Marquis Lavone and Ellen Johnson
Colaborador: melohnt Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago
Excerpts from Bruce’s Journal about his parents:
I (Bruce) was born in Taber, Alberta at my Grandmother’s home, February 13, 1931. My parents were living with my Dad’s mother at the time, as he was farming for her in Barnwell. From the stories that I have heard, I do not think this was an easy time for my mother, living with her mother-in-law, but I am grateful she endured this discomfort making it possible for me to come to earth.
It wasn’t long after I was born that they brought in a small home, a half a mile south of their permanent home. There are a few trees still standing where it was located. This was during the dirty thirties and the wind blew the sandy soil into their home. Farming practices were not as they are today, nor was our small home air tight. They worked up the land to a very fine texture and there was no cover crop on it, so the soil really drifted off the fields, filling the ditch banks and even covering the fences when the west wind blew. I grew up hearing the stories of my mother using a scoop shovel as a dustpan, as she swept up after a bad windstorm.
One night, Mother and Dad went somewhere and left me with my cousin Eileen Anderson. When they returned I was covered with dirt. This was very upsetting to my mother and helps to understand how quickly the dirt could filter in from those terrible dust storms. Usually when they went to a dance they would take me along and lay me down on the bench. I would sleep peacefully, so they told me. It wasn’t too long before we moved up closer to Barnwell where we could be sheltered a little more from the wind.
In the spring of 1938, they brought in a cook car for us to live in while they built the house across the street from Johnny Anderson’s big brick house. The cook car was Lief Johnson’s that he used for his thrashing crew as they moved around the country during harvest time. Uncle June [James Francis Johnson], Dad’s oldest brother told him how to build the house. He was much older; in fact he was like a father to him as his own Dad died when he was a young boy. Uncle June was not in good health at this time so he couldn’t really do the carpentry work, but he was helpful in telling Dad how to do it. I’m sure Uncle Jack [Milace or Miles Johnson] must have helped him.
They built a kitchen, a living room, and three bedrooms. The cook stove heated the house. They would stoke up the stove with coal and bank it so it would burn slowly, but very often it was close to being out before we woke up in the morning. We had to shake down the ashes and take them outside, carry a bucket of coal into the house and stoke up the fire. This was one of my chores, as I got older. We didn’t have natural gas until after the World War 2.
When I was about ten years old, Pat was sick with the measles. There was no way that I wanted to catch the measles so I refused to sleep in the house. I was determined to sleep in the barn in the manger. However, I slept in the house. My mother had more authority than I and she refused to let me sleep in the barn.
As most little boys do, I liked to pretend that I was big like my Dad. We had a Model A Ford that we used for transportation. Dad would work on it to keep it running. One early spring day, Dad was working on it so I also proceeded to lie down on the ground under the car pretending that I was fixing it. I couldn’t have been under there for more than 15 or 30 minutes but that is all I needed to get chilled and that night I had the croup. My parents were up with me all night to keep me from choking. In those days they would put cold, wet cloths around the neck and chest and this seemed to help. Unfortunately I had the croup many times in those early years. It was always at night.
On Sunday’s my Mother’s sisters and their families would come over for visits or we would go to their place. Uncle Clarence and Aunt Annie had a daughter Norma, a bit older than I, and Uncle Slim and Aunt Geneva had two daughters. Elaine was slightly older and Pauline was a little younger. I learned to play with them. I had lots of cousins on my Father’s side that lived here in Barnwell but my parents didn’t socialize with them much.
My Mother and Father sold milk around the community. I don’t remember why they had assigned me to deliver the milk in my wagon but I decided if I was going to do this I was going to make it look like a real milk wagon. Mother made me take it apart because it wasn’t going to work. I think my idea was that I was going to be the horse and pull the wagon and Pat was going to be the driver. I had her sitting on a bench in the wagon with the milk behind her. I couldn’t have been too old then, because I had a bike when I was about seven and that is how I delivered the milk. At night Dad would milk the cows and then I would deliver the milk to other customers. I had a few accidents, but mostly it was safely delivered. After harvest Dad would take care of this until spring work began.
