Memoirs of Guy Wimmer Hill
Contributor: trishkovach Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago
Some of the events in the life of Guy Wimmer Hill. Born Apr. 7, 1891 at Lawrence, Emery County, Utah.
Father - Robert Wimmer Hill - born May 15, 1858 at Springville, Utah Co., Utah - his father was Alexander Bryce Hill - born Sept. 20, 1834, Toronto, Upper Canada. His mother was Eliza Jane Wimmer-born Jan. 25, 1841-Mt. Hope, Adams Co. Illinois.
Mother - Rachel Lucinda Elmer Hill - born September 17, 1858 - Payson, Utah County, Utah - her father was Lucius Boardman Elmer - born June 12, 1833, Underhill, Chittenden County, Vermont. Her mother was Mary Elizabeth Loveless, born Aug. 1, 1837, Caldwell, Missouri.
I was blessed 4 June 1891 by Calvin W. Moor. On 5 December 1910 I was ordained to the office of a Teacher by Bishop C. M. Miller and on 23 March 1912 as an Elder by John P. Person.
Baptized August 27, 1899 at Lawrence, Emery County, Utah by Ole W. Tuft. Confirmed member of Church August 27, 1899 by Calvin W. Moore.
My schooling was commenced at Lawrence and continued through the 7th Grade. In the fall of 1905 my brother Elmer (2 yrs. older) and I started in the 8th Grade at the Emery Stake Academy in Castle Dale, Emery County, Utah. My Sister Lyle moved with us to Castle Dale and also attended School at the Academy and kept house for us where we lived in the top of the old Emery County Bank Building.
We hadn't gone to school very long before I became ill and wound up with a pretty bad case of "Typhoid Fever" and had to go home to my Mother for about six weeks.
My Sister Lyle and her Sweetheart Earl Day had set a wedding date for Dec. 21, 1905 and went to Salt Lake City and got married so that ended that living arrangement for us.
After the Christmas Holidays we secured a house in the south side of town from some people by name of Knutson and our Mother moved with us to Castle Dale to keep house for us so we could finish the school term. However we didn't get to stay through the term as the Knutson, who had moved to one of the Coal Camps for winter work had to move back home. We couldn't find another suitable place to live so had to go back home. It was too far to drive with a team of horses and buckboard over the kind of roads we had to travel, especially in the spring of year. I was very disappointed.
From then on it was hit and miss on going to School. The next winter we attended grade school at Huntington three miles north. We lived with my sister Ivy and her husband Ruben Brasher-they owned and operated the "Brasher Hotel" at Huntington. We had it very nice there and were doing well in school but for some reason we had to quit before the school term was finished so didn't get out of the 8th grade that year.
The next two years I didn't get much schooling-that is inside of a "School Room" but I was learning and managed to get a month or two in the middle of the winter there at our home school. Finally in the fall of 1909 I told my Mother that I was going to see if I could get a job working away from home and try to earn enough money to buy me some suitable clothes and to help pay my board and room as I wanted to go back to the Emery Stake Academy after the Christmas holidays and try to finish the 8th Grade and graduate. I knew I could if I could get back in school.
I got a job working for a company that was putting the railroad into a coal mine in "Cedar Creek Canyon" about 15 miles north of Huntington and Lawrence.
They had hired a man by the name of William Howard to set up and operate a Saw Mill and were hiring men and teams to get timber to the Mill and operate it.
I worked there until Christmas and earned enough money to get me back in school and finally accomplish the thing I had wanted for so long. I bought me some school clothes and a beautiful suit, hat, and shoes (a pretty green with black stripe and hat to match and black "Patent Leather" shoes with green (buttoned) top (stylish). Had some money left for books, etc. for the class room and a few dance tickets.
We didn't spend much money for Amusements-25¢ to 50¢ for a Dance ticket. Academy Students were limited to one Public Dance per month besides our school dances. No moving Picture shows, about once a year a "Traveling Troupe" would corm through the country and present a play at the "Theater"- usually a melodrama with very good talent and acting. We were very fortunate to get to attend something like that out in the small towns so far from the railroad.
At this point I think I should admit that now I think there was another impelling reason why I wanted to go back to Castle Dale to School.
