Joseph Hyrum Taylor
Contributor: Simini Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago
The year 1889 brought a new baby to the family of William Joseph and Abby Jane Scott Taylor, but William was not there at the birth of his third son because he was serving a mission for the LDS Church. The baby was christened Joseph Hiram Taylor. At that time the family lived at 600 West and 100 South, across the street from the Pioneer Park in Provo. Later the family moved to Vineyard and eventually to Lake View, what became the Cherry Hill Dairy Farm.
Joe grew to boyhood and saw seven more children born to the family. He put long hours on the farm and he used to kid about how long it took him to get through the ninth grade, because in the fall there was the harvest, and in the spring there was planting, so he could not get a full year in at school.
The family owned a fine buggy and Joe seemed to be in demand with the girls when he could drive them in the buggy to Saratoga or Geneva for an outing. But he stayed a bachelor until he was almost 28 years old. And then the girl he had been waiting for came along. He always said that he had waited for her to grow up. On Dec 12, 1917, Joseph Hiram Taylor and Norma Tuckett were married in the Salt Lake Temple.
The couple rented a house in Lake View, but Joe spent much of his time at a dry farm in Millard County. The next November a baby boy was born to the couple. Two years later in 1920, the month of August welcomed a second baby boy who had the same red hair as his father.
In 1924 the family moved to 751 West 100 South in Provo, and a few weeks later on May 6th a girl was born. Joe was now a milkman for the Cherry Hill Dairy which was only a few blocks away. He drove a milk wagon and delivered milk to the doorsteps. Even after he left the dairy and went to work for the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, he still went morning and night to feed the horses for the dairy. In 1927 another baby girl was born, and Joe now began to work for the insurance Company and continued until the depression year of 1932. That year he and Norma made many trips to Salt Lake City to look for work. A dealership with the Watkins Company seemed good to Joe, and he became the “Watkins” man. He had this job until Aunt Della took over this route at the time of his death.
“I remember how he used to settle back in his chair after dinner to read the paper and, I suspect, catch a short nap. I recall his gold watch hanging on the nail between the double windows looking onto the porch…Later when Pink and I had learned to drive, Dad would come home early on Saturday afternoons and announce ‘I’ll get the ice cream going if you guys will get the ice.’ He knew we’d jump at any chance to drive the old Durant. He’d give us a quarter (which bought a 25 lbs. block) and we’d drive to the icehouse down along the RR tracks. This would take place intermittently all summer.
“The ice cream treat was punctuated by Dad having put a watermelon in the well water there by the back porch on Friday evening and announcing Saturday night that the melon was cold. These events were many and included the usual neighborhood gang.
“Quite early when Dad had the night Cherry Hill Dairy delivery, I would go on the route with him. He had the two-horse team who’d clatter down the center of the neighborhood streets during the wee hours. He’d take the milk—six quart bottles in a carrier—plus butter and cottage cheese to the various houses. Either the load was too heavy or I was too small to be of much help. The most vivid memory I have was back at the dairy after the delivery was done. There we’d select a bottle of milk from one of the cases sitting on the concrete floor with a cold stream of water running through it. Man, that cold milk tasted good! Sometimes it would be a giant cup full of buttermilk fresh from the churn.
“Really early in my life, while we were still living on the Cherry Hill farm, I remember Dad had arranged for delivery of a brand new Model T Ford. The man from the garage drove it out and parked it in the shade of a big weeping willow tree in the front yard. Boy it smelled so new we pestered Mom to go for a ride, but she didn’t know how to drive, so we had to wait until Dad came home.
“All of us remember when we used to turn on the Majestic radio in the living room and let Bus (our dog) come in the house, then we’d listen so intently for the sound of Dad’s car. We’d hurry and usher Bus out and turn off the radio….Dad assigned me the job of keeping the wood box (on the back porch near the kitchen door) and the two coal buckets full. I spent half of the summer chopping wood for winter. I stacked it in the bins in the coal shed.”
Joe was active in the Second Ward of Provo. He was chorister for over 14 years. His choir was invited to sing in many of the other wards, and we thought that he had the best choir in the city. There was hardly a week that went by that someone didn’t come to the house to ask Joe if he would sing at the funeral of a loved one.
After Uncle Golden moved into the house through the block, they decided to revive the quartet that they had sung in many years before. Uncle August and Joe Ahlander made up the foursome. About this time Joe began to feel his health failing and felt that they should take life a little easier, and they decided to buy a house in Orem that was cut away from the noise of the city and close neighbors. But this didn’t last long, because the orchards were cut to make room for more houses. They had lived in the house less than four years when Joe became very ill and spent much time in the hospital or in bed. How he looked forward to the visit of Uncle Scott who came to shave him whenever he could make it. He did find a time when he felt well enough to travel with Aunt Mary to Boise to see their children who were living there. On November 11, 1952, Joe felt better than he had in a long time and decided he could go to work. He spent the morning visiting his customers in Mapleton and at noon he went to Hooley’s Café for lunch. It was there he suffered a fatal heart attack.
He was buried on November 14th at the Provo cemetery. How true the words spoken by a close neighbor of Joe’s at his funeral when he said that it was not just a man who had gone, but a way of life.
Written by Normalind Taylor Smith