A Life Story of Ozias Strong Harward
Contributor: janebale Created: 4 years ago Updated: 4 years ago
Grandson John Oral Christensen said of Grandfather Ozias Strong Harward--
"What I remember best about Grandfather Harward, is how he liked his eggs raw; his boots; his hard-working will; his fine horses; and fine, clean yards. I also remember the thrill he got in riding in the new Ford, bought by Father (Ozias's son-in-law, John A. Christensen)-- his first car."
Ozias Strong and Frances Eva Curtis Harward
Excerpts from a Life Sketch written by Marvel Harward
Ozias Strong Harward was the sixth child of Thomas and Sabrina [Curtis] Harward, born the 13th of November, 1862 at Fourth South and Fourth East in Springville, Utah. His Father [Thomas Harward] had built a home on 3-3/4 acres of land which was assigned to the family as the saints settled in Springville. Ozias was welcomed into the family by his parents, one brother, William Henry, 8, and three sisters, Sarah Ellen, 6, Celestia Ann (Lettie), 4, and Sabrina Eliza, 2. His uncle William and Aunt Sarah with her young son, William Thomas, 4, lived next door.
At a young age Ozias would go with his brother, [William] Henry, to herd livestock along Hobble Creek where he caught his first fish, as well as enjoying all the wonders of nature. In 1866 when he was 4 years old, the Black Hawk war broke out. Precautions were maintained for the protection of the settlers against the Indians who would attack the settlement, drive off livestock and set fire to the buildings and haystacks. The Black Hawk war lasted two years before a peace treaty was signed. The Indians were paid for their lands in Utah valley and eventually moved to a reservation in Duchesne County.
At the age of six, Ozias began attending school at a recently remodeled school house in Springville. There he received a few years of schooling. He learned reading and spelling and according to his daughter, Elmira, learned his multiplication tables well. Ozias was baptized in Springville in February, 1876 by William Bromley.
Thomas Harward moved his family in 1877, to Sevier County to homestead on Lost Creek just east of present day Aurora. Ozias, along with his other brothers, helped to clear the sagebrush and rabbit brush from the 40 acres his father had traded for the 3-3/4 acres in Springville. It was hard work that summer to build a new home, a sod dugout. They plowed the ground, planted wheat, potatoes, and hay. The following spring they built a two room log cabin with a huge fireplace in one end of the big room. Ozias became an expert with an axe as he helped his father and brothers bring wood from the mountains to build the cabin and provide firewood.
In 1879, a school house was built just east of the Rockyford canal. It had one room and was used for school, church and recreation for the small community. Jabez Durfee was ordained as the first Bishop of the new Willow Bend (Aurora) ward on February 27, 1881. William Henry Harward and Daniel Morgan served as his counselors. As Ozias grew to manhood, he too, took an active part in church and on March 31, 1880 he was ordained a Priest by his father. His first position in the ward was secretary to the Young Men’s M.I.A. It was while serving in that position that he was first attracted to the beautiful, brown-eyed maiden, Francis Eva Curtis, who was serving as the Young Women’s M.I.A. secretary.
A new desire and hope for the future developed between these two Mutual Improvement Association (M.I.A.) secretaries. Thomas Harward had homesteaded more land on Lost Creek and now with the prospect of marriage, he gave Ozias 40 acres of land. Ozias immediate set to work gathering materials to build a good home for Eva including wood shingles instead of a dirt roof. The house had two nice windows and a fireplace with a big chimney. He made the dooryard hard by hauling gravel and packing it down well. He built neatly arranged corrals, sheds, and a stable. By this time, horses were available and Thomas as well as his sons had good stock. Ozias learned well from Thomas to provide loving care for those horses.
Ozias was ordained an Elder by Harry M. Payne and on February 4, 1885, Ozias and Eva were married in the St. George Temple by John D. T. McAllister. They had traveled to St. George by wagon.
Their first child was Simmons [Harward] who was born on March 30, 1886. He died two years later on April 15, 1889 of diphtheria. Their second child was Blanche and she was born November 22, 1887, but died after being exposed to measles on December 20, 1887.
Lonely at the loss of their two children, Ozias and Eva locked up their home and went to live with his parents, Thomas and Sabrina. While living there, the third child, Francis Eva, was born on July 22, 1889, and they soon returned to their own home.
In 1890, Ozias was called to the bishopric of the Aurora ward as a counselor to William R. Stevens.
On October 17, 1891, Eva gave birth to their fourth child, Harold. He was a very intelligent child and seemed older than his age. He contracted “Bright’s disease” and was invalid for several years before his passing on June 10, 1898. Ozias happened to be hauling freight to Ely, Nevada, at the time. All at once, Ozias’ team stopped dead still. A peculiar feeling came over Ozias and instantly he knew Harold had died. He quickly disposed of his load and hurried back home to find he was too late for the funeral.
