Short Life History of Nathan Abner Goodwin
Contributor: Nana5667 Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago
Nathan Abner Goodwin was born November 5, 1885 at Sugar House, Salt Lake County, Utah. He was christened June 7, 1886. His father, John William Goodwin, was born February 4, 1853 at Orsett England; his mother, Catherine Maria Staker, was born February 25, 1856 at Sugar House, Salt Lake County, Utah. On August 24, 1874 his parents were sealed for time and eternity in the Old Endowment House. To this union was born twelve children, Nathan being the sixth child.
Nathan began his schooling at the age of six years old at Sugar House. His first day at school, his teacher locked him in a room and he then decided he had had enough of school and quit--but later returned. When he was nine years old, he had completed the fourth grade. This time his education was terminated. He began herding sheep for Ed Turpin. At the age of sixteen he went to work at the smelter, then went back to herding sheep for Arch Bennion for one year, then back again to the smelter. Before he was married, he was employed by a surveying company.
He met Sarah Turpin at Saltair, a Utah resort, while he was there with Sarah's brother, George. Sarah and Nate took a boat ride through the tunnel of love. This was a beginning of a beautiful romance. During that summer, Sarah stayed with her brother, Billy, for two weeks at Cottonwood canyon. Nathan was invited to spend two weeks up there also. It was while vacationing there that Nathan asked Sarah to marry him. They were married January 16, 1907 in the Salt Lake Temple. There were seven children born to this union, five boys and two girls. Everett, their first son was born October 9, 1907.
February 1909, two years after they were married, they moved to Idaho to get into farming. They shipped their belongings by freight and remained in Salt Lake for two months longer to earn extra money for needed farm supplies. Their first home in Idaho was a one-room house that previously was a horse stable. They cleaned it out and lived there about one year. Sarah was very homesick so she went back to Salt Lake City when their second son, Irvin, was born August 31, 1909. They would have moved back to Utah, but were financially broke so they remained in Idaho.
Nate's first years in farming were in partnership with Ed Turpin, Sarah's brother. They were both inexperienced in farming. Both families lived together in a one-room house and shanty. Nate and Sarah and their two children and Ed and Florence, his wife, who was Nate's sister and their five children, making eleven people in total. They pioneered their homestead by clearing the sage brush so they could plant crops. There were many hardships to endure. They had two cows for each family to help make their living. The first year's wheat crop was held over to bring more money at a later date because the price was very low. They had no place to store the wheat so they went into Blackfoot to see if the owner of the lumber yard would extend them credit to get the lumber to build a granary to house the wheat, but the owner wasn't very sympathetic to their needs. A man named Anderson was working there and told the owner to let them have anything they needed to build their granary and he would stand good for it if they couldn't pay. Also hey had no money to buy flour or any food. They tried to get credit to buy groceries at the store, but were refused. They started home not knowing what they would do. On the way, they found a purse which had $4.50. There was no identification so they decided to use the money to buy the flour and needed groceries. They felt the Lord had helped them to get the supplies and food they needed. They were later able to pay for the lumber which helped establish a good credit rating.
The partnership of Nate and Ed ended when they overheard their children arguing about who owned what. They decided it was time to separate their families. Nate and Sarah's family was increasing and their need for a home of their own was great. Their daughter, Evalyn, was born August 7, 1912. John Clinton was born January 9, 1915. Mildred Louise was born August 5, 1917. Eldon Jesse was born August 20, 1920, and Calvin Dewey was born July 3, 1924, making this a family of seven children. All these children were born in the house which Nate and Sarah built on the twenty acres of ground they had bought. They had cleared the sagebrush and built a two-room house out of cement. Each night they would pour a foot of concrete. Lumber was too expensive to make the forms for the needed height for the two rooms they were trying to build. So they would come in from farming each day and pour the foot of concrete until they had the walls and partitions up to the square. They completed the home and lived in the two rooms for some time. In later years, they built on to their small home to suffice the needs of their growing family. The home is still standing with changes made over the years. Through the efforts of Nate and Sarah and much hard work, this house was made a home of love.
Nate was a good neighbor, a good farmer, and a good provider for his family. Family love and cooperation was taught and practiced. Religion also played an important part, even though Nate didn't hold any high office in the church. He was a faithful husband who did his duty to see that his wife, Sarah, was able to get to all her meetings. She served in many callings in the church.
Nate instilled love and respect in his children for their mother. Honesty was also a virtue. He gave his family a good name, and he was respected by his family.
Each fall after the harvest was completed, the men in the neighborhood would pack provisions for themselves and feed for their horses so they could go to the lavas to get their winter supply of cedar wood. They would stay for a week or more if needed to get the fuel. It was always a relief and a joy to see them coming home with the wagons loaded high with wood and a cedar tree on top of the load which was the family's Christmas tree.
Nate and Sarah had the privilege of keeping their son, Everett, on a mission for the LDS Church to the Southern States. They also had three sons, Everett, Eldon, and Calvin who served in the Armed Forces of the United States during World War II. The three returned home safely.
In Nate's later years, after the family had all married, he drove a school bus for three years for the Moreland High School. His farm was 100 acres of ground in which he raised potatoes, beets, grain and hay. He also milked a small herd of cows which provided a comfortable living.
Nate and Sarah took several trips. They traveled through the Central states, saw Carthage jail and many other historical points of interest. They spent three winter months in Florida in 1932 and 1933 with their son, Everett and his wife, Alma and daughter, Dixie. Alma's folks lived there. Calvin, Nate and Sarah's youngest son, also accompanied them on this trip. The winter months there were spent shelling peanuts which were used for planting the next spring. On their return trip home, they toured the southern part of the United States and then up the west coast to home in Idaho. That winter the snows came the day after they left. When they arrived home on March 2, they had to leave their car in Blackfoot for two weeks because the roads were still impassible except for sleighs. Nate and Sarah saw many interesting places in their travels, and met many wonderful people.
In 1949, Nate retired from his farm to enjoy the fruits of his labors, but retirement did not come easily for him because he was used to hard work. Sarah's health began to fail, and Nate devoted his time to her. On May 24, 1951, his wonderful wife passed away. This was the first time they had been separated. Nate lived in the old home for about six months after her passing. He had his farm to care for, but he had a heart attack and from then on, he made his home with his children, staying a short time with each of them. It was May 8, 1956 when Nate passed away at the home of his daughter, Evelyn Ellis, at Riverside, Idaho. He was buried in the Riverside Cemetery next to his dear wife, Sarah, on May 11, 1956.
Though Nate was quiet and reserved, he was successful and prosperous. He truly was an example and a wonderful father to his family. The youngest son, Calvin, owns the old home now and has made many improvements. John, Irvin and Eldon all own farms within a radius of about 3 to 4 miles of the old home. Evelyn is living on a farm in Riverside. Everett is living in Blackfoot and is the County Assessor for Bingham County, and Mildred is living in Idaho Falls, Idaho. The family still gets together at Christmas. Nate and Sarah lived for their children and dearly loved their grandchldren.