ZINA KIRK TOLMAN - Autobiography -
Contributor: mgsnarr Created: 9 months ago Updated: 9 months ago
There are important days in everyone's life. The first one for me was 24 May 1908. That was the day I became a "blessed event" in the James Henry and Clara Roszirinia Cullimore Kirk family, the fifth of seven children. Arriving before me were Theron J. (28 Nov 1897), Nona (22 June 1901), Belva (14 July 1903), and Odeal Cullimore (26 Feb 1906). Coming after me were Milton Earl (13 Mar 1910) and Verl Henry (12 Dec 1912).
I arrived at 1:00 p.m. on a Sunday and I'm sure my Father and J\1other wondered if it real1y was a "blessed event". Doctor Noyes of American Fork was there. I, of course, was born at home in what was at the time Lindon, Utah County, Utah, but now Orem. I was born with a problem. Mother said I was a blue baby and I had an enlarged stomach. My stomach was about the size a year old child would have. As soon as I was born I started having convulsions, one after another. They didn't expect me to live. They wrapped me in blankets and laid me on the oven door, expecting me to die at any time. Years later Mother said the Lord must have had a good reason for not taking me. They still didn't see how I could make it. But I did. In addition to all the health problems I was born with, before I was six months old I had also had measles, chicken pox and whooping cough. The first year I was a lot of work and worry for them but they had all the time and love it took. By the time I was a year old my body had ''caught up" to my stomach and after that my health was good.
In material wealth we were not blessed but we made up for it in love and a good family life. My Father, James Henry Kirk, was born 7 Dec 1866 to William and Jean Hynd Kirk in Salt Lake City, Utah. He was the eighth of fourteen children. Grandfather and Grandmother were born in Scotland and married there.
Twice Grandfather and Grandmother Kirk were left without a family. They had three children. The second born child passed away. About a year later the other two got diphtheria, I think, and both died within about 24 hours. Another child was born and before the next one was born, that one bad died also. Missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints contacted them in Scotland and converted them to the gospel. They had two girls Margaret and Elizabeth. When they came to the United States and Utah in 1863, settling first in Salt Lake City and later moving to Lindon.
Mother, Clara Roszinnia, was the sixth of ten children born to James and Clara Fowlke Cullimore born 18 April 1875 at Lindon. James and Clara were both English. Their parents were also converts to the Church and came to Utah.
James was born in Tarkington, Gloucestershire and Clara Fowlke was born in Nottingham. They were from different parts of England and met after coming to Utah. Mother and Father were married in the Salt Lake Temple on 20 June 1894. Theron was born 28 November 1897 and in 1898 Father left for a mission in the Southern States.
As far back as I can remember Father was away from home most of the time. Grandfather Kirk gave them part of his farm when they married. Father didn't like farming and he mortgaged the farm to buy sheep. He lost out on them and being from a long line of miners, he then went to mining, ruining his health and struggling to make a living. Mother didn't want to raise their family in a mining town so she stayed on the farm and Father came as often as he could to see us. It was a hard life for them being separated so much. I am sure as a family we didn't appreciate their loneliness and problems and we should be grateful that we were raised on the farm. Father had a great deal of influence on our lives, but we must give Mother much credit for the training we received. She sacrificed so much for her family and was a wonderful Mother. She taught us to work and there was a lot of love in the home. I was young when I had to help with the housework, so small I had to put the pan on a chair to knead the bread when I made it. I was about eight years old when Mother taught me how to make bread. I remember I had a cousin, Lola Cluff, visiting with Grandma Cullimore and I had to mix bread before I could go to play with her. When I got through I made sure I left a little dough around my fingernails so l could brag about what had done.
My experience with smoking is the most popular story of my life. It happened a while before I turned eight. Mother bad been writing letters and had used all the stamps in her stamp book, so I asked if I could have it. Those little wax pages looked, to me, like cigarette papers. I took Milton and we went out in the back yard to play. l went looking for some "tobacco" to use in the "cigarette papers” The dirt that most resembled tobacco seemed to be by the chicken coop, so we had our tobacco and our papers. I told Milton to go to the house for some matches. Mother heard him getting them and, instead of stopping him, she followed him to see what he was going to do with them. We climbed up on the hay wagon to smoke. I got mine rolled first and put it in my mouth, struck a match and as l lite the "cig" I sucked in. I got my mouth full of dirt. I was just telling Milton "Don't suck in!" when I saw Mother peeking around the chicken coop. I jumped to the ground and ran into the bam. I found every hole in the hay stack but before she got to me, I ran to the next one. Finally, I ran out of holes and had to face her. I don't remember what she said except that if I never did it again, the Lord would forgive me when I was baptized. And I kept that promise. I never tried smoking again. Just a note: That "tobacco" tasted terrible. Mother and Father never did much spanking. I don't remember Father ever giving me a spat and Mother, just once.
The first two acres of beets we raised were a job to thin. The three older children 'blocked' the beets and we four younger children had to thin them. We weren't very old and it was slow work. It took over two weeks to finish those two acres. We had an apple orchard too and there were several rows of summer apples. The apples were a job too. Like berries, they ripened a few at a time and we had to go over them twice a week for about a month. That was worse than the fall apples. When we picked those we could strip the trees as we went.
It was my job to make lunches for the boys when we were in school. I never learned to milk but I did about everything else, feed chickens and pigs sometimes. Some summers we would be low on feed for the cows and we would have to herd them along the roadside while they fed.
We always had a garden. When I was younger, I often had to ride the horse as we cultivated the garden with a single row cultivator. I also got to, or had to, ride the horse on the fork when the hay was hauled and stored in the bam. I made a pretty good tom-boy. Most of the neighbor kids were boys and I didn't enjoy dolls much.
We had to make our own amusement. Of course there was no radio. Mother bought her first one about two months before I was married--so we had to depend on our ingenuity and we had fun. I think more than kids do now. Most of the time we were content to play by ourselves. On occasion the kids in the neighborhood would get together in the evening to play.
In the Spring Mother would set hens to increase her flock. Usually there were eggs that didn't hatch so we would take them and play "Smash the Pile". We would make three mounds of dirt and while one person hid his face, an egg was put in one of the mounds. Then the one who wasn't looking would take a stick and see if he could guess which pile by hitting it. Then there was "Kick the Can" and "Run Sheep, Run". There were a lot of things to do. When the grain was ripe it was made in to bundles and they were built into shocks to dry before it was hauled and stacked for threshing. While it was in the shocks we spent a lot of evenings playing "Hide and Seek". We never worried about not having anything to do.
Father planted an orchard, about a half-acre, just to the south and west of our house. The larger apple orchard was back of the bam, but the little one was a delight. They were planted years before I was born so they were large trees when I was a child. There were a lot of summer apples. One tree started ripening the last of June and for the rest of the year there were apples to eat in the orchard. I don't know the names of the first one that ripened, then there was Red Astriken, Coddling (transparent), Sweet Bough, Summer Queen, and Rhode Island Greening. The trees grew so you could climb in them or just sit on a branch and eat. One tree had a nice branch to hang a swing. There was about every other kind of fruit but I enjoyed the apples. In the fall we had to stay out of school for two or three weeks to pick the apples in the large orchard. That was work and I was always glad to get back to school.
I enjoyed school and did pretty well in it. We lived about a half mile from school and the kids in those days walked. Some who lived farther out were given a ride if the weather was too bad but most of the time everyone walked. No busses. Nina Vance taught me in the first grade, Miss Baird the second, Emily Anderson third, the fourth I don't remember, it could have been Miss Anderson,
Ethel Fenton fifth and sixth and Robert Walker seventh and eighth. Then we went to high school.
The schools were very strict about everyone staying out of school if anyone in the family had a contagious disease, so a couple of winters we all had a six weeks’ vacation. No matter what the disease we had to stay out for six •weeks. Theron and Goldie were living with us one winter when Goldie got diphtheria. All of the family were out of school. It was snow and ice time so we kids enjoyed sleighing and skating. Another year Verl and Odeal had scarlet fever so Milton and I had great fun on the ice and snow. The water came down the ditch and flooded the lawn and made a good skating rink. Milton and I did a lot of skating that winter. By the time the six weeks were up and we were out of quarantine, spring had come and we were enjoying that. Verl and Odeal had been in a room by themselves. Mother used to go in and out, but she was the only one allowed in the room. When the weather was good enough, and I'm sure the boys were over the disease, they would come outside. When they got close to us, Milton and I would run away from them and they kept us on the run. Then after the six weeks, Mother bought formaldehyde candles to burn in the room to fumigate it. It didn’t seem like we had any problem catching up in school when we got back.
