Memories of John Emelius Berg
Colaborador: susannielson Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago
This history was written by Bernice Young Berg, the daughter-in-law of John E Berg.
John Emelius Berg was born in American Fork, Utah, January 6, 1876 to Emelius Thorwald Lundvegsen Berg and Emma Olivia Salin.
At the age of 12 years, his parents separated. He went to live at the Alma Moss home. He left school and started to herd sheep for Charlie Logie. He worked for $10.00 a month and only drawed (sic) $3.00 of the money he made. The $3.00 paid for his clothes and things he neded. Each year his $700 was going into sheep. So when he was a very young man he had a small herd.
He ran (them) on some ground in Midway. It was north of Midway called Bonanza flat. This land was free, and they could go anywhere they wanted at the time. He took care of the sheep himself, kept his ewe lambs and sold the weathers, and his herd grew.
He met Anna Elizabeth Burgener, and after their courtship, they married on October 30, 1898, at Provo, Utah. Before their marriage he would leave the sheep in the evening and ride to Midway to take Elizabeth to the dance. They also went on picnics. But time was short for John to do much but be with the sheep. They rented a small house up by the Dutch fields.
As he was buying the land, Grandpa Burgener also bought one field. The fields were not fenced, but had large ditches running around them. Later he bought some land in Springtown. He bought the lambing ground we have now. He bought some for $1.00 an acre and some for $1.25. He also kept buying sheep.
They moved into Midway on the same block Elizabeth's folks lived on. And the babies started to come. First Olive Berg was born 1901. Gladys Berg died as a baby. Don Clifton Berg was born April 2, 1904. Alta Berg was born Sept 28, 1906; Vida Mae born Jan 29, 1908; Marie, Jan 3, 1913. John Christian was the last baby born Mar 3, 1918, in American Fork. Olive, Gladys, Don, Alta, Vida and Marie were all born in Midway.
Dad (John) had a team of blue matched horses and an elaborate surrey which was the talk of the valley. On Sundays they would dress in their best and drive to Park City to see Elizabeth's sister Bertha, Fred, and family. The next Sunday they (Bertha and Fred) would come to Midway and visit them (John and Elizabeth). They would have a game or two of Sluff and eat a nice dinner. Sometimes they would go on picnics.
Aunt Minnie and Uncle Jake (Elizabeth's brother and sister-in-law) lived across the road from them, and they (Minnie and Elizabeth) spent many hours together. Their children were about the same age, and their husbands being away so much threw them closer together. They sewed and cooked together, spending many a happy hour. Each one very religious and trying to raise their children by the Church Leaders, listening to the advice of the President.
Elizabeth was a loving, kind person. Everyone who knew her loved her. She was a good mother, housekeeper, cook, did a lot of sewing, and was a beautiful lady both inside and out. She done (sic) a lot of compassionate service in the neighborhood.
John prospered in his business. He had a good steady business head and went ahead fast. His first sheep permit was in Strawberry. Uncle Ernest Burgener herded sheep for him for many years. He was a brother to Elizabeth and everyone loved him.
Around this time, Dad (John) bought a Ford Car, the second car to come to Midway. They had a good time putting on their dusters, fancy hats, and all load into the car for a ride to Park city. The roads were muddy and sometimes unpassable, so they would turn around and go home.
By now, John had bought what we call the lambing ground and ranch. So he decided to move his family to American Fork, Utah. This was around 1913, or 1914, as Marie was still a baby. It's the lovely old house still standing at 43 North First East, but at the time he bought it, it was fairly new, as the home was built in 1905. He built the large front porch and 2 back screen porches to sleep in in the summer. Each of the children picked out their favorite room and the house was a joy to all of them. They started in school, made friends fast and were soon respected members of the [American Fork] 4th Ward. Elizabeth had some doubt about the move. It was a long way from her Father and Mother, and her beloved brother and sister, Jake and Minnie. But the cousins visited back and forth and always kept in touch. Jack Christian Berg was born March 3, 1918 in American Fork.
Dad was still very busy and branched out in the sheep business. He bought a ranch in partnership with another fellow. It was in Nevada. He had to hire someone to run it and had poor management on the ranch and finally lost $40,000 on the deal which set him back for several years.
Elizabeth became ill (in about 1921) and was sick for several months. She was sick at the time John was going back and forth to the Nevada ranch. He hired 2 different women to come and tend Elizabeth. One lady stayed at night to give her help and comfort. She died April 7, 1922. It was one of the largest funerals they ever had in American Fork. Some of John's baseball friends carried the casket from the house to the tabernacle. She was 43 years old. Christian, her father, died 18 April 1934, in Midway, Utah.
The family were desolated because of the loss of their loving wife and mother. Olive took charge for a year, then he (John) married Nellie Householder. Jack was 5, and she was a real mother to him and was good and loving to the girls, kept a clean house and was a wonderful cook.
I came into the family June 9, when I married Don Clifton. He was working with the sheep. We spent the first summer on Wolf Creek and every summer after that. I missed the year Beverly was born, as she came in August. We had our first three children close together; Shirley, born 11 Jan 1927; Bev, Aug 9, 19??; Don, Jr. Apr 18, 19??.
We loved the summers as we could be with Don. But I never begrudged Him working with the sheep, as that was our life. And I always stood behind him in all he did.
I spent many happy hours here with Dad and Aunt Nell. she taught me many a trick in cooking, as she was a marvelous cook. The children loved to com see Grandpa and Aunt Nell. And as they grew older, they were real companions with their Grandpa. After a few years he started to fail in health, and I would drive him wherever he wanted to go. I spent many hours with him and he would tell me of his early childhook, which was not an easy one.