Lulu, their fifth child, was born October 27, 1893, but died eleven months later of “summer complaint”. About this time, Ozias built a two room house with frame lumber inside and out. They moved into this house in 1894. Ozias was very diligent in his work in the bishopric as well as his farm work. In order to meet his responsibilities to the Aaronic Priesthood Quorums, he would cross the Sevier River by swimming his horse across the Sevier River before bridges were built. He would stop his own work to go to the tithing yard to take care of his responsibilities there.
Their sixth child, Orson Alfred, was born on January 31, 1895, soon after, Ozias became ill with pneumonia and pleurisy. He was down for six weeks during which time his niece, Elizabeth Kennedy, and her husband moved in to help with the farm work. Through faith and blessings of the Lord, Ozias recovered and resumed the care of his family as well as his work in the bishopric.
Number seven, Elmira, a daughter, was born January 27, 1897, and number eight, Ozias Harvey, was born on November 20, 1898. In quick succession came number nine, Sharland, who was born September 22, 1900, followed by their tenth child, James Afton, born June 26, 1902. The past year had been difficult because Bishop Stevens had resigned and Ozias assumed his responsibilities until a new bishopric was called in 1902. When that occurred, Eva was called as the ward Relief Society President. Ozias then moved his family across the river into the main part of town across the street from the school house. This house was a one room log house that was later used as a grainary and was still standing in 1981.
In 1903, the first telephone was installed and for some time there were only 3 phones in town. The railroad had been built a few years earlier with its first train arriving at night, whistle blowing, bell clanging and a light so bright that you could hardly look at it. The townspeople were all thrilled with the new mode of transportation. To celebrate the completion of the railroad, the Denver and Rio Grande, let anyone ride to Salt Lake and back for $4.00 and many took the ride.
On March 4, 1904, Leon, their eleventh child, was born. About this time Ozias, with the help of two brothers-in-law, Ezra [Hoten Curtis] and Phillip [James] Mason, built a new frame home complete with two porches and sawdust to insulate the walls. The upstairs was not completed until 1914. Number twelve, Heber, was born on November 20, 1905. On December 18, 1907, Thomas Rudolph was born the thirteenth child of Thomas and Eva.
Ozias built his corrals north of the house and on the other end of the block was the church lot where the first amusement hall was built in 1906. It was a neat frame structure with classrooms in the basement. The seats could be taken out of the main hall for dancing, recreation programs and stage plays. Wilford and Tillie Ivy brought a beautiful organ for the church when they moved to Aurora from Scipio.
The townspeople enjoyed the new amusement hall until 1910 when it burnt to the ground. The building used gas lights but when they went out, the care taker without thinking, struck a match to see if there was any gas in the tank which caused an explosion. No one was injured but a fire raged. Towns people formed a bucket brigade from the near by ditch. Ozias mounted a ladder to pour water on the flames until it got too hot and while trying to get down fast, he fell. The fall injured his leg which bothered him the rest of his life.
Number fourteen, Devoyal, was born April 25, 1910. The church building was rebuilt in 1911 and this time the towns people used bricks. Ozias donated a team, and his son, Orson, hauled the bricks from Gunnison. Sharland remembers helping to unload the bricks in Aurora when he was 11 years old.
[Frances] Eva [Curtis] gave birth to her last child, Marilla, on March 9, 1912. In the spring of 1915, Ozias took another severe sick spell. The Elders administered to him and he soon was up and about, but his health continued to decline until he passed away on June 7, 1917. Eva was left with nine children at home, the youngest was five year old Marilla. The oldest living daughter, Francis Eva, was married at the time.
After Ozias died, Eva directed the family by patriarchal order. Orson, the oldest living son, took charge of work assignments on the farm. Working together as a tightly knit family then provided the means of support for all the family. After Sharland moved to Provo, it wasn’t long until the entire family sold all their holdings in Aurora and moved to Provo in 1926.
Ozias and Eva set the standard of excellence in the gospel early in their family and Eva carried on as a widow for 34 years.
History of Orson Alfred Harward
Contributor: janebale Created: 4 years ago Updated: 4 years ago
I was born in the small community of Loss Creek, which was part of the township of Aurora, Sevier County, Utah, to Ozias Strong and Francis Eva Curtis Harward, on January 31, 1894. I was the sixth child of a family of fifteen.
In my early boyhood days, about 4 of 5 years old, I herded cows up the Loss Creek ditch, which ran east and west for about a mile between our place and Scorup’s ranch on the east. While herding cows, they would get up and cross the ditch on the south side and into the grain fields. This would make me very excited and worried and I would have to get a plank and cross the ditch to get the cows out of the field. I started riding horses when I was about four years old and rode them the rest of my life until I moved to Provo. One horse which they said was mine was a dapple gray and I called her Sally.
