Life of Perry Martindale Liston - By Orilla and Don Carlos
Contributor: littleanomaly Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago
This History is what I can remember that I heard my father Perry Martindale Liston state in his later life.
Perry Martindale Liston was born 6 June 1850 in Pottawottami (now Mills) Iowa.
At the age of two he with his family came to Utah, his parents were Commodore Perry Liston and Elizabeth Reeves.
C.P. Liston for short on the name of Commodore Perry from here on instead of the full name commodore Perry Liston.
The family they had just the three children at this time 1852, William Albert, Rufus Benson, and my father Perry Martindale Liston.
They the parents of my father brought with them the wife of Hyrum Smith, Laura Farnsworth and one son and Laura had been married a couple of times before coming to Utah with C.P. Liston. After they arrived in Salt Lake C.P. Liston had Laura Farnsworth sealed to Hyrum Smith for eternity and to C.P. Liston for time only. Laura with C.P. Liston and family soon being called by Brigham Young to help settle America Fork and Pleasant Grove. He helped with the first saw mill in American Fork. Laura was a school teacher in Pleasant Grove. She died and buried in Pleasant Grove Cem as I got the inf. From the sexton living in Pleasant Grove. Laura brought with her one son and the other son wouldn’t come to Utah.
Soon my grand parents were called to help settle the small towns down south of Salt Lake, American Fork, and Pleasant Grove, they moved to Beaver, Minersville, Cedar City, St. George, Santa Clara. Later he lived with his folks in Pinto and Daniel & myself saw the house that was still standing one trip when we went to a Liston Reunion in Caliente, where William Albert lived and we went through his old log house still standing. Dad also was in Pioche, I think C.P. Liston moved from one place to another helping get the towns settled.
In fathers early life he rode on horse back to House Rock Valley, and he mention several places in Arizona that he traveled on horse back and he covered a lot of country that seems a long time now in car as both Daniel and myself and Newell came through the area one trip from California.
At the age of 16 father served in the Black Hawk War but he never could get a pension for his service.
Father and uncle Rufus Benson and I suppose other brothers worked in the Silver Reef Mines just North of St. George.
Father must have been about 20 years of age when he with Rufus Benson, Joseph Smith, Uncle Jim as he was called moved to Panguitch and while there the Don Carlos Shirts family lived in Panguitch , and this the first time my father saw my mother Emma Jean Shirts, she was mixing bread while standing on a box to reach the pan and dad said then she was the one he wanted for his wife.
Both the Shirts and Liston boys moved to Escalante 1876 and here again my father and mother got better acquainted and they were married 1876 or 1878 but the Temple records states 1876 Manti, Temple.
The Liston brothers grazed their cattle in the upper valley and Ruffus Benson took up a place just west of the big oil tanks and father took up a ranch just the next hollow near the oil tanks and at one time we took pictures of the old chimney and the big ponda rosa tree where dad would string up his feef’s and at this time many years later the ring was still around a limb of the tree.
Now both the tree and the chimney are down but still remains there.
My parents were ranching here about 1900 as my sister Elizabeth or Lade as she was known said that was where she and Ammon Roundy did their courting and they were married in 1905.
Mother made cheese and butter and made a strong brain to keep the butter in and in the fall they would take a load of cheese and butter to Salt Lake City to trade for flour, sugar, canned gods, and some time a bolt of material, I have seen one hundred pound sacks of peanuts, large buckets of candy when I was old enough to learn these things and this kept on until they had a store in Escalante where goods could be brought in by wagon some times in the deep snow and these trips would take about a month up and back. Sometimes my mother would go along with other women and their husbands as they would usually go in a group and mother would drive the team and care for them.
The Liston brothers had a choise of the best land both in town and on ranches and at one time Rufus was in parteners until their boys all grew up and then they divided up and each went his way.
My brother Don Carlos stated that my parents had a ranch in Pine Creek called the Auger Hole and there they made cheese and butter for the winter.
Later father bought the old Moosman Ranch that is in the main canyon and they lived there around twenty years or more.
I was sixteen years old when they sold the ranch and that about killed me as dad always had many horses and I could ride any of them any time and this I did as I was the one to geather the cows and calves morning and night and I helped with the milking of the cows.
At one time father had about every part of land that could be used into either alfa, grain or potatoes but it surely is not like that any more.
I have seen the time when you could be on one side of the grain when the reels would go around when cutting the grain and you couldn’t see the reels, that small log grainery was full to the top with both wheat and oats when they would harvest in the fall.
