Loreen Haight (1899-1989) Life History. Incomplete
Contributor: Dieselbeetle Created: 2 years ago Updated: 2 years ago
I was born May 24, 1899 in Cedar City, Iron County to Isaac Chauncey Haight and Elizabeth Mary Kleinman at what time was 389 North 1st West. In those days they did not have addresses for the houses as they do today, but it was called Bolderville because of the large boulders or huge rocks down in that area northwest of town. Today the area has built up so much that it doesn’t seem so far out of town as it did in my time.
After Dad built our house, he planted two Chinese Elm and two White Ash trees in front of the house for shade. In my time the trees had grown big with wide spreading limbs that reached high over the roof of the house and out in front to provide shade and cool the house from the hot summer sun. We had a large lawn in front of the house surrounded on all sides by trees that kept it shaded most of the day. There were two beautiful pine trees on the east side of the lawn close to the fence. Our lot was all enclosed with a fence to keep out straying animals. There was a water tap between the pine trees that afforded cool water to drink as well as water for the lawn. There was a path that led from the front gate to the house with pear and plum trees on either side, making a shady path from first leaves of spring to the last leaves of fall. The fruit from the trees was not the choicest to eat yet the shade of the trees was good and worth having them.
Unattractive as the outside appearance of the house was, yet the warmth and family love within compensated. Sweet are my memories of that old home and of my family while I lived there in the early years of my youth.
I remember little of my early life in this home but my sisters have told me how happy they were that they had a new baby sister when I was born. I was the ninth child in a family of ten. Two of my brothers died in infancy and Kleinman, my brother just two and one half years older than me, died when he was five years old from an accident. As I remember the story, my oldest brother, Conrad, took Kleinman to the town Lund with him for a load of freight. On their way home Conrad saw some rabbits and gave the lines of the horses to Kleinman to hold while he shot the rabbits. The shot frightened the horses and they gave a big lunge, pulling Kleinman off the wagon. The wheel ran over Kleinman, killing him instantly. This was a most tragic death for Mother and family to be reconciled to, and Mother mourned his loss. I lost a dear brother. Mother told later how good he was to me. He always wanted to share with me. He would pick flowers and bring to me or anything he had he would always want to share with me, showing his love. I’m sure I would have loved him and we would have been dear and close to each other had he lived. I will have the joy of meeting him when my time comes and I am called back to my heavenly home, where I will be reunited with him, Mother, Father, all my brothers and sisters, and my dear husband Clarence. I am the only one left in my immediate family now. It will be a glorious reunion, one I’m looking forward to, so I want to get this history taken care of first. If Kleinman would have lived, he would have been the same age of my husband Clar.
My father, Isaac Chauncey Haight, was named after his father, the great Utah pioneer, Isaac Chauncey Haight. Father was a very good man, kind and most accommodating to all, neighbors and even the Indians. Whenever they wanted a favor, like a load of hay, etc., they would come to Father for it and he would let them have it. One of our neighbors used to borrow everything he used from us and never return it. Dad would have to go over and get it when he needed it. The neighbor said, “I thought you could just call and I’d bring it home.” Father used to laugh at how casual he was but never did refuse him anything, and I”m sure he could not have gotten by if it had not been for Dad’s kind heart. Yet at times he was very stern and exacting with us. Sometimes we’d get to laughing at the table when we were eating, and if he didn’t see the funny side, he’d get very annoyed at our laughing and send us from the table until we could control ourselves. Our meal time was pleasant though, even if we did get the giggles at times. Father had a very disgusting look if ever he was annoyed with our silliness and it could even be frightening, but I never remember him whipping any of us even though I’m sure we needed it at times.
Father was a very honest man and taught his family to be honest as well. If he owed a debt, he paid it the first thing. “Honesty is the best policy”, was his motto, and he lived it to the letter. That’s one thing I believe in too. I don’t like to owe anyone regardless how small the debt. I pay it off and then I feel good. I don’t like anything I can’t afford to pay for. I’ve always felt that if I haven’t the money to pay for the thing I want, I’ll go without until I do have the money unless it;s something I desperately need at the time and I can see a way to pay later with no hardship on our part. “Honestly is the best policy” was my parents policy and mine too, so I’ve tried to always live that way. I know it pays. Father never liked trouble with anyone or hurt their feelings. “It’s best to have the good will of a dog than the ill will”, that was another of Father’s mottos. He believed in friends rather than enemies.
Although Father was a good example and a righteous man in every respect, yet he never held any executive positions like his father, who was a great leader and played a very active part in early church history and in pioneer times, assisting President Brigham Young in those early days in Nauvoo, in crossing the plains to come to Utah and, when they arrived here being sent to settle Dixie County, etc. When Grandfather Haight was so busy with church demands and civic duties, Father made up for it in being good to his mother and in caring for and helping her.
