PERSONAL HISTORY of
THORA ELLA NIELSON PERRY
by THORA NIELSON PERRY
From Karen & Merlyn Perry
My father, Niels Nielson, was born in Richfield, Sevier County, Utah on the 28th of June 1882. He was the second child and the oldest son of James and Christina Smith Nielson. His parents had 15 children. His older sister lived to be eight years old before she passed away. There were nine girl and six boys in the family. Nine lived to have large families of their own. My mother, Elle Gilbert, was born the 21st of October 1885 in Gillispie, Fayette County, Pennsylvania a daughter of John and Julia Gilbert. She was the youngest of three children, one boy and two girls. Her mother died the 6th of May 1887, at the age of 27 when my mother was just 18 months old. Her father had quite a time finding help to care for his three children. Grandmother Gilbert tried to do what she could but her health was very poor and the children, Greenland, Christina, and Ella were sent from one relative to another. One kind lady wanted to adopt Christina for her very own and not knowing what else to do, father gave Christina to her to raise. Christina was so unhappy even though the dear lady gave her everything she wanted or needed, she cried for her own daddy. By this time he had found a woman to help him care for his family and when Ella was four years old her father married Annie Gardner Givens, 23rd January 1890. She was a good housekeeper and a very good mother to the children. They loved her dearly and Christina came back home. Annie was of Scottish descent and so taught Ella her native tongue and when she started to school it was quite a handicap. Ella had to learned to use English. The children all called Annie, “Mam”. The picture is of John and “Mam” Gilbert. The Gilberts and the Federers came from Scotland and Switzerland. My father’s side of the family came from Denmark.
My father (Niels) and mother (Ella) were married 17th June 1903 in Richfield, Utah. Father was 23 and mother was not yet 20. My mother wanted a Temple marriage and Dad promised to take her there some day but years passed by, one by one and they never made it to the Temple together. They both came from very good families, vary upright men and women and they were brought up in the LDS Church. My great grandfather, Jorgen Smith came across the plains with my great grandmother and their children. Father set a good example for us children. He was a mining engineer and worked in Winter Quarters and Sunnyside and other mines in that area. Mother was very unhappy with mining town life. Her sister’s husband and one of her uncles had been killed in a mine explosion that killed some 100 miners and it was always a great fear that this might happen to Dad.
The picture is of Grandfather Nielson. It was taken in the summertime and he still had his overcoat on. He always said what keeps out the cold should keep out the heat. The other picture is one of the mine my dad worked in.
The first child born into this family was Julia and she was born the 18th of July 1905. Then Clifford was born the 3rd of August 1908. James died of Spinal Meningitis, the 28th of May 1909. Eva Christina was born the 9th of April 1910 and she died of pneumonia. I, Thora, was born 3rd November, 1911. It must have been hard to bear, loosing two babies right together. I used to think how nice it would have been to have had a sister closer to my age. Julia seemed so much older than I was (six years). We had very little in common. She seemed to boss me rather than play with me. I was rather a lonely child. Maybe that was why I was such a problem child.
In a way our life in Winter Quarters must have been hectic for mother. She hated it because the miners were a rough bunch of fellows. The way of life was "eat, drink and be merry for who knows what tomorrow will bring". One payday the men were all feeling good when they got their checks, so, they went to the saloon to play cards and drink. Now and then Dad would come home much worse for having gone with his buddies. One night I had gone to bed upstairs. My room was above the front porch. I believe I was even asleep, when there was a big commotion down below. I heard the men talking loudly and then mother said, "You can't bring him in the house like that. Just leave him out there until he sobers up". The door slammed. It was then I heard father say, “Ellie, please let me in”. Well down the stairs I flew. I took my father’s side. I couldn’t believe mom wouldn’t let him in the house when it was so late. I set up such a howl that finally mother did open the door and let him in. I was only four at the time but I will never forget how he looked, and acted and talked. I was shocked! He was even crying and telling mother that he would never do it again. I went back to bed and cried myself to sleep. It was all a very bad experience but I never saw him like that again.
Many times Dad would take me with him when he went to the mines. So, no wonder I was such a pest. We had a nice home in Winter Quarters as homes went in 1915 in a coal mining town. The houses were built close together but we had a nice fence around the yard.
We lived close to the mine and all the miners passed our house on the way to work. I was always out in the yard or on the porch where I could say hello to them. I knew all their names and being just four years old they all made a fuss over me. They would carry me on their shoulders and bring me candy. I would head for the mine whenever I thought it was time for my father to get off work. One time I made a short cut and arrived at a place just below the mine opening on a trail that went along a creek. I was half way up the hillside when the miners came out with the horses they used to pull the mine cars. They were those big Clydesdale horses. The miners turned the horses loose about the same time they saw me right in the path of the horses on the way to the way to the water hole for a drink. Well, it was just too late to do any thing but stand and watch and wait till the dust cleared away. I was still standing and unhurt. Not even a bump or a scratch. I can still remember those horses coming down the hill right for me, playfully biting each other as they plunged down the hill right for me with their big furry feet flying as they came. After the thundering herd went by the miners were right behind them to see what had happened to me. To their relief nothing was wrong. I was standing there rubbing the dirt out of my eyes. They carried me back up the hill and gave me to my dad.
It must have given my folks a scare because they really worked the fence over so I couldn’t get out again. They mended the fence and locked the gate but forgot one place. One day I found an old broken chair and took it in the coalshed, put a box on it and climbed out through the hole in the roof where they dumped the coal into the coal shed. Away I went, this time I was playing on the coal tracks, the one that the big train used to bring the coal from the mine.. I had found a pile of sand and I was sitting in it with a large oval sardine can with my legs across the rail when around the hill came the train. The engineer must have seen me just in time to stop When it stopped I could reach up and touch the train it was so close. That engineer must have been a very kind man. He got down off the train, picked me up and carried me home to my mother. She was very surprised because she thought she had me fenced in.
My brother, John was born the 28th August 1915. He was a very special little boy. When Julia was in school I would watch him. One day my mother put him down for his nap and we went next door to visit a neighbor. Every now and then mother would send me over to the bedroom window to listen to see if he was awake yet and to see if he was crying. Each time I would hear nothing. Finally she decided we ought to go home. When she entered the bedroom to check the baby she let out a scream. Julie and I ran into the room and there lay the baby, his face and hands scratched and bleeding. Our pet, a big old yellow tom cat, that mother trusted so much, had gotten on the bed. They say cats can take the oxygen from the air if they get up in a baby’s face. Somehow the deed had been done. And somehow I had not heard him crying. This really bothered me because I had really listened for him each time. Mother took the baby and cared for him and then gave him to Julia. She got a large bucket of water and put Tom in a gunnysack and into the water and held him down until all nine of his lives expired. We saw the whole thing and we all felt sure that the cat had gotten what he deserved. Mother was never cruel in any way and we all loved pets, but Tom didn’t have a chance after what he had done to john.
I remember going on a fishing trip with my grandfather Gilbert. The thing that stands out most in my mind is a beautiful big black dog, a St. Bernard or some similar breed, took to me right away and whenever I would get close to the water, grandfather would say, “Bring her back, Ring,” and ring would do just that. He would grab my dress and drag me to where ever I was supposed to be. He would get in front of me in the water and when I would reach for a pretty rock in deeper water he would get in front of me and not let me by. I tried to go through his legs and he wouldn’t let me . I don’t know what ever happened to him. I guess someone must have poisoned him but we did have him for a long time.
Mother even taught me how to crochet when we were in Winter Quarters. She really tried hard to keep my mind occupied. I wanted a little handbag like the other children had, so she showed me how to make it myself. It was made with two crocheted squares fitted together with a long tassel on the bottom and two drawstrings on top. It was to be lined with white satin and the yarn was white or ecru. I must have made four squares but when I would get one done and start the next one I would loose the first one and I never got to finish the hand bags. I insisted on carrying the around with me in my pocket and lost them. I had to show them to people.
Coal mining was a way of life for mother's father and grandfather for they had been miners in Pennsylvania and Scotland before they came to Utah. On my father’s side, I do not know that far back so maybethat was why my mother was so set on finding a new environment and farming sounded good.
Father enjoyed his work but it was the way of life that my mother didn’t like. She knew there must be something better. Some other way to bring up a family of children. I am sure Dad had the same thing in mind for when the reservation was opened up for homesteading , my father and grandfather, James Nielson went to look for some other way to make a living. They homesteaded on a large piece of land that is somewhat south and mostly west of what is now called Pleasant Valley, in Duchesne County. The land was without water and without hope for water unless a water well could have been dug. It turned out that nothing ever came of that place and eventually Dad looked farther north. Finally he found an eighty-acre place in Cedar View and the next thing we knew we were loading a big wagon. We had sold most everything we had, keeping only that which we absolutely needed. I remember we had a comfortable home in Winter Quarters and what we put in our wagon was only a small part of what we had been using in our home. But, where we were going we wouldn’t be needing much. The trip took several days, the family and our belongings in a covered wagon. The trip was hard, it snowed most of the way. We came through Nine Mile Canyon to Duchesne and then on to through Roosevelt to a little town called Cedar View. We camped on the road that night. We all slept in the wagon. I remember John was very cross most of the way. He hated being bundled up and fought the covers until he ruptured himself. It hindered him very much during his childhood.
I remember he feed bags of oats my father had for the horses. He would put the bags on the horses at night. The horses were named Bill and Nip. They were big horses. Bill was a roan and Nip was a bay. They were good horses and in those days good horses meant a lot to pioneer families. Without horses you could not plow or plant or travel.
After arriving in Cedar View we pulled up in front of this old barn. It was the only building on the place. There was a nice clear a stream about 150 feet east of the barn. Dad cut a hole in the roof and put up a chimney for the cook stove. We moved all of our belongings into the barn. It had a dirt floor and a dirt roof. The cook stove was a huge one that really served us for cooking and for heating in the winter. We used the cover that was over the wagon to make a partition, making a bedroom on one end, putting it up over one of the log stringers across the width of the barn. Dad built a shelf on each side of that log and that’s where we put all our valuables, our eight day clock, medicine out of the children’s reach and everything we had to take care of. The canvas must have been long enough to go up one side and down the other because I can remember playing hide and seek between the pieces. I remember mother would put things up there that we weren’t supposed to have. Once she hid some shredded coconut and I found it. I ate so much that I got a terrible stomachache. I never knew you could get so sick eating something so good tasting.
The windows were two holes cut in the north wall that were covered with canvas when it was cold. We had cheesecloth on them too and when it was warm we put the canvas up and we could enjoy the light of day. When it was cold we put the canvas down and light the coal oil lamp for light. We lived like this for some time and all though we were warm and cozy, at times when it rained it was a mess. No matter how much dirt dad would tamp on the roof it would leak muddy water all over the house. We would try to catch it in buckets or pans but we were always thankful when the sun shone.
There was a big wide barn door on the south side of the building that was really something. In the summer we would open it and let the sun shine in but in the winter it was quite different. We had to squeeze through the smallest opening possible so as not to let all the warm air out of the house (I mean barn). Although we were calling it our home by that time, the door was hung on old shoe soles for hinges. It was hard to buy such things as metal hinges. The latch on the door was a board that fell into a slot on the inside and to get in from the outside you pulled a piece of string. If you wanted to keep people out you pulled the string, a leather shoe lace, in and the door was locked. To get out you just lifted the broad out of the slot.
One day Julia and I had a difference of opinion and she pushed me outside, shut the door and pulled the string inside. I didn’t like that so I thought if I would run and hit the door right hard the slot would break and I would get back in. Julia was six years older than I was and was quit a boss when no one else was around. I gave a big run, hit the door and to my surprise the whole door came down into the house. What a mess! The table was right in line and dishes and pans of milk went everywhere. Well it was a big door and the shoe sole hinges had given away and down went the whole thing. I thought, “Boy, am I in for it.” So I made myself very scarce that very minute and for the rest of the afternoon. I was even around when Dad came home with Mom from town. So I didn’t hear what was said. The next day Dad got some lumber and filled the opening in all but enough foe a decent means of entry. He also put in another window where part of the old barn door had been. Right after that we also got a new floor. One thing about the floor, the lumber was green and as it dried it shrank and then there were cracks in the floor which grew larger as time went on.
We would lose silverware and any small item we dropped on the floor down the cracks. As we scrubbed the floor the water would run down the cracks too. So, we found that once or twice a year we had to take up a board or two and clean things out from under the floor with a rake or a hoe and retrieve our lost silverware and other such items from around the house. We would disinfect the ground under the floor with Lysol water and for a long time we would have a nice clean smelling house.
My Grandfather Nielson wasn't very tall. He had a little mustache. I loved him very much but I never liked kissing him. All the Nielson's were very affectionate people and everyone from the smallest to the largest had to be kissed. Most the men used tobacco and that was another thing I disliked. I was always ready to leave the kissing to those who liked it. I never knew any of my grandmothers. They were all dead when I came along.
