written 18 February 1954
I being the only survivor of my fatherís family, by request am going to attempt to write a sketch of my lifeís history. I have been planning to do so for many years, but have been putting it off. And now that I am getting along in years my memory is not as clear as it once was. Therefore I will have to do a lot of guessing or estimating as to times and dates, etc. I will try to give the names of my ancestors as far back as I can. My life up to the present time has been rather a normal one. Although in my childhood days was rather sad. So for the benefit of those who care to know I will try to give the highlights of my life.
My name is Hyrum Grant Stephens. I was born at Wilson Ward, Weber Co. Utah, 29 May 1886. I am the 5th son and 7th child of Coriantumr Stephens and Francis Acenith Thompson. My father was born at Salem, Utah, 14 March 1858, son of Alexander Stephens and Eliza Palmer. My mother was born at Payson, Utah, daughter of Edmund Hobert Thompson and Francis Rachel Welborn. My mother was born 22 Feb. 1859. My father and mother were married at West Weber, 28 Feb. 1876 by Hans D. Peterson and were endowed later. I have been told that they both rode away on one horse. And then it seems I havenít much record for a while. But it seems they settled at Wilson Ward for a while. Then my oldest brother, Cora Arthur (Art) was born 9 March 1877 at South Hooper. I presume my mother was going home for the occasion, that being the custom in those days. And then 14 months later my second brother, Edmund Alexander (Ed) was born 9 May 1878 at South Hooper. Then sometime after that they seemed to have moved away down to Cannonville down in southern Utah, making the trip by team. It seems some of motherís folks lived there. And it was there my first sister was born, Francis Adelia, born 17 Feb. 1880, And then a second sister was born at the same place, Acineth Delila, 10 June 1881. And then they moved back to Wilson Ward, Weber Co. Utah. That fall, 8 Dec. 1882 my little sister, Francis Adelia, died. The cause of death was typhoid. Then on 17 Feb. 1883 another brother was born, Ammon Leroy (Roy), at Wilson Ward. It seems all I can tell of my parentsí early life is the births and deaths. But I am sure they had lots of pleasure and lots of hardships. I am sure they thought a lot of each other. Then on 30 May 1884, another brother, William Guy, was born at Wilson Ward, and the Banner year came the year of my birth and I was right there but it has all slipped my memory. So I will just have to take the records for that. Then the next birth was another brother, Joseph Raymond (Joe), born 25 Dec. 1887, just about a year and a half after me also at Wilson Ward. He and I being so close to each other became very near and dear to each other through our lives until he died. Having married sisters, I am sure I will use his name many times as I go on.
At this point I would like to tell of an incident that happened as has been told to me. One day my parents were away from home and the children were playing in the house when Roy came in and asked them to come out and see his bonfire. Lo and behold he had made his fire on top of a straw shed and when they looked out the barn and all was burning, which I am sure was a very sad loss, for it burned their harness and pigs and chickens and all.
I would like to go back a little at this point and tell a little about my Grandfather Stephens. On the Christmas morning that my brother Joe was born, he brought up to my folks a large family Bible, a beautiful book about 12 by 14 inches and about 3 inches thick. It had surely been cherished by the family. I now have it in my possession. I have had it rebound and now it is in pretty good shape. I am getting some of my dates and names from it now. And now when we pass on I think it should go to our youngest living child. My grandfather was born in Salisbury, NC 13 April 1813 and sometime later moved to Illinois and joined the Mormon church, and became a very faithful member. He started with the saints across the plains but was called by the government with the Mormon Battalion and walked the 2,000 miles to California and went through many hardships. After being released, he, along with the other guys, went to work at Sutterís Mill and was among the ones who discovered gold there in Ď49. However it seems that a man by the name of Henry Bigler seemed to be the one who made the discovery and many years later in 1891 my grandfather received a letter from him and I still have that letter in my possession and it has become quite worn and faded. So I am going to copy it here in my sketch.
St. George, Washington Co. Utah
April 15, 1891
Dear Brother Elie;
By chance I have learned of your whereabouts this by politeness of Maroni Brown of Ogden.
I have often thought of you and the old days when we carried our muskets and knapsacks for Uncle Sam, and working on Sutters Sawmill. I am sorry to learn you are in feeble health. I hope you will soon regain your wanted health. That your days may be many. I do not want such men as you to leave us. And I pray you may yet enjoy health and see good days. See the Devil bound should it be the will of the Lord. And Zion triumph and Uncle Sam make ashamed.
I have nothing particular to write about but simply for old acquaintance sake. What has ever become of William Garner, Phillip is dead, no doubt is far better off than William whether dead or alive. If living and you have his post office address please give it and I will try to open up a correspondence with him and if you know anything of Barger who was one of the mill hands of Marshals, I would like to have his post office address.
Several years ago, say 4 or 5, a Mr. Hittell of San Francisco by some means unbeknown to me got on my track and wrote for me to send him the names of all the Mormon boys that worked on Capt. Sutterís and Marshalís saw mill when gold was found there. I sent all I knew, giving post offices address. I gave your name but could not tell where you lived. I wrote to James S. Brown to give me your address, he either did not get my letter, for I wrote 2 or 3 times or else failed to answer me. Hittell informed me that he has written to Brown, Salt Lake City, Utah but never got any reply. He was after some authentic account of the way and manner the gold was found as there had been so many conflicting accounts how it was discovered and by whom, etc. I have often wondered how it was that the Willises and Hudson news disabuse the mind of President Young on that matter, I must enclose to you a few lines to me from George S. Cannon. I have letters from both old acquaintances and strangers asking for information how the precious metal was found, some have written for my photograph, some for my autograph and others for a facsimile of the page of my old Journal containing the entry of that discovery in 1848. So you see I have become somewhat notorious. I hope I shall not apostatize over it and go to the Devil. There is a society in San Francisco known as the Society of California Pioneers. They are gathering up everything pertaining to the early days of California.
This Mr. Hittle of whom I have spoken of in this letter belongs to that society and has written a history of that state and is expecting to write another history. He made me a nice present a few months ago of a nice bound book, foolscap, size of 500 pages ruled and numbered. Covered with calfskin and spring back. and on the outside my name in gold letters. The temple clerks here say such a book could not be got up short of 12 or 15 dollars. And I am now my own history.
I have kept a sort of Journal ever since the church left Nauvoo in 1846 but in writing my history I give some account the the days and time before the Gospel found me, also genealogy of my ancestors of both sides of my parents. This I do for the benefit of my children after I am gone. My health is splendid for me, I will be 76 next birthday, 28th August next. My first wife died at Farmington 16 years ago last November leaving me with 4 children. In the fall of 1875 Brigham Young called me to work in the Endowment House and from that day to this I have been laboring in the Endowments since being here at work in in our Temple I married my second wife by whom I have 6 children-4 daughters and 2 sons. The youngest child 2 years old last month and when the next one will come is to me unknown and I donít know but I am a great grandpa by this time as I am expecting such news from the north part of this territory, (Utahís best crop). Our spring has been late, later than ever been known before, but now it is warm everything is green. Fruit trees in full bloom and by the first of the next month the first crop of our lucerne will do to cut.
Please accept kind regards hoping to hear from you soon, I remain your brother in the Gospel of Christ.
PS Can you tell who made the first rocker for cleaning gold there at the saw mill? There is a report that a man by the name of Isack Humphrey made it. But I do not remember there being any rocker made up to the time we left there in June in 1848. H.W.B.
Now I canít tell much more of my grandfather Stephens. I donít remember of seeing him altho I saw him many times when I was small. He was a farmer most of his life and was a very religious man. My grandmother lived many years after he died. They were divorced and she married a William Yeamon and she had 4 children by him. Two boys and two girls. At Dubois, Idaho. I know nothing of my grandparents on my motherís side only that they joined the church in the early days. My mother was from a large family and about the year 1896 or 1899 two of her brothers, Uncle Hyrum and Uncle Hobert Thompson went up to Idaho on Snake River and took up land there near where St. Anthony now stands.
Then about the next year my father and mother decided to go up there. That was a big open prairie growing sage and prickly pears as far as you could see. They made that trip with a team, about 200 miles. And it was while on this trip I can recall my first recollections altho it is very vague. I remember the Indians as we crossed the Blackfoot reservation. My father had taken up 160 acres of that prairie and built a log one room cabin covered with dirt. It was about 2 miles from the little settlement of Wilford, Idaho, which seemed to be the promising town at that time. And soon after my father moved there another son was born and we named him Wilford Abraham. He was born 19 May 1889. About that time there were many people moving there and taking up homesteads. Our nearest neighbor was Sam Smithís family who had about 4 boys when I first recall, but later their family grew to be 9 boys. They were very good neighbors altho us kids would sometimes quarrel and fight but usually got along fine. The boy about my age was named Daylon, and he and I were good pals. And then on the other side was Singletons which were very fine neighbors. They also had a family of 5 boys and 2 girls and my pal in that family was Charles, a fine pal. I will probably have more to say about these people later on. of course as time went on we had neighbors in all directions.
I donít remember too much about the first few years there, I know my folks had a very hard time as they had no water for the place. There had been one small canal come out of Snake River made by a bunch of the Birch brothers and was called the Birch Ditch and my father was able to lease a little stream, enough for a garden.
Times were very hard for us, we had 2 cows and a small team so most of our living was bread, milk and garden. We used to eat bread and milk and gravy day after day. My father got work part time for about $1.25 per day. We used to have one pair of shoes a year with a buckle across the front and copper strip across the toe, and as soon as the snow was gone in the spring we went barefoot.
But in spite of the hard times, the children kept coming, for on 20 Feb. 1891 another sister was born. We had moved up into the little town of Wilford for the winter and on the night of her birth us children were awakened in the night and sent over to Uncle Hobertís place. I vaguely remember when we knocked on the door they called whoís there, and Roy answered Stephens. That was the custom in those days of sending the children away and calling a midwife as they are called. They usually charged about $5 or the equivalent in something they could use. So when we went home the next morning we had a little new sister, and were very glad. They named her Dora Ann. Then in the spring we moved back out to the homestead and found the rain and snow had leaked thru the dirt roof and had warped the floor all up. I remember my father taking a long pole and prying it down. Then I think it was that summer he built another room on the house and the did seem good. I donít remember much about my mother but I do remember she was very loving and kind to us children. When we would go barefoot on the prairie we done a lot of chasing around hunting pretty rocks and flowers and birdsí nests and would usually get our feet full of slivers, then at night mother would have us wash our feet and then she would pick the slivers out. I remember kneeling by her side and saying my prayers before I went to bed.
