LEWIS WILFORD BOWEN
MARY HANNA HALVERSON
Kathy compiled this life sketch, while listing to Dad and Mom relate some of the events of their life together.
Dad and Mother were married in ELy, Nevada, September 20, 1927. They had met while both were living in Ruth, Nevada. Dad was working at the Ruth Copper Mine and Mother was living and working with her sister, Aunt Myrtle.
Grandpa Lewis R. Bowen was living in Ruth at that time and he drove Mother and Dad to Ely, to the courthouse to be married. Dad was 19 years old and Mother was 17.
About one month after they were married, Mother made a trip by train back to her home in Mapleton, Utah, to get quilts and other things she wanted to use to set up housekeeping in Ruth.
When she returned, they rented a two room house in Ruth, which had running water, wooden floors but they had to go outside to use the bathroom.
The recreation in Ruth, was for the young people. Weekly dances were held at the Company Club House. Dad said, mother was a wonderful dancer. They enjoyed going to the latest pictures at the show house!
Dad paid $1.50 per month to the Ruth Community Welfare League, which sponsored dances, programs and children's entertainment for every holiday during the year.
Grandpa Lewis R. Bowen, quit his job working for Nevada Consolidated and moved to Ely and went to work for the Kimberly Mines. We were then able to move into his house, which had two bed rooms, living room and a kitchen, a much better house!
Dad worked steadily and due to our not having a car, our trips were made to Ely on payday by the Lewis Brothers Stage lines, bus.
Our first child, Connie was born September 21, 1928 at 9:00 A.M., on Friday, in our home in Ruth. A Mrs. Atkins and Dr. Stricklind delivered her.
That winter Dad suffered with chest congestion and a cough, so the doctor recommended he get out of the mines and go live in Arizona for his health. Nevada Consolidated gave Dad a letter recommendation to the superintendent and manager of Nevada Consolidated located in Ray, Arizona.
They left Ruth in April 1929 by train and went to Mapleton to visit Mom's family. Her father had passed away the 9th of December, 1928, four month previously. After a few days in Mapleton, Dad went on to Arizona and went to work and rented a house. Mom stayed at Grandma Halversons until May and then she and Connie joined Dad in Ray.
Ray's wages were a lot cheaper than they were at Ruth, $4.00 a day. Ray was not a copper mining town like Ruth. Dad worked on the pipe gang crew, that took care of all the pipe of the Companies. Water was scarce and had to be piped four miles into the town of Ray from up a canyon. The pipes were above ground and the water was then stored in a large cistern above the town on the hill, providing gravity pressure for the entire town.
While we were in Ray, we drove to Phoenix and saw our first "Talkie" show, at the Orpham Musical.
We were fortunate enough to observe the "Graf Zeppelin" the only aircraft to fly around the world. It was flying from the West to the East. It was a great balloon filled with Helium. We have no idea how high in the air it was. It shone like a new silver dollar. It did not move fast, we watched for 15 minutes. In Dads memory, it exploded somewhere in the Eastern States shortly after their sighting of it.
A Negro girl and her brother use to break them (burro's) to ride, with nothing more than a sharp stick that they would prod them with after they mounted them to make them go. They slapped them on either side of the head to make them go in any direction. Ruby was the toughest rider in town.
We finally bought a Model T Ford truck for $250.00. After which we roamed the country side in all directions.
That Springtime the countryside was covered with bluebell, California Poppies and at Christmas time you could go out to the Cottonwood groves and pick Mistletoe. It grew in the crotch of the Cottonwoods trees it was like a mould.
We drove to a Mexican town called Sonora to buy groceries and clothes. We bought Connie a pair of shoes for 98 cents. It was a very interesting town.
We went for a ride one day and found a Mexican goat ranch. They had the kids or baby goats staked out in the yard. They weren't much bigger than a medium sized cat, with long angora wool. We were fortunate enough to be there when the Mother goats came back from grazing and they went straight to their own babies. It was quite a sight. The Mexicans staked the babies so the Mother goats would leave to graze in the mountains and they would arrive back home about sundown. The joyful sound of the babies seeing their Mothers coming back was really something to listen to.
Mom made Connie's and her own clothes on an old treadle machine. She did the laundry on the washboard and hung clothes out on the line to dry.
The next Spring before it got too hot we decided to go back to Utah.
When we arrived back in Mapleton, we stayed with Grandma and Uncle Joe.
