Lester George Longmore history
Contributor: Keren Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago
Interview with Lester George Longmore
L. Gary Longmore, son
Tape Recorded in 1971
Transcribed by Karen Fisher Dec. 1999
LL: Lester Longmore
EL: Estella Mae Anderson Longmore
GL: Gary Longmore
LL: My name is Lester George Longmore and I was born June 1st, 1902, to George Brooks & Maud Mary Walters Longmore in West Jordan, a little town twelve miles southwest of Salt Lake City, Utah. Note: The Jordan River Temple stands very near to the home where he was born. Dad worked at the smelters in Murray. One of my earliest recollections was when my father’s Grandpa Jones died, & how I was so frightened when I saw him. I called him “Old Uggle Face.”
In the home where I was born, we lived with an old couple by the name of Last, and we called the old fellow, “Uncle Jim.” He had an apple tree, and it was loaded with apples but they were green. This was in June of 1904. I started eating one of the green apples as I walked around the house where he was peeling and topping turnips. He took the apple away from me and hit me over the head with the turnip tops, and I remember how bad I felt about it. I cried and he said, “You shouldn’t have those apples. They’re green, and you shall have some when they are ripened.” We moved away from West Jordan to Idaho Falls (Coltman) that summer in 1904 when I was 25 months old and sure enough, that fall, he sent a box of ripe apples to our home there.
GL: Do you remember any experiences in moving to Idaho?
LL: I remember being terribly homesick and wanting to move back to my little home in Utah. Our neighbors to the east of us, Gneitings, had a home similar in build to the one that I was born in and so I always wanted to go to that place because I thought that was my home. My mother’s father & mother, Grandfather & Grandmother Walters, and their family moved at the same time. Grandpa Walters bought an 80 acre farm and dad built a home in the same yard near their home.
GL: What did Grandpa Longmore do for a living while in Coltman?
LL: He was a blacksmith for a few years with Utah-Idaho Sugar Company & blacksmith shops in Idaho Falls and Rigby before he finally started his own business in 1910.
GL: Do you remember much about the blacksmith shop in Coltman?
LL: Oh, sure.! I remember the shop well. I used to think it was one of the finest places in the world, and some of the experiences that I had with dad in the shop I’ll never forget.
GL: Do you remember much about the house where you lived in Coltman?
LL: Yes. I remember. It was a dirt-roofed house with two rooms. It had no lathe & plaster inside - just boards on the outside, built vertical. Then it was finished inside with factory, which was dried muslin, and we used to whitewash the factory; and we had homemade carpets on the floors, but I thought it was one of the finest homes that I’ve ever lived in. We lived there from 1904-1915, 11 years.
GL: Do you remember any experiences in particular about the blacksmith shop there?
LL: Well, no particular experiences in the blacksmith shop other than some of the people that came there & I talked with. I remember one time I was riding my hobby horse out in front of dad’s shop, & a man by the name of Miller came down there with his team & wagon & ran over my hobby horse and broke it. I thought he was about the meanest man that I could think of.
GL: Do you remember much about your school in Coltman?
LL: Yes, very vividly. I remember the school, & I remember some of the classmates. In fact, I have a photo that was taken when I was six years old & I can name nearly all of the children in that picture. My school teachers, I remember them. It was quite unique. My teacher’s name was Miss Reed, & the teacher in the higher grades was Miss Wright.
GL: They taught you how to read and write!
LL: Yes, I guess so.
GL: Who were some of your best friends?
LL: Oh, George Wilson was one of my closest friends. Lester Gneiting was one of my very close friends. We had some Butikofers, some Stuckis, some Mosers. They were all quite close friends, some Oswalds, Williamses, Fields.
GL: Do you remember much about the ward in Coltman?
LL: No, I don’t remember too much about the ward. We lived quite a ways away & had no way of getting to church, so we didn’t attend much. I went to primary & religion class during the school months. That’s the only time that they used to have primary and religion class was during the school months. Ernest Bauer was the first bishop, and then when we left there in 1915, Bishop Taylor was the bishop. It was the Coltman Ward. I suppose the Idaho Falls Stake. I don’t know. When we first moved there, it might have been the old Bingham Stake.
GL: Do you remember anything about your baptism?
LL: Yes. I remember very vividly being baptized. In fact, my record was lost at one time & I remembered the man’s name who baptized me, Edward Coles. I was baptized, the 3rd of July, 1910 & confirmed the same day by Stanford Judd. I was baptized in the canal that ran right west of the old Coltman church house which is now gone. The school house has been rebuilt. There have not been many changes to the canal.
