THE LIFE OF VERA HINTON EAGAR

DAUGHTER OF
THOMAS MAURICE HINTON AND WILHEMINA WALKER HINTON

(SO FAR--JANUARY 1960)

I was born in Hinkley, Millard County, Utah, August 14, 1899. My father was a good carpenter and earned a living with that trade. I was the first child of seven born to my parents, there being 4 girls and 3 boys. I was so mischievious while small that my mother gave me a lot of spankings, when I got the mumps one of my aunts said, "Vera has got the mumps," and I began to cry and said, "Will mama spank me for it?"

In the year 1900 my parents moved to Black Rock, Utah, where father was a Section hand on the railroad, and mother cooked for the men. Then that same year they moved to Eureka, Utah, where father did carpenter work, then to Salt Lake City, then back to Hinkley. Then in 1905 they moved to Virgin, Utah, which was father's home town, then in March 1905 they moved to Hurricane, Utah, being the first family to move to Hurricane, I was six years old then.

While in Salt Lake I won a race on the 4th of July and won a little red chair, I certainly treasured that little red chair. My mother tells me I was sick a lot until I was 4 years of age, she said I had pneumonia and polio, and that the doctor gave me up for almost dead at one time, but by the power of the Priesthood my life was spared, by the next morning after the doctor thought I would be dead by then, he called to make out my death certificate and found me propped up with pillows in bed chewing gum, he was very surprised, he wasn't an L.D.S. doctor and didn't know that the Lord had more power than he did.

I remember Hurricane first as a place where Slippery Elm, Rabbit Brush, Shapparel, and a lot of other brush and wild flowers grew, and there were just trails around all over the "Flat." Other families soon came and it wasn't long until the men built a "Bowery," which was made by putting posts into the ground and across the top, and putting limbs into the ground and across the top, and putting limbs from cottonwood trees in this case, with green leaves on for shade across the top of the poles. In the Bowery we held church, and it was on the Public Square, I remember it was there where I first learned to partake of the Sacrament with my right hand instead of the left.

As soon as Uncle Ira H. Bradshaw got his house built, church services, school and other gatherings were held there. Uncle Ira married my father's sister, Marion Hinton.

My mother was the first primary president, and when my brother Vernet was big enough she had him ring the bell which supported by poles close by the Bowery, and not far from Uncle Ira's house, I remember when my sister Lela was born he cried, and mother asked him what was the matter, and he said he wanted a brother so he wouldn't have to ring the bell all the time, another time when Vernet was much smaller he came to mother and his eyes were so big he said guess what I saw, mother guessed, but he said no. He said it was so big and it looked and looked at him, and she guessed and guessed, finally he said, "Well it was a toad," we sure laughed.

I remember mother had to go to Salt Lake City to conferences, and to meetings at La Verkin, Toquerville, up the river to Virgin, Rockville and Springdale and to St. George, and I being the oldest had to take over while she was away, then when her babies were born I took over as soon as I was old enough and did all the work under her supervision of course, she was very strict about we girls not using powder and paint, and she kept very close watch on us socially too, and saw that we didn't stay out late at nights which is very good most of the time, but some times we, especially me, got very vexed once in a while when I couldn't stay out later than she thought I should.

When I was 8 years of age we all got into the wagon and rode down to the river where a big tree grew and father baptized me, then I remember when we got back home, one of our old hens had a mouse caught in her throat, the tail was just sticking out of her bill, so mother pulled on the tail and out came them mouse, and the hen was saved.

I used to do quite a lot of embroidery work and loved to do it.

My teeth needed fixing when I was around 12-13 so I got a job of cleaning a dentist's office, and doing the office laundry and got my teeth fixed up in good shape, I also cleaned Dr. Wilkerson's office when it was in Uncle Emanual Stanworth's house.

