THE STORY OF MY LIFE
by Ella Bushman Barker
A glorious gift to man is one year of time. Here at this end of 1948 I am thinking back
over this last year. I wonder where it has gone and what I have done to make it better. Then I am thinking of all the 65 years of my life. And is the world any better for my living in it? I am no writer, but I have decided to write a few of the things that have happened along this long lane as I have traveled it.
My father’s parents, Martin and E. [Elizabeth] Bushman, joined the LDS Church in
Barttownship, Pennsylvania, and moved to Nauvoo. My mother’s parents, Theodore and
Francis Turley, joined the LDS church in Canada and came to Nauvoo. They were with those that were driven from Nauvoo in 1846. Grandmother Turley died at Winter Quarters and is buried there. They arrived in Salt Lake in 1852; Grandfather Bushman moved to Lehi.
After Grandfather came to Lehi, my father came to drive a wagon and horses to
California for some people. While there he met my mother and they were married, then came back to Utah and settled at Lehi. They went to the Endowment House at Salt Lake.
I was born at Lehi, February 3, 1884, the last child of a family of ten. When I was
small, father always told me that as soon as I was large enough he would have to give me to the Bishop for tithing. He surely had me worried. When I was three months old, father was called on a mission to help settle Arizona. He was farming the large Beck ranch at Saratoga Springs west of Lehi, and owned a lot of cattle, grain, and hay. He sold all but the cattle and horses, took four or five wagons, a white top buggy, and his family except his oldest girl who was married. And away we all traveled happily to Saint John’s, Arizona. We were six weeks on the road. Now one can, in a car, make it in one day. Each Saturday we stopped for the women to wash and get things ready for Sunday. Everyone rested on the Lord’s day. Then Monday everyone was ready to travel on. There were four or five families besides father’s.
We had many difficulties along the way. The sand storms encountered near Lee’s
backbone were about the worst. To escape the stinging blast of the wind driven sand, women and children would crawl beneath the wagon box, fastening canvas coverings around the box for further protection. The sand would cut into the skin like bits of glass.
This canyon was also so very steep that horses would be hitched on behind to act as a
brake. Each individual wagon would be so taken over the worst places. Remembering there was father’s white top and four other wagons belonging to him loaded with seed grain as well as our worldly belongings, you can see the necessity for care in these parts.
We were at St. John’s for six years, then father was released to come back home. I
don’t remember much about the time spent there but my brothers and sisters can. Two of the older ones were married there, Theada and Sarah. There is, though, one thing that is very clear in my mind. It concerns an old negro called Abe. He was very kind to me and helped father a lot. I still have a hand carved pavilion that he gave me sixty years ago. I also remember mother’s telling how the Spanish ladies would wear four or five beautiful dresses all in one day.
My sister Sarah married a man (Henry Fowles) who had a farm and home in
Fairview, Sanpete County, Utah. He told father if he would go there with him, he would help him get started farming again.
The long trip back to Utah I don’t remember. About the first thing I can remember is
my brother-in-laws home. There was a well that was on the east side of it. That well was such a horror to me that Henry had a pump put on it. Then came the time when I started to school.
One day one of the girls at school said to me. “That lady at your house is not your mother.” I told her she was, but she said her mother said my father had two wives and I was the other wife’s girl. I went home crying and asked mother. She told me not to cry for she was my very own mother. Because my hair was so blonde and hers so black, the people here at Fairview thought I could not be her little girl.
When I was eight, we moved one and a half miles north of Fairview on a farm that is
now called the Barker’s farm. For the next six years I spent most of my time on the farm,
except for school. I think it was then I learned to love the farm, but did not know how much until I moved back on it after I was married.
My school years were very happy ones to me. I loved all my teachers. They were
very good to me. I had some very exciting times walking to school from the farm. In the
winters I stayed in town with Sarah. In those days school only went to the eighth grade, then you graduated and went off to college. In the sixth, seventh, and eight grades, I had A. U. Miner for a teacher. He let me recite spelling to the sixth and seventh grades all the time, and also some of the other lessons. I guess that is why I just can’t spell. I also helped Lena Anderson (Uncle Archie’s sister) in her school room, when she would be out for half a day or a day. She taught the first and second grades.
Sarah was not so very well, so the next two years I stayed most of the time with her.
In May 15, 1899, Henry died. It was very hard for Sarah. She had lost her first baby boy, and now she had a boy, Tim, and a girl, Ruby, left. I was with her all the time now.
My first great sorrow came to me in November of that same year when my mother
died, after five days of illness. It seemed to me that life would never be the same again, but
time surely heals.
Ella and Ida Bushman:
I had graduated from the eighth grade in the spring before mother died. The way they
did at that time all the eighth grade classes from Mt. Pleasant, Spring City, Fairview, and
Moroni met at Mt. Pleasant and took written tests for a day. Then you had to pass above 75 in order to graduate. In all my tests I went 90 and above, except for spelling, and believe it or not I went 80 in spelling. We were the first class from Fairview to graduate. We were surely proud. We were going to have a big time in the old city hall west of the Co-op store. We had it all planned. Everything was going fine. The night before the exercises the store caught fire and burned it down, and there we were with all our plans burned up. We were young and full of life; so over to the old meeting house we went and did the best we could with what time and money we had. If it had been now, I would have been called an Honor student, but then I won the honor of giving the Valedictory talk. I wish I had kept it to show my children and grandchildren, but at that time I wasn’t thinking of children and grandchildren.
While at school, I played on the girl’s basketball team and also baseball. Now when I
see some of my granddaughters playing ball, I almost wish I were young again. I was also
the President of the class; Willis Terry was Vice President. Not all of my life up to the time we went through the eighth grade was spent in getting lessons. We had some gay times, too. There were ten of us girls and about that many more boys who would get together
about once a week. In winter we would go sleigh riding or gather at one of our places to
make candy, popcorn, or play games or anything that was good clean fun. Sometimes we
would go as far as the Old Swen Nielson Ranch in bob sleighs, or up to the Bennet Ranch out at the Round Knolls. In the summer on moonlight nights, we would go down to the big swing on the Walt Cox farm or play games in the back lots of our homes. You see we did not have the commercial entertainment that we do now-a-days. We had to make our own. Almost always on Sunday we went to Sunday School. Then at 2 p.m. back to Sacrament meeting.
High School Graduation (Ella is in in the middle, front row):
After that we almost always came back to my sister Sarah’s. She would have something to
treat us. I don’t mean all twenty but as always there are a few that are a little closer to each
other. Uncle Ed Terry, Pearl’s father, had a saw mill on the mountain. One week Maggie and I rode over the Uncle Ottis Terry and stayed the week with Pearl. She was over helping cook for the mill hands. Did we have fun. Oh, brother, as Evelyn says. The winter after mother died, I went to Salt Lake with my sister Grace. Her son Carl was born the next spring and she was not at all well that winter. They had a store on 5th Avenue between H and I streets. They wanted me to make the deliveries around four hours a day. So on the first of December, one month from the day Mother died, I went on the train to Salt Lake.
Most of the boys and girls went to the depot with me. It was on Sunday, and some of
the older boys were there also. I remember Carl Sundwall helped me right into the train and to a seat, and asked me to write to him. I was surely surprised but I thought to myself, “I am not writing any boy first.”
I stopped off at Lehi and spent two days with my brothers and sisters, aunts and
uncles, and quite a few cousins about my own age. Then I went on to Salt Lake. It was in the horse and buggy days. It was dark when the train arrived there. Emanuel, Grace’s husband, met me with his horse and buggy. You know what a nice long ride I had from the Salt Lake Depot to 5th Avenue, but I enjoyed every minute of it. We went right up Main Street. Can you imagine what that meant to me after living in a small town that did not even have any electricity. I had been in Salt Lake one or two times with mother and father, but never down on Main Street after dark.
Grace was so happy to have me with her. She had lived away from home so many
years of her life, going away to work when a girl, and then married to a man away from our
home town, that she was almost a stranger to me. But we were soon pals as well as sisters.
She was about ten years older than me.
It was the first time I had been away from home without my father and mother, so at
times I was very lonely and homesick. Grace was very cheerful and gathered many friends
around me. I had some very happy times. I also had fun working in the store and meeting
many different people. Then there were the ones that each morning delivered the milk, bread, and fresh vegetables, as well as the mailman. They would get there within a few minutes of each other. They always kidded me about getting so many letters. Five of the Fairview boys that were going to school at Ephraim wrote to me. One day I received a letter from Willis Terry and in it he said he had been up to Maggie Anderson’s funeral. I almost fainted. I had never received word that she was even ill. They had written me of her death, but I had not received the letter. She was the very best friend I had, and to think I would never see her again, was almost more than I could stand.
Grace knew two girls whose mothers had died who came to see her quite often, and
they helped me to get over my sorrow by taking me with them on long walks, to Sunday
School, to Mutual, and also to some parties. Grace was very careful about letting me go out
without Emanuel, or someone to chaperon me.
In March her baby was born, and he surely was a cute little fellow. By this time I was
surely homesick. When father came up for Conference, I bid farewell to the big city and it’s
bright lights and came back home with him. Before I went to Salt Lake we girls, if we did not have a partner (it’s a boyfriend now) we would go in a group. Well, on the way home I said to myself, no more going to a dance alone. If I can’t have a partner I will stay home. Well, what do you think? When the train pulled into Fairview there were the girls to meet me and about the first thing they said was that there was a big dance that night. What was I going to do? I wanted to go to that dance so badly, but the boys I had been writing to were away at school and I was not to give in and go to that dance alone. (You see, I had that stubborn streak in me way back there.)
Father and Ida had been staying with Sarah that winter while I was away. Sarah and
Ida had a lovely dinner for us and after dinner was over and the work done Ida and I walked over to the old home. It was across the road east from Sister Coon’s old home. We stayed all afternoon. You can guess how two girls would be feeling in a home where a mother that had been so kind and dear to them would never be there anymore. At last we put on our coats and walked out and closed the door and promised each other we would not let father know how we were feeling. On our way home we met Carl Sundwall. He stopped and talked to us for a little while and said he was glad I was home. We had not been home only just a little while when someone knocked on the door. I opened it. There was Carl to ask me to go to the dance with him. See what it does to be firm! I had someone nice right there to go to the dance with, and right here I will say I never went to a dance alone again.
Ruby and Tim were so thrilled to have me home again. I was glad to be back. They
were just like my little brother and sister. They had written little letters to me all winter. I still have some of them fifty years old.
After I came home, Ida and Father moved from Sarah’s back to father’s home. I
stayed with Sarah. The loss of Mother was pretty hard on Father. He was past seventy years. He sold his farm to Sarah and put his money in the creamery. The summer after I came from Salt Lake many changes came to me. I had really grown up while I was away. When I came home I guess I seemed older than I was. A. U. Miner, my old teacher, had a store where the Melgaard Creamery stands. He wanted me to work in it for him, but Sarah was not well, and she wanted me to stay at home with her. I would have loved to have been at the store.
I started going out with some of the older boys. It made just a little difference with
my girl friends and I. I think I will keep away from names and mention only those that enter into my life later on.
