History of George and Eldora Potts
Eldora Lefler, called Dode, was born
Once they were in the path of a prairie fire. The men plowed big strips of land while the women and children made back fires. They built small fires, then put them out until they had big strips of burned ground. The fire was put out before it reached them.
One of the
brothers went to
family, Marsh Lefler, the Bowers and the Bisel family
then came to
Grandpa (Ebenezer) Lefler lived at the place under the hill from the cemetery. We lived down where the Petersons used to live. Mother took us up to Grandpa’s. The boys went to play with Uncle John’s boys. Grandpa had a nice swing back of the house. There was a tall row of large cottonwood trees. A little stream of water ran down toward the river. The south side of the house was the cellar and a shed. A path separated it from the house. When I went to swing, Grandpa said, “Be quiet, Irene, the bees are going to swarm.” He had his bees under this shed.
I had been swinging some time when Grandpa came out of the house and said the bees were swarming. The bees were all gathering outside the hive. He said, “Run, tell uncle John (the son).” I ran, met some of the boys, told them. They ran screaming, “The bees are swarming!” Uncle John came, told us kids, “Get some cans out of the trash can and beat on them.” There were six of us. We sure made a noise. Uncle John said, “When they swarm, fill your cans with water, throw it in the air; anything to make them settle.”
Soon a cloud of bees came flying through the air. The boys threw water in the air. The bees flew toward the trees and settled on a small branch in the top of one of them.
They sat their bee box at the foot of the tree and got a tall ladder. Uncle John got a saw and climbed up the ladder. He was very careful about sawing the branch off. He came down carrying the branch and the bees. We held our breath. He got to the ground, took his gloved hand and brushed the bees in the box and put the lid on. We asked, “Will the stay?” He said, “Yes, if we have the queen bee.”
Uncle John and Grandpa were quite proud, for it was a large swarm. But that was over 60 years ago.
Grandfather did his own blacksmithing. He had a shop with a bellows. It was fun to see the sparks leap up in the air from the forge. They had a big cellar filled with good things to eat. The fed and killed their own meat. Always raised a fine garden. He always had a raspberry patch.
was 16 when she married Hyrum Rose.
After mother and Hyrum were married they went to
loved to dance, and so did Hyrum. After
this I think they had a farm. They moved
to Snyderville, near
One day the children were playing in the yard, just outside the door. Mother heard a loud noise. Someone yelled, “Get in the house!” She rushed out, got Sade, as she was a very little girl. The others scrambled in the house. Just as they got in, the bull hit the side of the wall by the door. A cowboy had caught the bull with his lariat.
Mother’s marriage to Hyrum six children were born – Richard, Edward, Maud,
Once Mother left Frances (Frant) in the house with the baby, telling her to leave the baby in the rocking chair on some pillows while Mother went to do some chores. Frant thought she would help more, so she rocked the baby too hard, I suppose.
Anyway, the baby fell up against to stove. It burned one side of her face.
Hyrum lived up at the saw mill above the Stewart Ranch. Mother cooked for the mill hands. She had a crowd and anyone that came along,
Hyrum would ask them in to eat. She said
Rhodes of the lost
At first Mother and Hyrum got along fairly well. But then he liked to gamble and did more of it. When he won he was happy. Mother said when he lost, he would sulk. He stayed out to the barn a lot of the time. He did have a bad temper at times. He would do things in the house that he felt sorry about after. He had lots of friends. Dad knew him and like him.
home and was gone two or three weeks or more at a time. So he deeded the place to Mother because he
was afraid of signing the place away on some of his gambling debts. Mother said he either came home with plenty
of money or was flat busted. When he
came home with plenty of money he would show his purse to the boys. They thought he was made of gold. They never knew the times he came home
broke. Mother said he dolled up when he
One time Frant was very sick. They thought she had meningitis and was dying. Mother went to the corral where he was and said to Hyrum, “Frant is dying. Can’t we have the elders in?” He said if you believe in them call them in. I don’t believe in them so I’ll stay out here. Mother said the elders gave Frant a blessing. It was like a miracle. As soon as they took their hands off her she started to get well. She had a family of nine children. She died in childbirth with her ninth child.
Mother said one time Hyrum had been gone so long they were out of everything, no food for her children. She was blue and despondent, so she thought, “If I was gone, someone would take care of my children.” So she made up her mind she would end it all. She decided she would spend the last day with her sister, Matilda. She visited all day, got ready to go home. Uncle Jack told Aunt Till, “Give one of the hams to Dody.” Mother thought if one person could be so good it was a good place and she would take care of her own children.
One time Mother left Hyrum. When he came home she was gone. Mother was up to her mother’s. He came up there. She was sitting with her feet in the oven. He wanted her to come back and made her all kinds of promises. He cried, got on his knees to her. Grandmother said, “Eldora, how can you be so hard-hearted.” Mother said, “He has made all the promises before and didn’t keep them and he won’t now.” Then Mother felt so bad she went back for her mother’s sake but it was no different. He was gone a long time. He accused her of stepping out on him and that was the parting.