While I was going to the Academy the first time-the winter of 1905-1906-I saw and became slightly acquainted with a pretty little brown-eyed, brown haired girl through going to her home with her twin Brothers, Orange and Henning Olsen, who were very good friends of Elmer and I, especially Henning. I thought she was real cute and sweet but that was as far as it went then - two years made a lot of difference at that age.
I didn't see her again, after we quit school that next spring, for a year or two and when I did I was really surprised at how much she had grown up and was becoming a very beautiful and attractive young lady. I guess that is when that other force began to impel me - anyway I began to face more to the south with my thoughts and when I could get away on Sunday afternoon or maybe to a dance I would saddle my favorite horse and head for Castle Dale in the hopes that I would get to see that brown-eyed girl. Of course, that wasn't the only reason as I knew several of the boys at Castle Dale and had some very good friends there which gave me an excuse. Finally one sunny Sunday afternoon in my 18th summer I decided I would make an attempt to get better acquainted with a certain young lady so I hitched a fine team of horses to our one seated Studebaker Blacktop Buggy and headed for Castle Dale in hopes that I would be able to take her for a little "spin". Well I did get to take her for a ride but not alone as I ran into one of my boy friends (Ray Smith) before spotting her and her cousin (Dennie Larsen) coming down the sidewalk.
We took them for a little ride and I was happy to have her in the buggy with me.
I didn't see her again until in October when I went to Castle Dale to her brother Orange's farewell dance - he was going on a mission to Germany. I danced with her that night and then I knew that I just had to get back to Castle Dale to school at the Academy after the Christmas Holidays for the 2nd semester.
During this period of time (about a year or two) I had a "sweetheart" in Lawrence. A nice girl, who lived on the same block as I did. Our two houses were the only ones on this large block with a fence between.
These two homes occupied the north half of the block and our home place (about 200 acre farm) joined the Lawrence Townsite on the south and included the south side of this block.
This girl was Maria Brinkerhoff and I saw her a lot, about every day I guess and occasionally at night, mostly at her home and took her to the dances (which was the only source of amusement we had outside of the home). We became very close friends and I think everybody in town knew she was my girl.
Things could have and probably would have gotten serious with us if it hadn't of been for the fact that a certain brown eyed, brown haired girl in Castle Dale had "filed a claim" on my heart (unknowingly I think).
Now to get back to the subject of school. Having decided that I could go back to school I took my mother to Castle Dale during the Christmas Holidays to find a place for me to live. We were very fortunate in finding a place for me at the home of one of the Professors, Brother T. W. Dyches and his wife Edith and their 5 yr. old son Ronald. There were four of us who boarded and roomed there, Milo Dyches (a brother to T. W.), John Powell, Edgar Alger and myself. They were very fine people and we were a happy family.
I really enjoyed my new home with my new friends and all the fine boys and girls, men and women, professors and teachers who I met in school. I think I can say that was the happiest five months of my life.
I really enjoyed my school work and did very well. I had a pretty close competitor in that certain brown eyed, brown haired girl who I saw every day now (in the class room). In fact we were about a tie in some of the subjects especially History in which we both excelled, being the only ones in the class to nearly always get a l00% mark. Professor Archer Willey would sometimes wonder (out loud) if we were studying History together, and then he would add that it might be a good idea for the girls to all study with Wimmer and the boys with Hazel. Oops! I almost told you who that certain girl was, but don't jump at conclusions as there were two Hazels in Castle Dale who answered that description.
Professor G. F. Hickman, a fine handsome man was Principle at the Emery Stake Academy and some of the teachers were Archer Willey Thomas W. Dyches, Rex Miller, Miss Wolf and Miss Palmer (Matron at the Academy). Gaurd Jewkes taught for a short while that term.
This being a Church school we were under pretty strict discipline in school, and in our activities at home and in public.
We had to be home by 8 P.M. week nights and 10 P.M, Sunday night. All Dances closed at 12 o'clock sharp.
I didn't consider this discipline as being too harsh. After all what were we there for? An education, which we couldn't get if we were out every night of the week wasting our time.
Not much time had passed by before the opportunity came that I had been hoping for (to walk this certain girl home at night).
It was one Sunday night after the Sunday night meeting-The Faculty and Students of the Academy conducted a Church or spiritual meeting each Sunday night open to the Public-all students were supposed to attend. This lasted from 8 to 9 p.m.