The first fieldwork that I was involved with was the hay harvest. They would cut the hay and lay it on the ground for a day, then they raked it into windrows and eventually it would be raked into piles. When the hay was dry enough they stacked it into the hayracks with pitchforks. Dad usually had two or three hayracks that were driven in and out of the fields. One man would be walking along pitching the hay into the hayracks, and another would be in it piling it up and tromping it down. They tromped it down so they could put as much hay in it as possible. In the farm yard they had a hay pole with an arm that swung around. There was a cable that was threaded from the bottom of the pole, up through the arm with big hay thongs fastened on the end of the cable. When the thongs were let down onto the load it would spread out around the hay and then the horse would pull on the cable which lifted the hay, then the arm would swing around and drop it onto the haystack when the cable was tripped.
I was about nine or ten years old when I was assigned to drive the horse back and forth all day long. The horse we used was a gentle workhorse that I would ride sometimes as we went back and forth, but usually I had to lead it and then push it back. About this time my Mother’s Mother who was a widow lived with us for weeks at a time. They put a cot in my bedroom and Grandma slept in my bed and I would sleep on the cot. After I had been working with the hay crew for a few days, Grandma told Mother that I had learned some bad words. Apparently I had been dreaming and talking in my sleep, swearing at that horse. I probably had heard the men cuss the horses, so being a part of the crew and working with an old tired horse, I probably thought that’s what you did.
At this time we watered our crops by flood irrigation. Our land wasn’t flat enough to have the water start running at the top of the field and flow to the end. We had to make ditches on the high ground so it would flow to the lower parts of the field. George, our hired man, was meticulous about having every inch watered. They would make ditches with the hand plough first to mark the route, and then they would use a Martin ditcher to make a deep ditch with high banks. In 1939 Dad bought a tractor, Model H International Harvester tractor. I was probably 12 or maybe a little younger when I started driving it, when my legs were long enough to reach the clutch. I didn’t like driving it when we were doing ditches because I was always afraid it would tip over on me. We would drive it with one wheel in the ditch and one on the bank. They did this until the ditch was solid enough to hold water. It required more than one person to do this. Sometimes the wheel on the top of the ditch would run over a rock and it would flip you off. I was driving one time when this happened and the tractor began to tip. I was frightened and jumped off. My Dad was not impressed and insisted that I get back on and finish the job. That was likely good for me to learn how to persevere, but at the time I wasn’t sure about it.
There was a great thing that happened after the Second World War. Someone invented a ditcher that would plough the ditch and make the banks at the same time and the tractor remained horizontal all the time. I didn’t mind driving the tractor to make ditches after that. It was quite a relief to me.
We had a team of horses called Pat and Mike that were about 20 years old but they had a lot of spirit left in them. I was raking hay one day when I was still pretty young. The fields had lots of ditches in them so the hay was cut and raked in circles, triangles and little patches. Grant Johnson had cut the hay, and then hitched the horses on to the rake for me. I was doing pretty well but I kind of got myself into a corner and needed to get turned around. I managed to back them up and turn them around but I must have tapped the horses with the reins in my eagerness, as they did it too fast and I fell off right down under the tongs. The horses took off and I was underneath, rolling with the hay as the rake was gathering it up. When the tongs were full they would lift up automatically, leaving the rolled hay and then come down again to begin the raking process. Since I was dumped with the hay, the tongs came down and scraped across my chest and tore off my shirt. Grant was fixing the mower at the time and saw the team racing across the field and was able to stop them. He made me get back on the rake and finish my job. I didn’t have much love for horses after that; I much preferred driving the tractor.
When I was about 12 years old, I was considered one of the hired men. That’s just the way it was. It was just assumed since I was the son of a farmer that I would always be there to work on the farm. By the time I was fifteen I stayed out of school during beet harvest and drove the tractor to the beet dump. Most all the boys were out of school working in the beet harvest; just the girls were in school for these few weeks. The beets were forked onto the wagon and it was a heavy job. Dad didn’t have me do that but when I took a load of beets to the dump they always gave your dirt back and I had to shovel it off in the field, before I took the next load.
