Lewis Taylor, written by his son Lorin Bean Taylor, 1995
Contributor: BarbaraLeishman Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago
Lewis Taylor was the third child of John Emerson Taylor and Edith Alice Henderson. He was born on a warm early summer day in 1889 (June 17, to be exact) at the home of his father and mother in Clifton, Oneida County (later to be known as Franklin County), Idaho.
At the time of his birth, Idaho was still a territory; it was not until the next year that it became a state. His father and mother had come to Clifton (to the Idaho end of Cache Valley) to homestead a farm, along with a few of their friends and relatives and others.
When the early Mormon pioneers arrived in Salt Lake City they found the weather and climate very difficult to conquer so it could provide a living for them. It was just as difficult in Idaho, but our ancestors were truly of pioneer stock and they did make the earth yield a harvest as wages for some very difficult work including plowing, harrowing, planting, irrigating, harvesting, and, oh yes, weeding regularly during the growing season. Also, at that time, the farmers had to take care of their livestock including cows, pigs, chickens, sheep, horses, etc. Without these animals they could not have been able to succeed, because these animals provided much of their food as well as the horses providing the power to operate the farm equipment. As I look back I see where our forebearers were self sufficient in most things enough that they seldom needed to go to town or even to the village store.
As we were growing up there were not very many events that occurred in Dad's early life that he told us about. One thing, however, that he told us about occurred when he was about eighteen months of age. The people of the area did not know very much about sanitation and the relation it has to some serious diseases. The children came down with diphtheria and the oldest daughter, Rhoda, died. Dad was expected to die also. In fact he was dying, when a Melchizedek Priesthood holder (as I remember, his name was Bishop Garner) was called on by Dad's parents to come and dedicate Dad to the Lord because they felt he was too far gone to recover. Instead of doing that Dad was blessed to have complete recovery and to grow to mature manhood, to complete a mission for the Church, and to be sealed in a temple to a righteous woman and to raise a righteous posterity.
From that day Dad's health began to improve and he lived to be two months past his 69th birthday, quite an accomplishment when you consider that he was just about given up for dead when he was only eighteen months old.
Dad learned the skills of farming while growing up, as did his brothers and most of the other young men of the area but not too many skills in other areas. In fact, when it came to going to school, Grandpa permitted the boys to attend just a short time each winter. He needed them on the farm during the growing season from early springtime until the crops were harvested in the late fall and for morning and evening chores the rest of the year. Dad told me that Grandpa felt the boys needed practical experience on the farm and was not concerned about them going to school. Eventually Dad did graduate from 8th grade.
Dad continued to live at home and work on the farm until he was halfway through his twenties.
He was always active in the church and when he reached the age of nineteen he was asked by his bishop to fill a mission. His father forbade him to go because he said his help was needed on the farm. When his bishop asked him six years later he accepted the call. His father said he couldn't support him on a mission, so Dad told him that he didn't expect any financial help. During the previous six years he had been permitted to raise pigs in addition to his regular farm work. From this project he had been able to save enough money to pay for his mission, so his father unwillingly let him go. He was called to serve in the Western States Mission (the same mission to which I was called to serve some thirty years later; in fact we even labored in basically the same geographical area).
While on his mission Dad met Mother who was also serving a mission in the Western States Mission. Most of the missionary work that Dad did was proselyting, much of it in the rural areas without purse or scrip. Also, much of his time was spent in the Pueblo District (in southeastern Colorado) where I spent my full mission. Fifteen months of my mission were spent as District President of the Pueblo District, which extended into New Mexico.
Most of Mother's missionary time was spent in and around Denver where she was called on frequently to sing solos and to be part of one choral group or another. Those who remember her will remember that she had a beautiful soprano voice. When we were growing, it was always a lovely experience to hear her sing. On the other hand, Dad enjoyed singing, too, but his singing was so bad that it was hard to listen to him. But, because he enjoyed it so much we tolerated his efforts and sometimes joined in singing with him because his enthusiasm made it a fun experience.
Speaking of missions, when I returned from Europe where I served in the Second World War and was awaiting my mission call, I was working for Rogers Seed Company. On one particular occasion I had come home from work in the evening and felt pretty tired. I told Dad and Mother that I would like to go on my mission where I wouldn't have to work so hard. Dad laughed at me and then told me that some of the hardest work he ever did was in the mission field. He went on to say that often when problems and challenges arose, he and his companion had to "burn much midnight oil" to be prepared to solve problems and meet their challenges.
Dad and Mother both learned, as most missionaries do, that in every mission there are many highs and lows with the highs outnumbering the lows if the missionary is doing his work and keeping in tune with the Spirit.
Dad had a very successful mission, but he told of one time when he got so discouraged he decided to leave his mission and go home. He packed his things and was ready to leave when his companion talked him into waiting until the next day and to “sleep on his decision.”
That night he dreamed that he caught the train and went home. When he arrived at the station in Clifton no one was there to greet him. He got off the train and started walking to his home. On the way he met his Uncle Gus Bingham who laughed at him and told him that he knew Dad would not stay his full time. As he continued on his way he met the family dog which was a little black mongrel named Coaly. Coaly had always been friendly to him, but this time, when Coaly saw Dad, he put his tail between his legs and would not come at Dad's call. He walked on home and no one was there but his mother who cried in her disappointment at his leaving his mission before it was completed. At this point he awakened in a cold sweat. He awakened his companion and told him that he would never leave until he received an honorable release from his mission. He was very pleased to have completed an honorable mission. He knew that he had not only made some good converts and contacts, but that he also had grown immensely through his missionary experiences.
