LULA YOUNG:THE STORY OF MY LIFE
Contributor: JerryDWilson Created: 2 years ago Updated: 2 years ago
My dear sister in law did me a good favor, when I tried to pay her, she said “No, but you can write the story of your life. What I don’t know about writing would fill a big book, but if I must, here it is. I suppose the best way to start is the beginning, so:
I like Nephi of The Book of Mormon can say, “Being born of goodly parents.” Because my parents were truly good. My father, Ephraim Albert Mecham, and my mother, Harriet Eliza Mecham, were married in the Salt Lake City Temple 29 November 1895. Mother said of their trip to Salt Lake City in a wagon; “We camped at the point of the mountain going in. I slept in the Wagon with Grandma Mecham , Papas’ Mother, and on the way back we camped about the same place. I slept in Daddies bed, under the wagon.” She used to chuckle when she said this, she could always see the humor of a situation.
Their first son, Albert Alphus was born on their wedding anniversary 29 Nov. 1896. They had eleven living children. Gerold born 13 Aug. 1898 died of diphtheria when he was three, 31 Jan. 1902. Myrtle was born 11 may 1900. Lula born 5 Sep. 1902. Marvin Dean born 25 Mar. 1904. Muzzetta Elisa (Bobbie) born 20 Apr. 1906. Harriet Rosella, died at two from drowning. Paul Lamar, born 26 June 1915. Alice Phosia born 4 Dec. 1917. She also had a five month baby born dead, this baby was perfect as any baby could be. In the winter after Paul was born we buried it in a match box, Myrtle and I. No one but we children were home then. She had a miscarriage of just a few months in 1918.
I was the fourth child. I was born 5 Sep. 1902 in Wallsburg in a 2 room log house that my father had built on his father’s 160 acre homestead, (The place is the Nile Givens place now ). My father ran his father’s farm while he was on his Eastern States Mission, and his mother was going to school at Salt Lake City to learn Midwifery.
They couldn’t decide on a name, so Papa put two names in a hat and Sister Mary Ann Howard drew “LULA”. I wonder what the other name was. I never liked Lula- makes me think of a Negro blues singer. Why didn’t they just give me both names?
Dear Sister Howard, and an angel of mercy to mama, she was with mother and daddy eight months before, when their second son Gerold died with diphtheria. In those days it was the most dreaded childhood disease. Hundreds of babies died from it each year. Now we have almost eliminated it by serum’s, along with whooping cough, measles, polio, scarlet fever, and others. No mother need fear the spring and winter months as they once did. Now what do people learn from these things? They now have abortion law, when woman and their doctors destroy the babies before they have a chance to breathe the breath of life.
When I was six weeks old I had Pneumonia. Daddy had gone to church, and as I turned for the worst quickly, Mama didn’t know what to do. She prayed for help, looked out the window and saw Brother Duke coming up the road in a buggy from Heber to go visit our ward. She stopped him and asked him to come in and administer to me. He did. In the blessing he gave me, he said; “I’d get well and live to become a mother in Zion.” That was a promise that came true, and was a great comfort to Mother and Father, as I was sick so much of my early years. I had scarlet fever, Chicken Pox, whooping Cough, Measles, and Diphtheria all before I was six. I had a low grade fever for weeks after each one, probably rheumatic fever, though they didn’t know that illness so much then.
One of the first memories I have is taking medicine. Papa used to make a small paper cone, put goldenseal in it, put the big end in my mouth, and he would blow through a small hole in the little end and it would be well distributed all over my throat. I blew first once and he got the medicine. I can also remember a beautiful pink nightgown Grandmother gave me when I was in a trundle bed, for taking my medicine.
I must have been a very young six year old when I started school. The great thrill when I could read “Little Boy Blue, Come Blow Your Horn” I’ll never forget; nor will I forget the heart break of not being promoted the first year. I was inconsolable until my good teacher told me she needed me in first grade to lead the other children in singing. (wise teacher) I had been blessed with a good, true voice for singing, and a good ear for music. I can remember still, singing “Away In a Manger” with my sister Myrtle singing the alto part, at a Christmas play when I was five years old. When I looked down into the church house from a lighted stage all I could see were heads. I faltered for a second and then I saw Daddy in the wings beating time with his baton and I was fine from then on.
Papa was very proud of his children and taught us all to sing many of the songs in the Hymn Book. We sang four parts. Once when I had grown up to be sixteen, we lived in Salt Lake City, My sister Myrtle and I received an invitation to join the great Tabernacle Choir . It wasn’t possible. We both worked six and a half days per week to help mother support our family, but I am very proud they thought us good enough for a try. Maybe sometime, somewhere, I’ll get a second chance. Oh that wonderful choir. For years, whenever I am home I listen to it. The great organ and the spoken word. Now that I am home bound, it is a great happiness to me each Sunday morning.
When I was five, my father made the first big move out to the Indian reservation. We went in a covered wagon, or sleigh, as it was winter, the snow was deep. The sleigh tipped over with all of us in it, along with the fire in the stove, with dinner cooking. The sleigh glided so smoothly). Daddy’s gun hung on the bows behind the stove. By the time papa had ripped off the wagon cover, gotten all of us out, and grabbed his gun, the barrel was so hot it melted the snow down a foot or more. Myrtle and I had some little red and blue tiny lamps which rolled down the steep canyon. We wanted Papa to go get them, but he said “My little girls, the snow is so deep there, if I went down, I’d sink clear in and not get out.” We loved our father, so didn’t cry over spilled lamps, though we could see them down there, red and blue dots, shining on the snow.
We went up on the Blue Bench to homestead. Daddy planted an orchard, which the prairie dogs ate as far up as they could stand on their little hind legs and reach. The house was a long log room with one door, two windows, and two stove pipes, one of which didn’t have a stove pipe in and was stuffed with a gunny sack in such a manner that each day at day light, turned into a bears head. Each morning I’d watch it until the day turned it back into just a gunny sack. Mama said I was always awake at the least noise, sitting up in bed and looking big eyed.
In the fall we went back part way to meet Grandma , (Mothers Mother) who came to be with Mama for the birth of her seventh child. I remember Grandma had a one horse buggy and a white horse. Mother got in with her. We children were all in the wagon with Daddy, me upon the front spring seat with him. I was looking for coyotes, we went over a bump. I flipped out of the seat, down between the wagon and the wheel and hit my head (good thing it was bone solid). My two big front teeth went through my tongue up high, and I was bleeding like a stuck pig. Funny, well this is funnier. That day we had forded a river, and floating down the river came a bottle half full of brandy. Daddy dropped it into the jockey box. When I was bleeding so, he took it and filled my mouth full. It cauterized that bite. I bled no more. That night we met a peddler with peaches. Daddy bought some. I ate two, we didn’t get peaches too often. It was hours before we knew the wagon wheel had run over my little finger and broke it.
Harriet was born in August. Mother had sewed factory (white) and made a ceiling for our house. It had a dirt roof and floor. The day Harriet was born it rained and rained. The water came down through the roof, the white factory and everything, even Mothers bed had pots, pans, tubs, and anything else that could hold water, under the drips. Harriet was the first white baby born on Blue Bench. She was tongue tied so daddy sterilized the scissors and clipped her tongue. He should have been a doctor.