Shovelling the dirt off was a big job and finally we rigged up some poles and with the power of the tractor we lifted up the box of the wagon sideways and let the dirt slide off. It kind of worked like a dump truck.
August was the time to harvest the grain. We never did have a binder. We always borrowed Anderson’s because they threshed our grain. I would drive the tractor while Dad rode the binder. When the carrier had about eight bundles he would trip the carrier and the bundles fell on the ground. Each round, he would trip it at the same place so it was easier for the men to stook the bundles so the grain could dry. When the threshing crew came, they would pitch the bundles onto the wagons and take them to the threshing machine.
We didn’t always feed cattle, but it was probably during the Second World War that Dad decided to do this. He went with Ollie Nielsen up in the hills to get a load of lumber. He used this to build a corral. This was down where the village has the water treatment plant now. He had the irrigation company come in and dig a pond. We pulled in a small granary and we had a small Macleod grinder to chop the grain, one bucket at a time. We pumped the water by hand from a well about 40 feet from the corral. Dad built a wooden trough out of 2x6’s so the water could run over to the corral instead of us carrying it by bucket.
When I was about 17, Dad bought a new car and I desperately wanted the old one. So I told Dad that if he let me have the car I would water and feed the cattle all winter. I carried buckets of grain and pumped water for 100 head of cattle. I counted to 100 with one hand and then counted 100 with the other hand, back and forth until the water trough would be full. I earned the privilege of having a car but it got me into a lot of trouble. Eventually I just parked the darned thing.
Feeding cattle in those days was a lot of work. Every mouthful that went into those animals, whether it was silage, hay or straw was pitched into a wagon, pulled by the tractor and then pitched off. Nothing was automated. The grain was all shovelled on and bucketed to the feed mangers. It wasn’t until 1949 that grain augers and front-end loaders were available, but we still continued pitching and bucketing. We never had a dump truck while we were feeding cattle.
About 1949, or 50, Dad bought a Chevrolet two-ton truck so we could go over to Picture Butte and get wet beet pulp to feed the cattle. I would drive over in the morning and get home in time for dinner and then shovel it off. It was wet, sloppy and very smelly. I had to wear rubber boots as I unloaded it.
We fed cattle until 1956, about three years after I was married. The last year we fed, we bought high and sold low. We had put enough gain on them to get the price of our grain back. I decided that I would prefer selling the grain outright instead of selling it through cattle.
When Ruth Ann and I were engaged, I was working in Calgary and I phoned home and asked Dad if he would prepare himself to go to the temple when I got married. He and Mom had never been to the temple as he was not active in the church and did not keep the Word of Wisdom. He had to quit smoking and drinking coffee. By this time in his life, he was drinking alcohol only rarely. To my delight and to my Mother’s joy, June 10th, 1953, they went with us when we were getting our endowments. My sisters Pat, Catherine and I were all sealed to our parents. It was a special day. Ruth Ann and I were looking forward to being married and sealed for eternity and were so happy to have our parents there to witness this joyous time.
Dad and I had a good relationship. We worked together without any serious conflicts. He was patient with me as long as we did what he wanted. He was in charge and I really was just the hired man, but he was good to me. During the fifty years I spent farming, there were many changes. The greatest change was in the way we financed our operation. During the 40’s we always paid for our expenses with the money made from last year’s crop. During the 50’s tractors and machinery were replacing the horses and the banks and the dealers were offering opportunities to buy now and pay later. The tractors and machinery became even larger during the 60’s and so did the price. During the 70’s we had the scare that the western nations were going to run out of oil, which made the fuel prices go up. Then in the 80’s and 90’s the tractors and the machinery were even larger and more complex. Farm financing became unreasonable.
A 1940 John Deere D tractor, 45HP could be bought for $600.00. In 1949 you would pay $1500.00. In 1949 an International Harvester M, 45HP would cost $1900.00. The year 2004, a tractor of a 45HP would cost $35,000.00. It wouldn’t pull anymore than the tractor in 1949 but the farm had to produce more to pay for it. Larger equipment, tractors and combines in the year 2004 would cost $200,000.00 or more so the farms have become larger so that the equipment would be justified.
