The Journal of Margret Elizabeth Price Davis.
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The Journal of Margret Elizabeth Price Davis.
I have taken the liberty of taking the following hand written journal, written by our mother, which is her life history and putting these writings into a type written form.
I do so to put this history on a computer record that it may be preserved and to be read by posterity and others who knew and was associated with this special individual.
All of our Mothers documents was hand written in pencil. Therefore as time has gone on and as pages have been read and turned, often times pencil written words become diminished, worn, and rubbed away making them not legible. At times it was difficult in selecting the words she intended to use. Never the less the best was done in copying these writings of her journal.
Our mother in writing this her journal has been obedient in keeping with the instruction and encouragement given to her by our prophets in keeping a journal and a record of her life history.
Each of us as her children, her posterity and others should follow her example and should be inspired do the very same.
The Life History of Margret Elizabeth Price Davis
My mother Wilhelmina Fredrika Gutke Price was called Minnie came from Sweden
when she was seven years old. She came with her mother, Johanna Mork Gutke and
Father, Johanas Gutke. They sailed from Sweden on a sailboat. It took them six weeks
to reach America. The boat pitched and rolled in the storms. Dishes and pans chattered and banged. Mother never forgot the smell of boiled potatoes with the skins on.
When someone died they wrapped them in canvas and lowered them overboard. The
Sharks were always following the boat.
Two brothers and two sisters were sent to America before. They were sent with other
families who would take care of them until their parents came to America.
Two sisters, Sofie and Clara died when they were quite young in Sweden.
After they joined the L.D.S. church they were shunned by the people. When Clara
died she was kept in a shed six weeks before they got permission to bury her.
They came to Utah by train. They lived in Salt Lake and Logan. Grandfather was sent to Logan by the church to work as a blacksmith. They later settled in Smithfield.
Here mother went to school. She also lived in Salt Lake with her sister Julia Brixen whose husband owned the Valley House, one of the first hotels in Salt Lake.
My mother married Harmon Alonzo Price, a school teacher. He taught in Smithfield and in Mendon Utah.
In Smithfield, my oldest brother Harold Harmon and sisters Lucille Wilhelmina were
Father and mother then came to Idaho. He taught school for several years. He taught in Soda Springs. Here Maxine Norma was born. Then they moved to McCammon, Idaho. Papa taught in a two room school. Helen was born in Salt Lake, Brixen in Smithfield. Florence, Margret and Alice in McCammon. Papa taught the eighth grade in McCammon. Quit after several years and farmed.
I Margret was born June 30, 1907 to Wilhelmina (Minnie) Price and Harmon Price. I was born on a Sunday during a terrible electrical storm so I am told. Probably that’s why I don’t like thunder and lightening today.
My brothers are Harold Harmon and John Brixen. Sisters Lucille Wilhelmina, Maxine Norma, Helen Marie, Florence Johannah, Margret Elizabeth and Alice Loila.
My father Alonzo Harmon Price was born Nov. 23, 1865 at Smithfield, Utah. His parents were Moroni Price and Jane Elizabeth Gray Price. He died at McCammon, Idaho Oct. 7, 1917.
He married Wilhilmina Fredrika Gutke May 2, 1894. Mothers parents were Johanas
Gutke. Born in Bellingford, Sweden June 24, 1816. He died Oct. 24, 1888 at Salt Lake City and Johanna Fredrika Mork Gutke was born in Foss Bohr, Sweden Jan 2,1833. She
died Oct. 29, 1907 at McCammon, Idaho.
My father, Alonzo Harmon Price was born Nov.23, 1865. He was a premature baby weighing two and one half lbs. They were afraid he would die so on that same day he was named and given a blessing. He lived for 53 years. He was wrapped in cotton and wool to keep him warm. A shoe box was his cradle. He died October 7, 1917 from a condition caused by being kicked by a horse, injuring a kidney. Mom and Dad were the parents of eight children, six daughters and two sons.
Harold Harmon born Jan 20, 1885 at Smithfield, Utah. Married Hazel Sewell on Nov. 24, 1932. They had three children, Alvin Harold, taught at B.Y.U. Ruth Price Anderson taught at Alpine, Utah. Doris Gillett. Harold died Oct. 7, 1983 in S.L. City. Wife Hazel died Jan. 8, 1981 in S.L.City.
Lucille Wilhelmina Born Sept 29, 1896 at Mendon, Ut. She married Arthur Lamar Oliver. Lucille died May 28,1968 at Pocatello, Idaho. A.L. Oliver died Feb 20, 1967. Their children are Arthur, Marcille, Robert, and William.
Maxine Norma was born March 6, 1898 at Soda Springs, Ida. She died Nov 6, 1987. She married Gervase E. Arnold. He passed away Jan. 1, 1968. Their children, Gene, Earl, and Frank.
Helen Marie, born Aug. 18, 1900 in Salt Lake City, Ut. She married Milton J. Hyde.
Their children are Shirley, James, Ronald, and Nola.
John Brixen born Jan 2, 1902. In Smithfield, Ut. Married Mary Edwards. He died April 22, 1980. Their children, Walter died 2-3 yrs 1934. Janet, Dorothy, Blain, Neil, and Brenda.
Florence Johanna, born Oct. 16, 1905 at McCammon. Married Walter Fleckenstien.
Lived in Queens, New York. Son Charles.
Margret Elizabeth, born McCammon Ida. June 30, 1907. Married Raymond Davis who died Dec. 23, 1975. Children are Willa, Lowell “Chuck”, Glade “Rusty”, Ralph “Tim”, and Florence.
Alice Loila, born June 17, 1913 at McCammon. Married Raphell Palfryman. Children, are Janiel, and Marsha.
My father was called on a mission for the church. It was his second mission. He filled a mission before he was married. He went to the southern states twice. He left Mother and eight children. The oldest was sixteen and the youngest about four. I’m sure
Mother had a hard time feeding and clothing us. Father didn’t finish his two years. He
got sick from a previous accident. He was kicked by a horse. He died that fall in 1917.
My brother Harold worked on the farm, working the ground, caring for a few cows, sheep and pigs. He went to school in a two room school for a year or two then to
McCammon, where they had a room and a teacher for each grade. He graduated from the eighth grade. There wasn’t a high school then so he went to Salt Lake to school for a while. When McCammon got a high school he came back and graduated from McCammon High. He and his friend played basketball. They were champions of their district. He and a couple of friends would run to and from school. Some times they would go to the railroad track run and catch a moving freight train which was really dangerous, get in a box car or empty coal car and ride home. We lived right by the tracks. The train slowed down because it was uphill by home. The boys could get off quite easily.
When he was seventeen he was hurt in a accident hauling grain in a wagon and a train hit his wagon. In 1918 during the first world war, eight of his friends went to war. I remembered how bad he felt because he couldn’t go with them, because of the accident. He went on a L.D.S. mission in the Kansas territory. In those days they went without money or bedding. If they had a place to eat it was because of the kindness of the people they ask. They walked from place to place in heat, rain, cold, snow ect. Preaching the gospel. One Christmas he and his companion couldn’t find a home that would give them food and shelter for the night. They found a strawstack where they spent the night. The next morning they shared some dry corn on the cob with the pigs. Serving a mission was very different then. He returned home and went to Logan Agricultural College. He graduated from there. He taught school in Bancroft. Went back to the A.C. College. He
got his degree for there. He was called “Hank” by his family and close friends. After graduation he worked for the Forest Service. He also worked for the U.S. Army inspecting army camps. His first job was in the Nevada mountains. Camping alone with the snakes and wild animals. He worked in Utah for twenty or thirty years. In Nevada he met and married Hazel Sewell of Elko, Nevada. They moved to Ogden for several years. He died after a long illness. He died in his late 80’s. They had three children.
Alvin who married Barbara ? Ruth who married Craig Anderson. Doris married Dave
Gillett. Harold was named after his father. He never came back to work on the farm.
Lucille worked for the Telephone company and the McCammon Post office. She married Arthur Lamar Oliver of Pocatello. They lived there all their lives. He worked for the City of Pocatello and was the Chief of Police for years. Their children were Marcille,
Arthur, Robert and William. Lucille was named after her mother. Her nick name was Sukey. They said that she was always sucking her thumb. She had Scarlet Fever and Diptheria when a child. These illnesses left her with a bad heart. He died of cancer. She died after a stroke.
Maxine was not named after a family member but was named after Norma ? an actress and a very good friend of mothers. The traveling shows and opera’s came to Salt
Lake City. They stayed at the Valley House. Mother lived here. The Valley House was owned by her sister Julia’s husband. Her nick name was Max. She started to sew at ten or eleven years old. She made mine and sister Florence’s clothes. She sewed until she was in her eighties. She has three boys. Gene, Earl, and Frank. She married
Gervase Arnold from Montpelier, Ida. He was working in McCammon, Ida. For the Utah Power and Light Co. They lived in McCammon, Montpelier, Ogden and Pocatello. He taught classes in electricity during World War II. He later had a repair shop at home. He died of cancer. She died after a long illness. Max could sure tell stories.
Helen was named after a favorite cousin Marie Gutke, a daughter of grandmothers brother Oscar. Sometimes we called her Hick. She wasn’t very often called by a nick name. She went to Normal school at Albion, Ida. When she was seventeen she taught at Reddyville a small school west of McCammon, at Grace, Bancroft, McCammon and Downey. She was always working and kept others working. She married Milton J. Hyde. They lived in Downey. He had a garage, sold cars and sold bulk oil. She taught school in Downey for a few years. They built a large home in Downey. They raised a large vegtable garden. Canned many quarts of vegetables and fruit. They raised many flowers and had a large beautiful yard. They adopted three children, brothers and sister, Shirley, James, and Ronald. Then they adopted a day old girl Nola.
Helen taught 4-H classes. She taught six or seven different classes. She has made many quilts, afgans and a lot of embroidering. She was always willing to go help others when needed.
John Brixen was named after mothers brother John and a brother-in-law Andy Brixen.
He was called Oley and Swen when he was young, and Brick as he got older. He was a good and considerate brother. He ran the farm after Daddy died. By the way we were never allowed to call our father anything but Papa, and mother was always Mama. We called her Mom and Mother when we were older. Even though Brixen was only
fourteen, he took care of we younger ones when we were growing up.
He married Mary Edwards and lived in McCammon. Then he ran a roadside
hamburger stand in Cheyenne, Wyo., worked at the Big Store at McCammon. He later moved to Pocatello and opened a hamburger stand. He worked there many years. He died of cancer. His wife is still alive. They had six children. Walter Brixen he died with a cancerous growth on the brain when he was three years old. Janet, Dorothy, Blain, Neil, and Brenda.
Florence was named after Grandma Johannah Gutke. She was called Pinky. She was the only one in the family that had red hair. Grandpa Price had red hair and so did several of the Raymonds. Grandma Price was a Raymond. We played together, slept together when young, worked and went to school together. She taught school for several
years. She married Walter Fleckenstien from New York. She was going to school in Califonia. He had been stationed on a small island in the Pacific during World War II.
He had landed back in the states. He met Florence at a dance. They were married and moved to Queens New York. He worked for the news paper, The New York Times. They had one son Charles. Wally retired several years ago. They still live in a row house in Queens N.Y.
I’ve got to get Alys in here some place because I’m telling so much about myself. I’ll put her between me and Florence. She was born June 17, 1913. She grew up with the rest of us. She did most of the things we did when we were growing up. By then things were changing. People were buying cars, electricity, silent movies were no longer around. Radio’s were common. She went to grade school and High School in McCammon. Then on to Logan, Salt Lake, and Oregon to get her degree. She taught school for several years and worked in 4-H. Mother and Alys stayed together when she was going to school and also when teaching school. When in Provo, she met and married Raphel Palfreyman. They lived there all their married life except 4-5 years in Moab. They had two daughters, Janeil Palfreyman Fox, and Marsha Walker.
I Margret Elizabeth was born on a Sunday, June 30, 1907 at McCammon Idaho in a two room home on a farm three miles from town. Nearly all babies were born at home with a neighbor helping and many times with no doctor. They tell me there was a terrible electrical storm that day. I never have liked thunder or lightening perhaps that’s why. I was not given the name of Margret Elizabeth until I was three years old. I don’t know why. I was called Honey, Honey Bug, Polly, and Beatrice. I remember the evening I was blessed, I cried. I guess that I didn’t want a name. They gave me some pink taffy candy and I stopped crying. The children were named at home then. I was named after my grandmother Jane Elizabeth Price. We all grew up playing working and
sharing with each other.
I remember the first can of tomatoes and pork & beans. I was ten and visiting my sisters
Lucille and Maxine that lived in town. I also tasted my first boughten butter. Creamery butter we called it. I didn’t like it. I also tasted my first dry cereal, Kellogs Corn Flakes.
They are still my favorite.
When sliced bread came on the market, I thought that people were getting lazy. They bought bread and now they had to have someone slice it for them. What’s next? There was no packaged cakes, bisquets, cookies, no frozen foods or canned soups. We made our own bread. Mixing and baking six to eight loaves at least twice a week We churned our own butter from the cream we skinned off the pans of milk. We milked our own cows. We all had chores to do. Carrying water from the creek when the pump was broken or pumping many buckets of water from a well, especialy on wash day. Bringing
in wood and coal, feeding chickens, gathering the eggs, helping in the garden, pulling weeds and carrying them four or five blocks to the pigs. Herding cows, milking them, separating the milk, feeding the separated milk to the pigs and calves. Churning butter, gathering eggs, picking fruit. Turning the washer, doing the dishes, picking vegatables and many other things. We didn’t have a phonograph, radio, or TV. We did have a phone with five or six other families on the line. We had no car, bicycles, skates. We did have a horse to ride. We fished and swam in the river or canal, picked flowers, climbed trees, jumped the rope and played many games. We went to a show for 10 cents.
We all grew up in McCammon. We all went to grade school and High school there.
Harold, Lucille, Maxine, and Helen went to a two room country school. Father taught here until the school closed and they went to McCammon to school. They rode in a wagon, sleighs and sometimes walked 3 miles each way. I went to school in a lumber wagon. It had long boards on either side and a canvas cover over the top. In the winter it was a very cold ride. Sometimes I thought my hands and feet would freeze. We had a nice building. It was steam heated. It had oiled wooden floors, a large room for coats, caps etc. We kept our lunch buckets here. We usually ate our lunch outside. Our lunch
buckets were just empty lard buckets. We had to go a block or more to a outside toilet.
There was just two years of High School for a while. There was four years of High School when I started.
For the first six years we just had one teacher that taught all our classes. There was twenty five or thirty students to a room. When we went to High School, the students started to drop out. Each year there were some that didn’t come back. There was only fourteen in my class when we graduated.
Florence graduated from high school two years before me. She went to Montpelier, Idaho where our sister Maxine Arnold lived. She lived with them and worked at J.C.
The fall after I graduated she came home and we went to Pocatello to school. The
Idaho Technology Institute later called the Southeren Branch and now Idaho State University. We both took Elementary Education. We didn’t get a position as teachers so we went the next year.
When this country was being settled anyone that could read or write could teach. Then the requirements began to go up. You needed to have a few grades of schooling. Then an eighth grade graduate. Then High School, three months summer school. Then one year, two years. Now at least four years at a College or University.
That next year Florence went to Homedale in south west Idaho. I went to a two room school in south east Idaho. It was called District 44 and nicked named Chicken Flat.
I don’t know why they called it that, I never saw a chicken there. Perhaps years before
they hunted Sage Hens there. They sure had some silly names for places such as Reddy ville, Yellow Dog, Punkin Center, Hog Hollar, Chicken Flat, Ragged Louse, are a few of them.
The school District 44 was a one room building with 3 long windows on the south. It had a small entrance we called a cloke room where we hung our coats etc., and left our lunches. There was also a big crock there that held a bucket of water. One of the students brought water when they came to school. They made this into a two room school by dividing the room. They used four folding doors. I had the first room. Mr. Gene Stockdale taught the four upper grades. We each had twelve students. There was only the one door to the building so every one went in and out through my room. In the winter my room was heated from a stove in the other room. There was a hole eighteen by twenty feet above the doors for the heat to come into my room. One of the older students was hired to sweep the rooms, bring water and build the fire. Many times the fire had just been started when we got there and the rooms were really cold. I don’t blame them for not getting there any earlier. They had to walk two miles or more down from the mountain.
We didn’t have any of the work books or prepared lesson sheets. Every thing was prepared by the teacher. There was a Superintendent of Schools that had offices in Pocatello. It usually was a woman. Twice a year she came around visiting all the schools to see how the teachers were doing. Our two room school set isolated in a field. It consisted of the grades from first thru the eighth grade. We had to take a written examination in Spelling, Grammar, Reading, History, Arithmetic, Health, Penmanship, Geography. These were sent to Pocatello Court House where thet were corrected. You had to have a passing grade of 75 in each. There was no kindergarden, Junior High, Middle School. Only the first thru eighth grades and four years of High School.
Sometimes the children didn’t start school until 7.
Gene Stockdale and myself roomed and boarded with Willard and Elizabeth Wakley. We got three meals a day and a room for thirty dollars a month. The food was good, but the rooms were cold. We had coal or wood stoves, coal oil lamps. An outside toilet, a round tin tub for bathing, sponge baths or just washing. We had an enamel or tin wash basin and a bucket of water. All of the farm homes were the same, no electricity or furnaces. Electricity was brought in, in 1942 or 43. The home we lived in was a large two story house. There was five rooms downstairs and four bedrooms upstairs. We walked to school thru mud, snow and dust. We took a lunch with us. This we ate when the pupils ate theirs. It was close to a mile from home to the school. I usually went to McCammon on week ends. My brother went to McCammon on week ends. My brother Brixen would come get me and bring me back Sunday evening.
One weekend I stayed with an eighth grade girl who lived a half mile away. She had ask me several times to come stay with her. They had a two room home, a kitchen and a bed room. The three children went to school. We walked to her home after school. When we got there her mother was sweeping the biggest pile of dirt out the door. I don’t know if she knew I was coming or not. I don’t remember what we had for supper. Later she made a fire in the bedroon. There was three beds, a small stove and a card table in the room. When the room got warm we went in there to play cards. I never played cards. She told me I might as well hang my coat on the chair and leave. If there had been any place to go I would have. I sure was glad when it was time to go to bed. I didn’t know how cold it would be. I don’t think there was any warmth in those overall quilts. I was sure glad when four a.m. came and the fires were made. We got up that early so we could get to Sunday School on time. We had to go three miles by sleigh.
Dinner was cooked the same time as breakfast was prepared. There wasn’t any work done on Sunday. By lamp light we ate pancakes with cream, they were really good.
We got ready for Church and got all settled in the sleigh full of straw and covered with quilts. I don’t remember anything about Church. We got home about twelve, ate the rice that was cooked that morning. That was the first and last time I stayed with anyone.
All of the pupils walked to and from school. They brought their lunches with them. Often they were frozen and had to be thawed before they could have their lunch.
One day when talking with the older girls I mentioned I liked waffles. A few days later when Blanche came to school she handed me a package wrapped in newspaper.
I unwrapped it and there was two thick soggy cold waffles. I thanked her and said I would eat them for lunch.
There wan’t much enertainment around. If we went to Downey it was by sleigh or in
an open air car over terrible roads.
I went to one dance at the Marsh Center Church. The orchastra was an organ and a trumpet. That wasn’t even good Hiland Fling music. There was a lantern for light and a oiled floor.
