Joseph and Mary Jane's Canadian Homestead
Contributor: dvdmovieking Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago
From the handwriting of:
Emily Petersen Young.
From 30 Aug. 1909.
Date 15 Feb. 1981.
Way out on the Canadian prairie, a fertile land of occasional low
rolling hills and tall June grass, with not a tree in sight, the August
breeze was breathing a furnace heat, lazily dreaming of the coming
winter’s mad race that would heap the snow high and drop the
temperature to 60 deg. below zero.
But now it was august and papa was desperately trying to get the
grain cut before the hot dry breeze shelled out the heads, and mama
was supervising a carpenter on the finishing touches of the new addition to
For the past three years they had lived in a 14’ x 22’ one room lean - to
homesteaders shack. (pictured above)
Mama & Papa, Clifferd, now age 8, Franklin, age 6, Rita, age 4, and
Donna, almost 2 years.
But there was a new baby about to arrive and mama just couldn’t
live in such a small place with five children.
The incessant hot breeze made no sound and was only evidenced
by the rustle of the waving sea of prairie grass and the bobbing
of the heavy heads of grain in the homesteader’s acreage
half stubble and shocks half tall nodding grain, and the constant
specter of stifling heat.
The heat was really hard on mama in her advancing pregnancy.
The necessary chores and household duties had not ceased their
demands, and she was tired. And half-ill. This had been a difficult
pregnancy from the first.
Mama always faithfully and with determination finished what she
started. She was precise, and neat and tidy and she pushed to the last
to get properly settled into the new gabled addition to the house.
The carpenter nailed his last nail and mama placed the last of
the meager supply of furniture and hung curtains to the windows, and
right then, Papa had to quit his grain cutting and hurry to get the
doctor notified, take the older kids to a neighbor’s house and stay by
mama’s side while they awaited their new baby. They soon greeted a plump little 9-lb. girl who cried lustily when the Doctor gave her a smart slap on the bottom.
The (midwife) nurse cuddled her in a soft blanket and laid her
on the sewing machine while she helped the Doctor with Mama, who wasn’t
doing so well and was so tired; all 5' 9” of her; that she was about to
give up and go away where she could rest forever. Then she heard her
little girl, Donna, cry and ask for mama. She forgot how tired she was
and how she had been tempted to forsake her family and take her ease.
She opened her eyes and with faith and determination took up her task
to remain faithfully to the end, and a relieved and grateful Papa went
back to the grain field.
When the nurse finally gave her attention to the new baby she
cried in alarm, “This baby has turned over!”.
How mama had wanted a child who had brown eyes like the eyes of
her mother in far off Utah, and now among her blue-eyed brothers and
sisters, the baby’s eyes promised to be brown! And they called her
“Hazel”. But, as fall wore into winter, the brown faded from her eyes
leaving them with only a circle of brown around the pupils.
Much discussion had settled that she would not now be named Hazel
but would have the name Emily for the brown eyed grandmother Emily
Zellweger Haefeli, Jensen, Harden who had buried three husband and was
a widow doing cleaning for her living, keeping herself, her mother, Jacobea Zellweger and her two young boys, John Jensen and Arthur Harden. And Margret for her blue eyed Danish grandmother Karen Margrethe Sorensen Petersen who was also a widow whose children were all grown and she lived alone in Spring City, Utah. Mama’s mother lived in Salt Lake City, Utah.
So when an infrequent meeting of the branch was called at the home of a not too distant neighbor, R D Smith, Bishop G. W. Pack blessed the baby and gave her the name of Emily Margret Petersen, 19 Dec. 1909. Starline Ward.
For a while, she was called “Margie”, that became icky so she has always been known as Emily. Not Emily but like "happily", Emily.
The winter wind rose to a vicious howl whipping the blizzard snow into drifts as it fell, sending mama and Papa outdoors to nail horse blankets or quilts to the windows to keep their children from freezing in their home. One drift between the house and the barn was so large that Papa & the boys shoveled a tunnel through it to make trips to water and feed the horses, cows and chickens and bring milk and eggs for the family.
