Colaborador: celestyna Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago
A life sketch compiled by their children George Sterling, Maxine, and Hollis. We express our sincere appreciation for the background of our father's life as supplied by his brother, Thomas Wesley Smith, the only living child of his parents family living at the time of this writing, and also from his boyhood and young adulthood friends, Edwin Erickson and Hazen Hillyard.
George Done Smith was born August 26, 1889 in Smithfield, Cache County, Utah, to Jonathan Heber and Alice Done Smith. He was the sixth of their thirteen children, for some fifteen years he enjoyed the status of being the only living male child among three elder and four younger living sisters. Two of his brothers and two of his sisters had died in their infancy. It was a joyous occasion for this family to welcome for its youngest member a boy, Thomas Wesley.
George received his education and grew to manhood in Smithfield. His boyhood friend, Edwin Erickson, stated that they enjoyed many activities together, such as passing and blessing the sacrament in church, and gathering fast offerings in an express wagon at a time when it was common to receive bottled fruit, eggs, and other food commodities. He recalls that George was a good worker and that he also enjoyed sports, especially baseball and ice skating. When they courted girls from Richmond and Lewiston, George would take his good buggy horse named "Button" and would have everyone singing all along the way.
Another boyhood friend, Hazen Hillyard, told of the good times they enjoyed together while courting their wives and also when they were ordained to the office of Seventy in the Melchizedek Priesthood, which office Dad held at the time of his death. Hazen states that Dad was absolutely honest, charitable, easy to approach, friendly, and that home gatherings usually turned to music. On one occasion when he visited Dad in the Salt Lake L.D.S. Hospital, Dad insisted that they sing together before he left. They sang "Home on the Range" arid "Down by the Old Mill Stream."
Uncle Wesley has written as follows: "What I can remember about my brother, George D. Smith, written by Thomas Wesley Smith for George, Maxine, and Hollis.
There are only a few things I can remember about George s childhood life as he was fifteen years older than I. There was father, mother, George, Mae, Coral, Alveretta, Floss, Jessie and myself at home. We had a long table in the front room. George sat at one end and father at the other. Jessie, Floss, and I sat on a long bench at the back; Mother, Alveretta,Coral, and Mae sat at the other side. We always enjoyed our meals as a family, as Coral and George were always doing something to make us laugh.
One evening when Jed Seamons was visiting Coral, George went upstairs, got the tin pot from under the bed, and rolled it down the stairs. It bounced on every step and came rolling into the room. Coral was so angry at George she could have killed him.
While George was working at the depot, he lifted a heavy box and got a hernia. They operated on him at our father's home. While he was recuperating, our sister, Millie (Permilia) brought him a joke book to entertain him. He laughed so hard at the jokes that he broke the stitches, and later they had to operate again.
He got the "Grip" one day. I guess it is the same thing we call the "Flu" now. Anyway, whenever any of us got sick, the first thing we got was "Castor Oil." Mother gave George a dose. He was lying on the couch getting sicker by the minute. Suddenly, up junped George headed for the bathroom. He tried to get past Jessie, and she tried to get out of his way. They seemed to turn into each other. George couldn't wait any longer throwing up on top of Jessie's head. Oh, what a mess! George had to laugh as sick as he was, exclaiming, "I'll knock you Into the middle of next week." We were all told that many times, but he never did hurt any of us. I guess Jessie thought she'd rather be knocked into next week than what she got.
George held jobs with the Smithfield Brick Company and for the Sego Milk Company. I believe it would have been in about 1914 that he went to work for the railroad Uncle Will Napper got him a job at The Oregon Short Line Depot in the office. At that time there was a lot of business on the railroad, since there were not any trucks or automobiles used for hauling freight. He took care of the books and the shipping of cattle and beets as well as the other freight. Uncle Will and Aunt Alveretta lived in the depot. Mother and Father were so happy that George had a job there. We knew Alveretta had a hand in getting George the job. She was always looking out for all of us, trying to help in any way she could. This was just before World War I.
Around this time George and Fern Nilson began going together. They'd come home on Sunday's, and of course, I'd stay around, George would give me some money and send me to town for candy, ice cream, or something. I guess he was trying to get rid of me, Ha.
George and Fern went to school together, but they didn't court each other until after they finished school. We all thought such a lot of Fern. She worked at the Drug Store in Smithfield. I used to go in quite often for ice cream sodas because Fern always fixed them so good.
Our family idolized George. He and Fern were married on Sept. 26th, 1917, in the Logan Temple. Brother and Sis. Nilson (Fern's parents) had a big wedding supper for them and our family. We were all present at the old Nilson home in Smithfield, Utah.
Rather shortly after their marriage, George was transferred in his work to Cache Junction, Utah, where he was employed as a night yard clerk and baggage agent. It was here that their first child, George Sterling, was born in a two room apartment that had previously served as the town post office. Sterling arrived during an eclipse of the sun on June 8, 19181 He was two months premature and very tiny; however, with good maternal care, assisted by his grandmothers and a makeshift incubator (:a pillow on the oven door of the kitchen range) he was raised without serious incident. George made arrangements with our father for a cow. We all wanted to be sure Sterling, Fern, and George had p1enty of milk. Floyd Thornley and I diove the cow to Cache Junction on horse back, a distance of twelve miles, and we had a good time doing it.
George and Fern moved into a larger home just east of the tracks from the depot at the foot of the big water tower, and here they were blessed with two more children; Maxine, a cute little girl, was born February 25, 1920; and Hollis, was born December 11, 1922. How they were loved and what a cute family they were.
About the time Maxine was born, George got me a job in a restaurant washing dishes. I surely liked that job. I believe it was because I was close to him, I lived in a little railroad shack just south of the depot. George would wake me up at 6:00 a.m every morning so I would get to work on time.
Someone organized a baseball game. We were called the 'Dirty Socks' and the Newton team was called 'Window Busters'. George umpired the game, and I was the catcher. I remember once I thought George made a wrong decision and was I ever mad, but he just laughed it off.