Our next daughter, Venice Lou was born on September 19,1931, at 10:30 P.M. on Tuesday. We were living at Grandma Halverson's house, where we were renting two rooms from her.
Dad's powder experience from working in the mines, enabled him to go to work for Holley Brothers Construction, building the city water project for Mapleton. He was hired to do the powder work on the intake line to the reservoir and he worked for John Holley steadily after completing that job. John Holley also owned a store.
One fall while Dad was cutting meat at John Holley's store, Welby Warren went hunting deer and shot a young bear. He didn't have a place to hang it so he asked John if he could hang it in his old garage. The weather was cold as to preserve the meat so after Dad skinned the bear and looked at it he was surprised to see it looked like a human body, kind a creepy.
Several people had asked Welby for bear steaks and of course Dad cut up the steaks for him. One Saturday night before closing, Dad decided to fool Mother, Joe, Merrill, and Dads brothers (Thann and Case). His brothers were staying at Dad's house for awhile. Dad brought home some bear steaks, choice loin, in butcher paper. Mother asked Dad what kind of meat this was, and he said, "It was pork chops. Mother said, "No, it was bear for sure", but she decided to go along with the joke. She fixed the hash brown spuds to cook so Dad started cooking the steaks. The boys were sitting down at Grandma's kitchen table playing cards. Dad asked them if they would like some of the hash browns and some pork chops he was cooking. They readily agreed and set down to a big platter of meat and the rest of the meal. You can be sure that they had a big appetites, and after each one had eaten three or four chops, Dad sat down and ate with them. Then he said, "That's pretty good bear, isn't it? Uncle Joe's lower jaw seemed to fall on his chest, he turned green and headed for the back door. The others stopped eating abruptly and started cussing Dad for fooling them. Although they had enjoyed the chops very much they changed their minds when they heard it was bear.
Dad said, "John Holley sold meat to all the coal mining camps in Carbon County, Utah.
Mother had asked Dad to get a mother pig who was going to have a litter, for our family to keep. Dad brought a snow white sow, which had 10 little pigs. Now during the depression, pigs were cheap to buy. When the little pigs were three months old they decided to butcher them which Dad and Mother did themselves. They had prepared them specially for roasting on a spit, so they had to be cleaned properly. The tail had to be left on so it was curled, ears had to be cleaned, Mouth and nose also, then a red apple was put in their mouths. They were sold for $3.00 a piece to Holley's who took them to the mining camp. They received $30.00 for their efforts.
We moved across the road and rented another house one-half block North of Grandma's. This was a nice brick home, $10.00 a month rent.
After a while Holley Brothers obtained a contract in Springville, Utah for another water project and after completing that job, Dad started working at Holley's Store butchering. Slaughtering pigs, cows and cutting meat for the store. After a while he hired Dad to run the service station, which was just across the road from Grandma Halverson's house.
The next Spring business was so bad, that Dad took a job on construction for J.C. Nielsen, (Elda's husband) operating a stationary dragline, excavating for a bridge job in Indianola, Utah, which is above the town of Thistle about ten miles.
After that job was completed Dad went to work for Blake Palferyman Construction Co., constructing a highway from Thistle to Birdseye, Utah. "Smuss" Allen and Dad hired out as "Spanking Donkeys", a nickname for teamsters on that project. Dad worked only a few days when the superintendent, Mark Lund called him aside and asked him if he knew anything about trucks and if he could repair brakes on the trucks working under the shovel. He successfully repaired them and as they were starting up the shovel work now, he asked for the job as an oiler on the shovel. Lund, gave Dad the job and Dad was fascinated with the operation of that "American Goffer Shovel".
After his job of oiling and everything else was done he spent hours watching every movement, that Don Addis, the operator, went through operating this machine. After about thirty days Don was called back to Ohio and Don told Lund that Dad could operate the shovel. Now had never even held the controls of that shovel but decided, with the Lords help, he could do anything anyone else could do, given half a chance and Dad successfully completed the job there.
In 1929 and 1930 the great depression hit and it created hard ships on the entire population. Scarcity of jobs and bank moratoriums made it more extreme. President Hoover was in office then.
