by Esther Olds Hardy
George Thomas Olds was the fourth child of Thomas and Elisa Jane Hunt Olds. He was born 12 August 1889 at Lyman, Wayne County, Utah. George tells this story about the house that he was born in. His father bought an unused stable which he moved to a suitable location and remodeled it into a home. Because of this, George was often called "The Stable Boy" during his early childhood.
George was baptized 12 August 1897 by Thomas N. Jahernan. He was confirmed by Joshua H. Cook. He was ordained a deacon 1 November 1903 by Riley C. Savage; a teacher 27 December 1908 by Joseph R. Naegle and an Elder 5 January 1914 by George Spilsbury, a Patriarch.
Following are some childhood memories recalled by George to be recorded:
When living in Lyman, the Indians would often come to the home of Tom and Jane Olds begging for food. Jane baked her own bread and would always share it with the Indians. One day an Indian came to the house asking for food. Jane invited him in and went into the kitchen to prepare the food for him. As George's sister, Louie, walked by the Indian he reached out and pinched her on the leg. Louie screamed and ran, and George, noting what had happened, grabbed the first thing that was handy, which was a stick of wood from the wood box, and chased the Indian out of the house. They ran around the house two or three times, George hitting the Indian whenever he got close enough. Jane came running out on the doorstep to (see) what the commotion was all about and as George went running by she reached out and seized him by the collar. The Indian seeing a chance for escape made a hasty retreat and did not come to their home again.
George was the shortest boy in the family; which he was always a bit sensitive about; but he bragged that he was going to be a strong man when he grew up. In an effort to prove this point, one day he climbed upon the house top. Jane, discovering his lofty perch, told him to come down immediately, "before you break your neck." So, George attempted to slide down, but resulted in traveling much faster than he had expected, and spent the next two or three weeks in bed, and he almost had to learn to walk all over again because of the fall.
George went to work at an early age to help make ends meet. He herded sheep and cattle, tied fleeces at sheep shearing time, dug ditches, shoed horses, trapped, farmed and broke broncos. He used to go with his father on freight and mail runs. He recalls going with his father when he sub-contracted the mail run from Peter Anderson from Cedar City to Pintura in about 1902. They traveled by horse and buggy. The roads were narrow and rough and they made one trip per day, leaving at 4 a.m. and back at 10 p.m. Kanarraville was the stop over place to change to fresh horses. George was assigned to take care of the horses and watch that the hay and other things on the buggy were not stolen. They made more money carrying passengers than by the mail delivery. It cost about $3.00 per person to make the ride.
One time Tom's buggy hit an obstacle throwing him out and injuring him. He managed to get on a horse and get home. George happened to be coming in carrying an ax, so he went and released the buggy and then made the delivery that day alone. Another time Tom left Cedar City with two women passengers and on the way the team were frightened and started running straight for a telephone pole, burying the tongue into the middle of it. The women were thrown behind the horses feet, where they lay to frightened to move. George being the nearest turned the horses loose, helped the women up. The tongue was replaced and the trip completed in safety.
One time George received word to meet his father with another team and wagon. Taking five year old Dewey with him. (The boys were never allowed to go anywhere alone.) On the way the horses were spooked by something (Tom always had very frisky horses) and while trying to bring them under control the wagon was tipped and George lost his balance and landed on his head, stunning him monetarily. When he came too, he ran and caught the team, which he found all tangled up in a tree with the lines wrapped around the wheel, but little Dewey had managed to hold on and was safely sitting in the seat. This time they make the full trip without changing horses. On another occasion George was driving the team and missed a turn in the narrow winding road. The wagon went one direction and the team the other. George was thrown out into the rocks and bushes receiving a back and skull injury.
After arriving in Toquerville, George and his brother Will obtained jobs herding cows. They usually made five cents a day. They would gather them up in the sand hills where they would spend the day keeping track of them and also keep them from being stolen. One day while herding the cows, the boys were chased by an Indian. Both boys could run fast, but being frightened they were able to run faster and the outrun that Indian. They reported this incident to the sheriff and the Indian was later caught in Washington.