Father helped in the building of the first high school in Cedar City, “The Branch Agricultural Normal School” as it was first called. The name was later changed to “The Branch Agricultural College” when I attended it. By his contribution to the high school in Cedar, he helped his children to have a better education while living at home. Most of them attended and graduated from this school. Father was a good man with high ideals and left us a rich heritage. Father was a good loyal Republican, his political party, and held some political affiliations, such as a constable, as I remember, as well as some minor jobs in the party. He was always interested in having a good government and by so doing you had to select the best men for the office. He was always for the men of good character and example.
My mother, Elizabeth Mary Kleinman, was a very kind and loving woman. She respected Father’s authority, even at times when I thought she could have been more demanding for her own good and interests, in order to have some of the nice things she needed and so desired, for instance, a comfortable modern home which she never had and so wanted and dreamed about. It could have been possible if they had bought in a better location when they loved to Cedar City. This was always a good lesson I remember, to buy in a location you will be happy to live in.
Mother was always a devoted faithful worker in the church. I remember how happy I was when Mother first went to Sunday School. She and Father always went to sacrament meeting in the afternoon. That was before parents’ class was organized in Sunday School. Mother went first to Sunday School, then Father went with us. We’d come home, have dinner, then go to sacrament meeting at 2 p.m. Before she started going to Sunday School , Mother used to always have a nice chicken dinner for us when we got home. But later when she went to Sunday School, she couldn’t always have as big a Sunday dinner as we’d been used to. It was worth it to have Mother and Father go to Sunday School rather than miss and have a big dinner. It is with this training that the Gospel means more than food to me. Our Sunday dinners were thought of and planned on Saturdays and they were just as delicious and good.
Mother was a very good cook and made hot biscuits every morning for breakfast, something I have never done. Father would always get up early, make a fire in the wood kitchen stove, then read the paper until breakfast was ready. Before the boys were married, they would do the chores. Herbert always milked the cows, Orson fed and watered the horses and cows, and Father always fed the pigs. After the boys got married, it fell to Dad to do the milking and everything. Mother was an especially good pie maker. She’d make several pies at a time and when we had the boys home, the pies didn’t last long, or even when they came to visit the folks.
Mother was a good sewer, made all her children’s clothes when they were small. She always had time to listen to my troubles and to the things that bothered me. I could go talk things over with her, and they were always solved and made easier to understand and adjust to. That’s what I’ve missed most, a sweet listener who could let me air my feelings and frustrations at times.
Mother served as a Relief Society President for many years. During World War I, the Relief Society was called for extra help in knitting sweaters, socks, gloves, and making Red Cross bandages. On special work days, I would help. Then during the flu epidemic in 1918 and 1919, the town was quarantined, No church meetings or gatherings of any kind were held, school was closed down and many people died, especially pregnant women. So Mother was called out among the sick, helping and giving aid to families in need. Being in the Relief Society presidency, she and her sweet counselors had to go much of the time and they helped comfort the sorrowing and cared for the dead. I was in High School during this time, but when school was closed, I was able to keep up the house while Mother was gone so much. Funerals were all held outdoors and the choir would furnish the music.. (I sang in the choir then). A short talk was given, usually a short comforting, religious talk. Funerals were just held for a short period, due to the flu epidemic. Also, in those days, any communicable disease, like scarlet fever, chicken pox, or whooping cough, a flag was posted on the outside of your house by the front door and then people knew you were in quarantine.
One of the things I cherish most was our happy home life. Although we never had material wealth, we had a great love for each other and a very close family.
My School days started when I was a little past five years old. School was held in the basement of the old Cedar City Ward Hall I attended first and second grades in this building. Then the third to the eighth grades were held in the Cedar City District School. Before I started school in the fifth grade, I came down with typhoid fever, and of course couldn’t go to school as I was very sick, running a temperature up in the 100's for weeks, and had to be kept in bed. It was after the Christmas holiday, when school started up again, that I first went to fifth grade. I really never should have gone as I was still so weak, and school in that grade was very hard for me as I had lost so much of the years schooling. However, I was promoted to the sixth grade regardless. My teacher, Miss Ashdown was a very good teacher but very firm and strict. I liked her though. Just about a month before school let out, I came down with scarlet fever and was quarantined for a month or more until I was out of danger. During the summer vacation, I had to make up what I had missed in school before I could be promoted to seventh grade. Herbert, my brother, was my seventh grade teacher. But I always dreaded facing Mother when I had not had a good day and been unprepared, as he reported it all to Mother. My eighth grade graduation was a highlight. This was the first time they’d held a county eighth grade graduation. It was held in Parowan, the county seat. I remember Mother made me a new white graduation dress for it and I went with my cousin. We met some nice girl friends from there that lasted through the years.
The fall of 1914, I started my high school days. That was a glorious time for me. I met and made new friends from various parts of the state, especially from Circleville, Orderville, Enterprise, New Harmony, Toquerville, St. George, Richfield, and many other places. I particularly liked the new school friends. It was here we had such good times, ball games at night and always a dance after. There were operas, plays, and other forms of entertainment to add to the happy school year. I remember a part I took in the opera. It was only a minor part, but I enjoyed it as I was one of the “lady in waiting” to the queen. Special rented costumes were given us to wear, which made the performance special. We would oftimes take the operas and plays to other places such as Beaver, St. George etc.
