THE LIFE OF CHARLES VERNON BUSH
Colaborador: Jane Little Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago
Records of the ancestry of the Bush family begin with Thomas Bush, who lived in Southsea, Hampshire, England. He was employed as a supplier to the British navy at one time, chiefly as a supplier of food. Not much is known about him, except that he married Sarah Meaton. She bore him a son, who they named Robert Thomas. Another child (John) was born later. John was a sickly child and died at a very young age. Sometime during Robert's childhood years his father also died.
Mrs. Bush came in contact with a young sailor named William Apperly, possibly because of her late husband's naval affiliations. Since Sarah was widowed, she opened her home as a boarding house in order to provide for herself and her son. To this boarding house came William Apperly, also a Seaman. They seemed to enjoy each other's company and a courtship followed.
They were married on November 19, 1844 at Portsea, in South Hampton, England. At one time William was assigned to sail to India and he was able to arrange for Robert to go with him. They were gone for approximately three years. While they were away the Mormon missionaries called on his wife and she became a convert to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. When William and Robert returned from India they also decided to join the church, and were baptized. William, Sarah and Robert immigrated to the United States to join the other Latter-day Saints in Utah. After arriving in Salt Lake City they made arrangements to have their marriage sealed for time and eternity in the
Endowment House. This was accomplished on March 31, 1857. Thus, by this act, William Apperly became the ancestor of the Bush family through the sealing power of the Priesthood.
Some time later the family traveled north and settled in Cache Valley. Robert Thomas Bush eventually moved to what is now Malad, Idaho where he remained for the rest of his life. Robert married Amelia Brockway on December 8, 1859 in Farmington, Utah. They had nine children and spent most of their lives toiling to provide a living for their family. This they did by farming. Robert became completely
inactive in his church, and as a result his children were not baptized, nor did they attend any church meetings, or receive any of the teachings. The fifth child of this marriage was Robert Thomas Bush, Jr. He was born May 9, 1869 in Malad, Idaho. Young Robert not only spent his childhood years in Malad, but he remained as an adult. He became a very prominent citizen in this small farming community, and was liked and respected by all those who knew him.
On December 31, 1892 he was married to Mary Williams. Mary’s first husband, Rees William Waylett, had died and left her with a baby girl, Elizabeth Sarah Waylett. Robert raised her as his own and he continued farming and ranching, and he and his wife raised nine children - eight of their own and daughter Elizabeth (Bessy).
The second child in this family was Charles Vernon Bush. He was born November 15, 1894 in Malad, Idaho. He was known by "Vern" throughout his life.
Vern was a healthy baby, weighing about 8 pounds at birth. He was delivered by a mid-wife. His parents lived on a ranch, and during his childhood there were many chores to be done. When time was available for fun, he joined in games of "kick the can", or a baseball game of "rounders"
As a boy Vern was a slow eater. His mother always insisted that he and his brother Bob go to school together. When Vern spent too much time eating his breakfast, Bob got really upset waiting for him. This habit remained with Vern throughout his life. In his own home he was usually the last one to leave the dinner table. Sometimes, when the older girls were in a hurry to get ready for a date, they would be clearing off the dishes while he was still eating. One night one of his daughters was standing impatiently by his chair and he said, "If you'll wait for just a minute I'll see if I can put the rest of my food on my spoon and you can have the plate."
Growing up in a small town like Malad had its challenges. There were not many opportunities for recreation, so the young people would invent things to occupy their spare time. School and work took up a large portion of the day, not leaving much leisure time for fun (or mischief). Vern and his boyhood pals seemed to be able to invent activities and pranks to satisfy this area of their life. He related incidents of racing buckboards through the center of town. Two of the wagons would go down the street as fast as they could. The drivers would try to "lock" hubs or break the spokes out of the other fellow's wheels. Wagon wheels could be had in abundance throughout the community, so it was no great loss to break one. The police rode bicycles and would try to catch the pranksters, with very little
Vern's closest friend was Tom Dennis, who shared in the pranks and other forms of amusement. Their friendship continued throughout their lives. It was Tom who introduced Vern to the girl he would marry. Tom was dating Anna Weeks from Smithfield, Utah. He had been seeing her for several months and they were beginning to get serious about each other. Sometime during the winter of 1913 Tom introduced Vern to Anna's sister Venetta. They liked each other from the first meeting, and it wasn't too long after that before Tom and Vern were not only good friends, but brothers-in-law as well. Vern was working for Pete Peterson, Tom's step-father at the time he and Venetta met. He traveled to Smithfield to see her as often as he could. Since it was quite a distance from Malad to Smithfield, some time would elapse between Vern's visits with Venetta. One time in particular, after not seeing Venetta for several months, Vern came to Smithfield. He knocked on the door and Venetta's younger sister Josie answered. Vern mis-took her for Venetta and gave her a big kiss. A few seconds later Venetta came into the room and Vern was really embarrassed. This was the source of a good laugh
for many years to come.