To attend school it was necessary to travel the seven miles from Pintura to Toquerville. When the weather was good they rode horses back and forth, but when the weather got bad they lived in a sheep wagon or rented a room over in Toquerville, and they would batch it during the week and return home for the weekends. George claims that they could ride from home to school in ten minutes. George completed the eighth grade.
In July 1967 George was interviewed and his remarks were recorded on a tape recorder. He was not well that day, but the information he gave us was interesting - so perhaps it would tie into the story better if it were inserted at this point: quote...
I remember one time going to visit Grandma Theobald for two or three days with dad. In those days we didn't have too much to eat - we were just dang thankful for what little we did get. Anyway we had dinner and dad took a slice of bread and put some butter on it, then put some molasses on it. Grandma bawled him out. She said, "Tommy don't you know that it's wasteful to put butter on that bread and then put molasses on it too." I always remembered grandma saying that. I quite liked grandma anyway. She was sure a nice old lady. The next I remember of her to speak of, was when I went to over to St. George to get her casket. Trace was with me then; she was staying over to Bill Hammonds. We went to St. George and right back with her casket and she was dead when we got back.
I remember dad telling how he killed a mountain lion down in Toquer Creek. He hit it with a shovel. It jumped at him and he just brought this shovel down and smacked him between the ears and down he went. That's all I ever remember dad ever saying about that.
It was nothing to have a foot of snow at a time in Pintura. The wind would pile it on the fences so that all you could see was the top of the post sticking up. It didn't seem near as cold then as it does now days.
Once in awhile we kids got punished with what the call today a hickory stick. We were always wrestling and whenever any one of us would come home after being away we would have to see who was the biggest and fight all the brothers. It wasn't mean fighting - just to see who could get the other one down and hold him down.
There was some dang wicked floods that come down that old Ice Creek. I remember one time dad came down with the mail, and he followed on the east side of the creek all the way down, which made it so he had to go through fields and cow trails, etc.. When he got down to Pintura the water was so danged high that he just took the harness off the horses and let them go and they crossed the creek and come right on home. The water run swift along there and in a little while it went down. We went over and got the mail and brought it back across, but the flood dang near took one of those horses down. Your remember (speaking to Andy) those little gray horses we had. Well, one of those come pert near going right on down. Remember when they brought those buffalo into the country - when that old crippler was around. That's when I had a real ride. Down below the old Sylvester home at the edge of the creek. I was riding that little gray pony and he was just as slick and pretty, but he was awful good to ride and hard to stay on him. We rode down there and the buffalo was laying down in the brush and as we got near up he jumped, and if you ever seen a guy had to ride it was me. I was riding with just one heel on the horses back and when I looked back to see where the buffalo was, I hit the ground, but I jumped back on him again. That was scary works for a few seconds cause that old crippler was real mean.
Me being punished in school was a common occurrence. You know everything the other kids would do - pinch a girl or something - someone would say, "Now George" and I'd get a licking for it. Well, it goes on like that and I stood it as long as I could from the teacher, then I left. He couldn't catch me. Right out through the house and down the high steps and down through the street. When we got out in the street I grabbed a piece of board laying there. It always put me in mind of the program you see on TV where the white horse was taking his fold up in the canyon with the wolves right after him. This old white horse came in there just a charging and kicked several of the wolves over the canyon, and the rest just started backing out of there. That's the way that teacher was. He took back for school just as hard as he could run, and I didn't go back to school anymore. Dad said to suit myself and after a few days I decided not to go. I guess maybe I was in too much mischief.
When we were smaller kids I used to sing with mother a lot. Sometimes they would get us to sing for those old drunks that were working on the road and around. We'd get two dollars and they would think I was swell. We'd get up and sing some crazy dang song and those old drunks would spat their hands and think they'd heard a good song. I couldn't pack a tune in a water bucket.
When we were over in Monroe, Grandpa Hunt gave me this little colt and I raised it on a bottle. When we got down to Summit I turned it out on the range. The next summer I tried to break it to ride. Well, I tell you, I was on the ground more than I was anywhere else. Boy that thing could get out from under me quick. I finally got so I could ride it, then after that I got to chasing this and that and everything with it, so she got so she wanted to run all the time. I rode her and kept her around and she must have lived to be at least 20 years old. By gosh, she was a good little old brood, wasn't she?