George and Fern's Mutual group decided to attend a dance in Logan, and they asked me to babysit. I thought I was glad to, but they had hardly left when Maxine began to cry. She must have been about eighteen months or two years old. The only way I could shut her up was to turn on the phonograph and let her stand by it on a chair She would switch it off and on. Every time I tried to put her to bed she'd start howling, so I would put her up to the phonograph again, and she'd shut up. She kept this up until her parents came home at 2:00 a.m which made a very long night.
George as a man was about six feet tall, had dark wavy hair and was slim built until a few years before his death when he put on quite a bit of weight. In the year 1918, there was a terrible "flu" epidemic throughout the country. George contracted it and almost died. It left him with a bad heart and kidney and he wasn't very well after that. A brother Malmberg, who was a very close friend and worked with George in the M.I.A., was killed in the elevator. I'll never forget how George ran to the elevator and worked to get him out. I believe the over exertion hurt George, and he never got over it.
He liked to hunt and fish. He would ride the freight train to Bear River Canyon, the engineer would slow down for him to get off, and he'd go fishing there. He bought a .22 Special to hunt with and would go to the river bottoms often. Finally, the complications from the "flu" got him down. He was in the L.D.S. Hospital in Salt Lake City for quite a while. I stayed with a cousin of mine so I could be near him. Our father passed away while George was in the hospital, and I was sent to break the news. I just couldn't tell him, so I got a cousin of ours to tell him. George felt very bad. When he was released from the hospital, I went with Fern to get him. We rode the street car downtown, and George got a hair cut. He was very nervous and worried so about our getting hit while crossing the street. He insisted on carrying Hollis, who was only an infant. He really wasn't well enough to do that, but he thought he was.
We all went to live in our father and mother's home until George took sick again. He was taken to the Budge Hospital in Logan, Utah, where he passed away on March 29, 1923. I thought so much of my brother George that I have never gotten over his death.
We, their children, were so young when our father passed away that George Sterling (known as Sterling until after the death of his father) is the only one of us that remembers him at all. George was four and three fourths years of age, Maxine was three, and Hollis was three months. George remembers him as being a fun loving dad who often brought home candy treats to the family after his night work with the Oregon Short Line. He was very warm hearted and desirable to be with. George remembers a fishing trip with his dad to the Bear River, and of almost slipping in, being pulled to safety by his dad. He also remembers some baseball games and a few trips from Cache Junction to Smithfield in the family side curtained model "T" Ford. Our mother has stated that our dad never spoke an unkind word to her, and she loved him with great devotion. Several have said her devotion was so great that no other man could interest her. She lived the balance of her life as a widow.
After the death of our father, Mother and we three children lived with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Samuel P. Nilson, in Smithfield for thirteen years. In 1936, Mother purchased a home of her own and took her parents to live with us. Our Mother passed away Dec. 7, 1959. She and our father are buried in the Smith family lot in the Smithfield Cemetery.
Life of Floss Smith Tueller
Colaborador: celestyna Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago
THE STORY OF MY LIFE BY FLOSS SMITH TUELLER
UPDATED JANUARY 1996 FROM NEW FOUND PERSONAL JOURNALS (ORIGINALLY WRITTEN IN 1964)
I, Floss Smith Tueller, was born October 25, 1899 the eleventh child and eighth daughter of a family of thirteen children born to Jonathan Heber and Alice Done Smith.
The first three days of my debut into this world were spent in trying to make a hasty exit, but through the untiring efforts of my wonderful maternal grandmother (who was a doctor) and my oldest sister (Mary) my infantile plans were thwarted and I remained here. Nevertheless, my bashful way of entering the world backwards has left me "straddle of the fence" ever since.
Mary told me many times how she carried water in buckets from Summit Creek, a block and a half away, heated part of it, while Grandma Done dipped me first into warm water, then into cold until the blackness left my skinny little body and I began to show signs of life. I weighed a little less than six pounds, a disgusting weight for a baby in those days.
I was a great disappointment to Mary when I was born because I had no hair period. Mama said my head was as sleek as my face and that my eyes looked like ''two burned holes in a blanket." My cousin who was born a month earlier had long black hair, but by the time I was five months old my hair was thick and curly and my cousin's hair had turned snow white, so my sister was much consoled. When I was seven months old, she made me a red velvet dress with ribbon ruffles. This I wore at her wedding.
I talked at a very early age but I wouldn't walk. Just simply lazy I guess. One day I was sitting on the floor coaxing to go outside. Mama told me that she said, “All right Floss, if you will walk across the floor I'll take you outside.” I immediately arose from the middle of the floor and walked to my mother without a stumble.
At about fifteen months of age my brother George brought a chicken feather into the house for me to play with. He blew it into the air and I just about had hysterics. Mama had bought me a red coat with a white fur collar and after this episode she couldn’t get me into it. I screamed, “It’s a bear, it’s a bear!”
I learned to whistle at an early age. I whistled when I was happy, surprised, or interested and I still love to whistle. Of course, I don't remember these occasions but I have been told about them by my beloved mother and sister who have both passed away.
About the earliest incident I do remember was my first trip to church with my sister, Coral. I wore a pair of red slippers of which I was very proud. I don't know how I escaped her watchful eye but I remember walking quietly down the aisle of the old Smithfield Tabernacle to the Sacrament bench, removed my slippers, brushed them off, set them neatly beside the bench, climbed upon it, lay down, closed my eyes and proceeded to go to sleep. The next thing I remember I was half pulled, half jerked off the bench and taken immediately home by an irate sister.
My little sister Jessie was born when I was three years old, but I do not remember much about her babyhood until she began to toddle around. I thought she was the most beautiful little sister in all the world, with her curly brown hair and large blue eyes. I remember I always kissed her on her neck, back where her hair came in little curls.
One day Mama spread her shawl, a large dark gray one with fringe upon the floor and told me to lie down with Jessie so that she would go to sleep. When she awoke there was a large, red ****** on her neck which Mama said was a spider bite. I remember well how concerned I was while Mama put something on it. I watched Jessie awfully close that day.
