CONRAD JOHN HOLMES
CONRAD HJALMAR JOHANNESSON HOLMES
DOROTHY HELEN VIERTEL
by EUGENE H. HALVERSON
|Frisco School Kids--Con just left of big boy with overhauls|
Signe on back row and one place left
The first photograph of Con shows him and his sister Signe (my mother) in front of the little red school building in Frisco. He is one of the truly blonde headed boys in the front row. Eight grades were taught here by a Mrs. Boyer and another teacher in two small rooms. These classrooms were heated by a wood burning stove. Con spoke both English and some Swedish. He didn't seem to get his languages mixed up like my mother did. He wasn't treated like an immigrant. He always seemed to enjoy school and did well in school.
|James John Con Dorothy Holmes|
|Con fishing Provo River|
A few houses down the street lived Dorothy Viertel and he was really quite fond of her. He saved his money and bought an engagement ring. To make sure he did everything right and proper, he went down and asked Dorothy's mother if he could give her daughter this engagement ring and she said, "Yes." So he went to Dorothy to give the ring to her. "You mean you asked, Mother, before you asked me," she wanted to know. "I'm the one you were supposed to ask. My answer is, "No"! She sent him on his way. Con came back many times over a period of time but the answer was always, "No". One day she did take his ring and in time they were married in Nephi, Juab County, Utah on the 21 September 1933. Their marriage was later solemnized in the Manti Temple of the Latter-Day Saints of the Church of Jesus Christ. They began their married life by either renting a house or living with Grandpa. (still researching)
Dorothy Helen Viertel was born in Eureka, Utah 8 May, 1912, a daughter of Therese Marie Veit and Gustav Adolph Viertel. She had seven brothers and two sisters.
|Conrad Holmes, Emil Bodmer, Bert Chiles|
fishing the Provo River
About three years later Con and Dorothy's first son was born. He was James Conrad who was born in Eureka 14 December, 1936 and John Eugene who was born in Payson 23 February, 1945. James never married and now lives in Payson in the old family home. John is married and has at least four children and lives in Richland, Washington. Because of financial difficulties Dorothy put James in a nursery school and went to work at a store in Eureka. She was very unhappy about this but it was something that had to be done.
The family moved many times as Con would follow his trade looking for work. I have no idea how many times they did this.
James remembers when his father worked for the Sandstrom Mine on the Salmon River in Idaho. There was no running water in the house, no electricity and none of the conveniences of the times. They had coal oil lamps for light but what James remembers best is the real candles on the Christmas Tree.
Mining was a hard and a dirty work many carloads of ore would have to be loaded each day to even break even let alone make a profit. The mines were dark. The light was a carbide lamp worn on their hard-hat. Some mines were dusty and if you breathed enough of it you would die of silicosis. Others were hot enough to boil eggs, this was when the metals would be exposed to water and air. Here they would sometimes work in water up to their knees. There was always the danger of cave-ins and other hazards.
He was always careful and worked in the mines for many years before he injured himself. I believe it happened when he and another man were cutting a steel cable. His eye was struck by a piece of steel, blinding him instantly in one eye. For some reason his other eye began having trouble too. This injury caused a great deal of hardship for the family. It also caused Con to quit working in the mines. Eventually he got work as a custodian of the Park View School in Payson. He did this until suddenly one day he died in his home of a heart attack. He died 25 August, 1963 and was buried in Payson, Utah. My daughter, Diane, a teenager at the time remembers the day. She had walked up to visit her Grandmother, Signe Elisabeth Holmes Halverson. (She was Con's sister) "I found Grandma out near her yellow rosebushes just a crying her heart out." "What's wrong Grandma", she asked? Her Grandma said, "Con just died." She was quite close to him and loved her brother very much. He died at the early age of 52 years old and it was hard for her to believe that he was gone.
Uncle Con was a wonderful uncle of mine of whom I have many happy memories of. I will always remember the many deer hunting trips out into the West Desert. We went many places and done many things. Each time we went he would always want to try a new place. This was how I was able learn to love the desert so well, just as my son, David loves it too.
Aunt Dorothy's brother, Don Viertel gave her his house (the house that we all know in Payson, Utah) for caring for him in the years before his death. I'm sure that he will be blessed for it, don't know what Dorothy and Later James would have done without it. But this did cause other members of the Viertel to be angry with the Holmes'.
Both James and his mother felt like they were alone after Uncle Con died but we did our best and we did visit when we could. These were the years when Mother health was failing and both Lee and I were raising a family and building our houses while working at Kennecott Copper. And sometimes Aunt Dorothy would also be working and not at home when we did drop by.
Aunt Dorothy lived on for many years. I know she worked at Christensen's Department Store for many years, but their must have been other work. She was an active member of her Church (LDS) and I'm sure she had many callings but what they were, I don't know.
James had never married and he and his mother lived alone in the house that Don gave them. They remodeled the house inside and out; new siding outside and kitchen, bathroom and other rooms inside was made like new. Both Aunt Dorothy and James loved to work in the garden and it showed. It was always beautiful.
In time her health began to fail and one day she was diagnosed as having cancer for which she had an operation which in my opinion caused her even more pain and suffering than she already had. After this I began to notice her to become forgetful. She didn't like this and felt embarrassed because of it. I will always remember her as a wonderful aunt who was always very caring and dignified. I still remember when they lived in Eureka, I believe it was at Grandpa Holmes' house where I was also staying. (I was about 7 Years old) I will always remember the loving care given to me by her and my cousin Helen when I was so lonely and homesick. She also took me to Cedar City to visit someone, I never thought we would ever get there, but we did.
She died 1 November, 1989 at the Orem Care Center at the age of 77 years old. She was laid to rest next to her husband in the Payson Cemetery, Utah County, Utah. She was a widow for 26 years.