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. 

  • (Eliza) In the fall we moved back to Grandma’s house. In the spring we moved again. Earl’s dad would give us free rent if we would move to his place again. We got our water here from Spring Creek, some distance from the house. We carried the water in early morning before all the cows upstream waded in it. Fall came. We all moved back to our homes, except Ruth and Henry, as they were expecting a baby. He took a job on the ranch, usually herding sheep. Along in February little June arrived, Ruth’s first girl. Grandma Halls, Ruth’s mother, was taking care of the family when she got the mumps, so I went to look after Ruth and the baby. Ruth also got the mumps and was pretty miserable, the baby didn’t get much to eat and wasn’t gaining weight. I was glad when Grandma came back.

    Shortly after this, Frank and Earl gave up the blacksmith shop. Frank had an offer from Monticello to go into the blacksmith and garage business. The fact that he had decided to marry a girl in Monticello may have helped to make his decision. He also had a girl in Huntsville, but she lost out. She became a school teacher and never married.

    Earl’s mother, Ellen Melissa Barker Halls, wrote a birthday poem to Earl on April 16, 1915. It is included here.

    Just think, my boy, you’re twenty five
    And I am forty-four.
    When nineteen years have come and gone,
    You’ll think you’re that or more.

    But now you’re in the prime of life
    Go singing on your way.
    Think often of the old folks
    Whose hair has turned to gray.

    We love you just the same dear
    As we did when you were small.
    We love you in the spring time
    And we love you in the fall.

    We’ll always be your friend, boy,
    No matter what you do.
    But we’ll love you all the more
    If you are brave and true.

    So don’t forget your duty
    To do the best you can.
    You’ve passed your childhood days now
    And have grown to be a man.

    I wish you a prosperous, happy life
    And plenty of girls and boys,
    And I’m glad you have a right good wife
    To share your woes and joys.

    May this be a happy birthday
    With plenty more to come
    With plenty of good pure water,
    But with never any rum.

    (Earl) In the spring of 1915, my partner, Frank Halls, had an offer to go into a blacksmithing shop and garage business in Monticello, Utah. A well-to-do cattleman named Frank Adams offered to put up the money, and Frank was to be the shop man and manager. Frank left, and I tried to collect the money we had out. But not much luck!

    My Uncle George offered me a job as foreman on his ranch in Idaho. I took it. Eliza came down with the mumps and I packed our household goods and left for the ranch, leaving her and Glenn with my folks until she got over the mumps, then she came out by train. I learned the hard way what a foreman is. He is the man who can work ten hours in the field, milk seven cows, feed 200 pigs, and keep everything in repair. By midsummer, Frank was riding me to come to Monticello and go in with him and Adams. I didn’t intend to, but during haying time while Uncle George was gone for two weeks and I was running the haying crew, Stanley, Uncle George’s boy, driving pull time on the stacker, went too far and tipped the stacker over. In trying to get it straightened up, one man got smart and let loose of the rope he was holding to keep the stacker from falling too hard. I fired him, and when Uncle George came home, he hired him again. And I quit. Couldn’t be a foreman and have authority under such circumstances.

    (Eliza) Earl got a job from his Uncle George in Raymond, Idaho, and I got the mumps. Grandma came and took me and Glenn home and there we stayed for two weeks. Earl wouldn’t kiss me goodbye. He had to do the moving all by himself. Glenn and I took the train from Ogden about the middle of March 1915, for Montpelier where Earl picked us up. I cooked for Uncle George and two men until school was out in Ogden, and Aunt Celia and her family came to the ranch. I guess we got paid for it. Earl did not last very long under Uncle George. He should have known that before he started, but I guess the sound of “foreman” sounded good, and a job was a job. He now had a family to support.

    We sold our washer, and I was back on the washboard until Aunt Celia moved out from Ogden. She had me come over and use her washer. She insisted that I use it. Well, the word “foreman” had a different meaning to Earl than it did to Uncle George. Until the boys came out, he milked the cows, then he gave Earl one cow to milk. The milk always left a sediment in the bottom of the pan, something like soured milk, and it kept getting worse. I was afraid to use it. I took a pan of the milk over to show Aunt Celia and that was the end of that. We were not to use that cow’s milk anymore. I was to come over and get what milk I wanted, also cream, as they had a separator, and I was cooking for two men at the time.

    The foreman job was continual. We never had a whole day off, Sunday or holidays. We were going picnicking on the Fourth of July with Earl’s cousins and friends up the canyon, but Uncle George had a small job for Earl, and they did not wait for us, but told us where they were going. Not knowing the canyon, we never found them, so we picnicked all by ourselves. The same on Sunday; there was always something that needed doing on Sunday morning and Earl was the one. He did all the blacksmith work, and repair of the machinery. Uncle George knew what he was doing when he hired Earl, and Earl should have known what he was getting into as he had worked all his life for his uncles, but I guess “foreman” had a good sound.

    There was this boy about seventeen called Fritz, who was born in Raymond of Dutch parents. He had worked there for years. He was always bugging Earl to wrestle. Earl threw him twice and thought that would stop it, but it didn’t. It could have been that he thought he should have had the foreman job. Anyway, something came up out in the field that could have been avoided, but it was Fritz that was responsible, so Earl fired him. Uncle George had hired him, and he said something to Earl, who blew his top and quit. 

  • (Earl) We packed our goods. George said to leave them in the house and go down to see Frank, then come back to work. But if I decided to stay down there, to write and he would haul the furniture six miles to the station and ship it and it wouldn’t cost me a thing. So, leaving my wife and Glenn in Huntsville, I left for Monticello. I went by train to Thompson Springs and then by stage to Moab. Another man and I hired Dave Parrott to take us to Monticello. The road at that time went by way of LaSal and was about sixty-eight miles. Parrott had a stripped-down Model-T car with no body at all, just two wagon spring seats, no top, and about fifty sacks to spread down in the sandy spots to get across when we got stalled. That trip cost us fifteen dollars each with the pushing thrown in. Well, I stayed in Monticello. It cost too much to get out.

    I wrote to my dear uncle to ship my furniture. This was September 15, 1915. About November 20, the furniture came. Uncle George was mad because I didn’t come back. He sold the main part of our furniture, held out twenty-five dollars for hauling the balance six miles, also fifteen dollars for prepaid freight, and sent a check for sixty dollars for the balance which he said he got out of the furniture. I had paid sixty-five dollars for the stove alone when I had gone to Idaho. Our table, chairs, cooking utensils, cases of canned goods, and several other things, were sold.

    Eliza came in November and I got a four-horse team from Henry Wood and went to Thompson Springs to meet her and bring back the few belongings that were left. She and Glenn rode on the load of freight with me. The trip took ten days – four days out and six days back. At LaSal, the night we camped there, it snowed six inches. We stretched a canvas from the wagon to the ground and built our bed under it. It was a little tough for Glenn, just past one year old. Roy Wood was with me on that trip. He also had a four-horse outfit and a hayrack, and was loaded with freight. On the way out, one of my horses fell and went under the wheel, and the leaders broke the chain and ran away. So Roy loaned me one of his teams, which was more gentle, to keep Eliza and Glenn from getting killed on the way home.

    (Eliza) As Frank had been writing to Earl to come to Monticello, and go in with him in a shop, that is where we headed. Since we weren’t sure of a landing place, we left our furniture at the ranch. I think Uncle George expected us back, but he said he would ship our furniture when we settled. Glenn and I stayed with the folks in Huntsville until Earl decided what he’d do. It must have been the latter part of September that I got word to take the train to Thompson Springs where he would meet us. He was there with a four-horse freight wagon to take our furniture and some freight also, as all of Monticello’s supplies were hauled in like that, over sand and dirt roads. It was a long road and country that I never thought existed. I was surprised when we crossed the Colorado River and came out around the mountain and there was Moab. Another bridge has now been built farther down the river. The first was narrow, and farther upstream on a narrow place with a good rock footage on both sides. Things change a great deal over the years. I have never seen so much country with so little in it. Earl pointed out a big hole in the rock which now has been made into a home where people live.

    Earl had wanted Glenn and me to go to Monticello with the mail carrier, but I wanted to stay with him as Glenn seemed to be taking it all right, so I stayed with the wagon. The weather wasn’t cold, though we did have snow one night. We strung a canvas over us and slept like logs. There were places to eat along the way. It seemed they were ready to feed the freighters and people traveling through.

    In the fall of 1915, we arrived at Frank’s in Monticello, met his wife, Elizabeth, and her mother, who was living with them at the time. They were all so nice. They made us feel right at home.

    (Earl) That winter we lived in the back of a house in two rooms, and only a cookstove for heat. The house was drafty. We would almost be blown out from the other side at times. We burned cedar and pinion wood, and we had to take wood on blacksmithing bills.

    (Eliza) We got two rooms that were built on the back of a Mr. and Mrs. Backer’s house. The inside was okay, but the outside cover was metal slats and when the wind blew, which was quite often in Monticello, it came in without invitation. The room with the cook stove was a large square room with a board floor which had a knot hole in it, and where some of my knives, forks, and spoons got through with Glenn’s help. Here we put the kitchen cabinet, table and chairs which didn’t fill the room very much. The other room was only half as wide, but just as long. There was a heating stove in this room, and here is where we spent most of our time on cold days. I do not remember what happened to Grandma’s rag carpet, but we must have had it with us as this room had a carpet in it and was real comfortable. We were getting our water from an irrigation ditch that ran by the back yard. We filled up in the early morning before the cows got thirsty. It was good water, fresh from a mountain spring. Uncle George did not send the stove that I liked so well, nor my ironing board, nor the cases of canned goods we had him get for us where he got his supplies on discount. We could have used them. I don’t know why, but he only paid for the stove. Guess he thought we owed him something for the inconvenience we put him to, or it could have been an oversight, but I will say he was the loser. He couldn’t find another man as capable for that job as Earl was. He knew all the angles, from horseshoing to fixing machinery to irrigating.

    (Earl) That fall after I arrived in Monticello, Adams decided he didn’t want me to go in with them, so I went out on a big ranch and drove six horses on a gang plow most of the fall. After it froze up, I hauled lumber from a sawmill with our four horses, and had some close calls, as the road was icy and the brake did no good. I would have to let the horses outrun the wagon. Some thrill to stand up on a load of lumber and drive four horses down a hill at full speed and wonder if at the next hill you would tip over.

    After I left Barton’s, I helped Frank in the shop some, and we bought a water-cooled single cylinder gas engine and a cord wood saw. I would go from wood pile to wood pile sawing wood. We had an outfit on skids, and each guy had to bring his team and pull it to his place. Sure was slim pickings that winter. We had to take flour, spuds, or whatever we could get for pay. There was no money in the country. Someone, generally a cowman, would write out a check, possibly for five dollars and the check would pass around, for change, until it was worn out. Then someone would take it back to him and he would make out a fresh one. That was the way they had to make change. There was no change, very little money. 

  • (Eliza) We made it through the winter. One night we went to the movie, and while there, a storm came up. When we got out, the snow was so high and drifted, it was almost impossible to get through. Earl waded through with Glenn. I had to crawl in places on my dress to get through. One little short man called, “Somebody come and get me,” but I think he was crawling over just like the rest of us. In the morning there was a drift in front of the shop about fifteen feet high. They had to go around it to get in. I still remember that pile of snow. It was there for awhile.

    (Earl) One night we went to a picture show which was held in a barn-like place made of lumber and covered with tin. The snow would drift in, and the wind howled. But that didn’t matter as they were silent pictures. The electricity was generated with a steam engine. The steam engine broke a piston and Mr. Hibbs, local carpenter and undertaker, made a piston out of wood. In a very exciting place in the show the piston swelled up and stuck, and left the audience in suspense. On the way home that night, walking down Main Street, there was a big snowdrift across the street about five feet deep. Eliza crawled across on her dress, and I wallowed through carrying Glenn. After we were through, a little fellow about five feet tall, a full-grown man, started across, but sank in all over, and he started to shout, “Somebody come and help me!” Makes me laugh every time I think of it. Mr. Hibbs, a grand old man, made all the caskets for the people who died. No embalming then. But they always had funerals, and tried to find something good to say about the dead one.

    In late February or early March 1916, my wife and I borrowed a team and bobsled and drove out to Lockerby to look at a homestead site that some people had told us about. Things went well until we had to leave the main road, and some people gave us directions as to how to get to the Doyle’s place. They were the people who had told us to come out. There was snow two feet deep on the road. It was four miles from the main road to their place. After the first mile, we had to leave the wagon box and the back bob of the sled. We tied a bail of hay on the front bob, and Eliza, Glenn, and I rode on it until almost dark. After crossing a canyon, we arrived at the Doyle’s place and stayed overnight with them. Next morning, Mr. Doyle and I went out to the land he had told me about. It was nice and smooth – no rocks or anything in sight, buried under two feet of snow.

    Later that spring after the snow had gone, I filed on 320 acres of land. After going to New Mexico to buy horses, wagon, and harness, we bought a tent and moved to the homestead. We planted a little garden that didn’t amount to much, and cleared twenty acres that first year. We plowed it and got it ready for the crop the next year.

    (Eliza) People were very friendly and we began to feel at home. When spring came in 1916, we got a large tent and headed for the homestead we had picked out under the snow eighteen miles east of Monticello. It was all right with one exception; there was a big canyon that split the homestead in the middle. Most of it could have been cultivated with the removal of some cedar trees, only we didn’t get that far. With the removal of a few of the trees there was plenty to cultivate. We put up the tent and set up housekeeping on the west side of the canyon close to a family by the name of Doyle. In fact, we camped on their place so we wouldn’t be so far from water, as we now hauled it in barrels from a spring in the bottom of the canyon. There were some rocks put around in several places like they might be the graves of Indians as there was evidence all around in the canyon that Indians had been there for some time. We were always going to dig one up to see what was there, but we never did.

    Earl plowed and planted his first twenty acres, and I tried to keep the dirt down in the tent. Glenn liked it. He could live out-of-doors. There was a wheel, or something he could turn and the first word he said was “wheel.”

    When it rained the tent leaked, and when the wind blew it flapped, and when the sun shone it was hot, but all-in-all it was not so bad. Wind and storms were few and we were under some tall trees. We cleared and planted a small garden just over the fence close by. But it was too late so it didn’t do well.

  • Earl and Mr. Cox, a neighbor, took a contract to clear some sage land that fall. They took the tent, and I stayed with Mrs. Cox so neither of us would be alone. They had a girl and twin baby boys. I did a bit of sewing for her by making things over as they were no richer than we were. And evenings I would get out of the house by hunting down the cow out in the sage and bring her in, but I did not offer to milk her. I could watch the kids that long.

    (Earl) Later that summer, I hauled lumber forty miles to Monticello for seven dollars per thousand feet, to pay for lumber to build one room for a home. That built, we made a lumber floor and put the tent over it for a bedroom on one end.

    (Eliza) The men were gone three or four weeks, then we moved to the house that Earl was building. There was one quite large room, with the studding on the inside, and cracks between the boards, but before cold weather set in, he had them all covered. He had built a floor and a four-foot siding to set the tent over. Here again I remember that we had carpet on the floor. A heating stove was set up and we were comfortable. It was not as cold in San Juan as in Huntsville.

    As we were expecting a new baby, Earl’s mother came down to stay with us for awhile and to help out, as the baby was expected before Christmas. She stayed longer than expected. Lyle was born December 27, 1916. He was a beautiful, dark-haired little boy. Midwife Nielsen officiated. When all was well, Earl took his mother to visit with her sisters for awhile in Mancos, Colorado.

    (Earl) On December 27, 1916, Lyle was born in the tent, with the aid of Mrs. Nielsen, a midwife. It was a nasty, stormy night. I had to drive three miles to her home after her. It was a regular blizzard. It cost ten dollars for her services. Oh well, I guess he was worth it! Our neighbors had a daughter whose husband was in World War I, and while he was gone, she had given birth to twins. That was about the time Lyle was just a youngster being born, and Glenn had seen the twins. When Glenn came to look at Lyle for the first time, he looked all around the bed and said, “Momma, where’s the ‘nudder one?”

    The next year, between working in Monticello in the blacksmith shop and farming, trying to get money to fence and live, we raised a better crop of wheat and corn for our horses. We raised a pig or two, rented a cow, and the cottontails came free. Along with a few chickens, we lived. Lucky for Lyle, he lived on milk.

    (Eliza) From our little two-by-two window I could look east across the flat country and see the peaks of the Colorado mountains and west across the country to the Blue Mountains beyond Monticello, where finally I located “the horse’s head,” made up of a white rock nose and surrounding trees. Over the years I enjoyed the views of the mountains so much. The happiest time of my life was the years spent on the homestead. We built a cellar first, a chicken coop, a barn, a corral, a pig pen, and a shop which never got a roof. All were made of logs from our homestead. Earl also fenced a garden and the east field. It was a brush fence between the yard and the canyon. He worked from early morning till late at night. The days were long in summer. The sun came up over the Colorado flat lands and set behind the Blue Mountains. I loved that big country.

    Photo Details: Lyle, Eliza, Elden, and Glenn on the Homestead
    in the country that Eliza loved.

  • In 1917, while living at the homestead, Eliza wrote a poem. She had possibly had mail from Huntsville that told of changes in her hometown and that could have set her to reminiscing. It’s helpful to picture her setting at this time – far away from anyone, even neighbors; in a one-room cabin with a bedroom tent attached; on a high plateau desert near a red sandstone, southern Utah canyon at an elevation of 7000 feet. Where was Earl that night? Perhaps away doing one of the tasks that his stories tell took him away from home occasionally. Here’s Eliza’s poem:

    How The Old Town Would Seem To Me

    As I sit and rock in the evening,
    With a baby on my lap
    While to him I am softly singing,
    My mind will wander back.