Mother taught us to see beauty in everything. The cedars, the tiny pink blossoms on the shads kale bush, that tasted salty to the taste, and the tiy rocks we found all over that Blue Bench. The sunsets and sunrises, that’s all there was to see but we were happy that summer. In the fall Daddy moved us to town, (Strawberry then) Duchesne town now, in a two roomed frame house with wooden floors and ceilings. He built it for us, he was always building houses.
We started school there and I loved it. Daddy freighted with a wagon in the summer and a sleigh through the cold winters. Mother used to stand outside at night when he was gone and listen for the squeak of the sleigh runners on the snow. She could hear him miles away.
My Father was always very religious, especially after he married Mother in the Salt Lake Temple, and had a special gift of healing. He was in the Sunday School, was a Seventy , and led music in the ward.
In Duchesne, he met Aunt Grace . They were in everything in the ward, and as there were several people at the time that went into polygamy, Daddy took her as his second wife, with mothers’ permission. Mother believed in the principle. From then on until Aunt Graces’ death, Daddy was on the move from fear of the law. If he could have ever stayed in one place, he would have been a wealthy man, as he always worked. He always taught us the gospel and we kept the commandments. I have always had a testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel. I don’t know when it came. Maybe at the time when daddy took me to the strawberry river on my eighth birthday and baptized me a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
I came in contact with hate for Aunt Grace. For years I thought she was to blame for all our trouble. It took me years and years to overcome this hate and to know she was a good woman who tried to help all of us. One of these things was music. She played the piano and had a good singing voice. She tried to teach us what she knew. We had a piano from 1913 on. We had moved to Idaho where off and on for years we lived in houses close together or sometimes the same house.
We observed family night, and we learned the gospel through our parents teachings as we lived on farms and couldn’t get to church often, we sang at home. Oh how we loved to sing! It was our greatest entertainment for years, with Aunt Grace at the piano first and later Myrtle played.
My mother loved Aunt Grace. Through prayer she had overcome jealousy. And through her love for Aunt Grace, I learned charity.
We went to Idaho in 1912 and the years were hard. The first year I went to school at Burley, where Daddy had work helping build the sugar factory. My sister Grace had been born in Duchesne just before we moved, the next summer Aunt Graces’ son Victor was born on Halloween day.
Daddy bought a place in Kenyon, Idaho, a farm, we grubbed sagebrush with a rail drawn by a team. It was so big we used it for fire wood in a big fireplace of rock that daddy built. We had big bon Fires of it at night and roasted potatoes. There was a big family to feed, but daddy always provided good food, mostly raised on the farm. I remember one spring when rabbits came in and was simply destroying our crops. We plugged up the holes where they crawled in, early in the morning we kids and Daddy would go out with sticks and run the rabbits into corners and slaughter them. Oh how terrible I felt. I’ve never been able to look a rabbit in the face since. We never ate them, they made good fertilizer for the fields.
Daddy would take a load of grain in the fall and bring home flour, (whole wheat and white) germade, Bran, and Shorts for the stock. We raised big gardens, pigs, chickens, and cows. My sister Myrtle and brother Albert helped in the fields and I helped in the house. I can’t remember when I learned to cook, bake bread, etc., but I remember I helped one summer a neighbor who hired me to cook dinner for he and his hay hands. My folks helped him hay. I think that is the first time I ever smelled coffee cooking. He was a good neighbor, a bachelor, and he taught me to waltz. He went to dances too. Oh how I loved to dance! Every Friday night for years Myrtle, Albert and I went to the dance at the little school house. I was twelve when this started. We lived at Kenyon then. There in 1913 my baby sister Afton was born, and there in 1915 she died from drowning in the cistern . I will never forget that day, it was the first big tragedy in our family.
Daddy took Myrtle, Albert and Aunt Graces family to Pocatello to work as times were hard, our family large, and money scarce. This was the first time I was ever separated from Myrtle and I was lost without her. We had moved so much that she and I had grown self-sufficient to each other. We didn’t have many close friends and did not need them to be happy. So now I had only my mother and the little kids. Oh, how I loved them, especially my Mother. She always seemed perfect to me. They worked in Pocatello two winters.
We had all been used to going to school going to school three miles from home together, daddy had built a two wheeled cart with bows and a cover, and winter and summer early, we sat in the cart on hay for the pony. Old Punk pulled us to school packed in like sardines. There wasn’t room to fight if we had been inclined to, which we weren’t. There was very little quarreling in my fathers’ family. We were taught to love one another, and we truly did.
We had moved to Idaho with a team pulling a covered wagon, with everything we owned in it. We moved two boarded up tents. I can only remember one piece of furniture, a sewing machine of which mama was very proud. It had a crocheted cover her mother had given her for a wedding present.
Mother was such a hard worker, she loved us all and we knew it, although she was never demonstrative with her love she let us all know we were special. I hope mine know the same.
When I was 14 my brother Albert left Papa in Pocatello and went to texas where he joined the United States Army. While there he met a boy who had joined about the time he did. He wrote home to tell us all about his life in service, and all about Ernest Tisdale; his buddy. He told Myrtle that when he came home he was bringing his friend home for her, to see there was no mention of me. I was very indignant and told myself I would never like him at all. So when the war they had expected to have come with Mexico did not materialize, the boys were mustered out until needed.
Albert brought his friend home. It was 1916 and I was 14 years old when they walked up to my fathers’ door and Ernest walked into my heart. Don’t tell me a girl of 14 can’t love. I loved him that day as much as I did four years later, because I still remembered he had been brought home for my sister. HA! She liked him very much, but from the time she met him, she tried to convert him to the church, and he would have none of it.
He and Albert had gone to see Mama who was living with her family in Burley, taking care of her children before he came to where we were in Acequia. Myrtle, Marvin, and I were with Papa and Aunt Grace in Acequia starting to farm a new place. Mother was pregnant at the time and so was Aunt Grace. I had never been away from Mother for more than a night or so before and missed her so much. I thought Aunt Grace was to blame for all of it. I did not talk of this, but I’m sure Earnest knew my feelings, so it wasn’t a pleasant way to be introduced to Mormonism. He too blamed Aunt Grace for it but Father he blamed too.
That was his introduction to our faith, and he didn’t find much else in the short time he had before he went back into the Army in July of 1916. He was shipped overseas in the First World War. He was in France two years, and we had confessed our love for each other before he left. For two years we wrote to each other, and I considered myself his girl, though he had told me to go with other boys and have fun because I was so young. He didn’t want me to change my mind after we were married if it ever changed. It didn’t though. He was 24 years old. We had lots of boyfriends. Girls didn’t kiss boyfriends as our teenagers do now.
We moved to Rupert that fall and went to school. Daddy had bought a dairy farm and we milked 30 cows by hand if the milker quit, as often it did, bottled it, and Daddy put it in the milk wagon for delivery before we took the bus to school.
In December Mother had our baby sister Alice, and the following year in January Aunt Grace gave birth to John, Aunt Graces last baby as well. She had 4 now Victor, Evan, Helen Mae, and John.
This was a hard work time, but we did have lots of fun. The people in the ward at Rupert were friendly and the young people welcomed us. We went to lots of dances, ward choir practices, Mutual, etc.
