THE HISTORY OF CLARENCE PRESTWICH written by Abigail Prestwich and Nelda Prestwich
Contributor: jodilu57 Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago
In Lehi, Utah on the twenty-sixth day of February in the year eighteen ninety-two was
born the eighth child of Julia Ann Draper and George Prestwich. Their fifth son, he was given
the name of Clarence, an English name originating from the name Clare meaning bright. This
name was probably given him by his father. His father was born in England and immigrated to
the United States with his parents for the gospel's sake.
For a while during his early married life George acted as a conductor for the railroad. He
was the first conductor to take a train from Juab to Milford, Utah. He moved his family to
Milford, but the living conditions were unpleasant for Julia so she insisted on returning to Lehi,
Utah. In Lehi they managed a small farm. Farming was a part of young Clarence's life. He was
helping his father one day in the fields driving a team of horses and working the machinery when
lightening flashed bright and bold, thunder cracked and a bolt of lightening struck the machinery
on which he sat. He was knocked off and was unconscious. His mother thought he was dead.
This was a shock to her because she had experienced the death of baby Randell just a few years
earlier. Upon regaining consciousness, Clarence remembered nothing of the occurrence.
In nineteen hundred and three George was employed by the Utah Idaho Sugar Company.
He moved his family to Lincoln, Idaho just outside ofldaho Falls. Clarence was eleven at the
time of this move. While growing up in Idaho he thinned beets and cared for the livestock.
After fmishing grammar school and desiring to further his education, Clarence went to
Lehi to attend high school. He stayed with his older sister Juliette and her husband Eli Fox. One
memorable time of high school was the evening the Globe Trotters came to Lehi to play. The
basketball game was nip and tuck. The outcome was thrilling and not to be forgotten by those
To help earn his keep while attending high school, Clarence helped his brother-in-law on
the farm. Clarence came to realize that times were tough. On one occasion the harvest had been
gathered and it seemed to be a meager portion. One-tenth of this small harvest was to be paid to
tithing. One-tenth seemed like a huge bite of so small an amount. In questioning Eli about it, he
was told, "The Lord will provide, you will see." Clarence watched with disbelief as Eli took onetenth
of his increase to the Bishop's Storehouse for tithing. Time proved Eli's faith to be correct.
When others seemed to have nothing the Eli Fox family never went hungry. Clarence saw the
blessings from obedience to the great law of tithing. This impressed him so much he worked
towards being obedient to this law all his life and encouraged his children to do the same.
Religious activities were not encouraged in the George Prestwich home. If the children
had religious desires fine, ifnot fine. When Clarence stayed with the Fox family, he attended
church regularly with them. At one meeting the bishop made the statement that more
missionaries were needed and if anyone desired to go to let him know. Clarence had a desire to
go and told the bishop. 'He always felt a little cheated that he was not called and surmised it was
because of his background.
After two years of high school were completed and when a mission call never
materialized Clarence sought adventure. He went East to work. While there he took up the habit
of smoking cigarettes to be one of the gang. Some missionaries were discussing the vice of
smoking while Clarence was present. They made the statement that the cigarette would soon be
his boss, if it wasn't already. He decided right then that no cigarette was going to be his boss and
threw them away. He soon returned to Idaho to work for the U&I Sugar Company.
Ernest, Clarence's older brother by four years, invited him to come work with him. They
went to Delta, Utah to work for the Stems and Roger's Sugar Factory. They made their living
quarters in the Dunsmore Hotel above the Hub Mercantile in Delta. Clarence's job was to be an
overseer of boys, ages eleven to thirteen, who had come from the city to work thinning beets in
the beet fields. They lived in tents on the farms.
The Hub Mercantile was a convenient place to shop for the necessary groceries. Oranges
were in season and Clarence wanted some and went to the Hub. There he asked a rather cute
little clerk for some. He was careful to notice she gave him all the biggest ones. As overseer he
visited the Steele farm and soon was aware that this was the home of the cute little clerk at the
Hub. He and the boys pitched their tents not far from the living quarters ofthe family. Many
occasions arose when he could talk with the cute little clerk Abbie, short for Abigail. Her lively,
spunky spirit aroused his interest.
The C.C.C. (short for Crazy Country Cousins) had planned a big dance for the
countryside that was to be held at the Woodrow Hall. Abbie asked Clarence to go with her. It
proved to be an exciting evening. Clarence loved to dance and prided himself on what a smooth
dancer he was. He bragged that he could waltz so smoothly that he could carry a glass of water
on his head without spilling it. The girls also considered him a good dancer. The music swelled
and the singers sang, "Everybody loves a baby that's the reason I love you, Pretty baby, pretty
baby. Let me rock you in my cradle of love where it's cuddle all the time." Another favorite song
that evening was Alexander's Ragtime Band. Clarence and Abbie made a pleasing couple as they
fox-trotted around the hall. It was the custom in those days to change partners often and not
dance with the same person all evening. The challenge was to see how many people you could
dance with in the course of the evening. Waltzing to the Blue Danube Waltz made one feel as if
you were dancing in the courts of royalty with yourselves as the royal couple. In the course of
their courtship Abbie and Clarence attended many dances.
One afternoon Clarence needed to check on the boys working in the field near the beet
dump down by the railroad tracks. Desiring the companionship of Abbie he asked her to go with
him. As they strolled down the railroad tracks laughing and talking toward the beet dump, Abbie
deliberately dropped her handkerchief. Clarence quickly responded to this clever move and
picked it up. "Look what I've got here." Clarence announced. "Oh, my hanky", Abbie declared.
Tenderly Clarence replied, "I'm going to put it right here in this pocket next to my heart and I
would like to put you there too." This was not his formal proposal but from this statement Abbie
knew he was serious about her.
A few days later he asked Abbie to marry him. The United States had become involved in
the war in Europe, known as World War I, and Clarence knew that because he was of draft age
he could be drafted any day. When he proposed, he explained to her that he may never come
back and he wanted to know if she would be willing to marry him under those circumstances.
She replied that if he would marry her in the temple the right way, she would be willing because
then death would be a parting only for this life. She added that if he would not agree to marry
her in the temple, then it would be best to wait until the war was over. Clarence being a proper
lad asked Abbie's father for her hand and discussed with him the difficulties they faced as a
couple. Mr. and Mrs. Steele expressed to him the same desire as did their daughter, that they
should marry in the temple.
Clarence realized that in order to marry in temple he had to make changes and began to
work toward that end. He had his membership sent to Delta. He went to church regularly, .
became a full tithe payer and gave other offerings. In a month he had prepared himself to be
ordained to the office of an Elder in the Me1chizedek Priesthood. Abbie's grandfather, a patriarch
and a highly respected man of influence, probably played a big part in seeing that Clarence
received this ordination so quickly. At that time it usually took longer for a man to prove himself
worthy of this ordination.
One evening Clarence and Abbie were invited to dinner at the home of her grandfather,
Mahonri Moriancumer Steele, the patriarch. After they were summoned to the table they knelt
for evening prayer, as was their custom. Grandfather called upon Clarence to pray. In Clarence's
family, prayers were not said as a family so this was a new and humbling experience.
On an evening sometime later Clarence asked Grandfather Steele for a patriarchal
blessing. A copy of the blessing follows:
A blessing given by Mahonri M. Steele on the head of Clarence Prestwich, son of George
Prestwich and Julianna Draper, born in Lehi, Utah February 26, 1892.
Brother Clarence Prestwich in the authority of the Holy Priesthood I lay my hands upon
thy head and give unto thee a blessing. Thou art of the seed of Ephraim and through the councils
of thy Heavenly Father thou hast been chosen to come upon a mission to this Earth to assume a
body and bare thy part in establishing the truth and redemption of Zion. Thy guardian angel was
sent with you and if you remember your past life you will realize that he has preserved you from
many evils and dangers. Thy life shall be precious in the sight of thy Heavenly Father and if thou
shalt be prayerful and obedient unto the councils of the priesthood, thy life shall be preserved
unto thee. The angels of the Lord shall be around about thee to guard thy footsteps. If you will be
humble and seek the Lord, thou shalt have the revelations of the All Mighty to guide you and you
shall be forewarned of any dangers that shall beset thy path.
