Susan Alder Archibald
Contributor: BarbaraLeishman Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago
My Life History
by Susan Johnson Alder Archibald
It has been said a woman goes through the valley of death to bring a child into the world. This was certainly true of my mother, Sarah Christina Jensen Alder. With each of her eleven children her life hung by a thread. Even the midwives, the only medical help at that time, said they trembled with fear when they were called to attend Sarah Alder. But when Susan, the 7th child, was born it was doubly serious. For a long period before the birth they almost despaired of Mother’s life and they felt sure it would be impossible to save both mother and child. Mother was given such potent medicine that it loosened every tooth in her mouth. This was a shame as the teeth were still in excellent condition. But through faith and prayer we both survived.
A close neighbor calling to see Mother, after the birth noticed the baby by her side. She lay there with her eyes wide open looking around and she exclaimed, “Why the baby even looks bright.”
Susan Johnson Alder was born the 20th of July 1897, the daughter of Alfred William and Sarah Christina Jensen Alder. There were six children in the family who preceded her: Myrtle Serena, Reuel J., Edgar J., Priscilla, Alfreda (who passed away in infancy), and Alfred J. There were 4 added to the family later: Jesse (who also passed away as an infant), Orin, David Alton, and Sarah Aldora.
Our family home was on a farm 3 1/2 miles east of Preston and it was in this farm home that all the children were born and many of the early events of our lives took place here. One of the incidents told me by older members of the family was that when I was a few weeks old Mother was called to do sealing in the Logan Temple. (They asked this to be done by blood relatives at that time.) She took Myrtle along to tend me and they stayed at the home of a friend. For some unknown reason I cried continuously. So it was decided that Myrtle would bring me home. The only way I could be quieted was her Edgar to walk the floor with me, my one arm resting on his shoulder. When they laid me down I would start crying again. Later they found a large abscess was forming under one arm pit. Perhaps the position I was held while walking relieved the pressure.
During childhood and far into maturity I had a small red spot on one eye lid with a little raised red spot or lump in the center. I asked my mother what caused it but she didn’t seem to know. Myrtle said, “I think that is where the coyote bit you.” Apparently the older boys had caught a young coyote and were going to tame it. They had it tied with a rope. All the family had gone to the coral and the door was not securely closed. I was a mere baby asleep on the bed. When they returned they found the coyote had chewed through the rope, slipped through the door and was standing on my chest. This is when she thinks he bit me.
While I was still young my family had all the communicable diseases. I can remember small pox. I did not feel ill but I got to sit on my Dad’s lap because I was supposed to be sick. I only had three pox and they were on my chest. Diphtheria I can’t remember, but my sister Priscilla had it along with other members of the family and was seriously ill with it. It did serious damage to her throat. Years later while working in Dr. Allen Cutlers office, he wanted to study my throat before performing a tonsillectomy and said, “Why you have no tonsils. Only a little trace of one on one side.” Did diphtheria eat them away or was I a freak?
When Chicken Pox came along I was older, maybe eight. I felt some sores in my hair. I got Mother to look at them and she said, “My goodness you have Chicken Pox. You get in the house and keep warm.” That was fine with me. I went in the cool house, had some good long sleeps and was over it.
My brother Alfred was 3 1/2 yrs older than me but we were constant companions and enjoyed each other’s company very much. He always wanted me to go out in the field with Father and him. This I was willing to do but he wanted me to wear overalls and that I refused to do.
He was enough older he could get the best of our arguments. One of our contests came over the choice of chicken parts. When a chicken was killed he would always remember to speak for the gizzard. That left me with the heart and liver. One day I watched my chance and was the first to pipe up for the gizzard. “Oh good,” he said, “I tired of gizzards. I’d rather have the heart and liver.” So he won again.
Churning was another chore left to Alfred and I. It was a round churn with a handle on the side. Sometimes it seemed forever for that cream to change to butter. So we each took turns. Alfred seemed to know just when it would break and would sweetly suggest he take another turn. A few dashes and there was butter. “See,” he’d say, “I have magic. As soon as I take it butter comes.”
We were playing tag one day. I had been able to get his tag and was running to keep it. I was running backwards watching him and suddenly turned around so I could go faster, when I fell over some sandstone rock that had been placed around a newly planted tree. The edges were sharp and I cut my knee to the bone. The scar marks will always remain.
Indians often camped near our home in the summer. It was usually the same Indians year after year. They were very friendly and my family was very kind to them. They often gave them food and meat, usually a chicken and they would give them melons and vegetables from the garden. They gave us some beautiful Indian gifts. Aldora got beaded moccasins.
Another activity, when visiting the Smart home, was to race with the train. The track was along the south of their lot and it was up hill so the train had to move slower. The feat was to start with the engine at the east end of the lot and feel that we were real winners if we could stay even with the last car by the time it reached the west end.
The two events must have made some kind of impression on my mind. I was plagued with nightmares when I was young and it was always that the Indians were kidnapping and I couldn’t get away or the train got off the track and chased me.
I got a little special treatment in the family. Alfreda the baby girl older than me passed away and Jesse the baby boy younger that me passed away. So I got a bit of love that should have been theirs. When the folks were going to town and a little change was left over for a treat, they would ask me what I wanted. What good did it do me? Alfred would nudge me and say, “Say licorice.” He loved it and I hated it. But I loved my brother so I said licorice. When it arrived he would insist I eat a tiny piece, but oh it was nasty.
Alfred wasn’t the only tease. Edgar often joined in. When we were outside and a dark cloud appeared in the sky, they would point at it and say, “Look at that Black Dutchman. He will get us.” And started running to the house. Frozen with fear, I raced after them. Perhaps this is what made me a pretty fair foot racer.
I will always remember the first time I rode a horse alone. Edgar and Alfred picked my mount. I’m sure it was one of the most gentle ones. I was placed on its back and then they gave it a sharp slap on the rump. The horse started off at a lively pace and I was terrified. I lay full length on her back and wrapped my arms tightly around her neck. A good way to get a bumpy ride. I screamed and cried and they stood and laughed.
In the evening after the chores were done, the family members and some times some of the neighbors would choose up sides and play ball. I was too young to join but was a good watcher. One night as a game was in progress, it came Edgar’s turn to bat. He knew he had the bad habit of throwing his bat, so he cautioned me to move back. I did a whole 10 inches or so. He hit the ball, threw the bat, and I can remember seeing it about 12 inches from my face. That is the last thing I remember until the next morning when Edgar woke me up and said he was going to town and asked what I wanted him to bring me. He named oranges, bananas, candy etc. I wondered what the fuss was all about. Pretty soon Mother came and picked me up and commenced to dress me. I wondered why. I was big enough to dress myself. Finally she put on my shoes and taking a cloth started to wash them.
“Mother, why are you washing my shoes?”
“To get the blood off.”
“Where did the blood come from?”
“Didn’t you know you were hit last night?”
No, all I could remember was seeing the bat about 12 inches from my face. But my nose has been a bit of a problem. The bone dividing the two nostrils was knocked clear to one side and causes some misery when I contract a cold. It has also robbed me of the sense of smell.
I would be just one month past three years old when my little brother Jesse died. Yet one or two things remain in my memory. I remember the new dress I wore. It was material with a black back-ground dotted with white flowers and made in a Mother Hubbard style. I remember the casket sitting on the table and Aunt Nora Smart lifting me up to kiss the baby good-bye. At the cemetery I remember the white top buggy we rode in and I held to one of the uprights, stood on one of the steps and swinging back and forth.
My father, Alfred William Alder, raised beautiful gardens. He had an orchard with delicious fruits and berries in it. Three or four sheep kept the weeds down and provided the family with wool. He also had a few hives of bees and poor Susan had one eye swelled shut from their stings as she ventured into the orchard every summer. He also raised a vegetable garden covering 5 or more acres. He planned the plants so that they presented a beautiful scene, low plants on the east and higher ones as they moved west. Corn, the highest, was on the far west. It was a set of beautiful green terraces. This was plenty of vegetables but plenty of families helped us use them. The watermelons were delicious. Alfred and I just ate the hearts but we ate enough that we looked roly-poly. This all took work and every morning Alfred or I would be awakened at 4 A.M. and from then until 8 o’clock we rode a cultivator horse while father held the cultivator to see that the garden was weed less. Sometimes we each rode a horse and Dad would hold two cultivators.
My cousin Nora Smart and I were close to the same age and it was decided to have us baptized at the same time. We would wait until Nora was eight and I would be a bit past. Aunt Nora wanted her daughter to have a special dress for the occasion. One month past and then another and I was sent on horse back to tell them I was going to be baptized that next Saturday. Aunt Nora said she couldn’t quite get ready. Could we wait another month? Mother said, “Go back and tell Aunt Nora if we wait another month you’ll be nine. It has to be this month.”
So on Saturday before fast day July 1st 1906 we were baptized. This was usually performed by J. G. Nelson in his pond. We traveled there in a little one horse buggy. Mother and Aunt Nora sat in the seat and Nora and I stood up behind. When we arrived we found the pond had broken loose and drained the night before. They gained permission for my father to baptize us and it was performed in the hollow east of our home.
After our baptism we again journeyed to town to get a new hat and have our pictures taken. The shop was kept by Louisa Driggs in her own two room home. Nora bought a new hat but mine was a leghorn hat Mother had taken to the lady to have trimmed. They were both pretty. Mine was piled high with chiffon. When our pictures were taken Nora’s hat looked nice but the chiffon on my hat did not take so it looked like I was wearing my Mother’s dust pan.
The next day we were confirmed. The First Ward church was not finished so Fast meeting was held in the basement. The two selected to do the confirming that day was John Johnson, the high school principal, and J. G. Nelson. I was confirmed first and it seemed John Johnson was standing in front of me as I closed my eyes. After we returned home and was asked who confirmed me I was rather proud to say it was John Johnson, the high school principal. But Mother said, “No, J.G. Nelson confirmed you.” So John Johnson confirmed Nora. At that time it was held that you should not partake of the sacrament between the time you were baptized until after you had been confirmed. So Nora and I did not partake of the sacrament.
I was taught from earliest childhood to pray and I had implicit faith in prayer. I felt I could talk to my Father in Heaven as easily as I could talk to my earthly parents. Maybe God chuckled at my childish requests but he answered them. Perhaps this explains my firm faith in the power of prayer in later life.
At six years of age I started school. It was a little one room red school house containing all eight grades. It was a little more than 3 miles east and a little north of the center of Preston. The district was called Egypt because the people from Preston area had to come here to get grain and hay. I had two teachers I loved. My first grade teacher (I have forgotten her name) and Jennie Tanner my 7th grade teacher. I will always remember the smiling face of my first grade teacher and her method of discipline. Whatever a student did to disturb she invited them to do it for half an hour more. It was effective. I remember Herman Gibbons an 8th grader throwing spit wads. He had to keep it up for 1/2 hr for all the school to watch. He really repented.
