Life Story of Wilma Josephine Colling Griffeth
Contributor: Jackerman Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago
Wilma Josephine Colling Griffeth daughter of Charles Albert Colling and Helena Agnes Malleck, born Dec. 30, 1905 at Indianola Nebr.
My oldest sister Margaret died when she was about 4 months old. That left me the oldest one of the family. I had two sisters and two brothers. Arlene, Blanche, William and Bob (Robert).
We lived on a 160 acre farm that joined my Grandpa Malleck’s place until I was eight years old. We used to go to Grandpas and Grandma’s place quite often. I remember the good chicken and noodle soup Grandma used to make. They had a large home and we used to have a good time when we went to Grandma’s.
Grandpa and Grandma was well off in their later years. They had nine children and they gave each child 160 acres of land. He helped some of them financially too, which run into the thousands of dollars. Grandma Malleck worked very hard and was very saving.
One of the things I can remember most while we lived there was a pet crow we had named Rudolph. He could talk and do many things. He used to follow me to school, so one day mother clipped his wings. She thought he wouldn’t go if he couldn’t fly. But that didn’t stop him, he walked to school. I was studying and didn’t expect to see him but the first thing I knew he stood in the door and squawked “Hello Wilma” and he walked right down the aisle and hopped up on the corner of my desk. He stayed till school was out. That night mother stopped to pick us up on her way home from town. He sneaked out and got under the school teachers long dress and when he thought mother wasn’t looking he hopped up on the running gears of the buggy and rode home there.
Another time my sister Blanche was making mud pies and she had them all spread out on her table and Rudolph was sitting on the corner of the table. When she had them all smoothed out nice, he took a bite out of each one. It made Blanche mad and she jawed him and smoothed them out again and again he took a bite out of them. There was a little piece of frayed out rope laying on the ground. Blanche picked it up and hit Rudolph and he fell over like he was dead with his feet in the air. She bent over and said “Oh Rudolph I didn’t mean to hurt you.” He jumped up and grabbed her finger with his beak. He was just playing possum.
He used to keep the chickens away from mother’s flowers. He would fly just low enough to grab them on their back. He also used to go to Grandma’s with us. Sometimes he would ride on the horse’s back or on the buggy. Sometimes he would fly ahead and wait on a post. He did too many things too numerous to mention. When we left Nebr. we gave him to our neighbors.
When I was eight we sold our place and moved to Rawlings Wyo. We lived there a year, and my father worked in the railroad shops. My Aunt Lizzie (Dad’s Sister) and family lived there.
We then moved to Inkom Idaho and homesteaded a 162 acres about ten miles north of Inkom. At that time there wasn’t a school close so I went back to Rawlings and stayed with my Aunt Lizzie for a year and went to school there. When they did build a school we had three and a quarter miles to go. We used to move to Pocatello for the winters because it was so far to school and the snow got so deep. The snow used to get so deep it covered all the fences, and we had to keep moving our clothes line up in the trees. By the time winter was over and the snow began to go down we had to keep moving the line down. During the summer it seemed almost impossible to think our clothes line was that high or the snow was that deep.
When we first moved on the homestead we lived in a tent and then in a sheep camp. While we lived in the sheep camp, Dad and Mother cut timber from our place and had it sawed and built us a home. We had many new experiences on the homestead those first few years. In Nebr. it was level, no mountains in sight. We were afraid of the steep roads and dugways and bears and mountain lions etc. We used to have to cross a School Section to go to school and there were a lot of cattle there. We were afraid of the bulls. We had trees picked out to climb along the way, if the cattle would bother us. We used to practice climbing the trees going and coming from school. It was funny, someone would yell “Here comes a bull” and we would all climb a tree. After we lived there a few years things didn’t seem so bad. The roads became better and wider and better bridges etc. and closer neighbors.
There were just four children then. My brother Bob didn’t come along till I was twenty. There was fourteen years between my youngest sister and Bob.
I finished the ninth grade at school and went a year and a half at the University known then as the Tech. I went to night school for a while and studied Telegraphy and went to work for the Western Union as a mux operator (now known as a teletype). I worked there three and a half years.
I met Arden Griffeth when we lived on the homestead. I was about 16 years old. Some people run a saw mill on our place by the name of Talbot. Arden was a friend of Talbots and he and three other boys came to see the Talbot boys and that is how I met Arden. They called him Ben (a nickname). I’m afraid he will always be Ben to me.
Arden went on a mission to the Western States. He was gone about six months and they brought him back to Salt Lake City to be operated on for appendicitis. While he was home recuperating, he baptized me into the L.D.S. church. So far as I know I haven’t a relative that belongs to the church. Most of my relatives are Catholics. Arden went back and finished his mission and came home about a year and a half later. We were married in the fall, Nov. 16, 1927 in the Logan Temple at Logan, Utah.
