Life History of Golda Ruth Beckstead Crandall
Contributor: SouthPawPhilly Created: 2 years ago Updated: 2 years ago
Personal History of Gold Ruth Beckstead Crandall, written by her hand in 1977
I was born to Charlotte Emline (Emeline) Hamilton and George Francis Beckstead on January 1, 1899 in Riverton, Utah; Salt Lake County--about 30 miles Southwest of Salt Lake City. I was the eighth child. Mother had nine children--her second baby, a girl, died at birth. The children were Lawrence, Virginia, Frank, Violet, Wesley, George, myself, and Lee. There are just three of us living--Violet, myself, and Lee. We are all living in California. Lawrence and my birthdays are on New Years Day. Were were New Years babies--something special to the rest of the family.
My father owned sheep which was a very good living at that time. Some he kept at home but he run his big herd in the hills of Wyoming--some miles from Evanston.
We lived on a large farm in Riverton where we had sheep, horses, cows, chickens and turkeys. We grew hay, wheat, and grain. We also had a vegetable garden and fruit trees. Our living all came from the farm. We livid good and had all we needed. We had a big red brick house--it was really large--5 bedrooms and bath upstairs, 6 large rooms downstairs with 2 beautiful fireplaces--one in the living room and the other in a library--one bedroom downstairs and bath. The kitchen was a large room where we ate most of the time--only using the dining room for company. In half of the kitchen Mother had a homemade carpet which she wove of scraps of clothing and worn out blankets. Under this carpet was straw so it looked like a big feather bed. Often I remember going to sleep on it. There was a barn--red brick--the roof long and round. The front of this barn was a big round window made of colored glass. The glass was cut in pie-shapes put together with lead. Below this window was my Father's initials G.F.B. in large gold letters. Seems were were always having people coming to see this beautiful barn. All over the county they came. Quite a showplace. It was always so clean. I heard Mother say many times it was so clean one could eat off the floor. George, Lee and I would often go up in the loft and play in the clean sweet hay. This was where the beautiful colored window was and the sun shining on it would reflect the colors on the hay.
We had two beautiful black horses who pulled the surrey with the fringe on the top. One of the horses had a white star on its forehead and the other a white huff. My Father was very proud of them. He loved horses and had quite a few of them I remember many times Father taking us to "Wondermere", a park in Salt Lake City. It was located on 27th South and 9th East which is now called "Nibley Park" where later Grant did a lot of golfing. We had to go on a train to Salt Lake and from there go on a street car. Father drove the horses and surrey to the station in Riverton, leave the horses there with grain and water to take care of them for the day. This park was really fun. It has a Merry-go-round and many other things for entertainment. There was a lake and boats to ride in and in the center of the lake was an island with a band stand. In the evenings the band would play an everyone would sit around the edge of the lake to hear them.
We had a large building in the back of our house which was called the storage house. This was for the meat. In the top of this building they put sawdust and large cubes of ice to keep the building cold--and it did keep he meat good and cold. Mother also kept her milk and butter there too.
We had a big well with a tall windmill on top. Neighbors from some distance would come to get their water from it. We had many Indians come to our house. They never knocked--always walked in and wanted food or would take whatever they saw. We kids were always afraid of them. They were never turned away hungry or without some food to take with them--mostly flour and meat. One day Mother wanted George to go to our cousins on an errand. They lived some distance from us. George wouldn't go alone so Lee and I went with him. There was a hill we had to go down and on top of this hill sat some Indians. We didn't know if we wanted to go past them but we knew we had to so George took our hands and how we ran down that hill. We didn't want to go back but by the time we got to the hill, they were gone--and guess where they were? Yes, sitting on our back porch eating the luncheon that our Mother had giving them.
My Father was a very good and generous man. He loved his family and was good to us and saw that we were well cared for. He was respected by all and well known throughout the county and Salt lake City. He was a good church member and helped give money to build many of our churches. Besides sending four of his sons on missions, he helped many others by sending them money. I remember many times he brought home the President of our church, Joseph F. Smith, and some of the Apostles to dinner. We only had one ward and one stake in Riverton so when we would have Stake Conference, the President of the church and some of the Apostles would come to speak. Father would always bring them home for dinner. I remember President Smith coming and his long white beard and hair. Some of the Apostles came to our home after we moved to Provo.
In the summer Father would take us out to the sheepherd to be with him. We would ride the train to Evanston, Wyoming, get off, stay overnight and next morning get in a wagon and go out to the camp he had prepared for us. It would take most of the day to get there. Mother and Father slept in a sheep camp wagon that had a canvas top, a stove, and bed in it. Virginia, Viote, Lee and myself slept in a tent. Our beds were made by driving 4 pegs the size of a bed in the ground with rope tied around and filled this with pineboughts. They were not bad beds. Virginia and Violet had riding horses. Lee sat back of the saddle of Virginia's and I back of Violet. Always wanted a horse of my own but never had one--always said I was too young. We would go visit the different herds of sheep where Father would have men taking care of the sheep. George and Wes would do the cooking. This was the way they earned their money for school and clothing.
