Life History of Earl Abraham Hansen (Compiled during the Summer of 1987) Transcribed by: Gable Dell Roth 2015
Contributor: gawarren Created: 2 years ago Updated: 2 years ago
I was born March 19, 1902, in College Ward, Cache County, the State of Utah. My father's name was Abraham Hansen. My mother's name was Mary Ellen Olsen Hansen. We were living, at the time in College Ward, which got its name from the time the old BYU held and owned the land, and then sold it to these pioneer parents. These pioneer parents is was sold to were my grandparents, Hans Hansen and James Olsen, respectively. At the age of 23, on December 10, 1924, I married Alta Gibbons Glenn, the most beautiful girl in the world. And she has proven to be just that. She has been a good mother to our children. She has managed the home exceptionally well. She is an outstanding individual and a good woman. I love her very, very much.
To us were born five children:
Ruth Ellen, born on the 30th of November, 1925, at College Ward, in Cache County Utah. On July 21, 1949, Ruth married Dell B. Anderson.
Our second child was Loraine Glenn. She was born on the 16th of March, 1928, at College Ward, Cache County, Utah. On the 3rd of September, 1948, Loraine Married Robert Eugene Rallison.
Our third child, Raymond Earl, was born the 2nd of April, 1931 in Logan, Cache County, Utah. He was married the 22nd of January, 1954. He married Gladys Marie Dattage.
Joseph Melvin, our fourth child, was born on the 3rd of November, 1934, in Logan, Cache County, Utah. He married Sharon Christiansen, on the 12th of April 1957.
Our fifth child Paul Glenn, was born in Logan, Cache County, Utah, May 9, 1945. On the 10th of December, 1969, he married Linda Louise Robbins.
At the present time, we have 30 grandchildren and 47 great-grandchildren.
All my very first recollections, or impressions on my mind was when I was a very, very, small boy, probably 2-3 years of age. I had been given a pair of red-topped boots, and in the spring of the year I got wandering out from the house and got in the mud. These boots got stuck, and I couldn't pull them out. I walked into the house without my boots, and my mother, I was crying, went out and retrieved the boots. Oh, how prized they were to me. They were very important in my life at that time.
As a very small boy, I was one time caught out in the yard when a thunderstorm and probably lightning flash and a very loud clap of thunder. It scared me so bad my father tells me that I was as stiff as a board and every hair on my head was standing straight up when he picked me up. I was practically paralyzed and could not move. Ever since that time to this day, lightning has had a kind of a horror for me. I dislike it very, very much.
Here I am 85 years old now and I still remember the little prayer that my mother taught me when I was just a little boy. It went something like this, “Father in Heaven, help me to be a good boy, Bless Mama. Bless Daddy. Amen”
These are practically the only things that I remember much of until I start to school.
The first day of school my cousins, Guy and Sylvia Olsen, came to pick me up and take me to school. This was quite an experience. My school teacher that year was a lady by the name of Miss Sorenson. Being left-handed, I had a little problem. I was writing left-handed when the school teacher come along and she saw me doing it, and she cracked me over the knuckles with a ruler and says “Now you put the pencil in the other hand and you write that way.” From then on, I have been attempting to write right-handed. I have acquired a fair degree of writing proficiency, that you can at least read it now.
One thing I remember was my birthday party when I turned eight years old. My mother gave me a birthday party, and she invited all the children in my school class. We had homemade ice cream and cake. We had fun. I have never forgotten that because this is one of the choice memories I have of my mother and the things that she would like to do for me.
Then when I turned eight years old, I remember coming home one day from school. A little boy eight years old may know something but not exactly everything when his mother would be expecting a baby. Sister Dunn was there with my mother. She was the midwife. I came in whistling and happy, and then she made me happier. She said, “Earl, if you want to, you can go over and sleep with Serge tonight.” Serge was my cousin who lived across the street. Boy, was I happy. My mother was sitting in a chair when I left.
Away I went and took off like an eight year old boy would go across the street. Told Serge what I was going to do. Aunt Mary probably knew nothing about it, too. So we had a good time playing in the yard and climbing the fences. Went to bed. The next morning, they told me that my mother had passed away. She died November 10, 1910. My sister Mary was born at that time.
I have never forgotten that day or the day of the funeral. In those days they had benches that were six or eight feet long. They would set those benches in a U-shape, and then the casket would be sitting in the U with the family and mourners sitting around it. It was a white casket, trimmed with gold. It was pretty. I have problems yet when they sing a certain song that they sang at my mother's funeral. The song that they sang was “I Need Thee Every Hour.” Alta can testify that when they start to play that tune in church, I just tighten up. I can hardly take it because it brings some memories back to me.