In 1918 the boys came home from the war. We had moved again to Oakley, and started high school the fall before. In 1918 influenza hit our town and the schools closed down along with every other place of amusement, church, etc. we wore gauze masks to go to the drugstore or for groceries. This influenza was not like any other. Thousands of people died in only a few days from the start of the illness. At our home, everyone of Mothers family were down at one time but Marvin and Me. Marvin came down later, I didn’t get it till the following spring. Mother miscarried and was very ill.
Earnest and Albert came home in the spring of 1918, Oh the joy of it! This is one of the beautiful times of my life. I think of it as Lilac and Apple Blossom time.
Myrtle and I were working to help mother make payments on a little four roomed home we loved. Earnest took a job with a sheep man and we were all so happy, but not for long. Daddy and aunt Grace and family were living in Salt Lake City. They had a rooming house that they were running. Daddy came home and told Mama that if she would move to Salt Lake City, They would get another rooming house, which she and we girls could run, and we could all live together.
Mama sold her equity in the house to Earnest and we moved to Salt Lake City. We never got a rooming house. Mother, Myrtle, and I got jobs sewing apron dresses for an Assyrian man. He sold these dress aprons to Jewish men who peddled them. Mama and Myrtle sewed. I cut, pressed, and ran errands for Mr. Hassen. As he couldn’t write our language, I wrote his business letters too. This went on about one year and then he moved his business to California.
Myrtle and I got work at a sewing factory. Her at the sewing machine and I cutting and carrying. I hated it and when a few days later, we got a letter in answer to our asking for a job at the Uneda Biscuit Factory telling us to come to work, we took it fast. Six and a half days a week at two dollars a day. We thought we had it made. We worked there until I went to Idaho and married Earnest in 1921.
He [Earnest] had come to Salt Lake City to see me since we moved to Salt Lake and when he sent me money to come to him, I went. I was eighteen and knew Daddy wouldn’t give his consent because Earnest isn’t a Mormon. So I just went. When I kissed Mother good-by, I’m sure she knew where I was going though I had a job in Salt Lake I could go to( house-keeping for a lady). I was frightened silly all the way to Idaho, but I was so happy and I’ve never regretted that move.
When our first son Fred Leroy was born 25 Jan. 1922, I thought our lives would be happy. While I was in the Hospital, Earnest contacted the flu. We were at mothers in Salt Lake and he was very ill for a few days. We took the train home to Idaho, and he should not have even been out of bed. He got better but he never got over that cough. He had been gassed in France, and it had left a weakness in his lungs. He looked well and strong when he came home from over there, and looked well when we were married.
In the spring after Fred was born, he bought a place in Roseworth, Idaho, an 80 acre farm and he went on it in March and cleared and planted twenty acres, then he came and took me to it.
I’ll always remember our welcome there, (Ralph, his brother lived with him.) Ralph had gone fishing in Little Salmon River and he had a big string of fish, just as we drove into the yard, Ralph swung that string of fish, and yelling “Hello” a rattle snake almost at his foot started to buzz. He killed the snake and got its rattles. They were saving them. Oh my! The rattlers were so thick, we had a matchbox full by the following year. Earnest gave them to the storekeeper to send to his sons back in New York. He said, “Give them to me, Ernie. I’ll scare those guys. They never saw one. I’ll tell them how I killed each one!”
We moved into a camp wagon. A little later they had the potato cellar done. They had dug down about four feet and struck a big flat long stone. They lay these all around the hole up about four feet, put a top on it, a ventilation hole with windows in it in the back, and double doors with windows in them in the front so we had a place to live. It was about twenty five feet long and fourteen feet wide. Most of the floor was flat rock with the dirt smoothed down even, sprinkled with water. It was a clean floor. It made a good home for summer, and the fall I went back to View to Mother Tisdale’s house, where Glenn was born the next April. A little brown eyed doll at the time.) These were hard years, but if I had not been so worried over Earnests health, I would have been perfectly happy. It isn’t the house that makes a home.
I had a pine box that I lined with a quilt. It was first Fred’s and then Fred and Glen’s play pen. It kept them clean and off the floor. They dug a cistern, which had a fence around it but it never did have a cover over it, so my babies were never out of my sight.
The second summer, Earnest took the team and wagon and was gone for a week. He came home with enough pine logs that he laid the walls for our first two rooms. They were never finished. As summer grew hot, Earnest got more ill. He got lumber and put a lean-to room with a floor, a roof, and screen all around. It had a door, and put his bed in it. I didn’t know anything about tuberculosis, but I’m sure now he knew he had it. I lye in our bunk bed in the cellar and listen to him cough night after night, until I knew something terrible was coming to us.
He worked so hard. He made a good garden, acres of beans, and broom corn, and potatoes. Also some hay was raised. In the fall it started to rain. He shocked the broom corn and the beans were in a pile to dry. They never did. It just kept raining until the beans mildewed, and the broomcorn sprouted and started to grow in shock. He sent me home to his mother’s house in View. She was not there as she had to go back to Colorado to teach school. There was wood and a house and in a few weeks Earnest gave up harvesting anything and came home sick. He would go out and cut wood, cough until he hemorrhaged, and I got him to go to bed. I would get the children in bed and go cut wood. I had gotten lots of sage brush wood on the farm. It’s not hard to cut, but cedar and pine I could hardly do.
I wrote his mother and told her how he was. She gave up her school and came but left Helen, her baby to finish school in Colorado with her sister Jessie.
The Veterans of Foreign Wars got word and came to see us. They tried to get Earnest to let them get a doctor, but he said; “we don’t need charity.” They explained that there was a fund for Veterans to be hospitalized, but he couldn’t see it. They came three times. He was in bed now, after a bad hemorrhage that nearly frightened me to death. The doctor came, Mother came, and his father came, my brother Albert came. All at once we had all kinds of help.
The doctor said; “Boy you must be in the hospital for your own sake, and there is danger to your family each day you are here.” So then he consented to go. The veteran boys came with a nurse, who took him to Boise. When they left, everything seemed to stop for us, until I heard the whistle of the train leaving Burley. Then my heart broke.
Mother Tisdale, trying to comfort me, said; “Lula my mother used to say, If you are troubled, take a bible, let it fall open where it pleases and read, it will comfort you”. I did and it opened to the 14th chapter of John. I dropped my finger down on the first verse. It read: “let not your heart be troubled, ye believe in god, believe also in me”. This was Jesus trying to comfort his disciples when he knew he was leaving them. I did not fully understand what I read but I was comforted. The lord will give us comfort if we ask. I remember with love my good Mother Tisdale comforting me when her sorrow was as great as min. I bless her memory.
She lived with me and my children, got a job and we moved to Burley where I kept house for her, the babies, and myself while she worked for six months.
I was very run down and so when we could, I had my tonsils out. I remember that as the doctor froze them and I sat up in the chair while he took them out. (NEVER AGAIN).
Six months after Earnest went to the hospital, he wrote “don’t get frightened, just pack up and come. I’s love my loved ones close by.” We knew then that he didn’t have much longer to live. His letters until then had always been cheerful and hopeful. So Mother Tisdale, the little boys, and I moved to Boise.
We moved into one big room of a good widow woman’s home. We lived there three months. I learned there were wonderful people with the Catholic faith. She treated me as one of her daughters. She had nine and I learned to love her. Mother Tisdale, Bless her, got a job and the Red Cross gave me and the boys $25 per month until Earnests insurance came through, which it did in July.