Don said one time when he and Elizabeth or Lade were quite young they ran on to a band of sheep while living up in Pine Creek so they decided to run them off a cliff and they did killing all of them and they knew that when my parents found out they would catch it so they put willow branches in their trousers so it wouldn’t hurt when they got a whipping this did the trick until Uncle Perry Shirts mothers brother told on them and then they did get a good whipping.
Don said they would all get bucket and go geather all kinds of berries such as raspberries, goose berries, straw berries, Choke cherries and elder berries and mother would use sorgum malessas to sweeten them and make preserves and jelly.
I can remember the good thin jelly that was made from elder berry and choke cherries when she would make it on the main canyon ranch.
I can remember when the bull berries were ready there would be four kids one on a corner of a sheet to hold it up while dad would hit the limbs and knock them into the sheet. This I am sure I shall never forget as I hated to see the time of the year come.
She mother had a long row of goose berries full length of the garden and believe me that was a job to have to pick those berries by the bucket full and then she would sell the bull berries and goosed berries to people in town.
Going back to the early life here in Escalante dad sang in the choir, payed in the band her played a big brass horn, he helped haul all the brick for the old elementary school house, helped with the building material of the old white meeting house and he was an active man in helping build up Escalante.
From history states father was one for the first trustees when the elementary school house was made. He was in other public offices.
Father first owned two and a quarter acres of land here in town but when Alonzo got married he let him have a small part in the north cornor of the lot.
He first built a log house in the north cornor of the lot and I can remember fruit trees along the water ditch as a small child.
Later they said he built another long house just north of the barn then but the barn has since then burned down.
The first children were born in both these log homes and I can remember playing in the second log house as it was then used as a grainery or a place to store the coal and other tools.
Perry Martin, Elizabeth or Lade, Don Carlos, Marcy, Philo T, Riley were born in these lof houses and by 1890 Alonzo was the first to be born in this new brick home this was 1894 when he was born. Mother laid on a rug by the fire place and she was sick 36 hours as Alonzo just couldn’t be born for so long a time.
Don said he was only about 8 years old when he helped catch some of the brick from the North window up stairs and they would haul them up in a wheel borrow so it wasn’t so far to throw them to Don.
My father was known as Mart most of his life and especially here in Escalante. He told us a few of his young experiences and he stated one time he had been out riding in the rain storm all day driving cattle and when they camped for the night he was cold and wet so he stood near the fire to get warm and one of the men said to him (For heaven sakes jump in if your going to) as his buckskin trousers had gone in the shape of his knees being on the horse for so long.
Father was always saying something to make people laugh. He had dry wit. One day whils were living on the ranch my mother had gone to town and a drumer came by as every one stoped going and coming to Escalante over night , and this drummer man said to dad where is your wife and he said she just left him so the next day the man came to town and said how bad he felt that that old man was left with a young child on the ranch but some one set him straight that he was just fooling.
Another time I heard mother and dad say that she was making cheese that was when they lived in a log house on the ranch before they built the new one and dad had a squirt gun made of elder berry branch and he punched out the peth and made a sick to push out the water after it was filled and a man came around the corner of the house just in time to catch mother pulling his hair because he had shot her with water in her face and this tickled the man to see her pulling his hair.
He was always pulling things like that.
One time he brought the milk in and said to mother hurry and strain the dog pee out and she took all the milk and put it in the swill so that night when he wanted his bread and milk she told him well you said the dog wet in it so I poured it out so he never told her any thing like that again.
Dad went almost blind before he died at the age of 75 and he always wore a hat over his eyes to keep out the light, he died in the north east corner of the living room 5 Aug 1925, mother died about the center of the room age 72, 2 Feb 1933 so both lived and died in the house they both built.
Don stated that Johnny Bothman laid the brick for this house and the brick was made up near the race track where the sand was quite red, the rest was made over in or near the red rocks in Pine Creek.
Dad hauled all the wood work from Salt Lake City by wagon team. And we still have some of the door, mop boards, window caseings in the home, the house had four large rooms down stairs and three just the same size up stairs, two halls and a bath that was made later.
We still own the land that father bought 1876 except that which he let Alonzo have.
The barn caught fire and burned to the ground several years ago.
The grainery still stands and is used for storing vegetables in the cellar part.
Since the death of my parents the house has been remodeled a lot.
Told by Orilla and Don Carlos my brother