GL: What were some activities you enjoyed most as a boy in Coltman?
LL: Well, my dad was quite an outdoorsman, and he used to take us boys hunting and in the summertime we used to go fishing. In the springtime we trapped muskrats, in the fall we hunted ducks, and in the wintertime we used to go hunting snowshoe rabbits. I learned to love the outdoors because of my father’s activity in these sports.
GL: Where was the best fishing at that time?
LL: Well, the best fishing at that time, as I can recall, was up at Camas Creek. That would be north of Roberts. It’s Roberts now. That was before Mud Lake was there. There used to be sand hole lakes up in there and this creek emptied into these sand hole lakes and that was extremely good trout fishing.
GL: What are some of the experiences that you remember best about Coltman?
LL: I remember one that really stays in my mind when I was about nine years old. We lived in Coltman about ten miles north from Idaho Falls, and occasionally dad went to Idaho Falls to buy supplies. We drove a buggy, or a buckboard. He & my brother Elmer & I went to the Falls this particular time and we had a real experience there. It happened to be that they had just brought a skeleton in that they had found out in a cave on the desert west of Idaho Falls. It was on display at a drug store, and I remember the shock that I received at the time that I saw this skeleton. They were talking about this man (or it appeared as though it was a man) and I thought how terrible it would be to have to lay out there and just have all my flesh leave my bones and just have the skeleton there. But, while we were in there dad could see that we didn’t feel too good about it, so he took us up to the front part, where they had a fine fountain there & he got us an ice cream soda. Then we left there and we went down to the old CW&M or Con Wagon where dad did most of his blacksmith supply business. We were talking to the manager, Gib Wright; & he gave my brother & I each a nice baseball bat; and I’ll remember that as long as I live.
GL: Do you remember anything about any members of your family being born? I know you wouldn’t remember about Elmer because you are just a couple of years older than he is, but do you remember anything about when Al or Luella were born? They were born while you were still out in Coltman, weren’t they?
LL: Yes, I remember when Al was born. He was born on the 8th of December in 1909, and I remember it was real bitter cold at the time. There was lots of snow. At that time, they used to have a midwife in attendance when these children were born. Mother woke us up early one morning and dad took us over to my grandmother’s place. Then he went up and he got a Mrs. Godfrey, the midwife. The next morning, dad came to grandmother’s and took my brother, Elmer, and I home, and we had a little brother there. That was my brother, Al (Alma).
Then I remember the hired girl that was there. In those days, we didn’t have candy and all the fine things that the children have now, but we used to slice potatoes and cook them on top of the hot stove. This German girl that was there keeping house for mother while she was sick didn’t like the idea of those potatoes on there, and about the time they were cooked, she took the lids off the stove and scraped all the potatoes into the fire. How bad we felt about it!
GL: Do you remember about Luella being born? Was she born in Coltman?
LL: Yes, I remember when Luella was born. She was born in early springtime, March 13, 1913. I remember that at the time a Mrs. Rawson was the midwife who took care of mother when Luella was born, and I can remember about the same procedure as was when my brother was born. We were taken over to my grandmother’s place, and then the next morning when they brought us home, we had a baby sister there. This time, we had a girl by the name of Bates keeping house for mother while she was sick and we really thought a lot of her. She was a second mother to us.
It was while my sister was real young that my great-grandmother Bateman died. I remember we got one pair of shoes in the fall when we started school, and they had to last us for the year. They were usually heavy work shoes. This time , in August, in order to go to her funeral, they had to buy us a pair of dress shoes; and I can remember how proud I was to have those pretty, shiny black dress shoes.
GL: You said that Grandpa Walters, your Grandpa Walters, used to call you his “Man Friday.” Do you know why he might have called you that?
LL: Well, I don’t know why he called me that, but I probably was a little closer to him than the other grandchildren because I was the oldest of the grandchildren I lived close. I had one other cousin that was older than I, but they lived in Utah at the time I was small. So, I was closer to grandfather than the other grandchildren, and I used to work with him. I’d work with him in the potatoes in the fall. I’d work with him in the beets, and I’d chase around with him on the farm. So, he got to calling me his “Man Friday.”
GL: You were telling me about an experience you had coming down with him to check things out when you moved down to Thomas?
LL: Yes. When he decided to move, he came down to look at the farm about 8 miles west of Blackfoot, and he asked my mother if she would let me accompany him to Blackfoot. She let me go, and I remember what an experience that was to come down here with my grandpa. I remember it was in January, 1915, and at that time, there was about a foot and a half or two feet of snow. We left Coltman, and went in a bobsled down to Idaho Falls. Then we came on the train from Idaho Falls to Blackfoot, and when we got to Blackfoot, it had been raining. At that time, there was no pavement on the streets, and the person that came to pick us up to take us out to Thomas had a white top. The mud was nearly to the hubs of that white-top here in the main street of Blackfoot. Well, that was quite an experience for me.
