Jane Grover – Daughter of Thomas Grover

Sister Jane Grover recorded the following incident:

“One morning we thought we would go and gather gooseberries. Father Tanner … harnessed a span of horses to a light wagon and, with two sisters by the name of Lyman, his little granddaughter, and me, started out. When we reached the woods we told the old gentleman to … rest himself while we picked the berries.

“It was not long before the little girl and I strayed some distance from the rest, when suddenly we heard shouts. … We walked forward until within sight of Father Tanner, when we saw he was running his team around. … As we approached we saw Indians gathering around the wagon, whooping and yelling as others came and joined them. We got into the wagon to start when four of the Indians took hold of the wagon wheels to stop the wagon, and two others held the horses by the bits, and another came to take me out of the wagon.

“I then began to be afraid as well as vexed, and asked Father Tanner to let me get out of the wagon and run for assistance. He said, ‘No, poor child; it is too late!’ I told him they should not take me alive. His face was as white as a sheet. The Indians had commenced to strip him—had taken his watch and handkerchief—and while stripping him, were trying to pull me out of the wagon. I began silently to appeal to my Heavenly Father.

“While I was praying and struggling, the Spirit of the Almighty fell upon me and I arose with great power; and no tongue can tell my feelings. I was happy as I could be. A few moments before I saw worse than death staring me in the face, and now my hand was raised by the power of God, and I talked to those Indians in their own language. They let go the horses and wagon, and all stood in front of me while I talked to them by the power of God. They bowed their heads and answered ‘Yes,’ in a way that made me know what they meant.

“The little girl and Father Tanner looked on in speechless amazement. I realized our situation; their calculation was to kill Father Tanner, burn the wagon, and take us women prisoners. This was plainly shown me. When I stopped talking they shook hands with all three of us and returned all they had taken from Father Tanner, who gave them back the handkerchief, and I gave them berries and crackers. By this time the other two women came up, and we hastened home.

“The Lord gave me a portion of the interpretation of what I had said, which was as follows:

“ ‘I suppose you Indian warriors think you are going to kill us? Don’t you know the Great Spirit is watching you and knows everything in your heart? We have come out here to gather some of our father’s fruit. We have not come to injure you; and if you harm us, or injure one hair of our heads, the Great Spirit shall smite you to the earth, and you shall not have power to breathe another breath. We have been driven from our homes, and so have you; we have come out here to do you good, and not to injure you. We are the Lord’s people and so are you; but you must cease your murders and wickedness; the Lord is displeased with it and will not prosper you if you continue in it. You think you own all this land, this timber, this water, all the horses. Why, you do not own one thing on earth, not even the air you breathe—it all belongs to the Great Spirit’ ” (“I Talked to Those Indians in Their Own Language,” in Leon Hartshorn, comp., Remarkable Stories from the Lives of Latter-day Saint Women, 1:26–28).

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LIFE STORY OF VEDA LUELLA OVIATT RICE 1916

VEDA LUELLA OVIATT RICE AND CARL J. RICE

LIFE STORY OF VEDA LUELLA OVIATT RICE

Carl Luella Rice - Dec 1984Kenneth, Ralph, Leland, Dee, Stella, Mattie, Mickey, me, Parley, Delena, Doris and Dona.  That’s the way the rhyme goes with me being the only one in the family to make it rhyme.

My parents Parley Hyrum Oviatt born August 31, 1876 in Farmington, Davis County, Utah and Effie Maude Simpson born August 17, 1881, also in Farmington, Davis County, Utah.  They were married August 14, 1901 in Parker, Idaho at the home of Mom’s parents, Rosella Grover and Henry Simpson, and on October 1, 1901 they went to the Salt Lake Temple to be sealed.  Then on October 18, 1904 they came to Canada by covered wagon to seek their fortune.  They intended to do this in a couple of years then return to Idaho and settle down (wealthy of course).  But like many of our young dreams, this just didn’t happen the way they planned and they never did go back to stay – both died in Canada.  The paper allowing them to cross the border said he had a wagon and team and $100.00 cash, his wife and two year old son.

Luella (Oviatt) Rice - 1930-31 High School YearbookDad worked in Cardston a while then worked at Johnson’s sawmill where Mom cooked for the men.  Soon he got a half section of land for a homestead two miles south and five miles west of the little town of Stavely.  It was in the Pine Coulee school district. The school was one mile east of our farm and was used on Sunday for our church services.

I was born the eighth child of Effie and Parley, June 16, 1916, in our farm house of the Pine Coulee school district, of the town of Stavely, Alberta, Canada.  The census man came to the home while Mom was in labor and Aunt Mary Oviatt (my Dad’s sister-in-law) helping with my birth, talked to him through the bedroom window giving him the names and birth dates of all the children. She kept thinking that maybe if he didn’t leave soon there would be another name to add to the list.  Dr. Thompson was also in attendance.  I was blessed by Edward J. Wood on Sunday July 21, 1916 at the Pine Coulee School and church.

When I was five months old, mother went back to the States to visit her mother in St. Anthony, Idaho, and took Stella, Mattie, Lillian and I with her.  While we were there we all managed to have the measles.  Before Mom left with us Dad said he couldn’t afford to go with us, but because we were sick and stayed so long Dad got lonesome and came down to bring us home.  He brought the four oldest boys, Kenneth, Ralph, Leland and Dee with him and they got the measles and our visit was extended to three months before we got home.  When we did return, Lillian caught cold and had pneumonia and was seriously ill for two months.

My earliest recollection of my childhood was when Doris first began to hold her bottle alone.  My cousin, Ellis Oviatt, who was two months older than I, learned to walk by pushing me around in the baby carriage.  We used to sit in the living room by the stove, playing with our dolls or blocks, particularly during the long, cold winter months.

Oviatt SistersBy 1923 there were twelve children in the family:  Henry Kenneth, Ralph Floyd, Effie Geneva (lived 26 days), Leland Lester, Dee Albert, Stella Maude, Freeman Sherman (lived 28 days), Mattie Rose, Lillian Josephine, Veda Luella, Parley Odell, Delena Irene, Doris, and Vennice Idonna.  We had a farm home – the house had a big kitchen, dining room, living room and two small bedrooms.  We had a big bunk house south of the house where there was a big round heater and beds where the boys slept and stayed most of the time. We had some cultivated and seeded land but some of it was pasture as we had some cows, horses, sheep, pigs and chickens and turkeys. We always had a big garden and Dad always planted a square of sunflowers which grew tall enough to make a playhouse for us girls. There was big hill (when I grew up I found it actually wasn’t so big) south of the buildings which was a favorite play area.  In the summer, old wagon wheels took us helter skelter down the hill, until one day it got away and we had a wild ride and tipped over at the bottom and we got banged up and scraped and bruised.  Parley (we used to call him “Buster”) got banged up the most I seemed to recall.  In the winter, we used scoop shovels for sleighs when Dad didn’t get time to build us homemade sleighs.

Just over the brow of the hill as you went down the southeast side of the hill was a huge rock in a kind of indentation.  This was a favorite spot for Delena, Lillian and I to take our rag dolls and play house there.  We pretended that it was a castle.  There was always and abundance of wild flowers on the southeast hill, and it was covered with wild roses, buttercups, daisies, crocuses, bluebells, shooting stars, and buffalo beans.  We played with what we called little stick people and dug square holes in the ground for rooms and made furniture from blocks of wood and used sticks for people.  Mickey and I used to pick up pretty little rocks from off this hill.  One time, after gathering an whole bucketful of these rocks, we were on our way to sell them for a nickel to the neighbor girl, Dorothy Carbine, when Dad intervened and curtailed our enterprising activities.  We also invented many games but also played hide and seek, kick the can, run sheep run, soft ball, hopscotch, and anti-I-over.  There were always quite a few of us to get together to have enough to play many different games.

We had a coal and wood cook stove in the kitchen which caused some great excitement on several occasions when the chimney and roof caught on fire – fortunately no serious incidents occurred. There was also a big “round oak” stove (made of steel with chrome on the top and bottom, round, dark body and a door on front) in the living room with an ising glass door where you could watch the blazing fire.  We seven girls slept in the living room, four at one end and three at the other of the davenport, which was made into a bed for us every night.  One time we were playing and jumping on the davenport and Mickey slipped and fell against the oak stove. She held out her hand to break her fall and I remember the big blisters which popped up.  The boys slept in a bunkhouse which had a little stove in it.  Mom and Dad slept in the one little bedroom and then we rented the other one out to a school teacher, Mr. Priestly.

When the pigs were small Lillian, Delena and I had a twine string for a bridle and rode them until they chewed it in two, or else bolted for a barbed wire fence which necessitated some scrambling to get off.  With the sheep, Dad had a ram.  One day, Stella went out to gather the eggs and got bunted down by this horned Billy goat, so Mattie came out to help, then Mickey, got bunted over and someone came running to help and got bunted down until 4 or 5 were involved and Dad had to rescue us all.  This ram always bunted down anyone who turned her or his back to him.

Before I was officially old enough to start school, Mother used to take me to school and leave me there with the older girls while she went to Relief Society or sometimes when she and Dad went to town to pick up groceries.  Every Friday afternoon, the school held a program put on by the students, or would play games, and others were allowed to attend.  One very, very cold winter day, before Mickey and I were old enough to attend school, we wanted to walk over to the program, but Mom would not let us go outside. Mickey and I put some rocks in the oven, and then wrapped them in newspaper to hold them in our mitts.  Mom went to the old pump house shed to do the washing, where there was an engine hooked to the washing machine.  While she was there, we bundled up and took our hot rocks with us.  We started out down past our gate and down the road and we were carefree and happy, anticipating a fun party at school with the older kids.  We got about 3/4’s of a mile toward the school, and were sorry we ever started out because it was so cold.  Edna and Jess Stanford saw us coming and brought us into their home to warm us up.  They kept us there until the rest of the kids came home from school and then sent us off with them.

SCHOOL AND CHURCH

Luella School_DaysSchool was held in the Pine Coulee School House – a mile east of our home, and we would ride or walk to school.  We usually took a little tin lard pail with a lid on it to take our lunch to school.  Dad always kept little pencils sharpened to a fine point with his pocket knife and gave them to us kids.  I started school when all grades were in one room.  Miss Nettie Hillier was my teacher, up until about grade two – she later married Bob Smith. Every Friday, if arithmetic was not done well enough, one had to stand in front of class and sing a song.  I couldn’t do arithmetic very well, but I couldn’t sing either.  One of the only songs I knew that was short and would satisfy the teacher was:

Sarah, Sarah,

No one could be Faira,

I love Sarah and Sarah, she loves me.

Luella Oviatt Rice and Flora HutchisonI can still remember the ghost stories the older kids told and scared us younger ones as we sat beside the little school house eating our lunch from our tin buckets.  Sometimes we walked to school and sometimes we went by buggy but mostly we rode a horse. I never liked to ride horses.  I can still remember going over to Uncle Jack’s and their kids all liked to ride but I’d stay in and read to Aunt Mary while she washed milk bottles and scalded them (Uncle Jack delivered milk in Stavely for many, many years).

Often four or five of us would ride our horse “Baldy” to school.  One of the little kids would sometimes get scared riding this huge horse, would slide off and inevitably pull the others along side.  Or “Baldy” would meander off in search of tall grass, with all of us attempting to steer him in the right direction.  As he lowered his head to eat, the front rider would slip off and then several of the rest of us would follow along behind.  He stayed in a barn by the school while we were inside attending class.  Then we would ride him back home.

We had a piece of blackboard nailed to the wall beneath the west window in the kitchen to practice our schoolwork.  When I was very young, before starting school, I can remember writing (scribbling likely) on the blackboard, then looking at the beautiful pictures made on the window by Jack Frost.  We would stand by this window admiring the designs but would eventually end up scraping off the frost to quench our thirst.

Luella_Oviatt_Rice_Gleaner_and_Beehive_CampWhen attending school, Christmas trees had real candles in little clip on candle holders – of course lit only when grownups lit them and closely supervised the tree all the time.  Christmas gifts were usually homemade dolls, mitts, scarves or toques, small boxes of crayons or a slate and slate pencil, and most likely a popcorn ball in the toe of a stocking.  Santa was very poor in those days but we were happy with what we got and knew no differently, we didn’t know we were poor.  Dad would make us small, wooden sleighs (wooden runners with a box and a pin in the center so the whole sleigh would turn in a circle), or little rag dolls, and sometimes we would even receive a newly purchased storybook. What a joy to find an orange in the toe of a sock or a popcorn ball along with a scarf, a pair of socks, or a mouth organ maybe, a box of crayons, a piece of chalk and a slate, or a little, purchased story book.

The favorite toy I liked playing with the most, were carved, wooden dolls, made for us by Dad.  They were carved from a flat board about one foot long, five inches wide and one-half inch thick.  When we pulled the string at the top, the doll walked or danced or sat for us.

Luella_and_Delena_in_their_Christmas_DressesI remember one Christmas we children had verses to learn for the Christmas concert at the school, as every child was given a part to recite.  I had to recite this verse:

When I was a little girl just so high,

My Mamma took a big stick and made me cry.

Now I’m a big girl, Mamma can’t do it,

But Papa takes a big stick and goes right to it.

Mom had gotten many yards of tan hopsacking and we all got new dresses – I kind of think the Relief Society got it in bolts for the members.  Of course the dresses were all made of the same material but were made differently and trimmed with brown velvet. Mine was gathered at the waist and had a brown velvet belt with little flowers embroidered on the collar, cuffs, and belt.  I can remember reciting my little verse for everyone who came, even the Watkins man, Mr. Burnham, who stopped by our place quite often. The verse was about a little girl going to a party.

When I was at the party,

Said Betty, aged just four,

A little girl fell off her chair

Right down upon the floor.

All the boys and girls,

Began to laugh but me.

Why didn’t you laugh, pray tell?

I didn’t laugh I answered ’cause

I was the girl that fell.

At the Christmas concert all members of the family attended and we recited – some sang (not us), sometimes we did drills as a group, each of us holding a dowel stick with little tinkling bells on each end.  We did exercises in unison holding each end of the stick with the bells tinkling.  Santa Claus came and wonder of wonders called each of us by name and gave us a gift from his big bag.  I remember getting a big picture and story book – all my own!

Pine_Coulee_School_Kids_1921Our life on the farm those days was a relatively simple, quiet, peaceful life, with Sacrament Service and Sunday school in the Pine Coulee school house and primary in the member’s homes. People came from miles around in wagons and democrats, on horseback or in buggies.  We had family prayers and personal prayers and expressed a sublime and simple faith in our Father in Heaven.  We were fortunate to have President Edward J. Wood visit our small branch in early days – in fact Lillian and I were blessed and named by him as babies.  President E.J. Wood was president of the Alberta Stake in these early days and used to visit our Ward at Pine Coulee.  President Hugh B. Brown was president of the Lethbridge Stake and used to visit our ward too.  These were very spiritual men – President Wood became president of the Cardston Temple and President Brown became an Apostle and later a counselor to President David O. McKay.

We went to Primary in different homes (Mary Rhodes, Amy Stanford, Edna and Jesse Stanford) and learned such songs as “We Thank Thee Oh God For a Prophet”, “Give Said the Little Stream”, “In Our Lovely Deseret”, and other church songs and gospel truths. Ward Teachers were always welcome in our home and each one was expected to take her or his turn standing behind a chair and bearing a testimony.  Home missionaries, called from other wards on short-term missions, were called to spend a week or two weeks living with different families in our ward, and holding cottage meetings each night in a different home.  We used to have block meetings where several families got together and the home missionaries also attended.  We sat around the living room in a circle and after the missionaries spoke to us we started at one side of the room and each one stood and bore his or her testimony.

Even though everyone had large families, we visited back and forth for Sunday dinners.  Of course, there was always home made ice cream and the yummy paddles to lick, fried chicken and mounds of potatoes and gravy.  Usually the evenings ended up with taffy pulls or buttered popcorn or popcorn balls.  Sometimes we were asleep when it was time to go home from church or concerts or visits to neighbors.  Then, we kids would be carried out to the buggy or wagon and put to bed on layers of straw covered with quilts for the ride home.  We were always amazed to find ourselves snug in our own beds the next morning.  We never owned a vehicle growing up and had to rely on horses and our democrat for transportation.  This buggy had one front seat where three people could sit and then the back part of the wagon could be made into a bed or comfortable area for all of us kids to snuggle up in when traveling back and forth to church or when visiting.  In the winter Dad would have sleigh runners to use over the snow.                         Pine_Coulee_Primary__1919_or_1920_ Aunt Mary and Uncle Jack lived 4 or 5 miles north and west of our place so there was much visiting between our two families. There were several Mormon families in Pine Coulee district and Table Butte area – Susan and Bill Lucas (Winona, Ida, Albert, George, Mary, Vivian, Jenny, Celma, Vera), Jesse and Edna Stanford (Don, Bud, Grace, Beth-chummed with, Jesse), Nunham and Amy Stanford (Glen, Gladyce, Ruth, Gay, Paul, Allen, Stanford, Phyllis), Manson and Blanche Campbell (Grace, Alice, Bryce), Joseph Smith  and Ada Brown, Rhoane and Maime Smith (Frank and George), Bob and George Smith, Dave and Blanche Brown, Leonard and Jennie Jones, Harry Smith’s, Havelock and Venice Smith, Frank and Leah Rodgers, Hatches (Mary, Henrietta), Carbines, Olivers, Hayes, Burbanks.  Schoolmates I recall having had at Pine Coulee were Lucille, Beth and Grace, Don and Bud Stanford, Glen, Hugh, Claude and Clyde Stanford, Thelma, Wanda, Veda and Venly Brown, Irwin and Alta Brown, Henry and Marjorie Jones, Winona, Ida, Jennie, Vivian and George Lucas, Lozina, Rachel, Lorena, Genevieve Oliver, Mary and Henrietta Hatch, Grace and Alice Campbell, Frank and George Smith.

