Life of Erastus Grenig Farmer
Contributor: firstname.lastname@example.org Created: 3 years ago Updated: 3 years ago
Written by his Daughter Emma F. Davis 1937
Amended 1992, Jeanne Davis Cutler
Erastus Grenig Farmer, son of Edward John Farmer and Elizabeth Eleanor (Ellen) Wright Farmer, was born 29 June 1861,at Florence, Douglas Co, Nebraska, or more proper, three days jour¬ney by ox team, West of Florence, in a wagon, while his parents were emigrating to Utah. They started their journey in New York City. The family consisted of his Father and Mother, a half sister, Elizabeth Ann, and his grandparents, John Ward Wright and his wife, Elizabeth Bailey Wright. They arrived in Salt Lake City the 12th of September 1861, in the John R Murdock Co. and settled there.
In 1862, his Father spent the summer in Bear Lake Valley, but was taken back to Salt Lake City in the fall, sick with what at the time was known as Mountain Fever. Later the family located at Fort Herriman, Salt Lake County, Utah, where the subject of this sketch grew to manhood, having assisted on the farm and in stock raising.
In the fall of 1877, Erastus accompanied Samuel and William Bateman of West Jordan, and Ensign Stockings, and his brother John J. of Herriman, driving about three hundred head of cattle into Castle Valley via Lehi, American Fork, Pleasant Grove, Provo, Springville, Spanish Fork, Payson, Nephi, Levan, Gunnison and Salina, entering the south end of the valley near the old "Gilson Ranch". The following spring these parties moved their cattle to the north end of Castle Valley, where they remained until the fall of 1881. Mr. John J. Stockings and Mr. Farmer sold their cattle interests to the Miller Brothers, and moved their horses from Castle and Pleasant Valleys, out to Raft River, Idaho.
In April 1883, Erastus G. Farmer was called on a mission to the Southern States, and left Salt Lake City on the 15th of May, in company with a large number of Elders, some going to Europe and various parts of the United States. Arriving at Chattanooga Tennessee, he was assigned to labor in the North Carolina Conference, where he labored until October 1885. Elder Farmer trav¬eled with seven different companions namely; Alexander Bills of South Jordan, Christian F. Christensen of Kanosh, James T. Thorn of Pleasant Grove, John E Rouech of Kaysville, William Gibbs of West Portage, Charles P. Ostler of Nephi, and Stephen L. Chipman of American Fork, all of Utah. Conference Presidents were Amos Cook of Bountiful, Charles Nokes of South Jordan, and John E. Rouech. Other Elders in that Conference were Joseph Belnap of Ogden, William Clayton of Kanab, James Jenkins of Nephi, William White of Cedar City, William Garner of North Ogden, and Burke Young. Mitchell and Wilkes Counties constituted the different fields of labor.
Elder Farmer had the privilege of baptizing eight souls and witnessed many manifestations of the Blessings of the Lord, poured out upon those who had the courage to face the prejudices and persecutions of that day. On his return home he was selected as a home missionary in which capacity he labored until Oct 1885.
On the 12th of January 1887, he married Mary Ellen Holt of South Jordan, in the Logan Temple. They lived in Utah until after their second child was born, then they went into Southern Idaho, and purchased some sheep, finally locating at Clifton, Idaho. The couple have been blessed with the following children. Nellie Mabel, Eva Grace. Erastus Leroy, Elsie May, Ivie Pearl, Golden H., Emma Ellen, Truman Edward, and Cora H. Nellie Mabel having died 16 July 1889, at South Jordan. The other children are all living at this writing, and have all married in the House of the Lord. They have 39 grandchildren and two great grandchildren.
Erastus Grenig Farmer was baptized 15 July 1869, by Bishop James Crane at Herriman. He was ordained a deacon and served in that capacity until he was ordained an Elder, under the hands of Moses Thatcher and William M. Taylor on 9 April 1883. ( William W Taylor, was ordained a Seventy by Orson Pratt on 11 October 1875, who was ordained an Elder by the Prophet Joseph Smith, on 1 December 1830; who in connection with Oliver Cowdery was ordained by Peter, James, and John in July 1829.) Erastus was ordained a Seventy, 26 December 1886 by William H. Freeman of Herriman, Utah. Ordained a High Priest and set apart as second counselor to Bishop William F. Garner of Clifton Ward, Oneida Stake, 30 July 1893, by Mathias F. Cowley. On January 12, 1896, he was sustained as Bishop of Clifton Ward, and ordained a Bishop, 26 January 1896 at Franklin Idaho, by Mariner W. Merrill. Albert Henderson, Samuel M. Lee, James W. Davis all served as counselors and Vernon G. Howell as Ward Clerk under him. He was released 14 May 1911. In the fall of 1913 the family moved to Preston, Idaho so the children could attend the Oneida Stake Academy.
He served as a representative of the Genealogical Society, Oneida Stake. He was sustained a member of the Stake High Council on 6 June 1920, and served as a Stake Home Missionary, visiting Mink Creek, Riverdale, Glencoe, and Glendale Wards, from 19 January 1925 to 28 February 1925. He was set apart for a six month mission to the Southern States, 25 November 1925. He left Salt Lake on that date and was assigned to labor in Columbus, Georgia, by President Charles A. Callis, where he spent the entire time. He was released and returned home to Preston Idaho, 24 May 1926. During his life time he had known all the Church Presidents except Joseph Smith and attended several Solemn Assemblies at the Salt Lake Temple.
On January 12, 1937, Erastus G. and Mary Ellen (Nellie), Farmer celebrated the 50th anniversary of their wedding at the home of their daughter Emma F. Davis, in Boise, Idaho. Many friends and relatives came to visit. They received many presents and letters of congratulations from old associates, making their Golden Wedding Day one long to be remembered. They have come down the stream of time together, sharing the joys of life and basking in the hope they may continue life's journey together and be a blessing to their posterity as long as life may last.
On 5 June 1937, family friends and relatives had a reunion for them at South Jordan, Utah. This being the last large gathering he was privileged to attend for on 29 June 1937, which was his 76th birthday he was stricken bedfast, and passed away on 31 July 1937 of Cancer of the stomach, at the home of his daughter Grace Henderson,in Logan Utah. He left his wife and eight children, thirty nine grandchildren and three great grandchildren to bless and honor his name.
All his life he cherished his membership in the Church and was happiest when he was teaching the Gospel. He was always willing to do whatever was asked of him, great or small. He was very generous and kind, always giving good advice and counsel.
MAY HIS DESCENDANTS FOLLOW HIS WONDERFUL EXAMPLE.
ERASTUS G. FARMER
Copied from PROGRESSIVE MEN OF SOUTHERN IDAHO 1904 page 506.
Although of English parentage, Erastus G. Farmer, of Clifton, Oneida County, this State, was born on American soil and is in all respects thoroughly American in feeling, aspirations, public spirit and devoted to every element of greatness for his country. His life began on June 29, 1861 in Douglas Co. Nebraska, while his parents, Edward John and Elizabeth E. Wright Farmer, were on their way to Utah to join the great body of the Mormon Church of which they had become members before leaving England, the land of their nativity.
His father, Edward John Farmer, had come to the United States in 1856 and settled in New York City, where the father was employed in a factory until the spring of 1861. They then started for Utah and on the way fell in with a company of emigrants who were also going there and had halted at Florence, Nebraska, near Omaha. There occurred the birth of their son, Erastus. Soon after that event they resumed their journey and reached Salt Lake City on September 29th. They at once took up their residence at Fort Herriman, Salt Lake Co.. The next spring the father went with a company of settlers to Bear Lake County on the border of Idaho and Utah. Owing to the state of his health at the end of the year, was obliged to return to his former home. He there located at Salt Lake City and after remaining there two years and fully recovering his health again, settled his family at Fort Herriman and went to farming. The mother, Elizabeth Ellen Wright Farmer, died in Herriman on 14 February 1889. In 1898 the father again moved to Salt Lake City, where he is still living.
Their son, Erastus was reared and educated at Herriman and worked with his father on the farm and attending the stock until the Spring of 1883. He was then called on a Mission to North Carolina, where he remained until Oct 1885. On his return he was employed in hauling ore from Bingham to Sandy for a year. Early in 1886 he was married and then engaged in farming and raising sheep, in company with an uncle at Herriman, where he remained until the spring of 1890. At that time he disposed of his interests there and continued his residence at that place and worked for various stockman in the neighborhood for two years. In the Autumn of 1891 he leased a band of sheep and in the Spring of 1892 brought them to Idaho. Here he bought a ranch, 2 miles north of Clifton, and moved his family there, making it his home and the base of his sheep and farming industries, until the early part of 1895, when he bought the ranch on which he now lives, two miles south of Clifton on which he has since resided, although still owning the other place. He is one of the leaders in the sheep business in that section of the State and conducts his business with enterprise and commendable breadth of view. To the church in which he was born and reared he has ever been devoted and serviceable. No interest in its keeping has appealed to him for aid without a prompt and generous response, and no duty it has laid upon him has ever been slighted or neglected.
In the fall of 1893 he was counselor to Bishop Garner of Clifton Ward and served him in that capacity until his retirement....Then on 26 January 1896 Mr. Farmer was himself ordained as the Bishop of the Ward and still holds this important position.
In politics he is an earnest Republican and has been continuously loyal and helpful to his party, attending it's conventions as a delegate and serving for a number of years as Justice of the Peace at it's best. At present he is serving as chairman of the County Central Committee.
On January 12, 1887 at Logan, Utah, Mr. Farmer was married to Miss Mary E. Holt, who was born and reared in Utah. Her parents were Edward D. and Emma Billings Holt, natives of England. They became members of the Mormon community in that Country and in 1862 emigrated to America and located in Utah. They made their home in Salt Lake City for a number of years, then moved to South Jordan where they remained until 1898, when they returned to Salt Lake City. There the father died in Nov 1900 and the mother now makes her home at South Jordan.
The family of Mr. and Mrs Farmer comprised of seven living children, Eva Grace, Erastus Leroy, Elsie May, Ivy P., Golden H., Emma E., and Truman E.,..Their first child, Nellie M., died July 16th 1889 at the age of 15 months.
Farmer, Erastus G., a home missionary in the Salt Lake Stake and an active Elder of Herriman Ward, Salt Lake Co., is a son of Edward John Farmer and Elizabeth E. Wright, and was born at Florence, Nebraska, 29 June 1861, his parents being on their journey to Utah. He was baptized in Herriman by Bishop James Crane when about nine years old, ordained to the various grades of the priesthood and called on a mission to the Southern States at the April Conference, 1883. He left home, May 15th of that year and was appointed to labor in North Carolina, where he baptized nine persons and also assisted in organizing a new branch of the Church in Mitchell County. He was mobbed several times: returned home Oct 1885. Since November 1885, he has labored as a home missionary.