Orrin Barker was one of these. His mother married Will Terry about a year and a half
before this. When I first saw him, I knew I was going to like him very well. He was older and went with an older crowd. I had gone with him a few times before I went to Salt Lake and had written to him a few times while he was at school and I was away, but when I came home he came to see me often. We went to dances and plays. There were no movies, but traveling troops came quite often. I went with other boys that first summer, also, but when winter came, Orrin told me that if I was going to be his girl friend I had to stop going out with other boys. That was that. I stopped, because he was the best one of them all, and I wanted to be his girl.
When I was fourteen years old, Brother Christen Peterson was the Superintendent of
Sunday School. He asked me to be a teacher. I told him there were a lot of older girls than I
and for him to get one of those. He said, “Sister Bushman, I am the superintendent and I am Ella Isadora Bushman Barker asking you.” It was my very first lesson in learning to obey authority. I have tried ever since to do the things I have been asked to do by those in authority over me. I was a teacher until I went to Salt Lake, and when I came back I started teaching again. This time I never missed a Sunday for three years.
Once the girls (it was a class of girls) wanted to do something real helpful for
someone. We gathered our pennies, nickels, and dimes together and bought some very nice dress material. One night we went up to see an old lady, Sister Green, that lived at Parley Young’s home in one of his rooms. We took food for lunch and had a very nice time and gave her the dress pattern and told her that Ida and I would make it for her. I have done little kindness’ since then, but I believe both the girls and I had the biggest thrill out of this. She was so very happy over what we did for her. It was a nice dress and the only one I ever saw on her.
You will find it very difficult to keep up with my jumping around in this story of my
life, but that is the way I do anyway; so those that know me will be able to tell what it is all
about. I am not going to say very much about our year before we were married. We had some very good times. Orrin was very jealous and I was an imp. I remember one time the crowd went down to spend the evening at Hannah Hansen’s. I talked a little too much with one of the boys there. Orrin would not take me home. It was all right anyway, I went home with the other fellow. Jane Seby came home with Orrin. She is my niece who was here on a visit. I cried that night. I thought, “Well, he will never come back,” but he did.
One time Orrin and May wrote a letter to Willie McClellan from Payson and signed
my name. I had gone with him quite a lot. He was a friend of Lee Barker’s from Payson. He
did not stop to answer the letter, but came up to see me. Orrin tried to get me not to go with him; but well, what would you do? I had to punish someone, and I surely wasn’t going to punish Willie.
Orrin always went home and helped Grandpa Terry with his chores on a Sunday
night. Uncle Lee wouldn’t, so Lee would come and do my chores. I had one cow to milk and “Old Sis,” our horse to water and feed. Then Lee would have supper with Sarah and me. Then he would go to see the girl he was going with. Orrin would come up and spend the evening with me. Most always Sarah would play some kind of game with us until ten
o’clock. Then we would have prayers and she, Ruby and Tim would go to bed. Ruby would
get her nightgown on, then come to the door and tell us goodnight, then say, “Remember
twelve o’clock, Uncle Orrin.”
The summer before we were married was a very happy one for me. Orrin had been
away all spring sheering sheep. When he came home, we decided to get married that fall.
Sarah and I were very busy getting my things ready. Ida and Orrin’s mother made my
wedding dress. Sarah and Ida planned a big turkey dinner and we invited over 100 people.
Orrin and I went to Manti in a white top buggy. We had to go the day before we were
to be married. Mother had a girlhood friend, a Mrs. Mariam, that lived at Manti. We stayed at her place. Her daughter was one of the temple workers and were they nice to us. She was surely a help to me going through the Temple.
We came right home after we were married. It was quite a long trip and quite late
when we arrived at Sarah’s. The next day at two o’clock we had dinner for the older people, and at night for the younger ones. Sarah had her new home ready to move in and we were going to rent the old one. It was where Jessie Sundwall lives now and the new one was where Tim now lives.
We had our presents all over there. When they were going over to see them, Dan
James (he was our Marshal) came up to us and said, “The young married folks and the young folks were going to keep you up all night.” He then told us to take the key to his house and watch our chance to get away and go stay at his place. We did not know if he was setting a trap for us or not, but we took the chance. We went down to his house. Nancy had the bed all ready for us. We did not dare light the lamp for fear someone would know we were there. When they missed us, Dan went with the crowd and hunted all over the town for us. He came home around 2:30, then sat down and laughed. He said he had more fun than he had ever had, but was tired. It was a long time before they found out where we spent the night.
It was about two weeks before Sarah moved over to her new home. Orrin and I had
the old place fixed up real cozy with the things he had bought, I had made and the lovely
presents we had received. The first night we were alone, my brother Jake had supper with us. When we sat to the table, I asked Jake to ask the blessing. After he had said it, Jake said, remember, he is the head of the house now and it surely got me. I had been so used to having him come and eat with us there in the home with Sarah taking charge of everything, I just did not think.
That was a very happy winter for us. Orrin sang in the choir and taught Sunday
School. Quite often the boys and the girls came to our home. We had a lot of fun. I was the
first girl to get married in our crowd.
Orrin worked on the railroad. He had to go so early, and it would still be dark when
he left. I remember one morning when he left, I thought I would go back to bed for awhile. I went to get in bed. The bed was by a window, and there going up the curtain was a mouse. I screamed, jumped into my shoes, and ran across the road to Sarah’s in my bathrobe. They were not up; so I got in bed with Sarah and Ruby. When it was light, we had breakfast. Then Sarah, Tim, Ruby and I armed with sticks of wood and anything we could get our hands on, marched over to get that little mouse or know the reason why. I had left the lamp burning (there was no electricity.) We hunted high and low, but couldn’t find that mouse. So back to Sarah’s and I stayed until Orrin came home from work. Did he laugh; Sarah gave us our supper. It was hard for me to go back to sleep over home, but we never found that mouse. I think when I screamed I scared it to death. I rather think that was the beginning of my liking of mysteries.
No two families live alike. When two people are married, we find there are a lot of
changes to be made. I found that cooking and eating was one of these. I had been used to
having three cooked meals a day; while Orrin had a cooked breakfast and dinner, and lunch at night. I soon found it was much easier for me to do it the way he was used to. Many things I liked to eat, he didn’t, but we tried hard and soon found we were liking the same things. It can be done if one makes up his mind.
When the spring of 1902 came, we bought father’s old home and moved over to it.
Orrin planted a garden. We had a cow that father gave us, a heifer Orrin’s folks gave him, and also some chickens. Orrin had a pair of fighting chickens. They were beautiful birds, but I was jealous of them. (There are just two things I have been jealous of. The other I will tell you later in this story.) The reason I was jealous of the chickens was as follows: The days Orrin would be off work, the other fellows would bring their roosters over. They would have fighting matches. He had a high board fence around our backyard. It would be just lined with men watching the fights. I can see now that it was sport for them, but then I thought Orrin should spend that time with me. Lots of times Orrin’s rooster would kill the other one.
The spring and summer seemed to just fly away. It was October and a year since we
were married. Ida had married in February to A. R. Anderson; and Lee married Pearl Terry, also in February. We were looking forward to December; for then we were expecting our first baby. It did not matter which we received, a boy or girl. I could hardly wait. It was going to be such a wonderful blessing to have a baby all my own. I was the baby in my father’s and mother’s family. Sarah’s children were about all I knew of small children. I had been very happy that summer and fall making small garments for the baby. On December the 4th, I did a large washing and in the afternoon Grandpa and Grandma Terry took us for a sleigh ride. Yes, there was plenty of snow in those days to sleigh ride on the first of December. When we came home they wanted me to go over and stay all night, but I wanted to stay home. It was a good thing that I did, for our baby was born early the next morning, December 5, 1902. We were sure there had never been such a perfect baby come to anyone before. I felt so good I wanted to get right up. In those days, we did not have a doctor at Fairview, and Jannie Wicks Sanderson waited on me.
He was a lovely baby, but oh, my! How cross! I just could not get anything done.
Father would come over and tend him for me. Orrin’s sisters helped, too. We had him blessed the fast day in January and named him Bazil Orrin.
All my girl friends would gather around me and take turns holding him. On the 12th of
January, we walked over to Mother Terry’s for dinner. On the way home it started to snow. I got damp. By the 15th I was very ill with pneumonia. They had done everything they could for me; so Orrin sent to Mt. Pleasant for Dr. Ray. He came and told them I had a very bad case of pneumonia. In those days they did not doctor pneumonia as they do now. Many people died from it.
Week after week I lay there. Some of the time I did not know anyone. I was so awful
weak. All I ate was through a straw. For three weeks all I had was two teaspoonfuls of brandy every two hours. I guess that was to keep me alive. Someone had to be in the room with me all the time, night and day. We hired Mary Larsen. She had some training as a nurse. We also had Scerlla Howell to do the work. It was no fun for anyone, me to be waited on, and the baby crying all the time. They did not let me nurse him and at that time they did not know anything about feeding canned milk. So four ladies let him nurse and sent milk in bottles for the night. The night my fever broke, I went through a crisis. Dr. Ray sat all night by my bedside and watched my pulse, and every change I went through. I will never forget him for his kindness to me. He was not a Mormon. When we would have the Elders to administer to me, he would step out. He told Orrin he did not have faith in it, but if there was good in it, those without faith should not be there to hold back the spirit.
The morning after he stayed all night, I was alone in the room for a few minutes. My
fever was gone, and the bed covering was down off my shoulders. I was cold for the first
time in weeks. I tried to get the bedclothes up on my shoulders and I saw my mother standing there. It seemed as if she wanted me to get the Elders each day and put my faith in them, and she said I would live to do many wonderful things. Then she just faded away. If this was a vision, it was very real to me. I talked to Mary Larsen today and she said she could remember how cold it was in the room. There was no fire, and the windows were both up. Mary came in and asked me how I got the covers on my shoulders. Instead of answering her I told her to have Orrin and father come in. When they came, I told them what had taken place while they were out. From then on, they had the Elders each night. On the 15th of March, two months from the time I went to bed, Sarah helped me sit up in a chair for the first time. I had long thick hair. Sarah had braided it in two long braids and let it hang down my back. Dr. Ray had the pillow taken from under my head and would not let them raise me up; so my hair was not combed for over two months. When they started at it, it was just a mat on my head. It took one week for Sarah and Orrin to get it combed out. I was so weak I could only stand a little each day. Everyone said it would have to be cut off or it would all come out. Orrin would not listen to them. It did not come out, and was prettier than it had been before.
That spring Orrin and Lee went to Idaho to shear sheep. It had cost so much during
my illness. I still did not feel too good; so Pearl came over and stayed with me. We had a lot of fun. We had been girls together and married brothers; so we were great pals. Orrin and I had two cows. Both Pearl and I knew how to milk. One of our cows was going to freshen. When the cow had her calf, we milked her and went to feed the calf. We discovered the calf had teeth. Now my baby was five months old before he had any teeth. So Pearl and I thought the calf was a wonder. We sent for Grandpa Terry. When he came we told him. He just sat down and laughed until he cried. We could not see what he was laughing about. When he told us all calves are born with teeth, we felt the laugh was really on us.