When I was seven years old, we had a picnic down at Willow Creek south and west of our place.  I was chosen Queen of the May and Claude Stanford was King – we danced around the May Pole with colored streamers to wind up the pole.  I can still remember Mother putting powder on my freckled face for the occasion.  When I hear crows cawing through the trees I still think of those times when we went down to the creek where they were so noisy in the trees.

Indians used to come for rodeos down at the creek and all the neighborhood used to go down – some participated and most watched. The Old Swimming Hole in the bend of the creek below the rock cliff was a favorite gathering place.  When we go there now and see the swallow nests of mud clinging to the cliff above the hole it brings back memories of those days.  Our older brothers instilled a fear of water in us younger kids because they insisted on dunking us and throwing us in and scaring us, so we, at least I, have always been afraid of water because of it.  I remember Delena and myself holding hands and slowly walking out into the water from the creek, each step with the water rising.  We continued to creep out until soon the water was to our waists, our necks and even up to our noses before someone rescued us.  Perhaps we would have continued to move into the stream, almost mesmerized by the currents.

On Sunday we would go to Willow Creek and watch the Indians in their rodeo events.  Dad knew the Indians by name and would often stop to talk with them.  When Dona was a baby, Dad was joshing with them and said he’d trade his white baby for the Indian one.  One big, strapping, older Indian with a large hat took Dona into the tent in which they were camping.  The rest of us started crying and screaming that they couldn’t have our baby.  Dona set up crying and the Indian quickly brought her back – from then on whenever she saw anyone in a cowboy hat, she began to holler.

I remember riding in the back of the buggy and dragging my feet in the creek as we crossed it (no bridge) and remember the rippling water and how it made us feel we were floating down stream when in reality it was just the water moving.  We spent many mornings out in the hills west of the farm and along the creek picking berries and picnicking while we picked berries.

One day a neighbor stopped at the farm and saw all of us kids running around playing and when he visited another neighbor, he said, “There’s a party over at Oviatt’s place – kids running and playing everywhere.”  The neighbor said “That’s not a party, they all live there.”  It was a hard life I’m sure for Mom and Dad but we children didn’t notice as we didn’t know of better things.

The Watkins and Raleigh man used to visit through the district with their horse and wagon and wooden cases that opened up to show a vast array of flavorings and salves and goodies as we children stood quietly, wide-eyed watching.  We children would quickly run and tell Mom when we saw him coming, then line up and watch as he opened the door to the box on the back of his cart.  Mr. G. Butler and Mr. Burnham were two of the traveling men who frequented our farm, and occasionally stayed overnight with us, after driving out from Claresholm.  There was always room and an invitation at our table for the Watkins man or Raleigh man to stay and eat – even for the old tramp.

It seems groups of Gypsies traveled through the country in their covered wagons with items and goods to sell or trade, and one day such a wagon drove into our yard.  A man and lady got down and talked to Dad – just then a big rooster walked by.  The man asked if he could have it – Dad laughed and said jokingly “Sure, if you can catch it!”  The Gypsy went to the back of his wagon and lifted the canvas and out jumped eight or nine children who chased the rooster and finally caught it.

Dad was a very kind and loving father who spent time sharing stories and playing with us, when not working in the fields.  Mom was more reserved, soft-spoken, and a hard worker.  She was well-educated, having attended Ricks Academy for a while, and would read stories to us and always encouraged us to do our best in school. She accepted many positions in the ward and at one time was president of the Claresholm Relief Society.  One Christmas, Dad and Uncle Jack bought Mom and Aunt Mary mink fur neck pieces with a long tail on one end and a beady eyed fox head on the other end. They hid them in an oat bin, but Mom hunted and found them before Christmas.  I still remember playing with the soft fur with the beads for eyes of the fox head.  She used to have long hair and we’d brush it for her and watch in fascination as she wound it up, working a switch or long hair piece into it to make it appear thicker.  One time Dad grew a mustache and Mom didn’t like it, so while he slept she shaved half of it off so the other half had to be shaved off too.  I remember that we would stand on Dad’s toes and he would dance around with us on his feet, sometimes with two of us at a time, with him singing or humming a tune.  He used to tell us stories and recounted the time when as a small boy, he went to the local circus which had come to town, and heard the caller yell out, “Come and see the only cow that has a head where the tail ought to be.”  He and his other small friends bought a ticket and once inside found a cow backed into a stall, much to their disappointment.

Sometimes when Dad would kiss Mom, she would gently chide him, “Oh Parl, the children are watching…” and we would go off giggling.  They were careful to instill obedience with their love, and were also strict, in that we were taught to be kind and loving with each other and to obey our parents.  If we didn’t obey, I can remember sitting on a chair with my face to the corner and not being able to play with the others for a while.

Whenever Dad and Mom went to town I can remember standing on a chair and watching out the east window of the dining room for the black speck four or five miles east, which came closer and closer. We could see as they turned off the road going south from Stavely and as they turned west, we watched the black speck until it was close enough to recognize who it was.  Sometimes it turned out to be a neighbor, but how happy we kids were when that tiny black speck finally got close enough for us to see that it was Mom and Dad’s rig. We would run down the lane to meet them and like as not Dad would have a bag of flat, quarter-sized pink, blue, yellow or white sugar candy with writing on it; some such writing as “I Love You” or “Be Mine”.  Other times he would bring licorice, all-day-succors or hard tack candy.

There were no electric lights, running water for the kitchen, or gas or electric stoves.  We had no radio or TV, but we did have a wind-up gramophone with round records that were rolled-up paper made of celluloid.  We had kerosene lamps to fill and glass chimneys that needed cleaning too often.  Water was carried to the house in buckets from the well to be used for drinking, washing, cooking, and we bathed in a tin tub by the warm stove – stoves everlastingly needing to be fed logs or Mom would say “quick, run get me a bucket of chips (of wood), I need a hot fire to bake my bread”.  I wonder sometimes how many loaves of bread my Mom baked to keep us all filled.  Bread and milk was quite often our supper at night.  Mom also made her own butter, washed on a scrub board and had a gas engine washer.  The drinking water bucket was always frozen during the cold nights.  No flush toilets – just follow the path past the bunk house, under the clothes line out to the outhouse (two-holers) where the Eaton or Simpson catalog hung on a string.  Could be looked at too – sometimes in season we had a box of apple or peach paper wrappers, a welcome relief from catalog pages.

We always had a big garden with a root cellar for keeping vegetables in and we had a cream separator and any spare butter or eggs were exchanged at “Brand’s Store” for groceries or other needs.  Eggs were packed in a bucket of oats to get them to town without breaking.  I remember Mom used to like to eat a fresh piece of lettuce, with a light sprinkling of sugar.  I like to eat it this way too, on occasion, but many folks are surprised to see this.  Mom used to buy big orders of groceries in the fall.  I remember the silver colored aluminum canisters with nice lids, full of coconut and other goodies – the twenty pound boxes of raisins, dates and dried apricots and peaches inside. Mother had kept her wedding cake on an high shelf at the foot of their bed, in a cardboard box.  This remained there for years and years, but every so often, several of us would sneak a piece of the cake by standing on the foot of the bedstead and reaching inside to the pretty pink and green icing.  It was good and hard and sweet, just like hard tack candy.  Whether or not, Mom was aware of our mischief, I do not know, but she never scolded us for it.

I can’t remember a flower garden but I do remember there was always rows of tall, large sunflowers.  Sometimes I recall Dad planted them in a square and as the stalks grew bigger and bigger and taller and taller, they formed walls for a play house for us to play in.  I don’t remember being given much responsibility until the older girls began to leave home.  I was always very small for my age, so mostly I helped the others do dishes and make beds, and sometimes had to feed the chickens.  When old enough, we graduated to the responsibility of cleaning the pesky separator, which had to be thoroughly washed and scaled with boiling water, every day.  It was used at night and then had to be washed after the morning milking.

We all wore long-legged underwear and long, heavy, ribbed stockings in winter, held up by garters pinned or buttoned to a panty waist, made of Robin Hood flour bags with the printing still on.  All our panty waists, pants and slips, like as not, were made of flour sacks or sugar bags.  Most clothing was home made, but sometimes Mom would send away in the Simpson or Eaton catalogues and get a large order for us, others came from Grandma Grover.  We wore little canvas running shoes to school and had shiny Patten leather dress shoes with a bow on top, others were laced, to wear to church.  We also had high buttoned shoes, necessitating a button hook to close them and we sometimes had high topped laced boots as well.

In the summers, sometimes Dad would take the wagon box off the wheels and then use the wagon bed and the horses to go up into the hills.  He would haul logs home to be sawed up and split to burn and feed the greedy stoves for cooking and heating.  These would be used for the kitchen stove, the big, round oak stove in the living room, a stove in the pump house to heat wash water, and the boys had a heater in the bunk house to keep warm.  He loved fishing and on these trips he always took time fishing.  The neighbors would gladly do his chores while he was gone so they could share in the big tub of trout fish he brought back.

One year the school teacher boarded at our place, Frederick Louise Ethelbert Priestly, and of course slept in the bedroom off the kitchen.  He was sixteen years old and fresh out from England. When he first came to our home, the older boys took him out snipe hunting where he endured several cold hours in the dark looking for the small, non-existent creature, while the boys had sneaked home and were fast asleep.  We little girls could just barely reach the screen on his window to scratch and make a noise on it , then hurry away to hide – what fun and giggling went on if he found us and pretended to scold us.  Of course the best of chicken or desserts was set aside for William Louise Ethelbert Priestly, who stayed a year with us, then moved on to another home.

Our nearest neighbors were Manson and Blanche Campbell.  We girls were permitted at times to go play with Grace and Alice, their two daughters.  They had lots of water and I remember being permitted to walk around and see the beautiful flowers and garden and even a lawn they had.  He raised purebred cattle and I can remember keeping his fence and our fence between us and the several big red and white bulls that walked the fences, we thought, looking for a place to get out and after us.  His fences and buildings were always kept ship shape, painted and in good repair.  Our buildings and fences always needed repair, with so many mouths to feed, there was never money for new posts or buildings or paint.  It must have been quite a task to keep us fed and clothed.

Our wheat crop was so small; the threshing machine came and was gone before we had enough of watching the bundles pitched in and the long spout pouring grain into the grain tank and the beautiful golden straw piling higher and higher in the stack. Sometimes they came and went while we were in school, so we missed the excitement and fun of it all.

I don’t remember much of Grandma Grover, Mom’s mother, but she visited us on the farm from St. Anthony, Idaho.  Mom took the train back to Idaho to see her several times.  One time she took four or five of us with her and went home for a visit.  One of us got the measles and one by one we all got them, so her visit extended to month.  Dad got lonesome and brought a couple more of the kids to Idaho.  We all came home together and Lillian had complications from measles with pneumonia and was very, very ill.  Mom always brought a huge box about 5′ by 2′ by 2′ full of old clothes and shoes, bags of dried apples and fruit.  We’d get new clothes made from these old clothes.  Aunt Mattie worked as department store manager, so ofttimes would give Mom clothing and shoes that didn’t sell well in the store.  I remember receiving a pair of pointed toed shoes to wear to school and would sit on them so others would not notice how different they were.  I think I was the only one who could fit into them because of my small foot size.

Grandma Grover came up to Canada several times.  Each time she came there was always a big wooden box full of dresses to be remade for us girls and bags of dried fruit and shoes for whoever they fit.  As most children we sometimes displayed lack of manners or table etiquette.  One day Lillian reached across the table instead of asking.  Grandma was tall and big and quite strict; she gave us all a lecture and said if we reached we should say “excuse me”.  A bit later Grandma reached for something and Mickey reminded her of her manners and she said “Excuse an old lady for reaching”.  During the course of this same meal, Mickey wanted some more rice, reached across the table and then proceeded to apologize to everyone by herself repeating “Excuse an old lady for reaching”.  I don’t think that Grandma Grover was very pleased with her response.  This was our favorite saying for quite a while to cover up our reaching.  I kind of think Grandma would have preferred Mom and Dad to go back to Idaho to live, but we were settled and had many responsibilities with our large family for Mom and Dad to return where they had nothing to go back to.

Dad’s brother, Uncle Frank, and our cousin’s, little Frank and Joel came with him several times.  His wife, Josephine, did not come up with him.  We enjoyed their visits as they played with us kids.  I remember sitting on their laps and reading to them from our little readers, and feeding them papers which they pretended to eat, to amuse us.  They taught us to spell wood pecker:  we-e-o-edly-wood-c-e-ock-eedly-peck-eck-ocker.  Or we’d ask one of them to spell stocking and they’d say “white” or “black”?  When we’d tell them white, they’d spell out W-h-i-t-e or we’d say black, they’d spell b-l-a-c-k.

I was baptized in the Willow Creek river (the familiar swimming hole by the big rock cliff) near Stavely, Alberta, September 14, 1924 by Richard L. Johnson, a member of the ward.  I imagine they waited until they had a group of us to be baptized before venturing over to the river.  The following month, October 12, 1924, I was confirmed a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by Joseph Smith Brown.

MOVING TO CLARESHOLM

All this came to an end when Dad decided to move us to Claresholm – somehow he had $600 to buy a five roomed house and in November, 1924 we packed up our possessions on the hay rack with a team of horses.  Some of us kids rode high on top, along with our pet cat, as Dad drove the 28 miles to Claresholm where we began a new life.  There was a kitchen with a walk-in pantry, a back entry way, a living room and one bedroom downstairs, and two bedrooms upstairs.  There was an outhouse, chicken house and run, and an old barn at the south end of the lot.  We were two blocks from downtown, a block west of the church, and five blocks from school.

I remember that every Friday night, old-time music, done by fiddlers, was broadcast on the radio.  Our radio was a brown, veneered oblong box, which sat on a table in the front room. Because radio broadcasts were sporadic, and sometimes sent out from 5 p.m. until midnight only, they were considered a special treat, and something we eagerly looked forward to.  This fiddler’s music was very lively and fast.  Delena and I would sit in the front room on the leather davenport, (which opened out into a bed), bouncing up and down to the beat, and waving our arms to the music. Kenneth would make us quit bouncing around, warning us that the springs would come undone because we were wearing them out.  When he left the room, we would start up again, until he reentered, and issued his warning glare or told us emphatically to do as he said.

We first attended in the little, two-roomed red brick school house on the east side.  Mattie, Mickey, Stella, Delena, Parley and I, all had Miss Benson when we entered grade five.  Mickey and I walked to school and would be held up by trains at the track.  We’d be late and say there was a train even if there wasn’t.  I remember lying in bed upstairs in the home place and would hear the first bell ring, and then would have to scurry around to get to school. Half an hour later we’d be up, dressed, breakfasted and running the mile to school.  My grade three teacher was Miss Kirk, grade four -Miss Matheson, grade five – Miss Benson, grade six – Miss Laidlaw, grade seven – Miss Simpson, grade eight -Miss MacWilliam, grade nine – Miss Daugliesh, Mr. Kirk, and Mr. Foster.

I still remember someone telling about Mr. Fairer who was killed by a train when running across the railroad tracks and tripping on a pile of ashes (dumped by the steam engines on the tracks) between the rails.  Everyone told us kids that Mrs. Fairer was a witch – she used to wear a long, black coat and tiny hat. She lived in a large, unpainted house (Gwen Toone’s lot) southeast from our home.

After grade five, I moved across the road to the larger red brick building, where I attended until I graduated in grade twelve. I entered High School on September 2, 1930 when I was fourteen years old.  As students we attended school in this red brick school house with the winding staircase, where we climbed to the top to hear the janitor, Mr. McKenzie, ring the school bell by pulling on the long rope, which he sometimes even let us take a tug on.  I remember Mr. Foster, the principal, Miss Mary Bell (Bennett), French teacher, Mr. Kirk.

We first attended church in the Oddfellow’s Hall on Main Street and went to Primary in the homes of members.  In the winter of 1924, Dad helped the members of Claresholm Ward move the chapel from Woodhouse five miles south, to Claresholm.  They had railroad ties and metal tracks and pulled the chapel on them using wheels, moving the ties and tracks from behind to the front as horses pulled the building.  We would run out after school down the railroad tracks to the outskirts of town to watch them pull it on the frozen ground.  They eventually made it over to the east side of town, just several homes away from us, to the foundation and basement.  The present ward church in Claresholm sits in the area to where this church was originally moved.  It was later taken by truck to Fort MacLeod, and is now an apartment house.

Things seemed to be going pretty well for us, and then one day Oliver Symmonds came and wanted to take Dad up to the farm to look at some horses he wanted to buy.  Dad had been sick all night and Mom did not want him to go.  She used to rub his arms with liniment to help relieve the pain, but it was not caused by rheumatism.  Dad left to go up with the other men (Hyrum Symmonds was an horse buyer).  They all decided to take a break while up at the farm and take some time to play rummy or whist- Dad dropped a card and bent down to pick it up.  He collapsed and immediately died from a massive heart attack.  This was on June 22, 1925.  They were to stay all night and come back on the 23rd.  It must have been about 7:30 on the morning of the 23rd when Leland, my brother, who had been working four miles south of town at George Gibson’s farm, came bounding up the stairs into our bedroom to tell us kids our Dad was dead.  We were still in bed and what a harsh, rude awakening.  A kind, gentle, loving father was gone, leaving Mom with twelve children – confused, frightened kids that didn’t understand about death and all its implications!  I was eight years old and in grade three and remember having Miss Kirk as my teacher during this sad time.  Grownup preparations, talk and sorrows, left us kids (me anyway) bewildered, frightened and tearful and Mom was heartbroken and apprehensive about the future alone.  Later, we were driven out to the farm where he lay in his coffin in the living room and Mom rushed over, crying, “Parl, Parl, what will I ever do without you?”

