Tuesday, August 23, 2011



June 16, 1894 to August 4, 1913

The following was copied from the scrapbook of his mother, Sarah Russon Kirkham. Avery James was a brother to Lott Kirkham, and an uncle to Doris Kirkham Johnson.


Young Man Thrown From His Bicycle

Dies After Undergoing Operation

Avery James Kirkham passed away at Salt Lake City Latter-Day Saints Hospital in Salt Lake on Monday evening, just one day more than a week after being thrown from his bicycle while holding to an auto going about thirty miles an hour. The concussion caused by striking the earth with such terrific force caused a clot of blood to form on his brain, which gradually produced unconsciousness and finally death.

On the Tuesday after the accident, a partial paralysis developed and he was taken to Salt Lake City. An operation was performed, removing a section of the skull. The cause of the paralysis was not located and he never spoke after the operation.

Monday, another operation was performed, but the cause could not be located and two hours later, he passed away. After death, an autopsy was performed and a clot of blood about the size of a hen's egg was located on the inside of his brain. This clot was caused by the concussion of the brain and undoubtedly caused his death.

Avery James Kirkham, the sixth son of George and Sarah Russon Kirkham, was born in Lehi, Utah, on June 16, 1894. His life almost entirely has been spent at home in Lehi. In childhood and early youth he was very religiously inclined, so was always a very regular attendant at Primary, Sunday School, later M.I.A, and in due time was given the Aaronic Priesthood and ordained a Deacon and then again a Priest. He finished his public school course and received his diploma in 1911.

During the winter of 1912 and 1913 he attended the Brigham Young University and became very much attached to the school and on many different occasions declared his intention of continuing a course there the coming school semester.

Avery had a natural talent for music. He had a perfect musical ear and would have easily developed into a remarkable musician with the proper training. His talent in music did not appear to be upon only one instrument or in one line, but he easily acquainted himself with whatever he happened to take up, and much of his spare time was so occupied.

Avery formed no bad habits. He was a strict observer of the Word of Wisdom and scorned the use of tobacco and liquor; thus he had developed a strong, healthy body.

On the afternoon of July 27, 1913, while riding his bicycle and holding onto the rear of an automobile, he was thrown violently which later caused paralysis. He was then taken to the L.D.S. Hospital, where the best medical skill did all that was possible to save him, but without avail, and at 10:35 P.M., August 4, he died.

Avery will not be mourned by his relatives alone, but by a host of young friends. The funeral, which was held in the Tabernacle, was largely attended. The speakers were Bishop James H. Gardner, President George H. Brimhall, Professor A. C. Lund, President A. J. Evans, and Bishop Stoker. The Second and Fourth Ward Choirs furnished the music, and there were solos by Mrs. Hazel Holmstead and Professor Lund.


Written in 1960 by Bessy LaVerne Kirkham Fillerup

As I write about my brother Avery, I can go back to an association that was very dear to me. He was beloved by all of us. He was very talented in music, piano being his happy medium, although he could pick up any instrument and make it "sing". He loved to build and rebuild motorcycles, clocks, mouth organs, etc. He was handsome, tall, blond natural wavy hair and blue eyes He was so clean in his dress, healthy, kept the Word of Wisdom and loved his church. One time the University chartered a train from Provo to Salt Lake City to play the University of Utah basket ball team and as the train passed our home in Lehi, the engineer slowed down the train and blew the whistle in honor of the school's Cheer Leader and his parents. The train was decorated in the BYU's Blue and White.

He was only eighteen when he met his tragic death. In company with a neighbor boy, he went on his bicycle for a ride on the State Highway as far as the "Point of the Mountain". Coming Home they caught hold of an automobile for fun or speed and Avery's wheel struck a rock that threw him from his bicycle which resulted in his death, leaving a very sad family to part with one so loved, and one with such hopes for his promising future. Even now, after all these years, I remember vividly how this sad accident made all of us feel. He and I were very close. He told Mother once, "I will always protect her". I honor and revere his memory.

Friday, August 12, 2011


Following are pictures of items that belonged to George and Sara Kirkham.

This nutbowl was made by George Kirkham.

This brass candleholder was brought from England by George Kirkham.

Sunday, August 7, 2011


This bedroom furniture and cup belonged to Lott and Sarah Kirkham - now in the possession of PhyllisJohnson Huntsman - daughter of Doris Kirkham Johnson (daughter of Lott & Sarah).