Vern and Venetta became engaged in 1914 while she was visiting in Malad. After Vern and Venetta were engaged, they began planning for the day they would be married. The marriage took place on March 10, 1915. Vern was 20 years old and Venetta was 19. They were married in Logan, Utah and
returned to Smithfield on the trolly car. They had a nice wedding supper which Venetta's mother had prepared for them. In a short time they moved to Malad to live. They lived in a tent-house which had a canvas top and sides part way down, then wood from there to the ground. While they were living in Malad Vern worked for his wife's uncle, Rast Larsen, who was a carpenter. This gave him an opportunity to learn many of the skills which he used during his life.
While living in the tent-house they had several visitors stay with them. Venetta's younger sister Josie was one of them. After about a year in Idaho they moved back to Smithfield and Vern worked at various odd jobs. In the late 1930's he was able to get steady employment at the local pea cannery. He also began his career as a roofer at about the same time. This was an occupation which he pursued until he was past sixty years of age.
Vern completed only eight years of formal schooling. When he would talk about his life, and the education he had received, he always added that he had also spent a lot of years in the "school of hard knocks". He was most likely referring to the years of his youth when he worked on his father's
ranch, and also the depression years during his married life. He did not talk a great deal about himself, but he was a very hard worker. He was up bright and early in the morning and busy until late at night most of the time. His main concern was for the welfare of his family of five girls and two boys. There were times when his income was extremely meager, and the family depended heavily on food raised in the family garden. During the year of 1937 Vern's total earnings for the twelve month period was $877.96.
Although Vern was on the draft list for World War I, he was not inducted into military service. At that time men with children were exempt. Vern and Venetta had been blessed with a baby girl, Lois Rae, on April 3, 1917. This kept Vern from going in the army. He always had a great love for his country, and expressed his patriotism whenever possible. He enjoyed parades, especially the band music. Although he was not musical himself, he appreciated the musical talents of others. He was always eager to hear his children and wife sing and play musical instruments. One time he traded some
work for a steel guitar, which delighted the girls. They all learned to strum chords that would accompany most of the songs they knew.
The family grew with the arrival of two more girls. Alta was born on September II, 1920 and Beatrice Mary came along on April 8, 1923. Two and a half years later Josie Myrle was born. She was the smallest of all Venetta's babies, weighing 7 pounds. Venetta's sister Josie had been unable to have
any children of her own, so when this baby was expected Venetta jokingly said "If it's another girl, I'll give her to you." Of course, she never intended to do that, but she did name the baby after her sister.
Vern was enthusiastic about his wife's good cooking, and always told her so. One day she had made a batch of extra good pancakes for breakfast, and he had eaten his fill of them. Later in the day he was telling someone how delicious they were and he said, "They were so good I 'et' seven of them." Venetta was very particular about grammatical errors, so in an effort to correct his mistake, she said, "Don't you mean 'ate'?" Vern knew what she meant, but with a twinkle in his eye, he replied, Oh, was it eight? I thought it was only seven."
Although Vern's mother was a member of the LDS church, (his fathert didn’t join the church until 1952) he was not baptized at the age of eight, which is recommended by church authorities. It was not until January 5, 1918 that he entered the waters of baptism. This was three years after his marriage. On June 17, 1925 Vern and Venetta went to the Logan temple, where their marriage was sealed for time and eternity.
This was just three months before the birth of their fourth child, Josie. She was the first child to be born under the covenant of temple marriage. The other three girls, Lois, Alta and Beatrice, were sealed to their parents at that time. with the arrival of a fourth daughter, the little house they lived in
seemed to be bulging at the seams, so Vern and Venetta began making plans to move into a larger one. In 1928 they moved a block and a half to a seven acre farm. This property was just outside the Smithfield city limits. The house and outbuildings, garden area and fruit trees occupied two acres in
the front. The back five acres were used to grow various crops, that were rotated from year to year. These were sugar beets, alfalfa, pole beans, potatoes, wheat and other grains. For several days after the move Josie followed her mother around the house saying "Let's go home, mamma." It took
awhile before she was convinced that this was 'home'.
A fifth daughter was born to them shortly after they moved to this location. It appeared that the
Bush family was destined to be all female, so this new baby was named Vernona, after her father. The other girls were thrilled and excited with their new little sister, and Venetta found that she always had baby-sitters available.
Life was far from easy on the small farm at 4th South and 3rd East. It seemed there was always more to do than could possibly be accomplished by the Bush family, even though everyone helped. Vern never gave anyone the impression that he wished he had sons instead of daughters, and he always
tried to do the more difficult chores himself, so the girls wouldn't have to work too hard. He called Beatrice his 'boy', because she seemed to enjoy working outside with him. She was quite good at helping with the milking and other chores. She always said she preferred this kind of work to house work. Josie was just the opposite, enjoying learning to cook, sew and do other domestic tasks. The older girls seemed to adapt to whatever job needed to be done. Sometimes the children would grumble a little, but all of them learned to be hard workers - a trait which their parents felt was very important.