Political parties dominated the Federal Work Projects that were financed by the Federal Government. Each party favoring their members with practically all of these low paid jobs. In order to obtain a job on highway construction or any Federally supported jobs, you were required to have a card from your local employment office, signed by the political party in control of politics. The Republicans dominated throughout the state of Utah at this time and if you were registered as a Demarcate, it was practically impossible to obtain a "Work Card" for any job that you were qualified for. the man in control would give these jobs to anyone in the Republican Party, whether they were qualified for anything but farming and would recommend them for operating jobs on machinery, that they had never seen before.
After Dad left John Holley's employment, he embarked on a career on highway construction because of better wages. He was listed as a Democrat and he had an extremely hard time finding employment because of the Republican control of the employment office and they would not issue him a work card. Finally Jim Whiting, a construction contractor, resenting the political parties control and of individuals needing work and after Dad applying for a card for a card so many times without success, Jim gave Dad a job and said, "Lew go to work", and he would obtain a card for him. After Jim did this, Dad didn't have any trouble getting work.
President Roosevelt snapped the country out of the depression. He gave jobs to everyone on the Public Works Administration, so many days a month. He created jobs, no matter what kind, to give the family man a small wage of cash money for their families. He started the Social Security System and Civilian CCC Camps, for young men, one of these camps built the Grassy lake Dam above Ashton, Idaho. Thann and Case, Dads brothers, went to the CCC Camp in Riggins, Idaho. The boys were housed, clothed and fed and given a wage, part of which was sent home to their families for support.
Ed. Clyde of the Wilford (W.W.) Clyde Construction Co. in Springville, Utah came after Dad to go to work on a shovel job at Vernal, Utah. He was gone for four months and then returned home and then went on another job to Smiths Ferry, Idaho, above Boise. He had to move a Shovel from near Burly up to that job. He had to tear it down, load it on a transport truck and haul it to Smith's Ferry, reassemble it there, to do the job, then tear it down and move it back to Brigham City, Utah.
Mother, Connie and Venice decided to go be with Dad where-ever his job took him, so they bought a trailer house and joined Dad in Idaho.
After they came back to Brigham City and Dad reassembled the shovel again Ed. Clyde asked Dad to take the equipment and the truck back to Springville. Mother and girls returned to Grandma Halverson's and set the trailer there.
After that, Dad went to work in Bingham Canyon, Utah for the Utah Copper Company, on the "Track Gang" building and repairing track. With his previous shovel experience, he soon got a transfer to shovel repair ("Bull Gang"), on one of the repair crews that serviced the shovels in the Bingham Mine. The Bingham Mine was a copper mine, an open pit. Mining from ground level down in to the ground.
The family moved to Bingham, Utah and rented a house. They bought a new Ford two-door sedan.
The price of copper dropped and the Utah Copper immediately had a general lay off and Dad was laid off also. They moved to Spanish Fork, Utah where Dad went to work on a shovel for W.W. Clyde again. This job took him to Ruby's Inn, Utah by Brice Canyon.
Mother and girls stayed in Spanish Fork. Soon afterwards our third daughter, Marsha, was born on Friday, November 25, 1938 at 9:30 a.m. She was still born and they were heart broken. She was buried in the Spanish Fork Cemetery in the Halverson Family plot.
One experience Mother remembered while living in Spanish Fork was when Connie and Venice wanted Mother to buy them roller skates. Mother said, "No", because she was afraid they would bruise their knees, elbows and possibly break bones. So Connie and Venice wrote a letter down at Ruby's Inn, Utah and told him that they really wanted some roller skates. Dad ordered the skates through Sears Catalog and had them delivered to the girls in Spanish Fork. This was unbeknown to Mother and when the skates arrived, she was really mad at everyone. During that Summer Mother and the girls went to visit Dad down at Ruby's Inn. They played with little Horny Toads that ran wild in the desert but were very tame. They hated to leave their little friends when they had to return to Spanish Fork.
After that job, Dad went to work for Kennecott Copper Co, in McGill, Nevada, as a steel worker. The family moved there and rented a house for $18.00 a month, the address was 29 Second Street. It , had hot and cold running water, two bedrooms, then they closed in the front porch for another bedroom. It has a nice bathroom, back porch, cellar and a garage. It was a tan color, wood-frame house with a front yard and back, a nice garden spot and trees.
McGill at one time was the second largest town in the State of Nevada. Employing over 2000 men at the Mill and the Smelter.
