Wednesday, July 13, 2011


by their grandson,
6 FEBRUARY, 1997
William   Mary Smith
There wasn't much known about the Moss family in my early life.  It was rumored that they were Jewish and immigrated from Denmark.  Later, my Dad's youngest sister, Cindy did a lot of research on the Family.  The family was a Jewish family that had lived in Denmark for generations and had been affiliated with Christianity.  They had no desire to return to the Holy Land.  They were satisfied with Denmark as their home.  The ones who came to America had joined the Mormon Church.  Aunt Cindy had done a lot of research on the family but she wasn't cooperative or sharing with her brothers and sisters.  They thought she was just wasting her time.  She told me that she confiding in me because I showed more interest and more appreciation in the results of her research.  Her two sisters especially Aunt Ada told her she didn't give a damn if their ancestors were monkeys. 

The last I saw the results of her research was in 1975 when I went up to Wayne County to take care of my Dads funeral.  I stayed at her home.  We examined it and talked for hours.  Moss was neither a Scandinavian or a Jewish name.  It was originally a Hebrew name, spelled MAAS.  During the Nazi occupation of Denmark the family suffered terribly.  Probably to their complete extinction. 

Aunt Cindy is dead now and my effort to locate her research material has not turned up anything.  My best lead was that her son may have it.  Anyway what I have seen and know, I am well convinced the Mosses are Jewish.  Aunt Ada Snow, Dads sister looks very Jewish.  The others sort of favor the Smiths in appearance. 

My Great Grandmother Moss lived with my Grandfather and Grandmother Smith until she died.  I saw her many times.  The last year she was bedridden.  Always in bed and most always propped up with pillows when I saw her.  My Grandmother didn't seem to take any pride or interest in being Jewish.  All she cared about, she said,  "Was the Mosses were people not monkeys.  I was never shown the same good affection by my Great Grandmother's Moss or Smith as my Great Grandmother Coleman.  I knew all three.  My Great Grandmother Coleman was from Scotland and spoke the Scottish accent. 

Both Grandmother Smith and her mother, Great Grandmother Moss were good at sewing, crocheting, tatting and knitting.  They had boxes full of their crocheting, embroidering and tatting.  It was interesting to watch them tat with a tatting shuttle.  They had some very beautiful crocheting tablecloths and bed spreads.  My Grandfather Smith seemed to be very good to his mother-in-law while she was living with them, and that was several years. 

I knew two of Grandmother (Mary Moss) Smith's sisters, Aunt Ardena and Aunt Clara.  They lived in Salt Lake.  They both would come down to Wayne County once in a while.  Aunt Ardena's husband was big and chubby, always well dressed, always so jolly and friendly.  He owned a jewelry store in Salt Lake.  Always wore a vest under his coat and always a big gold colored watch in one of the pockets of his vest.  With a gold chain that was threaded through one of the button holes of his vest and over and down to his belt.  The watch had a second hand and made a ticking sound every second.  He acted like he just loved to have us kids climb up on his big fat belly and listen to the ticking of the watch.  His name was John Orick.  Him and Aunt Ardena acted like they were so happy together.  Aunt Clara was more slender than Aunt Ardena and looked so much like her mother.  She never ever brought her husband when she would come to Wayne County.  Sometimes she would come with Aunt Ardena and Uncle John.  She was not as friendly as Aunt Ardena.  I know of one brother of my Grandmother Smith, I never saw him neither can I remember his name.  He was a locksmith.  He had invented some locking system that was giving him an income for it's use and franchise.  He was good at picking locks.  He was hired at times if the keys were lost.  He got so good at picking locks that he picked the wrong one, which landed him in jail for about five years.  Seems he was not able to pick the jails lock, that Is if he tried.  Because he served the full jail term. 
William Smith
Grandmother never seemed to talk about herself or her family and was not friendly with the grandkids.  I can't remember eating one meal at her home.