Each day I’d get the work done, the babies bathed and dressed, and put baby in the go cart, Fred too if he got tired. I’d be at the hospital by 1 P.M. I’d tie a small rope, each end to a baby, and the middle to an Iron bench under a big tree. I could see them from Earnests window. He seemed better for a short time after we got to Boise, and could get up and look out the window at his two small sons. When he couldn’t get up anymore, I got a picture of them he could have on his stand. He loved them so much.
Soon he got worse and they moved him to a solitary room. He failed fast. When we had been in Boise three months, he died 22 Aug. 1924.
My darling mother came to Boise for Earnests services and I went home with her to live. To live? NO! to wait out a time when Heavenly Father could grant me another chance at life and real happiness.
I had Ernest’s work done in the temple and if he desires he can go on and on. He was a good man. I feel sure he was glad to receive this blessing.
The years between 22 August 1924 when I lost the boys’ father and the summer of 1928 were long and so lonely.
I received $1565.00 back pay from the allowance granted Ernest. My father built us a two room, bath, closet, and hall house. He was always building houses. How he did all this with such a small amount took some doing. He bought the lot and paid for the sewer and pipe line for gas too. Bless Daddy.
It was in a German people neighborhood and the people were all good church members. I went to church, and to Mutual with a good lady friend, and we both taught Primary. I cooked soup in the Edison School and the good principle let me let me bring my little boys to kindergarten long before they were old enough. With my school money, two dollars a day, and the veterans allowance $46.00 per month, we did okay financially.
I loved the work in Primary, and could have the boys with me all the time. In this ward I first met President Harold B, Lee . He lived in our ward with his first lovely blonde wife and two daughters.
I remember him so well because he was running for commissioner’s office. (I Believe) My girlfriend, Leda Jensen and I went to the Rally. As happens in politics, arguments got pretty lively and someone made slighting remarks about Brother Lee’s Opponent. Brother Lee got up, stopped the meeting and said, “Brothers and Sisters, I’ve known Brother Myers a long time and have never known him to be dishonest in any way. Let’s keep this meeting clean. I refuse to run under any other rules.” I don’t remember who won the position, but I’m sure Brother Lee did win a battle. I have always remembered him for this.
In the fall of 1928 Mother and I went to Wallsburg to visit Grandmother Harriet Mecham. I had been born in Wallsburg in 1902, lived there until I was five, came back for a visit in 1912 when we were moving to Idaho, had met all of mother young ’s children except Joseph. I think he must have been very shy. His sisters Viola and Margaret were living with my mother in Salt Lake when Fred was born there. They talked of their brothers, Joe and Ralph, who sent them money to help them through school. I thought “What wonderful brothers.
This lovely fall day Joe came riding into my heart. Knights of old came riding white chargers, Joe came riding a grain binder down the road with three horses, one grey, one white, one bay. The sun was not up yet, but he had done chores, got his own breakfast, and on the way to a day’s work of grain cutting. I didn’t know the feeling that came over me hen Uncle Albert said “that guy will be wealthy one day if he gets the right wife.” Joe was my cousin, and that was that as far as I was concerned at that time. I prayed and prayed and to me it seemed right. We were married the next 18 February 1929, and I’ve always been glad.
We rented the place in Salt Lake City and moved to Wallsburg. I loved it. Joe was running his father’s farm and his brother-in-laws. I came into Matts two room house. Did the little boys love having a father! The day we were married Glenn ran jumping up and down the sidewalk, yelling “My Mammas married, my Mammas married!” It sounded like a scandal but he was celebrating. Joe was and still is the only father they can remember, and they love each other. Always to me he has been a kind and good knight that has loved and cherished me and mine.
Joe has a wonderful testimony of the gospel, nurtured all his life by his good father and mother, and intensified by an experience he had in 1922. He was working up the Provo River, Helping put in reservoirs for water. He was helping fall trees, had climbed a tall pine, forty feet up his climbers started slipping, he had a long chain around his waist that he unhooked and heard drop to a big rock before his climbers finally let go entirely. He was falling down head first, his cousin, Barney Fausett saw him coming, jumped under him, their shoulders came in contact and it turned Joe so that he hit the rock with his hip. He had a broken collar bone, some crushed ribs that punctured his lung, and the hurt hip.
They took him as far as Keetley , Had the doctor come there, they didn’t dare move him. The doctor told the nurse, “He can’t last over three days”. They thought Joe asleep, but he heard, he knew the power of prayer and he prayed and he prayed. When his father came, he administered to Joe. In three days he walked, with Barney Fausett on one side of him and his brother Ralph on the other, out to the car and came home. Bless Barney Fausett. How many men would have taken that chance to try to save the life of his friend? Barney has gone now to his reward. His speech was rough, but he took care of a daughter who he loved until he died. A child whos body grew into womanhood, but whose mind never grew past babyhood. He loved and cherished her, and would not let them put her in a home or hospital for these unfortunate babies. He took her on his lap for long rides. I believe his reward will be great.
We were married 18 Feb 1929 and moved to Wallsburg. Life was wonderful. I remember a pile of wood, big as our big room out by Joe. In his spare time he said, though I didn’t see as he has much spare time. We went to church, to parties given by neighbors, and at our home. Joe had put his tobacco upon the stove the morning after we were married and it stayed there. He had asked me the morning before we married if I would go through the temple, and I was so glad too. He had to quit tobacco and coffee to get a recommend, so we hoped to go through the end of the year.
The temptation grew to strong, we bought a Model A Ford in about June the year we were married. I didn’t feel like riding much as we expected a baby in the winter so (enter the Devil), All his friends who didn’t have cars came, Joe will you take me? I always felt he should, he did, they smoked, and so it was a long time before we went to the temple.
9 September 1953 we made it, but by that time some of our children were married so we only could take four of our children through with us. Loa was married in the Temple that day too. Loa was married to Roy Turner Shepherd 9 September 1953 in the Salt Lake Temple, such a beautiful ceremony. How I wish each of ours may experience it. She and Roy were married before Joe and I were sealed the same day. She always says she was married before her parents were. What a wonderful day to remember. They have three wonderful children and are happy and prosperous.
Since then Glenn, Marvin, Carl, Afton, and Joan have gone through the temple, and sometime in the sweet by and by I’m sure this work will be finished and they will be sealed to us, as will the others who haven’t been to the temple as yet.
Our son Marvin was born 22 December 1929, One day off from his Grandfather Young’s birthday. May he be as his grandfather was in faith and good works is our prayer always. He was a wonderful nine pound baby and he was a good one. How the boys loved him, and their life on the farm, and their Dad.
4 January 1932, Our Carl, a little brown eyed son was born in Grandpa Youngs old home. Joe was very busy always. That summer his father gave up his place in Orem where he had lived several years so his girls and boys could go to school in Provo and came back to his home in Wallsburg. We moved back to our place in Salt Lake City and the boys went to school that fall and winter to the Edison School. I was not well. I’d had bad colds for years and the smog and dampness aggravated my colds until I was really ill.
Aunt Viola came to stay with us and helped me. She was always helping some of us. I finally went to the doctor. He said I needed a drier climate, that I must never have any more babies, and couldn’t nurse them if I could as he thought I may be tubercular.
