Wilson and Sophronia Ellis Wilson and Sophronia are Merthan Glenn Ellis’ grandparents
Contributor: GerryRoberts Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago
Wilson Ellis was born December 7, 1870 in Salmon, Idaho, to George Ellis and Rosetta Wiggill Ellis.
As a young man Wilson was very ambitious and wanted to work, but work was scarce in Salmon. He found work in Wyoming in the hay fields for Rudolph Wolfley. Here he met Sofronia. She was born September 29, 1877 to Rudolf Wolfley and Magdalina Schirm Wolfley, in Randolf, Utah. Sofronia's mother died when she was 14. She quit school to take care of the home and children. She studied a lot to help educate herself and her siblings. Sofronia was a beautiful lady with a strong body.
After a short courtship they traveled in a covered wagon to Logan, Cache, Utah, to be married in the LDS Logan Temple. They chose October 14, 1896 to be sealed for time and all eternity. They, then, returned to Wyoming and worked hard until they had a good start.
They decided to go to California. They started out with two children, Orvil and Mae, wagons, horses, and cattle. They found a good deal and decided to sell their many cattle but were gypped out of all their money. They had to go stay in Shelley and farm to get another start. Here their third child, Glenn, was born. They soon moved to Riverside, Bingham, Idaho.
She stood by her husband, helped her children through hard times, sewing their shirts and keeping them clean and neat. She made many denim quilts from the boys worn overalls. Sofronia bottled everything she could get when they were in season, made beautiful flowers from cloth and wire, and walked around the neighborhood on gravel and mud roads to go teaching.
Sofronia taught her children the value and rewards of hard work and worked with them. She took care of the chickens, gathered eggs and prepared chicken for meals. She made head cheese for the family and many neighbors. For health and medicine she gathered sage, dandelion buds, also peppermint, yarrow, and strawberry leaves. There seemed to be a tea for every ailment even, though some were bitter and nasty. They built a house from wood they chopped and sawed, which soon started to grow. The next spring they put up a "lean to" shack. This was later used for a chicken coop after Wilson and his brother, Jerry, built a beautiful nice size cement block house. They made three blocks a day gradually putting them up as they dried and cured. This was done in any spare time from farming. It almost seemed like recreation. He also helped many neighbors put up their homes. They lived on an 80 acres farm on Pioneer Road, which is now where the Blackfoot Northwest Stake Center stands. The land was all sagebrush and weeds. The government gave a homestead to those who would plant groves of trees and orchards. This changed the desert. Teams of horse drawn machinery were used. Also much hand and back labor.
Wilson raised beets, potatoes, wheat, barley, oats, and hay. The beets were planted with a four row planter. They were thinned with a short handled hoe when showing three leaves. Then hoed twice and cultivated to hold down the weeds. At harvest they were dug one row at a time. The workers would top them by hand and throw four rows into one to make room for the horse drawn wagon. When the wagon came everyone would stop topping and load the beets to be hauled to the beet dumps, as they were called, which were situated on the railroad track. From here they were taken to factories where the sugar was made. There was a sugar factory in Blackfoot, Idaho.
Potatoes were planted with a one row planter. Someone would drive the team and someone would ride the planter so there would be a set in each hole. These sets were cut by hand and made sure an eye was in each set to make sure of a sprout. They were harvested one row at a time with horse drawn machinery and picked by hand in baskets then emptied in burlap sacks. They would then be loaded on wagons and taken to cellars. They were kept there until a fair price was offered.
The grain was cut with a horse drawn binders which would cut and tie bundles. The workers would then stand several bunches together with the tops up so as to dry for threshing. Most every farmer had a granary of some sort for storing grain.
Hay was cut with horse drawn mowers. A horse drawn rake would put it in rows. The men would make this into piles with pitchforks. When dry enough it would be hauled on wagons and stacked into large stacks by a derrick.
They raised cattle, milk cows, also pigs. Chickens housed in a chicken coop furnished them eggs and meat. They raised bees and extracted honey. They owned a small dairy. They used what whole milk they wanted and separated the rest. They made their cottage cheese and brick cheese. The skim milk was fed to the pigs. The cream was sent to the Blackfoot creamery in a double seated fancy white top buggy with a fringe on top. They would load some hay on the back for the horses and stay in town all day.
The children all learned responsibility. They had strong bodies and could outwork anyone. They had contests in the field to prove this.
Wilson did a lot of veterinarian work. He would travel on horseback to the farm animals. He loved to fish and did so whenever possible. He was fond of horses and did a lot of horse trading.
Indians traveling in wagons would stop and visit on their way to Salmon. Sofronia would feed them. The always sat on the lawn. The wouldn't go in the house. The would fill their containers with fresh well water. Sometimes Wilson would do a little horse trading. When the Indians came back from Salmon they would bring smoked Salmon. This was a real delicacy.
The water was left in the ditches and canals so the cattle and horses could get water in the winter.
However it would freeze and the farmers would have to chop holes in it so the cattle could drink. One day when the Indians came by, one of them was so sick and had such a high fever they feared he would die. He jumped in the ice hole and although everyone held their breath he did live.