Maud was married to Uncle Bert around the time when Mother left Hyrum. When Hyrum left, the boys always thought Mother was to blame.
My Aunt Vine’s husband, Uncle Tom, had died, leaving her three girls and one boy. So Mother got her to come live in her house to take care of her own three girls. Mother got a job cooking at a saw mill. Mother worked anywhere she could to make a dollar or so. Finally Aunt Vine married Jim Lewis. And Mother married my father, George Potts.
Dad and Jim
Lewis had been brother-in-laws. Both had
Later, Grandmother Potts was making lye soap and was lifting the container off the stove. She spilled it down her and burned herself very bad. She was crazy with pain. She came up the street screaming and crying. She came to Dad’s. Mother put vinegar on the burns to keep the lye from burning deeper. Grandma thought if Mother knew what to do she was all right, so Mother got along with them very well after that.
Potts came up and helped my father build a large rock cellar. It was so very large and cool and nice, when my mother left
From the time I was born until I was six there were so many things that happened. I remember the sleigh rides, the trips to the river when Dad was hauling wood. When he would take us kids with him, we would go visit our relatives in the sleigh. In the evenings in the sleigh Dad would play his guitar and we would sing.
Dad raised grain and hauled it down off the hill by the barn to thresh it. What a day when the threshers came! The machine was run by horse power. Six teams of horses went around and around. Dad had men to pitch the grain into the thresher, men to haul the grain to the granary.
I and Percy couldn’t go out of the yard. We stood by the gate and watched. It seemed like there was no room anywhere in the house or out. Mother had been working two or three days making pies and cakes. They had a great big table. The men ate first. I thought they never would get up from the table.
Dad farmed Mother’s place and planted wheat on the bench. He was irrigating and the ditch rider came by and told him he was under arrest because he was stealing water. They found out Hyrum Rose had sold the water. It cost Dad ten dollars, then he had to buy water for the place.
Dad always hauled lots of wood. Then his neighbor, Fred Peterson, would come and help him saw his wood up with a two man saw. They would saw one day for Dad and then one day for Fred. We had a large woodshed. We weren’t very big when we would carry wood into the shed, rick it all up into neat piles. We thought that was fun. When the ricks go too high for us, Dad and Azim would carry. Mother always had her wood box full. I have heard her say with love, “Oh George, you are good.” He would say to her, “Bless you, my dear.”
Mother was baptized just before she married Dad. They then went to the temple. It must have been in 1897.
Dad was called on a mission to the Southern States. Mother was left with six to take care of as I don’t think Sade was married. Mother had plenty of cut up wood to last her while Dad was gone. She had a hard time of it, very little help from anyone. She took in washings and earned twenty dollars. She wrote Dad a letter and put a twenty dollar gold piece in it. When the letter caught up with Dad the coin had nearly worn a hole through the envelope. When Dad got the money he was happy. His shoes were worn out. He needed other things. He wrote Mother a letter and said, “God bless you, my dear, and thanks for the money. I pray that God will bless and keep my family until I get back. I’ll try and make up for the sacrifices you have made.”
How glad and happy we all were when Father returned from his mission! He had a little bag. He brought cotton home to show how it was grown. He brought black-eyed peas and other peas for us to taste. We all like the beans and peas.
When Dad got home he went to work in a saw mill. He moved the family up there. It was in the winter. One day Dad came in, said the snow was crusted. Frant bundled Percy and me up. We went on the crust. It seems to me we went a long way. Percy and I wanted to go farther. Frant told us we couldn’t go to the pines, there might be bears in there. Percy was only a little boy. He wanted to see a bear.
When we came back from the saw mill, Dad bought Mother a new stove – a quick meal. How proud they bothr were to get the stove! Her other one was past repair.
Around this time Mern was born. I know it was Christmas season. Mother had been cooking, getting ready for a large crowd. She took sick. Mern just lived a little while. Mother was so sick. When Dad left to take the little casket to the cemetery, she raised up on her arm to see who went with him. Johnny Benson, she said, was a true friend who never let you down.
When they let us see Mern, we asked so many questions. Why couldn’t we keep her? Why did she have to die?
Frant took me to school when I was four to say a poem. I got frightened, forgot the piece. Frant had to tell me every line. She was disgusted with me. Frant must have been married around this time.
My Grandmother Lefler took sick. Mother had to go take care of her. She took Percy and I over to Frant’s. They lived in the old Woodard home. Can remember we slept in beds made on the floor. My Grandmother died. We stayed at Frant’s until everything was settled.
