Saturday, March 10, 2012

James William Madson

  • Name: James William Madson
  • Born: December 9, 1912 Elkorn, Oneida, Idaho
  • Died: July 1, 1994 Layton, Davis, Utah
  • Related: Erin's grandfather

James W. Madson, a son of John and Annie Clark Madson, was born December 9, 1912, in a little log house on their ranch in Elkorn. He was the fourth child of the family of 11, having seven brothers; Earl, Jack, Orville, Rex, Grant, Park and Orlin and three sisters; Hattie, Elva and Amelia Ann. His oldest brother Earl was killed while helping a neighbor pull a well. His youngest brother Orlin was killed in a car-pedestrian accident.

He attended elementary school in Elkorn and boarded in Malad for his first three years of high school, then drove back and forth to Elkorn during his senior year, as there was no school bus service.

Being raised on a farm, James learned early in life what hard work and long hours were. However, he was left with the responsibility of managing a farm and helping his mother raise his six younger brothers and sister when his father died suddenly of a heart attack when James was 17 year old.

In his boyhood days he attended church in the old Elkhorn schoolhouse and was secretary of the Sunday School. Later the little branch moved to St. John and he served as a counselor in the Sunday School for seven years under Arch Harris and one year under Harold Jones. When Harold was put in as bishop, James was sustained as Superintendent of the Sunday School and served in this capacity for seven years with Jim Pierce and Tom James as his counselors.

James and Idonna
He married Idonna Nuttall, September 18, 1940, in the Salt Lake Temple. After his marriage his mother leased the farm to him and she moved to Provo. In 1949 James and Idonna purchased a house in Malad and lived in town for nine years. When he was able to purchase the family farm he moved back to Elkhorn where he has since resided. He and Idonna were the proud parents of five sons, and had seven granddaughters.

Bishop Madson has always been a devoted church worker. He was set apart as a Seventy by Elder S. Dilworth Young and was secretary of the quorum for two years and he also served on a stake mission for two years.

He was an outstanding scoutmaster in the 3rd Ward in St. John, dedicated to the boys he taught, serving 13 years in this capacity. He served as counselor in the Malad Stake Sunday School for four years and was released from this position when he was called to be the bishop of our ward.

He was set apart as bishop by Elder Boyd K. Packer January 19, 1964. He chose Gene Edwards and Kenneth Kent as his counselors. After Kenneth’s death in 1965, Dale Baisdell was sustained as second counselor.

Bishop Madson always found time to go the temple and attend the educational programs sponsored by the church. During his nine years as father of the ward he performed 19 marriages, presided at 33 funerals and 14 missionaries, besides Adrian Jones, Joe L. Williams and Clark Madson who were already in the mission field, have been called to serve the Lord. He was released January 21, 1973, and has since been called to be the State Explorer Leader.

He was also active in civic affairs. He was Soil Conservation Supervisor for six years and president of the Oneida County Farm Bureau for two years. He reads a lot and keeps informed on the affairs of our nation. He has always felt that we should be interested in good government seeing that the right men are put in public office.

One of his favorite hobbies was trap shooting. He took first place in a Round Robin Shoot and third place in the Utah State Preliminary Handicap Shoot. He excelled in this sport but because of lack of time and the shoots generally being held on Sundays he gave the sport up.

The annual deer hunt always finds the bishop with his sons in the mountains enjoying this sport and always successful in getting their deer.Another hobby he has acquired this winter is snowmobiling.

Truly, Bishop Madson is a good Christian, devoted to his family and dedicated to his church. Many of the miles he has traveled have been in the service of the Lord and his fellow men.

A day never dawns lest it retires
Into the past with the twilight hours,
Taking with it all deeds well done
Reaping the harvest, and, to follow the sun,
Thus Bishop Madson from day to day,
Planted the harvest we reap today,
Bringing the sun when the day was gray
For forget-me-nots all along life’s way.

He never grew tired of his noble chore,
Other folk’s burdens were not a bore,
But a priceless problem he might erase,
Bringing new hope to a troubled face,
When the grounds of faith were sown with doubt
With the hoe of love he thinned them out,
Bringing a harvest of hope and joy
That time itself cannot destroy.

In the dark of night when the hour was late
You would see him come with his noble mate
To a saddened home, where death had brought
Tears and heartache, their love they got.

A bishop we know is only a man,
He scatters good deeds to his fullest span
Side by side with a tireless mate
Who has given her all, regardless of fate.

Their work has been tireless, their service long,
Their devotion outstanding, their efforts strong,
Giving their all with a friendly smile
Willing to go that extra mile.

We love you and thank you for all you have done
Making our ward the very best one.
We shall always remember the years and the days
That you were in office, and offer our praise.
And so now in parting we ask once again
That the Lord will be with you,
And to that our Amen.

This article was written by someone from grandpa's ward for a ward newsletter. She gave it to us at his funeral. I don't remember who this woman was but I would like to thank her for writing such a great article and poem. If anyone remembers who this was let me know and I can credit her properly. 

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