A group of the young folks went from the meeting over the street by Jim Petersons to have some fun "coasting" down the hill on Sleighs (coasters) as the water had overflowed out of a ditch on top of the bench (hill) add spread over the ground down the street and froze, making a fine coasting place.
Milo and I were together, but had decided to go home. We had gone about a block when we heard tie shouts and laughter coming from the 'coasting hill", well that changed our minds and we headed in that direction. Just as we reached the foot of the hill here came a sleigh zooming down the hill. It was a beautiful moonlight night and as the sleigh approached and I saw that happy laughing girl it seemed that she was coming right to me. When the sleigh came to a stop I was the first one to her to offer to carry the sleigh back up the hill. We started back up the hill but hadn't gone far when this certain girl decided that she didn't want to coast any more but thought she had better go home. The moment had finally come that I had been waiting and hoping for. I walked her home and held her hand on the way. She told me later that she had turned one boy down that evening as she had the feeling that somehow we would get together.
I had some pretty tough competition to overcome as she was a very popular girl.
She had a boy friend living in Castle Dale who seemed to have the inside track and was pretty well accepted by everybody as being her sweetheart. LaVern Aukland was a handsome chap about my age and size.
I knew that I just had to get a date with her but that wasn't easy as she played a "hard to get" game. I remember once when I tried to get a date for a dance that was coming up-she seemed to sense it and wouldn't give me a chance to talk to her alone at school so I wrote a note which I managed to give her -the answer I got, also by note, was amusing but still it hurt me a little-her note said "No thank you, I have other fish to fry".
I guessed that she had a date for the dance with someone else. The night for the dance came but this "certain girl" didn't appear. We had a lot of fun and not to be out done I took Dora Hitchcock, a pretty girl from Ferron, home. That is when I found out that there was another handsome young man in the life of my "certain girl" who failed to show up that night-so of course she couldn't go to the dance alone.
Harold Hansen's (a boy from Ferron) time was harder to beat than that of the home talent.
I finally got a date with her not long after that to see the "Traveling Troupe" present a play on the Stage at the School House there in Castle Dale.
I had secured Reserved seat tickets up near the "front" and when we arrived to occupy them there were a lot of surprised glances and whisperings when the town folks saw her with a stranger.
I didn't establish a claim on her at that time but at least I had given notice that I was staking one.
That was the beginning of a lot of happy, glorious times together, this pretty brown eyed, brown haired girl was everything I wanted-pure, sweet, loving, intelligent-well everything.
Of course things didn't go smoothly all the time, but I really enjoyed my school work and activities and the end of the term came all too quickly and commencement week arrived when each class had a night to present their Program which they, with the help of their teachers, had arranged and prepared. What a glorious time that was-we received our Diplomas and goodbyes were said to Sweethearts and good true friends, boys and girls and teachers some of whom we would never see again.
It was a happy time yet a sad one and I have often wished that I could see some of them that I have never seen since and never will in this life.
I wanted to continue my education so went back that next fall and enrolled in the Academy (a new Building had been erected on the bench north) overlooking Castle Dale and giving a good view of the Valley.
I got into a good home for board and room, the Sam Bunnells, they were old friends of ours as they had lived neighbors to us in Lawrence when I was born and until they had moved to Castle Dale just a few years prior to this. I attended school for 1 month that fall and then things happened over which I had no control and I had to quit and go home and assume responsibilities there. That was the end of my scholastic education.
A very dear friend, Tomy Timothy, of Welch decent was rooming with me at the Bunnell home. His home was at Cleveland, a town about 7 miles northeast of Lawrence.
When we parted as I was leaving to go home, I said, "Tom, I want you to take care of my girl." His answer was "that I will do." You see I had established a claim on that brown-eyed girl, a special girl now, during the summer and I knew I could trust Tom to guard it for me. He was a good sort and did the job as far as he could with never a thought of cutting in on me. A true friend whom I have never seen since I left Castle Valley.
I want to pay tribute to my Dear Mother for all that she did to help me get what schooling I did get. She was always saving a little here and there, from her egg or butter money or any other source where she could save and we boys could always depend on her to help us out with a dance ticket or for something that we really needed.
