History of Siney Charles Lewis
Contributor: srodyx Created: 2 years ago Updated: 2 years ago
My name is SINEY CHARLES LEWIS. I was born on the 12th of May, 1879, in Holladay, Salt Lake County, Utah. My father is Preston King Lewis. He came to Utah in 1852 with his family. They lived in Salt Lake City for a time, then moved to Holladay and settled there. His father was David Lewis and his mother was Duritha Trail. They lived in Simpson County, Kentucky, before coming to Utah in the company of Joseph Young. My mother, Sara Coleman, came to Utah in 1862 with her family in an old sailing ship. It took them six weeks to come from London, England to New York. They lost one brother on the trip. Her father was George Coleman, and her mother was Elizabeth Bailey. They settled in Holladay. He was district president for the L. D. S. Church in England. My parents and my grandparents were subject to the hardships of pioneer life. They joined the church in their native lands. David Lewis, my grandfather, and his family, along with twenty-five or thirty other families, moved from Simpson County, Kentucky, to Nauvoo, Illinois, to join the Saints. On their way they had the misfortune of getting caught in the Haun’s Mill Massacre. Almost all the men, women, and children there were killed. One of my Grandfather’s brothers was killed and another one was wounded. Benjamin was killed and Tarlton was wounded. Most of the Lewis family was saved, though, and went to Nauvoo, Illinois. My father and an older sister were in the Haun’s Mill Massacre.
When the family got to the church headquarters, they found they were in time to see and shake hands with the Prophet Joseph Smith, for which they were very thankful. Father often told us about him. The prophet made a great impression on him even though he was young.
Neriah Lewis is father’s grandfather. Five of Neriah’s sons were baptized into the church: Benjamin, Tarlton, David, Neriah, and Beeson Lewis. Tarlton was one of Utah’s first pioneers of 1847 and also one of the first bishops in Salt Lake City. From these brothers many descendants of the Quakers of Pennsylvania have derived--many descendants of today.
David Lewis, my grandfather, was an Indian scout in southern Utah for many years for the church. It was a hard life, with hard work, constant exposure and no doctors. Therefore, he died at the age of 55 years.
Dad and his brother, Siney, worked a lot on the Salt Lake Temple, as did some of the Colemans. Dad and Siney made two trips with ox teams back to Omaha, Nebraska, to get freight for the church.
On September 13, 1869, Preston King Lewis and Sarah Coleman, my parents, were married. Soon after that they went to St. George, Utah, on a settlement mission for the church. It was there that their first child, a girl, was born. Her name was Nevada. They stayed there about one more year, and then came back home again to Holladay where the rest of the family was. My brothers and sisters are Nevada, Olive Bessie, Horace, Siney Marion, Ray, Doritha, Mary, Hazle, Rowe, and Zella.
Now it comes to me, Siney. Maybe I’m like the two lawyers:
Two lawyers on opposite sides of a case exchanged some angry words. One said,
“ You are a blank, blank cheat.” And the other replied, “You are a blank, blank liar.”
the indulgent judge said, “Well, gentlemen, since you have so accurately described each
other, let us go on with the case.”
I was born in Holladay, Utah, early Sunday morning, May 12, 1879, in a small house which was traditional of the times. It was across the road from the church and school. Of course for the next five or six years I don’t remember much except that Mother said I could get into more trouble and mischief than all the rest put together. We made our own fund and amusement. It was very simple. We lived on a farm as most everybody did, so we were in style. Our environment was good--not class distinction at that time. There was quite a lot of barter trading, so we all worked together, more or less. Of course that came to an end, and each one went for himself; it was a wonderful neighborhood. All were really good home-loving people. We had a nice farm in the center of the neighborhood, which was only seven miles from Salt Lake City, so some of us went there once or twice a week. The family became pretty well acquainted with the town.
I had a lot of nightmares when I was younger, such as walking on stilts that 12 feet high or walking across a deep hallow, then falling down, and, of course, falling out of bed at the same time. In some of them the fellows held me down and whipped me. I would wake up yelling. Of course it woke everybody else up, too. We had lots of fun the next day talking about it.
I remember my brother and I liked the trains very much. We tried to build them. Of course they didn’t look much like trains, but they sounded like them. After we got through building them, we built the railroads for them to run on.