Leland was born in 1905. When I came home from school, Mother asked if I would like to go to Maud’s house and stay with Preal, Maud’s daughter. Ranch and Preal had to go to school. Maud told me to come down to Grandma Potts’ after I dressed and washed. I went to Grandma’s. They had a long dining room. The table was full. “Hello, Duckie Bird,” one of my uncles said. “You can’t guess what you have up home! A new baby brother!” I said, “I haven’t either?” They started to tease me. Grandmother took me into Grandfather’s room. She sat me in a chair that was so big I couldn’t find myself. The room had lots of books, beautiful drapes at the windows. By the big chair was a stand with Grandpa’s pipe and his glasses. I liked the room. Was sorry when I had to leave to go home.
Grandmother was going to take care of Mother. Some of the girls were going to straighten Grandmother’s house up. One of my uncles took me and Grandmother to our house. When we got home, the table was surrounded by people eating breakfast. Papa said, “You can’t guess what we have here.” I said I knew, a baby. Dad took me by the hand in to see the baby and Mother. Gee, I was so happy to see him; he brought joy and happiness to our home. Only Percy had to say, “I saw him first.”
Seems to me
that Frant was expecting so was Sade. We moved to
Leland was born in October; Frant’s boy, Morris, was born in December; Ed, Sade’s boy, was born toward spring. Jed and Frant moved back to Francis. Jed wanted to sell his house, so Dad bought it. Mother and Dad papered the house, made a lot of repairs, painted it, fixed the cellar. It was so cute when they got it done. I wanted them to keep it, but they said it didn’t have enough rooms. They sold it for a lot more they the paid for it.
bought a house up on top of the hill. We
had to go through
Percy and Azim were looking around under the enclose porch. The found a large roll of bunting and flags,
which came in well to decorate the house with on the fourth of July. Ours was one of the best decorated that 4th. It seemed like everyone in
We had a large lot, plenty of room for the boys to play. Leland was just a little fellow. He and Mother were home alone. He crawled under the fence and went up the hills behind our house. Mother missed him in a few minutes. She called to him – no answer, but found where he had crawled through the fence. She went up through the oak brush and called or him. He finally heard her and started to cry. Mother went to him. He was standing by a shaft someone had sunk in the ground. No telling how deep it was. We were all so glad to get our little brother home.
Mother’s story wouldn’t be complete without telling about out little neighbor. I think his name was John Savage. His mother ran a boarding house next to us. She never had time for him, so he spent a good deal of time at our house. One day Mother was cleaning us kids up. Johnny came over. He said, “Going some where? Can I go too?” “We are going to Mr. George Potts’ house.” “Oh, wait. I go see if I can go with you?” He came back all out of breath saying, “I can go!” Mother said, “If you go to George Potts’ you will have to have your face and hands washed and hair combed.” He said, “I don’t know how.” Mother got a pan of water and washed his face, combed his hair and showed him how to wash his hands. He said, “Now do I look like Percy?” We all said he did. Mother said, “This is George Potts’ house. Now when you come over here, have your face and hands clean.” He said, “Mrs. Potts, can I come over here and wash?” Mother said yes. We all missed poor little John when we left there. The Savages had a small baby. Mrs. Savage would put her in her buggy with a bottle, get either Percy or me to push the buggy. We have walked miles. She would give us a quarter now and then. After we left there the little girl died. The people were Catholic. They used to have drunken parties, but they always went to mass on Sunday morning to be forgiven of their sins.
baptized while we lived here in a font in the LDS church. Mother went with me when I was
confirmed. Dad was working. Mother was not feeling well. It was daytime. I wasn’t scared going, but coming home it was
dark. When I got to the post office, I
leaned up against the building and thought of what the man had said in my
confirmation, “receive the Holy Ghost,” and he said it would be a help and a
guide all the days of my life. So the
way I went through
wife Ruth died about this time in
At this time my Dad thought he would try to get a house over on Woodside Ridge. He had a sale for the red house we all loved so well. So again he made good money on the deal. We then lived in a green house. Maud and Bert’s two oldest children came to school in the winter.
Ranch got the small pox. The doctor said to Dad, “It would be a shame for this little girl (meaning me) to get the small pox. I’ll give you $5.00 for her.” I thought sure the folks would sell me. Oh what a time we had! Ranch thought he knew everything. Preal and I knew we knew everything.
Ranch had the small pox first, then Azim. Azim wouldn’t eat; all he wanted to do was sleep. Preal and Percy got it next, then Mother. Dad slept in the barn downtown. He came up to the door. He asked Mother if she wanted him to do something. She said, “I am so sick. Maybe tomorrow I’ll be better.” He said, “I am coming in and see if I can do something for you.” He also came in the next day. Dad and Leland came down. Poor little Lee! Mother put pillows in the big rocking chair. He was a sight! He was broken out with those festering sores. His face was swollen. He was a sight! He was the size of two babies. Then Dad came down for two or three days. We were all sick. Dad even broke out on the soles of his feet. He and Leland broke out the worst. After Dad broke out he sat in a chair, scratched and dug his feet. Mother said he would be pock marked, but he kept on. He didn’t have any scars.
summer Mother and we kids went to
When Mother got home, they decided to buy the house next door, a well-built one, and sell the green one. I remember when the snow got so deep, the coal had to be carried in sacks up the steps. No one could get very much coal.
