In 1918, Jacob Dragt, a Chicago, Ill., painter who suffered lead poisoning while decorating Pullman cars, left his job and took his wife, Grace, and their three children to a farm. After working on the farm for a while, the Dutch immigrant and Mormon convert collected his funds to move to Salt Lake City where relatives lived.
He scraped together enough money to pay for railroad fares – in a Pullman – for his wife and three children, Katie, Lera, and Carl. But he didn't have enough money to buy a fare for himself, so he remained behind for several months.Grace and the children traveled to Salt Lake City where they lived in rented quarters until Jacob arrived. About a year after their move to Salt Lake City, in 1919, the family was sealed in the Salt Lake Temple.
Daughter Katie recalls that the family "rode the streetcar to the temple. It cost us a nickel."
After the temple experience, years passed. Young Carl died a few years later, and then the parents. Lera was married in the temple. Katie was married, but her husband was not active in the Church and the marriage ended in divorce. Later she re-married. This time she and her husband, Thomas W. Mellor, talked about going through the temple but he died of cancer before it was accomplished.
Her children also died, leaving her with just a few scattered grandchildren and her sister, Lera.
Seventy-six years later, in the spring of 1995, Katie DragtMellor, now 93, and a member of the Great Oaks Ward, San Jose California Stake, brought up the subject of going to the temple, with her home teachers, John Minnoch and Cleve Norris.
"They came to the house, and had prayers and talked about the experiences pertaining to the temple," she said. "I said I would like to go to the temple."
She met the standards of worthiness and in June went through the Oakland Temple to receive her endowments.
"I had a happy feeling inside," she said. "I figured, `I am, oh, so happy. Now I can go on.' I have always wanted my children with me, and I want to be good enough to be with my parents."