Jesse Stephen Wilson

22 Apr 1899 - 20 Sep 1977

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Jesse Stephen Wilson

22 Apr 1899 - 20 Sep 1977
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LIFE STORY OF JESSE STEPHEN WILSON (as written in 1963 with additions dictated to Lilith during early 1977) I was born on April 22, 1899 in a house just north of our last Hillsdale home. It had formerly been occupied by David J. and Adelia W. Wilson. This assertion can only be established from exist

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Jesse Stephen Wilson


Hillsdale Cemetery

2650 E Road
Panguitch, Garfield, Utah
United States


July 19, 2015

Ron Haymore

June 2, 2013

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Jesse Stephen Wilson 1899-1977

Contributor: ashlin2008 Created: 3 years ago Updated: 3 years ago

LIFE STORY OF JESSE STEPHEN WILSON (as written in 1963 with additions dictated to Lilith during early 1977) I was born on April 22, 1899 in a house just north of our last Hillsdale home. It had formerly been occupied by David J. and Adelia W. Wilson. This assertion can only be established from existing records and cannot be verified from personal recollection. My parents were Jesse Stephen Wilson and Rebecca Wilson. Their parents were George Deliverance Wilson and Martha Ann Riste and Wellington Paul Wilson and Rebecca McBride. This I can assert, they were all faithful Latter-Day Saints, and had a strong testimony of the Gospel. I am the first son and the third child in our family of six boys and four girls. We arrived in the following order: Eunice, Agnes, Jesse Stephen, Wellington Paul, George Deliverance, Rebecca, Don Carl, Rulon McBride, Calvin and Leora. One of my early childhood summers was spent on a ranch about four miles south of Hillsdale, then known as Dusetts. It is now the Lamond Heaton ranch. Both my parent's family and my Uncle Will's somehow managed to live in the two-room log cabin which is still standing. Our family next moved to the old family home on the brow of the hill, just east of Grandfather George Deliverance Wilson's sawmill. This home was built by Uncle George H. Wilson and his brothers especially for Wellington Paul and Rebecca, since they had prevailed on Uncle Paul to come to them after the death of their father, George Deliverance. Some of my earliest memories were: seeing my grandmother Rebecca come across an open cultivated field enroute home with a string of fish; and me coaxing my mother for some of the medicine she was giving to my grandmother during her last illness which occurred when I was approximately three years old. My early youth was spent in Hillsdale and many memories still linger of Church and school in the small sawed-log building that served for both purposes. Our branch belonged to the Panguitch South Ward. Uncle George H. Wilson was presiding Elder, David J. Wilson, Sunday School Superintendent and my mother Primary President. They with our teachers taught us well. We learned to love and live the Gospel. My school teachers in that one-room school were: Lula Wilson, Rachel Wilson, Lily Ivy, and Melvin Porter. There were around fifteen to twenty boys ranging in ages from five to eighteen when Mr. Porter arrived. He looked the situation over and declared, "These boys need some physical exercise", and he immediately started us building hurdles, horizontal bars, high-jumps, and he obtained a shot-put and he coached us in baseball, broad jump, races and stunt exercises. As I grew older all our summers were spent on the farm ranch two miles east of Hillsdale, which has always been known as "The Canyon". Being the oldest boy I was Father's first-hand helper and learned to drive a team at an early age. oh, I must have been eight or ten when I first learned to drive the harrow and later to plow. Dad would sing as he worked, mostly some solemncoly song like "Nelly Gray", "Annie Laurie", "Spanish Cavalier," "Swannie River", and "In the Gloaming". Here is a quote from Eunice's letter: "My fondest memories of father are about his singing. Every night was home night. He sang by the hour. He had a most beautiful voice and knew so many songs, enough to fill the evening. "Star Spangled Banner" and "Oh, My Father" were never missed." Father and I had a project of reading the Book of Mormon together while we two were at The Canyon and the rest of the family was still at Hillsdale. One night he was just finishing an interesting chapter and we were preparing to eat our bread and milk supper when I decided some of the early multiplier onions would be a good accompaniment and I said, "Dad, do you want me to go and get some Lamanites to eat with our bread and milk?" This caused much humor then and ever after. We put our milk cows up the canyon to feed. We boys had the responsibility to take them off in the morning and go get them at night in time for milking before dark. We rode a little bay pony named "Queen". He was a quick, spirited animal and jumped right out from under me several times. I recall riding him to look at Pa's traps that he had set where a cougar had killed a young horse a night or two before. As I rode up Flood Canyon through the big brush, nearing the place, suddenly he snorted, jumped and dumped me within six or eight feet of the trapped cougar. I wasn't slow in following Queen's retreat. He was good to stop and wait for his riders after spilling them. I rode back home and got Dad and his gun. The cougar was a big one - nine feet from tip to tip. On July 24, 1913, tragedy and grief upset our family as well as our friends and community because of the accidental shooting and death of my brother Wellington. It was customary for the men of the community to have a target-shooting contest and they had used a chicken coop as a place to nail the target. After several rounds of shooting, the men decided to stop and we boys always liked to dig the slugs out and went into the chicken coop for that purpose. Not knowing we were there, one of the men said, "Let's shoot another round", and Wellington was killed with the first shot which happened to have been fired by Dad. Father especially was grief stricken. Eunice writes of him - "He was never well. Since his youth he had suffered much from cramps. The doctors first blamed his appendix, but later changed their minds. His death certificate read "stricture of the bowel". His last years were sad ones. Those cramps were so hard and came with little warning. They were the dread of our life. Anyway, he was a semi-invalid, and yet between sick spells he was a hard worker. No man ever worked harder. He did so well whatever he did; for example, take his irrigation. He could take a stream of water and handle it so well it was like a picture before him, like making a painting, a form of self-expression." As a family struggling to gain a living, we suffered the tragic loss of father on November 12, 1916. To my mother and two older sisters should go the gratitude of the entire family for their courage and sacrifice in putting the family through the difficult and trying times ahead. I shouldered the main responsibility of the farm with Dill's help. Mother, my two older sisters, and the younger boys raised a garden which was always prolific, one of the best around if not the best; and that was not all she did. Here I quote Eunice - "Mother could read aloud better than anyone who ever lived. Oh, how she read to us "Dicken's" Scott's "Lady of the Lake", Shakespeare, MIA reading course books - anything we could lay our hands on. What many hours we all sat to hear Mother read. And how she loved to hike over all the hills and pick pinenuts with us. Her hands would be all covered with sticky gum. She raised us out at the loved "Canyon" home and made us very happy." The years following father's death were difficult to a degree but we were full of work and the family was happy. Summers were spent at the Canyon where grain, hay, potatoes, cattle, chickens and pigs were raised. Part of our farm was still protected by the old log fence, which had been constructed with considerable labor by our forbearers. The range cattle would find the weak spots and break into our fields and raise havoc. We would toggle it up. It would be a little better, then next thing they would be in again. I remember driving a range bull for more than a mile (on a moonlight night) to put him back up the Canyon. I had been in bed and asleep only a short time when I was awakened by mad bellering such as I never had heard before nor since. Immediately we were all up and peering over the garden fence to see two bulls in mortal combat, one pushed the other down and had him pinned under the bottom pole of the corral fence. He looked as if he would be gored to death. It really took courage to go out there in the middle of the night with a big club and drive the victor off, and again to go back and see if I could free the agonized bull from his fence trap. Dell went inside the corral to push on the critter and I, with great trepidation, grasped his tail and pulled with all my might, at the same time tensing my muscles ready to scale the pole fence should he turn on me. We finally got him dislodged. He stuck his tail between his legs and made a swift retreat bellowing as he went. We had problems with our hay harvest. Rabbits and deer were making such inroads in the haystack that we decided a barn was a must. Arrangements were made with Brother Marshall to get lumber from his mill which was located around six miles south of Hatch. With our wagon and team (a bay named Dick and old Rouse, a roan) I would get a shirt-tail of lumber at a time (a jag of about 500 feet). How well I remember the first trip I made. I camped overnight at the mill and as there was good grass, I trusted the horses to stay there, but in the morning they were gone. I don't know when I ever felt so bad. I finally found them down along the river almost to Hatch. With the help of my younger brother, we built most of the barn. When we got ready for the rafters, Uncle George came and helped us to get the right bevel on them. My schooling was scanty. I did attend Murdock Academy one year where my sisters Eunice and Agnes were. They got their teacher's certificates there and were very generous in their help with family finances. From time to time I worked on road construction with our team and scraper (a hand-made scoop). The road from the Bryce Canyon junction up to Red Canyon was the first one. Cedar Mountain road, near Duck Creek was another. One winter I drove a four-mule team for a road construction company in Nevada. We were able to dispose of potatoes quite readily, and so increased our acreage and this demanded an adequate storage place so our next project was to build a potato cellar. We designed one approximately 20 x 50 feet, having native stone walls and cedar post roof. The posts were covered with straw and then gravel. It is still in use. Lilith has asked me how we ever got those larger stones in place, and I wonder now. Our equipment was the team and lizard (planking nailed across poles which could be pulled by a team) plus manpower. One winter I went with Dimick Huntington, a successful trapper, on a trapping expedition on the Colorado River. We took a wooden boat (all precut) and assembled it on the river bank. Lon Fallis was the third party member. As to amassing a fortune - we did not; but had some interesting experiences. My church activities began early. I was in the Presidency in the Aaronic Priesthood quorums and a ward teacher. Then after Hillsdale Branch was transferred to Hatch Ward in 1924, I was asked to join the ward choir and be on the Ward recreation committee. I readily accepted since Lilith was already affiliated with both. In 1927, Bishop Barnhurst asked me out of the clear blue "Why don't you go a mission?" "I wish I could". Somehow I did, and to my mother and brothers and sisters who made this possible goes my everlasting gratitude. My mission was to Eastern Canada and many choice experiences still linger in my memory, and some not so choice, as this one: One day my companion and I were traveling in the country and were hot, dry, and dirty when we came upon a beautiful lake in the woods. With one accord we proceeded to disrobe and go for a swim, whereupon we discerned two men on the opposite side of the lake gesticulating and shouting wildly. Surmising that we were somehow in error, we hastened to don our clothing and go on our way. We had only proceeded a short distance when we came upon this sign: "St. John Municipal Water Supply." I wrote this choice experience to Lilith on stationery with Joseph Smith Farm pictures and letterhead " . . . You can easily guess where I am by the letterhead and I shall always count in a very great privilege to have been here. We stayed at the Cumorah Farm one night and last night at the Prophet's home where the first part of the Book of Mormon was translated and had the wonderful opportunity of sleeping in the Prophet's own bedroom where the Angel Moroni visited him. I haven't words to describe these experiences. We visited all of the places of interest here, including Hill Cumorah, Sacred Grove, etc. It has all been very wonderful, even more than I expected. Elder Comish and I are making this trip on the highway, and though it involved a lot of walking, we certainly felt well paid. Before we get back to Vermont, we will have traveled over 500 miles on this trip alone, via missionary special. For the past two months I have labored in Vermont and New Hampshire traveling almost the length and breadth of both states. My special work has been looking up old friends and saints who are so widely scattered that many of them have not been in contact with the church or missionaries for three or more years. During this time I have visited the Memorial Farm where the Prophet Joseph Smith was born. It was on the July 24 celebration and we had a wonderful time. It is one of the loveliest spots I was ever in and the Smith family living at the farm are my ideal of what a Mormon family ought to be. Of course they should be, for Brother Smith is a grandson of the Prophet's brother, Hyrum. Both Palmyra and the Smith farm in Vermont seem to hold some special appeal to missionaries, for among there many visitors they top the list." Extracts from missionary journal: "Monday, October 3rd, 1927 Arrived at missionary home about 9:30. Registered and was shown to room. Recd. physical exam which required about all forenoon. Lost about 5 to 8 dollars from clothes in the process. Attended meeting at 2 o'clock where we recd. very good instructions from Bro. LeRoy Snow. Went downtown and purchased a few articles of wearing apparel from Cutlers. Attended another good meeting at 8 o'clock p.m. "Tuesday, October 4th Two minutes late for devotional which was held at 7 a.m. Went to Salt Lake Temple at 8 a.m. where we (69 missionaries) went through Temple. Ate lunch at 3 p.m. at Hotel Utah Cafeteria (will know better next time). Came to room and wrote to Mother. Missionaries were all shown through Beehive House by lady in charge there. From there they went to YMIA Headquarters where they were instructed in MIA work by Sister Beesley. From MIA offices they proceeded to Mission home where they were given a class in English grammar (please note it hasn't taken affect yet). 6:15 dined at Whitehall Cafe. Attended night meeting, speaker David O. McKay. He talked on honesty, being true, and chastity. It was very good. Wednesday, October 5th Attended devotional at 7; conducted by Pres. leRoy Snow. He told us of missionary experiences and mistakes that other missionaries have made that we might profit by. Attended 9: o clock meeting. One speaker Adam S. Bennion on How We got the Bible. Visited down town for about 40 minutes. Went over to Deseret Gym with about 30 other Elders for exercises and basketball. This was part of regular schedules. Mark 84-25 Friday, October 7th First day of conference. Opening remarks by Pres. Heber J. Grant. Both meetings very good. Principal themes - appeal to church members to obey, honor and sustain the law. After meeting Sat. afternoon Ellis and I were taken by Bishop Barnhurst for an auto ride through the city. We also visited Liberty Park and from there were taken out to dinner by the Bishop. We also attended the concert given in the evening by the Tabernacle Choir. Tuesday, October 11 We were set apart for our missions today. We were also presented to the First Presidency and received some very good instructions from them. Thursday, October 13 The last class day at the Mission Home. Very fine class conducted by Bro. Melvin J. Ballard. Sub. D&C, Sec. 1. Other very fine classes, especially one on singing by Prof. Stephens and the last class of the course by Bro. David O. McKay. Friday 14 Day of departure to mission field. Spent most of day in preparation. Left S.L.C. at 9: p.m. on U. P. Saturday 15 & Sunday 16 Long, tiresome ride through Wyoming and Nebraska. Very interesting and new though. Beautiful country. Arrived in Chicago about 4:30 p.m. After almost two days and night on train. Did not have opportunity for much sightseeing in Chicago on 17 and 18. Left Chicago for Buffalo, N.Y. at 4:50. All night ride to Buffalo. Arrived in Buffalo at 7:30 Tuesday. Were met at station by gentleman who advised us to see Niagara Falls and go to Toronto from there. Went by street car line from Buffalo to Niagara Falls. Visited Falls and crossed bridge intending to go by bus to Toronto. Were stopped by Canadian Custom officials and after being thoroughly questioned were rejected and deported. Will follow instructions next time. Wednesday 19 Arose early to meet the rest of the company at the R.R. station. Went with them to Niagara and visited custom officer again (nothing doing). He advised us that our only chance was to appeal to Canadian Officer at Ottawa. We wrote to this officer, also to mission headquarters in Toronto. Also wired Bro. Harold G. Reynolds at S.L.C. and explaining our predicament and asking for instructions. Received reply directing us to missionaries in Buffalo and advising us that it might be necessary to remain in Buffalo a few days. Went out and located missionaries who proved to be two lady missionaries. Spent a very enjoyable evening with them. Thursday 20 Moved from Hotel