    To the old town I used to live in.
    How many years ago? Just three.
    And now I am going to tell you,
    How the old town would look to me.

    The first place my mind naturally wanders,
    Would, of course, be to my Dad’s.
    The grove, the grass, the millwheel,
    The pond where trout are to be had

    I guess I’ll have one for breakfast!
    A treat, too, but I stop quite still and stare.
    The old, tumbled picket fence has vanished,
    A new one in its place, I declare.

    Now through the gate I wander.
    The old berry bushes have vanished with the fence.
    And look at that garden! Seems it takes so much space.
    Or is it me that’s dense?

    No. But what is that new building?
    This I must not dodge.
    Must be for farm machinery.
    Oh no, it’s a new garage.

    But now my mind has shifted
    To uptown streets unchanged.
    Soon my old chums I’ll be meeting.
    Here’s some now, but how they’ve changed.

    At her side walks a man called husband,
    And a baby, perhaps a year old that day.
    Where are the rest of the boys and girls?
    All married and moved away.

    Now who is this fine looking youngster?
    I again stand still and stare.
    One of my little Sunday School pupils,
    He used to be, I declare.

    To them I’ll be forgotten,
    But I’ll forget them never,
    For their innocent upturned faces,
    Are stamped on my mind forever.

    On through the public square I wander,
    Somewhere a new monument stands.
    Why here’s the old baseball diamond,
    And the stand that was never grand.

    Across the street I linger.
    The schoolhouse looks just the same.
    I think of the days I spent there,
    When I was called by my maiden name.

    Here’s the same old church house,
    Where hours I used to spend,
    And now my old time playmates,
    Their children to that church send.

    I look upon the choir.
    The faces are not the same.
    I look at the congregation.
    It is so much changed.

    The old town seems so lonesome,
    And I imagine a little sad.
    Did I hear someone whisper?
    “To war we sent our lads.”

    The young girls are lonesome without them,
    Some to high school have been sent.
    The others their country are helping,
    To performing tasks they are bent.

    The town ditch, the stores, the barbershop,
    The confectionary all seem the same.
    The ring of the blacksmith’s anvil,
    Is not the least bit changed.

    Some of the old folks are missing.
    I suppose you would say they are dead.
    But look, thus an hour I’ve been musing,
    I must put my baby to bed.


    Edited by Kristine Halls Smith

    The crickets came one summer. Their noise was deafening and continued all day long. It was so quiet when they stopped at night. They were so thick that some of the young chickens would die of too many cricket legs in their craws. They were around long enough to shed their coats and then went back into the ground to come back again. I think they were called the seven-year crickets, meaning they came out every seven years. If they did, we were not there to see them.

    Then there was the skunk. While gathering the chickens, Earl saw him drag a hen under a big rock that hung over. He didn’t know how to get to him, so decided to dynamite him out. It got the skunk, also the fresh air, but it was that or the chickens. We didn’t have many and we needed them more than the skunk did, at least we thought so.

    Occasionally we had a cow. The first one was from a far neighbor. He wouldn’t sell her to us, but let us take her. As she was used to the arid country, she was no trouble, but we made the mistake of leaving a sack of wheat under a tree by the house while we were away somewhere. Earl said, “I wonder if I should put this wheat in the house?” I said I had never seen the cow by the house, so foolishly, we left it under the tree and that was the day the cow came by the house. We paid for a dead cow. She cost more dead than alive, if we could have bought her then. The next one was all right until she dried up. She wouldn’t freshen and practically went wild. I don’t remember what happened to her. The next one was one that June Parson, a man Earl worked for, let us take. As far as milk was concerned she was fine, but she wouldn’t let it down unless the calf was feeding also. When she freshened, I was going to show her who was boss. I found out. When she had her calf, she managed to have it as far away as she could, back in the cedars. I left the kids while I hunted her down, brought her and the calf in, put the calf in the corral, and fastened the gate up tight. But next morning I found out who was boss. The cow and the calf were gone. There was no hope of milking her without the calf now. I can’t remember how long we had her or what became of her. I presume she went home.

    The horses – those beautiful horses. I have a faint memory that there were four of them. I asked what he was going to do with them, having in mind the feeding end. He said he was going to sell them, which he did, but it must have been with trade for other horses. At least he came up with a couple of ornery ones. One would have stomped him down if it had got a chance, but Earl was wise to horses and knew what he was doing. Another one would not pull a load of three barrels of water up the hill. She would stop and pull back when the other one started. She absolutely refused to go forward, so he turned her around and hitched her backwards. I think the horse got the message. One of the big horses he sold to a homesteader. Like our cow, it got into the wheat and foundered. We thought we were not going to get paid for her, but after a year or so he paid in cash.

    Earl worked around grubbing sage for a few people and during harvest he could always get work in Monticello. It was a twenty-mile drive and he worked in Blanding also, which was further still. Later, he got a motorcycle. Now he also had something he and Glenn had to fix.

    When he was gone, I always had the kids in and the door closed by dark. There was nothing around but a lonely coyote that would howl in the night and sounded so close. One time when Earl was gone I decided to take the three kids and go visit my neighbors, the Doyles, across the canyon. So we walked down one side and up through the cedars and pinions, about one mile in all. Mrs. Doyle insisted that we stay and eat, which I was glad to do. But when supper was over, it was almost dark, so it didn’t take much persuasion for us to stay. But across the canyon in the night drifted the sound of something that was after my hens and I wondered, “What now?” Mrs. Doyle also heard them. We had breakfast, then I helped clean up, and headed home. There were one or two hens dead on the floor. There was no way anything could enter the coop except under the canvas that was stretched over the top for cover. Next night I heard the hens again. I got dressed, lit the lantern, picked up a club, and bravely proceeded through the dark to the coop. I opened the door and there, blinded by the light, was a big, beautiful owl. I did not want to kill him and I did not want him to keep coming back, so I gave him a hard blow on the head with my club. He didn’t take any more chickens. I think his wing spread measured about seven feet.

    (Earl) We had our troubles with cattlemen. They would cut our fences and turn a big bunch of cattle into our crops. One or two hundred cattle can clean out a homesteader in one night. But we hung together. One neighbor shot two bulls worth two or three hundred dollars each. One day the cattlemen drove a herd on his land, and he drove the bunch out, down the canyon. I should say here, that we farmed on the top of a plateau. We were on top, the canyons below us. These cattlemen would bring a bunch of cattle up a draw with ledges on either side, cut the fence, let them in, and ride on. On this particular day, as we dogged the cattle out, we met McCabe and his sons pushing another bunch in. I rode up to the ledge where I could see McCabe down below and asked him which way he wanted his cattle to go, up the canyon or down. In answer, he got off his horse and pulled his rifle out of the scabbard and I rode back out of sight and set the dog on the cattle. They went down the canyon and into his other bunch. Another time a neighbor sent word that cattle were in my corn. I had ten acres. I got on my horse and rode over. The field was across the canyon from our house and the rest of the land. There were some thirty or forty cattle in there. I drove them out, but one little long-horned cow refused to go. I could hear her running between me and the canyon rim. I jumped off the horse and waited until she came in sight. I shot and got her in the backbone and down she went. Another shot in her ear finished her, and I pulled her, one end at a time, until I was able to push her over the ledge, down 40 feet. I guess she is still there. 

  • Another farmer about five miles west of us put a 30-30- bullet in a post by the elbow of a cowman who had just cut the top wire of his fence. He had his sons holding a bunch of cattle in the trees ready to put them in a farmer’s field. The cowmen soon found out the homesteaders weren’t to be fooled with, and became friendly. A year or so later, a neighbor and I ate dinner with McCabe at his cow camp and were treated royally. I also cleared some land for him in exchange for a horse.
    One summer I took a contract to build a mile of barbed-wire fence nine miles from home. A friend of mine, Roy Stevens, who lived next to the fence line, had told me to come over and stay with him. He was a bachelor. Just bring my food, and sleep and “batch” with him. I knew that Stevens was having trouble with Charlie Bradford and his nephew, George, over a road Stevens had to travel to get to some land. In fact, when I went to Monticello one trip, Charlie had gone with me. He carried a 30-30 rifle. When I asked him why, he told me that when Stevens and he met, one of them would eat breakfast in hell the next morning.

    When I went to fence, I got to Stevens’s cabin about nine o’clock at night. The door had a log chain around it and was padlocked. There I was, no bed, tired, and nine miles from home. So I cut the chain with a cold chisel, put my box of food in the cabin, put my team and wagon in his barn, and went to bed. About one o’clock I woke up with the flicker of a match in my face, and a .38 revolver pointed at my head, and Stevens said, “It’s you, is it?” Well, I stayed there and fenced my mile of fence with cedar posts and all, and got along fine. I will say here that the hole in the end of a .38 revolver looks pretty big, even by the light of a match, at one o’clock in the morning.

    Later that winter, with a foot of snow on the ground, the Bradfords had gone to Monticello in a two-horse buggy. When they returned, Stevens was waiting for them with his pack horse and provisions. When the Bradfords came through the timber about a quarter mile away, Stevens started to shoot, first striking Charlie, and the team ran. He shot through the back of the seat, hitting Charlie again. George got out, but was hit, and got back of a log. The team ran home with Charlie still in the buggy. Stevens walked up to the log and finished George. Stevens headed for the canyons and a posse tried to locate him, but didn’t want to, I think. After two weeks he came to the county attorney’s home one night, about three in the morning, and gave himself up. He was put in jail and in a week or so was let out on bail. He is still out on bail. Apparently no one ever tried to find him. Everyone in the county that knew the Bradfords knew that they had it coming.

    (Eliza) One day as I was picking peas under a cloudy sky with a baby on the ground, Earl had the others, I not only heard, but felt a big clap of thunder. I picked up the baby and went to the house. When Earl came, he said that a stray horse near the barbed wire fence was badly paralyzed and had to be shot. It didn’t rain. When the moisture was plentiful, we really raised a good garden.

    One year, we had a wagon load of squash. No sale. The pigs got them. Another year it was dried beans. No sale. They lasted a long time. Another time the sweet corn grew taller than Earl. I dried a good deal of that and the pigs and horses got the rest. Then there were the watermelons. They were so beautiful, clear across the length of the garden. The boys didn’t have any idea what a watermelon was. Lyle thought they looked good, so brought one in to see what gives. I explained to him that they would not be ripe until they were pink inside. One day in late summer, Earl came home late and had to leave early the next morning. He didn’t like the idea of having to hunt the horses at the far end of the cedars, so after a brief discussion, we decided that the horses would not eat watermelon. Next morning when we looked out, there were all the melons beautiful and pink, split wide open. The horses had eaten the insides of all of them. We sure learned the hard way.

    Earl was not home much in summer, but he had to come home on weekends to haul water, and he was home between crop harvests. Sometimes he had clearing to do, close to home. He cleared ground for Parson and Chris Christensen who had bought a school section joining our place on the west. He did some blacksmithing and horseshoing. He helped on any public project in our area.

    (Earl) One day while we were working on the road, two young boys came running down to us and said a man who was digging a well had blasted with powder. He had climbed down in the well too soon after the blast, and was down there passed out. I happened to have a motorcycle down on the job site and one of the boys got on back of me. We rode up there and managed to get a rope around the man and get him out of the well where he could get some fresh air. By that time, the rest of the men were up to the place, which was about one and a half miles from where we were working. He was an awful sick man when he came out of that. He was just lucky that we got there in time to get him out or that would have been the end of him.

    One winter when we had a great amount of snow, about three feet, we had to get our mail from Dove Creek and no one could get through with horses, so Harold Hodge and I took off one morning on homemade skis, and they were heavy. We went to Dove Creek. We did pretty well going over because the ground was pretty well set. Coming back, we each had twenty pounds or so of mail on our backs and the snow was starting to melt. We had quite a time keeping the snow off our skis. It would get so heavy we couldn’t move them. We’d have to reach down, push the snow off, then go a way further and do the same. It was impossible to get off the skis because we wouldn’t have been able to get them back on, the snow was so deep. At any rate, we got back to Lockerby about dark that night and I had two miles beyond there to go to get home. In all that made twenty-eight miles I had put in on skis that day, and I don’t ever want to be that tired again.

    One another occasion there was a man by the name of Ray, a homesteader who lived about two miles east of the Lockerby store and had boils on the back of his neck. He’d put something on them that had turned to blood poison, and he finally died. We all had the privilege of loading him onto the back of a truck, putting cleats on each side of him to keep him from bouncing, and hauled him to Dolores, Colorado, to the undertaker. His wife went back home on the train to where they had come from, so that ended their Homestead Act.

    I was the secretary of the first fair in San Juan County. We held it at Lockerby and had a promoter come in from the outside, but he didn’t help us much. He got us in trouble. He had big ideas. We had race horses, and we had a book that gave all the bylaws. A race horse came in from Colorado, and the promoter had several race horses of his own. But we didn’t have horses enough to run with all of his, so he wanted to run two of his own horses, and this would give him a cinch on the prize. Well, we wouldn’t let him, and he sued us. If the whole fair board had gone to court like three of us did, he would have had no case because our book said that no man could run more than one of his own horses in the same race. But we didn’t have the whole fair board there. So we three that tried to get the thing straightened out had to pay $40.00 each. That taught me a lesson – to stay out of public affairs and not try to be a good fellow and put things over.

  • (Eliza) We now had a grocery store and the county put up a small schoolhouse which was used for a church, L.D.S. on Sunday morning and for others in the afternoon. The close and faraway neighbors would get together for a bit of socializing and occasionally a dance at night, at the new schoolhouse. Earl was an assistant superintendent and I was assistant teacher in the children’s class for a short time.

    (Earl) A number of homesteaders wanted a shorter way to Dove Creek. So we went down to the coal bed and laid out a road to make across it. There was quite a deep canyon there and it was narrow. The whole thing was laid up with sandstone which required a considerable amount of blasting. The boys had me take my forge down to sharpen steel for them. I put the forge under a big rock ledge as they had part of the road built, and sharpened steel while the rest of them did most of the drilling and blasting. One day when they were ready to fire six shots on the far side of the canyon, Harold Hodge and Jack Moss came across to move the horses back just before they lit the fuses. They passed my forge and said they were going to move the horses back. Well, they did. They put their horses back into the trees and why, I don’t know, but they came back to the edge of the canyon and stood there. Well after the first two or three blasts I heard Harold shout for help. I ducked out far enough to ask if any more shots were going, and they told me there wasn’t. I didn’t want to get out there when they were shooting more rock. I ran up on the hill, but of course Harold had gone back, fearing that more blasts were going. And there lay Jack on his back. I picked him up. His head flopped over in front of me. I held him up in a sitting position. Jack died in my arms and it was a pretty hard blow for all of us. We loaded him onto a wagon and took him up to Nielsens. Mrs. Nelson wrapped his head up before we took him home to his father and mother. Three of us went to Monticello and filed on ten acres of ground for a cemetery, and Jack was the first one to be buried there. Then we fenced it and put two large cedar posts up for a gateway. I furnished the sixteen-inch board to go across the top, and a homesteader who was a good sign painter made a sign, “Mountain View Cemetery.” It was often said that we had to kill a man to start a graveyard.

    A few years ago when I was down in Monticello, we drove out to the cemetery. The old board was laying down by the side of the fence and they had put up a different gate. The sign had been changed. And there were at least one hundred graves in the cemetery at that time.

  • Glenn’s writings tell some of his memories of the events that happened at the homestead, so they are included here at the time period where they fit.

     (Glenn) 1918. One incident that happened on the homestead was in the cellar that we built and where Dad had stored some wheat. Dad and I were in the cellar one day grinding wheat. He had rigged up the motorcycle with a belt to drive a hand-driven grinder, and had piped the exhaust outside with a hose. Where he got the hose, I know not. Anyway, I am told that I was in the grain bin with a one-gallon bucket feeding the chopper when I passed out and fell over the chopper. I remember coming to as I was being carried up the stairs of the cellar. Apparently there was a leak in Dad’s hose and I got carbon monoxide poisoning. I have been sensitive to carbon monoxide to this day.

    Lyle and I used to go across the canyon to Doyle’s to get milk in our little one-gallon bucket. En route we would encounter blow snakes. I remember in some of my travels stopping a number of times with my foot above a big blow snake laying across the trail. On one occasion Lyle and I encountered a big one while going up the other side of the canyon on the trail and, for some reasons (I guess just being kids) we began pelting rocks at the snake. I don’t suppose we were trying to kill it. We weren’t that smart. Anyway the snake was smarter than we as it took after us. Needless to say, we left.

    1919. Dad was clearing land for a homesteader and I went with him on one of his trips. We had a team and wagon, and one of the horses was rather wild. I think she was called Old Blue. In the wagon was Dad’s grub box made out of one-inch lumber. It was about as large as his tool box (sixteen inches high, eighteen inches wide, thirty-six inches long). In this box was a bunch of sugar cookies that Mother had made for this trip. There was other grub, but I only remember the sugar cookies. En route we came upon a neighbor who needed to borrow Dad’s ax. Dad stopped, put on the brake, and wrapped the lines around the brake lever. He got out and I stayed in the wagon. They were talking and I, being curious, wanted to hear what they were saying, so I got out of the wagon. Just as I got out, a limb popped and the team took off. They scattered that wagon from hell to breakfast. The box was tipped upside down. The back wheels went one way, the front wheels and team the other, and wound up tangled around a tree. That grub box ended up in an ant bed upside down, and I recall very vividly those sugar cookies scattered all over, with ants crawling all over them. It’s a miracle that I got out of that wagon, or I would have been tangled up with the rest of that mess.

    (Eliza) Elden was born on January 13, 1919, a bouncing baby boy practically bald but with a bit of blond hair. Mrs. Bean was at the birth, which was an easy one. She came because they were owing us and she was reliable. She had worked with a doctor for years.