Thou shalt be privileged to receive more blessings in the house of the Lord and have a
companion that shall be suitable to thy condition in life, who will be a wise councilor and
adviser unto you. And thou shalt have a numerous posterity and live to see an overflowing
scourge to go forth upon the land. If you live, it will be through your faith and being able to
control conditions and receive thy inheritance and reign as a king and prince unto the Lord. And
the visions of the All Mighty shall be opened unto you through faithfulness in keeping the
commandments of the Lord. And I seal these blessings upon you to come forth in the morning of
the first resurrection and receive your crown. In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
Mahonri M Steele, Patriarch.
Abbie and Clarence were married August 29, 1917 in the Salt Lake Temple by Elder
Joseph Fielding Smith, an apostle. None of Clarence's or Abbie's folks were able to attend the
marriage ceremony. After their marriage they went to Idaho so Clarence could introduce his
bride to his family. It was only a short visit because a telegram came from Abbie's father telling
Clarence that he had been drafted and to report to Salt Lake on October 4, 1917. He was to report
to the 145th field artillery.
It was a rush to get to Salt Lake on the appointed date. As their train arrived in Salt Lake
the troop train was already loading. Getting off one train bidding his crying bride good-bye, he
boarded the other train. He knew his eventual destination would be Europe, but his short term
destination was Fort Lewis, Washington.
Clarence had been assigned to the 119th artillery division after arriving at Fort Lewis.
Fort Lewis, with it's setting in the great North West forest, was his first contact with army life. It
was there that he received what is known as boot training. Under the rigid commands of the
sergeants he was taken through the tedious ordeal of how to wear his clothes, stand in line, make
his bed and keep his part of the barrack clean. Included in this, was training in handling of
weapons and practices of their usage in fighting the enemy. The orders soon came that the 119th
artillery division was to be shipped to Camp Kerney, California. This was the time they had been
training for. Camp Kerney was the shipping out point for Europe.
Christmas was nearing and Clarence longed to spend what might be his last Christmas
with his bride. He wrote her and told her that his brother Wesley owed him fifty dollars. When
she received it, she was to come to San Diego on the train. He was at the train to meet his bride.
He had to look carefully to find his Abigail through the crowd. He spied her with a fancy black
velvet hat that had a feather sticking straight up, a plaid coat with a black velvet collar and fancy
buttoned shoes. What a surprising and delightful sight his lovely wife made to his eyes!
After embracing her he took her to a rooming house where he had previously rented a
room for her. On weekends or on pass he would come there to stay. Hand in hand they would
stroll the streets taking in the sights. Balboa Park was one of Clarence's favorite places to take
Abbie. There they could have privacy to talk, feed the pigeons and listen to the military band that
came there to practice every afternoon. Young men in uniforms and girls were everywhere
enjoying their last few days together. They knew that this might be their last chance to spend
time with those they loved before being separated by the war.
Shortly after Christmas the call came for the 119th Artillery Division to be shipped
overseas. Clarence obtained a twenty-four hour pass and Abbie and he boarded the train for Los
Angeles. Knowing that this was his last chance to show his love for Abbie for some time, he
decided to give her the best. They entered one of the best hotels in Los Angeles and Clarence
ordered a very nice room. Turning to Abbie he said, "Did you see them raise their eyebrows
when I ordered that room?" For this one night they would live in luxury. It took $10.00 for one
night which was probably half of his monthly wages. While there they did some sightseeing.
They went to one of the large parks that had ostriches and alligators in it and other interesting
sights. The following evening Clarence saw Abbie board the train for Utah; then he boarded the
train for San Diego.
Clarence's troop ship went through the Panama Canal headed toward Europe. The
question on everyone's mind was where were they going to be sent - Germany, France? They
were stationed for a short time in England. When the orders came for them to go to France they
knew that the main part of the war was in France and they would be in the thick of it.
No one in the civilized world could ever imagine the filth they were required to witness
in France. The Germans had ripped the country of its moral dignity and left the streets running
with blood. The spoils of war was enough to turn even the strongest man green with nausea.
Clarence carried with him the Bible and Book of Mormon to reinforce his faith in God and his
The 119th Artillery Division's orders were to proceed from the Soissons front to the front
lines located in the Argonne woods. It may have been at this time while approaching the front
lines that Clarence came to two roads, one leading to his soldier comrades and the other leading
toward the enemy encampment. He hesitated and then unknowingly started toward the enemy. A
small dog came barking after him. He turned to see the little fellow. The dog would run back the
way he had come then run up to him. It was as ifhe was saying come this way. Clarence,
because of this small animal turned back the way he had come and proceeded down the other
road. Later he learned this event saved his life. He later commented how the little dog looked
like Shep, a dog he had loved in his childhood.
Clarence and his comrades dug in with the roar of the battle surrounding them. Days of
fighting with only slight intervals of silence followed. Shrapnel shells were making their marks
all around them. It was under these conditions that Clarence received word that his first child, a
daughter was born on June 6,1918. He wrote Abbie expressing his desire that his daughter be
named Gyndel. She was named Clara Gyndel, Clara after her father Clarence.
It was probably on an advance command toward the enemy that Clarence heard a
woman's voice call, "Move to the side of the road." Looking to see who it might have been,
Clarence saw Julia, his sister-in-law who had earlier passed away. Again she called, "Move to
the side ofthe road." This time all the fellows with him heard the call. They moved quickly. On
the very spot where they had been standing, a shell fell exploding into flying pieces of shrapnel.
The men had dug holes in the ground to stay out ofthe sight ofthe enemy. These
foxholes weren't conducive to cleanliness. The many days of heavy fighting made it impossible
for even a quick shave. A shave would help a man to feel more human than animal and give him
a needed lift of morale. When a lull came in the battle, Clarence decided to take advantage of it
by giving himself that long awaited shave. He was probably teased by his buddies as he hung
the container to be used as a mirror on a nearby tree. He turned to them and said, "Wait and see.
Tonight I'll be sleeping in a bed and be cleanly shaven." As soon as he had made this declaration,
the battle's silence ended with a barrage of enemy fire. A shell fell near and exploded, driving a
piece of deadly shrapnel into Clarence's right shoulder. No doubt to the amazement of those who
heard his prediction, it was fulfilled. He was taken to an army hospital well behind enemy fire.
He was then transported to the coast and boarded a hospital ship which was on it's way home.
Clarence found the voyage home on the hospital ship rough and long. Somewhere in the
middle of the Atlantic Ocean, he celebrated Thanksgiving day that year, grateful to be alive and
on his way home. He had a difficult time eating the traditional Thanksgiving dinner provided by
the ship's crew. It was hard enough to eat with his left hand when he was right handed but
making it more difficult was the constant rolling of the ship making the table jump about. All in
all it was most exasperating!
When the call came over the loud speakers, "Entering New York Harbor!" those able
bodied men were no doubt on deck to greet the first sight of their home land. Hugging the ship's
railing, hearing the splashing of the water against it's metal siding, feeling the cold wind tugging
at them, they watched the Statue of Liberty come into view. Whether Clarence said the words
silently or to those near him, they were addressed to that mighty statue, "If you ever see me again
you will have to do a right about face."
The news which greeted them as they entered New York Harbor brought tears of grateful
joy and shouts of relief. The Armistice had been signed! The war was over! As soon as it was
possible, Clarence called Abbie from New York to tell her he was home but wounded. He would
go to see her as soon as arrangements could be made.
