Idona Isolene Tolman 1912 - 1987

Links for Isolene Tolman


Idona Isolene Tolman was born the 19 April 1912 in Dempsey, Idaho to Joseph Holbrook Tolman and Mary Ellen Cahoon. She was called and went by her middle name Isolene. Isolene was the last of the eight children born to her mother. Her mother was the 2nd wife in a plural marriage. Her father had fifteen children by his first wife, making Isolene the youngest of 23 children born to her father. Her father had built a saw-mill at Dempsey where there was a house the family lived in. Isolene was born at that home which is shown below.

Home where Isolene was born
Photos taken in 1947, 1968 and 2015

From the History of Joseph Holbrook Tolman and Mary Ellen Cahoon compiled by Lavaughn Tolman (Isolene's older sister), pages 5-6:

    On April 19th, 1912 again a wee wee baby came to delight our home. A midwife by the name of Mrs Toones delivered her. The baby was three months premature and oh so very small, she could not be handled as a normal child. (Lavaughn) well remembers the crib or incubator which Mrs Toones provided for her. They used an old rocking chair. She used rocks under the pillows, which had been heated in the oven. She used cotton batting to nest the baby in. We kept rocks heating in the oven all the time, as the ones being used cooled off, they would be replaced with hot ones. Mrs. Toones would milk milk from mother into a spoon, use an eye dropper to feed the wee one. She was changed and rubbed with oil, without removing her from the nest. Soon she started gaining strength, and was removed from the nest into her mothers arm and bed. She was a miracle baby. Mother said Mrs Toones judged her weight as about two pounds.
    My first impression of her was a little skinned rabbit. When she was about three months old mother said she could put her in a gallon crock and put the lid on and a teacup would set over her head and down to her shoulders. But with such perfect care and rich milk she started to be a darling little black haired doll.

Isolene was blessed (LDS) by her father Joseph H Tolman, 23 April 1912 (source: Allen Family LDS Family and Individual Record Book., pg 34).

In the fall of 1912 Isolene's family moved to a one room house in Inkom, Idaho. From the History of Joseph Holbrook Tolman and Mary Ellen Cahoon compiled by Lavaughn Tolman, pages 6, 8:

    In the fall of 1911 father purchased ten acres of land from George A. Whitworth, in Inkom, Idaho. He also purchased a right-of-way through his farm to build and maintain a ditch to carry water to a sight selected for a water powered saw mill. Some work was done that fall. Then in the spring of 1912 father took his two young sons Alvin and Joseph Leroy (known as Roy) with him to Inkom from Lava Hot Springs to build the shop, ditch, and mill pond. By fall the shop and a one room house was built. In September of 1912 he moved his family, Mary Ellen his wife, daughters Lavaughn, Leona and Idonna Isolene to the new home. The house had one large room to sleep a family of seven. So the boys slept down in the shop, father fixed boards on top of the ceiling joists, made a ladder up one wall for us to climb up, and this is where we girls slept, our beds on the floor.

    The folks in about 1914 started a berry farm and nice orchard. They had several acres of raspberries and strawberries. Mother and the girls worked very hard, to keep them pruned and cleaned. Then there was the watering and picking.

Isolene, Leona, Lavaughn, Mary Ellen, Joe
At the berry farm

Listen to this audio (recorded June 2015) as Verlene (Isolene's daughter-in-law) describes how Isolene, her mother and sisters worked hard and and then their father would come and take the money they earned for his other wife's family.

Listen to this audio (recorded June 2015) as Verlene relates a story from the time of (Alcohol) Prohibition.

As a child Isolene enjoyed school. She was a good student and won most of the spelling bees. (source: Idona Isolene Tolman Life Sketch)

Whenever her father came to visit she knew she would most likely not make it to school on time. Her father insisted on leading family prayer which could last up to an hour or more. During the prayer, Isolene and her sisters would sneak out one by one to go finish getting ready for school. They quickly learned at exactly what point they need to be back and on their knees for the end of the prayer. Because he prayed so long they would have to run to school and most likely still be late. As a result, Isolene would have to stay after school to make up for her tardiness. (source: Idona Isolene Tolman Life Sketch)

Listen to this audio (recorded June 2015) as Verlene and Joan Baird Phillips (granddaughter) relate what Isolene told them about her father holding family prayer, praying for hours in the mornings.

