|Joe & Estella Holt Smith|
a english and irish mother and also the seventh son of this marige. And what he
can remember about the kind of life he had as a boy, and young man, and what
happened through 64 year's of wonderfull life. As close as can be remembered.
The Life of Clifford Smith
First my father was a big tuff cowboy who could ride any horse are fight any
man and win in both. And he stressed the fact that the word of a man was just
as good as his bond. My mother was the kind of a woman that did as my father
bid. He was the boss of our family. We lived in a two room log and scrap cabin
one mile east of Desert Lake Utah. The kitchen had no floor. Just mother earth.
In the other room we had a ruff wood floor with knot holes in most of the
boards. Between the logs, we had blue clay, for plaster. And any kind of a jar
would shake some of it out. Then one could see outside through the logs. We
were mostly cold in the winter, for we burned wood in a old fassion cookstove
for heat and we had a small heating stove in the other room. It also burned
wood are coal, but we hardly ever had any coal.
range. Our horses ranged, in luckey flat and seader mountain and through all
the country through that aeria. In the winter he would have iccles hanging on
his whiskers. He would set by the stove and my mother would hurry with the
coffee. All of us kids would crowed as close as we could to him. And myself, I
loved to feel his cold ears. After a few minutes tuching his ears he would blow
his cork, and sometimes he would slap me. He couldn't see mutch sence in me
playing with his ears. But I really bleive he loved me more than any of the
My folks said I learned to walk by crawling to old red and climbing up, by
holding to his tail. And when he would move, to another tuft of grass, I would
have to drag, are walk. And I didn't like to drag. But I was to young to
remember for sure.
This was 1917. That same year the Utah railway built a track from Martin to
Black Hawk and Morland right past our ranch. And Mr. Wattis started a coal mine
joining our property. The town was started and the Wattis coal company built my
family a four room house for a right of way through our property.
Our first school at Wattis was a two room house in the east end of the town.
We lived about 3 quarters of a mile from the school, but we had to cross a big
deep canyon. Sometimes the snow was deeper than my youngest brother was tall.
But we made it to school pretty regular.
In the 4th grade I was driving cattle from Elmo to Wattis and the teacher
explained long division to the class. I was not to school that day, so I
coppyed the rest of that year and learned to do them the next year, when she
explained it to the 4th grade. I was in the 5th, but I listened in.
My brother Ferd quit school and went to work for the coal company on the
tipple. He was 14 years old, but when the fall roundup started, my dad ask him
to git a few days off and help find our cows. We had twenty or thirty scattred
around in the mountains. This was 1920, October.
He camped out with some other riders for a week and when he came home he had
a bad headache. It kept gitting worse. And he started to have a feever. The
company had a mine Doctor by that time, so he came down to our house, and
looked at him. My mother told him it looked like typhoid fever, because he
wouldn't stay in beed, he just wanted to walk and walk. But the Dr. said no, it
was not. He said their was no place up in the mountains for the germs to breed.
A few days later my two younger brothers got sick. Then the doctor sent for
some vaccin for typhoid. The two young brothers started to improve right away,
but it was too late for Ferd. He passed away. The rest of the family were
vaccinated and did not git the deaseas.
So when I was fourteen years old, I tryed to work in the coal mine loading
coal with a no. 2 scoop shovel, but I only lasted six weeks. I worked with my
older brother. He was the best loader in the mine. After a mounth, my nose
started to blead from no air and to mutch power smoke, Even some of the horses
they used to pull the coal with would die from lack of oxigen.
At that time, we had no union, and the only thing you could do was quit. So
I quit and worked on construction, building roads for a couple of years. I
broke horses to ride for people and rode in rodeos. Painted a few houses for
people for fifty dollars a mounth. I tyed fleeses in a shearing coral and went
on the Bum through Idaho, Montana and Wyoming.
My brother died in Rawlins, Wyoming, So I came home and started to work in
the coal mine again, loading coal. I was seventeen. That 1925-1926 I was High
I started to buy a 1926 Ford roadster. It cost $585.00. I payed twenty or
thirty dollars a month untill I had a down payment. I had $265.00 payed on it and
I got hert and lost my right eye and went to Salt Lake to St. Marks Hospital.
That was in March 1926 right after I was eighteen years old.
While I was in the hospital, my dad died and I came home. Then my brother
Leo got Dropsey and went and stayed with my sister Pearl. My sister Pearl had
five children of her own. She wrote me a letter, and told me the Doctor said
Leo was going to die if he stayed at her place any longer, and he wanted to
come home. So I left my job and went on the train to Richfield and brought him
He died as I was taking him of the train in Price. The undertaker felt sorry
for us and he only charged me $113.00 for the whole funeral. That was in March
But in June, Clayton got killed in a car wreck in Huntington Canyon. And the
L.D.S. Church made all the arrangements for the funeral. All I had to pay for
was the carpenter that made the coffen, and the lumber. So altogether it cost
me $40.00. I still had my mother, my neice, one younger brother and sister.
That was 1927.
So that fall I got marrid and in May we had a beautifull baby girl. She was
born May 27 and we called her Hazel Leon.
In 1930, the 12th day of June, Hazel and I had a fine baby boy. He weighed 9
pounds. We called him Harvey Clayton. We had a girl and a boy, real healthy,
and we were all happy.
In the fall the coal company put us back to work in the mine, steady through
1931 untill the middle of 1932.
The 13th of February my wife had another baby girl. She was a beauty. We
called her Laura LaRae.
Then in 1935, I heard about a farm on Miller Creek. The man that owned it
was Dave Henderson. So he wanted three hundred dollars for it. So I went in to
three banks and tryed to borrow the money, and they would not lend me $300.00
on eighty head of sheep and thirteen head of cows, So I talked to the F.H.A.
man. And he told me they couldnt lend me any money to buy a farm. But if I
would trade my sheep for the farm, he could lend me the money to buy my sheep
from him. So I gave Dave a bill of sale on the sheep, and he gave me a bill of
sale on the farm, and I borowed the money from the F.H.A. to buy my sheep back.
I think about how mutch more I wish I had done for my mother. But after she
got on wellfare, She was a very happy woman. That was 1935. She had a better
house than she had ever had before. My younger brother built her a two room
house on my farm at miller creek, and Dee lived with her until he got married.
And after that my wife would take her shopping and to church. She seemed to be
happy. She received twenty eight dollars a mounth from the wellfare from 1935
untill she died in 1942. She was the greatest woman I ever knew. My sister
Estella was very good to her and helped her all she could. But we were a very
poor family and Dee was good to her too. She loved him and Stella with all her
I am glad she died before Dee had to go to World War two.
My oldest girl was in California with her husband and three sons. But she
was having kidney trouble.
My wife wanted a place where she could build a desent home, so I bought six
acre place in Springlen. It was about twelve miles north of our farm. It had a
basement house, four apple trees, three apricot trees and one pear tree. And a
half of acre of rasberrys, booth red and black. I gave three thousand dollars
cash for the whole thing. So we started to think about building a house on the