(Taken from Biographical Encyclopedia or condensed Biographical Sketches of Presiding Officers, Veterans, Missionaries and other Active Men and Women, in the Salt Lake Stake of Zion. Andrew Jensen, Salt Lake City, 1888)
LeRay Sant Howell -- Life History, written 4-10-77
Contributor: email@example.com Created: 3 years ago Updated: 3 years ago
LeRay Sant Howell — Life History
Salt Lake City, Utah
I was born on Wednesday, September 14, 1910, the son of Elmer Vernon Howell and Edith May Sant, at Clifton, Franklin County, Idaho. I was the third child and also the third son in a family of three boys. My oldest brother Arthur died in his first year of life. My brother Ferne was born on January 19, 1909. I was born at home in the three room house one mile south of the Clifton Store. My mother had health problems and was told by the doctor that after Ferne’s birth she couldn't have any more children. So I was a bonus.
My grandfather Thomas Anderson Howell blessed me and gave me my name on Sunday, December 11, 1910. My father was the ward clerk and wrote out the “Certificate of Blessing” in his own handwriting. He wrote “S” for my middle name and the church records in Salt Lake City from the Clifton Ward show my middle name as “S”. Several subsequent certificates show my middle name as SANT. For this reason I have not been sure what my correct middle name is. Erastus G. Farmer was the bishop when I was blessed.
I was baptized in Hessespond south of our home about a mile, on Thursday, July 3, 1919, by Thomas Sant an Elder and was confirmed on Sunday, July 6, 1919, by Ransom C. Vanleuvan. Samuel M. Lee was bishop. Orson Kofold was the clerk. He wrote my name as Leray [capital ‘A’ above the lowercase ‘a’] Sant Howell.
I can’t find the certificate but my biographical sketch shows I was ordained a deacon on Sunday, October 1, 1922, by Bishop Samuel M. Lee. I was ordained a Teacher on Sunday, November 29, 1925, by Hyrum D. Jensen, the second counselor in the Oneida Stake Presidency. Wm. Parley Howell, my uncle, was the ward clerk.
My father ordained me a Priest on Tuesday, September 17, 1929. Maybe this was on Tuesday as I probably left for college before the next Sunday.
I had the childhood diseases of chicken pox, mumps, measles, etc. Many times I fell off of horses as a boy. It was a long way to the ground. We had a cow pony named “Cap”. He was really good on following a steer. The neighbors “Vrehwigs” got a new multiple shot 22 rifle and gave us their single shot 22 rifle. I would hunt jackrabbits in the sagebrush hills one-half mile from the house and above the canal. I got a lot of them but only after they had stopped. I shot lots of squirrels with the gun, a bean flipper and a window blind loop over the hole. Squirrel ate our crops and dug holes that took irrigation water. It was a matter of who ate the food we raised. I helped father (we called him papa) kill and dress beef and pigs. We used the derrick pole to lift the body of the beef to skin and clean. We would scald the pigs and put them in a sloping barrel of hot water so we could scrape off the hair. We would kill in the Fall and hang quarters of meat on the North (shady side of the house). If we killed in hot weather (we had no refrigerator and seldom had ice) we would sell to the neighbors all the meat that wouldn’t keep fresh for three or four days.
One spring, dad suggested I plant and tend some watermelons. I did this for two summers. Stealing watermelons was considered a sport that boys indulged in. No one was very critical of any boys stealing melons, but in two years I didn’t get even one ripe melon to eat. I surely learned the lesson, “Thou shalt not steal”. No way did I want to have someone else as disappointed as I was to do all the work to plant, weed, water and cultivate a crop just to have it stolen.
Mother was an excellent cook. After school I sometimes couldn’t find anything for a snack, but she would come up with a good dinner. She used plenty of salt and pepper and made things taste good. We had a cellar behind the house but with a stairway from the pantry which was behind the big kitchen. We kept milk on the dirt floor to keep it cool and fresh. When there was a thunderstorm it would warm the milk and it became clabber. I didn’t like sour milk and Yogart reminds me of sour milk. We had a big stallion that father kept in the barn. He was struck by lightening and killed during a thunderstorm. The barn had one board burned off at this time. One job I hated was driving a cow to the block bull through the center of town, especially on a Sunday.
I got to watch the birth of little pigs, lambs, dogs, calves and once a colt. It got so natural that I figured I wouldn’t be uneasy if I were needed, in the absence of a doctor, to help with the birth of a new baby.
Dad would buy five Succors (fish) in Preston after they had been seined out of the Bear River. Mother cooked and seasoned them so well that I always liked fish. Once dad got a Trout out of the alfalfa patch while irrigating. It had come out of the Twin Lake and right through our headgate. This was a special treat. Grandfather Howell was an excellent fisherman when he was younger. My father, his brother Parley and Bishop James W. Davis played for dances. Parley could play by ear on the organ or piano any time after hearing it once. My Uncle Bert (A.A.) Sant had musical ability. I never inherited that or the ability to do carpenter work well. My hands just weren’t handy.
Once I fell off a horse and he stepped on my ankle in two or three places. It was bruised and sore for months. One time dad was breaking a colt. We ran him into the barn. Dad yelled for me to go to the barn door and keep him in the barn. I got to the door as he was racing back out. He jumped over me, hitting my forehead with a front hoof. I fell on the ground on my back. I still remember seeing the horse above me moving his feet on all sides of me so he wouldn’t step on me. He missed me but I was stunned from his hoof hitting my head.
Our family went to all church meetings regularly. Mother was slow getting ready to go anywhere. One Sunday as we arrived for Sacrament Meeting they were singing the opening song. Father just turned the sleigh around and we went home. Ferne and I were delighted and mother was embarrassed and angry. Our parents hardly said a word but it never happened again.
Leslie Howell, son of Nen (Henry Jr.) Howell, was our scoutmaster. Just before I was 17 we (Ferne and I) became Eagle Scouts - some of the first in Idaho. There was a Court of Honor in the Preston Opera House. We were up on the Stage. They made a big fuss over us. I remember the 50 mile bike ride in one day from Clifton to around Downey and back. The road was wet and water flipped onto my pantlegs. It was a tiring, weary and dreary day. When I did my lifesaving I “rescued” Mr. Kearn, one of the stake scout leaders. I was sure glad he could hold his breath because I had him underwater part of the time.
We would go up the canyon west of Clifton for pine poles for fences, maple logs for fence posts in our meadow and maple trees for firewood. I often cut my foot - usually the left one. I cut it so many times that my left foot would get cold in the winter, before the right foot got cold. Several times dad would take me to the doctor in Preston to have stitches taken. He also took me to Preston for the eye examination, to the dentist, and once I stayed for two weeks with William Henderson in Preston while I went to the Chiropractor. I don’t recall what the problem was but I remember not being well all the time and getting so tired working on the farm that I was often too tired to enjoy the Saturday night dance. We used to get a dance with a dozen girls saving only the first, last and one or two other dances for our date. It was the best way to get your arm around another guys girl and flirt a little. Often I had so much fun that some fellows were jealous and didn’t want me to dance with their girl. One night a guy challenged me to go out and fight. I had him about to give up when he hit me in the stomach and I lost the fight.
One Spring day our schoolteacher took the class on a May Day picnic up the mountain. Coe Howell, Orrin’s second son, said to me and William Noel Howell - Uncle Parley’s son -, “Let’s go off by ourselves.” We did and all the time kept saying, “I wonder what the class is doing now?” We missed the fun of being with the group and the teacher. I never did that again.
When I was 20 I became scoutmaster. I should have been 21 but there were no others as well qualified, as I was an Eagle Scout. I took the scouts to the hot springs at Downey to pass their swimming test, on overnight hikes to pass cooking, camping and 14 mile hikes. I emphasized advancement and I had excellent success. If a boy couldn’t eat his own cooking he couldn’t pass the test until another meal.
I taught a 16 year old Sunday School class when I was 20. I got outside material to supplement the lesson. The students liked the class and Leslie Howell, from the Sunday School presidency, was very complimentary about my teaching. He was a master teacher and made a living at it.
While in High School and later in the M.I.A., I played in several stage shows. I had the leading part and got the girl. Once I played opposite the lady school teacher and once Phyllis Henderson Howell (Merrill’s wife) was my leading lady. We were real flirts and had a good time. We got lots of compliments on our acting so well on the stage.
In 1928 I graduated from high school and gave the Valedictory speech. The six other class members were Sadie Sant, Allen Ostergaar, Carl Viehwig, Verda Larsen, Coe Howell and maybe Winona Sant, Sadie’s sister. I went to college in Logan that September, Ferne and I batched in a two room apartment at 549 East, 4th North. We rented from Nicki Power of New Zealand. He lived with his wife, a son and two daughters. He taught us how to play chess. We practiced so much we could beat him and he wouldn’t play anymore. Nicki knew George Henderson when he was on his mission in New Zealand. I worked on the farm the summer of 1929 and went back to school and boarded at Perry Howell’s home in Logan. Coe and Noel were my roommates. Later I moved to my fraternity house. My clothes, tuition, books, board and room cost $550 that year. Father let Ferne go back the next two years and I stayed out to help dad and keep the costs down to one in college at a time. When dad took me and Ferne to Logan in the Fall of 1928, he got back home after dark and had to change to work clothes and get milk cans and drive two and one-half miles to the dairy farm. He gathered up the cows after dark, put them in stations and milked all nine of them alone. Besides the work he was alone without his boys. He never did that again. As I look back I think I was a lot like [living – need permission to publish] (after I got past 17 years of age). I volunteered to stay and help dad while Ferne went back to college for his third year in 1930. Dad and I got along well. I idolized him, listened to his stories and kept him talking. I showed real interest and learned a lot from him. He was a good psychologist in a practical way. He could tell me what people would do in different situations. I learned to understand relationships between things and people. I learned to analyze people and situations. When problems arose later in life I wasn’t as upset as other people because I had anticipated what would happen. It was interesting to me to read father’s missionary journal and find that after he got two years of college he couldn’t go the third year (I guess because of finances), but by November 1902 he left on his mission.
While I was out of college I dated Roxie Anderson and her sister also Carrie Nanlewood’s daughter who married Mr. Talbot. She asked me and Harold B. Lee to administer to her but she died a few days later. She was a very pretty girl. I enjoyed her company but wasn’t in love with her.