Dad’s brother, Uncle Frank and his two sons, his sister, Aunt Phene (Josephine), and Grandmother Grover arrived the morning of the funeral from Idaho.  President Hugh B. Brown was President of the Lethbridge Stake and came out to Pine Coulee to speak at my Dad’s funeral.  The little school house was full – whenever I hear “Oh My Father” sung, I remember that day.  President Brown said “He may not have been a financial success, but he was a splendid husband and father.”  He was buried in the Stavely Cemetery.

Ralph took over the farm for one year and he bought a bed which he pulled down from the wall.  It looked like a dresser with drawers and had handles on it, but not real drawers.  Leland and Florence then lived on the farm for a few more years, before the taxes were in arrears, and the farm was eventually sold to someone else.

Life goes on – Mom bore the brunt of this great loss, more than us kids, I’m sure.  Aunt Mary would come and stay and Mom would say that it was so nice to have an adult around to talk to. She and Uncle Jack still lived west of Stavely out at Table Butte. Kenneth, Ralph, Leland and Dee didn’t go to school in Claresholm, the rest of us kids did.  They worked around Stavely and we settled into school, Primary, Church, Sunday school, Mutual and life without Dad.  We had a cow which Mom or the kids older than me, milked and carried water to down in the vacant lot.  We had enough for our use and we sold the rest to the Chinese restaurant on Main Street of Claresholm.  Once, Mom sent Parley to deliver the milk, when he returned Mom asked him what the “Chinaman” had said. Parley said “I’m not sure but it sounded like Hung-I-munge-chucka-chucka-fungi-O-aligata-mungi-O.  This became our favorite saying.

The vacant lot a block west of our home (by Jean Toone’s home now) was the preferred playground for a neighborhood ball game, kick the can, run-sheep-run or other games.  We still had a two holer outhouse, but we had electric lights and a gas stove, a cold water tap in the pantry with a bucket underneath.  Later on we got a sink and cupboards in the kitchen though.  At the back of the house, there was an old, wooden pickle barrel full of dills in brine.

Once a week, Mom used to catch the train in the morning, and go to Stavely to Relief Society and come back on the train in the afternoon.  All of us seven girls would be at the station to meet her.  Once the train station keeper saw us lined up and asked us who we were waiting for.  “We’re waiting for our mother.”  “That’s wonderful, that will be nice to see her again, and “he said” how long has she been gone?”  And we responded, “Since this morning.”  We acted as though she’d been gone a week or two instead of four or five hours.  There were lots of people who would go down to the train station to watch the people get off and on the trains.

At the age of fourteen, I received my patriarchal blessing from Patriarch E.W. Bushman, of the Claresholm Ward.  We went over to Sarah Whitehead’s home in town, with a group of other kids who also received their blessings.  I graduated from Primary in 1928, at the age of twelve, and then a year or two later, became secretary of the Primary when Alice Whitehead was president.

We were given the privilege of going to the temple to do baptisms for the dead.  We were cold and stiff, riding the long way in a truck, but soon forgot all that when we saw the temple. President Wood took us up to the Prayer Room where we had a meeting, and we each promised him we would attend Sunday school and Sacrament Meeting whenever it was possible to do so.  Then we were baptized.  I was baptized ten times.  I joined the Mutual when I was fourteen years old, with Artence Rice as my Beehive leader.  We had candy pulls and parties and many enjoyable times.

We got a radio with earphones.  I can still remember playing ball on the lawn after school and taking turns running in and listening through the earphones.  Later we got a radio where we could all hear it without earphones.  Mickey and I played basketball in high School where we played outside on a cinder court.  I’m sure it must have been a slower game than when we played on an inside floor.  Cinders can cause many a bruised and scraped knee or whole leg and thigh, elbows and palms if you fall just so, but if you don’t know anything better you can still have fun on a cinder court.  We went to silent movies when the conversation was written across the bottom of the screen and music was a live orchestra or piano player in a pit below the screen.

The Nils Thompsons, (elevator operator), lived just across the street from us – there was Trygvie, Lily, Mildred and Gordon.  Every night after school they all got in their old vintage car and went for a drive in the country.  Lily was my friend and would sometimes invite us to ride with them.  Dorothy Dixon and her folks were immediately west of them and still west of us and Mirium Amundsons were west of them and still west of Amundsons was Atkinsons – Eva’s family – through the back yard was south of us was Sam Whitehead’s place – east of them was Daniel Burbanks.  East of us was Cramers and Hagermans, Torbits and later Holts were across the street, north and east of them was Strangs and Mrs. McCardell and our school teacher Miss Calder where Mickey worked. I later inherited her job.  Mrs. McCardell had T.B. so slept on a glassed in porch to get fresh air and lots of sunshine.

After school one of us girls took turns going into Dixon’s home to play quiet games with Dorothy Dixson, otherwise we were off to the vacant lot to play.  We would occasionally be invited to take drives in their car on Sunday or after school in the evenings. One of us would be asked to ride with them, usually Delena. Sometimes we went out east 1/4 mile to Adolph Amundsons to play with Iris Amundson.  They had a huge high roofed barn with a heavy rope fastened high in the peak.  We’d climb a ladder and stand at one ledge, swing down to the center near the ground and up again to the opposite high ledge.  It took a while to make one full half circle and back to your starting point again.  I’m sure the process was speeded up by the presence of a snorting, angry sounding, black stallion in a stall somewhere in the barn, pawing and clambering to get at us (we were certain of that).

In 1934, when in Beehives, a group of us went with Bishop George Toone (Henry’s dad) to the Waterton Mountains.  It was the first time I had ever been right up in the mountains.  Hannah Toone Puzy, Evelyn and Delcy Quist, Ida Swenson Johanson (Stig’s first wife), Lila Oviatt Stanford, Jean Toone, Idonna Rice Quaster, Clarice Mulholland Harding, Artence Champney Rice, Mickey and I, all spent several days camping, hiking above the Cameron Falls, and even eating cold beans out of a can.

Several times we had the occasion to perform baptisms for the dead by traveling down to the temple in Cardston.  This was an inspirational experience for us all.  And once a year, people would come from miles around to the church in Claresholm for “President Wood Days”.  There would be a morning meeting and we would bring our lunch to put it all together on the basement’s long tables, and then we’d go back and attend an afternoon meeting.  We enjoyed his spirituality and the very powerful sermons given about his miracles, missionary labours in the islands, and his experiences in the Alberta Stake Presidency.  These were never to be forgotten meetings – they strengthened and helped our testimonies and love of the gospel grow.

I was a fairly good student and liked school because my friends were in several of my classes, but I disliked math.  Lily Thompson was my best friend and we spent many wonderful times together in school.  Mickey, Delena and I were really good in school and church basketball.  I was little and quick and was a really good player – we had many fun times in basketball.  We played basketball in the basement of the church.  We traveled all over to play and were many times champions.  This was tricky as the basement wasn’t too deep and the church had been set on three or four, two-foot deep iron beams protruding into the basement.  We learned to play without throwing the ball high, but low enough to miss the beams.  This was to our advantage when we played in our own hall and disadvantageous to teams who came from other wards. Then when our teams played in wards that had high ceilings, they had the advantage over us.  It was great fun to play or to watch our Mutual Men and Gleaners teams play.  I played when the games were in our ward but I didn’t go when they traveled to other wards.  Since we lived just three doors west of the church, we soon became janitors for our ward, so we practiced lots of basketball shots when we finished cleaning.

Our vacant lot was used on occasions when the circus came to town.  What fun to watch as they unloaded the tents and animals, etc.  Chatauqua came to town in the summer too and set up the big tent.  This was one way the folks in the small towns enjoyed a bit of big city culture.  Museums, singers, dancers, dramas, jugglers, trick dogs, etc.  Sometimes we were able to go inside but I think mostly we hung around outside to catch some of the excitement and at least hear the music.  Sometimes it was held in the skating rink.  We had mutual plays and dances in the church basement.  Once a year we had a Gold and Green Ball with a Gleaner selected as Queen with attendants and crown bearers.

The first boy I ever went out with was Leonard Rush, a Catholic boy, so I felt quite guilty about going with him to shows after attending mutual and hearing lessons about dating LDS boys. He didn’t want to take me to our Mormon Church dances, so we ended up not dating for too long.  They had dances every Saturday night in the church basement.  At first, Delena and I were too young to date or dance, so we would go and sit all night listening to the music and watching everyone else dance.  I guess the best dance I ever went to was when Carl first asked me to go to a church dance -I really felt important.  I continued to date Carl during the last half of my grade twelve year.

I remember a time when Mickey and I sloughed school and left with our friends, Flora Hutchinson and Myrtle Smith Berry.  Stella also came with us.  We skipped out on the Friday afternoon and drove down to the bridge over the Old Man River down by Fort MacLeod and spent the time together enjoying our new-found freedom. I’m not sure of all that we did but someone had a camera and recorded pictures of our philanderings.  When I went to school Monday morning, I found that if I’d gone to school that past Friday afternoon, I would not have had to write my final exams.  I’m sure I must have been disappointed; considering this was the first time I had ever sloughed my classes.

During one summer and sometimes during the school year, I worked for Elizabeth (Lizzy) Smith, a member of the church, out on her farm south and west of town, for $4 a month.  Ralph had an appendectomy and received a many-tailed binder from Lizzy, and then she took $2 out of the $4 she owed me, to pay for it.  She would only allow me to use one dipper full of scalding water to scald the whole separator.

During this time, I remained active in the church and during the 1934-35 school year, I taught a Church History Sunday School class.  I continued to attend school in Claresholm and graduated from the High School in June of 1935 with my grade twelve diploma.

It was during this time that I also met and shortly thereafter married Carl on 27 November 1935.


LIFE STORY OF CARL J. RICE:

Carl Rice and his sisterCarl “G.” or “J.” Rice, named after the church educator Karl G. Maeser, was born August 5, 1908 in Claresholm, Alberta, Canada. He was the first child born in Canada after his parents, Otis Scott Rice and Chloe Stoddard immigrated from Parker, Idaho to Alberta with their four children, Scott’s parents and immediate family. Carl was blessed September 6, 1908 by Elder George W. Pack.

In the late 1890’s, Carl’s grandparents, Leonard Babbitt Rice and Martha Jane Stoddard had built a store near their home in Parker, Idaho and operated a mercantile business.  They also accumulated many horses and haying outfits, bundle wagons, mowing machines and other farm implements.  Riley, Leonard’s oldest son, displayed a lust for adventure and convinced the family to move to Alberta, Canada where “glowing opportunities” existed.  Riley argued that by selling out all their land holdings and properties, they could go northward and by working together with the plentiful labor in the family, break up hundreds of acres, reap thousands of bushels of grain and with the railroad established, they would be assured big returns.

Eventually in 1906 Len and Janie and most of their family chartered train boxcars and shipped all of their farm machinery and horses to Cardston.  The Cardston area was speedily being settled by people from Utah, Idaho and Eastern Canada.  The Rice’s eventually settled on a section of level prairie land three miles south of Claresholm.  In the spring of 1907, Scott returned to Idaho and brought the rest of his family up to Alberta.  They brought their four young children with them; Otis Scott born September 13, 1900, Ula born November 6, 1902, Arlin Earl born August 7, 1904 and Alice Lucille born August 10, 1906, all in Parker, Idaho.  The following year on August 5, 1908 Carl G. was born in a small, three-roomed, wooden-framed home east of the railway tracks.  It is most probable that a midwife or physician assisted in these births in a visit to the farm home.  Sister Whitehead, a midwife and member of the Relief Society, assisted in many of the births of the families who lived in this area and probably assisted Chloe in the births of her last three children. Idonna was born January 4, 1911 and Leonard Cyril was born February 28, 1913.

The first winter in Canada had very little snow, called an open winter.  In that same year, 1907, the family lived in the Whitehead home, three miles southwest of Claresholm.  The section of land was divided among the family members and Scott bought the southeast quarter from his brother, Rile.  It was a time for Scott to be independent while still contributing to the family threshing crew.  In the spring of 1908 they moved to a farm one mile east of Skiba’s farm, (now Carson’s feedlot).  It was across the tracks and one-half mile north of the old Sorenson place; they lived here until 1917.  This is where their last three children were born.

With the help of Scott’s brother-in-law, Lynn Carter (Harriet Rice), three large duplex‑style homes were built on the northwest corner of the northwest quarter (north and east of the present

Rice farm).  Lynn Carter was an excellent carpenter and built many farm homes for settlers in the area.   These homes were originally occupied by Scott’s parents Leonard Babbitt and Martha Jane, Scott’s sister Caroline Elizabeth and Joseph Mullender Workman and most probably Scott’s other sister Harriet Celestia and Lynn Carter.

On July 17, 1904 President E.J. Wood met with the saints and organized a ward comprised of fourteen families.  The meetings of the Ward and auxiliaries were held in the homes of the Saints and in the Starline School alternately.  In July of the following year Bishop John W. Drollinger, Sr. chose S.R. Faddis and Joseph M. Workman as counselors.  The Relief Society was reorganized and Edla Rice (Riley Rice) was chosen as president with Sarah Drollinger and Eliza Quist.  Elizabeth Smith was Secretary-Treasurer.  As the membership continued to grow, two lots were purchased in Claresholm but opposition was encountered so they built a tithing granary and continued to hold meetings in homes. In 1909 a church was built near the Rice-Workman properties and called the “Woodhouse” Ward.  Jody Workman was the choir director with his wife Caddie (Caroline Elizabeth Rice) as organist.

They bought a large steam engine for harvesting and did custom threshing with their crew of men.  The Rice-Workman Steam Threshing outfit was one of the first in the country and was operated by Scott, his two brothers Rile and Gus, and the Workman boys.  This family team broke up hundreds of acres of ground preparing the prairie soil for grain and planted crops for themselves and others. They bought large threshing outfits with bundle wagons, cook cars and all that was necessary to carry out harvesting.  Chloe cooked for them, living in a bunk car and cooking out of their wheeled cook car.  They moved their threshing outfit from farm to farm harvesting crops between Claresholm and Cardston.  Some years brought bounteous harvests and some were very disappointing. Alberta, with its early frosts, late springs, unexpected storms and long droughts, took its toll on their farming operation and harvesting cooperative.  The Rice-Workman Steam Threshing Company was no longer profitable and by 1915, nearly this entire original group had returned to Idaho.  Only Scott and Chloe, William Isaacson and Hazel Lavera Rice, and Jody Workman and Caroline Elizabeth Rice remained.  Leonard and Janie had already moved back in 1912 to live in St. Anthony, Idaho.

(Paper Plates of Rice by Elaine Rice Gibb Kimzey)

The year of 1910 was one of the driest years on record in this part of the country, and there were many forest fires west from Claresholm, in the mountains.  This summer, when Carl was two years old, their whole Woodhouse Ward packed up and drove their buggies and wagons down to Waterton, to camp for a week.  Carl still talked about what a wonderful time they had in that beautiful spot.  It must have made quite an impression on him at that young age.  WW I started in 1914, when Carl was six years old.  He remembered the beginning of this Great War and also recounted the Armistice celebrations which took place four years later, November 11, 1918. A parade traveled from Calgary all the way down to Fort MacLeod, a distance of over 100 miles.

On January 2, 1915, Scott Rice was returning from a trip into Claresholm by taking a shortcut following the railroad tracks, the only clear trail to and from town.  It was a cold and stormy evening, about eight-thirty, when he rode his horse from town, south to the farm.  During such a blizzard, it was not uncommon for him to find his way by following the railway tracks which diagonally transected the two eastern quarters of their section. No doubt the roads at the time would only have been poorly constructed trails formed by wagon and horse traffic and during a January storm, not easily traversed.  On this night as he rode home the wind was blowing hard from the south and he probably held his head tucked low, braced against the blowing snow. He did not know of train number 540, approaching from the north, and the bell and whistle when blown, were not heard in the storm.  He was but a few yards from where he would have turned off the track to go east towards his home and would have been home long before train time, had it not been for the fact that the horse was a very slow and quiet animal, and even with the noise of the train approaching, it failed to make any attempt to get out of danger.  He was struck by the train and thrown from the track.  Badly injured, he was taken by train to Granum where it is believed he died before reaching the town.  Claresholm did not yet have a hospital or the personnel to render the treatment his broken body required.  Dr. McMillan, of Granum, pronounced him dead at 10:30 p.m., from a closed head wound.

Chloe was in the house at the time and heard four long whistles which indicated an accident, and later heard a shot fired (probably as they killed the horse).  She sensed the danger and knew in her heart that something terrible had happened and worried that Scott had been involved, but it was not until the next morning that the family was told of the accident.  Carl’s vivid memory of that day was of the distress signal of those four long blasts blown by the train’s whistle, indicating an accident had occurred.  He still recalled that sound being repeated; the loss of his father impacted him heavily and he felt the loss of many ways.

It must have been overwhelming to Chloe to know she was now responsible for the family’s welfare, the youngest, Cyril, was not yet two years old and Otis was fifteen.  Carl was only seven years old.  He commented on remembering the coffin which held his father’s body as it remained in the center of the living room.  As a child it must have been a confusing and very sad time to feel the loss of his father, knowing the anguish his mother felt and yet not understanding what this meant for the future of the family.

Scott was buried January 6, 1915 in the Claresholm cemetery. Those of the family who remained in Alberta, church members and neighbors would have attended the funeral held in the L.D.S. “Woodhouse” church less than a mile from their farm home.  The bleakness of the weather that time of the year could only have added to the sadness Chloe and her young family must have felt as they buried a husband and father.  There was much concern and worry as Chloe contemplated how she would provide for her young family. She would have felt very much alone in her circumstance.  Whether financially unable to return to her family in Parker or whether determined to remain in the area of her husband’s dream, it is not clear.  Carl was baptized on his birthday August 5, 1916 by William J. Whitehead and confirmed the following day August 6, 1916, by David E Quist, in the Claresholm Ward.