Tar paper and pink building paper lined the boards to insulate and help keep out the cold. Each morning every nail head wore a white tuft of frost. Our breathing ‘smoked’ as Papa whittled kindling and built a fire in the “heater” and the kitchen range. After a while we could venture out of bed. Our clothing was chilly & damp. Eggs were frozen, milk was frozen, and bread was frozen. Emily remembers hearing these things told and as she grew she remembers seeing them happen.
Baby’s Record. Kept by her mother Her mother’s handwriting
(insert in Emily’s journal had her mother’s writing)
Name Emily Margret Petersen
Born Monday afternoon Aug. 30/1909 at 1-30 o’clock.
At Little Bow homestead.
Christened Sun. Dec. 19/1909
By G. W. Pack, Starline at R. D. Smiths res.
Weight at birth 9 pounds.
Six mo. 18 1/2 pounds.
One year 22 pounds.
Cut first tooth May 18/1910. cut two lower, one front one side. Last
tooth Jan. 1912.
First walked Aug. 28/1910
First word mama.
Bright sayings, Doing mama, Matin bitoes? (making potatoes)
She is a doing it to martie.
Put in short clothes Dec 25/ 1909. Sat alone on floor Jan. 25/1909
Hair braided 10 mos.
Lost first tooth May 1915.
Started school April 1915.
3 weeks 11 2 years 2ft 8in
6 MOs 18 1/2 5 years 3ft 8in
10 mo. 22
1 year 22
1 yr. 6 mos 24
Feb 13/1911 25
Nov 11/1911 28
Dec 6/1911 29
April 1912 28
Oct. 1912 33
June 7/1915 44
Mama got Papa to make some beds that could be folded up against the
wall in the daytime and had flowered curtains in front to hide them.
The boys Clifferd, Franklin, and Kay slept in one, Emily, Donna and
Rita in one, with a curtain between. One time when all of us had colds
we were rubbing with Mentholatum or Musterole. The boys had the jar
first and when they got through rubbing, without warning Kay threw the
jar over the curtain and it landed on top of Rita’s head cutting a big
gash. Blood ran down her hair and face while she sat & whimpered.
Emily can never remember seeing Rita cry. ------But Rita says Emily
was a bawl baby, howling like a banshee half of the time!.
Kay was just 2 1/2 years younger than Emily and he stole into the
family with out being noticed by her but two years later when Leo
arrived Emily remembers that the family visited the hospital in
Champion town to see mama & the new baby. She was a snoopy kid and
always saw all there was to see and commenced to investigate. Papa
almost paddled her and as she grew up she learned to just see and not
talk about what she saw.
Emily couldn’t run fast enough to keep up with the big kids so
when she tried to follow them someone took her back to the house halfway
back telling her to go to mama.
One day she just didn’t go back and when the older ones came to
the house Mama said, “where is Emily”. They said they sent her to the
house. She did not go and mama and the three biggest kids started to
search and call. No answer. Papa drove into the yard in his grain
tank. Mama was frantic asking Papa if he happened to see Emily. He
said “no”, and mama burst into tears, so he reached down and lifted his
lost daughter from the bottom of the wagon, and was sorry he had tried
to fool mama. He had met Emily toddling along the road almost to the
neighbor’s home a quarter of a mile away.
It was really hard for Emily to wait until she could go to school
so she waited and watched for the bigger kids to drive in. They
carried lunch in a big shiny syrup pail, which always had a day-old
warm leftover sandwich which Emily ate with relish while she sat on the
dinner pail. Those daily sandwiches were the big event of the day. I
wonder if Mama put in an extra each morning!.
The rock pile was a great fascination. Large rocks from the
fields turned up by Papa’s plow as he turned the grass sod, and papa
carried each one off the field or the far ones he loaded onto a crude
drag he called a ‘stone boat’.
Then the horses were used to pull the ‘boat’ to the edge of the
field. Emily loved to climb all over the huge piles even when she was
already suffering a freshly mashed toe from a rock that tumbled as she
stepped on it. She just couldn’t learn and had many a mashed toe.
When there was the big straw stack to tumble down. Especially
remembered at Easter when the whole family romped and rolled the pretty
Easter eggs that had been wrapped in onion shins and dress material
that faded when they were boiled 15 minutes. We never heard of any old
Bunny leaving eggs!.