I don't think Dad was cut out to be a farmer. I know he put everything he had into his work but he was his best when he was tinkering with some kind of machinery. He acquired an old studabacker car that had been wrecked and when he got it he took it all apart and put it back together again and made it run. The body was damaged so he built a truck bed for it. He would have to get going about sixty miles an hour before it would run right. It would shimmy and shake when he drove it slow. My first ride was in this old truck. There were other cars around as I grew up but when ever I went places I usually road horseback.
Our first summer on the farm was spent plowing and planting. It was a rocky place and we kids would help Dad pick up rocks and load them on to the wagon and haul them to a hillside close by and unload them. Each time we plowed there was a lot of new rocks the gather. It was sort of a never-ending job.
One day Mom and Dad and Julie decided to plant a garden. I was left at the house to watch John. He was about two and a half years old at the time. We played hide and seek. I hid so John would find me. As time went on I was looking for better places to hide and I decided that if I put a rope on the oven door handle and crawled in and pulled the door shut when I got ready to get out all I had to do was to pull the rope and open the door. It was a very large oven and there was no fire in the stove. It was really a good place to hide. So when John was out of sight I hid in the oven. He looked and looked and finally started to cry. He really set it up so I decided to pull the rope on the oven door and get out but that didn’t work. I tried with all my might to release the catch on the door and in doing so I lost consciousness. I was out like a light. So John went out and bawled so loud the folks in the garden heard him and Mamma came to the house. She couldn’t find me either. She decided to start a fire for dinner and when she was shaking down the ashes she noticed the rope on he oven door. She opened the door and found me. I was a sad mess. I’d become sick as well as blacked out. I don’t know what had happened. I got quite a scolding and years I asked Mom what her reaction was when she found me there. She went the funniest gray color and sat there without saying a word. I never inquired into the matter again. I felt I’d really caused her pain and to all the family because it was never discussed again. I’m sure I had a special guardian angel watching over me because time and time again my life was so that it could very easily be snuffed out. I told my father and mother many times that I was sorry but that could never have taken the worry and shock from their hearts. I thank my Father in Heaven for his tender care. I know there is a reason I’m still here and I thank God for the privilege of being placed here in these latter days.
We lived about two miles from the little town of Cedar View. There was a two room schoolhouse with classes up to the forth grade in the north room and the fifth up to the eighth in the south room. There were just two rooms and the principal, usually a man, taught the older pupils and the younger children were taught by a woman. Some of the teachers I remember were; Paul Nickleson, a Mr. Richardson, Mr. G.B. Workman, Minnie Lewis (Mrs. Lee Angus), Melba Gardner to name a few.
Also in Cedar View was an LDS Church. It was held in a hall just one big room with no classrooms. We held different classes in Sunday school there were wires strung up and down and across the building with curtains to divide the hall up into classrooms. It was OK but not sound proof by any means.
At the side of the church house there was a little log cabin and this was were the Relief Society held their meetings.
We also had a store run by Robert A. Powell and a Post Office managed by Thomas Roberst and his wife. There was one flowing well just below the store and everyone in town got water their water there for drinking and washing clothes. Everyone had a sled with a big barrel sitting on it to haul their water in and they had a horse to pull it to the well and back home. We had a neighbor who lived about three quarters of a mile from us that had a well and in the winter we would hitch up old Nip to the water sled about two or three times a week and lead him up the road for water. In the summer the canal took care of our water as it was always nice and cool and clear. The water sled was made of two logs with the ends chopped off at a slant so the sled could slide over the ground. There was a board on the back you could stand on and there was a slot to hold the barrel from slipping.
While living here Mom and Dad got enough money to buy a washing machine. It was a dolly type washer with a washer dasher on the lid. It had to have a motor to run it. Dad thought he could use the motor to sharpen mower blades, knives and such too. Before this we had to wash clothes on a wash board. The belt ran from the motor to the washer. No one else could start the motor but Dad. Once it got started it could really wash the clothes. It was to a big contraption to put in the house so it sat out under the trees in front of the house. We were pretty proud of it. In the winter we built a box to put over it to protect it from the weather and we had to wash on the board till spring.
Before the boys were old enough I had to look after the cows. We had about 15 or 20 head. We couldn’t let them feed around the place because they would get into the alfalfa and bloat. I enjoyed herding them. I would roam from place to place where ever the cows went as long as they were feeding good I would interest myself observing things around me, the birds, flowers, rocks, small animals and the clouds in the sky. Nature was very interesting to me. One day I was with the cows, I ran across an old abandoned Indian home. It was a log building and all around it outside of it were beads of all shapes and sizes and colors. They were the small beads Indians use in their beadwork. I enjoyed myself looking for the beads and picked them up and took them home to add them to my collection. I was always glad when the cows went over that way because after the wind had blown there were usually more beads uncovered.
One day I was out alone and a fellow who was riding by stopped and visited with me and then went on. A day or two later I saw him again. This time he wanted me to get down off my horse and sit under the trees and talk with him. He said he could talk better down there. I refused and kicked my horse and rode away. That evening I said something about him stopping me twice and the next day Dad said, “Lets put the cows in the north field.” I never went out with the cows again alone. I am sure my guardian angel was looking after me and now that I am older it frightens me to think of what could have happened. I found out later that he wasn’t a very good fellow.
When Julia started High School in Roosevelt the folks rented a small apartment. She lived there during the week with Francis and Anna Zager. They would come home weekends because there was no school bus at that time. Once or twice a week I would have to take butter, eggs, and bread and other things down to them. I would be on horseback and make it to Roosevelt by dark and after I had delivered the things I would start home. I rode old Bill and he knew the way back home so I just let the reigns loose and let him go. It was usually after nine when I got home.
When John was out herding the cows with some other boys. One of the older boys dared him to tickle a young colt on the heel with a willow limb. John did and the colt kicked him in the head. They came dashing home to tell us. Julia went up in the field, it was a quarter of a mile away from the house, and brought John home on a horse. He had a nasty cut on the side of his head. When it healed the scar was the shape of the colt’s hoof. The scar is still quite plain.
When I was nine and a half I was baptized in Cedar View. It was the 12th of June 1920. In those years they would wait until there was a good group and always until the weather was warm. The place was Bakers Pond. It was over the hill and down in a hollow from Mr. Albert A. Baker’s home. If you look north as you go along the road when you turn off the highway coming from Roosevelt you will see where the place is next to the hill among the rocks and boulders. We didn’t need a dressing room. We would go into the rocks and someone would stand guard in the opening. I thought it was a very nice place. A Mr. D.C. Perry baptized me and Thomas Todd confirmed me. I know there were lots of people there but I can remember only my family.
When I was about 12 years old I joined the 4H group. My leader was Pearl King. She taught us to sew, how to cut out patterns and baste material together before sewing. She taught me a lot for which I am very grateful. It has really helped me and as I grew up and married and was able to sew for my children.
Many a time I'd sit and card wool for the quilts we needed. I'd pile it layer on layer in a big box until I had a certain count that was supposed to be enough for a quilt. Then on a good day we would set up the quilting frames out under the trees and put the quilt on. Most of our quilts were tied but they turned out so nice and soft. Mother was always making quilt tops from old coats and pants pieced together. She made such lovely quilts tops that way. She showed me how to make my wedding quilt. I love quilting. Whenever I find time I’m working with my own. They make such lovely things to give your family. I made quilts for each and every one of my children and trying to keep the grandchildren supplied. I'm thankful my mother taught me how to do these things. They have really helped me through the years.
I had many opportunities to cook and by the time I was about 12 or 13 I did quite a bit of cooking. I wasn’t too awfully bad if I do say so. I’m sure it takes practice and soon I could turn out a lovely pan of biscuits. I‘d bake them and set them on the back of the table away from everyone reach until I had the rest of the meal ready but somehow to boys would slip by me without me seeing and not disturbing the cover and get away with half of them by the time I’d get them all on the table. When I uncovered the biscuits it was such a surprise to see that about half of them had disappeared as if by magic. I never knew or found out who was the sneaky thief was either. They would never tell on each other but I’ll bet they were having a lot of fun fooling me
The first time I can remember going camping with the family was when I was about 7 or8 years old. Fruit was hard to get and someone said that the hills were full of sarvis berries. They were up in Uninta Canyon. I’d never heard of that kind of fruit. The whole Ward took an outing and went up and stayed several days. Everyone was picking berries. When we got home we canned them with apples. They were good but that was all the fruit we had that winter and also the last time I ever saw sarvis berries. The outing up the canyon was really a lot of fun. One of the boys got lost but by the time we were ready to return home everyone was accounted for. Lots of times we picked bull berries and made jam and jelly out of them. Fruit trees always died in and around Cedar View because of the cold winters. We always had to get our fruit from a peddler. Another peddler who stopped by was the Watkins man. We used to get things like cow salve, Watkins liniment, vanilla, coconut and other things. Sometimes we didn’t have the money so he would take eggs, butter or even chickens for pay. Sometimes even oats or wheat or whatever we had. I even tried peddling when I was about 10 years old. I tried selling Rose Bud Salve. I don’t remember but I think Mom and Dad had to pay for the salve. We had quite a bit of it around for a while and I found out I wasn’t a salesman.
When I was about 14 Olie Emerson and his family came to the Basin to look for a place. They had lived in mining camps also so they stayed with us while they were finding a place and getting settled. They had a large family, a girl about my age and there was Jennie, Floyd, Blaine and three other small children. Jenny the mother had had a stroke and her right side was affected from it. She couldn’t use her arm and it was even hard for her to talk. She had been such a jolly person, so cheerful and sweet. Dad and Olie had known each other for years. We were glad to have them come and stay with us. They had a rent that they put out in the yard here they slept at night. We ate all our meals together in the house. On Saturday night there were a few extra to bathe. We used a number 2 galvanized tub. As a rule it was my job to get all those children bathed. Sometimes two at a time. Oh boy. When our parents bathed we all went out to chores or other things they found for us to do. But it really wasn’t that bad, I guess. I remember once I did get lice in my hair from someone at school. Boy! Did Mom and Julie work me over? They washed my head and then rubbed coal oil in it and there was a creosote dip that they added also to the cure. It must have been OK and did its job because I never had them again. I was about seven then. When the kids wanted to tease me they called me Thor, Thor, the Thunder God. I don’t know where they got that idea. I didn’t feel or act like no Thunder God.
The first child born to the Nielson family on the Reservation, as the country was called, was LeRoy. He was born 24th of March 1918. He was a chubby little fellow with dark brown eyes and very good-natured. Then Glen Edward was born 7th of August 1920. He was a rather sickly little boy but finally grew out of it. Stanley was born 29th of November 1922 and he was a husky boy. After Stanley was born Irene came to us the 6th of November 1924. Dad called her “Lallie”. Next came Calvin Connall, 12th November 1926. Joseph Federer was born 23rd September 1930. Julia graduated from High School in 1924 and was married to Loyal Perry 1st December 1924. I was just 14 years old.
As the years went by the family grew larger and it was quite a full house. I can remember our beds were straw ticks. Each fall after thrashing the grain we would buy new unbleached muslin, sew it up and make large pads (ticks we called them). We would fill the sack of clothe as full as we could with clean straw and jokingly say they were as full as a tick. They always smelled so sweet and fresh when we made new ticks. These had to do until the next falls threshing time and by fall they were pretty limp. The older children slept on the floor in the kitchen and the younger ones in the bedroom with Mom and Dad. Wall to wall beds! In the morning we would make up the big beds, then each tick was put on a bed and made up one at a time, one on top of the other until they were all off the floor for the day. Some two or three on each bed and then at night they were lifted off and put on the floor. I can’t remember any member of the family being a sleepwalker. We all seemed to want to go to bed at the same time. One of our neighbors had straw ticks also, and one morning while the mother was getting breakfast, the father and boys were outside doing chores. The father came in and decided to put the ticks away on the bed off the floor. He piled them on the beds. They all sat down for breakfast and the father said to his wife, “Where is the baby? I thought he was here with you. They rushed to the bedroom but it was too late to save the little girl. The mother had left her on the bed never thinking the father would be so helpful. The baby was about two weeks old.
Somehow we always had a happy childhood. I can't ever remember feeling too crowded. So many other families were in the same situation. We were always thankful for plenty to eat and what clothes we had were enough. We were all warm and loved. Dad was strict, if he told you to do something he seldom had to tell you twice. If he did you usually knew it, but he was a wonderful father and worked very hard for his family of nine children.
There is a picture of Dad, Mom, Stanley and Irene in the garden. We all had to help in the garden. That provided us with a lot of food.