There was a canal not far from our house with quite a high bank. Boy! We made dugways and sharp curves and steep grades on it for our trains. We made all the sounds the engine made. When we set up our trains along that canal, it looked like Grand Canyon to us. We thought at night what we would do the next day, only to find that some other kids had been there and destroyed everything that we had built. We had a nice, big cry and went to work again.
It seemed that we knew folks all over the valley. A lot of them came to Dad when they were in trouble. He was somewhat of a veterinarian. You know, everybody had horses, cows, and pigs, so a vet was quite the guy at the time. Father was also a member of the school board and a Salt Lake County Commissioner, so he had a lot of callers. At that time everybody worked; they started in young and never let up. No sleeping pills were needed. We always had two or three hired men around. They did the heavy work. We younger ones did the lighter work. My first job of any responsibility was to haul hay to Salt Lake City. There was a hay market at that time on the 8th Ward Square, as it was called at that time. Later they built the City and County Building there. I went with Dad a few times with a load of hay; later I went alone. I would have to stay there until somebody came for a load. I did okay for my age. The buyers would take pity on me and say, “I guess I’ll take the kid’s load.” Then as I got older I worked for a company. My first job of that kind was at Eureka, Utah, on a railroad. Our neighbor had the contract, so he got a job for me and a team. Cash was hard to get and this job was plenty tough, but it gave us a chance to get some cash.
At sixteen I started to work for Mr. William Bennion at Taylorsville, Salt Lake County. Mr. Bennion was a very fine man. He had a good family and a large farm. His family was young, so he didn’t have much help. He seemed to like me because he did a lot of good things for me. He was a very stern man, but good. I worked for him for two years, and then I quit and went on the railroad for a year. I saw Mr. Bennion often, though. He got me to go back to work for him again, and was I glad: There were a lot of girls in his neighborhood, so I had lots of fun.
Mrs. Bennion had a sister and a brother that lived with them. They both taught school. This put me in a good environment all the time. Once nice September day in 1897 he bought a herd of sheep and asked me to go out to Wyoming for him. Nothing could have been further from my mind than a herd of sheep; besides, I had a very nice little girl at that time. But, going to Wyoming took that all out of my system. Puppy love, I guess. He was more like a father to me than just a man, and I thought a lot of him. He was a man of strong character; he was also intelligent and well educated. He was a man that made you much better just by knowing him, so I went to Wyoming.
A job was a hard thing to come by in those days. I was the most homesick person you could find that winter. The Lord blessed me with a good companion ten years my senior. We did well together. He was a school teacher and a very good man. He called me on the carpet once in a while, which I didn’t like at all, but I soon found out it was a good thing that he did. Most of the fellows out there were men from Salt Lake City. I knew some of them. That made it better for me. My partner’s name was John Beckstead. He was a great reader, so we read a lot. Well, it came spring, and I went back to the farm for Mr. Bennion, quite a relief, I’d say, to get back home again. I worked away from home most of the time after I was 15 years old. I had a good religious background from my home training. I love my parents and my brothers and sisters very much.
I was 20 years old in 1899. The past 5 to 8 years I spent trying to lay a foundation for my life. I didn’t make much headway because most of what I earned I gave to my family. I was also buying them a home with no help from anybody else. I was really glad for everything that was done for them. Jobs were still hard to get. I stayed on the range and started to get a little ahead. I was a foreman from 1908 until I had sheep of my own. The fall of 1905 I made my first trip east to Chicago with a train load of sheep. It was very interesting. The country east of Wyoming was all new to me. I enjoyed it very much, even though I nearly got killed twice with trains. There were five of us in the bunch. We were all of the same faith, so we, as a whole, wanted to see the same things. After the sheep were sold we got cleaned up, each bought a new suit, and proceeded to see the interesting things in Chicago. Some of the large buildings we saw were the Board of Trade, the post office, and Montgomery Ward (Montgomery Ward was the highest building in town at that time.) We saw Michigan Lake and the Chicago River with the draw bridges in the middle of town. The draw bridges made us very curious because we had never see anything like them before. The bridge split in the middle and would raise up to let ships go past. The Chicago River was dirty. It emptied into Michigan Lake. The people in Chicago got their drinking water from Michigan Lake. After we saw the town for about three days, we went to the packing plant of Swift and Company.