I was a timid, shy, bashful child and unless the teacher was the type that was interested in every child my type could get the rough deal quite often I did. Our school had double desks. There was an odd number of students in my grade so I got a seat alone. One teacher when she had trouble with any of the older boys she would send them to sit with me. (Floyd Palmer was one always in trouble so he was my seat mate) I don’t know how many beans he ate each day but he certainly kept the air foul. He laughed until his belly shook like jelly. He enjoyed it. I was the one punished.
The year I should have entered the fourth grade, we had a communicable disease and were quarantined for 3 weeks. My teacher’s name was Susie Stephanson. She didn’t ask Alfred to repeat a grade but insisted I would be unable to take the 4th grade because of entering late. I soon found out why. There was a six foot 17 year old third grader with Stfightis dance in the third grade. Gwen Nielson, a friend tried to plead my case, “She is a good student. She can do the work.” But no I had to sit in the double seat with the fellow who jumped and jerked all day so I could tell him the words in the 3rd grade book. It was impossible for him to learn. He could just as well have been in the 8th grade as the 3rd. Marjorie Oliverson, an older student, tried to plead my case, “Don’t make her sit with him. Let her sit with me and just read with him.” But no he had to be told every word and I had to sit there and do it. Marjorie would often sneak me back in her desk but I was given the immediate command to get back where I belonged. He wasn’t a bad fellow just couldn’t learn. At Christmas time I got the prettiest Christmas card. One of the popular girls (Hattie Peterson) raised an objection. The teacher said, “I gave her the prettiest one because she has the same name as mine.”
The first of April the six foot Head boy quit school to haul manure on the farm. Now here was the chance to get rid of one grade. So I was asked to remain one noon hour, asked to read a story in the 4th grade reader and put up in the 4th grade - six months late.
Our little school house was heated by a big pot bellied stove. The ones sitting near would roast, the ones far away cold. My teacher was Mame Thomas. In the 6th grade I sat near the stove. The heat was so great I went home each night with a sick head ache.
We had many relatives on the Alder side as well as the Jensen and because Mother was a good practical nurse she was imposed on for any illness that happened in any of the families. Our finance was very limited. Often we wore remodeled clothes. Many times Mother would be away all day come home and help get supper and then sit up all night making clothes for the family and then go back to the sick in the morning. She made me a skirt and a blouse. I was asleep so she couldn’t fit it. When I awoke she was gone. The outfit looked beautiful hanging up but looked horrible on me. It was too long and didn’t fit well. I guess I looked odd. Hattie Peterson and Annie Gibbons first made fun of me and then was going to dump me in the ditch. I started to scream and Alfred came to my rescue.
Snows where deep in those days and in the spring the road in front of our school house was a roaring river. Frank Palmer used to wear hip boots and carry the small children across the water.
Between our home and the school house was the home of Jack Nelson, a notorious criminal. He was away most of the time but if he was home we walked past his place with bated breath and on tip toes. His two children were being raised by their grandparents but they were just as frightened of him as we were and tip toed with us.
In the summer of 1909 it was very noticeable that my fathers health was failing. Our family doctor Allen Cutler felt he should go to Salt Lake City for more thorough examinations. We knew this would be time consuming. I was too young to be left alone at home. Alfred would take care of the chores but would be away most of the time. It was decided I would stay with relatives in Preston and attend school there. Mame Thomas, my sixth grade teacher, suggested I enter the 6th A in Preston and be promoted to 7th B at Christmas because of entering a better graded school. I was a good student and knew the material well. Our teacher was Thomas Spomberg. He was a rather old bachelor anticipating his first marriage. His mind was well occupied. He only promoted one student at Christmas. That was Gwen Nielson his niece. I knew the material by heart and never opened a book all year. This was one school year lost.
Again my clothes were mostly hand-me-down that didn’t fit and was a real embarrassment to me. At about this time I decided I had better start making my own clothes so I could fit myself. I did a good enough job Aunt Nora would buy some material and send some of her girls over and we would make their dresses. Now I had clothes that fit and were in the going style.
The next year I was back in my old school taking the 7th grade. Jennie Tanner was my teacher and this was a pleasant year. She was wonderful teacher to me. She showed an intense interest in me and my work and this interest continued all through the rest of my school years and in life when ever our paths crossed.
Father’s health continued to fail and on January 27, 1910 he passed away. This was a great loss. We missed him very much.
The 8th grade was not taught in our little one room school. So it was decided that I would attend the Whitney school. This school had 4 teachers and each teacher had two grades. Mr. Hammer was the 8th and 7th grade teacher. Ezra Taft Benson was in the 7th grade and I was in the 8th. Azuba Griffith Alder, my sister in law was also one of the teachers.
This was Mr. Hammer’s second year of teaching here. They said the first year he taught he was a wonderful teacher but his teaching was interrupted by a serious illness but now he was back. His ill health seemed to have affected his efficiency. We really didn’t have regular recitations. We really studied mostly by ourselves. There were three of us able to help the others when they needed help. The teacher told Azuba I was bright enough to teach the others. Maybe this was the reason I was asked to be the substitute if any teacher had to be away.
Mr. Hammer seemed to be good in grammar and English and I would have been very happy to have had a complete course in this under his leadership. Whenever he had a recitation it would be in this subject. However I will always remember one of his chants, “Only transitive verbs in the active voice have objects.”
The students in this room was a rather unusual group or discipline problems would have developed early in the year. I don’t think the teacher’s health had recovered to the point that he should have been in the school room. He would often spend a whole period gazing off into space and we would quietly study by ourselves. Sometimes we would only have one recitation in a day.
Because of problems involved trouble developed between the teacher and some of the students. I admit I was one helping cause the trouble. But I felt the teachers insulting attitude gave us an excuse. Mother supported the teacher and said I could stay there and fail if I wouldn’t support the teacher. I said Oh kay but you tell him to stay at the front of the room and keep his hands off me.
The trustees had a disinterested party visit the school, Mr. Geo. Wallace, to see where the fault lay. He lay the entire blame on the teacher and added a remark best not repeated. The teacher was dismissed and Linda Benson, a wife of one of the trustees came in to finish the last two months and by intensive study we were able to pass the state examinations.
There was a communicable disease that prevented a district graduation being held but a county exercise was held at Franklin, Idaho.
High School, at this time was in the Oneida Stake Academy, a church school in Preston Idaho. Again my wardrobe was pretty scanty. Not hand me downs and misfits, just plain worn out. I tried to slip in the corners where I wouldn’t be noticed. Most girls came to high school with two or three new dresses to start, get new ones at Thanksgiving, more at Christmas and new ones for spring. Mine for 5 years, four years of high school and one in the doctors office consisted of a wool dress left over from the 8th grade, a striped middie, a white Japanese silk blouse, red tie and a navy blue dress made from 4 yards of 40¢ material. In my 4th year my sister Myrtle gave a cheap piece of material she bought from a Jewish peddler. I learned to remodel and change this limited wardrobe to make it look different. I was very very bashful and shy and this was no help in making adjustments in high school.
I did have nice hair. It was quite light, thick, and a braid as big as your arm, but short only to the bottom of the shoulder blades. I tried to keep this looking as pretty as possible. I used a home made shampoo that made the hair very glossy. Would never wash it in any thing but rain water or melted snow. Would rub it dry and brush it every night. Because it was thick, easy to manage, and easy to curl, I could comb it in many styles and have it look well.
Some class mates came to get me to go to a party with them. I had to comb my hair while they waited. They were astonished to see how short it was. They said they thought from the different ways I combed it that it must be down to my knees. In our 4th year it was fashionable to wear our hair in ringlets. I could put mine up over the week end and it would stay all during the next week. One boy, Joe Smith, said to my room mate, Clara Rallison, “I bet Susie Alder gets up at 4 o’clock to get ready for school.” We never told him we got up at 15 minutes to 8 and had to be at school by 8 o’clock.
You meet all kinds of teachers in High School. Some very indifferent except to a few, some very matter of fact and some who take a personal interest in each student. I had all kinds and was very thankful for the latter.
The first year my brother Alfred and I roomed in a Crockett home. He had many friends and was gone a good deal of the time so I was quite lonely. I had W. K. Barton for algebra and business, Alma Erickson for civic government, and Harrison R. Merrill for English composition. This represented all three types. I was extremely frightened of Bro. Barton but he was a real good and thorough teacher. Sometimes I thought he had eyes in the back of his head and if you caused any disturbance in the room when his back was turned he knew exactly what you did and who did it and he would laughingly bawl you out until you never wanted to get out of line again. I was frightened of him and in algebra I never wanted him to catch me with a problem I didn’t understand. I had pink eye but would go home and study until I would go blind and couldn’t read the book. I would stop and sleep for an hour, wake up and go at it again. I didn’t dare tell him about my eye problem. But I got algebra. Years later I could work problems others had forgotten how to do. The credit goes to Mr. Barton.
I also took business from him. Book-keeping was to come the first half of the year and typing the last half of the year. There developed a conflict between the principal Mr. Robinson and Bro. Barton and he left in the middle of the year. I was always sorry I didn’t get typing from him. But I did get book-keeping from him. We were issued paper money. Our test was to reach a certain point, balance our books, rule them in red and produce the right amount of cash on hand. Well I lost a dime. I hunted and Miss Monson sitting next to me helped hunt but to no avail. We couldn’t find it. Finally I had to go up and admit I was 10¢ short. He gave his amused laugh and said, “Just reach in your pocket, take out a dime and put it in.” Well I couldn’t do that. I just had to get a mark down. Later when we were cleaning out our desks we found that dime. It had been drawn up in the groove of Miss Monson’s draw[er]. But I never told Mr. Barton.
When I was working for Dr. Cutler one task he gave me was to straighten up his books. They were a mess. There had to be a lot of correspondence and it took about a year to get everything cleared. But by the end of the year, the books were all balanced and ruled in red. When Dr. Cutler looked at them he remarked how well they were done and said, “I would be proud to show them to any bank.” That is another compliment for W. K. Barton. He was a thorough teacher and when he taught he taught well.
I took civil government from Alma Erickson, a lawyer. There was a mix up in the schedules and I didn’t get into the class for the first week. During this time they had taken a test and I guess your grade for the year depended on that test. I didn’t get the take it so I got “D”. I thought I could raise it but I couldn’t. It was not a hard subject. My tests would come back marked correct, my journals were marked O.K. but my report card was marked “D” each time.
The daughter of a school teacher, quite a prominent one, with next to me. She copied my journals and my tests. She got “A”. I got “D”. I worked hard but my efforts did not change it. The next year I was talking to Hattie Peterson. She said you just have to talk to him. He never looks at your tests or journal. Somebody else does all the correcting. Whatever mark you get at first is what you will get all the way through. You go tell him what mark you want and you will get it. So I finally had courage and said, “My tests were all right my journal, was marked O.K. Why was I marked “D”?
“Well, what do you think you should have?”
“I certainly think I should have a “B”. And he changed it.
