BY TAMI L. JOHNSON
Wilford and Lucille Shaw joyfully welcomed another baby girl, LaVern, into the world on August 21, 1935. An older sister, LouJean, and two younger brothers, Jerald and Marvin, completed the family. When she was six years old, LaVern moved from her grandfather’s farm on Elberta Dr., in North Ogden, to Fruitland Dr. The Shaw family’s little four-room frame house, including two bedrooms, a front room, and kitchen, moved too! After digging a foundation into the ground, the house was placed on top and later built around as the years went by.
When LaVern was eight years old, she had a peculiar thing happen. She began fainting regularly at school and home. Her third grade teacher, Veda Berrett, wouldn’t allow LaVern come to school until her parents could figure out what was causing the fainting spells. But what was the cause?
Wilford and Lucille took their daughter to the doctor to see what could be done. Turns out LaVern’s long, thick hair (which she wore in two braids) was taking all her strength. The doctor took a pair of scissors and, right there, snipped those two braids to LaVern’s shoulders. With a new hairdo, new glasses, and cod liver oil pills, there was no more fainting for this young girl.
If you go to the North Ogden Historical Museum, you’ll find LaVern’s childhood braids, with their original red ribbons, on display. Incidentally, LaVern is also one of the four founding members of the North Ogden Historical Museum.
As a young girl, LaVern learned how to do cement work, wire buildings, putty windows, and lay insulation with her father, Wilford. Her brothers were too young and Dad needed a right-hand man. LaVern was willing to learn. Additionally, LaVern picked fruit every summer and remembers clapping her hands to scare away the rattlesnakes along Clarence Barker’s strawberry patch.
As she grew, LaVern met and married Calvin W. Cottrell. They received word that Calvin was going to serve a full-time mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in the Great Lakes area after having only been married for 18 months. This covered states such as Ohio, Indiana, Michigan and Kentucky. A year and a half into his mission, Calvin became a traveling elder which meant he needed a car. So, LaVern drove with two of her girlfriends to drop the car off for Calvin. What a joy to see him! We would like to acknowledge that LaVern’s husband, Calvin, has a ball park in North Ogden named after him called, “Spackman-Cottrell Memorial Park” because of Calvin’s great love of baseball.
LaVern’s great-great Grandfather Elijah Shaw II and his wife, Martha Thomas, came to settle in North Ogden after traveling with the John Wood Pioneer Company (consisting of only 17 members) in 1853. Prior to marrying Elijah, Martha was a widow. Her first husband died in Nauvoo leaving her alone with two young girls. As time went by, their family grew to nine children, with one of them being Elijah Shaw III, LaVern’s great grandfather.
Elijah Shaw II and Martha built their first home, a two-room log house located on Alvord Lane (now 2550 North) in North Ogden in 1859. They didn’t stay in the home very long until they built a bigger home, complete with a dance hall upstairs. Dancing was a wonderful pastime!
Elijah II was a convert to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as was Martha. He was also a farmer, and when he died, he gave each of his sons a farm and his daughters he gave enough money to equal a farm. If you’re curious, go take a look at Elijah II and Martha Shaw’s home, nestled in the trees behind Lomond View Nursery. You can’t miss the large yellow brick house with all its charm.