Washington to rooming house on Huron St. Had a very enjoyable visit with Miss Bushman (one of the missionaries). Went to Bro. Chambers who is presiding Elder of Buffalo Branch. Had a piece of pie and with he and his family attended a joint session of the Relief Society and Priesthood. Enjoyed very much the fine spirit of the Saints here in Buffalo. Oh yes, received another wire this time from Canadian Mission asking for details why we were rejected. We had already given them all we could. Friday 21 Went down to Hotel Washington and learned that a message or call had come in. Prop. of Hotel supposed it to be a telegram. We spent about 4 hours trying to trace this message. Finally thinking it might be important and not being able to get any trace of it we wired to Canadian Mission telling them we didn't get the message and giving them our new address. We were invited to Chambers for supper and when we arrived, there was a letter awaiting us from Toronto telling us that they were working to get us into Canada and advising us to work with missionaries here meanwhile. Sunday October 23 Attended the Buffalo Branch Sunday School. Enjoyed it very much, especially the music. Were asked to go out in the country and administer to two of the Saints (ladies) who lived there. Found them anxiously waiting and glad to see us. Was impressed by the faith of these sisters. Were the guests of Bro. and Sister Anderson Sunday afternoon. Attended meeting in the evening where we were asked to speak. Enjoyed the meeting very well after we had finished speaking. Monday Oct 24 Went up to Chambers at 10:00 (no mail). Visited shipyards and other places of interest until 3: when we went out to Andersons by invitation. We spent the evening visiting Niagara Falls. The sight of these falls under the high power spotlights with there different color combinations, which are continually changing, is a sight never to be forgotten. Tuesday, November 8 Received a telephone call this morning from Pres. Hart. Told us he had written us about ten days ago. Sent my money and advised us to go and apply again to enter Canada. We went to post office and learned that this letter had been sent back to Toronto. We came back to our room and I called Pres. Hart. I learned that he had just recd. said letter and was sending it to me together with other letters from home. Hope to get through tomorrow. Wednesday, November 9 Did not get mail until three o'clock. Recd. letters OK. we were successful in getting through today. Were treated very well by custom officers. Conversed with them on Mormonism and promised to send them a Book of Mormon. Arrived in Toronto about 10:00 p.m. where we met Pres. Hart and a number of the elders. Stayed at mission home. Thursday, Nov. 10 Hurried to catch train. Rode all day through beautiful farming and timber country. Arrived in Montreal at 5:10 p.m. Left Montreal for St. John at 7:00 p.m. Rode all night through beautiful forests, woodlands, farming districts, etc. Friday 11 Morning finds us about halfway through Maine still in this same beautiful type of country. About 10:00 a.m. we cross into the Province of New Brunswick. Arrived at St. John at 11:45 a.m. Went immediately to the abode of Pres. Armstrong and companion. Recd. instructions from Pres. Armstrong. Saturday Nov. 12 Attended Priesthood meeting together with Elders. Elders Beecher, Purser and myself visited Sister Baun and were guests to her home for supper. Sunday Nov. 13 It was announced in Sunday School that Elders Beecher and Wilson would talk in the evening meeting. We (the four Elders) were the guests of Sister Baun again this afternoon for supper. Meeting was very good this evening. All four of us had a turn preaching. Monday Nov. 14 Left for Fredricton at 7:15 with Pres. Armstrong. Fredricton is about 65 miles up the St. John river. Were met at the station by Elders Grover and Durham. Tuesday, Nov. 15 Elder Durham left for St. John. I am staying in his place with Elder Grover. We came to Woodstock today to visit investigators. Rode up with our landlord and wife. Wednesday, Nov. 16 Walked out of Woodstock a mile or two on our way to ferry. Were picked up there by two gentlemen whom we rode with to said ferry. We gave them a brief history of our Church and told them what we believed in. Walked to ferry and shouted to ferryman on the other side. Succeeded in finding our friends, Mr. and Mrs. Fred Manuel without difficulty. Spent enjoyable evening with them. Thursday Nov. 17 Walked about 5 miles on the way to Fredericton arrived about 2:00. Were lucky to get a ride most of the way. Spent remainder of day getting a new boarding place and room. Moved to our new room on 279 Brunswick St. Monday 21 Nov. First real day of tracting. Had some interesting experiences and conversations. Met people who were very friendly, who were openly hostile, and all the way in between. Wednesday 23rd Recd. letter from mother yesterday. Spent forenoon in studying, afternoon in tracting. We had a fine visit with a Baptist Minister, left with him Book of Mormon and some pamphlets. Recd. letter from Dill tonight. Sunday Dec 4th Conference today. Had some fine meetings, Pres. Hart was principal speaker. He was somewhat disappointed in attendance. December From conference went to Fredericton, N.B. Labored in Fredricton for two weeks till holidays. Stayed at Mrs. Waterhouse's place. Spent time in tracting, visiting, studying, etc. Went to Saint John for holidays. Elder Grover went on to Halifax. The five of us elders, Armstrong, Durham, Purser, Beecher, and I were in Saint John for two weeks during holidays. Had some fine visits with saints, also fine meetings. Was privileged to speak in meetings twice during holidays. Ate Christmas dinner at Browns. January 1928 Came back to Fredericton with Elder Grover. Weather very cold. Did some tracting during January, some visiting, and more studying. Finished reading "Vitality of Mormonism", :The Exiles", "Saturday Night Thoughts" and "Book of Mormon". February Elder Grover was transferred to Nova Scotia and Elder Durham came up from Saint John to labor with me. Still cold but we were able to do some tracting. Also had some fine visits with friends. Spent a week in Woodstock and Lower Southhampton with friends. Enjoyed the trip very much and resolved to return again to Southhampton and hold some meetings with our friends there. Returned to Fredericton Tuesday, Feb. 14th. Have done some tracting since returning and a lot of studying. February 21 Plenty cold day. Recd. letter and check book from Dill today. Also letter from a girl friend. Had fine visit with elderly couple on Saint John Street. 22nd Spent most of day studying. Have read the D. and C. about five hours this evening. Made a visit to one of Elder Durham's friends and placed a Book of Mormon (Mr. Briggs). During the last six months of my mission I was District President, it is comparable to what Zone Leader is now. All during my mission there was a choice girl in my mind. I had a constant prayer in my mind that she would wait for me and, not only that but that she would have me when I returned. I was able to persuade her, and 32 years and 13 children later I look back on the happiest period of my life. The first time I remember seeing her she had ridden Old Teddy over to our Canyon home on an errand. Her brown hair was in two big braids, she had beautiful brown eyes and rosy cheeks and it came to me "She is the girl for me". Home from my mission in the fall of 1929, I did a lot of pondering about devising to increase my financial capabilities and finally settled upon the idea of a saw mill in Wilson Canyon. There was an old steam engine available near Monroe. We purchased it, dubbed it "Old Geronimo". Elliot Barney helped me drive it part way home as he had had previous experience with a steam engine. Don and Rulon helped by gathering wood in a pickup for fuel. We drove it all the way to Wilson Canyon by its own slow power. It took the better part of 2 weeks to come 80 miles. In the spring of 1930 Lilith was back from Dixie College, living at Grandview farm some four miles south of Wilson Canyon. It is remarkable how numerous and varied means were found to negotiate this short distance. Eight miles round trip, just a short little hike for the evening. To make a short story long, we were married in the Saint George Temple, April 22, 1931 on my birthday, so that I could remember when it occurred. The next four or five years were very happy ones. With my brothers, we had built a sawmill at Wilson Canyon and worked together as "Wilson Bros. Sawmill". Our little 2-room cabin was built with the first lumber we sawed. We first lived with my family at Wilson Canyon. That winter we spent with Lilith's folks at Hatch where Russell was born February 9, 1932. The next August we moved into our cabin sans doors and windows. Virginia and Lloyd were welcome to our family April 30, 1933, and July 27, 1935, both born in our cabin at Wilson Canyon. Our sawmill operation was fairly successful, but I had dreams of a bigger and more efficient sawmill located at Hatch. Lilith asked why I wanted to leave the Wilson Bros. Mill since it was adequately employing the Wilson Bros. My reply - "Just think of what a bigger mill would mean? How many more men could work and how much good would come of it?" At the end of this period (Spring of 1936) we moved to Hatch and initiated the building of a larger sawmill which has been the cause of much toil and tribulation, and the means of our livelihood, directly or indirectly, ever since. We called it Mammoth Lumber Co. It was a partnership with Jess Wilson, Pres.; B.H. Harrison, Secy.; Dill Wilson, Ellis Wilson, Elliot Barney, M.H. Barnhurst & Eldon L. Porter participating. With borrowed money, we obtained machinery from many sources - anyplace we could fine needed equipment. Boilers came from an old cheese factory in Logan. By summer of 1937 we were operating efficiently and had added a planer with shed and office and it looked like smooth sailing; then suddenly B.H. Harrison died of a heart attack and I was laid up with back trouble and went to Richfield for treatment. Can you imagine the impact when I was informed by a well-meaning friend, Ed Lewis, that Mammoth Lumber Co. had burned to the ground (July 7, 1939). All this is less than a week. But we were not liked. Some members pulled out. We reorganized with Eldon Porter, Ellis Wilson, Early Sawyer, Orlas Riggs, Wiley Huntington, John Barnhurst, John Meecham, Garth Heap and myself with L.L. Porter, Secretary. We got advice and a loan from the Church cooperative security Assn. to rebuild. Eldon and I set out to find the needed equipment; in Salt Lake City we were advised to go to Portland where good used sawmill machinery was available, so we drove straight through, taking turns driving day and night. By the time we reached Portland at nightfall on the second day, we were ready to turn in and stopped at the first motel we saw. We tumbled right into bed. In the middle of the night, we were awakened by a terrible shaking and siren shrieks. I immediately recognized it as an approaching train, but Eldon had never slept where one was an jumped wildly out of bed and with pants in hand said, "Jess, Jess get up and get out of here, that darned thing is going to run right over us". I restrained him as the freight train lumbered within a few feet of the door. Our slumbers were disturbed several more times that night. When morning came and we surveyed the situation, we found that a second railroad track was within two blocks of us. I now quote from a letter I wrote Lilith, "This morning have been negotiating with General Mach Co. with the aid of Pres. Bean of the Portland Stake. We are very pleased with the American #4 Mill and finished the deal. The freight will be cut in half by shipping with some Church Welfare stuff to Salt Lake City." The Church Welfare program supplied us with commodities to subsist upon. The men accepted a pittance of cash, what commodities they needed, and waited for the balance. Prices at that time were: flour $2.65 a 100, cereal 10 lb. for 35 cents, sugar 10 lbs for 65 cents; carrots and onions 1 cent per lb; canned goods 9 through 16 cents per can, except for red salmon and raspberries at 20 cents. One morning in 1948 a bombshell exploded. It was in the form of three men who "having authority" called at our home and when the door was opened in response to their knock, their leader in the form of Stake President A.L. Elmer, ignited the fuse thusly, "Well, there's no need of beating around the bush, we want you to be Bishop of the Hatch Ward". The next eleven years were spent between sawmill, livelihood, Bishop responsibilities, family life best part. By the end of this period all of our family were here -- all thirteen very choice people. At present we have four who have fulfilled missions, Russell, Virginia, Lloyd and Richard, with Wayne still in the field. Through all the struggles of raising a family, gaining a livelihood and sending children to school and on missions, it has been wonderful. Jess's history, either written or dictated by him ends here as he had increasing difficulty with speech, so I will add some: The lowest yearly payroll for all Mammoth Lumber Company employees after rebuilding was in 1941 -- $6,492.00. The highest in 1956, $62,200.00. This was the last year the sawmill operated. Crofts Pearson Industries persuaded Eldon that the thing to do was shut down Mammoth Lumber Co. sawmill and devote the entire time to logging. Jess very reluctantly went along (after Eldon proposed that he and Jess split their ownership and he take the logging equipment and Jess the sawmill). Eldon developed leukemia and had to retire. Prices for logging fell. Russell had back problems and Jess developed Parkinsons disease. So they sold the logging equipment to C.P.I., except for one cat, which we kept to use at Wilson Canyon. Jess spent 6 weeks in L.D.S. Hospital in the summer of 1970 to get experimental treatment for Parkinsonism with L-Dopa. It did help, but his health continued to deteriorate. Our love and appreciation for each other seemed to grow as his health declined. He was so chagrined and embarrassed over having to be helped so much; yet "eternally grateful" as he put it. The summer of 1971 and the building of the Cabin at Wilson Canyon was a memorable one for him. He often spoke of it and our happy days spent there together. Kent, Hugh, Karl, Robert and Carolyn all joined our missionary force. Church positions not already mentioned: Teacher for Priests, Adult Sunday School and M.I.A. classes, M.I.A. and Sunday School superintendent; Counselor in Stake High Priest Quorum, Chairman of Stake Genealogical Committee and Home Teacher. He was Garfield Co. G.O.P. delegate to the state convention several years; ran for State Legislature - missed by small margin. Soon after Garkane brought electricity to Hatch, he and Neil Clove spearheaded the Hatch Water System. He donated the land for the location of the well and storage tank. Our home already had a modern bathroom by installation of an electric pump in the well. It was the first one in town. Hobbies: Fishing, hunting, gardening, prospecting, singing, and playing the trumpet, Aaronic Priesthood outings and trips to basketball games at B.Y.U. He and his counselors were known as the "Singing Bishopric". He always assumed his rightful position as head of his family. He was firm yet loving and exceptionally appreciative. He would never allow any of his family to speak disrespectfully or cross to anyone, especially me. He was the easiest man in the world to cook for and was generous with his appreciation. Never once can I remember of him complaining about food. He liked whole wheat bread and would look at freshly baked loaves and say "What a beautiful sight" or "Isn't that a sight for sore eyes" or "What more could a man want." We even finished up the sauerkraut. He had a keen sense of humor, a sparkle in his eyes, and an unforgettable smile. He was a faithful Latter-Day Saint, devoted to L.D.S. principles and put church work first. When he became Bishop and was expected to be at Saturday meetings in Stake or Region, his boys lost their first-day fishing or hunting partner. He was always a sweetheart to me; remembered me with various gifts - sometimes a rock he had found while watering, some wild flowers; a new set of china, a new dress after new babies, a set of oak chairs which he said would last my lifetime; a watch, and a new wedding ring for "my sweetheart". For 46 years we were privileged to be together, raise our family with pride, joy and love. Outline of Talk Given by Jess Wilson in Father's Day Program in Sunday School "What My Son Means to Me" I have 8 sons, two who have filled missions, 2 priests, 1 teacher, and 1 deacon. Temptations of young men to miss Priesthood Recently my youngest son watched us as we filed out the door to go to Priesthood Meeting, and turning to his mother said, "Mom, when can I go to Priesthood with Dad?" What better reason could I have to live to be a good example? Recently another son handing me his report card said "Dad, here's my report card. It is bad again. What do you think is wrong with me - heredity or environment?" Heredity is established at birth. I feel that none of us would admit ours is not good. Environment we can do something about. I expect my sons to believe that they have both a good heritage and environment, and if environment is not just right, to do something about it. Marks on a report card can be controlled. We make our own. ONE OF EUNICE'S MEMORIES OF CHILDHOOD Our parents demanded obedience - they were quite strict with us. I remember the worst licking I ever got and I deserved it too. It was when we were living in that old house down there by the road. They were trying to get Jess to go outside for something. It was dark and he was scared. They just worked and worked and worked to get him to go outside. When he finally went to go out, I just went down on all fours and went crawling after him. Boy - that was the maddest father and mother ever were at me. He just screamed and ran. Oh - he was awful little. I guess maybe about four years old. I was three years older; if he was four that would make me seven. I know I was plenty big enough I should have known better.

