Melinda Jane Bell and Dean Anderson family memories
Contributor: aerolf Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago
Melinda died in December of 1938, and Dean died in December of 1945. I obviously have no recollection of either of them. But I do have many memories of four of their six children. Don was only five years old when Melinda died, and I think he was farmed out to relatives on his father’s side of the family. The other children stayed in touch with each other and the Bell family, with amazing positive outlooks on life in general.
My dad did tell a story about Dean. I hope I have the story written down somewhere else, because my memory has faded. One time he was on the Teton bridge in his old car and had something like 7 flat tires while trying to cross over the bridge. I think they were pretty poor.
When Melinda died Dorsel was 15, Dell 14, Elaine, 13, Doyle 10, Phyllis 7, and Don, age 5. The kids were always commended for their pluck. Their father, Dean, died 7 years later.
My parents are Albert and VaLeen Bell, and their home was known as the “Bell Hotel.” The Andersons came to visit often. My parents loved to have them come, and their visits were always a special part of my growing up.
Dorsel lived in California, but came to visit every year or two. I don’t think I ever knew what he chose to do to earn a living. Dorsel saw something funny about pretty much everything. His wife, Norma, was sweet and quiet. We loved to have them come.
Dell became a veterinarian, practiced in Logan for a a time, and later moved to Manti where he became a meat inspector for Norbest Turkeys. He and Ruth had a large family, many of whom obtained college degrees. One of their sons, DellRay, becoming a medical doctor who practiced in Tremonton. Ruth came to the ”Bell Hotel” often, and usuallty had some of her children with her. Consequently her children came to love Aunt VaLeen and Uncle Al. Dell was mellow and quiet.
Elaine had eight children, including one set of triplets, two of whom survived. She initiated the “lollipop tree” for the Bell Reunions, the first being at the home of Hyrum Bell, son of Victor. Hyrum was a farmer and the family lived on a farm near Rupert, ID. Elaine was a big supporter of the Bell Family Reunions. Her husband, Don, was a postman. Elaine was handy in many things—carpentry, crafts, sewing and cooking. They lived in an old two-story home and she had done quite a lot of remodeling and repair herself. I remember her making Yummy Pudding Pie, and a Chicken and Broccoli Casserole once when we visited her. She loved porcelain dolls and had quite a collection. They lived in Idaho Falls.
Doyle was good looking. I was told he thought seriously about going into acting, because he had some talent there, and he certainly had the good looks. But he decided he didn’t want the lifestyle, so he turned to other ways of earning a living. He liked to write family history stories. He married Sophia, whose family was from Holland. She was tall, regal, and quiet and had a shy smile.
Excerpts taken from a story by Doyle Anderson regarding milking on the farm
Contributor: aerolf Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago
Milk production for the Anderson herd was mostly a seat-of-the-pants judgment with an occasional notation in Dad’s farm journal. We had about 20 to 35 head of cows during the 1930-40's
We, as children milked cows - a family chore – to economically sustain the family during recovery from the great depression of the 30's. Because this is an autobiography, I take the liberty of dwelling on some of our circumstances of that time. All farm chores were graded according to difficulty for assignment to family members, Dorsel and Dell had the longest milking tenure. Don, the youngest, and I were respectively integrated into chore tasks as we grew in size, strength and maturity stature.
Every single morning of every week, of every month, for a number of successive years our “cow-milking” wake-up alarm was Dad’s voice, He would call up through the stair-well leading to the attic or second floor sleeping quarters. I remember best our house on the hill 1 ½ miles west of Roberts. We would hear clearly and articulately, “Wake-up boys! Time for chores.” On cold winter mornings, in unheated bedrooms, we would gradually stretch our arm from underneath warm blankets to the floor, find a shoe, and rustle it, suggesting to dad that his “call” had been heard. The shoe rustling was supposedly a token signal that we were actually up and getting dressed, in reality, we were reluctant to leave our warm beds. Dorsel and I slept in the same double bed. I recall learning the “shoe rustling” technique from him.