You remember that sorrel horse that Andy Gregerson had that was sorta yellow and bald face - well I got a colt out of her. Then I gave the mare to mother and what became of her I don't know. I think some of you kids just took her out and killed her. I know that she got so old that if you tightened her front cinch up too much she'd buck. Well, on the 4th of July, Levi had a mustang up there and we had Old Blue. Bill wanted to go to Toquer, so I says, "What are you going to do, tear the town apart again?" So I got on the horse Levi had that had only been rode about twice. We got agoing down the road and Bill's saddle started slipping, so he reached down and tightened up the cinch, and WOW. Bill got off and wouldn't ride her. I finally traded with him. Got him on Levi's horse and I got on her, and I'm telling you she bucked. When we got over to Toquer - the crowd was all standing around like they do. In them days if someone come up on a horse all they wanted to do was race. Well anyway, I went to move in the saddle and boy, she ducked her head and if she didn't clean that street out in a hurry. That son of a gun really bucked that day. We finally found out what the trouble was. Cinch her up a little too tight and her leg would chafe. Loosen it up and you couldn't get her to buck. Mother used to ride her all the time and really enjoyed riding her.
Mother was an awful worker. How in the devil she ever raised nine great big old lubbers. Sis and me was the two little ones. Dad used to just be a working here and there and everywhere, a workin' himself to death and never seem to get anywhere. Just like I've been in my life. I'm still a workin'.
Did us boys get in family fights? It was Andy who did. All I remember about Alvin was that I was over to Anderson's ranch. I used to work over there for Peter Anderson for ten cents a day. When I was out of school. The first thing I knowed was they sent word that one of the kids had been drowned. He drowned in a No. 3 tub outside the house. Of course, my having my little old pony, it was real handy, it took me just a few minutes to get over home. Ivan was born when Levi and I was working in Panquitch. He died in Pintura.
Of course, we were like everyone else. All the younger kids expected Christmas and the like to be a big day. Somehow, we made it that way. My birthdays. I don't know if I have seen very many, but I'm going to see another on the 12th (August). Be 78. Gettin' up there. I told them the last time I went down that I was going to forget doctors and do my own doctoring. I'm coming out better every day, and I'm going to be 100." Unquote.
About 1908, George started herding sheep for Bill Thorley at the Fort Pearce Wash and surrounding territory. There were no roads, and they pulled his sheep wagon by team over boulders and through washes. He had a very small puppy which he carried in his side pocket for company. The feed was good and the sheep were real fat and in good shape in the fall. His wages were $1.50 per day, but at the end of a year his wages were raised to $42.00 per day if he's stay. George stayed but he forgot his promise to raise his wages so George went to work for Pace in New Harmony. It wasn't long until Thorley needed help badly so he looked George up and offered him $60.00 per month and 2% of the lambing crop, so George accepted the job.
On 16 July 1912, Tom asked George to take the wagon and go to St. George for a casket for Grandma Theobald who was not expected to live till morning. He took the short cut through Leeds, but when he got to the Leeds Bridge he remembered the toll charge of 25 cents and he had not brought any money with him. When he told them why he was making the trim they canceled the fee and he arrived at Pickett Mortuary just before closing time. They loaded the casket and he returned home to find that grandma was dead.
While working for Thorley about 1908 in the Modena area, George found a check for a large sum of money. He put it away until he found the owner. Mr. Thorley spent many days searching for this check then mentioned to George that he had lost it. George went and got it and gave it to him. A few days later after George returned home he received a reward check for $50.00.
George had many jobs away from home and because of this he became a good cook and could sew for himself. As a rule his health was good. George met Traca Miles when she was employed as a housekeeper for the Andy Gregerson family at Pintura. Their courtship days were happy ones and were often retold to their children. Traca would tell the girls of the many times George would play his guitar and sing to her, even though he couldn't carry a tune. His favorite songs were Red River Valley, A Long Way to Tipperary, Down in the Valley, Rain, and Anytime. George and Traca were married 10 December 1913. They were endowed in the St. George Temple by James McArthur on 10 Jan 1914, just five days after George was ordained an Elder.