The earliest remembrance that I have as a child was when I was just 3 or 4 years old. My Father took our family to Price, thirty three miles to the north and the nearest Railroad town to see a grand "Circus". I can still see the Shetland Ponies running around the ring and little monkeys leaping up onto their backs and off again and the awful suspense as the man laid down on the ground and the Huge Elephant stepped over him.
Another event which happened perhaps 3 or 4 years later when we were returning home from Payson, over the mountain in Utah County. My father had taken our family over there to visit Grandpa and Grandma Elmer and other relatives. My Father grew up from babyhood in Payson having been raised by his Grandfather Robert Wimmer. This is where Mother and Father were married. That visit was a great event in my life.
We traveled in a covered wagon and I can remember as we were going down Huntington Canyon we came to a place where a storm had washed the road out, the dirt and rocks had slid into the "Creek" so we were delayed for some time. The memory that stands out most vividly from this event is of the beautiful "Stallion" that was tied to the back of the wagon. Father had acquired him while on this trip and was taking him to Castle Valley for breeding purposes.
My Father was a "Pioneer" into Castle Valley (Emery Co.) nick-named "Castle Valley" because of the many Castle like formations in and surrounding the Valley, and he did a great deal towards improving the livestock in the Valley, especially Cattle and Horses. Cattle was more of an individual project but with horses it was more of a community project. A group of men would get together, men from Huntington and Lawrence usually worked together, and organized for the purpose of purchasing, imported Stallions such as the "Clydesdale" and "Shire" from England, the "Percheron" from France and the "Belgian" from Belgium. These were all “draft" (heavy work) breeds. Other breeds that would produce a good driving and saddle horses were also brought into the Valley.
I had many interesting things happen in my younger life-pleasure, accidents, and sickness. An accident that happened when I was a baby, and nearly took my life was when one day a group of ladies came to our home to quilt or something, anyway I was asleep on the bed with a blanket or quilt over me. Not knowing that I was there somebody put some quilts on top of me and coats and wraps were added.
A while later when Mother or one of the girls went in to check on me they thought I was dead when they got me out-they said I had turned a purplish black color and they couldn’t tell if I was breathing or not. I don't know what they did to revive me.
A few months before this accident happened when I was about 10 days old, my Mother had a tragic thing happen to her which almost took her life and impaired her health and activities for the rest of her life. She had washed some clothes and hung them out on the line to dry. Later on when the clothes were about dry some clouds came up so Mother hurried out to get them in. It started sprinkling and Mother got a little "damp" from the rain. Having just gone through the ordeal of childbirth it caused her to have a "set back" and she suffered a "Paralytic stroke" in her right side.
She never did recover fully from this ordeal. She had to learn to walk and do everything all over again but was never as efficient with her right hand as before.
She was a wonderful mother-so gentle and kind. I can see her now, when at bed time she would go into her bed room and sit down on the chair there by her bed and we children would kneel down by her and say her prayers.
My Mother had a sweet voice and she would often sing the old songs to us-each song told a story.
Our home was one of the first to have an "organ" in Lawrence and I can remember how the boys and girls grownups who liked music and singing would gather there. Especially on Sunday night. Our home was always open to our friends and neighbors and no one was ever turned away-even the stranger was taken in and given food and lodging.
I remember one time while we were still living in our old home a man came to our place and wanted to stay overnight. He had a white "Burro" ("Donkey"). He stayed with us about a week and won quite a lot of money from the Cowboys and "Bronc" Riders from the towns around the Valley who wanted to try their luck at riding "Tommie" the white "Burro". They could mount him bareback, with a "sursingle", or with a saddle, but his head had to be left free-no bridle, hackamore or rope or anything else could be used on his head. Well a lot of them tried him - men who had never been thrown from a horse, but no one ever could stick him.
The funny thing about him was that with a bridle on or even with a rope around his neck anyone could ride him.
My brothers and I fell in love with that Burro and were wishing that we could buy him from that man but didn't think he would part with him. Finally he decided to move on and that morning as he was getting ready to leave, we were all making a fuss over Tommie and petting him, my brother Mel got up courage enough to ask the man if he would sell him and he said "oh I might for the right price". Mel asked how much and he, thinking to pass the matter by lightly said "oh about a dollar". He hadn't anymore than got the words out of his mouth than Mel was gone to hunt Father up and talked him out of a dollar and hurried back to the man.