Dad and Mother met in the mission field, but their meetings were as casual acquaintances, mainly at mission conferences. I think they both must have been favorably impressed with each other because when they arrived back home they decided to meet at General Conference in October 1917. They liked what they saw in the other, but their association continued at a distance for about a year. Then at a conference held in October 1918 the picture began to change. Dad went to visit Mother later in 1918 in Ogden and after sometime together it was getting late in the evening, after a visit in Ogden of several days Dad was getting ready to go back to Clifton. Mother said to him, "Well, I guess I better go to bed so I can wake in the morning and prepare breakfast for my boss." Dad took the "cue" and asked her to prepare to come and make breakfast for him. She accepted and on April 2, 1919 they were married in the Salt Lake Temple with Elder Joseph Fielding Smith of the Council of the Twelve performing the sealing ordinance.
They set up housekeeping in Clifton for a period of time with Dad working mostly on the family farm. Homer was born on January 25, 1920 and John was born nearly two years later on January 2, 1922.
If I have my dates correct it was somewhere during this time that the Taylor home was burned down, and for over a year after John was born the family lived in Richfield, Utah, where Mother was born. Dad worked at whatever jobs he could get during this time and before I was born on September 5, 1923, the family had moved back to Clifton and were living in what was known as the Orchard house on the road just south of Clifton on the way to Dayton.
I get lost after this as to which homes we lived in and when we lived in them up until we moved from Clifton in late 1928. Suffice it to say that Mary Edith was born on May 3, 1925, and on May 19, 1928, the last ones in the family were born. These were twins, a boy named Evan Bean and a girl named Ethel Bean Taylor.
During these years I am not sure what Dad did for a living, but I think most of the time it was as a farm worker in and around Clifton.
In the fall of 1928 the family moved to Mesa, Arizona, at the invitation of Clarence and Janey Calhoun who were very good friends who had moved from Cache Valley to Tempe, Arizona. (Tempe is just a stone's throw from Mesa on the way to Phoenix.) At that time Tempe was a good farming community. Now it is part of a sprawling megatropolis extending from west of Phoenix east to past Apache Junction and among other cities includes Phoenix, Tempe, Scottsdale, Mesa, etc.
While we lived in Mesa I started school. I attended kindergarten and first grade at Lincoln Elementary School. I don't remember what school Homer and John attended, except the school district board wanted to place John in a school with mainly Mexican-American children because he was dark complexioned and they thought he looked like one of them. He would have been lost there because they would have spoken mostly Spanish.
We lived in Mesa from late in 1928 until the summer of 1930. During this time Dad worked on farms and as a construction laborer building roads in the area. It began to get more and more difficult to obtain a job in the Mesa area by 1930, so Dad left early in the spring and went to Idaho, to Thornton (just south of Rexburg) where he obtained work with a former missionary companion. At the end of the school year he sent for the family. Two of Mother's brothers came to Mesa from Richfield, Utah, and took the family to be with Dad.
In early 1929, while we lived in Mesa, Ethel died. I do not know what the cause was except she was always quite a weak baby. She died on May 3, 1929, which was Edith's fourth birthday.
While we were in Mesa we children had several of the childhood diseases that most children have, namely whooping cough, measles, and chicken pox, one right after another. I think these diseases somewhat weakened the younger two children (after Ethel was gone) because neither of them lived very long. Edith contracted pneumonia and died just a few months short of her sixth birthday in February 1931 and Evan died of pernicious anemia when he was about four-and-a-half years old, late in 1933.
When we were in Mesa there were four wards in the Maricopa Stake. These included all of Mesa, Tempe, Scottsdale, and Phoenix, etc. Now (1995), there are at least 24 stakes and 186 wards in that same area. What a fabulous growth!
When we arrived in Thornton we moved into a tiny ward just outside of Thornton to the west called Independence, where we continued to have our membership from August 1930 to the summer of 1934.
During that period of time I attended school in the second grade at a little three-room schoolhouse called Cedar Point School for one year and then attended third, fourth, and fifth grades in Burton School. Burton School was also a three-room school for first through eighth grades. During that time we lived in three different homes, none of which was more than a shack without electricity and running water. We pumped our water from a well and used kerosene lamps for lighting.
Having employment was a constant concern for Dad during the ‘20s and ‘30s as he had not been trained in any skills other than farming. Hence there was just not a whole lot of work available for him.
From what I have written you may think we were deprived, but we were not. We always had something to eat, a roof over our heads and clothes to wear. These things, along with a testimony, which was made practical by both Mom and Dad, made us feel we had what we needed. We were financially poor, but when I consider the love given to us by our parents and the spiritual environment they provided for us, we were quite well off in those things that count most.
In 1934, the family moved to Idaho Falls where Dad was able to be employed in some work for the city and in road construction. We were there for about a year where I finished sixth grade and Homer and John finished seventh grade. In 1935, the farm next door to Uncle Leonard and Aunt Laney in Lava Hot Springs, Idaho, became available to lease on shares. Dad leased it for two years, but because of a very short growing season the grain crop froze the first year before it could mature and "rusted out” the next year. Dad had to work on WPA (government program) in the winters to provide enough money for us to live on.
While we were in the Thornton/Burton area the family thinned a field of beets one year and for pay we received an excellent milk cow, a mixture of Holstein and Jersey. She provided all cream and milk the family needed during the years 1932 to 1937 when we left Lava to go to Mesa, Arizona again. We sold her and her yearling heifer calf for enough money to buy train tickets to Mesa for Mom, Dad, Homer, John and me.
This time in Mesa Dad worked hard for a highway building company. He helped to landscape the Mesa Union High School. Most of the time we lived in a tent about a block from the Mesa Temple because we couldn't afford anything better.
Also, while we were living in Mesa, John had a paper route for the Arizona Republic and one evening while returning from his paper route he was hit by a green panel truck which knocked him over fifty feet. He died in the hospital just before midnight that night. The people who hit him were never caught. Those who witnessed this said that the panel truck that hit him drove up to the next corner, apparently looked back, sped around the corner and lost themselves in the traffic.
I knew the paper route and had gone with John several times. On this day he wasn't feeling well so I offered to take it for him. He said, "no," and I let it go at that. I've wondered many times since then what would have happened if I had taken the route that day. I feel sure that he would have been alive today or at least neither of us would have been in that hit-and-run accident.
