TRANSCRIBED TAPES OF HAROLD WILLIAM MILLER
This is the first part of my life history. I was born in Salt Lake City March 6, 1910, on Roosevelt Avenue, 619 Roosevelt Avenue. My parents were Edward Emerson Miller and Ada Williams Miller. I was sixth of nine children.
Shortly after that we moved around. When I was three years old, we moved out to Lofgren, which is out southwest of Provo, over in Rush Valley. We lived there one year and then we moved back to Salt Lake. Shortly after that my sister Edna was born. Then when I was seven years old, my sister Lorraine was born, and shortly after that, we moved back out to Lofgren, and my brother Ellis was born.
Lorraine was born on Seventh East Coast at the old Wander Mere Park, which is an amusement park similar to Lagoon. We kids used to have a lot of fun down there. Shortly after that we moved to Fifth East, which was right next to Wander Mere Park, down behind it next to the lake. That's where I got my first ice skates for Christmas and went out on the lake skating. We would go over there in the mornings with our pocket knives and hunt for coins. The guys would skate at night with their girlfriends and fall and spill all their nickels, dimes, and quarters on the ice.
One time we were skating on thin ice close the edge where the water went out of the lake,and I broke through. The guys laid down on the ice and helped me get out. My clothes froze stiff on me. I started home and, climbing through the fence, I got a stomach ache and messed my pants. It froze onto my legs. I couldn't get my skates off, so I started down the road. Just a short distance down the road, a girl that I knew and her dad were in a sleigh coming along with a horse, and they wanted to pick me up and no way. I wouldn't get in the sleigh the way I was. I got home and Mother stripped me off and stuck me in the old NO.3 tub in the middle of the kitchen floor. By that time I was about frozen.
Then shortly after that, the next spring, we moved up on Simpson Avenue next to the
railroad tracks. We used to go out and pound on the tracks with a rock and make the signals work -- to foul up the signals on the tracks.
Shortly after that, we moved to Lofgren again. My brother Ellis and brother Les, they took a few of the belongings out there. They had one horse and a light racing buggy with hard rubber tires, then a white top rig. They hooked the two together and we had a big old sow pig in one of them and a whole bunch of chickens in with the pig in that wagon. Then we were leading a cow behind -- old Rose the milk cow. Just one horse pulling it. We looked like Gypsies going down the street, a whole string of things. Then Mother and I and my two younger sisters went out on the train. We got out there and my cousin, my uncle, and his family were living out there in our cabin. I remember my cousin, the same age as myself, was sick in bed, and his hair hadn't been combed or cut for so long, because he was so sick, that it looked like an Afro. My dad got him out in the yard and cut his hair. When he got in there, there were big ticks that had swollen up as big as the end of your thumb, full of blood in his head. That was partly what was making him so sick. Anyway, they moved in down to the railroad station in a little house down there, and they took over the post office for Lofgren. There were only a few families there.
Then Dad decided that the cabin was pretty run down, so he decided to build a new one. We tore that one down and used some of the logs and built out on the brink of a hill below a beautiful spring we had there. It was just bubbling up out of the sand, just ice cold water. We stayed there for -- I was 11 years old when we moved to Uintah, but in that period we were going to go to California one fall. We went down and got as far as Sugarville, which is down next to Delta. We stopped there and stayed there that winter, then we went back to Lofgren in the spring. While we were there, my dad and two older brothers, Ellis and Ed, helped run the beet dump there for sugar beets. Les and I would go out and top beets to make a little money part time while we were going to school. We had to walk over to Delta to school. I remember I had a girlfriend. I still remember her name was Lavonne Boil. One time going home from school, we went along the canal and they had let the water out. The canal was just full of big carp fish. All the farmers came along there with their wagons and their beet forks and shoveled them into their wagons and hauled them out to their farms and would feed them to the hogs and for fertilizer and the chickens, and so forth. Shortly after that we got pork down at the store that tasted like fish -- they had eaten so many of those fish.
That spring, well, other things happened while we were there. We went after wood on the wagon. We had to go about 20 miles to where we could get some wood out of the mountains there. We like to froze to death coming home we got so cold. When we got about a mile from the house,Dad made us get off the load and run along the side so we wouldn't cry, he said. You know how your feet hurt when they start to thaw out -- they call it chill blains. So, he made us run all the way,the last mile, until we got home.
Then I remember Dad bought half of a big bull. The guy shot him because he kept breaking down the fence, fighting with another bull in another field. That was some of the best beef I ever ate. He hung it up in a screened porch in the back of the house. It was just as hard as a rock. I remember him taking the axe out there to chop off steaks.
It froze so hard and got snow so deep for a while there that we couldn't do anything only take care of the horses and the cow and then we would play cards, sometimes all night long. We would play Rook and Pit. It was a good thing there weren't any neighbors close, because it sure was a noisy game.
Anyway, when we got ready to go back to Lofgren in the spring, why we got all the stuff loaded up the night before. Dad sent Les and I ahead with the cows and said they would catch up with us. We drove those cows -- we took a lard bucket full of sandwiches. About 15 miles out we came to a well that had a little shack over it, but the well was dry. We did not have anything to drink. The cows were gentle and we just would squat down by them and milk in our mouths right out of the cow's utter. Then we went on, we were all day going. They never did catch up with us until it got dark, and we were up in the foothills then. There were cedar trees, pines, and tall sage brush. There were coyotes yapping all around us. We could hear bobcats. Wild animals were thick out then. Jack rabbits were plentiful. It got real dark, and we stayed pretty close to the cows,because we were pretty young kids for doing that. Finally, we could hear the wagon behind us coming, way back in the distance,rattling over the rocks. Finally, they caught up with us. About that time we saw a light up in the foothills and so we headed for that. It was along the road.
Then we finally got to this old ranch house, and it happened to be Port Rockwell's ranch -- the Port Rockwell, you know, that was the bodyguard for Brigham Young. He took us in and he had a nice hot fire for us there. We made beds on the floor, and we got something to eat. In the morning he, with mother, fixed a good breakfast for us. We went out and he showed us an old orchard behind the house, and in the orchard were grave sites of Port Rockwell's family. I don't remember who all or what they were.
From there we went on up about 10 miles, I guess, to Uncle Neef's place. It was the company ranch for a McIntyre ranches -- they had several ranches out there, and my Uncle Neef was running this one. We stayed there for a day or two. There was still a lot of snow up in the mountains that we had to cross over. So Mother and Edna and Lorraine, being quite young, stayed there with them. We decided to take two teams, so Uncle Neef loaned us one of his teams, and he had a big old white Roman nose thing named Brocky. Better if we hadn't taken him, I guess,because he kept fouling things up. We got up in the mountains into the drifts and the snow, and it was just about dark. We got way up on this ridge, and what we wanted to do was get on over the ridge and down on the other side to what was called a summer ranch, McIntyre's. There was nobody there, but we wanted to make it down there that night and sleep there. There would be a place for the horses. But as we got up on this ridge, the horses started balking, that crazy white thing of Uncle Neef's, and twisted around, and the wheels of the wagon caved through, toppled, and went down the canyon with all of our belongings in it. It scattered for a quarter of a mile down the canyon on the snow. Then Dad said, "Well, we'll just have to bed down here." We were going to make beds in the snow, and then he changed his mind, and said, "No, it's not far." So he sent Les and I right straight down over the mountain as the crow flies to where this ranch was, and he and Ellis were going to take the horses and go down around this. It was a canyon and with a river or stream down through it that was frozen. You couldn't get through there very well with the horses,so he told Les and I to go straight over and get a fire built. But we had so much trouble -- we got into some of these darned washes that were so deep that we could hardly get out again. We finally got there, and we just barely beat them. We were just getting the fire ready when they arrived. There was everything. There were beds and everything. It wasn't locked or anything, nobody bothered anything in those days. So we made the beds. There was a nice stable there for the horses and feed. That was really a nice cozy night we spent there. The next morning we made breakfast,then we went back to the wagon and got all the stuff loaded up, got it out of the snow. The next day we went on. We got almost home, down into the foothills, and the snow was kind of patchy down there. The horses twisted the wheels and broke the reach out of the wagon. Dad took an axe and chopped down a tree -- a long straight pole of a tree -- and made a new reach for it. He had one of these augers to drill holes with, and he drilled the holes for the bolts and everything, and made it just as good as new.
We got home to our cabin that evening. It was really something to get there. But, when we got there, there was a ewe and a lamb that Uncle Fred had tied up there. I guess they were strays. He tied them up with a big old heavy rope, and the rope had twisted up -- and it rained -- the rope tightened up and strangled the ewe. So this lamb had been sleeping against her, and she was just a mass of maggots. The maggots had gotten over into the back of the lamb sleeping against her, and they were starting to eat on him. We managed to get them out and put the salve on there, and he healed up and got all right.
Then a few days, old Shep we had left with a bishop about 10 miles west of our place there. I forget -- Bishop Dunbar I believe his name was. Anyway we gave old Shep to him to keep when we figured we were going to California. Then here one day Shep came a running home, all that way. He must have smelled us or sensed we were home again. He would just jump up on our shoulders and cry, he was so happy to see us. We keep him there for about a couple of weeks, and finally Bishop Dunbar came over there on his horse, looking around for cows. He had a quite a lot of cows out there. He took Shep back with him.
We did manage to get a pup from Shep, a son, and we called him Duke. He was just a really smart dog, Duke was. Before that, when we had Shep, my oldest brother Ed and Shep used to hire out to the sheep corrals down there. Shep and Ed would do the work and do it better than five men. All the sheep herders wanted to buy old Shep because he would wrangle out four and five sheep at a time and run them into a shoot and through a gate. All they had to do was shut the gates for the shearers to shear them.
We had lots of wonderful times out there. We played in the wool. We would get up where they would pack the wool in the bags. They had a flat car that would run down the siding there where they loaded it into the train cars, the railroad cars. We would ride that down. Down at the bottom, it would run up onto a pile of dirt. Then, when the shearers left -- they had a big mess house and bunk houses for the shearers to live in -- they left everything there. They would leave partly filled cans of carbide, and we would get it and put it in the water and under cans and then set a match it it, and it would blow them cans way sky high into the air, and rocks, and everything like that. It was a wonder we didn't blow ourselves up. That was one of the fun things we would have out there.