Now I am a little reluctant to tell the next few years of my life as it turned out to be very sad. I must go back a little here and say that about the year 1884 or 1885 my father had an epileptic fit and each month or so after that he would have more, increasing in number and a little harder each time., so at the present time they were getting pretty bad. He would have 10 or 12 within a few days and he became very sick at these times.
Then on December 28th, 1892, another little sister came, the 11th child and mother stayed there on the farm and was unable to get much help. So it was just too much for my little mother, she passed away that day or the next, bless her soul. I well remember how she looked as she was lying there with her head on my fatherís lap and she was weeping bitterly. She called us children to her bedside and told us she was going and asked us to be good. I remember her last words were, ďOh Cory, you donít know what I have suffered.Ē All I remember of her funeral was the one song, ďThere is Sweet Rest in HeavenĒ.
So imagine if you can the sadness that came over
our little home, 11 of us children and the oldest only 16 years old.
In the dead of winter, they dug a hole thru the deep snow and frozen ground
in the Wilford Cemetery where her precious body will be until the resurrection
day. And I am sure her soul went to Heaven where there is sweet rest
in heaven. And all the rest of the family are with her as they have
all passed away many years ago.
Then they had the problem of what to do with the little baby sister but some good people by the name of Davis took her for a couple of weeks. Then in the meantime there was a family lived at Salem got a new baby and it died at the time of birth so they came up and wanted my father to let them take the baby. So he gave his consent and they sure proved to be good parents to her, their names were Mr. and Mrs. Gus Belnap. At that time they had about 4 children and several after that so they had a large family of their own. They named my little sister Orpha Gertrude chosen by my father. They were really good people and my little sister became one of the family and was treated the same as the rest. They were also farmers and were not too well fixed.
And at this point I would like to say a little about the Davis family. Old Bro. George became the first or second Bishop of the Wilford Ward. They became pretty well mixed with our family as my Uncle Hobe married Rhoda Davis and Uncle Jim Thompson married Vilate Davis. Then several years later one of Uncle Hyrum Thompsonís boys, (Melvin) married Liddy Davis. All daughters of George Davis. They were all very good people so if I mention Aunt Vilate or Aunt Rhoda later it will be understood who I mean.
The winter my mother died was a very cold hard winter with snow about 4 feet deep. My father with some of the neighbors, among them some of the Davis boys took a trip away up north about 40 or 50 miles to hunt elk. After they had been gone a few days, Joe Davis brought us a quarter of elk, and oh boy did that look good, as we had been living mostly on bread and gravy.
A few days later my father returned with more meat. After Joe Davis had left, my little brother Joe said, ďWho was that big fat man?Ē So we were pretty well fixed for meat, but there was more trouble in store for us. It seemed that fatherís trouble became worse and with the brooding over the loss of mother he completely lost his mind, and had to be sent to a mental hospital at Blackfoot, Idaho, about 75 miles away. And so that brought more complications of which my memory is not too clear as I was only 7 years old. But I remember there were many neighbors and strangers coming and going trying to make plans for us. Then it was decided that some of us (the youngest ones) must go to the poor house at Rexburg and if I remember right, Delila, Guy, Wilford, Dora and myself was taken away. And that was a sad parting.
The poor house or orphanage (as it is now called) was run by Claude Bramwell and his wife, he being a cripple on crutches. In connection with the poorhouse they had a pool hall. they also had 2 children of their own. I guess we were treated pretty good, but they were more interested in the money than they were in us. As we had to take lots of punishment for things that we didnít do or something their own children had done. They were very strict with us. But I guess we were not perfect. I will tell a little joke that happened at that time. I donít think I have ever told it before, but it is one that I never will forget. There was a hard hail storm came up and soon had the ground covered with hail so I gathered up both hands full and went in the barn and grabbed the cow by the teats not thinking what would happen, but she changed the joke and kicked me halfway across the barn so I have never tried that since. I remember they brought an old negro there and they kept him in the back room of the pool hall and we had to take his meals to him. He was very sick with dropsy until he was bedfast all the time. I remember the way he used to talk to us about his home and family. And finally they tried to send him home but he could not stand the trip and died on the way.
It was while there that I started school, my first teacher was Miss Turner and I sure thought she was grand. She was very good to me. I donít know how long we were there but it seemed like ages. But it could not have been more than a year or so and then another day of rejoicing came, Father had become much better and was released to come home. I never can forget the meeting when he came to take us home again. He wept like a child. And so we all went back to the old home for a time and was very happy for a while, I donít remember how long. But all too soon Father took worse again and had to be taken away. So we stayed there for a while, the older brothers, Art and Ed, got all the work they could and tried to support us and keep us together.
The next school I went to was at Wilford, taught by Mr. Allen. He was very strict as a teacher, his way of punishment was a willow or make you stand up before the room and hold a book at armsí length for so long. Of course the school house was just one big room with only one teacher for all of us.
Sometimes he would take us smaller ones by the top of our head and spin us around. We carried on for a while at home that way, and then we begun to scatter out. There was a Mr. and Mrs. Charles Jones came and wanted me but I did not want to go. At that time my brother Joe was in bed with frozen heels and he volunteered to go. So they took him and we did not see anymore of him for several years and somehow I went to stay with Mr. and Mrs. Lewis Ricks of Rexburg. And my brother Guy went to stay with Jack Ricks who was a brother to Lewis and after so long a time Mrs. Ricksí brother came down from Montana with what he thought was tonsillitis but it turned out to be diphtheria and a little while after that Guy went up to Uncle Jim Thompsonís who lived at Twin Grove, to see some of the others who were living there, namely Art, Delila, and Wilford. And while there he cam down with diphtheria and exposed all the rest along with Uncle Jimís family and they started dying off one by one until Guy, Wilford, and Delila and 2 of Uncle Jimís children had died. His childrenís names were Albert, about my age, and Rachel, about 4 years old at that time. I could not go to see them although I was only about 12 miles away. They had to take them to the cemetery at night and bury them. There was a family living near by the name of Kershaw that had 8 children and they all died in October 1896.
I would like to say a word or two about Uncle Jim Thompson and his wife. They were really good to us, when we had no other place to go, we were always welcome at Uncle Jimís. He was my motherís youngest brother and was almost like a father to me. My little sister Dora was taken by an old couple by the name of Larson who gave her a very good home. their family were all grown and married. She was sure a sweet little girl, but she only lived to be 14 and died 26 May 1905 also of diphtheria. I canít tell much about the others as I did not see them much, but I drifted around here and there staying with anyone that would keep me for my room and board, and it seemed whenever I had no place to go I could always go and stay with Uncle Jim.
Of course I went to school when I could, in those days they only had school a few months during the winter. I remember one experience in school at Wilford. A Mr. Walker was the teacher. He was a rather oldish man with a little goatee. One day a dark colored man with long black hair came walking in to the school and Mr. Walker went down and pushed him outdoors and said, ďI donít allow a colored man in my school without knocking.Ē and then the colored man went around and looked in at the window and said, ďIf I had a gun I would blow your head off.Ē I remember what a sensation that had on the school. One girl passed out and they had to take her home, but he had only come there to put on a little show that he had.
The Rickses I stayed with were pretty good to me until my shoes became nearly worn out, then decided they could not get me any more. Then I went to stay with Jim Stuart and wife, who had 2 little girls and I had to sleep with them. That I sure didnít like. I was with them about a year I guess. They were pretty good to me. Maybe better than I was to them. They lived in the village of Wilford and their farm was about a mile away and I would have to go down there and milk the cows and do other chores. So one morning I got to fishing on the river and didnít get home until nearly noon. So Mrs. Stuart was very mad and told me if it ever happened again I would have to leave. So I thought that was my chance, so in a few days I did the same thing over again. And sure enough she said I would have to go, so I took my few belongings and went back to Uncle Jimís. Then I went to stay with Will Singleton and wife. Of course I was getting bigger all the time, so he made a riding plow of a hand plow and wagon axle and one wheel and it seemed I plowed most all summer.
Then I stayed there a while and went to school. There were 2 teachers at that time. My teacher was named Miss Heseltime. One thing that was outstanding while there was a big mountain lion went right past the school. Of course news soon spread and many men soon tracked it down and killed it. I think Will Singleton gave it the fatal shot. Then again in the spring I went back to Uncle Jimís and soon after that he sold his place at Wilford and moved down below Blackfoot, Idaho, about 100 miles and I went with him. Most of the Davis family had gone there and taken up new land. So we were again pioneers. Uncle Jim took up 80 acres of land and built a 2 room log house. Then there was the problem again of getting water. So they went up the river several miles and took out a small canal. I remember helping Uncle Jim dig a well for house water, after we had dug about 12 or 15 feet we struck solid lava, and so that made it very slow, as I remember we went about 35 or 40 feet. Uncle Jim done the digging and I pulled the dirt out with a windlass, if you know what I mean. We struck a little running stream and it was very fine water. I remember when we were there they were having a celebration at Tildon for the 4th of July. and Uncle Jim gave me a quarter and I got on my pony and went down and had a big time. Tildon was about 8 miles away, now that is all covered with water from the American Falls Dam. While we were there, there was a post office established. It was called Rich being the name of the people that first took care of it. Well we were there over a year and I went to school. My teacher was Miss David. A very nice lady.
But it seemed there was to be another change. Aunt Vilate gave birth to a baby girl and gave her life for it almost repeating the way my poor mother went. She left 5 living children and the 2 she lost before with diphtheria. So to me it was almost like living that sad thing over again. She also called me along with her own children to her bedside and said she was going and for us to be always good. She was a wonderful woman almost like a mother to me. They shipped her body back to Wilford for burial to lie beside her children. Uncle Jim and the children went on the train. Then John Davis and I drove up with a team. We made the trip in 2 days by driving about 15 hours a day.
I was ordained a deacon at Wilford by Fred Stempson on 30 July 1897. My oldest brother (Art) went to Logan, Utah to school and while there met his future wife, Martha Johnson. They were married in Logan Temple 20 November 1901 and made their home at Logan.