After the funeral, they didn't have the big black hearses like they have now. They had a team of white horses and the hearse was white with tassels inside. The horses had a brown harness on. It was pretty. A man by the name of Lindquist was the mortician at the time. We came from College Ward in the buggies and came up to the Logan Cemetery. They tell me that that was one of the longest corteges that they had ever seen to that time. I have never forgotten that day.
A few years later my dad told me the very last words my mother said before she went unconscious were, “Earl, take care of the children.” I have had that thought in my mind all my life. I have always tried to stay close to my brothers and sisters, and I have tried to counsel the best I knew how without any offense. I hope when I go I will be able to tell my mother I tried to do the best I could.
My father remarried. I feel this way about it. In the calling of my mother, The Lord had a hand in arranging for someone to take care of her children. My Uncle Jim Olsen was on a mission over in Denmark at the time. He sponsored a young lady by the name of Agnes Peterson who was a member of the Church to come to the United States to his home. The very day that my mother passed away is the day that this young lady boarded the ship to come to America. She came to Aunt Alice's. My father during this period of time had different women come in and help take care of the children. Aunt Alice was my father's sister, and her husband Uncle Jim was my mother's brother. Eventually this young lady came into our home to take care of the children as a hired girl. I don't know just how long it was, but it wasn't too long until Agnes and my father got married. From that came the second family and 11 more children. So my father had 17 children.
My schooling was exciting. We were out in the College Ward School. It was a two-room school, and it had four grades: first, second, third, and fourth, in the one room; and in the other room in was the fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth. This is the school I graduated.
The last few years of that school, one of the teachers I remember was Mr. William P. Latham, He was a wonderful teacher and a good man, but we kind of had a little fun about it as growing kids, like children will do, we nicknamed him Billy P. We were out in the yard playing baseball during the noon hour recess when Mr. Latham was pitching, I was playing on first base, and a boy was trying to steal the base to second. In my excitement, I forgot the name Mr. Latham and called out, “Put it here, Billy P., put it here, Billy.” It was amusing because his face turned red, and he never even looked my way, and the person ran onto second base. I was embarrassed, very, very embarrassed. It taught me a lesson, anyway, in reverence to those who we are going to school with.
I graduated from the district school, but never did go to high school. I did go one quarter at the University, which is now known as Utah State University. At that time, it was Agricultural College, Utah Agricultural College.
During my growing period, I had varied experiences with farming since my dad was a farmer. It was a very interesting life. I had a pony and I had a dog. The pony had a club foot and it was gray, so we called her Gravy. The dog was a brown dog and we called it Chalky, so Gravy and Chalky and myself were quite the companions, especially when it came time to take the cows to the pasture and came time to go get the cows from the pasture for milking. I learned to milk cows very, very young. I became quite proficient at it. We did not have milking machines like they do today; we milked entirely by hand. It was quite a chore, but it was one that I enjoyed.
We had horses on the farm then instead of tractors as they have today. We would rise early in the morning about 5 o'clock a.m., feed and grain and take care of the horses, water them, milk the cows and be in for breakfast by 6 o'clock. Go out and be hooked up, and ready to go to work by about 7 o'clock in the morning. This was the regular schedule. Dad was a very proficient man in his scheduled hours. He would start on time, he would quit on time, and things were really organized under his activities.
When I was in my early twenties, I was hired by a man named Leland Hansen to help dig the basement for the Capital Theater in Logan. I used my Dad's plow, team and slip scraper and together with two or three other young men we dug the hole for the basement.
About the same time I used Dad's team and wagon and helped with the building of the Scout camp which was up the Right Fork of Logan Canyon. The Church owns it now and uses it for a girl's camp. I used the team and the front wheels of the wagon to haul the long poles which hold up the balconies on either side of the main lodge from where they were cut further up the mountains. The builders instructed me very carefully about how to get the logs down the mountain without damaging them.
After the camp was finished, Serge and I took his bobsled full of boys from College Ward up there for a week of winter camping. This was my first introduction to homemade skiing. I didn't try it too much, but I saw a skier go head first under the crust of the snow then come out from under the crust 10-15 feet further down the mountain.
I learned how to cut wood from my father. At that time he was burning in the winter about two-thirds wood and one-third coal to keep us warm. We would have a large wood pile. You couldn't put it in a living room in a home today, that pile would be so large when fall came. I learned how to cut wood very proficiently. He taught me how to use an ax well. It became quite a thing to me in some of my activities later on.
When I was in my teenage years, a lot of times I would have loved to have gone and played baseball, then I had energy to cut wood. So cut wood I would. Yet, I loved baseball, and I played baseball on the school team. When I got a little older, I was on the ward team – the youngest boy on the team, and my father was very enthusiastic about it. He gave me all the time I needed to practice baseball with the ward team.
I played basketball with the school. Our gymnasium amounted to a patch outside with baskets on each end. So when inclement weather came, we did not play anymore. However, at that time we would go out in the snow at recess during our school hours and we make trails in the snow and then we would have to follow those trails. Some would be the foxes trying to catch the geese, and it was a tremendous lot of fun.