We all helped and Oo’d and Ah’d at the miracle wrought upon the
eggs as we unwrapped them after boiling and we polished each one with
an oily rag and stacked them on mama’s big round precious wedding gift
silver tray a sight to behold on Easter morning.
Every spring we just had to houseclean. Mama was tidy even if we
did live on a lonely prairie. The carpets were hung across the
clothesline and beaten to get the dust out. (And time a few years
later Kay and Emily were big enough to be the beaters and Emily got hit
across the nose when she peeked around the carpet to see how Kay was
doing. ) After the dust was out Mama would scrub the carpet all
stretched out on the grass and leave it to dry in the sun while
everything else was scrubbed clean. The bed ticks (sort of a sack)
were emptied out and washed then stuffed with new straw that made the
beds look like mountains--only too soon the straw crunched down flat!
Last of all the carpet was re-laid over a huge pile of clean new straw
and stretched and tacked down next the wall, and looked like a fat-
bellied giant on the floor. Last the precious heater with its isinglass windows so we could see the fire flickering- and it’s new yearly
coat of aluminum paint, which stayed beautiful until the 1st fires of
winter browned and scuffed it- was carried carefully over the fat
carpet and settled down on the stove board squashing a big dimple in
the carpet and everything was so pretty and so clean we all felt like
Sometimes papa would rush in from his evening chores and say, “
come out and see the Aura Borealis”. And we would gather outside and
see a fine display of the Northern Lights in the sky. In Canada we
were closer to the source and the lights would make a beautiful sight.
Of course we had a garden! There was no other way to get fresh
vegetables for the family. And it was something else! Horseradish,
yech! Our eyes ran water as it was ground in the hand grinder by Papa
and bottled for winter by Mama. We tampered with it but can still feel
the path it burned on it’s way to the stomach where it settled like a
Turnips we always had (P turnips) the kids called them. They
tasted stink buggy. Were only eaten under threat. Squash, ugh. It
tastes delicious now since Emily found how it tastes. Poor Mama fixed
it every way under the sun to temp us! Peas, pretty bad. How come
vegetables are so nasty? Carrots fresh from the garden were raided so
many times it was a miracle any survived for winter to be spoiled by
cooking. Beans- were gustily accepted when dried and souped and eaten
with hot bread dough biscuits and Potatoes and eggs were consumed in
It was quite an event when we got a new water well. Water had
always been bucketed from a “dug” well with a bucket on a rope which
ran through a pulley fastened to a scaffold above the well. Papa would
throw the bucket down into the well so when it hit the water it was on
it’s side and would fill up, then he would pull on the rope that hung
through the pulley to bring up the bucket of water and pour it into the
horse-or cattle-drinking trough or take it to the house for mama’s use.
Papa was strong and he could draw water fast. Sometimes he would take
Emily on his lap and wrap his big strong arms around her and hold her
so helpless she thought she would smother. She was afraid and she
cried and he called her a big *****, but he didn’t know how strong he
was. Emily wanted to secretly hate him for teasing her, like she
secretly hated the older kids when they blabbed the syrup pitcher at
her and said “bla, bla, bla! And pointed the milk pitcher and cream
pitcher spouts at her and all of the knives and forks, saying “ya, ya,
ya”, making her squeal and cry until mama heard what was going on and
stopped them. Emily really secretly hated them but she couldn’t hate
papa-he was mostly good and kind and he loved her so she just cried and
Two men came with a drill rig to drill a new well and ate and
slept at our house a few days. The first morning they stood around
deciding with Papa about a good place to drill. Mama came out of the
house. Papa and Mama argued some then Mama got her willow crotch that
she called a ‘water witch’, and holding it high she started walking
around the yard. Pretty quick she was all excited. “Here it is! It
just turned in my hands! This is the place!” Mama was real happy so
the men grinned and set up their rig on that spot and soon we had a
good water well with a pump.