At some time in 1917, the quarter section of land apportioned to Scott was traded by Chloe after his death for an half section of land adjacent to and west of the original Rice-Workman section. The remainder of the land owned by the Workmans was eventually sold – Bill Isaacson and Hazel Rice moved to Champion to farm; David “Gus” Rice and Priscilla Parkinson were already in that area. Chloe and her family were the only ones who remained in the Claresholm area from what began as a promising venture when Scott’s brother Riley envisioned the family farming enterprise.

Chloe moved to the half section, previously owned by Alfred Sorenson, because the house on the property was in better condition (built by Coles).  It is not certain about who was living in the three Rice-Workman homes but the family moved to one of the homes for only a short time before moving permanently to the new acreage. Years later one of the homes burned to the ground, one was purchased and moved to the current “Simpson” farm but has since been destroyed and the third home was moved into Claresholm (owned by Hope Oliver for years).

Soon after Carl remembers that Chloe planted many trees around the newly acquired farm.  He tramped around with her and helped plant them – it was a considerable amount of work as they planted over 100 trees of several varieties.  These grew in towering groves protecting from the wind and providing shade in the warm summer months.

In the early years of Carl’s education, he attended the Hoosier school, a one roomed country school which housed several grades at one time.  It was located adjacent to the railroad tracks one mile east of the farmhouse. The foundation and front step, along with a commemorative plaque, are still visible today.  Carl spoke often of the times he rode his pony and occasionally he walked.  He owned a favorite pony which he rode to school, raced and worked to perform other farm chores.  It was a lop-eared pony, but when it got frisky or tired, its ears would stand straight up. Carl knew to be prepared when it ears straightened, head dropped and then its knees buckled.  The pony would tumble down and whoever was riding either jumped off or toppled off when the pony lay down.  He rode this pony for many years and even during the last two years he attended at the Claresholm School.  The automobile was only just beginning to come into more affordable use.  Most of his youth on the farm was of the horse and vintage carriage.

We know little about his school days other than a few stories he’d tell of these early years.  He referred to the times when the children played “lame Indian”.  They would play this game with any new boy who moved into the area.  He says that you had to go up to the new greeny and ask him to play.  The fellow would be anxious to play and you would show him how it was done.  You then put your hand down like a stirrup and let him mount up upon your back to give him a ride.  Then you’d say it was your turn to be the lame Indian, so he’d put his hand down as a stirrup and you prepared to mount up.  The main difference being that you made sure you stepped in a fresh cow pie before stepping up onto his cupped hand.  He also related other boyhood games where one fellow would jostle with a schoolmate, while the other knelt on all fours behind them.  At a strategic point in the pretended confrontation, the schoolmate was backed up against the kneeling friend, and quickly toppled over backwards.  They no doubt engaged in these activities during recess or lunch breaks between school classes.

He also tells of the time two brothers from a neighboring farm, threatened to “clean his clock”.  One of them put up his dukes in front of him and the other sidled around behind him.  Carl immediately went into action and in one round house punch, he clipped the first one on the jaw, knocking him cold, and continued on around, also catching the other one on his jaw, and that was the end of the fight.  He once retold the story at the supper table and stood up to give a demonstration of the punch.  This time he hit the wall behind him as he twirled around, and sported a sore hand for a few days.

Sometimes Carl’s mischievous, boyish ways got him into a problem or two.  He and Dean Burbank were on their way home and had to go past the L.D.S. church located just a few hundred yards from the Hoosier school.  They started tossing rocks at each other, then over towards the church, where a couple smashed through some windows.  They were in a great deal of trouble when it was discovered who had damaged the windows.

The family continued to attend the Woodhouse Ward, which was comprised of families located around the area.  They belonged to the Alberta Cardston Stake when President E.J. Wood was the Stake President.  He often visited the northern wards, traveling by sleigh or buggy, and later with the use of early model-T ford cars. Bad roads or cold weather did not stop them from visiting the ward members.  The incident is related of a mission group traveling with President Wood from Gleichen to Calgary, by automobile. Carl’s Aunt Caddie (Caroline Elizabeth Rice married to Joseph Workman) was one of the ones making this trip with the group. While going over an irrigation culvert at an excessive speed, the occupants were all thrown violently to the top of the car. Caddie’s nose was broken and mashed against her face as she struck the bow of the top of the car.  A part of her broken glasses was forced into her nose close to her eye.  The group saw her bleeding and discolored nose mashed flat against her face.  In great pain and suffering, she begged President Wood to reach forth his hand, touch her nose, and bless her that her nose would be healed.  “So with a very peculiar feeling in which there was no fear, but a firm confidence, I put my hand on her nose, and with a prayer in my heart, told her that her nose would be alright.”  After placing bandages on her face, the party continued to Calgary.  “Imagine our surprise,” wrote President Wood, “when we untied the cloths from her face and noted that her nose was in perfect shape and the dark color had been removed.”  Sister Workman simply said, wrote the President, “She knew her nose would be healed when I touched it.” (The Life of Edward James Wood by Melvin S. Tagg)

The Relief Society was a much needed and often called upon group of women who administered care and nurturing to the members in their ward.  There were several times the sisters came to their home when they were ill or needed help.  One time, Chloe was struck by lightening and was badly burned.  The sisters were called to help, before the doctor arrived.  They always came offering their love and assistance.

It was quite a struggle for Chloe to run the farm and keep all of her children fed and clothed.  Carl and the rest of the children did what they could to keep the farm in operation, while Chloe cooked for threshing units which were close to Claresholm.  She was a good cook and learned the culinary skills necessary to feed the large groups of men who toiled on the threshing machines.  They were long and arduous days.

Carl worked on threshing crews off and on during his early years as did his oldest brother Otis.  Harvest time kept these threshing outfits busy for long hours each day.  Stooks were pitched into bundle wagons from the fields and taken to the thresher.  Driving the teams close to the tractor and past the screaming pulleys and whirling belts to stop beside the threshing machine, was a tense performance which always excited the nervous horses.  The teams stood still while the bundles were forked gradually into the mouth of the machine where the grain and straw chaff was separated by rows of teeth and screens.  A funnel delivered the beads of grain into the grain wagons to be hauled to granaries or town elevators.  The larger funnel belched the straw from the blower to the straw stack to be bundled for feed or scattered on the land.

It was an hard country in which to progress at the best of times, but without a father, the struggles were magnified for Carl’s mother and the rest of the family.  Chloe alone provided for her seven children and it was not until the work of raising her children was completed, almost twenty-five years later that she remarried, in 1940.  She married her brother-in-law who lost his wife, Hazel Lavera Rice, in 1922.  The loss of Carl’s father during these tender years must have been a sad, sad time in his life and a very difficult thing for him to accept.  He occasionally spoke of this loss when reminiscing about his early years and referred to the train, sometimes pointing in the direction of the tracks, only a mile east.

Carl worked with horses and loved to have them well trained. He spent many hard days plowing the land, seeding and harvesting with his horses.  The days were long and he would have to feed and groom the horses before he left for school.  Five a.m. came early when he had to prepare them for the day’s work.  He attended the Hoosier school for the first six grades and then transferred to Claresholm until grade eight.  Because of the pressures of farm responsibilities, at the age of fourteen, he was compelled to quit school to perform the farm work necessary for supporting the family.  He recounted having to stand on the manger to harness the horses until he was taller.  When he was twelve or thirteen, he recounts the time and old workhorse fell over on top of him and “pret near killed me.”  The whole family was used to hard work. Carl used to reminisce that you didn’t need an alarm clock when his mother was around.  She was an industrious worker who was up before the break of dawn at five a.m. or earlier, out hoeing in the garden, sewing or doing other household chores.  She expected nothing less of her children.

About 1926, after Otis returned from a mission to the Northern States, both he and Carl built the barn out of used lumber. It has been in use on the farm for over sixty years.  The wooden granary on the farm was at one time the church tithing granary, which stored member’s tithes and offering paid in grain.  When the chapel was moved into town in 1925, this granary was most likely purchased for use on the farm.  The fall of 1926 was very stormy and the thrashing had to be done the following spring.  Carl also had a hayrack bundle wagon he first used to gather stooks.  This wagon was pulled by horses and later by a tractor, being used many years to fill the barn with stooks, then bales, and was eventually replaced by the use of trucks.

He loved the out-of-doors and spent many days fishing in the “gap”, in the mountains.  A couple of times a year, they removed the grain box from the wagon, drove several days back to the mountains to haul wood back for use in the wood burning stoves.  The winters continued to be harsh, and very cold, with temperatures easily dipping into the -40 F.  In 1925, a group of young people got together and went on a fishing trip back in the mountains. Carl and a friend rode the 75 miles up there, on horses.  Fishing had always been one of his favorite sports and since that time, he had many enjoyable fishing and camping trips back in the mountains.

During these courtship years, Carl obtained his patriarchal blessing January 26, 1931 by E.W. Bushman.


DATING AND OUR MARRIED LIFE TOGETHER

Carl knew me through the Claresholm Ward, when we moved to town just before Dad died.  Effie Maude Simpson and Chloe Stoddard were friends in Rexburg, having roomed together when attending Rick’s Academy in the late 1890’s.  Carl’s recollection of first taking notice of me occurred sometime in 1928, when he drove his graham page car to Cardston to take a group of young people to the temple to do baptisms for the dead.  I was assigned to ride in his car.  He said that there was just a special tingle that went through him and he felt that there was something very special about that drive.  It wasn’t until several years later that we began to date formally, sometimes traveling to Lethbridge for ice cream or just taking drives in his car.  Occasionally he would be at Otis’s garage and would offer me a ride to school as I walked past.  We attended dances at the Claresholm Ward, performing the two-step, square dances, and waltzes.  Carl was a very good dancer and really enjoyed these activities.  A band from the Starline (Wyatt Nowlin and Wayne Strang) would sometimes come and play live music.  Carl was very quiet and shy in his courtship, but managed to offer a marriage proposal in the summer of 1935.  We dated for a year with two or three minor spats along with good times, then one night as we were going for a drive in the country, he stopped the car and said, “I think we should get married, don’t you?”  I was so surprised I couldn’t say anything.  I was nineteen and he was twenty-six at the time.  He had been running his mother’s farm for the past few years.  I wasn’t sure I wanted to get married, yet I was excited about it too.

One day his mother and my mother and Carl and I went to Calgary for a day shopping and as he and I were eating in a small restaurant, he tossed a small package across the table to me and said, “Here’s a little something I got for you – I hope you like it.”  I opened it up and there was a diamond ring, which I loved. I had never owned anything so beautiful.  From then on we made plans more in earnest.  His mother and Cyril were still on the farm, but they planned to let Carl take over the farm.  They were going to California for the winter, so our plans couldn’t be finalized until their arrangements could be made.  So it was around the first of November before we could actually set a date, which we finally did, for November 27, 1935.

During grade twelve, I was working for Mrs. Hazel Strang McCardell, (Grandpa Jesse Strang and the school teacher, Miss Calder) who lived across the road from us for $8 per month.  She was a tuberculosis patient who needed her housework done in the mornings.  I would fix something for supper for her and then leave in the early afternoon so she could sleep. She spent most of her time bundled up in bed and slept in the front glassed-in porch where she could receive lots of fresh air and sunshine.  So with earned money, I managed to buy a new winter coat and a small brown velvet hat and a new wine dress with a white cape like collar and a pair of brown slipper pumps with a bow on the top.  Mrs. McCardell and Miss Calder, the teacher, gave me a pink nightie and a black satin housecoat.  Mom made me a long white satin wedding dress and that was the extent of my new wardrobe.  But to me it was fit for a queen as I don’t think I’d had that many new things all at once, ever.  It was an exciting time and a scary time – one minute I’d say to myself “I wish Mom would say “No you can’t, you’re too young” and the next I’d be afraid she would say it!”

There was a bit of snow on the ground, but it was mostly an open winter, during that day we drove to the temple in Cardston. I drove down with Carl in his graham page car, while Mom went with Alfred Sorenson.  Carl’s mother was already in Cardston preparing to leave for California with Cyril, after the wedding.  The first session we attended was very large, being attended by many ward members (Sorensons, Bishop Quist, Bishop Toone, family members). This was my first time to attend the temple and both Carl and I took out our endowments together on this day.  Following this session, we Carl and Luella Rice Wedding Picture - 1935were married by President E.J. Wood, the sealing room and outside hallway, also full of family and friends who had come to attend.  President Wood talked to us and suggested that we attend another session, so we did not leave the temple until seven p.m. that night.  After the wedding we went to a restaurant to eat and then we stayed at the Spencer hotel in Cardston.  The next morning we went up to Aunt Mary Stoddard’s home (Chloe’s brother Sam and his wife) in Cardston, to say good-bye to Grandma and Cyril before they left for California.  This was a mistake, as Cyril had drained most of the gas from the tank, as a wedding prank.  As we drove back toward Claresholm, ten miles out of Cardston, the car suddenly began to sputter and the gas gage registered empty.  I had to sit alone for about three or four hours on the Indian reservation, while Carl caught a ride back to Cardston, and picked up a can of gas.  I remember being quite nervous and scared having to sit alone, with the doors locked, waiting for Carl to return.

Upon arriving at the farm later that evening, Carl found that all of his horses had broken down the gate and were now gone. Because it was too dark to search for them then, he had to wait until early the next morning before venturing out to find them.  I stayed in my farm home while Carl spent the next two days tracking them, finally locating them at a farmer’s corral, who had kept them there, awaiting for the owner to arrive.  He never did find his riding pony.

We then went to Empress Hotel in Calgary, where we did some shopping and attended several movies.  I wore my new clothes for our wedding photo taken at a studio.  We had a coupon for this picture.  It was nice to spend some time together, enjoying the sights of the city, shopping and taking in shows (orchestras in the pit playing for the silent movies).

Having not lived in the country since the age of eight, I found this farm life to be a very different lifestyle to me.  There were no conveniences as I had enjoyed since moving to town, where we had electric lights, a gas stove, running water, and were close to church and stores.  I found my life to be more isolated and lonesome, having always had other sisters and brothers around while growing up.  I learned to light coal oil lamps, cooked on a wood stove, washed clothes on a wash board with lye in the water to soften the water (had to skim off the lye and chemicals from the water), and hauled water in buckets from the well at the southwest corner of the house, and of course, there was the outhouse in the back by the old chicken house.  There were sad irons to be heated on the stove, butter to be churned, set hens to be tended, the separator to be washed once a day, and lamp chimneys to be cleaned. I gave up many of the conveniences to which I had grown accustomed to when living in town.

On our first Christmas, we went into town to spend the day with Mom, and the girls at the house, Mickey, Delena, Doris and Dona.  We enjoyed a turkey dinner with all the trimmings and spent the day visiting and playing games.  It was a very cold, cold winter that year.

In the spring of 1936, Chloe and Cyril returned from California and lived with us until after our first child, Allen Earl, was born in 1936.  He was a little baby, weighing about five pounds.  We named him after Carl’s older brother, Arlin Earl.

Luella (Oviatt) and Carl Rice and BoysWe settled down to many hard times and hard work without many conveniences.  Carl was up at 4 am to till the land with horses. The following year, in 1938, Carl bought a steel-wheeled lug Minneapolis tractor, which considerably eased his strenuous farm load.  During this time of the “dirty thirties”, the land became so very dry and barely productive.  Crops were sparse, but prices were also low, 25 cents a bushel for wheat, being a common payment.  The stems were so short that they were impossible to stook.  Carl had to build a special box to catch the heads of the wheat as they were cut by the binder.

My sisters, Delena, Mickey, Doris and Dona stayed in the home place with Mom.  Bud worked up in Stavely at this time.  Mickey was the postmistress and both Doris and Delena worked under her.  Donna was still attending school in town, not yet old enough to work.  In the winters after I was married, I would go up to town a couple of times and spend the day with Mom.  If a storm came up, Carl would walk up when the roads were drifted in.  On other occasions, I would sometimes spend time with the girls playing cards and generally enjoying their company.  Claresholm was still a growing town and was making the transition to the use of automobiles. There was still D.D. Dickmeyer’s big livery stable where people would bring their horses to be taken care of (North of Otis’s garage), and a blacksmith shop (across from the post office).  The Traveler’s Inn (south of Soby’s grocery store), the post office and a theatre rebuilt by T.C. Milnes, with a pit and orchestra.

When Carl and I were dating, he had a big graham page two-seater car.  His mother couldn’t drive it so Carl inherited it.  He eventually cut the back seat off and built a truck out of it after we were married.  One day, Grandma and her husband Bill Isaacson, came over from Champion, just a few days before Christmas.  Then Cyril, Bill and Carl went to Lethbridge and left Grandma, Allen and I home on the farm.  It was the Christmas program in town at the church.  We wanted to go but the men didn’t get back, and we waited and waited.  Finally, we decided we’d go alone and I was elected to drive, having never before driven anything.  I drove very slowly and we made out fine, and enjoyed the concert.  We again drove slowly home and found the men at home, wondering where we were. That was my first time driving alone and from then on I was not afraid to try it alone.

On June 28, 1938, three months before Gordon was born, Mom died.  She was out in the back yard working in the garden, when her throat suddenly swelled up from what she thought was a bee sting. The girls helped her into the house and put her to bed.  During this time, the power man, Mr. Prendergast, came to the house, and then volunteered to go to the hospital for an ice bag for her throat.  This still did not help the swelling go down and by the time the physician came, she was no better, having a very difficult time breathing.  He recommended that she be taken to the hospital. While there, they tried to lance the area in several places, but the swelling remained.  She died while the medical staff was working with her and it was listed on her death certificate that she had died of a thyroid hemorrhage.  No one is clear as to the real cause of her death, but she had suffered with goiter much of her life and this may have had an influence in her death.  Velma Miller made her burial dress and gave each one of us girls a small piece of the cloth.  Her funeral was held in the Claresholm Ward chapel, preached by Joseph Brown, our former bishop from the Pine Coulee ward.  It was a sad time for all of us, but particularly for the younger members of the family.  Dona was only two years old when Dad died and now only age fifteen at Mom’s death.