Dad didn’t attend church very often but h always went with us when one of the children as being blessed. He had promised Mother when they were married that he would shape up and take her to the Temple. He tried but he also loved his tobacco and coffee. Other than that, to me, he was a very wonderful man and I learned to love him more when I was older and got married. We all had to work to help with the farm work. I was always with my father when he had to haul hay or cultivate the garden or do other outside work. I really felt cheated that I was not a boy. I loved outside work better than woman’s work although mother taught me how to crochet and do a few lady like things before we moved to the farm. After we moved I never did thing like that. We had horses, dogs, cats, cows, sheep, chickens and pigs. We all had to do our share of caring for the animals, herding the cows from the fields, feeding the calves and chickens, slop the pigs and all else that needed to be done.
Dad would go to Winter Quarters each fall and gather up all the horses that people in the mining camp had for summer use like fishing riding into the hills, camping etc., and bring them home. We would winter them for $25.00 a head through the winter. In the spring he would take them back. This gave us plenty of horses to ride to school and we usually had a different one each day. Even though it was cold we were out riding every chance we got. Then when spring came we had to fall back on our own horses and they were so fat and sassy that manys a time I got dumped off a few times before I could break them to ride again.
We never had saddles but it was warmer riding the horse in the winter with out one. Girls in those days in that part of the country never wore levies. The dresses were full skirted so I would wrap the skirt around my legs after I was on the horse. What I would have given for a good pair of Levies.
In the winter there was always a big ice skating pond around and below the flowing well north of the schoolhouse. I loved to play there with the kids after school. One evening I got home from school quite late and Mom and Dad were quite perturbed. Dad said, “If you as much as set your foot on that ice after school again, I’ll take the razor strap to you!” Well, the next evening I thought I would just walk across the ice instead off around it, when I started from school. The minute I stood on the ice my feet went up and my head struck the ice such a blow the lights went out. I don’t know what happened because I had played on the ice for hours before and had never slipped. The kids helped me up and one of my girl friends helped me as far as her home. OK, I started home. It was quite a walk to my home. I had sat down and rested a few minutes at her place to ease the pain, and finally I thought I could make it. I would keep my yes closed till I felt myself going off the side of the road, then just for a moment, just as quick as a flash, I would open my eyes and see where I was going and then my eyes would film over and it would look like I was looking through a frosted window pain, so I would shut them again. I managed the rest of the way home OK but then I was afraid to tell Mom and Dad about the fall so I managed to do the dishes and what other work there was about the house that needed to be done and although this blinding condition lasted for several months I never told anyone about it.
I went on as if nothing had happened even though m y head hurt so bad at times I could hardly stand it. Needless to say my schoolwork suffered, as I couldn’t see to do the work. Around the house things were sort of automatic, I could do the dishes with my eyes closed and most of the cooking was no problem, but my schoolwork really suffered. The teacher decided that I needed glasses so Mom and Dad got me some. But time heals all things and eventually my eyes were OK. Years later I was thrown from a horse right on the roadway. The next thing I can remember I was in bed and the doctor was saying, “I am not worried about the lump on the front of her head, it’s the one on the back that worries me.” I asked him, “What lump?” And he put his hand on the bump caused by the fall on the ice. I told him, “Oh, That one, I have had that one for a long time. I got it when I fell on the ice about three years ago.” He said I was a very lucky girl as I had a very bad fractured skull and he didn’t know how I had gotten by without the folks knowing about it. It wasn’t very often that a doctor came to our house. He lived in Roosevelt, six miles south of us.
Mother had a midwife who always came to help her when the babies came, and we knew what to expect when she came to stay. They would send for the doctor, as Aunt Wealthy, as we called her, didn’t like to be alone with mother when the baby came. Many was the time that he couldn’t get there in time and Aunt Wealthy was a very capable little soul. She would always scoot the children away and get busy. After the baby was born she would stay right there and sleep with Mama and take care of her and the baby for several days and then each day there after for fourteen days she would come to the house and stay long enough to change Mama’s bed, bath her and see that she had the right food and to take care of the baby. We all loved this little old lady and after I married she stayed with me for my first child. She had to quit her practice soon after that as she was getting along in years. She was 79 years old when she died but she helped many a child into the world. And many a time she did it for nothing. She helped Mother with six children while we were living in Cedar View.
Dad tried several times to get lumber to build a new home but each time something would come up and he had to sell it to make ends meet. There were always doctor bills and the family had to have something to eat and something to wear. Each fall after thrashing time we took our grain to the mill to have our flour and cereal ground. Usually five two hundred pound sacks of flour. This would have to last us until the next fall. We had built a granary where we kept our grain and flour and other food. We would bury our hams after they were cured in the grain. One fall when father was bringing the flour home from the mill he stopped in at the store and bought a can of coal oil for our lamps. The oil got tipped over and before he knew it, it had gotten to the bottom of all five sacks of flour. They were two hundred-pound seamless sacks. That was a long year and I will never forget that coal oil bread. I had to bake it and the odor of coal oil with fresh baked bread was different, I must say. Each time I mixed a batch of bread I would give the pigs a helping of flour when no one was looking. It seemed forever before the last of those five 200 pounds of flour were used up. It all tasted the same.
That was like the time we bought a five-gallon can of honey. It was granulated so we cut the top off the can and would scoop out what we needed. We would always put a clean flour sack on top of it to keep it clean. We had used about two thirds of it and then we began to getting hair in our honey and we wondered where it came from. Finally we dug out a well-persevered mouse. Another time we had a five gallon can of sorghum and as we drained the last part of that can there was nothing but flies, bees, grasshoppers and other things. I often wondered why we were so healthy.
We were never sick unless it was with the mumps, measles or such. One or two of the children had bad tonsils and adenoids but other than that we were pretty healthy children. LeRoy had something wrong with him. When he was really small, now and then, he would grab me or anyone around him and cry, “Hold me, hold me, the world is going around.” We had good times as well as bad. Mother was a very good cook and on special occasions we would have wonderful dinners. And believe me our family could eat. I can remember one time LeRoy got carried away. It was Thanksgiving Day and Mother had prepared a big dinner. LeRoy was about seven and he ate so much he couldn’t lay down, standup or move around. He just leaned up against an old trunk and groaned. The rest of us got a good laugh out of him. Mother could make wonderful pies. The crust was just perfect. I tried to learn how but I could never make the pies quite equal to hers. Dad loved his coffee and as I got older I would make it for him. Some days he would be so cheerful and easy to get along with and then on other days his disposition was really bad. I found out it was mostly my fault. I never made his coffee the same when it was bad he was cross and when it was good he was cheerful. Dad always liked to eat one kind of food at a time. He never mixed his food while he was eating it. So, we always had to be sure we left him his share when we took our helpings. He always liked bread and milk gravy with sugar sprinkled over it. And I love it that way now. He also like his cake hot and if we ever made one and iced it, he would pick the icing off and give it to the babies. I made him a cake one day and the icing came out bright green and he just had a fit over it.
Our way of traveling when we first moved to Cedar View, was by horse and buggy or a one horse wagon. Dad would hitch up old Nip to the buggy so Mom could go to Relief Society or any other place she had to go. This one day old Nip rubbed the bridle off, and when Mother went to replace it he got away from her. John and LeRoy were already in the back of the one seated buggy and away down the lane they went. When they came to the main road and turned the corner, they turned to fast and short and the buggy hit the corner post and one of the boys were thrown out. I think it was John and the buggy ran over him. LeRoy stayed in the buggy and hung on, screaming at the top of hid lungs. Nip ran all the way to the neighbor’s place, turned into their lane where he was used to go for water and he stopped at the flowing well. One of the neighbors came out and rescued LeRoy and calmed his fears until Moma and I got there.
One day Julia and I were going to the store at Cedar View. We were going down the dugway when a wheel came off the buggy. We had butter and eggs to take to the store. I was holding the bucket of eggs, that were packed in oats to keep them from rattling, on my lap. I was thrown out, butter, eggs and all. Julia hung on to the reins for a while and finally old Nip ran off the road into the willows and stopped. We were taking the eggs and butter to trade for other things we needed.
Mom brought two pickling barrels full of fancy dishes and nick-nacks packed in excelsior the brought with them from Winter Quarters. They were packed in excelsior and paper. We never had a place to put them but we children wore them out taking them out of the barrel and looking at them, then putting them back. I still have a small pitcher with a painting and the words “This is the house that Jack built” on it. They were so lovely and dandy. It was a real treat to see them and each time we emptied the barrel one or more would get broken. We had two barrels to start with, then one and finally none. They all got broken or mama had given them away. Yes, we lived a very plain life with only the very necessities, those things that pertained to our everyday needs. How else could we have gotten along with such a large family in such small living quarters.
I was always called upon to help in the hayfields, mowing and raking hay but the thing I disliked the most was tromping the hay while Dad loaded the wagon. When he had the wagon loaded he would climb up on the wagon tongue between the horses, jam the pitchfork into the load of hay and I would grab the top of the handle and he would grab the lower part and climb up on the load. Once as he was climbing up on the load to take it to the haystack, he slipped and fell scaring the horses. He lit on the ground under the wagon which went over him without hurting him. There I was left on the load of hay, with the reins dragging and away the horses went. They took out the gatepost as they went around the corner into the stack yard and stopped. I managed to stay on the load until they stopped but Dad was hollering for me to jump off. I was to scared to move let alone jump.
Julia married Loyal Perry on the 1st day of December 1924. Loyal had a car. That was not a common thing in those days. They went together a few times but Julia was going to High School and wanted to finish. I kinda think Dad and Mom wanted her to finish school before she got married to. After she graduated they were married and they moved to Myton to a house south of Loyal’s Aunt Lydia Peatross’s place. It was on South Myton Bench. Loyal helped his Uncle Stan on his place and got other jobs when he could. Lydia always had sewing for Julia to do and she would give cloth in payment. Stan’s family had a store in West Virginia and they would send boxes and boxes of things to Stan and Lydia. There would be sheet material, curtains and yards of cloth in the boxes. Loyal and Julie later moved into Myton and lived in a little one-room house that Bishop Eldridge owned, he was the Bishop that married them. Julia got an ear infection, which resulted in infection in her mastoid. She had to go to Salt Lake to get doctors care as no doctors here could handle her case. She was so bad she lost her equilibrium When the doctors operated they had to take out her eardrum, which left her deaf on that side. After the surgery was over she felt OK. About this time they were expecting their first child. Julia spent a lot of time at our house, while Loyal worked on the road between Roosevelt and Myton. As the time drew near for the baby to be born, they rented a little place in Cedar View close to the midwife, Aunt Wealthy Sheffer. I would stay with Julia at nights when Loyal couldn’t get home. He was very uncomfortable carrying the baby and developed an itch all over her body. We never knew what was wrong. Sometimes I would take a brush and rub her back to help ease the misery. When Loyal was home he would rub her back too. Finally one night they took Aunt Wealthy and went to Roosevelt. Her doctor was gone so they had to get another doctor. That night she started having convolutions and the doctor had to take the baby. It was a boy, born the 4th of June 1927 and a few hours later Julie died. She had Albumin Poisoning. Mom and Dad had left me with the other children and had gone to Roosevelt to be with Julia. In the night Mr. Perry, Loyal’s father came to the door and knocked. We didn’t have a phone and he had come to tell Mom and Dad about Julia, he didn’t know they were with her. I answered the door and he told me about Julia. That was the first that I knew about it. We had all been looking forward o the new baby and had no idea something like this could happen. I went to bed and was chilling and would pile more quilts on but I just couldn’t get warm. Death was something new to me. I had never been around much sorrow and it was really a hard time for the family. I’ll never forget how it affected us. She was so young to have to leave a new baby and a husband. It was also hard on Loyal. Until then we hadn’t gotten to know Loyal very well and in those days a baby didn’t have much chance to live without its mother. There were no formulas or bottles. Several people wanted to adopt him, even nurse Martha Gilbert, who was unmarried at the time wanted to take him, but Loyal and Mother wouldn’t hear of it. She put the baby to her own breast. Julia wanted to call the baby Loyal Clifford if it was a boy when she died. Mother insisted on naming him Jule after Julia. They named him Jule Loyal Clifford Perry. For quite a time Jule was pretty sick. He broke out with boils and it was a few weeks before we knew he would live. Here Mother was with Irene two and a half years old, Calvin six months old and a new baby to take care of. I was needed at home so I never attended high school. I would have gone to school in Roosevelt and that was the first year they had a school bus.
For the next four years Loyal knocked around working where he could find work. He was working in the timber during the winter and earned enough to almost build two houses for the Nielsons. He would get about enough lumber for a house and then the lumber would be sold and next year he would work some more for more lumber. Most of the wages were taken out in lumber or store pay. The saw mill operator would take his lumber to the store and he would have to take his pay in store goods. As Jule grew older he was white headed and Cal was dark headed, other wise they were like twins. At first Loyal would bring clothes for Jule but he wouldn’t wear them until Cal wore them first. So finally Loyal brought a set for Jule and a set Cal and then Jule was happy. He really had a mind of his own.
