8/23/10

ALWAYS THE FRONTIER


by Elsie Townsend

In the early 1900's Florence Wildermuth arrives in Lebeck, Missouri, and begins teaching school. She is twenty-one years old and "in no hurry to get married" until she meets and falls in love with Sam Andes, a priest in the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Florence settles down and begins to rear her family. But for her husband, there is always the frontier, and Sam’s eyes look westward.


Florence fights her fear of the unknown and moves to Far West, where Sam works as a blacksmith. When he reads about homesteading in Montana, Florence at first ignores the idea, hoping his dreams will fade. Eventually she succumbs to his restlessness, and Sam hurries out west to stake a claim on the land.


With their five children, Sam and Florence move to Montana. The Andes family builds a sod house and faces danger and hardships in the treacherous winters with little but love for each other and abiding faith in God.


Elsie Townsend’s true-life story of her mother and father, Florence and Sam Andes, is a tribute to all the Church families who have put their trust in God and traveled to unknown places, establishing homes and planting the Church, which sees "always the frontier."