After the “wake-up” call and the rustling of a shoe, we would sometimes try to grab a few more precious moments under the covers. We savored the heat around our snugly, warm bodies before jumping out of bed, plunging into our cold, cold clothing. We would then hurry down stairs, to the kitchens stove to attain supplemental heat to warm our clothes faster than waiting for body temperature only to warm them up. Those warm flannel sheets and heavy over-all quilts that mother made for us were highly prized in the cold of winter.
On infrequent occasions, time permitting, we would pull our cold clothing into bed with us for a partial warm-up. That seemed to mellow the cold shock to our bodies. In either case, the cold air dissolved any lingering sleepiness from our being. All of us were schooled to know that Dad was accustomed to a single wake-up call, and with expected results. The consequence of not getting up after that first call was usually greater than the benefits of the added warmth or the few moments of additional slumber. Too, there was always the hazardous risk of falling into deep sleep, and we knew the lack of wisdom for that alternative.
With 15 minutes, or so, to wake-up, get dressed and ready for chores, we donned coats, hats, lite our lanterns, gathered up our 3-4 gallon milk buckets and headed for the barn. On rainy days, or during wet or winter conditions, we would slip on our big burly -buckle-type - rubber overshoes. Mine were hand -me-downs, and sometimes a size or two, too large. They were oh so heavy for one who had acquired the family nickname of “squirt” because of a late growth spurt in life.
We were each, respectively, locked into a routine of which cows we would each milk, who would feed them, who would clean out the muck, carry in the straw bedding, feed them their grain, slop the pigs, feed the horses, etc. It was always a distasteful chore to have to clean manure from the cow’s udder, or have to take special precautions to tie a tail securely to a leg that was full of cow manure, or to clean the right flank of the cow and/or belly because they had been lying a bed of manure. We used a curry comb, a brush, or if not too gooey, a swipe or two with our mitten would brush off the worst that could be hazardously dislodged while milking. This was always precautionary to keep manure out of the bucket of milk for sanitary purposes. The milk was taken into our home and there the cream was separated from the milk in our hand operated Del La Val separator. Most of the memory recollections of our dairy production come form the “hill” farm 1 ½ miles west of Roberts; those to which I will elude in this autobiographical sketch.
Our barn would have been aptly described as an “unpainted, antiquated and tumble-down”, one that had long since outlived its days of aesthetic and functional pride. The text of a then popular cowboy song accurately adds insight as to its description: “The hinges are of leather and the windows have no glass. The doors, they let the howling blizzards in.” Its dirt floor was well packed, but rarely seen due to the build-up of manure mixed with straw bedding. All encouragement and hopes to potty-training the animals to do their big business out in the corral were never successful. In the absence of high-pressured water hoses to clean out the barn muck, we were variously assigned to grab a manure fork and heave the fresh messes - the worst- onto the manure pile in the corral by the barn.
The stack of manure would continue to grow throughout the winter. A yearly - spring-of-the-year - task was to hand shovel the manure pile into the horse-drawn spreader, and spread it onto our farmland for crop fertilization. This necessary, but unpopular task constantly offended the olfactory senses of the unfortunate manure slingers and spreader operators. It also affected people, homes and families immediately down-wind of the fertilized fields; the smell sometimes lingered for days before dissipation.
Our rustic barn was about 200 feet south of the house on a rounded sloping hill, west of where we stacked our crop of hay. The corral was attached to the barn and built to incorporate the hill slop for good water drainage. The barn and the hay were sufficiently close to pitch hay from the stack through a barn window, and then into the feed manger. The straw-stack was immediately behind, or south of the barn. We had purposely set up our threshing machine so that grain-crop straw was immediately barn-accessible. The straw was for bedding of the domestic animals in the barn during cold winter weather. It was also the same straw stack from which we filled our bed mattress ticks 2-3 times per year. Hay would usually be thrown into the milking manger stanchions. By each stanchion was a box or bucket for grain, which was bed to the cows when available. The feed we provided was always an incentive for the cows to enter the barn. With Pavolovian training, each cow would pick its respectively assigned milking stanchion. Feed was instrumental in keeping them content while they were being milked.
