L. Frank Redd Autobiography
Contributor: kevsha Created: 2 years ago Updated: 2 years ago
L FRANK REDD AUTOBIOGRAPHY
I was born May 5, 1891 at Mancos, La Plata County, Colorado. I was the second child and eldest son of Lemuel H. Redd Jr. and Lucy Zina Lyman. My mother was living in Mancos, having left Bluff, Utah, because the U. S. Marshall was seeking plural wives in order to get evidence against their husbands. A year or two later Mother returned to her home and husband in Bluff. The early years of my life were spent in Bluff, and I was graduated from the eighth grade in 1905. We moved to Grayson, Utah (now Blanding) in 1908. I went to Brigham Young University in 1909.
Having been called on a mission, I received my endowments in the Salt Lake Temple on June 14, 1913. At this time the initial “L” was added to my name. It was selected by my mother as it was the first letter of my father’s given name and the first letter of her maiden name, Lyman. I had been christened Frank Redd. The same day I received my endowments I left for my mission. There was no preliminary training for missionaries at that time.
My call was to the Central States Mission with headquarters at Independence, Missouri. During this mission I assisted with the completion of the new church at Independence, which was dedicated the latter part of November, 1914 by Joseph F. Smith, President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. In the dedicatory prayer President Smith stated that “this house would stand forever” despite the fact that, through prophecy, we knew that the city would be desolated and here would be built a temple and the city of Zion, preparatory to the Second Coming of the Savior. In order to get the building ready for dedication at the desired date some twenty-five missionaries were called to Independence from various conferences in the mission. I was called from the East Kansas Conference to help complete the building and prepare the grounds. In his sermon following the dedication President Smith said that those who had assisted in preparing this building and grounds could say that they had indeed helped in the building up of Jackson County.
One-hundred and seventy-five missionaries attended this dedication, and following the services the entire group tracted the city of Independence in three days. There had been no tracting in the city for the previous twenty-five years due to the bitter opposition of the Reorganized Church whose world headquarters was there. It was a privilege for me to participate in this great tracting event. Elder Spencer W Kimball, now of the Council of the Twelve Apostles, and several other new missionaries, including Sister Nettie Rebecca Rose of Weston, Idaho, who later became my wife, arrived in the mission and had their first experience in this three day tracting of Independence.
While I was serving in Independence I attended the funeral of the first president of the Reorganized Church, Joseph Smith, a son of the Prophet Joseph Smith. He was buried in a black suit and in a black coffin. I will never forget the spirit of darkness, and bitterness toward the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, that prevailed in the funeral.
In the spring of 1915 I was appointed president of the East Kansas Conference and held that position until released from my mission on October 1st of that year. I then returned to my home in Grayson, (now Blanding), Utah, and married Nettie Rebecca Rose in the Salt Lake Temple, February 14, 1917. We made our home in Blanding where I was engaged in farming and livestock business. I was called up for military service in 1917 but was rejected due to poor eyesight. Our union was blessed with seven children, one son and six daughters: Maxine, Rae, Frank Bennion, Josie, Lucy, Helen Klaire and Marilyn.
One of my outstanding memories of the ensuing period was the last Indian uprising in the United States. In March 1923, Posey and Joe Bishop’s Boy, of the Piute tribe, led an uprising against the white settlers in San Juan County. (Ironically it turned out that they were the only ones killed in the fracas.) The sheriff, Bill Oliver, deputized me and gave me a gun and six of us piled into an old Model T Ford and joined the chase to apprehend the two Indians, who were heading down a nearby canyon in an effort to get to their old stomping grounds. From some rocks about 100 yards from the road they fired at our Model T and the bullet passed through the entire back seat, end to end, about four inches from where three of us were sitting. They shot the back tire off and we had to get out and run for cover. The next day Joe Bishop’s Boy was shot and killed and Posey was wounded and later died in a cave where he had hidden. I discovered during this incident that the gun which the sheriff had issued to me was leaded and was completely ineffective.
In November of 1925 I volunteered for a short-term mission. At that time Nettie and I had three small children and another on the way. Nettie stayed in Blanding and boarded three school teachers to help meet expenses. I was called to the Eastern States Mission which was divided soon after I reached the field and from the northern part of it the New England States Mission was formed. I was sent there to labor and spent most of my time in Vermont and New Hampshire. (In 1942-44 my son Bennion served in the New England mission and at the present time, 1966, his son Don is laboring in the same mission.)
In April 1926 I was released from this mission and came to Monticello, Utah to work in the L H. Redd Co. Mercantile Store. I moved my family from Blanding to Monticello later that year.