We lived first in a little two room log house, one that my father built. It was built with logs that had been squared in the canyon with his father's sawmill, and it had been built and niched. Then when he got ready to lathe it on the inside, he went down to the canal that was running across the farm, cut the willows, split them in two, and nailed the round side to the wall. In this way he had a lathe that the plaster would stick to. When they remodeled the home years later, they found those willow lathes there.
He finally acquired his father's farm farther up, and it had a brown frame hose. We lived in this house until about three months before I was married. He remodeled it, built more rooms to it, and it was a lovely home. It was painted brown most of the time, and it was a very nice home.
I learned how to do many, many kinds of work on the farm. One thing was helping my father to brand the cattle. He had quite a number of cattle that he would send into the canyon every summer for grazing up there. In the springtime it was necessary to brand the cattle.
I remember one time my father was very worried about it because he had a large, just about a three year old steer, that had horns, long horns. He didn't know just exactly how he was going to handle this one. Dad being a little older, and me being a young man now, about in my twenties, he instructed me very, very carefully as to what I should try and do. This I tried to follow with all the vim and vigor that I had. So he caught the steer with a rope, and I got a hold of his horns and his head, and was to bulldog him. How, Dad told me, to put all my strength and all my effort to it. I was not to hesitate about a thing, and so this I did. When I made the swing of the body, I was right between his horns. Imagine my feeling when I went down, and the steer went down head first, and I was between his horns, and then his body swung clear up through the air right over me and lit on his side on the ground, and knocked the wind out of him. Before the animal could hit his wind, Dad had him branded. Then Dad said, “Let him do and get out of his road,” and I did, quickly. So everything turned out, but it is an experience that I shall never, never forget because that steer looked like a very big outfit, a very big thing right over my body as I was laying there on the ground.
We branded many cattle, and in the winter time Father always provided his own meats. He would kill, with the large family that he had, quite a number of porkers and a couple of cattle. It was my responsibility to help him with this project. He would put a hundred bushels of wheat in a grain bin in his granary, and it would stay there until the next year would come. He would put a hundred bushels of wheat in the mill, as they call grist at that day, and then he would go draw against that. But he always had this 100 bushels of wheat in his bin at home. He also, when he cured his meat, would salt it and smoke it, put it in sacks and bury it in the wheat. This was very good refrigeration in that day because they didn't have refrigerators like we have now, and this worked out very, very well.
It was a fascinating life to grow in those days. I remember the first automobile that ever came to Logan. A man by the name of Burdock had it. This thing would go probably ten mile per hour, and it was a novelty: the very first automobile that ever came to this part of the country. Dad took me to town to see this.
One of the things that we did for an activity on the farm was swimming. We went swimming in what we called swimming holes in what we called Spring Creek, in what they called the Hyrum Slew, and what we called the overflow from the canal that went down. We would have a lot of fun there with that water falling down. Some days there would be lots of water, and some days there wouldn't be so much, but it was interesting.
One time a kind of amusing situation happened at the swimming hole. I lost my tie pin. When I got ready to get dressed and go, I couldn't find my tie pin nowhere. The next week when we came back to go swimming, we were playing tag. As I was running quickly so as not to be caught, all of a sudden the tie pin came right up through my foot between my toes. Stuck right through my foot. I found my tie pin in a very hilarious way. It was amusing. And so those things happen to youngsters.
One of the fun things that we made fun for ourselves was these cattle when they would come home from the canyon. Some of us kids would hook one up to an old, old buggy and go for a ride across the farm. You should have seen us, ditch banks, and everything, it was a rough one. Oh, we had to hang on for our dear life. But in sight of about three days or four days, this animal was trained so it would gee and haw, and we used to say whoa and it would stop. We liked to ride the animals, too. We would put ropes around the cattle and try to stick on as long as we could. We would try to break horses with a saddle. This was lots of fun, and lots of interest to us. We made our own fun.
One day I was working one time helping my father, we were hauling manure from out of the barnyard out to the farm to strengthen the land, and it was frozen. I was trying to break loose some frozen particles, and the pitch fork glanced and went right through my shoe and clear through my foot. Of course I had to go to the house and have it treated and taken care of.
As a boy about 14, I started out working on the threshing machine. My father owned a threshing machine, and it was powered with what they called a horsepower, where horses went around and around and around and provided the power for the machine to thresh the grain. After about two or three years following that for my dad, I became manager of it, and I worked with the threshing machine for some twelve years with my dad's machine. At one time, I was doing the horsepower, driving the horses with the horsepower. For some reason, something happened, and the tumble rod from the horsepower to the threshing machine became uncoupled. This turned the horses free, a very dangerous situation to be in. But men came running fast, caught hold of the horses, and nothing serious happened. But there have been men many times killed in a situation of this sort. I was very lucky, and I am very thankful for what happened at that time.
