The Life Story of George Townsend Lufkin by T. Eugene Lufkin, A Son
Colaborador: jdeanhagler Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago
His Father was John Townsend Lufkin, who was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, on January 21, 1853. His Mother was Hannah Barron Lufkin, who was born at For Harriman, Utah, on March 30, 1857.
In the latter part of January 1947, I, along with my wife, visited with my Father, George T. at his home in an endeavor to get from him his life story and more particularly of his early life. My wife and I took turns writing and we put it down exactly as he told it. We have refrained from making any changes in the writing, and hereby request that others do the same - except - perhaps in punctuation or spelling.
-----------The Story As Told-----------
I was born in Panaca, Nevada, June 2, 1876. When I was about a year old, my folks moved to Washington, Utah. While at Panaca, my fathers work was hauling ore from Pioche to Boullionville, Nevada. While at Washington, they acquired a large ranch known as the Shivwitz Ranch just over the line in Arizona or about eighty miles south of Washington. We lived sometimes at the ranch and sometimes at Washington until I was about eight years old. This ranch was later purchased by Preston Nutter who did a lot of development work on it.
When I was eight years old, my grandfather induced my father to sell out at Washington and move to Salt Lake and operate a ranch seven miles west of Salt Lake or as we called it, "over Jordan". We operated this ranch for two years then following a lawsuit Father had with a man over some work, he became discouraged and moved us back to Washington.
When he moved from Washington to Salt Lake, Uncle George drove a band of about 30 horses belonging to father to the ranch at "over Jordan". When he moved back to Washington, Uncle Owen Barron with my help drove this same band of horses back, which was quite a job.
On arriving in Washington, father left his family with Grandmother Barron who had bought father's home two years earlier. We moved right in with her, Grandfather Barron having died while we were in Salt Lake. We were really headed for Arizona but Grandmother prevailed on father to leave the family with her.
When we moved from Washington to Salt Lake, there were four children in our family; Frank, myself (John T.), Susie and Dora. Not long after we had moved, a boy was born and he was given the name of Roy. I remember that a woman by the name of Mrs. Farr took care of mother in her confinement.
After we returned to Washington and some time after our burn-out, we moved to another house. Roy was not a very robust boy but at this time he seemed to be in good health. Just before we went to bed one night, Roy was playing marbles with me on the floor before the fireplace. Sometime during the night he took Membranous Croup and the next morning Father told us that he had died during the night. We were badly busted up over this because of it being so sudden and he was more or less the pride of the family because of his age and his frailty which required a little extra attention.
Father took a team and wagon and went on to Arizona alone where he worked in the barley fields, etc. at Phoenix and Mesa. I think he went by way of Lee's Ferry. He used to talk about Mose Emmett, the operator of the ferry, an old acquaintance of his. I can remember when father returned from Arizona. He was driving old Rat and Bill. We had been watching the road for him for 4 or 5 days. Father was a good teamster and we could tell his outfit as far as we could see him. While Father was in Arizona, Grandmother Barron's house burned to the ground on the 24th of July. It burned all of our clothes and everything we had, but people around helped us out and we got along all right. It was sometime after Father heard of the fire that he came home. I was ten years old at the time. Father hadn't found any place in Arizona that he cared to move to at the time. After we had things straightened out and were settled again, Father and Uncle Verge Kelly made another trip to Arizona where they did some freighting that winter. It was at this time that he was probably around Needles and Yuma, as he talked about it a lot afterwards. Also Snowflake. When he came home the first time, he had a load of cured pork which he sold at a good price. Father came back in the spring from the second trip when I was 11 years old. He was still undecided what to do, so he took a job in the cotton mill. While there, he contracted typhoid fever and nearly died. While he was sick, Dr. Ivans of St. George, the father of Antone R. Ivans, walked from St. George to Washington, a distance of four miles to doctor him. He stayed all night and then walked back to St. George. He charged Father $2.50 for all this. He was sick a long time and as the weather got cooler he began to feel better.
While he was laying in bed convalescing, a man by the name of Martin Foy who was a peddler by trade, came from Panguitch with a load of trout caught out of Panguitch Lake. He stayed with us overnight and endeavored to get father to move out to Panguitch where the higher altitude might be better for his health. Not long after this visit, another man by the name of Lacey Laramie, came from Escalante and stayed with us. He was an old acquaintance from our days in Panaca. He painted a nice picture to father of Escalante, of its good climate and fine sheep and cattle possibilities. Father had become converted by now to the idea of moving somewhere, although previous to his sick spell and our burn out, he had full intended to move us to Arizona and quite likely to Mesa which was his preference.
After Lacey Laramie's visit, he decided to take a look at Panguitch and Escalante. Father had a team of yellow mare close at hand and as we were getting them ready for the trip, a Danish neighbor came along and traded father a team of brown geldings for the two mares and colts. (Roscoe was one of the colts). Rat and Bill had been traded off in the meantime to Uncle Jake Barron for the yellow mares whose names were Maude and Peggy. Maude was mine and Peggy was Frank's. Our Uncles, the Barron boys, helped us get everything ready, got the team in shape, loaded the wagon, etc. We didn't forget the old flour box or the charter oak stove.
The morning we were to leave finally came and father had to be helped into the wagon and a special place provided where he could rest. This took place about the first part of May 1887. Our immediate destination was Panguitch where we were to stay temporarily at Aunt Lizzie Proctor's home. I think we camped the first night at Bellevue. To my recollection, we stayed the second night at Cedar City, the third night at Parawan and the fourth night we arrived in Panguitch at Aunt Lizzie's.
After two days at Panguitch, father began feeling better and decided to leave us at Aunt Lizzie's home for a time while he went over to Escalante to look around and get located. Aunt Lizzie wanted to go with father to Escalante and visit, at the family of Thomas Heaps and in fact most everyone in Escalante had lived in Panguitch as her neighbors. Even before any of them had lived in Panguitch, they had all been neighbors in Panaca, Nevada. My grandfather, Alexander Barron, had been the bishop at Panaca and while he went away on a mission for the Church (short term) he had hired Sister Susannah Heaps to care for Grandmother Barron while she was in bed during confinement while he was gone. Among other things, Grandma Heaps was to have all the yarn she could knit out of wool during her spare time.
While in Escalante, Father stayed with Thomas Heaps and rented a house from Lacey Laramie where he could move us to. He was gone about a week, and back for us with a feeling that he had found the promised land. We started for Escalante, camping the first night at Sweet Water on a ranch belonging to Wadkin Reece. (Widstoe) The next morning, we continued our journey over the mountains. It was five miles to the top of the divide. The elevation was 9,080 feet. The road was rough and slow. We continued on down the mountain 20 miles to Escalante arriving at the home of Thomas Heaps in the afternoon. We ate supper at Mother Heaps place. It was late afternoon and she fixed the table under the locust tree in the back yard. I remember hearing a horn play while we were waiting and Mother Heaps said, "There goes Wes to band practice". Wes Young played in the band there. He was an uncle to Arthur Young who married my sister, Dora. While we were eating supper, Alice and Lilly Heaps came home from somewhere. That was the first time I saw her. They went into the house and I remember seeing them peeking from the window and pointing at me. Later, after we grew older, Lilly told me that Alice said when she pointed, She said, "Do you see that little black-eyed boy there? Some day I am going to marry him."
Later in the evening we went up to the house that Father had rented. A man by the name of Jake Butler and his wife had cleaned the house for us and helped us move in. He later brought one of his cows over and loaned it to Father so we could have some milk. At the time, Father was about 35 years old. He was feeling lots better after his sick spell and was anxious to get back to work. He had some horses that he had left in Washington and wanted to trade for cattle, so he and Frank went back to Washington for them. On the road home to Parowan they traded some of the horses for cattle, so when they arrived they had about 20 head of horses and about 15 head of cattle. He got the cattle at Bear Valley Ranch about half way between Parowan and Panguitch. When Father got to Washington, the old Danishman wanted to trade the yellow mares, Maude and Peggy, back for the brown team. Father consented to trade for 20 gallons of wine to boot which he could sell for $2.00 a gallon to pay the expenses of the trip. He also got the two colts, Roscoe and Nig. They arrived at home with the horses and cattle and turned them loose on plenty of feed.
Father immediately secured possession of a lot which was to be the location of our future home. This lot was located in the southwest corner of he block adjoining the one where we were living which was located immediately north or in the northwest corner of the block. This was in the middle of the summer so Father went to the mountains nearby and got logs which were to be used to build the house. He had the logs squared at a nearby saw mill which was owned by Bishop Andrew P/ Skow, Rial Porter and others. He worked hard on the house and with Frank's and my help, he got the house ready so we could move in to it by fall.
Grandfather Lufkin, in Salt Lake, owned quite a lot of stock, horses, and cattle and inasmuch as Escalante was a good stock country, it was decided that they should be moved to the Escalante range. Therefore, in the latter part of September 1887, Father, Frank, and I hooked up the yellow mares to our 3 1/4 Schettler Wagon (Father's favorite) and started for Salt Lake. Our wagon had a good canvas cover on it and we made the trip in about 8 to 10 days. Grandfather had the stock confined in the pasture when we arrived so they would be ready without delay.
Arrangements had been made prior to our trip for me to stay with Grandfather Lufkin in Salt Lake and go to school. I went to school all winter and as I remember, we lived in the 15th Ward, 506 West 2nd South.
Uncle George helped Father and Frank drive the cattle back to Esclante. They arrived there sometime in November. Father turned the stock loose in what we called wide hollow-up-the-creek northwest of town. He had some loss as Grandfather's stock were not used to wintering out. The next spring (1888) Father rented a farm from Rufus Liston, an old acquaintance from Panaca and St. George. Listons furnished Father old lightfoot and Bill to help work the land. He plowed with a hand plow and planted 20 acres of wheat, 10 acres of oats and 10 acres of corn. The rest was in hay. Jake Butler cut part of the grain with a cradle, and the rest was cut with a self rake (a new gadget at that time). Father ran that farm for three years.
He got half of everything. He furnished all the help and they furnished the seed. The set price for wheat was $1.25 cwt., a price established by the Bishop.
I stayed in Salt Lake until about May 1888 and I got a letter stating that Rob Allen was coming to Salt Lake for a load of merchandise for his store in Escalante and father had made arrangements for Mr. Allen to bring me home with him. We arrived in Escalante about my birthday, June 2nd. When I got ready to leave, Grandmother Lufkin bought a new suit for me and one for Frank - also new shoes. This was the first new suit I had ever owned. On the fourth of July, we wore our new suits to the Childrens' Dance. We looked out of place as new suits were not common in Escalante at that time. I remember how glad Alice and I were to see each other. I knew she was still my girl. Frank was quite disgusted because Mother made him wear a bow tie.
We acquired more cattle through the summer, and the following year, 1889, it became necessary for Father to furnish a rider which was the custom of the range setup. Father arranged for Lem Young to be my guardian and advisor and keep me out of trouble. I rode a brown saddle more that belonged to Johnny Moody.
"Roscoe" was fast growing up and about the second year of my riding, I had him ready to go. Old Yaller or "Kenno" which was his name had been folled by one of the yellow mares, Peggy, after we had moved to Escalante from Washington. Eventually, or about the spring of 1891, I broke "Kenno" to ride. These two horses were my mainstays during all the riding I did during my time on the Escalante range.
The range where the cattle were ranged during the summer was known as the Escalante mountain range commencing about where the road goes over the mountain 20 miles west of Escalante and running on around to the north and continuing east as far as Boulder or a distance of about 40 to 60 miles.
In the wintertime the cattle were driven to the desert southeast of Escalante and the main job during the winter was to keep them scattered out and not let them bunch up which they were naturally inclined to do. The desert range extended from "Hole in the Rock" so named by some early day pioneers who had ferried across the Colorado from Utah to Bluff City, Colorado, sent by Brigham Young.
It was while we were living in Escalante that my Mother received an injury from which she never recovered. I remember it well because I saw it happen. She was expecting to be confined within a few months but was still active enough to stand on a chair to reach for something in the cupboard. I recall that the chair turned with her in an off balance position and she landed on the floor quite badly hurt. Up until that time she had been active and as normal as any person. From that day on, her health failed and she was never the same afterwards. Father spent about all he could make and did everything possible but she never regained her health.
What schooling I got was completed in Escalante and later on I herded sheep for various people among which were the Griffins and the Spencers. I never collected the money, Father took care of that, which was the custom at the time. John Spencer was one of my best friends and has always remained so.
I was considered by some of the older folks to be quite a rowdy fellow but never got into any trouble except of a playful nature. I was quite a hand to sing and dance and in the evenings could generally be heard from one end of town to the other, so they said.
Old Yaller or "Kenno" became quite a race horse around Escalante and was never defeated except by a blooded horse brought in from Panguitch. He was in his prime the most beautiful horse I ever saw and no amount of money would buy him. The man who brought in the blooded horse slipped around to me on the side and said, "Kid, you've got a fine horse there but don't bet any money on him. He can't outrun my horse." I didn't have any money but took his word for it anyway and his horse beat Yaller by a length or two. As I remember it, Billy Lay rode Yaller in most of his races because he was light and a splendid rider.
I brought Roscoe and Yaller to Idaho with me and Roscoe died in Menan on a ranch Frank was running and which is owned now by Bill Clark. Roscoe was not as fast as Yaller but was a little better saddle horse. I kept Yaller here until he died at about the age of 27.
I've owned many a horse in my day, but those two were perhaps my favorites. After I was married, I used them to carry mail from Escalante to Panguitch and they saw me through many a hardship. At one time during the winter near Tropic on my way to Panguitch, I came very close to freezing to death. i was completely lost most of the day and was about to give up when I sighted smoke coming up out of some trees ahead. It was four men camped weathering out the storm. They said, "For Heaven's sake, Lad, where have you been?" They gave me something to eat, warmed me up, loaded in the buggy, and took off for Panguitch as soon as the storm subsided a bit. They were afraid I was in a serious condition but I was soon all right and able to return to Escalante with the mail.