From the History of Joseph Holbrook Tolman and Mary Ellen Cahoon, starting on page 4:

    As time went on father built three rooms onto the one we had lived in for a long time. We girls were in seventh heaven to have a room where we didn’t have to climb up to, and could stand up in. Joseph Leroy was also happy not to have to go some distance each night to sleep.

    In the fall of 1923 we moved into Pocatello for the winter. Joseph Leroy convinced us to do this, he would pay the rent and live home. He had been in the marines and through a serious sickness spent many months in hospitals, in Mares Island, California, and Boise Idaho. He was at deaths door many times. He chose watch making as a profession and when able was sent to a jewelry store in Pocatello to train. Our winter was a happy one, how we enjoyed our dear brother.

Isolene was baptized into the LDS church 5 June 1920 by her father and confirmed by James E. Ray the next day (source: Allen Family LDS Family and Individual Record Book., pg 34).

From the History of Lavaughn (Tolman) Fowler, pages 26-27:

    Isolene stayed small for her age until she was about fourteen years old. Then she developed into a beautiful teenager.

Isolene had beautiful auburn hair. Below is a photo of a two locks of her hair from when she was 10 years old.

Hair locks, Isolene Tolman age 10 (1922)

Isolene Tolman as a teenager

Isolene Tolman age 16 (1928)
Inkom School, Grades 7-10
2nd row, 6th from the left

Sometime in 1929, during her sophomore year, Isolene quit high school and went to work for "Aunt" Emma Jensen, a sister to the Tolman's neighbor Agnes Whitworth. Emma's husband was the sheriff of Bingham county and lived in Wapello, Idaho on a farm. Isolene was hired to cook for the county prisoners and to care for the Jensen family (from Isolene's obituary). She lived at the Jensen place in Wapello. Listen to this audio of Isolene's son Dean and his wife Verlene describe Isolene working for the Sheriff and Emma Jensen.

Isolene 1930 at Lava Hot Springs, ID

In 1930 Isolene met her future husband Erwin Alton Allen, at a dance at the beet warehouse shown in the picture below. The warehouse sits just across the railroad tracks at Wapello. Listen to this audio as Dean and Verlene Allen describe how Isolene and Erwin met.

Beet warehouse where Isolene and Erwin met at a dance

From Margaret Hancock's talk at Isolene's retirement from the Wapello school:

    "When you became a young lady you started working for J. Johnsen (Jensen) in Blackfoot cooking for the jail prisoners. This was hard work for you were just a young girl. But I guess this was a starter that was to become the work and hobby of your past 26 years. It was during this time that some exciting things begin to happen.
    You met your prince charming Erwin Allen. You learned to love each other very much and soon were engaged to be married.
    Those courting days were happy ones. Sometimes you were a little anxious. When Erwin came for you just at family prayer time, when you both had to kneel for an hour (In those days people did this), you didn't know just how he would take this, but knowing him he's true blue and you were married."

From the History of Lavaughn (Tolman) Fowler, pages 26-27:

    She met a fine young man and they went to American Falls, Idaho and were married on "Friday the 13th" of February 1931. Erwin always said, "our lucky Friday the 13th, 1931".

In the Allen Family LDS Family and Individual Record Book. (pg 34), Isolene wrote that she was 5ft. 1in. and weighed 125 lbs with brown eyes and dark brown hair.

Isolene Wedding Picture

Isolene and Erwin Wedding Picture

Erwin Allen and Isolene Tolman Wedding Record

Isolene related to her daughter-in-law Verlene Allen, that at the hotel in American Falls where they were spending their honeymoon, there was an outbreak of measles and Erwin and Isolene ended up quarantined at the hotel for a week.

The only building on Erwin's farm was a chicken Coop. The newlyweds turned the chicken coop into their home by cleaning and then bleaching the walls and floors to remove odors and stains. They then covered the walls and floor with white butcher paper.

