Melinda Jane Bell and Dean Anderson family memories
Contributor: dvdmovieking Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago
Melinda died in December of 1938, and Dean died in December of 1945. I obviously have no recollection of either of them. But I do have many memories of four of their six children. Don was only five years old when Melinda died, and I think he was farmed out to relatives on his father’s side of the family. The other children stayed in touch with each other and the Bell family, with amazing positive outlooks on life in general.
My dad did tell a story about Dean. I hope I have the story written down somewhere else, because my memory has faded. One time he was on the Teton bridge in his old car and had something like 7 flat tires while trying to cross over the bridge. I think they were pretty poor.
When Melinda died Dorsel was 15, Dell 14, Elaine, 13, Doyle 10, Phyllis 7, and Don, age 5. The kids were always commended for their pluck. Their father, Dean, died 7 years later.
My parents are Albert and VaLeen Bell, and their home was known as the “Bell Hotel.” The Andersons came to visit often. My parents loved to have them come, and their visits were always a special part of my growing up.
Dorsel lived in California, but came to visit every year or two. I don’t think I ever knew what he chose to do to earn a living. Dorsel saw something funny about pretty much everything. His wife, Norma, was sweet and quiet. We loved to have them come.
Dell became a veterinarian, practiced in Logan for a a time, and later moved to Manti where he became a meat inspector for Norbest Turkeys. He and Ruth had a large family, many of whom obtained college degrees. One of their sons, DellRay, becoming a medical doctor who practiced in Tremonton. Ruth came to the ”Bell Hotel” often, and usuallty had some of her children with her. Consequently her children came to love Aunt VaLeen and Uncle Al. Dell was mellow and quiet.
Elaine had eight children, including one set of triplets, two of whom survived. She initiated the “lollipop tree” for the Bell Reunions, the first being at the home of Hyrum Bell, son of Victor. Hyrum was a farmer and the family lived on a farm near Rupert, ID. Elaine was a big supporter of the Bell Family Reunions. Her husband, Don, was a postman. Elaine was handy in many things—carpentry, crafts, sewing and cooking. They lived in an old two-story home and she had done quite a lot of remodeling and repair herself. I remember her making Yummy Pudding Pie, and a Chicken and Broccoli Casserole once when we visited her. She loved porcelain dolls and had quite a collection. They lived in Idaho Falls.
Doyle was good looking. I was told he thought seriously about going into acting, because he had some talent there, and he certainly had the good looks. But he decided he didn’t want the lifestyle, so he turned to other ways of earning a living. He liked to write family history stories. He married Sophia, whose family was from Holland. She was tall, regal, and quiet and had a shy smile.
Albert Milton Bell History of his early life in Salem, Idaho
Contributor: dvdmovieking Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago
Albert dictated several histories of his life, and wrote one of his own. This is excerpts from the compilation of these histories. Even though a few of these memories are from other "secretaries," I have chosen to write them in 1st person. Julia VaLeen Bell Moore
I was born on April 14th, 1906 in Salem, Idaho, to Hyrum Bell and Amanda Christina Sandgren, the best parents a child could have. They were not prosperous as to the world’s goods and worked hard for all they had. We grew up on a very small farm. We lived on a two and a half acre lot in Salem. Father owned a farm in North Salem, just 40 (in one history he says 20) acres which helped supply our needs. He was a carpenter by trade, and a good one but was not always able to find work around home, but had to go where work was.
My father, Hyrum Bell, usually had to leave home to find carpentry work. He did all the work from the ground to the finished product. He was a good finish carpenter. He used to dig basements with a pick and shovel for $3.00 per square yard. People didn’t usually have full basements, but they had root cellars under their house.
My father died in 1945. He was alone a long time. He had a girlfriend once. He was talking about getting married, but the family objected, so he left it alone. She was an English woman. I don’t know what they had against her, but the family didn’t want him to marry her. From what I remember of her she was a pretty nice person.
My mother was really good at crocheting. She crocheted her own curtains. While father was on his mission to Vancouver, British Columbia, for two years, Mother helped with the harvesting of the crops as well as putting up food for the winter. Not only this, she was practically the town doctor., Whenever anyone was sick she was always the first to be called to assist. She delivered many of the babies in the ward.
Mother went shopping once every week or so. We had a horse that was kind of spooky, and nobody seemed to be able to handle the horse but her. It seemed to sense when she was in the rig. It was a single rig. One day after the children had been playing horseshoes they left the pegs in the ground. When Mother started her shopping trip the wheel of the rig caught on one of the pegs, spooking the horse. It tore out of the gate and came loose from the buggy. After it got down the road a bit it stopped and turned to look back, seeming to be looking at the damage it had done. Mother had been thrown out and skinned her face up badly.