Previous History Compiled and Continued by T. Eugene Lufkin, a son
In November 1933, I had the privilege of taking my Father and Mother back to Escalante for a visit. We pretty well retraced the road they followed in moving from Escalante, Utah, to Idaho, thirty-two years earlier. On this trip they recounted the story of their lives, and more particularly, of their early lives in Escalante and of their travels and experiences in the late 1890's which eventually led to their establishing a home in Idaho.
It was in the spring of 1887 when the family of John T. Lufkin arrived in Escalante from their previous home near St. George. After living in a rented house for a few months, they bought a vacant lot, Lot 3, Block 27, according to the town plat of Escalante. Each lot consisted of 1 1/4 acres with four lots to the block. Lot 3 is in the Southwest corner of the block facing South and West. John T. Lufkin, with the help of his son, Frank, and my Father, George, managed to get out logs from the nearby mountains. By the time Fall arrived, they had a house built near the Southwest corner of the lot.
Eventually, a lean-to addition was built on the east side of the house for a kitchen and extra bedroom. Barns and corrals were built, and finally, a yellow brick, two compartment granary was built. Frank and George used one part for a bedroom during the remaining years of their lives at home. (When we went back to the old home in 1933, my father, George T., noted that everything was almost identical as he had last seen it about 1901, and he recounted many events of their youthful days.)
In the preceding chapters, my father has given a personal account of a part of his life which I'll endeavor not to retell, but only to fill-in and to extend the story from where he left off.
He told of carrying the mail and of his having fallen in love with Alice Heaps, who later became his wife and my mother. The road he traveled was West from Escalante about six miles, thence southwest through the upper valley, Henriville, Cannonville, and Tropic, and on to Panguitch. Thomas Heaps, the father of Alice Ann, operated a dairy ranch in the upper valley through which the mail route meandered. As soon as school was out in the Spring, he would take two or three of his girls to the ranch, and they would stay there the entire summer herding and caring for the dairy stock and making cheese which would be delivered by wagon over the mountain to Marysvale, a distance of about 100 miles, which was the nearest railroad connection. My father and mother laughed and told about the excuses they used to get to see each other as he made his trips past the ranch.
Most of the area north and east of Escalante, up Pine Creek, east to Boulder, and the Henry Mountain, south to the Colorado River and southwest along the Utah-Arizona border for several miles was used, mostly, for cattle range. However, there was an area west and north that was used for sheep range along with some of the Boulder area in the earlier history of Escalante.
There were several prominent sheep raisers: the Griffins, the Barneys, the Roundys, the Shurtz, and the Joe Spencer family to some extent. My father, George T, told of herding sheep of various times and of being out for weeks at a time, mostly on the mountain range about 30 miles northwest of Escalante.
Grandfather Thomas Heaps was a cattle man and as the ranges were getting overstocked and fed out, he decided to find a summer range in another area, which turned out to be an open range country in Idaho which extended from Rexburg, Idaho, into the Teton Basin County to where Victor and Driggs, Idaho, are now located. The distance was approximately 600 miles from Escalante and required about thirty days to make the trip. On one of these trips, he asked George T. to go along and help drive the stock. He also took Alice along to do the cooking and drive the wagon. He acted as chaperon and extra rider as required. Upon arriving at Rexburg, he turned the cattle loose in good feed on the rolling hills southeast of what was then a small town. He rented a small house in Rexburg, and from this point he could ride out occasionally and check on the herd. This was during the spring and summer of 1896.
George T. was about 20 years old and anxious for a job, which turned out to be hauling grain with Thomas Heaps' team and wagon from Rexburg to the Oregon Shortline Railroad at Market Lake (Roberts). The dirt road at that time went west and south to a bridge that had been built across the north fork of the Snake River, on west past the "Big Buttes", through the sage brush and lava beds on the north side of the river. The distance each way was about twenty-five miles.
It was a romantic summer for them and on September 20, 1896, with Grandpa Thomas Heaps present, George T. and Alice Ann were married by a Probate Judge in Rexburg, Idaho. Shortly after the marriage, Grandpa Heaps left for home alone and was to meet a large number of his family in Manti, Utah, to do Temple work. The young couple soon followed in the wagon. They enjoyed their honeymoon ride to Logan, Utah, where they spent a few days with George T.'s grandparents, George Washington Lufkin and Martha Ann Townsend; while there, they went to the Logan Temple for their endowments and sealing. In telling of this, Alice Ann always mentioned about Martha Ann insisting on her wearing her temple clothes and how snowy white and beautiful they were. She was also very impressed with the hospitality shown them.
These were the same grandparents with whom George T had stayed in Salt Lake during the winter and spring of 1887 and 1888. They moved to Logan a few years earlier, and naturally were very glad to see him. After a short stay, they continued on their way and arrived in Manti in time to participate in the Temple work which occurred about the middle of October 1896.
They joined with the large family group in making the trip on home to Escalante. It is my understanding that Thomas and Susannah Heaps worked in the Temple for about a week doing sealings, etc. for themselves and their relatives whom they had left in England approximately thirty years before. I have often heard my parents talk about what a grand time they had making that trip back home with their covered wagons strung out in a caravan fashion. The trip required about a week.
Upon returning to Escalante, they rented a small house from Bill Hall. It was located one block south of Main Street, and had been built on a lot (Lot 1, Block 32) which had been improved and sold to Mr. Hall by Thomas Heaps a few years earlier. It is now (1965) owned by Beryl Shurtz.
It was in this small frame house where my sister, Verna Mae, was born on July 26, 1897. They lived here for about a year during which time they purchased a small brick house located on Lot 4, Block 41. This property was one block east and two blocks south of Grandpa John T's house. John Spencer's home was on Lot 2 in the Northwest corner of the same block. Orin Barker, my cousin, eventually bought and lived on Lot 1 in the Northeast corner of the block.
I make note of this for the reason that John Spencer and Orin Barker were probably two of my father's favorite friends, and remained so as long as he lived.
John Spencer's father, Joseph H. Spencer. was Grandfather Thomas Heaps' step-brother, his father having married his mother, Mary Cragg, after she became a widow when Thomas was a small boy in England. Joe Spencer's mother had died leaving a small family without a mother. Their affections for each other were real, and after Thomas had come to America, Joe Spencer followed, and when a small group of men were appointed at Panguitch to go investigate the Escalante country and to determine if it would be possible to take wagons into the area, these two men were in the group The country was rough and nearly impassable, even with saddle horses.
This was in 1875, and after considerable searching, they determined that a road could be made over the Escalante Mountains. This was accomplished during the spring of 1876, and Escalante was to become a historic haven and home for people from many lands.
My Mother, Alice Ann, was to be the first white girl born there (November 20, 1876). Grandfather Thomas Heaps had bought what became Lot 1, Block 14, when the town was platted for record.
Joe Spencer bought the lot to the south, Lot 4, Block 14. It was here where he and his wife, Jane Ellen, or "Aunt Jane" as she was known, raised a large family. She died in 1916 and he continued on living here until his own death in 1924.
A daughter, Martha S. Bushman, finally fell heir to the property and today, 1965, it belongs to Lorenzo and Ruth Bushman. It was past this property starting at a point about two blocks west, where the horse races mentioned earlier were held.
Uncle Willard Heaps' large brick home was in the adjoining lot to the west, Lot 3, Block 14.
During the next few years, my father, George T., settled down to the job of making a home and living for his coming family. He herded sheep, worked on schoolhouse construction, carried the mail, and rode after stock for Grandfather John T. Lufkin and others. He was a very good rider and horseman and spent all the time he could riding the Escalante range from Halls Canyon west to the Paria River, and from Barker Reservoir at the head of North Creek to the famous Hole-In-The-Rock on the north bank of the Colorado River. Some of the very familiar places about which he talked were: Alvey Wash, Barney Top, Boulder Creek, Burr Top Trail, and Calf Creek; also Coyote Gulch, Dance Hall Rock, Death Hollow, Fifty Mile Mountain, Fifty Mile Spring, and Hall Creek. Others were: Hall's Backbone, Reese Canyon, Hogsback, Rogers Canyon, Soda Springs, Wild Cat Hollow, Harris Wash, and Griffin Top, among many others.
There was no T.V., or radio at the time; consequently, spare time, especially in the winter, was one of the problems. One of the favorite pastimes in the daytime was sitting around in front of the town stores, which included the Wilcock store, the old Co-Op store, and the "Peoples Exchange" one block to the north.
George T. was in a group of the town "whittlers" one day when a visitor came by. The visitor looked disgusted and asked, "Is this all you fellows have to do?" No one answered for a minute. Then Hyme Bailey looked up and said, "We don't even have to do this, if we don't want to".
George T. was a great storyteller, and when I was a boy, I could sit for hours and listen to him tell of his experiences on the range, of what a chilling experience it was to ride across Hell's Backbone, a very dangerous place on the south Boulder Mountain; also of having their pack horse slip off the trail and roll end-over-end down a steep slope with a full pack of needed provisions. He told of how one day, as he was walking up a long steep trail, he would see how far he could go without raising his head. He had traveled quite some distance when the urge to look up could no longer be controlled, and as he raised his eyes to see, there was an Indian standing in the trail a short distance away just watching his approach.
One of their favorite pastimes was gathering pinion, or pine nuts, in the fall of the year, and occasionally, they would receive a bag of pine nuts from some of their folks after they had moved to Idaho. This generally meant a few tears for my Mother, Alice Ann.
George T. and Alice Ann were always quite civic and church minded; consequently, with Andrew P. Schaw as their Bishop and Joseph H. Spencer as the Sunday School Superintendent, they participated in all community and ward activities. They both liked to sing and actively participated in choir singing in Escalante under the direction of William Butler and later, William Alvey. Their choir, at times, numbered from sixty to seventy voices.
My parents loved Escalante. Their relatives and friends were mostly there, but they could see the day coming when, because of depleted ranges and the fact that although Escalante was a picturesque place in a little pocket or valley, it was surrounded by dry and parched mountain ranges and adjoined by an almost worthless desert to the south, and that in order to provide their family with better opportunities, they must go.
To my memory, they seemed never to have been attracted to any place other than Idaho, and more particularly the area between Idaho Falls and Rexburg. Therefore, in the spring of 1902, they disposed of their little home in Escalante (which at this time, 1965, is owned by Lorell Munson) and made preparations to take off for the area where they had so enjoyed themselves in 1896, and which they had never forgotten. My mother used to tell about how terribly sad they were as time came to leave. Travel in those days was extremely slow and they must have had a feeling that many years would pass before they could return. My mother did finally manage to return in the fall of 1909, and my Father, not until November 1933, when I managed to get them to go with me and my wife and children, Alba and Cordell, in our little red Model T. Ford with the Ruxtell gear, which I deemed necessary in order to get over the legendary Escalante Mountain, which was very similar to the road over the Jackson Pass into Wyoming.
After many sad adieus and a display pf much sadness, they took off to the West in their covered wagon. Their destination for the end of the day would be the famous old campground at the east base of Escalante Mountain near a beautiful stream - Birch Creek - and surrounded by massive pine trees which had no doubt heard the footsteps of hundreds of Indians and wild animals, and more recently those of the white man.
(I remember this campground well from the time, when as a boy of six in October of 1909, my Mother took three of her children: myself, my sister, Grace, and Maxine, who was just a baby, and made a trip back to Escalante. We were met at Marysvale, the end of the railroad, by Uncle George Campbell, who took us over the mountain and camped us at this same campground. It was also at this same place where we killed and ate the little blue hen that had climbed into the wagon the morning we left to go back home in an early April day in 1910. Grace and I quarreled about the little brown egg the hen had laid, and I think our Mother divided it up between us).
After what undoubtedly would be a restless night, they arrived at the top of the mountain (elevation of approximately 9,200 feet). I often think about the fact that on this trip she had in her care her three older children, Verna, Roy, and Lavar, and as related above, she later took three different ones. I imagine I can see and hear them as they stood at this dividing line looking back toward Escalante, twenty miles to the southeast, waving their hands and saying, "Thanks, Escalante! Thanks for the the memories!"
It now seems fitting to say that the top of the Escalante Mountain would, in a way, be the dividing line between the memorable past and the unknown future for them; and I believe their feelings at that time could be well expressed in the words of Vicent Benet:
"The cowards never started and the
weak died on the road,
And all across the Continent the endless
We'd taken land and settled - but
a traveler passed by -
And we're going North tomorrow -
Lordy, never ask us why!"
In telling the story of their lives, we are not presuming or attempting to say that their hardships were any harder or different than those of thousands of other people, and especially in the settling of this Western Land.
It is my understanding that their worldly possessions consisted of about the following items: a team of horses and a wagon with a canvas cover; two saddle horses, Roscoe and Yaller; a few campfire and cooking utensils; some tools; a shovel and ax; and old "Fannie", the female dog which they had acquired in Escalante. They must have had a cow or two, but I'm not sure.
They proceeded down the west side of the mountain to Sweetwater (Widstoe), a distance of about five or six miles, and probably camped for the night at Antimony several miles further on. Antimony was a popular stop-over for freighters and others on the way to and from Marysvale and Escalante.
Most of the details of the trip have been lost with the passing of time, but they often mentioned the monotony of the day-after-day travel over the rocky and dusty roads. She would quite often drive the team and he would scout around astride one of the two saddle horses. My Father was a very friendly man and a gifted conversationalist; whereas, my Mother, although very friendly, was more serious, and I imagine that many times she had camp made and supper ready when he came in late after a friendly political discussion with some chance acquaintance along the way. They would cross the Sevier River near the little settlement of Junction, and it would be their campground companion while they would travel to and from the following places: Marysvale, Big Rock Candy Mountain, Sevier, Joseph, Elsinore, Richfield, Sigurd, Salina, and Gunnison where they would turn right towards Manti.
(I would like to mention that at this very time the McMurtrey family was living in the little town of Joseph, or "Joe Town" as Dad and Jim McMurtrey used to talk about it many years later.)