Clarence was sent to Des Moines, Iowa for treatments. He was operated on several times
for skin grafts on his shoulder. A part of his shoulder bone was blown off and the damaged skin
was removed by the army surgeons, leaving a large indentation. The efforts to pull the skin
together and stitch it failed because the stitches would continually pull out and the skin grafts
would never take. It seemed that all their efforts to mend the shoulder were failing. A leave was
granted him at Christmas time to go to Utah and visit his family. Clarence was grateful for this
opportunity because while in the hospital he was unable to wear his temple garments. He felt that
ifhe could put the priesthood garment back on, his shoulder would heal. He had great faith and
respect for the temple covenants.
Clarence arrived in Delta a day or two before Christmas to surprise his wife. He looked
very dignified in his uniform although his arm was done up in sling under his coat. He was
anxious to hold and play with his little daughter but to his disappointment she would have
nothing to do with him. His leave was only for a short time and he left right after Christmas. On
the way back to Des Moines he stopped at Fort Douglas to have his arm redressed and found it
had greatly improved.
When Clarence arrived at Des Moines army hospital they were surprised to see how
much better his arm looked. He told them if they would let him go to Utah his arm would heal.
They doubted that. He had faith in the protecting power of the temple garments and knew that
the healing of his shoulder would increase if he wore them. The church at that time had
encouraged all soldiers to not wear their garments outside of Utah because of the ridicule they
had experienced. He kept pestering the doctors to let him be transferred to Utah so his arm would
get better. Finally the doctors granted him a transfer to Utah. At Fort Douglas he could wear the
garments and with faith in their protecting power the wound began to knit and mend itself.
He was at Fort Douglas for only a short time until he was released and given his
discharge papers. Clarence entered the army October 4, 1917. He served on the Soissons Front
September 1-15, 1918, Argonne Forest in France September 15 to October 29, 1918. He was
wounded by a shrapnel shell on October 29, 1918. He was discharged May 29, 1919 in what was
considered poor condition and was given a bonus of sixty dollars in his final pay. He entered the
r>. army as a private and received no advancement, decorations or medals, but he served his country
While at Fort Douglas there was a captain who always insisted that Clarence salute him.
After receiving his discharge papers he saw this captain. He told him, "Give me thirty minutes
and I will never salute you again." Clarence had time to go into Salt Lake, buy some clothes and
change into them before meeting this captain again. He was in the act of raising his hand for a
salute when he caught himself. Clarence was a civilian again!
Clarence went by train to Delta. He could find no employment so he took his wife and
child to Idaho where he had confidence he could find work. He was able to obtain employment
with the Utah Idaho Sugar Company. He began work in the warehouse where the sugar was
stored and then shipped. His earnings weren't much more than a hundred dollars a month if even
that much. It was considered to be a good wage at that time.
Upon moving to Idaho, Clarence and Abbie first lived with his parents. While there they
learned that Clarence's brother Wesley, a widower, needed someone to look after his children.
Clarence and Abbie decided they would live with him. They would take care of the housework
and children for their board and room. When things didn't work out as planned, Abbie persuaded
Clarence to find a place for themselves. He was able to rent a small house next to his parents.
Furnishing it proved a problem, but by getting a few pieces of furniture at a time on payments,
they were able to do so.
One evening someone from the sugar factory ran down and told Clarence that the sugar
in the warehouse was on fire. He was the manager of the warehouse so he hurried to help. The
fire was caused by poor electrical wiring. Clarence worked the night with the others moving the
hot sugar and they were able to save most of it. When the fire was out and all danger had past,
Clarence returned home. His hands were badly blistered and his wife wrapped every finger
separately with rags and Vaseline to decrease the pain and healing time.
Later they were able to rent a larger house up the street. On January 10, 1920 Abbie gave
birth to their second daughter, whom they named Aza, after Abbie's cousin Aza Houston. A year
later when it came time for Abbie to give birth to their third child, Clarence took her and the girls
on the train to Delta to be with her mother. There Clarence waited for the birth of their baby.
Their first son was born February 17, 1921. Clarence was a proud father, like most males he
desired a son. They called him Calvin, after one of his army friends and Steele, Abbie's maiden
name. After the arrival of his son, Clarence returned to Idaho. Three weeks later his wife
returned, bringing the little family with the help of her sister Fay.
Clarence's heart wasn't in the work he was doing. He didn't want to work in the sugar
factory all his days. The Utah Idaho Sugar Company bought the Stems and Rogers Company that
operated in Delta. Ernest, Clarence's brother, learned that the sugar company was leasing farms
in Delta. Clarence went down to Delta and was able to lease one of these farms. After four years
in Idaho the family prepared to move. Clarence preceded his family to Delta and by the time they
arrived he had the crops all planted.
Clarence loved working with the land and enjoyed seeing it produce. He was a true
farmer at heart for he liked to be near God's creations, to see and feel of a surety that He lives.
He witnessed this fact in the daily struggles of life; his own, his family's and the plants' and
animals' he cared for.
Abbie's Grandfather Steele let Clarence and his family live on his farm in Sutherland,
Utah. Sutherland is now a small rural farming area but in those days it was a growing town. They
were planning to work the farm for her grandfather and then in time to buy it.
Shortly after moving to the farm, on October 30, 1922 Clarence's wife gave birth to a
daughter that they named Lola. She was named after Abbie's distant cousin Lola Marshall.
In September of 1923 after harvesting the grain, the sugar company employed Clarence
to haul some grain for them. He went to the community of Woodrow to the Jackson farm to get
the load. While loading it he had a stroke and fell hitting his head against the wagon wheel. He
was found unconscious by one of the field hands. He was taken to a nearby farmhouse. The
doctor was called and someone was sent to get his wife. Shortly after Abbie got to the
farmhouse, the doctor also arrived. The doctor's advice was to leave him there for the night
because he believed moving him would be harmful. Abbie sat up all night with him. He went in
and out of consciousness, rational then irrational. The next morning a Mexican field hand
employed by the sugar company came to take Clarence home. His brother Ernest had heard
about what had happened and had sent a covered truck with driver to move him. While Clarence
lay sick in bed, his small children went in and peeked at him because they were worried about
It was at this time that Abbie received word of the death of Grandfather Steele. Her
grandfather had gone to Salt Lake and while there planned to deed his farm where Clarence and
family were living to them. Alvin Jensen, an uncle of Abbie's, came to the farm and declared that
it was left to him. Clarence told him he would have to give him proof of it, and until then they
would continue to live there.
It was a year and three months after the birth of Lola that a fourth daughter was born to
Clarence and Abbie. Clarence had planned to go into the hills to cut wood for the winter. This
was a three day trip and he didn't want to leave his wife until after the baby was born. He waited
and waited, but the baby didn't come. He became impatient and decided to go to the hills
anyway. When he returned on February 4, 1924 she arrived. He felt that she had waited until he
came back to be born. They named her after Elizabeth Robertson, a friend they had known at
Camp Kerny, California. Elizabeth used the name Beth so they gave their daughter this name.
In the spring of 1924 they were forced to move from the farm in Sutherland
because there was no way to prove that it had been promised to them. Clarence felt that there
was something crooked about the deal. Clarence was persuaded by Ed Henry, Abbie's brother-inlaw,
to move to his farm because Ed thought he was in the money and didn't want to farm. So he
moved his family there and managed the farm while Ed looked for a prospective buyer. He was a
good farmer and he made the farm yield more than it had ever done under it's owner. He took
great pride in his work, and it made him quite unhappy when Ed in his efforts to sell the place
stomped down his alfalfa while showing it to prospective buyers.
It was while living on this farm that on October 2, 1925 Clarence and Abbie's second son
was born. He was named Dale. Abbie's mother was not a mid-wife but had come over to assist
while Clarence went for the doctor. When Clarence and the doctor arrived they heard two babies
crying, the newborn and little Beth who had awakened and wanted attention. The doctor cared
for the newborn and the mother. Everyone was joyful at Dale's safe arrival.