We left Coltman in the morning and we arrived in Blackfoot in the evening. It used to take about an hour and a half to two hours to drive a sleigh from Coltman to Idaho Falls, and then I imagine it’d take about an hour on the train from Idaho Falls to Blackfoot. Of course, when we got to Blackfoot, on account of the condition of the road, it took quite a while to get out to Thomas & by then it was evening. We moved to Thomas the next month in February 1915.
Grandpa Walters bought a 90 acre farm from Jens Jensen one mile east & 3/4 mile south of the Thomas church & 1 1/2 mile south of the Wilson school. It was only about a mile north from the Snake River. 80 acres was on the east side of the road and 10 acres was on the west side where the house, garden and other buildings were located. They raised beets, wheat, potatoes & hay and had cows, chickens & pigs. After Grandma Walters died the place was sold to Everett & Ervin Goodwin who own it at the present time.
Our home was next to Grandpa & Grandma Walters for the first year. It was another log house with a dirt roof. I remember that was another time that I was real homesick & wanted to go back to Coltman in Idaho Falls. I sure didn’t like it there very well. It was still winter, & the wind blew & how cold it was & we still had to walk a couple miles to school & how disappointed & homesick I was because we had to live there. The next year in 1916 Dad built a nicer home, a two-room frame home there on the "Thomas town-site" next to the church & Thomas school. It was plastered & it was real nice there. That was where I lived as long as I lived in Thomas. It still stands there now (1971).
GL: Who were some of the relatives that you remember the best while you were up in Coltman, that you spent a lot of time with?
LL: Oh, I remember my uncles - Uncle Hy (Hyrum) and Uncle Jess and Uncle Burt and Uncle Cliff, Uncle Alf and Wilf, especially Uncle Hy and Jess and Wilf and Alf. I used to go hunting with them. Before I could ever carry a gun, I used to chase along with them and follow them all day long in the snow when they were hunting rabbits. I used to chase with them miles and miles and how tired I used to get, but whenever they’d go I would always have to go with them. I had an aunt the same age as myself, Aunt Myrtle, and she was quite close to me as a child.
GL: When you first moved to Thomas, what are some of the things that you remember the most? Now, you would have been just about 13 when you moved there. You were 12 years old and turned 13 in June of that year.
LL: Well, I remember most of all getting acquainted there in the school. We had to walk about a mile and a half or better to school--on the way the first morning we met other boys and girls going to school. The first person I met was Dave Noack and he challenged me to a fight. So, we had to have us a round-up there. He was taller than I, but I was a little older than he was. He thought that he was quite a lot tougher than me, but it didn’t prove out that way, so I got friendly with him right away. After I got to school each one of the boys about my age, some of them older, all had to take a crack at me; and so that’s how I finally got accepted in the school there. You had to fight every one of them to show them that you would fight. So, after you’d fought with a few of them, sometimes you got a good licking and sometimes you didn’t, and finally you were accepted.
GL: Do you remember any of the fellows there at that time who were about your age?
LL: Oh, yea, I remember Howard Stander, Nat Twiggs, Rex Stump, Cliff Turpin, Arly Parsons, Dave Noack, and all those Ranquist kids, Les McBride, Glen Fackrell, and after we moved up to the town site, there were the Covington boys. I remember when spring came and the dry ground started showing through, we used to go out and play marbles. That was the big pastime at school when I was a little boy. We used to play all kinds of marbles. We had a game we called “Fats” and we had what we called “Rounders.” That was where we’d have a big ring and put the marbles in the middle of the ring and shoot them out. Then we had a game we used to call “Kill” and all of them, of course, were gambling games. Whenever you put a marble in there you took a chance on whether you were going to lose it or whether you were going to win the other fellow’s.
GL: Tell us a bit more about the schools and the church that you attended in Thomas?
LL: Well, when we first moved to Thomas in February 1915, we lived in what is known now as the Wilson School District 12. It was a 2 room brick school with folding doors between the 2 rooms that you could open so it could be used for dances and other gatherings. It was replaced by a larger school that stands in the same spot today on Wilson corner. My teachers there at Wilson were William Keller and Mr. McEntire. I went there for one season, and then we moved up to 48 up on the Thomas town site where they had a new school house built in 1914.
