Saturday, August 7, 2010

The Backman Grandchildren

I have made some changes in earlier posts after being able to find obituaries and other helpful or interesting information. Sometimes I miss the omissions and errors, even while previewing the posts before publishing. I willingly submit to your corrections, and welcome your additions and clarifications.

The Backman grandchildren were the family I knew and became familiar with after I moved to Utah in 1985. Those, at least who were still living. It was the fortunate circumstance of being among the eldest of the youngest. My grandfather was about in the middle of his family, but my mother was his first child and I her second, while Grace Bailey Pollard was the youngest of Joseph and Mary Ann Pollard. After a severe injury that led to grandfather being housebound his last three years I learned more of the family than I had from any other source. Since then I have tried to research and fill in blanks with facts and dates. You have seen how I have had better success with some than with others.

Gustave Pollard Backman -"Gus" -was the eldest in this family. Born 11 November 1891 in Salt Lake City, he was a product of the city he was also a maker of. In an article published announcing his death he is referred to as 'a moving force in the growth and development of Utah for a major portion of his eighty years.' (SL Tribune Monday May 15, 1972, p.B1) He was often referred to as Mr. Utah and met regularly with David O. McKay of the LDS Church and the general Manager of the Salt Lake Tribune. He was executive secretary of the SLC Chamber of Commerce, leaving that organization after 34 years to head ProUtah, Inc. He served on boards of Hotel Utah, Zions Bank, ZCMI; he went across the country to sell Utah and was involved with bringing such ventures as Geneva Steel and Bonneville Salt Flats racing ventures. He was busy. He began in his father's firm, G.H. Backman and Sons, Abstracters and Attorneys, as did brothers LeGrand and Milton.
Gus married Annie 'Nancy' Davis (1890-1981)in 1912 and they were parents of three sons Gustave LeRoy 'Roy', Pollard Davis 'Paul' and William Davis Backman.

LeGrand Pollard Backman, 18 Dec 1893 to 19 Apr 1988, was active in church and civic affairs, having served as missionary to South Africa and returning to serve as Mission President in the same field. Later he served in the presidency of the Temple Square Mission. His son Robert L. Backman served in the First Quorum of the Seventy of the LDS Church. LeGrand also served in his ward bishopric and as stake Sunday School superintendent.
LeGrand was senior partner in the Backman Clark and Marsh law firm; he served as member and as president of the Salt Lake City Board of Education and later with the Utah State Board of Education. Active with the Sons of Utah Pioneers, he served as director of the Days of '47 activities.
LeGrand married Mary Edith Price. From his bio for SUP we learn this: At age of eight LeGrand began to take piano lessons...around 13 he studied with John McClellan, the Tabernacle organist...after graduating from Salt Lake high School in 1911 he was selected as one of the traveling teachers of the Utah Conservatory of Music...given the territory from Spanish Fork to Payson to Goshen to Elberta to Eureka to Mammoth to Knightsville. In Goshen, a 14 year old girl, daughter of a widow, named Edith Price was one of his students. They were reacquainted later while LeGrand studied law at the University of Utah. Their children are Robert LeGrand, Mary Jean, Richard Price, Beverly and James Hilmer.

Melvin Hilmer Backman lived 4 Jun 1896 to 6 Oct 1898.

Milton Vaughn Backman, 8 Sep 1898 - 21 Dec 1996, followed closely his brothers' patterns: began playing violin at age 8 and played in the Utah Symphony as well as other orchestras; followed his father's profession and became an attorney, practicing until age 95; active in civic affairs and church callings. Milt was involved in United States war efforts during WWII, finding and procuring lands for Topaz, on of the Japanese relocation facilities and for atomic-bomb development and testing. He was one of the organizers of the Salt Lake Junior Chamber of Commerce and president of the Ambassador Athletic Club, Sons of Utah Pioneers, and Boy Scouts of America, receiving the Silver Beaver in 1953. Milt played hand ball and racquetball into his 90s; he helped organize several dance clubs and was one of the earliest members of the Deseret Gym.
Milton married Florence Peterson (1898-1988) in the Salt Lake Temple in 1920. They were parents of Bette Ann Backman Esch and Milton Vaughn Backman, Jr.

Grace Lucile Backman, 31 Dec 1899 - 19 May 1995, wife of Harold Watson Glade, was the first of two daughters. She grew up in the 15th ward, attending Franklin School. Married in 1929 in the Salt Lake Temple, her married life took her around the country, finally letting her settle in Ogden where her husband was in charge of Utah Area Government Housing. They were active in the Ogden 37th Ward. Lucile and 'Doc' were parents to Marilyn- Mitzi- Vinson and Lynda Latta, and grandparents to five.

Ralph Vernon Backman, esteemed educator and youth advocate was born May 4, 1904 and passed away at home Mar 28, 1992. He graduated from U of U 1926 and in 1927 began his teaching career at Irving Jr High and South High Schools. That year he also began as the evening director at the Rotary Boys Club. Before retiring as associate dean of records for Westminster College he would serve as Sugarhouse Park Playground Director(1927-1930), Dean of Boys at South High(1932-1937), Area Director of the National Youth Administration(1934-1935), Director of Adult and Vocational Education for SLC(1938-1948), State Director of the Federal Recreation Project(1939), principal of South High (1948-1969)as well as faculty member, Department of Continuing Education, U of U; Lecturer in Educational Administration, U of U; professor of Education, Westminster and would help develop a program there wherein students could gain college credit for work experience, allowing working adults to increase their education. He supported many organizations concerned with child welfare and mental health.
Ralph went on to get his masters in philosophy from Stanford University and his doctorate in Educational Administration from U of U. He married Grace McCullough of Salt Lake City in Palo Alto California in 1927 and they were the parents of Joan B. Kirkham, Carol B. Munro, Jill B. Jones, R. 'Mac' Backman and Rod Backman.
Golf and cards were lifelong pleasures, the latter up through his final days.

Edna Louise Backman Courtney Schoffield, 16 Jun 1907 - 23 Apr 2000, was a business woman in the Salt Lake area until moving to Lake Tahoe, California where she and husband Robert Schoffield were involved in the hospitality industry of that area. Edna has one daughter, Janet and two granddaughters.

Harold Samuel Backman, 2 Jan 1909 - 27 May 1969, married Vera May Sorenson (1908-1973) He worked with U.S. Steel-Geneva Works in Provo, Utah as accountant. He sang with the Tabernacle Choir. He passed away due to a heart ailment after having had polio many years earlier. Harold and Vera had no children. They are buried in the Provo City Cemetery.

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