Maybe it was better but that pump had to be pumped and Emily was
getting big enough to have a turn pumping and hated to leave leisurely
childhood and learn to work. Papa didn’t have to spend time watering
the livestock and on wash-days carrying the water-and for bathing, and
we had a rain barrel that caught rain-water running off the house, and
Mama used that good soft water to wash hair and clothes when there was
plenty and the grain and the garden loved plenty of rain too. That
barrel really echoed neat when it wasn’t full. You could hang your
head inside a little and call out “Donna” and the rain barrel would
answer “Donna”. It had a damp smell of water soaked rotting wood,
and when Emily first smelled the pacific ocean it smelled just like the
rain barrel and she thought of all the ships lost at sea with their
water soaked wood rotting for years & years.
There was natural gas under the ground where we lived so it was
never sure the well drill would get water. The neighbor of ours- an
old man with a long white beard got a new well drilled but it was a dry
hole. One morning when he got dressed he went outside to look at the
beautiful morning while he smoked his pipe. When he lighted his pipe
fire exploded all around him and burned off his eyebrows, hair & beard,
and settled at the top of the pipe in his dry well. Always after that
we could see that flame burning. That is when it was discovered that
natural gas was underground. That was about 19--.
When the thunder roared and lightning streaked across the sky
Mama would run out to gather her baby chicks into the coops with their
mothers. They would be blown away and drown in a down-pour of rain
Emily, with her nose pressed against the window, remembers seeing Mama
in the flashes of lightning out in the rain with a shawl over her head,
scooting chicks with her hands into the nearest coop, the rain
splashing up around her and over her-- and above the confusion of the
rain the roar of the water as it ran down the ruts of the road that
came from the hill top home of the "Fath" family 3/4 miles west of our
house. Memory still hears the roar of the downpour of water as it
ripped its course down that hill.
Sometimes Mama lost a lot of the chicks her setting hens hatched
This is the coop for the old hen while the chicks ran everywhere
After a while the roads were dried up and dusty. Our buggy
wheels cut into the deep sand and the tracks closed again as the wheels
passed along. The hoofs of the horse made no noise but tossed up sand
with each foot as she trotted along; Emily like to hang her head over
the edge of the buggy and watch the sand fly up and the tracks close
behind the wheels as they rode along.
We had to burn coal for cooking and to keep us warm in the
winter. In all that vast prairie of grass there couldn’t be found a
tree for fuel.
Papa brought our coal from the mine several miles from our home.
Sleepy kids, awakened by the bustle of his departure stood
barefoot in night gowns and long Johns at the door with mama to watch
him drive off into the pitch-black of the early morning hour.
The minutes and hours lagged. The day seemed longer with papa
away. Dinner was eaten in empty silence. Supper over and still papa
had not come. Mama told us stories and sang songs to us by the light
of the fire flickering through the isinglass windows of the big heater
and Emily could feel the warmth of mama’s sweet spirit all through her.
After a while we were off unwillingly to bed. Sleep just would not
come and Emily lay with her eyes wide-open waiting, waiting. Then
someone said, “Listen”. And in the far off night blackness we could
hear the sound of the loaded wagon wheels screeching in the frozen
Everyone tossed and scuffled in their beds, and listened as the
screeching on the night air came closer and closer. Suddenly it
stopped and papa was home. Tending the horses forever before he was
stomping the snow from his feet and coming through the door! Kids with
dancing eyes rimmed the area. Frost clung to his long black furry bear-
skin coat, his cap, his eyebrows and his mittens, that mama knitted for him
and covered with denim. The cold air that came in with him ran
across the floor and rolled up in a mist that filled the kitchen. The
kids were all dancing around in their undress celebrating Papa’s
arrival. From the depth of his long deep pocket he pulled a small bag
of hardtack. We were a family again!
On their infrequent trips to Champion it was exciting to watch,
Jack Carson, the store clerk fill up a little white paper bag with red
stripes, with hardtack, Grasp the top of each side in thumb and
forefinger and toss the fat bag over and over to twist it shut and
leave a little ear sticking out at each side.
When mama hung her washing out in the winter she wore overshoes,
coat, wool neck scarf, wool head scarf, knitted woolen gloves, to keep
from freezing. Some of the water froze out of the clothes before mama
brought them back into the house to finish drying. The long underwear
so stiff with frost they looked like a family of headless ghosts until
the warmth of the fire slowly melted them and they fell, into disappearing
In Sunday school mama taught the little kids. Sometimes the
little ones and big ones together because there were never very many
kids at Sunday school.