As a young man going out and enjoying life in a social way, we had a team and a sleigh. My cousin Serge Olsen had one horse, and I had one horse, and we teamed these up. Serge's dad had a good bobsleigh, and we went for many a sleigh ride, and enjoyed it very much. In fact, we probably were about the life of the ward with that sleigh. We would take the girls, we would take the other couples, and we would have sometimes as high as 20-30 people in the sleigh with us. And we would have some enjoyable times out sleigh riding and enjoying life that way.
We would come to the dances in our ward. There were four boys that were pretty well close together. There were Serge Olsen, Floyd Olsen, Wilford George, and myself. We would come into the dances in the ward. Sometimes there would be hardly any activity going on, and us four guys would start dancing. First thing you know the whole crowd would be dancing. In fact, we had a good time, and we enjoyed going out and having time with the young people in this way. We were known pretty well, Serge and I, all through the south end of the valley because of our sleigh and sleigh team. We would go to Wellsville for the dances. We would go to Providence to the dances. A few times we went up to Hyrum to the dances with our sleigh load and we would have some glorious times and some wonderful times.
Now, when I came to the point of picking someone for my companion for life, one time I was in the old Lyric Theater here in Logan watching a picture show, and there were two girls who went out of that show house. One of them I had never met in my life, but I knew her. I figured someday I would meet that girl. So sooner or later, when beet harvest time came about a year afterwards, I was hauling beets, and she was the weigh girl. I became a little acquainted with her, but being such a bashful sort of fellow, it took me a long, long while before I mustered up enough courage to speak to her. She thought she told me later, “Well, that guy is one fellow that I would never want to marry because he always has children with him.” Course, being the oldest of the family of about 17, there were children around all the time, and I loved children. I still love them.
When I made my first date with Alta, I had approached, had got the load of beets unloaded, and the empty wagon was weighed back. I came to the window that was open, and poked my head through the window. I proceeded to talk to her and ask her if she would come to the Halloween Dance down in College Ward with me. She agreed to. Just at the moment that she agreed to, without me being able to set the hour that I would come, one of my friends hit through the window. Then I went out and after him, and forgot about going back and telling her what time I would come. Anyway, I showed up on the appointed time, then we went to the dance, and we enjoyed it very much.
Well, I didn't go with her again from Halloween until after Christmas. I saw her once on the street about Christmas time, and we said hello to each other. Another amusing thing happened on New Year's Day. Her Aunt Mary Gibbons called me up and pretended that she was her, and in the course of events I was kidded about two or three other girls that maybe I had been with a time or two. The end of the discussion I had a date with Alta Glenn to take her over to Wellsville for the New Year's dance.
We went over to Wellsville, and she had her Aunt Beulah Gibbons with her, so the three of us went over to Wellsville to dance. We had an enjoyable time over there because I was acquainted in Wellsville, and I knew nearly all the young people over there at that time. On the way home your mother sang a little song that she had learned in a play. A few words of it was something like this, “You made me love you so, and I didn't want to do it, and I didn't want to do it, and all the time you knew it.” Well to tell you the truth right now, this is the thing that probably convinced me that I wanted that young lady to be my companion. She was a beautiful girl, oh, she was beautiful. And she was good. I learned to appreciate her very much. From that point on, I was making my regular calls to her home and taking her to different places. This was New Years.
Then along in about August or July, one day I had arranged with her to go up to the canyon for a little picnic. I had something in the back of my mind. She didn't know what it was at the time. Anyway, we got up to the canyon. She spread out the lunch, and it was good. Oh, what an embarrassing moment for her. She had forgotten all of the silverware. So, I got my pocket knife out, and whittled out some sticks, and I made a little knife and a fork or two so that we got by, and we enjoyed the meat very much. Then, after the meal, we were sitting there talking, and I asked her if she would be my wife. She agreed, but she said, “How can you ask someone that can forget things like I have done today?” I said, “I love you, and I want you.” She agreed to it. Then we went on home. When I took her home, I asked her mother if I could have her hand in marriage. Her mother broke down and cried, but she said yes. She cried because Alta was her oldest daughter. This was something that is really new in every family when their children start to going out and being married and moving away from home. I have never regretted asking the question and marrying your mother.
We were making preparations for the next few months, and we set the tenth day of December for our marriage. We finally got ready. There were parties at that time. They didn't have showers like they have today. They had a family party, and there was an amusing incident at one of those family parties. We were down to Uncle Hy Gibbons' place, and Alta had four girl cousins who were about her same age. They had fixed up a package that was for me. It was a humorous package. It was supposed to embarrass me, but the situation turned on the four girls because when I finally got it open, there were four boxes before I got into a little bit of a box, and inside that little bit of a box was a little bottle with a nipple on it filled fill of milk. Well, I took the bottle up and started sucking on the nipple. Those four girls’ faces turned red, and they were embarrassed as they could be. All he married people who were there really had fun with those girls over that. It was an amusing situation. We enjoyed it very much. We had fun at those kinds of parties.