Three years later our group went to summer school. As an entrance requirement we had to take a state test in civil government. I scored 98% and my copying friend failed (30%). She said, “Susie you know something is wrong. I always got high marks in high school, even higher marks than you.” That is right she did.
Harrison R. Merrill was my English composition teacher. He was very appreciative of my work and showed a special interest in me. Often in first year high school, after having me read my composition he would say, “I would put that paper up against any paper written by a college graduate.” Oh how I appreciated that. It would annoy my classmates a little but they were not unfriendly. Ivy Farmer would always ask if I had my paper ready and say you better be ready. I bet he calls on you first. Some of my shorter ones I wrote while he was calling the roll.
One time we were given the assignment of writing on the Renaissance. The paper was to be a 1000 words long. We were divided into groups and each group assigned the Renaissance in a given country. I was assigned a country that only had one short paragraph on the Renaissance in that country in the whole library. So to get my paper long enough [I put in a long] introduction on the Renaissance in general and a long conclusion on its effects in general.
I was called on to read my paper first. At the conclusion Bro. Merrill said, “That’s good.” Harvey Campbell said, “I don’t see how you can call that good. She didn’t even hit the subject.”
“Oh, Harvey, if you would stay awake and not go to sleep you would know she did.”
One day he assigned us to write the description of some object we had lost. I didn’t have mine ready. Ivy said I bet he calls on you first, better get busy. Well he had to call the roll and I happened to have a letter with a stamp that had been disfigured and I hurried and described that. A number of descriptions were read and before the end I read mine. Then he commented, “You have given some very good descriptions. But I could go to the store and pick up a dozen articles like you described but I wouldn’t know which one was yours. But if I was clear across the United States and saw that postage stamp I would know it was the one I was looking for.”
Willis Smith was another teacher who took an interest in me and often spoke kind and encouraging words. He told Mother she could be proud that I was their daughter.
A Mr. Robinson was principal of the school when I started at the Academy. He also taught speech and elocution, as we called it. I enrolled in that class. He could really explode when some thing irritated him. One of our early assignments was to memorize “Robert of Sicily.” The first person he called on to recite it was Moses Geddes. He was quite a prominent singer. In the poem was a chant by the monks. When Moses came to the chant, Robinson brought his fist down on the table with a bang and shouted, “Moses there is supposed to be a tune to that.” A chill went over the class and believe it or not I was the next one he called on. Talk about frightened. I couldn’t carry a tune. I guess he felt sorry for me because when I got through he just said that’s fine.
In the 4th year we were advised to take chemistry. This was taught by Miss Maughn, a daughter of Judge Maughn of Logan. I didn’t know at the time I registered but she was famous for failing three fourths of her class. I remember our first test. One question asked was to give the properties of potassium. Paul Ballif [Bally?] was in the class and he was an “A” student. We had only covered the first chapter of the book at that time. Needless to say all our marks were very low. Paul’s answer on potassium was marked wrong. He confronted her, showing that he had given the exact material in the book. But she said “In the last chapter in the book there is some more information on potassium and I wanted that too.” It didn’t matter that we hadn’t studied it. Paul was angry and sent his book and paper sailing across the room.
Elma Reid and I decided we wanted out. We would need the credit for graduation. We approached Joseph Geddis, the principal, for the privilege of dropping the class. He took our records and shook his head, “No, there is no need for you to drop it. Your marks show you can handle it all right.”
Well I had a photogenic memory at that time. If I read a book the night before a test, I could reproduce it the next day and that is what I did. I had a free period after chemistry and noon hour followed. Before I handed my paper in she was begging for mercy. She had to give me a mark.
I took a short course in literature and [the] instructor was a lady from Salt Lake. They were studying blank verse. We were asked to take turns reading selections. I had my turn and at the conclusion the teacher said, “If you could all read blank verse like Miss Alder we wouldn’t bother studying it.”
In my senior year I again had pink eye. This time there was added infection and the swelling extended way down my cheeks.
There was the usual special activities for the seniors but because of the conditions I expected to miss them all. A banquet was to be held in our honor. Vera Geddes, she was from a prominent family and a prominent student, said, “Susie, we want you to be at that banquet.” I told her I couldn’t possibly go with my eyes the way they were. But she insisted. She said there was a small room off the main hall and they would see there was a couch there and I could go in there and lie down with packs on my eyes if necessary. I would be able to hear the program but I had to come out long enough to eat. Not many people are that thoughtful. Later, years after she became Vera Merrill, I worked in the Logan Temple with her and she always had that same sweet consideration of other people.
The first year of high school I roomed with Alfred in the Crockett house but it was so lonely. Alfred would be away so much of the time with friends. So the next two years I stayed at home and walked the 3 1/2 miles to Preston. The first year I took second year high and the next I worked in Dr. Cutler’s office. In the winter the snow piled high and it was cold. I would often trudge through the snow knee deep. When I reached the top of Worm Creek hill I would some times stop at the Bradbury Home, some English friends, get warm, turn sick, and go back home. During this time I froze my feet twice. The first time was miserable but the second time they were really bad. Mother said, “Susie you don’t have feet just two bloody beef steaks.” They were so swollen I couldn’t even put on stockings. I was named after my Grandmother Alder. She always favored me. She thought they made me do more that my share but now that my feet were so bad she couldn’t stand to see me sit down. Mother would say, “Susie I know you can’t get around on those feet but just move enough to keep out of grandmother’s sight.”
Mother had a difficult time getting shoes for the family. Priscilla was working and buying her own shoes. She was rather proud of her feet. She wanted nice shoes more than she craved nice clothes. Her feet were a bit smaller that mine and she had the tendency to buy shoes a bit too small for herself. Her feet were quite tender and she would let me wear her shoes to break them in. I would walk the 3 1/2 miles; sit in school until the afternoon, my feet really paining all the time. By the middle of the afternoon they would turn numb. I would drop my head and say a silent prayer thankful they were numb but I still had to walk the 3 1/2 miles home with numb feet.
This along with one other experience has caused the foot problem I have had to live with. When I was young I had one or two sick spells each summer. I would have spells of vomiting and diarrhea that would last about a week. The last couple of days about all that came up was gall. Then I would get better. The family went to Brigham Utah once a year for fruit. We thought it quite a privilege when we could have a turn to go. This year Aunt Nora Smart and some of her children went with us in our wagon and I was to have my turn to go. I had one of my sick spells and this one was no exception. I was so ill going down I could not lift my head off the pillow. By the time we were loaded with fruit I was a little better but still unable to walk around. Water was needed for the group. Aunt Nora wanted Nora and Leona to fetch some. They would but they wanted Susie to go with them. Aunt Nora tried to explain that I was too sick but they still persisted. Mother sitting in the front seat was irritated and whirled about to strike me to get me to go. I jumped out of the wagon box to miss the blow, stepped on the wagon wheel and jumped to the ground. What I did to my feet I don’t know but I had to be lifted back into the wagon and was unable to walk on my feet for a week. Before this my feet seemed to be perfectly normal easy to get shoes to fit but since getting shoes to fit has been very difficult.
After I finished the 2nd year high school, I started to work in Dr. Allen Cutler’s office. Priscilla, my sister was supposed to fill the position but because of ill health she didn’t feel able to do so. Mother persuaded the doctor to let me take her place. He felt that I was too young but Mother persuaded him I would be able to handle the work and he consented. So in the spring, after the close of school, I started. The office was over the Foss Drug Store. The work was entirely new and I had a lot to learn. I never did get to where I could watch all operations which took place without turning my head. The first experience was an abscessed hand. Elmer Peterson came in with this ailment. The abscess was in the middle of the palm and it was deep. The doctor had to go so deep he had to be careful not to rupture the skin on the upper surface of the hand. I helped for a while but finally had to leave.
The office consisted of one room with a storage place in the back, a roll top desk and a glass instrument case was in the main room. The doctor said, “Susie you know these instruments sort a horrify the patients. I notice when they look at these they kind a shudder. Wish we could do something about it.” I didn’t say anything but waited until he was going to be out of town a day or two. Then I went to work on it. I polished all the instruments. I took the knives and turning the blades in and the handles out I made a circle. Others I arranged in diamond shapes and other geometric figures. The case looked pretty nice when I was through.
He returned and it was a couple of days before he noticed the change. Then he called to me and said, “Susie, that is beautiful. That takes all the horror away from those instruments.”
One day he sent me to pay a bill. He gave me one dollar too much. I paid the bill and took the dollar back. He was quite surprised. “You know you could have kept that dollar and I would have never known.” He was rather thrilled that I was that honest.
I had only planned to work the summer and then return to school. But the crops were frozen, Alfred was on a mission, and Priscilla had to undergo an operation. So the family thought best I skip a year and go on working.
Dr. Parkinson occupied the office through the wall from us. His office girl left to get married so they conceived the idea of having a reception room and having me the receptionist for both doctors. This increased my wages a little and it was a more pleasant situation.
I was still walking the 3 1/2 miles to work. I always put camphor ice on my face to protect it from the cold and beat. The long walk made for good health. Dr. Parkinson was a ladies man. One day he said, “My _ girl do you know what a beautiful complexion you have.”
The next year I returned to school but worked in the office after school and on Saturday.
The two doctors decided to rent the entire floor and run a small hospital. Dr. Cutler had removed tonsils in his office and I had assisted him but now they would perform more serious operations and Dr. Middleton and another doctor from Salt Lake came to assist. They engaged a trained nurse, a very jealous hearted person and I would say not too reliable.
One afternoon the doctors from Salt Lake were to be there. I often gave the anesthetics for these operations. Dr. Cutler had given me definite instructions and watched closely to see that all went well. This afternoon he told me he wanted me to be present so after school I put in my appearance. The nurse met me and said we have made all arrangements and we won’t need you. I took that as official and went home. The next day the doctor wanted to know why I wasn’t there. When I told him what had happened he said, “When I tell you I want you at an operation I want you to be there, nurse or no nurse.” That was the only reprimand I ever received from Allen Cutler. He told me he would rather have me assist him with an operation than the nurse. That was not because of my ability but because of her undependability.
One day an emergency came in and Dr. Cutler was away. I had to call Dr. Parkinson to take the case. The case required chloroform. The nurse always anxious to take my place grabbed the bottle and proceeded to give the chloroform. I knew she wasn’t doing it right giving it far too fast and too much. I tried to attract the doctor’s attention but he was engrossed in his problem. But when I did get his attention he really had to work to revive the patient.
Dr. Cutler was an insurance examiner. Many of [the] policies would be returned for a re-examination and that made extra work. One day a child’s policy lay on my desk to be mailed. As I glanced at it, I thought that policy will not be accepted. So I asked the doctor if that child was a good risk. The answer was, “Oh, yes.” Then I pointed to one item and he said, “That shouldn’t be there.” So from now on I had a new job. I had to go over each policy to make sure no information was misplaced. But it did stop the policies from being returned.
