Impressions of Grandfather Chappell, written by LaVon Chappell
Contributor: trishkovach Created: 2 years ago Updated: 2 years ago
Most of the impressions I have about my Grandfather Chappell come from the personal associations I had with him. I have always had a high regard for work. I think this regard came from his teachings, (both by example and precept), to his children and grandchildren. Those who glorify work and exalt its importance is the divine plan of man find in him an example of the highest type. He loved work and sincerely believed that man should earn his living by the “sweat of the brow.” He believed it to be a divine command. To him it was not merely a means of getting on in the world, of adding conveniences and comfort to his own life as well as to those dependent upon him, to him it was a blessing, a privilege, an opportunity which he always availed himself of whenever there were things to be done.
He was not discriminating in the kind of work he did. He took up whatever kind of work that needed to be done. If there was a rock patch on the farm that needed clearing he cleared it. If he needed wood from the canyons he hauled it. If it took a lot of chopped wood in the winter time to keep the old fireplace blazing on cold winter nights he chopped it and carried it in. He did much more than his share in building roads, reservoirs, and canals, usually he would be called on to boss the job. He could turn from one integrity to another without the least apparent effort. He could toil assiduously in the harvest field and with scarcely a moment’s notice pick up his gun and put on his badge while one of the boys saddled his horse and whatever else he needed so that he could be on the trail of an outlaw. He not only was not afraid of work but he was not afraid of danger or of any man.
He believed implicitly in the moral supremacy of manual toil. To sweat was a divine command as much as to pray; in his life he exemplified in the highest degree that simple Christian life that makes for the physical, mental, and moral well being of man. His love of toil produced in his life what it does in the lives of most men of similar habits, a simplicity, a democracy and a spirit of universal brotherhood. To him there were no common place tasks whether it was healing manure to the farm land or looking after his responsibilities as bishop. Under his direction as bishop, Lyman built a new meeting house. The sawmill that he operated and owned contributed largely to the new meeting house.
All that he did was important to his own exaltation in this and in the world to come. In this age when men are shirking physical tasks in pursuit of occupations that are as free as possible from bodily exertions, his life stands out as a beautiful example of simplicity and vigor. No man ever did more to exalt work and place it in its proper perspective than did Grandfather Chappell.
By now you are probably asking about his religion. I view him as a highly religious man with deep convictions, not the type you often find in church on Sundays with a long pious face but the man whose principles of honesty and integrity are the same from one day to the next. His was not a Sunday Religion, it was a lifetime religion, a day to day religion as exemplified in the “Golden Rule”. He not only exemplified high ideals in his own life but he taught his children and grandchildren the true principles of life, always exhorting us to: “Live up to the Chappell name.”
He had no living father or brothers or uncles so he evidently thought that it was his responsibility to build a name for himself, this he did and he built a name that he was proud to call the “Chappell” name. He stressed very strongly that all of his posterity live up to it. He was also very outspoken so many of us referred to him as having a “Chappell” mouth. I think the following poem by Josiah Gilbert Holland, depicts the kind of man Grandfather Chappell was:
God give us men! A time like this demands
Strong minds, great hearts, true faith and ready hands;
Men whom the lust of office does not kill;
Men whom the spoils of office cannot buy;
Men who possess opinions and a will;
Men who have honor; men who will not lie;
Men who can stand before a demagog
And damn his treacherous flatteries without winking;
Tall men, sun-crowned, who live above the fog,
In public duty and in private thinking;
For while the rabble, with their thumb-worn creeds,
Their large professions and their little deeds,
Mingle in selfish strife–lo! Freedom weeps,
Wrong rules the land and waiting justice sleeps.
When I was a boy holding the Aaronic Priesthood, our Priesthood meetings were held on Monday nights. I remember how Grandfather would leave his house with his boys and drop by our place and get me then on by Uncle George’s for his boys and we would all walk up together.
One summer, I think I was 15 years old, he was boss on the construction of the Forsyth Reservoir. The first dam that was constructed there. It was my first job, Grandfather was very patient in teaching us how to care for our horses and also taking care of ourselves. It was there I learned to eat and enjoy onions. I have been an onion lover ever since. He taught us many things about living away from home.
Sometime after that I had the very joyful experience of working under him on the first trail to go all the way around the Table on Thousand Lake Mountain. It was a great experience. The think I remember Grandpa’s boys were never too much for singing but I would give a lot now to know what we sounded like but I know we did sing lustily and there must have been some real reverberations as we sang without accompaniment high up in the mountains and canyons.
