Orval Malmstrom -- autobiography
Contributor: trishkovach Created: 2 years ago Updated: 2 years ago
I, Orval Malmstrom, was the sixth child in father’s family of ten children. I was born in my grandmother’s (Elizabeth Clements Kendall) home in Oxford, Idaho October 27, 1905. Grandmother was the midwife and nurse and cared for my mother. I was blessed March 1906.
When I was seven months old I moved with my parents from Cottonwood, Idaho to Emmett, Idaho. Father was a farmer by trade. He bought a 40 acre farm with the money he received from selling cattle in Cottonwood.
When I was very young, about 12 months old, I was learning to walk. I was out in the yard. Father’s barns were located across a big canal from the house. My father was at the barn doing chores. He had to cross on a plank. Our big goose ran after me and I tried to cross the plank and fell in the water; my father rescued me in time.
I was baptized in the Payette River in Emmett by George Smith on September 17, 1916 and confirmed a member in the LDS Church by Samuel W Worthington in the Emmett Ward, Boise Stake.
One other time when I was about 8 years old I was riding in a two wheel cart with my three cousins. I was kneeling down in the front of the cart when my cousin hit the horse with a whip to make it go and the horse kicked up and kicked me on the right side of my jaw. It tore the skin and muscle. That left a scar.
I received my schooling in Emmett to the 8th grade. I was in several plays that I rather enjoyed. I didn’t have many fights at school, but my cousins were fighting all the time. I also studied the saxophone. When I reached the age of 14 years, my father’s health felled and my older brother and two sisters were married so it was my duty to help mother and my two young sisters and brother which I did for a number years until I married. That ended my formal schooling.
My brothers and sister were very good to help in the duties around home and providing the family’s needs. We were never blessed with much money but in health we were greatly blessed. My father went to California for his health, an older brother went to war, and an older sister had gotten married. Mother didn’t know much about business as father had always taken care of that, so it was rather hard for me to take over at 16 years old. I can say it helped me a great deal as I learned a little from hard work.
As a boy of very young age it was my duty to be the first one out of bed to build the fire and carry wood and water for Mother for the day. Father was a farmer and many chores had to be done before the day’s work was started. After the milking was done it was my job to take the cows to the pasture which was one mile from our home place, before school and after. I had to walk most of the time and it was dark most of the time. In the morning, lots of times, I would meet up with skunks which would raise quite a stink at times. I started to sing as loud as I could to scare away varmints and I’d wake up nearly all the neighbors on the way.
I helped my father on the farm in many farm labor jobs. I feel this was a very good experience for me for I learned the responsibility of raising a family while I was young and I never regretted it.
When I was 10 years old I started working in the fruit farms. I well remem ber the first day picking cherries. The farmer gave me a quarter to get me to go home as I pulled the stem of the cherries and split them. I sure thought I was rich.
When I was 12 years I helped to gather the limbs that were trimmed off the fruit trees to be burned and made 25 cents a day. I also used to have to drive four head of horses on a spike tooth harrow rake and stack hay and haul and thrash grain. It was my job to keep the weeds out of the garden.
Everything kept me busy and not much time for play with the other boys. When I did get time, I made my own play things which were soft drink bottles. I played they were my horses. I made string horsemen for them and made wooden wagons out of sheets from wooden fruit crates my father had around the home.
We had a big shade trees around the house and I had all kinds of swings and tight ropes to play on. My younger sister Myrtle, the neighbor kids, and I had lots of fun playing on the swings. I remember when father made a wagon for me and my sister and I would play stagecoach with the older kids. They would be the horses and I would be the driver. What times we did have for play, we had good times together.
I liked to go swimming in the Payette River. I had many narrow escapes while swimming in the Snake River. It was dangerous.
All were kept busy and there was not much time to play. Father used to play the accordion and my cousin, Florey Malmstrom, played the piano and a neighbor played the violin. We had many dances and surprise parties at home and around the neighborhood. Father had a grizzlie bear coat and he used to play bear with us. He used to tell us about his experience with the grizzlie bears when he herded sheep for his father in Skull Valley.
Our home was on the east end of the main road to town and I remember the first car that came to Emmett about 1916 or 1918. It was an old Buick. When we heard it coming we kids would run for the road to watch it go by. We would run out and smell the gas as it smelled rather strong in those days. I remember the first car wreck. It happened to be the same old Buick. The owner was about my age or a little older. He always thought he was better than the rest of us kids as they owned a big fruit orchard and they bought the first car. He was driving his dad’s car coming to town. Not too far from our house and ran off the road and the car turned upside down. I went to his rescue to help.
As a child I had nearly all the child diseases. I was troubled with tonsil aliments for a number of years until I was 24 years old, when I had two operations, one for my tonsils and one for my appendix which left me with fine health ever since. I’ve had a few accidents in life but no bad results. I used to have to ride horses back and forth bare back. I met with several accidents which left me with ill feelings toward horses.
I didn’t know anything about religion until I reached the age of 16 years as my father kept me very busy on the farm, but when he took sick he realized what he was doing to me so he sent me to church which I am thankful for as I have been well blessed by working in the deferent departments in the LDS Church.
After being a member for six years I received the Aaronic priesthood. I was ordained to the office of a Deacon by George A Dover, February 13, 1922. A short after I was ordained, I was called to be the second counselor in the Deacons Quorum. After working in the office from February 13, 1922 to November 5, 1923, I was advanced to the office of a Teacher and called to assist in Ward Teaching. The winter of 1924 I was put in President of the Men’s Class in MIA. I also acted as assistant scout master one winter. In the year 1929, I was called to labor as 2nd Counselor in the MIA in Emmett Ward.