After leaving Stuarts I had no place to go as Uncle Jimís home was broken up for a time. so I went and stayed at Uncle Hyrumís place for a short time until I found a place. When summer came I went with Uncle Jim and Mel Thompson up to Horse Prairie, Montana, and put up hay. It was wild hay and would scatter badly while they were hauling, so I would rake the ground over the second time. Sometimes I would rake half of the night. They paid me 50 cents per day. While there I heard that my brother Joe was working at another camp several miles away. So when Sunday came, I went over to see, and sure enough he was there. And what a great rejoicing. For we had not seen each other for several years at least, it seemed like a long time. So he quit his job and came over to work at our camp. And from that time on we stayed pretty close together. That fall we went back and rented a small house in St. Anthony along with Roy. We worked around town, sawing wood or anything we could to make a little money. While there we used to play pranks. One time there was a dog that hung around quite a bit so one day we thought we would get rid of him so we tied a big paper to his tail and set it afire, and boy did he go up the sidewalk. Luckily the fire burned out before he got uptown. Then there were some chickens that picked around our dooryard all the time, some of them got so tame they even got in our frying pan. Then when winter came and the snow got deep and we ran out of wood and the city Marshal (Mr. McCumber) just lived through the back lot and he had a nice big pile of sawed wood. So we borrowed some a few times. But he finally caught up with us, he followed our tracks thru the snow. But he was very fair about it. He cam over and talked to us about it and we paid for the wood we had taken. And didnít take any more.
Then later on Joe went to stay with Joe Larson and I went to stay with Aaron Judy. Both at Salem, so we both went to the same school, but we would go back to visit Roy quite often. And if he did not happen to be home, we would climb on top of his house and poke a sack or something in the stove pipe or some other prank so he would know we had been there. Our teacher there at Salem was Mr. Bagley, a pretty good teacher I guess. But we sure were not very good to him. I done the janitor work at the school for $4 a month and along toward spring we heard that the water would be turned out of the ditch so we asked the teacher if we could take the afternoon off to catch some fish, but he said no, so we took it off anyway. Then when we went back the next morning he said we would have to leave. We could not come back anymore. So from then on we were pretty mean. We would go back each day and fool around the schoolhouse to draw the kidsí attention, we had a .22 rifle and would set up a target by the outhouse and then shoot at it. Then when the teacher would come out we would run and he could not catch us. Then when he would go back we would also go back. So you can see that we had not sprouted wings yet.
Then along towards spring we got itchy feet again and decided to go to Dubois, Idaho, where Ed, our brother, lived. He had just go married and was working there on the railroad shoveling coal in the chutes. It was about the first of April and the weather there at that time is still quite cold and unsettled. The trip would be about 100 miles the way we would have to go by Idaho Falls and our only means of transportation was our feet and legs. so we started out. The first day we got to the south fork of Snake River, about 20 miles. And there was a wet, heavy snow falling. So there was a deep barrow pit beside the railroad track, so after some difficulty we got a fire going and got partly warm, then we took a lot of green willows that we found and laid them across and above the fire and then laid down on top to try to sleep. During the night my coat caught on fire and burned all of one side of the tail out. But it could have been worse for in the other pocket was full of shells. We had our .22 rifle with us to shoot rabbits and birds to eat. Because we were very short of money, in fact we had only $4. We composed a little song while on our way. I will write a little of it as I remember:
It was about the first of April
When we started on a trip
We got about 2 miles from town
And went back to buy a grip.
We only had $4
And had to buy some grub
And for us to get to Dubois
I tell you it was a rub.
Remember we are 2 hoboes
And this was our first trip
We went to see our brother Ed
And had no clothes to ship.
So the next day we walked on to Idaho Falls, during the day the weather cleared up and it turned very cold. When we got near Idaho Falls, we found a big hole dug out and it had a sort of a stove in it so we got down in there and made a fire and got warmed up good and ate some food such as we had and felt better. Then just about dark we went into town and waited until a freight train came in then we climbed upon an open steel car loaded with coal and was trying to dig a little hole down in the corner to protect us from the wind when the brakeman came along. I will no write down just what he said as it would not look so good on paper. But we got down pretty discouraged and went back to the depot and sat down to try to think what to do. Pretty soon the brakeman came in and looked at us and said, ďAre you the kids that were on the coal car?Ē Then he asked us where we were going and all about it. Then he said, ďDonít you know if you had stayed on that car you would have frozen to death?Ē He said we had better come with him, so we followed him. We didnít know whether heíd take us to the police station or what, but he took us back to the caboose and told us to get in. He said he knew Ed. And so we had a good ride to Dubois, getting there about 1 or 2 in the morning. When we got there he took us to the sand house. That is a place where they keep a fire all the time for drying sand to help the trains climb the hills. He told the man there who we were and told him to keep us until morning and so we were very comfortable, only were very tired and sleepy. We had not saw Ed for several years and he had gotten married a couple of months before. Maybe you can imagine his surprise when we knocked on his door early in the morning and he came to the door and saw us 2 dirty ragged kids claiming to be his brothers, but both he and his wife received us very fine and took us in and gave us breakfast, and a bath and put us to bed, which we thoroughly enjoyed. We stayed there all summer. He and Uncle Luther Yeamons (my fatherís half-brother) was running the coal chutes on the railroad. They got 8 cents per ton, and it took from 2 to 4 cars a day, that was from 100-200 tons per day. I helped shovel coal that summer part of the time. Altho I was not big enough to do too much.
Joe and I had the.22 rifle on our trip so we raffled it off and sent for a single barrel shotgun called the long range winner. And boy were we proud of that gun. We would shoot mourning doves and sell them for 75 cents per dozen. And then when haying time came I went out to Medicine Lodge to work for a man by the name of August DeShadish. I was pretty lonesome out there among strangers. It was about 12 miles east of Dubois. I was out there about 2 months. Along that summer my older brother came out there from Logan to shovel coal, as there was no work at Logan. He stayed until about October and when he went back he wanted me to go with him and go to school.
I will go back a little here and tell a little more about Ed and his wife. It seemed that he had been out to Grays Lake for a vacation where he met her as that was her home. They went together some and I guess became engaged. But I guess it was just in fun as far as he was concerned. So he went back to Dubois and forgot about it. Until one day a man came climbing the ladder (the girlís father) and said to Ed, ďwell, I have brought you a girl.Ē So there was nothing else to do only marry her. She was a very nice girl and a very neat and clean housekeeper, but he did not care for her altho he treated her good. And they seemed to get along well, but she was rather ignorant as far as worldly things, being raised out at Grays Lake. I think he was a little ashamed of her altho she was not a bad looking girl. Along about July he got her a pass to go home for a trip and not being used to riding on trains, when she got to Idaho Falls the conductor came thru the car saying change cars for so and so, and that confused her so she got off and got the next train and that brought her back to Dubois so she was home by night again. But again in the fall he sent her home again and she never came back. I heard that she had a son afterwards but I never saw her again.
So I decided to go with my brother Art to Logan and go to school. So when we got to Logan I met another new sister-in-law. (Artís wife) Her name was Martha Johnson. She greeted me very nicely and took me into her home as a brother. So I started to school again in the 7th grade. At the Benson School and the principal, Miss Kerr, was my teacher. Of course that was a much bigger school than I had ever attended before. After a few months the school became so crowded that it was necessary to transfer some of the students to the Woodruff School and I was one of those that were changed. Then my teacher was Miss Peterson. I liked her very much and she told me she thought if I would work hard she thought she could graduate me from the 8th grade at the end of the school year. And that sounded pretty good as long as winter lasted but when spring came and the weather got warm I got itchy feet again. I heard of a job over at Garland on the railroad. So I and another boy (Mose Waterson) went over and sure enough got a job.
They were making the road to Garland, Utah. The contractor we got on for was E.J. Hunt. I think we started at $1.50 a day. The principle way of building railroads was with 4 horses on a fresno scraper, that was a scraper about 4 feet wide with a long lever on the back. It would move about one third of a yard each load. Then for finishing the boss would take a tongue scraper and hold it straight up and go back and forth with one team. And that was my job most of the time, driving the team when there was some to be finished and other times I would run a fresno. One Saturday we decided to go over to Logan for the weekend and so we went to Deweyville and a passenger train came in and we climbed on the cow-catcher and rode from there to Cache Junction and we had a fast cool ride, a distance of about 15-20 miles. It was nearly night when we got to Cache Junction so we had to wait there quite a while until a train came along headed for Logan. Then we climbed upon the door of the baggage car when the brakeman came along and made us get off. So we went up around the train and it started out and Mose caught on again but I missed my hold so was left alone behind. So I started out to walk, about 12-15 miles. I walked along the track for a few miles then crawled into a culvert under the track and thought that would be a good place to spend the night but I was mistaken for the wind went right through and I nearly froze. And so I got out after a while and walked on to Logan. So I went back and stayed with that job until it was finished, about 2 months.
One important thing I passed up. My first nephew was born about a month after we came from Idaho, Art and Marthaís son, they named him Arthur Myrthen.
So when we finished at Garland, the company I was with got a contract up in the central part of Montana near Lewiston and asked if some of us boys would go with them they would pay us a straight salary of $35 a month and all Sundays and holidays off. Some had their teams and of course they got more. It was about the first of June 1903 when we went to Montana and stayed there until about October and finished up the job.. Then they got a contract in Nevada and I intended to go down there with them but stopped off at Idaho Falls to visit with Joe, then we went to Blackfoot to see Father and so didnít go on. We found Father much better. By that time Ed had been transferred to Montpelier, Idaho to run the coal chutes there so Joe and I went over there and I started shoveling goal for Ed and Joe went to school. Also my brother and his family (Art) had moved over there to work and so we all boarded with them. Also Sam Hammer moved there from Idaho Falls, he was an old friend. And then Sam Stone and his family came there from Star Valley, his wife was Eva Hardman, a cousin. They had several girls and Ed was courting the oldest girl, Mary, and finally married her. They were married 4 April 1905 at Montpelier, Idaho. Then were to the Temple at Logan later. While there, Ed helped me buy a team and wagon and so Joe and I spent part of one summer up on _____ Fork getting out props for the mines at Kemmerer, Wyoming. We would haul them down on the front hear of the wagon, the mountain was so steep that the hardest job was to pull the front wheels up. We had to cut and haul the props about a half mile and pile them on the bank of the creek so when high water came in the spring they could be floated down to Kemmerer, to the mines about 100 miles the way the creek ran. That was pretty wild country. We built log cabins to live in and each night there would be bear around our cabin, lots of deer, coyotes, and all kinds of wild chickens. We got 10 cents apiece for props and 35 cents apiece for sawed logs, that was anything that measure 10 inches or more at the small end and 16 feet long. We stayed there most of the summer but we didnít make much, so we went back to Montpelier and I shoveled coal again for the winter. I could shovel about 35 tons a day, at 7 cents per ton that didnít make very big wages.