I have always regretted that I was unable to attend Grandfather’s funeral but due to an ear infection, I had to have my ear lanced that day and it was so bad that the pus shot to the ceiling from where I lay on the doctor’s table. I was teaching in Hinckley at the time.
I used to enjoy going to Grandma’s and Grandpa’s to play when I was just a lad. I think the thing I remember most about Grandma is that on cold days she would often fix us kids a piece of bread and butter well covered with some of her delicious crap apple jam. Sometimes the bread would be covered with good thick cream with plenty of sugar on top. Then to make this taste even better she would often make us a cup of real weak green tea with a good supply of cream and sugar. I have never made tea taste so good since. I think she must have somehow put some of her love and charm in it. I used to love to go to their place to play in the trees and on the little hills back of their house. Written by Lavon Chappell
Firsts in Jack's life
Contributor: trishkovach Created: 2 years ago Updated: 2 years ago
My earliest memories are of my good mother and father, in a good home where love existed. Wood burning stoves and kerosene lamps. My first chore was to get a little pan of wood chips each night for starting fires in the morning. When I got older the chore was to keep the wood box filled with wood, with Van (brother) taking over the chip chore. My earliest memories are of Grandmother Okerlund and mother's sisters visiting often at our house and we at their house. Many times they would be making quilts; other times knitting, darning, tatting, patching. Mother was gifted in all of these skills.
Dad was very forward thinking in his day. When he built his home, he brought the water line which had been newly installed, from his dad's place to his home. He, however, instead of having an outside faucet, brought it indoors. He also had the very first indoor tub, built into his home. Many people would come to bathe in his tub.
He decided to run a line out to his corrals. Part way out, he thought it would be a good idea to put a "T" in, in case he wanted water in a future spot. To block off the open end, he inserted a piece of birch. That cork never leaked on him. He was very happy over that, as well.
Mr first special event was Valentine Day, probably when four years old. Mother put the cards on a string from the dresser to a door casing. The string was full. I didn't know so many knew me.
One year, just before Christmas, Van I were playing in the back rooms. (They weren't finished). In a dark corner we saw a blanket over something. We were a little spooked about it but daring enough to pull a little on the blanket. After many little pulls, we uncovered a new trike. I got on it and Van on the rear axle. We rode into the living room. Mother was upset and we didn't know why.
My first picture show was silent movies, with reading underneath to tell the story. These movies were held in the old school house; actor Ken Manyard riding old Tony (Horse), Charlie Chaplin, Our Gang Comedy.
First radio in town was bought by David Callahan, our neighbor. People would come from all over town to hear that radio. I went with dad and mother one evening to hear a radio. Reception could only be got at night.
First airplane: I was probably 12 years old. It was in the spring. Uncle Will (Dad's brother) was plowing his field and I and Blaine were herding cows (where the airport now is). We could hear a truck making a loud noise. We looked up where Uncle Will was and he was waving his hat up above his head and shouting at us. Then we saw it. It flew exactly over us. And to everyone in town it did the same. People talked about it for days after.
First car: I don't remember, but very few passed. They were wooden spoke wheels, canvas topped. When they went by, horses would be spooked. It was quite an ordeal when going down the road with a team and wagon and meet a car.
First trip over the mountain was by team and wagon. Dad was hauling a little freight both ways. Van and I went with him. We camped in Grass Valley the first night. We then went on to Sigurd, loaded up, [and] camped over night; then back to Grass Valley (somewhere near where the Koosharem Reservoir is now). We camped and then on to home, taking 4 days for the trip.
Primary days were like a big hike with mother leading the way. It was a little over a mile to the church house. The road was different than today.
I saw the big boys going to school and yearned for the day I could go. Finally, one fall, being 7 years old, I went to school with my lunch. When recess came, I started eating my lunch, thinking it was lunch time. One of the boys told me about recess. Mr first teacher was Mike Maxfield. Other teachers were Miss Lyman, Sperry Chappell, LaVon Chappell. High school: Don Brian, Ann Snow, R.J. Dalley, Mr. Gubler, Ken Baker Owen Davis and Willis Willardson.
Primary was an enjoyable time. Early teachers were sisters Martha Durfee, Lue Oldroyd, LaVerda Lloyd, Ethel Taylor, and my mother. Here I learned about Joseph Smith, Jesus and Heavenly Father. When I graduated from Primary, I felt sad, thinking I would never go to Primary again. MIA activities with scouting, were new interests, with classes in camping skills, with outings to practice what I had learned.