When I was six years old, my sister Francis and some of my cousins would walk from Loss Creek up across the Sevier River to Aurora town to the old rock school house where I received my education. At seven years of age my parents bought a four room log house, two rooms downstairs and two upstairs, which was across the road from the school. Later my Father built another two rooms on; one upstairs and one downstairs.
While living in Loss Creek we had to haul water from a spring, as did the rest of the people in Loss Creek, about a mile and a half on a homemade sleigh made from poles. My father owned forty acres and then later bought fifty more, which made ninety acres that we farmed, mostly in hay and grain. My father had the first Sulky plow and the first John Deer mowing machine. We used an old horse and rake with which father done the raking and us kids and mother piled it up in piles, by hand. We had one of the first hay poles which was about thirty five feet high, with a ten foot arm which would swing from the lead onto the stack. I was the oldest boy living; four children born ahead of me had all died in early childhood, two boys and two girls. Much of the farm work was left to me to do. I worked right along with my father, and then later after my father had become partially crippled, after having two broken hips, and failing in health, I took over the biggest share of running the farm. It was my job at thrashing time, when I was younger, to get up in the grainery and keep the grain pulled back as men dumped the grain. After the grain bin was full I helped sack the rest and we would take and haul it Salina, which was about five miles away, where it was sold. We would also take our surplus we had and sell at Salina. By the time I was fifteen, I could work faster and longer and doing as heavy work as most of the full grown men.
While I was about fifteen years old, I was returning home from irrigating with a team and wagon. As we were going down a small hill the wagon was bumping into the horses which started them into running. They ran for about a mile when my Uncle Wallace Curtis saw us and was able to stop the team. Another runaway happened when I was about seventeen. We had a large spirited horse and a little black mare that I was using for a team. I was unloading a big load of manure by pitch fork and guiding the horses up the rows by talking to them and it being muddy I laid the lines up across the horse’s back. The team kept pulling to one side and wouldn’t go up the row straight, this made me angry and so I gave them a licking. I climbed back up on the wagon again and proceeded to pick up my pitch fork when the horse glanced back and thought I was coming after them again, so off they took and me with no lines. I then crawled out on the tongue and was able to manage to get up on the black mare’s back, and by this time they were becoming winded and I was able to stop them. That was about as foolish as I ever was.
In the summer and fall father and I would go with the other farmers up to Loss Creek Reservoirs, which was twenty five miles up across the canyon to the first one and thirty miles to the second one. This was called Seven Mile Flat. We would camp there for a couple of weeks to work on the reservoirs and ditches. After our work was finished we would race our teams and wagons down the canyon, which was always great sport to me. Later when my father was unable to go on these trips I would go along with the other men and taking my smaller brother Harvey with me.
We would take our teams and go to the foothills and mountains to haul wood for the winter. We would always have the biggest wood pile in town. We would haul wood for the widows and also for the meeting house. In those days we had what we called the wood dance. We would have to bring wood for our ticket to get into the dance. These dances were a great deal of fun and as I loved to dance I went to all of them. W would dance the square dances, the waltz, the two-step, the polka, and the shodish.
I helped build two different amusement halls. At the time I was working as secretary of the mutual. We used gas lights and one night as I was helping Brother Christensen fill the tank which was under the stage floor. As none of us knew anything about working with or handling gas, we were using a candle to see. When all of a sudden flames shot up all around us. We pulled the stage curtains down to try and smother it and beat it out. Within seconds the whole building was afire. So some of us younger men ran crying for help. They came with their buckets, and as our house was next door and we had one of the few wells in town we had a bucket brigade from our well which had a hand pump, to the amusement hall trying to douse the fire. But it was useless. Sparks were beginning to fly in the direction of our place, with stacks of hay and straw stacked along the fence. So we turned our efforts to keeping the hay and straw wet. The flames were so high they could be seen for ten miles away. People came from the towns around to see the fire. We built the hall again as soon as we could, but this time we used brick. We went to Axtell, 18 miles away with our teams and wagons to get the brick. We would have to go through some mighty rough roads to get there. Many times we would get stuck and it would take double teams to pull out, but we had lots of fun doing it. By helping to haul the bricks and attending the masons I was able to work out a good assessment for my father and myself.
When we first moved to Aurora, we had to haul our water much the same way as we did in Loss Creek. We hauled it from Holdaway’s who had the first pipe driven well in town and then later from Eric Sorenson’s place which was a quarter of a mile from our place. Then in a few years we had our own well, which was the third one in town.
In school I liked history and arithmetic best, sometimes being able to outdo my teacher in arithmetic. But I was poor in reading and spelling.