Shortly after her marriage the Wapello ward held a get-together; here the people found out Isolene was a runner. She beat everyone hands down at foot racing. They kept her running trying to find someone to best her. She was finally beaten by Sidney Call on his first race and Isolene's 9th. Even after her family came along she still beat everyone when it came to running.

Isolene and Erwin first son Erwin L Allen was born in November 1931 at their farm house. It is unlikely that a new house had been built so this was in the converted chicken coop. It was a very hard pregnancy as "little Win" was breach. Attending the birth was Erwin's mother Margrethe and Isolene's mother Mary Ellen Tolman. After many hours of labor (reportedly about 40), Erwin went to town and fetched the doctor who turned the child and allowed him to be born.

Isolene, at age 22, and Erwin were sealed in the Idaho Falls Temple October 24, 1934.

A second son, Louis Dean, was born in December 1934.

Isolene with Dean, Erwin and "Chief" about 1935

On the back of the picture above Darlene Allen wrote: "Old Chief hung onto Erwin's diaper so he didn't fall into the Center Branch ditch when Erwin was just crawling"

In November 1935 Donny, the last of Margrethe's sons at home was married and moved leaving Margrethe, Erwin's mother alone on her farm. On March 1, 1937, Erwin and Isolene purchased the farm from Margrethe, for the sum of $4,000. Erwin and Isolene would live at this farm for the rest of their lives. Margrethe retained a small portion of land upon which a small house was built in the summer of 1937. Erwin and Isolene moved into the main home where Erwin had grown up.

Erwin and Isolene's house after purchase of farm from 1937 to 1949

Isolene Tolman in her mid 20's

April 11, 1937 Isolene was called to serve as 2nd counselor in the Wapello ward primary presidency. Elna Marlow was president and Margaret Hancock was 1st counselor. She served as such until 1938 sometime.

L-R "Chief" the dog, Erwin, Isolene (Age 25), Margrethe, Donald Allen
Front L-R Sons Dean and Erwin
Fall 1937

Isolene (age 25) Thanksgiving Day 1937
L-R: Erwin, Margrethe, Isolene , Erwin L., Dean and "Chief"
In front of Margrethe's house

Erwin and Isolene late 1930's

Isolene Tolman about winter 1939-40 (~age 28)
Erwin and Isolene's mother Mary Ellen Cahoon in the back
Sons Erwin and Dean in front

Isolene in 1940 Census ( Entire page )

Madge McCann Allen (sister-in-law) and Isolene (in kitchen door of old house)
It is believed this is in 1940 and Isolene is pregnant with Darlene

September 20, 1940 the first daughter, Darlene was born. "My father was so excited of a daughter arriving. The next day he finished the farm chores, grabbed his "go to town hat" and was off to see mother and me -- going downtown on a few errands first before going to the hospital located just north of Kings Variety Store. He noticed everyone was so happy and smiled at him. He wondered how they could all know he now had a baby daughter. That question was soon answered when he walked in the hospital room -- where mom burst out laughing -- in his haste he’d put on his grey felt town hat over his farmer straw hat -- no wonder everyone was so happy!" (Source: Darlene Allen's personal history (pg 1)

Isolene served as 1st counselor to Margaret Hancock in the primary presidency from 1941 to 1945. On the same note describing the time that she served Isolene wrote "Petitioned to get school released for Primary".

Listen to this audio by Verlene Allen (a daughter-in-law). She describes the "Easter dress disaster" with Darlene and her cousin Kay as told to her by Isolene.

Isolene (~age 30)

A second daughter, June Marie, was born 8 July 1944. June Marie died 17 January 1945. She died from intussusception, a serious disorder in which part of the intestine slides into an adjacent part of the intestine and forms a blockage.

June Marie Allen
This picture is attached to her certificate of blessing

June Marie Allen
Isolene is holding her up sitting on a milk can

From Darlene Allen's personal history (pg 1-2):

    "I have a memory of my younger sister, June Marie sitting on the bed in the bedroom just off the kitchen and mom playing boo and her laughing. My only other memory is walking into mom and dads bedroom and seeing galvanized wash tubs filled with bloody water. Talking to mom later in life she explained that June Marie had died from a bowel obstruction and they had rinsed her bloody diapers in the wash tubs. We were snowed in at the time of her illness. Dad and mom had rode a horse drawn sleigh to the highway and friends met them there and took them to town to the doctor. Mom said she had such a high fever before she died that the doctor told her she wouldn’t have been alright if she had lived. It seems like they took her to Pocatello for surgery but I could be wrong. June Marie died in January. Mom always said she thought June Marie and Kenneth would have looked alike as she had black hair and big dark brown eyes.