Bathing was in a small round tub. Water was carried in and heated then carried out. In the
summer after working hard in the fields many would head for the ditches and canals for a refreshing swim. This took a lot of sweat and dirt off, besides being social and fun.
Wilson and Sofronia lived most of their lives in Riverside on the corner of Pioneer Road and
Riverside Road. This couple had nine children, eight boys and one girl.
Orvil Wilson Ellis August 28, 1897 married Lula Grieves
Mae Elizabeth Ellis November 22, 1899 married Chester Grimmett
Glenn Ellis August 8, 1902 married Nettie Turpin
Alfred James Ellis September 6, 1904 married Survella Knight
Rowsel Ellis December 9, 1906 married Alice Bitten
William Vaughn Ellis November 30, 1908 married Evalyn Goodwin
Lawrence (Smokey) Ellis December 29, 1910 unmarried George J Ellis May 18, 1918 married Lillian Taylor
Vear R Ellis September 4, 1920 married Loraine Stander
After an epidemic of a severe kind of flu many, many people died. Wilson got it and died January 10, 1929 at the age of 57, in Riverside, Bingham, Idaho. She married Hyde Yates the 22 February 1941. They were very happy after long years of being alone. They lived in a nice home in Yost, Utah. He had a sheep camp. They would go out in the hills and take care of the sheep. She said this was one of her happiest times because it took her back to her childhood days. Sofronia died at age 65 August 14, 1942, in Blackfoot, Bingham, Idaho, of liver cancer.
At this time his posterity is spread throughout the country and even in foreign countries and much too numerous to count.
The farm was split and George took the east half with the house and buildings. We, Loraine and Vear Ellis, purchased the west half and built a small home, barn granary, chicken coop, and dug a well. We moved ditches, leveled hills and hollows, and made a more beautiful farm. We lived there until we bought a larger farm in Moreland. The house and buildings were moved away. We sold the land. Now beautiful LDS Stake Center is located where our house and yard was, on the old Ellis farm.
SONG OF THE LAZY FARMER
This weather, with it’s threat of snow and temper’tures that drop too low, may suit the kids just perfectly but it’s a real pain to me. I s’pose it’s cause I’m getting old, but I can’t stand this kind of cold, if, when it’s zero, I expose my nose and ears, they’re quickly froze. No longer can my old legs lift me through a frigid waist-deep drift, and even if they could I’d sneeze so much my ancient lungs would freeze. My sense of balance has grown dull, a hog on ice is more graceful than me, I either break my crown or crash-land right where I sit down.
When winter blizzards blanket us with snow, it’s much too dangerous for me to venture out-of-doors to help Mirandy with the chores, and though I surely wish I could, I do not dare try chopping wood for fear I’d hurt myself and she a lonesome widow then would be. It’s foolishness for me to court such danger. I can best support the efforts of my loving spouse by staying safely in the house and keep logs roaring on the fire so when Miranda starts to tire, she quickly can thaw out and then get back to work outside again.
Vear Ellis History
Contributor: GerryRoberts Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago
I was born in Blackfoot, Idaho, September 4, 1920 to Sophronia Wolfley and Wilson Ellis. My father was born and raised in Salmon, Idaho. My mother was born and raised in Star Valley, Wyoming.
In 1910 my father went to Wyoming to look for work. He found a job working for my Grandfather Wolfley and that's how he met my mother. After a few years they fell in love and a marriage date was set. They traveled to Logan, Utah to be married, which took about three days. I can remember my brother, Bishop Vaughn Ellis, kidding her about where Dad slept at night. Then, her being Dutch, would say "Why you silly goose, he slept under the wagon". They returned to Wyoming where they farmed and raised cattle and horses. After a few years, they had accumulated a herd of cattle and horses and decided to go to California to make their home. Over several years, between Star Valley and Blackfoot, seven children were born to them. During those years, they farmed ground along the way and raised cattle. When they reached Riverside in 1918, they thought they had better settle down and make roots. The farm they settled on is the land the Northwest Stake Center now sits on. The farm consisted of 68 acres. Here my father built a block house. George and I were born here which made eight brothers and one sister. That's how we came to be here. They never did make it to California.
We had a heaterola that we lit only on Sundays. Heaterolas are large cast iron boxes that we put a log in and it warms the house. We put this heaterola in the room where my father was when he had a serious flu. He died about a week later This was in 1927 and he was 57 years old. I was eight years old. My father left an $8,000.00 mortgage on the farm, which was a large amount of money at that time. We all had to work hard, milk cows, and do any other work that would help bring in money. I would work long hours thinning our beets. Then I could go out and earn my spending money for a bicycles, clothes and whatever else we felt important. When I was 10 or 11 years old I had enough money to order a bicycle from the Montgomery Catalog. When it came in to the train depot in Blackfoot I walked all the way into town to get it. I had some tools with me and put it together there on the dock so I could ride it home.
