Life History of Harriett Hoyt Bowers Sorensen
Contributor: shan_gen Created: 2 years ago Updated: 2 years ago
The Life History of Harriett Hoyt Bowers Sorensen
To this date November 23, 1978
I, Harriett Hoyt Bowers, was born May 20, 1889 in Orderville, Kane Co., Utah to Isaiah and Harriett Amanda Hoyt Bowers. I was the last of their seven children; three boys and four girls. Two of the boys died young and three of the girls were married and had homes of their own while I was yet a small child.
Israel was born on the muddy. He died the day he was seven years old with croup at the sawmill up Main Canyon. Clarrissia, who was always called Clara, married Heber J. Meeks and had a family of boys with only one girl, Leah. Isaiah Lay nicknamed Rouse married Maria Heaton. He had a large family. Marie, the second girl, married Edward Carroll. She was never too well. She had one boy; Giles. After she died Edward married my sister Lillian she never had any family. Ella married John L. Covington. She had four girls and four boys, three of her children died of the flu at once. Johnathon died of typhoid fever when he was seventeen years old, September 30, 1884. As a child I think maybe I was the baby until I was six years old. Father always rocked me to sleep and if mother was not at home he dressed me and always buttoned my shoes. Mother was on call as a midwife while I was small and was away from home a lot. One of the jokes Father always told me was that he was so glad Mother was home when I came for he wouldn't of known just what to feed me. I was sure glad she was home at that time. She was gone often.
Father married a 2nd wife in September of 1884. Her name was Philinda Amanda Sperry Rollands, a daughter of Charles Sperry. Her mother was Grandmother Hoyt’s sister. She had been married twice and had a large family. She was a widow and had to have help to care for her family. Isaiah and Amanda had three children: William, Sarah and Joy. William was near Lillie’s age. Sarah was one year younger than I am. Joy died when a small baby. At that time Amanda’s health was bad so Father took her with William and Sarah to Nephi where they could get better. This was in the fall. Aunt Manda died the next April and father brought Will and Sarah to live with us. From then on Mother made Sarah and I understand that we were sisters and must treat each other as such. I can never remember us quarreling over work or clothes.
I was no longer the baby, some change for me. I was to be a big sister. When the dishes were to be washed Sarah was small, too little to reach the dishes, so the dishes were Hat’s to do. Sarah had the most beautiful hair and she hated it combed. It took William and Lillie to hold her while we braided her hair. I had short thin hair that needed little combing. I didn't much care how it looked. I used to be glad my hair was short for Sarah yelled so hard and loud when her hair was combed. Sarah loved to tend the babies. I would rather do anything than tend so we got along fine. I was given a certificate saying Hattie Bowers was never absent or late for school for four years.
While we were still kids Lillie got her hand hurt real bad. She was always crippled in her right hand. We went to the barn to tell the men who were hauling hay to come to dinner. The rope got caught near the pulley, someone told Lillie to pull on the rope, as she picked up the rope the horse pulling the rope started to go and Lillie’s hand went into the pulley. It took all the flesh off the inside of her hand, it took a long time to heal. She learned to play the organ and do all kinds of fancywork but her hand was always crippled. After Jonathan died we only had Will to do the milking. Oh, how he hated to milk. I used to think I would be glad when I grew up so I could milk. Will went with father down to Salina with a load of wool. He fell out of the wagon on a bad road and hurt his arm. His arm was always crippled so he could not milk; then the milking was my job.
Aunt Maria Porter was my first schoolteacher. I don’t think I was much of a student and I know I was to slow to play ball.
One winter everyone had whooping cough. My sister Marie was ill and had to come and live with us. A boy named Jo Adair was living with them so he came along with her. Oh, how he loved to tease Sarah. One day Sarah said to him, "Jo, I hope you get the whooping cough and cough to death." Jo got it, so did Sarah and I and we were almost afraid we were going to die we were so sick. We were out of school until nearly spring. The whooping cough was real bad at that time. Almost every baby under two years of age in Long Valley died.
Mother was called Aunt Harriett by everyone, even the old bachelors. It used to make me burn all over when they would call her that, she thought it was Ok. Father and Mother lived at the sawmill up Main Canyon a lot of the time.
I think about this time father got a small herd of sheep, then we would take other sheep to look after and he was away from home a great deal of the time. He and Grandma Hannah each homesteaded some land on the divide. They called it Castle Ranch because of some of the big rocks that look like a big castle.
Here he summered his sheep and grandma brought her girls and boys, both grandchildren and friends, she made butter and cheese to sell from the cows they milked. It was a wonderful time when we could go to Castle and stay for a while I loved it all but the thunderstorms. I was frightened of the lightening and thunder and would crawl into bed. My children accuse me of always being afraid of thunder, I guess maybe I was and still I don’t like it.