Now and then I would work for a Mrs. Maude Russell for a week or two, helping her cook and clean. She had only two boys and needed help during the summer. This I did for three dollars a week but most of the time I stayed home. Mama spent a lot of time in bed because of ill health. One day they wanted strawberry pickers in Pleasant Grove, Utah. A fellow came out to the area and picked up about 16 of us girls and took us out to the berry patch. The people we worked for told us we would get three cents a cup and our board. The board was corn flakes, milk and strawberries if we could get them out with out getting caught. I can remember the big case of corn flakes. The family raised chickens and cows and had built a new chicken house so they put us in there to bed down. We each had to bring our bedroll of quilts to sleep in. We put our bed roll on the wide shelves that were below the roosts, later the family used the coop for chickens. The floor was covered with gravel and there was a kitchen with a stove, a sink and a table close by where we ate and out back there was a little shanty. Some of the girls that went with me were Pearl and Ethel King, Ion and Laura Lawson, May Litster and Rose Wilkerson. I can’t remember the name of the girl who slept next to me. She was from Neola and she could kick and do all kinds of didoes in her sleep. After I had been there for about two weeks I had an abscess form in my groin where she pelted me when I was relaxed in my sleep. The lady we worked for took me to her doctor and he found that the abscess needed attention immediately. They called my folks and at the time there was only one phone in Cedar View. The doctor had to have my parent’s permission to operate. When they finally got the permission and lanced the abscess, it had about a pint of matter in it and the pressure was so bad if they had waited much longer it would have broken and gone into my blood stream, and I wouldn’t have lived. After it was all over and I came out from under anesthetic they asked if I could walk and I said I could. The doctor and the nurse were at my side when we came to the stairs to go down, I saw the stairs straighten out and go off into the distance and then I fainted. They got me down to the car and I stayed at the lady’s home for a few days. I was just getting to feel like going back to work when two cousins from Eureka, Utah, Norma and Kenneth Jones, came to the berry patch and coaxed me into coming back with them to Uncle Pete and Aunt May’s. My folks had either called or written to them and told them of my problems and they had come to get me.
I stayed with them about a month. This was great! I met some new friends and really enjoyed the visit. I even got me a job in a café washing dishes. I was getting a dollar a day and that was better than picking strawberries. I had worked there a week when I got word from home that my mother was sick and needed me. That day I left with one of my uncles from Price, Utah, who had been visiting Uncle Pete. I was going to catch a ride from Price with the mailman a Mr. Prichard who hauled the mail and some freight to Roosevelt. Who should show up but Loyal, in Price? He had been trying to catch up with me and take me home. He had gone to Eureka and just missed me. My Aunt Mary wanted him to stay over the night but he wouldn’t. He came on to Price and I rode home with him.
I had met a very nice boy while I was in Eureka and we went around with a nice bunch of kids. We would go to show now and then and to Church and for car rides around the hills. My boy friends brother had been going steady with Norma and he had gotten his mission call. Kenneth’s girl friend was a cousin to my friend. One day we even went to Tintic, Utah. It was a small mineral mining town close by. The boys took us down in the mine where their father was working. There were six of us and we went down a later about 15 feet and then would walk quite a ways through a tunnel in a mined out area and then we would go down another later until we had went down about five levels. I would have been really frightened if they had not been used to being in the mine and I trusted them. They were just showing a green kid their way of living, mining gold and silver. After a while we heard pounding and knew we were getting close to where the father was working so the boys called out to let him know we were there. The father called and told us to get out and go back to a certain place for he was ready to blast. Just then there was a boom! I was wearing a full-skirted flair dress and the force of the explosion blew my dress over my head. In my embarrassment I struggled to get it down not realizing that the carbide lamps we were wearing on our heads had been blown out too and we were in pitch-black darkness. Soon the boys had our lamps relit and the father said, “All clear”. We went back to where they were working but I was really glad to get out of there. I definitely knew that life in a mining town was not for me.
Another thing I did while I was there was to go to Pleasant Grove for Strawberry Days. It was quite a celebration. There were the usual attractions, parades, merry-go-rounds and a Ferris Wheel as part of the carnival. You could have all the strawberries and cream you wanted for a small price. While up on the Ferris Wheel we stopped on top and saw a team that was in the parade get spooked and run away with one of the floats. There was an airplane that was taking passengers for a ride. The boys had to try a ride so we all took a ride. The one I rode in had an open cockpit. It didn’t tie up my hair before I got in. I had curled my hair with folded sheets of catalog paper held together with hairpins the night before and it was real tight. The plane ride was a thrill but when we landed my hair was such a mess I couldn’t put a comb threw it. The next day I went to my cousin, Beatrice Sax and she gave me the latest hair cut, called windblown. She coaxed me into having my hair died red! They tried hard to make me over. Beatrice’s husband poked fun at me as being a reservation squaw. As he was an Italian, I called him a “Wop”. He made home brew and he threatened to do crazy things to me if I didn’t drink a glass of it with so I finally tried it and liked it. I can’t remember much og that evening. My boy friend was really shocked when he came to see me. My hair was cut and red and I was tipsy. I found out what alcohol can do and how easy it would have been for something worse to have happen. I was glad I was with relatives and I decided to never let myself to get in that position again. Not long after that Kenneth was killed in a plane accident. The folks couldn’t go and I wanted to go quite badly so Loyal took me to Eureka for the funeral.
That fall Uncle Ed, Dad’s brother and his son, Leo came from Price and stayed over night with us. I coaxed Mom and Dad to let me go back with them to Price for a while. They let me go for a few days. We didn’t leave home until it was almost dark. My folks had given them a turkey and some chickens and they were in a sack on the floor in back and Uncle Ed was back there on the seat and he was going to sleep on the way home. Leo and I were in the front seat. When we got down the road a ways, the men brought out a bottle of liquor. Now this is a No, No, in our home. The folks didn’t know they had a bottle with them or I am sure they wouldn’t have let me go. Uncle Ed and Leo both had a job in the mines and had to be back to work the next morning. Leo was about my age, around 16, and at the age when he thought he was a big feller. They passed the bottle to each other and even asked me if I wanted a “nip”, but I said no. By the time they reached Duchesne they were feeling pretty good and I was wishing that I were home. As we started up Indian Canyon I noticed Leo was acting rather sleepy so I started talking about every thing and anything to try to keep him awake. Each time we came to a curve in the road I would read signs and talk a little louder. Finally Leo got a bit sharp with his answers and I thought maybe he wasn’t as sleepy as he acted. The next curve we came to, I didn’t say a word and sure enough we missed it. (I thought to myself, why hadn’t I learned to drive a car and I could have taken over for them.) Over the side of the road we went and down over the bank. The car landed on the driver’s side and I was on top of Leo. Uncle Ed was yelling from the back. There was glass all over. I managed to open the door on my side, and then Leo pushed me out and he climbed out after me and helped his dad out. There we were, it seemed like we were down in a big hole but rather close to water because we could hear it running. It was pitch black and the cars lights were still on. Leo checked his father and found that he was all right except he had bumped his game leg. Uncle Ed immediately asked Leo to check the poultry and they were dead so he wrong their necks while Leo went back to Duchesne for a wrecker, Uncle Ed and I dressed them out. It was close to three O’clock in the morning before we could head back over Indian Canyon and get the car fixed and go to Price. It was a cold ride but the men never went to sleep after that. I was so scared of the old canyon I didn’t try to find a way home for quite a little while after that. I stayed with Aunt Evelyn for a while, she was Ed’s wife, and then I went to visit my grandfather Gilbert, my mother’s father. Dad drove over with a load of potatoes in a big truck and wanted me to go back with him but I didn’t want to go so I visited with Mama’s sister and my cousin, Leatha. Leatha had a job in Price and I asked her what the chance would be for me to find a job. She had heard about a lady who wanted a girl to be her companion as she was ailing and her husband was away to work most of the time. She lived in Wattis, Utah, a mining town west of Price. The pay was good and I took the job but one thing they hadn’t told me was that she was really dying of TB. She was really a sweet person and we got along well together. I liked her and the work was easy. Now and then she would go into such spasms of coughing I was afraid she would die. This frightened me. After I had been there about a month I got such a spell of homesickness I could hardly stand it. They tried ever thing to dispel my misery. She even had her brother come and try to take me out but I couldn’t get interested. She would cry when I felt homesick and tell me she didn’t want me to go. She hadn’t had anybody she could get along with like she could with me. Finally I couldn’t take it anymore so her husband took me to Price when he took her to the doctor. She died a month later. If I had waited an hour or so I would not have had to worry Loyal would have found me. He had hitch hiked to Price and bought a second hand Chrysler car and was driving around the hills trying to find me. He had his cousin, Harold Holdaway, with him. I was at my cousin, Leatha’s apartment when he found me and took me home. When we went home this time we had our plans all worked out. I had known for quite a while that he was my ideal as to what a husband should be. I had been looking everywhere for someone like him and never thought foe a minute that he would care for me in the same way. When I told Mom and Dad they didn’t seem happy about it but they said go ahead, it was up to me. Loyal went to the Consumers Coal Mine to work and I had a few things to do to get ready to get married. He worked there until the first of the year and then came back to Cedar View. I had made a quilt and a few things I needed. I also made a wedding dress of white crepe backed satin. It was the latest style, long in back and sides and shorted in front. After the wedding, I dyed it blue and hung it upstairs and the sun shone on it and it faded on one side so I never wore it again.
We left home in the afternoon of the 19th of January and we went as far as Myton where we stayed all night with Aunt Lydia, Loyal’s mother’s sister. Early the next morning we were ready to start for Salt Lake City but the car wouldn’t start. The weather had turned off real cold. Loyal put a bucket of hot coals under the car to warm up the motor. He also fixed up a torch of rags dipped in gasoline and was trying to warm it up a little faster. The motor caught fire and he grabbed the first thing he could find, my new quilt, to smother the flames. I could have cried there was a big black hole in my new quilt. We drove to Salt Lake City and stayed that night with my cousin Norma, and the next day we were married for time and all eternity. Our honeymoon was spent in the Peery Hotel. We were there two weeks and we saw the sights and would go to three or four shows a day, to operas, to theaters etc. and around the Temple grounds. Then our money ran low and we had to start home. This time our home was a little two-room hose on south Myton Bench. Loyal had leased a farm from a Mr. Thomas who lived in Salt Lake. We set up housekeeping in one room. Loyal had raised a big patch of potatoes that summer before and we traded the best ones for a cook stove. We had a sanitary cot for a bed to sleep on with a straw tick for a mattress. We found an old round table made of solid oak and Loyal made some cupboards out of orange crates. We had a couple of chairs. We never had a wedding shower like young couples have now and we started out quite meagerly. When Julia died we had put her things for housekeeping in the grainery at Cedar View, so now we had these to use. At first we just lived in one room as it was in the coldest part of the winter. We had to heat the place with our cook stove. I really loved that old cook stove. There was hearth on one end and a reservoir on the other end. We always had hot water as long as we kept the fire going and the reservoir full. By spring we were able to take Jule with us and keep him. He was glad to come with us. Mom and Dad didn’t like to give him up very much but he belonged to his father and it wasn’t like he hadn’t known me. I had taken care of him and been a second mother since he was born. So we had no trouble and it was nice to be together. We went to Cedar View often so he could see the kids and it worked fine but he was always ready to go home with us.
The house was on the brink of the hill and you could look out over acres of sagebrush land with a farm now and then in the distance. There were no trees around the house nor could we plant flowers or grass because of the rocks. The wind would blow away any soil we packed in away. Our water source was a cistern, which was a cement hole in the ground with a cover over it. It was close by the house and we filled it in the fall from the canal. We would get the water out by dropping a bucket down and then filling it and pulling it up on the rope. We had a chicken coop and a cellar and corals. The cistern held about sixty barrels of water so we had to use it sparingly. As time went on we got a few chickens and pigs and Dad gave us a milk cow for a wedding present. We also had a team and wagon and the car. That was very good start for those days. The farm had 160 acres and it was mostly planted in hay. We had a garden under the hill that really helped with our food. The house was quite cool in the summer because there was always a breeze with the back of the house on the edge of the hill. There were lots of flies and mosquitoes. One time we came home from town and the house was full of flying ants. They had swarmed on our chimney and come down it into the house. The building was very old. It had not withstood the years very well. Mr. Thomas gave us some rolls of heavy building paper and we nailed that on the logs on the inside of the house. In the cold weather you could see the frost condensed on the nail heads. The logs were so old that when the wind blew hard, and it could really blow, it would pull the nails right out of the wood and they always landed point up on the floor. One landed on a chair and Grant Jones, Loyal’s brother-in-law, came one day and was sitting down to the table and sat on one. He was staying with us and so was Carl, Loyal’s brother.