Vern was kind and gentle to animals and people, except on rare occasions when his Welsh ancestry, triggered by an exasperating circumstance would cause angry outbursts toward beast or human, whichever the case might be. Some of the incidents which tried his patience would be when a wiley
horse nudged off the strap holding the corral gate closed, pushed open the gate, and let the other horses go galloping out into the field of young sugar beets. Their hoofs would tear up the tender plants and fill the long, straight watering rows with clods of dirt. Or, when one of the family failed to fasten the barn door securely and the cows would wander out into the field of new alfalfa. This was always a frustrating event, because if the cows ate too much of the new growth, they would become bloated and filled with gas. It was then necessary to pound on the animal's side to force the gas out. If the cow did not expel the gas, Vern would have to make it lie down, and then stab it in the side (in just the right spot) with a knife. The gas and undigested food would be expelled through the wound. The incision would then be smeared with a good coating of watkins brown salve, which was a standard procedure for wounds on animals and humans alike, and which nearly always seemed to work.
Occasionally a cow would become too bloated and would be found dead, laying on its side, legs stiff and tongue hanging out. This was a sad occurrence, as some of the milk was used by the family and the excess was shipped to the nearby Morning Milk Co. factory in Amalga.
Vern kept a cow herd of between five and ten milkers. Some of the cows would be bred with a nearby bull and the calves raised for beef or new milking stock, determined by the sex of the animal. For years Vern would arise before it was light in the morning to milk the cows, feed all the other animals, (horses, pigs and chickens), then gather the eggs and return to the house before anyone else was awake. He would then begin preparing breakfast. Since his wife always got up with the children during the night, and because he liked to arise early, this was the accepted routine. Soon the house would be filled with the tantalizing aroma of salt cured bacon, fried potatoes and eggs. It didn't take long before the kitchen was filled with sleepy-eyed children ready for breakfast. His specialty was a dish made from whole bottled tomatoes and broken up home-made bread heated in a frying pan with salt, pepper and a piece of home-churned butter. All of the children loved this warm, flavorful treat.
Each evening the chores of feeding the animals and milking the cows was repeated. Vern did not have a milking machine. He did all the milking by hand, sitting on a one-legged stool which he had made. His strong hands gently drew the fresh milk from the cows into a large, clean bucket. As he milked he would sing to the cows, usually "You Are My Sunshine" or "Home on the Range". Although his singing was slightly off-key, and sometimes the words were different from the published version, the cows didn't seem to notice and they always gave all they had. As his songs drifted through the open upper half of the barn door, the family cat would soon be running full speed toward the sound. With one great leap it would land on top of the lower section of door. There it would sit, meowing softly until Vern stopped singing. Then it would jump down to the barn floor and wait for him to direct a stream of warm milk into its open mouth. He had a nearly perfect aim, and hardly ever missed the furry target.
When the cat was satisfied, Vern would resume his regular milking and the cat would wander off to curl up in a hay-filled corner where it would purr itself to sleep.
The milk was carefully cooled, strained and poured into large, clean cans with tight lids. The cans were then placed on a wooden platform at the front of the house each morning. Soon a milk wagon, drawn by large work horses would come rattling along the road, stop to load the cans, then take
them to the milk factory. The wagon was later replaced by a truck with a flat bed and low wooden sides. The whole family waited anxiously for the monthly milk check to arrive. If the milk yield was especially high in the area the check would include a bonus. This would cause great excitement, for this meant the family could use the "extra" money for some special needed or wanted item. A portion of the milk was always saved out for the family to use. It was poured into large, clean enamel pans. When the cream had risen to the top of the pan it was carefully skimmed off and stored in an earthenware crock in the ice box. Some of the cream was churned into fresh butter. Each
one of the family helped turn the handle on the churn. The butter would be taken out and the buttermilk was cooled for a special drinking treat.
Occasionally in the summer months, the milk wagon would fail to pick up the milk. If the regular driver was ill or away from home, he would arrange for a substitute to cover his route. If the sub wasn't familiar with all the farms in the area, someone would always get missed. When this happened at
the Bush house, the milk was brought back into the house and the cream was separated from the milk. Then the old hand-crank ice cream freezer would be brought up from the cellar and Vern would get into the family car, taking one or two of the younger girls with him. They would drive to town for a
block of ice from the ice house. Next they stopped at the grocery store for coarse salt. Meanwhile, Venetta and the older girls would mix together the ingredients for a big batch of homemade ice cream. Soon the freezer was filled and the ice broken and packed around the outside of the can. Salt was
sprinkled over the ice to help it melt. One at a time each family member turned the handle until the ice cream was ready. What a treat it was to sit on a quilt in the shade of the apple tree with a big bowl of the cool creamy results!
