The Life Story of David Hugh Heath
Contributor: SouthPawPhilly Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago
The Life Story of David Hugh Heath
(Written by himself and transcribed by K. Heath in 2014. Original in the possession of his son, Bruce Heath)
My earliest recollections go back to the time our family lived in Kansas and Oklahoma. I really can’t remember anything about the old homestead where I was born, nor of Grandpa’s and grandma’s place, but I do remember Uncle Ralph Heath’s place which wasn’t far away. It was 11 miles N. E. of Liberal, Ks. He and Aunt Cora had a large two-story house, a wind mill that pumped water for all their domestic use, as well as the pond where the livestock came to drink. I faintly remember a buckskin horse that Aunt Cora used to ride.
When I was four years old, Dad was working with a haying crew somewhere in the neighborhood and I had the Job of driving the team of horses that powered the hay bailer. I drove them around and around until I got tired. Some man on the crew gave me 50 cents for my efforts, the first money I ever earned. I have no idea what I did with it.
Next I remember when our family lived in Guymon, Okla. where dad bought and operated a small grocery store. This was an unsuccessful venture, but I enjoyed eating quite a bit of candy (especially the little red-hots, and, I’m sure too much of the profits). During our time in Guymon, mother spent some time in the hospital, and “Old Mrs. Redmond” came to take care of us kids. Uncle Herbert Sternberg, mother’s brother, came to visit us while we lived there.
I don’t remember the year(s) we lived in Guymon, nor the time Dad rented a rented a ranch along the Beaver River, where he got ‘wiped out’ by either flood or drouth.
In the fall (Nov.) of 1916 Dad left Ks. And went to Paul Idaho. He was headed for Oregon, but stopped in Paul to visit with H. H. (Hank) Keck, one of his old former Ks. Neighbors. In the meantime mother and we five kids went down into the Jack Pines of Oklahoma and visited with Uncle Frank & Aunt Lula Snyder. The Scated cousins lived somewhere near there and we got acquainted with them
In Jan. 1917 we all went back up to Liberal and stayed with Uncle Ralph and Aunt Cora for a short time, before we also left for Idaho. Uncle Ralph had butchered a beef and many sandwiches of tongue, liver, and heart were made for us to eat while o the train going to Idaho. While at the railroad station in Denver, some peddler tried to sell some large red apples to mother. They really looked big and delicious to us kids, but mother didn’t have money to spend for such luxuries, so we didn’t get any.
We finally got to Paul, Idaho. I don’t know how long it took us, but for a five-year old boy, it was a long trip.
We went to hank Kecks place No. of Paul and spent the winter in a one room shack that Dad had built.
The Minidoka project was just recently opened for homesteading & Dad liked the looks of prospects there, so he didn’t go on to Oregon, but spent the rest of his life there.
Hank & Mag Keck & daughter Susan (Bobby) lived in a real small house. They has 80 acres of land, (irrigated from the canals that came from the Minidoka Dam on the Snake River), some horses, a few sheep, and a small barn that I liked to climb in, clear up into the cupalo. Of course Mother never know that I was a climber. We were all afraid of the big old buck sheep that Hank kept, & he kept us on the alert every time we went outside. Hank liked bees. In the years that followed he had hundreds of hives of honey bees and made his living mostly from them.
My first experience with bees was when I played the good Samaritan and rescued one from the irrigation ditch. It stung me on the finger.
Dad never was able to scrape up enough money to buy a farm, so he worked for wages the rest of his live. He helped many farmers in the area with their crops.