One of the Barron boys was living at Sigurd. They stopped at his place for a day or two and rested up before continuing their journey. (When we made the trip to Escalante in 1933, we stopped and visited with them, and I believe his name was Mose Barron.)
In about another ten days, they reached the home of George Washington Lufkin in Logan, Utah, where they again rested and had a good old-fashioned visit. In about another week, they crossed the Utah line into Idaho which was to be their adopted state and which, I believe, was to them the greatest of all the states.
"Uncle Jake Barron", as he has always been known, my Fathers uncle and a brother to Mose Barron, had homesteaded a farm which was located about half way between Inkom and Pocatello in Idaho. This farm straddled the Portneuf River and his house and barns had an ideal setting on the west bank of the river. Uncle Jake, along with Uncle Mose and others, had helped get my Grandfather John T. Lufkin's team ready when the latter moved from their home in Washington, Utah, as related earlier. He and Aunt Nish had been quite successful and truly welcomed my parents to their home. (We stayed overnight at their home on our trip to Escalante in 1933, and it was really an experience to hear them retell of their lives together so many years before. They tarried for a few days, then continued on down the Portneuf Canyon to Pocatello and on north to the Fort Hall Indian Reservation. They used to talk about how deep and difficult the sand was across this are, and they remembered that the wagon road they traveled was somewhat east of the present highway (1965) and stayed more to the edge of the foothills on its course to the town of Blackfoot, Idaho.)
A few years earlier, my Father's Uncle, George E. Lufkin, whose name has been referred to many times in the early part of this biography, had moved to the small town of Shelley where he had acquired a farm and was managing to do quite well financially. He had a family by this time; about three girls and two boys, John and Allan. The boys were too young for heavy farm work; therefore, Uncle George induced my Father to be his hired man for that summer of 1902. My Father welcomed this opportunity, for he and my Mother were proud and independent people and were determined to make their own way so far as making a living was concerned. Uncle George provided them with a place to live and with pasture for their animals and helped them in many other ways.
My Father has often talked about how different it was working in the hay and potato fields and helping to harvest the grain in the Fall, especially hauling grain and feeding it into a horse-powered threshing machine in the Fall of that year. He had done some of this work in Escalante, but on a much smaller scale. Anyway, it was a lot more fun to ride the Escalante range.
Jobs were hard to find in this area, especially after the fall harvest was completed; but during the summer and especially during the fall harvest, he had become acquainted with a good many people among whom were the Priest boys at Taylorsville, a small farming community east of Shelley.
He recognized them as being his kind of people, and they recognized him as a young man with a family who needed a job and was willing to work and earn his pay. In the wintertime they operated a hay baling business and would go from farm to farm in the area as requested by the hay growers and bale the hay at a contract price. They offered him a job for the winter with the understanding that they would use him whenever possible. The area as a farming community was relatively new, having been broken out of sage brush possibly thirty years earlier. It had for many years been a part of the Taylor Mountain cattle domain of one John Taylor who built the first toll bridge across the Snake River at "Eagle Rock" or Idaho Falls, as it is now known.
As the early settlers will verify, the winters at that time were usually very bad with deep snow and low temperatures the rule. The roads were poor and travel was by horse drawn bobsled. My parents moved to Taylorsville and lived that winter in a rented house a little south and west of the present Taylorsville Community Center. They liked Taylorsville; the people were very friendly and helpful, and had it not been for one sorrowing experience, it would have been a good winter. On December 6, 1902, a son was born to them. He was a welcome addition to their family and seemed to be a new ray of sunshine for them. Eventually, they had him blessed and given the name of John Henry. About the middle of January he became ill with pneumonia, and in spite of all they could do, he died on January 28, 1903. They buried him in the Taylorsville Cemetery. The cemetery was, at that early date, a squirrel infested spot which had been cut out of sage brush at the base of the Taylorsville Mountain at the southeastern edge of the Community Center. It has since become a well-organized, well kept, modern cemetery.
My Father was still looking to the North and during the winter had done a little scouting and inquiring about a permanent place to settle. Consequently, when spring came, they loaded into the wagon and headed North. They have often talked about camping overnight on a hillside a short distance east of the W.H. Price farm, which is due north of Iona. They proceeded north from this point, but somewhere along the line they turned west and then north again, for they used to tell about camping overnight in the far yard of Abe Gneiting in the community of Grant, which is located north of Idaho Falls in Jefferson County.
They continued on north to Menan, Idaho, where they rented a small farm from a man by the name of Rube Scott. This farm was located slightly over a mile east of the village of Menan. It had a good brick house on it into which they moved. My Father operated this farm and worked for other farmers whenever work was available. He often mentioned the names of Milburn Poole, Ed Carr, Will Merrill, Eph. Lawson, and many others.
Sometime during the fall of 1903, my Grandfather, John T. Lufkin, had sold out in Escalante, Utah. He had loaded his stock and other belongings into railroad cars at Manti, Utah. They eventually unloaded at Roberts, Idaho, and moved temporarily into a part of the Rube Scott house where my parents were living.
I was born in the early morning of December 3, 1903, and my Father used to tell about how he and Grandfather Lufkin had gone that day in a white-topped buggy with John and Ike Fisher to Idaho Falls where they closed out the purchase of a farm (the old Bacon farm) from the Fisher brothers. This farm was located in Annis, Idaho, about three miles to the east. My Father was to get the south forty acres, and Grandfather was to have the north forty acres where there was a log house already built. At the time of purchase, they agreed between them that if either ever sold he would give the other one the first chance to buy him out. My Grandfather moved immediately into this log house.
According to my memory, my Father continued to operate the Rube Scott farm during the summer of 1904. His brother, Frank, arrived on the scene about this time and moved his family into the part of the Scott house vacated by Grandfather Lufkin. Uncle Frank rented a farm on the north side of Menan (where Bill Clark now lives), and in the spring of 1904, he moved his family into a house on this farm. He operated this farm for several years and moved from that farm to the farm he later bought from Will Merrill, located near the Annis school house.
My Father had brought Roscoe and Yaller from Utah with him. As related earlier, Roscoe belonged to Uncle Frank; consequently, when he took over this farm in 1904, he took Roscoe with him. (It is here where Roscoe fell dead of a heart attack while being ridden.)
In the Fall of 1904, my Father moved his family to Annis. There was not a house on his part of the farm, so he rented a house known as the "Gerard House". It was a log and frame structure about where Grant Bybee now lives. They were slowly closing in on what was eventually to be their permanent home for life.
As soon as they were settled in the Gerard house, my Father heard of a freighting job in the Twin Falls area nearly two hundred miles to the southwest. Therefore, in early December he hitched his team, "Dick and Beck", to his covered wagon and took off for that area. He spent the winter of 1904 and 1905 hauling freight from Shoshone, Idaho, (which was on the new Shoshone - Hailey Railroad line) to the new community of Twin Falls which had a short time previously been opened up for development.
When he returned home in the Spring of 1905, he brought back a good share of the money that he had made during the long cold winter. Although the Gerard house was poorly built, and one could hear the winter wind whistle around the windows and doors, my Mother managed to gather wood and keep her little family warm and comfortable. It was my sister, Verna's second year in school, and although the school house was a long mile and one-half from home and school buses were unheard of at that time, she got along just fine.
A special thanks would have to go to the Pierce family along with Rachael Maynard, Annie Clifford, Bess Dinsdale, also, Bill and Gertrude Bruce for their help; their homes were one to two miles farther from school than ours. (I would like to mention that the now famous author, Vardis Fisher, along with his brother, Vivian, were at that time attending the Annis school (District #49) and continued to go there for several years afterwards.)
My brother, Roy, had reached the hard-to-control age, was crazy about horses, and although he was small, he could still manage to get on old Yaller's back and be on his way. I might mention that he was tongue-tied until he was about four years of age, consequently, because of his garbled lingo, he was given the name of "Dutch", which stuck with him all through his school years. Even to this day I have people ask, "What ever happened to your brother. "Dutch"? One of my parents favorite stories about him was when he came in one day and said, "Old Fannie hatched some little pups under the back porch."
The Gerard house was only about one-fourth mile from my Father's newly acquired farm which he operated that year for the first time. Their world was improving with time until a late June day of that year. My parents had to go to a funeral somewhere in the Shelley area. They left the children, Verna, Roy, and Lavar, in the care of my father's sister, Lillie, and although she was a good and competent girl, my brother, Lavar, got away. He hadn't been gone long, but when they found him, he was face down in an irrigation ditch that ran in front of the house. This occurred on June 26, 1905. He was buried in the Annis-Cedar Butte Cemetery.
As time permitted during the summer, my Father made a couple of trips to a saw mill in Blacks Canyon, which was operated by Eli Campbell and Joe Fisher, where he got out logs and weanie edge slabs with which to build a house and some granaries on his farm. As I remember the story, Roy went with him on these trips.
In the late summer, he moved his family into a large tent close by a tree-lined slough near where the house was to be. He did this in order to be close to the job. He got a man to help him lay the logs, and within a short time they had the house built. After my Mother got the walls and ceiling lined with factory cloth and lime, they moved in. They were home! Had it not been for the drowning incident, it would have been a dream come true.
They continued with their building job, and in a short time, had a double-binned slab granary built where he could store the newly threshed wheat an oats as it came from the threshing machine. It was about this time that Grandfather Heaps came to visit with them. He had liked the state of Idaho from his very first visit and had been particularly impressed by the Upper Snake River Valley. He stated that, If it were possible, he would sell out in Utah and move to Idaho but that at his age he thought it would be unwise to do so. After returning to his home in Escalante, he became ill and died on December 4, 1905.
An open well about twenty-five feet deep was dug on the edge of a slope near the house and was cased with one inch rough lumber as was the custom. An overhead frame was built and a pulley hung from the center which would handle a one-half inch well rope with a bucket at the end. I can still hear that old squeaking pulley.
My Father made a stock-watering trough by chopping out the center of a cottonwood log which was too heavy for the stock to move around.
We accumulated livestock quite rapidly, such as the following: horses, milk cows, pigs, chickens, and cats, along with the two dogs, "Bounce and Buster".
There was some brush on the place which had to be grubbed off. New ditches had to be made and considerable leveling had to be done in order to better irrigate the crops that were to be raised.
About the following year of 1906, a sugar factory was built at Sugar City about 20 miles to the northeast. My Grandfather made preparations to be there and on the job for the first sugar processing campaign in the fall of 1906. He was there successively for every sugar run for the next 30 years, or until after the fall and winter of 1936-1937.
My Father and Uncle Frank also worked at the factory at times during the early history of the plant. They liked working there, partly because they liked the hustle and bustle of the place, but more for the fact that it helped to supplement their yearly income and enabled them to get ahead a little faster.
Most of the years, my Father operated Grandfather Lufkin's farm along with his own, and in this way he was better able to utilize the labor of his growing family. My Mother was full of ambition, so while he was working and supervising the planting and harvesting of the farm crops, she was planting and caring for a large garden; setting hens and raising chickens; milking cows and feeding calves; doing the washing on an old style scrub board; drawing water for the stock, gathering wood from the slough banks; doing the cooking for a progressively growing family and a hundred and one other chores, along with working in the Relief Society, acting as mid-wife or aiding with the sick wherever she was needed. A man would have to be a born failure to fail with that kind of help. Our old house was crude and small by today's standards, but it was always clean and although we all had to work - what we thought was hard - yet to my own memory, we had a good comfortable place to sleep and plenty of good, well prepared food to eat. My Mother was a very good cook who could cook the bark from an aspen tree and make it taste like chocolate cake. My Father worked us aplenty and was not too concerned about our bare feet and the holes in our britches. Nevertheless, he wanted us to remain at the table until we were satisfied.
The roads in Annis at that time were generally enclosed by farm fences, but were upgraded and ungraveled, consequently, during ad after every storm, and especially after the snow had melted in the spring, they had to be dragged and smoothed with a road drag which generally required about four good horses to do the job. Also, some bridge and culvert work had to be done.
For several years my Father did some of this work. I also remember hauling hay for a man by the name of Goodrich and also for our old neighbor, Dave Parks. I always wanted to be with him and I remember how scary it was crossing the Annis slough in Uncle Dave's field. The water was about two to three feet deep and generally the banks were so rough getting in and out that it would about tip the load over. I always had full confidence in my Father and fully believed there was not anything that he couldn't do.
My sister, Grace, was born on April 16th, 1906, and I seem to recall that I had to move over and make room for her, not only in my parents affections but at the table and in the bed where I slept as a child. Grace didn't like to wash dishes and do housework but she was a great help in other ways and more than made her way thinning and hoeing sugar beets, potatoes, etc.
Our sister, Maxine, was born on January 27, 1909, and soon won the affection of the rest of the family. She was not perfectly healthy at first and required a little special attention, and although she worked in the fields to some extent, she was a good housekeeper, paid good attention to what she was asked to do, consequently, she spent more time in the house.
When October of 1909 arrived, my Mother was anxious to go back to the old home in Escalante for a visit. Arrangements were made and she was to take me and my sisters, Grace and Maxine, with her. According to their story, my Father took us to the depot at Rigby to meet the train and they used to tell about how it snowed and how muddy the roads were. It was a distance of about four and one-half miles. We weren't supposed to be gone more than a month or six weeks but shortly before we got ready to return, a heavy winter set in and travel over the Escalante Mountains was brought to a standstill, so it was decided that we should wait until travel would be safe. As it turned out, this was the following April of 1910.
My Father, with Verna and Roy, must have had quite a winter. Verna and Roy were going to school and I imagine my Father must have again joined the "Whittlers" at the old brick community store in Annis. He was a great storyteller and could hold his own in any group of "Whittlers".
