William Hepworth was a neighbor and needed help with his family, as his wife had just died. Alice went to work for John, which later led to their marriage in December 4th, 1913 in Albion, Idaho. She had watched him in a baseball game, and thought he would be an okay husband! She has to be a kind and patient lady, as there were probably children still at home, from John’s first marriage to Mahala Strong Parker. The ages of the children were: Seth 20 years, Alvin 18 years, Squire 15 years, Oren 14 years, Joe 12 years, Lathel 10 years, Merritt 8 years, Mahala 6 years, Riley 4 years, and Eliel 2 years. These boys and girls said that Alice was the only mother they knew and she was a good mother.
While still living on a farm at Malta, they were blessed with Mary Alice born in 1914, James Edmond born in 1915, Emily born in 1917 and Ethel born in 1918. They resided at Malta for about 4 ½ years. They then moved to Elba, Idaho where Effie was born in 1920 and Ivan was born in 1922 at Connor Creek, Idaho. Susie was born in 1924 at Declo, Idaho and Beatrice was born in 1925 at Buhl, Idaho and Cora Mildred was born in 1927 at Eden, Idaho. While living at Eden, they raised range cattle and milk cows.
Alice was an English lady , through and through. She was small, about 5’3”, with brown hair and blue eyes. She could have a bit of a British temper, if the occasion called for it! Her appearance and her house were kept nice. She kept her parlor just for visitors. John had to buy her shoes and bring home for her to try on, and if they didn’t fit just right, she sent them back. She wouldn’t permit men to spit in her stove or spittoon (which was a common practice at the time). The dishes had to be washed immediately after a meal and put away.
They had a neighbor that was a little bit vain and always looked in the mirror as he came into their home. One day, she turned the mirror to the wall! She had quite a sense of humor.
A few memories are:
Amelia, her sister, sent clothes (that her children had outgrown) for John and Alice’s children. Ivan had to put the English knickerbockers on. He cried and cried and tried to pull them down so they would cover his legs. Finally, his father came to the rescue and said that he didn’t have to wear them.
Whilst living in Buhl, Alice fell while throwing out dishwater and broke her arm. Emily also had a broken leg at the same time.
Effie thought Ivan got to sit on Momma’s lap more than the rest of the children!
At age 41 years, Alice got the influenza (flu) when Mildred was only about 9 months old, and died on May 14, 1928 in Jerome, Idaho leaving her young family. She was buried at Malta, Idaho.
John never married again and with the help of his daughter, Mahala, (who had married Alice’s nephew, James Rowbottom), and the older girls in the family, they helped raise the family. There were 7 girls and 2 boys.
Perhaps the greatest compliment given to Alice is that her children remember the love that their mother had for them.
Appendage added later.
After further research, through immigration records, Alice was listed as a passenger on the “Laurentic” ship that sailed on August 20, 1910 from Liverpool, England to Quebec, Canada.
On her second trip, she was a passenger on the “Scandanavian” ship that left Liverpool, England on August 25, 1912 and arrived in Montreal, Canada.
Alice almost boarded the Titanic ship, but it was full, She was second in line from being able to board, when it was announced that no further passengers would be allowed aboard. As we all recall from history, the Titanic sank on April 14, 1912 on route to New York.
“Where’s Mother?” could be heard through the hallway. And they stood and watched her as she went on alone, and the gates closed after her. And they said: “We cannot see her, but she is with us still. A mother like ours is more than a memory. She is a living Presence.”
A thought from Alice’s youngest son, Ivan: “Even though I was only five years old when my mother passed away, I feel as if her influence and spirit has been with me my entire life. I’ve felt her presence and love throughout my life. Even though she wasn’t able to live to see her children grow into adults, I think she would be proud of each of them and the people they’ve all become.”