The real thrill was to meet Mary Perry at the Persianna Dance Hall in Preston. She was very pretty and danced like a dream. I liked her right away. We dated the summer of 1931. She was a senior in high school and played the saxophone beautifully. In the Fall of 1932 she went to college and got one year. We dated regularly but had our ups and downs. Mary still won’t believe I spent as many hours studying as I did. My regular schedule was to be to class at 8: A.M. and out by noon. Then I got a cup of buttermilk and sometimes an ice cream cone for lunch, then study till dinner and then more study until midnight when I promptly went to bed.
I graduated in June 1934 from the USAC at Logan, Utah, with a B.S. Degree in Economics with a minor in Business Administration. I also had a high school teaching certificate for Utah. Father and mother, Ferne and Eda, David Thomas and Eunice, Mary and her parents were there to see me graduate. The U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Wallace gave the talk to the graduates seated on the east side of the stadium. There were no jobs. The depression was about at its bottom so I went to summer school in Rexburg and worked part time at the grocery store for about $35.00 per month. It seemed almost as hard work as the farm so I guess I just wasn’t born with a strong physique. Father told me that he had been quite sick for a while before I was conceived, and knowing that mother’s health was poor I shouldn’t expect to have any more energy than I had. Father and Ferne called me “lazy” because I didn’t want to do what they wanted to do when they wanted to do it. Part of this was my lack of energy and part of it was my disposition to want to do things my way when I wanted to do them. Perry Lee inherited a good part of my disposition in that respect and he mentioned the trouble it gave him on his mission. When I got a desk job I found I could stay at it for up to 20 hours at a stretch when it became necessary.
Stewart Mason owned the grocery store. Paul Sant was teaching in the high school in Rexburg and we boarded and roomed together at the Mason home. Mason went broke and on the last day handed me $75 out of the till to go up the street and pay a bill he owed. This gave me an idea of what might happen to cash when a company goes broke. Broulim bought the store and I worked for him. He moved me to Rigby about January 1935. About April I left with Elmer Brossard (who had been my roommate at his brother’s home in Rigby) for the state of Washington as salesman for the Union Knitting Mills in Logan. He borrowed money from me on our bus trip to Washington and wasn’t sober all the way. After he had borrowed well over $100 I got him to write a letter to the person who was paying him $30 a month on his home and have them send the money to me. He got fired before I got paid back. He still owes me $100. I wouldn’t lend him any more money but would pay his meals when he was with me, pay his share of the hotel bill and bus fare to the next town. I would move to sober him up. When he had money he would buy liquor for his casual acquaintances. When he ran out of money they would keep him in drinks. He would sell to prostitutes and take part of the down payment in trade. In all the time together I never took a drink or sold to a prostitute. One day I made friends with the gatekeeper to the Bremerton Navy Yard. When I left him I walked right in. He was so surprised that he called after me, “Don’t tell anyone which gate you came in). I got in to see the head nurse at the hospital and she helped me sell hundreds of dollars worth of knit dresses to her
nurses. I netted $150.00 for the afternoon’s work. The head nurse said she would take me home. I said she didn’t need to. She said you couldn’t get out of the gate. So I let her take me to my hotel.
I came home in June and had a little difficulty with Mary. She had planned on going back to school that fall and had written me off her list. Besides, she had pneumonia and took several weeks to get over it. Eda talked to me about the costs of being married and said we could make it financially. I agreed and started talking marriage to Mary. After about a week she agreed and we were married in the Logan Temple on July 23, 1935. We got a 1932 Chevrolet Coupe (father loaned me the money for the down payment). I got the loan from Fred Pingree who later was my Elder’s Quorum teacher and president. I followed him in these positions as he got promoted.
The depression was so bad that most people couldn’t find enough money to buy knit dresses. Also the unions were strong and often on strike. So in the fall of 1935 we came to Clifton and stayed with my parents and helped harvest the beet crop and of course help with the chores. Then we stayed with Mary’s folks while I studied the correspondence course I had started in January, 1932. Twice during the winter I came to Salt Lake and looked for work with CPA firms but they couldn’t afford any extra help. Then about March 1936 I got a job with Mendenhall Auto parts. I worked in Salt Lake for two weeks of training before going to the Logan office to work. I kept the perpetual inventory and the other books and waited on customers at the counter. The manager Tonie Haynie didn’t want a college graduate but there were plenty of us around and Mendenhall insisted on hiring college graduates. Tonie ignored me, didn’t help me, criticized any mistakes I made and gradually persuaded the owner that I wasn’t mechanically minded. Neither was the other guy they kept but he wasn’t smart enough to be a threat to Tonie. I got fired in September 1936 and went back to Salt Lake to look for work.
Perry Lee had been born in the Preston hospital on May 14, 1936. Mary took him and stayed with her parents in Preston. I couldn’t find a job so I registered at the LDS Business College as a student. They said they could offer me full help if I was a student. President Fox gave me an I.Q. test. He was so impressed with my high score that he hired me to teach two of the four classes at night school on Monday and Thursday nights from about 6:45 to 9:30 P.M. Then so many students were registering at the school that Heber C. Kimball got President Fox to have me help him with some of his classes. They kept giving me more classes until I was teaching full time at the night school (typing) and teaching six of the seven classes that made a full schedule for daytime. At that time the employment secretary sent me out to Sun Photo to interview to be their accountant. They offered me the job and I counseled with Pres. Fox on whether to accept it. Actually, I didn’t want the job. The company was in the red and had a lot of bad debts for me to collect. Mr. Kimball chided Mrs. Leaver, the employment secretary for sending his assistant out on another job when he needed me so much. Pres. Fox offered me a nine month contract at $125 a month. I accepted. Immediately two lady teachers who had been there part time for a longer period (Alien Russon - now the Russon at the U. of U. Business School and since retired) and Edna Clawson, were unhappy that I got full time work instead of them. They barely tolerated me for a long time.
I rented an apartment at 435 East 1st South in what is now the Rigby (formerly Wells) apartments. We were in the basement and Warren and LaVeta lived down the hall. The Perry’s brought Mary and Perry Lee down and we were a family again. I had missed my wife and missed watching Perry Lee grow up so much that I thought this was a terrible world. We could live better on $65 a month than I had ever lived in Clifton that we bought a 1937 Ford 2-door car. It was new except it was driven out from the factory. It cost $700 and we were mobile. We would drive home nearly every week end. We looked at all the new house building projects in the valley and Perry Lee stood up between us. We became as attached to him as any couple with their first child. We moved to 230 East 3rd South to the apartments just east of the Firestone garage and later to 764 4th Avenue. Here in 1938 we were in the 21st Ward with George Reynolds as bishop. He had me teach the Teacher’s quorum. That meant giving up week end fishing with Uncle Jesse Sant and the ZCMI bakery crew. We fished on the Provo River and rented a shack over Saturday night.
In September 1937, Pres. Fox came to me as we were starting the fall term. He said I could go to Employment Security for a few months to get their Merit System started at a $50 a month increase in pay. I took it. Ray Adams, the Employment Security Administrator, had gotten President Fox to promise to send him a teacher when he needed him. At noon they called and wanted him to start that afternoon. Pres. Fox said the lady he planned on sending was in California on two weeks vacation. Ray Adams said he had to have a man. All the other men made $250 a month except David Jensen who couldn’t handle the job. So they sent me at $175 a month. This was real money. Ray Adams was pleased with my experience in accounting, shorthand, typing and other business subjects and my high school teaching certificate. Things were starting to jell for us. By December 1937, the job was over and I got hired as a Field Advisor with Employment Security at $165 a month. On May 1, 1938, Pres. Fox hired me back at the Business College at $2000 a year.
We got my mother and father to come to Salt Lake City. Father later sold his farm. He was released as bishop and at 56 years of age he became a carpenter and had more spending money than ever before in his life. They lived with us while we built the duplex at 703 10th Avenue. In October 1938, we all moved into the first floor apartment and rented the second floor for $75 a month. I bought the furniture as dad had used all his available money to build the duplex.
I was the teacher in the Elder’s quorum. I had been ordained an Elder on Sunday, Feb. 28, 1932, by David G. Eames of the Oneida Stake Presidency. Then I was president of the Elder's quorum. This was in the Salt Lake East Ensign Ward.
In August 1941, we moved into our new home we built at 374 10th Avenue. B. F. Hovick was the contractor. We had five children with Colleen being the baby. Ronald had been born after 60 hours of labor for Mary. She had such a hard time that she was beside herself when she found she was pregnant again with what turned out to be the twins - Rex and Reta. She was afraid she couldn’t live through another pregnancy. Before Ronald was born the doctor told me he could save either the baby or the mother but probably not both. I told him to save the mother and Dr. Jack saved both of them. Four months after the twins were born Mary was pregnant again with Colleen. She worried some more until on our vacation Pres. Wood at the Cardston Temple gave her a blessing and told her she would be all right. She stopped worrying and got along very well. Pres. Wood told her things he couldn’t have known except by inspiration as we had never seen him before that day. He had taken us on a tour of the temple and then over to his home for a cold drink, where we met his lovely wife who couldn’t hear. I had never before met a person who impressed me so favorably in three hours.
In October 1940, I worked part-time at $100 a month for the Merit System and in January 1941 I worked full time. I still taught full time at the business college. Pres. Fox wanted to avoid any criticism for hiring a man who had another job so he put me in charge of the night school. This meant I came 15 to 30 minutes earlier to night school and stayed 30 minutes after classes were over to balance the cash and close the office besides teaching all four night classes. I was making over $5000 a year for two years and often worked until after 1:00 and 2:00 A.M. My school schedule was over at 2:30 P.M. and I went right to the Merit Office at 19 West Temple. It sure was handy. After having listened to 90 typewriters all day (I was then in charge of the typewriting department) I would go to the office, shut the door, and tell my secretary to hold all calls and no interviews. After about 15 minutes I would relax and take telephone calls and keep the door open to anyone who came to see me. One night I came home about 1:00 A.M. from work. I was so far along on a cold that I expected to not be able to get up the next morning. I knelt down and prayed. I told the Lord what a work load I had and how important it was that I stay well. After prayer I went right to sleep and in the morning I was completely well and fully rested.
In 1942, my job as Merit System Supervisor was opened for Open-Competitive Recruitment. This meant that to keep the job I would have to compete with all comers and be in the top three names on the register and then be appointed by the Merit Counsel to keep the job which, with overtime, was paying $300 a month. Twenty-six persons applied. Three had PhD degrees and years of experience. My years were less than two in the job. On the written exam I was far ahead of the scores of the next higher applicants. I got one of the highest interview scores. Actually, the Board asked me questions I had anticipated and had studied up on. It surprised them that I had this technical knowledge. LeRoy Simmon, Mr. Noel and Mrs. Porter were on the interview board. My rating on education and experience in which the examiner - Dr. George Pierson - gave credit for 15 years - most examiners give credit for only the last ten years - left me with a much lower score than the older applicants. But I ranked number three and got the job. In November 1942 I gave up teaching at the business college and of course lost some of my income. But with one income I was able to pay more than $100 extra some months on our house mortgage and got it paid off by November 1946.
