THE LIFE OF JOSEPH F. WINSOR

Written by Marilla Cook as told by

Brother Winsor

Autumn of 1948 - Spring and Summer of 1949

I, Joseph F. Winsor (Uncle Frank) was born in Grafton, Utah February 18, 1864, on the banks of the Virgin River. My mother was Mary Nelson, a Danish convert to the church, who came to Utah in 1850. My father was Arson Perry Winsor, a native of New York State, who came to Provo in 1852.

My earliest recollections are of the little Virgin Villages of Grafton and Rockville. I lived here until I was 6 years of age. At that time father was called to Pipe Springs, by Brigham Young. This was in 1870 and the purpose of the call was to build up a church herd of cattle by gathering the tithing and donation cattle from Fillmore south--these to be fattened and ready to furnish beef cattle to feed the temple hands during the construction of the St. George Temple. From Fillmore to Pipe Springs he gathered 2,000 head of tithing and donation cattle.

My mother died that same spring. She was one of the dearest mothers that ever lived. When on her death bed she called me to her and took me in her arms, she said, "Frankie, I want you to be good to the children." She died with me in her arms. There was a brother 4 years old and a little sister 20 months old. My father's first wife Emmeline Zenetta became our mother and she was a wonderful mother to us.

I did my part as a little boy helping build the fort at Pipe Springs. It is still known as Winsor castle. I started very young driving stock. I drove the oxen that hauled part of the rock to build the fort. The men would load the rock onto a sled (a lizzard we called it) and I would drive the oxen to the fort where other workers unloaded the rock. I also drove the oxen that stretched the first telegraph wire in Arizona--for two days. This was when I was but 7 or 8 years of age. The men who were setting the telegraph poles came to my father and wanted a man to drive the oxen. My father said, "This little boy can drive the oxen" and so for two days I drove the oxen that stretched the wire.

Francis Quire did all the digging out of the basement of the Pipe Springs fort. He had only a pick, a shovel, and a wheelbarrow to do all that work. He dug tons of dirt out of the side hill.

The rock fort was at last completed and we moved into it.

In the fall of '71, the ground was dedicated for the St. George temple and work soon began. In the spring of '72 I helped drive a herd of cattle into St. George to feed the temple hands working on the construction. I saw the men pounding in the rock for the foundation of the temple. The cannon now displayed on the temple grounds was in operation. Everything had to be done by manpower. To see that rock forced into the air and then fall into place was fascinating to a small boy. That one year while the foundation was being laid I made a trip with the herd once a month from Pipe Springs to St. George. Thirty beef were brought in each trip. It took good old beef to keep those men going on such heavy work. I saw the men dressing the black rocks that went on the foundation. These rocks came from the black ridge west of St. George. Then came the laying of the black rock for the first foundation story. I watched the progress very eagerly each time I came in with cattle. Next thing I saw when I came in the uprights were being placed to continue the building higher.

During the second year the large poles were placed for the scaffolding and on up went the building. The poles were lashed together with heavy rope.

In 1873 we started driving thirty head of beef in twice a month. So many workers were busy laying the masonry for the walls. Each time we came in a man would ride with me to help drive the herd. My father rode along with us and drove and baggage wagon loaded with butter and cheese made on the ranch. We were milking 100—150 cows during the spring, summer, and fall. All this milk made into cheese and butter also to feed the temple hands. The cheese ranged in size from 40 to 80 pounds per cheese. The ranch boasted the best equipped dairy in the church territory at that time. Father took about 13 cheese each trip to St. George. Both beef and dairy cows ran yearlong on the open range. The grass was so plentiful that good fat beef were supplied every month of the year.

When Brigham Young and his party would go to St. George they always stopped at Pipe Springs overnight. One occasion when I was about 9, they came to the fort and stayed overnight. As they were eating breakfast next morning (my brother and I being "kids" had to wait) I saw a coyote across on the bench-there was a horse saddled and tied to the fence-and I decided to rope that coyote and take it in where the company was eating breakfast. I rode out and roped the coyote (it didn't have a hair on its back). I tied its mouth so it couldn't bite the rope, and dragged it in where the meal was being served. My father jumped for his chair and started for me. I knew he was very angry that I would do such a thing. Brigham Young got up from his chair and said, "Now Brother Winsor, you leave that boy alone -- that is about the best breakfast joke I've ever seen." He wanted to know how I'd ever managed to rope a coyote.