Well, finally the tenth of December, 1924, arrived. It was a very cold day. I will never forget it. It was 24 degrees below zero that morning that we were to go to the temple. I had quite a time to get my little automobile started, but I got it started and went up to my girlfriend's home and picked her up and her mother and went on to Logan to the Logan Temple. When we got up there, in those days there was no alcohol, there was no antifreeze for the radiators, so I turned the car around, having it well covered so it wouldn't freeze while we were driving, and drained all of the water out of the engine and out of the radiator. The car was parked at the top of the hill. We went into the temple and were married by President Joseph R. Shepherd who was then the President of the Logan Temple. We got our endowments and then waited for our turn to be married.
After this we went out where I had my little car parked on the hill. I put my now new wife and her mother in the car, and then I pushed the car and got it started down the hill. Those days there were very few automobiles on the road. There were no stop signs, I coasted down this hill, right on down Center Street. I was able to coast clear to Main Street where there was a service station. I swung into the service station and told them what I needed and where I had been. They filled the car with nice warm water, helped me get it started, helped me get it covered, and with smiles on their faces said, “Happy wedding day,” and sent us on our way without charging us.
We went on home to my wife's parent's home. Her aunts had been there, and they had prepared a very luscious banquet for us. That evening about 6:00 my dad and family, stepmother and family, were invited up, and we had a dinner in the Glenn family home. We had fixed up and cleaned and papered two rooms in Dad's old house where we were going to live. We drove down there and started our home. We didn't go on any honeymoon. It was too cold. It remained that way for some time.
We had a nice cook stove in the home. And at night when we would go to bed, say 10:30 or 11:00, the lids would be red hot from the fire in that cook stove. When morning came, there would be ice on the edge of the quilts where moisture from our breath had frozen on the quilts. The tea kettle on the stove would be frozen solid. We would get up and make a fire and eventually get warmed up so we could circulate around again. This was our experience getting started out in life together. I was very happy and very satisfied. I have been very happy ever since because of this beautiful girl that became my wife, and I loved her so much.
We first started out on a little 20 acre farm that I bought from my father before we were married. We raised sugar beets, alfalfa and some grain. We had three milk cows and got the milk from them. We had a team of horses, and 12 chickens. Along with operating the farm, I drove the school bus for the Cache County Schools to South Cache High School in Hyrum during the winter.
It was a good little farm, and we quite enjoyed it, but it didn't seem to me like I was getting anywhere. I was a fellow that liked to get my fingers greasy working with automobiles and machinery. I remember my cousin Serge said, “When we were boys, we always wanted Earl to go with us, because if our car broke down, he could fix it, and then we would be on our way again.” I had a liking for, mechanical work.
An opportunity came, and I bought into what we called the H&P Auto Parts, Hansen and Peterson Auto Parts. We did that for a few years. Along about 1931, when the hard times came, the Depression came, and it was pretty rough going. There was a little experience there. Peterson's brother-in-law was working for us, and it got to a point where he couldn't tell what was his and what was ours. So Peterson, rather than create a circus, decided to sell out to a man named Mendenhall from Salt Lake. He bought two-thirds of the business. My banker said he went to school with this man and said he was a good man and advised me to hold my stock. But it took just one year, and then instead of getting $2,000 I got $200 and was out of a job in 1931 when jobs were very hard to get.
Here I was out of work with a family to support and in the middle of the Depression. I had bought a new Chevy car. I went of Mr. Merkely who was the manager of the company I had bought the car from and suggested I turn the car back. He said, “No, I will pay your payments personally until you get work.”
The next day, I walked uptown and happened to stop there at Center and Main. I was standing there when the old bus that used to go up and down the city streets here in Logan stopped and my cousin, Clarence Hansen, was driving.
He said, “Hey, what are you doing, Earl?”
I said, “I'm hunting work.”
He said, “I'll tell you what you do. Go down to Ogden and make an application for a job to drive bus. You won't probably get a job until next fall when school starts but when the college starts they will put an extra man on, and you will be in and be ready.”
Well, I went down and passed the examination and got the job and took the training. I say things were moving my way in a lot of ways because the day that I was certified by the other drivers as a competent driver, one of the drivers quit. That put me on full-time. So, I drove bus for the old Utah Idaho Central Railroad Company for approximately five years. During those five years, I made a lot of acquaintances with the students who were going up to Utah State. It was quite a nice experience. The fact of it is, for three different years, I received citations and pins for safe driving and recognition with the National Safety Council of the country. I thought this was quite nice. I went driving up and down between the railroad station and the University every half hour. It would run close to 90 to 100,000 miles a year on my driving.