Interview with Kilburn Wilson about Dad (Ellis)

Contributor: ashlin2008 Created: 3 years ago Updated: 3 years ago

The Life story of Ellis Leroy Wilson As told to George and John by Uncle Kilburn KILBURN: I remember Mother saying that the first 3 years Ellis hardly stopped crying at all. He was so sick all the time. At that time, the church had very few doctors but they had faith doctors, set apart for that purpose so they took him over to Loa to Br. Blackburn there. He gave him a blessing and Mother a blessing. Mother’s health was very bad too at that time. While Ellis was really young he got scarlet fever and it went into his ear. He was left with one ear that would run and had to be syringed out very often. As he got older and went to school in Panguitch he took his syringe and his stuff with him to syringe it out. He took it when he went on his mission but as far as I know it quit while he was on his mission and he never had any more trouble with it. JOHN: He went to Panguitch and stayed in Panguitch while he was in school? KILBURN: Yes. He came home on the weekends usually. He’d walk up. He’d get on a horse and gallop back Sunday afternoon down to the Roller Mill Hill and pile off and the horse would come home and he’d go on. I worked it that way too. It wasn’t very far to walk. [a couple of miles] He didn’t want to take the horse clear [into town] for fear he wouldn’t go home. JOHN: He walked back to Hillsdale? KILBURN: Yes. He usually walked back Friday afternoon after school. There wasn’t much traffic or any way to get back other than walking. He was a very good student and he was a good athlete. He was especially good on the high jump, mile run, cross country run and basketball. He was a sharp shooter. The first year he was at the high school was the only year they had a track team. He went in for high jumping. He won the district. He went to Salt Lake to the state meet. But in the district he also went in for the mile run and he beat all the mile racers too, even the one from Panguitch. But when he got up to Salt Lake the race came off just ahead of the high jump. His coach wouldn’t let him run because the high jump was his specialty. He tied with a four year high school student from somewhere else in Utah for first place. He played basketball all the time. He was put on the team before he’d been down there very long. It kind of threw me into a bad situation because they thought he was such a good athlete I might be the same. They put me right on when I went down there, to go down and practice with the first five. I told them I couldn’t play ball and they soon found it out. GEORGE: Daddy told about going down to Orderville and playing. The spectators were right around the edge of the floor. They would push the players of the opposing team into the stove and jab them with hat pins…. KILBURN: Everything they could think of to foul up. It was George Cooper who got pushed into the stove and got a bad burn down there one night. As far as I know, Ellis didn’t get hurt that night. As far as I know, Ellis didn’t get hurt that way. But he was from Hillsdale. There was a lot of competition, the Panguitch people thought anybody who wasn’t from Panguitch shouldn’t be allowed to do anything. If it hadn’t been for the principal of the school and the coach, he wouldn’t have gotten to do anything either. The coach was a Panguitch man but he was fair and honest, Rouldolf Church. And Poulson was a real fair man. He was imported in there and he gave the ones that weren’t from Panguitch a chance. There was one young Mecham boy from Circleville and Ellis from Hillsdale that were on the main team that took state and a chance to go back to Chicago to play there. But the center, from Panguitch, a big bully, slipped up behind Ellis and tripped him one night as he was coming down from with a big armful of books. He fell and ruined his wrists. He never did get over that, all his life he had trouble with his wrists. That put him out of commission so they didn’t have to take him back to Chicago with them. I don’t know what they did to Mecham, but they didn’t take him either. They didn’t do very well when they got there. They had a big rally and a big time in Panguitch about it when they got home. What wonderful doings! Ben Cameron was one of the local men that made a big speech. He said, “All done by Panguitch people,” he said, “There were others that tried to play but they just couldn’t do it!” He didn’t say why, though. Some old high school players who thought they were better than the team gathered up a team after they got back from Chicago and asked Ellis and Mecham to play on their team. They just Warped those others. Sure put them to shame. JOHN: I remember Daddy always liked to get out and play basketball with the boys and high jump with us. KILBURN: He was a real good shot. You had him on your side and you were purt near sure you’d win. We used to choose up sides and play with the Hatch town fellers. We had a basketball team there in Hillsdale. Dee Wilson was the center, Ellis and Don Wilson were forwards and Rulon Wilson and myself were guards. We used to go to Alton, Hatch and Tropic to play. We could always be sure we’d win. It was your father’s fault, mostly. I got so I was pretty good guard but I couldn’t shoot, couldn’t see the basket, but I could nearly always find your father. When we were playing together on the same side, I’d be up there as a guard and I’d get the ball, I could find him down under the other basket. He’d have a basket before anybody could know what had happened. Br. Seegmiller, soon found out. He said, “Whenever you let those two Wilson boys with those blue shirts on, on the same side you know you’ll get beat.” JOHN: Which Seegmiller was that? KILBURN: Gerald Seegmiller, he lived right over by the mortuary (in St. George). He was a good coach. He did a lot of good. JOHN: Daddy, even when he was pretty old, would still go out and jump the fence down to the fields and that without any trouble. KILBURN: Yes, he used to jump that 5 ft. barbed wire fence around our lot, he didn’t bother to go to the gate very often. He’d hop over the fence. He could see at night like an owl. I’d stumble along trying to follow in his footsteps and he’d just take off on a trot in the dark, didn’t have any trouble at all. One time when we were quite young he was herding sheep for a man. They thought he was up west of East Fork road. He had been all spring. I was working on a gravel job down on Red Canyon Flat. Father was the timekeeper there on that job so we needed Ellis up to the farm to take care of the things up there. Father would ride home every night and tend to the chores. He’d see old George Workman of Panguitch as he’d go by and tell him to bring Ellis in when he came. When he’d go back he’d say, “You take a herder out there and when you come back bring Ellis in.” “Oh,” he says, “He don’t want to come in, he don’t want to quit that job.” It was just too hard on father to have to go home every night and ride clear back down again in the morning. I had to stay and tend to my teams. So come Saturday night I said, “You take the teams and go home and I’ll go get Ellis.” I took father’s saddle horse and went out. I went up on Johnson Bench but there were no sheep anywhere there, anywhere. I couldn’t find him. I went down onto the creek where the road crossed. Cevies had a home down there, a summer place. I asked them if they knew where he was. They said, “Yes, they’d just moved down to Prospect.” That was way down, out west from Widtsoe, way up in the mountains there. They said, “You’ll never be able to find it.” I said, “Well, I’ll go to Widtsoe tonight and stay and I’ll try it tomorrow.” That was just about the time the Panguitch bank had gone busted. I didn’t have any money, father didn’t have any to give me because he couldn’t make out a check or anything. So I went without “purse or script”. I went to a place in Widtsoe and asked a fellow if he’d feed my horse and let me sleep in his hay stack. He tried to get me to come in the house and have supper and sleep in a bed, but I wasn’t that kind of fellow. I stayed out in the haystack. There was a big dance that night in Widtsoe. He came and woke me up after the dance and said, “There’s a Barnhurst from Hatch herding sheep out in that same area where you are trying to find your brother,” He says, “You’ll never find him by yourself but wait and he’ll come and pick you up in the morning when he gets around to it. He’s staying at the hotel tonight.” Father had told me that if I got down to Widtsoe by any hook or crook, to go to the hotel and stay and tell him who I was. He was a great friend of Father’s. He said to tell him we’d send him the money or pay him. But I didn’t. I went, though, the next morning and told Bro. Pinney who I was and said I’d like a breakfast and pay him sometime. That was good enough for him so he gave me breakfast. I talked to Bill Barnhurst. He had him a girlfriend so he wasn’t in any hurry to get away from there. It was 10 or 11 o’clock before we finally got away from Widtsoe, I guess, to go out there. We found Ellis and he was a raring to come home when he heard there was a chance, he wasn’t too crazy about herding as all that. George Workman had never said anything to Ellis about coming in. George’s boy, about Ellis’s age, the two of them were taking care of the sheep, started to cry. He said, “You can’t go off and leave me that way.” I said, “Oh, don’t get too excited, we can call your dad in the morning and tell him to bring you somebody else.” Ellis said, “Yes, we’ll stay and feed you and put you to bed and bed the sheep and then we’ll go home and call your dad to bring a herder out the next morning.” That’s what we did, about 65 miles from home, after dark, to go back through the toolies, one horse. Your Dad wouldn’t ride with me he just took a hold of the horse’s tail and said, “Head her for home, let her have her reins.” Finally she came to the road that went down to Widtsoe. There was a cut off road from the head of Red Canyon to Widtsoe. When she got there I offered to “ride or tie”. I told him I’d gallop on up the road and he could come. He wouldn’t do that. He said, “No, I don’t need to ride.” I think he finally did, but he ran that way almost all the way home. There it was 2-3 o’clock the next morning. I never saw anyone with as much endurance for things like that. Though he was very frail, he never did, I guess, weigh over 135 lbs. in his life, or right recently if he did. GEORGE: He got up to 150 lbs. just before he died. KILBURN: He was very active and spry and a hard worker, a lot harder worker than his physical being called for. JOHN: I went to the bank when Russell Wilson was up here and was talking to him. He made the comment that Daddy was the hardest working man he ever met. I was glad to realize that. KILBURN: That’s something to Russell to say. Like his father, he was very good with water. So when we worked on the farm I thought I’d never like to irrigate so I’d leave that up to Father and Ellis. I’d lots rather run the teams, plow and grain drill and mowing machine and such as that, let them do the work. When I was left with the farm all alone I wished I had learned to irrigate a little better. But I was told I was pretty good at it when I had to be, at that. I think I inherited a little bit of it from Father; he was a genius with water. GEORGE: I think nearly every farmer in this valley tried to get Dad to do their irrigating for them. KILBURN: Grandfather even said, “I always get your daddy [Ellis] to do my grain the first time over to get it set right so I can handle it from there on. He’s sure a water boss.” A few things on the lighter side. When your daddy was very young before I was old enough to know, in fact before I was out of Mother’s arms, we lived in Henrieville one summer. Father was teaching school there. Mother said he got restless in church one afternoon and wanted to go outside. She let him go outside to play. In a little while in he came on a stick horse up the aisle a galloping as fast as a three year old could come. He cut up some capers, keeled over, and said, “Whoops, the horse bucked me off.” She didn’t let him down anymore. When they were living in Hillsdale they lived in a little log house right on the turn of the road just as you came up into Hillsdale. Aunt Mary Johnson lived up at the other end of the street which was about a block away. Ellis just loved her. He’d get away and he’d head up there. When Mother would come to get him he’d hide under Aunt Mary’s skirts or her apron or something. When he saw her coming he’d say, “Hide, Villa’s coming.” It’s kinda common for the first child to call their mother by her first name because everyone else does. His first education was there in Hillsdale in that one roomed schoolhouse, one teacher. He was a real good student in English, mathematics, probably everything else, but those two subjects especially, I know. He took that mathematics from his father too, his father was the best mathematician around I guess. I never heard of any better. When Ellis was going to school at Panguitch High School, the math teacher there would get him to come in every morning before school (he taught woodwork as well) and he’s give him the lesson to show him how to work the problems before he went to teach it. The same thing happened after Ellis was out of school and I was there. He didn’t know mathematics too good. He was a good woodwork teacher and penmanship teacher, he taught penmanship really well. They had a problem come up there. I don’t know who brought it in but it went around the school. Poulson was a good mathematician but he gave it up, couldn’t work it. Old John Crosby went to school over at Beaver with Father and thought he was so much smarter and better than Father, thought he could work it, but he couldn’t. So that weekend Ellis got a copy of it when he went home. We were living down in Panguitch then, only, Father was batching it up at Hillsdale, and Ellis went up this weekend to help him with the chores and work Saturday on the fence. That night, as they were eating supper, he told father about this problem, and told him what it was and that there wasn’t any of them that could work it. The next morning when they got up for breakfast, father told him what the answer to the problem was. He said, “When did you work that?” Father said, “Oh, I woke up in the night and couldn’t go back to sleep. I thought of the problem so I run her through my head and worked it out.” JOHN: Daddy mentioned something to me about that problem. I wish I’d had enough sense to write down what the problem was. Seems to me it had to do with telephone poles and heights of shadows or something to that effect. He said that Grandpa had worked it out in his head. KILBURN: In the night. Well, when he took it down and the answer to it, why then old John Crosby in a few days said he’d worked it. JOHN: He started out with the answer and worked back. KILBURN: He had to tell that in Father’s funeral out at Hatch, how he’d worked that problem. Pulson said then, he said, “Boy, your daddy could have gone anywhere with mathematics if he’d gone on to school for that.” He was intending to go to school. He just taught to get a little to go on, but he met mother and changed his plans. He was going out as an engineer. He worked down in the lower country, Waweep country surveying one summer, for 50 cents a day and board. GEORGE: I’ve heard Dad talk about that problem too. He didn’t take much credit for it. He said Grandpa was… KILBURN: Didn’t bother him. I probably wouldn’t have been able to remember it to try out to work it in the night. I’d have had to have it written out, more than just told through once. Ellis was a great reader. Read the Bible through before he was very old. Every time he could get a few minutes to read, why he’d have something to read. Usually, a lot of the time, it was a church book. When he came back from his mission he had made a study of the Book of Mormon and fixed out a lot of questions and answers to put in his books, on sheets in the front of it for his investigators. (Questions for the investigator and the reference where to find the answer) He was a very early riser. He got up in the mornings. I had a hard time getting up in the mornings. I could stay up at night better but he was an early riser. He’d go out and have cows milked before the sun came out so the flies wouldn’t bother them and switch their tails into his face. I guess before I was born, your daddy was 2½ years older than me, they lived in the west room of Grandfather and Grandmother’s house there in Hillsdale. One time Grandfather was in the other room making a fire before daylight. He could hear Ellis trying to get his folks to let him get up. They said, “Oh, it’s not time to get up yet.” Grandfather hollered in and he said, “I’ve got a nickel for a little boy that gets up early.” So Ellis piled out and got his nickel. GEORGE: Did you do a lot of logging while you were boys or did you get into that after you got older? KILBURN: Older. Ellis and Father or Eli (Wilson) or some of them used to go up Wilson Canyon and chop. [They used] The old cross-cut saw, for that little sawmill there. I did the logging some with a team and wagon. When they moved and went into the big mill in Hatch in 1937, I bought the truck. We fixed it up for logging. That summer they used to give us the buck timber they had cut if we’d take care of the other. So Carroll and I logged out on East Fork with the old team. I’d skid the logs together and we’d load them on his truck. Then while he was gone with that load I’d skid up another load. We got a big pile of logs there. We had 80,000 feet on the yard to be sawed up for us. We had it paid for by the work we’d done around the mill. Then the fire came in 1939 and burned everything up but our logs. I hadn’t ought to tell this I guess, but they talked me into letting them have the logs to build up the mill and they’d pay me afterwards. Afterwards has never come. I bought the cat in October in 1939. I went up and went to logging for the Co-operative mill on Strawberry Creek, pretty well up near the top. This Co-operative fellow was from Cedar and Hurricane. Ellis worked for them up there too. Later in the fall when they got the sawmill built down in Hatch, Jess Wilson and Eldon Porter came up and talked me into quitting my job there and going over and logging for them to pile up some logs for winter. I still haven’t got my pay from them either. They used the money and bought themselves a cat ‘for fear I wouldn’t stay logging’, they said. But even after