Then in the spring Joe and I fixed up a covered wagon (sheep camp style) with a bed in the back and a little stove in the front and a rack on the back to haul feed for our team, and took off again about the first of April, to Minidoka where they were working on the dam across the Snake River. It took us several days to go down and we quite enjoyed it. We would generally buy hay early in the day for our horses and tie it on the back and then we could stop whenever we wanted to. Sometimes we would have to pay 25 cents to water our team. On the way we had to ford the river and got our team in and was having some trouble getting them out when along came a bunch of Indians that tried to scare us and offered to help us if we would give them $5 but we didnít have the $5 to spare and finally we got out without any loss and went on our way.
We worked at Minidoka for a while and then went on down to Twin Falls, a small town of mostly tents at that time. There was no Burley at that time. We crossed the river on a ferry about where Burley is now. We worked on the Twin Falls canals and also on the railroad that went in there about that time. Then later along in the summer we went back up to Blackfoot and worked on the American Falls canal a while, and then we took a job cleaning and plowing some ground for a couple of wild horses, which was a long tedious job we were glad to get finished, and we ran out of food.
When we were finally thru we took our 2 broncos and headed for Idaho Falls. There we got to trading horses. Sometimes we would have good horses and then sometimes not so good. We rented a house and stayed in Idaho Falls for a few months and hauled wood from out on the lavas, it was scrub cedar. We would sell it for about $4 a load. We could get a load in a long day.
We finally went back to St. Anthony and disposed of our team. I donít remember just what we did with them. Then we spent the winter with Uncle Thompson part of the time and part of the time with Ken Albeson. His wife, Sarah Ellen, was my cousin. While there I bought my first cow for $6. She was an old cow, but pretty good, we milked her all winter. I guess I sold her to Ken when I left.
Ed and his wife left Montpelier soon after we did, and went to Star Valley with his wifeís folks. They lived out south of Afton for some time. Then they all went to the lower valley and took homesteads. When I saw all, I mean Sam Stone, Ed and the Hardman boys who were cousins; brothers to Mrs. Stone.
The next year my father was released from the
hospital much better. He went to Star Valley to stay with Ed for
a while, and soon after that he divided the old homestead at Wilford.
However by that time the railroad had come up there and bypassed Wilford,
and so St. Anthony was started and Wilford dwindled away. He gave
each of us 20 acres and kept 20 for himself, as there were only 6 of us
It was divided by drawing so it was fair for all. So in the spring Joe and I decided to try our hand at farming. So I went and borrowed $400. We bought us a team of mules (Jack and Jule) and harness for $135. Then we bought us a camp house, some machinery and seed, and moved out on the ranch to farm it for the first time, altho we had owned it for about 17 years. There never was water before. There had been another canal taken out called the Last Chance, so we secured from that. The place was covered with rabbit brush and prickly pines so it was quite a job to get it ready to plant, but we did Joeís, mine, and part of Edís and Artís into wheat and raised a fair crop for new ground.
During the summer Father came down from Star Valley and he and Roy moved into the old home. He was telling us about a pretty little valley that he came thru on his way down. He advised us to go up there and take homesteads, that was in 1907. So after we finished our work that fall we went up and looked it over. I decided to file on a place right on the bank of Snake River. I had the whole valley to choose from as there was only 2 or 3 more families there. We plowed a little piece and put it in broom (brome?) grass. Then we went back down to St. Anthony for the winter. We boarded with our old neighbors the Singletons and had a very nice winter. They were very nice people.
Iíve gotten a little ahead of my story. One of the most important things of my life happened while we were at my brother Edís place. One of Maryís sisters (Silvy) and another little girl came riding down thru the trees. So we met them and spent the afternoon with them and got pretty well acquainted. After they had gone someone asked me what I thought of the little girl. (Her name was Myrtle Clark and she was really small for her age.) I told them I would like to have her for a watch charm, little did I think she would become my wife. So we went to a few parties together and so the winter I spent at Singletons she spent it in Provo, Utah, going to school. She stayed there with her Grandmother Clark. They had moved from there a couple of years before so we corresponded that winter. During that winter, Charles Singleton and I took a trip down to Utah. We stopped in Logan about a week at my brother Artís place. He had got himself a team and wagon and started a dray business. He had developed the asthma about that time. Then we went on down to Ogden and stayed another week with Charlesí folks who lived there. We had a nice time except that I cam down with the mumps while at Ogden.
The toward spring, I sold my place there to Dave
Birch and traded it for horses, some machinery and a cow. So sometime
in April, Joe and I took off again for the new homestead. Joe had
not taken a place yet for he was not old enough. We started out with
our wagon loaded with machinery, 4 horses, and leading the cow behind.
We got to Poplar the first night. Near where the river is now.
About 20 miles we stopped at a road house that night it was run be a Mr.
Christopherson, and the cow was nearly gave out. She was a nice 2
year heifer and heavy with calf, but the next morning we decided we could
not take her any farther, so Mr. Christopherson tired to take advantage
of us and said he would give us $5 for her. When we refused he got
right mad and said get her out of here then. We began to look for
a place to leave here then and ran onto a man that had a heifer up near
where we were going, that he would trade for her, so we made the trade,
altho his heifer was a wild Herford. Again we went on our way.
That night we got to Swan Valley and stayed at Sam Weeksí place.
They were very nice people. We got very well acquainted with them
later on. We still had about 20 miles to go to the homestead but
along in the afternoon we began to strike some snow drifts that we had
to get thru. We had to stop at Grovesí that night there was very
little travel in that country at that time, but we got thru the next day,
but couldnít do much for several days. When the snow went off and
we thought we had our bearings we found that the plowing we had done before
was not on my place at all.
It was a little while before we could go to work so we went up the Edís place and stayed for a while. We had to cross the river on a ferry boat run by John Booth. It cost $1 each way. Our nearest post office was about 14 miles and our nearest store about 20 miles either way, at Freedom, Wyoming, or at Irwin, Idaho. I bought another nice team that spring from Charley Webber at Freedom, I gave $320 for them. They were young mares heavy with foal. Of course the little girl cam back from Provo and her daddy had filed on a homestead at what later became Etna and put her and her little sister down there to hold it down and milk a few cows. And of course I had to call on her quite frequently and the more I saw of her the more I thought of her. We had a good time that summer. Joe and I put in a little crop and built a log cabin. Then later in the summer when the hay was ready, my girlís father (Joseph Clark) and I took a contract putting up hay on a big place above Bedford. We got $2.50 per ton and so we done pretty well. And during that summer I asked the little girl to be my wife and she gladly consented, so we planned to be married on her birthday 14th of January but later changed the date as her folks wanted us to live in their house at Bedford and take care of the cows and chores as they had moved down onto the homestead. The 2 mares I bought had 2 nice colts and after they got a few months old one of them got his leg broken and had to be killed. And my father-in-law to be said he would give me any 3 cows for the other so we made the trade so that when we were married we had 4 cows and 5 or 6 horses. So we set November 5th for our wedding day and of course we wanted to be married in the Temple and so we left Star Valley about the 2nd of November with a team and white top buggy. First day we went to the halfway house and the next day on to Bedford.
One important thing I am overlooking, I was ordained an Elder on 1 Nov. 1908 by President Osmon of Star Valley Stake. My brother Joe took us as far as Montpelier and then went to LeGrand, Oregon, to see a girl (Clarisy Curtis) that he was going with at that time. And Myrtle and I took the train to Logan. We went as far as McCameron that night and had to wait there for a train to Logan. So we arrived in Logan 4 November and got ready and went to the Temple the next morning and were married about noon 5 November 1908.
Now while I have been working this morning I have composed a little poem that will fit in here called:
I have read of the gold in Alaska
And the thrills of the gay forty-nines
But my greatest thrill
Is when you answered, ďI willĒ
When I asked you if you would be mine.
Now I am no judge of rare jewels
I hardly know diamonds from pearls
But I feel I am as wise
As most of the guys
When it comes to the judging of girls.
For I got me a Gem that is precious
One that will last me thru life
I just staked out my claim
And gave you my name
Then we became husband and wife.
Now each day you grow better and brighter
For silver has come to your hair
Now we are both getting old
But your heart is pure gold
The lovelight in your eye is still there.
Well now on with my story. When we got out of the Temple, Martha had a nice dinner prepared and many of her folks there. So we stayed at Logan about 10 days. I helped Art with his draying some. His asthma was gradually getting worse. Of course we spent most of our time together visiting around and doing some shopping. There was a furniture store selling out so we took the opportunity of purchasing some furniture which we got very cheap. And that was quite a thrill to us. We crated it up and shipped it to Montpelier. The weather at Logan was still quite nice, , there was still some fruit left on the trees that was not frozen, so Myrtle filled a large can (about 8 gallons) with plum preserves that lasted us all winter. Then we finally started for home. When we got to Montpelier my brother Joe was there with a team and white top buggy. I made a mistake earlier when I said Joe brought us to Montpelier we went there by bus! We stayed there all night. And got up early next morning and headed for Star Valley. And Joe headed for LeGrand, Oregon, to see his girl. We got to the halfway house that night. That was a roadhouse up in the top of the mountains, where freighters were coming and going all the time. Myrtle slept on a bed with the mattress and I slept on the floor. We found some snow and the weather had turned cold. We met several teams on a narrow road and tried to get off the road to let them pass and tipped over. So the men helped us get the buggy up again and we went on our way. We knew they were preparing a big supper for us that night and knew we almost had to get thru. But one of our horses got sick and so we phoned home and told them our condition and so my brother Ed and Myrtleís brother Lloyd started out to meet us but we kept plodding along slowly and met them about 8 miles from home so we turned the sick horse loose and let her follow. We got home about 9 oíclock at night and found the house filled with friends and relatives and a lovely supper waiting for us. We were sure ready for it after riding all day in teh cold. And of course everyone had brought some gifts that were very much appreciated and came in very handy.
Then after the party was over and we had gone to bed we heard a loud commotion coming, hammering pans and tubs, ringing bells and many other things, or course we knew that it was a Charivari (chivaree) and then we had to get up and treated them and promised to give them a dance in the near future. That was the 2nd time they gave us the same at Logan the night we were married.
And so soon the folks moved down to the homestead at Etna and we were left there at Bedford to take care of things for the winter. The house was 2 large log rooms covered with dirt. It was very warm. So it was very comfortable and we enjoyed the winter together very much. Of course we made trips quite frequently down to see the folks. Ed and Mary were very good to us that winter. They helped us out in many ways. We gave the dance at the Bedford church house and everyone seemed to have a good time. It was quite a hard winter about 4 feet of snow on the level. So it did not go off very early in the spring. Then when spring did come we moved down into the little cabin that was supposed to be on the place but was not quite. But I had another house under construction, a log house 14 by 28, 2 rooms. With shingled roof.