Emily really liked to be quiet and listen as Mama told stores.
She would tell about the big beautiful temple in Salt Lake City, Utah,
USA and teach us to sing “ We want to see the Temple, with spires
rising high and points majestically pointing unto the clear blue sky.
” Then we would sing “Up up in sky, where the little birds fly, Down,
down in their nest, where the little birds rest, with a wing on the
left, and a wing on the right, we’ll let the dear birdies rest all the
When the round sun comes up and the dew fades away, “Good
morning, bright, sunshine,” the little birds say. “How bright are the
flowers. How great are the woods- Our Heavenly father how kind and how
good. ” The strength of Mama’s spirit flowed into Emily and she
loved the whole world and wanted to always be good and love Our
Papa liked Sunday Company. Sometimes after Sunday meetings two
wagon loads of people came to our house for dinner-instead of just our
one wagon load. Everyone was almost starved after the long ride going
and coming and sitting through church.
The Papa’s and Mama’s always ate first and fed their littlest
kids while the bigger kids played around and waited to be called. They would
come racing almost famished, eating everything they could see. Mama
sure had to fix a lot of food on those days. She didn’t like Sunday
Company as well as Papa did but she had 'em. She probably get used to
it and enjoyed it too. She used to laugh a lot and have a good time.
The sheet lightning flashed so bright sometimes all through the
night in the late summer. People said it ripened the grain, which was
all Canada people raised. It lighted a trip to the outhouse too. A
bright flash gave us time to run out another bright flash lit our way back
to the house.
Papa’s brother, Uncle Parley had always lived down the road from
us, but we thought he didn’t like kids very well. At first he was a
bachelor, but he got married one time. We went to his bachelor place
sometimes and he came to our place sometimes but he and papa always
talked man talk.
Emily started school when she was five years old-because a
certain number of kids had to go so we could have a teacher. We all
rode in a double buggy. We went to the Sherwood school. There were
about 25 or 30 kids in all grades of elementary. We sang “God save our
Lord, the king God save the King. Send him victorious happy and
glorious long to reign over us. God Save the King. But he didn’t
reign over us very long cause we left his domain. Emily can barely
remember the man teacher but remembers that one day he brought a live
badger to school. They put the girls and the little kids on top of the
decks and had a dog and badger fight. Emily was glad she was on a
She got a sore throat during the cold weather and it was called
Quinsey and a big abscess under her right ear. She slept between her
two sisters Rita and Donna and every time someone moved her abscess got
bumped and she cried so, that mama made a bed for her on two chairs by the
side of mama & papa’s bed and applied hot poultices and prayed. Emily
had to sleep there until the abscess softened and drew to a head so it
could be lanced by the doctor who put her to sleep with chloroform and
got it over with.
Emily sure loved mama but she was so strict. She thumped Emily
on the head with her thimble on her finger if she was sewing. If she
wasn’t sewing she smacked Emily’s naughty mouth with the back of her
open hand. That hurt, and it taught Emily to keep her naughtiness
inside of her or forget it all together.
We always had pretty paper bells for Christmas and garlands and suet
pudding and squash pie that mama spiced up to hide the squash. Papa
would stick a fork into a Christmas bell and candy would tumble out.
Emily can still feel the magical wonder of Christmas and feel the spirit
of Santa Claus as we awoke to see all the funny looking one legged
children dangling. The feet were all corns and bunions of candy and
nuts a book or a box of cards made such crooked ankles. Our yearly
orange bulged. Many things poked out here and there with a doll
sitting atop everything almost falling out in her haste to find her new
mother. Those were the days!.
One time mama got sick and mama papa started making preparation
to go to Utah to see mama’s mother. Leo and Kay were to go but Emily
couldn’t go. She had to stay at the (unknown) home with Fred and Emily
(unknown). The other kids stayed at home 1/2 mile away from (unknown)’s. Rita was 11 years, Donna 8 years, Franklin 13 years Clifferd 15 years.