The way we looked at this situation is that the Lord had a special job for John to do at that time on the other side of the veil. It was very hard for Mother and Dad to have lost four children in the space of less than five years, three before the age of accountability and one teenager.
At the end of that school year (1937-38), Dad traded our tent for a 1928 Studebaker coupe with a rumble seat. Homer was the driver, Mom and Dad were front seat passengers, and I, with our luggage filled the rumble seat. We headed back towards Cache Valley. We stayed for a week or so with Grandpa Taylor in Logan and then went on to Dayton, arriving there in time to start school (my sophomore year) at Weston High School.
We moved into the Astle home just north of Dayton where we stayed until mid-winter, then we moved upstairs in Roy Hulse's home, which was about a block from the church in Dayton. In the summer of 1939 we moved into the little three room house on the main road in Dayton that belonged to Uncle Irvin. We continued there until the summer of 1940. By then Homer had graduated from high school and had joined the U.S. Coast Guard.
Dad had been working at whatever job he could get and in 1940 he was given the opportunity to sell McNess Products door-to-door in Cache County north and west of Logan. We moved to Logan to be nearer his work. Door-to-door selling was not for Dad so in just a few months he resigned and again began to work at whatever job he could get. He spent most of the next year working on a maintenance crew for the city of Logan.
Early in 1942 Dad and Mother moved to Ogden and Dad worked for the government at the ordnance depot in Clearfield. In the meantime, I graduated from Logan High School in 1941 and started school at USAC that fall where I continued until spring quarter 1943. I then went into the army and spent a couple of years in England and France, after having spent a year in the army in the United States.
When the war ended Dad and Mom moved to Idaho Falls where he again obtained employment with the city of Idaho Falls maintenance department. He continued to work there until 1954 when he retired. Even after he retired he continued to work part-time until his death in 1958.
Soon after Dad and Mother moved to Idaho Falls they had an opportunity to purchase a small two-room basement house on Rollandet Avenue in southeast Idaho Falls. They added another room and a bathroom and made it a comfortable little home. They also built a cinderblock storage shed, and they had quite a large space for a garden, which they planted every year. It was not a very fancy home, but they enjoyed it. I think the main reason they enjoyed it was because it belonged to them, and they felt the pride of ownership.
Mother's health began to fail about the time of our wedding in 1954. I'm not sure the problem, but I think it was Alzheimer’s that she had. It got to the point that Dad couldn't take care of her by himself so she was admitted to the state hospital where she spent the last few months of her life in 1957. Dad spent all the time he could with her and he grieved greatly as he saw her getting worse and worse until the end.
During the next year he spent much of his time as a stake missionary, but he was lonely and grieved for Mother.
Along in early September 1958 we received a phone call from Aunt Janey in Idaho Falls telling us of Dad's sudden death. This was on a Monday. It was reported that his neighbors had seen him enter his home the previous Friday evening and had not seen him again. They were anxious to learn if everything was all right, so they went to his home on Monday and found that he had died in his sleep, probably Friday night.
Aunt Janey said he had spent part of the day Friday with her and had eaten lunch with her. He told her he needed to check on some water he was controlling for the city and then he was going home. Evidence points that he died peacefully in his sleep.
Most of lives, Dad and Mother were very poor as far as this world's goods are concerned, but they were rich in those things that count most. They were faithful to the gospel to the end, and were very honest in all they did. They did all they could to teach their children the right way and they always set a proper example for us to follow. I feel their reward was great as they passed from this existence and met their loved ones who had gone on before, including parents, brothers and sisters and their own children.
Their lives were an example of putting first things first, and their rewards are those things that come to those who are obedient to the Lord's commandments.
Leonard Mendenhall Perkins
Contributor: BarbaraLeishman Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago
Leonard Mendenhall Perkins
The following is a transcript from an interview made at the home of Dora Beth Perkins Adams Thanksgiving day November 24 1973. I have purposely written the text to reflect the way he talked, which is one of the things the family remembers most about him.
Leonard is the son of Mary Elvira Mendenhall and Nephi Martin Perkins, their oldest boy. I had one sister older and six brothers and sisters younger. Cloie and I was born at my Grandfather and Grandmother Mendenhall’s place in Bridgeport on the 11th of February 1892. I was told Nancy Beckstead was the midwife who was staying and took care of mother when I was born. Their homestead was the ole’ Mickelson place up the canyon about three fourths of a mile past where Irvin and Ada now live in Dayton. It was square and had a curtain through the middle of it from wall to wall. Then there was a curtain through the other way wall to wall. We three boys slept in the south part of it. The girls had one other part and Mother and Father had the other room. The other curtained room was just there, it was the dining room and kitchen. And then a few years later Father got the rest of the logs out. He would take the team and go over the hill and cut what logs each horse could pull and bring them back. The distance was about five miles. There were two rooms in the cabin, and we lived in it. When I was small he used to break a lot of horses to work. He would have a team or two every winter to break.
Then the years passed... About the next thing I remember is when I was starting to school. The school house where I started to school was on the west side of the canal and a little south of the bridge. When I first started to school the canal wasn’t even there. My first teacher was Carrie Larsen, and I went to school there at Dayton, Idaho and my sister and me used to walk to school most of the time, and it was about mile to go. The schoolhouse was a two room building. There was a coat room where we went in. The first grades were in one room and up to the eighth grade in the other. They had two teachers for the primary and one for the others. Each room had a big round stove fired and kept with coal all winter. We used to go out fer recess and’d be out genrally at noon fer an hour or so after lunch. We’d play pom pom pull away, run away catch away and then one other game called field sticks. We’d choose up sides and we’d work to try to steal each other’s sticks and get back to our base without getting caught. In the spring we used to play some baseball, but not much. We never did hear of softball when I was in grade school.