In the fall of 1916, I started school in Thomas. It was a four-room school house, but they had only finished two rooms, and in those days, we had five grades in the lower grades and then four in the upper grades. We had what they called the primary class, which was the first year, and then we had 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th years, and then in the upper classes, we had the 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th grades. In Thomas, we had Mr. Smith, then Miss Hill. Harrison Ison taught two years of high school. We had two years of high school there before I came to Blackfoot High School for part of my Junior year. Note: Daddy told us he couldn't complete high school in Blackfoot because it was too crowded and the only other option was to go to Rexburg which he could not afford to do.
As for church, we went to the Thomas Ward, the only one ward out there. It was an old rock church built there around the turn of the century when they organized the Thomas ward in 1902. Bishop Williams was the bishop. My parents were so sure that we were to go to church every Sunday, that when we became deacons, my brother Elmer and I, we were there to pass the sacrament every Sunday, both at Sunday school and sacrament meeting. It was the same way with when we were priests, but while I was a priest I left home to go to work with the railroad (Union Pacific Railroad).
GL: The flu epidemic hit about 1917, didn’t it?
LL: The flu epidemic started in Blackfoot in 1918. I was one of the first victims of the flu, and I think that I came down with the flu probably about the 15th of October in 1918. I’d been away working, topping beets, and while I was away, my youngest brother, Hyrum, was born October 5. I had been to town to a carnival, and evidently I had caught the flu bug at the carnival. When I came home, two or three days after I’d been to the carnival, I took sick; and, of course, we were all sick. My mother was sick. She’d just been confined with the baby, Hyrum, and we were afraid for awhile that we were going to lose her and the baby, but they both survived the flu.
Everybody else had the flu when I did & my grandmother Walters came there & stayed until she contracted the flu. Grandpa Walters didn't get the flu and he came around each day in his 1918 Model T Ford he had bought that year and checked on us and each of his married children. We had a hired girl there (it was a cousin of mine) but she contracted the flu so she wasn’t very much help to us. Then there was a neighbor lady, Mrs. Liz Parsons, who used to come over and help there at times. I remember what my dad said. He told her that the Lord would bless her for the things that she had done there & especially if she never did contract the flu. She never contracted the flu & so she’s told me many times in later life that the Lord did bless her.
GL: When did your grandpa Walters die? You seem to have thought quite a bit of him.
LL: Well, he died in 1922, September 21st, 1922 at age 67. He died suddenly of a heart attack during the night just after he finished the fall harvesting of the grain. I was away at the time working up in Little Lost River, and I remember what a shock it was to me. I came home to the funeral, and it seemed like it was a long time before I could get over the idea that he was gone.
GL: You seem to have felt like he was quite an outstanding person. Was he faithful in the Church or a great man in your estimation?
LL: He was an outstanding man. He was one of the most noble men that I’ll ever know, and he was faithful in the gospel. He served in the bishopric in the West Jordan ward for several years. He was the president of the 12th Quorum of elders of the Old Salt Lake Stake, a large quorum with a lot of responsibility. He also served as 2nd counselor to bishop John Egbert of the West Jordan ward until he moved to Coltman. He was always active from the time he arrived from England when he was 8 years old. When his family were converted to the church they secured passage on a ship for America, but just as they were leaving his father was called on a mission to England & stayed there for many years.
The mother & her 5 children & Aunt Jane Smalley came to America, but on the way here, she died in childbirth, the baby died 8 days later, & they were buried at sea. So his Aunt Jane took care of them as they crossed the plains, & because of the responsibility of the children & everything & she wasn’t well, she died while they were crossing the plains. Kind people, one of them, Erastus Snow, looked after the children who walked most of the way barefoot after their shoes wore out. So when they arrived barefoot, feet bleeding and sore, at the old tithing yard in Salt Lake, he & the other children were taken into the homes of various people who raised them.
Note: The family records indicate that they sailed from Liverpool, May 23, 1863 on the Antactic and reached New York July 10, 1863 (6 weeks on the ocean) and the names and ages of the other children were: Henry 11, Samuel 10, Robert 8, Ellen 5 and Ephraim, almost 4. Ephraim died shortly after arriving in the valley.
I think my grandfather lived with an old couple James & Mahalie Higgins who didn't have any children. He was raised by this Old Grandpa Higgins & his wife. When his father came here he continued to live with them until he was married. They were staunch in the church, and so he was brought up in the church and he was faithful.
GL: Did Grandpa become a blacksmith again as soon as he moved out to Thomas?
LL: Oh, yes. He never did change his trade. As soon as he had moved to Thomas he built a shop and he plied his trade up until he was, oh, I think he was probably about 78 years old. He had a cancer operation on his face, and after that he never did go back to the work of the blacksmith shop, but he continued to keep the shop even after he had given up the business.
