Life of Daniel Lewis Murdock
Contributor: MDSIMS Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago
THE LIFE OF DANIEL LEWIS MURDOCK
I was born of wonderful parents: Daniel Jefferson Murdock and Matha Vilate Wilson Murdock on December 31, 1888 west of Blackfoot in Bingham County, Idaho. It was the last month of the year, the last week of the year also the last day and hour os that year. It happened in a little 3-room log house with a dirt roof on it. This home belonged to my grandfather, Lewis Dunbar Wilson and his second wife, Eliza Ellen Hutn Wilson. He was handy with the sick so she was the nurse and doctor for mother and I. Mother had said that the cords in my neck were injured during my birth so I have always carried my head a little ot one side all my life.
My grandfather was a carpenter so the house was well constructed and comfortable. It still stand on Highway 39, across from the open air theater. It has had rooms added and has been covered on the outside.
My parents came to Idaho in the fall of 1888 and as they did not have a home, Aunt Eliza asked them to stay with her that wintere which they did. That is why I was born in her home. In the spring of 1889 my parents settled on a piece of ground located one mile east and one mile south of what is now called Riverside. My father broke up the land from sagebrush and made ditches on it and planted a crop. The country was so new and it was very hard to make a living, os in the fall, my parents decided to return to Ogden where they thought they could provide for our family as we now had 2 boys: Leroy was 2 years older than I.
We lived at Wilson Lane west of Ogden, Weber County, Utha until the fall of 2895 when father decided that he still wanted to live in Idaho so we moved back to Idaho & lived in Blackfoot that winter so Leroy and I could go to school. We had started our schooling at Wilson Lane.
During the winter of 1895 abd 1896 the Peoples Canal was being built. My father worked there and they were paid $2.00 in stock and $1.00 in cash when the company could get it, or, store credit for a day’s work for a man and a team.
In December 1895 on my 7th birthday my father rode a horse out eleven miles west of Blackfoot to what was called “Burrow Basin”, now called “Rockford”. He chose a quarter section of land where the family were to live during the early part of our lives. This land took in what is now the Don Shultz farm, my son Elwin’s farm, the Elmer Hall property and J. Ancle Peterson’s property. Later, my father bought 40 acres west of the Aberdeen-Springfield Canal which is now owned by LaVar M. Wood. My father obtained a 2-room frame house in Pocatello and moved it onto the place. It was the only house in neighborhood – as the 3 neighbors we had all lived in dugouts! These neighbors were: Ernest Coles, Rance West, and E.T. Malcolm families. It was a mile to the Malcolm residence.
It was here that we three boys, Leroy, Leo and I had the measles and father kept the house so hot for 3 days that we boys thought we would smother. As was the custom, to prove up on a place, mother and we 3 boys lived on the homestead while father worked away from home in order to provide for our family. From scraps gathered from different places, we built a shelter for 3 horses and cows and for a small chicken coop. We boys walked to the Wilson school house to school which was about a 3 ½ mile walke through the sage brush. We lived on the farm during 1896 and until the fall of 1897 when my father secured some lots in Riverside where we lived during the winters. These lots where we lived for about 5 years were across the street west of the Riverside Church house and our home was on the southeast corner of these lots.
The first year at Riverside we kids had to walk 1 ½ miles south to a little 1-room log school house with a dirt roof where they taught all the pupils that could get there---ranging in age from 6 to 20 years. Later, they built a 2-room school house on the townsite. This was a big improvement. While living in Riverside we did well in school, in church and in other social activities. Most of my schooling was received while we lived in riverside.
My father secured 20 acres eat of Riverside townsite and as he plowed it Leroy and I agathered the sagebrush and burned it.
One summer while we were homesteading our farm at Burrow Basin we had an invasion of big red crickets (called Mormon Crickets). They were so numberous everyone was kept busy killing as many as they could inorder to keep them out of t he hosue and out of our food. The crickdts seemed to be going north and they ate what green growth was in the path There were not crops west of the Peoples Canal as yet and crickets seemed to disappear orth into the lava beds.
My father used to put up hay in Montana so I was the boy who rode the derrick horse. As I liked horses, I soon got other jobs riding derrick horses.
During the summer months the cows were turned out to graze on the desert west of our home. With Horse and dog I would get out to bring them in and they were sometimes hard to find as they had lots of open desert in which to feed.
Spring came early in 1902 so the family worked hard to get the crop planted and the homestead fenced. My father and I woked with other neighbors every day except Sundays on a ditch 4 ½ miles long in order to get water from the Peoples Canal to irrigate our farm. By June 20th the ditch was finised and we were able to water our crops.
