Thurman Fordham Griffeth
Contributor: Lona Graham Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago
THURMAN FORDHAM GRIFFETH
Thurman Fordham Griffeth was born in Fairview, Oneida (now Franklin county), Idaho. He is the second child and eldest son of Lillian Blanche Fordham and Edward Thurman Griffeth. The family consisted of: Lillian, Thurman Fordham, Arden Fordham, and Douglas Fordham. Because of my red hair, I received the name of Thurman. This is a surname and is the name of my father's mother's people. The red hair came through that linage. I was born during the first snow storm of the year, 8 February 1903.
My first recollections are when I was a small boy in Dayton, Idaho. I lived in a log house with my parents and my brothers and sister. I loved my family very much. My father was and is my ideal. He is the most perfect example of self control I have ever known. My mother was sickly. She had heart trouble. One day I stepped out of the old cabin door and there on the ground, face down, lay my mother in a dead faint with the dish pan just beyond the tips of her fingers. She had gone out to throw the dish water out. I remember well the patience my father used to finally bring her around. She would faint occasionally and he would very calmly tell us children to go on playing, which we would do, and finally he would bring her to. Everyone used horses and buggies in those days and there were very few doctors and no telephones.
We had a little red (or some say yellow) shepherd dog. He had a bob tail. He was the wonderful animal I have ever known. He was so courageous, obedient, and intelligent. I don't know what my family could have ever done without him in that day and age. When chore time came each evening and morning, my father or one of my uncles would say, "Rex go get the cows." He would go and hunt the cows up, some 30 to 50 animals, and bring them home carefully on a walk. He would pass back and forth behind them once in a while nipping the heels of stragglers. When he would get the cows in the yard, while the milking operations were carrying on, he would silently tag strays around until he cut all of them out and hazed them away. The cow herd would be ready to corral by the time the milking was done.
We were poor as to this worlds goods but we were always well provided for. We never went hungry and were well clothed. The love that existed in our family was one of the sweetest things I have ever known. I look back now wonder if my early life with my parents, brothers, and sister in the log cabin wasn't just a little bit of heaven on earth.
My father and uncles all worked together with grandpa. In all my life I have never heard a word of profanity pass the lips of my father, uncles, or grandfather. My father and uncles were mighty men indeed. They were strong beyond my understanding as a young boy. When the threshing machine engine would go to whistle, one of them would tell all of us children, cousins, and all and we would make a mad rush to take hold of Dad's or one of my two uncle's legs so we wouldn't get scared out of our wits. We would hold on with all the strength we had until the engine quit whistling. We used to raise wonderful crops in those days. The land was new and the weather seemed very favorable. Grandfather's family seemed very congenial. Well do I remember Thanksgiving time at Grandfather's place. He had a big pond where all of us cousins and relatives would skate and sleigh ride. We also used to sleigh ride in bob sleds with bells jingling on the horses. We would sometimes stand on the bob sleigh runners and hold onto the wagon box which would be put onto the bob in winter.
The first time I can remember of going to Sunday School, my parents took me to the old Dayton Church in a white top buggy. I was always quite puny since I can remember. The teacher had me sit down on a slivery old bench with the rest of the kids. I believe I was about the oldest one in the class but not the biggest. Soon the teacher said to slide over and make room for someone else. A big sliver about 1 1/2" long ran into me and I was so bashful that I just said nothing until the class let out and I could get to my mother and dad. They gave me relief.
When I started to school my parents sent me and my sister, Lillian, to live with two of my aunts, who were school teachers. (Aunt Albertie and Aunt Azuba.) Several of my cousins, and Leonard, Grandpa's adopted son, also lived with us down at South Fairview. I remember Aunt Albertie became my dearest aunt during that year. Leonard showed himself to be a very kind friend also. He was older than me. Aunt Azuba was my teacher and she had a beau. She was quite cranky with us kids as we didn't keep house to suit her, and didn't behave just right in the presence of the beau. He finally became our Uncle Edgar.
Grandpa used to like to get his grandchildren around him in the old kitchen in his house, in front of the glowing coals in the old "Hot Blast" and tell us stories. The glowing embers would be the only light. It was some what like sitting by a campfire. He would get us real interested in a scary story and would all of a sudden say boo. We would just about jump out of our shoes.
Aunt Gertrude, who kept house for Grandpa, used to tell us kids to play we were going to the canyon and bring in wood for the stoves. I didn't like that very well but as I see it now, she bore a real burden with all the company they had.