I knew Brigham Young very well when I was a boy. Many times I stopped at his home in St. George. If he ever saw me on the street he would call to me and say, "Come here, Frank."

I have known and shaken hands with every President of the church except the Prophet, Joseph Smith.

About the third year we were at Pipe Springs, on one occasion 50 Navajos came to the fort. My father killed a beef and my older brothers went to Moccasin and brought back a double wagon box full of corn. The Indians cleaned up the corn and beef. Next morning when I looked out to where the beef had hung the night before, I saw nothing but a skeleton. The bones had been stripped bare and left hanging there.

This was the nearest we came to a skirmish with the Indians while in Pipe Springs. Father knew how to deal with Indians.

To go back to the Pipe Springs fort, It was built to protect the settlers from the Indians. It was a 2-story building with rooms about 20 feet square. There were portholes in the walls on three sides. Each room had two big windows facing the center of the court. There were no windows on the outside. The walls were built of sandstone. A balcony went around the court and there was a rail around it. I fell from this balcony to the ground--13 feet. I had a kinked neck for a few days.

When my father took his family to Pipe Springs there were about 13 in the group. Hired help was there all of the time. There was nothing but a dugout for the family before the fort was built. It had been but one year since peace was made with the Navajos. Pipe Springs was right on the Navajo trail, just four miles from the scene of the Whitmore massacre. Brigham Young promised my father that the Indians would never bother us as long as we did not molest the Indians.

My part in the life on the ranch was riding almost daily. Brigham Young requested that my father put his own 75 herd of cattle in with the church herd.

When my father was called to labor in the temple, Charles Pulsipher was called to replace my father on the ranch. This was in the spring of '76.

My family moved to St. George in the fall of '76. I was there when the lower part of the temple was dedicated. This part of the building was then used for endowments.

The work on the temple went on and the final dedication took place on April 6, 1877. I remember the wonderful discourse Brigham Young gave at that time. He used his hickory cane to emphasize his remarks and in doing so left an indelible imprint on the pulpit. I shall never forget the terrible wind storm the day of the dedication. It did seem the devil was doing all in his power to stop the work of the Lord. Tops were blown off buggies and the wind caused much destruction. My father had a big buggy, sturdy and strong. The top was taken off by the wind, but the temple walls were built strong and could withstand the gale.

My father's move to St. George caused me to change my occupation. I now became a farmer and teamster. My first work was hauling dirt onto the temple square. Hundreds of loads of dirt had to be hauled to build up the grounds, I did this work on Saturdays. The rest of the week I was busy helping my brothers on the farm.

When I was 14 one brother moved to Hebron; the other was called to Arizona. That left the St. George farm to me. My younger brother, 12 years old, and I did all the wood hauling and everything.

My formal education didn't amount to much up to now. Until we moved to St. George I had never been inside a school or meeting house.

Water was the big problem in our life on the farm. My first work on the ditches was on what was called the Jarvis dam. I took a team and worked right with the men.

The Jarvis dam was on the Virgin River. Every time a flood came the dam was gone and we'd have to go out and put it in again. The Virgin River was a great trial to the pioneers. Dam after dam was washed away. We combined the Jarvis, Virgin, and Seep ditch and built a pile dam. I went out south and hauled two loads of cedar posts about 20 feet long. Then I hauled brush and cottonwoods to weight in among the piles. Rock was piled in among all this. The building of this dam took weeks and weeks. When finished it held for about three years. We got the ditches running nicely and people felt they were going to be able to do something with their farms.

A big flood took the dam and it had to be discarded. Water the parched fields must have, so we did not give up.

I went up to start work on the Washington field dam. Isaac McFarlane came up with a big crew of men, scrapers, and wagons. They scraped the sand away until they came to a harder bed. They did this to turn the river over the ledge out of its original channel. It happened to be a dry season so the work could go on. We had to build an abutment of rocks on the end of the dam next to the river. My little team and I dragged pretty nearly all of that rock. We dug a tunnel in the south end of the dam to draw the water into the Washington field ditch. The work went on all winter with a crew of about 100 men on that dam. It was successful. It was the first time the old river was whipped into line, and made the farmers of Washington and St. George quite independent.