Ronald Gordon was born in 1938 and in the spring of 1941, Neil Lynn was born.  Allen needed glasses and was fitted at the age of five; he has worn glasses ever since that time.  World War II was well under way and the Canadian forces had been involved since 1939.  I remember the feelings of uncertainty during this time, and often, we would sit around the radio to learn of the latest battles.  Parley signed up with the Signal Corps of the Canadian Forces and served much of his time in France.  We always looked forward to receiving his letters from overseas.  In May of 1941, in Ontario, Doris married Stanley Westhaver, who was also serving during the war, in the army. When Stan served overseas, she came back to Claresholm, and lived in a home they had west of the school.  Delena was dating George Parkinson, who was also in the air force and served overseas as a gunner.  They were married in Claresholm in 1943.

Allen started school in 1942 and we had to drive him in to town or at times, alternated with our neighbors, the Whiteheads, so he could attend school in Claresholm, rather than the Hoosier school east of the farm, across the tracks.  We felt that school in town would be more comprehensive and they did not yet have a school bus system organized for the farming community at this time.

Rice Boys 1946During the weekdays, he occasionally stayed in town with Aunt Doe, while Stan was overseas, but he cried and cried when we left him there.  When Doris moved back east to be with Stan during his leave time from the army, we moved into their two-roomed house for one winter before moving back to the farm.  Carl also started working at the airport doing some carpentry work, building more of the hangars needed for the airplanes.  This helped supplement our income.  These years were a little more profitable even though food coupons were used, gas was rationed and appliances were not sold. All available metal was needed for military efforts.

During one of our visits to the girls at the home place, Gordon was upstairs playing.  The window happened to be open and there was no screen on it.  Somehow he tipped out of the window and fell two stories to the ground, barely missing an iron stake which protruded six inches out of the ground.  He was unhurt but very frightened and also scared all of us.

In the winter of 1944, we bought a house from Mickey, and moved back into town.  She was married to Alfred Hill in June of that year and was moving to Turin, northeast of Lethbridge.  This was a huge two-story white home on the southwest side of town.  It had a stairway on the outside and we rented out the upstairs to air force couples, while we lived downstairs.  Delena and George rented from us for a while after the war had ended, and Marie and Red Templeman lived next door (west) in a little white house.  This enabled the boys to go to school, and I enjoyed living back in town again, but Carl had to drive back and forth to the farm.  One night, while I was alone with the boys, a man tried to get into the house.  He knew the former tenant, so felt comfortable just walking in and attempted to come through a door of a room we had converted into our bedroom.  We had our bed pushed up against the door, which prevented him from opening it all the way.  His very insistent manner frightened me, but he finally left after I refused him entry and kept repeating that the woman he knew no longer lived here.

Laron Mervyn was born in 1945.  It was during this time that I was in the hospital with Laron, that Lynn became ill with appendicitis.  He was staying with Doris in her home back of the school, while I was in the hospital.  When Carl came in from the farm he took him quickly to the hospital and that night he was operated on, just before the appendix was close to rupturing.  It was about eight months later that I became ill and also had to have my appendix removed.  Carl looked after the boys while I was in the hospital, but Laron stayed with June Burbank until I recuperated. He had a hard time remembering who we all were and adjusting to us when he returned home again.  We lived in town until the spring of 1946, before we sold this home to obtain a down payment of $2000 to buy the farm, and then moved back out to live permanently on the farm.  The farm cost us $8000 at the time, a very large sum of money in these frugal times.

Carl enjoyed working with the farm animals and particularly enjoyed our dog “Ol’ Spike”, who was well trained to fetch the milking cows from the field.  They could be more than a mile down in the field and Spike would round them up, merely with a word or two from Carl.  As the boys began to grow older, old Spike was always at their side wherever they roved on the farm.  Carl recalled the time Gordon wandered down to where he was working in the field.  He watched the grain parting as both Gordon and the dog walked through it.  Gordon was still quite small, too small to be sent back on his own to the house.  So, he raised the lid to the drill box and sat him down in the back.  He continued on with his work and then came back to check on him.  It took him five minutes to stop laughing when he found him asleep, covered with thick dust. He picked him up and carried him back to the house, and chuckled as he related the incident to me.

When the war ended in 1945, we all went up by a vacant lot northeast of town and built a huge bonfire.  Towns and cities from Calgary to Lethbridge also lit bonfires, starting with Calgary. When the next town ten miles away saw the fire, they lit their own, and so on, all the way down the line. The whole town came out to celebrate and listen to radios telling of the end of the long war. When standing around talking of the end of the war, Red Templeman remarked that it still wasn’t very exiting.  He said, “Let’s do something for excitement”.  To emphasize his statement, he turned around and pounded his fist on the windshield of our old Chevy car. The passenger side, front window cracked into a large star, spreading out in all directions.  Red felt a bit foolish and later replaced the left half of the windshield.

Lenoy Whitehead, a neighbor south of us in town, a former classmate and a member of the church, was killed in the war.  He was the only one I personally knew who died in the war, but all of us knew people who had served in the war.  We were all very excited to know of the war’s end, that those serving would soon return home again, that rationing would end, and our lives would be more stable.

Carl continued to farm, using machinery he purchased and often had to repair.  He was very frugal and learned to make use of everything, figuring out how things worked, and repairing them long after they should have been worn out.  He was a plumber, carpenter, electrician, mechanic, heating specialist, and was not afraid to tackle work that was new to him.  He read up on the subject to increase his proficiency, and then went to work to accomplish the task.  The boys spent many hours with him, working in the garage or occasionally riding with in the fields.

One time, when Carl and I were operating the binder (it took two people to operate this machinery), I was driving the tractor and Carl sat behind the binder to oversee the whole operation.  He made certain the canvas pulled smoothly over the rollers, the blades cut the grain at the correct height, the pulleys and belts remained unjammed, and then he tripped the lever, lowering the stooks to the ground at the precise moment.  It required concentration and careful coordination of the machinery.  Allen and Gordon rode with me on the tractor, while the binder, pulled behind, cut the stalks of wheat and bound them together into bundles.  It was hot, dirty and dusty, and while sitting on the floor beneath the tractor seat, Gordon fell asleep to the lull of the engine.  He slipped off the tractor and landed between the steel-lugged bull wheel and the blades of the canvassed elevator of the binder.  It was a miracle that he fell only in this small area, for had he fallen in any other place; he most likely would have been badly hurt or killed by the machinery.  When I looked down to check on them, and seeing Gordon gone from his spot, I quickly jumped down from the tractor, leaving it still driving forward. Carl must have run up to stop the tractor, I can’t recall, because I was frantically searching for where he had fallen, praying for his safety, yet fearful of a tragic outcome.  By this time, Gordon was just behind the binder, most likely startled by the incident, but not really aware of the dangerous situation of which he had survived.  Badly shaken by the incident, I refused to drive the tractor any more and did not allow the boys anywhere around the machinery.  I’m not sure how Carl finished binding the grain without my help that year.

When shopping in town, at Erickson’s grocery store next to Otis’s garage, Carl spent time with Otis, and I went inside shopping.  Outside, there was a no-parking sign on a round cement block.  It twirled around and Gordon and Lynn were spinning on it like a merry-go-round, when it got out of control and crashed into the huge plate glass window.  Of course, they scurried back to the car, probably being about age 6 and 9.  The owner went running outside to catch the kids responsible.  We ended up paying about $30 to repair the damage, an expense which dipped into our small budget.  I think Carl switched them with a belt once we got home, the only time Lynn recalls being physically punished by Carl.

During the next five years, our boys became interested in and played much basketball between their required chores of feeding pigs, milking cows and helping with field work.  They spent many hours playing with the cousins when we all got together.  They played baseball, built the tree house, jumped in the hayloft and even built a raft for the slough.  We had many family get together with all my sisters and their families.  The cousins loved the outhouse!

Winters were long and cold and the drinking bucket was always frozen over.  The pot-bellied stove in the living room was frequently blazing to heat the whole house.  And every Saturday night, water was heated in the round tin tub for bathing for Sunday services.  Sometime during this time, we received electricity for the house, where we no longer had the inconvenience of coal oil and gas lamps.  There was a light system we purchased from Stig Johanson, a series of batteries, charged by a gas engine.  We kept them in the basement and when the lights began to dim, Carl would go out and start the engine.  It was several years later before we actually received power directly into the house.

One summer, Carl and I took a trip to Great Falls and Spokane with Jake and Lil Dunn (friends the Hills), and Mickey and Alfred. We both left our kids with Doris, and at church that Sunday, there was one whole bench filled with twelve little cousins.  We spent time shopping and enjoying the sites.

In 1950, after the harvest, when I was expecting, Carl took the train back east to Oshawa, Ontario to buy a new car.  He drove our first brand new car, a blue Pontiac, all the way back across Canada, and wrote me from Brampton, Ontario, lamenting his lonely drive home and voicing his concern about me having the “sense” to wait for him before having the baby.  Three days after his arrival home, Luella Gayle was born.  On that Tuesday afternoon, Delena announced to the Relief Society the birth of our new little girl, after having four boys.  They all clapped and cheered and were so very happy for us.

When Gayle was eighteen months old, we went up to Aunt Do’s home by the church.  She had a full little blue and white ruffled skirt on her dress, which caught fire as she crawled near the open doors of the gas stove in the living room.  It all happened so very quickly, with the fire lapping up the ruffles and singeing the back of her hair.  I wrapped her up in a dish towel to put out the fire, and then we raced her off to the hospital.  She spent one week in the hospital due to the resulting complications of pneumonia and an infection from the burns on her back.

Carl worked hard on the farm and we began to have a bit more money to upgrade our home.  In the early 1950’s, we got running water in the house which replaced the white washstand, basin and dipper in a bucket and the need to bath in the round tin tub.  We converted our pantry into a bathroom, adding a sink and cast-iron four-legged bathtub.  It was wonderful to now have running water directly in the house.  Allen began driving an old Plymouth car made into a truck, which had sat around on the farm for several years.  Prior to this time, both he and Gordon would walk into town to attend Mutual or basketball games.  It didn’t run very well and I think they learned some of their mechanical skills by tinkering with this car.  When they were really young they would go out and practice on an old thrashing machine parked out in the back, by taking it apart and attempting to put it back together again.  I don’t think Carl was very happy with their early endeavors to attempt mechanical repairs.

In 1953, we were blessed with another little girl, Lola Maureen, born six weeks prematurely.  We both spent that Christmas in the hospital and when we returned home, she slept most of the time for the first couple of months.  This was a very busy time in my life, caring for six children; Allen was seventeen years old when Maureen was a newborn.  In September 1957, Allen received his mission call to serve in Northern California, returning two years later, in 1959.  Gordon too, received his mission call to serve in South Africa from November, 1958 until December, 1960.  We all drove down to the Lethbridge bus depot with Eddie Toone, to send Gordon off.  They had saved some money for their missions, but it was a struggle to have them both serve for one year at the same time.  Gordon had worked on a bridge crew and painted bridges throughout the area.  It was during this time that we took in two foster children, Nicky and Darrell Metz, who lived with us for the following four years.  Aunt Mary and Uncle Jack and Doris and Stan also took in children from this same family.

In 1959, I was very ill, having suffered a miscarriage.  I was hurriedly taken to the Claresholm Hospital and badly in need of blood transfusions.  George Parkinson rushed to Calgary and brought it back to the hospital here.  I was hospitalized for several weeks and Carl was left to care for the family while my health returned.

The Rice FamilyDuring these years of my marriage I continued to work in the church:  having taught in the Primary prior to my marriage, I also worked with Sister Gwen Toone in 1943, as a second counselor.  I participated as the Relief Society magazine director under Artence Rice (sister-in-law) in 1948, taught nursery class in Sunday school in 1949, became gospel doctrine teacher in 1950.  I was again a second counselor in the Primary, set apart August 24, 1952, then became a Relief Society worker to teach the Social Science lessons the 17 October, 1954.  Then I taught the genealogy lessons in Sunday school from January 1955 to January 1957, and was later set apart as the ward work director counselor or second counselor in the Relief Society August 12, 1956.  On September 24, 1961, I was set apart as a counselor in the Relief Society by Bishop Henry Toone.  Carl and I went to Salt Lake City to Conference in 1952 and saw President David O. McKay and the other General Authorities of the church. And it was on July 24, 1954 that Carl and I and our six children attended the dedication of the new Claresholm Ward Chapel, when Milton R. Hunter spoke.  We also all attended the dedication of the Calgary Stake Center September 16, 1956 – Lynn, Laron, Gayle, Maureen and I all shook hands with President and Sister McKay.

While serving in the Relief Society, an incident took place in which a disagreeance occurred.  Being in a leadership role, I became personally distraught and very concerned in attempting a resolution.  One night, while unable to sleep and constantly ruminating a possible solution, I heard my mother’s voice come to me in a distinct and clear voice.  It was quiet but unmistakably her voice, as she lovingly told me not to worry about this problem, it was not worth it.  My impression was that she was very concerned about me and that things would eventually work out.  It was not worth my constant attention and worry.  As it so turned out, things somehow did become resolved and did return to normal.  I was appreciative of this manifestation and concern for my welfare, and realized that the veil, at times, can be very thin, in our receiving help from those who very much love us and worry about what we do in this life.  This confirmed my assurance of life after death, and strengthened my testimony.

Shortly after Allen and Gordon’s missions ended, Lynn left October 20, 1961 to serve in the Eastern States of Connecticut and New York.  He participated in the Hill Cumorah Pageant for both years and wrote to us of New York City and Niagara Falls and returned in October, 1963.  I spent many hours writing weekly letters to all of the boys when they were away on their missions. Both Allen and Gordon married during Lynn’s mission.  Allen married Linda Irene Neitz, in 1962 and four months later, Gordon married Carol Elaine Sandusky.  Both Gordon and Lynn started school at Ricks College in September, 1963.

I started work at the Claresholm Care Center and was trained as a nurse’s aid, to care for patients suffering from mental disorders.  I enjoyed the work and learned many different skills and continued to work varying shifts for the next seven years.  Ron started school at Ricks in September of 1964, one semester before leaving on his mission for the Western States Mission February 20, 1965 to March 1, 1967.  Gayle, Maureen, Carl and I, all traveled to Rexburg in May of 1965 when both Gordon and Lynn graduated from Ricks College.  They had an extra cap and gown, so I donned it and we took pictures all standing together.  Gordon and Carol had their small daughter, Susan Joy, when they attended school.  During the graduation ceremonies, Lynn received a trophy for his acting in several drama productions.

Lynn continued his education at Brigham Young University the next year and in January of 1967, joined the U.S. army.  This was during the Vietnam War, when many were drafted into service.  He was eventually called to go overseas and served a tour of duty in Vietnam from May, 1968 to September, 1969.  Carl and I, Gayle, Maureen and Mickey all drove together to take him to Great Falls to send him off to training before being shipped to Vietnam.  He served as a photography specialist and was fortunate not to see direct action, but knew some who were killed in action.  When he was on leave, several helicopters were destroyed on his base and a few men lost their lives.  It was a time of worry and concern, with our prayers always focused on his safe return.

At one point, we did not receive any letters from Lynn for several weeks, which then stretched into a couple of months. Despite our continuous writing every week, we did not hear anything back.  Fearing the worst and not knowing what could possibly be taking place, I began to search for a letter that we had received from his commanding officer, orienting us to his tour of duty. Somehow, I had misplaced it, and the more I searched in vain, the more anxious and distraught I became.  For several days, I looked in every conceivable place, with no success.  I knew then, that the only way I would be able to find this letter was to pray to the Lord and ask for his help.  I knelt down and asked for intervention, because I had done all I could.  Immediately, upon rising, I went directly to a dresser drawer and retrieved the letter with the address of his commander.  Several days following my letter to the commander, we received a letter from Lynn.  He must have been very distressed and frustrated with his situation there, in not communicating with the family.  I am not sure of the details, but for the remainder of his tour of duty, we received his letters quite regularly.  Carl and I, Gayle, Maureen and Lois went to Great Falls to pick him up from his honorable army discharge.

Laron had been attending university at BYU, and he met his wife, Lois Rayl, from Pleasant Grove.  They were married in 1969 in the Salt Lake Temple.  During this summer, we did extensive remodeling of our living room and bedrooms.  The following year, in 1970, it was discovered that I had cancer, where I had to undergo both surgery and chemotherapy.  I decided to quit work at the Care Center and spent several month recuperating.  My patriarchal blessing refers to the times that my life would be spared through the power of priesthood blessings.  This certainly was a fulfillment of that part of my blessing.

I had spent much of my service in the church within the Relief Society, many times as a teacher and several as a counselor.  It was in July of 1974 that I was asked to serve as Relief Society President and did so for the next two years.  Elizabeth Toone and Emma Brown served as my counselors.  It was a time of growth and service and during the first several months, it seemed to us as though we were caterers, because there were so many funeral dinners and church farm dinners to be organized and carried through.

Carl and Luella RiceWe took many trips to the States, mostly to Idaho and Utah, to take our kids to and from school, attend a wedding, and several graduation ceremonies.  Gayle graduated from Ricks College in 1972 and then BYU in 1974.  Maureen received her degree from Ricks College in 1975, her Bachelor’s degree from BYU in 1977 and her Master’s degree in Organizational Communications in 1980.

Carl and I continued our life on the farm and actively participated in the Claresholm Ward.  Our children all left to pursue their own interests, in education and life.  We did some traveling and financially, we were more satisfied and able to help our children with some of their needs.  Gayle, Carl and I took a trip to Utah and then Maureen came with us to San Francisco to visit Lynn, who now lived there after returning from Vietnam.  We also visited with Carl’s younger sister Idonna, who lived north of San Francisco.  We visited many of the sites, such as Fisherman’s Wharf, the winding street, and watched many of the large ships come into port.

