Melinda Jane Bell and Dean Anderson family memories
Contributor: finnsh 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.
Dell B. Anderson Autobiography May 16, 1961
Contributor: finnsh 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