The irrigation canal which ran behind the school would freeze over in the winters and I would always try my luck at skating, cause I liked to show off a little. But I always did more staking sitting down that I did standing up. An then in the springtime when the ice on the canal would begin to break up in pieces I would watch the older boys jump from one ice float to another as they floated down the canal, and I was always thinking myself as big and wanted to do what they did. I always tried it but I was not able to handle myself as well as the older boys, so I always went into the water, getting soaked to the waist. The teacher would try and get me to run home and change but I wouldn’t and so she would have to cross the street and get my mother who would come and take me home to change into dry clothes.
As I was full of development and mischief, my teacher would often keep me in after school along with a few others and we would have to write a word five hundred times. So to hurry the process along we would often try taking two pencils and trying to write two words at a time. This is where I learned to hate writing. I have never liked to write since.
Once when I was about in the fourth grade, two other boys and myself had some 22 shells in our pocket. One boy dared the other two to throw them into the stove in our classroom. So the one threw his in first but they landed down in the ashes. I then threw mine in and they landed right in the flames and they began to off. Our teacher, who was always fainting over something or the other, let out a scream and fainted. The principal’s office was across the hall from our room and upon hearing the commotion came to see what was going on. Upon finding out what had happened I was taken into his room and paddled a good one with the large wooden paddle that he kept there.
One time a bunch of us boys went out of the classroom and the teacher being suspicious followed us out to see what we were up to. The other boys hurried back into the room and pushed the teacher’s desk in front of the door, leaving me outside with the teacher to take the consequences. Finding out the door was blocked, he had me help him bar the door from the outside with an iron bar, thus leaving the classroom locked in and not being able to get out and go home for lunch. A few of the boys got some other kids who were outside to toss them up a rope, this being an upstairs classroom, and they were able to get out by sliding down the rope.
For Halloween pranks we would take and round up a bunch of wagons and push them over to the school grounds and make a corral out of them. We would then go and get the farmers livestock and put them inside, and get someone else’s hay and feed to them. The next day the farmers would have to go and round up their animals and wagons. There was one old fellow who would never unharness his team at night and so we would take and unharness his team for him and then take and toss them up on the roof of the school.
Dad had a fancy little team that could get out and go. True to his nature, Dad loved the joy of competition and liked to win. Whenever someone was ready to race their teams, Dad was ready and willing to take up the race with his team.
In the year of 1913 and 1914 Dad attended school with his sister Elmira at the High School in Salina, where he took up a class in carpentry and husbandry. It was while in High School that he attended a dance where he first met Iva Peterson. Their courtship began with Dad driving his team and buggy the eight miles to Redmond to call upon Iva at the Peterson home.
However, before wedding bells could ring for Orson and Iva, he was called to serve a mission to the Eastern States and departed from Salt Lake on February 9, 1916. He received his appointment to Vermont Conference by President W.P. Monson. He grew to love the people and loved the Vermont area with its beautiful green hills and breathtaking scenery. He was Senior Elder for a year when in June of 1917 he received word that his father was very sick and he was to come home. However, Ozias died before Dad arrived in Aurora.
Orson and Iva were married in the Manti Temple on August 22, 1917. A big wedding reception was held in the Redmond Hall which consisted of a supper, program, and dance.
For their first home they lived with Orson’s mother in the old home of his Mother’s while Dad was working on the farm along with his brothers. He was called to World War 1 on September 4, 1917, and Iva returned home to live with her parents to wait for the return of Orson. He was stationed at Camp Kearney near San Diego, California, and was assigned to Company F, 16th Ammunition Train with the rank of Sergeant. Illness took him and he was put in the hospital with pneumonia. After his recovery his orders were to go to France, but before he left the States the Armistice was signed and he was discharged on February 3, 1919.
His service duty over with, Dad went into farming again. He built his family a brick home on a piece of property his Father had given him, which was on the west side of Aurora. He wanted more land to farm so another piece of land was bought together with his brothers. But with water being scarce the farming and crops became poor. It wasn’t long before Orson and Iva lost the home that they had planned together, which was not fully completed. They moved into a frame home down by the canal and living became hard and rough times set in, with Orson still trying to farm and make a living for the family on the property that he had bought, but eventually the property was lost also.
Orson then took a job for Jess Cain running his farm and herding sheep, so the family was moved to Vermillion. With the new job, living became a little better and easier for the family. It didn’t take long for Orson and Iva to become active in this small friendly ward. They were in drama plays and programs. A religion class was started up, which was like the Seminary program. Orson taught this class for a short while until it was discontinued. Iva played the organ for Sacrament meeting and often sang with Theo.