    In the latter part of 1919, Earl’s mother, and Ruby came to visit for awhile. It was late in the season because Earl was cutting grain. One day we took our lunch and rode with him to the other side of the canyon. I think he wanted his mother to see the other half of the homestead, and we shocked a bit of the grain.

    About this time government people came to help the homesteaders out with money to loan. Earl wanted to borrow. I didn’t, but with the thought in mind that he could pay his father what we owed him, I signed. It wasn’t a great amount; it could have been around twelve hundred dollars.

    On September 23, 1919, we got a telegram saying that my sister, Margaret, had died, leaving a husband and a newborn son, Albert Winter Burton. Leaving Earl and his mother, Ruby and I, with the boys, were taken to the train at Thompson Springs, and we headed for Huntsville. I didn’t want to leave the kids for their Grandma to tend as her health was not too good, but it would have been better if I had. I would have been home before the snow. Earl’s mother had a sick spell while there. Earl said he thought she was going to die, but she got better. It was one of her usual sick spells. We think it was liver trouble. Earl took her to Mancos, Colorado. On the way they visited with a cousin who had homesteaded in the Colorado area.  

    (Earl) One fall I had my grain all stacked in my stack yard where I had a small granary, the crop from about sixty acres of land. We had some neighbors by the name of McDonald who had eight or ten cows and were hard up. They had run out of pasture. I told them they could run the cattle in the field if they would keep them out of the corn that was still in there. Well, they had good intentions. The children were herding, but the day was cold. It was late in the fall. They were in the granary and thoughtlessly started a fire where the straw stack had been the year before. The fire spread, and the grain stacks were all soon wiped out. Our year’s work. By the time the neighbors notified me and I got there, it was almost all gone. One man, Mr. Barton, who I had worked for when I first went to Monticello, gave me a year’s supply of flour. Others gave us a little wheat for our pigs and chickens, and we received about thirty-five dollars in contributions.

  • The following article appeared in the San Juan Record in October 1919:

    Granary and Stacks of Earl Halls
    Consumed When Owner Was Away

    Word came in from Lockerby the first of last week that the granary of Earl Halls together with stacks of grain from thirty acres of land had been consumed by fire. Mr. Halls has certainly had an uphill job since starting to replace the sage brush with useful crops. He lost three head of horses and a cow since attempting to make a home on the flats, but feels that he will yet come out on top of the heap.

    How the fire started is not known though it is thought that some children who were herding cattle in the field had made a fire to get warm, there being a cold wind blowing at the time and they having gone for matches to make a fire so they could keep warm.

    The whole community condoles with Mr. Halls over the loss and sincerely hope it will not seriously cripple his efforts at building a home, well knowing that the labor of clearing sage from land is about all a homesteader can get away with in order to comply with Uncle Sam’s requirements to secure title to land.

    (Eliza) While I was visiting in Huntsville, I got a letter from Earl saying our grain stacks had gone up in smoke, set on fire unintentionally by the McDonald girl who was herding their two cows on our east farm. It was one of those bitter, cold, windy days and she and her brother were cold, so they started a fire where one had been before. She thought she was doing okay, but she didn’t take into consideration the wind direction. So our summer’s work and winter’s groceries went up in smoke.

    I telegraphed Earl that we were coming, so he could make arrangements for us from Thompson Springs on. When we got up the next morning, there had been a big snow storm all the way through Utah and the roads were closed. Earl sent word that he couldn’t get through, so his father suggested I borrow $40 from my dad and send for Earl. I presume he didn’t have it or didn’t want to lend us any more. Dad let me have it and Earl decided to come north. There was not much to stay for. The grain was gone, so what should we do? No feed. No work. But in the meantime he wrote and said he had got the loan and bought a tractor from June Parson. Chris Christensen offered him a job clearing the school section. I guess that is how they sold the tractor to him. He always visualized how much he would make, but sometimes he forgot the expenses. Anyway, the money was spent. But his father was a bit disappointed. All turned out well, but who can see that far ahead? Also, there was already much snow in San Juan. It was a bad winter, but not as cold as in Huntsville. Earl got the Dean family to come and live in our home for the winter. They were living in a big tent. They could have all the beans they wanted, but were to leave all else alone. I don’t remember what was done with the horses, but they were to care for the chickens. When we came back, everything was as we left it, except they had used a bit of the corn fodder.

    1920. We stayed that winter in Huntsville, a few weeks in one place, then the other, so as not to wear them out. In the meantime, before Earl’s mother came home, I remade a couple of her castoff skirts for Pearl and Ruby. The narrow skirts were then in style. Pearl forgot and jumped a ditch. Hers needed some more stitching.

    Earl got a job in Ogden Canyon with other guys from Huntsville, old acquaintances. It was a cold job, and along with that he got the flu bug. He got sick one day and had to be brought home. He had them take him to his folks. He was really a sick man. One day Burton came with a bottle of bootleg whiskey. That seemed to do the job. That and plenty of fresh air were the best cure for that influenza.

    The kids and I were at Dad Winter’s. I also visited Grandpa Petersen and Burt a couple of weeks, always taking my family with me. They missed Margaret so much. They had found a women to stay with them. Burt let his sister, Anna, in Kaysville, take the baby. Although he married again, he never brought the boy home to live. Burt asked me if I would like Margaret’s clothes, as his hired woman was taking them home one at a time, so I took them.

    One day I had to go to town for something and thought I would go on down to Spring Creek and see how Earl was, but when I got to town I just didn’t feel like going further. I was too tired. I think we had been washing that day and I blamed it on that. So instead, I went into Doctor Shield’s office and asked how Earl was doing, and went back. The roads were covered with snow, but well sleigh-tracked, but I have never walked a road that seemed to have no end as on that day. That night I came down with the flu. I was hot and smothering, so I got up and took out the upstairs window, just the right kind of medicine. I was not very sick; neither were Lyle or Dora. We all lost our appetites about the same time. Glenn and Elden didn’t get sick. Father Halls never did get the flu. I told the folks not to let the Halls know we had the flu because with Earl being sick, he would only worry about us, but Ma gave us away. I don’t know why. So Mother Halls came in a bobsled and took us all to her place. She covered us up with a quilt so we couldn’t get the cool air. Lyle and I were isolated in the big bedroom with Earl where there was a stove. They were never very big on the fresh air the way I liked it, and the transom was opened only slightly. But she took good care of us and also Glenn and Elden. It took some time before we were back on our feet again and things were back to normal. Some doctors said plenty of fresh air was the best cure for that flu. Ma had it also and was quite sick. I could tell when I saw her again.

  • When spring came, we went back to the homestead. I had a large box of Margaret’s things and an old organ that Dad sold me. I think I always figured Earl paid for it. He complained about his freight charge, but I dressed the boys and myself out of that box for some time and I enjoyed the organ. I’m sorry I never took time to teach my boys how to sing when small. Our hindsight is so much better than our foresight. I do not remember much of the trip back or anything of that summer. It seems that Earl was around home more. He hooked the motorcycle on the washer for power so I had to wash when he was home.

    There were times when we would celebrate the Fourth of July with a neighbors’ get-together. Other times we would go to Monticello. One time we talked about it, but never made any decisions. I asked Earl if we were going because if we were, I had to wash the boys’ clothes. He didn’t know, so I didn’t wash. Next day he said, “Let’s go.” But that was out. He was so put out, he took a shovel and dug a well on the side of the hill. He found water but it was never used. It could have been, if we had stayed on the homestead longer. The next time we went to look at it, it was full of some kind of little animals. We wondered where they came from out of that dry ground. But there they were, wiggling around like it belonged to them.

    We visited back and forth with all our neighbors and life wasn’t so bad, at least I liked it.

    (Glenn) 1920. After Dad got his tractor, he was disking a field a short distance from the house. On this day Lyle and I were with him. I went with Dad on the tractor, leaving Lyle in the corner of the field where Dad had his lubricants stored. When we got back from making a round of the field, there was Lyle who had gotten into the black grease, and had grease and dirt all over him. He would wiggle his fingers with that stuff in them; was he a mess! I don’t recall, but I bet there was a little noise when Lyle was taken home.

    (Earl) After three years of homesteading, we finally proved up on the land, and it was ours. We had sixty-five acres under cultivation, and should have let it go at that. But we didn’t. We mortgaged it to the Federal Land Bank for $1,800.00, bought a small tractor, plow, and a few other tools. I made a contract to farm 110 acres on shares that joined our place. The land was plowed and I was to plow it back the next year. We planted fall wheat and raised a fairly good crop. The next fall, in September, it was ready to thresh. I could have sold the grain at the machine for $2.25 a hundred, but the men I was renting from owned a thresher and would have had to pay for another machine to thresh their share, so instead of letting me thresh and selling the grain when I could, they came with their machine to thresh on the seventh of December. A foot of snow was on the ground and it had been raining. I lost 600 bushels of wheat that was too wet to thresh, and there was no market for the wheat. The landowners brought a herd of hogs out from Monticello to feed around the straw stacks so they didn’t lose. Next spring the bank had my wheat hauled out to the railroad and gave me credit for fifty cents a hundred for it on my note. I had to borrow money to farm with. The dear brothers I rented from were directors in the bank, one a high councilman, etc., and so on, and so forth.

    (Eliza) This is the year we thought we were on the way up. Earl had made a deal with Chris Christensen and June Parson to plant about half of the school section. He was to do the work. They would furnish seed and binder and thresher. Due to the First World War, wheat was at a premium, running about $2 per bushel. We also had our little farm planted. We had to hire some help through the summer. We ran out of money and borrowed from a Monticello bank on the strength of the summer crops, which were good. But come threshing time, Chris and June were going to have their own thresher, and were coming in any day. Time went on. Earl said, “Do you think I should have Peterson (a local homesteader, who had bought a thresher) thresh my half?” I wasn’t much help. I said, “I don’t know. I don’t know. What kind of a deal do you have with the others?” So he waited. Every time he saw them the thresher was going to be there soon. It finally got there. I cooked for the threshers with some help. It stormed so they had to stop. But we still had to be prepared and ready with food. The storm cleared in a few days, but was wet, cold, and very uncomfortable. Chris Christensen and Earl divided the barn and stored their grain – two big bins full of beautiful wheat – two dollars per bushel. Not getting much news of worldly things, we didn’t know all. Earl took a load to Colorado – fifty cents a bushel. All that wheat. All the high hopes. The bottom fell out of everything. We weren’t the only ones hit. I guess some of the homesteaders got to market early, but this was the beginning of the end for Lockerby and the homesteaders.

  • 1921. Well, we had plenty of wheat we could trade for flour in Monticello. We made it through the winter.

    (Earl) That winter I ran out of hay for my team, so I put a box on the front bob of my sleigh and went to Monticello. Coming home the next day there was a fierce blizzard, snow and rain mixed with plenty of wind. About five miles up from Monticello I met Bert Galloway. He told me to make it to his home and stay overnight, then he would help me home the next day. He knew I couldn’t make it home, and he would take his horses and help me. He said he would be back that night. Another mile or so I met Wally Anders and his brother-in-law. Wally told me the same thing, to stay at his place. They had four horses and a sleigh and expected to be home before dark. I lived some twelve miles beyond Anders’s home.

    Well, the storm got worse, and by noon the sleigh was pushing snow to the end of the tongue. My horses were getting tired. I sat on top of nine bales of hay with a quilt wrapped around me. I was wringing wet. I came to a patch of timber and decided to feed the horses and eat my lunch, but when I got down I was too cold to unhitch the team. I managed to get my axe out of a box and work with it until I could unhitch and start a fire. After an hour I started out again, but only went about another mile. The snow got deeper, with drifts the horses couldn’t get through. They were give out. I unhitched at four o’clock and rode one horse and led the other. It was soon dark – the wind blowing and still snowing. I could only find my way by the shape of the groves of trees.

    There was no sign of a road, but at about six-thirty or seven I saw a light at Anders’s house. Mrs. Anders came to the door, and of course, began to wonder about her man. I put my horses in the barn. She cooked some steak that I had with me, then she and her two small boys and I had supper. I had only seen her twice before. I was tired, but she kept thinking her husband and brother-in-law would come, and it was midnight before we went to bed. The two beds were only a foot apart and she and the boys slept in one. Or maybe she didn’t sleep. I don’t know. I did, in the other.

    Later I learned that Galloway, Anders, and Anders’s brother-in-law had got back only to a bachelor’s homestead about five miles from town. The four had played cards all night. But the big question was “Whose wife was Halls sleeping with that night?” It turned out to be quite a gag. The next day I rode home. The storm lasted three days, and by the time the neighbor and I put six horses on a sleigh and went to Monticello and finally got my sleigh home, the hay had all been fed up.

    (Eliza) With the advent of spring and with a barn half full of wheat, it was decided to get some mother pigs. We got three, one ate or laid on her litter, the others farrowed a nice bunch of beautiful little pigs. They went to market in the fall, with the same results as the wheat, hardly paying for the transportation. I remember the summer was one of those summers without rain, at least our garden wasn’t too good. But the wheat was doing well. Earl must have gotten it planted early. This was also the year of the jackrabbits. They liked the nice green wheat.

    In the fall of 1921, when Glenn started to school, he rode the little gray mare, but she threw him and he wouldn’t ride her anymore so he walked the two miles. He would meet up with the McDonald kids that lived about three quarters of a mile from us. He came home quite put out one day and said, “I’m not a human bean, am I?” The kids had been calling him a human being. I explained that to him and he felt better. The McDonald girls were older than he and I think liked to tease him. I have an idea that they had something to do with the horse throwing him.

    On December 12, 1921, Lorin entered the world. He wasn’t very anxious, but finally made it. He had to be turned a bit. Mrs. Bean was the midwife. Mrs. McDonald was also there as Mrs. Bean didn’t want to be alone. She only stayed until I was able to be up and around enough to take care of the baby. You know at that time we always stayed in bed a week. By that time we were either too tired to get up, or glad to, but I think we lost strength staying in bed that long. Try it sometime. All went well as usual.

    1922. We killed and ate jackrabbits. Where they came from I never knew, but we ate jackrabbits and were thankful for them. I remember them hanging frozen on the cedar tree by the kitchen door. I got so I couldn’t eat or swallow another bite of jackrabbit. Things were bad that summer. Homesteaders began to move out one by one. It wasn’t a very pleasant year. We could see the end and there was nothing to do to stop it.

    (Earl) The next year I planted my own sixty-five acres and had 110 acres to plow back with gas at sixty cents per gallon. Jack rabbits were getting bad, and we had a drought. I couldn’t pay my interest and principle. And neither could my neighbors. Most of them just left and let the banks sue them and get judgement. That generally meant three or four hundred dollars judgement besides the amount of the loan. Some went to Colorado and got jobs, and the government had a portion of their wages withheld to pay on the judgement. I beat them to it. I wrote to the Federal Land Bank and told them to send the deeds and I would sign them over to them. That is what I did to avoid the judgement. That fall, in September 1922, I sold what I could, but gave it away, you might say. I intended to leave the county and move back to Huntsville. Glenn and I took the wagon, team, and tractor to where I intended to store the tractor, in Frank Halls’s garage. There was no sale for tractors. They were up for sale on every farm. The country had gone to pot.

    On reaching Monticello, I met the county attorney and he asked me if I wanted to manage a large ranch. I told him I would look it over. Next morning, he and a man by the name of LeFete who had just bought 1100 acres of farm land, and seven or eight sections of range land went to the ranch, seven miles north of Monticello. LeFete told me he wanted to build barns, hog pens, granaries, reservoirs, and so forth, and wanted me to be foreman. I would be paid $125.00 a month with a house to live in, and garden and meat furnished. Well, manna had started to fall from heaven, and I took the job.

  • (Eliza) Lorin was nine months old when Earl got a job managing a ranch for Mr. LeFete, who had foolishly bought it. He was from the East and thought he was getting something, big ranch, lots of water rights, only the water from the Blue Mountains didn’t last long enough for him to get very much. By the middle of July it was gone. The Blue Mountains aren’t very big or very high and more times than not there was less water than plenty. So in the end, poor Mr. LeFete got took.

    Well, we were next to leave our homestead. It was a sad deal, after a ten-year struggle. Earl said we would sell our furniture. I asked what we would use for furniture on the ranch. He supposed it was furnished. Well, we sold. I wouldn’t let my sewing machine or organ go. All the rest was sold, but the beds. I’m not sure about the stove, and I sold a couple of items I have been sorry for since. A small marble-top table that Ma gave me, and the kids’ little wagon, but I doubt they could have used it on the ranch very much. So we loaded up the wagon and pulled out. I can’t explain how I felt, but I wasn’t happy. I guess Earl felt as I did, but we were at the end of the rope with bills to pay and a mortgage on the homestead. Glenn drove the tractor to the ranch.

    Well, we got to the ranch. The house was occupied by two families that had been working on the ranch. One couldn’t move because their house wasn’t finished on their homestead. The others stayed until we moved in. They even held onto the milk cows, but they would give me milk when I asked for it, which I did quite often. I still wonder how they got by with it, because when they left, they left the cows behind. Maybe Earl didn’t want the job of milking. Well, we went to an old, dirty, rock house that was on the ranch, and cleaned it out. Someone built a long board table and benches and I began to cook for the men.

    (Earl) The rest of that fall I had as many as thirty-five to forty men to herd. Mostly I rode a horse between jobs. We bought sixteen head of horses, seventy-five head of pure-blood cows and other range cattle, and thirty-five head of pure-blood pigs.