Dr. Cutler was getting older and he was using me more and more as an assistant.
For the last two years of high school I rented a room at the home of Uncle Junius Jensen. I was working after school at the office and it would [be] too late to walk home after work. Clara Rallison asked to room with me as she had obtained work in J. G. Smith store. We had always been friends and we continued to be very good friends as we lived together. We never had a quarrel and would do all in our power to help each other. She will always be remembered as a true friend.
As time went on I assumed more of the doctors work. I could do dressing and other simple chores. He wanted me to go and take medical training and be his assistant. He said he could get me 2 years credit for the work I had done in his office and the hospital connected with it. I thought he wanted me to be a nurse and I didn’t feel I could hold up under that type of work. He said, “Oh, no, I would want you to go out with me on all cases. We would diagnose the condition, decide on the treatment and you would do the follow up work.” Maybe I should have done this. According to my Patriarchal blessing my work should have been with the sick.
When I decided to leave and prepare for teaching he was very sad. His eyes filled with tears. His son Allen said, “We didn’t know how much Dad’s health had declined until Susie left. She had assumed so much of his work that the decline was not evident.” Allen would often ask as they hired a new office girl. “Is this one as good as Susie?” The answer was, “She was one in a million and you will never replace Susie.” His son Allen was telling this to my family some years later.
I graduated form high school in the spring of 1917. At that time you could teach if you had a high school diploma and one summer school session. Alfred was still on a mission and extra money was needed. So it was decided I attend summer school at Albion Idaho and teach. All the teachers were from the east and were not friendly to the Mormons. The suggestion was you didn’t mention you were L.D.S. until you received your credits.
I stayed with three other girls in the home of an elderly lady. Her one leg was amputated to the knee. Instead of using crutches she used a chair to help her move about. She told of Abraham Lincoln visiting in her home as a child and of him lifting her on his lap and talking to her. We enjoyed her company very much.
The severe case of pink eye I had during the latter part of my 4th year high school had left me drained of all energy and the course in summer school was very heavy. So when the other three girls would go out for entertainment I would retire to rest.
While rooming at Uncle Junius place, while attending high school, a rather unusual event occurred. My friend Clara Rallison and I were living in one of the upstairs rooms and Aunt Sylvia Jensen’s children were sleeping in the other. One night one of the little girls roused and said, “Is that you Daddy?” Aunt Sylvia heard it and knowing that her husband was away and not expected home was immediately on the alert. She rushed into the children’s bedroom and found a tramp had entered and crawled in bed with the children. She routed him in a hurry. This event started me screaming. If anyone moved in the house during the night it would touch me off. Everyone admitted it was the most blood curdling scream they had ever heard.
Well one night during the summer school all three of the girls [were] out for the evening and being tired I retired early. When they returned it roused me just enough to start me screaming. It was the first time they had heard it and they were petrified, but I finally woke up and we had a good laugh. But we didn’t think of the poor 80 year [old] lady. Next morning she came in and said, “I didn’t get any sleep last night. I was so frightened. Did you hear those wild animals roaring and screaming last night?”
The first time I ever did this screaming was at my mother’s home. We had a house full of company and we decided members of the family would sleep out under the lilac bushes. I was startled and screamed and everyone who ever heard it said it was the most horrible sound they ever heard. Another time, about nine years after we were married, LeRoy’s brother, Will came to spend the night. He and Dad had made their bed outside. During the night Dad [LeRoy] came in the house for something. It roused me just enough to start me screaming. Dad was petrified. He stood there shaking like a leaf. I made a good burglar alarm. It took years to over come this trouble.
When I returned from summer school I again went to work in Dr. Cutler’s office. I had put in a few applications for a teaching position. George Griffith, a trustee, asked me to apply in Dayton. The trustees there had decided on $65 per month and George Griffith was appointed to contact me. But one day Dave Buttars came into the office and offered me $60 per month. I guess he expected me to bargain a bit but that was as good an offer as most of my friends were getting so I accepted it. But the other teacher got $65 and later in the year they hired an uncertified teacher and gave her $65. Lorenzo Perkins, another trustee, said if she [Susan] would just complain she would get the extra but I was too proud and hurt. Mabel Law was the other lady teacher she was getting $65. But when she quit because of ill health, they hired Lola Farrell, uncertified, and gave her $65. Lola and I often discussed it among ourselves. I felt they should have made the adjustment.
While Mabel was teaching she had Earl Atkinson as a boy friend. This seemed to be the only thing that made her stay durable. LeRoy Archibald came with him. LeRoy was a member of the bishopric. Of course Earl was Mabel’s boyfriend and LeRoy was mine. I wasn’t interested in boyfriends but had other things I wanted to accomplish. He was also not as tall as I and that was another thorn. I wanted to discontinue the friendship. But Emma Phillips said, “Oh, please do this for Mabel. It is the only thing that keeps Mabel happy.” And so the friendship continued. They came every night and the evening was spent playing cards if there was no other activity. My parents had never allowed playing cards in the home. I felt a bit guilty but again they said do it for Mabel. I got so I really enjoyed playing high five.
Well Mabel’s nerves persisted and her sister Minerva came and substituted for a month but at last it was decided she had better quit and that is when Lola Farrell came. Lola and I really enjoyed each other [‘s] company and each morning Sister Phillips would say you can tell when Susie wakes up you will hear Lola laughing.
Dave Buttars said, after Mabel left, “Well you won’t be bothered with LeRoy any more. It was Mabel he came to see.” But he did continue to come just as regular as before. He accompanied me home one week-end and my mother said, “That is the man you are to marry.” She was a very spiritual person and she said, “I’m sure he has been associated with our family before this life.”
At Christmas time Sister Phillips and Emma in company with other friends went on a trip to California. And for a few weeks we boarded at [the home of] Sister Phillip’s daughter, Nellie Atkinson. Lola was a trained singer and jolly company. Her boyfriend was in Smithfield, Utah. So for the first hour or two she and LeRoy had a jolly time. But I was supposed to sit and watch. One night I politely slipped to bed. When LeRoy found out he got so angry...everyone was frightened. If Earl happened to come and spend the evening and I turned to visit with him LeRoy would pout. He felt since Lola’s boyfriend was not there it was his duty to spend part of his time with her. But I was to devote all my time to him. He was as likely to make our dates with Lola as with me but if peace was to be maintained I had better keep them.
It was finally decided we would be married in June. World War I was going on. At first LeRoy wanted to enlist but his family objected, so he waited for the draft. His number came up for June. I had no desire to be a war bride, I had seen too many others but LeRoy was upset. We both got our Patriarchal blessings at this time. At the close of my blessing the Patriarch said, “Don’t you marry any of these boys leaving for war.” Six months later I realized the importance of this remark. This was the period of the 1918-19 flu and no pregnant woman survived. I am sure the Patriarch was inspired. When LeRoy returned in January I was very ill with the flu and he would have arrived just in time to bury me.
My second year teaching was spent in Preston East Side district. I was to have the first 4 grades. Mr. Reese was the principal. This was quite an experience. It was my first experience teaching the first grade and the closet contained very few of the articles considered essential. There was 1/2 box of chalk, 5 erasers, a fourth grade reader, and arithmetic, and the “Little Red Hen Reader”. No other supplies at all. I found the beginners, first, 2nd, and third grades could read the “Little Red Hen Book” front ward or back wards yet they didn’t know a word.
The 4th gd [grade] could read but if I asked them to add more that 2 to a number they would cry. There were two exceptions, Carl Mortensen and a Peterson girl. They could have carried 4th gd work and done well.
I pled for better supplies and different readers but my only answer was, “Oh, you are just love sick.” A few years later these children were all in Mr. Reece’s room and when he would meet my husband LeRoy he would say, “Tell you wife I know what she was meeting [meaning?] now.”
In October of that year, the Mortensen family went to general conference in Salt Lake. When they returned some of them were ill. I asked the principal if he didn’t think we should close school for a day or two until we found out the nature of the illness. Because we had heard it was a mysterious illness going around. He scoffed at the idea and we carried on. Carl Mortensen was in my room. He felt well enough to come to school. He sat next to a little Lund boy. The Lund boy contracted the flu from him and was dead within a week. His whole family was ill so they had to pass the body out of the window and the neighbors buried it. The next week Priscilla, another child in the family was passed out the window to be buried.
In 1918 flu spread through all the communities and people died like flies. School was closed from October until the first of April and then it was thought best to let half of the district come one day and the other half the next day. By the first of May all the children came together.
In my mother’s family we waited until the first of the year to get it. Orin was the first to contract it. His case was not too severe. One day I felt a bit miserable but it lifted the next day. LeRoy was returning from war. The soldiers were to be mustered out in Logan at the A.C. College. His folks called and wanted me to go down with them to see him when he came in but I was afraid to go because of the illness. But because I felt better Mother insisted I go down the next day on the electric car. I went and visited with LeRoy until noon but by this time I commenced to feel quite miserable. But the train would not leave to go back until six P.M. and that would be when Mother would be there to meet me. So I had to stick it out. Usually if you were outside after starting with the flu it proved fatal.
The train got in Preston at dusk. Mother had come to meet me but we missed each other and I didn’t know what to do. I wandered around feeling very, very ill. I was afraid of going to any home for fear of giving it to others. Finally I remembered Uncle Junius’ family had recovered from it and I made my way there. Uncle Junius and his wife were away nursing others. The children were lively and wanted to romp but I was too ill.
Finally Mother found me. She had come in a sleigh and had brought a big fur coat. I wrapped up in that and cuddled down in the covers. I was chilling when I got home and crawled in the bed clothes fur coat and all. Mother was worried because I had been out doors when I came down with it and tried to get the doctor but they were so busy it was impossible. But I think the fur coat saved me. I stayed wrapped in it for 3 days and it sweat it out of me.
Poor Mother, by now Alton and Aldora was down and so was Edgar’s family. That made nine in all. Mother did not contract the flu but she was so tired taking care of nine people she would weave from one bed to another like a drunken person.
Bless Uncle Fred Jensen, he came and did the chores, milked the cows and set the milk inside the door. He was afraid to come in.
After 3 days I commenced to feel a little better but awfully weak. I knew Mother had to have some help so I called Orin who was better but also awfully weak and we would give Mother some help. Try as we would all we could do was wash enough dishes so there was clean ones to give the sick their next meal or feed.
Mother never felt we could all pull through but said if some has to go let it be some of mine. Alton and Aldora came very near the brink. It took all of Mother’s efforts to save Aldora. Alton lay in a stupor his face a mass of large purple and white spots. All I could do was sit by his bed [and] shake him until I could rouse him enough to get a spoon of hot milk down him. Finally we all made it through. But we were all weak for a long time.
Myrtle, Ernest, and their family were away from home when they contracted the flu. Their family and the family they were visiting were all down. Ernest took it upon himself to keep fires going and take care of the ill. Because of this exposure he lost his life and Myrtle and the children had to move home. This made our home a very busy place.