Orrin and Lee came home the last of June. They had not made much money. It had
been poor shearing. It rained all the time. It was hard to get any kind of work. The last of
July, Lee and Orrin went to Delta, but stayed only two weeks and came back.
All this time, I was living across the road from Brother and Sister Stevens. Sister
Stevens was a good friend of mothers and she was a lovely neighbor to me while I was ill.
She was ever ready to do little kind deeds to help us out.
In August Orrin’s Uncle John Searle came to stay with us. In September they went
down to Gold Mountain by Marysville to get work. They stayed three weeks, but could not
get on. When they came home Orrin was pretty blue. He did some work here at Fairview, and have the work on the meeting house. That has been torn down to build the one the North Ward has now.
In December Lee and Orrin went over the mountain in Clear Creek to see if they
could get work there. There was a strike on, but they secured a job. At last they had found
work. In January Orrin sent for me to come over. I got everything at home ready so I could
leave and went over to Ida’s and stayed all night. I was so sick that night I thought I was
going to die, but I just had the hives. In the afternoon of the next day, January 15, I went on the train as far as Thistle. Then I had to stay all night there, so as to catch the train going east the next morning. It was a new experience for me. I never slept all night. After breakfast the next morning, I went to the depot to wait for the train. I had a time with Bazil. He wanted to go everywhere. He was too heavy for me to carry around. I just had to let him go. Soon they called for everyone going east. The train was there. I picked up Bazil and my suitcase, and made a rush for the train. I got a seat in the very back. When I looked up, there was a man that had been in the depot, looking right at me. Then he came toward me. He put out his hand with a little shoe in it and said, “Is this yours?” It was, it had come off Bazil’s foot, while he was walking around. I had not missed it. I was so glad, I could have kissed him. I mean the man, but, of course, it wouldn’t look very well. I just said, “Oh, thank you very much.”
It was a long old ride. From Schofield on, I was the only woman on the train. There
were guards on the train to keep the strikers from doing any harm. A Mr. Bills came and sat by me and told me not to be afraid as he was one of the guards and would look after me. I thanked him and thought how good the Lord was to me. Every time I needed help, someone was there to help me. So in my heart I also thanked the Lord. When we arrived at Clear Creek, Orrin was there to meet us. I had never been so glad to see him before in my life. He had not been able to get a house. So we had a tent 12 x 18 to live in. The snow was very deep and I just wondered how I was going to live that way, but everything was fine and we never had a cold all winter. There were many families living in tents, quite a few from Fairview. Lee, Henry, Charles Tucker and John Nordstrom got them a tent right by ours. I cooked for them. The last of February we got a one room house about 12 x 20 just above our tent. The boys moved into our tent.
The house was much better. I bought some cloth and made a large curtain and put it
across the room. Then I had two rooms. It made it so my bedroom was more private. We
lived in Sawmill Canyon. One could see right down to the mouth of the mines. Each morning the men went to work while it was still dark. They would have snow piled up on each side of the path. We could just see their heads with their caps and lights bobbing along. It was quite a sight, two or three hundred men, one right after the other.
Orrin made some small bob sleighs. We had a lot of fun with them. One day the men
got a bright idea. They came and got my large dishpan, went up on the hill above where our houses were. Angleo Christenson sat in it. The rest gave him a push. He came down that hill (the snow was frozen and crusted) so fast the pan going round and round, he nearly lost his head. He was so dizzy he could not get up. It was fun!
There were six families living in Sawmill Canyon then. Down around a curve was
Clear Creek. We ladies would take turns getting lunch at twelve noon for each other while the men were in the mines. We could be washing, ironing, sewing, or anything, but at noon we would stop and for an hour to the one that was getting lunch that day. It was surely fun and also gave us lots of time to do our work.
The mountain was so beautiful and cool in the summer; but I was really homesick, so
the last of June we hired a team and wagon and came over the mountain. As we were coming down our canyon and saw Fairview, I started crying. Orrin said, “Well, for land sake, this is a funny time to start crying.” We had a lovely visit and went back feeling much better.
That was a lovely summer. We had some very fine times after work and on Sunday
after Church, roaming round in the hills. Lee and Pearl, Peter and Tressia, lived south of the main Clear Creek. We were north, and so did not get to visit very much.
On December 5th, Bazil was two years old. I was expecting my second baby the last
of February. I did not know whether to come home or not. Then Sarah wrote and asked Orrin if he wanted to buy her farm, the one that father had owned. He told her, “Yes.” We decided to come home so that he would be ready in the spring to work it.
Grandpa Terry came over the mountain on bobs to get us. The snow was so deep that
I felt I could not go that way. He went back and we came on the train, staying in Thistle all
night. I was pretty tired when we arrived at Sarah’s. Orrin went over home to make a fire and get the house all warm for me. Sarah said for us to stay at her place that night. I never saw our home for three weeks for that night our little girl came on my birthday, February 3. I was just 21 years older than she. It was too soon, but she was all right, so it was fine with me. I had just what I wanted ever since I was a little girl. I had one boy and now all the rest of my children would be girls. I was sure, because that is the way I had played, always. Maggie Bushman was at Sarah’s (she is my cousin). She helped with the work and tended the baby, who was just as cross as Bazil had been. What in the world was the matter with me that I had to have such cross babies?
One day she became quite sick. I remember the first time Bazil had gone to sleep all
alone I thought he was sick. Father thought we had better have her blessed. Brother Hansen’s father and Orrin blessed her and named her Ella Gladys. It was the name Sarah wanted. As we had imposed on her so much, we named her that. When she was three weeks old, we moved over home. It was an early spring so Orrin started to get the garden ready and our life as farmers began.
We had saved some money while at the mines. We bought a team, a wagon and
harness. We got a loan to buy the farm and four cows. We lived in town the first year. Orrin had always liked chickens; so he made a brooder and bought 100 small chickens. They were about six weeks old when one day we rode to the farm. We were afraid it might rain on them; so we shut the brooder door. They had been running out, but there were vent holes along the sides of the brooder. They could get plenty of air. When we came home the neighbor’s children had been over and filled up all the vent holes. When we looked in, there were thirty of them dead. That was our first loss in the farming business, but not the last.
For the next year there was not much to write about. You who have lived on a farm
know what it is to get up early and go to bed late and in between—work.
I was kept pretty busy with my two children. After Gladys was three months old, she
was a very good baby. As sweet as she could be, but still there was lots to do. I could hardly
get to church at all.
The January 4th before Gladys was two years old, I had my third baby. Wonder of
wonders, it was a boy. What was the matter? Something must be wrong. It should have been a girl, but he was so cute, and much better than the others that it was all right. Now I had three children. Sister Stevens had a verse she was always telling me.
“When you have one
You take it and run.
When you have two,
You very well do,
When you have three,
You stay where you be.
When you have four,
You go no more.”
This was about true. Still Bazil saved me a good many steps. He was four years old;
Gladys was nearly two. She was so good and such a little old fashioned kiddie. Where had all these four years gone to?
It was about the same old thing over and over again on the farm. Some years were
good and some not so good. We named our baby, Jacob Lee, after my father. The winter Lee was a little over a year old the children had measles, chicken pox, and whooping cough, one after the other. Just as soon as they could be moved, we were up on the farm. I never went into town for over three months. Sarah came up one day and told Orrin to take me in the buggy and stay in town all day. Well, we just got to town and I made him go right back. I could not leave my children. Mother Terry’s little girl Beulah died with measles while ours had them. Yes, boys and Gladys, I loved you then just like I love you now.
When Lee was two and a half years old, I was getting ready for my fourth baby. I was
making fancy little garments for this little girl that was coming.
We had sold our home in town and were living on the farm. I had been quite sick with
this one; so we had moved to town in Lee and Pearl’s home. When the baby came, it was
another boy. I was so sick, I did not care much. When I got to feeling better, I loved him so. He was so cute; but he was another cross baby. We could not get any help. One night Aunt Agnes walked the floor all night with him. It was the year the monument was put on the corner by the Junior High School. They had three days of celebrating. No one wanted to work. Ida Sheppard for one day and night stayed with us. She later became his mother-in-law, Ida Spencer. We had him blessed in August and named him William Reed, after Grandfather Terry. He had not done so well. He looked so poor. The other babies were such plump ones.
After he was three months old he started to do better. He surely grew and was so cute, could smile so cute I just would not trade him for any girl, and I still would not.
When Reed was a year old Sarah’s daughter Ruby had appendicitis. She was very bad
and all the town fasted and prayed for her. Her time had come and she passed away. It was
awful hard on Sarah and all of us. You see, we loved her so.
The summer Lee was two and a half years old and he wanted to go with his dad all
the time. One day after Orrin left for the farm in the wagon, we could not find Lee anywhere. One of our friends found him on the other side of the town. He had been trying to follow his daddy. Orrin would take him up to the farm some days and keep him all day. When he got sleepy he would find a nice place for him out of the road and close to where he was working and put him to sleep.
I have not written any for a few days. As I sat down today to write, it seemed that it
was a long way back to the days when my first four children were little. Yet as my mind goes back it seems very close. I was so young when I was married. These babies were not so far apart that at times they almost seemed like little brothers and sisters. I have always said I had two families. It was almost five years after Reed was born that I had my fifth child. I was much older, both in years and experience. We had quite a hard time trying to pay for the farm and live. The interest was high. One winter Orrin went back over to the coal mines and worked. That winter, Ethel Brady, Alvin Brady’s sister, stayed with me and went to school. She took care of the children while I did the chores.
Father would go down to the Temple and work for a week quite often. At one of these
times Orrin was called on the jury. Sarah said if I wanted to go work with father she would
tend the children. She went and stayed at what was the Terry house. It was one large room
made of logs just off the hill south of the Temple. There was a stove, table, and bunks in it.
We had a very nice time. One day Orrin was off the jury and went to the Temple with father and me.
When Reed was two years old, we bought Amasa Davison’s home. It was where Mr.
Melgaard lives now. Once again we were in town and only a block from Sarah’s It was at this time we received word that our sister Grace had died. She was only sick three days and did not think it was really serious. Sarah and I went to Salt Lake. I left Aunt Goldie and Clara to take care of the children. Orrin was busy with the farm work. We were gone three days. The first thing I saw when I was nearly home was Reed playing in the ditch of water in front of the house. All he had on was a little pair of pants. I could have been really angry, but I was thankful he was not drowned.
It was hard on Orrin, doing the farm work so far away from town. There was not
much we could do about it. I stayed out on the farm most all summer. We just camped and
that was not fun either. When Reed was three and a half years old, he was sick all winter. In the spring he was much better but for most of the winter he could not walk. We had to carry him everywhere he went in the house. Dr. Earl wanted to give him a new treatment that doctors were trying for rheumatism, so we consented. The doctor was to come at 9 o’clock one morning to give it to him. Before he came something seemed to tell me not to have it done. I had found if I listened to those warnings everything would go right. When he came I told him I guessed we would not have it done. He was very angry with me and said that If I wanted the boy to be sick all his life it was all right with him. We did not have it done. He got well, and soon the doctors gave up that kind of treatment. It did more harm than good. Once again the Lord had answered my prayers.