When I graduated from District School at 14, I went to 1st year high school at Hinkley, Utah, and stayed with my Grandmother Walker (mother's mother) and I sure did love to stay with her, she was so good to me. I remember once I used some wintergreen thinking it was perfume, and in Sunday School the class members around me wondered where the wintergreen smell was coming from. I didn't know until I got home and noticed the bottle was labeled "wintergreen" and I thought it was perfume, I didn't use it for that again, My Uncle Avery Bishop used to tease me because I didn't use any makeup, he said he bet I never even looked in the mirror, so then I began to, but that was the way mother had taught me, and soon as I was using a little makeup, much to my mother's disgust when she found out about it. I graduated from 1st year high and came back to Hurricane and started to work for women who were in bed with babies then, I got a job in Cedar City working for the Harry Thorley family, I got $4.00 a week but didn't stay long as Mrs. Thorley had different ideas about how housework should be done than what I had been taught about it, so I came home and worked for families in Hurricane again. While in Cedar City I wrote to Thomas Eagar, and had began thinking a lot of him, He with his family were driven out of Mexico in 1912. His mother had married John Hinton my father's brother, but he had died, and she had married Joel S. Eagar, Thomas's father, and as we weren't any relation in this world (but would be in the next) we were married in 1918 - September 25. My mother for some reason tried to stop us from being married, but I loved him and went against her wishes, and have never been sorry, as he is a fine good man and has been all through the years.

When a boy he had one of his eyes damaged so the sight was gone, and it has been hard for him to find certain kinds of jobs such as with the government, that and because of him not being able to get an education beyond the 8th grade only what he could pick up by himself, he had to go to work to help his family when only 14, as his mother and father had separated on account of polygamy, it has been hard for him to find work that wasn't real hard.

We were married in the St. George Temple and for that I have always been grateful. The first night that we were married we didn't have a party and we took some bedding and made our bed out in the orchard at my folk's place, the next morning we went up to Mountain Dell where my husband had a job making molasses, his sister Betty (Elizabeth Eagar Shamo) and her husband Harry Shamo and Thomas's father Joel S. Eagar were also there.

When that job was finished we moved back to Hurricane, and my husband found a job herding sheep, and off and on mostly for 20 years he herded sheep, it was a very unsatisfactory life for both of us, me having babies and he just mostly being home while they were born for a while, then he would go back for awhile, then come home for a few days layoff, and then after so long I would have another baby. Well we got pretty tired of that so finally Thomas got a job as a janitor of the new chapel in Hurricane.

Our first two children were boys, Dilworth Hinton Eagar was born August 20, 1920. When he was nine he got sick with mumps and pneumonia, and he died December 19, 1929. It made us so very sad to lose him he was such a wonderful boy, and we loved him so very much."  Then our second boy Alden Eagar was born July 16, 1923, he lived 3 years then died November 15, 1926, with croup and pneumonia caused from falling in an irrigation ditch while the North wind was blowing very hard. We had the elders and the doctor the same as we did for Dilworth but it was no use. That made us very sad, he was the first to go and we, especially me, could hardly take it. The evil power got a hold on me and I was very rebellious for a long time, but finally was brought to see that that didn't do any good, and when after hearing about a strong testimony of Alvin Hardy's, I decided it was time for me to acknowledge the hand of the Lord, and start doing all I could in the church, and I soon felt much better. But of course, we never entirely got over the loss of our loved ones, there is always a longing in our hearts for them, and the best thing we can do is try to live lives worthy so we can be with them after we leave this life.

Our next children were four girls, Barbara, born May 16, 1926, Melba born Feb 19, 1928, Vera Lenna born September 22, 1930, Nedra born January 10, 1933. They are all living now and are all married and all of them are wonderful women and good homemakers, and we are so grateful and thankful for that, and that they all have good husbands.

Then six years after Nedra was born Delwin Thomas was born March 19, 1939, we certainly were happy to have a son again. Delwin was a real joy to us, as were all of our other children.

When our daughter Nedra was 3 weeks old she got double pneumonia and Dr. McIntire said there was no hope of her living, but her father gave her artificial respiration when she would go black and stop breathing, and he would bring her to again, and Dr. McIntire stayed with us most of the night and my mother made plasters of lard, cayenne and mustard, and when the mucous got loosened up she took one of these crooked on the end medicine droppers and put it in her throat and drew out a lot of the phlegm which would choke her and cause her to go black, then we had her administered to often and on Sunday morning the doctor came and told us her lungs were clear, but he didn't know if she could handle all of that mucus, but we kept working, and put her in the hands of the Lord and had her prayed for in Sunday School and the priesthood members had a prayer circle for her and her life was spared. Then when she was 1 year old she got whooping cough while I was in the Cedar City Hospital. I was operated on for appendicitis, and had my gallbladder taken out also, and at one time before I returned home, she almost died again of whooping cough, but my mother gave her an enema of cold water which shocked her into gasping and catching her breath. She had terribly bad colds and bad coughs for years but at this time she is healthy and is also a fine wife and mother.