GL: Did he build the shop that we see out there? As soon as you had built your home there in Thomas, did he build and start operating out of that shop?
LL: He built a shop on a piece of property that belonged to Mrs. Will Higgins when we first moved to Thomas. Then he bought a lot and the next year he built a house on the lot. Then he moved his blacksmith shop to that lot and then he built more onto the shop, and it’s the same building that stands there today.
GL: Did you used to spend much time in the shop out at Thomas?
LL: Oh, yes. I worked with Dad. I learned the wheelwright trade. In fact, I’ve built wagon wheels and I’ve built buggy wheels, so I knew the wheelwright trade pretty well. Then, I used to shoe horses, and I helped Dad light the forge and whatever was necessary.
GL: Does it take much to shoe a horse?
LL: Well, it took a strong back. It didn’t take much of a head, but it took an awful strong back, lots of determination!
LaRae Longmore: I thought you had to be really good to shoe a horse?
LL: Well, you had to be good and strong. I used to use either hand. It didn’t make any difference. When I was shoeing on one side, I’d drive a nail, reach under and clinch the nail, cut it off and clinch the nail; and on the other side, I used my other hand. Some of the men that used to come in and watch me thought that was kind of odd, but it was just as handy for me to drive nails left-handed as it was right. So, I had a little advantage there over some of them.
GL: Did you ever get kicked by a horse when you were trying to shoe one?
LL: I’ve been kicked so many times that you couldn’t count them. Of course, you learn how to handle yourself around a horse. If you know that a horse is mean, why, you learn pretty much how to protect yourself against that sort of thing by the way you pick up the foot and by the way you handle him. If it’s the hind foot you’re shoeing, you always put your one hand in the flank and then you reach down with the other hand and pick up the hoof; and if he kicks, when his foot comes forward, with your hand in his flank that pushes you away; so that’s one of the ways that you learn to protect yourself against a mean horse.
After I had left Thomas, I went to work on the railroad. I was away from the church and I didn’t have an opportunity to go to church for several years. In the summer of 1918, I went to work on a hay ranch up in the Centennial Valley in Montana, and then that fall I came back to Idaho Falls and worked in the harvest. Then I came back and went to school, and in the fall of 1919, I left again. This time I went to Montana and worked on a bridge gang as an apprentice carpenter for the railroad, and I worked there three years. It was June of 1922 that I quit the railroad company and worked for a time in the Lost River country. I went to work down at Magna, Utah Aug. 15, 1923 in the copper mill as a carpenter part-time and I worked on operations there some of the time. I worked in all parts of the mill until the fall of 1927 when I came back to Idaho.
GL: You played some baseball when you were down in Magna?
LL: Yes. I played for a shift team there at the mill in Magna, and there were teams at Garfield, Arthur, Bingham, Granger and Hunter. We used to play them. We weren’t considered semi-pro. They did have semi-pro at Magna and Bingham and Garfield and Arthur, but I never did play with the team that was playing in a semi-pro league. However, I umpired for several of their games down there for a couple or three years, so I was involved some with the semi-pro baseball there in Magna.
Note: Daddy has talked to us boys quite a bit about his baseball playing days in this league. He has pitched to me in the back yard and showed me the various pitches he threw - fastball, slider, drop, in, out, rise ball as he called them. He could still throw these pitches when he was about 47 years old since I must have been about 12 when he pitched to me. He about burned my hand off, but I wasn't about to say anything. He told me that he managed the team in Magna for a time & one of his highlights was when he taught his water boy, a tall gangly young man by the name of Eddie Heuser, how to pitch. He gave him his first opportunity to pitch in a game. Later Heuser bacame a star pitcher in the major leagues for the Cincinnati Reds and even pitched a no-hitter in 1944. Daddy was pretty pleased about Heuser's success and that he had a part in it.
He watched the Salt Lake Bees, a AAA baseball team in the old Pacific Coast League, and watched many players who later became major leaguers including Tony Lazerri who later starred for the New York Yankees. His favorite baseball team was the St.Louis Browns because they had a hard time winning. He always rooted for the underdogs in sports and everything in life. He couldn't stand to see anyone oppressed or "picked on", whether it was children or anyone else. He also liked the New York Giants, later San Francisco Giants. His least favorite team was the New York Yankees because they were so wealthy they could buy up all the best players and win the World Series year after year. He loved sports, especially baseball and was quite an authority on pitching. Watching games with him is one of our cherished memories.
GL: Tell us a little bit about your swimming.