Henry was able to sell his farm. After harvesting the crops, Clarence moved his young
family again. This time he moved them into Delta in what was known as the Coping houses. The
winter was spent there while Clarence worked at any employment he could find. He was a good
worker and a good provider for his family. He saw to it that they always had shelter, food and
clothes but it was not always easy to make ends meet. He would often say in a teasing tone to
Abbie, "You can throw more out with a teaspoon than I can shovel in a scoop shovel." His great
love for his family was shown in his continued initiative and struggle to provide for their needs.
The opportunity came for Clarence to lease another farm for the spring of 1926. It was
called the Lytle place and was located in Sutherland. This farm hadn't been cared for so it was
very rundown. Clarence worked that spring preparing the land for planting. As much as possible
his children and wife would help. It was probably during this spring after the crops where
planted that Clarence took a job hauling gravel. He would take his young son Calvin and an
oatmeal box of apples and head for the gravel pit. Clarence was proud of his team of horses. He
could make a team pull greater loads than most. He took great pride in this. When they would
arrive at the gravel pit Clarence would get down and stand by the fire and let his son drive the
team through the line of shovelers. They would load the wagon to a very heavy peak then
Clarence would call out, "Pull'er out kid." It was a long hard pull all the way around the pit.
Young Cal, not yet in school, had the job of driving the horse team that mowed the hay
in the field east ofthe house. Tony, a part of the team, was a spry horse when his tail was up.
Clarence always tied his tail down but this time Tony pulled his tail free because a fly was
bothering him. As soon as his tail was free Tony took off pulling the team around and around the
field with the mower blade down. Cal was so small that his feet dangled as he sat on the mower
seat. He fell off the seat but was able to climb back on and tried to stop the team. He heard
someone yell, "Jump offthe back!" so he jumped. The team continued around the field until it
rammed the cutter blade into a hay-rake. Clarence was relieved that his son was only frightened
and not hurt. But oh my, was he upset with that horse. Clarence believed in discipline for his
animals as well as his children. He took Tony and hooked him up to another mower and really
worked him hard.
Clarence loved to make a good deal on his horse trading. He could always depend on
making a good trade with his neighbor Rube Turner. Clarence would take his horses to Rube and
wouldn't brag about them, or say too much. He would let Rube talk himself into the trade.
Usually after the trade was completed, Rube would give Clarence ten dollars more. Once Rube
brought a Mr. Coffm to Clarence and asked ifhe had some horses to sell. Ernest, Clarence's
brother, had left his horses with Clarence for him to sell. He answered yes and sent them to the
house to find Cal. He would show them the horses. Rube and Mr. Coffin came to Cal and asked
to see the horses. Cal went to the field and got them. Mr.Coffin asked Cal what was wrong with
the old mare. Cal replied, "There's nothing wrong with that old mare but she's got a gut ache all
the time." Well, that sale was ruined. But it was for the best because Ernest wrote and wanted his
horses. That little incident became ajoke that lived on for all the years Clarence and Rube were
friends. That one time Rube Turner got the best of Clarence and Rube would never let him forget
it. They enjoyed teasing each other. On one occasion Rube was helping Clarence slip ditches.
Rube held the slip scrapers and when he came to some roots he pushed them in so they would
come up and pinch the horses, a prized team of Clarence's. The next time around Clarence saw
what was going to happen so he sped up the team, old Rock and Prince, and it threw Rube up in
the air in a somersault. Rube's little trick had backfired on him.
Irrigation was the only means by which the crops were watered as rain fall was very low.
Clarence went out to the west field to irrigate. As he was walking down the field checking the
water, he fell into a large sink hole. Through quick thinking and the watchful eye of his guardian
angel he laid the shovel across the hole. He pulled himself up to his armpits and managed to get
out. This left a big hole and from then on they worked around it.
In providing for the winters Clarence made sure that his family wouldn't go hungry. They
often bought as much as a ton of flour and stored it in the closets or under the beds. One year
Clarence traded some nice white turkeys for thirteen bushels of apples. If peddlers came around
with fruit, Clarence bought a few bushels and the family would work together in canning it.
Never did he let his family go hungry.
A third son was born in the fall on October 26, 1927. He was named Erwin after his
father's uncle and Mahonri after his mother's father and grandfather. While Erwin was still a
.baby it became apparent that something serious was wrong with his leg. In consulting with the
doctor he advised them to take the baby into Salt Lake to a bone specialist. So Clarence took his
wife and baby to the train for the trip to Salt Lake. The doctor in Salt Lake said that the leg bone
had to be scraped immediately to remove the infected part. Abbie contacted Clarence and told
him that Erwin needed an operation and she would need him to send her some money. This
emergency made it necessary for him to borrow money on his next year's crops. He was relieved
to hear that his baby son had come through the operation successfully. It was a joyous day when
mother and child arrived home.
Clarence had no patience with himself when he was ill. He wasn't happy lying around
and because he felt miserable, no one could do anything to please him. His family learned to
tread lightly when he was ill. Such was the case when his leg swelled as big as a watermelon and
the pain was something fearful. It ached so badly that the family hardly dared walk across the
floor. If the floor shook the bed in the slightest he let them know it, so miserable with pain was
he. This illness lasted about a week.
After Clarence fully recovered from this bout of rheumatism, as they called it, he talked
with many neighbors that were moving to Washington. They thought they could make a better
living up there. He wanted to go and find out for himself so he decided to make the trip up there.
He remembered the greenness of the Northwest forest in comparison with the hard dry soil he
was laboring with. It was the first of November 1929, the apples were deliciously red and nuts
were ripe. A neighbor that had moved up there showed him around. It was great to feel free of
responsibility, but this vacation came to an abrupt end when he lost his wallet. He wrote Abbie to
send him some money. She did so with a very brief, pointed note, "Your vacation is over, get
home!" He made haste to do so but not empty handed, for he managed to bring a big sack full of
unshelled walnuts home to the delight of the children.
On the evening of February 28, 1930 Abbie gave birth to their eighth child, a girl. They
named her Nelda after a dear friend, Nelda Gray. Knowing that Abbie's labors in the past had not
been long, the doctor and her mother were summoned early in the labor. The doctor became
enthusiastically involved in recounting a ball game. As the delivery time got closer both
Clarence and Lottie, her mother, had to sternly redirect the doctor's attention back to his patient.
After safely delivering the baby the doctor never returned to check on Abbie or the baby. When
he came back several times to ask for the remainder of his fee, Clarence wouldn't pay him. He
figured if the work wasn't done, he wasn't going to pay for it.
Clarence knew that Abbie would need someone to care for her and the children so he
hired a woman to come in. This arrangement didn't work out, and he then hired a girl to take care
of things while the children were in school. She did nothing but stand in front of the mirror and
primp. The girl was soon dismissed and Clarence took over the housework as well as the farm
The Lytle place blossomed as a rose under Clarence's stewardship. The farm did so well
that the sugar company received an offer for it. Clarence would have bought it, but he did not
have the down payment. He could have borrowed the money from the government but he didn't
like to be in debt. He knew that if he borrowed the money from the government they would then
have the right to know what he owned. Clarence didn't have much but what he did have he
wanted to remain in his control.
When it came time to move, Clarence was able to lease another farm out in Woodrow.
The house on this farm was very small. It had a small living room, a lean-to kitchen and two very
small bedrooms upstairs. It was not large enough to accommodate the family so a tent was
pitched outside for the boys' sleeping quarters. There was a garage-like building they called a
barn in which they stored things.
Clarence was different from most other farmers of that time in allowing his children to
have pets. The children didn't have many toys but he did let them have the experience of loving
animals and learning the responsibility of caring for them. These pets were often orphaned by
mothers who wouldn't claim them. The mother sow had one too many little pigs for her capacity
to feed them. Clarence took the unwanted one into the house to be bottle fed. The little piggy did
well under the loving care of the children and they named him Jigs. Jigs was a jolly sort of pig,
delighting in playing peek-a-boo and chasing the children through the house. Jigs would
sometimes run through the screen door much to the dismay of Clarence. He decided Jigs was big
enough to provide meat for the family. None of the children would eat him so Clarence ended up
selling the meat. Around this time the children adopted a little lamb that they raised on the bottle.