It was at this time that Sarah adopted her daughter, Lillian. She was just one week
older than Reed. She was a pretty little girl. She and Reed would play together all day. She
would get most of the toys away from him. I am sure people don’t get the best of him
On February 11, 1913, our 4th boy was born. Yes, I was still having boys. All those
girls I dreamed about just did not come. I was getting used to having boys by this time. There is something about my boys, I just love them, so this was not a disappointment. He was so good right from the start. Just like he knew he’d better behave. We had a hard time finding a name for him. We wanted Don after an Uncle of Orrin’s. What to go with; it was a question. On the way to church we decided on Don Ray. I like it, don’t you? He was the first baby of ours that Orrin blessed.
In the spring Orrin decided to go to work on the mountain and rent the farm. He and
Albert Clement took a contract to make a canal from Cabin Hollow on the mountain to the
Mammoth Dam. Don was only four months old when we moved up in a tent on the
mountain. It was cold, just the first of June. We all enjoyed it and not one of us had a cold.
We were camped by those that were working on the dam, about 50 men and some of them
had their wives and children. Then there was the bunkhouse and cookhouse. Pete Christensen was the boss and his sister-in-law, Mrs. Mun did the cooking.
On July 20, Reed was five years old. He decided to have a birthday party. Without
saying anything to me, he went around and invited everyone in the camp to come to the party. Then he came and told me. What in the world was I going to do? I could not let him down. I had a few boxes of cookies. I could make some punch. When Orrin came to camp, I told him he would have to get some wood to have a bonfire. We would have a program around it. Some of the boys went with him after the wood. After everyone had supper, they started to come to the party. There were about 75. Orrin had logs for us to sit on. The ranger and his wife were good friends of ours. They came over. So there was quite a mixture of old and young to a little five year old boy’s party. Everyone had such a good time that the ranger invited us all over to the Ranger Station a week from that night to another bonfire program. t was a moonlight night that we went in wagons. There were no cars. It was about one and a half miles. We sang all the way. We surely did have fun.
Orrin made a lot of money that summer, but one of his fine horses died. When we got
back to town, the farmer that had rented our farm had put the grain in the bin too wet. It had all rotted. After all we would have been better off to have stayed on the farm. Only we had that experience.
Lee wrote from Salt Lake for Orrin to come up there. He could get plenty of work.
He went in November. Just before Christmas, the children and I, and Old Ring (he was our
dog) went on the train. Orrin was there at the depot to meet us. We could not take the dog on the street car with us. We sent him with the things we had expressed. A delivery cart took them, but they could not get the dog to go. Bazil was twelve years old. He went along; so the dog was all right. I never knew if Bazil was afraid, but I sure was. We were at Lee’s an hour before the fellow came with Bazil, dog, and our things. Everything was fine. That winter we lived on Eulick Avenue. I had some very nice neighbors, and some that weren’t so nice. There wasn’t a Mormon on the Avenue. Our neighbors on the west were a Mr. and Mrs. Gray. I could tell you a lot about them, but that is their story. Maybe if I have time I will write in the back of this book a few things I have not got time to write now.
Henry and Agnes lived in Salt Lake. The three boys were together again. We had
some very nice times. That Christmas we gave Lee a Tricycle. He rode it until it only had one big wheel left. He could then still ride it. Many things happened that winter that were funny and some that were not so funny.
Bazil, Gladys, and Lee were all going to school. About one of the first things the
school kids did was to take Bazil down an alley and make him fight a big kid that was two
years older. A negro boy went with them. He was about the only one on Bazil’s side. Bazil
licked the kid, but you should have seen him when he came home. His eyes were both black and swollen. He was all covered in mud, dirt and some blood. Uncle Henry was at our place. The negro boy brought him home. I said I would never let him go back to school. The negro boy and another boy said, “Oh, they will all be for him now. He is the hero.” They all were his pals after that.”
That winter they started to laying off men, and of course, those that were on the job
last were laid off first. Orrin was out of a job. We decided to come home when school was
out and stay home. Orrin had to come home for one night before us and get things ready. I
was left alone in Salt Lake with the children. Now I had been left alone on the farm and on
the mountain, but it was something else to be alone in the city. Uncle Henry said he would
bring his pistol down to me, but I was afraid of it. So after the children went to bed I turned the lights out and then sat by the front window all night until it was getting daylight. Then I slept for a little while. Once about 11:30 two men came up to the front porch and stood for a minute or two, then went. I can never tell the feeling I had while they were there, but the next day I found it was some friends of my neighbors. They were looking for her number. You see why I was so afraid because it was the days of the saloon. I have always been afraid of men and mice.
In May 1914, we came home. We still owned our home in Fairview. Jessie and Carl
Sundwall had been living in it while they built their new home. It was along about this time the Terry’s had a big reunion. They wanted me to give a reading. I told them it had been so long since I had done any reading I could not. But Uncle Pete Peterson came and asked me if I would do it as a favor to him. I had always thought a lot of him. I said I would. I had given many readings before I was married. Now I was almost out of practice. After this I was asked a good many times to read. Orrin’s family was great to get together and have programs. Every time Uncle Henry would say, “Now Ella, it’s time you read the ‘Bridge Keepers Story’.” That one he liked best.
On Thanksgiving we always went to Mother Terry’s and Christmas to Aunt Sadie’s,
as Sarah was called by our children. We would have a large Christmas tree. Ida and family,
Jake and family, and my family would gather at Sarah’s the night before Christmas to get the gifts from each other. This Christmas we got a Santa Claus suit for Orrin, mask and all, and told the children that Santa would be there. After we had gathered in the living room, we heard the sleigh bells. Then in came Santa with a pack on his back, a bag of candy, and nuts for everyone. We had a lovely time. We women thought everything went off swell. That night when I was putting the children to bed, Reed said, “Mama, doesn’t Santa have any shoes?” I said, “Of course, what made you think he didn’t?” He said, “Well, why then was he wearing daddy’s shoes?”
On March 8th, our sixth child was born, another boy, but so cute. [Wells] He had red
hair. He just seemed like a little angel from heaven. He was born while the children were at school. Someone told Gladys that she had a little baby sister at home. She ran all the way home. When she found out it was a boy, she cried like her heart would break and would not look at him. She soon was loving him like the rest of us. That spring we sold our home in town to Melgaard and moved up to the farm. Orrin said if we made it on the farm he would have to get some chickens. We had always like having some. We had our cows and we had tried pigs, but with not much success. That summer he wanted to use his homestead right on some land over west of Hilltop. Grandpa was going to take him to Salt Lake to file on it. Grandpa found out that another fellow was going on the same day. When he came up, we left the children with Goldie and Clara and took Wells, the baby, with us.
I’ll take time now to tell what a time we had naming our baby. We had run out of
names. We had had too many boys. All our friends and relatives wrote a name on paper. We put them in a hat and drew for a name. Every time Orrin or I did not like it and we would have to draw again. At last we took Lloyd Wells, but I never did like it very well.
We left the farm at 10 p.m. in the car. When we arrived in American Fork, Grandpa
was so sleepy that we went to Uncle Joe Searle’s and slept in the straw stack for two hours.
You see, if we had gone in the house they would not let us go until after breakfast. We wanted to be at the Courthouse in Salt Lake when it opened. We were there; just a half hour after we got there the other fellow came, but of course, we were first and we got it.
That summer Bazil and Orrin would go over and stay for a week and plow to get
some land ready to plant that fall. The next year we had some very nice wheat raised over
there. We had Uncle Pete Peterson cutting it. He had to stay all night. Lee and Bazil were
over plowing again, getting more land ready to plant. Uncle Pete tells how when they went to eat, Bazil said to him that they always had the blessing and if it was all right and if boys did likewise they would never go very far wrong. He told it in a meeting. It was surely a thrill to us.
It was lonesome now. Orrin would be away so much of the time, and the children
would be at school, except right in the summer. Even then the boys would be with their dad. We had four children going to school. Now they had a buggy and horse. They would take it to Sarah’s and leave it while at school.
One winter Orrin and Uncle Joe went for a few weeks in the mountain east of Mt.
Pleasant to get out logs. I stayed on the farm. Bazil and Lee had the chores to do, with what
help I could give them.
One day it started snowing in the morning just after they had left for school and kept
it up all day. The snow was already deep. We did not have the roads kept opened as they do now. By the time for them to come home, it was a real blizzard. I was afraid for them to
come. I knew I would lose my mind if someone did not come. When it was nearly dark here came Bazil on the horse. He said he could not see to guide her, but he just put his hands in his pockets and let her go the way she wanted. She brought him home. We just did not do any chores that night, but I thanked my Heavenly Father that my children were safe. All night I lay awake wondering if Orrin and Joe were all right. The next morning the storm was over. We did the chores and about 11 o’clock here came Grandpa Terry in the bobs to get us. He fed the stock well. Then he left for town. It was drifting so he could not see where the tracks were that he made coming up. About five that night Orrin and Joe came. They had been most of two days getting home. They did not go back. No wonder I had a pain in my head all the time. Sometimes when I look back over my life on the farm and think of some of the things I lived through I wonder why I liked it so.
We had the sweet along with the bitter. I would go over in the field where Orrin was
watering. Just as the sun went down, the best time of the day on the farm, we would have our picnics. I always knew where the boys were. Gladys was never very far away from me. Orrin and I had always been very dear to each other. So, after all, what more could I want? Then there was one more thing. I could always see the funny side of life. And believe me it helped me over a lot of hard places. On July 29, 1917, our last baby came to us and the only one that was born at the farm. I was so very sick it was two weeks before I even sat up in bed. I think Gladys was the only one that felt bad because it was a boy. I don’t think I would have known how to care for a little girl again. Gladys wanted to name him a name that could be for a boy or girl. We told her she could. That is why he was named Eugene.
I have been away from home for over four weeks and no writing has been done. As I
stopped before Gene was just a small baby, I can remember many things that should have
gone in the first part of my book. I think before I go on I will tell a few of them.
My mother’s sisters lived in California and one summer when I was ten years old my
Aunt Pricilla, her son, and three grandsons (their mother was dead) came to visit us. The boys were ten, twelve, and fourteen years old. They had always lived in a city. Mother and Father were living on the farm and we really had a good time.
It was just about time to gather pine nuts. I told them about them and we decided to
gather some, even if they were not ready. The boys took off their hats and filled them with the sticky pine nuts and I filled my front apron. When we came down to the house we didn’t get a spanking, but we needed one. The boys hats had to be burned up along with my apron, and oh my, our hands. We just could not get the sticky gum off them.
Then I remember the day Lee fell in the canal in front of the farm house. He was one
and a half years old. We had been to town to meeting. Orrin was putting the horse in the
stable and I had gone into the bedroom to change my dress. I looked out the window to see
what the children were doing and there he was going toward the ditch and could not stop. I had to run back through the kitchen and then to him. Just as I got to the door he fell in. I
screamed and ran to the ditch just below where he went in. I jumped right in with all by best shoes and clothes on. I got him up out of the water but I could not get back out myself. The water was too deep and running too swift, but Orrin had heard me and Brother Brady also. They at the time lived south of us on their farm. They both were there in just a few minutes but it seemed like a lifetime to me. The next morning Orrin went to town, bought some wire netting and he and Brother Brady put a fence up along the ditch. Now when I read of so many babies drowning, I think how good the Lord was to us with that ditch right there in our dooryard and all the time our children were small.