Carl found the farm life more demanding, but he continued to pursue the work that he had always loved.  Farming was the primary work of his life and something which he dearly enjoyed, despite the long hours and heavy work.  There were times when we had pigs, then cattle, or both, but we usually had additional animals to supplement our farming income.  We always had chickens for fresh eggs and quite often milked several cows for milk and butter.  Carl enjoyed the freedom afforded by farming, loved the outdoors, and liked working the land and watching it produce new crops.  There were heartaches when hail or drought damaged the grains, but we always had sufficient for our needs, and have felt blessed of the Lord in raising our family and living this farming lifestyle. There were also times when farm life was difficult, demanding of our skills and time, consuming our energy and tying us down, but overall, there has been a quiet peace and beauty in the farm.

We have taken advantage of living close to the mountains, and despite my frustration with tents, camping and cooking in the outdoors; we did spend some of our vacation time west of our home. Between planting and the harvest, we would pack up our gear, and take the family on a two or three day fishing trip.  I never fished but stayed close to the camp and took short hikes, enjoying the scenery.  I rarely went with Carl or the boys, since they traversed many miles in their efforts to catch the “one that got away”.  They sometimes went all on their own, leaving me to the comforts of my home, which I did not mind.  The kids all have a fundamental appreciation of the outdoors, even though they are not all fishing enthusiasts.

Carl’s favorite day would be spent on the Race Horse river, or the northwest branch of the Old Man river, where he’d not see another person fishing the whole day.  He liked to reminisce about the times of going to the mountains by horseback, when the fishing catch was abundant and the fish size enormous (perhaps some exaggerated remembering).  He often told of the time he was fishing and chanced upon another fellow fishing a nice hole.  He asked how it was going and the man related his unsuccessful attempts to catch a large fish, which nibbled but refused to solidly bite his hook. Carl says he asked permission to give it a try, so he threw in his line and within a short time had pulled out three large fish, much to the surprise of this astonished man.  He often donned his hip waders, fishing vest, and favorite hat, adorned with fish hooks and tied flies.  My image of his fishing days consist of seeing him standing waist deep in a flowing river, happily casting his line into a likely spot.  He became quite adept at fly fishing, fine honing his casting style, proficiently learning to tie flies, and skillfully executing the art of surprise in quietly sneaking up on the fish.

Our life within this quiet farming community afforded the opportunity to associate with many fine people, several of whom have been our neighbors, since moving to the farm.  We were able to more frequently attend the temple and took many trips to Cardston by ourselves or else with others from the ward.  Most frequently we would leave early in the morning taking in two or three sessions in a trip.  We sometimes thought of moving closer to Cardston, but the farm has always been a priority and I don’t really think that Carl would have sold it.  He always felt that it would serve as a refuge for his children if the times ever became severe enough that society at large could not support the current lifestyle.  We spent many quiet evenings at home, reading the Book of Mormon or other church references, often alluding to the signs of the times.  One of Carl’s favorite sayings about the future involved the dividing of the righteous from the wicked, “the righteous will become more righteous and the wicked more wicked, so much so, that there will be a great separation between the two”. He watched the changes within our world and was convinced of this separation, believing that the church members would need to be very supportive of one another, in order to survive the coming calamities.  We have always practiced family prayer, where we have knelt before the Lord, night and morning, to express our gratitude and to ask for blessings in our lives.  Many times I have felt the spirit of the Lord in answering our prayers, not with an abundance financially, but with good health, sufficient for our needs, and protection from evil influences.

In 1984, Carl suffered a massive heart attack and had to drastically cut back on the heavy farm work.  I think he found it difficult to give up his physical freedom in completing work he had done his whole life, but he gradually turned over much of the farm responsibilities to Ron.  Ron and Lois lived on the farm for a while and then later purchased their own ranch ten miles west of the farm.  He then farmed both acreages, helping Carl do most of the labor here.  He helped out doing the lighter farm work and was very much involved in decisions made concerning the crop production.

In November, 1985, all of our children worked together to organize a celebration honoring our 50th wedding anniversary. They invited family and several friends to attend a dinner held in the ward auditorium.  They put on a small program, and had us sit at an head table, where everyone clinked their drinking glasses, compelling us to give the obligatory kiss in front of the crowd. We were not really used to this attention and were a bit shy about it all.  Gayle had made a decorated cake and we even had pictures of us cutting the cake, kind of a celebration which we never had when we were married fifty years ago.  It was a very, very cold day, with no snow, but we were grateful for the efforts of everyone in honoring our time together.

Carl Rice - Funeral CardIn the fall of 1986 Carl completed the summer fallowing, and then we took a trip to Utah to spend almost a month with Maureen. We traveled throughout southern Utah and towards the first part of November returned to Alberta before the weather conditions worsened for driving home.  One evening we attended a ward bazaar at the school, and we remained talking with many of the members, enjoying our time with them.  After returning home, Carl began to experience more chest pain late that evening.  He debated on having one of the boys come and give him a blessing, but it was late and he made the decision to not call this time of night.  It was in the early morning hours of Tuesday, November 11, 1986, that Carl again suffered a massive heart attack, which took his life and he died suddenly in our home.  I called to have Lynn and Ron come down to the house, knowing that Carl probably could not be revived.  We called the paramedics who pronounced him dead about 3 a.m., and then took his body to the hospital.  Funeral services were held the following Saturday afternoon.  A sudden storm, with blowing snow and cold temperatures hampered the travel of many who called to offer their condolences, but felt the roads were too hazardous to make the trip to the funeral.  Carl always disliked traveling under adverse conditions and would have told everyone to stay at home anyway, rather than drive under such conditions.

Luella 2001 @ farmThis has been one of the most trying times of my life and for several months, I had major adjustments to make.  It was difficult to conceive of a life without Carl, my companion of fifty-one years.  I chose to stay on the farm where things were familiar.  It was a comfort to still be reminded of my past married life, while at other times, there were painful remembrances of the loss.  I had many hours of time to myself and I became more accustomed to my new life.  Shortly after, I was called to the French Extraction Program in the ward and learned to love doing this genealogy work.

Mom in her kitchen on the farm 2002In the fall of 1989, Gayle and I were preparing to go on a trip to meet Maureen in Portland to spend some time with Renee and Allen Rhyason.  I needed my temple recommend renewed prior to the trip, so made an appointment with President Beazer, of the Fort MacLeod Stake.  Instead of commencing the interview, he just sat and looked at me for a long time, and then he finally said, “How would you like to go on a mission?”  I responded that I hadn’t really thought about it.  He didn’t say anything for a long time, and then he looked me straight in the eye and then continued by telling me that he could envision both Carl and I walking hand in hand to the Celestial Kingdom.  He then proceeded with my temple recommend interview.  Just as he knew it would, his words about a mission stuck in my mind, and one day several months later, as I sat across the desk from Bishop Wynder, I asked him if he had suggested a mission for me to the Stake President.  He said that he hadn’t, but thought it would be a good idea.  I then said “if it seems like a good idea, then I am willing to try.”

It was in March of 1990, that I packed my suitcases and headed to Salt Lake City to spend the next year working as a Church Service Missionary in the Family History Department.  I traveled to Utah with Allen and Linda, who were picking up Chad after his mission to Arizona.  Maureen had obtained a third floor suite in the Garden apartments for me.  Many missionaries lived in this area and I soon became accustomed to my new life, so far away from Alberta.  I was very nervous starting out and worried excessively that I would not be capable of doing the work.  But, I remembered my setting apart blessing, which specifically promised me success and the ability to participate fully in the duties required of me. And, of course, just as everyone else knew, I soon learned my responsibilities and grew to love my time there.  Evelyn Hooker and Gwen Toone were also serving some of their mission during my tenure.  I met many wonderful people from all over Canada and the United States and we were able to associate both at work as well as during extra-curricular activities.  My days were busy, up at 6 a.m., to devotional in the visitor’s center by 7:15, and then off to the fourth floor of the Church Office Building to spend the remainder of the day from 8:00 until 4:30.  We took about an half hour off for lunch, usually eating in the large lawn area with a fountain, situated directly east of the temple.  If the weather was warm I would take a lunch to eat outdoors, or at other times, would eat in the basement cafeteria.  The prices were very reasonable for a nice meal.  Every day I would walk about four city blocks, Salt Lake City blocks, that is, but the walks were good for me.  My health was good the whole time I served my mission, except for a bout with bronchitis towards the end of my mission.

Maureen and I spent nearly every weekend together, touring the sites, attending concerts on temple square, shopping or occasionally attending a good movie, such as “Driving Miss Daisy”. She usually drove to Salt Lake, but sometimes I took the express bus to the mall in Orem and then she’d pick me up.  I did not take my car to Salt Lake and even if I had, I would have felt very nervous driving on those very busily trafficked streets.  I was glad not to have the worry and soon got very used to walking everywhere.  During the year, we attended the Manti Temple Pageant, the David Whitmore open-air play in Idaho, and several parties, all with the missionaries from my area.  On Mondays, we held family home evening, rotating the meeting location, and I attended church in a building across the street north from my apartment.  Nearly every Sunday morning we walked to Temple Square to hear the “Spoken Word” broadcast, sitting through the practice sessions and then remaining for the actual performances.  I felt privileged to participate in so many wonderful activities.

The Rice Family1On weekends, Maureen took Evelyn and I shopping, since there were no grocery stores within walking distance.  During the last six months of my mission, Maureen and I spent hours in the genealogy library Xeroxing and computer downloading genealogy on both the Oviatt and Rice sides.  Brad and Jolayne sometimes came down to do research, since Brad was taking a genealogy class at BYU.  So my time here was full and productive and I always had things to do to keep me busy.  I enjoyed my time in my small apartment and didn’t mind not having a permanent roommate.

Luella_Rice_87th_birthday___June_2003

During the summer, President Brimhall allowed me to take two weeks off to come home.  Gayle and Dona drove down and then we spent a few days, before all driving up to Oregon to spend some time at Canon Beach, visiting Renee and Allen, and then driving to Victoria Island and across British Columbia for a few days with Jocelyn and Shawn in Vernon.  We then drove home to the family reunion in High River.  It was wonderful to visit everyone again, but I missed my mission work and felt the loss of the spirit being away from it.  Maureen, Gayle and I drove back to Salt Lake and then Gayle drove her car back to Alberta.  It was comfortable to be doing the work I was called to do on my mission, and I was soon back into my former routine.

Luella_and_Grandchildren___Chad_Rice Luella_Rice_and_grandkids (1)During the Christmas season, there were concerts every night on temple square and Maureen and I attended many of them, including the Christmas message in the tabernacle, by the First Presidency, and “The Messiah”, performed by the Utah Symphony and the Oratorio Society.  This December, Gayle and Lynn drove to Utah, and we spent Christmas in Provo, with Maureen.  It was a very cold winter, quite unusual for Utah, and Gayle and Lynn were disappointed in not coming down to more balmy weather.  We had a fun time and this was probably my first Christmas away from my Alberta home.  We had all the trimmings, with a tree, decorations, presents, turkey dinner and snow.  One afternoon we all traveled to Salt Lake to see the western movie, “Dances With Wolves” at a theatre with a huge, wide movie screen.  Later on, we went to see the lights on Temple Square, but it was so bitter cold that we didn’t wander around too long.

Luella_Rice_and_GrandkidsAll too soon, my mission came to a close, with me packing up my belongings and saying my good-byes, to many wonderful people I had come to know and love.  It had truly been a growing experience and strengthened my testimony of the gospel and increased my love for a God who was mindful of me and knew exactly what would help me out the most, after Carl’s death.  I regained my confidence and found that anything is possible with the help of the Lord.  I returned home in April of 1991 to resume my life on the farm with my family and ward activities.  Not too long after my return, I was again called to the French Extraction program in the ward, working one day a week with Alice Chatterton.  My return had ended my long, productive days, daily walks and continuous associations with my missionary companions.

IMG_4183But it was nice to be back in my own home and I soon settled back into a comfortable, slower paced lifestyle.  I enjoyed being closer to my family, back into my familiar ward and able to drive my car again. Things are not as busy as they were on my mission, but I enjoy this settled lifestyle and cherish the memories created.

THOMAS GROVER 1807

THOMAS GROVER

A STALWART OF MORMONISM

Thomas Grover 1807The subject of this sketch, Thomas Grover, son of Thomas Grover and Polly Spaulding, was born in the town of Whitehall, Washington County, New York, on the 22nd of July 1807.  His father passed away the 1st of February 1807.  Being the oldest son in the family his education was of short duration and he went aboard the boat Shamrock as cabin boy at the age of twelve.  He later became captain of the same boat.

He was married to Caroline Whiting, daughter of Nathaniel Whiting and Mercy Young, in 1828.  They had six daughters who grew to maturity: Emma, the seventh daughter, died at birth.

Thomas remained on the Shamrock, which plied back and forth on the Erie Canal, until after he joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, at which time they moved to Kirtland, Ohio.  At this time there was great opposition to the church.  In spite of opposition, however, more than a hundred persons joined the church in New York between April 30 and the spring of 1831.  Besides the Smiths, the Whitmers, and the Knights, there were such families as the Rockwells, Coltrins, and the Grovers, and Martin Harris.  Some of the converts such as Martin Harris, Joseph Knight, and Thomas Grover were well-to-do.  The first named furnished the funds for publishing the Book of Mormon, and Thomas Grover, on joining the church, made the prophet a gift Thomas Grover1 1807of a considerable sum of money.1

He was a member of Zions Camp, suffered in the persecutions of the Mormons in Missouri, and was in prison with the prophet a number of times.  He was among the first to arrive at Commerce.  He fulfilled three missions for the church.  He served in New York state, Canada, and in Michigan.  He was a member of the first high council at Nauvoo, being called by revelation to fill that position.2 He was one of the Prophet Joseph Smith’s body guards.  When Wilson and Reynolds, mobbers from Missouri, kidnapped the prophet, Thomas was one of the men who rescued him and turned the mobbers back to Missiouri.

On February 20, 1841, he was married to Caroline Eliza Nickerson, widow of Marshall Hubbard.  There were four children by this marriage.  About this time the law of celestial marriage was revealed to the Prophet Joseph, and Thomas embraced it.  He married Hannah and Luduska Tupper, daughters of Silas Tupper and Hannah Ladd.  From the union of Hannah fifteen children were born six of whom grew to maturity.  Luduska reared six children.

Thomas worked on the Nauvoo Temple and received his washings and anointings.  They crossed

the Mississippi en route to the west.  In crossing, the boat sank in the steamboat channel. Boats came from both sides of the river to help, and there were no bad results from the mishap.

He crossed the state of Iowa with the remainder of the saints and located on the west side of the Missouri River where Florence now stands.  A number of the men went down into Missouri and bought pork for use of the camp. Thomas was appointed camp butcher.  President Kimball noticed that he did not take any of the meat with him at night.  He remarked that a man should not be a butcher who would not eat meat.  After that he took some of the meat home occasionally.

Thomas was among the first 143 men to get ready to go with President Brigham Young to find a new home in the west.  He left his family with enough provisions to last them two years.  The company traveled up the north side of the Platte River to the Black Hills, where it became necessary to build a boat to cross the Platte.  President Young called the camp together to ascertain the best plan. He gave his plan, but Thomas said, “It will not work.”  President Young said, “I think it will.”  Thomas again said it would not work in that kind of stream, and then left the council and went to bed.  Stephen Markham was Thomas’s bunk mate.  When he came to bed a man followed him to see what he had to say.  Thomas said ‘I have forgotten more about water than President Young will ever know.”  The man immediately went to President Young and told all that he had heard.  The next morning President Young called Thomas to task and asked if he made that remark.  He said, “Of course I did. I was raised on the water and don’t know anything else.”  When President Young got his boat on the water President Kimball said, “It runs nice,” Thomas said, “Yes, but when it strikes the current it will go under.”  He had barely spoken when it struck the current and disappeared.  President Young turned to Thomas and said, “My plan has failed; what is yours?”  Thomas said, “I shall take six men and go to that grove of timber yonder and get two trees and have them cut canoe fashion and lash them together and by daylight tomorrow we will have a boat to carry us across.”  President Young said, “Get your men and be off.” The men were chosen and when they arrived at the timber there were two trees that would fill the bill.  In going to the trees, it was discovered that they were surrounded by rattle snakes.  After killing snakes for two hours the men succeeded in getting the trees.  They worked all night, and by daylight the boat was in the river.  In the meantime a number of emigrants, on their way to Oregon had come up and were waiting for the Mormons to build the boat.  When it was ready Thomas said, “Bring the heaviest wagon you have here.” President Young said, “Hadn’t we better run a light wagon first?” Thomas said, “No, bring the heaviest.”  They brought a prairie schooner with 6000 pounds on it and it went across all right. They then ferried the companies across.

President Young appointed Thomas and others to remain and run the ferry till the water went down.  This they did.  When the water had receded, the rest of the people had not arrived.  Thomas and the other men with him were out of supplies so they went back and all they had in three days was one skunk.  They went to an Indian village and to the chief and made their wants known.  The chief had two wives, and they had a large kettle of buffalo meat cooking.  They placed it before the men and they ate with relish.  Thomas said he thought it was the best meal he had ever eaten.  The companies came up and they all went to the valley.

The Grover family remained in the fort that winter.  As winter was approaching, the Battalion boys were coming in from California.  They had no money or provisions, and it was too late in the season for them to return to their families in Winter Quarters.  Not many people were able to help feed them.  Thomas said, “I will divide with you. Come along with me.  We will eat as long as it lasts and when it is gone we will go without.”  By spring the provisions were gone and they had to depend on roots, wild fowl, and eggs brought to them by the Indians.