We were always grateful for dry weather, and for cows that entered the barn with clean udders, tails and side-flanks (the right side of the cow at which we sat for milking). In cold or wet weather, we tried to take precautionary measures to distribute adequate straw in corral areas where we hoped they would choose to bed down for the night. Some of those critters didn’t seem to know what that straw was there for, or they purposely ignored it, didn’t care, etc. Whatever the case, the next morning, there was always a cow or two that were extremely messy and had to be cleaned before milking.
I still recall having only one pair of shoes for chores and school. I had to be conscientious about keeping that single pair clean during barn-yard chores, or to conscientiously and carefully clean them for any mis-step into a barnyard mess. I still remember an embarrassing incident or two of getting to school and finding a lingering barn-yard odor. It always brought a quick, but unobtrusive inspection of my shoes to see whether or not it came from mine. On occasion, it did. It caused a quiet retreat to a place where I could correct that problem, without observation from other students. Such situations were so embarrassing for this shy farm boy.
Dell B. Anderson Autobiography May 16, 1961
Contributor: aerolf Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago
I, Dell, was born on May 3, 1924 in Rexburg, (Salem) Madison Co. Idaho. I was the second son of Oscar Dean Anderson and Melinda Jane Bell, in a family of six. I have recently been told that I weighed 14 pounds at birth. That in itself should have been enough to discourage any mother from further child bearing, but this did not prove to be the case. I was followed by two more brothers and two sisters.
Part of my very early childhood was spent in Cutback, Montana where my parents moved shortly after I was born. We were there in October, 1925, because that was where my sister, Elaine, was born.
After approximately two years of farming in Cutback, we moved to Roberts, Idaho where we rented a farm five miles out of town, along Highway 91. About the time my older brother, Dorsel, was ready to start school, my father became very ill and had to spend a good deal of time in the Idaho Falls, LDS hospital, as a result of a hernia. He was home only a short time when he had to return for a second operation. He was so sick, my mother had to stay with him at the hospital, so Grandma Olena Anderson stayed at our house to send Dorsel to school and Elaine and I stayed with Aunt Ida.( Mothers sister) in Rexburg.
One of my remembrances of my father, since that time, was that he always had to wear a wide support belt when he did heavy work, due to the weakness that was left as a result of his operations.
The starting of school seemed to be concurrent with milking cows and doing many of the numerous other chores that naturally go along with being raised on a farm. It seemed to us, on numerous occasions, that school was a welcomed relief from the duties that were ours during non-school hours. However, in spite of the hard work and the busy schedule, dad did find time to occasionally join us in a game of marbles or a game of catch with a baseball. He was what many people considered to be a strict disciplinarian. All of us were impressed with a full under-standing of the fact that he meant what he said when he requested us to do something, or that tasks were expected to be accomplished on our own initiative without a reminder. This seemed to be quite severe to us at the time, but as we look back on it now, we do not feel that we are any worse off for it. As the events in our lives unfolded, it was perhaps of great advantage to us.
Most of my youth was spent in Roberts. It seemed that with all of the sickness of first, my father, and then my mother, we couldn’t seem to get far enough ahead to buy a place. Consequently, we “got by” on rental properties by milking cows and putting in a lot of hard work for our small share of the crops that we raised.
In addition to farm work, we would spend some Saturday’s during the winter, and some nights after school, hunting rabbits. We would skin them, dry the hides and sell both carcass and skin. That was about our main source of spending money.