Just one more backward look into the early part, then I must hurry on. This was
another time we had been to town and Orrin had turned the horses out to get a drink. Their names were Pete and Twin. Don was the baby, about one and one half years old and he was out in the yard. I had not gone in the house. The horses started to play and run right for him. I saw Twin go right over him and then I saw him laying there on the ground not moving. I just froze where I was. I could not move. Orrin ran to him and picked him up and he started to cry. We took him to the house, undressed him, but there was not a mark on him. We think when the horse saw him in the way she just jumped over him and it was fright that caused him to fall and lay so still.
It keeps a mother ever watchful over her little ones and her older ones as well. There
is a saying, one can never repay their mother and father for what they do for them. As for me, I feel my children have been repaying me every day since they were old enough to say, “I love you, mother dear.”
After Eugene was born I could not get back to what I had been. It seemed that I was
always tired and I lost weight. I had what I thought was quite a large family. Seven children and the oldest one was fifteen, and all boys but one, and living on a farm where there were a lot of things for boys to do I had little work done in the house by them.
The winter before Eugene was two, Wells had pneumonia very bad. We were still out
on the farm when he took sick. We sent for Doctor Rigby. When he told us what it was we
could hardly believe it. We had Ann Vance come up to help me. Doctor Rigby told me to bath him off every two hours. We did that the rest of the day and all night and until about noon the next day. Then something seemed to tell me not to do it any more. I knew every time I listened to that prompting I was better off, so I told Ann we would not bath him any more. She was very angry with me and said if I was not going to do what the doctor told me to do there was no use for her to stay. I asked her to stay the rest of that day, anyway.
It was not two hours after we stopped bathing him until his fever broke and he went
cold all over and for twelve hours we kept him wrapped in hot blankets. Ann knew then that I had been prompted to act as I did. I know the Lord will help us if we listen to that still small voice.
He was soon well again. The next winter we moved to town. We lived where Vern
Cox lives now, just above Ida’s. It was while we were there that so many died with the flu.
Almost every one in Fairview was down with it. The children went to school one morning
and so many were getting sick that the teachers sent them all home. When Lee came he said, “Well, I’m not going to get sick,” but it was not two hours until Bazil, Gladys, and Lee were all in bed. Orrin piled up coal and wood on the porch so we could keep warm. Wells and I were down. We put the beds up in the living room. Dan James was Marshal. He would come around twice each day to see how we were and get things from the store. Pete Hansen, Earl Hansen’s father came and did our chores. Orrin never went to bed but he was sick just the same, and kept the fires going. One day Lizzie Anderson brought over a large kettle of lovely soup, and it was surely good. Gene was the only one that did not get it. He would go around bringing our clothes to us and tell us to get up. One day Brother Hansen did not come and we knew that he was down. Bazil was starting to get up some, and he and Orrin did the chores once that day. Then Orrin went down the back way and over to May’s. Her children were all sick and she was so glad to see him she cried. While he was gone, Lee’s nose started bleeding and it went all over me. I was so sick to raise up. But we all lived through it.
In March Sarah wanted to do some work in the Temple. I had father come up and stay
with me that week and let her go. He seemed very happy to come. He enjoyed himself very
much and I did everything I could to make his stay pleasant and he seemed well for his 89
years. Orrin had always cut his hair and beard for him since we were married. He thought he would get him all shaved up nice by the time Sarah came back. After he had cut his hair,
Orrin said to me he felt that would be the last time he would ever do it and it was. Father
became ill right away and was only sick for three weeks. He died at our place March 25,
1919. He had been a very kind and loving father and we missed him very much.
It is over a year since I started to write about my life, and here I am with it not half
written. I just wrote a little then and put it aside and only started again in October to try and finish it. I have written about my children when they were small, and today they are men and women, all married in the temple, and Gladys and Bazil have children married; and on this Christmas I have been remembering with lovely gifts from all of them. There are 46 in my family besides myself. As the lovely gifts came I opened all the parcels, all but Don’s and Gladys’. She kept Don’s at her place. She said I would not have any fun Christmas morning but you see this way I have fun all week. I had breakfast at Gladys’ then went to church. When I came home I read and had a nap. This afternoon, Don, Gene, and families called on the telephone to wish me a Merry Christmas. I am proud of all my children. They are wonderful to me. This was to have been a Christmas gift from me to the boys and girls so I had better get back to writing or they won’t get it for next Christmas.
When Gene was four years old we were living where Ezra Vance lives now. I had not
been feeling too well that winter, but well enough to do my work, go to meetings and some
parties. At that time here in Fairview they had their Relief Society’s big party the first
Saturday in February every year. This year I had been asked to be chairman for the North
Ward, and Sister Nancy Miner for the South Ward. We each had nine women to help us to
take care of refreshments, program, dance, and everything.
We worked hard and the party was a great success. But with that and everything I had
to do at home it was too much for me. One morning in March, I had given the children their breakfast and they had gone to school. As Orrin and Bazil and I went to have our breakfast I took a severe pain in my heart and passed out. Orrin sent for the doctor and the Elders. The Elders came first, and when the doctor came he said I had a very bad heart. He had me put to bed and it was almost a year before I did any work again.
For the first three months Orrin would carry me out in the living room for the day and
back to bed at night. Gladys was in her senior year at High School. She had been staying in
Mt. Pleasant at Uncle Henry Terry’s place, and as she was our only girl she came home and
went from here to school. She would get up in the morning, make all the beds, put her lunch up and get herself ready for school. Orrin and Bazil took turns doing the chores and getting breakfast. Lee and Reed washed all the dishes. You never saw dishes washed faster. At night Gladys would come home and get a good supper for us. I was too tired to eat or talk. They fed me with a spoon. I was even too tired to eat that way.
One day when we had the Elders, Brother Ely Day was one of them. He asked Orrin
if he could tell our children a story before they prayed for me. Orrin told them yes. He told
them about the time when I was so awful sick when Bazil was a little baby and how the Lord blessed me then and he said if they all had faith I would be blessed again. When he was through they all knelt around the bed and prayed for me. Then the brothers administered to me.
I started to get better after that but it was slow. It was hard to know my children
needed me and I was helpless to do anything for them. Then is when I started to do so much reading. Bazil made a rack to put on the bed in front of me to hold the book and all I had to do was turn the pages. I was too weak to hold the book. At that time you could get a book at the drug store for one dollar. Then after reading it, take it back and get another for fifteen cents. I had to do something to get my mind off myself as I would have gone crazy, and that is how I did it.
That spring Gladys was through high school. She would have liked to have gone on
to college but she stayed home to help me. She liked sewing and had taken it at school. She
did all my sewing until after she was married. She has been a wonderful daughter to me.
We had our sickness and sorrow, our happiness and joys, and through it all we could
see the funny side and the sunny side of it all. I am sure that is why I am here today to write about it. I never let it get me down. Some people have been blessed with a lovely singing voice and some with other great talents. I was born or blessed with a sense of humor and I am very thankful for it.
After my illness we stayed in town most of the time. We would go up to the farm for
the summers, but we rented. I have lived in thirteen different homes in Fairview and only
owned three. I have lived in every part of town and have had good neighbors everywhere I
have lived. Gladys would bring her girlfriends home and they were a lot of lovely girls. They were just as free at our house as in their own homes and often they would get their mothers to join in with them in a party at one of our places and did we have fun. Gladys was just like a little sister of mine. Don’t forget these girls had boyfriends, too, but that is their story, not mine.
The years after I was so sick and up until 1923, were filled in with just living. And
then all too soon one of our children was married and going out to a home of his own. Bazil had been working over at the mines and while there met a very nice Mormon girl by the name of Hazel Henri. I had never seen her until she came to go to the Temple, but we soon learned to love her as our own.
After they were married, they went to Park City to live. He was always so full of fun,
laughing and pulling jokes on all of us that we surely did miss him. But the next winter Hazel came and stayed with us and on April 21, 1924, our first grandchild was born at our home. A cute little black-headed girl and they named her Eleen. When Hazel was well enough she went back to Park City. At this time we were living at the Howard Rigby home.
In the fall after Eleen was born Orrin went to Park City and worked all winter. Reed
and Lee did the chores. We had the cows in town but the dry stock was at the farm. Just after Christmas Wells took very sick and all that winter he was not well at all.
In the spring Orrin came home but we did not move to the farm but moved on Main
Street where Ila Jensen lives now. Gladys had gone with many fine boyfriends and I knew
that some day she would leave our home for one of her own, but when Hugh asked us for her I just could not give her up so I never really gave her to Hugh. I guess that is why he is so good to me because he is afraid I will take her back.
On September 2, 1925, they were married in the Manti Temple. We went with them
as we did with Bazil and Hazel and the same lady that had gone through with Orrin and I,
Jetta Marian, was still working at the Temple.
That winter Hugh went to school at Provo. They would come home quite often. I had
just lived for my husband and my children and they were all leaving too soon for homes of
their own. Lee went to California for the winter that Gladys was married. When he came
home he brought me a set of lovely china. I still have them and it was twenty-five years ago.
In the winter Wells had another hard sick spell and the doctor said that his heart was
very bad. It was hard for me because I knew just what it was to have a bad heart. He was so
full of life and it was hard to hold him down.
In the spring we moved back on the farm and Gladys and Hugh stayed at our place in
town. Don, Wells, and Gene spent many happy hours together on the farm. They had a trail up through the cedars and almost every day they would go up through the cedars. But Wells got so he could not keep up with the other two and he would come back and sit down
somewhere near me and say, “I love you, mother dear.” It was very hard for me to smile at
him, knowing how he was feeling.
Bazil came down and wanted Don to go back with him to Park City so we let him go
and Gene stayed around close to the house to play with Wells.
One day Orrin took Wells and Gene over to the dry farm, twelve miles from the farm
and was going to stay a week, but Wells took very sick and he brought him home. His face
was all swollen up and he could hardly see out of his eyes. For thirty-five days and nights we fought for his life, but lost and on August 21, 1926, he was still and free from pain. The Lord had taken him home. Through all those thirty-five days Orrin and I never took our clothes off, only to bath and put clean ones on. When we could see that he would not stay with us Hugh went to Park City for Don. He was to come back the next day but when he got there he came right back and arrived at the farm at six a.m., the morning before Wells died. Wells heard the car coming and he said, “Here comes Don.” I told him Hugh could not be back that soon but he said, “Well, he is” and he was. I will never forget the look between those two pals. I had always dressed the two boys alike and as soon as Gene was old enough, the three dressed alike.
In less than three years, three of our family were gone and Lee was off to work.
It is several days since I wrote last. I wonder if I would have started this if I had
known how hard it was going to be for me. I hate writing so badly and then my head hurts so much, but when I start something I finish it, so here goes.
About three weeks after Wells died I was at the farm with Don and Gene one night.
Orrin and Reed had gone to Priesthood meeting. At that time they had it on Monday night.
