by Beatrice Olds Snow 1968
Dewey Glenn Olds was born 8 August 1899 at Monroe, Sevier County, Utah. He was the eighth child of Thomas and Eliza Jane Hunt Olds.
Dewey received a name and a blessing in the Summit Ward, Iron County, Utah on 5 Nov 1899 by Joseph Dalley. The family had moved from Lyman, Wayne, Utah looking for a more suitable climate in hopes of stopping the severe nose bleeds that Tommy was plagued with. They stopped for a short time with Jane's father, Levi Hunt, in Monroe and it was while here that Dewey was born. After his birth the family moved to Summit, where they spent about two years. The fall of 1901 the family moved on to Toquerville, Washington, Utah. They stayed with Grandma Theobald for a short while until they got a house of their own.
As a child, Dewey had his turn of accompanying his dad when he would be on the road driving freight, mail or peddling fruit and molasses, which he did for a living. This was a great thrill for Dewey and he had many interesting and exciting experiences while on these trips.
Dewey was baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints on 3 November 1907 by John T. Batty. He was confirmed on the dame day by the same man.
About 1906, Tommy moved his family to Pintura, where he purchased the old Gates property. He still continued his freight and mail route so it was necessary for the boys to do the farm work at home under the supervision of their mother, who was very clever in managing, and because of the absence of Tommy so much of the time, she had the responsibility of disciplining her nine big, rough-neck sons. This she did very well with the help of the broom. There was never a great deal of money in this home, but there was an over-abundance of love, laughter, teasing, family loyalty, respect for their parents, and endless list of jokes that were played on different members of the family.
Dewey attended school in the very small school in Toquerville, where it was necessary to have several grades in one room, with only one poor defenseless teacher at the mercy of the pupils, who often times were much older than average and bigger than the teacher. Very often in order to maintain discipline, the teacher had to prove to the bullies in the class who was the bigger, and if any of the pupils needed a spanking the teacher would take care of it.
After moving to Pintura, Dewey and his brothers would ride horses to Toquerville to school and back each day, but when winter came on they would live in a sheep wagon over at Toquerville or rent a room in someone's house during the week, they either walk or ride horses the seven miles back to Pintura on Friday night. Their mother would cook up as much food as she could for them to take with them on Monday, but after it ran out then it was up to them to do their own cooking and caring for themselves.
The summer of 1913 Tommy Olds was working at the Ashdown sawmill up on Cedar Mountain and he took his family with him to spend the summer. The road going up the mountain was almost impassable - being very steep, rocks, and always at the very edge of the cliffs. As the poor horses pulled with all their might to tug the wagon up the steep mountain, Dewey would walk along the side and put big rocks under the wheels to prevent it from rolling backward over these cliffs. Many times everyone but the driver walked because of the danger. The trip was made in safety.
This summer was a cool relief from the heat of Southern Utah, and Dewey worked hard helping at the sawmill, helping his mother - she kept house in a tent. He chopped wood for her to cook with and carried water and numerous other jobs.
Dewey was about 14 or 15 when he started herding sheep for different people and working with cattle and horses. This was the type of work that he did for most of his life.
Dewey had a good religious foundation to his life; coming from a home where great importance was put on religion. He was ordained a deacon by Arch P. Spilsbury on 3 Feb 1913; a teacher by Riley C. Savage on 5 Feb 1917 and a priest of 24 January 1921 by William P. Duffin, his brother-in-law.
On 21 May 1917, Dewey's mother died and this was a great loss to this 18 year old boy. He had been very close to his mother and he was very upset and grieved over her death. Tommy continued his peddling so Arthur and Dewey tried to be parents to Carl and Melvin and looked out for them. Their mother had always been a strong image in their lives and this left four lost sons when she died. Their home life from this point on until after they married was anything but well organized.
Shortly after their mother's death they moved to Snowfield where they lived in a tent for nearly three years. Their father was away most of the time and they had to hustle for themselves. Dewey would get temporary jobs and be away for short periods, then come home and help out Carl and Melvin, then go back to work again. The snow was deep and the wind and cold made a tent very uncomfortable for three young boys to live in. (Events in Dewey's life are told in the histories of his brothers so we will not repeat them here.)
Tommy finally sold out in Snowfield and moved to Toquerville, but Dewey was away from home more often now as he was able to get more permanent jobs. And on 26 May 1924, Tommy died from a heart attack. From then on Dewey spent more time around the Cedar City area than he did around Toquerville.
On 21 August 1928, Dewey married Sarah Lareen Davis. Lareen had been previously married to Joseph Smith Hyatt and they had a child; Marlo Davis Hyatt who was born 6 May 1923; died 6 May 1946; endowed 12 August 1951; and sealed to Dewey and Lareen on 11 August 1958.