The Mill at McGill prepared the ore and extracted the concentrates from the waste sand. Then, only the concentrate was shipped to the smelter, to be put in furnaces to melt down, then poured into molds and cooled into solid copper blocks, which were about six inches thick, two feet wide and three feet high and weighed a lot! These copper blocks were shipped back to New York to electrolytic furnaces to be remelted and there they extracted the precious metals. Gold, silver and platinum were in the copper.
The steel work consisted of building steel buildings and covering them all with the corrugated steel sheeting and repairing the existing buildings. Resheeting the buildings wear-ever the acid conditions, damaged the roofing.
The fumes from the Mill produced acid in the air that would eat the steel sheeting on the buildings. Acid was used to help separate the copper from the ore so the oil would stick to the copper particles and would float them off in large bubbles which was called the "Floating Process", recovering the copper from the ore.
In 1938, McGill was a very modern town, built on a side hill with schools, churches, ballpark, recreation hall and a swimming pool. Many different nationalities were segregated to themselves, such as Jap Town, Austrian Town, Greek Town, Bohemians, Turks, Italians and one colored family. Dads brother Thann lived next door and Grandpa Lewis R. Bowen lived in Townsite.
There was a Mormon, Catholic, and a Community Greek Orthodox, churches in town. All these different nationalities children, mingled together in public schools. At this time Connie was 10 and Venice was 7 years old.
In 1940, Sondra Faith was born. April 9th at 20 minutes to 8.00 on Tuesday. She was delivered by Dr. Hovey at the Nursing Home, the bill was $50.00. Our Bishops wife, Mrs. Buhrman ran the nursing home.
Dad was called to work as second counselor to the McGill Ward MIA. He held that position for about a year. Then he was called as a first counselor to the Stake MIA.
When Sondra was a baby, Mother and Dad decided to be married in the LDS Temple. The family went to Salt Lake City and were married in the Salt Lake Temple and had their children sealed to them. While Dad and Mother were being married Connie and Venice and baby Sondra were put into the nursery there. Sondra was in a playpen away from Connie and Venice and was frightened and crying when President Heber J. Grant, the President of the Mormon Church, came into the nursery and picked Sondra up and quieted her. He tended her in the nursery for awhile. Mother and Dad did not get to meet him. While Mother and Dad were in the Ordinance Room, President Mark Austin of the Idaho Stake, who was the Stake President when Grandfather Casey Potter Bowen was Bishop, recognized Dad and shook hands with them and told about remembering Grandpa Casey Potter and of Dads father, Lewis R. Bowen.
Sometime during the summer of 1941, Mother and Dad decided to vacation in Idaho. Dad's brother, Case, who was divorced by his wife, Ann, wanted to go to Idaho with them. We drove to Idaho in our 1937 Ford Sedan. Connie, Venice, and Sondra went with us.
Grandpa Lewis R. Bowen of Lyman, Idaho has told us that Uncle Clyde Bowen of Pocatello, Idaho, had some property, three, 40 acre lots of woodland, adjoining his property, Which he thought Uncle Clyde would sell us at a reasonable price. Grandpa Lewis R. hooked up a team of horses to a hay rack and loaded us all on and drove us all over this property of Uncle Clyde's, so we could see whether we wanted to buy it or not, depending on the price.
We decided to go to Pocatello and talk to Uncle Clyde about the property. He told us he would sell us the two, 40 acre plots for $400.00 a piece. We decided to take them, paying $500.00 down and the remaining in one years time. Which we did. Uncle Case wanted to stay in Idaho longer so we returned to Nevada alone.
Sometime later Grandpa Lewis R. Bowen came back to McGill and found a job and stayed there. He stayed with Dad and Mother until he could get a house and then sent for his wife, Verd and family.
In McGill, Mother remembered hearing about the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor on the radio about 9:00 a.m.. Dad was at work and Connie and Venice were in school.
After the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941, all the Japanese people were moved to consecration camps in California for national security. Although many were natural born citizens and very loyal. These people clung to their native Japanese customs and were suspected of being spies for Japan. Therefore, they were all taken to the camps.
Many Germans were watched closely, suspected of spy activities for Germany but they were allowed to remain in McGill.
It was at this time that Dad joined the Military Police in McGill. It's duty was to protect the Mill and Smelter from sabotage, such as bombing these places to destroy the production of copper, as it was a vital metal needed during the war. Dad was 33 years old with four children at the time of his enlistment.