Mother went to the dentist alone and had her teeth pulled out. He gave her something. It made her so sick she could hardly get home. She said she wished she had taken Percy or me with her to help her home. She was sick almost two weeks. Not one of her people came to see if they could help her. I remember Day saying, “Yes, when you are able they all can some to be fed, but they can’t some help you.” But he still went on feeding them.
We had a big red cow we kept in the barn nights. She foraged around in the neighbors’ garbage. They would leave things she could eat out for her. She did well.
Dad always went on the hill to get us Christmas trees. We really had beautiful trees.
My dad worked at the Silver King mill. He had a good job running the compressors. One day he got caught between two small ore cars. It mashed his hips and hurt his kidneys. He always had trouble with them after that. They took him to the hospital at the lower end of town. They sent word to my mother. She left word with a neighbor that she had gone to the hospital, for us to stay home and get something to eat as she didn’t know when she would be home. Percy and I got home first. When Azim got home he cried, “Dad is going to die. I want to die too.” Can’t remember how many times us kids went to the hospital. But at Christmas we had no tree. We were afraid we wouldn’t get any Christmas. I decided I wouldn’t get up early as we weren’t expecting anything.
But Percy couldn’t stay in bed. He went in and yelled, “He came! Oh, he came! Irene, he brought you a doll.” Don’t know about the rest, I can only think of my doll.
We had our breakfast, got ready to go to the hospital. We ate dinner at Aunt Till’s. As we were going down the sidewalk, and old man said, “Little girl, you got a doll for Christmas. She is beautiful.” I said, “I am taking my doll for my papa to see. He is in the hospital.” Dad was happy because we all were so happy. He told us he thought he was getting better.
He did get
better and they decided he wouldn’t go back to the mill. About the last of January he moved us all
We had a
team, Chess and Crimp, and a wagon. Dad
also had some cows. The Dad went out to
Mother washed one day. She didn’t empty her wash water, but moved it on the back porch. She decided to make some pies, so she put some chips in the stove to hurry up the fire, but didn’t put the damper up. She looked out the window and saw sparks flying. She said to Percy, “Go get help. Our house is on fire!” Then Mother climbed on a chair, threw water around the pipe. Then she moved the boxes of harness outside. She climbed on a chair, then on a box. I handed her pans of water, which she threw on the roof. Soon there were men there to put out the fire. They wondered how Mother could have moved the harnesses, as they seemed to be much too heavy for her.
We lived in
this house until June when Father came home and he put the harnesses together
and hitched up the team. We thought we
had the finest team in the world. Then
came the day we loaded the wagon to go out to the
day we went to where the snow started on the way to
The men came back about dark and ate the supper Mother had prepared for them. Dad said we had a long day ahead, and we’d better go to bed. Dad said the prayer for all of us. I remember he asked the Lord’s help on the journey and in finding us a new home. We all seemed so happy as we crowded in bed.
Dad got up
early and built a fire. We got up
shivering. Mother made breakfast. Fred Peterson came up with his team and wagon
to help us over the hill. He was always
there when Dad needed him most. He ate
breakfast with us and then we loaded his wagon and went up to where our wagon
was. The streams were running to
overflowing going down
It was a long drive going over the mountains. When we got to Rob Mitchie’s (Dad’s cousin) on the other side, his wife said, “Oh, some in and have supper.” Mother said, “I have plenty of bread and some cookies.” Mrs. Mitchie said, “All right, we have plenty of milk and some of the best radishes you ever ate.” So we had bread and milk and radishes.
The Mitchie’s had a large family of girls with one boy. I slept with all those girls in the granary. We had so much fun.
morning we went on our way and got to a Mr. Han’s house, almost to the first
bridge that spans the
Dolph White, another relative of Dad’s, came next morning on a big horse to help us cross the river. Mr. Hans rode on one side of our team and Mr. White on the other. We crossed the bridge, but there looked to be as much water running on the other side as was running under the bridge. We were all frightened, but at last we got through. We went on to the bridge, crossed over and went up on top of Blue Bench. Mother liked the looks of Blue Bench and said she wouldn’t mind living there.
When we got
to the other side of Blue Bench, the dug way wasn’t much of a road at that
time. We went straight off. I think Dad took a short cut as he wanted to
get to the
We at last came to Ted Howell’s place. We moved in his granary. They had lived in it until they got a two-roomed house built. We made our beds over the grain bins. We had a small stove and table.
They had a large garden. I think they got the water out of a class C Indian canal. Seems like they raised corn and oats. We had to work here and it seems like we kids put in a rather uncomfortable summer.
