Experiences of my Great Grandparents and Family
(Hannah & Christian Brown)
(Told by my great Aunt Dora—age 81)
Father had a twenty acre farm west of town and east of it ran a large canal. We children had a lot of fun playing in the water. It was not deep enough to learn to swim in, however; we did have a lot of fun. I remember one time when we went out to this farm to haul hay, and as father was loading the hay on the wagon, Manilly who was only four or five kept lying on the ground in the shade of the wagon, and as the wagon moved along, she would follow in the shade. One time she got to near to the wheel and it ran over her leg breaking it. We got her upon the partially loaded wagon and came home. On the way home we past Hi Madson’s place and he had some ice in storage so we bought some to put it on her leg thinking it would help. I don't remember who set it but she was laid up for awhile. Her cow had a new calf and she couldn’t get out to see it, so we brought it to see her. We each claimed a cow with the large herd we had.
There was a man named Harmon Swindle who lived in an old log house on the north side just one block straight south of us. He had been burning trash on his place during the day. In the evening a wind came up and sparks from the fire blew across the street into Sam Shimmons corral, setting fire to his stacks of hay and straw. The sparks from this fire blew down onto our place. People who came to help said they wouldn’t give a nickel for our place that night. The machinery was pushed out of the sheds and the cows and horses were turn out of the corral. It surely looked like our place would go.
Father was down irrigating at the lower field. He could see the bright flames from the fire. Thinking it was our place on fire, he said he ran all the way home. Jim and mother were out to the corrals and came in and said, “Lets pray for our home.” To our surprise the sparks blew over our sheds and some of them lighted on some old straw below the place and started a fire there. Thanks to our heavenly Father our place was spared.
Father and mother were the parents of nine children. It took a lot of work to care for that many children and to keep them clothed and fed. At night when her work as done and her small children were in bed, she would spin wool into yarn, knit stockings for the family to wear in winter and card wool for quilts. One night after her days work was done, she sat by the kitchen window sewing, when she looked up there was an Indian with his face pressed against the window. She wasn’t long in blowing out the light and getting into bed. She was so startled.
In her day, woman did there washing by hand. They had a wash board to rub the clothes on and usually a large copper boiler to heat the water in. There was no water in the house, but an irrigation ditch just south of the house. This water was used for all purposes except for drinking. Drinking water was carried or hauled from the neighbor’s wells.
Mother didn’t work in the Church while her children were small. She attended Sacrament meeting and prepared her children to attend. Later in life she became a work director in the Ward. Loremma Larsen was president and she chose mother to be work director. This was quite an undertaking, one of her projects was to have the ladies make quilts. She had an agreement with Alma Magleby to buy the camp quilts that they make. She was on this committee when the North Ward Church was built. Sorena Swindle helped her, also Maryanne Larsen. They would use old suits of clothes to make these quilts from, and also demmings or overalls to line them with. One night mother had a dream. She saw in this dream a trunk in Sorena Swindle’s Home that was just full of old suits of clothes. She mentioned this to her, she (Sorena) had forgotten all about them. These they used for making quilt.
Sunday, eggs were gathered for church. We had white-topped buggies and Manilla or Magda would drive mother around in this buggy. Then there was wheat to gather for the Relief Society. Mother was a teacher in Relief Society for many years. Joan Swan and Rese Madsen always wanted her to be their Relief Society teacher, neither one were members of the church.
She raised a garden and flowers. In her early days, she did the sewing for the family. When Kisty grew up she then took over the sewing, Adell followed her.
Mother had a Cow that she milked. It was fed with Jim’s cows, but she milked it. I can’t forget one morning when she came into the house after she had been milking and said, “I can’t milk the cow anymore.” We had Eli come down and get the cow. She didn’t live long after this. She developed dropsy. I was with her when she passed away on October 1940.
Father developed a weak heart. He sat around a lot. Adell’s family had been into the mountains to gather pine nuts and had brought him some back, he surely enjoyed eating them.
At Christmas time December 1908, we had a surprise visit from (Ed Simpson) the son of father’s sister, Mary and her husband, John Simpson, who came from Kamas. Mary who had been ill and in her illness she had wondered away at night and being as cold as it was outside, she froze to death and the snow covered her up. When they found her, she was out by their old homestead. This happened the winter before they (did both John and Ed visit? Mary was dead?) Visited with us. We all enjoyed their visit. Kamas is forty miles east of Salt Lake. In horse and buggy days this was a long ways so we never got to visit them or they us. After they returned home, Ed, the son wrote us that he would like to come back and stay with us during the winter. This we were pleased to hear. He came back and spent the winter here.
Father had not been feeling well. He sat in the rocking chair all this day. Ed had come by train to Elsinore and had only been here 15 minutes when father died. His breath went out with a puff. He died 9 January 1909. Jim was on a mission to Denmark having left in 1907.
Erastus Nielsen, mother’s sister’s son (Maren Katrina) was attending school at the BYU. He came down for father’s funeral and decided to stay with us through the winter. These two men were a real help for us during that winter. They helped with all the cows there was to milk. We enjoyed having them here. Eurasus built the little cabin we have west of our home. We spent many pleasant evenings together. Like popping corn, making ice cream etc. We hated to see them leave.
Kisty attended Snow Academy at Ephraim for one year, then later she attended he BYU. Mother wanted her children to attend schools of higher learning to have the experiences she didn’t have. She was a student always studying and getting new ideas. She was the first in town to have a pressure cooker, which made it easier to can. She always attended the Agriculture classes that came here. She enjoyed composing poetry. I can remember when she would sit and read to father each night. She was very good in figures.
Kisty stayed home after she attended college. She kept company with Eugene for awhile before father died. After that they quit going together, but soon after got in touch with her again and later they were married. They went to Delta and then came home. Kisty was expecting a baby, which she had here. One of the nurses who waiting on her was sick and this nurse infected three young mothers, all of which died of childbed fever. Kisty died when Christal was two weeks old. It was Kisty’s wish that mother raise her baby. We have enjoyed Christal very much and she has been very considerate of thoughtfulness. Christal was born 5 November 1910.
My dear sister, Magda died 15 August 1975. She was a very beautiful person who was loving to everyone she knew.