Memories of Mom — Nobody Outguns Grandma

Mary Ann Smith

Mary Ann Smith

Here’s a great story of Grandma Westover, wife of Arnold and grandma to bunches, including Barta Westover, who shares this story originally told to her, I believe, by her dad, Darrell.

Mary Ann Smith Westover was one of our first truly great family historians. The photos that make up the Sam Westover Collection in the photo area of this site are mostly from Grandma Westover, who kept outstanding records and who faithfully completed a lot of family temple work.

Grandma Westover penned her own history. It begins, “I was born at Victor, Idaho, July 12 1896. Here I spent my childhood on my father’s ranch, three miles from town. Here I went through the grade schools. I played on the basketball team and we played against the neighboring schools. I also played baseball. In 1910 I went to Rexburg to a county fair where I had met Arnold Westover the year before. I was living in Victor when the train first came there about 1913. We used to go sleigh riding and coasting. We would go on horses up into the mountains to pick huckleberries. I was married to Arnold Westover, September 19th 1914 at Rexburg, by Bishop Henry Flamm. Here we made our home, living in the old homestead of Arnold’s father. In 1915, June 9, we went to the Salt Lake Temple and were sealed for time and all eternity. Here at Rexburg, our nine children were born….”

The photo above this post is a picture of Mary Ann around 1914, with a cousin who sits on the horse.

I’ve heard a lot of stories about Grandma Westover, though she passed in 1959, well before my time. Without exception, she has been described to me as a very strong personality. She raised 9 children, 7 of them boys! And all of them exceptional people. I love this story of Grandma not only excelling in the manly art of firearms — but humbling those who questioned her abilities:

Grandma Westover with 2 of her grandchildren, Kirk on the left and Barta on the  right.

Grandma Westover with 2 of her grandchildren, Kirk on the left and Barta on the right.

We have not yet worked up our own profile yet of Grandma Westover but you can access more information about her at FamilySearch. She is, of course, our link to a prolific Smith line that provides its own pioneer stories of faith. Her story and the stories of her ancestors are ones we are anxious to learn and share.

Jeff Westover
Jeff Westover

Husband, father, Latter-day Saint, 11th generation American, and web geek currently residing in Smithfield, Utah. Please visit my website at

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