I went home for the Christmas vacation. After vacation I came back to the Wakley home. Mrs. Wakleys brother Raymond Davis was there. He had been to Worland, Wyoming working in the sugar mill. I had met Ray the summer before when he and a friend stoped at our home to take my sister Helen and a friend to Lava. Shortly after he was home we started going together and that June we were married. Ray went back to Wyoming for several years. In the summer he helped on the Wakley farm.
That fall Florence and myself taught at Chicken Flat. We stayed in Downey the first few months. We drove back and fourth to school. We had a car we paid one hundred dollars for. When the weather got cold and the roads got drifted and full of snow, we
moved to the Wakley home. That year the children put on a Christmas program with all the country style wood stove, coal oil lamps, wires strung across the room on which blankets or sheets were hung to separate the stage from the audience. No piano or other music. The students did their best singing Christmas songs, a short play and a Christmas story.
My sister Florence and I stayed again the next year, then Chicken Flat District 44 consolidated with Downey Grade School. The old school house still stands. It has been used as a shed for cattle so is it badly damaged.
When the students graduated from District 44 eighth grade they had to go six miles to Downey High School. There was no school bus. They had to ride a horse, go by car, or stay with some one in town. Many of the students didn’t go to high school. That was before 1931.
The country schools were poorly furnished, books were old and few. There was no water to drink. A couple of gallons was brought by a child janitor in the morning. A couple of old toilets out in the back yard. There was no play yard equipment not even a swing or teeter totter. The children played ball with a home made ball and a board for a bat. The ball diamond was a weed and thistle covered field and sticks for bases.
A hand bell was rung to call the children in. The children got along well with each other, playing, eating lunch brought from home, and studying together. They were always able to compete well with students from larger schools.
There was another country school 2-3 miles away. The Woodland school. Nick named Ragged Louse. It consolidated at the same time.
When the schools consolidated I ended my teaching. The grade school and high
school children now rode the school bus to Downey. Eight yrs. Grade and four of High
In 1952, Lava, Inkom, Arimo, Downey school consolidated and went to Marsh Valley High School.
The first year I got paid $100.00 the second $110.00 a month. I really thought I was rich when I got my frst check. I bought a sweater, a black one. I had wanted one all my life. I bought two pair of shoes. We never had but one pair at a time. Our old worn out ones were worn at home.
January the twenty fourth during a real bad blizzaard our little blue eyed blond girl
Willa Margret was born. Ray went to Downey in a sleigh to get the doctor. It took several hours. Willa was born a few minutes before the Doctor arrived. Every thing was alright.
We were married during the depression. Ray worked at the Worland sugar mill for four months in the winter and on the Wakley ranch spring and summer. There wasn’t any
vacant houses near the ranch. We bought a few pieces of furniture and we moved into a large unused room in his sister Elizabeth’s house. There was a outside entrance into a hall that went to our room so we were separated from the rest of the house.
It was like a small apartment without the partition or walls. Half the room was used for the bed room, a baby bed, a large bed, chest of drawers, a vanity and a rocking chair.
The kitchen and dinning area was in the other half. The bath room was a tin basin and a out side toilet. The big coal range took up most of the kitchen. We had a kitchen cabinet. This was like a large cupboard. A place for pots and pans. A built in bread box and two small drawers. One for the silverware etc. The other for table cloths and dishtowels. There was a counter top that would pull out then push back out of the way.
That separated the top and bottom of the cabinet. On the top there was a bin for flour and two shelves for dishes. The whole thing was a 4 ft. long and 6 ft. high. Our wash stand was two large wooden boxes, one on top of the other with the open sides out. In here coal oil cans, soaps, milk buckets ect. Were kept. A curtin was hung around the boxes so you couldn’t see these things. On top there was a wash basin, soap dish and a bucked of water for drinking and house hold use. The space left was for the drop leaf table and our chairs. In this part was another storge space for groceries etc. It was also
two boxes covered with a curtain. With curtains at the four windows and linoleum on the floor it was cozy and comfortable. Laundry was done in a tub and a wash board. Our lights were a coal oil lamp and was heated with the cook stove. That also heated the water in a resivor attached to the ends of the stove. We lived here for three years.
In the winter the ditch would freeze over then I would bring in snow to melt. It sure took a lot of snow to get enough water to do the washing. The clothes were rubbed up
and down on a wash board to get them clean. We had bar soap we rubbed on the dirty spot on the clothes. In the winter the stove kept us nice and warm, but in the summer the heat was awful. That year we dug up a corner of the yard and I had a nice garden.
During those years money was very scarce. I made Lowell’s first dresses. I had some white material so I cut out a couple of dresses. I didn’t have a machine so I sewed them by hand. I didn’t crochet but I tried to on those dresses. Both boy and girl babys wore white dresses then.
We lived in this one room for three years.
Glade was born October 8th 1933.
That winter Ray brought a two room frame house from the dry farm. It was put on a foundation a block away from where we were living. This property belonged to Ray. The walls and ceiling weren’t plastered. They were just six inch boards. The house had been used as a granery to store grain in. For years grain would come out between the walls and the floor. We calsomined the walls, put linoleum on the floors, blinds and
curtains at the windows, arranged our furniture. It made a nice little home. We planted some trees a garden and a few flowers. We mowed the grass and alfalfa that was around the house and soon had a lawn. I tried to grow raspberries and strawberries, but the cows and sheep liked to eat them so I gave up on them. The ground was full of small rocks. I raked and hauled piles and piles of them.
We still had to use ditch water for everything but our drinking water was hauled from a neighbors well. We still used used the wood stove. Washed on the board. We finaly got a washer with a motor. That thing would make a preacher swear. It was worse that a mule to get started.
I would dip up the ditch water the night before into tubs. During the night the dirt would settle to the bottom of the tubs. Then you dipped the clean water out and threw the dirty water on the grass. If I didn’t have time for the dirt to settle I would strain it through a dish towel. Every thing was wrung out by hand. It was an all days job.
We still used coal oil lamps. We also had one that used gas and you pumped air into it. I was always scared that it would explode.
We had a Wind charger. It looked like a small windmil. It was on top of the house. If the wind blew hard it would charge a battery like a car battery. We could run a radio and one electrical light.
The house had an attic. To get up there one had to climb a stairs more like a ladder. At the top was a trapdoor that had to be lifted up. We used this space for storage.
In the winter I kept apples and potatoes here. I put them around the chimmey to keep them from freezing. We remodeled the house a bit. We put put a stairs in and finished
two rooms in the attic and a basement room.
We had two more children while we lived here. Ralph “Tim” and Florence.
The depression was still being felt. There wasn’t any money for frills or nonsense.
When I went to town to buy groceries I would have liked to buy myself and the kids a pop but couldn’t as that money would buy food for a couple of meals. For a few years we didn’t go to a show but once a month. The tickets cost a dime for kids and a quarter for adults.
We had a pig or two for meat, a few chickens for eggs, a cow for milk and cream to churn for butter and a garden to eat from in the summer. I bottled beans, corn, and tomatoes for winter.
It was hard to keep butter from melting and milk from souring. There was a small ditch by the house, so I dug a hole in the bank and buried a milk can. I put milk, butter and cream in it. The water running by the can kept the food cool. When we fixed the
basement, they were kept in it.
During the depression there wasn’t much money but there were a lot of good times. We worked hard and long. From five thirty in the morning until ten or ten thirty at night.
Ray often came to the house after ten, have something to eat then go to bed. I had another half hour cleanup. I often set the table at night so I could sleep another five or ten minutes in the morning. I would sleep until I heard Ray set the milk pail down waking me. Then I hurried and started breakfast. There was no prepared cereal in our cupboard. Everything was made from scratch. If we didn’t have what the recipe called for we substituted. We had no phone, radio, no phonograph. We played games, read and told stories always trying to find something to do to keep the children entertained.
We went to a show once in a while always taking the children. Gas for the cars were rationed so you traveled as little as possible and always had a car full.
People got really inventive, you can’t imagine what we did with the worn out tire tubes. If a car went a hundred miles without a flat tire it was a miracle. Cars were stopped along the highways mending the inner tubes. The tires were pryed out of the rim the tube taken out. Then it was a job to find the spot where the air was leaking form. Then the leak had to be patched, using a patching kit kept in all cars. Then the tube put back in, the tire mounted on the rim, the jack removed and the car back on to the ground.
The old tire pump was connected and the work began pumping air back into the tube. A lot of these tubes were so full of holes they had to be discarded. But they weren’t useless. We made fly swatters. A piece of inner tube about four by five inches was cut and tacked to a wooden handle usually a willow. Why didn’t we buy a swatter? They
would have cost five or ten cents. With that money one could buy a loaf of bread or a dozen eggs, a can of tomatoes or many things. We also made purses by cutting out a good oprtion of the inner tube. It was cut the size you wanted. Holes were made on the sides and top. These were threaded together with long narrow strips of inner tube. The bottom cut to make a fringe. These were useful and cost nothing. These were no worse than the ones made years later out of old overalls.
We made what was known as a Poverty flower. Try one some time, they are pretty and interesting, and they are in full bloom in a day and last a week or more. If you have a coal furnace or have access to a clinkers, use a brick or chunk of coal. Clinkers make a prettier flower because of the shape of the clinker.
Place a clinker or etc. in a pretty dish or shallow bowl. The plate has to be deep enough to hold one or two cups of water.
1. Place the clinker in a shallow bowl.
2. Pour I/4 cup of ordinary salt over the clinker. Do not use iodized.
3. Put a drop of two of different colors of food coloring in several places on the clinker.
4. Pour ¼ cup of water in bowl being careful so the salt isn’t washed off.
5. Put the bowl where it will keep warm and in a few hours you will see pretty colored
crystals start to grow. Then move the bowl to a table etc.
6. Add one or two tablespoons of water each day so the clinker will stay moist.
Another way to make the Poverty flower.
Mix 1 c. water 1 table spoon blueing, the kind used in rinse water to whiten clothes.
Pour over clinker then add a drop or two of food coloring on clinker. Keep warn and soon the plant will start to grow. Then the bowel can be moved to a table ect.
In the summer I had five or six hired men to cook for. They were hired to put up the hay. Some times we had a hired man all year long.
One summer during haying the men had finished haying for the day.. They had turned the horses loose for the night. Everything was done with horses then. Glade was a year and half old. I was busy getting supper, he wandered out into the barn yard and got kicked in the head. When I found him he was laying stretched out flat on the ground unconscious. I picked him up and he came to and started screaming. We took him to the doctor in Lava. He wasn’t badly hurt and was alright in a day or two.
The children got all the diseases that went around. Measles, mumps, scarlet fever, chicken pox. In those days if you got sick you were quarrinted for three or four weeks. You couldn’t go any where, and no one could come in the house. The doctor would mail a piece of pasteboard, eight by twelve inches with the words “Warning Measles within”.
Measles was on a pink, scarlet fever on red, chicken pox on white. After the children
were well then the house was scrubbed from top to bottom and fumigated with sulfur candles. All bedding washed and hung out in the sun. Ray got the mumps.
Uncle Willard & Aunt Lizzie both passed away. Willard after a long illness. Lizzie had a mental breaksown. She spent some ime in the mental hospital in Blackfoot, Ida. while here she took her own life.
We were in the process of buying their ranch so after they passed away we moved back to their home. This home was built by Ray’s father Nelson F. Davis and his mother Mary Ann. Ray lived here with his father and mother. His mother died when he was nine years old. His father hired a woman to come live there and take care of the four boys. Edwin, the oldest, then Reynold, Clarence and Raymond. It was hard to get someone to come live six miles from town, care for four roudy boys. No modern conveniecnes. After a year or two the boys took care of their selves.
A few years ofter Rays mother died, his father sold the home and some land to Willard Wakley and Elizabeth Davis, Rays sister. Ray always made this his home. There was a lot more room in this house. Four bed rooms up stairs and two down stairs. A large living room, dinning room, pantry and kitchen.
We still didn’t have electricity or any modern equiptment. The rooms were heated with wood stoves. The upstairs bed rooms were cold and the beds like ice. The children took two or three hot water bottles to bed with them. These were great until the water got cold.
The depression was over and things were getting a little easier.
The children all grew up here. Working on the farm going to grade school and High School. There was a lot of hard work, sickness & accidents. There was also a lot of fun and good times. In 1949 we were snowed in for nearly three weeks. The road crew couldn’t keep the roads open When we really needed something from town Ray would ride his horse to town.
In 1942 the homes on the west side of the valley got electricity and then those wonderful modern conveniences. Farm machinery also improved.
No more lamps to clean and fill. No more wood or water to bring in . No more washing clothes by hand or ironing with stove irons, and no more outside toilets.
We went to church at Woodland Ward or Ragged Louse as it was called. It was one large room. Class rooms were made by curtains hung on wires stretched across the room. They had parties, dances and road shows there. Glen Taylor, Idaho’s U.S. Senator used to put on plays there.
Like the country school the churches also consolidated and we joined the Downey
The boys weren’t old enough to go to the World War two. Several neighbors boys went. Out of five cousins that joined, one of them lived to come back home. It was a terrible war the one that was to stop all wars. Bob, one of the soldiers worked for us. He was wounded at Pearl Harbor. He recovered, was sent over seas. His plane went down over the Clifts of Dover. He was never heard of again. “Bob Bloxham”.
One by one the children graduated from High School and left home. Some to college, some for jobs some to marriage. Lowell to Korea was stationed in Philipines.
We lived on the farm for fifty eight years. We had some hard times but mostly good ones.
After the family left. I started to work at Marsh Valley Hospital in Downey. A neighbor lady who worked there persuaded me to go to work as a cook. I worked as a relief cook two day a week for twenty years. The hospital needed some nurses aids. When I wasn’t busy in the kitchen I would go up stairs and help with the parients. A year later I took nurses training to be a nurses aid. I worked there for thirty or more years. I often cooked more than two days a week. When I wasn’t cooking I was working as a nurse. I liked both jobs. I think I liked nursing best.
The Hospital was a seventeen bed hospital. Many times there were more patients.
Some times they were put in the hall way for a few hours. The hospital was very busy for twenty years. Then changing doctors often and medicare & etc. the patient load went down and the hospital closed down after fourty years of service.
I was the oldest person working at the hospital. Some one usually remembered my birthday. I was given red roses, cakes and parties. When I reached sixty five the Hospital gave me a steak dinner, a purse and a silk scarf. We had many good and fun times. There was many funny things that happened and many sad experiences. It was a hospital where you got experiences in every field. From mothers in labor, new babies, operations of all kinds, all kinds of accidents, deaths, broken bones, heart attacks, cancer, despondency to old age. We had Christmas parties and costume parties at Halloween.
One cold September day I was baking bread in the wood range. The bread needed to bake a while longer. I gave the coal a good stirring and put a coat to go out side to help Willa dig some potatoes. It’s a good thing that Glade had taken Tim and Florence who were 4 & 5 years old over to a neighbor to see some little pups. Willa came running into the house screaming the house was on fire. I thought that she was fooling. I went out side and sure enough the roof of the house was burning. When I had stirred up the fire the sparks started the roof on fire. I called some neighbors on the phone. They called people in town. Soon there was a lot of help. They filled cans and buckets with water
from the ditch, carried it up a ladder and threw it on the burning shingles. Some were hauling furniture ect. from the house in case they didn’t get the fire out. The men worked fast and hard and got the fire out O.K. What a mess. I was in the upstairs bed room when the ceiling fell down. I didn’t know anything could be so hot. One room and a hall had to be replastered and a couple rooms painted and repapered.
During World war II many things were rationed. It was a real thrill to get a package of gum. Gas for cars was rationed so when we went to dances and parties there would be from ten to twelve people packed into a car.
The hospital had been operating for nearly fourty years when financial troubles closed it down. It’s closing caused a hardship on the whole community. I didn’t try to ge a job any where else at my age of 82. I didn’t think I would have much of a chance. So I stayed home and kept busy taking care of the house.
I crocheted, make quilt tops,quilted, tatted, and circle embroidery.
In the summer I worked out in the yard. I don’t have a garden anymore, but raise a few flowers.
My sister Alice and family lived in Moab Ut. It was at the time when Stein found Uranium. There Willa, Odell family and myself drove down there. It was a long tiring
trip. We saw many interesting and beautiful things. The soil there is reddish brown. Dead Horse Point was beautiful and terrifying when you looked over the edge to see the Colorado river so far below. The arches and other formations were great.
We went to a uranium mine. The tunnel was so low your head just missed the top and if you streached your arms out you could touch the sides. There was tracks for the ore cars running down the middle. The guide had the only light and he was so far ahead it didn’t help, I couldn’t even see my hand. I thought well why don’t I open my eyes and then I sould see. I realized my eyes were already open and it was just pitch black. We went into a open space where they had been digging. There was a large trunk of a petrified tree full of uranium. It was sure good to get back out into the light.
A few years later Willa, Odell and family went to Mesa Verdi’s cliff dwellings. They were sure interesting and scary. On our way vack home we took the road thru the black forrest and stayed that night at Silverton. The roads were curves after curves, up and down canyons. I don’t want to go on that road again. It was a long and terrifying trip. I told many stories to the kids. I doubt if Scott ever forgets the story of the ant and grain. I would like to go to Mesa Verdi again.
Ray and I went to the Yellow Stone Park with Florence and Gordon, their daughter JaLynne was three, she was so much fun.
We went back to the Park a few years later with Tim and Jeanie. The park isn’t a
fourth as pretty or nice as it was the first time I went in 1928. We took a tent and food and camped out every night for two weeks. We saw everything. The flowers were every where and the grass was thick and green right down to the road. The Morning Glory pool and handkerchief pool were clean and pretty. The bears were every where, cubs alone or with their mother. They weren’t mean then.
Lowell, Vera, Ray and I went to Mount Rushmore and all the places between.
Ray and I went on four or five cattlemens tours. Cattlemen from all over the state would start at a certain place and tour the cattle ranches and other interesting places along the way. Every thing was planned and arranged for us like when and where we ate our meals where we stayed at night etc.
The last tour Ray and I went on was to the northern part of the state. It was seven months after he had his heart attack. After the tour ended we went into Canada for a couple of days. We came back thru Glacier Mational Park. It was beautiful, but I don’t like those steep narrow windey roads.
I have had good health all my life, but Ray wasn’t so fortunate. He had a heart attact at sixty five. In a couple of years, exploratory surgery. They found he had blocked bowels. He was very sick and took a long time getting over it. He was in the hospital for two weeks. While in the hospital he got pnemonia. A couple years later he had hernia
surgery. He had bad lungs caused from so many years of smoking tobacco. His health
continued to worsen.
He turned the ranch over to Glade and he did very little work. We continued to live on the ranch.
When I was working at the Hospital he would take me to work, then come get me when my shift was over. I worked any of the three shifts.
On Dec.23, 1975 I was working the four to twelve shift. He took me to work and then was to come get me at twelve. When he left to go home he said I might go to sleep so if I’m not there to pick you up call me on the phone. I called several times, no answer. Another nurse brought me home. Ray was on the bathroom floor dead. He had another heart attack. He was buried on the twenty sixth of December at Downey . It was such a cold windy and icy day. Ray was a good husband and father and we all miss him.
Life after Ray’s death was much the same. I still live on the ranch. I kept working at the hospital for fourteen years.
My sister Florence and husband Walter of New York came west to visit. I and my grand daughter Tracy went back to N.Y. with them. The drive to Eastern states was so beautiful. New York was hot, noisy and dirty. Walter took us to a different place each day. We went to the beach a couple of times. I didn’t like the ocean. We stayed a couple of weeks. We took a plane back to Salt Lake where Willa met us and we came on home
We drove to Las Vegas to Tom’s and Holly’s wedding. After the wedding we visited the Strip. I guess its great if you like that kind of life.