A couple of things I did, I guess I should tell about. They both happened in the seventh grade. Rebba Smith liked to sit with me to do arithmetic. She was on the left of me and there really wasn't room for both of us in a single desk. One day I got a bit tired of nearly being pushed out of my seat and having her arm in my way. Mr. Walker, the teacher, had left the room and I told her if she didn't go back to her own seat I was going to bite her nose. Well, she didn't go and so I tried to carry out my threat. She ducked her head and I hung on, trying to get at her nose. She told me Mr. Walker was watching, but I knew she just wanted me to stop, and I wouldn't. After she told me about the third time I glanced up and sure enough there he was just inside the door watching, as well as everyone else in the room. I imagine you could have sold me for a red beet. She went back to her own seat and Mr. Walker, with a smile on his face, went on about the business of teaching.
Mr. Overlade, our music teacher, came from Pleasant Grove two or three times a week to teach us. We didn't have a piano but he had a pitch pipe and so we sang. He taught us how to read music and we did pretty well. One time he told us the story of the opera "Madame Butterfly". Then as an assignment we had to write the story, either as a story or as a play. Well Rebba wrote a play and we voted to put the play on. There was a room or two in the school that were not being used. Mr. Walker gave us permission to use one of them to practice and stage the play. When we had our lessons done he would let us practice the play. There were eight or ten of us as I remember. We decided we needed curtains to draw so all of us brought old sheets or blankets from home to make a stage. Rebba wrote four acts with about a half dozen scenes in each act. The curtain pullers were busier than the actors. With all this bedding around someone came up with the idea of sleeping in the school house one night. We talked about it for a week or two and one by one the girls "dropped out", so when the night came there were only three of us who were "game", Manetta Gilman, Leda Walker and me. I took about three times the lunch I usually did that day. We had a problem---how to stay there after the janitors left. We went to the room to clean it and we took a long time. Then we went out to the outhouse to wait until everyone had gone. It must have been after 5:00 before Mr. Downs drove away. Then we had another problem---how to get in the school house. We looked around and found a window open on the east side of the building. We pushed the window up and Leda and Manetta crawled in. Chubby as I was, I couldn't climb high enough. They went running up the stairs and when they got nearly to the top, Miss Miller, an old maid school teacher, came out of her room and stood at the head of the stairs. They did a quick turnabout and came down faster than they went up. They flew out the window. The funny thing was, an outside door was wide open all the time. Anyway we ran, and I mean ran, back to the outhouse. We didn't dare stay there for fear she would follow us. There was a high board fence on the east side of the school so we ran back of that down the road and up the street. There was never a time in my school life that I hated to go to school like that next morning. We were sure we would be expelled. Miss Miller either didn't tell Mr. Walker or she didn't recognize the girls. Anyway nothing happened. We didn't try it again. I never did do anything really bad, but no one saw me with a halo either. It didn't occur to us that our families would worry when we didn't come home after school.
I did well in school. I didn't care for History and Geography, but all the rest I enjoyed. Samuel Kirk, a cousin, was senior advisor the year 1 graduated from High School. He told Mother that when they were trying to choose the Valedictorian it was between Blanche Mitchell and me. She had taken Public Speaking and I hadn't so they gave it to her. She was good. I graduated from Seminary that same year and gave a talk in that graduation. Warren B. Smith, the Stake Patriarch, used to come to the Seminary one day a week to give Blessings. During my Seminary class period I used to write for him as he gave the Blessing. Brother Smith gave me my Patriarchal Blessing when I was twelve years old.
I went to High School in Pleasant Grove. We lived just under three miles from school and you had to live at least three miles away to ride the bus. We had to find ways to get there. Nona's husband, Elwood Baxter, taught school in Manilla, a small school north of Pleasant Grove, so I rode with him one year. Milton and Verl drove the car a year or two and one year I rode the bus, and paid for the ride. It was some bus! The Hale family bought a big truck. It had canvas sides and a drop canvas at the back to use when it was cold. They built wood benches around the sides and that was the bus. The Hale boys, Brown and Reed, went to school and they drove the truck. It was good there were no accidents. It got us to school.
We lived so far from school and I was tenably shy so I didn't take part much in school activities. I did sing in the chorus one year in the Operetta the school put on; "The Bohemian Girl". I always went to Church. In Primary the boys graduated at twelve years, but the girls had to go until they were fourteen. A year or two after I graduated, they changed the age for girls to twelve. They didn't have many activities in M.I.A. Not like they do these days. They did put on two or three plays every winter. That was fun. I was always given the "stuck up" parts. But I was in them anyway. They had dances in the Wards about every two weeks, and that was about all the entertainment we had.
I went to Sunday school from the time I was old enough. The Ward was divided when I was about ten years old. We were in the new Ward. In those days only one Ward used each building, so we were out. We were allowed the use of the school house to hold meetings and there was an amusement ball separate from the Church. It, too, was in the other Ward, but we could rent the use of it for our activities. Dividing the ward split me and my best girlfriend, Rebba, but there were others in our ward.
As we grew into our teen years we really did have a nice group of young people in the Ward. There were twelve to fifteen girls and about the same number of boys. They were all good kids. No smoking or drinking. We used to have house parties a time or two a month. There was not much to amuse us. We had to go at least three miles to see a movie. There were no TV’s, not even radios then. It may sound like a dull life but it wasn't. We were happy and content. The parties and the dances were good. A gang of boys from American Fork started coming over. Two of the girls started dating two of the boys. Most of the "gang" used to smoke and drink. When then they came to the parties there was a different feeling. It proved to me that smoking and drinking do not make happiness. The two girls married the boys. One reformed and became active in the Church. The other went the other way. I think he died because of his drinking.
I don't know if those boys from American Fork went to school or sloughed classes, but they were usually in Pleasant Grove to talk to the girls during the noon hour. Sometimes two or three of the girls would slough too and would ride around during the afternoon. It never interested me. One day one of the boys who didn't drink or smoke asked me to go with him to American Fork to a basketball game between American Fork and Pleasant Grove. That night I asked Mother if I could go. She wasn’t much impressed with that gang. Father was home at the time and she told me to ask him. So I did. He wanted to know if he was the kind of boy I wanted to marry. I thought, "Gee, I just want to go to a ball game." He knew that you marry someone you "go with". Anyway, I went on that one date and that was enough. He did turn out to be a fine man, but I was never comfortable around that gang.
Theron, Nona and Belva all dropped out of school before they graduated. Odeal made it through High School in three years. He lacked one credit from having enough to graduate. But he had taken Church History in Seminary, and the high school would not give credit for that, but B.Y.U. did. It gave him enough to go to B.Y.U. Anyway be didn't graduate from High School, but he went to college. The folks were happy about it and times were hard, but Father told me to let him know when I needed money for graduation clothes and he would send it. This was the first time in my life that everything I had on was new. He sent me $50.00 and I bought cloth and made my dress. When I bought a coat, hat, shoes and "undies". It was great and I did appreciate Father's efforts. I knew an extra fifty was a strain on his money.
Father came home for High School graduation and Seminary graduation. It was a great day for me. But, you know, I didn't thank him for the money. I'm sure he knew how much I appreciated it, but I didn’t tell him. He left in a few days. I decided when he came home again I would tell him. He came home in a month or so but I put it off again. I thought I would sure tell him the next time he came home. Then he wrote and told Mother he would get the money so I could go to B. Y.U. in the fall. I did appreciate it all and I was registering at the University when the Bishop came to get me, and tell me that Father had passed away the night before. Odeal was in his last year of College and there wasn't money for two of us to go so I never went back. That hasn't hurt me nearly so much as not thanking him for the effort be put forth to make things happy for me. I would like to suggest to anyone who might read this; when someone does something nice for you, be sure to tell them you appreciate it. You never know when it might be too late.