    (Eliza) They were building dams, barn, shop, and all the things that LeFete thought should be on his dream ranch. Earl was supervising and I was cooking for the men. The owner was to pay us so much per meal. There were men from all over. Some were our neighbors, some were from back east, some from Monticello. Anyway, we were in this old house with a board table, a cook stove, and a fireplace in the old living room where we had our beds. I only remember one bed in this room so there must have been another room. But I was so busy cooking, I guess I didn’t go in long enough to remember it. I cooked for thirteen men for awhile. The kids I had very little time for. Lorin and Elden stayed around the porch. Glenn and Lyle had firewood and such to look after and then they were gone to where the action was, and I have an idea they thought other things were more important. There was no water to drown in. The ditch was in the oak brush where the pigs were running loose. I guess I had a tub and washboard to do the wash on. I cannot even remember where the water came from. All I can remember clearly is that table full of men and all those dishes. I remember one night, I was so tired after the men left the table, I just sat there and couldn’t face those dishes. One of the young working men saw me and came in and helped me do the dishes. Not many men would do that.

    After all the building was mostly completed, we moved over in the big house with two rooms. The number of men was decreasing. The table was smaller, as was the kitchen. The front room was large and empty. It had a stove, the sewing machine, the organ which I never had time to play anymore, and the folding couch we had used for an extra bed on the homestead. After the other people moved out, we had one large bedroom. Here there was a chest of drawers and our bed. One small bedroom had a bedstead and one bed of ours where the boys slept. We weren’t overly furnished, but all we did was work, go to bed, get up, and repeat.

    A Spanish family by the name of Perdencio moved in. He was a good worker and dependable. He moved into the old rock house with his family and he brought his milk cow, a large holstein, black and white. She came up with two beautiful twin calves. He was so proud of them. One day when hauling hay he thought he would be good to them and threw them a bit of alfalfa hay. They both bloated on it and died. I got his daughter, about sixteen, to come and help me wash, and I was learning to speak Spanish. When her dad saw a hired hand by the name of Jackson talking to her out by the trees, she was never allowed to come again. Later, one of the far neighbors sent word and said she had an extra washer I could take if we would come and get it. I wanted to buy it, but no sale. I couldn’t turn down a good thing like that. I sold her the organ when we left for five dollars, thinking I was being generous. I never got the five dollars. Maybe she didn’t have it or thought I owed it to her.

    This Jackson was one of the farm hands, a stranger from no-one-knew-where. He was a congenial person and a good worker. I rather liked him. One time he wanted me to cut his hair. I was barber for the Halls family, but I said no. I finally gave in to get rid of him, but wouldn’t take any pay. Weeks later, he gave me a sack of candy. In the winter he brought us a hind quarter of beef. We wondered where it came from. I couldn’t have cared less. Later, Earl found out he was killing beef and selling it. He, like me, liked the guy and didn’t want to turn him in, so later on he told him he wouldn’t need him any more and he left. I have often wondered what happened to him. LeFete hired a cattle man who had a range grant and a herd of his own, a man from Monticello. Like Jackson, he wasn’t exactly honest. His branding iron got the wrong calf occasionally. As Earl didn’t have anything to do with hiring him, he figured it was none of his business and wasn’t going to be involved.

    During the late winter before Don was born, the LeFetes came west. One day he came and saw me and said, “You didn’t have enough, you just had to have another one,” meaning the coming baby. I never said anything. I just thought “It’s none of your business.” A few days later, his wife came in to get warm. It was wet and sloppy outside. Lorin (“Toughy,” the men called him) came in for something, and, of course, his shoes were soaking wet, and she said I should not let the boys run around with wet feet. Neither did I answer her then. But I thought, “Lady, you don’t know what you are talking about.” I guess the boys had colds and coughs, but a healthier lot you will never find. The only trouble I remember on the ranch was Lyle and his croup, and that was only once. He and Glenn were riding the old gray mare to school, the one that threw Glenn. When we left, we left her and her colt to run free.

  • The chicken coop was so full of bedbugs we moved the chickens over to the once-was shop and burned the coop. Believe it or not there were bedbugs out in the trees and in the beds.

    As the buildings were finished, there weren’t so many men around, about seven men for dinner. Most of them went home, as most now lived in Monticello, only a seven-mile drive. Elizabeth’s mother, Aunt Emma Woods, came to help for two weeks, but had other commitments so had to leave. But I got some sewing done while she was there. She practically kicked me out of the kitchen. One day she decided to make some doughnuts. The boys kept coming in for another doughnut. Aunt Emma said that if they didn’t stop, there wouldn’t be any left. As I had not been paying any attention to them, I told her that if they had had enough to tell them so, the next one was their last. I have an idea that they were the first doughnuts they had ever eaten.

    Don was born May 9, 1923 in Monticello. I stayed at Frank and Lizzie Halls’s home. Aunt Emma, who lived with them at the time, took care of us. Dora took a vacation and came down to take care of things and the boys while I was away. There were still a few men to feed.

    Earl’s father came for a visit. Earl gave him a paid job of irrigating the fields that spring, a job he was well qualified to do. The wind blew and blew and he said it blew the water uphill. But someone complained and Earl had to let his father go. He stayed on for awhile and then went home. As I remember it, it was a bad year as my garden dried out for lack of water.

    Summer passed. I was still cooking. Don was a good boy and spent most of his time in the swing that Earl had made. Snow came, and so did the big, long-legged jackrabbits. They were all over, around the house and in the fields. Even today I cannot eat rabbit. One night the men left the haystack gate open to let the rabbits in. Then after dark they went out to kill them. They got more than 200 in one night. Winter passed. Spring came. Don was walking by holding onto something. I thought he was never going to take off alone, but one day when about 14 months old he was sitting on the middle of the kitchen floor. It was a beautiful sunny day in June. He got up and walked out of the house and onto the porch all on his own.

    LeFete had imported a number of hogs. They used to get through the fence occasionally, but we had a dog that would drive them back. When he took after them, they always knew where they got out. The pigs did well, but the hog market was still no good. We were in an after-war depression, which was bad all over the states. Many people were losing their homes. Some of the homesteaders were moving out.

    (Glenn) 1922. I do not remember Mother’s problems on LeFete’s ranch, but apparently it was hard for her. I must have spent most of my time with Dad. There was a lot of construction going on at the ranch. One of the projects was to store the water that came down a draw on the other side of the hill. A reservoir was being built there with the idea to pipe the water over the hill. LeFete had some very nice equipment, and beautiful teams of horses with brand-new harness. One day one of the horses slid off the embankment of the dam over into a fire that was burning some of the brush. As I recall the horse was burned, but not too seriously, but to me it was quite an incident. The project turned out to be a failure. They laid the pipe over the hill and I remember them pouring water in the pipe at the top of the hill to start a syphon. It was intended that the water be syphoned over the hill to the working part of the ranch. Apparently that part of the ranch was not far enough below the reservoir because the system never did work and was abandoned. I guess the pipe is still laying there in the hill.

    Lyle and I went to school in a ranch house down on the main highway about two miles from our place. Today it’s at the end of the airport. I think the house is still there. I do not recall that we rode the horse to school. I recall walking. Along the way there was a big windmill. I’m not sure that it was on LeFete’s ranch. It may have been where we got our water. Anyway, one day I determined to climb this windmill. I was afraid of heights so I never looked anywhere but up till I got to the top. Then when I got to the top I locked my arms around the windmill very tight and looked down and it’s a wonder I didn’t stay there.

    While working on the ranch I recall that I was in one of the fields mowing hay when one of those nice thunder storms came up with a flash of lightning and a bolt of thunder. The horses jumped and took off across the field. I took off too, right off the back of that mower seat and let them go. They stopped not far away by a clump of trees.

    I wish my Dad had brought me up to be a fighter instead of such a sissy. One time out in the fields we were putting up hay. We did not use wheeled vehicles; we used drags. The hay was thrown on the drags and hauled to the stack yard and there stacked. I was assigned a team of horses and one of the drags. I had a knife that I prized very dearly, and the Mexican kids apparently picked on me and threatened to take it away from me, so one of the times when I went into the yard I asked Dad to take my knife so that I wouldn’t lose it. I should have whaled into those kids and showed them who was boss.

    One time Dad and I were working with the pigs which was an annual spring chore. It was my job to sit on the pig and hold him while Dad did the cutting. One time one of those little beasts got me by the seat of the pants and bit me, and it didn’t feel very interesting. I think thereafter I changed my position.

    Another time I was looking out the window of the ranch house while a thunderstorm was going on. I was looking into the field where the pigs were and I saw a bolt of lightning hit the middle of that field with instant thunder. It wasn’t over a half block away. Another time to celebrate the Fourth of July, Dad set a half stick of dynamite on a fence post across the road from the house and set it off. We had instant Fourth of July.

  • Once while surveying for a ditch Dad and I and another fellow rode horses up toward the Blue Mountains. I was riding bare back. Apparently we rode quite a long time because when I got back I was sure glad to get off that horse for my bottom was very sore. I’m not sure but what I got a blister.

    While on the ranch, I guess part of the reward for helping Dad was a BB gun that we ordered from Wards or Sears and we got notice that it had finally came into the Post Office in Monticello. Dad let me go to Monticello to pick it up and I was the happiest boy in town. I must have run out of BBs for the gun because I used to shoot matches with it. I don’t know how come I didn’t burn the ranch down because those matches would always light when they hit. I always put the hot end of the match forward so when it hit a rock it would go off. One day Lyle and I were walking down the road toward the wash and he had a nice hole in the seat of his pants exposing the skin about one inch in diameter. Jokingly I told him to go down the road and turn up a stick and I would take a shot at it with the gun, not expecting to hit it as the matches always curved. In this particular case that match went straight to the point and hit right in the middle of that hole. Lyle jumped and hollered. I don’t know if he remembers it or not, but I sure do as I was embarrassed.

    1923. Not far from the house was the creek from the Blue Mountains that was dry most of the time except for muddy pot holes. Along the banks there grew a lot of vegetation such as hops, chokecherries, etc. We kids used to play there quite a bit, particularly in the mud. One day we had one of those famous cloudbursts up on the Blue Mountains and it really let down some water. Dad realized there was going to be a flood down through there, and I remember him out in the field feeding the pigs in the middle of the day, hollering, “Pig, pig, pig,” to get those pigs out of the brush. They came running to their feed and sure enough, not long after, down came the water and covered half of that field.

    (Earl) My mother died the next winter on February 24, 1924. I went to Huntsville for the funeral. I rode the mail 110 miles to the railroad, caught the train at midnight, and by the time I got to Huntsville, I was beyond sleep. I didn’t sleep for four nights and “was all in” by the time the funeral was over. We three boys, Clyde, Dale, and I paid the funeral expenses. Father’s earning days were over by then. It was the least we could do. My mother was a very hard-working woman who loved her children much more than they deserved. Mother went to work in a hotel at the age of twelve, making beds, sweeping, and doing all kinds of work too hard for a girl of that age. Her mother, my grandmother, taught school and later ran a dairy making butter and cheese and selling it to nearby towns. It was no small job for her to raise a family of six girls. She had left Grandfather when he left Parowan to find work in Eureka, Nevada. We kids probably could have eased our mother’s burdens more if we had tried harder, although we all worked. I, myself, have bought things for my younger brothers and sisters, I being the oldest and always working.

    (Glenn) One day I was riding my gray mare out among the trees on a gallop or a lope. A tree branch came along and I dodged the branch one way, the horse the other. I left the horse and landed on my back in front of her. The horse stopped dead, both front feet dug into the dirt straight forward, but I was not hurt. Another thing that I remember about the horse was when Dad’s Mother died. This is the only time that I had ever seen Dad cry. It struck me deeply. Anyway, he got on the horse and rode to Monticello to make arrangements to go home to Huntsville for the funeral. He rode the horse very hard and when he got back she was soaking wet and covered with lather.

    (Eliza) The summer of 1924 is sort of a blank to me. There were some turkeys that came from somewhere. LeFete must have brought them in. Earl asked what to do with them. He said, “Let your wife take care of them. She can have whatever they bring.” All I had to do was feed them along with the chickens. They laid their eggs in the brush and came in with their young, which were sold. I never did know what they brought, but I insisted I get a set of dishes and a little wagon for the kids. I had never seen any money for all the men I cooked for as I knew there were bills to pay, but for my turkeys also, that was too much. I got something for that work.

    (Earl) The drought came – blew the grain out of the ground, roots and all, with large piles of dirt at the ends of the fields like snowdrifts. Jack rabbits were so thick they could clean a hundred-acre field overnight. There was no water to use for irrigation. We hauled out 200 pigs to Dolores, Colorado. They weighed ninety to one hundred pounds each. We got $2.30 each for them. They were used to make hog cholera serum. We hauled them seventy-eight miles in wagons. It was either that or let them starve to death. Grain was too high to feed pigs at that time.

    We stayed at the LeFete ranch for two years. The ranch boss came from Kansas City and wanted me to take the ranch on a ten-year lease, but I had had all the farming I wanted. So he leased it to Jude Bailey, and I traded my tractor for a one-ton Model-T truck.

    (Glenn) 1924. When Dad had all he could take of Le Fete’s ranch, he traded the tractor for a Model-T Ford truck. For some reason I was elected to drive the tractor into town. I don’t know what happened to Dad. I’m sure that he would have to drive the truck back, but for some reason I drove the tractor alone. I guess Dad was coming in later. Anyway, at about halfway the tractor stopped in a rutted road, the ruts being about a foot deep. This allowed me to get at the crank. It was a Case tractor, with the engine crosswise so that the crank was at the side. I was able to get at the crank and turn it, and the engine started. I do not know why it ever stopped. Had the engine kicked while I was on the crank, I would still be on my way to the moon.

    (Earl) We left Monticello in the tin lizzie in September 1924, with our belongs, five boys, and $800.00 cash, and headed for Huntsville in northern Utah, with no job in sight. The roads were trails most of the way. It took us twelve days to make the trip. The truck broke down a half-dozen times. We had to buy an old motor at Woodside, Utah, and get connecting rods to overhaul it. I spent a day in the sand putting in rods. At one place twenty-six miles south of Price, we got stuck in the bottom of a wash in the sand. A truck came along and couldn’t pass, so they drove down and put a chain around the front axle and pulled us out, and left us waiting there with the axle sprung out until we couldn’t crank the engine. Yes, it was one of those you cranked. Also, the truck had a broken radius rod. A friend came along and was to send a radius rod out from Price. He couldn’t find anyone to send it out with, so he laid off work the next day and brought one out to us himself. The rod cost $2.90, and I paid his day’s wage, plus gas, which made it cost $18.90. And then, when we got to Price, I had to buy another axle and put it in.

  • (Eliza) Summer over. Earl resigned and he traded the tractor for an old truck. He took the dog to Monticello and gave him to Perdencio. We loaded in the beds, bedding, the sewing machine, dishes, camp dishes and food and headed north, out of the ranch, past the water spring where we hauled our water, and up the long steep hill. On top we stopped. The motor was hot so we all got out to stretch our legs. I looked ahead all the way down that narrow road to the bottom of the canyon and said I was going to walk. I took Don and all the boys. We were glad by now to stretch our legs and I wasn’t about to ride down that road in that old truck, although it made it. I didn’t trust it too much. It got to the bottom all right with no trouble, better down than up. We all climbed in and headed across the desert. It was dry and sandy. We went past the big rock that was called Church Rock because it looked like a church from a distance, standing there all alone. All went well until we came to a dry creek bed. When it storms in that country it pours down and dry creeks run full. Banks on the far side were almost straight up and there we stopped. There was no pressure in back to push the front up, so, there we sat. Earl began to dig us out when a brand new shiny truck came along and offered to pull us out. They had no trouble crossing. They hooked onto the front somehow and got the truck out, but something got bent on our truck. We still couldn’t go. They sent a repairman out from Price to pick us up. He took Don and me to his home. His wife was cooking a large pan of apple and raisin jam so she stirred while we visited. After living in what I had been for the last ten years, not that it had bothered me, her house looked like heaven. It was so clean and pretty. Well, we got on our way and made it to Soldier’s Summit and a colder place I have never been. We tried to find a place to stay, but there was none, so we drove out of town where there was some wood to burn. We got something to eat, made up the beds, and crawled in for the night. We had breakfast and were on our way. We left the coldest place I have ever been in.

    (Glenn) When we left the ranch Dad loaded everything we had on the truck. I do not recall if the truck had a windshield or not. I know it did not have a top. Dad and Mother sat in the seat over the gas tank and piled all of us kids on top of the load. I recall the ravine that Mother mentions that we got stuck in. Somebody came along and pulled us out by wrapping a chain around the front axle which is not the thing to do on a Model-T. It put about a four- to six-inch kink in the axle. As I recall, we spent a couple of days camped on the bank of that wash waiting for a new one to be brought from Price. This was quite expensive for Dad because he had to buy a new axle and pay a day’s wages to the man who brought the axle to us. I do not recall any more of the trip except the smell of the newly-mowed hay as we traveled through some of the towns on the way to Huntsville.

    (Eliza) On our way, I tried to get Earl to stop at Spanish Fork and see if he could get a job there in the railroad shop, but no, he was headed for Huntsville where I did not want to go. There was no work there.

    We arrived in Eden where Ruth and Henry Grow were running a ranch. She welcomed us in and took care of us until we could find a place to live. The only place available was the old Sprague home with two big rooms in front and one small one in back and an enclosed porch.

    Lyle’s memories begin at this point.

    (Lyle) I remember the porch at the Sprague home. Although it was built to be enclosed, it was not enclosed, as a fire had burned a three-foot hole in the wall at floor level. This we used for the disposal of water from the wash pan, dish pan, and washing machine. It also let in the house flies in the fall. The ceiling would be black with flies, so Mother would take a piece of paper, roll it up, and set the end on fire, then using it as a torch she would walk back and forth burning the flies. Usually it would only burn their wings, causing them to fall to the floor where she would sweep them up and put them in the kitchen stove.