On the Fourth of July, the settlers had a celebration. The men built a bowery of small green trees. They had a barrel of good lemonade, as the weather was hot. They had a program - - kid’s races and a ball game (just chose up sides from the crowd). Day played ball. Ren Pitt asked Dad if he had got settled yet. Dad told him no.
They asked us all up next day and they were figuring where we could locate. Mother, Dad, Kate and Ren went walking through the sagebrush. The next day Dad went to Vernal and filed on our place.
Then every day Dad could get off he went up in the cedars and chopped posts. He went to the saw mill and got lumber for the new house. For some time he let us know that one of these days he would take us up to our new place. The day came. Mother packed a lunch. We took water and milk to drink. The milk stayed cool until .
Dad grubbed sagebrush and we piled and burned it. Mother and Dad said the harder we worked the more land we could clear. It was all right at first. Then we got tired and lazy. We thought would never come. Where we cleared that day was where we had the first alfalfa patch, where Parley Mitchell’s house now stands. At last we ate our lunch. How good everything tasted! There was some lumber lying there. Dad said it was our new house.
Upalco as I first remember it was a cabin on Mel Pitts’ place, another cabin in the distance. This latter was the first school. There were no fences. You could go anywhere and make your own road. Mathews had a two-room house. Their place was shadscale and rabbit brush. They had a log barn I think they lived in first, then built their house later. They had a family of eight children. Their oldest daughter got married about this time. Their son Glendon was the first baby born here.
Keyes place was partly shadscale and sagebrush on the rest. They had a good sawed log house. Alegra was the first baby born here.
Kate and Ren (Pitt) were living on the Murphy place in Dave
Richardson’s cabin. This place was all
owned the place across the street. They
lived in the
worked hard the first summer clearing the land.
Then he went back to
Dad moved us up home before they started to gather the crops. Dad brought a load of corn every night he went to Ted’s. Mother would get her work done, the she would take us kids to the stack yard, where she taught us to shuck corn. We sat on the pile of corn, pulled the husks off and sorted the big ears from the little ones. Then we would carry the corn to the granary to put in the bins. It was so nice living in our own home.
taught us to husk corn, she told us stories of her childhood and really kept us
interested. She said about being in
In the winter, Mother, Dad and Leland went to Ted Howells’ to get some oats. The wagon had planks over the running gears, with the bagged grain on the planks. They came down the hill by the Keys. The planks slipped, throwing Leland to the ground with the grain on top of him. They were so scared. Dad moved the grain. Lee was mashed flat. Dad said he was protected as he never took any hurt from it. Dad said Lee was destined to do good things.
After they got the crops gathered at Ted Howells’, Dad had to haul his part of the crops up home. We were blessed. There were lots of poor people around. Mother and Dad helped where they could.
We went to Palmer schoolhouse for church the first winter. There was not much social life. My folks let me stay with my Aunt Frant (Woodard) and go to the Palmer school for awhile. Mother didn’t want me walking through the flat when it got too cold. They wanted me at home. I went home just before Christmas.
The Mechams moved in. Mr. Mecham came one day to ask Mother is she would come help his wife, as she was in labor. They also got Mrs. Mathews, who was a fine, sweet, very jolly woman. When Mother came the next morning, the Mechams had a healthy baby girl. The Mechams had come in with three big wagons and three teams. They put up in a little cabin that had been abandoned by some people who went back east, saying it was too hard a life.
In the spring Mother put me on a horse and sent me up to Mrs. Morgan’s to school. Mother paid in butter. The butter was wasted. I didn’t learn anything except to read, “Into the valley of death rode the six hundred.”
winter Dave Richardson came back to
In the fall the men moved an old house up from down in the fields and fixed it up for a schoolhouse. It had one medium-sized room and a lean-to. They took planks, made benches for us to write on and planks for seats. Will Neil was hired as teacher, and he taught us until spring. The kids who went to this school Hazel, Lucinda, Clara Marshall; Clem, Claude Meda; Jody Richarson; Malcolm Sands and his sister Grace (who lived on the river and walked to school). Our next teacher was Miss Naomi Mitchell. When she taught we had brand new desks and seats. I have many fond memories of this school. When spring came the large boys had to go to farming.
In the old
During the summer, we kids had to work on the weekdays but we tried to get together on Sunday. We went to church at the Mural Ward in Ioka.
This summer the men got out logs and built the schoolhouse and social hall. The schoolhouse was ready in the fall. Mr. Olsen and Miss Liberts were the teachers. There were big cracks in the floor.
There was many a fine social gathering in this building. Can remember the free dinners we had, especially on Thanksgiving. I wonder how the mothers fixed such dinners.
By this time more farmers had started to fence their farms. What a time my dad and brothers had digging all those rocky post holes. They dug them all except the ones on the south of the north 80. Dad hired Bill Mitchell to dig those. Dad paid him with my mandolin but finally Dad had his land fenced.