 We were allowed to do about anything in the orchard.  They had the biggest and the most variety of fruit of anybody in Torrey.  It must have took in about two acres and there was every kind of fruit that would grow.  Cherries were the first to ripen, sweet cherries and some sour cherries.  Then apricots and plums, then prunes and summer apples and peaches and quinces, the apples and pears.  The west row of trees were about twenty trees of Ben Davis apples that were used to make apple cider.  Grand Dad had a big cider press and a good  under-ground cellar to keep the cider in a cool place. 

The cider was contained in five, ten and fifteen gallon oak-stave kegs.  The apples were left on the trees until they were hit with the first frost.  Then they were picked and washed and the juice pressed out and strained through the cider press.  It took two husky men to operate the press.  Grandfather praised himself as getting as much juice out of an apple as anybody.  He let people use the press for their own apples.  He also gave much of his own cider to those in need.  Probably he sold some.  I know he bartered some for molasses and honey.  The cider was sure good in the summer when the weather was warm and we were working hard in the fields.  Especially at haying time. 

Mary Moss Smith
Grandfather good at grafting and budding young trees.  He was always raising root-stock for different kinds of fruit to be budded or grafted on these young trees.  The pits of the sweet pit apricot was planted and raised for root-stock for any kind of fruit that had pits.  The Ben Davis apple seed was planted for root-stock of all fruit that had seeds, such as apples, pears and quince.  The fruit that had a pit would not grow on a root-stock of a tree that had a seed and vice versa. 

Grandmother always had a nice flock of chickens.  She took a lot of pride in her chickens.  She sold and gave away eggs.  She had a nice coupe and chicken run for them just east of the orchard. 

Some distance north of the chicken coupe was the pig pens.  where they were raised and fattened for ham, bacon and sausage.  The hog pens were next to the north end of the orchard.  The orchard was fenced pig tight and the pigs were allowed out in the orchard during the summer and fall when the fruit would be dropping off the trees, mostly because of being over ripe.  The pigs before they were turned lose had to have two or three horse shoe nails punched through the rim of their snout.  The pigs used their snout for rooting up the ground.  The horse shoe nails were punched through the rim of the snout and then bent back toward the top of the snout.  So, when they would try to root up the ground the sharp end of the nail would press against their snout and they wouldn't root.  (the nails caused no more harm for the pigs than piercing peoples ears for ear rings).  A small price to pay for all that good fruit,  they loved to eat all that fresh fruit. 

When the pigs were killed the hams and bacon were soaked in a brine salt solution that contained many ingredients, such as sage, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, salt peter, alum, some molasses, sugar and even honey.  They were soaked in the brine for several days, then they were taken out and hung in the smoke house and smoked for a number of days and nights.  There was a pipe that carried the smoke from the fire-box to the smoke house.  Only oak or mahogany was burned to produce smoke. 

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Then the hams and bacons would be wrapped in white factory cotton cloth that had been soaked in a solution.  Then several thicknesses of burlap were wrapped over the white cloth and sewed so nothing would slip off.  Then they were buried in a wheat bin to keep them cool and from drying out.  You can't buy ham and bacon that good.  The formula was reported to be one Jorgen Smith brought from the old country.  I wish I would have got it and preserved it.  Sometimes when the relatives would come from Salt Lake, they were given a ham or side of bacon.  Les Warren and Stan Smith were always pleased to be given one. 

The only time Grandmother (Mary) would go to Church was to Relief Society when they were making a quilt or some other kind of sewing.  She and Great Grandmother (Mette) Smith were not on speaking terms and my Dad blamed his mother entirely.  Great Grandmother said to me that it was just better that they didn't see each other.  Grandmother said the same thing.  But of course my Grandfather Smith had good relations with his mother and all of his relatives.  Grandmother never protested Grandfather visiting his relatives as long as he didn't bring them home.  I never knew any of the Smith relatives that had friendly neighborly relations with her.  Grand Dad and Grand Mother never seemed to go anywhere together.  They just did whatever they wanted without protest either way.  Still, they never seemed to have any quarrels and never seemed to be rude with each other.  I just never cared to go see her.  I never knew whether she would let me in the house or send me home.  My sister, Deama felt the same way. 

