Contributor: Todd Millett Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago
The following is from a tape recording of Aunt Ida Wade given May 19, 1962 on her visit to Monticello, Utah. Ida Wade is the identical twin sister of Ada Dalton Jones, who is the mother of Velma "D" Jones Cook.
Velma: Tell us about the dress she made for you...
Ida: ... was a cowboy here... He was an old man. He wanted to buy a dress for our birthday. He went to my mother and said, "Mrs. Dalton, I would like to buy a dress for those girls - the material for a dress. I don't want you to think anything bad about it. I don't have any ill motives about it. I just want to buy them a pretty dress. But I want you to give me your consent." She said, "Well, that's all right, if you want to." So he went and bought the material for us a dress and she made them for us.
Velma: Tell about mother - about her being so sick....
Ida: ... I guess we never did know at the time... she had this trouble. It must have started a long time ago. She was always one pound lighter than I was. She seemed to be just as well as I was but she got ill and should have had a doctor then. We found out that she had TB. We thought it was what we called consumption. She was sick quite a long time and then she got married. After she was married she wasn't well all the time. When Velma was a baby she wasn't very well. Then she had Cecil and she never was well after that. She kept getting worse and worse. We lived in Salt Lake then and we came down and were going to the valley to see the folks and we went there first before we came out here. The day after I got over to their place Mother got a letter from Stence Backhead and told her that Ada was awful sick and she thought we ought to come. Stence thought she was very critically ill. The next day Mother and I came out and when we got there she was lying on the couch in the living room. She was having one bad spell after another -- just fainting, you know. I asked her if she wanted to go back with us and see a doctor. She said, "I have to do something. I can't get well here. I have just got to do something. And so we will have to ask Pete about it and send down to the store to get Pete to come. We sent down for Pete to come up. He came up and I told him that we had come out to take her back to the doctor. So he ask Ada if she wanted to go. She said, "Yes, I have to do something. I can't live without something done." He said, "If you want to go, we will go." He went down to Grandpa Jones and go the light wagon and a team. We made a bed in there on some springs and put her in there and we started out with her. We stopped at Henry's camp house. He had a house out at... oh, I don't know the place now... I can't think of it... but anyway we stayed there that night and she got bad. She had those sinking spells again so we had to get up and put her in that bed out there and stand and shake the wagon all night long. My mother and Pete stood out and shook the wagon and I sat up in the bed and held her up. It rained, oh my, it just poured down. They stood out in that rain and as soon as it got daylight we started on again. We were afraid to go on because the roads were just flooded just full of water. We were afraid we would drive into one and get stuck. But when it got daylight we started on. After we got there, the next morning we had to get up and put her in the wagon and start out again. Drove all day, we would ride all over... drive and drive and drive the wagon. That's what kept her alive. My brother, Theodore, lived up north of there a ways and he wanted us to come up and spend one night with him. We went there and stayed all night. She was awful bad all that night; just awful bad. I stayed up with her all that night but I didn't call anybody else. Finally, I made a bed in a big chair and got her up. We thought all the time she would be gone, you know, anytime. As soon as it got daylight I called Pete and told them that Ada was awful bad. We all thought she wouldn't live until we got her down there. We met them on the way. They were coming up as we were going down. We went back and for two or three days she was just that way. She didn't have such a hard time breathing after that as she did before. It wasn't very many days after that that she passed away.
.... How long did it take you to make the trip?...
Ida: In the afternoon we came down. We left here right after noon and we didn't get there until the next afternoon. We went right straight to the doctor and had him look at her. He said, "You are too late. It's only a matter of time."
Velma: But she knew she was going then?
Velma: Was there something about how she didn't eat a lot?