There was a railroad spring about a quarter of a mile from our place, the well there that they piped the water down to the railroad to fill the engines there. They would stop and get their water for steam. We used to go over there and swim. It was fenced and there was a reservoir there. We would go over there and swim, and that's where I learned to swim. My oldest brother, Ed, threw me in over my head, and I really churned some water, but that was when I first found out that I could stay afloat and swim. There was a beautiful little stream that ran out of the well and went down through the little ravine or canyon.
There was a beautiful meadow down there, through there, and that was where we used to go and look for arrow heads in the pebbles in the stream. I remember one day Les and I were riding the horse up along there, and we got off to get a drink. There in the stream where I was drinking was this beautiful red arrow head, just a perfect one. I picked it up and looked at it. I showed him, he reached down and took it, he got on the horse, and he dropped it in the grass. We never did find it. So, it's still there somewhere.
Going up along there one time, we used to see a lot of coyotes. This coyote was just ahead of me, took a drink, and there was a trail up along there, and he would just stay about 50 yards ahead of me all of the time. I would stop and he would stop. When I would go toward him, he would go on ahead. We did that all the way up to where it turned off to go home. He acted like he wanted to be friendly with me. There were a lot of them around there. Duke used to chase them around the house at night, try to run them off, and they would just stay out there a little ways and howl and yap. There were lots of jack rabbits and that was their mainstay, rabbits to eat.
I used to like to go with Ed. He always took me hunting with him to carry the rabbits and pheasants and whatever. There weren't pheasants days, they were sage hens. They were so tame, they would come up in the yard and eat with our chickens. Then in the snow, in the winter time with deep snow, we used to go rabbit hunting. We would take cords and tie them together. I would drape them over my shoulders and carry them home. In fact, we had a little old camera, and we took pictures of each other with these rabbits in the snow that we had killed. I don't know where they are at. I haven't seen them in years. I think maybe they are in Lula's things. She took possession of most of Mother's stuff when Mother and Dad died. We used to do a lot of hunting out there with the shotgun, and I had a little 22 that I would go and shoot sage hens and cotton tails. Up on the hollow above our cabin was tall sage, rabbit brush we called it. There was a lot of grass in there, and those cotton tails were just thick as they could be in there. They seemed to know when I was coming with the gun. When I didn't have a gun they were everywhere. When I would show up with a 22, why they disappeared. They seemed to know what a gun looked like. We used to get a lot of them. We ate a lot of rabbit. It was really good, it was better than chicken. Mother used to fry it, and oh, was it ever good. It smelled good when it was cooking.
One time Ed and Ellis, my two older brothers, and my dad were working for the county there building a county road. Each day they would move to a different place further away. Les and I would go and take their lunch to them. Sometimes they would take it when they went, but if Mother didn't have it ready we would take it. This particular day, we had a big bucket full of fried rabbit and sandwiches and different things. I don't remember what all, but that rabbit was really good. We went over there to where they were the day before, and they had moved on, of course. We kept going and going, and we could not find them. We just couldn't locate them. So, we got tired and thirsty, and we stopped under the shade of a big pine tree and ate their lunch and went back home. They were shook up that night because we didn't bring them their lunch.
We had four horses out there. There was Prince, a great big old bay horse. He was so tall you almost had to get a ladder to get on him, or next to a fence or something. Then we had a dappled gray. We called him old Barney. He was a beautiful work horse. Then another work horse, a bay, we called him old Mack. They made a good work team. Then we had a little blue mustang mare. She was a right blue color. She had been with the wild horses when she was a colt and the Daybells got her when she was just a young colt. She was tangled up in some barbed wire. They took her home and tamed her and then sold her to Dad for $15. They threw in the saddle with it. She was the best little riding horse that I was ever on. She was trained to rein and wrangle cows, and she could turn on a dime. All you had to do was lean, and she knew which way you wanted to go, you didn't have to use the reins. In fact, we crossed the reins, or he did, to train her that way, so that when you pulled on the left rein, your hand was to the left. After that all you had to do was even move your hand to the right or to the left and she would turn. Later on when we went to Uintah, she and old Barney were in the lower field, and this stupid Dego from across the river had come through there and left the gate open. The horses went out and got on the ice on the river, and it caved in. We didn't find them until the next spring. They were about two miles down the river on a sand bar there. She was a beautiful little horse, easiest thing to ride.
Of course, while we were out there at Lofgren too, in the fall, we would put gunny sacks, tie them together, and put them over the horses and ride them up in the pine trees and pick pine cones off the trees from the horses. Then we would take these pine cones home and put them in the oven on a tray. They would pop open. Oh, those pine nuts were really good. We used to get sacks of them. Of course, if you didn't wear gloves, your hands got so sticky you couldn't pull your fingers apart. When you put them in the oven, the pitch would run off and the pine cones would pop right open and the nuts would fall right out.
One time we were up there picking pine nuts and here was a great big old porcupine up in the tree. When I first saw it I thought it was a bear or something up there. There were all kinds of wild animals up there. Right up the canyon a little ways from there was a family of mountain lions, up in the cliffs. The horses always knew it. They would snort and run for home. When they got up there they seemed to smell the lions. There were lots of rattlesnakes around. I remember old Duke, he would spy a rattlesnake,he would just run right in and give it a flip. Just pop it like a whip, and it was dead. Just one flip and he would kill them. He knew just how. It would just bash their brains. One time Ed killed a beautiful big diamond back rattler. Ed decided it was so pretty it would make a good hat band, so he skinned it, turned it wrong side out, salted it and rubbed it, and put it in the sun until he thought it was well cured. They he turned it back right side out and sewed it onto his hat band. It was a pretty thing, but a few days later Mother was sniffing around the house, wondering what was dead. The snake skin smelled just rotten. She made him get it out of there.
Herds of sheep would come through to the shearing corral there in the spring with the
lambs. The sheepherder, if he had any orphans (we called them pets, that they had lost their mother one way or another), he would give us the pet lambs. We had close to 20 lambs there at one time. When we traded our ranch and moved to Uintah, there were 10 nice fat lambs that we traded Aftermoores for a bunch of chickens that were like magpies, as far as we were concerned. They were buff leggings and they would spook at anything that would scare them. They would pile up and smother each other. They weren't good layers at all, so that winter Dad and I killed them. We cleaned them and put them in the shed and froze them. They were piled up like rocks in there, just hard as rocks, frozen. When ever we wanted one, we would thaw it out. Then we got some Rhode Island Reds chicks that next spring, which made us some real good chickens, layers, eating,and everything, setting.
So anyway, back to the lambs. I remember one time going over to the sheep herder, and he said, "Yeah, I've got one here." He showed me this curly black lamb. It was a little buck. I carried him all the way home. We had plenty of milk to give him to get him started, and then there was plenty of grass, and he really grew and got fat. But we teased him until he got real mean. There were a couple of others, the bucks too, that got mean and they would hit you when you weren't looking and knock you right head over heels. This one would even chase us right in the house, in the cabin. He was more or less playing, but he liked to knock us down. He would even chase my dad.
We had a big old red game rooster that we took out there. He would chase my dad right in the house when he would come home at night.
One summer there, Mother got blood poison in her thumb. She took Edna and Lorraine
with her and just left us boys out there. Dad was working. One night it was started to get dark. The lamps, all we used was kerosene for kerosene lamps for light, so we had to fill the lamps. In the middle of the living room there, we had a stove, and that was where mother did the cooking and all, the kitchen I guess you would call it. Ed and Ellis -- well Uncle Jay was out there, and he made some home brew a couple of years before. He buried these quart bottles of home brew in the sand in the spring. Some of the bank caved in on it so he couldn't find it. They got to fishing around in there and found two or three bottles of that stuff. By the time they took a few nips off it, they started to fill these lamps, and they spilled it all over the floor. Somehow they lit it, and the whole living room was going up in flames. Ellis ran in the bedroom, grabbed the big old rag rug that was in Mother's bedroom, dragged it in there, threw it over the fire, and put it out, or the cabin would have gone up in smoke.
We had an outhouse there, about 50 yards from the cabin, behind a cedar tree. We were
kind of fidgety about going out there at night. Duke would stay by us, but many's the time he would chase coyotes around the outhouse while we were in it. He would chase them away and they would follow him back. They just wanted to tease him, I guess.
When we built the cabin there, we used a hay saw to cut blocks of sod out of the marsh over there close to the house. It was about a foot to a foot and a half thick of just sod, what they called wire grass. We cut big blocks of that and would stack it on top of the roof of the cabin, and it would grow back together, just like one solid piece of sod up on top of the cabin. That way it kept the cabin warm in the winter and cool in the summer. The rain never got through it, it was just too thick. It would run off the house before it would come through.
In the winter time, the snow was deep up there. Dad killed a couple of hogs and he gave Les and I each a liver. We buried it in the snow on top of the roof so that Duke or the coyotes or nothing could get it. Whenever we wanted some liver, we would dig it out of the snow, take it in, slice off a couple of pieces, and fry it for ourselves. That was fun.
Then for Christmas, we would cut a pine tree right close there. There were lots of them. We would decorate it. We would pop corn and string it on strings, and we would make chains out of loops of different colored paper. We had little metal snaps that would clamp onto the limbs with a candle holder on it, really small ones. We would use little candles in there to light the tree, which would seem like a dangerous, risky thing for fire, but we never had any problems that way.
I would like to insert a couple of corrections right here. For one thing, it was kerosene they spilled on the floor and not the booze. Then another place, it was Bishop Bennion that we gave old Shep to instead of the other name that I don't remember at this time. Then back when we left Sugarville and went to our cabin and we stopped at the old Port Rockwell ranch, it wasn't Port Rockwell that was there. It was an old trapper that was trapping there. I don't remember his name. Port Rockwell had been dead for years before this. Anyway, this old trapper hired my brother Ed to help him on his trap lines that winter, and Ed went over there and worked the trap lines. They caught bobcats, a mountain lion, bear, and all different kinds of animals. When we moved back from Sugarville to Lofgren, I told you about the wagon tipping over and all of our furniture and everything going down in the canyon in the snow. After we got home to the cabin, we got things straightened around, then we got back to take Uncle Neef's team back and pick up Mother, Edna, and Lorraine and bring them home. We stopped there where the furniture had all gone down the canyon and dug around in the snow that was left, and we came across a red box with some homemade bread there that was still frozen solid. Also there was a two-quart jar of yeast that Mother kept a start all the time to make yeast. It was frozen and the jar hadn't broken. We thawed it out, it was still good, and Mother used it. Also, this bread was still good. It was wrapped well and was also good, and we ate it.