I was called to be a Seventy and was ordained by Samuel O. Bennion on Friday, May 1, 1942. Then I was called as a stake missionary and served from December 6, 1942 to January 5, 1944, when I was called to the Bishopric in the West Ensign Ward of Ensign Stake. I was set apart on February 2, 1944, by Apostle Harold B. Lee. We found a vacant room in the basement of the chapel on 9th Avenue and “D” Street. There were just the two of us there. He also ordained me a High Priest.
Our bishopric was released in February 1946 because of Bishop Walter J. Eldredge’s heart trouble. Shortly thereafter the first counselor, Milton W. Cutler, became the Stake MIA Superintendent with me as first assistant and George I. Cannon as the second assistant. George is now a regional representative. But he and I got excellent training from Supt. Cutler who was an able and enthusiastic administrator as well as a great spiritual and Godlike man. We served five years until 1951. It was a real privilege. We accomplished much for the young people. In 1951 I became first assistant to Willard Rogers in the Stake Sunday School. John was the second assistant. I served in this position until we moved out of the Stake in October 1951.
We traded our new home for a bigger one at 73 “L” Street. The Castletons’ traded us straight across as their salesman told them it would be easier to sell our ten year old house than their 50 year old house. On March 22, 1977, we took the $150.00 earnest money to sell our home for $59,000, to Thomas and Dorothy Callister. Tom has been in our bishopric and is now on our Salt Lake Emigration Stake High Council.
In my work we gradually added more agencies to the Merit System until in 1963 Governor Clyde implemented a two paragraph amendment to the Finance Commission Law to bring most of the state agencies under the Merit System. I was moved to the Capitol as Assistant Personnel Director, Merit System Director and Executive Officer of the Highway Patrol Civil Service Commission. For the next two years I worked a 70 hour week and had all pay raises held up as my salary was nearly double that of my boss, Elmer P. Hunsaker, the State Personnel Director. He lost his political job to Edward T. Himstreet when Calvin L. Rampton became governor. After a few months James Shepherd resigned when he was placed under my supervision and I then actually administered the State Personnel program and supervised the staff until about July of 1974. At that time Mr. Himstreet started getting ready for my retirement which got postponed until December 1975. My salary more than doubled in the last 13 years of my nearly 36 year career. I was often called Mr. Merit. And as Dr. G. Homer Durham said it, “you are the true father and chief developer of the State Merit System, indeed of all the benefits toward a splendid career service that has blossomed in the State of Utah.”
During the last five years of my state service, the director of State Retirement set up a deferred income program which allowed me to build an untaxed cash fund to supplement my retirement. So far I have not used it but reinvested some of it. At least that is the net effect. Mine and Mary’s social security, plus my State Retirement, gives us more money now than we spend each month. This means my patriarchal blessing has been fulfilled. It says, “...the Lord will sustain you and you will never want...you may have what you need of this world’s goods...you shall prosper in the land....”
In the 1970's my biography was placed in Who’s Who in the West, edited by Marquis and also in Who’s Who in the United States.
In November 1956, after five years as a Sunday School teacher and Ward Aaronic Priesthood advisor, I was called under Pres. Wilburn West to be a member of the Stake High Council. I was set apart in Stoker’s home by Apostle Henry D. Moyle.
On Sunday, February 11, 1962, I was called to be second counselor in the Salt Lake Emigration Stake Presidency. L. Brent Goates was the new president. Gerald L. Ericksen was the first counselor. Elder LeGrande Richards presided. I think he set me apart. On Sunday, Nov. 10, 1963, I became first counselor to the new president Gerald L. Ericksen. Ralph O. Bradley was second counselor. We were set apart by Apostle Richard L. Evans.
The work in the stake presidency was a fulfillment of my patriarchal blessing in which I was counseled to keep the faith, live righteously, etc. and, “the Lord will be your friend and your companion and you will receive honors ways beyond what you may imagine. At the time of this call I was the first in the Sant, Howell, Treasure or Henderson families (that I know of) to have as high a church calling as being in a Stake Presidency. Since that time two cousins have been Stake Presidents, Noel Howell’s son and one of them was also a mission president - Merlin Sant. I greatly enjoyed this service for 11 1/2 years when the whole stake presidency was released after serving together for 10 years on Sunday, August 19, 1973. Apostle Howard Hunter released us. He did a perfect job - every courtesy and consideration was given to us. On Saturday night the Stake Leaders gave us a party. Pres. Harold B. Lee and wife Joan were there. During these 11 1/2 years we met with many general authorities. Several were in our home including Pres. Lee. I gave talks at most Stake Conferences and received favorable comments from many people. Three times President Ericksen was away from Stake Conferences and I conducted the Sunday meetings in the Assembly Hall on Temple Square. Things always went well and Pres. Ericksen expressed his congratulations and appreciation both verbally and in writing. It was an inspiring 11 1/2 years.
On January 3, 1976, Mary and I left for Pamona California where we picked up our new Lazy Days 19 1/2 foot mini-motor home. We traveled to Florida, Blue Ridge Mountains, Pennsylvania and home via Arkansas and Oklahoma, arriving the middle of May 1976. We traveled later in Utah, Banff, Jasper, Frazer River, Washington, Oregon, California and home by September 7, 1976. On January 5, 1977, we left for St. George, Las Vegas where we camped on the strip, Death Valley, Colorado River below the Parker Dam, Mesa, Yuma, San Diego, Carpenteria and home March 6, 1977.
[Retyped from a photocopy held by RayDean Howell Hill. Spelling, grammar, and punctuation are retained as they appear in the photocopy.]
Autobiography by E. Vernon Howell
Contributor: firstname.lastname@example.org Created: 3 years ago Updated: 3 years ago
[Spelling and punctuation are retained as in the original.]
I was born March 2, 1882 at Clifton, Oneida County, Idaho, to Thomas A. Howell who was born September 17, 1855, at Payson, Utah and Harriet Ann Henderson who was born February 4, 1855, at Kaysville, Davis County, Utah.
My first discovery of mortal life was my mothers touch in the home, where life is shared at its best. My parents were members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They had thirteen children, and I was the fourth. Six died as babies or with diphtheria. Myrtle died when she was ten of typhoid fever. The four brothers, Orrin, Vernon, Parley, and Marion, and two sisters, Emma and Chella were very close and did a lot together.
I applied for baptism at the age of seven years and told that I was too young. Bishop Farmer asked if I understood the gospel, and I proved to him that I did. He then accepted me, and I was baptized and confirmed a member of the Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-day Saints. I enjoyed my childhood and the sports of skiing, skating, boxing, and sleigh riding in bob sleds. I was taught how to knit socks, half sole shoes, lace in the bottoms and backs of prison chairs.
At the close of my first school, age seven, under the tutorship of cousin Millie Howell, age sixteen, cards were placed on a table. She said, “Select the one you like best.” I selected the little boy dressed in red, and I have it now. I surprised her a few months before she died by letting her see the picture. She was an excellent teacher. I finished the district school.
My brother Orrin who was four years my senior and who gave me trouble by his teasing walked up to me with a smoke made of maple bark and asked me to hold it in my mouth while he lighted it with a match. I made about two puffs and it exploded causing me to bleed from the mouth. He had filled it with powder.
Brother Perry Bingham a neighbor hired me to work for him when I was age nine. He took four ropes, tied one on each donkey’s neck and tied each donkey to a separate shed post. He gave me a gunny sack and said, “Hit one mule over the head.” I did so, and there he continued to hang back. “Now do the same to all of them and keep them hanging.” It lasted most of the day, and those fools continued to hang back. The next morning I tied them, but they did not pull against those sore necks. He paid me off.
One night after priesthood meeting the boys gathered together. We had a fast team of horses and so did Bishop Farmer. A home missionary had visited our ward and was riding with the bishop. We boys were in close pursuit. Our sleigh was overloaded, so we arranged to pull up beside the bishop and put most of our group into his sleigh. After that we went at full speed ahead. We soon passed the bishop, but he pulled right in behind us. As we came to down grade which caused him to gain on us we were in danger of being run over. One of our horses was winded and turned toward the lane of the home where lived. This happened just where there was a culvert projecting out three feet. The bishop’s team followed in close pursuit. One of the runners of his sleigh struck the pipe and broke off one runner and part of the box. Also the missionary landed against the wire fence, but the bishop hung on to his lines. We hit the pipe and broke off our box. My cousin Wallace and I landed beside the missionary and the fence. John Howell who was the only one left on our sleigh was lying on his stomach. What happened to the other boys? Don’t ask me. The sleigh the bishop was using had been loaned to him by a blacksmith who had made it for a beautiful riding sleigh for his family. He had ironed and painted it. We all felt the loss very much.
The next Sunday was Fast Day. Brother Henry Dixon arose and bore his testimony. Then he said, “Brothers and Sisters there must be something done with the rough boys who are disturbing the peace in front of our homes.” The bishop held a streight face although it was slightly drooped. We boys were chewing our tongues nervously but were in sympathy with the bishop. He hadn’t been racing to win the race but to catch the boys and keep them on the right track. This he did! Later on he landed all of us in the mission field.
Bishop Erastus G. Farmer played a big part in my life without pay. He gave me a book “What a Young Boy Should Know, What a Young Man Should Know”. He was bishop when I received a call for a mission. I later served as his Ward Clerk. He was in the High Council later and voted for my acceptance into that council. I was invited to speak at his funeral which I did and which I considered to be an honor.