Tom Judd got an idea in his head he could bring the water onto the Virgin bench. I went there with Isaac McFarlane to do the surveying. We had to chain over that mountain and back twice. When the tunnel was actually built the survey was near enough in its accuracy that there were but four inches lost in going through that mountain, 800 feet.

My brother and I dug the first 200 feet on the east end of the tunnel. Then Brother Judd sent me with a crowd of men to outline his canal.

Our farms were acattesed - a field here and a field there. It was difficult for boys to handle a field divided that way. So my father bought land on Santa Clara Creek expecting my brother Perry and I to have that land. We raised a nice crop of grain and a big crop of hay, melons, and other things on the farm that summer. A Mr. Woodbury had a field next to my father's field in Toniquint. He and my father made a dicker and the farm on Santa Clara Creek went into his hands and we had his farm next to our own in Toniquint. That was about all we could handle. My father sold the other fields.

Next summer when the first crop of hay was about up I ate a green apple and was taken violently ill with what was known as cholera morbus. I was as sick as it is possible to get and keep on living. That cured me of eating green apples. When I was able after my illness I rode out to Hebron and stayed all summer. I just went back for the last cutting of hay. When I got home my father informed me the mowing machine was broken to pieces. I went over to Judds and was told to take any machinery I found in the yards. I took a mowing machine and cut the hay. I hauled hay over to Silver Reef to pay for the loan of the machine.

Mother had used an old stove all the time she was in Dixie. She had cooked for years at Pipe Springs and St. George on that stove. How she did want a new stove. Father didn't pay much attention when she asked for a new stove. I went to Wooley-Lund-Judd; told them I had no money but wanted a stove. My credit was good with them. I was told to pick out the stove and haul it away. Father and mother worked in the temple. I took the stove home, put the old one out at the end of the house and set up the new stove in its place. When the folks came home mother's surprise and pleasure is hard to imagine. She shed tears of happiness over that stove.

I paid for the stove hauling rock for the foundation of Mr. Wooley's house. Then I worked hauling adobes for the walls. He built a good 2-story house.

My brother Perry had a sister-in-law Susie Terry. She was my first girl. We went together for a long time then she saw another fellow who took her eye. I didn't like the idea and never went back to her again. I went to St. George, found another girl and belonged to a jolly crowd. We had private dances in homes. One old house had a good floor and no doors or windows. We used that house for dancing. Johny Pym played the accordian for us to dance. I asked Johny to come play for us and I'd insure him a girl. He hadn't had any girls, living out on the ranch as he did. He played for us and he got the best of the bargain. He got away with one of the girls, Eva Dodge; she is his wife today.

We had a good little crowd. There was no smoking nor drinking, even swearing was not heard. In the winter we gathered in our homes and popped corn. In summer eating watermelons was our treat. There never was a game of cards played in that little group.

I made a trip for old man Peck, my first school teacher. I took Mr. Peck and his belongings down to Mesquite. The road was nothing more than a cow trail-no work had ever been done on the old road. Old Mr. Peck was one of the first settlers on the Mesquite flat. It was nothing then but a sand patch and mesquite brush. Two other fellows went with me. I had a load of lumber with me. We dumped our loads under a big mesquite bush. There we left Mr. Peck-without a cover for his head along under a mesquite bush.

I changed my summer vacations from Old Hebron to Asay Creek. I had two sisters who lived there. It was a nice little ranch. To get to Asay Creek we left St. George, camped by Pipe Springs and went around by Kanab. As we went between Kanab and Johnson we turned out expecting to camp. I looked down and saw the granddaddy of all rattlesnakes. I took my six shooter and shot his head off and told my brother-in-law and sister, "We don't camp here tonight. The mate may be close around." So we moved on a little farther.

We went on through Johnson and upper Kanab to Asay's ranch. We visited there with the Asay boys. They had a big seine. They caught enough fine fish, mostly trout, to fill a twenty-five gallon barrel. This was just the day before we were ready to come home. We brought that barrel of salted fish home with us. We came around the hills by Panguitch, through the hills to Parowan, down through Cedar and on to St. George.

We made the same trip again the next summer.

My sister Lucy married Dave Hatch. I started to work for Ira and Dave Hatch moving camp. We moved the sheep from Hatch camp out onto the Escalante desert.