Although he had meant it as a joke, he said "I am a man of my word" so we had old Tommie for our very own and what a lot of fun and usefulness we did get out of him for a good many years to follow.
In those early days of my life the people in those far away and scattered communities depended more an home remedies and the help of the Lord though administration by those holding the Priesthood and having the proper authority in cases of sickness and accident than they did on the medical Dr. One reason, perhaps, was because doctors were few and far between and it sometimes took many hours or a day or two before they could be reached and then get to the “patient”,
I remember in our home, that when someone became very ill or was hurt very seriously some member of the family was dispatched on the run to get Bishop Moor (Calvin W.) or Brother Henry Roper – both men of great faith. There were others who could be called on but these two seemed to have a magic touch as they placed their hands on our heads and we had faith that they could heal us up from most anything.
I remember one time when I was less than 10 years old my Father and I, one morning, were getting ready to go down to the “School Section”, as we called it, a farm, owned by my Father, about 2 miles southeast of our home place. We were going to drive the cows to the pasture as we went. I had swung the big corral gate open and was walking into the corral to drive the cows out when a wild cow came running past me and jumped and kicked striking me in the side sending me head first right under the gate which was pretty close to the ground. My Father hurried to me and picked me up in his arms and carried me to the house.
I was completely “out” and I guess they were afraid I was done for. When I regained consciousness, three or four hours later, the first face I remember seeing was that of Bishop Moor as he sat by the large “crib” watching me.
So you see our faith was increased and strengthened, because we felt that these men were “men of God” who had the power to “Restore” to health the sick and injured.
I can recall many, many incidents of my “boyhood” days – such as when I was baptized in the Huntington Creek about one mile east of our home (in the “old swimming hole”) and when I came down with “Diphtheria” along in the early spring and of how my Mother and oldest sister Ivy took care of me and nursed me back to health. I was never left alone for one minute during that siege. Diphtheria was highly contagious and very deadly in those days before the antitoxin was discovered which practically did away with the disease.
Sometimes and epidemic of Diphtheria would strike a community and wipe out an entire family, especially the younger members.
We were very fortunate that none of our family got the disease from me. There was one other case in Lawrence at that time. Bert Bunnell, a boy four or five years older than I, came down about the same time.
There wasn’t much the doctors could do about it. They would come and determine that the patient had the disease, see that the proper “quarantine” was set up, give what instructions they could, from their limited knowledge, as to how to combat the disease and leave.
Then it was up to someone who had the courage to face it and the faith that they could win. There were two such people in our home who took over the task and I know saved my life, with the help of the Lord to guide them.
Then a little later on (maybe three or four years) when my Father shipped a “trainload” (nine cars) of sheep back east to Kansas City.
My Father, C. H. Taylor, a cattle Buyer from Provo, Utah who always lived at our home when he was in Emery Co. buying cattle (we always called him Uncle Charley), and Elmer and I and Oliver Roper, a young man from Lawrence who worked for us, "trailed" the sheep 60 miles to Green River where they were loaded on the Railroad cars.
This was a wonderful experience and trip. I had seen a train on two occasions before when I was younger but didn't remember much about them. There were many exciting and amusing things happened while traveling and on our stay in Kansas City. Two cars of cattle were added to our train at Thompson Springs, just before leaving the state of Utah. A Cowboy by the name of Jick Taylor was going with the cattle. He had been waiting for a few hours and had gone to the "Saloon" where he had a few drinks too many, consequently he was drunk when he boarded the "Caboose" (the car at the tail end of the train) and never sobered up again until we were nearly back to Thompson Springs on our return. He was a likeable fellow but just couldn't quit celebrating the fact that he was going on this trip. Father and Uncle Charley Taylor had to look after his business for him.
These two carloads of Cattle didn't all belong to him. Several Cattlemen had gone together and made up the shipment.
He took quite a liking of Elmer and I, especially Elmer and gave us money to spend for "Knicknacks". He wanted Elmer to go home with him, down in the Moab country. I think Elmer would have gone if Father had of consented.
Elmer and I were pretty "famous" when we got back home and had to answer a lot of questions.