Each spring Vern would begin to prepare the ground for planting. First came the plowing, with a steel plow pulled by a single work horse. Up and down the field he would go, his work roughened hands guiding the plow and the reins of the horse tied loosely around his body. He wore bib overalls, sturdy work shoes, blue cotton work shirts and a battered straw hat to shield him from the sun. Once in awhile he would stop at the corral and drink from the pump which was used to fill the water trough.
After a long day of toiling in the earth he was eager to return to the clean, well kept house where he was always greeted by the smell of fresh baked bread and other delicious food items prepared by Venetta and the girls.
One of his favorite ways to relax in the evenings was to sit in his rocking chair and listen as his wife and daughters gathered around the old pump organ and sang familiar songs. Venetta played 'by ear', and all the girls sang. As they grew older they learned to sing in harmony. This was a very special time for the family.
Although he spent most of his time working to provide for his family, Vern found time to do little things to add to everyone's pleasure. He made a large, sturdy wood swing for the children, which he hung from a branch of the big shade tree in the northwest corner of the yard. He also hauled in several loads of clean sand, which he spread out under the other side of the tree for the girls to play in.
Vern and his wife spent many hours planting and taking care of the vegetable garden which provided much of the family's food. They ate as much 'fresh picked' as they could, then bottled the surplus to be used through the winter. Grain was taken to the flour mill and ground into flour. A pig would be butchered each fall and they always raised a few chickens. When the hens would get too old to lay eggs, Vern would kill them and these provided special Sunday dinners of chicken and homemade noodles - a family favorite.
The yard had several fruit trees which yielded a bountiful harvest of apples and plums. There were red raspberry, current and gooseberry bushes. Huckleberries were always a part of the garden, for Venetta's delicious huckleberry pie. Rhubarb and asparagus grew in abundance, also. It seemed to be a rather difficult task to keep all of the animals contained in their proper places, and there were times when the garden would be ravaged by chickens or pigs that had managed to escape from the confines of their coops and pens. The pigs would find a loose board and root with their snouts until it came loose, giving them a way out. Usually the chickens would get out because one of the children had forgotten to fasten the door of the chicken coop when it was their turn to feed them, or when
they had been gathering the eggs.
The small farm was irrigated under the direction of a water users association. Each farmer was allotted 'shares' of water to be used at designated times during the growing season. When Vern's water 'turn' came, it would be necessary for him to close the head gate below his land and open
the one letting the water flow from the canal, which was about three blocks east of the farm. Often this meant taking his turn during the night hours. He would put on his high rubber boots, take his shovel and walk through the field, clearing any obstructions out of the way so the stream of water could
flow freely down each row. He was very careful to let the water move slowly enough to sink into the ground, but fast enough to be sure the whole field would be irrigated before his turn ended.
Since Vern did not have any mechanized equipment, he depended heavily on a good team of work horses. When he got an especially good team he would take pride in keeping them in the best possible condition. One pair in particular he named Nellie and Don. They were both gray with dappled coats. They worked so well together that he decided to raise some colts by matching the two grays. The first colt was a male and was a purplish-gray with large dappled spots. Vern called him Rock. The second colt was a female. She was a solid dark tan color with a light mane. He named her Flax.
In the spring, after the crops were planted, Vern would take the horses to a pasture a few miles away, going often to check on them. He would leave them until harvest time was near, then bring them back for the fall work and winter in the corral and barn.
One late summer day he found Nellie dead in the pasture. She had been shot by a careless hunter. This was an emotional time for Vern, and the rest of the family as well. They all became quite
attached to the animals and it was hard to accept this type of happening. Also, it meant spending some of their meager earnings to purchase another horse to take the place of the one they had lost.
The children had plenty of pets to play with. There was always at least one dog and two or three cats. The cats were important as they helped keep the house and barn free of field mice. All of the children were taught to be kind to these pets, and it was a sad time when one of the little animals died or was killed in some way.
Even though being a farmer in a small town meant long hours of hard work, time was taken for fun activities with the family. Each summer the girls looked forward to a trip to nearby Bear Lake. The family car was loaded with bedding and food, swim suits and sturdy play clothes. They would
start out early in the morning and arrive at the lake before lunch time. They would rent a small cabin on the edge of the lake and spend a couple of days relaxing in the sunshine (and getting sun-burned), running and playing in the shallow water and digging in the sandy beach.
When the crops were all harvested in the fall the family would begin making plans to spend Thanksgiving at the home of Vern's parents in Malad. This created some very memorable moments for everyone. Traveling over the sometimes snowy roads was a challenge. There were times when thick fog blanketed the fields and highways, and they travelled with extreme caution while everyone had their heads out the windows to be sure the car stayed on the road. Thanksgiving at Grandma and Grandpa Bush's was one of the special traditions the family looked forward to. One Fourth of July The family drove to Malad for the day. Vern's other brothers and sisters and their families were to be there, too.