My earliest recollection is seeing my mother washing clothes on the scrubbing board with sweat pouring down her face like she was in a rain storm. I recall the wash days. All the water had to be pumped from the well and brought in and poured in the reservoir on the side of the stove and also the copper boiler on top of the stove. This is how we had hot water. Mother would scrub all the clothes on the scrubbing board and I remember how the sweat would pour down her face. In the winter, she washed the clothes indoors. We had a clothes horse that she would hang the clothes on to dry. We had clotheslines outside. A post here and a post here and wires running in between. There were four wires.
When I was a child I slept upstairs, and there was no heat up there. It would get to 20 – 40 degrees below zero. They had to get in bed and warm up the bed before they could get to sleep. Mostly just the stove in the kitchen was used for heating the house. Usually on Sunday they would light a fire in the living room fireplace.
There were no baptismal fonts where I lived. I remember my baptism being on my birthday. (His baptism certificate dates it as 6 Jun 1914, and his confirmation 7 Jun 1914.) I was baptized in the slew close by. It was cold and a thin scum of ice was on the water. They built a large bonfire for us to dry off and get dressed by. I got too close to the fire and singed my hair. A young girl who was baptized at the same time came over to see how badly I was burned and it embarrassed me for her to see me as naked as I was. When I was confirmed a member of the church and received the Holy Ghost a glorious feeling came over me which I can never forget. I wanted this feeling never to leave me. It was as if my feet did not touch the ground. This feeling stayed with me for some time, and for years when I would see someone else being confirmed I would get the same feeling again. It was a wonderful feeling.
It was my job, part of the time, to herd the cows to the pasture, and at that time it seemed a long way, but now it seems so very short—about two miles. I had to cross the Teton River bridge, which was sometimes very scary, especially when the water was high, or when it was getting a little dark, as there were willows all along the road and I would expect something to jump out at me. I took them to pasture in the morning and bring them home for milking in the evening. The cows would sometimes go wild with mosquitos. If you slapped a cow on the back, your hand would come back bloody.
My friend and I decided we were going to get a merit badge for riding fifty miles on a bicycle. I had to borrow a bike. We rode to Ucon, which was 25 miles away. My bike started to come apart. We hadn’t taken anything to eat. My friend had an Aunt at Ucon. She wasn’t home, but we found some delicious rolls and butter. They were a life-saver. His Aunt didn’t have any rolls when she got home. I don’t know if my friend ever told his Aunt about it. I slept for two days after that. I never got the merit badge because I didn’t finish up. The trip ruined the front hub of the bike.
We usually had about six cows. We sold some of the milk. We made cheese, cottage cheese and buttermilk. We had no refrigerator. All homes had a pantry. We put the pan of milk in the pantry until cream came to the top, then we would skim it off and make butter. We made cheese of the rest of it.
For fuel for the winter months my father and older boys would make several trips to the timber and get out logs and bring them home and stack them in a huge pile. In the winter, one of the daily chores was to saw the logs in lengths and chop them in pieces so they would go in the stove.
We’d milk five or six cows, separate the milk, and feed the skim milk to the pigs. Then we’d butcher a pig every fall and that would be our meat. It was cured with salt. We used to live mostly on salt pork and gravy and bread and potatoes.” We always killed a pig, and I felt so sorry for the pig. They would shoot it and sometimes it didn’t kill the pig instantly. When that happened, it would go squealing in the yard until they could catch it and slit its throat. After the pig was killed we brought a big vat of water to a boil, put the pig in it, then lay it on a plank to scrape the hair off. This was done before the entrails were taken out. We washed the entrails of the pig real good and then stuff them with the sausage. We made head cheese out of the head. This was like a meat loaf made out of the meat of the head. It was highly seasoned, like the sausage, and it was served cold. It formed a gel to hold it together. From the feet we made pickled pigs feet. We were bothered with a lot of boils, and attributed this to our diet high in pork. But we loved the pork gravy. We didn’t have much beef.
Our yard was situated so that the wind would always drift the snow so high that some of the time we would have to dig a tunnel to get the stock to the pump to give them a drink. We would pump the water in a tub for them to drink from. It seemed they would never get filled. They would drink twice as much in the cold winter than they would in the warmer weather. We always had five or six cows to milk and feed and take care of each night and morning as well as pigs and horses. Sometimes now I dream that I have left them in their stall without food or water ‘til they were about to die or had died of neglect.