Listen to this audio (recorded June 2015) of June Marie's older brother Dean and his wife Verlene talk about June Marie. Dean tells what he remembers and Verlene relates what Isolene told her about June Marie's death. She tells how the doctor led Isolene to believe she was to blame for June Marie's death, but then the autopsy revealed the real reason she died. This still effected Isolene and Verlene tells how she dealt with it.

Read here about June Marie's funeral service.

Twelve days after June Marie's death, Martha Hancock, the mother of Clawson Hancock a close friend and neighbor, wrote the following poem about June Marie:

Our Babe
By Martha Amanda Richardson Hancock
January 29, 1945

Life is a precious gift to man
and tho we may not understand God’s plan
when little children O so pure
we hold with loving arms secure
and plan just what it’s life will be
this sacred gift that He has lent to me.

Alas it seems but for so short a time
this little babe I called mine
had come to bless our lives for just awhile
we were so proud to see our darling smile
but in our faith, we know, again will see
and rear their little ones in that eternity

Isolene Tolman ~1945 (~33 years old)
Erwin, sons Erwin L. and Dean in back and daughter Darlene on her lap

Isolene was called to serve as a counselor in the Relief Society Presidency in the fall of 1945 and served there until June, 1952. Margaret Hancock was the president and Verna Call the other counselor.

From Darlene Allen's personal history (pg 1-2):

    "In old house during the winter when we wanted to have popcorn to eat we would have to go to the shed and get into a gunny sack and get some ears of dried popcorn. Then we would scrape and pick off the kernels into a bowl and when we had enough to pop we would get the wire popper and pop the corn on the wood kitchen stove. You had to shake really fast so the popcorn wouldn‘t burn. Mom always let me have my buttered popcorn in a clear green bowl. In the winter and close to Christmas mom always made fudge to drizzle over your very own“ tin“ pie plate of popcorn. To test if the fudge was “done“ you would take a tablespoon of fudge out of the pan and stir it with a match stick. If it set you beat the entire batch with a mixer.. and then poured it over the popcorn. Another winter treat was “Bear Signs.“To make bear signs you go down to the big spud cellar and get the perfect size spud. You wash it, peel it and then slice it just the right thickness and lay them very carefully on the top of the green kitchen stove. In the old house when I came home from school. the very first thing I did run up stairs and get to cookies. Sugar cookies or macaroons. Mom bought them by the case and they always set at just the top of the stairs.

    The spud cellar was also the garage for the car in the winter. When we were snowed in the winter of ’49 we were plowed out by a caterpillar tractor with a blade on it. He made a couple of pushes with the “cat“ past the spud cellar and we spent all afternoon shoveling snow so we could go to town. Lots of snow that year. The cows could just walk over this corral fences. When the wind blows all the snow drifts into the road. Mom(Isolene) would always warned me not to go near the telephone wires as the snow was so deep you could touch the wires. We had 49 dozen eggs in the house because you couldn‘t get to town to sell them.

    Sometime during our years in that house mom Isolene painted our kitchen floor. They didn’t have the money for new linoleum so she painted it a light tan and then took a sponge and dipped it in brown paint and put splotches all over the floor. The floor was beautiful and it was super fun to walk and bounce on the narrow boards that were elevated over the floor so we could get around until the paint dried.

    During thunder storms you could go upstairs and open a door and watch the lighting. The door did not lead anywhere just open space to the ground. The kitchen stove chimney was on the wall between the two upstairs bedrooms and one time it got so hot it caused a fire. The scare of the fire and the hard work of clean up caused mom to have a miscarriage. This was sometime after June Marie died and before Kenneth was born.