I was a mischievous youngster. My father would take George to town and I was always left home. I knew they would get a little treat in town and I felt left out. My mother did a lot of sewing and I liked to sit under the sewing machine. One time I thought about taking the scissors and cutting the belt a little. I thought and thought about this trying to figure out how to clip the belt and then get out of the room before Mother caught me. I finally decided to try. I clipped the belt but didn't make it out the door before Mother caught me. She really gave me a spanking.
I had a cat that would lay under the stove in the kitchen. When Mae would come over my cat would have to go outside and Mae's bull dog would get to lay there. One day I found my cat by the door and snuck it into the house. When the cat saw the dog, it took off and the dog and cat were chasing around the room with Mother and Mae trying to catch it and the dog messing all over them and the house. I kept pretty quiet the rest of the day.
I was educated in the Riverside Grade School and Moreland High School. As a senior in high school other kids had their dad 's cars to drive and I decided I was going to have a car. I worked hard thinning beets, hay jobs and whatever other odd job I could find. Good pay then was $2.00 a day. In the fall I had enough to buy a new Ford Deluxe which cost $999.00 cash. I was so proud of it, mostly, because I earned the car myself and it was paid for.
I met my wife, Loraine Stander, in high school and we were married April 2, 1941 in the Salt Lake Temple. The first date Loraine and I had together was when some girlfriends of hers wanted her to ask me to this party. We had fun together, both bashful and didn't talk much. I would see her a lot at dances with other boys. One night I took a girlfriend to a church dance in Thomas. We were dancing and I saw Loraine there. She was so pretty. My date was Connie Cook. She had been going with another boy. He saw her there with me and it made him mad. They began to talk mean to each other so she asked if I would take her home. So I did. I couldn't get Loraine out of my mind so I went back to the dance and we started dancing together. It was so much fun. I asked her if I could take her home. This was the starting of our romance. Connie married and lived in Van Nys, California.
When we first started going out together in high school Loraine and some other girls went out to Mackey fishing with us boys. Loraine and I were fishing a small creek on my brother, Rowsell's, farm We wanted to cross the creek and I had boots on so I was going to pack her across the creek. I had Loraine in my arms and was starting across the creek when I slipped on a rock and we both sit down in the water around our waists. We sat there laughing at each other. We kissed and this was the first time I felt a bond between us. We got out of the creek and laid on some hot rocks to get our clothes dry. It was a fun day.
When we were dating the young men and women had an overnight camping trip up to Island Park. Three couples were going together in my new car. We thought it would be fun to go on to Yellowstone National Park after the outing. The girls got permission from their parents to go. We spent three days and nights in the park. The girls had their tents and the boys had theirs. One morning we all cooked a good breakfast of ham, eggs, and hot cakes. We sat down to the table having the blessing and here came a big black bear. Loraine said to us to slap two pans together and it will leave, so we did. The bear came across the table after us and we all piled into the car and watched the bear eat our breakfast. It was a fun three day trip. Marion Callister and Arvel Draper were the other two young men with us. Marion Callister has been a judge in Boise courts for a long time. Arvel Draper has an insurance company in town. When we get together we talk over the good times we had together.
We built a small two room house where the stake center is built now. We started our married life here. We had a few cows and one big sow. When this big sow furrowed, she ruptured herself in having nine little pigs. The sow died so Loraine raised these little pigs on a bottle. For about a month, every two hours, they would run up to the house to eat. Then she finally started feeding them out of an open pen.
At this time, I worked in the sugar beet factory in Blackfoot at night and farmed and milked cows in the day. After two years we bought another farm that watered out of the Highland Canal. To buy this desert farm we sold our two room home which I built and our lovely new car that we had so many fond memories of in our courting days.
Zeann was born. Zeann came to us January 27, 1943, just before we moved to the desert farm. At this time we took an old 1933 Chev in on the trade of our new car and I also bought a 1940 4-wheel Ford truck. I loaded the truck with our furniture consisting of a new bedroom set Loraine's dad gave us when we married (and we still have), our front room heaterola, and kitchen table and chairs we bought for $35.00 (we still have and we have loaned them to some of our children and also friends children till they could do better). We still have a lot of our wedding presents and have fond memories of them. Loraine was still in the hospital with our baby and I wanted to be all moved in our home before she was able to leave the hospital. I started out to the desert farm with our load of furniture. In the night a flood came in from the desert and filled a swail in the road that was too deep to drive the truck through. I sat there wondering what to do. Gail Taylor bought a new diesel tractor and was just coming back from pulling another car through the water, so he pulled me through the water which was about four feet deep. It didn't get in the bed of the truck. I had the furniture moved in and straightened up when Loraine and the baby came home. We bought a new kitchen cabinet and a baby crib for Zeann. I worked at the sugar factory at night and cleaned the yards and house in the day time. There was a lot of ponds of water in the fields and the ducks came in the field by the thousands. We lived on roast duck, fried duck, duck soup, and bread and milk from the cows I milked in between shifts at the sugar factory. When spring came I prepared the farm for planting with horse drawn equipment and worked long hours every day to get the crops planted when they should be. I had a big hay field in the bottom of our farm which was 3/4 of a mile from our house. The sage hens came in every night to eat the new alfalfa. I would run down to the hay field to tend the water. That summer we lived on sage hen and loved every meal. They were so good from eating the new alfalfa. I could see where I could make a better use of water, which was short, by changing ditches and making some fills. I hired a carryall and leveled some fields and made fills from the dirt. I also had enough money left over from the harvest to buy a new tractor.