We lived on Grandpa Griffeth’s (Andrew Griffeth) farm about three miles south of Preston. We lived there for three years and while we lived there our first child, a daughter was born Oct. 23, 1928. A cesarean birth. We called her Ardell. I had so much sickness and trouble when she was born I almost died, in fact it was a miracle I lived. The Drs. advised me not to try to have any more children and most people didn’t think we would ever have, including my husband. We talked some of adopting a boy. I told Arden the Lord knew best and when I got strong enough I’d have a boy. In my patriarchal blessing it spoke of my children and I just had a child. I just lived for that.
We moved from Grandpa Griffeth’s place to a place about 5 miles north of Inkom. We did a little farming and had some milk cows and pigs and Arden did a lot of trucking. From there we moved to Inkom. Arden still trucked. He was on the school board for several years. The present school was built while he was on the board. I worked as Relief Society Pres. and Sec. while we lived in Inkom.
We had a lot of good times when we lived in Inkom. There was about six couples that got together every twice and awhile and had a lot of fun. Everybody’s birthday, surprise parties, sleigh riding, tobogganing, oyster stews etc. The couples included: Keith & Ellen Clark, Earl & Vera Burrup, Dick & Ivy Woodland, Dick & Ada Bennett, Tom & Ethel Farnworth, Alvin & Grace Thomas, Ben (Arden) and I.
While we lived in Inkom our second child was born, July 12, 1938. A son we called Roger. We were so thrilled and thankful to have another child. In fact, Ben was so proud his hat wouldn’t hardly fit his head for a while. There was nearly ten years between Ardell and Roger.
In Oct. 1939, I went on a trip to Calif. with my sister Arlene and husband and their girl Lois, my Mother and Ardell and Roger. We went to the fair at San Francisco on Treasure Island. We saw many wonderful things there. Also, seen the ocean for the first time, Aquarium, Zoo, Fisherman’s Wharf, Golden Gate Park and Golden Gate Bridge and many things of interest. We visited my sister Blanche and family who lived in Turlock, Calif. While we were there my Dad took us to a turkey dinner with all the trimmings.
Dad and mother separated a little while after we were married and Dad was living in Calif. at this time. Dad and mother separated but they never did get a divorce. When Dad got older he lived with my sister Blanche. He died of cancer of the lower bowel July 26, 1948 and was buried in Calif.
On our way home from our trip we went through Zions Park, Bryce Canyon and Boulder Dam.
We moved from Inkom to Blackrock and then out to Marsh Creek. It was about 5 miles south of Inkom on a farm. We had some irrigated ground and raised alfalfa and wild or meadow hay and about 1,000 acres of dry farm which we raised grain on. While we lived there, Ben was first counselor to Bishop Keith Clark of the Inkom Ward. Carol our third child was also born while we lived there. She was born Feb. 15, 1944. I had a lot of trouble before she was born. In fact, I just about died with both of the girls and got along just fine with the boys.
We moved from Marsh Creek when Carol was about 9 months old to Dayton, Idaho. We bought 80 acres of irrigated ground and had a nice bunch of milk cows, some pigs and chickens. We raised sugar beets and hay and some peas. We attended the Dayton Ward and both held church positions in the ward. I worked in the Relief Society as a counselor and Sec. and teacher in Primary. Ben was Sunday School teacher, teacher of High Priests and Choir Pres.
While we lived at Dayton our fourth child was born. We called him Anciel and he was born Jan. 26, 1946.
Four children aren’t very many but we’re very thankful for what we have. For a long time, it looked like one child was the size of our family.
Ben became interested in mining but he couldn’t farm and mine too so we rented our place a year or two, but that wasn’t very successful so we sold our place and moved on a place in Franklin. Our mining property is located near Wisdom, Mont. and Three Forks, Mont. The children and I have spent quite a few summers in Mont. At the mine near Wisdom it is beautiful in the summer. A lot of pines, good fishing and hunting. At Three Forks, Mont. there isn’t any mountains and pines, just rolling hills. There are three large rivers that run together and form the Missouri river, so there is plenty of water there.
Our oldest daughter and family live in Salt Lake City, Utah and have four children. Three girls and a boy.
Roger and wife live next door to us here in Franklin and have a little boy. Roger is attending College at Logan. This is his third year and he is studying Geology.
I have had many promptings and faith promoting experiences which will be found elsewhere in this book.
I would like to mention my Grandparents on the Colling side, my Grandpa Colling fought in the Civil War and got sun stroke which caused his death a few years later. He died when I was young and don’t remember anything about him. I just remember a little about seeing him and his casket. I can remember quite a bit about my Grandma Colling. She used to love and make over me a lot. I remember her coming to Idaho and visiting us one time. She lived to be 82.
Grandpa Malleck lived to be 87 and Grandma Malleck was nearly 92 when she died.