After having rented the Beesley farm for about 6 years, it was sold, so we moved across the road and back in the field close to the Snake river. We had a nice swimming hole there, where, after a hard days work, we would swim or do a little fishing. We caught mostly chubs and suckers. During the late fall we cut willows along the river banks to use for heating and cooking. The snow would get so deep that our trips into town were rather infrequent to buy such items as coal for heating. We had to get up a little earlier than early here, because we had about 1 ½ miles to walk to the bus stop. Our routine chores and some that were not routine, had to be done before we left for school.
After about three years of farming here, we moved to a farm about five miles west of Roberts, which we called the Paul Holmes place. It was up on a hill and right next to the sagebrush country. We would spend some of our Saturdays in the wintertime hunting rabbits while here. We had a toboggan that we would use with a team of horses. Sometimes we would pack a lunch and stay out most of the day. This was a fun way to make a little spending money for high school.
It was while we were living here that Mother passed away. This was on December 15, 1936. She had been ill with cancer prior to that time for about 18 months. Surgical removal was attempted, but it was too far along to do any good. The children at this time ranged in age from 6 years to 15 years. It was a hard thing for us to see her suffer for such a long time, with the consequent realization that she would not recover. I am sure that her feelings were equally as great, or more so, in her knowledge that she would not be able to finish rearing her family. This was demonstrated one evening when she called all of us to her bedside shortly before she passed away. She told us that she knew beyond a doubt that her remaining time on this earth would be short. She told us to be good to one another, and to stick together and help each other out as much as we possibly could. She said to keep the commandments of the Lord, and in essence, to live good lives and remember the things that we had been taught and to take an active part in the Church. This was indeed a sad and humbling experience of all of us and one that I think will always be remembered by the family members that were old enough to remember. Our Mother passed away shortly after that time.
I would like to say that if any of us have accomplished anything noteworthy or pleasing in the sight of the Lord, and consequently in the eyes of our mother, it is offered as a tribute to her who did so much good in her short span of 38 years on this earth, and who endured so much suffering and who gave us this valuable heritage that we have. This, along with the strong foundation that is so fundamental to living a good life on this earth. By the same token, I do not want to minimize my father’s role in the events of our lives. The recognition of natural accomplishments is certainly applicable with each (as with all) having their own individual merit.
After farming at the Paul Holmes farm in the field for 2-3 years, we moved closer to town, along Highway 91, where we rented our next farm. This was known as the Connell place. It was south of Roberts about half a mile.
We were there a couple of years, when our next move took us to a farm about two miles west of Roberts. This was where we were living when I graduated from High School in 1942. (Dell attended Roberts Elementary School and Roberts High School where he was active in sports, winning letters in basketball and field events. He was also involved in music and graduated in 1942 with the annual Senior Citizenship Award). This was about the time that World War II was getting a good start (It started December 7, 1941, when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor) After graduation, I helped the family move to Medicine Lodge, Idaho; thirty miles North of Roberts and West of Hamer. This farm was next to a game preserve, and we were there for only one summer. Dorsel and I went to Salt Lake City to get jobs as third and fourth year apprentice carpenters, thanks to the valuable assistance of an old family friend and hunting partner of Dad’s named Harold Gordon. We stayed with them and worked on defense projects until it was our time to go into the army (army draft). In February 1943 I worked at Hill Air Force Base as Junior Clerk for Civil Service. I was inducted on March 3, 1943 and reported to Ft. Douglas, Utah for duty on March 10, 1943. I was put in the Army Air Force Signal Corps. I was sent from there to Camp Kearns, a short distance from Salt Lake City. Coincidentally, I lived in some of the barracks I had helped to construct prior to induction, both at Ft Douglas and Camp Kearns. In June of 1943, I was shipped by railroad to Camp Crowder, Mo. (Near Joplin) where I complete a course in low and high speed radio operation. I passed a 25 wpm sending and receiving code.