I bought the new Allis-Chalmers tractor for approximately $700.00. The grain binder was approximately $450.00. The grain binder would cut the grain. The straw was cut about 3 feet long. The grain would go between two rolling canvases and into a bundling machine. When the bundle of grain got about a half way through it would tie twine around the bundle and kick it out on a platform. The platform was on a spring so the weight from the bundles would trip the platform when it was full and leave piles of bundled grain. The farmers would stand the bundles up on end with the heads up. Several bundles of grain together were called a shock. These would stand there for several days until the grain kernels were dry. Then it would be loaded on wagons and hauled to the thrashing machine. The grain would be bagged in 100 pound bags. The grain binder would do about 10 - 15 acres of grain in a long day. I would be paid $6 or $7 an acre when doing custom work.
In the spring I made new ditches across the fills and these made the irrigation so much easier. I could get a lot more land irrigated. We still lived on sage hens, baked and fried depending on young or old. Loraine could always fix them so good.
The war was on at this time, but they left some of us to farm. We would use the German and Japanese prisoners of war to help us farm. We would pay them just the same as our men, but we had to go to Rockford for them. They had tents and guards there. Loraine would go to Rockford for them in the old '33 Chevy every morning and take them home at night while I milked cows. One morning she had the car full of men and the steering rod fell off. she couldn't steer the car and ended up in the borrow pit. The German prisoners were good to help her with the car. It worried me to have a pretty wife having to haul the prisoners. It sure helped me in a time of need.
Here is when I realized the Holy Ghost was with me at all times. I was building a fill to shorten my ditches and, in doing so, the tractor slipped off the fill and rolled down over me. When I realized what had happened I was sitting on the side of the field and my tractor was down in the bottom bent all to pieces. I sat there a long time trying to figure out how I got out of all that without being crushed to death.
In 1945 they took us farmers into the service. Dean Wheeler, Jack Hatch and I and our wives drove to Salt Lake to have our Patriarchal Blessings given to us because there was not a Patriarch here. On the way home we were talking about our blessings. Dean and Jack's blessing stated their achievements would be great if they lived the commandments of the church. Mine said I would gain many blessings in the church by living the commandments and also have to work hard for them. Mine did say I would retain my full faculties through this life.
Ross Anderson left for the service he had a pretty Pontiac 1943. We have always been close friends with the Anderson's so they sold us the car at a price we could afford. There were no cars being made. The crops were good that fall so I bought a new grain swather. After I cut our grain, I cut the neighbors grain to pay for it. It was a good investment. The next spring was one of our sad summers. I was cultivating beets with the tractor along the side of the house. Zeann would run down the lane to the end of the beet field so I would pick her up and take her back to the house. After several times I knew I shouldn't be picking her up. She was so cute and talked to me and I enjoyed having her with me. At the end of the row I took her in the house and went back to work. The next time I went to the other end there she was. I picked her up and put her on my lap but this time her little foot hung lower than other times. When I stopped on the lift to pick the cultivator up her little foot caught in the lift. She screamed and there was blood all over. I looked to see how to get her foot out. I couldn't take it apart in any way. I figured the best way was to trip the lift and it would release her foot. It was the worst decision I've ever had to make. I knew I had to do it so I pushed the trip. Zeann screamed again. It released her foot. I picked her up and headed for the house. Loraine wrapped her foot in a towel and we started to the doctors in Blackfoot. The doctor and nurse cleaned the foot with alcohol and started tying tendons to whatever he could that was left. He saved 3 1/2 toes. Sulfur drugs were new then. We kept the drugs on the wound day and night to save the foot. Zeann was so good and pleasant through it all.
In the fall I worked on the government Navy building and milked cows and did chores when I got home early in the mornings. I made $100.00 a week that was big money at that time. I was able to farm that summer. In the fall I was put in A-1 so I knew I would be drafted in the spring. Dean Wheeler and I worked on the Navy building that winter. I sold my farm machine and cows and other crops ready to go in the spring. My brother Glenn rented the farm. I moved Loraine and Zeann into Moreland and rented part of the Lindsay house. At this time Loraine was expecting Peggy. I left for Camp Hood, Texas.
Jack, Dean and I drove to Salt Lake to enter the service. We were all in a line, Dean, Jack, and then me. The officer came down the row and said "Army, Navy, Army". I ended up in the Army. I went to Camp Hood, Texas. Loraine moved into Moreland and lived in part of the old Lyndsay home. They needed servicemen so bad we were only trained for six weeks and then shipped overseas. When it was time for my platoon to go, I was put into a mechanics school for another six weeks. I was ready to go over the second time when our daughter, Peggy, was born. The Red Cross made it so I could come home to see our daughter before I went overseas. Lynn Wolfley and I were in Camp Hood together and didn't know it. While I was in Ford Ord, California waiting to be shipped overseas, the war was about to end. They discharged all the soldier with two children.