In 1953 when I became a partner with my father, we leased a half section of dry land and seeded half of it to wheat. We also had a half section of irrigated land growing sugar beets, peas, corn, hay and grain. Dad had 15 or so cows. In the fall we bought 50 or 60 head of steers to fatten in the feed corral.
In the spring we hired 3 or 4 guys to help fork the manure out of the corral into manure spreaders in which we spread out on the field. It took about two weeks to complete this job. I don’t think we thought too much about this hard work, it was just something that had to be done.
One task I enjoyed was pitching straw from a straw stack into a wagon and hauling it to the corral for bedding for the animals. I loved lying on the straw in the wagon on the way home while Dad drove the tractor. It was very relaxing.
Through the years we farmed different land in the area besides the land he already owned. We farmed a half section in Burdett in ‘53 and ‘54. In ‘55 we farmed Oral Buta’s quarter section for a year. In 1957 we rented Miles Fairbank’s 240 acres for two years and Ralph Johnson’s three-quarter section in Chin for two years. We rented Sybil Anderson’s quarter section for a year and Bill Murphy’s quarter section for two years. We rented 40 acres from Ronald Johnson for one year. We finally purchased 120 acres from Ivan Anderson. We rented Orland Johnson’s 80 acres for 10 years and then finally managed to buy it for $20,000.00. The last land we purchased was Edward Anderson’s quarter section for $56,000.00.
When we rented the land in Chin from Ralph Johnson we planned on renting for three years and then buy it. However, after two years Ralph wanted to sell and we were not in the position to give him $5000 for the down payment. He sold it to a realtor from Idaho who eventually sold it to Glen and Bert Jensen. While we were running it, we had Bev Johnson working with us. When we lost the land Bev decided to go back to University. We had bought extra machinery to run this land so we were in debt.
Emil Krizan was running Orland Johnson’s land and about this same time he bought some land southeast of Taber. So we rented the 80 acres from Orland, paying 100 ton of sugar beets to him each fall for 10 years. Eventually he decided to sell it. We paid $2000 down with the money that Ruth Ann saved from teaching school. She put her check in the bank each month after paying her tithing with the intention of buying land when the opportunity arose. Orland let us finish paying for the land in the same manner we had paid the rent. He was Dad’s first cousin and doing business with him was a pleasure. Not all of our experiences were that great.
On this piece of land we grew sugar beets, corn, hay and grain. One day when we were harvesting the hay, this was before we bought a baler, George and I were pitching the loose hay on to a wagon and taking it to the home place to make a stack. I was on top of the wagon tromping the hay while George was forking it up. It was amazing how he could throw hay up higher than the length of the fork. He kept pitching and I kept tromping until it was almost too high to go under the telephone wires crossing the road. When we arrived, Dad was not happy we had such a high load. It almost tipped over as we drove into the yard beside the stack.
When we rented Oral Buta’s land, we grew grain and sugar beets and paid the rent with the sugar beets. That spring it rained so long that we had difficulty getting the crops in the ground. After a year he wanted to sell and we were not interested so he sold it to George Span.
The year Glyn Howells died our relationship with the Anderson’s changed. He died in the summer and the neighbours helped take off the crop. We rented the land for two years. We planted corn, sugar beets and grain. They had about 25 acres of pasture in which we grazed our cows. They were not easy to do business with and it was quite disappointing, as I had always had a special relationship with this family. It was a lesson I had to learn, I guess. Some people are very aggressive and demanding when doing their business deals and we were not prepared for this. My father was quite angry over this for quite some time but eventually he mellowed.
We leased 240 acres from Miles Fairbanks. The soil varied from light sandy soil to loam to alkali soil. Part was irrigated which provided land for 100 acres of crop and 40 was pasture which had a lot of alkali. The other 100 acres was dry land in which we grew grain. We farmed it for 2 years and then he had an opportunity to sell it to a German family. They eventually sold it to the Urano family.