There in Lofgren, we had a one-room school house down to the post office. It had a pot bellied stove in the middle that kept us warm. There were eleven students that went to school there. There were four different classes all in the one room. The teacher would take turns with the different classes. There was only one window in the little school house. It looked out over a meadow there. There was an old coyote that dug a hole out in the middle and had her pups there,underground. These pups would come out and play, and we would watch them from the school house window.
The next winter we moved down to Faust, about halfway between Lofgren and Tooele. Dad got a job down there for the winter on the railroad. We went to school down at Faust in the little one-room school house too. One day I remember we were out on the tracks and we heard the train whistle, although it was several miles away, just as it was coming out of a canyon. As we were watching it, it ran off the track, and the cars, the engine, and everything went end over end. Then we felt and heard the noise, just like thunder, the ground shaking. We went up there. The rails were just twisted all up like corkscrews, and the cars were all busted open. They wouldn't let us around there, the railroad police, I guess it was. There was a car load of pigs. It killed quite a few of the pigs, with some of them running around wild. I guess they caught some, but some I don't think they ever caught. There was plenty of food for them there in the wilderness. It was sure something to stand there and watch that train -- cars flipping in all directions, breaking up.
Then we moved back, that next spring, to Lofgren. Dad traded the ranch for a little farm up in Uintah, up the mouth of Weber Canyon, just out of Ogden. We started out and the first day we got as far as Camp Floyd. We stayed there for the night. We made our beds in the barn on the hay and fed the stock. We had three horses and two cows at that time. The old place is still there but the barn and everything are gone. Camp Floyd it's called.
From there we went on down the next day and got down close to the Jordan River. Before we got there, we ran into a big wash that had been washed out, and the road was gone. It took us a couple of hours -- we had to put sagebrush, cedars, and everything there piled up and packed dirt and mud on it so we could get through with the wagon. It was pretty hard for the horses to get up through there. We went on and crossed the Jordan up through Lehi. The old road used to go up to the foothills to the east and go around the point of the mountain. There was a big bank, and as we came along by that bank, an old car came along and ran over Duke. He happened to run in front of it. We thought he was dead for a minute, but he got up. He was so scared, I guess, that he ran right straight up this bank, way up almost to the top, and then keeled over and rolled all the way back down, and he was out again. Pretty soon, he came to. He was sure scared of that car. He was all right, he didn't have any broken bones, but he was kind of bruised up for a day or two. We went around the point of the mountain and down just past where the prison is. There were a lot of trees along the highway there. There was some fresh cut hay there, and the farmer told us to help ourselves. We fed the horses and the cows and made some beds there by the trees.
From there we went through Salt Lake. You had to go right down through town with the wagon and everything. That was the only road there was, State Street. We got out past Bountiful just around Farmington. Between Bountiful and Farmington there were some more big trees, a lot of shade there. We bedded down there that night. Then the next day we went on. We had a hard time getting through that sand. There was no paved road or anything, right there as you go up the mountain road to go to Weber Canyon. I remember that old pond was still there. It was all the horses could do to pull the wagon with all the stuff on it through that sand. Then we went on a mile or two and came into a little ravine or canyon where there were a couple of farm houses. We had to go through this creek with quite a bit of water in it. The farmers had watermelons for sale. They had them in the creek in the cold water. They were sure good.
We went on to Uintah that day and got there about dark. This family that we traded was still there. We had to move in with them. Aftermoores was their name. There was the old man, his wife, a son about 16, and an old maid daughter. They left there after we got there, took their belongings, and went out to the ranch.
When we took this trip to Uintah from Lofgren, we only had the one riding horse and we took turns riding her. She was a pretty little blue mustang that had been caught out on the range. Daybells had caught her and trained her and sold her to Dad for $15 with a saddle thrown in. We did a lot of walking, because the wagon was so loaded there was hardly room to get on it -- just Mother and the two girls -- so we did a lot of walking on that trip. If that wasn't pioneering, I'd like to know what was.
We pitched in and tore down an old broken down barn that they had left, built a new barn, and hauled a lot of manure down in the lower field. We had about 14 acres down on the river bottoms and about 2 acres there at the house. There was an old shed right out back of the house that was infested with rats underneath it. They got under the house and down into the cellar. Mother got some rat poison from Ogden, and she spread it on slices of bread and then covered it with peanut butter. We cut it up in little squares, and I put it around under the shed and around down in the basement, and everywhere where these rats were running around. The next day there was nothing but dead rats lined up on their backs by the water down along the creek. There was a stream of water running right in front of the house. This stuff burned them so bad, they just ran out there to get a drink. It would kill them right there, and they would keel over and stick their feet in the air. The following spring we tore down the old shed and built a new barn out in the back for the horses and the cows.
We got some Rhode Island Red chickens, baby chicks. Another time we got some white Peking ducks. We were going to go into the duck business, but there was no market for them. We raised a lot, a couple or three hundred, white Peking ducks. They were nice and sweet, and had a place down in the meadow where they really cleaned up all the green grass and clover down. So, we decided we didn't want to go on with that.
Then Dad sent for the first white turkeys I had ever seen. I think we got around 75 to 100 white turkeys. We only lost 2 of them in a wind storm that blew something over on top of a couple of them. They were really big. I remember a lot of the Toms were around 30 to 35 pounds. In fact, we sent a 36 pounder down to my older brother and sisters who were living in Los Angeles at the time -- they were married.
We had several fruit trees. There were a couple of apple trees and a couple of pear trees there on the place. The pears were really good. We had two big black walnut trees in front of the house that were just loaded with black walnuts. I helped Mother plant the garden out back of the house next to the trees, and we had our own vegetables. There were a lot of apple orchards and fruit orchards around that the neighbors had. George Krause had several big apple orchards, so we had plenty of fruit. That following spring we planted about four acres of peas for the factory and planted them with the cedar so that they grew up solid like an alfalfa patch. When they got ready, we cut them with a mower, all the vines, loaded them onto a hay rack, and took them over to South Weber to a vinery there where they thrashed them out. I used to like that trip because I would just lie in those cool pea vines and eat peas all the way over. Then while they were being thrashed, I would go around the back, take a pail, empty some of the hoppers into the pail and get it full of shelled peas to bring home for mother to cook. I would just lie in the vines, the horses knew the way, I didn't even have to hardly bother driving them.
Then the following year after that, we tried string beans. We raised a bunch of string beans and corn for the canning factory. That was a chore picking those doggone string beans, down on your hands and knees all day.
Then the following year, we took on the job of -- Dad hired out to the dairy farm joining our place. A. M. Miller his name was. He had a pretty large herd of Holstein dairy cows and some Jerseys. We had two Jersey bulls. They had four head of horses. They had a big fox farm there. They kept 150 pair of foxes. They had a big pen for the ones that were primed to make skin for their furs. We had about 50 foxes, and we had to cut all their fangs so they wouldn't damage each others fur when they fought. I helped on that. That summer we moved down there and then my brother Les moved into our house, and Dad and I ran the dairy farm and helped in the foxes. We had to catch them all and dip them in a sort of creosote mixture to keep the fleas and stuff of them,to keep their fur good. Part of the summer there, during the day, I would paint all the tables and kennels white. I thought I was going to go blind with that white enamel paint right out in the sun all day long. Then at night and mornings we had all these cows to milk, Dad and I. Before going to school, I would have to get all these cows milked and run and catch the bus. Sometimes I wouldn't get the time to change my clothes, and I would wear those old stinking cow clothes to school.
They used to get about 500 baby chicks at a time, white leggins. When they started to lay, then they would get 500 more. We kept about 1,500 white leggin chickens there in a beautiful big pen with a timer on the light so it would turn on the lights in the wee early hours of the morning. The hens would lay as soon as the lights came on.
The old Jersey bull, the big one, was really mean. We had rings in both their noses. When I would go in there to get him in his corral, I would take a rope with a snap on it and snap it in that ring. I had a pitch fork in the other hand, so if he decided to gore me, why I would just jab him with that pitch fork and he kept his place then.
We had a lot of apples there in the orchards, and we had 50 hives of bees. Dad, I saw him put his bare arm and hand right down in the bees, and they wouldn't sting him, but they would chase me all over the place. He said, "Well, if you let them know you're not afraid of them, they won't sting you." But, I sure had a hard time convincing them I wasn't afraid of them. When we would have to haul the hay out that we had, we had a lot of hay next to the bees and the orchards, if I was on the ground pitching on the wagon, they would chase me. I would throw a shuck of hay over my head and lie down on the ground until they went away. If I was up on the load, I would pull hay over my head and lie there until they left. They would wait for me to come out and sting me. They wouldn't bother Dad a bit. I couldn't understand it. That winter there we spotted some hives of bees in the old dead trees down in the woods next to the river. So in the winter we went down when the snow was on the ground and it was cold and chop down the trees and get their honey. We used to get tubs full down there out of those old trees. The bees were so cold they would just fall in the snow and freeze. We couldn't recover them anyway because they were in those hollow trees and wouldn't leave.
In the meantime, I had been ordained a Teacher and a Priest when I became of age. When I was 16, I lied about my age and went to work on the railroad because they weren't paying me enough. They were paying Dad and furnishing our board and the house to live in, but I wasn't getting anything out of it, so I went to work on the railroads. I worked there about three weeks and Bill Miller came out and said, "If you'll come back and work for us, I'll pay you $2 a day." So, I worked the rest of the year there.
That year we had all kinds of vegetables. We planted celery, cabbage, tomatoes, peppers, and all kinds of things, a couple of acres of it. Then we had another field of field corn. We had a big silo there, and when the ears got fully developed and just in the milk, we cut it right to the ground and ran it through this chopper that would blow it up into this silo. In the winter time we would get in there to scoop that silage out for the cows. It would be fermented to where it was really warm. It would really keep your feet nice and warm, and just steam it was so hot. In the spring when it was empty, the juice in the bottom was like alcohol. It made the birds and everything around there that got any of it drunk.