As I remember it, I guess I was rather liked by all of mother’s sisters. I well remember how father rocked me while mother read to him in the evening such books as Pilgrim Progress, Life of George Washington, Stories of Lincoln and good church books. I remember the year I was
seventeen, the town held a costume party. They divided the town and each had to dress like certain countries, I was asked to be a Spanish dancer. It was Washington's birthday I believe. I remember the supper they served had something from every country, my dress had four widths of cloth with yellow and black ribbons around the skirt. Bob Foote was my partner, he was dressed like the Spanish men and he sang a Spanish song.
Father and mother were beautiful waltzers. Father taught Sarah and I how to waltz. I was working in the store at Orderville and I was also going with Bob Foote. My parents didn't approve of him because he wasn't a Mormon. My mother said he was the only boy in the whole country who wasn't a Mormon and I had to go with him.
I got my feet froze or what they call chill burns. By spring I could walk and my sister Clara had moved to Kanab so mother sent me to stay with her and see the Doctor. He helped me. I went back several times to see him.
My sister Lillie came home from school and our cousin Mertle Bowers came with her, they came with the Sorensens who had gone to bring Binnie home. Binnie and I had known each other all our lives. I was almost two years older than him so I went around with the older kids. When he came home from his mission he walked from his home in Mt. Carmel to see me.
In June I went back to Kanab to help my sister Clara, her husband, Heber, was the stake president and she had a large family. It was conference time and she had to cook and house the visitors from Salt Lake, so I helped wash dishes, set the tables, and tend kids, I didn’t get to much of conference.
Binnie came over, I think he thought I was having fun, he came to see me, we washed a house full of dirty dishes, put the kids to bed, and went outside and set on Clara’s and Heber's porch. He said if all I had to do was wash dishes for my sister that maybe I would go wash dishes for him. He talked some more. I talked and we decided to get married at October conference.
When I told them at the store where I was working that I was getting married they all assumed I was marrying Bob Foote, how surprised they were when they found out and how relieved mother was. Ed and Rye Carroll went with us to Salt Lake. We left home early and drove to Panguitch and stayed that night in a hotel. I had a gathering on my finger and walked the floor most of the night. I lost my fingernail but it never hurt much after that. I slept most of the next day to Marysvale. We stayed that night in the Pine Hotel. The next day we got on the train for Salt Lake. In Salt Lake we stayed at Uncle John Bowers’s place. We went to the temple at 7:00 in the morning on Friday, October 2, 1912 and never had any breakfast. We were there until 7:00 that night. We only had a piece of bread they brought us. There were twenty marriages. I decided then if it took that long to get married I would stay married, I didn't want to try it again. The folks gave us a nice supper. We had a beautiful cake and some beautiful hand painted dishes; I still have them. They served apple salad, the first I had tasted. I still make it. On our way home it snowed real hard. We stayed in Hatch over night. When we got home the apple trees with all the branches of apples lay on the ground.
We had a party, a dance. We got a lot of nice presents: 6 sets of tumblers which lasted me for years, a lot of towels and a beautiful bed spread and a number of blankets. We lived with his folks for three years in Mt. Carmel. They were wonderful people, so kind. Grandma wasn't very well and with her big girl Evelen off to school and Marie and Vilate small girls I had plenty to do. Deb Stevens used to help us wash, we had some long hard days of washing.
July 9, 1913 our first baby was born, a boy, he was the first grandchild of the Sorensens. Of course they all had names picked out for him such as Ivin, Charles, Edward. We couldn't decide on a name so one Sunday while Binnie was gone I took the baby to church and had him named. Vilate told Binnie I had named him Binnie Isaiah. He wouldn’t speak to me. That evening Edna Lamb came to visit, she said she sure liked the name we had named the baby, she had never heard it before. He wouldn’t ask then what it was until after supper we were washing the dishes and one of the kids said Burke was a real nice name. Binnie said “You told me his name was Binnie and I had made up my mind to get rid of you both, but I guess I'll keep you for a while longer.”
Grandma tended the baby. We had to feed him on the bottle so I helped with the work and she looked after the baby. She gave him a bottle until he was almost four years old, and she ran out of bottles.
In 1915 Grandma Sorensen had her last baby, a boy they named him Doyle. So when Clara was born, Oct, 21,1915 Grandma had her own baby to tend. When I was sick I went home to mother in Orderville. When Clara came she came crying and she cried for 6 months, we couldn't find out what was wrong with her. I stayed in Orderville for a while thinking she would get better but she still cried. I went back to Carmel but she soon wore us all out so I came back home to mothers. Clara grew up to be the most pleasant person I ever knew.
While I was staying with mother Binnie moved Gustie Anderson to Rockville and she gave him a little house on hill back of the Mt. Carmel schoolhouse. It was two rooms and a shed on the south side with a dirt floor, It had a stove that could be used. Dirt floor or not I was happy with my first home. We put a home woven carpet on the floor in the front room with its fireplace and one small window with curtains. My father gave us a new brass bedstead and Binnie's folks gave us two chairs and a baby bed for Burke the back room we used as a dinning room. The table was one Great Grandpa Sorensen made in the Order, a cupboard made of boxes held all my beautiful wedding presents and nice dishes. Grandpa Sorensen gave me a beautiful brass bucket we used as a milk bucket for many years until it was lost in the well at the Ranch. We were quite happy.