We moved to Roosevelt. It surely was a drier climate, and what that good doctor didn’t know, (Nor I) was that I had a baby on the way when he talked to me. We moved on a big ranch, four miles from Roosevelt. The boys rode the bus to school at Roosevelt. The boys and Joe worked hard. I did what I could, but Joe got a girl to help me all summer.
It was really worth all the trouble, when in the fall 23 October 1933 our first little girl, Afton, arrived. Mother Young, Bless her, came and stayed a time with us and I was much better after the baby arrived. Joe wrote my mother, “Didn’t go hunting this year, but got my Dear, a Doe”.
Joe had traded and worked until we had a nice start (sixteen good milk cows with their calves and pigs, our milk, we had some nice young horses too). Then the big drought hit. The pipe that carried water to the bench land where we lived went and the company couldn’t afford to repair it.
The government was paying the farmers for cows, calves, and pigs, and destroying them for lack of feed. We sold our cows and bought sheep, sold our horses but our team and a saddle horse, my Pard, a mare Joe gave me when we were married. We had her for years. She had colts every year and was the pet of all of us. I have a snapshot of her with several of our and Brigs little girls on her.
We moved again to Neola, about twelve miles from Roosevelt. We sold our place in Salt Lake and bought a 40 acre place there. It was a beautiful place, but not very profitable. We milked several head of cows and pastured the sheep.
We went to church and loved the people there. In the fall, 29 Nov 1934, our second little daughter Joan was born. A little doll. I’d had a bad time with her and on her third day we nearly lost her, she had pneumonia. Joe went for the Elders, While was gone she went into convulsions. Aunt Mary Young was with me. She took the baby, knelt down with her in her arms, while I knelt in bed, and prayed, as most people never can do. When Joe got back she was better. They blessed her and she got well.
Oh Aunt Mary, you were my angel of mercy, especially in the hard years I lived in Duchesne County. How I love you,
29 March 1936 our little daughter Loa Glee was born in Roosevelt, She was the baby who would not have anything to eat until she had the breast. I had not dared to breast feed Afton or Joan, but after Loa took command, the rest fed naturally. How glad I was.
The next spring we moved again to a bigger ranch outside of Myton, Utah. It had the nicest house we’d had there and I liked it fine. There the sheep died. Nine one day bloated, set down and died, our profits for the year. There Old Pard and her two colts got brain fever and nearly died. Poor Pard, she would go to sleep, set down and snore. Fred and I looked in the vet book and followed directions. Cold packs on the head, and an enema of sixteen quarts of water. She got better right away. Joe said it was the chewing tobacco he fed her. I don’t know.
Here too, Old Ted, our dog, ran and jumped in front of a cycle bar of the mowing machine. It cut two legs off and Joe had to carry him. He took him down to the Hollow and shot and buried him. Brig was with him. I’ll never forget their faces. Here too, Brigs dog got rabies and had to be killed. The Hail came and nearly killed some of our horses before they got into the shed. In the winter the wind blew the snow all in all in a half circle in front of the house, twelve feet high. We couldn’t see the road for months.
A fine thing happened while we lived there. At Aunt Mary’s home in Roosevelt, Our fourth Daughter was born 4 April 1938. Our little Bonnie Jean came to us.
We had prepared for a visit to the temple following her birth in the spring. I made white outfits for all the little girls and myself through the summer. And bought white outfits for all the boys and Joe, but when fall came the bishop at the Myton ward decides we had not paid tithing long enough in that ward, so he refused us recommends. How the Devil must have laughed, but I cried. Maybe there were other reasons that Heavenly Father could see for the future, but I could have taken all of my children through at that time. The Oldest boys wanted it so then, maybe it wasn’t wise that way, but it surely was a disappointment to me.
That fall we moved again to Pleasant Valley, about seven miles from Myton and a larger place, with access to the Taylor Grazing Ground, for feed for our sheep. Whoever named it Pleasant Valley sure had a sense of humor. As summer came, here came the gnats and mosquitos. Never did I see so many.
When the sun came the gnats started flying around the sheep. When Joe hooked up the mowing machine, they went around with him and looked like a grey cloud, and the horses suffered, but more so I think, did Joe and the helpers in the hay. I made a veil for Joes hat that came down to his chest, but they got at him anyway and bit him so much he had a bloody welt all across his forehead up to his hat. At night the mosquitos took over. It seemed strange that people who had lived there most of their lives did not notice them.
I was pregnant and so miserable. We looked forward to winter, but when it came, the wind Howled all the time, great drifts came, and I was afraid to see the children get on the bus for school at Myton.
That year and the next, Carl was sick and didn’t get to school often. The doctor said not to worry, he would be okay, but years later we found out he had had Rheumatic Fever and it left him with a heart murmur.
29 Dec 1939 our fifth son, Gerald was born on my kitchen table in leiu of a hospital table. He was a beautiful nine pounder, my sister in law and the doctor in attendance. “Oh My” said my sister in law, Lillis Slane “what a wonderful baby”. “Yes” said Dr. Miles, “for six years I’ve been telling her, stop, or you’ll not live to raise these babies, but she goes on, and everyone is healthier than the last”. Oh I am so glad I didn’t stop. That’s the wonderful things we brought back to Wallsburg. We were poorer financially when we came back than when we left.
I was going to stay at Roosevelt to have Gerald, but right at last our little girls all came down with strep throat. The Doctor said, “I’d be guilty of murder, maybe, if I delivered your baby with this disease in the house. So I went home, the little girls stayed with Aunt Mary. Dear Lillis came to help, and Gerald was born on the table.
Lillis, bless her heart, took the little girls home with her when I was able to take care of Gerald, with Joe’s help. He was so good to me always.
The neighbor said to his wife, “That Joe Young is a good man”.
She said, “You hardly know him, so how can you judge?”
He said, “Any man who ploughs his garden with a hand plough, and gives his little kids piggy back rides while he ploughs by hand, is a good man.” SO TRUE!
Lillis is my first husband’s sister. They moved to Duchesne from Colorado after he lost his money in the sheep business. They were having about as hard a time making ends meet as we were. Duchesne County didn’t help them either. They moved to Idaho where they live now and are independently wealthy. All through these years they have been our good friends and they and their children have been loved by all of ours. I have always been very fortunate in good in-laws on both sides. I’ve always given thanks for that.
This summer 1973, Lillis, her husband, daughter, and her children came to see us. We really felt honored, he is 86 years ld and she is 76. This is another blessing we have.
Back to 1939. So now we had nine children, five of them were born in Duchesne County, in four different homes, in seven years. We didn’t feel we wanted anymore Duchesne, so we moved back to Wallsburg. My health was much better, and we were glad to be back. All the children were well except Carl, and he was better. He out grew his heart murmur and has a family.
The past two years have been hard on him. He broke his hip by falling while trying to put a ceiling in his home. For two years he had pins in his hip, with a bone operation after the pins could be removed. Life has been hard for he and Mary, as she has not been well either for years. Their children have a lot of sickness too. Now their oldest daughter is married, has a lovely baby, and another on the way, and is happy. The younger children are better and I believe their lives are happier. Each day I pray a special prayer for them. 1973 will be better, I hope.