I started failing in health. My back started to bothering sitting there in those buses so many hours a day. I decided this wasn't what I would like to keep doing, so I tried selling automobiles. What a mess. I didn't like the boss, I didn't like the work, and I finally got myself involved until I was $300 in the hole. I made up my mind, when I squared that away, I was done selling automobiles. Took me about another two months, and I was free with them again.
I evened the deal, so I quit and went to driving school buses and construction in the summer. I drove school bus for about three years. In the summers I helped build roads up Logan Canyon and out across Valley View over into Beaver Dam. On the road between Wellsville and Logan, when they were putting concrete down on that, the truck that I drove had 16 forward and 4 reverse gears. It would haul about 20 tons of gravel. During this time I sold electrical appliances and radios for the Utah Electrical Company and made a little money on the side at that. It was interesting and hard work.
This brings us up to about 1938 and 1939. That's when the Storehouse was being considered, and the Church bought the old New Jersey Academy School for the Storehouse. So on July 17, 1939, I started working at the Storehouse, and I have been at the Storehouse ever since.
I have made my living, most of my life, working in the welfare work. In the Welfare Program of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at the Bishop's Storehouse. The last 15 years have been by calling. I turned 70 and retired, and now I have been a volunteer there for about 15 years, except for one year on a mission. There have been some very interesting and spiritual experiences there of people talking to me and seeking counsel. They just seemed like they wanted somebody to listen to them for a few minutes.
When I was working there, I was the truck driver and in charge of the maintenance of the building, trucks, and heating equipment. I would like to recite one little experience that to me was very choice. I would go a half hour or hour earlier usually than all the others when we had the old coal furnace and get the fire going. One day, when I got there to unlock the door, there stood one of the brethren that had been working there with a half a bushel of apples in his arms.
I said, “Henry, what are you doing?”
He said, “These apples are not my apples.”
I said, “Well, you had an order yesterday?”
“And you had a half a bushel of apples on your order?”
“Yes,” then he said, “but this is not my half a bushel of apples.”
I asked why, and he said, “You know, yesterday, I was working in the cellar sorting apples, and I have down in the cellar a half a bushel of apples that I have trimmed the spoil off. They are my apples, give these to someone that has children.”
I wonder how many of us are that concerned about the children and about helping other people.
I was still working at the Storehouse and some people got interested in me. As I was a person who liked trucks and automobiles very much, it didn't seem like it took very much pushing to get me thinking about automobiles. Leland Hansen (no relation), a truck salesman, figured I could do all right with it. I think, in a way he was trying to help me out. I bought the big old truck. It was an eight yard truck which means that it would haul 16 or 18 tons of gravel. We had just got our home paid for and mortgaged it again for more than we paid for it. I hired a man who was good and reliable to drive the truck. I sent him over to Montpelier to Simplot. Things changed over there, and finally they didn't want the truck. I finally sold the truck to LeGrand Johnson for $1000. We worked out of it eventually, thanks to the cooperation of Alta. I learned a lesson that time. It was about in the late 40's, just after World War II.
When I first started there, O.H. Budge was the coordinator and the manager. He was a wonderful person to work with. I learned a tremendous amount from him. He was there for eight years. He helped more ways than one. He tried to help me improve my English and speaking. He was the kind of a fellow that you could work for him easily. Then Dewey Peterson came in as the coordinator and was there for several years until the Church offered a retirement program.
The Lord is good to me. They came in just a few months before I retired with a retirement program where we could work until we were 70 years old. When they figured up my retirement, it was figured from the day I went to work in July of 1939. All those years were added in. It made it so that I got about as nice a retirement as anyone did down at the Storehouse.
We now have our retirement and our Social Security, and my wife and I are getting along very well.
After my retirement, Brother Hunsaker who was the Stake President in charge of the welfare work in this area, came and asked me to help the new fellows get started. I said, “I guess so, I haven’t got anything particularly to do for two or three days.” Three days later he came back and said, “I have been and talked to your bishop and your stake president. You are called to stay.”
People today wonder how come Earl Hansen is still at the Storehouse. Well, I feel within myself that I have been called just the same as if I have been called to be a home teacher. I have the responsibility.
Then my wife and I were called on a mission. When we came back, President Lowell Jenkins in our interview made this comment, “What are you going to be doing Earl, now?”
“I don't know, I guess maybe I'll visit the children and grandchildren and do other things that old men do.”
I'll never forget how he leaned back in his chair and started grinning and smiling. “Earl, you know they need you down at the Storehouse. This is where we are sending you.” This is why I am still there at the Storehouse.
For the first few months I was paid $75 a month at the Storehouse. And even that money I was to take half of it in food. That didn't leave much money to pay bills, but they could see that, and then they raised the wages a little bit. Along about a few years before I retired I got the sum of $400 a month. That's the highest salary I got.