The Allens and Hancocks 1946
Back Row L-R: Erwin Allen, Clawson Hancock, Margrethe Teslie Allen, Margaret Hancock, Erwin L Allen, Rulen Hancock
Front Row L-R: Dean Allen, Darlene Allen, Isolene Tolman Allen, Verna Hancock, LaDeen Hancock, Zelma Mae Hancock, Eugene Hancock

The Hancock family was great friends with the Allen family. In particular Margaret Hancock and Isolene were the best of friends and like sisters to each other. They worked, played and served together. In an email to me Gene Hancock (front row far right in the above photo) wrote: "We have many great memories of camping trips and other activities we did with the Allen family. My Mom worked many years with your Grandma with the school lunch program at the Wapello school. I remember your Great Grandma Allen who lived in a little home behind your Grandparent’s home in Wapello. The first bicycle I learned to ride was at your grandparents home. Memories, memories. I have many good memories of the Allen Family."

From a tribute written by Verna Hancock to her mother: "Many trips were enjoyed by you and Isolene and her husband. One time you were Salmon fishing and it seemed the fish was quite near the bank when the line broke. Isolene jumped onto the fish and locked her legs and arms around it until someone helped them out of the water. Her wet nothings were the worst. Margaret Hancock in her talk at Isolene's retirement form Wapello school wrote of this incident as well:

    "Do you remember our trip to Salmon, when the big salmon got off the hook and you jumped in the water and put your arms and legs around that big fish and held on until the men got the hook in it again. You said 'I would of rode it right into the river if it had been necessary'. Then coming home we stopped at Mackay and all of you fished with the salmon eggs from that big fish. What excitement we caused. People would ask 'what are you fishing for bait?' and you looked up and replied 'just salmon eggs' They fought over the place where you and Erwin and my husband were sitting when we left."

On February 21, 1946, Isolene received her Patriarchal Blessing from Patriarch Peter J. Williams.

Another son, Kenneth was born in ???. From the talk given at Isolene's retirement from Wapello school by Margaret Hancock:

    "Do your remember when Kenneth was born and you came home with your little one and you had the mumps on both sides? You were so worried but I was there to help each day. Kenneth didn't get the mumps"

In 1948 Erwin started building a new house just to the north of the old house. The new house was made from cinderblocks. Later a brick facing was placed on the house. Below are pictures from 1948 and 1949 showing the building of the new house. Listen to this audio of Dean Allen describing building the house. You can refer to these pictures at different points while Dean is speaking. He was 13 years old at the time the house was started.

Bulldozer digging basement on the new house
Darlene is standing next to the old house and Kenneth is in the window looking out.

New house partially completed.
Erwin, Dean, and Isolene

New house Fall 1949

New and Old houses 1949
Son Dean Allen washing the 1936 Ford

From Darlene Allen's personal history (pg 10):

    "In the summer our dads would hay together... It was a long day of work. Starting before eight and quitting at six. We would eat dinner at the house we were working at. The women would help each other with the cooking and just move from neighbor to neighbor as the men traded help with the haying. The women worked as hard cooking as the men haying. Dinner was always a big meal. Fried chicken, potatoes and gravy. Or roast beef, hot rolls, new potatoes and peas and lots of different pies. If you had chicken, the women had to kill them first and scald them and pluck them..dig the potatoes out of the garden pick and shell the peas, bake the pies and have this all ready by noon. then at 4 o‘clock they would bring out lemonade and cake."

On January 2, 1951 Isolene was hired by the Blackfoot school district as a cook for the Wapello School. She worked there 26 years, retiring Thursday May 19, 1977.

Wapello School
The left side of the school was there when Isolene was a cook

Margaret Hancock was hired in the late 1955 to also work at the Wapello school in the lunch program. In her memories Margaret wrote:

    " I was placed in the Wapello School to work and here I enjoyed working with my friend Isolene Allen. We had been pals for a long time, in fun, in church and in work. I have enjoyed my school work . Always learning new things. Going to all the workshops, learning about food and what it takes to make a child’s body healthy and strong. Planning type A meals and how to serve them so they would be attractive and how to meet the needs of a child. We attended many conventions in other cities, Boise, Seattle, Coeur d'Alene , Pocatello and there was so many lovely entertainments to attend and many lovely ladies from all over the world to meet that were working and learning about food and nutrition. Staying in the beautiful hotels and motels. Experiences I hadn’t had in my life. Riding in a big tug boat in Seattle and seeing all that water. In Couer d' Alene I had my first ride on a big boat. Quite an experience it was . After the first little while I enjoyed every minute of it and always I had my wonderful pal, Isolene Allen, with me. We had worked so many years together. She was like a sister to me."