Grandma and Grandpa Bush had recently moved from their home in downtown Malad to a smaller place just out of town. The former owners had built a large swimming pool and had tried to operate it as a commercial business, but had given it up. Grandpa Bob filled up the pool during the summer months and everyone enjoyed a cool swim when they visited. This day was no exception. All of the
grandchildren were enjoying the afternoon, splashing in the pool, while the adults sat watching.
Vern's daughter Beatrice was a naturally daring little girl, and just couldn't stay in the shallow water. She slid under the rope which was strung across the middle of the pool and began moving a little farther into the deep water. Suddenly, as she reached the place where the bottom of the pool
sloped quickly down, she went completely under the water. Panic stricken she opened her mouth to cry out, only to get it filled with water. Gasping and choking she began to sink to the bottom of the pool. By this time Vern had noticed that she was in trouble. He didn't even stop to remove his shoes
before he jumped into the pool. In a matter of seconds he had Beatrice out of the pool. She was able to cough out the excess water, and soon the excitement was over. Bea stayed on the deck with her mother and father for the rest of the afternoon.
During the years when the children were growing up there was not much opportunity for outside interests and activities. Vern liked to attend the local baseball games. His wife's younger brother Mack played on the Smithfield team. Sometimes if the game was on a Saturday afternoon, the whole family would go to watch the action. If the girls got tired watching, they could play in the nearby playground which was in back of the elementary school.
Once or twice a month Vern and Venetta would attend the Saturday night "Married Folks" dance. Venetta was a good dancer and the other men were always anxious to trade partners. Vern said he had 'two left feet', so he would just sit down and talk to the other man's wife until the dance was
over. They also enjoyed playing Pinochle, a card game with partners. They would alternate having a card party at homes of their friends - taking their turn when it came around.
In the summer the family looked forward to picnics at Mack Park, which was about a mile away. Also, each year Venetta's family held a Smith reunion, usually in Smithfield or Brigham City. There were dozens of cousins, aunts and uncles, new members to meet, good food and a special program with each family presenting a number or two.
In the fall as Vern cleaned up the yard, he would make a pile of tree limbs, raspberry canes, etc on the side of the road well away from the house. When the limbs had all dried out, he would let the girls invite their friends over for a giant bonfire and an evening of games. They played 'Run Sheep Run', 'Kick the Can', and 'Crossing the Plains’. They also roasted potatoes in the hot coals.
In the winter time Vern would hitch the horses to the old wooden sleigh and take the children for rides over the snow covered roads. Sometimes he would tie a small sled on the back and let the older children trade off riding behind. Another favorite winter pastime was when the whole family would sit in the living room and listen to the radio programs (Amos 'n Andy, Gangbusters, Lux Radio Theater and Ozzie and Harriet). They made popcorn in a screen popper which was pushed back and forth rapidly on the top of the hot coal stove.
When Vernona was eight years old, Venetta gave birth to a baby boy on September 22, 1936. This was quite an exciting event. They had always wanted a son, and he was a healthy baby. They named him Gerald Vernon and called him Gary. Little did they dream that he would be joined by a baby brother when Venetta was in her forty-eighth year. This unexpected second son was named Robert J Bush, just the initial J, no middle name. He was welcomed into the family on March 30, 1943. At this
time Vern had eight grandchildren, so it was hard for him to realize that this baby was really his. One time he took Bob in the baby buggy for a walk to the grocery store. He made some purchases, left the store and went home. Venetta asked him where the baby was and he was pretty embarrassed to admit that he had left Bob at the store. He took a lot of kidding for this!
Vern found great pleasure in reading. He especially enjoyed Western stories. Zane Grey was one of his favorites. Roofing had been Vern's main occupation throughout his life, along with maintaining the small farm. His two sons, Gary and Bob, learned the trade by going with their father and assisting him in the work. Finally, there came a time when he recognized that it was becoming too difficult for
him to climb ladders carrying the heavy bundles of shingles. He had experienced two accidents, when he slipped and fell from the roof. One time he broke several ribs.
In the 1940's the United States was engaged in World Ward II and Ogden, Utah was the center for several defense installations. The Ogden Defense Depot, a storage and disbursement center; Hill Field, where aircraft needs for storage and repair was the major purpose; and the Naval Supply Depot and Ogden Arsenal. Vern decided to apply for a job at the Defense Depot. He was hired and commuted back and forth from Smithfield each day. The distance was about 65 miles, so it took most of the day for this effort. Besides this, he still had things to look after on the small farm, which left hardly any time at all for anything but eating and sleeping. Finally the decision was made to rent the house and land and move to Ogden where the four oldest girls were living.