that I logged for them a while and did get enough to keep going. Ellis used to work on the state highway breaking rocks and things in the summer time and helping out with the snow removal in the winter time, whenever they needed help. He did this for several years, I guess, up until the time he went on his mission. Then I got the job. I worked it for about 7 years. We got permits out on the East Fork, both of us did, to run cattle. I got the first one and a few years later he bought another fellow out with a bigger permit. We run our cattle out on East Fork. We’d go out and look after them some in the summer time, but mostly we’d just leave them and go out for the roundup. The cowboys from “down under the dumps” (Tropic) with their fancy horses and lariats would come out there and us old hillbilly’s from over to Hillsdale would come out at the same time. They had lots fancier and better outfits and thought they were lots greater cowboys. Old ranger Cook was kinda making remarks about Ellis one day. He said, “If he can’t head ‘em on the horse he lumps off and heads ‘em a foot.” And that was true too. Especially when they’d get into the timber or something, then he’d jump off his horse and dash in and round ‘em out. GEORGE: I can remember rounding up the cattle in the spring of the year to take them out in the East Fork. Never did get to go beyond Wilson Canyon, there where Calvin (Wilson) lived. I never have been up Wilson Canyon very far. KILBURN: We’d take them up Wilson Canyon in the spring of the year and bring them back in the fall. JOHN: That was the pass you went through to get over on to East Fork isn’t it? KILBURN: Yes, the right hand fork of Wilson Canyon or the south fork. You could get through on the North Fork but it was a seizure [challenging]. I tried coming down there the darkest night there ever was on horseback. I’d never been through it before nor since. Had three dogie lambs in my arms. I got through with one and kept a worrying for fear a big dry tree would slide down where it was too steep to get back out. I made it through. JOHN: I remember those cattle drives, too. I always kinda wondered how come we were always a foot even though there were horses around the place. How come us boys always chased those cows on foot and never did ride horses. KILBURN: We had this one little mare, we’d gotten several mares over in Wayne County to raise some mules with when he had his jack. [We had] one little mare, we called her Hippy, and she was hipped. She wasn’t very big but oh, she was a corker. She just had more…she was built like your dad, with lots of endurance. She was fast too. This old fellow from Panguitch, on a horse big enough to be a work horse [which] he couldn’t get more than a little jog out of it, was bawling Ellis out about coming out there on East Fork to round up cattle on a thing like that. Dee heard him and said, “I’ll make you a bet, Ed.” He said, “Ellis can start out on that little mare and you can start out on that old horse and when that old horse gives out, why he can turn around and come back.” The fellow shut up. JOHN: Now you mention about those dogie lambs I can remember when we lived in Hillsdale we always had one or two dogie lambs around the place that we’d pick up after the herds had gone by. One of them, when he got big, was a ram. He kept everyone, all the kids anyway, from going to the outhouse because he was too mean. KILBURN: There were some funny things that happened there alright. We had a bunch of sheep in later years. We had them in that lot just north of the home across the street. There was a ram in that bunch. We were just putting them in one day and Agnus [Wilson] came along. He took for her. It was kinda comical before we got between them. She didn’t think so, though. Those things [rams] can sure hit hard. I used to work for Joe Elder down on his ranch quite a little bit. He called me up one day and said I was going to have to come down and help him, he’d hurt his back. I got down there and he said he was taking out a couple of 5 gallon buckets of oats to put out on the ice for his sheep. He said he stooped over and was pouring out the [oats] and the old ram got him. He was really down and out. GEORGE: When they are around it pays to keep an eye on them. ` KILBURN: Boy, I’ll say it does! You don’t want to turn your back on them! Shall I tell you a joke on your mother and Anita? Anita and Izola [Wilson] were playing on the path down by the woodpile as I went by. I heard them: Izola said, “Well, I know that’s right because my mama said so and she’s the oldest.” Anita thought a moment and she said, “Well anyway, my Momma’s the biggest!” Ellis spent one summer down in North Fork [canyon] helping build a road, the road that goes over Cedar Mountain to Cedar, to a coal mine down in there. Of course, he got in on a lot of those things, didn’t pay much money and he got beat out of his wages when it did. That’s what happened that summer, mostly. He took a team, Carroll was just a big boy then but he got him to go along too, and worked there all summer. [They] brought home a load of coal. That’s about all they got out of it, that and his board. JOHN: Sounds kind of a familiar story. KILBURN: That’s it exactly. He got taken because he was so free and good natured. I went down one Saturday in his place. For some reason or other a bunch [of the workers] came out on Friday [including Ellis]. I’d gone to Henryville to a dance and I didn’t get home until about daylight. Your Dad started telling me what he wanted me to do to fix up his things to take back next week. I said, “You just stay here and do that yourself and I’ll go up and work there today.” I hadn’t had any sleep and, boy, I just about couldn’t make it. I wasn’t used to going without sleep. That’s all I worked up there. Beautiful place to spend your summers but it’s a bad place to winter Ellis was a really good missionary. He didn’t tell me much about his mission but I got it from other people, some of his converts and that. I guess he had a really good success in baptisms. I don’t know how many he had. There was one family he baptized that moved to Mesa. I was going to go down to the temple and Ellis wanted me to look them up and see them. There was no one there but one big girl who was a little girl when he was out [on his mission], the folks were gone somewhere. I told her who I was and she said, “Oh, we just worship Elder Wilson!” or “Ellis Wilson”, I guess they’d finally got to calling him. He was the one that brought them into the church. I got a letter from a fellow up there [Canada, where Ellis served his mission.], when I was the stake Genealogical Chairman. [The man] had gotten the names of the stake chairmen I guess, someway, and he was doing genealogical work in Ontario [Canada]. Your dad came out home and I said, “That’s one that you baptized, wasn’t it?” He said, “No, I baptized the rest of the family but I didn’t baptize him, he was a little boy.” He’d had a companion, Elder Little, I’d heard him tell about this before, who was just about ready to go home and he was feeling bad that he’d never baptized anybody. So he said, “I talked this boy into letting Elder Little baptize him so he could say he’d baptized one anyway.” Well, he said, “When you write back you ask him if Elder Little baptized him.” He wrote right back and said, “No, Elder Little didn’t baptize me, Elder Wilson baptized me.” So he wasn’t the boy. GEORGE: There was a family back there somewhere that Dad got Christmas cards from every year until he died, Batchelder or something like that. KILBURN: Probably that family. That’s kinda close to this fellow. Anyway, he must have baptized quite a lot. He and Jess Wilson [cousin] went out at the same time. Jess was heralded as The Wonder everywhere and Ellis wasn’t. Jess was put in as the district president and really had a big swath. What I thought, from all the reports, was that he must have been doing just about all of it. His wife told me a few years ago, she said, “Why, Jess never baptized anyone while he was on his mission.” GEORGE: I remember Dad telling of at least one companion. He had to go out alone because his companion wouldn’t go out. He’d go out and work and his companion would stay in and study or something. KILBURN: Golly, that’s a familiar story. I had never heard him tell that. I had one of those companions, though. They’d moved him from place to place. We weighed about 250 pounds and wasn’t any taller than I was. He got out on the field to play baseball on Saturday; a bunch of the Elders got together down in the states somewhere to play. He fell and broke his ankle. So the mission president took him into Minnesota and nursed him back. He figured he’d see if I could give him a workout. He figured if anybody could, I guess he figured I would. I was quite mean with my companions when they wouldn’t work. So he sent him up to me. He’d been out longer than I had but he came up as a junior companion,. He wouldn’t work. But the funny thing about it is, he could get that old crutch and he could go down to the store and stand around there all day if I’d go down with him into town, shopping and looking around, but he wouldn’t go tracting. He never did go tracting with me more than an hour and a half in 3½ months. I had him the longest I had any companion. Finally I got permission from the mission president to go tracting alone, just leave him [home] to toot his horn. He was a musician, and a letter writer. I don’t think he even studied much. His name was Elder Smart. Soon after he was transferred back down into the States I saw where an Elder Smart got put in as a District President. When the mission president, President Richards and Sister Richards came up for a conference, I was talking to Sister Richards. I said, “Was that Elder Thomas Smart that is the district president down there?” She said, “No, our Mr. Smart couldn’t be a district president, he’s never learned to work yet.” She said, “He’s caused Father more trouble and heartache than all the rest of the missionaries put together.” He’d brag about his dad dying when he was a babe in arms, I guess he got killed or something. He was raised by his grandfather, the richest man in Idaho. He said, “Why I’d never even gone around the house to get a bucket of coal without I took my bicycle to haul it back around on.” He wouldn’t go to bed before 2 or3 o’clock in the morning because he’d played in an orchestra and he couldn’t go to sleep before that time a day. I said, “If you’d get out and work for a day, go to bed at nights for 2 or 3 nights you could go to sleep.” I didn’t know your father had that trouble, its sure miserable. ******************* GEORGE: What about all these chicken fights, rooster fights? AUNT RUTH: Every morning when they’d wake up Ellis and Kilburn would get out and hop on one leg and have a little fight, rooster fights we’d call them. That’s what it was, they’d crow and they’d fool around. It was just a comedy; that was all. UNCLE KEN: The way we used to play the rooster fight you had to hold your ear and one leg up. You hop around on one leg and hold one ear. You’d bump into each other to see who could make the other drop his other leg down, knock them off balance. ******************** [Kilburn was about 3 yrs. old when Grandpa, (George Hyrum Wilson Jr.), went on his first mission.] KILBURN: That’s close to the age I was when he [grandpa] went on his first mission and I don’t remember when he left. Ruth was born about 2½ months after he left on his first mission. GEORGE: Who took care of the farm while he was gone? KILBURN: We didn’t have any farm nor anything else. We borrowed money from his sisters. I was getting quite old before it got paid off, that first mission. Mother took in washings and her people [Deuels] helped us out. We went back to Escalante and stayed with them. Those missions were longer then, they usually kept them out 3 years but they didn’t keep him that long. All the time he was there he never met a member of the church nor anybody that wanted to be one. Boy! That was a hard mission at the time! JOHN: Where was he? KILBURN: That was the Dakotas. Cold! Bismarck seemed to be a big shadow at the time. Uncle John, [John T. Wilson], my grandfather’s brother, went to Panguitch the day that Father came home from his first mission. It was in the winter time and it was cold. They drove down there in a wagon and picked him and his belongings up and brought him on up. We’d go outside and listen for the old iron tires on the snow. Finally we could hear them coming. It wasn’t too long after that ‘till Father walked in. He’d gotten tired of waiting and had come on ahead. I guess we’d heard them for 6 miles down the line that cool, clear night; the squeak of those old iron tires on the snow. We lived in a little, old, two room shack right there on the point of the hill as you come up into town, fireplace in each end of the house. Ruth had been sleeping with Mother and of course she slept with Mother that night too. She woke up the next morning and looked over and said, “I want that strange man to get out of this bed with us!” I just remember how hard he tried to get her to like him and get acquainted with him. That day he carried her around and by night she was in love with him, acquainted and accepted him. But, “I want that man to get out of bed!” When Father went on that mission, as I said I couldn’t quite remember it but he drove a freight team down to Marysville to get his way to Marysville and then he went up on the old Marysville Creeper from there to Salt Lake on his way out. He had an awfully hard time in that mission, because there was nobody to … there was one family named Weller that were Seventh Day Adventist and they were friendly to him. They had some large young ladies, 2 or 3 of them and they had hopes … the only reason they were friendly with him was that they had hopes they could convert him to their church, fact is they said that’s what they did. Father was a fairly good singer for just a common fellow and they gave him one of their song books. Mother played for all the Sunday Schools and meetings and things on the organ quite a lot as she was growing up and the two of them together sang quite good. They used to sing quite a little bit. They learned and sang quite a lot of those songs. I remember them as we were growing up there in Hillsdale. It was quite interesting. We had, as I said, no money but we had a happy life. People lived a carefree life. Those long cold winters, if we didn’t have a party staged in somebody’s home, why every once in a while one or two of the neighbors would come in and visit with us in the evening and we’d pop a little corn or make a batch of candy or something. Stretch … stretch candy [taffy] was usually the case then, with molasses or honey. The whole town of young people, amounting to quite a variation of ages from 10-12 to 20 or maybe 30 would get together. We’d meet at a house and have a party. They’d play charades, they’d give readings, just have a wonderful, good time. Ellis was one of the leaders in that. He had a keen memory and he could memorize. He could recite many pieces of poetry. I wish I had one that I used to pretty well know written down so I could give it to you but I don’t. He was always one of the lights of the party. He had a keen mind for charades and for everything that came along. Uncle Dee, Uncle Eli and Eunice stand out in my mind as the young people who were the most efficient at the parties. Aunt Becky, [wife of Jess Wilson, Sr.] was a widow for over 50 years. We had it in her house quite a lot because they had quite a bunch of young people, about half of the young people of the town were there so that was where we held the parties quite often. She was brilliant. She had been a school teacher and for working crossword puzzles and giving readings and things she was superior, almost, to anyone I’ve ever heard of. We liked to go there. We used to go there and play with her boys in the daytime. Dill Wilson was about Ellis’s age. They didn’t seem to…Ellis didn’t take to Dill for some reason, they didn’t seem to be of the same type, didn’t seem to like the same things so much. They had an older brother, Wellington, about two years older and Ellis and he got along really well together. They played together a lot. They were real buddies. On July the 24th, I cannot tell you the year, but every July the 24th the whole town would go up into Wilson Canyon and have a big celebration and picnic for the whole town. There was a big tree there with huge limbs, a big log tree. The older people would put up swings for the younger ones and us middle aged young ones would even climb the mountain. We’d have a lot of fun there. That was the tradition. It was the custom that all of the town, old and young got in their wagons and took our food and went up there to spend the day. Well this special day we were on the dry farm. Eli was two years older. He wasn’t one of the big boys yet but he was a little older. He mounted his horse and took his .22 and rode on ahead of the rest of us. He stopped at the canyon where Uncle Jess and his family lived. They got to talking and battering each other about which could make the best shots. An old chicken coup was under the trees right on the side hill from their house. So they made a mark on the door of the chicken coup and made a few shots; tried their luck at that. Then after they’d quit a little while they got to talking about it again and kinda still weren’t satisfied which was the winner, or something, so they decided to make another shot. At least to determine the marksman, I guess. Maybe they were going to shoot more than that, but anyway, there was only one shot fired. That one Uncle Jess fired and when it hit the chicken coup door they heard a thud of somebody falling inside the coup. They rushed up and found Wellington. He had gone in to dig the lead out where it had gone through the door and into the back of the coup. It caught him right in the head. He lived, as I recall, for 2 or 3 hours. There was a telephone over at the dry farm and they called us. Eli had to go back over to Hillsdale, Uncle Jess’s folks didn’t have a phone but he galloped on his horse back down there to get out the sad news. Father immediately mounted the old work horse with Ellis on behind and hit across the flat to the canyon. I think they got there before Wellington died so he got to see him but that was a real sadness in Ellis’s life. It took him quite a while to get over that. He took it worse than anybody of the very immediate family, I’m sure. [Ellis was about 10 yrs old.] Then he took to