Emily 6 years and (unknown)’s had a son 6 years old. Their only child. He
was fun but we got chicken pox and Emily couldn’t get well she couldn’t
say her prayer with mama’s knees way off in Utah USA. The other kids
were so lonesome they came to (unknown)’s a lot and they got chicken pox
too. When mama and papa came back they brought the measles germs and
we all got measles.
Mama & papa brought mama’s brother John Jacob Jensen-
who was really mama’s half brother. He had a camera and he took
pictures of everything and developed them himself. That was 1916.
Uncle John thought everything was fun & we loved him. I think he loved
us. He was always ready to have fun with us.
Mama & Papa kept talking of going to Utah to live but they
couldn’t go until after our new baby was born and all of the wheat was
harvested but they had promised his mother they would bring uncle John
back to her when the summer was over. She was a widow and only had her
two boys to keep her company and help her while she worked and took
care of her old mother who was and kind of funny in her head.
Mama’s new baby was born 26 Sep. 1916 a boy and they named him
Darel, but he died. After we had measles we got European cough. It was
really whooping cough and our baby got it and it killed him on 17 Oct
1916. When he got sick Papa and Uncle Parley Petersen blessed him and
gave him his name. Us kids could never get close to him but he got it
anyway. And we were all so sad but Uncle John took some pictures of
him and gave them to us.
That was October and mama & papa really started to get ready to
move to Utah. When they had visited in Utah they got so lonesome for
their families that they just couldn’t stay so far away and longer.
When they left Utah to go to Canada in 1902, a large group of
young men with wives and families all excited for the adventure of
homesteading in this new country opened by the Latter Day Saints Church
to get Mormon families spread abroad. Papa and mama had one son 9
months old now they had seven living children and one that had to be
left behind in the lone cemetery at Magrath Canada.
Uncle Parley had come as a single man 20 years old. He was a
bachelor for a long time but got married in 1915. We went to his?
Place some and he came to our place some he and Papa always talked man-
talk. His wife had twin boys around the time our baby was born. We
could only look at them through the window because we had the cough,
but they got it somewhere and both of them died. Emily’s heart hurts when she thinks about how sad they were to lose such lovely babies.
A lot of people had moved into the area. Most of them non-
Mormons so the local Mormons were still a branch of the Starline ward
some miles away.
That summer while Uncle John was there, the Branch had a baptism
at the Little Bow River and baptized a bunch kids. He took a picture
of our littlest brother Leo age 2. Mama had nearly stripped him so he
could dabble in the water on the sandy bank.
About six weeks after mama had had her baby--just a month since
they buried him we had an auction sale. Papa borrowed a cook shack that was used for threshing crews and mama served coffee, soup & sandwiches all to the people who came to buy something.
One day we really did leave Champion, Little Bow, Alberta, Canada
for good. All of us were over spreading germs but not over the cough
from the European cough we had had, and we had never before ridden
anything but a horse drawn buggy or wagon. The train made us motion
sick and we coughed so had that we vomited and were so sick we couldn’t
eat the sandwiches mama brought, and it was awful!
We stopped for the night at Butte, Montana and mama fed us coffee to try to settle our stomachs, but seven of us vomited on the floors and on the beds because the one rest room was at the far end of the hall and we couldn’t make it. I guess everyone was glad to see us leave Canada!.
How Emily loved being in “The land of the free and the home of
Papa and mama took us to Spring City, Sanpete County, Utah to see
papa’s mother and other relatives. Our first time to see any of them.
I guess nine people looked like an invasion instead of a visit because
it seemed like some were not too happy to see us. Our Grandma Emily fixed
beds for us then said "Let’s see, Clifferd and Franklin, Donna and Rita, Kay
and Leo Joseph and Janey, and I will take my little namesake to sleep
Emily yelled and screamed and refused to sleep with her strange funny-looking Danish talking grandma. She was scared and clung to mama and can’t remember how it was settled. If mama had been sewing, Emily would have got some thimble pie. She expected the back of mama’s hand in her mouth but was too scared to care. Emily could sense the embarrassment of mama and papa, but they didn’t know how hard it was to be the leftover in a family of matched pairs!