Oscar A. Kirkham, who later became a world famous scouter, was at that time a sort of semi-professional choir leader and trainer of voices for the L.D.S. Church. During the winter and spring of 1910, he arranged to meet at the Lorenzo Ward meeting house one night a week and give special instruction to the choir leaders and choirs, along with some private voice instruction. My Father would hitch his team to a pair of bobsleds - which carried an old type wagon box - and gather together the members of the Annis choir and take them to this singing practice. An old English-trained choir leader by the name of Ed Lewis was their leader. George and Alice Lufkin were part of the choir.
About this time, my Father became a School Trustee and was elected to be the Constable of Annis. He took quite an active part in church activities, was active in a community drama group, was edging his way into politics via the Precinct Committeeman route and a little later was a counselor, along with William Poole, in the Ward Bishopric, with George A. Browning as Bishop.
I would like to digress long enough to say that my family on both sides had always been Democrats - he as well - until he came to Idaho. When he came to Menan - as has been told - he had become acquainted with John W. Hart, who was Bishop of Menan, active in the operation of the Woods Livestock, Sheep and Cattle Company, and more or less the leader of the of the Republican party in the area - which was at that time still a part of old Fremont County. Anyway, John W. Hart converted my Father over to the Republican side and there the ground work was laid for some of the most heated political debates that I have ever heard.
Grandfather John T. Lufkin, along with Uncle Frank and Uncle Quill, were dyed-in-the-wool Democrats, and the one thing I remember best was my Grandfathers old-fashioned way of saying "says I" as he talked; and when he would get a little exasperated, he would get it shortened to just "si", and he would finally say "si", George, you know very well that Senator Borah was the poorest senator ever elected to the U.S. Senate.
My Father could never agree with the principle of free trade which he claimed favored the American monopolists who purchased land abroad and shipped their produce, sheep, etc., back into our ports duty free. And thus the battle raged and never changed until death. To him, Senator Borah was one of the greatest.
My sister, Norma, was born on March 15, 1911, and in keeping with the pattern already established, was in a few short years able to join the little band of weed choppers. She, too, would rather work in the fields than to do housework.
Shortly after Norma was born, my Father acquired a part of the old Annis school house which had to be moved to make way for a new brick building. Several teams of horses were required to pull the heavy frame building the mile and one-quarter distance. It was placed in the southwest corner of our farm and after a little remodeling, we moved in. Several Carolina poplar trees were planted along the south and west line and by carrying water to the new trees with a bucket, we managed to keep them all alive.
My Father was a great lover of horses, so I must keep that part of the story up to date. A few years previous to this time, my Father had traded for a grey filly from a man by the name of Clifford, who was the current mail carrier. The young filly was given the name of "Gyp". She finally got to weighing about eleven hundred pounds, and had all the qualities of a fine animal and, in spite of what my Father has said about Roscoe and Yaller, I know he liked "Gyp" just as well. She foaled two fine colts, "Mark and Bell", which I would have to say, became finally his favorite team. They were also grey and got to weighing about fifteen hundred pounds each.
About this time, he purchased a small brown mare from our neighbor, Jim Scott. He paid Mr. Scott one hundred and twenty-five dollars, which at that time, was a lot of money. She had already foaled two fine colts, "Deck and Dime" and was to go on and foal three more geldings, "Tobe, Toff, and Jack". All five geldings were sired by the same stallion. The two mares, Gyp and Bess, under my Fathers handling became well trained, were evenly matched except for color (
Bess was dark brown), and would always give their very best under all circumstances.
I would like to digress long enough to say that my family on both sides had always been Democrats - he as well - until he came to Idaho. When he came to Menan - as has been told - he had become acquainted with John W. Hart, who was Bishop of Menan, active in the operation of the Woods Livestock, Sheep and Cattle Company, and more or less the leader of the Republican party in the area - which was at that time still a part of old Fremont County. Anyway, John W. Hart converted my Father over to the Republican side and there the ground work was laid for some of the most heated political debates that I have ever heard.
Grandfather John T. Lufkin, along with Uncle Frank and Uncle Quill, were dyed-in-the-wool Democrats, and the one thing I remember best was my Grandfathers old-fashioned way of saying, "says I" as he talked; and when he would get a little exasperated, he would get it shortened to just "si", and he would finally say "si", George, you know very well that Senator Borah was the poorest senator ever elected to the U.S. Senate.
My Father could never agree with the principle of free trade which he claimed favored the American monopolists who purchased land abroad and shipped their produce, sheep, etc., back into our ports duty free. And thus the battle raged and never changed until death. To him, Senator Borah was one of the greatest.
My sister, Norma, was born on March 15, 1911, and in keeping with the pattern already established, was in a few short years able to join the little band of weed choppers. She, too, would rather work in the fields then to do housework.
Shortly after Norma was born, my Father acquired a part of the old Annis school house which had to be moved to make way for a new brick building. Several teams of horses were required to pull the heavy frame building the mile and one-quarter distance. It was placed in the southwest corner of our farm and after a little remodeling, we moved in. Several Carolina poplar trees were planted along the south and west line and by carrying water to the new trees with a bucket, we managed to keep them all alive.
My Father was a great lover of horses, so I must keep that part of the story up to date. A few year previous to this time, my Father had traded for a grey filly from a man by the name of Clifford, who was the current mail carrier. The young filly was given the name of "Gyp". She finally got to weighing about eleven hundred pounds, and had all the qualities of a fine animal and, in spite of what my Father has said about Roscoe and Yaller, I know he liked "Gyp" just as well. She foaled two fine colts, "Mark and Bell", which I would have to say, became finally his favorite team. They were also grey and got to weighing about fifteen hundred pounds each.
About this time, he purchased a small brown mare from our neighbor, Jim Scott. He paid Mr. Scott one hundred and twenty-five dollars, which at that time, was a lot of money. She had already foaled two fine colts, "Deck and Dime" and was to go on and foal three more geldings, "Tobe, Toff and Jack". All five geldings were sired by the same stallion. The two mares, Gyp and Bess, under my Father's handling became well, trained, were evenly matched except for color (Bess was dark brown), and would always give their very best under all circumstances.
On May 7, 1913, my brother, Ryland, was born, the first in the new house. I remember my Father talking to me the morning after and I got the idea that he feared for my Mothers life. In spite of any trouble, she soon recovered and was back taking care of her family.
A couple of years earlier, a man had come into the community with a band of Indian ponies which he had gathered from the wild area known as "Medicine Lodge" about sixty miles to the northwest. In the band was an ugly-looking sorrel mustang which my Father purchased for about twenty dollars. We named the new pony "Flax". It was generally understood that Flax belonged to Roy. I didn't seem to mind because Roy was with "Flax" like he was with everything else, never stingy, and the horse was mine to use whenever he was available.
There was a sad incident occurred as a result of Flax slipping as Roy made a fast turn while riding him in the yard. He fell hard on Roy's left leg, breaking the leg squarely near the middle of the shin bone. This incident happened about the latter part of April of 1914. Within a short period of time he had the little horse trained to put his head down while Roy put his heavy-casted leg over the horse's neck, the head would then come up, and Roy was on.
Several years earlier, an area south and east of Ririe had been opened up for homesteading and many of the farmers had taken up dry farms in that area. Among these were Bishop George A. Browning and the Fisher boys, Burt and Hype, along with E. M. Carr, Holman Clifford, Joe Scott, Erastus Walker, Lew Anderson, and many others.
My Father had a desire to own a small dry farm which he could operated along with his irrigated farm in Annis, and as a result, in the fall of 1915, he purchased one hundred and sixty acres from H.J. "Hype" Fisher. This farm was located up on the bench from the Snake River and directly across from the mouths of the Burns and Blacks Canyon. In the Spring of 1916, after the valley crops were planted, my Father took his equipment to this farm and planted most of it to wheat, barley, and oats. The road to the River was shorter but it was too steep for heavy loads; consequently, water for the animals as well as house use had to be hauled a distance of about four miles from Antelope Creek. It was hauled in an eight hundred gallon water tank and the supply had to be replenished about three times a week.
It took only about three weeks to do the planting that first year, but it was a thrilling experience. It gave us a feeling of being out on the great frontier, the land of he coyote, badgers, squirrels, and even wolves. We could not see the River from where our house was located, but we could hear the roar of its water as it moved down the deep canyon. Occasionally, we would go fishing down in what we called "First Bottom" and "Second Bottom" and also down on "John Nebel Flat".
The next year of 1917, part of us spent the entire summer at this ranch. To me, it was the most fascinating year of my growing-up time and I believe Grace, Maxine, and Norma will say the same. They say that bears live mostly on berries. Well, they didn't have anything on us that summer. It seemed that during the late summer and fall, we practically lived on chokecherries and service berries. It didn't have to be that way, we just seemed to like it that way.
We continued to operate this farm on a hit-and-miss basis until about 1925; but the year of 1917 was our only year of really living there. During the year of 1926, it was rented to “Doc” Fisher, an Uncle to Vardis Fisher. Through the years, my Father was quite active in his political party and during the summer of 1920, he was persuaded to run for office of Sheriff. It didn’t require too much persuasion, and when the election was over, he had won the job. He was a large man, was built straight up and down, and for years had worn a black, handlebar mustache. He really looked the part of an early day Western lawman.
From his boyhood days in Utah, he had specialized in shooting a six shooter. Although, I don’t recall ever seeing him fire a rifle or a shotgun, I firmly believe he was one of the most accurate shooters of small fire arms that I have ever seen, at least in the amateur class. He could hit a squirrel at thirty to forty yards nine times out of ten.
My brother, Roy, and I continued to operate the farms according to our Father’s instructions, with Roy being sort of a general foreman. My Father remained in town, having his sleeping quarters at the sheriff’s office and eating most of his meals at the up-town cafes.
My Mother moved into town for a short period of time, but soon decided that that was not the life for her. She would much rather be back at the ranch where she could see to it that old Boss and Reddy and Blackie and what-ever-their-names-were, got the proper care.
On July 7, 1915, their last son, Ellwood, had been born, and by now, he and Ryland were growing up and reaching a size where they could lend their bit toward the operation of the enterprise.
About this time, or in the summer of 1923, the old Bartlet farm, a one-hundred and sixty acre farm, came up for sale and with the assistance of his old friend, John W. Hart, who was president of the Rigby Bank, my Father was able to buy this farm. He got it for what we considered a bargain price, partly because of his friendship with the right people, and also because of the fine reputation he had built up through the years.
My Father was constantly on the lookout for good young livestock and used all the money he could spare to build up a nice young herd of range cattle. He was trying to help his brother, Quill, get a start. (Quill had more or less made our home his home for several years.) He gave Quill the job of riding the range, of accumulating some stock of his won and being a partner in the cattle operation.
As mentioned earlier, the McMurtrey family had mostly moved to the Antelope dry farm country and Jim McMurtrey had a dry farm close to ours. My Father had always liked Jim, who was also accumulating a herd of range cattle. So after some negotiations, they applied to the forest service for an area where they could summer their cattle together. They were assigned the area on the north side of the Snake River extending from Mud Creek on the west to about the “Hole in the Rock”, which is just up river from Blacks Canyon. This area was across the river from our dry farm, and I recall that back in 1916 and 1917 we used to sit and watch Spalding’s sheep, especially the lambs, as they scampered and played over the sage brush hills.
At that time, it looked to be five miles away, but it was actually not over a mile or two. The area extended to the heads of Big Burns Canyon and Blacks Canyon (where the old saw mill had been located), and included Hells Hole Canyon, Coal Mine Canyon, Bear Trap Canyon, Woods Canyon, and many smaller canyons such as Little Burns and Wolverine.
Jim McMurtrey's family had been converted to the Mormon Church back in Alabama about 1885 by John W. Hart, who was in that area on a mission for the Church. Jim was a young boy at the time and when his parents immigrated to Joseph, Utah, he came with them. He was an unusual character, as tough as a knot and the noisiest man that ever rode the range. (In thirty years of riding, he had never seen a bear in the wild state.) He was always flapping his chaps and spurs, hollering at "Old Pedro", his dog, or just plain talking. Nevertheless, he was a good man with fine qualities. I have always thought that if Zane Grey had known Jim McMurtrey and "Quill" Lufkin they must surely would have been the featured characters in one of his books.
Quill got married during the month of May 1923 and soon acquired some pasture land of his own but continued to ride after my Father's cattle through the summer of 1924. I was assigned to take over the job in the spring of 1925 and rode after the stock during the years of 1925 and 1926.
In January 1927, I was called to go into the mission field, so the following spring my Father took over the job of riding after his own cattle.
After an absence of almost twenty-six years, he was back in the saddle. As he stated in his letter, he had told the ranger that he was the best rider on the range - some of the range riders might dispute that statement, which had been made in jest, but I'm inclined to believe that most of them would say that it was true.
In the spring of 1925, I had traded with "Doc" Fisher for a brown, four-year old gelding which had been raised by one of the Baker boys in Swan Valley. Jim McMurtrey and I started his breaking process by putting a pack on his back for about a weeks trip - repairing drift fences, and placing salt at the salt licks on the range. He broke-in fast and by carefully working with him, he became the finest saddle horse it has ever been my privilege to ride. Anyway, when my Father took over the riding in the spring of 1927, he admitted that "Button" was equal to either Roscoe or Yaller, his favorites back in the Escalante days.
After "Button" developed a lame ankle a few years later, he purchased a young grey horse from Uncle Frank. This horse's name was "Kid". He had other horses but "Kid" was his mainstay, and by the time (in the middle 1940's) the horse had grown too old for use on the range my Father had, also.
I don't recall the names of the rangers who had charge of he range while he was riding, but I'd like to mention the names of at least some of the people who were cattle owners and with whom he rode and others with whom he had to deal. There was Jim McMurtrey, Royal Ellis, Dave Smith, Nels Johnson, the Thompson family, and Ira Spalding. Also, there was Henry Zippel, the old trapper, along with Etzel Fisher, Carl Bucklin, and the Spalding brothers, some of he Wilcox boys along with the Grover boys from Sunnydell.
About the time my Father took over the riding, the Palisades Cattle Growers Association was organized and our old range was taken into a larger expanded area which had an allotment of fourteen hundred head of cattle. Part of the time, my Father was the head of this association. I'm sure he liked this because he always seemed to enjoy being the "Boss" and carrying the responsibility of making things go.