Much to the delight of the children, Orson moved his family over onto Jess Cain’s farm, which was located between Aurora and Vermillion but the family still belonged to the Vermillion Ward. This house was a rock home with large rooms, 4 downstairs, with stairs on the outside of the house leading up to two more rooms. There was a porch that went along the East side of the house, and next to this porch was a room where Jess Cain would stay while he was helping with the lambing, instead of going home to Siguard. There was also a garage on the farm where bats were making their home. When the bats would come in to roost, Ike and Theron would go inside and chase them around with sticks.
Orson would take the sheep up on the hills to feed, and many times took the boys with him. To keep track of the sheep, Orson carried a pair of binoculars with him, and as usual the boys knew that their father would soon take a little nap. As soon as he would doze off, the binoculars found its way into the hands of Ike and Theron, and what fun they would have. They always seemed to manage to get them back into place before their father woke up. A canal ran along the front of the house which had a few fish in it. It didn’t take long to discover one day that a lot of fish were coming down the canal. He couldn’t take time to get a fishing pole; he crawled out on the long board that was lying across the canal and caught them with his hands, throwing them into tubs. Needless to say, the family enjoyed many fish dinners and a tub full of fish was taken over to Harvey and Monts.
Grandmother Harward moved to Provo and while there found the possibility of a job for Dad. She immediately sent word down to the farm that if he wanted it, that he should come and see about it. He did take the job and in 1927 packed his family up and moved them to Provo. He then went to work for Mr. Taylor, owner of the Cherry Hill Dairy, in Lake View. Whatever needed to be done at the dairy, Dad was ready to do.
He worked at the dairy farm in Lake View and also the dairy on 4th West and 1st South helping to process the milk. After the milk was gathered up, it was taken to the dairy and unloaded off the flat bed trucks. It was then dumped into the pumps where it would go upstairs or be set aside for processing later. The milk then had to be pasteurized and bottled and into the coolers; then loaded into the trucks for the route man. The skim milk that wasn’t to be used had to be taken out to the farm and dumped to the hogs. The dairy plant had to be washed and cleaned out, pans cleaned, and then they were through for the day. Sometimes later, Dad was put on a route.
Dad churned butter, weighed cream for the butter fat content, and tested the milk. Dad and the older boys, who worked on Saturdays, Holidays, and in the summertime, would pick up milk through Orem and Lake View and be back to the dairy by 9 or 10 in the morning. Dad would then taste the milk in every can and would be able to tell what the cows had been eating; whether they had been on alfalfa, beets, or whatever. If it was off flavor the milk might go into cottage cheese or into separation for butter, but it would not go into the grade “A” milk.
The family got their milk in 1 gallon buckets from the dairy; it might be skim milk or whole milk. Moyle was sent with the bucket to the dairy to get some milk and was told by Dad which can in the cooler that he was to get it out of. Now, Moyle had been wondering, and was not sure how good Dad was at tasting this milk. He figured he was going to find out if Dad really could tell the difference in the milk, so he got the families milk out of another can, but it was still whole milk like he was told. He took it back home and Dad tasted it and said, “You didn’t get this milk where I told you to. This is yesterday’s milk you brought back.”
One thing that Orson was not, and that was a singer. as the saying goes, “He could not carry a turn in a bucket,” but he loved to sing anyway, and as he got older he would hum most all the time. One route he went on was a creamery route down through Goshen, Genola, Birdseye, and Indianola. Dad loved company and very often took the children along, much to their delight. Going on the route with him one song in particular I thought was his favorite, because we heard it quite often; “Oh, If I had wings of an angel, over these prison wall I would fly.” He also liked to tell a few far out stories to the children. As they went through Spanish Fork Canyon and west of Thistle, some of the mountains and hills had a red color in the soil. Dad said it was because of a big Indian battle or massacre in the mountains and many of the Indians were killed, so the mountains turned red with their spilt blood.
Dad told the boys to take a hair from a horse’s tail and put it in the water trough for about 10 days then it would be sure to turn into a snake. Ike and Moyle thought it sounded pretty good and decided they would like to try it. They got the horse hair and put it in the water and faithfully watched it to see if they could see it change. Then one day they went out to the trough to check the hair and there was a water snake in the water buy no hair. It was sometime later that they realized that Dad was just pulling their leg and had put it there.
The rear wheel came off the truck on one of the creamery trips traveling near Thistle. A few of the older children and a few of the neighbor kids were on this trip, who sustained nothing more serious than a bump or two and a few scrapes. The axel had broken in two and the wheel went rolling down by the creek, with Dad chasing after it. Moyle helped the children out of the truck and got a little upset with Dad because he was concerned with the wheel and not the kids. They stopped the car along the road to get some help and work on the truck which took until almost night time to repair.