When we were small, Jessie and I always wore bonnets which Mama made. Jessie's was pink and mine was blue. We played in the warm sunshine on the south side of the straw stack. Mama used to call to us, “Floss-ee, are you and Jessie wearing your bonnets?” These bonnet deals were very important because we had to keep from being sunburned for the ''Fourth of July" celebration. When we thought Mama wasn't looking we would push the bonnets back from our faces and let the wind whip through our curls. I didn't mind the sunbonnet though as much as I did washing my face, neck and arms in buttermilk.
*(The following starred entries are the new additions to her story taken from a newly found journal of Mamas):
I was about four years old. We had all been fitted out for the 4th of July and I had new slippers. I got stung with a bumblebee on my foot and while going around without one slipper, it became lost. We hunted high and low but couldn't find the slipper. It worried Mother because it was very hard those days to get a large family fitted out for a holiday and she knew I'd be howling if I couldn't wear those new slippers. She dreamed in the night that she saw the slipper at the bottom of our lot in a pile of rocks and just as it was breaking day she got up and walked to the pile of rocks and there lay the slipper just as she had seen it in her dream. And all she could figure out was that we had a little pup and he must have carried the slipper to the pile of rocks at the bottom of the pasture. My mother told me that I was so happy I could have my slippers for the 4th of July. It was a wonderful dream. In those days it cost twenty dollars for two pairs of shoes.
Uncle Tom Chambers used to come to our house often after the death of his wife, Aunt Donna, Mama's sister. I was always worried when Uncle Tom was around because he was always searching through his pockets for his pocket knife so that he could cut off one of my curls. I loved him dearly so I was much disturbed when he threatened to cut my hair.
I was a very small girl about six years old when I had my first love affair. An entirely one sided one. The object of my affection was a tall, dark man who used to visit at our home quite often. I would sing for him then he would give me a nickel and a piggyback ride on his back. He wore a large black, broad-brimmed hat which to me was the crowning glory of my hero. When anyone would ask me, “Who is your beau?”, I would always answer “Sam Thornley.” It was a great let down for me when my mother laughingly told me that he was a married man with quite a family. That big black hat really threw me.
I must have been an over-curious child. I threw caution to the winds where something sounded worth investigating. I must have had a suspicious look on my face one day as I was watching a setting hen make her laborious way up back to her nest at the top of a clump of straw, against the side of the old shed. My mother called, "Keep away from the brown hen, she has “mites.” I didn't know what “mites” were so up the side of the straw I climbed. The hen, resenting my intrusion, flew at me, but not until I had an egg in my hand. All at once everything on me was wriggling. Screaming, I slid down the straw and ran for the house, scratching at my head and arms. Mama was washing on the back porch. She picked me up, sunbonnet, clothes and all, dipping me into a tub of suds. I always dreaded my hair to be washed but I welcomed that water and there was nothing crawling on me when Mama finished with me. This was my first, last, and only introduction to mites.
* I loved to "belly-gut" down the stairs on my hands and knees. I would lay face down; hold my feet up, and placing my wrist on the step-holding my fingers in the air would go scooting down, making a perfect turn at the last four steps. This made a terrible thud and Mama would come running. She made a pass at me as I scooted by, but I always went back for more.
* As we grew older Jessie and I were given responsibilities. We had charge of the bed-making upstairs on Saturdays. We would play around covering each other up with the bed clothes giggling and eating pears that Mama had placed in a box under the bed to ripen, until Mama would call, “Are you girls about finished?” Then how the bed clothes would fly and we would finish in a hurry. We had two calves, "Spot and Blacky," that were weaned. It was our responsibility to feed them their milk from buckets. My calf was “Spot,” a red and white one and the older he got, the meaner he became. I fed him milk from a large brass bucket. One evening Jessie and I were feeding them and Spot kept bunting the bucket. All at once he gave a big bunt, knocking the bucket from my hands, and some way the handle became looped over his head. Around and around the orchard he went, bellowing and pitching the bucket from side to side. The girls and George had a merry chase before they could catch him and remove the bucket from his head.
* We most always had a sheep around. The one I remember best was “Old Buck.” He had some vicious looking horns that curled in toward his head and he was ornery. I guess he didn't like the idea of me skipping around the orchard so one day he took after me with his head down. I ran for the pear tree and shinnied part way up the trunk; barely above where he rammed into the tree. George and Mae led him by his horns into the barn, locking him inside. In a few days' Papa did what he had long promised Mama he would do. He sold that sheep.
* "Old Lee" was the name of our beautiful black stallion. We loved him and we kids could climb onto his back and slide off. I climbed onto his back one day while he was eating in the shed. In those days the inside shed roofs were made with willows which were crossed and re-crossed and the spaces between filled with straw for warmth. The birds would lay eggs in the crevasses. This day I was looking for bird nests. I surely picked the wrong day though because I put my hand into a bumble bee nest and dropped from "Old Lee's" back like a ton of brick. That was the last time I ever hunted bird eggs from Old Lee's back in the shed. Dear Old Lee had to be sold though as he became so playful Papa was afraid we kids would be hurt by him. One day he trotted after my little sister Jessie, right up to the house. She ran through the door just as he crashed his foot through the porch. We felt bad because we had made such a pet of him and he thought he was only playing.
*When I was five years old on February 16, 1905 my baby brother was born. What a glorious occasion for seven girls. We had but one brother and were so happy to welcome another. I remember so well Jessie and I kneeling beside the rocking chair where Grandma Done had an open brown bag on the floor beside her while she dressed Wesley. I asked her, “Grandma, did you bring him in this bag?” “Oh, fiddle dee dee no,” said Grandma, “I found him under a cabbage leaf.” I surely looked those cabbages over the next morning, hoping that maybe I could find another baby. The leaves were so wet from rain the night before and they stuck together so tightly that I could hardly separate them. However, I looked under every one and I wondered how Wesley could ever have been under one. Grandma was a wonder.