The men and boys had to haul every drop of water we used in a barrel on a go-devil. It seemed the barrel was always dry. Sometimes the water was so riley we had to wait until it cleared up before we could use it. The Class C tried to build a canal on the sidehill just west of my father’s homestead. There was a large camp of men working. We called it tent city. They started the cut first, which cost $50,000, then they started the canal. They finally had the canal built along the hill. They turned that water in and out slid a large piece of canal. They decided to build a flume, finished it, then turned the water in. Out went another section of side hill. Then an accident to the Fred Pack baby made the men think the whole project was jinxed. The baby was killed by a falling rock in its mothers’ arms as the parents were walking along the canal under the ledges. The canal was abandoned. I think this canal cost around $90,000, which, of course, was disastrous for poor people trying to get water on their homesteads. And still no water and no prospects of getting any except what you could haul. Everyone was blue and discouraged.
Mother, Dad and Leland went to get a load of poles. They went up where the Class C is now. Dad cut his load of poles and they had lunch. Dad went up on the hill. He looked down the hill and thought he could see a large canal flowing down the side hill. When he thought about it he thought that was a natural place for a head gate from the river and a natural place for a canal. He went to camp and told Mother. She said, “George, you have had an inspiration or a vision.” They hooked up and came home. When Mother saw us she said, “I wish you could have seen your father today. I believe we are going to have water.”
went to see Ren Pitt.
They went to see Rob Marshall and Jeff Mathews. They decided to go look the sight over. I don’t know how many or who went up. They all figured it was worth a try. They formed the Lake Fork Irrigation Company.
They filed on 1,000 feet of early
filings. They thought this was plenty
and this was the best water right on the river.
Later they found out they needed more water so the filed on 1,500 more,
but that was only a high water right.
It wasn’t long until the
It didn’t seem like it took as long coming down the country after they finished the hillside. Finally the day came when they had the water down on our place. We had a little plowed furrow full of water. We would ask dad if that was all the water we’d get. He said, “No. When they get the ditch soaked up we will have more.” We were grateful for what we had. I think it was in June 1911 we had ditch day. People came from all over. We had a program in the morning, all kinds of races and a jolly good time. They had Krebbs Brass Band. They played during the day and for the dance at night. On the program we had local talent and it was good. Mel Pitt and his wife Leota sang. Then our mothers, Mrs. Mitchell, Mrs. Potts, Mrs. Pitt, Laura Marshall, Mrs. Mathews sang and danced a little jig to the tune of Casey Jones. Here is what I can remember of the song”
“Come all you rounders who want to hear
The story of a brave engineer.
Johnny Angus was the hero’s name;
On the dry gulch grader he got his fame.
Johnny called Mel at .
Mel kissed his wife at the old shanty door.
He mounted to the grader with his orders in his hand,
‘We’re going to have water through the rocks and sand.’
We’re going to have water through the rocks and sand.
The song was good. Everyone applauded and applauded. At night they had a large crowd to the dance. The ladies made ice cream and sold it in the afternoon and night to make money to improve the school house. During the evening someone came and told Dad, Mother was sick. He went out and picked her up in his arms and took her home, put hot water bottles around her and put blankets on her. She got better.
short time after the Class C company filed an
One of Dad’s recreations was that he like to fish. He sure could catch them. He always shared them with his neighbors. He worked hard but always had time to go with his family.
Dad and Mother loved to take the family berry picking. When the black currants were ripe, we got in the wagon, took our lunch and went on the river up by Mrs. Orr’s. We would all get our pails and go looking for the currants. Soon we put them all together and had buckets full. When we weren’t picking, we kids played ball or rested in the shade. We cleaned and bottled the berries and Mother made pies of them in the winter.
There was a berry called the buffalo berry. We beat them off the bushes with sticks. When you got the juice out of the red berries, it was white. When the jelly was done it was a beautiful red.
Dad raised some sugar cane. It grows like corn. He had a little press run by one horse. The horse went around and around. Someone fed the cane in the mill. They caught the juice in a container. Mother boiled it on the stove to make molasses.
I don’t know the exact year they
put the bridge across the
There was later a celebration at
Dad built us a nice granary and a meat house, where we kept our separator. The water ran through this building. It was cool in summer and worm in the winter. He had built up his corrals.
In 1913, Dad and Mother went to
We were so proud of the buggy. It had a top with fringe. I don’t know why they didn’t like the top, but they took it off and hung it in the shed. Dad and Mother brought the rest of their things out. Our house was comfortable now. Dad built a lean-to kitchen and built a cupboard with a big wide board. He put this across the south side. It was so handy to mix bread and make pies or cakes. Mother liked it very much.
That spring, Mother’s old hens all seemed to want to brood at once. She sat all that wanted to. We had one old hen that layed on top of the buggy top. Mother said to leave the eggs and let her set.