We took a real live "Turtle" home with us, which was quite a novelty as none of us had ever seen one before.
The Sheep had been unloaded at a "Siding" a few miles out of Kansas City and were taken out to a large beautiful pasture on the rolling plain-luxurious grass and small streams of water with "Kaffir corn" and other crops bordering it-a beautiful sight I thought-after living among the barren hills of Castle Valley. That is where we found our little friend, the Turtle.
We didn't have it very long until one day it came up missing and we never did learn how.
One big thrill for us was at a Railroad town where our train stopped and the train crew had to do some "switching". We were let off at a small Cafe near the Depot where we could get our breakfast, about the time we were through eating, the big Locomotive came to a stop out in front of the Depot and we were informed that they were ready to go. We all climbed up onto the big Engine which was then backed down the track to our train.
An experience I had one summer was when Elmer and I were up on the Mountain (summer range for the sheep), helping with the "Docking" of the lambs, (cutting the tails off, earmaking, etc.). Father had two bands of sheep on the mountain. One was called the "dry" herd. The camp for this herd was 5 or 6 miles from the camp where we were with the Ewes and lambs. One day Elmer and I rode over to the "Dry Camp". The trail that we traveled went down through what was known as "Bear's hole" (a large patch of heavy, thick timber with spring water). The Bears would come there to "wallow" in the water and mud and hide up. On our return just as we were leaving "Bear's Hole" with Elmer on the lead, the trail made a sharp turn and there coming down the trail about 20 or 30 feet in front of us was a large Bear, at least he looked awful big to us. We were really scared for a few seconds, but I think the Bear was just as startled as we were, he reared up on his hind legs and our horses reared up and whirled, almost throwing us from the Saddles, and took down the trail. The Bear took out of the timber as fast as he could go. We had quite a time getting our horses back up the trail. When we got back to camp and told Dad and the herders about the incident-they had a big laugh and teased us some about it and soon we saw the amusing side of it.
This "Bear's Hole" area separated two Ranges or Mountains, the Gentry Mountain on the north and the McFadden Range to the south. We were camped on the Gentry Mountain.
I want to write about another experience that I had up in these same Mountains. I don't remember if it was later that year or the next year. Anyway my Father and I and Ray Smith, a friend about my age, had gone on the mountain to check on the two sheep herds and the cattle as Father had about 300 head of cattle on these same Ranges.
We had made our camp south of "Bears Hole" almost in the bottom of quite a deep hollow. As we came in one evening from the days ride we could see the "Pack Mules" in camp getting into our supplies. As we hurried down the side of the mountain, Dad’s horse stumbled, throwing him against the "Horn" of the saddle.- He was hurt quite badly but didn't complain much until about 8 or 9 o'clock when the pain inside became so bad that he screamed and moaned and rolled on the ground by the fire. Believe me we were two very scared boys. We were afraid that he couldn't possibly live through the night, suffering as he was.
We were helpless so decided to get our horses and try to go to the Sheep camp for help.
Father would not allow us to leave fearing that something might happen to us. Before morning the pain eased up some and he was able to go to bed and sleep.
From Dad's own pencil-handwritten memoirs of his early life in a tablet found in one of his closet drawers in 1971. It is assumed that he wrote this while Mother was recovering from back surgery in the L.D.S. Hospital in Idaho Falls, Idaho in December of 1961, as a letter written by his sister Ivy dated Jan. 11, 1962, regarding Mother's surgery was found in the tablet on the page following the last entry.
Copied by Wanda Hill Leseberg, Feb. 7 and 8, 1972.
In the Family History-Journal, Dad had penned the following paragraph regarding his political career as Sheriff:
I was elected Sheriff of Fremont County in the November election in 1952, beating my opponent on the Democratic ticket (John W. White) by nearly 500 Votes. He ran against me again in 1954 and lost by 30 votes (close shave). In 1956 the Democrats put Jess Butts on the ticket and I was defeated in the election on November 6th. Butts was a new man, without any experience in Law Enforcement and a cripple (one leg off below knee), which got him a big sympathy vote, especially in his home precinct, which gave him a big vote. Some of the worst cases I had to handle as Sheriff were in that Precinct (Teton).
Wanda Hill Leseberg, 2/8/72