In 1978 I went to the Ogden temple with Tracy and Dan when they were married and had Ray’s and my temple work done. Glade, Jane, Tim, Willa and Odell were also there.
Willa, Lowell, Glade, and Tim have all been married in the Temple.
Tim and Jeanie daughter was in the school band. The band was going to Nebraska, Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan and Illinois to compete in a Marching Band contest. Tim rented a motor home. On June 14, 1985 Tim, Jeanie, son Jeff, Irene, Jeanie’s mother and myself left Logan, Utah. There had been good rains in those states and the country was beautiful. The Bands were great. The finals were held at White Water, Wisconsin. Twelve bands competed. Mountain Crest Utah got second place with 82 points. Merian Catholic got first plaace with 84 points. We were very proud of Mountain Crest band. On way home we saw Mt. Rushmore. The rest of the way to Utah was cold rainy and snowy.
Willa , Odell, Vera and myself drove to Provo to see the exibit of Ramsey II. It was wonderful.
I helped the children once in a while. I helped Odell and Willa move into their home
in Dayton, Ut. I think I helped them move three times. I helped Lowell and Vera move twice. I enjoy helping them. Now that they are settled in their home and children are getting married there isn’t much I can help with.
I do very little driving so one or the other of the children take me to their homes for a few days, them bring me back home.
In 1983 the Downey Rodeo committee chose me to be the Senior Citizen of the year.
I got to lead the Grand Entry. I rode in the old buck board wagon, Chris drove.
The last few years all my family have been going up the canyon to the camp grounds for my birthday. We cook chicken and potatoes in Dutch ovens. There are lots of salads, soft drinks, cookies and cakes. The children love to climb in the mountains and wade in the stream.
This year we had the Davis reunion here at home. This is where the mother of the Davises lived before and after she was married. The lawn was filled with large picnic tables. The guest were served Hot Dutch oven potatoes, & Dutch oven chicken, salads, cake, pie, cookies and root beer. There was the old horse buggy for rides and horses to ride. There was around 160 there.
The ranch has been in the family for more than a hundred years. This year 1990, Idaho has been a state for one hundred years. Glade has a silver plaque and a certificate for having a ranch in the family for 100 years.
The T.V. station channel 8 heard about it. They came to the ranch. They took pictures of the ranch, the house, the buggy, the old hand pump, the old wooden gate that creeps.
The old outside toilet. They took pictures of the old one room school house. It was used as a barn and is falling down.
In 1990 a got rheumatoid arthritis. I am almost well again.
Aunt Helen is having a big birthday party for her 90th birthday august 18, 1990 at Downata.
The grandkids are graduating from High school and college. Most of them are married. I have eighteen grand children and 31 great grandchildren. In 3 mo. I’ll have
one more. Courtney Davis, Lowell’s granddaughter was killed in1989.
February 19, 1997. I has been several years since I have written anything in here. In four months I will be ninety years old. So I don’t expect to be here for many more years. I feel fine. I have a hurt here and there once in a while. I have a little grey in my hair in front. I have lost a little more than fifty pounds. When I was younger I kept gaining and now I need a pound or two more.
I feel good, still live alone in the big white house on the farm. Glade “Rusty”, has run the farm for many years. Now Chris has the farm. I still have the house and the yard. I don’t get out much anymore. Some times it’s two or three months before I get off the
The families are very good to me. They come to visit when they can and call on the phone often. Jane and Glade help often. Jane is so good to me. She shops for me, calls on the phone often, does many things. In the summer she always mows the lawn. I can keep it watered and raise a few flowers. I keep my house straightened up, make quilts, embroidery, tat and crochet. I can a bit of fruit. I now have 3 sons, two daughters, eighteen grandchildren and fifty three great grandchildren. We all live close together. Willa-Odell live West of Preston in Dayton. Their oldest son Tom, lives in Las Vegas Nev. They have eighteen grandchildren. Lowell (Chuck) lives in Malad. Glade “Rusty” Jane live in Downey. Tim “Ralph”, Jeanie live in Paradise, close to Logan. Florence-Gordon are in Tremonton. For years we all gathered here at home for Xmas, New Years, Easter, Mothers Day, my Birthday and Thanksgiving. I believe that was a house full.
I had heart problems and couldn’t care for so many, so now they have their own families for company and dinner.
In the summer around the 30th of June, my birthday, we go to a camp I the mountains. Nearly everyone is there to enjoy the campfire food. Fried chicken, sheep herders potatoes( Sliced potatoes, onions, cheese & bacon.), cake, plus lots of other things.
I worked and the hospital until I was 82 yrs. old.
In June of 1988l, early in the morning the head nurse at the Downey hospital called
and said, don’t come to work the hospital is closed. Why, I’ve never really found out. Maybe it was to get me out. I worked as an aide and cook. I really enjoyed the work.
February 18, 1997. I have been going to Malad to see the Doctor and to the hospital. I have been there twice for my heart. Not the same problem and once for pneumonia. My heart was terribly fast and uneven. The second time I started with a sore throat. I had no fever, no aches or pain. My finger nails were a purple grey. I thought I had got some paint or stains from some where on them. The RN nurse comes twice a month. She came, I felt fine, just coughed a little. She saw my hands, and I was in the hospital in a short time. I stayed their for four days. I have been fine since.
In August, Florence-Gordon son Brett got married. I didn’t plan on going, but every one kept saying go, go. So in the afternoon I went with Will and Odell. Jane and Glade didn’t go. The wedding was in the evening in Ogden. Florence got a call from Glade, but didn’t tell my anything until we were ready to go home. Glade had told her, that not long after I had left home, a farmer west of home in the grain field had started a fire. It was so dry it really burned fast. It burned brush, grass, cedars, grain a few old farm buildings and a home. People could see the fire and several farmers brought machinery to make fire breaks. It was a good thing they helped if they hadn’t the fire would have jumped the road and burned houses and barns, etc.
The fair was in Downey, and many people came to help. They thought my house would surely go. So they moved nearly every thing out of the house into trucks. Books pictures, clothing, bedding, dishes, and some furniture were loaded. They got the fire stopped at the road. So all the things were put back in the house. Jane and Glades trees were burned a bit and a straw stack caught on fire. There were men their so they got the fire out.
I got the pneumonia a week after the fire. Maybe it was the smoke from the fire that caused it. Cris’s grain and hay fields were right there. They were barely touched. Some of the barley on the ends was scorched.
We have had a wonderful winter. Lots of rain and more snow than usual. It didn’t get cold at night either. It will soon warm up and then the grass and weeds will grow. I can’t do as much as I used to. I’m not supposed to stay in the sun very long because of the medicine I take. I’m not to ambitious anymore. I take a lot of medicine, but feel fine.
Willa was born at home on January 24th during a cold, wild blizzard night. We lived in the one room of Ray’s sisters house. I have told about the first few years of Willa’s life before.
Willa helped with the house work and tending her smaller sister and brothers as soon as she was old enough.
She started grade school at Downey. Before she started school we had few neighbors, so there wasn’t many friends to play with. The nearest girl her age lived nearly a mile away. When she started school she was soon bringing friends home and going to their homes.
Willa played the clarinet in the High School band and was active in school and church. After she graduated from High school she baby sat several small children for a year. She went to school at B.Y.U. for a couple of years. She stayed with her aunt Alice. A friend Grace went with her. She went to Pocatello to work for a couple of years. She worked for the I.T.&T. She lived at the YMCA. She came home on weekends and took part in week end activities at home.
She met a young fellow from Weston Idaho who had just returned from overseas. He had served in the Korean War. They were married and moved to Niter, Idaho near Soda Springs. They worked on a farm there.
Their first child Tom was born there. The next year they moved to Soda Springs where Odell worked on a larger farm. Willa helped by working on the potato digger and hauling grain. Three more children were born while they were here. Tracy their only daughter, Scott and Blake.
It was in the late winter when they moved there to a small four room house. Cold and deep snow every where. We had to shovel snow away from the door before we could get in. A back porch and two bed rooms were added on later and the home was quite confortable. His boss bought property at Snowville Utah. Again in the winter they moved in a snow storm to Utah. They lived five miles from town, no telephone or neighbors. They did have electricity.
They stayed there about three years. They planted trees, one or two was still alive. The grass wasn’t to thick but was growing. The garden did fair, some things grew better than others.
The ground was salty and no earth worms there. The land was close to the shore of
the Great Salt Lake.
A mile or two from their home was two or three large springs right in the middle of no
where. No trees or brush, a few skraggly sage brush. There was fish in in these springs and the mosquitos were huge and hungry. The rattle smakes liked this hot dry place. These springs are called Locomotive springs. When the railroad was being built to Promitory Point the large steam engines filled their boilers here. After the railroad was finished the springs were abandoned.
Tom went back to Soda to finish high school. Tracy & Scott were taken at seven o’clock to Snowville five miles away. Here they caught a school bus that took them to Tremonton, Utah thirty five miles sway. Then Blake had to be taken to Snowville to grade school. They were all picked up around four thirty and taken home.
There was a opening on a Church farm in Dayton, Idaho for a farm worker. They left Snowville and moved to Dayton, Idaho to work on the church farm for 13 years. The church did away with the farm, Odell was without a job. They moved into town. They bought a home here. He works for the City of Dayton. Willa works at Del Monty Cannery in Franklin, Id. She also works as a cook at the Westside school. The children have all married and have families.
When Willa was six years old, she got the flu. She stayed in town with Aunt Helen the night she got sick. She also got pneumonia. She was very sick. I left Lowell with Aunt Lizzie and went to help take care of Willa. She had been sick for four or five days. One evening she said to me, Mamma I going to die. She began to have trouble breathing and turned blue. The doctor came gave her a shot of adrenalin, she needed oxygen. All we could find was a large metal tank half full from a garage. We had no equipemnt, we experimented using a small rubber hose from a hot water bottle. This was connected to the oxygen tank, the other end was put on the end of a funnel. That was used as a mask to put over her nose and mouth. The half tank of oxygen wouldn’t last long. There was no more in town and the roads in and out of Downey were closed. The county sheriff came to our rescue. Some way he managed to get oxygen relayed from Pocatello to Downey. She had pneumonia with the flu and was critical for several days. Medicine wasn’t nearly as effective then as now. Asprin and sulfa were new medicines then.
In a month she was well enough to come back home but didn’t go to school for a month. The doctor said she had to have her tonsils out. When she had recovered from her illness and was strong enough she had her tonsils out. Lowell had his out the same day. She has had good health since.
All of the children got mumps, measels, scarlet feaver. There was no vaccinations for these diseases then.
Willa and Lowell had an old pet horse to ride. His name was Chess. One day when
they were hardly able to carry a hammer and nails, they decided to put shoes on Chess. He just stood around the barn and would hardly move. Their father went to chase the
horse out into the pasture but he couldn’t walk. The kids had pounded the nails up into his foot instead of making them come out in the hoof. That was the last of the horse shoeing.
A neighbor had a herd of horses. One of them was a little grey half Indian pony that had been cut in some wire. He gave her to Willa and Lowell. She was quite a pet and the mother of several colts. Her first colt was named LoLa from the names Lowell and Willa. In a few months her name was changed to Kassie.
The children spent many hours riding. They would bring the horse to the house so I could put the bridle on. I knew nothing about bridles or harnesses. I was always afraid of horses, so I didn’t have anything to do with them. I put the bridle on and thought I had done a good job. Lowell said “Mama you put it on backwards.” They were always calling Mamma put me on, take me off, open the gate, give me a drink. The horse kept all of us busy.
When willa was learning to walk she would get into the coal bucket and eat coal. We would put the coal out of her reach. Then she would hunt dirt. She would run her fingers around the edge of the lenoleum rug, lick the tires on the baby buggy. When she was a little older she liked to eat the dirt of the just plowed ground. She was probably lacking something in her diet. We didn’t have all the vitamins and minerals of fruits and juices children have today.
One day a mother hen and her twelve little chicks come into the yard. Willa run to get the little chicks, but the mother hen wasn’t going to let that happen. As Willa stooped down to pick up the little chicken, here come mama hen feathers all puffed out, wings up, squaking, half flying and jumping , lit right on top of her. The little kid was nearly scared to death. She never tired to pick up a little chicken again and is still afraid of chickens.
She really liked her baby bottle and didn’t want to be weaned from it. Lowell had his bottle and she would take it away from him. I would put castor oil on the nipple. She got smart and washed it off. When Lowell would go to sleep, she would go get his bottle and drink it. As she grew up there was always something to do Helping in the house, cooking , canning and helping with the house work. We always had a large garden to weed and water. When she was older she helped with the farming. She and Glade were real good with the binder.
When she was seven or eight she wanted to play the piano. We didn’t have one. She sat at the table and made her a keyboard with knives and spoons. I made a pasteboard keyboard, she learned quite a bit on this. Finaly we got a piano and she took lessons.
When Willa and Lowell were small their favorite thing was to wait until I had left the house, then get chairs and climb up to the cupboard and mix molasses and soda
together. It foamed and run all over the cupboard and the floor. She loved to play with paper dolls.
Lowell “Chuck” Davis
Lowell was born May eighth nineteen thirty one. It was a cold snowy morning. He was born a few minutes before the doctor arrived. I guess both the stork and the baby were in a hurry. Willa and Lowell were born at home.
He was a good baby. Cut teeth, learned to crawl and walk and talk as babys do. He learned to run as soon as he could walk and never slowed down.
His eyes were dark brown, his hair white, he would look at you and you could see he was planning some mischief. He like to play in the mud and water of a little stream that run by the house. I couldn’t keep him out of it so he was always wet and dirty. He had a pet dog Jerry. They were always together. One day I was busy working in the house and I had hooked the screen door so he couldn’t get outside. Finishing my work I looked for Lowell, I couldn’t find him in the house. I noticed the catch on the screen door that was up high was undone. He had used the broom to lift the hook off and had gone outside. I looked in all the usual places, around the house and calling him but no sign of him. Looking off into the distance nearly a half mile from the house on top of a little rise there he was with his dog.
He loved horses there was many around, as all the farm work was done with horses. There was a white horse “Sam” known for his kicking. One noon while the men were eating dinner, I looked out the door and there was Lowell leaning right on his back legs. The horse didn’t even move. He would go into the barn and swing on the horses halters. If I missed him the first place I looked was at the horses.
I often would find him out in the pasture carrying a little piece of rope trying to catch a colt. He had quite a string of horses all kinds, buckers, runners, good riders all kinds.
There were his stick horses. They were willows of different lengths. The leaves were all pulled off except a few left at the end for a tail. The horses were all tied together with a stong piece of string. Each one had a name and had its place in line. These horses were taken to the pasture “The lawn” to eat, to the ditch to drink, of course they had to rest, each one leaned against a fence. He spent many hours playing with his stick horses.
As he grew older he put them away for the real thing. He never fell off so he said. He always said he jumped off. He would look aroung to see if anyone had seen him, run off half crying and saying “Damn it, Damn it”. Then get back on his horse.
As he grew up he put the stick horses away for the real thing. His first horse an old trusted little sorell given to him by an uncle. He and his sister nearly crippled it for ever
when they did their first shoeing a horse. They pounded the nails into the foot instead of having them come out of the hoof. The horse finally recovered.
He and Willa would hitch a wagon horse to a derrick , rake and take a ride.
Their next horse “Betty” was a little grey half Indian pony that had been cut in the wire. A neighbor gave her to Lowell and Willa. Her first colt was claimed by Lowell and was named LaLa, but changed to Cassie. She was a good runner. Lowell would race cars when riding her. Soon when a car come along she would race with it, then stop suddenly. The rider often kept on going. He always worked with horses.
When he was seven he was harrowing and leveling with a team. It was the youngsters job to bring the milk cows in from the pasture each evening. They would ride Betty to get the cows. After a year or so of this she got smart. She would go along fine until she came to a puddle of mud then she would lay down dumping the kids off. After a feew times of this they told their father what was happening. He thought they were just playing, so he was going to show them that she wouldn’t do that. He got on Betty and all went just fine until she came to a puddle, down she went and off went daddy. Every one had a good laugh.
When he was six he started school doing all the things active little boys do. While playing on the school grounds with some boys, he got his front permanent tooth kicked out. They didn’t try to find it, so they had to do put a one tooth bridge in.
When he first started school the children had to take lunches. That was a job putting up lunches every morning. The the hot lunch program was started. They were always hungry when they got home. It was hard to get them to go out to do the evening chores. They wanted to sit down by the radio and listen to the Lone Ranger, Terry and the Pirate, and Gun Smoke.
For years all the farm work was done with horses.
Lowell as not called “Chuck” until he was married and moved to Malad.
He came home from school on April Fools day, it was cold, rainy and snowy. He left the house without any kind of coat to go ride on the plow. The hired man was nearly a half mile from the house. When they got back to the house, Lowell was wet and cold. The next morning he didn’t feel very good. That was the beginning of a long illness. He probably was getting sick before he went out into the nasty weather. The doctor was called. Yes, really doctors did make house calls. The Dr. said Lowell had the three day measles. In a couple of days he felt better then he got worse and broke out again. The Dr. said he now had the good old red measles. He just didn’t get over them. The Dr. was puzzled, so he drew blood and sent it off to a University in Montana or Wyo. I don’t
remember which, to see if he Typhus Fever or Rocky Mountain Fever. He got infection in the Mastoid bone. The Dr. spent a lot with him coming everyday. One time he was so tired he layed down on the bottom of Lowells bed and slept for a hour or more. It seemed that Lowell was getting worse, to weak to stand, no appetite. One morning I saw the Rural mail carrier coming. I went out and got him to come to the house and give Lowell a blessing. That morning the Dr. said if he wasn’t better by that night he would have to go to Poky for Mastoid surgery. That next morning there was a great change for the better and he was soon well.
I don’t remember how many hats he lost. Little boys wore dress hats when they were dressed up. He just couldn’t keep track of them, or he wanted to loose them. After a year or two we gave up and let him go bare headed.
My mom bought him a nice brown tweed suit when he was six or seven. He had worn it a time or two when he fell down and tore the knee out. He had a pair of black and white oxfords. I had to put black and white polish on them every time he wore them. He wasn’t old enough to do it himself. I wasn’t a bit sorry when he got them soaked and ruined.
We finaly got a small tractor. He was using it to rake hay. The radiator got hot so he took the radiator cap off. The hot water and steam burned his arm from the wrist to the elbow.
He graduated from grade school and graduated from Downey High School. He played the trumpet in the band, sang in the choir. He liked sports and played basketball and football.
In 1949 we had so many bad blizzards the schools were closed for two weeks. It was impossible to keep the roads open. The road crew worked night and day, but they drifted full as soon as they were plowed out. If we really needed something from town Ray would horse back and bring things back in a “gunny sack“, or a burlap bag. We had a lot of fun those two days, but the house took a beating. We jumped the rope. Playing all those games you played with a rope. Snake jumps, high water, low water, salt & pepper, build the bricks, pick up sticks, Doctor Doctor will I die? Yes my darling but don’t you cry. How many carriages will I have, one, two, three, you kept on jumping until you missed. There was many more rope games we played. We told stories and played checkers. The storms stopped, the roads were ploughed out and the kids went back to school. There were a lot of deep drifts. Lowell was always going some where with his friends. Sometimes staying over nights. One night he was in a car wreck. I didn’t know it until the next morning when I saw him in bed with his head all bandaged.