Sometime during the early summer of 1917 we moved to a small house on the Hank Van Hise place, S. W. of Paul, where Dad helped put up hay, & did other formwork. It was while we were on the Van Hise place that I remember some of my earlies experiences in life. Hank had a team of black horses called Dine and Nickel. Old Nickel stepped on my foot one day & I was sure my foot was broken. After removing my shoe and Dad and I examined it, I used his button hook to button up my shoe. One day while walking out through the sand dunes and sagebrush, I found a large, perfect black arrowhead, about 2 ½ or 3 inches long. While playing with it & tossing it in the air, I missed catching it one time & promptly lost it again. On another ocasion, while the men were hauling & stacking hay, they would catch field mice for me, and I had my little over pockets full of them, some of them still alive. On our way to the farm on a load of hay, while crossing a ditch, the wagon tipped and I had to slide off the high side of the load, hanging on to my pockets so I wouldn’t lose any mice. One day Hank suggested I go and reach under an old sitting turkey hen to see if she had any eggs under her. She took a stab at my eye and just barely missed by a half an inch. Hank used to rob sparrows nests, cut the ends off the eggs & give them to me to suck the contents out of them. So much for the experiences of a growing six-year-old boy.
Dad was so thrilled with the way crops could produce on the irrigated land in Idaho, he had us kids go out and hand-strip the ripe seed from the sweet clover plants. Then he sacked up quite a few pounds of it and sent it back to Uncle Ralph in Ks.
I started my schooling in the first grade in the Paul grade school in the fall of 1917. Soon after that our family moved our near the sugar factory east of Paul, which the Amalgamated Sugar Co. was building. Dad worked there on the final stages of it’s construction, then stayed and worked through the winter during it’s first processing campaign.
It was while we lived there that our sister Bonnie Brace was born Nov. 15th 1917. I wll remember coming home from school that day and seeing our new baby sister. Our closest neighbors were the Boatrights, Tom Lillian, and their daughters, and Lillian helped in delivering Bonnie into the world.
Later that fall, we moved into Paul. There was a two or three room apartment upstairs over the Imes store, and we lived there for about two years. It was while we lived there that I learned small boys shouldn’t stick their tongues on the frozen handle of water pumps.
Also , one day I found a cigarrette, and out of curiosity, I had to try it. It really didn’t taste all that good. When Mother found out that I had been smoking, she didn’t say a word of reprimand; she just put her arm around me and kissed me and I knew she loved me even if she didn’t approve of my smoking. She was a very patient, loving Mother. I can’t remember her ever getting cross with any of us six kids. She was a hard worker doing more than her share in providing for al of us. She made many clothes for us and prepaired the best kind of meals with what she had to do it with. Her health wasn’t too good but she endured much.
She opened up a milinary shop across the street in the Paul Hotel building, where she made many ladies hats and other wearing apparel. She had boughten a new Singer sewing machine in the summer of 1917 and spent many hours using it.
One day a band of Gypsies came to town and as was their custom they invaded all places of business, confiscating anything they could get their hands on. One old gal grabbed up a few bolts of cloth & said she needed some of it to make clothes for her children, and Mother refused to let her have it, saying she had six children of her own to make clothes for, but the old Gypsie got away with one bolt of red material & left, after mother put up a struggle to keep her from taking more.
One Sunday afternoon while many of the townspeople were in Rupert attending a Paul vs. Rupert basketball game, the Golden Rule drygoods store caught fire & was totally destroyed. Because Paul had no fire fighting equipment nor alarm system, Mother stood out on the balcony, beating on an aluminum kettle with her potatoe masher, trying to attract attention to the fire, but it was all I vain
One day while I was running down the sidewalk in my barefeet, I stubbed my big toe and peeled the whole end of it back clear to the bone. This was another one of many times my Mother showed love and compassion for one of her little ones. It was just her nature to be that way. A number of times I have gon quietly into a room where she would be, and found her down on her knees, head bowed and praying. She had a lot of burdens to bare, and found much comfort in going to Heavenly Father for help. In all the years I knew her, I don’t remember that she ever lived in a house that had a bathroom, a kitchen sink, or running water. She never had a washing machine and did all our launderying on the old wash board, heating the water in a boiler on the old kitchen coalor wood fired stove. Alway with one exception it was necessary to cary water in buckets from a pump or well outside the house. The one exception was when we lived in our little two room home at the S.W. edge of town where Dad had driven a shallow well, about 16 feet, and we had a pitcher pump in the house. That was one convenience Mother really enjoyed.
