Hyrum Elmer Morrill (12 June 1885 – 4 October 1952)
Contributor: trishkovach Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago
Son of Hyrum Morrill and Harriet Ann Greatreaks
Married Mary Ann LeBaron, 10 Oct 1907, Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah
Children - Vernon Leslie, Elmer Levon, Mary Wilda, Della, Alton Lamont, Verlan Wayne, Oran L., Baron, Floyd George, Irene, and Don.
Hyrum Elmer Morrill
Contributor: trishkovach Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago
Hyrum Elmer Morrill was born at Junction, Piute County, Utah on 6 July 1885. He married Mary Ann Lebaron on 10 October 1907. He died October 1952. The couple had eleven children.
Elmer, the first child of Hyrum Morrill and Harriet Greatreaks Bay Morrill grew up in Junction learning skills of hard work and dependability from his father, Hyrum, six uncles, and grandfather Laban. He appreciated good work, and good workmanship. He excelled in the care of horses as this had probably been one of his many growing-up chores, to help his father groom, feed and water them.
Elmer and Mary Ann married in the Salt Lake Temple in 1907, and their oldest son, LeVon Elmer was born 15 September 1908, while the family still lived at Junction. The very next spring came their big move. Elmer and Mary Ann and their six-month baby traveled by teams and wagons with four other families for three long weeks, eventually arriving in Maeser, Uintah County, There he purchased a home and a few acres, but later moved to Tridell.
Elmer’s father, Hyrum came in 1911 and filed claim on one hundred sixty acres in the East Dell of a Reservation place called Liberty, later Tridell. This became a homestead site for many of the growing Morrill boys.
Homesteading consisted of clearing the land by grubbing. By bending one’s back to the toil of hand digging deep enough to remove roots of hard desert brush, the pungent sage brush and the taller rabbit brush, using a cast-iron hickory-handled hoe. Then laying out roads, removing rocks, building ditches, working on canals, all of which had to be done before plough started so food could be planted. No doubt baby Elmer LeVon napped in their covered wagon that first summer, but soon the comforts of a boarded canvas tent sheltered the young family. Later a log cabin on the land that would be sold to Hallet’s, and eventually the painted lumber home across from the John Wilson property, is where Elmer and Mary Ann raised seven of their nine children (two died in infancy).
Their children were Vernon Leslie (Mary Ann’s son), Elmer LeVon, Mary Wilda, Della, Alton Lamont, Verlan Wayne, Oran L., Baron, (died as an infant), Floyd George (died as an infant), Irene, and Don (stillborn).
After the children were grown and gone, graduating from Alterra or Uintah high schools, Elmer and Mary Ann moved to Orem where he continued farming a small fruit orchard and Mary Ann marketed eggs. The family had always kept chickens, and orchard work, planting, tending and harvesting fruit trees was another of Elmer’s “heritage skills” as grandfather Laban had planted many orchards during Utah’s colonization, before and after settling in Junction.
As oldest son, Uncle Elmer must have remembered with longing the brick home and comforts that he and Mary Ann (also known as May) and their little son LeVon enjoyed in Junction. It is not hard to imagine that the big move challenged the very edge of their endurance. They were old enough to understand grandpa’s seasoned reasoning of, “It will be a better place to raise the children,” but still young enough to be filled with the dreams that young parents dream.
The hardships of life in a side-boarded tent that first summer or two surely shifted them into reality, where they adjusted with intelligence and dignity. Together they build the tent shelter into better homes, cleared the land and farmed it, planted orchards and raised a very fine family.
Wilda and Della being the “big sisters” did their share of the work in meals, dishes, sewing, ironing, gardening and all else required of large farming families. Della would consult her mother with that universal question, “What shall we have for dinner?” After all possibilities were suggested and one settled on, Della’s soft voice would reply, “That’ll be fine for the salty, now what shall we have for sweet?” She tried to see that every meal had something salty and something sweet.
Alton LaMont Morrill’s Memories
As of 15 September 1994, the only surviving children of Hyrum Elmer and Mary Ann Morrill are Alton, Oran, and Irene. With a posterity of 365 descendants, the names of Hyrum and Mary Ann will not soon be forgotten. The three of us would like to add our feelings toward our parents, during our growing up years. As we review the past we see a strong family bond that existed from the very beginning. It is interesting to note that the children of Hyrum and Hattie were all born in Junction, but as the years passed they all collected in the Tridell area. Most of their grandchildren were born in this area. We little realize the trials and hardships these families endured to bring up their children in what they viewed as a better place to raise families. What they came to was far more primitive than anything they had ever experienced. I remember the huge growth of snake infested brush that needed to be cleared. This was several years after the homesteading project had begun. There was still an incredible amount of clearing to do.