*Now-a-days we see poultry farms and hatcheries, but years ago most every family had a few chickens running around. Our family was no exception. Mama kept a few dozen chickens, enough for our own use; to cook and also supply us with enough eggs. She managed to slip an egg to us three kids once in a while so we could make a trip to the store for an “eggs worth” of candy. We would sit on the ditch bank on the way home to count the pieces. If one of us had more than the other two, we share it with them. We did not have nearly so much candy then as the children have now. I remember I used to carry the “coal oil can” to be filled at the store for Mama. It was a great temptation not to eat the gumdrop placed on the spout of the can to keep the oil from spilling.
*Now speaking of eggs and chickens. How I loved the little yellow balls of feathers just after they were hatched from the shells! Many times the old mother hen picked at my heels as I ran screaming for the house, a baby chick in each hand. Chickens must have irked me though because I was always tormenting them. Mama would turn the “setting coops” over through the day to let the old hens pick around with their little chicks. I could not resist the little yellow and brown bundles of fur so I would grab one and go for the house with the old setting hen picking at my heels. She scared me to death but I always tried it again.
The dust in the roads used to be six inches deep but it made the best mud pies. I would like a nickel for every egg I swiped for those mud pies, mixed with egg and water and placed on the window sills to dry. In those days we made our own fun. We always had quite a few chickens but Mama never knew how many of those hens eggs went into making some of the most super mud pies. My cousin, Mary, and I would set them along the window sills to dry. When Jessie grew to be what we thought “old enough,” we allowed her to help.
In some of our more calm moments, my cousin Mary Mather, Jessie and I used to dress up our cats and put the cats and dolls in the doll buggies and take them for a ride out to the “big gate” and back. More than once I put my heel through one of Mama's long skirts on our visiting sprees. My dear patient mother! I never remember her in anger and I must have kept her guessing much of the time.
*We kids did not have a lavish Xmas but a good one. There were always plenty of nuts and candy and a few toys. But there was one thing that I just longed for all of my life but never did get. That was a big doll with long curls. We would walk around Mile's store (the main commercial store in town) just to look in at the big show window. Every year there was one special doll that I wanted so badly it just about made me sick. I felt like I had to have it. I never said a word to anyone but I can still feel that longing inside me now when I think about it -but I never ever got a big doll. This was no ones' fault as there just wasn't enough money to go around. However, I never did quit wishing that something could happen so that I could have the doll with ready-made clothes. My sister (Alveretta) was a wonderful seamstress and always made cute clothes and underwear for our dolls but the dolls were smaller and clothes always homemade. I played with my cat a lot though. Mary and I would dress our cats in doll clothes and put them in our doll buggies. Then we dressed up in mothers' skirts and went visiting with each other. My cats' name was Tom and he was white with yellow spots. Mary's cats' name was Pete and he was black with white spots. We didn't have trouble dressing them until we put on their bonnets and shoes. Did we ever have a time tying the ribbons under their chins and cinching shoe laces tight enough around their legs to hold the shoes on. We would try to get them to walk but they kept lifting their hind legs and shaking them. Aunt Bertha furnished the baby shoes and how she would laugh with us at the antics of those two tom cats.
*Mama used to make soap and oh, how I hated that smell. It made me sick. I usually took Jessie with me and we along with Mary would go up to Aunt Mary Coleman's and make dolls from the hollyhocks that grew all around her back door. Those were pretty dolls all dressed in different colors and long dresses. Mama would send for us after the soap was made. Mama would say to me, “You had better go up to your Aunt Mary's until this soap is done.”
My girls have asked me many times, “What shall we do now?” or “'What can we play?” I have never been able to understand such a question for I can never remember wondering for one moment what to do next. The days were never long enough for Mary and me to crowd in all the things we wished to do.
*We were often holding funerals. Every dead bird or cat we found we decorated boxes (match boxes for the birds and shoe boxes for the cats). Done Thornley, my nephew, would be on lead with the fire shovel. We girls would bring up the rear carrying the casket, and we would all sally forth to the pasture where Done would dig the grave and after we had deposited the body, he would solemnly give the prayer and cover the grave. We had quite a few sticks, marking graves in that old pasture.
*My nephew Done Thornley was just about as old as myself and we used to climb trees together. He was better at climbing than I was. I used to spot the nests and then he would bring the eggs down. Together we would pierce a little hole in each side of the eggs, and then blow on one side of them and the inside of the egg would drop out of the other side. Then we would carefully string them on a string for a necklace. My older brother George showed me how to do the trick.
*Now speaking of George. I was his "shadow" as Mama said. I followed him everywhere. Where I picked up the name of Dadden no one ever knew but that was my name for him and his friends dubbed him, Dadden. I fairly worshiped him. I was usually with him when he robbed birds’ nests in the old shed. On his egg-sucking escapades I would watch him in adoration as he pricked a hole in the egg, then sucked the contents and swallowed it. He always gave me something if I never told on him. I never did. I liked to go with him and his friends to the depot to play marbles. I would retrieve the run away marbles for them. I guess I wouldn't know many of those fellows if I saw them today except Snuff (Edwin) Erickson. Isaac Loveday I remember well, maybe because of his peculiar name and the way he used to give me wild rides on his back.
*I used to hold the lantern for Dadden when he milked the cow in the winter in the old shed, and also when he chopped the wood at night. In the summer I liked to follow him to the pasture and bring my cat. Dadden would send a stream of milk into that cats’ mouth and she became very adept at drinking it that way. Her eyelashes would be all stuck together and how George would laugh. I used to run away from Jessie once in a while when I was afraid she might tell on me. Down through the pasture I would run early in the morning to the fence leading into Aunt Bertha and Uncle Will Mather's place. I always told Aunt Bertha that Mama said I could stay for an hour. She knew, of course, that I was telling a fib but would smile. She knew that Mama would soon call me.