After World War II, the Church had a program for the Welfare Services of providing help to the Saints in Europe. In order to send boxes, they had different individuals put their return address on different boxes. There were quite a number of boxes I put my name and address on because I was working at the Storehouse. One box happened to go to Holland somewhere, and the individual who got that box sent those small wooden shoes – red, white and blue, in a little rack – from Holland.
I helped with the operation of the cannery from I guess about the early 40's until they built the new Storehouse. Alta and I operated the cannery for about the last ten or twelve years that it operated. Alta helped in the evening with the group canning. They would do welfare canning in the daytime with volunteers.
I had a very near serious accident with the cannery. Apparently, we seemed to have some problems with the steam. The boiler was a steam boiler with 150 pounds pressure in it. I went down to see what the problem was, and I checked the valve. I had to open it to check to see if it was working, and it stuck. I couldn't get it closed. I had 100 pounds of steam shooting out in the room. I was back in the corner where I couldn't get out. I could have gotten scalded to death there in less than ten seconds, but again, the hand of the Lord was there because for a split two or three seconds, that steam shut off like somebody had put a block in it. I popped out of there. As soon as I got popped out, it started again. I have no way of explaining it. I got out of the boiler room, and Alta came running down to where I was in the basement to see if I was all right. I was all right because I had got out, thanks to the providence of the Lord.
As was stated, we lived in two rooms of my father's old house for probably about 3 ½ or 4 years. We moved to Logan when I bought a partnership in H&P Auto. We lived in the Logan 11th Ward in a little three room apartment. Not being used to apartments, we only stayed in that place three months. Then we moved up in the Eighth Ward in a little place, a little four room home with a bath. It was a nice place and had a nice garden spot. We paid all of $12 a month for the rent of that house. It was a good, comfortable place, and we enjoyed it very much.
Because of my work, we decided it would be better to move closer to town, and we moved into the Seventh Ward over on Third South and about three houses east of Second East on the north side of the street. This was right next to my wife's grandmother, and we enjoyed that stay there for approximately three years. Then we came back to the Logan Eleventh Ward when we bought the home that we are living in presently on about the 12th of January 1932. Raymond was not quite a year old. We are still living in that home, it is our home and it's all paid for. It's small, but it's a beautiful place and we enjoy it very much.
I have been a Master MM Teacher, Genealogical Teacher, in two Sunday School Superintendencies, three Mutual Superintendencies, a Bishop's Counselor, a High Priest Ward Secretary, and when the Mount Logan Stake was organized, I was called as the secretary for the Stake High Priests Quorum of the Mount Logan Stake. After I was released from that, I was selected as the Second Counselor to Brother King in the Stake High Priest Quorum Presidency. At that time, they had a Stake High Priest Quorum President, now it is the Stake President. When Brother King was released, then I came back into the Ward as the Secretary until Bishop Bullen came in as the Group Leader. I was his Assistant Group Leader. When he was released, I was called to be the Group Leader. I have also served on a two year stake mission. I held this position until we were called on our mission. Since we returned from the mission, our home teaching is practically the only Church responsibility I have except for my call to work down at the Storehouse. I got my Master MM in the early 50's.
We went to the Lansing Michigan Mission. We served first in the city of Jackson for seven months. Later we were moved to Howell for about five months. We went in the Mission Home on October 12, and left the Mission Home on November 11, 1979. We got back in Logan on October 18th of the next year, 1980. We had come inspirational experiences.
We met a sister by the name of Karus. She was not a member of the Church, but she was very good to the missionaries. Because she was an older woman, the Elders turned her over to us. So we were visiting there one evening. She was well educated and quite a talker and very compassionate. She knew a lot about the Church. She was talking to us one evening. Finally, I said to her, “Mrs. Karus, do you know who we are? We are Mormon missionaries, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Our responsibility is out here to teach you the principles of the gospel if it is possible. You have been teaching us the principles of the gospel for the last 40 minutes. Why aren't you baptized?”
She sat there. You could have heard a pin dropped on a soft rug it was so quiet. Finally, she said, “Elder Hansen, if I ever join a church, it will be yours.” We have kept in touch with her since we came from our mission. On one of these telephone calls she said, “Elder Hansen, I'm afraid if you and Sister Hansen had been another few weeks here, I would have been a member of the Church.”
The Elders Quorum President in Howell was just a young man. He had only been a member of the Church a couple of years. The last Sunday we were at meeting, he came up and wrapped his arms around me and said, “Elder Hansen, you will never know how much you have helped me.” I didn't think I had done anything. I just had answered questions and been sociable. This teaches me that we don't know even when we are not on missions, what kind of reactions we are having on people every day of our lives.
