Tuesday, July 12, 2011



Uncle Jim was a very special uncle with a great sense of humor .  He had such a hard life as a boy.  It's lucky that he could stop and just laugh at the world and things around him.  His autobiography is too interesting to change in any way.  Uncle Jim was mostly self-taught; he received very little formal schooling.  The life of a pioneer was a hard one.  Some of his stories could easily bring forth a tear.  His humor made him fun to be around.  I am told of how Jim and his sister Myrtle would imitate the old Danish folks by talking Danish while imitating the different family members.  The girls and uncle jim were the only children to speak the language.  These two were always quite close and did many things together.  The family endured their many escapades.

I can remember Uncle Jim in his wonderful garden.  No one could ever grow things like he could.  When I was young, children were only supposed to be seen and not heard.  Yet he always took the time to show us how to plant and grow things.  He loved to graft branches on trees.  It was fun to come back the next year to see the bud was now a healthy limb on the tree.  He even made one tree bear three different kinds of fruit.

He would give us samples of his garden and trees.  I was from a mining town and I was amazed what he could do.

I did learn not to ask for the horseradish, boy was it hot, it would bring tears to your eyes yet he would spread a large portion on a sandwich eat it like candy. 

Mary, his wife was a daughter of Willard J. and Eliza Stanley Vincent.  She came from a large family of six girls and six boys. 

She was the secretary of the Spanish Fork Fifth Ward for fourteen years, secretary of Primary for seven years and a Relief Society visiting teacher.  She was a member of the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers and the Sun Bonnet Camp.

 Most of all she was famous for her collection of salt and pepper shakers.  Even in New Zealand they are still asking about her collection.

In later years when I was old enough to really appreciate the work of a skilled craftsman, Jim took me on a walk to an old pioneer barn.  All of the roofing and siding had fallen off.  The nails had simply rusted away.  The main framing timbers were mortised to receive the tenon part of the next beam and secured with a wooden dowel.  The barn was one hundred years old and was still as solid as the day it was built.

After his wife died in 1965, Uncle Jim would board a bus to California to stay in Yucca Valley with his daughter, Donna Ellen Halverson.  Donna had worked may years for a Charlie Barner and his wife in their home.  Donna was treated as part of the family and Uncle Jim was always welcome.  From there he would often go to Los Gatos to see his sister Myrtle and her daughters, Leona and Erma Lorraine.  They would take him to visit the many sites in the area. 

He loved to fish, Strawberry and Scofield were his favorites.

Uncle Jim died peacefully in his sleep in my fathers home in West Jordan.


Donna Ellen:  unmarried

Earl:  married Fawn Phillips.  Their children are Garth, Eric J. and Todd.

Wells:  married Afton Backus.  Their children are Sharon (Mrs. Ross Lenmburg), Wells Dee and Michael J.  After Afton's death, Wells married Rosalie Brown.

James Lynn married Mary Lou Rosenlof.  Their children are Marilyn Halverson and Karen (Mrs. Thayne Maas).

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