During the winter of 1918-19 the flu epidemic hit most families in the country, & we were all down sick in bed at our house, all except Dad who managed to keep going. It was a trying time for all of us, especially with mother with a new baby to fee. Many families lost loved ones, but ours all survived.
The first school teachers I can remember that I had included Mrs. George (Dorothy) Smith in first grade. She was a crauchy old gal and I never liked her. I think I got off to a poor start in school because of her. Me second grade teacher was Miss Nellie Grette. She was kind, sweet, and patient, and I always liked her. Miss Simmonds I had in 3rd or 4th. I liked her too and I liked school better because of her. I don’t remember my 5th & sixth grade teachers in Paul, but I don’t remember learning to spell pretty good and I liked history and geography.
It was about the summer of 1919 that we moved from the Imes building to our home on the hiway, S.W. edge of town. It was small, but Mother and Dad really worked hard to make it nice and comfortable. Dad bought four city lots from Jim Ellis in the area that was known as the Ellils Addition. All of us kids were required to work at helping do whatever we could to make the place a home. Dad loved trees and we planted lots of them; silver maple, poplar, black locust, pines. We had a large lawn, strawberry and raspberry patches, gooseberries, rhubarb and all kinds of vegetables in the garden, plus a number of fruit trees of various kinds. Most anything we planted would grow here and we had plenty of water from the irrigation ditch which was at the end of our garden. Dad even planted peanuts, and they grew quite well. We kept a few chickens, and sometimes a pig. Uncle Ralph sent some starts from Grandma Heaths yellow rose bushes that she loved so much, in Kansas, and Dad planted them with T. L. C. We had a large hedge of them in our backyard. We also had a lilac hedge running South from the west side of our house, and we also had a lot of different kinds of flowers. I remember especially the yellow roses, pansies, and the large yellow golden rods. No pioneer worked harder with his hands than Dad did, trying to make our home and surroundings beautiful, as well as productive. I wish I had learned earlier to appreciate his efforts in doing things for others. Mother too did her share in providing for her home and family. I recall one time when we needed milk and it was too expensive to buy, so she talked a local farmer into letting her have a young cow that had just freshened. This cow had never been milked, but mother managed to get the job done, even if she did get kicked over a few times in the process. She was determined that we kids get the milk we needed. During those years, Mother still operated her little millinary shop, first in the Paul Hotel building, and then later in the Adams building, and even later in the little confectionary store one block east of the schoolhouse. It was at this latter location that she occasionally stayed all night and worked, resting only when she was forced to. I recall one morning I went to her shop early in the morning, after she had spent the night there, and she was real sick. She was crying and wanted to get home, a distance of about five blocks. I ran home as fast as my bare feet would carry me and got Dad, who hurried back with me to help her. We had to transportation, so of course all we could do was walk. Butch Bennett came along and helped Dad half carry her home. It was about this time that her health broke down and she really never recovered. Although it was the 13th of Oct. 1926 before she died.
Dad too, was a hard worker, but he had little to work with other than his bare hands and strong back. His formal schooling had been very limited as a youth on the prairies of Kansas, but he loved to read good books and he loved good music. In spite of his lack of formal education, I always considered him real smart in figuring out how to do things that required some ‘brain work’ and he managed real well. His biggest failing, if you can call it that, was doing so many things for others, but not acquiring for himself. He always was doing for others, but seldom ever asked for compensation for his efforts.
He worked for some time for the hiway department, pouring concrete abutments where culverts and bridges were needed, and many of them are still in use today.
