The Fifty-Dollar Switch
March 1989

“The Fifty-Dollar Switch,” Ensign, Mar. 1989, 65

The Fifty-Dollar Switch

The financial situation for Horace and Adelaide Weaver and their eight children of Bennington, Idaho, had never been good, but in the spring of 1913, it was growing worse. The cows had gone dry, most of the chickens were molting, the piglets and lambs hadn’t yet been born, few vegetables remained in the root cellar, and it wasn’t yet shearing time. Frank, a son, had written from his mission in Australia, saying that he needed fifty dollars immediately or he would have to return home a month early.

Coming up with fifty dollars would be almost impossible.

The family prayed that Frank wouldn’t have to return early, but there didn’t seem to be any way to raise the money to keep him on his mission.

Eleven-year-old Addie Faun, the seventh of the Weaver children, had a lovely singing voice, and she had been asked to sing at a Primary conference in Cokeville, Wyoming. Her mother had made her a delicately pleated sailor dress for the occasion.

On the way to Cokeville, Faun and her mother stopped in Montpelier to have Faun’s picture taken. (They had saved a few precious eggs to barter for the photo.) Faun’s light brown hair, with as many highlights as the sun, had been braided into one thick, long braid that hung down to her waist. As Faun was waiting to be photographed, a vocalist from a nearby university came by with her father. The singer immediately noticed Faun and her long, golden braid.

“Oh, Father, look at this child’s hair,” the singer exclaimed. “It matches mine perfectly. It would make a lovely switch for me to wear at the recital!”

Faun’s mother stepped forward. “How much would you pay for it?” she asked.

“Fifty dollars,” was the reply.

“That is exactly what we need to send my son Frank, who is on a mission. Our prayers are answered!” Faun’s mother cried.

Even though they were in a hurry to reach Cokeville for the Primary conference, there was time for Faun to have her picture taken, then walk down the road to the barber shop, where her braid was cut off.

The fifty dollars was sent to Elder Frank Weaver in Australia.

  • Addie Faun Weaver King died in October 1987. Marilynne Linford, a homemaker, is Primary president of the East Mill Creek Eleventh Ward, Salt Lake East Mill Creek North Stake.

Illustrated by Richard D. Hull