Life Story of Joseph Earl Ricks by Opal Ward
Contributor: modestograves Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago
LIFE HISTORY OF JOSEPH EARL RICKS
Joseph Earl Ricks, son of William Charles Ricks and Katherine Ellen Humphrey, was born 15 January, 1910, at Rexburg, Fremont Stake, Idaho. Earl was the oldest of 12 children. He was blessed May 1, 1910, by Eli McEntire, baptized by Charles J. West on July 6, 1918, and confirmed by H.T. Moss July 7, 1918. He was ordained a Deacon by Thomas H. Clifford Jan. 14, 1923, and ordained a Priest by George W. Summers on March 4, 1934.(Cont. by Opal Ricks Berto)
Earl married Opal Ward in Bishop Tom Mosses home. It was the 15 June, 1935 and a pretty day. We went back to Rexburg and got my things, and went to Mrs. Lesters in dark. Afterwards, we went to a dance and Earl introduced me as his wife. No one would believe him. The people asked me and I said sure and if you don't believe me ask the Bishop. They said they would have given us a good chivalries if they had believed us.
We stayed with Lesters for a while, then went to Reno Ranch, towards Mackay, Idaho, and stacked hay with Verl Scott. There were a lot of snakes out there. The guys they were working with put a blow snake on the fork and sent it up to them on the stack. Earl jumped off the stack. The stack was high - about ready to be topped off. We had a real time out there. There was all these guys there to put up hay. Earl was Earl. There was some guys that had rotten eggs and was going to rotten egg Earl. Earl found out about it and went over by them and stood unconcerned. He slipped up behind the guy with the eggs and broke them in his hands. The guy yelled "there is more where these came from, but the guy never brought anymore.
There was a lot of horseshoes played out there. One day Earl came in and dressed in one of my dresses and I put a ribbon in his hair. He went out where the men were playing. They said "Who is the new girl, who is the new girl?" Earl stood down where the sun shone through the dress (he had no petticoat on) and the men started laughing and told him to go up where the sun wouldn't shine through it. They couldn't take any more. That was funny. The guys about died.
We came back to Ririe and moved to Osgood and worked there in the beets. After them we hitch-hiked from Osgood to Antelope and stayed with Earl's mother for a while. We then worked for Larsens' on their farm. We lived in one of Larsens' houses. I was sick with Earleen and couldn't get out of bed. Earl would scrub clothes on the washboard at night.
We left there - I stayed with Grandma Ricks and Earl went to work for a guy. He gave Earl a trailer for working all fall. We moved it to Rigby and lived there. That is where we lived when Earleen was born. (She was born at Rexburg) We moved the trailer to Grandmas' farm at Rexburg and Earl farmed there. We had Dale there. (He was born at Rexburg). We lived there for about a year and moved to Sunnydale. Cleora was born there. That is when Earl first got sick. We moved from there to Rigby. We were buying a place from my brother. Zeke. Earl got real sick, and was in the hospital from the 2nd of December to Feb the next year. They had given him three hours to live. We snuck the kids
in to see him. He wanted to see them so bad. They drained his lung. He had fluid in his lung. That year we went to my mothers to spend Christmas. They let him out of the hospital for one day to spend Christmas with us. He finally got better. Delaine was born while we lived at Rigby.
While Earl was in the hospital, I had to do the milking and do the chores. It was a mess. When he got home he wasn't able to do much so we hired a man. He didn't seem to get better and the Dr. said he would have to get off the farm. We got off the farm and moved to Idaho Falls. Ruby was born there. We lived on 2nd street. Earl took odd jobs and was hired by a guy on the south of Idaho Falls on a farm again. Ke got sick again. He spit up blood and filled a wash basin full during the night. I took him to the LDS hospital and they wouldn't take him because we didn't have money to pay him on the spot. They did put him
in bed but nothing else. I told him; they wouldn't do anything until we had money. He got in his clothes. Tom came and got us and took us to Dr. Rigby in Rexburg. Dr. Rigby told him to take it easy and stop working on the farm so we moved back to Antelope with Grandma Ricks.
We stayed there for a while and Earl got a job as a Watkins Dealer.