Returning home I was broke. We were paid $6 a month. We were really paid $17 but the rest was sent home to Loraine. At that time the government was giving servicemen $200 to stay in the service. I was pushed into a crap game in which I won $50 which I sent home to Loraine.
When I got home, there was no machinery and no way to farm. I sold the farm and bought a small store in the middle of Riverside. This is where Scott's are now. We built a bigger store and a home next to it. Here the two boys, Ron and Lonnie, were born to us.
One time playing ball I fell and ended up with a bone chip in my knee. It began to bother me so much that I finally had surgery and had the bone chip removed.
I knew the Holy Ghost was with me when a friend and I flew to Ogden for some parts. On the way back we circled his brother on a dry farm and then started for home. His brother said we went out about two miles toward home and then turned around and tried to land on the grain field. The plane went down on a rock ledge and broke into a lot of pieces. The motor and wings were scattered all over. My seat and I rolled about a 100 feet into rocks and sagebrush. The brother, Mr Miles, found us both alive. Melvin lost his leg. They told me I was battered up so bad they couldn't recognize me. They took us to a Catholic Hospital in Pocatello. When I woke up in the hospital after a week of being unconscious, there was Bishop Clifford Wray and his father, who was bishop at that time, standing beside me. It was so wonderful to know that they cared.
Through the year of 1949 I was in and out of the hospital. My wife tells me how the community helped her run the store and take care of things. That winter I was sent to the Veterans Hospital in Van Nuys, California, for plastic surgery and a skin graft on my nose and body. That was the winter the Moreland area had the worst winter on record. When Loraine wrote to me she would tell me the stories of the snow. The snow was in 10-15 feet drifts and would reach the telephone wires. There would be a lot of people walk up from Thomas. They would get groceries in the gunny sack to carry home. Then the storms would come up and they would have to stay overnight with Loraine. While I would read the letters from her I would be laying out on the grass sunning. Shirley Temple came up with the guides while I was there. She would try to cheer us up but I had bandages all over my face and I wasn't too excited about it. After my skin grafting Connie Cook, the girl I went to the dance with and later danced with Loraine, would come to the hospital and take me to the interesting places. Also to her place for dinner. My face was all bandaged up and I wondered why she would come and take me out sight-seeing. It was fun. We reminisced the good high school days. It was good for me to have someone there to help pass the time. Other times I would get on buses that would go around the city of Los Angeles for 30 or 40 miles then bring me back to the hospital. I enjoyed the letters from my wife. The graft on my nose was bandaged and had to be kept wet at all times. At night every nurse that passed my bed would give my nose a squirt or water. In the morning my clothes and bed would be wet. In the day time I had to pack a little bottle of water with me to squirt my nose and keep it wet. The doctors said it was very important for me never to sneeze. Once I couldn't help it and it blew some of the flesh away. This is why it is deformed. A complete operation would have fixed it but I didn't want to stay any longer.
After several years, we got restless and tired of the store. We wanted to do something else. In 1955 we sold the store and bought the Harrison Ison farm east of us. There we built another big home. We subdivided the land into building lots. We sold President Monte Bowman his lot and built Schwabedissen's home on another lot. Eldon Felt bought another one.
About this time I had surgery on my ear. I was in the hospital in Idaho Falls and after the surgery I could hear all the noises and sounds from the other rooms. While I was in the hospital from this surgery my brother, George, was killed in a train wreck. I wasn't suppose to turn my head and my brothers were afraid to tell me about the accident. George and I were very close. They decided to give me a blessing and then tell me about the accident. I knew something was wrong when they all came in, but I saw Loraine and knew she was alright. This was in 1961. Carlie was a small baby about 6 months old.
My mother was left to make a living to pay off a mortgage on the farm when my father died. As kids we would have to do our work and then after the beets were thinned and other work done we would go work for others. I liked to work for Mr. Barclay, Sr. because the work was always good. When we got done, Mr. Barclay was always there to pay us and he also gave us a good bonus for the work we had done. At this time, Al Smith was the operator of the farm.
Mr. Barclay was always a great one to visit with us. After I had sold the lots of the Harrison Ison farm, I didn't have much to do so I would joke with Mr. Barclay about buying his farm. One day when we met on the street in Blackfoot, I said, "Mr. Barclay, are you going to sell me your farm today?" He said, "Yes sir. Let's go over to Mr Furchner's office and make up the papers." He said, "Don't tell my sons until all the paper work is done." This farm has been good to my family and me. It has given us work to do and many learning experiences.
My wife has always been active in church jobs and I started taking more interest in the church. I was Priest's group leader and Sunday School superintendent. Most of my jobs have been with the church farms and buildings, just the way my blessing stated - if I work hard I would accomplish these things.