He had a girl friend in Swan Lake and spent many evenings & week ends with her. He also had a girl friend in Downey . Her ex boy friend threatened to kill Lowell. There
was a lot of excitement especially when he called me up and told me if I thought anything of my son to keep him away from his girl. He even went hunting Lowell with a shot gun when he was to a show and dance. Lowell had a army of friends that guarded him everywhere he went so he wasn’t hurt. After that things cooled down.
After he graduated from High School he went to Snow College at Ephriam Ut. He didn’t like it and quite after one quarter.
The Korean War had been underway. He and three of his friends, Grant Almond, Dee Treasures, Clyde Griffin joined the air Force for four years. He was stationed in Wyoming, & Nevada. He was shipped to Manila in the Philipines for two years. He was sent back to the states and to Hill Air Force Base in Ut. He came home every weekend bringing friends with him. His four years ended there. He was home for a while then went to Moab Ut to work on road construction. He lived with Aunt Alice & Raphel.
He met Vera Jones from Malad, They were married and lived in Pocatello for a year or more. He was still working on construction. He stopped construction work moved to Malad and started working for his father in law on the ranch. He drove to Pocatello to attend the Grimms Business College.
They have three sons, Kelly, Kurt and Ray. All are married.
Lowell still works on the ranch and Vera is a nurse at the Malad Hospital.
Kelly married Kara Lee Jenkins. One son Cody. Was divorced. Married Karrie Brangan after 10 years is single. One daughter Courtny. Was killed in an accident with a horse when she was two. Divorced. Went through the Temple. Moved to LoLo Pass Montana, worked for Ozman ranch.
Kurt married Jill Wakley, have three children. Amanda, Jake, Joshua.
Ray married Paula Madsen had two children. Kyle Frank and Ashlee.
Glade “Rusty” H. Davis
Glade “Rusty, was born October the eighth at a maternity home in Downey. He weighed almost five pounds. To keep him warm the nurse wrapped him in blankets, put him in a box and kept him on the oven door to keep him warm. It was cold and rainy. We stayed there for twelve days.
Glade had red hair and blue eyes.
When he was seven months old we moved from the one room home into a two room plus an unfinished upstairs room.
The men had just finished haying for the day. They had unhitched the horses and
turned them loose. Glade was nearly two. While I was getting supper he wandered out
to the barn yard and was kicked in the head by one of the work horses. He was laying on the ground unconscious. As we picked him up he started to screaming. We took him to Lava to the Dr. He couldn’t find anything broken or wrong with him. We had to watch him closely for anything unusual for a day to two. He was fine.
He loved cats and dogs, bugs and toads. I told him the toads would give him warts, so he would get a large leaf of the cabbage and wrap the toad in it. He would carry a grass hopper in his pocket until it died. When he was older he would catch hawks and owls and bring them home. He learned to feed the pigs and calves and milk the cows and help with the farm work.
He was five when we moved back into the house where we first lived. He was helping me cut the tops off the carrots and cut a deep gash in his hand . I drove him to Malad. The Dr. sewed his hand up.
He was riding one of the work horses to the barn after work. He horse wouldn’t stop at the barn door and knocked him on to the ground, breaking his arm.
One winter he had pneumonia and was very ill for several days. There wasn’t any hospitals near. We took care of the sick at home. Another time he had a bad pain in his stomach. The Dr. came ou to the house and stayed for several hours. He thought that he probably had appendicitis. He watched him for several hours then decided he didn’t have appendicitis. In a day or two he was fine again.
When about ten he was raking hay with the dump rake. The horses ran away. He fell from the seat down in front of the rakes teeth. He could have been dragged to death. But luckily the rake dumped him and the hay.
When he was eleven he was helping in the hay driving a team. He had an accident breaking the haying equipment. A large piece of lumber hit him, breaking his hip. I was in McCammon. They called me to come home. He was laying in the field for an hour. Then it took another hour to get him in the car and to the Preston Hospital. He was there for six weeks. They put a small steel rod thru the bone above the knee and hung a twenty pound traction on it. This was to pull the hip bone back into place and keep it there. The bone didn’t pull back as it was before, but the Dr. thought when he was put in a body cast the bone would knit alright. We brought him home. In a few days the bone slipped back out. This time we took him to the hospital in Salt Lake. He had surgery and a steel plate was put in. Another body cast was put on. He was there for two weeks, then back home and to bed for six weeks.
He had a cat that slept and played with him. His pet dog “Chum” kept him company. Glade bounced a rubber ball on the wall or throw it. Chum would go get it, jump up on the bed and give it back to him. A few days after Xmas vacation he went back to school.
He was on crutches for a month. It was a long ordeal from the first part of August until the holidays.
Glade and his friend saved their money and bought their selves a bicycle. They spent more time washing and polishing them than they did riding them.
One early summers day he said that he had filled a weed burner with gas and was going to burn the weeds out of the irrigation ditch. I told him he wasn’t supposed to put gas in it. He just shrugged, put on a overall jumper and a hat and went to burn the weeds. In a few minutes his brother Tim came running yelling “Glade is on fire”. I ran to help. He was already coming into the yard. His hair, face, hands and one arm were burned. His coat & hat had saved him from being burned any worse. He was in the Downey hospital for a couple of weeks. Then had to go back to have the bandages changed. This was the last of his bad accidents.
He completed his grade and High School at Downey schools. He took part in school plays, sang in the choirs, played the trumpet in the band. He played basket ball and football. He enjoyed the band and atheletic trips.
He has worked on the ranch all of his life. He and his son Cris now have a dairy that keeps them busy.
He married Jane Phillips, they have two sons, Cris and Burke. Two daughters Cindy and Janice. Cindy married Scott Branson. They have two children, Jeremy and Lisa.
Cris married Loretta Lorie Hendrich. They have Shawn, Amy, and Melissa. Burke married Terri hendrich. They have Justin, Drew, Mathew, & Ashley. Jainice married Brian Case. They have Tyson, Jordan, Austin, and Jaxon.
Ralph “Tim” Davis
Ralph “Tim”, our third son and fourth child was born at the Malad Hospital on September 26, 1939. He had brown hair and eyes. He was less than five pounds. When he was born his father started calling him Tiny Tim and he has been called Tim since.
He was a quiet child and didn’t get in to much mischief. He and his little sister would get a couple of spoons, go out to the ditch bank and “play dig”. They would make tunnels, caves, roads and run their trucks over them.
He played with the family pet dog that went with them to get on the school bus and would meet it when it brought them back after school.
A neighbor parked a tractor by the garage for the winter. One day the men were working on trying to get the engine started. They were blowing in the gas tank. One spring morning I was going to my mothers. I looked for Tim in the house, I didn’t find him, so I looked out side. He was around four years old. I found him outside. He had
climbed up on the tractor and took the cap off the gas tank. He had his mouth and nose over the hole in the gas tank breathing the gas fumes. He was holding on to the tractor so hard that I had to pry his hands loose. He was as white as snow and ice cold. I got him down on the ground, he fought me and tried to climb back on the tractor. We got him into the house and laid him down in the fresh air. We called the Dr. but he was in surgery and couldn’t leave but said to keep him laying down and check his pulse. It was 48 beats per minute. The Dr. called back in a few minutes. Tim was getting better by then. He had no ill effects. He said it made him feel funny and tingle all over.
He and Florence spent a lot of time playing with the pet dog Chum.
When he as just a little boy, I was ironing and he was playing close by. All at once
the kitchen window curtains were on fire. He had found a match and lit it and touched the curtains. I was near by and got them out in a hurry. He never did that again.
Tim and a friend rode their horses into the mountains, hunting and just enjoying the ride and the out of doors. They had a large tan colored dog with them. Toward evening they started down out of the mountains and to their homes. They noticed that their dog was quite a ways in head of them. They wondered how he could get in front of them that fast. They looked back more closely behind them and saw that it was a mountain lion following them. They didn’t spare any time or the horses and made it safely home.
Lions, bears and bobcats are seen in the montains from time to time. They have never hurt anyone. The lions would go down in the farm yards and kill the geese, duck and turkeys.
Tim said he and his Dad saw “BigFoot” foot prints in the ploughed ground on the dry farm.
He would cut the bottom out of a cottage cheese carton, tack it above the door then play basketball with a rubber ball throwing it thru the carton.
When Tim was four or five, we had a basket ball hoop on the shed door. Tim would say, “I’m going out and pitch fork. For a long time we couldn’t figure out what he ment. Finally it dawned on us. We weren’t talking clear, we would say, pitch for the basket and he thought we said pitch fork the basket.
Tim spent hour’s throwing a hard rubber ball at the side of the house. Sometimes a wild one would break a window. He would throw rock in the air and hit them, keeping the yard free of rocks.
Tim liked to sing and yodel as a child. When he got older I never heard him yodel.
He was riding his bicycle down a hill, lost control and run into a barbed wire fence
cutting several gashes two and three inches long. They had to have stitches in them and were sore for several days.
One morning when he was twelve years old he was getting ready for school when he
told me his leg was sore. I looked where he said it hurt but couldn’t see anything but a tiny red spot. At four in the afternoon when he came home from school I could see he was sick, so I put him to bed. The next morning he was worse, his leg was swollen and hot and had red streaks. I took him to the Dr. He had blood poision. The Dr. lanced it and sent him home. I had to hot pack and dress it.
He played the trumpet in grade school and high school. He was in school activities, playing baseball, basketball and football. He was president of his class and the MarshValley High School. He liked to water ski and hunt.
After graduationg from high school he went to Snow College in Utah and Idaho State University in Idaho. He played football and baseball at Snow.
He went to work for Johnson Construction of Logan as a summer job and has been working for them for twenty five years.
He met and married Jeanie South. They have lived in Logan, Utah since.
They have three children, Edward “Ed”, Jodi and Jeff.
Tim’s job requires a lot of driving. He is gone from home during the week especially in the summer. He is active in Church, holding various positions.
Florence MarRae was born Noverber 12, 1930 in the Malad Hospital. It was cold and stormy. We stayed there for nine days. We paid probably a hundred dollars.
We came back to our home in Downey. My mother was staying with the other children.
Florence and Tim played real good together. Their favorite thing was to “play dig”.
They would take my spoons and dig trenches and caves in the ditch bank.
Florence worked in the house cooking, cleaning, canning etc. When she was old enough she went out in the fields to work.
She was active in Chruch and 4-H activities.
She went to grade school in Downey and High School at Marsh Valley High. She was sctive in school, sports and cheerleader activities. She played the base saxaphone. It was nearly as big as she was.
After graduationg from High school she went to L.D.S Business College. After graduating from there she went to work at Thiokol at Tremonton. She worked there for ten years.
She married Gordon Kent. They lived in Tremonton. She worked for First Security Bank there.
They have three daughters, JaLynne, Jean, Karen, and a son Brett.
When Florence was three years old she had a bad ear ache. The Dr. gave us some medicine. A short time after we noticed she didn’t answer us when we talked to her. We took her to a ear specialist in Pocatello. They found that she had very little hearing in one ear. They gave her medicine and treatments for a year. Her hearing did not improve. She was good when taking those radium treatments in the Dr. Office and at St.Anthony hospital where they packed her head in sand bags so she couldn’t move. Her reward was dinner at a café. She sure enjoyed that and was very unhappy if she had to go home without eating.
She was very active in 4-H. She competed in five or six departments each year. Winning Grand Champion with her Herford calf. Canning vegetables, fruits and meat brought her blue ribbons. Sewing, modeling home beautification. She got the blue ribbon for the most entires and blue ribbon for the most blue ribbons in one year.
She was active in Church and community activities.
In school she was liked by the teachers and students. She played in the band. Her Mom and Dad took her and a friend or two to all the ball games. We had a lot of fun going with them.
There was a ball game at Poky High. Dad and I didn’t go. All the students went on the bus. That night there was a big fight between visiting students and Mexican “Spicks” they called them. None of our school students were hurt.
She had been taking first aid in school. One night she was coming home on the school bus when a girl fainted. Florence said that all she could remember of her first aid was to be sure there was nothing in a persons mouth that they could swallow. She knew this girl had dentures so she got them out. That was a good thing to do, but she sure got kidded.
There was a lot of work to do at home, but the children found time for fun. There was always a crowd coming and going.
This is what my life was like as I was growing up as I remember.
I was born in a two room house on a small irrigated farm south and east of McCammon. The house was built after the Indian reservation was opened up to settlers. One room was of lumber the other a twenty four by twenty two feet was built of logs. I was the seventh child and fifth daughter. My Grandmother came to stay with mother when I was born. I was six weeks old when she became ill with spinal meningitis and she died within three days. My five year old brother also was ill with meningitis, but he recovered and was fine.
My mother became ill with rehumatism. She was unable to take care of the family. Mother took me, a sickly baby and my sister Florence, two and a half years old and my brother Brixen five years old to Salt Lake City. We stayed with mothers sister Aunt Julia for several months until mother was well. She left my father, one brother who was 15, one sister 12, one sister 9, and one sister 7 at home.
There weren’t any conveniences in the home at that time. We did have a hand pump a few feet from the back door.
The big log room was used as a kitchen, eating area. There was a bed and a wardrobe for clothers. The other room had three beds and a couple of dressers. The log rooms ceiling was a covering of cloth called factory, now known as unbleach. The long strips were sewed together, then nailed along the walls, making a ceiling for the room. The walls and ceiling was kept white by white washing them each year. The white wash was made by putting slack lime in a tub, then adding water until a solution thick like cream was made. This was stirred with a long stick as the lime and water would bubbble and boil for a while. If it splattered on you, it made a burn.
Sometimes the wind would blow the factory ceiling down. Mother would stand on the table to tack it back up. Sometimes the shingle roof would leak and the rain water would collect in a low spot in the cloth ceiling and leak through splashing on things below. Once in a while the white wash coated the factory so the water couldn’t run through. Mamma would take the broom handle and gently push up on the bulge of water. The water would start dripping through. When it started to leak we hurried to put pans & buckets on the floor under the drips. As the water dripped into the containers each made a different sound, it was like music. The floor was made of foot wide boards. There was cracks between some of the boards. In the winter the cold wind came through them. We made a thick paste of news paper and water. This paste was poked into the cracks. The worn clothing was cut or torn into two inch strips then the ends were sewen
together to make long lengths. These were wound around and around to make cabbage size balls. These were then woven into thirty inch wide strips as long as you wanted. Mother would sew several of these strips together to make a rug.
Straw would be spread on floor and the rug tacked down on all the edges. This made the room cozy and warm.
The wash stand was a couple of wooden boxes one on top of the other. Extra soap and towels and the coal oil can were kept under here. Potatoes, veg, and apples were kept under the work table. A curtain made of colored material was put around the wash stand and the work taable. This kept the things under, and out of sight and brightened the room.
All of the water was heated in the reservoir on the stove. The wash stand had a bucket of water on it. This was used for drinking water and every other need.
There was usually a dipper or a tomato can there for dipping the water. These empty tomato cans were used for measuring everthing. They held a quart and were very useful.
In the winter the water would freeze over with ice. The kitchen was so cold. It was the childrens job to have the reservoir filled and a bucket of water in at night. The wood box was to be filled and kindling dry and cut so a quick fire could be made in the mornings. The wood box was just a large wooden box. Everything came in wooden boxes then. We never saw a pasteboard box. Some people had fancy painted boxes with lids. Ours was just a plain box but served the purpose well. It was placed behind the stove and was to be kept full. Mother didn’t like it, she said we threw to much trash in it.
The old stove served many a purpose, to cook with & warm the house. It was so nice to sit or stand around it listening to the wood burn and hear the tea kettle. It would sputter, hiss and sing when the water boilded. The top of the stove would get red hot. We would put the oven door down and pull up a chair and put our cold feet on it. The kitchen was the center of family life. It was where we did our work, studying , drying mittins, and shoes. Popping corn on the old stove was not just putting a package in the microwave. We used a iron frying pan and shook the daylights out of it. Honey candy was made every few days. Every one was warm and happy.
We had a hand pump just a few feet away from the back door. If it broke down we had to carry water in buckets from a ditch a block away. The drinking water we carried from a spring a fourth mile away. It was over the road, over a railroad track, down a hill and over some rock cliffs. Some times we had to go in the dark of night. I was always scared. The water used in cleaning, bathing, washing, etc. had to be carried back out side. It was just thrown on the ground.
The ashes had to be taken out of the stove often. It should be every day. If we didn’t then they spilled all over. We had to use a coal shovel to gather them up. The soot also
had to be taken out once a week. It would collect under the lids and under the oven.
There was a little door 6” by 2” where we raked the soot out with a little oblong flat piece of iron attached to a long handle. I like to do this and clean and fill the lamps. They needed to be filled and cleaned at least once a week. There were usually four or five lamps to clean and fill. As the wicks burned the oil, the chimneys got covered on the inside with soot. This was caused because the wicks was turned up to high or it wasn’t trimmed right. As the lamps were used the wicks burned and the burnt part had to be cut off. In a few weeks the wicks were to short to reach the oil. We always found a way to get the wick to the oil. Sometimes there wasn’t enough oil to fill all the lamps or the oil would burn up. If we didn’t have another wick we would pin another short wick on, or pin a piece of cloth on to make it long enough to do down in the oil. Sometimes we would pour water in with the oil. The oil was lighter than the water so the oil would go to the top so the short wick could reach the oil. Then if we didn’t watch the oil it would all burn up and the wick would soak up the water and the light would go out.
Then before we could use the wick again we would take the wick out and dry it on the top of the stove. The glass chimney would crack or break. If the crack or the break wasn’t to bad we took a white piece of paper large enough to hold the glass together, cover it with paste made of flour and hot water and put it on the chimney. This would last until we could go to town to buy a new chimney. The coal oil used in the lamps was bought by the gallon. We usually got ours in a gallon can each week. The end of the little spout had a little screw on cap, and a larger cover for the top. If these were lost the store keeper would put a small potato in the top and a gum drop on the little spout so the oil wouldn’t run out. Sometimes when we got the oil can home I would take the gum drop off and eat it. Sometimes candles were used. A witch or a bitch as they were called were used if they had no other means of light.
Papa, we never called him pa, or dad, built a small room on the side of the house. It was about 8 by 12 feet and eight feet high at the highest part where it joined on to the other wall. It had a steep slanting roof. The little room was called a shanty. The walls weren’t finished, it had a tin roof and when it rained what a wonderful sound that was. In the summer this was used as a summer kitchen. The kitchen range was moved out here so the rest of the house didn’t get so hot.
One time in the fall it was raining and chilly. Mother, a friend, & sister Maxine, my baby sister and myself were all in the little shanty sitting by the warm fire and listening to the rain on the tin roof. There was a timid knock on the door. Maxine opened the door and there was a small, old grey stringy haired Indian woman. She was wrapped in a blanket. The rain was dripping from her hair and blanket. She handed my sister a small tin can and in broken English ask if she could cook the eggs in the can for her. Sister got out
the frying pan, broke the eggs to cook them, but they were spoiled. Sis cooked her some
of our eggs. The little old lady sat by the warm fire watching my baby sister. She said something about a little papoose way up in the mountains. After eating she got up to go. She refused to stay longer and walked away in the cold and the rain. We often wondered what happened to her.
In the fall the stove was moved back into the big log kitchen and the shanty was used as a storage room for the winter. Some wood and kindling was stored here so it would be dry and handy in the winter. If we had coal, some was stored here also. The tubs and boiler used for washing were stored in here as well. Our winter coats and foot wear plus other odds and ends were put in here.
When I was four years old my parents added a living room and a bed room down stairs and two bedrooms up stairs. They also finished a third bedroom above the old bedroom, now used as a dinning room.
