Memories of my father, Jonathan Samuel Dye; written by Rulon Verl Dye
Contributor: eshockley Created: 2 years ago Updated: 2 years ago
Memories of Jonathan Samuel Dye (1893-1971)
I'm Rulon Dye and I'm going to write a few things I remember about my father, Jonathan Samuel Dye, when I was a child and an adult. First of all as a little history, he was born in Uintah, Weber County, Utah. His grandfather Jonathan Dye came on the wagon train from Massachusetts in 1862 and moved to Riverdale, Utah. His father Benjamin Brigham Dye was born in Riverdale in 1866. Benjamin Brigham moved to Uintah with his parents and family sometime between 1866 and 1872. So you can see we are pretty much stuck in Uintah. I also have a son Kirk and a daughter Yvonne here, and their children grew up here in Uintah.
The first thing I can remember about my father, (John as he was known), was he was always busy; he liked to build things and make things. He helped build the new house in 1930-1931 where I was born, he built a garage, two chicken coops, a pig pen. He built his own land leveler, cultivator, bridges, and water pipes out of steel barrels, made irrigation ditches, planted crops, irrigated and harvested them. He planted an orchard of 500 trees or more, pruned, irrigated, cultivated and picked them with the help of family and customers. He ran a farm of 20 acres of hay and grain, irrigating, cutting and hauling it to the barn. He did all this while working an eight hour day as a State Road Supervisor.
Dad used to hire relatives and friends to help on the farm, he had Uncle Joe Dye, Uncle Gilbert Dye, Uncle Carl Dye, Chauncy Funk and his boys and Milton Anderson come work for him. They would dig ditches, irrigate, cut hay, rake hay, haul hay, thresh grain, etc. Mom would usually feed them dinner. This was during the depression in the early 1930s; so they all needed money to survive.
He love Uintah and did as much as he could to make it a better place. Before 1937 the people of Uintah didn't have running water in their homes; so they would get their household water from a neighbor's spring, the irrigation ditch or the river. He could see all the benefits of water delivered to the homes; so he ran for mayor of the town and got the job. He organized the town council and secretary and started planning a culinary water system for every home in Uintah. They were able to complete the project in a year or two; things went a lot faster in those days than they do now. He was a good mayor and the people liked him and what he did for the town; he was elected 5 times for a period of 20 years, longer than any other mayor of Uintah.
Dad wasn't always active in church; but he was always a religious man. I can remember him holding me in church as a 4 year old; but there was a period of time (when I was 6 years to 20 years old) that he didn't go to church. He must have been so busy he didn't have time to go. Anyway, he got going again when I was about 20 and Mom and Dad were sealed in the Logan temple for time and all eternity in 1953 and all us kids were sealed to them at that time.
Dad always had pretty good health; but he did have problems with arthritis. I remember him sitting in a steam tent in the kitchen when I was a young boy. I can remember him getting weak at about age 70; we were putting hay bales in the barn and he couldn't lift them any more. Another time I had to go out in the field with the tractor and trailer and bring him in because he just couldn't walk on his own.
Just after 70 years of age he had a serious tractor accident. He was working with the tractor near the hill up by the east fence. The tractor brakes were never any good. He was backing up near the top of the hill and couldn't stop. He hit the ditch at the bottom of the hill and the tractor rolled over with him still on the tractor. He ended up lying flat on his back pinned by the steering wheel pressing against his chest. The tractor could have caught fire because gasoline was leaking out of the tank. Battery acid was leaking out of the battery. He was pinned there for an hour or more before we found him. Neil and I dug him out with a pick and shovel and took him to the hospital. He lived through it; but he was never the same again.
He sat in his chair and mostly slept for his last 2-3 years; his body was worn out and needed rest. He died peacefully at home in 1971. He is buried in the Uintah Cemetery with his wife Elva and many relatives on the Dye and Stoddard side of the family.