We rented a small place out on the desert and planted spuds there along with George. George went down to get more seed and Loraine and I stayed out there and finished planting the spuds. She rode on the planter while I drove the tractor. I hit a lava rock and she went flying in the air and landed in the spud box on the planter. I didn't know if she would ever get on the planter again. She was bruised all over.
My wife and I have been blessed with eight children, six girls and two boys. Their names are Zeann, Peggy, Ron, Lonnie, Debora, Mary Jan, Carlie, and TaRhea. We have been able to send those that wanted missions on missions and all through college to get a good education.
When the wards were divided we were put in Moreland 4th Ward along with a lot of neighbors. We had been in Riverside Ward for most of our lives. Bishop Wray was our Bishop. I was called to be the High Priests group leader at this time. I didn't feel at ease with this job because I didn't feel knowledgeable about the gospel.
It was around 1979 that President Marcum wanted to meet with me in his office. I wondered what job he would want me for at this time. We had our stake center built and the recreation center done. I met with President Marcum and he asked me to be on the High Counsel. I said, "President, you don't know me very well, do you? " He said, "You bet I know you and you can do these jobs." I was given the extraction program to start and the genealogy program in the West Stake Center; I was to be the PFR over the buildings; I was over the custodians in the three buildings in our stake; I was over the beautification of the outside grounds; and I was to do all the ordering for all the church building. In working with the Presidency, I have been able to build my testimony of the truthfulness of this church and the love I have of the gospel.
I would like to say a little more on how I know and love the spirit that is always with me. Through the number of close calls I have had with death, I know I have been protected for a reason. I would like to mention a few of the close calls:
In our younger years, Dean Wheeler, Stan Goings and I were on Henry's Lake fishing. We were out on the lake in a small rowboat when a terrific storm came up. We had caught our limit of fish and were heading in for shore. Two of us were bailing water from the boat and the other was rowing. We weren't making much headway when our oar broke in half. About a half mile from shore, we could see our wives and friends on shore, but they couldn't do much to help us. I know that the Savior helped us to shore that day.
Another time was in Australia and New Zealand. We had just stepped off the boat from a tour of the islands when I felt someone put his arms around my shoulders from my back. When I turned around, there was President Lambert. I was so thrilled, after three weeks, to see someone from home, especially to see President Lambert. We hugged each other right there on the dock. This made my day.
Another time I know my guardian angel was with me. We flew to the Tahitian Islands which were very pretty. The next day we were to go up in the hills to where the headhunters had killed their prisoners and would eat them. I was tired and didn't want to go. So Dean, Geri, and Loraine took the bus and went. I laid down on the beach for a while and then decided to take a bus into town, which was about five miles away. Everybody there spoke French. I got on the bus and went to town. I took the number of the bus so I would get the right one to come back to the hotel. After looking the town over and the fish market and different places of interest, I looked up the number 8 bus which was supposed to take me to the hotel. Their buses were more like wagon with seats or benches. I thought I was going back to the hotel but instead we started up through the jungles. The bus would stop at different little jungle villages with a lot of little huts, pigs, and naked children. After about ten little villages, and ten or fifteen miles from the hotel, the bus driver said, "Everyone off" in French. I got off, not knowing where I was. I saw a cab driver there and asked him to take me to the hotel. He talked in broken french. He said he would take me there but he wanted four dollars. We started out and went further up into the hills and jungles. When we came to a small hotel he said, "This is it", but it wasn't. I got out and he left. I sat there on the pole fence wondering what to do. I said a silent prayer because I knew I was in trouble and soon along came three girls in dresses. I said, "Do you ladies speak English?" One said, "Yes I speak several languages." I told her my problem and where I should be at and where my hotel was. She studied me for a while and then said, "Oh, that rich man's hotel". She said, "I'll show you how to get there." We walked about half a mile. "We'll have to take a bus into the town again." she said. While we were waiting for the bus an old pickup loaded with kids came along. She talked to them in French and then said to me "Come and get in with them. They will take us back to town." So the three girls and I crowded into the back of the pickup and started toward town. I knew I would never get out of that pickup alive. They would go around those winding curves so fast. I could look down a hundred feet over the cliff. We finally made it back to town. I was about a nervous wreck. She took me over to where I was supposed to catch the bus and talked to the driver in French. She said, "This is the one that will take you to the hotel." She said I needed to give the driver fifty cents. I had given all my money to the cabdriver and all I had was English money. I asked her if I had time to run over to the bank and the bus driver said no. She gave the driver fifty cents from her pocket. He did give me time to get her address so I could sent it back to her. I made it well worth her time. I'm so thankful for the spirit that lady had and I know she was sent there to help me.
The most wonderful experience was when Loraine and I went to Honduras to get Carlie after her mission. It was a thrill to visit so many people she had taught while on her mission and to see the strength of the gospel of the Honduras people. It was a blessing to us to find in every station where we would catch a bus, taxi, or plane, we would meet members of the church waiting to see that we got on the right flight without any trouble. They were so thoughtful of us that was a blessing to be there.