Later we followed the animals as they entered the yards and then followed them through until they came out of the packing plants at the other end in big coolers all ready to be sent to the butcher shops. As this took most of the day, we went back to the hotel. We stayed in town three more days and then came home. I took a vacation for a month and got caught up with some of my church work and the gals. Ten I went back to dear old Wyoming. There I stayed a year and a half. My job was mostly routine. I built a lot of castles but I stayed with one major thing, my high ideals of life. They were a wonderful help in guiding me in difficult times.
Nothing out of the ordinary happened. Range work was always a hard life, so I quit that in the spring and came home; enjoyed myself for a month, and then went to Salt Lake City. I rustled for a job for a couple of weeks and then got a job with the Redmond Van Storage Company. I still had some money that I had saved so I was not broke. At that Job I worked six days a week, ten hours a day, and two hours extra taking care of the horses. I stayed there a year but got tired of working for nothing because the wages I got just about paid my board and room and other expenses such as a dance or a show, my clothes and laundry. I didn’t have much left out of my wages. In fact, at the end of the year, I had used up $125.00 of my savings, so I quit and home. I got a few scattered jobs during the summer, enough to pay my expenses.
I went back out to Wyoming again, not because I wanted to go, but because it was about the only place to go or thing to do to earn any money. Of course range work and live stock were very interesting, because I was working close to nature all the time. I learned a lot that is not printed in books. There is always plenty of beauty in the forest and streams. Most people see a lot of beauty there, but the range man can even see plenty of beauty in the desert where the average person sees nothing. The little lambs and their mothers were very interesting. In fact, they had a lot of wit in their playful actions. People say that if you love your work, there is plenty of enjoyment in it.
I think the main thing I did that winter was read the Bible and Book of Mormon. I amused myself with my guitar, harmonica, and Jew’s harp. The sheep and horses seemed to like my music, and the dogs would howl about it. I never got any reports from anyone else.
Spring came and summer past. I was about twenty-five then. I had already another trip to Chicago, one to Omaha, and also one to Kansas City, Missouri, so I was getting more familiar with the country east. I took my vacation and was thinking some of getting married, but when I began to think I found out I was not ready or prepared, so I dismissed it more or less from my mind. I enjoyed my vacation and did a lot of dancing and dating. But, the time came again that I went back to my job in Wyoming. Another year passed with nothing of much importance happening. I kept on working, saving what I could, and taking my vacations as they came.
I had gone with several girls but never got serious. Finally Clara Dahlman and I started to go together. We known each other for some time. We kept company quite steadily for six or eight months. Then we had a falling out which lasted about a year. Then, when I came back on my next vacation, we made up, and of course were happy ever after. We went together about a year, then got married on December 14, 1910, in the Salt Lake Temple. By this time I had a home but we did have to go into debt for the furniture. I cooked in a restaurant during the winter of 1910 and 1911. There was not much pay to it, but jobs were still hard to get. So, in the spring I went back on the range again, worked a year, and came home twice during that time. Elva, our first baby, was born on November 4, 1911. At the end of 1 ½ years I came home and got a job at the Magna Mill for Utah Copper Company at Garfield Utah.
Before going to Garfield, I made arrangements to buy a farm. Part of it joined Heber. It had a good house and out buildings. I sold our home for a down payment on the farm, then rented the farm to the man I bought it from, which paid interest and some on the principal. With that out of our way, we moved to Garfield. I worked there two years.
My wife, Clara, was a wonderful woman, with a strong character and with a strong desire to do right. She had a good religious background, one of my ideals of life. In the meantime our second baby, Grace, was born on September 14, l913.
I soon got better wages and could save more money. We were happy because we had a good job and our two children. We were living in a four room house owned by the company. My wife’s sister, Hilda, and her husband were living close by so we had a place to visit. We enjoyed our children and our home very much. At that time we were working shift work seven days a week so we didn’t have much time for anything other than work.