When they came back Orrin asked me to guess who was the President of the young ladies. I guessed everyone I could think of. He would say no each time. I told him those were the only ones that could do it. Then he said the Bishop told him to tell me that they had chosen me to be President. I said, “Well, I won’t. In the first place I can’t and it is too soon after Wells’ death.” I just could not face the public.
So in the morning I had him take me down to Bishop Graham’s. He smiled when he
saw me and told me, “Sister Barker, today is Tuesday. Don’t answer me now but come back
Friday and tell me then.” I went home. I cried and I prayed and I thought about it and the
more I thought, I did not dare say no. When I went back and told him I would try he put his arm around me and said this will be a great blessing to you as well as the girls in the ward. On our way home I turned to Orrin and said, “Why, here are all those girls I have
wanted for so long.” All the girls in the North Ward. For the four years I was president I
always thought of them as my girls and I loved them and I think maybe they loved me, too,
and it was a great blessing to me. It helped me keep my mind off my sorrow. The officers
quite often would stay at the meeting house after Mutual and have another meeting. Gene
was only nine that first year and I would take him with me. He would have to stay with me as Orrin was away from home that winter. One night that winter we were out in the hall just ready to turn off the lights when I said, “It seems like I have left something.” It was Gene. He was sound asleep on one of the benches. It almost made me sick to think if we had left him and he had woke up in the dark. I would go in and sit in the dark waiting for someone to come and turn the lights on and it was a great peaceful feeling for me but it would surely have been different for a small boy.
I had a grand set of officers and teachers. We got along so well together. Brother
Marion Tucker was the President of the young men. We did some very fine things during
those four years. We made quite a lot of money with our plays and dances. We had to take
care of our own expenses. The M.I.A. of the two wards were asked to help buy those large
mirrors in our recreation hall. I never go in there but what I think of the good times and the hard work and the feeling that I have an interest in them. There is a lot of hard work and a lot of hours spent in the M.I.A. work, and I thank my family for the support they gave me. If they had not been so good I could not have stayed with it.
Remember, I was not a well woman and that I lived on the farm most of the time. But
Orrin and the boys always helped me with my work and would do for themselves if I had to
It was on October 26, 1926, that Bob was born and one week later on November 1,
that Lavere was born. Bob at Provo, and Lavere at Park City. History was repeating itself.
Two more boys, but they were sure cute little beggars. One with red hair and one black.
When Bob was a week old I went down to Provo and stayed two weeks with them. Hazel’s
mother was up with them. Hugh would not let me wash, mop the floors, or any of the hard
work, and he would not let me watch, either.
When I arrived back home someone had shot a two year old horse of ours. He was
black. Barney was his name. We surely could not afford to lose him. All you young
grandsons remember a bullet can do a lot of damage.
Hugh and Gladys went to Rexburg, Idaho, to teach and while there Florine was born
on September 22, 1928. Grandpa and Ma, Orrin and I, went up to see them when she was
three weeks old.
I went into the M.I.A. on September 1926 and was there until June, 1930. I asked
Bishop Jones to release me. He did not want to but my body was tired and he was surely a
fine Bishop. I enjoyed working for him.
I had three counselors during that time. Selma Peterson, Wanda Hansen, and Minta
Rollins. They were lovely women.
Orrin was in the Superintendency of the Sunday School and I thought that was
enough for one family, so the next year all I did was to be class leader in Relief Society. I was a class leader for over twelve years. Not all at one time but all together.
At this time Lee and Mardene were married on October 31, 1929. We had never seen
Mardene but we soon learned to love her. She was so quiet at first I did not know just how to get acquainted with her, but, well, you know me.
The next year I was asked to be a Gleaner teacher in the M.I.A. Now I was really
happy. I could get real close to the girls and I did. I was their teacher for four years. We met every Tuesday both summer and winter. In the summer we would go to each others homes, but more often they would come up to the farm.
While I was President, twice the M.I.A. came up to the farm and Orrin and I gave
them all corn cooked on the cob. We had a pond south of the house and they really had fun. They would come about 5 p.m. and stay around the campfire. We always picked a night when there was a moon.
The summer before I was Gleaner teacher, Bazil and family, along with Reed, went to
Boulder City. It was just in the making and was so hot, but they got good work. Just before
they went we had our pictures taken at Hugh and Gladys’. They were living at Fairview at
On August 19, 1930, Lloyd was born. He was Lee and Mardene’s oldest and first boy.
They were living at Fairview. On November 22, 1930, Dale was born. Two more boys added to our male group but they were such cute babies we would like to have them stay.
Just before Christmas of 1931, Orrin and I went to Boulder on the bus. Before we
went my Gleaner girls had a surprise party on me and gave me a lovely set of bowls. I still
have them and the names of the girls in the class. Orrin had not been well and we thought the
trip would do him good. We left Don and Gene to do the chores. I made some suet pudding
and did some baking for them. They were going to eat their dinner on Christmas day at
Gladys’, but her children had chicken pox so they stayed home and made themselves sick on suet pudding. We were fourteen hours on the bus going down and were we tired. Reed met us at Las Vegas. He had bought himself a new car. We were so tired and still had a long ride before we reached Bazil’s, which was twenty-three miles away. I will let Reed tell you about that ride. Anyway, we all arrived there safe. Eleen and Lavere were so thrilled to see us but they did not know what they were going to do for a Christmas tree, because you could not buy one in Boulder. There were none to be had. They lived in the last row of houses next to the South Desert. (There were three more rows of houses built later.) Dad and I went and got a lot of shadscale brush and made a Christmas tree. It was a lot of fun. We stayed down there for five weeks. One day Bazil came home with a little dog no bigger than his fist. He had to get up every night about every three hours and warm some milk and feed it. If you don’t think it was funny to see him doing it you should have been there.
Just before we came home the dog took off out on the desert and Eleen and Lavere
after it. When I missed them they were just going over a little knoll. Dad and I went after
them. The dog was having fun. He thought they were playing but they were crying. We
almost lost them. The ground was up and down. When we got back home I said, “Well, I
went through a lot raising dogs for dad but I was not going to do it for my kids.” They just
laughed at me.
On Christmas day we went down to the dam. We did not have to wear a coat because
it was very warm.
On January 8, 1932, Billy Ray was born. We didn’t have a basket so we made a little
bed in my suitcase and put him in it. The nurse was an Irish lady and was surely full of fun.
She was the wife of one of the bosses. She was a trained nurse but did not have to work but
was just helping out. She invited dad and I to their home and we had a lovely time. Now we had seven grandchildren, five boys and two girls.
While we were down there Reed took us up where the bridge crossed the Colorado
River to see an old Spanish home. We went in it and through the rooms. It had a large
veranda all around it. I saw one room where the door was closed. I said I was going to look in it. I went over to the door and there was a small glass in it. I could see in the room and there sat a man with a gun, his back to the door. He could see me through the mirror. We soon got out of there. He was a guard for the bridge.
We hated to come away and leave them but we had been away from home long enough. Reed brought us home. I shall never forget that ride. We left Boulder about 3 a.m. in
the morning, had crossed the desert and was north of Saint George before we came to any
snow. We came up on the high dugway that faced the North. We were in snow almost before we knew it. It was slick as ice and first thing we knew we had turned around twice and headed back the way we came. I looked at dad and Reed. They were as white as they could be. I got out of the car. I was so weak I could not stand up. They had to drive back up to the head of the dugway to turn around, and then came right down the same way. I would not go with them so I walked to the bottom of the dugway. They came down okay the last time and after I got in the car we were going along all right, Reed started to sing, “Who’s on the Lord’s side, Who.”
The next town we came to we had another turn around. Reed then said it must be
because his tires had too much air in them. He let some out of them and after that we came
along just fine. It was after 11 p.m. when we arrived at Hugh’s, 20 hours after we had left
Bazil’s. I did not want to go away from home very soon after that again. There was lots of
snow here and it was very cold.
The next day Reed went back and took Don with him. They had a terrible trip back
but that is their story. They can tell it in their history.
On the 6th of March, 1930, Lee and Mardene’s baby Tommy was born. He was a
sweet little angel, but he only stayed with us three days and then the Lord took him back
home on the 9th of March.
We were on the farm the winter Tommy died. Mrs. Murdock, Mardene’s mother,
came and stayed with her a little while. Then her sister Helen came. She would go with me to Mutual.
For the next year we were quite busy with our church work and our farm work. We
were sending seven cases of eggs a week to the Manti Hatchery and also to Draper. It was at this time that there was no work, no money, and so there was not much to be made.
On the 28th of July, 1933, Gladys and Hugh had their third boy. They named him John
Carrol. Poor little Florine. No sister yet. He was surely a cute baby, big black eyes, and a lot
of black hair.
Reed was still at Boulder, but he told us he was going to be married in October. He
was really in love with Mada Spencer. They were a cute couple. Mada, with her dark hair and Reed who was fair. He came up from Boulder and on the 18th of October, 1933, they were married in the Manti Temple. We went with them and also on that day October 18, 1933, Hazel gave us our third granddaughter, Betty Darlyne. We now had six grandsons and three granddaughters. Then on October 29, 1933, Lee and Mardene had another boy whom they named Jerry Jeffs. Ten grandchildren and I did not feel very old.
Reed and Mada went back to Boulder and at Christmas Orrin and I went with Mr. and
Mrs. Spencer, Mada’s parents, to see them. We had a lovely trip but could not stay very long.
I had always wanted black-eyed children as my mother had black hair and eyes, but I
never had any of my own. I was sure getting plenty now. Bazil, Reed, Lee and Gladys had
married girls with black hair and eyes, and Hugh with his black hair. All the grandchildren
but Bob and Florine were dark and these last two boys were really dark. Betty was dark, too, even if Hazel did think her eyes were blue.
I don’t think I have said anything about old Fly. She was one of the family, too, even
if she was a horse. I think the boys really loved her like a sweetheart. She was no sweetheart of Orrin’s, though; she was too fast for him. She had taken the boys to town in the cart and they would ride her and it did not take many minutes either. They always said she gave them their education. Also, they loved our dogs Old Ring, Toby and Tammy. We also named another dog Toby.
I wish I was not so tired and I would tell some of the things they did but you boys and
girls write about it so you won’t forget them as I have forgotten some things.
On the 2nd of August, 1934, Reed and Mada had their first baby. It was a little girl and
they named her Evelyn. It was so hot at Boulder that when she was two weeks old her mother came up on the bus. Then Reed came and got her when it was cooler. She was a fair baby with blue eyes, and well, we did not know the color of her hair because she didn’t have any. She was so cute with all the little darkies in the family she was quite a change for us. That winter, Mada’s mother died suddenly and they came up. As the work at the dam
was nearly finished they did not go back but stayed with us. It had been quite lonely at the
farm. Just dad, Gene, and I since Don had gone to Boulder. Gene would be at school all day but when Reed and Mada and the baby came we were not quite so lonely.
In May 1935, Eugene was through high school and Don came home from Boulder.
Bazil, Hazel, and family came also but they went to Ferran to live. Don and Gene made a
trailer house and went to the A.C. College at Logan. Ned Tucker lived with them.