One day I found a big pack rat in the house so I called the boys to come down and catch it. They said don’t do a thing, we will be right down. I had never seen them move so fast before. The minute they saw the rat they bolted. They were scared to death of it. It was behind the couch and not knowing what else to do I pushed the couch over against it and smashed it against the wall. Another one was on the side of the house one night and woke me up banging his tail on the wall. I went out and saw him there. I had a shovel by the house and picked it up and hit him with it and killed him. We never had anymore rats after that.
Money was scarce with everyone. We just didn’t have any. One day Loyal had a fifty cents piece in his billfold and he went out to plow. The billfold fell out of his pocket and he plowed it under. We spent days looking for it and never found the stupid thing. Next spring he plowed it up and the fifty cents was still in it.
Loyal worked very hard and was exhausted every night when he went to bed. One cold night I woke up and saw him with all the bedding, on the floor, and he was pounding the quilts and hollering, “Get out of here hurry.” He was still asleep and was having a night mare and thought he had a big snake under the covers.
While living here we were having thrashers at out house one day. It was Monday and Lydia had brought her wash to do because we had better water and she liked company. She also brought her three children, Max, Joe and Donna. There were five men helping with the trashing and I was trying to cook dinner for them all. Each time I looked up it seemed like someone else was headed our way. Soon here came Bill and Keith Peatross. I was sure I wouldn’t have enough to go around, let alone fill them up. As a last minute thing I whipped up a cake, and put it in the oven. I set the rest of the food on the table and told them all to pull up a chair. I checked the cake and it was doing beautifully. Later when I checked it out I thought I had better get me a piece or there wouldn’t be any left for me. I cut out a square and took a great big bite and, Oh Boy! I had used salt instead of sugar. Needless to say I took it out side and dumped it over the hill, thinking that maybe the horses would like it as they liked rock salt but it lay there for the rest of the summer and even into next year. That was some cake! Another one of my dumb mistakes.
Loyal had been using the water from the canal and had the head gates open. A big storm came up during the night somewhere up the river above where our ditch came out. When we looked out the next morning our yard was a lake! And would you believe it, it was full of fish. They were flopping all over the place. We could hardly believe our eyes. Loyal filled the tub with clear water from the cistern and we walked out in the water and picked up fish right and left. We filled the tub and took the fish to town in the back of the car in the trunk and gave them to all the old ladies we knew, and told the rest of the people we saw where they could get all they wanted. Before we got home there were folks up there fishing. They caught fish all morning. It was a sight to see! You couldn’t believe all the yells and squeals. The water was quite muddy and they would walk around in the water till they spooked up a fish out of a deep place and then run it down. The fish were mostly sucker with a few trout and some carp. In those days any fish was great. The sucker had a lot of bones but the meat was really good. Carp were not only bony but their meat wasn’t quite as tasty. Of course there was no way to keep fish very long so we were very glad so many came out and gathered them or we would have a rather stinking yard. One fellow didn’t bring anything to put his fish in so he took off his shirt and tied the arms and the tail together and took home a shirt full. I’d like to have a moving picture of that scene.
On thinking back I can remember some of the money Dad got from selling the lumber Loyal got out before Julia died was spent on paying for my dental work. I also had bad tonsils, with large lumps of hard mater in pockets in them. Doctor Niles Haris Allen took them out with local anesthetic. I sat there in a big chair while she sniped away, I could feel it but it didn’t hurt. It just made me nervous. I was sure glad to get rid of them though. Loyal took me down to the doctor and waited till I could go home and then he took me home. This must have been when I was about eighteen years old.
Right after we were married we didn’t have many clothes and one day I took most everything I had off so I could wash them. I put on an old pair of ragged bib overalls that had the seat out. No one ever came out to the place and I could see for miles around so I thought it would be safe for me to go hang up my sheets when someone said, “Is Mr. Perry home?” He was right there and I didn’t know how he got there without me seeing him. I stood there with my sheets between us and talked till he went out in the field to see Loyal. It was a Mr. Hurd, a bachelor who had a farm under the hill. We seldom ever saw him.
My mother gave birth to Joseph 23 September 1931. I went home to be with her and saw a baby born for the first time. It was her eleventh child. Mother had a very hard time and she had four of us helping her, Aunt Wealthy, the doctor, Dad and myself. He was a big baby with black hair and a big hearty howl. I stayed with mother until she was able to do for herself and then I went home.
We spent another winter in that house and it was a cold winter too. By the time winter came we had a heating stove for the front room and we were using both the rooms. We had to keep both stoves going to keep warm at all. We brought the car battery in the house to keep it from freezing and it froze there between the two stoves. We had an outside toilet and that was really a cold situation. There is a picture of the heating stove.
About this time I was expecting our first baby. I started to crocheting again and made her dresses etc. and trimmed them with crocheting. To help pass the time away I would sometimes herd cows. Reva was born 31 July 1932. We had rented a place in Roosevelt, a little apartment close to the doctor. I was seeing Dr. Whitmore. He told me the baby would be born the 31st of July but I felt so good that day I wasn’t going to stay at the apartment. Aunt Wealthy had come that day so I let Loyal go home and I stayed with her. Just when we were about to go to bed I had a sharp pain. The doctor had examined me earlier in the day and told me my time was here. I told Aunt Wealthy that my water had broken so she called the doctor and he came right away for he only lived two blocks away. She called Loyal and started to get things ready. The doctor got there in a half-hour the baby was there. Our baby girl. Loyal had to drive through a blinding rain storm and about three miles out of Roosevelt the light went out on the car, so the only light he had to drive by was the lightening flashes. He got there just a few minutes before she was born. She weighed eight pounds and was such a plump baby. She had dark hair and dark blue eyes and was so glad to be born she wouldn’t let the nurse turn the light off. Each time she turned the light off, Reva would scream and when they were on she would shut up and lay there just looking around.
That winter was a bad one. We had a couch we bought for Jule to sleep on and Reva slept in a little leather buggy by my bed. Loyal traded hay for every thing we got at that time. Our horses would bed down on the east side on cold winter nights. The warmth excaping from the house helped keep them warm. I kept the baby right by the bed and kept my hand on her to see that she didn’t get uncovered. Those days were very hard. Loyal would work day in and day out. The hardest job was to catch the horses to go to work.
When Reva was about three years old I went over in the field with Loyal to help him make some ditches on some newly plowed land. Loyal took the ditcher over and I took the car. We were going to leave Reva in the car while we did the ditches. Just as we were ready to start here came Mr. Hurd and asked Loyal to go help him with something on his place. Loyal told me to unhitch the team and tie them to the fence post and go back home, as he would be gone quite a while. We could go out later and do the ditches. I unhitched the team and was trying to drive them with the reins to the fence to tie them up but they wouldn’t move. I hit them with the end of the reins and called, “Giddy up!” but they just stood there. So I really whacked them one. Just as they started up I saw why they wouldn’t go in the first place, but then it was too late. Reva had somehow gotten out of the car and had been standing in front of them. The one horse, at my insistence had pushed her down and before I could do or say anything the horse stepped over her. She put her hind foot on Rev and I stood there watching. Such a big foot. It almost covered her little body. I couldn’t move or even speak, but old Molly felt the baby under her foot, picked it up and side stepped her. The muddy print was left plain to see on her back and hips. When I found Reva was unhurt I grabbed that old horse around the neck and kissed her and thanked my Heavenly Father for saving my baby. Any other horse would most likely have been frightened and would have stomped her, but old Maud, bless her didn’t hurt our baby.
We worked from dawn to dark to harvest our hay. I worked right along with Loyal and we took the children with us. Jule would Reva someplace where we could watch them. Money was scarce and we seldom had enough for our own use, let alone for good clothes to go to church in. One day we were getting a few things in town like salt, sugar, and coal oil. Bishop Eldrege who was working at the store told Loyal he would like to see him take more interest in the Church. Loyal said we didn't have anything good enough to wear so Bishop Elderge told us to get what we needed at the store and we could pay him back when we got the money when we sold the hay. It was really nice to go to church and mingle with people. Everyone was very kind except one fellow who made a remark about a dress I had made for Reva. It was of blue material with a darker blue pleated skirt around the bottom. I thought it was pretty and was proud of it but he said it made her look old.
Bishop Eldrege spoke in Sacrament meeting and in his talk he said that if one would pay their tithing they would never have to worry about paying their debts. He said if you don’t believe it try it and see. They would be blessed with plenty. After church Loyal asked Bishop Eldrege how he could pay tithing when all he had was hay and he had not been able to sell any for two years. The Bishop told Loyal that was easy. There were a lot of people he knew who would be glad to have the hay for their cows. So Loyal told him how much hay he had and as Bishop was in charge of the Government Welfare and the government gave people feed loans for their stock, the Bishop sent them to Loyal to buy hay. It wasn’t long before we were selling hay right and left. One of the first things Loyal did was buy a second hand car for the Bishop. He had to walk everywhere he went and Loyal appreciated having a sale for his hay. He even gave some of the money he got for the hay to the people for they were just as bad a shape as we were. He also gave a lot of hay away. This was during the depression of 1931-1932. From that day on we saw that our tithing was paid before we bought anything and we know without a doubt the Lord has poured out his blessings in many ways. For awhile we kept the money we had extra in the sugar bowl but it got so full we opened a bank account and have had one ever since. We acquired a few head of cows and in the spring we took them to Neola where Dad had a pasture we could share. They were not branded when we took them there so one day Loyal took us up to visit the folks while he and Dad went out to brand the cows. It was a very windy day and while we were gone sparks from a fire Loyal had started a few days before in a pummy fire (old alfalfa that has been thrashed), had been stirred up and then the wind blew it a half a mile east to where our home was. It burned the chicken house, a pigpen and the neighbors saw it and came just in time to save the house and the woodpile. It was really strange because the fire was so far from the house but the wind had blown it to the buildings. My Uncle Ed had a lovely saddle in the chicken house and it was burned. We had to haul or fire wood from the hills south of where we lived, out Nile Mile Canyon way. Loyal would rig up two wagons after he saw that I didn’t like him to go alone. We would camp out over night, fill the two wagons and bring them home. It was great fun for the children. They loved the outing.
Many times in the spring when we couldn’t get our cistern filled we would haul our water in barrels from the ditch and we put prickly pear cactus in it to settle the mud. In about 1946 the kids were hauling our drinking water from the canal. The canal was south of the house by the hill. They had a milk can they would put on the back of the tractor and they would go to the canal, turn around and then back up to the canal and fill the milk can with a small milk bucket. Once Leonald went to get water and as my usual custom I watched him from the kitchen window. I would usually watch until he was on his way back, but this time I must have had my attention diverted for soon came Leonald, soaking wet, all but for a few hairs on the top of his head that were sticking straight up. Later they had to get the other tractor to pull the little one out of the ditch.
I think I disliked most was not being able to keep meat without it being salted or cured in the summer time. Winters we could kill a beef, wrap it in a sheet and hang it in a tree. Sometimes we would bottle the meat but it was so wonderful when refrigerators and freezers were invented. Our first fridge was a coal oil one but it didn’t work very well. Oh we saw a lot of inventions but the greatest thing was electricity. We usually had a car when we could keep it running but many times we used the horses to go where we wanted to go.
One winter we rented the Forsythe home. They were retired and would go south for the winter. That winter I caught scarlet fever and we were quarantined for about a month. The day before my mother had come down and we had gone to school to visit the teacher. She said something that hurt my feelings and I started to cry. I bawled and bawled and I couldn’t figure out why I acted that way. The next morning I was all broke out with scarlet fever. Hillery Holder was the town Marshall and he would bring us things from the store and our mail. One day Loyal went for a walk along the river and the whole town was up in arms. They told him to stay home. Neither he or the children got the scarlet fever.
We had Jule and Reva with us one day while we were cutting hay. I would run the mower and Loyal was running the rake. Once I stopped the machine to grease it. The wind was blowing really strong that day. My hat blew off and rolled through the field. Jule saw it and ran to catch it. The horses got spooked and took off with the mower. They were headed right towards Jule. Such a lot can happen so fast with horses and machinery. Loyal stopped the rake and grabbed Jule out of the path of the run away team and mower. When they finally came to the fence they stopped but by then the mower was in pretty bad shape so we were through for the day. We had a herd of cows by now and someone had to be with them most of the time to keep them out of the alfalfa field. New hay can really bloat a cow. I was expecting another baby and I hated the inside of a house with a passion. I went to see the doctor and all he said was to go home and take it easy. I tried but that was impossible. Loyal had so much work to do outside that it was impossible for him to do it all. I would spend days in bed and not feel any better so I decided to herd the cows out and spend the day. Jule watched Reva and Loyal would be around. It was just like being a kid again. Aunt Lydia would come once in a while and help out. At night I would force myself to do what had to be done and in the morning go back out with the cows. Even riding the horse didn’t seem to bother me. Just getting away must have helped. About this time Aunt Lydia bought herself a gas washing machine and brought it up to our place. They lived about two miles away on the same bench and because we had a cistern and they didn’t it was easier to bring her clothes to our place than wash them at home. They had to haul the water a ways, at their place. She would come up Monday mornings when her husband Stan went to work and bring her clothes and kids and spend the day. Stan worked at the Myton Free Press in Myton. We would wash all day, her clothes and mine. It helped me and I needed the company. I got my washing done without having to use a washboard . Years later we were able to afford our own gas washer. What a relief. That old washboard was no friend of mine. I wonder how many people today would be able to go back to those days and ways of life.
We always had a garden and I would can everything I could, corn, peas, carrots, pickles, jam and meat when we could get it. I loved to fill the cellar with food. We bought very little and many a time I made my own soap. We even washed our hair with it. We were always thankful for water in those days. It was hard to get. The first running water was when we moved to Myton in 1940 and we had a tap of cold water at the side of the cook stove. We thought we had really hit pay dirt. We were very happy those days living close to the earth, working together, even with out the modern conviences. Not many people had them either. As long as we had good health, a roof over our heads and food for the table, what else was there?
We seldom went to church and we found little need for recreation. After a hard days work we were glad to hit the sack. Yes, I wonder how we could go back to those days. Those days of the thirties and forties. So much has happened since then. So many things have been added to our lives.
About this time Mr. Thomas sent his son-in-law to build a house south of the one we were living in. When it was completed it had two rooms downstairs and two upstairs. There was a kitchen and a front room on the ground floor and two bedrooms up. There was a back porch on it also. About this time I was expecting again. It was really nice to move into a new home. This was an unexpected luxury. Leonard was born on the 31st of October 1937. He always like it being born on Halloween. The day before he was born Loyal and I and the two children drove up to Cedar View to visit his mother and family. While we were there we persuaded her to come home with us. She had never seen our new home and we wanted her to spend a few days with us. She had a never visited us to stay a while in all these years. When we were going down the dugway into Cedar View the right front wheel of the car came off and rolled down the hill in front of us. It was all Loyal could do to keep the car from going off the side of the road and off the side of the bank. In doing this he gouged me in the midriff with his elbow, knocking the breath out of me. In all the excitement I forgot all about the bump. He got the car stopped and ran the wheel down. It had landed at the bottom of the hill in a ditch. He put it back on and we went on our way. His mother did come home with us. We hadn’t been home long before my mother and father came from Midview to see us. They had come with a team and wagon to get some hay from Loyal. While Dad and Loyal were loading the wagon my mother and his mother had a good visit. Jule came in and wanted to burn some weeds and leaves on the roadway. I told him he could if he would keep it on the road and not let it get away from him. A wind came up and the fire got out of hand and headed for the grainery, which was full to the brim with grain. I got out the rake and beat that fire out and it was quite a job. I was busy for about an hour. When I got through I was really tired. I went into the house and got a good scolding from both mothers and after that I sat and rested awhile and soon felt much better. Mom and Dad went home and we all went to bed.
About four o’clock next morning a hoot owl wakened us. He was perched on the dormer window. He really set it up and Loyal and I laughed, then Loyal said maybe the owl had come instead of the stork with the baby and we should get up and let him in. We lay there talking about the excitement we had the day before and a five o’clock I started to have labor pains and Loyal was on his way to town to call Dr. Whitmore. He always picked up Mrs. Forsyth, a midwife who lived in Myton. That was a long hard day. I felt so badly for Loyal’s mother. She had such a large family herself and as my pains were coming, she would say over and over, “If only it could be me having the pain instead of you?” I don’t believe she had ever been with anyone when they were having a their children. She was such a wonderful mother herself. She gave so much and never made any demands on anyone. So her visit to our home that time was hard on her, but I was very grateful for her and proud to be one of her family. Our son was born at five o’clock that evening. We were very happy. He was a beautiful baby with a lusty pair of lungs. I think it cost us ten dollars for Mrs. Forsythe and thirty-five dollars for the doctor.
There was a sandbox by the house and Leonald would play in it every day. When I couldn’t find him I usually could find him in the sandbox. As he grew older he still played there. When he was old enough to go to school he would play there instead of going to school and the teacher would go to the sandbox and take him to the classroom. He never did like school very well.
Mr. Thomas sold the farm we were leasing and we moved to the Fritz Slinatz place for a year. Fritz lived in back of the house in a boarded up tent. We had a lovely garden here. At that time we were going to church pretty regularly. One day Loyal went to church but I couldn’t go for some reason. While he was gone a hailstorm came up. It was such a fierce storm it beat the tarpaper off the little two-room house we were living in and water came in torrents. Everything in the house was soaked and I was sitting on the porch adding my bit to the moisture. That’s where Loyal found me when he came home. Our garden was ruined but some of it grew back before summer was over. When they were getting on good, ready to can, we felt better. One Sunday we had gone to Church and Loyal had forgotten something so he sent me back home to get it. There sat a car in our yard with the trunk up, full of vegetables. Old Fritz had been giving it away every Sunday while we were in church. We were leasing the place from him and he had no business giving things away.
While we were living here the Ward was holding church in the old Opera House. The members decided to go get logs to be sawed into lumber for a new chapel. Soon after this we bought Bishop Lynn Stone’s house in Myton. The bishop was moving to Salem, Utah and we were sorry to see him go. On 28 January 1940 Loyal was called to be the bishop. This was a great honor but still a great responsibility. He was a wonderful bishop, I know, there is a mantle that falls on a man when he accepts this responsibility for I am sure they are closer to the Lord. Without the Lords help many times Loyal did things that would have been impossible for him to have done alone. People at that time would pay their tithing by giving one tenth of their produce. It was up to the bishop to either sell it or place it where it was needed as welfare. Sometimes there was no need for the surplus and if it was perishable we would have to do something with it. We would pay for it at the going prices and put the money into the tithing account and use it ourselves. Families would bring meat, grain and other garden produce, a tenth of everything they raised. While Loyal was the bishop this incident happened. One night he came home from a stake meeting and we went to the store and he asked us, “Hey, does this look familiar?” He had the ward Sacrament tithing bag in his hand. When Leonald was about four he would get into this bag and take out a coin and go to the store for a sucker. He would go every day across the field the three blocks to the store. If he didn’t have a penny and asked for candy the storekeeper wouldn’t give him any and he would lay down on the floor and scream and kick. Later we would leave a quarter or so with the storekeeper and that would pay for his candy. Whenever Loyal would bring the tithing bag home, Leonald would watch me to see where I put it and after I was gone he would take some out of it and be off to the store.
As a bishop Loyal was called to visit the sick many times. One time a young lady had been in labor for a long time, about 48 hours. Her mother sent for Loyal and the girl’s father. Mr. Hancock and Loyal administered to her. When Loyal went to leave the mother asked him to please stay a while. She felt she needed the priesthood. He sat in the kitchen and not long afterwards they brought the baby in. Dr. Whitmore said it was dead and he went back to care for the mother. She was in need of his help. Loyal stood looking down at the new baby, a little girl, and felt impelled to give her a blessing. After that he took her into his hands and shook her really hard and hit her on the back. Something told him to hit her harder. He did so several times and the baby drew a breath and started to cry. When the others heard the baby crying they rushed out to see what he had done and the doctor could not believe his eyes. Loyal knew what had happened and he knew he had help from a higher power. The doctor had been working on the baby for quite a while before he declared him dead. The Lord knows the hearts of men and He knows what He is doing. This was quite a testimony building experience for him.
My mother had been very indignant and hard on him when he was made bishop. She had joined a polygamist group and she told him he should have not accepted the position because he was not educated enough and that he did not have the priesthood. About 1940 (this was three years after her husband, Niels Nielson had died). when we were living on the South Myton Bench on the Thomas place in the new place they had made for us. My mother came down one time to stay over night with us. She had just become affiliated with the new religion, The Fundamentalists (polygamists). We went outside to the toilet together before going to bed. She was preaching to me on the way out and back. As we got to the porch she turned and was giving me a real lecture. Before this I had prayed and questioned about her actions. I couldn’t believe my mother, turning from what she had taught me all her life. As she talked I had this feeling of a whole different look on her face and figure. She frightened me out of my wits. I carefully slid past her and dashed upstairs to my room. I woke Loyal and told him how I felt. He absorbed it. Very often he felt bad about her actions. He admired my mother and was surprised at her turn around.
The house we bought in Myton was a three-roomed one with a big screened in porch in back and a tap of running water by the kitchen stove. It was close to the school and the children could go to school without much trouble. It seemed good to be in town close to where things went on. We had a gas washer and two beds on the porch and when the weather was warm the boys slept out there. There was a cellar besides the porch to store our fruit jars etc., in. While we were in town we had 60 acres out in South Myton Bench that we farmed and Loyal worked for Brother Musser at his farm helping him harvest. One day Loyal looked up from his work at Mussers and saw a big column of smoke in town. They rushed to town and found that the Old Opera House was on fire. Without a fire department it was impossible to put the fire out so it burned to the ground. They were able to save one piano and a few benches. They never got the desk out but the church records were in our house so they were safe. We took the piano home and after that for a while Relief Society was held in the homes. Sacrament was held in the school gymnasium. Primaries were held in homes. The ward members started immediately to work to raise money for a new building. It was built on the property the Old Opera House had been on and when it was finished it was all paid for, ready to be dedicated. The ward members all chipped in to help finance the new building. The finance committee had auctions with members donating all kinds of farm products, furniture and many other things. Loyal approached people in Roosevelt too and just about everybody helped.
Many things happened while we were in Myton. We met many wonderful friends. One really special friend I had was Gladys Harris. She and her husband lived quite close by us. She never had any children of her own but they had adopted a little girl, and called her Margaret Mary. They really made a fuss over her and gave her a good home. Gladys didn’t belong to our church and was very active in the Ladies Aid, a woman’s organization in the Presbyterian Church. She would go with me to some of our functions occasionally and sometimes I would go to some of hers with her. I was expecting our third child and she was a great help to me. Loyal was working on the dam on Moon Lake and he was gone a lot. She would come over and we would set and visit for hours and whenever I needed help she was there. Loyal would stay at work all week and board at the C.C.C. Camp. She really wanted this baby to be a girl. She made the cutest dress and petticoat set with pink tatting on the edges. Loyal and I had the two other children and Jule going to school and when they would get home, Gladys and I would go for long walks. My health got worse and I had to spend the last month in bed. We finally got a girl to stay with me. She was quite a dilly. She took care of the children and she would sit around making jokes and she was good for me. She would pull tricks on us and it made me laugh. One example was, she said she could walk right into that piece of paper laying there on the floor. Then she would walk onto that piece of paper laying on the floor. She didn’t do all the housework like I would have liked her to do but she just filled the bill for what I needed at that time. I missed Loyal while he was gone so much at Moon Lake.
Merlyn was born the 17th of November 1940 in Myton. I had a lot of false labor pains and gone over about three weeks so the doctor set a date when Loyal could be home and induced labor. He weighed 12 pounds when he was born. Mrs. Olsen was the midwife who stayed with me at that time.
I had many irons one was heated by kerosene complete with pump the others were heated on the kitchen stove. We had a cream separator that you put the milk in the top from the milk pail and turned the handle real fast and the milk and cream were separated. Mother had a wonderful kitchen cabinet, it was a joy to have everything so handy. The folks brought it from Winter Quarters.
Not long after Merlyn was born Loyal got a job in Tooele, Utah at a very good wage as a carpenter. He was making more money than he had ever made before. He went there to work for quite a while. While he was gone I had a lady come stay with me when her second child was born. I took care of her during the birth and until she was able to go home and care for herself. There was no hospital in the area and women would go to private homes to have their babies, or stay in their own if they could get someone to come and stay with them. I had gone to her home and helped her with her first child. She was Mrs. Claire (Thora) Lidell and her husband was Loyal’s second counselor when he was bishop.
We couldn’t raise a garden in town, the ground was to wet and rocky. We did have a barn and one year I ordered one hundred little chickens and when they came they were game chickens. They were a little red chicken that was raised for meat and fighting cocks. The hens were very tame and would sneak up into the house and lay their eggs on the bed or wherever they could find a place. I could go out in the yard among them and they would climb all over me when I sat down. They would sing and cluck and were very friendly. They didn’t seem to be so friendly with anyone else. The rosters were something else. They would chase the schoolteachers who lived next door and corner them in the outhouse till I would come out and feed them and shut them up in the coop. I ordered them to be a chicken with a lot of meat on them. They were a mixed heavy breed and this was the kind of chicken they had on hand when I placed my order. They were good layers and a very good meat chicken. I was never able to get that kind again. When Loyal got his job in Tooele, he was released from his bishops calling after three and a half years. He worked in Tooele from November until spring and we sold the house in town and bought the Peatross place on South Myton Bench. Loyal’s Aunt Lydia Peatross had been living on the place and we traded our house in Myton for a smaller one and some cash and gave her the smaller house to live in. The mortgage had been delinquent and the Peatrosses had leased it and had not paid the lease for two years. We paid the mortgage off and the back lease and got possession of the property. There were 190 acres and a four-room home and we paid $19,900.00 for it. Stanley had run off and left Lydia several years before with a family of three boys and two girls. Loyal lived with them before he was married and he had done all the work that had been done on the place for some time. Stanley had discouraged his boys against farming and told them they didn’t have to work that hard for a living. They worked in the Myton Free Press and never did do much on the farm. After we were married Loyal lived near his Aunt Lydia and always helped with the haying. She depended on us and felt like Loyal was a son to her. Lydia spent a lot of time with us. She would get her work done in the morning and go to town, often spending the rest of day with us. She never liked being alone.
We renovated the house on the inside. It had been covered with sheet rock and laths in four-foot squares. We papered it after taking the slats off and spackeling the cracks. We mixed DDT with the plaster and wallpaper paste to get rid of the bed bugs that were in the house. Later we built an extra bedroom on the west side of the house. We took one bedroom and made a small bedroom out of it and made a bathroom and a washroom out of the other part. We also built a large furnace room, coal ben and fruit room on the east side of the house.
We raised good crops of alfalfa seed for the next six or seven years but the alfalfa weevil and the dodder (a parasitic weed) stopped that. We then had to raise grain, hay and livestock after that. During the years we purchased more land and finally had 440 acres altogether. We made about $20,000.00 a year during that time and paid cash for a house in Salt Lake City abut this time. Merlyn came down with Rheumatic Fever. We were advised to go to Salt Lake where we could be near special doctors and where a teacher could come to our house and give him schooling. Renting a place with four children was out of the question so that is why we bought the house, on 3919 Highland Drive. Reva was in Junior High, Leonald went to William Penn School and Jule had been called on a mission before we left Myton, to South Africa. Another boy named Elder was sent at the same time, he would be called Elder Elder. We have a picture of the house in Salt Lake. Jule was a very special son and we were glad that he was called to fill a mission. Although South Africa was many miles away we never doubted he would fill a spiritual mission and return safely. He was delayed when he got to Texas when he had to undergo an emergency operation for appendicitis. The other missionaries that were with him went on ahead but somehow Jule arrived in South Africa ahead of them.
We lived in Salt Lake during the winter and in the spring we would head back to the farm in Myton. Having been a farmer all his life Loyal could not settle for city life. As long as there was something to do on the farm he wanted to be there. In the winter Loyal would work for Northroup King Seed Co. sorting, cleaning and selling seeds. He would go to Myton and I would stay in Salt Lake with the children until school was out. This we did for five years. We would usually find a young couple to live in our house during the summer months and then when school started we would go back out to Salt Lake. This kept us very busy. Merlyn got along fairly good but we finally had to put him in the Primary Children’s Hospital for about six months and from then on he improved rapidly.
Reva didn’t like living in Salt Lake and begged to go back to Myton. While she was in Salt Lake she met Johnie Oreno and they fell in love. This made us very unhappy in more ways than one but the main reason was that they were related. Even though we were against the marriage Reva was eighteen and she said if we didn’t go along with it they would run away and get married anyway. We did go ahead with the wedding and it was a beautiful one. She was married in the Salt Lake Temple and we had a lovely reception there in our home in Salt Lake, a lot of our Myton friends came out to make it a special event. This was June 1950.
Jule returned from his mission and also married soon after on the 8th of November 1950 to Betty Howell, a lovely girl from Tooele where Jule got work at the Tooele Army Depot. Betty was the youngest daughter of her mother’s children. Her father had died when Betty was real young and her mother had married a Mr. Earl the day after Betty and Jule were married. They moved into an apartment in her mother’s home and after her mother died the home belonged to Betty. Jule and Betty were married in the Salt Lake Temple too.
A few years after Merlyn was born I would wake up in the night with the urgent impression that if I didn’t hurry “I would be to late”. The first time I more or less passed it off as a bad dream and not long after that it occurred again. This time it disturbed me. I would wonder what it was I was supposed to hurry and do. I knew of no special thing in my every day life that needed doing and my mind went over and over things that it might be to try to find what was worrying me. Sometime later the impression came again, this time very strong. So much so I couldn’t get it off my mind. I told Loyal about it now, I hadn’t mentioned it to him before. We both tried to figure it out. A few days later we went to visit some friends who just had a new baby. I asked Loyal on the way home if he thought that dream or whatever I had been having meant that we should have another child. I had been going to a doctor in Price and he had told me I needed an operation and I was unhappy about it because it meant I could have no more children if I had it. I became quite ill and went to the doctor in Price again. This time he informed me that I was going to have another child and that I had better find a specialist and he referred me to a doctor in Salt Lake. We moved to Salt Lake shortly after that and Duane, a very healthy seven-pound boy was born the 1st day of December 1946 in the Holy Cross Hospital. Fifteen years later I had the operation. I never had that impression again. I’m sure it was because there was still one more soul waiting to come to our family.
After I got older it seemed I always had to have some kind of a hobby. Beads fascinated me. I wanted to do the kind of beadwork the Indians did, and when ever I had a chance I would watch them but they never seemed to want to teach me. Maybe it was because I wasn’t an Indian. So I bought some of their work but that didn’t help very much. Later I found a book with some instructions and I took it from there. I made several, maybe I should say quite a few, after I got started. It was fun, seems I couldn’t let it alone once I got the hang of it. I learned to crochet necklaces, make them on a round stick and all kinds of ways. Doing beadwork is rather kind of strenuous on the eyes so I don’t do much of it now. When we lived out on South Myton Bench on our farm I loved doing garden work. That was always a great hobby that was very satisfying especially after you got all the lovely stuff in the bottles or put away for the winter. Canning was a very important hobby and I loved it.
After Reva got married she got the ides that I would like Parakeets so she bought a pair for me for my birthday one time. It wasn’t long till I was raising them myself. I fixed a nice place in my washroom putting nests in for them and I raised quite a few. I sold birds from Rangely, Colorado, to people that lived in Salt Lake City, Altamont and Price. People came to buy my birds. It was great fun. People were calling me the bird lady, Ha, Ha. I gave a lot away. Some of them would talk a blue streak. I never had any that would talk. I guess it was because I had such a house full.
I even tried to raise hamsters. I never sold any but I gave a lot away. They were cute but I believe I liked my birds better. I loved seeing the different colors they would be. Some were blue, some were green and some were white. It was real fun but when my male “Boss” bird died, the one I stared with, I didn’t have much luck. He was the boss and he really took his job seriously. He would let the hens off their nests for so long and then he would send them back to their boxes. On wash day I would spend most of my time watching them, they were so interesting.
Life on the farm was hard even hen we started using machines instead of horses. We were using swathers or windrowers instead of mowers, bailers that picked hay up and bailed it right in the field instead of raking and stacking the loose hay by hand and hauling it to the stacks. Our boys worked right along with their father. Leonald, Merlyn, and even Duane, once in a while wanted to drive the tractor. There was a great danger working with horses because you could never tell what they were going to do, but there was a danger with machinery too, especially with youngsters. One time Leonald and Merlyn were going to trade places while they were driving the tractor. They would just put their foot down on the clutch and trade places with their feet while they exchanged seats. One would move away while the other would move on to the seat. The tractor jumped when Merlyn’s foot slipped on the clutch and threw him in the path of the big hind wheel and the tractor ran up on his body. The motor stopped with the wheel on Merlyn. Loyal was right there and lifted the wheel off his body. Thank goodness there was a pummy pile under him that cushioned his body and that it was the small Ford tractor instead of the larger one we had that we called Old Ethel Burp. A pummy pile is the old hay lying around the haystack. Loyal carried him to the house and we took him to the doctor but the doctor could find nothing wrong with him. You could see the tractor’s tire marks on his chest for quite a while after that.
Sometime later Loyal was having health problems. He would eat a meal, go out in the field to work and if he had to reach down for something, up would come his whole breakfast or what ever meal he had just eaten. When he would lay down at night his food would come up and go into his lungs and strangle him. We took him to the doctor and he referred him to Doctor Russell Nelson. The examination showed that his esophagus was closing off so they sent him home and told him not to lay down when he slept and they tried to tell things to do to help but nothing would help and eventually they had to operate. This operation left him very weak. It was right during haying time. The boys were old, they were doing everything they could to take care of things at home. When he was finally able to come home he would set on the front porch and watch them working and worry about them. I would keep things going in the house and then go out and help then all I could. When the hay was about all cut the swather broke down and I took the boys to Roosevelt to get parts to fix it. While we were gone some fellows came and were talking to Loyal and they made a proposal to him to let them put up the hay for half of it. When I got home and found out what had happened I called the men up and canceled the deal. Not very often did I cross Loyal’s decisions but I knew the boys had been working very hard and they would have been hurt. Loyal didn’t realize that the boys had done as much as they had. They finished cutting the hay and they were ready to start hauling. The next morning we looked out the window and the field was full of people from the Myton ward. Everybody turned out. I never saw such a field of people in my life. What would have taken a week or more to do was accomplished in less than one day. The Lord really does move in mysterious ways.
When Leonald graduated from high school he went to Salt Lake to work. He stayed with Reva and helped her. Later he got an apartment and on 9th of June 1962 he married Roda La Rea Kofford. Merlyn, after graduating, worked for Smith Johnson who taught him how to level and grade land. He had high hopes of being a farmer. He married Karen Mower, the 18th of May 1961. They lived in an apartment in Roosevelt for a while until he got work in Tooele where Jule worked so they moved there. Karen got work in the First Security Bank and he got work in the Army Depot.
When Duane was nineteen the bishop asked him if he would like to go on a mission. He said yes, and then the bishop asked Loyal and me if we would support him if he would like to go. We said sure, we would be happy to. At this time our country was in the Vietnam War and they were drafting boys into the service and there were only a few boys allowed to go on missions. We had great hopes he would be called before he was drafted into the army. I never knew what happened, but Duane didn’t get his call. Another boy in the ward was sent instead and Duane got his draft notice. The same day Duane had to leave for base camp, the boy who had been called on the mission was taken out of the mission home. The law had caught up with him for some vandalism he had done and he had to choose from going to jail or to the army. I was very hurt.
Duane’s training took him to Oklahoma and Texas. He had to take shots to go to Vietnam and the first one made him deathly sick so they couldn’t give him the rest. He got to go to Germany instead of Vietnam. He was a good soldier and was promoted to sergeant. He came home from a furlough and we decided to take him back to camp. We had just bought a new car and we decided we wanted to do a little traveling. We went through Colorado, Kansas and on to Oklahoma where we dropped Duane off. Then we went to Texas. One morning while looking on the map we noticed we were only 70 miles from Carlsbad Caverns. I’d never hoped to see them although I’d read a lot about them. We decided to go see them and it was very exciting experience. I never saw so many bats, there were clouds of them. The caverns were beautiful. Loyal hadn’t been feeling very well and after we left the caves I did the driving. There is so much open country down Texas way, you could go for miles without even a hill or a tree or a turn in the road. The next morning Loyal still didn’t feel to well. We got up early, before daylight, and drove most of the day without stopping only to gas up and eat. I was getting real tired but Loyal was too sick to drive, but he wanted to get home. I took a pill I had to see if it would keep me awake. We were on one of those long straight roads. Loyal thought I was asleep, somehow I had blacked out. At that moment Loyal grabbed the wheel and saved us from going off the road and rolling the car. I’m sure someone else was along with us on that ride. Loyal said for me to get out from under the wheel if I couldn’t stay awake and he would drive. I said, “If I give you the wheel now it will be the last mile I ever drive!” I was so scared I had to hang on to the wheel to keep myself together. I thank my Heavenly Father for his watchful care that day. When we were so far from home and loved ones. I didn’t sleep again.
Farming got rather hard after the boys left home and as Loyal was getting along in years we decided to retire. He had to hold down a steady job along with running the farm to keep up with maintenance and taxes. He worked in the seed plant in Myton. When he got 65 he decided to retire from farm life. We put the farm up for sale. It would mean going into debt for buying a lot of new machinery and livestock or quit farming. We had listed the place with a real estate agent and we had a provision in the contract that if we sold the property to anyone that he had not contacted we would not have to pay him a commission. We had a visit that spring from Clarence and Ina Woodard. They lived in Pleasant Valley a few years ago and had moved to Altopa, Washington but now wanted to move back to Utah. We asked him why he didn’t buy our place. He had in mind to buy a place south of Wendover, Utah. He went back to Washington and sold his place and bought ours. We had to find a place in a hurry to live in. I had always thought we would build a home in Myton as we have our four lots there in town. Loyal didn’t want to live there so we went to Roosevelt. Loyal wanted a brick home and there was only one brick home for sale at the time so we bought it. It was at 304 South State. That we would prosper was one of the things our bishop had promised if we would pay our tithing.