Sometime in the late 1930's, my Father purchased the old "Tom Goe" place just down the river from the famous old "Table Rock". This gave him considerable satisfaction as it provided him a good place to pasture his cattle in the spring and fall of the year.
At this time I'd like to go back to about 1913 when my brother, Ryland, was born. I remember that my brother, Roy, although only a boy, was driving three horses, "Mark, Pat and Bess", on a sulky plow plowing a field east of the house. From that time on for several years, Roy was an unexpendable and essential part of the operations. My Father depended on him to keep things moving along. When Roy got married in 1926, he continued to operate under this system.
By now, Ryland and Ellwood were commencing to shave and slick down their hair, and in a few years a place had to be made for them. They had worked hard through the years. My Father was depending on them more and more as time went on. He not only depended on their work on the farm, but they gradually took more and more of the range riding, hauling of necessary hay (which was generally bought from Doc Nye south of Rigby), and feeding of the cattle in the wintertime. It is my feeling that they more than earned everything they got out of it all.
Ellwood was the last to get married. This happened in May 1936, and by this time, my Father had a considerable number of grandchildren and it was his great delight to have as many of his family as could gather at some place along the trail, as they made the cattle drive to and from the range in the spring and fall. They often met near Heise Hot Springs, Anderson Dam, Spring Creek, or the Goe Ranch for a big feed. All the daughters and daughters-in-law were good cooks, so King Tut in all his glory had nothing on George T. Lufkin.
Enough horses could never be provided for all, but they took turns with the horses and with barking dogs, happy yelling kids, the horses munching on their hay and oats when stops were made, and the blatting and bellowing of the cows and calves, it was a time never to be forgotten.
In deference to space and in order to hold this story to a reasonable length, I have endeavored to leave out the many details and the limitless hundreds of stories that could be told about my Father's life.
I do, however, want to go back to his days as sheriff of Jefferson County and say that some of the treasured friends of life were made during his tenure in office. He was a friendly man, and attorneys, judges, other county sheriff's, County Commissioners, and unnumbered others became his friends. He always seemed to hold in high esteem his Deputy, Bill Nye, and Bill Nye's father, the old veterinarian, Doc Nye. In regard to making and keeping friends, he probably was no different than other sheriff's who have a desire to be the people's servant and not their master. Two stories will serve to illustrated the technique he used to induce people to observe the law.
A report came to him that a family north of Roberts was making "Moonshine" whiskey at their home. He knew the family partly by reputation and, to some extent, personally. He knew of them as being a fine German family. Times were difficult and he knew that they were grasping at straws in an endeavor to meet their obligations. He got in his Dodge car alone and drove to their place. He stopped his car near the mail box and pretended that he was having car trouble. After ten or fifteen minutes he strolled to the house. He knocked on the door and was invited in. He asked them if they had any whiskey around and naturally the answer was "no". He visited for awhile and almost got drunk from the mash fumes in the house. They had broken all records getting their whiskey mash into the pig troughs in the yard. By now, the cows and pigs in the yard were staggering, and the roosters were so drunk they couldn't even crow. He smiled and they smiled, but to his knowledge that was the last of their whiskey making. They had gotten the drift.
A few years ago, a man about my age told me of an experience that he had had with my Father when he was Sheriff. This man and a friend were selling "bootleg" whiskey at the Midway dances and doing quite well. One evening they saw my Father drive up in his Buick car. They immediately jumped in their car and took off with my Father in pursuit. He said he knew that the Buick could have picked them up in a short distance. My Father's deputy was with him, so it was just a matter of overtaking them. Suddenly, they saw his car slow up and turn around. My Father knew the boys, and in a few days they called into his office for a visit. His first words to them were, "If I hadn't run out of gas, I'd have caught you rascals". The fellow said he told my Father that he had sold his last whiskey. He told me he had stayed to his word.
The years he served as sheriff were during the prohibition days when whiskey stills were operating in concealed places everywhere and bootlegging was an enticing practice by desperate men, but my Father always seemed to be equal to every situation that he encountered.
Shortly after 1940, my Mother's health commenced to fail and on the 28th of July, 1945, she was called to leave us. All through the years, she had, to a great extent, waited on my Father "hand and foot", as the saying goes. It was not that she had to, she was just that way. We all wondered what in the world he would do, but with the help of his daughters and daughters-in-law, he got along quite well. He maintained his own house and kept it clean and orderly. I was quickly impressed by two things. First, that canned cream and creamery butter had replaced the good homemade butter and cream that my Mother had always kept. And second, that those wonderful frosted cookies that my Mother was so famous for were there no longer.
As most men do under similar circumstances, during the next four years he spent many lonely days. The little girl who had peeked through the window at him back in Escalante had gone to her reward. To a great extent his family did what they could for him but as is always the case, it was his cross to bear and he bore it as well as could be expected.
One thing happened that has been of some satisfaction to me. He had never ridden in an airplane, so I asked him if he'd like to go for a ride in one. He answered somewhat to my surprise, "Yes, I would sure like to go". I made arrangements with Tom Swager to take him up. Tom belonged to the Eagle Rock Flying Club in Idaho Falls. They had a fine piper cub machine, so a date was set and I had my Father at the airport on time. We asked him where he wanted to go. His answer was that he'd like to fly over his old farm in Annis. It was twenty miles away, and would take more time than a first-timer could ordinarily stand in a light plane that was buffeted about even in smooth air. Nevertheless, he went and they flew north to the big Menan Buttes, up the river and circled several times over Annis, Menan, and Lorenzo, and back over Rigby and Iona, and finally to the airport. He had a pale look when he got out of the plane. He said not to mind, that he was a little nauseated, but that he had enjoyed every second of it, and had always wanted to do just that, and wouldn't take it back for anything. He continued to express amazement at the beauty of the fields and of how the Snake River had the appearance of a silver snake as it meandered its way through Lorenzo and Annis and Menan and on into Idaho Falls.
He had especially noted the beauty of the Cedar Butte Cemetery lying on the eastern slope of the Annis Little Butte. It had for many years been an area of weeds and small desert cactus with a smattering of native flowers, gopher mounds, sage brush, and cedar trees. About twenty years previous to this time, a cemetery district had been organized for the purpose of creating an irrigation system and beautifying the spot that it might be a more fitting place for the interment of their dead. He had been elected Chairman of the Board with John E. Ellis as secretary and William Allred, George L. Hart, and others as members.
As he saw and reflected upon these things, of his failures along with his successes (financial and otherwise) and of the fine posterity which he had helped to create, now he knew why they had turned north from the top of Escalante Mountain.
With the exception of a bad case of smallpox which partially destroyed the sight in one eye and a few bad spells of rheumatism, my Father's health through most of his life had been reasonably good. However, about 1944, he suffered a light stroke. After my Mother died in 1945, his health continued to decline until the spring of 1949. In that month a bad sick spell seriously weakened him and he died on May 19, 1949.
He was buried in the family plot in the Annis Little Butte Cemetery.
Following is a list of his sons and daughters who will carry on his posterity:
Verna Mae - Alma Rose, husband - 12 children - Resides in Humphrey, Idaho
George Leroy - Alice Goody, wife - 2 children - Resides in Annis, Idaho
Thomas Eugene - Zelpha Ellis, wife - 3 children - Resides in Mesa, Arizona
Grace - W. L. Price, husband - 3 children - Resides in Iona, Idaho
Maxine - Dean L. Hanni, husband - 3 children - Resides in Annis, Idaho
Norma - Samuel LaMar Burke, husband - 5 children - Resides in Annis, Idaho
Ryland Townsend - Belva Kinghorn, wife - 4 children - Resides in Annis, Idaho
Ellwood Jennings - Wanda Scott, wife - 5 children - Resides in Annis, Idaho
In telling the story of my Father's life, I have left out countless stories that could be told. I have tried to be factual and yet put in what to some might seem trivial, but which I deemed necessary to tie the story together and make it interesting. I have tried to present a short story in such a way that should a stranger read the narrative, he would have a good basic understanding of the life of George Townsend Lufkin. I think that it would be desirable and appropriate for anyone to write their own story, or to add addenda sheets to this basic narrative.
In compiling this history, I have utilized the help and advice of my wife, Zelpha, and my daughter, Alba Ellsworth. Also, Burt and Martha Fisher and Ross and Allie Poole have given firsthand information regarding the choir members as related in the story. I especially thank Miss Joan Ven Lieu, our office secretary, for being my typist.
***re-typed up and placed on Family Search, for the enjoyment of all, by Ronda Kay Burke Mills, Great Granddaughter of George Townsend Lufkin, through his daughter, Norma Lufkin Burke. May 2014
The Life Story of Alice Ann Heaps Lufkin by Maxine Lufkin Hanni and Norma Lufkin Burke - Daughters
Colaborador: jdeanhagler Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago
In writing this we have gone back into her ancestry in England to give a better picture of her background. A lot of it is taken from records, therefore is factual. Some are stories related to us by our Mother and our trusting to memory. Other stories are from actual experiences of different members of the family.
We have aimed to furnish a vignette of the life of our Mother for the benefit of the growing posterity.
If there are any discrepancies, we hope they will be overlooked, as a lot of this information comes from memory, but we've tried to stay as close as possible to the facts.
We owe much to our brother Gene and his wife Zelpha for background information.
Our niece, LaPreal Hinckley deserves special mention for the typing, which is no small job and she needs to be commended for her worthwhile contribution in our behalf.
Alice Ann Heaps 1876-1945
Alice Ann Heaps was the daughter of Thomas Heaps and Susannah Goldthorpe. Her father was born in Garstang, Lancashire, England and her mother at Linlethgow, Scotland. When Susannah was just a baby her parents moved to Yorkshire, England, Susannah's father passed away when she was 12 years old, leaving her mother as a widow with six children to raise.
When the "Black Plague" epidemic swept England in 1849 her mother contracted the disease and died, leaving Susannah, and older sister Elizabeth and a young brother, William orphans.
They were taken to an orphanage or more commonly known, as the poorhouse. Mother called it the work-house as Grandma Heaps had told her how she and Elizabeth were taught to work under strict supervision.
Thomas Heaps and Susannah Goldthorpe were married at Staincross, Yorkshire, England in July of 1854 and by 1856 both had been baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. They lived in the Mapplewell, Swallowhill area and had six children born to them, three of which died at a young age.
Because of oppression in England at this time and a desire to go to a new land and be partakers of the blessings to be received in the new religion they had accepted, they immigrated to America June 4, 1863 from London, England. They crossed the ocean in a sailing vessel by the name of "Amazon" with 895 Mormon immigrants under the leadership of Elder William Brannel. They were six weeks crossing the Atlantic. Many were the hardships of the voyage such as shortage of water and provisions and much sickness.
On July 20, 1863 they landed in New York and from there traveled by rail to Florence, Nebraska and from there continued their trek across the plains. The threat of Indians was always near. The Civil War was being fought in the South. Slaves were leaving their masters and some army deserters were finding their way westward posing problems for the immigrants.
Grandma Susannah Heaps had a gift of working with the sick and no doubt helped deliver babies and tend the sick while crossing the plains.
On arriving in Salt Lake they were assigned by the Church authorities to continue on to Southern Utah. They lived for a few years at Toquerville, which is several miles north and east of St. George, Utah. Eventually they were sent with other L.D.S. Saints to Panaca, Nevada, and when the exodus from Pioche or Panaca occurred they settled in Panguitch, Utah. In 1875 when a small group of men were appointed to investigate the Escalante country to determine if it would be possible to take wagons into the area, Mother's father, Grandpa Thomas Heaps was chosen to go with the group and after considerable searching determined that a road could be built over the Escalante Mountains. The country was rough and nearly impossible, even with saddle horses.
This was accomplished in the spring of 1876 and Escalante was to become a historic haven and home for people from many lands.
This same spring they moved over the Mountain to Potato Valley, which later was called Escalante. For awhile they lived in a rock cellar or dug-out and it was here that Alice Ann Heaps was born on November 20, 1876. She was the first white girl born in Escalante. A boy had been born there a few weeks before.
After settling in Escalante Grandma Heaps was called by the church and set apart to serve as a
mid-wife, there being no doctors available in the town. She was kept busy bringing babies into the world and tending the sick. She is credited with having delivered about eight hundred babies.
In all kinds of weather she would travel all over the valley with her horse and buggy. She gave of her ability and strength when she knew at times she would not get paid for her service. Some people were too poor to pay anything.
Daughter Norma tells of hearing Mother tell of her ability with the sick and it was generally known or said that no one could be sick for long with Grandma Heaps around. She had a way that when she walked into the sick room she would soon have the patient laughing and on their way to recovery.
Her untiring efforts with those in pain was a well known fact. She possessed a good sense of humor which sustained her in many an ordeal.
Being a mid-wife was a very demanding and undesirable job at times. She was no doubt called on to perform services that drew heavy on her strength and emotions. From all reports she was a woman of great courage and could be quite stern if the circumstances called for it. Mother told of the suicide of one of the local townsmen. He had taken a gun and blown his head in pieces - none of the men would make a move to touch him. Grandma Heaps was called on the scene and it fell her lot to gather up the pieces and put him together.
Who did her work or took care of her home while she was away? Well, she had seven daughters, from which much was expected. It was told by them that Grandpa Heaps was indeed a spoiled man, as they waited on him hand and foot. Grandma demanded a certain amount of excellence in their efforts at homemaking. She was strict, and if a job did not meet her approval it was done over. She wore long dresses and petticoats, which had to be laundered and ironed to perfection.
In her later years she did temple work and had her sister Elizabeth, who never married, sealed to Grandpa Heaps.
Alice Ann was born November 20. 1876 - blessed January 7, 1877 by George W. Sevey. She was baptized July 2, 1885 by Joseph S. Barney and confirmed on the same date by Edmund W. Davis.