We kept the custodian job over at Hurricane for 17 years. My husband was also Ward Clerk, City Treasurer, secretary of the Canal Company, and farmed 5 acres of rented land, and ran the Church Welfare Cannery as well as later going in with Emil Graff and Clifton Wilson, in putting up a commercial cannery which my husband ran for a few years, where Alberta peaches, apples, apricots, cherries, plums, and pork and beans were canned, also green corn. He also did quite a lot of prospecting around the country but never found any mineral which would pay as it was so far away form the railroad. I always helped him as much as I could in his work.

I loved to work in the church. I was 2nd counselor to Anna Covington in the Relief Society at the time the church welfare program was first started in 1936, and we had a lot to do in the program, and also in the other Relief Society work. In those days they didn't take the people who died to the mortuary like they do now, so the presidency, or a committee which would be appointed, would wash and lay out the dead, and make burial clothes for them, and the priesthood members would make the casket, and we would line and cover it. People would have to sit up all night, and both day and night keep ice around the body until time for the funeral and burial. I have helped with all of this.

Anna Covington, on account of poor health, was released as president, and Lillian Stratton was chosen, and she asked me to help her, so I was counselor to her as long as she stayed in. Then the girls' program, a new thing, came into being, and Bishop Stout asked me to be the leader of that, and I was in there for 3 years, then resigned, and Jennie Ballard took my place. Then a while after that the program was taken into the M.I.A. then and also in the primary, and have taught in the Sunday School, and sang in the choir, worked in genealogy, in fact, I have helped in every organization in the church, and have enjoyed it all very much.

In 1955 my husband got a job in Las Vegas working at gardening at the Desert Inn, and in the spring of 1956 Delwin and I moved down there to be with him. We rented and lived in the heart of Las Vegas for three months, then in September we bought a home in North Las Vegas and stayed there until September 6, 1958, at which time we sold our home and moved to St. George where we are living now.

While in Las Vegas I taught a Sunday School class, then when we moved to North Las Vegas, I taught the 2nd year Bee Hive girls all the time I was there, and went to Relief Society and was a Relief Society teacher which I enjoyed very much.

Since we arrived in St. George, my husband has had work for David Schmutz taking care of turkeys. I don't like this job so much, as he has to work too hard. We would have stayed longer in Las Vegas but he was running the greenhouse at the Desert Inn and was too wet too much, and he got arthritis so bad that he had to quit. And as he couldn't seem to find anything else down there, we came back to Utah. We love living in Utah although we miss the many good true friends we left in Las Vegas, and we loved going to church there. People there had to really live their religion as there were so many non L.D.S. on every side watching the Mormons so closely.

May 21, 1976:

I am at last getting back to writing this story. It seems like something else came along to take my time or I would just forget to do it.

We loved our home in St. George so much, and were so happy here together. We planted trees and grape vines, shrubs and lots of flowers. Thomas surely had a "green thumb" as they say, and every year your place got nicer and prettier. We always had a good garden and in time some fruit which we enjoyed when it didn't freeze in the spring. One time when the home teachers came, they said our yard looked like a park, that is the way Thomas wanted it to look.

When Thomas was working for Dave Schmutz taking care of turkeys and chickens, we lived at the ranch which is around 8 miles north of the St. George trash dump. There was a trailer house there which we lived in in the summer. Then when Thomas was 62 years young he went on social security. Dave didn't like it, but Thomas had been in a couple of accidents. One before we left Hurricane and one while going to Dave's ranch, and he didn't want to have to keep working so hard.

