Thursday, Feb 02, 2023

David Lusk Bolingbroke

David Lusk Bolingbroke

David was born 12 January 1878 in Malad, Idaho, to parents Henry Mitchel Bolingbroke and Mary Elizabeth Lusk. He was the third son, but the second to survive. His older brother was John Henry Bolingbroke, with whom he had a very close relationship throughout his life. Henry Mitchel was an immigrant from England, and Mary Lusk was an immigrant from Wales. Both David’s father Henry Mitchel and his brother John Henry were Arbon homesteaders, as David would also be.

David married Mary Ellen Thomas 30 May 1900 in Malad, Idaho. She was born on 18 February 1879, the daughter of Utah natives.  All four of her grandparents had immigrated from Wales after converting to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

David and Mary Ellen had three children, but only two lived to adulthood.  Delbert Thomas was born in 1901; a girl, Lona, was born in 1908, but died the same day; and David Henry was born in 1911.  These births took place in Malad at Mary’s parents’ home.

David came to the Bannock Valley (Arbon) originally to help his father and brother John with their homesteads. His father Henry Mitchel died when David was twenty-seven.

David and his brother John Henry had an interesting communal arrangement. Along with the wives and children sharing the John Bolingbroke home during the summer months, while also sharing the labors of housekeeping and child rearing for the women, and farm and ranch work for the men, both families each had nice homes in Malad. The children from both families grew up closer than cousins; they were in fact biologically double cousins, as their mothers were sisters and their fathers were brothers, and with this living arrangement they grew up just like siblings.

According to the Bannock Valley book, “during the winter months, the two families would take turns moving to Malad on an alternating yearly basis to allow the children to get their education. The children didn’t mind the arrangement, as staying with either family was home to them. Both John and Dave had nice homes in Malad that were almost identical in appearance and furnishings” (page 177). As a matter of fact, the two families had actually purchased identical furniture on purpose so the children would feel right at home in either house. Many Maladites thought the children were actual siblings for many years.

In the meantime, the other parents whose turn it was that year to stay in Arbon “wintered through” to keep the livestock fed.

David Lusk Bolingbroke died 26 July 1945 in Malad at the relatively young age of sixty-seven. He was buried in the Malad Cemetery. His wife was only sixty-six years old at the time of his death, and lived to be eighty-three.  She died on 16 March 1962 in Pocatello, and was also buried in Malad.


Ward, Laurie Jean, Bannock Valley (Providence, Utah: Keith Watkins and Sons, 1982).

These links will link to other family members.