In the spring of 1848 they moved cut to what is now Centerville. In the fall Thomas was sent by the first presidency to California to settle some business for the church pertaining to some saints who went around Cape Horn in the ship Brooklyn with Samuel Brannon.  He went to Southern California with pack animals and was accompanied by John Porter from Porterville.  After arriving in Sacramento he settled the business.  Meanwhile gold was discovered.  Thomas went to a dealer and asked him for $1000 for thirty days, to buy provisions and tools for mining.  The man looked at him for a minute and said, “You can have it.”  After thirty days he paid the note and bought another supply of provisions.  He remained until his health gave out; then went to Sacramento to recuperate preparatory for the trip home.

While he was sitting in a hotel in Sacramento a landlord came to him and said, “You are the man I’m looking for.  I will pay you $1000 a month to supervise the building of my hotel.”  Thomas went to work and remained one month, and then told the landlord he could not stay any longer.  The man offered to send for his family.  Thomas said, “No. There is not enough money in Sacramento Valley to keep me here.” He traveled home in company with some of the men who came on the ship Brooklyn.  When they arrived in Salt Lake they completed the assignment the church had sent them on.  This is a copy from the Deseret News:”At 7 P.M. President Brigham Young, John Taylor, Charles C. Rich, and other brethren met at the home of Jedediah M. Grant and received $1,280.00 in coin and $3,000.00 in gold dust as tithing which had been brought in from Amasa M. Lyman and the California Saints by Thomas Grover.3

While Thomas was in California, Lucy and Joel were born.  In the spring of 1850 he took his family and went back to Iowa.  They located three miles above Council Bluffs on Mesquite Creek.  Thomas then went down into Missouri to buy cattle.  In the spring of 1853 they started for Salt Lake Valley with the cattle.  Some days they had to stop for hours to let the buffalo pass, as they were going to or from water.  The party arrived in the valley in August.  The cattle were driven onto the range where Hooperville now stands.  That year Captain Hooper bought 27 head of oxen and steers for $1000.  He paid in twenty dollar gold pieces.

In the spring of 1854 Thomas bought Joel Smith’s farm and moved into two log houses.  He harvested the grain that year and then plowed the land in the fall.  In February of the-next year the weather was so warm so he planted his wheat.  This was the year the crickets were so bad.  The grain ripened before the crickets had a chance to do much damage.  They harvested 700 bushels, and it was a life saver to many.

That fall when the hand cart company came in there were among them Emma and Elizabeth Walker (no relation, however.)  Thomas later married them both as plural wives.  They each had six children.  During the winter of ’55 and ’56 Thomas was in the Utah Legislature which sat at Fillmore.  In the spring of 1856 he commenced to build the big house in Farmington.  He gave half the ground for the Farmington meeting house, and fed the men who needed it while they worked on the building. Thomas served three terms in the territorial legislature.  He was probate judge of Davis County for three terms, and served on a mission in Salt Lake Valley.

During the exodus of the Saints to the south from Johnston’s Army, the Grover family camped on the Provo bottom, near the lake north of the Provo River.  They were among the first to move back after the army had moved south into Cedar Valley, known as camp Floyd. .

A number of Thomas Grover Monumenttimes Thomas sent one of his sons onto the range for a beef to give the people of Farmington for the Fourth of July dinner.  When Davis Stake was organized he was appointed to the high council, which position he held at the time of his death.  In the spring of 1861 when the perpetual emigration fund went back, Thomas sent one yoke of oxen and a wagon for the poor. After that he sent two yoke of oxen and two wagons each year for as long as teams were sent back for the poor.  At the time the Indians drove the Mormons from the Salmon River he fitted out a horse and rider with a pack animal and provisions.

Thomas spent his remaining years in the big house at Farmington.  One Sunday, upon returning home from Fast meeting where he had borne a stirring testimony to the truthfulness of the Gospel and mission of Joseph Smith, he stated he did not feel well.  He went to bed and the following Wednesday, February 20, 1886, passed quietly on.

Celebrate the life of Thomas Grover on the Thomas Grover Blog at http://www.thomasgrover.org/blog/

NOTES:

In the autumn of 1847 one Thomas Grover arrived with his family on the bank of a stream twelve miles north of Salt Lake City, and now called Centreville Creek. His intention was to pasture stock for the winter; and for this purpose a spot was chosen where the stream spreading over the surface forms plats of meadow-land, the soil being a black, gravelly loam. Here Grover, joined by others in the spring, resolved to remain, though in the neighborhood were encamped several bands of Indians, and this notwithstanding that as yet there was no white settlement north of Salt Lake City. Land was ploughed and sown in wheat and vegetables, the crops being more promising than those to the south. But in May of the following year the settlers were startled, not by the war-whoop of the Utahs, but by hordes of black monster crickets, swarming down from the bench-lands, as at Salt Lake City, and bringing destruction on field and garden. They turned out to do battle with the foe; ditches were dug around the grain-fields, and the water of the stream diverted into them, while men, women, and children, armed with clubs, checked the advance of the devouring host. Enough of the crop was saved to supply the wants of the settlers, and their energy, on this occasion, coupled with a supposed miraculous visitation of gulls, probably saved a foretaste of the disaster of 1848

Hyrum Parley Oviatt 1876-1925

Life Story of

Hyrum Parley Oviatt

1876-1925

Parley Hyrum  OviattHyrum Parley Oviatt (called Parley) was the sixth of ten children born to D and Josephine (Workman) Oviatt.  He was born August 31, 1876 in Farmington, Davis County, Utah.

His father, the son of Ira and Ruth Fellows (Bennett) Oviatt, was born September 4, 1843 in Nauvoo, Hancock County, Illinois.  His mother, the daughter of Jacob Lindsay and Nancy (Reader) Workman, was born July 27, 1845 in Nauvoo, Hancock County, Illinois.  They were married in Farmington, Davis County, Utah, on December 24, 1865.

Hyrum Parley Oviatt - Birth CertificateParley’s parents lived in a fire room home made of brick and rock.  It was built in a side hill with a basement under part of the house.  In the corner of the basement was a natural spring and water was piped to the barn that was built further down the hill.  Parley’s father was a blacksmith and had a shop in Farmington.  No doubt he was very busy and often the young boys in the family had to help pump the bellows to keep the fire going and the coals hot.  Among the regular jobs a blacksmith had to do was one that Parley thought was great fun to watch, this was shoeing the oxen.  In front of the shop was a hoist made out of logs and canvas.  This “oxen stock” was much like a four-poster bed.  The oxen stood in the middle and a great big strap went under their belly to lift them up for the shoeing process since oxen cannot balance on three feet like a horse.  Alongside this frame was a windlass shaped like a ship’s wheel, which was cranked to raise the bellyband and thus lift the oxen off the ground.  The oxen shoes were shaped quite different from horseshoes.  Since oxen have cleft feet their shoes were shaped like two small crescents for each hoof.

Parley’s father never whipped the boys very often, but found other ways to punish them.  Jack (Parley’s brother) recalled two specific times they were punished:

“Our basement was one of my first recollections because me and my brother Parley were locked up in it one day as punishment.  After plugging up the pipes where the water ran out for mother’s dirty clothes, we found her wooden tub and went sailing around.  I remember another day being locked in the granary with my brother Parley.  This time we found some sleigh bells, strapped them around us and had a wonderful time playing horse.”

On August 23, 1886 Parley’s mother died from a scald (or burn) and almost five months later on January 2, 1887 his father died from inflammation of the bowels.  Some people say he died of heartache following the death of his wife.

With their parents gone, the children were scattered among relatives to be taken care of.  Parley and Jack were taken to San Pete, Utah to live with their uncle Henry Herman Oviatt, and then to live with his son (their cousin) Delbert Oviatt.  While living here Parley and Jack decided to run away and return to their hometown of Farmington.  Jack recalled this incident in his own words:

Along with the help of an older boy, whose father had a store, we provisioned ourselves with a pair of blankets, two loaves of bread and a bit of money.  A short distance from town we found a gentle team of horses, used our suspenders for ropes, climbed on the horses and road them for about 15 miles, turned them loose and walked into Price, Utah, a freighting station at that time.  Here we found some men around a campfire.  We joined them then when they had retired we crawled into a secluded spot and rolled up in our blankets.  Next morning we ate the remaining loaf of bread for our breakfast.  The other boys wanted to crawl into a boxcar and go on the train, but I rebelled so we walked along the railway tracks the second day.  That night we found a place to sleep in some bushes.  We had used our money to buy some bread and meat.  The third day we continued our walk.  In the evening we saw a lighted house.  We were so tired and hungry that we went to it and asked for lodging.  This man owned a sheep ranch.  They took us in giving us supper and a bed.  I do not remember what we had for supper, but I do remember how glad I was to sleep in a good bed.  Next morning, the man told us that the sheriff had been their looking for us so we had better go home.  The lady made us a good lunch and gave us another blanket.  The merchant’s boy and I went home again, but Parley stayed and was hired to help with the sheep.  Here he lived for two years.  I guess I just sneaked in home because no one seemed to have missed me.  I was not punished.”

In 1898, when Parley was twenty-two years old, the Spanish-American war broke out and he volunteered.  On May 19, 1898 he left Boise, Idaho and went in training in San Francisco, California.  He left there on June 27th with the ship “Morgan City” and arrived at the Philippine Islands on July 31, 1898.  He was on guard duty until February 4, 1899 and then in the trenches until July 12th.  He said many times when he laid his blankets down he could feel the snakes crawling about beneath them.  The soldiers often saw huge piles of human bones and they would pick out the skulls and, placing lighted candles in them, march up and down the streets with them poised on the ends of their bayonets.

The war ended in 1900 and Parley returned to his home in Parker, Idaho.

Life Story of Hyrum Parley Oviatt and Effie Maude Simpson

Life Story of Hyrum Parley Oviatt

& Effie Maude Simpson

Parley Hyrum  Oviatt Hyrum Parley Oviatt and Effie Maude Simpson were married on August 14, 1901 at the home of Effie’s parents, Henry and Rosella Simpson, in Parker, Freemont County, Idaho.  They were married by Bishop E. J. Carbine at a very large wedding with a lovely wedding cake.  Effie wore a lovely wedding dress which her mother had made for the occasion.  After the wedding they, along with their cousins who were married about one week earlier, held a wedding dance.

Effie Maud 1881On October 1, 1901, after living with Effie’s parents for about two months, they left for Salt Lake City.  On October 9th they attended the Salt Lake Temple to receive their endowments and to be sealed together as Husband and Wife for all time and eternity.  They then returned to Parker, Idaho where they continued living with Effie’s parents.

They continued to live here for about another six months while Parley worked first for his cousin and then for Will Carbine.  In April 1902 he left for Montana to work as a sheep shearer and while he was away their first child was born dead.  Parley returned to Parker and to his wife, but was forced to return to Montana after about one week to continue with his job.

Maude Oviatt and 3 Daughters Maude Oviatt and her daughtersAfter about two weeks back in Montana he got homesick and came back to Parker.  He then worked for his father-in-law helping build a school house and continued working there until the fall when he returned to work for Will Carbine.  Effie worked cooking meals for the men building the school house.  On April 2, 1903 their second child, Henry Kenneth (Ken) was born in Parker.  When Ken was about three years old, Parley took a job away from Parker ploughing meadow land.  His family came with him and in the fall of 1904 along with Frank and Lucy Oviatt, Parley’s brother and his wife, and Will Winegar, they started for Alberta, Canada in a wagon.  Parley had a team, a wagon and $100.00 to complete the journey and after twenty days they landed in Cardston about the time the site for the Cardston Temple was being dedicated.

5_Oviatt_GirlsJack Oviatt, another one of Parley’s brothers, had come to Canada before them and he met them in Cardston where Parley rented a house for his family to live in until he found work.  The men all went to Calgary to see about getting work but were unsuccessful and returned to Cardston.  Parley and his family then moved to Claresholm to work on the J.M. Workman ranch, he as a farmhand and Effie as a cook for the men working there.

In September of the same year he started work at a sawmill in the foothills and Effie again worked as a cook for the men.  She earned 75 cents and he earned $1.00 a day.  On March 24, 1905 they moved by team to R.W. Bartlett’s ranch on the creek bottom west of Stavely and two months later on May 24th their second son Ralph Floyd (Ralph) was born.  They worked here for three years and for Christmas in 1906 they returned to Parker where their third child, Effie Geneva, was born on December 16th.  She died in Parker on January 11, 1907 and was buried in the Parker Cemetery.  They returned to work on the Bartlett ranch where their fourth child, Lester Leland (Leland) was born on October 29, 1907.

In 1908 they took up a homestead about six miles west of the town of Stavely and became member of the Pine Coulee Branch of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

It was on this homestead that the remaining eleven of their fifteen children were born.  They are (in order of birth), Dee Albert (D), born November 10, 1909; Stella Maude (Stella), born October 28, 1910; Freman Herman, born February 15, 1912, died May 12, 1913 and buried in the Stavely Cemetery; Mattie Rose (Mattie), born April 2, 1913; Lillian Josephine (Mickey), born May 22, 1914; Veda Luella (Luella), born June 16, 1916; Parley Odell (Parley), born October 2, 1917; Dolena Irene (Delena), born October 9, 1918; Doris, born November 28, 1920 and Vennice Idonna (Donna), born August 29, 1923.

Life was not as easy as most of the pioneers who opened the west found, but there were many happy times.  These were the times of the quilting bees, corn popping and pull-taffy sessions, local stampedes, community fairs and ball games, and Christmas programs when everyone in the community could perform.  Santa Claus would be there too, and though his sack was somewhat smaller, the Christmas spirit was always there.

How exciting it was when President E.J. Wood, President Hugh B. Brown, President Jacobs and company came for Stake Conference which was held in the small schoolhouse.  Everyone would contribute to the sumptuous meals served from long tables which would be loaded down with fried chicken, baked beans, potato salads, apple pies, chocolate cakes and real homemade ice-cream.  Very few people went home without some fear and trembling for their salvation as a result of the sermons pounded out by Nunham Stanford who could be heard in the next county.

Oviatt brothers and SistersOne of the highlights of our lives were the visits of mother’s family from Idaho who would come laden with dried apples and boxes of clothing giving one of the other children their first new dress or first pair of pants, even though they were still hand-me-downs.  There were also the big parcels that came from Robert Simpson Co., Timothy Eaton Co., and Williams Brothers, which came with new shoes for each one starting school after wearing hand-me-downs until that age.  Catalogues from Simpsons and Eatons were our store windows and ordering by mail made the catalogue even more exciting.

Six_Oviatt_Sisters_at_Rice_Farm__ClaresholMother and Dad were active in the Pine Coulee Branch as mother worked in the Relief Society and Primary and Dad traveled miles via horse and buggy to the Starline and Brant Wards to attend conference.  The visits of the home teachers were events to be remembered when every child was expected to stand behind their chairs and bear their testimonies.  Then there were the religion classes held in the homes when all members would come when we took our turn hosting them.  This was one of the special times when the gas lamps were lit up to replace the small kerosene lamps ordinarily used in the homes.

Family prayer was never neglected in the home and as children whenever any crisis arose we would all gather for prayer.  There were the special days set aside for fasting and prayer for rain and the welfare of our crops in the wake of grasshopper plagues or hail.  Each of the children, from the youngest through to the oldest, were expected to fast for twenty-four hours and each one knew from the example set for us that the answer to our prayers would hinge on our faithfulness.  These spiritual experiences strengthened our testimonies and increased our understanding of the gospel.

Even though there were fourteen hungry mouths to feed from the often meager stores of whole wheat mush, beans, potatoes and homemade bread that we were raised on, no stranger was ever turned from our door hungry.  There was always room for one more at our table.

There were the happy days of family and neighbourly fun such as the times we took the school teacher snipe hunting; when neighbours gathered for dances and parties at each others homes to the sound of the mouth organ, violin and accordion by whoever was available; when the threshing crews came in and all joined in to help each other harvest; or when the gypsies came and while the men pretended to trade for horses the gypsy children stole the chickens.  Uncle Jack and Aunt Mary’s family and the Bill Lucas family, both of which had children equal in number and age to ours, the Leonard Jones’s family, Manson Campbell, Jessie Stanford’s family, Nunham Stanford, Joe and Dave Brown, Jim Oliver, Harry Smith, Vance Miller, Ole Hustad, Tom Clancy’s family and the Cochland’s, Caron’s and Bartlett’s all shared in this neighbourly fun.

Oviatt Sisters 1992There were the hard times such as when one of he babies was about to be born.  There were no comfortable hospitals then so the babies had to be delivered at home.  On one such occasion when Delena was born Dad fetched the drunken Doctor Auld, only to have him pass our before the birth after administering the chloroform, meant for mother, to himself.  Dad jumped on a horse and rode a mile and a half to get Edna Stanford, a neighbour, to assist with the birth.  The baby was delivered successfully and the doctor was paid his undeserved fee.  On the way home, however, the doctor ran into a ditch and had to summon a neighbour, Manson Campbell, for help.  When the Doctor asked Mr. Campbell how much he owed him for the help Mr. Campbell asked how much he had received from Parley Oviatt.  The Doctor replied and the neighbour agreed to take that, promptly tearing up Dad’s cheque.

Family_Gathering_at_the_Rice_Farm_in_ClaresholmThe time came when the children were older and needed to be close to a high school so in November 1924 we all moved to Claresholm, a distance of about twenty miles, where we bought a five room house one block west of the present Church site.  Dad was one of the men who helped move the Hoosier Church into Claresholm where we continued our church activity with mother in Relief Society and Dad busy in the church when he wasn’t traveling to and from the homestead caring for the stocks and crops.

On June 23, 1925, just eight months after the family had moved to Claresholm dad returned to the farm near Stavely to check on things even though he was not feeling well.  Shortly after his arrival he died of heart failure brought on by high blood pressure.  This was quite a shock for all of the family as well as for everyone who knew him.