I was in the seventh grade. Then one day the boys and Dad were away from home. Mother hadn’t been feeling too well. After lunch we took a nap. I woke up first and heard a noise at the barnyard. I hurried out and there were little chickens all over the corral. I tried to catch one old hen but I couldn’t. I went to the house and told Mother. We went to the yard but couldn’t catch the hens. Mother said, “Let them go in the corral and I don’t feel like bothering them.” It was always a mystery how the old hen got her chickens down off the buggy top under the shed.
I passed from the seventh grade this spring. Some of us girls sluffed school to go to Indian Jim’s funeral. The Indians wanted him buried like a white man. They had the hole dug, then they sat him in the hole. They put his belongings in the hole, put his saddle and blankets and everything. They said they killed his horse and put it in too. His mother came with a little sack of bread. She was chanting sort of a song; “Oh my Jimmy, oh my Jimmy.” Then she put the sack of bread in. Then some women sang two songs. Then they had a man pray. We left them but they put little poles close together and bark covering over the poles. Then dirt over that. There were some more Indian Graves there, quite a few.
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old. We went and camped. I and four other girls palled around. We weren’t old enough to go to the dance but we went in. We eavesdropped on one of the girls’ sisters. We thought we had a glorious time. We saw the Indian bear dance.
summer Dad cleared more ground, put in some more alfalfa. We were all busy. Mother this spring and summer replenished her
sheets and pillow cases. She made five
new quilts. Some were tops she made
before she had quiltings. The summer Robert Marshall bought a house in
came our school teacher needed a place to stay – Miss Josephine Thompson from
Then Mother got sick and Dad decided to take her to Kamas to see what was the matter. The doctor said she had diabetes. He took Leland and Mother to her sister’s to stay. They thought bed rest would help her. They gave her bran bread. Dad stayed a little while then came home. He was missing Mother very much, and she was homesick and blue where she was. I quit school as it took me all me time to do the work. I couldn’t cook and the teacher couldn’t do as well as I could. She had to do her own washing. We had some laugh meals. Can remember Dad killing a chicken. He dressed it real nice and I cooked it until the meat came off the bones.
Dad went to see Mother once before the snow came. She wanted to come home just before Christmas. She wrote us a letter. She said among other things, “Irene, you will need a new dress for Christmas. Have your papa give you some money and get some cloth. Have Mrs. Mathews make it for you.” So Meda and I went to Myton horseback and got our cloth. On our way back up, her horse threw a shoe. We saw a boy going over the hill. He had an ox. We called, “Hi little boy.” He came back and we were surprised to find a young man.
I can’t remember what Christmas was like, only Dad let me go to Mel Pitt’s for dinner. When February came Mother wrote and told Dad she wanted to come home. She didn’t think she was much better. Maybe she would feel better when she got home. Dad went after her. He went out all right, but when he came back, Leland tells how they went to a saw mill and got a cabin. They were comfortable but oh, how it snowed. The roads were impassable. Dad was wondering what to do and here came Fred Peterson and another fellow to the mill to get some logs they had cut. Dad said, “Oh Fred, you are an answer to my prayers.”
out. They went along
The teacher stopped teaching school after Christmas a while. I know she was gone in February when Mother got home. The night Dad and Mother got here they had an opening dance at the power plant on the river. Bill Mitchell came home with them that night; don’t know where they picked him up at. I know he asked me to go to the dance. I already had a date.
They were ready to put in the dynamo or the equipment. We had to dance around the things on the floor. It was fun. Mr. Frezill was the electrician. His wife hazel got a post office down there. She named it Upalco after the first letters in Uintah Power and Light Company. Mrs. Key carried the mail from Ioke in a little buggy.
On the seventh day of March they had put Nat Mitchell in a presiding elder. He and other decided to build a new rock school and church building. Mr. Mitchell was a mason. So they hauled a lot of rock. On the 17th of March they were going to lay the corner stone. They were having supper at the old schoolhouse that night. It was the last supper held there as far as I know. We all went to see the cornerstone layed - -all but Mother. She stayed home. We expected to see so much. They had a paper telling about the people here and telling about this building that was being built. The building would stand a hundred years. They put the corner stone in, put the paper in a hole in the rock, put a little cement over it and that was it.
When we got home, Mother had made lemon pies to take to the supper that night. She didn’t have lemons but used vinegar and lemon flavor. They were delicious. All day we kids had been asking, “What are we going to take to the supper.” She said, “Wait and see.” We were afraid she didn’t feel well enough to fix anything. Gee, all those pies looked so good.
they built the rock hall up to the bottom of the windows. We left
Mother wrote to Sade and told her she was sick. Sade put her furniture in storage and came to take care of her. When Sade got to Kamas, she wrote and told the folks. Dad made another trip after her in March.