Now let us go back to 1940,, when we came back to Wallsburg. For many years I had dreamed of moving to a home behind a hill. Many times I dreamed this dream. When we moved back to Wallsburg, we found this place behind a hill, on the way to Little Valley. We bought this ranch thirty three years ago, and started building our home. I’ve never dreamed that dream again.
We’ve had many trials and much happiness. Our children have all grown up to adulthood and marriage from this home. We came here with less than we went to Duchesne County with, but with a lovely bunch of kids.
All helped to build this home. Joe cut and sawed the timber, hauled it down, and helped build it. Grandpa and Grandma Mecham Helped, Grandma Mecham and I even stood up on the walls, and held the rafters while grandpa nailed them into place. We were afraid of heights but did it anyway.
They laid rocks for foundation, put up walls, stringers for floors, subfloors, windows, doors, such a thrill! This is the second home grandpa Mecham helped build for me. Bless him, he was an alcoholic, and not so sure of his workmanship, but the house is sound.
Joe propped it with rocks underneath to strengthen the weak places. Joe worked to make money to finish the home and for years went herding sheep for months away from home to pay for our place, lonely times.
How thankful I was when it was paid for. At first we only had subfloors and our big window in front was a piece of canvas. How I remember the happiness I felt when Fred brought the window. He had paid for it and put it in, It really is not a big window, but twenty, ten by twelve inch pains in one. How I Love it!
Fred was living away from home by now. He had an accident to his right eye while living at Neola, a piece of glass from a falling window, broken while he and some of his friends were having an egg fight, had gone in by the side and it severed the cord to the retina of the eye. It blinded his eye, but we didn’t know it until it was too late to do anything about it. He finally had to stop school, but not right away. He finished high school while he was in the army. He served nearly three years with an artificial eye in the Air Force, though they wouldn’t let him be an aviator or go overseas.
The dust from hay irritated his eye after the operation, so he went to Salt Lake City and got a job. Our first one to leave home, but all children must leave home some time. Why must ones heart ache at each ones leaving? Fred was married after he came home from the army. What a lovely wedding. All the kids and his Daddy and I went. It was such a happy time. 2 April 1948.
Glenn had been married on 12 February 1948. It was so cold and they nearly didn’t get married. It was Lincoln’s birthday, and we’d forgotten. Everything was closed. They had to send for the County Clerk and someone to marry them. Irene nearly forgot to put on her corsage, and Buddy frosted his tiny finger. Irene had been married before and had two tiny boys when she and Glenn were married. Glenn had just gotten home from service. He was in the army from May 1943 to January 1946. He served one year and seven months in New Guinea, New Zealand, New Caledonia, The Philippines, and Japan. He was a medic in the Army and saw war at its worst, but came home with charity in his heart for the people in Japan. How I thank my Heavenly Father for that.
He had paid for an allotment for me and the children while in the service, and Oh how I did appreciate that, as what we got from it and money Fred sent helped us finish our home. Joe could be home with us while our boys were in danger.
Soon after the boys were home from war, Marvin got hurt. He was in the hospital for eighteen long months with a crushed leg. A tree crushed down on it. Only a very good doctor and a power of the priesthood saved that leg. He had Osteitis set in, oh how thankful we were we had help of the church to have him, the best of treatment money could buy. His testimony of the Gospel was given him and strengthened by the help he received from his Heavenly Father, through the blessings of the priesthood. And we, his parents testimonies were made greater. He had only been home for a few months when he got married. Oh how I worried because I felt he was unable to support a wife and family. I needn’t have worried. Ten days after he married, 4 sept 1948, he got a job at a maintenance department at the Steel Plant and still works there, except he has advanced to the top. In six years he will be eligible for retirement. His wife Shirley and five children are Wonderful. Marvin is our Mechanic, helps us out so much when any job needs done. So there our three boys in a row are married and gone, how time flies.
Glen became very ill with amoebic dysentery in the spring of 1949. He was in the hospital for weeks. It was a new disease for our country, and the doctors had to do a lot of experimenting on cures, but they finally cured it. I don’t understand how one boy must suffer so many trials. He had malaria and cholera while overseas. Amoebic dysentery after he came home. In 1969 he had a back fusion, and a bad heart attack in 1971. Another back fusion in 1972, now a lot of pain in his back and legs. He is at home now, retired from the steel plant at 50 years of age. He won’t be licked. He goes to church, pays tithing, and does lots of temple work. He works always at the things he can. Glenn was ordained a seventy in the church in November 1973. He is now one of the Seven Presidents of the Seventies in our stake.
The Lord will have a tried People. Now it was 1950, on Oct 18, our first girl was married, Our Afton. She married Edward John Shepherd, and when the bishop said, “do you Afton take Edward John Shepherd for your husband?” she looked wildly around to see who Edward John Shepherd was, (we called him Jack, Always). I nearly laughed. Months later we buried her little premature who lived only five days, the first one of our grandchildren to leave us. Since then we’ve buried two more grandsons. One for Joan, and one for Ruby, and a tiny Great Granddaughter for Patty (Loa’s Girl). These little ones are ours if we live worthily.
Joan was married next, Jan 1951 to Marvin Turner Shepherd. We all went to Orem for her wedding. We went in a car, but pulled with a team out to the main road. The snow was so deep. They were so young and I feared for them. They had a lot of growing up to do, but they have a nice big family and are happy now.
Bonnie was my adventurous daughter. She and Warren ran away to Evanston, Wyoming and were married. I don’t know why, we would have let her, but she and he were both young and didn’t think their parents would consent. She has a wonderful husband and four beautiful children. She was married 28 March 1955.
Gerald and Sharron’s marriage was a run away. He lived at home and worked for Bud Fisher at the time. One day they went to Orem from the Heber school at noon. His brother and sister in law met them at the Provo Courthouse. They were married and back to school before she missed a class. She lived at home and he at our house for week before he went and took her to Provo. They stayed hid while her father threatened all kinds of punishments for a week and then came and lived at our home for a year before they made themselves a home.
They were married 1 April 1960. She was dressed for April fools in mismatched clothes. Their early marriage was full of trials. Their first baby, a little boy Dean was born 19 March 1961. He was six before they knew he was born very deaf. The doctors marveled that he had learned to talk by reading our lips. He is very intelligent.
For five Sharon drove the car to Provo to take him to a special school. In that time they bought a home here in Wallsburg. Gerald hurt his back in the Steel Plant and had to have a back operation. Their house burned down with all they had in it. They had insurance and so bought a trailer and moved it onto their place. On 16 march 1972 their second baby came. Oh how thrilled they were. In May, while binging Dean home from school, a truck hit their car, pinning Sherrie in it with her eyes full of glass. She screamed for her Dean and baby. It was a blessing, Gerald was home and had the baby, Dean’s arm was broken. Sharron still has to go to the doctor with her eye, her eyelid was cut off, they had to sew it back on and do a fusion on the retina of her eye. The car was a complete wreck. Now all are well. This year Dean goes to Heber on the bus with the rest of our grandchildren from here. Their troubles have ironed out. They are very happy as we are for them.
He phones or comes to see us every few days. All our children come often. How glad I am that they want to, and that there is love and harmony between all of them. All of them help us any way they can.