Then in time he was a guard at a crossing where school children crossed--it was around in front of Metcalf Mortuary. In 1963 while rescuing a 7-year old girl from being killed, a car hit him on the back of both legs as he grabbed the girl and turned. His legs looked like pounded liver. The driver of the car was a student coming from Santa Clara and instead of looking where he was going, he was waving to a girl coming from the north. Thomas also had a skull fracture which left him with a headache for the rest of his life. He also had other cuts and bruises. The boy's insurance company was determined not to pay any insurance on it. We had Mr. Ellis Pickett for our lawyer, and he certainly was a good one. We were over three years getting the settlement. We were in court here in St. George twice, then had to go to Salt Lake. Up there they ruled in our favor and that insurance company had to pay. They sent one check and Mr. Pickett sent word right back that he meant all of it. He had them pay so much, besides the $10,000 from the time the first court was held here, and they paid too. Our check amounted to around $8099.13.. Of course, Mr. Pickett took his share out before we got ours. We had even borrowed money from him for necessary things, he was so sure he could get it. Thomas had taken a little policy from Combined Insurance Company which amounted to $520, when he was school guard, we hadn't had it very long, but it surely did help out

With the settlement check, we finished paying for our home and caught up on everything and helped our kids a little, and helped Delwin and Alice get married. Thomas got another custodian job taking care of a seminary around 1970, he was doing that when in February 1972 he had a heart attack, and died 10 days later on the 19th.

I have missed my dear husband so much, in fact I didn't think I could live without him. I surely didn't expect to be here going on 5 years now, but when I got over the terrible shock of his going a little, I would say, "I'm not the only woman who has lost her husband, and if they can stand it, so can I." We had such a good life together, traveled around a lot, going to Yellowstone Park with George Shamo, wife, and daughter Sharon. We took our time and took in all the sights and places of interest. We went to California with Melba, Henry and Cindy who was around 1 year old. Then we took a trailerhouse pulled by the Empey car, we took food along and cooked as we camped, as we did on the Yellowstone trip. We had so much fun both times.

We have gone pine nut gathering together since coming to St. George. I always stayed home and took care of the family and the jobs so Thomas could go with his men friends while over to Hurricane. In those days he could gather 100 lbs of pine nuts in a day, his companions could too.

We went rabbit hunting, rock hunting, prospecting, deer hunting and fishing together. I didn't shoot deer, but I fished when Thomas helped me get the line out. I sure got a thrill when I was pulling fish in.

After we came to St. George, we both went pine nut gathering. We put our big tent, camp stove, big 10-gallon can, bedding, dishes, card table, and etc. in our pickup, and went out in the hills.

We made quite a lot of money especially while in Hurrricane with the pine nuts, among other things we bought a 50-gallon electric water heater, also our first freezer which we were so happy to have, we got our first refrigerator a few years before that. I made a lot of ice cream with junket, as we had lots of cream and eggs. We surely enjoyed that.

It was so good when we finally got electricity and didn't have to depend entirely on coal oil lamps. We used copper boilers to boil our laundry, that is the white clothes, and used wash boards to get them ready for boiling, it seemed so good when we had electric washers.

We made all of our laundry soap from fat, lye and water by boiling them together--4 pounds of grease or rinds from meat, 1 can of lye, 2 quarts of water. It didn't smell very good, but it sure got the clothes clean. We cooked it until it all melted then took it off the stove and stirred it until it was cool.

It was a happy day when we had water piped into our homes, we had to haul water from the river in barrels at first, then the Hurricane Canal brought it to us, and we could dip it up into the barrels. The water needed softening, so mother would put ashes in it so we could use it for our laundry.

Before we had refrigerators, we had shelves in a sort of cooler outside with screen wires and gunny sacks, old blankets, or something tacked around on it, then we kept it wet, and the breezes and wind kept it a little cool, or we would wrap a cool, wet cloth around the butter, milk and etc. and have it sit in a shady window. As the sun moved, we had to move it to another window in the shade. It was so good when we finally got indoor toilets and didn't have to go out to the little house in back. I forgot to say we used black tubs too to boil our clothes in and to make soap in, we were so glad to have bath tubs too, instead of having to bathe in the laundry tubs.