Mother with Sister Davis used to be in the Primary. They come down once a week right after school in the fall and then go home from Primary. Our Sunday School teacher was Sister Chadwick. When we were about nine or ten years old she told us that the one who went the most Sundays in the year would get his name first on the roll for the next year. And for two years straight I never missed Sunday School. I was ordained a deacon and put in president of the Deacon’s Quorum just a week or so later. Cloie played the organ for several years at meeting. We always had some chores to do when we got home and in the morning before we went to school. The chores consisted mostly of taking care of some chickens, feeding pigs, and milking the cows. We always had horses to take care of, and we’d have some wood we’d have to get in and some kindling and some coal to make a fire the next morning. When we lived up the canyon we always had a calf or two to feed and had to take down to the ditch for water. All summer long Arland would go barefooted. He could just run anyway. It never bothered him a bit, but I could never go barefoot at all. It was no pleasure for me, just torture.
Then in the year 1900 when I was eight years old on the eleventh day of February in the morning Father hitched the team up, and he and I and Uncle Al went down to the Bear River, So I could be baptized. Way down under the bank we built a fire and got ready and Uncle Al took me out and got ready to baptize me and here come a big chunk of ice floatin’ down in the water. We backed up and it went by and then he took me out and baptized me in that cold water. We come back to the fire and changed clothes, got ready, and went home with the team and sleigh. Mother had dinner ready and had a birthday cake then we had dinner. This was on a Sunday, and then we went to Sacrament Meeting and I was confirmed that same day. CF Chadwick confirmed me a member of the church.
The summer before we rented the Sear’s place, Uncle Wren Day and Jack Murdock had a contract on the Oneida Canal, now known as the Twin Lakes Canal. I can remember goin’ up there when they was working up there. Father and Wren they did the plowin’ and others done the scrapin’.
Besides the homestead Father had, his brother, Uncle Ren Perkins and him had what we called the Sear’s Place rented it had quite a bit of hay. We raised a lot of grain and the summer I was ten years old, I learned how to plow. I had my own team and followed the hand plow. There was Father, Mark Perkins, and Marv Perkins and me. We summer plowed well over a hunderd and fifty acres that summer walkin’ behind a hand plow. We would walk from the Sear’s place, work all day and walk back home at night- a distance of about one or one and a fourth miles. We would walk seven rounds a half day and each round was a mile and so that made a distance of fourteen miles a day. Then later, why I helped to harrow. Father had a harrow he drove to harrow that and that was the summer I was ten years old.
When we wasn’t plowin’ we had quite a bit of hay to put up. Mark and I we was the ones that drove the teams on the wagons and the wagon with the hay rack. We’d tramp a little bit, haul it in and take it up the stack. Then Father and I used to go down to Grandfather Mendenhall’s place to go put up hay. I’d do some jobs down there haulin’ it in.
And then in the fall it’d be back to school, but when I was growin’ up most of us had work on the farm we had to do. We were purt’ near always late starting school. We always used to have quite a time when Christmas come. In them days they purt’ near always had a Christmas program in the schoolhouse. They’d have a nice big Christmas tree and all the town’d get out to this. They must of had it fixed though, ole’ Santy Claus, he’d come and each one’d get one present and that was about all. So I guess they had this arranged that way the childern’d, they’d all get some. They’d pass little bags of candy and peanuts around to everbody. Now this was somebody they’d help dress as Santy Claus that had to got them gifts. And then they’d have a program. If they got though that in time they’d have a dance. There was always plenty of snow when I’s growin’ up for that Christmas Party. We’d always go to the Christmas Party with the team and sleigh.
I remember one year we got the smallpox. It was goin’ around but it was very seldom they ever closed school for it. The one that had it would have to be quarantined and have to stay home. Some had it different stages. Some of us’d have lots of pox all over our faces and all over our body. Father he had it the worst of any of us. He was just covered with’ em all over. When I had it, they hunted, but only found two little spots that looked like ‘em on me, but I was sure sick anyway fer a few days. And then a year or two later we had the measles, and they were all quarantined for measles. After you had it, it was dangerous to get out too quick, you’d get pneumonia and they never had anything to vaccinate then, so it’d just come and go.
When they quarantined you for these diseases, the doctor would put a pasteboard, oh it was a foot ‘er so square and it would say “quarantined” for what the disease was. Fer smallpox it’d say “smallpox” or whatever the disease was. We was never allowed to go out once we was quarantined. You’d wave to the neighbors and they’d holler and bring our groceries we’d have to have from the store. They’d bring ‘em and leave ‘em in a sack or a box and leave it at the gatepost and then they’d go on and we’d go get ‘em from there.
There’s one thing I’d like to tell you about the Christmas Party that we used to have. My sister older’n me, Cloie, and I, we’d used to sing ‘purt near every Christmas for two or three years straight. They asked us to sing the same song and it was “Star of the East”.
There was always a celebration on the Fourth of July to celebrate Independence Day. Some of ‘em get up early and have what they called “Shootin’ the Cannon”. They’d use this ole black powder and get a blacksmith’s anvil and set it on a stump, set powder under it, and then light it on fire. And then it’d move that anvil and it’d sure make a noise! Then they’d fire that several times and start about sun up. Then later they’d all gather and have a program ‘fore noon. They’d always have someone read the Declaration of Independence; it was once of the main things. The congregation would sing a song ‘er two. Then it’d last fer an hour or an hour and a half’ er some such matter. They’d go out and there would always be somethin’ to do. They’d have fireworks and the kids’d be settin’ off firecrackers. They’d always have a great big wooden barrel oh, it’d be fifty gallons anyway and the women’d make lemonade in the barrel. They’d have a dipper and a cup there and you could have all the lemonade you could drink; you could just help yourself.