As I said, I never got back to school again. There just wasn't money for it. Mother had such a struggle all her life, especially while raising the family, trying to make ends meet. Father was a hard worker but there wasn't much money. Living on a farm, there was always food and we didn't have a lot of clothes like now, but we were happy and content with what we had. It was a struggle though.
I was a berry glommer. From the time I was about twelve years old, I went every spring and summer to pick berries. Strawberries ripened about the first of June. We picked for about a month. Before they were gone the raspberries started and they went too, for about a month, and then there were dewberries. I spent about 2 1/2 months picking berries. I didn't crawl well so I wasn't too fast at strawberries. I could bold my own at raspberries though. Dewberries were "low-growing" and thorny but they paid more to pick them. We bad to work Sundays a lot. The berries had to be on the market the day after they were picked. So they gave us Saturday off and worked Sunday. One owner didn't make us work Sunday more than necessary. He said as sure as we had to work Sunday, it would rain or something during the week and be would lose out.
There wasn't any work around the area. Two or three girls in the Ward went to Salt Lake City and worked in a maternity home. I thought of going but Father had passed away that fall and Mother didn't want me to leave, so I gave that up. Florence Cobbley and I went to Provo and applied for a job in one of the stores but we never heard anything from that so I guess I was content to stay home. Of course I didn't just twiddle my thumbs all the time, I got out and picked berries for about three months in the summer and there were apples to pick at home in late summer and fall. I did a lot of sewing for the family. I took sewing in school and learned how to draft patterns. We didn't buy many clothes ready made in those days, so I sewed a lot for the family. I did some sewing for Nona and Belva, and for Mother. I made Belva's wedding dress. I made shirts for the boys. I even made some of their shorts. My Grandmother Cullimore always wore long black skirts and white blouses but she wanted a regular dress. She couldn't buy one readymade, she was round shouldered. So I was able to draft a pattern and make her a dress. I said she was round shouldered. From her neck to her waist in the back was twenty-one inches; in the front only seven, but I made her a dress that fit nicely, and she loved it. I seemed like there was always something to do. We couldn't sit and watch television or even listen to the radio. You see they weren't even around then. The radio Mother bought just before I was married was a beauty to behold. It was a two piece affair. The box was about eight inches by ten inches and two feet long. The speaker was separate, connected by wires. The speaker was about the size and shape of a twelve inch fan. The whole outfit was gold color. It was great, and a good thing for Mother. Milton and Verl were still at home after I left, but they were gone many of the evenings, so it was company for her.
On Saturday afternoon, the 23rd of July 1927, I remember the day, Afton Steiner called to ask if I would like to go dancing that night. He was dating my friend, Emma Wright, and he said he had a friend visiting from Idaho and be asked if I would go with him. I accepted and that night, on a blind date I met Mr. Tolman. We went dancing at the dance pavilion at Geneva, located on Utah Lake. We had a nice evening. When I got home, Mother asked about him. I told her he was short and fat. The next morning, at breakfast Milton and Verl were curious. I told them he was a Tolman. I guess I said Tal more than Tol. Milton said "He is not, he is short and fat." Not many people date a short, fat Tolman. The next day, Sunday, we went for a ride in Provo Canyon. As we were riding along, Emma asked: Mr. Tolman, what his first name was. He told her it was Lawrence, and she just about exploded. She said Zina, his name is Lawrence!" The guys didn't know what was going on and I was a bit embarrassed. A year or two before, I'd had a dream. In the dream I married a Mr. Lawrence. I had told Emma about the dream and she remembered.
Since the 24th was on Sunday, we celebrated on Monday. We had a nice time. On Tuesday he returned to Idaho.
Grandma Cullimore was staying with us at the time. She was a little English Lady, quite set in her mind about how a young lady should act. She was a little disturbed with some of her granddaughters and so it surprised me when she said; "you’ll be hearing from him.'' She seemed to approve. She was acquainted with the Steiners. I don't know if she liked him because he knew the Steiners or if she just liked his looks. Anyway it surprised me.
She was right though. Before the week was over I had a letter. Lawrence almost always used pink stationery. The boys used to kid me. They could always tell when I got a letter. Neither of us enjoyed writing letters most of the time, but most of our courting was done through the mail. I guess "Uncle Sam" appreciated our business. Lawrence came to see me every two or three months for a couple of days each time, which was nice. In July 1928, Emma and Afton were married. When Lawrence was there for the reception, he gave me my diamond. Emma didn't know about it. The first time I wore it was at their reception. Someone going through the wedding line told Emma I was wearing a diamond. She left the line and ran clear across the hall to see if it was true.
Emma and Afton went to Burley where he worked the rest of that summer. In September Lawrence invited me to go to Burley to visit Emma and Afton and also meet his family. I stayed in the apartment with Emma and Afton. Mother was surprised that he didn't take me to his home, but their house was small and full of family. I spent quite a little time with them. I don't know who was the most nervous when he took me to meet the family. The only thing was, there were more of them. It •was an easy family to get acquainted with. They really did accept me and I felt right at home with them. I remember the five boys--Ray, Roy, Harold, Jerald and Leo all came in the house together. They looked like they felt they were on display just as I did. They were in overalls and barefoot and I don't think there was more than five inches difference in their heights. I had a good time and felt like I had been accepted.
Lawrence went back with me when I went home. On the bus was a man from Florida who seemed to sense we were sweethearts. He told us he would build us a new home in Florida if we would get married when we got to Salt Lake City. Florida was a long way from home, and we had always planned a temple marriage and I couldn't have done that to my Mother, and Lawrence wasn't taken with the offer either.
We were thinking seriously now about a wedding date. I thought I would like to be married on the 10th of January, Nona and Elwood's wedding anniversary, Lawrence wanted to be with me during the holidays but didn't really feel like he could come and stay that long before we were married. We decided to get married on 19 December, which was Theron and Goldie's anniversary. That worked out better.
We had a busy fall. For several years I had been putting things in my trousseau. I had pillow cases and dish towels and dresser scarves, etc., but we bought sheets and mad some quilts. I had about everything I needed to set up housekeeping. I bought my wedding dress, it was a tan street dress, but it was pretty. There were about six girls in the crowd that married that year and not one wore a white wedding dress. I did make a nice white one to wear to the Temple. It was a bit expensive for Mother, but she had received a little money from the estate when Grandma Cullimore passed away in 1927. She saved some so I could have a nice wedding.
December came. Lawrence came from Burley on Saturday. On Monday we went to Provo to get our license. We didn't have to take blood tests in those days. Wednesday the 19th of December 1928, was a cold day. We had to catch the inter-urban, an electric car that ran through the country from Salt Lake City to Payson, about 6:00a.m. Milton took us to the station. There was about a foot of snow. They didn’t plow the roads in those days so the ruts were about a foot deep. We got to Salt Lake City about 7:30 a.m. and walked the two blocks to the Temple. Mother and Emma and Afton Steiner were with us. There were nineteen couples getting married that day so it was about 3:00 p.m. when we got out of the Temple. It was a lovely day for us. Never in all my life since then have I regretted it. We loved each other and had a good life together. Lawrence asked if I would like to stay in Salt Lake City overnight but Emma and Afton got off at another stop, and Mother would have to walk alone the mile from the station to her home, so we went with her and got home about 10:00 p.m. A long, lovely day.
We bad our reception the next evening. We had a nice group come out for it and we received a lot of lovely gifts. We got about everything we needed to set up housekeeping.
When we got married Lawrence did not have a job. He had $100.00, but you could rent a furnished apartment for $15.00, and a large sack of groceries cost dollar or two. You could find work of some kind, and we got going.
Lawrence, of course, came about a week before Christmas, and about a week into the holidays we went to Provo and found a two-room apartment. The owners lived on the ground floor and we shared the bathroom with a bachelor who also had an apartment. We hardly saw him, he was gone all day. After we found the apartment, Lawrence wanted to move in. He felt like he was imposing on Mother, so about sundown we got one of the boys to drive us to Provo. Mother hated to see us go that time of night. I think she hated to see me leave home.
Lawrence didn't have a steady job, but he was able to find some work, mostly unloading coal cars, He was pretty black when he came home, but with a little soap and water and he looked good, as new. It was fun being there with him. He decided to grow a mustache. I didn't like it. My Father had worn a mustache most of his life. I thought if I told Lawrence I liked it, he would shave it off.