I worked with sheep for a Mr. Sanders before I went with the Hatch brothers so sheep were not new to me. I trailed sheep for him all one Summer. At Asay Creek I met Magnus Olsen and we trailed sheep for Mr. Sanders.

We gathered sheep from there to San Pete Mountain. We gathered up 15,000 head of sheep and I did enjoy the beautiful scenery on what is now "Skyline Drive." We kept on until we were on the mountain east of Mt. Pleasant. We had collected 5,000 more sheep and there at the big dipping pen we dipped 20,000 head of sheep. We had to have a couple more herders and another camp boss. Then we drove the whole herd to the Uintah reservation - Strawberry Valley. Ten thousand head of sheep were already there. That summer we were responsible for 30,000 head of sheep.

The sheep were divided in four big herds. The men were all given a job but me. I thought I was out but the boss, a Mr. Eagar, said I was to ride the whole range, and not let any sheep trespass on our side on the mountain east, north, and south, Our country was in a circle. There was a deputy marshal on the job to see that no trouble came of trespassing.

At the end of the summer we drove the whole bunch of sheep to the Atkin railroad station. It was about 50 miles north of Park City. About 3,000 wethers were sold and a man trailed them off. All the others were shipped. Mr. Eagar wanted me to go with him on the train when the last herd was loaded but I declined.

With the other men I took the pack animals and wagons into Salt Lake City. When people saw us (or heard us coming) they thought we were bringing in some kind of show with our wagons rattling and about a dozen dogs barking as we went along.

We went to Mr. Sanders' office and settled up. He paid me top wages and I didn't even set my wage. He asked what I was getting and I said I didn't know, so he paid me top wages and said I was worth it.

I took his horses and outfit down to Gunnison. I took another 5,000 head of sheep and trailed them down to the Escalante desert. When I got to Beaver I couldn't get around the town. I went to the marshal and with his help went right through town without a bobble. That was one time I really got help from a marshal.

I went to work for the Hatches' after my work with Sanders. Dave Hatch and his brother brought 1,000 head of sheep over to the desert the next winter. We ran them until spring then I came home and worked on the farm through the summer.

In the fall I went to get Dave Hatch's wife and moved her from Hatch town to St. George. I went up into the mountains above Minersville and got some sheep for the Hatchs'. I herded them around St. George that winter.

I became acquainted with A. W. Ivins and found I could get his farm, about 40 acres of the best land on Clary Creek, for Dave Hatch. I went out to Hatch town and Dave Hatch sold 1,000 sheet to get the $1,000 that was the price of the farm. I made the deal with Brother Ivins then took over the farm. I raised hay and grain and ran the place alone except having a man to help stack hay when needed. When the crop was gathered in the fall I went to Hatch town and helped move Dave Hatch's family to St. George for good.

He kept me with him for the next year on the farm. During that year I decided I would go out to Hebron and see if Effie Hunt was in the market for a husband. I had seen her at a Sunday School jubilee out in Pine Valley. I had known her since she was a little girl in pigtails. She was ten years younger than I so I had watched her grow up.

I went up to Hebron. I had a mean horse I was trying to break. He was hitched to the wagon with a gentle horse. When we reached the black point, the horse bolted. I just couldn't hold him. He ran right for a deep gully. I whipped up the gentle horse and when that wild horse turned, so near was I to the 12-foot gulch, that dust from the rear wheels was thrown into the gully. Brother A. W. Ivins watched the runaway. He said, "Frank, there was a time there I wouldn't have given a nickel for your scalp," The Lord surely came to my rescue that time and on many other occasions.

When I reached Hebron, Effie seemed glad to see me and the way seemed to be clear so I went back in the fall and again for the Christmas holidays. I was just too busy to go courting very often.

Soon after my first trip to see Effie I was in St. George with the same horse hitched to the wagon. He bolted again right in the middle of St. George. I had to make a turn to save my life that no man could make without help. Again the Lord was with me.

I tended the farm the rest of the year. A year rolled around and Effie and I planned to be married in September. I was taken away on business for Dave in September and Effie almost gave me the sack for not showing up. We patched things up and were married at Christmas time. We were married in the St. George temple December 22. When we got back to Hebron the Christmas eve party was in progress. We squeezed in the door. There was only standing room. The tree was up on the stage and Santa Claus was there calling out the names of the children to come and get their presents. Effie's father had put a present on the tree for her. Santa Claus called her name, "Mrs. Frank Winsor." You bet the folks wouldn't pass that gift to her. She had to walk up to the stage and get it. Heads were turning and folks were asking, "When did you get that name?" It was most embarrassing to Effie.