We left there December 24, 1943, spending Christmas Eve en-route to Drew Field, Florida (near Tampa). Here, I greeted my cousin Hyrum Bell, also from Roberts; a pleasant surprise. We were engaged in training maneuvers and tactical operations. I also got my first furlough from here. I spent approximately one week getting home, one week at home and one week returning. This was the last time I saw my father and younger sister, Phyllis. From Drew Field, I went to Camp Stoneman, California. This was in June 1944, and from there, overseas to Finchhafen, New Guinea, following 21 days on the boat.. We were there until March of 1945, and en-route to the Phillippines when we received word of the death of President Roosevelt. We landed in Manila Bay, and proceeded from there to San Miguel, Balacan; a short distance away from our main Air Base, and Clark Field.
I was with a radar unit in the communications division of the Air Force. The re-occupation of this territory by our troops was of short duration prior to our setting up housekeeping. There was quite a bit of harassment and trouble from numerous pockets of Japanese resistance forces that were left behind. The did a lot of sabotage work on our Clark Field airplanes, as well as causing the native Phillpino farm families a great amount of anxiety for their lives and property when the Japanese made their raids in search of food. I spent my overseas service time with a radar unit in New Guinea, and in the Phillippines.
After spending a few months at Clark, I was assigned to accompany an advanced party with three trucks and some lightweight radar equipment northward to Laoag. Here we were to set up an advanced communication system. After taking a few wrong turns, resulting with our ending up in the front lines, and crossing three rivers on bamboo rafts (trucks, equipment, and all propelled by Phillipinos with long poles against the bottom of the river bed, due to the bridges having been blown up), we finally reached our destination. It turned out to be the northern tip of Luzon. We were to scan the South China seas with out radar units, with the mission to pick up incoming enemy planes so their course could be plotted and sent to Headquarters. Headquarters would send out interceptors before they reached their target areas. This is were I was when the war ended, and also where I was waiting, in December for the ship to come and take us home. I received word of my father’s grave illness and was turned down when I applied for an emergency furlough. I later received word of his death, and of the serious illness of my sister, Phyllis, then 14. Again a leave was turned down. I was notified a few days before Christmas, 1945, that she had also passed away. Appeals to the Red Cross and other organizations was to no avail. I was put on a boat with the rest that were waiting. We spent 15 days on the ocean and three days at mustering out camp near Tacoma. Washington. Camp Lewis is where I was discharged on January 26, 1946. The family, in the meantime, had moved from Medicine Lodge the following fall. The Medicine Lodge farm had been misrepresented to the family, when they found that the crops were not worth harvesting.
Dad purchased a small home in Roberts, immediately South of the old Elementary School. Dad and Doyle did janitor work at the school and they both drove school buses. By this time, Elaine had married, and Dorsel was discharged. His discharge was the early part of l946. Doyle graduated from High School in the spring of l946 and Don was still in School. We “batched it” for a time and worked at various jobs, including sorting potatoes, cutting and planting potatoes in the spring and did other farm work. When Doyle graduated, he decided to join the Marines, Dorsel was called to the Texas Louisiana Mission as a missionary, and I decided to go to Utah State to pursue a course in Veterinary Medicine. Arrangements had previously been made between Dad and his brother, Vantus, for Don to live with them in Salmon, Idaho. Following the Christmas of l945, Don went to Salmon to live with Vantus and Alice Anderson. I went to Salt Lake, and did carpenter work with Uncle Albert Bell (Mother’s brother), until the start of the fall school term at Utah State. I spent the next three years there, taking pre-veterinary courses as well as participating in activities of and graduating from Lamba Delta Sigma (our Church Religious fraternity). I also received B.A. degree in agriculture from Utah State.
In the Spring of 1949, I met the girl that was later to be my wife. I was provisionally accepted into Veterinary School at Washington State for the fall term with the provision that I take Physiological Chemistry during the summer. This I agreed to do. The summer consisted of Chemistry part time, Carpentry on College chicken coops, and last but not least (it better not be) my marriage to Ruth Ellen Hansen, July 21, 1949 in the Logan Temple.