Both Grand Dad and Grand Mother did everything in the right time of the moon.  The garden was planted in the right time of the moon.  The pigs and beef were killed by the moon.  It was claimed if the pigs were killed at the wrong time of the moon the bacon would curl up when it was fried.  Everything had to be done in the right time of the moon.  They had their almanac (Ben Franklin Almanac) to tell them when it was the right time of the moon.  My Dad made all kinds of fun of their moon obsession. 

The orchard, the house, the corrals, machine and equipment sheds, a large well fenced yard and camp house took abut five or six acres of the eighty acre farm.  The land was very fertile and productive.  It produced abundant crops of hay and grain.  About fifteen acres was fenced and used for pasture in the summer.  The cattle, close to 100 head were summered on the Boulder Mountain in the summer.  Then were partially wintered down on the Beason Lewis Flats and the Sulfur Creek Benches in the winter.  Toward spring they all were brought home where they would be fed hay and grain while giving birth to their calves.  So, they would be in good shape to go on the mountain sometime in April. 

On the mountain where Grandfather's cattle summered, and our cattle also, there were a lot of meadows fed by springs of water.  In the spring and early summer the ground was saturated from the snow melt and the springs were running a full capacity of water.  It would cause the meadows to become very wet and boggy.  It would cause the grass to grow fast and green.  Quite often a cow would go out in a very boggy, muddy area to get to the greener grass and would bog down in the mud and couldn't get out.  Most always, she had a nursing calf that would sometimes get bogged down also.  We would ride the meadows to watch for cows in the mud.  Most often we took a draft horse with a harness and chain to pull the cows out of the mud.  It was to much to pull a big cow out of the mud with a saddle horse by hitching on to the horn of the saddle.  When we would get the old cow out of the mud (especially if she had a calf) would be really mad and wanted to fight.  Thinking, I guess that we and our horses were the sole blame for her predicament.  Dumb animals are so dumb.  We never allowed our animals to grow horns.  They were de-horned when they were young.  But, we always tried to stay out of their way and made sure we were on our horses by the time she got on her feet.  They were usually quite exhausted and rather slow and groggy in getting on their feet.  The experience must have taught them something because rarely did we find that cow in the mud again. 

The camp house and a well fenced yard must have occupied around an acre or more of ground.  The camp house was for people to camp in when going down or coming out of the Lower Country.  The fenced yard would easily take care of 200 head of cattle or horses.  The camp house had a stove and two or three bed steads.  Grandmother always had new baked bread and eggs for sale if they wanted it.  There was hay and grain for sale for the animals.  If Granddad ever ran short of hay or grain there was plenty in town that could be supplied on short notice. 

When the circus would come to town (what an event)!  They stretched their big tent in the camp yard.  Sometimes a small rodeo or rodeo practice would be negotiated and performed in that yard.  The irrigation ditch ran along the east side of that yard so water was always available for the animals.  

My Grandmother died while I was on my mission a few months before my Grandfather died.  My mother told me he missed her very much after she died and showed an eagerness to pass on and be with her.  The feeling could have even hastened his death. 

Grandmother Mary Smith got the credit for choosing the names for all her children.  All four boys hated their names.  Uncle Bill was named William Cappie.  He was so touchy about the name Cappie that he wouldn't allow anybody to use it in his presence.  The initial C was used to distinguish his from his father, William.  He didn't want junior to be used either.  My dad hated the name Eugene and wanted only to be called Jean.  Uncle Walter was named Walter Holger.  The name Holger did not register a good taste with him either.  Uncle Bus was named Arvil.  He hated that name, he called himself Buster.  Was generally called Bus Smith.  If it is all in a name Grandma must have not done to well.  The people in town knew how the boys hated their names and could not resist a little teasing at times. 

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