I well remember they year I was a junior. That was truly the fun year with the Junior Prom dance and taking State Championship in basketball. I had a boy friend, Lenny Eyre, from Minersville, who played on the team. He played right guard and was one of the best players on the team. That always made the games more exciting. He was one of the flu victims and died during the 1913 epidemic the next year. As I said the Junior was the most special dance of the year, with dates and corsages. It was put on with all its pomp and glory. I had a lovely new dress for the occasion. I had a date and he brought me a beautiful corsage.
Them came my senior year. World War I was taking our boys into the service. School had started but had to close down after a month or so because the flu was raging and it was a very serious kind. Many were dying, even the healthy strong ones who got it. When the ban was lifted and we were back to normal living again, it was a big relief. It was a great time to rejoice and be happy that flu wasn’t a frequent occurrence.
In the spring of 1919, I graduated from BAC (Branch Agricultural College) in Cedar City. I remember how sad it was after the banquet and at the graduation dance to bid farewell to the kids and friends through the school years who would be leaving and maybe I’d never see again.
I was going out in Education because I wanted to teach in the primary or intermediate grades. So the next year I went back and took another year at school took extra college work in educational classes and received extra college credit as the B.A.C. had been given a junior college rating. I sent out applications to several school districts, Millard, Sevier, Salina, to teach school. I accepted a school at Hinckley in the fifth grade, the same place my best friend, Van Dyne Jones, was going to teach. We really enjoyed our school there, as there was not so many girls our age but more boys, who were all very nice. It was in my first year there that I was asked to take a part in play, “Under Two Flags.” The World War I veterans were putting the play on. I took the part and it was a good experience for me. I met Clarence Bliss that year. Although I had gone with many fellows, none appealed to me as did Clar. Van Dyne also met one and became very friendly with, Ben Bishop.
Van Dyne and I went back the next year to teach for our second year at Hinckley. She taught the second grade and I taught the third grade. We lived at the Moody home in a nice apartment with Lyle Gregerson, another teacher, who was from St. George, Utah.
It was nearing the end of the school year when Brother Alonzo A. Hinckley wanted someone to run his 120 acre farm and he asked Clar if he would. President Hinckley wanted a married couple to live in his house, as his family had moved to Salt Lake City, and he didn’t want the house left vacant. He said he’d pay $75.00 for summer harvesting months (9 months) and $50.00 for winter months (3 months), and we would have the house to live in. Clar had a chance to work and then asked me to marry him. I accepted and we decided to get married June 6, 1922. This changed my plans to go to California and visit my sister, Iva, who was living there, but I got married instead.
We were married at the St. George Temple. Mother, my brother Herbert and his wife, Margaret, went with us. We stayed at the Cox’s Hotel in St. George. The night before Margaret, said we could have flowers to hold when I got married, so be sure to get some. Early the next morning Clar and I searched St. George for some. We found some roses and then hurried to the temple for our temple marriage. When we arrived there, they had just closed the doors, but they let us in when we explained we were to be married that day. Mother was relieved to see us as she was so nervous when I wasn’t there on time. We were asked to leave the flowers outside as they were not allowed in the temple after all. Mother assisted me and Herbert assisted Clar. Being our first time through, we made a vow and new covenant to each other.
I was totally exhausted after the session. After dinner, Clar, Mother and me went to Toquerville, where Mother visited with my Aunt Vilate Neagley. Clar and I went in search of fruit. We bought two crates of cherries and even helped pick them, after which we went to Hot Springs to swim. Then that night we stayed at Aunt Vilate’s. That was our honeymoon and to add more glamour to it, we came back to Cedar City the next day, bought a case of quart jars, bottled our cherries to start our married life with. How happy and proud I was to have our own bottled fruit.
It was a sad and lonely feeling to pack up all my things and move for good to Hinckley to start a new life, that of marriage. It gave me a lonely feeling to know I was leaving my home, Mother and Father, and I wouldn’t see them so often, yet it was exciting to move into a new life.
As I said before, Clar was going to manage the farm for Alonzo A. Hinckley and we were to live in their home. How thrilled we were to have new furniture. Clar had arranged with his Uncle Ap to buy it for us in Salt Lake and have it shipped down. It was all ready when we moved in. It consisted of a dining room set, table, six chairs and buffet, a bedroom set, which included a bed, dressing table and chiffoner. What a delight to have brand new furniture, even if someone else had picked it out for us. We also had a new electric washer. We were now ready to start housekeeping, a new life and a new experience.
The first year was great. Clar was so very kind. The Hinckleys had a bathtub and toilet in their house, but only the bath tub was connected up so it could be used. We would have to heat the water and pour it in the tub and it would drain out itself. That was a change from the old tin bath tub I’d been used to.
Taken from papers collected a few years after Loreen's death. Appeared to be her attempt to write her life story. Unfortunately the story ends not long after her marriage.