I had a man by the name of Billy Kemp working in it. He was our nearest neighbor. He had been a barber in the east someplace and had become tire of public life and came out there and built him a little log cabin out on an island in the river and was doing a little placer mining in summer and trapping in winter. He was a sort of odd fellow but we found him to be a very good neighbor. He lived about half a mile from us. I will probably tell more of him later as we became very good friends
So before summer was through we had moved into our new house which we thought pretty nice, we lined it with lumber and covered with shingles. I got the logs out and took them to the mill and had them sawed for $9 a thousand for the lumber and $5 for the shingles. Then we moved the cabin over and used it for a granary. I forgot to say that Joe and George Thompson came up with me when I went up the spring before, George was one of Uncle Jimís boys. About 4 years younger than I. So after we were married he and Joe lived with us. We put in about 20 acres of oats on our place there was many springs and several acres of high quaking aspens and of course along the springs were willows and the ground along the bottom was a heavy dark soil covered with big thick brush and was very fertile.
Now about that time I filed on my place a Topont Co. was going to put a canal across Snake River from Grays River to water the whole valley, but that never developed and of course they lost their right. And so the first summer I had to go up into Star Valley and work in the hay fields to get a little money. I worked mostly for Dave Ross and Bakers, I got #3.50 per day with my team. Then along in August the 10th something very important happened, our first little son was born and of course we thought him the best in the world. Myrtle was staying with her mother at that time. We had the doctor come down from Afton, Dr. West. Then we soon moved back to the ranch and the oats was as high as my head. And as soon as the top kernels begun to get ripe we cut them for hay. We cut them with a binder and it was very difficult they were so rank. We kept what we needed and sold what we had left for two and a half cents per bundle which helped out. We only had one cow at that time. We sold the 3 we got from my father-in-law for $53. So we decided to stay there that winter, but I got a chance to go in with some others and get out logs for Graves sawmill. So we went right up the canyon (Indian Creek) and built a cabin and we moved right up took our cow and hay. Then Myrtle cooked for the bunch. We worked there 2 or 3 months until the snow got too deep to work any longer. All the amusement we had was to get and play cards in the evening. Of course we had our baby, that was a lot of company. We named him Howard Grant. Then we went back down home which had become home and it was a long time until spring.
The snow got to be at least 5 feet deep, sometimes we would not see anyone except Billy Kemp for months. He came most every day and got milk. Our only means of travel was on skis. but spring finally came which was very welcome. So we put in a nice garden and some grain again. We tried to clear a little more ground each year. Of course we only raised grain to cut for hay as there was no way of threshing at that time. I had to go away to work when and where I could get work.
Now I have passed up something that was very important. Along abut the 24th of July 1907 my father was found dead on the old place. He apparently had taken one of those spells and fallen in the ditch on his face and drowned while he was watering his garden. As he was living along at that time. Of course, Ed, Joe and I went down and took care of his body. We laid him beside my mother in the old Wilford grave yard and 4 of the children were there.
Now back to the homestead again. Along about July of 1909, abut this time the Tapont Co. had lost their right to hold the land any longer so it was thrown open again for entry so there was a rush from both directions to file on the land so we soon had neighbors and cabins begun to go up all over the flat. A family by the name of William Fawson settled nearest us. They had 3 little girls. Mrs. Fawson only had one leg. They came from Swan Valley. We found them to be very good neighbors. Then on the other side Mr. and Mrs. Les Jacobson also from Swan Valley. They were also very fine people. They had one baby boy when they came there. My brother Joe also took up a place about 2 miles from ours. And on July 29, 1910 he married a fine girl by the name of Clara Belle Ames. Of course Joe or George Thompson had been with us most of the time and were lots of company. And so we soon got a Sunday School going and a little school in a log cabin. Then we got a post office called Alpine kept by our neighbors the Fawsons. They kept the mail in an old incubator and I got the contract of carrying the mail for the first 5 years. We got $20.22 per month for twice a week a 16 mile trip, so you see we didnít get rich at that. We would ride a horse and buggy in summer and sleigh or skis in winter. And on 13 July 1911 our first girl was born at Etna, Wyoming. Myrtle was again at her motherís for the occasion. Then about that time there was a little store started by a Mr. Bixby. and also there was a bridge across the Snake River for which we was very glad, as those dollars we had to pay for the ferry were very hard to get.
I remember the first mattress we ever had we bought from Bixby but it was not very good. It was cotton and cornhusks. Always before we had been using a straw tick filled it with new straw each fall.
Then on 27 June 1911, Joeís wife Clara Belle died when her first baby girl was born which was a sad blow to us all. They named the baby Clara Belle after her mother. She raised a large family and is now living at Pendleton, Oregon. She married Linwood Hill.
We put many long cold winters in there on the farm. We raised lots of pigs and each fall we would take a load of pigs to Rigby and bring back apples and supplies for winter. Then we got a big pile of wood and then hibernate for the winter.
Then on the 2nd of January 1912 Joe married my wifeís sister Lauretta so that made us closer than ever. And Myrtle and Lauretta were much company for each other and spent much time together.
About that time some of the neighbors bought a horse-powered threshing machine. So then we could get our grain threshed for ten bushel on the hundred.
I had a lot of tough times while carrying the mail. Nearly every winter I would have to carry it on skis for several months. I remember one time I started out on the 2nd of Jan. with team and pair of bob-sleighs. The snow was over 4 feet deep and snowing and blowing until I could hardly see the team so they could hardly follow the road at all. And by the time it begun to get dark I reached Frank Welches place on Indian Creek about 6 miles and my team almost give out. I had left the box and hind bob. So Mr. Welch let me take a fresh team and sent his hired man (Lige Canary) with me and we went on down to the Post Office, which was called Blowout, kept my Mr. Hohonen. So we got back to Welches ranch about 10 oíclock at night and stayed there until morning and then I started on my way again. I tied one horse to the other oneís tail and started them for home. I was holding to the last horseís tail. I left the rest of my sleigh at Welches. However the storm had quit, but it took me all that day to get home and that was the last time I took the team until along in April. But as times went on things got better. We would take our little children out on the crusted snow toward spring when the sun would melt it in the day time then freeze at night. Sometimes it would get hard enough that the horses could walk on the crust. I remember my neighbor and I decided to break the road thru from my place to his (Mr. Fawson) in the spring so I hitched 2 horses together with nothing to pull and we met about dark about a half a mile.
In the winter of 1913 my brother Roy came up and stayed with us a while. And during the winter became quite sick. He had lots of pain in his back and we would poultice that then it would move to his stomach. So he got some better and decided to leave one morning on the crust but only got a little way and had to come back as the snow was not hard enough to hold him. So in a few days he tried it again and that was the last time I ever saw him. His sickness turned out to be enlargement of the spleen and he was taken to the hospital in Salt Lake and died 26 March 1913. He was 33 years old, 6 feet 4 inches tall and weighed over 200 lbs. and never married. My father was also about the same size.
That winter of 1913 was a very hard winter. the snow was about 6 feet on the level and we were expecting our third baby in the spring, so we made arrangements to go down to Rexburg, Idaho, with Art and Martha, who had got them a place there. So soon as the snow had gone down enough to get out we headed for Rexburg. We rented a couple of rooms from Art, then he and I took a job of plowing some ground. I with a hand plow and he with a sulky. His asthma had become very bad by that time so he could not do much walking. Then on the 28th day of May we got another girl, and named her Orpha Delores. However Art and Martha had their last born 19 April 1913 and they named her Norma Delone. And she is a blessing now to her mother in her old age. She has a large family of her own.
So along about the 1st of July we headed for Alpine again and Uncle Jim Thompson went with us, by that time George had got married and taken up a place of his own in lower Star Valley. He married a nice girl by the name of Lily Clark.
Then about that time we went and borrowed $400 from Walt Barber and bought a bunch of jersey cows and a milk separator then would take our cream up to Freedom about twice a week or sometimes send it out to Montpelier. But it didnít turn out too good. We got diphtheria among our calves and lost most of them.
I remember the hard winter we couldnít get any place to buy anything for our children so when I met the mail carrier that came up from Irwin to Blowout I gave him some money and asked him to bring up something for us so the next time down he brought 2 walking dolls. The only thing he could get. They were small and different than any I have ever saw. But the children were pleased with them. Then one other Christmas we were short of money and so I went up into Star Valley and took a load of freight to Montpelier and made about $12, so I bought a second hand phonograph and a lot of records. One of those old type with a big horn and took them home for Christmas I only gave $5 for them and I believe that was the best Christmas we ever had. We had not had any music in the home and oh how we enjoyed them. The children got so they knew most of the records by memory. I still remember the titles of some of them. songs My Mammy Used to Sing, Awell, I Find My Mamma there, Silver Bells and Red Wing, etc.
A little more about Billy Kemp, our neighbor. His nephew came out from the east he was about 24-25. So billy and he moved up the canyon up Snake River to so some placer mining. And some time after there was a body picked up down near Swan Valley in the river without identification. Myrtle was carrying at that time and Mr. Daniels was describing the man that had been found and buried and she immediately said that sounds like Billy Kemp and so that caused them to investigate. So when they went up to their camp they could see that they had been gone for some time, they had chicken that had been on the stove for several days and bread they had mixed several days before. So then they begun the search for Arthur, his nephew and found him lodged under the rocks some distance below. So his father came out and shipped his body back home. Arthur had rheumatism and it was thought that they had capsized and Billy lost his life trying to save Arthur.
Another character I think is worth mentioning is what we called Old Man Henzelsehe. Altho he was only in his fifties, he had come there and taken up 40 acres about a mile from us. He was a little old German could not talk very plain. He became a very good friend. He would come down and say, ďMom can I get a cup of coffee or something?Ē He built himself a little log cabin, just big enough for his bed and stove and a good supply of wood. and I think all the dishes he had was a coffee pot and frying pan and eating utensils. He would cook his food all in the frying pan and then lay a board across his lap and eat the contents. He was still there when we left I donít know what became of him.
Our 2nd boy and 4th child was born at Edís place at Etna, Wyoming, 20 March 1915. We named him LaRele Joseph. That summer Joe and I bough a threshing machine. It was a horse power but after a while we changed it to a power machine and hooked up with some neighbors that had a steam engine. Then in July of 1916 we went along with Myrtleís folks and made a trip thru the park at Yellowstone, Wyoming. We went with teams and had a very nice time. Caught lots of fish. We were gone about a month. We cam back alone and the folks went on out thru the Big Horn basin and visited with Riley Russellís out there.