Ida: Before we went any place. That was before she was married even. She was sick and didn't eat anything. We didn't' have any kind of refrigeration or any sanitary conditions at all. She was sick much of the time and didn't eat. One night we had a big long table -- there was a big family of us, you know -- and we all sat down tot eat and Mother said, "come on, Ada, sit down and have your supper." And she said, "no, I"m not hungry. I don't want to eat." She got up and went to the door and stood with her arm upon the door jam and she was just standing there and of course Mother was just sick about it. And she said, "Dear God, send my little girl something to eat." Just then, a wild duck flew down in her arms - right in her arms - right in her arms. Mother fixed it and she ate that. It seemed to give her a little appetite. It was soothing, fresh meat she needed, a change of something. Now I say that was the answer to prayer. Some might say that a wild duck can fall anytime - they often do - but I can't see it that way and I know it wasn't that way. She kept getting worse and worse. The morning she died I was washing. I fixed her bed where I could go back and forth. They used to have those big round bathtubs for heating water and washing. I had that on hot to had giver her a bath then we had breakfast and everything. She wasted to walk around before her breakfast that morning... I could keep my eye on her all the time. I hung up something and on the way back I could look up to the bed and she said, "Ida, I have talked to God face to face. I told Him if it was HIs will that I would like to live and raise my little children. I would like to take care of them. But, if I am needed over there, why I will go where say it's best." And she knew that He had decided to taker her home. And she died in about an hour or two hours after that. But she said she talked to God face to face and I believe she did. She didn't suffer pain, I don't' think she suffered pain at all, it was weakness. We had to send to Mancos for Relief Society to come and bring her clothes to be buried in. They came over and got her all ready. WE started out - the next morning early we started out - and it rained. Pete was driving the light wagon that had the asked in it and then Mother and Dad and I and Cecil was in the other wagon. Theodore and Harriet was in the wagon just behind us. Alice Burr offered to go with us but we were grateful to her for doing it. It rained and rained until we go to what we called the half-way house. We stopped and they had a big fire in the fireplace. They had heard about it because Theodore had got on a horse and rode back to Monticello to bring the word in. We stopped there and they heated some hot milk for us and we stayed there a little while and got warmed up and went on. We didn't' get to Monticello until late that afternoon. We drove all that time. They came out with horses. Earl and Bud Jones came out and brought relay horses because our team was getting awful tired. When we go there they had everything all ready at the church - all decorated - it was awful nice. Ada was tired and wanted to go to rest.
Preston Cook: I didn't realize she had been sick before she got married.
Ida: Yes, but we didn't know it. We didn't realize that she was sick because she would go on and have a cold and a cough. Ada worked awfully hard. She always wanted to work in the home. One of us would help Dad at the store and one would help at home. We would both take turns. One week I was int eh store and she was home and then I worked at home and she worked int eh store. She didn't like that type of work. She said, "I'd rather stay home and do all the work than go over to that store." She worked pretty hard at home - it was a big family of us - that is a lot of hard work. And the weather was so bad. She would go and hang up clothes on the line with snow on the ground and the wind would come and blow them all on the ground. We didn't know that she was sick... in those days we didn't' know a thing. There were no doctors anywhere within an hundred miles of us. We got sick and died or else we got well. She died at Mother's home - on the ranch, just off the hill. Cortez was on a hill. They had a home in a big grove of trees there. Most of the time we had her bed out under the trees and that's where she was when she passed away.
Velma: She felt better outside than inside?
Ida: Yes. She got fresher air. Her lungs were closing off. She had just a little bit of lung left. Pete wanted to come home the night before. He was going to come back over here (Monticello) and see how things were and then he'd go back. Father said, "No, Pete, I don't want you to go. I wish you wouldn't go today." He said, "WEll, I think I'd better go today and then I'll come back in a few days." Dad said, "No, I don't think you should go. I think you should wait." There was nothing he could do. He was out in the field working - out in the hay field cutting hay. When he thought it was right at the last, they called him in and he came. He said, "Oh, she's alright. She has had a lot of those spells and come out of it. She'd alright." He didn't realize she was so sick because he had seen her having those spells and he thought she would always be that way.
Velma: I had never know any of this and I wanted to hear it. It was interesting and what you told in the car. I've heard a lot of people say they couldn't tell you apart at parties and dances and how you would switch different boyfriends, but I hadn't heard any of this other.
Ida: The Bronson boys wanted us to go to a dance with them one night but one of us was to wear string beads and the other was not. Ada was the one to wear string beads and I wasn't to have them. We started out, we were walking close, one right behind the other, there were two couples. Will Bronson, I think he was the one I was with, he called me "Ida", you know and the other one said, "I thought I was to take Ida." But the couldn't tell which was which when we got there. The cowboys would come to the dances and the won boys too, when they would see us coming they would bed real money on whether they could tell which was which. When we go there they would have us dance and they would look us over and look us over. They would say, "You go in the house and sit down and we will come in and tell which is which." They'd come in but they couldn't tell. Oh, but we had lots of fun. About the only difference between Ada and I was that she wasn't quite so messy as I was. She took things a lithe more seriously. Mother said we were that way when we were little. I was full of mischief but she had just as much fun though.
Velma: Couldn't Grandma tell you apart better than anyone could?