She was very ambitious all during her growing up years. She and her sisters, Vilate and Lillie spent several summer months each year at the family dairy at what was known as the Upper Valley. Their living quarters being a dug-out built in the side of the mountain. They made and prepared cheese and butter for market. Periodically, their father would make a wagon trip to Marysville, which was about ninety miles away, requiring three days of travel just one way, to find sale for the products.
When the John T. Lufkin family camped in Thomas Heaps yard during the summer of 1887, Alice, then eleven years old, caught sight of George through the window and remarked to her sister Lillie, "Do you see that black-eyed boy out there? Someday I'm going to marry him." They were sweethearts through the years and on September 22, 1896 in Rexburg, Idaho her prediction came to pass.
During the summer of 1896 Grandpa Heaps and daughter, Alice Ann accompanied a son, Thomas Levi and family on a trip to Victor, Idaho, where Levi chose to settle. Traveling with them was a young man by the name of George Lufkin, who was hired as a teamster (also Alice Ann's sweetheart.) After the family was settled, Grandpa Heaps, daughter and hired man started on their return trip to Escalante. When they reached the town of Rexburg, Idaho, George and Alice Ann who were engaged to be married, decided to stop there and tie the know, so to speak. This would prevent any undue scandal. Grandpa Heaps served as a witness.
When they arrived to Logan, Utah, they went through the temple and were sealed for time and all eternity.
The young couple, with dreams of a happy future, returned to Escalante to make their home. They were both civic and church minded. Consequently, they participated in all community and ward activities. They both liked to sing and actively supported the choir under the direction of William Butler and later, William Alvey. Their choir at times numbered from sixty to seventy voices.
Our parents loved Escalante. Most of their relatives were there, but they could see the day coming when, because of depleted ranges and the fact that although Escalante was a picturesque place in a little pocket or valley it was surrounded by dry and parched mountain ranges and adjoined by an almost worthless desert to the south, and in order to provide their family with better opportunities they must go.
By this time they had been blessed with children, a daughter Verna and two sons, LeRoy and LaVar.
They seemed never to have been attracted to any place other than Idaho, and more particularly, the area between Idaho Falls and Rexburg. Therefore, in the spring of 1902, they disposed of their little home in Escalante and made preparations to take off for that area where they had enjoyed themselves in 1896, which they had never forgotten. Mother used to tell about how terribly sad they were as time come to leave. Travel in those days was extremely slow and they must have had a feeling that many years would pass before they could return. Mother did finally manage to make a return trip in 1909 and our father not until November of 1933.
After many sad adieus, they took off to the west in their covered wagon. Their destination, Idaho, "Gem of the Mountains". The end of the day would bring them to the famous old campground at the east base of Escalante Mountains, near a beautiful stream, Birch Creek, surrounded by massive pine-trees, which had no doubt heard the footsteps of hundreds of Indians and wild animals, and more recently, those of the white man.
A son, Gene, tells of remembering this campground well from the time when as a boy of six in October of 1909 Mother took three of her children, himself, sisters Grace and Maxine, who was just a baby, and made a trip back to Escalante. He tells of being met by Uncle George Campbell and Marysvalle which was the end of the railroad. He took us over the mountain and camped us at this same place.
As he recalls Uncle George met them in a covered wagon with a stove in it and plenty to eat. He describes the trip as being "quite a lark".
They traveled by train to Marysvalle and had a layover in the Salt Lake depot. He said, "I'll never forget lying on hard benches and Mother trying, as always, to make us comfortable."
Going back to their first stop after leaving Escalante, they spent a night on the mountain, then proceeded down the west side to Sweetwater (Widstoe) a distance of about five or six miles and probably camped for a night at Antimony further on. This place was a popular stop-over for freighters and others on the way to and from Marysvalle and Escalante.
After many days of traveling, they made their way to the home of George Washington Lufkin, Dad's grandfather in Logan, Utah, where they rested and had a good old-fashioned visit. After staying a few days they soon crossed the Utah line into Idaho, which was to be their adopted state and the greatest of all states.
Uncle Jake Barron, a brother to Hannah Barron Lufkin, homesteaded a farm about half way between Inkom and Pocatello in Idaho. He and Aunt Nish had been quite successful and eagerly welcomed our parents to their home. They tarried for a few days then continued on down the Portneuf Canyon to Pocatello and on north to the Fort Hall Indian Reservation. They used to talk about how deep and difficult the sand was across this area. The wagon road they traveled was somewhat east of the present highway and stayed more to the edge of the foothills on it's course to the town of Blackfoot, Idaho.
A few years earlier Dad's Uncle George E. Lufkin had moved to the small town of Shelley, where he acquired a farm and was doing quite well financially. He needed help and asked Dad to be his hired man for the summer of 1902. This was a welcome opportunity, for he and Mother were proud and independent people and were determined to make their own way, as far as earning a living was concerned.
Uncle George provided them with a place to live and pasture for their horses and helped them in many other ways.
Jobs were hared to find in this area, especially after the fall harvest was completed.
During that summer Dad became acquainted with many people among whom were the Priest Brothers at Taylorsville, a small farming community east of Shelley. They recognized him as a young man with a family, who needed a job and was willing to work and earn his pay. In the winter time they operated a hay-baling business. He was offered a job for the winter, with the understanding they would use him whenever possible.
Our parents moved to Taylorsville and lived that winter in a rented house a little south and west of the present community center. They liked this place --the people were very friendly and helpful and had it not been for a sorrowing experience it would have been a good winter.
On December 6, 1902 another son was born to them. He was a welcome addition to their family and was a ray of sunshine for them. Eventually they had him blessed and he was given the name of John Henry. About the middle of January he became ill with pneumonia and in spite of all they could do, he died on January 28, 1903. They buried him in the Taylorsville Cemetery. At that time it was a squirrel infested spot, which had been cut out of sagebrush at the base of the Taylor Mountain just southwest of the community.
It has since become a well-organized and well kept modern cemetery.
When spring came our folks loaded into the wagon and headed north again. They camped overnight at Iona, a short distance from the W. H. Price farm, also a night at Grant, which is located north of Idaho Falls in Jefferson County. They continued on to Menan, Idaho where they rented a small farm.
Sometime during the fall of 1903 Grandfather John T. Lufkin had sold out in Escalante, Utah -- he moved to Menan and lived temporarily in part of the Rube Scott house where our folks were living.
In the early morning of December 3. 1903 a son, Eugene was born and on this very day Dad and Grandpa Lufkin had gone to Idaho Falls with John and Ike Fisher in a white-topped buggy to close out the purchase of a farm from the Fisher brothers. Our father was to get the south forty acres and Grandfather the north forty, which already had a log house on it. There was none on Dad's section, so he rented a house known as the "Gerard House". In the fall of 1904 our folks moved to Annis, As soon as they were settled in the newly rented house, our father heard of a freighting job in the Twin Falls area, nearly two hundred miles to the southwest. Therefore, in early December he hitched his team "Dick and Beck" to his covered wagon and took off for that area. He spent the winter of 1904 and 1905 hauling freight from Shoshone, Idaho to the community of Twin Falls.
When he returned home in the spring of 1905, he brought back a good share of the money, some four hundred dollars, that he had earned during the long cold winter.
Although the "Gerard House" was poorly built and one could hear the winter wind whistle around the windows and doors our Mother managed to gather wood and keep her little family warm and comfortable.
It was Verna's second year in school and although the schoolhouse was a long mile and a half from home and school buses were unheard of at that time, she got along fine. A special thanks should go to the Pierce family along with Rachel Maynard, Annie Clifford, Bess Dinsdale and also Bill and Gertrude Bruce for their help; their homes were one to two miles farther from the school than ours.
The Gerard House was only one-fourth mile from the folks newly acquired farm, which Dad operated that year for the first time - 1905. Their world was improving with time until a late June day of that year.
Our parents had gone to a funeral somewhere in the Shelley area. They left the children, Verna, Roy, and Lavar in the care of Father's sister, Lillie and although she was a good responsible girl, four year old brother Lavar got away. He attempted to walk across a plank that served as a bridge over a nearby irrigation ditch. He had watched others walk on it and decided he would do the same, but he fell in and drowned. They found him face down in the water. He was buried in the Annis Cedar Butte Cemetery.
In the late summer of 1905 Dad built a log house on the farm. After Mother got the walls and ceiling lined with factory cloth and lime they moved in. They were home! Had it not been for the drowning incident it would have been a dream come true.
They continued their building and in a short time had a double-binned slab granary built, where the newly threshed oats and wheat could be stored as it come from the threshing machine.
It was about this time that Grandfather Heaps came to visit them. He had liked the State of Idaho from his very first trip and had been particularly impressed by the Upper Snake River Valley. He stated that if it were possible, he would sell out in Utah and move to Idaho, but that at his age he thought it would be unwise to do so. After returning to his home in Escalante he became ill and died December 4, 1905 leaving Grandma a widow, until she passed away August 15. 1922.
On April 16, 1906, daughter Grace was born and as brother Gene recalls he had to move over and make room for her, not only in our parents affections, but at the table and in the bed where he slept as a child. Grace didn't like to wash dishes and do housework, but she was a great help in other ways and more than made her way thinning and hoeing beets, potatoes, etc. Incidentally, after marriage Grace became an excellent homemaker, copying the art of hospitality of our Mother.
Our sister Maxine was born January 27, 1909 and soon won the affection of the rest of the family. She was not very healthy at first and needed special attention and although she worked in the fields to some extent, she stayed in the house a great deal and helped our Mother with the housework.
Going back to October 1909 as brother Gene tells it:
Mother was anxious to go back to the old home in Escalante for a visit. Arrangements were made and she was to take me, my sisters Grace and Maxine with her. According to their story our father took us to the depot at Rigby to meet the train and they used to tell about how it snowed and how muddy the roads were. It was a distance of four and one-half miles. We weren't supposed to be gone more than a month or six weeks, but shortly before we got ready to return, a heavy winter storm set in and travel over the Escalante Mountains was brought to a stand still, so it was decided that we should wait until travel would be safe. As it turned out, this was the following April 10, 1910.
On March 15, 1911 another daughter, Norma, was born and in keeping with the pattern already established, was in a few short years, able to join the little band of weed-choppers. She too, would rather work in the fields than do housework.
Shortly after Norma came along our father acquired a part of the old Annis school house, which had to be moved to make way for a new brick building. It was placed in the southwest corner of our farm and after some remodeling we moved in. This gave the family much more living space, which was a boost for Mother. She decorated the walls with pretty wallpaper and painted the woodwork to correspond It wasn't what you'd call modern, but quite a step up from the one room log house.
On May 7, 1913 a brother, Ryland was born. Mother was attended for the first time by a doctor, Dr. Anderson of Rigby. There were problems and the doctor gave the baby up for dead laying him aside while he attended Mother - she wouldn't settle for that - gather the baby next to her and worked with him until he was revived. Losing a baby was a tragedy to her, which the doctor must have realized before he was through. as Gene remembers, Dad talked to him the next morning and he got the idea Mother's life was in danger. In spite of any problems she soon recovered and was back taking care of her family.
A brother, Ellwood, was born July 7, 1915, which completed a family of ten children, however, not all were raised to maturity. Eight managed to marry and raise families.
Mother was a dedicated Latter-day Saint and after she and Dad moved to Annis, she served in many capacities, namely, Relief Society President, Counselor to other presidents, class teacher, visiting teacher and member of the choir.
In 1902 the first Relief Society in the Annis Ward was organized with Sister Lucy Casper as president. In 1905 Mother was chosen as a counselor to replace on that was moving. September 26, 1907 President Lucy Casper resigned. Mother was sustained as President with Emma Browning as 1st Counselor, Prudence Lake as 2nd Counselor, Charlotte Bruce as Secretary and Hannah Campbell as Treasurer. In October, 1909 Prudence Lake was released and Lillie Poole, wife of Will Poole was chosen in her place.
During this time grain was raised on the church lot - this financed the building of a granary in which grain was later stored.
November, 1914 Secretary Charlotte Bruce resigned and Sister Laura Ellis, mother of Zelpha Lufkin, was chosen in her place. During this year of 1916, they contributed to the building of the first Stake Tabernacle in Rigby.
On the 8th of May, 1917 Mother resigned after having served ten years as president. She had performed her duties in a faithful manner and was a welcome sight in many a home where help was needed.
In appreciation for her devoted service each member contributed a quilt block with the name of the giver embroidered on it. The list added up to forty-nine sisters. These blocks were assembled and made into a quilt, which was presented to Mother. At her death, daughter Verna received it. At this time it is in possession of Thelma Stosich, oldest daughter of Verna.
On April 22, 1919, with the reorganization of the Relief Society, Mother was called to serve as 1st Counselor to Sylvia Carr, with Sophia Scott as 2nd Counselor; Laura Ellis, Secretary; Hannah Campbell as Treasurer; Bessie Adamson as organist - later Phoebe Rose Clark as organist. Mother valued their friendship deeply. She served about twelve years in the presidency.
Mother loved to make quilts – she was very meticulous in this field and helped with many quilts to give to the needy. She related that when Mrs. Bybee was work director, the Relief Society was called on to provide a quilt for some special purpose and many members participated, but when it was complete she and Mrs. Bybee were so unhappy with some of the quilting they couldn’t bear to turn it in that way, therefore, unbeknowing to anyone else and to prevent offending someone, they took out all the bad stitching and re-did it.
At one time Mother was called on to assist with delivering a baby. The couple had been unable to contact a doctor and in desperation came after Mother. Complications developed. It was a difficult birth and although we heard very little about it from Mother, the woman firmly believes and giver her credit for saving her life.
This incident happened years after she had discontinued this practice.
Times were indeed hard in their early years and Mother washed clothes on the board for the Casper family of ten and her pay was $1.00. Doing washing in this manner was one of the hardest of household chores. Her hands would be red and raw, the skin being worn off the knuckles, due to the home-made soap, which was strong with lye. Water was carried from the well and heated on top of the stove. Rubbing the clothes until clean then wringing them as dry as possible by hand was a dreaded weekly job. Washing machines with a wringer and a stick handle to keep them turning were indeed a welcome item. Each batch had to be turned twenty minutes. How we hated wash day.