Dewey and Lareen lived with Andrew and Gladys in Pintura for a short time then moved to Ely, Nevada. On 14 November 1928, Lareen gave birth to a son, but two days later on 16 November 1928, he died and was buried at Ely, White Pine Co., Nevada.
Shortly after the death of their baby son, the moved to Grand Junction, Colorado, where they owned and operated a cafe.
Another baby son was born to this couple on 30 December 1929 and he was given the name of Dewey Connell Olds. Just a few months after the birth of Connell, Lareen became ill with typhoid fever, and when it became apparent that she would not be able to care for the baby for a long time, Dewey decides to take her back to Utah so their families could help him out. He loaded them and their belongings in the car and starts for Utah, but he did not go far when Lareen died. Panic overcame him and confusion of the many and mixed emotions he just kept on driving frantically trying to get to friends and family to help him in this time of great sorrow. When he arrived at Cedar City he was a completely without fund, so he located Melvin and Carl, who happened to be at a rodeo. He went into the area where they were sitting and walked up to them and said, "I'm broke and I have my dead wife's body out in the car and the baby too." Carl and Melvin each gave him some money and he continued on this mission of death. Lareen's death come on 21 August 1930. Dewey had some trouble with the authorities, because it is against the law to transport a dead body over a state line without special permission and certain conditions that must be met. I have been unable to find out just what the trouble involved, but this must have been a traumatic experience for Dewey.
Grief-stricken, Dewey entrusted the care of Connell to his only sister, Louie and her husband William P. Duffin, and he went back to working in the livestock business, usually away in some desolate area working at herding sheep, with occasional visits to his son.
On the 8 August 1935, Dewey attended a dance at the open air dance hall at Kanarraville and during the evening he met Verlean Haslam Garcia. Verlean had been previously married to Carmen Garcia and had three sons, Carmen, Fred, and Joe Garcia and they lived with Verlean's parents most of the time. On 24 October 1936, Dewey married Verlean. They were married in Cedar City by Franklin D. Wood in his home, with John and Vernal Haslam as witnesses.
Dewey and Verlean spent their married life in Cedar City. It wasn't long after their marriage that they brought Connell home to live with them.
Steady jobs were scarce, so in spite of the low wages herding sheep offered a steady job and Dewey worked for Higbee and Segmiller taking care of their huge herds of sheep. He helped out on the farm too. At the time they were married, his wages were $75 per month plus board at the sheep herd.
Dewey taught himself to play the harmonica and he became quite good at it. He also enjoyed playing horseshoes and claimed he could beat anybody.
Herding sheep keeps a man away from home, so whenever possible Verlean and the children would go to the sheep camp and spend a weekend. Not having a car she was dependent upon her brothers and Dewey's family to take her out and come get her. Often Will and Glenn Duffin would take the family out to visit. Several times it would be necessary to go to Nevada to see Dewey, when he would be grazing the sheep in that area. This was a great thrill for the children and while at the camp they could have all the meat they could eat; a luxury not always afforded at home. And usually when they returned home Dewey would send along a quarter of mutton for their use.
Between 1937 and 1945, Dewey did some trapping and lion and bear hunting. He worked for a Mr. Adams, a government trapper. He was an excellent shot with a rifle and they would receive a set fee for any of these critters they would destroy.
In 1937 he worked in Panaca, Nevada and the snow drifted to about 18 feet deep. It took Dewey five days to travel 18 miles to a ranch. During that same summer a ram attacked Dewey and they both went over a ten foot cliff. They were up on Cedar Mountain and Dewey had some ribs injured and a bad back sprain, but as usual he didn't go to a doctor.
On 25 April 1938 the home they were living in in Cedar City on 3rd West burned down. Verlean and the children were at church and Dewey was at the sheep-herd. They lost everything they had. In the fall of 1938, Dewey bought the place at 384 South 3rd East in Cedar City from Allie McDonald. He paid for it by the end of three years and then built a lean-to on the back of the house.
The summer of 1939, Dewey stayed home from the sheep herd and worked on a farm. The children that were old enough would help hoe carrots and were paid in white beans which were half rocks and clods. The family would then look them over and sort them, and what they couldn't use were traded for other groceries. The family would also shuck corn in the fields and receive every 4th tub as payment. The tubs full that were brought home were used mostly as feed for the animals.
In the fall of 1941, Dewey returned to the sheep-herd where he worked until early in the spring of 1954, when he went to work for the Cedar City Corporation Street Department at the starting wage of $140 per month. At the time of his retirement he was earning $204 per month. After working there for about three months, on 25 June 1945, he was put in as foreman of the Street Department. In addition to other responsibilities he had the authority to hire extra help if needed, but being a hard worker he usually would do the work himself.
25 June 1945, proved to be a day never to be forgotten in the Dewey Olds family, because in addition to the promotion Dewey received at work, his seven year old daughter, Elois, was accidentally shot and killed. She was buried in the Cedar City Cemetery.