He got tired of it, but kept it because he thought I liked it because my Father had worn one. When I found out how he felt about it I let him know I didn't like it, so it soon came off.
Lawrence only went through the eighth grade, but he loved to read, and he did a great deal of it. He liked to read out loud after we were married. While I was working around the house, he would read out loud. We had never done any of that at home when I was growing up. We read to ourselves. I’m sorry I didn't have more patience, but his reading aloud bothered me and I asked him not to. He read some novels, but the trouble with that was that once he started, he would read until he finished the book. Sometimes it would take most of the night and I couldn't sleep with the light on so I discouraged that. After a few years he quit reading novels, he felt like most of them were a waste of time. Most of his reading was Church literature. It is too bad I couldn't get used to his reading out loud. I would have learned a lot more. I never was a great reader.
We had a lot of fun. It was almost like "playing house". Our bed was an old wooden one with wood slats across the frame to bold the springs up. One night when we were going to bed he was feeling frisky. He took a big leap over the foot of the bed and when he landed, the slats gave way and the bed went to the floor with a bang. We were laughing about it when we beard the people from downstairs coming up to see what the noise was. The lights were out and we stopped laughing out loud. •when they came up, the bachelor was out in the hall, and they were all wondering what had made the noise. Of course we could hear them talking and they finally decided it had been some snow sliding off the roof. Just the foot of the bed went down so we slept on a slant all night. The next morning Lawrence had to go downstairs to borrow a hammer to fix the bed. He didn't tell them that it happened because he took a flying leap. Oh, to be young again.
We bad been living in Provo about a month when Mother fell and broke her wrist. She then needed help so we gave up the apartment and moved back home to help her. While we were with her, Lawrence went to American Fork and got a job at the creamery. He bad to ride the inter-urban to get back and forth to work. One night he was late getting home, and I was worried. It was about 10:00 p.m. when he came. He had heard about a store having a sale in Lehi and had gone shopping. I don't remember all he bought except for two pairs of children's stockings. They were the long stockings we used to wear. They would fit a six year old child. I thought it was funny, but we put them away and they did come in handy in a few years.
We stayed with Mother until she could use her arm again and then we got a little apartment in
American Folk. It was a bit inconvenient, so in about a month we found a house about a mile east of town. Lawrence walked back and forth to work. We stayed there for three or four months and then got another apartment in town. He was offered a night watchman job at the creamery and he thought by taking it, it would insure his job for the winter, but in the fall he was laid off. He was able to work at odd jobs, enough to keep us going. Our Bishop came one night with a sack of groceries and a sack of flour, but we didn't accept it. We were embarrassed, and we were getting along okay.
The big bank closures and the "Great Depression" came in October, which didn't help much. Beth was born 24 November 1929. All of the children were born at home. That winter he got a job at the egg processing plant. Things went pretty well. Emma and Afton also lived in American Fork.
Vole spent a lot of evenings together. With babies it was hard to go much. Orla Dean was born on 19
January 1931, and they had two boys about the same ages as our girls, so we spent a lot of time playing cards. We mostly played Pinochle. That was the most interesting game I ever played, although card playing is really a waste of time.
Lawrence worked at the plant about a year. One day he was stacking cases of eggs. Another employee was on the ground floor putting the cases of eggs down a chute and Lawrence was in the basement catching them and stacking them. The other guy put them down the chute too fast. Lawrence asked him to slow down a bit, but he didn't. Some eggs were broken and they blamed Lawrence, so be was laid off.
It was about this time that Orla was born. We had to watch our pennies. He heard of an old fellow who needed someone to run his farm. Lawrence went to see him and got the job. We moved then to the farm. They let us have one room in their house with another one upstairs, but that was inconvenient, so one room was our kitchen, living room and bedroom. It was a large room and worked okay.
Orla was about a month old when we moved to the farm and Beth was about fifteen months old. That was a busy time. Beth wanted to play with Orla, but she didn't know how. I had a time keeping Beth off of Orla. I put Orla in the baby bed, but Beth soon learned how to climb into it. One day when I was washing I put Orla on my bed and Beth in the baby bed, and pinned a blanket over her so she would stay in the bed. When I came in from hanging doilies, Beth was sitting on top of the blanket. We got a jumper" and when I had to leave them for a few minutes, I put Beth in it. I had to keep an eye on Beth when I let her out of doors. Hunters raised pigs and I had to keep her away from those pens. We had a nice front porch and there were cement walks around the house. I took Beth's shoes off when she went out doors. She could play on the porch, but the cement was hot and she couldn't walk on it barefoot. There was a clotheslines that ran the length of the lawn. We got a rope about ten feet long and tied it to the line and to Beth. She hated it. She wouldn't even go to the length of the rope. When we tied it to her, she would just sit down and cry. So that didn't work.
Since the farm didn't pay much until fall, and we had to live, Lawrence got a job on the railroad and LeRoy came to live with us to help on the farm. A year of that was enough. The folks sent a truck from Burley and we loaded our belongings and moved to Idaho. We first lived in Gus Johnson's house and then in Moan Mannings. We didn't have a car and we were now a mile straight through the field from Lawrence's family. Lawrence worked most of the summer for farmers in the area. He worked ten to twelve hours a day for about three dollars. Money was pretty tight. Beth and Orla needed Sunday dresses, and there was no material to make them. I had outgrown my wedding dress, and another I bad was too short, so I cut them up and made the girls each a dress. I didn't have a sewing machine, so I made them by hand.
I sent an "idea" to some magazine, I don\ remember what or which magazine, and received one dollars’ worth of two cent stamps. Wouldn't you know they then raised postage from two cents to three cents. So I met the mailman one day and changed 1/3 of them for one cent stamps. You know, at the time we never felt discouraged or hard put upon. We seemed to have the essentials and we were happy. Everyone was struggling.
That summer Hazel was born. We walked through the fields to go see her. She was born at home. I remember taking Beth and Orla in to see their "new aunt". They were wide eyed and I said, "Should we take her home with us?" Grandma Tolman spoke up and said, "You bet you won't". It was her sixteenth child and she was just as important as any one of the others.
We did do a lot of moving. That fall Lawrence got a job at the sugar factory, and we moved to Burley, into a little house in the southwest part of town. The campaign ended in January. Lawrence got a car and we went to Utah to visit the folks for about a month. Then we had to get back because Clara was due in less than a month. We had given up the house and were living with his folks where were going to stay until Clara was born. We rented one room in town where Lawrence and I were going to stay and have the baby. The folks were going to keep the girls, but a week or so before she was born, some of the family came down with typhoid fever. So we took the girls and we had a room full. Clara was born 28 February 1933, another beautiful baby in the family.
Lawrence and his Dad talked it over and decided Lawrence should rent a farm that summer. He didn't have machinery or anything to pull it. Dad offered him the use of his machinery, but he had to find horses, and he sure didn’t have money to buy any. He heard of someone who had a span of mules, who would let him use them for the summer if he would break them. So he tried it Instead of breaking them they almost broke him. I said after his encounter with those mules, his disposition was never the same. They were mean. One bucked and the other reared. He had to leave the harnesses on them. They were too mean to harness and unharness. One night Lawrence was thrashing around in bed. I asked him what the matter was. He said, "Can't you see them on the ceiling?" I told him "no", and asked what he could see. He said "I think they are mules". So he returned the mules. Somewhere then, he got two horses. One was the biggest horse I had ever seen and the other was small. It was quite a team, but much better than the mules. So he got through the summer.
We planted a garden. One day I was getting some peas and new potatoes ready for dinner. Beth wanted to know if she could help "undo the peas and scratch the potatoes".
When we were married I said I wouldn't be happy until I could return to the home ward to live. Well I lied. We never got back to live in the home ward, but I was happy. We didn't go to Church much that first year. Often we went to Mother's to visit on Sunday. A year later Beth arrived and I couldn't go with a small baby. By now Lawrence had tired of missing Church. I stayed home with the baby and he went to church. A year or so later Orla came, and I just couldn't go with two babies. I went once in a while, but not often. Then when we moved out to that farm, we were over two miles from church with three little ones and I was tired of staying home. So we bought a little red wagon, put the girls in it and off to church we went.