And between times we just lived there on the homestead and fed pigs and milked cows. The fishing was usually pretty good there in Snake River. Sometimes in winter we would lie on our stomachs on the ice and catch white fish by the score and smoke them for future use. And too if we ran out of meat we could usually get an elk pretty handy and lots of wild chickens of different kinds.
In the fall of 1916 we were looking for out 5th child and so we rented a house near Etna, Wyoming, for the winter and Myrtleís brother had got married about that time and so they lived in a couple of rooms of the same house. And along about that time George Thompsonís son got married. One time Lloyd and George drove down to the spring to get some cans of water on a rack and bob sled and George had a shot gun and some way it slipped thru a hole in the rack and accidentally discharged and shot his thumb and one finger off and lodged in his jaw. He had a heavy coat on with the collar turned up or it would probably have killed him.
So our next baby came 30 October 1916, another girl. We named her Wilda Francis after my mother...whoops I have to back up a little again. My oldest brother had been gradually getting worse for years and his wife went into his room the morning of 16 September 1916 and found him dead. He left his wife and 6 children, 3 boys and 3 girls. They are still living and have families of their own. Their names are Naoma, Myrthon, Newell, Warren, Oreta and Norma and they lost 2 babies.
So we stayed there until about the first of April and ran out of hay so decided to move back down to the place for we had plenty of hay there. So one morning George Thompson started out with our stock, his and ours about 20 or 30 head. And I loaded some hay and some furniture and the family and started out about 10 oíclock and there was still lots of snow so we got about 5 miles on our way and the road got so bad that I could not go with the load I had. We got off the road and tipped over. So finally turned around and loaded up again and took the family back and unloaded the furniture. I just set it inside the house and took off again. I found one cow that George had left along the way. She got so she couldnít go any further so he scooped out a hole and left her there. So I threw a little hay and went on. It was snowing and blowing until I could hardly see my team. I overtook George just as he was to the Snake River bridge and it was only about half a mile to the Alpine store which was then kept by Mr. Dave Porter. And he made us very welcome. We made our bed on the store floor and had breakfast with his family who lived in the rear. We gave the stock what hay I had brought and shared it with Mr. Porterís stock. And he said that was the first hay they had had for several days. Nothing but straw. Then we got up the next morning the storm had ceased and the weather was clear. But it took all that day to get down to the place and get the hay stack uncovered before night and then it was 2 or 3 weeks before we could bring the folks down.
Then along in June our oldest son Howard had a very severe attack of appendicitis which at that time was not so well known. Then they called it inflammatory of the bowels and many lost their lived from that. But we got a doctor from Afton, so he said he had appendicitis and he thought it had ruptured and so we took him up to Edís and Maryís place who had a big house at that time. and cleared out one room and thoroughly cleaned and fumigated it and that was used for the operation room. And sure enough when he made the incision it was ruptured and he was full of pus. And so he made a rubber drain out of a glove, which was rather new at that time. The days following were very critical for he was very slow recovering and we felt that we were greatly blest when he got well again. The doctorís name was Dr. Fink, a new doctor that had just come out there shortly before. That was in June 1917.
Then that fall in October, Myrtleís folks sold their place in Star Valley and moved back to Springville, Utah. They left with a new Studebaker car and $6000, that seemed a lot at the time. But they made a mistake for they bought some land out at Fruitland and some cattle in partners with a brother-in-law. It didnít work out so good for they soon lost most of it and so her father went up to Soldier Summit to work on the railroad and while there the Ďflu broke out and he contracted that and went down to his home and died 31 October 1918. At that time the Ďflu swept the country such as never been heard of before or since. Scores of people died all over the country it seemed it took the most healthy and strong and many doctors died that time. They had a quarantine at the river bridge to keep people from going either way and everyone was wearing a gas mask.
I might say that we became very good friends with our neighbors. We had started a little branch of the Church and Sunday School and had built a log school house and the first teacher was Mr. Dawson. Two of our children went to school. They used to ride a horse in winter. I remember one morning I put them on Old Pet to go to school and after a while they came trudging back and said that Old Pet had thrown them off. Of course it did not hurt them much as there was plenty of snow.
And so we talked things over many times and decided that we could not afford to stay there and raise our family under those conditions so decided to sell out and move to Burley, Idaho. We finally got a chance to sell for $3200 to a neighbor, Will Hincks. He got a federal loan to pay for it. Then we sold him some machinery and furniture for $400 and took his note which we never did collect as sickness came on and then he died and so we just let it go.
Ed and Mary also sold their place about the same time for $6000. We then had 5 children and Edís folks had 6. And so there was quite a bunch of us headed for Burley. We had quite a few horses and good ones and some cattle. We loaded our wagons with furniture and other things. But first Ed and I went down and looked things over and bought 80 acres of land with a small house on and Ed was to have the 40 with the house on it and us the other. We was to give $14,000 for all so we paid what we could down and was to pay the rest later. Then we went into Burley about 10 miles away and rented a house and paid a monthís rent so we would be secure. Then we went back to Bixby and shipped our stock and all to Burley. And we bought a new Model T Ford. We gave $618.18 for it and I had never driven a car so the man we bought it from set beside while I drove around the block and that was all the training I had driving.
And so we started for Burley again. And of course we had a lot of trouble on the way. We blew out a couple of tires and we got to Burley about 2 oíclock in the morning. Which is not over 150 miles. About 3 hours drive now. But cars were not as perfected as now. We stopped with some folks we knew that night and meant to move into the house we had rented the next day. But we found it had been rented to someone else and they were living in it. And so we were in a strange land without a home and we were expecting another baby at any time. And so we all had to crowd into the little house with Ed and Mary that was one big room built for a granary. But before night came on Myrtle begun to get sick and so we knew we had to do something at once. At that time people did not go to the hospital for those things. So there was a man and his 2 boys batching in a good-sized house just across the road, his name was Martin Jensen, the boys were Roy and Ruel. So I told him I wanted to rent a couple of rooms for a while but he said he did not care to rent them. So then I had to explain to him that I had to have a place and have it at once. So he said under those conditions we could move in. So we set up a bed and Myrtle went to bed and we called a doctor from Burley. Dr. Cutter and he delivered to us another son, 30 October 1919. We named him Kenneth. In the morning Mr. Jensen called his wife up in town and told her he had a big baby boy born last night which was a mystery to her as she had never heard tell of us so we stayed there for a while and then we got another payment on our places and so went over into the View Ward about 3 miles away. And a half block with one house on it and we moved into that and then we built another house for Ed and his family, where his wife still lives.
About that time a depression struck that country as well as others and things went down. We sold the best of our horses for $100 a piece that was worth twice that the year before and we had paid $35 a ton for hay to feed them. And we paid $8 per hundred for seed potatoes and in the fall we got 40 cents per hundred after we sorted them 2 or 3 times.
Oh, I have to go back a little again and tell of a happening while we were living in Martin Jensenís house. Myrtleís sister came up from Utah to stay a while and help us out. And of course got acquainted with the Jensen boys, who were very bashful. Roy was 20 at that time and Ruel younger and with my help she made a date with Roy for a dance and from that time on they went steady and were married 23 December 1920. And they have got along splendid, had a family of 5 children, four still living, and several grandchildren. Their youngest boy, Clark, which is not 14.
Now back to the routine. We fought the depression for about 3 years and decided that we had to do something different as we was about to lose everything we had as we could not meet the payments on the place. So about that time there was an ad come out in the paper telling of new country they were opening up down the river about 100 miles called the Roseworth tract and there would be a man at the hotel to talk about it. His name was Hyrum Baird. And so Ed and I went and talked things over with him and there had been a company put in a reservoir up above there and had laid out 11,000 acres as a tract to be watered. It was very fine soil of course there was what they called the home ranch that was beautiful. Raised all kinds of fruit and nearly everything, and so it sounded good to us as they were selling it on any kind of terms. At $125 per acres, and so we made a date to be there at a certain time. So we went.
It was about 20 miles southwest of Buhl, Idaho, which was the nearest town and before we got out there we found a very deep canyon that was a mile down one side and a mile up the other and very narrow roads. But after we had reached the other side it was a beautiful flat. It had been settled by a group of people from New York whom the county had persuaded to come out there the year before. But they didnít want to stay, as they were not used to pioneering and so they soon left. After paying what they had on the land. And so Ed and I along with others looked it over and decided to try it so we picked out an 80 acres that looked good. It layed just perfect altho we found it had some drawbacks. There was quite a lot of rocks to be hauled off and it was next to the outside of the project next to the desert and we were bothered a lot with wild horses coming in at night but we decided on that 80. And I was to move down there and Ed was to stay at View for a while. And so we moved back to pioneer life again.
There was the problem of a house again, and so I took the garage from the place at View, took the roof off in 2 pieces and each side in one and loaded them on a flat rack and took off for Roseworth with 4 horses. It took 2 or 3 days to make the trip. I took LaRele with me who was about 6 or 7 years old at that time. When we got to the top of that canyon it looked pretty scary, as I had 4 horses one team ahead of the other and no way to put on a brake. And so I took a long log chain and tied one wheel so it would have to slide and we made it down okay. So we pulled to the place that night and by the next morning and night I had the garage back together again. And so we had a home again. The people around were sure surprised to see a house so quick on that place. There were some people lived just across the road from us by the name of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Hansen and had one little girl, Marion, about LaReleís age and so they soon got acquainted and were lots of company for each other. Then I built a back room on the back of the garage so we had 2 rooms and then I went to work clearing the sage brush and it was plenty big. We used it for firewood the way they done that was to take a railroad rail and 10 or 12 feet long and hook a team on each end and drag it back and forth across it. But it was a hard and slow process clearing land, but I got some cleared and in. I also set out some trees and planted a garden. And then after school was out I went back up and got Myrtle and the children and we sure had our little house full and was really pioneers again. Of course the country soon settled up again some in tents or shacks of all kinds and some even living in dugouts or cellars.
In a short time after we had moved to Roseworth, we got a branch of the Church, as there was about 15 LDS families who moved there and we became very near and dear to each other. I was asked to work in the Sunday School Superintendency as assistant to Andrew Peterson, which was about the first calling that had come to me. But I really enjoyed it after I had gotten into it. Our Bishop or Presiding Elder was Brother Jonathan Hunt, with Brothers Nils Peterson and William Winegar, with Jacob Jensen as Clerk. And we had many good times as well as bad. If one family would miss church the others would investigate to see what was wrong. Everyone was always there unless they had sickness or something very important. And at Christmas time we had some of the best times I ever remember. For we were all on equal footing and working to the same end. Then later William Winegar resigned from the Bishopric and I was asked to take his place and I learned to love the men I worked with, and that little group in general.