The fun trips we looked forward to ever fall:
After our crops were out, several couples would go out to Dean Wheeler's ranch at Pahsimeroi for a few days. The men would get up early and walk down in the hay field. There would be a herd of deer feeding in the field. We would all pick out a deer and when it was light enough to see our gun sights we would all shoot at once. We would have to do this two mornings to all get our deer. After breakfast of hot cake, potatoes, ham, and eggs, we would go to the river and catch fish. In the evening we would go to Challis and sit in the hot pools. After this we would go back to Dean and Geri's home and have a hot turkey or goose dinner and then play games that evening. We miss these good times as some of our friends pass on.
My first thoughts of Alfred and his wife, Survella, was after my father died: I was about nine or ten years old. (1931) Alfred farmed west of us on a dessert farm. One day he came home and borrowed the potato planter and wanted me to ride the planter to make sure it planted the seed right. After work in the evening we would go swimming in the pasture swell that was filled with water warmed from the sun. I didn't see much of Alfred for many years. He moved to northern Idaho on a ranch. There his wife died. For some reason Loraine and I couldn't go to the funeral. After he bought a big trailer home and came to see us. About 1960 he parked his trailer home at our place and went visiting the brothers and sisters from here. We really got close together again. He was so much like my dad, easy to be around. He had sugar diabetes at this time. Alfred went back to Bonners Ferry, Idaho to his farm and died in the winter in the 1970's. All the brothers wanted to go. Glenn was in Grants Pass with his daughter. Vaughn and Evelyn drove there in their car. I had cows to milk and could only stay one day, so we hired a small plane to take us. Lawrence wanted to go, but he had this drinking problem. He said he wouldn't drink any beer if we would let him go with us. We landed in Mackey and picked Rowsell up then took off for Bonners Ferry. The wind was blowing hard from the north and we couldn't make any headway so the aviator took the plane down in the Salmon River Canyon to get out of the wind. Soon we ran into a snow storm and we couldn't see anything. He started the plane in a circle to get up out of the canyon. We finely come out above the clouds. It was late in the afternoon and we were about out of gas. We thought we had better give it up. Lawrence did drink several bottles of beer and he had to go. He did bring a quart bottle with him. Lawrence and Rowsel was in the back so Lawrence turned around, got his quart bottle out to relieve himself. Rowsel said the bottle was filling fast and no stopping. When the bottle was about filled Rowsel took his hat off the catch the rest. We all started laughing. The bottle tipped over. It was an experience we never forgot. We landed in Boise, filled with gas, and was soon back in Mackey, then back home to milk cows. We called Glenn and Vaughn in Bonners Ferry, who were so worried about us. I know Alfred knows how hard we tried to be to his funeral.
(from Loraine's history)Vear and I were fishing on the Mackey Lake in the summer of 1985 on a beautiful warm summer day. Little did we know of the strange circumstance we would experience that day. Being nervous in boats because of a near drowning years before on the same lake, I usually found many things at camp to enjoy, such as hiking, cooking crocheting, games and visiting. The weather was nice, not even a breeze. The lake was like a mirror. Vear insisted that I go out in the boat and try my luck at fishing. Reluctantly I went after making him promise he would immediately bring me back to camp if the slightest breeze came up. I will admit it was enjoyable. I loved the scenery and catching fish is an exciting sport. After a time I noticed a few little clouds beginning to form but nothing that should worry anyone. We continued to enjoy our fishing spree. A breeze was starting. The clouds were forming fast. We were aware a storm was coming our way. Although it was just starting to sprinkle lightly, we weren't anxious to quit. We noticed all the boats going in. Vear kept his promise and we started back to shore. We had been close to the opposite side of our camp. As we headed for shore the storm came fast and furious. The waves became high and splashed over the boat. The rain poured down. It became quite dark. Although we could see the shore and our camper and set our course, the wind increased and kept blowing us down from our course. We had a canopy on our boat but I still covered my face as the rain and splashing seemed to keep hitting us. All of a sudden Vear frantically yelled and asked if that was a head or a log. I jumped to my feet. When the waves parted again we saw a man screaming for help. Then the waves swallowed him again. Vear started in his direction which was the way the wind had been blowing us. We knew he couldn't last long. We came as close as we dared and cut the motor. Now to get him in. It was difficult to get close. Vear reached for him several time. The waves would pull him away. It was apparent he was getting weaker. All of a sudden a wave brought him right up to the boat. We each grabbed an arm. We decided he was at least 300 pounds with wet clothes on. It was all we could do to hold him to the boat with the storm raging. We repeatedly tried to pull him in the boat and he tried to help himself with what little strength he had left. We looked for other boats but none were in sight. We looked at each other with a sort of a hopeless look. We didn't know what to do, such a helpless feeling. I shall never forget his big blue eyes pleading for us to save him. I closed my eyes and said a silent prayer asking for help to save him. Vear calculated that maybe while we were down between waves he could reach down and grab his belt. He worked with the waves and when we were deep down he was able to grab his belt and as we were tossed on top of the waves, with strength he didn't know he had, pulled him in the boat. His feet were still hanging out, but his head was down in the boat and the water was coming from him. As he choked and coughed, we tried to get him to tel us if anyone else was in the water. He seemed too exhausted to talk, but we shook him until he told us no one else. We again headed for shore. We asked where his boat was. He answered there was no boat. He kept mumbling and thanking God for sending us to save him. This went on for some time. We finally asked what he was doing out in a violent storm like this. He said he was swimming in the beautiful still water and the storm came up and blew him out. We asked if he was training for some competition. He told us he was on his way to the Veterans Hospital and was trying to find himself. Of course we had to comment that he nearly lost himself. He was fully clothing, even shoes and jacket. As we reached the shore the storm began to subside. Men that were watching us on shore helped us get him out of the boat and helped him stand on solid ground. We helped him up to his nice new model car. He was very weak. We asked if we could help him with dry clothes and he said he had clothes to change in the car. He said he would be fine now. We went back to the group of people that helped us get him out of the boat. When he had his dry clothes on he came from behind the car door and laid over the hot hood of his car. The wind quit, the sun come out hot. It was a nice day again. We thought we would go up and see if we could help him any more. He slipped off the hood of his car, waved good-by and drove off. The rest is still a mystery to us. If he ever reads this article we would want him to know we think about him and feel confident he has found himself because of the fateful way he was saved. There must still be something more in this life for him to do. He did say he was from Montana.