Frank Adams ran a warehouse where he handled produce, potatoes, hay & grain and Dad spent many many days of hard labor working for Frank. He would sort potatoes, buck 100 Lb bags of them loading them on railroad cars, stack baled hay, ship many carloads of grain, and on several occasions trucked potatoes from Paul to Hailey, Carey, Picabo and other towns in Idaho. I went with him on one of these trips to Hailey, and Wilson made a few trips too. He hauled the spuds on an old white truck with hard rubber tires. It was a long rough trip. Dad also helped during lambing for the McRae brothers, and other sheep outfits. He cooked for some of them & peach cobbler was his favorite dish for dessert. The lambing crew always ate plenty of that. Of course Dad had learned to cook for harvest crews in Kansas several years before, but he always liked the outdoors, and loved to work out in the open rather than inside. His days riding range on the prairies of Kansas he never forgot. He brought his spurs and chaps to Idaho when he left Kansas, and he never got over it when he let Walt Toever borrow his chaps for a part in a school play, and Walt never returned them. He also bought his old 30 U. S. Winchester with him, but I don’t remember him ever using it again after he came to Idaho. I still have it (1979), and his long shanked spurs with his ‘tree brand’ (Y) inlaid with brass on each shank. I also possess many characteristic traits and fond memories of our hard working Dad & Mother.
I recall a lot of fond memories of the years we lived in that home, years of learning experiences that have stayed with me all my life since.
I hated to hoe weeds out of the garden:-today I really don’t mind it at all, and I think of Dad every time I hoe in our garden. One summer I spent a month herding sheep for Jack Martin, and he gave me a good sized pig for my efforts. Of course I got nothing, gut experience , for my work, except the priviledge of helping our family eat the pig.
Another time, some men came along the road in front of our place driving a band of sheep. I fell in behind and helped them for about three miles, really enjoying myself. Finally one of the men thought I had gone about far enough from home, so he gave me fifty cents. (In 1976 at the Paul High school reunion, Lynn Coon told me he was the one that gave me the 5o cents.) I went right to the Paul store and spent nearly the whole thing on bananas and ate them all myself. I was about nine years old. Another time, when I was over in the ball park watching the local team practice, one of the guys sent a long high fly over the right field wooden fence. I observed about where I went, and the next day Wilson took his old baseball & went with me back to the ball park. While he stood outside the fence to watch, I went inside and threw his ball over the fence about where I thought the other one had gone. As Wilson watched, the ball I threw hit a fence post and dropped down on top of the ball the players had lost. It was practically a new ball, but Wilson being the diplomat, I got his old ball and he got the new one.
On 4th of July, Dad gave each of us kids 10 cents with which to buy firecrackers to celebrate with. When one of the sisters got one of my firecrackers I said “Darn You,” and was immediately reprimanded by Dad for swearing at my sister. Patience with each other was only one of the many good qualities our parents instilled into us.
Dad would leave for work early in the morning, and often wouldn’t get home until nearly dark at night. He managed to assign enough garden hoeing and other chores, to us to keep us busy during the day, but without his presence and direct supervision, it was hard for me to always get my assigned jobs done when he wasn’t there. As a result, it tried his patience many times, and I got my share of spankings. Once, after I had been so ‘administered’ to, I went around the house crying, and when Wilson asked me about it, I just said ‘bit it didn’t hurt much.’ At that time Dad came around the house too, and he said “do you want some more.” Of course I didn’t.
I liked to spin my little old wooden top in the house, because the bare wooden floor was a better place to spin it than out in the dirt outside. Dad warned me a number of times ‘not to spin my top in the house.’ Once when I got a little careless, my top went ‘spinning’ through the glass in the front door. For three days I managed to stay in bed until after he was gone to work, and to get to bed early, before he got home at night. About the 3rd or 4th day, I didn’t get to bed early enough, and I still got my spanking.
One morning while lying in bed, I got to playing with matches, striking them along the window sill. Accidentally, I set the curtains on fire, and if Mother hadn’t jerked them down a put the fire out, we could have lost our whole house & all that was in it.