Traca Miles was born 1 March 1892 in St. George, to Adolphus and Myrza Jane Alexander Whitehead. The Alexanders were of Scottish and Irish descent.
George and Traca began their family with the birth of Myrza Jane on 21 Oct. 1914 at St. George. Myrza Jane was a beautiful child with dark hair that fell in ringlets to her waist.
In 1915 George started to work for Tom Thorley as a sheep herder. He continued this work off and on for years. At this time he had cancer of the lip but cured it with sticky gum. Later, he got tomato poisoning. While herding sheep he wore high top boots for protection from snake bites as rattlesnakes were so plentiful. He did get his share of snakebites. He had numerous falls from horses and mules receiving some broken ribs.
14 April 1917, the second child, Wilma was born. The family was living at Joe McThornen's place, but moved to Diamond Valley in 1918 to manage a farm belonging to Grandmother Miles. They did very well for one year but moved back to St. George into the home belonging to George Whitehead, where a third daughter, Ester, was born on 8 August 1919. She was named after Esther Whitehead. George was disappointed because Esther was a girl, but a nurse remarked to him, "When you plant potatoes don't expect to get beets."
On 30 Nov. 1921, a fourth child, a boy, George Richard (Dick) was born. He was their pride and joy. At that time George was working for Tom Thorley. Wages were low, about $50 or $60 a month and it was hard to make ends meet. He was away from the family much of the time, seeing them only about once a month, depending on where his sheep were at. The children grew very close to their mother and learned to love and respect her deeply.
Another daughter, Reta, was born 25 September 1923 at the old Foster home. Shortly after George went to work on the road at Pine Valley. About a year later the family moved to Las Vegas, Nevada. The town wasn't very large at that time and they lived about two blocks from the Court House. Most of the population were colored. At that time there was no gambling in Las Vegas and Fremont was the main street and you didn't have to walk very far in any direction to be out of town and into the desert. George worked as a carpenter and also tramped cars in the mine. One day he went to help a friend move a plank, and as it came loose it flew up and hit George on the chin with such force that he flew over two loaded cars landing on his feet still traveling and the men trying to catch him. The doctor treated him for a broken jaw.
The girls weren't allowed to go very far without being chaperoned by their parents or close friends. On 17 July 1925, a tragedy struck the family. Traca and Myrza Jane went to town to see if some Bible stories they had ordered had arrived. Myrza Jane wanted a drink of water and seeing a fountain across the street, she dashed over, got a drink and returned without being missed. When she told her mother where she had been her mother jokingly said, "Why didn't you get me one?" Before she realized what had happened there was Myrza Jane laying under the wheels of a truck. The truck driver became frightened and left the scene of the accident and was never identified. Myrza Jane was rushed to the hospital, but died on the way. George was notified at the mine that she had been killed. The funeral was held at the Bunker Mortuary on 4th Street and Stewart - beautiful but very sad.
Traca took Myrza Jane's death very hand and became ill. I can remember her screaming and a big dog over the fence howling. Not long after this George went to work for the Union Pacific Railroad. We girls would meet him as he came home anxious to see what was in the lunch pail. One day I was going to meet dad and I began walking along the tracks and didn't notice a train coming. Someone shouted and grabbed me in time and I was thoroughly warned not to do that again.
The tragedy of Myrza Jane's death had upset Traca that George realized that he would have to move the family back to St. George. The moved into the home where Howard Empey now lives. Storing their possessions in the house, they went to Richfield, Utah for awhile. When they returned all their possessions had been stolen. All that had been left was a saw that some relative had given George.
The summer of 1926 finds the family living in Kanarraville, Iron County, Utah. George was managing Nellie Hunt's farm. One day while riding a horse, it threw him and he landed on some ice. Everyone laughed but he didn't think it was so funny as he had to go change his clothes. Nell rode the same horse all the time and it never did throw her. While in Kanarraville, Maurine was born on 26 Aug. 1926. He had to feed a family of six, plus two brothers at this time.