This little lamb was special because she had blue eyes which they called Bright or Blue Eyes.
Once she fell down the outhouse toilet and OH MY what a mess! It took them a long time to rid
her of that aroma.
Clarence had been called to work in the M.I.A. One particular evening he tied the bull
behind the car to-return it to it's owner on the way to M.I.A. He had borrowed the bull from the
Hendersons and wanted to get him back. He drove and the girls rode in the car with him while
Cal had to run behind switching the bull to keep him from pulling the ring out of his nose. When
they arrived home after M.I.A., they were greeted with a heart sickening sight - the barn had
burned down. All the winter food, all the harnesses, the washing machine, everything they had
worked so hard and long to get was gone. In order to earn some money for the children to have
shoes and a few school clothes and food for the winter, Clarence went to Spanish Fork to work in
the sugar factory. He worked there about three weeks. He was summoned home by his motherin-
law because Abbie was very ill with asthma. Clarence took Abbie to stay with her mother in
Delta so she could recover. It was there on December the first, 1931 she gave birth to ason they
called Lyn, after Abbie's Uncle Lyn, her mother's youngest brother.
Erwin was a lively little boy. He would climb almost anywhere and try flying by jumping
off, having no concept of the danger of it. One day he climbed on the table and decided to try
his wings and fly to the floor. Much to his sorrow he fell on his little arm breaking it. Clarence
was called and they took him to the doctor who set his arm crookedly. Later when he saw how
crooked the arm was he told them they would have to take him over to Fillmore to get it fixed.
This was the last time Clarence took any of his family to this doctor. He decided that Doctor
Smith would be their family doctor from then on.
In the winter of 1932 Clarence rented a small house about a mile north of Delta. This
made a division in the family that winter. The older children remained on the Woodrow farm and
took care of the livestock and other farm chores. Abbie and the younger children moved to this
small house near Delta. While there in Delta another son graced the family of Clarence and
Abbie. He was named after his father and given his mother's maiden name. Clarence Steele was
born February 23,1933.
It was in the spring of 1933 that Clarence received a small compensation for his army
service and for being wounded in the war. The compensation amounted to four hundred dollars.
He used the money to put a down payment on a house that the sugar company had for sale. They
were for sale because the factory had closed down. He was very pleased to move his family into
a home of their very own, one large enough to accommodate them. It had a large front room, a
dining room, a kitchen, and porches in the front and back. The upstairs had three bedrooms, a
bath and a screened porch. In addition to the home the sale price included four garages, land
behind the house for a corral, and seven acres of land across the street and in front of the house
that could be farmed. With the land came nine shares of water for irrigation. This was the first
place where the family had the luxury of an inside bathroom and running water. Although he had
bought this place, he continued to run the Woodrow farm for the remainder of that year. Clarence
also leased for that year the sugar company farm that was located behind his property.
Late that summer the first crop of hay was ready to be harvested on the little piece of land
out in front of the house. Clarence told Dale, not yet eight, it was his job to help stack the hay in
the wagon as it went down the rows in the field. Clarence was working at the barn stacking the
hay as it was brought in. Dale reluctantly went to do this chore with Ellis Whitaker, the hired
hand. After the wagon was all loaded Dale sat on the loose hay and Ellis stood in the wagon and
drove the team of horses. They started out of the field crossing the little ditch at the north end of
the field. When crossing the ditch part of the load slipped off and spooked a young horse that
was not completely broken. He reared up, which frightened the other horses and they began to
run. The sudden jerking of the wagon caused more of the load to roll off bringing Dale with it.
He fell forward under the wagon wheels and had no time or way to escape the heavy deadly
impact of the wagon as it rolled over his small body. Ellis picked him up and ran with him to
Parker's lawn across the street. When Clarence got there he gently picked him up and took him
home. He carried him upstairs and put him on a bed in one of the bedrooms. He knew he had to
go out to Woodrow to tell the children he had left there, Gwen and Cal, and to bring them home.
Poor Cal felt ashamed to cry but couldn't keep from doing so when the full impact of the truth of
Dale's death hit him. He said over and over, "I shouldn't have come in. I knew I would cry:"
The doctor came and declared Dale dead and made out the death certificate that day. It
was two or three days later on the eve of the funeral that Mr. Knight, acting as the undertaker,
came to prepare him for burial. Mr. Knight had Mrs. Pace come to wash and dress him before
putting him into his final resting place. It bothered Abbie that when people came to console the
family they entered an almost bare house with no curtains. Many of Clarence's family came
down from Idaho for the funeral.
Dale had been little Erwin's bed-partner and he would lay awake crying because he was
lonesome and had no one to sleep with. Clarence couldn't suffer the lonely cry of his little son so
he would get up and put Erwin in bed with him and Abbie until he got used to Dale not being
Clarence pondered over the fact that Dale hadn't been baptized, so he went to the stake
authorities and wanted to do his work in the temple for him. He had it all thought out in his mind
that he would first be baptized for Dale then as Dale would have grown older he would do his
endowment work for him. The authorities told him it wasn't necessary to do,this work because
Dale hadn't yet reached the age of accountability. Clarence gained a greater understanding of the
great mercy and justice of the Lord. Through his new understanding of this great principle of the
gospel he felt the great love of the Father of life. He explained this to his children and showed a
relief to know that Dale had entered into the presence of the Lord.
Clarence decided not to run the Woodrow farm the year after Dale's death. He put his
efforts on the land he had leased behind his property. At times he would rent a few additional
acres of land to plant sugar beets. He worked this land behind his property for many years .
Behind the house was a large corral in which he had six to eight milking cows and a large barn
with a loft where he kept rabbits. All the children had their farm chores to do; the older children
would milk the cows and water and feed the horses and cows; the younger children pulled alfalfa
for the rabbits and fed the pigs and calves.
In August of 1935 Clarence received word of his mother's death. His mother had been ill
for sometime so her death was not a shock to him. She died on the 12th day of August and was
buried on the 15th. He went to Idaho Falls, Idaho to her funeral, taking with him his two oldest
daughters, Gyndel and Aza. It was a long hard trip by car to get there in time for the funeral. The
one thing Clarence wanted of his mother's was a small rocker she had given to him as a boy.
Clarence thought his children would enjoy it.
On November 21, 1935 Clarence moved the big bed downstairs into the living room. The
living room couch was moved into the dining room and there was a feeling of anticipation in the
air. Abbie's mother had come down to look after things. The older children knew what was
about to happen and thought they were old enough to be part of this experience. They didn't like
the idea of being shooed to bed early but they reluctantly went upstairs. Although the younger
children didn't understand what was about to happen, they felt the excitement. That evening a
new baby boy was born to Clarence and Abbie. They decided to name their sixth son Leo Steele,
after Leo Lyman a well liked and respected person in the community.
After the death of his mother, Clarence's Aunt Sally, Lauretta Tidwell, harassed his
father to go to the temple and be sealed to his wife. Clarence's father prepared himself to go to
the temple and wanted Clarence to go with him. Father Steele stayed at Clarence's and they went
to the Manti temple from there on September 24, 1935. They got up early and went over to
Moroni, picked up Clarence's Aunt Sally, his mother's sister, then went to Manti to the temple.
At the temple they met Clarence's older sister, Juliette. Aunt Sally acted as proxy for Clarence's
mother and Clarence and Juliette were both sealed to their parents that day. Clarence's father
came back to stay with Clarence and his family for about a week. He delighted the children by
playing with them. He was a gentle, jolly, fun man to be around. Much like a child's idea of
Santa Claus, slightly heavy in stature with white curly hair and mustache. It was a year and nine
months after the death of Clarence's mother that Clarence received a call about his father's death
at the L.D.S. Hospital in Salt Lake City. His father's funeral was in Idaho Falls. He died May 11,
1937 and was buried May 15th in the Rose Hill Cemetery in Idaho Falls, Idaho.