Washday was an all day job. We washed one day a week, usually on Monday. Some of the women would try to be the first one to hang their washing out. They were always hung outside. There were no dryers. The women would get up very early in the morning so they could be the first to fill the clothes lines. In the summer it was a hot day. In the winter it was a steamy day.
The clothes were gathered and sorted into piles. The starch was made. The water dipped up out of the ditch or pumped from the well. It was heated in tubs and boilers on top of the stove.
There was one tub full for washing the clothes, a boiler for boiling the white clothes. They were put in the boiler of hot soapy water and boiled for a half hour. They were stirred every few minutes with a three ft. or longer round stick. Some were a piece of a broom handle, or a piece of an old rake or hoe handle. These boiled clothes were then put into a tub of cold water, stirred around and rung out by hand. Everything was rung out by hand and you soon got strong hands and wrists. From the rinse water into a tub of blueing water, then starched if needed.
The starch was made by dissolving three or four tablespoons of Kingsfords starch, a small chunky white starchy substance dissolved in cold water, then added to hot water. It was boiled until thick and clear. If we run out of starch bought from the store, we used flour mixed with cold water then boiled. This wasn’t as good as the other. The tub of blueing was made by swishing a blueing bag in the water until it was a beautiful sky blue color. This bag was made by putting four or five balls of blueing in a piece of cloth about the size of a ladies handkerchief. By folding the cloth around the balls which were the size of marbles, and tie a string or piece or a piece cloth around it to form a ball or bag. This blueing would last for three or four wash days. The blueing was bought in a
box about the size of a toothpick box. There would by twenty four of the marble sized
balls to a box. The blueing was supposed to help whiten the clothes. Pink colored clothes weren’t put in the blueing water because it made them dingy.
In the summer the washing was done outside to keep the house cooler. A big fire was built in side of a circle of rocks. The tub as set on this to heat the water. In the winter it was done in the house. It took all day especially for a large family and several of them were girls.
Dinner on wash day was usually boiled beans and baked potatoes. This was easy to prepare and didn’t have to be watched very close. I didn’t like this meal.
Sometimes we had a washing machine. A wooden tub ribbed on the inside and mounted on four legs. This had a sort of a round dasher with three of four four inch pegs that stirred the clothes around and around. A big wheel outside of the washer was turned by a person, usually a kid.
We usually washed using tubs and a wash board. White clothes were washed first. They were put in a tub of hot water, as hot as your hands could stand. Hot water was added as needed. The clothes were rubbed up and down on this board. The dirty spots were rubbed with a bar of soap that stayed on a narrow ledge on top of the board. The tubs were set on benches or wooden boxes. Sometimes chairs were laid down and tubs were put on these.
Clothes were hung outdoors to dry. Lines were usually strung from pole to pole. Three or four lines were strung from these same poles. Some times the wire would stretch and the clothes would drag on the ground. A long forkeded stick was used to prop the wire up. Sometimes the wires would break and the whole line of clothes would fall into the dirt and have to be washed over. It seemed like there was never enough clothes lines. Nearly always the dish towels and stockings were draped over the barb wire fences. When I was little, I thought they had to hang there.
In the summer the dish towels were draped over bushes and grass. It was believed that the green in these plants bleached them. Sometimes the clothes hung of the line for two or three days. How fresh and clean they smelled.
In the winter your hands would freeze and so would the clothes before you could get them hung on the line. The colored clothes were hung wrong side out because the frost was said to drive the colors in. If these frozen clothes got hit hard it would knock a hole in them. It seemed like they never got dry in the winter and had to be brought back inside frozen stiff. One could hardly get the stiff sheets and tablecloths in the door. The frozen clothes sure made the house cold and steamy. They dried real fast after they were
One summer a cow got in the yard and ate several pieces.
All of the water that was carried in, had to be carried back out. In the summer a
couple of buckets of hot water from the boiler was carried to the old wooden toilet. The seat and the floor was scrubbed with a broom.
After washday came the ironing and mending.
The underware, stockings, towels and dish towels and sheets were folded. Some people ironed these, but we didn’t, there was enough to iron. The other items had to be sprinkled. We filled a large bowl or pan full of warm water, spread out the clothing to be ironed then took a handful of water and sprinkled it over the article , then folded and rolled tight. This was done to each piece to be ironed. The sprinkled pieces were put in a basket and covered. In the summer if they weren’t ironed within two or three days they would mildew. That ment that they got patches of tiny black dots on them. This was hard to remove. Sometimes the article of clothing was ruined. We would wash the article in sour milk or buttermilk and put them outside in the sun. Another remedy was to use lemon juice and salt. Sometimes this worked. Clothes seldom mildewed in the winter.
The irons were heated on top of the kitchen range. In the summer ironing made a very hot day. In the winter the heat was welcome. The irons often got soot on them and had to be rubbed on a piece of folded paper on the end of the ironing board to clean them. Even then we ofter got a streak of black on the clothes. Some of the irons had a iron handle molded right on the iron. This got very hot and one had to use a paper or cloth pad to protect ones hands. Some irons had a detachable wooden handle. These were removed as the irons were heated. Usually three irons were used. One was used to iron while the other two were heated. It was quite a knack to know when the irons were just right to use. If they were to hot they burned or scorched the cloth. It they weren’t hot enough the wrinkles wouldn’t iron out. The irons would cool after a miniute or two, then it would have to be changed for a hot one.
The way we tested the irons to see if they were hot enough was the same way we tested the oven to see if it was hot enough to bake things. We would wet the tip of our finger on our tongue, lift up the iron and touch the wet finger to the bottom of the iron or the oven door. If the wet spot just stayed there the iron was just warm. It if it sizzled or bubbled it wasn’t hot enough. But if you touched it with your wet finger and it went pop or snapped it was just right. They didn’t stay that way very long. It took a long time to finish the ironing. The oven was hot enough to bake if it snapped.
My sister Lucile, loved to iron and didn’t want us little kids messing with her clothes. She would take the iron holder with her when she wasn’t ironing. She used to take it to the outside toilet with her. This place had several names, “The privy, the outhouse, the
back house, or toilet”. It was a small building put some distance from the house. We dug a hole, two or three feet deep and a long and wide as the privy. The toilet was placed
over the hole. Some times the toilet was set on top of the ground, but then it had to be moved often. We used to sprinkle ashes down the holes to lessen the smell. We papered the walls with newspaper adds, and funnies. The local news made interesting reading while you sat and did your duty. The toilets had two holes, one large one, one small one. Sometimes there were three. I guess there was larger families that had these. I guess the different sizes were so the little kids wouldn’t fall down the hole. That would have been a mess.
Sometimes in the winter it was so cold the stools would freeze standing up and you had to knock them down with a stick. Boy in the winter those seats were cold. When it was night and black and you had to go and you were scared of the dark it was sure nice to have a big sister to go with you.
In the summer this was a good place to go read or to get out of work. If we stayed to long in there, someone wanting in would bang the side of it with a rock nearly scarring you to death.
There wasn’t any rolls of toilet paper. Once in a while some newspaper. The old Montgomery or Sears catalogue was there ready and waiting to serve you. They were free then and we got one in the spring and again in the fall. That was fun to sit and look thru them. The colored pages were always left to the last. These were thicker and slick. One had to twist and rumple them so they got soft before they could be used.
We played guessing games with the words on the newspapered walls. One time sis and I played in there too long. Our brother quietly went around back and thru a small hole at the bottom lit the paper in the hole on fire. We sure jumped up and made a hasty get away.
Every week or so all the dished in the cupboard had to be rewashed.
Saturday always brought extra chores. This was the time to air the bedding. Taking it out and given a good shake if it was a sunny day. It was hung on the clothes line for a while. Then the beds were remade, the floors scrubbed, and the baking done, clothing made ready for Sunday school. Hair washed and baths taken.
There was six girls, mother made seven. That was a lot of hair to be washed. We didn’t have shampooes or conditioners. We used toilet soap or hand shop for washing our hair. If we had some rain water, we used that for a rinse.
I used to gather sage brush and steep it over an outside fire and wash my hair in the water. It was supposed to make your hair dark.
The rain water was soft water so your hair would be soft and shiney. Sometimes we used a egg shampoo. Vinegar or lemon juice was also added to the rinse water. Lemon
was supposed to lighten your hair, vinegar to darken it.
Sister Maxine would curl our hair on long cloth strips. Then we would have long
ringlets for several days.
Bathtime was an all afternoon or evening job. The tea kettle , reservoir, kettles and tubs wer filled and heated. The old round tin wash tub brought in and put in front of the open oven door. Our clean underclothes were put on the oven door to warm. Chairs were put in a circle around the tub and draped with a blanket to give the bathers a little privacy.
Two or three inches of water was put in the tub and then one by one the kids got their bath. A little hot water was added for each child. The sides of the tub was always cold and felt like ice when you touched it. The last person had the most water and ect. If we took our bath at night we went to bed right after our baths and the beds were cold.
Sometimes we filled fruit bottles with warm water and took them to bed with us. Usually we would take a iron to warm the bed. The irons were kept on the back of the stove and were always warm. We wrapped them in newspaper so we didn’t burn our feet. Most of the time the paper would come loose or the iron would poke thru the paper and we would burn our feet.
Potatoes and apples had to be brought up from the outside cellar. I think we always waited until it was dark to go down to the cellar. We got to use candles for light. We liked to let the candle was drip into piles between our fingers and seal them together. The cellar was just a few feet from the kitchen. It was a big hole dug in the ground. Ours was around seven feet high ten ft. wide and twelve ft. long. The walls and floors were dirt.(Clay) The ceiling had large poles running the length of the cellar. These poles held up the board ceiling. There was dirt packed on top of these boards and was rounded up on top of the ground two or three feet deep to keep it warm in the winter and cool in the summer. There were steps down to the main part of the cellar. There was a door at the bottom of the stairs. There was also a door at the top of the stairs. It laid flat on the ground and worked like a cupboard door.
The cellar would be nice and warm. The apples, potatoes, and other veg. smelled so good. We would take enough potatoes and apples up to last for a week. The doors had to be closed carefully so the vegetables didn’t freeze.
In the summer the cellar was used for meats, milk, cream, butter and eggs. It was a good place to go to cool off.
I was never lonesome. I always had sisters to play with and they could tell the best stories. Mamma was always there and I knew if she was there everything had to be all right. We all had our share of sickness. In those days there wasn’t all the medicines and treatments they have now. We did have one thing over you. The Doctor always came to
your house. At first they came by horse and buggy. Later they had cars. The Dr. would
come into the sick room, pull up a chair, visit with the sick person and ask for a spoon.
He always said, “ open you mouth wide,” then he would hold your tongue down with the spoon handle and say, “say awe”. We didn’t have asprin to make your temperature go down, or make you feel better. We were undressed, put in night gowns and put to bed and you better not get up either.
We were bathed in bed. If we had a fever our whole body was wraped with a cool wet cloth. If we had a cold we had to have a mustard plaster. We also scraped the fat off a large slab of bacon. This was spread on a piece of cloth large enough to cover our chest front and back. Sometimes a few drops of turpentine or coal oil would be spread over the fat. Then some pepper, mustard, or ginger would be sprinkled on. This was covered with another cloth then put on the kid. This was left on all night. It was gooey and greasy but I liked the smell of it. Sometimes a piece of material, “wool flannel” was pinned to our under shirt and we wore this night and day until our cold was better. The mustard plaster was watched closely and only left on for just four or five minutes or it would blister the skin. If we were just coming down with a cold we were rubbed with oil and red linament. If we had a sore throat we gargled with salt and water. A cloth was rung out of very cold salt water and put around our throat, then covered with a piece of woolen cloth. A woolen knit stocken was often used, as it was just the right width and length. Our cough medicine was home made. Vinegar, sugar, butter, a little water and ginger was boiled until it was thick. Other times butter or olive oil, sugar lemon juice and a tablespoon of whisky was mixed together and given in small doses. Flax seed was boiled and drank with honey and lemon juice.
These remedies seem funny now but they worked and eight children lived to a ripe old age.
We had cats, dogs, chickens, calves and lambs for pets. We played with the neighbors children. We ate and slept at each others house, and helped do their chores.
One friend was crippled and we would do things to make her run. We thought it was funny. How cruel we were.
When the weather was warm we went swimming in the canal and river. The crazy things we did, it’s a wonder we didn’t drown. We didn’t have swin suits, we wore pettycoats or night gowns. Only once did the boys steal our clothes and hid them. We got even a day to two later, we tied knots in theirs.
Our neighbors built a row boat. In the evenings after work the neighbors would go to the river and row up and down the river.
We would gather wood and make a large bondfire, roast marsh mellows and weaners, and eat watermellon. It was kind of scary. It was right by the railroad tracks and there
were a lot of tramps or hobo’s around. They camped along the river. If their were any there, they never bothered us. However my sister said when she was watching the fire and the food while everone else was out in the thicket of willows hunting wood, someone grabbed her from the back. When she screamed he ran away. We all believe she made it up.
We would go on “Chickeries”. Usually we stole the chickens from our own place. Each taking turns. I remember this one time we drove out into the sage brush hills, made a fire so it would be just right to cook the chickens. The chickens were skinned but there was no water to wash them in, so we drained some water from the car radiator.
In the evenings we would gather at a neighbors house and play games such as “Kick the Can, Run Sheep Run, Bears not out tonight” etc. There was always marbles for the boys, jump the rope and hop scotch for the girls. We played a lot by climbing trees and picking wild flowers. Our favorite flower was the violets that grew by the cliffs by the spring and the damp grassy places along the river. There were yellow, purple, and once in a while a white one. We were something special if we found a white violet or a tiger lilly.
There was always work to be done each day. The cows we chased a couple of miles up into the hills to eat each morning. The hills weren’t fenced then, everything was open pastures. The cows usually came home in the early evening, if they didn’t we, “my sister Florence”, and I had to go get them. Then there was the milking to be done. We milked just a few cows, sometimes two or three or maybe five. These were miked by hand. You took your bucket and milked the cows where ever they stopped, in the corral, a shed or the pasture. In the winter they were chased into a building of some sort. You squatted down on your heels, put your head in their flank, grabbed a teat in each hand and pulled and squeezed till the milk quit coming. If you were a good milker you could almost make music as the steam of milk would plop the foam on the milk. There was usually a cat nearby waiting for you to send a stream of milk to them. They would sit there lapping up the stream of milk. The pigs had to be fed and watered. The eggs hunted and the chicken coop doors shut to keep skunks and weasles out. Water was pumped to fill the reservoir in the stove, to wash dishes and to drink, coal and wood hauled in for the next days use.
I forgot the milk had to be strained through a strainer, a big kettle like thing with a very fine screen in the bottom. These took the dirt, hay leaves and manure out. Oh yes, if you didn’t watchout, old Bossy would put her foot in the bucket of milk. The milk was strained into milk pans. The pans were about three inches high and twelve inches across. The ones I remember were blue or grey enamel. These pans were placed in the milk cupboard or milk safe until the cream came to the top. Usually ten or twelve hours. The
cream was skimmed off with a big spoon into a crock or jar until there was enough cream to churn. That was another job. We finally got us a milk separator so we didn’t use the milk pans anymore, only once in a while if there wasn’t enough milk to dirty the seperator. The milk had to be warm if possible. It was put into a large steel bowl on top of a special bunch of disks. The cream coming out of one spout in front, and the milk thru a larger spout in the back. Before you opened the spickot to let the milk run you had to turn the big handle fast enough so that it was going all the way around. Sixty times a minute. It turned hard for the first three or four rounds then it got easier.
The milk then was fed to the pigs and the calves. If the calves didn’t know how to drink you had to teach them how. You put your fingers in their mouth then lower your hand down into the bucket of milk while the calf was still sucking your fingers. Sometimes they learned right away. Other times they would run around. Then you backed them into a corner forced their heads into the bucket of milk until they had to breath, then they got a big gulp of milk. After a few times they would come running to get their milk.
Washing the seperator was a job every one hated, it took so long to get it clean.
We always had milk to drink and cook with. If it began to sour we sat the milk pan on the back of the stove where it was not to hot. After an hour or so of heating we had cottage cheese. There was always rich thick cream for cakes and toppings. There was nothing better than a big thick slice of fresh home made bread spread with cream and topped with sugar. And if you liked butter milk with flecks of butter, there was plenty of that. It made wonderful butter milk biscuts.
Churning the cream into butter was always the little kids job. We always liked to let the cream sour a little. It had to be the right temperature, if it was to cold it took hours and if it was to warm it churned faster, but the butter was very soft and greasy. If it was to cold you could add a little hot water. If it was to warm you would put the churn and all in a tub of cold water. This took longer.
Our first churn was a crock that had a tight fitting lid. The dasher handle came up thru a hole in the lid. If there wasn’t much cream to churn we put it in a two quart fruit jar and shook and rolled the bottle until the cream turned to butter. The butter was lifted out of the butter milk with a big wide shallow spoon. It was called a butter paddle. The butter was put in a large pan or bowl. Some water was poured over the butter. Then the butter was worked back and forth in the water with the butter paddle. The water was poured off and salt was added. The salt was worked thru the butter and it was ready to eat. If we had more butter than we needed, mother made the butter into pound blocks. A butter mold was used to do this. It was made of wood and was dipped in boiling water and then cold water so the butter wouldn’t stick. The butter mold was packed full of
butter then pushed out by the paddle on to a special kind of paper. These extra pounds of butter was traded at the store for sugar, raisins, baking powder or what ever was needed.
In the winter when the cows ate hay and their was no green feed, the butter was a pale yellow. We would put a drop or two of Mr. Washingtons butter coloring in the cream.
When spring arrived and the grass was nice and green, the cows were taken to the foothills to graze. Weeds grew along with the grass. The cows liked these especially the wild onions or garlic. The cows breath smelled awful and the butter tasted terrible. We couldn’t sell this butter.
Every home had a rain barrell, a large wodden container made of wooden staves. The top and bottom were flat, but the middle was bulged out. There were two inch iron bands going around the barrel to hold it together. Years ago these were used for holding grain, pickles, apples, ect. We used some when we cured our summer pork in the salt brine. The barrel was used to catch rain water. They were placed where two roofs came together. The rain water was always brown and full of soot because it run off the shingled roof. The water was soft and was used for washing hair and special clothing.
Every one raised their own pork. Neighbors helped neighbors kill the pigs. A big tub of boiling water was prepared. Afte the pigs were killed they were scalded in the boiling water. Then they were taken out and placed on some boards and then the hair was scraped off. Sometimes carpenters and house builders used the hog bristles to put in plaster. The head was cleaned and boiled and made into head cheese. It was delicious. Sometimes if one had time and the family like them, the feet were used to make pickled pigs feet. The animal was cut up and taken to the house. What a busy time that was. The boys liked to use the pigs bladders for footballs. It was said every thing was used but the squeal. The stump of the tail was used to grease pans. The fat from the meat was cut in small chunks and heated in a large kettles on the top of the stove. Some fat was put in shallow pans and rendered out in the oven. We kids liked to eat the cooked rines or cracklings. Other pieces of meat were put thru the hand powered meat grinder. Your hands and arms sure got tired. Mother even used the intestines. The waste materinal in them was squeezed out and water ran thru them. Then they were scraped with a dull knife, then turned inside out and scraped again. This process was done several times until the intestines were clean and clear. These were used as caseings for link sausages. The end of the intestines were stretched over a hollow tube. Mother used a cows horn.
The sausage was poked and pushed into the tube and down into the caseings. They were given a twist every few inches.