Mr. Taylor died and the sons sold the dairy which put Dad out of a job. This was during the depression years and hard times were not something new to the family. After some time and much job searching he was hired by the Troy Laundry which was on the block were the Provo City Center now stands. Dad would run a pick up route of laundry from Provo to Ephraim. Besides picking up laundry at the slaughter house the fat was picked up to use in making soap for the laundry. This was the only stop the children disliked because of the horrible smell from the laundry. When this route was discontinued Mr. VanCott, the owner, transferred Dad over to the Provo Laundry to run the huge boilers and round vats which job he kept for about three years.
An opening then came for a route man to deliver milk for the Cloverleaf Dairy. Here again the children were taken along to help out with deliveries and to help out with the book work. He would say to me, “Come and go along to keep the books for me, you won’t have to make any deliveries.” Of course we always ended up making deliveries. We enjoyed the treats of orange juice or chocolate milk that came in little half pint bottles. A pastry shop along the way, Dad could never pass it up without stopping. A delicious pastry had to be tried, which was called Long Johns. These were somewhat similar to what we call Maple Bars now, only Long Johns were longer in length, filled with different flavored puddings on the inside, and frosting on the top. To perk up us kids with one of these pastries and a bottle of chocolate milk did the trick, and could not have been better. Dad did not get to the grocery store very often, but when he did we knew he would bring home some kind of treat or goodie to share with the family.
Every child in the family went on the various routes with Dad. When we were little it was just for the ride. As we got older, we would work and help out. Dad liked the company very much on these routes. That was part of the reason that he took us with him.
A monthly statement had to be made out for every home delivery. Getting these statements ready to put out would take several of us kids, along with Dad, two or three nights sitting up past midnight. Generally, Dad would bring home an adding machine which made the job faster and easier, and if he couldn’t get one, it had to be figured out in our heads or on paper which took longer to accomplish. But he always wanted the statements out to the homes within the first 3 or 4 days of the month, so he could get his collections in to the office. When the dairymen joined the union, the monthly statements were turned over to the secretaries and there were not more Sunday deliveries.
Dad would accommodate his customers and keep them happy by placing the milk anywhere the women wanted it put. Whether it was the front porch, back porch, inside the screen door, even the refrigerator if that was what the lady wanted. If an empty bottle was sitting on the cupboard or table that needed washing, Dad would go to the sink and rinse it out. After deliveries were made, Dad would solicit new customers to build up his route. The dairy management would think it was too big so they would split it up and make another route. But that did not matter to Dad, for he would go out and build it back up.
When the management said the children could no longer go on the route, it didn’t bother Dad one bit. He just bent the rules a little. Instead of taking us along to load up the milk truck, he would go alone and load up, then return back home to pick up us kids to go on the route. As kids, we would watch to see if we were being followed by the management and they would pick us up. As Dad got older, the last few years before his retirement was spent being janitor at the dairy.
Dad had somewhat of a temper throughout his life. While working as a custodian at the dairy, one of the things he did was scrub and wax the floors. One of the drivers walked across his floor when he was cleaning it, which made Dad a little angry, so he took the mop that he was using and chased the driver out onto the sidewalk.
Dad was awarded a pin for safety and driving over a period of time for the dairy without an accident. This was quite humorous to the family because he was always backing into the garbage cans and things. When he backed out of the driveway quite often he backed over the flowers along the driveway. When he would hit into something, he would get out and say, “Oh my.” I think often times that Dad would have his own traffic rules. Dad was a better driver on a straight road with no stop signs or highway, that on the side road with stop signs.
On Dad’s retirement from Cloverleaf Dairy he was honored by his 32 fellow workers who held him in high esteem and then presented him with a set of luggage. During his 18 years with Cloverleaf, he worked as a retail driver, salesman, and in the loading and checking department, and as a custodian. Dad started the first milk route in Provo when he worked for Cherry Hill Dairy which was bought out by Cloverleaf. Dad was 66 when he retired in 1964.
After the day’s work at the dairy, Dad would work on farms to help stretch the family income. He spent many hours on the Hinckley Dairy Farm and also J. Earl Stubbs. In the fall the family would pick apples and pick potatoes. For our pay we would take the fruit and vegetables to eat through the winter.
Dad loved ice cream and home churned strawberry was his favorite. The dasher was usually reserved for him. On Sunday nights in the summertime there were band concerts at the park. We would sit through Sacrament Meeting in great anticipation until it was over, then coax Dad to take us to the concert at Pioneer Park only 2 blocks from the 2nd Ward Chapel. We always knew if we got him to the park, he would let us go over to Cooks Ice Cream for a cone. Triple deckers for a nickel were on special every once in awhile. (We usually didn’t have to coax very long because Dad liked them as much as the kids.”