LL: Well, as a boy, I used to swim in the Snake River, and we were always swimming in the American Falls Canal near our home. Wherever there was any deep water where we could swim, we kids used to swim nearly every day. Then, some years later, when the school built the swimming pool in Blackfoot they were looking for someone to go to school and take some swimming lessons. My name was selected, along with a Paul Brown who lived here in Blackfoot, to go up to Idaho Falls and take a six-weeks course in swimming. They had a nice indoor swimming pool there at the high school, and we had a Red Cross instructor there from San Francisco. I graduated there and became a life saver in the Red Cross. I also became an instructor for the Red Cross, so I operated the swimming pool the first year that it was operated in Blackfoot in 1936. Of course, it wasn’t modern as it is now and it wasn't heated. We’d wash the pool on Saturday night, and then Sunday we’d let it air out, and Monday morning we’d fill the pool again. We wouldn’t open the pool for swimming till Wednesday. We’d have Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday that we could swim. The water never did get too terribly warm, but it was tolerable.
GL: When did you first get an automobile?
LL: Well, the first car that I got was one built by Gordon Bills especially for racing. It was owned by the Bills brothers who ran the Ford garage here in Blackfoot, and Gordon was the operator of this racer. One time, while he was trying it out up at the fairgrounds in Blackfoot, it tipped over and he was killed. So, then the car was put in storage for two or three years, and in the meantime — I think that it was a front wheel that had collapsed and had caused the wreck — they had repaired that, and it was down at the garage. So, I went down and bought it. Just two people were all that could ride in the car, but it had a big long back end. We were limited as to where we could go with that thing. After I went to work in Utah, my brother Elmer and an uncle and friend of my brother’s took it out on the Arco desert or Lost River to work. At that time, there was no established road there, and they ran through some lava rocks. It was so low-strung with under-slung springs that they tore the oil pan off and burnt the motor up. So, that was the end of that car as far I know. Then in 1923 when I was working in Utah I bought a new 1923 Model T Ford Roadster convertible that I had until several years after we were married.
GL: You were telling about how cold it was in the school up at Coltman.
LL: There were two rooms, and they put the furnace in the basement. There used to be just a register in between the two rooms. Part of it came up in one room, and part of it came up in the other one. In those days, there was no insulation, just brick walls and the windows. When it would get down to 15 - 20 below zero, we’d sit back in our seats and we’d nearly freeze. We’d take turns, one row at a time, in going up to stand on the register for ten minutes. Then we’d go back to our seats, and another row would go up and stand by it. By the time we got around to walk up there again, we were nearly frozen.
GL: How about the homes? Were they pretty well-insulated in those days?
LL: Well, there was no insulation in the walls. They were made with lumber running vertical on the outside and then there would be 2 x 4's at the top and the bottom and the middle. They would be nailed to them and then on the inside, there was just what we used to call factory. It was unbleached muslin, and they just used to whitewash that, and so you can imagine how warm that kind of wall would be.
GL: How warm was the first house that you remember out in Moreland?
EL: It was two rooms and I don’t remember being cold there, but I remember in the winter, they had a tent outside and had it boarded up around the bottom and they used to put a stove in there for some of the bedrooms, but I don’t remember being cold there, but it probably wasn’t too warm because of the way the house was built.
LL: Well, Stella says she doesn’t know how it was built or how warm it was but when one of the neighbors spoke at her father’s funeral, he said that her mother used to hang blankets up to the doors and windows. Then they’d have a big fire going in there to keep warm. I remember we lived in the same house about two or three winters after we were married. Of course, it got down to 40 below zero one time there and we used to have to have two stoves in that one room in order to keep from freezing, so I can tell you it wasn’t very warm.
GL: We’re looking here at some pictures of Blackfoot about 1914. Is this the way Blackfoot looked to you the first time that you remember going through the city?
LL: Yes, that’s about the way it was. On West Main I think that the railroad depot was built there sometime about 1913 or ‘14, and I remember when we first came there in 1915, this was the depot that we got off the train at, and it was a brand new building at that time. The streets were unpaved and they were mud and the sidewalks were nearly all board sidewalks. I don’t recall when they poured concrete for the sidewalks, but up until about 1930 or so, there was still some board sidewalks here in Blackfoot.
GL: Are these old Model A Fords that you see driving up and down the streets and were they the kind of cars that they had at that time?
LL: They didn’t have any such thing as a Model A Ford. They had Model T’s, but they were real primitive then, too. Later on, I can remember approximately ‘04 till about 1914, that the Model T was the first Ford that was built. They changed them in 1917 and they looked a little more modern in ‘17 than they did before. Then in 1927, the last Model T was built and then they built the Model A.