The night Ruby was born, I started having pains. We didn't have a
phone so I told Earl to go to the neighbors. It was 2:00 a.m. and he didn't want to wake the neighbors. He ran downtown and called a cab. We went to the Sacred Heart Hospital. They were full up. They called a Cab and took me to the LDS Hospital. The Cab driver said "Don't have it here- don't have it here." After the baby was born, Earl ran back home to the other kids, as they were alone.
While we lived on 2nd street in Idaho Falls, Ruby was just a baby, and it was New Years. We were supposed to go to Marvilla’s. Delaine stooped over -- the stove sucked her nightgown and caught it on fire. She screamed. We were sleeping in the front room. Earl jumped up and grabbed the nightgown and put out the fire. Earl burned his hands bad. We went to the hospital. Delaine wasn't burned bad. They dressed Earls hands and released him. We then went to Marvilla’s.
We moved from that house to the one in Rexburg where he sold Watkins for a while. He couldn't make a go of it selling so we moved back to Ririe where Coles live,(in a basement house)doing odd jobs. That didn't work out either so we moved in Grandma Ricks' house (across from where Tom Ricks lives now) While we lived there, our next door neighbor, the Simmons' always picked on us. Mrs. Simmons always figured a large family was a bad thing. You had to be nuts. That's where Dee and Karen were born. Earl came home once and had had a few drinks. He went over to Simmons', knocked on their door. He told Mr. Simmons he would knock off his block for him. Simmons said no - Earl said "you can bring your wife and mine will beat her up too." Simmons said no.
The Simmons' garage caught on fire one night. Earl grabbed the hose and began to put water on it while I run to call the fire dept. Simmons blamed Earl for starting the fire. We moved Grandma Ricks' house over to where Opal Monroes house is and lived there for a while. We then moved from there because Grandma Ricks sold the house and Opal »as going to build.
We moved in and lived with Ed Morgan north of Ririe, in two rooms. That is where we lived when Tim was born. We moved from there to where Norve Johnson lived. It had two rooms with a dirt roof. No electricity or water - we hauled water to drink and wash from the canal. I used to scrub on the board until Grandma Ricks let me come to Rexburg once a week and use her washer. Earl did odd jobs and drove school bus while we lived there. He also helped Dick with harvesting when he needed help.
We moved from there to North of Rexburg out by the dump. Earl worked for Rogers Brothers in Idaho Falls. He drove to I.F. every day. Nina was born. Earl was fighting fire out by Arco someplace. I had the baby and stayed 10 days in the hospital and was back home before Earl came home from the fire. Someone told him before he came home that I had the baby.
While working at Rogers, he kept getting sick getting pneumonia. I had to take him to Blackfoot to a lung specialist. They kept him overnight. They told me to take him to the I.F. hospital. He wouldn't go. He had to go home first. When he got home he had to wait for all the kids to come home from school before he would go to the hospital. I took him at 4 or 5 o'clock that night. I would go see him every day. Before they were to operate he wanted me to bring Dale back with me the next day. He had a book he was reading. He gave us the book – I told him to finish it and he said "No, I will never finish it". When I left that night, he said to bring someone the next day that could drive. I said I could drive. He said no. I went to June's and she came with me. When we got to the hospital, they were wheeling him to the operating room. He looked at me like it was the last look he would ever see. It was the last time I ever saw him alive. He used 27 pints of blood while they operated on him. It ran out as fast as they put it in. We called all the family in.
Earl was a fisherman. We went with Verl and Fay Scott a lot. He liked to hunt. He went once with Dale Clay and poached. He could really dance too. He won 1st prize in the Charleston. There was a bunch of girls egging him to dance. He finally did - he had a few drinks, but he won the contest. This was while he was in the CC's at Lewiston.
He like homemade bread and gravy. He would be off working and come home and want me to make gravy.
Earl played checkers. He would play with Kaz Hikadi. He would win. Kaz would go home and play with Ida Hikadi until he thought he could win and try Earl again and lose again.
Earl loved horses. If he could have had a horse ranch he would have.
Earl played a good game of horseshoes too.