I would like to say in passing that Brother Hunt and his wife were killed in an auto accident a few years ago in Nevada. Brother Andrew was also killed in an auto accident about 12 years ago. And as I think back on that little group that lived there, it seems as most of them have gone on. Of course there is some that we have not heard of since we left there.
While we were there we had another son added to our family, we named him Verlin Clark born 4 August 1923. And it seemed like there was always room for one more and they were always welcome. And so after we had been at Roseworth for 3 years of hard work as I had cleared all the 80 acres and had also rented 40 acres and farmed that which helped us out some as it was cleared and I raised a good crop of wheat and some alfalfa seed on it. During the time we were at Roseworth my brother Joe came down from Star Valley where he had been carrying the mail since we left there and his mail contract had expired so he decided to buy a place there and made arrangements for 40 acres then had gone back to Star Valley and brought his family out as far as Burley, and had bought a house and lot at Hansen, Idaho. So he left his family one morning to go to the place at Hansen and then from there back to Star Valley to dispose of his stuff he had left there. And that was the last anyone ever saw him alive as the next day he was found dead at Pocatello, Idaho, with his head crushed. It was supposed that he had attempted to get off a train while in Molina and had been killed. And that surely left his family in a bad way. With part of their things in Star Valley and a payment made on the house in Hansen, and so we still had our house and lot at View and his family moved into that. There were 6 little girls and one baby boy only a few months old, who soon died after with pneumonia. And so they just lived on there because there was nothing else to do. And they found the people there were good to them and helped them along.
Then in 1925 the water ran out at Roseworth and got so low in the reservoir that people could see that it meant another move. They were going here and there to find something to do for a living. Several had gone over to the north side of Snake River to Wendell to find places to rent or buy. So we decided thatís what we should do and so I went with one of the neighbors over there and spent a couple of days looking around but could find nothing that looked like we could make a living and so we went back home discouraged and when I got there my wife was more discouraged than I was. So we did not know what to do, but we knew we could not stay there with no water. So we decided after a few days that I should go back over to Wendell and Jerome and again look for a place. And so I went back almost broke and tried to find something at Wendell but no luck, so I decided to go to Jerome and try and my only means of travel was to walk a distance of about 10 miles so I walked along the railroad track and was feeling pretty downhearted and blue for I had that family of 7 children to support, so I decided to kneel down and tell my trouble to God so I did just that and when I got to Jerome I did not find a place but got a ride back to Buhl and when I got there I met one of my neighbors from Roseworth, a Mr. Murphy and in talking to him he told me of a place just about a mile south of Wendell for rent by a man in Twin Falls a Mr. Roster, and so I called him up by phone and made a date to meet him the next Tuesday, at the place. When we met we made a deal for the place, and so then we had the job of moving again, but we were very glad to move. It seemed to be a pretty good place. The house was not too large, about 3 rooms but better than we had been used to at Roseworth and the place turned out pretty good. It was 80 acres and we raised a pretty good crop. We found some very nice neighbors by the name of Garret, they had 6 boys and on the north were Snodgrass that also were nice but neither family belonged to our church. I and the boys exchanged work in teh haying and other things that helped us all out.
We had not been there long when I was asked to work in the Sunday School as an assistant to the superintendent then not long after was asked to act as Superintendent which I held for several years until I was put into the Bishopric with Bishop Dixon and Dave Huffaker and it was then that I was ordained to a High Priest by Melvin J. Ballard.
After we had lived on the Roster place for a year the Snodgrass family moved away and so we got a chance to get the place they had and it was 160 acres and nearer to town and a little more room in the house so we moved again. The boys were so they could help a lot by then and so we done pretty well there for a few years. It was while we were there that my last sister Orpha died at Idaho Falls from asthma. She had been afflicted about 6 years and lived at Salem and was on her way down to see us and see if the climate would help her but only got as far as Idaho Falls and died in a hotel room there almost on her feet. She choked to death. She left a husband that followed her a few years later, he was electrocuted while pulling a hay derrick under a wire line. She also left 6 children, 3 boys and 3 girls, she died 9 June 1929. And also Uncle Jim Thompson died about that time, I donít have the exact date. Apparently of heart trouble as he was found dead in his bed by his wife Lizzy to whom he was married, several years after Aunt Vilateís death. He was a wonderful man in my estimation. And so that left Ed and I of our family and we have often wondered which would be the next and who would be left alone. Ed and his family were still living at View in the house we built for them when we moved down there. His wife Mary is still living there.
We had many experiences while we lived at Wendell and I was in the Bishopric. As the Bishop lived out 10 miles from town and I right next to town I had to take lots of the responsibilities of the ward and its people. I was called many times to administer to the sick and in many cases saw the power of God mad manifest some of which I will relate.
One morning about 2 oíclock AM a knock came at our door and to my surprise 2 little neighbor girls were in tears and said their father had lost his mind and was raging and had threw their lamp at the wall and they wanted me to come down with them which was about a fourth of a mile away. I took a lamp and went down and sure enough he was raging. They only had a small house of 2 rooms and 6 or 7 children and so most of the space was taken up with beds and when I went in he was standing up in his bed in just night clothes, swearing and shouting at the top of his voice. He was very angry when I took the lamp in and he said they had one of the G.D. things and he threw it away. So he carried on all night and of course his wife and children were upset about it. He told me several times during the night that he should kill me but it did not worry me much for I was larger and stronger than he. We got through until morning and then I went to get another neighbor to change me off and after I had gone he got his wife by the hair and handled her pretty rough. Then we sent word to the Bishop who came in and we administered to him but to no avail. It was continued many times and several different ones but seemed to make no change. So after a couple of days we decided to get the Priesthood there in power and so most of the Priesthood of the ward gathered there and held circle prayer for him and he immediately quieted down and said they are all gone and when he was asked what, he said the animals that were in the room. He said they had all passed out of the room at once and seemed greatly relieved. From then on he gradually got better. We tried to get him in the hospital, but they were afraid to take him as it was kept by nuns of the Catholic Church, all women and so we rented a vacant house and kept him there until he got well which was only a few days. He was a very good man in fact he was the Superintendent of the Sunday School at that time.
Another time there was a lady gave birth to a very tiny baby, one or two months premature and the doctor told her it would not live. He told her she better send for the minister and have it baptized because it would not live long. But she being a Mormon girl did not believe in that but the next day she did send for the Bishop. He came in and gave the baby a name and blessing and it got along as well as any baby could.
Another time I was called out in the night to a home where their little girl had pneumonia and the doctors had given her up. Her mother was a Mormon but her father was not. So I administered to her and then asked the parents to kneel with me and pray. Of course they were both in tears and the father said he had never done such a thing in his life, but he did and before morning the girl was much improved and continued to get well. She is alive to this day as far as I know, the father said to me after, I wish I could have the faith that you people have. I could go on and tell of many more such cases. Which happened while we lived there.
We stayed on that place for 3 years. But we were always anxious to get a place of our own. We had done plenty well and saved a little money. We heard of a place out east of Wendell about 5 miles for sale cheap and 40 acres with a fairly good house and a good orchard and so again we made a mistake and paid what money we had on it and moved out there. But we still belonged to the Wendell Ward. It turned out to be no good. It was so sandy that the wind would blow the crops out of the ground, and it was next to the outside range and there was rabbits by the thousands. We got a small bunch of sheep and thought we would try that but without much success. It was a sage brush country but was too sandy for much grain to grow. While we were living there we had another baby girl born the first we had for 8 years. Myrtle went down to her motherís at Springville, Utah, for the occasion and the baby was born on the 11th of April 1931. We named her RaeOla Janice. About the time Myrtle was gone we had the worst storm and wind that I had ever seen. It blowed my crops all out of the ground, even the potatoes.
We had a high windmill and it just doubled that over like a hairpin. We had our sheep out in the brush west of the place and when the storm was over we went to get them and we sure had a job, they had scattered for miles a few here and a few there, and some we never did find. We finally did succeed in getting part of the place seeded into alfalfa and raised some seed. But there was so many drawbacks we had a very rough crooked road to town, so we decided we could not make a living there so begun to look for another place. We finally found one down at West Point that was about 10 miles southwest of Wendell. Still in the Wendell Ward it was 160 acres of irrigated and part of it still in sagebrush. It was very sandy too. We rented it from a Dr. Evans a dentist in Chicago. He was a very good man and would come out and stay with us each summer. Our nearest neighbors right across the road were the Lowerys also on a place of Dr. Evans. then down west was Harris and on another place of Dr. Evans. We found our neighbors to be very fine, although we were the only Mormons in that part.
We had a school house there where we used to meet at times and when there was any praying to be done that was generally my job. Our crops did not turn out too good it seemed the main crop there was alfalfa seed and that was quite a gamble. One year we had the whole place into alfalfa as I had cleared and seeded the rest of the place. And it sure looked like we were going to get a bumper crop. But all at once the seed pods all fell off and it made nothing. So I cut it and sold it for one fifty per tone. We had a few milk cows and had let a man in Hagen take them for their feed. And about March he ran out of hay and brought them back. Then I had to buy hay for them. One winter while we were out there we had lots of snow and could not get to town at times for several days. We shoveled snow many days to get to town of course I was still in the Bishopric and we tried to be there as much as we could. Prior to this however our oldest boy had graduated from high school and had gone down to Portland to school. And our second daughter had got married and living at Grandview, Idaho.
So Myrtle had gone down there to take care of her when her second baby was born. I and the other children stayed on the farm. When Wilda became awfully sick. I called in a lady and she said it was nothing to worry about, it was just female troubles and so I waited for the next day and she was no better and so I called the doctor and he had me bring her in to the hospital at Wendell. He decided it must be appendicitis and must be operated on at once. And sure enough was a case of ruptured appendicitis and she had quite a time. she seemed to be getting along pretty well for a few days and then one day the phone rang and it was the doctor, he said that there had been a pus form and he was going to operate again, and for us to come in as quick as we could. Of course we were not long getting there and she was sure suffering when we got there. Her fever was a 106 and when the doctor touched her with his knife the pus just come out like a flowing well nearly 3 quarts of it. She said, ďOh, that feels good.Ē And from then on she began to get better. She was soon back home again and that was the 3rd case of appendicitis we had in the family. As Myrtle had it when we were in Burley.
It has been some time since I have written in this book so I may repeat some things.