I worked a year, then World War I broke out. Everything was in quite an uproar. The mill closed down for about a month through the excitement. Then everything went along quite normally for another year. At the Utah Copper Company at Magna, Utah, they were changing over to floation, and they were trying it out on the unit I had charge of. They had twenty men to do the work, and since it was my unit, I was in charge or foreman over the twenty men. They completed this job in about six months which brought it up to April, 1915. We had planned to quit and go home and work for ourselves, so that is what we did. We went back to Heber and moved on to the farm. By then I had my own farm and leased two others. That gave me my first brake in finances. Wheat was $2.00 a bushel that fall on account of the war. I sold 3,000 bushel and had plenty of hay and grain left. I bought me a bunch of sheep and used up my pasture and feed. Ida was born on October 20, 1915. We were surely a happy family with our three beautiful daughters and all in good health. I was a ward teacher and was made first counselor to the president in the mutual. I served that position for a year. That brought us up to the fall of 1916. I bought more sheep in addition to what I had fed them through the winter and lambed them and summered them ou in Strawberry Valley. The government had me register and fill out an application because they wanted everybody under 40 years of age to register for the army. Of course my being a farmer and live stock man caused them to soon release me from the call. Several of our folks went over seas to the war and some never got back. It was a trying time for everybody, and we surely had our share of it. I let one of the farms go so I was running two and hauling supplies to the sheep. By this time everyone was worried because they had folks in the war. We all know what that means.
In 1917 I was 38 years old. The war was in full swing, and the people were more upset than ever. Things went along as usual that summer. Everybody was doing what he could to win the war. Summer passed and the girls were getting cuter all the time with their talk and play. We had everything to make us happy, and we were doing well, which helped out a lot. On September 29, 1917, Edwin, our first boy, was born. The family was thrilled at having our first boy. We harvested our crops, sold what we didn’t need, and bought a few more sheep and sold what lambs we had. We mixed our bunch with another men’s, and in November started out for the desert. We had a good winter. I was out part of the time with them. Spring came. The flu awfully bad and lots of people died. During the summer of 1918 I just ran my own farm. I had too much other work to do. That fall the war quit and prices on all commodities went down quite fast. By spring all livestock prices had dropped down to a point where a lot of livestock men went broke. I managed to weather the storm. It stayed bad until 1920. By that time it had all of us in bad shape. With me it was either sell the farm or the sheep. So, I sold the farm and put the money into the sheep. The sheep were more important than the farm from the money stand point.
I will have to go back now, to August 15, 1919, when Russell, our second boy, was born. The family was all thrilled with another boy in the family.
We still had trouble making ends meet with the family being young. We all went out to camp for the summer. It was a lovely place so we all enjoyed it. We had one good, gentle horse. All the children would get on him and I would lead him. We had a man to take care of the sheep. We did this for two or three years during the summer.
During the spring of 1921, we were lambing down by Salt Lake City on the foot hills just above the cemetery. We summered up by Park City. We had quite an experience this spring. We had just finished shearing and were hauling the wool down to the railroad to be loaded when an awful rain came up. Our camps were in the bottom of a small, short canyon. A big tree up stream saved one of the camp wagons where my wife and baby were and another and her baby were sleeping. The other wagon down stream where our other four children were sleeping was not a very well protected place when the flood came down the canyon. It took the camp where the children were sleeping right down the creek about a hundred feet. There was a bend in the creek at this point. The thing that saved their lives was that the wagon did not tip over but went straight ahead and by the time it stopped it was out of the creed. At this point the flood was gathering up lots of rocks some them being less than ten feet from the wagon.
The creek became so much steeper, they would not have been able to et out to save their lives, but they were safe where they were, thank the Lord. Where the other camp and where my wife was, the mud was up even with the floor of the camp. The water ran right through the tent where the shearers ate. When the flood cleared, there was about four feet of mud and rocks on its floor. We had a dog that had a litter of pups about two weeks old. The next morning the pups were down in the cemetery all with their feet in the air. The cemetery is where the canyon led to. Across the creek from the camp one of the men was sleeping in a tent. When the roar of the water woke him, he put his hand out to get his clothes to dress. They were gone, so you will have to use your imagination on what he did.