From the tribute written by Verna Hancock to her mother:

    "It seems only right to feed the kids in Wapello that Isolene was there too. Busy, humorous and sad times they shared. Many times you have been first to go over the rail road tracks in the snow and several times you parked the car on the other side and walked to get to school. Isolene and you seemed to have an inner something that you would say or answer what the other one was going to say. You both have had your share of accidents. You dropped a pan of rolls on your toe and those are no small pans. Falling and getting a bruise and you know where. How about the year your oven kept burning things or else not cooking at all and when Isolene went to set a pan of cake on it and she was shocked quite bad and the maintenance crew was called and showed the oven really was hot.
    Last but best of all had been a convention that you had attended especially the one in Boise . Remember your stay at the Road Way Inn. The waiter while passing accidentally lost a glass of ice water off his tray and down your back. With a holler and a giggling dance the ice was shook out and someone was drying you off. That waiter didn’t appear at the tables for the rest of the evening .Later that evening after a busy day a relaxing bath seemed all in the fair. As you proceeded to turn on the water the shower bath began and woe to the hairdu of that day. It was quite a surprise. You and Isolene laughed so hard it made you cry.
    Isolene has appreciated your dependability to help in times together and she wishes you much luck as we all do and some day when the time comes may you not have to mix bread and cinnamon rolls"

I (Michael Baird) went to 1st and part of 2nd grade at the Wapello school (~1962). I remember her as one of the two cooks, the other was Margaret Hancock. I remember thinking for the most part how great it was to have my grandmother serving the food. However when they were serving something I didn't care for, then I didn't like it so well. She would always make me take some anyway, telling me it was good for me. In particular I remember when they served cooked pinto beans. I have never liked beans (still don't). I remember grandma making me take some, but I didn't eat them. I also remember her also scolding me for taking extra chocolate milk.

Margaret Hancock's talk at Isolene's retirement from working at the Wapello school in 1977 can be read here.

Isolene Tolman ~age 40 (~1952) with daughter Darlene

Isolene (age 42) in the new house in 1954

Kenneth, Erwin and Isolene (age 42) in the new house in 1954

Allen Family at Dinner ~1954
Isolene, Kenneth, Erwin, Darlene & Dean

Isolene Tolman, 1955 (age 43)

From the History of Lavaughn (Tolman) Fowler, pages 26-27:

    The Allen family were a very close family. They would work hard, then Erwin would take them all to Summit or some favorite place to fish. Many times just up Wolverine (East of Blackfoot Idaho) to picnic, get some pictures, go for walks, just for fun somewhere. For many years the Allens and Fowlers spent many hours together. One year we went to Bryce Canyon and Wolverine Canyon for picnics. We would go to parade, back to Isolene's and Erwin's home. We'd have a feast. Then go to the fair. Visit the many booths, the animals, many times to races and afternoon entertainment, then go do chores and then back for the night shows. A hamburger and drink. About eleven o'clock say good night. They'd go home and we would drive home after a fun day, and evening of entertainment.

November 6, 1956 Isolene was called to serve as a counselor in the Relief Society to President Vera Call. The other counselor was Margaret Hancock. They served together until August 30, 1959. After that time Isolene writes that she "then worked in genealogy"

Erwin Allen Family Christmas 1956. Isolene age 43

From the History of Lavaughn (Tolman) Fowler, pages 26-27:

    For at least forty five of our over fifty years, they and family as long as they were home, came to the Fowlers for Thanksgiving and the Fowlers came to their home for Christmas. We each have fond memories of our togetherness. Isolene and Erwin's family and I are very close and love each other very much.
    A personal note about Lavaughn from Michael Baird: Lavaughn had 3 children, but none of them lived very long - the first died at age 4 and the last two lived about one day. She "adopted" her sister Isolene's children as her own. I remember visits with my mother Darlene to aunt Lavaughns house and her being at my grandparents house often.