Because of the influx of government workers to the Ogden area, there were several housing facilities
constructed. The Bush family decided to rent one of these units in a housing complex called Washington Terrace. It was on the south end of Ogden's main street, Washington Blvd. These units were built as duplex houses, with a family on each end. The buildings' front doors faced each other, with streets running along one side and a large grassy common area between the houses on the other side. This made an ideal play area for Gary and Bob. Nona came with them also, and she attended Weber High School. Josie had been living in an apartment with some other girls while she worked at Hill Field, but now she came to live with the family.
After about one year, the family that was renting the house in Smithfield decided they would like to buy it, so the transaction was made. Nona was in her last year of high school at that time. She wanted to finish her senior year at North Cache, so she went back to Smithfield and stayed with Grandma Bea and cousin Pauline until she graduated. Vern and Venetta were naturally neighborly people and tried to make friends with everyone. They got along well with most of their neighbors, but sometimes their intentions were mis-interpreted and disputes resulted. They were usually able to resolve the problems and always had a lot of friends. Their neighbors appreciated their willingness to give help and assistance whenever they saw the opportunity to do so.
Vern changed jobs when they moved to Ogden. He was now working at the Ogden Arsenal, where ammunition was manufactured and sent to where it was needed. He worked in one of the large warehouses which was used for storage of the completed ammunition and supplies until they could be shipped out. He was a hard worker and was liked and respected by his co-workers. Later we went to work at Hill Field until he retired at 65.
Charles Vernon Bush was almost 100% a family man. If he had any desires for outside interests they were never apparent during the years his family was growing up. He spent his time working hard at farm work, shingling roofs, and working at the pea factory. He had his human frailties and struggled to overcome his hot temper. He was a slave to some bad habits for several years, but with the help of a concerned family and a bishop who was a good friend, he was able to conquer these things. With the encouragement of the bishop and ward members of the Lomond View Ward, Vern again became active in the LDS church. He was a home teacher served in the Elders Quorum presidency, and was the secretary for the High Priest Group for several years. He did express some regrets about it taking
so long for him to return to full activity and cautioned his children to not make the same mistake. He had had his feelings hurt by some of the men in the Smithfield Third Ward twenty years before and quit going to church, except to support his children when they were on a program.
The next place the Bush family lived was a basement apartment on 20th street and Madison Avenue. The owners of the apartment were the Myron Crandalls, and they lived in the top of the house. This apartment was in the Fourth Ward, where Josie and Nona had lived with another girl. Now these two
daughters moved back in with their parents and brothers. While the family was in this location both Nona and Josie became engaged. Meanwhile, Vern and Venetta began looking for a house to buy. They purchased a small home on 7th street, about two blocks west of Washington Blvd for the price of $2,500.00, which they paid in cash. They were all living here when the two girls got married. Gary went to Provo to attend BYU, and when Bob turned nineteen he filled a church mission to Uruguay.
Before long both the boys had chosen mates and Vern and Venetta were alone in the house. Since all the children lived close by, they were able to get together with each of them often. They also enjoyed their grandchildren as they came along. After Vern retired from government work at Hill AFB, where he had transferred when the Ogden Arsenal was closed, he enjoyed fishing. His wife would accompany him, taking her crochet supplies along to keep her occupied while he stood at the edge of a clear mountain lake, or walked the banks of a rippling stream. They both enjoyed the beauties of nature and the quiet, peaceful surroundings.
Vern was ever willing to use whatever talents he possessed to help a neighbor or a family member. His children knew they could call on their Dad and Mother whenever they needed help, either with finances, advice, or just 'handy man' projects. He was proud of all his children and liked to boast
about their accomplishments. He felt joy when they were happy and sorrowed with them in their times of trouble.
On March 10, 1965 Vern and Venetta celebrated their Golden wedding anniversary and were honored at an open house given by their seven children. At this time all of their children were married and their marriages sealed in the LDS temple. They had twenty six grandchildren and nineteen great-grandchildren. Over the years the family had made it a practice to gather together at least once a year to pay respect to their parents and to renew acquaintances with each other. This practice is still being carried on by the seven children and their extended families.
On March 3, 1966 Vern and Venetta were on their way to Smithfield to visit Venetta's sister Josie, when he suffered a stroke. Venetta took over the driving and when they arrived in Hyde Park her sister put him to bed. Venetta called her daughter Vernona. Vernona called Gary and they drove to
Hyde Park. Gary drove his mother and father's car back to Ogden, with Vern in the back seat. Nona and her mother followed in Nona's car. When they arrived at the home on 7th street, Nona called her doctor, Dr. Southwick and he came to the house. By the time he arrived, the stroke had worn off and the doctor said it had been a slight one.
During the next two years Vern suffered other small strokes and was hospitalized. While in the hospital he was also treated for a prostate problem. He returned home for awhile, but his wife was not able to take care of him by herself. He spent some time at Alta's home in Layton, then was admitted to a nursing home on 9th street, not far from where his daughter Josie lived. His family was good to visit him as often as they could. Nona came almost every day, and Venetta was there to help him with his evening meal all the time. It was sad for the family to watch this man who had been so hard working and busy all his life become a withered up person who hardly recognized them most of the time.