Now it comes to me, as I told you further back, we were hauling the wool to Salt Lake City and loading it on the car. It was about eleven o’clock at night when I got through. It was raining when I got through. It was raining like everything. I felt that everything was safe up at camp, so I stayed in town with my sister. I got a taxi the next morning to take me back to camp. When I got up there the herder and the two women were looking over the cemetery to see if they could find me because there was foot tracks going up the canyon and they disappeared. There was only one thing for them to think. I had started up there and the wall of water had caught me.
About the time I showed up. Of course, I was unaware of what had happened. When they told me the story I was dumbfounded, but we were all thankful to the Lord that we were safe together again.
We got through lambing and everything went along fine for the rest of the summer. The last of August I took my wife and children to Heber so that they could get ready for school. It soon came time for me to ship the lambs and do the other fall work that had to be done. It was still hard to make ends meet so I went out on the desert part of the winter. This was the fall of 1921. I made reports to the government on livestock and crops for my district for a period of ten years.
In the fall of 1921, we moved from the farm and lived in a rented house. By l922, the price of sheep had come back where it had been. It paid well to let the farm go to pay for the sheep. We were going along pretty good. By this time the three little girls were in school. It was taking a good part of my time by now to take care of the sheep. Things were pretty well back to normal.
It was the last of September. I had shipped the lambs and was getting ready to go on the desert with another party for the winter. I did not go out until February, 1923. The rest of the winter was bad. We were snowed in all through February, which caused some trouble, and I wound up that spring with some lip and leg trouble, a bad disease which is very contagious, and seems to work on live stock in the best condition. I lost about 125 head over and above the winter loss of about 60 head. In April I was called home on account of sickness. Elva had pneumonia, but she got well in due time, and without any bad effects, for which we were thankful. Summer came and we went back on the summer range again. This was the last summer that we were all out on the range together. Edwin was six years old that fall, but his birthday coming on September 29, made it so he could not enter school that year. We enjoyed ourselves very much that summer. The girls were old enough by then to be quite a help in taking care of the two boys. Being close to Park City, we were able to get our supplies as we needed them, which took about one and one-half hours to get there and back.
This was a mining district. The main part of it was in Thanes Canyon. There were several large buildings in the canyon. There were two watchmen over them, and one was a Scotchman. He was quite strict in all his dealings and actions, but we learned to love him very much.
The other watchman was a Finlander. He had a dialect all of his own, which was very amusing. The children were amused with his talking, and of course, in turn, tried to imitate him. So we had lots of laughs from him, and from the children.
There were lots of wild chickens and grouse out there which were choice eating. The spring crop was about ready the first of August, so we had all we wanted to eat of them the rest of the summer. I had just had a rifle to shoot the birds with, but I could pick their heads off nearly every time. It was quite a sport. Quite a fish story, but true.
We had school boys that would come up in the summertime from Salt Lake City. They would stay in one of the buildings. The buildings had tables, bunks, and stoves in them, so it was a nice place for them to come and stay for a couple of weeks. They really enjoyed it, and it was a lot of company for us, too.
The girls had lots of fun carving their names and dates in the trees there. They got so that they were really good at it. Of course, the boys weren’t old enough to carve their names, so the girls did it for them. Russell could get lost easily, because he wasn’t as tall as the flowers and weeds.
There was a tunnel close by our camp that had not been used for years. The tunnel was almost like a refrigerator, in fact, that was what we used it for. We put our meat, butter, and other things that needed to be kept cool in it. The tunnel was well built and timbered. There was also a nice stream of ice cold water coming out of it, so we enjoyed it very much. It was getting time for us to leave, to get the children to school. So, we packed our things, and went home. As we said before, Ed’s birthday was on the wrong time of the month, so he couldn’t get into school that year either, but our three girls went to school.
I got ready and shipped the lambs and got my fall work done. Then I went out on the desert again. I had two men working for me, so I didn’t have to stay out, but I went out about every two weeks. Things went along well that winter, the family stayed well, and we had a good winter. That was the winter of 1923 and 1924.
I was 43 this May, and Dale, our third boy was born on the 4th of May, 1924. After not having a baby for five years, we enjoyed very much having another boy. He was a month old when he took pneumonia, and was awfully sick. In fact, the doctor had quite a time saving him, but he got well and everyone was happy again. By this time it was summer, and I took the sheep to the summer range. We had a good summer; the family didn’t go out on the summer range with me. Summer passed and that fall we had four children in school.