After the fall crops were in, the next job was cleaning up the garden, piling all the debris and corn stalks in a great big pile. The highlight of this would be the big bonfire, with roasted potatoes, hot dogs, and marshmallows all laid out and eaten from off the old wooden bench that we used as a table. Besides the family, the neighbor children were invited over to join in.
Dad didn’t play games very often, but when we could capture him in the evenings, he loved to play Pit and Donkey. This could get a little boisterous, but Dad was not going to let the children win if he could help it. He thoroughly enjoyed competing with us and was out to win. Dad didn’t go in for sports, but whenever the family got together, ball or horseshoes were the thing. Dad would always become a very good spectator.
Dad didn’t do an awful lot of reading. But as a boy one of his favorite stories was “Shepherd of the Hills.” Years later it was made into a movie. Dad went with the children and enjoyed it so much that he sat through it twice. In Dad’s later years, he would read church books and magazines.
To the children Dad appeared to be rather stern and on the serious side. He loved to have his back scratched while he was reading the paper. Some of us children didn’t like to, but we would, and it wouldn’t be long before he would drop his head into his arms sitting at the table and be asleep. We then combed and brushed his hair, changing his hair style and many times put it up in pin curls. He would be so relaxed; he would sleep as long as we would fuss with his hair. These are just a few things to show that he did have a humorous side.
Dad had a way of repairing and mending things that was all of his own; a little string here, a little wire there. Bushes and trees held up by string and wire. Sticks and pegs stuck in the ground with more wire wrapped around them. This would be in the flower garden, in the back of the house, and at the edge of the lawns. The children and grandchildren would sometimes trip over some of them, so we would pull them out or kick them over and sure enough, it wouldn’t be long before he had them back in the ground again. He never would say anything about us pulling them out, he would just put them back in with cement and more of them.
When Mom and Dad bought their present home, it was in a rundown condition with no lawns or flowers anywhere. The yard was full of rocks of various sizes, which was gathered up and disposed of which took quite some time to accomplish. After Dad’s retirement, he then took over the yard work and found much use for the rocks that he would find. Along the road, in front of the house and in the ditch, he would gather them up. He would then place them in the glower garden and long the lawn, everywhere he could find some place to put them. When Dad would go somewhere, Mom would get a bucket, gather them up and dump them in the irrigation ditch. But somehow, they seemed to keep coming back.
Dad prided himself in never throwing anything away. He collected and saved everything. He could have new shirts by the dozens but don’t throw that old shirt away, there is much use in the yet, even if they are beyond repair. If the slippers or shoes had holes in, Dad would put cardboard or paper in the bottom. Save the new and wear or use the old was his motto.
Dad didn’t tolerate much foolishness. The tools he used to be a disciplinarian were a lot more effective than the paddling they would sometimes get. One of them was that there were always so many rows of garden to weed, but particularly they were given jobs they did not want to do. To cut down the cost of raising a family, one of the things Dad did was to cut his own wood. When apple orchards were being taken out, Dad would haul the apple stumps home on the old flatbed dairy truck. He would bring them home and kick them off into a pile. Then the jobs for the boys were to split the old gnarled stumps. Moyle says if we had to punished, we could always count on being put out on the stump pile for so many hours. Dad always knew if we were goofing off and not on the job. This was one of the ways that Dad would take the Devil out of us.
During the hard depression years, Moyle says the older boys were sent to gather up the coal along the tracks that would fall off the trains. Moyle says this was alright for awhile, but being very enterprising boys, they started climbing on the trains and throwing the coal off the cars so the sacks could be filled faster. Moyle says he didn’t know whether Dad knew what they were doing or not.
Dad was 55 years old before he owned his first car. Up until then he rode a bicycle or walked as the rest of us did. Not having a car, our outings were limited to only one or two a year. One such outing would be the yearly Canyon Glen party sponsored by the dairy. But, how could we go if we didn’t have a car and a way to get there? Dad didn’t say much about it but he said we might go with someone else. But not many other workers had room for another big family. We did worry to see if we were going to get to go or not. Deep down we knew that Dad would come through and he always did. We would borrow a milk truck from the dairy and we used the milk boxes to sit on. My but it was a great outing. I think we were the only family that got to go in the milk truck.
There was a trip to Fish Lake for our Peterson Grandparents Golden Wedding Anniversary. We all piled into Ike’s little car with Ike, Eva, Mom, and 3 kids (Melvin, Darrell, and Joyce) in the front. The rumble seat held Moyle, Theron, Mert, NonaVee, LaRae, Verl, and Dad. Suitcases were piled on top and tied to the sides. The anniversary was a 3 day celebration. The first day there was a big dinner over at Redmond Hall with all the people in Redmond attending. The second day, there was an outing up Maple Canyon. Adley piled the bigger kids around the side of his flatbed truck with the smaller kids in the center. The third day was spent at Fish Lake.