During the summer months Dewey got up and started work at 2 a.m. and was able to accomplish most of his work while the streets were empty of traffic. By 11 a.m. his days work was completed. During the winter months he had the responsibility of keeping the roads cleared of snow and keep traffic moving and this was a tremendous job, requiring long shifts to complete it. Often it was necessary to work day and night continuously to accomplish the tasks of moving the deep snows that used to be so common in Cedar City. This was very hard work and he would get very tired, but he was always on the job when needed.
While working on the streets performing different duties Dewey often found empty pop bottles and he always took the time to pick them up and later take them home to his children and what fun they had when they could trade them for candy.
In addition to this job, he would go out and cut Cedar post for fences or to sell. He would always take Ellis and Anthony with him.
Every holiday and sometimes on weekends, the family would pack a picnic lunch, which delighted everyone, and go on short trips. These trips would take them to St. George, Hurricane, Hot Springs at LaVerkin, Cedar Breaks, Mount Carmel, Big Rock Candy Mountain, Zion, Iron Springs, and sometimes over to Circleville to visit great Aunt Alice Nay (Dewey's mother's sister), The last outing he was able to take his family on was on Easter 1951, and he took them to St. George Temple grounds for a picnic lunch.
Dewey loved his family and he showed his love by taking them places, by playing with them, and by working hard to provide for them the best he could. His children will tell you that he was the best father in the whole world. He would always buy his children shoes first even if he needed a pair badly. He would sign his life away for anything his children wanted.
Dewey was very ticklish on the bottom of his feet. Once he was laying in a car with his feet sticking out the window. Someone came along and tickled his feet, and as a result Dewey kicked a window out of the car.
In the spring or 1948 or 1949, Dewey was crushed between a tractor and road roller. He didn't seem to be injured seriously and only spent a few days off the job. On 18 May 1951, the City Manager, Dewey's boss, instructed him to load a truck with gravel, which he did. Then Dewey was putting 100 pound bags of cement on top of the gravel while attempting to do this, he slipped and fell and a bag of cement landed on top of him. He was very badly bruised from his waist down. Although in a deal of pain, with the help of pain pills, he continued working until the middle of September 1959 when it became necessary to hospitalize him.
Early in October 1951, Dewey underwent surgery, and received the diagnosis that he was a victim of cancer. After the usual reoccupation time he was permitted to go home, but was to be limited in his activities. Election day (Nov 1951) Dewey went to the polls and voted. Then later in the day re-entered the Iron County Hospital for additional treatment. He was under the care of Dr. Rymal Williams.
Once again he rallied and was permitted to go home for Thanksgiving dinner. All of his family were home for this dinner except Beatrice, who was also a patient in the hospital; a victim of rheumatic fever. This was the last time all the family were permitted to be together.
Dewey remained at home until the 18 January 1952, when he had to be returned to the hospital once again, and was told by his doctor that he only had two months to live, but being one of that very determined Olds family he lived for four months.
As his days on this earth shortened, Dewey realized that he had neglected several important things and became obsessed with the importance of having his family sealed to him. He received a promise from Andrew that he would see that this work was taken care of.
This robust 160 pound man wasted away until his 80 pound body began to hemorrhage internally and about 12 hours later he was relieved of his pain. Death came at the Iron County Hospital on 18 May 1952. He was buried 21 May 1952 in the Cedar City Cemetery at the age of 52.
Never in his life was Dewey permitted an abundance of worldly possessions, but he was greatly respected by those he come in contact with, and was greatly loved by his family. He was only able to leave his family $1500 from an insurance policy, which helped through the expense of the death, and those things he had taught them and the love he had shared with them. But this can be a treasure above all treasures.
His wishes were finally fulfilled and on 10 May 1956, he received his own endowments by proxy. He was sealed to Sarah Lareen Davis on 15 May 1958, and to Verlean Haslam 19 August 1958. Then on 8 November 1958 their six children were sealed to Dewey and Verlean. Frederick Garcia was also sealed to Dewey and Verlean in the Salt Lake Temple 8 August 1967.
The following is information about the children of Dewey and Verlean Olds:
Dewey Olds born 30 June 1936 md Karen Taylor 2 July 1956
Elois Olds born 1 March 1938 died 25 June 1945
Beatrice Olds born 9 May 1940 md Brent Snow 5 Jun 1964
Louie Alice Olds born 16 Mar 1942 md Afton Lee Engle 6 Jun 1964
Gordon Ellis Olds born 11 Jul 1943 md Linda Bryant 15 Apr 1967
Anthony Daris Olds born 13 Sep 1944
This history is
copyrighted and is offered for personal use and
It is not to be reprinted or used for commercial purposes without written permission.
Copyright ©2000 by Beatrice Olds Snow
Return toWashington County Biographies Index
There have been visits to this page.
Copyright ©2000, 2009 by Cynthia B. Alldredge (Page design and coding)