I recall when I was quite young, of Halloween nights. I was usually scared to death with the way the larger boys would celebrate it. They would get on their horses and tear through the town swinging their lariats, pulling down gate posts and especially they would get a big bang pulling over the outside privies. Sometimes they caught someone on the throne. There were times they would take wagons or buggies apart and take the parts on top of the hay stack and reassemble them, making it a very difficult job for the farmer to get them down. Halloween was a nightmare to me.
We didn’t have indoor plumbing, and the outhouse was quite a ways from the house. When bathing time came we had a copper boiler that we put on the coal stove to heat the water, and we had a round tub that we bathed in. Two or three of us bathed in the same water.
Our entertainment in those days was not television or even radio., We had to create our own: basketball, baseball, MIA activities such as plays. I recall one play in which I got shot. I suppose I played the part pretty good as some of the people in the audience was wondering if I was really shot.
Our home was across from the Church in Salem. There was a small canal that ran right in front of the chapel. One Sunday night a distinguished speaker came. When he came out to go home the water was so clear he thought it was the sidewalk. He went plunk right in it. He walked right through to the other side and went home, having missed the bridge entirely.
We had chickens, and we had a rooster that was really the cock of the walk. We had a neighbor, Anna Jacobson who was my mother’s best friend. She used to come over quite often and they would have coffee together. Every once in a while she would get to the gate and we’d hear “Oooo! Oooo! Ooooo!” Then we knew the rooster would be there at the gate pecking at her. Victor got fed up with it one day when the rooster came after his girlfriend. She came screaming in the house, “That rooster pecked at my pork chops!!” It took about a half-hour to run it down, but when he caught it he chopped it’s head off.
We traveled to school in a white-topped wagon. That was our school bus. Our school was in Sugar City, about two miles away. The wheels of the wagon would creak in the frozen snow as the temperature would nearly always reach 40° below zero during parts of the winter. I nearly always froze my feet sufficiently that the side of my feet just back of my little toes were so tender from frostbite that I could hardly stand my shoes. The spot would callas over in the warmer weather and this callas had to be pealed off occasionally. When we came home from school the first thing we wanted to do is put our feet in the oven to warm them. This seemed to aggravate the situation, but we did it anyway.
Malinda was late one morning and went running out to get in the wagon. In dressing she had forgotten to take off her night gown and it slipped down out there by the wagon. Everyone thought she was losing her petticoat.
Brother David Hershey got the first telephone in town. He learned to regret that. Everybody called Brother Hershey and he’d have to send for somebody to come to the phone. A little Englishman was about a block away and he was in the chicken business. He got quite a few calls. Finally, out of frustration, Brother Hershey said, “Jimmy, take that damned thing off the wall and take it home with ya!”
I always wanted to learn to play the violin and tried very hard to learn it. I had the desire but not the ability. I saw an ad in the paper about a musical saw. I sent for one and guess that I learned it pretty well as it has stuck with me. And people still seem to enjoy it or are intrigued that sound can come from a saw. I once placed an ad in the newspaper offering lessons, but no one seemed interested.
When I was twelve years old a very sad thing happened to our family. My mother had been sick for a long time, and the Lord decided to take her from us. I shall never forget the feeling of emptiness and loneliness on returning from the cemetery and walking in the house, knowing that Mother would never be there with us again. My oldest sister Melinda took over with the help of Grandmother Sandgren. Grandma couldn’t speak English. She was Swedish. The kids would go pick peas and she sat in the shade of the house to shell them with the kids. She bottled peas for later use. There were no pressure cookers to speed up the job and make the canned goods safer for later consumption. If we didn’t understand what Grandma said, she got us by the ear, and then we understood! We understood quite a bit of Swedish.
A History of Amanda Christina Sandgren Bell
Contributor: dvdmovieking Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago
A History of Amanda Christina Sandgren, written by her son, Hyrum Victor Bell, her eldest son.
Amanda Christina Sandgren was born 31 Aug. 1867 in Edsvara, Skaraborg, Sweden. They were a family of very little means and the children had very few clothes to wear. Amanda went bare-footed most of her childhood days and when she got older and large enough to work, she took the place of a hired man. She said the bottom of her feet were like sole leather.