playing with Don and me after that. Don was younger than I was by a year or such, but he still didn’t go to Dill for a real buddy. Don was a real likeable, fine fellow. We always got along well with him. In the summer time for our parties we’d go up in the trees and build up a big bon fire. Quite often we’d roast potatoes to go with our sandwiches and things we’d taken along. We’d play games. It got so a few of the young people from Hatch would come down and join us. We’d have a bigger party out in the hills at night. As I have said, Ellis had very poor health all his life. This time he was having a lot of trouble with nasal [polyps], a growth in his nose. It was when I was 12 so he’d have been about 15, in that neighborhood. The folks took him to Panguitch to have them cut out. They left me there on the ranch to take care of it. It was the fall of the year, the time for the digging of potatoes and carrots and storing them. They were supposed to have been back that night. This was before we had the telephone, no, we had the telephone at the farm, that’s right, because they tried to call me to tell me that they couldn’t make it back and for me to go to Hillsdale to spend the night but I was out milking the cows or doing something. They couldn’t get in touch with me so they left word for Jim Johnson’s family, who had the telephone in Hillsdale, to try to get in touch with me, but they didn’t. I’ll admit I was a little bit scared, the first night to stay alone on the old dry farm, but I did a lot more those young years. So I rushed into the house after I got my chores done and went to bed before it got too dark in hopes I’d get to sleep before dark. Along in the night the phone finally woke me up. They said they’d been ringing and ringing to try to get me to tell me to come down to Hillsdale to stay at Grandpa’s place. Ordinarily we always turned our horses out at night so we didn’t have any around, but I’d kept my little pony in the little pasture, ten acre pasture, so I went down, (we didn’t have a saddle in those days), grabbed the rope, hooked onto her, and dashed to Hillsdale. And as I got there, I sure must have made those 4 miles in a hurry because as I rounded the bend to come into Hillsdale I heard Uncle Jim say, “Well, we finally got him [on the phone].” And Grandpa said, “I am sure glad of that.” I heard him say it. I never had an idea they wouldn’t have told him sooner. It’d been a lot better if they’d left me alone. There were a lot of things happening over there at the farm at that time so it wasn’t safe to leave one alone like that. The reservoir, the Hatch reservoir had washed out, cleaned out about all the bridges along the way so the traffic had to be re-routed onto the…well, they’d been on the east side all the time but the road had washed out. The road was too close to the river so they crossed up above where it had washed out at Hatch. Where they couldn’t follow that road they would go out around the farms, zig-zag back and forth to get to where they could pick up the road again, which was down by our dry farm. From there on the road was above the flood limits. This one morning father was gone and I guess Ellis was gone, too. Mother and Ruth were home. I’d gone to hunt the horses ‘cause we’d turned them out. They’d get pretty smart and would get as far away as they could get. I’d have to go sometimes nearly to Hillsdale, along the river. Sometimes they’d go over to the meadow. I tried to follow their tracks. I decided the tracks had gone the meadow way this time so I’d gone over there for them. When I got on top of the hill, I saw that their tracks had turned and headed for the river. But I looked across to the hill on the other side of the meadow and saw a man, a tramp we called them in those days. He looked like the real thing from my distance and no fooling. I just took back to the ranch on a dead run, as fast as I could go and told mother. I said, ‘We’d better get out of here.” See, I wasn’t old enough to help very much. “Oh,” She said, “It’s probably just one of those fellows that’s traveling through and everything will be ok, or maybe it’s a farmer you’ve seen over there wandering around.” But I kept watching and when I saw him come down the holler, back up where the road came down from the meadow I ran down and told her I wasn’t mistaken, he was coming right there. She quickly locked the house door and grabbed Ruth. We ran around the hill, sneaked back up on the hill, and got under the few trees that were there. We watched as he came down, meandered around the house, tried the doors and couldn’t get in. He went out in the milk house and drank a pint of milk, fooled around and finally he went on. After he got across the valley, puttering along over the hill, we decided he’d gotten out of the way and we went back to the house and resumed our activities. The next time we saw Uncle Seth and Aunt Alta, they lived down on the river about half way between there and Hillsdale, mother told them about this man, how it had scared us and we’d run when she guessed there was no need of it. Uncle Seth said, “My girl, it was sure a good thing you did. That was the most foul mouthed fellow I’ve ever seen in my life!” They fed him and sent him on his way but oh, he was a bad man, they figured. To go back to that reservoir running out, I think that was in 1913 or 14. Uncle Eli was the messenger boy. He came dashing up there to the dry farm and told us. We were out to the cow corral doing the milking. Of course we ran around the hill to see if we could see the flood coming, us kids did. But Father said, “Oh! I wonder what’ll happen to Seth. We gotta get down and help them get out with all the stuff they can. They’re too close to that river.” He hitched the horses on the wagon and we all went down there. It was getting dark then. Uncle Seth and Aunt Alta, (Eli had told them as he went along), their team and wagon and things were across the river on the west side. Well, they went down and looked at the river, “Why, it’s lower than it been, it must be a false alarm.” They said. They’d shut the thing down to try to stop the break when it started to break. Then they opened it up when they saw that they couldn’t fix the break and turned all the water out the spillway they could. By the time it got down there it came as a roar and it looked like it hadn’t even started to spread out. It was a wall of water coming down the river. Ellis was 10-12 years old then and wanted to help. Mother was scared. There was Father, Seth and Uncle Eli carrying their stuff out of the house and putting it up above the flood water. It’d keep rising. So they started hauling it in the wagons, back up farther where the water wouldn’t reach. They kept going back in and out, into the flood ‘till it was up above their waist. Mother just about frantic trying to keep us kids from getting into the flood too, wanting to help. Especially Ellis, I wasn’t even old enough to think I could help but he was. That was some night! They kept going until the house began to float. They had to give up then. It was funny. Uncle Seth and Aunt Alta, when they saw that the flood was coming, took out on a run for the house. Alta grabbed her watch and jewelry that was all she was able to take with her as they ran. Uncle Seth grabbed an armful of other stuff. They lost quite a lot but they didn’t loose their house. It got caught in an eddy, like in a whirlpool; it went around and around and around. The well and their cellar were a few feet upstream from the house. The next day, when the flood was down so we could go see what had happened, the house sat right over the well. It had gone upstream in fact, a little, from where it was. We went down, my folks did, to help dig out their bottled fruit and clean things up after the water and mud dried up enough so we could dig it out of the cellar, all that hadn’t floated away. They just moved the house farther up to the edge of the flood line and went to living in it again. After they left and went to Uinta, Dee Wilson got possession of the 160 acres and the old house, which he sold to us later on. We used to go up there as it turned out to be a really good place to hold our parties in the summer time. It was closer to the Hatch kids that would come down and us to go up. So we’d hold our parties there. One of the Johnson girls, Mami, had married a Peterson man from Kingston, down the river. He had a bachelor brother that had, when he was working on construction or something lost his hand in an accident, his right hand at that. But he was a truck driver and he kinda came up to see some of these older girls. He went to a party up there one night with us. Of course none of the Hillsdale young people smoked or anything like that, we could stay in the house and enjoy our party but he had to go out and have his smoke every once in a while. There used to be a game we called Post Office. Somebody’d say, “I’m in the well.” Somebody’d say “How many feet?” He’d tell us how many. “Who do you want to get you out?” and they’d get that many kisses. This night we heard old Luke Peterson give a yell, “Dee, I’m in the well! I fell in the well!” He’d walked on into the well. Dee hollered back and said “Who do you want to get you out?” I think he said first, “How many feet?” He couldn’t guess how many feet. But a man lying on his stomach could reach down in the well far enough to grab his hand. The others all helped and we pulled him out. JOHN: Where was the reservoir? KILBURN: Your father helped build that reservoir! He was about 7 or 8 months old when Grandpa, [George H. Sr.] worked on it. Mother had to keep watch on Ellis to keep him from getting over too close to the edge and going over the bank. So you can figure up about when that one was put in. I think there’d been one in; well I know there’d been one in and washed put before that. That one held from about 1903 to 1913 or 14 and then it went out. Now back to Ellis’s health. While still quite young but a little bit older, he got arthritis, Sciatic Rheumatism they called it, in his right hip. He got really bad with it. The doctor in Panguitch couldn’t find what to do with him to get him over it. He couldn’t even get up out of bed, he got so bad. So finally the folks loaded him in and took him down to Richfield to see…they had a doctor down there we’d heard about, was a real good doctor and we got him to doctor Ellis. Eunice had married and lived down there then so Mother stayed with her for a week or two. They kept Ellis there, took care of him. The doctor came over, taking tests and doing things to try and find out what was causing his troubles and what to do to rectify it. He finally decided that his body couldn’t digest protein food so he put him on a diet that began to bring him out of it. He wouldn’t let him have any sugar, any sweetener but honey and no protein food for a while. It began to help him. I forget how long they were down there, probably a month anyway, before he was released to come back up home. He finally got over it. It looked like we were going lo loose him that time, as well as a lot of others, but it wasn’t his time to go, he had a mission yet to fill. He had an inventers mind. I think he was smart in all things. English and mathematics were his two best subjects, but he was a smart boy as he grew up. Maybe you’d call it day dreaming, but anyway he kept envisaging things that ought to be invented. He got the idea that he could invent gloves for swimming, that’d make it a lot safer, for people to have in their life boats and ships and things. He worked on them quite a while and figured it out. He took the webbed foot of the duck for his pattern, I think, to get his ideas first. He got so enthused about them and worked so hard on it that winter that he wanted to try them out. Of course we couldn’t cut the ice and try it out up there. We’d heard that down in Monroe they had hot springs and a swimming pool that they kept open all winter. We didn’t know that they didn’t keep any fire in there or anything so by the time the water would run down to the pool in the cold of winter it got awfully cold. We decided the two of us, to run down to Monroe and go in swimming so he could try them out. We ‘bout froze to death in doing so but he got ideas about how to change them a little more. He hurried, worked feverishly on them because he realized time must be running out, I guess. He got them the way he wanted them and sent back to Washington D.C. to the patent office to have them patented. They wrote back and said, “You’re too late, somebody else has got them patented.” Just a short time before though, it wasn’t very long. Surely was heartbreaking. He got enthused then about building a water wheel to make power for the town; but as I said before, we were so financially down and out, every body was, that you couldn’t do much of anything but the necessities. But Grandfather---he talked to Grandfather and of course Grandfather knew quite a bit. He maybe had helped build water wheels for the sawmills and things, I don’t know, but he knew how it worked. But Ellis could even change it to be even better. They figured out a plan and went into the shop. With Grandfather’s help they built a nice big waterwheel there. Ellis brought it home and we tried it out in the river. However, the river wasn’t deep enough to give us the power that we needed and we were too poor to build a millrace. But if we could have, we would have had a lot of power that would have been worth a lot. That poor old water wheel just laid there. If you remember anything there you will remember seeing it down towards the river. JOHN: Do you remember about the old organ we’ve get over there? When it came into the family? KILBURN: Yes, I know exactly where that organ came from and when. That organ, mother worked when she was a young girl and bought the organ. She had it to play in Escalante Ward. Then when they finally got one of their own she moved it to Grandfather and Grandmother’s place in Escalante and she and her younger sisters played it. Aunt Eleanor and Aunt Lina were both quite inclined that way. Aunt Lina was really pretty good at it. They played it and when Mother got married she left it there with them. It stayed in Grandmother’s house until we finally got a house. Just before Grandma died she said, “I want you to take that organ. It’s yours and I want you to take it.” She did and it caused a fight in the family. Aunt Francis was going to have her put in jail for stealing their organ. Aunt Francis’s kids, some of them were down there a year or two ago and they said, “Do you know what became of that old organ?” I just didn’t have the nerve enough to tell them that they didn’t have any claim on it, that Mother had bought it. I heard Grandmother say it herself, “That’s your organ and I want you to take it before somebody thinks it’s theirs”. I never told them what became of the organ. JOHN: About how old is it? Do you have any idea? KILBURN: Well, Mother was born….I’d have to figure that up, I can’t tell you exactly but I imagine she was in her teens when she bought it. It is an antique, it’s worth keeping. You don’t ever want anything to happen to that organ. JOHN: Every one of us wanted it. Mom gave it to George because he’s the oldest and I guess that’s where it really belongs. KILBURN: Well, after the folks died, we told Ellis to take it because he was the only one of us who could play it. He learned to play it a little, fairly good. Fact is he had a little musical inclination, the only one of the family as far as I know that did. He played in the orchestra, in the high school orchestra, when he was going to school in Panguitch. He played the violin; you may not have known that. JOHN: I had heard that he played in an orchestra but I didn’t know just when and I remember when Anita bought that violin, he used to take it and play around with it. He played the harmonica. I remember that. KILBURN: My kids got pretty good with the viola and just quit all of a sudden, just quit taking lessons. Jolayne went with a group to Salt Lake and played on television. She was the leading one. The teacher in Panguitcch said she was her best student. She always put her on the lead part. Just up and dropped it. She’s got musical talent. It helped her out on her mission. JOHN: I was thinking it was a mandolin Daddy played. I don’t know where I got that idea. KILBURN: No, it was an old violin. I don’t remember where we got it. Whether it was one Uncle Eli had or not, or Uncle Seth or whether we’d bought an old cheap one, or what became of it. He told me one time, one night he said, “I didn’t know this piece,” (he’d admitted he wasn’t a professional musician or anything). He said, “I put some wax on my bow and it wouldn’t make any noise and I sure went through the motion as though I knew it all.” I asked him, “Well, where’d you get that idea?” He said, “Out of the funny papers where I get all my ideas.” Whether he actually did it or not, I won’t vouch for that but he made a good joke out of it, anyway. (Dad also played in a dance band.) Another little thing as we were growing up. [We had] a little one room school house. Won’t be as interesting to you as it is to me but one day a bunch of Navajos came along. Indians were always quite plentiful going through [the area]. I was always scared of Indians. I’ll have to admit. The looks of them scared me sick. That little bunch of them opened the school house door, walked in, never said a word, looked around and got them some seats. This big old chief of the bunch, with big long legs, straddled the stove. We were afraid he was going to set himself on fire but finally when he got warm enough he sat down. They watched a while, jabbered away a little in their own language among themselves, got up and walked out without saying a word to any of us. A day or two later, (Eunice was teaching school there that winter). She said, “Superintendent Gardner is coming up right away, he might be here today so I want you to all be good, be on your good behavior when he comes.” Her little sister, Rebecca, my age, piped up and said, “I wonder if when he gets here he’ll knock or if he’ll just ‘naveeho’ in?” Eunice said, “Since when did Navajo become a verb?” It wasn’t all dullness there. Eunice was scared to death of fire. The stove pipe just went straight up through the attic and out the top. The stove pipe didn’t have much room for the sparks and if you got a really hot fire the fire would even shoot out the top. I’ve seen it do that quite a lot. Right down by the door they had a little trap door up into the attic. Nearly every day she’d imagine she could smell smoke so