George managed another farm for awhile and the children had to walk to school quite a distance. One day whey had a school outing and were asked to bring a sack lunch. They rode on a wagon loaded with some hay to their destination. The children all began to play games, such as hide and seek, and during the playing Wilma and I became lost. When they loaded up the wagon to go home the two girls were left behind. The girls finally located the place where the wagon hand been only to find they were alone, so they started walking in the direction they hoped would take them home. After walking for what seemed like hours and falling over countless rocks and into many ditches, they finally reached home. There they sat outside for a good half-hour trying to get courage to go inside and face their mother. As they opened the door there was mother with tears in her eyes, saying, "Am I glad to see you, I thought you had been kidnapped."
During the summer of 1927, Esther was baptized in a creek at Kanarra by Brother Wells Williams, a neighbor. Esther had difficulty with school and took the first grade twice. She was studious, but was so bashful she wouldn't even talk to her teacher. In the fall of 1928, the family moved back to St. George. No matter where George moved, Traca wasn't satisfied; her heart was in Dixie. They moved into a three-room board house where their 7th child, Lucille, was born on Thanksgiving Day, 28 November, 1930.
George planted a big garden on the huge lot and raised all kinds of vegetables, fruits and nuts. The weeding and irrigating was left to the children. Frequently the irrigating would be done at night by the light of kerosene lantern. The work was done well or done over. Every night the girls would mix bread before retiring, no matter where they went. We had good times too. We played games after our chores and lessons were finished. Hide and Seek, Kick the Can, Jump the rope, Mumble Peg, Baseball, Jacks, using rocks and a marble for the ball most of the time. Tag, Annie High Over, Run Rover, Run , but our main game was baseball which we played in the street often under the light of the telephone pole until bedtime. We took many hayrides with dad.
Our clothes where usually hand me downs from older sisters or clothes given to us. Wilma was a seamstress and made most of her clothes. We were taught to take care of our clothes and hang them up when not in use. We had one outfit for school and if we were real lucky one set for Sunday School. I remember the No. 3 tub that we took our baths in every Saturday night. From the oldest down to the youngest. Again my brother had the privilege of having his own clean water. The water we heated from an old fashioned stove in a large boiler. Stove used for heating, cooking, etc.
George hauled the wood, Richard chopped it, and we girls carried it in and gathered the chips. Occasionally we'd get a dime for a matinee in the afternoon on Sunday, but if we missed church we weren't allowed to go. Made our own candy and popcorn to munch on at the show. Had many candy pulls.
Our friends gathered at our home, mother seldom allowed us to visit away from home until we got older. On my first trip away from home I got so homesick I cried all night. At home we slept 3 or 4 in a bed, once again Richard had his own bed.
George's wages were raised to $90 in 1930, but still had a hard time to make ends meet. We girls took any jobs available, usually baby sitting, house cleaning or fixing hair for 25 cents an hour. Many times we were paid in produce, but we saved our eggs and took them to Judds and the Quality Bakery store to trade for candy, until they said no more hard boiled or rotten eggs please. This same year the four oldest children had their tonsils removed.
Two outstanding events in our life were the 4th and 24th of July. At 5 a.m. a cannon was set off. If not awakened by that you soon were by Dick setting fire crackers under our beds. We slept outside in the summer months. The martial band played while driving around in a truck so everyone could enjoy the music. At 9 a.m. races were held for young and old down by the tabernacle. Also melon busts, pie eating contest with prizes for all. A meeting was held at 10 a.m. in the Tabernacle. We all had new dresses for this occasion and 25 cents to spend. When dad was home we would get another 25 cents, and we thought we were rich. Mother made root beer and ice cream and we always had watermelon.
Christmas was special also, our tree was decorated with popcorn, red and green chains, tinsel and whatever we made in school. Our gifts were clothes and very few toys. Our stockings - we wore long ones - were hung on the wall and filled with candy, nuts, popcorn balls, an apple and orange. No matter how little we received we were happy. Mother made fruit cakes a month before and we had carrot puddings, meat and a meal fit for a king.