I served on a stake mission, being set apart as the first President of the Monticello district of the newly organized San Juan Stake Mission, on June 28, 1936 by Albert R. Lyman. I was ordained a Seventy in 1917 by Apostle Melvin J. Ballard and was sustained as President of the 125th Quorum of Seventy on May 27, 1923 and set apart for that office by Elder Ballard. Elder Antoine R. Ivins of the First Council of Seventy set me apart as the First Senior President of the newly organized 265th Quorum of Seventy on May 24, 1937. On November 28, 1937 I was ordained a High Priest and Bishop of the Monticello Ward by Elder Ballard. What a coincidence that he ordained me a Seventy, set me apart as a Seventy’s president, ordained me a High Priest and a Bishop! I served as Bishop for seven years. Marion G. Romney of the Council of the Twelve set me apart as a High Councilman in the San Juan Stake May 19, 1946; a position I held for many years.
My civic positions include Justice of the Peace in Blanding, Town Board member and Mayor of Monticello and one term in the Utah State Legislature in 1953-54.
Much credit is to be given to my wife for the achievements of our six daughters and one son. She was an accomplished musician and has always been interested in the cultural and educational life and insisted that each of our children learn to play one or more musical instruments and obtain higher education. She has been active in choir and choral work as well as holding many positions of responsibility in the Church and community and has served on a stake mission.
Our eldest daughter, Maxine, a talented pianist and organist, attended Utah State Agricultural College and was married to C. Alfred Frost in the Salt Lake Temple. He is a rancher and livestockman in Monticello and currently a member of the Utah State Legislature. They have two daughters and three sons, and a baby girl died shortly after birth. Maxine has served as President of the Monticello 2nd Ward Relief Society, Stake President of the Young Women’s MIA, and in many other church positions.
Rae was married to Dr. Homer E. Smith, an ophthalmologist, and they reside in Salt Lake City with their daughter and two sons. Rae is a registered nurse and served in that capacity as a First Lieutenant during World War II in the European Theater.
Bennion is a lawyer living in Monticello where he is a Bishop and San Juan County Attorney. He served as a First Lieutenant in the Army during World War II in the Pacific theater and thereafter was graduated from the University of Utah Law School. He married Margaret Mae Whitton in the Salt Lake Temple in 1949. She was a talented singer, and a teacher of English at Monticello High School at the time of her death in an automobile accident in 1953, leaving two small sons and a baby daughter. In 1954 he married Ivalou Sperry in the Salt Lake Temple and her two sons by a previous marriage were sealed to him. She is active in theater arts, singing, and literature and has held positions in these areas in the ward and stake. A son and daughter have been [added] to this marriage. Bennion’s four eldest sons are Eagle Scouts. He is listed in Who’s Who in the West.
Our daughter Josie died in 1964. Jo was an executive secretary and held many responsible positions. She attended Utah State Agricultural College and worked for the FBI in Salt Lake City, Washington, D. C., and Houston, Texas, and was for a time private secretary to Senator Frank E. Moss in Washington, D. C. She was the first executive secretary for Litton Industries when they built their plant at Salt Lake City and she later transferred to their San Carlos, California offices and worked there several years. We all loved her dearly and miss her very much.
Lucy is another lawyer in the family and practices in Salt Lake City, specializing in transportation law. She was graduated from the University of Utah School of Law and for eight years was Deputy County Attorney in Salt Lake City. She is serving her second term as Utah Democratic National Committeewoman. At the last national convention she gave a seconding speech for Vice-President Hubert Humphrey. This summer (1966) she was elected chairman of the Democratic Western States Conference, the first time a woman has been elected to this position. She too is listed in Who’s Who in the West.
Our daughter Helen Klaire was graduated from the University of Utah in journalism. She worked in public relations for United States Steel Corporation and prior to that was with the United State Dept. of State in Germany. While there she met an Englishman, Peter Binder, whom she married in 1956 in Salt Lake City, Utah. They make their home in West Hartlepool, England where Peter manages two steel mills. He has a science degree from Durham University and is a Major in the Territorial Army, Royal Artillery. They are the parents of two young sons.
Marilyn also lives in Monticello and married Doyle B. Rowley in the St. George Temple in 1954. He is a mathematics and science teacher at Monticello High School; he is serving a stake mission at the present time. They have three daughters and a son. Marilyn attended the Brigham Young University and the University of Utah. She served as President of the Monticello 2nd Ward Relief Society and has held teaching positions in most of the organizations of the church.
I am very proud of my heritage and of my parents who pioneered this San Juan area. I am thrilled and amazed at the progress that has taken place in this once remote part of the United States during my lifetime and that of my father. I am grateful that he persevered and that the San Juan Mission was successful in no small part due to his faith, leadership, and works. This mission has provided a basis for the tremendous cultural, educational, economic, and spiritual development that is ours today. It is my hope that my posterity will have and use the same fine qualities found in my father, that they may contribute to their generation as he did to his.