One day that summer, Raymond and Elsie Johnson came by. He was taking her to Relief Society work meeting and wanted to know if I would like to go. It was about three and a half miles away. So I hurried and got myself ready, and the girls too. On the way she informed me that Raymond would not be able to come and get us. So, late in the afternoon we were a long way from home; Clara was a babe in arms and Elsie had taken one of her children too. Orla was two and Beth was three. A long walk home. We had to pass Grandpa Tolman's. I think they were a bit disgusted with me. At the time, they didn't have a car either. It looked like a long hot walk, but one of the boys got one of their horses and we put Beth and Orla and Elsie's boy on the horse. I don't know when we would have made it otherwise. The farm we lived on had no electricity so we used lamps. I had an electric washer. I had to scrub the clothes on a washboard, and used the washer for a rinse tub. I had to iron all their clothes with stove irons. Now it sounds like rough work, but at the time it wasn't that bad. We were happy.
Lawrence decided that summer, that he didn't want to farm. He read an ad about the Raleigh Company wanting salesmen so he wrote to them and they had a "route" in South Sevier County in Utah.
He decided to try it, and in the middle of February 1934, we left Idaho for Utah.
When we were married, we bought (on time) some furniture. We got a cook stove and kitchen cabinet, a table and chairs, a couch, and a bed and dresser. Times had been so hard we were unable to keep up the payments and they came to Burley from American Fork to repossess them. They let us keep the beds, but took the rest of it. I guess that was one reason we never bought anything on credit again unless it was absolutely necessary.
We stopped and visited with Mother on the way through Orem. Verl and Ora were married on 21 February. Mother's dining room needed papering, so while Mother was gone to the temple with Verl and Ora, Nona took care of the girls and Lawrence and I got paper and papered her room. We were in bed when she got home, but we were still awake. When she came in and turned the light on, we heard one big gasp. She really did appreciate having the room fixed.
On a Saturday, Lawrence decided we should be on our way so we left Mother's and arrived in Central, Sevier County, late in the afternoon. We were able to rent a two room house from Etta Hawley, but it was unfurnished. We were there too late in the day to go buy a stove or anything and in February it was cold. We spent most of Sunday in bed. Lawrence and I could have gone into Etta's house to keep warm but she didn’t welcome the children. Anyway we lived through it and on Monday we picked up some second hand stuff to get by. Of course, the depression was in full force, and we did struggle to make a go of it.
Lawrence ordered the Raleigh products and started his new job. He had the south half of Sevier County and all of Wayne County. He was gone one week each month when he went to Wayne County. He didn't have enough money to buy a lot of products and he had to get some Bondsman to sign for him so he could buy on time. That helped things a lot. That way he had more variety of products and he, in tum, could sell on time. For the times he did pretty good. We were able to buy an acre of land. He hauled a lot of rock from the canyon and then traded products for labor for some rock masons to cut the rock and lay a basement for us. We covered the roof with clay. A lot of them did that there. The ground was all heavy red clay and it sure was a mess when it rained. The basement wasn't completely finished when we moved in, in fact we never did get if fixed up real good. The clay kept the rain out very well the first time. What we didn't know was that you had to rake the clay when it dried. The second rain came through like a sieve. When the clay dried it cracked and the water came right through. We mopped a lot of water. Later he was able, by trading product for labor, to have the house built on up and put a roof on it which helped. We never were able to finish the house and live in the top.
We raised a big garden. We bought a pressure canner and a can sealer and cans. I didn't read the instructions, so the first cans of com were all out of shape when they came out of the canner. I just put the raw corn in the cans and sealed them. You have to put in on the stove and bring it to a boil to get rid of the gas. Anyway the first cans were all out of shape but they were sealed and were alright to eat. We got a cow and it was fine when Lawrence was there to milk it. I did try, but I never was able to milk a cow "dry". I just didn't have the strength in my hands. So when he was away we had one of the Marble boys come and milk for us. In the summer, to save hay, we had the kids take the cow out along the roadside to feed every day. Marbles did the same and so the cows fed together and the Marble children and ours watched them together. One day it passed noon and the children hadn't brought the cow home. At 2:00 I decided to go see why they hadn't come for dinner. I walked up the road where they were supposed to be, but couldn't see them. I kept going up to the river and still no kids or cows. Some of the kid's clothes were on the ground a little way from the river. That scared me. I did find the cows in Vernal Larsen's field, but no children. The river was high. I supposed they had gone swimming and were drowned. I rushed to town to get help and then rushed back. When I got up to the river again I saw the kids coming down the hill. They had gone up to a house to get a drink. They had lost the cows and didn't dare come home without them. I then had to hurry to let folks know they were O.K. It was a relief to know they had not been in the river. They had gotten warn and shed some of their clothes. They got to playing and the cows had gone into a field surrounded by willows. While I was disgusted with them, it was a great relief to find them safe.
We used to raise a pig for winter meat. One year I was pulling weeds in the garden to feed the pig. Clara was about three years old and was helping me. She said, "Mama, when the pig gets as big as you, are we going to kill it?"
One day I got the old #3 tub out and put water in it. I said the first one undressed could have the first bath so clothes were flying and Orla jumped in the tub and found she had forgotten to take her shoes off.
Central was a small town. There was a two room school but the children were taught well. The Church was a one room building with curtains to pull to separate classes in Sunday school and Primary. While we were there they built a new Church. It was small, but it was nice. We moved from there soon after it was finished. The ward was small and there was plenty to do for everyone. Lawrence was ordained a Seventy while we were in Central. He worked for several years as a Stake Missionary. The last year or two I was called to work with him. We were stake Missionaries when we left there to move to California. At one time I had four jobs in the ward. Thinking back, I shouldn't have taken so many jobs. It was too much when the children were small. It took too much time away from them.
Lawrence knew that I had always wanted to play the piano, but I had never had the chance. He bought me an accordion, but without lessons I couldn't master the buttons with the left hand. So he had the chance and brought home an old organ. It was in good condition, and I had fun with it. I got so I could play a few of the easy hymns. I did enjoy it. I don't know how our Relief Society president found out about it, but one day when I went to Relief Society she asked me to play for the singing (they were short of piano players). I told her I didn't think I could, but she insisted so I tried. Not having practiced and being scared, I played all over the piano. After the first verse, the president said, "That's fine Zina, we'll sing the rest without the piano." That began and ended my music career.
We found that the best way to get acquainted in an area was to go to church. One thing about that little ward; on Easters, and when Christmas came on Sunday, the Bishop would dismiss all meetings so the people could celebrate. One Christmas we had gone to the church for the Christmas party. Lawrence was the Sunday School Superintend so he stayed to help straighten things up and I took the family home to get them to bed. They were all settled in bed when he came home. He said the Gray's bad invited us to come to their house. They were having a party. They were older than we were and we wondered why we were invited, but we went. There were five or six couples there. A group that chased around together, and us. We felt out of place. They started serving drinks. They insisted we take one so we did, but we didn't drink it. We just sat and held it. So they gathered up the glasses and soon there was another round of drinks. The same thing happened again. About the fourth or fifth round one of the men said, "Leave them alone, they don't want to drink it." Some of them were beginning to feel pretty good. One of the women tried to kick the ceiling light. We excused ourselves to go home and take care of Christmas. We never did figure out why we were invited, unless to see if we would drink. One year they asked Lawrence to play Santa for the Primary. After the kids had left for Primary, Lawrence got into his suit. We stuffed a pillow under the suit so he would be more authentic. Of course the girls and Kirk were excited about the party and Santa. Beth said, "You know Santa Claus has underwear just like our pillow case." His shirt had parted and showed the pillow.
On Sundays with Lawrence and four children to get off to Sunday school. I thought I did pretty well; so I would stay home and have dinner ready when they came home. When Kirk was about four, he wanted to stay home too. I kept insisting he should go to Sunday school. He said, "If you will go, I'll go too." So I have attended Sunday school ever since.
When it was time for Beth to start school, I thought I would go with her the first day, but she informed me I didn't need to and that she could go by herself. One year when Beth and Orla were in school, all the kids in school seemed to have colds. They were all coughing. Then one of the boys started whooping. All the school had whooping cough, and since everyone had it, they let them all go to school. Clara and Kirk got it from the girls, but none had it very bad.