I learned to swim in the irrigation canals that flowed near the town. Some of them weren’t very deep and that is where I started. I had a pair of old cut-off Levi’s for a swim suit. One of the favorite ‘holes’ was on Bert Stillwell’s place. There were sand dunes nearby and we could swim, or play in the sand. Also nearby were patches of tumble weeds that I could run through while they were still green. My bare feet were too tough to be hurt by the stickers on those green tumbleweeds. The ‘real’ place to swim was in the ‘big’ canal a ½ mile north of town, where the water was over our heads. One time I saw Bud Stillwell dive off the bridge railing. He was wearing a large straw ‘sombrero’ type of hat, and being a large kid, it nearly broke his neck when that sombrero hit the water.
Brownie came to us one day, after someone ‘dropped’ her off near our place. She had a litter of pups not long afterward, and I learned some more ‘facts of life’ at an early age. It wasn’t until I was twelve years of age that mother engaged me in a serious conversation about ‘the facts of life’, but I had already known quite a bit of what she was attempting to explain to me.
Among other things besides swimming in the canals that I liked to do instead of hoeing weeds, was fishing. The old drain ditch that flowed north and west of town had an abundance of chubs and suckers, and I enjoyed catching them. The Chubs seldom ever go more than eight or ten inches long, but the suckers would often be twelve to eighteen inches in length. Of course we never ate any of them because of the dirty water in the drain ditch. My tackle consisted of a ten foot willow, some cheap fishing line tied to the pole, and some small hooks and sinkers. Angleworms were the chief bate and a can partly full of them would last me all day. The old ‘Prince Albert’ tobacco can made an ideal bate can.
I only had a few close boy friends when I was in my pre-teen years. Bern Eller was one of them and we played together a lot of the time. He was just a few months older than I, and we got along real well.
Another was Gilbert Stroude, a tall skinny kid lots taller than I. One day we were over in the ball park playing around, and for lack of anything else to do we decided to have a foot race. We started on 2nd base, he going to 1st & then homeplate, and I to 3rd base & then home. Each of us were doing our best, and when we got to home-base, we collided, each flying off in different directions. I thought because he was much longer legged than I, that he would surely beat me, but I managed to run as fast or he did, in spite of my much shorter legs.
Another friend I had lived right across the street from me; Ronald Marston. He was probably a couple of years younger than I, and years later, he told me I was the one that taught him how to run fast. He had some sisters too, and they and my sisters played together real well.
Somehow, while living in our little house, we acquired a start of bedbugs. The little blood-sucking, ugly things about drove us all to distraction, and we had no way of getting rid of them. They thrived and increased because we were such good providers of good rich blood.
In the summer of 1921, I was ten years old, Dad and Wilson bought some work horses. Dad and Bill Shafer took a contract to build some road along the Crow Creek between Montpelier, Ida, and Afton Wyo. I well remember the day they loaded the horses, fresnos, plows, scrapers, wagons etc. Into a railroad car and shipped it all to Montpelier, where it was all unloaded. It took about three days to get from Paul, to the jobsight, some 20 or 30 miles northeast of Montpelier. Getting the teas, wagons, equipment, plus camping equipment, all assembled and trailing it all to the jobsight was a pretty big job. This was in May or June.
Mother an dthe girls came later, & we lived in tents during the summer. Mother cooked for the crew, while Dad & Wilson worked on the road job. It was all done with horses & scrapers. The girls and I had little to do except help Mother some, and I carried water to the men. The rest of the time I roamed the hills, fished, & just had a good time. Brownie had another litter of pups, so I had them to play with. It was a real enjoyable summer.
I don’t remember going back to Paul that fall, but we did before the weather got bad, and all of us kids got back into school again.
The next summer we went back to Crow Creek and finished the job. Our family was the last of the bunch to get out of the canyon We took a shortcut up over the divide and down Georgetown Canyon. We got to Georgetown before dark and camped with the John Hays family, a rancher near there. That night it rained it rained hard & we got a lot of our equipment wet. The next day we went on to Soda Springs. We had four head of horses hooked on to the wagon, with no shade or covering over it. I rode Peggy, one of the lead horses, to keep her and her and Chub doing their part in the long Pulls. Dan and Alex were the wheelers.