School stayed in session until the last of May. LeRoy Archibald and I were married in the Logan Temple on the 5th of June 1919. We and another couple were the only weddings that day. The other couple was a widower and an older lady, a sister of his former wife. Because I was young the officiators tended to spend their time with me helping me. She was very nervous and kept insisting they stay with her. Her extreme nervousness helped me be calm. After our marriage we had a wedding picture taken.
Our first home in Dayton was a one room log cabin. LeRoy had purchased the necessary furniture and linoleum covering for the floor so we moved right in.
Mother had insisted I keep all my previous years teaching money to help us get started. So after purchasing a few necessary household items and a cow I had $400 left. Mother gave us a jersey cow.
It was well I had this cash because at the close of the war there was a deep depression. LeRoy could get no work and this was all we had to live on.
My money was nearing an end and I knew my first baby was on the way. I bought 5 pieces of material for infant dresses and 3 pieces for under shirts. But LeRoy never believed in locking the house so some one relieved me of all but one piece. I raised my first child on one little white dress and an undershirt made from a white shirt tail.
In the middle of August LeRoy developed blood poisoning. While in the army he had a gathering in his ear and because they were moving so often the medical officer kept saying, “Well everything is packed. Wait until later.” He suffered a great deal. Finally his sergeant asked if the ear had been treated. When LeRoy said, “No.” He said, “Come with me.” He, dressing [reprimanding] the medical officer, said, “You tend this ear now.”
“But we are all packed up.”
“Well you unpack or I’ll take you to your higher officials.” He complied but I think the poison had spread through his system and this was the source of the blood poisoning. I took the core of that abscess out of his ear about 22 yrs later. When LeRoy brought it to my attention, I could see the abscess on his wrist, a red streak going up his arm an inch and one half wide and a lump the size of an egg in the arm pit. I was worried and wanted doctors help. He refused to go but wanted his Dad’s advice. We walked a mile to their place but Ray scoffed at the idea and his Dad was very unconcerned, so I insisted on calling to see Sister Phillips, a midwife. When she saw it she was alarmed and said, “If you don’t go to a doctor don’t go to bed tonight.” On the way home we met Dave Buttars. When he saw it he tried to get LeRoy to get in his car and go over to the doctor but LeRoy wouldn’t.
We went home and stayed up all night. We soaked the arm in hot salt water and kept hot packs on it. We were not experienced enough to lance the abscess but would heat a bottle and place the mouth over the center of the abscess and keep it there until it was cool. This had a drawing effect and as day broke the abscess ruptured. We put a poultice on it and LeRoy went to work.
As the winter months came on I decided to sew the clothes for my forth coming baby but as before mentioned I was horrified to find that it had all been taken except one small piece and a bit of lace. Leroy, my son, was born February 20, 1920. The birth was very difficult and I had a severe hemorrhage. This plus the effect of the 1918-19 flu left me very weak for a number of months.
It was during the winter of 1919 that electricity came to Dayton. They had been working on the line and finally told us to leave our light switches on. We went to Preston with Buttars and came home after dark. While we were gone the electricity was turned on. The log cabin we had bought had lost a lot of its chinking and the electric lights shining through the cracks made the house look like it was on fire. We had a good laugh.
In the fall of 1921, at the beginning of the school year they found they were short a teacher and ask[ed] if I would fill the position. As the depression was still very severe I was happy for the opportunity. Ercil Morrison a mature unmarried woman was hired to care for the baby. The district had no money but would give us warrants. They drew interest but were very hard to cash. They wouldn’t even take them for taxes. To get a little cash we had to find some one with money to loan and would give cash for the face value because of the interest they drew.
I taught 4 years and the ones who helped care for Leroy, our son, besides Ercil was Orerilla McCombs, Eva Brietenbeucher and Marqueate Perkins. One year he stayed with my mother.
My first position in the church was treasurer of the Relief Society [church women’s organization]. This office was discontinued after one year. Then I became secretary of the Primary for 5 years. I was a beekeeper [teacher of the young girl’s class called “beehives”] for 6 yrs, counselor of Y.M.I.A. 2 yrs. [an adult leader of the young people’s organization.] Sunday school teacher 4 yrs, Genealogical class leader 2 yrs, Relief Society class leader: literature 2 yrs, Social science 2 yrs. Relief Society President 5 yrs. Secretary of Relief Society 3 yrs. 1[st] counselor in Stake Relief Society 3 or 4 years. Officiator in Logan Temple 9 yrs 6 mo.
LeRoy had always wanted an education but was discouraged even by his father. But he couldn’t give up the idea. So during these 4 yrs. I would teach children during the day and hold school with LeRoy at night. He had never completed his 7th and 8th grades. So our first job was to prepare him to take the state exams for these grades. The first year these exams were held in Dayton he finally took the tests in 2 subjects under Mrs. Craigun. And completed the rest of the tests the next winter and also during this winter he attended high school at Preston Ida.
By now we owned a small car called a bug. My mother took care of Leroy this winter while LeRoy was attending high school. He would go with his father Monday morning stay the week and come home for the week-end.
Time was precious so we crowded 4 yrs of high school into 3 yrs. This meant school in the day and study at night. I had a very good teacher, W.K. Barton, in Algebra but algebra is easy to forget. I remember one problem we found difficulty with - factoring A3-B3. We were unable to get help even from teachers of the subject but finally I managed the solution.
During this time I had to attend two summer school sessions to keep my teachers certificate current. I attended the Idaho Technical College at Pocatello Idaho. The last year I attended we had a new President from the East. He didn’t have much use for Mormons and knowing he was among Mormons his advise to his staff was “Burn them through”. The group responded to the challenge and study we did. The psychology teacher said, “Idaho must have a grudge against their teachers because it was enough to kill them to carry the course assigned.” But before the summer was over the President had to admit he had never seen such high quality work before. “On your cards we will give the best students A+. We can’t put it on our permanent records but to show our appreciation we will give it on your card.” I was able to get A+.
This same summer I took English from a Mrs. North, City Supervisor of Schools in Idaho Falls. She gave me high compliments on my talks and on my themes. She held personal interviews with each student. In one of these she said to me, “I don’t have anyone in the class that can equal you in talking or writing. You need to gain more confidence and you could have a great career in writing.” I felt this was a special compliment because she had students in the class who was writing for Chicago newspapers. My mother tended Leroy during one of these summer sessions.
Finally my 4 years of teaching was over. LeRoy had his last years of high school to finish. Our first daughter LuDean was born 21 May 1925. She was a small doll like baby and this time I had a beautiful layette for her. I had done a great deal of hand work to decorate her clothes. I was still in bed with her when LeRoy’s graduation occurred. There was only room for two in the bug so he could take his father. Many business men congratulated him and commended him for his accomplishments. The fact that hurt him was that his father refrained from making one favorable comment.
At this time you could teach if you had a high school diploma and one year college. This was LeRoy’s ambition and Pocatello was the school he chose. Myrtle, my sister, wanted me to spend the winter with her in Preston. I would have liked to stay in my own home in Dayton but my husband said he would worry less if I was with some one else. So it was decided that the children and I would go to Preston.
The day LeRoy was to leave he spent the day down to his father’s, wanting to leave things as comfortable as possible for him for the coming winter. I was to have his bags packed so he could catch the 4 P.M. train. It was a very cold day and as we expected to leave there was no fuel to build a fire. We wrapped the baby in shawls. Leroy in winter togs and my self in coats and jackets and walked the floor to keep warm. My husband said Dave Buttars was going to Preston and promised to take me over. But after LeRoy left I went over to see if Mr. Buttars was going to Preston but they said no he wasn’t going and if he was he wouldn’t take me. So with a baby under one arm a sack of clothes under another and a little boy trailing behind, I went outhunting a way to Preston.
LeRoy had borrowed $400 dollars. He took $300 and left me $100. I needed new clothes mine were shabby. The move or something up set LuDean. She had been a very good baby but after the move she would not take a sleep in the daytime but would go to bed with me at night and sleep all night long.
LeRoy or Roy as he was more commonly called was in Pocatello one month when he came down and said he had rented an apartment. He thought he would go through the year alone but found college much harder than high school and wanted me there to help. But his $300 dollars was gone only my $100 was left. I said we will need more money but he said I will get a job.
Well this move upset LuDean more than ever. Now she would neither sleep night or day. She wouldn’t eat and wouldn’t sleep. She would never drop off until after 2,3 or 4 in the morning. I used to twist my hand in her clothes so that if I dropped to sleep she couldn’t get away and into harm.
She need[ed] a doctor’s care and delicacies to tempt her to eat but there was no money. Roy had been unable to get a job.
Ray, Roy’s half brother had a mission call. LeRoy felt his father would be upset if he didn’t attend the farewell. So he left to spend the week end in Dayton. While he was gone something very ***** happened to LuDean. One evening her feet and legs began to swell. They became transparent and so large I couldn’t begin to hold her foot in my hand. It was night and I only had 5 yr old Leroy to depend on. I ask him to try and wake the landlord to see if we could get help to get a doctor. He tried but was unable to do so. I gave him a pan told him to go down and scrape all the hard snow away and get the pan full of soft snow. He did. Then he took one foot and leg and I took the other and we would pack snow around them until the[y] commenced to shrink. This was pretty good for a 5 yr old.
Because of money I was tempted to find cheaper apartments and that was my mistake. I found one down town but because of her nervous condition the land lady found it necessary to greatly restrict my use of hot water. She had been away and just returned. I knew she would need the hot water. LeRoy was at a meeting. So I hurriedly used the electric washer to get clean baby clothes. I tied LuDean in a chair till I was sure she could never get loose. But she could wiggle out of anything and she did without making a sound. She shoved her hand and arm in the cogs until it stopped the machine. I am sure if we had been home our family doctor would have tried to save the hand. It looked as if it could be to me. But some doctors are butchers and this one was a butcher. Her hand came off. [Three fingers were amputated; she still had her thumb and forefinger.] It was harder on me than a death. After the operation I came to Preston to be with our family doctors. My hair turned gray around the front and I lost my voice. Dr. Allen Cutler Jr. said, “This will have to change or she will not only go through life without a hand but also without a mother.”
Roy stayed in Pocatello to finish the year’s work. We spent the summer in Dayton and Roy accepted a teaching position in Mapleton, Idaho. We moved there in the fall and lived in an apartment in a Perkins home.
I was now pregnant with Nelda. It was a difficult pregnancy. I think because of the sorrow over LuDean’s hand. The birth occurred the day after school let out in Mapleton so we were in the process of moving home and I was spending the day at my sister Myrtles in Preston. The baby had already arrived by the time LeRoy and Leroy arrived from school. LuDean would not leave my side. Nobody could do anything for her so she was with me in bed and stayed there as long as I did.