One time father said, “Vernon, jump into the wagon and go with me.” He drove one mile up to the farm land and hooked the team on the hand plow. He handed the lines to me and said, “Drive the team around this piece of plowed land and I will hold the plow.” Later on we stopped to rest the team. I suggested, “You can hang the lines about your neck. You don’t need me.” He said “You Stay. You are doing all right”. After driving for a while I picked up a rock and threw it at one of the seagulls which was flying over head. It broke a bone in one of the wings. Father started talking about how the seagulls saved the wheat crops for the saints. He stroked the bird on the back. It grabbed the skin on the back of his hand and tore off a strip of skin. Just then Orrin stepped up. I asked him to feel how smooth the feathers were on its back. Away went a strip of skin off of his hand. I moved around the team then broke to the run down through the plowed land for the house. I heard father call out, “You better heal it you little devil”. At the house I met mother who said asked if I wasn’t home rather early. I replied that they didn’t need me. I was not there to do my part at milking time but returned after dark and sneaked in by raising a window. I lay down in bed at the back with my two younger brothers. Mother walked through the room. I closed my eyes while she passed. Father spoke up, “Its time that little devil was here”. Mother commented that I may already be there. Father then came in and heard me snoring. He [missing text?] very much awake. The problem ahead was morning prayer. I was there but did not care to talk with father or God. The next thing was Sunday School. I never heard from father or Orrin again about the seagull. Mother said, “Vernon do you feel sorry about killing the seagull? I answered that I did not kill it. It was alive when I left them. It must have been father who killed the seagull.
We lived and worked on a farm. One day I was milking a cow when she ran away from me and jumped over the corral bars into a lane that extended one mile up to the foot of the mountain. Father walked over to me. I said, “That cow is going to freshen.” Father asked, “Well, son have you been milking her?” “Surely I answered”. He said, “If she freshens today, you can have the calf providing the cow and the calf are in the corral by the time the shadow of the mountain passes here.” /After breakfast was over I was on a horse ready to leave. I was told that mother would have to use the horse by one o’clock P.M.. I said okay and was soon moving up the grade. At one P.M. I was back home with no calf or cow. I was looking where I had been and saw something red like a cow. I had a quick snack and with my dog at my side we covered the one mile quickly. Was I tired? The cow ran into the brush after my dog and up jumped a red heifer calf. Down the lane they went toward home. The shadow of the mountain was upon us. Old Brock would stop for the calf to rest and the dog and I stayed back until we were near the corral. The shadow passed over us just as I slammed the corral bars up, and the cow and calf were in the corral. I threw my arms around the calf as father watched. I thought he was going to hug it too. But no, he hugged me and said, “Son, I will keep that heifer calf and its increase except the male calves until your are married. We will sell them to help pay for your schooling at the A. C. College at Logan, Utah and to help pay your way on a mission. I was about sixteen years of age.
Another time I was stacking straw at the rear end of a thrashing machine when the dinner bell rang. For lack of seats, Arthur Sant and I had to wait. After lunch we started back to the machine, a mile [away?] on a terribly hot day. Arthur who weighed two hundred twenty five pounds started out on foot. I had a horse and rode up beside him, and said, “If you will let me have your daughter Edith when we are old enough to be married, I will walk and you can ride the horse.” “Okay,” said he, and away we went with him riding the horse.
Edith was a beautiful girl and woman. While attending school in Logan, Utah at the A.C. I kept her in my mind and heart until I was nineteen years of age. In disposition she was like her father Arthur who was pleasant and interesting to work with. When I asked her father and mother for her company Arthur placed his arm around my shoulder and said, “I am pleased for you to assume the responsibility of protecting and looking after the welfare of our daughter Edith.” I thanked him and promised to live up to his trust and also Alice’s. That I did by the help of Edith to make our courtship a joy. She had proven so true and had given me encoragement in my work through her letters. Then there were father and mother who had kept praying and sending me over $2,000.00 while I was on my mission. It was the happiest time of my life up to then.
At college I was interested in carpentry, turning lathe, mechanical drawing and general subjects. I remained home for two years due to a shortage of cash. In 1897 while my brother Orrin and I were attending school at the college in Logan, Utah I had a dream during the night. Our sister Emma’s one year old baby had died and was at Father’s home in Clifton laid out on a small stand in the parlor. I described the clothing etc. to Orrin. Orrin said, “There is nothing to that”. Two hours later while in a classroom a phone call came for Orrin. He answered the call. Father told him that Emma’s baby had died and that we should come home on the train. We found on our arrival home everything just as I had dreamed.
Three years after Arthur’s promise Edith and I were keeping company. Her father Arthur was ill with a mastoid infection. I was at his home and he asked me to come over to his bedside. He took my hand and said, “My promise a few years past, that you could have Edith still holds good. I trust you to care for and love her”. Edith and I were engaged to be married shortly afterward. Arthur died in March 1902.
I received a call from President Joseph F. Smith to fill a mission in the Southern States. We decided on an engagement ring and then waited until after the mission to be married. September 18, 1902 I left home for the mission and stopped at Salt Lake City with father and mother accompanying me. I received a Patriarchial blessing be [by] John Smith, brother to President Joseph F. Smith, at the church office. I was set apart to the Southern States Mission by Joseph W. McMurrin December 18, 1902.
Elder Silas L. Richards and I traveled on the Union Pacific railroad to Cincinnati, Ohio mission headquarters. I met President Ben E. Rich and was transferred to the Kentucky Conference. There were twenty four elders in the conference. I was assigned to labor with Elmo Cluff from Provo, Utah who was one of the nicest companions ... [missing text] ... in the scriptures. We labored until the spring conference in the western part of the state of Kentucky. I love and revere his name. Now he has been dead for forty years. The 1903 conference over I was assigned to labor with Elder Horace A. Hess in Pike and Floid counties a distance of four hundred miles of where we were. We aere [were] asked to walk and visit saints on the way. We held thirty meetings, baptized six people in thirty days, and walked the four hundred miles. The walk was very difficult and the last two days were worse due to loose sand. About one P.M. on a certain day we were weary and hungry. I called at a house and asked for something to eat. Before me on a long table was a real spread of food. She handed me a tin on which were five small biscuits so hard we could not eat them. We tried using water on them with no results. I returned the tin and thanked her. Her expression showed her embarrassment. There were no houses for five miles and then there was a family of Saints. We could walk on the pipe or the railway. We chose the railway. After walking one fourth mile being tired we sat down to rest. A freight train passed by. I saw an object go from the window of the caboose and it fell into the grass. I stepped over and picked it up. It was a warm cake about three inches thick and eight inches in width. We gave thanks, ate, and started on our way. In between the rails was a package which we opened. There biscuits and pie. What a treat! Praise God from whom all blessings flow. Who can doubt there being a creator when you are in his service and receive such a lunch.
We traveled on for five more miles and stayed with the Saints. Then we were in Pike County. We came to a creek where Elder Hess stopped to wash his face. I walked up a bank. A man named Haynes was on a load of lumber. He stopped the team and said, “I saw you last night in my dreams. Where is your companion? He has red hair. Oh, here he comes.” Haynes was supervisor over the branch.
They treated us very mice. We helped them in the Sunday School, ... [missing text] ... One Sunday there was a [? f__t] was and many of the Baptist Church attended it. At evening we had a meeting in the church house. There was a small building near by containing moon shine. There were a number of men outside. While up speaking in our meeting I had to stop talking and ask two couples to be more orderly. After repeating my request the second time in came a husky man with a revolver in each hand. By this time Elder Hess was speaking. The man walked up and asked Elder Hess to wait. He turned about face and siad. “These men are here teaching us how to be saved. There are some who are showing disrespect. Either quiet down or get out.” He sat down at the front with a revolver on each knee and signaled Elder Hess to proceed. At the close of the meeting he said. “Come and preach as long as you please. We will be here to defend you”. Then a salute of guns outside lit up the sky.
The next morning a very nice looking lady about forty years of age approached us. She was well dressed and rode side saddle on a beautiful looking horse. She introduced herself as Onia Wilmonson, and we acknowledged the introduction giving her our names. She asked if we were mormon missionaries laboring there. We answered yes. She said she had just ridden twenty five miles to meet us and to invite us to come over to their home and preach to them. We visited them and found them to be a family highly educated, clean, beautifully dressed and living in a home of beauty and order. They had two daughters eighteen and nineteen and a son twenty one. The father and mother were the picture of Joseph and Mary. I have their pictures to prove it. Sister Wilmonson was the only one who belonged to the L. D. S. Church. On leaving as we reached the top of a mountain we waved our handkerchief goodbye. I have a quilt block in one of my quilts as a reminder. And so we bid farewell to the Blue Ridge Mountains of the Atlantic Coast.
On our way to conference we met Elders Richards and Molen. They told us of a lady who had been ill for weeks and at present was very [?] He [aske]d if we would go with them and administer to her. The next morning we stopped and administered to her. She appeared to be about sixty years of age. We walked twelve miles the next day then cleaned up and stepped into new suits. The following day was conference. I stepped into a clean well ventilated tobacco barn they had prepared for conference. As I stepped onto the stage a clean and well dressed lady entered from the side door, walked straight to me, and offered her hand. I shook with her. She said, “Don’t you remember me?” I replied that I couldn’t remember of ever seeing her. “Well” she said, “I am the woman you and Elder Hess administered to Friday morning in my sick bed. I was healed there and them”. She was the picture of health and appeared to be about thirty five. I can never think of her as being the same person. A blind babe was brought in and administered to after the Subday Conference and healed and able to see.
After conference, due to poor health, I was transferred to Atlanta, Georgia and placed under the care of Dr. Smulon. After a diagnosis he pronounced it was yellow jaundice. After recovery I was placed in charge of the branch and the mission office was moved from Atlanta, Georgia to Chattanooga, Tennessee. I was furnished four elders. They were Kenneth Molen, O. E. Overson, Walter Hogan, and Charles E. Rowan. This was a very able group to stand in defense of our belief and faith. I got consent of the city fathers to hold street meetings on Post Office Corner. There were twenty one steps on two sides on which people could stand or sit. We held meetings Sunday mornings at 10 A.M.. There were seven ministers of other faiths almost every meeting. This was during the Reed Smoot investigation and President Joseph F. Smith and most of the apostles were there on trail for polygamy. After each talk the Reverand Bruno would give a rebuttal to our talks. The talks were printed in the papers, and we were invited to homes and places to preach. I was impressed one night that something was doing to happen, and so I notified Sister Rich and Sister Hardy, wives of President Rich and his counselor J. Hardy, and requested that they be present the next Sunday morning at the Street Meeting. After our speaker had finished the Reverend Bruno gave the rebuttal. Said he, “Do you know what happens in the Salt Lake Temple? When they meet there is a line of young ladies standing in a row without a piece of clothing on them. Missionaries like these who have filled missions has a chance to pick out one, two or more according to the time he has put in on his mission.” So I asked if there were any ladies present of the Mormon Church who had been through the Salt Lake City Temple. Sisters Rich and Hardy, well educated, stepped sorward. I asked them to speak on the question. After Sister Rich got up to speak Reverend Bruno left, and if I ever did the right thing it was when I selected those two ladies. Two of those elders who worked with me are alive. They are Walter Hogan of Salt Lake City, Utah and Charles E. Rowan of Provo, Utah. Kenneth Molen is dead, and I do not know about 0. E. Overson.