The last of the summer was awfully dry. The winter range was dried and there was not feed any where. We had to feed the sheep most of the winter. I had been leasing my lambing and summer range since I had been in the sheep business. The October of 1924, I had a chance to buy a lambing ground and summer range for 35 hundred head of ewes. I got 12 hundred head of ewes in the deal, which brought me up to the number to fill the range. I was running it by myself now. I didn’t have to mix with anybody. I had a nice location, close to Evanston, Wyoming. We got by in good shape that winter. In the spring of 1925, I went on to my own lambing ground. After lambing, we went on the summer range. I had four men working for me then, so I just hauled supplies out to them. I took Ed and Russell out with me, they wee quite young, but they enjoyed it and so did I. The summer range was awfully nice, with lots of fish and plenty of scenery. That fall, the first of September, we bought a home in Provo and moved. The children went to school there from then on. There were several reasons why we moved to Provo. The main reason was the school, and there were better opportunities for the children. I was very particular in getting located in a good neighborhood, which proved to be very beneficial to the whole family. Parents raising children always have their difficulties; we were having some, but we seemed to be able to cope pretty well with our problems. Our children were awfully close to us, and we were close to them. By being this way, each had the other’s confidence, which was a big factor in our helping to guide them. We tried to lead them in good environment which proved to be very helpful to them and to us. The children made lots of friends, and we knew quite a few people in Provo. That Fall went along smoothly, with no sickness. In the winter the sheep did well, and then when Spring arrived, everyone was still in good health. The children were older and well established in Sunday School. The younger ones were in Primary. We were really being blessed. The children were all good, and we were enjoying them very much.
I was then 46 years old. Dale was so cute that we all made a big fuss over him. The sheep were sheared and on the lambing ground. I was always with them during lambing time. We go through lambing, and I got them on the summer range. Everything looked lovely. It was the 1st of July. I went home and hauled their supplies out. I took Ed and Russell out with me hauling supplies; they were a lot of company to me, and they had a lot of fun.
We went through the summer and had a variety of experiences, some good, and others not so good, but we got along all right. In the fall we did our regular work and got ready for the winter range. In the meantime, one of my men that were working for me had been talking all summer about going trapping. He was a good trapper and also was a taxidermist, so he wanted to quit in the fall and go trapping. He was after the higher priced furs such as the martin and mink. They were quite numerous on our summer range, so I let him have a horse and pack outfit, a tent and stove. He went back up on the summer range again. It was awfullyhight up there, between 11 and 12 thousand feet, so the snow fell there early and was quite deep which was the reason for his leaving to get up there early. (I will tell you more about him later.) We went on with our work and then went out to the winter range. We had a very good winter. The family all stayed well.
The two girls were getting old enough to go to dances. Of course that brought on new worries, for as you know, when they are younger you can tuck them in and know where they are. Things have changed lots since we were younger, so there some things we could not quite understand. But, we managed pretty well. It was quite a bit like the old story, we were crossing the bridges before we got to them. Also, by this time the girls had quite a few friends. It seemed as though our house was the meeting place for them and their friends, of which we were glad. Most of the girls we enjoyed very much. Some we did not. Maybe a natural consequence. Some of them stayed very often at night. It all helped to make a happy family.
The boys were young yet full of lots of mischief. It was all good innocent fun. As I have said before we were in a lovely neighborhood. There were about 10 or 12 boys. They were all very fine characters, and all had good parentage. This was quite a turning point in our lives because of the fact that the children were getting older. We kept our goals pretty high and with that in mind we were able to manage our children in a good Christian-like manner. What we did not teach them they had their church activities to fill in. The children were that well off, so we had lots to be thankful for, to watch them grow and develop.
Spring came and we got back on our lambing ground again.
Now we come back to the trapper. He should have been back in Evanston by this time, but he hadn’t showed up there and his folks knew nothing about him. He was a man 40 years of age and had not been home for a few years. I knew the country that he was trapping in was awfully dangerous. The snow would get 10 to 15 feet deep. Because it was quite ledgy and steep, snow slide would come often without any warning. We found part of his camp but we never did hear or see him any more. He was a man that was well acquainted with the country and people in south-western Wyoming where this all took place, but we or nobody else I knew could find any tract of him. Being alone in the country where he was, it was the easiest thing in the world to get covered up in a snow slide, a very sad ending.