Our father, with the help of one or two neighbors did a good job butchering or dressing out beef and pork. Together Mother and Dad would cut up the meat and Mother would salt and cure the hams, side pork and shoulders. The fat would be cut up and tendered. The waste fat was used to make soap. She also made delicious headcheese and sausage. As was said, they made use of everything but the “squeal”.
The butchering took place each fall and she would make and bottle the best mincemeat, which was always ready for wonderful pies at Christmas Time. She was a good cook and somehow her cooking seemed to have a delicious flavor all its own. People still ask for her cookie recipe, which none of us have – it was all in her head and she never put it on paper.
Daughter Maxine relates, “Mother taught me how to quilt – it seemed like a fascinating art and I helped her to make many quilts for family and friends. Sometimes the daughters-in-law got in on the “quilting bees”, but after her passing I never realized the same pleasure.
Mother took a correspondence course in sewing and became an excellent seamstress, doing much sewing for her family, and as Maxine tell it – all seams had to be basted before the final machine stitching was done, and the garments had to fit perfectly before the job was finalized. If she couldn’t find time during the day she would sew at night while the rest of the family slept. It didn’t seem to prevent her arising early the next morning to face another day. She was born with a lot of nervous energy, but how she was able to withstand all the demands made on her has been a puzzle to the family, as we reminisce about the past.
During the years she served in the Relief Society, and before we had morticians, she, Nettie Bybee and Sophia Scott were credited with preparing thirty-four bodies for burial. They also made the burial clothes, plus clothes for the families to attend a funeral. Mrs. Maude Scott assisted a lot with the sewing. These ladies were as dear to her as sisters. Mother served as a midwife and spent much time with the sick – no matter what time of day or night she was called upon, she willingly responded.
In the fall of 1915 our father purchased one hundred and sixty acres of dry farm from
H. J. “Hype” Fisher. This was located up on the bench from the Snake River directly over from Burns and Black’s Canyon on the Antelope Flats. Travel to the dry farm was made by team and wagon.
Norma tells, Mother used to cook for days in preparation for the event. The food would be placed in the old “grub box” – enough to last several days. Dad would sometimes take Maxine, Ryland and I. (Ellwood was too small), along and how we would enjoy it, even though it took all day to make the thirty mile trip under the hot sun. Dad enjoyed the trip also. He had a deep bass voice and did a lot of singing, which we enjoyed.
In the spring of 1917, Mother decided to go along and spend the summer there. She often took us children into the grain fields to pull the noxious weed, “mustard”. We were always rewarded with some of her good dry farm cooking.
Mother remarked many times that the time she spent on the dry farm was the most leisurely summer of her entire life in Idaho. She would often pack a lunch and we would all walk down the steep dug way to visit with Joe and Tempe Fisher (parents of the author, Vardis Fisher.) They owned a home and small acreage near the river. Mother and Tempe seemed to enjoy visiting, and developed a good friendship. On the return back to the dug way, we would pick wild flowers and berries, when available. The experience was one not soon forgotten. Seeing the quaking asp and pine trees no doubt stirred memories for Mother of her home country in Escalante, Utah, it being very similar.
Just north of the dry farm cabin was what we children called the “Little Gulch”. We seldom ventured close enough to look over the rim, as our older brothers had told us that a big wolf had been seen skulking around there. We took great pleasure in spooking each other and just before dark we were certain we could see it coming up for a look.
During the years the folks had the dry farm, there had to be two households. Someone had to be at each, to take care of the home and chores. When Mother was at Antelope, sister Verna stayed in the valley and vice versa. At that time she was a young lady, very dependable and assumed responsibilities as though Mother were there to coach her, which meant very much to her parents. They were proud of her and trusted her implicitly. We other girls being a lot younger looked to our sister Verna as a second mother.
Brother Roy played a big part in sharing responsibilities. He was the oldest boy, so he was leaned on a lot. He was old enough to understand the needs and workings of the farms and exhibited qualities that were appreciated.
Gene next in line, was an asset to the workings. Brother Ryland recalls that he, Gene and Grace took care of the dry farm for a period the summer he was nine years old. Gene would harness six head of horses, hitch them to the plow and let Ryland drive them. The horses were trained and knew just where to go, and all he had to do was hold the lines and talk to them.
The dry farm was eventually sold, but prior to this, in 1920, Father had become quite active politically and with a little urging from influential Republicans he consented to run for Sheriff of Jefferson County. His Father, brothers Frank and Quill were dyed in the wool Democrats and our kitchen was many times, the setting for some very heated arguments. Being young and full of admiration for our Dad, we could never understand why they couldn’t see things as he did. He remained a Republican throughout his life.
At this time the Sheriff’s sleeping quarters joined the Sheriff’s Office. Soon after Dad took office, Mother was persuaded to move into town – she had no garden to care for, cows to milk or chickens to feed and soon decided this was no life for her. Concern for her home and a desire to see that things were being taken care of on the ranch overruled any arguments for her to stay in town.
During our father’s years in the Sheriff’s Office he was not around to help discipline the younger members of the family. This and many other important responsibilities fell on Mother’s shoulders. We were a trial at times. She was religious and had a strong testimony of the Gospel. She read to us from the Relief Society Magazine. This quite often took place at the dinner table and invariably some us would get the giggles and have to leave the room. She talked a great deal about what the church referred to as “a sifting out period”. This was to be a time when the sinful would be cast out. Norma remembers worrying over this a great deal as she felt she wasn’t always as good as she should be.
Before Dad left the Sheriff’s Office he was privileged to take a trip. He took Mother to California – they traveled by train and stayed with Uncle Jim and Aunt Lillie Canady in Gledale. The hospitality shown them was something special. Uncle Jim took them each day in his Ford car to see the highlights of Los Angeles. Aunt Lillie made special effort to cook the foods she knew would please them most and showed enthusiasm that made their trip a memorable one.
Before leaving Dad bought Mother new clothes, which pleased her much. It was an exciting time just watching them prepare to go – we were so pleased that they could make the trip. It turned out to be very enjoyable.
Mother must have caught the mood and decided to splurge a little by buying a gift for each member of the family.
I want to mention that many of the relatives went to visit with the Canadys through the years and they all mentioned the gracious treatment shown them.
Norma tells of the purchase of the Bartlet place.
It was in the summer of 1923 while our Father was still in the Sheriff’s Office this farm came up for sale. It consisted of 160 acres and was located just across the road, north of the property he already owned.
With a young family of four boys and three girls, (Verna was already married) he felt the need to take advantage of the opportunity to accumulate more land, and being a cattle man by nature he had a strong desire to build up a herd of range cattle. The days ahead were devoted to fulfilling this ambition.
The buying of the Bartlet place was quite an undertaking and proved to be a turning point in Mother’s life. It required the untiring efforts of all involved. All of the farming was done by horse drawn machinery as tractors had not yet come into the picture.
There were patches of brush land that had to be cleared and it took a period of years to accomplish this. Nearly all of the land was very productive with deep top soil. There were rose bushes, haw bushes, and cottonwood trees, willows and thick underbrush, which was cleared with heavy equipment and considerable leveling was done.
Summers were indeed busy, often times Dad would bring prisoners to the farm to help speed up the spring work. This was a welcome change for them, but required considerable work for Mother. The prisoners never seemed to mind, they enjoyed the freedom and her good cooking and hospitable manner.
The beet crop made late harvesting – it was the main one for paying the mortgage and taxes.
I have heard Mother say many times that it was the end of any relaxation for her. Responsibilities increased greatly just at a time when she should have been able to take life a little easier.
Ellwood was too young to assume any responsibilities while he had the dry farm, but he made up for it afterwards.
During 1925 and 1926 Gene rode the range and looked after the cattle. In January of 1927 he was called to serve a mission to the Southern States. As is usual, there were sacrifices to be made. Gene was engaged to be married and to forestall his wedding for two years was a real test. We all shared in the adjustments that had to be made.
Mother was so pleased to have a son go on a mission, the sacrifices couldn’t be too great. She was ever faithful in writing and trying to assure Gene that things were working out well during his absence, though we all missed him much.
While he was gone Ryland and Ellwood were old enough to carry a lot of the load and there were countless responsibilities on the farm. Roy continued to help manage. Dad was able to take Gene’s place on the range, looking after the cattle. As soon as Ellwood was old enough to assume the job he fell heir to it.
Everybody worked on the farm, but as each of us girls married or got a job, we left. The boys continued to stay, outside of Gene. When he returned from his mission he married and sought employment elsewhere.
Dad was a good manager and with the support of Mother and the family he was able to accumulate a sizable estate.
Mother raised a garden, some chickens and milked cows to help maintain the household. The boys, especially Ellwood, helped with the milking for several years. She was fussy about how the cows were treated. She wanted them fed well, milked on time and stripped good. It took a fast talker to induce her to accept help.
In the early fall of 1925, Mother took Norma and I to Idaho Falls to buy us some winter coats. We never got to go that far away once in a coon’s age, therefore, we were very excited about the trip. As we recall, the place we went to was the largest department store in the city, located at the corner of Broadway and Park Avenue, where the Hub Bar is. It was a pleasant day and we girls were having quite a lark trying on coats and observing all the nice clothes we could dream about. During the course of our shopping we met a Mrs. Mitchell from Shelley, who Mother knew in Escalante where they were both raised. They were glad to see each other and after exchanging pleasantries the woman said, “It was too bad about your sister Lillie,” to which Mother asked, “What about her?” Mrs. Mitchell looked surprised and said, “Didn’t you know? She died on the operating table.” This was in June of the same year. Well, Mother was speechless from shock – she could hardly believe that she was hearing correctly.
Of course, the picture changed immediately – what started out as a very pleasant day ended in one of sorrow. Our Mother was so grieved over the loss of her sister it was pathetic – they were very devoted to each other. It always bothered them because they were separated. Mother often mentioned Aunt Lillie, expressing their great sisterly love. They were two years apart, Mother being the older. She said they never quarreled as most kids do, which was an indication of their deep devotion.
The loss of her favorite sister under those circumstances wasn’t enough – the realization that not one of her brothers and sisters, most of them still living, had given her consideration enough to let her know about Lillie’s passing.
She decided the brother-in-law, George Campbell, who lived in the parents home was probably afraid she might cause him some trouble over the estate. He had been a poor provider and hadn’t made any effort to get a home for himself.
It was a terrible blow, which she didn’t deserve and though we as a family, sympathized, it took a long time for her to overcome the hurt. Probably her own family problems and the demands made on her, helped to erase the wrong done by her brothers and sisters.
Norma mentions that Mother was a hard worker and had no patience with wastefulness. I remember thinking that she went a little overboard in this area and quite often I would spout off to her. Nearly always my answer would be, “Well, if you had gone through the panic of “98” you would understand.” She always maintained that was a period much worse than anything she experienced during the depression days of the “30’s” that most of us remember and are now trying to impress our children with how serious it was and we by no means, considered them the “good old days”.
Grandfather John T. Lufkin spent considerable time at our home during the summer months. He lived in a home on the town site just south of the old Annis store. The days were no doubt long and lonely. Nearly every day he would take a short cut and walk through the Jim Scott field to our house. Norma tells of how he would try to lighten Mother’s load by carrying buckets of water to fill the reservoir, fill the woodbox with wood and after a meal would always grab one of Mother’s white dish towels to dry dishes, pots, frying pan and all. Mother would never hurt his feelings, but we girls used to laugh after he would leave, for we were sure he never knew how near he came to being scalped. Drying pots and pans on the on the white towels was cause for a scolding or thumping – if it had been done by one of us children.
On one of these trips, in climbing through a barbed wire fence he accidentally scratched the top of his hand. The wire was rusty and in a short time blood poisoning developed and he soon became ill. Dr. Culley prescribed treatment that called for bed rest and daily special care.
Mother, with the help of the daughters-in-law gave him the best care they could, but nothing they did seemed to stop the red streak that slowly crept up his arm.
Dr. Culley finally told him his only choice was to have his arm amputated. This he chose not to do, as he felt he had lived a long and fairly good life with not much time left on this earth and that when he did go he wanted to be all together. After one month of being treated he passed away August 24, 1937.
After Grandfathers passing Mother became quite ill. She was worn down as the result of the long hours and extra care that was required. It was thought that coming in contact with the blood poison contributed somewhat to her illness.
Mother was never privileged to use an electric stove or many of the things that go to make housework easier.
She cooked entirely on a wood and coal stove. Coal was furnished for winter use, but keeping the cook stove going was quite a worry. Dad was a little careless about seeing that wood was provided for the range. Our neighbor, Jim Scott, related that when the folks first moved here, he had seen Mother, so often, dragging willows from the dry slough just east of the house. He called it the “Magic Valley”.
As brother Gene put it, we had a good father, but it seems that our Mother got the dirty end of the stick, she didn’t seem to be able to have it any other way and was taken advantage of on every turn – I was as guilty as anyone.
When I wrote to Gene and told him that Norma and I were going to write Mother’s Life Story he wrote back to say “I’m glad you are doing this – she deserves to be well remembered for all the nice things she did for all of us. She was about the most unselfish person I’ve ever known. If she were around I’d like to fly her at any cost back over Darton England, but she’d be scared to death, so I’ll cancel that thought and just take her by car or wagon on a picnic up in the mountains with some of her white-frosted cookies and whatever else she wanted to put in my grub-box. It brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it.”
Some of Mother’s sayings that she used quite often were, if she didn’t care for a person, especially a man, would be, “that old cuss.” If the circumstances were bad, it would be, “the poor devil”.
She was very modest and we never heard her swear or use vulgarity of any nature.
Mother was a loyal friend and would never betray a confidence.