During the latter part of this school year, the trustees from the Dayton school asked Roy to take the principalship of the Dayton school. It was higher pay and our home town. But is it always good to work in your home town? At times we had to wonder. Roy was principal here from 1927 to 1937 and then Joseph Smith was principal in 1937-38, and he taught under him. Then the trustees decided to change the men teachers but they didn’t notify them. They [didn’t] realize they were being replaced until the new teachers moved in. By this time most all the positions were filled but he finally located a vacancy in Geneva.
When we lived in Dayton it was my job to raise the acre of garden. That would supply the family with vegetables in the winter. This was a major job for me. If Roy didn’t leave to go to summer school he would usually get a summer job to keep a little money coming in. When we moved from Mapleton back to Dayton, William Archibald moved to Dayton with his family and we hoped to work together but this project didn’t work out.
In order to keep his teaching certificate valid, LeRoy had to go to summer school. That left my small son and I to run our small farm, take care of a group of 5 cows and raise the large garden. This was more than difficult. This was especially true before the birth of our 3rd little girl, Janeen. In order to get his hay put up before he left, Roy had to stack his hay too green and used salt to keep it from burning. It packed so hard it was like tearing iron apart. Leroy and I would get on the stack cut with a hay knife and dig with a fork until we were give out, cry a while and try again.
One day Alfred Dixon and a friend called. They were working at the Sugar Farm. We were just going out to feed the cows and they offered to help us. First Alfred took his turn and then his friend. His friend worked a while. He looked at me, I was very pregnant, and said, “Do you mean to tell me you do this?” My answer was, there is nobody else. He swore a bit and said, “I would rather put in my 8 hours on the Sugar Farm than the 20 minutes I have put in here.”
LeRoy was a teacher and although wages were not too high his income plus our little farm, our cows and the big garden we should have had a comfortable living. But there were families that depended on us for help and LeRoy was very generous with the help so it was our family that suffered. The summer I just mentioned I went 3 months without an electric light globe in the house. We would do our chores early so we could be in the house before dark. And we saw many summers we couldn’t have an ice cream cone for the 4th of July or the 24th.
I was made Relief Society President in 1928. But I was unable to have any every day dresses. I had been given an old kimono, faded at that, with a string tied around the waist for every day. And one summer I wore galoshes around home so I could have shoes for Sunday. Before Janeen was born I got the material for one dress which I would wash out in the evening and iron for the next day. Then before Yovonne was born I got a second one so I could have a change.
Janeen, our third daughter and 4th child was born 21 Feb 1931 at 2:30 A.M. Saturday morning. She seemed to be very healthy and she had a hearty appetite. When she was seven days old we had a visitor who admitted there was flu in their home and that one member had vomited on her before she left. She clasped me in her arms and kissed me. Then turning to the baby took [her] in her arms and cuddled her to her breast. The next day my mother who was taking care of us had bathed us, it was Sunday morning, and then sit and visited with us. She was called to the phone, Leora, a sister-in-law called to know how we were getting along. Mother was happy to tell her how well we were doing. When she returned she looked at me and exclaimed, “Susie what in the world is the matter. Your face is as black as the stove (we had an iron cooking stove) I replied I didn’t know I just felt sleepy. She said she was sure I had the flu and we would have to see the baby didn’t get my breath. She gave me some kind of balm to smell. It was so strong it brought me right up in the bed. Whatever ailed me I was cured.
Next she turned to the baby. The little thing had vomited until her clothing and bed were soaked. From then on she had severe vomiting spells and refused to take food. Orange juice was the only thing she was willing to take. Doctors were puzzled and unable to help. The vomiting persisted and food was refused. But the doctors held out hope that with good care she would one day snap out of it. When she was 10 months old there was 12 days when she felt so much better there were no sick spells and we wondered if this hope had been realized. Then I went out one noon to water the cows. I was always careful to see that no visitors were coming. I didn’t want anyone to come in with a cold. If they did I would wrap the baby up and put her in the bedroom. I saw no one. When I returned a neighbor was in the house. She had Janeen in her arms and you could see she had a very bad case of flu. She nearly lost her life. Janeen contracted it from her and it cost her her life. Nelda also came down with it and we almost lost her. A growth the size of a pencil and a little one 1/2 inch long shot out of her eye and a large abscess formed on her elbow.
The summer before this we came out in the spring with $200 in the bank. I was very happy for this because LeRoy had to attend summer school and I wanted the milk money to try and do all I could for the baby. But Will and Dora had gone to Winder for summer work and Dora was very upset. I keep her content. LeRoy was asked to come and drive her to Preston. He went every day and many days twice a day. I was worried because I knew what this was costing. I wanted my husband to say he would go twice a week. He refused and went every time they called. I said if he would care for the baby I would thin beets so we could have a little money to take care of the house and do all the doctors prescribed for the baby. He said you can have all the milk money, isn’t that enough. Oh yes, that would be $44 a month, but I knew I wasn’t going to be able to keep it. I got one $22 check and put $20 away. I knew they would change her food 4 times at $5 a time. That left $2. When Roy came to go to summer school he found his $200 was all spent and all he could do was take the milk money. That meant the family would live on $2 for the next 4 months. One critic of mine said I was so lazy Roy had to do all the house work and he bought a bushel of peaches but I let them rot. No we would have eaten them and sucked the stones because all we had to eat was potatoes and white gravy. We were unable to buy any fruit to put up until October. Then we bought 4 bushels of sweet prunes from the Schwartz family at $1 a bushel. We got them on a Saturday before a Relief Society conference in Preston. Members of the General Board would be there and I had to give a talk. The prunes were so ripe they had to be put up that day.
Will had a business trip he needed to make and he came for Roy to take him. So he did. That left me with fruit to can, sick baby to care for, and a talk to prepare. Roy said he would try and hurry back to help. Well I put up 200 quarts of prunes and cared for my baby but oh was the house dirty. It was late at night when Roy returned and we were all very tired. Roy insisted we all go to bed saying he would clean the house the next day while I was at meeting.
Well early the next day before the house was cleaned company came: Grandpa, Catherine, Julia, Elizah, and a lady from California Mary ____ related to Mylers, and stayed all day in that dirty house. I was at meeting. The next morning I got up early and cleaned the house but the baby was very ill. Was it that Roy had not taken care of her like I did, or was it that the crowd of people had upset her? I took her to the doctor and he was very discouraged. She must have a raging fever and you must get a quart of water down her as soon as possible. Her eyeballs protruded until it looked as if two big glassy marbles had been laid there. Catherine brought the lady from California to my home and left her there. She was a very nice person but I was so worried over the baby I couldn’t give her much attention. I told her she was welcome to stay but I wouldn’t be able to do much for her on account of the baby. She said I know you must tend the baby but Catherine won’t let me stay there so I [will] go get my suitcase and go down to the train station and wait for the train. And she did.
When I was Relief Society President our county tried to prevent beer being sold in our county. There had been a period when it was illegal but now an effort was being made to make it legal. The Relief Society sisters were asked to carry a petition to prevent it being sold in the county. The Dayton ward accepted the responsibility. It was the custom then to have work and business meeting every 2nd Tuesday of the month and a lunch was served. Each district took their turn providing the lunch. Jennie Hansen was my counselor in charge of the work meeting. She was very efficient and I was happy I could leave this responsibility to her as I had many other duties that weighed heavily on me. Perhaps they had mentioned that the luncheon group intended to serve root beer but it had not registered on me. Of course this was to be home made root beer. The time drew near and about two days before the meeting I was working in my kitchen when the words Root Beer stood in the air. The letters were formed by large round tubes and were shaded from brown through orange and yellow. They just stood there and I was a bit startled. Then it seemed I remembered it had been mentioned that they intended to serve root beer and I knew that this meant I was to stop it. Why didn’t this manifestation come to my counselor she was in charge of it. But the Lord did not hold my counselor responsible for what occurred in Relief Society. He held the President. I knew I had to have it changed. I talked it over with my husband but we knew I must fulfill my duty. I dreaded the task. It would give them such a little time to change their plans. I went to see the visiting teacher at the head of the committee and explained that because of the petition we were carrying against beer it would be impossible to serve root beer in Relief Society. She had it all prepared and was angry at having to change but she did. It strained our friendship for some time to come.
At the next stake leadership meeting the Stake President thanked me before the group for stopping root beer saying when we are carrying a petition against beer we should serve nothing with the word beer in it. Who had talked; certainly not me. Some of the other ward presidents shrugged their shoulders and said, “Nothing wrong with root beer.” Some time later I found out this good sister, and she was a good sister, but she did have to talk, had spread the word among employees on the Sugar Farm (some L.D.S. and some not) “I have made root beer for the Relief Society and put a stick in it. Come and see all the old hens get stewed.”
There was a severe depression on while I was president. There was no church welfare at that time so the county had to assume the responsibility. They felt the best way to handle it was to pass the responsibility on to the wards and the bishops passed it to the Relief Society.
I was given this duty very soon after Janeen’s death. Our ward was scattered and in order to take care of it I had to be prepared to leave home by 8:30 A.M. and be gone until 4:30 P.M. when I would return to prepare an evening meal for my family. I would start the meal before I left, leave it simmering on the back of my coal burning stove and it would be ready when I returned. The hard problem was to get a day to wash. I decided Saturday was the best. Surely no one would come for commodities until afternoon. These were all stored in my home. I heated the boiler of water on the stove and put my first batch in at the washer at 6 A.M. The crowd came and continued to come all day. I took that batch out and put the second one in at 6 P.M. that night.
I was still carrying on my Relief Society and taking care of the county welfare in the spring of 1933. It was a little over a year since my infant daughter Janeen had passed away. Her 11 months of illness required constant care night and day but now I had had a little over a years rest and was feeling stronger.
Up to this time in my life I had had voices speak to me letting me know what was to come. For instance if I entered a sick room I would be told whether the person would live or not. Often what I was told would be directly opposite to the doctor’s opinion but mine would prove right. I resented this privilege and it was finally taken from me. But the 1st of April 1933 as I was putting the finishing to making my bed before starting on my welfare duties the voice spoke, “You or Belva Schwartz is going to die.” I sat down and laughed. That just couldn’t be true. I wasn’t sick and as far as I knew Belva was well. She was the wife of our bishop Geoffery Schwartz.
Well time went by and in a few months I commenced to feel miserable. I felt different that I had ever felt before. Some time before Allen Cutler Jr. I had an inward goiter and it was working on my heart but he said, “Don’t have it out now but some time you will have a shock and it will turn toxic and then it will have to come out.”
His brother Orvid was the specialist on child birth so during my child bearing period I was under his care. So as I could feel my health declining I asked him if he thought my goiter was causing trouble. He laughed and said, “Nobody with a toxic goiter would have a heart like yours. It is just your nerves.” This was the only consolation my sister Priscilla got from the doctors and she had been a semi invalid all her married life and I determined I would not be confined to that fate.
I soon found I was pregnant and decided that was causing my trouble and it would be over after the birth. But as the pregnancy progressed I noticed how hard it was to breathe. If I walked the block to the church house I was so out of breath I couldn’t conduct the meeting. But I was worried I couldn’t get any help from the doctors and I couldn’t pray. If I prayed for help the voice would say, “Do you want Belva to die?”