Vern died on November 7, 1968, just one week before his 74th birthday. Funeral services were held on Saturday, November 9th at 1:00 p.m. in the Myers Mortuary Chapel in Ogden, Utah. Bishop VeLoy E. Griffin officiated. Organ music was provided by a good friend of the family, Mildred Edwards.
The invocation was given by Ray Slade. Robert J. Bush, a son, read a tribute that was written by Vern's daughter Josie. Max Stubbs sang two selections: "Beyond the Sunset" and "Going Home". Speakers were Don Hansen, a friend, and James B. Jones, the husband of Vern's sister Bessie. The benediction was given by another friend, Sylvan Turnblom. Vern's son Gary offered the family prayer and the flowers were taken care of by the Lomond View Ward Relief Society. Interment was in the Smithfield Cemetery where Bishop C. Merlin Jensen, a long time neighbor and friend in Smithfield, dedicated the grave. The pallbearers were Vern's grandsons.
He was not a king with a golden crown,
Nor a statesman or soldier of great renown.
No man of wealth or earthly power
Whose influence was like a tower.
Though not widely known, he was dear to a few -
Just living, and doing what he had to do.
His path was hard, he stumbled at times,
But he kept his eye on the upward climb.
How can we measure the strength of this man?
Not by his stature, or how fast he ran
But by the fruits of his labor:
his offspring and friends
And though he is gone, his life does not end.
o time, in your fleeting, keep memories clear
Of love and devotion, and times of good cheer.
o Lord, make us firm in the faith, for his sake.
Keep the ties that are binding us tight, e're they break.
That we may all be what he'd want us to be.
With love for each other ••• and love, Lord, for Thee.
- Josie Bush Carlsen
NOTE: Names of children's spouses, dates of marriages, and grandchildren are
available in the family genealogy records.
PERSONAL MEMORIES OF CHARLES VERNON BUSH AS TOLD BY HIS SEVEN CHILDREN:
Bob: The last couple of days Gary and I have been shingling on my house, and it brought back memories of when Dad would take me to work with him - when I was only ten or eleven years old. He'd spent lots of time and effort carefully teaching me how to shingle. He had given me my own shingling hatchet and he'd take me on jobs with him
when he would go on a Saturday. I remember one time we were working on this one guy's house when the guy came out, he beckoned to Dad and said, "I want you to get that kid off the roof. I don't want him ruining my roof!" Dad came to my defense and said, "Look, that boy does just as good work as I do. There's no reason why he shouldn't
be on this roof. He does a perfectly fine job of shingling." But, the owner insisted and I had to get down off the roof. To this day I've never forgotten that my dad had confidence in me and he would stick up for me like that. I guess that's part of the reason I've never been afraid to try something new. I've been able to dive right
in and have confidence in my ability. I guess it's that kind of treatment that has made me always appreciate my dad. My relationship with Dad was always closer than it was with Mother. Although I loved Mom as much as I could, I just felt closer to Dad. It must have been because of the way he treated me, and I think that was the way he treated all of us.
Gary: One of the earliest recollections I have of Dad was when I saw him lose his temper as completely as I ever have. It was when we had a cousin (Dixie) from Logan who was visiting us with her pet monkey. The monkey was just terrible - the most miserable creature you could ever imagine. It wouldn't have anything to do with anybody but Dixie,
and Nona. This one day we decided we would all go up town and see a movie. We tied the monkey up out on the back porch with a leather strap. When we came home we found that the monkey had chewed through the strap and gotten in through the kitchen door. Mother had just put up new kitchen curtains, and the monkey had climbed up on them
and literally torn them to shreds. He got into the flour and it was spilled just everywhere. There was bacon grease tracked allover the floor. When we came into the kitchen, there was the monkey, sitting up on the cupboard, trying to unscrew the lid on a bottle of aspirin! I remember to this day - Dad walked up to the monkey and
said, "You'd better get that open, you little so-and-so, because when I get through with you, you'll need those!" My other recollection is similar to Bob's, because it also has something to do with shingling, since shingling made up such a major portion of Dad's life for so many years. I can remember spending hour after hour with my dad all the way from Logan up to A1malga, Trenton and every place in between, shingling. I don't remember how old I was, but I remember he had an old Model A Ford for a shingling car. Whenever Dad would have too much of his 'medicine' the wishbone would drop right out of the car and it would run into the telephone pole. I don't remember how many times that happened, but it was several.