Up above the tracks, across the tracks from us, on the side there, we had two big fields of grain. In those days, we had to use a thrasher on the tractor.
I got the job of taking care of the straw.
Q. Where was your father born, Harold?
A. In Hooper, Utah.
Q. How many brother and sisters did he have?
A. He had three brothers and a sister.
Q. Where was your mother born?
A. Mother was born in New Zealand.
Q. Do you know the town?
A. Was it Auckland or Langanewi?
Q. How many brothers and sisters did she have?
A. My mother had five sisters and two brothers.
Q. When did your mother and their family move to Utah?
A. When she was a little girl, about eight or nine years old. Ten years old or Somewhere around there.
Q. When did your father's family move to Utah?
A. They came here before the railroad. They were the pioneers that settled in Idaho first and then they came down.
Q. Your father's family did?
A. His father. My grandfather and mother. My dad was born in Hooper.
Q. When did your mother and father meet and where?
A. My dad was living in Shelley, Idaho. They had property there. Mother was up there working for a family that summer and he met her there in Shelley, Idaho. They were the first couple married there in the town of Shelley, Idaho.
Q. When did they then move to Salt Lake, or to Utah?
A. I don't remember the dates. I wouldn't know the dates without looking up his history. Most of the children were born here in Utah. We first moved to Salt Lake and then down to American Fork, then up to Farmington. Les was born in Farmington.
Q. Well, let's go on with your life. Where were you born?
A. I was born in Salt Lake on Roosevelt Avenue, 619 Roosevelt Avenue, on March 6, 1910, which was a Sunday morning. They said it was a windy Sunday morning.
Q. How many brothers and sisters did you have?
A. I had four brothers and four sisters. One brother died in infancy.
Q. Can you tell us some of the stories of your early childhood? Do you remember how long your folks lived in that house and where they moved from, from that house to where?
A. They moved around. From there they moved down on what they called Rockwood's Ranch in Salt Lake. Then from there down to Parkway Avenue, where Dad built a new house. It was a little shacky house in the back. He bought the property and then he built a new brick house on the front. Later on he sold that and got a ranch out in Rush Valley, which is out 50 miles south of Tooele.
Q. How old were you at that time?
A. Dad first went out to the ranch when I was only a baby. I was only about a year old when we first moved out there. Then we came back to Salt Lake again. Then we moved out there again when I was about seven years old.
Q. Where did you start school? In Rush Valley or in Salt Lake?
A. I first started in Salt Lake, the very first. I went to the first grade for just a couple or three months before we moved to the ranch in what was known as Lofgren. Then I continued on in the first grade out there and the second and the third. We met in a little frame school house, one room with a pot bellied stove in it to keep warm by. My two brothers and I,three cousins, and four other kids were all the school kids there were in the school. The teacher lived there at my cousin's place right across the creek from the school. In the winter time when it was cold, we would go up by the stove to give our lessons. Our reading lesson was first in the morning. We would huddle around the stove, and the teacher would give the lesson. There were four different grades in the school. They were all in one room.
Q. Tell us some of the experiences, other than school, in church, and the things you had in Lofgren.
A. About all the church we held was maybe in one of the homes. In the summer time my dad built a bowery down in the pine trees at the edge of a meadow, and we would go down there. He built some picnic tables and place for a fire. We would go down there and sing church hymns, like a Sunday School, because there was no organized church out there. There were only six families out there within the reach of our getting together now and then.
Q. What were some of those things that you did there, fun things?
A. We would go hunting jack rabbits, squirrels, badgers, and birds. We would also ride horseback. In the fall we would go picking pine nuts on horseback. Then we would play mumble peg with our pocket knives.
Q. When you left Lofgren, where did you go there?
A. Dad traded the place at Lofgren for a little farm in Uintah, Utah, which is at the mouth of Weber Canyon, out of Ogden. That is where I started school and finished the fourth grade. I graduated from the eighth grade there in Uintah, and the following year I went to Ogden to what was known at the Birch Creek School, a junior high there in the ninth grade. I graduated from that. The following summer we moved to California.
Q. How did you live in Uintah? What were some of the things that you did, Experiences and memories that you have of Uintah?
A. I'm missing a lot of stuff. I've already skipped some. One year we moved down to Sugarville. We were on our way to California and that was as far as we got. The car broke down. We bought this big old Dodge car, and we had the team and wagon with all of our stuff.
Q. Was this before you moved to Uintah?
Q. When you left Lofgren?
A. We still had our place at Lofgren. We boarded it up. We were only gone for the one winter and then we came back. Dad and all my brothers went to work in the (well, not all my brothers -- Les and I were still going to school) sugar beet dump there in Sugarville, which is just out of Delta. I went to school in Delta there that one winter. So I actually only went two winters in Lofgren. One winter in Delta, or Sugarville. We walked over to Delta to school, I guess it was.
Q. Was that when you moved up to Uintah?
A. We came back to Lofgren and stayed there for another summer and then that summer we traded the place for the place in Lofgren.
Q. You traded the Lofgren place for the one in Uintah?
A. Yeah. Us kids, there was a shearing corral there, and everytime the sheep herders would come through with their herd they would have to come across that upper land. We would go over to visit the herders to see if there were any orphan lambs, because it was lambing season along with the shearing. That last summer we had 20 lambs that we had got from the herds, that were orphaned. We had two or three cows milking all the time so we had plenty of milk. Made our own butter. We fed these lambs and got them good and fat.
Q. Was this in Lofgren?
A. Yeah. We had 20 beautiful lambs that were just nice and fat and full grown. We traded them unsight and unseen for a flock of buff leggin chickens. The only way we could tell them from crows was that they were not black, they were buff color. They were small like crows. Spooky crazy things and they didn't lay or nothing. That first winter we were there in Lofgren Dad was fed up with them. He would go out there and scare them, and they would pile up and kill each other in a pile in the corner of the pen and fly like birds. Dad fed them until winter came, and then we chopped all their heads off, cleaned them, put them out in the shed and froze them. It was like a big pile of big rocks in the shed. Whenever we wanted chicken, we would just go get one and thaw it out. We had chicken all winter. Then next spring, Dad bought some Rhode Island reds and baby chicks and raised some good chickens from then on. They were both good layers and good chickens to eat.
Q. Was this where your dad made the bread?
A. No, that was out of Lofgren, down in that valley. I'm missing a thousand things that I haven't mentioned. While we were in Lofgren, my mother got blood poison in her thumb, so she took my two little sisters with her and took the train and came into Salt Lake to the doctor. We four boys and Dad were out there alone. We were batching down in the meadow where he built this bowery and put up a big white tent, we were living in, while we built a new cabin. The old cabin that was out there was getting so run down. There's something else. Uncle Fred and his family came out and lived on the place for one summer the year before we went out there. He didn't keep it up, the old cabin. Dad tore it down and most of the sheds and everything, and the barn, rebuilt everything. But that one summer when Mother went to Salt Lake, we moved in to the tent while he was working on the cabin: Dad got a bunch of chicks then. They were getting up about to fryer size by that time. They would get out in that meadow and these chicken hawks would swoop down and pick them off if we didn't watch. They would just grab them on the fly and carry them off. Old Shep would run out there and leap in the air and try to catch the hawks. This is when Dad made a batch of bread. We had to make our own bread, there was no place to buy it. He had it in the tent raising, then the young chickens got in there. They were about fryer size. There were five of them in there. We came in that night to come down there to have dinner. Why all that was sticking out of the dough was chickens' heads. They had worked there way down into the dough and couldn't get out. So Dad was so disgusted, he just rung their necks, took the dough and the feathers off, and we had
Another time (Ellis corrected me, I thought it was flies) I can remember the incident where Dad got a bad cough and had some cough syrup. Somebody left the lid off of it and it got full of ants. He got up in the night and took a swig out of that bottle. He said it was awful gritty. The next day he looked and it was right full of ants in that syrupy cough syrup. Yech.
Then Ed, he brought home a pup. He sold the pup to me for a dime. It was a good pup, it was a shepherd. By this time we had Duke, which was the son of Shep we took out there with us. There is another whole story about Shep and the sheepherders.
Young voice: We'll remember that one. You tell the one about this and we will remember to remind you about Shep.
Harold: The wild cattle were all over the mountain up there and they kept breaking the fence down, coming down, and getting into the stacks and everything. The Smiths had some big work horses over the hill from us. They had broken in the fence and had come down into our stack yard. Old Shep (well there's another story) would jump right on the cow's backs, these wild cattle. If the bull would fight, he would circle, run, jump, and leap right on that bull's back, get a hold of his neck, and try to tear a piece out. Just shake him until the bull would run. It was the only way he could get them out. I keep jumping around. These horses of the Smiths came over there, great big work horses. Duke and this pup of my mine. We set Duke on them to run them back, to run them out. This pup, of course, joined in with Duke and ran up nipping the horses heels, and one of the horses kicked him and broke his hip. His whole back leg just dangled. Dad said there was nothing we could do for him, so we took him down in the meadow there where the bowery was and Dad shot him with a shotgun at close range, make a great big hole in his head. We buried him under this big pine tree and for days Old Duke would run down there, sniff around the tree, and then sit there and howl with his head in the air.
Q. Was this pup the one that your brother sold you?
A. Yeah. The pup that Ed sold me for ten cents. He brought him home from someplace over there.
Q. What are some of the other experiences you had at Lofgren?
A. When we first out there, Ed and Uncle Jay were giving the kids a penny apiece, I think, for chipmunks and squirrel tails. They had never seen a badger before. We all ran barefoot around there in the summer. We got over in the other field and spied this big badger out there. It resembled a chipmunk, he had stripes and all. They ran over there and started kicking him with their bare feet and yelling, "It's a mountain chipmunk."