On the 15 of January 1934 Yovonne was born. She was born in Dayton at our family home. The birth was not difficult but I was very weak. It seemed each breath could be my last. My sister Priscilla was with me and I appreciated her being there and giving me the courage to hold on. If the birth was not severe the hemorrhage was. I doubt any blood was left in my body.
The baby was weak and it was very difficult to get her to take food. She would roll her little tongue back and suck it rather that nurse. My oldest sister Myrtle was with me and she would take the baby by the heels, hold her up and spank her real hard. This would shock her enough she would take food. But Myrtle had to leave 2 days before I was out of bed. I had an excellent hired girl, Alta Jones, but she was afraid to handle the baby. So the chore of getting her to eat fell on me and I was too weak to make the struggle.
One Sunday afternoon there was company in the room. Grandpa Archibald was there. I struggled 2 hours trying to get food down the baby. I was exhausted. Again in the night this struggle had to be repeated. It was too much for my weakened condition. When I woke the next morning I was unable to swallow. And even if I wanted to take liquid I had to take it through a straw, place it against my cheek and let it trickle down my throat. I have had a swallowing problem ever since.
With the doctors verdict that there was nothing wrong with me but my nerves I started to try and struggle back to normal. I was too nervous to have a hired girl around so I tried to make my way alone.
The first week in April I had news of the death of a lady in the town of my youth, who supposedly died of a nervous breakdown. The news came early in the morning. I tried hard to not let the news affect me. But by one o’clock I could feel the weakness flooding over me. So I checked the baby to see that she was all right and then lay down on the bed. The wall at the foot of the bed was plain and on it appeared this scene. Belva and I were standing in a pool of water both of us dressed in white. On the bank was a silver rod fastened to a black base. Nearby stood a man dressed in a navy blue suit, double breasted. His hair was medium brown combed straight back from his face. He stood with arms folded and feet apart. He had a rather insolent smile on his face. He had come for one of us and he didn’t care which one.
The bottom of the pond was slick and I could feel myself slipping down so I reached out and grasped the rod. At rest the rod extended north and south but as soon as I touched it one end twined west toward me and the other turned east so Belva couldn’t reach it and she commenced to sink. I dropped it so she could reach it and I commenced to sink. She dropped it and I grabbed it. I dropped it and she grabbed it. This went faster and faster. Neither wanted to live at the expense of the other. The scene was so horrible I had to cover my eyes to shut it out. No I was not asleep. I was wide awake. The concern of each of us was the thought of leaving our children. This took place Tuesday or Wednesday and Belva died on Friday.
I started to feel a little better after this but I did not gain back my natural strength and I suffered severe choking spells. Often they were so bad I would think my family would return from school and find me gone. But luck was on my side. As Yovonne grew old enough [to] toddle around the room and the choking spells came on I would hurriedly tie her go a bed post hoping to keep her safe until the family returned.
I was vice captain of the Daughters of the Pioneers. Nancy Jones was captain. When Yovonne [was] 2 months under 2 years, I was going to one of the Pioneer meetings at the home of Mrs. Jones. It would be about 3 blocks away. I had the baby in a cart and had traveled about 1/2 the distance when a terrible pain struck my heart. I stopped and wondered what I should do, should I go on or go back. If I went back and got worse I would be alone. If I went on I would be with others. So I went on. As luck would have it, LeRoy seemed to know where I was and came in the car to pick me up. I told him about the terrible pain and insisted we go to the doctor that night. This time we went to Allen, and when he saw me he said, “Why Susie your half dead. What is the matter?”
After making an examination he said, “I’m sure it is your goiter.” This was in November. I wanted to wait until after Thanksgiving and Christmas, so I could be with my family during the holidays before going through the operation. He said, “You will have that out before Thanksgiving or you won’t be with your family.” He set a date for me to come in and be tested on a machine which was to register how toxic the goiter was.
I took this examination and my goiter tested very light. So he said we will build you up to be much stronger and then operate. He gave me a builder called Jecklyn. A table spoonful was supposed to have as much food value as a good meal. I felt better for about 2 weeks then I could feel my self failing. I pled with them to operate but Allen just laughed, “Its just your nerves. When you feel as good as you did when you worked in our office we will operate.” But I continued to feel more and more miserable. In January Allen went on a 3 week vacation and my heart went all to pieces. I could stand in the living room, look through the kitchen into a mirror in the bedroom and see the pulse in my neck beat like a hammer. The medicine they gave me not only fed me it fed the goiter. I could not eat anything. I could only take two or three sips of milk now and then.
By the time Allen returned I was angry. “Do you have any idea what you are doctoring?” I asked.
“Yes,” was the reply. “If I was blind I could tell you now and we have left it 3 months too late.” That told me he didn’t have any hopes of saving me. He had worked with me on other cases when I was President of the Relief Society, wanting me to persuade other women to get their goiter taken care of. He said then 3 months decides whether we can save them or not.
I had not told anyone about the voices or my experience of seeing Belva’s and my struggle for life. But on attending Stake Conference and hearing Apostle Reed Smoot tell of a similar experience I felt a little more confidence in the experience. So I related it to my husband and Mother. I said, “I know the doctor doesn’t think he can save me but if you will use your faith and prayers and the power of the Priesthood I will come through. Belva has gone.”
Yovonne was [a] delicate child. I was too ill to give her the care she needed and I could not trust her to the care of a hired girl. She had pneumonia while I was so ill and Azuba came and helped me take care of her. When it came time for me to go to the hospital, Edgar and Azuba took her and kept her for the winter.
I was taken to the hospital to be prepared for the operation. I was there 3 days. They brought me lovely trays of food but the milk was cold and I dared not take solid food so it went back never touched. Nurses would come and want to bring me an egg nog but it was cold and I dared not touch it. I told the doctor I would drink it if it were warm. “Don’t you dare drink an egg nog. Your heart is already gone if you upset your kidneys we will have nothing to work with.” So for 3 days I had nothing to eat.
The day of the operation came. It was just a local anesthetic so I knew all that was going on. I asked them to keep the instruments off my throat as they choked me. I didn’t feel any pain except a slight twinge when they cut the gland. I heard the doctor say as he held the gland up, “Imagine trying to build a woman up with that in her.” My brother Edgar watched the operation so I asked him later what it was like. He said there were two green ulcers and it was decayed in one place. It was the left gland he took and I heard the doctor say, this other gland appears healthy I see no use to take that.
The next morning when the doctor called to see me he asked how I felt. I said I feel pretty good but it is hard to talk. He said you should not be able to talk at all. It must be the Jecklyn we gave you.
I spent 5 days in the hospital and then went home. Before I left the doctor told me the gland was so poisonous they had to cut much closer to the nerve center than was good so you will likely have to take thyroid the rest of your life (I never did take it) and we still left enough poison tissue that you will take heart attacks.
My Mother was with me and her ability as a nurse and her sympathetic understanding was the only thing that brought me through. Yet she and my husband often became very depressed as the sick spells kept recurring. The doctor kept telling them it was caused by my nerves and they thought I was dissatisfied with how they were handling things. I reprimanded the doctor saying, “If you don’t quit telling them this is my nerves you and I are going to have trouble.”
“Well don’t they know it is nerves you have no more control over that you have over the sun.”
These sick spells would come on about every hour and their severity would depend on the amount of physical activity I was doing. But if I could lay quiet they would soon pass over. My ****** expression showed the strain and if my husband or Mother noticed it and made a fuss it would almost throw me into convulsions. As months passed on they became farther apart. My operation took place in the month of February.
In October my husband LeRoy drove my Mother to Logan to take some things to my sister Aldora and to pick up my daughter Yovonne, who had been staying with Aldora. On leaving Logan there was a two car collision. Mother was thrown from the car. What injury was sustained we do not know. The doctor we called seemed very uninterested in the case and she passed away a few hours later.
Now I was left alone to try and guide the family and care for myself and baby but somehow we survived.
The school trustees decided to change teachers but said nothing to the teachers concerned. They didn’t know they were being replaced until the 1st of September when the new teachers moved in. This was too late to find a new position. Finally the county Superintendent called LeRoy and told him Geneva ____ was looking for a teacher. He applied and got the job. But this was way out in a rural area which was usually snow bound part of the school year. My health was still too poor to risk taking me to this location. I needed to get to my doctor quite often. LeRoy didn’t dare leave me alone in Dayton so he decided to move me to Logan where I would be near my sister Aldora and where Leroy our son could attend college.
This move to a strange place was very hard on me and now I was left with the care of a family. Three persons were my standbys in this situation. Leroy my son who I could absolutely depend on, Nelda who took me each night on my mile walk to strengthen my heart and my sister Aldora who called every day. But it still was very difficult.
Just a week before Christmas I took my last severe heart spell. I felt it coming on and lay down on a bench near the stove and then realizing it would be severe moved to a cot in the kitchen. It was 1:30 P.M. and I knew I could depend that Leroy would come in at 2 P.M. I could always depend on it. My home teacher a 90 year old man knocked on the front door and getting no answer came around to the kitchen door which was half glass. Every one said I looked terrible when these sick spells occurred and he seeing me prostrate on the bed and this expression on my face came right in, rubbed my hands and patted my face until I started to revive.
Leroy came in at 2 o’clock and he said, “Don’t leave your mother alone until after Christmas vacation. Maybe she will be better by then.” That was the last of these heart spells.
We had to get along on a very little money and we had a 50¢ Christmas. This story is told elsewhere.
LeRoy’s school was over the last of April and he wanted to move back to our small farm in Dayton, Idaho. Leroy’s school would not be over until the last of May. So it was decided to leave him in Logan to finish and the rest of us moved back to Dayton. In the summer of 1938 (June 16th) Yovonne had a ruptured appendix with complications of brights disease and abscessed mumps. She lingered between life and death for six weeks before we were able to take her home, and spent several years in delicate health after that.
That fall LeRoy got a teaching position in Winder, Idaho and taught there 2 years. Our son Leroy didn’t return to college but found work in the J.C. Penney store. The first of 1941 he was called on a mission to the Northeastern States.
In the fall of 1940 LeRoy was again asked to be principal of the Dayton elementary school and Agnes Price, Relief Society President, asked me to be her secretary. The village board called and offered me the position of village treasurer. The wage was then $10 a month but was soon raised to $15.
We bought a home from the “Home Owner Loan” a block north of our old home. Now World War II was on and everyone was going to work in the war plants. LeRoy spent all his vacation time at this and LuDean spent 1 year. In the summer of 1944 LeRoy went to California and worked in the ship yards at Sausalito near San Francisco. When he decided to go again in 1945 the girls and I decided to go with him. We had quite a time getting his consent but we were determined. LeRoy, LuDean, Nelda and I each got a job and by pooling our wages plus my inheritance from my Mother we were able to clear up all our old debts and pay for our new home in full.