My grand parents T. C. D. Howell and wife Sarah Stewart were living in Tennessee. They had been converted to the gospel by Zachariah Wilson and then baptized after which they moved to Utah and then to Clifton, Idaho where I was born. L lived close to them for twenty years and learned much about our people in Tennessee.
I wrote to the our relatives, the John W. Howell family, and received an invitation to stop and see them. I left Atlanta, Georgia on the train and arrived in Kenton, Tennessee February 28. As I stopped off the train I walked up to a man who looked like my uncle at home. Although one hundred people were present I offered my hand and said, “How is John W. Howell?” “Just fine”, he said. How is cousin Vernon?” “Very well”, I replied. Two days later, March 2, 1905 was my twenty third birthday. John W. and wife Mandy invited cousin Bell Odom and her half sister Lucy Flowere over for dinner. What those four people mean to me furnishes a life of pleasure. In my room hangs a beautiful painting of a bouquet of chrysanthemums painted by cousin Belle. It was a present to me by her just fifty seven years ago. She removed a nice ring from her finger to mine. Some sixteen years later I wrote to her stating that I had broken the ring. I love the memory of those two women also the two hundred present on John W. Howell’s lawn the day before I left for home. Lucy Flowere died December 17, 1960.
I arrived in Salt Lake City, Utah and made my report at the Church Offices of a mission filled and received my release of honor. Next day my sweetheart of Clifton, Idaho, Edith Sant arrived with the engagement ring in place. She was the one who had promised me, three years previously to be my wife. What a beautiful lady she was!
I was received back into the ward at home and made happy for what had been accomplished. I was made secretary in the Elder’s Quorum to President James Callon.
July 2, 1905 I was set apart as Ward Clerk to Bishop Erastus G. Farmer and served six years. I worked on the header and earned $100. That was our wedding stake. I made a cupboard and center piece. The $100.00 paid for the carpet and other furniture. Edith and I went by train to the Logan Temple where we were married November 29, 1905 by Thomas Morgan. I received ten cows and calves from father and mother. They would not accept one of our cows even though it left them with none. That fulfilled their promise made thirteen years previously. I sold nine cows with calves at side for $25.00 per head. Uncle Gus ... [missing text] ... at $[?] per day two rented rooms and each other. We surely were happy. In [1909?] we purchased our first forty acres from Henry J. Howell for $600.00 and applied the cash from the sale of the cows.
I was sustained first counselor to Ernest Dixon in the Y. M. M. I. A . In the year 1911 we sold the forty acres at a profit of $1200.00 plus two good crops of wheat. We then purchased the Swen Anderson home on the south of Clifton. On the date of September 11, 1911 I was released as ward clerk after serving six years. May 14, 1911 Bishop James W. Davis was sustained Bishop with E. Vernon Howell First Counselor and Samuel M. Lee Second Counselor and Seth V. Henderson Ward Clerk.
Before I started to keep company with Edith she was serving as a teacher in the Sunday School. She later taught in the Primary and still later was President of the Y. W. M. I. A. When Edith was president of the Mutual she would talk with me on how to govern the young people and to keep them so interested in something so elevating they would not have time to think otherwise. Edith dressed becomingly, her hair was beautiful, so it corresponded with her beautiful face. Since actions speak louder than words she had everything one could wish to find in a young lady and wife.
June 7, 1914 Bishop Davis died. Samuel M. Lee was sustained as Bishop with E. Vernon Howell. First Counselor, James L. Williams, Second Counselor and Orson Kofoed, Ward Clerk. I served for six years after which I was released and sustained as Alternate High Councilman in the Oneida Stake with Taylor Nelson as President. I served for fifteen years in the High Council before being released and sustained as Bishop of the Clifton Ward with James L. Williams, Second First Counselor, and James Ostergar as Second Counselor and Bert Winward Ward Clerk.
The greatest blessing Edith ever did for me was when she gave birth to three sons willingly. Arthur born September 14, 1906 a beautiful dark eyed lad with brown hair and a charming disposition died ... [missing text] ... was fair skinned, with blue eyes, cheerful, and good looking. He was obedient and easy to raise. He has been a real comfort to us and a wonderful young man. LeRay born September 14, 1910 with brown hair and bright eyes had a square build like his great grandfather Sant. The little boys were kept so clean and taught good manners and respectability. When Edith knew I was burdened with work on the farm and church responsibilities she would help to solve the problems and make the burden lighter for me to bear. It kept me thanking the Lord and her mother Alice for the help from Edith. The first day for Ferne to attend school Edith had him shining, and was she happy! He walked to school carrying his lunch. Two weeks later a bus drawn by horses started. I enjoyed playing with the boys and together we enjoyed the calves, lambs, kittens, pups, and other animals found on the farm. That happy and contented life was passed on to our boys Arthur, Ferne, and LeRay. What a wonderful life we all lived together. There is beauty all around when there’s love at home. When Ferne was about 14 years of age he was selected as County Valedictorian. Perry Lee who was his teacher wrote the address and helped Ferne in his presentation. It was hailed by school professors and church leaders as one worthy of consideration by old and young. Edith and I were so pleased with what Ferne had accomplished with Perry Lee to help him. Ferne and LeRay completed high school at Clifton, Idaho. Ferne was Valedictorian at his high school graduation. Ferne then attended the A. C. for one year and then both boys went for one year. The next year LeRay went and Ferne remained on the farm due to lack of sufficient funds and a back injury Ferne had received earlier. Ferne attended the next two years and graduated. Due to a shortage of cash we were forced to keep LeRay out of college for two years. Duting this time he decided on a course in higher accounting from LaSalle Extension University of Chicago, Illinois. He won the credits for graduation. This together with two more years at the U. S. A. C. as it was then named and one year at the Latter Day Saints ... [missing text] ... for the past 23 years and which position he now holds.
Ferne decided to take up a new course of study. A lady with a charming countenance, sparkling dark eyes, black hair and ready to attend a dancing party attracted his attention and so they were off. This young lady was Eda Pearl Hardwick. We had nothing only okay. He had the evidence right before him. Ob 9th of March 1934 they were married in the Logan Temple. He was clean, upright and a real husband to Eda and father of their three girls. He taught in the public and high schools for ten years and for the last twenty one years has been working in the accounting department of the M.S.T.&T. Co. He has been and still is an active member of the church and has held most of the ward positions plus two stake positions. His two oldest daughters graduated from the University of Utah. Both girls were married in the temple to returned missionaries. Carol Dawn is following right along in their footsteps.
LeRay stepped into the auto and went for a ride across the valley one evening. He got a bright idea. A degree is not all a man has to have to make a success in this life. He had made up his mind and knew what he was talking about. We asked for proof. Mary Perry was a beautiful girl and nice to talk with. Having watched Mary for years in action Edith and I decided LeRay was right. They were married in the Logan Temple. Her thinking, planning, praying and rushing for 9720 days and nights to give birth to nine babies, answer LeRay’s calls for help plus caring for nine healthy children growing up is wonderful. How she did it and still is on the move to finish the engagement, don’t ask me. He was anxious to leave the farm and to secure a position such as he now accupies as Head of the Merit System. With Mary to go with him they added a family of nine and are accupied in raising them properly. He has his hands filled serving as a High Councilman and now I just received the news has been sustained as a counselor in the Stake Presidency. It requires faith and works to advance to that position. Three of his sons Perry Ronald and Rex ... [missing text] ... have and are attending the University of Utah. Perry, Rita, and Colleen are married each having been married in the temple. The others are following similar paths.
In the year 1920 at 5:00 AM I woke from a dream and told my wife Edith that her cousin Elsie gave birth to a dead baby during the night. I said they have placed it upstairs on a stand, and I am to help them. Edith believed it to be true. I was soon on ly horse and rode for three fourths of a mile. I stopped at Marion and Elsie’s gate. Out came Marion and said, “We have trouble.” I know I told him that I knew about it and asked what I could do. He said, “The baby is dead.” I stepped in and spoke to Elsie. After taking the measurements of the baby I left for home. Later on I had the casket made and trimmed and a rough box made.
During the past For 28 years I have been was busy on my farms with hired help and my family. Our home proper consisted of 95 acres of sandy soil. On it we raised alfalfa hay and dry land wheat of over 1,000 bushels per year. Thirty five acres were pasture land. Forty acres were irrigated land. We produced about 200 tons of alfalfs hay per year. Thirty one acres were in sugar beets producing about 350 tons of beets. Sixty acres were meadow pasture and alfalfa hay. We had twelve holstein papered cows, six papered durock sows and litters, eight head of work horses, forty head of beef cattle, 300 head of ewes and 100 leghorn hens. The numbers of each varied from year to year as we used crop rotation. The boys helped Edith and me on the farm when they were not in school. I took a course of serving as crop reporter for ten years in Franklin for the U. S. Government. In return they furnished me with first hand information on the newest and best methods in farming. By applying these new methods the results were so spectacular that all the neighbors wanted to know what we were doing.
I was working at carpentry work ten miles from home. When I retired the previous night, I was restless and could not sleep and as a result was so tired the next morning that I could not handle my work ... [missing text] ... quit. At 11:00 AM a car pulled up and a man asked if E. Vernon Howell was there. I did not suspect anything unusual. Brother George Burgie, Counselor to President Taylor Nelson of the Oneida Stake and also James Fackerel, Stake Clerk, were there. Brother Burgie spoke. “We are here by appointment from President Nelson. Our message is to notify you that your name has been selected to serve as Bishop of the Clifton Ward. What have you to say?” I said, “I have no excuse, so I will abide your decision.” I was ordained bishop by Apostle Melven J. Ballord May 9, 1936. I was released as Bishop of the Clifton Ward March 6, 1938 at which time I moved to Salt Lake City, Utah with my wife Edith after leasing my farms. We lived with LeRay and Mary for eight months. We secured the plans for a new duplex. It was located on a corner lot at 703 10th Avenue K. ST. It was completed in 8 months. We moved in and rented the upper unit to Russell Jarrett. It had a beautiful setting with a view of the city. LeRay and Mary lived with us for short while their home was being built.
Ferne and Eda moved in with us in 1942. Edith and I enjoyed a rest from the farm, to live in the city, to beautify our home outside and in with everything new. We had a beautiful lawn and flowers. We joined the Ensign Ward. The people were sociable.