We came back to Wallsburg in 1940. We started building our home and paying for our place. On 15 June 1943, our last child was born. A little girl, after seven weeks in bed, at home and at mamas and Salt Lake for two weeks and at the hospital for two weeks. I was in a private room, more ill than I ever was before or since. I went to the doctor seven weeks before her birth. He said I must go to bed and stay there for the remainder of my pregnancy. On the way home I said I must see Grandpa Young before I go home. He had been ill for four days. I went up and talked to him, came home and went to bed. Three days later Grandpa Young died. He was one of the noble ones. He lived the gospel to the best of his ability, was a faithful ward teacher who came to our place to help us remember the teachings. He was a good Latter Day Saint.
The next day they put me in the hospital for two weeks. I was unconscious of things around me. The doctors thought my baby was dead, as there was no heart beat or movement. On the tenth day I was there, two elders from our ward, Brother William Whiting, and Brother John Howard came to my room, with my family. They knelt around my bed and prayed for wisdom. Then Brother Whiting anointed me and gave me a blessing. In it, Brother Howard promised me I would be made well, my baby would live and be born to become a mother in Zion.
I did get better. This was a wonderful testimony builder for all of us. Both blessings came true. Within hours I felt her move. The doctors could hardly believe it. Five weeks later she was born. A lovely little girl. Her trials have been great and she has strived for happiness for a long time. I believe she has found that happiness.
Ruby married 15 October 1959, James Lavern Tisdale, a cousin to Fred and Glen. He is their father’s youngest brother’s boy. He is a handsome, intelligent boy who seemed like his love for Ruby was his biggest life’s’ desire. She knew him when she was eleven, before he went into the army and served overseas in the Vietnam War. He was baptized a member of the church by Glenn before he went overseas too. We thought they would be happy.
They were married in our home and soon he took her to live in Salt Lake City. Jim loved virtue in his wives and relatives, but did not know the meaning of fidelity to them, she first left him in Colorado after their oldest boy was born 9 Nov 1960 and came home. He followed her home and got a job with Bud Fisher and was fine for a few weeks. He just couldn’t be true to anyone. For eight years he stepped out with women. He abused the children in words and deeds, beat her black and blue, and drank some. Time and again she left him and came home. He would come and plead with her and us to trust him again. At last she divorced him. It was like one of my boys dying. He might have killed her. He was sadistic in ways, with a two sided personality.
She married again on the rebound, to a man who promised her everything, including temple marriage. He turned out to be spineless and an alcoholic.
She has three beautiful living children. How grateful I am to the Heavenly Father for this blessing and for her life. She is now married to Wayne Taylor, an older man who loves and appreciates her. He is a good husband to her and a good father to her children, and she loves his children. He has four daughters and an eight year old son. The little boy fits very well with her family. The girls are all married and she loves them very much. Their children are her grandchildren, which she glories in. More so I think because she can have no more babies of her own. We pray each day that she can find she will find complete happiness in doing her work in this life for her exaltation in the hereafter.
I have failed to do lots of things her, I should have done. I did not teach my girls to be good housekeepers. They married so early in life I wasn’t prepared, didn’t teach them the things that would have been easier for them and they had to learn the hard way, after they were married. But they are all good housekeepers, good mothers, and good wives. They all have good husbands who work hard, pay their debts, try to make good homes, and raise their children to be good citizens. What more could I desire?
This is the thing I’ve always prayed for. A big family who will grow up to keep the commandments, and raise their children to do the same. Who will be sealed up to us for all eternity, and be worthy of all of this.
I think back to the hard trials. When Glenn was hit in the eye while Aunt Sarah’s boys and Fred were playing with flippers, and the injury that he says today was the most painful of his life. It left a sore that gave him only 125 vision in that eye the rest of his life. Of the time Fred had his eye operated on and I sat in the hall at the hospital waiting to see them wheel him out of the operating room, and I saw him with his bandaged head. He looked at me with his good eye and whistled a tune as they wheeled him past me to let me know he was fine. Oh but he did suffer later. To remember the morning Marvin fell on a rock and hurt his eye. Him saying “Oh Mama, this hurts worse than anything I’ve ever had”. I was alone, both boys, Fred and Glenn were away, and Joe at the sheep herd. That still small voice told him to go home, something was wrong. He came home, we took Marvin to the hospital. All was right with my world when Joe was home.
How frightened I was when Joe came home one early day in March from the herd with Mumps. I took his temperature and it was 106. The doctor came and packed him in ice. We kept ice on him for five days. John and another elder came and administered to him to get well. Life without Joe would be a vacuum. He broke one ankle one fall, and the other two years later, but otherwise than these things, He had his good health. May the lord let him live with me until I go too is my prayer, and thanksgiving always that I have him. I’ve had my girls very ill at times and our boys. How thankful I’ve always been for the Healing power of the Priesthood in their behalf. How glad I am for the love that exists between our children and their father and I. How I do appreciate the fact that Glenn and Irene built their home near us, and that they come and see us each day.
When we are finished with this home, it will be Marvin’s and Glenn’s and the other children will have to share of anything that may be left owing on it, after they pay us each month so the contract reads. Along with Joes Social Security, this money keeps us fine.
I, who have lived in tents, boarded up, camp wagons, a potato cellar, two rooms with seven children, this home is my castle! It has taken lots of hard work, Joe cutting the timber, sawing it stockade style, hauling it here, and help building it. He worked cold winters at the sheep herd, on the desert, thinking of his family a home, but all the family helped build this house into a home.
What is a home? It is the sacrifice of each one in the family who contribute to it. I look around and am happy. All of ours helped and still do. I know an interior decorator would say all wrong. Too many things in too small a place, but no.
The pictures on the wall, all given us in love form our family. The drapes and curtains, the dishes in the open faces cupboards, the plaques and what nots, the painting of walls, ceilings, and floor coverings were all done by Joe and the children. All are precious to me. A jewel case full of beautiful costume jewelry that the children, grandchildren, and Joe have given to me. Lots of them were made by our boys. Glenn and Jack both make beautiful rock jewelry, and so does Marvin Shepherd. I’d have to have a dozen necks to wear it all, but I love it and wear all of it at one time or another. This birthday they all went in together and bought me a beautiful mothers ring. All their birthstones are there. How great a gift the lord gives us when he gives us motherhood.
We used to cook on the old Monarch cook stove, Iron with stove Irons, and sew with a treadle machine. We still have an old fashion stove. This one used to be Joes mothers. His father bought it for Grandmother Young when Joe was 12 years old. We have electricity now. A deep freeze, fridge, stove, television, radio, clock, lights, and a modern bath. It is so good. I remember the good things we had before that time too, and still have a fire in the old wood stove when the deer hunt comes and all the kids were home for it. Once there were 36 bedded down in this house, every room filled, waiting for daylight and the hunt. Every room was filled weighting for daylight and the hunt. I’d cook hotcakes in the big Everware griddle on the cook stove, six at a time, put up lunches, and off they would go in every direction. Id pray a prayer for their safety and start cooking dinner. Once I made Loa stay home as it was almost time for one of her babies (and went hunting) when we came home after a day of no luck, a big buck deer hung in the big cottonwood tree. Loa had shot it from the porch and Gerald and Michael Peterson had took her by the hand and ran her up to dress him out. They loaded him on old Konk and brought him in. So much for my worry.