We had another small raod job west of Soda Springs on the southside of Bear river, where we worked for a month or two until bad weather shut the job down for the winter. We lived in a little log house that had been vacant for some time, and we kids went to school in Soda Springs for a couple of months. I was in the sixth grade then.
In Nov. 1922 we moved to Lago, Idaho. This is a farming and ranching community ten miles south & east of Brace, Ida. Tom Redford owned a ranch there and wanted someone to move onto it and run it for him, so Dad rented it and we spent the next sixteen months there. We fed cattle, milked cows, put up a lot of hay and raised some grain. The winters were tough, long & hard with lots of snow.
Actually we kids didn’t mind it so much, because we had lots of fun, along with our work, in the summer time, and lots of sleigh riding in the winters. We milked around thirty head of cows by hand, then ran the milk through th old De Laval cream separator twice a day. We fed the skim milk to calves & pigs, and sold the cream. It really wasn’t a very profitable venture for all the hard work that went into it. Dad, Mother & Wilson did most of the milking, I learned how too, and did what I could. In the summer we put up hay, all with horse-drawn equipment. It required a lot of irrigation to raise the hay, and because Dad wouldn’t steal water from the neighbors, Tom Redford thought Dad wasn’t doing all he could to get the hay watered sufficiently.
We had good neightbors, most of them Mormons and though we had lived among Mormons ever since we cane to Idaho, I was never aware that their beliefs were different in many respects from other churches and religions.
The Mickelsons, Runds (?), Gassetts, Meachams, Sensons, Elliotts, Bittons & Hansens all were friendly and helpful. Dad had farmed on the flat prairies of Kansas for forty years, but when he cam to Lago and found that there the people farmed “three sides of the land”, he just didn’t like it because the hills that were farmed were so steep.
We lived in a big, two-story house with a large living room in the center area. In the cellar was a Delco battery system that furnished electricity for the house. We had to carry all our water from the irrigation ditch that flowed a few years below the house, and was fed by Trout Creek, a clear cold mountain stream that at the foot of a huge cliff in the mountains a couple of miles east of us.
During good weather, during the school months, we kids rode horses the 2 ½ miles to school In the bad weather, I drove a team on a sleigh and not only took my sister but also Darhl Bitton and Elliott kids, Zelma and Gerald. It didn’t seem like a difficult chore & we all had lots of fun. We used o e of our horses, Peggy, and one of Jim Elliotts horses, ePrt.
Mrs. Frances Bassett taught the 5th and sixth, seventh & eighth grades. I was in the sixth grade the first year there, and 7th the second, .
In Nov. 1924, Mother had some surgery done by Dr. Kackley (Ellis) in the Soda Springs hospital. It took her some time to recover, and after she got out of the hospital, she was take to stay at the Willard Bitton home where Evah took care of her until she was strong enough to come on home.
While she was still in the hospital, our sister Helen helped take care of her some. Our neighbor William H. Elliott had set his eyes on Helen, and Mother gave her consent for Helen to marry him. It about broke Dad up, because Helen was so young. Helen and Bill lived in a little two room house about a mile east of us for a good many years before they moved to Paul in the middle 1930’s. Although Bill belonged to the L.D.S. (Mormon) Church, he was never active in it, but about 1931, Helen joined the Church and was very active in it the rest of her life. She gained a very strong testimony that it was the one true Church upon the earth, and that was why she was so devoted to it. She tried her best to teach all her children true principles as long as she lived.
On my twelfth birthday, Mother gave me a birthday party and we invited a lot of the kids going to the school in Lago. It was supposed to be a surprise party, but because the neighborhood kids didn’t have any transportation, I hauled them all to our place in the sleigh from school, then took them hoe afterwards.