One of these mornings though I ran into trouble. It was in the fall and the old turkey gobbler (being saved for Thanksgiving) was strutting around the yard. I was afraid of him so I bided my time. When I thought he was at a safe distance I climbed cautiously through the board fence and ran - but I was not quite quick enough. He was chasing me with tail feathers spread, and that awful “gobble.” Of course Aunt Bertha came to my rescue when she heard my screams and laughed and laughed, much to my discomfiture. I was mighty glad though when old gobbler lost his head at Thanksgiving time. There was a tremendous lot of exploring to do down at Mary's place. Her folks were farmers and Uncle Will had a large bam, several sheds and a granary. Mary and I used to climb to the top of the cellar entrance with a lap full of everything - Gooseberries, currants, apples, turnips, carrots, peas, etc. and sit peacefully eating them while Mama called and called from our back porch. We could see her but she couldn't see us. “Mean Little Devils.”
One day while strolling past the back of the granary, I noticed a tiny little trap door just high enough so that we could reach it on tiptoe. “'What is that?” I asked Mary. “Oh, that's where Papa fastens the sacks and fills them with wheat,” she answered. While we were standing there, I noticed a little slot and began pushing up on it. A few grains of wheat came down the chute. I pulled the slot a little farther. Before long we had quite a stream of wheat pouring down the chute. It was hot weather and the wheat was cool, so we pulled off our shoes and stockings and pulled the plug completely out, putting our feet, one after the other under the cool, cool wheat and held them there until no more wheat came. There was a steep pile. Then we left to explore further. Mary told me she came mighty close to being spanked, but no one ever said anything to me about the incident.
One evening Aunt Bertha went to the pasture with Uncle Will to help him milk the cows, leaving us kids playing in the orchard. She warned us, showing us at the same time, a large hornet’s nest on the limb of our apple tree. “'Now you kids stay away from that nest or you will be stung.” Well, she shouldn't have said that because no sooner had she turned her back than I picked up a stick and struck the hornet's nest. Immediately they were swarming all over me, especially on my knees, and did I ever get stung! I've never seen Aunt Bertha laugh so hard. I thought she was awfully mean. Mama had been calling me to come to supper for a long while. Getting no results she finally sent my sister, Mae, to bring me home. When Mae came I was howling at the top of my lungs. “I'm stung, I can't walk, I can't walk!” I kept howling. She was so angry with me that she dragged me the full block, right up the middle of the dusty road. I rolled first to one side then to the other. I had said I couldn't walk and I was sticking to it! Mae dropped me in the dooryard. I don't remember ever being punished for this. All I remember is Mae pulling me through the dust.
All of the mothers in those days had lots and lots of carpet rags, and Mama had her share. Jessie and I would coax her for some then we would climb up the Astrakhan Apple Tree. The limbs were huge and where Papa had cut off some of the smaller limbs, they made perfect seats for us. We would tie the carpet rag around the huge limbs and pretend we were going somewhere on horseback. Mama would call to us walking through the grass under the tree and would finally give up and go into the house. We remained so very quiet while she was out looking for us. Afterwards I would tell Mama that we were in the tree when she called us.
I guess no one had more varieties of apple trees than we did. After school many children would come home with us. We had sweet Delicious and early fall apples and would fill their laps with the luscious ripe ones. Most everyone raised their own fruit and vegetables when I was a little girl. When the apples were ready to store, all of us helped. We carried our loaded buckets to the old rock cellar, where Papa had made bins for each individual variety. We knew right where to go to find the variety of apples that we wished for, whatever the occasion. *We learned as children how to work. We also picked up potatoes for Papa and helped him plant carrots. We also helped him sew bandages as he was a doctor.
Under our apple trees the grass grew very high. We had no animals to cut it down so every kid in the neighborhood had the benefit of playing hide and seek in its depths. Oh! What fun it was. All we needed was just to drop into the deep, green grass and it was impossible for the one who was “it” to find us unless they stumbled over us.
My dad and my brother-in-law, James Thornley, helped out at Farrell's Ranch one season. Mama, Dad, Jessie, Wesley and I stayed there at nights. I loved the fun we had in the daytime but I hated nights because I had nightmares. That's what Mama said they were anyhow. Mama always made my bed on the table in the room where we ate our meals. The table was directly under an old chimney where the stovepipe used to go out through the ceiling. I dreaded going to bed because just as soon as Mama put out the lights, there was an old owl that perched all night on the edge of the chimney. I stayed awake all night watching him. Also, the coffee grinder was being turned by someone all night long. I was just petrified all night and didn't dare call out to Mama. Finally when I felt like I could not sleep on that bed anymore, I told Mama that I didn't want to sleep there. She had the idea that I really liked where I slept so she coaxed me to tell her why not. At breakfast I told the family about the owl sitting on the chimney and also that someone ground coffee all night. Did my mother and father ever have a good laugh. Mama explained that what I thought was the coffee grinder in the kitchen was the horses chewing hay all night. To explain the owl, she said there was a loose brick which stood by itself on one side of the chimney that may have looked like an owl. That night Mama changed my bed to another part of the room.
*One morning I awoke to find myself in my nightgown and bare feet wandering amongst Papa's beehives. I was frightened to death. Sleepwalking was another one of my accomplishments.
*I guess I was a nervous child. At any rate I couldn't even be quiet while asleep. Did I ever have nightmares! Our upstairs bedroom had a stovepipe coming up thru the floor. This gave warmth to our room and so many nights I would awaken with a scream that would bring Mama running. I was sure a big, ugly face was coming for me out of that stovepipe. It would become so huge that it enveloped me. This is when I screamed. They said I had “'worms”' and in the morning I was met at the foot of the stairs by Papa who made me eat a worm lozenge. Ugh!
* Speaking of getting a dose at the foot of those stairs, Papa made a “bitters” out of all kinds of herbs, roots, etc. and pickled them in alcohol. Every morning as sure as the day dawned, he held the bottle while we kids filed past opening our mouths for the strangling concoction which was our “Spring tonic” and would keep us “fit as a fiddle.” Not only us but any of our cousins or friends who might stay overnight received the same dose.