    (Glenn) 1925. In Huntsville I remember the Sprague house. It was of brick with
    large cracks between the boards on the floors. In the east wall there was a big crack in the bricks that you could see through to the outside. The porch to the north was partly enclosed, but had a big hole burned in part of the floor and wall. This had occurred when children were playing with matches, but they got the fire out before it burned the house down. I recall the swamp down back of the house where the spring was and it was indeed good water. We had a little shed back against the fence that was between us and the neighbors. This is where we kept a cow. The cow was in my charge, feeding, milking and pasture.

    (Eliza) The place also had a small barn where we kept a cow. The neighbor’s goat got in one fall and walked all over the hay. After that, the cow wouldn’t eat it. There was a spring down below the hill where we got our water. According to today’s rules, it wouldn’t be clean, but it was the best water ever. We settled in, with help from Nina, Earl’s sister, and with some of her mother’s things, as she and her husband, Verlan Braithwaite, had moved in with her father. She even sent up the electric washer, which I objected to, but she insisted. Earl had given it to his mother.

    (Earl) After arriving in Huntsville, about the first thing we did was put up a good supply of fruits and vegetables. I bought a cow from Father and that helped some. That fall I worked on a hay baler, wiring, weighing, and stacking twenty tons of hay a day. I received about $3.50 a day. That winter I worked in the blacksmith shop for $3.00 a day. I caulked horse shoes, shod horses, and did odd jobs, and the blacksmith beat me out of $35.00 on that deal.

    (Eliza) Earl picked up a job here and there, and Gene was born May 19, 1925. Earl’s once-was neighbor, who worked in the railroad shops in Green River, Wyoming got him a job there as blacksmith, so he took off and we were alone again.

    (Glenn) One Sunday I decided to go visit Otto Grow over in Eden and I walked. About midway, at the bottom of Eden Hill, some people who were going to Sunday school in a Model-T truck stopped and gave me a ride. My Grandmother Winter had told me a lot of kidnap stories. These stories were going through my mind, and being bashful, I did not tell these people where I wanted to get off. When we were getting near the lane that went into Otto’s place I hung over the back and put my foot on the road to determine if I could run as fast as the truck was going. I felt that I could, so when I reached the lane, I jumped off. Well, needless to say, I couldn’t run that fast and I rolled about ten or fifteen feet on that shale. Fortunately I had on one of those duck bill hats that came over my nose and saved my nose, but I ended up with big cuts under my nose, on my shoulders, on my hands, on my knees, and I don’t know where else. Apparently it stunned me because I didn’t realize that I was hurt as I got up and started walking in. Of course these people stopped, came back and picked me up and hauled me in. They wondered why I hadn’t told them where I wanted to get off. Aunt Ruth wondered the same thing and she probably gave me a Scotch blessing, but I don’t remember it. She put me to bed upstairs and then I started to hurt. Somehow they got me home. I guess they had a car. I was about two weeks recovering. One day the folks went somewhere and left me alone and I recall that I desired to have company. I requested that our neighbor’s daughter come stay with me. Apparently I was a little sweet on her, but the request was not granted or was denied by her; I don’t know which.

  • (Earl) During the summer of 1925 I worked on fish ponds for the state Fish and Game in Huntsville, and later worked in another blacksmith shop. In September, Roger Peterson, son of an old neighbor came in from Green River, Wyoming, where he was working on the Union Pacific Railroad. He wanted me to go back with him, which I did. I worked in the roundhouse as a machinist helper. That was one hell-of-a-job. My hours were from 3:30 p.m. until midnight. I roomed at a flophouse and ate at a Chinese restaurant. I worked seven days a week for six months and never missed a shift. I wouldn’t have missed then if Lorin, four years old, hadn’t been operated on for appendicitis. His appendix broke and he came nearly dying. I was called home to Huntsville for about a week.

    (Eliza) Lorin came down with appendicitis and had to be operated on. He was four years old and he cried all night with pain in his side. We had no phone, so I called the doctor from the neighbor’s the next morning. He came that night and said he couldn’t understand it, there was no pain. I told him he had cried all night with pain. I had told him that in the first place. He was a good doctor, but a drug addict, so he probably hadn’t taken everything in. Anyway he called a doctor from Ogden who came immediately, and they took him straight to the hospital. Nina took the little kids and a neighbor girl took over the rest, and Verlan took me to the hospital. The appendix broke as soon as the pressure was off by cutting the skin and pus ran out. They called me in to see. The doctors cleaned it up, put in a drainage tube and that was it. He was in bed for some time.

    This brings to a close Eliza’s writings about her life. Although she was encouraged to write more, she never did. The writings of Earl, Glenn, Lyle, and Joy however, complete the story.

    (Earl) Not long after going back to Green River, a blacksmith job became vacant in the maintenance shop, and I took that. That job paid $6.80 a day which was two dollars more than the roundhouse job. My helper and I batched in a shack in the middle of the railroad yards until they moved the shop to Evanston.

    Earl was working in Green River, Wyoming on May 1, 1926 on the date of the thirteenth anniversary of their marriage. He wrote this poem that he sent home to Eliza:


    It’s thirteen years ago today
    Since I married my dear wife.
    I’ve not been sorry for a minute
    That I took her in my life.

    When I bow my head in sorrow,
    She will meet me with a smile,
    Tell me no trouble to borrow
    And show me things worthwhile.

    She has brought to me six children
    Husky boys I love most dear,
    And she’s always home and waiting
    For the man she loves most dear.

    So here’s to wife and babies
    On this anniversary night.
    May the God above watch o’er you
    And keep you in the right.

    (Glenn) Dad went to work for the railroad in Green River, Wyoming, while we were at the Sprague house. One weekend when he was home, I wanted to buy a bicycle from one of the neighbor kids for five dollars, so I asked Dad for the money. Apparently I pestered him considerably because he whopped me, so I went into the bedroom and cried. I simulated a cry for two or three hours till finally he gave me the five dollars. That bicycle became one of the best bicycles in town as I began to build it up. It started out as two wheels and a frame. Later on it almost became my waterloo. Otto and I were bicycling to Ogden, and going down a steep part of Ogden Canyon. The road was narrow, and there was a wall separating the road from the river, and on the other side of the wall was a bunch of rocks. Normally we would be going down this hill as fast as we could go, but for some reason we stopped to look at the river or something. When I got on my bicycle the forks separated and dumped me in the road. Had that happened while riding fast, I would have gone over that wall and that would have been my finish. Otto was a pretty smart kid. We just parked my bicycle over the wall so someone wouldn’t steal it and he loaned me his. Then he hitched a ride back home and I had to ride his bicycle back up that canyon.

    On one of Dad’s trips to Green River I went with him. We rode the train. Apparently it was at night as we had a bunk to sleep in. I didn’t sleep a wink that night as I was worrying about the train wrecking and killing all of us. My Grandma Winter had told me a lot of horrid stories. While in Green River, Dad lived in a little shack in the middle of the railroad yards. I stayed there and while he worked, I played around in the area.

    While living at the Sprague house, I had my first job working for someone and I got paid with one great big round silver dollar. It was the biggest dollar that I had ever seen and I had big plans for it. Dad, in his wisdom, told me to go up to the store and buy myself a pair of overalls, which I did. They cost me ninety-five cents, and I think I spent the other five cents for a candy bar.  

  • In every small town and in every school there is a group of bullies. We had ours and I seemed to be the subject of their bullying. One time at school, Que Hislop and Carman Brown, with others backing them up were touting me for a fight, but I wouldn’t fight. Eventually I said I would meet them behind the store after school. Well when I got to the store, there they were. They started mouthing off and putting chips on my shoulders and giving me a bad time. Finally I hit Carman in the face with my hand and pushed him backward because I wasn’t going to take any more. He came back swinging. My Dad had never taught me how to fight and neither had anybody else, so I never clenched my fist properly, but when I let him have it beside the head, he hollered and I broke my thumb so that ended the fight. Thereafter they wanted to be my friends, but I would not. Another time I was riding my bicycle and Que threw some rocks in my spokes. That did it! I got off my bicycle and started pounding on him. We pounded on each other till a neighbor stopped us, but I wished that he hadn’t for I would have liked to have beat the socks off of that guy. One time Maynard Peterson stood at the crossroads when I was coming from Grandpa’s. I didn’t like the look on his face, so I turned around and went around the block. He
    went down the block and he was standing at the crossroads again, so I sensed that there was something wrong, but I continued on. I found that he was very unhappy, as someone had told him that I had been calling him nasty names. He didn’t believe what I said, so we had to pound on each other’s heads awhile before he would let me continue.

    (Earl) I was transferred to Ogden, and did blacksmith work on 29th Street and Pacific Avenue when they were building the Union Pacific roundhouse. In March, when the job was about ended, I contracted to buy Albert Wangsgard’s shop in Huntsville. Later, I was notified I had been recommended for the Evanston shops. Too late; I was tied up.

    (Lyle) We lived in the Sprague home for about two years, paying $50.00 rent per month. Dad and Mother then rented a home owned by Aunt Ruth and Uncle Henry Grow, located in the center of Huntsville. This home was much nicer and larger than the Sprague home, having three large rooms downstairs and three bedrooms upstairs. Mother and Dad used the lower bedroom and us boys were upstairs. The home had city water, with a sink, but we still had an outside privy. There was a barn, a chicken coop, and a large garden area.

    (Glenn) 1926. I don’t recall the move from the Sprague house to Aunt Ruth’s house uptown. Mother told me that she and I walked up the road and that I carried one of her lamps. Ruth’s house was on a couple of acres of land with a large barn at the back. Beside the house was a well with a workable pump which we did not use as water was piped into the house to a sink. The sink drain pipe went through the wall and drained into the raspberry bushes. Ruth’s house consisted of three rooms downstairs and about the same upstairs. The downstairs east room was used for the kitchen. The southwest room was the living room, but we hardly ever used it. Off of this room was Mother and Dad’s bedroom. Upstairs there was a large room and two small rooms. The large room at the head of the stairs was where all the boys slept. One small room had Aunt Ruth’s stored goods that we got into and nosed around once in awhile, and there was one small room where I slept. Why I was given a room of my own, I do not know.

    Dad eventually quit the railroad and worked for a time at Sperry Mills unloading grain from railroad cars. He then bought the Wangsgard shop in Huntsville and I worked with him quite a bit. I remember it was sometimes difficult to get released so us boys could go down to Spring Creek and go skinny dipping. While swimming, we used to worry about the crawdads getting hold of our toes.

    One night I was invited to a party. Mother had gone to the store and I needed some hot water to get ready. I kindled a fire in the kitchen stove. In doing so I poured some kerosene in on the wood, but there were some hot coals and it exploded. The lids flew off and soot was scattered all over the house; sure made a mess. When Mother came home, I had a job cleaning up the room. I guess I did get it done in time to go to the party.

    Mother had an electric washing machine. I think it was a Maytag. It was my first experience with electricity and I didn’t know what made it work. I recall putting a kink in the cord and the washer stopped so I presumed it was like water and I could stop the electricity from flowing through the cord.

    Mother on occasion went to church and got us kids started. I recall that I used to go to Primary after school. They had dances and that is how I learned to dance. I had to give a talk in Sacrament Meeting and in the middle of my talk I forgot what I was supposed to say. I just stood there, but I finally regained my composure and picked it up and finished. After the meeting, I was congratulated on my recovery and composure, but I was scared to death.

    (Lyle) Dad was still working for the railroads, but in March 1927, he contracted to buy Albert Wangsgard’s blacksmith shop that was located next to Mr. Wangsgard’s garage, and one-half block from home. The blacksmith business was not too profitable, but with the cow, chickens and garden we had all we needed to eat. Mother made most of our clothes for school and even some for our Sunday best. Glenn and I earned spending money by picking beans, working for farmers in the hay, and in late fall and early winter trapping muskrats for their skins. It wasn’t big business as each skin only brought thirty to forty cents, but that seemed like a lot of money to us.

    One time David 0. McKay was in the shop getting some work done, and Dad was using the acetylene torch. Mr. McKay asked how hot the flame was, and Dad said, “Ten degrees hotter than hell.” Mr. McKay answered, “That’s hot enough for me.” One time there was a light rain storm and my cousin, Otto Grow, found that by laying a bar on the forge and touching the sidewalk in front of the shop, he would get an electric shock. He then proceeded to stand just inside the shop and greet everyone who passed by with a hearty handshake. It was interesting to see how different people reacted.

    (Glenn) 1927. It was about this time that I desired to get more wheels under me than a bicycle provided, something with power. A friend of mine, Mark Shupe, and his family were inventive and mechanical. He and I worked for somebody and we traded our labors for an old motorcycle that didn’t run. Someone had lost part of the bearings in the connecting rod and replaced them with some leather and bearings together. Of course, they didn’t hold up too long so we had to rebuild the engine. We spent most of our time working on it and pushing it to get it started. Eventually it became functional and Mark spent most of the time riding it while I fixed it. Of course, this didn’t go over very well and the partnership soon broke up. I bought out his interest, as I recall, for two dollars and fifty cents, then I traded the motorcycle for a bunch of Model-T parts consisting of a front axle, a rear axle frame, and I guess a steering wheel, gas tank, and a basket of engine parts. I then preceded to build my four wheels. I was almost fourteen at that time. My working area was in front of the house, between the fence and the road. I imagine it was sure a mess. How I got by with it I do not know. I spent a lot of time building that automobile and cranking it, trying to get it to run. I did not have much help as Dad was busy in the blacksmith shop, and I was busy helping him, and of course, we had to go to school and church. The crank that I had acquired was a Chevrolet crank and was a little longer than the regular Ford crank. One day while cranking the engine, not knowing the procedure for cranking, I was pushing down and the engine kicked back and broke my arm. I suppose every Model-T owner had that experience. Thereafter I learned how to crank a Model-T, for they had a very bad habit of kicking. I finally got it running and rode around town sitting on the gas tank for a seat. The steering wheel was wired up to something, and the rest of it was just an open frame with an engine and the radiators. As time went on, I acquired more parts, also a body, and in the end, had a very nice Model-T Ford. I probably replaced the engine two or three times and it eventually had a battery and a starter. In early 1928, Dad bought a car from Uncle Henry Grow, a black 1924 Model-T touring car, with top and side curtains, with three doors (the driver had no door.) Of course, I was never privileged to drive it.

  • (Lyle) Mother’s life during these years in Huntsville was hard, with Dad not making much money and with six boys to feed and clothe, the youngest being Gene, born on May 19, 1925, and Glenn the oldest, born in 1914. I don’t recall her taking any active part in church activities, but on occasion she attended the services. About the only fun times for her would be visiting relatives on Sundays and holidays.

    (Earl) In March 1930, Albert Wangsgard offered me $50.00 more than I had paid him on the shop as payments. He must have wanted it pretty bad, and I wanted to get rid of it pretty bad, so I sold it to him. He and I went to Ogden, and he paid for the shop; also bought the stock of iron, horse shoes, and so on, that I had on hand.

    (Glenn) Albert Wangsgard was giving Dad a bad time because he wanted his blacksmith shop back. One day Dad asked me to go with him to the shop and be there because he was expecting a consultation with Albert. They met and Dad agreed to sell the shop back for fifty dollars more than he had paid for it. So Dad was again without a job. He started searching for another town to set up a shop. He, Uncle Clyde, and I got in the car and went down south of Provo looking at different towns trying to find a location to start a business. One of the places was Goshen and I have never liked Goshen since, for I nearly froze to death and it was a barren place.

    (Lyle) Joy was born February 1, 1930. Being the first girl after six boys it is understandable why she was named Joy. Mother and Dad, hoping to improve economically, moved to Morgan when Joy was only five weeks old.

    (Earl) On March 22, 1930, we moved to Morgan. I had rented a shop, an old-time red painted shop that leaked – almost let the sunshine in. Was cold in the winter and hot in the summer.

    We took our seven kids and the Model-T car we had, and made the grand start for Morgan. I had to hire a truck to haul our two cows and what tools I had, and our furniture, which wasn’t so much, to Morgan. On the way to Morgan, bouncing along in the Model-T, the roads were all washboardy and unoiled, and it was really rough. At times, the hind end of the Ford would get in the front and bounce along for awhile, and then reverse again. The kids were a hollerin’ and a yellin,’ but we made it!

    Joy was born on the first day of February 1930, so, you see, she wasn’t very old when we moved to Morgan. She probably doesn’t remember the trip.

    (Glenn) The move to Morgan required Mother to again pack up her goods and prepare to move again. The family went by way of Ogden and Weber Canyon. By that time I had my automobile in fairly good condition, so I drove it over the hill between Huntsville and Mountain Green.

    (Earl) We rented a house in South Morgan from Newell Butters which cost $17.00 a month. It looked good, but was a very cold place to live in. We lived there for six years. I told my wife on the way over, “We’ve had a store bill all our lives, and we’ve never been out of debt. We’re going to a new town, and it’s the last move we’re going to make. We’re not going to have a store bill if we starve to death.” And that’s the way it’s been. I have bought a few things in the way of lumber and things like that “on time,” but never any groceries. We’ve stayed with the plan and it’s paid off. Times were hard. The Depression was on. No money. Men were working on WPA projects at $1.50 per day. Some state road jobs paid $5.00 per day for man and team.

    (Lyle) The house they rented in South Morgan was about the same as the one they left in Huntsville, with a barn, chicken coop, pig pen, and a large garden. The house was single story, brick, with three bedrooms, a front room, and a kitchen lean-to built on the back of the main building. It was a very cold house in winter. Frost would build up on the inside of the exterior walls of the bedrooms.

    (Glenn) We rented a house in South Morgan with five rooms. Again I was given a bedroom by myself, for what reason I know not. I must have been hard to get along with or it could be because it was the coldest room in the house. I recall that a half inch of frost would build up on the inside walls. Many’s the time I came home from a date and would curl up in a ball with my head under the covers trying to get warm.

    (Joy) My first memories of Mother start at the house in south Morgan. I remember the house as having a large kitchen where Mom spent most of her time preparing meals, canning fruits and vegetables and ironing. I remember the ironing board always being up ready to use, with a basket of sprinkled clothes next to it.