On the 11th of June 1925, I took off for Lago to stay with Helen and Bill. I walked most of the way from Paul to Minidoka where I caught a freight train to American Falls. The big new dam on the Snake river was under construction there and some kind construction workers took me in, gave me a bed for the night & bought my breakfast the next morning. I caught rides from there to Inkom where I slept in a hay loft on a farm. The next day after much walking & some rides, I arrived at Lago, with sore feet and a sunburned face. Of course Helen & Bill were surprised to see me.
On Aug. 13th 1925, Calvin W. Bennett came & took me to his ranch in Thatcher were I started working for him for $1.25 a day & board room. He and his wife Mabel treated me very kindly and I have always appreciated them. My first job there was driving a team of horses, mac & Don, on a header box, hauling grain heads from the old grain header to the stack. It was a new kind of job form, but I got along real well with it.
In Sept. I went back to Paul to go to school again. I was forced to take the 7th grade over again because of getting so far behind in lessons. Mrs. Olive Billows was my teacher, but she didn’t like me and I didn’t like her, so after a few weeks there, I gathered up my few belongings and headed back to the Bennetts of Thatcher. I went to the old “Buttermilk” school where Miss Della Thatcher was my 7th grade teacher. She was real kind & patient and I got along fine. The Bennetts had three children at that time; Laverna, who was in the 2nd grad, and Aline who was in the 1st. I helped them get to school during the next two years. We had about 3 miles to go. During good weather, we’d either ride horses Old Dutch & Tiny, or else I’d drive a team on the buggy. During bad snowy weather I drove the team on a ‘jerky’, the front bob of a bobsleigh, with a canvas covered box on it. Often we’d pick up other kids along the way and haul them too. There were the Coombs kids, Emily, Reuben, Millie & Claudia, Helen Nichols, and sometimes Edna McCarry. Those were wonderful times and I learned a lot. Living on the Bennett ranch, were they raised a lot of hay, grain, and hundreds of Herford cattle, was a great life to me. I thoroughly enjoyed it, even if there was a lot of hard work attatched to it. I had my own saddle horses and often rode horse-back up to Helen’s in Lago, a distance of about six miles. I had a lot of choice friends in Lago and Thatcher.
During the summer months, I drove four horse teams o harrows, discs, brush drags; hauled tons of had to the numerous hay stacks with fullraker or disc-sweeps; plowed a lot of summer fallow ground, helped with branding & dehorning calves, my main job there was riding the saddle horse that we used to ‘string out’ the calves for branding. Each spring we trailed hundreds of cows & calves to the summer range on Trail Creek, N.E. of Soda Springs, a two day drive, were Calvin and Leo Bennett had their summer range and pasture. I also helped build and repair a lot of fence, cutting quaking Aspen for posts and setting them. I had one experience one time when I got hit on the back of the head and shoulder by a flying post which nearly knocked me off the wagon. I never got in on any of the fall round-ups because I was always in school at that time.
One experience I do have a faint recollection of while we lived on the old homestead where I was born, was the time my sister Helen and I were out gathering ‘buffalo chip’ in our little wagon. Buffalo chips were the main source of heat in our cookstove. While I was pushing the wagon, Helen was pulling it. I had my head down, chugging away & pushing as hard as I could, when suddenly she stopped. She turned around to stop the wagon and the wagon-tongue punched into her stomach,, & since I was still pushing, she landed, sitting down in a patch of prickly-pear cactus. Needless to say, she suffered a lot before Mother , with her tweezers, could get all the stickers pulled out of her little seat. I was about three or for years old and she was about fifteen months older than I.
One of the summers we lived in tents on Crow Creek, Mrs. Shaffer did part of the cooking. She was always singing “Put your shoulder to the wheel, Push along”. Apparently she took care of the payroll & her husbands billfold, because she kept the bill fold in her stocking, & it would slide down her let to her ankle where it was very noticeable, in spite of her long dresses.