The pigs were killed twice a year, in the months that had a R in them. So they were usually killed in the last of September or October. It was cold enough then so the meat didn’t spoil. They were killed again in March. After that the weather was to warm.
In the winter the meat was cut up into hams, shoulders, bacon, and back bone. This was put into flour sacks. The flour sacks were saved after the flour was used for baking. The sacks of meat were hung outside on big spikes pounded into the north side of the house. They were high enough off of the ground so the dogs couldn’t reach them. When we wanted meat we just went outside and brought in a sack of meat.
In March the meat was cared for in different ways. Some of the hams were rubbed with a boughten mixture of smoke flavor and salt. This mixture was rubbed into the meat every two or three days for a couple of weeks. Then it was left to dry for a day or two and put into sacks and hung in the cellar or basement.
Most of the meat was cured in a brine. The meat was packed in a big barrell like the one we caught rain water in. A boiler or tub was put on the stove filled with water and brought to a boil. Enough salt was added that when it dissolved, a medium sized potato would float. The water was then removed and when it was cold it was poured over the meat. It was left in this salt brine for six weeks. By this time the salt had soaked thru the meat. It was taken out of the brine and left to dry. In a day or two it was put in sacks and hung up in the cellar or the basement. If we didn’t have a cellar or basement we buried the sacks of meat in the wheat bin. The wheat stayed cool enough to keep the meat from spoiling. If it did get a bit of mold on it, we just trimmed it off and ate the meat.
Some people had a smoke house where they hung the meat and cured it with smoke from a wood fire. They liked to burn apple wood. Mother had a bottle of liquid she use to rub into the meat. Each of these methods gave the meat a different flavor. People were always preparing and storing food.
There were no refrigerators. The old ice box kept things cool but the big fifty pounds of ice would only last a few days. Just a few people put up ice. When the ponds and small lakes froze to a depth of twelve to eighteen inches, The men took their ice saws and cut huge chunks of ice. These were stacked on large sleighs and hauled to the ice house. It could be a building built especially for the ice or a corner of a shed or building.
Even straw stacks were used. A layer of sawdust was spread on the floor, then a layer of ice, then another layer of sawdust covering the ice and down into the cracks and between the cakes of ice. The ice and sawdust was continued until the ice was all stored. Then an extra layer of sawdust was placed on top. The ice kept util the last of July or Aug. depending on the amount of ice and how well it was covered.
The home made ice cream was quite a treat. We never stored ice, but our neighbors did. We used snow. Sometime in June we could find a bit of snow left from a big drift.
We carried buckets of this home and we made the last freezer of ice cream. The ice
cream was made in a hand turned freezer. We thought it was a privelage and fun to crank or turn the freezer. We often froze ours in a plain old tin bucket that had a tight fitting lid and a bail or handle. A two quart pail was filled with the ice cream mixture, then the lid was put on tight so the salt water couldn’t get in. This pail or bucket was set inside of a larger bucket. Small pieces of ice or snow was packed between the two buckets. Salt was added. The handle or bail was held in the hand and turned around and around. It took a long time for the ice cream to get hard. Often the ice and salt was wiped from the lid of the inside bucket and the frozen cream scraped from the sides, then turned again. It was a lot of work, but it was worth it.
We always had two or three hives of bees set out in the orchard or current bushes. We very seldom got stung. If we did we smeared mud or blueing used in washing our clothes on the sting. We were always happy when we captured a new swarm of bees. The bees usually swarmed in July and August and it was quite exciting. There would be thousands of bees flying, and whirling in the air. They made quite a noise with their buzzing. We watched to see in which direction they were flying. We kids would run fast to get to the water pump. It was like a tire pump, but a lot bigger. This we put in the water and started to spray the bees. This was to make the bees think it was raining. Bees don’t fly in the rain. We also got pans and beat them with sticks. This was to make the bees think it was thunder. Well maybe it worked, for usually the bees would find a branch on a fruit tree or current bush and settle on it. The Queen bee would set on the branch first, then the rest of the bees would protect her by piling around her. Sometimes they would stay an hour or so then fly away. If they stayed for several hours and had settled down, Papa would take a wooden bushel box and sit it under the swarm of bees.
He would then get a good hold on the branch and give it a hard and quick jerk. The bees would fall down into the box. A lid was quickly put on and the bees were left alone for a few days. The bees didn’t move around at night. So at night the new hive of bees were moved to a permanent place. There was two boxes to a hive, each had a small opening on the side at the bottom so the bees could fly in and out. One box or hive of honey was always left so the bees would have food for the winter. In the fall we would rob the top hive of the honey. We did it a night while the bees were asleep. Papa would put on a hat with a net around it to keep the bees from his face in case some of the bees were awake and brave. He also wore gloves. He would take handfuls of the honey cone and put it in a big dish pan. How sweet and fresh that honey was. One of us kids had to hold a lamp so he could see to work. We were always afraid that we might get stung. The next day the honey was warmed enough to melt the bees wax. It was then cooled so the wax would float on the top of the honey. When it was cold the wax was skimmed off and the honey was poured into bottles and cans. This was stored away and was used as a spread
for bread and butter. We cooked with it and made honey candy out of it.
In the summer there was always plenty of work. There was also time to read, embroidery, take walks and listen to the phonograph. You had to wind them, change and turn the thin flat round disks over, put the arm with the needle on the record just right. Often the needle had to be changed unless you had a diamond tip on them that lasted for a long long time.
There was a piano or an organ in nearly every home. The family gathered around the piano, taking part in the playing and singing or just sitting and listening and enjoying.
The wall phone kept us is touch with our family and friends and was better than a newspaper. You could find out all the news in the neighbor hood. If one person told another a secret ect. It would be all over in just a few minutes because someone or maybe four or five people were listening or eves dropping. All you had to do was lift up the reciever and you could hear the people talking. So if you didn’t want anybody to know your business you didn’t say it over the phone. Sometimes there would be 7 or eight different families on one line. You had to wait a long time to get the line. You could hear everyones ring. Each home had a different ring. One long, or a long and a short or two short rings, 3 rings, 4 or five rings. There was a lot of combinatons. The big wooden phones were always high on the walls. You couldn’t sit down and talk. The mouth piece that sticks our in the front moved up and down. I have seen some people stand on their tip toes so they were able to talk into the mouth piece. After many years we got the phone lowered so we could sit down to talk and evesdrop. The little handle on the right side was turned, when you did so the operator would say number please, what number are you calling or just operator. Our number I can remember best was 49R3. So our ring number was three. The operator was often called central. People would often ring central and say, “ hello central, give me Mrs. Rowe,” or give me the store, the depot, etc. Central knew the numbers by heart and would ring your party for you. The operator could and often listened in on the party lines. If the person didn’t answer she would say, “I’ll ring again.” She would come on the line and if no one was talking, she would say, “Did they answer”?, are you waiting?, are you through? If there was no answer she disconnected you. The operator sat at a large desk with a high backed stool. She wore a head phone. She would pick up a plug from the desk and inserted the plug into a hole in the switch board. These connected one line to another. These lines crossed and crisscrossed each other. When the people finished she unplugged the plug and it flipped back into place on the desk. The phone saved us a lot of time then, as it does now.
I came home from school oneday to find a small baby there. There were no babies in our home. My Aunt whom was visiting said that they found it on the door step. I
immediately said, “Take it back out there we don’t want any crying baby around here”. My Aunt was always playing jokes on us. I turned around and there stood my sister whom had come for Christmas. I was embarrassed because of what I had said. I thought that was a good joke so I called up my friend to play the same joke on her. She was all excited and happy and was coming to see the baby. So I told her the truth. Someone else had been listening, but must have been to excited to listen to all of the talk. She hurried to tell her family, then called the editor of the local paper. Soon the editor and another man were at the house to get the story. I didn’t want any part of that so I left and Mama had to tell them what happened. The editor was disappointed because it was at Christmas and he thought it would have made a good Christmas story.
I remember mother baking six to eight loafs of bread twice a week. On baking day we always had hot rolls. We didn’t buy yeast in town. Every family had a jar of yeast, that was kept year after year. A package of dry yeast was five cubes. One fourth by one and one half inches square was purchased for .25 cents. It would last at least a year. The liquid from a kettle of boiled potatoes was cooled and poured into a bottle, jug, or crock that held around two quarts. A couple of tablespoons of sugar and a half cake of the dry yeast was added. The yeast was ready to use in twelve to twenty four hours. The yeast needed to be kept at a moderate temp. If it got to warm it soured. If it got to cold it wouldn’t be strong enough. The liquid yeast was used as part of the liquid in making the bread. Usually a quart of yeast was used at a time. Each time the yeast was used, more potato water and a spoonful of sugar was added to the old yeast in the jar.
The old yeast was called a starter. Once in a while a little piece of dry yeast was added. How good the house smelled when the bread was baking. If the fire in the stove got to burning to hard, the oven got to hot and the bread burned. This didn’t happen to often, but if it did the dark brown crust was saved and put in a kettle and boiling water was poured over it and let steep. Then you added cream and sugar to the liquid and you had a delicious drink “Toast Coffee.”
In the summer when the kitchen got hot the bread would rise fast. We would be working and forget about the bread dough. It would rise so high in the pan that it would fall over onto the table and sometimes onto the floor. Then we hurried and made the dough into loaves and left it to rise again and then baked. If you left it to long before it was baked it would get a sour taste and that wasn’t good. If you didn’t eat the crust you were told it would make you big. If you ate the burned bread, that would make your hair curly.
Very seldom did we buy flour. In the fall after the grain was thrashed, a load of wheat was hauled to the flour mill. Part of the grain was made into flour. The rest of the grain the miller kept as pay. There was always a large sack of germaid. This was a lot like
cream of wheat cereal, only darker and coarser. The flour and germaid lasted almost a year.
Sometimes we got a pan of wheat from the granery. We cleaned and washed it. Then we would put it in a kettle, covered it with water and let it soak all night. In the morning it was cooked as a cereal for breakfast. It was a special treat.
Mother told us she once had a pair of shoes that were to marrow, so she filled them with wheat and poured water on the wheat and left them all night. The next morning the wheat had swelled and the shoes had stretched.
Cakes, pies, cookies, and puddings were all made from scratch. There were no packaged mixes in the stores.
We didn’t go to the store very often. Once or twice a month. We usually bought sugar, raisins, flavorings, cheese, coal oil and candy. For a dime we would get a sack with two or three cups of every kind of candy. There would be seven or eight different kinds to a sack. Gum was a luxury. A package of gum, five sticks for a nickel would last for days. You chewed and chewed. At meals you placed the gum on the side of your plate or in your water glass or put it into your mouth when you have finished eating. You better not leave it where someone else might grab it and chew it. Sometimes one would stick it under the seat of the chair or under the table top. At night you stuck the gum on the head board of the bed. Retrieving it and chewing it another day. It’s a wonder we all didn’t die in childhood.
Did you ever try a Vinegar Fizz for an afternoon drink. Take one glass full of cold water and add one or two teaspoons of sugar, the same of vinegar, one quarter tsp. soda, then stir. While it was still fizzing, you would drink. We had lemonade, Mormon tea made with hot water, cream and sugar. Barley coffee made with burnt barley, hot water, cream and sugar. Ginger tea made with one half teaspoon of ginger, hot water, cream and sugar. Red liniment tea, made with red liniment hot water cream and sugar. Fruit drink, made from fruit juice and water.
In the summer we made homemade root beer. We filled two quart bottles or gallon jugs, sealed them tight. In two or three days, the beer was ready to drink. Sometimes the bottles would explode because of the gas created in the bottles.
For years the country roads were a mess. A lot of them were very crooked, up and down hills, following around trails. They were not graded. The road by our place was just dirt. In the summer the dust would get a foot deep. The lawn, trees and flowers were covered with dust. Some of it drifted into the house. My sister Florence and I would take a pail of water out to the road. We would scoup and pile up mounds of dust by the side of the road. Using our hands we would hollow out places in the dust, some shallow, some deep and round. These hollowed out places were filled with water. We
would go play at something else for a few minutes. When we came back the water had soaked down into the dust. The dirt was brushed away from the wet part. What you had left was a cup, mug, saucer or plate. These we carefully picked up and sat in a safe place. Then the whole process was gone thru again until we got tired of doing that. The next day we would go look at them and they would be all cracked and fallen apart. Oh well, they didn’t cost anything and we could have fun making more.
Another thing to do with the dust was to make mud pies. You tried to find clean dirt. Dirt that didn’t have sticks, or leaves etc. in it. This was put in a pan or bowl and mixed with water and stirred until it was nice and smooth. Adding an egg made it better if you could sneak one from your mothers supply. When it was all nice and smooth you would put it in a pie tin, borrowed from Mom’s cupboard. Then the fun part. You got to decorate the top with green cherries. In a few minutes you marked the number of pieces with a stick. Now it was ready to serve the pie. Oh, what a master piece, one could hardly wait to get it to their mouth. You just better believe we didn’t taste it, but it was fun to make believe.
Well back to the dirt roads. After weeks of the animals, wagons,buggys, and a few cars traveling up and down the road, deep ruts would get in the dirt making it ruff and bumpy to travel on. After a rain it was a muddy, sticky mess and very hard for the horses to pull the wagons especially if the wagons were loaded. The cars, the “Tin Lizzie’s”, or Gittney Ford, which most of the early cars were, would get stuck in the mud. The driver of the car would have to get someone with a team of horses to pull them out. Then we would yell at the person driving, “Buy a Horse”.
When the ruts got so bad you could hardly travel, some farmers would hitch a team to a road drag. It was made with poles, railroad ties, or logs bound together and drug over the ground. This helped a lot. The road was later graded up so the road was higher than the surrounding land and the water would run off. It was finialy graveled and then oiled.
The railroad tracks was just across the road from our house. We sure enjoyed those dirty, noisey old trains. A crossing was right by the house. The trains would start blowing their whistle a mile away and keep it up until they were right on the crossing. No matter what we were doing we stopped and ran to the front lawn to wave at the men in the engine. They would wave and give a toot, toot on the whistle. In a little while another train would come along. There were three passenger trains a day, 10:00 a.m., 1:30 p.m., 6:30p.m., and10:10 p.m. You could set your clock by these trains.
During the war of 1918, these trains were packed with soldiers. They would be leaning out of the windows waving like mad. We were glad to have someone to wave to.
When the trains stopped at the depot, the young ladies would go visit with the
The big freight trains carried cattle, machinery, oil, lumber, coal, etc. Sometimes pieces of coal would fall off the coal cars. Then we children would take a bucket and pick up the coal that had fallen off the train. In the winter it was sure cold picking up this coal.
The cattle would come down from the hills in the fall and they would see all of the feed along the tracks. They would walk over the cattle guards and get on the railroad right away. Often they would go down the tracks between the rails. When the train came along the cattle would get killed. We chased many of them back out of the railroad right away, but many were killed.
If there was something wrong with the train tracks a torpedo bomb was put on the tracks. As a train passed over them they exploded making a big bang. One bang if the train needed to go slow, two bangs the train was to stop. At night orange and red fusee’s were lit. They were pretty in the dark. Often at night a shower of sparks filled the air as the big fire box on the engine was filled.
During the summer we always had city relatives. The boys were supposed to help with the farm work. They weren’t used to getting up early, having breakfast and out in the fields by eight a.m. They would get sun and wind burned. Their hands would be chapped and have sore aching muscles.
Their mothers would come see the sunburned ears peeling, the dusty and sweaty clothes and they were ready to take their sons home and baby them.
Their were ten in our family, and then you add three or five more that made a lot to cook for. One aunt used to say, “Come eat all you want, It doesn’t cost Aunt Minnie anything. But those fresh raspberrys and cream did taste good.
The girls were always supplied with starched, ruffled, pleated, ribboned and lacy dresses. All they had to do was to get dressed up and look pretty. They were pale and delicate looking. One could tell the city girls from the country cousins because our skin was tanned.
We used to wear hats and bonnets to shade our faces and we would pull old worn out stocking over our hands and up our arms pinning them to our dress sleeves to keep our arms white. This didn’t help much and in a couple of days they were forgotten.
We would wash in buttermilk, rub the inside of lemon peelings on our face and arms. Mother would tell us, “get up early in the morning, go out in the orchard, cup your hand around a bunch of grass. We would get enough dew off of the grass to wash our face. This would make us beautiful. Well I don’t know about the beautiful part, but we did get a handful of dew and we did wash our faces. I think this was mothers way of getting us up early.
Very little makeup was used, maybe a little loose face powder was patted on our face. One bit their lips to make them red. Some used beet juice. You pinched your cheeks to make them pink.
After World War I, the girls started using makeup and cutting their hair. They were called “Chippies, and Flappers”.
The music changed to ragtime and jazz. The dances were changed also. One danced close to a partner and you kept in step with them. Your partner saw that you always had a partner if he couldn’t dance with you. You always had someone to dance with. You always danced the first and usually the third dance, and always the last dance of the night.
The orchastra always played “Home sweet Home”. No matter who you were dancing with, you stopped dancing with that person and finished the dance with the “guy” that brought you. We could never think of dancing with one fellow. Girls went alone to dances so did the boys. If the boys didn’t ask the girls to dance the girls danced together and had a great time.
Years ago ones manners were much better. There was always a floor manager on the side lines or walking among the dancers. If one got roudy or rough, the floor manager would tap them on the back and ask them to calm down or leave the floor.
I remember long, full aprons mama wore when I was little. They were good to carry apples, other fruits, vegtables, wood, chips, eggs, and little chicks. They were used to cover up a soiled dress, to throw over your arms when it was cold, to wipe kids noses and tears. What a useful piece of clothing. They were also used to chase flys from the house. The flies were terrible in the summer and fall. It was a constant fight to keep the flies out of the food. Before we sat down at the table, mother would send us out to get a little branch from the tree. Mother would wave this back and fourth over the table. All of the food was kept covered or in the cupboard.
Old tangle foot fly paper was interesting. It was two sheets of paper 10” to12” stuck together with the stickest glue that you could imagine. The two pieces of paper were pulled apart leaving the sticky glue exposed. These pieces were laid on the tables etc.
The flys would lite on the glue and get struck and die there. In a day or two the fly paper would be covered and removed. There was also a 3”x 3” piece of black paper containing arsenic, a poison. A square of this was placed in a dish with a small amount of water. The flies drank the poison water and died. I never heard of a kid getting poisoned.
Sometimes we pulled the window blinds shut to darken the room then we would open the door and chase the flies out. We used our aprons, dish towels, and switches from the trees to chase the flies. In the fall and in the evenings when the weather got cold, the flies would collect on the outside of the screens on the doors and windows. A piece of
paper was twisted and set on fire. Then this piece of paper was used to burn the flies. Most homes had a wire fly catcher by the back door. It was a round piece of screen that stood on legs. At the bottom their was a 3” to 4” cone that extended a ways into the large container. The opening of the cone at the top was about 1/8. A dish or can of meat, milk, etc. was placed under the catcher to draw the flies. They would fly or crawl up the cone and out the small opening on the top and were trapped their and soon died.
There was a large garden to plant, weed and water. The fresh vegetables were used all summer. Peas, beans and corn were bottled for winter. We didn’t have a pressure cooker, so the vegetables were boiled for hours. It was too hot in the house so we would make a fire outside to cook them.
We gathered dry wood from among the willows that grew along the water ditch.
We peeled and cut up apples for drying. Corn was cut from the cob and dried. The corn was scattered on sheets stretched on the roof of a garage or shed that would be sunny so the corn would dry. They were covered with old curtains or mosquito ban to keep the flies and other insects off. If it rained we hurried to bring them into the house before they got wet. When the rain was over they were again spread out. When they were thoroughly dry they were put in sacks and used in the winter.