THIS HISTORY OF JOSEPH ALLEN TOLBERT IS WRITTEN BY HIS SISTER ERMA TOLBERT PETERSEN
Contributor: dvdmovieking Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago
It was a real cold night with snow on the ground about two feet deep, here in Abraham, Millard County, Utah. A beautiful and talented spirit was born to a father and mother here on earth. The home this spirit had chosen to come to had a father by the name of Sherman Tolbert and the mother by the name of Frances May Williams Tolbert.
Early in the evening of January 30th 1917 mother took real sick. Papa hitched his horses to his white topped buggy and headed for a little town named Woodrow, Millard County, Utah, for the Doctor who was a lady by the name of Elizabeth Tracy. She lived about 6 or 7 miles north and east from where we lived. When Papa reached her home, he found out the doctor had been called to another home to bring another baby. Papa unhitched the team from the buggy, tied up one horse and went on horseback to this home which was 7 or 8 miles farther. He talked with the doctor. She said she dare not leave Mrs. Alice DeLapp until her baby was born. The doctor promised to come to our place as soon as she could. So Papa rode back to Woodrow, hitched the horses to the buggy and came home to Mama. Mother kept getting sicker. She would walk the floor, then rest. Midnight came. Still no doctor. Papa sent me for a neighbor. She lived a quarter of a mile from us south. At this time, we lived in the house across the ditch in this field just north of where Earl Petersen lives now. It was called the Lone Tree place. This lady's name that I went to get was Isbella Bohn. When I told her mama was sick, she dressed and went home with me. Mrs. Bohn was a pretty good midwife as women were called in those days. She took Mother by her hands and talked to her. This helped to calm mothers nerves.
A short time after midnight, Alice DeLapp had a baby girl. As soon as Dr. Tracy could leave, she came to mother. In the early hours of the morning of January 31, 1917, a beautiful baby boy was born to Sherman and Frances May Williams Tolbert. He had a lot of real black hair and real thick. He was a very pretty baby. This baby boy already had 3 sisters and 6 brothers. Five of these brothers were living, as our father and mother had their first son die at birth. This made their 10th child.
It was while mother was in bed that all nine of us children came down with the red measles, even the baby. He really got red. Every one of us was really sick. When we all got over the measles, and mother was up and around again, a name was chosen for the baby. It was Joseph Allen. This name was after two uncles. One was Joseph who was mother's brother and father's oldest brother was named Allen.
I can remember how proud I was to carry this new baby to church which was one half mile from where we lived. I wanted to show him to all my friends. It sure did thrill me to hear people say, "Look at that baby. See all that black hair." And then say, "Isn't that baby pretty?"
It was on April 1,1917, we all went to church to see our baby brother receive his name. He was blessed by the Bishop of our ward Elder Donald Hogan of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
It seemed as if time really flew by and Allen soon learned to walk. He soon learned to talk. All of us children enjoyed teaching him. As Papa lived on the farm, these are some of his first words, "Cat, Dog". He could call the chickens. I often took him with me to gather the eggs and feed the chickens. The boys would take him on the horse when they went to get the cows.
One day, he came up missing. We all went to see if we could find him. We found him in the corral on the horse. Allens legs were really short and didn't reach very for across the horses back. As Allen was only 4 or 5 years old, he had got the horse to come by the fence. He put the string over the horses neck, then climbed on the horse and was riding the horse around the corral.
When Allen was six, he started to school, here in Abraham. (The building that Herald Sherman Petersen, our son, is now living in was the school for years.)
When Allen was eight years old, he was baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints on June 23, 1925 by John W. Fullmer. Allen was confirmed July 7, 1925 by John W. Fullmer who was the bishop at this time.
Allen went to school here in Abraham until 12 years old. Then in 1929, the children of Sunflower and Abraham were sent by bus to the Hinckley, Millard County, Utah school.
At the age of 12, he was ordained to the office of Deacon in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints on April 16, 1929 by George Q. Wilchen who was the Bishop.
Allen was a great lover of sports. When at Hinckley going to school, he was in every track meet. He was a real good foot racer and won first place many times. One time he went with the school to Cedar City and came home with first place in pole vault and the quarter mile race. He liked to play baseball and basketball. He was a real good ice skater. He loved to dance and was a real good dancer. But I think the thing he liked best was to go out on the desert and chase wild horses.