The year we rented 40 acres from Ronald Johnson, we grew sweet corn on it. It was level and easy to irrigate. The water would run the length of the field.
In 1967, we made a deal with Ivan Anderson to buy 120 acres of irrigated land. That was the year Nina was born and it snowed for so long that after a month there was 36 inches of snow on the level. It took a month to melt. About the 10th of June we took a shovel out on this land and pushed the handle down into the ground. It went down the full length of the handle. We didn’t even put a crop on that land that year. It had a lot of alkali but for 10 years we planted different crops on about 75 acres which was productive.
A few years later I bought a quarter section of dry land from Edward Anderson for $56,000.00. It bordered on my Dad’s land. We grew grain on it for 2 years and then irrigation became available. We went to the expense of putting a pipeline and a pivot on this land. We grew seed potatoes, corn, cabbage and grain.
When Dad and I were farming, we harvested 100 acres of beets and hauled them to the sugar factory using 3 trucks. We had a Marbeet harvester, which dug one row at a time. I dug the beets and Dad drove the truck to the factory. We were milking cows at that time as well. Thinking about it now, I am amazed that we were able to accomplish all that work.
Dad always grew sweet corn; mostly for the cannery. There was a canning factory in Taber and in Magrath. The last five years we grew for Magrath Cannery we used a mechanical picker. Before that time, the corn was always hand-picked. The years we picked by hand we had many immigrant workers and it was interesting to visit with them. I remember Gadwing Batorsky from the Ukraine. She had many experiences from World War 2 and would talk about it. She had two little boys that she brought out to the field with her. They were about 4 and 5 years old. They liked to ride on the top of the cab of the truck. Eventually they caused it to cave in. Another was a German woman and she had a different point of view of Hitler than most of us. She said that he did a lot of good things for Germany.
We also sold corn on the street. When I was young, Dad would sell it to people and send it to them on the train. When my sons became old enough they sold it at farmer’s markets and on the streets in Calgary. This was hard work. The last year we did this, Tracy stayed in Calgary and we would truck the corn up to him. Some days it really went fast and other days we would bring half of it home. It has become a popular way to market corn.
We grew hay and sold it to the dehydrating plant in Vauxhall. By the time we did that, hay harvest was much different than when I was a kid. We cut it and let it dry, and then we would bale it.
Myrl Johnson's Birth, Move to Canada, and Her Early Memories
Colaborador: melohnt Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago
Speaking of her parents (Mary Mabel Allred and James Francis Johnson) Myrl wrote:
They made their home in Nephi (Arizona) and on June 28, 1899, I (Myrl Johnson) was born in this house. Two years later in the same house my sister Armrel was born on the 6 August 1901. At that time they were making plans to go by team and wagon to Canada. It was very hard to leave their home and go into an unknown country. And so on March 27, 1902 at 4 p.m. they climbed into their covered wagons and headed north. My father, just a young man of twenty-four, led the caravan all the way. This is where my childhood memories started.
One day as we travelled along a valley at wolf creek, they spotted a deer standing a short distance away on a small hill. I can remember seeing it as my father shot and killed it. It made plenty of meat for all the company for awhile.
Another time I burned my leg and I can just see Aunt Clara, Uncle Mark's wife, beating up the white of an egg and putting on it.
I remember the team we drove all the way. Doll was a bay mare and Jeff was a black horse. It took three months to make the long journey and I remember the day we landed in Raymond. It was Dominion Day, the 1st day of July 1902. They were having a big celebration. We had only our tents and wagon to live in for awhile, and then my father built us a one roomed house. Shortly after this old Doll got stuck in a mud hole south of Raymond, and died, leaving us one horse.