Ruth is currently the one so actively engaged in getting the material together and assembled for this book (The Hakan Anderson Family, published in l962) She was the secretary of the Hakan Anderson Family organization, and for the many hours of time and the effort she is putting forth, and the interest shown in getting this accomplished, I would like to offer a special tribute to her at this time. I am sure that I am joined by the rest of the family members in this regard.
In the fall of l949, we bought an old Plymouth. We loaded it with our worldly possessions, and in it went to Pullman, Washington for a four year tenure in Veterinary Medicine. Ruth made a considerable contribution to our finances, taking only a short time out for our first baby to arrive, -- our daughter Melinda, born on December 14, 1950. Up until that time, our dog Sandy was the only other member of the household. Melinda had several Baby tenders until the time came to leave Pullman, After graduating in 1953, with a degree in Veterinary Medicine, I accepted an appointment on the Clinic staff as an instructor. Ruth worked for Dean Golden Romney, in the Physical Education Department, and then Dr. Ensiminger in the Animal Husabandry Department until we left in l954. P.S. I also received a B.S. degree in the Biological Sciences from Pullman.
Due to the complications involved with the arrival of No. 2 child, it was necessary for Ruth to go to Logan, Utah, where she could be under a Doctor’s care. There was no M.D. in Kamas, Utah, where I then worked, so we moved to Logan, where I practiced for 1 ½ years. We bought a place on South Main, put an addition on the front of the house, which we used as an office. We bought a station wagon for practice transportation.
In the winter, I spent three days of every week in Randolph, doing state work to help meet expenses. Our limited reserves was quickly used by the many bills, so I accepted a job in Provo, under the State Public Health Department, as a Veterinary for Utah County. My specific assignment was to organize the state meat inspection program in that area. I worked at this for six months, commuting on week-ends to Logan. Our negotiations on selling our home in Logan and buying in Provo didn’t work out, so I then accepted an assignment at the E. A . Miller Packaging Co., in Hyrum, Utah, with the title of Federal Meat Inspector. This was in February 1956. During this time our second daughter, Rebecca, was born on March 31, 1944, Our first son, Dell-Ray, was born December 11, 1956 .
I was transferred to Swift and company in September, 1958, as Meat Inspector Supervisor. I commuted 46 miles each way from Logan to Ogden until February of 1960, when we sold our home in Logan, and moved to Ogden. By that time, we had a couple more additions to the family. Shirley was born May 31, 1958, and Beverly was born October 2, 1959. During my assignment at Swifts, I had occasion to go to Washington, DC. For a week of special training. I arranged to take Ruth with me. We went by train, and had a very enjoyable time. I also flew to Los Angeles where I received instruction in other phases of the work which I later taught to other Veterinarians in Utah and Idaho after I had returned.
In October and November, 1960, I was called to Washington again, where I was detailed Beltsville, Maryland with a possibility of a future transfer to the Biological Control Section in the Bacteriology Department.
On the day after Christmas, 1960, we loaded up in the station wagon and headed for my newly assigned station in Philadelphia, Pa. Arriving around January 4, 1961. We lived in a trailer house for a week, then moved to an upstairs apartment where we were when our second son, Gregory Earl was born on January 18, 1961. Since arriving here, I have been on detail at Beltsville, Md., until my laboratory in Philly was ready. That should be sometime this summer. We moved into our home in Haddon Heights, N. J. On March 10, 1061. The date is now May 16, 1961, and my wife is trying to figure out how she can get to Utah to get this book in production. Due to my duties here, I will be unable to leave at that time.
Hoping all will work out for the best in the future as it has done in the past. We feel that we have been truly blessed thus far in our lives with a nice family and the opportunity we have had to raise them in thE Church.
-Dell B. Anderson May 16, 1961