There was one of the header men, Leslie Peterson, who I liked especially at the ranch. A header man drove around the field of grain picking up shocks of wheat, putting them into the header boxes. It was difficult standing in header boxes because of the floor of it slanting to one side making it easier to stack the grain. Every morning I would be in exactly the same place, gathering grasshoppers and putting them in the bottle I had along with me. He would pick me up and put me in the header box and I would ride with him while he made the rounds, gathering up the wheat stalks.
There was some excitement one day when the quilts caught fire. Mama kept them folded in a large box outside of the house. Mama and we kids carried water to put out the fire. It did little damage though.
I had heard of "snuff' in a remote way. Southerners used to chew a little of it once in a while and most of the ladies carried their personal “snuffbox” as we would our “bags.” I had noticed a box that was in Mama's sewing machine drawer labeled “SNUFF.” It caught my attention every time I had any reason to look in the machine drawer. One day Ada Kirk, a childhood playmate, my sister Jessie and I were sitting in the tall orchard grass under our large Astrakhan Apple Tree, wondering what we could do for a change, when I remembered that I had seen that mysterious box when Mama was getting some buttons out of the drawer just that morning. I went into the house where Mama was sewing and asked her for the box. Of course she asked me why I wanted it. I said I wanted to show it to Ada. Mama read what it said on the box, “Trial Supply” and if satisfied, it could be obtained by writing to the address supplied. I promised to use it only once around, then I would bring it back. It proved more interesting as we “snuffed” and sneezed, snuffed and sneezed. It took but a tiny little bit to make us sneeze and we laughed and laughed at each other. It was so funny. I don't remember anything about what became of the snuff box and the remaining snuff, but I must have taken it back to Mama.
*We lived below the O.S.L. Depot which is now the Athen Reese home. At that time the main railroad line ran through Smithfield and there were most always one, two or three trains puffing around on the sidings. Mama said us kids never bothered about them because we were so used to them being there. But one day, I took Jessie by the hand and we crossed the street. We wanted to get a good look at a big engine which was puffing away. We sat down immediately in front of it. My, it was huge! Soon Mama came running across the street (I remember her white face) and she had a willow. She really tingled my legs all the way home. A neighbor had called to her that her little girls were sitting on the tracks in front of an engine. If the fireman had started the train, Mama said he could not have seen us and we would have been killed.
At five and one half years old, my cousin Mary was a little bit older than I. Aunt Bertha started her to school. I felt so bad that Mama sent me, although I was two months under the required age. I was in school just a few days when Mama received a note saying that I would have to wait another year. I was really shook up, so Aunt Bertha kept Mary home until we could both go to school together. Now we were happy again. We have always remained very close to each other through the years.
The following year we started school. The same schoolhouse in which we now live with my own family. It stood in the northeast end of town, a mile from my childhood home. The first morning I was so excited! My father had purchased a beautiful pair of blue leggings for me as there were many winter days that Mary and I had to walk to and from school. I was so proud of those leggings. They had a strap which went under my heels, then the Buster Brown buttons were fastened up the sides and over the knees. My overshoes fit over the strap at the bottom. These leggings kept my legs warm and dry and how I loved to "button them up" in preparation for going home after school. My older sisters fixed a lunch for me, and my Dad took Mary and me to school by “horse and buggy” the first day and the rest of the days we were on our own. We made butterflies in the snow all the way home.
Six months later we children from the west side of town were moved into a little schoolhouse closer to our home in the southwest part of town. The second ward LDS Church house now stands on that property.
*I was baptized at eight years old in the Logan Temple by Elder Jacob Miller Dec. 17, 1907. I was confirmed the same day by Thomas Morgan.
(At 12 years) Sweet Pickle Episode: We used to go to Grandpa and Grandma Done's for Xmas or Thanksgiving. Their home stood at the comer of a block on a hill. Directly behind it was a steep hill that led to the bam. The hill was in two parts. The first one was about a 4 or 6 foot drop, then it leveled out and the next was a long drop and here we would sleigh ride. The snow was awfully deep in those days. When the sleigh hit the first hill, it would literally jump to the one below it and would go right down to the barn. It was a real thrill and we had a real slide that we had made. Then there was Grandma's jar of sweet pickles. She kept them in a crock jar inside a rock cellar that was built back into the hill. Our cousin's Abigail and Olive Done lived with Grandma after the death of their mother. Jessie, Phyllis Peterson, my niece, and I used to go over and play with them. We would leisurely stroll down the path that led past the cellar. One or the other of us would dart in through the wooden door. We liked those sweet pickles that Grandma made but Jessie and Olive also liked the vinegar on the pickles and they would wind up drinking a little bit of the vinegar. Then up and down the hill we would skip. What a lot of fun we had at Grandma's.
(Sweet Prune Episode) Aunt Bertha Mather came over early one morning to see how "Floss" had passed the night. Mama said “She's been as sick as she could be, going at both ends all night.” Aunt Bertha said, “So has Mary.” Mary said they had cracked the dried up prune pits from the prunes I canned last week. I said, "They were sweet and good, so we ate all of them." I've never been so sick. I carried a pillow against my stomach all week, never have I had such a sore stomach! Mama would look at me and say, “Maybe now you'll learn,” but I never did. I don't see how we ever lived through all the junk we ate all day long. It was no wonder I was never hungry at mealtime.
*My father was very strict about all of us being at home at meal time. There was no straggling at our house. He built a little red bench to go the length of the table for me, Jessie and Wesley. It had been passed down from oldest to youngest. Anyway, that bench was our place at the table. It was so easy to get the giggles at meal time. We would look sideways at each other, then one would giggle, then another. Then Papa would say, “All right, straighten up those faces right now or leave the table.” That would send us into more giggles which always led into one, two or three of us leaving the table. I don't believe Wesley ever had to leave that I can remember. I have left the table more than once for starting the giggles. I guess that bench was used for all the family besides the kids who came visiting. The last I remember of using the bench was on a Sunday. It was storming so badly that we couldn't go to Sunday School. One side of the bench broke down so we stood it on end and used it for a slide all day long. Oh, my patient mother!