Q. Did they catch it?
A. No, it went down its hole. It's a wonder it didn't take a leg off of them.
Q. What were some of the other experiences you had, or is that about the time you moved from there?
A. Well, there were a lot of things there. When we went out there, Ellis and Les (I went on the train with mother) had a white top rig and a racing buggy. They had a sow pig, a bunch of chickens, and an old milk cow. They pulled all this with one little black mare that they took out there. We bought work horses after we got out there. It looked like a train going down the street, with two rigs, a big coop full of chickens and a pig in the other wagon, and a cow we were leading behind. This old sow, after we got there, had pigs, little ones. Of course, Dad kept raising them, and we always had pork meat and calves for beef. This old sow, one winter she got -- the chickens would come around and eat the pig feed and that, and the old pig stepped on one some way. How she ever got started, got a taste of blood and she started eating them. After that every time a chicken got close enough, she would grab it and eat, feathers and all. She got so that she would even break into the chicken coop after them. So Dad had to kill her, butcher her. I remember one winter we butchered some younger pigs that were, or just butchering sows, the porkers. We butchered three at one time and hung them up, and they froze on the porch. He gave Les and I each a whole liver out of them, the hog. We would hide it in the snow up on top of the roof of the cabin, to keep it frozen and where the dog wouldn't get it. Whenever we felt hungry, we would just take down the liver, cut off a couple of slices, put it in a frying pan, and have our own liver. We thought that was a big deal.
We always had plenty of jack rabbit to eat. Ed and I would go out hunting jack rabbits. They were so thick around the house there that we didn't have to go off the place to get all the rabbits we wanted. They were just as thick as they could be. They were really good eating in those days. There was no fear of a disease that was brought in from Australia. It didn't come until some 20 or 25 years later. Then there were sage hens and cottontails. The sage hens would come right up in the chicken yard and eat with the chickens. They were good eating. The meat had a sage taste to it. It was really good.
Q. Was that because they ate sage?
A. Yeah. They ate berries off the sage, I guess, sagebrush. They were about the same size as a chicken. They were grey, similar to a grouse. But I remember we were going up over to Uncle Neff's with the wagon, and Uncle Fred was with us. We camped out because it was quite a ways over there. We would usually camp over night about halfway. We came on to this hen and six full grown chicks that were still running with her. They were full grown. There was an old dead pine tree there. It was just brittle. We would break off pine limbs and throw them like boomerangs. Those stupid sage hens would just duck when one would come close to them, the limbs. None of them tried to fly, not even the mother. We got all seven of them. So we really had a feed that night over the campfire. All those sage hens, they were thick out there.
There was a pond there. There was what they called a regular well just a little ways from the place where they supplied the water down to the station for the trains. They would stop there and fill their tanks with water for the engine for the steam. We had a spring there right by the cabin, and we had a pipe running into it. There was a steep hill outside the cabin that we would slide down. This could go on and on and on in the short years we were out there.
Q.Is that most of the experiences that you can remember now?
A. There's more. They keep coming back as I think about, but I can't keep them in a sequence.
Q. Then you moved from Lofgren to Sugarville?
A. Sugarville. That winter we stayed there Dad, Ed, and Ellis worked on the beet dump.
Q. That's when you lived in Sugarville?
A. Yeah. While we were there, I remember Dad bought a half of a big bull, beef. He was a big thing and they butchered him. We bought half and hung it in the screen porch on the back of the house. It froze just as hard as a rock. When we wanted steak off it, he would go out there with the axe like he was cutting wood, because he didn't have a saw to cut it with. He would use the axe and chop big steaks off of it. I guess he did have a saw too. When we wanted steak, he would just chop off big chunks of it with the axe, because it was brittle, just frozen solid. That was some of the best beef I ever ate in my life. We had so much milk from the cows that we couldn't use it all, so Mother went to Delta or someplace and got some rennett and made it into - she got several, I don't know where she got them, crock things --cheese. She made it in baking dishes and all kinds of shapes, long squares one and big round ones. She made cheese all that winter while we were there.
Q. Was this in Sugarville?
A. Yeah. While we were there, Ed and Ellis went to Salt Lake and bought a -- well it was before we went down there, they had this -- the summer before -- they went to Salt Lake and bought a big old Dodge touring car with a canvas top. We went up to Uncle Neff's, which was the summer ranch of the McIntyres. It was up in the foothills. around the mountain on the south slope of Mt. Sadie. Our ranch was on the other side of the mountain. For some reason, I don't remember why, Ed had this five-gallon can of milk in the car. He got out in the middle of those desert flats and the car heated up. We didn't have any more water for it, so he poured milk in the radiator. We went a couple of miles further and that was it. They had to come back with a team and tow it in. They fixed it and got it running again. Later on, the clutch went out on it. The clutch wouldn't grip, it would spin. So, in those days these old cars had floorboards that you could take them out. We took down the floorboard, and there was a little plate that covered the flywheel. We took that plate off. The car got so it would slip and wouldn't run. We would jump out along the road and pick up horse biscuits and throw them in there. Those horse biscuits would make the clutch grab and hold. It finally got so full of horse manure down in the bottom, we had to take it apart to get it out of there.
The next spring we decided to go back to Lofgren and the farm. We loaded back up all our furniture and everything. Dad sent Les and I out with the cows. There were two cows, one of them was grown but she was dry, and then a calf. So there were four of them altogether, I guess. He sent us on ahead. Les and I took some sandwiches in a little lard bucket. They were going to catch up with us, with the wagon with the furniture, Mother, and the kids, younger sisters. Ed was riding the mustang we had. We had the three horses then. We started out, and they never did catch up with us. We got clear out, it was 25 miles across there. We got out there in the middle. There was a well there with a little shed over it, just a cover over it. We were about chocked to death then. We got there and the well was dry. So we ate our sandwiches. I remember milk come into my mouth, right out of the cow's udder. That was all we had to drink that day, was the milk we would get out of the cow's udder. We kept going, going, and going until we got to the cedar trees and the pine trees going up into the cliff hills, and then it got dark. There were bobcats and mountain lions yowling around and coyotes. We got a little bit spooky. We wanted to stay real close to the cows. I was only about nine years old, something like that. We kept going. There were barely tracks or wagon roads, just two ruts to follow. It got so dark. Of course, we could see the stars and all. Finally, we heard the team and the wagon coming behind us. So they finally caught up to us. About that time we got up into the foothills and there was still snow. We kept coming into drifts and everything like that and it got real cold. After they caught up with us, then we finally got to the old Port Rockwell Ranch. Port Rockwell was the one that was the body guard for Brigham Young. After he retired from being Brigham Young's body guard, he went out there and set himself up a cattle ranch out there. That was the old Port Rockwell ranch out there. We got to it and there was a light burning in the cabin. All there was was kerosene in those days. There was an old trapper living there in the house. He took us in and made us welcome. We set up our beds on the floors in the house and had dinner. The next morning, he took us out, there was an old orchard there, and showed us the graves of Port Rockwell's family in the old orchard, fruit trees. I don't know if that ranch is still there or not. I would like to go there and find out. He told us about Port Rockwell, and of course Dad knew about him.
The next morning we went from there up to Uncle Neff's. The snow was drifted so bad over the mountain, we stayed there the rest of that day and the night. It was so bad we decided to -- Neff had quite a few horses there. At that time he had a beautiful buckskin stallion he used for breeding purposes. Then we had a team of a old white Roman nose thing that would balk. Dad just couldn't stand that crazy thing. Neff let us take that other team, because we decided that we had to have four horses on that wagon to pull it through those drifts up over that mountain. We started out and Mother and the girls stayed at Uncle Neff's because the weather was so bad. With all that furniture and everything.
On another trip, that time it was later in the spring, the snow had melted, we went back and got mother and the girls and the rest of the stuff that went down in the snow. There was a two-quart jar of yeast. Mother always made her own yeast, and she had to keep it started all the time. That two-quart jar of yeast had not broken and had frozen in the bottle. For some reason it didn't break. There were even some homemade loaves of bread that were frozen and were still good. A lot of stuff like that we found when the snow melted.
This could go on and on and on. There are so many things that I have forgotten.
Q. How old were you about this time?
About a mile from Uncle Neff's place was another beautiful meadow. This colony of families were out there trying to live the United Order. There were two kids about Jim's age who used to come over to a pasture next to Uncle Neff's. They would bring their cows over and let them go in that pasture. They had a Billy goat that they rode. He was a big cuss too. They would ride him to herd the cows. They went barefoot. I remember us all piling on that Billy goat. We just made his legs bowed, but he still tried to walk with us, the four of us on his back, piled from his neck back. Then Ed and Ellis and a bunch of them went out and captured -- there was a herd of wild burros out on the flats there -- they captured a colt. There was an old mare with a pretty good sized colt. They chased her on horses and singled her out. She was getting tired and finally she stumbled and fell in a badger hole. Of course, the colt stopped with her, and we caught the colt and took him to Uncle Neff's. He got real tame. Jim and Clarence and I made him a -- Uncle Neff had Jim and Clarence one of these --
wagon. It was kind of like your Uncle Pete's out there, only bigger. It was a good size. They use to pull wood and stuff around the yard. We rigged up a gunny sack around this goat and this donkey colt, made a harness, and made them pull us in this wagon. We were in the wagon, and they got started running and went down this steep hill. There was a pond down there. It was a swamp just before you got to it and mud. They ran right into that mud with us. We had to wade out of it. You don't want to hear all of this junk do you?
This one time, I remember this was the 24th of July too, Dad, Uncle Neff and them ran in four or five head of these wild cattle into the corral. It was a big round corral. They separated all except the one they wanted to butcher. He was a spooky steer and kind of mean. Of course, they couldn't do anything with it, so they decided to shoot it. We were all around the corral, peeking through the bars, and watching what was going on. So Dad decided to shoot it with a shotgun. He took aim through the bars, and just as he shot, the steer jerked his head real quick, and instead of getting him between the eyes, it blew one eye. That sent the thing crazy, and it was just tearing around. It just about tore the bars down and almost got out once. So Uncle Neff, we opened the gate, and he went in there on his horse with the lasso rope to snub it up. He got the rope on it, but the thing ran around. In the center was this pole to snub him up to for branding and everything. He got it snubbed up, but it ran around the pole and got free. It still had the rope on. It charged him. He was down off the horse then and couldn't get to the horse. The horse spooked and that darn thing nearly got him a couple of times. He ran around that pole and got him snubbed up finally and cut its throat. He butchered it in the dark by the moonlight, because the flies were so bad. I remember it was way late at night with the fire to see by, stringing it up and butchering it out. When we came home he sent a quarter of it home with us. We had some good times out there.