The funeral was held on June 27, 1925 in the Pine Coulee Schoolhouse with a large crowd of friends and family attending.  The main speaker was Hugh B. Brown, then a member of the Lethbridge Stake Presidency and later to become the Prophet of the Church.  In his remarks President Brown stated that although Parley was not a success financially he was wealthy in the number of friends and relatives who loved and respected him.  He was never to busy to help a neighbour or listen to their problems.  Dad was then buried in the Stavely Cemetery.

Oviatt_Sisters_and_FriendsOn June 28, 1932 Idonna, the youngest child, was at home studying for school.  She had gone into her room on the instructions of her mother and thought it very strange that shortly after that her mother was calling for her to come out.  When Idonna came out of her room her mother asked if she had a red mark on her neck.  Idonna said that she did and her mother then told her to go and get her sister Delena and tell her to call the doctor.  She did and she returned to the house with her sisters Delena and Lillian.  She was told to go to school and not to go into the bedroom where her mother had gone before collapsing on the bed.  After the doctor arrived they took her mother to the hospital.  When Idonna arrived home from school that day she was told that her mother had died for hemorrhage resulting from a bee sting.  Effie had carried on the burden of looking after the welfare and schooling of her children for fifteen years after the death of her husband.  During this time she was actively involved in the church and was at the time of her death acting as Relief Society President.  Her funeral was held in the Claresholm chapel on July 1st and she was buried beside her husband in the Stavely Cemetery.

At the time of her death she had fulfilled the promise given her in her Patriarchal Blessing, which says:

“Thou hast been blessed with a posterity wherein the Priesthood shall forever remain and God designed to make of thee a holy mother in Israel.  Thou will be one of the invited guests who shall sit at the table with the Saviour and hear him bless his Zion in the Earth.”

The example of Parley and Effie Oviatt has influenced the lives of their children for good and we love and honor them for the great heritage they left us.Parley & Effie Oviatt Marriage CertificateParley & Effie Oviatt Marriage Lisence

THE STORY OF NANCY READER WORKMAN AND SON

THE STORY OF NANCY WORKMAN AND SON

From the chapter “Graves Along The Trail” in the book Heart Throbs of the West”

by Pearl W. Atkinson

Jacob L. Workman and his wife, Nancy Reader, and his family of six boys and one girl, left Nauvoo with the Saints when they were driven from their homes.  The six boys were James Thomas, Jacob Reader, John AIma, William Smoot, Hyrum Parley, and Samuel.  The little girl was Josephine.  They suffered a great many hardships and when they arrived at Mount Pisgah, they were all stricken with a disease.  Their boy Samuel died.  The mother became so ill the father went out for help, but there were not enough well to care for the sick.  He returned without help and found his wife had passed away.  She died November 23, 1846.

He cared for her body as well as he could.  He made a casket from his wagon box and placed her in it.  He dug the grave and then carried her body to the graveside.  Being sick himself and almost exhausted he was unable to lower the casket himself.  After standing for sometime praying for help, a stranger stepped up and asked if he would like some help.  Jacob Workman cried and thanked the stranger.  They lowered the casket and covered the grave, then the stranger left.

The father was grief stricken. He was alone with his five remaining boys and baby girl.  The little girl was only six months old.  When the rest of the family recovered, they came on to Utah.  Hyrum Parley, the youngest boy, took charge of the baby sister.  He carried her on his back a great deal of the way.  They arrived in Salt Lake City, on September 26, 1848, in Lorenzo Snow’s Company.

NOTE:  The child Josephine in this story was the wife of D Oviatt, mother of Hryum Parley Oviatt.

“From far off countries beyond the sea as well as from every state in the Union came men and women, converts to an ideal, to answer the urge of “gathering to Zion.”  Their hope to build a commonwealth.  Each day they were called to give new ideas, new characteristics, new faith, new patriotism, and many to give their all, even their lives.

AND IF’ WE DIE BEFORE OUR JOURNEY’S END, ALL IS WELL.  Such was their faith.  They were a courageous group, these men and women who made the westward trek, for they faced the certainty of death within their ranks, which is always the price of pioneering.  But the same assurance they would find a place where they could live and worship God in peace was worth the price.

Mt Pisgah Monument

SKETCH OF THE LIFE OF MARY OVIATT JENKINS 1850 – 1924

SKETCH OF THE LIFE OF
MARY OVIATT JENKINS
1850 – 1924

Mary Jane Oviatt JenkinsMary Oviatt Jenkins was born of February 1, 1850, at Council Bluffs, Iowa, the daughter of Ruth Bennett and Ira Oviatt, who both came form the State of New York.

Her mother, Ruth Bennett, was born on September 28, 1808, in Bainbridge, Chenango County, New York, some miles southeast of Palmyra.  She was a school teacher and had gone to Smethport, Pennsylvania to teach school, where she met her husband Ira Oviatt.

Her father, Ira Oviatt, was born on December 8, 1804 in Berlin, Rensselaer County, New York, just across the Hudson River.  His father was a carpenter, but Ira wanted to be a blacksmith and to learn this trade it was necessary to go away for instruction.  His father wouldn’t allow him to go because he said, “All the blacksmiths partook of the ‘hilarious cup’ too frequently”, but told him when he found one who didn’t drink he could go to him and learn.  While looking for such a person, he learned the carpenter trade from his father.

He finally heard of a blacksmith in Smethport, Pennsylvania who didn’t drink and went down to him.  There he learned the blacksmith and wheelwright trades.  He was so proficient at his three trades, and such an expert wheelwright that he was called by Brigham Young to remain at Council Bluffs, Iowa, for three years to outfit the wagons of the pioneers for crossing the plains, otherwise he would have been in the first company to enter the Salt Lake Valley in 1847.

While Ruth Bennett was in Smethport teaching school and Ira Oviatt was learning the blacksmith trade, they met and were married on January 29, 1829, and had three children, Henry, Franklin, and Sarah, before returning to the home of their parents.

The Prophet Joseph Smith was translating the Book of Mormon in this section of Pennsylvania at this time, and it probably was about this time and place that Ruth and Ira Oviatt heard of the gospel because they were the only members of their respective families to join the Church.

They came west with the Saints and lived in Nauvoo across the street from the Prophet Joseph Smith.  Ruth Bennett Oviatt told her grandchildren about sitting on her doorstep or in her rocking chair and listening to the Prophet preach to the people in his front yard.  When the wooded country was cleared to build houses, a large tree stump was left in the Prophet’s front yard and when people came to him for advice he would mount this stump as the crowd became larger and larger, and speak for hours.  His voice was clear and distinct and he could be heard across the street with ease.  No matter what their task, they would be ready to stop and listen, and could feel his influence as soon as they heard his voice.  When Joseph and Hyrum were tarred and feathered by the mob, they came to her house and obtained clothing to put on before going home.

Mary Oviatt, the youngest member of the family was born during the family’s three-year stay at Council Bluffs.  She heard her parents tell of the martyrdom of the Prophet and his brother and about their bodies being brought home.  Also of the incident when several men came forward and claimed leadership of the Church, the mantle fell on Brigham Young and his voice was so much like that of the Prophet Joseph that many in the room turned and thought the Prophet was in the room.

Mary Oviatt was a tall, slender, very good-looking young woman.  She had dark hazel eyes, black hair, and a fair complexion.  She was artistic and dressed in becoming clothes, and was a prominent member of the community in which she lived.

The Oviatt family came to Salt Lake Valley with the first independent company in 1851.  They soon went to Farmington to make their home, where Mr. Oviatt built a rude blacksmith shop so that he could work at his trade.  He made the mill irons for the first mills built in Salt Lake City and Farmington.  The miller generally relied on him for his judgment as to how course the corn meal should be; he would loosen the bolts to make it course, or tighten them to make it finer.  They often had corn meal (“Johnny Cake”) for their supper.

Mary Oviatt often watched her father make his own coke for blacksmith work.  This was accomplished by placing several logs in a pit and burning them; while still burning they were covered with dirt and left for several days after which they became pieces of coke ready for use.

They owned a few sheep, and Mary washed the wool in home-made soap, corded and spun it, then she or her mother would weave it into cloth.  They made their soap from grease and lye boiled in a large copper kettle; they made their starch from potatoes; their water softener from wood ashes placed in a tub of water the day before, and indigo blue was used for washing.

She often went to meeting in the old Bowery and heard Heber C. Kimball, John Taylor and Brigham Young speak;  remembering Brigham Young say on several occasions, that they had been driven out like the children of Israel, that they must walk uprightly before the Lord, and be humble and prayerful.
She helped herd sheep on the hillside, and often had as her companion a little Indian girl who had been rescued from the Indian war at Salmon River.  Her name was Nellie Leathhead.

Her mother, Ruth Oviatt, was credited with being the organist of the first Sunday School in the Farmington Ward, and at the first celebration, her picture hung on the front wall with this honor.  Sunday was a strict day of rest.  Saturday night, the children were all bathed; Sunday morning they were dressed in their best, and Mary, with her brothers and sisters would gather round to listen to Bible teachings from their mother.  Soon other children came, and this was the beginning of the Sunday School.

Mary Oviatt, having a school teacher mother, was better educated than most people of her day.  At spelling matches she was hard to beat; even at the age of seventy-two years she could spell with any student, and she passed this ability on to her children.

She remembers the grasshoppers and the crickets.  They were so numerous that the children had to help with a rag on a stick to drive them into trenches where they were buried, or down to the river where they were drowned.

About the only medicine she remembers, was yarrow and herbs taken as a blood purifier in the spring of the year.

They were not at all alarmed when the report came that Johnston’s Army was coming, because they felt that this was the location that the Lord had chosen for a resting place for his Saints and they had confidence that the Lord would protect them if they were worthy.

By way of recreation they played the same games as are played now; Fox and Geese, Checkers, Pomp, Run Sheep Run, and they would often meet at a private home to dance to the music of a violin, mouth organ, or accordion.  They did not dance the same dances all evening but had many variations.  They did the Cicillian, Scoth Reel, Sir-Rodger-de-Coverly, Cotillian, Varsovienne, plain quadrille, and the Schottisches.  When dances were held in a public place the people would go early and take lunch.  After dancing a while, they would stop for refreshments, then dance again.

On December 28, 1867, Mary Oviatt was married to John Jenkins in the old Endowment House by Heber C. Kimball.  Her father being very ill and passing away soon after, she remained with her mother until 1869, when she and her husband went up to Cache Valley looking for a home.  Her baby, John Franklin, born in 1868 was very ill with cholera infantum.  There was an epidemic of this dreaded disease going around which seemed to be contracted by children during the teething age.  Many small children, including her sister Judith Wilcox’s baby had passed away.  Her baby had not been out of her arms in many weeks and had been so ill that it looked as though every breath would be his last.  On their way to Cache Valley they stopped by a spring near Ogden and the baby got down and started to play; this seemed such a good omen they were encouraged to go on and make their home in Cache Valley.

They drove up to Clarkston and set the wagon box on the ground and lived in it while the husband got logs for a house and hauled them to Newton.  There was only one house in Newton when they went there, a log house owned by Mr. Myler.  After a return trip to Farmington to get their belongings they went to Newton and started their home and stayed there through the winter, being among the first settlers who spent the winter of 1869 in Newton.  The climate was much milder than in Clarkston and there was no snow until after Christmas.  They had no doors or windows in the house and had quilts hung up in their places.  The house was unfinished because the sawmill which had been bought in Wellsville and floated across the Bear River, had not been set up.  Also other public constructions had kept

John away from home most of the time.

Having no doors was very unsafe, for the Indians were troublesome.  Sister Jenkins could hear them yelling along the river, and it was not unusual to look up and see a big Indian standing in the doorway.  She would grab the baby, for the Indians took delight in kidnaping white children.  A child had recently been stolen at Wellsville and never returned.

The following year (1870) her second son, William Evan, was the first baby born in Newton.

They had a fireplace which served as heating plant, where they also did their cooking, and Mary Oviatt Jenkins was an excellent cook.  She was the first one in Newton to own a stove, a sewing machine, and a clock.  She was a good seamstress and made men’s coats and pants for her family as well as for others.  She made hats from blue and brown denim with fancy multiple stitching  on the brims.

She never was in want for food or clothing; what she had she was always ready to share with the less fortunate.  Many times when death came into a home she would take clothing that she had on hand and use it for the departed.

When they house-cleaned they had no brush, but would fasten a sheepskin on a stick and whitewash the walls with it.  She had a great deal of company, often distinguished guests and she always had the house in order and good food to serve.  Her heart and home were always large enough for one more.
She was a great lover of flowers and always had beautiful flower beds in the front and back yard, and a profusion of flowers all around the house.  In her later years she spent most of her time caring for her flowers.

In the early days, the people would take turns entertaining, and the young folk always enjoyed spending their evenings at her home.  She was an accomplished
accordion player.  On Sundays there was sure to be a crowd at her home, singing and being entertained.

She never complained at not having sugar, but used honey and molasses.  She gathered ground cherries, currants, and English currants, and preserved them in honey and molasses.  Molasses that had crystallized at the bottom of the can was used as sugar.

Sister Jenkins was acquainted with Martin Harris, went to his funeral in Clarkston, and saw the set of Church books placed in his coffin.
Mary Oviatt Jenkins was the mother of ten children, five boys and five girls:  John Franklin, William Evan, Louis Ira, Edmond D., Phillip Eugene; Alice, Eva, Ruth Ann, Bell, and Rhoda.  She seldom spent more than three days in bed at the birth of any of her children, and had help with the washing for only two weeks afterward.

Brother Jenkins had contracted dyspepsia from poor food and exposure during the many months spent on the plains, having been called by Brigham Young, after arriving in Salt Lake Valley, to go back after emigrants.  He made three of these trips by ox team in three years.  His health was so bad during the first part of his married life that he was able to do no work, so was given the position of cow herder for the town.  Sister Jenkins would milk their cows, put up his lunch, go out and saddle his horse, and bring it to the door for him.  Many times she had to help him on the horse.  In spite of all this, John Jenkins lived to the ripe age of ninety two years.  Through strict dieting, he was completely cured before his death.

On September 21, 1873 Brother Jenkins accepted the doctrine of plural marriage when he married Ann Clarke in the Endowment House in Salt Lake City.  This was at first difficult for Mary to accept, but she soon reconciled herself to it and tried to live it as it should be lived.

In 1882, John Jenkins accepted a call to the mission field in Wales, the British Isles the land of his ancestors.  He left on October 10, but after a year was released to return home on account of ill health.  The summer while he was away Mary’s mother, Ruth Oviatt, came to stay with the family, and here she related many interesting historical events to her grandchildren.  Mary Jenkins had six children under fourteen years of age at the time, but she accepted the responsibility of the children, the  home, and the farm.

Before leaving, John Jenkins married his third wife, Maria Jensen, who came to Mary’s home and was cared for and treated as a member of the family during his absence.

In May 1884, Brother Jenkins and his wife Mary had an invitation to attend the dedication of the Logan Temple, but Bear River was so high from the spring thaw that the approach to the bridge was completely submerged and water was all around it.  They had to be rowed out to the bridge which they walked over to the high bank on the opposite side where wagons met them to take them on to Logan.

On October 6, 1887, their daughter, Eva, a beautiful girl of thirteen years of age, died of typhoid fever.  This was a severe trial for Sister Jenkins to pass through, as her husband was “on the underground,” a condition brought on because he had accepted the doctrine of plural marriage.  He was in Idaho, and the officers were watching for him to return home, guarding the house day and night, and the moment he came he was placed under arrest.  These officers were usually apostates from the Church.  He could not even return for the funeral.  Sister Jenkins felt that much comfort came from her friends and neighbors who were ready to help in her hour of need.  She always faced life with courage and determination; her life was one of helpfulness, being one of the many who fearlessly and courageously pioneered the State of Utah.

Two years later she lost her baby, Rhoda, two and one-half years of age, who died from an attack of cholera infantum on May 11, 1889.  Mary again faced this trial alone, but did it bravely.  Philip, her youngest boy was born a few months later.

She had practically the entire responsibility of rearing her family, which she accomplished successfully to the end that her children were a credit to her and to the community.  Besides her able teaching in the home, after they completed the grade school, her children were among the first to go away to college, placing them in the position to be leaders in the communities in which they lived.

They had one of the first rock houses in Newton, built by a stone mason brought up from Farmington, named Tom Hughes.  It contained a large dining room  where they could set two tables; one was a long table with detachable leaves, the other was a round oak table which had a large center-piece holding the food, that turned around on a pivot in the center.  The plates and service were placed on the stationary section outside the revolving center-piece.  This table seated twelve or more.  The center-piece was large enough to hold the entire meal, including dessert, and had a scalloped nickel band around the outer edge, extending above the surface about an inch to prevent dishes from sliding off.  It turned in both directions, to be stopped at any plate.  This table was a novelty and great attraction especially to visitors, as well as an aid in serving the meal.

Sometimes the young folk gathered for dancing in this home. During one summer, Fast Meeting was held there on Thursday afternoons.  Brother Jenkins played the violin for dances, and was often called to other settlements to play.

Mary Oviatt Jenkins was treasurer of the Newton Relief Society organization for twenty-five years, and in the early days when donations were made in commodities, this was a huge task.  The goods were delivered to her home and she kept them in her front room until distributed to the needy.  She would carry the eggs to the store and exchange them for cash and groceries.  Other commodities such as homemade soap, bacon, honey, bottled fruit, cabbage, and butter, would be given cash value and proper credit placed on the books to the women who contributed them.

Mary Jenkins passed away at the age of seventy-four in Star Valley while on a visit at the home of her son William E. Jenkins at Freedom, Wyoming, on December 20, 1924.  Her body was taken back to Newton and buried in the family plot.

She was a sturdy pioneer, a faithful Latter Day Saint, and a truly remarkable woman.

(Compiled by her daughter, Alice Jenkins Christensen Barker, using in part a life sketch given to Mary Dowdle by Mary Oviatt Jenkins herself many years ago.)   July 30, 1948

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