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Morgan Family Pioneer Heritage
Zella Priscilla Ryset

Zella Priscilla was the fifth child of Frank and Priscilla Morgan Ryset.


Zella Priscilla Ryset and Loren Josiah Marler on their wedding day 5 November 1917.

Zella Priscilla 8th grade graduation picture

Click on the link above to see a picture of an 8th grade graduation picture with Zella Priscilla Ryset.


Life Sketch

written by

Zella Priscilla Ryset Marler

Between the home of Lynn Brown and the Canal East on the Ririe-Shelton Cemetery road, there stood a two room log house with a lean-to on the back. My father, Francis D Ryset, worked hard to feed and clothe his young family. I am told that at this time, he ran a milk route and was gone from home early morning until late at night.

The young mother, Priscilla, (known by everyone as Prissy) worked equally hard, milking cows, taking care of pigs and chickens and caring for four small children; two girls, Nora and Violet, and two boys, Frank and Clarence. Into this home on July 15,1899, the fifth child was born; a little girl who was blessed Zella Priscilla Ryset, the second name being her mother's.

It seems the first thing I clearly remember is when I was about 4 years old. My parents have moved into another log house 1/2 mile west and 1/2 mile north from where I was born, I have a little sister, Sara, and a new little baby sister. My mother is standing at the window facing west, and she is crying. She has had a dream of some kind of manifestation, and knows her little 3 weeks old daughter is going to be taken from her. Two days later the baby died.

I remember the funeral in the one-room log school house. Someone was holding me across the room from my parents, and I wanted to be with them. I don't know when the one-room church house was built, but I'm sure it was soon after.

I remember father cutting wood for the winter evenings- a huge pile; and it was the responsibility of my sister, Sara, and I to carry it in and pile it in the big wood box. How we would like to see George Moore come courting my sister Nora- he would carry the wood for us. Then, I remember the morning Nora left for Salt Lake to be married in the Temple. I was about seven. Horse and wagon was the mode of travel in those days and it took hours to go to Idaho Falls. George came to get Nora before we children had left for school and I remember standing around, knowing it was time to go and finally wandering off by myself to school. And how I cried when they stopped to tell me goodbye. I remember one of my friends asking why I cried and her saying, "Well, I sure won't cry when Christie gets married." Then it was time for the most important event in my life up to now. I was baptized on my birthday, in the canal in front of Aunt Annie's home (not far from where I was born) by Thomas Moore and was confirmed by him the next day.

The old school house has been replaced by a two-room frame building. A big pot-bellied stove in one corner for heat. Here is where I received my education, moving the benches close to the stove on blizzardy days when it was impossible to heat the building.

The years of growing up - we were never allowed to miss our church meetings - Sunday School, Primary, Religion Class. I remember the meeting when the members voted to build a new church - a rock building, and as fine as any in the valley. I remember the long days and many times until dark my father and brothers would be away from home hauling the rock, butting it, hauling the water and doing the many things there was to be done.

Three more sisters have been added to the family - we now have seven girls and 2 boys, so there is plenty of activity around home. People loved to come to our home - many a Sunday Mother would set 3 tables for dinner. And to me the hi-lite was when my father's brother, Uncle Tom and Aunt Josie (John Thomas Morgan and wife Josephine Fogg) and family came to spend the night. Mother would make a big bed on the floor. The fun we had - and my father's sister, Aunt Martha (Martha Veletta Morgan Riley Eames) was a favorite. A special treat when she came - always with something for us.

There were our church activities that stand out in this part of my life. I remember when the basement of the new church was finished, and was being used for all church functions. One Sunday, it was Primary Conference and all Primary children were on the stand. An electrical storm came up and a bolt of lightening hit the steeple, came straight down, then followed the wires holding the curtains that separated the classes, burning some of the curtains. Certainly, the hand of the Lord protected that stage full of children. The Ward parties - and there was a name always on the program - a recitation by Zella Ryset.

Mom's efforts to write her life history were ended here.


Zela Priscilla Ryset Marler portrait

I remember Mom describing her first meeting with Dad: It was spring and she and Aunt Sara were taking a wagon load of supplies to the dry farm - included in that load was a box of chickens and since it was early morning, the chickens were busy with their task of laying eggs. So, here they were, seated on the wagon, chickens cackling and laying eggs and the eggs were rolling out of the crates, off the wagon and down the road behind them. Mother's comment was, "We must have been a sight." They approached a closed gate just as Dad and Uncle Earnest were coming from the other side of the gate. Dad was riding his beloved Cap. She used to say, "Your dad very gallantly opened the gate for us and doffed his hat as he bowed us through the gate. His eyes twinkled at our embarrassment and I lost my heart to him on that bight sunny morning. I guess I looked pretty good to him, too, because he called at the dry farm just a few days later." She used to say she wasn't sure whether Dad came courting her or just hunting sage hens as he usually arrived at her door with a handful of hens he had shot on the journey between Ririe and the farm.

I remember how she always yearned for the Snake River Valley. She drew comfort from the hills surrounding Lima and loved them dearly, but her spirit was never at home in Lima.

I remember her bent over a campfire on Sheep Creek. The menu: Trout fried crisp in bacon drippings, fried potatoes, pork and beans and usually a freezer of ice cream. I remember the green willow stick over the top of the coffee pot to keep it from boiling over.

I remember her appreciation of the beauty of nature and I can hear "Look at that mountain, or Come see this sunset - Look at those rock formations. See the clouds."

I remember her churning butter and that huge oven full of bread every other day. 50 pounds of flour every ten days. I remember the night George found the cake hidden in the washer.

I remember her at the sewing machine. I remember hands never still, mind always active. I remember her crocheting and I remember her studying the scriptures - Sunday School lesson or a Relief Society lesson to prepare.

I remember her love for music. She enjoyed everything but Dixieland jazz and she never did learn to appreciate Benny Goodman.

She loved poetry and would read to me while I fixed her hair. I remember her helping some of us learn to recite as she had done.

I remember combing and brushing her hair. She would sit by the hour while I brushed, combed and curled.

I remember her pride of family - her love for us. I remember her yearning for George and I remember her pacing the house, no prowling is a better description - when Frank was in the Pacific during the war. I remember the specialness Bob was to her. I remember her courage in illness and I remember her faith and her testimony.

Every day, I remember Mom and thank God she was my Mom.


The Zella Priscilla Ryset Marler and Josiah Marler family. In this picture are, left to right; Back row; Bob Marler, Frank Marler, Kenneth Marler, Loran Marler, and Fay Marler. Front row; Janet Marler, Helen Ryset Simper, Shirlene Ryset Lords.