Uncle Neff married my mother's sister. His name was Cox. My mother's sister was Aunt Sadie. There was Jim, Clarence, Lavonna, and Loreen. Mother and Aunt Sadie got pregnant and had their babies one day apart. Mother named Lorraine Lorraine and Aunt Sadie named her girl Loreen, and they didn't know it until they got word that they had each had baby girls one day apart and their names almost the same. Anyway, Aunt Sadie got -- I didn't know what it was -- but I know she got awful sick and died. I remember going back out there after she was gone and Lavonna was only about 15 or 16 then and she had to do all the cooking and taking care of the other kids. She was the oldest. I remember Jim and Lareen had whooping cough. They whooped and whooped and whooped. We sat down in a big dining room there with a big table, There were a lot of people when the thrashers came. They wouldn't any more than get through with their dinner and they would go out in the yard and throw it up. Us kids never caught it from them while we were there.
All these things, they keep coming back to me. This Shep we had, the dog we had when we went out there. He was the smartest dog I ever knew. He was the father of Duke that we had when we went to Uintah. The shearing corrals were down about two miles from us down next to the railroad depot. They had a big outfit there. All the herds came in there to be sheared in the spring before they went up onto the mountains to graze for the summer. Ed would take Shep down there and hire out to these herdsmen or shearers. Ed only opened and shut gates, and Shep would do the work of four or five men. He would cut out four or five sheep and run them into aisleways where they ran the sheep down and shoot them into little pens where the shearers would grab them, shear them, and send them out another direction into another corral. Then Shep would work all day like that and made good wages. Every darn sheep man that came through there wanted to buy him. Nothing doing, we wouldn't sell him. Finally, when we went to Sugarville that winter and we thought we were heading for California, we sold him to Bishop Bennion. He had a ranch west of us about five miles. When we came back the next spring to Lofgren, Old Shep must have got wind of us being there or something. He had another sense or something, but he came over there just a bit or two after we got home. He was so glad to see us that he was jumping up on all our shoulders and just howling and yelping and howling and crying like mad. We didn't want to give him up, but we had sold him to Bennion, and so after we had him there for about a week, Bennion came by. He thought that was where he was. The Daybells had a dog down there, a female, that we bred Shep to, and we go this pup, Duke,
that we had with us and took to Uintah. He was just about -- but he hadn't been trained like Shep. In that picture it shows Duke. There are some pictures of Shep, but I think they are down there at Lula's. Brian's got those pictures that Loreen gave me that shows her and Edna and me and Les. Les was holding Duke up here. That was Duke.
One day Les and I went down to run a small herd of cattle that belonged to Daybell out of our stack yard. We got them all out but this young bull chased us, wanting to fight us. The dog couldn't even run him out, he would fight the dog. He kept running around the stack and he wouldn't leave, so we each got a cedar post from a pile of cedar posts there. I hit him, and he ran around the stack, and as he came around the comer of the stack, Les let him have it right between the eyes with the end of this cedar post. He just flopped down and stiffened out his legs. Les thought he had knocked him out. There was an old dishpan there all beat up. He had me run up to the spring up the hill a ways and get a dishpan full of water to throw in the bull's face to bring him to. He thought he had fainted. He never did come to. That night when Dad came home, we told him about it. He went down and it was, of course, dead. The next day he told Daybell about it. He said if we would bring him the skin just forget about it. So we skinned it out, and when we did, we discovered that that bull's skull was caved right in. We took the team and hooked onto him with a chain around the neck and drug him down into the woods where we set coyote traps around him.
We had this racing buggy with solid rubber tires. It had shafts for just one horse. Les, Buck, and I decided we were going down to the railroad depot, so we hooked up this big old mare in there, but she was too big almost for the shafts and buggy. We started down this hill to go take the lower road down through and the back of the shafts rammed into her hind end and spooked her. She ran around with us down this steep hill, down across the meadow and luckily the gate was open down at the lower end of the meadow and went through there. There was a patch of great big sagebrush and then a few scattered trees here and there before we got into the thick pine trees. We went over some of these bumps and through this sagebrush. Buck and Les were thrown out on their heads on the brush. I happened to grab one of the lines as Les went out, and I was able to pull her around so that she started running in a big circle. She ran right between two cedar trees. It was too narrow for the buggy to go through, and she just jerked the shafts right off of the buggy. She went a little ways and then stopped.
There were these wild mustangs, herds of wild horses, out there. This Daybell came across a young colt that was caught in the wire and couldn't get loose. The herd ran off and left it, so he got it untangled and took it home. He fed it on a bottle. It got real tame. It got full grown. About that time he decided to move back to Salt Lake so he sold this pony to Dad for $15, with a saddle to go with it. This was the prettiest blue -- you can hardly describe the color -- it was just a blue gray mustang. She was the prettiest thing and could run. It was just like sitting in a rocking chair. She was the smoothest riding horse I ever rode. We used to ride her everywhere. She was broke to cut cattle. You could sit on her and just lean, and she would go whatever direction you wanted to without pulling on the lines. I was riding her out across some sagebrush flat there one day. Duke was off chasing a rabbit or something. All of a sudden, she stopped and started to snort and rear back. Then I heard this rattlesnake. About that time Duke came charging up, and he spied it. He just ran kind of a half circle around it and then dove in and grabbed it and gave it a flip. It just flew in the air like popping a whip. When it landed it was dead. The head of it was -- jaws were mashed from the way he flipped it someway, on the ground or some way. He used to kill a lot of snakes that way. He would just run and grab them and flip them.
This one-room school house only had one window in the door and one on the other side of the room. We could sit in our class and watch down in the meadow from us there. There was a coyote that had her pups in a badger hole right next to the creek. We could watch her. The pups would come out there, play in the sun, wrestle around, and chase each other. Over at the other edge of the field there was a knoll where there was what we called bot heads, ground squirrels, bobtailed squirrels. She would go over there and catch these squirrels and bring them over and feed them to the pups. We could watch all of this from the window. Word got to the government trappers, and they came out there, shot her, trapped all the pups, and took them to the zoo or some place. We also use to watch the hawks. They would fly down, catch these ground squirrels, and fly off with them. The others would all jabber and squeal and holler. They would sit up there on their mounds, and the darn hawks would swoop right down at them, They would wait until they got almost on them before they would duck and go down their holes. Buck and I used to go down there with our 22s, sit up on the edge of the road, and shoot them when they came out of their holes. The coyotes would come and get them.
I was 11 years old when we moved to Uintah and I hadn't been baptized yet. Shortly after we arrived there, I with about seven or eight other kids, was baptized in the river down by the old river bridge. The following year I received the Aaronic Priesthood. I was ordained a Deacon, and then as I passed certain birthdays, I was ordained to a Teacher and then a Priest. While I was still a Priest, I was 17, we moved to California for about two years, a little over. Then we moved back to Uintah. When I was 19 I was ordained an Elder. Shortly after that we moved to Salem, Oregon.
We took what little belongings we needed to take with us in a trailer, luggage trailer. It was piled higher than the car. We went to Los Angeles first to visit with my older sisters down there. We took some banty chickens to give to them. We had them in a little pen on the back of the car. I remember on our way it was a bright Sunday morning, we pulled into, it seems to me it was some little town like Parowan, or something down there. It was Sunday and Sunday School was just letting out as we went by there. We stopped at a store there and these banty roosters just wouldn't quit crowing, just as hard as they could crow because it was a beautiful sunny morning. We went on down to Los Angeles and stayed a few days with my sister and her family and fixed a pen for the chickens and left them there.
Then we went up the coast. We would pitch a tent and fix our meals along the way. I
remember the first night we camped on the river bank right across from King City. Then the next day we went up near Sacramento. The old car would only do about 40 miles an hour, which was good in those days, but it kept right on plugging along. Then after we got up around Redding -- 01, it was hot up there. You could fry eggs on the sidewalk it was so hot. Right about there we had a blowout on the trailer. It was loaded pretty heavy. We couldn't find a tire that would fit it anywhere. They were some old wheels, odd size wheels, with split rims. We just had to drive on with it fiat. We came through these towns and people would look at us and think, "Well, what's the matter with them? Don't they know they have a fiat tire?" It got so hot and worn down, by the time we got up into Grant's Pass there was nothing left on the wheel, and the rim was all damaged and ruined, nothing on there but a strip of rubber. Finally, we got a tire there.
We went over like a mountain pass, and down on the other side was a beautiful big stream. It was a river I guess, I don't remember the name of it. We crossed the bridge and on the other side was a nice campground in the trees there. We decided to stop there. Mother started fixing dinner. Right out in the clear pool there was just huge -- I guess they were steelhead because they were all about 18 to 20 inches long all of them. They wouldn't bite. I caught some worms, got out my pole, and put it down there right next to their noses. They would move away from it and just wouldn't bite. They didn't seem to be spooky or anything, but they just moved away from the hooks. I thought all was lost and there was no use trying. I thought, well I'm going above. Up above where this pool was formed, there was an old cement dam across there, and it had filled up until all it was was kind of a waterfall. Around the bottom was a bunch of big rocks, and as the water fell over there, it would create a lot of foam. So, I tossed my line in up above and let it come down over those falls and right away -- that was the best fishing I ever had there. As fast as I would throw in the line over that falls, every time it got down into that foam, whammo, those big ones would grab it. The hungry ones were up there waiting for food to come over. Dad cleaned them and Mother started cooking. We had more fish than we could eat and took some with us. They were huge things. They were what were called a steelhead salmon. The best fish we ever ate. I would like to have stayed right there. There was nobody else around. We were the only ones there. That was beautiful country up there in those days. We would go from town to town looking for a place to either buy or lease with some farming and so forth. We would stop from town to town. We went to Eugene and then to Corvallis and then up several little towns along the way.