Scouting and farming by Jack
Contributor: trishkovach Created: 2 years ago Updated: 2 years ago
One highlight in scouting trips was one that started off at dawn going by horses. We were led by LaVon Chappell , scoutmaster. We took the south trail on the Thousand Lake Mountain, around the south side and to Deep Creek Lake. We all had our fishing gear, about 10 in our group.
Fishing was poor, so we went over the top of the mountain (table) and down to Neff's Reservoir. There we tried fishing again. We were there 2 hours. I found a hole in the sea weeds and caught 11 fish. Next highest scout caught 2; then on to home.
In my youth, home work around the farm was never done. Gathering eggs, hauling rock to the spring, milking cows, herding cows, helping irrigate, tromping hay.
To you who do not know what tromping hay is, hay is clover and alfalfa, cut and piled by horse drawn machine. When dry, it is pitched on horse drawn wagon by hand. Being dry, it is fluffy and needs to be settled or compacted by the feet of a tromper. I was the tromper. Hay piles pitched on the wagon came up so fast I would get buried, crawling out only to be covered by another, but I got the job done. Grain time, barley, oats and wheat bundles had to put in shocks to dry. When I was older, I would pitch fork the pile onto the wagon, then everyone else tromped the hay by walking on it to pack it down. Some of those piles seemed made of lead, instead of hay.
We also cut grain, shocked, hauled, stacked and thrashed the grain. In my youth, it was cut by a horse pulling a machine called a binder. The Binder tied the grain in approx. 30 lb bundles. The bundles were sat upright (heads Up) about 20 bundles leaning against each other to dry. If it rains, the rain runs down the straw, away from the grain. This is called shocked grain. Next it is hauled by wagon to a grain stack. It has to be placed just right or it will slip off of the wagon in transit. A grain stack is round (mostly) approx. 15 to 20 feet in diameter and 12 to 15 feet high, going up to a peak in the center. The straw ends slope out to shed water. My job was to stack the grain. Bundles were thrown up as high as they could throw them. As I would top the stack off to a peak, I had a big worry, as to how I was going to get down because it looked so far to the ground. I would say, "Dad, how am I going to get down?" Dad would look up and say, "We'll get you down."
Normally each farm had 4 to 15 stacks of grain. With one thrasher in each town, it would start thrashing in Sept. and go to the middle of Nov. with some years into Dec. The thrasher is powered by a steam engine, wood fired with a belt approx. 120 feet to the thrasher. The thrasher separated the grain from the straw. The straw was blown from the thrasher to a pile 30 to 50 feet away. The grain was sacked and hauled to a granary by horses and wagon. The grain and hay was fed to livestock during the winter months and (also) sold for financial gain. (Note: 1977 grain is ripened in the field. A combine (thrasher) is self powered. The grain is stored in the unit till filled, then augured to a truck and augured from truck to granary. One or two days work with one man. Hay hauling is done with a bale wagon, one man can haul 50 ton in one day. As described above, 4 men hauled approx. 8 ton in a day.)
After the grain was thrashed in the fall, the straw tick mattress that had been slept on for one year was emptied and burned. The empty bag was washed and cleaned, then refilled with new straw. The bag was stuffed until it was round, then put on the bed. For a few nights, sleeping was a nightmare with dreams of falling off!
It was great to get up out of bed to the sounds of birds singing, rooster crowing, water running down the irrigation ditch in back of our house, the warm sun up, the leaves on the trees coming out.
Summer meant weeding the garden and potatoes, fencing. After work the friends would get together at the "old swimming hole". Swim suits were never heard of and we didn't believe in getting our clothes wet, so the style was birthday suits; girls definitely not allowed within eyeball range. Getting in was always cold, but once in, it seemed to warm up. With no swimming instruction, we learned to dog paddle. Getting out was another ordeal, with chattering teeth.
When Dad had to leave to herd cows, it was often up to me and Van to plow the field. We would hook up the horse, and Van would drive the horse, while I ran the plow. Boy how I dreaded the rocks he would encounter. They would throw the plow up and I, being fairly light, would fly into the air. The same thing happened with the scraper when cleaning the ditch.
When money was tight, dad would go sheep herding and I would have to do the farming. I'd go out in the March wind and I'd look est and it would be gloomy and dark. I would look east and the sun would be coming up, and it would look warm and bright. No wonder I hated farming to this day!
When the sheep were sheared, it was up to the smaller boys to jump into the long wool sack and tromp wool. Those sacks were nearly 8 feet long. It seemed a long way down when you dropped into that sack. The only way out was to push all the wool under you and slowly raise yourself up, on a pile of wool, until you got to the top.