On the 4th of December, Reed and Mada’s first boy was born. They named him Jay
Spencer. He was a cute little fellow. They were living in part of Hugh’s home at the time.
In the spring Gene came home to help his father. He had not been so well but Don
stayed until school was out. I had quit teaching in Mutual as it was hard to get down at night, but then they asked me to teach with Ira Garlick. We taught the missionary class in Sunday School. I taught there for eight years. I enjoyed very much working with Ira. That made twelve years I had spent working in the Sunday School from the time I was a girl until I gave up teaching.
In the summer of 1937, Don took a class in jewelry in Salt Lake, and that fall was
married to Nola Clement, who was a Fairview girl that he had taken for over a year. She was the first one to marry into the family that had blue eyes and light hair. They were married at Manti in the Manti Temple. We went with them also. They went to Heber City to live where Don had a jewelry store.
In the fall of 37, Gene went to the B.Y.U. In the spring of 38 he went to Business
College and then came home to help dad during the summer.
On December 22, 1937, Gladys and Hugh had their last baby and it was a boy. They
named him Terry Gene. There went Florine’s last chance for a sister, but he was sure a cute
little fellow. As it was just before Christmas I took John (he was only three and a half years
old) up to the farm and he helped me trim the Christmas tree. We had the wax candles on it. He tells me about it still.
Bazil had moved to Fairview and bought Reed Peterson’s home as they were close to
us again and Reed and Mada bought the old Anderson home where Annie had lived so long. We thought we were going to have our children around us but there was not much work here to hold them. Lee and Mardene had moved to Heber City. Gene went back to the L.D.S. College that fall, but in December he was called to go on a Mission.
Orrin’s health had been so poor the last year the doctor said he must quit working and
I was not well at all so we thought we would rent the farm and get a home in town. We
bought the home I am living in now. I love the location and I love the place, but I have had
too much sorrow and been too ill to say I am happy here. If Orrin could have stayed with me but I guess it wasn’t to be.
When M.I.A. started this fall Bishop Jones came to me and asked me to be President
again. I have always tried to do the things I was asked to do but I was not too well and did
not know if I would be much good. May Mower and Audre Peterson were my counselors.
Kaye Stewart was the President of the Young Men.
In January, 1939, Gene went to the Mission home in Salt Lake for two weeks. The
last week Orrin and I went up and stayed with Laura and Henry and Lee and family. While
we were there Uncle Lee’s son Henry took us in the car any place we wanted to go. He went
to the Mission home with us for one evening. He said he surely wished he could go on a
mission. He did not get to go for he was called into the army and while there he lost both of his legs and most of one hand, but he was always cheerful.
Hugh and Gladys came up after us and when we said goodbye to Gene. Orrin said he
did not think he would see Gene again. He almost didn’t. We had to hurry home as Hugh’s
two sisters (Annie and Helena) had died within two days of each other and he had to be back. When we left for Salt Lake the water works had frozen but Hugh and Herman Sanderson said they would get it fixed and they did. When we bought our home Herman and Hannah were living in the two North rooms. We let them stay.
I will never forget when we arrived home we were feeling quite blue. As we came in
the house Mada had a five gallon glass jar of lovely dough-nuts and plenty of other good
things to eat. We got to laughing at so many dough-nuts to eat for just a few of us. She said
she did not think there were so many until she started to cook them, then they just seemed to swell. They did not last long for they were good and we were wishing Gene had a few.
Now Orrin and I were where we were when first married, just we two; all the children
were married but Gene and he was on a mission. But we had plenty to do to keep us busy. A thousand chickens to take care of and our cows and calves.
Then there was our church work. Orrin in the Sunday School and I the Mutual. This
was the year the M.I.A. put over the amateur hour. It took a lot of work but gave some very
good entertainments and also helped our young as well as old to act before the public.
On April 4th, 1939, Don and Nola’s first baby was born. A sweet little boy. They
named him Raeldon. They were living at Heber and Don was doing quite well with his
This spring we had 1200 pullets besides our old hens. We raised them in the coops at
Bazil’s home. He had gone off to work but Hazel and the children were there. Some nights
we stayed all night at the coops. We had a bed in one part of it. Dad did not want me to stay but he was not well so I would not have him alone over there. We had quite a loss. They would go blind and they could not see to eat. About 300 pullets were all we saved and they were not very good. It was a lot of hard work for nothing.
One day Orrin said he had to get away. Hazel said they would look after the chicks.
We got into the car and went to Heber to see Don, Nola, Lee and Mardene. We arrived there for breakfast and stayed all day. We came back to Thistle. Reed and Mada was there, and then on home. I think it did us good.
In September I had another hard sick spell. The doctor said I would have to stay off
my feet. I called the Bishop and told him I guess I could not go on with the M.I.A. work and he released me.
We were quite worried about Hazel. She was not at all well and Bazil was working at
Arizona. Her baby was born the last part of October. Bazil got home just the night before.
The baby died and we almost lost Hazel. She was a very sick woman, but the Lord was very
good to them and she lived. They named the baby Larry. Reed made the little casket and
Gladys and I covered and lined it and it was beautiful.
It was a long time before Hazel was well again. Dad and I would try and go over as
often as we could but neither of us were well. She was still in bed for Thanksgiving so I
cooked the dinner here at home. Eleen got the potatoes ready and we had dinner over at their place.
At this time we were getting letters from Gene and he was enjoying his work. His
brothers and sisters, wives and uncles and Hugh all helped in the money part of the mission.
In the first part of February Orrin became very ill. We called the doctor in and he said
he would have to stay in bed for awhile. Reed was home for the winter so he did all the
chores. Dad was in bed two weeks. Then he got up and I will never forget how he had the unday School Teachers and officers come and sack up the candy and nuts for the Sunday
School Christmas tree here at our place. They had their party and dad could hardly go. He
went to Sunday School on the 7th of January 1940 and that was the last time he ever went to church. He was so sick he could hardly get home.
This part of my life story I can hardly write about because it brings things back too
plain. Things that I have been pushing into the back of my mind for a long time so they won’t hurt too badly. I have been trying for a week to write about it but just couldn’t. If I don’t give too much detail you will know it is because I can’t take it. Remember, I lived through 15 months of seeing him in so much pain. I could hardly stand it, with my own sleepless nights, the worry of our financial conditions and knowing that any time I might take sick myself. When he saw he would not be well for a long time he asked the Bishop to release him from the Sunday School, but they would not at that time. In March the doctor wanted him to go to Salt Lake and have a check-up there but he did not want to go. He said he could not stand the trip. Uncle Archie said he thought it would be a good idea to see what another doctor would say. So we called in another doctor. He said we were doing for him all that could be done. All this time I had not written to Gene and told him how sick his father was. He knew that he was not well but that was all. In May Orrin sent for the Bishop (it was Golden Carlston), and gave him a written resignation to the Superintendent of the Sunday School. Of course, they released him then.
At that time I wrote to the President of the Mission and told him how ill Eugene’s father was. I told him I had not told Gene. I would leave it up to him. He wrote back, (I still
have the letter) and said Gene was doing a fine work and he would wait until he heard from me again, but if there was any change let him know right away.
All this winter and spring while Orrin was so sick, Bazil and Reed did the chores. One would do them in the morning and one at night. When the time came for them to go back to their work we did not know what to do.
One day Lavere came over and Orrin said, “Lavere, how would you and Bob like to do our chores?” He said, “Fine” and away he went to see what Bob thought. After he went I said they are not old enough. He said that is what will make men out of them, and here Lavere and Bob showed up ready to do the chores. Bazil showed them what to do and then he
had to go. Bob and Lavere are men now. I will always remember them as the 13 year old
boys that came to help me at a time I needed help most, and never once did I ever get failed.
There was a lot of work to do in the mornings before going to school and also at night when they came home. They did it all spring, summer and until Gene came home in December. Of course, pie, cake and cookies were not safe on the back porch.
In July Orrin seemed to be some better. About 11 a.m. he would get up and dress and
then go back to bed around 3 p.m. One day he wanted Reed to take him up to the farm. Reed
drove the car around to the kitchen door and got him in. They went to the farm but he was
glad to be back home. That was the last time he was out of the house. I could see each day he was failing and by the last of November, the doctor told me he was living on borrowed time. On the 10th of December, 1940, I wrote the President of the mission for him to do what he thought best. I told him I was writing to let Gene know just how his father was, as Gene’s mission would soon be finished. He was released and arrived home before Christmas. It was a sad homecoming for Gene and for all of us. We had planned it so much different. The thing we must do is live from day to day so we will be able to take what comes to us.
The loud speaker from the church was placed in our home and wired to the church so
Orrin could hear Eugene give his first talk. Sister May Mower stayed with him and I went to the meeting.
On the 1st of December 1940, Don and Nola’s second boy, Dennis, was born in Heber. We had so much to do with Orrin so sick that the first we saw the baby was when they
brought him down to us. He was surely a sweet baby.
The boys were off work for the winter. Bazil would come over every day to help with
the chores and he would sit and talk with his father. I am sure they got very close to each
other in those talks. About the middle of January both Lee and Bazil were called out on their jobs and this time it was to Arizona. It was very hard for me for I knew they would never be able to see their father alive again. And they didn’t, for on the 5th of March, he left us, knowing us right up to the last. Forgive me boys and girls for not giving more detail here. I loved him too much. It hurts me to remember those last hours. I was thankful he was out of pain but I felt I could not live without him.
Everyone was so grand to me. The funeral was on Wells’ birthday, the 8th of March.
Over fifty people came from out of town. Some from Nevada and Arizona. They served lunch at the chapel for all relatives. Then there was the coming home without him back to an empty house, for that is what it was without him. Have you ever thought how friends and loved ones gather around you while in sorrow. Then when it is over they fade away. You boys and girls had to go back to your work. Friends had their own things to look after. Then is when I really knew he was gone.
I was thankful I had one boy at home not married and he was really good to me. I
know that lots of times he would have liked to go somewhere but he stayed by me and helped me over that first lonely time. Gladys and Hazel were here in town and they will never know what comfort they gave me. Bazil and Lee went back to their work. Mardene was with Lee. Reed, Don, and families were at Heber. They came down and took me up there for a week. They did everything to make it pleasant for me but still that lonely feeling was always with me.
I have said very little about Orrin’s family. I never knew his father as he died when
Orrin was 8 years old. When Orrin was 16 years old his mother married Will Terry and
moved to Fairview. That is how I came to know him. His mother, (Grandmother Terry) as we all called her was a noble woman. During my married life she was a real mother to me while she was here, but she died two years before Orrin did. Grandpa Terry had four children. Henry, Loren, Luella and Ernest. They and their wives and husbands have also been nice to me.
Orrin’s brothers and wives, sisters and husbands have surely been wonderful to me.
They used to all come up to the farm two or three times a year and we would really have
some gay old times. Since Orrin has gone they have been so good to me. Laura has never issed writing me a letter for Orrin’s birthday. Hennie, Agnes, Lee, Pearl, Laura, Joe have
remembered me with presents or money on Christmas. Orrin had two half sisters, Goldie and Vena. They are also very good to me. Goldie and Que live here at Fairview and I see them quite often. Vena and Mart were so good to Gene while he was on his mission. They were living at Oklahoma at that time. I just received a lovely birthday card from them as I am writing this.
