Jacob William Felshaw, known as “Jake,” was born in Fillmore, Utah, Jan. 25, 1869, one of seven children born to John Felshaw and Frances Croft Felshaw.
Jake knew the meaning of work and responsibility in the pioneer communities in which he was reared. During the trek his father’s family made from Utah to Arizona, he, with his sister, Mary Amanda, drove the livestock, taking turns riding the horse and walking. He helped with the chores, the farming, and herding and milking of cows wherever the family lived.
After they settled in the Bryce area, Jake helped make the adobes and build their home.
In his late 20s, he drove a freight team from Solomonville to Globe. Later, he returned to Utah and worked in a tailoring shop with a friend who taught him the art. He was adept in learning the trade and made the suit in which he was married, but he did not care for the work and found employment in the mines at Mammoth, Utah. It was while working here that he met Margaret Ann Goff, and they were married May 20, 1900.
Margaret, the daughter of Harry Goff and Elizabeth Woods Goff, was born March 28, 1881, in Big Cottonwood, Utah.
Their courting was spent going for rides in Jake’s buggy or going for horseback rides. Jake was very fond of horses, usually taking a horse to the fair and winning nearly every race. July 4 and Pioneer Day celebrations were venues for exciting horse races, with Jake’s horses nearly always in the winning circles.
The young couple decided to live in Arizona, so Margaret traveled on ahead by train, while Jake remained a while longer in the mines and then rode his horse, leading his choice race horse all the way to Arizona, stopping along the way to work. Margaret arrived in Bowie while it was still summer. Jake arrived in early October.
He began working in the mines at Bisbee as a dynamite detonator. His bride stayed with his folks, where she helped with her share of the work. The family at this time consisted of Jake’s parents; two younger sisters, Julia and Ethel; two brothers, George and Dave; their oldest sister, Amanda, who was newly widowed, with her four children; and Margaret. Julia and Margaret did the sewing for the family, both being excellent seamstresses. Here, Jake’s and Margaret’s first two children, Roxey and John, were born.
Later, Jake and family moved to Pima, where they lived for a short time. Then, with the help of his brother, George, he bought a farm in Bryce, where they moved into a small home in 1906. About 1915-16, they built a new and larger home on the farm. Later, they sold their farm in Bryce and bought a better one in Hubbard, but after seven years, a drought and financial reverses directed them to return to a small farm in Bryce.
By 1927, Jake was 56 years of age, the father of nine children, eight living, as 2-year-old Mary Frances had drowned in an irrigation ditch near their home in Bryce some 10 years previous. Their 10th child, Harry Goff, was born Nov. 26, 1927. Roxey was married and had two sons.
John was working in California; Bessie was working in Safford for the telephone company, which left six children at home to feed and clothe on his small acreage, with only horse-drawn equipment. Even at his advanced age, it was common to see him walking day after day, up and down the field behind a one-share plow pulled by a horse. He never owned a tractor, pickup or automobile.
By the time they moved back to Bryce, the mode of travel was either on foot or horseback, except to go to a WPA job or over the mountain to Mitt Simm’s ranch. It was a splendid sight to see all those boxes of beautiful red apples stacked on the back porch for sale. Wood was hauled on the wagon, so were barrels of drinking water from Pima. They had dug a well and installed a pump for wash water, but the water was too “hard” to drink.
In the home there was always plenty of fresh milk, topped with rich cream, from which to make delicious homemade butter to melt on the hot homemade bread. Margaret also made cottage cheese. Their hens were generous in furnishing them with plenty of eggs for the table and sometimes a bucketful to sell. There was an abundance of beans and salt pork, as well as potatoes, and Jake was known for his acres of delicious corn. Fried chicken and a freezer of ice cream meant it was a special occasion.
In May of 1951, Jake became bedfast from a stroke. He passed away the following July 2 of pneumonia and is buried in the family plot in the Pima Cemetery. Margaret lived on another 39 years, dying March 18, 1930, just days shy of her 99th birthday.
The children of Jacob and Margaret are as follows:
Roxey Elizabeth married Alma “Jack” Bryce.
John married Thelma Boyd.
Bessie Lyle married Arthur Joseph Claridge.
Gilbert Alma died unmarried July 21, 1930, from a ruptured appendix.
Phyllis married Orlando Bryce Merrill.
William Wallace married Jessie Crisel.
Mary Frances drowned at the age of 2.
Julia married Ted Minkler and Ferlin Hunt.
Warren Clay married Shirley Michel Patterson.
Harry Goff married Jacque Bryant and Maria Carmona.
Julia is the remaining “child” of this couple and resides in Mesquite, Nev.
Jake and Margaret left a large posterity, many still residing in this Valley. Jake’s lifelong association with and love of horses has carried over into many of his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.