After the war was over and our gang of eight couples decided to go out to a small lake in the mountains of Pahsimeroi Valley (1950). We all met at the ranch of Earl Jones, Jerry Wheeler's dad. Early in the morning the men gathered their fishing tackle to ride in a pickup up to the trial that took us up to the lake. We had two horses in a trailer, to pack our food and tackle. The trail was steep so we tied ropes to the horses tails. One man rode each horse and three of us hung on to the ropes from the horses tails. The valley and mountains were so pretty that early in the morning we could see so many wild animals and could look all over the valley. After climbing about a mile up to the lake, we found the raft we would ride was out in the middle of the lake. The lake had this thick green tulius all around the lake shore for about 150 feet out in the water. We knew someone had to swim out to get the raft so we could get out the other side of the tulies to be able to fish. So we gathered up eight straws to see who got the short one who had to go after the raft. I knew before we drew straws that I would be the one to get the short straw. Sure enough I got it. I found me a log about 10 feet long to hang onto while I made my way to the raft. I took off my clothes down to my garments and started to make my way through the tulies toward the raft. The other seven men cheering me on. When I reached the outer edge of the tulies I could see down in the water along way and no bottom. the water became freezing cold. I kept hold of the log and paddled with one hand toward the raft. Finally I reached the raft. I was so cold and numb from the freezing water, I could hardly get up on the raft. I finally rolled onto the raft. It felt so good to lay there on the warm raft and to think how close I had come to not making it to the raft. The men was worried so they told me to rest there for awhile, but to rest fast, joking. I tied the ropes I had drug out to the raft and the men pulled me and the raft back to the shore. After dressing, we all got on the raft and pushed our way out to the edge of the tulies to fish, the fish were good size. We caught our limits fast. After we returned to our camp to a big dinner that the wives prepared for us and an evening of fun around the fire. In the morning we had a god fish breakfast and returned to our homes.
As the physical frailities of life begin to take over I find my physical body in need of repair. In 1993 ? I ended up in the hospital for repair of hernias and prostate cancer. The cancer was a worry but they caught it early and were able to take care of it. They didn't catch all the hernias so a few months later I went back in for more repairs. They put in a mesh netting so the hernias wouldn't tear out. In December of 1995 I was tired of a sore foot so I went in to have the bone spurs removed from my heal. This was done on an outpatient basis at the hospital in Idaho Falls. The hardest thing about the surgeries is my spirit is still active and wants to keep busy. It's hard to stay down and listen to the doctors orders when there are so many things to do and build. Lifting is one of the things I wasn't supposed to do.
I have enjoyed building and creating many things. I built cupboards for some of the neighbors and many of my grandchildren. I also built little toys that I see in magazines. It's fun to get one and then build them for people special to me. I learned many years ago to build small picnic tables. I would go to Washington or building places in Idaho Falls or Pocatello and pick up their extra pieces of wood and use them to build. I made many picnic tables for family and friends. There were so many small things that I wanted to make or Loraine wanted built that I bought a saw to cut them out with.
We have had the responsibility of taking care of Grandpa Stander for many years. In 1994 we added the responsibility of Monte Sohm. He has been in the hospital in Jackson, California and we were made the legal conservators of his estate. It is challenging to meet with lawyers and understand the legal system. We have enjoyed the people in Jackson and have made some good friends. They are kind to us and we appreciate their friendship.
I helped Mae put in a bathroom. Glenn and Vaughn were suppose to help but never made it. Mae's son, Dell, came to help. He helped dig the cess pool and rock it up. Chester wasn't able to do anything. He was an invalid for 15 years before he died.