And then about the time it’d get to be two o’clock they would have what they called the “kids dance”. They’d have music and all the younger kids up to fourteen or fifteen years old they went into the schoolhouse. They’d dance of course it didn’t look much like it, but they called ‘em the waltz and the two step. Then they’d have a square dance that someone’d call and lots of the older ones’d try to show us how to do these square dances. We used to have a lot of fun anyway. Oh, often they’d have a horse race. There was always someone that had a horse that he figured was the best, so they’d have some horse races. Then they always had a bunch of foot races and stuff. They gave some article or some little piece of candy for the prize. Then it’d be time to go home to do the chores so the bigger ones could come back and enjoy the dance at night. And that’s how we’d celebrate the Fourth of July.
Once in a while we’ have a celebration on the Twenty-Fourth to celebrate Pioneer Day. They’d generally have a parade for that. They’d make up some covered wagons. Then they’d have a bunch of Indians come dressed up and they’d shoot guns and really put on a show for a little while. Uncle Tom Morrison he was always the Indian chief; he was a purty good Indian, too!
Then they’d always have a Thanksgiving dinner. Well, we generally had it home to our place, or wed’ go down to Grandfather and Grandmother Mendenhall’s, and that’s where we’d have Thanksgiving dinner. They generally had roast chicken and dressing and quite often someone’d get some ducks, they’d be wild ducks, they’d cook them and make dressing too. They always had pumpkin pie. They’d say they’s squash you made them pies out of; them must be squash pie! I well remember them sayin’ that.
The winter I was eleven, Father was working on the “big fill” on the West Cache Canal. I would go up there every two weeks and bring him on Saturday night and take him back on Sunday night.
Then in the fall of 1905 after I’d turned fourteen years of age, Father left and went on a mission. He led the singing at all the meetings and was in the Bishopric for as long as I can remember. As I remember it, it was the Northern States Mission where he went. My youngest brother Harold, was born while Father was in the mission field on the first of March after Father had left in the fall. In the fall of 1906, Father died while he was on his mission and he was in Indiana when he died. They shipped his body home and we had his funeral, and it was a very sad winter.
This left Mother with us eight children and our home was still up Five Mile Crick on the old homestead. We still have our chores to do around the farm and go to school. That winter they started a drive in the stake to help Mother build a home down at the mouth of Five Mile Crick. I remember Steven Collins, one of the old residents of Dayton gave Mother two and a half acres of ground. That is where the old home is still there and my one sister and her husband live there yet. And so I remember they got nearly enough money from the stake to build this home for Mother. She sure did appreciate it.
We had this home built and I helped what I could on it and the farm work. Then in the winter of 1907-1908 we moved out of the canyon down to this home. And it was nearer town, so it was handy. When we moved out of the canyon Al Laprey bought it and moved the home down about half way between Dayton and Weston. Then we continued to farm throughout the years. There’s one thing I missed. All the boys in my class were two to six years older than I was when we graduated from the eighth grade. They wanted me to take the eighth grade over again because I was so little and so young. I stayed away one year and then decided to go back to school. However, I told them that one day a week I had to haul hay. They said it was ok, but after about a week, he kicked me out. A kid had put a cricket down my back and because I hollered, the teacher said I was a troublemaker and kicked me out. The spring of 1907 I graduated from the eighth grade in Dayton. They’s eight of us in that class. I guess the biggest class that had graduated so far in Dayton. I was the only one that went on to high school. The next summer I worked for quite a while and took the money I made and went to the academy that year. Then we continued to farm me and my brothers when they got big enough. We’d get a job wherever we could for a year or two helping someone put up hay. Then there was always the grain harvest that come on. Then I’d have to go and work on the header. The header is what we’d cut the grain with. It was a machine that cut the tops. The cutter’d be out in front of the horse and generally twelve feet long and pulled with six head of horses, a big reel. Then they had what they called the platform and it had a canvas over it. Then it’d go over to what was called the chute. From there it’d go up this chute into what we called the header box. It’d hold quite a lot of headings. Then when it was full, you’d take the box and you’d stack ‘em up. They had three of them boxes they run with a header. You got to get your load off in time to take your turn. Then in the end of fall, why we’d thrash the grain.
That was always a big job in them days. You’d change hands with the neighbors and get help to do you thrashing. We’d always have about twelve or fourteen men to feed as the thrashing crew.
I managed to get three years of high school. For that I had to go to Preston. Cloie was clerking for J. G. Smith and she helped me financially in goin’ to school The four of us we’d got us a room and some of us’d stay. It was the ole’ Oneida Stake Academy. In the third year I was there I took part in track, I used to throw the shot-put some, and the discus and the high jump. I played shortstop on the baseball team. We used to have a purty good time. In the winter we’d always come home on the weekend. We’d hitch a team up on the sleigh and put sideboards on the wagon and fill the wagon box with straw. Then my brother and I’d pick up a bunch, sometimes we’d have as many as ten. We drove to Clifton on Friday night to the dance. They had a nice dance hall then and a good orchestra and we used to have a lot of fun. Oh, I met all the girls over in Clifton, the two towns together, the young folks all knew one another that went to the dances.
In 1914 I took my team and got a job when they was puttin’ the water works into Dayton. I pulled the lead kettle, kept the fire in the bottom of it to keep the metal hot so it would run. It had a big ladle which would hold better’n a pint. I dipped this lead to the men who were running the lead around the joints on the pipes. That fall I went back to work for James Callan again. Then that winter I went down on Glade’s place and Elmer, Grandfather, and I batched it. Elmer and I were renting the place. We got the plowing done in the fall and milked cows that winter.
In the winter of 1919 Sam Taylor stopped by and said, Why don’t you go over to Preston with me. So I got my coat and went over. It turned out he was going over to get his sister, Laney made bring her home for the weekend. She was teaching school in Whitney. She met us in Preston and we brought her home. It was one of them cold wintry nights up there. We even got out and run behind the sleigh to keep our feet warm. Well, ‘fore we got home, I’d made a date with her and then I took her back over to Whitney Sunday evening so she’d be there for school. That’s when I started to goin’ with Laney Taylor. In the fall of 1920 Laney and I got married on the fifteenth day of September, nineteen hundred and twenty. We went to the Logan Temple to be married. Her father and mother were living down there then. We went there after we got married and had dinner. Mother and my two brothers were stayin’ in Logan. Mother had gone down there to be with them where they was going to high school. We got married and we lived at the old home at Dayton that winter. Laney got a job and taught school in the little town of Lincoln that was between Dayton and Weston. They just had a small grade school and she taught there that winter. Then in the spring of ‘21 well, that first winter my brother Roy he stayed there with us as me ‘n him’d been runnin’ the farm. Then in ‘21 Laney and I moved to Clifton. Oh, and I worked here and there on the farms that summer.
