The father, Joseph Hyrum Kershaw was born in what is now South Africa. His family joined the LDS Church and migrated to Utah. There he met Julia Clift, a Utah native; they married in 1877. Their first child, Lydia, was born and died in Utah. After living in various parts of Utah the Kershaws moved to Twin Groves Idaho about 1889.
Diphtheria hit the area in the winter of 1897. It's a dreadful childhood disease. In addition to extreme illness, the child is suffocated by a thick membrane that grows across the airway. My Grandma lost a child this way and once described his suffering to me. Horrible.
Over a 2-week period the Kershaws buried all 8 of their living children. The oldest was last to die, and had probably helped care for the others as they slipped away, one by one. In the dead of winter all were laid in the frosty soil of Wilford Cemetery.
The now-childless parents went to Utah to stay with family for a while. When they returned their house had been burned down by neighbors to prevent the spread of the disease.
5 more children were born to Julia and Joseph. 2 of those died as infants, and the youngest child died at age 26. All told, this couple buried 12 of their 14 children. Their only 2 surviving children lived until the 1980s. Mother Julia lived until 1929 and father Joseph until 1941. Julia and Joseph were members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Their knowledge of eternal family ties was a beacon of light in the midst of acute pain and sorrow.