GL: I’m looking at a picture here now of a town site out at Thomas and I can see two buildings, one at the far left and one at the far right. I assume the one on the left is a school and the one on the right is a church and a lot of sagebrush in between. Was this the way Thomas looked in 1915 when you arrived there?
LL: No. When we got there in 1915, most of the walls were torn down in the old schoolhouse. The church house was the same, but most of the walls were torn down in the old schoolhouse because they had built a new schoolhouse in 1914, so that was a brand new building when we moved there in 1915. It has been built onto and still stands there about 100 yards east of Dad's blacksmith shop.
GL: Did you ever attend this school that we’re looking at in the picture of now?
LL: The one that was built in 1914, I attended that school through the first two years in high school before I went to Blackfoot school.
GL: How old would you have been when you went down to Magna and worked?
LL: I was 21 in June and I went to work down there in August, August 15th, 1923 and worked there until until fall of 1927.
GL: This picture that was taken here must have been taken about that period of time.
LL: It was taken about 1925, I would say. Mother wrote and said that she was going to have a family picture taken and so I came up from Magna to have the picture taken.
GL: How old would the people in the picture be, about?
LL: Oh, Dad was approximately about 50 and Mother was about 46. I was 23, my brother El was about 21. Al was probably about 16. Luella was about 12. The youngest, I imagine, Hyrum was about 7.
GL: Is this the church house in Thomas where you used to go to church?
LL: Yeah, that’s the one. That’s the front end of the old rock church there. That was the biggest hall in the whole stake. They used to have stake conferences there when I was a kid.
GL: Do you remember about when they started using it and about when they tore it down? Do you have any idea?
LL: Well, they built it in 1902 and started using it. Right shortly after the ward was organized, they built it-I don’t know when they tore it down. It was sometime, I imagine, in the middle 40's.
EL: This is my mother and father’s wedding picture, and they were married in the Salt Lake Temple in 1895. She used to take sewing lessons before she was married. She was a real good seamstress, and she also took organ lessons and was in the conservatory of music in Salt Lake. She really liked to play and sing. My father and mother used to sing together. She sang alto and soprano and he sang tenor. Brother Lilenquist in Moreland used to tell me that my mother was one of the best women that he knew and that if I was as good as she was I’d never go wrong because she was really a fine person.
GL: She died in 1913 when you were just almost 3 years old. Do you remember anything about your mother?
EL: No, I don’t remember anything about my mother.
GL: This picture here was taken just after she died. It would have been in 1913. You were about 3, it looks like, years old. So, how many years older than you was Golden?
EL: 2 ½ years older.
GL: So, he would have been 5. How old was Lloyd ?
EL: He was about 16 when my mother died.
GL: This was about that time. Do you remember the old Moreland Hall?
EL: Yes, I remember going there. In fact, that’s where we went all the time. I remember all the good times we used to have there and the 4th of July and celebrations & programs they always had there. On Christmas, they always had the Christmas dance, so families went to the church a lot. There was Sunday School and Sacrament Meeting & Religion class & Primary when I was young. Then when we would go to Mutual & afterward to choir practice there with my father. Andrew Benson was the choir director. Papa was the ward chorister & sometimes led the choir.
GL: Was it located where the Moreland Chapel is now?
EL: Yes, on the same lot.
GL: Was this right across from where your high school was?
EL: Yes, it was. Well, not directly across but kiddy corner, the corner of the block.
GL: This high school still stands there, doesn’t it?
EL: Yes. It was our grade school and also where I went to high school. I went there for all my years of schooling, the same building.
GL: What do you remember about your courtship with daddy & your first date?
EL: Well, the first time I went with him was to Lava on Easter Sunday, and Ailene Watson now, used to be Ailene Leavitt then, went with Walt Watson. He got me to go with your father. We went in your dad's 1923 Ford Roadster convertible, April 8th, 1928, and we were married the following fall, October the 8th, 1928.
When we were going together, we used to go to the shows and cafes and dances. We went to the old Mission & Rialto Show Houses in Blackfoot, and the Corner Cafe in Blackfoot, the Manhattan in Idaho Falls and Fred’s Cafe in Pocatello. We used to go to dances up to Wandameer & Paradise Gardens in Firth and the Blue Bucket in Blackfoot. We used to go to ball games. I went to Aberdeen one night with your father to a play he was in. He used to be in mutual plays. There were quite a few people from Thomas in it and it was really a good play.