she’d pick one of the big boys to scurry up into the attic to see if they could see any fire. That broke the monotony of the day. JOHN: Seems like they had a big fire in the [pot bellied stove] there in Grandpa’s house that got to smoking up in the rafters. I don’t remember if you were around or not but it seems like we had kind of a fire going there for a little while. KILBURN: I must not have been there at the time. Before we moved into the house after we bought it Uncle David just finished it off but hadn’t finished the attic much. He had just a stove pipe that went straight through out the top. We were living over on the corner. We’d go out at nights and they’d put in some chips or stir up the fire and we’d see the fire a shooting up above the pipe with the sparks flying out in all directions. Father wouldn’t move in until he’d made a flue [for it]. He made the flue himself. He was a do-it-yourself man too like your daddy. But Carroll, I guess, had the most skill of any of them for things like that. I never had one thing. I could hardly even feed myself; it was too technical a job for me. But Father wouldn’t move in until he’d made a flue. I was sure glad of that because I’ve always been scared of fires, still am, a little smoke or blaze just scares me sick. We had quite a few fires burning the big patches of rabbit grass off the dry farm to clear the ground. Father didn’t seem to be scared of them like I was. JOHN: I remember when we were out there they had one. [a fire] They started out towards Hatch and that area. KILBURN: Over to the meadow. Yes, he set one down in the bottom of the … the thing of it is he’d depend on the winds not changing and the winds wouldn’t oblige him too much. He had set this one fire and burned to the lower meadow and was successful, hadn’t got to the fence, so he went up to the next fence line and set the fire by the fence. It burned the one side out but through some hook or crook she jumped the fence. Sparks. It set it off in the rabbit brush above. The big thick rabbit brush was just too fast, we couldn’t put it out as I ran over to Hatch as fast as I could to the Mammoth Lumber Co. to get their cat. They sent their cat and dozer out to the polygamist farm, (it wasn’t theirs then, it was Graff’s farm), to try and stop it before it got into the fence line and up into their place and to the mountain. But they were quite late getting out so it burned quite a lot of the decent fence in between. They got the fire line built on the other side of the fence so it didn’t do the other fellows much harm but I had to make a new fence, when I got around to it. The post was burned-out of that fence too much. Quite an interesting little thing there, when I went to build that fence, well, it was when the polygamist had bought the place and Orsen Barnhurst had the place adjoining them. I had a mile and a half of fence line between me and the polygamists. Barnhurst said, “Now we’ll see whether the lord’s on their side or not.” I said, “What do you mean?” He said, “Whether it rains on their place or not.” I said, “Well if it don’t rain on their place, will you say that the Lord’s not on our side because it doesn’t rain on ours?” I said, “If we get rain they’ve got to get rain too haven’t they?” “Well,” he said, “I guess you’re right.” Well, when I went to build the fence, I went up just after we’d gotten a good soaking. The place was really soaked up good. I just took the shovel and spaded fight down along the fence line and set my posts in. But I had missed counted and I’d taken up one too few posts, I was short one over on the corner. There was a post on the polygamist’s side where the Roy Porter fence had been. The fence had been moved except for one post, guess it was in quite deep so it wasn’t worth moving. So I undertook to move it down to use in my fence line. It was just as dry and hard as a cement floor. I couldn’t start to dig that post out. So one time it had rained on my side and not on theirs. But I know of other times it rained on theirs and not on me much too. When Ellis got his mission call as near as I can remember, it was probably in 1927, or right around that time anyway. I’d had chances to work for the state off and on, just small jobs. Ellis had had a steadier job for quite a while for the state. The summer times he’d work with Uncle Merrit Deuel on the road but he didn’t have a winter job. I got the idea I wanted a winter job, I wanted a year round job. I made an application as soon as he got his call to go on his mission. I got in touch with the district engineer and I applied for a job year round. He said, “No, we can’t do that,” he said. “We’re glad to have you there where we can get you when emergencies come up and when needs come up we’ll keep you in mind.” Well before Ellis ever left for the mission field after he got his call to be going in a very short time, they came for me to go to work for the state road, working out in Red Canyon. They’d decided to gravel that road, and we worked until really late in the year … cold and hard! We had a little time off. Jess Wilson went on a mission the same time as Ellis did. Ellis rode to Salt Lake with them. They had a car and took him up. Jess’s brother, Dill, and I went down to this road construction job in Circleville Canyon and applied for a job and got on. We worked for a couple of months or so until around Christmas time when the job froze; we couldn’t work any longer. It was awfully inconvenient to work that late. I went home. Meanwhile though, I’d gone to work in the cook shack. When they fired their cook, they’d put me in the cook shack to work. So I helped fluckey there. I wanted that job. They were moving down to work in Zion on the tunnel. They’d gotten a contract to start on the east end of the tunnel. They’d already started on the other end. I asked him, “How about it?” They had the company teams so it would take them quite a while to move down so I said, “How about it? Me going along and cooking for you, help move you down and have a job down there the rest of the winter where it’s warmer?” “Oh,” he said, “We don’t need you. There’s only just a few fellows, flunkey can take care of them. He’s the cook now.” (the one who was the flunkey before they fired the cook) I said, “There are some things you don’t know.” I said, “That flunky will starve you to death, he doesn’t know how to cook.” I said, “I did the cooking and he flunkied until you came into dinner then I flunkied so you wouldn’t know it.” “Ah,” he said, “We don’t need you.” I don’t know whether it was the next day or the following day he came to see me. He said, “I want you to come and cook for us.” He said, “That damn flunky’ll starve us to death.” I laughed and I said, “That’s what I told you but it’s too late now.” I said, “The state job was waiting or me when I got here.” They’d come for me to push snow off and Father said, “Well, he won’t he here for a few days but I’ll go and push the snow off until he comes if you want me too.” So they consented for him to do that but for me to take it. That was the beginning of my steady road job from then on. I attribute that entirely to Ellis’s mission call. It made it so that we were; I was pretty well able to keep him on his mission. I made out a $50 check each month for his mission. After he’d been out a year or such a matter the banker called up one morning and said, “We’ve got a check here for $50 from Ellis but there’s no money in here to back it.” He said, “We just paid off his regular one and this is one that’s not on the regular schedule.” He said, “We will loan it to you, though, if you want to come down and sign a note. But we will have to have something done.” Father was in the house and took the call. He said, “Why don’t you give us today to see what we can come up with and if we can’t we’ll come down and take care of it in another way.” Father would always leave as soon as it was light when we had the water. The boys who happened to be home would do the milking and chores around the house so we didn’t usually have breakfast until quite late. The call came before breakfast. We’d just come in for our breakfast. To kind of go back a little though, in 1924, the spring Ellis graduated from high school as I recall it, we’d decided to take a bunch of dry’s, as they are called, year old sheep that were young and didn’t raise lambs. They had to take them out of their lambing herd because they’d urn too much and cause too much trouble. They’d never run dry’s with their lambing herd. Two or three of the sheep men would run their dry’s together and get somebody to take them for the summer. We’d decided we’d try that. Ellis had herded sheep, I think, two different summers before while he was going to high school, once anyway, one summer, the summer before. So we tried it on our own. That meant we had to buy some equipment for it. We got a couple 55 gallon barrels to haul the water for our saddle horse to where he was working and some smaller drums, 25’s and 20’s. They were all wooden ones so for about three years, after we’d stopped using them, we had an awful hard time keeping them from falling down, drying up and falling down in the summer time. If you put them down in the cellar in the winter there’s enough moisture and cold so they wouldn’t shrink up to crack and fall apart. In the summer we’d put them out on the lawn and keep water in them. We’d have to change the water quite often so they wouldn’t get stale. After Father hung up the telephone, we had prayer before breakfast. He told the Lord the situation and said we needed help. We got up from our praying and started to sit down to the table when a knock came on the door. Neil Clove, a sheep man from Panguitch came in and said, “I can’t find nay barrels and I’m short. I’ve got to have some kegs and barrels to follow my sheep.” He said, “Can I buy, borrow, beg or steal those out there on the lawn?” He said, “I’d rather buy them.” We said, “We’d rather sell them to you too.” That wasn’t $50 worth but it made a good start. I, for the life of me, have forgotten how we got the rest of it. That night somebody ran down with the $50 and put it in the bank for him. What Ellis had done was, he hadn’t told us, which I think should have done, but he had to have a new suit and he’d gone out and bought one without telling us he’d have to have another $50 to cover it. But it worked out. It gave the Lord a chance to help us, which He always did. Then eight or ten years later Ruth got a call to go on a mission. We still were financially down like everybody else there but not as bad because I had that road job. It lasted me for 6 or 7 years before they oiled the road and turned it over to the fellow who had the power grader in Panguitch. He could look after that much more road, clear the ditches and things. At that time he told me, the engineer did, that he’d told the feller [in Panguitch] if he ever needed a man and team or a man to be sure and get me. And he did. It was old Earl Sevey. I worked for him quite a lot in the summer time. I did the mowing, stacking and burning of the weeds. I took the team to clean culverts and bar-pits and everything. I had quite a steady summer job. Often in the winter time he’d call for help. I wasn’t keeping my own time and turning it in like I was before; I’d just turn it in to the patrolman there and work through his instructions. We kept our cattle, as many as we figured we had pasture for in Hillsdale, and sent the milk down to the factory. But it didn’t pay very much for milk though it did help to keep Ruth [on her mission] with her 50 or 60 dollars a month. She left in the fall of the year. I couldn’t go up to Salt Lake with them to take her up but Ellis, Father, Mother and Bishop Barnhurst did. I had just bought a new 1934 Ford car. The first year they’d made V8’s and this was a V8 car. They took the car and took her up to the mission home. I had to sell the calves, deliver them that day down below Panguitch. I sold them to old Jack Yardly. He bought the calves from Eli and Paul too, the old stinker. He was supposed to take them there but he only came with one horse and we were helping him down there. Dee and Paul were older and they wouldn’t let him talk them into going “a little farther, a little farther”. They left when they got down below the fields. He kept insisting that I stay on until I got mad and wouldn’t have gone if he’d told me to. So it was midnight or after when I got home that night to do my chores and things. When the next spring came and we put the in the forest this old red cow out with her big red calf, a Holstein cow and her calf, plus another Holstein calf so we could milk the cow. We didn’t have enough feed to keep the other Holstein to milk. Summertime came and we got really low on funds. We didn’t know how we were going to make the payment for Ruth’s mission for August. Come daylight the next morning, after we’d been pondering it, trying to come up with a solution, father hollered, “Kilburn, come and look!’ I don’t know where Ellis was, he was off somewhere on some project that didn’t pay out, the kind that he got taken on so darn much, I guess. I went out and there stood that old Holstein cow and her big, fat, baby calf with her! So, of course, father went right in and called the Mammoth Lumber Co. and asked them if they wanted to buy a big, fat, baby beef calf if he butchered it and brought it up. Jess said, “Yes we would.” They didn’t pay their help very much but they would sometimes get stuff like that and dish it out to them to help cut down their wages a little. That’s where Ellis was, up at the sawmill and not getting any pay out of it, that was it. I doubt if he even got a piece of the beef. But they took that beef and it came to $50-60, enough to keep Ruth that month. Then September came and we were still up against the same problem. We pondered and wondered how that cow had gotten past the guard rails, who’d come along and turned her around the guard rails; there were about four of them on her way home? Another thing that was kind of a miracle was that the cattle in the fall of the year, usually before we’d get up there on the roundup. Some of those old homesick cows would take off for where they’d been raised. The Tropic ones would go down to Tropic and the one from Henryville and Canyonville would go down some of the other passes. The young stuff would follow along. The yearlings and stuff didn’t have sense enough to go home, the ones that hadn’t been raised there. We’d bought these old Holstein cows about 2 weeks to a month before they went on the forest, bought them from Ben Cope in Tropic. She’d remembered where she’d been fed last, I guess, and come home. Well, a month later the same thing happened again, father hollered “Come and look!” There was the old red cow standing out there with a Holstein calf with her. But she didn’t have a red calf. We’d never know of them kicking off their own calf so we mourned the fact that we’d never see that red calf again. Probably somebody had been up there poaching and taken him, we thought. He was a big calf when he went out. Usually they were born in January, February and March so they’d have a good start before we’d ever put them on the forest. But that fall at the roundup we found him all right. That’s the miracle part right there. She wouldn’t have come without bringing him along. I’ve sure been awfully sorry that I didn’t go up, if necessary, clear into the canyon to sight the tracks to see if they were even walking down the trail at all. I think they were just transplanted from the head of East Fork to the head of Hillsdale’s street because that was the only place we saw any tracks, where they’d come down the street. If somebody had opened the gates, they couldn’t have kept the red calf back, he would have come along. The advantage of having Holsteins was that they were worth about 2¢ less on the market [to buy] and yet they were worth just as much for beef as any of the others. If you got 5 or 6¢ a pound that was quite a consideration. That’s all cattle brought us then. One year they only brought us 2¢ a pound. Anyway, father went then and called the butcher up in Panguitch and asked him, “Did he want one?” He said, “Sure, bring him down.” By October it was roundup time and we always sold our calves when they came in. It was good then until the end of Ruth’s mission, at least we had a better chance to make it. You can’t tell me that the Lord is not looking out for his missionaries! When they asked me to go on a mission I said, “Well, I’ll go if I can get cleared with the army.” It was in ’41 and they were calling up for World War Two. I said, “They’d have to clear me and Carroll both,” I said, “Father’s got to have one of us there on the farm to help him.” I didn’t go ahead and say the rest but we had that Caterpillar which wasn’t paid for and we needed someone to make those payments. We were counting on Carroll for that. We went down and talked to the committee and they said, “Go ahead and go on your mission. You don’t need to worry, you’re W’s, your initials will never come up in two years. Carroll won’t even be bothered for two years.” I had hardly landed in the mission field when I got a letter from home. He’d been called and sent into Salt Lake for his physical examination. He was a big, husky, 6’ 2” lad with all the potential of a good soldier. That just shook me up! I thought I was going to have to quit and go home, get a job and pay for the caterpillar and then come back to finish my mission. Father wrote me a real scorching letter, told me not to get any ideas like that. A day or two later I got another letter saying Carroll had been up for his physical and got a 4F. Physically unable to serve! JOHN: He did go later on didn’t he? KILBURN: Yes, but it wasn’t until the fall before I came home in February, or quite late in the summer. They called him up before the two years, took him up and gave him another 4F. He was [stationed] in the Southern States for quite a long time. He wanted to go overseas. He got so tired of those camps but they just kept him there. They were training heavy equipment fellows. He finally volunteered for the privilege to go overseas. They shipped him up to where they were shipping them overseas, said, “We’ll send you overseas.” They marched them down the gang planks to get on the ships, he said that just as he got to the place to go over down came the stopper. They told him, “That’s all. That’s all that’s going.” And they turned the rest back. He never got overseas until just before they quit firing. He got over there in time to kill a few Germans, I’m afraid, but not near like he