    On the street side of the house there was a big snowball bush and between the lawn and the road was an irrigation ditch. At the side of the house was another irrigation ditch that was used to water the pasture next to the house. I was about three or four years old and Mom and Don were cleaning that ditch and burning the dead grass on the ditch bank. I sat on the ditch bank to watch them and was wearing a pair of overalls Mom had made from leftover pants. Mom and Don left and went into the house while I continued to sit and daydream. I looked down and found flames creeping up my pant leg. I started screaming and running around the snowball bush as fast as I could go. When Mom finally heard me and came running out, the flames had reached my neck. Mother grabbed me and started beating out the flames with her hands. About the only burn I can remember was on my neck, but I remember Mother’s hands were sore for quite some time.  

  • (Earl) I patched up the old shop, fastened the doors so they could be locked, and started in business. Some days I didn’t even take in a dime, but I stayed there all day hoping, and most of the customers that did come, if you charged them a little, they’d complain about it being too high-priced. We had a hard old go for quite some time, but we soon gained friends, and at the time that Elden got down with rheumatic fever, we found that the friends were great. One fall, a merchant friend brought us peaches and sugar to put them up with, and he did many things to help us out the next few years which we greatly appreciated.

    (Lyle) I’m glad we finally settled in Morgan where Dad found a single blacksmith in a large farming community. This fellow was old and about ready to retire and would welcome someone to start another blacksmith shop. Dad rented, for five dollars a month, the old Tonks shop on Main Street. It was just a board shack and there he started in business.

    (Earl) When we moved to Morgan, I had made up my mind to one thing – that I wasn’t going to give credit. But, of course, later on when I learned about people, or thought I had, I did give some credit. And over these thirty years, I doubt that I’ve lost more than four or five hundred dollars, but that is entirely too much. Soon after we moved here, a well-known man from down the county brought in a little horse to shoe. The bill was $1.50. I had to furnish the shoes, of course, caulk them up the fire, and all that, but he said, “I’ll pay you Friday.” Well, he didn’t pay me Friday. I took my old Model-T and made three separate trips down to collect that $1.50. I was so damn stubborn, I wasn’t going to let that boy beat me out of that $1.50. P.S. He paid me.

    (Glenn) These were pretty tough times and I guess we were poor, but we kids never realized it for we never went hungry. Moving to Morgan placed me in a high school environment from an elementary school environment. I was in the ninth grade and we moved in the spring before school was out. I recall that I had some problems with the teacher because she wanted me to memorize two pages of poetry. When I glanced at it I panicked and I refused to even try. I recall that she forced me to stand in front of the class and repeat after her as she prompted. I remember the first line to this day. It was “Never so rare as a day in June.” She threatened to flunk me if I didn’t memorize that poem, and I decided that she could flunk me, because I just wasn’t going to do it. Anyway I graduated from the ninth grade and that was the end of my schooling. The next fall I was working in the beet fields and school started before I finished the work in the fields. I didn’t realize that in high school you had to get there and sign up for your classes and that there was a limit to the number of students to the class. I was about two weeks late and the subjects that I wanted were not available. I went to school and lasted about two weeks, then I quit and continued to work where I could. I signed up with the Lincoln School of Aviation for a correspondence course in aviation. Herold Fry was one of my good friends. He was in the school band and was also an athlete. He told me one time soon after I had quit school that the principal had used me as an example in the assembly for being so stupid as to quit school. He said all I thought of was flying and that all there was to flying was to get a stick between my legs. I didn’t think that was very appropriate for the principal of a school. Not one time did anyone come and consult with me and question my reason for quitting and encourage me to continue. I worked with Dad in the shop, and I do not know why he did not encourage me to finish my schooling because he had been to college.

    (Earl) I did blacksmithing of all kinds, plow shares, shoeing horses, everything from soldering pans to fixing the old washing machines that were worn out, almost anything to get a few dimes. Of course, Glenn was old enough to help me some when I needed a little help, and so we went on.

    I used to fit up shoes and go out and put them on horses for the sheep men, spring and fall. One time I made a trip to Henefer and shod seventeen horses that day. Two or three of them were bad and had to have their feet tied up and I believe that’s about the hardest day’s work I ever did. Later, when I had more horses to shoe, I would get Tom Geary, who owned a shop in South Morgan, an old fellow and very good friend, to help me out. When he would get too much work, he would send the jobs over to me which helped us out in a good many cases. Later, he would set up part of the shoes and I’d set up part, and we’d go together up to Henefer and Croydon and shoe horses all day. That made it a little easier on me for I didn’t have so many in one day. That was about the best money we could make, which wasn’t too good at that. The highest price paid was $2.50, shoes and all, for a big horse. The smaller horses were $1.50, and we’d furnish the shoes. You can see it wasn’t a get-rich-quick procedure.

  • (Earl) On September 10, 1932, Lois was born in South Morgan, the second girl in a family of eight children. The doctor in that case was Dr. Abbott, our Morgan physician. Lois apparently was the “last of the Mohicans,” and as I look back over the eight kids, I think “Count your many blessings.” A friend of mine, Clarence Thurston, asked me one day when I was down to his place and stopped and ate dinner, “Earl, how many kids do you have?” I said, “Eight.” He said, “And with your wife and you, that’s ten. Thirty meals a day. My god, how do you do it?” I said, “I don’t know, Clarence, but we’ve never starved yet.”

    (Lyle) Even though he worked hard, Dad still had a sense of humor that he displayed once in awhile. A few times when he had a horse to shoe, he would ask the farmer if he would rather pay him the $2.50 or give him a penny for the first nail and double it each time he drove a nail (1-2-4-8-16-32-etc.) It takes thirty-two nails to shoe a horse. Most of the time the farmers said they would pay the $2.50. I guess they didn’t want to use their heads.

    One day a fellow took Dad up on the one-penny-double-each-time deal. Dad started to shoe the horse and this fellow was leaning against the door frame with the gears grinding slowly away in his brain. Dad had started on the second shoe when this fellow said, “Oh no, I’ll pay you the $2.50.” He had got his figures up to the ninth nail and the bill was going up fast. I often wonder if Dad knew what it totaled up to. The total, for you slow thinkers, is $21,474,836.48.

    For Dad to shoe a horse, first he had to fit up the shoes, which today are bought already made. He had to heat up the back part of the shoe and turn the heel calks, then heat up the front part and fire weld the toe calk on. When the horse was brought in for shoeing, he had to fit the shoes to the horse’s feet by heating them up and shaping each shoe to the shape of the hoof.

    Most of the horses had been shod many times and would stand still, but some of the young ones, and a few just plain mean ones, would fight. To control these, Dad had different methods. One was to put a twitch on their nose. A twitch was made of a piece of wood about two inches in diameter, eighteen inches long, with a four-inch loop of rope fastened to the end. This loop was placed over the fleshy part of the horse’s nose and twisted until it started to hurt. The idea was to give the horse something to think about besides its feet. If the horse started to fight, the person holding its head would give another twist on the handle. Another method that he used was to put a rope over the horse’s back and tie the foot up, but this made it awkward to nail the shoe onto the hoof. Sometimes both methods were used, but the horse still could be dangerous, for if it gave a sudden jerk with a nail sticking out the side of the hoof, it could tear a deep hold in Dad’s hand or leg. That is why he wore a leather apron for protection, but he still had scars from being caught by a nail. But Dad was strong and quick and this helped to keep him from getting hurt.

    In the depression years, many of the farmers would shoe their own tame horses and bring the mean ones to the shop. One hot summer day in 1934, I was fighting one of these ornery critters for over and hour and still had not finished. I walked into the shop for a rest and to wipe the sweat off my brow and said to Dad that there was a better way to make a living. He didn’t say anything for what seemed like twenty minutes, then he said, “I think you are right.” From then on the only mean horses that we would shoe were the ones that belonged to the farmers that brought all of their horses to us.

    Grandfather Halls came from Huntsville to Morgan to visit a few times, and would stand around the shop and visit with the customers. He was well-read and up-to-date on most subjects. I don’t know if he was a Democrat or Republican, but he could argue either side. He could talk to someone and eventually determine their politics, then take the other point of view. He would continue to argue, always picking up and working on the other’s political sore spot. He would keep this up till the other fellow was red in the face and really jumping. Grandfather would then start to laugh and the fellow would realize what had been going on and would also end up laughing.

    In 1933, Morgan city was breaking up old head gates to install a turbine and generator for their new light plant. They were using dynamite and one of the men thought it would work better by putting mud and boulders on top of the dynamite to help break the concrete. Dad’s shop was over a block away and at the time, Dad was shoeing a horse and was fitting the shoes at the anvil. He went outside to try the shoes on the horse and as he went out a gust of wind blew the door shut. He turned around and thought that the door had made a lot of noise as it slammed, then went and tried the shoes on the horse. When he returned to the shop, there on the floor by the anvil where he had stood seconds before was a large rock, larger than a football, that minutes before had been dynamited from the dam, and in the roof directly above was the hole that it had made.

    In 1934, Dad got his first electric welder, a heavy thing about 700 pounds. It was a Westinghouse, with an electric motor in one end and the generator in the other end. Morgan City had their own power plant run by a turbine-driven generator. This electric motor on Dad’s welder was the largest in town. They told him that when he turned it on, the turbine turned backwards so they wouldn’t let him use it. He ended up mounting it on a four-wheel trailer and running it with a Chevrolet engine.

    Between the engine and the welder was a pulley that Dad used to belt-drive a table saw that he had built. One day we had this set up in front of the old shop, sawing some three-inch hardwood to repair a wagon. The wood pieces were tapered, three inches square and ten inches long. They were bounding around on the table. One of them got behind the saw blade and caught the teeth and took off, landing about sixty feet away. As it sailed over Dad’s head, it knocked his hat off. That was too close.

    One day a fellow brought in a car to have a bumper bolt drilled out. As Dad started to drill the bolt with his old portable drill, the car started to roll back. Dad told me to put on the emergency brake. I opened the door and leaned in with one foot on the damp ground and a knee on the running board and grabbed the brake lever. When Dad heard the brake lever pulled back, he started the drill. The drill had a short in it causing me to get an electric shock, and I couldn’t let go of the brake lever. As my muscles contracted, pulling me into the car, my foot came off the ground which broke the circuit, thus releasing me.

  • During the depression years many men were out of work and were riding the trains from place to place picking up a job wherever they could. One day one of these men stopped in at the shop. He was a small man with good mechanical knowledge. He suggested to Dad that they build Dad a triphammer. So for the next week or so, he stayed with us at the house, sleeping in the barn, while they built a triphammer. This I was glad to see, for it replaced me as the blacksmith’s helper. I used to swing a twelve-pound sledge hammer for Dad as he welded points onto plowshares. I would swing this hammer until I thought my arms would fall off. The first triphammer was small, but worked very well. Dad built a larger, heavier one later, and gave the small one to his brother, Dale, who lived in Wyoming. This second triphammer was used by Dad for many years until he retired in 1955, then was used by Lorin until he gave up the shop in the late sixties.

    (Lyle) Mother’s life was even harder in Morgan than it was before. The entire nation was in a depression, and Dad was making less money than he did in Huntsville. Most of the blacksmith work he did was for farmers who paid him with produce, grain, potatoes, hay for the cows, etc., so we had all that we needed to eat, but clothes for us kids had to be made by Mother.

    (Lyle) Running in front of the home in South Morgan was an irrigation ditch with a foot bridge made of four railroad ties. Lois, at the age of one, fell into this ditch and floated under this bridge and didn’t come out the other side. One of the younger boys went screaming for Mother, who came running. She reached under the bridge and pulled Lois out just in time. She coughed and sputtered a few times, but was all right.

    (Glenn) We had a battery radio that I think was given to us by Aunt Dora. I recall working with that squawking thing trying to tune in a station. Eventually Dad acquired enough money to buy a new Philco radio, and that provided us with some entertainment. We eventually got a telephone, one of those crank types, the only kind that was available at that time.

    (Lyle) Dad, on a couple of occasions decided to make some wine. He would place a crock behind the kitchen stove full of crushed grapes and let them ferment. Not knowing how to make wine, he would bottle this juice before it was through fermenting. These bottles were small bombs, so when we went into the cellar where they were stored, we had to walk lightly or they would explode. When Dad would open one of these bottles, usually when he had company, he would place the bottle in the dish pan and cover it with a dish towel, then open the lid. After the wine had quit fizzing, they would wring out the dish towel and have their refreshment.

    (Glenn) About the time that Elden became ill, I had acquired a 1921 Studebaker touring car that was a pretty nice car. It was acquired because it had a blown head gasket and the people driving it through Morgan wanted to continue on their way. We traded Lyle’s Model-T that he was building up for that Studebaker. I pulled the head and replaced the gasket and had a nice running car. With this car I would take Mother to Salt Lake to visit Elden. One time we picked up a woman hitchhiker. I think she was half crazy because we had one heck of a time getting rid of her. Another time I took Mother to Ogden to do some Christmas shopping. The roads were covered with packed snow, and on the way back a light drizzle had started making the roads extremely slick. I could step on the gas on that Studebaker and the wheels would spin. As we were coming up Weber Canyon, just over a hill above the power plant, there was a road truck with two men in the back who were shoveling sand on the road. A car was coming so I could not pass. I slowed down the best I could on the ice so as not to lose control and when the oncoming car passed I turned to pass the truck. The front wheels slid causing the end gate of the truck to hit the windshield post bending it back about four inches and putting the windshield glass in Mother’s and my laps. As the truck slowly pulled away at about one mile an hour, the end gate hooked onto my side curtain and tore it. The men in that truck just stood there with their mouths open. The driver never knew that he had been hit. Mother and I finished the trip to Morgan with rain in our faces, but she didn’t complain, and when we got there we were nearly frozen to death.

  • Later I cut the front seat of the car so that it would lay back and make into a bed. Then Otto and I went out to the desert to skin sheep. That year they had had a bad sheep kill. We would pelt the sheep, then take the pelts to Salt Lake and sell them for thirty cents each. We lived in the car. This gave us something to do and paid our expenses, including Otto’s cigarette habit. One day we had about twenty-five pelts laid out drying, and a Mexican came along and said, “This is my territory, go over there, lots of sheep over there. This is my territory.” So Otto and I, being young and gullible, gave into that, even though we carried a 30-30 rifle and, dumb idiots that we were, told him where our pelts were and gave him twenty pelts. We went over to the place where he suggested and worked two days, and found one sheep.

    (Lyle) In 1933, Glenn, with Dad’s help, mounted a grain chopper on the back end of a 1921 Studebaker. They used the same engine to either power the car or run the chopper. Glenn would drive to the various farms and chop their grain charging ten cents per hundred. This gave him spending money and enough extra to enroll in a correspondence school on the repair of diesel engines.

    In about 1935, Dad’s own teeth finally gave out and he had to have them pulled and a set of false teeth made by a Dr. Christensen. Now this dentist liked his liquor and was not too dependable. Finally, the teeth were ready, so Dad went up town and had them put in. He kept them in his mouth until noon, determined to get used to them. Then he said that he couldn’t take it any longer and went up to the dentist’s office. He found out that an Earl Williams was also getting new teeth and the dentist had given Dad the wrong set.

    (Glenn) After the flour and feed mill burned, Dad suggested to me that I might make a portable grain grinder and grind feed grain for the farmers. I acquired the hammer mill from the burned-down mill, and mounted it on the back end of the Studebaker after removing the back half of the body. I soon found that I did not have enough power to drive the mill. I obtained a loan from the bank by having Dad sign with me and bought a grain chopper from a local implement company. By using two transmissions in the drive line I could run the chopper and still use the engine for power to the wheels. I mounted a scale on one side and an old fresno on the other. This I used to catch the chopped grain in. I went around the county chopping grain for ten cents per hundred pounds. I don’t know where we got the price from, but it was probably what the mill used to charge. Being dumb and not knowing that we should have minimums many a farmer called me to chop only one hundred pounds of grain, ten cents’ worth. This means that I had to unload that fresno that weighed one hundred pounds, and set up my rig for a measly ten cents. Some of the farmers were a little better, they would have me chop a thousand pounds, and that was a dollar’s worth.

    I had my little business. I worked with Dad in the shop. I went to Wyoming and worked in the hay fields, and I worked on the local farms. I worked hard and my income finally exceeded my expenses. I was able to save up enough money to go to Los Angeles to a diesel engine school, as well as buy a candy bar once in awhile. I fell in love with a girl in Porterville, Delores Carter. We were married on April 12, 1935, and went to Los Angeles, California, where we made our home.

    (Lyle) To complete his course, Glenn had to spend the final months at the school in California. He was dating Delores Carter at the time, so in 1935 they decided to marry and go to California together. This was the first of Mother’s children to marry and leave home.

    One time a photographer came by with a goat and a cart and talked Mother into having a picture taken. Mother wanted to have the four younger children in the picture, but the photographer said only three, hoping to get to take two pictures. Mother could afford only one, so Don was left out. She never forgot how disappointed Don was, and how sorry she was to let this photographer talk her out of taking the picture of the four children. She even talked about this on her eighty-ninth birthday.

  • (Earl) In 1936, we bought the home we are now in from Wallace Clark. It cost us $1,100 and the Clarks were good customers, so a large part of the payments was worked out in blacksmithing.