When the older children graduated from high school and were ready for college, Father sold the farm and moved to Provo, Utah, where they could attend the Brigham Young Academy. He built a large home on 7th West and Center Street. It was on a corner so it had a big yard. Mother had many beautiful flowers, a vegetable garden, a barn with a cow and some horses. In this house we had many colored windows--seemed my Father loved those windows. The house was lined with adobe which is the way they were built at that time. It took 1 year to build. We lived in the eastern part of town while it was being built.
We were in the 5th ward and I went to the Parker School. My teacher was Mrs. Combs, an older woman. I thought she was wonderful--just something special.
Lawrence went to college for awhile then he left and went out to Wyoming to help take care of the sheep. It was getting to the place where Father's health couldn't take all the cold weather. It wasn't too long before Virginia got married. She married Charles O. Dixon and had five children. It was with her 5th child that she died at the age of 35. This about broke my Father's heart for he loved her so much. She was a beautiful person in looks as well as in spirit. She was so good and kind to we younger ones. I always loved her. She helped me in so many ways after I married. She was a lot like my Father.
We lived in the 3rd ward and all of us had many friends there--the Taylor's, Dixon's, Harding's-- all had the same size families and about the same ages. We were all active in the ward. I played the piano for Primary and in many of the Sunday School plays, I remember being and angel. I also played for the grad school orchestra. I took piano lessons from John Bound who lived at the Crandall house and that is where I would go for my lessons. I walked 12 blocks and back to take my lesson. I remember the Crandall boys would be out in the front playing--but I didn't know them at that time. Later when I was in the 6th grade some of us kids were transferred from the Timpanogas School to the Central School which was closer to our home. I loved that school. We had so much fun and I made some very fine friends there that I still cherish. We went on to college together. The were from all over town from the different schools. There were 5 of we girls who stayed together. When in college we called ourselves the N.L.U. (Naughty Ladies Union) and were known as the most beautiful girls at
After living in the 3rd ward for many years, it was divided and how unhappy we were. We went into the new ward called the Pioneer Ward. My Father was made chairman of the finance committee. His duty was to get money for the building of the new church. Some of the farmers couldn't pay their pledges so Father would buy their apples, potatoes, etc. and give the money for the building of the church. So he put a lot of his money into the church also helped Brother Fisher work on the basement. He set a time that we would hold our meeting in the basement and it was ready at that time. The chapel was nearly finished when Father died. The chapel was finished enough so that his funeral services were held there. He died just 6 days after my 17th birthday--January 6, 1916.
The following spring Mother sold our home and moved back into the 3rd ward. I stayed in that ward until I was married. Mother lived till she was 94. I went to college for 3 years. My last year I met a young man named Grant L. Crandall. We went together off and on during the winter. When school was out for the summer, he had to go away to work so before he left he asked me to marry him the next fall.
I couldn't give him his answer then for I just didn't think I was in love with him. I had been going out with other young men and hadn't thought of marriage. He came home for the 24th of July expecting my answer, but I wasn't ready then so by the time he came home to go into school I knew that I loved him. He went to school until he could find a job. He finally went to work for the Springville Mapleton Sugar Company which was in Springville. He was a bookkeeper and his salary was $150 a month. He said when he got a raise we would get married. Well, he got his raise in March on his birthday (17th). He made $175 which was good money at that time. We were married on April 14, 1920 (an Easter bride) in the Salt Lake Temple. Next day we left for our honeymoon traveling by train to San Diego, Los Angeles and San Francisco. We were gone two weeks.
Mother spent the summer in Montana with Lawrence and his wife so we moved into her home until she returned when we moved into an apartment. We lived there for awhile then we moved to Springville.
In the summer of 1921, our first child, a beautiful baby boy was born on August 25th. We named him Max B. and he was the first grandchild on the Crandall side and how he was loved and spoiled. Grandmother Crandall loved him so much. Then in 1923, w2e had a beautiful baby girl--Norma Jean born on May 31st. By this time we were still renting a home in Springville. This home was sole so we had to move. The night we moved into an apartment of our own so we bought a lovely little home for $600. It was new and we had to finish the living and dining rooms. It was in this home that our third baby was born on January 10th, 1925. Ruth was a dark haired little girl. We lived in Springville until Ruth was 7 years old. At this time the Springville-Mapleton Sugar Co. Was closed and Grant found work in Salt Lake City with Aston -Jenkins Finance Co.
We moved to Salt Lake and lived for short time in a tiny house near State Street but then rented a lovely home on Michigan Ave. near 16th East. We moved to the Yale Ward. We lived there for quite a few years and then the unexpected happened. After 12 years, we were going to have another child. John David was born March 28, 1936. He was a much wanted and loved blond curly haired boy.
By this time we decided we should have a home of our own. We bought our home on the corner of Princeton Ave. and 15th East. It had 3 bedrooms and bath upstairs and living room, dining room, Kitchen and bath downstairs with a full basement. We lived there until John was in the 6th grade.
By this time, Grant was part owner with the American Keene Cement & Plaster Co. in Richfield, Utah. He spent the week days there and then traveled to Salt Lake for the week-end. We decided after several years of this that we should make the move to Richfield.