Norma gives a description of her physical appearance and characteristics:
Mother was of average size, five feet five inches tall and weighed about one hundred and forty pounds. It seemed to me that until the last few years of her life she remained about the same. I do not recall her ever being fat or plump, probably because of the fact that we never heard her complain of having eaten too much.
She had bluish-gray eyes, medium brown hair and beautiful skin with never a blemish. She was attractive and neat – to us she was beautiful.
Mother had one weakness I’m sure she was aware of and would liked to have overcome. She couldn’t seem to say she was sorry for some little hurt she had caused you, but would make amends with a kind deed, which was her way of saying, “I’m sorry”. She, like the rest of us was not all sweetness seven days a week. She had a quick temper, but was quick to control it and we knew when we’d gone far enough. She was practical, wise, prudent and industrious beyond her strength. She was kind and generous and was loved by all who knew her.
Honesty and fair play were important to her and this she emphasized all through our early years.
I feel great sorrow when I recall the many thoughtless acts I committed and she calmly and patiently endured them.
Our lives today are different. We live in a changed world. We are called upon to do different things. In the days when they all had to band together to thresh their grain, there was a neighborhood bond of unity. They needed the help of their neighbors and their neighbors needed them. Not only manpower, but horses and equipment. As we look back it was a hard time but happy and rewarding.
Gone is the old thresher, the coal and water wagons, the big black steam engine, that made harvest time so exciting. As children we loved it as it came puffing in. The neighbors too, came with their teams and wagons and pitchforks, gathering for the day’s work. Little did we think as children of the hard work it was for our parents.
Time was when some of the men came early for breakfast. Mother always cooked breakfast for the threshing crew which consisted of the engine man, the separator man and the “water monkey”, who hauled coal and water for the machine. The women cooked good big nourishing meals and had them ready at noon – served on long table with orange crates and planks for chairs. Mother fussed and cooked as though she were preparing for royalty. Tubs of warm water, bars of soap, clean towels and comb were placed in the backyard, where the men washed for dinner. The men, hard as they tried to get to the wash tub before the water monkey, Danny Campbell, a character in his own right. There was grumbling among the men as the water and towels would be darkened with coal dust and dirt, however, this was soon forgotten when the hungry men sniffed the odor of food as it drifted through the air, whetting their appetites. They were generally a jovial bunch with a lot of joking. Second helpings were never frown on, but expected. The cooks took their thanks from seeing the food disappear.
During the day buckets of cool fresh water was taken to the threshing crew. Farmers granaries were filled. A big straw stack loomed and when night came, again they filed in, hungry and tired, but in good spirits, as they ate their meal before going home to do chores. Eventually, the men went home for their evening meal because it put them too late doing chores. This was a welcome change for the cooks.
Mother devoted so much time and effort into having everything just right, that when it was all over her nerves were frayed. Sometimes resulting in getting her down with lumbago. If she escaped getting sick we felt she was lucky.
Roy, Ryland and Ellwood used to haul hay and pulp during the winter months to feed to the livestock. Mother took great pleasure in having a hot meal ready for them on their return – generally the weather was cold.
A large apple orchard located just east of Roy and Alice Lufkn’s home was the scene of much activity in late summer. Apples would be picked and carefully packed in boxes and Gene would load as many as he could get in the old “jitney” and head for Ashton. Ryland and Ellwood would sometimes accompany him.
It was while Mother and I, Norma, were picking that Mother’s false teeth were bothering her and she thoughtlessly laid them in the crotch of a tree. Sometime later, when we were ready to go home, the teeth were not to be found. We searched every tree and raked the ground where we had been, but the search was fruitless. We went back the next morning for another search. The pigs had got out of their pen during the night and there was evidence that they had spent the night in the orchard. The teeth were never found and Mother finally decided some “old sow” was wearing them.
Considerable time passed before she finally went to a dentist in Idaho Falls for new teeth and it was her misfortune to choose a poor one. She ended up with a mouthful of teeth that were too long, a bad color and not at all becoming to her. With the busy life she had, the hassle of getting a new set more to her comfort and liking was too much, therefore, she endured them and formed the habit of putting her hand over her mouth when she laughed, either to keep from losing them or because she was self-conscious about how they looked.
Mother had much love and respect for her daughters-in-law, namely, Alice, Zelpha, Belva and Wanda. She both sought and gave counsel. There seemed to be a mutual feeling and admiration that doesn’t always exist in that relationship. Going back through the years revives many memories of the good times we had together as a group, and the worthwhile experiences that took place, which have faded with time.
Norma tells of an incident, she said, “Recently, I met up with an old school friend and as we reminisced he remarked, “Norma, do you remember the day I was riding horseback by your place and as I tried to stop, the horse reared over backwards, falling on me, injuring my leg and knocking me unconscious?” They carried me into your house and I shall never forget how kind and good your Mother was to me.”
This was typical of her nature.
No matter how often I brought friends home, Mother was always friendly and pleasant and they left with a desire to return.
Maxine speaking – Mother was never privileged to drive a car, however, I doubt she ever had that desire. During the years she was active in Relief Society, mind you, her mode of travel was mostly by walking. She visited homes throughout the ward. I recall at one time, she drove what was called a single buggy, drawn by one horse, which was a step up from the wagon. I can picture her now as she held the reins with dignity and steered the horse down the road.
Norma recalls –
MOTHERS STIRRED CAKE
She made a fluffy batter and when the oven got just so,
After just so many minutes she would tiptoe for a peek.
With a gesture of her finger gave a signal not to speak.
If we talked the cake would toughen,
If we walked it sure would fall.
And a jump would mean disaster,
That is all that I recall.
Sometimes I guess we whispered or moved our little toe,
we did something that disturbed the cake and made it not quite so.
Her misfortune deemed us pleasure and I declare it was no fake.
We exulted in her mishap for we always got the cake.
Mother, no doubt had a reason for calling plain cake a “stirred cake”. We couldn’t figure it out and for some reason, never bothered to ask.
Maxine adds – We girls thought our Mother always did everything the hard way. After observing how other Mother’s did things, we would try to persuade her to cut corners to save time and energy, but she wouldn’t listen, and accused us of being lazy. She was right to some extent. That was the way she was raised and we weren’t about to change her.
Norma’s description of –
THE OLD STRAW TICK
In the early fall when the straw’s in the stack
To my childhood days my mind wanders back
To a bright sunny morning, when Mother would say,
We are going to fill the straw ticks today.
Then all of the bedding was wrangled about
And the crumpled dusty old straw was emptied out;
While the ticks were all washed and hung up to dry,
We impatiently watched that time to pass by.
About four o’clock we’d start for the fun,
As the old tick filling process begun.
One of us shook all the chaff from the straw
While others helped to do the stuffing with Ma.
When each tick was stuffed till it would hold no more,
It was pulled and tugged through the kitchen door.
The ticks open end was sewed tight and secure,
Then thrust in a heap on the old kitchen floor.
Her rhythmic gestures soon leveled the tick
And rounded the corners both neatly and quick
By the time the process was fully complete,
The family was ready for a good night retreat.
May I add these few lines to further Mother’s Memory?
Norma speaking – Her days were filled with many simple chores. Small tasks that merge, unnoticed in the sum of all it takes to build a home indoors and a shield her family when night is come. The world will never glorify her name nor even note her day is very full.
No accolade will grant her sudden fame for homely task so humble and so dull. And yet her busy Mother hands have wrought with gentle kindness and with loving care, a greatness she has never dreamed or sought. A truer greatness than the vain would dare.
I am grateful for the life of my Mother. No doubt we have left out many things that were important to her and in compiling this we have wished she could step forward and tell it like it was.
Headstones do not tell the story of the hopes, fears and ambitions in their lives or the trials of raising a large family and paying for their land when money was hard to come by.
A time came when Dad felt he could afford a better home and more conveniences. Instead of building, he bought one that was already constructed, to be moved. No doubt, because of his age he didn’t want to reach out too far.
A foundation was formed and on May 23, 1941 the building was moved onto his property. Of course there was some repair cleaning and painting to be done. Though the house was second hand, it was new to them – having a bathroom was a feature they needed badly, also running water.
Mother appreciated her new home, but didn’t get to enjoy it for very long as her health was failing and the last two years weren’t good. She developed pneumonia and never fully recovered. However, she lived two more years with constant failing health and died of a lingering illness.
Norma has written up a report on World War II years to give future generations a glimpse of what we faced as a family and how Mother viewed it and her concern.
The morning of December 7, 1941, President Roosevelt announced over the radio that Japanese war planes had attacked Manila in the Phillipines and Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. The attack came out of the sky above the still sleeping city of Honolulu about 8:00 A.M. on a beautiful Sunday morning. In the United States it was early afternoon and a million Americans were glued to the radio sets listening (no T.V. sets then) to their favorite football games, then suddenly the dramatic announcement that America’s principal Naval Base had been virtually destroyed by the Japanese. Pearl Harbor had been the home of the largest and greatest Navy in the world. Many Americans did not know where Pearl Harbor was located, some thought it was in China.
President Roosevelt later addressed the American people and called December 7th a day that will live in infamy.
America was completely caught off guard. 2,330 Americans were killed and 1,145 wounded. It was the most humiliating defeat ever suffered by American Forces. Japan had won the most smashing victory ever achieved at the start of Modern War.
The attack had tremendous consequences. The European War instantly became a global conflict and the immense resources of the United States were now thrown against Germany and Japan. All America was alerted and every man of eligible age was ordered into uniform. History tells that the first five months for the United States seemed to be a losing battle, but a Japanese General was heard to remark that they feared they had awakened a “Sleeping Giant”.
At the time of the attack peace talks were being made in Washington, D.C. No declaration of war had been made, yet in the final summation the calculated treachery did not pay. The war ended in crushing defeat for those who started it. Just 1,364 days after it began it ended on the deck of a United States Battleship, “The Missouri”, not in Pearl Harbor but in “Tokyo Bay”. Terms of the surrender were signed September 2, 1945 by Admiral C. W. Nimitz who represented the United States.
On the home front December 7, 1941, a number of the family had gathered at Mother’s home. The womenfolk and children were left to visit while the men went to Mud Lake on a rabbit hunt. Gene, Ryland and Ellwood Lufkin were in the group, also brothers-in-law Bill Price, Dean Hanni and LaMar Burke. It was late evening when they returned. The women had later congregated at the home of Maxine and Dean Hanni, who were living in Annis where the home of Ellwood and Wanda Lufkin is now located. The men returned after an enjoyable day, to some anxious and upset women, only to hear the news of the bombing of Pearl Harbor.
The war continued to be of great concern to Mother. Two of her grandsons, Blaine and Dean Rose, their son-in-law Clarence Barney, husband of Edith Rose and two nephews, Lawrence and Douglas Lufkin, sons of Quill and Maggie Lufkin were just the right age to be called into the service. Blaine served in the Pacific Theatre under the command of General Douglas McArthur and Dean in the European Theatre under the command of General George Patton, commonly known as “Blood and Guts” Patton (their blood and his guts) and General Omar Bradley. Clarence Barney also served in the European Theatre (we’re not sure about the command).
Lawrence saw action in New Guinea and the Philippines with the 11th Airborne Division. Plans were made to invade Japan, had not the atom bomb been dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Douglas was too young to serve when the war started, but enlisted in the Navy about one year before it ended. He served or saw action at Okinawa and the Pacific Islands and was sent to Japan after the atomic bombs had been dropped.
Mother grieved a great deal over these young men, they were her constant concern. Much to our sorrow, she passed away on July 28, 1945, just one month before the unconditional surrender of Japan.
America rallied to the cause. Thousands of acts of patriotism have been recorded and thousands more have gone unmentioned. I never tire of hearing of the bravery and courage shown in all areas.
Rationing books were issued and many important items such as gas, sugar, butter, shortening, sheets, canvas, denim overalls or anything needed for the war effort, we were called on to sacrifice. The hardest part of all was seeing choice young men called to serve their country, not knowing whether they would come back.
The dropping of the atomic bomb was a terrible decision for President Truman to make, but as Mrs. Truman stated, “Harry always placed high value on the life of a single American boy. If the war with Japan had been allowed to continue it would have claimed the lives of at least a million American soldiers and many more would have been maimed for life. It is difficult to calculate the number of Japanese lives that would have been lost, as many or more, undoubtedly as there were civilians that died at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Even though it is hard to look at it this way, the atom bomb was the lesser weapon.”
A granddaughter, Thelma Rose Stosich, tells of an incident that happened when she was just a girl living at the family home. It was frightening.
During the wintertime, when they were having sub zero weather, that Grandma Lufkin became lonesome to see her daughter Verna and her family, living at Humphrey, Idaho, about seventy-five miles to the north. She got an urge that couldn't be quelled, so she induced Grandpa to take her to the train at Roberts. He probably had misgivings about her going alone under the circumstances, but discouraging her would be out of the question.
Since there was no way of letting the family know she was coming, they were not aware of her plans.
The temperature at Humphrey was somewhat colder than at home. While she knew the Rose home was at least a mile from the station she never realized the hazards of walking that far in the cold. She put her hands over her face to protect it, but her neck was exposed and became frostbitten. Battling the cold made her weary, despite the desire to sit down and rest and out of fear of freezing to death, she struggled on, finally reaching the house. She knocked on the door and when it was opened she was viewed by several faces that displayed looks of complete shock. She was nearly frozen, but with their loving care and attention, she was revived.
The more Verna thought about the seriousness of the situation, the more frightening it became to her causing a sickening feeling that would be hard to describe.
The frost damaged the skin on her neck, causing increased wrinkling, that stayed with her the rest of her days.
I have many regrets for the anguish I caused my Mother, but looking hindsight doesn't change the picture one iota. It seemed to take years of experience to make me realize her worth. Perhaps in helping to write her life story I can compensate a little, in maybe generating a desire for excellence in her posterity, to make them realize their value and responsibility in honoring her memory.
**re-typed up by Ronda Kay Burke Mills, Great Granddaughter of Alice Ann Heaps Lufkin through her daughter Norma Lufkin, on to Family Search for all to enjoy in May 2014