30 September 1934, Traca gave birth to her 8th child, another daughter, JoAnn. This was a very difficult delivery for the 42 year old mother, who required several visits from the nurse before the actual delivery. Wilma and I watched the birth thorough the window. When JoAnn was three weeks old she became very ill, so mother told Wilma to give her some paregoric. In a few minutes she was out in a coma. I was chosen to get Dr. Reichman; believe me it never took me long to reach the meetinghouse at the Tabernacle. It was pitch dark and was I ever scared. I ran all the way, expecting someone to grab me and the doctor said to just let her sleep it off.
I remember a very sad accident. Mother had just left the house and ten minutes later we received a phone call, telling us that mother had been taken to the hospital, she had been struck by a car while crossing the road. She was knocked down, losing her glasses and bruising her quite badly and she was in shock. She was kept in the hospital over night. We found the glasses the next morning unbroken. Mother had many fainting spells after this, some were bad ones, lasting several minutes and scaring us out of our wits. We all knew what to do when these attacks came on. Mother had a bad heart, which was brought on by the death of Myrza Jane. I came home one night from Mutual and found her laying down by the gate. We brought her too, then took her into the house and put her to bed.
As we grew up, our father was almost like a stranger to us, never really knowing him, as his jobs were usually away from home. When he did come home, he would throw his hat in the front door, and then go to the back door and shout, "Whoopee." We all ran to throw our arms around him, mother included. Usually had a beard and wore a mustache while in the hills - everyone called him Hitler. He was a proud man who always admired himself in the mirror, saying, "Don't you think I'm pretty"' while combing his hair. He always dressed neatly. When father spoke to us we knew that he meant what he said. We all learned the hard way. One night he said, "Esther, get in bed and turn out the light and quit your fooling." I was just taking my time, when all of a sudden I hit the ceiling. Believe me I went to bed fast, as father lifted me with his foot. I'll bet we would have been better children if our father had come home more often.
As a family we had a lot of respect and love for each other. We were very poor, but we were very happy and always close together. Mother and father had a very deep religious faith and taught the gospel to us. We attended our church activities regularly. Even attended Conki School - a religious school held every Sunday at 4 p.m. When a child, we never missed church. We were all baptized at the age of 8 in the St. George Temple, but myself who was baptized in Kanarraville. Our parents saw that we had a good education, but father could outwit us any day with his 8th grade education. He often helped us with our problems. We all attended the Woodward School, dedicated in 1901, where mother attended.
Mother was a real nice lady and a hard worker. A very gentle person, good to everyone, especially little children; she always had something to give them no matter where she saw them. Never once turned down a stranger who came asking for food. She let them pay by chopping wood. She taught the gospel to everyone and lived it to her fullest. She attended the Temple sessions often as she could. She was a very proud person in all she did. She wore her hair straight for many years. Spent here spare time crocheting and her beautiful work was given away for presents on special occasions. She was very active and moving fast whenever you saw her. She was appreciated by her children as a kind and loving mother. Both father and mother lived a lonely life being away from each other so much while rearing their family, but have rejoiced in the blessings that have come to them. Mother had a lovely voice and sang in the choir many years. She was active in Relief Society and did a great deal of quilting and sewing. She always made her own quilts - I don't think she ever bought a quilt in her life. Mother was a church goer - seldom missing except for something special or illness. She loved the gospel and read the scriptures a great deal. She always paid her tithes and if someone needed her help she was there to help them. If someone was ill she was right there to visit them and help. She was loved by everyone who knew her. Her favorite hymns were, Let Us All Speak Kind Words to Each Other, I'll Go Where You Want Me to Go, Put Your Shoulder to the Wheel, Have I Done Any Good, Oh My Father, Do What is Right, You Can Make the Pathway Bright, Whispering Hope and the Letter Edged in Black. She was always singing or humming while doing her work.
In the summer of 1939 mother was taken ill with arthritis. I took care of her until she was able to get about. In the summer of 1945 father bought a lot from W. O. Bentley located two blocks above the old Court House, and built a home there in his spare time. It was made of adobes hauled up the steep hill in a wheelbarrow. He didn't have many tools to work with and only Richard to help him. Later, Richard won first prize in six different counties in Utah for carpentry work. He and Ode Holt, his partner, built a home in Salt Lake City, which was their first job.