I soon secured carpenter work, met the payments of the home and in five years had sold by farms and paid for our duplex and had plenty to live on. I started carpentry at the age of 55 in Salt Lake City, Utah at $16.00 to $20.00 a day. This out classed the farm so much that I worked until I was 79 years of age as a finishing carpenter on homes, churches, and banks all over Salt Lake, Kearns, Ogden, Provo, and Dragerton. When there was a project of 150 homes, my partner and I would about 25 of them. We were always in demand and held our own although the other workmen were from 30 to 50. The secret is to keep your mind on your work, keep working at a good steady gate, and don’t smoke or chew. Be on the job at eight each morning with tools ready to move. ... [missing text] ... pride in your work so that the house sells readily to an outstanding couple who occupy it, such as L. D. S. members. What an ideal home it becomes for two ward teachers to enter and give their lesson on what it takes to make a home. That is what it takes to make the foundation of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
While I was living in my home on 10th avenue I would travel by bus to work. A neighbor, brother Webb, who was working at the Salt Lake Temple went on the same bus morning and evening. On the way home, one evening, he said to me, “Just as I was ready to leave the Temple, one of the workers gave me a book to read this evening, provided I would return it the next morning.” He said, “I do not have the time to read it. You can read and return it to me in the morning.” Did Joseph Enter Britain was the title. It treated on the lives of leaders and especially one “Howell the Good” who was the ruler over Wales. It traced his lineage back to Mary, the mother of Jesus.
I met a relative in 1905 in Tennessee named Walter Howell. He joked me about our religion and asked me what we do in our temples? I told him that one of the things we do is ordinance work for the dead. He later went to Washington D.C. and came home with the coat of arms and the name of “Howell the Good” Ruler of Wales. One thing we do not have is the names of our progenitors from Archelus Howell, who was born in North Carolina back to our progenitors in Wales. I discovered that our name was first Howe, then Howel, then Howell.
Before leaving Atlanta Georgia to return home from my mission I mailed a letter to John W. Howell at Kenton, Tennessee stating who I was and that I desired to stop and become acquainted with the Howells there. I received the invitation to come and landed there March 1, 1905. The next day March 2 was my birthday and I had dinner with John W. Howell his wife, Lucy Flowers, and Cousin Belle Odom. After three weeks more then two hundred relatives assembled at John W’s to spend the day with me. It was a wonderful day and long to be remembered. [missing text] ... of [twe?]nty seven families. I returned home and placed it in the Salt [Lake] Temple. The work has been completed for most of those names submitted. I have been writing these live relatives for eighteen years and have sent them tracts, church books, and the Improvement Era. Hundreds of those relatives since 1905 when I first met them have been moving into the states of Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas, and I am corresponding with them.
In Salt Lake City Edith joined the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers. They made it known to me that she was an able defender of the gospel for both old and young. After the erection of our dupoex in the city we planted lawns and beautiful flower beds. She had an operation and it was discovered that she had cancer. I used the flowers and banked them in one corner of her room. She enjoyed them for six months and then died December 1, 1943 in my arms. Eda and Ferne and their two daughters had been living with us and helping take care of Edith during her months of suffering. When Edith died they came to my rescue with their children to furnish mirth and love and saved the days from being worse than they were. LeRay and Mary lived only a few blocks away in a new house. I should not complain. My families proved to be my greatest comfort.
In July 1944 I took a trip to Kenton, Tennessee to visit my relatives whom I had visited thirty nine years previously and to gather genealogy of our kin. I collected the names of twenty seven families before returning home. It took money to make the trip and to have the work done in the temple. Here is how it was paid for. I was working at Jakes Wood making wooden jewelry. As I was just ready to leave Jake approached me. He asked if I would take samples of our goods and sell them. I took the case. At Denver I stepped into a store and sold $500.00 worth. At Kansas City I sold $400.00 worth and so on. Jake was swamped with orders. He paid for my trip. After returning to Salt Lake I entered the High Priests Class in West Ensign. The supervisor stated that they had a project for our class. He said that they had selected two men to do temple work. I t[urn]ed the names over to them. Just then our genealogist at Logan arote to find how we could get cash to pay for having the work done of a long list she had ready for the temple. I told her to mail them to me and shortly afterward I had them. They were later turned back to me finished and with no charge. God moves in a mysterious way his wonders to perform.
After Edith died I sold the duplex for $15,000.00 and moved in with LeRay and Mary. I was appointed class leader of the theological class. The Bishop asked me to serve as a ward teacher which I did. I later accepted a call on a Stake Mission from Robert G. D. LaMar in the Ensign Stake. This lasted from September 3, l944 to August [1?]l, 1946.
When riding the bus to work I met Edith Casey Goddard who had come from England. She was a member of the church, had four children, two boys and two girls, and she was separated from her husband. We were married in her home on September 27, 1945. She was well educated and talented in music and singing. She continued working for the government. She was neat and clean and kept the house in perfect order. Edith and I and her four children and her mother lived in a large home which I rented. During the seven years we were married I helped put her children through college. Due to difficulties with the children and her mother we were separated and then divorced on August 5, 1952.
In the spring of 1952 I moved in with Ferne and Eda. The Beacon Ward Bishop, Wayne B. Garff asked me to serve as a ward teacher. I did it. I was then appointed to serve as director over twenty four brethren of the High Priests group who were to make contact with sixty six men over twenty one years of age, who should be promoted to the priesthood of Elder. Bishop asked me to work on the finishing of their new chapel and also to work on houses owned by the church needing repair. He gave me a list of widows who needed the locks and catches of their homes checked and fixed. All this was to be donation work. I did that one winter.
[On] July 23, 1953 I moved to the Colonial Hills Ward. Bishop McMaster assigned me to take charge of the aged people and those who were ill. I did it. After living with several people I became acquainted with a lady, Luell Osguthorpe Greenhalgh who interested me in so many ways and was good company. After one year of being out to parties together we decided to get married. September 16, 1955 we were married at her home by Bishop Kenneth Bernett. On September 19 we left on our honeymoon trip to the northwest by way of Boise, Idaho Seattle, and Vancouver. We went by auto and boat to Nanaimo, Victoria, Port Angeles, Olympia, Portland, Delles, Twin Falls on to home, a distance of about 2,450 miles. In 1956 we went to Canada and also another trip to Los Angeles and San Francisco. In 1956 we went to Bryce and Zions twice each and Grand Canyon once. In 1957 we went through Idaho and Montana. The trips north were made during the autumn when nature was displaying its colors over mountains, lakes and beautiful homes. We saw and enjoyed the people of different nationalities, their customs, beautiful works of arts, good food well served. We were glad to see the Pacific Ocean in motion and the state of California.
I received a call to fill a mission in the Sugar House Stake from Harry P. Oscarson, Stake President. This lasted from January 22, 1956 to February 2, 1958.
In December 1959 we left Salt Lake City by plane to New York and Boston to visit Luella’s son Martel and family. We had a real Christmas with his family and friends and got to see the Atlantic Ocean and Plymouth Rock. The trip home on the plane was enjoyed and was without any trouble. Lula is alert. She gave up her job at Lords as a designer and remodeling of dresses. After six years of dressing dolls she has one hundred forty beautifully dressed dolls wheich are up to date, and people dome from far and near to see them. Luella does her work right and on time. The looks to every need of mine for comfort, health, and entertainment in the home. If she has anything to say it is said. She is clean and ... [missing text] ... together from the Pacific to the Atlantic and North to Canada.
On October 26, 1962 I told Luella I was so depressed by that feeling which does all over my body when something unusual has happened. Later on a letter from my sister Chella who lives 110 miles north of Salt Lake City bore the news that Arvilla Hess had died.
My last work was for Souvall Brothers making racks for store goods. I retired at the age of 79. When I retired I took up wood carving in ernest. My first was my idea of Mary and Joseph and the donkey on their way to Bethlehem. The second large picture I called “In The Garden.” The main feature of the picture is the California Temple two years before it was completed and President David O. McKay and his wife standing out on the lawn. A Mananite is on one knee with the Book of Mormon in his hand. The temple, President McKay and his wife are finished in the natural white bass wood and the rest of the picture is painted. Since then until now January 1963 I have finished 103 pieces. Different ones have been mailed to people from Alaska to Tennessee and from the Pacific coast to the Atlantic coast. Some carvings have been done in bass relief and others have been carved in full dimension. Some are out of mahogany and others from bass wood. I have entered some of my work in the Utah State Fair Exhibits and won some first prizes. One I exhibited, a begonia out of mahogany, won a special prize, a loving cup. I feel sure the Easter Lilly out of bass wood is my choice piece. People have asked how I can set a price on each piece and cover the cost of my time and material. I decided not to set a price or charge money for my carvings but rather to make gifts of them to my relatives and friends both young and old.
At the age of 81 I gorgot to renew my drivers license and had to take the complete test over. I studied for days and nights beforehand and did a good deal of worrying about it in between. When I went down to take the test I made 100% on the written test, but was failed on the actual driving. The mext day I went back for a second cha[nce] on the driving and asked for the same man who had flunked me before. I passed with flying colors. When he told me what I had done wrong the previous day I realized it was the same thing I had done years before when taking the test. When they gave me the eye test I read off the letters so fast they were all amazed.
To the decendants of Thomas C. D. Howell and wife Sarah Stewart I extend greeting. The three eldest decendants now living are Liddie Howell Winterbottom, Wallace Howell, and E. Vernon Howell. I feel obligated to make some statements concerning the events of the past and our obligation preparatory to the future. I have lived in America, the land of freedom to all who will obey its laws and sustain its leaders, under the flag of the red white and blue. It is a choice land set apart by our creator for a choice seed “The House of Israel” and the establishment of zion in the latter days throughout the valleys of the mountains.
I have lived during the period of time occupied by fourteen presidents of the United States dating back to and including President Charles A. Arthur. I have lived 81 years out of the 132 since The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints was organized. The Prophet Joseph Smith and Brigham Young preceeded my day. John Taylor was president when I was born. There have been eight presidents of our church diring my life. I have observed, studied, listened to the teachings of parents and grand parents, and prayed to know of the truth of mormonism. I have filled three missions and worked for the living and the dead at home and in the States of Tennessee. Our first duty is to set our records right in our own families and second those of our relatives. Are we ready to move and do something essential for life and salvation?
Funeral Services of Erastus G. Farmer August 4, 1937
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Beautiful and impressive funeral services over the remains of Erastus G Farmer who died at the home of this daughter Mrs. Grace Henderson in Logan, Utah, July 1937 were held in the Preston Third Ward Chapel August 4, 1937, under the direction of Bishop Phenol Edgley.