(Bessy is the sister who wrote all the sketches of her siblings and half siblings)

Written 17 Mar 1952 by BLKF in North Hollywood, California

It is with pleasure I recall my early life and childhood happiness in Lehi, Utah, my home, with my dear family and relatives the Russons and Kirkhams and childhood friends and school mates. Those were indeed happy days. My father and mother, George Kirkham and Sarah Russon were both born in England, coming to Utah in the early days of the Church. Father crossed the plains by ox team and hand cart while a boy of seven, 1859. Mother family, the Lott and Eliza Russon family came to Utah in 1871 from England when she was fourteen and settled in Lehi where Father family had moved from Salt Lake City. I was born in Lehi, Utah, 2 Mar 1897. I was given a name and a blessing 2 may 1897 by father George Kirkham, and was baptized when eight years of age, 2 Mar 1905, at Saratoga Springs, near Lehi, by father. Thus began a happy and eventful life.

I began my education in Lehi, Utah, in the old Ross Building, lst and 2nd grades then to new Grammar School until 8th grade and graduating there. At this time Uncles James Kirkham gave me my Patriarchal Blessing, January 8, 1909. But the most enjoyable time of my life was during High School in the Old Central High School building, where in 1917 I graduated. I recall, with pleasure that I reported school doings for year books, that I was a member of the High School Ladies Band (drums) member of the High School Ladies Quartette and Chorus. Graduation exercises were held in the beautiful old Lehi Tabernacle. I later graduated from Brigham Young University Commercial Department. There, I was on the staff of the Blue and White, the school paper.

My first position was stenographer for the Utah-Idaho Sugar Company, Lehi Factory and was there for seven years until the factory closed own. During one of my vacation periods I went to Independence, Missouri to meet my brother Denzil who was released from his mission. We visited Chicago, St. Louis, Nauvoo and Carthage together and enjoyed the Church historical places.

My first Church position was teaching primary in the Fourth Ward, Lehi when my mother was President, then primary grade in the Lehi Second Ward Sunday School from 1918 to 1925 with an unbroken record of attendance in teaching. From this class eight of the young men filled missions for the Church. I was also active in the Young Women MIA in the Ward, also Choir Member.

I had been stenographer for the Sugar Company for seven years and in 1925 went to California for vacation and while there the factory closed down making it a necessity for me to get work in Los Angeles; this I did and started work for the Pacific Indemnity Company, staying with them for eight years. At this time I belonged to Adams Ward, Los Angeles Take and lived close to the Church which was a great comfort to me. I was secretary to the Gleaner Girls in the Ward, also Log Angeles Stake Gleaner Secretary, years 1926-27. I was a member of the Los Angeles Thrift Chorus, as it was called, comprised of young people of both Hollywood and Los Angeles Stakes, with a regular attendance of three years, 1926-29/ I was a member of the Board of Directors. I met Leonard while attending this Ward, he was Sunday School Superintendent at the time (1927) and I was secretary of the Sunday School Stake Board, 1927-30, Los Angeles Stake. It is interesting to note here that we were members of the first Ward and first Stake in California.

In 1930 our recommends were approved and signed by Bishop Joseph A. West of Adams Ward, and Stake President Leo J. Muir of Los Angeles Stake and we were married in the Salt Lake Temple 30 Apr 1930, by Apostle Melvin J. Ballard. Then we were members of the Wilshire Ward, Hollywood Stake, and Leonard was occupied with his Stake Mission work and Seventy Quorum and I was a member of the Wilshire Ward Choir for three years. Our son George Leonard Fillerup was born 7 Jul 1939. The Wilshire Ward was divided and we then became members of the La Brea, Arlington and La Cienega Wards, at successive divisions. It is interesting to note here that during the twenty one years in our home at the one location we had belongs to the four wards, and Los Angeles, Inglewood, and Santa Monica Stakes, owing to the tremendous growth and division of Wards and Stakes of the Church.

My work in the La Cienega, Santa Monica Stake, was Children Friend Magazine Representative, 1949-1952. In the 1950s I was representative in the Primary and Relief Society Teachers Co-coordinating Chairman, Inglewood Stake.

In 1952, we moved to our present home in North Hollywood, Studio City Ward, Burbank Stake, where we went on with our duties in the Church. Leonard in his Priesthood duties and in the Bishopric and in our Temple Work and Genealogy Work.

