My father, Joseph James Clark, was born 30 January 1870, in Santaquin, Utah, a son of Edward Watkins Clark and Louisa Mellor Clark.
Father had very little schooling in his life for his parents were quite poor and had a hard time taking care of nine children. Joseph was the fifth child and he had 6 brothers and 2 sisters. My grandmother’s sister, Mary Ann Mellor and husband William Moroni Palmer, lived in Glenwood, Utah. They had a young girl working for them, helping to take care of their large family. They paid her one dollar a week, which was very good wages for a girl at that time. My father, Joseph, liked to visit his Aunt Mary Ann and it was while there he met my mother, Patience Delila Russell, daughter of David Dudley Russell and Susan Delila Hutchings, born 16 May 1871. They did not see each other very often but got better acquainted by writing letters.
They went by team and wagon to the Manti Temple where they were married 23 April 1890. They lived with my grandfather, Edward Watkins Clark, and their first son and daughter were born at grandfather’s farm.
My parents built a brick home, two large rooms, and moved into the town of Springlake, Utah. They afterwards built a frame building which they used for a granary and storeroom where they stored their vegetables, fruit, etc. for winter. With this property there were two acres of ground which father planted in one acres of fruit trees and berries; the other acre was used for garden and pasture for our milk cow. Mother did the milking and caring for the garden as father was away working most of the time. Mother made all her own butter and cottage cheese, which gave us plenty to eat. She also made her own soap, canned her fruit, made bread, and did the sewing for her family which of course kept her very busy. Henry Huntsman, my mother’s half-brother, lived with my father and mother for 2 or 3 years in the winter and went to school.
It wasn’t long until father and mother moved to Knightsville, Utah, where father worked in the Jesse Knight Mine, moving mother back to Springlake in the spring so she could raise her garden.
Mother and Father were very kind to each other and I never remember of them quarreling or speaking cross words to each other.
The next few winters we moved to Eureka, going to school there and moving back to Springlake in the spring after school was out.
Their daughter, Lauretta, writes, “I started school in first grade at Spring Lake, Utah. Some of the incidents I remember during my school life were as follows: I remember carrying a bag of salt to school to keep my ear from aching. Mother used to tie a bag of ‘asephetie’ around our necks to keep us from catching colds. It had a very bad smell (maybe that is what kept us from catching colds. People didn’t come close because of the smell). We lived in a brick 2-room home, and in the summertime we had a summer kitchen we used. We also had an orchard in Spring Lake. I went to Primary there.”
“When I was about 7 years old, my brother, Elmo, was born. When he was about 6 weeks old we heard him scream, and mother ran into the bedroom and his cradle was on fire. He wasn’t burned badly.”
In the meantime, father bought a 40 acre farm in Bedford, Wyoming, where
we could move and get away from the mines, worry and danger involved while
working there. We children were happy with the thought of moving,
and father and mother had saved enough money to buy two teams of horses
and two wagons. The next thing was getting our things packed into
the wagons. For our new home we had a nice lot of furniture for those
days, a bedroom set, folding bed, a new coal range, chairs and tables,
etc., also 500 quarts of fruit that mother had canned as no fruit could
be raised in Star Valley (it was too cold there), dishes and clothing,
as we had a large family of 7 children. Because of Henry Eldon being
the baby and only 2 months old, we also had to make room for the baby carriage
so he would have a place to sleep and rest while we traveled.
We left the first part of September, 1904, and I being just a small child, don’t remember much about the trip except that we were moving to Star Valley where we thought we would starve to death. It took us 12 days to make the trip. We camped out at night, and when we got tired of riding, Father let us walk. Some of the hills along the way were very steep, so we would get out and walk up the hills.
Our first home was quite nice, being two large rooms of log and a nicer frame lean-to, on the back, nice shade trees in front and a nice lawn. It seemed so good to have some place to play without playing on someone else’s property.
Lauretta says, “When we lived at Bedford we walked two and one-half miles to school. Part of the time Father would take us to school in a covered sleigh, and we put rocks by our feet to keep us warm. Most of the time, we walked though. We lived in Bedford until I was 13 years old. That was the year that Theo Clark, my brother, was born, June 2, 1908. Father was away working at Cokeville the winter before Theo was born, and mother fell and struck her back on a chair. From then on until the baby was born she wasn’t able to get around at all. Lloyd and I took care of the home and we even had to pile wood beside the stove so she could keep the house warm while we were gone. We milked and fed about 11 or 12 cows, but we were happy. I remember we would try to get to school early so we would have time to play after we got there.”