In summer and fall we had jack robbits to conted with. So, in order to control these rabbits my father had to buy $300.00 worth of rabbit wire on credit tofence the farm. (This was quite a sume of money in those days). The rabbits were as thick as Blackbirds on the shocks of grain. We got only 81 bushels of wheat from 17 acres. I had a real pioneer life – watching the country grow and develop into a beautiful valley. As the country developed and grew in population schools were built, also churches.
I worked on the Aberdeen-Springfield Canal with 4 horses and a Fresno scraper – I also worked on the roads and helped with the building of t he rock church at Thomas. I also helped with many other things to promote the growth and advancement of the country. As I grew to manhood and began to socialize with the rest of the young folks, I met a lovely girl who had moved to Thomas from Southern Utah. In 1909 we began to have dates that leter developed into marriage. Her name was Pearl Jones. Because I did not get as much schooling as I wanted I went to Ricks College in the winter of 1909-1910 to take a preparatory course and graduated. At their spring festival I was asked to run in the races. As I was a fast foot races, I was able to enter all the races and won them.
On December 20, 1911 Pearl and I were married in the Salt Lake Temple. We made our home on 40 acres of land 1 mile north of Thomas where we still live (1967) after 55 years. We had $80.00 to start our married life on.
In the fall after the crops were harvested I would haul our fire wood from the lavas. I would take hay and water for the horses and food and bedding for myself—because it took more than one day to do the job of getting a good load of wood. I also hlped put the beets t hat were piled at Rockford into the railroad cars. We would shovel them into our beet racks with a beet fork and then take them over the dump. This was all done by hand and it was hard work. I would leave home in the morning before daylight and would return home after dark. As I remember it, we got .25 a ton for our work.
Our first home was a 3-room frame house we built. We got what furniture we could—we had to dig a well and plant a crop. We were able to borrow money for the necessities that we had to have. I had one good team of horses, a hand plow and a set of harrows…the rest of the machinery I needed I had to borrow from my father. We cleared the land and planted about 30 acres of grain and made ditches inorder towater the crops. When fall came we gathered our crop and paid the debts we had to pay. We didn’t have much to live on the next year so I had to pick up small jobs to provide a living and then plant a crop the next spring.
I was able to build a small barn for 4 horses and a couple of cows, also a small chicken coop. We had a garde every year that provided us food along with the eggs and milk. This was hard work and we saved all we could…we were so busy we didn’t have much time for recreation away from home---this was the way we started our married life. As we continued to work hard and save we were able to accumulate more of the necessities of life. As our family increased we bought more acres and built 2 more homes in chich to rear our family in love. We really enjoyed our family. By honesty and good management we were able to meet our obligations.
It has been a hppy life and now after 55 years we have most of our famiy close around us to visit, to love and enjoy. It has always been my main purpose in life to give our children a good education and a good start in life that I lacked. I have always had good credit and this has enabled us to help our children get homes and land. All of them are prospering and they care well for their families. We have had 9 children, 6 sons and 3 daughters. We have both been active in church and community and have watched the country grow from sagebrush to green fields, from dirt roads to gravel, to paved ones, from log homes and dugouts to brick cement homes, from log schools to modern ones, from wagons and buckboards to fine automobiles, trucks and tractors, railroads, airplanes, and lots faster conveyances.
STATISTICS & ACTIVITIES
Born: 31 Dec 1888 at Riverside, Bingham County, Idaho
Father: Daniel Jefferson Murdock
Mother: Martha Vilate Wilson
Schooling:Started in Wilson Lane, Ogden, Utah. Finished Riverside & Thomas, and Ricks College, preparatory course the winter of 1909-1910.
Marriage:To Annie Pearl Jones in the Salt Lake Temple on 20 Dec 1911 by Adolph Madson. She was the daughter of Jacob Orlando Jones and Nellie Sandberg Jones, born 22 Apr 1891 at Dallas, Oura County, Colorado.
Church Ordinations & Activities:
Baptized 3 Sep 1897, Riverside Ward by Lewis Dunbar Wilson
Confirmed 3 Sep 1897, Riverside Ward by G.B. Wintle
Ordained Teacher 11 Jan 1909 by Daniel Jefferson Murdock, Thomas Ward
Ordained Elder 28 Aug 1910 by Joseph Holland, Thomas Ward
Ordained High Priest 27 May 1951 by Lawrence T. Lambert
Counselor in Y.M.M.I.A. to George O. Watt
Sunday School Teacher
High Priest Group Leader
School Trustee for District #48, nine years
President Lidsay Lateral Ditch Company
Director of Peoples Canal Company
Vice President of Peoples Canal Company