We were in Central about six and a half years. Lawrence did pretty good selling Raleigh products. This was during the depression, and there had been a drought for two or three years so times were hard. In the fall of 1940, Mary and Orville came by on their way to California for a visit, and Lawrence decided we should go along. We got someone to stay with the children and went with them. Lawrence decided to stay and look for work there. He got a job in the shipyards, and in November he came and moved us to California. When Lawrence left the Raleigh Company they went to the Bondsmen for their money. He really had more money out on credit than he owed the company, but being away from the area he never did collect it. He told the company if they would give him some time he would pay it off. So he sent them about $50 a month until it was paid off. It was only a few hundred dollars. When he got it paid off the company offered him another job in a more productive area, but he had a good job where he was.
Well, we were in California and had to find a place to live. With four children ages six through eleven, no one wanted to rent to us. That was just the ages they didn't want. One day one of the sisters in the Ward said. "Just take the children out to the cemetery while you go looking. If they ask about children just tell them you have four, but they are all in the cemetery." We did finally find a place. The Fords, A man and his sister, owned it. They had fixed the garage to live in and rented their house. We were glad to get it. They were junk dealers and their yard was stacked high. Even in their living quarters you couldn't see the floor for papers and such, but we had a place to stay, and we had a bathroom, something we hadn't had before. For a couple of weeks or so Kirk would run home from school so he could take a bath, but after a while that got old.
I worried about the kids getting lost, moving to a big city from a small town, but they found their way around quicker than I did. Like I said, the Fords were not the cleanest people in the world. One day she offered me some clam chowder she had made, but I got out of taking it somehow. I just couldn't stomach it. We were talking one day. I had left the blades to my food chopper in Utah, and she had just bought one and said I could borrow it when I wanted, so I sent Kirk over to borrow it one day. He brought it back and she was right behind him. She said, "Do you know what he asked me?"
I had no idea. He had asked her if it was clean. Kirk liked to go out in the yard and visit with them while they worked. Mr. Ford was a smoker and Kirk told him he should quit, and it wasn't good for him. They were quick to tell us what the kids said. We got along well with them, but after a few months, Lawrence found another place closer to his work and closer to school. We lived in that house until we left California. We had a chance to buy a house, a large one, but Lawrence didn't like the big city. He didn't plan on staying so he let it go. By the time we left there that house had doubled in price. Lawrence hated to go into debt, and I appreciated that.
We hadn't been in the Maywood Ward long before they asked me to be a counselor in Relief
Society. When they changed presidents I became Work Director. That was a job too. We put on a quilt to quilt, and another one to tie or quilt every work day. It was a job getting quilts ready. Then we had hand work too. It was a good Ward. I took over the custodian job at the Church for two or three years before we left. It was a big old building, and a lot of work, sometimes not looking much better after it was cleaned than before. But it gave me something to do. I got $35 a month for my work. I got a Social Security number and applied for a job and then told Lawrence. He told me to stay home with the family. I was easily persuaded. So the Church job worked out fine. We lived just a half block from the church. We never did own a car while in California. The family helped us a lot. The street car was close by and we managed very well. Most of the time we were in California Lawrence worked with the Adult Aaronic Priesthood. He enjoyed it.
I got ahead of my story. We moved to California on 11 November 1940. That year, Dad and the family still at home came to California for Christmas. He left Dean and Hazel with us, and the kids enjoyed that. Christmas Eve came but not Dad I thought sure he would come and get Dean and Hazel or at least bring them presents for Christmas, but he didn't. Lawrence was paid only once a month, on the first, and so by the end of December we were getting low on cash, but the worst was that all the stores closed at 6:00 on Christmas Eve. Come bedtime we hadn't seen nor heard from Dad, and with Christmas and Santa Claus we were not prepared for this situation. After the kids were all in bed, Lawrence and I started out to see if there possibly was a little store someplace where we could get a little something for Dean and Hazel. We walked and walked and walked. We were at least two miles from home when we gave up and turned back. I think we finally went into a bar and got a couple of trinkets, I don't remember what. I don't think I was ever more upset with Dad for doing this to us in all my life. He and the family had received their Christmas before they left Idaho, but that didn't help me that Christmas Eve.
We did enjoy the family. Dad and his family moved to California a month or two later. The older girls stayed in Idaho. Most of the family lived in the area. Marshal was the first to move to California, then Ray and Roy, Harold, Jerald and Leo. We moved down and then Dad and his younger children. Orville and Mary moved there about the same time as Dad. Mother Tolman had passed away in 1935. My sister, Nona, died in October before we moved. Mother really hated to see us go so far away, but she came down in the winter and stayed two or three months. She fell in love with the family, and they, and the people in the Ward were all so good to her. Every winter she would come during the cold weather and she hated to see us leave California more than when we moved there. The family got together often for picnics, and often of Saturday night we would go down to Los Angeles to a show. Usually we let the girls and Kirk go to a show on Saturday afternoon, and we would go in the evening. After the show we would get us a hamburger and root beer. Then we thought that for what we spent for our hamburger and root beer we could buy hamburger and buns and root beer for the whole family, and the kids could have some too.
Lawrence took advantage of night school. He took a class in welding and then worked as a welder most of the time he worked in the shipyard. He also took classes in photography and ceramics.
He bought us an old piano and I spent a couple of winters taking night piano classes. I never got good, but I could play enough to entertain myself.
All three of the girls started taking piano lessons at the same time. It was a mistake. It would have been easier on my nerves if they bad started six months apart. They had to practice an hour every day, and with all of them practicing the same tunes it got a bit rough. Some salesman came around with musical instruments he rented. We paid for the lessons and they got to use the instruments as long as they took the lessons. Beth wanted the guitar, and Orla wanted the violin. Clara stayed with the piano. Orla tried the violin, but she found she didn't like it. Beth took guitar lessons for a while.
We all enjoyed the Ward and the girls and Kirk did well in school and they didn't really want to leave California when we moved. We stayed in Bell about five years, and then Lawrence wanted to get out of the big city. We took a trip to Utah and he decided to stay and find a job, so I returned to California. He worked in Utah for a month or two and then went to Burley. There be got a job at the flour mill. We bad saved enough money, so he paid cash for a house. It was an old one, but it was comfortable. We stayed in Bell until school was out and Lawrence bought an old car and a trailer and moved. The war was still on, and gas was rationed. We went to the ration board to get gas to move and they said because we had just bought the car we were not entitled to gas coupons. Lawrence told them we had to have gas one way or another. Then he went to a service station and bought some "black market" coupons so we could go. We used half gas and half kerosene to get to Idaho. We had been in Idaho about two months when we got the ration stamps. The day after, rationing was removed from gas. Another little story about rationing: we got so many stamps (or coupons) per person for meat and butter, sugar, etc. If we needed more we had to go to the ration board, and apply for more stamps. Summer came, and Marshall's Mazy wanted more sugar for canning. She had some sugar, but needed more. She came to me and asked if I would go and apply for it. She said she couldn't lie. I'm sure she didn't mean it like it sounded. Anyway I got a kick out of it, and I did go and get the sugar for her.
That rationing was quite a thing. We were given so many stamps per month for each member of the family. The red coupons were for meat products, milk, butter etc., the blue ones were for sugar, coffee and canned foods. Folks who ate much meat would trade their other stamps to obtain the red ones for meat or vice versa. Anyway, we would stand in line to buy meat. We always had enough stamps. During canning season I would have to visit the ration board for extra sugar. There was also stamps for gasoline, but we didn't have a car. I think I bought more gum during that shortage than any other time. If you saw a line of people, you would check to see what was being sold, or get in line and find out later. There was always plenty of food. Sometimes you might have to substitute, and you bought what you could when you could.
As I said, when school was out Lawrence came to move us to Idaho. The Ward had a party for us the night before we left. It was toward the end of June. We stopped to see Mother in Utah on the way and then, on a Sunday, about the first of July, we left to go on to Idaho. In northern Utah the trailer had a flat tire. We didn't have any spare, so Lawrence unhooked the trailer and left us with it while he went back to a service station to get the tire fixed. A little farther on, we noticed a wheel rolling out through a field. One of the wheels had come off the trailer. So Lawrence retrieved the wheel and put it back on the trailer, and we were on our way again. We were out about ten miles north of Malta when a tire on the car went flat. So now he had to take the tire and go back to Malta to get it fixed while we sat in the hot car. He was gone an hour or so and when he came back and put it on the car it was still fiat. So we waited while he went to Malta again to get it fixed. He called Jay and Velda, and Jay came out. He got there about the same time as Lawrence got back. This time it was okay, and we got into Burley late in the afternoon and we were glad to see it.