The Military Police System was required around all large industrial plants throughout the U.S.A.. This was strictly made up of volunteer members, who worked at the plants. They were sworn-in subject to the U.S. Army duty regulations, subject even to court-martial for disobedience to orders. They were required to train under Military leadership for five or six hours per week. They were trained with " Police Billy Clubs" and had to buy their own shirts and hats. Dad has never received his release papers and is still held in a reserve capacity for future emergencies .
During the War , they were issued stamps for all commodities, according to the number of children in the family. Red stamps were for your meat, Blue for dairy products, another stamp was for cloth goods, pins an needles were unavailable. We could buy margarine but no butter, and the amount we received never seemed like enough for the family, so Mother mixed Crisco , margarine and the coloring capsule together. They issued no sugar, so to make cakes, Mother used molasses and syrup to sweeten them and cookies. Mother would make a large dripper cake and sometimes sprinkle raisins on the top, if she could get them. She made plum pudding and squash pie. Dad would come home from work and eat three squash pies before supper This has become a tradition among family cooks.
When Mother would go to the commissary to get supplies, she wanted to go early to get there first because whoever came first would have their choice of things and when the supply was gone they didn't have anymore until the next shipment came in. Dad said, he had bought potatoes on the "Black Market", so to speak. Spuds were to be sold only in stores but he knew a man who raised them and he would sell Dad 100 pounds at a time.
One winter, Dad attended Kennecott's evening school for employees. He went three times a week. Studying welding, lay-out and pattern work. He spent two winters attending Tin Shop Classes, which taught them how to make all kinds of tin articles from stakes, flues, tanks and tin boxes.
In early Spring, we were blessed with another daughter, Claudia Lea, born March 17, 1942.
Grandma Mary Halverson's birthday is also March 17.
Deer were plentiful in Nevada and Mother and Dad decided to start hunting. They were the first husband and wife team in the community to hunt together. They hunted for pleasure but mostly because they needed the meat.
On one of these trips Dad and Mother decided to hunt West Bird Creek. They arrived there well after daylight, parked the car and began walking. Mother was walking up a little ridge and Dad was across on the opposite ridge. Mother spotted a deer and kneeled down by a bush to steady her aim. She shot between the deers front legs, the deer quickly turned around to see where the shot was coming from and she shot again and grazed it's front leg, he turned again sideways and she shot again, shooting him in the chest cavity, blowing the bottom of it's heart completely off. Mother was so thrilled, she cried and said, "No one will ever believe that I shot this buck", and to her amazement at the checking station, the game warden did not believe she shot him!. Mothers "Danish" flared up and she challenged him to walk down the road and she would show him what a good shot she was, But he refused. Good thing!!
Uncle Clyde passed away and Dad and Grandpa Bowen went to Idaho to the funeral. After the funeral, Dad asked Uncle Clyde's wife Aunt Suzzie about the remaining 40 acre plot. She told Dad that Uncle Clyde had wanted to see Dad get the last 40 acre plot, so if he would pay her the same amount as he had paid for the other plots, she would let him buy it. She took care of all the legal matters and gave them clear title to the 120 acres, which cost $1200.00 total. Uncle Grant Bowen offered to buy the last 40 acres from Aunt Suzzie but she told him no, because Uncle Clyde had promised it to Dad.
On another trip, Dad and Mother went up Timber Creek, which was 30 minutes from home, they parked the car at the base of the mountain, walked North upon the plateau, which was covered with a dense growth of Mahogany, which is the choice bush for deer. When we had climbed up the bench to a grove of Mahogany, Mother sat down to rest with "Tuffy" their shepherd dog. Dad decided to take a circle around. Deer were all around Mother, just hiding quietly, but Tuffey spotted a deer and drew Mothers attention to it. She aimed and shot the side of its head completely off. She was carefully bleeding it and waiting for Dad to return, which he did, but empty handed. Dad "Foiled again". Her deer turned out to be an old Doe and they couldn't use any of the meat. Dad always made sure the meat was taken care of properly so that it didn't taste bad. He always cut and wrapped it for the family.