I started to go on the hunt with Joe when most of my girls were married. The kids and Joe would drive to me and I’d ride a horse
Once they drove a big buck up the canyon. I was posted on top, but when he came out and posed for me, he was such a beautiful creature, I couldn’t shoot. So he stood while Loa cried, “Shoot him mama”. She was too young to shoot then. We watched him bound away. No one was angry with me either. I did shoot one year later, and it shocked me so, I laid my gun in the sage and had hysterics while Jack, Afton’s Husband, ran a block and finished him off. I didn’t think I’d do that, but I’d just shot it in the back and it cried, Oh, yes they do cry when mortally wounded. The boys say now, I threw the gun on the ground and tromped it, but I didn’t, I laid it carefully in the sage bush. I never shot a deer again, though I went hunting lots of years after that. I shot once to warn others I’d seen one. I used to go and Joe would build me a fire on the trail which I kept while the rest of them went further away. I would just rest and enjoy the solitude. I love to be alone in the timber (not too far from Joe). I’d see some blue jays that didn’t know what I was doing in their territory, and chipmunks and some deer. I love these times.
Joe was in partnership with a cattle rancher years later. We went hunting with he, his wife, sons, and daughters-in-law. These were some good years of our life. Joe worked with Bud Fisher for nine years. Most of the time we lived on Buds ranch closer to town, and in his house in town.
We were very busy these years. I did most of my Relief Society work, Temple work with the Relief Society sisters and with others, how I did enjoy that. I had worked in the primary for years. I have picture of my primary classes from trail builders down to 8 year olds. I loved to know every child in town then. Most all of them are married now. I remember with joy the time I had with them. I also have pictures of my good neighbor women in relief society and singing mothers. I know and loved my association with the sisters of Wasatch stake boards in primary and relief society too.
Carl and Mary and Gerald and Sherrie took turns living in our house while we were away from home for these years. After nine Bud Fisher sold out and we came home.
We sold most of our cattle. And made our home modern. We had it covered with aluminum siding while we were away. We finished the inside, painted, put on some paneling in the front room. Put in a bath, electricity, and a phone. Irene and Glenn helped with the cess pool and field drain. She is a good rock mason. Bless her and Glenn.
They sold their home in Provo and built themselves a lovely house next door to us. They laid the rock for a flower garden all around the south and front of their house, where the flowers grow from spring until fall. All our boys and girls help with things they do best.
Things have happened since I started this months ago. I know it sounds corny, but it’s true. It’s hard to put life of 71 years down, just hitting the high places.
Joe’s dear sister, Viola, was killed in a car accident. She has always been the little mother in this family. A lovely person who was always doing for someone. She did not marry until late in life and never had children of her own, but had a claim on all of ours for services rendered at their births or otherwise. She was 76 years young, worked as her wards historian and librarian at the time of her death. She helped anywhere she was needed in her ward. Her husband died over 20 years ago and she has been lonely.im sure she is happy now. Viola, How we miss you.
There are happy things coming to us all the while. In the last month we have had 3 new great grandchildren born. This makes us twenty-eight great grandchildren along with forty-five grandchildren, ten children, ten sons and daughters-in-law. Our family is a big one, all born perfect and strong. How blessed we are.
I go through the rooms in our home, empty now except for Joe and I, past the old cupboard built for great grandfather Kerby, by my great grand uncle Robert Cook. It was built over a hundred years ago. It has four shelves and three drawers that pull out like they were on ball bearings. So good builders do their work. Mother and Joe’s Mother used to sit by it when they were little girls going to school and pull out these drawers by the hand carved handles.
I think if I were a millionaire there are a few things I would change. And if I were rich I’d worry for fear some of ours would be snatched for ransom. None of us are rich in worldly goods. All are striving to pay off their debts and pay for homes of their own. All of us love each other and are working toward that same goal. All our picture albums picture family and friends. I see relatives of eight generations, including, Scottish, Irish, English, French, Blue Bellied Yankees, and Little Great Grandma Tisdale who was half Cherokee Indian.
Yes I have failed to do lots of things I should have done, but I’m sure my children know I love them and welcome each one into our lives and home. They must know that Joe and I each day pray for all of them.
I’ve always sewed a lot. Clothes for my family, quilts for all of ours, as wedding presents. Joe even quilted on these, as they married so fast I couldn’t keep up. I’ve made more than a hundred Quilts, and pieced tops for all of them again for the coming Christmas. I can’t quilt any more but I can make tops.
I’ve crocheted bedspreads, dresser scarves, and table cloths so each of my family and the granddaughters have some of my crocheted work. I’ve made clothes for all of my grandchildren. It has been a joy to me.
In 1969 I went to the hospital with heart failure and pneumonia. I have been in the hospital three years since for a heart upset so I had to quit quilting before I finished the quilts I made for our grandson, but I have the tops all done. Their mothers can see to the last eleven. I am thankful I can still piece tops. As some of them will like them. I can still do most of my housework, though my girls have done my spring cleaning for years, usually while I’m in the hospital.
When I started this story it was late summer, then it was fall. The cottonwood and quaking aspens were the first to turn all colors of yellow, then the first frost hit our hill and they were dotted with flaming maple, then the oaks took on every color of russet and brown. There has never been a more beautiful valley than ours.
Today is the first of November 1973. The leaves are all gone and the hill are grey, except for the pines higher up in the hills. The news says storm, so soon comes the snow, (the deer hunt nearly always brings the first snow storm). Our valley will be a study in white, grey, and dark green pines. Oh how I Love the four seasons. I used to dread the winter, especially when Joe had to be away herding sheep in the desert to pay for our home. It was so cold and alone for him, and we missed him so much.
Our big boys were gone three years in service for our country. The roads were so bad, each school da Carl would harness the team to the wagon and take the children out to the school bus, a mile and seven tenths from home. And at night make a return trip unless the weather was so that they could walk home. On Sunday we went to church if it wasn’t too cold and leave the team harnessed so we could pull the folks out of the mud holes if they get their cars stuck, which they did nearly every time they came up home.
Now our roads are kept up by the county and each big snowstorm, here comes the snow crew and cleans our roads. All things are easier now.
How I do love my houseplants, especially in the winter time, when all is white outside. I have them in every room.
I have lots of white, red, and blue ribbon, I’ve won for my needle work, from different fairs. The one I prize most is the Grand Prize, (purple). They gave it to me on my big begonia. It sets on my old treadle sewing machine, under my bedroom window, along with the asparagus fern that Brent, (a grandson) gave me years ago. It covers the biggest part of the window , and blooms each year, new, with perfume that is so overpowering that my girls and grandchildren pluck the blossoms and throw them away. They say ferns are not supposed to bloom.
What is a home? Its Love and growth and it never is finished. When we are finished with this house, some of ours will take over as long as it lasts. Please God, Help us that at that time we will be in another home. I think of this poem and hope it will be as my life story.
Build thee more stately mansions, oh my soul
As the swift seasons rell
Leave thy low vaulted past
Let each new temple
Nobler than the last
Shut thee from heaven
With a dome more vast
Till tho at last are free-
Leaving thy outgrown shell
At life’s un-resting sea.
For this purpose, we come to earth, to gain wisdom from our mistakes. I’ve made my share of these and will pay all my fifes for some of them. I am grateful for forgiveness. For all the good people I’ve met and hope I’ve done a little good, and can still more. This is my life story. ~ Lula Young~