Then the next spring we got a job on the water service on the railroad and we lived in outfit cars. They had a bunk car and the boss had a car with storage in it. Had had a tool car where we done our work and cut pipe and stuff. Laney only stayed part of one year it’d get so hot in them cars. So we rented an apartment in Brigham City and we moved down there. I could catch the trains good ‘cause our headquarters was at Cache Junction. I could get a train to home for the weekend, so I worked the water service til the spring of 1927 on the 3rd day of March our son, Taylor, was born. In the spring of 1928 I left the water works department and bought a farm up Fish Crick about three miles up out of Lava Hot Springs. My youngest brother Harold went in with me. When we was movin’ up there, one of Laney’s uncles Marvin Henderson gave us a pair of turkeys and a big ole’ Plymouth Rock rooster. We took ‘em with us. We had a niece and a nephew with us, Byron and Jean Sharpe. They was Laney’s youngest sister’s children. She’d separated from her husband and we had ‘em oh, all together we had ‘em about five or six years. The place there where we moved had a net wire fence around the house and if Byron got outside, if this rooster was anywhere around, why he’d chase him, and he was so scared of that old rooster he’d run and scream to get away from him. I used to laugh, and it’d make Laney mad, she run to help him.
We went on farmin’ that summer and we had purty’ good crops fer about three years, but the Depression hit us about the fall of ‘31. We had a car load of barley we wanted to sell , but we’s only offered twenty-one cents a hunderd for that barley. So we kept it over and our wheat, we had a good crop of wheat we’s only offered twenty-four cents a bushel, so we stored it at the elevator there in Mc Cammon and held it over. The next summer or late spring we got to sell this barley and we got fifty-five cents a hunderd for it. We sold our wheat and we got forty-six cents a bushel for it. That wasn’t very much neither!
Then in the spring of 1932 Laney was expecting another child, our second, and she went down and stayed with my mother a while. Then Mother took her and went to Brigham and rented an apartment, so she could be under the care of a doctor who was the doctor when Taylor was born. Mother stayed with her and we stayed on the farm. The day Mary Alice, our first girl, was born we had just finished planting our spring crops. That was the seventeenth of May. The next day I went down to Brigham City to see her and stayed a day or two and then went back to help with the spring work. Mother and Laney stayed ten days or two weeks down there. About a week later I went down and got Laney and Mary Alice and brought ‘em home to Dayton. We continued farming, but we had two purty dry years and then the Depression come on and the crops wasn’t so good. In them dry years and the Depression is when them farm programs went into effect. They divided the county into what they called communities. I was put in charge of Lava Hot Springs, Topont, and Blazer Districts. This job oh, ever couple of months we had to go over to Pocatello to get our instructions from the county committee. They set a wheat quota you could raise and the number of acres what you had to do to get them payments. It required quite a lot of chasing and running around. All this wheat ground especially had to be measured. I spent two or three years measurin’ a lot of ground along with it.
Then in the winter of 1934-35 we were expecting another child. Aunt Rhoda had been up with us visiting since New Years, as I remember. Laney got quite sick and I went for the doctor. He said she almost had pneumonia. He left medicine for her and he done all he could. Then on January the ninth Laney was miserable and I went and got the doctor again, and I had to get him with the team and a sleigh because he couldn’t run his car up there. He examined her a little bit and said well we’re goin’ to get this little baby, so along late that afternoon Dora Beth was born, January 9, 1935.
Well, in a couple of days Aunt Rhoda said well, “I’ve got to go home.” That did leave us in kind of a fix. So I went to town and got a lady named Effie Bell to come up and stay. I took Aunt Rhoda home. It had rained some in the he meantime and froze. Oh, the roads was slick, just covered with ice. Just as we got to Lava by a service station we spun around once in the road. Then down below Lava a few miles the car slipped around a bit and the back wheels went down in the barrow pit. It was right by a man’s house that I knew and he come and give me a push. The rest of the way we went slow. I got to Aunt Rhoda home and Sylva, she come back with me, that was Irvin and Ada’s oldest daughter. She come back and stayed a few days with us and Effie Bell, she stayed too. We got along purty’ good and Laney got to feelin’ well.
I better go back a few years I think it was the spring of 1933 we went in with a fellow by the name of Ray Miles and bought a combine. It was a Gleator-Baldwin. It had about a ten foot cut and we pulled it with eight head of horses. It had a drum separator. Now two of us usually worked this and could do the same work as six men runnin’ a header and ten men thrashing. That winter of ‘33 Mother got sick. They sent us word and we went down to see her and in about a week or ten days she passed away. We had to go down for her funeral. That summer Harold got married. He married Elsie Miles, she was the daughter of this Miles that went in with us on the combine. Then we lost this farm we was buyin’ in the Depression ‘cause of the poor crops. Harold and Elsie they got a place up to Pebble. We moved into this other house. It was on what they called the White Ranch. It was quite a good farm with good acreage. I stayed there and farmed it. Those two houses weren’t very far apart, one on one side, one on the other side of the lane. Oh, there was a good spring there. It had really cold water and this was where we got our drinkin’ water from. Fish Crick it run upwards of oh, a hunderd or hunderd and fifty feet of it. I guess these two homes between them there used to be a lot of good fishing in it. In the evening after the chores in the summer we’d go out as a rule in half and hour or an hour you’d catch a nice mess of fish and they was purt’ near always...