We went to St. George to live and stayed at mother's place for two weeks. A little house across the street was vacated and we moved in there. We had one little round table. That was all the furniture we owned. We borrowed an old bedstead, a table, and a few chairs and we used the old stove mother discarded when I bought her new one. I had ten dollars in my pocket after I bought my marriage license.

I got acquainted with Henry Riding, He was an A-1 cabinet maker. He made us some good furniture, cupboards, desks, etc. and we are using them today.

Effie had been the telegraph operator up in Hebron earning $10 a month. She had quilts, sheets, pillow cases, etc. so we were all set.

Our culinary water ran down the ditch for one hour every morning--between 5 and 6 o'clock, During that hour we filled our barrels, watered our stock, and got all the water we needed for the day. If we didn't get up early and obtain our water the day would be mighty dry.

We lived there in that little house for two years. We then moved into Ed Hendrick's home. The rent was just the taxes. He wanted us to live there until he could find a buyer.

When we moved there the walls were just up on the Wooward School building. I was one who was selected to go out to Modena for lumber to build the school. I hauled lumber and then I worked for the contractor and hauled sand-hundreds of loads-for building that school. That money put us on our feet.

My brother Andrew had been sick and I had to whack up with him--.flour, hay and wood--I hauled sand, tended my farm, and took care of 200 stands of bees. I had help at extracting time--a little fellow who later became Dr. John M. McFarlane, turned the extractor for me.

I was a Sunday School teacher during this time, a ward teacher and a member of both ward and stake entertainment committee-I was on the main committee for the fruit festival and carnival. Conference came right after the September fruit festival.

During the first two years we tended Bro. Whitehead's farm as well as our own. I hauled copper ore from the Grand Gulch to Modena, during my spare time from the farm. It was an eight day trip out to the gulch and back to St. George. I had a wonderful team.

At the end of two years Brother Whitehead returned from his mission. He was a member of the Stake Presidency and he came and asked me to go as a temple ordinance worker.

Before this time my wife had taken a baby boy to raise. It was such a sweet bright little fellow, one of a pair of twins. This baby lived for four months then it took pneumonia and died. After the death of this baby we were sad and lonely. A friend of ours, Johnny Lytle and wife took a little girl to raise. Her father was an L.D.S. convert from Iceland. We took this little girl to raise. Her name was Victora Tobiason. She was 10 years old, had never been to school and had to learn to speak and understand English. Victoria had a brother Neils, just younger than she. He was sent up from Price at conference time to Salt Lake. Then he was put on the train and sent to Modena. He wore a tag around his neck that read: Conductor, please look after this boy. He is going to live with Frank Winsor, St. George, Washington County, Utah.

I went to work in the temple as an officiator for one year. After that I ran a farm for Hector McQuarrie while he went on a mission. Both he and Brother Whitehead when they left on their missions had verbal agreements with me. I did all I could for them and they were very appreciative.

The last summer we were in St. George we began to buy up property in Enterprise and prepare to move up there. We moved out here in March of 1905. We had a tent boarded up on the sides and we lived in that for one year. There weren't more than a dozen families here altogether. I worked on the canal and in the sawmill to get lumber to build a house, I helped on the dam up by the reservoir. Any dangerous work that had to be done seemed to be handed to Uncle Elias Hunt and me. That fall I was elected school trustee. I felt that I really worked hard for the education of the children. School was kept in many different houses. School was held in the meeting house-now the R.S. building. There were too many students so different homes had to be used for some classes. I would take my team and get out and clear the roads when the snow was heavy so the children could get to school. I got my niece Tillie Winsor out here as teacher. She is known and loved all over the county.

The reservoir took a long time to build and Brother Ivins came to our aid. He put up a lot of money and the people received money for their work on the dam.

I worked at the sawmill and hauled lumber to build a home. Johnny Jones helped me as a carpenter; also Jimmie Hall. We built a confortable house, a granary, and a stable. We moved out of the tent in March just one year after we came out here.