Another time they took the 1937 Ford and went hunting again at Duck Creek. Both had 30-40 Craigs, Army rifles, (they were declared official army rifles). They packed their lunch, which consisted of bread, butter and peach jam sandwiches and (of course) Grandma Cookies and sometimes they would have apples if they were available and always a canteen full of water. They would refill the canteen at springs in the mountains. They walked along in the Mahogany, Junipers and Pine Trees. They always hunted together in the same direction about a fourth of a mile apart, so as to flush out deer to each other. Many times Tuffy went along but would only hunt with Mother refusing Dads company. Mother was a very good shot with a gun and would most often get her deer first. On this hunting trip, Mother had climbed the mountains until she was tired and their canteen was about empty, so Dad suggested Mother sit down and rest while Dad made a circle above to a cold spring, filling the canteen and perhaps driving a deer out for Mother to see. While she was sitting she spotted a deer up above her in the shale rock. She aimed for the rear end, the biggest part. The deer was climbing up the side hill and as he raised his head she shot, hitting him in the base of the right antler, blowing it completely out of his head. Mother yelled for Dad but Uncle Case who was hunting there alone, heard Mother call and immediately went to see what she was yelling about. Uncle Case finished dressing the buck for her and sat down and had something to eat with Mother. After he finished he said he had to get hunting again so he left and Mother waited for Dad to return. When he did that took the buck home as it was the only one they got that day. When they got home they noticed that one of the bucks antlers was missing. About two weeks later they went hunting in the same spot again an Dad went up into the shale rock and Mother directed him to the spot, he went several step beyond and to his amazement found the three point antler from her buck.
Along with deer hunting trips during the war, Dad and Mother would also hunt cottontail rabbits. They were delicious Dad had a shotgun and Mother carried the 22 rifle. One day Mother was target practicing on jack rabbits, who couldn't be eaten, she fired and shot a hole through both of his ears with one shot. How she did, she'll never know but it was a true story.
After Dad skinned the rabbits, Mother would prepare them as she would to fry chicken. It was really better than fried chicken. Someone told Mother to try roasting them. She prepared it with dressing inside and started baking them, she opened the oven to see how things were going and when she looked, she was shocked, it reminded her of a small baby, so she would never cook rabbits again.
At the most crucial time of the War, the Government asked all civilians who had good cars to sell them to the Government, as they were in need of many vehicles to enable the factories to produce War machines. We decided to sell our car for the War effort and we received $450.00, this money was used to make the first payment on the land in Idaho. The next year Dad paid the balance on the first two 40 acre plots.
On October 8, 1944 at twenty minutes to 8:00 a.m. Dr. Cowgill, a lady doctor delivered Sharon Kathleen, their sixth girl, at their home. Connie was 16 years old at that time and was a real great help to Mother. She attended and graduated from White Pine High-school, in Ely.
Dad had serious back problems, finally he had to go to the Washoe Hospital in Reno, Nevada. Doctor Ernie Mack a Neurosurgeon, removed a disc from his spine. He wore a back brace afterwards.
In 1946 Dad bought an International one and a half ton truck and the family traveled to Idaho for a vacation, leaving Connie in McGill. While in Idaho they camped on their land and one day went Huckleberring at Lime Kiln Canyon with Uncle Mack, Elva and family.
The following Summer Dad took the truck and went to Idaho again on vacation. He hauled cinder block for the new house from Idaho Falls. He stacked the blocks near the homesite and return to Nevada.
Mother, Sondra, Claudia and baby Kathy took that same truck to Utah to visit the Halverson Family. Everyone thought Mother was a real brave woman and a very good driver to have driven that truck as far as Utah, with the girls and a baby. Connie and Venice stayed with Dad.
In June 1948, we loaded everything on the truck and moved to Archer, Idaho. There were mixed feelings about moving to Idaho. Venice was in her second year of high school and for sure didn't want to leave her friends and home, but their move was necessary.
When they arrived in Rexburg, they were having a terrible rainstorm. They rented a cabin in Rexburg at the Johnson cabins, on the second corner going into town, they stayed their three weeks. It rained for three weeks.
The girls stayed at the cabin while Dad and Mother worked at Archer at the homesite. Dad drove a pipe and mounted a pitcher pump for culinary water.
It was a happy Summer but we realized a lot of work had to be done before Winter set in. Normally too many people would hinder your efforts to get things done, but everyone helped in many different ways, working on the house, going to buy food, getting meals and washing clothes.
Many people came to help us, Uncle Reese and LaVerda, Merrill and Doris, Jim and Mary, Harvey and Beth, Tina and Norma Fell, Wes McNut, Ford and Marge, Jake and Hy Whittaker, and Mack Bowen. All these people came at different times all summer long. When they came to help, they brought all their children.
Our place was like a summer vacation spot for everyone. All the kids entertained themselves with fishing or just playing around in the many trees. They brought tents with them to sleep in at nights.