The next spring Uncle Ed Carroll gave us six big red hens and a rooster, Binnie built us a coop on the hill little ways away, from then on I always had chickens. That year I raised my first garden, just a small one down under the ditch. It done very good all but the melons, the boys got them. That fall I planned to get me a new coat. There was one on sale at the Orderville Co op; I had $74.00. I wasn't able to come to town for a while to get it and a man selling sewing machines came to the house. Binnie was out of town. I needed a machine, it was a white. I asked him how much he wanted, he said $80. I went in the other room to see how much I had in the dish cupboard. I found I lacked $2.60. I told him I just didn’t quite have $80.00. He said just give me what you have and we'll call it even. I gave him my coat money I had worked so hard to get and he gave me an all paid receipt. I wasn't as happy as I might have been. I wasn’t just sure what Binnie would say. When I told him what I had done he just laughed and said, “you can make you a coat.” I knew I couldn't but I could go without one like I had been doing. The next time Binnie went to town he came home with an old gunnysack. He said you can make a coat out of this. I was almost mad at him, he knew how I needed that coat, but I knew he couldn't pick up $74.00 so I laughed and said, “yes, I'll use your night shirt to line it with”. The gunny sack lay on the floor and when Binnie went to do the chores Burke got hold of it and began to pull it around and out fell my coat! I sat down and cried and cried, Binnie said if he would have known I was going to cry about it he would have let me go and get it myself. I wore that coat for twelve years and was always proud of it.
That spring we moved to the ranch. I lived in a sheep wagon and cooked in a tent. They had planted oats and alfalfa in Broad Holler. It came up real good, we had no fences or ditches to bring the water from the big meadows. They hauled all the water we used from over the hill in two small kegs on Old Grey. Uncle Earl was water boy.
We had decided to build our home down where the orchard was but they said our line came the other side of the ditch so we built where the house is now. John L. Covington worked on the house, they made the ditch in front of the house. We were indeed happy to see plenty of water, even if I had to dip it up in barrels and let it settle to be able to use it. I could now wash all I wanted to even twice a week.
I think it was 1916 the year Clara was one year old that Grandpa Sorensen came to the ranch with a wagonload of small cottonwood trees. He planted them all across Broad Hollow. He planted one locust tree. They are still there. I really enjoyed those trees, they had a different sound in the spring. I called them my harp of the wind, sometimes the breeze almost sounded like music.
We lived in Mt. Carmel that winter but moved to the ranch as early as possible, we planted a garden. Our crops were extra good. Binnie cleaned land and made fences. We had a hired boy, his name was John Keller, he was a good baby tender.
In August of that year Clara and Burke went to the garden and Clara ate some small green beans. Clara was never strong, that night she cried out and I got up and lit the lamp to see what was wrong with her, she was blue and very stiff. I thought she was dying, but I remembered mother telling me of children having such spells. Binnie got up and put warm water on the stove in the wash boiler. I put her in this warm water she stopped jerking and opened her eyes. I wrapped her in a warm blanket and held her while Binnie got things ready to come to mothers. She had another spell just before light. They hitched up the team and Binnie brought me and the two children to town.
All of our hay was cut and ready to be raked and water to be tended so Binnie took Vilate and Della up to stay for the weekend. Clara was sick all day and in the afternoon Burke dropped a large wagon jack on his foot. That night was one I always remember. We were not sure Clara was going to live and Burke was quite sure he didn't want to. When it was just about daylight I told mother I was afraid I was going to be sick. We were expecting our third baby in October but not now. But by sunup a tiny baby boy was born. He weighed less than 5 lbs., he was so small they had no hopes that he would live, this was Aug, 22, 1917. Father blessed him. I told him to give him a little name, he was such a small baby. He named him Ray. Joe Adair went to the ranch for Binnie and the baby cloths, I had no baby cloths at town but the baby was so tiny he couldn't wear cloths. Joe rode a white mule named Spade. Burke was so fascinated by the name spade he wanted to name the new baby Spade. I think that was one time I was dependent on someone else and I knew it.
When Ray was three weeks old I moved back to the ranch. The house was so drafty I tore the men’s old overalls up in strips and pushed down in the cracks, lined the bedroom with factory, put a small heater in the other end of the front room, put rugs on the floor, put the baby on the table and stayed all winter. The snow covered the fences, I could hardly see the backs of the cattle when they came to drink. Our kids never had a cold all winter and Ray grew just fine. This was my second winter at the ranch. I still hear how lonesome that wind could sound, the next spring we had good fences and a good ditch from the wash.