"Great Cook"

Isolene was known as a great cook. Below are two photos of her own cookbook given to her by her mother Mary Ellen for Christmas 1930.

Isolene's cookbook (in possession of Michael Baird)

Inside pages of Isolene's cookbook
Note the fruitcake recipe

Newspaper article about her prizes from the state fair for cooking
Kenneth and Darlene in photo too

Below is a photo of the cook book made from her recipes "Home Cookin' from Isolene's Kitchen" In the introduction it says

    "This cookbook contains my favorite kitchen-tested, family and friend-approved recipes. Some have been handed down through several generations, others are newly-found favorites; still others are the results of my own years of experimentation and practice. I sincerely hope that you will enjoy these recipes as much as I have enjoyed creating and serving them. Isolene Allen"

Isolene's Recipe Book

Recipe card with Isolene's Sweet Dough recipe
Note the date - 1935

Recipe card with Isolene's Fruit Cake recipe
Isolene wrote this out for my wife in 1982

Below is an entry from their journal for September 7, 1977. Note that she made pie dough for 88 pies! The Fair booth referenced was the Wapello ward booth at the Eastern Idaho State Fair.

Pie Dough for the state fair booth - September 7, 1977 (entry by Erwin)

Isolene and Erwin canned all sorts of fruit and made jellies and jams. Below are several entries from their journal in 1977 about picking berries and canning

Canned fruit - September 17, 1977 (Entry by Isolene)

A jelly that is "famous" amongst Isolene's and Erwin's descendants is grasshopper jelly. Apple jelly with green food coloring. Because it was the same color as grasshoppers, Erwin called it grasshopper jelly...

Grasshopper Jelly - August 11, 1977 (Entry by Erwin)

Isolene would often bake food and take it to neighbors. Read this entry of Isolene's in their journal.

Isolene bakes and delivers - October 21, 1977 (Entry by Isolene)

Michael Baird: "Grandma was a great cook. One thing she was known for was her cinnamon rolls. Her recipe was used by my mother and then later, at my request, my wife graciously learned how to make them following that recipe. While our children were growing up every general conference my wife would make these cinnamon rolls and we would eat them while we watched conference."

Isolene's famous Cinnamon Rolls

From Margaret Hancock's talk at Isolene's retirement from cooking at the Wapello school:

    "This spring your grandson (Jim Baird) was at a wrestling meet in Pocatello. As they were being weighed in, he heard some boys discussing what they most like to eat. He heard one boy from Burly, Idaho say 'More than anything else I'd like a cinnamon roll from Mrs. Allen's Wapello school lunch.' 'Hey' your grandson yelled 'Your talking about my grandmother'

Michael Baird: "One thing I always remember about grandma Allen was whenever you arrived at her house and I mean it didn't matter what time it was, she would fix us something to eat. We would walk in the house and we would sit down around the kitchen table and talk and grandma would get us something to eat."

Isolene in the late 1950's early 1960's

~1965, Isolene (~54 years old) with son Kenneth and grandson Jim Baird

Isolene 1971 (59 years old).

Erwin and Isolene in garden behind their house. Isolene ~60.

Isolene (age 65) May 8, 1977
A few weeks before retiring from the school

Memories from Daniel Baird (grandson)

Isolene (age 68) and Erwin
August 1980

On August 9, 1980, Erwin and Isolene were honored for a 50th Wedding anniversary at their home.

Erwin and Isolene (age 68)
August 9, 1980 at 50th Anniversary Celebration

Isolene's husband Erwin passed away from prostate cancer November 23, 1980.

Isolene had heart trouble in the last of her life and died at age 75, 30 May 1987 at Blackfoot, Idaho. She was buried in the Grove City Cemetery, Blackfoot, Idaho. Here is her will. Below is her obituary.

Isolene Tolman Obituary

Isolene Tolman Gravestone

On the back of the program from her funeral is this note from her:

    ". . . to understand that part of our earthly education is learning to manage time wisely.
    A woman at any stage of life should visualize the person she wants to become now - instead of yearning for goals and later visualizing the person she could have been."


Galleries of photos (Password Required - Contact Michael Baird for password)