Then we got to Salem and looked around there for a day or two. There were plenty of places to pitch a tent and camp for the night, because there were lots of beautiful groves of pine trees, streams of water, and everything you needed. Finally, we got out to Silverton, Oregon. We liked it out there. There was a nice park right close. There seemed to be everything out there. We went to this real estate office, and he told us about a place and took us to see it right up on the hill above the town. It was a big, about a seven or eight room home, completely furnished. The old couple had both died and left it. There was only a son, and he had his own place, so he turned it over to a real estate man to take care of it. We rented that place for $14 a month. Everything was furnished, even food. A big cellar out in the back was full of canned fruit and vegetables. Way out in the orchard was a smokehouse. It looked kind of like an outhouse only it had a little vented top on it for the smoke to go out, then down below under the ground was a rocked in fireplace with a steel plate over it to cover it. There was plenty of wood to smoke meat with there. Just build a fire down in that big pit, get it going good, then cover it over, and the smoke would all draw up through the smokehouse racks. There were all kinds of vegetables in the garden and there were three big huge trees of English walnuts just loaded, almost ready to harvest. There was fruit of all kinds there, apples, pears, peaches. All for $14 a month.
Of course, there wasn't any work anywhere. You couldn't find work. Dad and I would go
out looking for work. We would go out to the hay fields. They were paying 25 cents an hour in the hay field, but they had all the help they needed. You almost had to be related to someone to get a job pitching hay. We went out through a field where they were digging onions. They were in big 100-pound bags. They were loading them on the truck. We asked if they would sell us some. They said, "Sure." They sold us a 100-pound bag, sewed up, beautiful big onions. I mean big. It was out in what they called a beaver dam area where it was just like pulp wood, the ground was. You couldn't smoke in the area at all. They gave us a 100-pound bag of onions, and we put them on the fender of the car, for 50 cents. That was all the onions we could use all winter and give to friends. The missionaries used to board with us while they were working in Silverton. Another time, later on, we went out driving around to see if we could find work, and we saw this farmer digging potatoes. He had two or three little kids out there picking them up. These were his own kids. We stopped and went over to see if he needed any help. He said, "I sure do. But I don't have any money. If you want to take potatoes for pay, I could sure use you." This was about 10:00 in the morning. So we started in and we worked until he quit. He told us to 10,!-dup our trailer. We had the luggage trailer with us. We loaded that full of potatoes. He said, "I'll need you at least all day tomorrow." So, we took that load of potatoes to some friends. There was a family of Mormons, big family, six or seven kids. He had a bad heart and couldn't work. There wasn't any work anyway. Kingsford was their name. We dumped that pile of potatoes by their house and were they happy to get them. They were beautiful russet potatoes. The next day we went back out until we finished the fields, and he had us load up again. We loaded up another
trailer just as full as we could pile them on there. We took them home for ourselves.
That was the way everything was. There were lots of grapes everywhere along the street. They were just getting ripe and, boy, were they good. All varieties. Fishing was plenty good too everywhere. Another time, a little later on, we decided to go fishing. We took Kingsford. He had a boy about my age. The four of us took our bedding and tent and everything and loaded the trailer with the stuff we were going to take along. We were going to stay for about a week. We went up to Portland and down the Columbia River to Astoria. We fished down along there. We caught a few smaller salmon and trout and so forth. We camped several places down along there at night. Finally, we got down to a little village that was right on the water front and the mountains behind it. I think it was Seaside. There were nothing but fishing boats there. It seemed like none of them was going out at that time. So, we started fishing along there. Nobody was around the boats at all. Pretty soon a kid came down and climbed on one of the boats, doing things around there, maintenance or something. We asked him if he would take us out. He said, "Sure." We said, "How much do you want?" He said, "About 25 cents a piece is all right." There were the four of us. He loaded on a bunch of crab traps and a lot of fish heads where they cleaned the fish. He took us out about a half a mile off shore. We started catching pretty good sized trout. It seemed that the salmon wouldn't bite that day or something, but we got these good sized trout and some steelhead. While we were doing this, he lowered this crab traps. He kept raising them up and dumping the crabs right into the bottom of the boat. It got so there were crabs everywhere. About that time a little breeze came up and the waves got a little rough. The crabs were crawling all over the bottom of the boat. Dad got seasick. He sat down on this kind of a shelf there, crabs all around him. He just turned green he was so sick and about to throw up. We decided we had been out there long enough anyway. While this breeze was blowing, the boat had shifted and turned completely around. When the kid started the engine, the anchor line got tangled around the drive shaft, the props, so he turned it off right away. We thought, "Oh oh, we're in trouble. How are we going to get in?" He peeled off some of his clothes, just dove in over the side, and went down under there. We were worried. He was under there so long, we thought maybe he had drowned or got tangled up or something. But pretty soon, here he came up and he got the rope off the props and pulled in the anchor. We came on in. The next day we went on down to another fishing place, and we started fishing there for a while and pitched our tent. We found a good place to camp. Pretty soon, here came one of these fishing boats just filled right full. It looked like it was about to sink. They were gill netters is what they were. They ran big nets out across where the salmon traveled. The salmon would try to get through these nets and they would get stuck. The net would get in behind their gills, and they couldn't get loose. They would just go along with the boat and pull the net up and unload the fish and then lower the net again. They came in and docked right there, and we went down to watch them unload the fish. They had a great big net, a big sling deal on a derrick, and they would swing it down over the boat and load it up. Then they would raise it up and swing it over onto a deck there where they had a conveyor belt that took the fish into this like a factory. Guys lined up on this belt with water running on it, and they would fillet these salmon. They were really fast at it. We watched them for awhile, and then we went down where they were unloading them again. Dad asked the guy if he would sell any of those salmon. They guy looked up and he said, "Well, how many do you want?" Dad said, "Well, how much are they?" You wouldn't believe this, and we hardly did at the time, but there was no money around. He said "Two and a half cents a pound." We liked to all fell off the pier. Anyway, Dad said, "Let's go." We said we would be right back. We went and took all of this stuff out of the trailer, and it was about seven and a half feet long and five feet wide, I guess, and had a bed about two and a half to three feet deep on it. They would swing out over the trailer with the thing full of fish and just dump them in there. He dumped it so full that you couldn't put another fish on there, it was just heaped up. I don't know, Dad paid something around the neighborhood of $10 for that big load of fish. There was no hanging around then. We had to get on home with those fish so they wouldn't spoil. When we got to Silverton, we went across country and came in straight to the south of where we were down along the ocean front. It wasn't as far as going up around Portland. Anyway, we went up to Kingsfords and unloaded all the salmon they wanted that they could use, which was about close to half of the load, I guess. Then we took the rest home to us. We were cleaning salmon until way late at night. Mother put them in a salt solution of some kind, brine, overnight. These were just halves of salmon. We just cut them right down along the back. There were two halves of the salmon. As we were cleaning them, a neighbor came over, and we were throwing the heads over on the ground there. He said, "Aren't you going to use them heads?" "No, no, we don't want them for anything." Then he said, "Well, can I have them?" We told him, "Sure." He told us they make the best fish chowder you can find. He told us how to fix them. He took them and made chowder. He was raving the next day about how good it was. We tried it, but we just didn't go for it much. We had a little of it, but to see them eyeballs and everything looking at you in the chowder with vegetables and everything, it wasn't very appetizing for us anyway. The fish were loaded with eggs and roe. We kept most of that. We gave him a lot of that too. He said that it was really delicious fried. We tried it. It was good, but a little on the fishy side. About like caviar. We took these halves of salmon and laid them on these racks in this smoke house out there. It seems to me we had them in there for a couple of days. I don't remember how long. We kept a fire going down below in that fire pit down there, smoking them. That was the best salmon I ever ate. It was delicious. The heat with the smoke seemed to create a sort of an oily covering on the fish, and the smoke really penetrated into the fish. It was really delicious. The salmon was about 30 percent, I would say, one out of every three of the salmon were the Chinook, the really dark red like the sockeye salmon. We called them Chinook. The others were varied in between, and I would say 50 to 55 percent were what they called silver sides, which were really good red salmon from up that way. Anyway, after they got well smoked, we stored them upstairs in the house. There were two bedrooms up there and then one other room that was nothing but racks in there to store smoked fish and meat and stuff. Then we laid those salmon in halves up in there in that dry room on those racks. Oh man, I never, what a -- the Lord was really good to us when we went up there.
It just seemed like everything fell into our laps. Every time the missionaries would come out, they would rave about that salmon and so when they would leave, Mother would wrap up maybe 20 or 30 pounds of it and send it with them, under their arm in a newspaper.While we were there, I went out with the missionaries, doing tracking and everything. I remember Elder Hunt, who lives here in Salt Lake now, took me my first time tracking. He wore a Derby hat, one of these black Derbys. We went down into the other part of town, not where the homes were. We started out, and he walked out in the middle of the street and walked down the street. I asked him, "Why walk out here?" He said, "Oh, we are supposed to be a peculiar people. Let's be it." At that time, we gave out tracts and Books of Mormon. We split up and one would go on one side of the street and one on the other. We carried about 10 or 12 Books of Mormon all the time: We would loan them to people, whoever would accept them, and then we would tell them we would be back in a couple of weeks to pick them up and get their comments on what they thought about this. In this way, we would do our proselyting. I really enjoyed it.
Then there was a park down there, it's Silver Creek they called it, run through there. It was a good sized stream, like what you would call a river here. It ran right down through town and through this park. They had a section of it dammed off to form a big swimming pool. They had benches there and a big place where you change clothes. I remember diving down in there with my eyes open. Down around the bottom you would see eels swimming all around down there. You could see them from the bank too. The water was clear. A lot of the kids were afraid of them, but nobody had ever heard of them harming anybody. They were sure ugly looking critters.
We lived there all that fall and next winter and spring. The next summer, we went down to Salem, where the missionaries were holding Sunday School and the meetings down there in an EBell Club hall that they had rented. We got down there and met some of the other families. There were several families there of L.D.S. There was a Mitchell family and I can't remember all their names now. Anyway, there were enough then when we went to Sunday School that the missionaries sent word to Portland, and a Sunday or two later President Sloane, president of the Northwestern States Mission, came down from Portland. That was where the mission headquarters was. He organized a branch, because there were enough of us there then holding the priesthood to organize a branch. Burt C. Mitchell was set apart as the branch president, and my dad was one of the counselors. I can't remember the name of the other man. He was a tailor there in town in one of the department stores. They set me apart as the branch clerk to keep the records and minutes of all the meetings and everything. Then, no sooner than we got started then they got me to lead the music, and they set me apart as the chorister for the branch. Then I got to teaching some of the Deacons that were there, and they got me involved. Finally, they called me as a scoutmaster. So I was scoutmaster, a Deacons teacher, a chorister, and the ward clerk. President Mitchell turned over all of the tithing receipts to me. Whenever I would stay at the door when people come in, I would take their tithing and give them a receipt. After the meeting, I would turn the money over to President Mitchell. That was some of the happiest days of my life.