I have been so ill this winter I have thought many times you boys and girls would have to finish this. You have come often to see me and to do for me, clean the house, wash, and iron, (Gladys had done the washing all but once), cook and take care of me but I don’t
think you have really guessed how sick I am. I may get well and live a few years more. The
Lord can do anything.
Of my own brothers and sisters, Ida and I are the only ones left of a family of ten and
Effie is the only in-law. Sarah, the one that has been a mother to us girls died two and half
years ago. If I had been as good as she, and done as much good here on earth I would feel I
had won a great reward. I lived with her so much of my life she seems like my own mother.
The spring and summer of 1941, Gene worked here but many changes were taking place. We were into World War II. In the fall he went to Salt Lake to work and stayed with
Sarah. He would come home quite often and just stay over night and then go back again.
When he left, Bob came back to do my chores. Lavere was doing chores for Golden
Sanderson. That winter Bazil went to Logan to work and in the spring they sold their home
here at Fairview and bought one at Logan. Hazel had to stay here until school was out so she moved into the two North rooms of my home. I enjoyed her and the children very much.
At Easter Gene came with some colored chickens and ducks. We had a lot of fun with them. Reed and Mada were living here at Fairview the first part of the year but both Don and Reed went to work for the Arms Plant in Salt Lake so they moved their families up there.
The day school was out Bazil came for his family. It seemed like I was going to be left alone again, with just Gladys, Hugh and family, for Gene had joined the Air Corps. He was just waiting to be called. Just a few weeks after Bazil went, Gene took Gladys, Aunt Goldie and I up to see them. We stopped at Hyrum to see Aunt Merlyn. She was very ill. We had a nice visit with Hazel and family but had to come right back. A letter from Bazil brought word that Clara, Aunt Amanda’s girl had died at Lehi.
Eleen told us she was going to get married in June. She had gone a long time with Alden Rigby. He was fine fellow from here. The wedding would be here at Fairview. Eleen and Lavere came down about a week before they were married and stayed with me. I had to
be her mother and Gene her father. He got a big kick out of having a grown-up daughter. It
was impossible for Bazil and Hazel to come. We went to the Temple with them.
On the 4th of July, Gene’s call came for the Air Corps. The morning he left I felt like I
could not go on. All the boys had moved away with their families, and I did not know when I would see them again. Gladys and family and my friends were very good to me and
somehow the days went past and in a short time I received a letter from Gene that through
something about his health he was going to be released from the Air Corps. I did not know if it made me happy or sad. I knew how much he wanted it.
When he came home he went right on up to Salt Lake to work in the Arms Plant where the other boys were. On October, 1942, Reed and Mada had their second baby girl, Janene, born on Mada’s birthday. She was the first of a group of granddaughters, and a lovely
lot they are. That winter Gene brought Marian Anderson down to see me and I knew right
away I was going to like her very much.
In February I was very ill. The doctor had me stay in bed for three weeks. I went to
Hugh and Gladys’ and they took care of me. When I was well enough, I went to Salt Lake
and Reed had the heart specialist come and see me. He just as good as told me I could not
live more than two or three years but I fooled him. Here I am and it is nearly seven years.
On the 20th of May, 1943, Gene and Marian were married in the Salt Lake Temple. I did not go through with them but I saw them married. One of the lady workers took me to a
lovely room with a bed in it and I stayed there until it was time for them to get married. Then she came and got me.
Now all my children were married and I was alone only with Bob staying with me at
nights. That fall Lee was called into the Navy. About three or four weeks after he left, their
little girl Judy was born on January 2, 1944. Alden had already gone in the Air Corps. On
February 26, 1944, Eleen and Alden’s first baby girl was born in Logan. They called her
Jerlyn. She was surely a cute baby. When the people here at Fairview heard about the baby
they started calling me and congratulating me. I could not get it at first but all of a sudden I woke up to the fact I was a great-grandmother at the age of sixty. On October 19th of that
same year Don and Nola’s little girl Gerelee was born. She was a very cute baby. They had
moved back to Heber.
After Bob was out of high school he went off to work and Dale came to stay with me.
He had been just like a son. He stayed four years and then he went last summer to work and this winter to college but when he is home he comes up and stays with me.On the 9th of April, 1945, Gene and Marian had their first baby and it was a girl. They named her Linda Rae. She was just as cute and sweet as could be. I think Gene knew how I wanted girls so they have three. Turley was born August 26, 1947, just as cute a little girl as she can be, and her sister, Sheryl is a year younger, August 12, 1948. She is like the rest, lovely boys and girls. I am trying to get this written before I have to give it up and let someone else finish it.
Lavere and Bob were called into the Army. I don’t know just when. Lavere was married to a lovely girl from Logan, Lunella Hemmert, before he went. They were married in the Logan Temple. They came down to see me and I like her as soon as I saw her. She went
with Lavere to Washington. After he was released they came to Logan to live. They have
three boys just as cute as the girls. The oldest boy is named Vernon, born May 2nd, 1946.
Norman H., born June 26, 1947, and the baby was born in 1949. I have not seen him, but he must be as cute as the other two are.
Lee was released from the Navy in 1945. He came home just after Thanksgiving. We
were all happy to have him back. Reed and Mada were living at Provo. Gene and Marian at
Salt Lake. On January 21st, 1947, Mardene and Lee had their second baby girl. They called
her Carrol Ann and she was like the rest of my grandchildren, very cute and sweet.
It has been so hard for me to get my cleaning done so much of the time. After Florine
was old enough to help she was very good to come and help me with it. But there came a
time that she fell in love and the next thing I knew she was married to Leon Nielsen. I went
to Salt Lake and saw them married in the Temple. When Alden Rigby came into our family I thought I would never be lucky enough to get another grandson-in-law I would like as well, but I was mistaken for Leon has really been grand to me. They lived in part of my home for a year. He was very kind and thoughtful of me. Their little son was born while they lived at my place, July 18th, 1947. He was a cute little fellow and when they moved away I missed him very much and I think that he missed me. He likes to come and see me.
Five months have gone by since I last wrote. Many things have happened during that
time. I think I said something about not being well in my last writing. I was so sick the girls came; Mada first, then Teenie, and stayed each a few days with me. Then Bazil and Hazel came for two or three days, but I did not get better. Don then came and took me to Provo where I stayed at Reed’s. They called Doctor Merrill and he wanted me to go to the hospital. But I did not want to go. I was at Reed’s for three weeks. You boys and girls all came to see me and knew that if I did not go to the hospital I would not be coming home ever again. On Tuesday about noon I went in the ambulance with Reed sitting by me.
That was the first part of a horrible dream that lasted for three weeks. At first I suffered a lot and then I was just weak and like I was far away and did not know or care what was going on. The doctors were very good to me and most of the nurses. I had the very best
You know all this and I am just writing this for my family. I want to give you my
testimony here that the prayers that were given for me were the true answers to my coming back to you. The doctors had their share to do for faith without works is dead. I prayed and so did some of the Elders that the doctors would be guided to do for me the things that would make me well if it was the Lord’s will for me, too. I am back now but for how long I will stay that is for Him to say also.
When I was released from the hospital, Lee took me in his car to Reed’s, and I was
there four weeks. They were very good to me and right here I want to say you were all so
very good to me, each and every one of you in your own way and if I have done anything to
hurt any of you or favored one more than another, please forgive me. I have not meant to.
On May 18, 1950, Gene brought me home and as we came into the house the sound
of the clock ticking away made me think more than ever that it was all a dream from the 1st of March until I arrived home. Dale, I want to thank you for winding it up. While I was at Provo, Lillian, Vick and Ruth came to see me. Aunt Laura and Uncle Joe, and Henry, Agnes, Merrill, and Dorothy. I was very glad to see them. I was home five weeks. Every morning Gladys came and got my breakfast, then she would send me a cooked dinner. They are all so good to me, my neighbors tell me they never saw such devoted children and grandchildren. I don’t know how to thank all of you.
When I had been home five weeks, Gene came for me and I went back for a check-up
with the doctors. I stayed at Gene’s. Reed, Lee and Don were down there three weeks. Now
that I am back home I feel much better. Yesterday I felt so good I tried to do a few things and today I have a pain in my back right back of my heart. It has made me blue today but I must be thankful that I am as well as I am.
While I was at the hospital many get-well cards and letters came to me from my friends and relatives. I will always cherish them for they always cheered me. I better get back to writing where I stopped many months ago. On September 23, 1947, Don and Teenie were married. She was a girl from Heber City, and I knew I would like her very well and that she would be one of us.
You boys and girls have been very good to come and see me often since your father
was taken away. I don’t know what people do that don’t have children.
The summer after Dale was through high school he went to Heber City and worked
for Don. John came and stayed with me in the fall when Dale went to college but on
weekends when Dale came home he would come up. I don’t know if it was Dale wanting to
come or that John wanted to be home, but he has always been with me when there was no
one else and I love him for it. In 1945 I sold my cows and chickens as they were too much for me. Since John came there has been no chores but coal and wood to get in. When Bob came back from the Army he saw a girl from Moroni, Carol Christensen, and right now he was in love. On March 8, 1948, they were married. I knew that I would like Carol as soon as I saw her and she has been very good to me. She and her baby, Kirk, come to see me two or three times a week. He was born September 26, 1949. He is surely a sweet baby.
On December 9, 1948, Don and Teenie’s baby girl was born. They named her Valerie.
She is surely a sweet baby.
As I read over these pages that I have written it looks like a history of my children
but after all, is not part of my children’s history, my history? I am about through. Many things that should be in here I have left out. I should have written this many years ago. It was been hard for me to write. I have been too sick to remember, or to make the effort to do so.
I have 23 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. All lovely boys and girls and
10 boys and girls that have married into the family that are just like my very own.
And to all of you I want to bear you my Testimony that the Lord lives and if we all
live good clean lives some day we will be together in the eternity and our happiness will be
greater in the future, then we can now understand.
few pages will be left for someone of you to write the last of this history when I am
gone. Remember I have loved you dearly and wish I had been well so I could have helped
you more. Goodnight.
The following obituary appeared in the Salt Lake Tribune, September 7, 1956, p.
B 15, Col. 2:
ELLA BUSHMAN BARKER
FAIRVIEW—Mrs. Ella Bushman Barker, 72, died Tuesday morning in a Provo
hospital after an illness. Born February 3, 1884, in Lehi, to Jacob and Charlotte
Turley Bushman. Married to Rufus Orrin Barker October 23, 1901, in Manti
L.D.S. Temple. He died March 5, 1940.
Surviving: sons; Bazil O., Ogden; Lee and Reed, Provo; Don, Heber; Eugene,
American Fork; daughter; Mrs. Gladys Anderson, Fairview. 28 grandchildren, 18
great-grandchildren; sister; Mrs. Ida Anderson, Fairview. Funeral Friday 2 p.m.
in Fairview North L.D.S. Ward Chapel. Friends may call family home before
funeral. Burial Fairview Cemetery.
Ella Isadora Bushman Barker