Until we left on our mission, I was the Council Advancement Chairman, for the Cache Valley Council, Boy Scouts of America. I have been in the Scouting organization for more than 50 years now. At the age of 85, I am still a Registered Scouter and try to help when I can. I am a Silver Beaver recipient. Alta worked in the Primary for 45 years mostly with eleven year old boys. She has a certificate and a pin of this honor to her. She has also received her Silver Beaver from the Scouting organization, which I feel was a great accomplishment for her.
I have had all kinds of assignments. I have been a Scout Master, and Assistant Scout Master. I have been a Committee Man, Committee Chairman, I have been the District Advancement Man, I have been the District Chairman for the organization of Scouting, and I have enjoyed it. For eight years, I was the Council Ranger for their winter camp up the canyon, Camp Wapati, by name. I enjoyed this experience very much. The last two years, my wife attended Camp Wapati, and we had some enjoyable experiences together there. I enjoy working with boys. I guess this is one of the reasons why I am still active in Scouting. I love boys. I love to work with them. I love to help them if I possibly can.
I became a member of the Sons of the Utah Pioneers about in November, 1946. George Everton and Jesse P Rich called a group of us together. They had ten of us and were able to organize what they called a Chapter. Out of that meeting, I became a member. I also became an officer of that Chapter. I was one of the two-year directors for that Chapter. I have had some very fine experiences with the SUP.
I have become the president of the Temple Fork Chapter, SUP, three different years: 1950-1951; 1968-1969; and 1969-1970. I think I am the only individual who has done that. I have been a director of the Chapter for a long while, and for a long while Bishop Everton and I were the camp chairmen. Whenever the Chapter went out for camp, we did the cooking.
We had some very pleasant experiences with the cooking. One of the experiences with that was we were going to have an overnight Chapter camp. We went up early and dug a hole in the ground and burned a lot of wood so we had some nice coals. We put our dutch ovens with the meal prepared in them in the hole and buried them with about eight or ten inches of dirt in those coals. Amusing thing about it is that when it got about time for supper, the people were asking where the cooks were. So we said “If you will move away a little bit, we will see what we can do.” They were standing right on the pit where the supper was. We dug the kettles out. Those steaks that night were so tender you could cut them with a fork.
In 1957 I was elected as a Vice President of the National organization. I was the Fourth Vice President. The next year I was elected to the First Vice President. Then in 1959 I was elected National President. I served as National President for one year. Of course, I was one year as Past President. My total service in the National Organization in those offices I have named and as a Director amounted to 17 years on the National Board.
One year my children got the money together and presented me with a life membership in the Sons of the Utah Pioneers. It is quite an honor.
When the Mormon Battalion was organized sometime later, in the middle 50's, they organized Company D here in Logan. I was a Private. Eventually I was moved up to a Corporal. Then I was moved to Second Lieutenant. When I was elected to be the leader of Company D, I received the rank of Captain. A few years later I was elected National Commander of the Mormon Battalion. That election was for two years. When the two years were up, they elected me again. I served four years.
During that period of time we had two or three tours. In one of them we represented the State of Utah in the Inaugural Parade when President John F. Kennedy was elected President. We were gone 16 days. Alta joined me in Philadelphia. She had come east right after Christmas, with Ruth to help when she had her baby. Dell brought her over to join me. Besides marching in the parade, we toured the government buildings. By the statue of Brigham Young we stopped and sang. “Come, Come Ye Saints.” While we were singing that, the other groups of tourists came over to talk to us.
After we left the inauguration, we went on north to New York City, and then up to Albany and up to the Niagara Falls. That was really a beautiful sight. It had been storming and just when we got to the falls in that winter scene the clouds broke and the sun came out and all that ice and color sparkled. The next morning we started on our trek home through the states.
In 1968 we went to Coloma, California for seven days. I was National President at the time and so I made a speech there in the tabernacle in Sacramento along with then Apostle Ezra Taft Benson to about 2,500 people who were assembled there.
In 1972 a book was published in London called Outstanding Characters of the West and Midwest. In that book you'll find my name, my age, my wife and children listed. The criteria for that honor are your civic organizations and service, your church service and your service to your family.
I firmly believe that I was inspired to marry the girl that I married. I have appreciated my marriage and my wife so much. I think that I appreciate her more now than when I married her, and when I married her I thought there was no one else in the world like her. I don't know how I would get along without her. I love her so much and she does so much and helps me a lot. She is the heart of this home. She is the individual who has taught and trained the children more than I have because I have been busy earning a living. She is a very wise woman. I notice that more every day. I hope and pray that I can be worthy to have her for all eternity.
We have had five children. I think they are the greatest children in the world. They have their individual personalities and their ideas, but they all have a testimony of the gospel. I think we have some of the finest grandchildren and great-grandchildren in the world. I don't know how a person can be blessed with such a good family.
I have worked in the Church all my life one way or another. I love the gospel of Jesus Christ. I love my family.