Daisy Ethelfleda Abia Rigg Booth | The life of D.E.A.R. Booth lovingly told at programs in Lovell last week

A program on Daisy Booth, librarian and music teacher, sponsored by the Senior Center, Lovell-Kane Area Museum and the Lovell Library, was held last week. The PowerPoint program was given by Dan Nelson of Laramie and Osea Nelson of Sheridan, grandsons of Daisy, in two programs on Wednesday, Oct. 10.

Daisy was born in Uitenhage, Cape Colony, South Africa, on Oct. 13, 1880, where her father had several businesses. The family later returned to Cambridge, England, where Daisy grew up.

Due to ill health and being told she would get better in America, Daisy and her best friend Ettie Vail Warburton left England to come to American by way of Canada on Sept. 1, 1911, “with the devil following in our wake,” Daisy later wrote.

Brothers Dan (left) and Osea Nelson pose following the PowerPoint presentation on the life of their grandmother, Daisy Booth, at the North Big Horn Senior Citizens Center Wednesday, Oct. 10.
David Peck photo

After being in Canada for two years she ended up in Evanston, where she had been offered a job. The first meal she had in Evanston was with the Frank Brown family. Frank later owned Brown’s Bakery in Lovell. Daisy lived with several families. She was ill much of the time and also went to Salt Lake City for several surgeries.

Daisy married a widower with small children in May of 1917. He moved to Lovell while Daisy was recovering from the birth of their daughter, Hortense, although she was not expected to live after the birth. She was sent to Portland, Ore., with the baby to stay with her sister. When Hortense was 6 months old, Daisy and Hortense arrived in Lovell.

Daisy was still ill, but she managed to conduct the choir after being carried up the long steps to the church. Daisy’s husband left her and the two small girls. After falling ill with “brain fever” and having no food, heat or electricity, little Hortense, 2, toddled to neighbor Lydia Wilcock’s and said, “My Momma sick, my Momma sick.”

Mrs. Wilcock took care of Daisy until she recovered. She was evicted from her home, and she found a three-room house at the end of Washakie Avenue. It was a very dilapidated house, the windows all broken, ceiling paper hanging down, “funny papers” on the bedroom walls and bed bugs by the millions.

Again Mrs. Wilcock came to the rescue, helping Daisy clean, fumigate and make the place liveable. Other friends brought her chickens, garden and flower plants and even a cow. She was sent the football boys’ suits to mend. She got little jobs mending, grew flowers to sell and worked as clerk at the elections.

Daisy started the first choir with 12 members and grew it to 84. She taught lessons in voice, violin, piano and organ.

Daisy was the librarian for 20 years at the Lovell Library, located where the present town hall is.

She suffered many illnesses, and spent the last seven years in the Lovell Nursing Home, where she wrote thousands of letters to LDS missionaries and to anyone she felt needed a little cheer. Her letters were always illustrated with drawings and sketches.

Daisy was a very talented person. She painted with oils, pastels and textile. Many of her paintings were on parachute silk.

Daisy died March 3, 1973, in Lovell.

Daisy’s house was moved, and the grandsons would like to find out where their grandmother’s house went. If you have any stories you would like to share or know where the house is, please call Karen at 307-548-7212.

By Karen Spragg