While living in Salt lake we lived in the Yale Ward. This was the largest and wealthiest ward in Salt Lake. Not that we were in that class, but we always had sufficient for our needs. The ward consisted mostly of doctors and lawyers. We loved it and the members were great. Max was sent from that ward on a mission. The oldest three graduated from East High School. Max went to the U of U until his mission. Jean went to the U for one year and then to BYU. Ruth went to the BYU for 2 years.
I was active in church--taught Primary, sang in the choir and attended Relief Society. I also sang with the Singing Mothers. I loved to sing. In my college days I took voice lessons and sang for many school affairs. At one time all the groups of Singing Mothers from other wards sang in General Conference on Sunday morning. That was one of the highlights of my life. It was such and inspiring and thrilling experience to sing in our great Tabernacle.
In 1941 when World War II was on, Max was on a mission and I knew when he came home he would have to go into the Army. He did and was stationed in Valleo, California. There he met his sweetheart--Darlene Forsythe. They came home and were married in the Salt Lake Temple on March 26, 1945.
During the time before this, Jean was married to Kenneth F. Snow who was a Lt. in the Air Force and was stationed in Arizona. They were married in the Mesa Temple on September 24, 1941. Later he was sent overseas and Jean came home to live. On July 28, 1943, our first grandchild was born. We were so thrilled with her. Her name was Sharon Ann.
Grant was away most of the time. He was part owner of the Keene Cement & Plaster Co. It was located in Southern Utah--Siguard--about 160 miles south of Salt Lake. He did some traveling for the company going into the north western states. later he took over the plant and lived in Richfield which was 15 miles from his work. He stayed at the Johnson Hotel which was run by Arv Carstensen. They became good friends--like brothers--and he died shortly after Grant. Grant came home every weekend--driving home on Fridays and back on Mondays. He never missed coming home. During the summer he would go fishing at Fish Lake in the evenings which wasn't far from the plant--about 20 miles. This was where I spent 2 weeks every summer of our married life. That was our vacation and with 3 little ones it wasn't much of a vacation for me. He would fish all the time so when the children got older we didn't go. He loved to fish and hunt. In his later years, he did a lot of fishing at Strawberry.
Ruth was working and living at home, then she went to school at BYU and lived with Grandmother Crandall. After school she started working as a secretary to one the officials at the Geneva Steel Plant in Provo. During this time she met a young man--Wm. C. Knudsen--and married him in the Salt Lake Temple on August 31, 1948.
There was just John and I at home so Grant decided we should sell our home in Salt Lake and move to Richfield. We bought a lovely home there and lived there for 6 years. I taught Primary and helped in the Relief Society. This is also where I started oil painting and loved it.
About this time, Grant and Ted Jones (who was owner of the Company with Grant) decided to lease the plant to a big company moving to Richfield. They built a million dollar plant and since it has been sold to two different companies. Right now the Georgia Pacific has it and we are making money on it.
After this took place, we sold our home in Richfield and moved back to Salt lake. Grant didn't have a job but it wasn't long before he was working for a Real Estate company in Salt Lake. He stayed with that for awhile and then we moved to Monrovia, California, where he and Ken (Jean's husband) bought a hardware store. This didn't turn out so good as Ken and Jean got a divorce and so we sold the store. Jean had 4 children so we sent her to Provo so she could finish school and become a teacher so she could take care of her family.
It was at this time that we decided to move back to Utah. Grant wanted to go to Brigham City where he went into the store and worked with Glen Bennion his brother-in-law. After Jean graduated from the BYU, she came up to Brigham City, got a job teaching at one of the schools, bought a home and is still teaching and living there. A few years later, she married Jay L. Nielsen.
While living in Brigham City, John came home from the Army and went to school at Logan for 1 year. He got married to Mary Morrison from Missouri and the next winter went to the BYU. He graduated 3 years later. Max also graduated from the BYU so 3 of my beautiful children have their degrees.
Grant and I had a very good life together. We had 4 wonderful children. They have given us 18 grandchildren and the grandchildren are giving us some beautiful great-grandchildren. We now have 16 great-grandchildren.
The house and yard got too much for us in Brigham City so we sold it and moved into a condominium in Holiday. We lived there 5 years. We were planning on celebrating Grant's 70th birthday on March 17th and our Golden Wedding Anniversary on April 14th when the Lord saw fit to call Grant home on February 1, 1971.
It has been a very hard 6 years for me since Grant passed away. I miss him very much but I am very thankful for the 49 years we spent together. I know I am blessed and that he is with me in spirit most of the time. I give thanks to my Heavenly Father every day for my health and ability to take care of myself. I am thankful that I am still active. There are days when I feel that I can't go on much longer--so lonely. Of course having such a wonderful family helps so much. I love you all and pray for your welfare and happiness. I am so proud of my missionary grandsons and for the wonderful 2 years they have had in preaching the gospel to so many people who have been waiting for the true and everlasting Gospel. I thank you all for all your love and kindness to me. May the Lord's blessings be with each and every one of you.
Your Loving Mother-Golda B. Crandall