    (Joy) Mother told me I was five when we moved to the house in north Morgan. What a mess that house was. I remember how dirty and unlivable it was. If I remember right, the inside had to be scooped out and there were birds nesting up in the edge of the house under the eves attracting all kinds of insects and making a mess. Mom scrubbed and scrubbed the house, but shortly after we were settled in all the beds were infested with bedbugs. Bedbugs look like a tick, but they live and breed in the corner of a bed mattress. They also would bite the occupant at night and leave blood stains on the bed sheets. It was my job to paint the corner of each mattress every day with some kind of oil, perhaps linseed oil. I hated those bugs so badly that I did a very good job. Mother made up some kind of terrible smelling mess on the stove in a big fry pan. Each bedroom had its turn to have this awful stuff in it for a day, several days, for at least a month. We finally got rid of the bed bugs. I smelled something recently that reminded me of that stuff Mom made and decided it had some sulfur in it. There were also mice to contend with until Mom found all the places they got in and plugged them up.

    (Lyle) In 1936, Dad and Mother bought a home on State Street from the Clarks. After much remodeling they finally, for the first time in their lives, had an indoor bathroom. It was a home they could call their own. It was located on about five-eighths acre with the house being the only building. It was not long before Dad, with the help of his sons, was digging a fruit and vegetable cellar, building chicken coops, a garage, a barn, and other buildings for storage.

    (Earl) Elden had rheumatic fever, and also mastoid trouble back of his ear which required an operation. We took him to Salt Lake City to the L.D.S. Children’s Hospital and they put in about three hours on the first operation. He almost died. Later on he had to go through it all again. Each time, Mother would go down and stay with a cousin of ours and take care of him. I would have to borrow a car that ran a little better than my Model-T to go down there and see how things were coming along. It was pretty hard going for all of us. After he came home, he was sick for quite some time. Later he got to where he could go to school, but very often when he couldn’t walk very well, I’d have to take him. But he was sure a plucky boy. He had lots of ambition and wanted to go. After he got so he could do it, he would come over to the shop and I would have him sharpen lawn mowers, and paid him twenty-five cents each time for a lawn mower. He got quite apt and did a good job.

    On March 25, 1937, Elden died, and that was a blow. That was one of the hardest things I have ever had to overcome.

    (Lyle) Elden was about thirteen at the time Lois was born, and I believe this was the winter that he came down with rheumatic fever. Mother not only had two babies to care for but a very sick boy. I remember his cries, those many nights as the pain would throb through his body. Mother must have suffered as much as he, as there was little she could do to relieve his suffering. Elden went through two different mastoid operations in Salt Lake City with Mother at his side each time. He remained very sick for four years. There were times when we thought that he was going to get well, but he always had a relapse. In the spring of 1937, he caught a cold and didn’t overcome it. Finally he told Mother and Dad that he couldn’t take it any longer, so on March 25, 1937, he left us to suffer no more. Only someone who had been through such an ordeal could know Mother and Dad’s feelings and sadness. Gene also came down with rheumatic fever, about two years after Elden became sick, and I can envision Mother’s feelings as another of her sons lay crying in pain. Luckily, Gene recovered with only a slight heart murmur.

  • (Joy) One day in the spring of 1937, I had gone from school to our old house to play with my friend Carol Durrant. I had been there for awhile when Carol’s big brother came riding into the yard on his bicycle and told me that Mother had told him to tell me I could stay as long as I wanted. Right then, I knew something was wrong and immediately headed home. When I got home, they were just putting Elden’s body on a cart and taking him out to the hearse. Mother was sitting on a chair in the middle of the front room crying, and Celest Durrant was sitting next to her with an arm around her. I don’t remember much about the next few days except that the following Sunday was Easter and the Randall family that lived across the field from us brought Lois and me an Easter basket.

    Elden’s funeral was the Monday after Easter and I remember standing in the front hall crying and not wanting to go. Mother was there with me and apparently she talked me into going. During the first prayer at the funeral I saw Elden. I saw him slowly shuffling down a sidewalk looking like he had in his last years of his life, very ill. The sky was overcast and there was a dingy picket fence between him and some unkept houses. Then I saw him again, only this time, he did not look sick. He had a spring in his step and a smile on his face. The picket fence was sparkling white. The sky was clear. The sun was shining and the houses in the background were also white and well kept with flowers planted in the yards. I knew then that Elden was happy where he was and was no longer hurting. I never told anyone about my experience until just before Dean and I were to be married in the temple. I was talking to Mother and started relating the story to her. She interrupted me and went on to describe exactly the same scene I had seen that day. What a comfort that must have been to her. From things she said at different times in later years, I think she blamed herself a little for Elden’s ill health, as though she had not taken the care of him she should have. Shortly after Elden’s death, she started to study about health and nutrition and would comment that she wished she had known this or that when Elden was sick.

    (Lyle) The spring after moving into the house on State Street, Mother decided to make some homemade soap using the recipe that she had used over the years. To make soap you put two and a half pints of water and one can of lye in a pot or tub. Mother used a tub. You stir this till it dissolves, then you add grease to it, five or six pounds. Any kind of grease will do, bacon grease, lard, mutton tallow. Mother mostly used grease from the hog. You build a fire and set the tub over it and let this mixture boil while stirring continually. You do this outside and stand upwind as the fumes are really strong. This day Beth and I were there watching Mother when a sparrow flew over, caught the fumes, and landed right in the tub. We both expected Mother to fish the bird out, but she just kept on stirring. She said that the lye would eat it up, and make soap out of it. It did. After boiling this mixture till it’s about the consistency of thick cream, it is poured into a pan to let cool and harden.

    In the spring of 1938 Mother was, for the first time in her life, ill enough to be taken to a hospital. Lois remembers Dad carrying Mother out of the house and taking her to the Dee Hospital in Ogden where she was treated for a female disorder. She again entered the hospital about twenty years later for a hysterectomy. Lois was visiting Mother, in the late sixties and looking at some photos taken of her in the thirties. She told Mother that she looked healthier at age seventy than she did at age forty. Her reply to Lois was that she wasn’t getting enough to eat in those years. She said that when the chickens were laying, Dad got the first eggs as he had to do heavy work, then the kids came next. If there were any left, then she would have an egg.

    (Joy) Dad always liked his big meal in the middle of the day and Mother always prepared it for him. After the boys had left home, I remember that after that meal was over and Dad had gone back to work, everything was left just as it was, and she would lie on the couch and either read or have a short nap. Perhaps that contributed to her long life.

    (Earl) Time rolled on. On May 17, 1939, my father died in Huntsville at his beloved clubhouse. He died of a heart attack.

    That fall of 1939, Lyle and I decided to borrow money to build a new shop. Lyle had married Beth Roberts on April 7, 1938. I went to the Morgan bank and they promised to loan me the money, and when I wanted it, to just come in and get it. Well, I had to build in the front of the old shop. So when I decided I was ready to build, I went into the bank one day to deposit some checks and ask for a loan. They told me that all I could get was two hundred dollars. I said, “Is that right?” “Yes, two hundred dollars is all we can let you have.” So I walked up to the teller and told him to give me what I had in there, and he asked me, “You’re not going to quit us, are you?” Well, I said, “Just what in the hell good are you to me?” So I drew out my money and left. Well, it was too late then to look somewhere else to borrow money. The next summer I started to deal with the bank in Coalville, and the president and cashier came down to look over the old shop and old Blomquist said, “Well, if anybody needs a new shop, you do.” So he asked me to come up when I wanted the money. But, in the meantime, I was in Ogden and ran into my uncle and he wanted a ride up to his apartment. He offered to loan me the money for two percent less than the bank wanted. Although I didn’t like my uncle and didn’t like to borrow the money from him, two percent is two percent. So we borrowed the money and paid him back in monthly installments. We never missed a payment, and a few times paid double. Uncle G.H. got his money back, although he had spent a good deal of time telling about his shop in Morgan. So I don’t know what he told them after he was paid back. But anyhow, the shop became ours. In the meantime, Lyle had been working in California and had sent home his payments every month regular, never missed once, for his half of the shop payments. Eventually the shop was paid for.

  • (Lyle) Over the years each of the Halls boys, through their ingenuity would take a bunch of parts and build a car. Lorin started with a 1936 wrecked Ford V8. He salvaged the front body section, but the rest he built from wood and sheet metal. It became a streamlined roadster with low curved windshield, cut-off doors, and flowing lines back to the spare tire. But it lacked a paint job. In the spring of 1940 Glenn, who was living in California, sent word to Lorin that he had found a job for him at the place where he was working, so Lorin prepared to drive down in his little roadster. Mother, always being a little adventurous and wanting to visit her son in California, decided to go with him. They piled their suitcases and belongings in the section that was to be a rumble seat and headed south stopping somewhere in the desert where they slept overnight. Mother, visited for a couple of weeks then came home by bus. Lorin stayed and worked with Glenn for a couple of years before returning to Morgan, not in his “dream car,” but in a beautiful 1939 DeSoto.

    In 1941, our country entered World War II. Two of Mother and Dad’s sons, Lorin and Don, went into the Army. Mother must have worried for their safety, although she was not one to express her feelings. She always had two stars in the window, for she was proud of her sons and their commitment.

    During the time of Lorin’s service in the army, he wrote three poems that he sent home to his family. They are included here.


    BY P.F.C.. Lorin A. Halls

    About 1944. Tinker Field, Oklahoma

    My dad is the blacksmith of Morgan town.
    The farmers all come when machinery breaks down.

    He repairs their hay rakes, cultivators, and plows,
    Even builds gates to keep in their cows.

    On their picks and crowbars, he puts on new points.
    With the aid of his welder, a machine gets new joints.

    No matter what it is, he repairs them all.
    Many’s the time he has gone out on call.

    With his skilled hands, tools, welders, and such,
    He fixes them up with his expert touch.

    You’ll most always find him from daylight till dark.
    His work is not pleasant like the song of the lark.

    Farmers come in and want this fixed right now.
    To hell with the rest. “I need this, and how!”

    Though it needed repairing for many a day,
    They knew it would be needed to put up the hay.

    I never could figure it, maybe the farmer can tell
    Why he waited ‘til the blacksmith was busy as hell.

    Why didn’t he bring it in on that long winter day
    While the blacksmith was idle and not making it pay.

    Maybe each one figures he’s above the rest
    And should come first by their simple request.

    They don’t seem to figure Brown may have been first,
    Or that he may need it much, much worse.

    Though the blacksmith wishes to grant each request,
    The farmers should remember and do their best

    To bring in the machinery while there is still snow,
    For when spring comes, the blacksmith gets busy, you know.

    Nov. 30, 1943

  • Dear Mother,

    This letter is just for Mother,
    The dearest Mother in all the world, I want you to know.
    I often think of you, Mother,
    And your lifelong teachings are with me wherever I go.

    Your don’ts and do’s all throughout my childhood
    Have often helped to guide me on my way.
    I really appreciate them, dear Mother,
    As they have often kept me from going astray.

    There are days when a soldier gets weary,
    Disgusted with things, and the way they go.
    He will stop and think of his mother, her sweet voice,
    And the guidance she gives him. This was all not so long ago.

    So Mother, when you folks at home are all so busy,
    All us boys far away want you to know
    That our thoughts are often of our dear mother,
    No matter where on this earth we should go.

    Us boys all have our troubles,
    And many a long dreary day,
    But thoughts of our dear mother
    Make things easier as we go on our way.

    Some day this war will be over,
    And your sons all for home will sail.
    There will be a great reunion with our mother,
    Who never once was heard to whimper or wail.

    So let me leave this thought with you, dear Mother,
    I’ll love you wherever I chance to stay.
    I will always love and cherish you, Mother,
    And pray for haste in reunion on that great day.

    By P.F.C. Lorin A. Halls
    For the dearest Mother in the world.

    Love, Lorin


    By P.F.C. Lorin A. Halls, About 1944

    My brother, Gene, he drives a Studebaker.
    The way he swears at it would stir his creator.

    It has broken springs, and brakes that don’t work.
    He says anyone who owns such a car is surely a jerk.

    It wears the tires lop sided and how.
    Sometimes he is tempted to trade it for a cow.

    It gulps oil and gas by the tank.
    When you get in, it starts with a yank.

    The heater won’t work, the radio won’t play.
    He’d trade for that cow, if it didn’t eat hay.

    Mother told him he should turn it in for scrap.
    But Uncle Say says, “I’m not that big of a sap.”

    So poor Brother is stuck for the duration of the war.
    It will be some time before he can get a new car.

    Don’t feel bad, dear Brother, and don’t take it so,
    The poor soldiers have to walk, wherever they go.

    Look at the bright side, you’re really a lucky guy,
    You have flat tires, but keep your chin up high.

    Things could always be worse than they actually are.
    You’re lucky, dear Brother, to have that broken down car.

  • In 1955, Gene wrote a letter to his mother and also sent a poem he wrote. Eliza then wrote a poem in reply. They are included here.

    Compton, California
    May 2, 1955

    Dear Mom,

    I’m starting a letter to you that may never be mailed or even finished, a letter that we will credit to a batch of rags. Would that I could have written as thoughts of life passed through my mind, for in that hour of sorting, deciding, cutting, and tearing, come one of my life’s greatest visions, the vision of my mother. Not her outward physical appearance, but the inward heart and soul, tender, loving, understanding, and self-sacrificing, giving of herself for her family.

    Strange how the mind works. Here is a shirt, collar gone, but otherwise good, maybe short in the sleeves, but it could give a lot of wear if times got tough. Look, there is material enough here for a new shirt for a little guy. Yes, many a new shirt did my mom turn out that I was proud to wear, better than any store bought. This sport coat, it’s still good, can’t tear it up! Maybe give it to somebody who can use it. Who? Remember my first suits given to us by relatives or neighbors. Made over, they fit fine and wore good, too. These old coveralls, all faded, belly burned out and torn, strictly rags. Cut ‘em up! Boy, there is a lot of material in a pair of coveralls, two yards in a leg alone, and the color is still bright on the inside, good as new. Could make a pair of overalls for a six-year-old with this. Just turn it inside out and with a few handy stitches from skilled hands and there they are. Wore them till the buttons broke off, then stuck nails through the suspenders till they tore out. But that time I thought they were through. Next thing I knew, without recognizing it, I wipe my muddy feet on them, neatly woven into hook rugs.

    Yes, Mom, through these rags I have come to recognize your greatness. I have always loved and appreciated you. But now I see and understand things that only living will qualify one to see or know.


    I think of reckless mountain trips us kids would go on.
    How proud I was that Mother didn’t worry while I was gone.

    But now I’m a parent, and realize she was a parent, too.
    And you can’t help but worry what your kids are and do.

    Yes, you knew that danger lurking, and many things could go wrong.
    But you taught the best you knew. Now practice will make him strong.

    You knew he’d have to trod the road of life alone some day.
    And weather all the storms that come to man along the way.

    You trust him to a loving God to follow through the plan.
    Let him go and gain experience and prove himself a man.

    Mom, you brought me through the folly of youth, and set me on the track.
    Now here I am, well down that road, and pausing to look back.

    I see places where I have cried, yes and stumbled yesterday,
    But you were there to help me up, and urge me on my way.

    So if I manage to reach my goal, and in this life I shine,
    I’ll take no credit to myself, but to that angel mother of mine.

    With a deeper love, Gene. Happy Mother’s Day, Mom.


    My boy you have reached the middle track.
    It does not hurt you to look back.

    Mistakes you made have not stayed long
    Only helped to make you strong.

    Of course I worried here and there.
    Of course what mother doesn’t.

    I was too busy to nag and scold,
    God gave me many souls to guide and hold.

    The only thing that I could do,
    Was trust in him that you’d come through.

    The rags and makeovers were just part of life
    If you had to wear rags, they had to look nice.

    I’m glad you were proud to wear those things,
    But I can’t say that I felt the same.

    I’d build up your morale at how nice you looked,
    Was mighty pleased when those words took.

    All was well if you liked that madeover shirt.
    There was no one else in this world it could hurt.

    Rags or riches, you all turned out well.
    We’re proud of our family and just who is responsible is hard to tell.

    It’s not what happens in this world that counts,
    It’s how we accept it that tells how we turn out.

    Thanks for the poem and all those words so kind.
    Here’s a few in return with a deep love to you, boy of mine.

    We are here to live and to learn, I am told,
    I’ve no doubt that you will reach your goal.

    For you have got what it takes way down deep inside.
    If you don’t make it, I’ll tan your hide.

    With Love, Mother

  • (Earl) Lyle got a job, after he came back from California, working for the Navy. Don and Lorin had to go to war, so there I was, alone again, and I bought Lyle out. Later on, Lorin wanted to buy in, which he did. Don came home and took an apprenticeship under me for four years, got his diploma, and now works for Davis County in the schools where he is the boss of a good many men that keep the Davis County schools in repair. Glenn and Gene have a safe manufacturing business in California.

    (Joy) Mother worked at the school lunch program and in a short time was the supervisor. She was good at the job and was well-liked by those who worked with her. All the meals were cooked there in the kitchen at the school, then served over the counter to the students. It was the responsibility of the supervisor to plan the meals that met the nutritional standards set up by the school administration, and to order all the supplies. When the decision was made to hire only widows as school cooks, she went to work at the cabbage factory where they made sauerkraut. She used to bring some home once in awhile and that is when I learned to like it. What she brought home was very fresh and not like the stuff you buy at the store now.

    Mother had worked hard all her life, but she had never been a wage earner before. Now she had the freedom to buy a few things for her enjoyment. She bought a player piano and taught herself to play it. I don’t know if she had help from anyone, but she became very good. I was amazed at the complicated music she was playing and she really enjoyed it. I think she wanted Lois and me to learn how to play, but we were too lazy. She also used her money to give Lois and me the things she wanted for us. She bought us our first store-bought clothes. I was about fifteen then. I wanted very much to take voice lessons and she made that possible for me.

    (Lyle) Mother, worked in the school lunch program for many years. She progressed until she was the supervisor of several cooks, then the people in authority decided that only widows should be allowed to work in the program and she was laid off. She then worked at the cannery for several summers. Mother and Dad were both looking forward to retirement and they needed to be eligible for Social Security. Mother became eligible through her years of work and Dad by paying into a program for the self-employed.