We (my family) moved to Fairview when I was about 14 years old. We had a much better house and I believe it went to our heads just a little. In the new house we lived only about 1/2 mile from Grandpa's house. I remember I was delighted because I liked Grandpa and Leonard so well. Leonard was always a good friend to me.
One time one of Grandpa's friends came to visit him. His name was Cranny. I was driving the team through the field from our place to Grandpa's and Mr. Cranny was riding with me. One of the team was lazy and the other was full of life. The one horse always had to be a little bit ahead. Mr. Cranny told me I reminded him of a driver he once knew. He said the driver never would hit the slow horse because he felt it was wasted effort. He always tapped the fast horse to get more speed.
I was bright in school but my health grew increasingly worse. Together with my cousin, Eudell and most of the rest of our class, I passed both the seventh and eighth grades in one year. This put me up with my sister Lillian. Lillian got the flu and nearly died. Her hair started turning white. Our whole family had the flu very bad. Vardus Kazier, out of the kindness of his heart, took care of our chores. He was an orphan boy. He used to flirt with our nurse, Miss Beckstead. I think her name was Verena.
In my third year of High School, I got Rheumatic Fever and spent a good part of the next two or three years in bed with this disease and heart trouble.
When radio came into being, I was very intrigued with it. Eventually, I heard my first radio. My father bought a Ford auto from Park and I eventually went to work with them. Edgar Beebe built a little old radio and we would sit up nights until the last hoofbeat would cease on the pavement to try and get something on the radio. I remember the thrill that pierced my being from head to toe when I heard the first whispered words, "KGO Oakland, California." I was indeed an ardent radio fan. I installed the first three commercially built radios sold in Franklin County. Dan Gilbert, Fairview, bought an Atwater Kent; Thomas Thompson, bought a Federal and Dr. G.W. States bought one that operated from highline current. I have forgotten the name but it was a very successful try at operating one of these delicate instruments from alternating current. My father later blew the family wad and bought a little Ecophone Radio. I finally went to work for Maytag Intermountain Company and while working for this company I met and, after three years courtship, married a lively girl named Rachel Clarissa Forman, who became the mother of my lovely children. We were married in the Logan Temple on Rachel's 20th birthday.
My health had been very bad part of this time. We have had quite a struggle, but the Lord has granted me the greatest desires of my heart, my dear wife and a healthy, honorable family. During some of these bleak times, I started to do a little amateur song writing. I wrote a song "Smokes' Curling Over the Roof". My educated relatives ridiculed me so much that I quit. Later I took it up again on the sly and have continued ever since. My first real success was when Bishop Arland Sharp came into our store and suggested the publication of "A Bundle from Heaven". Bishop Raymond Hobbs also offered to pay for its publication. This song was published a few short weeks later, and paid for by Dr. Thomas G. Farnsworth and Company. Dr. Farnsworth has doctored me on and off for some years. "Little Feet in Daddy's Shoes" was recently published and paid for by my wife, Rachel, and myself. I have quite a number of songs that could go into print anytime we could afford it.
The love and affection for my grandchildren stirs deeply within my soul and "A Bundle from Heaven" burst forth when little grandchild number 14, Janae Hodges, was born. Little Aaron Cheney Griffeth was the final straw that brought forth "Little Feet in Daddy's Shoes". Another one, "Will There be Roses in Heaven" came into being after I had witnessed a very inspiring MIA Maid rose tying evening in the Dayton Ward in 1960. Many of them have been an out pouring from the heart. Examples of these are: "Over the Great Divide"; "Little Foorsteps Tend to Follow"; "Heaven is Just a Prayer Away" and others.
Other highlights in my life have been both joyful and some sorrowful, nevertheless all have been indelibly etched in my memory. The strong hearts and valiant spirits of animals that we have had have impressed me very much. Dogs: Naps, Tad, Scot, Smokey, Pinky, Rags and other. Naps was my pal when I was a small boy. His real name was Napoleon. I had to kill him to put him out of his misery after he broke his shoulder the second time. This hurt has never really left me. His pain and misery were so great that I felt it my duty to stop it. We had been pals for many years. Horses: King, Rony, Blue, Nancy, Bird, Laurie, Daisy, Coaly, Tad (my brother Arden's horse), Bess, Jule, Jeff, Florey, Dick, Dan, and others.
The joy and pride was continually in my heart when my baby brother was small. When he was just a lad he could sit in the house and tell you which rooster crowed or which horse whinneyed. He would never make a mistake in this. He had the cutest dimples when he was a little boy.
One of my greatest joys in married life has been to play with and watch my children play, especially in the evenings after the days work was done.