That fall, there was no work around, so we had been up to a couple of missionary conferences up to Portland. Then in the mail I got a call from President Sloane to be a missionary, what we called local missionary. We worked right with the full-time missionaries all the time. We even stayed there part of the time. We would go home to have our laundry done by our folks. We really enjoyed that. It was a wonderful experience for me, very spiritual. In our meetings we had people, families. There were three professors, two from Eugene and one from Corvallis, they all had big families, and they brought their families all that way every Sunday. Once in a while President Mitchell would call certain ones to speak. Usually, he would just call us on the moment right out of the audience. So everybody had to be prepared. Then it was really a spiritual, wonderful spirit there all the time, in spite of the fact that this E-Bell Club was -- there were ash trays and cigars and everything around all the time. It sure smelled bad. But we sort of ignored that because it was a pretty good location in town there, in Salem. We were able to hold Mutual on Mutual night and everything. It was an experience I will never forget and there was never anything like it in any of the wards.
We had to travel around quite a bit. We went to other little towns around there. I remember a man had died, and we went over with the Relief Society president with us to prepare for his funeral. I know there was a question. He had taken off his garments, and it was settled that he would "have his garments placed on him and his temple clothes for his funeral. We had to go around to different families to take care of problems. I usually went along with President Mitchell and my dad. We worked with the missionaries out tracking when we were called on this -- it was about four months we were in this mission, during a winter. We had some wonderful experiences traveling around doing tracting with this missionaries. I guess I knocked on every door in the city of Salem.
Since there was no work, Mother got the idea of baking Morrison's meat pies, or the hot Scotch pies, which my grandfather, Grandpa Williams, started the meat pie business here in Salt Lake. He eventually sold out to Morrison and Morrison cheated him out of a lot of the business. I guess I shouldn't be saying this, but that's really what happened. Morrison took over and no mention of history even of my grandfather starting the pie business in Salt Lake. They used to sell pies in a little downstairs shop, downtown Salt Lake there on Main Street. Right adjoining it was a beer parlor or a bar. All they had to do was go through some swinging doors over to the beer parlor. They sold beer at five cents a glass and they furnished free sandwiches for the beer drinkers. How my grandfather ever made it on selling pies when they could go next door and get free sandwiches. Those were really the days.
Anyway, getting back to Salem. Mother made meat pies, loaves of bread and rolls. She made the nicest Parker House rolls. We got us a little wagon because my car wasn't running. I couldn't keep it running. This was on Winter Street there in Salem. I would go down to the market and get flour and shortening and all the different ingredients, and the meat for the meat pies and haul it home in the wagon. She would bake it. I made a couple of carriers out of some wooden crates with handles on them. She would line that with clean linen and put the bakery goods in there and cover it. I would go from house to house all over Salem selling those meat pies and the bread. They were just crazy about it. It got so I could hardly furnish all the orders. I would pick up orders as I went along. They would reorder and reorder and reorder.
About this time Lula and her family came in on us and also Verna and her family, all in that one big house on Winter Street. I was just about the sole provider, between mother and I, of all those three families. Edna and Lorraine and myself and Mother and Dad and their two families. Verna had four boys and Lula had three boys and a girl I think, at that time. But this provided us with food, and we seemed to all have plenty. I think we only paid about $14 a month to rent that place and it was furnished with furniture.
While we were serving as missionaries up there, the district president, Holmes, sent us about 30 miles back into the mountains near a logging camp to baptize a boy of a family of members who were living up there. The family was starting a fox farm way up in the mountains. We got about halfway, there were no cars, and it was getting late. There was just no traffic. We were walking. We were starting to get worried about where we would stay. It was cold. So we went off the road, behind a pine tree, and knelt down and prayed that we would get help to find our way. We had never been up there before. We no sooner got back on the road, walking, and here came a guy from Salem with a fruit and vegetable truck. He was a peddler. He stopped and gave us a ride and took us all the way up there. He knew where this fox farm was, and he told us how to get up there. It was clear off the road about a mile from the county road. We got up there and located these people. They gave us a nice warm dinner. We had to sleep on straw mattresses on some bunks that they made for the kids. We decided to baptize the boy in a pool of melted snow up there that was frozen over. So George and I decided we would draw straws to see who did the baptizing and who confirmed. I drew the straw that I had to go break the ice on that water. It was quite an experience for me. It was about four feet deep. I felt sorry for that kid, taking him out there in that ice and ducking him clear under with ice all over the place. But he didn't seem to mind, and he didn't catch cold from it. The next day we walked back. That was an experience that was not ordinary.
During this time they called a missionary conference down in Eugene. That is way down in the southern part of Oregon. We paired off and hitch hiked. It started to rain. I was with District President Holmes. People would pass right by and think, "Well, don't those guys know it's raining?" They wouldn't offer to pick us up so we got pretty well soaked. Finally, we got a ride and got into Eugene. We went to some members' home there and stayed over night. The next morning President Sloane from Portland was there. We started the meeting about 9:00 in the morning, and the meeting continued to about 5:00 in the afternoon. We took a little recess and went out and got a drink of water. Nobody seemed to mind. It was the most amazing meeting I was ever to, spiritually. President Sloane seemed to be able to look right through the elders and know what their lives were. I know there was one elder there that stuttered really bad. He promised him that if he would straighten up and do his best in his missionary work that by the time he was released he would be free from that stammering. I wasn't around when he was released, but I heard that he had accomplished that. But it seemed that President Sloane could look right through you.
Going back to when the branch was organized, the night before, my brother-in-law, Gail Felstrom, and his family arrived, and they went with us. We were all out in the audience. President Sloane just pointed the men out in the audience that he wanted and he told them to come up there. He promised Gail that if he would accept the call and responsibility (he was the second counselor in the presidency). Not long after he left and went back to California. But President Sloan told him he said, "If you will do these things, you will be blessed with health and that your stomach ulcers will be healed and you will be well." He didn't even know Gail and what his life was like or anything else or that he was even sick. He was in severe trouble with that and had been for years. This just amazed me to the power that President Sloane had. At that meeting, everybody bore their testimony and it was really the most touching, amazing meeting that I ever attended. All those hours that we were there just seemed to fly by and nobody wanted to leave.
One time my dad got real sick and was down sick in bed for a couple of days. I and another elder administered to him, and he got right up out of bed and wasn't sick another minute. We had a lot of wonderful spiritual experiences there in that part of the mission field. While we were there, Ellis and his wife and boy came up. They traded off their car and bought a little farm out on the Santa Ann River.
Autobiography of Harold Miller
YOUTH DROWNED IN WEBER RIVER
Jason Carlito Davison, 17, Probably Hit Head in Diving
Jason, Carlito Davison, 17, son of Mrs. Florence Green Davison, 2973 Lincoln Avenue, was drowned late Wednesday afternoon in the Weber River despite the valiant efforts of a pal, Earl Hooten, 16, of 254 Franklin Avenue, to save him from the stream. It occurred just south of the Riverdale viaduct.
Young Earl swam to the aid of his stricken comrade, after the latter had sunk once below the surface of the stream, but was rendered helpless himself when caught in a strangle grip of the victim. He finally freed himself and rushed to the shore to secure aid.
The victim of the river swimming party had dived into the stream just before he floundered, and sank under the surface. An examination of his body revealed bruises on his head and body, and Captain N. J. Hinton of the fire department expressed the belief he had hit some object underneath the water, thus incapacitating himself.
The body was recovered by Harold W. Miller, a Uintah section worker, who was working near the river on the Union Pacific tracks. He was summoned to the rescue by Hooten, after the latter had swam from the stream. A third youth, Beryl Battice, 18, of 3815 Adams Avenue, was also a member of the swimming party.
Miller jumped into the stream, about six feet deep at the point, and later helped in a vain effort to resuscitate the victim. Captain Hinton, George and Bruce Hamilton and G. B. Saclder, firemen; Deputy Sheriff O. H. Mohlman and Dr. Junior Rich rushed to the scene with a lungmotor. They labored with the lifeless body for about 20 minutes.
The boy is survived by his mother, one brother, John, and two sisters, Leon and Gladys Davison. His father died three years ago.
Funeral services will be held Friday at 10 a.m. in the Nineteenth ward chapel with Bishop D. C. Stuare presiding. The body may be viewed this evening and Friday until 9;30 a.m. at the family residence, 2973 Lincoln Avenue. Burial will be made in the Peterson cemetery under the direction of Larkin and Sons.
The Davison family formerly lived at Enterprise, Morgan county.
[copied from a clipping from an unknown newspaper, unknown date]
United States Census, 1930 for Harold W Miller
|Name:||Harold W Miller|
|Event Place:||Uintah, Weber, Utah|
|Estimated Birth Year:||1910|
|Relationship to Head of Household:||Son|
|Mother's Birthplace:||New Zealand|
|Enumeration District Number:||0044|
|Sheet Number and Letter:||3A|
|NARA Publication:||T626, roll 2425|
|Digital Folder Number:||4547823|
|Parent||Edward R Miller||M||58|
|Parent||Ada M Miller||F||53|
|Harold W Miller||M||20|
United States Census, 1910 for Harold Miller
|Relationship to Head of Household:||Son|
|Residence:||Waterloo, Salt Lake, Utah|
|Mother's Birthplace:||New Zealand|
|Parent||Edward E Miller||M||38y|
|Harold Miller||M||y 2m|
United States Social Security Death Index for Harold Miller
|Birth Date:||6 March 1910|
|Social Security Number:||564-07-6471|
|Place of Issuance:||California|
|Last Residence:||Salt Lake, Utah|
|Zip Code of Last Residence:||84044|
|Death Date:||November 1985|
|Estimated Age at Death:||75|