In the fall the potatoes were dug and stored in the outside cellar. Bushels of plums and apples were picked after we got home from school. Most of the bushels of apples were sold for a $1.00 or $1.50 a bushel. The best of the plums were bottled for fruit in the winter. Plum preserves were made and put in open crocks. The preserves were covered with a lid. When we wanted some to eat we spooned out a dish, then put the lid back on. We always put ours in a five gallon crock. I don’t know why but it was easier to keep jam and jellies and preserves. Pickles were also kept in big jars or crocks. We didn’t have paro wax or pectin.
When we were young, all of the children helped with the canning of apples, plums, pears, raspberries, goose berries, currents and a few peaches. The peaches were expensive, one year we paid $4.00 for a bucket.
Mother would put a piece of cloth on the top of the pickle jars. The bottles of jelly ect. were also kept with a wad of cotton on the top. Sometimes the jelly was covered by cutting a piece of writing paper a bit larger than the jar or glass. It was then dipped in a slightly beaten egg white, or it was dipped in straight whisky and tied over the tops. The egg sealed the air out of the paper and whisky sterilized the paper.
We kept butter for months at a time. The cows gave more milk in the spring and summer so there was more cream to churn. In he winter the cows gave less milk so there wasn’t much cream to churn into butter.
When there was more butter than we used it was put in a crock and then covered with
salt and stored in the cellar.
Extra eggs were also stored. The hens stopped laying in late fall and didn’t start laying again until late Feb. or March.
The Chicken Coop-The care and feeding of the chickens was much different then. The eggs were put in jars, with the small end down, then covered with cold ashes from the stove, with salt or with water glass. Water glass was a liquid bought at the drug store. This liquid was diluted with water and poured over the eggs. The eggs kept better in the water glass solution the best.
I don’t recommend this. We fried sausage then put it in bottles and then poured a couple of inches of fat and drippings from the cooked meat. Then we put the lid on, stood the bottles on their tops until they were cold. This sealed the lid, and the meat kept very well.
We also fried fresh pork, ham and shoulder slices and packed them in crocks. Then we poured melted fat over it to seal out the air and stored it in the cellar.
Fresh meat was a treat after eating so much salted meat. Sometimes the salt cured meat was so salty we would have to par boil it. The meat was put in a pan of water and boiled for a couple of minutes then drained. It was finished cooking by frying, baking or boiling.
The winter apples were better after a slight frost. That was a job for the kids. Many evenings after school we put on coats and picked apples in the cold. We would climb up the trees as far as we dared to go. We would go up until the trees would bend and sway. Then holding onto one branch and leaning way out and reaching up high to get the apples. When our bucket was full we climbed back down, emptied our apples into a “gunny sack”, a burlap bag. Then up the tree again. After three or four sacks full, we lifted the sacks into a wheel barrow and took the apples to the cellar. The next night it was the same thing until all of the apples were picked or frozen.
Summer was busy, and so was the fall, but threshing time was a lot of fun and work. Three meals a day plus enough for family breakfasts at 5:30 a.m. Those twelve to fifth teen men could sure eat. Mother always sat the large table with a white cloth and good dishes. These men, they were treated as guests. We kids were kept busy filling the empty bowls of vegetables and platters of meat plus the pies, puddings and home made bread.
The men had a change of clothing and quilts all tied in a bundle. They carried this bundle from place to place. The threshing machine was owned by one person. Probably the only one in the valley. They moved from one place to another threshing their stacks of grain. Then they would move on to the next farm. The men slept in the straw stacks, sheds or wagons. Some of the men stayed with the threshing crew all through the fall.
Sometimes men would leave and others would be hired.
The threshing machine changed over the years from the horse powered to the steam engine then to the oil engines. It was great to see the sack of grain pile up and the straw stack get higher and higher. We kids would climb to the top of the sacks full of wheat then slide bumpty bump to the bottom. Then back up and down, time and time again. We were not supposed to climb on the straw stack. We would go to the side where no one could see us and what a time we had sliding down the slippery straw.
The Old Straw Tick-These were the mattress for our beds. Often times the mattress were taken off the beds and the old straw was dumped out and new fresh straw was put back in. These were carried back to the house and the beds had new fresh straw ticks. The first night we slept on the ticks they were high and the straw made a crackly sound. By spring the ticks would be smashed flat. Then one shook, poked and pushed the straw to make them plump again. The feather beds were the same only filled with feathers saved from the killed chickens and ducks.
Our bed rooms were cold in the winter. We had a stove in our room, but we didn’t make a fire very often because we had to haul coal, kindling, and wood up the stairs and take the ashes out. Sis, “Florence”, and I would usually take off our dresses, kick off our shoes, then jumped into the cold bed and pull the quilts up over our heads and shiver until the bed got warm. We would take two or three hands full of straw from the tick, put the straw in the stove and light it. It burned, but it didn’t even warm the stove. By spring the straw tick got skimpy and skimperer.
All of the girls learned to can fruits and vegetables. How to clean and care for a house and to cook. I loved angel food cakes and every time mama left home, I would try to make one. I usually made them when I was alone. One cake took twelve eggs. You didn’t use the yolks so I threw them in the pig feed. I tried hard to make good cakes but they were always like rubber. I hid them in the flour bin until they dried out and got hard. Then when no one was around I fed them to the pigs. Pigs will eat anything.
Feeding and herding pigs was another job for us kids. Our large garden kept us busy pulling weeds. We carried many arms full of weeds to the pigs. They really liked them.
All left over milk, vegetables, vegetable peelings, fruit along with any other waste or left overs was kept in a large barrel and carried by the bucket full to the pigs. Sometimes the pigs were let out of their pens to eat grass and weeds in the pasture. It was an awful job to chase them back into the pens. We also herded the sheep, cows and calves so they would only eat where they were supposed to and not get in the hay, grain, or the garden. While we watched the animals we used sharp pocket knives to rip the seams of old coats and dresses. After these clothes were ripped apart, mother dyed them with Diamond dye which was bought from the store. An envelope of dye was dissolved in a large pan of
water and brought to a boil. Then the pieces of clothes were put in the dye solution and boiled for an hour. It had to be stirred constantly to keep the material from burning on the bottom. These pieces of clothing were then made over into clothing for we children.
Most of our clothes was made from old clothes. I remember mama setting for hours night after night sewing by lamp light so we could have a coat or dress to wear. When we were small all of our under clothes were made from flour sacks. Flour always came in cloth sacks. Ours had a big red rose printed on them. Sometimes we couldn’t get the colored rose washed out, so we had red roses on our under ware. The first silk stockings were made out of cotton which came below the knees.
Every fall the new born cattle had to be branded. Each person that owned cattle had a brand made just for them. Many brands were the initials of the owners. They tried to make a brand that no one could alter or change in anyway. These brands proved who the cattle belonged to. The cows were branded on the hips or ribs. Horses were branded with a smaller brand and on the first upper leg. The cows were also ear marked with a nick or two in one or both ears. Sometimes half of the ear was cut away. Some owners used dulaps or waddles. These were placed on the neck, but sometimes they were placed on the face. A piece of skin, one or two inches long was cut loose from the neck or face and left hanging. All of these things would help the cattlemen collect his own cattle. For many years there was very little land fenced and every ones cattle grazed all over the hills during the spring and summer months. Now everything is fenced and you have to keep your cattle fenced in.
Sheep also were taken to the summer range. The main highway was next to our yard and several times in the spring thousands of sheep would go by our place. There would be two sheep herders, two sheep dogs and a sheep camp pulled by two horses. The Sheep camp wagon was home for the herders. Inside there was a bed, a small stove and a cupboard. It went where ever the sheep and the herder went. In the fall they came back and went to the winter range. In the spring the thousands of sheep were sheared of their wool which was done by hand. The fleeces were packed in great big burlap bags. The sacks would be eight to ten feet long and four feet across. We always enjoyed watching the sheep go by home.
Once in awhile Florence and I would go fishing. Our poles were a long green willow, a big fishing line and a monster of a hook. We would dig some worms and put them in a can and go fishing in the Portneuf River. Suckers and chubs were all that we ever caught. When we got them home we had to scale and clean them. Mother would fry them for us. Our older sister told us that if we swallowed any bones, they would go thru our bodies and stick our clothes on so we would never get them off. We were very
careful not to eat any bones.
On the 4th and 24th of July the town had a celebration. There were floats. We always got to ride on one. The best thing was mama made us a new white dress to wear. One year my dress was a jumper with a blue skirt and a white blouse. My whole day was spoiled because the dress wasn’t all white. They were fun days for kids. They were all dressed up and clean in the morning, and by night they were cross and tired. Mothers never got tired.
There were programs, and they were always dull. Baseball games, foot races for the young and the old. The kids, boys and girls alike lined up and ran as hard as they could. If you won, you got a dime. If you didn’t win you got a nickel. Usually our parents gave us a dime. Boy that was a lot of money. We could buy a glass of pink lemonade and a big package of mother goose pink or yellow pop corn that had a tin whistle or a balloon that whistled when the air came out. We always had a big picnic lunch in the buggy. We would eat when we got hungry. I was probably four years old when a aeroplane came to the celebration. I was scared of the big thing that came out of the sky and landed among some trees. Before it landed a big rope was dropped from each corner. Some men ran and grabbed the ropes and tied them around the trees. My sisters says they didn’t tie it down, but that’s what I think happened.
The chickens were a lot of fun. But not the cleaning of the chicken coups. They were cleaned in the spring and in the fall by raking all the chicken droppings or manure out. The roost poles that the chickens sat on were sprayed with a solution of creosote to kill the mites. New straw was put in the nest so the eggs would keep clean and so the eggs wouldn’t hit the hard boards of the nest when the hen layed the egg. Each spring the hens would get “setty”. That ment they wanted to sit on the eggs and hatch baby chicks. The hen would go around clucking and sit on her nest night and day. You couldn’t scare her off the nest. If you put your hand under her to get the eggs she would give you a good hard peck on the hands. If you wanted to have some baby chicks, a dozen eggs were put under the hens and in twenty one days the little chickens would hatch. Sometimes the hen would get tired of setting on the eggs for so long and would leave her nest. The eggs would get cold and the unhatched chicks died. If you found the hen had gone quickly enough you could put the eggs under another hen. Often times we took the eggs to the house and put them into a pan of warm water. If the chicks inside were still alive the eggs would move a little bit. Then we knew that the chicks were still alive and would put them under another setty hen.
There is nothing more cute than a hen with her baby chicks. Many times a hen would steal her nest. That is she would find a place under a pile of wood, in the corner of a shed, in a hay stack or under a bush to lay her eggs. Then when the eggs hatched she
surprised us with a batch of babies. If we had extra eggs they were taken to the store and traded for groceries.
When we went to town for groceries we also got our mail. We had a box in the post office, a lot like the ones we use today. Later a rural route was used to deliver the mail each day to your home on the farms. Some letters were sent special delivery. These letters usually carried a special or important message and was to be delivered immediately. It was the post masters job to find some one to deliver the letter. Usually a reliable youngster was given a dime to deliver the letter. While we were in town we did all of the little necessary things that had to be done because we might not get back to town for a week or two.
If our shoes had worn out soles, or the sides became unstitched, they were taken to the cobbler or shoe maker. The shoes were resoled and mended and the shoes were almost new again.
Before we got our rural mail route, mother would send Sis and myself to town to mail letters or packages. We walked the three miles each way and thought nothing of it. Sometimes we were sent to mail a letter on the train. I didn’t like that We had to go to the depot where the passenger train had a mail car just behind the engine. The slot to put the letter in was up high on the side of the mail car. The train was so big and spouting white steam out of both sides of the engine. The train engine was making a big noise, the bells were ringing. Sometimes it would blow that big old whistle scaring me to death. I would stand on my tip toes and reach as high as I could to slip the letter into the mail slot.
We had a lot of grass to water and to mow. There was a large lawn in the front of the house and a smaller one in the back. The lawn was watered by turning the water from the big ditch into a smaller one and then flooding the lawn. We did it this every two weeks. The lawn mower was one that had to be pushed by hand. It took several hours to cut the lawn. If we let the grass get to high we would give the mower a shove with our foot at the same time we pushed it. It was a slow and hard work. If it got so high we couldn’t mow it we would let the cows eat on it for and hour or so. We had to watch the cows so they didn’t eat the flowers and berry’s.
There were a lot of trees in the orchard and big shade trees around the house and along the fence by the road. When they shed their leaves in the fall, they had to be raked up by hand and burned in the evening. After coming home from school we raked huge piles of leaves. We then set them on fire, and threw a few potatoes into the leaves and ate them when they were done. The potatoes would be black with soot and they would be half raw, but they were good and our hands and faces would be black from the soot. If all of the leaves didn’t get burned by dark we would dump buckets of water and throw
it on the leaves to soak them down so they wouldn’t start burning again and start a fire somewhere if the wind blew.
In the spring we dug up a large flower garden with a shovel, raked it smooth and planted many varieties or flowers. If the ground got to dry we had to pump tubs full of water and then put the tubs in a wheel barrow and wheel the water to the flower garden. The water was put into a sprinkling can and the ground was then watered. Soon the seeds began to grow and bloom. The yard was pretty all summer.
There was always house cleaning. In the spring the walls were calsomined, the windows were washed, bedding laundered, rugs taken up from the floor and hung on the clothes line. Then the rug was beat with a stick to get the dirt out. We had no vacuum cleaners at that time. We scrubbed the floor by hand and the wood work was painted or washed. The house smelled so good when we were through.
We had a lot of silly fun superstitions, like, when we were shelling green peas if we found a pod that had nine developed peas in it we put it above and outside door. The first male that came through that door was to be our future husband. If you lit a match and held it in your hand until it was completely burned, it would bend in the direction of his house. When peeling an apple all in one long piece, you took it by the end then circled your shoulders three times and then let it drop, it would make the initials of your beau. You would surely dream of your future husband if you counted the same nine stars for nine consecutive night. There were even a lot more of these ideas.
Summer and autumn were busy times. As the weather got colder our work got less and less. There was always water, coal and wood to bring in the house, and then there was always house hold work to be done. The only outside work we did was to feed the chickens.
There was school and studying to be done. We didn’t have much home work until we got into high school. The old school wagons were so cold. They were just a wagon covered with canvas and pulled by horses. When the snow got deep the wagon box was lifted of the wheels and put on the sleigh.
Thanksgiving was a time to think of the holiday and a big dinner. What wonderful smells came form the kitchen, and we had friends to play with. A special neighbor of Mamma, and Papa’s always came bringing their children for Thanksgiving and Christmas.
There was always a childrens dance on the holidays which was held in the afternoon. Papa always took us in the big sleigh. The dance was held in the church house. We kids knew nothing of dancing. When the music started to play we would grab a partner, which was nearly always a girl and see how many times we could run around the floor before the music stopped. If a boy ask me to dance he wasn’t so anxious to have a race
with the music and it was no fun then. At ten years old, I thought dancing was so silly so I quit going until I was in high school.
We went sleigh ridding on hand sleighs every week end. There was a good hill right by our house. The neighbors brought their sleighs and we had a lot of fun. Our family had only one sleigh and it lasted from the oldest child through the youngest. We were taught to take care of our things so they would last. We always stayed out in the cold to long. We would come home crying with such cold hands and feet. We would open the oven door and sit on chairs with our feet in the hot oven. Then we would get chillblains.
This was a painful hard swelling on the sides and heels of our feet. They itched something awful. We didn’t have mittens. We kept our hands warm by putting them up our sleaves or in our pockets. We didn’t have over shoes or boots either. We just had a light weight rubber that fit over the bottoms of our shoes and up a couple of inches on the sides. If the snow was deep we would sink down deep into the snow with every step. Once in a while we would go a long way and discover that we had lost a rubber. Then we would have to go back and look in each hole until we found it.
We enjoyed the big sleigh rides if you had a good team and a good driver with lots of straw and quilts so you could keep warm. The sleigh bells were a delight to hear. The young men delighted to cut shiners when they had girls in the sleigh to hear them scream. The roads had to be packed snow. The driver would get the horses to run then they would turn sharp and the back end of the sleigh would flip around. Sometimes turning the sleigh over. I remember Papa didn’t have overshoes either. He filled gunny sacks half full with straw and then tied them on his feet.
It was cold outside but snug and warm around the kitchen stove. As soon as the fire died down at night the house would cool off quickly. In the morning, Old Jack Frost had all of the windows frozen solid. Oh what beautiful things he painted on the windows all in white. There were trees, hills, mountains and such beautiful ferns. We would blow our warm breath on the window to thaw a spot so we could see out. It would soon freeze back over. It would take a long time for the house to get warm enough to thaw out the windows.
Christmas time was a time of expectations and secrecery. A time for fruit cake baking. Decorations for the tree were being made. Best of all, we knew the brothers and sisters that were away would be home. Our Christmas trees was cut just a day or two before Christmas. Papa would go up in the mouontains and bring home a load of wood. On the top of the load would be a beautiful fresh green tree smelling like a whole pine forest. The tree was usually brought in the house Christmas eve and decorated. For days we had been stringing popcorn. We would string long ropes of popcorn. In between the pieces of popcorn we would put a cranberry for color. If we didn’t have cranberrys we
used wild rose hips, or red berries off the asparagus that had gone to seed. A pretty string of one inch pieces of straw separated by popcorn and cranberries was very pretty.
There was always the paper chains. We polished small apples until they would shine and hang the on the tree. The lights were candles, they were red, yellow, green and white about the size of a pencil and three to four inches long. These were put in little holders and snapped on the tree limbs. They were placed very carefully so they were not directly under a limb because the flame from the candles would set the tree on fire. If we heard a sputtering noise we hurried to check the tree and usually had to moved a candle. The only decorations that we bought was a stirng of tinsel. Mother had a star made of tinsel she always placed on the top of the tree. It must have been ninety years old. I have that star even though it is shabby and worn, it is still pretty and I still use it.
During the Christmas hoildays, the whole house was warmed by the coal and wood stoves. At night the rooms would glow with the light from the lamps and we kids were on our best behavior. We got practically the same gifts each year. But they were always enjoyed. If we needed clothing, we usually got them along with some winter underwear, stockings and shoes. Our shoes were the black patent leather kind. They would crack and peel if they were put on when they were cold. They were placed near a stove to warm, and were rubbed with Vaseline before we put them on.
My Sis, Florence and myself would get a dress made the very same style except a different color. Our toys were a story book, some kind of a game, checkers or domimos, and a doll. One year our dolls hair would be yellow, the next year brown.
We always hung up our stockings, not a fancy one, but just a clean everyday stocking.
In it there would maybe be a handerchief, some peanuts, candy and a wonderful orange in the toe.
The afternoon was spent sleigh riding and then coming to the house half frozen. The older children spent the afternoon riding the sleigh with their friends, and they would end up spending the evening at our house playing the piano, singing, playing parlor games and having cake, cookies and hot chocolate.
We didn’t have to go back to school until after New Years. On New Years, us little kids did very little. The older ones went to the dance.
After that there was not much going on for several weeks. Valentines day was a fun day. At home, sister Maxine would help the little ones make valentines. They were really pretty. We would go to our neighbors and leave a valentine on the door step, knock on the door and run and hide. In a little while we would go back to the house to play with our friends. The boughten valentines were so pretty in our day, not as silly as so many of them are today.