Ida: She was the only one who could. One time she made a mistake. Mother had such long, pretty hair. We used to comb her hair. One of us was on one side and one the other. Everyday we would stand there and sometimes spend an hour or so combing her hair and braiding it for her. She always was proud that she could tell us apart. So something, I don't know what it was, called Ada away and she went away for a few minutes and Mother thought it was me that went. She didn't' look, but she said that she could even tell us by our voices. She said to me, "Where did Ida go?" I said, "Oh, she'll be back in a few minutes." And she didn't know the difference. She thought I was Ada. We always kidded her about that because that time she couldn't tell, but I think she could most of the time.
We had lots of fun. In those days you didn't see twins very often. We were the only ones within miles and miles around. We got so used to having people coming to see us, you know. When wagons rolled up or anyone came to the door, we took a hold of hands and just stood right in front of them. They'd look at our hands, then they'd look... well now we know we that we can tell them apart... you go out and walk around the house and come back and I bet you we can tell which one is which. We would go out and walk around the house and come back and stand in front of them again and they would look at us and couldn't' believe their eyes.
Velma: When you were blessed, how did they know they didn't have the wrong one?
Ida: That is what I told Mother. I said, "How do you know I'm the oldest one?" Well, she got a string of beads, Indian beads, little tiny ones like you put on moccasins, they were supposed to be put around my neck. I said, "How do you know it was my neck?" "Well, I think it was, we didn't know for sure." But that didn't make any difference... didn't make any difference which was which to her.
Velma: It is funny some of the brothers and sisters couldn't tell you apart. Did they have some little trait or some way?
Ida: One of us, I don't remember who it was, had a little mole on her hand and people saw that and thought, "Now we have got a mark, we know." In no time the other one had the same thing on her hand. If one of us stubbed our toe the other would. If one of was hurt, we would both be hurt. Mother took us to the house and put a bandage on each one of our toes. We wanted to go down to the field to see Pa because we were hurt. When we got down there and we told him what we had hurt he asked which toe on which one of us was hurt. We looked at each other and wondered which one of us really had the sore toe.
Preston: You were born in Annabelle, weren't you?
Preston: How long did you live there?
Ida: Well, I can't remember. I think we were there around two or two and a half.... Had a job out on the railroad someplace. I don't remember where it was but I remember there was a creek running down by there. The work was over across the creek. They put up tents for us to live in. There was a foot bridge across the stream so they could walk back and forth to their work. Mother would dress us up every evening just before it was time for Dad to come and we would go down to this bridge and wait for him when he came home. She would go down to this bridge and wait for him when he came home. She would say, Don't you girls go across that bridge. You just stay on this side." While we were waiting we saw some flowers and Ada whisked over to get them. She tripped and fell in. Then I got down and went down to pull her out, she pulled me in. Of course, we started to scream. Dad was right close by - he was coming. He hear our screaming and he just laid out across that bridge on his stomach and pulled us out.
Preston: When you moved from Annabelle, where did you go?
Ida: Dad worked at so many different places in Utah that I don't remember where. Burville was where John was born. Delila, then Burt and Earl were all born in Cainville. Elmer was born in Cainville, yes, he was a baby when we left Cainville. Aunt May and Hatty was born in Monticello. Well, we first went to Colorado. When we left Cainville, we went to Colorado. We had some cousins out there in Monassa, Colorado. We went out there and stayed one summer int he mountains. They had a saw mill up there. From there we came to Mancos and stayed one winter in Mancos. In the spring we came up to Monticello and settled there. We went to dances and other activities. Sister Walton was killed and then another cowboy was killed. We didn't have a home built or anything, we were just living in a tent. The folks didn't let us go to the dance on the 4th of July. We were just 14 years old when we live in Monticello. They let Theodore and Henry go but they wouldn't let us go. They went to the dance and left us home. We thought we had been badly misused but it turned out that it was mighty good that we didn't - a lot of drunken cowboys there that night. Dad and Mother said they believed they had better go home and told Theodore and Henry they had better not stay too late because the cowboys were getting so drunk. We didn't live but four blocks away from the church where they had their dances. They came home and went to bed and they hadn't been there ten minutes when there was a big loud talking and then a shot. Dad got up and said he would go over and see where they boys were. Mother was afraid to have him go and he went over and this one cowboy had rounded everybody up and had them go outside and line up on the walk, you know. He said the first one that moved, he would shoot. THere was this one cowboy there that was a sensible, peaceable kind of a fellow. He tried to get this guy to put his gun away, but he wouldn't do it. He went over to him and talked to him but he wouldn't listen. He said if you step forward I'll shoot you and he did. He stepped forward and he shot him dead. Then hd told the rest of them, "If one person steps toward me I'm going to kill them." Then an Adam's boy went and go a gun and came back. He thought the fellow was going to kill somebody else and shot at him but instead of hitting him he shot Sister Walton and the two of them were killed there that night.