At the present, 1972, Leonard in enjoying his retirement and we have together been on many trips around the world, the Holy land and ancient Mid-east being our favorite one.

The last few years I have read and copied excerpts from my father (1852-01923) daily writings, in journals he called them, and mailed to members of his family, my brothers and sisters and their children. We have had his Journals microfilmed and placed in the Genealogical Library and his books-journals in the Church Archives, Salt Lake City, notifying family members where George Kirkham history can be read and studied. This has been my most enjoyable labor of love.

Child of Leonard & Bessie LaVerne Kirkham Fillerup

George Leonard Fillerup



Daisy Bell, the sixth daughter of George and Mary Russon Kirkham, was born 2 Jun 1891 in Lehi, Utah, and died 22 Dec 1928, Lehi. She married Louis Christensen 19 Jun 1912 in the Salt Lake Temple. Louis was the son of Niels Christen Christensen and Metta Marie Jorgensen. He was born 13 May 1889 in Lehi, Utah.

With a happy and determined disposition, Daisy had many friends in school and in church activities. She served in the auxiliary organizations of the church and was a member of her ward choir. With encouragement of her family she succeeded in maintaining a regular attendance to her many duties.

Daisy was an ideal homemaker, she loved her home and children above all. She kept her home clean and beautiful and all were welcome to her door. She kept an accurate, day to day doings of her six children in separate “Books of Remembrances” for each, as long as she lived.

Children of Louis and Daisy Bell Kirkham Christensen

Louis Kenneth Christensen

Ruby Christensen Moody

Metta Christensen Gunther

Alta Christensen Fuhriman

Lela Christensen Hansen

Cleo Christensen Miller



Eliza, daughter of George and Mary Russon Kirkham, was born 19 Mar 1878 in Lehi, Utah and died 11th Jun 1967 and buried in Lehi. She married Charles Crabb 11 Mar 1896 in Salt Lake City, Utah, son of Charles Crabb and Ann Aikman Scrouther and born 9 Sep 1872 in Dundee, Forforshire, Scotland, and died 1 Sep 1953 in Lehi, Utah and buried there. Their marriage was solemnized in the Salt Lake Temple.

In an environment typical of early Latter-Day-Saint homes, Eliza spent a happy childhood and throughout her years of growing up she saw good and beauty in all that surrounded her. In her girlhood days she loved the happy things of life – music and learning, school days, companionship with brothers and sisters. Her parents were early stalwarts in the church. Devotion to duty, obedient to commandments, faithful family ties was their watchword, and by this they taught and guided their family to maturity.

Eliza was seventeen when she met and married Charles Crabb, the young man from Scotland who came here as a convert to the Church. He worked as an employee of the Utah-Idaho Sugar Company. To this union were born six boys and two girls. Two missions for the church and many years of military service were rendered by her sons.

Eliza was happy when she was busy and like her sister Rachel she enjoyed making beautiful “bits of lace”, bedspreads, tablecloths, doilies and rugs she happily bestowed upon her many friends.

Eliza loved her church and was Relief Society visiting teacher for 40 years. She often said her greatest wish was to see all her children obeying Heavenly Father’s commandments. In 1957, Eliza was chosen Area Mother of the Year, a pleasant and satisfying experience for her.

As true success I measured, Eliza can qualify, for as someone once wrote, “To be successful one must have affection of the heart, love for fellow men and willingness to serve for the Master.”

Children of Charles and Eliza Kirkham Crabb

Charles Glendon Crabb Mildred Crabb Magleby
Leland George Crabb Donna Alta Agnes Crabb Wingett
William LeRoy Crabb John Lowell Crabb
Kirkham Vard Crabb Craig Creighton Crabb

Addition by Carolyn Johnson Christensen:

A well remembered memory of my youth was meeting Aunt Eliza, of the sparkling eyes. I was fascinated with her mannerisms and personality. She told a story which had us all laughing. At Relief Society, they were tearing old clothes into strips for rag rugs and winding the results into balls. She worked and laughed with her fellow RS members for some time, then decided it was time to go home. No where could she find her coat. They looked all over for it. Suddenly, she noticed a ball of rug strips which looked surprisingly familiar. Sure enough. Her “new” coat had been accidentally used to tear into strips to be used in rugs. How Aunt Eliza laughed as she told this story.

The other memory I have of Aunt Eliza is that she was known as the merry, beloved sister (half) of my Grandfather, Lott.