JOSEPH LUND HALVERSON
by EUGENE H. HALVERSON
Joseph Lund Halverson was born 3 January, 1904 in Mapleton, Utah the seventh son of Ane Mary and Lars Andrew Halverson. There's supposed to be something special about being a seventh son but life according to what my Father said was unkind to Uncle Joe. He was born with many afflictions, he was sickly and cried a great deal. I can't seem to find out where they lived here in Mapleton at this time, this was the third time that they had made a home here. They had moved many times trying to find a decent farm, a place to settle down on, they were poor and life was hard. Joe was just a tiny baby when they moved to Idaho, he was born the same year they moved and life was hard on everyone, my father said I still remember Joe's constant crying.
My father can't remember anymore about Joe until they moved back to Palmyra in the Winter of 1910 where they started school the following year. He said, "Joe didn't do so well in school, he was still sick a lot and a slow learner. He wasn't retarded he just took a long time to learn or didn't want to learn. He never did like school and was always in trouble with the teacher. He said, "It wasn't long before Dad took him out of school".
Joe was given one of Pete Jensen's pups, he named him "Perg" what a loyal wonderful dog he was. Everyone loved him and he protected all the kids from all strangers. Perg must have tried to protect Joe from his Father one day it seems like Perg chased Andrew into the outhouse and wouldn't let him out. Andrew wanted to kill the dog but he didn't. "Yes", this is the same dog Joe and Merrill used to sell about once a week for 10 cents to go to the show and old Perg would be back on the front porch the next morning. When his sister, Mary used to walk to Springville to work for J.C. Nielsen, Perg made sure she got there, just before entering town Perg would stop and watch her go. He would come back in the evening and meet her in the same place and escort her home again.
I believe every dog they ever had was named Perg after that.
His Father made a good farmer out of him, he was the only boy to stay on the farm. When his Father and brothers went to Magna to work for Utah Copper Co. and else where Joe always stayed home with his Mother. In the Fall of 1930 his Father, who was dying asked Joe to promise to stay with the farm and care for his mother, which he did. Joe was about 26 years old at the time, he always said, "This was why I never married.
I used to stay at Grandma's for two or three Summers when school was out, Uncle Joe would say "Hello" but would never do anything with me. My father said Joe told him he liked me because I never got in to anything and never caused him trouble. Every night Joe would always go across the street to Holley's Store and be with the boys. Grandma would sit at the window in the dark waiting for him to come home. In the morning Uncle Joe would get up and make a fire and make some coffee. He would put it in a cup with a saucer and give it to her in bed, just like his Father had done for her all his life. Farm work was especially hard for him because he had no machinery, the wheat he cut with a scythe and a cradle that would gather or roll the wheat in bundles to be tied with a handful of wheat (no string). Several shocks of these bundles would then be stood wheat side up, leaning against each other to dry, when dry they would be hauled to a thrasher. The scythe was a large curved blade with two upright handles, it took a real man to handle it. His Father was a real master with a scythe. A lot of the hay was cut this way to. The hay was raked and dried, loaded with pitchforks on a wagon and driven to the front of the barn where it was grabbed by some large forks that lifted it high in the air and into the barn to be dumped.
Joe worked for his father and other farmers in the area but mostly for Pete Jensen, a relative on Grandma's side of the family. Uncle Joe did this until he was about 40 years old, until the Second
World War began. This was when he was drafted in to the Army, even though he had a lot physical problems, heart, flat feet to name a few. Joe seemed to like the Army, we have many pictures of him in uniform. He was sent to Missouri where he stayed for about three or four months. But his Mother didn't like him there, so she and Pete Jensen got him deferred, the Nation needed farmers more than they needed soldiers. I believe Joe would have liked to stay there, I thought his short stay done wonders for him.
I'm not sure just how long he worked for Pete Jensen and for the other farmers but one day his brother Chris said, "The Denver-Rio Grand Railroad needs men with the War and all, they can't find enough men, you will earn a lot more money there". So Uncle Joe began working in Thistle as a Sander or Sandman, I don't really know how they did it there but where I worked you shoveled the wet sand between the furnace and a screen where it would dry and fall through the screen. This dry sand would then be loaded on the engines, the Engineer would use it when he needed traction to pull over the mountain. It was hard work but Uncle Joe loved it. He was working here when he begin having heart problems and they took him to the hospital. I don't know whether he died days later or years later.
He saved quite a bit of money in time, this was how he was able to build a modern home for his Mother. Joe and Merrill built the new home. Dad said the foundation of the old house which was large rocks sank and cracked the walls and a new house was the only answer. The two of them lived here until she died 12 March, 1956, his promise to his Father was kept and as if that was the only thing he lived for, Joe died a few months later 24 June, 1956.
Uncle Joe never had much in worldly things but he had many friends, everyone liked him and trusted him. When he died he had a very large viewing and everyone spoke of his many deeds and their love of him.