Under President Roosevelt the New Deal Agencies were organized during the lowest
points in the depression ofthe 1930's. It was under the New Deal that in 1933 the C.c.c.
(Civilian Conservation Corp.) was organized. Thousands of young men were employed to
improve forest campgrounds and recreational areas. A C.C.C. camp was setup in Delta; much to
the dismay of many of the towns people. Clarence had compassion on these boys because he
knew what it was like to be far from home in an army-like situation. He often invited them into
his home and treated them as friends. They loved the homemade bread and fresh milk. When
Clarence could afford it, he bought a refrigerator making it possible for milk to be kept fresh to
sell to these boys. Clarence's older daughters would date these young fellows. They enjoyed
going to Billy Van's, an interestingly decorated dance hall with a good dance band. Sometimes
when his daughters didn't have dates, Clarence acted as their chaperone and went with them to
the dance. When Clarence's children went on dates he expected them to be in at a certain time. If
they weren't home at the appointed hour he would wake those at home with his concern. On
some rare occasions he went out looking for the late offenders.
Once the c.C.C. boys decided as an April Fools trick they would get the best of Mr.
Prestwich. During the evening they took a hay rack off his wagon. The next morning Clarence
went down the block to the camp and said calmly, "Come on you guys, let's go put that rack box
back on the wagon." They expected him to be mad with them and were surprised when he was so
calm about it. They got their hats and went to put the rack back on the wagon.
Abbie's parents lived in a small house about two blocks away from Clarence and Abbie.
Abbie's father died September 27, 1937. As her mother was alone, Clarence and Abbie decided
it would be nice for Abbie to stay with her for the birth of their next child. A cute little darkhaired
baby girl was born on March 10, 1938. All the children on their way to or from school
stopped to see their new baby sister. Clarence and Abbie decided that they wanted this baby to
have a name no one else had. They wanted her name to begin with a letter in the range of w to z.
While reading the newspaper Clarence came upon the name Zolet and decided that was the name
for their daughter.
Clarence took the evening to enjoy his children. He would often lie on the lawn and let
the children use him for a tumbling prop, and at times he would race with them. He prided
himself on the strength he had in his hands. He would put a quarter in each hand and tell the boys
if they could get it out they could have it to go to the show. They managed few times if ever to
take them away from him. On Easter he would take the children on a picnic. One Easter picnic
he took them out to what was known as Lone Tree. They put hay or straw in the wagon and
hitched a team to pull it. It was a family hay ride with songs and games. The family enjoyed and
long remembered this happy occasion together.
Christmas was also a grand occasion. Clarence tried to get the small children at least one
nice toy and older children a nice piece of clothing. On Christmas Eve the family would go
together to the church for a program put on by the Primary. Sometimes one of Clarence's
children would have a part in the program. After the singing of Christmas songs Santa Claus
would come and give each child a bag of candy with a big orange in it. Later that evening after
the children were tucked into bed, Clarence and Abbie would go to their special hiding places
and bring out the gifts and put them under the decorated tree. About three in the morning
Clarence would hear footsteps creak on the stairs and call out, "Its only three o'clock in the
morning, go back to bed." He made it a standing rule that the children couldn't get up before he
had gotten up and made the fire in the big red stove. The minute the children heard the ashes
being shaken down they knew that was their cue to get up. This would happen after many
attempts of one child or another trying to go downstairs without getting caught. By the time the
fire was made and the children all down- stairs, it would be a little after five o'clock in the
morning. Clarence liked to be there to see the surprise and joy on his children's faces when they
saw their gifts. Christmas day would be spent playing games such as Monopoly, Rook and other
games received as gifts. There was always a big Christmas dinner with pies, cakes, and many
other goodies to eat. As a Christmas treat Clarence always tried to have a box of oranges and a
bushel of apples down in the basement, and had some hard tack candy and popcorn for treats.
During the long winter evenings the family would play games received at Christmas. Many
evenings were spent around the dinning room table playing Rook.
The older children were growing up. Gyndel graduated from high school in May of 1937
and Aza in 1938. The year Calvin graduated from high school he played on the Delta state
football championship team of 1939. Clarence was a proud father; he loved sports and good
sportsmanship. Whenever it was possible he tried to go to see Calvin play.
The C.c.c. was being dissolved and many boys were going home. Clarence was asked by
his daughter Aza and a C.C.C. fellow they called A.J., if they could borrow the car. They said
they were going to a farewell party for one of the boys who was going home. It was early in the
day when they borrowed the car and towards evening when they returned home. It wasn't until
later that evening that Aza told her mother that she and Amos J. Fears had gone to Beaver and
had gotten married. Abbie told Clarence of the elopement and he was very deeply hurt. because
he felt that they had planned to deceive them from the beginning. When Aza had asked or hinted
about getting married, Clarence had told her it would be wise for her to wait. He said she should
let A.J. go home, then ifhe still cared he would come back to Delta and ask her to marry him.
February 28, 1940 was an unhappy evening for Clarence and Abbie, when it should have been a
happy occasion. After Amos 1. Fears had gone South to Florida, he sent for Aza to join him. Her
home from then was in the state of Florida.
Lola graduated from high school in 1940 and decided to go on to college. She applied
and enrolled at the Branch Agriculture College at Cedar City, Utah. Clarence and Abbie were
very pleased to have her go to college. They sacrificed much for her to continue her education.
They had taken her down or had gone to see her and had left the older children in charge of
things. Strict instructions were left for them not to tease or irritate the big bull penned up in the
corral. When Clarence and Abbie got back, much to their dismay, Beth had been bunted by the
bull and suffered a broken shoulder. They were concerned about this and were grateful she hadn't
been killed. As was Clarence's nature he accepted big serious problems with calmness; it was
only the small ones that irritated him.
Clarence and Abbie's oldest daughter met a pleasant fellow who came into Delta as a
railroad worker. When he asked her to marry him, she agreed. They asked Bishop Warren
Henderson to come to the house to marry them. On November 25, 1940 Clara Gyndel married
Edward James Tureson in the presence of her family.
Clarence was able to save enough money to buy a radio. The children loved it, they
would hurry home from school to listen to their favorite programs; Jack Armstrong, Hop
Harrican, The Lone Ranger. It was a half hour of real excitement. Clarence listened to the news
about the war in Europe and it was getting continually worse. Germany was again the aggressor
under the dictatorship of Adolf Hitler. Japan joined forces with Germany, and on December 7,
1941 bombed Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the government formed
concentration camps for the Japanese families living in the western coastal areas. One such camp
was built west of Delta at what was called Topaz Mountain about seventy miles out in the desert.
These Japanese people who we,re used to fine clean living quarters were given a frame barrack
type house to live in. The Salt Lake, Delta Freight Line was formed to ship supplies out to these
people because the small town of Delta wasn't large enough to accommodate them. Clarence got
the job of managing this freight line at the Delta end of it. His job was to deliver goods to Topaz
and to other small towns. He met many wonderful Japanese people. He felt sorry for them
because most were loyal Americans. When he took the truck filled with commodities, many
fellows were there to help him unload it. He made many friends among these people and wanted
to show them his appreciation so he made a freezer full of ice cream and took it to his helpers
and their families in Topaz.
With war declared Calvin, the oldest son of Clarence and Abbie, wanted to join up and
fight for his country's rights. Clarence knowing the hardships and bitter ugliness of war didn't
want him drafted. He drove Calvin over to Fillmore, the county-seat, to join the Navy. He felt the
Navy wouldn't face the severe battles of war. Calvin was color blind and was unable to make it
into the regular Navy. He qualified however, for the building branch of the Navy known as the
Clarence walked to priesthood every Sunday morning with his two sons, Erwin a priest
and Lynjust made a deacon. He was anxious for his sons to make advancements in the
priesthood when they came of age. Clarence, himself an Elder was ordained to the office of High
Priest December 26, 1943. He was ordained by M. Ward Moody. He was pleased with his
ordination into this priesthood quorum.