I got sick, the appendicitis, and had to go to the hospital and have my appendix out. Well, Uncle Irwin Taylor he come up to help me out and finish my alfalfa. And when my hay was ready he come up. I hired the Taylor boys to put up my hay and had a purty’ good crop of hay that year too. The next summer Dora Beth got sick and she had to have her appendix out. Doc Rich took her to the hospital and he said we’ll move a bed right in her room and you arrange to spend the night with her. As small as she is it’s goin’ to be quite a job. And that’s the way it went. Laney went to stay with her all the time. Dora Beth never complained of pain but she was sick at the stomach. He said if she had another attack like this, you get her on in here. Well, that night about nine o’clock she started. So we went to the hospital and they took her appendix out about ten o’clock at night. She got along fine.
Along about this time Taylor was a little older.. Just above us was a family named Kelly and they had four boys. So we started a little 4H club, we called it Potato Farmers. They used to grow a lot of dry farm potatoes up there them red ones real good. And that was our project every year. Then one year we took dairy workin’ with our cows and calves. We took them potatoes to the State Fair at Blackfoot and the boys got ribbons with ‘em as I remember.
About this time Laney and I was put in president of the Genealogical Society there in Lava and we worked on that for about three years. About then I was in the Elders Quorum Presidency for two or three years. We continued farmin’ and then I think it was the spring of 1943 the White farm was sold. We moved to what they called Sunnyside just about a mile outside Lava. We had electricity out there. We were lucky enough we went to Pocatello and found us an electric stove, we got it. Then we went over to Bancroft where we got a refrigerator and they were purty’ hard to get then during the war. We’s lucky enough we got ‘em. Then just as we were ready to hay, I took the cows up to the pasture, I had to change some water a little bit and while I was doin’ this the sciatic rheumatism hit me. I couldn’t hardly walk. Boy, it was painful. My neighbor gave me a ride home it was about half a mile up to this pasture. I had a crew come in to haul the hay. They come and they hauled hay without me that day. Laney went with me to the doctor. I didn’t walk on that leg for several weeks. I got along with a crutch and a cane.
They didn’t have no bathroom in this house we lived in out there. Most of the families went into town where they had them family tubs in this one swimming pool. You could go get ten baths for a dollar if we furnished our own towels. That’s where we’d always go to have our baths. We stayed there at the farm til the next summer. I was still using’ a cane. They kept telling me if I’d go to Arizona it’d help. And long about January I went down there for a month, but it didn’t seem to help much. It sure did stay with me. Then I come back. Taylor was a good farmer, he stayed on the farm that summer. Then in the spring Taylor found out he’d be deferred til he graduated from high school. So we got rid of the cows. I got a chance and sold my tractor and we moved to town. Well, it got down to graduation exercises. This was quite a thing in my life. Dora Beth was in the operetta, Mary Alice was in the girls chorus, Taylor was graduating from high school, Laney was teaching again, she went back because there was a shortage of teachers during World War II, and I was chairman of the school board when Taylor graduated. So that made it, so that all five of us, we were in the Lava Hot Springs High School Yearbook; our names and our pictures in it. Taylor still has that book. I know ‘cause I seen it a year ago. The kids brought it out and showed it to me. I had been on the school board about six years, so I had quite an experience there.
That summer I just worked odd jobs around Lava mostly for the summer. That fall, latter part of November or first part of December I got a job on the mail service for the Christmas rush. We handled mostly the parcel post. They called us the mail pilots and we took it out to all the towns well, from Pocatello to Green River, Wyoming. We’d go a good share of the time on the train Eighteen have a two or three hour layover and head back to Pocatello on Seventeen. We always had a lot of mail to handle on Seventeen. Or we’d run from Pocatello out to Huntington and we’d have about eight or nine hours there. We’d get a bed and go to bed for them hours and then catch a train back into Pocatello.
That next summer Laney and I and the girls we had a few days off and we drove out to see the lower Snake River Valley between Boise and Weiser. We went to several different towns and looked around. Oh, it was purty’, the crops sure looked good. They thought they’d like it too out here. I wanted to get back to farming when Taylor got home. Taylor got home out of the army in the fall of ‘46. He and I drove out and looked around, spent two or three days, then we bought a farm between New Plymouth and Fruitland. And we moved out there in the early part of January 1947. The year after we got out there the girls went to school in Fruitland. We got us a few cows at the farm sales, went to quite a few of them. And then we went to church at New Plymouth. They had a branch up there then and it was made a ward in March after we moved in there. It wasn’t too long after we’d moved out there they put Laney and I in the genealogical work again. We worked at that about two years there.
There was one thing back at Lava I missed. I was ward clerk under Bishop Hobson for about two years, then they changed the bishop and Long he kept me in there, so all together I was ward clerk almost four years.
Then the spring went by we got our crops in, we was going to change work with Vern Mendenhall’s, Taylor had taken the team and mower over to help ‘em. Now I was out in the pasture irrigating when I had a severe pain hit me. I made it to the house and they called the doctor. He said you bring him right up here. The neighbor lady she come over and she drove the car and they took me up. Put me right to bed, gave me a shot in the arm and a pill. He said you ought to go to the hospital. The next day they come out took x-rays of my heart and said well, you’ve got to stay right down in bed. Don’t you so much as to walk out to your barn. I was close to death for a month. That was a jolt, but Laney watched me. She wouldn’t let me go anywhere. I just lay in bed. After a month it got so I could get around a little and help Taylor again. The summer wore on I was able to help milk cows in a couple of months.
Then in the fall of 1948 Taylor he got married. He married a girl named Dorothy Anderson. They went to Salt Lake to the temple to get married and Laney and I went with ‘em. Went through the temple with ‘em when they got married. We went back and Taylor rented a farm oh, about half a mile from us. We kind of farmed together for the next year or year and a half and got along purty’ good.