As the older children started leaving home and moved to other states, Mom and Dad had the opportunity of taking some vacations and trips. They have been to Texas three times, San Diego, San Mateo, San Francisco, and the Redwoods in California. They also went to Reno and Las Vegas, Nevada, and to Corvallis, Oregon, several times. Dad loved to sight see and didn’t want to miss anything along the way. On one trip through Nevada with NonaVee and Burton, Dad pointed out the places his father, Ozias, freighted to.
While living in Provo the family made many moves before purchasing their present home on 5th South and 9th West. The family has lived in the 3rd, 6th, and 2nd Wards. While living in the 2nd Ward, Dad would haul coal from the Church mine in Carbon County for the ward to use in its heating of the chapel. The 2nd Ward was then divided and Mom and Dad were in the Sunset 1st Ward. More divisions to the Sunset 3rd, then the 4th, and one more division put them back in the 2nd Ward again. Dad had been Secretary of the Mutual in Aurora. He had also been an assistant to John Christensen in the Sunday School. He taught a religion class after his mission for a short while. He had been Stake and Ward Genealogist and was High Priest Group Leader for many years. Dad talked in Church a few times that I can remember and sometimes he could carry on a long talk. One time the Bishop had to pull on the back of his coat to let him know that it was time to stop.
Dad was hard of hearing and had a hearing aid. There were a few times he thought that Mom needed a reprimand over religion and doing the housework. He would say his peace, which sometimes could go on for awhile. One time there was difference in the house cleaning, Dad told Mom what they were going to do and how to do it. He then turned off his hearing device and went about his chores humming, and not hearing what Mom had to say about it.
Dad was a devoted church worker, no matter what he was asked to do. He put in more hours at the Church Cannery than what he was supposed to do. He weeded and thinned beets and corn on the church farm and also the dairy farm. He always did more than what was required of him. He had a strong testimony of the gospel and shared it with others. He had great faith and never let things stand in his way when it came to the gospel and the church. Dad believed that if he did everything that was asked of him, then the Lord would bless him and his family. And if he set an example, then the children would follow him and his family. He made the statement, “If I am going to fellowship the children in to the church and the gospel, it won’t be because of my going their way on their Sunday fishing trips and outings. It will be by them following my example.”
Dad made his weekly trips to the Salt Lake Temple with a car full of temple workers, in all kinds of weather. Rain storms, snow storms, or fog didn’t stand in his way. They were returning home on a particularly bad day during a snow storm around the point of the mountain. The road was closed to traffic as the snow plow as having a difficult time keeping the road open with the blowing snow. As evening drew near Mom and us kids started to get a little concerned how he was going to get through the drifts of snow and storm, and where would they stay the night? Well, no need to worry for Dad was home. How did he get through? We still don’t know for sure, but we kidded Dad a little about how he took the snow plow through the drifts around the point. Were his riders worried or concerned about the storm and Dad’s driving? Not in the least. One of Dad’s riders, Mrs. Collard, told me “With Orson’s faith, I would go anytime and in any weather.” Some of the riders that Dad took with to the temple were elderly or had handicaps. Brother Gee had a cane and Brother Fielding was in a wheelchair. Both of these brethren wanted to do Temple work, but also needed someone to help them in and out of the car and at the Temple. Dad would see to it that they got to the Temple and would give them the needed help.
When the Provo Temple opened, Dad was set aside as a worker, which he did until his physical body would not let him continue because of failing health.
Many people have said what beautiful blessings Dad could give. As he was always ready to go to someone in need. Dad did not criticize and certainly did not like it when the family members did. Often times we were called down for criticism, backbiting, and complaining. Dad didn’t complain even if he was not feeling well. We would ask “What‘s the matter Dad, don’t you feel well?” His answer was always the same, “I’m fine, fine, fine.”
Dad was a hard worker all of his life. He had a great determination and much perseverance. He loved his family and his church, and had faith in gospel and the creator of this earth. Dad wanted his family to stay together by playing and working and also having get-togethers as he enjoyed being with them.
Failing in health, Dad had a stroke and on the 25th of January 1976 passed away, leaving behind 9 children, 42 grandchildren, and 50 great grandchildren. He was buried on the 28th of January in the Provo City Cemetery.
****The first three or four pages of this history were told to NonaVee by Orson himself. The rest of the history was written by Joyce with the help of NonaVee. Moyle gave much help by sending a tape of some experiences and things that he remembered about Dad, as well as LaRae’s help through letters. This was written and finished on the 1st of October, 1978. As of this day Dad’s descendants number 9 children, 43 grandchildren, and 62 great grandchildren.