Obituary: Brent Wakeman

Brenton “Brent” H. Wakeman (Jane Munday wifeline), 71, of Nampa, Idaho, passed away peacefully on Sunday morning, July 15th, 2012, surrounded by family. Death came from complications due to heart and kidney failure.

Brent was born June 8, 1941, in Idaho Falls, Idaho, to Herman and Verda Andrus Wakeman and spent a happy childhood on a ranch in Grays Lake, Idaho, which always remained dear to his heart.

While attending Soda Springs High School, Brent contributed to the Football team, Track and Field, and the Band. He continued his education at Carbon Jr. College in Price, Utah, where he played football. He then received a Bachelors Degree of Business Management at the University of Utah in SLC, Utah.

Brent spent his life with his high school sweetheart, Caroline Yost of Bancroft, Idaho. They recently celebrated 52 years of marriage, having been sealed in the LDS Salt Lake City Temple.

Following college, Brent began work with the Coleman Company, managing factories in Cedar City, Utah, and Wichita, Kansas. He then engineered and put into operation his own sewing factories in Soda Springs, Idaho, Canby, Oregon, and Salem, Oregon. He retired in Nampa, Idaho.

Brent’s life was filled with travel, having visited all fifty United States, as well as having extensively toured Europe. He and Caroline also visited all 40 County Seats of Idaho in one summer, an accomplishment which they enjoyed very much. He was a great outdoorsman, enjoying camping, fishing, hunting and RV’ing.

Brent belonged to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, most recently a member of the Nampa 35th Ward. He loved to give service in quiet, unpretentious ways and generously donated of his means.

He was a man of few words, yet being gifted with a brilliant mind, his well-chosen words showed great insight and thoughts which ran deeply.

Brent is survived in death by his beloved wife, Caroline; four daughters, Wendy Lynne (Rod) Peatross of Idaho Falls, Idaho, Leslie Adell (Mark) Anderson of Canby, Oregon, Ardith Anne (Brian) Haws of Salem, Oregon, and Suzanne Marie (Duane) Peck of Kuna, Idaho; and one son, Wayne Brent (Lis) Wakeman of Kenmore, Washington; a beloved sister, Sandra (Robert) Christopherson of Farr West, Utah; 16 beloved grandchildren of whom he was most proud; and 5 sweet little great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his father and mother, and his parents-in-law, Glenn and Frances Yost.

Services for Brent will be held Saturday, July 21, 2012 in Soda Springs, Idaho, at the Bailey Creek LDS Church at 361 S. 3rd East. The Grays Lake Ward Bishopric will be conducting the services. The family will visit with friends at 9:30 am at the church, with funeral services immediately following in the chapel at 11:00am. Interment will be at the Fairview Cemetery in Soda Springs.

In memory of Brent, perhaps you might share a quiet kindness with another who is in need.

To share your sympathies, condolences and memories, leave a comment below or visit the Sims Funeral Home website.

Report of the 2011 Milo Andrus Family Reunion

A Milo Andrus Family reunion was held June 18, 2011 at Liberty Park in Salt lake City, Utah. The following report is by Brent Andrus, the outgoing family organization president.

Upon my arrival early on a cool, slightly overcast Saturday morning the Liberty Park maintenance crew was just finishing their clean up of the Rice Terrace Pavilion.  Gary Ball and family (Margaret Boyce wife line) were already busily engaged in preparing a delightful breakfast.  Don Andrus (Jane Munday wife line) and his group of volunteers—mostly members of his extended family—were preparing for reunion registration.  During registration, special color-coded name badges were given to attendees, identifying them as members of their specific wife lines.

As attendees arrived, they were greeted with friendly smiles at the registration tables along with the pleasant aroma of pancakes, eggs and ham cooking nearby.  Pictures of the several wife lines were also spread out on tables for all to see.  An opening prayer by Craig Anderson (Jane Munday) got things officially started.



Following the all-you-can eat breakfast, I conducted our family business meeting (see official meeting minutes for all details).  The main order of business was to elect a new president and vice president for the organization.  Craig Jensen (Sarah Miles) was elected president, and Andy Andrus (Jane Munday) was elected vice president.

Newly elected president Craig Jensen (Sarah Miles wife line) and vice-president Andy Andrus (Jane Munday wife line).

Brief reports were then given by the following:

  • Don Andrus (Jane Munday): Financial report
  • Dean Andrus (Jane Munday): Information/Mailing lists
  • Laura Anderson (Jane Munday): Research

Laura also asked each wife line to visit with her in their wife line meetings to discuss ongoing research needs within the wife lines and to encourage further participation.

Family genealogist Laura Anderson gives a research update.

Outgoing president, Brent Andrus, conducts the business meeting.

I reviewed the progress of the organization, including research, communications, expansion of social media, and the need to reach many more of Milo Andrus’s descendants.  Mark Andrus (Abigail Daley), who chaired the reunion committee, then reviewed the events for the remainder of the day.  Don Jensen (Sarah Miles), maestro extraordinaire and game organizer, reviewed the musical and game events for the day.

Wife line meetings immediately followed the business meeting, and then people were off to participate in many activities, including guessing contests, organized games, kiddie rides and paddle boats on the lake or just relaxing for awhile.  I chose the last option and relaxed while listening to Don Jensen’s exceptional string orchestra as they practiced.  Others took advantage of the free time to have individual family picnics or to visit various Milo Andrus historical sites around the Salt Lake Valley.