Summer had passed and I had a chance to sell my outfit, sheep and range. That’s what I did. To be successful you have to be on the range quite a lot of the time yourself. This took me away from home often. So, I bought 5000 head of ewe lambs and fed them for the winter and sold them in the spring. I did well with them. It gave me the summer to be at home.
During the fall of 1928 I bought 10,000 head of ewe lambs and ran them through the winter until spring and sold them. We had a good winter in 1928-1929, and everything went along pretty nicely.
`In 1928, I bought two herds of sheep, ewes and lambs, at Debous, Idaho. I summered them close to the Yellowstone National Park on the forest. I took the family up there that summer to Yellowstone. Ed and Russell went up there several times with me. I sold the ewes and lambs that fall as I already had my ewe lambs contracted for fall delivery.
In the summer of 1929 I bought 8,000 head of ewe lambs. By October, when I received them, things were changing somewhat. The livestock was not affected any until February and March. Things were looking bad. Everyone was wondering what was going to happen. The depression came and in 1930 it really hit me. I lost all I had made in 30 years, better than $50,000.00. Anybody that has not gone through a deal like that doesn’t know how it affects you. It took most of the sheep and cattle men, and lots of the banks in the West. The government organized a loan company, but that was too late for a lot of us. But the banks and the livestock men that were left were saved by this company. They picked up the banks and took their paper that was not good on livestock and ranching and carried the stock men that were left.
It was four or five years before it showed any effect, but soon, after things began to change. World War II was in the making. At the end of 1939 everything started to boom again, through the affect of anticipated war.
Now, coming back to me. I find each period of my life brings on new problems and I have to meet them if I am to survive. As I get older they are much harder to meet and I have much less courage to do it. The fight is just as great but I am less able to meet it.
I have lived in a wonderful period of progress. I have seen so many prophecies being fulfilled, prophecies about the state of Utah and about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The fact that one of my uncles got killed and another one badly wounded by Indians and that my grandfather Lewis was in the same company as they were and didn’t get hurt makes me appreciate the Gospel more all the time. I am especially thankful for my family, my in-laws, and my grandchildren. I have always had great love and devotion for my wonderful family. My love for them has always been very, very strong. I pray that the Lord will bless them throughout their entire lives. I have seen in my life a dirt road for Salt Lake City’s Main Street. I have seen Salt Lake City when there were only a few buildings that were very tall. I have seen some of the Missionaries and their ox teams on the Temple grounds. The tithing office and camping ground is where the Hotel Utah stands now. Most of the bigger buildings on South Temple and East bench, all the bank buildings, hospitals, most of the U. of U. buildings, the City and County building, the two railroad depots, all the hotels, all the office buildings, Utah Oil Refinery, Salt Lake stock yards and packing plant, Ben Lomond Hotel at Ogden, First Security Bank, all have been built since I can remember. Also, all the buildings on the upper campus of the Brigham Young University.
I was director in the Wasatch Live Stock Loan Co. for some time, then I was put on the loan board, I held that position for two years. But, by 1942, I couldn’t get a job of some kind. The war being on, I didn’t have too much trouble. My first job was with the U. S. O. at Wendover, Utah. I worked as a roust about for two months. Then I was put in assistant manager, a position I held for 10 months. World War II was in full swing now and our boys were in it so I quit and went home where my wife and I could be together. You have never seen a more sorrowful sight than seeing the boys who were going to war. They were really homesick and frightened. They thought they would never come back. I saw thousands of them. They would come and go all the time. I saw them at an air field that was the last stage of the training. A great many of them looked to me as a father and did not hesitate to tell me. I got the name of “Dad” or “Pop” from all of them. What a wonderful experience it was with the boys: I had long hours, from seven a.m. until one a.m. the next morning. The boys would always corner me when I had time to talk with them. The U.S.O. was situated so that I could look out the window and see the boys marching to the train as they were being shipped overseas. They were so close to me and me to them, I shed many a tear every time this happened. Of course, the time was close that Dale was to go, which did not help matters with me. Russell had already gone. By that time my boys had gone to war. My wife being alone, I quit my job and came home and got a job with the city. I was 65 years old in May of 1944.