In a few years father built a kitchen on the back of the house and mother planted beds of pansy's out in the front. I loved to sit and play by them. One bed had all blue pansy's in it. The others were all mixed colors. This is the first home we had in Canada and the first home I can remember. Soon after we moved into it Uncle Marlin and Aunt Rhoda came from Arizona and lived there with us for a while. Aunt Rhoda played the guitar and they would spend the evenings singing and we all enjoyed it so much. I remember Uncle Marlin saying he had twenty-five cents in his pocket he had carried around for weeks. Money was scarce in those days, so he decided he would spend it for some meat, so he got on his horse and rode up to the store and went in and bought some hamburger. When he came out to go home there was twenty-five cents lying on the ground by his horse. So he had the meat and his money back.
I remember Mother and Dad and Uncle Marlin and Aunt Rhoda going out to thin beets. They would crawl along and Armrel and I would ride on their backs. After a while Uncle Marlin bought a little house south across the canal from us and they moved over there to live.
I've heard my mother tell about the first winter they lived here. She hung her washing out and when it froze she didn't know what was wrong so she brought it all back in and washed it again, trying to find out what was wrong with it. Coming from such a hot country, they almost froze to death learning how to prepare for the winters.
Myrl Johnson - Early Marriage and Motherhood
Colaborador: melohnt Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago
As written by Myrl in her memoir:
Melvin was born in this house on his father's birthday, the 31st of October 1919. It was very cold and the snow was about a foot deep. It stayed very cold all winter. Melvin was a healthy baby and got along fine. Grandma Allred came and stayed with us when he was born.
Mother and Dad still lived at the old farm and I longed to go back. We spent most of our Sundays there. In 1919 Garth was born, 21 July. He had dark hair and brown eyes and was a great little fellow. Then on the 9th of January 1921 Gerald was born. He had blue eyes and blonde curly hair and had such winning ways. On the 2nd of April 1923 Marie was born, blue eyes and dark hair and so cute. Grandma Allred lived there with the folks then and Marie being the last baby they all enjoyed her so much. Grandma made quilts and rugs and did a lot of hand work. She had her own little house by the side of the folks but ate her meals with them. We only lived about three and a half miles from them but I sure loved to go home and be with them on the farm.
In February 1920 we bought 60 acres of the quarter of land that Irvin had, and we moved to a little one roomed house down by the side of Irvin and Edith, and stayed there that summer. Hillman went out to work and Irvin stayed home and put in all the crops for both of us, and then we divided everything even. The crop was all up nice and green when the winds started to blow. It blew so hard and so many days that the crops were either buried with sand or blown out and the air was so full of dust it was hard to see anywhere. Some of the machinery and lots of the fences were buried up too. After about three weeks the wind stopped blowing. Some of the grain came up again and we had fair crops. There were not trees in the country then but ditches were being built that summer and we were all looking forward to having trees and gardens as well as other crops. We would pack up a lunch and get in our buggy's and go to the river for a picnic as that was the only place where there were any trees and water. We picked lots of berries there too. We tied branches on our buggy's to decorate them. We had Snap on our buggy on this side and Clarence had Black Prince on his buggy. The prairie was big and flat with only the telephone lines and fences and a few farm homes to see. We made the best of everything and had lots of good times together.
The first home we owned was the fourth house that we had lived in after we were married and is on the sixty acres of land we bought. We moved into it the fall of 1920 and the next spring we planted trees all around, some of which we dug up at the river. The next summer on the 29th of July, 1921, Phyllis was born there. Mother came and stayed with me for a while. Phyllis had blonde hair and blue eyes and was a healthy baby and grew good and was so cute and we loved her so much.
The trees grew very fast as we had the irrigation now and could water all we needed to. We had good gardens and lots of flowers and a lawn and Melvin and Phyllis played good together. Melvin always took good care of Phyllis and didn't let her get very far away. When he started to school he had to walk a half a mile alone and he didn't like to go alone very well. After Phyllis started school they didn't make any fuss about going at all.
On December 12, 1923 we got on the train and went to Cardston to go to the temple. On December 13, 1923 we went through for the first time and were sealed for time and eternity. Melvin and Phyllis were sealed to us at that time. We stayed over night and came home on the train the next day. We didn't have any cars in those days, but they were very happy days. We worked hard planting our little farm and fixing our house and planting trees and flowers and a garden. Irrigation had just come to us and it was really wonderful to have water, all we could use. This was the first time we could have trees and a lawn around the house and we thought we couldn't get too many trees, so we planted them everywhere and later had to dig some up, but it was good to have lots of shade for the children to play in.