Dad fixed one big army tent, to be used as a kitchen, with everything in it that we needed. He hooked up a hot water tank to the kitchen stove for hot water. Our icebox was a two sided box covered with burlap, with a barrel above, that had a small hole in it. The barrel was filled with water. The dripping water kept the burlap wet, which kept our milk, butter and other foods cool.
This homesite was located in the timberland. To get down to the house , first you had to cross a canal which was filled completely, during the Summer for irrigation purposes. The water was quite swift and pretty deep. Further down the stream the canal split with one channel going on and the other diverted by irrigation gates. The gates created falls. This was a real good place to watch for fish and even to catch them. The neighborhood children would all come here to go swimming in the main channel. All of these kids had to be good swimmers because the water was so fast moving. The channel we swam in, had a foot bridge, really only one plank across. We swam up stream real fast so that we'd get across before getting down to the plank bridge. The water was real cold some days and it would give you a headache when you would dive in. A lot of the kids would come down in the evening after a days work, maybe that was their daily bath? Maybe even the adults!
In September 1948 we moved into the house, with much of the finishing yet to be done. We had a wood burning stove in the kitchen and a heating stove in the front room. The kitchen and the front room were the only rooms plastered, the other rooms were only cinder block. We didn't have electricity yet so we used gas lights. We found the house to be cozy and warm.
Dad signed up at the employment office in Rexburg, listed as a steel worker and a layout welder. Ricks College hired Dad to build flues, ducts and vents for heating the plant at the college. He also installed a dust collector, which was new to this area. Kennecott was one of the first mining and smelting companies to require that they be installed for the health of their employee's, working in dusty conditions. Dad's experience with Kennecott enabled him to mount these dust collectors at the College for the first time.
Eldon Hart was the Treasury Officer at Ricks at this time. Eldon's brother, Carl Hart was the welding instructor for the College and he couldn't make an over-head weld himself and very little other welding expertise to speak of, so Eldon hired Dad to cover for Carl's inability in his job.
One funny story Dad remembered was that Eldon owned a construction company, which he contracted work through the College. Now Eldon would have Dad do repairs on his machinery and Eldon paid Dad through the College and not from his own account. A puzzle to Dad and Eldon got away with it..
Dad worked there until Winter set in. Eldon wanted Dad to stay on teaching welding and layout work to the students offering only $3500.00 a year in wages. This was very low wages to Dad and he couldn't afford to accept it.
On June 15, 1950 a beautiful morning, much to our surprize Monte Lewis was born. A boy finally!! He was born in Rigby, Idaho, at the Maternity Home. Kathy was six years old and she apparently wanted a little sister, said : "Take him back, Mommy, take him back"!! A beautiful boy, dark hair, what fun we had with him.
Dad then went to work for Jack Olson Construction Company, repairing machinery and welding on their gravel crusher.
Next Dad went to work for Western Equipment Co., in Idaho Falls overhauling crushers, shovels, bulldozers and all kinds of welding jobs. One day Dad was working on a chain of a drag-line, when a man who was up in the cab bumped the controls and Dads index finger on his left hand was cut off at the first joint. He always told kids who asked about his finger, that he got hungry one day and bit it off!!
Dad would come home from a days work and milk his cows, feed the horse and other animals on the farm. He would also farm on weekends. He raised hay and grain after he had cleared the trees off the land. He had a water pump hooked up to an old John Deere tractor, that pumped water out of the canal on his fields. Dad was always working, not a lazy bone in his body.
Dad always held a position in the Archer L.D.S. Ward.
Mother held many positions in the Ward.
Dad left Western Equipment Co. and started working for the Idaho Department of Highways at Rigby, Idaho. Working in the shop there or out on jobs where the equipment had broken down.
This timber land lay next to the Snake River. There was a dike that separated and protected us from the river. We had several ideal fishing spots located along this stretch of the river. In late Summer when the water was low in the river Mother would go fishing and the kids would go swimming. Lots of sand bars to play on and pools of water to play in.
Our cows would pasture in the timber all day and then at night we would have to round up the cows and bring them in for milking. Sometimes we would get the cows on a horse or go on foot. The cows wore cow bells, so we were able to hear them and then find them. We raised chickens, pigs and cows, which would furnish all our meat for the family.