Lola, Clarence's third daughter, had gone from Cedar City to train at the University of
Utah and L.D.S. Hospital to be a nurse. She fmished her three years and graduated as a registered
nurse. There was a great need for army nurses so she joined the army as a nurse ..Clarerrce was
very proud of his lieutenant daughter. Clarence had spent many hours in an army hospital and
greatly appreciated and respected the efforts of those nurses.
In August 1945 the great war ended. The concentration camp at Topaz was dissolved and
the people could again go to their homes. Clarence's son and daughter returned home. Clarence
no longer ran the sugar factory farm out back. His main employment had been with the freight
line during the war years. Now the war was over he continued to be employed by them. He still
had cows, horses and pigs. These he kept in a corral he had built on his property at the back of
the house just behind the railroad tracks. The same thing had kept him from buying the sugar
factory farm behind his home as it had the other farms that he'd worked; he didn't have the down
payment. Someone with the down payment came along and bought it. Clarence was grateful for
the freight line job so he could support his growing family.
Clarence had a pleasant singing voice. He would sit with one of the small children on his
knee and sing while he rocked him or her. As he drove in the car or the truck delivering groceries
to the outlying small towns he would whistle. Two songs seemed to be his favorite. "San
Antonio, San Antonio, she hopped upon her pony and she rode away Tony. If you see her just let
me know and I'll meet you in San Antonio." The other was Red Wing, "There once lived an
Indian maid, a shy little prairie maid who sang a lay; a love song gay; as on the plain she whiles
away the day. She loved a warrior bold, this shy little maid of old. But brave and gay he rode one
day to battle far away. Now the moon shines tonight on pretty Red Wing, the breeze is sighing,
the night birds crying, for a far 'neath his star her brave is sleeping, as Red Wing's weeping her
A chance came for Clarence to buy a good used piano which was an old upright in very
good condition. When the children learned to play even the simplest pieces, he would be
delighted. He enjoyed music and often sang and listened to his children sing as they did the
dishes. One song he requested that his daughter Nelda learned to play on the piano was "Nearer
My God to Thee."
Gyndel, Clarence's oldest was living in Tonopah, Nevada and had come home bringing
her two sons on a visit. She received word that the bills were not paid and her husband could not
be found. She left the boys with their grandparents and went back to settle the bills as best she
could. Edward James Tureson was not heard from for many years after that. Gyndel and her sons
James Michael and Darrel moved back to Delta to live with her folks. Clarence worked hard to
make two of the four garages into living quarters for Gyn and the boys. She lived there until she
could get a legal divorce for desertion. A C.C.C. fellow Gyn had met several years before came
back to Delta and became reacquainted with her. He wanted to marry her, and on July 29, 1946
Grady Henry McEvoy and she were married. Clarence again gave the bride away. The wedding
took place in the home with Bishop June Black conducting the ceremony:
Clarence put in many hard hours working on the freight line with his boys helping him
when they got home from school. It was not easy to lift and carry boxes from one truck to
another or unload the boxes at the stores, and then at night also doing the bookkeeping work. An
offer came for Clarence to go to work at a ranch out at Gandy. This was west of Delta about 80
miles out in the desert. He decided to take the job to get away from the tension of the freight line
and because of the joy that came to him from working the land. It was while he was a Gandy that
his daughter Beth graduated as valedictorian from the Branch Agriculture college at Cedar City,
Utah. Clarence was able to get a leave from his job so the he and Abbie could go to Cedar City to
hear her give her address at the graduation commencement. Abbie and Clarence were very
proud, pleased parents.
Clarence didn't work long at Gandy. The truck line wanted him to come back and work
for them. He didn't really want to, but Abbie wanted him to. She needed his help in disciplining
and caring for the six remaining youngsters at home and so Clarence returned to Delta to again
work for the freight line.
It was a thrill for Clarence when his son Erwin expressed a desire to go on a mission for
the church. Erwin had graduated from high school in May 1947 and he decided that a mission
was his next achievement. A desire he had had to go on a mission would be fulfilled by his son.
Clarence immediately started saving money for this event although it was only possible to save
small amounts at a time. When stake conference was held, Clarence went with Erwin when he
was interviewed by one of the general authorities who was visiting at the stake.
Gyndel and Mac (short for McEvoy), her husband, had an old army station wagon truck
they had painted gray. They planned to go to the South in it to visit his folks and on to Florida to
visit Aza. They felt they had plenty of room and encouraged Gyndel's mother to accompany
them. Clarence wanted Abbie to go because he felt it would be nice for her take a trip and relax
from her many responsibilities. She was gone during the month of June, 1947. The children,
which consisted of Nelda, the five younger boys and little Zolet, stayed home and helped their
father. Calvin was staying there while his wife was in Washington visiting her sister. Nelda was
left to be in charge of doing the housework. Clarence was very thoughtful of his daughter. He
consoled her when the family didn't like her cooking and when the bread wouldn't rise and had to
be thrown out. He would praise and express words of appreciation for her efforts.
During the time Abbie was away Clarence had severe headaches and often didn't feel
well. He tried not to let the children know just how ill he was. He didn't want them to write to
their mother and spoil her visit in the South with tales of his illness. It was a happy day for
Clarence when Abbie arrived home. He and Erwin drove over to Nephi to meet her bus. On the
way home Erwin did the driving while Clarence and Abbie sat in the back seat. Clarence reached
over and took Abbie's hand saying over and over again, "Oh, I'm glad your home." It was only a
short time later, perhaps a week or two, that Clarence fell unconscious with a stroke.
Clarence was at work preparing to unload a semi-truck by winding the small wheels of
the truck trailer down. As he raised up from doing this chore everything turned black and he fell
unconscious to the ground. It was a struggle to get him into the house. His mental state would
swing from rational to irrational. A doctor came, but he was not their doctor and didn't seem to
know how to proceed. Nothing was done for Clarence except to try and keep him from going out
and trying to work. When Doctor Bird, their family doctor came, he advised them to continue to
keep him quiet. He was guided upstairs and put to bed. As he lay in bed he relived his army years
in battle and did his freight line bookkeeping; hunting for missing recorders over and over again
in his irrational state of mind. He could not be kept quiet. Lola came from her home in Cedar
City for a few days to relieve her mother from the burden of meeting the demands of her sick
husband. They decided to move him from the upstairs bedroom to Gyndel's and Mac's place half
a block away where it was cooler. Abbie stayed both day and night with Clarence because he
didn't want anyone else. It was only in his rational moments that others could relieve her. During
a time when his mind was clear, Nelda went to sit with him and he told her that he had seen
heavenly visitors. He said that his sister-in-law, Florence had visited him and she was very sad
because her husband Ernest, his brother, hadn't been baptized and wasn't active in the church.
She wanted Clarence to encourage Ernest to return to the church and become active . After this
experience Clarence felt a great desire to see his brothers and encourage them to be active in the
church. He had Abbie write each of them and ask them if they would please come to see him.
Doctor Bird and the American Legion arranged for Clarence to go to the Veteran's
Hospital in Salt Lake. Mr. Nichols' hearse acted as an ambulance to carry him up to Salt Lake.
While he was in Salt Lake City, Clarence's brothers; Wesley, Mertillis, Ernest, Newell, Osmer
and his sister, Juliette came to visit him. It was only about a week after Clarence was admitted
into the hospital, that he left this life on August 9, 1947. His funeral was held in the Delta
Second Ward on August 14th; this gave time for his daughter Aza to come from Florida. This is
a report of the funeral services as written in the Salt Lake Tribune: '
CLARENCE PRESTWICH HONORED AT MILITARY FUNERAL
Funeral services for Clarence Prestwich, complete with military honors as he requested, were
held in the Delta Second Ward Chapel, Thursday morning under the direction of Bishop June W.
Black and Ward Spendlove, commander of the American Legion Arthur L. Cahoon Post 89.
Ward Killpack, representing the legionnaires, read a brief sketch of the life of Mr.