would have done before. He sure did hate it over there. I bet he thanked the Lord many times that the plank came down in front of him! JOHN: I remember that he had a few souvenirs from Germany, he had a pistol. KILBURN: He had some rifles too. He shipped them back or brought them with him or something. JOHN: Seems like when we lived in that house in Hatch, down on the back road, somebody got into the chickens or something. He took off after him. I can’t remember too much what happened, I don’t know if they ever caught them or not. KILBURN: Yes, we caught him, but the Little Twist, (O.B. Huntington, the marshal), wouldn’t do anything. Carroll was sleeping outside that night. When he heard a noise in the chicken coup he investigated and caught someone trying to steal some chickens. They ran and Carroll took off after them on foot. We chased the thieves across the river, caught them and brought them back to the house. We took them in the car to the marshal but he wouldn’t do anything about it. There were two of them and I wouldn’t have done anything but Carroll was there and he was more adventuresome than I was. Carroll had to fight his way through like. He went to Panguitch to school, Panguitch people, whether they want to admit it or not, thought they were so much better than anybody else around. They looked down on anybody that came from Hill Town, as they called it; or Hillsdale either one. Hill Town meant both Hatch and Hillsdale some of the time and some of the time it meant either one or the other. Ellis was the first that went down there but he got in good because of his ability as a ballplayer and an athlete of all kinds. That made it so I didn’t have any trouble at all. Even so there was that trouble there. When Carroll started going, they’d quit having school at Hillsdale because he was the only one there of school age. He started there younger and he had to fight his way through. Ruth would go out and gather him up, wash the blood off his face and try to make him a little bit presentable to come home so Mother wouldn’t get after him for having been in a fight. It wasn’t long until they didn’t have to wipe blood off his face anymore. He’d learned how to take care of himself. When he went to high school, he said, “I got too cocky, I sure was glad this fellow had a little sense and took pity on me.” (The bully, the Haycock guy), “I took up to him one day. I called him fat. He just walked away and wouldn’t fight me.” Of course everybody thought he was a coward. “But,” he said “I know he wasn’t, he was a big man to do it.” But Carroll didn’t admit it, he wouldn’t have thought of it right at that time, but looking back he did. Carroll went one year in Hillsdale. Ellis was his teacher. He began the second grade in Panguitch. Carroll thought Ellis was really smart. One time when a question came up he demanded, “Well, who are you going to believe, the book or Ellis?” There wasn’t any doubt in his mind that Ellis was right! Carroll had some great scraps in the army too. He didn’t back down for any one, I guess. He said that one time in the army there was a little old man that was the mail delivery there on the base overseas. He said, “There was a big bully there in the bunch and he got after this poor little old man for not bringing him a letter, not delivering him any mail. He started to tear into him,” He said, “I just jumped in there and beat the living hell out of him. I don’t know how I could do it as big as he was.” He said, “Now I’ll kill you if I ever catch you bothering the mail man again.” He said, “And he took me at my word.” JOHN: It seems like Fern was saying once, before she and Carroll were married, that she’d always look for him because the kids always picked on her but anytime Carroll came around nobody would bother her. KILBURN: I can tell you a little about that. I didn’t know they bothered her but they lived on the Haycock ranch between Hillsdale and Panguitch one year or so. The Hatch kids would pick on her and her brothers. She said that Carroll went over and grabbed one of them by the nap of the neck and he said, “You leave those boys alone or I’ll beat the hell out of you.” She said they didn’t bother the boys anymore when he was on the bus. She said, “That’s what made me start going with him, liking him, wanting him.” JOHN: That’s right. I remember the bus but I was thinking that Fern lived in Panguitch. KILBURN: No, they had a year off there that they rode the bus. Of course, that’s why she was looking to see if Carroll was on the bus, more for her brothers, I guess, than herself. I don’t know, if I’d been the bus driver a few times I’d have stopped the bus and explained the law to them a little bit, even if I had to do it like Carroll did, with my hand. He was a champion of right. He hated to see the underdog or the one that wasn’t old enough to take care of himself picked on. You asked me about this picture. This picture is of Ellis, Kilburn and Ruth Wilson. We were in a play when we were in the grade school in Hillsdale. We used to put on little plays, try to have all the children take part. This one was called “A Pixy”. We were all dressed up as Pixies, with our daggers and what have you. Of course the teacher would try and have our pictures taken afterwards for us to see. This was the year that Lily Ivy from Salina was teaching school up there. She was a lovely, young, redheaded girl, not much older than the oldest of the boys in school. The eighth graders were about the same age. She was a beautiful and really nice girl. She and Mother got along well. Mother was always friends with all of them that came there. She was an exceptionally good cook. We didn’t have room to keep any of the teachers at our place but Grandpa and Grandma had an extra room and figured they were the ones to keep the school teachers. Grandmother was a good cook but she was a little more Scotch than Mother and didn’t feed them as well. So Lily Ivy came over and asked Mother, she said, “If I can get a room up at the head of the street in the old Johnson house with Petersons will you let me board with you?” So that’s what happened that winter. She’d come down and eat there in that little old two roomed log cabin with us. So she took a special interest in these three kids. We had quite a play. I remember how we marched around there, the songs we sang, everything. Believe it or not yours truly sang one. I might be able to tell you a few of the words but I’m not going to try to sing it. I was given a package of chewing gum and was supposed to give it out to some of the people that had come. I went and I said: Allow me please to offer you A little everlasting chew. And they sang out: We do not mind, You are so kind Yes, we’ll have some gum. We really are glad you’ve come. Or something to make it rhyme. Oh, those were great days! But to get back to Ellis. He was good in those kinds of things. He was always in the plays. When he went to Panguitch to high school he was in the plays down there. I was only in one in my life down in Panguitch. JOHN: Talking about Daddy giving poems and things like that, I remember when we were in school studying The Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner that he just sat right down and recited it. We were trying and trying to learn just a little part that we were supposed to learn. KILBURN: I don’t know that he could memorize as good as I could, I had a real talent for memorizing, remembering when I was a kid but my memory’s gone now and I’m in a heck of a pickle. I can remember a few things way back lots better than I can close though, of course that’s normal. But he knew how to give expressions to them and I didn’t. JOHN: Getting off the subject of Daddy, what was the story on the hail storm in Hillsdale? KILBURN: I was going to put that off the record but I guess it just as well be on the record. It was a sacred … your daddy asked Grandfather one time, he said “Why wasn’t more said about [the storm.] ?” And Grandfather said. “We figured it was too sacred to talk about.” But the Johnsons, the other side of the family, were the opposite. They wanted to advertise and tell everything. Some of them were there at the time when the storm hit and it finally got out, they told it. Grandmother, your great grandmother, could write things up quite interestingly so she wrote several articles, one of which was about the storm. She sent it up to Salt Lake and they put it in the Relief Society Magazine, I think it was. What it amounted to was: The first settlers were the Merrills and the Marshals and others. They made a town two or three miles south of Hillsdale. The first Wilsons and Johnsons also stopped in that area but when great-Grandfather [George D. Wilson] came he decided that Hillsdale would be a better place to build a sawmill and a millrace so the Wilsons and Johnsons moved in and settled Hillsdale. The others never did move to Hillsdale, they later abandoned their town. That is why Hillsdale was built. There were quite a few short seasons, it would freeze badly and there were bad storms, there were troubles and hardships of one kind and another. One year it froze early and they about all starved to death because it froze the vegetables and everything in the ground. But they kept working and staying with it. This spring the crops were coming good, really looking fine, and doing really great. On into the summer time, I guess the wheat was about headed out then, they heard this roaring of a hailstorm coming up the valley. They went out and looked, they could see it just a pouring up there. They saw heavy black clouds and could hear it roar as it came up through the valley. Grandfather [George H. Wilson, Sr.] went out onto the brink of the hill, doffed his hat, held out his hands and commanded the storm to leave their farms alone. The storm continued up the valley towards them, cleaning out all the farms and ranches in its path, until it got up to where the Hillsdale ranches began. There the storm parted and went up on the mountains on each side. Father said that after the storm he got on his horse and galloped down the side of the fields along the old rip-gut fence through the sagebrush. He said the hail was just piled in there, 3 or 4 ft. deep. They gathered hail for 2-3 days and froze ice cream before it all melted. No hail on their farm at all. They had a good crop that year. That’s the kind of faith the people we came from had. I think maybe it would be alright to tell you a little bit about your grandfather Wilson. [George Hyrum Wilson, Jr.] You don’t know very much about him. He went over to the Academy at Beaver, which was an agricultural branch of the Brigham Young University. He went there for 2 winters and one year in Cedar City. The first year that they had a college in Cedar he went there. He then started teaching school. He had his ideas, he was a wonderful mathematician. Nobody was better, I guess. He could work any problem. He wanted to be an engineer. But he had to have money to finance his education, so he went to work teaching school to get it. The first year that he taught they sent him to Escalante. He taught the first half of the year there and then over in Boulder the last half. But while in Escalante he met your grandmother. That stopped his engineering. He got married and went to raising a family instead, of course. By the time he got two boys and a girl on the way he was called on a mission. The first summer he was married he went out, over from Alton down through the Muddy, (Sink Valley), to work. That was the heaviest clay that he’d ever seen in his life, or any one else will see. It rained and it rained, the buggy wheels would ball up with the clay and they would have to scrape them off before they could turn the brakes so they could move them farther down in the country. He went down there and worked for 50¢ a day that summer. I guess they boarded him besides, but that was all the money he got out of it so you see he couldn’t get much education out of that. Then he went over to teaching school. He taught in Hillsdale, Hatch, Henryville, Boulder and Escalante. He taught in Hillsdale when Kilburn started school, which was right after he got home from his first mission. He was a good teacher but he wasn’t really interested in teaching. Besides Ellis, Kilburn, Ruth and Carroll there was a baby boy, Clark Henry that died 1 month after birth and perhaps twin boys that were born dead, though there is some question about that. The house that Father and Uncle Seth built up on the dry farm was just a wooden frame house with a front door and a back door just opposite of each other. Ruth had a pet lamb named Macy. Macy knew she wasn’t supposed to go into the house so she world go up to the door, look around and if no one was in her way she would bound through the house, dirty the floor as she went with little rabbit pills or whatever you wanted to call it. The chickens used to…We had one chicken we had to watch awfully close or she’d get into the house, back in the back corner and make her nest. Laid her eggs there all the time. She didn’t cause any trouble only that. She wanted her nest there. If we didn’t catch her and shoo her out she’d lay an egg in the house. Didn’t have far to gather it! Ellis had this pet rooster up on the dry farm. Above the spring where we’d get our water there were some big old water weeds of some kind that grew up in there. He rigged up a harness for the rooster and hooked it on to one of the weeds to see if he could pull it out. I think he darn near did it too. That was quite a tough old rooster. He had lots of fun playing with the rooster. The rooster seemed to be enjoying it too. I don’t think he ever pulled any clear out but he sure got them leaning pretty good. He was about nine years old then. Another thing from the early days on the farm. They’d just made the frame house, didn’t even get the one end fixed up or anything, but there wasn’t much room so we got an old tent and pitched it out to the side of the house. Ellis and I would sleep out there. When the reservoir broke and the traffic was re-routed around it, we had some undesirables come through occasionally. You know those tents would get really hot during the day with the sun beating down on it but they got really cold during the night. One night we got cold and we kept crowding each other. We thought someone was pulling the quilt off us. We got up and looked and we were short a quilt, we just couldn’t find it anywhere. The next morning we told the folks that somebody had been there and stole a quilt in the night. They said “Ah, shucks, nothing like that.” They went out there and she couldn’t find it ether. Somebody had come in and stole the quilt off us and went on their way, took it with them. ************** The following is taken from the last entry in Dad’s mission diary three years after he got home: …Since I have been home I have just sort of drifted into one job after another. Two years ago I was sick with sciatica for about three months. I went to Richfield to Dr. Gladhill and stayed at Eunice’s for quite a while. Last winter I was sick for a week or two and so we, Father, Mother and I went to St. George and worked in the temple for about a month. I have had several positions in the church since I got home: Ward teacher [home teacher] for several winters but have been released for a year or so. I was appointed Scout Master soon after I got back but was unable to make much of a success. Grandon Burns, Ivan Press, Roel and Dilly were my first charges and when I quit last year, Carroll, Reeves, Sam, Mark, Nile, Ray, and Larin were the group. I was given a Sunday School Class to teach right after I got home and was promoted with them until now. I have had the same group all of the time. I guess they’ll be glad to be promoted this year: Theora, Florence, Bessie, Marie, Donna, Marcie, Thelma, Veot, Nile, Maurine, Roel, and Larna. Some of them all of the time and some have joined the class since I started. I am also a member of the Geneological committee. Nathan Porter is chairman and Marla Barnhurst is secretary. We as a family are getting along pretty well financially during these hard times. We haven’t much money but are able to raise most everything we need for food, or can trade the things we have for what we need. Our greatest problem seems to be to get money for gasoline and for clothing. The taxes are delinquent for a year or two now and I don’t know when we will be able to pay them up. Kilburn was operated upon for appendicitis two weeks ago and is recovering nicely. He wasn’t afflicted with gas pains. It seems quite an improvement in the method of operating. He was given an (anesthesia) or however you spell it, he didn’t have to take either as they used to do. We raised about six hundred bushels of grain this year; this is a little more than an average for us. The cattle are in good shape---52 head counting the little calves and all, but they aren’t worth much, about three cents a pound for caves and yearlings. Today Kilburn and I made a trip to Henryville for some chickens the folks traded for the other day, we got 27. The reason we took Sunday for it was that we, Father and I have a job on the road for a few days and Aunt Net was quite anxious to get rid of the chickens. The Bishop is quite anxious that we help haul the logs to get lumber for the new classrooms they are building on to the meeting house. So it doesn’t look as if there would very soon be an opportune time. ********************* Part of a letter written to Mom, [Erma], January 21, 1970, from Helen and Eldon Batchelder: Dear Sister Wilson, We were so glad to get your letter and lovely card. I know how hard it must have been for you to have lost Ellis so suddenly and so close to the holidays. I have always had such a wonderful memory of him and a place in my heart. I was only eleven when I first met him. He was the first Mormon I had ever seen-when he came to our door in Windsor, Canada. My mother was busy with my baby sister who was very ill, so I asked him to please come back later. He came back later and talked to my mother. Some months later he baptized five of us. We were baptized in the Detroit River. I could never begin to pay for the happiness he brought into my life. He always told me in his letters that his greatest treasures were you and his children. … I am also thankful to Ellis for being able to go to the Temple with my husband and children. And to think of all my years in Primary and Sunday School I would have missed---I could go on and on with the blessings I have enjoyed because of him. … God Bless you and yours, Helen and Eldon Batchelder