Newton Andrus conducts the Jane Munday wife line meeting.

Family members discuss genealogy.

Displays of thousands of historical family photos.

Pioneer games.

Three-legged races.

Getting to know new cousins. 

The guessing contests were a challenge for both young and old.

Paddle boats.

Amusement park rides.

Cotton candy, mmmmm.

For dinner, Gary Ball and company returned and cooked up another great meal of hamburgers, hot dogs and all the fixings.  We were treated to delightful music from Don Jensen and orchestra during the dinner hour.  Then precisely at 5:45 pm (well almost) we gathered for group and wife line pictures.  Try getting 200 people moving in the same direction and lining up so all can be seen in the picture!  Thank goodness for the color-coded name badges! My daughter Lori Barnhurst (Jane Munday) was the official photographer for the day, taking the group photos as well as numerous candid photos.

Dinner was great! It was hamburgers, hot dogs and watermelon, followed by mint brownies (yum). 

Everyone was able to talk and get to know each other over dinner.

The innagural Andrus Family Orchestra under the baton of Don Jensen (Sarah Miles wife line).

Following the group photos (or group chaos, if you prefer) we all settled down for the highlight of the evening, the re-enactment of the play presented at the last reunion, The Life and Wives of Milo Andrus, written and directed by De Lane Andrus Hyer (Ann Brooks).

Performers in the readers’ theater play: The Life and Wives of Milo Andrus.

Following the play, we sang the hymn Come, Come Ye Saints.  After my concluding remarks and testimony, we ended the day as we began, in prayer.

I offer my heartfelt thanks to all who helped in any way with this reunion.  By every measure it was truly a successful event.  It was wonderful renewing old acquaintances as well as making many new ones.  I will sincerely cherish the memory of this event throughout my life, and will always be grateful for the privilege of serving as your president these past four years. 

New Book About St. Louis Mentions Milo

A new book was published in March 2011 entitled The Best of the St. Louis Luminary. It was edited by Susan Easton Black, a professor of church history at BYU.

St. Louis was a major trailhead along the Mississippi River that attracted thousands of Mormons in the 1850s, where they set up shops, practiced their trades, formed congregations, and prepared for the journey West. It was there that Apostle Erastus Snow published the St. Louis Luminary, a weekly newspaper featuring epistles from church leaders, doctrinal treatises in defense of Mormon practices—especially plural marriage—and news and letters from the Salt Lake Valley.

The book includes an essay by Susan Easton Black about the Latter-day Saint experience in St. Louis in the 1850s and the historical importance of the St. Louis Luminary. The rest of the book is made up of highlights from the newspaper: counsel given by the First Presidency, poetry, marriage and death notices and even humor.

Milo served as the stake president in St. Louis from 1854 to 1855. Many of his speeches and letters were published in the newspaper.

In the book, Milo is mentioned in Susan Easton Black’s essay and three or four of his speeches and letters are reprinted.

The book also includes a searchable DVD-ROM of all 52 issues of the newspaper. (To see all of the references to Milo in The St. Louis Luminary, click here.)

The book is available at Amazon, Deseret Book and the BYU Bookstore.




Map: Milo’s Property in Oxford, Idaho

View Milo’s Property in Oxford, Idaho in a larger map.

According to county records, Milo bought 35 acres in Oxford, Idaho in 1885 for $950.

See the above map for the approximate location of his property. The property would have been on both sides of the highway.

He lived here until his death in 1893.

Map: Milo’s Properties in St. George, Utah


View Milo’s Properties in St. George, Utah in a larger map.


Milo lived in St. George, Utah from 1873-1881. According to Washington county property records, Milo owned three properties during that time:

1.  130 East St. George Boulevard

From 1875 to 1879 Milo owned Lot 2 Block 27 Plat A. This is on the south side of present-day St. George Blvd. between 100 East and 200 East. It is now the east side of the Sunfirst Bank.


2.  272 South 100 East

From 1876 to 1882 Milo owned Lot 1 Block 2 Plat A.

He bought it from Miles P. Romney for $2,000. He sold it to Moses T. Farnsworth in 1882. The house on the property had two front entrances and seems to have had two families living in it. At least two of Milo’s wives, Mary Webster and Margaret Boyce, lived with him in St. George.

The house is still standing. In front of it is a plaque entitled “Romney-Andrus Home.” The plaque lists the different owners of the house from 1862 to 1936. Milo and the house are mentioned on the Washington County Historical Society website and in the booklet, “Landmark and Historic Sites,” published by the city of St. George in 2009 (pp. 45-1 through 45-2).


3. Price Farm (Bloomington, Utah)

In county records Milo is listed as the trustee for Price farm, which was operated under the United Order. This whole area was known as Price City and was along the Virgin River in what is now Bloomington Gardens in Bloomington, Utah. Price City was a farming area that never really flourished.


4. James Andrus Homes: 196 West 100 South and 164 West 100 South

Milo’s oldest son, James, from first wife Abigail Daley, moved to St. George in 1886. He had two wives, Laura Gibson and Manomas Gibson.  He built a house for Laura at 196 West 100 South and a house for Manomas on the same street at 164 West 100 South.

According to the Washington County Historical Society, “James moved his families to St. George from his ranch in Canaan in 1886. He was known as the cattle baron of southern Utah. He was a pioneer, Indian fighter, bishop, businessman, statesman, and accomplished equestrian.”



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