    All of the children eventually married. Glenn married Delores Carter. After Delores died, Glenn married Laurel Wilkins. Lyle married Beth Roberts. Lorin married Violet Lakarich, Don married Marie Hess and after she died, he married Barbara Hayward, who had three children. Gene married Effie Keyes and after they were divorced, he married Anna Carr. Joy married Dean Foxley, and Lois married Ray Maxwell, but they were later divorced. Earl and Eliza eventually had twenty-six grandchildren.

    (Joy) Mom wanted to be active in the church, but Dad didn’t always agree with that, so she did what she could without any argument or complaint. Even though she didn’t go to Sacrament Meetings, she was active as a Primary teacher or Primary President for twelve years.

    (Lyle) Now that her family was growing up and on their own, Mother found more time for church activities. For many years she was involved with teaching L.D.S. Primary classes. She was asked to teach the young boys, ten to twelve years of age, and this was very agreeable with her. Not only did she like the boys, but they seemed to like her as a teacher, and she got along well with them. She also served as President of the Primary for many years. She was a member and active participant of the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers organization. When Mother was about 70 years old, she accepted the assignment to teach the adult Sunday School Class in the North Morgan Ward. She taught this class for five years. A year after being released from this position, she was assigned Genealogical representative and teacher. After two years, she had to resign as she felt that she was getting too old to do an effective job.

    In the early 1950’s Dad was making pretty good money in the shop and his income was finally exceeding his expenses to the extent that he felt that he could afford to buy a brand-new car, the first new car that he and Mother had ever had. He purchased a 1951 Plymouth four-door, color green. They made many trips using this car, and stayed in motels, or they would pull their little camping trailer.

  • Dad and Mother spent a couple of years in California visiting with their sons, Glenn and Gene. While there, they both worked in Glenn’s safe manufacturing plant, Dad doing welding and Mother in the assembly of the safes. They flew with Glenn in his airplane the first year and drove back home in a 1946 Ford pickup that they had purchased from Glenn. This became Dad’s first camper. He built it patterned after a sheep camp, and designed it to slide into the back of this Ford pickup. It was very comfortable and served them for several years.

    After Dad retired in 1955, at the age of 65, he and Mother were able to travel more, something that he had little time for when he was tied to the shop six days a week. These travels included trips to Death Valley, the Grand Canyon, and to Monticello to visit his Uncle Frank and Aunt Lizzie. Mother’s sister, Dora was included on some of these trips. He also went on quite a few fishing trips with friends, Sam Dunn and Horace Heiner, and his brothers, Dale and Clyde. He always wished that Mother would go with him, but she was not interested in fishing the first few years of his retirement, although he and Mother made several fishing trips with their sons and daughters and their families.

    You have heard the saying that ”You couldn’t get the fish to bite to save your life.” There was a time in Mother and Dad’s lives where the fish not biting may have saved their lives. On August 10, 1959, they, along with Mother’s sister, Dora, left for Glacier National Park in Montana. After seeing the park and northern Montana, they started home by way of Helena, Virginia City, and Yellowstone Park. On the afternoon of August 17, they stopped at the Rock Creek campground in Madison Canyon, planning to stay the night. After having lunch, Dad got out his fishing equipment and walked over to the Madison River to do some fishing. After about an hour or so he came back to camp having caught only one small fish. Inasmuch as they were headed home, and the fish were not biting, they decided to travel on. They stopped for the night south of Yellowstone Park. At 11:37 that night, an earthquake shook the West Yellowstone-Madison Canyon area causing millions of tons of rock to come crashing off the mountain and down through where Mother, Dad, and Dora had eaten their lunch and where they would have camped. The slide killed most of the people camped in the Rock Creek campground. There were more than 300 people, many injured, who were trapped in the canyon as roads out of the area had crumpled and a section had fallen into Hebgen Lake. The final death toll was twenty-eight, with nineteen of these being buried under the slide.

    In 1963, they purchased a sixteen-foot trailer and Mother started going with Dad on his fishing trips. They made a number of trips to Dad’s favorite fishing area, the Grays River and Labarge Creek in Wyoming. Dad told me some of the experiences that he and Mother had while on these trips. One was where they were working on the road and he had to pass so close to a piece of equipment that he lost the door handle off the trailer. Another time it rained most of the time and he got stuck two or three times. The trailer was not self-contained so the first chore was to dig a hole and set up the canvas privy.

    Mother began to enjoy fishing, but her favorite areas were not the streams, but the lakes. They would often go to a choice place on the east side of Bear Lake where they would park the trailer near the water. They would set up the privy, get out the lawn chairs, and then proceed to fish. Mother got so that she could catch as many fish as Dad. On their last trip to Bear Lake, Mother caught thirteen fish and Dad only caught one. In asking Mother later how she was able to catch more fish than Dad, she told me that they would both bait up and cast out into the lake. After awhile Dad would get nervous and keep pulling his line in to check the bait then cast out into another area. She said that she would cast out her line then sit in a lawn chair and knit until she got a bite. She said that you have to give the fish a chance to find your bait.

    There were family traditions that were important to all the family. We had many family camping trips at Bear Lake or on the Gray’s River for fishing. When everyone brought along their various campers and trailers and lined them up, we had quite a camp set up.

  • Another family tradition was the annual Christmas Party. All the sons and daughters and the grandkids would get together, usually the Saturday before Christmas, for dinner and games. The parties were first held in Lorin’s garage. Some were also held in other homes. As the family grew, we then moved them to the D.U.P. building and later to the Morgan City building. Always there was dinner, a bingo game, a program, singing Christmas carols, and exchanging gifts. Dad usually gave each of the grandkids a half-dollar or a dollar bill and Mother often knit slippers or some other thing for them. One year Dad wrote a poem for each of the grandkids to go along with the half-dollar.
    Another of the family traditions that was part of our lives for many years was the annual deer hunt. Dad had a friend who owned property in Echo Canyon and the family would gather there to hunt deer. Glenn and Gene would come from California and Lyle, Lorin, and Don, and Dean with the grandsons and sometimes wives and granddaughters would camp out for several days. A big army surplus tent was set up as the cook tent and trailers and tents were set up around it. Eventually small motorcycles called tote-gotes were built and put to good use by the kids driving around the hills.

    Grandson Brent, when he was in the fourth grade, wrote a letter to his grandparents that included a poem about his grandfather’s fishing and hunting. It said:

    Dear Grampa and Gramma,

    I composed this poem to get even with you for everybody you wrote poems about at the party.

    I would have written a poem about you Gramma, except you haven’t done any silly things like Grampa has. Thanks for the slippers and socks. They fit perfect and they’re exactly what I needed. My toes have been sticking through my other slippers for two years.


    It’s early at the crack of dawn
    And everywhere you look
    People are gathering into a crowd
    To watch Grampa by the brook.

    And then the air stirs with motion
    As Grampa gets a bite
    He then gives a tremendous jerk
    To give the fish a fight.

    Now the fish gets downright mad
    And begins to swim and sway
    But Grampa just grits his teeth
    And begins to pull away.

    Then you hear a great big splash
    And you run down to look
    You get there just in time
    To see Grampa in the brook.

    Oh, somewhere the sun is shining
    And fishermen still play
    But there is no joy in Grampa’s camp
    For his seven-inch trout got away.

    He can tell you in fractions
    The length of any nail
    But when he tells of the fish he missed
    You’d think it was a whale.

    But when it comes to hunting
    Grampa’s got all the luck
    He never leaves the hunting grounds
    Without a big old buck.

    But when Grampa drives Lorin’s jeep
    You pray to God your thanks
    That Grampa’s not behind the wheel
    Of a group of Army tanks.

    He’ll drive the jeep down in a hole
    And we have to pull it out
    Then while we do all the work
    He’ll just sit around and shout.

    Then when we finally get it out
    He takes it and drives away
    Looking for another hole
    To drive it in some day.

    We then limp back to camp
    Feeling very tired and dead
    We get there just in time
    To find Grampa asleep in bed.

    So ends a typical day of hunting
    With all the things he’s done
    But without Grampa along with us
    We wouldn’t have any fun.

  • (Earl) In 1955 I had to be operated on to have my gall bladder out. Lost all my gall, and, of course, when a businessman loses his gall, he’s done. So there was no use of trying to run a business any more. I sold the business to Lorin on an escrow and it will not be long until he will have it all paid up.

    I am not much good anymore. At the present time I am 78 years old. I have a few of my marbles left and I’m rolling them around. I’m getting by and doing a little work. I have to shovel a little snow and mow the lawns, but I’ve found that shovel handles and lawn mower handles were made to lean on quite often as you grow old. And that I do. On bad days, of course I have to take a little canker medicine to help me over the bumps and that way I get along quite well.
    Over the years there’s been quite a number of changes. Times have been different. We’ve had more money to spend, and I don’t know if that’s a benefit or exactly what, but that’s the way it is. We’ve all driven better cars, I’ve gone fishing more, and I’ve spent quite a bit of time in the winter time going down to California to help Glenn out in the shop. I say helping him out, but I think he helped me out more because he did pay me a wage. But I did do some inventing and manufacturing for him that has saved him some money in his business. The last time I was down, in 1965, I developed arthritis, and I had a battle with that. I came home, had to go to a doctor, and he put me on pills. He had me eating six or seven pills a day until I went down, down, down in weight. I passed out one night, finally came to, and said, “Here goes the pills, no more pills.” Lorin said, “Dad, that’s the last of the pills for you.” And it has been. So I believe that canker medicine has them all beat. I did finally get over my illness. I used a cane for quite awhile.

    Every so often we make a trip to Ogden to visit Lois. Lois is on her own with four kids to feed. We help her out when we can. A year or so ago, we went to her house to cut a hole in the side of a wall for her and put in sliding doors and a clothes closet. I had an accident; sawed my leg with a skilsaw and spent two or three months using the cane I inherited from my father. My inheritance from my father was his Bible and his cane. I’ve had call to use the cane several times, but I haven’t, as yet, used the Bible much. I’m going to read it sometime just to find out what it’s all about.

    I have not mentioned much about Eliza, my wife, as the incidents in her life would be another story. However, she’s been along, she’s done her job, she’s worked hard, and she is a good wife. She’s kept the kids pretty well in line, and as far as I know, none of them have ever been in jail. Her influence and teachings have been good. I think the kids have turned out pretty well.

    On July 24, 1968, my sister Ruth passed away. She’d had considerable heart trouble, and so on, since her husband died of cancer. Ruth was sort of pining herself away after he died and wasn’t having too much fun, but I think she got out of it without too much pain. So now, with Maude and Ruth dying within a year (the two younger sisters died a number of years ago), the boys are too darned ornery to have anything happen to them (Dale, Clyde, and myself.) So we have Nina. Nina is the only one left of the five girls.

    When I look back, if I could change for a million dollars to start with, I wouldn’t. I’m well satisfied with my family, my wife, my brothers, and sisters. I won’t bore you bearing my testimony, but I feel that I’ve had a successful life. I’ve worked hard, but I’ve worked for a cause. And as for this history, I might add more later, but for now I’ll just say “God bless my family.”

    (Joy) When Dad became ill, Mom was the one who took care of him. When it was necessary to take him to the hospital, Mom was worn almost to exhaustion. Grandpa passed away at the McKay Hospital in Ogden Utah on March 22, 1971 at the age of eighty.

    (Lyle) A year after Dad’s death, Mother and her sister Dora traveled with a tour group to Palmyra, New York to attend the Hill Cumorah Pageant. This tour also took them through the L.D.S. Historic East following the old pioneer trail. Mother always wanted to travel to these areas, but Dad was never interested. The following year, 1973, she and Dora took another tour north through Montana into the Canadian Rockies. They visited the Canadian national parks of Banff and Jasper. They saw and visited the many glaciers between these two beautiful parks. Mother loved these trips and was thrilled to see different things and places. At Jasper she wanted to take the tram that went up to the top of the mountain, but Dora wouldn’t go, so Mother went without her. She said that danged if she was going to miss out just because Dora didn’t want to participate. She was a little disgusted with her sister, and said that Dora never got excited about anything on these tours. From the Rockies they went west to Vancouver, then home through Washington and Oregon. In 1975 at the age of 81 Mother again wanted to travel east to see the pageant so she talked two friends into taking the tour with her. This tour again followed the old Mormon Pioneer Trail with stops at Winter Quarters near Omaha Nebraska, then on to Chicago, and to Kirtland, Ohio to visit the Kirtland Temple, the first Temple erected by members of the L.D.S. Church in 1836. She again saw the Hill Cumorah pageant and visited many of the historical Church points of interest. This tour took Mother to New York City where she saw many of the sights, even took a boat tour around Manhattan Island. The tour included Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. where she was able to visit the many historical points of interest. Mother later took a temple tour south through Utah, Arizona, and Southern California, visiting the L.D.S. Temples in these areas.

    (Joy) After Dad was gone, Mother decided now was the time to work on her genealogy. She would ride with friends to Ogden to do research and go to the temple. Sometimes she would stay with Aunt Dora for a couple of weeks at a time and do research at the church genealogy library in Ogden. Because of her work, there have been 438 baptisms performed along with endowments and sealings. This is in addition to the work Mother did while she was able to.

    (Lyle) Mother, spent many, many hours doing research of her Danish ancestors. She would get a ride to Ogden and stay with her daughter, Lois or her sister, Dora. Then she would go to the genealogical library where she would obtain the microfilm records that she needed for her research. She was able to teach herself to read and understand enough Danish to allow her to accomplish what she had set out to do. Mother continued this work until she was 85 years old. At this time she said that she was unable to research back any farther.

    Mother’s brother Elmer died February 1, 1974 at the age of 74. Her sister Dora died December 8, 1978 at the age of 82. This left Mother as the only surviving member of her family. She expressed the feeling that this should not be as they were both younger than she was.

  • It was about this time that she had completed her genealogical research so she contented herself with activities of the senior citizens, enjoying her home and flower gardens, reading and listening to recordings of the scriptures. Her right hip was bothering her and probably giving her some pain, although she didn’t complain. When asked about it, she would just rub her leg and say that this one didn’t want to go. In January 1983, she had a hip operation that was successful, and after a few weeks was able to walk with the use of a cane. The spring after her eighty-eighth birthday something happened to her mind where she could no longer comprehend what she read and her scripture recordings meant nothing to her. She gradually became disoriented to the extent that she could no longer live alone. She entered the Clearfield Convalescent Center in September 1983.

    (Joy) Mother became homebound when her hip joint started to deteriorate and caused a lot of pain. She had a small stroke that made it so she could not tell one alphabet letter from another and she could no longer read. She later had another small stroke that confused her speech. Everything she said was backwards. When she meant “cat,” she said “dog,” a “boy” was a “man,” “hot” was “cold,” etc. I guess I about froze her to death in the shower until I realized that when she said it was too hot, she really meant it was too cold.

    Because her hip kept getting more painful, we made arrangements for her to have surgery for a hip replacement. Wow! She had instant pain relief. I couldn’t keep her in bed after the surgery. After she left the hospital, we instructed her and showed her how to exercise by walking with her walker a certain distance each day. It was so good to watch her. She would pick up that walker with the legs about three or four inches from the floor and proudly walk the specified distance carrying the walker in front of her.

    Mother didn’t stay in the convalescent center long. She lived her last years in the home of a family who cared for her. When I would visit, I could see she was happy. The children called her “Grandma” and the little children would sit on her lap. They all gave her a kiss on the cheek when they came or left. She felt very much at home. The lady who cared for her, Ginger, found out she liked iced tea and gave it to her all the time. Whether the tea made a difference or not, I don’t know, but in her last months, her mind was more clear and she even enjoyed watching television.

    (Lyle) Today, October, 31, 1984, is Mother’s ninety-first birthday, and she is physically healthier than she has been for some time. We, her sons and daughters, reflect back through the years and remember the things that she has accomplished. We find ourselves comparing our energies to Mother’s when she was our age and wonder where she obtained her strength.

    (Joy) In my opinion, Anna Eliza Winter Halls was a very special person. She was a good wife and even better mother. She has left her mark on all of her children and we are very fortunate to be able to call her “Mother.”

    Grandma passed away on June 3, 1987. It’s interesting to note that Lyle passed away the same year as his mother, on December 10, 1987. They were both buried beside Grandpa and Elden in the Morgan Cemetery.

  • Post Script: On Monday, March 27, 2000, Glenn died at the age of eighty-five while flying a new gyrocopter. While in Morgan for his burial, Gene and Anna and their family stopped at a little variety store/antique shop on Main Street. There they met a man named Lyle W. Smith who is a “Cowboy Poet” and has written many poems. They mentioned that they were related to Earl Halls and he pulled out the following poem that he had written about Grandpa, a man he knew when he was young, and about the shop he remembered. Gene read the poem to us as we stood near Grandpa’s grave.


    by Lyle W. Smith

    He was the local blacksmith
    A knowing man of zeal
    I miss my friendly visits there
    The hammer’s ring on steel

    With sparks a flyin’ from the forge
    The iron’s cherry glow
    With tongs and hammer he would work
    So much this man did know

    He’d weld, or use the cutting torch
    At times a white blue arc
    Or put it to the grinding wheel
    And throw a fancy spark

    So many jobs that he would try
    And fix it. . . good as new
    Shape and hammer, punch a hole
    Or make an iron shoe

    From light till dark he labored
    You never saw him shirk
    Smoke and steel, tools and sweat
    His shop did smell of work

    He was an old man when I knew him
    Quite muscular and tall
    Always had a friendly smile. . .
    Had pinups on the wall

    He never said it. . . but it’s true
    You use it till you break it
    Just bring me in the broken part
    I’ll fix it or I’ll make it

    Long years have passed. . . this smithy too
    Was his a nobler day
    It seems to me. . . now all we do
    Is use. . . and throw away.

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