Father soon bought another 80 acres and we had taken a herd of cows on shares from a friend in Utah. He had brought them to the Valley and turned them loose on the range. Father and my oldest brother, Lloyd, started rounding them up for winter having no way of knowing what they looked like only by the brand.
I well remember Mother knitting stockings for us children. She also made and sold butter, 2 lbs. for a quarter.
While living in Bedford we walked 3 miles to school and 3 back each day while the weather would permit; then we rode horses.
About the year 1907 or 1908, Father homesteaded a place in Etna, Wyoming,
where my oldest sister, Myrtle, and I stayed and milked the cows for Father
while he and the boys took care of the place at Bedford. I will never
forget seeing Etna for the first time; the sage brush was higher than my
head. The ground was good and we raised some wonderful crops.
The family moved down the following spring and father, doing the carpenter
work, built one of the first frame homes in Etna and also farmed 160 acres
with the help of the boys.
Lauretta says, “We moved to Etna, Wyoming in 1908. We had two rooms in that house, a front room and kitchen. We also had an attic. The boys slept in the attic and we girls slept in the same room with our parents. We didn’t have any linoleum on the floor or any paint on the woodwork. We papered our walls with muslin and whitewashed it. We would scrub the bare floors and woodwork twice a week. We didn’t have mattresses on our beds; we had straw ticks, and we didn’t have coil springs either. We had a homemade carpet in our front room. We put straw under it and took it up once a year and cleaned it and put new straw under it. We always had hot soda biscuits for breakfast. We always mixed our bread at night and baked it early in the morning. We never had any refrigerators or ice boxes, but we had a dirt cellar under the house. We put milk in pans under the house, and then we would skim the bream and make butter from it. We always killed our own meat. Father usually killed a pig and put it in a barrel of brine to keep through the winter. He usually shot an elk and we would freeze it and hang it on the side of the house to keep frozen all winter. Sometimes we would strip and dry the elk meat, too.”
In many things he did he was a great lover of horses and took
great pride in them. He won several prizes with them and at one time
he had the best pulling team in Star Valley. Also, he was very enthusiastic
in the sports of fishing and hunting. He was a good marksman and
in the fall of the year was hired to go with hunters to kill their elk.
He also did freighting for the Burton Mercantile Store in Afton, Wyoming,
hauling freight from Montpelier, Idaho, to Afton--
often taking him a week at a time when the weather was bad. I well remember waiting for the team and sleigh bells to come into sight or the ringing of the bells. Sometimes he would be nearly frozen when he would arrive.
In the fall of 1912 his oldest son, Joseph Lloyd, was called on a 2 year mission to the Southern States.
Father and Mother also took great joy in working in the Church. Mother, working as president of the Relief Society and Primary most of her life, was very active. Father worked along with her in his work. He was set apart 8 January 1911 as President of the Elders, he also worked on the School Board in Etna. He also carried the mail by buggy and sleigh from Etna to Freedom. When father was busy in the summer I took the team and buggy and delivered the mail for him.
In the summer of 1915, he took his family on a trip to Yellowstone National Park, in a covered wagon and buggy, which is still remembered by the family. At Burlington, Wyoming, we saw my mother’s half-sister, Jennie Duston and family, whom mother hadn’t seen for 40 years.
Mother’s health was very bad and Father sold our place the following year and we moved back to Springville, Utah, where he had a large cattle ranch on the Duchesne reservation. Mother’s brother, Henry, bought one-half interest in the ranch. He lived on the ranch and took care of the cattle. Father also did carpenter work in Utah after moving back.
My father was one of the hardest workers I ever knew for he never gave up.
He was doing carpenter work at Soldier’s Summit, Utah, where he took the flu in 1918. He died a young man in Springville, Utah, October 1918, leaving his wife with 7 children to finish rearing; the 3 older ones were married and living in Wyoming which gave them a family of ten children, six boys and four girls.
Patience Russell Clark died in Burley, Idaho, at the home of their daughter and son-in-law, Vera Clark Jensen and Martin LeRoy Jensen, 11 December 1955. Their ten children still living at the time of this writing, 1959, are Myrtle Emma Clark, Joseph Lloyd Clark, Lauretta Clark, Linden Moroni Clark, Olive Vera Clark, Elmo Ruel Clark, Henry Eldon Clark, Deverl Theo Clark, Carlos Russell Clark, Elinor Delila Clark.