We moved into the back part of the house and while we were making out that way, the Stake R.S. women, four of them, and a man came and stayed overnight with us. We weren't in very fancy circumstances but we gave them the best we had.

When we came here there was no hay raised in Enterprise. I went over to New Castle and worked for two seasons during haying and earned hay for our animals. I took the hay I earned that I didn't need over to Modena. There I traded hay for our needs.

A family from Canada, Herbert Cook and his wife, joined the church and came to Utah. Victora's father recommended they come here where his children were. They lived with us for a couple of months then moved to themselves. They had one little boy when they came and a baby girl born a month later. The father was 60 years. We helped them with machinery and team. They moved to Salt Lake hoping to do better.

Another family, Colemans, came to Enterprise. They lived in our tent in the back yard. They had a large family. Sister Coleman asked in Relief Society if anyone would take a couple of their children to raise. No one volunteered. Finally Sister Coleman asked us directly. We were hesitant but the Grandmother worked up a contract, and we brought two little boys home with us; one nearly two years old, the other nearly three. Victora had fallen in love with the one little boy and she was glad to have the younger one too.

We kept these children for three years. Then one primary day Effie and Victora were getting the children ready for primary. The Colemans drove up in a sleigh. They insisted on taking the women and children to primary. After primary the little boys were permitted to watch some boys sawing wood on the grounds while Victora and Effie were in preparation meeting. During this time the Colemans drove up and stole the two children. We went after them, but we could see we would only have trouble and didn't try any more.

Soon after this Sister Cook wrote us from Salt Lake and told us Brother Cook had gone blind. She was just up against it and asked us to take Doris and Levi, the two children who were down here. We kept these children for a long time. Levi was a difficult child. We soon found out we just did not know how to handle him. We sent him back after a time, but Doris lived with us for several years.

We received a litter from President Penrose asking us if we would take a little girl. The mother of the girl wanted to get her child in an L.D.S. home. We wrote saying we'd rather take a younger child, but six months later President Penrose wrote again asking us to take this girl. We decided it was a mission so we consented. We sent money for her train fare and met her at Modena. Then we had Edith and Doris, two little seven-year-old girls. We dressed them as twins and kept them for a long time. Doris finally went back to her mother. Edith's aunt wrote for her and when she was about 13 she left us too. She loved us and didn't want to go.

Victora had married and was raising a family. She was the first eighth grade graduate from Enterprise.

During the time we were caring for these children we had cleaned up our farms and got them ready for irrigation.

We raised potatoes, hay, and grain. When Brother Ivins came to the valley we made a trade. He wanted my land and so I traded for other land. He made the best bargain on the land, but the accommodations through the years more than made up for the loss.

I raised quite a bit of hay. There wasn't a market for it, so I started a small dairy to use up the hay. We milked from 7 to 10 cows all the time. We got a separator and began to ship cream. It made us a pretty good living. We had a small bunch of cattle besides.

I was a school trustee, the head ward teacher, and a teacher in Sunday School. Clover Valley belonged to our ward and I had to check on ward teaching there too.

About this time I developed a heart ailment. Drs. McGregor and Woodbury were both treating me. I made a good many trips to St. George and the doctors gave me no hope. They told me I would surely be taken off quickly by that bad heart. They told me to arrange my affairs so I'd be ready to go.

One night I was lying on a bed here in the living room. A man came in the room. He was a stranger to me. He held up two fingers and said, "Frank, you can either live or you can die." He left me and I thought all night long of his words. In the morning I got up and told Effie, "I can either live or die and I'm going to live." I didn't take any more of the doctor's medicine and I got well. When the "flu" epidemic came along a doctor who was here came to see us. He examined my heart and said, "I have never seen a man your age with a stronger heart." This miraculous recovery was a great testimony to me and to others.

One day I went for a load of wood. I had a nice little load. As I was turning in the road the load tipped completely over. I had but one chance to save my life. I had to jump and land on my feet and run, or get under the load of wood. The Lord surely steadied my feet. The load turned completely over and I had to reload, but I was safe.

Another time I went up on the red hill and got a nice load of wood. I had a bronco hitched. I started down the hill and lost the brake rope. In trying to grasp the rope I lost a line. Down the hill I went. I thought I was gone. I then grabbed the stake and pulled the horses with the one line and turned the horse up the hill. The wood was flying every place. The wagon didn't tip over. When I got the team stopped I gathered up my brake rope and lines and headed for home. I didn't want any more wood that night.

