Thursday, December 15, 2011




Nick  Sutler     Floyd    Fred   Eliza H. Sutler   Irene
It's very difficult to write about the history of our family because Mother (Eliza) passed away at the early age of 45 and at that time I wasn't into family history so a lot of things I should have remembered did not register.  Besides that, I can remember many times asking my mother how she met my dad and the story was always the same - "I saw him walking down the street, liked his looks, so I put a bucket over his head and dragged him home."  I'm sure if I had asked much more she would have joked about it.  She loved her little jokes and would pull them on anyone, any time.

From all I have learned from relatives, Mom and Dad met in Winter Quarters, Utah, while she was working in a boarding house and I'm sure Dad must have been working in the mines.  He learned his trade in Yugoslavia as a blacksmith.  His schooling only went to the fourth grade and then he evidently went into his apprenticeship.  At 17 he decided to leave the "old country" and headed for America.  He could not speak English so it must have been very hard for him to work his way over here and then obtain work when he got here.  He worked his way up and down the Great Lakes on ore barges and ended up in St. Louis and from there headed west.  Obviously he arrived in Winter Quarters and that's where he got caught in Mother's bucket.  Another time I should have listened and learned more.  They were married in Provo, Utah February 2, 1921.
Irene    Fred     Lorraine  Floyd

My first memory is of leaving Cumberland, Wyoming, on the train heading for Superior, Wyoming, so my parents must have left Utah for the mines in Wyoming and stayed in Cumberland for a few years.  My brothers, Floyd and Fred, and I were born in Cumberland and my sister Lorain was born in Superior. 

Dad worked in the mines and after some time bought the Union Pacific Boarding house in Superior.  It was hard work running a boarding house and raising four kids but Dad helped all he could when he wasn't working at the mines.  There were fourteen boarders which meant there was a lot of cooking - breakfast for the miners, packing their lunches, and cooking supper for the men.  Seems there was always dishes to do.  The mine Superintendents came to town often so Mother had to cook lunches for them.  She was a fantastic cook - baked bread, pies and cakes.  Everyone loved her cooking.

Around 1937 Dad decided he wanted to open his own Blacksmith shop in Lander so they sold the boarding house and off we went to Lander.  The decision to move was not a good one.  Dad had lots of work but could not get paid. 

After a short time we moved outside of town to a ranch and that wasn't a good idea either.  Mother was happy there with her garden so she did lots of canning.  Dad was not much of a rancher but he did his best.  He was much too soft hearted and did all he could to keep the ranch animals happy even if it meant taking Mother's hot wash water and giving it to the cows so they wouldn't have to drink cold water in the winter or turning the pigs loose in the he garden because he felt they needed greens.   Life on the ranch was no picnic.  There was no running water and those trips to the outhouse in the winter were just awful - come to think about it they weren't so hot in the summer either.  We did all the things you are supposed to do on a ranch - milked the cows, slopped the hogs, and fed the chickens, and a million other things.  Depression time meant there was not much money but we sold milk and eggs and I can remember making those stupid angel food cakes and sold them in town for 35 cents.  Had to use up the eggs.  To this day I hate angel food cake.

Nick       Eliza   Irene    Floyd    Lorraine    Fred
In 1941 Dad got a job in Cheyenne working for the Union Pacific Railroad in the blacksmith shop so the ranch was sold and we moved to Cheyenne.  Floyd and Fred stayed in Lander working and finishing school so there was just Lorraine and I tagging along.  At last, Dad finally got a pay check and life seemed much easier for both Mom and Dad.  Mom didn't have to work so hard and could spend more time with her crocheting and tatting and sewing.  She could tat so fast you could hardly see her fingers.  She loved to read so I spent lots of time in the library looking for the mystery books she liked.

Looking back, I think my parents had a pretty hard life but those years were hard for most people so I guess we all rolled with the punches.  I can remember good times too - our trip to Pennsylvania in that old car - four kids and 2 adults on that long trip, staying in motels where we used corn cobs in the stove so mom could rustle up some supper and breakfast, buying things in the store so we could  have lunch and fighting to see who could pay the toll on the toll bridges.  We were gone three weeks and in the early 30's that was quite a trek.

Grandma Halverson   Irene   Eliza   Lorraine   Nick   Lee   Beth H.  Gene   Paul
Also can remember the times Mom would pack us four kids in the car and head for Grandma's house in Utah so that could can fruits and vegetables.  Loved to listen to all of my aunts and uncles tell stories.  True Halversons - they all stretched the truth a bit.  When Grandma came to Cheyenne to visit, she and Mom would take over the dining room and make quilts. I was the one on the floor who had to poke the needles back up.

The picture that always comes to mind when I think about Mom is of her sitting in her chair, tatting of crocheting like made, a twinkle in her blue eyes, her belly bouncing up and down while she was chuckling - she just pulled a fast one on someone and she just ate that up.

Mother died much too young - her nine grandchildren did not get to know her but I know they would have all thought she was wonderful.

Eliza Halverson, born 7/13/1902, Palmyra, Ut; died 12/31/1947

Nicholas Sutler, born 12/22/1888, Zagreb, Yugo.    12/14/1963
Floyd Sutler, born     3/11/1922, Cumberland, Wyo   3/29/1989
Fred Sutler, born      5/28/1923, Cumberland, Wyo  
Irene Sutler, born    11/28/1924, Cumberland, Wyo  
Lorraine Sutler, born 12/20/1929, Superior, Wyo     9/10/1966

NICK SUTLER Rites Today;  Services for Nick Louis Sutler, 75, of 1811 Milton Drive, who died Saturday at Memorial Hospital after a brief illness, heart attack, will be held at 3.30 P.M. today at the Wuderspahn Chapel of the Chimes.  The Rev. Stanley Guille will officiate.  Burial will be at Beth El Cemetery. 

Sutler, a resident of Cheyenne for 22 years, had been a Blacksmith for the Union Pacific for 12 years before retiring.  Born 20 Dec. 1888, died 14 Dec. 1963 and buried 17 Dec. 1963.

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