The winter of 1923 I spent with mother, two sisters, and a brother at Grandmother’s (Elizabeth Kendall) home in Oxford, Idaho. She lived a very colorful life as a pioneer of the Church in the early days.
I started working at the Boise Payette Lumber Mill in Emmett when I was 16. From 1923 off and on until 1929 I worked as day labor. I also worked in the Box Factory for four years for 25 cents an hour. I worked in the Planning Mill and dry shed. While working at the saw mill I feel my body was spared in a number of ways as I always prayed to my Father in Heaven for help in all things. I gave all my earnings except a little spending money to my mother to take care of the family bills.
The winter of 1925, I spent with my father in California. I went to school and during the evenings we went to many different denominations as he was investigating the different faiths. He had turned against his faith in the LDS Church for awhile to his mistake which he acknowledged at the end and asked for forgiveness and was buried in his Temple clothes which made us feel much better.
I went with a number of girlfriends until I met the right girl which is now my companion. Laura May Taylor and I were married in the Manti Temple June 18, 1930. She has been a true and faithful loving wife and a true helpmate in raising our family of 8 children. She came from a fine family of 14 children and she’s had her share of hard times.
We lived in one of mother’s houses for six years. I started working as a carpenter. I helped to build Mother a six room home from the money Father left her. I worked in the wool, fruit trees, did farm work, and whatever work I could get. Two sons, Arland and Ray, were born while we lived in Emmett.
The spring of 1930 the Depression started. The same year I married I lost my job at the mill from then to 1936. I was forced to work on WPA as times were poor and jobs very scarce. During this time on March 24, 1931 our first son was born and my second son was born, Edward Ray Malmstrom July 8, 1934 and my two brothers Eldredge and Manring Malmstrom built a six room home for my mother Bertha Pearl Malmstrom.
Then in the fall of 1936 my wife and I and two sons moved to Loa, Utah. We had quite a hard moving trip.
We stayed in Loa about two years. I worked on the WPA and a janitor for the LDS tabernacle. I gained more experience working with the public. I worked on the Fish Lake forest in the timber and mountain which I enjoyed.
On May 14, 1937 my third son, Dennis Ariel Malmstrom, was born in Loa.
In the spring of 1939 our family moved and we built a brick home in northeast Provo, Utah. While there, I labored as Ward Teacher and a missionary for the inactive members of the Aaronic Priesthood in the Pleasant View Ward. I worked for the WPA curb and gutter in the streets of Provo, helped build a water tunnel and laid big concrete pipes for Provo city water. I worked as a carpenter and helped build Geneva Steel Mill. I also took a course, studying wood pattern making.
In 1941 I went to Santiago, California for seven months without my family. My son DelRoy was born. I worked for consolidated aircraft company as a repairman for the B24 and the Catalina airplanes. World War II was declared and I experienced a few hectic days. I was unable to locate a home for my family so I quit.
I returned home and joined the carpenter union and started work in Skull Valley building army camps for one month. I drove back and forth, working 10 and 12 hours a day at Camp Williams. After 3 months I started working for a Utah construction company. I worked for Geneva Steel as a carpenter maintenance man. I had to quit because the fumes from the furnaces bothered me a great deal. During this time, I also worked on a number of carpenter jobs around the area.
Our fifth son, Larry was born. I went to California again without my family for six months and helped build an army prison. While there I had a number of experiences which I will never forget working for a Texas contractor which was very headstrong. We worked around lots of Negros. Two got into a fight and one picked up an iron pipe and hit the other over the head and killed him. I got a terrible feeling about having to live behind bars.
I returned home, found other work, finished our home in NE Provo. We sold our home for $10,000. Our sixth son, Roger Allen, was born and we moved to Springville, Utah on Highway 91. I continued to work various construction jobs. Our daughter, Lynette, was born.
I tried to farm and do construction work but it was too much and I made very little on the farm. I sold our home and traded the farm for a little home in SE Provo. I worked in different cities around the State. Being away from home and working around rough environment, caused me to become neglectful in my Church duty. My wife was left to take care of the home and family. Our faith grew rather weak and the older boys grew rowdy and didn’t attend their Church duties very good.
Up until this time our family had good health. In 1951 one son was stricken with brain fever, five with infectious jaundice, and two boys with polio. We had just lost an insurance policy which left us to the mercy of our good Lord and some mighty dear friends, the Polio Foundation, and the Children’s Hospital which stepped in and came to our rescue. We were mighty grateful as they helped us financially and spiritually. My wife and I gained our dearest testimonies through the blessing of the Lord through the Priesthood to see our boys healed. This caused me and my family to wake up and be more active and always pray.
Our seventh son, Douglas, was born. We traded our home in Provo for a home in Orem. I worked on the Geneva Ward LDS Church. Once it was finished, we traded our home for a little place in South Provo. After three years, we bought an adjourning lot and put a house from the Magna copper settlement onto the new lot.
Through the number of years in Provo I had the opportunity of building homes, churches, a number of places of businesses, did remodeling, cannery, historical buildings, and a factory.
On the first of June 1930 I was ordained an Elder in the Melchezedic Priesthood by William H Edgley. My wife and I received our Patriarchal Blessings on the 1st of July. The fall of 1930 I was called to act as secretary of Genealogical Society. A week later I was called to act as secretary of the Elders group in Emmett 1st quorum. The fall of 1931 I was changed from secretary of the gemological to 1st counselor. In the spring of 1932 I was called to be teacher of the Book of Mormon class. On Dec 27, 1932 I was changed to secretary of Elders group in Emmett ward to 2nd counselor of 4th quorum of Elders of Bromwell Ward. I was ordained a High Priest November 22, 1964 by Lewis K. Dehard in Provo