The first car in Hurricane belonged to Thomas' Uncle Charles Workman. It was a Model T Ford. We kids sure thought that car was something, kids could go so far for a mile or two for ten cents, that was between 1913 and 1915, I don't remember the exact date. Then the first airplane that came to Hurricane landed in a field owned by Finley Judd. Everyone was surely excited about that too. They took people for rides on it too, that was around 1921 or 22 as I remember it.

We rented a house from Clark West soon after our marriage, our son Dilworth was born there. Thomas' mother came and stayed with us while I was in bed for two weeks as we had to do then, by the time our second son Alden was born, we had moved out north of town by the cemetry. We bought property from Thomas' Uncle Will Eagar. The house wasn't very good, it had so many big cracks in it that let the cold north wind blow in, our sons were ill a lot while we lived there, we lost both of them. Thomas' mother stayed with us out there too when Alden was born.

Then soon after Dilworth died in 1929, Thomas' sister and husband, Annie and Loren Covington, moved to Cane Beds. We bought their place which was the Eagar home since they had come from Mexico. We sold them that house, and they tore it down and took the lumber and etc. to Cane Beds, we sure were glad we didn't have to live in it any more. We had Alden, Barbara, Melba and Lenna while living out there north of town, then along came Nedra and Delwin after we moved.

Thomas quit herding sheep and got the custodian's job, he also started working in the city office after his brother-in-law Jesse Rounds died, he had been the former city treasurer, he was Lillian's (his sister's) husband. Thomas was city treasurer until he went to Las Vegas in 1955 to work.

While working in the city office from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. six days a week, he would phone me sometimes and say, "If you will get bedding, food, and etc ready, I will pick you up when I get out of here, and we will go fishing up at Mill Creek, and spend the night. Delwin had some of his pals go along too, and Thomas sure could catch fish along that stream up there. We had so much fun doing that and all the other fun things we did, we had to be back by 3:00 p.m. the next day so he could be in the office.

After moving down town, I either stayed at my folk's when I had a baby or Mother and Thomas took care of me for the 2 weeks I was in bed at our home.

We finally sold our property north of town to Frank Johnson, he gave us lumber and money so we built our new house which we lived in until we moved to Las Vegas, he (Mr. Johnson) built a nice house out north of town. He became one of our north ward bishops later. Our first bishop in Hurricane was Samuel Isom and he certainly was a wonderful bishop. He was loved by everyone. When Dilworth was a baby and he was so ill at times, he would come and administer to him and give us the courage we needed, we were so grateful to him, he passed away before Dilworth did, but to this time I always leave a little bouquet of flowers on his and his wife's graves on Memorial Day.

When we first moved to Hurricane in 1905, we lived in a little cabin owned by my Uncle Tom Isom, so I say we at first lived in Uncle Tom's cabin, we lived there for awhile, then my father took up a homestead north and west of Hurricane. We built our house on the outskirts of town then, it has other houses around it now, as father sold ground, houses were built. We kids roamed all over the hills out there, there was one place called the Skeleton Home, it looked like a piece of ground dropped down quite a ways leaving this hole without a top to it and as animals ran by, and if they didn't notice it quick enough, they dropped into it and couldn't get out, thus, the Skeleton Hole. Kids would drop rocks into it until they could climb out with help from someone on top, we kids thought it was great fun going into it. We took flashlights and could walk quite a ways to the west before it narrowed down to no room to go farther. We always knew there was a chance of finding a starved, vicious animal down there. Since we left Hurricane in 1956, the city council had it covered up as they said it was dangerous.

When I went to Hinckley around 1913, my father took me to Lund, Utah, in a wagon pulled by our team of horses, at Lund I got on the train and went to Oasis, and my Uncle George Stewart of Hinckley picked me up, and took me to my Grandma Walker's place which was across the street from the church.

My mother died in 1968, she was in the Young Old Folk's Home here in St. George, she was lame with a bad hip and bad knee caused from arthritis that at the home they had facilities to take care of her much better than we had in our home, and the doctor could be called much quicker there than at our home if she needed him.

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Vera Hinton Eagar died on January 8, 1977 and is buried in the Hurricane City Cemetery.

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This history is copyrighted and is offered for personal use and research only.
It is not to be reprinted or used for commercial purposes without written permission.

Copyright 2002  by Lisa England


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