For the first few years the crops were bountiful and the yield was great. But as the years progressed, the salts from underneath the soil rose to the surface and a goodly percentage of the ground became unproductive—nothing would grow. (This condition was known as the alkaline plague). It brought production to a standstill.
Because of the poor production on the farm, the family was forced to do other things. They sought employment building roads, hauling coal, buying timber permits, felling trees and logging, and building reservoirs. In those days, anyone was willing to do whatever he or she could to eke out a living. Life was a struggle, but the families were unified and did all they could to support each other.
(After Seth and Alta moved to the middle draw where the school and church house were located, Alton remembers going to Aunt Alta’s for lunch on cold winter school days. He says sometimes Alta would have ten or twelve nieces, nephews and children show up at noon)
In spite of the struggle, our family was happy. We learned how to enjoy working and ho to enjoy life without having too much. I well remember hand-milking thirteen cows morning and night during my growing up years. Following the milking, we would run the milk through the separator and store the cream in the cans every day before the school bus arrived. Every Wednesday became “Cream Day”. All of the farmers would take their cream to the central shack where we would be paid according to the butter fat percentage in the cream. This, along with a small poultry and hog production, was the source of a paltry but dependable income.
Mother and Dad endured many hardships and sacrificed much during their lifetimes but they were always committed to raisin a happy, united family who were prepared to continue with the same commitments to their families. They truly taught the value of hard work, of dependability, honesty, commitment, perseverance, and compassion. They loved the land, but mostly they loved and served the people around them. Their good example will live with us forever.
Irene Morrill Wilkinson’s Memories
My memories of my parents are happy ones. They were loving parents and loved each other and, of course, that makes for many happy memories. They worked very hard, but they also knew how to relax and plan fun things for their children.
I remember Dad inviting his brothers and sisters – and as many as were able accepted – to Paradise Park for a day of picnicking and relaxing and playing games. I remember the ice house and homemade ice-cream on the Fourth of July. There are so many happy memories that I could go on and on. The feeling of being loved and doing things together as a family is something I will always remember and treasure.
Oran L. Morrill’s Memories
When we went back to Tridell this summer, many memories came to mind. The first and foremost were thoughts of Dad and Mom. They really had a desire to build a home for the family where there was love and unity, and the longer we lived in our home the more wonderful and happy it was.
Dad and Mom were unified in all things and their desire was to make things better for the entire family and see that all things were to benefit each member. When I think of the hard work that Dad and Mom went through, I realize how thankful we all should be. We were all blessed as a family. I’m grateful for our parents, brothers and sisters.
Dad had many interests such as farming, raising cattle, (both milk and beef cows), raising work and riding horses, and sheep. He built a store in Lapoint and managed it for a few years. In the fall, Dad and his sons would get plenty of coal and wood to see us through the cold winters. Mom was always thinking what she and the girls could do. They bottled fruit and made quilts. Mom, Wilda, Della and Irene were all very good cooks and housekeepers.
I recall a knock came on the door one winter night. Father answered it. It was Olie Justus who lived up at Deep Creek. He had walked because he had no car (5-7 miles). He said he had a sick daughter and couldn’t think of anyone but Dad who would take him and his daughter to Vernal (30 miles to the closest doctor). I went with Dad. It was a very cold winter night. We returned the next morning.
Almost every year Dad and Uncle Ellis would go to the saw mill to put in a permit. During that stay, it was late in the year. Arthur Wooley from Tridell went up to work in the lumber. He went alone with a team of horses. One evening after Dad and Ellis had stopped for the day, they saw Arthur’s team of horses coming in without Arthur. Dad, Uncle Ellis and Uncle Frank went out to find him. He had cut down a tree which had fallen on him and killed him. They put him on the sleigh and took him twenty miles in to Tridell.
One late afternoon, we had a terrible electric storm in Tridell. There was only one telephone in Tridell, and it was at Mother’s and Dad’s home. The phone rang, and it was a call from Roosevelt Hospital saying that Dick Smith of Tridell had died, so Dad saddled his horse and rode about three and a half miles in that electric storm to take the news to Dick’s family. Everyone depended on Dad and Mother. Of course, they were always ready to help in any way they could.
Our home was always a joy to enter. When it was time for a meal, we all sat down and ate together. Mother always had such good meals, and she most always and three of the best cooks with her – Wilda, Della, and Irene. There was nothing they could not prepare.
I remember after we would have our evening meal and talk for a while, Dad and Mom would say, “Let’s walk down and see the folks” (meaning Grandpa and Grandma).
We have a family that has worked together. I’m grateful for this because, as sisters and brothers, our parents truly helped us prepare for things to come. I give thanks to the Lord each day for the privilege to live with such good parents and loving brothers and sisters.
Written by Thella Brock (part of Uncle Hy and Aunt Hat, Hyrum and Harriet Morrill