That spring we were worried about Binnie and Dave going to the army. I remember well the day Mahala and I spent together while Dave and Binnie went to Kanab to sign up for the draft. We were thankful for all our kids because they didn’t have to go.
The first year Burke went to school he stayed with Mother and Lillie. Clara wasn't well and I expected to be sick that winter. Aunt Maria died that fall and I stayed on at the ranch until just before Christmas. Clara had a bad time with the croup. Burke was with Mother. It was a cold and stormy December with a lot of sickness. Clara had been sick a lot and I hadn't done much for Christmas. I went to town just before Christmas to be with mom when I was sick. I worried about Binnie at the ranch alone. I was afraid he would get sick and have no one to take care of him. He did get sick and came to Carmel to stay with his folks. They took care of him. There was a lot of sickness, the boys were coming home and everyone was afraid of the flu.
Christmas day mother was gone all day with so many sick. When she came home I told her if she would stay home I believe I would have my baby. Monte was born about 10 p.m. that Christmas night 1919. He was a small starved little thing but good-natured. At that time there was a death almost every day for a while, a mother or a baby, it was awful. We moved back to the ranch the last of January. I had moved when we got word Ella's three grown children died and she had a baby boy. Then in March we got word that Will, my brother had died. In a few days they sent word that mother was low. I came to town but did not stay with her with all my babies. Mother died 16 April in 1920 the whole valley mourned her passing. She was loved by all.
I went back to the ranch and stayed until it was time to put the kids in school. I just couldn't see letting the two go off to live away from me. I decided we would get a tent and live on fathers lot. All the old houses in Orderville were filled. I sent to Sears for some cloths for the children.
It seemed like the whole world was wrong. We moved into Jo Stevens house. Clara was sick most of that winter and Burke thought he had to fight every kid in town. I remember the bloody noses and torn shirts. Grandma Sorensen kept Burke and Clara stayed with Lillie and we moved back to the ranch in April. We had good crops that summer, made lots of fences and had a good crop of hay in broad hollow. When they were piling up the last cutting of hay, Binnie was raking hay behind the house, we had just filled three barrels of water to use the next day, when old Fly the horse Binnie was working, came down the field just as fast as she could run. Binnie was trying to stop her but couldn’t do nothing. She turned and ran into the barrels, slipped and fell between the barrels, Binnie was thrown off on the road, it had hurt him so he could hardly move and the horse was kicking and squealing, I never heard such a noise.
We had a man hired to clear some land over across the wash, he heard the noise and came and got the horse up and off the rake but it took us all to get Binnie up, his back was real hurt. we had all the hay down, not raked, but Grandpa came and took over and we took Binnie to the Dr, and he was soon able to haul hay.
In the summer of 1921 the Zion park was to be dedicated, Binnie, Vilate, Marie, Rolland Esplin, Lynn Esplin and went down to the dedication. They went horseback from the ranch on a trail down into Zion. Binnie decided to take Burke, we had sent for some clothes but they hadn't come, but by doing some patching on the old clothes we decided Burke could still go. He had a patch on each knee and a little jockey cap and very scuffed shoes. When the went to the meeting Burke was quite close to the president's wife, Mrs. Harding, she saw him and called him to come over to her, she took off his cap and smoothed his hair she said, “you look just like my little boy.”
In the summer of that year Binnie caught a baby deer, he put a bell around it's neck, she really loved Monte she ate his bread drank his milk sucked his ear, and cried when I put him to bed. We kept this little deer for two years and it left us, we heard that an Indian out to moccasin had killed a deer with a bell on its neck. It was late when I moved to town that year, we moved in the old Lawrence Esplin home, up where the high school is now. When I say move, it was stove, beds, table, dishes, a tub, a wash board, and everything I owned. Sometimes it was late when we got started so it was night when we got to town or to the ranch, the kids were hungry and tired oh what a life! I was really lonesome, I was going to be sick in the winter with our fifth baby, it would be my first time without mother, Vilate was with me and going to school, I soon found out that my children all had the whooping cough.
Binnie came from the ranch and told me that he was going down the river after freight for the Kanab store. I think there was at least six teams. Binnie had two teams, Burke would milk the cow and Henry Gifford was to keep in firewood. The weather held good for a while but soon it started to snow, it snowed every day most of the time until they reached home.
I was really sick when baby Voi was born January 15, 1922, we hadn't decided or thought of any names. That old house was cold, with Binnie away, and my mother gone, I was lonesome for Her, she who had taken such good care of me with my other babies.
Voi was a week or so old when Lucy Englestead came to visit, she had lost a baby in December. She asked me if I would name the baby Hans Voi so when Bishop Chamberlain came by to see me, I told him I wouldn’t be able to come to Church, would he bless the baby? So he blessed him Hans Voi. Binnie was gone for seven or eight weeks, the baby over a month old. I remember how mad I was at him for bringing me a pair of old women’s shoes, thinking I would like them. I threw them across the room and told him I would never get old.
