Life History of Parley Swainston by Lorna Phillips
Contributor: BarbaraLeishman Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago
LIFE HISTORY OF PARLEY SWAINSTON
by Lorna Phillips
Parley was born in Ogden, Weber, Utah on 29 September 1887, the second son and child of George Swainston and Mary Emma Frost.
When still very small Dad moved from Ogden, Utah to Whitney, Idaho along with his mother, father and older brother George. His father had homesteaded a farm along with his brother, Heber. Dad's grandfather and grandmother came to Whitney from England and made their home between the homes of their two sons, George and Heber.
Dad started school when he was six years old, with Johnny Flax as his teacher. The first day, as normal boys do, Dad got into mischief and Mr. Flax pulled his ear, which left a bad taste for school, and a dislike for his teacher. On the first day of April, when J.G. Nelson was his teacher, some of the boys thinking it would be a big joke, climbed up on the school house roof and stuffed the chimney with gunny sacks. When Mr. Nelson started a fire in the big stove in the school room, he could get nothing but big belches of smoke. Finally resorting to dismissing school, he proceeded to find the trouble. Others teachers Dad had in Whitney were Sarah Dunkley, Jennie Rallison, Mrs. Manning and George Daines, who was one of his favorites. He completed his first seven grades in Whitney.
Dad started his eighth year of schooling in the Oneida Stake Academy. His two cousins, Heber and Jennie, along with himself found a place to live in Preston and boarded that winter. The next year he attended a missionary course at the academy, riding back and forth from Whitney to Preston on a horse named Fox. Perry Howell was his teacher with John Johnson acting as principal. Dad never attended a full year of schooling at a time. He worked on the farm until all the fall work was done, then attended school until spring broke and they were able to get back on the land to work it.
At an early age he was attracted to a pretty young girl by the name of Jennie Tanner, who had moved to Whitney with her parents from Oregon. Going to the same school and Church made their association very close. He also worked for her father on the farm. When the girls of Whitney went to choir practice, the young men would meet them and escort them home. Dad usually accompanied Jennie, who later was to be my Mom. They used to go to shows where troupes came and put on plays. Dad recalls the time they went to see Georgia Harper who was an excellent actress. He usually bought a box of chocolates to eat during the show, and they enjoyed it very much. They also attended many dances. Their means of travel consisted of a team of horses and a buggy, or in the winter a sleigh and plenty of quilts to keep them warm.
Dad and Mom were making plans for a wedding when a call came for Dad to go on a mission for the Church to England. Mom encouraged him, and promised to wait for him. Dad left for England on the 17th day of December 1909 at the age of 22, and landed in England on the fifth day of January 1910. He was very faithful with his correspondence to Mom, writing a letter each week, except when he was ill with influenza and bronchitis, which put him to bed for three weeks. His mission was one of much enjoyment, meeting new people and preaching the gospel to them. His first companion was O.C. Jensen of Brigham City, Utah. His mission headquarters were at Middleborough and he labored at Newcastle and later moved to Pelton, a very small town. His companion there was Joseph Jones of Rigby, Idaho. He then went back to Newcastle, then to Hartlypool and labored there for ten months. He then moved to South Shields and stayed there for about six months laboring with A.G. Brain. He finished his mission in Sunderland where his last companion was Eugene Lichfield. Dad started his journey home on the 19th day of January 1912, and arrived home on the 7th day of February 1912.
Dad immediately started making plans for a wedding which took place on the 6th day of June 1912. Dad and Mom made their trip to Salt Lake City on the train and the following morning were married in the Salt Lake temple by Anthon H. Lund. At this time June conference was in session so they stayed in Salt Lake and attended conference. They made a trip to Tooele to visit some of Mom's relatives she wanted Dad to meet.
Their first home was a two room house next to his father and mother in Whitney. Here they were blessed with two little girls, Helen and Evelyn and a son, Parley. In the spring of 1917, they bought a place in Preston from Alf Stevens. Dad moved lumber up to build, but it was too wet so they rented a room from John Taylor and moved up on June first. That spring the crops were put in so late that they didn't mature before they froze. As a result it was a very poor year. In the summer they built the granary and stored the damaged wheat. In September, they moved back to Whitney and lived in the Bert Winward place which was north and across the hollow from the store. Here Mother taught school. The next spring, they moved back to Preston and lived in the new granary. The crops were poor again that year because of drought and ditch troubles, so in the fall they went back to Whitney and again Mom taught school in the winter of 1918-19. In the spring of 1919 they bought a home and moved it to Preston. This summer the crops were much better. On December 27th Janet was born and in 1922 I (Lorna) was born and was their last child.
In the summer of 1923, they got a loan on the farm which made the payments much easier. In the spring of 1924, they bought their first car, a second hand Model "T" Ford and paid $175.00 for it. It was something real nice because we had been using the horse and buggy up till now.
Dad is a man who loved the out-of-doors. In the summer he always took us to the canyon for outings and picnics. He did a lot of hunting and fishing and in the fall of the year went to the canyon with a team and wagon to bring out our winter's supply of wood. I can remember when he used to ride the ditch. He would climb on our little bay mare that we called Net. I remember one time Mother sent a quart of milk with his lunch. We always raided Dad's lunch bucket in hopes he would leave some crumb in it. When we opened it this one day, we found lumps of butter in the milk that had been churned all night.
Dad has always had good health. I remember only twice that he was sick enough to go to bed before his operation last spring. The first time was when he had a boil in his nose. The Doctor had to lance it and cut the cartilage which caused a bump on it. The other sick spell Dad had was in the fall of 1941. This fall was very wet and it looked like our best crop was destined to stay in the ground. As there were the fall payments to be made, Dad began to worry until his nerves went to pieces. As I was the last one at home it was up to Mom and me to do something about the farm. Trust Mom to come through with an idea. She called Lindon and Howard and they came with their caterpillar tractor which could crawl on top of the mud. We got the beets out. I had to take care of the milking and chores. Dad had to take it easy the rest of the winter. Dad has had a bit of trouble with ulcers, but nothing too serious, just miserable.
In June, of 1952 Dad lost his life's companion. Mother passed away from a stroke. The next few years were lonely ones. Finally, he met a woman that he felt would fill some of his lonely hours. He took as his second wife, Hattie Wells Lloyd. This marriage was not what he wanted and only lasted two years.
In 1957, he decided he was no longer able to farm his entire farm alone. He rented part of it to Orval Moser which made his farming much easier. In 1958, he rented his whole farm. Theo Bell took his hay and grain land and Orval again took the beet land.
In June of 1958, Dad took sick and called for Janet and I to come. Upon the Doctor's examination, he was taken to the hospital for tests. They found he had a bowel obstruction and they would have to operate. On June 17th, 1958 he underwent surgery. The operation was very serious and took about three hours. They gave him five pints of blood and for several days fed him intravenously. After two weeks they released him from the hospital and he went to stay with Janet. Doctor Broadbent operated with Leo Hawkes assisting.
Dad has made his home with Janet since and seems quite contented. He spent two months with Evelyn in California during the cold part of the winter. At present, his health seems to be good. He jumps in his car and goes where and when he wishes.