Prestwich and John Steele, uncle of Mrs. Prestwich spoke words of encouragement and comfort
to the bereaved family. A reading, "He is Just Away" was given by Mrs. Louise Adams.
Musical selections were a vocal duet, "Sometime We'll Understand" by Layton Bishop
and Betty Turner; a solo "Silver-Haired Daddy of Mine" by Lee Ray McAllister, and a violin
solo, "The Lord is My Shepherd" by Norma Hannifin. Ora Mae Bishop accompanied all the
numbers on the piano.
Bishop A.E. Stephenson gave the invocation and Bishop E.L. Lyman the benediction. The
colors were advanced and retired before and after the services by the American Legion and
Fenton Gardner and Carl Theobald, color bearers, and George Roundy and Elmer
Hollingshead, color guards.
Legionnaires George Cahoon, MJ Moody, Will Killpack, L.R. Johnson, Roy Hilton and
Lamond Bunker performed the duties of pall bearers.
The grave at Delta cemetery was dedicated by Harold R. Morris chaplain of the post and
president of the Deseret Stake. He also made the presentation of the flag to Mrs. Prestwich.
Owen Gardner was in charge of the firing squad with Ward Killpack, Ben Robison,
Wilber Franklin and Schyler Gardner it's members.
Clarence didn't leave his family great worldly wealth, but he did leave them gifts that are
eternal in their value. He left his family an honorable name and an honorable code of living. He
taught them obedience and self discipline. No vulgarity was allowed in his home. He taught his
children never to go into debt needlessly. He showed them that one must stay true to obligations
made, no matter how difficult the assigned task was. He respected those in authority as well as
his elders, his neighbors and friends and encouraged his children to do the same. He never chose
his friends for personal gain but rather for their sincerity and willingness to show their true worth
through their actions. Clarence impressed upon his family that talk was cheap and had little value
if not coupled with sincere actions, or in the words of John, "Faith without works is dead."
Through his sacrifices his children learned how to sacrifice for those they love. He lived a life
that influenced for good his children and his posterity eternally .
Clarence Prestwich From A Journey Through Moroni
Contributor: jodilu57 Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago
In Lehi, Utah on February twenty sixth in the year eighteen ninety two was born the eighth child of Julia Ann Draper Prestwich and George Prestwich. This was their fifth son, whom they called Clarence.
Clarence’s youth was spent mostly in Lehi Utah. His father managed a small farm there. One day, while working on the farm, preparing the land for planting or harvesting, a lightening and thunder storm came. The lightening hit the machinery on which Clarence was sitting. He was knocked off unconscious. His mother thought he was dead. Many times after that his life was spared.
In 1903, when Clarence was 11, He and his family moved to Lincoln Idaho. When he finished grammar school, he went back to Lehi to finish his education. He lived with his sister Juliett and brother-in -law Eli Fox, working on the farm to earn his keep. After two years of school there he returned to Idaho Falls to work. Ernest, Clarence's older brother invited him to work with him at Delta, Utah. They worked for the Sterns and Rogers sugar factory. Clarence's job was to be an overseer of city boys of eleven to thirteen years in ages. They lived in tents on the farms and their main duty was to thin the beets.
The Hub Mercantile was were they did their shopping. It was there he met Abigail Steele, she was the cute little clerk that waited on him. He courted Abbie and asked her to marry him. They were married August 29th, 1917 in the Salt Lake Temple by Joseph Fielding Smith. None of their family was in attendance at the marriage.
They took a honeymoon to Lincoln Idaho where Clarence introduced his bride to his parents. It was while they were there that a telegram came from Abbie's father saying that Clarence needed to report in Salt lake October 4th 1917 to leave for the army. The country was in war. They took the train back to Salt Lake. Getting off one train bidding his crying bride good-by he boarded the other train.
Clarence was assigned to the 119th field artillery at Fort Lewis. After training there he was sent to Camp Kearney the shipping out point for Europe. Shortly after Christmas his artillery division was shipped to Europe. He was station in France where the 119th artillery division' orders were to proceed from the Soissons front to the fighting front lines located in the Argonne Woods. At one of the silent intervals of the fighting Clarence received word of his first child's birth, a daughter, to be name Clara Gyndel. At another time, while on the move, a call came from a women's voice "Move to the side of the road." Looking to see whom it might have been, Clarence saw Julia, his sister-in law who had past through this earthly veil. Again she called "Move the side of the road." This time all the fellows with him heard the call. They moved quickly. On the very spot where they had been, a shell fell, exploding into flying pieces of metal.
While at the Argonne Front Clarence was wounded by a piece of shrapnel. It was driven into his right shoulder on Oct 29, 1918. He left for home on a hospital ship. As they faced the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor he said. "You will have to do right about face before I will ever face you again." He didn’t intend to go East again. The news that greeted them as they entered New York Harbor was "The Armistice has been signed”. The war was over.
Clarence was sent to Des Moines Iowa for treatment. After spending Christmas at home, and being able to put the temple garment back on, he knew that his shoulder would heal faster. He then put in to be moved to Fort Douglas. He was discharged May 29th, 1919.
Clarence couldn't find employment in Delta, after his discharge so he moved his family to Idaho Falls and worked at the sugar company there for about 4 years then went back down to the Delta Utah area where he rented farms and raised sugar beets. He enjoyed working the land.
Except for his second child, Aza, who was borne in Lincoln Idaho all of his children were borne in the Delta area. He was a pleased father of 12 children. His great love for his family was shown in his continued initiative and struggle to provide for their needs.
In 1933 with a small compensation for his army service Clarence was able to put a down payment on a home. What a joy to the family to have a home of their own. That same year shortly after moving in to their new home sadness came to the family. Dale, the sixth child was run over and killed by a run away team of horses, June 30th 1933.
Clarence's mother, Julia, died in August of 1935. His Aunt Sally harassed his father, George, to get the sealing work done, for they had not been married in the temple. Clarence's father, George Prestwich came to stay with him and from Delta went to the Manti temple and had that sealing work done on September 24, 1935. Aunt Sally, Lauretta Tidwell, acted as proxy for Clarence's mother. Clarence and Juliette his older sister was sealed to their parents at that
time. Clarence's father died May 11, 1937, in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Clarence enjoyed his children. He worked with them but also played with them. He would help them tumble out on the lawn, take them on picnics, and went to the dances with the teenagers. He was a good dancer and his daughters liked to dance with him. As his children dated he would expect them to be home at the appointed time. He often enjoyed the evenings around the dinning room table playing games with the family. When his children participated in any school active he tried to support them by being there.
In about 1943 Clarence started working for the Salt Lake Delta Fright line delivering things shipped on it. This was during the time of the Second World War. The Japanese, from the west coast, had been put into a concentration camp, called Topaz, which was many miles west of Delta, out in the desert. Clarence would deliver things to the Japanese people there. He felt sorry
for them, for most of them were loyal Americans. He made many friends among them. During World War Two, Calvin his oldest son joined the Seabees, and his daughter Lola became an army nurse. He was pleased to walk with them in their uniforms when they came home on leave.
While working on the fright line winding the small wheels of a trailer down. Clarence had a stroke. His family cared for him at home as best they could. While he lay ill Florence, a deceased sister-in law, come to him with concern for her husband, Ernest. He had not been baptized into the Church. She wanted
Clarence to encourage Ernest to get his work done. Clarence then felt a great need to see his brothers and encourage them to be active in the church. Abbie wrote to each of them. Before they came, his condition became worse so arrangements were made for Clarence to be taken to the Veterans hospital in Salt Lake City. His brothers, Wesley, Mertillis, Ernest, Newell, Osmer and his
sister Juliette came to visit him there. It was about a week later that Abbie was summons from her home in Delta to Salt Lake City. Clarence was unconscious when she got there and never regained consciousness. He died about a half hour after her arrival.
Clarence died on the 9th of August 1947. He was buried August 14th 1947 at the Delta Cemetery, Delta, Millard, Utah.