In 1946 father moved his family in the home although it wasn't completed. It took two more years to complete it. This was the first home father and mother owned. Once again they had a garden, trees and flowers. Everyone loved the home because it had such a good view out over the city. About 1940 Richard bought a motorcycle that he was very proud of. He took father for a ride in the hills and as they turned a corner it tipped over. Neither one was hurt, but that ended fathers desire to ride motorcycles.
Mother belonged to a club that held many Rook parties. One night father happened to come home when they were playing cards, well, all of a sudden there was arguing, so he went to see what the matter was. To settle the argument they asked father to cut the cards, and he did with his knife. The game was then ended.
Uncle Will wrote father and told him of the fishing and work that was plentiful in Idaho and he would be able to be with his family. So father set out to sell their home in the fall of 1948 for $4,500. Mother didn't want to sell and leave her many friends. They hired a truck to move their belongings to Homedale, Idaho. JoAnn was the only one left at home at this time. Mother was very unhappy, but she learned to love Idaho as she became acquainted with the friendly people there. Father bought two lots with a home on them which required a lot of fixing up. The weeds had taken over, but soon had it looking good. He was a nervous type, always working at something, fixing and changing the place to please mother. Mother cleaned the church and baked homemade bread for the Sacrament. The neighbors were so generous with their fruits and vegetables.
Father worked in the potato sheds in Idaho, but after a few years he got potato poison and went to the doctor for treatment. He was kept in the doctors office all night. Two nurses rubbing his arms to keep the poison from going farther up his arms. By morning they had it under control. He received $80 compensation and a foreman's job.
In 1950 father and mother made a trip to California to visit Richard and family. They were gone about 3 weeks and were on their way home intending to stop at Babbit, Nev. to visit George and I, when they were just outside Beatty, Nev. just 229 miles from our place they had a very serious accident. A bus passed them and father turned out a little to let them pass and hit the soft shoulder and lost control of the car, turning it over. Mother was thrown through the window, hitting her neck - later all the fluid drained from her head. The bus sent for help and an ambulance rushed them to the Las Vegas Hospital. The police called Wilma and she called the rest of us. She told me about the accident and told me to come with $100 at once. I sold my washing machine for $50 and my brother-in-law drove me to Vegas. I stayed with Ann Cox, a relative of fathers. Richard came and we visited mother and father each day while I was able to stay. Father had some ribs broken and mother received many bruises along with her damaged nerves. One time mother fell out of bed and father instead of calling for help, picked her up and put her back in bed - which must have been very painful with his broken ribs. The bus company paid the hospital bill which was $500 for five days. Mac Turnbeaugh drove them to St. George after they were released from the hospital and they stayed a few days with Maurine, they were taken to Lucille's place in Washington where they stayed until they were able to travel back to Idaho. On my way back home I stopped to pick up their clothes from the wrecked car and it's a wonder that they ever got out alive. The car was demolished.
In 1952, the effects of the nerve damage began to take effect and mother became very ill and had to be taken to the hospital in Provo, Utah for a short time. She was released and stayed with Maurine, but soon had to be taken back to the hospital. She had become irrational that it took four people to hold her down. Once again she was released, and in October 1952 we took our two sons out of school and George drove us to Homedale so that I could care for her. She was under Dr. Wolfe's care and he was giving her only aspirins, and she thought they were helping her. We did all we could to help her, but in spite of this her nerves competely let go. Bishop Bergerson advised father to take mother to Blackfoot, Idaho for treatment being as she was a resident of Idaho. They left on the train 15 Dec. 1952, mother wearing some new stockings I had gotten her for Christmas. This was the last time I ever saw my mother alive. I remained for two more months hoping she would come home, but mother was in this hospital for five years. Mother suffered horrible. Father spent most of his time there with her. Richard, Wilma, Reta and Maurine visited her a few times, but she didn't know them. She lost 90 pounds. In 1953 I sent mother a beautiful package, but received a letter from the doctor not to send anything else as mother didn't know who sent them and it was shared by the other patients. On 25 July 1957 father received a telegram telling of mother's death. Her body was shipped by train to Cedar City, then by hearse to St. George, where the Cannon Funeral Home took care of the services which were held in the St. George First Ward Chapel. Mother was 65 when she was laid away in her Temple clothing.