During the time I was getting the farm in shape I spent many hours on the ditch keeping our new water system.

I want to say a few words about Neils and the help he gave me in getting the farms ready. When I grubbed brush, he followed behind and burned the brush. He was a fine boy and a dandy worker. He helped with the planting. He could drop potato eyes as fast as I could cut and cover them. The two children, Neils and Victora were a great help to us in getting started.

Victora and Effie started a small store from very meager beginnings. Victora had seventy-five cents. She sent for some lace and ribbon. There was no store here. She sold the lace and ribbon for a small profit, then sent for more. In this way a small business was started. It grew until we were ordering $500 worth of goods at one time. My health failed and we needed the goods from the store to keep us alive. We just ate the groceries as we needed them. The money that should have been spent for more stock we used for other necessities.

On Christmas day of 1920, Dorothy became a part of our family. Her mother had died leaving her father Neils, who had moved to Canada, with five little children. That morning we were out with our neighbors, visiting and serenading the town. We saw the mail carrier stop over at Victora's, the other side of the wash, and a man and a group of children got out there. We knew it was Neils and his motherless children. From that time on Dorothy lived with us. She was the baby, a frail little thing, not yet two years old. She lived with Victora for a time and her father a short while, but she came back to us.

About this time Effie's health failed and we had to go to a warmer climate during the winters. We sold our little bunch of cattle and our dairy herd. We moved to Caylin about five or six miles from Overton. Neils and Victora had homes in that territory. Neils had a farm and I worked on the farm. We lived in a house on that farm. After the land was leveled we planted it into truck garden. They christened me "The Old Man" in the valley, and wondered how I could do so much work. We raised wonderful crops-melons. I wish I had one now.

We left Enterprise about Thanksgiving time every year for four years. We'd come home about the first of May. At the end of that time Effie was feeling fine. The warm winters had been wonderful for her.

During the depression that came upon us at this time I was appointed with three other men to start the relief work in Washington County. We gave our relief checks to draw on the store for those in need. We served for fourteen months. I never did work harder in my life. We had to make our own relief plan. It was a very hard time. We had a very difficult time to satisfy everyone. The depression and the hard times brought out the greed in some people and the good qualities in others. At the end of fourteen months we couldn't take the worry and anxiety any longer and we resigned.

I had sold my farm when we went south so now I went to work for Roy Adams in the summertime. He had a bunch of small boys. I worked and watched those boys grow into manhood. A better family a man never worked for.

Dorothy grew up in Enterprise and finished high school. She was a fine student, always at the top in her class. She went down to Dixie College for one year then she fell in love and married Woodruff. She went with him out to Susanville and we were alone again.

They came and lived with us during the winters for several years. Since the twins came they have had a home of their own right next door.

I must not leave out of this brief history the story of coffins I have made for friends and relatives. I just cannot remember the number there were so many. I never received a dime for any coffin I made except one. A little child of Mr. Brenner died and when the coffin was made he came and put $5 down on the table. He didn't understand that I wanted to do it for nothing and so that $5 spoiled my record.

There was no undertaker service during those years. Uncle George Holt took upon himself to make the early coffins, and I helped with all of them. I had a knack of finishing and decorating the coffins. We would make them of common pine boards and cover them with cloth and line them and trim them with lace. Later Brother Lund at the store got in some material that was regular coffin cloth. With this to cover the boards, and handles purchased at the store, some very beautiful coffins were made.

Twice during the cold snowy winter, I stripped my granary to get boards for coffins.

The largest coffin I ever made was for Lizzie Peterson. She was a woman who weighed well over three hundred pounds. That coffin took a lot of lumber, many pounds of cotton for lining, and many a wide strip of lace. The coffin couldn't be carried through a door. The body had to be taken out through a window. It was a double sash and both windows were removed then the corpse laid out on a great big door, was taken through the window and fitted into the coffin as it set on the lawn.

The smallest coffin I made was for the twin baby of Zenetta and Roy Adams. She was such a tiny thing. The little coffin was finished and I could hold it out on my hand. It was just a little white bed for a doll.

We are growing older and our health is failing. We still enjoy our friends and the memories of the years that have gone before.



Histories TOC



www.winsor.us

Page last modified: