Wednesday, July 20, 2011

SMITH FLOODS DIRTY DEVIL by ELECTRA MOTT

FLOODS in the LOWER VALLEY

 from A SHORT HISTORY of ELECTRA RODA ANN MOTT
by ELECTRA RODA ANN MOTT JOHNSON (JED MOTT"S SISTER)

We had many good  and many bad times.  We had plenty trouble with floods.  Many times our dams were taken out of the river, and our ditches washed out.  Therefore, whenever this happened, we had to be prepared for many days of hard labor, and our crops would suffer from the drought.  Then, sometimes another flood would come before the crops could be watered, and all would have to be done over again.  This kept on for many years.  We always got the floods from two streams because our home stood to close to where the mouth of Pleasant Creek emptied into the Dirty Devil River.  (The Fremont River at this point is called the Dirty Devil). 

On the 6th of October, 1916 we had a very heavy storm and it brought the largest flood we ever had.  The flood in the creek started about 9 o'clock A.M. and kept getting higher.  About noon the river began to rise, and as night came on it got worse, and the banks began to cave off taking lots of land with it.  As our corrals and yards were on low ground our horses and cows were moved to higher ground.  As it grew worse we began moving wagons, horses and all other machinery. 

After we had moved our wagon and other things, we had just left the stackyard when half the driveway caved off behind us.  We then decided that everything would have to be moved to higher ground.  So, our son, Arnold went and brought the team to the chicken coop where the harness was hung.  As they were harnessing the horses I called for them to hurry.  Mr. Johnson said,  "As soon as I buckle the harness."  But I told them,  "Come now don't wait."  So they came.  Just then the coop with about 60 Plymouth Rock chickens went down with the flood.  They went to the pen to get two fat pigs.  Just as they got them out the pen went down.  Thus, their lives were saved for the fourth time. 

We had lost all our crops that night, with no food for our stock, and not to much for ourselves.  We decided to load our wagon with what food stuff we had on hand.  We also took our cloths and bedding, but we didn't move far until the wagon started to go down in the soft earth.  They finally had to unhitch and leave the load where it was.  All this time the flood was getting much closer to the house, but then our shade trees began to go down one by one and that turned the stream, and our home was left, just 40 feet from the high banks of the river.  We were very thankful that our home still stood.  This was about midnight.  We sat by the fire the rest of the night so we could watch the river, and we tried to think what to do for the best. 

The next day we set up a tent and moved our beds into it.  We slept in this tent by night and lived in the house by day for a month.  We got very discouraged and we kept talking about finding us a new home.  We, decided against it, however.  We then got busy and moved our house and other buildings to higher ground, with the help of our two sons, Arnold and Wesley Johnson.  We were on the move all winter. 

About the 1st of March, 1916 we got a chance to buy 20 acres of land under the state canal at Aurora, Utah, which we bought.   We arrived in Aurora the 6th of April.  It was the same day the first World War was declared.  We stayed at the home of Mr. Frank Durfee (my half brother) while our small home was being built.  Mr. Durfee helped us very much in many ways. 

PS           This nice home was built and they lived in it many years, he died in_____but she lived there as a widow until her death.  She fell while visiting her daughter in Koosharem and broke her hip, and never recovered.  She was buried at Aurora beside her husband, Eleas Johnson.  ---AM Pierce  

Electra said,  "Sometimes we found it very hard to get along but the Lord always provided for us in some way, and we had an abundance of friends. 

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