Father sold his home in Homedale, paid up all his bills and bought a trailer house. He put his trailer on Cecil and JoAnn's lot in Marsing, Idaho where he lived for three years. He kept busy raising berries, garden and fruit. He decided to go back to St. George and someone wanted to buy his trailer, so he sold it and bought another when he got to St. George. Put his trailer on Lucille's place. In about a year he bought some land from Lucille and put his trailer on it and began raising crops again. Later he traded for a larger trailer. He seems to be happy and contented. He used to visit quite often, but now he doesn't care to leave home.
Father was operated on for double hernia in July 1964. He had a very rough time of it. I stayed with him as much as I could because of the shortage of nurses. Uncle Will visited every day and helped take care of him as did Wilma and Lucille. Maurine's boy, George Wendell Bundy, was in the same ward as father - result of an accident from a pellet gun which exploded in his face nearly losing his sight. But his eyes were saved and father enjoyed visiting with his grandson, and it cheered them both up. I stayed with father for three days after he came home from the hospital - we had to carry all the water from Lucille's. Then Lucille took over. He lost a lot of weight - down to 100 pounds. Hand many gas pains and was very miserable for a long time. In 1965 he began having dizzy spells and his feet began to swell, so Lucille took him to Dr. Graff. It was his heart. He was given medication and in due time began to feel better, even began to gain some weight. Father works in his garden, visits with people who come to his place, enjoys the vegetables he raises. He has his good and bad days, but stays about the same. He is now 79 years old and enjoys his family. Father and mother had 8 children, 22 grandchildren, 17 great grandchildren as of this date, 29 May 1968.
By Esther Olds Hardy
Wilma married Lawrence McLain Turnbeaugh 9 March 1935. Had four children: three boys and one girl. Wilma divorced Turnbeaugh in 1958 and in December 30, 1960, married Robert David Simer.
Esther married John Henry McClanahan 6 Aug 2938 at Cedar City. Had 2 boys. Divorced 6 Nov 1946 then later married George G. Hardy, Jr. on 13 May 1947 in Panaca, Nevada.
26 January 1941, George Richard joined the Air Corp; received his first training in Houston, Texas. Married Fabiola Bresciani 21 Oct. 1944. They had one boy and one girl. While Richard was in Africa during World War II, he was taken in to have his appendix out. His crew had to make their run without him and they were shot down and all killed. His confinement in the hospital saved his life. In 1968 he divorced Fabiola Bresciani.
Reta married Norman Roland LeDoux, a sailor, in Las Vegas 2 Nov. 1944. They had one son and were divorce in 1946. Married Lloyd Knibbs in Reno, Nev. 21 Sept. 1949. They have one son and one daughter. Her husband was baptized in the LDS Church 17 Feb. 1960.
Maurine married George Morris Bundy at Pioche, Nev. 15 Feb 1950. Their first child, George Wendle, was born at Nampa, Idaho. Robert Morris was born 22 July 1951 at Cedar City. Pama Rae was born 3 Mar 1953 at St. George. The 4th child, Marvin Allen, was born 21 October 1954 at Cedar City. Maurine died shortly after the child was born from a blood clot on the brain. She was buried 25 Oct 1954. A year later Maurine's husband was killed in a car accident on 9 Dec 1955, leaving four little orphans. Bobby and Pama Rae were taken to be raised by Pauline and OrDell Olds. (not adopted) George's sister, Maxine Bryant, took George and the new baby. In 1964 Maxine was shot and killed by her husband, again leaving these children without parents. George's brother, Lyman, and his wife Lois took them to raise.
Lucille met Leland Von DeMille while working in Dicks Cafe in St. George. They were married 3 Sept 1949 at Fredonia, Arizona. In 1950 they bought a home in Washington where they still live with their two daughters and one son.
JoAnn and Cecil met in Homedale, Idaho and were married in Winemucca, Nevada 24 Jun 1950. They have three sons and one daughter and have lived in Idaho.
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Copyright ©2000 by Esther Olds Hardy
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