We returned for school in the fall of 1945. School had only been in session 2 or 3 weeks when the 1st grade teacher dropped dead of a heart attack right in the school room. The teacher of 3 and 4th grades was made 1st grade teacher and I was asked to fill her position. I taught here until 1956, when it was decided to abandon the Dayton school and take part of the grade children to Clifton and part to Weston. LeRoy went to Clifton and I went to Weston.
I was now asked to be a counselor in the Stake Relief Society. Grace Gamble was President. I was first counselor, ____ Hymas was second and Ann Davis was secretary. I held this position for 4 years.
In the spring of 1961 Don Dalley, our bishop in Dayton, asked us to go on a mission. LeRoy had retired from teaching but I had not. I didn’t want to leave. I felt our family needed us but I had been taught never to refuse a call from the Priesthood. So we started on our journey east on the 1st of November 1961. We were assigned to Rutland Vermont and labored there until the 1st of April 1962 when we were transferred to the birth place of the Prophet Joseph Smith in South Royalton Vermont. This was a glorious experience. One of the most outstanding experiences of our life. We entertained a number of the General Authorities as well as the mission presidency, Elaine Cannon, the Three D’s [a popular singing group] and others.
We were able to explain the gospel to many tourists. One compliment we received from an elder laboring around the Great Lakes was “If they have been to the Joseph Smith Memorial we can talk to them.”
We stayed here until late in November 1964. That made our mission a little over 3 years.
We came home and spent quite a bit of the winter with Nelda in Pocatello, Idaho. Ivan, her son, had developed eye trouble which interfered with his school work and threatened blindness. Through the power of the Priesthood his sight was restored and we were able to help him through his grade at school.
LeRoy was asked to be a Temple officiator in 1956 but was supposed to be released when we left for our mission. This did not happen so when we started going to the [Logan] Temple again he was asked to take up his old duties. I was asked to join him as an officiator in the spring of 1965. For 3 years we traveled from Dayton and then in 1968 we bought a home in Logan. We continued working as officiators until the fall of 1974.
Soon after this LeRoy’s health began to fail. Late in November he began to have pain at night. This progressed rapidly until early 1975 when cancer was finally diagnosed and its progress was very rapid. He died in February 1975.
Since then I have maintained my home in Logan, usually spending the [winter] with some of my children. Kristine and Gary [LuDean’s children] spent a few years with me while attending college. And after nine years life still goes on.
Susan Alder Archibald
Contributor: BarbaraLeishman Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago
Susan A. Archibald’s
History of her Family
My name is Susan Jensen Alder (Archibald). I am the fourth daughter and the seventh child born to my parents, Alfred William and Sarah Christina Jensen Alder. I was born in a home built on a 160-acre farm two miles east of Preston (now) Franklin County, Idaho. I was born on the 20th day of July 1897. During my early childhood I played around this home with my brothers, sisters and visiting cousins.
I attended grammar school in a one-room school house located close to our home. They only taught seven grades in this school. However, when I had completed my seventh grade, my father became very ill and it was necessary for me to live with relatives in Preston while my mother took him to Salt Lake City for treatment. It was thought that as I was coming from such a small school and entering a much larger better-graded school that it would be wise for me to spend one half the year in the seventh grade then pass into the eighth for the second half. I knew the seventh grade material well. I never had to open a book. But the promotion at mid-year never took place. So one year of schooling was lost. My eighth grade I attended the Whitney School. This was possible because the south 80 acres of our farm was in the Whitney District.
After graduating from the eighth grade, I went to the Oneida Stake Academy for my high school education. This was an LDS school at the time. The Church had built and supported many such schools here in the West in order to assure educational opportunities for their youth. Later these schools were deeded to the pubic school system.
I started working at the office of Dr. Allen R. Cutler Sr. after my first year at high school. The next year, the frost took most of the crops on the farm. My brother, Alfred, was on a mission so the family asked me to continue working to help out with the added expense of supporting a missionary.
The next year I started back to school again but continued to work for Dr. Cutler after school and on Saturdays. I completed high school graduating in the spring of 1917.
That summer I attended summer school at Albion, Idaho, and obtained a teacher's certificate. In the fall I was offered a position teaching the third and fourth grades in the Dayton Elementary School and I accepted. I roomed with my co-teacher at the home of Sister Phillips. Here I met LeRoy Archibald whom I would later marry. He was a member of the bishopric at the time and had just recently filled a mission to the Southern States under President Samuel 0. Bennion. We would have been married in the spring of 1918 but he was drafted and served in the 145th Field Artillery in World War I. Our marriage was postponed for one year. The next year I taught in the Preston Eastside District. This was the year of the terrible flu epidemic that killed many.
LeRoy returned from the army in January 1919 and we were married on the 5th of June 1919. Our home was a one-room log cabin.
Leroy, our oldest child and only son, was born the 26th of February 1920. He was only eight months old when they came and ask me to take a position in the Dayton Grade School. The school was overcrowded and they needed an extra teacher. We were very happy for the opportunity as a severe depression was on and LeRoy was unable to find work. I continued to teach for four years.
LeRoy regretted the fact that he had never completed his education and was determined to do so. I took him through the 7th and 8th grade material and he took the state examinations and then entered high school. Most of his high school was taken while I was teaching. He completed the four-year course in three years and graduated while I was in bed with LuDean. She was born the 21 May 1925. We were still in our one-room log cabin.
That fall LeRoy attended college at Pocatello, Idaho. Here is where LuDean lost her hand. After one year at Pocatello, LeRoy was offered a position at Mapleton, Idaho. He taught here two years 1926-7 and 1927-28.
Nelda, our second daughter, was born 22nd of April 1927. School was just out and we didn't quite get moved home so she was born at her Aunt Myrtle Dixon's home in Preston, Idaho.
The Dayton trustees had ask LeRoy to be the principal of the Dayton Grade School so we moved back home to stay. The Bishop, George Griffeth, asked me to be President of the Relief Society which position I held for four years. Then my health became so poor I had to ask for a release (1928-33)
Our third daughter, Janeen, was born the 21 of February 1931. She seemed to be a very healthy baby at birth but something struck the baby and myself on the 8th day. I recovered but she never did. The doctors were unable to help her and she passed away at eleven months.
Our last child, Yovonne, was born the 15th of January 1934. My health became quite poor before her birth and became very poor after. The doctors finally decided I had a goiter and I was operated on in 1936 but I was a semi-invalid for about ten years. But by the summer of 1945 I had recovered enough to accompany LeRoy and my family to California and work in the war plants. This was during World War II. When we returned to Dayton that fall one of the teachers died suddenly and I was asked to fill her place. I continued to teach until 1961.
LeRoy was released from the bishopric when he went to school in Pocatello. After his return he was made a high councilman. He was Superintendent of the Westside School for one year and continued in the grade schools until 1958 when he retired. The family continued in education until we all completed college. LeRoy his 5th year and Susan almost.
In 1956 LeRoy was called to officiate in the Logan Temple and in the fall of 1961 we were called on a mission to the New England States. From November to April 1st we spent in Rutland and from then until November 1964 we spent at the birthplace of the Prophet Joseph Smith at South Royalton, Vermont.
After our return LeRoy again became an officiator at the temple and I joined him as an officiator in the spring of 1965. We continued in this capacity until the fall of 1974. LeRoy's health had commenced to fail by this time and by the 9th of February 1975 he passed away.
I have always been active in temple work and genealogy and church work. Some of the positions I have held are: Relief Society Treasurer, Primary Secretary, a teacher in all the organizations, counselor in MIA, ward Relief Society President, and a counselor in the Stake Relief Society.
Our son, Leroy started school in Mapleton. He learned readily and could read before he started school. They gave him a special promotion without telling us anything about it. So at the end of the two years in Mapleton he was assigned to the fourth grade. He finished his grade school in Dayton. He started carrying a newspaper route at eleven and was able to support himself from this income. He was very talented - had a beautiful singing voice, had a good understanding of music and was good in speaking and writing. Three years of his high school was taken in Preston and the fourth year in Weston.
He worked in the Preston J. C. Penny Store as an extra and was well liked there. In 1941 he was called on a mission to the North Eastern states. On his return he married Eda Alene Hansen. She had one child, Edwin Leroy, and then they were divorced. He came back to Dayton and taught two years in the grade school.
He then married Ardell Griffeth. To them were born nine children: Leron G, Rodney Kay, Rozetta, Lynette, Sandra, Ilona, Alden G., Kayelene and Renita.
He has filled many positions in the Church. He worked in the Seventies as one of the presidents for many years. John Longden when setting him apart said tens of thousands would enjoy the blessings of the Gospel because of his work. He was a counselor to the bishop when they remodeled their church and now is an officiator in the Salt Lake Temple.
Two of his children have filled missions. Rozetta was in Australia. Alden was in England.
LuDean received her grade school education in Dayton and her high school in Preston. She worked in the war plants in Ogden for one year. Then she came to Logan and took some college work. In the summer of 1945 when the family went to California she and Nelda worked at the Presidio for the summer. She then went on a mission to Mexico while her boy friend, Vance Campbell, went to the South Eastern States. When they returned from their missions they were married. They have five children: Kathy Mabel, Susan Kay, Karen, Kristine, and Gary Vance. Kristine filled a mission in France.
LuDean has been a counselor in the Relief Society presidency twice and has been a Relief Society President. She has also served on the MIA Stake board as Beehive Leader and secretary. She has served as a member of the Stake Primary Board, as ward president, and teacher. At present she is serving on the Stake Relief Society Board.
Nelda received her elementary education in Dayton and her high school in Preston. She was valedictorian from her eighth-grade graduating class. Her special talent is art. She was married to Leo D. Page and they are the parents of ten children: Leo Kent, Gregg A., Fawn, Ivan A., Janeen, Jacqueline, Todd A., Teressa, Bradley A., and Traci. Fawn, Todd, and Bradley passed away as infants. They have lived in New Mexico, Texas, Idaho and Arizona. Three of the boys have filled missions: Kent in Canada, Gregg in Italy, and Ivan in Australia.
Nelda has been a ward Relief Society president twice, a counselor in a ward presidency, and a stake Relief Society president. She has been a teacher in all the organizations and a counselor in the Primary organization.
Yovonne received her elementary education and high school education in Dayton. She attended college at Utah State University at Logan. There she met Lane R. Pendleton. She graduated in the spring of 1956 and she and Lane were married the 6 of September 1956. They have always made their home in California. They have four children, Jannette Susan, Judith Yovonne (married Scott Catherall), Michael Lane, and Jolene Marie.
Music has always been her special interest. She has always held positions in this field in the stake and ward. She was on the Relief Society stake Board and is currently a counselor in the ward Relief Society.
All the family has completed a college education [at Utah State University]: LeRoy, Leroy, LuDean, Nelda, and Leo in 1950. Susan and Vance 1952, Yovonne and Lane 1956.