I was ready to move back to the ranch in April. School wasn't out so I left Burke and Clara with Aunt Lillie. That summer there was a lot of new homesteaders, our place was about noon stopping place, everyone going & coming stopped and I fed everyone. They decided to organize a Sunday School, Binnie was called as superintendent. On Sunday we would all go up to the little meadow where the creek goes down the canyon, and there in the oaks we built a little room, sometimes we had as many as 60 people to Sunday school, we set out in the open for our classes,
There was the Jonathan & Hester Heaton, Jo Jorgensen, David Sorensen, Ira Adair, Hi Nielson, John Reese and our family. We would take our lunch and eat together. Those early Sunday mornings getting ready to go to Sunday School were hectic. We made sure the baked beans were done, the bread sliced and salad ready and the milk seen to. The children had to be already before Binnie came with the team to hitch on the hay rack wagon. With a quilt to sit on and our hymnbook we were ready and we left for Sunday school, those mornings as we trotted up the road Binnie would sing hymns (I didn't). These were happy days,
In the fall of 1922, Tom Blackburn asked us if we would like to rent the house at the green. It was the coldest winter I ever knew. They were homesteading and had to live on their homestead, I was glad, for now the children could ride the wagon to school, they loved it!
I bought 100 chickens that year to take to the ranch. One day Binnie and I went up to the dam. We took our lunch and while we were eating a cloud came in the sky, the wind began to blow and a quick bitter rainstorm came up. The sun was shining when we got home. Thirty of my chickens had crowded in their pen and had killed all but ten, oh a waste of time. Binnie said it was just like the pigs we had; they got in the grain that had been treated and killed 7 out of 10.
Voi was a busy baby, Ray was sick with the earache, I’ll always remember the day that big tick came out of his ear. That year I carded wool and made four quilts and wove a number of rugs. When it began to get school time I was worried where I was going to live. The Esplin place was torn down, the Tom Blackburn's had moved back, someone was living at the Steven's place. I worried a lot about it but Binnie didn’t even seem to think about it. I know I was hard to live with, I was expecting our sixth baby that winter and no place to live. I waited until a few days before it was time to move. I had decided I would not send the kids for someone else to look after. I was going to put up a tent on grandpa Bower's lot or ask if Lillie would let me live in their garage. I had sent to Sears Robuck for clothes for school. Saturday before school was to start Binnie came to town. I was almost sick, I knew he wouldn't do anything about it. He came home late, I was still washing dishes when he came and he never said anything about the clothes and I never asked him. After a while he told Burke to go get things from the wagon. It was the children's clothes I had sent for. I opened it and saw everything was there. Burke wanted to know when he could go to school and Binnie said , “I guess I’ll have to tell you. I bought you a house today. It’s one of the oldest ones in town.” Well, I thought of every old house and at last he said it was the old Carling House across from your home. I knew Frant Esplin had just moved in this house so I looked up and said, "Binnie, this is no time for jokes, I just can’t take one about this.” Then he pulled out some papers from his pocket and handed them to me. Sure enough it was the old Sister Carling house. He said the Esplins had a job and had moved and sold it to him. It was clean, painted, and had new carpets on it. There was a cook stove, one table, two chairs an few bedsteads. I just sat down and cried. Binnie said it's ours and crying isn't going to change it, he couldn’t see why I was crying so hard.
Monday we moved down and was ready to go to school. The kids went to school in the church, it was so nice to have a home of my own.
December 8, 1923 our baby girl came. She was cute and smart. Vilate again was my main helper, I had a bad leg and couldn't walk to well so Binnie and Vilate took the baby to church. I told Vilate she could name her what she wanted. They named her Doratha and I love the name. She was a very good baby,
Our neighbors, Arthur and Sarah Cox didn't like all the noise the children made. We lived as neighbors to them 30 years and they never did like us very much. Father had the home across the street. I was happy with my home. It was much easier now. I remember we had ducks at the ranch and Voi was just a little guy. We had two water ponds one on the hill for the cattle to drink from and one down in front of the house to water the garden. We had two old ducks, one had little ones. She kept them on the hill by the upper pond. Each day about noon she would bring her family to the lower pond. When she came, Voi would take the garden rake and put it in front of her. She would stumble over the handle and so would each of her family. Each day she would do the same thing and each of her children would follow her over the same rake handle. She never noticed the little boy or heard him laugh.
Many changes came soon after we bought the house. The next year Binnie ordered fruit trees. When they came Binnie was gone. Grandpa Sorensen came by with a load of flour. He dug the holes to put the trees in. The next day we got word that Grandpa had been killed. The bank of the creek fell in on him. This was in April 1925. I loved him very much, he was a wonderful man. We missed him a lot.