* Papa always said now you can have all you want to eat but chew it well and eat everything you take on your plate. I have had to leave the table many times because I wouldn't quit giggling and I had Papa sit with me until I finished every last crumb on my plate. I remember a time when I had taken too much food on my plate; I took one slice of bread too much. Papa told me that I must eat all of it if I ate all night and he pulled his chair up close to mine. It seemed as if I ate plain bread and butter for the whole evening. Papa watched me until I ate my last bite of bread. I knew I had to eat it if I “choked.” We did not waste food at our house. At our house it was the adage, “Waste not, want not.”
How I idolized my brother George (Dadden). I coaxed him one night to let me go along while he did chores for Uncle Will Mather. Uncle Will and family were living at Farrell's ranch in Petersboro while Uncle Will harvested grain. George made me promise that I would “mind my business.” I was just strolling around the barn when I got the idea I would like to see if I could cross over a small ditch or drain which carried the dirty water away from the barn. George told me to stay away from it because the gate over it was almost broken down. It really was bent over quite a ways but I thought it would hold me up, so I started out hand over hand, inch by inch. Everything went okay until I came to the middle. The gate began to bend and crack and it frightened me. I was very close to the filthy water so I tried to hurry... and crash! Down I went with the gate over me, and I was lying on my back in that awful water. I guess George heard the crash as he came running and got me out of my predicament. He used some cuss words a plenty and said how he ought to knock me into the middle of next week, but I don't remember him punishing me. In fact, I don't remember ever receiving punishment for the crazy things I did. If I did, they must have not amounted to much or else I didn't have enough sense to remember them.
* At one time Mae tended us while Mama and Papa went on a vacation. My father and mother with Wesley, Millie and her husband went on a vacation leaving Mae in charge of Jessie, Phyllis and myself. She wrote all her rules down on a piece of paper and every time one of us sidestepped those rules, we received a big black mark which was supposed to be reported to Mama and Millie, Phyllis' Mother. I remember her coming after us with a stick one day. We were playing under the dam of the big ditch, strictly forbidden by Mama because the water was swift and deep. Were we ever wet!
*Papa bought things from wholesale houses in large quantities and I remember when they came home Mama was astounded by the empty pickle bottle (a huge 2 qt. one) standing soaking under the hydrant. We had eaten all the pickles and I told Mama that's all Mae gave us to eat. I got clobbered!
My dad and mother took us three younger kids to Ogden to the Taylor Reunion when we were quite small. We went in a single buggy - that is a one-seated buggy with one horse. Wesley sat between Mama and Papa. I wonder how long that trip would take now. It was a lark to us. About the only thing I can remember clearly is seeing a little black-haired girl with long ringlets and wearing a long pink silk dress to cover the braces on her legs. I thought she looked like a big doll and I followed her everywhere she went. I then remember taking off my shoes and stockings and wading in a dam. It was a place that had been boarded off from the Ogden or Weber river. There wasn't much water coming through the boards but some kids were wading in it, so I did. I ran to ask Mama if I could and I thought or just assumed that she said yes but she said she “did not.” Mama came looking for me and when she saw me there with those other kids she just about flipped her lid. I couldn't see where I had done anything wrong but she told me “'Don't you know that if those boards slipped, you would be drowned?” I couldn't and well, it was fun while it lasted. My sister Alveretta and our cousin Floss Hicks were there with boyfriends and I don't know how Alva got there, but they were playing with me and I saw a bed of ants. I said something that was so embarrassing to them that Floss whispered in my ear just how to say it. Alveretta was surely mad. I never forgot the right way to talk about ants after that.
My dad used to amuse all of the little kids around with knocking candy out of their heads. He would hold a hat between his knees while the kids in turn let him knock their heads. Candy would fall and how they would dance and jump around. They thought he was magic.
(13 or 14 years) Our windows were quite high to reach so we used to pile a few boxes and then a chair on top. Another chair stood on the ground beside the boxes to help in climbing to the top so I could wash the windows on the outside. I had a pail of water in one hand and a cloth over my shoulders to shine. I was singing with my mind on something else, as usual, and finishing the top half of the window, I stepped off the boxes down into a pile of rocks and went sprawling. I didn't spill one drop of water. Oh boy, did I ever have skinned arms. I was laughing and crying at the same time when I thought of the foolish thing I had done. My mother, when hearing the crash, came running out, helping me up and scolding me at the same time for not keeping my mind on my work.
(15 or 16 years) When we grew older, Papa planted a large raspberry patch with cherry trees between the rows. They extended from the south side of the house running east and west to the fence that shut the lot off from the street. It was quite a “lark” at first, but after picking raspberries and cherries the whole summer through, it became very tiresome. However, Mae, Jessie and I really protected our complexion from the hot sun. We wore long black stockings on our arms pinned to the shoulder of our dress with a hole cut in the side of the stocking for our thumb to hold it down. We each wore a broad-brimmed straw hat, each of us draping one of Mama's wide dishtowels around it, leaving just enough for us to see through. Then we wore kid gloves of which we had cut out the end of the fingers. These protected our hands from the briars and also kept us from becoming sunburned. The milkmen from Amalga, Newton, Trenton and all the other towns on the west side of the northern end of Cache Valley would bring in large orders for raspberries and take them home with them after they had delivered the milk to the factory. There was one special row of raspberries which we dreaded to pick. This was the row on the outside next to the fence. The dust from the street would settle on the bushes forming webs and we were always conscious of the spiders which would be in those webs. One morning Jessie and I were picking on this special row ... she on the outside and I on the inside. All of a sudden I gave a scream and started jumping up and down and pulling clothes. I felt something scratching on the back of my neck just below my collar. By the time Mama reached the patch, I had practically clawed off just about all my clothes. A very large grasshopper hopped out. For one thing I was thankful, it was not a spider. It always bothered me because Mae could always pick raspberries faster than I could.