The three girls and Russell are married now. Edwin and Dale were married during the time I worked for the city. I worked for the city for ten years. A lot happened during that time. The children were doing good part of them getting on top. They were all having good health, except Dale’s family. They have had considerable sickness but are going along pretty good now. They all had their troubles but met them in good spirit and soon overcame their troubles as they showed up.
Coming to my job again, I was working in the police department and met lots of people with lots of troubles, mostly boys and girls in their teens and early twenties. While working with them and the experience I had from time to time, I could usually solve their troubles, and get them thinking differently. Then I would follow it up, so I could stop them before they got into their next trouble. If I could keep ahead of them I had a big part of the battle won.
I know through my experience, making a long story short, crime and delinquency problems have been cut to a minimum. For I know, the last two or three years I was there, we had very little trouble. The department appreciated it very much. And, of course, it goes without saying that I did too.
Mother and myself are getting along nicely. We have our house pretty well finished which makes us more happy. By 1952 we had quite a number of grandchildren and we enjoyed them very much.
We know, as parents, we have made lots of mistakes in striving to reach our goals. We would not have been human if we had not. But our biggest goal was our family unit. Most of ou other castles of less importance have fallen. But the big one is the fact that my wife and I have lived a happy life together for over fifty years, and raised an outstanding family. We think we have proof of that.
I went from one part of the priesthood to the other. I am now a High Priest. I was ordained the 25th of May, 1941, by J. Maurice Jensen, who was High Priest President in the Provo, Fifth Ward, Provo, Utah.
My wife were married in the Salt Lake Temple on the 14th of December, 1910 by President Lund.
I am 73 now, quite active for my age. I still do my day’s or night’s work right along. I am thankful for the friendship of the men on the force. They are all very kind and good to me. They always took my part and either of them was ready to do anything they could for me. There were thirty of them on the force. They were not all angels, but most of them were awfully good men. (Of course, the undesirable ones were soon weeded out if they could not be corrected.) The policemen are always up as a target for the public, but we cope with the conditions as they come along.
Well, it’s time for me to quit my job. I am 74 now and do not feel like working every day. I want to enjoy our family, relatives, and friends, and that is just what I think I am going to do.
I thank the Lord for the lives of my wife and myself, for all of our wonderful children, including our son-in-laws and daughter-in-laws and of course all our grandchildren and great grandchildren. I pray the Lord to bless them with wisdom and understanding that they will be faithful to the end; that they will always remember and respect their heritage. I know we are blessed for having such an outstanding family!
I think I will close with the following: “We have talked in recent weeks of mothers, of fathers, and now but for a moment would consider the family circle. If each day we awoke we were aware that we were surely one day nearer to the end of all that means the most--the end forever of seeing beloved faces of family, of friends, the end of life’s sweetest associations--if this, indeed, were our actual outlook, there surely could be frustration and cynicism, and life’s sweetest memories could be but memories of remorse. Indeed, what is most dearly loved and then forever lost must be a matter of remorse. But this, most blessedly, is not the pattern or the purpose or the promise God has given. But suppose it were: suppose that even here and now we were to lose our place in the circle of family and friends; suppose that we could never be again with those who mean the most; suppose we never could go home to loved ones waiting. Life could be cruel and empty under such circumstances. George Eliot said in a striking, searching sentence: ‘I desire no future that will break the ties of the past.’ The ties to life, to loved ones, to the blessed everlasting reality of family and friends, to things that we can count on, give faith and peace and purpose and assurance for the future. And so, to those who have lost--and to those who may lose--those whom most they love, we come again to a reaffirming of this faith--faith in the eternal continuance of truth, or intelligence, of personality, of personal eternal progress; faith in the purposes of him who made us in his image; faith in the literal reality of everlasting life with those we love. In time, as in eternity, there is nothing more blessed or important than the completeness of the family circle, and the place of each of us in it. And knowing many who have gone before, we may know how wonderful it must be where loved ones wait. ‘I desire no future that will break the ties of the past!--for heaven could only be heaven with family and friends.”