We stayed at West Point for 3 years. LaRele worked at the cheese factory some and saved a little money and decided to go to Moscow to college. So we put a little money with what he had, making about $60 altogether (which was not much to start to college with). But with that along with determination he went. He had quite a time getting though. He washed dishes, ironed, and sold different things. About the 2nd or 3rd year he met up with a nice girl and fell in love with her and they worked together selling programs and other things and that helped them get through, and after they were through school they were married. He was taking a medical course, so he got a job at the mental hospital at Blackfoot (Velma, her name was Velma Patton, taught school at Sugar City for a year or more.) I believe it was after that they were married. They saved up a little money and went back to Chicago to the University. And he got his Doctors Degree. Then he took his internship at San Francisco and then was called into the service for a few years. Now they are living at Moscow again where he has a good practice. Velma has been a very good wife, they have three children now and seem to be very happy.
Now I better say a few words about Howard. Although I donít know too much about his life after he left home. It seems that he too had quite a time to get along. For a while he took up music and learned to be very good on the Hawaiian guitar. So he taught music for many years, then he finally got employed at some musical school and traveled around quite a bit organizing classes here and there in several states. It was while there that he met a nice girl. The secretary of the school, her name was Margaret Provost and after some time they were married. It seemed that the company they were working for turned out to be a fake. And they both lost quite a bit of their wages. So Howard went back to teaching music again. But he did not do so good. Then finally he landed a job with the movie pictures having had some experience at Wendell when we ran the picture show there and now he still has that job and they have bought them a home in Los Angeles and have two fine children. Gwen and Douglas. And they seem to be very happy.
And now a little about Delores as she was the
first girl to be married. She was quite a lively girl and always
wanted to be on the go, to dances or shows or someplace. She went
with many boys and finally she met a boy that she fell in love with at
once. He was a boy from Grand View, Idaho, and he was up working
on the road at Wendell. His name was Ralph McMillin and it seemed
they could see no other after they had met and they soon wanted to be married.
She was rather young but we gave our consent, and so they went over to
Bishop Dixonís house and were married 25 June 1930. They went to
live in Grand View at first which was quite a challenge for Delores as
she had been raised in the Church. And neither Ralph nor his folks
belonged to the Church. And so it was rather hard for her to adjust
herself to their way of life. But they did not stay there long but
soon came back to Wendell and rented a farm. Then they moved around
quite a bit trying this and that to make a living and having to work so
hard to find. Ralph joined the Church after a time and now
they have a nice family, 2 boys and 5 girls. And are still working
hard to raise them. They are at Wadsworth, Nevada, at present.
But hoping to leave there soon.
And then Juanita was the next to get married, after Delores was married that left her very lonely as they meant so much to each other. But about the next year she too met a boy that she fell in love with and they were married 19 January 1931. His name was Raymond Fry and now they also have a nice family of 2 girls and 3 boys and one little boy died at the age of 4 years.
Then in about the year 1933 we moved back about 3 or 4 miles south of Wendell, on 160 acres, that belonged to a Mr. Hitchcock from Kansas. It was a pretty good place and he was a very nice man to rent from the place was mostly hay and grain. Then we milked about 20 head of cows. And done pretty well while there. About that time we had others coming on that would soon be ready for college. And that was our foremost interest. And so Kenneth went with a group of young people on a Temple excursion to Logan, Utah. And while there he stayed with his Aunt Martha Stephens (my oldest brotherís wife). And she said to him, ďwhy donít your folks move down here close to the Temple and College?Ē She said she had a little place at North Logan that she would sell and so that sounded interesting to Kenneth, and he came home all enthused about it so we talked it over and thought about it for several days and decided it would be a good thing to do.
So we soon made a trip to Logan and stayed with Martha and made a deal for her place at North Logan. It was only 7 acres with nothing on it not even a fence. It had been used as stubble pasture for years. And so we gave her $700 for it and then we had to harvest our crop and prepare to move again. So we planned an auction sale as was the custom around there in those days. We had a good crop that year about 350 tons of hay besides grain seed, potatoes and other things. And so we advertised a sale for October 1st I think and it went pretty well. Some things sold for less than we expected and some for more but all in all it was a good sale. We sold about 35 head of stock and about 8 head of horses and a couple of colts, and bought us a new Model A Ford and headed for Logan again. By the way I let a contract to some people to build us a new house, and so by the time we got down there they had the basement about done. And so we found an empty part of one that we could rent and move into. It belonged to a widow by the name of Mrs. McKinney and she lived in part of the house. So I got in and helped with the new house and in 30 days we moved in although it was not finished. A few days after we got to Logan we got a heavy snow storm of nearly a foot of snow but it only lasted a few days and then was nice weather until nearly Christmas. The new house was just a small one but quite nice. Two bedrooms, living room, kitchen and bath. But it seemed good to us as it was our own. At that time we had one girl ready for college and 2 boys in high school and a boy and a girl too young for school.
So the next spring I put most of the 7 acres into sugar beets but the ground was so run down that they were nearly a failure. Then we started raising strawberries. That proved to be quite successful. We had about two and a half acres that produced very well. But the price at that time was very low about 70 cents per case and we paid about 15 cents to have them picked. I would go into town each morning and get a load of girls then take them back at night. Of course the 7 acres did not nearly keep us going. I had to get work wherever I could.
On the farms or on construction work or anything
I could get. Until finally I got a job as a flunky at the cafeteria
of the college. My sister-in-law was cooking there at that time and
it was thru her that I got the job. It was not a choice job,
only $2 per day helping with the cooking and taking care of the storeroom
and washing dishes or many other things. But I was glad to get that.
The lady in charge was Miss Una Vermillion. She was quite nice to
22 August 1956
It has been some time since I have written, will now try to take up where I left off.
I worked at the cafeteria for several years and then started looking for something better. I got on as custodian at the main building. And after several years got to be head custodian of the work at the college. I was over 20 others, and all together I was at the college about 10 years. During that time we had 2 boys and 1 girl attending, namely Kenneth, Verlin and Wilda. After we had lived at North Logan about 3 years we traded our place there for a home in Logan 12th Ward. Along with my job I took up selling Watkins products and that helped out some on my income and while on that job I found another place in the 8th Ward that looked pretty well for sale.
So we sold our house in the 12th Ward and bought the one in the 8th Ward. Just under the hill from the college. It was a very nice place. Then I finally quit my job at the college and went on the road selling J.R. Watkins Products. Sometimes I made pretty good and sometimes not so good. I was at that for several years. Then we decided to build some apartments to rent so had to have money to build with and the only way was to mortgage our home. And so we did just that and we built 4 apartments and a little home for Grandma Clark.
While living there 2 of our boys (Kenneth and Verlin) graduated from college. And then were both called into the service. Also LaRele who had graduated from Moscow was called to the service. Wilda went one year to college. And then she got married. She married Frank Cox and he also was called to service down to the southern states and she went with him. So we were left with just our 2 youngest RaeOla and Jack. While selling blankets we did a lot of traveling through Idaho and Wyoming. Then later I gave that up and got a job as custodian at the Cache Valley Bank and Utah Mortgage.
12 May 1957
Kenneth had met a very lovely girl while in college by the name of Dorothy Hoffler and they soon learned to love each other very dearly and were soon married. They made their home here in Logan for a while then decided to go to Chicago to take some more schooling in religion. When they got through he got a job as Institute Manager at Reno, but now is living at Seattle, Washington and has a nice family of 5 children.
Verlin also met a nice girl while in college from Brigham City by the name of Roma Freeman and they were married. Verlin graduated from college with a good degree. Then they went to Lawrence, Kansas, University where he got his doctorís degree in chemistry. Now they are living in Indianapolis, Indiana, where they are happy in their work and in their new home. They are also both working in the Church, Verlin being President of that District. They seem to be enjoying life very much with their lovely children, 2 girls and 1 boy.
Now back to our home life again. We kept the apartments for several years. At last Grandma Clark got so feeble the girls decided she better not be left alone any longer. And Myrtle was not able to take care of her alone as she had been having trouble with her heart. So Aunt Vera Jensen came down from Burley, Idaho, and took her (Grandmother) up there. Where she lived a few years (one and a half years) and then passed on, Dec. 11, 1955, I believe.
Now during that time our youngest girl RaeOla got married to a boy by the name of Ralph Myers. Now they have 2 of the busiest little boys in the world. (Michael and John). They seem so happy with their little family and another almost any time now. They are buying a home which is very nice.
Now last but not least Jack. I forgot to mention his birth 28 February 1935 in Wendell, Idaho. He had spent a year in college when he was called into the service. He first went to Fort Ord, California, then was sent to Fort Monmouth, New Jersey. From there down to the state of Georgia. He also got married to a very nice girl by the name of Ruth Kennington from here in Logan and she went with him to New Jersey and to Georgia while in Georgia they had a little pair of twins (girls) born but they both died. They are now looking for another in the near future. They are back here in Logan where he is finishing up his schooling and we are enjoying their company very much as we get to see them nearly every day.
Now the family is all married off. I will return again to Mother(Myrtle) and I. We again got itchy feet and wanted more adventure and still had some obligations on the apartments so decided to buy or trade them for a grocery store. Thatís where we made a mistake as it did not turn out too good. We found there was lots of headaches and problems connected with that and Mother was still having trouble with her heart so we decided to again make a change. So we borrowed money and bought a little old brick home on 20 South 3rd East Center here in Logan. We sold the stock and equipment from the store but still have the building.
We are happy but rather lonely. And have no room to complain. We think we have the best family in the world. There now number 9 children, 28 grandchildren, and 9 great grandchildren. And we love every one of them. We try to all get together every 2 years as a family reunion. The next will be here in Logan 1957 our Golden Wedding year. We are still both in pretty good health, I am still working part time at the back. I gave up part of my job when I became 70 to get Social Security. We still try to take a little part in the Church. Mother is at Relief Society now. I spend my leisure time raising a little garden and writing a few poems. I will copy the last one on the last page. And of course I take a little nap each day. Now I think this is pretty well up to date and if I live long enough for anything more of importance to happen I will write it later.
Hyrum Grant Stephens
ARE WE READY
If Jesus should come in His Glory
To rule and reign here on Earth
Just who would be ready to meet him
And greet him with kindness and mirth?
I wonder would they be outnumbered
By those who were downcast and sad
Who had not lived up to His teachings
And did many things that were bad.
We know very well He is coming
Just as He promised He would
To usher in the Millennium
And sift out the bad from the good.
Now repentance is always in order
And will help to atone for sins
And for those who live up to His teachings
Thatís when their Glory begins.
by H.G. Stephens