Farming had given us a way and means to raise our family. They were all grown up now and gone their separate ways. We always liked to have them come and visit us but we couldn’t ask them to come live with us nor expect them to take us in.
Before we sold the house, Reva had lost her only son, Perry Orino from leukemia. He was only twelve years old. She came home with her daughter, Jeanene and stayed the summer and was ready to file her divorce papers from Johnie. Thanksgiving time Johnie came out and coaxed her to come back home. She moved back with him but it wasn’t for long. Finally they were divorced and she married Paul Keller and moved back to Myton.
We belonged to the fourth ward when we moved to Roosevelt and not long after this we were called on a mission. As we were getting ready to leave we had our physicals and I found I had to have a hemorrhoid operation. I went to Salt Lake and Dr. McKay did the operation. Immediately after the operation complications set in. I had a blood clot go to my heart, that night. After I regained my senses a few days later, I was told how sick I had been and I felt that this was my time to give up the ghost. I had never heard of anyone having a blood clot go to their heart and live. After regaining consciousness I couldn’t sleep. A very special little lady came and sat with me through the night. She tried and tried to reassure me that everything would be all right and she tried to get me to go to sleep and get the rest I needed. The monitor on my heart was doing everything but what it should be doing. I had to lay perfectly still. I thought of my family, all married now except Duane. They all had their families and work and their own lives to live. I felt sure Duane would get by with his brothers and sisters help, but what about Loyal? My husband for all of these years. I know he had been very upset about all of this and how things turned out and I could feel good about him. Leaving him would be hard. Now and then the lady would come back to my bedside and assure me everything would be OK. I lapsed in and out of consciousness for several days. Then one morning I heard the doctors talking very excitedly. I moved a little and found I had disturbed the monitor. From then on I began to improve and two weeks later Loyal took me home to Roosevelt. It took almost a year to get back on my feet and to feel good again. Then I said, “Let’s go on that mission.” Loyal agreed and we told our bishop and before long we had our call to go to South Dakota.
On the 27th of August, Duane and Luella Abegglin were married in the Salt Lake Temple. They lived with us for a while and when we went on our mission they lived in our home. We went to the mission home a little before Thanksgiving and had an early Thanksgiving Dinner at our house before we left. President Whitesides was our mission president in Salt Lake. There were three couples in the mission home that were going to the Indian mission at the same time we went.
It was a cold winter day when we started for South Dakota. We took our camper loaded with all the things we were told to take. The weather was so bad here in the Uintah basin that we had too drive to Silver Creek Junction and get on the highway going through Wyoming. After we got out the road trip was very enjoyable. We saw many antelope and deer and the weather wasn’t too bad. It took us two days to get to Rapid City, South Dakota, the mission headquarters. We slept one night in the camper. When we got to Rapid City we stayed in the Northern Indian Mission Home with President Rex Reeves and his family. We stayed that night in the mission home and then he told us to go down to the Pine Ridge Reservation. There was trailer house there for a church. In this mission the missionaries lived in trailer houses. We asked to go to an LDS chapel in the area and be with two other couples and about eight missionaries. We had two pickups and our camper and other cars and we were to put on bazaars in six small towns in the area. The towns were Wamblee, Oglala, Porcupine, Allen and another I can’t remember the name of. We were to spend a day in each town. This bazaar was the climax to the years work for the missionary couples. They had made quilts and gift items all year and they were taking them to the Indians to sell. There were boxes and boxes of used clothing sent from Deseret Industries in Salt Lake and these items were offered for sale at a minimum price. We had Indian fry bread, cotton candy, egg sandwiches and homemade candy to sell too. The proceeds from our sales was applied to the purchase of a trailer house they were using for a meetinghouse. We had a room in back to live in. Each day the missionaries would eat with us, everybody would bring something and we always had plenty to eat. The men missionaries had smaller trailers to live in and would eat most of their meals there. In the winter it was very cold and the water pipes would freeze and we would wake up many mornings and find missionaries all over the place in their sleeping bags.
One of the challenges was to keep the Indian names straight. Some I remember are: Brother and Sister Three Legs, Brother Wolf, Sister Lightning, Sister White Eyes, Sister Wakalee, Sister Swan, Sister Long, Brother Light Man, Brother Home Wolf, Sister In The Woods, Sister Long Soldier, Sister Not Helpum to name a few.
After three weeks of getting acquainted and having bazaars we were appointed to the Eagle Butte Branch. This branch had two dependent branches under it, Cheery Creek and Dupree. I hated to leave but President Reeves wanted us at Eagle Butte. Eagle Butte was an all Indian town. It had a hospital, a nice school building, church buildings and a large dormitory where the Indian children stayed most of the time. The store was run by a white man. There were other religious denominations there, the Catholic and Episcopal were the most predominate. Soon after we got there we met President Wilford Ashton, the area supervisor. Brother Ashton lived in Eagle Butte and his job was with the Indians so he was a big help to us. Loyal was made branch president over three branches. It was forty miles to Cheery Creek and there were two missionaries there and a nice chapel. The missionaries lived in a trailer and did all the cooking in the church kitchen. Dupree had no chapel but the missionaries had their trailer and they held their meetings in it quite often. The Church had purchased a home there and they were converting it into a chapel with living quarters up stairs. It was a hard mission. I believe it is the coldest place on earth. The wind blew almost all the time. You could never tell if it was snowing or just blowing the last snow around. Many of the Indians froze to death. They would get drunk and start home and if their car would stall they would just sit there and freeze. We never had a dull moment while we were there. This was something new to us. These Indians were quite different than the ones we had known in the Uintah Basin. These were of the Sioux tribe and were mixed with French Canadians. They were a tall Indian of slender build and their young people were very beautiful. When we first got there the Indians would walk right by you and ignore you as if you were not there, even church members. But as time went on their attitude changed. One time Loyal grabbed an Indian around the neck and shook him and threw him out. We thought we would have some repercussions from that incident but we didn’t have any trouble.
Loyal had gotten infection in one eye and it really bothered him and the first chance we got to go to Rapid City we went to see a doctor. Rapid City was 150 miles away from the mission headquarters and we didn’t get there very often. He saw a doctor and an eye specialist and they gave him some medication, but after we got home it got worse. One time we had all the elders there and President Reeves for dinner we had President Reeves administer to him. We also had one of our elders administered to for a reaction he had for a hepatitis shot. We had them every four months. We thought Loyals eye would get better but instead it must have gone through his whole system. He had got steadily worse. After we had been on our mission about four months he had a real bad sick spell. He had trouble breathing and pains in his neck. We called the doctor and he told us to come in. Loyal wouldn’t leave until I packed the camper. That took me two hours. He had been sick all night before we called the doctor. He had been sick quite a while, for sometime the music for the dances had bothered him.
We told the elders we were leaving but President Ashton didn’t know. We thought the elders would tell him, but they didn’t. We finally got to Rapid City and called the doctor and he told me to take Loyal to the hospital. Loyal didn’t want to go but he finally gave in. We entered him and he was put to bed and when the doctor saw him he pronounced it a heart attack and put him in intensive care. I could only see him for 15 minutes every two or three hours. President Reeves wanted me to go home with him to the mission home but I didn’t want to get that far away. They lived a few miles out of town. I wouldn’t go, I had everything in the camper I could need and it was parked by the hospital under a big light. I ate at the hospital when I want to get something for myself. Loyal was in the hospital for two weeks and was able to get up and around a bit. We came home on the plane. A few days before that Duane had come down and taken the camper back home. We landed in Salt Lake, Jule and Leonald’s family were all there to meet us. After visiting with them a little while Merlyn and Karen brought us home to Roosevelt.
It was a great disappointment not to be able to finish our mission, but the couple just before us had to be sent home also because the husband had had a heart attack. Another couple after us had to be sent home early and one young missionary too. Sense we have been home we have remained active in the church. We have been holding family home evenings in our home with some other older people in the ward. We started in March 1979 and have had from six to twenty two present. A lot of neighbors come. Dick Scholes has charge of the program when he can be there. When he can’t make it we take turns among those present. Thora lists all the jobs her and Loyal did from 1926 to 1979 but I haven’t typed them in.
When I was first married crocheting was my hobby. At first I made baby clothes and trimmed them with crocheting then as I found the time I made doilies, chair sets, toys dolls and doll clothes. I had something going on all the time. I would finish them, wash them, block and starch them and give them away. I got such a lot of chair sets and doilies on hand once I asked a bunch of girls that had been in the MIA when I was president to come over to my house. They had gotten married and I told them to look over all the crocheted things and pick out something for a wedding present. They loved the idea all except one girl. She said crochet work was going out of style, Ha, Ha. Some of the girls haven’t forgotten and some of them still tell me how much they appreciated the gift. Off and on I guess quilting is my main hobby. I can always do a quilt when I find time hanging kinda heavy on my hands. One year I made nine marked quilts for weddings. They were beautiful. Two of them had the Salt Lake Temple in the center. I have made up a lot of patterns over the years and I have seen some of my work in Hobby Magazines. Someone else had sent the pattern in. I made one doily and sold it to a hobby shop in Salt Lake and a year latter I saw it in a pattern book. Oh Well.
My life hasn’t been an easy one except I don’t believe I would have had it any other way. I’m sure if all things had come easy, if I had had all the things needed to make life one happy event there would have been many regrets. I won’t say I was never tempted to go wrong. I believe every day you face temptations in some form or another. Even when I was really small my friends were always telling me how the got money from their mother’s purse or their father’s pockets dishonestly. Once I stole some eggs and traded them at the store for some candy but for some reason I didn’t enjoy it. I think father and mother were very special in raising me. Mother always had advice and reasons to tell me about that which I might stumble upon as I went through life. Their advice and forewarnings were such that when I was tempted or found myself in company that wasn’t right I was able to come through OK. Many times I would go with someone who thought nothing of defiling a girl but I was able to come away much better off for having put them in their place. I never saw them again and that never bothered me, I was happy to know with in myself I could get along without that pressure.
I am thankful that I was born in a time when we had real hardships. Hard work and learning to get along as best as one can on whatever the income is, was a challenge. Loyal and I hated debt and it was easier to go without some of the luxuries of life than to worry about having to face those who we were in debt to. As the new inventions came along we accepted them as we could afford them and life has been very good. We have much to be thankful for.
One really sad time of my life was when my mother, whom I had put so much trust and faith in, turned from the Mormon Church and went over to the Fundamentalist Church. I could not believe what had taken place, right after my father died. He was only fifty-three years, ten months and twenty seven days old. After he died she made a complete change. One of our neighbors converted her before we, her older children knew what was going on. Right out of the blue she had changed from our sweet soft little mother to someone else, someone we couldn’t understand, or even talk to. She tried to preach her beliefs to us but we were all so shocked and stunned we couldn't believe our eyes and ears. She moved to Salt Lake and as a result took Irene and Calvin along with her. This really broke up the world for me and it took all my faith and prayers and a good doctor to set me right. I had grieved about my mama until I was sick. I had such a hard lump in my chest I thought I had a goiter or some growth there so I went to a specialist and he convinced me it was all worry and grief and when it was explained that way I was able to cope with it. Going to the Temple also answered a lot of my questions. Somehow each time I was able to find answers as to why this had come about. I was never close to my mother after that. We couldn’t get along and it was as if she was someone else.
As the years went by we saw less of her because she even went to Short Creek where her groups headquarters were on the border of Utah and Arizona. Sometimes it really breaks me up when I think of all that happened after she turned away from us, her family and went her way. It also made a very bad impression on her children. One of my brothers who was very religious, just put thumbs down on any religion. He is a wonderful fellow but now he can’t be bothered. We older ones were able to survive; John, LeRoy, Stanley, and myself. The youngest boy is a good man but he is not too much on the religious side, bur as time goes on maybe he will change. Irene’s husband died just a while ago. She joined the same group as mother. She was left with four children. When he died he had only one wife listed in his obituary, 11 sons, 23 daughters and numerous grandchildren. Where does Irene count? What will her life be from now on? She can’t have anymore children. So I guess she’ll just be put out to work as long as she is able. It is really quite a sad world. Such trouble happening all the time.
How thankful I am for all that my Father in Heaven has seen fit to bestow upon me and may I always be grateful and humble for what else I may receive.
Thora and Loyal have been married 50 years on 21st January 1981
Loyal died 28th July 1983, buried 30th in Roosevelt
Thora died 16th December 1984, buried 20th in Roosevelt