Nona: The thing I remember about Dad was when he used to come in to wake us up to go to school. He was always so sweet and gentle. He'd just tap us on the shoulder, (mother didn't get up early, he always did). He'd say, "Come one kids, it's time to get up and go to school." One particular day when I was just in first grade he came in and said, "All the other girls are sick today, so you'll have to go to school all by yourself. I know you can do it, because you're big enough. Come and have breakfast with me, and if you can go to school all by yourself, I'll give you a penny." Boy, I'll tell you, that penny was just as big as a hundred dollar bill would be right now! I got out
of bed - it was cold - so I went in and sat on the hot water pipe behind the stove to get warm. Then I had my favorite breakfast with my father, which was tomatoes with bread in it - I don't know what you called it, but I loved it. Another thing I remember so well is working out in the field with Dad. We used to weed the beet field and he'd always make a game out of it to see which one of us could get the biggest weed. We'd yell "Timber!" back and forth when we found a really big one. Also working in the hay; Dad would throw a forkful of hay up on top of me with a snake in it. He'd laugh while
I was screaming and trying to get out from under the hay. Many times when we'd be going swimming in the canal he'd go up and chase away the boys that were Skinny-dipping so we girls could cool off when the weather was hot.
Lois: Nona stole my story about the tomatoes and bread, but I've tried and tried to
Make tomatoes and bread, but I never could make them taste as good as they did when
Dad made them. One of the stories I remember is when I was only six or seven years
old. We lived in the little house, and I was having a birthday party. Dad had came
home from work, I guess, and had gone out in the garden. He found a big fat tomato
worm and put it on a shingle. We were out playing in the yard, and I don't think we
had even had our refreshments yet. Anyway, he brought that thing up and shoved in under
my face. I think I was sick for about three days because of that. Dad was really sorry
that he had done it to me, because he thought he was just 'funning' with me. I used
to go help Dad in the hay, too. He had a field west of Smithfield that he worked in
and I can remember two or three times I went with him. In the course of getting the
hay in we would find nests of field mice. He'd help me catch the baby mice and I would
carry them home in his hat. Mom would be so mad when we'd bring them home, but I thought
they were just the cutest things, and he'd always help me catch some and let me bring
them home in his hat.
Josie: I remember one time when Nona and Pauline and I were playing, I think it was after somebody's funeral. We were playing in our yard and decided to play ide-and-seek. I think Bea was trying to find the rest of us. We went down in the basement and there was a big wooden box that was inside of the empty potato bin. It was a box that was used to store flour in each winter. It was sitting on an angle and we decided that would be a good place to hide. The open side was facing us, so we started to climb in. Pauline got in first and was crouched in one corner of the box. I got in, too, but when Nona started climbing in, the box began to fall down inside the potato bin and pinned Nona's leg between the box and the bin. Pauline started crying because she thought we were trapped and wouldn't be able to get out. Nona was yelling that her leg was caught and I was probably calling for help! Mother came running down stairs to see what was wrong. She thought Pauline and I were crushed under the box, so she sent Bea to get Dad. He was out in the barnyard somewhere and Bea didn't make it sound important when she said Mother wanted him to come in, so he didn't hurry. By the time he got there, Mother had torn the box apart with her bare hands and we were all out. The thing that was really bad about it was that Mother was pregnant with Gary at the time. She had really been frightened and upset, so she told Daddy to get her some water. She probably felt faint by then. Dad went upstairs and came back down with a big pan of water. All she wanted was a drink. It was so ridiculous we couldn't help laughing. I also recall coming home from school some days to find Dad on his hands and knees scrubbing the floor, or outside hanging out the laundry. He was an expert dish washer, too. I'm sure mother really appreciated his help. She had a real hard time with both her last pregnancies and she always got up in the night if anyone was sick. Besides the tomatoes and bread, Dad cooked fresh bacon and fried potatoes for breakfast lots of times. I never could decide which was the best, the smell or the taste.
Alta: I remember the big east wind we had one year. Dad was out helping a neighbor get his animals in the barn, and Mother was over to Winnie's. Winnie was expecting a baby and Mack was working for the power company helping repair lines that had blown down. Dad had parked our car by the barn because he thought the garage would get blown away. Us five girls sat wrapped up in quilts to keep warm because we couldn't build a fire in the coal heater. The next morning when the wind died down, Dad went out to see what damage had been done and found out the barn roof had blown off on top of the car, but the garage didn't even lose a board. I also remember when I drove the car, probably the Nash, up to the cemetery. The only thing I knew about driving a car was how to start it. I know I drove up over a cement coping and ruined a tire, then when I finally got home I ran into the front gate, but Dad didn't even get mad. He was just glad no one got hurt.
Bea: One of the things I remember was the times we used to travel to Malad. I know we had several different cars •• a Star, and a Nash, and I think a 1929 Chev. We always sang songs as we rode along, and sometimes when it was foggy we'd have to stick our heads out the windows to make sure we were still on the road. When we got to the
hairpin turn, we would have to get out and push the car to make it up the hill. I even remember one time when the wheel came off and Dad said, "Look, there's a wheel off a car rolling through the field!" It was quite a surprise to find out it was ours. I think I probably spent more time in the barn and field than any of the rest
of you. In fact, Dad used to call me his "boy", because I liked to be with the animals and help him with the farm work.