Then early spring it was still quite cold, a couple of neighbor ladies stopped by to get Laney for a Relief Society meeting. And on the way up the car that had Laney had an accident. It pulled right in front of another car and they were all three hurt purty’ bad. Laney was really hurt bad and went to the hospital in an ambulance. She was there quite a while. There for about a week or ten days they didn’t know whether she’d make it or not. But she started to get better and after a month we brought her home. We got a hospital bed and she was on it. The girls helped me and we took care of her. The head doctor told the one doctor he’d have to go over and visit this woman two times a week. The other doctor he said, “Well, that’s ‘agin our rules!” Then the head doctor said, “Well, this is one time you’re goin’ to do it!” And he visited her for two or three weeks. She finally got so he didn’t have to make them visits. She kept getting better all the time, but it was two more months when she finally got over it in purty good shape.
That spring Mary Alice graduated from high school. Oh, it was only a month or two after she graduated she went over to Boise and worked over there. Dora Beth was home with me. We got along fairly well. Then in ‘52 Dora Beth graduated. It wasn’t very long before she went over to Boise and worked with Mary Alice. In September Mary Alice got married. She married Harry C. Smith. They were married on the fifteenth of September and that was Laney’s and my wedding date too. We went to Salt Lake with them when they were married. Then we come back and the same ole’ routine of farming...
In ‘53 Dora Beth, she went down to Provo to BYU to college went down there for a year. She came home and started to work over at the bank in Payette in the spring once she got out of school. We continued to farm.
Then in April 1956 one morning Laney went up to New Plymouth to help some of the women working making quilts for the Relief Society. We had a few sacks of clothes for the church welfare. When Dora Beth came home, why she took those sacks up to New Plymouth and picked her mother up. And on the way home coming home there was a fire at the side of the road with a lot of smoke on the road, and they had a car wreck. And that’s where Laney was killed. She was killed instantly. Dora Beth was really hurt bad and was in the hospital. When we had Laney’s funeral we took her to Dayton to be buried. We hurried home late at night and went over to the hospital the next morning, and Dora Beth knew me.
Mary Alice she come home with me and stayed with me oh, two or three months. Dora Beth she wanted us to come and see her oh, twice and sometimes three times a day. We’d go over, but I managed to do some farming. The elders quorum, they come out and cut my first crop of hay and put it up for me which was sure a big help. Dora Beth didn’t seem to improve much after she come home in July. The bishop’s wife Margaret Ashley and another friend, they took turns and they come and stayed with me and Dora Beth for purt’ near two months and helped take care of her. Then we finally found a woman over at Caldwell, she come and stayed for a month. Then we got one from New Plymouth that stayed about a month. The doctors said we had to get Dora Beth to Portland which’d be a good place for therapy treatments, but we went to Salt lake to the LDS Primary Children’s Hospital through the stake and ward where shed’ get help from church welfare. We took her to Salt Lake on the second day of November and that was an awful trip. She sure did suffer a lot going down there. We got her into the hospital. On Thanksgiving in November one of the members in the ward was going down to Salt Lake to spend Thanksgiving with their daughter, and I went with to see Dora Beth. A neighbor did my chores for me. I went up to the hospital the day before Thanksgiving and they said, “Will you be here tomorrow?” I says yes and they said well, you come up here and eat dinner with Dora Beth. And they brought me a dinner just as they did Dora Beth. There wasn’t much improvement in her condition. Well, I went back home and then went down and spent Christmas with her.
That spring I rented my farm and cows and went back down in the summer. I got an apartment and lived in Farmington. I would go from there into Salt Lake or catch the bus which was purty cheap. I got a job at Lagoon as night watchman. I worked there at night and could run to see Dora Beth purty reglar. I stayed down there three or four years anyway. The next summer I rented another apartment where Dora Beth could be out of the hospital part of the time and she lived there with me. After Lagoon closed that fall, we rented an apartment in Salt Lake. Ruth Clausen went with us. She taught school down there. The next summer I drove from Salt lake out to Lagoon and that was the fall of 1960. Dora Beth got so the bank could put her to work in the he office there in Salt lake. She started out just a few hours a day and got feelin’ better. So we moved back onto the farm in September of 1960. I took the farm back and the cows. Dora Beth went over to the bank but they didn’t have an opening, so she went over to Ore-Ida and got a better paying job there than at the bank. So she worked over there. I farmed until 1961. I rented the farm ground and kept the pasture and cows and kept my alfalfa ground, but I had to have it done. My machinery was old ’fore I left and purty’ well wore out. I was gettin’ too old to buy new machinery. So I hired it done and got by purty’ good. “Fore I sold the farm Dora Beth she went to night school and put in time over at Treasure Valley Community College and got some more college in. Then we sold the farm in ‘66 and moved to Boise in an apartment while Dora Beth went to college. The next year she got a job teaching school in Fruitland and we bought a home there. Dora Beth taught elementary school there.
We had a couple of purty good trips in the summer. Mary Alice and Harry had been transferred with their work to Calgary, Alberta up in Canada. Taylor and Dorothy were living in Casper, Wyoming. We left to Calgary and spent a few days with them and then down through Montana to Casper and spent a few days with them and come home. We made one other trip to Canada to see them. One Christmas we took the train to Taylor and Dorothy’s for Christmas.
In 1971 Dora Beth, she got married to Fred A. Adams. They went to Logan. I was using the cane and wasn’t getting around very good and did not go with ‘em. We sold the home in Fruitland, they moved to an apartment until the Boise Cascade would finish building their home on a piece of ground he had out by Kuna. I rented an apartment and moved to New Plymouth and here I am still living at New Plymouth. Today I’m at Dora Beth’s home and I have been spending Thanksgiving with her. November the twenty-fourth 1973.
Leonard Mendenhall Perkins lived in the New Plymouth apartment for the next two years. He was diagnosed with prostate cancer and eventually moved to Nampa to an apartment. He was very hard of hearing and had a difficult time getting around. He passed away in 1977 at the age of 86.