He caught many the wild colt. In less than a week, the colt would be broke to lead. He would train them to lay down, shake hands, as he called it. He could tap on the colts leg and up would come his leg. Allen also became a very good shot with his gun. He would hit the bulls eye every time. He killed lots of rabbits and coyotes.
One time Clifford and I took our children and went with Papa and Mama, Helen and Dale to Joy to spend Easter. When we got nearly there, we decided to get Aunt May Laird to go with us to Topaz Mountain. Allen was with us also.
After having lunch, Allen put up some tin cans, got his 22 pistol and started to shoot. He was doing pretty good at hitting the mark. He kept coaxing Aunt May to try her luck which she did. She took the gun and emptied it. She had hit the mark every time. She then gave it back to Allen.
One time we all went to the Chalk hills , just west of where we now live. Allen joined in every easter egg hunt. Clifford and my children love their Uncle Allen. Even after Allen was married, he would bring his family to our place, play a game of ball or steal sticks or hide and seek with them.
When he was 17 years old he went out to Nevada to see if he could find a job. He found one on a ranch. (It may have been at this time that Allen worked for William and Marjorie Ceresola on their ranch at Wadsworth Nevada. She was a first cousin to him. Her father was William Allen Tolbert, brother to Sherman Tolbert. Thelma Ceresola Kovett told me this when I visited with her on 8/12/02 at Fernley Nevada. She was their daughter. DLA)
As Allen had spent a lot of time at our house, when he came in from Nevada or home to Utah, he came and stayed at our place. He called it home and it grew to be his home nearly as much as fathers and mothers was.
Allen always had a lot of friends while growing up. He was such fun. Allen grew to be a real handsome young man. He was very neat in his dress and always kept himself real clean. When he washed his hair, it would just shine, it was so black.
On one of his trips home from Nevada, he decided he was going to get married. He had been dating a real pretty girl by the name of Norma Talmage Billings. As Allen was only 19 and Norma 17, they couldn't get married without their parents going with them to Fillmore, Millard, Utah. This was the year 1936. Allen and Norma were very happy until family and a girlfriend of Norma's entered into their married life. This caused trouble and ended in a divorce. After this, Allen started to drink. He left and went to Ruby Valley Nevada to work. He was real handy in fixing things and was soon hired to work on a ranch.
Allen was put to work mowing alfalfa hay. The team of horses he was driving were not broke to well for anyone to drive with a mower. Soon they got scared and started to run. Allen couldn't hold them. He got thrown from the mowing machine and got a badly broken leg and foot. He was in the hospital for a month or more and never wrote and told anyone.
When Papa got sick with a really bad heart attack, we had an officer look Allen up. When Allen heard about Papa, he came home on crutches to see his father.
While home, Allen told us he had got his card from Millard County and had been placed in Class A. As soon as he got off his crutches, he would be going into the Army.
It was when in the army that the spelling of TOLBERT was changed to an A in place of the O. I think it was the way Allen made his O. It sometimes looked like an A instead of an O. But Charlene and I have papers from Washington D.C. that state that your Great Grandfather Tolbert signed, saying that Tolbert was spelled with an O not an A.
The first time Allen came home on furlough, I knew he was one of the handsomest soldiers the army ever had. Of course, he was my brother and very dear to me.
After going back from his furlough, he met your mother, Rita Myrtle Nelms. Maybe Rita will tell you how her and Allen met. Allen wrote and told us how much he loved Rita and planned to marry her. He was also hoping to be released from the army.
When Allen came home, he was married to your mother, She was a very pretty girl, with her red hair and dark eyes. Her skin was real fair too.
From the first time I met my new sister, I loved her. As the years have gone by, my love has grown for her and my brothers family. We love them all very dearly.
Before Allen got sick, he would bring his family and Rita and come have dinner and supper. Clifford and I sure did enjoy having them come.
Although Allen became real sick in his mind, my love never did change for him. I loved him dearly as a brother.
It was after he came out of the service, that his friends started to call him Joe. It was short for Joseph.
I received Rita's consent and had Joseph Allen Tolbert endowed and sealed to his father and mother on the 17 Oct 1973