Mother always had a big garden full of vegetables. She would always put up in bottles, fresh raspberries which she would have to go pick herself up to Hacking's or Cheney's. She always did bushels of peaches in the late Summer. She made all kinds of jams and many kinds of bottled fruit. Seems like she had thousands of bottles when it came time to wash them. Mother was an excellent cook and always prepared the most delicious meals. She would only go to the grocery store once a month.
While living on the farm Mother and Monte decided on a project of their own, raising pigs. Dad bought them a "Chester White", a sow, a real white creature. She raised 12 piglets. When they were a month or two old, we made a pasture South of the old corral, where there was plenty of water and green feed. The netting wire fence held the Mother but the little pigs were smaller and they went randomly everywhere they wanted to go. By fall they were getting quite large and hard to handle. We put an ad in the paper to sell them. Wrennel Cook came to the house to look at the pigs. and bought them all. The next day he and his Father. came to load them up. Paying Mother for them. The next morning Wrennel came to the house with a wild look on his face and wanted the money back. Mother asked why? and he said all the pigs were gone! We hadn't seen them and didn't know anything about them. Finally, she thought and said lets go down in the pasture. They surely couldn't have come back two miles, through pastures, fields, canals and roads!! But when they got to the pasture to their amazement every pig was there with smiles on their faces. How they found their was a mystery to them.
In 1960 an earthquake rumbled through the Hebken Lake and Yellowstone area. It happened at night. Kathy had just gotten home from some activity and gotten in bed. She and Claudia shared a bed together. She heard a low rumbling sound, the ground started tipping back and forth, tossing her from side to side. She thought she had gone crazy and didn't dare get out of bed or wake Claudia beside her. When it stopped she didn't dare get out of bed and didn't know what had happened so she went to sleep. The next day the neighbor came down to see if they were alright. He said the ground must have tipped a lot because the canal had spilled over its banks. Later when the news reports came through there had been people killed at Hebken Lake area, the mountain had slid off burying many people who were camping in the canyon. It also had interrupted Old Faithful eruptions for awhile.
Dad had worked for the State Highway Department for eighteen and one-half years when he accidently bumped his right knee on a welding bench, causing a great deal of pain. He finally had his knee operated in Idaho Falls. The day after surgery Dad had a heart attack. He never seemed to recover enough to go back to work. After a few months he did try to go back to work, but found his knee was too painful.
He was completely exhausted and could not regain his strength back so he decided to retire. It became impossible for Dad to farm or take care of the farm animals. So he sold the land to Earl Wilcox.
Dad and Mother bought two and one-half acres of land Southwest of Rexburg. There they put a double-wide trailer home. They placed the trailer home on a nice foundation and started a lawn with lots of trees and nice garden spot to the back of the house. Dad planted apple trees, raspberries, and everything he could think of, and they all grew like crazy. In front of the house was a small ditch of water and along he planted poplar trees, which really did well. They had created another beautiful home and yard.
They spent a lot of time up in the Teton Basin, either visiting Burton, Kathy and family, fishing on the Teton River or up huckleberrying.
They camped and fished a lot up in Island Park and Henry's Lake Flats. Connie and Bud camped with them a lot.
Dad and Mother lived west of Rexburg for about four years. One Saturday morning we received notification that the Teton Dam had just broken and we had to evacuate the low land up to the Rexburg bench.
With the settlement they received from selling their property in Rexburg they bought two city lots in Overton, Nevada. They bought a pre-built home and had it placed on the property. It was a beautiful home. Again they started planting their yard. They planted grass, palm, mulberry, pomegranate, and oleander, and grape vines. Again they had created a beautiful home and yard. They were just a hop, skip and a jump from the church and a couple of blocks from the grocery store and Post Office. In the summer the town's population was low but in the Winter the place overflowed with retired coming to enjoy the warm weather snowbirds from everywhere.
Overton is a desert town with the Moapa River running through on the East side of town. The soil was red or orange. The Valley of Fire was only a few miles. The Northern fingers of Lake Mead was only a few miles South of Overton, with boat marina's and shore conveniences.
After staying in Overton for-------years Dad and Mother decided to sell out and return to Rexburg, Idaho. What successes they've had in all their moves, and this was no exception. They bought a home in Lyman, Idaho. The yard was completed and a garden spot in the back. This home was just about a mile North of the house that Dad lived in when he was a small boy.
They in later years have moved a few more times to be with one child or another. They now live in Idaho to be with children, friends and memories.