Melvin and Phyllis were happy children and played well together. We enjoyed having our family come to visit. We didn't have any electricity so we used the old fashioned lamps to light our home. As the years passed by we were happy in our little farm. In the fall of 1925 Kenneth was born, 22nd of November. Kenneth was born in the old home on Dad's farm. All the family was there and wanted him named Kenneth. Grandma Allred was there too and she wanted him named Park, so we called him Kenneth Park Anderson, and we always liked it. Ken was born on Sunday and the following week the threshers pulled on to our place and threshed our crop. It had rained so much all fall we couldn't get it done any sooner. The following winter was cold and we had lots of sickness. There was measles and mumps and chicken pox and whooping cough around the community. Melvin and Phyllis in school they got them all and so Ken had them when he was so young, but with constant care and watching he got through it all. As spring came and the days turned sunny and warm again, health returned to our family and all was well with us again.
In April we bought our first car, a Ford. When Kenneth was nine months old he started walking. He never was satisfied to walk, he always ran and got lots of bumps. We had a cupboard in our kitchen with wide shelves in the bottom and a curtain across the front and Kenneth would crawl up in there and play with all the pans and lids. In the Spring of 1929 section 29 was divided up in to small plots of from 10 to 20 acres, so we bought 15 acres there so we could be closer to school and church. In the fall of 1929 we moved. Ken was four years old when we moved so won't remember much about it. It was an old house so took a lot of fixing, but we were thrilled to have it to work on. We had so many plans for our home and family. Two years later Marlin was born in this house, 8th December 1931. Uncle Marlin Allred from Arizona was staying with us then for a visit so we named Marlin after him. He was so pleased he bought him a whole new outfit of clothes. We enjoyed the new baby and Uncle Marlin stayed for a few weeks and helped me take care of him. Ken was six years old when Marlin was born so we enjoyed having another baby in the home. He was a healthy, happy baby and grew up so fast and when he was three years old Dennis was born, 8th October 1934. So we had two little boys together and we enjoyed them so much. When Dennis was one year old his father became ill with Brights disease and was sick most of the time. So in the fall we went to Arizona and California to see if the warmer climate would help him. We went with my Mother and Dad and Grandma Johnson and Florence and we took Dennis with us. Arvilla and Ivan took care of Melvin and Phyllis and Ken and Marlin. We wanted to take them but there wasn't room. We left on the 14 November 1936. Grandma Johnson stayed with her girls in California and Hillman stayed with some of his relatives to take treatments for his health. The rest of us came home. The winter was so long and lonesome. His health didn't improve and on the 13th of March 1937 he came home a very sick man and passed away on 24th of March 1937.
After the funeral I stayed with my mother and dad for almost three weeks and they were so good to all of us and all our friends did so much for us. It was so hard to take care of the children away from home so we went back, heartsick and lonely. The children were so good to help and so we started a new life alone. We were buying our home and land, fifteen acres of land, and we had five horses and two cows and some pigs and so we worked thinning beets and different things until our place was paid for. Melvin was seventeen, Phyllis fifteen, Kenneth twelve, Marlin five and Dennis two and half years.
When Dennis and Marlin were small I got them a little wagon and when I went to the store or over to Grandma and Grandpa's I would pull them along in the wagon. We finally sold our horses and cows because we didn't have any pasture for them and it was so hard to get feed for them. One winter Mother and Dad and the ones that were home then, came over and stayed with me because I was so lonely. When I think of it now I guess it was hard for them to leave their home to come, but I really enjoyed it. Phyllis and my sister Marie went to school together and enjoyed the winter together. Mother had a heart attack and was very sick. There was no hospital in Taber then, so we took her to Lethbridge. She got better but always had to be so careful after that or it would come back again. They moved back home in the spring and the next winter they went to Arizona and stayed for a couple of months, which they enjoyed very much.