One thing I disliked about fruit picking, more often than not, when we arrived home from Sunday School or on a hot Sunday afternoon while we were enjoying the shade under the trees, Mama would call to us that we had orders for 4 or 5 cases of raspberries or 30 pounds of cherries to be ready for Monday morning. That meant changing our clothes and picking until dark to fill the orders. I used to wish Mama would put up a sign “'No raspberries or cherries picked on Sunday” but she didn't.
Most everyone has seen an old-fashioned cupboard at one time or another ... the tall one with glass doors at the top. This is the kind of cupboard that we had at home, only ours was extra fancy with a carved cornice at the top. Inside the glass doors were three large shelves to hold the dishes, then a shelf above them where things were placed that we didn't use often. Mama misplaced some glasses. She asked me to climb up and see if they were on the shelf. There was a shelf in front and at the bottom of the glass doors that we used as a work shelf sometimes. I was standing on one side of the work shelf and holding onto the cornice while I searched the top of the cupboard for the glasses for Mama. Mae was beating up egg whites for a shampoo on the other side of the shelf. Suddenly, and with no warning, the cornice came loose and I fell backwards, right on top of Mae with the cornice on top of us. Neither of us was hurt but what a mess we were from all those egg whites.
My drawing of the cupboard
When I was about 16 years old, my cousin Mary and I were sitting in the choir. Church had not begun yet but a number of people were filling in for the services. I noticed a good looking young fellow sitting with some town boys that we knew. I leaned toward Mary saying, “Who is that good-looking guy sitting by Vernie Tidwell?” Mary said, “Oh, he just moved into town and his last name is Tueller.” I began giggling and so did Mary. I said, “'What a funny name.” Then I said, “Wouldn't it be funny to marry somebody with a funny name like that?” We giggled all through church. The next Tuesday night at Mutual, now named young men & women asso., there was a dance in the recreation hall after classes. Vernie Tidwell and Ben Tueller were there. Vernie asked Mary for a dance and Ben asked me. This was the beginning of a romantic courtship.
I try a pair of corsets. I was intrigued very much watching my older sister’s lace themselves into their corsets which were a must in those days, and I vowed I would have a pair some day. Mama called me to run an errand to the store for her. I was upstairs lacing myself into a pair of corsets. They felt awful but I sallied forth feeling quite grown up all the way up town. I tried to make myself feel comfortable. It's a wonder they didn't fall off me as I had no hips, no nothing to keep them in place. I kept hitching one side, then the other and finally came to the old E. R. Miles store. I don't even remember what I bought, but when I came out the door I was suddenly jerked back and nearly fell. The long corset laces had caught under the heavy door. They had worked loose probably from a loose knot tied from behind my back. I had to open the door to free the strings and when I turned around an old gentleman was laughing his head off. I grabbed up the strings and ran for home with my dress all bunched up, until I could hide behind a tree and tuck them up somewhere. Oh, I was so embarrassed!
These are some songs my father, Jonathan Heber Smith, taught me when I was a little girl.
The old cow in the old cow-shed,
She picked up the pick-ax and chopped
off her head,
The little don-key when he heard of the row, wow
He beat out his brains with the head of the cow, wow.
And, oh, it is such a horrible tale,
I'm sure it will make all your cheeks'es turn pale.
Your eyes filled with tears, will be over-run,
Ti-widdle, ti-waddle, ti-widdle, ti-waddle,
Ti-widdle, ti-waddle - ti-widdle - ti-wum.
The Tramp Song
1. A weary tramp stopped by the way,
To get a bite to eat.
The farmer's wife was sitting by the door!
Said he "dear madam, will you give me
Please, some food to eat?
"I've walked and walked until my feet are sore."
2. She said, "My husband's gone to town
And I am all alone;
But I will give you all you want to eat; if
You will saw some wood for me
That lies outside the door
Then you may stop and rest your weary feet."
3. When he had finished up his meal
And started for the door,
It made him feel so well, so kind, and good.
The farmer's wife, she followed him.
And tried hard to implore
That weary tramp to stop and saw the wood.
4. She said, "What will my husband say
When he returns from town,
And tell him that you would not saw the wood."
Said he, "dear madam, tell your old man
I did the best I could
I went out to the shed and saw the wood."
"Just tell him that you saw me,
And that I saw the wood.
Just tell him that you saw me see the wood.
Just tell him that your beefsteak and
Pie was very good,
Just tell him that you saw me see the wood."
This song was taught to Papa by his father (Jonathan Smith)
There is a favorite song I also remember the words to:
Little Boy Blue
The little toy dog is covered with dust
As sturdy and bold he stands
The little toy soldier is red with rust
And the musket moulds in his hands.
Time was when the little toy dog was new
And the soldier was passing fair;
That was the time when our Little Boy Blue
Kissed them and placed them there.
"Now don't you go 'til I come," he said,
"Now don't you make any noise."
So toddling off to his trundle bed
He dreamed of his pretty toys,
And while he was dreaming an angel song
Awakened our Little Boy Blue,
"Oh, the years are many; the years are long;
But his little toy friends are true.
So, faithful to Little Boy Blue, they stand,
Each in his same old place,
Awaiting the touch of a little hand.
The smile of a little face;
And they wonder while waiting the long years through
In the dust of that little chair
What has become of our Little Boy Blue
Since he kissed them and placed them there.
The following information was written in a book of remembrance compiled by (AI) Fred G. Taylor, a son of Alfred William Taylor and Ada Marion Hix. Alfred is the son of Pleasant Green Taylor and Clara Lake. It was given as a gift to my cousin Rolla Elmer Hicks (Hix).
*Mother copied the following paragraph from the above book of remembrance. As her children, we feel it is how mother felt about her ancestry:
What greater wealth can we hope for than our glorious Gospel? By embracing it, our beloved ancestors have left us a richer heritage than we can ever hope to acquire in this earthly sphere. The heritage of "Eternal Life." May I live a worthy enough existence to mingle with them in the life to come; and I pray that the Lord will bless me with health and strength that I may be able to do my part in the furthering of this glorious cause for which my people before me have so faithfully striven, and to the memory of my most worthy ancestors I wish to dedicate this - "Book of Remembrance. "