Father passed away November 17, 1926. Aunt Lillie moved away. I missed them both a lot. I hadn’t been feeling very well for a few years. I weighed less than 100 lbs. The goiter on my neck grew and I became more nervous. The Dr. said I would have to have it out. It was what was making me feel so poorly. In early December 1928, Binnie and Dave took Mahala and I to Salt Lake. We were both operated on by Dr. Snow. The Dr. removed a tumor from my neck and from that day on I was better.
The next summer, 1929, I cooked for some women whose husbands were working on the road. Early the next spring, wonder of wonders, another baby. A boy born February 20, 1930, he was born in Kanab. When we brought him home it was like a first baby. I had given all my baby clothes away. We didn't have a baby bed. We named him Hugh. He grew so cute and was loved by all of us. Binnie made a tent room on the back of the house but it was to cold for the baby out there so Ray would take him upstairs with him. Oh how Ray loved that baby!
Summers were spent at the ranch. The children were growing. We had teenagers now, each day they thought of something to do. We would have a rodeo in the corral with the calves, or see who could out run who to the house. Loser carried the milk buckets to milk. In the evening, when one of the boys had gone for the milk cow, and it had become dark before they came back, I would walk up to the pond and listen for them to come over the hill. How my heart would jump when I could hear the tinkle of the cowbell or hear the song the boys were singing.
The boys loved to tease Hugh, one morning, as usual he was told to go shut the calf corral gate, as he came back he saw a piece of board that looked like a gun, he picked it up, put it on his shoulder, put the calf buck on his head. It made a good hat, the bail (the handle) came over his chin, he came marching up the lane, but he stubbed his toe and fell down, the bucket came down over his mouth and he cried, the louder he cried the louder it rang his ears. He tried to get it off, but it was caught on his ears and he couldn’t see out. When he didn't come, Voi went to see what the matter was, he couldn’t get the bucket off, but to comfort him he told him maybe we could his head off and save the bucket because the bucket wouldn’t come off. Mama couldn't get the bucket off without taking his ears. The boys looked for the tinsnips but they were at Dave’s. Monte went for the snippers. Hugh thought looking for something to cut his head off, it was a half hour before we got the bucket off and convinced him we weren’t going to hurt him, when the older boys would leave for work in the mornings, I would hear them call, “Mother” come and get Hugh.” I would hurry to the harness shop where Hugh would be hanging on a hook by his suspenders. Sometimes he would be setting on top of the car so he would not follow the men.
A visit from Vilate and her family was always fun. The boys had to ride old Susie. Binnie would harness her and off they would go. One day he put them on her and when she started off, Old Bob, our dog, ran behind them barking. As they road along the boys were looking at the dog and leaning to one side. When they came to the irrigation ditch was full of water, the horse went over and the boys landed right on Old Bob. My how Binnie did laugh, both boys and the dog were soaking wet.
Now we had two homes, one in town and one at the ranch. Burke and Binnie each worked on the Zion road. In 1940 Burke left for his mission. I was cooking at the high school. We cooked on an old stove and whatever the government sent we would cook. Sometimes we didn’t have much.
Ray was going to school at St. George. He wanted to join the air force but found that his ears could not stand high altitudes. He then went to California to work for a company, Douglas Air Craft. Clara went with Ray. She worked for some time in the veterans hospital. Doyle was with them. Burke came from his mission Feb, 1942 and married Elizabeth Heaton April 4, 1942. Dot went to California to work and lived with Clara & Ray. Hugh was all we had at home. Monte and Voi both were in the army. Many nights and days I spent praying for them. War was a terrible thing. I could hardly stand it. My boys were fighting a war. I remember when I heard Voi had been wounded. I said, “At least he has clean sheets to sleep in.” Later I found out he never did have clean sheets to sleep in. Ray married Betty English on June 17, 1944. Binnie was made Bishop of Orderville Ward in 1945. He held this position 6 years. Clara married Amram July 25, 1945. Dot went to Salt Lake to work in the Beehive House. It was soon after Clara was married I went to Fredonia and Dr, Brooksby pulled all my teeth. I had a toothache most of the time. I had to go three weeks without teeth. The doctor called and said I could get my teeth anytime. Binnie was in no hurry to go. We got a call from Ray saying Clara was in the hospital really sick. Her heart was bad. Grandma Sorensen was staying with her, would I come? I could catch the bus in St. George so we went to Fredonia, got my teeth and arrived in St. George just in time to get on the bus. The bus was a crowded place. Soldiers and mothers with babies it was all loaded.
Ray got me off the bus at 6:00 a.m. the next morning. Clara was somewhat better. Poor Grandma was so mixed up. I hated to leave her alone. I stayed five days. Clara came home. Amram was as good a nurse as you could find. I brought grandma and came home.
I took those teeth out when I got in California and hadn't put them in, but I decided I had paid $45 for them, I was going to wear them. I put them in and wore them for 43 years. I broke one tooth and had to have some more. They were better than my others. Voi married Ferall Staheli May 15, 1946.