The snow had begun to get rotten. The horses would fall in the snow. Ed Potts said Uncle George was a wonderful man. He would fix anything with bailing wire or anything that came handy. He got one horse down, couldn’t get him up. He tried whipping to get him up. Sade came up and said if you hit that horse one more time I’ll have you arrested. Dad told her he had to do what he had to do. He didn’t want to be responsible for three kids and her to freeze to death. Ed said that Dad unhooked the horses and hooked on the other horse and got him out of the snow and water. Then he hooked on the other horse and got him out of the snow and water. Then he hooked the team on the tongue of the wagon and hauled the load out. It was another killing trip.
When Sade came, Dad, Mother and Sade planted a garden. We had peas nearly in bloom on the 10th of May. Oh, life was good. Dad and Mother could have lived now without so much work.
One beautiful day in May with the sun shining and birds singing, we all got up and started the day. Dad and the boys went to do their chores. Sade said to Mother, “Now you get ready for Mrs. Mathews when she comes. Irene and I will do the work.” Mother and Mrs. Mathews were Mrs. Yorna Mitchell’s first and second counselors in Relief Society. Dad had the Relief Society wheat in his granary. The ladies were going to lend the wheat out to the farmers. The farmers had to pay back what they borrowed and some interest in the fall. Mrs. Mathews came with her team and wagon. Mother went into her bedroom, got her jacket off the wall, slipped it on as she came in the front room. She put the jacket on and cried out, “Something stung me!” She grabbed her arm tight. Sade said, “We better put something on it.” Mother said, “I’ll wait until I get back, I don’t want to keep the women waiting.”
She got home about . Sade and I had dinner ready. Mother said, “That darn thing hurts yet.” Sade took Mother’s jacket off. There was a large red spot on her arm above the elbow. There were three marks on the red spot. They put some linament on it and a bandage and doctored it all afternoon. It swelled as large as a turkey egg. After it swelled it didn’t seem to hurt Mother so much. They thought it was going to break open.
I had a bed on the floor at the foot of Dad and Mother’s bed. I had been dreaming. I heard Dad and Mother talking. I heard Mother say, “George, I am going to die. Hold me in your arms.” Dad said, “No, Dode, you can’t leave me now.” Sade heard them and came in. Mother said, “Let me tell you how I want to be buried. Don’t go to a lot of expense. I would like a silk petticoat and a soft whit material for my dress.” She then asked Sade to get some poultices for the arm. Dad and Mother said their good-byes then.
We then got up as it was close to morning. Mother was so sick. Dad asked me if I would go ask Dave Richardson if he would come over. He came and they administered to her. The lump on her arm started to come back up. Later in the morning Dad told me, “Irene, I know you mother won’t get better. The lump on her arm came back, but it is black.”
There didn’t seem anything I could do so I went to religion class. When I came home Dad and I went out on the north side of the house. Dad said, “I can’t see her suffer so.” I told Dad a Dr. Paget was down operating on Mr. Knight. He had appendicitis. Dad said to sent for him. Someone went down on horseback. They weren’t long coming. The doctor lanced the lump on Mother’s arm. He had a small bowl he filled with a black fluid. He told us she wouldn’t live four hours. He said, “If you want to tell her goodbye, now is the time. She may go unconscious.”
three days but didn’t seem to know what was going on. Sade sent Bob
Marshall to Tabby horseback to phone
At one time Dad held her hands and said, “Few hands have done the work these hands have done and few have fed so many people.” Along toward sundown our sweet little mother left us. I was out on the north side of the house. Mrs. Mathews came over when she heard the news and she came and talked to me. I must have been in such a daze I didn’t even hear what she said. I know when I came to myself the stars were out and they seemed so close to the earth. There didn’t seem any place for me to go.
Dad put long planks in the back of the house in the shade for the funeral service. Can’t remember much about that, but I remember Percy would hardly come in the house where Mother was. I got him by the arm and asked him to come with me to see Mother in her casket. He came with me, looked at her and just ran out of the house.
We had to
take Mother to
One horse would fall in the snow and after much maneuvering to get him up, then the other horse would go down. At places the buggy would slide sideways and the three men would ride the upper side. Sade, Ed, Modenia and I walked. I carried Olaf up the hill. Sade was quite heavy, so it was all she could do to wade through the snow.
finally got to the top of the hill, the going was somewhat easier on the other
side. We were all about completely
exhausted. When we got to the edge of
the snow there were wagons to take us to
When we got
remember very much about the service, but there was a crowd. We went to the
We stayed a few days, then came home, with another trying time crossing the snow. We got home to a lonesome house and had to pick up the loose ends and carry on. We all had a rough time to get along without her.
So I have
tried to write my Mother’s story as best I can.
I am now 68 years old and am having a battle with the diabetes that
Mother had and which hits various members of our family. I have had my foot amputated, and have been
living over our lives to give my mind something to do. I may find time to put down something of my
own family’s happenings. Irene Iorg,