Singing: (Choir) Come, Come Ye Saints. (A favorite Hymn)
Prayer: James Johnson:
Our Father, who art in Heaven, we approach Thee in humility and faith at the commencement of these funeral services for Brother Erastus Farmer. Our hearts are filled with sympathy for the family and appreciation of the life of this good man, for the son's and daughters and for the example he has left to us. Bless the speakers, give them words of sympathy, of consolation and love. We are thankful that everything was done for the comfort of his during his sickness. Bless the singer and those who shall accompany the remains to the cemetery that they shall go in peace and return in safety. Bless the wife and children that they will not mourn in excess but will improve by the life and example of their husband and father, we pray in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
One of the impressive moments of my life was two weeks ago when a group surrounded the bed of Brother Farmer and sang two of his favorite hymns. One you have just heard, the other "Our God We Raise To Thee." This will now be sung by a ladies Chorus consisting of Iris Hawkes, Mary Johnson, Hattie Groves, Emily Burgi and Selma Johnson with Allie Packer at the organ.
Speaker: Elder Thomas Sant:
Brother Farmer was one of my nearest and dearest friends and it is an honor and a privilege to speak at these services. I have known him for fifty years and during that time, our spirits have been congenial with no misunderstands. The first meal he and his wife ate at Clifton was at my home, and many are the times when we have surrounded the table and while eating, talked of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Brother Farmer was always the same, never did he falter, and many are the times we have talked on how to gain salvation.
In 1861, in Florence Nebraska, a baby boy was born and was blessed by Erastus Snow and that is where he gets his name, Erastus, from this is where his record starts. In due time, he was baptized and then his parents moved from Salt Lake to Herriman, Utah, where the boy played as other boys, attending the Sunday School, Mutual, and Primary. When he was a young man, he was called to the Southern States Mission. This is on a record. There he preached and taught the Gospel and prepared himself for the usefulness of the future. After his return, he sought out one of the choice daughters of Israel for his wife and they have brought to the world, sons and daughters to be proud of.
They moved to Clifton where Brother Farmer was called and set apart as Bishop, one of the greatest responsibilities of the Church. "A common Judge in Israel" and faithfully he served. He never retaliated, but lived to the motto, "Love those who despitefully use you." In all the years I have known him, I have never heard him say, "That serves them right," or "I will get even with them." Why? Because he was a follower of Christ.
He has continued on in his faithfulness and has a record, and what does that record say, "Enter in at the gate, take your dear wife by the hand, take your family and go on to the Celestial Kindom."
Brother farmer didn't have to repent for he had already done so. He loved his enemies and never retaliated. He believed the Gospel was for the perfection of the Saints so he preached and lived it. He could proclaim Faith, Repentance, and Baptism because he understood these principles.
I urge you as a family to follow the example of your father and be thankful for such a parent. I understand one or two of the boys have been on missions. These things we should consider and of the kindly words he has spoken to you; the many uplifting things taught by him during his life, this will be consoling.
Speaker: Bishop E. Vernon Howell:
I cannot speak of Brother Farmer alone for he was not alone, for his good wife worked with him and he has often remarked, "If there is any honor, give it to my wife, for she has made me what I am."
He was a diamond taken from the rough you might say, but oh how that diamond was polished. On January 12, 1896, he was called to be Bishop of Clifton, which position he held for 15 years. During some of this time, I worked for him and learned the responsibility of a Bishop and his wife, and, for this reason, I never wanted to be a Bishop.
He didn't covet wealth, at a time when he was in very stringent circumstances, he and his good wife took in a man who was ill and who had several thousand dollars that he wished to give to Brother Farmer for taking care of him but Brother Farmer didn't wish to accept it, so the Stake Presidency was called in to make a decision and not one penny went to Brother and Sister Farmer. Instead, it went to help build the medical arts building here in Preston and to buy the drapes which are used to decorate the Clifton Chapel for funerals. This shows his disposition, that is, he was looking for eternal life.
I worked side by side with him as a ward clerk and found him to be charitable and a man who loved to work with the young. If he could guide them into the Temples for marriage or get them to go on a mission, he was satisfied. He had mercy, would stand for you when he thought you were right and he never, to my knowledge, betrayed a single person.
He stood for the law. I remember one time on the streets of Preston in conversation with several other men, the subject of prohibition was being discussed and Brother Farmer said, "I stand for prohibition if I stand alone, for this thing will only bring sorrow and misery into the world."
Sister Farmer, I pay the greatest respect to her for she carried on the home while he was away and made it possible for him to better serve. There will always be memories of him when you think of "What a Missionary Should know." Brother and Sister Farmer worked hand in hand and have filled a good mission and are worthy of salvation.
Dr. Eugene Worley, Solo, "Oh My Father."
Speaker: Bishop William Hawkes Jr.:
There is cause to mourn today, because one who has been faithful has been taken, and cause to rejoice because this one has filled a long and useful life and is worthy of a place in the Kingdom of God.
I have known the family quite intimately. there was none among us more desirous to learn the truth than Brother Farmer. He was a student and as Bishop Howell said, a lover of good books. He always carried a book or papers with him so he could study in the fields while resting. He understood the Gospel and had a testimony burning within him and lived to the words of the Master. Found in Matthew 6:12. "Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do even so to them."
Brother farmer believed that this was the time to prepare to meet God as the Prophet Alma has said,
"For behold, this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors.
Ye cannot say when you are brought to that awful crisis, that I will repent, that I will return to my God. Nay, ye cannot say this; for the same spirit which doth possess your bodies at the time ye go out of this life will have powerto possess your bodies in that eternal world.
For behold, if you have procrastinated the day of your repentance, even unto death, behold, ye have become subjected to the spirit of the devil and he doth seal you his; therefore the spirit of the Lord hath withdrawn from you, and that no place in you and the devil hath all power over you and this is the final state of the wicked."
Brother Farmer realized the importance of this message, therefore he lived so that he could receive these words. "Well done, my good and faithful servant, enter into my glory." These are the thing he liked to discuss. These at the things he lived for, his ideals were high and his teaching and example the very best.
He was called to hill a mission to the Southern States and called the people to repentance and taught them the principles of the Gospel, for he knew, there was not a doubt in his mind as to the authenticity of the work, you boys and girls, sons and daughters of Brother Farmer, think of the advice he has given and would give you today if he could speak. Follow his example, live that you can meet him.
I appreciate very much the labors of Sister Farmer, I know she has had a lot of responsibility, being a Bishops wife doubled her work, but she has been faithful in every respect. May God's blessings be upon her and upon the family.
Speaker: President George E Burgi: I could ask of no greater honor than to be a son of this good man, but this is impossible, I will have to content with my lot. It is a great honor to speak at these services, and I appreciate the good will of the family. I have worked with Brother Farmer and he has made me see that hardships are only stepping stones to something greater. Bishop Edgley and I visited him a few day ago and he said, "I have no fear of meeting my maker. I want to have mercy and forgiveness for my brothers," I think the words of the poet will best express his thoughts:
Sunset and evening stars,
And one clear call for me.
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
When I put to sea.
Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep,
Turns again home.
This was his faith and hope, for he had a knowledge of meeting his creator, therefore he never faltered, knowing he would meet his maker, he prepared himself.
A family such as his is an honor in any community, splendid boys and girls, and a hope they will follow the example set them by their father. So that when they lie as he does now, it can be said of them the same beautiful things which have this day been said of your father.
The Lord bless the family and have them think that their father is their guardian angel, when temptation comes and you are contemplating doing wrong, stop and ask yourselves the question, "Would father approve?"
Speaker; Elder A..D. Henderson: I testify that the things spoken here today are true, I feel that I am in a position to make that statement for I worked with Brother Farmer from 1896 to 1912 and about a month ago in conversation with him, he said, "I enjoyed it, appreciated it and thankful I had the privilege."
I never saw him called to any position where he murmured. When Lorenzo Snow asked that the people pay their tithing, Brother Farmer went from house to house, singing, "Come, pay your honest tithing." I remember when he was in the Mission, when Brother Standing and his companion were killed, "I realized the hardships that a missionary had teaching a new religion, converting some of their family and friends, and take them to a new land out in the west. Can you blame them for being worked up?" This is the way Brother Farmer expressed himself.
All the things that have been said today should have been said for he was a good man. He was honest in his decisions. I never saw him when he did not render a just decision, then he would abide by it.
I am not afraid of his choices, for he kept the faith. He lived the life of a true Latter-day Saint every day of this life and could preach the Gospel as well as any man I ever heard; and above all, he stood for their teachings. He was honest in his heart; in his dealings, honest with his family and has given to me a great many examples. Now you boys and girls, if you live as he has lived, you will have no regrets but will be able to meet him, take his hand and he will bid you welcome.
His motto was: "To live at all times the Gospel and live in harmony with others." I tell you, my brothers and sisters. If there could be such a thing that I could love any man more than I do my wife, it would be men like Erastus G. Farmer and Bishop Howell. With Brother Farmer, business came first. He tried to deal justly with his neighbors. There are other men whom I love, James L. Williams, Orson Kofoed and Brother Sand. I am not ashamed of it and why not tell them while they are alive, not wait until they are dead. Brother Farmer has made many a man better due to his teachings and example. Let us live so that we can meet him.
Speaker: Bishop Phenoi Edgley:
A man never lived that has had more virtues said about them than has Brother Farmer, he set a splendid example, one the family should be proud of and be willing to follow.
He was devoted to his wife and set an example which I think we all could follow, that is, whenever he spoke well of his children, had their interests at heart.
This is the first death in the family in forty-nine years, at that time, Brother and Sister Farmer buried a child, three months old. So, to the family, he has gone to prepare a place for you. Do not fail him. His life has been a blessing to me and to this ward. He has been a strong supporter of the activities and duties which devolve upon Latter-day Saints. The last few weeks of his life, it was his pleasure to bear his testimony to his family. I pray that Sister Farmer will be blessed and built up and that her retiring years will be a pleasure to her; that she shall have joy with her family until the call comes for her to meet her maker. The family wished to thank all who has in any way assisted in the sickness and death of Brother Farmer for the speakers, singers, and the flowers, and for your presence here today.
Singing: San Sisters: "Farewell to Thee" ( Amy, Helen and Joan, Virginia at the organ)
Benediction: Reinold Kern.
"O God, who dwells in the Heavens, we approach Thee in humility and thank Thee for these beautiful services. For the words of consolation spoken, may we depart from here with a determination to serve thee, so that when the time comes for us to depart from this life, we will be as well prepared as was Brother Farmer. Bless the family, give them the hope, the encouragement and faith to live near to thee and by so doing they will know beyond a doubt there is hope after death, bless those who shall accompany the remains to the grave, that no harm or accident shall overtake them, but that they shall return to their homes in safety. Dismiss us we pay in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, Amen."