The house he had purchased was an old one but it was much larger than anything we'd had before, and we were happy to move in. It was old but comfortable. It was a house with a path. A few years later, Lawrence did some remodeling. He took the kitchen and made a bedroom and a bathroom, and put the kitchen where the bedroom was. It wasn't the fanciest house in town, but it was ours.
About a year after we moved to Burley, Mother passed away and in September Lawrence was called to be Bishop of the Third ward. The Ward was on the "wrong side of the tracks", and there were some who looked down on us but we had a good Ward and Lawrence worked hard at guiding it. There was a good group of married folks, and we had a lot of fun. After church on Sunday nights we usually met at someone's home and ate popcorn and talked. It was much fun. The family hated to leave California, but we went to Church, and in a month's time they were as happy in Burley as they had been in Bell. We didn't see snow in Bell, California, and so that fall when the first snow fell—and it was a wet snow, the kids did enjoy it. They walked to town (which was about a mile away) three times, just to be in the snow. By the time winter was over they had enough.
We had a nice big garden spot, and room for a cow and a pig, which helped with living expenses. One spring it was about time for the water to come in the ditch and the ditch hadn't been cleaned of the dead weeds, and so one day the breeze was just right and I decided to burn the ditch instead of going to Relief Society. After I lit the fire, the breeze changed and blew the flames back into the neighbor’s corral, which was shoulder high with weeds too. I had to call the fire department to put it out. The fire chief said he guessed some kid had started the fire, and I had to admit that kid was me.
All four of the children finished school in Burley. The girls all married while we lived there.
Beth to Burton Moon, Orla to Billie Dayley, and Clara to Marvin Morrison. Soon after we moved to Burley I was asked to be Primary President. I served for about a year and then was made Relief Society President. It was a large Ward with many inactive members. I enjoyed the work. In those days all women in the Church did not belong to relief Society. You had to join and pay fifty cents a year for membership. As visiting teachers we did visit all Ward members. We had socials for all and good teachers. While I was President we had to raise money for the General Relief Society building in Salt Lake City. Ours was the poorest ward in the Stake, and the largest. We had to raise about $600. It sounded like a big task, but we got busy and we were the second Ward in the Stake to reach our goal. In those days they had a lot of Ward and Stake dances, a lot of social activity to help encourage the members.
The girls had families. Beth and Burt had four children, Ronald, Joyce, Scott, and Rodney (who was premature and only lived about 36 hours). Orla and Bill had Ralene, Craig, LaNae, Garth, JoDell, and Julie. Clara and Marvin had Mel and Mona while there, and later Martell, Marva and Merrill. It was nice while we lived close to have them around a lot. They were cute, good looking kids, and we enjoyed them, and I think they enjoyed coming to see us. A few years later Kirk met and, married Frances Garcia while he was going to school in Albuquerque. 'Their children are Cheryl, Lawrence, Ariel, Valerie, Matthew, Angela, Nathan and Jason.
We raised a big garden, and did a lot of canning. When the family was there, I canned 300-400 quarts of fruit and vegetables each summer. It was nice that I enjoyed doing it. I didn't mind housekeeping. I didn't work away from home and enjoyed being a wife and mother and grandmother.
About six months after Lawrence was released as Bishop (he served for seven years) he went to a Stake Priesthood meeting. President Baker made a call for missionaries. When Lawrence came home he said he had offered to go. My heart sank. When the children were growing up he told me to stay home and take care of them, so I didn't have a job or income. Lawrence had wanted to go on a mission before we were married but he was the oldest of sixteen children and his folks didn't have the money to send him. While we were living in California LaVirl went on a mission, and the brothers and sisters supplied the money for him. When Lawrence went they did the same for him. It took $5 a month from each to keep him in the mission field. From that he saved enough so that I was able to join him the last quarter of his mission.
When he left we had invested in about 200 chickens. We had to get rid of them later that summer as I didn't have money to buy feed and it was a big job to take care of them. 1 finally had to find a job. Leona Powell cooked at the hospital and she to1d me they needed a cleaning woman so I went and got the job. It was a good job--a small hospital and a good group to work with. Later they needed a relief cook and l asked for that job. On the days I didn't cook, I cleaned. It finally worked into a regular cooking job. I made about $100 a month but that was enough to keep me going and help Lawrence a bit. I had some saved to help when I joined him. Kirk was home and Clara and Marvin lived with me too.
After Lawrence had been out a year or so .Kirk was old enough to go on his mission. He had a nice car, and he sold it and got enough money to keep him on his mission until we got home and could take care of it. After Kirk left, I was free to go and join Lawrence. I was on that mission for about seven and a half months. That was another good experience. We were in Ottumwa, Iowa, for a while and then moved to Alton, Illinois, where I spent most of my mission. I never did enjoy tracting. The rest of the mission work I did enjoy. They had a very active branch in Alton. In Ottumwa there was a bit of friction and a few problems.
The last month of our mission was spent in Carthage, Illinois, taking care of the Carthage Jail. The Church owned a cottage next door to the jail, where we lived and had four Elders there too. They tracted the town and we took people through the jail. President Smoot, our mission President, said as far as he knew, that was the first time missionaries had tracted that area since the Prophet's death. The Elders found a couple of members in their tracting, but they were inactive. They were afraid to tell anyone that they were members.
There were a lot of people who visited the jail, some L.D.S., a lot of Reorganized L.D.S., and a number of others who were just interested in seeing it. One day there was a group from the Reorganized Church there. We had pictures of the Prophet and some of the temples in the room where we first talked to them. One woman asked what the temples were and I explained to her. She said "What are they doing here?" She thought her church owned the place. A friend whispered to her and she couldn't get out of the room fast enough. Another day a car load of people came and Lawrence took them through the jail. He followed them to their car, discussing what they had seen and heard. As they were driving away, one of the women told him she was a minister and she believed the Book of Mormon.
After our mission we drove to Cleveland and spent a few hours with Kirk and then went on to New York State. We saw the Niagara Falls and visited the Hill Cumorah. The caretaker told us it was the largest hill in the area. He said people did not believe Joseph Smith's story, but you could see on the hill where people had dug to try to find the plates.
I enjoyed most the Sacred Grove. Just the two of us were there. It was early in the morning. We left the car and walked down the lane to the Grove. I had such a feeling come over me, I felt like if I looked up I could see the Father and Son. We went from there back up the lane and to the Joseph Smith home. There they showed us the room where Moroni spent the greater part of the night with Joseph, telling him about the plates in the Hill Cumorah and giving him instructions. We also drove by the Whitmer home where the Church was organized. We hadn't studied up on these things. We didn't know the church owned it, and it was very early in the morning, so we just drove by and looked at it. We also drove through Missouri and visited some of those landmarks.
At one time the Governor of Missouri commanded Colonel Donaphin to shoot the Prophet and his associates. The Colonel refused and told Boggs if he bad it done he would be convicted murder and he would report him to higher authority. The Governor and his family were forgotten through the years but the Colonel has a statue in one of the towns; I don't remember the town. It is a large statue of him riding a horse.
We visited the Far West Temple site. There wasn't anything there but a fence around it and a sign, and the four comer stones that were laid. We went to the Adam-Ondi-Ahman site. The walnut tree in our yard started from a walnut I picked up there. We also visited the Liberty Jail where the Prophet and his companions spent about six months. Seeing it made me wonder how they could stand it. I guess the Lord knew they could. Anyway it was good to see these places and when we hear people talk about them now, we know about them. Then we went on across the southern part of the country to California for a few days before coming on home to Burley.
We arrived in Burley in the evening. Orla and family were waiting for Bill to get off work. We said our hellos there-Garth had been added to their family while we were gone. Orla wouldn't let us go home until she called Beth and Burt to come over. We had to wait outside the house until they arrived. Burt had bought an electric range and they wanted to be there when we saw it. It was nice.