The last year I cooked school lunch the government sent a group of people to examine all the cooks in restaurants or schools so they had me come although I did not intend to cook any longer. About a week after they were here, Dr. Fen Covington came and said, “You have to go to Salt Lake to be examined. You have a large growth in your lungs.” I told him I was well, but it was hard to breath sometimes. We went up in October, and they said they couldn't tell just what it was. They gave me a lot of pills and said they would call me later and see if they could find out what my trouble was. That next April they called so I went up but they found it was growing larger so they gave me a cobalt treatment. That was awful. They put me in a metal case and left me for 45 minutes. More like hours. They did this two or three times. I stayed with Uncle Alfred Meeks and Nelda. I came home and thought that was all they could do. I still had pills but what was the use of taking them. I felt quite well most of the time. It was hard to get enough air sometimes. The next April, 1947, I got a call to come and as Dad had to go to Salt Lake I went, not wanting to do anymore with the government. When we reported they called me in and took another picture or two, and said if I had to wait much longer my chest would be full. This rather scared me. We got ready to come home and the one who seemed to be the boss called and said he had a place for me on June 15. I told him I was not to sure I could be there, as I lived in Southern Utah 300 miles away. He was really surprised so the next day he said for me to be at the LDS Hospital at 8:00. We were all ready to come home. I wasn’t so sure I wanted anything done. I told them I would like for some of my folks to be there.
Dr. Snow remembered my other operation so he said to wait until the next Monday and my husband would be here. So another week went by. Binnie came on Sunday and I went in on Monday. They cut the old place where my goiter was taken out, then they put a light into my lungs and took the growth out. It was as large as a grapefruit. They had to take part of my left lung and in doing this they injured my voice box and I could not make a sound for a number of days. Just think that I couldn’t talk, but I got so I could talk. I never got so I could sing. Binnie and the folks cane home and I was all alone. The Dr. said he would let me know a few days before I could come home.
One morning he came to my room and sat looking. They brought my breakfast and I asked if I could sit up to he said yes and got up to help me get up. When I put my feet out, he looked so surprised, my right foot was black. He put my feet back in the bed and said. “Geehosofat, I can’t believe this.” In a few minutes there were a number of doctors there all looking at my feet. I never got any breakfast that morning. He called Binnie and told him I had blood poisoning in my foot from feeding me when I was under operations and he thought, poor nursing. For almost two weeks I wasn't sure I would come home with both feet. I drank 5 gallons of Jello and every 15 minutes had hot packs on my feet. They put me in where the people were blind because I had light over my legs night and day.
In two weeks they said I could come home, that next morning Binnie and Monte came in the room. Monte was home and Doyle had a new car, so they brought the new car. Oh, was I glad to get home! I was having some trouble of breathing so the doctor said to take me to a lower country so they sent me to California, to Clara, I went out there and lay about two weeks. I got so homesick they sent me home. They took me through Arizona, down the lower route. I went to Blythe and Needles with Art Lee's family and a lot of Burke's friends. I stayed a few days. It was so hot I went swimming in the river, something I had never done.
They put me on the bus. I would be home that night. When we got to Flagstaff, our bus was broke so we had to get off. I met Vera Chamberlain. She was on her way home. I never knew there could be so many people. They were having a big rodeo at Flagstaff, everything was filled up so Vera and I had to set up in the restroom. I had a small blanket, she had a sweater. We didn't dare leave our things, so we just waited all day and all night until afternoon; Saturday, we could not get to a phone to call home so we just waited. When the bus pulled into Orderville the driver stopped right in front of our house and carried my suitcase right in the front room. He said, "I was quite sure I knew you, but you never spoke and so I didn't say anything. When we got to Kanab I heard you speak and found you could speak out loud.” He was an old school teacher I used to know. There was no one at home so I get undressed and got in bed. The next morning Voi and Heb came down the stairs and was I happy. I almost cried. It had been almost two years since I had seen them.
We went to conference in Salt Lake and to see the doctor. One morning the phone rang in our room. I knew something was wrong. It was Monte. "Mother" he said, "I let your house burn last night." I handed the phone to Binnie, he could talk, I couldn't. We came home the next day. We had just remodeled the house. We added the bathroom and kitchen. Oh, what a mess! It was nearly Christmas before we could really live at home.
Dot married Clayton Barton May 1, 1948. Monte married Immogene Baldwin December 16, 1949. About this time I had troubles, so we went to see the doctor in Panguitch. Binnie said he would see the doctor and while we waited I went to visit someone. When I got back the doctor called me in his office. He said, "Can you get him to Salt Lake by noon tomorrow? I told him we could try. The doctor got a room for him. We didn’t stop to see what was wrong with me. He had an operation. In 10 days he came home but had to go back in the middle of the night; Burke took him. When we got home, Dad's leg gave him a lot of trouble. We decided we couldn't live on the ranch so we sold it.