Mother's parents were goodly parents and she respected them very much. Her father was Victor Johnson Sandgren born 10 Feb. 1837 at Frindera, Skaraborg, Sweden and her mother was Christina Larsen born 6 July 1836 in Torpa, N. Kedum, Skaraborg, Sweden, by whom two girls were born, Victoria Josefina and Amanda Christina. Her parents were polygamists and her father's 2nd wife was Louisa Rebecca Johnson by whom were born 5 children - Amelia Rebecca, Ida Louisa, Victor Mansel, George Edward, and Annie Melinda Sandgren.
When mother was eleven years old, they immigrated to America and settled in Pleasant Grove, Utah. On their way over, quite a storm arose and mother was playing quorts, a boat game, and she slid under the rail of the boat and a steward caught hold of her dress and saved her from falling into the ocean where she might have been drowned.
She stayed with her parents until she was 25 years of age when she became acquainted with my father, Hyrum Bell, and was married 31 Aug. 1892.
She traveled to Salem, Idaho from Pleasant Grove, Utah in a covered wagon and team. She lived in a log house with the ground for a floor until father was able to get out logs and get them sawed for a floor. Mother wove carpets out of rags and put them on the floor with straw underneath them to make it soft and warm. They would white wash the walls to make them look cleaner. The roof was made of lumber and dirt, and when it would rain, she would have to get pans to put on the floor to catch the rain that would run through the roof.
On the 3rd of June 1895, mother gave birth to my sister Grace Christina and on the 30th of April 1901, Grace died of scarlet fever.
Mother was always full of life and when they went to parties, she was the life of the parties and there wasn't ever a dull moment. Mother was good at weaving and sewing and knitting so she made most of her clothes as well as clothes for the children and socks for Father. She would go out and help on the farm also. I can remember mother knitting a complete dress for herself. She also did all her canning.
On the 4th of Dec. 1896, mother gave me birth. On the 20th of June 1898, Wm Leslie was born. On the 3rd of Aug. 1900, Melinda Jane was born. On the 23rd of Mar. 1902, Clarence Mansel was born. On the 26th of Mar. 1904, Ida was born. On the 14th of April 1906, Albert Milton was born. On the 6th of Sep. 1908, Percival Sandgren was born and on the 18th of Feb. 1911, Melvin Edward was born.
Mother was very good at getting along with horses and cows and she would drive some very high-spirited horses and milk some very mean cows to kick without any trouble.
Mother was very good in taking care of the sick and brought a good many babies into the world. When the Dr. would find out she was going to help at the time of a birth, he wouldn't show up until after it was all over. At one time when there was an epidemic of diphtheria around, Bro. Charles Virgin's family got down without help. She went and stayed with them for a week until they were on their way to recovery. It seemed if there was any sick in the town, she was called out to help them and she was very good to bring them to recovery.
About 1908, Father got enough lumber to build a new house, which she appreciated very much. In 1911, Father was called on a mission to the North Western States and Mother insisted that he should go. Mother worked very hard while he was gone and finally her health broke down. She would go out and pitch hay and grain in the stack like a man. She was very eager to teach by word and example all people she came in contact with. One time while father was on his mission, she hitched one of the horses that had never been broke to work single, to a single buggy to go to town. When she started out, the buggy wheel went over a bump and frightened the horse and she ran with Mother and Ann Jacobson (who was a neighbor) and ran one wheel astride a post and threw them out of the boggy and Mother lit on one side of her face and peeled the whole side of her face. While father was on his mission, she would go to the 160-acre dry farm which was on Moody Creek and help with the crop.
"Prior to father's return (from his mission), mother's health broke down and she suffered from Rheumatism and heart trouble until her death.
Father took her to Oregon to see if her health wouldn't improve, but it did not, so we gave up the farm out there. She also suffered with erysipelas on her face and legs until the time of her death.
About three weeks before her death she was stricken with rheumatism and father took her out of her bed and sat in her chair while he straightened her bed. All at once she called to father and said, "Oh Hyrum, I'm going!" and she fell to the floor. The rheumatism went to her heart and she passed out. Father picked her lifeless body up off the floor and laid her on the bed and administered to her and her spirit came back to her body and she opened her eyes and asked Father why he had brought her back again, that she was in such a beautiful place. Everyone was dressed in white and appeared to be very busy. She also said, "Now I'll have to lay and suffer a little longer," and that it was her time to go and rear the two children that died in their infancy. She told us children to be good and to remember she will always be watching over us. Then she got erysipelas and it spread all over her body until she was one solid sore and she was unconscious most of the time for the last week she was alive. It seemed she could not pass away until we were ready and willing to let her go when on the 14 Mar. 1917 she was dedicated to the Lord for she was suffering terribly and we decided it was best for get to go than to suffer any longer and a peaceful look came over her face and she passed away.