LL: Oh, we used to go to the old Mission Theater. Of course, that was the new show house in Blackfoot at that time. After the Mission opened up it wasn’t long before they closed the Rialto. There was the Old Idaho — well, it wasn’t the Idaho at that time. There was the old Isis Theater in the Orpheum. The place where the Orpheum, or the Isis, was is torn down now here in town. Some of the shows we used to go to I remember were some of the old wild west movies-Tom Mix shows and William S. Hart. Some of those old silent movies were “King of Kings” and "Birth of a Nation". We went to the Mission Theater to the “King of Kings,” and of course, it was in silent. Then, years after we were married, probably fifteen, twenty years after we were married, we saw it advertised here in town again. It was at the Nuart, a show house that was built and dedicated I think about 1939 in February, but it was sometime after that that this show was there, so we decided we’d go down and see it. At this time we had the talkies-the modern movies where they talk. We went down there and to our great disappointment “King of Kings” was still in silent pictures again after 20 years. We were surely disappointed with that show.
GL: You mentioned going out to the cafes. Did you have hamburgers and milkshakes?
LL: We didn’t know what hamburgers and milkshakes were at that time. You could get a hamburger steak, but they never had such things as hamburger stands. The first I can remember of milkshakes were malted milks & they used to serve them in the cafes & at the Arctic Circle confectionary. They opened up an ice cream parlor there, and that was the first time I remember any milkshakes, or malts. Hamburger stands came about in the last 30 years.
GL: You spoke of the old Mission Theater. Where was it located?
LL: It was located on West Pacific Street, where Just’s Army Store is now. That was the next building east from the post office in the old Bills Building there.
Lester and Estella Longmore singing “Let’s Be Kind to One Another.”
Let's be kind to one another. Let us win each others love. Let us be a sister, brother, as the angels are above. Though we can't be pure and holy while as mortals here we stay, yet we can share love and kindness on our pathway here below.
GL: Where did you live when you were first married?
EL: When we were first married, we lived in at the Cottage Hotel on Northeast Main Your father worked at the sugar factory and we rented an apartment there. Then we lived in several different apartments while he was working at the sugar factory. Mardene was born in Moreland at my folks’ home and Dr. Hampton was the doctor. He came out the evening before she was born and stayed all night. She was born the next night. Your father was working on the railroad on a paint gang and that’s why I was staying out there. It was hard to get work in those days and he had to work where he could and that’s where he found a job.
LL: Well, when she was born, I came home from work on Friday night and she took sick. It was Saturday night. The doctor came out and stayed all night Saturday night. Then Sunday she was sick all day, but the doctor went home. She got worse Sunday night and the doctor came out again and he stayed there. She was born about 2:30 Monday morning. That was on Labor Day, so I didn’t have to go back to work till Tuesday. The date was September 3rd, 1929.
Then in 1932, the 31st of January, Vonda was born. We were living in Blackfoot then, in a rented home and she was born on a Sunday afternoon. It was quite warm that day and it was thawing some, but it turned cold that night and started to snow and we had a ground blizzard. We had a ground blizzard all Monday.
Then Tuesday, I was working out in Groveland, hauling potatoes. I remember the night of 2nd of February. It was Groundhog Day. The train from Mackay didn’t get in all night that night and we were snowed in out there. I walked home and it took all night for me to walk home. It was the wee hours of the morning by the time I got home. Snow in places was clear to my armpits.
GL: I’ve heard you tell about digging graves and sometime in the wintertime when the ground was frozen, you mentioned that you were out there with a group of people digging graves. Was this about this period of time?
LL: Well, it could have been that time. At that time, they didn’t have sextons to open the graves and when a relative died, usually several in the family, used to go and open the graves. Sometimes it was in the wintertime. It was frozen hard and it used to be quite a job to dig a grave. I’ve dug graves there in the summer; I’ve dug graves there in the winter and nearly every time of the year, I’ve opened graves out in the Thomas cemetery.
GL: Now, we’re looking at a picture here of a sleigh drawn by a couple of horses. Did they used to have sleighs that resembled those in the days when you were young?
LL: Sure, this is what we called a cutter, but they were for the fancy town people. People in the country, very few of them owned cutters. Mostly in the country they had bobsleds and that’s the kind of sleigh that they used in the country. They weren’t pulled by two horses. They had some cutters that were pulled by a single horse, but some of the real fancy ones were pulled by two horses. They were always bright colors, bright red or blue or green, some bright color usually.
GL: Was it very often that people had to depend on the horses and the sleighs to get through in the winter or were the cars able to get through?
LL: Well, I can remember back when they didn’t have cars, so it was obvious that they had to depend on the horses. Sometimes, we couldn’t even get through with sleighs.