Hugh served in the army. He went to Korea. This was something I tried not to think about. I could hardly stand my little boy so far away fighting a war. Doratha's husband was killed October 1954, leaving her with three small boys to raise. She has had to work hard all her life. However, this Christmas was a happy one for Clara. She and Amram received a little Indian boy.
They named him Rad. He was a cute little guy and filled all our lives with gladness. The things He and Craig, Mack and Harriett could think of.
The summer Hugh came home from the army I was helping Binnie load a few bails of hay. We were nearly done when I backed off the truckload of hay. I knew I was hurt but I didn't know how bad. When we got home they put me in a car and took me to the doctor. My back was broken, this was the summer of 1955,
Hugh married Joyce Swapp, October 15, 1955 and I was still in a cast up to my neck. Grandmother Sorensen passed away January 1962. The summers were spent at the ranch with our grandchildren. Binnie loved the kids to come to the Ranch. We had on old tractor that he told them they could run if they could get it started. All of the kids would try to start it but all failed. The kids hardly had time to eat they were so busy. After they had gone home we gather up the wrenches and tools and put them away until next time.
Monte was in an accident at the mine. He worked at New Castle where he lived. It left him with only part sight in one eye. Burke had open-heart surgery. He was down for quite a while.
Clara passed away in 1966. She left a very big hole in our family. She was missed by all. Soon after she passes away, I took sick and was in the Panguitch hospital. I was very ill. I still remember the feeling I had of Clara setting in the rocking chair by my bed the night I was so ill.
Dad's health was failing and in 1966 we sold the ranch, we bought a small home in St, George. Dad could walk on his crutches to the temple. We spent our winters for a few years in St. George doing temple work. In the summers we would raise a garden in Orderville. Dad kept the weeds out by crawling on his hands and knees up the rows. We spent some time with Monte and family who had moved to Idaho. Binnie had a hip operation and never completely recover from it. This was in 1973. From then on he was in a wheel chair but we got along fine. I could push him where he needed to go. Beth was so good to help me with him.
One day we received word; Ray's oldest boy was getting married. Dad said how he would like to go to the wedding. Beth said she thought he could if he thought he could. We went to Las Vegas and went on the plane. Our first plane ride! Beth went with us. Ray never knew we were coming. They met us at the airport. We stayed with Lee that night. I shall never forget the look on Ray’s and Betty’s faces when they saw us.
Binnie’s health got so I couldn't care for him. We had to put him in the rest home in Kanab. They were very good to him. I could visit him everyday. He kept everyone happy playing his harmonica and singing. He came home for Thanksgiving. All the family was here, 1976. That next year was a hard one seeing him so bad. He always wanted to come home. He passed away November 17, 1977. We had spent 65 years together. I don’t remember much about his death, only how I am so lonely.
I had one bout with my heart acting up. I am fine now, however. I stay home during the day and stay at Burkes at night. It is good not to be alone at night. I still love my family to come and see me. They all keep in touch.
Burke and Beth had 9 children: Lee, Dellas, Jacqueline, Lillian, Claudia, Harriett, Mack, Mavis, & Elizabeth,
Ray and Betty had five: Que, Lynette, Scott, Richard, and Julie,
Clara and Amram had one: Rad.
Monte and Immogene had four: Veldon, Kay, Jeniel, and Ronnie.
Voi and Farrel have two girls: Deann and Clara Kay
Dot and Clayton had three boys: Delynn, Kyle, and Craig
Hugh and Joyce had four: Nick, Benny, Vivian, and Cory
I'VE BEEN TRULY BLESSED!
Yes, I believe after about 90 years of trying, I am still a Mormon, if not a Saint. I look back, I see all my great grandparents on both sides were converts to the church, they gave all for the church, even all their worldly goods, some even their lives. They believed the truth and stood by it when things grew hard like crossing the river in the winter with very poor outfits and little children. My very own grandparents and my father and mother, they were Latter Day Saints and the call came to go to the Muddy Mission to raise cotton. They went, knowing it was a test to see if cotton could be raised and got to the mill. There were two years that they were there. They worked very hard, they left and came to Long Valley, just because they were Mormons.
I was born and raised in a family of seven children, my parents knew the church was true and taught me to know. I married a good Mormon boy. I lived in a Mormon town. Yes, I believe in God the Father. I know that His Son Jesus Christ is truly the Savior, and I believe in the power of the Holy Ghost. I believe that Joseph Smith had a vision. I believe that God and Jesus spoke with him. I know the book of Mormon is true. I believe that all the prophets from Joseph Smith down to President Kimball are true prophets and I believe all the rules of the Gospel. I believe God has given us a plan for our salvation if we do as we are told. I want all my children and grandchildren to know that I know the church is true. Some of them doubt and I cry and pray that someday they will know. I believe I will someday see all my people again. I hope I am always a Latter-Day Saint.
Harriett Hoyt Bowers Sorensen
This history was started by Harriett, and Beth, Dot, Jacque, and Liz all wrote as she dictated.