St. Patrick’s day was just a day to wear something green. If you didn’t have anything
green on, you got pinched by your friends. I don’t know why but everyone once in a while we would wear green and then if a friend didn’t have any green on we would say, “If you see anything green lick it up clean,” then go home and tell your mother you had a dish of ice cream. Silly!!
Washingtons and Lincolns birthday were mentioned in school. One was honest, and the other told the truth.
We always looked forward to Easter. It was like the end of winter and hello to spring. We looked forward to fixing a lunch and hiking up into the hills where we could find a snow drift to play in. I think it was a lot more fun for the kids.
Weeks before Easter we were eager and willing to gather the eggs. Without anyone knowing it we would keep an egg or two out depending on how many we would gather from the nests. If the chickens were laying well and we would get a couple of dozen eggs each evening, we would probably keep two out or sometimes more. These eggs we would hide. Then on Easter we would have a lot of eggs to color. There might be two or three kids hiding eggs. If you found someone’s hidden eggs you go to keep them. One time I had a couple of dozen eggs hid under an old boiler out in the yard. My brother found them the day before Easter. That wasn’t so bad because I got to color and eat others eggs. I would have liked to color a tub of eggs. They were so pretty. We didn’t have egg dyes. We used onion peels, beet juice, coffee or grass. We also poured hot water over colored paper or colored ribbon to make coloring. A couple of dozen was all that we could color.
Mama had a large beautiful clear green bowl we would put the colored eggs in. They were so beautiful, if we didn’t eat them all first. We would keep the pretty things until they started to smell bad. I felt so sad when that green bowl got broken. I kept a piece of it to look through. My, everything looked pretty. A piece of brown. Yellow, or red glass also make things look pretty.
We never had any gifts at Easter or new dresses.
At last spring came and with it the birds that you could hear all summer long. The new calves, pigs, lambs, colts, ducks, fluffy baby chicks, kittens and puppys were interesting and fun to play with. The trees in the orchards were white with blossoms and were full of buzzing bees, and the smell was like heaven. The Johnny Jump Ups, Violets, Blue Bells, Indian Paint Brush, Sweet William and Dock made the hills and banks along the river a sight to behold.
After getting home from school we would hurry to change our school clothes and get us a snack to eat, then we would go pick flowers. We were hungry when we got home and would eat most anything. My favorite was a dish of plumb preserves topped with a thick sweet cream or maybe a big slice of home made bread covered with cream and
sugar, or just bread, butter and sugar. If there wasn’t any of these around, I had a slice of bread spread with good old lard with salt and pepper. As soon as we had something to eat we would go out and pick the wild flowers. Mamma always had dishes full of flowers all over the house.
I always talk about Mamma and not Papa. I had just turned ten when he died. He had been on a Mission two years before. He was ill and in bed for several months. I didn’t visit with him very much while he was ill. Before he went on his Mission he worked for a Sugar company, and a machine company. He liked politics and worked in Church positions, so he wasn’t home a lot of the time. I remember him setting in the kitchen reading the paper or magazine with his chair tipped on its back legs with his feet on the open over door and the lamp on the table behind him. He didn’t like to be disturbed, so we played in the other room. Once in a while he would tell us a story.
When Papa died, Mamma took over raising the eight children, ages from seventeen to age four. My oldest brother helped on the farm for a couple of years. He was hurt badly when a freight train hit the wagon he was driving. My other brother who was about twelve worked the farm with the help of Mamma and my older sisters. We the younger ones did what we could.
Mother, clothed and fed us all and we got along fine without the help of anyone. We received no help from the county, state, church or welfare.
We kids got every illness that came along. We would be quarantined for weeks at a time. When we got sick we were isolated in a room. The crack around the doors to the other rooms was taped shut to keep germs from spreading into it. Food, water and etc., was left by the outside door. We were undressed and stayed in bed, no running around. It was hard to see the others out in the yard and to hear them eating in the kitchen. It was like being let out of jail when we were well enough to join them.
The Dr. would come to the house in his buggy to see us. There was no x-ray’s then or miracle drugs, not even an asprin. Many times when we got sick mother would sent someone for our neighbors to come and admisnister to us. We always knew we would be well soon when he came to give us a blessing. We felt that every thing was going to be alright as long as mother was there, and it was.
The orchards would be full of apples, pears and cherry blossoms, just in time for May day. Did you ever see any one wind the May Pole? Maxine would make a May Basket for us little kids. She would use a small box, a baby’s shoe box was best. She would put cotton in the bottom to pad it, then she would cover it with a pretty colored piece of silk, then put some lace around the top and fix a handle on it. Sis and I would go find a purple violet that grew along the banks of the river. We found ferns in the cracks of the rocks by the spring. We picked a few apple blossoms and put them all in the basket. We
put the basket on the door step. We would knock on the door and then run away. Mother always found the May Basket and kept it long after the flowers had wilted. Mother always pretended she was surprised and didn’t know where the basket came from.
School was finished for the year in May, then we would wait again until fall to see our teachers again. The first day or two we were busy comparing our teacher to the other teachers, thinking ours was the best. Very seldom did we have a teacher from our own town or state. Some teachers came from other states. When they saw our little school and town they would leave and another had to be hired. After school was out, life was just a repeat of the year before. These good old days were good.
The air was clean, you could drink from any spring or creek. The food wasn’t sprayed. There were not as many insects or weeds, aids, cancer or drugs, with very few robberies or murders.
We trusted our neighbors, and a handshake or a mans word was as binding as a legal piece of paper. Sure times were hard and we worked hard, but hard work didn’t hurt anyone.
Did you ever know or see a horse trader? They were a breed of their own. No matter where the man was from or what he was doing, if he saw a horse he liked he was off like a shot to see if he could trade the man out of his horse by being honest or by false means. If his wife and family was with him they would wait and wait for him. His work would go undone. Sometimes the horse trader would get the best of the trade sometimes he didn’t.
In the summer the Gypsy’s would come. As kids we always heard the stories of how the Gypsy’s would camp by the streams, would build large bondfires, play their violins, danced and sang. They lured the children from their homes and kidnapped them. I never knew of any children getting stolen. They would travel in caravans. Their buggies all shinny and clean, with fat, sleek black horses with beautiful harneses.
It was believed that the Gypsy’s would steal anything that was loose. Several of them would go into a store, each one in a different direction so the clerk couldn’t keep track of them all. They would hid things in their clothing. Their clothing was always bright and colorfull. The women wore very full and ankle length skirts. The skirts contained many pockets where they could put their stolen goods. The store keepers got so they wouldn’t let them in the store. The towns wouldn’t even let them camp in the city limits. A Gypsy wagon would stop at our home. They always wanted to tell you your fortune. First you had to cross their palm with silver, a dollar. They would beg for eggs, sugar, a little tea, and etc. While some would be in the house others would be in the orchard picking apples, green or ripe. We were fascinated by their fancy clothes and dangling earings. I have not seen a Gypsy or their wagons for years.
Every family had a wagon or buggy. During the hot, dry, days the wooden spokes and the round pieces of wood the metal rim fit on would shrink, causing the spokes and rim to loosen or fall off. The wagons and buggies were pushed into a stream or pond and left until the wood soaked up the water and swelled. This would cause the wooden parts to become tight again.
In the summer there was raspberries to pick. They would only last two or three weeks. We would go out into the patch around five a.m. It would be so cold our fingers would get numb. But by the time we got through around two in the afternoon it would be so hot we were ready to melt. We did this every other day. Mother sold them for one dollar a case, twelve cups. When I was little I liked to take a glass with it partly filled with sugar, then pick it full of raspberries then stir the berries and sugar up. Then I would sit down amoung the raspberries and enjoy my fresh raspberry jam. We had a few bushes of yellow or golden raspberries. My, these were sweet and delicious. They weren’t good canned so we always ate them fresh.
We had a big fat red hen that was sort of a pet. In the summer if we didn’t make sure the back door or screen was locked she would come in the house and go up staris and lay her eggs under the bed. Then she would cackle to let us know she had laid her egg.
Mother always like to give parties and do things for others. I remember when a young couple got married against their families wishes. They were ignored by their families. Mom fixed a lovely breakfast and set a pretty table and invited them for breakfast. They were very happy and really appreciated it.
Another time a young couple were married and when they came home they had no cake, presents , or any kind of celebration. Mother cooked a lovely dinner for them and they were the honored guests. They always remembered it too.
Years ago the farmers and ranchers would run their cattle loose in the hills. There were few fences so the cattle were scattered all over. Before barb wire was used the fences were made of long poles fastened to wooden or cedar posts.
In the fall the cattle would come home. Each animal knew which farm they belonged to. Back then we didn’t dehorn, or cut the horns off. They all had long sharp horns. The dehorned cattle looked bald headed. Later nearly all of the cattle were dehorned.
Several methods are used. Some times the horns were sawed off. Some were cut off with big sharp cutters like sissors. Sometimes an acid paste was used. Today they usually burn them off with electricity.
In the fall we gathered the dry beans by pulling them up. We put them in a wagon box. Sis and I would run around the wagon box stomping on the bean pods making them pop open and the beans would fall out. A large canvas was spread on the ground. We waited for a windy day. We took the beans from the wagon box and held them above the
canvas and let them fall on it. The wind would blow the pods and chaff away. We had to do this several times. The beans were put in bags and were later eaten and some were saved for next years seed.
Potatoes were also saved for seed. In the spring the potatoes were cut into chunks. Each piece had to have at least one eye. That was where the sprouts or roots started. In the spring we put one of these pieces every foot apart into the ploughed ground. By the middle of July we had small new potatoes. We would dig around the potato plant, one that had bloomed. With a strong table fork and being careful not to break the tiny potatoes off, we would push the dirt back around the plant so the tiny potatoes would continue to grow. The new potatoes didn’t have to be peeled. The skins would rub off.
The potatoes would grow until fall, then they were dug up and gathered into buckets and put into sacks. Then they were taken to a dirt cellar where they were put in bins. They were used for winter food and spring seed.
We lived next door to our Uncle Moroni (Rony), and Aunt Mary and 14 cousins, but we never visited or played with them. Rony was my fathers brother.
I don’t know what they were like or what they did when they were young, but they were not alike. When they got older I never saw my father or Rony talk to each other, or Aunt Mary or Mom talk to each other. We talked to the kids on the way to and from school but that was all. We had other close neighbors we played with, had party’s with and went to school together.
Every one of them were farmers. Owning around one hundred sixty acres of ground. Most of the farmers got ownership by proving up on the land. The Government gave you 160 acres if you and your family lived on the ground so many months of the year for five years. Some bought the land. Some of the land had water for irrigation. Some were dry farms and depended on rain for irrigation.
All of the farmers had large families from five to fifteen children. The log homes ranged from one to two rooms. The board homes had six to eight rooms. Our neighbors had a brick home. Some of the small homes had a dirt roof, grass and weeds grew there, and these had dirt floors. Everyone seemed to be happy and got along with each other and trusted their neighbors.
Family’s helped each other in farming, butchering, fencing, thrashing, helping with the sick, helping with the new babies, and in times death and accidents.
We had but few luxuries and bought only what was needed and useful, not what we thought we would like or wanted. Most everyone kept out of debt because we didn’t waste much.
It is now 1991, July 21. The old days are long gone. The sail boat has be replaced by the big steamers, and now everyone travels by air. What a change from the first
airplanes. From the narrow gage railroad and the donky engines to the big diesels.
By gone are the old mud and rock fireplaces used for heating and cooking. Food from hunting in the wilds to packaged goods and the microwave. Washers and dryers, no or little ironing. Medicines and medical care, what a change. Cars, I rode in a 1912 Henry Ford, a “Tin Lizzy”, top speed 25-30 mph. I also rode in lumber wagons and buggies.
Schools, Wow what a change.
You used to see handicapped, crippled people sitting in door ways in the citys selling their pencils and shoe laces for money. These people are now cared for in special homes.
Squaws with their bright blankets and bright eyed paposses sitting on the sidewalks. Paper boys 10-14 years old on every block calling, “Extra, Extra read all about it, get your paper here, for a dime. Police stood in the street to direct traffic. Young boys and old men you would see in open places with a little box filled with a couple of clothes, a shoe brush and a couple of boxes of shoe polish. They usually had a small box, a stool for you to put your feet on while they polished your shoes for 10 to 25 cents.
The click, click of the telegraph keys also have gone.
The clothing that used to hide everything but your face, hands and shoes, now hide nothing. Sometimes the ankle hid by a strap is the only thing that is covered, yet time goes on.
My family is growing in numbers and years. I now have my three sons, two daughters, two son-in-laws and three daughters-in-laws. Eighteen grandchildren, 11 boys and 7 girls. Thirty one great grandchildren, with two more expected in the fall.
I went to the Logan Temple when Tim and Jeanie’s daughter was married. In 1990, I went to the Salt Lake Temple when Florence and Gordons daughter Karen was married.
In 1991, I went to the Logan Temple when Florence and Gordons daughter Jean was married. In that same year, I again went to the Logan Temple when Burke and Terri were married.
Since the Hospital in Downey closed, I haven’t done very much. In the spring of 1990, I got Rheumatoid arthritis. I was quite miserable when I had to move for several months. I started to feel much better in the fall and have improved gradually. Now I think I’m just lazy and older.
I have not had a big crowd at home for the holidays, only a few at a time. The worst problem is, that I get tired.
My Sister, Florence, that lived in New York passed away on July 13, 1991 while in New York. She was 96, and had been failing for several years. Her husband Wally and their son Charles flew the body to Utah. We buried her in Smithfield, Ut.
The last four or five years all of mine and Ray’s family have been going to the mountains on my birthday, the 30th of June and having a cook out. Dutch oven potatoes,
chicken and many more things. There are places to make fires, tables, benches, a little stream and etc. We all eat to much and have a good time.
Jan 1, 1992. This year I have four new great grand children.. Ason Casey to Blake and Ruth Andrews. A great gand daughter, Susie Irene Andrews. A great grand son to Janice and Brian Case, and a great grand son to Paula and Ray Davis.
I had one grand daughter, Jean Kent get married to Nathan Corey in the Logan Temple. Her sister, Karen, was married to Brad Hodson in the Salt Lake Temple in 1989.
Kelly moved to Lo Trail Ranch in Missoula, Montana. He got married in Nov. 1991 to Mary Jo Holland. She has a little girl Jana.
Ed Davis married Page Funk in Oct. 1991.
Glade spent a week in the Pocatello Hospital for surgery. Jody was quite ill for several months. Gordon Kent, Florence’s husband had a lung removed. I had a problem with my heart and spent 5 days in the Malad hospital. I can report that I am doing fine at this time.
The family was all here during the holidays. I received many lovely gifts, and enjoyed everyones visits. They are all so good to me.
In Dec. 1991, Glade was appointed to serve on the Idaho Cattlemens Association board of directors. Lowell was appointed to the Idaho Soil Conservation Service.
Lowells son, Ray, had a boy born five weeks early in the middle of Dec. 1991. Paula has been very quite for several days. The baby has a very bad viral infection, and is still in intensive care, and has a lot of respiratory problems. He will be in the hospital for four to five weeks longer.
The Tomato Can
It isn’t delicate or beautiful but is so useful. Made of tin, it was used to measure a quart. It was purchased at any grocery store.
When I was a small child it cost five cents. It held four or five of the most delicious tomatoes.
After the can was emptied it was very useful. Each home had at least one.
In my friends home it held the teaspoons and was always on the dinning room table.
It just held the spoons. The knives and forks were place by the plates.
The quart can as it was called, was used to dip water from the bucket that held the drinking water, or caught a fresh drink as it was being pumped from the well. The cold from the water was instantly felt through the can and made it seem even colder.
Water was dipped from the reservoir of the kitchen stove. Water was dipped from one place to another from a little stream. Of course it was used to measure milk.
When honey was heated and the wax was separated from the honey it was measured.
As a child my sister and I had to pick fruit. When we got a quart of currents picked we would go play. We would pick and pick and it took forever to get the bottom covered with those little red berries, gooseberries and raspberries.
This can was covered with either a white or light green wrapper with a large bright red tomato on it.
Every home had several of these cans growing all colors of geranuims on their window sills.
As a child I wondered why the paper labels weren’t removed, because all I ever saw was the bright pictures of tomatoes.
The quart can was used to start seeds in the spring. Mother always brought a large pan of dirt from the garden. The dirt was placed in the oven and heated all the way through. It was the way that all the bugs and weed seeds were killed. That baked dirt had a odor you’ll never forget.
Grain was measured this way. Four quarts to a gallon, 4 gallons to a bushel? A
quart of grain would feed a flock of chickens.
Dryed beans and dryed fruit were stored in them. Kids were sent to the neighbors with a quart tomato can to borrow flour, sugar, yeast, and etc.
When the children dropped them they didn’t break. Of course they would rust and dented or mashed.
The men used them to hold all kinds of nails, screws, bolts and all kinds of medicine for animals.
If a quart can got lost or destroyed there was always another one handy for the tomatoes in the cans were always delicious and served to the family often.
A piece of cloth put in the bottom of a can made a nice, dry, warm nest for 2 or 3 just born chicks. When put on the top of a heating oven or reservoir of the old kitchen stove. Often these baby chicks were left behind in the nest or they couldn’t keep up with the rest. At night they were slipped back under the mother hen and all was well.
A quart can full of warm milk was easily carried outside for the cats and dogs.
It served as a play thing when the kids played Kick the Can or Old Sow.
The Flour Sack
Without the flour sacks the pioneer children would have gone around naked or almost naked.
Our night gowns, petticoats, now called “slips”, bloomers(panties), and even dresses were made out of them.
Most small towns had a flour mill. Each mill had a name and a symbol,( I think they
are now called a logo).
The sacks came in several sizes, 100 lbs., 50 lbs., 25 lbs., and on down to smaller ones used for a mush (cereal), called germade. This flour mill had a large red rose painted on the flour sack. Sometimes the colored rose could be washed out but often not.
A large neighbor lady made her a bathing suit that practictly covered all of the lady. The large red rose of the flour sack stretched across her stomach.
Later designs were of smaller flowers which were painted on the flour sacks.
Small childrens dresses were made from these along with curtains for the kitchen windows, and dish towels. These lasted much longer than the ones of today.
Mama stored wool from her sheep in them. In the winter she sat by the kitchen stove and with wool carders made bats for quilts. These bats would be eight by twelve inches wide. So it took many for a quilt.
Dried corn, beans and fruit were stored in them.
Pigs were slaughtered in the fall when it was cold. The hams and shoulders were put in larger flour sacks. These sacks were hung on the north side of the house and high enough off the ground so the animals couldn’t eat on them. The meat would freeze and would last until spring.
When the weather was warm the sacks were buried in the cool wheat bin.
When the people rode horses a lunch was made and put into a small flour sack. This was tied behind the saddle and was ready and handy when lunch time came.
Early pioneers had few valises or suitcases. Their clothes were rolled up and put in these flour sacks, tied behind the saddle or put in the wagons or buggies.
The flour sacks were undone by unraveling the cord string stitching on the bottom and on the side. Then you had a 3 ft. by 3 ft. piece of cloth, and the string was wound into a ball and used to tie packages etc. All packages were tied with string.
The string was used for many things, even to make baseballs. Adhesive tape or scotch tape wasn’t heard of.
If you had a cut or a sore on your finger it was wrapped with a piece of cloth and tied with a piece of string.
It tied the ends of the long braids of hair. The birds even used small pieces for their nests. If a shoe lace broke a cord string could be used as a substitute.
The string was part of the flour sack. Today the flour sack is packaged in heavy paper sacks.