We took up living again in Burley. Lawrence had to find a job again. I went back to work at the hospital. Fred Larsen gave him a job making roofing tile. He worked there for five or six years. Then Fred told him of a roofing business in Twin Falls and wanted him to take it. In the meantime Lawrence had built a house on Oakley Avenue in Burley. I really didn't want to move, but it looked like a good deal to him. I wasn't used to being in debt and it scared me. I started staying awake nights worrying and haven't slept as good since. He went to Twin Falls to work at it for about a month before I moved down. As we were in the process of moving, Beth had a tubal pregnancy that put her in the hospital which made it harder for me to move. Beth and Burt and their family had more health problems than all the rest of the family.
We sold the house on Oakley Avenue, mortgaged our home, and he was in business. Marvin and Clara had moved to Twin Falls from Buhl and he helped Lawrence for a while until he found another job. Then Lawrence had to have some help. He was going to hire someone, but I told him I thought I could handle the job, so I went to work when he made the tile. I still worried about being in debt. We bought a house on Second Avenue North in Twin Falls which was another expense. We were able to sell the home on Overland in Burley and paid for the house in Twin Falls. Business kept Lawrence busy for a few years and then began falling off. He finally gave up. He owed one man for the tile making machine and another for the other equipment. He had about three or four thousand dollars and offered it to the one who owned the tile equipment. It was less than he owed him, and he couldn't take it. So he paid the other man off, and turned the tile machine back to its owner, who later told him he wished he had taken the cash when it was offered. Now he was out of a business, out of a job, and out of debt.
Lawrence got a job working for Jack Fredrickson insulating houses. That lasted for a year or two, then we were offered the custodian job at the Twin Falls Stake house. That was a good job. We accepted the job, they told us we could go in anytime we wanted to do the work as along as we kept the building in good condition. We enjoyed that work. If we couldn't sleep nights, we would go to work at 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning. We kept things up good, and they were satisfied with our work. After about three years a problem developed. One of the wards had a group of boys who would sneak into the building in the afternoon and play ball in the recreation hall. They were not supposed to play there without appointments and supervision. The boys denied being there even though we had caught them in there. Their Bishop wouldn't believe they were doing it. One of the boys was his son. If they could find an open window, one boy would crawl in and open the door for the rest of them. When the Bishop finally had to admit that the boys were doing it, he then insisted we stay there all day so someone would be there when the boys wanted to play. That, of course, was not the way we had accepted the job. Instead of controlling the boys, they wanted us to be "babysitters". Lawrence was starting to build our house and was busy during the day working on it. We had not taken the job on those conditions. Anyway, we lost that job.
Lawrence then went to work at the Frozen Food plant as a welder. He liked that job, and the more regular hours. He worked there until he retired at age sixty-eight. He could have stayed longer, but he wanted to get into genealogy. About two months after he retired, the Bishop asked us to accept a mission call.
We lived in the Fourth Ward when we first moved to Twin Falls. They soon found something for us to do in the Ward. They asked me to help in the genealogy class. We only stayed in the Ward about six months. The house we bought was in the Second ward. We had been in that ward about three months when Bishop Swensen asked me to be Relief Society President. Lawrence liked genealogy and he worked a lot with the Senior Aaronic priesthood. We always seemed to have something to do in the Church.
When I was as called as Relief Society President, I didn't know the Ward very well and especially where the members lived. Until you got used to it, Twin Falls isn't the easiest town to find your way around in. When the Bishop asked me to be President I didn't know who to choose for counselors or anything. He helped me get the people I needed. He had to take me to ask them. I didn't know where they lived. Sister Ruby Miller was my First Counselor, Joan Brawley my Second Counselor, and Elrita Ford my Secretary. The teachers stayed as they were. They were such good help and willing to serve. I had some turnover in counselors while I served. Sister Brawley and her husband divorced and she left town. Other counselors were Nelda Jansson, Ilene Earl and Ellen Neuman. After I was released I served as work director-teacher. Through the years I have worked in all the organizations, but most in Relief Society. I also served on the Relief Society Stake board for a while. I had to ask for a release from that position when Lawrence and I were called to work in the name extraction program when it was organized in the Stake. We worked in the Spanish extraction. That has been one of the nicest callings I have had. We both worked in it. After four years Lawrence gave up. He was having some health problems. I worked another year or so but it got so I was uneasy about leaving him alone so I stopped too. A couple of years later Lawrence passed away and I then went back to it again. After Lawrence retired the Bishop asked if we would accept a mission call. He asked if we had a preference as to where to go and I said no, except I didn't want to go where it was too cold. So when the call came, it was to Canada. Our first assignment was about sixty miles northeast of Regina. We worked three Indian Reserves, Little Bear, Star Blanket, and another whose name I can't remember (it was a long Indian name). Before we were called to Canada didn't realize it was "Indian country". I think at least half of the people in Canada are Indian, and they are great people for drinking. Most of the men were alcoholics. We were not allowed to teach a family if we couldn't teach the father too. You have to have Priesthood leadership to have a Branch and the men were not interested. So we did a lot of visiting, but we had no Baptisms.
A few years earlier some Elders who were sent there couldn't interest the adults, so they spent their time teaching the children and playing wi1h them. They baptized several. One parent said he was drunk when he gave permission for his son to be baptized. When the missionaries left there was no organization and so their baptism didn't mean anything to them. When we started working there they seemed to have the idea that we were going to be "babysitters" too. We contacted the Chief of Star
Blanket to invite a group into his home to show some films. When we arrived there were about a dozen kids under twelve waiting to see the films. The Chief and his wife left and we were there with the children. We were not there to entertain children, so we didn't stay long. Another time the Elders were coming to show an especially good Indian film. We got permission to have it in their Hall. We asked again that the Chief would invite his friends and all the people on the reservation to come. All that showed up was a hall full of children and half dozen adults, including the Chief. After the show he said he was sorry they didn't have more parents there.
I'm sure we could have taught the women and children, and they would have been receptive, but if the men weren't interested, we couldn't do much. They seemed to resent the white people too. When the time comes that the Indian men are converted other Indians will be more receptive too. Our mission President said the area was in about the same condition as the World was when Joseph Smith restored the Gospel. It would be slow at first but it will succeed sometime. We enjoyed the work, had many good conversations, but no conversions.
We were moved to Slave Lake in Alberta where we spent most of our mission. There was a small branch and a lot of Indians again. We were able to tract out the whole area as well as visit the members. .Most of the woman worked and since we had to have the man interested too, we had to do our tracting mostly in the evenings. As cold as it was, and always with a wind or breeze, we couldn't stay out long unless we were invited into a home. It was a small town and, I think, had about a half dozen churches. There was some organization among the churches, but the Jehovah's Witnesses and the Mormons were not included. Many people had never heard of the Church and so we told them about it and by now I'm sure the Church is much stronger there.
It was a good experience, but it was nice to get back home again. We don't hear the National Anthem, or see the Stars and Stripes often but I missed them, probably because we were in a foreign country. The Canadians were friendly and interesting, but it wasn't like home. It was nice to get back to the family too. A year and a half is a long time to be away.
We were soon busy in the church. We went back to help in the Genealogy Library. We used to go to the Temple a lot, and to Provo to see Kirk and his family and to Boise to visit Orla and her family, and Clara and Beth were close.
In this year 1995, I ran out of a job. The Church started using 16 mm film instead of the 35mm, and my machine couldn't use the 16mm. I was the last of the original group to leave the work. I think it was the most interesting and challenging work I have ever done. I am grateful for the opportunity I had of getting names for Temple use.
Lawrence had a heart attack and passed away of 12 June 1987. Beth had been staying with us during the week for several years. She worked in Twin Falls after Burt died. Then on 9 March 1989 she had a stroke. She was doing well for a month and then a blood clot took her life on 6 April. So I was left alone. A little later LaNae came to live with me and work in Twin Falls. A year or so later she left for Utah and then California. So I was alone again, but a couple of years later she came back. It is so much nicer to have someone living with me.
I'm not able to do much in the Church. My knees have stiffened with arthritis so I gave up Visiting Teaching. Now I just go to church on Sundays, most of the time. Life has been good to me. I was raised in a humble home and Lawrence and I had a very good marriage with a lot of love from children and grandchildren. I do appreciate them and all they do for me. I tell folks I have the best family in the whole world, and I mean it. Clara and Marvin have been so good to see that I am taken care of and have kept up the place. I don't know what I would have done it without them. I do appreciate all they do and everyone else too. May God watch over and bless all of you.