Earl and Eliza Halls- page


Over the next 35 pages of this web you will find the story and photos of the life of Earl and Eliza together. This story is composed of their own writings and the writings of some of their children. For stories of their lives growing up please follow the links to the left.

Edited by Kristine Halls Smith

Grandpa was a storyteller, so he was encouraged by many people in his family to tell his stories so they could be preserved. In 1968, he complied with those requests by telling his stories into a tape recorder and they were then transcribed. Grandma later wrote interesting stories of her life, but she only got as far as 1925 in her writings, so their sons, Lyle and Glenn, added more to complete the stories. Joy also wrote about some of her memories of her mother. Earl and Eliza’s childhoods, of course, were separate and are  presented separately. However, because their stories tell about the same time periods and the same experiences after they were married, I’ve combined the stories; to show each one’s writings – Earl’s and Eliza’s, Lyle’s, Glenn’s and Joy’s. I’ve attached a name at the beginning of each section to show who wrote it.

—Kristine Halls Smith

(Eliza) When I was about eighteen years old, Earl began to notice me, but my interest in him or any other boy was nil. There were some I liked better than others, but that was as far as it went. Kids did not date then as they do now because they had no transportation or money. We got ourselves to the dances, shows, and roller skating, or stayed home. But Earl persevered, and on May 1, 1913, we were married in the Salt Lake Temple. We took a horse and buggy from Huntsville to Earl’s Aunt Lottie’s in Ogden to stay the night which bothered me a bit as I had been told she had another girl picked out for Earl. I didn’t think she liked me, although she was very kind and thoughtful to me. She was that kind of person. We got up early and caught the Bamberger train to the Salt Lake Temple. I felt like a star out of orbit, lost. I had a nice white dress at home, but had been told they would not let me wear it. So the only thing I had white was a nice long white skirt and a white blouse, but I could have worn my dress. Huntsville was a long way from Salt Lake City, and when Ma and Dad were married, maybe that was the way it was. The ladies were so nice and helpful, like always. In the marriage room we were all alone. The man that married us and the two witnesses were up on the balcony. It’s so different today. Anyhow, we got married and got home early that evening. I was so tired I put my head on the sewing machine next to my chair and went to sleep. The next night Ma had arranged a nice wedding supper for us with relatives and friends. We got quite a few nice presents.

(Earl) On May 1, 1913, Eliza Winter and I were married in the L.D.S. Temple in Salt Lake City. The morning after we were married, I got a team and went to Ogden to pick up some furniture that I had ordered from Sears Roebuck, and from then on we started keeping house on the ranch.

We lived on the ranch that summer, and in late September, Frank Halls and I rented an old blacksmith shop and started blacksmithing. We thought we were full-fledged blacksmiths, but soon found out we were not. Don’t know how we would have made out if an old blacksmith hadn’t given us some pointers. There is a lot of difference between school and the real thing.

(Eliza) We went to live on the Halls ranch located on the bench south of Huntsville where Earl and his father were farming that summer. That is where I began to cook all by myself, for farm hands mostly, Earl, Clyde, and their father, then for threshers with Dora’s help. I had Grandma Halls come to supervise, but she was not feeling well, so she did none of the work. She darned stockings of which there were plenty. The ranch had a nice three-room home. Earl had bought some furniture and his mother insisted that we take a rag carpet she had made. She had sewed the rags and had it woven. I thought she should have put in on her own bedroom floor, but she insisted on us taking it for a wedding present. Earl’s father and brother, Clyde, used the one room when they were working there. The well water was just outside the kitchen door on the porch, so when it was washday, I drew water from the well, heated it on the stove in a boiler and washed the clothes on a washboard and wrung the water out by hand. I rinsed them the same way, and hung them on the clothesline outside to dry.

I still taught Sunday School and so did Earl. We walked the mile and three quarters to Sunday School and back. Sometime in the summer of 1913, Frank Halls from Mancos, Colorado came on a motorcycle. He was going to Oregon and Washington to sell, or try to sell, a new type of metal extension ladders to the orchard owners, but he was back in a few months. When asked how he made out, he said, ”Enough to live on.” In the fall he and Earl went into blacksmithing so we left the ranch and moved into a house in the center of Huntsville that was once Earl’s grandmother’s home. It was next to the home that Earl’s sister, Ruth, and husband, Henry Grow, had bought from Uncle George Halls. Frank slept at Ruth’s and ate with us. We only had two rooms and what was called a pantry, or storage room. We had a cow that Earl’s Uncle John had given us for a wedding present, but it was too wild and no good for milk. Here I pumped and carried water a short distance from the well over at Ruth’s house. Earl talked his dad into buying his mother an electric-powered washer, with wringer attached. Later he bought one for me.

Earl’s father and family moved to the ranch. They wanted us to move to their home on Spring Creek. It was sort of out by itself and they did not like to leave it empty, so we had the house, two cows, and chickens to care for. Frank stayed with us until just before Glenn was born. I just wanted to be alone for a change, so he went and stayed with Ruth Grow. We milked the cows. I made butter and sold it until the weather got too hot and I had no way of keeping the cream or butter cool. As we were getting the house and cows for free, Earl thought we should let his folks have the butter, which I did. (He didn’t have to make it). At the ranch there was a cool cellar to keep it in, and to work out the rest of the buttermilk.

Glenn was born August 12, 1914, a plump little sandy-haired boy. He was a good baby, and always a good kid all the way. I can say that of all of my children.

(Earl) On August 12, 1914, our son, Glenn, was born in my folks’ home on Spring Creek in Huntsville where we lived. Dr. Robinson was the attending doctor. My folks were on Uncle John’s ranch, running it on shares.

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