Contributor: ashlin2008 Created: 3 years ago Updated: 3 years ago

December 1945. Four years of hard-fought World War II had been the cause of rationing and hard times in the little town of Hatch in Southern Utah. A small sawmill, operating throughout the war, provided work for those not in the armed services. On July 9, 1939 the prior sawmill at Hatch had burned down—a disaster! But it had been re-organized by different owners in order to provide a living for families. The newly-organized Church Welfare System had helped with the re-organization of the new mill by providing a loan and help with food commodities to be used as payments to workers. Canned goods and food items had been stored in a basement to be withdrawn as wages by the workers. The Mill workers received the food first and the family choose from what war left. Also what were the other commodities?)That was the first time families or workers had seen the large, round cheese blocks available. In the year 1945 the mill now solvent. The family of one of the new partners, Jesse S. Wilson, met in a December family home evening. Present were the father Jesse, the mother, Lilith, and their nine children, 4 girls and 5 boys: Russell, Virginia, Lloyd, Helen, Marba, Marie, Richard. Wayne. and 11-month old baby Kent. Family members were relieved the war was now over and they had hopes of better economic times to come; but the parents seemed serious and sad. The meeting was called to order and the children were advised families in Europe were in dire circumstances. War had destroyed homes, cities, and places of work. Little was left for those who remained after the ravages of war. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints had sent Elder Ezra Taft Benson and others to Europe to see if help could be supplied and to ascertain what could be done. A request had been issued by Church authorities urging members to help. Jess and Lilith asked family members if they would agree not to expect Christmas gifts. Money which might have been spent for Christmas would be sent by the Church to those in Europe. Response was slow, anxious, and serious from the children who ranged in age from the oldest at age 14 on down to the 11-month old youngest. It was, however, agreed few, if any, gifts would be exchanged or expected. Few were the hand-made, well-thought-out gifts made in preparation for Christmas. A nice, fresh tree (easily obtained by a sawmill owner) had been decorated and the house was made inviting and festive On Christmas morning, family members awakened and climbed the basement stairs to the small dining area where a small breakfast was provided. Breakfast had to come before Christmas activities. Also everyone was to be dressed. This was the established rule! Finally, after breakfast, it was time for Christmas, and the door to the living area was opened. But, what a surprise!!! Next to the wall was a piano with its bench; and against the other wall was a record player! Everyone excitedly examined the new items. Nine-year-old Helen sat one the piano bench as she gazed at the record cabinet, unaware of the bench on which she was sitting or the piano behind her. Christmas had arrived with more gifts that had ever existed and would ever exist for the Wilson family! And those in Europe had been remembered by the Wilson family! There was an album of The Nutcracker phonograph records that came at the same time, I spent many hours listening it them.. It was explained to the family, that the other partner of the sawmill business had withdrawn more than his share of the business earnings; so Jesse had evened up the receipts by withdrawing his share, and on a business trip to Salt Lake he had found the used piano and record player. They had been stored elsewhere until Christmas eve. During the next few years, new additions to the family were: Hugh, Karl, Carolyn and Robert written by Virgina Wilson, 2014

Life timeline of Jesse Stephen Wilson

Jesse Stephen Wilson was born on 22 Apr 1899
Jesse Stephen Wilson was 6 years old when Albert Einstein publishes his first paper on the special theory of relativity. Albert Einstein was a German-born theoretical physicist who developed the theory of relativity, one of the two pillars of modern physics. His work is also known for its influence on the philosophy of science. He is best known to the general public for his mass–energy equivalence formula E = mc2, which has been dubbed "the world's most famous equation". He received the 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics "for his services to theoretical physics, and especially for his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect", a pivotal step in the development of quantum theory.
Jesse Stephen Wilson was 18 years old when Tsar Nicholas II of Russia was forced to abdicate in the February Revolution, ending three centuries of Romanov rule. Nicholas II or Nikolai II, known as Saint Nicholas in the Russian Orthodox Church, was the last Emperor of Russia, ruling from 1 November 1894 until his forced abdication on 15 March 1917. His reign saw the fall of the Russian Empire from one of the foremost great powers of the world to economic and military collapse. He was given the nickname Nicholas the Bloody or Vile Nicholas by his political adversaries due to the Khodynka Tragedy, anti-Semitic pogroms, Bloody Sunday, the violent suppression of the 1905 Russian Revolution, the executions of political opponents, and his perceived responsibility for the Russo-Japanese War (1904-1905). Soviet historians portray Nicholas as a weak and incompetent leader whose decisions led to military defeats and the deaths of millions of his subjects.
Jesse Stephen Wilson was 30 years old when Babe Ruth becomes the first baseball player to hit 500 home runs in his career with a home run at League Park in Cleveland, Ohio. George Herman "Babe" Ruth Jr. was an American professional baseball player whose career in Major League Baseball (MLB) spanned 22 seasons, from 1914 through 1935. Nicknamed "The Bambino" and "The Sultan of Swat", he began his MLB career as a stellar left-handed pitcher for the Boston Red Sox, but achieved his greatest fame as a slugging outfielder for the New York Yankees. Ruth established many MLB batting records, including career home runs (714), runs batted in (RBIs) (2,213), bases on balls (2,062), slugging percentage (.690), and on-base plus slugging (OPS) (1.164); the latter two still stand as of 2018. Ruth is regarded as one of the greatest sports heroes in American culture and is considered by many to be the greatest baseball player of all time. In 1936, Ruth was elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame as one of its "first five" inaugural members.
Jesse Stephen Wilson was 40 years old when World War II: Nazi Germany and Slovakia invade Poland, beginning the European phase of World War II. World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945, although conflicts reflecting the ideological clash between what would become the Allied and Axis blocs began earlier. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all of the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. It was the most global war in history; it directly involved more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. In a state of total war, the major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.
Jesse Stephen Wilson was 46 years old when World War II: German forces in the west agree to an unconditional surrender. The German Instrument of Surrender ended World War II in Europe. The definitive text was signed in Karlshorst, Berlin, on the night of 8 May 1945 by representatives of the three armed services of the Oberkommando der Wehrmacht (OKW) and the Allied Expeditionary Force together with the Supreme High Command of the Red Army, with further French and US representatives signing as witnesses. The signing took place 9 May 1945 at 00:16 local time.
Jesse Stephen Wilson was 56 years old when Disneyland Hotel opens to the public in Anaheim, California. The Disneyland Hotel is a resort hotel located at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California, owned by the Walt Disney Company and operated through its Parks, Experiences and Consumer Products division. Opened on October 5, 1955, as a motor inn owned and operated by Jack Wrather under an agreement with Walt Disney, the hotel was the first to officially bear the Disney name. Under Wrather's ownership, the hotel underwent several expansions and renovations over the years before being acquired by Disney in 1988. The hotel was downsized to its present capacity in 1999 as part of the Disneyland Resort expansion.
Jesse Stephen Wilson was 65 years old when John F. Kennedy was assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald in Dallas, Texas; hours later, Lyndon B. Johnson was sworn in aboard Air Force One as the 36th President of the United States. John Fitzgerald Kennedy, commonly referred to by his initials JFK, was an American politician who served as the 35th President of the United States from January 1961 until his assassination in November 1963. He served at the height of the Cold War, and the majority of his presidency dealt with managing relations with the Soviet Union. As a member of the Democratic Party, Kennedy represented the state of Massachusetts in the United States House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate prior to becoming president.
Jesse Stephen Wilson died on 20 Sep 1977 at the age of 78
Grave record for Jesse Stephen Wilson (22 Apr 1899 - 20 Sep 1977), BillionGraves Record 15305628 Panguitch, Garfield, Utah, United States